Is conscious to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Write4U, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No they don't. They are simple structures that perform simple metabolic functions within neurons. The neurons do the work.

    If you had microtubules and no neurons you'd have a soup.

    If you had neurons with no microtubules (with something else performing their simple metabolic functions) you'd still have intelligence.

    Claiming that microtubules compute is like claiming that AA cell batteries compute because you saw them inside a calculator once.
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Well, Hameroff and Penrose seem to think so.

    But I believe you may be underestimating the role and various functions microtubules fill.
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    They seem to be the earliest complex structural and dynamical transit mechanisms in biology.

    I would give the oldest such biological proto-sentient pattern an evolutionary headstart.
    From what have read so far microtubules are remarkably versatile in functions they are able to fill.

    What I don't understand is, that everyone agrees microtubules are remarkable nanostructures, but in the same breath totally dismiss the notion that microtubules may fill an important function in the eventual emergence of consciousness.

    What is the next best option? Spirituality (irreducible complexity)? Accident (isolated chance rather than probability)?

    Or perhaps an emergent quality of billions of years of refinement of a fundamental "nano communication tower" which is now found in nearly all living things on earth.
    It is a common denominator of all dynamic organisms.

    IMO, all this suggest that microtubules are not just important but "necessary" for the emergence of consciousness.

    I am not excluding all the other common bio-chemical denominators that are required for the biochemistry of life. I am focusing on those qualities that point in the direction of computational properties of biochemical structural and information transit networks which might lead to the possibility of an emergent self-referential system.

    p.s. David Bohm identified this ultimate mathematical self-referential function as "insight intelligence".
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, you wouldn't. You'd have a structure. The soup occurs without the microtubules.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    And some people think Bigfoot exists. Doesn't mean he does.
    You would have a disorganized mess of organic molecules.
    You posted something about how they are similar to carbon nanostructures. That doesn't support your claim.

    But in any case, they serve several biological functions. So does a neuron's nucleus. So do its mitochondria. So does its cell membrane. All equally important in keeping the neuron alive. And living neurons, not specific protein structures, are what give rise to intelligence.
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Are those people who think Bigfoot exists scientists? I do not present "sightings" as my sources. I always cite what scientists say. Hameroff and Penrose are "respectable' scientists. The links I provide are to informative lectures by current scientists on the state of Science and research in various new and exciting areas such as nano chemistry and technology.
    From what I have read microtubules are instrumental in organizing the "flexible"structure of organic cells and neurons. I believe they are also instrumental in cell division itself! How disorganized is that?
    Let's see if I quoted it incorrectly. From post#122
    I don't dispute any of that, but should we not ask what gives a living neuron its remarkable transmission properties? Has to be some form of dynamical behavior, no? And what is photo-synthesis?

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    Assembly of microtubules

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    IMO, one of the most persuasive arguments is made by Hameroff who demonstrates that microtubular breakdown is causal to Alzheimer Disease, the gradual onset of dementia. According to Hameroff, the catastrophic breakdown of microtubules inside the brain's neurons is the primary culprit.

    This breakdown of the microtubule causes the neuron to disintegrate (literally, fall apart). See the cover.

    IMO, this clearly indicates a direct connection between microtubules and "consciousness".
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member


    Microtubules are involved in photosynthesis?

    (biological signalling and communication essential to living processes.)?

    Do these properties provide the fundamentally required platform (scaffolding) for the emergence of "sentience" and later "consciousness"?

    Hameroff hopes to find methods of repairing (rebuilding) microtubules to cure mental degeneration or degradation. Ambitious? No doubt. But a worthy quest.
    The evidence is mounting ...

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    They think they are.
    No doubt.

    And the 9/11 Truthers claim that respectable scientists, engineers and architects can PROVE! beyond a shadow of a doubt! That those airplanes could NOT have brought down the World Trade Center.
    Sure. And now we know. Nerve impulses travel by waves of depolarization, and the signals are transmitted (synapses) across the gaps by neurotransmitters. Microtubules help out with that process. But take away any one from a neuron - neurotransmitters, nucleus, membrane, ion pumps - and you have nothing.

    However, simulate a neuron with a piece of silicon and you get exactly the same functionality. Without microtubules.
    If you took away all the water from a brain you would die.
    Does that mean water is even MORE important for consciousness than microtubules?
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I check their credentials.
    And I believe there's where you are wrong.
    Microtubules occur in paramecium which does not have a neural network. Yet it is able to navigate and learn to avoid obstacles. Without neurons, how then does it do that?
    Precisely, and we use them to build non-biological computers.
    If you took away all the water from a brain you would die.[/quote] True, but that's not the question, as I have stated several times before when you tried to introduce irrelevant facts to the OP question. Water is NOT a computing medium. That is the subject under discussion.
    I have stipulated several times that "elements" are an essential part of the universe, regardless of any other consideration.

