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Michael Egnor: Did consciousness “evolve”?

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One neuroscientist doesn’t seem to understand the problems the idea raises

Darwinian theory could account for non-physical consciousness if consciousness were caused by the brain—that is, if non-physical consciousness were a property of brain activity and thus inextricably linked to brain activity. In that case, the argument is that the brain evolved and consciousness was dragged along because it is linked to brain activity.

In this view, consciousness is an epiphenomenal property of the brain. Epiphenomenalism was first explicitly proposed by “Darwin’s bulldog” Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895). If consciousness were epiphenomenal to physical brain processes—as a sort of by-product, like smoke from a steam engine—what evolves is the brain. Does this satisfactorily explain the evolution of consciousness?

The problem with this epiphenomenal view of consciousness is that it renders the mind powerless. If consciousness is merely a property of the brain, it has no agency—no power to cause anything—in itself. Properties can’t do anything. For example, if you hit a nail with a yellow hammer, you hit it with the hammer, not with the yellow. Epiphenomenalism, which is the only framework by which an immaterial consciousness could evolve, asserts that what actually causes us to do things is brain activity. Consciousness is a useless spin-off.

Michael Egnor, “Did consciousness evolve?” at Mind Matters News

And then what becomes of theories based on consciousness, like Graziano’s?


Here’s the earlier article on Michael Graziano’s approach to consciousness: Neuroscientist Michael Graziano should meet the p-zombie. A p-zombie (a philosopher’s thought experiment) behaves exactly like a human being but has no first-person (subjective) experience. The meat robot violates no physical principles. Yet we KNOW we are not p-zombies. Think what that means.

And here is a selection of Dr. Egnor’s articles on consciousness:

In one sense, consciousness IS an illusion. We have no knowledge of the processes of our consciousness, only of the objects of its attention, whether they are physical, emotional, or abstract

Does Your Brain Construct Your Conscious Reality? Part I A reply to computational neuroscientist Anil Seth’s recent TED talk

and

Does Your Brain Construct Your Conscious Reality? Part II In a word, no. Your brain doesn’t “think”; YOU think, using your brain

59 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Did consciousness “evolve”?

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Epiphenomenal, If the consciousness was Epiphenomenal and simply a property of of the brain it has no impact, how does the brain record its existence? Every memory you have is of the subjective experience of you and through you

    If it was just a property it would be recorded it would have no impact the very fact that it is recorded as a immediate physical impact on your brain as DNA is broken inside each one of the neurons to record your life through your subjective self and you are recorded in such

    Your brain is shaped and wired through your subjective experience and it is recorded that way in that physical meet between your ears

    Young philosopher said that on YouTube of all things not all of it just the fact that Epiphenomenal Is a hypocritical position to see that the mind and subjective self has no impact yet your brain records immediately

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this comment from Dr. Egnor:

    Consciousness must be non-physical.
    But now we are back to our initial question. if consciousness is non-physical, how could it evolve? Darwinian natural selection can only act on a physical attribute.

    And to add empirical support for Dr. Egnor’s claim, there is now found to be a mysterious ‘higher dimensional’ (4-Dimensional) component to life. As the following article states, “A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.”

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:
    Y = Yo M^b,
    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    Of Life’s Laws And Unity – May 11, 2016
    Excerpt: Life obeys certain allometric scaling laws that seem to reveal a sort of overarching design principle at work. We don’t know what this principle is, although it’s probably related to optimization: What’s the best shape for the least amount of energy consumption? A famous allometric law is known as Kleiber’s Law, where the metabolic rate of an animal grows as its mass to the 3/4 power. (The metabolic rate can be measured in terms of the rate at which an animal consumes oxygen, for example.) Although there are small variations (due to motion, disease, aging), the relation holds over a wide range of masses. (There are disputes for very small animals without a circulatory system.)
    Geoffrey West, Brian Enquist and James Brown proposed a model based on blood flow to explain this and a few other general allometric scaling laws with body weight observed in animals (for a review paper see this): Apart from Kleiber’s Law mentioned above, life span scales as 1/4 power (so take two square roots of the mass), and heart rate as -1/4 power. Put together, these two laws explain why all species have a similar amount of heartbeats, 1.5 billion, over their life spans.
    Pause for amazement.
    The laws are not absolutely precise but do indicate a common trend across an enormous variety of living creatures. On Monday night, I was on a panel on Complexity with Geoffrey West at the New York Academy of Sciences. At some point, I asked West whether alien life, if it exists, would follow the same sort of unifying allometric laws. With a twinkle in his eye, West replied, a big smile on his face: “Well, I can only speculate here, but it seems plausible that this sort of design principle for life does have universal characteristics.”
    It would be amazing if life as we don’t know it is, after all, life as we do know it.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.....-and-unity

    And as Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini stated in their book, “What Darwin Got Wrong”, “The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection. It’s inconceivable that so many different organisms, spanning different kingdoms and phyla, may have blindly ‘tried’ all sorts of power laws and that only those that have by chance ‘discovered’ the one-quarter power law reproduced and thrived.”

    Post-Darwinist – Denyse O’Leary – Dec. 2010
    Excerpt: They quote West et al. (1999),
    What Darwin Got Wrong – pg 79
    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.”
    They comment,
    “In the words of these authors, natural selection has exploited variations on this fractal theme to produce the incredible variety of biological form and function’, but there were severe geometric and physical constraints on metabolic processes.”
    “The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection. It’s inconceivable that so many different organisms, spanning different kingdoms and phyla, may have blindly ‘tried’ all sorts of power laws and that only those that have by chance ‘discovered’ the one-quarter power law reproduced and thrived.”
    Quotations from Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=ZxwO01AAFYMC&pg=PA79
    http://post-darwinist.blogspot.....html#links

    The reason why these universal and as uniquely biological ’4-Dimensional’ quarter power scaling laws are impossible for Darwinian evolution to explain is that Natural Selection operates at the 3-Dimensional level of the organism and the ’4-Dimensional’ quarter power scaling law are simply ‘invisible’ to natural selection. The reason why 4-Dimensional things are, for all practical purposes, completely invisible to 3-Dimensional things is best demonstrated by the illustration of ‘flatland’:

    Dr Quantum – Flatland – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4

    And the reason why life is is based on 4-Dimensional principles rather than 3-Dimensional principles is because life is constrained to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium by immaterial information.

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH – Dr Andy C. McIntosh is the Professor of Thermodynamics (the highest teaching/research rank in U.K. university hierarchy) Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds.
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    The information content that is found to be in a simple one cell bacterium, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, is found to be around 10 to the 12 bits,,,

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – The Creation-evolution Controversy

    And indeed, immaterial information is now shown to have a quote/unquote ‘thermodynamic content’.

    In 2010 the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, which was originally devised by James Clerk Maxwell in 1867, was finally experimentally realized. As the following paper highlights, it has now been experimentally demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    And as the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Again to repeat that last sentence,“Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    That statement about entropy being a property of an observer who describes the system, for anyone involved in the ID vs. Darwinism debate, ought to send chills down their scientific spine.

    Simply put, these developments go to the very heart of the ID vs. Evolution debate and directly falsify, number one, Darwinian claims that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from some material basis. And number two, these experimental realizations of the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment go even further and also directly validate a primary claim from ID proponents that an Intelligent Designer who imparts information into a biological system is necessary in order to circumvent the second law.

