Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

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

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

    I asked you whether a specific book on octopuses mentioned the word "microtubules". Instead of being honest and admitting that it does not, you decided to pretend that any mention of neurons is equivalent to mentioning microtubules. Now that's odd.
    Yes. You're not explaining why they are important. You just keep spamming random stuff about them, rather than attempting to answer the specific questions I ask you.

    From your latest wall of spam, the takeaway messages seem to be these:

    "Our findings indicate that electrical oscillations are an intrinsic property of brain MT bundles, which may have important implications in the control of various neuronal functions..."
    "The above arguments support a potentially relevant role of electrical oscillations on brain MT bundles..."

    I've highlighted the important parts for you.

    The rest is just pointless padding, combined with your empty claims about "data processing" and so on.

    The scientists who are working on this stuff seem to be putting forward speculative hypotheses based on their findings. You seem to think, on the other hand, that some kind of pivotal role has been established for microtubules in consciousness, memory or other high-level brain processes. Why you think that is a mystery to me.
    You seem to be unable to point me towards even one article that talks about the role that microtubules supposedly play in data processing. Frankly, I think you're making that up.

    I have no obligation to follow your interests or hobbies, either.
    Undoubtedly. But none of it relates to your central claim in this thread.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    In what sense do microtubules "control ... the behaviour of cells"?

    And how does that translate to "data processing" at any higher level in the brain?
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member


    Since the JWST is supposed to look for alien life on other planets i.e. colour how would microtubules look?
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No that is not odd at all. It means a deeper understanding of neural systems and brain processes in processinf eletrochemical data.

    The book was about the evolution of conscious brains and did not try to explain the process of microtubules per se because it was not relevant to the narrative.

    Microtubules have not evolved since the advent of Eukariotic organisms. Evolution of neural systems are based on microtubule (and associated organelles) function.

    I drew attention to the fact that the development of brains on land and ocean followed different evolutionary paths, but came from a "common" ancestor organism and the neural brain systems shared microtubules as a major ingredient of eukaryotic organisms with neural networks.

    Both evolutionary paths employed microtubules in their subject species' cytoskeletons.
    I believe that the evidence I have presented allows me to make that observation in context of "common denominators".
    You are using the term spamming incorrectly here. I am not indiscriminately sending the same message to a large audience. I am using a large database to send a single message to you in response to your questions.

    If I am not allowed to do that, no one should be able to "cite" and "link" mainstream research on any subject in any discussion. By your standard, invoking E = Mc^2 is spamming.
    Are you suggesting that electrical oscillations are not "data" being processed? Yes, we don't quite understand the specifics yet, so let's just rewrite the laws of electromagnetism.

    If we turn your thought process around, you are suggesting that everything is magical because we don't know yet! And that's just graffiti on the wall of ignorance.

    The fundamental force responsible for electricity, magnetism, stable atoms and chemistry

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    Look familiar?
    Let me refresh your memory.

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    Micrograph showing condensed chromosomes in blue, kinetochores in pink, and microtubules in green during metaphase of mitosis

    This does not "suggest" something to you? You cannot be that disinterested in the nature of data processing.
    Because it is those same scientists who are making these propositions. That microtubules (and related filaments) are pivotal in "data processing" has been well established.
    You have to be kidding!!!
    There are 100 pages talking about that very thing. You just refuse to look at it. Your critique is not based on knowledge. It is based on ignorance for lack of interest. I so wish someone with real knowledge, like Hameroff would contribute to these conversations. All I can offer is indirect information. I try to be as selective as can be in supporting my main idea that the entire microtubules network in the body and brain gives rise to an emergent awareness of the data being processed. I base this on the fact that individual cells are able to communicate with each other regardless of the presence of any neurons, but use the microtubule cytoskeleton itself as the direct transport system.

    Interoception is a perfect example of subconscious data processing. Exteroception requires translation and therefore a more conscious processing of data.



    If you want to critique someone's due diligence about known facts and my personal conclusions, you are indeed obligated to read the pertinent material. I think I am doing a decent job of defending my perspective. You just reject it without even trying to verify my sources.
    Yes it does, you just refuse to see it. You're just not interested enough to think it through or to read the actual research confirming my observations. You are not playing fair, James.

