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At Mind Matters News: Claim — “Evolution” explains near-death experiences

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The problem is, there is no evolutionary reason to believe the claim

Some researchers believe that near-death experiences are a biological mechanism like the fight-or-flight response, a means of pretending death to avoid a predator. They call it thanatopsis: …

Two problems arise from this analysis:

➤ Implausibility: Most of the people who have survived to tell of near-death experiences are not “death-feigning.” They are clinically — and, in most cases, involuntarily — dead.

Modern medicine can bring people back from actual states of death or even induce such states, for surgical purposes. That’s why we hear so many reports of near-death experiences these days.

There is no physiological basis for the belief that, in general, humans can just “play dead” when it suits us, as can marsupials like opossums. Many might wish we could but we can’t. …

News, “Claim: “Evolution” explains near-death experiences” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Humans who have near-death experiences are not “playing possum”; they really are clinically dead but can be resuscitated by modern medicine.

See also: Do only Western religious people have near-death experiences? Even famous atheist philosopher A. J. Ayer had a near-death experience. Near-death experiences occur across cultures and the description differs but the outcomes are similar: a changed emphasis in life is the most common.

80 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Claim — “Evolution” explains near-death experiences

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Fool a predator????? How many predators have access to the internal thoughts of their prey? After a cat kills a mouse, does the cat’s stomach interrogate the mouse’s brain about its experiences during the process of digestion?

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    Another beautiful example of a darwinsplain
    This one is so tight not even BA77 can rationalize it away. The Chuckdarwin must be bouncing around his house in glee from such rock solid darwinsplaining science

  3. 3
    BobRyan says:

    In other words; like everything else Darwinists can’t explain, which is everything, they simply try to find something in nature. Some animals can play dead, but most cannot. Considering the amount of prey in nature, you would think all of them would have the ability to do just that. Why would so few evolve the ability?

    Humans are not prey. We are predators. Have they found any species of predators who play dead?

  4. 4
    William J Murray says:

    This seems to be another case of people who have no idea what they are talking about, and have done zero research, spinning a narrative that is convenient to their pre-existing ideology.

    When you actually research NDEs, you find out researches have explored a wide variety of explanations from the physical/materialist perspective, only to come up entirely empty. These are not hallucinations, dreams, or otherwise figments of imagination because of the startling evidence, such as meeting dead relatives they did not know at the time were relatives or dead. Bringing back verified information they had no material/physical access to. There have been shared NDE’s and death experiences with rooms full of people.

    This is a cross-cultural phenomena, with many similar and many uniquely cultural elements. One of the common elements is that the experiences rate the “realness” of the experience as the equal of, or greater than, their normal “this world” experiences. These experiences have life-changing effects, and they are clearly, accurately remembered years later in follow-up studies. NDE’s do not fit the profile of hallucinatory events, dreams or drug-induced phenomena.

    And, again, the actual evidence has led researchers to begin theorizing that consciousness does actually survive death and is not confined to the physical body substrate. It’s interesting that the development of this evidence is coinciding with the development of so many other lines of evidence that indicates the primacy of consciousness.

  5. 5
    MikeW says:

    NDE’s are definitely real experiences. But since they all can be explained from (1) anesthetic semi-awareness, (2) active imaginations, (3) con artists, and/or (4) deceiving spirits, then from Occam’s Razor, there’s no need to postulate any out-of-body consciousness. And since NDE’s generally can’t be verified and replicated by neutral observers, it is difficult to impossible to develop any useful technologies from them.
    https://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/Fulltext/2004/09000/The_Incidence_of_Awareness_During_Anesthesia__A.36.aspx

  6. 6
    doubter says:

    MikeW@5

    “NDE’s are definitely real experiences. But since they all can be explained from (1) anesthetic semi-awareness, (2) active imaginations, (3) con artists, and/or (4) deceiving spirits, then from Occam’s Razor, there’s no need to postulate any out-of-body consciousness. “

    What is apparent is that this, though stated as a fact, is actually your opinion as a believer as a matter of faith in Biblical fundamentalism, and (somewhat paradoxically) a believer in a materialist interpretation of consciousness. The rest of us can’t depend on holy books + a form of materialism to define our reality, a reality which in the case of NDEs includes very many experiences having veridical features investigated and confirmed by numerous experts, like Dr. Bruce Greyson.

    To claim that this large body of evidence is manufactured by mischievous spirits out to deceive us to draw us away from the true spiritual (Biblical) path is extremely implausible to me and to very many others. For one thing, it is the end of science since any scientific data or evidence can easily be denied on the same grounds, as spirit interference or deception, making a joke of the scientific method and procedure of generating a hypothesis, testing of hypothesis, formulation of theory, test of theory, and so on.

    And your dismissal of NDEs as experiences of a higher spiritual reality (presumably because they conflict with certain religious precepts) runs into known facts about the experiences found through extensive investigations, for instance the fact that in many deep transcendental NDEs involving experiences such as encounters with a transcendent Light, visits with dead loved ones, sometimes life reviews, and other joyful and/or illuminating features, there are pronounced long-term positive changes in personality on the part of the experiencer, including loss of fear of death and becoming a much more loving person – basically a transformation into a more spiritual consciousness.

  7. 7
    doubter says:

    This new research is yet another clueless mainstream materialist neuroscience attempt to “scientifically” explain and debunk NDEs, to reduce them to some sort of physical phenomenon with neurological and evolutionary origins. Of course this must (and does indeed) complacently ignore as worthlessly anecdotal any and all veridical features of NDEs, regardless of the voluminous empirical evidence revealed by careful investigation. There is also the obvious absurdity of trying to claim an evolutionary origin to NDEs when there is no survival and reproduction value to having a supremely joyful transcendental experience ending usually in death.

  8. 8
    AnimatedDust says:

    Nice try, Mike @5. There are now peer-reviewed studies on NDEs and veridical experiences that are independently verified are plentiful. Thanks for playing. Start with Dr. Pim van Lommel as your first search. You also need to Google Shared Death Experience.

    Where have you been hiding? 1859?

  9. 9
    zweston says:

    Hey Animated…where can we read studies and resources on this? I’d love to read up

  10. 10
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@6&7 and AD@8, I agree that NDE’s and SDE’s are real experiences, that they occur often, and that they can be life-changers. But van Lommel’s 2001 Lancet article and his 2010 book (Consciousness Beyond Life) mainly document the fact that the NDE’s occurred. His evidence that they are caused by OBE’s is weak and after-the-fact. None of the OBE cases can be systematically verified and replicated, which is confirmed by the only other peer-reviewed article that I’ve seen referenced on this site. The same is true for the evidence I’ve seen from any of the sites that discuss SDE’s.

    As with other paranormal activities, even if an OBE could be confirmed, it would be impossible to determine if the cause was an individual’s own soul, a friendly spirit, or a deceiving spirit. So OBE’s will always by explainable by some or all of the 4 causes I outlined above, and they will never be established beyond speculation and wishful thinking, as has been the case for over a century now.

  11. 11
    doubter says:

    MikeW@10

    None of the OBE cases can be systematically verified and replicated…

    You state this as a matter of principle. It is more a matter of the fact that NDEs are relatively rare and occur only spontaneously usually in life-threatening health crises and trauma, or incidences of accidental close shaves with death, etc. Accordingly it is extremely unlikely that such an experience will happen in the lab or in a hospital under observation with recording equipment. That is an entirely unreasonable burden of evidence. Because of their very nature NDEs occur spontaneously in everyday life away from labs and hospital rooms and cannot be recorded in detail or replicated at will. These characteristics of NDEs certainly don’t show that they are fundamentally “unscientific”.

    This reasoning of course also applies to other psychical phenomena such as verified reincarnation memories and confirmed mediumistic communications.

    As with other paranormal activities, even if an OBE could be confirmed, it would be impossible to determine if the cause was an individual’s own soul, a friendly spirit, or a deceiving spirit.

    As I have said, such a claim lays open the possibility that the results of any scientific experiment could be manipulated by religious or paranormal or psychical forces to produce false results as desired by these powerful nonmaterial beings. Magic. The end of science as we know it, since modern science depends on the assumption of reductionist materialist naturalism, that all causal forces operating in an experiment are physical.

