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A robust defense of intelligent design in a liberal Catholic mag?

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From National Catholic Register:

The Half-Truths of Materialist Evolution

COMMENTARY: Scientific study of the brain’s evolution exposes the non sequitur of mind-less evolution.

“The thing from which the world suffers just now more than any other evil,” wrote author and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton, “is not the assertion of falsehood, but the endless and irrepressible repetition of half-truths.”

Jean-Paul Sartre emphasized freedom, but denied morality. Sigmund Freud stressed instinct, but suppressed the spiritual. Friedrich Nietzsche glorified the individual, but disdained the community. Karl Marx celebrated the community, but rejected the individual. Charles Darwin was enamored of empirical science, but excluded metaphysics.

It is an all-too common theme. Chesterton, himself, I am happy to note, was not speaking in half-truths. More.

The notion of intelligent design is the logical complement of scientific research. It offers a truth that has the salutary merit of not being a half-truth.

I hope the Catholic casuistry for naturalism crowd doesn’t get their hands on Donald Demarco.

Incidentally, Chesterton wrote an anti-Darwinism book as well.

Update: A friend advises that the  Register is actually a fairly  conservative Catholic newspaper, by comparison with  the liberal National Catholic Reporter, but that said, conservative Catholic papers have hardly been very sympathetic to ID either.  This is an unusually robust defense for any Catholic venue. 

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119 Replies to “A robust defense of intelligent design in a liberal Catholic mag?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Nice:

    The Half-Truths of Materialist Evolution – DONALD DeMARCO – 02/06/2015
    Excerpt: but I would like to direct attention to the unsupportable notion that the human brain, to focus on a single phenomenon, could possibly have evolved by sheer chance. One of the great stumbling blocks for Darwin and other chance evolutionists is explaining how a multitude of factors simultaneously coalesce to form a unified, functioning system. The human brain could not have evolved as a result of the addition of one factor at a time. Its unity and phantasmagorical complexity defies any explanation that relies on pure chance. It would be an underestimation of the first magnitude to say that today’s neurophysiologists know more about the structure and workings of the brain than did Darwin and his associates.
    Scientists in the field of brain research now inform us that a single human brain contains more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! According to Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the brain’s complexity is staggering, beyond anything his team of researchers had ever imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief. In the cerebral cortex alone, each neuron has between 1,000 to 10,000 synapses that result, roughly, in a total of 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies!
    A single synapse may contain 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A synapse, simply stated, is the place where a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another.
    Phantasmagorical as this level of unified complexity is, it places us merely at the doorway of the brain’s even deeper mind-boggling organization. Glial cells in the brain assist in neuron speed. These cells outnumber neurons 10 times over, with 860 billion cells. All of this activity is monitored by microglia cells that not only clean up damaged cells but also prune dendrites, forming part of the learning process. The cortex alone contains 100,000 miles of myelin-covered, insulated nerve fibers.
    The process of mapping the brain would indeed be time-consuming. It would entail identifying every synaptic neuron. If it took a mere second to identify each neuron, it would require four billion years to complete the project.
    http://www.ncregister.com/dail.....evolution/

    Of related note:

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    Component placement optimization in the brain – 1994
    As he comments [106], “To current limits of accuracy … the actual placement appears to be the best of all possible layouts; this constitutes strong evidence of perfect optimization.,, among about 40,000,000 alternative layout orderings, the actual ganglion placement in fact requires the least total connection length.
    http://www.jneurosci.org/conte.....8.abstract

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt:,, Rahnama and co point out that neurons contain many light sensitive molecules, such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores and aromatic amino acids. In particular, mitochondria, the machines inside cells which produce energy, contain several prominent chromophores.
    The presence of light sensitive molecules makes it hard to imagine how they might not be not influenced by biophotons.,,,
    They go on to suggest that the light channelled by microtubules can help to co-ordinate activities in different parts of the brain. It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,,
    (So) It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....the-brain/

