Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sheldrake's Morphic Fields and TGD View about Quantum Biology

I received two books of Rubert Sheldrake as a gift from Marc McWilliams, who has for years helped me by reporting about problems at my homepage and sending links to interesting articles. The titles of the books of Sheldrake are A new Science of Life: the Hypothesis of Formative Causation and The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and Habits of Nature. The titles reveal the two basic notions underlying the vision of Sheldrake.

What makes the study of the books so rewarding is that Sheldrake starts from problems of the existing paradigm, analyzes them thoroughly, and proposes solutions in the framework provided by his vision. There is no need to accept Sheldrake's views, just the reading of his arguments teaches a lot about the fundamental ideas and dogmas underlying recent day biology and forces the reader to realize how little we really know - not only about biology but even about so called established areas of physics such as condensed matter physics. These books are precious gems for anyone trying to build overall view.

Instead of explaining the ideas of Sheldrake and their connection with TGD based view about living matter here I recommend the pdf article Sheldrake's Morphic Fields and TGD View about Quantum Biology at my homepage. Also the chapter Quantum Theory of Self-Organization of "Bio-Systems as Self-Organizing Quantum Systems" contains the article.


L. Edgar Otto said...


I am on board with you here and have been since 95 or so. But since my on-line life I have observed that this area rapidly causes the moderators to classify it and related theories as suspect and even pseudo-science.

One problem is the old (what you know is essential) action at a distance. This in a way means there is action also across generations as if at a distant time. Of which now there is some physical as well as social evidence.

Of course quantum is part of the picture but I suspect that a little more is involved here beyond the quantum and relativistic formalism, as you know. What organizes the quantum system?

But it was a most interesting and excellent paper you linked to and I do see better where you have tried to add to the coherence of this Morphogenesis idea.

Now, if we can shore up things a little more convincingly when it comes to applying the number theories to all this :-)

The PeSla

L. Edgar Otto said...

Matti, I just found this which may be of use to you (considering the relation to water in your essay.)

Ulla said...

At last, I want to say!

I have thought of this quite a bit, and I think we think wrong again. So typical humans.

The habitual fields are behind the quantum jump and free will. Usually we follow our attitudes, memories etc. or past history, but sometimes we jump to the side. You have much on this too. This follow the thermodynamics much.

In biology this phenomenon is well known, interpreted as increase of chaos, which is wrong. Instead it must be increase of uncertainty. Constraints from environment narrows this cone, as Einstein showed us, so our choises diminish. This is epigenetics and normal body regulation. Some of this information is still secret, because of ongoing work. I am really thrilled of this :-)

Look at
maybe you see where it went wrong.

We will crack this secret, will we? Yes! Biology will show the quantum world how it goes! Fancy pictures will fall! said...

Dear Pesla,

what is attractive in Sheldrake's idea that it separates one big piece of theory, morphic resonance and concentrates on it. I believe that this kind of factorization is real. Morphic resonance is not all that is needed it is only part of the story. The results are impressive but the reader must of course be ready to get rid of the usual dogmatism.

The answer of Sheldrake is that morphic fields are the tool making possible the organization. Think of a collection sending and receiving antennas which spontaneously tune to common antenna frequencies.

Why this tuning would occur spontaneously. This I think is an important question and I do not know of a satisfactory answer in standard physics framework (assuming for instance that morphic fields can be identified as electromagnetic fields).

My proposal for the answer is based on what I have used to call Negentropy Maximization Principle (analogous to second law and implying it at the level of ensembles). Getting tuned means that you start receive conscious information. Negentropy increases so that the tuning occurs spontaneously. Tuning is forced by a law of Nature. Even clocks tend to entrain -to say nothing about brains- so that the tuning would be a very general phenomenon.

Tuning to certain frequencies is essential for the modern society: radio, TV, web, etc.: everything. We have hunger for conscious information! said...

To Ulla,

I would reformulate Sheldrake's idea using TGDeish by saying that habitual fields reflect the presence of collective levels of consciousness. The (geometric) past is present and affects the geometric now. Societies -be they cell or neuron societies, ant nests, or human civilizations - are 4-dimensional.

Take the notion of dominating/recessive trait (say color of flower) as an example: we all have probably taken this notion as granted without asking what makes the trait dominant.

Both members of chromosome pair contain corresponding gene and the second one is expressed when dominance occurs: it can also happen that dominance varies from cell to cell so that mixed situations can happen. What determines which gene is expressed in the case of dominance?

According to Sheldrake the decision which allele of the gene determining phenotype (say red or white flower) is a democratic decision in 4-D society: previous generations participate to the decision using morphic signals to communicate their desire. This creates the habit forced by the social pressures of 4-D society;:-). This is I think the core of Sheldrake's beautiful idea.

