Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperatureElisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer & Gregory D. Scholes
"... This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures...."
As I noted in my blog last November, the evidence for quantum coherence in living systems continues to mount. This latest advancement, reported in Nature, demonstrates that coherence not only exists in living systems, but it persists at room temperature. This contradicts long-held dogma that it is not possible to have quantum effects in living bodies. That dogma was based on assumptions about entanglement as observed in simple physics experiments, ignoring what happens when elementary things combine into new emergent properties.
My thesis in Entangled Minds was that if some form of quantum entanglement exists in living systems, then the subjective experience of that entanglement may well be what we call psi, mystical experience, or noetic experience in general. In the five years since I wrote that book (published in 2006 but mostly written in 2005), the evidence leading towards quantum psychology is marching along quite a bit faster than I had expected.
The irony in all this is that by the time I get to say "I told you so," the concept of entangled minds will become so obvious that it won't be considered controversial any more. It might take a year or two for the hoopla to settle down, but in the grand scheme of things we will have advanced from a "para" discipline to the mainstream in a flash. And likewise, centuries of past objections and skepticism about the reality of psychic and mystical experiences will also vanish in a flash.
This sea-change won't mean that everyone will start levitating on Tuesday and walking through walls on Wednesday. The phenomena may still be quite capricious and hard to control. But that will be seen as a psychological issue, i.e. the instability of undisciplined minds. And not one about existence of the phenomena.
This is exciting and promising. I've spent my entire life trying to explain why I can read objects. I'm extremely logic-minded, so I look at the elements that I know:
Interpretation is critical
Information comes in the form exactly like "memories" and, in fact, years after reading an object, I can pull up those memories clearly as if they are my own memories.
When I read, I'm using the exact same grid in my mind I use with my synesthetic way of storing time in my head, days of the week, month... All of these things are in stacked stair steps emanating from my body outward. It sounds insane, but I'm very logical and I only just realized recently that others don't see time that way or store information outside their body in grid.
Still, the ultimate finding will be how the information is passed from object to person. Some objects are easier to read like metal and stone and others are tougher and seem to hold info for a shorter time like paper and cloth.
So, hopefully this research is going to lead us towards what I call the "paranormal highway" that things ride on and in which we can snatch information and tune in to it.
Thanks for this post. It makes me hold out hope people will quit calling psychic skills "a gift from God" or paranormal and realize it's all in the physical realm. We just don't know yet how to weigh and measure it, but it's not hocus pocus. I'm the most skeptical person in the world and I can't explain why I can know what I know. I just accept it.
Thanks for posting this. I found your book uniquely comforting. This kind of thing gives me hope.
It is demonstrated everyday in schizophrenia. People who appreciate schizophrenia from a quantum perpsective are light years ahead of your old school Newtonian psychiatrist in its healing implications. Certain sound therapies, for example, using bioharmonic resonance, can induce a healing out-of-body experience - try convincing the psychiatrist this is good move. It runs counter to everything they have been taught.
"The irony in all this is that by the time I get to say "I told you so," the concept of entangled minds will become so obvious that it won't be considered controversial any more"
Well, you may not be able to say 'I told you so' when this occurs, but at least you'll be getting larger royalty checks. :)
Dean, I still fondly remember re-reading the bit in Entangled Minds regarding the sea-change: you mentioned neuroplasticity and cold fusion. I remember thinking: I love this guy but I think he's being overly-optimistic and cold-fusion is a non-sequitur (though I saw the relevance of neuroplasticity). But I stand corrected, Dean, and you have my apologies.
However, the objection regarding signalling (apparently forbidden by orthodox entanglement but allowed for by Valentini and Josephson's models and possibly by Stapp's earlier model based on Weinberg's nonlinear QM) is one that's carted out often.
How do you deal with the objection, Dean? Any resources you can point to and anything you might be able to explain here?
We will see. But I have my bet set on the fact of biophysical entanglement. Great!
A New Scientist editorial on 'Quantum biology has come in from the cold'.
To our two quantum mechanical warhorses: Dean and Tor. Drinks?
Dean said "The irony in all this is that by the time I get to say "I told you so,...."
