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RTM: Donald reviews McFadden QM theory of life as "deeply flawed" 10.9.1 rmforall

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  • Rich Murray
    RTM: Donald reviews McFadden QM theory of life as deeply flawed 10.9.1 rmforall Subject: scandalous misrepresentation Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 09:36:30 +0100
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2001
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      RTM: Donald reviews McFadden QM theory of life as "deeply flawed" 10.9.1
      rmforall

      Subject: scandalous misrepresentation
      Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 09:36:30 +0100 (BST)
      From: Matthew Donald <mjd1014@...>
      To: Rich Murray <rmforall@...>
      CC: skeptical@yahoogroups.com,
      Barry Karr <SkeptInq@...>, physics.guide@...,
      info@...

      The e-mail below makes a scandalous and, I suspect, deliberate
      misrepresentation of my opinion of Johnjoe McFadden's theory of
      ``Quantum Evolution''. Murray stops his quotation of my
      sci.physics.research posting just before a paragraph which reads

      > Unfortunately it is the details which matter in [McFadden's]
      > attempt to solve biological problems using quantum theory. In his
      > discussions of decoherence, for example, he is never sufficiently
      > explicit about what is going on at the level of the wavefunction. In
      > my opinion, this eventually leads him hopelessly astray.

      The final version of my complete review of McFadden's book can be
      obtained from my web site:

      http://www.poco.phy.cam.ac.uk/~mjd1014

      I would be grateful if anyone who has published this
      misrepresentation could now publish this reply.

      Yours sincerely, Matthew Donald.

      e-mail: matthew.donald@...
      address: Dr. Matthew J. Donald,
      The Cavendish Laboratory,
      Madingley Road,
      Cambridge, CB3 0HE,
      Britain.
      web site: http://www.poco.phy.cam.ac.uk/~mjd1014
      ``a many-minds interpretation of quantum theory''
      ***************************************************

      Quantum Physics, abstract
      quant-ph/0101019
      From: Dr Matthew J. Donald <mjd1014@...>
      Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 18:20:19 GMT (14kb)
      A review of Johnjoe McFadden's book ``Quantum Evolution''
      Authors: Matthew J. Donald
      Comments: 11 pages, plain TeX
      Subj-class: Quantum Physics; Biological Physics

      In ``Quantum Evolution: Life in the Multiverse'' (HarperCollins, 2000),
      ISBN 0-00-255948-X, 0-00-655128-9, Johnjoe McFadden makes
      far-reaching claims for the importance of quantum physics in the
      solution of problems in biological science. In this review, I discuss
      the relevance of
      unitary wavefunction dynamics to biological systems, analyse the
      inverse quantum Zeno effect, and argue that McFadden's
      use of quantum theory is deeply flawed.
      **************************************************************

      Oct 9 2001 Hello, I am posting this to everyone I sent my post to.
      I am pleased to help publicize
      a detailed critique this year by Dr. M. J. Donald.,
      11 pages in PDF form, with 19 authors listed as references, including
      J. McFadden and J. Al-Khalili (1999), and V. V. Ogryzko (1997).

      I am merely an enthusiastic scientific layman,
      seeking in my post to generate interest in and
      discussion of a fascinating application of QM
      to the central and daunting anomaly in life sciences:
      the huge number of cases in which there is no theory to
      explain how extremely complex and specifically functional structures
      could
      have originated, such as the first self-replicating molecule within the
      first
      100 million years or so of Earth history.

      Is it true enough to say that the principles utilized
      in curent programs to create "quantum computers" may
      have parallels in life processes?

      A century ago, rather baroque anomalies in obscure corners
      of physics forced a complete revolution between 1890 and 1930.
      Is there some general principle within the perview of QM that
      favors developments which are maximally complex? That would
      surely agree with the biological facts.

      McFadden lists two other teams of researchers
      investigating his proposal, besides his collaborator, Jim Al-Khalili
      j.al-khalili@... :

      Vasily V. Ogryzko NICHD, Bethesda NIH, Wash., D.C. 20892
      Lab. of Molecular Growth Regulation
      11.22.95 "Quantum theory and directed mutation"

      Amit Goswami and Dennis Todd, U. of Oregon
      **********************************************************

      Rich Murray Room For All rmforall@...
      1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 505-986-9103
      **********************************************************
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