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

    Moreover, in regards to immaterial consciousness itself, (as compared to immaterial information), the following article states, “Brain is one of the most energy demanding organs in mammals, and its total metabolic rate scales with brain volume raised to a power of around 5/6. This value is significantly higher than the more common exponent 3/4 (4- dimensional Quarter Power Scaling) relating whole body resting metabolism with body mass and several other physiological variables in animals and plants.,,,”

    Scaling of Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow in Relation to Capillary and Neural Scaling – 2011
    Excerpt: Brain is one of the most energy demanding organs in mammals, and its total metabolic rate scales with brain volume raised to a power of around 5/6. This value is significantly higher than the more common exponent 3/4 (4- dimensional Quarter Power Scaling) relating whole body resting metabolism with body mass and several other physiological variables in animals and plants.,,,
    Moreover, cerebral metabolic, hemodynamic, and microvascular variables scale with allometric exponents that are simple multiples of 1/6, rather than 1/4, which suggests that brain metabolism is more similar to the metabolism of aerobic than resting body. Relation of these findings to brain functional imaging studies involving the link between cerebral metabolism and blood flow is also discussed.,,
    General Discussion Excerpt:
    ,,It should be underlined that both CBF and CMR scale with brain volume with the exponent about 1/6 which is significantly different from the exponent 1/4 relating whole body resting specific metabolism with body volume [1], [2], [3]. Instead, the cerebral exponent 1/6 is closer to an exponent,, characterizing maximal body specific metabolic rate and specific cardiac output in strenuous exercise [43], [44]. In this sense, the brain metabolism and its hemodynamics resemble more the metabolism and circulation of exercised muscles than other resting organs, which is in line with the empirical evidence that brain is an energy expensive organ [10], [17], [18]. This may also suggest that there exists a common plan for the design of microcirculatory system in different parts of the mammalian body that uses the same optimization principles [45].,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3203885/

    If natural selection, ‘via flatland’. cannot possibly ‘see’ the immaterial information that is constraining life to 4-Dimensional parameters, then it is that much more ludicrous to presuppose that natural selection, (in so far that natural selection can even be said to exist), would ‘see’ something that is operating on ‘6 Dimensional’ parameters. The most parsimonious explanation for such a optimal, 6 Dimensional, constraint on the brain’s metabolic activity is that the material brain was designed, first and foremost, to house the immaterial mind and give the immaterial mind the most favorable metabolic environment at all times.

    As to this comment from Dr. Egnor:

    The problem with this epiphenomenal view of consciousness is that it renders the mind powerless. If consciousness is merely a property of the brain, it has no agency—no power to cause anything—in itself. Properties can’t do anything. For example, if you hit a nail with a yellow hammer, you hit it with the hammer, not with the yellow. Epiphenomenalism, which is the only framework by which an immaterial consciousness could evolve, asserts that what actually causes us to do things is brain activity. Consciousness is a useless spin-off.

    i.e. If epiphenomenalism is true then free will is false. Yet free will is not false but is empirically shown to be true:

    Sept 2019: Neuroscientific and Quantum Evidence for free will
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/did-the-neural-pattern-that-showed-that-there-is-no-free-will-turn-out-to-be-noise/#comment-683977

    A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked
    For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake.
    BAHAR GHOLIPOUR – SEP 10, 2019
    Excerpt: In a new study under review for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Schurger and two Princeton researchers repeated a version of Libet’s experiment. To avoid unintentionally cherry-picking brain noise, they included a control condition in which people didn’t move at all. An artificial-intelligence classifier allowed them to find at what point brain activity in the two conditions diverged. If Libet was right, that should have happened at 500 milliseconds before the movement. But the algorithm couldn’t tell any difference until about only 150 milliseconds before the movement, the time people reported making decisions in Libet’s original experiment.
    In other words, people’s subjective experience of a decision—what Libet’s study seemed to suggest was just an illusion—appeared to match the actual moment their brains showed them making a decision.
    When Schurger first proposed the neural-noise explanation, in 2012, the paper didn’t get much outside attention, but it did create a buzz in neuroscience. Schurger received awards for overturning a long-standing idea. “It showed the Bereitschaftspotential may not be what we thought it was. That maybe it’s in some sense artifactual, related to how we analyze our data,” says Uri Maoz, a computational neuroscientist at Chapman University.
    For a paradigm shift, the work met minimal resistance. Schurger appeared to have unearthed a classic scientific mistake, so subtle that no one had noticed it and no amount of replication studies could have solved it, unless they started testing for causality.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/

    Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – 2019
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Quote and verse:

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

    John 3:12-13
    If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man…

  4. 4
    doubter says:

    If p-zombies, who lack consciousness, are conceptually consistent with physical science, (and as we know we are conscious and not p-zombies) then consciousness is something outside the purview of physical science.

    Is this correct logical reasoning? I would like it to be, but it seems to me it may be an example of the hasty generalization fallacy. This fallacy occurs when someone draws expansive conclusions based on inadequate or insufficient evidence. In other words, they jump to conclusions about the validity of a proposition with some – but not enough – evidence to back it up, and overlook potential counterarguments.

    The possibility that unconscious p-zombies could exist and be consistent with physical science (for instance some sort of very advanced AI which nearly perfectly mimics consciousness) doesn’t seem to me to logically imply that actual real examples of consciousness (namely us) must necessarily be inconsistent with physical science. Note: I do think that consciousness is actually inconsistent with (present or future) physical science, because it is basically immaterial, of an entirely other (and higher) realm of existence. But really establishing that proposition is much more difficult.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Doubter, to bring a little more clarity to this topic it is important to elucidate just what mental attributes of the immaterial mind are detectable by science and which are not.

    Dr. Michael Egnor, who is a neurosurgeon as well as professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, states six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable to the view that the mind is just the material brain. Those six properties are, “Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,”

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Michael Egnor – 2008
    Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: –
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....13961.html

    You can read more in-depth definitions of each of the six properties of immaterial mind in Dr. Egnor’s article.

    Likewise, J. Warner Wallace has a very similar list, (but not an exact match to Dr. Egnor’s list), of six properties of immaterial mind that are irreconcilable with reductive materialism.

    Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – 01/30/2014
    1) First-person access to mental properties
    2) Our experience of consciousness implies that we are not our bodies
    3) Persistent self-identity through time
    4) Mental properties cannot be measured like physical objects
    5) Intentionality or About-ness
    6) Free will and personal responsibility
    http://winteryknight.com/2014/.....cal-minds/

    Of those six attributes of the immaterial mind, I will focus on Qualia, Persistence of Self-Identity through time (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and free will, respectfully.

    First off, we will examine the mental attribute of qualia, which many consider the centermost piece of the consciousness. An attribute which refuses to be reduced to any possible materialistic explanation, and which also refuses to find any correlation with our present day experiments in quantum mechanics.

    With the specific mental attribute of qualia, it is often pointed out to reductive materialists, with what is termed “the hard problem” of consciousness, that the specific mental attribute of qualia, which is defined as being the inner subjective conscious experience of exactly what something may feel or look like to us personally,,,

    Qualia
    Excerpt: Examples of qualia include the perceived sensation of pain of a headache, the taste of wine, as well as the redness of an evening sky.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

    ,,,it is often pointed out to reductive materialists that the specific mental attribute of qualia is forever be beyond the scope of any possible materialistic explanation and/or any possible physical examination.

    As Frank Jackson made clear in his philosophical argument ‘Mary’s Room’, no amount of scientific and physical examination on Mary’s part will ever reveal to Mary exactly what the inner subjective conscious experience of the color blue actually is until Mary actually experiences what the color blue is for herself.