Sheldrake suggests that even crystallization to a particular crystal form is a habit of condensed matter physics. It is astonishing to learn that we still are not able to understand why only particular crystal form is selected. Protein folding would be biological habit.

Very stimulating to read a real thinker after all the aggressive blog stuff trying to create the illusion of authority.

Ulla said...

You are blind and deaf, Matti, and listen only to your own brain chat. I mean this text IS marvelous, but you miss the main point? Have you even read Dickaus paper? (sent you too many links?)

WHAT is collective consciousness? And compare it to NMP, and the paper.

What is the opposite to protein folding and chrystal structure? Why must proteins be in the nerve membrane? Cellular flux tubes, what drives them? Think. I don't want any nonsense answer :) said...

Dear Ulla,

concerning your claim about my sensory handicaps
(visual and auditory).

1) I have written about connections between NMP and second law: NMP implies second law at ensemble level when one restricts the consideration to non-living systems.

2) I have talked about number theoretic entropy and about life residing in the intersection real and p-adic worlds: life is in the intersection of matter and cognition.

3) I have talked about the connection between zero energy ontology and possibility of local reversal of the geometric time forcing a more general formulation of second law allowing apparent reduction of entropy such as occurring in the self assembly of biomolecules and for phase conjugate laser beams.

4) I have talked about the breaking of second law below at a given level of scale hierarchy because quantum decoherence implying Boltzmann's equations and second law does not hold below this characteristic length scale and also about observation of this breaking in .1 second time scale, the fundamental time scale of living matter (alpha rhythm for instance).

5) I have talked about how second law generalizes also in the sense that living systems are able to generate genuine negentropy- not only reduce their entropy as in standard view- but that for what I call the pessimistic option this is always accompanied by a production of entropy to satisfy second law. For pessimistic option living systems seem to be unavoidably polluters: all this technological advancement seems to have unavoidable negative effects. No paradise without hell. My life experience in market economy strongly strongly supports this view;-)

6) I have talked about the possibility that quantum jump allows to escape the pessimistic view. Quantum jump h represents the creative aspect of quantum - a kind of moment of mercy using religious terminology. The system which has performed the state function reduction cascade is like civilization at the top of its development both in good and bad. Moment of mercy could mean the collapse of the civilization meaning also that everything begins again in 4-D world: this would a kind of re-incarnation of civilization. Life cycle of organism is analogous process beginning with quantum jump - birth- and proceeding as cascade of state function reductions to biological death which at same time is the moment new birth.

7) I have talked also about the emergence of arrow of geometric time and proposed explanation for why our sensory experience is about so narrow interval of geometric time. Here NMP in strong form appears as also in the argument explaining why living systems tune to each other spontaneously (morphic resonance).

From this it is clear that giving up the self-contradictory identification of geometric and experienced time, flood gates for ideas open.

Jonathan Dickau's proposal is very interesting and can be assigned to the 4:th item in the above list. I do not claim that you are blind or deaf but if you had perceived my messages, you would not be claiming that I am blind and death. said...

Dear Ulla,

I am physicists and my goal is to identify the quantum physical correlates of consciousness and understand life in terms of new physics provided by one particular theory since I happen to have just this particular life available for this purpose.

I appreciate your attempts to understand but the problem is that you do not have the conceptual understanding of physics which only a good education in physics can give. No wonder that you fail to see the big picture and everything looks to you just a random collection of isolated weird ideas. The road to understanding is tortuous.

Sorry for adopting this paternal sounding tone. It has nothing to do with gender.

Ulla said...

The big picture and everything doesn't look to me just a random collection of isolated weird ideas, as you should know. I have nothing against a paternal sounding tone, either, and my handicap-claims was only to make you wake up. The paternal tone tells me I failed again. Is it only because I don't have the proper physical language? Or me? This is NOT about ego. Sorry that I cannot articulate the question better, but there are other interests too.

I know what you have done, dear Matti, marvelous things. I am your big supporter. Sic, maybe you say?

Remember, it is many years since I talked about these things. I have only one of his books. You didn't listen then, maybe I am too bad articulating, or you too busy listening to yourself. Remember Kea. Maybe I am just stupid. But I tried. I will try.

I have talked too many stupid things? Yes,I have. Come down from your heaven. Please.

Ulla said...

This bothers me. I did NOT mean to sound aggressive, and you went offensive at once. I just wanted to give you a big insight. Maybe it could change much of what you have said?

Look, you have not considered one single of my proposals, only your ev. handicaps ;) I can tell you that your other characters widely overrun this ev, shortage :) I did not mean to upset you, only wake you up.

It was you who thought about the role of BIG proteins (and chrystals) in membranes. What would be their opposites? What about the flux tubes? I thought you would see this. It was meant as a gift. Plus that I have no proper physical education, as you said. Sorry. I should drag something old over me.

Ben Chasteen said...

