Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

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

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    37,193
    Write4U:
    It sounds like you want to say that you believe Orch OR is right because there is no reason it "shouldn't" be right.

    That's not how science is done.

    You might take me at my word that I have a cat named Frank, because it's no skin off your nose and it will reflect poorly on me if it later turns out that I told you a lie. But nobody has proved that I have a cat named Frank. There's no good evidence that I have a cat named Frank (other than, perhaps, my stellar track record for being impeccably honest in the past). My statement that I have a cat named Frank should not, on its own, convince any dedicated scientist that I actually have a cat named Frank.
    That makes no difference at all!

    Can't you see? Assume I told you I have a pet dragon called Frank, if you like.

    Numerous people over the years have suggested possible reasons why I might not actually have a dragon named Frank. Some of those reasons have sounded quite plausible, but let us say that despite persistent and sometimes vehement critiques of my claim, no critique has proven fatal to the hypothesis that I actually have a dragon named Frank.

    Does this lack of effective critique do anything to show that I do, in fact, have a dragon named Frank? The answer ought to be clear to you: "No, it does not." But, for some reason, you seem to be struggling with this idea.
    My position on microtubules now has not changed from the one that I held when this thread started, when it comes to the matter of consciousness.

    You continue not to answer the most basic questions:
    What do microtubules 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"?

    Stop pretending.

    You need to provide some positive evidence for quantum data processing in microtubules, sufficient to establish a "cause" for consciousness. Of course, you won't be able to produce any, because nobody has been able to produce any - at least, as far as I'm aware.

    I agree on possibility. I don't know where I'd start to estimate a probability. But that doesn't matter, since you haven't been arguing for possibilities. You say that Orch OR explains consciousness. No ifs or buts. Don't you?
    Yes I have. I have proposed that consciousness arises from neural processes in the brain, but not at the quantum level and not necessarily in microtubules. This is just a hypothesis, of course, like the Orch OR hypothesis but different. Perhaps you're right that I haven't made much of an argument for my proposal. Forgive me; this out of my field(s) of expertise.
    Interesting. How much are you willing to bet? Better put a definite time limit on it, though, if you're serious, because "never" is a very long time indeed.
    There's also a complete lack of conclusive argument against the concept that I might have a pet dragon called Frank.

    What is needed is not arguments against your hypothesis, but good evidence for your hypothesis. See?
    I'm not sure you do.

    In science, we don't pretend that things have been proven until there's a lot of good evidence and general consensus. Orch OR lacks both sufficient evidence and consensus among the relevant experts.
    You're not claiming that the cause of consciousness is to be found in microtubules? Okay.

    Then what are you claiming? That future research might show that consciousness is due to something that happens in microtubules. If so, then we've finally reached agreement. It might show that. Or it might not. We'll have to wait and see.

    Are we agreed, or not?
    That sounds like a faith statement to me. A fervent wish. Which is fine, as far as it goes.
    How could you possibly know that?

    Why are you so confident with your "never"s and your "no one"s? Who knows what might happen tomorrow?
    They are excluded from the model I just proposed.
    Okay. Next topic then. We're done. Right?
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But are confident that I am not on the right track? That's odd.
    And what model is that?
    I don't recall you proposing a model other than a cat named Frank
    So far in 100+ pages , I have not seen a single argument that disqualifies MT as a likely candidate for having a prominent role in the concept of emergent consciousness.
    Not on your life. I am determined to follow the science because I am confident that proof will be available in the future.
    You prejudice is totally misplaced. This is new science and the quest has just begun.

    Do you give up that easily? I don't. I don't care if you demand instant proof. I just want to see an accumulation of small proofs so that eventually a testable model can be produced.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Michael 345:

    Sorry. My bad. For some reason, my brain was telling me that your post was written by Write4U. I guess I've just come to expect cut-and-pastes from wikipedia from him, so automatically assumed he posted that. Apologies to both of you.
    That's why it's called the Hard Problem of Consciousness.

    Tricky.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Question was asked about why and how.
    Here is an example of why and how a local EM field produces a physical experience that transcends normal why and how.

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  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What's odd is that you seem determined to keep missing the point.

