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Out Of Mind » PERCEPTUAL AWARENESS » INFORMATIVE GUIDES FOR THE SHIFT IN CONSCIOUSNESS » The Decryption of the Enigma of the Existence of God

The Decryption of the Enigma of the Existence of God

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The Decryption of the Enigma of the Existence of God (Part I)
Posted by AbZu


The understanding of evolution from a quantum mechanical framework

One major challenge to the survival of humanity is religious fundamentalism in its various guises. These include uncritical belief in the inerrancy of scriptures and credal statements, such as interpreting the Genesis myth as a historical account of cosmology and creation. The presence of such fundamentalism is a summons to humankind to embrace tolerance of religious differences, interfaith dialogue, and world peace as imperatives. As rigid and dogmatic systems of belief in the inerrancy of religious texts, fundamentalisms are tribal rather than universal (or manifestations of the “God archetype” as the source of numinous experience) and tend to be intolerant of differences in faith tradition and are therefore unlikely to be open to such dialogue. In previous historical epochs, religion, while dangerous at times to individuals and groups, was not a threat to species survival. Weapons of mass destruction, biological or nuclear, had not been developed. With their invention comes the potential to sacrifice billions of people on the altar of scriptural literalism and belief in either monotheistic or polytheistic systems of thought. In the twenty-first century, it is chillingly obvious that such technologies can easily be utilized in the name of one or another variety of religious fundamentalism, either to fulfill a vision of Armageddon or to garner power by rationalizing military intervention motivated by control of energy resources. It is in this sense that religious fundamentalism can be seen as a collective manifestation of the collective Jungian shadow archetype.
In his apotheosis of Reason, however, Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion (2006), seems to me to be in some danger of neglecting other irrational motives for wars waged apparently in the name of religion or God. The Roman Empire, for instance, conducted military campaigns for the purposes of power and expansion, subjugating conquered peoples to the Pax Romana while plundering their resources. Devotion to the emperor as a numinous hero figure and to the gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon provided a rationalization for such expansionism.
In the contemporary world, the climate of mutual suspicion and paranoia between the Abrahamic faiths, or religions of the Book, make the possibility of a thermonuclear version of the apocalypse very real. On the basis of collective archetypal projection entire nations can be demonized as part of an “axis of evil” and thus perceived as capable of the most diabolical destructiveness. Because the projection is unconscious, belief in the malevolence of the Other is held with complete conviction, as, for example, during Hitler’s Third Reich, the Jewish people were dehumanized as a menace to the state and their extermination as untermenschen could be justified with an attitude of moral righteousness and extreme anti-Semitic prejudice.
Terrorist acts in the name of militant forms of Islam are ultimately a Sisyphean exercise in futility motivated by archetypal shadow projections. Religious fundamentalism is a menace not only because it is one cause of wars which are driven by competition for scarce energy resources. It also corrupts the collective “superego” of nations as well as their leaders to such an extent that, without guilt or remorse, mass murder and even genocide can be perpetrated. Having established this point of partial agreement with Dawkins’s position, I must draw the reader’s attention to another phenomenon which should be distinguished from the manifestations of religious fundamentalism. In doing so I am utilizing the perspectives of Jung’s analytical psychology and sociology, which fall outside of Dawkins’s explanatory framework.
This is the phenomenon of the almost numinous energy and power that has historically been invested in charismatic leaders who led their people to wars of conquest. Hitler, Stalin, and Chairman Mao, to name three examples, became “archetypal” heroes and saviors for their people who in turn readily committed mass murder and genocide at their command. One could suggest that such leaders were deified or at least venerated in a manner otherwise reserved for supposedly divine beings. Of these three, Stalin and Mao were materialists and atheists, while Hitler, whose childhood background was Catholic, wanted his Reich to be endowed with the glory of the Roman Empire, reviving the pre-Christian zeitgeist of antiquity and enacting his own messianic delusions about being destined to lead an Aryan master race.
Even without invoking religion, such political figures act in such a way as to induce infantile regression in the collective psyche by instilling fear while assuming the role of omnipotent, omniscient, and hence Godlike parents from whom protection from the specter of terrorism and destructiveness is to be sought. Dawkins perceives religion as the root of much of the world’s evil, but I think he misses some important points about the ontogenetic and phylogenetic evolutionary origins of religious experience. Even in ostensibly secular or atheistic states, the same sorts of atrocities, wars, and genocides have occurred as those attributed to states acting within religious systems of thought.