Surely you are saying a little more because to be really interesting you need information to pass through entangled links. That would need a new development in QM.
The 'quickening' is indeed afoot. It certainly explains experiences I have been having over the past 5-6 years. And the way you put it into words neatly describes complexity/chaos theory at work. A building towards a bifurcation, phase transition. It is an exciting time to be conscious! Think 'a quickening' will be the title of my next blog post. Thanks for leading me to that language, as I have recently 'leaped'. Even further than you suggest here.
It is going to pop up everywhere now since the impossibility has been shown to be non-existent.
I wonder when they will delve into the issue of observation. Which reminds me.. Your QM observation experiment is going well Dean? Any idea when you will ave it published? I'm looking forward to this one :)
> the objection regarding signaling ...
I'm guessing that this dogma will dissolve after multipart entanglement is better understood. Post-quantum super-nonlocality is already a topic of theoretical discussion, and I think it will be in the emergent properties of complex nonlocality that we'll find something like information transmission. However, as I discussed in Entangled Minds, signaling is not necessary to have psi. We may be creating the illusion of signaling via modulation of our attention.
Watching the old paradigms diminish in the (quantum) distance holds extra meaning for people like Sandy or myself or all others who have had some very "interesting" experiences, and your researches and writings are probably more helpful than you could know. Suffice it to note that I always anticipate your results eagerly. Thanks for both your clarity of thought and your perseverence.
I have never been clear if the proof that no information can be passed through entangled links, extends to multi-particle systems - are you saying it doesn't?
Post-quantum means what - a deeper theory that includes QM as the limiting case?
Ordinary QM is already a limiting case of quantum field theory, of course, is there a similar theorem preventing the transmission of information in that framework?
Finally, I have never really understood how you can have psi without information transfer - even probabilistic information. I mean is someone dreams that their grandfather is dying, and he is, surely that is information transfer!
Do you have any reasonably accessible links to these topics (some maths, but not a screed ending with Theorem 134 :) )?
I wonder how far this will go. I suspect we are only beginning to scratch the toenail of a huge giant.
One interesting thing about the photosynthesis discovery is that there needs to be a collapse before the energy is really transferred through the antennae. Such collapses are not adequately described by decoherence theory (refereeing to Stapp and others). The most radical possibility is that the plant is in some way making "conscious" decisions. If we follow Stapps's scheme, then there may be could be a "mind/consciousness" non-locally influencing quantum processes throughout the whole plant. A kind of plant mind.. If we ever succeed in making real quantum computers, I wouldn't be surprised if suddenly minds start to come out of them. It wouldn't be artificial consciousness, but real consciousness finding a medium to channel through.
LOL.. You shouldn't compare me with Dean, Bharat. I'm a mere amateur, a small pony. He's the warhorse. But cheers anyway :)
Dean, if this biological entanglement event is happening only inside one single cell and only within a very tiny distance within this single cell (that is, only between close molecules), wouldn't that be a tremendous limitation to this finding? I have not yet looked at the paper itself, though.
Dean: So we dip in and out of something akin to an informational space, where access is key rather than signalling per se?
See http://tinyurl.com/yb8a9xe for a recent summary of multi-particle entanglement. Most of what we know about entanglement is based on idealized two-particle systems. This is changing as engineers get closer to building working quantum computers, but as in the rest of physics, when you go to three-body problems and beyond things quickly get very complicated. So complicated that in some cases the mathematics are essentially intractable.
But when you get glimpses of what may be possible, as this article discusses, things also become more interesting.
Bharat asked: So we dip in and out of something akin to an informational space, where access is key rather than signaling per se?
Almost. We are always in that informational space. There's no place else to be. We navigate this "deeper" aspect of reality through our attention. So we know what is happening to loved ones at a distance not because a signal arrived, but because a portion of our attention is always "watching" people of interest, and we become consciously aware of those connections when an important need arises.
For most people, most of the time, most of this navigational process is unconscious. And that leads to the apparent capriciousness of psi. My guess is that experienced meditators, and some naturally talented psychics, are able to navigate within this space consciously.
