Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

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

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  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, you are missing the point.
    You are attempting to rid me of my ideas about microtubules (and the neural network) without offering a creditable alternative because you are hopelessly stuck on the "hard question" that no one has yet been able to solve.
    So I am pursuing the approach that Tegmark suggests, by starting to identify "hard facts" that may be instrumental in the emergence of consciousness.
    A microtubule is a "hard fact" despite your protestations. I list all the information processing functions that MT are demonstrably capable of and leave the scientific minutia to the scientist doing the actual research into the biochemical mechanics.

    IMO, there is overwhelming evidence that microtubules are prominently responsible for the evolution and emergence of consciousness.
    They are the single "common denominator" in all Eukaryotic life from single-celled organisms to large-brained multicellular biomes, which suggests they are responsible for the ability to evolve at all, whereas the Prokaryotes have remained in a purely biochemically reactive state without any remarkable evolutionary advances since the emergence of life itself. And why is that?
    They lack microtubules!

    What extravagant claims?

    The OP asks a question as to the possibility that ORCH OR may be the most promising approach to solving the mystery of consciousness.
    Apparently, in spite of the abundant information I have presented, that simple proposition has flown right over your head, every time, without fail in spite of the abundant trove of information as to the communicative abilities of microtubules.

    What you have continuously done is poo poo thousands of researchers engaged in the very thing I am quoting with links to formal papers and publications. I am just a messenger and you are constantly killing the message by killing the messenger. It is an old practice to stifle newsworthy information from spreading.
    I have yet to see a serious attempt to contribute.
    Or inability to appreciate the Big questions.

    Tell me about the tons of important and interesting science that trump the science of "consciousness"? Are you kidding me?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  3. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Nope he is spot on, you are completely and unreasonably obsessed by this topic.
    exchemist and billvon like this.
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And why should that bother you?
    Seems to me that you are completely and unreasonably obsessed with me. It's unhealthy.....

    I am beginning to suspect that your disinterest is entirely due to your inability to think outside the box and abstract concepts such as consciousness are entirely beyond your ability to comprehend.

    On second thought, I am no longer going be distracted by your obnoxious and utterly useless presence.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  7. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Dunno, just does.
    Great, I can comment, with out your insipient replies.
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Against my better judgment, I will reply once again.
    Your fantasies about microtubules (call them "hypotheses" if your prefer) are not the problem. The problem is that you can't support your wild claims. Believe what you like, but so far you are completely failing to convince anybody to join you in your obsession.

    It is not up to me to disprove your claims, or to offer alternatives (although, I have suggested one or two possibilities you could look into). It is up to you to convince us that your claims can stand up to scrutiny.
    Your worship of Tegmark is one of the other topics you're obsessed with. Tegmark doesn't even talk about microtubules, does he? You're just desperate to confect links between your obsessions.
    I do not deny the existence of microtubules.
    IMO, there is zero evidence that microtubules are prominently responsible for the evolution and emergence of consciousness. So, nyah!

    Now what are you going to do?
    How many other potential common denominators have you considered and rejected? None? I thought so.

    Clearly you have no idea what enables the "ability to evolve at all". You're just talking nonsense.
    No, that's not why.
    Anything is possible. Not much progress has been made on ORCH OR, so far, though.
    I think you're ignoring the communicative abilities of oil pipelines, which are comparable, no doubt.
    None of the ones you've cited so far seem to be engaged in the thing you're engaged in.
    I'm not here to clue you in on Science News, Write4U. Widen your horizons. There are plenty of good science news outlets. See if you can find some. Hint: don't use the words "Tegmark" or "microtubule" in your search term.
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I am not interested in theories I am interested in facts.

    Remove your alternatives and nothing changes, they are theories.
    Remove microtubules and conscious thought disappears. The proof lies in Alzheimers Disease and the practical use of anesthetics. There is no known substitute for rendering consciousness unconscious other than blunt trauma.

    I know the burden lies with the claimant, but in the absence of alternate less complicated practical substitutes, Occam rules. There are only microtubules and their related filaments that process sensory data. There is nothing else.

    I don't ask for any alternative theory, I ask for an alternative qualifying physical system. Do you have one?
    I am not trying to answer the "hard question". I am posing the question in the Thread title.

