On 3/19/2012 8:36 PM, Joseph Knight wrote:
There are many arguments about how the brain is a classical machine and
fine but if you examine them they all seem to be narrowly focused on some
aspect of brain physiology. Max Tegmark's paper focused on ion transport.
Wrong. Tegmark's result is /very /general because it shows that decoherence timescales
are /many /orders of magnitude smaller than those of brain functioning (neuron firing,
Resent research has proven that quantum effects are indeed used by organic
to increase their efficiency in energy conversion processes,
Indeed, for biophysical systems whose relevant timescales are comparable to those of
and we have barely scratched the surface, so why are we so eager to go all
the assumptions about classicality?
I for one am not so eager. I am neutral on whether consciousness is related to quantum
phenomena, in spite of the contravening evidence. In fact, I am probably more open to
the idea than the average commentator. But it doesn't matter in this context.
I think there are other good reasons to suppose that the brain's information processing is
(almost) all classical. First, the brain needs to keep records. It isn't going to work
if information is destroyed whenever it used. Quantum data in general is destroyed when it
is read out to control classical things - like muscles. Classical computers solve this by
keeping copies. Second, however the brain works it had to evolve. It is used to interpret
and act in a classical world of macroscopic objects. It needs to be reliable and in most
cases deterministic. There is plenty of environmental noise to provide randomness where
randomness may be advantageous.
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