Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fiction, science and strange marriages of the two.

My first book Shadow Games, contains a scene in which a college professor discusses his theories of how my antagonists, the Shadows, are able to accomplish their seemingly impossible abilities.
I created the professor's fictional theories from strange things I had read about existing scientific principles, particularly quantum theory.

Many science fiction books use as a premise, mental telepathy, mind control, and a host of other talents related to the same concept. (Steven King is an example in Fire Starter) Most of the evidence for this is anecdotal.

It's a fact that the brain does not contain the power and external organization that could reach out from the skull and influence the behavior of others, at least at a macro level.

But, I thought, what about the quantum level?

The neurons in the brain contain structures called 'micro-tubules' These structures resemble computer memories in their organization, and they are quite capable of operating at a quantum level. At that level, they could not only influence the brains of others, but could also interact with space-time itself throughout the universe.

As a further argument, follow me in a mental exercise. Keep your eyes open and conjure the image of a childhood friend, family member or teacher from your memory. Can you see it? Notice that the image is not truly an image at all. It's more an impression of an image. It's still there, you can see it, but are you really seeing it? I can do this with memories from more than fifty years ago, and other more recent experiences.

But something else is happening. You can still view a three-dimensional, full-color image of your surroundings. You hear sounds, smell odors, feel the cloth on your skin. You can still move your arms and legs and react to the voices of others in your environment. You can still think of you, and are aware that you exist. All this is occurring simultaneously as you view the image of a significant memory.

The estimates of the number of neurons contained in the human brain vary, but the most often figure quoted is one hundred-billion neurons. Each neuron may have ten thousand connections. But even with all the neurons and all the connections, (a staggering number) it still can't account for the wonderful things that your brain can accomplish.

Imagine my surprise when I viewed a recent episode of “Through the Worm Tunnel” narrated by Morgan Freeman. (the Science Channel) The program was on life-after-death, the soul, and consciousness. One of the arguments for the existence of the soul and its continuation after death was proposed by Stuart Hameroff (MD) and Sir Roger Penrose (Nobel prize in Physics).

Their theory nearly mirrored the one proposed by the fictional professor in my novel.

Science? Fiction? Or maybe the truth? Who knows? It's a question that we all will answer when we pass this mortal realm. (But not before about a hundred or more novels later!)

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