Life After Death: Quantum Entanglement
The soul, consciousness, and what happens to it after we die is a foundational staple to many of the religious beliefs that make up 85% of the worlds population. For many, these beliefs are a matter of faith on the same level as the belief in the existence of God.
It is no wonder that classical science has shied away from this topic. Science likes to deal with things that are measureable and objective in nature. Even today, science is hard pressed to explain normal everyday consciousness, let alone trying to postulate what happens to consciousness after death. However, there are new theories being developed based on quantum physics, the science of the microscopic world, that may once and for all shed some light on what consciousness is, and ultimately, if it continues on after death.
One of these interesting theories is the Penrose-Hameroff Orch-OR (Orchestrated Objective Reduction) theory, developed by theoretical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff.
The Orch-OR theory proposes that consciousness is the result of quantum computing within the brain, and, can give rise to the ability for our consciousness to survive after death through a process called quantum entanglement.
The Penrose-Hameroff Orch-OR theory proposes that microtubules* perform not just molecular-scale computation, but also, specifically related to consciousness, quantum computations.
*In brain neurons, intelligent functions have prompted suggestions that microtubules are also the nervous system of each cell, capable of molecular-level computation and information processing. In each and every neuron, millions of tubulins coherently vibrate in the megahertz frequency range, providing potentially quadrillions (10 to the 15th power) of operations per second per neuron.Quantum means the smallest fundamental unit of energy and matter, usually considered at very small scales. But the laws governing the quantum world are bizarre and exotic, quite different from our everyday world of classical physics governed by Newton’s laws and Maxwell’s equations. For example in the quantum world, particles can exist in multiple locations or states simultaneously — quantum superposition. Another quantum feature is nonlocal entanglement — quantum particles separate but still remain mysteriously connected (what Einstein referred to as ‘spooky action at a distance’). And multiple quantum particles can condense to a unified state — quantum coherence.
Quantum entanglement tells us that the universe is somehow nonlocal, that instantaneous hidden connections occur between spatially and temporally separated particles, objects and energies. Despite the complete lack of any explanatory mechanism, entanglement has been repeatedly demonstrated and, along with quantum superposition, used in new technologies including quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation and quantum computing.
In quantum computing, information may be represented not only as bits of either 1 or 0, but also as superpositioned quantum bits (qubits) of both 1 AND 0. Qubits interact with other qubits by nonlocal entanglement, and then collapse/reduce to specific output states as the solution to the quantum computation.
But we don’t see quantum superposition and entanglement in our everyday classical world. It seems there’s an edge, or boundary between two phases of reality — the quantum and classical worlds, and that consciousness may have something to do with that edge, also known as ‘quantum state reduction’, or ‘collapse of the quantum wave function.’
If what Penrose and Hameroff theorize is true, and our brains are in fact quantum computers with the ability to become entangled with the universe, then life after death is completely logical as our consciousness itself would become entangled within it.
In fact, Hameroff believes that our souls are built upon something even more fundamental than neurons. He believes that the entire universe is made up of a proto consciousness; A consciousness that permeates everything at a fundamental quantum level.
In this sense, our brain’s microtubules are the circuit board of physical consciousness, a receiver of consciousness if you will. Once imbued, our consciousness settles within the brain via these microtubules and allows us to experience the world through our bodies. However, once our bodies cease to exist, our consciousness would then revert back to its original state, which was one outside the bounds of our bodies.
In this respect, things like NDEs (Near Death Experiences), telepathy, clairvoyance, etc., may start to make more sense. If our consciousness is entangled with the universe as a whole, then these phenomena become vastly more explainable.
Until we experience death itself, it’s the work of those like Penrose and Hameroff that may finally answer one of life’s most mysterious questions; but, until then, we can only wait for the inevitable.