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Mind: Quantum mechanics provides clues to human thinking

Real clues. Not nonsense.

In “Quantum minds: Why we think like quarks” (New Scientist, 05 September 2011), Mark Buchanan tells us “The fuzziness and weird logic of the way particles behave applies surprisingly well to how humans think”:

THE quantum world defies the rules of ordinary logic. Particles routinely occupy two or more places at the same time and don’t even have well-defined properties until they are measured. It’s all strange, yet true – quantum theory is the most accurate scientific theory ever tested and its mathematics is perfectly suited to the weirdness of the atomic world.

And, he links,

Human thinking, as many of us know, often fails to respect the principles of classical logic. We make systematic errors when reasoning with probabilities, for example. Physicist Diederik Aerts of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, has shown that these errors actually make sense within a wider logic based on quantum mathematics. The same logic also seems to fit naturally with how people link concepts together, often on the basis of loose associations and blurred boundaries. That means search algorithms based on quantum logic could uncover meanings in masses of text more efficiently than classical algorithms.

Indeed. One way you can tell: A reliable source of humour is the “computer brain,” trapped by mere logic into unthinkable responses:

It. Is. Insufficiently. Proven. That. This. Package. Will. Explode. Therefore. I. Shall. … KA-BOOM!!

Machine parts all over the office …

For these and other reasons, humans can’t even afford to think like machines. And that very much figures in the development of search engines, as Buchanan explains.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

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8 Responses to Mind: Quantum mechanics provides clues to human thinking

  1. It’s suggests something very interesting (although not a novel idea) – that the brain uses Bayesian decision-making methods, which are closely related to evolutionary algorithms, hence the term “neural Darwinism”.

    In other words, the way brains produce intelligent output is exactly the way that Darwinian processes produce intelligent output.

    To me that’s the flaw at the heart of ID – the assumption that because biological organisms display the features of intelligent output, therefore they must be produced by a mind. It is just as reasonable (more reasonable, IMO) to posit that biological organisms display the signature of the kind of intelligent output that human brains produce because both use the same fundamental algorithm.

  2. This quote from the article is out of place with the overall theme of the article:

    Quantum minds: Why we think like quarks
    Excerpt: This is not to say there is anything quantum going on in the brain,
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=1

    Well contrary to his knee-jerk, materialistic, response, if the brain/mind is using quantum logic, perhaps that is a strong clue to us to try to see if the brain/mind is actually based on quantum principles??? And it turns out that if the author would have researched just a little bit before he wrote his ‘opinion’ of how the human mind is ‘classically’ based (merely emergent from the material realm) instead of quantumly based, he would have found some fairly strong evidence that ‘there actually is something quantum going on in the brain/mind’;

    Brain ‘entanglement’ could explain memories
    Excerpt: In both cases, the researchers noticed that the voltage of the electrical signal in groups of neurons separated by up to 10 millimetres sometimes rose and fell with exactly the same rhythm. These patterns of activity, dubbed “coherence potentials”, often started in one set of neurons, only to be mimicked or “cloned” by others milliseconds later. They were also much more complicated than the simple phase-locked oscillations and always matched each other in amplitude as well as in frequency.

    Perfect clones
    “The precision with which these new sites pick up on the activity of the initiating group is quite astounding – they are perfect clones,” says Plen
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....ories.html

    Quantum Coherence and Consciousness – Scientific Proof of ‘Mind’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6266865/

    Particular quote of note from preceding video;

    “Wolf Singer Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt) has found evidence of simultaneous oscillations in separate areas of the cortex, accurately synchronized in phase as well as frequency. He suggests that the oscillations are synchronized from some common source, but the actual source has never been located.”
    James J. Hurtak, Ph.D. – Ph.D. on non-local consciousness

    Moreover, besides quantum coherence now being confirmed across different areas of the brain/mind, ‘spooky’ quantum correlations/entanglements are now also confirmed, on a massive scale, in biology to the molecular level of DNA and proteins. This quantum entanglement occurs even though, because of the high temperatures present in living organisms, this was thought to be impossible just a short time ago:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    And to the chagrin of atheistic materialists, but to the delight of the rest of us, ‘transcendent’ Quantum Entanglement has falsified local realism (materialism) as the primary cause of reality:

    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    Further notes:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Eccles

    Study suggests precognition may be possible – November 2010
    Excerpt: A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ition.html

    Mind-Brain Interaction and Science Fiction (Quantum connection) – Jeffrey Schwartz & Michael Egnor – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....8_39-08_00

    This following experiment is really interesting:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    I once asked a evolutionist/materialist, after showing him the preceding experiment, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner – Wikipedia

