But it may be a quantum mechanical phenomenon, researchers say — thus solvable, as long as we are willing to work with quantum mechanics:
Some birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, using it to navigate. But precisely how they do this has long remained a mystery. Now, researchers have confirmed that a protein found in bird eyes displays a quantum mechanical phenomenon which makes it sensitive to magnetic fields. The researchers suggest this mechanism could be behind birds’ magnetoreception abilities.
The paper is closed access.
6 Replies to “Birds: Magnetic field reception for navigation is a complete mystery”
As to: “researchers have confirmed that a protein found in bird eyes displays a quantum mechanical phenomenon which makes it sensitive to magnetic fields.”
I wonder what Einstein would have thought about that? On the one hand Einstein held that magnetism, (particularly the Earth’s magnetic field), proved that “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.”
Yet, on the other hand, Einstein resisted the ‘spooky action at a distance’ of quantum mechanics:
Yet, despite Einstein’s resistance to quantum mechanics’, the ‘spooky action at a distance’ of quantum mechanics has been confirmed over, and over, again and Einstein’s hidden variable theories have been repeatedly disconfirmed. ,,,
In fact, the evidence for quantum mechanics has been so consistent that the following author, Margaret Reid, even holds that Einstein would “be a convert today”.
Whether Einstein would be honest to the evidence, and actually be a ‘convert’, we, or course, have no way of actually knowing, So one still wonders exactly what Einstein would have thought about the fact that “researchers have confirmed that a protein found in bird eyes displays a quantum mechanical phenomenon which makes it sensitive to magnetic fields.”?
i apologize, english is not my first language, but did i get it right?
do birds have some kind of head-up display in their eyes ?
i apologize for a silly question …
I have often said that much of human behavior can be explained by gravity. I was joking of course but in another way was serious. I was referring about protein folds and how they affect human behavior and that gravity being one of the four basic forces of physics was affecting our behavior through these folds.
I said gravity because everyone knows how gravity affects them but almost nothing about how magnetic fields affects their lives. But I knew I was wrong because gravity is such a weak force it would have little effect on protein folds. But what does drive protein folds is the electromagnetic forces which is thousands of times stronger than gravity.
So my guess is that it’s not implausible to think magnetic forces would be discernible by some proteins and affect behavior. Whether it’s the way this video maintains or another way will become apparent over time.
Martin: “do birds have some kind of head-up display in their eyes ?”
No, that is not what they are suggesting. They are merely suggesting that quantum coherence in the retina of the European Robin makes the migratory birds sensitive to the earth’s magnetic fields.
Which is astonishing enough all by itself. According to Quantum Physicist Jim Al-Khalili, finding the phenomenon of Quantum Entanglement to be present in European Robins is “nothing short of miraculous.”
And this is ‘miraculous’ in far more than just a figurative sense. As referenced earlier, in order to give an adequate explanation for quantum coherence we are forced to appeal to a beyond space and time cause.
Darwinian materialists simply have no beyond space and time cause to appeal to, whereas Christian Theists do have a beyond space and time cause that they can appeal to.
A few related notes:
Bornagain, you sure?
From the video (at 4:47)
in that video, they also tried to mimic what the bird may actually see using an overlay graphic (looks like a blind spot in bird’s vision)
Well Martin, no I am not sure. Come to think of it, the entanglement is in the retina, so it is very possible, even very likely, that they are seeing something, but as the video said, ‘we do not know, (what the bird is seeing), because we cannot ask the bird” 🙂