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BA77 links on the consequences of mind = brain ideologies


While we’re on a roll on AI and its import at the hands of evolutionary materialistic scientism dressed in a lab coat, BA77 has linked a comic strip — see here (main site here; cf. twist on The Cave currently top of the heap) — that is at first funny then soberingly serious:

As in, where do you think these issues fit in:

And perhaps Engineer Derek Smith’s model has a few points to ponder as we think about the higher order, supervisory controller in the cybernetic loop:

The Derek Smith two-tier controller cybernetic model

Food for thought. END

PS: Could I put up for reflection the notion that the human soul is at the interface of spirit and body, including Brain and CNS?

daveS: So, it seems that we all agree on the basic points. That's good! :) gpuccio
KF, Certainly your argument essentially rules out the possibility that a hypothetical conscious rock could use its physical body to interact with the physical world, like all conscious beings that I'm aware of do. The scenario of a "spirit resident in a rock" that you described is the only notion of "conscious rock" that I find conceivable. And you are right that it's totally unclear what connection the immaterial consciousness of the rock would have to the physical rock itself. daveS
DS, the relevant manifestation of consciousness would be embodied. That's why I pointed to the Smith model, highlighting the external and internal sensory arrays and networks that allow self-awareness, orientation in the world and awareness of the self in the world. Rocks simply do not have any evidence of such arrays, or of responsiveness generally. Going further, we may for argument ponder a spirit resident in a rock. It would be conscious of itself, but that does not belong to the rock. Going further it is suggested that God is aware of everywhere, every moment, but that is God's awareness, not the rock. Thus, we have good warrant for concluding that a rock is not a conscious being. KF kairosfocus
gpuccio, I don't really disagree with anything you've said. But the question I was addressing (prompted by CR's and KF's posts) is how do we know when something is not conscious? It seems like such a statement would be unverifiable. And yes, it may be more of a philosophical question rather than a scientific one. daveS
daveS: I would say that we don't know if a rock is conscious, but that we have no special reasons to believe that. Science is about reasonable inferences, not about mere imagination. So, who do we know for certain to be conscious? The answer is rather simple. Each of us is certain of his own consciousness. Our personal consciousness is perceived intuitively by each of us. That is a fact. That is observable consciousness. On that simple fact we build all our map of reality. What about other human beings? Indeed, we do not observe their consciousness, but we infer it. It's an inference by analogy, and whoever has anything against inferences by analogy (good inferences by analogy) should be ready to renounce his belief that other human beings are conscious. But, of course, almost nobody would do that. Because that simple inference by analogy is so strong, so perfectly reasonable, that we consider it almost an observed fact. Almost. What about animals? Again, it's an inference by analogy. Personally, I have no doubts that higher animals (like my three cats) are conscious. But it is still an inference by analogy, and of course the analogy is a little weaker: cats and dogs share a lot of behaviours with us, and many of them are formally correspondent to some of our cosncious representations. But they do not speak, or generate abstract language and concepts, and so on. What about birds, fish, flies, bacteria? Again, we can only infer. By analogy. The greater the analogy, the stronger the inference. Each of us can make his own choices, but of course, while almost anyone would agree that other human beings are cosncious, only some would say that bacteria are conscious. In the end, we don't really know. For non biological matter, an inference of consciousness is not really motivated, IMO. It can still be done, but it would be more some philosophical argument than some real inference from observed facts. So, I think that any scientific reasoning should at present stick mainly to the widest, and strongest, inference: other human beings are conscious as we are, and we can rely on the shared experience of cosnciousness and of its properties between human beings to build scientific arguments and theories about consciousness itself. As KF has done here. As I try to do in my biological arguments. gpuccio
john_a_designer: "Furthermore, if it’s logically possible that something could be designed then it’s not illegitimate to consider the possibility that it really might be designed. Indeed, it would be foolish not to." Great statement indeed! And a great truth. :) gpuccio
LM, I don't believe that my response addresses any of these questions of his:
Why doesn’t a rock experience consciousness? How do we know it doesn’t? If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose, then couldn’t a rock be consciousness?
I don’t believe rocks are conscious beings.
I believe you have answered CR's question.
Whether rocks are “beings” in some more general sense, I don’t know.
Then I guess I don't know whether or not they are conscious in some more 'general' sense. Latemarch
LM, I don't believe rocks are conscious beings. Whether rocks are "beings" in some more general sense, I don't know. daveS
DaveS@69 LM,
The meaning of that sentence is quite clear to me, although I think there’s a typo at the end. Omitting the parenthetical remark:
If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose, then couldn’t a rock be conscious?
I thought that possible but, unlike you, I'm not going to claim to be able to read CR's mind. I'll answer the question if you'll answer mine first. Is a rock a being? Latemarch
"Just because he strung together words and placed a question mark at the end did not make it a question."
Only dogmatic atheists would ever find it logically coherent to presuppose he could ever construct any meaningful sentence within a universe that he insists has no meaning.
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Moreover, since the ability to assign meaning must preexist the creation of information, especially must preexist creating a code to be able to encode information in the first place,, ,,,then finding information to be foundational to life (and to the universe) is almost directly equivalent to finding that there must be a far deeper meaning for life
Information Enigma (Where did the information in life come from?) – – Stephen Meyer – Doug Axe – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g The Origin of Information: How to Solve It - Perry Marshall (Shannon Channel Capacity) Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community: “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.” “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer. A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research. http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/ 48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information” 49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1 Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw
KF, If your remark about your friend "rocky" is not meant to suggest that CR actually believes rocks are conscious, then I withdraw my comment in #65. daveS
DS, take a look at the Smith Model in the OP and especially the two-tier controller with shared memory and access to world perception as well as proprioception. Blend in my clips and comments on quantum influences, especially Calef. Then realise what I have invited by way of a serious discussion; then compare the actual remarks above and come back to us on consciousness of an embodied entity. KF kairosfocus
LM, The meaning of that sentence is quite clear to me, although I think there's a typo at the end. Omitting the parenthetical remark:
If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose, then couldn’t a rock be conscious?
BA77,KF,CR,and DS: CR is not asking a question in good faith. Just because he strung together words and placed a question mark at the end did not make it a question. Now I have a vague idea of what he's trying to ask but one cannot meaningfully answer vague. We just go round and round with CR denying that's his position and demanding an answer to his non-question. CR, you should instead reformulate the question. It's a logical, grammatical, and semantic mess. Leave out the snark about God and adapted as if He is part of nature. You know better. If you think that you have a serious question then stick to the proper philosophical definition. It's not as if KF hasn't given you one numerous times. I know that's not what you believe about God but for your question to be taken seriously that's the definition you will have to use. Otherwise all you have is a strawman. If you use a proper definition of God, I think that you will find that your question no longer hangs together logically.
If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose (which is not my position), then couldn’t a rock be consciousness?
What does this sentence even mean? Do you read this stuff before you hit post? Latemarch
If being alive has nothing to do with being materially well adapted, then why can’t a rock be alive?
Rocks don't metabolize, they don't reproduce, they are not biological and they are inanimate.
What does its composition have to do with anything at all?
It has everything to do with it. Perhaps you should just try to make a case for rock consciousness instead of just fishing. Because your fishing is starting to hurt what little credibility you have left. ET
daveS, an internet atheist complaining about 'engaging in good faith' is the height of hypocrisy. I have yet to meet an atheist on the internet who engages the arguments and evidence presented against his position in 'good faith'. (Please note that even in your appeal to 'good faith' that you are appealing to a Theistic presupposition).
good faith noun honesty or sincerity of intention. Intention noun a thing intended; an aim or plan. 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/2008/11/the_mind_and_materialist_super013961.html
my 20-tonne friend rocky in my backyard says hi
Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of light mockery, but are you sure that you're engaging in good faith with CR's stated position? daveS
CR, attempted hyperskeptical evasion duly noted. BTW, my 20-tonne friend rocky in my backyard says hi. KF kairosfocus
CR, you did not answer my question directly, nor did you address the empirical evidence presented against your position (which you can't address). So again, you seem to be arguing that rocks are conscious and, by extension, are also arguing that they have the 'illusion of free will'. Again, Einstein also held this position, for instance:
“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 http://www.esotericonline.net/profiles/blogs/einstein-s-mystical-views-on-freedom-causality-and-morality
Please note that Einstein, like other leading Atheists, freely admits that it is impossible for him to live as if free will did not actually exist. And again I repeat, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.
Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen 1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview. 2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview. 3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality. 4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion. 5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true. Conclusion: Atheism is false. http://answersforhope.com/existential-argument-atheism/
Now you may say to yourself, "Hey. I'm in the same boat with Einstein therefore it can't be all that bad." But regardless of all that, being wrong is still being wrong. And Einstein was wrong not only in regards to free will, but Einstein was also famously shown to be wrong in his opposition to Quantum Mechanics. In fact, the main evidence that I presented for the reality of free will is the fact that free will is 'built into' the equations of quantum mechanics.
Determinism vs Free Will – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwPER4m2axI As Zeilinger stated: “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, Einstein was also shown, by advances in quantum mechanics, to be wrong in his purely 'physical' definition of time. A 'relativistic' definition of 'physical' time which was suppose to be his main claim to fame. In fact, Einstein was denied a Nobel prize for relativity precisely because his physical definition of time did not mesh with the philosophical, i.e. 'mental', definition of time that had been well elucidated at that time
Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time - Wednesday 24 June 2015 Excerpt: The meeting of April 6 was supposed to be a cordial affair, though it ended up being anything but. ‘I have to say that day exploded and it was referenced over and over again in the 20th century,’ says Canales. ‘The key sentence was something that Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”’ It’s hard to know whether Bergson was expecting such a sharp jab. In just one sentence, Bergson’s notion of duration—a major part of his thesis on time—was dealt a mortal blow. As Canales reads it, the line was carefully crafted for maximum impact. ‘What he meant was that philosophers frequently based their stories on a psychological approach and [new] physical knowledge showed that these philosophical approaches were nothing more than errors of the mind.’ The night would only get worse. ‘This was extremely scandalous,’ says Canales. ‘Einstein had been invited by philosophers to speak at their society, and you had this physicist say very clearly that their time did not exist.’ Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity. Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the committee from awarding the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time. So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities. Bergson was fond of saying that time was the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a glass of water. It was a declaration that one could not talk about time without reference to human consciousness and human perception. Einstein would say that time is what clocks measure. Bergson would no doubt ask why we build clocks in the first place. ‘He argued that if we didn’t have a prior sense of time we wouldn’t have been led to build clocks and we wouldn’t even use them ... unless we wanted to go places and to events that mattered,’ says Canales. ‘You can see that their points of view were very different.’ In a theoretical nutshell this expressed perfectly the division between lived time and spacetime: subjective experience versus objective reality.,,, Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory and with it the possibility of a Bergsonian universe of indeterminacy and change. God did, it seems, play dice with the universe, contra to Einstein’s famous aphorism. Some supporters went as far as to say that Bergson’s earlier work anticipated the quantum revolution of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg by four decades or more. Canales quotes the literary critic Andre Rousseaux, writing at the time of Bergson’s death. ‘The Bergson revolution will be doubled by a scientific revolution that, on its own, would have demanded the philosophical revolution that Bergson led, even if he had not done it.’ Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/science-vs-philosophy-and-the-meaning-of-time/6539568 Einstein vs. "The Now" of Philosophers and Quantum Mechanics – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwyHUxoKWNM
Of interest to the undermining of the space-time of General Relativity as a 'complete' description of reality, Einstein was once asked by Rudolf Carnap (a philosopher):
"Can physics demonstrate the existence of 'the now' in order to make the notion of 'now' into a scientifically valid term?"
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."
Moreover, the statement Einstein made to Carnap on the train, 'the now' cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make to the philosopher since 'the now of the mind' has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, now undermined the space-time of Einstein's General Relativity as to being the 'complete' frame of reference for reality.
LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD - Vlatko Vedral - 2011 Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics. http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchang/Notes10b/0611038.pdf
Contrary to what Einstein thought was possible for experimental physics, 'the experience of the now' is very much a part of physical measurement, As the following researcher in Quantum Mechanics stated, "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/reality-doesn-t-exist-until-we-measure-it-quantum-experiment-confirms
Now CR, I don't expect you to be honest with any of the experimental evidence I presented, especially after your fiasco of claiming that GR and QM 'completely disagree with experimental results', but for the sake of others reading, I hope it is clear that CR's (and Einstein's) position regarding the 'illusion of free will', is directly undermined by advances in quantum mechanics. bornagain77
Notice all the following quotes are from men who believe that evolution is a mindless and purposeless process. (from #26 above.)
“This appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature…. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.” George Gaylord Simpson – “The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature” – 1947 living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed” Richard C. Lewontin – Adaptation,” Scientific American, and Scientific American book ‘Evolution’ (September 1978) “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 138 (1990) “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30 “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1
If something appears to be designed isn’t it logically possible it really could be designed? The main argument for the design then can be stated very simply:
1.If it looks designed, it really could be designed. 2. Even the simplest self-replicating life forms The Prokaryotic Cell looks designed. 3. Therefore, it really could be designed.
Furthermore, if it’s logically possible that something could be designed then it’s not illegitimate to consider the possibility that it really might be designed. Indeed, it would be foolish not to. john_a_designer
CR: Why doesn’t a rock experience consciousness? CR: How do we know it doesn’t? ET: It's not alive.
If being alive has nothing to do with being materially well adapted, then why can't a rock be alive? What does its composition have to do with anything at all? Is God well adapted for any purpose, let alone being alive? Is he yet somehow alive? Again, apparently, the best explanation we can possibility have for why rocks are not alive is because "Zeus rules" here. If he wanted rocks to be alive, they would be. But, apparently, that's just wasn't in the cards for rocks. Then again, I guess they don't know what they're missing. critical rationalist
@KF & BA77
CR, you are unaware that rocks have neither life nor contemplations, much less dreams? Thanks for letting us know just how absurd your views are collectively. KF
It seems you have both confused me actually holding a belief personally with attempting to take your position seriously, as if it were true in reality, and that all of your concisions should follow from it, for the purpose of criticism. Now that we've cleared that up, I'll ask again:...
If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose (which is not my position), then couldn’t a rock be consciousness? The OP seems to argue that, since rocks doesn’t have any material way of receiving input, they are not conscious. But God is supposedly non-material, and is therefore not well adapted for the purpose of receiving input, either. Does that mean that mean [theists] think God doesn’t have a way to receive input? If not, then why can’t rocks receive input as well? [...] IOW, the best explanation we can have as to why rocks are not conscious is because “Zeus rules here.”, “That’s just what Zeus must have wanted”, etc.
critical rationalist
Basically, denying the reality of free will and/or consciousness, runs straight into denying the reality of our very own agent causality, which is insane:
Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let's Dump Methodological Naturalism - Paul Nelson - September 24, 2014 Excerpt: "Epistemology -- how we know -- and ontology -- what exists -- are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, "We cannot know that a mind caused x," laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won't include minds. MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn't write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact. "That's crazy," you reply, "I certainly did write my email." Okay, then -- to what does the pronoun "I" in that sentence refer? Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,, You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse -- i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss -- we haven't the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world -- such as your email, a real pattern -- we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,, some feature of "intelligence" must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we're back to physics versus physics, and there's nothing for SETI to look for.",,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set090071.html
Even leading Atheists admit that it is impossible for them to live as if they really had no free will:
Darwin's Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails - Nancy Pearcey - April 23, 2015 Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, "Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get." An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, "The impossibility of free will ... can be proved with complete certainty." Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. "To be honest, I can't really accept it myself," he says. "I can't really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?",,, In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots -- that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one "can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free." We are "constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots." One section in his book is even titled "We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.",,, When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine -- a "big bag of skin full of biomolecules" interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, "When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, ... see that they are machines." Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: "That is not how I treat them.... I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis." Certainly if what counts as "rational" is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks's worldview. It sticks out of his box. How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn't. Brooks ends by saying, "I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs." He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/04/when_evolutiona095451.html
Dawkins himself admitted that it would be 'intolerable' for him to live his life as if atheistic materialism were actually true
Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006 Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don't feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,, Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views? Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/10/who_wrote_richard_dawkinss_new002783.html
In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.
Existential Argument against Atheism - November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen 1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview. 2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview. 3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality. 4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion. 5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true. Conclusion: Atheism is false. http://answersforhope.com/existential-argument-atheism/
CR, are you going to exercise your free will and choose to stop living in a delusion as you currently are? bornagain77
CR, along with consciousness, do you believe rocks also have the 'illusion of free will'? Einstein believed that.
Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will - July 27, 2014 Excerpt: And free will?: Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will? Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options. I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/physicist-george-ellis-on-the-importance-of-philosophy-and-free-will/
The main problem for atheists with their denying the reality of their free will, and claiming that free will is just an illusion, is that it renders all their claims that they are making logically coherent arguments null and void:
Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html
As Dr Egnor makes clear in the following article, "logic — is neither material nor natural." Therefore, any attempt to reduce logic to purely natural explanations will forever be in vain.
Naturalism and Self-Refutation - Michael Egnor - January 31, 2018 Excerpt: For Clark, thoughts merely appear out of matter, which has no properties, by the laws of physics, for generating thought. For Clark to assert that naturalistic matter as described by physics gives rise to the mind, without immateriality of any sort, is merely to assert magic. Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame. The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it. https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/
Moreover, as Steven Weinberg points out, in quantum mechanics free will is 'built into' the equations of quantum mechanics. That is to say in quantum mechanics, instead of humans being the result of the laws of nature as Darwinists hold, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level.
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://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/01/19/trouble-with-quantum-mechanics/ Determinism vs Free Will - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwPER4m2axI
Another devastating problem with your claim that rocks are conscious is that material reality does not even exist until someone consciously observes it. Here is a delayed choice experiment that was done with atoms:
Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015 Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured. Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide? Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found. “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips. The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light. “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering. http://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html
A few more notes:
Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM 1. Consciousness either preceded 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 a central position within material reality. 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality. Five intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Double Slit, Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect): – Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: 5 Experiments – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5qphmi8gYE
Quote, Verse and Video
as Francis Schaeffer said, “Christianity is not merely religious truth, it is total truth- truth about the whole of reality.” – Nancy R. Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity 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. Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk
I wouldn't say we are "aware" that rocks do not experience consciousness. It's more like an educated guess, or even an assumption. Certainly we have no evidence indicating that rocks are conscious. The people I hang out with don't, anyway. daveS
CR, you are unaware that rocks have neither life nor contemplations, much less dreams? Thanks for letting us know just how absurd your views are collectively. KF kairosfocus
Why doesn’t a rock experience consciousness?
It isn't alive.
How do we know it doesn’t?
It isn't alive ET
Why doesn't a rock experience consciousness? How do we know it doesn't? If conscious beings are not conscious because they are well adapted for that purpose, then couldn't a rock be consciousness? The OP seems to argue that, since rocks doesn't have any material way of receiving input, they are not conscious. But God is supposedly non-material, and is therefore not well adapted for the purpose of receiving input, either. Does that mean that mean thesis think God doesn't have a way to receive input? If not, then why can't rocks receive input as well? Again, if we exist in a bubble of explicably that exists in a sea of inexplicability, the best explanation we can possibility have in that sea is that "Zeus rules there". However, it doesn't stop there as our bubble supposedly depends on that inexplicable sea, as well. As such, the best explanation we can have here is that "Zeus rules here" as well. It only seems explicable unless you avoid asking specific questions, like the one I just asked above. IOW, the best explanation we can have as to why rocks are not conscious is because "Zeus rules here.", "That's just what Zeus must have wanted", etc. critical rationalist
PPS: Let the ghost of Socrates speak from 2400 years ago:
It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.) Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:
>>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures. Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it] The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27]. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing? [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus. [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ --> here we see Plato's philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already. [Ad.] Certainly. [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary. [Ad.] I will. [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ --> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers. [Ad.] Precisely so, he said. [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [--> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical]. [Ad.] Yes. [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained? [Ad.] True. [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other? [Ad.] By all means. [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ -- > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ --> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [--> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>
(There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)
MB, I think there is a fundamental difference of view on issue drivers and what is pivotal. As I explained already, even the science issues are not driven by science but by things that impose crooked yardsticks which then make what is straight, accurate and upright seem absurd and even threatening. If that were not so, the matter would have been cleared up in ID's favour maybe twenty years ago as-- for just one instance -- the mere fact of coded text and linked information processing systems in the heart of cell based life is already decisive. Obvious fact, it hasn't happened. We have a bewitched civilisation that has become very warped and locked into ultimately suicidal agendas, a march of ruinous folly . . . as has happened over and over historically. Let me clip the UD About page, as that gives you a good overview:
Uncommon Descent holds that… Materialistic ideology has subverted the study of biological and cosmological origins so that the actual content of these sciences has become corrupted. The problem, therefore, is not merely that science is being used illegitimately to promote a materialistic worldview, but that this worldview is actively undermining scientific inquiry, leading to incorrect and unsupported conclusions about biological and cosmological origins. At the same time, intelligent design (ID) offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories of biological and cosmological evolution — an alternative that is finding increasing theoretical and empirical support. Hence, ID needs to be vigorously developed as a scientific, intellectual, and cultural project.
Sobering and sound. That march of folly lock-in I mentioned is why we have to deal at adequate length with plumb-line tests that expose crooked yardsticks; knowing that we are dealing with many who will cling to absurdities but that eventually more and more will see the point so there will be a tipping point. Ask Wilberforce if you doubt me. My hope is, the tip-point will be before the cliff's edge crumbles underfoot. I am also (for all my sins I suppose) experienced with agit-prop, deceitful street theatre, false fronts of manipulated dupes, low level guerrilla warfare tactics, media amplifier games and linked lawfare . . . and, sadly, THAT is what we are facing at civilisation level, where as you can see from Lewontin et al, evolutionary materialistic scientism is part of the framework being advanced by various agendas as it opens room for where they wish to take our civilisation. On 2400 years of history, over the cliff. In this context, what will work is a cumulative case across the board, and guess what: few others are making it, especially i/l/o the design evidence and linked issues. KF PS: Also looking forward to your thoughts on the technical threads, especially as we open up the AI- agent action-intelligence- front. In progress as we speak. kairosfocus
Jul3s @ 39- Do you understand what "etc." means? It means my list continues and is not limited to what came before the "etc.". ET
Molson Bleu- Yes, people with low IQs and who are also proven to be scientifically illiterate are the type of people who "take pleasure in seeing the types of non-ID discussions they can draw us into. So again, why should we care as it exposes THEM for what they really are. That you can't see that reflects on you and not kairosfocus. ET
“However, KF is certainly one who often debates fundamental ID topics, and not only more general issues.” Very true. And I commend him for that. But he is also one of the first to be led off on hundred comment tangents by ID opponents. I have gone back over many of the recent long threads and he has been drawn into long arguments over things like abortion, pedophile rings, subjective morality, radical Islam, homosexuality, to just name a few. I’m sure that I am not the only one to have noticed this. I am certain that our opponents have. My friendly advice to him would simply be to refrain from taking the bait. And I don’t want to centre KF out because there are several others also guilty of readily taking the bait. “It’s not clear why our more valid interlocutors should be so shy as soon as important biological ID topics are discussed, while they are often so ready to intervene about religion, morals, politics, and so on.” I think that it is obvious. They take pleasure in seeing what types of non ID discussions they can draw ID proponents into. And given the fact that the majority of ID proponents are religious, they stick to the tried and true religious hot button topics. Things like abortion, morality, homosexuality, and the like. The solution to this problem is simple. Don’t participate in every tangent or every provocation instigated by our opponents. Make them address ID on its merits rather than play into their distraction tactics. Sadly, I am not confident that this advice will be heeded. Molson Bleu
PS: I should note on worldviews using Wiki as handy source:
A world view[1] or worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge and point of view. A world view can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.[2] The term is a calque of the German word Weltanschauung [?v?lt.?an??a?.??] (About this sound listen), composed of Welt ('world') and Anschauung ('view' or 'outlook').[3] The German word is also used in English. It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs forming a global description through which an individual, group or culture watches and interprets the world and interacts with it. Worldview remains a confused and confusing concept in English, used very differently by linguists and sociologists. It is for this reason that Underhill suggests five subcategories: world-perceiving, world-conceiving, cultural mindset, personal world, and perspective (see Underhill 2009, 2011 & 2012). Worldviews are often taken to operate at a conscious level, directly accessible to articulation and discussion, as opposed to existing at a deeper, pre-conscious level, such as the idea of "ground" in Gestalt psychology and media analysis. However, core worldview beliefs are often deeply rooted, and so are only rarely reflected on by individuals, and are brought to the surface only in moments of crises of faith.
it should be obvious why this is pivotal to UD's work, especially given that part of what we see is ideological redefinition of science imposed through agit-prop and lawfare. We also see disputes that boil down to challenging warrant of scientific findings or even knowledge itself. Further to these, we find those who challenge first principles of right reason. That is there are huge crooked yardstick problems that require dealing with plumbline tests. kairosfocus
Jul3s: Kindly read this:
. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people's heads [==> as in, "we" have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making "our" "consensus" the yardstick of truth . . . where of course "view" is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ] we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [--> "explanations of the world" is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised "demon[ic]" "supernatural" being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
. . . and Johnson's response:
For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them "materialists employing science." And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.
