Just a little more research discovered the following as well:
Nanotubular structures similar to post-synaptic neurons (persistent and dynamic) have been discovered in immune T-cells in humans as well as in plant cells, They are being called plant synapses and tcell or immune synapses by researchers.
How does the body recognize the thousands, hundreds of thousands of virus’s it must be able to attack? How does it decide what to do in response to an attack? Not a trivial activity. It would be consistent with this theory that these junctions are a site for memory, decision making using quantum computing similar to brain neurons.
As a programmer I have always been amazed how much programming would be required to “operate” a human body. The human body is not just like a robot. A robot is programmed to do things if everything goes well. If something fails on a robot it has no mechanism to repair itself, to discover environments that are dangerous or to learn to adapt to its environment. A computer may be book smart but it is not able to deal with any physical attack on itself.
A human body has to persist to be able to pass on genetic material. It has to be able to sustain all kinds of environmental conditions, all kinds of attacks, damage, different situations which lead to too much of this, too little of that, situations which need different responses. As a programmer I have imagined the equivalent millions/billions of lines of code or “intelligence” that would be needed to have the monitoring system, the recognition, the response system. If you understand software and you understand how complex it is to specify all these behaviors it is mind boggling.
It is much worse than that because this code must be changeable. It’s not like you could discover the rules to keeping a body working, how to repair this or that and that’s it. Write the program and done. No, you have to have a system that not only learns or knows the millions of scenarios and how to respond but it has to learn new ones as they come up. Evolution by itself seems too clumsy. It’s not surprising we would find that there is pattern recognition and decision matrixes like are at postsynaptic neurons in other parts of the body like the immune system.
Life has been present on the earth somewhere in the range of a billion years within an order of magnitude. The average lifetime of a creature could be a year but let’s say to give evolution a chance we say that every day evolution could evolve. That’s 300 billion opportunities for evolution to make a decision and kill something or not. Of course for evolution to work there has to be more than one member of a species killed and there has to be new progeny and that progeny has to face the threats and survive. If nature could take these decisions very carefully it gives nature maybe a few billion decision points. This may seem like a lot but consider the complexity being proposed for evolution to figure out. I am not at all a creationist but let’s face it numerically it doesn’t seem reasonable that the complexity of life we see around us could evolve in this number of cycles. There were periods in this billion years when vast amounts of life were wiped out and where evolution wasn’t operating very rapidly. It’s just not possible that everything is explained as evolution. A quantum recognition system would lead to a much more rapid evolution possible. I am not sure what the connection or ways in which a pattern recognition system could be linked with DNA and evolution but I am certain that there must be some synergy between them that enables a faster pace to evolution than can be obtained from the mechanism of killing off or enhancing reproduction on a binary basis.
It’s obvious to me that studying these nanotube structures in plants, animals, neurons, immune systems is a very important line of research. Understanding exactly how nature figured out to do nano-quantum computers, to store patterns, to recognize patterns, to decide how to direct activity based on decoherence is going to take our understanding of nature and the world around us leaps and bounds forward. It will also give us an idea how to build and advance quantum computing at a fantastic rate much faster than our clumsy approaches trying to understand basic physics and building them from basic principles. Nature has obviously figured out how to build these cheaply, to leverage quantum computing at the billions of processors level.
In the book hyperion, the author had the idea that the computers used humans as computing vesicles to offload some of their processing. The idea seemed stupid when I read it. Now I see that it was prescient. If the human body/brain has trillions of quantum computers leveraging them would be a quick and easy way to get lots of computation done. However, presumably doing so would damage the normal function of those computers. It’s not just a matter of stealing cycles from the mainframe. Utilizing those synaptic junctions would also steal them permanently from the human body.
This leads to a different idea for a scifi book:
What if someone started leveraging human brains, i.e. obtained from babies or otherwise grown to build massive quantum computers for nefarious purposes?
That seems like it could be an interesting basis for a compelling book. 🙂