    11.2.1 Qualia – Perception (“The Hard Problem” )
    Philosopher of the mind Frank Jackson imagined a thought experiment —Mary’s Room— to explain qualia and why it is such an intractable problem for science. The problem identified is referred to as the knowledge argument. Here is the description of the thought experiment:
    “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. (…) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?”
    Jackson believed that Mary did learn something new: she learned what it was like to experience color.
    “It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then is it inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism [materialism] is false.”
    https://www.urantia.org/study/seminar-presentations/is-there-design-in-nature#Emergence

    Likewise, no amount of us knowing exactly what state a material brain may be in, whether it be by MRI brain scans or whatever, will ever be able to reveal to us exactly how something may feel or look like to someone else personally.

    Kept in Mind – Juan Uriagereka – March 2019
    Review of: Language in Our Brain: The Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity
    by Angela Friederici
    Excerpt: Which part of our brain carries information forward in time? No one knows. For that matter, no one knows what a symbol is, or where symbolic interactions take place. The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study.2,,,
    No one has distinguished one thought from another by dissecting brains. Neuroimaging tells us only when some areas of the brain light up selectively. Brain wave frequencies may suggest that different kinds of thinking are occurring, but a suggestion is not an inference—even if there is a connection between certain areas of the brain and seeing, hearing, or processing words. Connections of this sort are not nothing, of course, but neither are they very much.,,,
    Some considerable distance remains between the observation that the brain is doing something and the claim that it is manipulating various linguistic representations. Friederici notes the lapse. “How information content is encoded and decoded,” she remarks, “in the sending and receiving brain areas is still an open issue—not only with respect to language, but also with respect to the neurophysiology of information processing in general.”5,,,
    Cognitive scientists cannot say how the mass or energy of the brain is related to the information it carries. Everyone expects that more activity in a given area means more information processing. No one has a clue whether it is more information or more articulated information, or more interconnected information, or whether, for that matter, the increased neuro-connectivity signifies something else entirely.,,,
    ,,, present-day observational technology does not seem capable of teasing apart these different components of syntax at work,,,,
    https://inference-review.com/article/kept-in-mind
    Juan Uriagereka is a linguist at the University of Maryland.

    As David Chalmers has pointed out with the philosophical zombie argument, for all we know, the person we are talking to, or even the person that we are examining with all our scientific instruments, could hypothetically be a philosophical zombie who has no inner subjective conscious experience whatsoever and that the philosophical zombie we are examining may just robotically be giving us correct answers that seem appropriate to any situation that we may be asking the philosophical zombie about.

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    Materialists simply do not have any realistic clue how anything material could ever generate the inner subjective consciousness experience of qualia. Here are a few quotes that make that point clear.

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness.”
    – Jerry Fodor – Rutgers University philosopher
    [2] Fodor, J. A., Can there be a science of mind? Times Literary Supplement. July 3, 1992, pp5-7.

    “Every day we recall the past, perceive the present and imagine the future. How do our brains accomplish these feats? It’s safe to say that nobody really knows.”
    Sebastian Seung – Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist – “Connectome”:

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”
    Roger Wolcott Sperry – Nobel neurophysiologist
    As quoted in Genius Talk : Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries (1995) by Denis Brian

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    – Eugene Wigner – Nobel prize-winner – Quantum Symmetries

    “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.”
    Nick Herbert – Contemporary physicist

    “No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians’ hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it.”
    Larry Dossey – Physician and author

    As Professor of Psychology David Barash states in the following article, an article which happens to be entitled “the hardest problem in science?”, “But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.”

    The Hardest Problem in Science? October 28, 2011
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    – David Barash – Professor of Psychology emeritus at the University of Washington.
    https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hardest-problem-in-science/40845

    In fact, the hard problem of consciousness is such a hard problem for reductive materialists to try to explain that many leading materialistic scientists (and philosophers), have resigned themselves to the absurd claim that ‘consciousness is just an illusion’ and that it does not really even exist at all.

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004

    Free Will: Weighing Truth and Experience
    Do our beliefs matter? – Mar 22, 2012
    Excerpt: “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – is a Professor and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab Director at UCLA Department of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-brain-social-mind/201203/free-will-weighing-truth-and-experience

    etc.. etc..

    And whereas consciousness in general, and qualia specifically, absolutely refuses to be reducible to any possible materialistic explanation, and/or to any possible physical examination, and also refuses to reveal itself to us in our present day experiments with quantum mechanics,,,

    Lost in Math: The Particle Physics Quandary – 3 April 2019 – Wolfgang Smith
    Excerpt: ,,, The reason why “no one understands quantum theory” resides thus in the measuring problem. And what renders this conundrum insoluble to the physicist is the fact that “strictly speaking, within quantum theory itself there is no decoherence.” Here we have it: the very Beschränkung, it turns out, which bestows upon the physicist his sovereign power to comprehend the physical universe, renders the measuring problem insoluble — i.e., to the physicist! — by restricting his vision to the realm of the physical as such.
    What is it, then, that this vision excludes?,, “It excludes the blueness of the sky and the roar of breaking waves” I wrote, “the fragrance of flowers and all the innumerable qualities that lend color, charm and meaning to our terrestrial and cosmic environment.” To which of course the “scientific” response will be: “But these are all subjective attributes: that color and that sound — that’s all in your head!” Here we have it: the Beschränkung is yet in force! It has not been transcended: the aficionados of physical science have apparently become de facto incapable of transcending it.
    https://philos-sophia.org/particle-physics-quandary/

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, the other mental attributes that I listed from Dr. Egnor’s list of ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and of ‘free will’, although being irreconcilable with reductive materialism, nonetheless, both of those defining attributes of immaterial mind that Dr. Egnor listed, unlike qualia, do make their presence known to us in recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics.

    As to defining the specific mental attribute of the ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (and/or ‘the experience of ‘the Now”) in particular, it is first important to note that we each have a unique perspective of being outside of time. In fact we each seemingly watch from some mysterious outside perspective of time as time seemingly passes us by. Simply put, we seem to be standing on an island of ‘now’ as the river of time continually flows past us.

    In the following video, Dr. Suarez states that the irresolvable dilemma for reductive materialists as such, “it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. (In other words) We must refer to God!”

    Nothing: God’s new Name – Antoine Suarez – video
    Paraphrased quote: (“it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a Person who is not bound by space time. i.e. We must refer to God!”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOr9QqyaLlA

    In further defining the mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’, in the following article Stanley Jaki states that “There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,, ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.”

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    And ‘the experience of ‘the now” also happens to be exactly where Albert Einstein got into trouble with leading philosophers of his day and also happens to be exactly where Einstein eventually got into trouble with quantum mechanics itself. Around 1935, Einstein was asked by Rudolf Carnap (who was a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”
    Rudolf Carnap – Philosopher

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”
    Einstein

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video.