[--> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:
"Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific "dead ends" and God of the gaps-type hypotheses."
Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to "natural vs [the suspect] supernatural." Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga's reply here and here.] And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]
That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]
. . . then tell me that we ought not to engage all the various fronts? Where, too, do or do not ideas have consequences? (And, all of this exchange, dear stander-by, is happening when a whole new front of technical discussion is emerging and is seeing the pattern of the "bad dogs" who are ever so prone to pounce being mysteriously silent and absent, even though many things have been confidently said elsewhere that have fallen to the ground once it is shown that such a thing as state space search exists.) KF kairosfocus
GP, perhaps its completely clear why. :) Upright BiPed
Molson Bleu: "I don’t mean to be rude, because I quite enjoy threads on religion, morality and the like, but I just don’t think that a site that claims to be about ID is the place for them. Doing so just provides further ammunition for our opposition." Well, let's say that people can certainly discuss those topics here, but I agree that more specific ID topics should be prevailing. However, KF is certainly one who often debates fundamental ID topics, and not only more general issues. As for me, I try to do my part, and I stick to biological ID discussions most of the time. Many others here regularly contribute to specific ID debates. The problem is that specific ID topics do not always attract a lot of discussants, especially from the other side. The lack of "enemies" in the discussion, especially the more serious enemies, is not of help, because in the end the discussion becomes some form of monologue. You can see something like that in my last OPs, for example: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/the-spliceosome-a-molecular-machine-that-defies-any-non-design-explanation/ https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-random-variation-a-simple-evaluation-of-the-probabilistic-resources-of-our-biological-world/ https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-natural-selection-an-interesting-open-discussion-with-gordon-davisson/ It's not clear why our more valid interlocutors should be so shy as soon as important biological ID topics are discussed, while they are often so ready to intervene about religion, morals, politics, and so on. However, as I have already said in my comment #23, discussions about AI, the nature of consciousness and its relation to brain and matter are certainly very scientific issues, and they are also strictly linked to ID theory. For example, all my basic definitions about ID depend strictly on a merely empirical approach to consciousness, which must avoid any pre-defined ideology about it. gpuccio
UD doesn't only complain about the consequences of beliefs that make rationality impossible. Criticizing this kind of idea is valid but UD attacks many other ideas with a weaker basis. I was talking about social or political consequences, like organ harvesting as mentioned in the OP. You glossed over the meat of the wow signal paper. The part that you claim has already been discussed is just the first part of the abstract and has nothing to do with their findings. If you don't want to check for yourself, I'll quote the relevant parts: "Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of the same symbolic language. Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing rather than of stochastic processes (the null hypothesis that they are due to chance coupled with presumable evolutionary pathways is rejected with P-value < 10^–13). The patterns are profound to the extent that the code mapping itself is uniquely deduced from their algebraic representation. The signal displays readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero, the privileged decimal syntax and semantical symmetries. Besides, extraction of the signal involves logically straightforward but abstract operations, making the patterns essentially irreducible to any natural origin. Plausible ways of embedding the signal into the code and possible interpretation of its content are discussed. Overall, while the code is nearly optimized biologically, its limited capacity is used extremely efficiently to pass non-biological information. This is profound and goes way beyond what you were talking about. I don't live in the US so I can't buy the paper but I'd love to read it. Jul3s
Jul3s, there is such a thing as reduction to moral absurdity. There is also such a thing as the often bitterly costly example of history. In the case of minds and brains, reduction to grand delusion undermines the very possibility of responsible rational reflection much less discussion. Thus, it is absurd on the grounds that to arrive at such a "conclusion" as reducing mind to computational substrate one depends on exactly the validity of reasoning that is being undermined. Self-referential absurdity (and thus incoherence) on steroids. Which, BTW, is brought out in substantial detail above. KF PS: Mere links are not substantial, a money shot excerpt is advisable. The first of your urls links an abstract, beyond which is an apparently evasive paywall. I clip the excerpt:
It has been repeatedly proposed to expand the scope for SETI, and one of the suggested alternatives to radio is the biological media. Genomic DNA is already used on Earth to store non-biological information. Though smaller in capacity, but stronger in noise immunity is the genetic code. The code is a flexible mapping between codons and amino acids, and this flexibility allows modifying the code artificially. But once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it is the most durable construct known. Therefore it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature, if that conforms to biological and thermodynamic requirements. As the actual scenario for the origin of terrestrial life is far from being settled, the proposal that it might have been seeded intentionally cannot be ruled out. A statistically strong intelligent-like “signal” in the genetic code is then a testable consequence of such scenario . . .
This is of course the same point made already above. The second case is an open access, PLOS article. Its abstract is:
Explaining the dramatic variation in species richness across the tree of life remains a key challenge in evolutionary biology. At the largest phylogenetic scales, the extreme heterogeneity in species richness observed among different groups of organisms is almost certainly a function of many complex and interdependent factors. However, the most fundamental expectation in macroevolutionary studies is simply that species richness in extant clades should be correlated with clade age: all things being equal, older clades will have had more time for diversity to accumulate than younger clades. Here, we test the relationship between stem clade age and species richness across 1,397 major clades of multicellular eukaryotes that collectively account for more than 1.2 million described species. We find no evidence that clade age predicts species richness at this scale. We demonstrate that this decoupling of age and richness is unlikely to result from variation in net diversification rates among clades. At the largest phylogenetic scales, contemporary patterns of species richness are inconsistent with unbounded diversity increase through time. These results imply that a fundamentally different interpretative paradigm may be needed in the study of phylogenetic diversity patterns in many groups of organisms.
This is indeed a new point in itself, though there will be the usual objections. For example, the radiation in the Cambrian era would be seen as in a window of time of perhaps as narrow as 5 - 10 MY or at most a few dozen MY, and it was at root level. So, it would not be a surprise on that to see that once a deep level body plan forms, it diversifies fairly rapidly on the timeline so the resulting levelling off of diversity suppresses an age signal. Where, too, morphological stasis is there as an issue . . . one that has been debated at UD time and again, with the usual exchanges. Remember, this is a field where on good chemical and biological as well as thermodynamic grounds, it was long since expected that we would not find soft tissues from the dinosaur era. Along comes Mary Schweitzer and suddenly we see a dismissing or a reworking and a ho-hum nothing there to see move along smartly. That, is what we are up against. The issue of root-level diversification first and linked morphological stasis is related, and this more or less the point made by Meyer in Darwin's Dilemma [c. 2013], by Loennig in his Dynamic genomes paper [2004] and by others in remarking on things like the Cambrian revolution. The basic points by these men are valid, and the matter is addressed in my briefing note here, and as usual it runs into the crooked yardstick standard challenge. [This note is linked through my handle and is therefore an implicit part of every comment I have ever made at UD. OP's don't link to the chosen link page for some reason.] Let me clip Loennig, late of the Max Planck Institute -- one of the earliest peer-reviewed world of life ID papers, one that was not subjected tot he hot controversy and personal attacks that Meyer and Sternberg faced:
examples like the horseshoe crab [apparently rated as morphologically static across c 250 Ma] are by no means rare exceptions from the rule of gradually evolving life forms . . . In fact, we are literally surrounded by 'living fossils' in the present world of organisms when applying the term more inclusively as "an existing species whose similarity to ancient ancestral species indicates that very few morphological changes have occurred over a long period of geological time" [85] . . . . Now, since all these "old features", morphologically as well as molecularly, are still with us, the basic genetical questions should be addressed in the face of all the dynamic features of ever reshuffling and rearranging, shifting genomes, (a) why are these characters stable at all and (b) how is it possible to derive stable features from any given plant or animal species by mutations in their genomes? . . . . A first hint for answering the questions . . . is perhaps also provided by Charles Darwin himself when he suggested the following sufficiency test for his theory [16]: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." . . . Biochemist Michael J. Behe [5] has refined Darwin's statement by introducing and defining his concept of "irreducibly complex systems", specifying: "By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning" . . . [for example] (1) the cilium, (2) the bacterial flagellum with filament, hook and motor embedded in the membranes and cell wall and (3) the biochemistry of blood clotting in humans . . . . One point is clear: granted that there are indeed many systems and/or correlated subsystems in biology, which have to be classified as irreducibly complex and that such systems are essentially involved in the formation of morphological characters of organisms, this would explain both, the regular abrupt appearance of new forms in the fossil record as well as their constancy over enormous periods of time. For, if "several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function" are necessary for biochemical and/or anatomical systems to exist as functioning systems at all (because "the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning") such systems have to (1) originate in a non-gradual manner and (2) must remain constant as long as they are reproduced and exist. And this could mean no less than the enormous time periods mentioned for all the living fossils hinted at above. Moreover, an additional phenomenon would also be explained: (3) the equally abrupt disappearance of so many life forms in earth history . . . The reason why irreducibly complex systems would also behave in accord with point (3) is also nearly self-evident: if environmental conditions deteriorate so much for certain life forms (defined and specified by systems and/or subsystems of irreducible complexity), so that their very existence be in question, they could only adapt by integrating further correspondingly specified and useful parts into their overall organization, which prima facie could be an improbable process -- or perish . . . . According to Behe and several other authors [5-7, 21-23, 53-60, 68, 86] the only adequate hypothesis so far known for the origin of irreducibly complex systems is intelligent design (ID) . . . in connection with Dembski's criterion of specified complexity . . . . "For something to exhibit specified complexity therefore means that it matches a conditionally independent pattern (i.e., specification) of low specificational complexity, but where the event corresponding to that pattern has a probability less than the universal probability bound and therefore high probabilistic complexity" [23]. For instance, regarding the origin of the bacterial flagellum, Dembski calculated a probability of 10^-234[22].
