Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Creating a Quantum Superposition of Living Things 321

Posted by kdawson
from the wanted-dead-and-alive dept.
KentuckyFC writes "Having created quantum superpositions of photons, atoms, and even molecules, scientists are currently preparing to do the same for larger objects — namely viruses. The technique will involve storing a virus in a vacuum and then cooling it to its quantum-mechanical ground state in a microcavity. Zapping the virus with a laser then leaves it in a superposition of its ground state and an excited one. That's no easy task, however. The virus will have to survive the vacuum, behave like a dielectric, and appear transparent to the laser light, which would otherwise tear it apart. Now a group of researchers has worked out that several viruses look capable of surviving the superposition process, including the common flu virus and the tobacco mosaic virus. They point out that after creating the superposition, scientists will be able to perform the Schrodinger's Cat experiment for the first time, which should be fun (but less so for the virus)."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Creating a Quantum Superposition of Living Things

Comments Filter:
  • Viruses don't live (Score:3, Informative)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:29AM (#29389719) Homepage

    Viruses are not living things. They have no metabolism and need a host to reproduce. They're basically just packets of proteins containing DNA.

    • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:37AM (#29389823)

      Oh please. They're self-replicators in the domain of organic chemicals. They take resources from their environment (i.e. DNA), effectively use those resources for self-replication, and manage to do this with just enough random noise for adaptive mutation to occur.
      .
      That's more than I can say of certain slashdotters living in their mother's basements. Are you saying that they're not alive?
      .
      Let the debate begin!

      • by Permutation Citizen (1306083) * on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:51AM (#29390033)

        Sure. That's why we call them "no-life".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AP31R0N (723649)

        You have a point, most of these azoic creatures never reproduce.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tkjtkj (577219) *

        By any criteria, viruses are NOT LIVING THINGS!

        All the convoluted wording you choose to assemble will never
        show otherwise.

        viruses are packets of DNA or RNA 'packedup' into envelopes of protein. They are like a letter you'd send to anyone: In fact, totally FREE (un-enveloped) DNA,eg, is found everywhere in nature.. Even yoiur highschool bio class must have shown you pics of stings of dna being drawn into bacterial cells!!

        virus DNA, eg, can not only be frozen solid for millions of years, but it can be CRYST

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ironica (124657)

          virus DNA, eg, can not only be frozen solid for millions of years, but it can be CRYSTALIZED!
          Do THAT to a tadpole, why dontchya!

          Ok, viruses are not animals, like tadpoles.

          But human sperm and ova can be frozen and then used for reproduction. So... are they alive, or not?

          Plant seeds and insect eggs can lie dormant for years and then sprout or hatch when conditions are right. Are they alive, or not?

          The question of whether viruses are living things is far from clear-cut.

          • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:16PM (#29391013)


            The question of whether viruses are living things is far from clear-cut.

            The question of whether viruses are alive or not is as interesting a question as whether submarines swim. (To steal a phrase for Dijkstra).

            We know what viruses do and don't do. Arguing about whether they're "alive" or not is purely semantics and is not a scientific question at all.

            • by Tom (822) on Friday September 11, 2009 @01:56PM (#29391501) Homepage Journal

              We know what viruses do and don't do. Arguing about whether they're "alive" or not is purely semantics and is not a scientific question at all.

              But it's important! See, this 4th level AD&D spell affects, according to its definition "all living things within 5 feet of the target position". I must know whether it'll wipe out a virus! The fate of the world depends upon it!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by RandomFactor (22447)

        They're only MOSTLY dead!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:11PM (#29390273)

        I don't think there's much of a debate. It's common consensus that virii sit on the border being alive. They have most of the traits of what is usually defined as being alive, but they don't have all of them. The technicalities aren't terribly important in any context, including the philosophical one, so nobody really bothers.

      • by Radhruin (875377) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:19PM (#29390385)

        The definition of life is somewhat squishy, even in Biological fields, but still, technically, viruses are not living as they do not exhibit many traits that living creatures do (eg. homeostasis, metabolism, growth, asexual or sexual reproduction, etc).