From Jung's newly published "Red Book" --
In 1952, through his collaboration with the Nobel prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Jung argued that there existed a principle of acausal orderedness that underlay such "meaningful coincidences," which he called synchronicity. He claimed that under certain circumstances, the constellation of an archetype led to a relativization of time and space, which explained how such events [as precognitive dreams] could happen.
Hmm, interesting. Years ago I relayed my experiences with lucid dream telepathy to a friend.
He then argued it couldn't be sustained due to the excess heat resulting from the physical processes needed to drive the phenomena.
So much for that.
I'm unconvinced that there will be no physical limits and advanced psi will be reduced to just the degree of discipline of the mind.
Many highly disciplined yogis may not manifest psi powers. Although the legends from the Yoga Sutras suggest psi did come from one-pointed concentration there is little evidence of that, especially not in the way they describe it which is very dramatic, superpower-like psi.
Also, psychedelics are another confound of the notion that discipline is the key. In some cases it seems that psychedelics can enhance psi. These states are more vivid and intense and have a clear physiological difference; it's not just mental focus, it's neurochemically different.
That being said obviously meditation has some documented benefits. Many forms of psychic development include meditative techniques. In my own work I try to combine both into one unified technique so the meditation-psi practice delivers benefits regardless of psychic experiences.
> Many highly disciplined yogis may not manifest psi powers ... especially not in the way they describe it which is very dramatic, superpower-like psi.
I agree, but there is evidence that meditators perform better in controlled psi tasks than non-meditators. I suspect that an important additional factor is natural talent, which would hold for both yogis and non-yogis.
Dean, correct me if I've got this wrong, but isn't the idea behind entanglement - put simply - that particles somehow remain 'aware' of what's happening to each other in spite of no longer having a 'normal' avenue for reciprocal communication?
And isn't one of the possible implications of Schrodinger's thought experiment the cat in the box's somehow simultaneously alive and dead - not to mention an infinitude of other possibilities - UNTIL someone or something opens the box and becomes AWARE of the cat's fate, collapsing down all the possibilities into one?
In which case doesn't that imply not only the world TAKES the form we perceive it as having PRECISELY because our AWARENESSES (as they're presently configured) have collapsed all the other possibilities out of existence, but since even entanglement's effectively a consequence of a form of awareness, then NOTHING could exist WITHOUT awareness?
In which case, why aren't you tap dancing on their heads telling them "I told you so!" already?
I would say that if there is normal not so super psi, there must be super power like psi to. Why?
Because there is no real difference. Were is the line between super and not so super? Weakly changing REG outputs is not considered super. Is finding an ancient city underground using remote viewing super? Is killing off cancer cells super? Is almost completely shielding cells from lethal gamma-radiation super?
Maybe this has more to do with our self imposed limits than the actual limits of psi. Our culture isn't exactly psi friendly. A little bit of small psi is ok, but too much and big psi is a no go.
The late Ian Stevenson's presidential address to the Society for Psychical Research in 1989 is an interesting read:
"Thoughts on the Decline of Major Paranormal Phenomena"
'Bharat asked: So we dip in and out of something akin to an informational space, where access is key rather than signaling per se?'
And Dean responds:
'Almost. We are always in that informational space. There's no place else to be.'
A very significant point! So,could we say that the entangled informational whole is prime reality and our experience of separation from that whole merely a secondary, essentially illusory, aberation?
In which case, why do we ever, seemingly, dip out of the whole into this fragmentary illusion of separation?
Is not enlightenment: never losing track of the whole and seeing the non-whole as a mere transient surface appearance of the whole?
I'm really lost with that Nature paper. Can someone please explain what this quantum photosynthetic effect is in plain english?
Do those plots show that different photosynthetic proteins separated by a certain distance are oscilating 'in phase' or something, because of quantum coherence? Of have I completely misunderstood?
I'm currently working on a new book. The idea is to explain non scientists the connexion between quantum physic and consciousness. My "spiritual" father is the genius quantum physicist Jean Charon which is the only one in the world who found out that the electrons are able to store information. More than that - he described them as an universal data storage which contains all the information which have been produced since the universe has been "borne". Because everything in the cosmos consits of the electrons, we all are permanently communicating with everything. Thats why one of the chapters will be dedicated to the fact that our souls are immortal because they consists of electrons which are immortal as well. Thies theory has some very important consequences e. g.
