Written by Guest Writer,  Dr. Caroline Leaf

From the pioneers of the development of the computer such as Alan Turin [1] to Hollywood films[2], artificial intelligence in medicine [3], contests between computers and humans [4] and the more recent singularity movement led by Ray Kurzweil [5], the notion that artificial intelligence would soon become more powerful than the human brain has captured the public imagination. Since Hal the computer in ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’ [6] we have imagined robots and computers as eventually becoming sentient beings- a logical conclusion of a materialist mindset that asserts that the mind (soul) only emerges from complicated brain computation [7]. In contrast the Bible states that the soul was created when God breathed His Spirit into a human formed from physical dust (Genesis 2:7). Interestingly, recent scientific research is pointing to the fact that a world taken over by super-intelligent sentient robot beings is actually a total fantasy – the brain is much more powerful than we once thought by many orders of magnitude [8].

The position of the status quo has been that information is processed by weighted connections (synapses) or nodes [9]. Therefore it seemed it was possible to reproduce brain function using computer simulation. A human brain was estimated to operate at 10^9 bits per second at the synaptic level, however there is now evidence of information processing taking place at the microtubular level inside the cell [8]. Microtubules were once thought to be just cell scaffolding – now it is clear they form the nervous system of the cell. After all, single-celled animals which do not have synapses have been shown to have intelligence [10]. Dendrites, which are the branches of single nerve cells (neurons), are now been compared to mini-computers rather than binary switches, as once thought [11]. Taken together, therefore, a whole human brain can conceivably operate at 10^27 bits per second [8]. That is more processing power than all the computers in the world put together [8][12]. Therefore it is inconceivable that attempts to simulate the Human Brian, like the epic Billion Euro Human Brain Project [13], a progression of Henry Markram’s Blue Brain Project [14], will ultimately succeed. However such projects will yield and has already yielded useful information about brain structure and function that can be applied to medical informatics [15] as well as computer technology [16].

Additionally there is also evidence that the brain is operating at the quantum level in the microtubules [17]. Interestingly biological processes such as photosynthesis, bird navigation and olfaction (odor detection) have been shown to take advantage of quantum effects such as superposition as proposed by as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle [18]. It seems biological process are tapping into the ‘spooky’ (as described by Einstein [19] world of quantum entanglement, where information transfer is not limited time or location. A whole new discipline termed ‘Quantum Biology’ is emerging. It is therefore conceivable that more biological processes operate at a quantum level. The brain actually may be acting like a quantum computer at the microtubular level as proposed by Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose’s Orch-OR Theory [17]. In fact there is growing experimental evidence for this theory which is also implying that the brain is processing information using fractal resonance frequencies not just electrical action potentials- akin to songs within songs in an orchestral arrangement [20].

We are truly ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14). The above-mentioned research is showing that the brain is much more powerful, functioning at a more profound manner than was once thought. This surely points to the infinitely powerful and innovative Mind of The Creator, The God of the whole Universe described in the His Living Word, the Bible.

References 1. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2012 Jul 28;370(1971):3273-6. The foundations of computation, physics and mentality: the Turing legacy. Cooper SB, Abramsky S. 2. ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), ‘The Terminator’ (1984), ‘The Matrix’ (1999), ‘I, Robot’ (2004), ‘The Machine’ (2013), ‘Chappie’ (2015). 3. Ramesh AN, Kambhampati C, Monson JRT, Drew PJ. Artificial intelligence in medicine. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 2004;86(5):334-338. 4. Chess: Garry Kasparov vs Deep Blue (Computer) (1997), Jeopardy: Watson (Computer) vs Humans (2011) 5. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology- Sep 26, 2006 by Ray Kurzweil. 6. ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’ (1968) 7.The Emerging Mind: The BBC Reith Lectures 2003 – September 20, 2003 by Vilaynur Ramachandran 8. J Biol Phys. 2010 Jan;36(1):53-70. A critical assessment of the information processing capabilities of neuronal microtubules using coherent excitations. Craddock TJ, Tuszynski JA 9. Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation, Learning Circuits, November 2005. 10. CELL INTELLIGENCE Guenter Albrecht-Buehler, Ph.D. Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. Website- 11. Spencer L. Smith, Ikuko T. Smith, Tiago Branco, Michael Häusser. Dendritic spikes enhance stimulus selectivity in cortical neurons in vivo. Nature, 2013 12. Ars Technica- World’s total CPU power: one human brain by John Timmer. 13. The Human Brain Project- 14. The Blue Brain Project – 15. Human Brain Project- Medical Informatics- 16. Human Brain Project- Neuromorphic Computing- 17. Phys Life Rev. 2014 Mar;11(1):39-78. Consciousness in the universe: a review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory. Hameroff S, Penrose R. 18. Quantum Effects in Biology – September 22, 2014. by Masoud Mohseni ,Yasser Omar, Gregory S. Engel, Dr Martin B. Plenio. HFSP J. 2009 Dec;3(6):386-400. Quantum physics meets biology. Arndt M, Juffmann T, Vedral V. 19. Spooky Action at a Distance By Brian Greene 09.22.11 .NOVA 20. Information 2014, 5(1), 28-100. Design and Construction of a Brain-Like Computer: A New Class of Frequency-Fractal Computing Using Wireless Communication in a Supramolecular Organic, Inorganic System. Subrata Ghosh, Krishna Aswani, Surabhi Singh, Satyajit Sahu, Daisuke Fujita and Anirban Bandyopadhyay

Upcoming speaking schedule

Dr Caroline Leaf will be talking about God, Quantum Physics and the Brain in many of her upcoming speaking events.

See to see if there is an event near you.

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About Will Myers

I am an "Intelligent Design" writer who has the Christian faith. Part of my background is that I have a degree in physics, and have been inducted into the National Physics Honor Society. Sigma Pi Sigma, for life. My interest has lead me into metaphysics, farther into Christianity. Optimum metaphysics becomes religion.
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