    And imposition of a false experience by the soul or deceiving spirits or friendly spirits is considerably more elaborate and complicated a hypothesis than the simple assumption that people’s life-changing NDEs are what they were vividly experienced as. The Occam’s Razor principle or principle of parsimony militates strongly to adopt the simplest explanation.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Doubter, the lurking issue is death transition experiences, where there is no coming back. KF

  13. 13
    William J Murray says:

    Doubter said:

    This reasoning of course also applies to other psychical phenomena such as verified reincarnation memories and confirmed mediumistic communications.

    A lot of this has been the subject of considerable research, including scientific research, for the past couple of hundred years, but really taking off in the past 40-50, especially with the internet/information age where people can congregate and express their experiences, and research can be more easily found.

    And imposition of a false experience by the soul or deceiving spirits or friendly spirits is considerably more elaborate and complicated a hypothesis than the simple assumption that people’s life-changing NDEs are what they were vividly experienced as. The Occam’s Razor principle or principle of parsimony militates strongly to adopt the simplest explanation.

    Exactly. If you just look over the evidence without characterizing or categorizing it via some a priori ideological bias, it paints a very rich and deep picture of our existence within a much larger and much more diverse experiential arena that includes an amazing assortment of locations and conditions available for exploration.

    But, common to all of these experiences, every single one, is that we continue on after we die and consciousness/identity is not limited to any particular physical substrate. Basically, we find ourselves somewhere else, in somewhat different conditions, and those locations and conditions are not identical by any stretch.

  14. 14
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@11, I notice you changed my statement on OBEs to your own statement on NDEs, and then continued your argument against that strawman. That is a common tactic of believers in pseudoscience (e.g. Darwinists). No one argues that NDEs aren’t vivid and life-changing. The argument is whether NDEs are caused by OBEs. Most conscious dualists that I’ve encountered attribute the OBE part of the experience to a “soul”. Even if you don’t, then whatever personal ability you attribute it to doesn’t change the argument against OBEs.

    Your constant appeal to Occam’s Razor is mystifying (if not “mystical”). If all conscious thoughts can be explained by the material brain, that is clearly simpler and more straightforward than any paranormal explanation, at least IMO. (Even mathematically, monism is simpler than dualism in the same way that 1 is simpler than 2.)

  15. 15
    MikeW says:

    It’s interesting how much Darwinists and conscious dualists have in common. Both use after-the-fact just-so stories and appeals to authority to support their theories. Both use strawmen, ad hominem attacks, and name-calling against their critics. And both are being effectively challenged by modern scientific theories.

    In the case of Darwinism, ID theorists like Stephen Meyer use abductive reasoning to show how ID is the best cause currently in operation to explain complex biological codes. From that theory, IDers are able to make verifiable predictions that are being confirmed today, e.g. that the breeding of wolves and foxes into domestic dogs can only devolve the wolf and fox genomes, that the devolved antibiotic-resistant bacteria genomes in hospital environments will not compete successfully in normal environments outside the hospitals, and that research like the ENCODE project will continue to find functionality for sections of the genome that Darwinists have dismissed as “junk”.

    In the case of consciousness, EM theorists like JohnJoe McFadden use abductive reasoning to show how the EM field is the best cause known to be in operation today to explain consciousness. From that theory, EMers are able to make verifiable predictions that are also being confirmed today, e.g. that consciousness is always associated with endogenous EM field fluctuations, that TMS-trained patients experience EM field mediated motor control as their conscious actions, and that the conscious visual color qualia space exhibits spherical symmetries similar to the symmetries of other EM properties (e.g. EM spherical charge distribution).
    https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2020/1/niaa016/5909853

  16. 16
    doubter says:

    MikeW

    It would be interesting to learn how you deal with some of the excellent evidential veridical NDE cases. For instance, that of Pam Reynolds. Paraphrased from the Psi Encyclopedia at https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/pam-reynolds-near-death-experience :

    Pam Reynolds Lowery, from Atlanta, Georgia, was an American singer-songwriter who, in the late 80s or early 90s, went to her physician with a complaint that she was experiencing severe dizziness, loss of speech, and difficulty in moving parts of her body. She was subsequently referred to a neurologist, who, after a CAT scan, revealed that she had a large aneurysm in her brain, very close to the brain stem, affecting her overall abilities. Because of the aneurysm’s position and its sheer size, Pam was told that she might not survive an operation. In 1991 it was decided to perform a rare and complex operation using special techniques, to try to safely excise the aneurism.

    Dr. Robert F. Spetzler, a neurosurgeon in Phoenix, Arizona, performed a rare procedure known as the hypothermic cardiac arrest while simultaneously removing the aneurysm. During the operation, Pam’s body temperature was kept at 60°F, her eyes were taped shut, the blood from her head had been entirely drained, and small plugs were placed in her ears emitting a loud clicking sound used to monitor brain activity and confirm flatline. This generated noise was loud enough to drown out any voices in the operating room, aside from the fact that Reynolds was completely out anyway from (first) the general anaesthetics, and then from the hypothermic cardiac arrest. Clinically, she was dead during the major part of the operation. And yet, when she woke up, Pam could describe everything that happened in the operating room with eerily accurate detail.

    Pam, 35, reported that sometime during the operation, she heard a sound that seemed to pull her out of her physical body and allowed her to float in the air above so that she could see what was going on. She said she felt more aware and that her eyesight was clearer than ever, but the strangest part for her was not seeing the unfamiliar instruments being used on her (which she did, in particular the special Midas Rex bone saw used by Spetzler); it was witnessing her deceased relatives. According to Pam, even though she didn’t want to return, her uncle brought her back to her body and pushed her inside once again.

    To summarize, the experience occurred during a complete shutdown of her brain and body functions that had been instigated purposely to allow delicate surgery on a brain aneurysm. It included accurate views of the operating room and equipment, hyper-awareness, visions of light, and interactions with deceased relatives. Her case is regarded by many as convincing evidence of survival, since her vital signs were monitored continuously, providing certainty that she was clinically dead at the time.

  17. 17
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@16, what Pam Reynolds experienced sounds like a case of anesthesia awareness, followed by an active imagination that caused her to imagine hovering above the proceedings. That explanation is actually one of the possibilities given in the Criticisms section of the article you cite. I’ve commented on anesthesia awareness before, but below is another reference:
    https://www.asahq.org/madeforthismoment/preparing-for-surgery/risks/waking-up-during-surgery/

    One of the findings of conscious EM theory is that the brain’s conscious EM field is too weak and localized to be detectable by most outside devices. That’s why normal operating room equipment can’t detect it, and why no device can unambiguously measure for “a complete shutdown of brain and body functions”. That’s also why anesthesiologists no longer guarantee full unconsciousness, but rather they “suppress consciousness”. They know that unresponsiveness does not necessarily imply unconsciousness.
    https://pubs.asahq.org/anesthesiology/article/116/4/946/13106/Unresponsiveness-Unconsciousness

  18. 18
    doubter says:

    MikeW@17

    Skeptic materialist Gerald Woerlee says Reynolds experienced anesthesia awareness, in which a person is conscious but can’t move. He figures that back in 1991, that happened in 1 out of every 2,000 operations.

    That didn’t convince cardiologist Michael Sabom (who extensively investigated the case) or neurosurgeon Robert Spetzler (who actually performed the operation). They believed the combination of anesthesia and the sluggish or nearly nonexistent brain activity caused by hypothermia meant that Reynolds could not form or retain memories for a significant part of the operation. At the very least, Sabom has said, Reynolds’ story raises the possibility that consciousness can function even when the brain is offline.

    “Is there some type of awareness that occurs from a nonfunctional, physical brain?” Sabom asks. “And if there is, does that mean that there’s a soul or spirit?”

    And the anaesthesia awareness theory ignores the extraordinary confirmed veridical elements of Reynolds’ experience of being out of her body, in particular her apparently sighted perception of the unusually shaped Midas Rex bone saw. Woerlee comes up with supposed “explanations” for all these features, but they are unsatisfactory. In the case of the Midas Rex, surgeon Spetzler testified that Reynolds’ description was remarkably accurate, and that she was under EEG burst suppression (a clear sign that the brain is not active but in a state of deep unconsciousness), which is incompatible with anaesthetic awareness.

    Another veridical feature: from her vantage point behind and above Spetzler’s shoulder Reynolds “saw” her body jump twice when during the rescusitation after the excision of the aneurism the surgeons had to administer two shocks to clear the ventricular fibrillation her heart had gone into. So Reynolds was somehow aware during cardiac arrest and an additional hypothermic coma, still full of barbiturates and no auditory brainstem response, indicating complete absence of brain activity. It is not remotely reasonable to suggest that she could have had normal brain-bound consciousness in that state.

