Archive for September, 2013

Mind-Like Universe

Posted by

Mind-Like Universe Based on Paul Davies’s ‘Universes Galore’ – In: Universe or Multiverse, Ed. Carr, B. (2007) ISBN 978-0-521-84841-1 hardback In discussing the currently fashionable multiverse theory, Davies argues that it is not valid to simply propose that the inflationary phase of the early universe produced bubble universes, of which one happens to support organic life. Random production of universes is argued to be capable of producing paradoxes, for instance a finite universe with an Read more […]

The Myths We Live By

Posted by

Mary Midgley Routledge (Taylor Francis Group) (2003) Midgley is critical of many aspects of modern scientific thinking. Much of this remains rooted in the 17th – 19th century mechanical physics rather than the acausality of modern physics. She examines the currently fashionable idea of explaining the mind in terms of epiphenomalism, with consciousness claimed to be a by-product of mental processes that can have no influence on the workings of the brain. She highlights the problem of why evolution Read more […]

Three Roads to Quantum Gravity

Posted by

Lee Smolin Wiedenfeld & Nicholson Smolin highlights the argument that space or spacetime is not continous but comes in discrete units, and further that these discrete units represent an organised structure. He stresses the conflict between relativity and quantum theory and argues that a theory of quantum gravity is needed to bridge the gap, describe the nature of spacetime and ultimately the origin of the universe. In relativity, gravity manifests the structure of spacetime, which is Read more […]

Harold Atmanspacher

Posted by

Quantum Approaches to Consciousness Harald Atmanspacher Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Atmanspacher starts his article by stressing that the randomness inherent in quantum theory is in sharp contrast to the determinism that permeates classical physics. This randomness is a fundamental characteristic of the theory, not a result of ignorance of the full system, as is the case in statistical mechanics. Atmanspacher is also careful to draw a clear distinction between correlation and Read more […]

Aesthetics and emotion

Posted by

Aesthetics   Emotion, consciousness, aesthetics and subjective value assessments   Neuroaesthetics Eds: Martin Skrov & Oshin Vartanian INTRODUCTION: The parts of the this book dealt with here emphasise the role of the orbitofrontal and other brains regions connected with emotional processing in the creation of aesthetic preferences. In these studies, aesthetic preference does not appear to be the result of the rational processing of abstract rules, but of a value assessment based Read more […]

Ellis on technology

Posted by Ellis takes a generally sceptical view of cosmology’s attempts to explain the origins of the universe, and in particular emphasises the difficulties of substantiating the currently fashionable inflation theory. He argues that attempts at explaining the origin of the universe depend on assuming that at least some of the laws that govern spacetime in our universe also comprised a pre-existing set of physical laws before the Big Bang. They assume the properties of Read more […]

Quantum entanglement in hot systems

Posted by

Persistent dynamic entanglement from classical motion: How bio-molecular machines can generate non-trivial quantum states Guerreschi, G., Cai, J., Popescu, S. & Briegel, H., Universities of Innsbruck, Ulm and Bristol arXiv: 1111.2126v1 [quant-ph] 9 Nov 2011 The authors’ model studies the cyclic regeneration of quantum entanglement in hot systems. This looks to open the road to modelling or even experimental simulation that would constitute a possible test for/falsification Read more […]

Protein structure and function

Posted by

Protein Structure and Function Gregory Petsko & Dagmar Ringe Oxford University Press, 2009 Keyword:  biochemical functions of proteins, enzyme proteins, resonance This book is summarised simply as a useful recent text book on protein with no reference to consciousness. The summary is provided, because  of the indications, highlighted on the rest of this site, that the physical presence of consciousness in the brain is in some bound up with the mechanism of protein, which even in Read more […]

Introduction to protein

Posted by

Introduction to Protein Structure (Part 1: Basic structural principles and folding of protein) Carl Branden & John Toose, Karolinska Institute & Imperial Cancer Research Taylor & Francis Group The preface of this book sets out the tenet that biological reactions cannot be understood except through the structure of participating molecules. The functional properties of protein depend on their three-dimensional structure. Proteins are formed out of chains of amino acids known as Read more […]

Organism and machine

Posted by

Organism and Machine Michael Denton In: Are We Spiritual Machines?  Ed. Jay Richards Michael Denton’s chapter is critical of the prevailing brain as a machine paradigm. He claims that the underlying design of organic systems is not at all analogous to the design of machines. All the parts of an organism influence each other, in a way which is not true of machines. Denton says that this principle is well illustrated by the structure of protein, the basic building block of life. The Read more […]