I have discussed in the previous postings a model for DNA as topological quantum computer based on braidings defined by "wormhole magnetic" flux tubes (wormholes have elementary particle size now). Among other things the model leads also to a detailed model of the evolution of genetic code and to a model of protein folding discussed in previous postings. Also testable "almost"-predictions about DNA itself follow and many of them have been already verified.
The model predicts also a hierarchy of memories based on the braiding of the flux tubes. For instance, one can say that the space-like braidings write in memory time like braidings (dancing pattern is a good metaphor for them) defining running topological quantum computer programs. This is like connecting the legs of dances to wall by thin threads so that dancing patterns are recorded to the braiding of these threads.
In TGD Universe entire body and also magnetic body are conscious so that brain is not in any preferred position as far as memories are considered and one can speak about tissue memory. Brain would be responsible for highly symbolic representations of memories whereas sensory organs would serve as seats of sensory qualia and sensory memories. It is quite possible that different organs are specialized to store special types of memories. For instance, anyone who has been fallen in love would guess that heart might be specialized to emotional memories.
It should be added that in TGD Universe memories are represented in the body of the geometric past and memory recall corresponds to a communication with geometric past or to sharing of mental images in geometric past and geometric now by time like quantum entanglement. For instance, a pain in phantom leg would correspond to a sharing of the mental image about the pain located in the geometric past where the leg still exists (note that experienced and geometric time are not one and same thing in TGD based ontology).
The prediction is that organ transplants can transfer various kinds of memories and habits to the patient and induce changes of personality. One can even say that the entire 4-D body of the donor -with brain included - becomes part of the acceptor of the transplant. This raises difficult ethical issues. For instance, what happens if the donor has performed a suicide: is there a danger that the acceptor suffers the same fate?
There is evidence that heart transplants induce this kind of changes: see the list of references below, which I found from an article "Organ transplants and tissue memories" by Paul Pearsall, Gary E. Scwartz and Lind G. Russek. Unfortunately, the article was a finnish translation so that it is not much point to give a link. The article Cellular memory in organ transplants by Leslie A. Takeuchi however gives a summary about various findings. One report tells about a 7-year old boy who received the heart of six-year old boy. The mother of the donor tells that when boy saw her for the first time he run to her and rubbed his nose against her nose in the same manner has his own son had done.
The stimulus for writing this comment came from a discussion stimulated by a newspaper article relating to heart memory. The article told about a patient, Sonny Graham, who received heart from a man, Terry Cottie, who had performed suicide. Graham wanted to express his gratitude for the wife of the donor, Cheryl, and met her. After this Graham felt a compelling need to write to Cheryl. They fell in love and were married. Graham had told that he felt that he had known Cheryl for years. They were happy but 12 years after the operation Graham suddenly performed a suicide in exactly the same manner as the donor. This suggests that ethical issues must be taken very seriously; heart - consisting of neurons as also brain - might be much more than a mechanical pump.
The story created a heated discussion in Skepsis, the discussion group of finnish skeptics - exceptionally hard nosed and exceptionally immune to facts. The stupidity, arrogance, and intellectual inhonesty of these besserwissers creates always a strange feeling in me: kind of diametric opposite of the feeling of awe created by the music of a great master like Chopin or Beethoven. This particular discussion was however exceptional in that it created a completely new standard of skeptic silliness very hard to surpass.
The general strategy of skeptics was of course the same as always: try to avoid any discussion about the content as long as possible. The debate was opened with the demand that journalists writing something like this should be immediately fired. As it became clear that the article had been also published in Daily Mail, skeptics represented their second standard argument: references are lacking and therefore the newspaper article cannot be taken seriously. Needless to mention that skeptics followed their standard habit by giving not a single reference to support their own claims. When someone gave a link to the above mentioned article written by three PhDs and containing also the references below, it became impossible to avoid a discussion about the topic itself.
Skeptics began to explain. The explanations followed the standard "nothing-but" format: the reports published in the refereed journals are nothing but fabulations of "scientists" since it is known that heart is nothing but a mechanical pump; if the reported events are true they are nothing but accidents (accident is the skeptic's best friend); if the personality changes were real they were nothing but after effects of a heavy medication; and so on. Not a single proposal trying to explain why the personality of receiver began to resemble that of the donor in the reported cases.