The real question to be addressed here is whether some concept of the numinous or of God, other than the primitive animistic and anthropomorphic notions characteristic of humankind in its infancy, is either compatible with empirical science or already discernable in science itself.
The God of religious fundamentalism was largely killed off by the scientific theories of Newton and Darwin, though Dawkins does not seem to be thoroughly convinced of the success of this particular form of deicide. He seems thoroughly determined to ensure that the assassination of God is completed and the “dangerous” beliefs of fundamentalism are buried beyond any hope of final resurrection. But the end of religious fundamentalism will not eliminate the human quest for the experience of the numinous and for transpersonal meaning in life. It simply means the death of primitive concepts and archaic theologies driven by the animism and anthropocentrism of prescientific periods of human history. The end of religious fundamentalism makes room for the cosmic religious feeling described by such eminent scientists as Einstein, Schrödinger, Pauli, and C. G. Jung, who were not adherents of religious orthodoxy and doctrine although they probably experienced the numinosity of the God archetype in mystical experiences and in moments of mathematical and scientific inspiration (Penrose 1999, 544–545).
Decryption of the enigma of the existence of God may lie in a more profound grasp of the nature of genetic and quantum information theory, particularly as molecular microbiologist Johnjoe McFadden (McFadden and Al-Khalili 1999) and physicists Koichiro Matsuno (2000), Roger Penrose (2004), and Paul Davies (2004) have suggested.
For instance, RNA and DNA molecules may need to be understood in terms that go beyond the traditional genetic code to encompass a quantum code, not just in their “hardware,” but in their “software” or informational properties, as Davies has described them. What if mutation is not only vastly accelerated by some form of quantum information processing but also directed or adaptive? What would be the implications of discovering empirically an affirmative answer to Matsuno’s question, “Who got there first, biosystems or Richard Feynman” (2000, 39)? For instance, what if biosystems (such as cells and microorganisms) have already invented quantum computing, actively monitoring their own internal states so that reflective consciousness of that fact and its meaning would become a peculiarly human experience? Johnjoe McFadden has conducted research and published the results relevant to this question, specifically on what he refers to as adaptive or directed mutation in such microorganisms as E. coli and mycobacterium tuberculosis. In a recent essay on HIV/AIDS (Todd 2007) and in my paper “Unconscious Mental Factors in HIV Infection” (2008), I pointed out that if biosystems do process information quantum mechanically, then they would gain a marked advantage in speed and power that would be discovered by natural selection.
Such work may lead to a paradigm shift in the scientific under-standing of the very engine of evolution itself. At the very least, it implies the end of both religious fundamentalism and the doctrine of intelligent design, which creationists have regarded as a serious competitor against evolutionary theory as an explanation of the immense and magnificent variety of living forms, past and present, including Homo sapiens endowed with reflective consciousness, a late arrival on the evolutionary stage. However, as I have already noted, the demise of religious fundamentalism does not necessarily mean the abandonment of the numinous. Indeed, a more profound scientific understanding of the origins and evolution of life can illuminate such ultimate questions as the emergence of mind and consciousness as well as the existence of God. Humankind’s concepts and images of God themselves need to evolve, as I shall argue on the way to uncovering the theological reality of Hans Küng (2007) that God is both greater than the world and also in it. The Jungian notion of the archetypes as timeless cosmic ordering and regulating principles serves as a depth psychological framing of such an insight.
The Universe, Active Information, and Archetypes
To approach such questions as those addressing the origins of life, the emergence of consciousness, and the existence of God, it will be necessary first to consider the information properties to be discovered in the development of matter itself, prior to the emergence of even the most primitive life forms. Paul Davies has suggested that primitive life forms may have been fast-tracked to life by some sort of quantum mechanical process or search algorithm (2004, 75). The reader will note that I have emphasized the process of discovery of active information properties in matter, albeit at a subatomic level, not the notion of some external agency or “Intelligence” somehow doing the programming. Analogously, mind and consciousness emerge in biological systems that have evolved beyond a critical threshold of complexity and self-organization. Mind and consciousness are not mysteriously beamed into such systems from some outside metaphysical source referred to as “God.”