    I am engaged in gathering "hard facts" from which the answers will emerge spontaneously with expanded and deeper knowledge of microtubule functions. And that quest has spawned thriving research in the properties and abilities of the microtubule network and especially their functional role in the brain by hundreds, if not thousands of researchers. They are all wasting their time? Come now ... really?

    So far, you are the only one that has actually made an attempt at scrutiny. And I have made an honest effort to answer your audits with research into relevant publications. I don't claim to have the answers. I am making a simple claim that there is a case that can be made for the microtubule (neural) network being the substrate from which consciousness emerges.

    AFAIK, there is no other possible substitute.

    I know you also think Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are charlatans, but hey, this forum is for exposing frauds, even if they are Nobel laureates , right?
    The hubris is astounding.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2023
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes there is abundant evidence that microtubules are prominently responsible for the emergence of consciousness.

    How do you render a person, or any other brained organism, unconscious other than hitting them on the head with a baseball bat?

    Can you answer this simple question? Hameroff can, he does it every day in his practice as anesthesiologist.
    Proof is abundant, you just fail to make the connection. You advise me to widen my horizons while admonishing me that my horizons are too wide. Make up your mind and make an effort to "follow" the evidence as presented by the hard facts.
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Microtubules have not evolved since the appearance of Eukaryotes. That is why they are a common denominator in all Eukaryotic organisms and responsible for the evolution of sensory acuteness and eventual conscious awareness of self in relation to the environment.

    It is these hard facts that are being totally ignored. Microtubules are all the same, but their incredible versatility allows them to be used for a myriad of informational duties and distributional transport of electro-chemical data throughout the body. These are "proven" hard facts and you need no longer ask for proof. Proof has been provided and all my posts confirm these hard facts. This is why I posted all those seemingly disparate functions that microtubules perform. They all deal with information processing!

    My argument is that in the absence of any other "hard facts" we must accept the current science that the neural network and specifically the microtubules and related filaments and their synaptic connections are the "functional" information processors within every Eukaryotic organic system at every evolutionary stage.

    And if that knowledge remains unchanged it is perfectly reasonable to propose that the microtubule network is the substrate from which consciousness emerges as a "result greater than the sum of its parts" a perfectly scientifically acceptable phenomenon.

    The interesting part about my use of both "ORCH OR" and Tegmark's "Mathematical patterns" is the fact that in spite of Tegmark's opposition to ORCH OR (orchestrated objective reduction) in favor of Tononi's IIT ( integrated information theory) which actually describes the exact same concept but from slightly different perspective and most importantly, does not rule out but in fact, also requires the microtubule (neural ) network as the necessary information processing mechanism. That's a hard fact!
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2023
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    On further research, perhaps microtubules have evolved specific adaptions to various functions. Apparently these changes do not affect the fundamental construction of microtubules but use variations of multiple microtubule organizational patterns for different transportation abilities.

    Post-translational regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton: mechanisms and functions

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    Cartoon representation of the structure of α(yellow)/β(red)-tubulin heterodimer, GTP and GDP.[11]
    In eukaryotes, microtubules are long, hollow cylinders made up of polymerised α- and β-tubulin dimers.[12] The inner space of the hollow microtubule cylinders is referred to as the lumen. The α and β-tubulin subunits are ~50% identical at the amino acid level, and both have a molecular weight of approximately 50 kDa.[13][14]

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Filaments in Protists

    A protist (/ˈproʊtɪst/) is any eukaryoticorganism (that is, an organism whose cells contain a cell nucleus) that is not an animal, plant, or fungus. While it is likely that protists share a common ancestor (the last eukaryotic common ancestor),[3] the exclusion of other eukaryotes means that protists do not form a natural group, or clade.[a][/quote]

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    A sampling of protists, composed of images from Wikimedia Commons. Clockwise from top left: red algae (Chondrus crispus); brown algae (Giant Kelp); ciliate (Frontonia); golden algae (Dinobryon); Foraminifera (Radiolaria); parasitic flagellate (Giardia muris); pathogenic amoeba (Acanthamoeba); amoebozoan slime mold (Fuligo septica)

    Protist tubulins: new arrivals, evolutionary relationships and insights to cytoskeletal function, Keith Gull
    Introduction: tubulins — α to η

    Note that protist already display various abilities of microtubules regulating specific reactions to external stimuli.
    At this fundamental stage, microtubules already control the quasi-intelligent behavior of the organisms.
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    And before this Prokaryotic bacteria already used a simpler form of tubulins for information processing, such as "quorum sensing".

