The Quantum Basis of Natural Intelligence

Last change: August 8, 2000

(in need of a serious upgrade)

Copyright 1996-2000 by Donald R. Tveter,, commercial use is prohibited. This material cannot be quoted at length or posted elsewhere on the net or included in CD ROM collections. Short quotations are permitted provided proper attribution is given. But better yet, since I'm hardly an expert on the subject, don't quote me.


To a large extent the study of Intelligence has been taken over by the Artificial Intelligence community, a group that is essentially dedicated to the idea that the brain IS a digital computer. On the other hand a great many people have the gut feeling that what they do is much different from what the digital computer does. Then too, when you look at what the AI community has managed to produce so far it falls very far short of what human beings manage to do. I would have to say that its very clear that many of the ideas the AI community has proposed to explain intelligence are incredibly faulty and need to be changed. There are some fairly ordinary proposals that can be adopted that I am sure will produce a great deal of progress in the study of Intelligence but then there is the really striking proposal that the human brain is not a digital computer at all but instead it is operating quantum mechanically, that is, using principles that were found to explain the behavior of light and other sub-atomic particles. Should this turn out to be the case it will be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time and have a major impact on the Psychology, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence communities. The theories of how quantum mechanical computing could be done in the brain along with experimental evidence for it are starting to appear and the proof could come along very quickly now in just a few years or so although, of course it could take much longer. The goal of this work is to briefly mention these new theories and results in a form that is easily understood by people interested in how the human mind and brain operates and who have only a modest understanding of the scientific principles involved and then point them to the original sources. If my intuition is correct, that human minds do operate quantum mechanically, then knowledge of this material will become essential for students of the mind.

Papers referenced in this work usually lead to a commentary page on papers included in this work (papers.html) and from there you can get to the online papers themselves. Some papers, books and online resources are not mentioned in the narrative portion of this work.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND MUCH OR MOST OF WHAT GOES ON IN THESE PAPERS since the quantum mechanical theories being proposed go way beyond my now rusty undergraduate level courses in Math and Physics. In the long run maybe I will understand enough so I can turn this into a book on the subject. Meanwhile treat the articles by experts seriously and my explanations with suspicion. But even now I think its important for everyone to know that real, serious scientists are pursuing these topics. Quite often the skeptics (quite often these are people committed to materialism and digital computing) dismiss these ideas as if they know more about quantum mechanics than the people producing them. Mostly such skeptics aren't qualified to dismiss them but they like to anyway. (Why is that?)


If you have questions or comments, write me.

To Don's Home Page