As if by sheer coincidence, this week’s edition of “New Scientist” carries an article on the latest developments regarding quantum consciousness. As a regular reader of this magazine (and “Scientific American”) I try my best to keep as up-to-date as I can on scientific developments. Indeed this article is of profound importance because it shows that REAL scientists do REAL science which is simply following up on what experimentation tells them, rather than being trapped in “scientism” in which science is a belief system and anything that contradicts that belief system is ignored or ridiculed.
In this regard I congratulate Professor Matthew Fisher of the Kavil Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California. Fisher was, for a long time, unconvinced with regards to Hamerof and Penrose’s ORCH-OR model of quantum consciousness (If you are interested in this and it is new to you you will find extensive discussions on it in many of my books, specifically “Is There Life After Death” and “The Infinite Mindfield” together with an update in my forthcoming book “Opening The Doors of Perception”). However recent discoveries regarding lithium-6 and lithium-7 and how these stable isotopes seemed to directly affect the behaviours of lab rats, have changed his opinion. From this he has postulated that a structurally similar calcium phosphate structure known as a Posner Cluster has a coherence time of 24 hours ….. and these structures are found in the brain.
Why is this so important? Because the major criticism of ORCH-OR is that quantum decoherence takes place within milliseconds within any “hot and wet” place like the brain. Therefore quantum effects related to coherence could not take place there. But the Posner Cluster suggests otherwise. In my new book I discuss other discoveries that have suggested that decoherence can be delayed within the brain, but this is a huge discovery and one that suggests that Max Tegmark’s “too wet and warm” argument does not hold water.
This reminds me of how a similarly much-cited “explanation” regarding deja vu (The “Efron Thesis”) was similarly compromised by discoveries by Dr. Akira O’Connor at Leeds University. One cannot help but wonder if, like the Efron Thesis with regards to the deja phenomena, the “warm and wet” criticism will continue to be cited on “Skeptics” websites and by the self-proclaimed “Guerilla Skeptics” as THE dismissive explanation of ORCH -OR. These guys love science when it proves them right, and then suffer from convenient amnesia when the same science presents evidence for “woo-woo” hypotheses. For me what is of great significance is that Fisher believes that his discoveries show that quantum effects are involved in mental illness and that doses of the lithium isotope can mimic what Posner Clusters do in the brain and in doing so treat mental conditions. Indeed he is so sure that his quantum model is correct that he has put up $20,000 of his own money to file a patent.
This is SO supportive of the model I will be presenting in my forthcoming book …. I find the final quote by Fisher of great significance. He says “Could quantum cognition make sense of these things that are missing from our understanding of neuroscience?” And, for the record, I am hoping to have a discussion about this in January with an associate, Professor Johnjoe McFadden, a molecular biologist from the University of Surrey, who has profound issues with this model …. but before my critics get excited about this, Johnjoe’s own theory suggests that consciousness exists in in electromagnetic field that SURROUNDS neurons rather than within the neurons themselves … in other words consciousness is a field phenomena. I guess they wont like that either. wink emoticon .
For anybody interested the article is entitled “A Bit In Two Minds” (a “bit” like my Daemon-Eidolon Dyad eh?) and can be found in New Scientist No 3050 ( December 5 2015) https://www.newscientist.com/issue/3050