    Do you have any response to what I've spent the last two or three posts explaining to you? Do you agree with me, or disagree? Why are you ignoring large slabs of what I write? This is a matter of basic courtesy, if nothing else, Write4U. At least acknowledge that you've heard and understood what I put to you. If you disagree, then we can discuss.
    I have proposed that consciousness arises from neural processes in the brain, but not at the quantum level and not necessarily in microtubules. I concede that I don't have a model. But then, neither do any of the Orch OR guys, and neither do you, for consciousness.
    Which part(s) do you disagree with? Be specific. And explain why you disagree with what I put to you.
    Fine! I don't know why you're confident. But then again, "the future" goes on for a long time, just like "never".
    What prejudice? About what?
    I agree. (That was in my previous post.)

    But I'm under the impression that at one level you still think the new science is done and dusted.

    You ought to decide what your position actually is on this.
    Give up on what?
    I have never demanded instant proof. I was just worried about your overconfidence that you already had one.

    It seems like you're backing away from that now, which would be a sensible move on your part.

    Take some time. Think it over. Where you're at now, I can't tell whether we're in agreement or not.

    Perhaps I should ask you directly. Is there anything that still grates on you about my position on microtubules and consciousness? If so, what is it?
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,613
    Your instant dismissal without any prior knowledge about microtubules. You did not even know that microtubules existed as part of the cytoskeleton and cytoplasm and of every cell, including all neural cells in all Eukaryotic organisms and in a more primitive form in some Prokaryotic organisms.

    In fact, you seem to hold the fact that MT are a common denominator in all conscious and subconscious organisms regardless of the presence of a neural network as proof they do not process and transport data at all.

    And that is clearly wrong. Everything I have stated as fact was based on proven science.
    The more speculative assumptions have not been debunked and are under active investigation and experimentation by an enormous cadre of scientists, each wanting to be the Nobel recipient for the discovery of "consciousness".

    My name is not in that lofty company, but that does not diminish my interest in the subject. And as long as there is no competing hypothesis, I'll stick with this promising candidate that seems to fill all the required properties to act as a fundamental ingredient for emerging consciousness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Thought that was the case

    No harm done

    And as mentioned

    solving those would be next

    But but but thinking more about what if the thought processes occurring (microtubules or not) simply concluded

    "I am thinking and I know I am thinking about I am thinking"

    Ultimate pulling the concept from non existent bootstraps

    To simple? No 25 pages of explanations about "if that electron was negative this entity would be a homicidal maniac not a stay at home potter"

    The above would explain the mechanics but not the why

    I like my concept, there really is no WHY the happening names itself

    (Takes a moment to rub his knuckles on his lapels

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  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Well, why should hundreds of scientists even find it necessary to look at microtubules at all and why MT catastrophe may be the cause for Alzheimer's disease, you know that's when people are unable to think anymore?

    There seems to be some undeniable correlation in that fact.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    37,193
    I already told you, a couple of times, that I had some prior knowledge of microtubules, dating back at least to the 1990s.

    What am I supposed to have dismissed, exactly? As far as I'm aware, I've only dismissed your overblown, unevidenced claims. But that wasn't instant. I took some time to evaluate your claims first.
    Perhaps. At the start. So...?
    I do not.
    It's a good thing I don't believe it's right, then! Pat on the back for me!

    Now, perhaps you can fill me in on what this "data" is that they process and transport. We've been at this for a while now, and you've yet to cough up any attempt at an answer.
    No. You have claimed that consciousness has been explained by microtubules. It hasn't been. Do you agree?
    The more speculative assumptions have not been verified.

    Concentrate on that, for a moment.
    Promising candidate is one thing. Wide-eyed faith-based belief in the absence of good evidence is a different thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,613
    I have done no such thing. I have posed the question or can you no longer remember the OP title.

    I have been consistent in building a reference library that can answer all your questions at many levels and in many areas of data processing and data transmission.
    But you refuse to read my quoted passages with the answers to your questions. And you just keep asking . Why?

    Why do you refuse to read the authorities instead of accusing me that I am no authority, which I have never claimed to be?
    Where do you get all those deep insights into my psyche from? Are you trained in spotting a "wide-eyed faith based believer" who quotes good, if not complete, evidentiary research?

