The lack of such a clarification appears to have 2 effects:
As an example of the first effect, in this article, D. Hoffman wrote that "the accepted view is that aspects of neural dynamics—from quantum-gravity induced collapses of wavefunctions at microtubules (Hameroff, 1998) to informational properties of re-entrant thalamo-cortical loops (Tononi, 2004)—cause, or give rise to, or are identical to, consciousness". But even before putting forward that these "aspects of neural dynamics" are indeed generally accepted to be identical to consciousness, I think a first question should be whether or not the quantum-gravity induced collapses of wavefunctions at microtubules are already scientifically established to occur among "aspects of neural dynamics" in the first place; a question which D. Hoffman seems to have ignored. Meanwhile, the wikipedia article about "microtubule" does not even contain the word "quantum". I believe that a clarification on this point is needed.
As for the second effect, a usual argument pointed out by
materialists, is that brain processes would be subject to fast
quantum decoherence, so that any idea that fundamentally requires
the brain to maintain a form of quantum coherence, looks dubious.
But I do not feel concerned by such an argument because I consider
the expression of free will in the brain (in a sense of a
non-algorithmic behavior not deducible by current physics) to be
naturally conceivable as taking place in simpler ways, with no
need of quantum coherence.
I propose to distinguish between 3 main views according to their kinds of technical details, and which I also see as naturally matched with different ontologies (as part of a larger list of views including naturalistic ones - see also a more official classification of "idealist" views from the philosophical tradition):
|Idealism or mind/mathematics dualism||The mind exerts free will in brain function, by choosing after decoherence (but not bound to any other physical circumstances) one possibility among several alternatives (to which the Born's rule would give nonzero probability), instead of letting the outcome be driven by blind randomness following this probability law.|
||Stapp's view : the result of measurement keeps following Born's rule, but it still has a material effect by its way of removing the non-diagonal elements of the density operator during conscious observation events that do not fit the natural conditions of decoherence.|
|Something else, to be specified: Penrose,
I support the first option, and also found for example Casey Blood
(also in this article)
Goswami to be presenting essentially the same view. I only
slightly mentioned the Penrose view (as I currently don't figure
out how it is supposed to work) in
remarks about spontaneous collapse.
Here are my arguments for idealism (or mind/mathematics dualism)
The famous "unreasonable efficiency of mathematics in physics"
supports mathematical Platonism, but then also the mathematical
existence, not just of our universe, but also of all alternative
mathematically possible states of a universe as well. But if all
mathematical possibilities coexist, then none of them can be
meaningfully said more probable than another, thus destroying the
sense of probability laws we find in physics. Thus we need a
different kind of existence aside the mathematical one (a sense to
qualify specific universe(s) as "real" unlike other mathematically
This leads to reformulate the dualism/idealism debate in the following terms: can this other (non-mathematical) kind of existence, be a "material" kind separate from consciousness, or does it have to be reducible to conscious existence ? and then argue for the latter as follows:
I find the ontological picture described above as wonderfully confirmed by the mathematical form of quantum physics.
I sketched some arguments for my option against Stapp's
mind/matter dualism in the main page
where I express my view (section "Perception and
decoherence") and another
page focusing on Stapp's view. I might keep working to
develop the arguments, but first of all I wish to know whether any
participant or any reference of a work, can be found in specific
support to a different option as opposed to the rest of options,
instead of satisfying oneself with general arguments against
materialistic views which are usually held as the main focus of
concern in books and public spaces.
On the experimental side, this
article by George Williams tried to match the candidate theories
on mind-matter interaction with experimental data, which
includes some observed deviations of quantum random generators
away from Born's rule. There, he faced difficulty at finding a
theory that seemed coherent with these data, by lack of having
found any clear statement of the above first option as a candidate
theory in usual references. What seemed to him, was that the
Penrose model does not fit well, but that Bohm's theory of
"implicate order", itself confused with his hidden variables
interpretation, would be a better match.
Ideas as initiated by David Bohm, involving such concepts as "Holonomic brain theory",
inspired some authors of Christian
apologetic videos, to put forward the holographic principle
of quantum gravity as an argument in favor of idealism. The idea
of such a link between idealism and the holographic principle was
criticized in this blog article, but trying to explain to
the authors of these videos, who did a lot of work searching for
scientific references, that their argument by the holographic
principle really has no weight, was not obvious. See my long reply to
this article, which I wrote in a try to fix some very
general misunderstandings around issues of scientific credibility
in this debate.
In arguments against dualism, I do not consider the "interaction
problem" as a real problem, but rather a mere lack of imagination
on the possible relations between 2 things of a different nature.
I support mind/mathematics dualism, which I do not consider as
subject to any such problem (the "interaction" between mind and
math is very assymmetrical)