    But microtubules are not elements, they are elementary structural polymers eminently adapted to fill a host of functions, including the eventual emergence of conscious sentience.

    Let's stick to one fundamental biological structured polymer that occurs billions of times in living bodies and brains and that is able to perform the same computations as silicone chips can in computers, but offers the advantage of an evolutionary emergent conscious sentience, which a silicone chip cannot.
    Thank for the metaphor. I agree.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The same way you can teach matchboxes to play tic-tac-toe. You don't need a neural network to learn.
    Thus proving you don't need microtubules for intelligence. Thank you for acknowledging that.
    Nor are microtubules. Thus your argument "neurons need them" is irrelevant.
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Right, you need microtubules, according to Hameroff. Pyramids of microtubules form memory modules.
    I did not say that. I said neurons are not necessary for fundamental computing abilities in simple organisms. But microtubules are.
    Incorrect, IMO, microtubules are the biological equivalent of the microchip. AI uses microchips, NI (natural intelligence) uses microtubules.

    Microtubular polymers are called "protofilaments". What filaments do they form ? Neural filaments as well as, cilia, flagella.

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    Microtubules are one of the cytoskeletal filament systems in eukaryotic cells. The microtubule cytoskeleton is involved in the transport of material within cells, carried out by motor proteins that move on the surface of the microtubule .

    Can you suggest a better existing model, other than a blanket "neurons cause consciousness" ? How about, "the brain causes consciousness". There, end of story. But then we have that sticky problem with parmecia which don't have brains....

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. All you need are matchboxes. (Or some silicon.)

    Again, do you think your point is reinforced by saying things that are completely wrong? You seem to think that repetition increases the value of your incorrect statements.
    Matchboxes do not have microtubules. But they can learn.
    NPU's do not have microtubules. But they can learn.
    Bacteria do not have microtubules. But they can learn.

    Scientists Show Bacteria Can 'Learn' And Plan Ahead
    June 18, 2009
    Weizmann Institute of Science
    Scientists have shown that microorganisms can "learn" through evolution to anticipate upcoming events and prepare for them.

    Bacteria can anticipate a future event and prepare for it, according to new research at the Weizmann Institute of Science. In a paper that appeared June 17 in Nature, Prof. Yitzhak Pilpel, doctoral student Amir Mitchell and research associate Dr. Orna Dahan of the Institute's Molecular Genetics Department, together with Prof. Martin Kupiec and Gal Romano of Tel Aviv University, examined microorganisms living in environments that change in predictable ways.


    What function of a neural network is replicated in a microtubule?
    You just stated something incorrect, said "that's incorrect" and then thought that you made some sort of point.

    So far pretty much everything you stated has been completely incorrect. You really need to learn a little bit about what you are talking about before you post and make a fool of yourself.
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I'll just ignore thar as being irrelevant.
    I have not yet heard a coherent refutation of the points I made.
    This is not a new observation. I posted a reference to the learning abilities of single celled slime molds several pages ago, which clearly demonstrates that the microtubules in slime molds are able to learn specific recurring events.

    If anything, this supports my viewpoint that proto-sentient structures started very early on in the evolution of living things. Microtubules do fit that description.

    Can you cite another structural polymer which comes even close to providing the range of microtubular abilities?
    What function of a computer network is replicated in a microchip? Processing of information?
    I have yet to hear a scientific refutation of my proposed "possible" solution to the problem of emergent consciousness.

    Even Max Tegmark, whom I like for different reasons, was incorrect in his argument against Hameroff and Penrose in that brain wetness and heat would render microtubules unusable for quantum processes. An actual experiment showed that Tegmark was incorrect in this instance and that microtubules are very well able to function in that manner. And I am not even talking about quantum processes at all.

    That come later.......

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    Even Exchemist (my harshest critic) stipulated to that, which I truly appreciated....

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Human consciousness is the ability to hallucinate an internal vision of external reality. There is no guarantee that these hallucinations are compatible or empathic with others.
    When they do, it reinforces the common experience of reality.

    I would compare a computer monitor as a network (brain) which able to project the external images processed by the computer via the monitor in the form of collections of pixels.

    Example; if your color adjustments on your monitor screens are not identical the viewers will have a diverse opinion as to what color, shade, or hue they were watching.

    Same thing with brains. Each brain is an autonomous computer and internal projector of external stimulus. They are all "tuned" (programmed from experience) just a little differently....

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    IMO, there is very little fundamental difference between NI and AI.
    One is organic, the other is inorganic.

    As Seth says, "you don't have to be smart to feel pain, but you probably have to be alive."
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

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