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Hard Problem Hameroff - Thinking Allowed
#1
New Thinking Allowed with Stuart Hammeroff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv4Arl9v9NY

I'd heard most of this before, but the thing that I had a hard time with was his description of "pleasure" and "pain" in a proto-consciousness arising in (or channeled through) the most basic organic molecules. He described these molecules as vibrating in the terahertz range in a state of super-position that could be objectively reduced and that could be an "experience" which could be either pleasurable or painful and motivate the molecules to change. I'm not sure what those words "pleasure" and "pain" even mean at that level of simplification.

Also, I would agree with him that "pleasure" or "pain" and associated feedback loops of intentionality can drive evolutionary changes, but I wouldn't go so far as to say (as he seems to) that this totally replaces Dawkins' and Darwin's "selfish gene" feedback loop of natural selection. I think both are operational and that the intentionality feedback loop might possibly explain some very rapid and complex changes that are difficult for natural selection alone to explain.

All in all, I think the orchestrated objective reduction theory (Orch-OR) is viable and growing legs... Smile
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#2
(08-14-2017, 11:12 PM)Hurmanetar Wrote: All in all, I think the orchestrated objective reduction theory (Orch-OR) is viable and growing legs... Smile

One of the most frustrating things is Orch-OR has proven predictions but is maligned or its evidence outright ignored. It has more legs that many other theories which, AFAIK, have not made *any* such predictions that have been proven.

I mean two guys make a very controversial prediction about quantum vibrations in the human brain based on a mathematical argument (Godel's Theorem) and the observation of single cell organisms...years later their prediction is proven despite claims quantum biology is nonsense.

That is, IMO, an amazing feat of science...the very prediction of quantum biology decades earlier...yet it seems Penrose being a Platonist and Hammeroff being a New Ager means their theory gets maligned to the point I'm not even sure the verification of their prediction is on Wikipedia. Likely due to the computationalist faith panicking over an anti-computationalist (in the Turing Machine sense) theory of mind making strides.

My hope is for some application of Orch-OR to a particular medical issue...at which point it's close to game over for computationalists and not a good look for materialists either.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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#3
He is pretty much mocked for "venturing outside his expertise". And yet... Look at all the coverage that Hawking gets while spouting random nonsense about the end of the world (Aliens? Check. Robots? Check.), despite riding piggyback on Penrose's work en route to his 'innovative' outlook at black holes (Which he now denies, because... Reasons)
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..."
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#4
(08-17-2017, 07:43 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I mean two guys make a very controversial prediction about quantum vibrations in the human brain based on a mathematical argument (Godel's Theorem) and the observation of single cell organisms...years  later their prediction is proven despite claims quantum biology is nonsense.

That is, IMO, an amazing feat of science...the very prediction of quantum biology decades earlier...yet it seems Penrose being a Platonist and Hammeroff being a New Ager means their theory gets maligned to the point I'm not even sure the verification of their prediction is on Wikipedia. Likely due to the computationalist faith panicking over an anti-computationalist (in the Turing Machine sense) theory of mind making strides.

Do you have a link about the predictions they've made that have been validated?

Just checked Wikipedia (not expecting such a controversial article to be fair) and it notes that Hammeroff made 20 testable predictions in 1998 but doesn't say that any were validated.
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#5
(08-22-2017, 04:16 PM)Hurmanetar Wrote: Do you have a link about the predictions they've made that have been validated?

Just checked Wikipedia (not expecting such a controversial article to be fair) and it notes that Hammeroff made 20 testable predictions in 1998 but doesn't say that any were validated.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/art...4513001188

&

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/art...4513001905
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..."
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#6
(08-17-2017, 07:43 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I mean two guys make a very controversial prediction about quantum vibrations in the human brain based on a mathematical argument (Godel's Theorem) and the observation of single cell organisms...years  later their prediction is proven despite claims quantum biology is nonsense.

That is, IMO, an amazing feat of science...the very prediction of quantum biology decades earlier...yet it seems Penrose being a Platonist and Hammeroff being a New Ager means their theory gets maligned to the point I'm not even sure the verification of their prediction is on Wikipedia. Likely due to the computationalist faith panicking over an anti-computationalist (in the Turing Machine sense) theory of mind making strides.

My hope is for some application of Orch-OR to a particular medical issue...at which point it's close to game over for computationalists and not a good look for materialists either.
My feeling is that Penrose did a fantastic job of destroying the idea that consciousness is a computation - or indeed something isomorphic to a computation. This rules out anything that could in principle be simulated from being conscious.

After that, maybe he lost his way a bit, because he introduced the idea of some hypothetical physical processes that could never, in principle, be simulated on a computer - Let's call them Non Simulatable Elements (NSE's).

His idea is that consciousness might be constructed out of NSE's. However, although NSE's would sidestep his elaborate argument, they don't seem to give us any positive reason to expect them to be useful in the creation of consciousness! Also, as far as I know, there is no suggestion that a microtubule i(or anything else) is actually made from NSE's!

He also points out that a certain product of fundamental physical constants has the dimension of mass, and if you plug in the values related to the hypothetical Planck scale, together with G (the gravitation constant), you actually get a mass of about 10^-5 grams - tantalisingly in the range of small biological things! His hope is that gravitation somehow enters the theory, and this might produce an NSE!

I hope I haven't distorted this too much, but without the NSE's it seems to me that microtubules can only offer a lot more computational power as compared with neurons.

I suppose that is why I have never invested too much interest in microtubules - but also my mind is very finite (at least while it is filtered by my brain) and I'd need an awfully good reason to invest serious effort to try to understand it better.

David
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