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    And here is an article that goes into bit more detail of that specific encounter between Einstein and Rudolf Carnap:

    The Mind and Its Now – May 22, 2008 – By Stanley L. Jaki
    Excerpt: ,,, Rudolf Carnap, and the only one among them who was bothered with the mind’s experience of its now. His concern for this is noteworthy because he went about it in the wrong way. He thought that physics was the only sound way to know and to know anything. It was therefore only logical on his part that he should approach, we are around 1935, Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist of the day, with the question whether it was possible to turn the experience of the now into a scientific knowledge. Such knowledge must of course be verified with measurement. We do not have the exact record of Carnap’s conversation with Einstein whom he went to visit in Princeton, at eighteen hours by train at that time from Chicago. But from Einstein’s reply which Carnap jotted down later, it is safe to assume that Carnap reasoned with him as outlined above. Einstein’s answer was categorical: The experience of the now cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement. It can never be part of physics.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    Prior to that encounter with Carnap, Einstein also had another disagreement with another famous philosopher, Henri Bergson, over what the proper definition of time should be (Bergson was also very well versed in the specific mental attribute of ‘the experience of the now’). In fact, that disagreement with Henri Bergson over what the proper definition of time should actually be was one of the primary reasons that Einstein failed to ever receive a Nobel prize for his work on relativity:

    Einstein, Bergson, and the Experiment that Failed: Intellectual Cooperation at the League of Nations! – Jimena Canales
    page 1177
    Excerpt: Bergson temporarily had the last word during their meeting at Société française de philosophie. His intervention negatively affected Einstein’s Nobel Prize, which was given “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect” and not for relativity. The reasons behind this decision, as stated in the prize’s presentation speech, were related to Bergson’s intervention: “Most discussion [of Einstein’s work] centers on his Theory of Relativity. This pertains to epistemology and has therefore been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles. It will be no secret that the famous philosopher Bergson in Paris has challenged this theory, while other philosophers have acclaimed it wholeheartedly.”51 For a moment, their debate dragged matters of time out of the solid terrain of “matters of fact” and into the shaky ground of “matters of concern.”52
    https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3210598/canales-Einstein,%20Bergson%20and%20the%20Experiment%20that%20Failed%282%29.pdf?sequence=2

    The specific statement that Einstein made to Carnap on the train, “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.” was a very interesting statement for Einstein to make to the philosopher since “The experience of ‘the now’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, established itself as very much being a defining part of our physical measurements in quantum mechanics.

    For instance, the following delayed choice experiment with atoms demonstrated that, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality stressed the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Quantum Mechanics also now shows that Stanley Jaki’s contention that “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future” is confirmed by recent experimental breakthroughs in quantum mechanics.

    As to the ability of the mind to extend from its experience of the now to past moments in time, in recent experiments in quantum mechanics, it is now found that “quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    And as the following 2017 article states, “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.”

    Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past
    July 5, 2017 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    And to drive the point further home, in the following 2018 article Professor Crull provocatively states “entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted,,, it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.”

    You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time – Feb. 2018
    Excerpt: Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder, a team of physicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reported in 2013 that they had successfully entangled photons that never coexisted. Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement swapping’ had already showed quantum correlations across time, by delaying the measurement of one of the coexisting entangled particles; but Eli Megidish and his collaborators were the first to show entanglement between photons whose lifespans did not overlap at all.,,,
    Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?,,,
    The data revealed the existence of quantum correlations between ‘temporally nonlocal’ photons 1 and 4. That is, entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted.
    What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.
    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    In further confirmation of Stanley Jaki’s contention that, “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future.”, in further confirmation of that contention, not only does “quantum mechanics show us that “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.”, but quantum mechanics also shows us that our present conscious choices ultimately determine what type of future will be presented to us in our measurements of quantum systems.
    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    As well, with contextuality we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    Thus, Stanley Jaki’s contention that “There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future.”, is now experimentally established to be true by the fact that “a decision made in the present can influence something in the past.” and is also established by the fact that, “We are not just passive observers,,, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure”.

    Thus, to sum this section of this post up, recent experiments in quantum mechanics, contrary to what Einstein himself thought was possible for experimental physics, have now shown, in overwhelming fashion, that ‘the experience of the now’ is very much a part of experimental physics. In fact, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to rephrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher Rudolph Carnap in this way:

    “It is impossible for “the experience of ‘the now’” to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Besides Einstein falsely believing that “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”, Einstein also falsely believed that he did not have the mental attribute of free will.

    “In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever.,,,”
    “I am compelled to act as if free will existed, because if I wish to live in a civilized society I must act responsibly. . . I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime, but I prefer not to take tea with him.”
    – Albert Einstein – early 1930s

    It is difficult for me to see how a genius of Einstein’s caliber could fall for the logically self-refuting fallacy of denying his own free will.

    Do We Have Free Will? – PragerU video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDkLUBdvOkw

    Moreover, despite Einstein’s logically self refuting belief that he had no free will, recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics itself now also falsifies Einstein’s contention that he had no free will.

    As Steven Weinberg, an atheist himself, states in the following article, In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    Moreover, although there have been several major loopholes in quantum mechanics over the past several decades that atheists have tried to appeal to in order to try to avoid the ‘spooky’ Theistic implications of quantum mechanics, over the past several years each of those major loopholes have each been closed one by one. The last major loophole that was left to be closed was the “setting independence” and/or the ‘free-will’ loophole:

    Closing the ‘free will’ loophole: Using distant quasars to test Bell’s theorem – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Though two major loopholes have since been closed, a third remains; physicists refer to it as “setting independence,” or more provocatively, “free will.” This loophole proposes that a particle detector’s settings may “conspire” with events in the shared causal past of the detectors themselves to determine which properties of the particle to measure — a scenario that, however far-fetched, implies that a physicist running the experiment does not have complete free will in choosing each detector’s setting. Such a scenario would result in biased measurements, suggesting that two particles are correlated more than they actually are, and giving more weight to quantum mechanics than classical physics.
    “It sounds creepy, but people realized that’s a logical possibility that hasn’t been closed yet,” says MIT’s David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and senior lecturer in the Department of Physics. “Before we make the leap to say the equations of quantum theory tell us the world is inescapably crazy and bizarre, have we closed every conceivable logical loophole, even if they may not seem plausible in the world we know today?”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112515.htm

    And now Anton Zeilinger and company have recently, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    Moreover, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

    Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the correct theory of everything – (Overturning of the Copernican Principle by both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, etc..) – August 2019
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/how-many-earth-like-planets-are-there/#comment-682424

    Thus in conclusion, whilst the center most piece of immaterial mind, i.e. qualia, is inaccessible to scientific testing, (and therefore supports Dr. Egnor’s main claim that ‘p-zombies, who lack consciousness, are conceptually consistent with physical science’), none-the less, the mental attributes of ‘the experience of ‘the Now”, and free will, unlike qualia, are detectable to us in the science of quantum mechanics and the mental attribute of free will in particular even goes so far as to give the Christian Theist solid empirical support for his primary belief that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the primary purpose for this universe’s existence.

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    preceding notes were condensed from this video:

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

  9. 9
    Hugh Kenneth says:

    I have a serious question. Does anyone really take Bornagain77 seriously? Does anybody actually read his cut-and-pasta spewage? Or do people just tolerate him as we do our “odd” relatives?

    UD EDITORS: BUH BYE HUGH.

  10. 10
    OldArmy94 says:

    Hugh, here’s a clue: Come up with some serious arguments rather than using childish ad hominem attacks against a respected poster. Otherwise, YOU are the odd relative, and we won’t tolerate you for long.

  11. 11
    massam says:

    Okay, first comment here on this site. Completely unrelated to the article (at least I think), I recently came across this math proof about the universe.
    “Proof” that the universe cannot be formed by chance:
    “Probability is equal to the number of tries (N) multiplied by the number of acceptable universes (A) over the number of possible universes (U). A universe is “acceptable” when it is capable of sustaining advanced chemistry (we’re assuming, for the atheist’s sake, that Reductionism is true). We can be generous here; assume that half of all possible universes are acceptable. Expressed mathematically: P=(N/1)(A/U)
    The Proof:
    1) P=(N)(1/2)*
    2) The maximum number of tries is is in direct proportion to the amount of time available.
    3) Time began to exist coincidentally with the universe(s), “before” the universe(s) there “was” no time.
    4) (2 & 3) The maximum number of tries is zero
    5) (1 & 4) Therefore, P=(0)(1/2)=0. The probability of the universe(s) being created by chance is zero.”
    PLEASE NOTE: this is not my work. I’m pretty sure this is from http://www.theism.net/article/28. If you critique, please go after the proof, not me, because I am just asking if this is correct. I am really not savvy when it comes to math, so I was hoping some of you geniuses out there (IDers or Evolutionists/Darwinists, anyone is welcome) could analyze and gives your opinion.

