Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dynamic entanglement in living systems

As I discussed in Entangled Minds:

From the November 3, 2009 issue of Scientific American

Wouldn’t it be nice to be an electron? Then you, too, could take advantage of the marvels of quantum mechanics, such as being in two places at once—very handy for juggling the competing demands of modern life. Alas, physicists have long spoiled the fantasy by saying that quantum mechanics applies only to microscopic things.

Yet that is a myth. In the modern view that has gained traction in the past decade, you don’t see quantum effects in everyday life not because you are big, per se, but because those effects are camouflaged by their own sheer complexity. They are there if you know how to look, and physicists have been realizing that they show up in the macroscopic world more than they thought. “The standard arguments may be too pessimistic as to the survival of quantum effects,” says Nobel laureate physicist Anthony Leggett of the University of Illinois.


This work suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, entanglement can persist in large, warm systems—including living organisms. “This opens the door to the possibility that entanglement could play a role in, or be a resource for, biological systems,” says Mohan Sarovar of the University of California, Berkeley, who recently found that entanglement may aid photosynthesis [see “Chlorophyll Power,” by Michael Moyer; Scientific American, September 2009].

I predict, based on this trend, that eventually a mainstream neuroscience group will seriously test whether the brains, and then the minds, of identical twins or emotionally bonded couples, are entangled. And they'll find there is such evidence. And then they'll be hailed for discovering telepathy, for the first time. Or, even better (as my colleague Damien Broderick suggests) they'll be hailed for discovering a completely unexpected phenomenon.


MTG C# Guy said...

"And then they'll be hailed for discovering telepathy, for the first time. Or, even better (as my colleague Damien Broderick suggests) they'll be hailed for discovering a completely unexpected phenomenon."

Or they'll just hail it as a new epiphenomenon, something they've been good at doing for the last century! I believe it will take many more replications, done by mainstream scientists, for the mainstream to accept the reality that is telepathy.

Bharat said...

"One approach has been suggested by Jianming Cai and Hans J. Briegel of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Innsbruck, Austria, and Sandu Popescu of the University of Bristol in England. Suppose you have a V-shaped molecule you can open and close like a pair of tweezers. When the molecule closes, two electrons on the tips become entangled. If you just keep them there, the electrons will eventually decohere as particles from the environment bombard them, and you will have no way to reestablish entanglement.

The answer is to open up the molecule and, counterintuitively, leave the electrons even more exposed to the environment. In this position, decoherence resets the electrons back to a default, lowest-energy state. Then you can close the molecule again and reestablish entanglement afresh. If you open and close fast enough, it is as though the entanglement was never broken. The team calls this “dynamic entanglement,” as opposed to the static kind that endures as long as you can isolate the system from bombardment. The oscillation notwithstanding, the researchers say dynamic entanglement can do everything the static sort can."

Perhaps something akin to this occurs in the brain? Perhaps concsiousness? Perhaps Penrose and Hameroff might be right as a result of similar activity in microtubules?

I love science and philosophy: plenty of answers, but more questions! :D

Good job for this article, Dean.

Tor said...

Dean Radin said:

I predict, based on this trend, that eventually a mainstream neuroscience group will seriously test whether the brains, and then the minds, of identical twins or emotionally bonded couples, are entangled. And they'll find there is such evidence. And then they'll be hailed for discovering telepathy, for the first time. Or, even better (as my colleague Damien Broderick suggests) they'll be hailed for discovering a completely unexpected phenomenon.

Yes, unfortunately most are oblivious to the research that has already been done. It is a bit unfair really, that those that are too far ahead of the crowd gets forgotten. It's a good thing that it's not fame and glory that is your driving force Dean :)

While these future "breakthrough" studies might make mainstream the idea that we are all fundamentally connected, and separation is an illusion, it will still look like a passive connection. But the kinds of studies you Dean are involved with at the moment suggest an active role for consciousness in the quantum collapse. I think this will be an extremely important area for further research. It is the link between psyche and physics. It may transform both physics and psychology, and everything in between.

I just recently saw a 2007 webcast of: Mind and Life XIV - Dialogues on The Universe in a Single Atom. Here the Dalai Lama talk with quantum physicists (amongst others), one of them being Anton Zeilinger. The question of why physicists wanted to talk with Buddhists came up, and Zeilinger answered that they had used many decades trying to figure out what was going on now, and our concepts had not proved useful. Eastern traditions on the other hand might just provide the new (or old?) concepts needed to give further progress. It was remarkable how much they agreed with each other, all though the method for reaching their insights was completely different. One looks outside and the other looks inside. Both find the same. That leading physicists have an open enough mind to ask Buddhists to help them with quantum mechanics is a good sign.

Anyone interested can find the link by scrolling down this page:


antiskeptic said...