@ Kairosfocus I'm not sure what your first point is. I'm not calling IDists idiots, I'm saying that you are using arguments that are based on opposing principles. Claiming that we need to follow the evidence wherever it leads means we can't reject an idea simply because it has bad consequences. It means we accept the evidence. But UD also uses "this idea has awful consequences so we need to reject it" to argue against opposing ideas. But this way of arguing completely contradicts and undermines the first principle ID is based on, that of following the evidence. Also, the wow! signal paper I'm talking about has nothing to do with any of the arguments for ID that you mention. It strengthens ID in a way I have never seen before. See here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103513000791 The other paper is here: http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001381 Jul3s
Jul3s, kindly cf the just above to MB. And allusion to IDiots who are ignorant, stupid insane or wicked is duly noted with the implications for your attitude and likely "sock[puppet]" status. KF PS: The Wow signal has come up several times here over the years and more broadly SETI has come up, even Sagan's "Contact." The point has repeatedly been made that, following Crick et al confirming von Neumann's prediction on requisites of kinematic self replication, the most relevant signals are in D/RNA and in linked proteins, backed by the associated information system that processes such. Clinging to a crooked yardstick continues even in the face of what the plumbline reveals. As for the other case, kindly feel free to outline and link documentation. kairosfocus
MB If you "took time" to look at the UD OP's and threads on AI and state/configuration space search, you will notice that in part they are responsive to objectors. Currently, one of the better class of objectors challenged the concept of search. Dembski et al failed to give a neat little mathematically flavoured definition acceptable to one and all, failed to state the problem just so, failed to summarise a neat little framework for algorithms. Much was made of differences from a long list of approaches. Now, I came to ID by way of informational implications of statistical thermodynamics, as the briefing that is always linked through my handle will testify. A copy of Dembski's No Free Lunch is within arm's length as I type (and a good part is accessible through Google Books). So, I know the significance of clusters of possibilities in zones of interest, and of a wider space symbolised traditionally as omega, sometimes [see Boltzmann's tomb] W. Including the significance of relative statistical weight and that of fluctuations. These are in fact foundational to the second law of thermodynamics, statistically understood. And indeed, I had up another recent technical thread on that which will be followed up in due course. As a result, search as sample based on blind walk or hop driven by chance and/or mechanical necessity and consuming resources leading to a constraint on what is plausible i/l/o sol system or observed cosmos has long been on my mind and to my certain knowledge it has long been in the discussion. Cf. my examples here and before that here. These and many other similar things will bring out a shocker: the design inference on FSCO/I etc as empirically tested, reliable sign is NOT dependent on sophisticated mathematics or exotic, rare, highly technical exercises in observation or experiment. Relatively speaking, its empirical and analytical basis is obvious. With a trillion member base all around us. Indeed, the following is a good example from so commonplace and so hostile a source as Wikipedia, on the futility of getting to strings at FSCO/I-relevant threshold [500 - 1,000 bits, i.e. 72 - 143 7-bit ASCII characters] by randomness-driven processes. Where, such meaningful or configuration-sensitive functional strings (vs gibberish strings) are deeply embedded in the heart of the living cell . . . D/RNA, Protein-linked AA chains etc. Let's clip the article in current form -- it has repeatedly featured here at UD over the years as a striking case of compelled testimony against known interest:
The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the observable universe would type a complete work such as Shakespeare's Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero). In this context, "almost surely" is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the "monkey" is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces an endless random sequence of letters and symbols. One of the earliest instances of the use of the "monkey metaphor" is that of French mathematician Émile Borel in 1913,[1] but the first instance may have been even earlier. Variants of the theorem include multiple and even infinitely many typists, and the target text varies between an entire library and a single sentence. Jorge Luis Borges traced the history of this idea from Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption and Cicero's De natura deorum (On the Nature of the Gods [--> NB: a cite from such heads my briefing note]), through Blaise Pascal and Jonathan Swift, up to modern statements with their iconic simians and typewriters. In the early 20th century, Borel and Arthur Eddington used the theorem to illustrate the timescales implicit in the foundations of statistical mechanics . . . . One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the "monkeys" typed, "VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t" The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona". Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from "Timon of Athens", 17 from "Troilus and Cressida", and 16 from "Richard II".[24] A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulated a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took "2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years" to reach 24 matching characters: RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r"5j5&?OWTY Z0d... Due to processing power limitations, the program used a probabilistic model (by using a random number generator or RNG) instead of actually generating random text and comparing it to Shakespeare. When the simulator "detected a match" (that is, the RNG generated a certain value or a value within a certain range), the simulator simulated the match by generating matched text . . .