  12. 12
    Hugh Kenneth says:

    OldArmy, are you suggesting that you have read and understood the thousands of words that Bornagain77 has posted in this thread? Maybe you could entertain us by summarizing in a few paragraphs what he has said.

    And if you can, why can’t he?

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    And then what becomes of theories based on consciousness, like Graziano’s?

    At a wild guess, they become theories about the brain.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Hugh Kenneth claims that he does not understand anything I wrote. And even called my posts ‘spewage’.

    First, I suggest to you Hugh that you do not attack me or any of the other commentators on UD personally. i.e. ad hominem. Secondly, if you honestly do not understand anything I wrote, point it out and I will try to help you understand it. But you complained that you were having trouble understanding EVERYTHING I wrote. I find this VERY hard to believe. You are, after-all, writing the English language. Thus, I find it very hard to believe that you are being honest about not understanding what I wrote. It is fairly obvious that you did not even read my posts, much less try to understand any part of them, but that your main purpose was merely to troll me.

    Again, I suggest you not do that.

    There are plenty of other atheistic sites where you can go and where you can troll to your hearts content.

    i.e. Panda’s Thumb. Jerry Coyne’s blog, TSZ, PZ Myer’s blog, etc.. etc…

    UD is NOT one of those sites!

  15. 15
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Hugh Kenneth- At least bornagain77 doesn’t post ignorant spewage as you do- for example your response to my saying CO2 was not a pollutant was to spew nonsense about mercury, a toxic pollutant. And now all you can do is act like a child with respect to bornagain’s posts.

    Why even bother posting seeing that you don’t have anything to add to the discussion?

  16. 16
    PaoloV says:

    I do appreciate very much the information-rich commentaries BA77 posts here. I encourage him to continue his contributions and disregard the cacophonous noise produced by those who seem confused and disoriented. Just pray for them.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    HK, BA77 has more than earned his place in the community of frequent commenters at UD. Many who simply find fault and dismiss would be better advised to consider and then do some independent research for themselves informed by worldviews and first principles of reason considerations. KF

  18. 18
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    From the OP:” If consciousness is merely a property of the brain, it has no agency. Properties can’t do anything…”

    A property can take the form of a process, and processes most definitely CAN do things.

  19. 19
    doubter says:

    BA77@5,6&7

    ,,, the other mental attributes that I listed from Dr. Egnor’s list of ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and of ‘free will’, although being irreconcilable with reductive materialism, nonetheless, both of those defining attributes of immaterial mind that Dr. Egnor listed, unlike qualia, do make their presence known to us in recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics.

    Thanks for the detailed explication, especially the above. I have no significant disagreement.

    Unfortunately, you don’t seem to have directly engaged with the specific problem I seem to have found with Dr. Egnor’s argument using the p-zombie. If I am wrong about this, could you explain how his argument is logically correct?

  20. 20
    hazel says:

    re 9: serious question to the UD editors. How can you justify getting rid of Hugh Kenneth fro what he wrote about bornagain77 when ET, to mention the obvious case, is much more insulting to multiple people on a regular basis. This looks like a large double standard to me.

    I have never been quite as rude as KH was, but I have asked the same question: does anyone really read ba’s continual, repetitious long winded cut-and-paste posts? I doubt it.

    So I don’t think “Buh bye Hugh” is justified.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    hazel needs to grow up. I do not just attack people. I slap the losers who try to insult science, ID and other people. If you have any evidence to the contrary I will gladly read it. And if not then please just shut up.

    And if people choose to be willfully ignorant and ignore bornagain’s posts then that is one them. Is it his fault that you and yours have the attention span of a gnat?

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    Life is so unfair.

  23. 23
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    Hazel
    Your observation is accurate. Perhaps it should not be surprising that Team Ignorance has a mascot.
    Actually, more than one.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Pater K:

    Perhaps it should not be surprising that Team Ignorance has a mascot.

    You have a mascot? 😛

  25. 25
    hazel says:

    I googled Egnor to find out more about him, and ran into this neologism:

    “Egnorance: The Egotistical Combination of Ignorance and Arrogance”

    https://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/03/egnorance-combo-arrogance.html

  26. 26
    ET says:

    From hazel’s reference:

    (selection ain’t random and that’s why it’s called selection, dude)

    Natural selection is a process of elimination and not of selection, dude. Also it is non-random in a trivial way- that being not all individuals have the same chance of being eliminated. It is still all just contingent serendipity.

    Without evolution, animal testing is just making drugs for rats and patting yourself on the back at the sheer (reproducible) dumb luck that the drug you’ve designed for the rat would likely do a decent job in humans as well

    Question-begging and special pleading all in one sentence.

    In summary, evolution is indeed important to get into medical school, it is important to succeed during it, and it is important after you leave. Egnor’s perspectives are completely wrong.

    Total equivocation. When Dr. Egnor says “evolution” he is of course talking about blind watchmaker evolution and the claim that life’s diversity owes its collective common ancestry to some simple biological reproducers via blind and mindless processes.

    So no, that “evolution” is not required for anything accept to somehow make some people feel better about themselves.

    On Nobel Prizes related to evolution:

    Briefly:
    Insulin was first isolated in dogs and the research was subsequently applied to humans; Macleod and Banting won the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1923.
    Neurophysiology was elucidated by studying squid, whose giant axons were large enough to pierce with the instruments of that day and the research was subsequently applied to humans; Hodgkin and Huxley won the Nobel Prize for it in 1963.
    Using an animal model of sea slugs, Eric Kandel deomnstrated how changes of synaptic function are central for learning and memory; in 2000, he won the Nobel prize for his work.
    The mechanism for olfaction and the genes giving rise to it were found; Axel and Buck won the 2004 Nobel Prize for their discovery and their seminal paper described the evolution of the genes over lower vertebrates and invertebrates. (See this article for a great writeup on it.)

    Not one of those had anything to do with blind watchmaker evolution. Moar equivocation.

    It is very telling that hazel would post that link, though.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Doubter at 19 you state this and then ask,

    Unfortunately, you don’t seem to have directly engaged with the specific problem I seem to have found with Dr. Egnor’s argument using the p-zombie. If I am wrong about this, could you explain how his argument is logically correct?

    Doubter the first part of your original argument in post 4 is this,

    Dr. Egnor: If p-zombies, who lack consciousness, are conceptually consistent with physical science, (and as we know we are conscious and not p-zombies) then consciousness is something outside the purview of physical science.

    Doubter: Is this correct logical reasoning? I would like it to be, but it seems to me it may be an example of the hasty generalization fallacy. This fallacy occurs when someone draws expansive conclusions based on inadequate or insufficient evidence. In other words, they jump to conclusions about the validity of a proposition with some – but not enough – evidence to back it up, and overlook potential counterarguments.

