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DPRG: What Would Quantum Robot Controllers Be Like?

Subject: DPRG: What Would Quantum Robot Controllers Be Like?
From: Franklin Wayne Poley culturex at vcn.bc.ca
Date: Mon Aug 16 15:43:52 CDT 1999

Subject: Chapter 10, Robotwilightzone. 

                        Chapter 10           

                "I know nothing but miracles."
                         -Walt Whitman.

                         Quantum Effects                    

   Perhaps Walt Whitman was expressing the idea that "truth is stranger
than fiction". The discoveries of modern science in a variety of fields
would seem to support that philosophy. When serious scientists like
Moravec talk about "bodiless minds" and others study cryonics to destroy
all vital signs so that a creature (human or otherwise) can be brought
back to life at some time, we have to ask if the miracles spoken of by
theologians are not encompassed by science itself. The broader, more
creative definition of science (beyond "naive rationalism") would support
that perspective.   
   Quantum theory (also known as quantum mechanics or quantum physics) is
discussed frequently when roboticists are dealing with the broader and
more philosophical aspects of their field. Does it lead to a strange
"quantum philosophy" applicable to robotics? This chapter deals opens the
issue to discussion. 
   To date, quantum physics has focused on the behavior of sub-atomic
particles. It may have little relevance to the macro world around us
to-day but over the longer term and as humankind ventures into space this
may change. Professor Penrose attempts to explain consciousness via
quantum physics and consciousness is a "macro" phenomenon. My present
consciousness is that of a large sensory field around me etc. Some would
argue that consciousness is a prime controller of many everyday events.
Could a quantum model of consciousness also apply to robot controllers?
That is at least a reasonable question. If it does, humankind should
prepare itself for some very strange intelligent machines in the
futuristic "twilightzone" of robotics. Benyus sums up Penrose on quantum
effects in the brain by saying, "He believes that 'mind' is a
'macroscopically coherent wave function' in the brain." (p. 228). What
happens when quantum computers are developed well enough to become robot
controllers?
   While terms like quantum theory, quantum physics and quantum mechanics
tend to be used interchangeably, there is a theory side to the field and
an empirical-experimental side. This is analogous to the distinction in
physics in general between theoretical physics and experimental physics.
Perhaps a more rigorous use of definitions would give us quantum physics
with two branches. Quantum theory would encompass the mathematical
expressions and their explanations. Quantum mechanics would focus on the
empirical-experimental demonstrations and expectations. Beyond all of this
we should ask if there is a "quantum philosophy". Does this field of
science cause us to think about the world around us in a very different
way? I think it does and I expect that over time it will develop into a
profound philosophical outlook in its own right.
   In "New Scientist's Guide to the Quantum World"
(http://www.newscientist.com/nsplus) we read, "The quantum world really is
different, and the only way to come to grips with it is to suspend
disbelief." That in itself is a philosophy-psychology statement. Rigid
preconceptions about what reality must be like are suspended in favor of
what the facts and the logic tell us actually do happen. In an article on
that web site titled "Quantum World" by David Lindley, Sept. 26, 1998, we
read: "I am going to tell you WHAT nature behaves like" says Richard
Feynman who adds, "Nobody knows HOW it can be like that." Feynman is a US
physicist. Similarly, Penrose describes quantum theory as "a theory of
uncertainty, indeterminism and mystery, describing the behaviour of
molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. Classical theory is, on the
other hand, deterministic, so the future is always completely fixed by the
past." ( 1989, p. 149-50). Could quantum physics applied to robot
controllers, eg via newly developing quantum computers, take us a step
closer to robot free will as discussed in Chapter 9? May (1996, p. 245)
says, "...the quantum is more than just random; it is indisputably
mysterious." Elsewhere, on the same page he quotes Einstein as saying, "If
quantum physics is right, then the world is crazy."