- it seems more than likely that the main aim of the universe is to generate as much new information as possible - which also could mean: this is the real sense of our life!
- it seems also more than likely that everyone is challenged during his being as a human to reach a higher level of knowledge and consciousness. If so, after death the electrons will organize or form a new "living tool" (may be a human) on this higher level.
If this logic would really exist (and I have no doubts at all) we should take the chance to invest as much as possible into our nextl life. May be this could be the beginning of a new kind of philosophy and - this is definitely a captivating vision - could lead to a global change of consciousness at all levels of our society.
If someone is interested in more details, please feel free to contact me: email@example.com
> why do we ever, seemingly, dip out of the whole into this fragmentary illusion of separation?
Because for the sake of survival the brain has evolved to filter out conscious awareness of anything that is not here and now. That is, it is not useful for one's survival to be omniscient, even though we have that capacity, because if you're paying attention to something on say, Mars 20,000 years ago, you might easily overlook the fact that a tiger is about to jump on you right now.
So humans with strong but not well controlled omniscient abilities would have vanished long ago, leaving most of us with vestigial, mostly unconscious psi abilities. A small percentage of the population have retained some control over their attentional capacities, and those are highly talented remote viewers, inventors, investors, leaders, etc.
"A small percentage of the population have retained some control over their attentional capacities, and those are highly talented remote viewers, inventors, investors, leaders, etc."
You left out those people who are totally confused by what they are experiencing.
I'm one of the physicists working in 'quantum biology', trying to understand the spatial scales at which coherent effects might be significant in photosynthesis. I'm also very interested in psi, though I am not yet convinced that quantum theory in its present form will account for psi effects.
Anyway, there are a couple of important things to mention regarding the Collini-Scholes paper. There is some scepticism of this work within the field because the plot fits benefit from a large number of free parameters. As one guy put it, 'with 5 free parameters, you can fit an elephant.' At the same time, the theoretical models developed following the early low temperature demonstrations of long-lived coherence in photosynthetic proteins predict that those effects should be quite robust across a range of temperatures which includes physiological temperatures. So, I personally am not surprised by the recent high-temp results. Have you also seen the Engel paper which came out of U Chicago at very nearly the same time as the U Toronto result was published? They demonstrated high-temp coherence in a different photosynthetic complex (FMO). Also an excellent paper (preprint) to check out. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1001/1001.5108.pdf
It is important to note that these coherent effects are *extremely* short lived compared with what we know of the mechanics underlying psychological processes, and are probably significant to photosynthetic function only over small spatial scales. There also has arguably been more evolutionary pressure placed on photosynthesis than on brain function, over much longer periods of time. I doubt that these effects can be massaged far enough to account for psi; there will more likely be some fundamental revisions required in our understanding of nonlocality in physics. Keep your eye on the work being done on information theoretic reconstructions of QM. If anything holds promise for explaining psi, I think this does.
Thanks very much for your comments, Drew. Good points about the photosynthesis results.
> though I am not yet convinced that quantum theory in its present form will account for psi effects.
I agree. I anticipate that as we understand more about how elementary quantum coherence emerges into the more complex domains of chemistry and biology that we'll find that Nature has figured out clever ways to sustain coherence when it proves to be useful. Dynamic re-entanglement and ensemble entanglement are already topics of discussion. I'm sure many more methods will be discovered.
As for how long we might need coherence in the brain to be psychologically meaningful, no one knows. Conscious experience appears to be the end result of a huge amount of unconscious processing, and where fleeting subjective impressions come from might well be traceable (some day) to single quantum events. All speculative of course, but given the weight of empirical evidence in favor of psi, to make any theoretical progress we're obliged to make wild leaps and see where they take us.
I suspect that a future theory of psi that is genuinely adequate will seem completely crazy by today's knowledge. So bold proposals are necessary.
An informative and interesting comment by Drew. I too share this skeptisism towards that quantum mechanics in it's current (mainstream) form can account for psi.