The reader might argue that I should not waste my precious time by killing flies. After all, the "skepticism" of Skepsis has nothing to do with science nor with real skepticism, which means critical attitude towards any theoretical framework. Just the opposite is true. The "skepticism" of Skepsis means materialistic and reductionistic world view taken to extreme. The universe of the vulgar skeptic is a strange mixture of mutually contradictory beliefs.
- Good skeptic believes in clockwork dogma: Universe is nothing but a deterministic machine without anything which might be called free will. Consciousness is an epiphenomenon: there is nothing to explain.
- Good skeptic believes in reductionism: universe is nothing but a dance of elementary particles. That the non-deterministic character of quantum laws is in conflict with the clockwork dogma does not perturb good skeptic.
- Good skeptic believes in randomness dogma: life is nothing but a result of completely random events which just happened. This dogma is in obvious conflict with the clockwork dogma but extremely powerful weapon against hard facts in discussions such as above.
- Good skeptic believes also in vulgar Darwinism stating that biological evolution is nothing but a fight for survival. Of course, only intentional agents possessing some free will can be said to fight for their survival so that there is conflict with with both clockwork dogma and randomness dogma.
The source of problems and my motivation for commenting the above discussion is that academic world and Skepsis form a kind of unholy alliance resembling the marriage of state and church. For this reason the young academic career builder quite often finds it safer to become a member of Skepsis which means that he becomes a victim of an intense brain washing. This means also unavoidably corruption and misuse of academic power. Skepsis has indeed taken the role of former KGB in Soviet Union doing the dirty work of labeling academic dissidents as mad scientists: also I have experienced this fate. On the positive side one must admit that the discussion culture in Skepsis has improved during last years thanks to the moderation removing comments in which non-skeptics are given the label of nazi, psychopath, homosexual, pedophile, mentally ill, or something comparable.
- Lunde DT. Psychiatric complications of heart transplants. Am J Psychiatry 1967; 124:1190-1195.
- Kuhn WF et al. Psychopathology in heart transplant candidates. J Heart Transplants 1988; 7:223-226.
- Mai FM. Graft and donor denial in heart transplant recipients. Am J Psychiatry 1986; 143:1159-1161.
- Miller JG. Living Systems. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
- Schwartz GE, Russek LG. Dynamical energy systems and modern physics: Fostering the science and spirit of complimentary and alternative medicine. Alter Therapies Health Med 1997; 3(3):46-56.
- Schwartz GE, Russek LG. Do all dynamical systems have memory? Implications of the systemic memory hypothesis for science and society. In KH Pribram (ed.). Brain and Values: Is a Biological Science of Values Possible? Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998.
- Schwartz GER, Russek LGS. The origin of holism and memory in nature: The systemic memory hypothesis. Frontier Perspectives 1998; 7(2):23-30.
- Schwartz GER, Russek LGS. The plausibility of homeopathy: The systemic memory mechanism. Integrative Med 1998; 1(2):53-60.
- Sylvia C, with Novak W. A Change of Heart. New York, NY: Little, Brown, 1997.
- Pearsall P. The Heart's Code. New York, NY: Broadway Books, 1998.
- Song LZYX, Schwartz GER, Russek LGS. Heart-focused attention and heart-brain synchronization: Energetic and physiological mechanisms. Alter Therapies Health Med 1998; 4(5):44-63.
- Russek LG, Schwartz GE. Energy cardiology: A dynamical energy systems approach for integrating conventional and alternative medicine. Advances. J Mind-Body Health 1996; 12(4):4-24.
- Tiller WA. Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality and Consciousness. Walnut Creek, CA: Pavior, 1997.
- Russek LR, Schwartz GE. Interpersonal heart-brain registration and the perception of parental love: A 42-year follow-up of the Harvard Mastery of Stress study. Subtle Energies 1994; 5(3):195-208.
- Hameroff SR, Penrose R. Orchestrated reduction of quantum coherence in brain microtubules: A model for consciousness. In SR Hameroff, AW Kaszniak, AC Scott (eds). Toward a Science of Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1996.
- Schwartz GER, Russek, LGS. The Living Energy Universe. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, 1999.