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Frankly, I can find no ‘parameter’ in modern science that would prevent this following scripture from the Bible from being true, and yet I find many parameters in modern science that strongly suggest that the scripture is true

    Genesis 2:7
    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

  3. This quote from the article in the OP is out of place with the overall conclusion of the article:

    Quantum minds: Why we think like quarks
    Excerpt: This is not to say there is anything quantum going on in the brain,

    Well contrary to his knee-jerk, materialistic, response, if the brain/mind is using quantum logic, perhaps that is a strong clue to us to try to see if the brain/mind is actually based on quantum principles??? And it turns out that if the author would have researched just a little bit before he wrote his ‘opinion’ of how the human mind is ‘classically’ based (merely emergent from the material realm) instead of quantumly based, he would have found some fairly strong evidence that ‘there actually is something quantum going on in the brain/mind’;

    Brain ‘entanglement’ could explain memories
    Excerpt: In both cases, the researchers noticed that the voltage of the electrical signal in groups of neurons separated by up to 10 millimetres sometimes rose and fell with exactly the same rhythm. These patterns of activity, dubbed “coherence potentials”, often started in one set of neurons, only to be mimicked or “cloned” by others milliseconds later. They were also much more complicated than the simple phase-locked oscillations and always matched each other in amplitude as well as in frequency.

    Perfect clones
    “The precision with which these new sites pick up on the activity of the initiating group is quite astounding – they are perfect clones,” says Plen
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....ories.html

    Quantum Coherence and Consciousness – Scientific Proof of ‘Mind’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6266865/

    Particular quote of note from preceding video;

    “Wolf Singer Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt) has found evidence of simultaneous oscillations in separate areas of the cortex, accurately synchronized in phase as well as frequency. He suggests that the oscillations are synchronized from some common source, but the actual source has never been located.”
    James J. Hurtak, Ph.D. – Ph.D. on non-local consciousness

    Moreover, besides quantum coherence now being confirmed across different areas of the brain/mind, ‘spooky’ quantum correlations/entanglements are now also confirmed, on a massive scale, in biology to the molecular level of DNA and proteins. This quantum entanglement occurs even though, because of the high temperatures present in living organisms, this was thought to be impossible just a short time ago:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    And to the chagrin of atheistic materialists, but to the delight of the rest of us, ‘transcendent’ Quantum Entanglement has falsified local realism (materialism) as the primary cause of reality:

    Quantum Entanglement – The Failure Of Local Realism – Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    Further notes:

    Quantum Consciousness – Time Flies Backwards? – Stuart Hameroff MD
    Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual….). In Radin and Bierman’s early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....Flies.html

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Eccles

    Study suggests precognition may be possible – November 2010
    Excerpt: A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ition.html

    Mind-Brain Interaction and Science Fiction (Quantum connection) – Jeffrey Schwartz & Michael Egnor – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....8_39-08_00

    This following experiment is really interesting:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    I once asked a evolutionist/materialist, after showing him the preceding experiment, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner – Wikipedia

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Frankly, I can find no ‘parameter’ in modern science that would prevent this following scripture from the Bible from being true, and yet I find many parameters in modern science that strongly suggest that the scripture is true

    Genesis 2:7
    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

  4. 4

    The cult of materialism won’t go quietly into that good night.

  5. What exactly is meant by “ordinary logic” in the context of quantum mechanics?

    Is it actual rules of logic? Or is it the normal rules of physics which are given the appellation of “logic”?

  6. Good question.

  7. Ms. Liddle,

    I’ve been thinking about your comment a little and I may be willing to believe that human brains think as you say (using Bayesian decision-making methods) when making choices among alternatives. But I do not think its quite the same when a person is designing a machine to solve a problem. I’m sure that the same algorithms are involved, but the human brain can imagine, understand symbols, do math, plan for the future, anticipate contingencies, etc. I don’t think that nature can do that in general and so I’m skeptical that evolution can create the intricate machinery we see in life.

  8. I think that’s a very important point – the ability to plan ahead (“freedom from immediacy” as it is sometimes termed) is key, I would say, to what we call “intention”, and is what human beings, to an extent orders of magnitude greater than any other living creature that we know of, at least partly by virtue of our language capacity. Specifically, what our brains can do is “forward model” – simulate the results of potential courses of action, and feed those results back into the selection process – which, I would argue, remains Bayesian.

    So the question then becomes: without that re-entrant looping, can “the intricate machinery we see in life” occur?

    Indeed, is the pattern of life we observe more consistent with an adaptive system that responds only to the immediate, or with one that anticipates the future? And I would say the latter, very clearly.

    In other words, my view is that yes, life shows the signature of a Bayesian decision-maker, but that it doesn’t show evidence of forward modelling.

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