    My claim (proposition) that microtubules are integral to neural data processing and by extension the emergence of consciousness, stands firm.
    I have heard no viable alternate science-based hypothesis from anybody, anywhere, anytime.

    Even Penrose, who is a truly qualified pioneer in this field, recognized the potential secrets locked inside that nano-scale dipolar coil at the exact level where electromagnetic and chemical processes take place.

    IMO, that means something and you are not qualified (no offence intended) to critique Penrose.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It depends if that alien life was Eukaryote. Not all life needs be the same. As Robert Hazen observes that life may have several different origins and expressions, depending on available suitable chemical and mineral resources.

    But on earth there seems to be recurring theme of spiraled dipolar coils that seem able to communicate in some way.

    Rapid and accurate structure determination of coiled-coil domains using NMR dipolar couplings: Application to cGMP-dependent protein kinase Iα

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  9. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Let's assume so.


    I'm interested in Astrobiology, hence, the JWST and the colours are of interest.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What can colours tell you?
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Can the telescope see colours? And if so can it see chemistry in colours?
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I thought that was it's main point.

    To do so, I mean.
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Cool, it can sample chemistry by colour signatures.

    Perhaps of interest that NASA has detected biochemistry in interstellar clouds.
    Louis Allamandola has made several interesting discoveries:
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I highlighted the relevant part for you. The book does not mention microtubules and so is irrelevant to any argument you want to make about microtubules. Moving on...
    Spam can consist of a deluge of irrelevant information. You're constantly posting lots of pretty pictures that aren't useful for anything in particular. You constantly and repeatedly post dictionary definitions, as if by this stage of the thread your readers still need to be told what a microtubule is by a dictionary. You also post irrelevancies about stuff that has nothing directly to do with microtubules.

    Your strategy seems to be to try to overwhelm objections to your thesis through sheer weight of material you post, but that doesn't work. You need to address the objections, not post irrelevant walls of spam in the hope that something in there might be relevant.
    Have I made any suggestions about electrical oscillations in this thread, at all? No, I have not. Moving on...
    Like you're re-writing the laws of data processing, you mean?
    Again, it only takes a small effort to read back over my posts. You will find that I have not suggested anything is magical.
    This is an example of the kind of irrelevant spam you keep posting. Do you think a basic definition of electromagnetism helps to advance your thesis about microtubules?

    Also, as I have previously said, you're badly underestimating your audience here. You may assume that you don't need to teach me about undergraduate physics, and that your dictionaries are unlikely to tell me anything I don't already know about physics.
    Bizarre. Is it your contention that, because these two photographs look superficially similar, that therefore there are actual connections between them? If so, you ought to make your claims explicit, rather than asking me to "refresh my memory". There are no memories to refresh when it comes to comparing unrelated artist renderings like these ones.
    Find me one quote from a reputable scientists that says that microtubules have an establish pivotal role in data processing. If you can. If not, you ought to retract your baseless claim.
    If he had a web presence, surely you would have found it by now (?)
    As I understand it, cells communicate chemically with one another. Neurons communicate both chemically and electrically. But you thesis demands that you make a like from the cellular level to the level of higher-level consciousness and "data processing" - something you have totally failed to establish so far, despite making extravagant claims.
    More dictionaries.

    Okay, and so what? How do either of those things relate to microtubules?
    More dictionaries?
    The pertinent material detailing your claims consists of your writings. I can't find what your reasoning is from reading other people's stuff.

    You need to tell me why you believe that microtubules "process data", and why you believe they are "pivotal" to consciousness, and why you believe all this has been "established" by competent scientists.
    I have no intention of doing your homework for you. I'm not going to sift through the peer-reviewed literature to try to find some threads of support for your claims. That's your job.
    The viable alternate science-based hypothesis is that microtubules play a structural role in cells, but make no special contribution to data processing, such as occurs in consciousness.
    I highlighted the important part for you. It is not Penrose's claim that microtubules have been shown to be pivotal to consciousness (as far as I'm aware). That is entirely your claim.
    That's not why I'm not qualified to critique Penrose (on this particular topic).

    But, back at you. What makes you think you're qualified to say that Penrose (or what you think Penrose says) is right?
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    This may explain. WT is an infra-red telescope.