    It seems to me that it is you who is excessively resisting all evidentiary information without even knowing what it is you refusing to read.

    If I offered proof you'd reject it out of hand and If I told you here is the research that proves it you refuse to read it. You have made up your mind and wide-eyed refused to acknowledge any of the information I present to you.

    It's ok by me. I shall always attempt to answer any reasonable question that anyone has on this subject. I have many questions of my own that have not yet been answered.
    I just don't like to be told I am the ignorant one when I actually do put in the time to research the material. That is just unfair and gets in the way of constructive and productive discourse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2022
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,193
    Write4U:
    And yet, you apparently can't use that reference library to answer even the most basic questions, like these ones, which you have now dodged 3 or 4 times:

    What do microtubules 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"?

    Can you think for yourself? You seem to be able to write a sentence. Why can't you express your understanding of what you've read in a concise way? You claim to have done the hard yards gathering relevant information from many sources. What, then, are the fruits of your research? Did you learn anything? Are you able to communicate your most important findings to anyone else?
    I don't believe that any argument against your views that I have made relies on the presumed "authority" of anybody. We're supposedly talking about science here, remember. Science isn't dogma based on authority. Ideas are supposed to stand or fall on their merits, ideally.
    Deep insights? Not really. This is just a simple deduction based on the content of your posts to date. No great skill required. Just reading comprehension and some experience in dealing with posters on internet science forums, in this case.
    It sounds like you're trying to start another authority-based argument. Why don't you just assume, for the sake of argument, that I am trained to spot wide-eyed faith-based believers who post on internet forums? Better to overestimate my skills and training than to underestimate, don't you think?
    There's nothing to resist, at least until you start to try to answer questions such as the ones in bold, above.

    You're welcome to your opinions, of course.
    It's ironic that just above this in your post you were trying to criticise me on the basis that I supposedly falsely claimed deep insights into your psyche, while here you are making exactly those sorts of claims yourself about me.

    You should at least attempt to maintain a semblance of not being a complete hypocrite, don't you think? Blatant double standards are never a good look. If my speculations/deductions about your motives and attitudes disturb you, perhaps you could consider not posting your speculations/deductions about mine. Just something to consider.

    Anyhoo, coming back to the main point, do you imagine that you've found an excuse to not even try to offer proof/evidence for your claims? I'd reject it anyway, so you're going to take your bat and ball and go home in a sulk? Is that it? Or are you just going to stop talking to mean old James R and only talk to your believer buddies from now on? Really, Write4U, this is playground-level nonsense.
    How strange. Just recently - a few posts above this one at the most - I told you that I have an open mind about this topic. I was very clear. I explained my views to you at some length, so you would understand where I'm coming from.

    I can only assume, then, that this claim from you that I have already made up my mind and that I refuse to consider any other viewpoint, is a knowing lie you are choosing to tell about me. That is an even more egregious example of juvenile playground behaviour from you. You ought to stop it. How old are you?
    Great! Start with the questions in bold, above, please.
     
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Frankly I don't care what microtubules process. I would not know what it means. All I need to know is that microtubules do what Hameroff and Penrose originally proposed. They know what the data is and how it applies to ORCH OR.
    I have learned what I needed to know.
    If you have additional questions, that is because you refuse to read the material I have assembled. I am not required to do it twice because you are lazy. Most of what is known about MT is contained in the quoted materials.

    There is not a chance in hell that you are going to accuse me of not doing due dilligence. I have done the raw research. Now you do the science, you are the scientist, no?
    I am but the messenger delivering the news.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    20,656
    There is nothing in that image that transcends the normal why and how. Indeed, if people do NOT understand how steep E-field gradients cause acceleration of electrons within a near-vacuum, then it is their ignorance that prevents them from understanding that "physical experience."

    In years past all sorts of things were thrown up as proof of supernatural occurrences - eclipses, lightning, auroras - that nevertheless have straightforward physical explanations. The belief that these "transcended the normal why and how" were due to a lack of understanding, not anything transcendental about their origins.
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    37,193
    Write4U:

    If you're not clear about what, exactly, microtubules process, or how they process it, why are you so confident that they are processors that process something? Something must have convinced you that they process something or other. What was it that convinced you?
    Do you know that they do that, though? If so, how do you know?