        In common language, and philosophically speaking, the argument for calling a virus living could be made, but it's all just semantics.

        Wikipedia has an interesting article on life and its varying definitions throughout time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Unordained (262962)

          Wikipedia also has an interesting article on semantics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics [wikipedia.org] .

          Please stop saying "[just|merely|only|nothing but] semantics" in common language, as they are anything but insignificant, by definition.

        • The alive/not-alive debate is, I think, the wrong question.

          The better question would be, "What invariant properties do all self-replicators share, and what specific properties do self-replicators in the domain of organic chemicals share, or not?

      • by grumbel (592662)

        The problem I have with calling viruses alive in this context is that "alive" kind of implies interaction with the environment, as thats needed for reproduction, but with quantum stuff that interaction is exactly what would ruin the superposition. So while a virus might be alive in the broader sense, this kind of deep freezing doesn't sound like putting an alive thing into superposition.

    • by koterica (981373) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:38AM (#29389845) Journal
      Parent is correct: Biological viruses are like complex SQL injections that cause the host software to send out copies of the injection code. However, they are not executable on their own.
      • by Yetihehe (971185)
        Biological viruses REALLY are like computer viruses. Computer ones also cannot execute on their own. They need computers and operating systems.
        • by ivan_w (1115485)

          I can't see the analogy.

          First, not all viruses need an operating system (see boot sector viruses).

          Second, your logic assertion is flawed. you are implying 1 statement from another when there is no logic relations between the 2. It's like saying : a virus is like a car (the statement to prove). A car cannot run by itself. It needs fuel to run (a tautology with no relation to the statement to prove).

          If you want to compare anything, all you can say is that a computer virus is just like any other sequence of in

        • by Mprx (82435)

          Here is a living entity:

          0000000
          0001110
          0010010
          0100010
          0100100
          0111000
          0000000

          It replicates when placed in the environment of HighLife (variant of Conway's Life). Like Conway's Life, this environment allows for universal computation. Self-replicators are also proven to exist under Conway's Life, although none are yet constructed.

          If you don't believe that 49bit pattern is alive then you shouldn't believe viruses are alive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Stop it. Just stop. Don't compare Biology to code. It doesn't work, and only show ignorance in at least one of those, often both.

        • by Unordained (262962) <unordained_slash ... @pseudotheos.com> on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:54PM (#29390787) Homepage

          Oh? Just the other day, we were talking about how much cell division is like fork(): it's not just the pure code that's forked, but the state of all globals and open file descriptors, too. There's more to reproduction than just our DNA, there's all that "running VM" stuff going on, too: an infected cell that reproduces is likely to result in two infected cells, even if that's not part of the cell's normal DNA; a cell with a chemical imbalance will likely pass that on to its new sibling. Some cloning methods rely on injecting one cell's DNA into another -- like running a program in both a test and production environment, care should be taken to think about the whole situation when diagnosing problems, not just the DNA/code itself. See? More similarities.

          Comparing & contrasting (via "like") is not the same as saying the two are the same (via "equals"). Commonalities, when they can be found, are informative because (most) humans have the power of inductive reasoning. You're welcome to point out the important differences so we can avoid coming to undue conclusions in one or the other field.

      • by kdemetter (965669)

        So , by your definition a parasite , isn't alive either ? as it can't survive on it's own.

        You are creating your own definition of alive , in other to determine what is alive and what not

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      And sometimes RNA. And the case is not the clear. Certainly there are other symbionts and parasites that require a host for reproduction. The problem, as always, is that nature does not behave in the nice, clean way our minds would like.

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:45AM (#29389947) Homepage
      A lot of the researchers who work with viruses consider them to be alive. See for example this piece by Abbie Smith explaining why viruses should be considered to be alive and why most of the arguments against are not convincing: http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/03/ten_five_reasons_clumsy_excuse.php [scienceblogs.com]. The people who argue that viruses aren't alive are almost inevitably non-biologists or biologists who don't work with viruses.
      • by Ibag (101144)

        The people who argue that viruses aren't alive are almost inevitably non-biologists or biologists who don't work with viruses.