  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps it may be irrelevant you. It isn't to me, ok?
    Apparently you need constant reminder of what science tells us that microtubules do and in the absence of a large electron microscope data base, illustrations will have to do.

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    1.................................................. 2 ............................................................. 3....................................................
    No I am trying to overcome objections that research of the role microtubules play in the processing and transmission of data and by extension if that is relevant to the emergent phenomenon of conscious thought and self-awareness, by posting a massive number of quotes and links to different reliable science sites.
    This was in response to my first few postings several years ago, on the subject that was immediately dismissed as an isolated example of speculation by two demented minds (Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose). I remember the sarcasm as if it was yesterday.

    I am still waiting for you to admit that research in the role microtubules play in the cytoskeleton and the neural system is fundamental to the emergence of conscious awareness. I'll keep posting new material as it comes along, even if parts of it reiterate comments from previous posts by different scientists. IMO, that tends to strengthen the argument rather than weaken it as you suggest.
    No, you have not, I have as supporting evidence of the function microtubules play in neural data processing and transmission.
    No I am quoting the findings of serious experiments by qualified scientists. If they are re-writing the laws of neural data processing that is a "good thing".
    No, you have not suggested any potential alternatives at all.
    Or it might be typical of conservative resistance to new areas of science, in this case at nano-scales which is only recently accessible with modern microscopy and electromagnetic (and chemical) spectroscopy.
    I never underestimate the readers in this forum. You seem to underestimate my ability to do research and find related research dispersed to such an extent that few research labs are cooperating en masse, unless it is during a pandemic like COVID. I have noted before that in many articles about a variety of cellular structures microtubules are identified by different names. I have seen about 5 different names for microtubules and the term "neurons" is one of them. To use the term "neuron" in relation to intra-cellular and inter-cellular data transmission is about as accurate as using the term "electrical wire" too indicate electromagnetic data transmission in a computer.
    Not if the processes involve electromagnetic data transmission. Then the pattern is a confirmation of a common type process.
    Oh I have posted several quotes to that effect, but you don't read my quotes, so your conclusions are premature and prejudicial.
    My personal claim is that in my experience (admittedly limited) I have never seen a more promising candidate for a massive sensory data processing network acquiring an evolving awareness of the data being processed, than that established by the microtubular network.
    It is just unfair to remind everyone that scientific theory is always open to revision from new data. Yet you are demanding that I present indisputable proofs that are carved in stone, rejecting the new data I am citing, quoting, and links to reputable science sites, and not even bothering to see what the hullaballoo is all about, because the concept of microtubules is new to you. I'll wager that until I introduced the subject you had never heard the term microtubule in relation to neural networks, right?
    So you do admit cells do communicate (by any means). Bacteria also communicate chemically, it is called "quorum sensing". Any objections to that?
    But it is the microtubule bundles inside the neuronal axons that do the transporting.
    Where do you get your information from? Tealeaves?
    They process the information. When some of the 86-90 billion microtubules in the brain experience "catastrophe", the result is a loss of mental acuity and is demonstrably associated with Alzheimer's disease.(Hameroff).
    Dementia is caused by the gradual loss of microtubules from old age.
    Where do you get your information? More tea leaves or squeezing the goat's testicles?
    I have told you before that I do not claim anything other than what I quote from more "knowledgeable" minds. Call me a messenger. If I misinterpret the message then cite an instance where my understanding of the quoted (and read) passages. If I am so off the rails it should be easy to find an example where my interpretation is completely wrong.
    NO. I need to tell you only why scientists doing the research believe they are pivotal to "consciousness". I am the messenger. I try to be dilligent.
    But I have done most of the work. Apparently, you see quote marks as some kind of barrier that ought to be replaced by my "own words".
    Do you have your own words?

    Wrong. I have included the structural role of microtubules a long long time ago. But apparently, you are not familiar with microtubule bundling in neural axons that end in the 125 trillion synapses in the brain. I am sure you are familiar with synapses?

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member


    The synaptic life of microtubules


    1) Microtubules are an essential component of the neurotransmission machinery.

    2) Structural and functional plasticity depends on dynamic microtubules.

    3) Dysfunctional microtubule dynamics at synapses may underlie neurological disease.

    (pdf available.)
    No it is not. Penrose specifically mentioned that he was intrigued by the apparent non-neural communication between individual cells throughout the body, which he suspected was facilitated by the microtubules in the cytoplasm itself.