This particular type of example is old. Legend has it, it came up in Victorian-era debates on evolution though documentation at that level seems missing. Cicero raised it, in a classic design inference c. 50 BC. For sure it was in early C20 discussions of statistical thermodynamics -- monkeys at keyboards vs futility. Crick et al identified that DNA strings had coded textual character [as von Neumann predicted in discussing kinematic self-replicators in the late '40's] across the 1950's. Denton, 1985 raised it. Thaxton et al did so in the foundational ID technical work, TMLO. Dawkins tried to blunt it with the notorious but rhetorically effective Weasel and several successors have tried to make a less blatantly flawed attack on the blind watchmaker evolutionary search challenge. Which, is where Dembski came in. And, it has repeatedly come up since. So, the sort of objections currently being raised cannot be seriously grounded on the merits of the case. Indeed, the cumulative case is clear, and decisively in favour of the conclusion that FSCO/I is a strong, tested, reliable sign of design. So, why hasn't the case been settled and agreed long since in ID's favour? Because of established institutional power and dominant ideology, with Lewontin, US NAS and US NSTA as the clearest documentation. This points instantly to the relevance of worldviews, cultural/ policy/ legal/ political/ educational agendas tied to worldviews, also to the power of rhetoric and agit prop backed by lawfare. Indeed, c 2005, the first big move against ID was a lawfare gambit by which an ill-advised judge was induced to make rulings against ID including patently false findings that were textually 90+% copied from post-trial submissions of evolutionary materialistic scientism advocacy groups. So, though it is likely our most important single focus, pure science cannot be our only focus if we are to soundly address the matter at hand. If it were, that would have been settled over a decade ago and this blog would be likely an archive. This forces us to argue at multiple levels in multiple ways, and to deal with emerging objections found in the wild. The latest round of which happens to be ongoing: on one front, oh you IDiots didn't properly define search and search problems and search algorithms. (The subtext is quite clear, certainly in the discussion threads in the objecting penumbra.) On another, oh you don't focus enough on science. (When, on this, the issue is NOT evidence or inductive reasoning [and yes there is perpetual objection to that too] but epistemology and core principles of reasoning, even the worldviews level issues on minds vs brains and computational substrates. Which, under the focal themes of AI, is an emerging front.) So, there is a multi-front struggle, one that faces diehard, dyed in the wool objection that -- apart from obviously personal animus in too many cases -- is rooted in ideological and institutional dominance with implications for our whole civilisation. One of which BTW happens to be brought to a focus in the cartoon in the OP. Much is at stake. Where, a big part of the challenge is that if one makes a crooked yardstick his or her standard of straightness [being "true"], accuracy and uprightness, then what is really straight, accurate and upright cannot ever pass the demanded test of conformity with crookedness. This means that plumbline, self-evident or factually extremely hard to deny cases have to be brought to bear, exposing the root folly or absurdity. And even so, many in diehard mode will cling to their crooked yardsticks. But eventually, cumulatively, they will pay a price as more and more bystanders then just ordinary people become aware of the gap between the plumbline and the crooked yardstick. For instance, above in this comment, I put up the significance of strings and search-challenge to blindly discover FSCO/I rich strings. I challenge you to respond to this technical point. Explain to us why you accept or reject it, why. Explain why Crick was wrong to identify DNA as complex coded text, if you reject it. Or else, how plausible blind watchmaker search across a relevant configuration space will "easily" stumble upon such strings amidst the sea of non-functional, meaningless gibberish. A dodge away will itself tell us a lot. So, the ball is now in your court. KF PS: An unusually high hit per comment ratio suggests scrutiny, especially hostile scrutiny. The threads on the AI-agents-search space front show that pattern. In that context, the bad dog that is ever willing to pounce but now stays sullenly silent is itself suggestive. kairosfocus
@ Kairosfocus Don't be obtuse. Either tell people to follow the evidence wherever it leads (an idea this site has always promoted) OR tell them that the social consequences of an opposing belief are terrible and therefore it should be rejected on those grounds. You cannot do both without being a hypocrite. @ ET The evidence for ID is not limited to the topics you mention. Have you heard of the science paper "clade age and species richness are decoupled across the tree of life"? Or have you heard of the Wow! signal of the terrestrial genetic code? These papers unintentionally destroy key arguments in favor of evolution and yet I have NEVER seen them discussed here. Because falling for the distractions of skeptics is more important apparently. Jul3s
But why is it that many of the most active tangent threads are on subjects initially brought up by those opposed to ID?
Because they clearly cannot deal with the science and have to form some sort of distraction. Look our opponents and critics are not rational nor are they reasonable. I definitely don't care what they think as it is all but proven that they are intellectual cowards who couldn't support the claims of their position if their lives depended on it. ET
“So to fill in the gaps there has to be other topics that are of interest and also pertain to the overall argument/ culture war.” But why is it that many of the most active tangent threads are on subjects initially brought up by those opposed to ID? Am I the only one who has noticed this? Am I the only one who sees this as an intentional tactic used by evolutionists to distract us so that they can sneer and make fun of ‘those religious fundies’ who can’t keep on topic or on message? So that they can point out to others how easy those ‘IDists’ are to manipulate and lead by the nose. Surely we are smart enough not to be led down these rabbit holes. Molson Bleu
Molson Bleu- How many times can we talk about flagella, cilia, ATP synthase, spliceosomes, ribosomes, the genetic code, etc.? You do realize that the evidence for ID is finite and has been discussed to death. So to fill in the gaps there has to be other topics that are of interest and also pertain to the overall argument/ culture war. ET
Seversky, I think the history of Eugenics and beyond speaks for itself. Do I need to call Dr Mengele or others by name? Then, there is China on unfortunately very recent organ harvesting. KF kairosfocus
KF, Yes, that would be a good thing, IMO. daveS
@ What is this infatuation with these Jack Chick-style cartoons? They might at least try to get things right rather than just parroting the prejudices of their intended audience.
Well, according to this machine, you are missing the part of your brain that causes consciousness.
Leaving aside the fact there is no such machine, there is not thought to be a single "part of the brain that causes consciousness". Pretty much the whole brain seems to be involved to some extent
Well, you can still behave like anyone else, you just don't experience anything.
Zombies and Turing tests notwithstanding, there is no way to know what another individual is actually experiencing and no machine that can tell us.
Oh, well, since you don't technically count as a person, I'm legally allowed to harvest your organs and put them into someone who can appreciate them.
Where to start. One, you don't need to be conscious to be entitled to basic human rights. Doctors do not have the right to harvest your organs just because you are unconscious, not even if you are in a persistent vegetative state or coma. Two, organs can only be harvested after the death of the donor has been verified multiple times. Three, organs can only be harvested in 'opt-in' systems with the explicit consent of the donor, their next-of-kin or legal guardians. In 'opt-out' systems, the individual must explicitly refuse to allow their organs to be used, otherwise they are presumed or deemed to have assented. Seversky
DS, I would not be surprised to meet Max on the other side, maybe Prince too. But I don't know. KF kairosfocus
MB, we do not control comments; people choose what they want to talk about. I am a bit surprised this thread popped up as actively as it did, but this is where you and others have chosen to focus. KF kairosfocus
PS: Note BA77 in another thread as was picked up in the OP:
“(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 https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection And there you have it folks, absolute proof that when you deny the reality of your own mind you have in fact lost your mind!
“MB, Currently, there are four active OP’s by the undersigned on technical topics.“ With a total of five comments by people other than you amongst all four. While the top five threads in the last thirty days are about morality x 2, climate change, methodological naturalism and a thread about where UD stands amongst web sites on the internet. And even the one on methodological naturalism had a good helping of religion and God in the comments. I don’t mean to be rude, because I quite enjoy threads on religion, morality and the like, but I just don’t think that a site that claims to be about ID is the place for them. Doing so just provides further ammunition for our opposition. Molson Bleu
PS: Could I put up for reflection the notion that the human soul is at the interface of spirit and body, including Brain and CNS?
If you believe that some animals such as dogs are conscious, does that mean that they too are transdimensional hybrids? Possibly with souls? 🤔 daveS
MB, Currently, there are four active OP's by the undersigned on technical topics. A major theme in those topics is state space search challenge and its implications for the implied capability of blind needle in haystack search. One in particular directly responds to claims made about search by highlighting the reality of state space search [an AI and statistical thermodynamics connected approach]. This responds in part to challenges made at an objector site. In addition, I just counted something like thirteen other OP's on the opening page on technically related topics. So, there is significant discussion on such matters. Right now, there seems to be studious silence from objectors in the face of the corrective aspect of OP's on state space search, where strong claims were made in apparent ignorance of that approach on its own merits as a statistical thermodynamics anchored view and the fact of its extension to computing. That said, UD is not only about technical ID matters but addresses concerns tied to science, worldviews, society and policy i/l/o the history of our civilisation. The themes you just complained about are therefore within the ambit of the discussion. Indeed, this very thread has in it a direct implication on the meaning of conscious intelligent agency, connection to debates over explaining responsible, rational freedom [thus also rights and responsibilities] on computational substrates, and the ethical implications. Though the cartoon cited on fair use is simplistic, dehumanisation tied to mind-brain or genetics claims etc is a known issue; indeed, it is there in the opening passage of H G Wells' War of the Worlds -- a well known Sci Fi novel, that, had its warning been heeded, would have made a difference to C20 history. (Yes, a popular novel can serve as a warning to a civilisation, as Uncle Tom's Cabin did in mid C19 in the USA.) You will see that from the OP on, I have raised relevant technical research including the Smith cybernetic model and issues of quantum interfaces. Currently, this is the most active discussion thread at UD. So, there is no neat and simple line of partition on the issues at stake. KF kairosfocus
as to 19:
“In other words, a non-religious person should rationally conclude that life was designed.” "Yet few do."