   Penrose gives us a further lead into quantum philosophy when he says,
"Taken at its face value, the theory seems to lead to a philosophical
standpoint that many (including myself) find deeply unsatisfying. At
best, and taking its descriptions at their most literal, it provides us
with a very strange view of the world indeed. At worst, and taking
literally its most famous protagonists, it provides us with no view of the
world at all." (1994, p. 237). Though astronaut-physicist Brian O'Leary
(1995, p. 219) defines "quantum theory or mechanics" as "the prevailing
theory of physics underlying the behavior of matter at the smallest scale
(atomic, fundamental particles, quarks etc.)", statements like those above
indicate that the study of quanta has much broader and deeper
implications. Runes defines a quantum as "an individual unit, or atom, of
any physical quantity." (p. 262). Perhaps in some far away galaxy, strange
quantum effects will happen with very large objects.
   Meanwhile, sub-atomic quantum effects in experimental physics baffle
the world of science as well as curious laymen. Often referred to in the
literature is the "Two Slit Exeriment" (or Two Hole Experiment). Moravec
(1988, p. 187) says "in the two-slit experiment, a photon destined for the
screen might go through slit A or it might traverse slit B. The
interference pattern suggests it somehow manages to do both at the same
time." Penrose (1989) describes the Two Slit Experiment on page 235.
Light, consisting of photons is directed at a barrier in which there is a
slit allowing the light through a screen where it is measured. The
"quantum mystery" occurs when a single photon is directed at the slit,
thence to the screen. It disappears! If there were two slits, each
receiving a different photon, this could be explained by interference, ie
one photon interfering with the other and cancelling each other out. If
there is just one slit, the photon travels through it to the screen. By
opening the second it acts as if it had split or replicated itself,
sending a second particle through both slits at once. Benyus (1997) says
it is more than a photon acting as if it is in two places at once.
"Quantum theory says the photon is not just in those two places (of the
two-slit experiment) but in many others as well. Scientists decided the
best way to talk about a photon's location would be to imagine a
three-dimensional graph of all possible states." (p. 226). I have to
wonder if "multi-dimensional" should replace "two-dimensional".
   If the photon in the Two Slit Experiment is replicating itself,
expectedly that would be measurable. However, Penrose says it is as if
"... EACH particle travels through BOTH slits at once and interferes with
itself!" (p. 235). (The emphasis is mine). Now that is a statement which
defies conventional logic and seems to tell us that at least in places
"the world is crazy". In symbolic mathematics or logic it is saying that A
(the photon travelling through one slit) is both A and not A (a photon
travelling through another slit) at the same time. Notice again the power
of the English vernacular which allows us to express the idea and that is
what will be developed further in Chapter 14 on teaching and learning
machines. The vernacular allows us to express a scientific finding which
formal logic in the strict sense would have to dismiss as nonsense.
   The Two Slit Experiment actually leads to two kinds of effects
according to Penrose. Sometimes the one photon which has mysteriously
become two can cancel out to produce a dark spot on the screen and at
other times it can add together to produce a brighter spot. (p. 236).
Then we read the following statements: "...a quantum particle can be in
two places at once, NO MATTER HOW DISTANT THE PLACES ARE...." (p. 254) and
"Any kind of realistic description of the quantum world which is
consistent with the facts must apparently be non-causal, in the sense that
the effects must be able to TRAVEL FASTER THAN LIGHT." (p. 286). Again,
the emphasis is mine. According to the New Scientist Guide to the Quantum
World cited earlier, "It appears to demand the impossible-measurements in
one place producing an instantaneous effect somewhere else."
   It is tempting to "anthropomorphise" and ascribe consciousness to the
photon. How does it "know" in the first place that a second slit has been
opened up, a slit which could be in another galaxy even? We could be
forgiven for asking such a question when we realize that a physicist as
eminent as Brian O'Leary has stated in his book, "Miracle in the Void"
that zero point energy IS consciousness. At some level scientists ascribe
consciousness to physical energies and particles and they do so via
different theories. What they have in common is that the boundary between
subjective and objective consciousness becomes blurred. One would be
tempted to call them animists; yet some of these theorists will talk this
way while clinging firmly to monistic-materialism...or so they say.
   The Quantum Entanglement or Alain Aspect Experiment is another
empirical demonstration of mysterious quantum effects. Penrose (1994, pp.
