The following essay was written by Thought Provoker and the views/arguments contained within do not necessarily reflect the views of Mike Gene. Mike Gene hosts such essays simply to provoke thought and promote discussion and communication.
On October 4th, Paul Nelson and Michael Ruse are/were scheduled to have a debate for discussing what it would take for them to switch sides. Here is a link to Paul Nelson's announcement where he said "Michael Ruse and I are going to have a sort of un-debate." I am making the easy prediction of a non-outcome to the un-debate where the spin-masters on both sides will claim victory. This is my overt attempt at preempting with my un-spin to provoke thinking about the polarization that this represents. Allow me some hyperbola to illustrate the point; one extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of the random assembly of a 747 from a pile of junk another extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of an Intelligent Designer saying "I am" accompanied by a pyrotechnical display of local shrubbery.
In other words, the basic conflict is generally about randomness verses a designer.
There is a lot of ground between these two extremes. What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?
I have previously presented the concept that there is no such thing as randomness in a post titled The Magic of Intelligent Design. This post has appeared in Telic Thoughts and in After the Bar Closes. For a proposed design agency, I have offered the orchestrating properties of quantum effects generally outlined in the Penrose-Hameroff model called Orchestrated Objective Reduction or Orch OR for short.
What would it take to convince either side that quantum effects are interconnected?
How about seven decades of physicists performing experiments demonstrating non-local behavior and paradoxical behavior that can only be explained if nature is "entangled" at the quantum level?
What would it take to convince either side that life is directly dependent on quantum effects?
How about if respectable scientists at Berkeley lab reported something like"¦
Early in 2007 a team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers identified quantum mechanical effects as the key to the astonishing ability of photosynthesis to utilize nearly all the photons absorbed by the leaves of green plants. Now a different team has found new evidence that points to a closely packed pigment-protein complex of the photosystem as the key to those quantum mechanical effects. "¦
How nature manages to pull off this stunt was a long-standing mystery until the spring of 2007, when a study led by Graham Fleming, Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab and a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, found the first direct evidence of what he calls a "remarkably long-lived wavelike electronic quantum coherence." Quantum-mechanical effects enable a plant's photosystem to simultaneously sample all the potential energy pathways from pigment molecules to reaction centers and choose the most efficient one. link
What would it take to convince either side that evolution is under the control of interconnected quantum effects?
What if it turned out the DNA search function is a quantum algorithm that requires quantum-like superposition?
From Patel's Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code"¦
Replication of DNA and synthesis of proteins are studied from the view-point of quantum database search. Identification of a base-pairing with a quantum query gives a natural (and first ever!) explanation of why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids. It is amazing that these numbers arise as solutions to an optimisation problem. Components of the DNA structure which implement Grover's algorithm are identified, and a physical scenario is presented for the execution of the quantum algorithm. It is proposed that enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining quantum coherence of the process.
From Patel's Towards Understanding the Origin of Genetic Languages"¦
The initial and final states of Grover's algorithm are classical, but the execution in between is not. In order to be stable, the initial and final states have to be based on a relaxation towards equilibrium process. For the execution of the algorithm in between, the minimal physical requirement is a system that allows superposition of states, in particular a set of coupled wave modes.
There is more support for the possibility of life's direct dependence on interconnected quantum effects for functions like cellular awareness (i.e. consciousness) as an artifact of quantum computation in microtubules. "Bio-quantum physics" appears to be an emerging science. While it is still speculative, that is not the point.
The question is"¦ What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?
BTW, a quantum mechanical explanation can be thought of as a tool of an intelligent designer just as much as the result of a non-teleological universe that occurred "randomly" from multiple universes. However, these are metaphysical concerns, not scientific ones.