  19. 19
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@18, there’s no way for Saborn or Spetzler to know that Reynold’s brain activity was “nearly nonexistent” or “nonfunctional” or “completely absent”. If Spetzler testified that EEG burst suppression is “incompatible with anesthetic awareness”, then he apparently is unaware of the latest research in that area. From the article referenced below:

    “The neurophysiological dynamics of large-scale cortical circuits during burst suppression are therefore not well understood.”

    “The state of burst suppression itself could occur in a limited cortical region while other areas exhibited ongoing continuous activity.”

    Perhaps Spetzler is a competent neurosurgeon, but his neuroscientific abilities are suspect.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3754454/

  20. 20
    doubter says:

    MikeW@19

    Full of barbiturates and in a deeply hypothermic coma with no auditory brainstem response, and her brain was still consciously aware? And this during cardiac arrest. Please.

    And I notice that you didn’t engage with the issue of the veridical features of the NDE.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    As to Woerlee’s anesthesia awareness hypothesis. That has been debunked:

    Reply to Woerlee’s Rejoinder on the Pam Reynolds Case – Chris Carter (2013)
    Excerpt: In summary, I agree with the assessment of this case by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, who in his review of this remarkable case, concluded:
    Pam Reynolds’ case strongly suggests that (1) mind, consciousness, and self can continue when the brain is no longer functional and clinical criteria of death have been reached; and (2) [spiritual experiences] can occur when the brain is not functioning. In other words, this case seriously challenges the materialist view that mind, consciousness, and self are simply by-products of electrochemical brain processes and that [spiritual experiences] are delusions created by a defective brain.
    https://netwerknde.nl/wp-content/uploads/ccvsgwrepr.pdf

    Response to (Woerlee) “Could Pam Reynolds Hear?” Stuart Hameroff, M.D. – Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology – The University of Arizona
    https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461724/m2/1/high_res_d/30-1%20D%20Hameroff.pdf

    Dr. Jeffrey Long also debunked Woerlee’s anesthesia awareness hypothesis:

    Excerpt: ”Dr. Jeffrey Long: That’s a really good point. I agree with everything you said, Alex, and there’s even more. In fact, if you look at the book, Evidence of the Afterlife, on pages 103 to 104, I talk directly about this so-called anesthetic-awareness that Dr. Woerlee discusses.
    As an overview, let me say that these anesthetic-awareness experiences are so very, very rare that I hope this never dissuades anybody from having medically appropriate general anesthesia. Please don’t let any of the discussion here be an issue in preventing appropriate medical care.
    As I say in the book, and this is a direct quote, “Rather than the type of coherent NDEs you read here, anesthetic-awareness results in a totally different experience.” And I provide a number of references on that, by the way, for interested listeners.
    I go on to say, “Those who experience anesthetic-awareness often report very unpleasant, painful and frightening experiences. Unlike NDEs which are predominantly visual experiences, this partial awakening during anesthesia more often involves brief and fragmented experiences that may involve hearing but usually not vision.” Again, I emphasize that anesthetic-awareness is very rare under anesthesia.
    By the way, I’m not aware of any near-death experiences that occurred under general anesthesia on the NDERF website that described the typical content of anesthetic-awareness experiences. Dr. Woerlee brings up a few anecdotal discussions about anesthetic-awareness but I have a number of references. These are the scholarly people that have actually studied a number of anesthetic-awareness experiences and published them in peer-reviewed journals in the past. That’s my source of that.
    As all of your listeners can easily see, you just don’t have near-death experiences that are predominantly hearing but no vision. You don’t essentially ever have near-death experiences that involve brief, fragmented experiences that are painful or frightening. In fact, none of the general anesthesia near-death experiences that I reviewed had any of those components of them. Really, there’s no doubt about that.
    These are completely different experiences. That being anesthetic-awareness and near-death experiences. I don’t think Dr. Woerlee quite got that point how clear that was; how crystal clear the distinction between those two types of experiences is.””
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-553792

    Of related note, the following is on par with Pam Reynolds’ Near Death Experience. In the following video, Dr. Lloyd Rudy, a leading pioneer in cardiac surgery, (and who definitely knew when one of his patients was ‘officially’ dead), recounts two patients who came back to life after being ‘officially’ dead, and told him things that they could not have possibly known from the vantage point of being on the operating table

    Famous Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1oDuvQR08

  22. 22
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@20 and BA77@21, actually I have engaged on “veridical features of the NDE”, but will respond again. I agree that NDE’s are real, vivid and life-changing. What I deny is that they are caused by OBE’s. What you and BA77 seem to be missing is that no external clinical device in any of these NDE’s can actually measure whether the brain’s consciousness “is no longer functional” or has any internal “brainstem response”. This is a fairly recent, but still a well-established and accepted fact by neuroscientists and anesthesiologists today.

    I also agree with you that Reynold’s case is remarkable, and that her condition seems to indicate that the body keeps the brain’s consciousness going as long as it can. It may be that the brain’s consciousness is the “last to go”.

    But Chris Carter’s claim that “mind, consciousness and self can continue when the brain is no longer functional” can’t be veridically validated. The most he can claim is that consciousness can continue when normal external devices no longer measure it to be functional, which I would agree with. And I notice his statement that this case “seriously challenges the materialistic view” falls short of a claim of “debunkment”.

    Jeffrey Long is a well-known NDE/OBE advocate whose pitch is becoming dated. His equivocal attempt to differentiate NDE’s from the now well-established anesthetic awareness experiences seems like a last-ditch rhetorical attempt to buttress a dying argument.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW,,,, Special relativity corroborates NDEs as being valid Out of Body experiences,,,, You can read the evidence in the following link, half the way down post 4 and continuing through post 5,,,

    January 2021
    Whereas atheists have no observational evidence that the Multiverses that they postulated to ‘explain. away’ the fine tuning of the universe are real, nor do Atheists have any evidence that the ‘parallel universes’ that they postulated to ‘explain away’ quantum wave collapse are real, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics, (i.e. our most precisely tested theories ever in the history of science), to support their belief that God really does uphold this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in the reality of a heavenly dimension and in the reality of a hellish dimension.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/closer-to-truth-are-there-really-extra-dimensions/#comment-722947

    And again, that consciousness can exist apart from the brain is also corroborated by the fact that the NDErs often report seeing things they could not have possibly seen from the operating table.

    This is simply inexplicable to the view that consciousness is the product of the material brain.

    As to your ad hominem of Jeffrey Long, well that speaks for itself.

    As well, Chris Carter and Stuart Hameroff’s critique is stronger than you let on. Hameroff is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology by the way. i.e. He may have a clue what he is talking about when he says that the anesthesia awareness hypothesis is bunk. (Of semi-related note, Hameroff’s microtubule hypothesis, (i.s. quantum microtubules), has now been verified)

  24. 24
    MikeW says:

    BA77@23, your argument for OBE’s based on higher dimensions is a complete non sequitur that I’m surprised to hear from you. Most of your other posts are well thought out and informative. Even if higher dimensions exist, that in no way implies that they are being used for OBE’s.

    None of the NDE anecdotes that I’ve heard of or read about can establish that the patient actually independently reported seeing things that they could not have witnessed (or surmised) from the operating table. If anyone can systematically verify that, that would be interesting.

    I apologize for any personal ad hominem against Long, although I do agree that his equivocal rhetoric does speak for itself. And Carter and Hameroff are certainly out of the mainstream if they actually maintain that “anesthesia awareness is bunk”.

    In summary, I would say that the recent realization that much of the brain’s conscious activity goes on “below the radar” of operating room devices is a game-changer. IMO it takes the “life” out of the OBE hypothesis (so to speak). It certainly gives anyone a reasonable basis to defend the simplest Occam Razor position, namely that OBE’s simply don’t exist. Or as Laplace might say, “I have no need of that hypothesis.”

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW, actually the corroborating evidence from special relativity for the validity of NDEs being OUT of their material bodies is exceptionally strong as far as hard science goes.,,, even. Icing on the cake as it were.

    But leave that aside for a moment. if I read you correctly, (via your defense of the hypothesis with the oxymoronic name of ‘anesthesia awareness’), you are claiming, (along with atheists), as a foundational assumption, that the material brain generates consciousness???