247-8) describes "...the famous 1981 Paris experiment by Alain Aspect and
his colleagues, which used pairs of 'entangled' photons...emitted in
opposite directions to a distance of some 12 metres apart. The
expectations of quantum theory were triumphantly vindicated...." The New
Scientist web site also calls this "non-locality". That is, "Quantum
theory is non-local...a measurement at point A has an elusive,
instantaneous and-through Bell's theorem-quantifiable influence at point
B." The distance between the two slits does not matter in that experiment
and the distance between the points of measurement does not matter in the
Quantum Entanglement Experiment. Penrose notes that although distances in
numbers of light years have not been tested, there is no reason in theory
that they would not hold up. In his 1989 book he says Quantum Entanglement
Experiments have been done with with path lengths of "many metres or so".
(pp. 254-5). The basic idea of quantum entanglement is that athough the
quantum is measured at more than one location, it is the SAME quantum.
Again we have a demonstration that A is both A and not-A, in violation of
formal logic.
   The prospect that these effects with sub-atomic particles might apply
some day to large objects is suggested in the following: "The best known
X-mystery is the paradox of Shrodinger's cat, where the formalism of
quantum theory seems to be telling us that large-scale objects, such as
cats, can exist in two totally different states simultaneously-such as the
limbo of simultaneous combination of 'cat alive' and 'cat dead'".
(Penrose, 1994, pp. 237-8). Quantum mysteries are sometimes referred to as
X mysteries or paradox mysteries.
   A third, empirical demonstration of quantum effects could be called
"The Observer Effect". The New Scientist web site says succintly that
"Directly measuring a quantum state will always destroy information about
it in an unpredictable way." Elsewhere they say, "It seems as if the
photon has no reliable properties of its own, and only reluctantly
acquires them as a sort of conspiracy between it and the measuring
devices." Freedman (1994, p. 185) sums it up: "The act of observation
causes matter and energy to revert to the particle state." This
destruction of the information about a quantum through observation is also
called "collapse of the wavefunction". Penrose (1989, p. 250) says, "The
deterministic process U seems to be the part of quantum theory of main
concern to working physicists; yet philosophers are more intrigued by the
non-deterministic state-vector reduction R (or, as it is sometimes
graphically described: collapse of the wavefunction)".
   At this time however, what constitutes "making a measure" is not clear.
Thus we don't yet have an answer as to whether a robot or intelligent
machine making a measure would cause The Observer Effect. "This is
undoubtedly very strange and mysterious...there is...no clear rule, as yet
as to when the probabilistic rule R should be invoked, in place of
deterministic U. What constitutes 'making a measurement'?" (Penrose, 1989,
p. 251). This too is a kind of entanglement but it is entanglement of
observer and observed. Benyus (1997, p. 227) sums it up by saying "When we
observe something, we don't see all its possible states-we see only one.
We force it to be in only one state through the act of seeing or measuring
it."
    
                          Quantum Philosophy

   Coincidence is a philosophy-psychology issue, playing a part in Jung's
work for example. Moravec (1988, p. 179) says, "Quantum mechanics,
a cornerstone of modern physics, seems to imply that in the real world as
we know it, unobserved events happen in all possible ways...and the
superposition of all of these effects, including mysterious coincidences
at remote times and places." We may reply that so far we "only" have
empirical demonstrations of quantum effects at the sub-atomic level. But
that "only" still leads highly regarded scholars like Professor Penrose to
speculate and theorize about consciousness taking place at this level and
by way of those sub-atomic particles and quantum effects. Kurzweil (1990,
p. 462) even goes a step further when he says, "...quantum mechanics
actually ascribes a physical reality to consciousness." (p. 462).
Experiments like the Two Slit Experiment tell us that sub-atomic particles
can exert effects in two places at the same time. If those particles are
identified with consciousness, can consciousness do the same and cause
those "mysterious coincidences"? Benyus summarizes some of Penrose's
thoughts on the matter when she writes, "Penrose postulated that our
creative minds may play with a possibility space in the same way-trying
out dozens of different options simultaneously until one emerges as a
conscious thought-a decison about what state to be in." (p. 227). That
possibility space doesn't seem to be time-space limited for sub-atomic
particles. Can they, with their attendant consciousness exert remote
influence in what we often call coincidence?
   Quantum effects also play havoc with philosophical determinism. In
explaining the Uncertainty Principle in quantum physics, Runes writes, "On
the basis that quantities in principle unobservable are not to be
considered physically real, it is therefore held by quantum theorists that
simultaneous ascription of actual position and exact momentum to an
electron is meaningless. This has been thought to have a bearing on, or to
limit or modify, the principle of determinism in physics." (p. 325).
