Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Is the view about evolution as gradual reduction of criticality consistent with biology?

The naive idea would be that living systems are thermodynamically critical so that life would be inherently unstable phenomenon. One can find support for this view. For instance, living matter as we know it functions in rather narrow temperature range. In this picture the problem is how the emergence of life is possible at all.

TGD suggests a different view. Evolution corresponds to the transformation of gauge degrees of freedom to dynamical ones and leads away from quantum criticality rather than towards it. Which view is correct?

The argument below supports the view that evolution indeed involves a spontaneous drift away from maximal quantum criticality. One cannot however avoid the feeling about the presence of a paradox.

  1. Maybe the crux of paradox is that quantum criticality relies on NMP and thermodynamical criticality relies on second law which follows from NMP at ensemble level for ordinary entanglement (as opposed to negentropic one) at least. Quantum criticality is geometric criticality of preferred extremals and thermodynamical criticality criticality against the first state function reduction at opposite boundary of CD inducing decoherence and "death" of self defined by the sequence of state function reductions at fixed boundary of CD. NMP would be behind both criticalities: it would stabilize self and force the first quantum jump killing the self.

  2. Perhaps the point is that living systems are able to stay around both thermodynamical and quantum criticalities. This would make them flexible and sensitive. And indeed, the first quantum jump has an interpretation as correlate for volitional action at some level of self hierarchy. Consciousness involves passive and active aspects: periods of repeated
    state function reductions and acts of volition. The basic applications of hierarchy of Planck constants to biology indeed involve the heff changing phase transitions in both directions: for instance, molecules are able to find is each by heff reducing phase transition of connecting magnetic flux tubes bringing them near to each other.

The attempt to understand cosmological evolution in terms of hierarchy of Planck constants demonstrates that the view about evolution corresponds to a spontaneous drift away from maximal quantum criticality is feasible.
  1. In primordial cosmology one has gas of cosmic strings X2× Y2⊂ M4× CP2. If they behave deterministically as it seems, their symplectic symmetries are fully dynamical and cannot act as gauge symmetries. This would suggest that they are not quantum critical and cosmic evolution leading to the thickening of the cosmic strings would be towards criticality contrary to the general idea.

    Here one must be however extremely cautious: are cosmic strings really maximally non-critical? The CP2 projection of cosmic string can be any holomorphic 2-surface in CP2 and there could be criticality against transitions changing geodesic sphere to a holomorphic 2-surface. There is also a criticality against transitions changing M4 projection 4-dimensional. The hierarchy of Planck constants could be assignable to the resulting magnetic flux tubes.

    In TGD inspired biology magnetic flux tubes are indeed carriers of large heff phases. That cosmic strings are actually critical, is also supported by the fact that it does not make sense to assign infinite value of heff and therefore vanishing value of αK to cosmic strings since Kähler action would become infinite. The assignment of large heff to cosmic strings does not seem a good idea since there are no gravitationally bound states yet, only a gas of cosmic strings in M4× CP2.

    Cosmic strings allow conformal invariance. Does this conformal invariance act as gauge symmetries or dynamical symmetries? Quantization of ordinary strings would suggests the interpretation of super-conformal symmetries as gauge symmetries. It however seems that the conformal invariance of standard strings corresponds to that associated with the modes of the induced spinor field, and these would be indeed full gauge invariance. What matters is however symplectic conformal symmetries - something new and crucial for TGD view. The non-generic character of 2-D M4 projection suggests that a sub-algebra of the symplectic conformal symmetries increasing the thickness of M4 projection of string act as gauge symmetries (the Hamiltonians would be products of S2 and CP2 Hamiltonians). The most plausible conclusion is that cosmic strings recede from criticality as their thickness increases.

  2. Cosmic strings are not the only objects involved. Space-time sheets are generated during inflationary period and cosmic strings topologically condense at them creating wormhole contacts and begin to expand to magnetic flux tubes with M4 projection of increasing size. Ordinary matter is generated in the decay of the magnetic energy of cosmic strings replacing the vacuum energy of inflaton fields in inflationary scenarios.

    M4 and CP2 type vacuum extremals are certainly maximally critical by their non-determinism and symplectic conformal gauge invariance is maximal for them. During later stages gauge degrees of freedom would transform to dynamical ones. The space-time sheets and wormhole contacts would also drift gradually away from criticality so that also their evolution conforms with the general TGD view.

    Cosmic evolution would thus reduce criticality and would be spontaneous (NMP). The analogy would be provided by the evolution of cell from a maximally critical germ cell to a completely differentiated outcome.

  3. There is however a paradox lurking there. Thickening cosmic string should gradually approach to M4 type vacuum extremals as the density of matter is reduced in expansion. Could the approach from criticality transforms to approach towards it? The geometry of CD involves the analogs of both Big Bang and Big Crunch. Could it be that the eventual turning of expansion to contraction allows to circumvent the paradox? Is the crux of matter the fact that thickened cosmic strings already have a large value of heff mea meaning that they are n-sheeted objects unlike the M4 type vacuum extremals.

    Could NMP force the first state function reduction to the opposite boundary of CD when the expansion inside CD would turn to contraction at space-time level and the contraction would be experienced as expansion since the arrow of time changes? Note that at the imbedding space level the size of CD increases all the time. Could the ageing and death of living systems be understood by using this analogy. Could the quantum jump to the opposite boundary of CD be seen as a kind of reincarnation allowing the increase of heff and conscious evolution to continue as NMP demands? The first quantum jump would also generate entropy and thermodynamical criticality could be criticality against its occurrence. This interpretation of thermodynamical criticality would mean that living system by definition live at the borderline of life and death!

1 comment:

Ulla said...

Both ends of the spectrum are dead, too much noise or chaos does not hold stability, and too much order and stability doesn't allow change, but homeostasis itself is a bit on the line of stability, so some is needed, but it also must be regulated very carefully. Allostasis often do this by creating more noise. If it does not succeed we get a new allostatic balancing point for regulation longer on the stability line, and we are then prone to get illness. Joseph often talks of stress as do biologists, but stress in itself is an ad hoc word of the same sort as homeostasis. Both acts on the same stimuli.
So to minimize the stress we have to stay as close to the edge as we can. This means adaptive, flexible, changeable, sensitive...

One of the most important tasks we have is to predict our future, and that requires the 'staying receptive' and reactive.

A diamond (max coherence) is as bad as the chaos soup (min. coherence?

I talked of Life being both coherent and decoherent at the same time in my FQXI essay. Note that Life is complex, many-sheeted, many-bodied state, not the singular cat-state (which indeed also is complex, made of many states of waves).