Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by Write4U, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    it seems that nitrono's are soo unknown it is a new field in science opening up the more we learn.
    who knows what they might hold

    i hear scientists have managed to produce and use nitrino's to send data through rock
    Message Beamed Through Rock With Exotic Particles
    By Clara Moskowitz published March 16, 2012
    First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

    March 15, 2012 4:00 PM ET

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Trick is receiving that message. How are you going to record it if it just passes through?
    Apparently, we have millions of neutrinos pass through our bodies every day.
    Doesn't seem to affect us in any way. I doubt that they have any influence on microtubules.

    But if we want to keep track of this, let's start a new thread.
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    While looking for articles about complexity and information-processing networks, I found one about neurological information. It doesn't mention microtubules, but these are already well understood to be why neuron plasticity (and plasticity in any cell) exists, if not what level of information-processing occurs in them. The article says that information is stratified; neural signalling at the electronic level requires levels of stratification below it, which I guess since it's cell-based seems kind of obvious.

    Anyway, a paragraph which might be of interest (my bolds):

    I also caution (myself) that the biology of cells is extremely complex, I think it might have been Feynman who said a cell is more complex than just about anything else in the universe.
    Write4U likes this.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I think that you quote them because you don't understand what they are saying.
    And yet, with all those hundreds of pages that you say you've read and understood, you're strangely unable to give a summary of the main mechanisms by which microtubules supposedly act as "processors", when I ask you directly. It seems you can only answer with walls of cut-and-paste, most of which either do not address the question or which are clearly speculative ("If we assume this, then let's speculate about what that might mean..." etc.)

    For somebody who comes across as a real enthusiast for this topic, it strikes me as strange that you can't really answer the most basic of questions about it. What do microtubules process? What's the input? What the output? What processing is done?

    It's not like I need to know all the details, first up. But surely, with your extensive reading, you ought to be able to give me a one or two paragraph summary of the major findings that support your claims. Why can't you do that?
    Call me stupid, but it is simply not obvious to me that microtubules "process" any kind of "data". You'll have to explain it to me. A couple of paragraphs ought to be able to convey the basics and describe the main lines of evidence in support. Can you do this, or not?
    Let's assume you're right. List two or three "alternate neural models" for me, and explain the positives and negatives of each of the competing models. A few paragraphs ought to be enough to educate me on the basics. You've done all the reading and spent years understanding this stuff, so this should be a breeze for you. Right?
    Only the second half of that is right, and that's because, according to my reading of your quotes, that's what they tell me they are doing. I said nothing about having no clue.
    It interests me. It's an interesting problem. I do not, by any means, claim to be any kind of expert on the question, so my mind is open to explanations that are supported by evidence. I'm also open to speculation, if the problem is not solved (and I don't think it is). However, I think we need to be very careful about claiming that speculations are reality, without sufficient evidence. Understand?
    I'm not. I'm trying to push you towards the realisation that you're making overblown, so-far-unevidenced claims about microtubules.

    But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you can give a clear explanation in your own words in your next post. Let's see.
    "Models of the mind are based on the idea that neuron microtubules can perform computation"

    This looks like a declarative statement that models of the mind in this area start from the assumption that microtubules perform computation, somehow. I don't have a problem with that, but that's different from your claim that evidence shows that that microtubules perform computation.
  8. river


    They do . But based on the physical form . Naturally .
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Buzz off. Clearly you don't have anything useful to add to this discussion.
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I don't need to understand everything they are saying as long as it tends to confirm my intuitive logical deduction.
    All I need to do is make you understand what they are saying. Do you understand what they are saying?
    If you do then my job is done because it shows that I have conveyed the information in an understandable form.
    No that is not true.
    I always try to select papers that advance a specific microtubule role or function.
    I don't see what is unclear about scientific statements like:
    The most basic question about microtubules is "are they instrumental in data processing". The answer appears to be a firm "yes".
    The problem with the question is that microtubules are involved in ALL data processing throughout the entire body. Microtubules are present in every cell of every living Eukaryotic organism. Microtubules control cell shape and function of every cell including neural cells. Microtubules are responsible for accurate cell division
    of every single cell during mitosis. That alone should qualify as a computational data processing function.
    I have but when I express my understanding in my own syntax I get accused of not being scientific. Can't win for losing.
    Hence my current preference is to use quoted passages of what I believe are informative messages as described by real scientists, in the hope that they may stir interest in the reader and motivate him/her into further research on their own
    The quotes I have provided do describe a range of data processes by microtubules and related filaments. You have indicated that you refuse to read them. I am not here to engage in endless debate about trivia. I am here to present an overview with selected quotes from serious scientist engaged in the most ambitious journey of discovery ever, the journey into the nanoworld of living organisms,
    To my knowledge there is no alternate competing model. All models rely on microtubules as the single common denominator of data processing in all Eukaryotic life, from plants to bacteria, to humans to whales, to octopi.
    But you are dismissing all the quoted passages because you say that I have no clue. And that is a false argument. This area of scientific inquiry does not depend on my expertise, it depends on the expertise of the scientists I quote.
    No one is required to explain E = Mc^2 in "their own words". Einstein is the definitive authority.
    I am so happy to hear that a least I have stirred some interest where once there was outright rejection and relegation to "pseudo-science" category accompanied by derisive ad hominems from several other posters.
    I think I am only making claims that are self-evident or have been made by serious scientists engaged in the detailed exploration of a new area of scientific research.
    This is what I do not understand. Why should I use my own words, when there are better quoted passages available. Noone gets asked to recite Shakespeare in "their own words".