    Doubter, although, when looking through the details of the mental attributes of ‘the experience of the now’ and free will, you are technically correct in claiming that Dr Egnor has made a hasty generalization in claiming that “consciousness is something outside the purview of physical science”, yet in the specific sense that Dr Egnor was using the word consciousness in his argument to refer to the specific mental attribute of qualia, Dr Egnor was correct in his argument. As I pointed out in post 5, the specific mental attribute of Qualia, from all science to date, is found to be “something outside the purview of physical science”. i.e. To be specific, Dr. Egnor’s argument is that philosophical zombies, (i.e. hypothetical people who have no inner subjective experience, who have no qualia), “are conceptually consistent with physical science”. There is simply nothing that physical science can tell us as to what the specific inner subjective experience of another person actually is.

    As Frank Jackson made clear in his philosophical argument ‘Mary’s Room’, no amount of scientific and physical examination on Mary’s part will ever reveal to Mary exactly what the inner subjective conscious experience of the color blue actually is until Mary actually experiences what the color blue is for herself.

    11.2.1 Qualia – Perception (“The Hard Problem” )
    Philosopher of the mind Frank Jackson imagined a thought experiment —Mary’s Room— to explain qualia and why it is such an intractable problem for science. The problem identified is referred to as the knowledge argument. Here is the description of the thought experiment:
    “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. (…) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?”
    Jackson believed that Mary did learn something new: she learned what it was like to experience color.
    “It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then is it inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism [materialism] is false.”
    https://www.urantia.org/study/seminar-presentations/is-there-design-in-nature#Emergence

    There simply is no amount of us knowing exactly what state a material brain may be in, whether it be by MRI brain scans or whatever, that will ever be able to reveal to us exactly how something may feel or look like to someone else personally.

    Kept in Mind – Juan Uriagereka – March 2019
    Review of: Language in Our Brain: The Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity
    by Angela Friederici
    Excerpt: Which part of our brain carries information forward in time? No one knows. For that matter, no one knows what a symbol is, or where symbolic interactions take place. The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study.2,,,
    No one has distinguished one thought from another by dissecting brains. Neuroimaging tells us only when some areas of the brain light up selectively. Brain wave frequencies may suggest that different kinds of thinking are occurring, but a suggestion is not an inference—even if there is a connection between certain areas of the brain and seeing, hearing, or processing words. Connections of this sort are not nothing, of course, but neither are they very much.,,,
    Some considerable distance remains between the observation that the brain is doing something and the claim that it is manipulating various linguistic representations. Friederici notes the lapse. “How information content is encoded and decoded,” she remarks, “in the sending and receiving brain areas is still an open issue—not only with respect to language, but also with respect to the neurophysiology of information processing in general.”5,,,
    Cognitive scientists cannot say how the mass or energy of the brain is related to the information it carries. Everyone expects that more activity in a given area means more information processing. No one has a clue whether it is more information or more articulated information, or more interconnected information, or whether, for that matter, the increased neuro-connectivity signifies something else entirely.,,,
    ,,, present-day observational technology does not seem capable of teasing apart these different components of syntax at work,,,,
    https://inference-review.com/article/kept-in-mind
    Juan Uriagereka is a linguist at the University of Maryland.

    Even quantum mechanics itself, as ‘spooky’ as quantum mechanics is, turns out to leave qualia, the centermost piece of consciousness, on the cutting room floor:

    Lost in Math: The Particle Physics Quandary – 3 April 2019 – Wolfgang Smith
    Excerpt: ,,, The reason why “no one understands quantum theory” resides thus in the measuring problem. And what renders this conundrum insoluble to the physicist is the fact that “strictly speaking, within quantum theory itself there is no decoherence.” Here we have it: the very Beschränkung, it turns out, which bestows upon the physicist his sovereign power to comprehend the physical universe, renders the measuring problem insoluble — i.e., to the physicist! — by restricting his vision to the realm of the physical as such.
    What is it, then, that this vision excludes?,, “It excludes the blueness of the sky and the roar of breaking waves” I wrote, “the fragrance of flowers and all the innumerable qualities that lend color, charm and meaning to our terrestrial and cosmic environment.” To which of course the “scientific” response will be: “But these are all subjective attributes: that color and that sound — that’s all in your head!” Here we have it: the Beschränkung is yet in force! It has not been transcended: the aficionados of physical science have apparently become de facto incapable of transcending it.
    https://philos-sophia.org/particle-physics-quandary/

    Thus Dr. Egnor’s argument, in so far as he was using consciousness to refer only to the mental attribute of qualia, is correct. He could have been a bit more specific I suppose and used the exact word qualia, but from the context in which Dr. Egnor used the word consciousness it is clear that qualia was exactly the specific mental attribute that he was talking about.

    Doubter you then stated the second part of your objection to Dr. Egnor’s argument like this:

    The possibility that unconscious p-zombies could exist and be consistent with physical science (for instance some sort of very advanced AI which nearly perfectly mimics consciousness) doesn’t seem to me to logically imply that actual real examples of consciousness (namely us) must necessarily be inconsistent with physical science. Note: I do think that consciousness is actually inconsistent with (present or future) physical science, because it is basically immaterial, of an entirely other (and higher) realm of existence. But really establishing that proposition is much more difficult.

    You objection here is a bit meatier. As I elucidated in posts 6 and 7, the immaterial mental attributes of ‘Persistence of Self-Identity through time’ (which may also be termed ‘the experience of ‘the Now”), and of ‘free will’, although being irreconcilable with reductive materialism, nonetheless, both of those defining attributes of immaterial mind, unlike qualia, do make their presence known to us in recent experimental evidence from quantum mechanics.

    As to the specific immaterial mental attribute of free will in particular:

    Steven Weinberg, an atheist himself, states in the following article, In the instrumentalist approach (in quantum mechanics) humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.,,, the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,,, Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    In fact Weinberg, again an atheist, rejected the instrumentalist approach precisely because “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” and because it undermined the Darwinian worldview from within. Yet, regardless of how he and other atheists may prefer the world to behave, quantum mechanics itself could care less how atheists prefer the world to behave.

    For instance, this recent 2019 experimental confirmation of the “Wigner’s Friend” thought experiment established that “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.

    More Than One Reality Exists (in Quantum Physics) By Mindy Weisberger – March 20, 2019
    Excerpt: “measurement results,, must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement”.
    https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html

    As well, with contextuality we find that, “In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation”

    Contextuality is ‘magic ingredient’ for quantum computing – June 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Contextuality was first recognized as a feature of quantum theory almost 50 years ago. The theory showed that it was impossible to explain measurements on quantum systems in the same way as classical systems.
    In the classical world, measurements simply reveal properties that the system had, such as colour, prior to the measurement. In the quantum world, the property that you discover through measurement is not the property that the system actually had prior to the measurement process. What you observe necessarily depends on how you carried out the observation.
    Imagine turning over a playing card. It will be either a red suit or a black suit – a two-outcome measurement. Now imagine nine playing cards laid out in a grid with three rows and three columns. Quantum mechanics predicts something that seems contradictory – there must be an even number of red cards in every row and an odd number of red cards in every column. Try to draw a grid that obeys these rules and you will find it impossible. It’s because quantum measurements cannot be interpreted as merely revealing a pre-existing property in the same way that flipping a card reveals a red or black suit.
    Measurement outcomes depend on all the other measurements that are performed – the full context of the experiment.
    Contextuality means that quantum measurements can not be thought of as simply revealing some pre-existing properties of the system under study. That’s part of the weirdness of quantum mechanics.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-w.....antum.html

    And as leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in a certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    In fact, Anton Zeilinger and company have now, as of 2018, pushed the ‘free will loophole’ back to 7.8 billion years ago, thereby firmly establishing the ‘common sense’ fact that the free will choices of the experimenter in the quantum experiments are truly free and are not determined by any possible causal influences from the past for at least the last 7.8 billion years, and that the experimenters themselves are therefore shown to be truly free to choose whatever measurement settings in the experiments that he or she may so desire to choose so as to ‘logically’ probe whatever aspect of reality that he or she may be interested in probing.

