On Tue, 2009-08-18 at 11:09 -0700, Brent Meeker wrote:

> It has long been noted that microtubles are ubiquitous in the cells of other 
> organs, not 
> just in the brain.

While I find the Penrose/Hameroff proposal very unconvincing for other
reasons, this is not one of them.

There are many shared organelles that are in both neuronal and
non-neuronal cell bodies.  It is a matter of organizing them for use one
way or another.  The voltage-gated sodium ion channel pore used for
propagating an event potential down an axon is also present in cells
outside the nervous system, yet the brain is able to use them to effect
(dare I say?) computation.

So it is at least plausible that microtubules, though ubiquitous
throughout the body, have been recruited and honed by evolution to
operate in the fashion proposed by Penrose/Hameroff in the nervous

Personally, I think their whole agenda is misguided, an example of
"brains are mysterious, quantum mechanics is mysterious, therefore,
brains operate using quantum mechanics."

The "mystery" of quantum mechanics largely disappears with no-collapse
and decoherence anyway.

Johnathan Corgan

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