October 22, 2008

This is not a parody... I guess

Charlene notes a letter sent to Jerry Pournelle:

Orchestrated Objective Reality (Orch OR) is a theory of consciousness jointly developed (from independent underpinnings) by Sir Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist/neurologist Sturart Hameroff.

To summarize, the core theory states that consciousness arises from quantum mechanical effects in the transmission and operation of nervous tissue, probably in connection with quantum coherence in spin states of solvated electrons trapped within microtubules embedded in the connective proteins of nerve cells, which they argue following Penrose allows collapses of formative quantum events into a final objective quantum state associated with completion ("orchestration") of the thought process in the higher structures of nerve cells on the time scales which have been neurologically associated with consciousness.

In other words, the human mind is a biological quantum computer and as such is capable of leaping past inductive and deductive logic into what Penrose described as computable and non-computable insights.

Needless to say, the core theory is itself controversial (see the wiki above for details). The friend who introduced me makes the further claim (which does not appear in the wiki, but may appear in some of the ancillary references) that, due to entanglement, it is thus possible that thought processes affect, and are affected by, events in the broader spacetime in the vicinity (and NOT in the vicinity) of the person thinking. Thus, the further postulate he espoused is that "the power of positive thinking" thus has a quantum mechanical underpinning in terms of entanglement of certain thought processes with the external universe to directly effect events. This ranges from variations of "the placebo effect", self-healing, and faith healing up to the viability of the so-called "Jedi philosophy."

Pournelle responds: Chesterton famously said that when a man ceases to believe in God, he will believe in anything.

(And I respond: If I told this guy about Christianity he would say that I'm trying to snow him with mumbo-jumbo!)

Posted by John Weidner at October 22, 2008 8:08 PM
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