    Of related note to “It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained”, the following paper comments on ‘zero time lag’ in synchronous brain activity:

    ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays – 2008
    Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,,
    Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,,
    Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication.
    Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2575223/

    The following paper appeals to a ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), cause to try to explain the zero lag synchronization in remote neural circuits,,,

    Nonlocal mechanism for cluster synchronization in neural circuits – 2011
    Excerpt: The findings,,, call for reexamining sources of correlated activity in cortex,,,
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3634

  2. 2
    Jim Smith says:

    “The human brain could not have evolved as a result of the addition of one factor at a time. Its unity and phantasmagorical complexity defies any explanation that relies on pure chance.”

    Can’t you explain the evolution of the human brain by examining the brains of successively simpler organisms?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Jim Smith, making up imaginary just so stories from imaginary sequences in the fossil record is all Darwinists ever do (save for when they make up imaginary sequences in the genetic evidence).

    “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way… To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
    – Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life

    “We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
    Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),

    Darwinists NEVER empirically demonstrate the feasibility that unguided chance processes can actually do anything that they claim for them.

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), ‘If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It’s a mirage. None of it happens that way.
    – Doug Axe PhD.
    https://vimeo.com/118128889

    Moreover, away from Darwinian rhetoric, the fossil record itself is certainly not one of gradualism:

    “A number of hominid crania are known from sites in eastern and southern Africa in the 400- to 200-thousand-year range, but none of them looks like a close antecedent of the anatomically distinctive Homo sapiens…Even allowing for the poor record we have of our close extinct kin, Homo sapiens appears as distinctive and unprecedented…there is certainly no evidence to support the notion that we gradually became who we inherently are over an extended period, in either the physical or the intellectual sense.”
    Dr. Ian Tattersall: – paleoanthropologist – emeritus curator of the American Museum of Natural History – (Masters of the Planet, 2012)

    In the following podcasts, Casey Luskin, speaking at a recent Science and Human Origins conference, discusses why the fossil evidence doesn’t support the claim that humans evolved from ape-like precursors.
    2014 – podcast – Casey Luskin – On Human Origins: What the Fossils Tell Us, part 1
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....s-tell-us/
    podcast – Casey Luskin – On Human Origins: What the Fossils Tell Us, part 2
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....l-us-pt-2/
    podcast – Casey Luskin – On Human Origins: What the Fossils Tell Us, part 3
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....l-us-pt-3/
    podcast – Casey Luskin – On Human Origins: What the Fossils Tell Us, part 4
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....l-us-pt-4/

  4. 4
    RDFish says:

    Ah, but Intelligent Design is PRECISELY a half-truth.

    ID observes that complex mechanism cannot arise without a conscious mind, yet ignores that conscious minds cannot arise without complex mechanism.

    No different from Sartre, Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, and Darwin, ID offers only a half-truth.

  5. 5
    RDFish says:

    From Demarco’s essay:

    It is supremely ironic that Dawkins relies on his brain to deny the implications of its unified complexity.

    Just as ironic is that ID enthusiasts rely on their brain to deny the implications of its material complexity.

    It is just as ridiculous to assert that a mind can arise without material complexity as it is to assert that material complexity arose without a mind.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Either matter preceded mind or mind preceded matter. The evidence from quantum mechanics is heavily in favor of mind preceding matter:

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

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

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

  7. 7
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    BA77 says,

    Either matter preceded mind or mind preceded matter.

    I say,

    I’m not sure how anything can “precede” matter temporally. I think a strong argument can be made that matter is necessary for time to exist.

    I will agree that mind proceeds mater logically I think that much is obvious.

    I think that RDFish’s confusion is his confounding of logical antecedence with the temporal antecedence.

    peace

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    Brooke Fraser- “C S Lewis Song”
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DL6LPLNX

  9. 9
    RDFish says:

    Either matter preceded mind or mind preceded matter.

