A Space Generation Formulation of Biological Processes
Year: 1999 Pages: 69
Keywords: artificial intelligence, artificial life, cellular automata, composite quantum, computation, creativity, darwinism, embryo development, many-worlds, mind, mitosis, monads, morphogens, multiple realiti
A previous exploratory study reviewed works by Everett, Feynman and others dealing with the nature of the quantum in light of an hypothesis by Bruno, Leibniz and Einstein about the origin of space. A common thread was identified within that line of thought, allowing to discern an alternate conceptual approach for the problem of the elements making up our reality. The obtained formulation on the relation between the quantum and space was found to have verifiable consequences in Particle Physics and Astrophysics. In the present study a third field is identified for the purpose of verification, the Life Sciences. Physical hypotheses advanced in that field are first reviewed. From there an hypothetical process originally designed by Penrose to effect a quantum mind is replaced by a space generation process where a local space manifold structure is generated by the quantum, a key concept identified in the earlier study about the origin of space. An organizing principle based on this concept is then found to apply to biological systems in general and nervous systems in particular. Through the envisioned phenomenon of quantum space generation (1) the classical approach to embryo development followed by Turing, Wolpert and Kauffman may be augmented, or in some cases replaced, by an approach involving non-local quantum effects, and (2) known biomolecular structures may be able to support an infinite computational process via non-local quantum cellular automata. Several experiments in embryo development are suggested to confirm the validity of the approach. A formal dynamical analysis based on previous work about quantum computation provides part of the theoretical basis for the physical processes involved, while Everett's formulation of the quantum, as clarified by the earlier study, is found necessary to properly evaluate their physical and computational characteristics. However, a complete formalism suitable for the envisioned quantumgenerated local space structures cannot be provided within the confines of this review due to the intrinsic novelty of their elements for Mathematical Analysis. Additional theoretical work is also required to formalize the kind of computational processes identified. This study and the earlier one on the origin of space are examples of a priori conceptual searches. An overall conclusion then addresses the nature of a scientific quest, with arguments presented against the approach of logical positivism with its emphasis on formal methods, and in favor of first seeking conceptual understandings regardless of the availability of a corresponding formalism.