        And the people who argue that HTML isn't computer code aren't web designers. And the people who argue that slashdot isn't interesting aren't slashdot readers. Ok, well, maybe not on the second point, but of course people who work with viruses are going to view their work differently than others will. It makes it sound better from the outside if they could convince people that viruses are alive. I bet you could find robot designers who would try to argue that their creations are alive too. As long as we

    • They're basically just packets of proteins containing genetic material.

      Fixed that for you. Not all viruses use DNA as their genetic material; some use RNA.

      You are correct in that they do not have a metabolism and need a host to reproduce. This experiment could be conducted on an enzyme for the same effect: Will the enzyme be functional before/during/after the experiment? Obviously a virus is more complicated than an enzyme, but as long as nothing is structurally damaged it will still "work" (or, as these scientists would like to say, "live").

      Would the same be true for a bacter

    • Analysis of virus DNA has suggested the viruses evolved from bacterium- quite different than the genesis of a prionic disease.

    • by mikael (484)

      The Mimi-virus [microbiologybytes.com] is an unusual case. It has 900 genes, more than some bacteria, can process certain amino acids that other bacteria can't process. But it is still dependent on other cells for energy and reproduction.

  • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradisNO@SPAMpalegray.net> on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:30AM (#29389729) Homepage Journal
    won't someone think of the viruses? I'm going to pen a letter to the Amercian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Microscopic Organisms That May Or May Not Be Alive immediately!
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:48AM (#29389973) Journal

      Amercian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Microscopic Organisms That May Or May Not Be Alive

      The ASPCMOTMOMNBA?

      You, sir, need to work on your organization names.

      Let me suggest a few:

      The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Questionable Under Examination To Zoological Life Characterization Organisms Almost This (.) Large.

      The SPC-QUETZLCOATL is, of course, dedicated to the humane treatment of viruses, and should not be confused with the SPCQ, which is dedicated to the humane treatment of feathered-serpent redeemer/savior archetypal figures.

      Also it should be noted that the (.) in the official name of the organization is a tiny dot in parentheses, not a ASCII boobie, no matter how much you'd like it to be one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      Amercian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Microscopic Organisms That May Or May Not Be Alive

      or "NAMBLA" for short.

  • by TheRealPacmanJones (1600187) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:32AM (#29389767)
    We are still experimenting on this mans cat after all these years? Im surprised PETA isnt all over this...
  • Uh oh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:32AM (#29389773)

    The virus will be both dead and alive! So this is how the zombie plague will begin...

  • Since the collapse of the state vector is an illusion caused by the entanglement of the experimenter with the experiment, whereupon the experimenter (now in a superposition of states) can only measure one outcome, this recless creation of macromolecular superpositions will deplete the multiverse's supply of world-lines and immanentize the eschaton. We'll have doppelgangers racing madly through the streets, and it will all end in tears.

    • Since the collapse of the state vector is an illusion caused by the entanglement of the experimenter with the experiment, whereupon the experimenter (now in a superposition of states) can only measure one outcome, this recless creation of macromolecular superpositions will deplete the multiverse's supply of world-lines and immanentize the eschaton. We'll have doppelgangers racing madly through the streets, and it will all end in tears.

      And brains!!!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      Since the collapse of the state vector is an illusion caused by the entanglement of the experimenter with the experiment, whereupon the experimenter (now in a superposition of states) can only measure one outcome, this recless creation of macromolecular superpositions will deplete the multiverse's supply of world-lines and immanentize the eschaton. We'll have doppelgangers racing madly through the streets, and it will all end in tears.