Such outmoded concepts of God are something of a soft target for skeptics partly, I believe, because they omit treating the problem of the origins and emergence of life while having practically nothing to say about a possibly nontrivial role of quantum mechanical processes (or computing) in its genesis. Such processes may be involved in evolving life from a prebiotic soup and in mutation. Strict neo-Darwinists may, of course, wish to postulate the existence of a principle analogous to natural selection as applying to the universe through backward extrapolation, so that states of matter which will eventually be fit for living organisms and consciousness somehow have an advantage. However, such a principle would be little more than a petitio principii, and if used to describe the improbable conditions in a universe that permit sentient life forms, it would simply be a restatement of the anthropic principle as described, for instance, by Penrose (2004). And naturally, as Penrose has also pointed out, in an infinite universe eventually even the most improbable contingencies will sooner or later occur without the need to invoke an external designer-God or super Programmer to explain them. The anthropic principle does not necessarily imply a universe evolving with humanity as a teleological goal. In its purely scientific formulation, this principle only states the conditions that are contingently necessary for the emergence of sentient life and consciousness. It does not address the possibility of a process (or incarnational) theology or archetypal psychology in which a numinous principle is implicit to the evolutionary process itself.
This brings the discussion back to the evolution of matter and to the notion of physicist David Bohm (2002) and his colleague Basil Hiley, who wrote “that even the quantum level can be thought to have, via active information, a primitive mindlike quality though it obviously has no consciousness” (Hiley and Pylkkänen 2005, 22). More specifically, the quantum potential appears to be “some kind of internal energy which carries information about the environment. The whole process, particle plus active environment is being formed partly from within, requiring no external force to determine its future behaviour” (ibid., 19). In this way the quantum potential differs from the classical “push-pull” potential on the level of macroscopic objects like billiard balls. Hiley reminds readers that when considering the root of the word information, the original meaning is that of putting form into process, and together with Bohm, he considers information to be “a link or bridge between the mental and the physical sides” of reality (ibid., 23). Thus it is possible to disentangle the notion of mind from that of consciousness which is an evolutionary emergent property in matter of such complexity and organization as that characteristic of the human brain.
This perspective, especially with its notion of a rudimentary mindlike quality associated with the quantum potential, may have implications that could demolish Dawkins’s central argument. This notion is perhaps all the more shocking because it has been postulated by eminent physicists, not by theologians like Teilhard de Chardin or other scientific apostates. Wolfgang Pauli, who formulated the famous exclusion principle and collaborated with depth psychologist C. G. Jung, expressed views similar to those of Bohm. Pauli wrote of the unconscious archetypes as cosmic ordering and regulating principles responsible for the patterned information and mathematical lawfulness to be found in the physical world.
Pauli considered the archetypes to exemplify Bohr’s complementarity principle, being both mental and physical in nature. The exclusion principle, as the explanation of the ordering and complexity of elements on the periodic table, needs to be understood in light of Pauli’s philosophical thought as a whole, as outlined, for instance, by the late Kalervo Laurikainen (1988). I shall discuss the contributions of Pauli and Bohm in more detail in chapter 3. Suffice it to say that their epistemological position on the mind-matter relation is that of a relationship of complementarity or dual-aspect monism. In his concept of a “U-field,” Pauli regarded the unconscious as the psychological counterpart of the field concept in physics and just as much a reality as matter itself. The German word Pauli used for archetypal symbols wasunanschaulich, which translates roughly into unvisualizable, “a metaphysical reality more material than what physics and depth psychology would characterise as real” (Atmanspacher 2011, 4).
When Bohm, toward the end of his life, considered humanity to be the “mirror created by the universe to reflect upon itself ” and contemplated a Mind far beyond the collective one of the species itself, he was overtly referring to a transcendent order of existence (2002, 389). Similarly, Pauli’s cosmic ordering principles point to something numinous in his concept of the universe and beyond his own personal cosmic religious consciousness. However, such notions require further reasoned argument and connection with scientific facts, such as those concerning the origins of life and the possible quantum mechanical processes involved in the mutation of microorganisms and even consciousness. Could it be that a universe thus understood needs no proofs by contingency for the existence of God? Perhaps, as Shalom has argued, such a universe is “not possible without a God,” given that “the existential ground of all being is commonly called God” (1989, 485). With these provocative comments, I turn now to living organisms and to what might be termed “the engine of evolution.”
