Re: Evolution goes quantum

From: Evan Brown (
Date: Sat Feb 05 2000 - 22:05:01 MST

> < Mutations have always been assumed to be
> random. But mutations are caused by the
> motion of fundamental particles, electrons and
> protons -- particles that can enter the quantum
> multiverse -- within the double helix. If these
> particles can enter quantum states. then DNA
> may be able to slip into the quantum multiverse
> and sample multiple mutations simultaneously. >
> Despite the apparently comic author name (Johnjoe McFadden indeed!), he's
> for real, and British not from some place where they eat raw chickens'
> I kinda like this idea, which sounds straight out of David Deutsch (and
> drives the plot of Greg Egan's recent TERANESIA, by the way). It just
> fits with the information optimisation models of lab parapsychology that
> appeal to me (i.e., the brain might have some enhanced chance of knowing
> the apparently unknowable if sampling superspace reveals a skew in favor
> one outcome over all others).
> Damien

Whether this has any basis in truth, I love the concept. I certainly have
no plan on abandoning some more basic materialist premises, but this kind of
thing makes the journey far, far more interesting.

Also, it has very interesting ramifications for the creationism/evolution
debate. The strongest sticking point against evolution seems to be the
incredulity that something so complex could arise from processes that are
thought of as random. In the case that this concept (quantum evolution)
could be made understood, it would seem to undermine that argument. DNA
having a "plan", if you will. Directed processes though no higher power or
even conscious decision. Though, even if true, I doubt an argument from
quantum anything would be accepted in the slightest. Pat Robertson still
believes schizophrenia doesn't exist and is merely demonic.

Interesting to note how a few scientific theories are serving to explain
some of the fundamental issues of existence in ways their mystical
proponents could never have dreamed of. Quantum evolution over intelligent
design, SI-controlled simulations over deity, the aforementioned sampling
over ESP. It will be quite the strange situation if science begins
explaining, scientifically, many of the concepts it currently discards.

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