I have tried to share the movie and the ideas in it with my parents, to little success. My mother is stuck on the question of where the information on Columbus and the Native Americans came from. She can't seem to get past the part where the shaman 'showed' them the ships, and then they were able to see them. Where did this story come from? Maybe, if I can get her past this question we can move on to some important discussions!
The story of the Native American’s inability to see the clipper ships from Europe has two aspects to it: physiological and anecdotal.
Physiologically, the human brain receives billions of "bits" of information daily. However on average, we process only a very small percentage of the information received. We automatically "screen" out details that are apparently unimportant to our daily functioning; frequently we slant the information we do receive according to our attitudes and perspectives.
Any journalist is familiar with the phenomenon of asking three different people to relate the "facts" at an accident scene, only to receive three different versions of the "facts." And certainly we've all played with the multi-dimensional drawings that now circulate on the Internet, like the one that states: "Look at this picture. Do you see the face of a beautiful woman or an ugly old hag?" Both pixilated sets of information are contained in the picture. Yet we "see" one or the other. What determines what we see?
Another similar situation arises with the holographic posters with “hidden” information contained in them that were popular about 10 years ago. At first, looking at the poster you could only see random dots. Then after staring at the poster for long minutes, suddenly the brain “sees” the picture that has been there all along - it literally seems to materialize right in front of you. Each time you look at the poster after that, it becomes easier and easier to see the imbedded image until “there it is,” all the time.
Pattern recognition depends on familiarity. An example of this is experiments done by Colin Blakemore and G.F. Cooper in the 1960s. Blakemore and Cooper raised kittens in cylindrical chambers which had either vertical of horizontal stripes painted on the inside. The kittens wore collars to prevent them from seeing their own bodies and were thus only exposed to one set of the lines. Kittens exposed only to horizontal lines made no response to a rod moved vertically; kittens raised in the vertical-only environment had no response to a rod moved horizontally. Both sets of kittens were essentially “blind” to that which they had never seen before.
By extension, this kind of experimentation has lead to the thought that pattern recognition is one of the many reasons animals - especially the wild woodland creatures - get hit by cars so often. It is possible they literally don't "recognize" what a car is, cannot assess its velocity nor understand its potential danger. Car “patterns” don't live in the woods and are not something that deer have any genetic programming to recognize.
I have personally experienced this as a truth, raising two wolves from 6 week-old pups. Frankly, I thought the male had brain damage. For months he never looked at me directly, never responded to me in any way and acted as if he were dazed and disoriented. After about 9-10 months, one night he stood up, walked over to the bed where I was reading and looked at me. He stared and he stared for the longest time. Then, after about 2-3 minutes, the tip of his tail moved in acknowledgement of my presence.
I totally "got" that that was the first time he really ever saw me. From that moment forward I was in his reality - or he was in mine. But it took all that time for his genetic programming, which was all about running away from humans and their environments, to be over-ridden by a different program.
Only when one vision was dispelled could the next vision of me as alpha leader in a different kind of “pack,” be experienced.
Now for the more anecdotal origins of the story, which Candace Pert refers to as "A wonderful story I believe is true..." Co-writer and producer Betsy Chasse says, “Other scientists related the same story to us.” And, apparently, there are references to the tale in an historical document made by an early missionary in the South Americas. This document, unfortunately, has not yet been found.
So now you know as much as we do about the origins of the tale!
What the bleep is Quantum Entanglement?! I really need to know.
Truly, Jacqui Alexander, Tennessee
Quantum entanglement occurs when two particles, such as two photons, are created from a single source. In laboratories, paired photons are often created by shooting individual photons from a laser through a specifically structured crystal. As the photon passes through the crystal it sometimes divides and becomes two photons operating at a lowered energy frequency than the original photon. The frequency states of the twin photons if added together however, equal the original photon’s total energy frequency. Nothing is lost in the splitting.
From the moment of their creation, the quantum states of the twin photons are intertwined. (Remember that entanglement happens with all kinds of particles, including electrons. I’m just using photons as the example here.) By quantum state I mean the spin state, or polarity of each photon. Although photons don’t actually spin on an axis or have a polarized charge, they act as if they did, and “spin” and “polarity” are two of the best metaphors humans can come up with to describe the indescribable aspects of particles.
The quantum states of these paired photons will always be the mirror opposite of one another. If the “spin” of one of the photons is “up,” then you can bet your last dollar that the spin of its entangled partner will be “down.”
Now the entanglement part of the situation is this: each of the paired photons apparently affects the quantum state of the other, even over large distances. For example, if you expose one of the photons to a magnet and watch its direction of motion you can tell if it’s “spin up” or “spin down.“ The very act of interfering with the one photon’s direction will affect its partner, which will instantaneously acquire a quantum state opposite to its partner’s measured quantum state.
This is an example of what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” This was the part of quantum mechanics he refused to believe, because action at a distance violates the theory of special relativity by implying faster-than-light communication between the two particles.
In 1935, Einstein was joined by physicists Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen in creating what became known as the EPR paradox, a thought experiment which demonstrates that quantum mechanics predicts action at a distance, thereby violating special relativity and the common sense “classical” understanding that in physical reality, if you affect one particle over here, it can’t affect a particle over there.
In the classical sense of viewing the world, Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen were correct. A tennis instructor putting top spin on a tennis ball on one court won’t affect the spin of another tennis ball in play five courts away, even if both balls were originally packed in the same can. But in the quantum world and in quantum mechanics, the laws are apparently different.
In 1964, John Bell showed that quantum mechanics predicts a much stronger statistical correlation between the measurement results performed on different particle spin axes than does something called the