Quantum 2.0: At the beating heart of biology

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Quantum 2.0: At the beating heart of biology

Quote:What is life? The question was posed by famous theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger, and now advances in quantum mechanics could help provide the answer

Quote:Professor Schrödinger therefore argued that to achieve this level of accuracy, genes should contain small numbers of molecules whose behaviour was governed by quantum mechanics.

He went on to propose that heredity and life are ultimately controlled by quantum mechanics and that genes must act like a solid or ‘aperiodic crystal’, which encodes information. Almost a decade later, and inspired by Professor Schrödinger’s vision, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the ordered (aperiodic) structure of DNA.

It’s perhaps not surprising to think that quantum mechanics plays a role in biology – after all, the rules of quantum mechanics dictate how molecules interact and bind to form larger molecules, which ultimately gives rise to life.
So, at the heart of biology lies quantum mechanics.


Schrodinger's What is Life? is an interesting read:

Quote:Do animals also have souls? It has even  been questioned whether women, or only men, have souls. Such consequences, even if only tentative, must  make us suspicious of the plurality hypothesis, which is common to all official Western creeds. Are we not inclining to much greater nonsense, if in discarding their gross superstitions we retain their naive idea of plurality of souls, but 'remedy' it by declaring the souls to be perishable, to be annihilated with the respective bodies? The only possible alternative is simply to keep to the immediate experience that consciousness is a singular of less is never which the plural is unknown; that there is only one thing and Even in the that what seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different personality aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian MAJA); the same illusion is produced in a gallery of mirrors,  and in the same way Gaurisankar and Mt Everest turned out to be the same peak seen from different  valleys. There are, of course, elaborate ghost-stories fixed in our minds to hamper our acceptance of such  simple recognition. E.g. it has been said that there is a tree there outside my window but I do not really see the tree. By some cunning device of which only the initial, relatively simple steps are itself explored, the real tree throws an image of itself into my the physical consciousness, and that is what I perceive. If you  stand by my side and look at the same tree, the latter manages to throw an image into your soul as well. I  see my tree and you see yours (remarkably like mine), and what the tree in itself is we do not know. For  this extravagance Kant is responsible. In the order of ideas which regards consciousness as a singular tanturn it is conveniently replaced by the statement that there is obviously only one tree and all the image business is a ghost-story. Yet each of us has the indisputable impression that the sum total of his own experience and memory forms a unit, quite distinct from that of any other person. He refers to it as 'I' and What is this 'I'? If you analyse it closely you will, I think, find that it is just the facts little more than a collection of single data (experiences and memories), namely the canvas upon which they are collected.

And you will, on close introspection, find that what you really mean by 'I' is that ground-stuff upon which they are collected. You may come to a distant country, lose sight of all your friends, may all but forget them; you acquire new friends, you share life with them as intensely as you ever did with your old ones.

Less and less important will become the fact that, while living your new life, you still recollect the old one. “The youth that was I', you may come to speak of him in the third person, indeed the protagonist of the novel you are reading is probably nearer to your heart, certainly more intensely alive and better known to you. Yet there has been no intermediate break, no death. And even if a skilled hypnotist succeeded in blotting out entirely all your earlier reminiscences, you would not find that he had killed you. In no case is there a loss of personal existence to deplore. Nor will there ever be.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

The Quest for Consciousness: A Quantum Neurobiological Approach.

Henry Stapp

Quote:...An important characteristic of this quantum conceptualization is that the substantive matter-like aspects, have dropped out. The theory is about: (1) abrupt events, each of which is tied to an experiential increment in knowledge; and (2) potentialities for such events to occur. Events are not substances, which, by definition, endure. And the potentialities have an “idea-like” character because they are like an “imagined” idea of what the future events might be, and they change abruptly when a new event occurs. Thus neither the events nor the potentialities have the ontological character the substantive matter of classical physics. Yet the predictions of quantum mechanics encompass all of the known successes of classical mechanics...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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