I think that we may face an all encompassing revision of science that goes to the very core of the western world view. Our logic system seems to be inadequate to handle the results from quantum mechanics, psi and a whole host of other phenomena of a subjective nature. This logic system (I believe it is called the two-fold system of logic) that we have inherited from the ancient Greeks, locks us into an either/or, true/false-kind of mindset. Most people in our culture can't even imagine another way of thinking about things, and that includes scientists (with the exception of some quantum physicists).
If you think about how deeply ingrained this logic system is in the western psyche, it is no wonder we struggle so much with certain scientific results that just do not mesh with it.
Maybe we need to change our basic framework? Just like classical mechanics became a special case of quantum mechanics, maybe our western logic system should become a special case of a bigger logic system that show us that there are more to the universe than either/or?
Tor suggest that 'maybe we need to change our basic framework'.
He probably means our current paradigm of reality including the 'either/or true/false mindset' he also mentions.
We know this paradigm doesn't seem to account for certain experimental results in quantum physics. We also know it doesn't seem to account for psi. So, it does seem to need a change.
But how can one paradigmatic mind-set jump into another? Any speculation, not matter how wild, remains a speculation of the same old paradigm.
Perhaps only a total surrender and dissolution of all mind-sets will enable the formation of another.
But we all seem to want to hang on the old one until we have another, like frogs born in a well stubornly insisting that anomolous lights and sounds from above are not yet understood characteristics of the well wall. Meanwhile, frogs from above get drowned, crucified, burnt at the stake or locked up in the frog's equivalent of a psychiatric institution.
Welcome to the conversation, Drew and thanks for the comment. With those of us who follow psi and try to keep an eye on developments in physics (I'm a non-scientist so I struggle), there seems to be general agreement that QM today probably won't account for psi. As Dean once noted, psi effects seem to be strongly bound to elements such as love and meaning, which physics has not yet even begun to deal with. But there are many figured from physicists like Carr, D'Espegnat, Stapp, Davies, Josephson and Penrose to non-physicists like Chomsky who believe that physics will have to udnergo an expansion to cover mental states. At least the ball is being set rolling. Regarding coherence and time, Stapp's model requires decoherence as an essential part of its formulation. Any thoughts on his model?
Tor: It's Aristotle's law of the excluded middle. I think that mathematicians who are known as 'intuitionists' are against it but there is a Hindu alternative from Nagarjuna: X, Y, not X, not Y and both X and Y. Translated to wave/particle duality, this may be seen as: particle, wave, both particle AND wave and neither particle nor wave. Is this helpful?
In the context of a possible information field containing all information of everything past and present, Dean Radin suggests that we never leave the field because there is nowhere else. Perhaps we can best imagine the field permeating the time/space material world. Therefore we cannot avoid it.
I query why we ever ‘seemingly dip out of’ the field, meaning ‘remain unaware of’, or ‘fail to notice’.
Dean equates the field with ‘omniscience’ and suggests that if we were aware of Mars 20, 000 years ago we may miss the tiger around the corner about to eat us.
This does not imply a definition of ‘omniscience’ as ‘knowing everything’, as one might expect, because one would on that definition know about the tiger too. Rather, it suggests a definition of ‘omniscience’ as ‘knowing anything’, or more precisely, ‘knowing whatever you need to know when you need to know it’.
With this definition, we can best understand my original question about our failure of omniscience, through appropriate contexts: Why, when planning a Mars expedition (in a tiger-free environment) can we not clairvoyantly see the history of Mars? Why, when on a jungle expedition, can we not precognitively see the probability of being eaten by a tiger?
I tentatively suggest that answers to my own question may revolve around the inadequacy of our paradigm of reality and the inadequacy of our self-identity model within that paradigm-generated reality.
"..Is this helpful?"
If you mean if the Nagarjuna logic system is helpful, yes I think so. At least it open us up to other possibilities than those we are used to.
Is it too soon to make 'We told you so' threads at JREF? :D
Dean have you read anything by RAW?
Is the quantum psychology you envision anything like that?
>Because for the sake of survival the brain has evolved to filter out conscious awareness of anything that is not here and now.
