The Spooky World of Quantum Biology… and Decisions

From h+:

They were trying to establish exactly how organic photosynthesis approaches 95% efficiency, whereas the most sophisticated human solar cells operate at only half that. What they discovered is nothing short of remarkable. Using femtosecond lasers to follow the movement of light energy through a photosynthetic bacterial cell, Engel et al. observed the energy traveling along every possible direction at the same time. Instead of following a single trajectory like the electrons on a silicon chip, the energy in photosynthesis explores all of its options and collapses the quantum process only after the fact, retroactively “deciding” upon the most efficient pathway.

What does this all mean? Not only does quantum phenomena occur in living systems, but the basic processes of life we take for granted rely on the transfer of information backward in time. Life is so magical because it cheats.

What’s amazing to me is the fact that this retroactive decisional structure is one of the foundations not only of Schelling’s thought (the mystery of personality or rather, of there being things at all being explained through the logical necessity of a retroactive [and therefore unconscious] decision from God creating Himself all the way down to the tiniest existents) but also that this structure is at the core of many post-Schellingians as well. Maybe this is the connection that needs to be drawn between Schelling and a whole school of Schellingians, from Heidegger’s “thrown-projection,” to the Lacanian Real, to Badiou’s Subject of Truth. I don’t know Laruelle at all, but I know the act of decision is crucial to his critique of philosophy. Can someone fill me in briefly of how these philosophers of retroactive decision fit his critique?

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2 responses to “The Spooky World of Quantum Biology… and Decisions

  1. Ben Woodard

    From Taylor’s translation of the dictionary:

    “The philosophical Decision is an operation of transcendence which believes (in a naïve and hallucinatory way) in the possibility of a unitary discourse on Reality. This authoritative claim is expressed through autoposition, an operation made possible by its being mixed or ambiguous.

    The philosophical Decision thus has as a structure the coupling of the Unity of opposites and as a function to hallucinate the One-real and thus to foreclose. To philosophize is to decide Reality and the thoughts that result from this, i.e. to believe to be able to order them in the universal order of the Principle of Reason (Logos), but also more generally in accordance with the “total” or unitary order of the Principle of sufficient philosophy.”

    I think as long as the decision does not foreclose possibilities of the real, that is as long as the Real is identified but that that identification is not enslaved by the concept. Not sure how helpful that is. I’ve noticed that here are points in the Ages of the World that sound vaguely Laruellian.

    Also, could I get your email address I have a proposal for you…

  2. Thanks for the Laruelle info Ben. He’s a thinker I wish I had time to try to understand. I could see based on that snippet how the Weltalter would be proto-Laruellian.

    I can be reached at mbastn AT gmail DOT com.

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