    No, these are not the only choices obviously. For starters you’re simply assuming dualism.

    The evidence from quantum mechanics is heavily in favor of mind preceding matter:

    This isn’t even close to being true. There is no evidence from QM for dualism, much less “mind preceding matter”.

    I’ve come to see that the single characteristic that unifies ID enthusiasts isn’t even theism – it is that they all crave certainty, and find answers where none exist.

    I think that RDFish’s confusion is his confounding of logical antecedence with the temporal antecedence.

    fmm, your confusion is that you seem to think I have mentioned either one. Mind requires physical complexity, just as Demarco points out. To then try to explain physical complexity by invoking mind is to offer a half-truth, just like Darwin does.

    Why do you all agree with Demarco about all the half-truths except the one you need to believe in?

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    “There is no evidence from QM for dualism, much less “mind preceding matter”.”

    and yet:

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    Of supplemental note to the preceding Wigner ‘consciousness’ quote, it is interesting to note that many of Wigner’s insights into quantum mechanics and consciousness have now been experimentally verified and are also now fostering a ‘second revolution’ in quantum mechanics,,,

    Eugene Wigner – A Gedanken Pioneer of the Second Quantum Revolution – Anton Zeilinger – Sept. 2014
    Conclusion
    It would be fascinating to know Eugene Wigner’s reaction to the fact that the gedanken experiments he discussed (in 1963 and 1970) have not only become reality, but building on his gedanken experiments, new ideas have developed which on the one hand probe the foundations of quantum mechanics even deeper, and which on the other hand also provide the foundations to the new field of quantum information technology. All these experiments pay homage to the great insight Wigner expressed in developing these gedanken experiments and in his analyses of the foundations of quantum mechanics,
    http://epjwoc.epj.org/articles....._01010.pdf

    Further quotes:

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    Hardly ‘no evidence’,,,

  11. 11
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    RDFish asks.

    Mind requires physical complexity, just as Demarco points out.

    I say,

    I would say that change requires phyiscal complexity. however I see no reason to say that Mind requires change.

    Do you have evidence that Mind requires change to exist?

    You say,

    To then try to explain physical complexity by invoking mind is to offer a half-truth, just like Darwin does.

    I say,

    Mind can create complex things don’t you agree?

    By the same token thermodynamics demonstrates that over time left to itself in a closed system mater becomes less and not more complex.

    It seems that the presence of complexity would require a cause that is capable of producing it don’t you agree?

    If you have evidence that unified complexity can arise without mind please provide it.

    Peace

  12. 12
    RDFish says:

    Oh, ba77, hate to burst your bubble, since you obviously put a great deal of effort into cataloguing your cherry-picked quotes and data. And yet you can spend merely a few seconds on the web and you find this:

    http://www.danko-nikolic.com/w.....Physik.pdf

    Do yourself an intellectual favor and attempt an actual summary article instead of your usual canvassing for anything you perceive to somehow support your preconceived notions and shovelling them into a bin. In this case you’d find that the idea that conscious perception is somehow causal in somehow “collapsing” the waveform is an idea that persists in only a tiny minority of physicists. That is not “evidence” of any sort at all.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    fifth you may appreciate this: Einstein was asked (by 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.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video or can be read in full context in the article following the video:

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

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

    The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Genesis, Quantum Physics and Reality
    Excerpt: Simply put, an experiment on Earth can be made in such a way that it determines if one photon comes along either on the right or the left side or if it comes (as a wave) along both sides of the gravitational lens (of the galaxy) at the same time. However, how could the photons have known billions of years ago that someday there would be an earth with inhabitants on it, making just this experiment? ,,, This is big trouble for the multi-universe theory and for the “hidden-variables” approach.
    – per Greer

    “It begins to look as we ourselves, by our last minute decision, have an influence on what a photon will do when it has already accomplished most of its doing… we have to say that we ourselves have an undeniable part in what we have always called the past. The past is not really the past until is has been registered. Or to put it another way, the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present.”
    – John Wheeler – The Ghost In The Atom – Page 66-68