The moment that a "mainstream" scientist tries to prove that telepathy exists there will be every effort to try to make it look like he or she is not mainstream.

Teabinge said...

You'd better start with unicellular organisms first i.e bacteria. Let one cell replicate itself and then test for entanglement in various ways.

Patrizio said...

The following references are precisely related to this prediction:

-Kittenis, M., Caryl, P.G., Stevens, P. [2004], Distant psychophysiological interaction effects between related and unrelated participants, in «The Parapsychological Association, 47th Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers», Vienna, pp. 67-76.
- Radin, D.I. [2004], Event related EEG correlations between isolated human subjects, in «Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine», vol. 10, pp. 315-324.
-Richards, T.L., Kozak, L., et al. [2005], Replicable functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence of correlated brain signals between physically and sensory isolated subjects, in «Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine», vol. 11, pp. 955-963.
- Standish, L.J., Kozak, L., et al. [2004], Electroencephalographic evidence of correlated event-related signals between the brains of spatially and sensory isolated human subjects, in «Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine», vol. 10, pp. 307-314
- Wackermann, J., Seiter, C., et al. [2003], Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially separated human subjects, in «Neuroscience Letter», vol. 9, pp. 60-64.

Autumnforest said...

This was a wonderful post! I'm admittedly a layperson without a strong scientific background other than medical, but I do have psychic skills and one of the things I've been doing on my blog lately is comparing different paranormal phenomenon and trying to find similarities. What I'm finding so far matches what I think I've known all along, that information of a psychic nature and other things such as NDEs are not produced within the brain or even received within the brain, but from outside the body. As someone with synesthesia and being a spatially-oriented person, I can tell you that the information does not seem like it's brought to the brain, but more that the mind is taken to the information. It sounds bizarre and I probably sound like a quack, but as a logic-minded person who can't deny my skills, I want to know how and why I can do these things and by describing the process in detail on my blog, I hope to find similarities with others and figure out just what realm this paranormal information travels, or as I like to call the "paranormal highway." I really appreciate the research and work you're doing in the field.

Lost Pilgrim said...

There was a test of bacteria that seemed to show a connection between bacteria when faced with changing environmental conditions. The effect was measured by the speed of mutation or some such.

Gareth said...

"It is a bit unfair really, that those that are too far ahead of the crowd gets forgotten."

But those in front have the satisfaction of knowing they've opened the doors for everyone else to walk through and that real change has happened as a result.

It's a fascinating time to ba alive.

dawnow said...

I did a little research on this. Under well-controlled experimental conditions ruling out such things as subtle cues, normal physical effects on target organisms (artifacts), etc, remote human mental effects have been demonstrated with bacteria, fungus colonies, yeast, plants, protozoa, larvae, woodlice, ants, fish, chicks, mice, rats, cats, dogs and dolphins. Most relevant here is the experimental demonstration of psychokinesis effects on bacterial mutation, where healers mentally promoted mutation of lac-negative strains of Escherichia Coli to lac-positive strains, and mentally inhibited mutation with other cultures. This is a carefully designed, executed and reported experiment. Reference: "Test of Psychokinetic Control of Bacterial Mutation" (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1984). Other experiments have shown subtle energy effects on winding/unwinding direction of DNA, and DNA synthesis, tumour growth in mice and rats, inhibition/stimulation of enzyme activity, rate of germination of seeds, and appearance of pollen chromosome abnormalities. Therefore, there is a real, experimentally well demonstrated (though not presently understood) phenomenon by which human beings and other living organisms can remotely affect life processes and most importantly, DNA without use of physical means.

Another, though fewer set of psi experiments have found that animals can remotely affect other animals. The French experiments of Rene Peoch with chicks and rabbits and a RNG-driven robot come to mind.

In sum, research in parapsychology has established the high probability that all living organisms are able to influence and be influenced by other organisms through some sort of "subtle energy" or nonlocal biological connectedness not physical or electromagnetic in nature. The work of biologist Rupert Sheldrake is prominent this area. In his particular theory he has termed the interconnecting information field "morphic resonance". Is this quantum mechanical entanglement?

Regardless of what theory is closest to the truth, experimentally well demonstrated paranormal phenomena show that innate consciousness of living organisms (not just human brains) can influence their own physiology, biochemistry and most importantly, DNA.