The Decryption of the Enigma of the Existence of God (Part II) >>
This article is an excerpt from Peter B. Todd’s book The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion (chapter 2: Religious Fundamentalism as a Shadow). For more information please visit 

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The Decryption of the Enigma of the Existence of God (Part II)

  • by Peter B. Todd, December 11, 2014
  • in Biology, Dialogues, Not featured, Physical Sciences, Quantum Physics, Spiritual Paths

The Engine of Evolution
In the traditional neo-Darwinian paradigm, the figurative engine of evolution, namely, the natural selection of chance variations, functions according to purely classical laws as does the mechanism of mutation itself. The engine runs quite mechanically and nonteleologically, so that any impression of its being externally “directed” or purposive is illusory, according to the paradigm. Until late in the twentieth century, any quasi-Lamarckian notion of the adaptive (purposive) inheritance of acquired characteristics or of direction in evolution was considered to be perilously close to the teleology of creationism or intelligent design and hence pseudoscientific.
The Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin (1964) could write of a “within of matter” and of an apparent telos in evolution, culminating in the formation of a noosphere or membrane of consciousness coexisting with the biosphere and enfolding the closed curvature of the earth. But such notions were too mystical for scientists and too scientific for the theologians of his day, such that he was silenced by the Vatican. Teilhard’s vision of evolution, however, was respected by the eminent biologist Julian Huxley, who wrote the introduction to Teilhard’s book The Phenomenon of Man and may have found some vindication in the tough-minded domain of quantum physics.
The internalist perspective, to which I alluded briefly in applying quantum mechanics to life, had not been seriously considered until the mid-late twentieth century, with the contributions, for example, of Erwin Schrödinger (1992) and McFadden and Al-Khalili, who have suggested “that the macroscopic behavior of cells and such molecules as RNA and DNA might be determined by the dynamics of individual particles and thereby be subject to quantum rather than classical laws” (1999, 209). Schrödinger held the view that quantum fluctuations produce mutations, while McFadden and Al-Khalili have provided a quantum mechanical model of what they referred to as “adaptive mutations.” This formulation is a radical departure from the neo-Darwinian theory “founded on the principle that mutations occur randomly and the direction of evolutionary change is provided by selection for advantageous mutations” (ibid., 203).
A paradigm shift may therefore be occurring in the scientific understanding of the engine of evolution itself. As Davies has put it, without some process like quantum computation, “it would probably have taken longer than the entire age of the universe (about 13 billion years) for even a single protein to have formed by chance, even if all matter was made up of prebiotic soup” (2004, 76).
In The Mind of God, Davies seems to have been impressed enough by the nonrandomness and sheer mathematical beauty of cosmology and evolution that he wrote, “I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama… The existence of mind on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no by-product of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here” (1992, 232).
However, in what follows, I shall argue that active quantum information and the Jungian archetypes as timeless cosmic ordering and regulating principles are implicit to the evolutionary process, which transcends humanity but in which human beings consciously participate by creating culture, including science and religion. As I have already noted, it is through the emergent consciousness of humanity that the universe reflects upon itself.
Evolution and Quantum Mechanics
The work of several eminent twentieth-century physicists could be construed as a significant catalyst of a paradigm shift whereby quantum mechanics would become integral to the theoretical explanation of evolution. Fritz-Albert Popp referred to “the chaotic and senseless goals of neo-Darwinism” in his outline of some empirical studies relevant to thinking of evolutionary phenomena in terms of quantum rather than classical laws (1989, 165). Conrad (1990) questioned why the pattern processing capabilities of cells and organisms seem to be so much greater than those achievable with present-day computers. His “self-assembly” model consisted of a hierarchical scheme of biological information processing from the quantum level to macroscopic cellular and organismic planes. He posited a form of quantum computing as an explanatory tool with respect to the mechanisms or “engine” of evolution.
Conrad rejected the classical system as inadequate to the understanding of evolution, proposing instead that such phenomena as quantum information processing and computation are necessary. In Conrad’s own words, “electrons, protons, photons, and various quasi particles are on a scale size at which the quantum potential becomes relevant and to the extent that the dynamics of particles guide the docking process, self-assembly will proceed with an efficacy which cannot be understood in terms of classical analogues” (1990, 751). Self-assembly results from a quantum-facilitated search, the results of which are scaled up to the macroscopic level.
But this, as we shall presently see, is relevant to the understanding both of mutation, resulting from the “quantum fluctuations” to which Schrödinger (1992) originally referred, and of the kind of quantum search algorithm that may have fast-tracked matter to life an estimated 4 billion years ago. Even viewed from its traditional biological perspective, random mutation is to the theory of evolution what Paul Davies’s purposive ideas in The Mind of God and in his paper, “Does Quantum Mechanics Play a Non-trivial Role in Life?” (2004), could be to the proponents of intelligent design who believe that they are proposing a serious and scientifically testable theory that can compete with evolution. Intelligent design does not satisfy Popper’s falsifiability criterion of what characterizes a scientific theory.
