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TGD predicts that cosmic expansion at the level of individual astrophysical systems does not take place continuously as in classical gravitation but through discrete quantum phase transitions increasing gravitational Planck constant and thus various quantum length and time scales. The reason would be that stationary quantum states for dark matter in astrophysical length scales cannot expand. One would have the analog of atomic physics in cosmic scales. Increases of hbar by a power of two are favored in these transitions but also other scalings are possible.
This has quite far reaching implications.
The obvious question - that I did not ask - is whether this kind of phase transition might have occurred for Earth and led from a completely granite covered Earth -Pangeia without seas- to the recent Earth. Neither it did not occur to me to check whether there is any support for a rapid expansion of Earth during some period of its history.
Situation changed when my son Paavo visited me last Saturday and told me about a Youtube video by Neal Adams, an American comic book and commercial artist who has also produced animations for geologists. We looked the amazing video a couple of times and I looked it again yesterday. The video is very impressive (no wonder!) but in the lack of references skeptic probably cannot avoid the feeling that Neal Adams might use his highly developed animation skills to cheat you. I found also a polemic article of Adams but again the references were lacking. Perhaps the reason of polemic tone was that the concrete animation models make the expanding Earth hypothesis very convincing but geologists dare not consider seriously arguments by a layman without a formal academic background.
1. The claims of Adams
The basic claims of Adams were following.
2. The critic of Adams of the subduction mechanism
The prevailing tectonic plate theory has been compared to the Copernican revolution in geology. The theory explains the young age of the seafloor in terms of the decomposition of the litosphere to tectonic plates and the convective flow of magma to which oceanic tectonic plates participate. The magma emerges from the crests of the mid ocean ridges representing a boundary of two plates and leads to the expansion of sea floor. The variations of the polarity of Earth's magnetic field coded in sea floor provide a strong support for the hypothesis that magma emerges from the crests.
The flow back to would take place at so called oceanic trenches near continents which represent the deepest parts of ocean. This process is known as subduction. In subduction oceanic tectonic plate bends and penetrates below the continental tectonic plate, the material in the oceanic plate gets denser and sinks into the magma. In this manner the oceanic tectonic plate suffers a metamorphosis returning back to the magma: everything which comes from Earth's interior returns back. Subduction mechanism explains elegantly formation of mountains (orogeny), earth quake zones, and associated zones of volcanic activity.
Adams is very polemic about the notion of subduction, in particular about the assumption that it generates steady convective cycle. The basic objections of Adams against subduction are following.
After I had decided to check the claims of Adams, the first thing that I learned is that Expanding Earth theory, whose existence Adams actually mentions, is by no means new. There are actually many of them.
The general reason why these theories were rejected by the main stream community was the absence of a convincing physical mechanism of expansion or of growth in which the density of Earth remains constant.
TGD based model differs from the tectonic plate model but allows subduction which cannot imply considerable back flow of magma. Let us sum up the basic assumptions and implications.
Intra-terrestrial hypothesis is one of the craziest TGD inspired ideas about the evolution of life and it is quite possible that in its strongest form the hypothesis is unrealistic. One can however try to find what one obtains from the combination of the IT hypothesis with the idea of pre-Cambrian granite Earth. Could the harsh pre-Cambrian conditions have allowed only intra-terrestrial multicellular life? Could the Cambrian explosion correspond to the moment of birth for this life in the very concrete sense that the magma flow brought it into the day-light?
To sum up, TGD would provide only the long sought mechanism of expansion and a possible connection with the biological evolution. It would be indeed fascinating if Planck constant changing quantum phase transitions in planetary scale would have profoundly affected the biosphere.
For more details see the chapter Pre-biotic Evolution in Many-Sheeted Space-Time.
For years ago I developed a model of topological quantum computation combining TGD based view about space-time with basic ideas about topological quantum computation and ended up with the proposal that DNA might act as a topological quantum computer.
The first guess (see this) was that parallel DNA or RNA strands could form braids. The problem is that the number of braid strands is limited and the computations are restricted within single cell nucleus. The need to establish the hardware for each computation separately can be also seen as a restriction.
One can imagine also other manners in which DNA or RNA could act as a topological quantum computer and it good to try to state clearly what one wants.
1. The recent progress in quantum TGD and TGD inspired quantum biology
After the advent of the first model for topological quantum computation in TGD Universe (see this), the mathematical and physical understanding of TGD has developed dramatically and the earlier quite speculative picture can be replaced with a framework which leads to a rather unique view about topological quantum computations by DNA.
1.1 Universe as a topological quantum computer
One can say that the recent formulation of quantum TGD states that the entire Universe behaves like a topological quantum computer. This notion of topological quantum computer differs however from the standard one in many respects.