This sounds very like a statement by one of my favourite writers, Russell Hoban, who says "I think that mind is a consciousness not confined the individual brain but shared by all of us; the brain is the organ that limits that consciousness so that we can carry on the business of every day...I think much, if not most, of the brain's function is repressive, holding back the accumulated contents of the mind as a dam holds back water." (This comes from an essay called Blighter's Rock in The Moment Under the Moment p. 180)
He also adds a cautionary note - "If the dam ever broke we should drown in the vast chaotic roar of a flood taht would sweep away our limited-reality consensus like a chicken-coop."
QM is a bit over my head, but this makes good sense to me. Other writers have had similar intuitions, but Hoban puts it very well.
As some contributers have mentioned schizophrenics and psi, may I just mention that Stanislav Grof has published many papers and books going back many years, on his and others results of research carried out with psychedelics, administered to both normal and schizophrenic people.
Very enlightening reading.
This is promising news. I've worked with the first-person side of psi for a couple of decades, and did some intensive training and healing work which facilitated the whole process(which I won't go into). I haven't kept up with the research in the last couple of years, as I'd pretty much come to the conclusion that the barriers to a greater acceptance of minds is more psycho-spiritual, than a case of lack of evidence. In other words, there is a psychological pay-off for the ego in sticking to the isolated concept of self in a mechanistic universe. In that sense, the mechanistic paradigm is a product of a delimited stage of psycho-spiritual growth. Certainly not all of it, but a significant part of it.
Still, if the evidence is "in your face", it will shift those at the frontiers - the open-minded scientists, scholars and laymen - and that will have a trickle-down effect. Not sure how that might happen though, if the essence of the problem is not the evidence, but the attitude. Thomas Kuhn said paradigms change when one generation dies and the next follows. Perhaps, though, we are at the tipping point.
Interesting and intelligent conversation about subjects that are so controversial among scientists and the general population alike,this is probably the best blog on these matters I have seen in a while,thanks to all!
Having said this,I would like to comment on Theophrastus message above:
....."He also adds a cautionary note - "If the dam ever broke we should drown in the vast chaotic roar of a flood taht would sweep away our limited-reality consensus like a chicken-coop."
I am wondering about certain Near Death Experiences,with a flat EECG,and clinically dead,during which the patient has gone through a mode of perception that is (apparently) not filtered by the brain,and these people,after being resuscitated,tell us that they did not lose their individuality,and were able for example to see in 360 degrees and even through walls,communicate telepathically,etc.....
How could we reconcile Theophrastus comments with these facts?
Please check The New York Times article by Sindya N. Bhandoo "A Mass Mating Signal Over the Smoky Mountains", about male fireflies that flash in harmony across the night sky.
The article ends with the following phrase "The fireflies have to count, possibly measure intervals, and the question is How do you wire neurons together to be able to do that".
It seems to me this is another case of "quantum biology",
On Quantum Mechanics And Entanglement
Essence Of Quantum Mechanics
Life and the universe are not conglomerations of mechanisms. Their mechanisms are routes of evolution. The mechanisms do not set/determine the classical physics end-target/states. They are routes of evolution between classical physics states. Quantum mechanics are mechanisms, probable, possible and actual mechanisms of getting from one to other classical physics states WITHIN the expanse from cosmic singularity to the maximum expanded universe and back to singularity states.
Entanglement loophole closed
A long-distance experiment rejects a challenge to quantum physics.
An old USSR joke:
Question: Is it true that the USSR-made car "Volga" makes a 90-degree turn at 100 km/hr?
Answer: Yes.... but only once.
- Is entanglement a "yes, but only once" affair for each entangled objects pair/group?
and, if so indeed,
- Are the states-of-systems of entangled objects decided upon separation of the objects, not upon their measurment?
(Comments From The 22nd Century)
Evolution, Natural Selection, Derive From Cosmic Expansion
Cosmic Evolution Simplified
I have had this phenomenon happen to me, possibly.
A guy asks a girl he is with what the date on two quarters is.
- I instantly saw the dates flash in front of my eyes - the arabic number system, in block style font. I had been experimenting with LSD and other psychedelics at the time. It was obviously odd, but it felt very natural.
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