The physicists in the consciousness movement have been trying very hard to find a link between the mystery of the mind and the mystery of the quantum.  The most suggestive link is in the measurement process.  For instance, the focus of attention on a particular process in the brain might in a bootstrap fashion influence the selection of the states being recorded in our minds.  Obviously there is a mismatch in scale between the higher order thought processes involving intentionality and the sub-molecular quantum processes.  The problem of maintaining quantum coherence on any reasonable scale is a severe constraint on such speculation.   

The mere presence of the quantum does not account for any of the qualities of subjective experience.  At best the quantum could serve as a link between the qualitative realm of mind and the quantitative domain of physics.  We would still be left with a 'quantum dualism', where the quantum replaces the pineal gland in the Cartesian version of the mind-brain duality.

Despite the absence of any solid results, the speculations of the quantum physicists provide a very important scientific cachet for a resurgence of popular interest in vitalism.  We should pause to try to appreciate the extra-scientific motivation for this interest. 

It would appear that what molecular biology has taken away from us, the quantum is giving back: that is our ability to believe in a life force.  Is our desire for a life force greater even than our need for God?  Or is it serving as a politically correct substitute? 

I believe that the definitive characterization of this needed force comes from Yoda of Star Wars: 'May the Force be with you.'  Notice the personalization of it.  What Darwin took away, a quantum savvy Yoda gives back.  The 'Force' represents the bottom end of the Great Chain of Being.  God is the top end.  Each can do double duty.  In either case we are not the accidental tourists in an uncaring universe.  We are not an epiphenomenon of atoms swerving in the dark.  There is something Fundamental about our Being.  We are rooted in the very nature of reality.  We are not a superfluous flash in the cosmic pan.  So reads our deepest longing. 


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