    Is that correct?

    If so, that is not even in the realm of being feasible. And is a non-starter for you.

    Please clarify if that is your exact position, and if so, then we can go on from there to the hard science at hand that refutes your position.

  26. 26
    MikeW says:

    BA77@25, what I would claim is (1) that there is no systematic evidence that OBE’s exist, and that the evidence is getting weaker and (2) that we currently don’t know what generates our daily experiences of consciousness, but that the Conscious EM Information field theory of Mcfadden (CEMI) is an intriguing possibility.

    In McFadden’s words: “The cemi field theory proposes a scientific dualism that is rooted in the difference between matter and energy, rather than matter and spirit.”

    So if by “material brain” you would include the neuronal matter, the electrical signaling and the brain’s EM field, then yes I would consider that a possibility. Also, rather than saying that the “material brain generates consciousness”, I think it’s more correct to say that CEMI theorizes that the brain’s consciousness exists within the EM field, and that the brain’s neurons interact with that field both on the input and on the output side.

    If you can prove it wrong, I’d be interested. But please first read at least the “Objections to EM field theories of consciousness” section of Mcfadden’s article. I would rather not go through that from scratch again. Thanks.
    https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2020/1/niaa016/5909853

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    In so many words, You are claiming matter and energy generate consciousness??? Correct???

  28. 28
    doubter says:

    MikeW@26

    “…no systematic evidence that OBE’s exist.”

    What do you mean by “systematic”?

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW the first part of your abstract reads as such;

    Integrating information in the brain’s EM field: the cemi field theory of consciousness – 2020
    Excerpt: A key aspect of consciousness is that it represents bound or integrated information, prompting an increasing conviction that the physical substrate of consciousness must be capable of encoding integrated information in the brain. However, as Ralph Landauer insisted, ‘information is physical’ so integrated information must be physically integrated. I argue here that nearly all examples of so-called ‘integrated information’, including neuronal information processing and conventional computing, are only temporally integrated in the sense that outputs are correlated with multiple inputs: the information integration is implemented in time, rather than space, and thereby cannot correspond to physically integrated information. I point out that only energy fields are capable of integrating information in space.,,,
    https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2020/1/niaa016/5909853

    Although ‘physical substrate of consciousness’ in the first sentence certainly raised my eyebrow, however, in the second sentence, I note that you, or whomever wrote the paper, holds, as a primary presupposition via Rolf Landauer, that ‘information is physical’.,,,, That primary presupposition of the theory, i.e. ‘information is physical’, raised both my eyebrows.

    Simply put, Landauer’s belief that ‘information is physical’ is now empirically shown to be wrong.

    That is not to say that the theory may not have some merit as to explaining some aspects of neurology, perhaps it can even be reworked in light of the fact that information is not physical in the sense that Rolf Landauer held. The theory does hold promise in that respect. Indeed, it seems that a lot of thought went into the theory. I am just saying that in so far as the theory is currently based on Landauer’s belief that ‘information is physical’ it is wrong, and so it needs to be fairly dramatically reworked to accommodate that primary, foundational, fact.

    Of course I don’t expect you to just take my word that Landauer is wrong, so here goes,,

    Landauer held information to be physical because it always took energy to erase it from a computer. (Landauer’s principle)

    In fact Landauer went so far as to say that Roger Penrose’s contention that information has an existence independent of matter and energy was a quote unquote ‘quaint notion’.

    Information is a Physical Entity – Rolf Landauer
    Excerpt: Information is inevitably inscribed in a physical medium. It is not an abstract entity. It can be denoted by a hole in a punched card, by the orientation of a nuclear spin, or by the pulses transmitted by a neuron. The quaint notion that information has an existence independent of its physical manifestation is still seriously advocated [6],,,
    [6] R. Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989.
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/v.....8;type=pdf

    Specifically, Roger Penrose holds that, “Those devices (computers) can yield only approximations to a structure (of information) that has a deep and “computer independent” existence of its own.”

    “Those devices (computers) can yield only approximations to a structure (of information) that has a deep and “computer independent” existence of its own.” –
    Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind – Pg 147

    Yet contrary to what Landauer and other materialists may believe, there is much evidence that now establishes the physical, computer independent, reality of immaterial information,,, i.e. information which is independent of matter and energy.

    The easiest way to prove that information is not ‘physical’, i.e. is not reducible to matter and energy as Rolf Landauer believed, is with quantum teleportation.

    As the following article states, “scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart,,, information,,, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium.”

    First Teleportation Between Distant Atoms – 2009
    Excerpt: For the first time, scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart – a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.
    Teleportation may be nature’s most mysterious form of transport: Quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium. It has previously been achieved between photons over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third. None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.
    Now a team from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Michigan has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a substantial distance
    https://jqi.umd.edu/news/first-teleportation-between-distant-atoms

    And as the following article states, “the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,”

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    https://www.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/09/19/quantum-teleportation-enters-real-world/#.V-HqWNEoDtR

    Advances in quantum information theory provide even further evidence that falsifies Landauer’s belief that ‘information is physical’.

    But quantum teleportation is enough, in and of itself, to get my point across.

    In so far as the theory that you have presented to me is based on Landauer’s belief that ‘information is physical’, i.e. that information is reducible to matter and energy, it is wrong as far as empirical science itself is concerned.

    Quote and verse:

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  30. 30
    doubter says:

    MikeW@24

    …the recent realization that much of the brain’s conscious activity goes on “below the radar” of operating room devices is a game-changer. IMO it takes the “life” out of the OBE hypothesis (so to speak). It certainly gives anyone a reasonable basis to defend the simplest Occam Razor position, namely that OBE’s simply don’t exist. Or as Laplace might say, “I have no need of that hypothesis.”

    This might be termed “The One Active Brain-Cell Hypothesis”. That is, as long as there is at least one cell, somewhere in the brain, which is still active and alive, then that explains NDEs. The idea being that the one little tiny neural cell all by itself can generate a much richer version of consciousness, embracing great knowledge and insight, as well as the ability to see in 360° vision and more. The experience of a ‘realer than real’ existence. That poor little brain-cell working so hard and generating all that richness of experience and knowledge.

    It occurs to me to ask what is the role of all the other brain-cells, when they come back online? This is indeed a curious model of the brain. Unbelievable in fact.

  31. 31
    MikeW says:

    BA77@27, I wouldn’t use the term “generate”, since that can imply creation or origination. I agree with James Tour that we don’t have a clue on how biological life, including the brain, mind and consciousness were originally created. And I agree with IDers that material processes like Darwinism certainly don’t explain it.

    But once life, body and brain have been created, I believe it’s possible that the brain, along with its mind and consciousness, might operate within the material realm of matter and energy. That’s the question. So for me, the EM field theory of consciousness is an intriguing possibility. At this point, I don’t “claim” that it’s true. But so far its explanatory power and experimental verifications have been interesting.

  32. 32
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@28, by “systematic” I mean generally verifiable and replicable by methodical experimental testing, i.e. the “scientific” method. The best way to convince neutral observers and (honest) skeptics that your theory is true is to give them a methodology whereby they can observe for themselves the effects of the phenomena you are explaining.

  33. 33
    MikeW says:

    BA77@29, you raise a good point that information is not physical, which I agree with. I think the phrase ‘information is physical’ in the article is a quick shorthand for the subsequent discussion on the integration of information within physical substrates. The article explains the difference between integration of information in “time”, which is what the neuronal information processing is doing, and integration of information in “space”, which is what the EM field is doing. That distinction helps explain how consciousness can simultaneously process many bits of information, e.g. in facial recognition.

  34. 34
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@30, you’re raising another strawman. (You’d make a good Darwinist.) No one believes that a single neuron can cause consciousness.

    But contrary to statements from other commenters , “below the radar” anesthetic awareness is well-established and well-documented. Even the esteemed Dr. Long is forced to admit its existence. That’s why he’s reduced to drawing epicycles around his OBE’s.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW, since you are holding that consciousness is reducible to matter-energy, your predicament with ‘information is physical’ is not so easily brushed aside. Again, a dramatic reworking of the theory in necessary.

    See my response to Seversky which I posted this morning:

    Posts 65 thru 68
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-at-reason-magazine-how-much-science-research-is-fraudulent/#comment-734622

  36. 36
    William J Murray says:

    MikeW,

    How do you suggest that a probabilistic (quantum) e-m field can hold structured information absent the presence of a probability-collapsing conscious observer, if that is what you are suggesting?

