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Mae-Wan Ho (1941–2016) on electrons and consciousness

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2016-04-15-1460682868-3899990-MaeWanHo.jpg The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing 'the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin' From Suzan Mazur’s Paradigm Shifters:

Suzan Mazur: Do you have a definition for life?

Mae-Wan Ho: I would define it as a quantum coherent system. It is a circular thermodynamic system that can reproduce.

Suzan Mazur: How do you think about origin of life?

Mae-Wan Ho: I think there was an origin of lifel If you look at water, which has been the subject of my research for a number of years – the physic o life depends on wter in a very fundamental way. Water has all the characteristics of consciousness. It’s very sensitive, it’s flexible. It responds to light. Electromagnetic fields, etc.

Suzan Mazur: Have you commented about electrons and consciousness?

Mae-Wan Ho: It was Alfred North Whitehead’s idea that electrons had consciousness. Whitehead, to me, was a really important philosopher. He was also a mathematician. He had an idea that you cannot really understand nature except as an organism and with the sensitivity of the organism. To Whitehead everything in nature was an organism to varying degrees, from electrons, fundamental particles to galaxies. It’s a beautiful idea actually.

See also.

Mae-Wan Ho (1941–2016), non-Darwinian biologist

and

What we know and don’t know about the origin of life

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2 Replies to “Mae-Wan Ho (1941–2016) on electrons and consciousness

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Erwin Schrödinger – “Do Electrons Think?” (BBC 1949)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCwR1ztUXtU

    WHAT IS LIFE? ERWIN SCHRODINGER – First published 1944 Pg. 28-29
    TWO WAYS OF PRODUCING ORDERLINESS
    Excrpt: “The orderliness encountered in the unfolding of life springs from a different source. It appears that there are two different ‘mechanisms’ by which orderly events can be produced: the ‘statistical mechanism’ which produces order from disorder and the new one, producing order from order. To the unprejudiced mind the second principle appears to be much simpler, much more plausible. No (a) doubt it is. That is why physicists were so proud to have fallen in with the other one, the ‘order-from-disorder’ principle, which is actually followed in Nature and which alone conveys an understanding of the great line of natural events , in the first place of their irreversibility . But we cannot expect that the ‘laws of physics’ derived from it suffice straight away to explain the behaviour of living matter, whose most striking features are visibly based to a large extent on the ‘order-from-order’ principle. You would not expect two entirely different mechanisms to bring about the same type of law-you would not expect your latch-key, to open your neighbour’s door as well. We must therefore not be discouraged by the difficulty of interpreting life by the ordinary laws of physics. For that is just what is to be expected from the knowledge we have gained of the structure of living matter. We must be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing in it. Or are we to term it a non-physical, not to say a super-physical, law?
    THE NEW PRINCIPLE IS NOT ALIEN TO PHYSICS
    No. I do not think that. For the new principle that is involved is a genuinely physical one: it is, in my opinion, nothing else than the principle of quantum theory over again.,,,”
    http://whatislife.stanford.edu.....s-Life.pdf

    Jim Al-Khalili, at the 2:30 minute mark of the following video states,
    “,,and Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1141908409155424/?type=2&theater

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems?
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    A.C. McINTOSH – Dr Andy C. McIntosh is the Professor of Thermodynamics Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds. (the highest teaching/research rank in U.K. university hierarchy)
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    In the following paper, Dr Andy C. McIntosh, who is professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory at the University of Leeds, holds that it is non-material information that is constraining the cell to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium. Moreover, Dr. McIntosh holds that regarding information as independent of energy and matter ‘resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions’.

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Do you have a definition for life?

    Mae-Wan Ho: I would define it as a quantum coherent system. It is a circular thermodynamic system that can reproduce.

    When looking at life from the thermodynamic perspective, it is interesting to note that the information content within a ‘simple’ cell explodes into gargantuan proportions that far exceeds the information content encoded on DNA alone:

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain(s) over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

    The 10^12 bits of information for a bacterium is derived from entropic considerations, which is, due to the tightly integrated relationship between information and entropy, considered, in my personal opinion, to be the most accurate measure of the information constraining a ‘simple’ life form to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

    For calculations, from the thermodynamic perspective, please see the following site:

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/18hO1bteXTPOqQtd2H12PI5wFFoTjwg8uBAU5N0nEQIE/edit

    also of note:

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    Also of note, the thermodynamic efficiency found in molecular machines far exceeds the efficiency of any man made machine. For example:

    What’s quantum physics got to do with biology? – June 2012
    Excerpt: certain bacteria can capture 95% of the light that hits them and turn it into useful energy. Solar panels also convert light from the Sun into energy—but they aren’t nearly as good at it. The very best solar panels ever tested in a lab (i.e., not the ones actually available for sale and installation on your house) were able to convert about 34% of the light that hit them into electricity.,, Why can’t we use the Sun’s energy as effectively as bacteria can? The secret may be that the bacteria are using quantum physics to transmit energy.
    http://boingboing.net/2012/06/.....ology.html

    Thermodynamic efficiency and mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase – 2011
    Excerpt: F1-ATPase is a nanosized biological energy transducer working as part of FoF1-ATP synthase. Its rotary machinery transduces energy between chemical free energy and mechanical work and plays a central role in the cellular energy transduction by synthesizing most ATP in virtually all organisms.,,
    Our results suggested a 100% free-energy transduction efficiency and a tight mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/ea.....hort?rss=1

    Thermodynamic efficiency and mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase – 2011
    Excerpt: F1-ATPase is a nanosized biological energy transducer working as part of FoF1-ATP synthase. Its rotary machinery transduces energy between chemical free energy and mechanical work and plays a central role in the cellular energy transduction by synthesizing most ATP in virtually all organisms.,,
    Our results suggested a 100% free-energy transduction efficiency and a tight mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/ea.....hort?rss=1

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

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