    See, I'm finding it hard to understand why you believe that microtubules do that stuff, if you're not really sure what exactly they do or how they do it.

    Are you really just accepting Hameroff's and Penrose's speculations as the truth because of their reputations, or something like that? You view them as authorities who possess the information that you lack, and you're willing to trust whatever they have to say about microtubules. Is that all it is?
    How can you tell that they know that? Aren't you just taking them on faith/trust?
    Something convinced you that microtubules have this central role to play in consciousness, but you're unwilling or unable to communicate what that something was?
    It's true, of course, that if I was sufficiently motivated, I could go off and study up on the relevant biology, then read the relevant literature once I had the appropriate level of background knowledge to understand it fully, then evaluate it for myself. I could do all that entirely without any help or input from you.

    I just wonder what you think you're doing here, on sciforums, talking about this stuff. The main message you are sending to your readers seems to go something like this:

    Hey guys! I've been really excited by all the reading I've done on cutting-edge research into the role of microtubules in causing consciousness. Hameroff and Penrose are cool guys; you should all check out what they wrote for yourselves. I've spent years reading up on this. I'm afraid I can't tell you what microtubules actually do to produce consciousness. You'll have to go away and find out for yourselves. But gee whiz, I'm impressed! Good luck in your own efforts to follow this up. I can't help at all, other than to point you to some papers I've read. I can dredge up a few random quotes to get you started and to spark your interest, hopefully. In the meantime, how about we all form a circle and express our mutual joy at the amazingness that is microtubules?!
    Is that a fair summary of what you think you're doing here? Are you, essentially, just seeking to publicise microtubules, in the hope that people will be sufficiently interested and motivated to join your fan club?
    Given that you're not sure what microtubules process or what processing they do, I'd suggest that there's a fairly obvious glaring gap in your due diligence. Sorry to hurt your feelings, but due diligence would require, at a minimum, for you to understand what you read. Wouldn't it? How can you hope to evaluate or meaningfully critique something you don't understand?
    No you haven't. The guys and gals in the labs looking at microtubules through their microscopes are the ones doing the raw research. They are the primary sources for this stuff. You're just an aggregator and publicist, as far as I can tell.
    I'm sorry, but you have failed to spark my interest sufficiently for me to do the proper hard yards to get to the point where I could meaningfully contribute to the actual research (which would also necessity a sideways career shift).

    Alternatively, if I want a pop-science understanding of what's going on in microtubule research - which I'm sure will fit my needs and wants just fine - then I know that you're not going to be a useful teacher. Maybe something else about microtubules will capture my interest some time in the future. Most likely, I imagine that would be some kind of explanatory article written by somebody in the field who knows what she is talking about.
    Spreading the gospel would be closer to the mark, I think.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,613
    Can we say that area is a quantum field? Can we say that the neon bulbs lighting up is a"spontaneous" natural phenomenon? An ORCH OR?
    This was my attempt to demonstrate the effects of an "orchestrated objective reduction"
    Nothing supernatural about it. Nor is "thought" a supernatural dynamic event.

    IMO, all causal events are an expression (explication) of a quasi-intelligent mathematical equation (implication).

    But you have done this before, hanging the label of religion on my neck. I am an atheist and nothing that happens in nature is unnatural. Drop the religious BS , ok?
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    37,193
    What does it mean for a mathematical equation to be quasi-intelligent? For that matter, what does it mean for anything to be quasi-intelligent? What does quasi-intelligent mean?

    How can a mathematical thing cause any "event" in physical space? Mathematical equations are concepts. They can be used to describe or model physical systems, but how can they possible act on a physical system or cause a physical system to do anything?
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,613
    That is a wonderful question. Not how, but why?

    I don't believe there is a single common denominator in all of biology that has the required physical properties and sufficient numbers to qualify as a internal comunication network.

    Do you know that they do that, though? If so, how do you know?

    See, I'm finding it hard to understand why you believe that microtubules do that stuff, if you're not really sure what exactly they do or how they do it.
    Each being a recognized and accredited expert in their field does help the credibility, no?