The evolution of ideas related to quantum biology provides also new valuable insights. In particular, the notion of magnetic body leads to a model of living system in which dark matter at magnetic flux quanta of the field body of biological system uses biological body as a motor instrument and sensory receptor (see this). Quantum control would be naturally via the genome and sensory input would be from cell membrane containing all kinds of receptors. This would suggest that magnetic flux sheets traverse through DNA strands and cell membranes.
The quantization of magnetic flux with unit defined by Planck constant having arbitrarily large values leads naturally to the notions of super-genome and hyper-genome (see this). Super-genome would consists of DNA strands of separate nuclei belonging to single magnetic flux sheet and these sequences of genomes would be like lines of text at the page of book. Super-genomes in turn can combine to form text lines at the pages of a bigger book, I have used the term hyper-genome. This hierarchy of genomes would give rise to a collective gene expression at the level of organs, individuals of a species, and at the collective level consisting of populations containing several species. Even biosphere could express itself coherently via all the genomes of the bio-sphere. The model of topological quantum computation performed by DNA should be consistent with this general picture.
2. Model for DNA based topological quantum computation
The most promising model of DNA as topological quantum computer relies on the hierarchy of genomes. The flux sheets or collections of parallel flux tubes assignable to a magnetic body would traverse the DNA strands of several nuclei so that strands would be analogous to lines of text on the page of a book.
DNA strands would define the intersections of magnetic or number theoretic braids with plane and braiding would be associated with with the magnetic field lines or flux tubes transversal to DNA. The M-matrix defining topological quantum computation would act on quantum states assignable to nucleotides.
2.1 The interpretation of nucleotides
The interpretation of the A,T,C,G degree of freedom is not obvious and one can consider several options.
1) The quantum numbers entangled by braids having nothing to do with (A,T,C,G) assignable to nucleotides and the braiding does not affect nucleotides.
2) The nucleotides (A,T,C,G) correspond to four different colors (a,t,c,g) for braid strands with conjugate nucleotides defining conjugate colors. The subgroup of allowed braidings would preserve the color patterns. The minimal assumption is that braid strands connect only identical nucleotides. A stronger - probably unrealistic - assumption is that braiding permutes nucleotides physically.
3) The entangled quantum numbers are in 1-1 correspondence with states A, T, C, G of nucleotide. In zero energy ontology this would be possible without breaking of fundamental conservation laws. One can even consider the possibility that A,T,C,G are these quantum numbers. Topological quantum computation in time direction would thus make it possible to replace the DNA strands with new ones and provide a purely quantal mechanism of genetic evolution. Only introns could be involved with topological quantum computations in this sense since they would not induce mutations visible at the level of amino-acids. The intronic portions of genome would not be evolutionary invariants: whether or not this is the case should be easily testable.
4) The combination of options 2) and 3) might make sense for topological quantum computations in time like direction. One would have superposition of topological quantum computations associated with various color patterns and the halting of the computation would mean in general the occurrence of a mutation.
The option 2) with braid strands connecting only identical nucleotides is rather attractive since it explains several facts about genome (as do also options 3) and 4)).
One can imagine two basic realizations of topological quantum computation like processes- or to be more precise - entanglement by braiding. In TGD framework this entanglement could be interpreted in terms of Connes tensor product.
1. Space-like entanglement The first realization would rely space-like braids. Braid strands would connect identical lines of text at the page of book defined by sequences of genomes of different nuclei. Inside nucleus the strands would connect DNA and its conjugate. The braiding operation would take place between lines.
In this case it would be perhaps more appropriate to speak about quantum memory storage of a function realized as entanglement. These functions could represent various rules about the behavior of and survival in the physical world. For this option A,T,C,G cannot correspond to entangled quantum numbers and the interpretation as braid colors is natural. Braiding cannot correspond to a physical braiding of nucleotides so that (A,T,C,G) could correspond to braid color (strands would connect only identical nucleotides).
Strands would not connect strand and its conjugate like hydrogen bonds do but would be like long flux lines of dipole field starting from nucleotide and ending to its conjugate so that braiding would emerge naturally. Color magnetic flux tube structures of almost atom size appear in the TGD based model of nucleus and have light quarks and anti-quarks at their ends (see this). This could be the case also now since quarks and anti-quarks appear also in the model of high Tc superconductivity which should be present also in living matter (see this).
2. Light-like entanglement
Second realization would rely on light-like braids at the boundaries of light-like 3-surfaces connecting 2-surfaces assignable to single genome at different moments of time. Braiding would be dynamical and dance metaphor would apply. The light-like surface could intersect genomes only at initial and final moments and strands would connect only identical nucleotides. Light-likeness in the induced metric of course allows the partonic 3-surface to look static at the level of imbedding space. The fundamental number theoretic braids defined by the minima of the Higgs like field associated with the modified Dirac operator would be very natural in this case.