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000.,,,
    “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the preceding experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    Perhaps the most dramatic example of ‘the now of the mind’ within quantum physics is Leggett’s Inequality:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Quantum Physics – (material reality does not exist until we look at it) – Dr. Quantum video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ezNvpFcJU

    Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    Leggett agrees with Zeilinger that realism is wrong in quantum mechanics, but when I asked him whether he now believes in the theory, he answered only “no” before demurring, “I’m in a small minority with that point of view and I wouldn’t stake my life on it.” For Leggett there are still enough loopholes to disbelieve. I asked him what could finally change his mind about quantum mechanics. Without hesitation, he said sending humans into space as detectors to test the theory.,,,

    (to which Anton Zeilinger responded)

    When I mentioned this to Prof. Zeilinger he said, “That will happen someday. There is no doubt in my mind. It is just a question of technology.” Alessandro Fedrizzi had already shown me a prototype of a realism experiment he is hoping to send up in a satellite. It’s a heavy, metallic slab the size of a dinner plate.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

  14. 14
    RDFish says:

    Hi fmm,

    Do you have evidence that Mind requires change to exist?

    We all have evidence that mind requires complex mechanism. That is why even Demarco agrees in the essay quoted here that it is our brain that allows us to think.

    Mind can create complex things don’t you agree?

    Nothing of the sort of course – it is both the mind and the body (and they are really two aspects of the same thing, it seems) required to create anything at all.

    By the same token thermodynamics demonstrates that over time left to itself in a closed system mater becomes less and not more complex.

    Just as we can demonstrate that without your brain, you cannot create complex mechanism either.

    If you have evidence that unified complexity can arise without mind please provide it.

    If you have evidence that mind can arise without physical complexity please provide it. The entire ID enterprise depends on it!

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, as soon as you can explain anything within material reality to me without your being conscious to do it, I will then admit that your unconscious self has ‘burst my bubble’. Until then you are the one cherry picking and ignoring evidence.
    The evidence from quantum mechanics for consciousness being integral is consistent and strong:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    The preceding experiment, and the mathematics behind it, are discussed beginning at the 24:15 minute mark of the following video:

    Quantum Weirdness and God 8-9-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=N7HHz14tS1c#t=1449

    of related note, even the esteemed Atheist Philosopher Thomas Nagel admits that materialists are barking up the wrong tree in regards to consciousness:

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.

  16. 16
    Jim Smith says:

    Bornagain77, I believe in ID, but the article didn’t say all those things you wrote. My point, which I admit I didn’t not state explicitly, is that the article is a weak argument for ID not a robust defense.

    I wrote “Can’t you explain the evolution of the human brain by examining the brains of successively simpler organisms?”

    I didn’t write you can “prove” evolution. I used the word “explain” so yes I think you can make an imaginary just so story.

    These just so stories actually are a problem for arguments based on irreducible complexity.

    Again, I believe in ID, but I think the linked article is not a robust defense of ID.

  17. 17
    Jim Smith says:

    … (continued) Arguments based on irreducible complexity depend on the fact that there is no way to explain how it could have evolved piece by piece from something simpler. But if you look at successively simpler organisms, I suppose you could explain how the human brain could have evolved from something simpler. You might reply with a different argument that the human brain could not have evolved for other reasons such as too many mutations needed in the allowed time, but that is not an argument made in the linked article.

  18. 18
    wallstreeter43 says:

    I’m just glad that some of my fellow Catholics are starting to wake up to ID as an explanation for life . It maybe be small now but God willing it will keep growing every year .

    I know buffalo has an is friendly catholic site called idvolution .

  19. 19
    RDFish says:

    ba77,
    Did you even bother to look at the citation I offered? Or was it too scientific for you?

  20. 20
    Axel says:

    RDFish, You will surely find – indeed, you surely have already on a number of occasions – that BA77’s knowledge and understanding is far too encyclopaedic for your little forays beyond the confines of scientism.

