CAN THE THERAPEUTIC PROCESS BE DESCRIBED AS A FORM OF ‘QUANTUM’ ENTANGLEMENT?
Dr Lionel R Milgrom PhD CChem FRSC LCH MARH RHom
Program for Advanced Homeopathic Studies, 17, Skardu Road, London, NW2 3ES, UK: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: In biomedicine, a drug’s efficacy is thought to depend on it producing measurable, reproducible responses. Homeopathy’s problem can be summed up as “how can a substance diluted out of existence exert any effect, let alone a therapeutic one?” But equally, how can a drug like Prozac be deemed effective, earning Big Pharma billions, when in trials it performs no better than placebo?1
RCTs are thought to be the ‘gold standard’ for gauging drug efficacy (how well it performs in trials) not effectiveness (how well it performs in real life). Yet objectively comparing RCT data for homeopathy and conventional medicine reveals that the efficacy of homeopathy is about the same as conventional medicine! So, rejecting homeopathy on the basis of RCT data is false as many conventional drugs/procedures should be similarly rejected but are not.2,3 Thus RCTs are questioned – as being too reductionist – and alternative explanations of the efficacy of homeopathy/CAMs have been proposed, based on holistic principles derived from quantum theory.4
Quantum entanglement occurs when particles such as photons, electrons and even molecules interact and then separate. Before interaction each particle is described by its own quantum state. After the interaction the pair can still be described with a definite quantum state but each member of the pair must also be described holistically relative to one another. So, when a measurement made on one member of such a pair means instantaneously the other member of the pair is always found (when measured) to have taken the appropriately correlated value.
This correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs is observed even though arbitrarily large distances may separate them. And this works even when the measurements are performed more quickly than light could travel between the sites of measurement. Could this apply to the therapeutic relationship?
Information and reality: the orthodox interpretation of QT assumes a quantum state’s mathematical formulation describes its objective physical reality, separate from us and existing whether we observe it or not. However, this essentially ‘realist’ view of QT has been challenged by physicists.5 A recent reinterpretation of QT considers the mathematical description of a quantum state to be a representation of what can be known about it.
Thus information takes on a more fundamental meaning than any notion of ‘objective reality’. What is considered information depends on who or what is informed: for something to be known, there has to be a knower. Thus subject and object are at a very fundamental level correlated with each other, i.e., entangled.
This information approach allows QT’s principles to be generalised outside its normal narrow confines of sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, and macroscopic systems derived from them, to describe more metaphorical contexts, such as the therapeutic process, using the discourse of QT.6
Entanglement and the therapeutic process: So, in the orthodox view of QT, entanglement between qualitatively different macroscopic entities such as a remedy (derived from a material substance) and a totality of symptoms (an idea generalised from one individual’s observations about another) seems ridiculous. But this is because orthodox QT is based in a realist ontology, which must ultimately present such a false dichotomy. The dichotomy disappears when it is realised that remedy and symptoms are before anything sources of information. With similar ontologies based in information, they are now quite capable of being ‘entangled’ (via the practitioner) during the therapeutic process. Thus, a pre-requisite of cure might be the necessity for entanglement to occur between the patient, practitioner, and the remedy/therapeutic modality, called PPR entanglement. Could it be that if PPR entanglement is a necessary condition for successful interventions, then the more rigorously the RCT methodology is applied, the less likely it is to demonstrate the efficacy of homeopathy?
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The Evidence for Homeopathy. British Homeopathic Association. www.britishhomeopathic.org.
Milgrom LR. Journeys in the country of the blind: entanglement theory and the effects of blinding on trials of homeopathy and homeopathic provings. eCAM 2007;4:7. Walach H. Generalised entanglement: A new theoretical model for understanding the effects of complementary and alternative medicine. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11:549–559.
Zeilinger A. Quantum Teleportation and the Nature of Reality. 2004. Online document at: www.btgjapan.org/catalysts/anton.html
Milgrom LR. A new geometrical description of entanglement and the curative homeopathic process. J Altern Complement Med 2008;14:329, and references therein.