    Cosmic Bell Test Using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars – Anton Zeilinger – 14 June 2018
    Abstract: In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell’s inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of ? 7.4 × 10^21. This experiment pushes back to at least ? 7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the “freedom-of-choice” loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.080403

    Thus regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    Thus in conclusion Doubter, you are correct in saying that “The possibility that unconscious p-zombies could exist and be consistent with physical science (for instance some sort of very advanced AI which nearly perfectly mimics consciousness) doesn’t seem to me to logically imply that actual real examples of consciousness (namely us) must necessarily be inconsistent with physical science.”

    And indeed, humans are not “inconsistent with physical science”. To reiterate Weinberg, “humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”. What we humans are inconsistent with is with the reigning materialistic paradigm of science that holds to “a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”

    Thus Doubter, your intuition that humans are not inconsistent with physical science is correct. In fact humans are far more ‘consistent’ with physical science than we can possibly fully appreciate right now. The potential implications of “humans being brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level” are truly staggering.

    But still your objection to Dr. Egnor’s argument, since he was talking specifically about the mental attribute of qualia in particular, is not valid as far as present day science can tell us.

    I hope that this helps clear up the misunderstanding between you and Dr. Egnor.

  28. 28
    doubter says:

    Pater Kimbridge@18

    “A property can take the form of a process, and processes most definitely CAN do things.”

    This is to completely and far too broadly redefine the word “property” to fit your agenda. This is invalid, like claiming powering a car is a “property” of the engine.

    Scientific definition of “property”:

    The properties of matter include any traits that can be measured, such as an object’s density, color, mass, volume, length, malleability, melting point, hardness, odor, temperature, and more.

    Another:

    An essential or distinctive attribute or quality of a thing: the chemical and physical properties of an element.

    The scientific definition of “physical property”, at https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-physical-property-605911:

    A physical property is a characteristic of matter that may be observed and measured without changing the chemical identity of a sample. The measurement of a physical property may change the arrangement of matter in a sample, but not the structure of its molecules. In other words, a physical property may involve a physical change, but not a chemical change. If a chemical change or reaction occurs, the observed characteristics are chemical properties.

    Intensive and Extensive Physical Properties
    The two classes of physical properties are intensive and extensive properties. An intensive property does not depend on the amount of matter in a sample. It is a characteristic of the material regardless of how much matter is present. Examples of intensive properties include melting point and density. Extensive properties, on the other hand, do depend on sample size. Examples of extensive properties include shape, volume, and mass.

    Physical Property Examples
    Examples of physical properties include mass, density, color, boiling point, temperature, and volume.

  29. 29
    hazel says:

    Properties interacting with other properties can create processes.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Properties interacting with other properties can create processes.

    Examples?

  31. 31
    hazel says:

    Example: Water, which has various properties, flows downhill and interacts with rocks and dirt, which also have properties, causing the process of erosion.

  32. 32
    Ed George says:

    Oxygen has properties that facilitate the process of respiration.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    LoL! What are the properties of oxygen that facilitate respiration? Do tell

  34. 34
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Water, which has various properties, flows downhill and interacts with rocks and dirt, which also have properties, causing the process of erosion.

    Water has the properties of matter that when it runs over other matter can alter it. So physical objects can alter other physical objects.

    Pater said that “A property can take the form of a process”- that would mean a property in and of itself, hazel.

    Try again.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    A better example may be one of water being a solvent. It has that property. And the process of dissolving means it is doing something.

    The question is- is it the property or the water that is doing the dissolving?

  36. 36
    hazel says:

    The water is doing the dissolving. Water is a real thing, and its properties are abstract generalizations that we have made based on observing water. There is a distinction between real things and our knowledge about those things.

  37. 37
    ET says:

    Alrighty then. That means Egnor is right.

  38. 38
    ET says:

    “A property can take the form of a process”- Pater K, above

    Water has the property of being a solvent in the form of the process of dissolution/ dissolving? Or is it just that the water has a property of being a solvent with the process incorporated into the definition of “solvent”?

    That would then apply to all solvents. So the property describes the process? With the process being the actual way the thing is dissolved?

    Heck with it. Methinks hazel is right and that Dr. Egnor is referring to the fact that properties are abstract.

  39. 39
    doubter says:

    Getting back to the original quote from Dr. Egnor:

    The problem with this epiphenomenal view of consciousness is that it renders the mind powerless. If consciousness is merely a property of the brain, it has no agency—no power to cause anything—in itself. Properties can’t do anything. For example, if you hit a nail with a yellow hammer, you hit it with the hammer, not with the yellow. Epiphenomenalism, which is the only framework by which an immaterial consciousness could evolve, asserts that what actually causes us to do things is brain activity. Consciousness is a useless spin-off.

    The issue is really with the relation of mental phenomena or properties to physical properties, which gets down to philosophical argumentation.

    Dr. Egnor’s words accurately reflect the definition of epiphenomenalism in philosophy of mind. From Wiki:

    Epiphenomenalism is the view that mental phenomena are epiphenomena in that they can be caused by physical phenomena, but cannot cause physical phenomena. In strong epiphenomenalism, epiphenomena that are mental phenomena can only be caused by physical phenomena, not by other mental phenomena.

    This is obviously contradicted by our observed ability to impact the world through mental decisions. We observe that our minds can and do physically change the world. Of course the epiphenomenalists’ rejoinder is that this is just an illusion, begging the question of why would our physical brains have bothered to evolve such an illusion mechanism given that they say the consciousness illusion can’t affect the physical brain.

    Since mental phenomena like subjectivity and qualia can’t affect the physical brain and body (according to epiphenomenalism), they would not even be subject to evolution.

    Epiphenomenalism is also simply self-contradictory: if we know about or or have the conception of epiphenomenalism in our thoughts, then our brains know about the existence of the mind. But if epiphenomenalism is correct, then our brains should not have any knowledge about the mind, because epiphenomenalism says the mind and mental phenomena are powerless to affect anything physical.

    For that matter, knowledge of most kinds is impossible without a mental to physical causal chain, and something similar holds for justification, memory, meaning, and reference. How, for instance, could we say that John knows that there is orange juice in the fridge or that his belief that there is orange juice in the fridge is justified, if his belief were in no way causally connected to the fridge or the orange juice? And the causal relation does not have to be direct; it could be through other persons in the past.

  40. 40
    Ed George says:

    ET

    LoL! What are the properties of oxygen that facilitate respiration? Do tell

    “Gaseous chemical element, symbol: O, atomic number: 8 and atomic weight 15,9994. It’s of great interest because it’s the essential element in the respiratory processes of most of the living cells and in combustion processes.”

  41. 41
    ET says:

    LoL! Ed thinks that quoting something makes his case. Again:

    What are the properties of oxygen that facilitate respiration? “Cuz it is an essential element in the respiratory process of most organisms”, is an “answer a child would give.

    Is it its atomic weight of 15,9994? Hopefully not as it comes in pairs, ie dioxygen, in our atmosphere. Also pure oxygen “generally bad and sometimes toxic”. It could cause pulmonary fibrosis in otherwise healthy people.

    Not to mention that by all naturalistic origin of life scenarios there has to be an anaerobic environment to get the process started. Anaerobic respiration once ruled.