TGD diary RSS feed request to Before It's News

Hi Matti Pitkanen,

My name is Ben Chasteen and I'm the Science editor at Before It's News Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 3,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our Science category. Our readers need to read what your TGD diary blog has to say.

Syndicating to Before It's News is a terrific way spread the word and grow your audience. Many other organizations are using Before It's News to do just that. I just need you to reply with your permission to do so. Please include the full name and email of the person who will be attached to the account, and let me know the name you want on the account (most people have their name or their blog name).

You can also have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end or prepended to the beginning of each of your posts on Before It's News. Just email me the text and links that you want at the beginning and/or ending of each post. If you know html you can send me that. If not, just send me the text and a link to your site. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links).

You can, if you like, create a custom feed for Before It's News that includes multiple links back to your blog or web site. We only require that RSS feeds include full stories, not partial stories. We don't censor or edit work.

Thank you,

Ben Chasteen
Editor, Before It's News

L. Edgar Otto said...


Of course our human tendencies may misunderstand our intentions- I am sure there is no problem here- it is not that your challenges are taken as not helpful and they do have an effect- but they can be distracting at least in my case- not that I mind.

I am not sure I have that formal education myself in any language but it is commendable we want to find a way to whatever understanding there is.


The PeSla

L. Edgar Otto said...


I went a little further in the consideration of some of the higher and deeper uses of dimensions where they are after all rapidly complex even in the low numbers.

I am interested in what you might think of Lee Smolin's new book about what I think are theories we have played with all along.

See my pesla.blogspost com today on the 24 cell and depth Conway matrices mentioned asking this of your and other reference frames.

Odd thing for me is I have not attempted to promote my blog and its audience nor monetize it. You should look into this.

Why indeed would the exact mirror image of a large organic molecule have different energy? It is a good question, and in what context TGD?

ThePeSla said...

Dear Pesla,

you probably mean Smolin's book about string and M-theories around 2006. I have a gist about the message of the book since there was a lot of debate about it in blogs, and although have not read it and agree with the view that the sociology of the Big Science tends to silence genuinely new ideas.

Loop gravity looks to me as too limited an approach and doubly special relativity with 8-D curved phase space rather unattractive. Riemann metric defines notion of length and angle for vector fields in tangent bundle- 8-D for space-time (phase space). Making tangent bundle curved would mean replacing 8-D tangent bundle of space-time (phase space) with its 16-D tangent bundle. Tangent bundle of tangent bundle: this is possible but looks to me ugly and quantum theorists would start to worry about the breaking of uncertainty principle.

I have concluded from the postings of Lubos that double special relativity is more or less excluded by the findings of Fermi satellite demonstrating that the light velocity does not depend on energy of the photon. A couple of days ago I however saw a New Scientist article in which the proponents of curved phase space make an opposite claim: I did not find any reference.

In standard model parity breaking in living matter is mystery because it is quite too large. The length scale of weak bosons is 10^-17 meters and predicts extremely small weak parity breaking.

As you might guess;-), the TGD inspired proposal is inspired on the hierarchy of Planck constants explaining the dark matter. The Compton length of weak boson scales as hbar and for large enough hbar it can be of order cell membrane thickness, cell size and even larger. One would have unbroken electroweak symmetries for the space-time sheets with large enough hbar (effectively massless weak bosons below Compton length of weak boson), and this would give rise to large parity breaking even in cell length scale. Dark matter would induce the large parity breaking. said...

Dear Ulla,

I am by no means irritated or aggressive: rhetorical aggression is something different from a real one. Blog writing is a kind of role game, and rhetoric aggression a kind of emotional boldface. 15 years in web makes us virtual world actors;-).

in web people are usually too busily explaining to have time for listening. Anyone feeling of having some important message can commit this sin. It is however very useful to listen to those who really have something important to say: Sheldrake is a good example.

Theorist who has worked for decades to develop his own insights have become allergic to casual new insights. Partly because they want to follow their own star, partly because it is easy to see that most of these insights are wrong or do not fit the bigger picture. And certainly they are irritated if someone tells that he can save your theory;-).

I must confess that your explanation of your new insight remained obscure to me. said...

Dear Ben Chasteen,

thank you for a nice offer. I have already responded by email.

L. Edgar Otto said...

for what it is worth I was referring to this article:

The PeSla said...

Dear Pesla,

about the article at

I was indeed talking. What I have learned the effect predicted by curved phase space theory is not observed but the authors claim that it is. I did not find any reference allowing to conclude what the situation is.

Hype or not hype? In any case, irresponsible hyping has become a habit. Not only hyping but what would be usually called simply lying. It seems that media attention is nowadays the only measure for how successful research is. Everyone wants to be a rock star. Peter Woit told about last hype related to multiverse collisions claimed to be visible in WMAP data: .

Ulla said...

I have tried to articulate a bit of the secret :D