User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 12

  1. #1

    Default The Quantum Soul

    It kind of crept up on me, but I think Discover is now my favourite popular science magazine. The following bit (among others) just made me realize this.

    In the latest issue, June 2007, there's an article about the search for the human soul. It gives a brief overview of some of the attempts made to discover and quantify the soul, but one view in particular stood out - and perhaps it's not new: the idea that consciousness is an entangled quantum state that may exist (for an undertermined period of time) outside of the biological context.

    "...When the blood supply and the oxygen stops, things go bad and the coherence stops, but quantum information at the Planck scale isn't lost. It may dissipate into the universe but remain somehow entangled in some kind of functional unit, maybe indefinitely. If the pateint is revived, the information gets picked back up again."
    (Unfortunately, the article isn't online yet)

    Philosophically at least, it's an interesting idea to play around with. Pretend that this soul does indeed exist - it seems to follow that it should arise as a result of the structure and function of our biological brain, but what then? Does it influence our biology as well? Is this our life after death, and if so, what does it look like?

    I've never been too fond of oblivion, so this is interesting to me.

  2. #2
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Socionics
    INTj
    Posts
    4,463

    Default

    If I understand this right they are venturing down the path that as someone can die and then be revived still remembering all they had experienced before death then there must be a soul? That sounds like a few logical errors to me.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6
    Posts
    24,060

    Default

    I don't make any claims about the afterlife but I don't think a deity is necessary for one to exist. I've always thought it would have to be something like this. My pet theory is that maybe we experience eternity in our final moments of life (the point beyond which there can be no revival of the natural body-- it's not a crisp line, obviously). Maybe it's a perception of the dying brain. But I like this idea, too.

    It seems to me that "supernatural" is a nonsense category-- anything that happens or exists is, by definition, natural. Supernatural just means "we don't know how this works yet."

  4. #4
    Senior Member wyrdsister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    Ape
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't make any claims about the afterlife but I don't think a deity is necessary for one to exist. I've always thought it would have to be something like this. My pet theory is that maybe we experience eternity in our final moments of life (the point beyond which there can be no revival of the natural body-- it's not a crisp line, obviously). Maybe it's a perception of the dying brain. But I like this idea, too.

    It seems to me that "supernatural" is a nonsense category-- anything that happens or exists is, by definition, natural. Supernatural just means "we don't know how this works yet."
    That's my definition of supernatural too Ivy.



    I am also interested in the quantum soul and also the exploration into the brain being a quantum machine.

    I'm looking forward to more developments in the coming weeks and years. Another thing that puzzles me.. dark matter what is it?

    Cheers.

    I'm in the UK and not sure that we get *discover* we have New Scientist here which I quite like.
    Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic culture roughly corresponding to fate. It is ancestral to Modern English weird, which has acquired a very different meaning.

  5. #5
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Socionics
    INTj
    Posts
    4,463

    Default

    An interesting concept dame up during a world design session with an INFP friend :-

    What about if "God" isn't a being at all? What about if "God" is what you see all around you? What if "God" IS reality?
    (Based on the thinking that a being of such difference to ourselves doesn't have to be a being per se but could be a place or such.)
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    It's an interesting idea, but what does it make the soul? For instance, if the particles in a snail's shell exist in an entangled state with other particles does this mean the snail's shell has a 'soul'?

    Simple entanglement isn't enough. What if your mind is quantum-entangled with billions of particles spread across the galaxy, some in the middle of a star, some on another planet, some floating in deep-space...what does this actually mean? Random particles on their own are worthless, what's needed is a kind of entanglement of billions of cells, so that they're combined together to create some kind of coherent whole.

    Or I'm talking crap But in my defense I am half-cut, so...
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  7. #7
    Junior Member Krill's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    What about if "God" isn't a being at all? What about if "God" is what you see all around you? What if "God" IS reality?
    (Based on the thinking that a being of such difference to ourselves doesn't have to be a being per se but could be a place or such.)
    What does it mean to say reality is God? In that sense, what changes about reality, why does saying God is reality alter anything? Is "God" the title of something to be worshipped? What does it mean to worship reality? Or is God something else in this case (as a name/title) and what does it denote? Basically: Why doesn't it suffice to call reality by the name of reality. What makes it God?

    I've always liked toying with the idea of a quantum soul, and I've always thought that the actuality of such a thing might (but not necessarily) make free-will possible.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander
    If I understand this right they are venturing down the path that as someone can die and then be revived still remembering all they had experienced before death then there must be a soul? That sounds like a few logical errors to me.
    If I'm understanding you right, you're suggesting that any memories retained after a death and subsequent resuscitation are purely biological in origin (as the brain wouldn't immediately degrade after death), and therefore it's illogical/needless to assume something else is involved?

    I can agree to extent, but the idea here is that quantum entanglement is a product of biology, and acts as a shadow or mirror to the biological brain which may or may not also influence the brain while an organism is alive (and therefore, once created, is not entirely dependent on biology).


    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    It's an interesting idea, but what does it make the soul? For instance, if the particles in a snail's shell exist in an entangled state with other particles does this mean the snail's shell has a 'soul'?
    The difference is between a structural organ and one like the brain that at least appears to work as consciousness. For the idea to work, the assumption here is that something else is going on at a quantum/sub-atomic level within the brain, beyond the simple reactions used to form and maintain atomic level structures like snail shells.

    Of course, the reality may be that no such literal entanglement within the brain exists. It's all speculation, but that at least - to me as an atheist - seems plausible, and something we could actually determine as true or false, unlike many/most/all religious claims.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wyrdsister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    Ape
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sundowning View Post

    Of course, the reality may be that no such literal entanglement within the brain exists. It's all speculation, but that at least - to me as an atheist - seems plausible, and something we could actually determine as true or false, unlike many/most/all religious claims.


    Quantum Consciousness . Stuart Hameroff

    Are life and consciousness connected to the funda-mental level of reality?

    Most explanations portray the brain as a computer, with nerve cells ("neurons") and their synaptic connections acting as simple switches. However computation alone cannot explain why we have feelings and awareness, an "inner life."

    We also don't know if our conscious perceptions accurately portray the external world. At its base, the universe follows the seemingly bizarre and paradoxical laws of quantum mechanics, with particles being in multiple places simultaneously, connected over distance, and with time not existing.
    Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic culture roughly corresponding to fate. It is ancestral to Modern English weird, which has acquired a very different meaning.

  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    9w8
    Socionics
    INTj
    Posts
    4,463

    Default

    Would it not be fair to say that we don't understand the brain and we have no idea what a soul is either. So we're scratting around trying to explain such things within our own pre-existing conceptions of how the world works and applying anything which looks similar. According to quantum theory I'd leave such things as undefined. There exists no proof one way or another and no real reason to test it. Hence my response.

    Basically the theory that our soul exist in more than one place, or indeed our minds, is critically flawed in that there is no reason to think such things except for the fact that we can't explain everything about it from our current standpoint. That does mean that the current one is wrong/ incomplete but that does not make any alternative more valid without it's own validation.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

Similar Threads

  1. The Dark Souls Covenant Test.
    By Rouskyrie in forum Online Personality Tests
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 03-18-2017, 03:31 PM
  2. The Movie Soul Surfer?
    By liYA in forum Popular Culture and Type
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-17-2011, 01:27 PM
  3. The Quantum Microphone
    By Mal12345 in forum Science, Technology, and Future Tech
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-14-2011, 11:49 AM
  4. The lost Soul
    By Blueguardian in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-10-2009, 11:09 AM
  5. The Whole Soul
    By Mole in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 07-04-2008, 08:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO