Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, who knows some details about the brain, responds: What is most remarkable about these patients is that after the surgery they are unaffected in everyday life, except for the diminished seizures.
Can you imagine that years ago? But the fact is, materialists are out of ideas about consciousness and don’t know where to go.
Most people (including experts) tend to have a one-level view of causation. That is, they have a static idea of what the subject matter is, and then they look to see how the pieces bounce around within that static structure. That more or less works for physics. It totally fails everywhere else.
But first, wait a minute.We do not really know what consciousness is. That is true whether or not “our intelligence and our experiences are ineluctable consequences of the natural causal powers of our brain, rather than any supernatural ones.” as Christof Koch claims.
So did Coyne not give Goff the right of reply? Apparently, he would need a beaker of antacid to read the guy’s book…
Perhaps we will morph into a civilization where a turtle with some human cells is legally human and therefore has security of the person but vast swathes of humanity are not. If you vote for people who think that’s cool, at least you will get something you voted for. Happy New Year.
At Mind Matters News: A major consequence of the advance of modern neuroscience is that we now “know” so much less than we used to. But what we do know points us in promising research directions.
The idea that we can upload our brains to computers to avoid death shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between types of thinking.
Michaael Egnor: There is no doubt that consciousness is a fundamental property of animal and human existence. As philosopher Philip Goff notes, a philosophy that cannot plausibly account for it cannot be correct.
Thomas Kidd: To cite just one, sociologist Robert Woodberry showed in a landmark 2012 article that Christian missionaries were responsible for much of the global spread of cultural values such as “religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations, and colonial reforms” from Latin America to East Asia.
If we were able to make intelligent and sentient AIs, wouldn’t that mean we would have to stop programming them? It would be unethical for me to force you to do my will, so wouldn’t the same thing be true with AIs? [Not that it is ever going to happen, but… ]
A Chinese university is dumping intellectual freedom from their charters yet China hopes to be the world’s top AI power. Is there a contradiction here?
It’s time to revive dualism: “And lastly, Pigliucci insists, without offering evidence, that dualism is “antiscientific.” Dualism is a logical conclusion from our circumstances; we are beings of both mind and matter. And those who would refute dualism tend to involve themselves in stranger claims, as we have seen.”
A working definition of intelligence defeats us for the same reasons as a working definition of beauty defeats us. Once abstractions become instantiated, they are laden with particulars. That does NOT mean that the idea is without meaning.
He bought a brain wave scanning kit and tested it on physical signs of his abstract thought, playing a game.