Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brain microtubules are not qubits or superconducting!

At the Quantum Theory and Nature of Reality conference on Tuesday night there was an interesting panel discussion with George Ellis, Sir John Polkinghorne, and Sir Roger Penrose.
I was surprised and disappointed that Sir Roger Penrose re-iterated the same argument in his book The Emperors New Mind: quantum gravity, the collapse of the wavefunction, and consciousness must all be related. Furthermore, he stood by Hameroff's proposal that a particular type of microtubules are the component with quantum coherence. He mentioned how excited he was about unpublished experimental results of a Japanese group that claim to have measured an electrical resistance of  one ohm for microtubules which is comparable to the resistance of the leads. [He seemed to be hinting this implied they were superconducting!].
Why am I so skeptical?
See the following:
The Penrose-Hameroff Orchestrated Objective-Reduction Proposal for Human Consciousness is Not Biologically Feasible, published in Physical Review E.

Is the Brain a Quantum Computer?, published in Cognitive Science. A physicist, psychologist, computer scientist, philosopher, and systems engineer say NO!
Insulating Behavior of λ-DNA on the Micron Scale, this PRL showed that claims that DNA could be conducting and even superconducting were experimental artifacts.

People tend to believe what they want to believe rather than what the evidence before them suggests they should believe. I call this Kauzmann's maxim and is articulated in his Reminiscences of a Life in Protein Chemistry.


  1. you and all those debunking the quantum mind OrchOR theory are soooooooo damn wrong its not funny.

    The fact microtubules sum themselves, and perform Sine_Gordon equations in relation to the solitons running along them practically proves they act exactly like Phase Qubits.

  2. People tend to believe what they want to believe rather than what the evidence before them suggests they should believe..

    YEP, your right about this !

  3. I think what you're talking about is true, but it doesn't close off the possibility of quantum effects being harnessed in the brain. For instance, there is some evidence to suggest the possibility that the brain uses entanglement to cause two neurons to fire at the same time. Just because someone is wrong doesn't mean anyone with a similar argument is also wrong, stay open-minded, fight dogmatic conclusions.