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Is Consciousness a Quantum Phenomenon?

There is now a more satisfactory range of ideas available [in the field of consciousness studies]... They involve mostly quantum objects called Bose-Einstein condensates (see Marshall, or Zohar), which may be capable of forming ephemeral but extended structures in the brain (Pessa). Marshall's original idea (based on the work of Frölich) was that the condensates which comprise the physical basis of mind, form from activity of vibrating molecules (dipoles) in nerve cell membranes. One of us (Clarke) has found theoretical evidence that the distribution of energy levels for such arrays of molecules prevents this happening in the way that Marshall...

Quantum Uncertainity and Morphogenetic Fields

In discussions of Science Within Consciousness we pay a lot of attention to quantum uncertainly. But occasionally we delve also into a concept that is closely related to this - the concept of the Morphogenetic Field. The concept has been discussed at length by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. It is an idea on which he and a few of his colleagues have based much of their work. Unfortunately, his ideas so far have not had the influence in his field that we feel they justifiably deserve in view of the data and interpretation that have been accumulated. The major reason, we...

Science and Religion

Fifty-seven years ago I received the Ph. D. degree in physics from the University of Iowa. Soon thereafter, I clearly recall sitting at my desk looking out the window at the engineering building across the street, and thinking to myself, "engineering is merely the application of the principles of physics, and reason can solve all problems, so I now am totally prepared for life." How naive that 26 year-old was on both counts! But this philosophy worked well for over a decade, as I supervised research and development on equipment for military applications and started a family. Then in midlife,...

Quantum Ontology and Mind-Matter Synthesis

The Solvay conference of 1927 marked the birth of quantum theory. This theory constitutes a radical break with prior tradition in physics, because it avers, if taken seriously, that nature is built not out of matter but out of knowings. However, the founders of the theory stipulated, cautiously, that the theory was not to be taken seriously, in this sense, as a description of nature herself, but was to be construed as merely a way of computing expectations about future knowings on the basis of information provided by past knowings. There have been many efforts over the intervening seventy years...

The Beginning of Time

In this lecture, I would like to discuss whether time itself has a beginning, and whether it will have an end. All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted. We are not yet certain whether the universe will have an end. When I gave a lecture in Japan, I was asked not to mention the possible re-collapse of the universe, because it might affect the stock market....