Below is Deepak Chopra's review on the Hameroff (Anesthesiologist) and Penrose (Mathematical Physicist) paper. See the accompanying Forum Topic on "Orch OR theory of Consciousness"
I found the following passage most interesting:
The landscape is changing now. Physics has never come closer to describing the quantum foundation of consciousness than in this article by Penrose and Hameroff. It begins with the brain as a testable locus of the mind, the standard materialist position. But by tracing brain activity to quantum events at the microtubule level, the Orch OR model positions itself at the halfway house between the physicalist perspective and the “spiritual” perspective most purely represented by Vedanta.
with that in mind I would add..
Apparently the Mental world of Mind and the physical world seem to meet in this model. I agree with Depak on this. However, I am not comfortable with the ability of Mind to understand matter and Science to understand mind. I do not believe an enlightened person can build a computer chip without copying the information from the mind of those who create them. The chip does not say how to design and build itself, and the enlightened one could doubtfully design a chip having the gross specifications in hand. (size, prong placement and input/output requirements with voltages and power requirements). I am less certain though about the human beings ability to build a truly conscious device that can perform a few siddhis. I fear that is actually possible. When the first Quantum Computer is built (not a D-wave device as it exists today) will we have a way to trick it into performing a siddhi?
The choice is between two non-dual explanations for how mind came into being. Vedanta says that mind is innate in creation. To be viable, this brand of monism must show how mind created matter and energy. The challenge from the Penrose–Hameroff side is to show how matter and energy created mind. Of the two, Vedanta, in my view, has the upper hand. Mind creates matter every time we have thoughts that generate unique electrochemical activity in the brain. But no one has credibly shown how molecules learned to think. This article is an optimistic step in a project that is paradoxical when viewed by Vedanta.
The paradox is that Vedanta rejects materialism as unsound while at the same time allowing any model to be valid on its own limited terms. Since all models are created in consciousness, and since consciousness creates reality, the scientific model is a creative use of consciousness – all models, including the religious and philosophical, are equal in this respect. Science isn’t privileged, but neither is Buddhism or Theosophy or aboriginal animism. Vedanta can live with the paradox that all systems of thought are viable and inadequate at the same time. The only privileged thing is consciousness itself.
(Deepak Chopra - Review: Orch OR theory of Consciousness)
so what about other Eastern and Western theosophies? What do they contribute??