    Microtubules in bacteria: Ancient tubulins build a five-protofilament homolog of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton

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

    If you remove the brain then conscious thought disappears. That doesn't mean the microtubules are the culprit. You need to prove that.
    Where can I read this proof that microtubules are responsible for consciousness, as established by studies of Alzheimer's and anesthetics?
    You just mentioned anaesthetics. Also, there's this thing called sleep...
    You have yet to show that microtubules process any data at all.
    Yes. It's called a brain.
    When do you plan on getting around to making your case?
    I do not think Penrose is a charlatan. Please don't put words in my mouth. I don't know enough about Hammeroff to have an opinion on whether he is a charlatan. I suspect, due to the company he keeps, that he probably isn't, but anything is possible.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What's the single best piece of evidence you know of that supports that contention?
    Bore them to sleep?
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    How do you know?
    Please explain what the microtubules do that makes them responsible for any kind of evolution. How do the microtubules cause something to evolve?
    What's an "informational duty", exactly?

    First, this is not a finding of any "current science" I'm aware of. Second, you've given no reason at all for making microtubules some kind of default explanation. Worse, you've failed to show they can explain any aspect of consciousness at all.
    Word salad.
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Hameroff proves it every time he anesthetizes a person.
    He is the one claiming that it is the microtubules that respond to aesthetics and cause unconsciousness.

    The Biology of General Anesthesia from Paramecium to Primate
    Max B. Kelz1,2,3 and George A. Mashour4,5,6 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, 3620 Hamilton Walk, 334 John Morgan Building, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA 2Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Translational Research Laboratories, 125 S. 31st St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-3403, USA 3Mahoney Institute for Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Clinical Research Building, 415 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA 4Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, 7433 Medical Science Building 1, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA 5Center for Consciousness Science, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA 6Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA Correspondence: (M.B.K.), (G.A.M.)
    All connected by the microtubule network.
    Moreover, it is the gradual onset of microtubule catastrophe that causes Alzheimer's disease.

    Microtubule dynamics and the neurodegenerative triad of Alzheimer's disease: The hidden connection
    Roland Brandt1, Lidia Bakota1
    © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

    Keywords: cytoskeleton; dendritic spines; microtubule dynamics; tau protein.

    and related astrocytes that are connected via the microtubule (axonal) network

    3. Astrocytes are Intimately Associated with Neuronal Functions

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    Note that any actual communication requires axonal (microtubular) transport of action potentials (a) and synapses are the terminal ends of microtubule bundles inside axons.

    Dynamic microtubules at the synapse
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    It has been noted that the fundamental self-organization of the Eukaryotic microtubule has not changed since the first time it evolved from the prokaryotic simpler version.
    It's like asking if Graphene atomic polymer structure has evolved.

    There are related filaments and organelles that work in tandem with microtubules, but the main information highways are microtubules in the cytoskeleton, cytoplasm, and neuronal axons.
    That was not the question. The question was how microtubules evolved ..... difference.

    But to answer your question. Genetic mutation happens during mitosis and microtubules are the "duplicating machine" via the mitotic spindle.

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    Figure 11.39
    Intracellular organization of microtubules. The minus ends of microtubules are anchored in the centrosome. In interphase cells, the centrosome is located near the nucleus and microtubules extend outward to the cell periphery. During mitosis, duplicated (more...)

    Microtubules are all the same, but their incredible versatility allows them to be used for a myriad of informational duties and distributional transport of electro-chemical data throughout the body.
    That which natural selection has selected for best performance The Eukaryotic microtubule is able to process more complex forms of information than the Prokaryotic simpler version and that allowed for greater evolutionary diversity in Eukaryotic organisms as is self-evident.

    Biological Information
    First published Thu Oct 4, 2007; substantive revision Wed Mar 23, 2016
    What about that is nonsense?
    And please stop denying without explanation. It is in no way informative or constructive. It's just annoying.
    So, if you are not aware of something, it does not exist?
    I never claimed I have an answer to the "hard question". I am posing the question, which you continuously dismiss as pseudoscience. It is Penrose and Hameroff that claim to have an answer. And they have the bona fides. In your expert opinion, are they spouting pseudo-science?
    Assuming that all necessary parts for emergent consciousness already exist, Tegmarks suggestion to begin with identifying "hard facts" seemed to me an eminently reasonable approach. But apparently, Tegmark is also a dilettante according to your "considered opinion", no?
    No it isn't, it is an axiomatic fact!
    Read it again and think about its implication. Perhaps it will make more sense to you then.