    If this is a rare lacuna in his knowledge, then when he does understand it, you’ll lose yet again. Just as sure as God made little apples.

    Top marks, though, for persevering when heavily outgunned. Having truth on your side, though, is a sine qua non, the fundamental truth you people never seem to learn.

  21. 21
    Axel says:

    ‘ In this case you’d find that the idea that conscious perception is somehow causal in somehow “collapsing” the waveform is an idea that persists in only a tiny minority of physicists. That is not “evidence” of any sort at all.’

    Some of the major breakthroughs in medicine were not only rejected by the large majority of physicians, but viciously contested.

    Garbage In-Garbage Out. You start off form a materialist premise, you are bound to get lost very quickly; and ironically, the more so, the more logically you pursue the false assumptions. Look at the Multiverse, Many Worlds, String Theory, etc. The vast majority, remember, are literally groundlings, ‘dirt-worshippers’ – not the likes of Einstein, Bohr, Pauli et all, to a man, unshakably convinced of intelligent design.

  22. 22
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    RDfish says,

    If you have evidence that mind can arise without physical complexity please provide it. The entire ID enterprise depends on it!

    I say,

    Strange I happen to believe that Mind can’t…. arise ,,, without physical complexity yet I’m a ID enthusiast.

    Arise is a temporal verb and I assume time requires matter.

    I think you are confusing the phrase

    arise without physical complexity

    with the phrase

    exist without physical complexity

    The latter phrase is very different than the former. ID requires the latter but is agnostic about the former

    You say,

    it is both the mind and the body……required to create anything at all.

    I say,

    I agree ever hear of the incarnation?

    You say,

    they are really two aspects of the same thing, it seems

    I say,

    It only seems so to someone locked into a pantheist world view.

    peace

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish Please note, at the 8:22 mark of the following video, how ‘metaphysical prejudice’ drastically alters what many physicists are willing to say they believe about quantum mechanics from what they say quantum mechanics actually indicates.

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Jim Smith, you stated that imaginary just so stories are a problem for ID (irreducible complexity). Apparently you and I disagree profoundly on what constitutes a problem in science. I say real evidence, if there were any, would constitute a real problem for ID and imaginary evidence, which is all Darwinists really have, constitutes an imaginary problem for ID.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: although Naturalists have proposed various, far fetched, naturalistic scenarios to try to get around the Theistic implications of quantum non-locality, none of the ‘far fetched’ naturalistic solutions, in themselves, are compatible with the reductive materialism that undergirds neo-Darwinian thought.

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism By Bruce L Gordon, Ph.D
    Excerpt: The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.
    http://www.4truth.net/fourtrut.....8589952939

    Some of the ‘far fetched’ scenarios offered by Naturalists to try to deal with Quantum Mechanics are just plain pure fantasy:

    A Critique of the Many Worlds Interpretation – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_42skzOHjtA

  26. 26
    Joe says:

    RDF:

    ID observes that complex mechanism cannot arise without a conscious mind,

    That is incorrect. ID is not an argument against mere complexity

    yet ignores that conscious minds cannot arise without complex mechanism.

    Tat is also incorrect. Geez it’s as if RDFish thinks its ignorance is an argument.

  27. 27
    Joe says:

    RDF is confused:

    It is just as ridiculous to assert that a mind can arise without material complexity as it is to assert that material complexity arose without a mind.

    You are conflating “mind” with “brain”.

  28. 28
    Joe says:

    RDF:

    If you have evidence that mind can arise without physical complexity please provide it.

    If you have evidence that mind requires physical complexity please provide it.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, on page 935 of your cited paper, which was written in 2011, it states:

    “The existence of interference patterns depends solely on whether the “which-path” information is in principle obtainable. Whether such information is registered in consciousness of a human observer, one can conclude, is irrelevant. Consequently, this conclusion leaves no other option but to reject the collapse-by-consciousness hypothesis.”

