Buddhism and Science, Quantum Mechanics and the Mind

A couple of interesting articles I found recently:

Buddhists welcome science into monasteries:

“… a project called Science for Monks, backed by a Boston-based charity called the Sagar Family Foundation, western scientists also have given scientific workshops for exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks in northern India. The new collaboration aims to spread the appreciation of scientific inquiry yet further by creating a core of scientifically inspired ‘learning leaders’, explains Exploratorium artist-educator Karen Wilkinson.

“‘These monks are the most extraordinary students,’ says Mark St John, who runs a science education consultancy in Inverness, California, and will accompany the Exploratorium team to Sarnath. ‘They are total in their attention, often child-like in their enthusiasm, and are very used to working together.'”

Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts?

“… photosynthesis appears to derive its ferocious efficiency not from the familiar physical laws that govern the visible world but from the seemingly exotic rules of quantum mechanics, the physics of the subatomic world. Somehow, in every green plant or photosynthetic bacterium, the two disparate realms of physics not only meet but mesh harmoniously. Welcome to the strange new world of quantum biology.

“Electrons moving through a leaf or a green sulfur bacterial bloom are effectively performing a quantum ‘random walk’—a sort of primitive quantum computation—to seek out the optimum transmission route for the solar energy they carry. ‘We have shown that this quantum random-walk stuff really exists,’ Fleming says. ‘Have we absolutely demonstrated that it improves the efficiency? Not yet. But that’s our conjecture. And a lot of people agree with it.’

The article cites more research that links quantum mechanics to our sense of smell, the effect of green tea and consciousness itself.

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