Actually, even many leading atheists themselves readily admit that life and nature appear to be designed:
“This appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature.... Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.” George Gaylord Simpson - “The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature” - 1947 living organisms "appear to have been carefully and artfully designed" Richard C. Lewontin - Adaptation,” Scientific American, and Scientific American book 'Evolution' (September 1978) “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit - p. 138 (1990) "Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this" Francis Crick - What Mad Pursuit - p. 30 “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1
Yet, atheist try to explain away this appearance of the design, which they themselves readily admit is apparent for all to see, by reference to 'natural selection, i.e. the supposed 'designer substitute':
“Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.” Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21 quoted from this video – Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY 4:30 minute mark: "It cannot come about by chance. It's absolutely inconceivable that you could get anything as complicated or well designed as a modern bird or a human or a hedgehog coming about by chance. That's absolutely out.,,, It's out of the question.,,, So where (does the appearance of design)) it come from? The process of gradual evolution by natural selection.” Richard Dawkins - From a Frog to a Prince - video https://youtu.be/ClleN8ysimg?t=267 Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought By Ernst Mayr - November 24, 2009 Excerpt: Every aspect of the “wonderful design” so admired by the natural theologians could be explained by natural selection. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-influence-on-modern-thought/ "The real core of Darwinism,,,, the 'design' of the natural theologian, by natural means." Ernst Mayr Darwin's greatest discovery: Design without designer - Francisco J. Ayala - May 15, 2007 Excerpt: "Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the 'design' of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes,",,, Darwin's Explanation of Design Darwin's focus in The Origin was the explanation of design, with evolution playing the subsidiary role of supporting evidence. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl_1/8567.full
Yet, the mathematics of population genetics has now cast the supposed 'designer substitute' of natural selection to the wayside: For instance:
The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17 John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner Excerpt: the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. ,,, While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution.,,, Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man. ,,, When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573302/
Thus, as Dr. Richard Sternberg states, "if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
“Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.” Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q
“MB, what people do and what they should do on warrant are categorically different things. This is one reason why subjectivism and relativism fail.” You won’t hear me disagree with you about this. But how does arguing about the nature of morality, or what end of the political spectrum Nazis fall, or the abortion issue, or homosexuality, or some of the other subjects repeatedly discussed here, advance the acceptance of ID? From the little I have seen on this site, it is almost always an ID opponent who first brings up these subjects. And, far too predictably, we fall right into their trap and get drawn into long winded discussions, often covering multiple threads, about things that have more to do with religious views than the science of ID. I just wish that we would stop falling for this obvious ploy. Molson Bleu
Off topic: For all who think the fossil evidence for human evolution is cut and dried, this video series that Dr. Paul Giem is currently doing may shock you
Review of "Contested Bones" by John Sanford (Paul Giem) (Part 2 - Chapter 2 "A Theory in Crisis") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spSmQ08Nx80 Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6ZOKj-YaHA
Molson Bleu: But "consciousness outside the brain" is a scientific problem. Consciousness is observable, and the brain is observable too. The relationship between the two is definitely relevant to science. gpuccio
OA, the design inference on functionally specific complex organisation and associated information starts with the living cell. KF kairosfocus
MB, what people do and what they should do on warrant are categorically different things. This is one reason why subjectivism and relativism fail. Yet another form of the crooked yardstick standard. KF kairosfocus
Jul3s, utterly irrelevant reference to Hitler. OA, We have long observation of what mechanical (including electrical/electronic) computational substrates do: process input signals and generate outputs mechanically. Perhaps, with room for noise and for butterfly effect unpredictability on which small initial differences lead to large shifts on a strange attractor. There is zero evidence of such processes acting with understanding of meaning or drawing out a rational inference from premises to conclusions. It's signal processing all the way down. Here is a useful outline on what would be implied on such a basis for reasoning:
. . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.
That's essentially why the famous geneticist and evolutionary biologist (as well as Socialist) J. B. S. Haldane made much the same point in a famous 1932 remark:
"It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date in a current book, Finding Truth.)]
At the same time, the first fact of our experience is that we are conscious and freely, commonly make rational, insightful judgements including reasoning through chains of warrant. Indeed, it is through that responsible, rational freedom that we have worked with computational substrates to design computing machines and use them: mechanical, electro-mechanical and electronic calculators, analogue computers, digital computers and neural network systems, blends of these. If we argue or imply that that self-awareness is fundamentally in error, is fundamentally a delusion floating on the wetware of our brains and associated neural networks with electrochemistry of neuronal triggering and firing, we become utterly self-referential. In effect, we would have reduced mindedness to grand, self-referential delusion. This becomes an absurdity which undermines our own rationality. It is self-falsifying and self-refuting, a reduction to absurdity. An excellent illustration is the assertions of Sir Francis Crick in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis and Philip Johnson's reply in Reason in the Balance the next year. Crick:
. . . that "You", your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll's Alice might have phrased: "You're nothing but a pack of neurons." This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.
Philip Johnson aptly replied that Sir Francis should have therefore been willing to preface his works thusly: "I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules." Johnson then acidly commented: “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” In short, it is at least arguable that self-referential absurdity is the dagger pointing to the heart of evolutionary materialistic models of mind and its origin. For, there is a very good reason we are cautioned about how easily self-referential statements can become self-refuting, like a snake attacking and swallowing itself tail-first. Any human scheme of thought that undermines responsible [thus, morally governed] rational freedom undermines itself fatally. We thus see inadvertent, inherent self-falsification of evolutionary materialism. But, “inadvertent” counts: it can be hard to recognise and acknowledge the logically fatal nature of the result. Of course, that subjective challenge does not change the objective result: self-referential incoherence and irretrievable self-falsification. So, we need to start afresh, on a different basis. That's why the two-tier controller approach Derek Smith raised (cf. OP) is a useful point of reference. For, here we see a cybernetic architecture that has a way for shared memory and an in the loop i/o front-end processor backed by a supervisory processor that interacts with it but is not wholly dependent on it. That can be effected in principle in many ways, but it shows that we are not locked up to an in the loop signal processing computational only view. There is room for meaning and significance, self-awareness, freedom of choice and action. Indeed, for what Plato highlighted as a self-moved, initiating cause or self. In that broad context, Harald Atmanspacher, writing in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, observes:
It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness . . . . The original motivation in the early 20th century for relating quantum theory to consciousness was essentially philosophical. It is fairly plausible that conscious free decisions (“free will”) are problematic in a perfectly deterministic world,[1] so quantum randomness might indeed open up novel possibilities for free will. (On the other hand, randomness is problematic for volition!) Quantum theory introduced an element of randomness standing out against the previous deterministic worldview, in which randomness, if it occurred at all, simply indicated our ignorance of a more detailed description (as in statistical physics). In sharp contrast to such epistemic randomness, quantum randomness in processes such as spontaneous emission of light, radioactive decay, or other examples of state reduction was considered a fundamental feature of nature, independent of our ignorance or knowledge. To be precise, this feature refers to individual quantum events, whereas the behavior of ensembles of such events is statistically determined. The indeterminism of individual quantum events is constrained by statistical laws.
Going further we may not only use the above noted indeterminacy of particle behaviour as is found in Quantum theory; but also, we apply Einstein's energy-time form of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. For, at microscopic level force-based interactions between bodies can be viewed in terms of exchanges of so-called "virtual particles." That is, once the product of the energy and time involved in a particle being exchanged between two interacting bodies falls below the value of Planck's constant h (suitably multiplied or divided by a small constant), bodies may interact through exchanging undetected -- so, "virtual" -- particles. We can in effect have a situation crudely similar to two people tugging or pushing on opposite ends of a stick: they interact through the means of the intervening stick; which we then see as attractions or repulsions between the bodies. It may help to add a quick outline from Wikipedia as a point of reference:
In physics, a virtual particle is a transient fluctuation that exhibits some of the characteristics of an ordinary particle, but whose existence is limited by the uncertainty principle. The concept of virtual particles arises in perturbation theory of quantum field theory where interactions between ordinary particles are described in terms of exchanges of virtual particles. Any process involving virtual particles admits a schematic representation known as a Feynman diagram, in which virtual particles are represented by internal lines.[1][2] Virtual particles do not necessarily carry the same mass as the corresponding real particle, although they always conserve energy and momentum. The longer the virtual particle exists, the closer its characteristics come to those of ordinary particles. They are important in the physics of many processes, including particle scattering and Casimir forces. In quantum field theory, even classical forces—such as the electromagnetic repulsion or attraction between two charges—can be thought of as due to the exchange of many virtual photons between the charges.