    Note that Hameroff's special ability lies in rendering people into objects and the back into people again, whereas Penrose is a recognized expert in the quantum world. The Nobel prize is awarded IN recognition of expertise.
    No I take them on demonstrated expertise in their respective fields of knowledge.
    The expression goes "Can't see the forest for the trees". Fortunately, it has been my lifetime ability "to see the forest in the trees".
    It has allowed me to excel in everything I have done in my life without formal schooling in anything.
    Aren't you glad that I am making it easy for anyone so motivated.

    Yesssss, now you are getting it! I have no other axe to grind than sharing what I believe is a subject worthy of study and discussion on a Science forum that welcomes "alternative" and even "pseudoscience" posters.

    In the OP, I posed the question and from that point on I have tried to collect as much relevant data to support the question itself and expending my own "understanding" (I am not cramming for exams).
    I am not critiquing this new science, I am advancing it in my own unique way. I cannot think of a more interesting subject.
    I KNOW! That's why I quote them lest I contaminate the research data with my "own words" . But when there was a specific question, I have always attempted to find material relative to the question.
    There you have it. But there have been 40,000+ views of this thread . Perhaps I have interested a few "minds" into doing further research on their own.

    Why do you think I am posting a great variety of "quoted" articles that "mention microtubules" (one of your favorite complaints) ?

    Would it not be awesome to have Hameroff or Penrose or any of the hundreds of researchers take notice of this lively thread and decide to participate and inform us of the "cutting edge" state of this extraordinary science with one of the few remaining "hard questions" that no one has yet answered satisfactorily?

    You keep accusing me that I make a pretense of being a teacher of sacred information. But in reality, I am the little boy that exclaims; "Look what I found"!!!
    You are really answering all your own questions about my motivation
    Why not change that to "spreading the news"? Gospel deals with supernatural stuff, which I don't.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just do a literal translation of that expression (note: I am not using the term "pseudo" as that has a negative connotation)

    Quasi = seemingly; apparently but not really.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreasonable_Effectiveness_of_Mathematics_in_the_Natural_Sciences
    Why do we use the expressions "mathematical permissions and restriction" if not assigning a deterministic aspect to the "mathematical laws" that permit or restrict the successful formation of regular patterns?

    Mathematics do not actively "cause", but do passively "guide" the formation of patterns.
    I believe this is the basis of Bohm's use of the term "guiding equation" as a mathematical (logical) function of spacetime dynamics.

    What is naturally intelligence?
    http://www.cs.bath.ac.uk/~jjb/web/uni.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,193
    Write4U:

    Regarding microtubules, I'm not sure if they form an "internal communication network" of some kind. I would find that easier to accept than the claim that somebody has shown they are integral to consciousness. As I pointed out previously, there's quite a bit leap required to go from being a pipeline to being a processing facility.

    At this point, I don't think you and have have anything left to discuss. You've told me you're primarily here to preach the Word about microtubules, whereas I'm interested in learning whether any of the more extravagant claims about them stand up to more than superficial scrutiny. You can't help me with that, as far as I can tell.

    I'm going to leave you to your own devices. river will probably talk to you because he doesn't mind if the conversation doesn't lead anywhere. He'll take the opportunity to try to distract you onto irrelevancies of his own invention, no doubt.

    Please be aware of two things, going forward. First, promotion of microtubules by you stays in this thread and does not spread to other threads, as you have tried to do many times in the past. Second, if this thread becomes your personal blog and there is a lack of actual two-way discussion, I will close it down.

    I would assume that Penrose and Hameroff both have more important things clamouring for their attention than to bother signing on here to talk about their areas of expertise with somebody who doesn't really understand what it's all about. They would be more productive talking to other experts who have done the hard work required to make a meaningful contribution. Don't delude yourself; you're almost guaranteed to end up disappointed.

    Good luck. I'm out, for now.
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Just as high voltage powerlines are causal to energy processes in neon tubes?
    IMO, this rates as a naturally intelligent function.
    I think that is a powerful argument in favor of the concept of consciousness being an emergent result of a neural EM field in the body and brain.
    I have a feeling that in the future you may think of this thread as having had a more positive impact on this area of science.
    Perhaps 46,000+ views may pique the interest of some science instructors.
    A sincere thanks for your interest and questions.

    I'll continue to try and find articles that stand up to more than superficial scrutiny...

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022

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