The real history of quantum biology
In a paper published by the Royal Society journal, Proceedings A, The origins of quantum biology, we examine nearly 100 years of pioneering and improbable questions about the relationship between the fuzzy and almost magical world of quantum physics and the rigid and organised field of biology.
We also reveal quantum biology’s murky past with the Nazi scientist Pascual Jordan, an eminant quantum physicist who joined the Nazi Party.
Jordan insisted that living organisms have a unique ability to amplify the quantum into
the macroscopic world does have a lot of resonance with modern views of quantum biology. However, his biological speculations became increasingly politicized and aligned with his Nazi ideology. He even claimed that the concept of a single dictatorial leader (Führer), or guide, was a central principle of life:
“We know that there are in a bacterium, among the enormous number of molecules constituting this . . . creature . . . a very small number of special molecules endowed with dictatorial authority over the total organism; they form a Steuerungszentrum [steering centre] of the living cell. Absorption of a light quantum anywhere outside of this Steuerungszentrum can kill the cell just as little as a great nation can be annihilated by the killing of a single soldier. But absorption of a light quantum in the Steuerungszentrum of the cell can bring the entire organism to death and dissolution—similar to the way a successfully executed assault against a leading [führenden] statesman can set an entire nature into a profound process of dissolution.”