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Futurism: Science should be wary of exploring links between minds and quantum phenomena

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From Karla Lant at Futurism:

The revelation that observing and measuring quantum effects changes their behavior is troubling, but it also suggests to many people that consciousness itself is part of quantum theory. Moreover, as humans creating AI that, for all its achievements still can’t master some of the things that come so easily to our own minds (at least not yet), we are bound to see a blurry reflection of ourselves in quantum computers, which promise to achieve so much more than ordinary computers ever could.

However, it was the British physicist Roger Penrose who pointed out that, observer effect aside, quantum mechanics may be involved in consciousness. More specifically, he thought it might be possible that quantum events cause molecular structures in the brain to alter their state and trigger neurons in different ways; that literal quantum effects within the brain exist.

For all we can accomplish with the human brain, it has its foibles, and perhaps suspecting the existence of quantum consciousness is one of them. More.

In a post-fact science world where objectivity is sexist, we can only accept theses that suggest that evolution bred a sense of reality out of us. It’s hard to see how futurism could help.

Lant, who probably has not considered that problem, think scientists should be skeptical of quantum brain effects because of the ever-present danger of woo-woo. But if we don’t grasp that information is immaterial and that minds process an immaterial reality, we run the risk of being merely stupid rather than wrong. Wrong answers can help us toward right answers but there is no obvious cure for stupidity.

See also: New Scientist astounds: Information is physical

Consciousness is atoms

What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

and

Data basic: An introduction to information theory
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One Reply to “Futurism: Science should be wary of exploring links between minds and quantum phenomena

  1. 1
    Origenes says:

    K.Lant: However, it was the British physicist Roger Penrose who pointed out that, observer effect aside, quantum mechanics may be involved in consciousness. More specifically, he thought it might be possible that quantum events cause molecular structures in the brain to alter their state and trigger neurons in different ways; …

    So, quantum events trigger neurons, and this process, presumably, leads to thoughts. That’s just great, however there is one problem: what is steering these quantum events? Put differently, what is steering our thoughts? Please tell me that there is a rational force behind it all, else irrationality reigns supreme and the world no longer makes any sense.

    K.Lant: For all we can accomplish with the human brain …

    For clarity, who is the “we” who accomplishes something with the human brain?

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