  42. 42
    Ed George says:

    ET

    Is it its atomic weight of 15,9994? Hopefully not as it comes in pairs, ie dioxygen, in our atmosphere.

    Buy a periodic table.

  43. 43
    ET says:

    I own a periodic table, Ed. Did you have a point beyond your ignorance? The atomic weight of ONE oxygen atom is 15.999.

    Look, it’s obvious that you don’t know what you are talking about, Ed. You spewed nonsense and got caught, again, as usual.

    https://sciencenotes.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PeriodicTableMuted2016.pdf

  44. 44
    Ed George says:

    ET

    You spewed nonsense and got caught, again, as usual.

    I wasn’t the one suggesting that the atomic weight of oxygen is greater than 15.99… because oxygen generally found as O2. But if you want to keep insisting on this nonsense, please go ahead.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    Ed George:

    I wasn’t the one suggesting that the atomic weight of oxygen is greater than 15.99

    I never suggested that. Obviously you have reading comprehension issues.

    That said, YOU are the moron who stated:

    Oxygen has properties that facilitate the process of respiration.

    And FAILed, miserably, to support that claim.

    What are the properties of oxygen that facilitate respiration?

    Still waiting, loser.

  46. 46
    hazel says:

    I am surprised this is even a question. A quick Google search finds this:

    Cellular respiration is the process cells use to make energy. Cells in our body combine glucose and oxygen to make ATP and carbon dioxide.

    The property of oxygen is that its electron configuration enables it to combine with other atoms to form molecules essential to cellular respiration.

  47. 47
    ET says:

    hazel:

    The property of oxygen is that its electron configuration enables it to combine with other atoms to form molecules essential to cellular respiration.

    1- Glucose is a molecule, not an atom.
    2- Carbon has an electron configuration that enables it to combine with other atoms
    3- ATP synthesis is more than oxygen combining with glucose

    The reaction is oxidization- the glucose is being oxidized into CO2 (OIL) and the oxygen is reduced into water (RIG). Clearly you had no idea what was going on, hazel. You just found a quote and went with it

    So we are right back to- “Cuz it is an essential element in the respiratory process of most organisms” and:

    Also pure oxygen is “generally bad and sometimes toxic”. It could cause pulmonary fibrosis in otherwise healthy people.

    Not to mention that by all naturalistic origin of life scenarios there has to be an anaerobic environment to get the process started. Anaerobic respiration once ruled.

  48. 48
    hazel says:

    I am still puzzled by what the issue is, and also by ET’s hostility. I supplied a quote, which I understand, to show that, in my own words, “The property of oxygen is that its electron configuration enables it to combine with other atoms to form molecules essential to cellular respiration,” which I am sure is true.

    To reply to ET’s points:

    “1- Glucose is a molecule, not an atom.” True. But molecules are formed from atoms bonded together, and in any molecule that contains oxygen, the oxygen atoms are bonded to other atoms that are part of the molecule.

    “2- Carbon has an electron configuration that enables it to combine with other atoms.” True, although not sure why you mentioned this, as this is true of all elements (although of course the inert gases have full electron shells so they don’t combine.)

    The particular property of oxygen that is involved with bonding is that it only has six electrons, out of a possible eight, in its outer shell.

    “3- ATP synthesis is more than oxygen combining with glucose.” Yes, I know that.

    This is all high school science.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    hazel:

    I am still puzzled by what the issue is, and also by ET’s hostility.

    What hostility?

    “The property of oxygen is that its electron configuration enables it to combine with other atoms to form molecules essential to cellular respiration,” which I am sure is true.

    Again, for the learning impaired:

    The reaction is oxidization- the glucose is being oxidized into CO2 (OIL) and the oxygen is reduced into water (RIG). Clearly you had no idea what was going on, hazel. You just found a quote and went with it.

    There isn’t any “oxygen combining with glucose”, hazel. Well unless you want to rewrite the definition of “combine”:

    b
    : to cause to unite into a chemical compound
    combining hydrofluoric acid with soda ash to form sodium fluoride
    c
    : to unite into a single number or expression
    Combine fractions and simplify.

    So the issue is you don’t seem to understand high school science, hazel

  50. 50
    hazel says:

    From biologydictionary.net

    Aerobic Respiration Equation
    The equation for aerobic respiration shows glucose being combined with oxygen and ADP to produce carbon dioxide, water, and ATP:

    C6H12O6 (glucose)+ 6O2 + 36 ADP (depleted ATP) + 36 Pi (phosphate groups)? 6CO2 + 6H2O + 36 ATP

    Enough said, as I still don’t know what the disagreement is about, or why you think I don’t know what is going on.

  51. 51
    ET says:

    hazel- Now the issue is the use of the word “combine” which does not go with the definition of the word.

  52. 52
    hazel says:

    Hmmm. The sentence I quoted above from biologydictionary.net used “combined”. This doesn’t seem like an issue to me.

    By the way, I see the -> for the chemical reaction above printed as a ?, but I assume that didn’t cause any confusion.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    hazel:

    The sentence I quoted above from biologydictionary.net used “combined”.

    So you are unable to think for yourself. Got it.

    Their use of the word does not follow the definition.

  54. 54
    hazel says:

    You are wrong, ET. In chemistry, combination refers to two or more atoms or molecules having a reaction that produces one or more different molecules. The formula that I offered in 50 is an example.

    As for quoting, you offered definitions in 49 without attribution: where did you quote from?

    Very often, words in science have different and/or more specialized meaning than their everyday usage. Try googling “chemical combination”.

  55. 55
    hazel says:

    I’ve been reviewing my chemistry (it’s been decades since I studied this). In some places, combination is used strictly for the situation where two atoms or molecules react to form a single substance, as ET has said. This is called a synthesis reaction.

    Other kinds of reactions which involve more complicated situations, such as the formula I posted, have different names other than synthesis, so “combine” refers to just one kind of chemical reaction. However, other sites use the word “combine” to include all types of reactions, which may be less precise.

    Therefore, my sentence in 46 should be amended to read, “The property of oxygen is that its electron configuration enables it to react combine with other atoms to form molecules essential to cellular respiration.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    hazel, you said:

    True, although not sure why you mentioned this, as this is true of all elements (although of course the inert gases have full electron shells so they don’t combine.)
    The particular property of oxygen that is involved with bonding is that it only has six electrons, out of a possible eight, in its outer shell.

    It looks like you thought oxygen was added to glucose and not that there was a reaction that took place.

  57. 57
    hazel says:

    I see, and you are right: reacted with, not combined with, is much better.

  58. 58
    Ed George says:

    Hazel

    I am still puzzled by what the issue is, and also by ET’s hostility.

    ET

    What hostility?…

    So you are unable to think for yourself.

    Again, for the learning impaired

    So the issue is you don’t seem to understand high school science, hazel

    Hazel is not the one who claims that Frequency = Wavelength.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    So Ed George is in fact Acartia bogart/ William spearshake/ brother brian and a variety of other anti-science sock puppets. It is a total lie that Ed is OK with ID.

    And yes, it is a fact that wavelength and frequency are interchangeable, ie equivalent, in certain contexts. For example you can discuss the absorption spectrum of CO2 in terms of the wavelengths or the frequencies and you are talking about the same thing. See also:

    The 630 meter (or 600 meter) amateur radio band is a frequency band allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to amateur radio operators, and it ranges from 472 to 479 kHz, or equivalently 625.9 to 635.1 meters wavelength.

    Frequency or equivalently wavelength.

    And it is very telling that Eddie cannot make any case. What hostility, Ed? Is Captain Obvious the same as Captain Hostile?

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