  37. 37
    MikeW says:

    BA77@35, your obsession with the phrase ‘information is physical’ sounds like a cop-out. Are you claiming that information cannot be integrated and processed in physical substrates? As I stated before, that’s how I interpret the phrase in the article, so I don’t consider it a “predicament”.

  38. 38
    MikeW says:

    WJM@36, I don’t hold to the interpretation that conscious observers are required to collapse the wave function. I prefer the more modern Quantum Decoherence interpretation. That interpretation subsumes the conscious observers since they are adept at decohering things.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_decoherence

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Well MikeW, to put your predicament with the false claim that ‘information is physical’ more simply, if the ontology of information cannot be grounded within the reductive materialistic framework, i.e. within matter and energy, then it necessary follows that consciousness, which habitually creates new information whenever it wills, (and which materialistic, matter-energy, processes are shown to be grossly incapable of creating, i.e. law of conservation of information),,,, then it necessary follows that consciousness cannot possibly have its ontology grounded within the reductive materialistic, matter-energy, framework as you are trying to do.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note, decoherence has been experimentally falsified.

    First off though, Steven Weinberg, (who is an atheist by the way), says that decoherence ‘begs the question’

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt:
    One common answer is that, in a measurement, the spin (or whatever else is measured) is put in an interaction with a macroscopic environment that jitters in an unpredictable way. For example, the environment might be the shower of photons in a beam of light that is used to observe the system, as unpredictable in practice as a shower of raindrops. Such an environment causes the superposition of different states in the wave function to break down, leading to an unpredictable result of the measurement. (This is called decoherence.) It is as if a noisy background somehow unpredictably left only one of the notes of a chord audible. But this begs the question. If the deterministic Schrödinger equation governs the changes through time not only of the spin but also of the measuring apparatus and the physicist using it, then the results of measurement should not in principle be unpredictable. So we still have to ask, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    More importantly as far as hard science is concerned, decoherence is experimentally falsified.

    As Physics Professor Richard Conn Henry stated, “A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,”

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy. ?http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    And here are some of the interaction-free measurements that have been performed thus far that have experimentally falsified decoherence.

    An Interaction-Free Quantum Experiment (Zeilinger Bomb Tester experiment, and in the double slit experiment, the Detector can be placed at one slit during the double slit experiment and yet the photon or electron still collapses in the unobserved slit) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOv8zYla1wY

    Interaction-Free Measurements
    In physics, interaction-free measurement is a type of measurement in quantum mechanics that detects the position, presence, or state of an object without an interaction occurring between it and the measuring device. Examples include the Renninger negative-result experiment, the Elitzur–Vaidman bomb-testing problem [1], and certain double-cavity optical systems, such as Hardy’s paradox.,,,
    Initially proposed as thought experiments, interaction-free measurements have been experimentally demonstrated in various configurations, 6,7,8,,
    6. Kwiat, Paul; Weinfurter, Harald; Herzog, Thomas; Zeilinger, Anton; Kasevich, Mark A. (1995-06-12). “Interaction-Free Measurement”. Physical Review Letters. 74 (24):
    7. White, Andrew G. (1998). “”Interaction-free” imaging”. Physical Review A. 58 (1):
    8. Tsegaye, T.; Goobar, E.; Karlsson, A.; Björk, G.; Loh, M. Y.; Lim, K. H. (1998-05-01). “Efficient interaction-free measurements in a high-finesse interferometer”. Physical Review A. 57 (5):
    – per wikipedia

    As the following 2015 interaction free measurement article explains, “its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.”

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....S-20150415

    Moreover, if the noise of the environmental background was sufficient to cause the superposition of different states in the wave function to break down, i.e. cause it to ‘decohere’, then the following experiment should have been completely impossible.

    The following paper found that the human eye can detect the presence of a single photon, the researchers stated that “Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,, “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”

    Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light – July 21, 2016
    Excerpt: Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had established that human subjects acclimated to the dark were capable only of reporting flashes of five to seven photons.,,,
    it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,” says Vaziri. “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    The gathered data from more than 30,000 trials demonstrated that humans can indeed detect a single photon incident on their eye with a probability significantly above chance.
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”
    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-humans-smallest.html

    Again, if decoherence were true then the preceding experiment should have been completely impossible. Thus, as far as experimental science is concerned, decoherence is falsified.

  41. 41
    doubter says:

    MikeW@34

    The use of the reductio ad absurdum argument (the pressing of a proposition or hypothesis to its logical conclusion which turns out to be ridiculous) is a legitimate demonstration of the problems of a hypothesis that is resorting to suggestions that fewer and fewer active neurons are able to generate or enable consciousness and even the realer-than-real consciousness experienced during NDEs. These theory revisions will presumably be able to keep going like this out to the logical limit of one brain cell.

  42. 42
    MikeW says:

    BA77@39, your comment is barely coherent (perhaps too many commas and “then if” clauses?), but if I understand correctly the part that seems to say that “material processes cannot create new information”, then I would respectfully disagree. Material processes create new information all the time, especially information processing machines like computers. I look at newly-created computer-generated weather information every day.

    I agree that the information itself isn’t physical. But the substrate where the information is created and processed can be physical.

    Even biological plants (which I don’t believe are conscious) create, process, analyze and distribute environmental information from cells in one part of their structure to other parts (e.g. from leaves to roots and vice versa).

    So it seems strange to argue that a complex structure like the brain cannot create new information using material processes, with or without a consciousness.
    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rstb.2018.0370

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    Well MikeW, if you can prove that matter-energy processes, all by their lonesome, can create new information, not only will you falsify ID and prove that Darwinian evolution is feasible, but you will also pick yourself up a cool 10 million dollars in the process of falsifying ID. (see Perry Marshall’s $10 million Origin of Life prize,,,, and also note exactly who sits on the steering committee for the 10 million dollar prize). As Marshall put the situation, “All you need is an example of information that doesn’t come from a mind, all you need is one.”

    Unprecedented $10 Million Offered To Replicate Cellular Evolution
    Excerpt: An incentive prize ten times the size of the Nobel – believed to be the largest single award ever in basic science – is being offered to the person or team solving the largest mystery in history: how genetic code inside cells got there, and how cells intentionally self-organize, communicate, then purposely adapt.
    This $10 million challenge, the Evolution 2.0 Prize can be found at http://www.evo2.org.
    https://www.prnewswire.com/in/news-releases/evolution-2-0-prize-unprecedented-10-million-offered-to-replicate-cellular-evolution-875038146.html

    Also see Dembski and Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics website for more information on the ‘law of conservation of information’

    MAIN PUBLICATIONS
    https://evoinfo.org/publications.html

  44. 44
    doubter says:

    MikeW@32

    “The best way to convince neutral observers and (honest) skeptics that your theory is true is to give them a methodology whereby they can observe for themselves the effects of the phenomena you are explaining.”

    Maybe so, for convinced scientistic reductionist materialists, who are decidedly not neutral but instead are strongly biased toward their ideology), who only accept the reality of something if it can be demonstrated in a lab and replicated at will. Ignoring a universe of other phenomena that are still undoubtedly real.

    I’ll just repeat my earlier remarks on this:
    NDEs are relatively rare and occur only spontaneously usually in life-threatening health crises and trauma, or incidences of accidental close shaves with death, etc. Accordingly it is extremely unlikely that such an experience will happen in the lab or even in a hospital under observation with the necessary recording equipment. That is an entirely unreasonable burden of evidence. Because of their very nature NDEs occur spontaneously in everyday life away from labs and fully instrumented hospital rooms and cannot be recorded in detail or replicated at will. These characteristics of NDEs certainly don’t show that they are fundamentally “unscientific”.

    Except to those who are committed to the totally materialist naturalist ideology.

  45. 45
    MikeW says:

    BA77@40, none of your examples demonstrate that decoherence has been “experimentally falsified”. For example, “Renninger and Bomb Tester experiments” aren’t even true experiments. They are thought exercises.

    The quantum Zeno effect and the eye’s single-photon detection are both readily explainable within the decoherence framework.

    I agree that quantum measurement effects are not fully understood, and that quantum interpretations are controversial. But if your objection to material consciousness is based on your belief in the “Quantum Mental Universe”, then we probably shouldn’t continue the discussion. I know from experience that deep dives into relativity and quantum mechanics interpretations and philosophies is like a trip with Alice down the rabbit hole.

  46. 46
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@41, again with the strawmen. No one is suggesting that “fewer and fewer active neurons are able to generate or enable consciousness”. But at least you’re progressing from a single lonely neuron to “fewer and fewer neurons”.

    It does raise the interesting question of how many simultaneous neuron firings are required to be detectable by external operating room devices. One theory by Uttal is that the brain-mind problem may never be fully understood because of experimental and ethical constraints that may make it impossible to conduct experiments on conscious beings with precision and resolution down to the single neuron level.
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Neural_Theories_of_Mind.html?id=WSbxDwAAQBAJ

  47. 47
    Jack says:

    MikeW: “Material processes create new information all the time, especially information processing machines like computers. I look at newly-created computer-generated weather information every day.”

    True. Of course, the produced information is the result of taking environmental data and passing it thru human designed algorithms. The algorithms didn’t write “themselves.” They are an extension of conscious human minds.

    “Even biological plants (which I don’t believe are conscious) create, process, analyze and distribute environmental information from cells in one part of their structure to other parts (e.g. from leaves to roots and vice versa)…. it seems strange to argue that a complex structure like the brain cannot create new information using material processes, with or without a consciousness.”

    But it remains to be seen if unconscious processes can generate those kinds of systems. You have any evidence that they can?

  48. 48
    MikeW says:

    BA77@43, ah yes, I thought we might get sidetracked here. That’s why I was careful about avoiding the word “generates”, since it can imply original creation.

    Marshall’s prize is for anyone who can demonstrate how a digital communication system can emerge or self-evolve with an encoder and decoder that can process at least 5 bits of information. I emphasize (again) that I agree that no such system can emerge or self-evolve. It requires a higher power. So no one will win that prize. But once a system like that is created, it can then use material processes in its operation to create the kinds of information that it was programmed to create, e.g. (again) a weather monitoring and forecasting computer.

    Similarly, a higher power was needed to create biological life, including complex brains. But it’s certainly within the capabilities of that higher power to design and create a brain/mind processing system that then uses material processes in its operation. And the higher power may have designed enough complexity within that brain/mind system so that it has the human capability of creating complex encoded specified information of its own. Again, that’s the question.

    Dembski and Marks did not formulate their theorems for all types of information. Rather they formulated their theorems for Complex Specified Information, which is complex information greater than 500 bits that specifies an externally interpreted meaning. So their theorems don’t apply to all forms of information. Indeed, material processes are creating simple information and complex Shannon information all the time.

    If you are unable to make these fundamental distinctions, then we shouldn’t continue this discussion.

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW confidently claims, (without any citation I might add), that “the eye’s single-photon detection (is) readily explainable within the decoherence framework.”

    Really???

    Then please do, (with proper citation to experimental evidence of course), explain how such is possible within the decoherence framework.

    I’ll go get my popcorn ready.

    Remember, no just so stories about how it might be possible if you imagine such and such,,,. Just hard experimental evidence that backs up your claim and proves that it is feasibly true.

    Many people, besides myself, want to know how such is even possible. As the researchers themselves stated, (and asked), “it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,”,,, “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”

    Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light – July 21, 2016
    Excerpt: Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had established that human subjects acclimated to the dark were capable only of reporting flashes of five to seven photons.,,,
    it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,” says Vaziri. “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    The gathered data from more than 30,000 trials demonstrated that humans can indeed detect a single photon incident on their eye with a probability significantly above chance.
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”
    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-humans-smallest.html

    Indeed, “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”

    Since you are into making wild unsubstantiated claims that are ‘not even wrong’, It might also interest you to know that Darwinian biologists, with their reductive materialistic framework, are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly to understand ‘quantum biology’ in the first place.

    Jim Al-Khalili, at the 2:30 minute mark of the following video states,
    “,, Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    In other words MikeW, if you are going to wildly claim that “eye’s single-photon detection (is) readily explainable within the decoherence framework”, it might greatly behoove you to first have a theory of biology that takes quantum processes into consideration in the first place.

  50. 50
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@44, if you cannot systematically demonstrate the effects of certain phenomena, then I fundamentally disagree with your statement that they are “undoubtedly real”.

    I also fundamentally disagree with your statement that the non-replicable characteristics of NDE’s “don’t show that they are fundamentally ‘unscientific’.” In fact, they are fundamentally unscientific by the very definition of that word.

    And, again, I would draw a distinction between NDE’s and OBE’s. The anecdotal information received about NDE’s may be informative and scientific. But it’s the non-replicable characteristics of OBE’s that imply that they are fundamentally unscientific.

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW, you are confusing the shuffling around, organizing, formatting, etc.. of preexisting information, with the creation of new information.

    The Turing Test Is Dead. Long Live the Lovelace Test.
    Robert J. Marks II – July 3, 2014
    Excerpt: Here are a few others statements expressing doubt about the computer’s ability to create Strong AI.
    “…no operation performed by a computer can create new information.”
    – Douglas G. Robertson
    “The [computing] machine does not create any new information, but it performs a very valuable transformation of known information.”
    – Leon Brillouin
    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Godel
    and, of course, my favorite:7
    “Computers are no more able to create information than iPods are capable of creating music.”
    – Robert J. Marks II
    The limitations invoked by the law of conservation of information in computer programming have been a fundamental topic of investigation by Winston Ewert, William Dembski and me at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab. We have successfully and repeatedly debunked claims that computer programs simulating evolution are capable of generating information any greater than that intended by the programmer.8,9,10,11,12,13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2014/07/the_turing_test_1/

  52. 52
    doubter says:

    MikeW

    I’m just curious as to how a person acquiring knowledge of what is taking place in another room, in a distant part of a hospital might be explained by hypothetical brainstem activity? Or the other types of knowledge somehow acquired during NDEs such as the person knowing of someone who has only recently died, and had no conventional way of knowing, but describes meeting them and passing on details of what happened to them or bringing some message from them.

    In your opinion, is this a usual function of the brainstem, or for that matter any other part of the brain?

    Of course in your ideological certainty of reductionist materialism you complacently claim that none of the evidence of these occurrences painstakingly accumulated by careful investigators is valid. No amount of this type of verified empirical evidence could sway your certainty. After all, it can’t be in your world belief system, it’s impossible. At the very least it would invalidate the EM field theories of consciousness..

  53. 53
    MikeW says:

    Jack@47, see my comment@48. I readily agree that no unconscious material system can generate any information processing systems, at least no unconscious material system that I know of. But once some higher power has designed and created a highly complex system like the human body and brain, is it possible that that complex human/brain system was designed to use material processes in its operation? That’s the question.

  54. 54
    MikeW says:

    BA77@49, as I stated previously, I’m not getting into the quantum rabbit hole with you. Perhaps you can gain some insights from the articles below. I would say that quantum coherence and quantum criticality are interesting characteristics of quantum consciousness that are discussed in the third article below.
    https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/can-human-eye-see-detect-single-photon.html
    https://www.technologyreview.com/2017/04/25/152190/quantum-biometrics-exploits-the-human-eyes-ability-to-detect-single-photons/#:~:text=Quantum%20Biometrics%20Exploits%20the%20Human%20Eye%E2%80%99s%20Ability%20to,biometrics%2C%20guaranteed%20by%20the%20laws%20of%20quantum%20mechanics.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW claimed, ““Renninger and Bomb Tester experiments” aren’t even true experiments. They are thought exercises.”

