Hameroff to Denmark – QM consciousness anyone?

 In conference, consciousness, Neurology, people, pseudoscience

I just received an invitation from neurologist Jesper Rønager. Stuart Hameroff is coming to Copenhagen and gives a talk. Yesterday, I was invited to a meeting at with a small inner circle of neurologists and physicists, at the Niels Bohr Institute. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, given the short notice of just one day (actually, the same day as the meeting). Same thing today, when Hameroff is – symbolically – giving a talk at Christiania, Copenhagen’s freetown.

Stuart Hameroff is well known for being the anaesthesiologist turned quantum consciousness theorist (e.g., with Sir Roger Penrose). I can’t say I understand all (or even much) of the basic premises of the theory and its applicability to standard neuroscience. But even given this, I find it hard to agree much with QM models of consciousness at all. Hameroff gives it a shot here:

My main concern is his allegiance with Deepak Chopra…who is famously known for his alternative (read: non-scientific) approach to just about anything. I don’t think choosing to go with Chopra will provide much additional scientific validity to Hameroff, and should be seen as a sidestep to his original path in which he collaborated with Penrose. But he might have strayed off at this path years ago anyway.

In any case, is there ANY evidence at all for QM models of consciousness? And in particular, is there any evidence that is specific to QM models that classical (neuroscience) models cannot explain? I have not sought long nor deep enough, I guess, but most of the things I find on Hameroff and QM in general does not meet those requirements.

(I even recall ripping apart Penrose’s book many years ago in pure frustration of BS writings that were mere speculation with no real substance. Frightfully reminiscent of many others’ fanciful trains of thought with no bearing in science. I also had to make a new blog category – “pseudoscience” – for this post…guess it will be used more in the future ;-))

So, attend this meeting? I won’t (and I can’t) but it could be neat to be there just to hear what the latest developments – if any – that has been with Hameroff and QM models.

-Thomas

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