Here's some references I found if anyone is interested:

-Psychokinetic effects on plant growth
A. Saklani Research in Parapsychology, 1989, 1990 37-41
-Shamanic Healing and Wheat Seeds (& Further Studies) (Title: Psi-ability in shamans of Garhwal Himalaya)
A. Saklani Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 1988
-Algae and Psychokinesis (Title: Using the doppler effect to study behavioral responses of motile algae to psi stimulus)
C. M. Pleass and N. Dean Dey Parapsychologic Association Papers, 1985
-Psychokinesis and Bacterial Growth (Title: Psychokinetic control of bacterial growth)
C. B. Nash Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1982
-Psychokinesis and Fungus Culture (Title: General and comparative study of the psychokinetic effect on a fungus culture)
J. Barry Journal of Parapsychology, 1968
-Psychokinesis and Red Blood Cells (Title: Experiments with Matthew Manning)
W. Braud, G. Davis and R. Wood Journal of the society for psychical research,1979
-Red Blood Cells and Distant Healing (Title: Distant mental influence on rate of haemolosis of human red blood cells)
W. Braud Research in Parapsychology, 1988, 1989
-Wound Healing in Mice and Spiritual Healing (& subsequent
replication) (Title: The influence of an unorthodox method of treatment on wound healing in mice)
B. Grad, R. J. Cadoret, G. I. Paul International Journal of parapsychology, 1961
-Malaria in Mice: Expectancy Effects and Psychic Healing (Title: Psi expectancy effects in psychic healing studies with malarial mice)
G. F. Solfvin , European journal of parapsychology, 1982a

dagezhu said...

Offtopic, but Dean, can you comment on reports that Mike Echanis was able to physically kill a goat with (possibly qigong-based) telekinesis?

The following is a quote:

Wheaton recalls that the instructor "grabbed the goat by the horns. He dragged him to the middle of the pit, pushing a green stake to the bottom of the pit, attaching the goat to it. Then he asked us again 'Where are your minds?' Michael had recently completed a lot of training in Qigong, the force you couldn't see that moves like a train."

Glenn Wheaton witnessed the incredible feat. The instructor never touched the goat. "Michael focused on the goat pretty intensely," he says. "It started to bray like a donkey or horse. It dropped down to its forelegs; blood began to drip from its nose. About 20 to 30 seconds later red suds began to froth from the goat's mouth. The goat lost its equilibrium and passed away in a fit."

There was nothing done physically to the goat. Wheaton says, "Michael never had to touch the goat, other than dragging him and sinking the anchor in the sand. A demonstration we required he repeat."

They tested Echanis several times under less brutal circumstances. They filled balloons with ink and the balloons were suspended in an aquarium. "He was able to successfully break or rupture three balloons filled with ink suspended in an aquarium filled with water," Wheaton recounts. "He was able to rupture each one of those balloons, causing the ink to contaminate the water."

Dean Radin said...

> can you comment on reports ...

Interesting story, but it's so easy to embellish the truth when it comes to anecdotes like this, that I don't place much weight on them.

Tor said...

Great list dawnow!

There are articles in there I haven't read :)


Patrick said...

Dean, what do you think about Braude's analyses of D.D. Hume and Palladino's mediumistic PK? Do you think Braude makes a good case for the 1908 Naples sittings yeilding genuine PK?

Patrick said...

oops. Home* not "Hume"

Atheistic Mystic said...


QM is pretty bizarre. Despite that, it QM has achieved nearly universal acceptance, while parapsychology has not.

Both are bizarre, why aren't both accepted?

Dean Radin said...

Because QM is based on mathematics and some of its simpler predictions can now be easily demonstrated. Also, QM has given rise to a significant proportion of the world's economy, so no one can deny its predictive power.

By contrast, so far there is no widely accepted mathematical framework for psi, so the best we can do is advance the state of empirical knowledge while we wait for the rest of science to catch up with the phenomena.

Atheistic Mystic said...

Thank you Dean!

anonymous said...

"QM is pretty bizarre. Despite that, it QM has achieved nearly universal acceptance, while parapsychology has not.

Both are bizarre, why aren't both accepted?"

Because QM was discovered and proposed by scientists. It originated in the scientific establishment. It's proponents were scientists and therfore other scientists were willing to accept their findings in the face of empirical evidence supporting the theory. QM never threatened the role of Science as the ultimate source of knowledge.

Psychic phenomena have been produced by ordinary people throughout the history of human kind. Genuine psychic phenomena were rejected by science for "political" reasons, not empirical reasons, when the scientific revolution deposed religion as the ultimate source of knowledge. Besides being seen as allies of religion, psychic phenomena offer an alternative to Science as a means of obtaining information of the universe.

Therefore, some modern scientists have a lot of cultural baggage that prevent them from seeing the otherwise obvious evidence that some paranormal phenomena are real.

Some religious leaders reject psychic phenomena because those phenomena threaten the dogmatic teachings of their religion.

Some people who have a distaste for religion, because, for example, they have been harmed psychologically by overly dogmatic upbringing, or because religion condemns their lifestyle choices, choose to vilify anything that relates to the supernatural, including psychic phenomena.

Certain government agencies have spread disinformation about the reality of psychic phenomena to discourage our enemies from developing psychic means for spying and sabatoge, and to protect the secrecy of their own projects to develop those resources.