    "Models of the mind are based on the idea that neuron microtubules can perform computation"
    Not when those microtubules prove to be functional in the model. That is why I provide quoted passages and a link to the research facility.
    I let the scientists speak for themselves as to the results of the experiments.
    I am not researching the science on my own. I am researching the science via the scientists doing the science. What better presentation can be made than quoting the source?
    I have been told in no uncertain terms that presentation in my own words does not meet the required standard of scientific linguistics.
    Ok , I am flexible, I'll quote the scientists to avoid unnecessary confusion in terminology. I believe that is called "due diligence" .
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Confirmation bias writ large. Only see what you want to see. No need to understand anything. Just go with your gut feeling.
    At the level you and I are discussing this, yes, I think I understand what they are saying. They are making speculative models about the possible role that microtubules might play in consciousness, possibly through some kind of process going on at the quantum level. They are saying that if the assumptions of their models turn out to be true, then there will be particular implications for a theory of consciousness etc.

    On an unrelated topic, a lot of your quotes talk about what seem to me to be uncontroversial findings about the functions of microtubules - e.g. they are elements that help maintain the structural integrity of cells.
    Many of which are completely irrelevant to your central claim about the role of microtubules in consciousness.
    That's not unclear. I'm quite happy to accept that microtubules are used to transport substances to different parts of a cell, as the quote states. I am questioning your assertion that, as well as doing that transport, they also do some "data processing" of some sort. You say they are processors Yet you can't tell me what they process or what the processing involves.
    So what do they process, exactly? How's the data encoded? What processing operations do the microtubules carry out on the data? What is the input? What is the output? How does the output differ from the input, after "processing"?
    So you say.
    How do they "control" cell shape? Which particular functions do they control?

    Is all of this control happening purely at the quantum level? How do you know?
    Responsible in what way? What do they actually do during cell division? Can you give me a one-paragraph summary?
    Computational? How so?
    Give one example. A paragraph should be enough to explain it to me. No need to cover all the details.
    I keep inviting you to give an overview. Instead, you produce random snippets of mostly cut-and-paste text on various topics that mention the word "microtubule". You say you've been following this research for years. But then, you also seem to be saying that you don't think you need to understand any of it, as long as it feels right to you and tends to confirm your "intuitive deductions".
    It seems you have forgotten an idea I put to you previously. That idea hypothesises that consciousness arises from activity at the neural level rather than at the microtubule level. The idea is that quantum processing and so on is not necessary for consciousness - the job can possibly be done just via nerve impulses, neurotransmitters and the usual supra-quantum apparatus of the nervous system.

    As far as I can tell, there's no compelling evidence that any processing happens in microtubules at the quantum level, or that such processing is necessary for consciousness. That's not to say that doesn't happen, of course. I'm just saying the jury is out, as far as I can tell. But for some reason, you think otherwise - or, perhaps more accurately - wish it to be otherwise.
    No. I am only dismissing the ones that have nothing to do with any "processing" in microtubules, as irrelevant to what you and I are discussing. I think that research into the structural role that microtubules play in cells and stuff like that could well be valuable - certainly as valid as other kinds of scientific research. I'm also happy for scientists to look for quantum processes in microtubules and things like that. If they want to do that, I say go to it! My issue is with your overblown claims that there is already proof that microtubules are the key to consciousness, because as far as I can tell there isn't.
    That's wrong. If somebody starts making claims about E=mc^2 - especially claims that don't seem to be supported by anything in the scientific literature - then the very first thing they need to do is to show that they understand what E=mc^2 is about, and why it is the way it is. A scientist can't do any useful science unless they understand the fundamentals of the science they are trying to advance.
    It's not you. As I said earlier, I have been aware of Penrose and Hammeroff's initial speculations about microtubules since Penrose published The Emperor's New Mind. I didn't agree with his conclusions in that book then, and I still don't agree with them now, on the main topic in that work. The microtubule thing was a tacked-on speculation in that book and I don't know whether Penrose himself spent much time pursuing it. Basically, it has the status of a thought bubble at the time.
    You're not. If the truth of your claims was self-evident, you and I wouldn't be having this discussion.
    At best, you're doing meta-research. At worst, you're wasting your time reading literature that you don't understand.
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And you consider that some kind of victory?
    Being that I have never claimed to be a scientist I believe that would rate as a hollow victory.
    Note that the OP asks a question and does not make a declarative statement that I need to defend in scientific terms.