      Close but what's really going to happen is that we are going to put this virus in a superposition where it will enter a world that is parallel to ours. That world will be a virtual utopia ... until our virus hits it. At which point they'll realize that we have just declared germ warfare on them and they will unify to work against the degenerative subpositioned attackers who they have done no harm. After millennia of trying to coexist peacefully with us, we will feel their true wrath and power ... as horr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hythlodaeus (411441)

      That's assuming there's objectively such a thing as a world-line. I favor the view that wave functions are the fundamental reality.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:22PM (#29390411)

      Since the collapse of the state vector is an illusion caused by the entanglement of the experimenter with the experiment, whereupon the experimenter (now in a superposition of states) can only measure one outcome, this recless creation of macromolecular superpositions will deplete the multiverse's supply of world-lines and immanentize the eschaton. We'll have doppelgangers racing madly through the streets, and it will all end in tears.

      Seems no less reasonable than the wiki writeup on superposition. QM reads to me like high-brow White Zombie lyrics, just words rammed together with no inherent meaning. Stick a few "motherfuckers", "yeahs" and obscure movie quotes in there and I think we'd have it. I'm sure it makes sense to some people but I'd need a contact high to grok it.

      THE DEAD HAVE COME BACK TO LIFE!The Hamiltonian gives the rate at which the particle has an amplitude to go from m to n. YEAH! The reason it is multiplied by i AMBIENT SCREAMING SOUNDSis that the condition that U is unitary translates to the condition: YEAH MOTHERFUCKER YEAH! which says that H is Hermitian. The eigenvalues of the Hermitian matrix H are real quantities which have a physical interpretation as energy levels. PSYCHOLOIC SLAG SUCKING JUICE FROM A FALLEN ANGEL If the factor i were absent, the H matrix would be antihermitian and would have purely imaginary eigenvalues, which is not the traditional way quantum mechanics represents observable quantities like the energy.INSANE CLOWN LAUGHTER

      • by argent (18001)

        If you want to make fun of quantum mechanics, it helps if you understand it first.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Fail. He's making fun of himself for not getting it, QM terminology to an extent for sounding like made-up words to those who don't get it, and also White Zombie.

          That was funny, damnit. Lighten up.

  • by chill (34294) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:42AM (#29389907) Journal

    20+ comments in and no Tron references. Sad.

    Maybe they can time this to coincide with the TR2N release?

    • by Itninja (937614)
      I think once Microsoft co-opted the MCP acronym for their own corporate needs, Tron references became somewhat less than common. End of line.
  • Is this necessary? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Robert1 (513674) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:48AM (#29389981) Homepage

    I was under the impression that there was nothing to be gained by doing the schrodinger's cat experiment. The idea is that in collapsing the probability wave of any object, the "observer"-object (really anything that the collapsing object interacts with, conciousnes not required!) essentially becomes a superposition of states. This forms an outward expanding wave of super position with the individuals caught within the wave observing it as collapsed and those outside the event observing all those that interact with the superpositions becoming superpositions themselves.

    For example scientist-A is in an isolated box and has a cat in an isolated box. The cat is a superposition either dead or alive, is definately one or the other when he opens the box. Let's say for him, the cat is dead when he opens it and that makes him sad. However the scientist-B, outside the larger box which contains scientist-A can now say that the box is filled a superposition of A-with dead cat (sad scientist), and A-with live cat (happy scientist). This is because scientist-B does not know the result of scientist-A opening the box,only that room now contains a superposition of a sad or happy man with a dead or live cat. Only when B opens this larger box does it the superposition of A collapse for scientist B. Now B is in the same position - he is now be a superposition of states of scientist-B seeing sad-man with dead cat, and scientist-B seeing happy-man with live cat. So the idea is that ALL quantum events function in this way. Performing this on any object, be it virus or molecule or cat. Of course because the real world has no such isolation boxes, these wavefronts of collapse and local superposition happen continuously and undetectably.

    So what will happen is they'll go through all this difficulty to superpose two states. Then view the virus, seeing it in one state - all the while oblivious that they are now intertwined with that superposition to an outside observer.

    • by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:51AM (#29390023) Journal

      To an outside observer, I am now in a superposed state of understanding and totally not understanding your comment...

      • by BronsCon (927697)

        And that only means that you are sane.