Some debunkers make a living disputing every paranormal claim without regard to empirical evidence because any real paranormal phenomena would jeprodize their career and life's work. Their livelihood is based on media exposure to sell books, raise money, and generate more media exposure, and as a result their influence is far greater than their qualifications in the field should warrant.

Many people who, because of their education, accepted the authority of scientists, ease up on their critical thinking in order to embrace the debunkers deceptive "logic" because it allows them to hold on to their world view in the face of empirical evidence, including scientific research, that demonstrate genuine psychic phenomena. People resist changing their world view because it requires admiting they were wrong or misled.

There are many social forces resisting the acceptance of parapsychology which did not occur for QM.

Tor said...

I would say that there is still a lot of resistance against QM. Not so much against the theory itself and it's predictions, but against what it implies for the nature of the universe.

There has been a steady experimental trend in QM towards the view that the universe as we normally perceive it ("reality") is being created through the act of observation. Anton Zeilinger and his group is among those leading this research in mainstream physics .

Even though these findings have been published in big journals like Nature, you will still have a hard time finding scientists that can accept their implications. So the resistance is still there when it comes to what it really is saying about our universe.

The unfortunate thing is that this kind of resistance prevents people from investigating the really interesting questions that pop up when one accepts these implications. It prevents progress.

However, we are in a much better state today than a couple of decades ago, and it now seems like more and more people are actually testing outrageous ideas like QM effects in biology, an observational dependent reality etc. And luckily the field seems to be driven by empiricists, which I find to be less hung up on what is impossible than than the theory crowd. If the momentum keeps building up at the current rate interesting times are waiting ahead! :)


anonymous said...

"And then they'll be hailed for discovering telepathy, for the first time."

This is what psychical research looked like to Spiritualits, and what parapsychology looked like to psychical researchers.

Here's one possible scenario of what may happen based on an analogy to what happened when the spiritual practice of mesmerism was adopted and adapted by mainstream science and became what we now call hypnotism...

Mesmirism was initially a paranormal phenomena. The mesmerist 'mesmerized' the subject
merely by waving his hands around the person in a process called 'making passes'. This was believed to demonstrate "animal magnetism". The subject came under the influence of
the mesmirist the way an steel needle may be magnitized by rubbing it with a magnet. Being mesmerized was in part spiritual healing and also in some cases could lead to psychic perceptions.

At first this was all considerred hogwash by mainstream scientists. However the facts couldn't be ignored forever so mainstream scientists swallowed what they could digest and mesmerism evolved into modern hypnotism. Spiritual healing was jettisoned or replaced with suggestion. Psychic perceving was relegated a fringe anomoly and passes were replaced with a verbal induction into a deeply relaxed state.

By analogy, if telepathy is demonstrated by physicists, what may happen is that science may have actually discovered how the spirit interacts with the brain but will not acknowledge the spirit and instead start searching for some physical link between brains. If this happens it could take another century or more for science to take the next step towards full knowledge of our spiritual nature.

Will this happen? I hate to make predictions, especially about the future, but historically there is very little reason to be optimistic that one discovery will eliminate materialism. Science tends to evolve gradually rather than catistrophically.

Geven46 said...

Very often my wife and I start a conversation with one of us telling the other "I was just thinking of this."

A small example: I would be thinking, it's time my wife should contact her mother, it's been some time- in the meanwhile my wife would get up from watching TV saying "time I give my mom a ring!"

Very often we open our mouths and speak the same thing!

Lane said...


Do I detect a hint of humour and cynicism? It's so admirable the way you deal with all the crap.

I didn't pay attention at school but I had a vision the other night of a man with calculations streaming out from each side of his head. Knowledge is being "transmuted". Indeed could it be the shift we've been waiting for?

What you do inspires us and gives creedence to what some of us 'know'. How wonderful that you can play a big part in that?

Thank you Dean for putting up with turkeys with so much patience. Thank you for putting knowledge out there for all of us to understand. You know you're doing something right when even people who are ignorant of science (me especially) have you as one of their hero's!

Naomiestar said...

i see we have the scientific establishment often refereed too. I have to laugh at that, appeal to higher authority has zero relevance, logic 101. What we need is new thoughts new experiments. The world has changed we once were lost in four dimensions and now we are found in 11. Many years ago we explored dimension 5 as a pocket dimension where every point is the universe is only Planck's constant = 6.626068 × 10-34 m2 kg / s away. Looking through that lens telepathy doesn't look odd. We are at the beginning stage of exploration of our universe and we all are found pitifully ignorant instead of thinking outside the box we now need to think outside the 4 dimensions. thanks for reading my comments namaste, jambo sana

Matt Colborn said...

Your prediction is bang on. Psi phenomena will be accepted when they can be successfully 'rationalized,'although I suspect that such phenomena cannot be entirely reduced to macroscopic quantum effects.