Common sense and traditional logic would tell us that anything can be
described by position and speed. Quantum physics says that at least some
phenomena in physics are uncertain; they cannot be so determined. Again,
if these phenomena are identified with consciousness, then we would have
to say that consciousness has more "degrees of freedom" than determinism
would allow. We could speculate that the plethora of possible states in
quantum theory corresponds to what we call contemplation in human
thinking, ie when we are contemplating a multitude of possible actions,
answers or solutions. Then the 'collapse of the wave function' via The
Observer Effect corresponds to the selection of one of these options.
   The equations of quantum theory and the experiments of quantum
mechanics have withstood the test of time. And, as with any set of
equations and experiments in science there is a stage in scholarship at
which implications and interpretation are called for. What does it all
mean? Does it mean that the world is a crazy place or that we are arriving
at a greater understanding of it than classical physics has allowed?
The over-riding "quantum philosophy", if I may ascribe that phrase to the
field, is that we should let nature tell us what nature is really about.
At one time establishment science declared dogmatically that rocks could
not fall from the sky...nature just didn't work that way. In the case of
quantum science being linked to consciousness, the idea of nature telling
us about itself becomes somewhat twilightzone-like. I expect that
scientists like Penrose would reject animistic philosophy quite
vigorously. But what conclusion can we draw from all of this? Conscious
humans can tell us about themselves. And consciousness is now ascribed to
the sub-atomic particles which exist throughout nature. When are we to say
that they are conscious and are telling us about themselves and when not?
Is it only when those particles are responsible for consciousness within a
brain like that of Penrose that they can do so?
   If animistic philosophy really is valid and there is an intelligent
consciousness to nature beyond humankind, then we return to the prospect
that robot controllers could some day be conscious. Benyus (1997) tells us
that it was the anaesthesiologist, Stuart R. Hameroff, author of "Ultimate
Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and Nanotechnology", 1987, who
alerted Penrose to the possibility that microtubules in the brain might be
responsible for the quantum-consciousness link. Hameroff has suggested
growing microtubules in the lab and developing them as nanocomputers.
What kind of robots could we expect when they use such devices as their
"artificial minds"?
   Dualistic philosophy which accepts subjectivity and objectivity as
valid has been mentioned many times in "Everyday Robots" as has
monistic-materialistic philosophy which accepts only objectivity as valid.
Sometimes monistic-subjectivity enters these discussions. "Many
physicists, taking their lead from the central figure of Neils Bohr, would
say that there is no objective picture at all. Nothing is really 'out
there' at the quantum level. Somehow, reality emerges only in relation to
the results of 'measurements'" (Penrose, 1989, p. 226). This philosophical
position is sometimes expressed as "Esse est percipi", "To be is to be
perceived". Consciousness then would seem to be identified with
observation as if a watchful eye, perhaps the "mind's eye" is the final
judge of what is real. It would be a matter of taking this position a step
further but some would add that that mind's eye-consciousness-observer is
also actually creating physical reality. That fits with O'Leary's
speculation in "Miracle in the Void" that zero point energy is
consciousness and that some-thing (mass-energy) is educed from no-thing
(the void or vacuum of space) via the zero point field and conscious
willing of it to be so. Putting it in O'Leary's words, he says, "Free
energy (which comes from the ZPF) becomes more than cleverly designing
machines. It is consciousness." (p. 178). O'Leary calls this "a new
paradigm in physics" in which matter on the smallest scale consists of
"these little critters...interacting with the ZPF." Kurzweil (1990)
sums up the power of consciousness well and succintly when he says,
"...conscious observation actually changes a property of a particle." (p.
462). In any case, if consciousness actually IS a set of phenomena in
quantum physics and the zero point field why would robots be excluded from
having its characteristics? 