    HUH??? What??? The video I referenced,

    An Interaction-Free Quantum Experiment (Zeilinger Bomb Tester experiment, and in the double slit experiment, the Detector can be placed at one slit during the double slit experiment and yet the photon or electron still collapses in the unobserved slit) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOv8zYla1wY

    ,, that video referenced this “Experimental realization of interaction-free measurements” right off the bat,,

    Experimental realization of interaction-free measurements – 1995
    Harald Weinfurter, Paul Kwiat, Thomas Herzog, Anton Zeilinger, and Mark Kasevich
    Abstract
    Recently, it has been pointed out that it is possible to make a quantum-mechanical interaction-free measurement (IFM), in which the existence of an object in a given region of space may be determined seemingly without interacting with it.1,2 In the embodiment first proposed by Elitzur and Vaidman,3 a standard Michelson interferometer is aligned so that incident single photons (obtained in our experiment by using parametric downconversion; see Fig. 1) must exit by the same port in which they entered, in the absence of any object within the interferometer. The presence of an object (e.g., the mirror leading to detector DB) in one of the arms completely changes the possible outcomes because the constructive interference is interrupted. Now it is possible that the photon will exit from the other exit port, to detector DIfm. By detecting the photon in this case, one can claim with certainty that an object was within the interferometer, even though the photon could not have interacted with it. If the beam splitter has a very low reflectivity, then the fraction of IFMs approaches 1/2.
    https://www.osapublishing.org/viewmedia.cfm?uri=QELS-1995-QTuF5&seq=0

    And I myself referenced these experiments right below that video I had referenced

    Initially proposed as thought experiments, interaction-free measurements have been experimentally demonstrated in various configurations, 6,7,8,,
    6. Kwiat, Paul; Weinfurter, Harald; Herzog, Thomas; Zeilinger, Anton; Kasevich, Mark A. (1995-06-12). “Interaction-Free Measurement”. Physical Review Letters. 74 (24):
    7. White, Andrew G. (1998). “”Interaction-free” imaging”. Physical Review A. 58 (1):
    8. Tsegaye, T.; Goobar, E.; Karlsson, A.; Björk, G.; Loh, M. Y.; Lim, K. H. (1998-05-01). “Efficient interaction-free measurements in a high-finesse interferometer”. Physical Review A. 57 (5):
    – per wikipedia

    So I have no earthly idea why MikeW would falsely claim that interaction free measurements were just thought experiments.,,, Unless he is just being completely disingenuous now.

    I can assure you that Anton Zeilinger, a world leading experimentalist in quantum mechanics, with many notable breakthroughs in quantum mechanics under his belt, does not bother to publish his speculative ‘thought experiments’ 🙂

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    After being challenged to provide empirical evidence that decoherence can explain the ability of the eye to detect a single photon, MikeW punts and states, “I’m not getting into the quantum rabbit hole with you”

    How convenient! You make a wildly unsubstantiated claim, and then, when called on it, instead of honestly admitting that you were wrong to claim what you claimed, you instead refuse to get ‘into the quantum rabbit hole with you’.

    All I have to say about that is don’t make claims for your position that you can’t back up.

  57. 57
    MikeW says:

    BA77@51, on the contrary, it’s you who are confusing the creation of information with the creation of complex specified information (CSI), which is what all of your examples are referring to. I agree that the creation of new CSI is always associated with a conscious mind. I would consider the computerized transformation of radar data into weather maps to be a creation of new CSI, since it encodes complex information that I as the weather map observer will decode. But I agree that this creation is programmed by a conscious mind, which is what your last quote is referring to. The point is that the creation of that new CSI was accomplished by material processes within the computer. So the question (again) is whether an existing conscious mind can also accomplish its creation of new CSI with material processes.

    If we can’t get past this, we should discontinue the conversation.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW, computers can ‘transform’ information. Period. No new information is being created in computers. Period.

  59. 59
    doubter says:

    MikeW@50

    “if you cannot systematically demonstrate the effects of certain phenomena, then I fundamentally disagree with your statement that they are “undoubtedly real”.”

    Then I guess you mean that since ethically we can’t deliberately artificially induce cardiac arrests in 500 human test subjects in order to get some lab replicated and instrumented veridical NDEs, then real veridical NDEs simply can’t exist even in principle. You know, somehow that conclusion doesn’t seem correct or right.

  60. 60
    MikeW says:

    BA77@55/56, all right, one more try, but this is it. Actual Renninger and Bomb-test “experiments” are thought exercises, as referenced below. But then you disingenuously switch to general “interaction-free experiments”, some of which can be realized in actual experiments, but all of which can be interpreted within the quantum coherence/decoherence framework, as mentioned in the third article below.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renninger_negative-result_experiment
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitzur%E2%80%93Vaidman_bomb_tester
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms7811

  61. 61
    MikeW says:

    BA77@58, all right I give up. The statement “No new information is created in computers” is ludicrous. I just now created some new information in this computer.

  62. 62
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@59, all right I give up with you, also. Your statement about inducing cardiac arrests in human test subjects is not only a strawman, it’s a ludicrous strawman. Like Spaceballs, you and BA77 have gone from ridiculous speed to ludicrous speed.
    https://giphy.com/explore/space-balls-ludicrous-speed

  63. 63
    AnimatedDust says:

    MikeW @61, pretty sure he meant no new information is created BY computers. GIGO sound familiar? They only do what us folks tell them to do.

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    MikeW, you are the one being ‘slippery’ with the evidence. Professor Richard Conn Henry specifically stated ” in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.”

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    With his allusion to “Renninger-type” experiments, Professor Richard Conn Henry is clearly alluding to the experimental realization of the interaction free measurements of Zeilinger and company. Yet you acted as if he was talking about the original Renninger thought experiment itself.

    In the video where you picked out the words “Bomb test’ and ran with it and said it was a unrealized thought experiment, the fact of the matter is that the full phrase reads “Zeilinger Bomb Tester experiment”

    An Interaction-Free Quantum Experiment (Zeilinger Bomb Tester experiment, and in the double slit experiment, the Detector can be placed at one slit during the double slit experiment and yet the photon or electron still collapses in the unobserved slit) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOv8zYla1wY

    If you would have dug deeper, perhaps even watched the video, (instead of rushing off to declare it merely a ‘thought experiment’), you would have realized that the experiment that Zeilinger conducted in 1994 was considered an experimental realization of the Bomb Tester thought experiment,

    As the following article makes clear,,,

    Interferometer, a bomb tester?
    Excerpt: The Elitzur–Vaidman bomb-tester is a thought experiment proposed by Avshalom Elitzur and Lev Vaidman in 1993. A real tester was built and used by Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat, Harald Weinfurter, and Thomas Herzog in 1994. It was picked by the New Scientist magazine as one of the seven wonders of quantum world.
    https://sites.google.com/site/physicsphilosophyscience/physics/interferometer-a-bomb-tester

    Thus, I clearly was not talking about the thought experiments, as you implied, but was clearly talking about the ‘practical’ experimental realization of both of those thought experiments.

    Yet you accused me of “you disingenuously switch to general “interaction-free experiments”,

    NO I did not. I was talking about the experimental realization of those thought experiments the entire time. You are the one who mistakenly assumed I was talking about unrealized thought experiments.

    An apology is in order from you.

    Then after falsely accusing me of being the source of your very own confusion about what I was actually talking about, you then go on to repeat your wildly unsubstantiated claim that these interaction free measurements can be “interpreted within the quantum coherence/decoherence framework”

    And for the reference that MikeW cited, i.e. ” as mentioned in the third article below.”,, MikeW, of all things, cited my own reference back to me,

    Here is the third article MikeW cited to me as supposed proof that decoherence explains interaction-free measurements. (A article which I had cited to him previously at post 40).

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms
    J. Peise, B. Lücke, L. Pezzé, F. Deuretzbacher, W. Ertmer, J. Arlt, A. Smerzi, L. Santos & C. Klempt
    Nature Communications volume 6, Article number: 6811 (2015)
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms7811

    Moreover, there is no mention whatsoever of decoherence in the paper’s discussion section,