        I, on the other hand, only understand the comment.

        men in white coats. Knocking at my door. Be right b

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You are wrong.

      Hint: They now know the a particle of light is both a particle and a wave at the same time.

      The method they used to do this is why you are wrong.

      Figure it out.

    • There is a point in doing Schroedinger's experiment in that we don't know if there is a level of complexity above which a superposition cannot form.

      It seems crazy that a cat (or a person) can be in a state where an outside observer thinks that they must be in a mixture of dead and alive. Which would imply that at some level QM must break down.

      But we do not know what that level is (or even if it exists)

      Note that you don't actually have to do the dead/alive experiment. It is sufficient to have the cat (or the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ztream (584474)

        Uh, forgive me for not understanding QM, but how exactly would we *know* that the cat is in a superposition of states? As soon as we check, they would collapse, no?

        Unless of course we can cause the probability wave of the cat state to interfere with itself in some way not classically explainable, but I have a hard time thinking of a way to do that.

    • I was under the impression that to detect the superposition you'd have to observe the experimentee having collapsed into one state while evidence exists for something it intereacted with having collapsed into a state that would have been incompatable.

      For instance: Schrodenger's cat is a tom and there's a queen in heat in another compartment, with the partition opening between them after the half-death event. Sometimes when you open the box you find a pregnant queen and a tom killed by the machinery that o

    • "Scientists Prove Through Quantum Mechanics That Ignorance Is Bliss" ?

  • Schroedinger's cat? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kinnell (607819) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:50AM (#29390015)
    Surely all you need to perform the Schroedinger's Cat experiment for real is a box, a cat and a radioactive substance which decays into a poison. I thought the whole idea of superposition is that the object is simultaneously in multiple states until you observe it, at which point it is in a single state. If they can observe something in different states simultaneously, doesn't that debunk the whole theory? If they can't then what is the point of the experiment? My layman's knowledge of quantum physics is obviously lacking. Could someone explain?
    • by blueg3 (192743) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:04PM (#29390183)

      No, a real cat and a real box are too tightly coupled to the rest of the world to actually create a superposed state. The common layman's understanding treats a superposition as sort of an "I don't know" state, but that's not accurate. If you made a Schrodinger's cat-killing box, certainly you wouldn't know if the cat was alive until you opened the box, but you wouldn't end up constructing a superposed quantum state.

      One consequence of a superposition being a real state (rather than an "I don't know") is that you can perform tests that show an object must have been in a superposed state, beyond simply opening many cat-boxes and observing that half are dead and half are alive. It's fair to call this "observing that the object is in a superposed state", but it conflicts with the quantum-mechanical definition of "observation" that involves collapsing the wavefunction. They certainly can't quantum-mechanical-observe the superposed state directly -- but that's not what they're saying.

    • by AP31R0N (723649)

      Another issue is that a cat can't be alive and dead, only one or the other. Just because YOU don't know which, doesn't mean that it doesn't, or that reality doesn't. It's arrogant/solipsistic to assume that the cat's state needs you to see it. Solipsism, while interesting to me has never been useful. i'ven't been able to hack the matrix yet. So either reality is real or the matrix is so secure that it might as well be reality.

      Let's try it this way. Put a person in a box with the randomly decaying pois

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, no. It's a common misconception about QM that the 'probability field' is an illusion. It's not that we just don't know yet, it's that /literally/ there exists, at the same time, both states. The double-slit experiment with a single electron proves this. A single electron, when fired at a pair of slits, is actually a 'ripple of probability' rather than a dot. It's a ripple that's wide enough to pass through both slits, and cause interference on the other side. When we observe it, we see it as a sin

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by osu-neko (2604)

        Another issue is that a cat can't be alive and dead, only one or the other. Just because YOU don't know which, doesn't mean that it doesn't, or that reality doesn't. [...]

        Yes, that was once a common philosophical view of reality, but it's one that's flat out contradicted by observation. I'm ignoring the errors in the rest of your post since it all seems to follow from the above false statements.