    The better question is if my scientific shortcomings affect the validity of the science? The answer to that is no.
    This is why I am loath to place my own brand on the science and have chosen to report by means of quoting the scientist that can and do explain the details in the quoted citations.

    What is the citation?

    I won't even address the rest of that rant. Obviously, you are NOT interested in the subject. If you were you'd be thanking me for doing all this work which probably amounts to a good number of college credits if it was to be graded as research material.

    I do not consider you competent to grade my research so I shall just continue doing exactly what I have been doing. I believe the number of views indicates some general interest by visitors. I believe the thread is an asset to the forum despite your attempts to derail the science contained in the thread.
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Thank you . I consider that a compliment.
    And you believe you are qualified to make that clinical diagnosis? Or are you going by your gut feeling?
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    We would not need to have this discussion if you would deign to read the material I provide. In your lofty position as science advisor why should you stoop to reading the trash that was selected by a rank amateur. You would not want to waste your valuable time on such nonsense, right?

    Perhaps it is you who has decided to remain ignorant of the science . You're not reading the quoted passages or checking out the links I provide. You are really not in a position to judge my worth as researcher and proposal writer.

    If you did you'd see that many things have become self-evident as the science in this area is progressing and knowledge is accumulating. We are long past your initial questions and objections. You are way behind the times, James.
    If you are interested in the subject do a little reading on the current research and be surprised by the state of knowledge in this area.
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    That statement shows your ignorance of the role microtubules play in neurons.
    I'm not even going to bother explaining. You don't understand the role of microtubules except for a few old descriptions that describe only a very small portion of the total microtubule properties and functions known at that time.
    Check out a few of the links I have provided. The title and quoted passages indicate the specific subject matter that relates to and requires microtubule and related filament functions.

    You declare that this is just random selection of any publication that mentions microtubules.
    That is the same as you declaring that trees don't make a forest because I offer a list of different individual species that may be found in a forest.
    It's my gut feeling that you have become a victim of fractured specialization in science......

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  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And how do they manage that? Have you ever asked those questions?

    As previously posted;

    the cytoskeleton

    How do microtubules manage to walk? Pseudopodia.

    Mechanisms of regulation of pseudopodial activity by the microtubule system
    A D Bershadsky1, J M Vasiliev


    Similar articles
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Question was how many and what type chemicals are influential in microtuble processes.
    Unfortunately it takes more than a few paragraphs as suggested.

    The chemical complexity of cellular microtubules: tubulin post-translational modification enzymes and their roles in tuning microtubule functions
    Christopher P. Garnham1 and Antonina Roll-Mecak1,2,*
    Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer

    The chemical complexity of the microtubule

    And that is just the microtubules involved in cellular regulation. We haven't yet touched on microtubules found in the brain, because of the inaccesibility to invasive discovery.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    On Brain Microtubules

    Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
    Date: January 16, 2014

    Please note that as atheist, I am very skeptical in regards to extrasensory consciousness outside of brain function. I am glad that the article allows for a choice of interpretation.
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I believe you are really unaware of how dumb that sounds.
    You just have no idea that it is the microtubules inside the neurons (axons) that perform those very "jobs" you just mentioned.

    I have posted all this before, but you just don't read it.

    The microtubule cytoskeleton acts as a key downstream effector of neurotransmitter signaling

  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member


    Contextuality in Neurobehavioural and Collective Intelligence Systems


    ,,,more › pdf
  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    This suggests microtubules may play a role in the response of the neuron to which the signal has been transmitted by a neurotransmitter. There is nothing whatever about quantum effects or consciousness here.

    So what James says is perfectly correct.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2022
  22. river

    So the shape of the microtubule cytoskeleton guides the signal ?
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Post # 2395 has something about quantum vibrations.

    Also check posts # 2362, 2370, 2372 for indications of EM activity in MT.

    Moreover, it is now established that MTs are instrumental in EM transmission and I believe that is by definition a quantum function, no?

    The quantum nature of EM radiation and its interaction with matter

    I just don't think that Penrose would commit to an unproven hypothesis if he did not see some "potential" in the concept of microtubules being able to transmit EM information.
    Lest we forget, he just received a Nobel prize and they don't award that honor to incompetent fools.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2022

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