Thus, we can open the doorway to a model of the workings of the brain-mind interface. As Scott Calef therefore observes:
Keith Campbell writes, “The indeterminacy of quantum laws means that any one of a range of outcomes of atomic events in the brain is equally compatible with known physical laws. And differences on the quantum scale can accumulate into very great differences in overall brain condition. So there is some room for spiritual activity even within the limits set by physical law. There could be, without violation of physical law, a general spiritual constraint upon what occurs inside the head.” (p.54). Mind could act upon physical processes by “affecting their course but not breaking in upon them.” (p.54). If this is true, the dualist could maintain the conservation principle but deny a fluctuation in energy because the mind serves to “guide” or control neural events by choosing one set of quantum outcomes rather than another. Further, it should be remembered that the conservation of energy is designed around material interaction; it is mute on how mind might interact with matter. After all, a Cartesian rationalist might insist, if God exists we surely wouldn’t say that He couldn’t do miracles just because that would violate the first law of thermodynamics, would we? [Article, "Dualism and Mind," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.]
We don't know, we must be open, but that is the point: neither mechanical determinism nor randomness rise to the level of rational, responsible contemplation. Something else is credibly at work. KF kairosfocus
“In other words, a non-religious person should rationally conclude that life was designed.” Yet few do. “But the insistence that consciousness lives outside the brain is a transparent attempt to push religious beliefs into science. It’s not only questionable science – it’s questionable religion. It’s based largely on the premise that God is incapable of creating consciousness within an organ.” Agreed. “Worse, it siphons away ID’s deserved credibility by placing it side-by-side with religious beliefs. ID is credible but faces massive skepticism and opposition. Why are some so desperate to sabotage it and go out of their way to ensure that it’s never viewed as legitimate science?” Again, I fully agree. ID proponents are not doing ID any good by repeatedly talking about religion, or the soul, or consciousness outside the brain. Or about objective morality. These types of arguments from fellow ID supporters just makes it easy for those on the fence about ID to lump it in as a religious belief and not a legitimate science. And for those opposed to ID to ridicule it as pseudoscience. Molson Bleu
Follow the evidence wherever it leads, consequences be damned. But at the same time, certain ideas have to be rejected because if you accept them you become literally Hitler! Ridiculous. You can't have it both ways. Jul3s
To say that life was designed follows reason and all of the available scientific knowledge. In other words, a non-religious person should rationally conclude that life was designed. But the insistence that consciousness lives outside the brain is a transparent attempt to push religious beliefs into science. It's not only questionable science - it's questionable religion. It's based largely on the premise that God is incapable of creating consciousness within an organ. We're quick to point out when Darwinists make arguments that are more religious then scientific. This is no different. Worse, it siphons away ID's deserved credibility by placing it side-by-side with religious beliefs. ID is credible but faces massive skepticism and opposition. Why are some so desperate to sabotage it and go out of their way to ensure that it's never viewed as legitimate science? OldAndrew
daveS @ 12: Depends on how you define "physical." If put in standard terms, I expect not, as I expect the "physical" is incomplete (and am not alone in this); and if mind is modulable via matter, I have little (no) reason to expect it's not modulable within the complement of the physical with respect to the superset. LocalMinimum
MB @ 14: If we are merely physical instantiations, we can be stored as data. If we aren't, maybe we can be stored as data in some higher order medium, or we're actually composed of unique components that can be stuffed in a pocket and are immanently eternal. I can have a really hard time recreating a desktop environment that I prefer, I'm not worried that my mind/soul isn't unique or individual if it's based on a far more complicated device. I have faith in YHWH's data storage solution, whatever that may or may not be. LocalMinimum
Frankly, I have never been able to get too worked up over the material vs non material mind/soul/consciousness. I think even materialist would agree that the mind is more than the sum of the brain’s parts. It seems to me that the big bone of contention is whether or not we have an immortal soul. Obviously, we would all like to exist forever, but with the immortal soul is it not possible, or likely, that we are trying to imposing one of our strongest desires on reality. Does it really matter if our soul is immortal? Molson Bleu
Embodied consciousness. kairosfocus
PPS: Some deemed unconscious or dismissed as “vegetable” may instead be locked-in.
Yes. For that matter, even literal vegetables could conceivably have consciousness, which may not be detectable based on their "behavior", such as it is. That notion seems far-fetched, however. Are we all agreed that some sort of physical "brain" is necessary, but perhaps not sufficient, for consciousness? Edited: Yes, embodied consciousness. Angels, God, etc, are conscious, but do not have physical bodies. daveS
MB, the track record of H G Wells is there for all to see. KF kairosfocus
“A grim warning, especially when parallelled with Darwin’s Descent of Man ch 6 and Heine’s warning from the 1830’s..” And damned entertaining reading. Don’t you think that you might be taking the ‘cautions From science fiction’ a little too seriously? I have a friend who is a moderately successful sci fi writer (that is where I got the space vampires from). Good sci fi is always addressing the ‘what if’ question. But there is nothing saying that the ‘what if’ has to be possible. Molson Bleu
Ponder the PS OP, that we are trans-dimensional hybrids so that the soul is an interface and bridge between spirit and body. In which case, arguably we are here to do good, opening up a world of freely done virtues crowned by love. KF PS: Depending on what is damaged, break down of physically small or relatively large parts of a smart phone, tablet or PC can have disproportionately large or small effects. Such is the nature of a device that uses interfaces. PPS: Some deemed unconscious or dismissed as "vegetable" may instead be locked-in. Sleep or sleep-like states also have quite varying effects. BA77 may want to elaborate. He has already spoken to NDE's. kairosfocus
If human soul is responsible for consciousness, why do we need a brain? If human soul is responsible for consciousness, why people are unconscious and can't remember anything under general anaesthetic? Some people had the majority of their brains removed and they function fine. Some had small parts damaged and they are unconscious. If the soul is responsible for consciousness, why those people are unconscious? J-Mac
PS: Let me excerpt opening remarks from the first chapter of War of the Worlds, 1898:
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water . . . No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . . . looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas. And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them. And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?
A grim warning, especially when parallelled with Darwin's Descent of Man ch 6 and Heine's warning from the 1830's.. kairosfocus
daveS @ 2
Does this raise problems with the way organs are actually harvested? My understanding is that this process is allowed once “brain death” has occurred. But if the mind is not purely a function of the brain, then perhaps brain death does not imply mind death, in which case we’re killing and removing organs from people whose minds are still functioning.
Leave it to someone who champions the atheistic worldview to try to use objective morality, which can only be rationally grounded within the Theistic worldview, to try to argue against the reality of the mind.
Where Do Good and Evil Come From? - Peter Kreeft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM
It is absurd that atheists have to continually 'borrow' from Theism in order to try to argue against Theism. As Dr. Hunter observed,
"Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face. Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him." - Cornelius Hunter Photo – an atheist contemplating his 'mind' http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kjiGN_9Fw/URkPboX5l2I/AAAAAAAAATw/yN18NZgMJ-4/s1600/rob4.jpg
That atheists have to continually 'borrow' from Theism in order to try to deny Theism is yet more proof that once you have denied the reality of your own mind, you have in fact lost your mind.
Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself - Nancy Pearcey - March 8, 2015 Excerpt: Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality. The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar094171.html
MB, I particularly had in mind H G Wells' series of works. War of the Worlds anticipated the Holocaust. Island of Dr Moreau is about ethically dark science and mad scientists. Time Machine projects class war to cannibalism. Where, you may not know he was taught by Darwin's Bulldog in Uni, Huxley. And of course Brave New World came out of the Huxley family. Where, 1984 and Animal Farm by Orwell come up for honourable mention. More recent Sci Fi has relevant ideas, e.g. Weber's world of cloning, genetic modifications and more leading to a new form of slavery. Some of what is discussed -- and -- if word out of China is to be believed (organ harvesting from prisoners condemned under questionable circumstances) -- actually done today comes right out of that whole line of thought. I did not have in mind stuff like Star Trek communicators and smart phones or the proposal to mount laser weapons in upcoming fighter jets or the like. KF kairosfocus
“Sci Fi of today too often becomes reality of tomorrow. ” I’m going to start stocking up on garlic to ward off those space vampires. :) Molson Bleu
DS, we do indeed need to ponder very sobering things about the ethics of current and future medical practice. For one, consider cloning for organ harvesting or even imagined personality transplants as various Sci Fi authors have brought up. Sci Fi of today too often becomes reality of tomorrow. KF kairosfocus
Hm. Does this raise problems with the way organs are actually harvested? My understanding is that this process is allowed once "brain death" has occurred. But if the mind is not purely a function of the brain, then perhaps brain death does not imply mind death, in which case we're killing and removing organs from people whose minds are still functioning. daveS
BA77 links on the consequences of mind = brain ideologies kairosfocus

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