However, quantum mechanically induced adaptive mutation would present natural selection with a much richer and more varied spectrum of choices than that caused only by environmental mutagens such as UV light and cytotoxic chemicals. In both cases, information generated at the microphysical (quantum) level is transduced upwardly to the mesoscopic (cellular or microorganism) and macroscopic levels. The underlying mathematics of these processes, as well as the active information and computational parallelism that determine them, eliminate the notions of mindless randomness and chance that have dominated thought in the neo-Darwinian paradigm of evolution for the past century. The concept of mind as active information or archetypes, on the other hand, may provide a much better fit to evolutionary data. To consider this proposition, I now turn in more detail to the contributions of Matsuno and McFadden, who are among the scientists creating the conditions for a revolution in the understanding of evolution from a classical to a quantum mechanical framework.
Biosystems and Quantum Information
Matsuno (2000), in asking whether a biology of quantum information exists, addresses some of the biomolecular systems that might exploit quantum mechanical effects. His paper on this theme argued a detailed case for the proposition that quantum-level information is being processed in biological systems. Alluding to physicist Richard Feynman’s dictum that whatever humans invent, nature has arrived there first, Matsuno questioned whether biosystems had beaten humanity to the invention of quantum computing, proposing a “quantum mechanical model underlying a neuronal synaptic transmitter release based on a tunnelling process” (2000, 41). He then turned to the issue of measurement and, in adopting an internalist ecological perspective, proposed that a sequence of measurements proceeding internally generates information.
Biological computations founded on internal measurement provide an irreversible enhancement of organization and quantum coherence. “Once it is accepted,” Matsuno argued, “that biological information processing has a quantum mechanical underpinning, two further concepts become important. Quantum coherence through exchange interaction and then the enhancement of this through quantum entanglement” (2000, 43).
According to Matsuno, quantum information in biology focuses upon the capacity of molecules to approach global coordination from within. In now turning to the work of McFadden on adaptive mutation, the move from an implicit or unconscious investment in the externalist classical framework of evolutionary theory to the internalist quantum mechanical framework will be more fully explicated.
As I have already implied, this is a shift from understanding evolution (including that of life and mind) in classical terms to understanding it in terms of the quantum laws that govern the internal and microscopic level of matter. Some readers might construe this perspective as being in a direct line of conceptual descent from thinkers like Teilhard de Chardin, for whom such developments in physics as those of quantum information theory and computing were not available. And yet much of the critique provided by proponents of neo-Darwinism seems to be stuck in a classical scientific framework of explanation, as though the quantum revolution had never occurred. So much so that, as Davies has put it, the “classical chance hypothesis” of the origins of life seems unsatisfactory. And I would add, the rule of chance may turn out to be itself a matter of secular religious faith!
Furthermore, conceptualizing the genetic code as a quantum code permits a vastly enhanced computational speed made possible through multiple superpositions, so that greater numbers of errors in base-pairing and hence mutations could occur. Acting as biological quantum computers, biosystems, including cells and microorganisms, would be able to search multiple mutational states simultaneously, allowing for the selection of adaptive as well as random mutations, as McFadden and Al-Khalili (1999) have suggested. McFadden drew my attention to a paper by himself and colleagues on mutation in multiple drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Ghanekar, et al. 1999). Their empirical work on this particular microorganism had provided what he described as “hints of the adaptive mutation phenomenon,” although further work was required to more convincingly “nail it to quantum mechanical effects” (personal communication, 2007).
The truly revolutionary ideas in the publications of Matsuno and McFadden and his colleagues are those involving living cells acting as quantum measuring devices able to assess quantum processes occurring internally and the shift from a classical to a quantum explanation of such phenomena as mutation that may be adaptive rather than random in nature. Perhaps the greatest conceptual leap beyond the confines of neo-Darwinism is the notion that there may be much more to mutation than chance errors in DNA or RNA bases, resulting from either quantum mechanical processes or the external environment. More needs to be said, however, about the phenomenon of directed mutation and the implied challenge to traditional neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
Natural Selection of Nonrandom Variations
McFadden and Al-Khalili have pointed out that the principle that mutations occur randomly with respect to the direction of evolutionary change has been challenged by the phenomenon they have termed “adaptive mutations.” Arguing that no satisfactory theory exists to account for how a cell can selectively mutate certain genes in response to environmental signals, they noted that spontaneous mutations are initiated by quantum events such as the shift of a single proton from one site to an adjacent one (1999, 204). This is essentially the “quantum jump” effect described by Schrödinger. McFadden and Al-Khalili considered the wave function describing the quantum state of the genome as being in a coherent linear superposition of states describing “shifted and unshifted protons.” Accelerated rates of decoherence, they argued, may significantly increase the rate of production of the mutated state.
