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The Daily Mail is featuring a story on NDEs and quantum physics that is bound for the “if you read TDG, you would have known that ages ago” file:

A near-death experience happens when quantum substances which form the soul leave the nervous system and enter the universe at large, according to a remarkable theory proposed by two eminent scientists.

According to this idea, consciousness is a program for a quantum computer in the brain which can persist in the universe even after death, explaining the perceptions of those who have near-death experiences.

Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, has advanced the quasi-religious theory.

It is based on a quantum theory of consciousness he and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have developed which holds that the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells.

They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Thus it is held that our souls are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain. They are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time.

…With these beliefs, Dr Hameroff holds that in a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Instead it merely leaves the body and returns to the cosmos.

Long-time readers of this site would know that this is hardly a new theory – Stuart told us all about it in a Daily Grail interview from back in 2004-2005. When I specifically asked him about the implications of his theory for near-death experiences, Stuart replied that “when the metabolism driving quantum coherence (in microtubules) is lost, the quantum information leaks out to the spacetime geometry in the universe at large. Being holographic and entangled it doesnt dissipate. Hence consciousness (or dream-like subconsciousness) can persist.”

We’ve also mentioned the speculative theory of physicist Henry Stapp, that quantum physics allows for the possibility of an afterlife existence. But that was only 2 years ago, so you may have to give the mainstream media a few years to get onto that one…

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