   Relativity theory, as a part of classical physics is also considered to
be a kind of philosophy. There is no doubt that quantum theory also plays
havoc with relativity despite the efforts of some scientists to forge a
synthesis between them. It is more in keeping with the nature of science
to accept that each level of understanding will give way to a level of
greater understanding. Expectedly quantum theory will suffer the same
fate. Penrose (1994, p.300) writes, "Quantum entanglement seems to indeed
be some kind of 'spooky action at a distance' as was so distasteful to
Einstein." Elsewhere he says, "The remarkable conclusion is that the
assumption of no long distance 'influence' is mutually violated in quantum
theory...according to relativity theory there can be no signals
passing...yet according to quantum theory...there is, nevertheless, some
kind of 'influence'". (p. 245). Kurzweil also tells us why Einstein found
quantum effects to be so distasteful, ie that quantum effects "...appear
to contradict a fundamental tenet of relativity: that effects cannot be
transmitted faster than the speed of light...." (p. 462). In talking about
The Observer Effect specifically, Kurzweil says, "If this seems strange
to you, you are in good company. Einstein found it absurd and rejected
it." May (1996, p.9) tells us that it was in response to quantum
randomness that Einstein made his famous remark that God does not play
dice with the universe. It is unequivocal that quantum theory is not
reconciled with relativity and we have the reason why.
   Some would say that one sound theory just gives way to another in the
course of scientific history without being wrong per se. Thus Newtonian
physics is still a valid model which can be applied to some events.
Relativity, according to this view did not invalidate it. And quantum
physics does not invalidate relativity. In any case, "classical physics"
refers to both and Penrose states, "How do we know that classical physics
is not actually true of our world? The main reasons are experimental. It
was (for the most part) with great reluctance that they found themselves
driven to this strange, and in so many ways, philosophically unsatisfying
view of the world." (1989, p. 228).  It is philosophically unsatisfying
to those in each generation of science who insist that nature MUST work
in a certain way and science says so. But philosophy of science is better
understood as a matter of letting nature tell us how nature works. And as
for the more rationalistic aspect of science, the
arithmetic-logical-mathematical system, it is as professors Moravec and
May have clearly stated, that the rules of logic which seem so compelling
can be replaced with other rules. Philosophy of science has just begun its
voyage into the twilight zone of knowledge with no end in sight to the
implications for intelligent machinery of the future.
   Whether we call it speculation or theory, the Penrose-Hameroff ideas on
consciousness have to be taken seriously. Penrose says he is "...driven to
consider that it is through the cytoskeletal control of synaptic
connections that this quantum/classical interface exerts its fundamental
influence on the brain's behaviour." (1994, p. 371). And elsewhere:
"...quantum indeterminacy might be what provides for an opening for the
mind to influence the physical brain." (p. 349). But there are other
contenders for alternate control systems, alternatives to the central and
autonomic nervous systems. In my book, "Contact Conditioning" (1989), I
present the results of clinical trials using the system of points,
channels and meridians which usually goes under the name of "acupuncture".
On page 246 I summarize Dr. Mary Austin's view that acupuncture works
through colloidal dispersions, ie charged particles or plasmas. This is
similar to the Penrose-Hameroff approach in that it looks for
consciousness (or "chi" if you prefer) at the level of intracellular,
sub-atomic processes.

                    Quantum Effects and Parapsychology

   It is remarkable how frequently establishment scientists who would
otherwise scoff at psychic phenomena invoke them, under different names in
their writings. Where do "parallel universes" fit into classical physics
or formal logic?  Yet Moravec (1988, p. 187) tells us "In (Hugh) Everett's
model, the photon does go through both slits, in different universes." 
Why would a monist-materialist scientist like Moravec even pay attention
to such a wild theory? When I designed Social Sciences 205 for Douglas
College-University of Victoria, I defined parapsychology as "the study of
phenomena that do not appear to be wholly explainable in physical terms."
I then taught the course using scientific method as I have explained it
above. In that way these phenomena are neither validated nor invalidated a
priori. Social Sciences 205 with its "X Files" is a thoroughly scientific
approach to psychic phenomena and the first college credit course on this
subject in Western Canada.
   Penrose explicitly refers to Wigner's theory of consciousness. But let
us translate that into parapsychology terms. It is exactly what
investigators of psychic phenomena call psychokinesis. "The distinguished
physicist Eugene Wigner once sketched a theory of this nature. The general
idea would be that unconscious matter-or perhaps just inanimate matter
would evolve according to U, but as soon as a conscious entity (or 'life')
becomes physically entangled with the state, then something new comes in,
and a new physical process that results in R takes over to reduce the
state." This is The Observer Effect again with a key word added...life.