Referring to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics formulated by Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, and others concerning the role of the observer, McFadden and Al-Khalili (1999, 205) make the provocative claim that living cells (like conscious observers) can themselves form unique quantum measuring devices that monitor and probe quantum processes occurring internally. They sum up their notion of the cell acting as a quantum computer, as they put it, able to “sample the vast mutational spectra and to collapse towards those that provide the greatest advantage” (ibid., 211). The phenomenon of adaptive mutation, demonstrated with E. coli, seems likely to be implicated in the development of multiple drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and perhaps HIV in response to environments created byantiretroviral drugs.
The conclusions drawn by McFadden and Al-Khalili may have profound implications for understanding the role of active information associated with the quantum potential for a theory of evolution which, far from being constrained solely by randomness and chance and the externalist perspective of classical physics, is illuminated by an internalist and quantum mechanical framework. Mutation thus conceived is not solely a random or chance matter but adaptive or directed in a manner that is compatible with quantum mechanics and information theory. However, this astonishing argument needs further elaboration, if only because it means the beginning of the end of a purely classical understanding of matter, particularly once matter has evolved into entities both animate and conscious.
What would become of Dawkins’s God delusion if in fact life and such phenomena as mutation are inconveniently determined by quantum mechanics rather than classical laws? McFadden and Al-Khalili’s conclusions, as well as those of Conrad (1990), Matsuno (2000), Davies (2004), and Penrose (1999, 2004), will probably lead to a paradigm shift in evolutionary theory that incorporates some distinctly Lamarckian (purposive) mechanisms, especially if further experimental data confirm the significance of such phenomena as adaptive or directed mutation. Dawkin’s dogmatic and rigid form of neo-Darwinism would collapse.
Dawkins’s Crunch: Quantum Information
The inevitable “crunch” for Dawkins’s argument comes with the recognition that all biological phenomena involve the movement of fundamental particles such as protons and electrons within living cells and informational molecules such as RNA and DNA. (The term crunch is a metaphor from cosmology concerning the end of a process of contraction of the universe, reversing the expansion phase that has continued since the Big Bang.) As such, and as McFadden and physicists as far back as Schrödinger have known, movements of fundamental particles are best described by quantum rather than classical mechanics. Quantum phenomena occur in biological systems, although the implications have yet to be fully explored especially in the understanding of such deadly microbes as TB and HIV, which represent globally salient evolutionary challenges for Homo sapiens.
These considerations, of course, have profound significance for attempts to illuminate the origins of life and other big-picture questions such as the emergence of mind and consciousness whereby evolution becomes both cultural and directed. However, the race to produce a viable quantum computer (by humans) is motivated in part at least by the spiritual quest to comprehend the evolutionary origins of life as well as the destiny of humankind. The information thus created will have an almost ineffable epistemological significance for humanity while contributing to a theology of the third millennium inspired by the same fire that breathes life into the equations of science. If as Hiley and Pylkkänen (2005) and others have suggested, even the quantum level can be thought to have via active information, a primitive mindlike quality, and if indeed nature has already invented quantum computing as an evolutionary tool, then the old classical view of the world is dead.
Furthermore, mind, rather than being somehow miraculously added to the evolution of the universe, would be as intrinsic to it as Bohm’s implicate order or Pauli’s archetypal cosmic ordering and regulating principles. This sentiment, expressed sublimely in Bohm’s idea that humanity is the mirror reflecting the universe to itself, may represent a metaphorical crunch for Dawkins’s God Delusion, in which neo-Darwinism is more of a doctrine about nature rather than an empirical explanation of it, and for the absurdity of the intelligent design argument.
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This article is an excerpt from Peter B. Todd’s book The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion (chapter 2: Religious Fundamentalism as a Shadow) and is published on this website with the kind permission of Chiron Publications. For more information please visit 
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