    He believes that at this level one may begin to think about data in the form of qubits.

    Perhaps I need to remind you that neurons are cells that have hundreds of microtubules inside their cytoplasm, as well as in the transport axons and dendrites.

    The initial objections that this was to wet and warn environment for reliable quantum processes have been resolved and it is now accepted that quantum data processing may indeed take place in individual cells and shared with adjoining cells, in effect making the entire body a data processing machine.
    No disrespect was intended. I was specifically addressing Penrose's area of expertise. And if he says this is worthy of investigation, I take that to mean he is impressed with this nano-scale dipolar coil that numerically dwarfs all other cells and organelles in the body.
    He admitted he had never heard of microtubules until Hameroff contacted him after reading the Emperor's Mind.
    Penrose made his remarks after attending workshops and real-time demonstration and observation of microtubule behaviour.
    Do you believe that he is eager to waste time on a dead-end street, unless he was impressed with the potential utility of microtubules in the processing and transport of electrochemical data? When Penrose speaks, I listen.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    That's because you have a bad case of confirmation bias. You're determined to "discover" links to microtubules and your other one or two fixations in just about everything. Now we discover that a text that contains not a single mention of microtubules can still tell us a lot about them - somehow.

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    I don't recall whether somebody said that, but it certain wouldn't have been me. I would never have called Penrose a "demented mind", for sure. (But, see below for more comments on Penrose.)
    I'll admit it as soon as you can provide some convincing research that shows it is the case. It's been years now, hasn't it, and still you haven't reached that lofty goal.
    No amount of quotes from scientists saying "Maybe microtubules have a role to play in consciousness" or "It is possible that microtubules process data" is going to strengthen your argument that the proof of these things is done and dusted. You'll need something far more solid than mere speculation.[/quote]
    Yes I have. I have suggested that consciousness is a function of processing that goes on in the neural networks of the brain. As far as I'm aware, there's no convincing evidence that any quantum processing happens or is necessary. You have not established that neural information transfer must operate at a lower level than the electro-chemical signals in neurons as a whole. That is, you have not established that any quantum processing goes on inside microtubules - or indeed any data processing at all.
    Ah, the typical cry of the crank: all scientists except crank scientists are dogmatic and unimaginative, and there's a conspiracy to reject crank science. This is the argument the crank makes when he can't back up crank science with evidence (or even a coherent explanation).
    Do you think reading dictionaries is "doing research"?
    It's often hard to find reliable research on fringe scientific topics. Especially hard to find scientists to support crank claims and over-reach (though there are always some who'll do that, at the expense of their professional reputations).
    You probably shouldn't bother reading anything from somebody who is unable to distinguish clearly between a neuron and a microtubule. They will most likely be unqualified to tell you anything useful about either.
    Congratulations. You've just crossed the line into New Age mystical thinking. Next you'll be following Deepak Chopra.

    Nothing in proper science says that if things superficially look similar, they must have the same underlying processes going on, or that they must be related in some other way.

    Look up paradoleia to see lots of examples of things that look like faces, mountains, Kermit the Frog etc., but which have no other relation to those things.
    Now, now, don't going telling lies for your faith! Bad Write4U!

    If you really had posted many such quotes, you would have been able to reproduce at least one. Who do you think you're fooling?
    As far as I'm aware, microtubules don't do sensory data processing. At least, you haven't shown me anything that suggests they do, so far.

    Define "data processing". That usually involves input, manipulation and output of something "processed". Tell me what the inputs and outputs are for microtubules, specifically, and what gets processed, exactly.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    No strawmen, please!

    I don't require indisputable proofs. I ask you only for some evidence that points unambiguously towards the conclusions you want to draw.
    For the most part, I haven't "rejected" the validity of what you've posted. All I have said is that most of it is irrelevant for the argument you're trying to make about consciousness and quantum processing.
    Wrong. What year did Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind come out? Because that would be the year I bought a copy and first read about his speculations on microtubules. IIRC, it was around the late 1980s (?)

    In other words, chances are very good indeed that I was aware of microtubules long before you were. Not that it matters, other than to deflate your ego bubble a little.
    Of course! Biology 101.