Let's add this to the criteria for life re Chapter 6, "Artificial Life".
And it could be the most important cited yet. If The Observer Effect only
happens when a life form is the observer, will highly intelligent machines
trigger such an effect, thereby identifying themselves as alive?
   What if such an intelligent machine also doubles as an extractor of
"free energy" or "zero point energy", mindful again that the search for
such machines is now part of established science? Should we be surprised
then, when O'Leary writes, "I define free energy as being that which can
be extracted from the quantum fluctuations of space itself, EITHER BY
MACHINES OR BY OUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS." (p. 11). (The emphasis is mine).
And Professor May adds, "The role of humans-thinking, conscious humans-is
an enormous enigma today. Quantum theory seems to require human
consciousness to bring quantum effects out of the abstract and into the
real." (p. 307). What would he say if presented with the prospect of
having machine consciousness do the same? Would he accept that such
machines are alive?
   Psychophysics is a well established branch of experimental psychology.
But the underlying philosophy is usually monistic-materialistic. Some
aspect of one system deemed to be material or physical (the psychological)
is linked to another deemed to be material as well, ie the physics of the
experiment. Thus a light, increasing in brightness by constant physical
increments may be presented to a subject who is asked to give it a
psychological rating. If we turn this experimental model around and have
the observer first and the physical rating follow, we get The Observer
Effect from quantum physics. In this case, conventional terminology in
parapsychology would call this psychokinesis instead of psychophysics.
   Teleportation is another phenomenon long studied as part of the subject
matter of parapsychology. The basic idea is that something disappears here
and reappears there without having to travel through the intermediate
space. IBM is doing research on quantum teleportation (see
http://www.research.ibm.com/quantuminfo/teleportation/). They haven't yet
scanned in "Scotty" and beemed him up but I don't think they would fund
this research unless they thought it could lead to teleporting something
larger and more useful than a few sub-atomic particles. The Defence
Research Agency of the UK is also working on quantum teleportation (A&E
Television, July 26, 1997 in Vancouver). "We claim this is the first bona
fide teleportation." said Professor Jeff Kimble about the research
reported in Science, Oct. 23, 1998. A light beam is said to have
disappeared at one location and instantly reappeared at another. The New
Scientist web site reports that "...last year two teams of scientists, one
at the University of Innsbruck and the other at the University of Rome,
managed to teleport a photon. From one side of their lab to another,
anyway."
   If highly sophisticated robot controllers will cause us to wonder
whether they are alive or conscious, how much more so if they use quantum
computers, given that theorists identify quantum effects so closely with
consciousness and life. Freedman (1994, p. 129) describes some of the
research of QUEST, the Center for Quantized Electronic Structures founded
in 1989 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. QUEST talks about
computers which would move electrons at 100x the speed of those on
ordinary computer chips and quantum wires so narrow that 10 million would
fit inside a human hair. The New Scientist web site says, "A conventional
computer has to march through more than a million individual calculations
to work out all the numbers in this (multiplication) table. Because a
quantum computer explores all possibilities simultaneously, it reaches the
same result in a single effortless step." Similarly Penrose says, "...the
real gain for the quantum computer might come when a very large number of
parallel computations are required-perhaps an idefinitely large
number-whose individual answers would not interest us, but where some
suitable combination of all results would." (1989, p. 402). Moravec (1999,
p. 63) says, "A modern computer with a thousand or more qubits could
tackle problems astronomically beyond the reach of any conceivable
classical computer."; and "Quantum computers are now a subject of serious
research and simple ones have been demonstrated." (p. 180). Indeed, David
Corey et al. at MIT have used a quantum computer to solve a senior year
undergraduate physics problem. (Physical Review Letters, June 28, 1999).
   However, it is not the added computing power in the conventional sense
which interests me so much. There are a number of other innovative
technologies attempting to build the more powerful computers for the
future. What interests me is the inescapable link between quantum
phenomena and consciousness, particularly via The Observer Effect.
Wouldn't a quantum computer also manifest The Observer Effect? Would it
not also be as conscious as any human observer? For now, these are only
unanswered questions.