    Discussion
    The probability distributions obtained with and without object provide a calibration of our apparatus. They can be used to detect the presence/absence of an object from a single measurement result, without prior knowledge. For example, a rescaled atom number of 20 is not compatible with the existence of an object, whereas a sufficiently small rescaled atom number strongly suggests the presence of an object. For an optimal discrimination between the two outcomes, the absolute value of the rescaled number of atoms should be compared with a threshold of 1.7 (see Supplementary Note 1). In the presence (absence) of the object, we obtain a measurement below (above) this threshold with a probability larger than 90%.
    We evaluate the figure of merit introduced in the original proposal2 , where P(D) is the probability of performing an IFM and P(int) is the probability of interaction with the object. In the case with object, this parameter yields the optimal probability of detecting it without interaction. We generalize the parameter for the experimentally relevant case that an object can only be detected with a finite confidence6. From our measurements, we obtain a figure of merit of ?=65(2)% at our confidence level of 90% (see Supplementary Note 1). It exceeds the threshold of the original Elitzur-Vaidman scheme2 and reaches a value comparable to the one achieved in optics experiments, although at a much higher confidence level (?=63(1)% in the experiment of ref. 6 with a confidence of 65%, ??50% in ref. 5 with a confidence of 2%). An improvement of the mentioned optics results with state-of-the-art technology is to be expected but outstanding.
    The confidence of possible statements for any measurement result can be determined by a Bayesian analysis (see Methods) of the recorded probability distribution (Fig. 4d). The results show that the existence of an object can be inferred interaction-free with a confidence level of up to 84(1)% at a rescaled number of atoms of 0. The absence of an object can be detected with almost 100% confidence for a wide range of possible measurement results beyond ±6. It is also possible to extract the probability for an interaction with the object. In principle, the interacting case can also be detected externally, for example, by measuring the fluorescence photons scattered by the unwanted atoms in the level (1, ?1). If such an external detection was realized, the Bayesian confidence for an interaction-free detection of the object could be increased to 90.6(6)%.
    Our analysis demonstrates that a BEC in an unstable spin configuration can be used for highly efficient IFMs. Although the Zeno effect has already been demonstrated with BECs in previous publications28,32, a proof of an IFM requires a Zeno suppression and its detection on the single-atom scale, which has not been presented up to now. Moreover, we emphasize that there are two versions of IFMs2 depending on whether a possible interaction with the object can also be detected from the measurement result or not. In previous proposals2,3,5,6,7,8, such a detection requires single-particle sources. Our protocol realizes the strong version of IFMs without requiring single-particle sources. The achieved figure of merit (65%) surpasses the predicted optimum of the original proposal (50%) and is comparable to the best results obtained in optics experiments, which also rely on the quantum Zeno effect6, yet with a larger confidence of 90%. For improved atom counting and a noiseless environment, the method permits a 100% figure of merit with an almost ideal confidence of 1–4/exp(2?).

    I don’t know what kind of games MikeW is trying to play, but He’s got nothing, And when shown that he’s got nothing, he then doubles down and refuses to admit that he’s got nothing.

    Just a big ole merry-go-round of unreasonableness on his part.

    I guess Seversky has a new playmate now! 🙂

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for catching that AnimatedDust, that is of course exactly what I meant since that was exactly the point that was being debated. i.e. We all know for a fact that humans can create information “in” a computer. The claim I disputing from MikeW is the claim that information can be created ‘by’ a computer, all by its lonesome. Of course he knew that, and was apparently just trying to score cheap rhetorical points.

    Because of such antics as that, whatever reservation I had, (that MikeW might be more honest than the myriad of other trolls that we have dealt with on UD through the years), is now completely gone.

  66. 66
    Querius says:

    Because of such antics as that, whatever reservation I had, (that MikeW might be more honest than the myriad of other trolls that we have dealt with on UD through the years), is now completely gone.

    Yeah, I would have hoped so as well. But as Proverbs 26:4-5 (NASB translation) aptly says:

    Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness,
    Or you will also be like him.
    Answer a fool as his foolishness deserves,
    So that he will not be wise in his own eyes.

    -Q

  67. 67
    Jack says:

    I hope between all the lines of pseudo-intellectual wranglings, focussed on this virtual reality, that will perish soon enough, and more immediately when you die, you remember to agape your neighbor as your self.

    Hang all the Law and the Prophets on that.

    Can I get an Amen?

    And don’t forget, as Paul the apostle said: Keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.

    There may be some of you reading this who have neglected to keep yourself filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Ephesians 5:18

  68. 68
    Seversky says:

    I am still waiting for a coherent definition of what is meant by “information” in these discussions. Is there one agreed definition or more than one in play?

    As I have argued before, it is possible to acquire information from tree-rings or geological strata, neither of which were created by human beings or any other form of intelligent life, as far as we know.

    And is the information in those tree-rings or strata new or old? The physical entities themselves are old but if I am seeing them for the first time then, for me, the information I get from them is new.

    In principle, I could take words from the text of Lord of the Rings and write an entirely different story using only them. Would that be new information? The words already existed but my particular arrangement of them – my story – did not exist before, So is it new information or not?

    If we allow that both artefacts like words and natural phenomena like tree-rings can convey information then what do we mean by “information”?

  69. 69
    ET says:

    Oh my. Crick defined what is meant by information with respect to biology. This has been explained over and over in ID literature.

    Information means here the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or on amino acid residues in the protein.- Francis Crick

    Tree rings are data recorders. And trees are living organisms. The very thing your position cannot explain. So it is question-begging to call tree rings a “natural phenomena”. Geological strata are also data recorders.

    So what we have is seversky remaining willfully ignorant as everything it brings up has been covered many times over.

  70. 70
    ET says:

    MikeW:

    The statement “No new information is created in computers” is ludicrous. I just now created some new information in this computer.

    Nope. That information already existed. Try again.

  71. 71
    Jack says:

    Seversky,

    Information is what informs you. Increases your knowledge, however you want to define that.

    Now, as I think you know, random noise can’t do that.

    If not random noise, what then?

    Do I have the answer? No. But your brain knows what’s noise and what isn’t.

    It’s a colossal filter.

    I have nothing to sell.

    Do I think super-intellect entities are in control of earth?

    Yep.

    But I have an open mind.

    You’re thoughts?

  72. 72
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 linked to and quoted from: https://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    At the top of that page:

    The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.

    This leaves us with some version of mental or idealism reality theory. If consciousness creates your experience of reality absent any actual “real things” out there, the question then becomes: is there a way to put this new model into practical application in a manner that clearly distinguishes it from the old model?

  73. 73
    Bob O'H says:

    ET @ 69 – by that definition, information can increase without the help of a mind. Mutation and gene duplication will do it. So I guess that’s not what ba77 means.

    Jack @ 71 –

    Information is what informs you. Increases your knowledge, however you want to define that.

    So if I hook my computer up to 2 temperature sensors and put one inside my house and the other outside, and the computer tells me that it is warmer inside than out, would you say that that is information? (I’m asking because I can see arguments both ways, even ignoring “who programmed the computer”)

  74. 74
    jerry says:

    When one looks around themselves at any moment there are hundreds of facts. Each one is information in some sense. Then another comes along and points out a dozen different facts you didn’t notice. That too is information in some sense.

    There will be thousands of other facts that exist in your immediate environment that you don’t notice. Are they not information too despite not noticing?

    The arrangement of these facts/entities is indicative of their previous position. The previous arrangement is also a fact. The possibilities are endless.

    Some current arrangements are indicative of the four forces of physics operating, mainly gravity and electromagnetic forces. Some are indicative of an intelligence causing the current arrangement.

  75. 75
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    by that definition, information can increase without the help of a mind. Mutation and gene duplication will do it.

    Question-begging, Bob. You don’t know if gene duplication is a blind and mindless process. Given the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations”, it is very unlikely to impossible for blind and mindless processes to a) duplicate a gene, build it a new binding site and change the amino acid sequence to produce a new function. Also gene duplication doesn’t add information. Having two copies of the same book does not give to twice the information.

    So clearly you don’t know what you are talking about, especially given the debate is whether or not mutations are part of the intelligent design of life.

  76. 76
    William J Murray says:

    The problem with thinking that a fact (information) comes from some thing in an extra-mental environment is the quantum evidence that clearly demonstrates no such facts exist in that way, other than whatever it factually means to say that facts are observational selections and interpretations of immaterial potential that do not even necessarily correspond to other observers.

    Beyond the necessary, factual existence of potential itself, particular “actualized” or non-potential facts appear to be something entirely subjective to the observer’s experience. The potential is factually existent regardless of any particular observational actualities.

    IOW, it appears to be, from the evidence, that our conceptual arrangement of “objective fact” vs “subjective experience” is an upside-down perspective. All particular actualities are subjective in nature (individual experience,) and non-experiential potential (non-actualities) is what is objectively “existent” regardless of any observer.

    This ultimately puts the observer in the driver’s seat of what they experience as factual reality; it is whatever their observational status draws from the potential (unexperienced) into the actual (experienced.)

  77. 77
    Querius says:

    Consider the following quote:

    Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom. -Clifford Stoll

    Who is Clifford Stoll?
    https://www.ted.com/speakers/clifford_stoll

    Now, what is data?

    -Q

  78. 78
    Querius says:

    [Sounds of heads exploding]

  79. 79
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Now, what is data?

    It’s me, Data.

  80. 80
    Querius says:

    Heh. Not who, but what.

    The distinction between data versus information is important to address the points made by Bornagain77 and ET.

    -Q

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