    Yes. Quorum sensing, as I understand it, is a very specific type of interaction in groups of bacteria. It is not a general cellular process.

    Transporting of what?
    No. It's called getting a good education. It's called reading critically. It's called listening to reliable teachers. That kind of thing.
    Please give me a step-by-step outline of the procedures by which a microtubule takes information and processes it to produce a different output. You are free to choose any information-carrying thing that might be processed by a microtubule. Step me through what goes on.
    As far as I'm aware, the jury is out on what causes dementia. We know that dementia is associated with build-up of amaloid plaques in the brain. I'm admittedly not up with the latest research on where those come from, though. If I were to search "role of microtubules in dementia", would I get lots of hits showing that microtubules cause dementia?
    So you don't believe that it has been shown that consciousness comes from quantum processing in microtubules? (Because nobody worth listening to seems to be saying that.)
    I've already done that on a number of occasions, as you will recall. Mostly, though, what you post is just irrelevant, rather than being wrong, per se.
    Okay. Maybe try that, for a change.
    Your claim is that microtubules do the "data processing", not activities in synapses and at the higher neural level. That's what you need to establish.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Is this you, or a quote from somebody else? If the latter, you ought to cite the source.

    You follow this with an "abstract" from an article you cite, but is it all part of the same thing?

    The abstract talks about the structural role of microtubules, referring to the "microtubule cytoskeleton". There's nothing about quantum mechanics or data processing there, as far as I can see.
    Was this 40 years ago? What has Penrose published lately on the topic? Anything?
    Yes, and microtubules are made of billions of atoms, but nobody is claiming that atoms do "data processing" or cause consciousness, directly.
    This is the bit you added to that idea, isn't it? It's where you go off the rails.
    Penrose was interested in microtubules 30-40 years ago, with some speculative ideas, certainly.

    As for his expertise, it is not in biology or microbiology. It is in mathematics and mathematical physics. So, on the topic of microtubules he is operating outside his field of expertise. Which, I might add, he freely admitted in The Emperor's New Mind. (I am not criticising Penrose.)
    What has he said lately?
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Of course it can when the text mentions neurons.
    If I write a text that says "to be or not to be" but don't mention the author, can you tell me a lot about the person who wrote that?
    There is a science that deals with that very concept. It is called "a large number of rare events distribution". In lexicology it refers to the specific words and composition that identifies authorship.

    If I text about the circulatory system of arteries and veins, but do not mention blood, does that mean you cannot tell me anything about the fluid that is transported through that system?

    Ability to draw inferences from various sources with a common denominator can be very helpful in coming to a deeper understanding of the common denominator.

    In the case of consciousness in octopi, the fact that one of the few things an octopus shares with humans is microtubules . An octopus has 9 brains and blue hemocyanin based blood. But it shares microtubules in its neural system

    As Roger Antonsen posits that ability to see a thing from different perspectives makes for greater understanding of that thing. I strive to see things from different perspectives.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Sighs, I did in post 2274. But here it is again:
    That is not a fair question. It is not his area of expertise as you posited.

    But there is recent research:
    (Figure 2).

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    Figure 2. A multi-scale hierarchy in which Orch OR can occur. From left, cortical pyramidal neuron, microtubule network, single microtubule, row of tubulins displaying collective dipoles, tubulin with pi resonance amino acid rings and anesthetic binding sites (spheres), pi resonance dipole oscillations with anesthetic dampening. At bottom, self-similar dynamical activity repeats at different scales (Sahu et al 2014; Saxena et al, 2020)

    I already cited several other sites that are reporting on recent research . The field has become too big with hundreds of research results in the several areas associated with microtubule functions, for me to fill another 100 pages.

    If by now I have not piqued your interest, I see little future in catering to your demands. I'll just continue to post when I run across new info and if anyone else is interested, all they need do is type "microtubules" in Google search and get directed to many sites and formal papers in addition to what I have already posted.

    Microtubules are my hobby, not my obsession.

    p.s. biological or artificial microtubules are now being considered in AI development.

    Self-assembled artificial microtubules developed

    Microtubules as a molecular computer model for artificial intelligence
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Part of the reason I finally put him on Iggy

    He put me in mind of the finger wagging teacher

    Now listen here blah finger wag blah finger wag blah finger wag blah

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