    • It seems intuitively obvious that a cat will know if it is dead or alive at any point in time. However it is _theoretically_ possible to design an experiment where the cat (to an external observer) must be in a superposition of being dead and being alive unless quantum mechanics breaks down at that scale.

      One question that Schroedinger's Cat raises is "Is there a level of complexity that prevents a superposition forming?" and the proposed experiment will extend the upper limit of complexity that we know quan

    • by moon3 (1530265)
      Schrödinger's Cat

      A cat is put in a box with a radioactive substance and a radiation detector (such as a geiger counter). The half-life of the substance is the period of time in which there is a 50% chance that a particle will be emitted (and detected). The detector is activated for that period of time. If a particle is detected, a poisonous gas will be released and the cat killed.

      Ok, I know that some pre-WW2 German scientists were crazies, but what a Nazi experiment.
  • Wrong field (Score:4, Funny)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:51AM (#29390021) Homepage Journal
    With the Schroedinger cat you didnt know if it was alive or dead in the physical experiment. But biology has decided yet if virus are alive to start it? What will be the next thing they will use for this test? a meme?
    • Re:Wrong field (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sbillard (568017) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:23PM (#29390423) Journal
      I could be wrong, but I think the point of the experiment is to learn where and how quantum aspects interface with macro-objects. A virus is much larger than a photon, for example. If they can reproduce "delayed choice" and "quantum eraser" type effects on a virus, then that would really be something.

      It's not a test to see whether something is alive or dead. It's a test to understand if and/or how "which-path" observations collapse the wavefunction for macro-objects,

      IANAP, so please enlighten me if I missed the point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Sir, we have chosen YOU to be the star of our next experiment. Being the oldest Slashdotter still not officially declared completely dead, you fit perfectly! Please sign here. Oh, and here... It's just a minor thing about getting frozen and then ripped apart by a giant laser. Nothing that should distract you. Here, a new /. article for you! *takes out his tiny victim-catching net*

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday September 11, 2009 @11:55AM (#29390079)

    I can see it now...

    Me: Tell me Doc, do I have HIV?
    Doctor: Well, yes and no.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by canajin56 (660655)
      Absurd. By testing, the doctor would have collapsed the wave form. Thus opening him up for malpractice suits. "By preforming the test, the doctor altered the outcome."
  • Fascinating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Taibhsear (1286214) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:09PM (#29390247)

    But what will doing this show? I'm not a physicist, although the topic in very interesting to me. I sort of understand why it is useful in quantum computing but what effect would this have on the virus? Would it interact with other matter/organisms differently? Would it return to its normal state upon removal from the vacuum/cold or would it stay in this quantum superposition? What are the applications of this research aside from recreating Schrodinger's cat (they aren't nicknaming the virus the T-Virus are they...)?

    • by jythie (914043)

      I am sure someone will try to rewrite the proposal to describe how it can be applied to oil exploration.

  • by monopole (44023) on Friday September 11, 2009 @12:33PM (#29390535)

    Schrodinger's Flu!

  • ShroÃdinger (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rhaban (987410)

    Shroedinger's point with the cat experiment was to explain how stupid it would be to take the quantum model for something that could work at human scale.

    Too bad people took it seriously, as if the quantum model was more than what it is: a model.

  • It's all fun and games until you create the descolada! We'll all be Pequeninos or sentient philotic trees before this is done!

  • The alive/not-alive debate is, I think, the wrong question.
    .
    The better questions would be:
    .
    "What invariant properties do all self-replicators (e.g. salt crystals in solution, books, money, religions, cats, etc.) share?"
    .
    What specific properties do self-replicators in the domain of organic chemicals share, in addition to the more general case of self-replicators?"
    .
    I think that's all you can meaningfully ask. I believe the second question is what we usually mean by "alive."

  • This is certainly a (remarkable article/slow news day). I will be looking (forward to this experiment/for something better to read) and the result will (more than likely/fat chance) collapse this waveform so I better know whether I (cheer for science/give a rat's ass).
  • I read the title as "Creating a Quantum Suppository"

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

Working...