Request an Expert Opinion on Some Topics

Nigel Dyer nigel.dyer at
Mon Jul 27 14:01:36 EST 1998

I agree with many of the points that Michael Onken makes, although perhaps
there are some other points to add

Michael Dorsett Onken wrote in message
<6p30un$662$1 at>...
>I'm just a lowly graduate student in Molecular Cell Biology, but here's my
>two cents:
>Warren Rees (warren7qX at wrote:
>: Can you guys please skim over this "article" and indicate any definite
>: or likely factual errors that you may find?
>: Cellular Consciousness and Healing
>: by John F. Barnes, PT
>: special to PT Today
>: Our model of reality is deepening and expanding with the help of new
>: scientific, electronic microscopes and sophisticated techniques.


>: Recent discoveries support this suggestion. Two of the leading
>: researchers on consciousness, mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, and
>: Stuart Hameroff have stated that past brain/consciousness research had
>: been severely limited by scientists not looking deeper than the synapse
>: of the nervous system.*
>: With the help of new, sophisticated electronic microscopes capable of
>: incredible magnification, Penrose and Hameroff have discovered
>: microtubules filled with fluid within the cytoskeleton of the cell.
>Penrose and Hameroff did not "discover" microtubules, which were
>identified over 20 years before either of them began their research.
>: The famous neuroscientist C.S. Sherrington observed the cytoskeleton may
>: act as the nervous system of single-cell organisms. Synaptic connections
>: are formed and regulated by cytoskeletal polymers, including
>: microtubules.*
>: Penrose and Hameroff speculated that the cytoskeleton is like a
>: micro-myofascial system, within each cell. This micro-myofascial system
>: is made up of a skeleton of tubules filled with fluid and surrounded and
>: interconnected from cell to cell by a viscous ground substance.
>Microtubules are completely contained within the cytosol and can therefore
>not be involved in exchanging information between cells.  Actin
>microfilaments and intermediate filaments are involved in adhesion
>contact sites, while microtubules are not.

The quantum mechanical hypothesis does not require direct physical contact
for microtubules to be involved in the exchange of information.  It is my
personal belief that there may well be something in Penrose et al's
suggestions, but that the rather dynamic nature of the microtubules make
them a poor candidate for being involved in the mecahnism behind
conciousness and we need to look elsewhere.

>: They go on to suggest that using the quantum field theory, that ordering
>: of the water molecules and the electromagnetic field confined inside the
>: hollow microtubules core manifest a specific collective dynamics called
>: "super radiance." Accordingly, each microtubule can transform
>: incoherent, disordered energy (molecular, thermal or electromagnetic)
>: into coherent photons within its hollow core.*
>Microtubules are responsible for cytoplasmic organization in the cell,
>however, this is accomplished through proteins that interact with the
>outside of the tubules, including dyneins, kinesins, capping proteins, et
>al.  Without these auxillary proteins, microtubules continuously
>polymerize - collapse - polymerize - collapse - etc.  The "organized
>water" hypothesis sounds remarkably like homeopathic dogma.

'Organised water' as a concept where water forms an ordered state
encompassing many water molecules is increasingly mainstream (See 'Wacky
Water' New Scientist 21/6/97).  Whether or not is has any relevance to
Microtubules is another matter.

>:  This information supports the continuity of the myofascial system from
>: the inside of the cell to the very periphery of our being and the
>: holographic model of reality where photons (light) are transmitted as
>: information throughout the mind/body complex. Consciousness
>: (information) is necessary for healing. Consciousness may emerge as a
>: macroscopic quantum state from a critical level of coherence of
>: quantum-level events in and around a specific class of neurobiological
>: micro-structures: cytoskeletal microtubules within neurons.*
>Macroscopic quantum state?!?

Again, there is no problem with macroscopic quantum states.  All matter is
either Bosons (eg light) or fermions (electrons protons etc).  Fermions are
always individuals, Collections of fermions if they are forced into the same
QM state 'condense' into a Macroscopic quantum state, a Bose Einstein
Condensate'  Examples include lasers where phonons are pumped to the same
energietic state, or the low temperature atomic BECs where certain atoms can
be cooled so that they all sit at their lowest possible Quantum State.

It turns out the sound energy is quantised 'phonons' and macroscopic phonon
'sasers'  using sound have been constructed.  3 decades ago, Frohlich
proposed that such macroscopic quantum states involving quantised sound
could exist in living organisms.  Again the jury is still out on this one.
However living organisms have been shown to emit coherent low level EM
radiation in certain situations, which at very least is an indication that
something 'coherent' is going on.

Nigel Dyer, Liverpool, UK
nigel.dyer at

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