Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word | Doubtful News. Kan kvantfysik/kvantteori (the Q word står för Quantum theory) förklara medvetandet och själen? Hameroff & Penrose är inne på att så kan vara fallet.

Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word | Doubtful News.


Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word

October 31, 2012


Scientists offer quantum theory of soul’s existence.

American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells.

Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, “with 100 billion neurons and their axonal firings and synaptic connections acting as information networks”.

They argue that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects inside these microtubules – a process they call orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

In a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state but the information within them is not destroyed. Or in layman’s terms, the soul does not die but returns to the universe.

“[…]souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells.” Is it just me or does that sound similar to how George Lucas tried to explain the Force and midichlorians in The Phantom Menace?

Regardless, it’s speculative at best, and should be given no further weight than that.

Addition: He’s been at this for a while. (Tip: @lippard)

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5 Responses to Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word

  1. Massachusetts on October 31, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I’ve seen these guys on that show with Morgan Freeman narrating, I believe: “Through the wormhole.” It does seem rather speculative at best. I wouldn’t be upset exactly if they were proved to be right, but I don’t see any evidence to support their assertions.

  2. Massachusetts on October 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I guess in the popular culture “Quantum” is replacing “Sorcery” and “Magic” as a way of explaining seemingly impossible things, perhaps?

  3. Massachusetts on October 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I understand, regarding Lucas, that he just gave up and passed the baton to someone else to make the next series of Star Wars films. I guess those pesky force critters did the old boy in! :)

  4. Nucular on November 1, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    I know less about Hameroff, but I’ve always enjoyed Penrose’s ideas – and in the past he’s always freely admitted that his ‘quantum microtubules’ idea of consciousness is unevidenced as yet, and relies on other unproven constructs like ‘quantum gravity’. I seem to have stopped concentrating for the last few years, and suddenly it’s all about immortal souls and NDEs? Given Hameroff seems to be the one doing the rounds, I wonder what Penrose thinks about all this ‘we’ business.

  5. Professor Abed Peerally on November 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Not so doubtful after all, but very premature. It is interesting that what is consciousness is starting to get attention from serious sources although very speculative. However i do believe that there is the possibility to arrive at a first tentative serious start on what could constitute consciousness. I have said elsewhere that it is not possible to have a Higgs field and boson permeating the cosmos as this would make the elucidation of the deep realities of the universe impossible to elucidate. Ideas like those of Penrose and Hameroff are a very rudimentary beginning and I could make it a bit more”etoffe” but I will in due course. For one thing it would be very difficult for reconciling consciousness with quantum gravity besides the fact that nobody can say even superficially what is quantum gravity. My paper in SAJS, 104:221-224, 2008, on a universal law of time dilation combining SR and GR of Einstein in a single equation of time dilation, is the kind of start we need to address to reach eventually attempts to elucidate our deep realities. In that paper I showed that both SR and GR are correlated with but not exlained by KE and PE. I think we will get a pretty good idea of our deepest realities within this decade.

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