[ExI] quantum effects in biological systems

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 29 15:05:46 UTC 2009

--- On Mon, 6/29/09, Henrique Moraes Machado > Jeff Davis
>> I found this >>article unsettling:
>> http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23748/
>> I have always taken comfort in the (dubious) notion
>> that macroscopic
>> systems were deterministic; that quantum weirdness was
>> exceedingly
>> fragile, fleeting, and safely confined to an
>> ultra-microscopic
>> ultra-cold realm.  Nevertheless, I could not
>> escape the conclusion
>> that EVOLVED systems would/MUST integrate, without
>> prejudice, any
>> effect, quantum or otherwise, which enhanced
>> survival.  The same 3.5
>> billion years of "classical" biological evolution was
>> simultaneously
>> 3.5 billion years of "quantum" biological evolution.
>> Lofty self-satisfaction with "modern" science cannot
>> conceal our
>> current ignorance of quantum effects generally, and of
>> the particular
>> role of quantum effects in biology. This vast gulf of
>> the unknown
>> worries me. How can I be confident (as I have been and
>> would like to
>> continue to be) of a successful restoration from
>> cryonic suspension
>> when the ignorance of crucial science is so vast?
>> Still more late-breaking news of room temp quantum
>> effects in biology.
>> http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23581/
> "(...)And beyond that is the question that Whaley and co
> avoid altogether. If entanglement plays a role in
> photosynthesis, then why not in other important biological
> organs too? Anybody think of an organ where entanglement
> might be useful?(...)"
> The brain perhaps?

I think perhaps, though I would expect entanglement to be ubiquitous and we might ask whether there are processes that try to limit it and others that don't.  (I would think here in terms of processes rather than organs.)  Of course, this could just be the latest fashion, as entanglement has become near ubiquitous in science these days...

I wouldn't be too unsettled -- and not just because of taking the long view here -- but simply because there's so much we don't know anyhow.




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