The Quantum Brain

“We not only lack a model for how we inhabit our bodies and brains as first-person consciousness, but we are as far from one, in a real sense, as Parmenides and Anaxagoras were in pre-Socratic Greek times. Pretty amazing plight, given the ground covered since. We have advanced on everything else in skinny about the universe but no on how its interior light turned on, how the gap was crossed from matter to maine, or how the city got inside the acorn. The brain remains a complex but ordinary object in Newtonian/Darwinian space-time while the mind is a baffling phenomenal (or epiphenomenal) effect associated with but not supervening it.

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The widely accepted premise within neuroscience is that “awareness and subjectivity are probably network effects, involving many millions of neurone in thalamic and cortical structures -neurons- not quantum collapses, not holographic waves, not transductions of uncertainty states into thoughts.

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A scientific waiver to pursue a quantum brain goes something like this: if your proper view is that consciousness is neurons, neurons, and more neurons (or molecules, molecules and more molecules) and that the sources has to be in there somewhere (because it can’t be anywhere else without invoking idealism, vitalism, Platonism, or some other extravagance), and if you are likewise convinced that consciousness cannot be understood using all the resources of molecular-level theories and the levels of explanations that they support -if you concluded that the phenomenon has completely stumped the entire scientific community- then (and only then) may you poke and prod for answers at a quantum level, as that is the sole resources left in the natural sciences.

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Until the search for eroding got into microscopic properties of matter, reality was indeed very real. However, once it got small enough, it also became unreal or at least something other than real. But then I wonder what physicists expected to find under matter: a gateway into another universe, a microcosmic generator of materiality, a primal creationary field, nothing at all? Either stuff comes apart into something else or it spills all the beans, and we know it doesn’t spill the beans because, then, what might they be?

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My own inclination at this point would be to give up on quantum-mechanical relationships in neural tissue and go for the greater backdrop: a conscious universe is a quantum universe. (…) In this game we don’t need discrete quantum special effects because the universe itself is a quantum effect. (…) Chaos there is, in fact, where consciousness as an emergent property meets consciousness as a quantum effect. (…) In an arena this vast with a specificity so entangle and nonlocal, “random” and “nonrandom” have no meaning. (…) Once again, the deepest entropy is also the ontological basis of the most intelligent information, as the Algorithm converges with the Archetype.”

Dark Pool of Light. Part 1

Richard Grossinger

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