    Theories can change, but biological physics does not.

    Microtubules are a common denominator of ALL Eukaryotic life. They control cell division, a fundamental functional property of complex biological organisms. They have been there since the beginning of self-replicating biology.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. Please find out what the word "proves" means.
    Is he? What evidence does he have that his claim is correct? Why don't you present any relevant evidence?

    An article that makes no mention of microtubules. Irrelevant.
    No expert on Alzheimer's agrees with you.

    Relevant quotes from the information you extracted:
    "... it is unclear whether MT abnormalities have a causal and early role in the disease process or represent a common end point downstream of the neurodegenerative cascade."

    "This could suggest that MT dysfunction connects some of the degenerative events..."

    "We argue that modulation of MT dynamics could be of potential benefit..."​

    This doesn't read like any kind of proof.

    Another article that makes no mention of microtubules. Irrelevant.

    Discusses microtubules as structural components of cells. Ho hum.

    Cite one reputable place where this has been noted.
    You made another claim you found you couldn't support. Now you're backing off and trying to change the subject. Okay. Let's move on.
    Cite one reputable source that supports your claim.
    They are all the same but all different? Which is it?
    Why are you never able to properly define the terms you use? Why do you always retrospectively try to jury-rig a half-arsed attempt to justify what you wrote?

    You ought to stop using terms whose meanings you don't know. Stop making stuff up.
    It is not self-evident. You have done nothing to show that it is evident, let alone self-evident. This is your religion speaking, not science.

    Another article that makes zero mention of microtubules. Irrelevant.

    What is annoying is that I've told you over and over again where the holes are in your religion. Instead of taking that on board, instead you keep spamming out irrelevant articles, making stuff up and generally completely failing to support any of your extravagant claims. Your only skill appears to be cutting and pasting. There is very little understanding to be seen.
    That was an invitation to you to go away and find something relevant. You have failed to do that, again.
    What are you talking about? How can a question be pseudoscience?
    Do they? Cite one place where Penrose claims to have the answer.
    Penrose is a mathematician, primarily, not a biologist. I don't know what Hammeroff's qualifications are.
    We can talk about specific examples of their work, if you like. It is very hard to generalise.
    Are these unjustified assumptions an important part of your religion?
    As far as I'm aware, he has never discussed microtubules. Why you bring him up would be a mystery, were we not already aware that your idol worship of him requires that you try to pull him into every conversation.
    An axiom of your religion, perhaps. Please find out what the words "axiom" and "fact" mean.
    Why don't you try re-writing your word salad so it at least makes grammatical sense, instead?
    Biological physics is theories.
    As structural components of cells, that is hardly surprising, or big news.
    How do they "control" cell division?
    Since cells evolved, you mean? Okay. So what?
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Right, and the brain among a few other things, consists of 100 billion neurons connected by 1000 trillion synapses, fed by microtubules in the axons.

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    Note that the microtubules inside the axons are cross-linked with each other. Actin filaments do also transport information but as is obvious, only over short distances and would seem to be more part of the homeostatic maintenance system.


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    Discovery of quantum vibrations in 'microtubules' inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
    Date: January 16, 2014
    Source: Elsevier

    So when you speak about "brain" you are speaking about microtubules as the active processors of sensory information at the conscious level 3 and almost certainly playing a major part in the emergence of consciousness.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I know a little about mathematics. You have used the term out of context many times yourself.
    I remember you saying, " the burden of proof rests on the claimant". Sound familiar?
    The term is used by many scientists when gathering evidence through repeated testing.

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    Concept of scientific proof

    Hameroff tests his hypothesis every day in his daily practice of rendering people unconscious and restoring them back to consciousness.

    When he says I can prove that I can render people unconscious and return them back to consciousness, there can be no argument to deny the truth of that statement.

    Let it be known that an anesthesiologist is a "speialist in the field of neurology.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, when cells mutate the mitotic spindle copies the mutation and that cell enters the gene pool if it survives then it can be said to have evolved. Most mutations do not survive, thus that "strain" goes extinct.
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