Huping Hu and Maoxin Wu‘s new paper “Photon Induced Non-local Effects of General Anesthetics on the Brain” moves things on rather dramatically. You may recall that earlier papers invoked quantum entanglement as an essential mechanism in the operation of the mind. The new paper says that, rather than waiting for things to happen, they decided to go ahead and conduct some experiments. A range of slightly different tests was carried out: it appears that applying magnetic pulses through a sample of anaesthetic into the brain causes distinct effects as though the anaesthetic were actually in the brain: moreover, water can be made to have anaesthetic effects through a similar procedure: the effects of drugs, in fact, can be transmitted into the brains of subjects through quantum entanglement.
These experiments rather recall the homeopathic doctrine of water memory (hopelessly at odds with elementary chemistry, in my personal view), but the authors distance themselves from that theory. More frivolously, they reminded me of Bunuel’s remark – “Connoisseurs who like their martinis very dry suggest simply allowing a ray of sunlight to shine through a bottle of Noilly Prat before it hits the bottle of gin.”
In Hu’s own words the significance of these results is as follows.
Significances in Physical Sciences
1. Our findings enable communications of both classical and quantum information between locations of arbitrary distances using quantum entanglement alone.
2. Our findings show that instantaneous signaling is physically real which implies that Einstein’s theory of relativity is in real (not just superficial) conflict with quantum theory.
3. Our findings provide important new insights into the essence and implications of the mysterious quantum entanglement.
4. Our findings further provide clues for solving the long-standing measurement problem in quantum theory including the roles of the observer and/or consciousness.
Significances in Biological Sciences
5. Our findings show that biologically and chemically meaningful information can be transmitted from one place to another by photons and possibly other quantum objects such as electrons, atoms and even molecules through quantum entanglement.
6. Our findings enable various quantum entanglement technologies be developed some of which can be used to deliver the therapeutic, nutritional and/or recreational effects of many drugs to various biological systems such as human bodies either on site or from remote locations of arbitrary distances without physically administrating the same to the said systems.
7. Our findings suggest that brain processes such as perception and other biological processes likely involve quantum information and nuclear and/or electronic spins may play important roles in these processes.
8. Very importantly, our findings provide a unified scientific framework for explaining many paranormal and/or anomalous effects such as telepathy, telekinesis and homeopathy, if they do indeed exist, thus transforming these paranormal and/or anomalous effects into the domains of conventional sciences.
The results are certainly surprising. I don’t think I envisaged the effects of entanglement being quite along these lines, as though a distant molecule could have its normal chemical effect in another location. But the main barrier to acceptance of the results, I think, will be the nature of the experiments themselves.
Rather than being conducted in a well-equipped lab, they seem to have involved a degree of improvisation, using an audio system, a microwave oven, and a flashlight, among other things. Some of the drugs were “leftover items originally prescribed to Subject C’s late mother”. None of that invalidates the results, but the mention of Subject C indicates another issue: I think readers will feel that there are methodological problems in the fact that the four subjects of the experiments were the two authors and Hu’s parents. I’m afraid this is likely to deter others from attempting to reproduce the results, and the experiments may not enhance the credibility of the earlier paper in the way the authors presumably hope.