   If there is a control system within the human being which corresponds
to a quantum computer, what and where might it be? The cytoskeleton and
plasmas regulating the effects seen in acupuncture have been put forward
as speculations at least. There is another speculation which is worth
considering for now. Psychic researchers often investigate something
called a human "aura" or "astral body". Somehow this takes on more
scientific respectability when it is put in the context of bioluminescence
which is common in nature and ubiquitous in the darkness of ocean depths.
On May 22, 1998, Discovery Channel held a panel discussion on AI and the
artificial person (robot). Professor Dewdney (Computing Science,
University of Western Ontario) speculated that consciousness might be a
photon field. A multi-disciplinary team of highly qualified scientists at
the Institute for Bio-Energetic Analysis in New York City has done
experiments which report that human bodies emanate visible and ultraviolet
light at very low intensities. The light is recorded with an extremely
light sensitive instrument called a photomultiplier tube. One of their
studies is Chapter 9 of the 1975 Krippner and Rubin text. The authors are
R. Dobrin, C. Kirsch, S. Kirsch, J. Pierrakos, E. Schwartz, T. Wolff and
Y. Zeira. "The level of this light is exceptionally low and is in the
range of 50 to 220 photons per second...." (p. 170) and "...only certain
individuals were able to produce a signal from the photomultiplier
tube...." (p. 173). But they are unequivocal about the conclusion: "In
summation the work being done by the Energy Research Group of the
Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis has conclusively shown that some
portion of the human field lies in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum.
This represents the first quantitative measurement of this phenomenon in
its natural state." (p. 175). In his 1980 book, "Human Possibilities",
Krippner refers to research done by Inyushin at Kazakh State University
which successfully measured bioluminescence over acupuncture points using
special instruments. (p. 284). James A. Hurtak writes in a chapter
titled "The Human System: An Open-Ended Universe", that Mikhalevski and
Frantov (1968) have shown that photon energy follows the same meridian
channels as those observed in acupuncture. However, they propose that this
"energy body" (or bodies) is more complex than that, consisting of a
number of energies and particles. (In Krippner and Rubin, 1975).
     If photons and perhaps other sub-atomic quanta are an active and
intelligent field in and around the human body they might constitute a
kind of quantum control system or computer. Remote effects which go by
names like coincidence, telepathy and remote viewing might be quantum
effects of this field. They wouldn't have to be as dramatic as the science
fiction portrayal of complete persons moving into parallel universes.
Partial quantum effects could explain a number of psychic phenomena which
are usually reported as rather small but significant events.
   As previous chapters have noted, there are some claims in the computer
world which sound too fantastic to be true but are such that we can't
ignore them. Such a case would be the Hamilton 95 computer (see
http://www.winehq.com/ham95/index.html). It claims to have an operating
system which uses "para-temporal logic" and "psycho-pre-emption". Owner
Wade Maxfield says "Hamilton 95 doesn't use standard bits, but only the
silicon atoms themselves." A further claim is that "para-temporal logic
allows Hamilton 95 to logically traverse future situations in
faster-than-real-time to 'see the future' of the programs." Whether a kind
of working and practical quantum computer is claimed would require further
investigation.
   In conclusion, quantum effects lead to the conclusion that at some
levels the world is indeed "a crazy place" in that it behaves in ways
which defy traditional notions of what is scientifically possible.
However, by letting nature tell us what nature is about we are led to the
reality of phenomena which have long been studied in parapsychology.
These include auras (with a host of attendant psychic phenomena),
bi-location (particles which can be in two places at once), teleportation
and the dematerialization which accompanies it, and psychokinesis as in
the Observer Effect. Some of these effects are very well established at
the sub-atomic level via carefully controlled and replicated experiments.
However, quantum effects cannot be dismissed as curiosities with no
practical consequences. There may be natural control systems in the human
body which function as quantum computers and engineers have been
successful in constructing the first experimental quantum computers.
If particles can behave in such strange ways as quantum physics discloses
why would they not continue to do so when they become robot controllers?
And it is reasonable to ask if one of the properties of quantum robot
controllers will be consciousness, as fully developed as human
consciousness.
  

           (Copyright, 1999, by Franklin Wayne Poley) 

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