Genes would define only the hardware unless they code for the magnetic body of DNA too, which looks implausible. The presence of quantum memory and quantum programs would mean a breakdown of genetic determinism since the braidings representing memories and programs would develop quantum jump by quantum jump and distinguish between individuals with the same genome. Also the personal development of individual would take place at this level. It would be these programs (that is magnetic bodies) which would differentiate between us and our cousins with almost identical genome.
3. Biological evolution as an evolution of topological quantum computation
This framework allows to understand biological evolution as an evolution of topological quantum computation like processes in which already existing programs become building blocks of more complex programs.
The formula for the quantized Hall conductance is given by
σ= ν× e2/h,ν=m/n.
Series of fractions in ν=1/3, 2/5 3/7, 4/9, 5/11, 6/13, 7/15..., 2/3, 3/5, 4/7 5/9, 6/11, 7/13..., 5/3, 8/5, 11/7, 14/9... 4/3 7/5, 10/7, 13/9... , 1/5, 2/9, 3/13..., 2/7 3/11..., 1/7.. with odd denominator have bee observed as are also ν=1/2 and ν=5/2 state with even denominator.
The model of Laughlin [Laughlin] cannot explain all aspects of FQHE. The best existing model proposed originally by Jain [Jain] is based on composite fermions resulting as bound states of electron and even number of magnetic flux quanta. Electrons remain integer charged but due to the effective magnetic field electrons appear to have fractional charges. Composite fermion picture predicts all the observed fractions and also their relative intensities and the order in which they appear as the quality of sample improves.
I have considered earlier a possible TGD based model of FQHE not involving hierarchy of Planck constants. The generalization of the notion of imbedding space suggests the interpretation of these states in terms of fractionized charge and electron number.
[Laughlin] R. B. Laughlin (1983), Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 1395. [Jain] J. K. Jain (1989), Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 199.
For more details see the chapter Pre-biotic Evolution in Many-Sheeted Space-Time.
The last issue of New Scientist contains an article about the discovery that only roughly one half of DNA expresses itself as aminoacid sequences. The article is published in Nature. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has quantified RNA transcription patterns and found that while the "standard" RNA copy of a gene gets translated into a protein as expected, for each copy of a gene cells also make RNA copies of many other sections of DNA. In particular, intron portions ("junk DNA", the portion of which increases as one climbs up in evolutionary hierarchy) are transcribed to RNA in large amounts. What is also interesting that the RNA fragments correspond to pieces from several genes which raises the question whether there is some fundamental unit smaller than gene.
In particular, intron portions ("junk DNA", the portion of which increases as one climbs up in evolutionary hierarchy) are transcribed to RNA in large amounts. What is also interesting that the RNA fragments correspond to pieces from several genes which raises the question whether there is some fundamental unit smaller than gene.
None of the extra RNA fragments gets translated into proteins, so the race is on to discover just what their function is. TGD proposal is that it gets braided and performs a lot of topological quantum computation (see this). Topologically quantum computing RNA fits nicely with replicating number theoretic braids associated with light-like orbits of partonic 2-surfaces and with their spatial "printed text" representations as linked and knotted partonic 2-surfaces giving braids as a special case (see this). An interesting question is how printing and reading could take place. Is it something comparable to what occurs when we read consciously? Is the biological portion of our conscious life identifiable with this reading process accompanied by copying by cell replication and as secondary printing using aminoacid sequences?
This picture conforms with TGD view about pre-biotic evolution. Plasmoids , which are known to share many basic characteristics assigned with life, came first: high temperatures are not a problem in TGD Universe since given frequency corresponds to energy above thermal energy for large enough value of hbar. Plasmoids were followed by RNA, and DNA and aminoacid sequences emerged only after the fusion of 1- and 2-letter codes fusing to the recent 3-letter code. The cross like structure of tRNA molecules carries clear signatures supporting this vision. RNA would be still responsible for roughly half of intracellular life and perhaps for the core of "intelligent life".
I have also proposed that this expression uses memetic code which would correspond to Mersenne M127=2127-1 with 2126 codons whereas ordinary genetic code would correspond to M7=27-1 with 26 codons. Memetic codons in DNA representations would consist of sequences of 21 ordinary codons. Also representations in terms of field patterns with duration of .1 seconds (secondary p-adic time scale associated with M127 defining a fundamental biorhythm) can be considered.
A hypothesis worth of killing would be that the DNA coding for RNA has memetic codons scattered around genome as basic units. It is interesting to see whether the structure of DNA could give any hints that memetic codon appears as a basic unit.
 E. Lozneanu and M. Sanduloviciu (2003), Minimal-cell system created in laboratory by self-organization, Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Volume 18, Issue 2, October, p. 335. See also Plasma blobs hint at new form of life, New Scientist vol. 179 issue 2413 - 20 September 2003, page 16.
For details see the chapter Pre-biotic Evolution in Many-Sheeted Space-Time.