On Thu, Jul 07, 2005 at 12:49:07PM +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> The "high standard" I have described does not go nearly as far as copying 
> the exact quantum state of every atom. It is merely aknowledging the fact 

Two systems in the same quantum state being indistinguishable is only
relevant for equilibrium constants and gedanken experiments.

> that information in brains is not stored in the anatomical arrangement of 
> neurons, any more than data on a computer is stored in the computer's 
> circuit diagram. If you copy a car down to the scale of a fraction of a 
> millimetrel you can expect that the copy will work the same as the 
> original, but if you copy a computer down to the sub-micron level you might 
> end up with a machine that will run Windows XP or whatever, but you won't 
> copy the data in RAM or on the hard drive. While it is not known exactly 

Okay, your objection is simply "not enough resolution". I agree. TEM is not
enough resolution by far. 

> how information is stored in a brain, it is certainly dependent on such 
> parameters as ionic gradients across cell membranes and the type, number, 

No, that's wrong. Gradients collapse (you see them collapsing on the EEG in
realtime) after 20-30 sec of stopped blood flow, even at normothermic
ischaemia (even without hypothermia and drugs (barbiturates, etc)).

> distribution and conformation of receptor and ion channel proteins. At its 

Yes, and quite a few other things.

> simplest, the brain could be seen as using a binary code, each neuron 
> having two possible states, "on" or "off". However, a snapshot of the state 
> of each neuron will not allow a model of the brain to be built, because all 
> the anciliary cellular machinery as above is needed to work out how to get 
> from one state to the next. If it were otherwise, why would all this 
> complexity have evolved?

I do not understand your objections here.

-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org";>leitl</a>
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