    Yet that 2011 claim in your paper was falsified in 2012:

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000.,,,
    “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the preceding experiment, and the crucial role of the observer, at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    Of note: RDFish you asked ‘Did you even bother to look at the citation I offered?’ at post 19 after I had already listed the evidence that refuted your position at post 13.
    So apparently you are he one who is guilty of ‘not even bothering to look’ since if you would had done so you would have realized your position was already refuted before you posted your 2011 paper.

    Of related interest:

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

  30. 30
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    although Naturalists have proposed various, far fetched, naturalistic scenarios to try to get around the Theistic implications of quantum non-locality, none of the ‘far fetched’ naturalistic solutions, in themselves, are compatible with the reductive materialism that undergirds neo-Darwinian thought.

    There is no connection between physical ontology and QM on one hand and evolutionary theory on the other. That’s pure crack-pottery.

    Again, only a tiny minority of physicists believe that consciousness collapses the waveform, or even think that the waveform is something that collapses in the first place. Most physicists aren’t very interested in metaphysics, but no, there is no conspiracy keeping them from talking about metaphysical implications of QM.

    It should be obvious to you that nobody is arguing for some 100 year-old pre-quantum materialism – that is just your silly straw-man. Non-locality, non-realism, even possibly retro-causality in the quantum realm – yes of course these are experimentally confirmed in various ways, but none of these say anything whatsoever about consciousness existing apart from matter or from brains, or consiousness collapsing the waveform, or even consciousness per se being causal in any way at all.

    Oh, and nothing in QM implies anything whatsoever about gods, goddesses, demons, angels, or any other supernatural kinds of people either. That’s just you.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish,
    Instead of admitting you were wrong, and thanking me for correcting you on your misconception, which is what you should have done, you went on a fact free rant of your personal opinions. Your appeal to ‘consensus science’, instead of actual experimental evidence, to back up your personal opinions, rather than making your case stronger, as you seem to think it does, actually, in my eyes, exposes you as a dogmatist who ignores evidence instead of a seeker of truth who honestly evaluates it:

    For instance, quantum entanglement/information has now been found in DNA. If you cannot see the insurmountable problem that quantum non-locality of information presents to neo-Darwinism, there is not really much I can do for you since you don’t even know the basics of the reductive materialistic theory you are trying to defend.

    Please note, at the 8:22 mark of the following video, how ‘metaphysical prejudice’ drastically alters what many physicists are willing to say they believe about quantum mechanics from what they say quantum mechanics actually indicates.

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

  32. 32
    velikovskys says:

    FFM:

    You say,

    it is both the mind and the body……required to create anything at all.

    I say,

    I agree ever hear of the incarnation?

    If the incarnation cannot be created without the incarnation existing ,how exactly does that work?

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish,

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will
    Antoine Suarez is the founding director of the Center for Quantum Philosophy in Zurich, based on philosophical questions raised in the 1970’s and 1980’s by John Bell.
    Suarez and Valerio Scarani, inspired by discussions with Bell, proposed in 1997 the “before-before” experiment.,,, They showed that, like the other Bell inequalities, the “before-before” suggestion of Suarez and Scarani could not eliminate nonlocality and entanglement. Their tests confirmed quantum mechanics,,,
    http://www.informationphilosop.....ts/suarez/

    RDFish, in your rush to deny the importance of consciousness and free will in quantum mechanics, there are a couple of points I would like to make clear in the experiment that refuted your citation:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    RDFish, if, as is held in reductive materialism, my conscious choices, (i.e. free will choices), are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) then how in blue blazes are my choices able to instantaneously effect the state of material particles into the past?,,, This, and other experiments from quantum mechanics, are simply impossible on the reductive materialism (deterministic) view of reality!
    Moreover RDFish, (as if that was not bad enough for your materialism), if you deny the reality of your own free will then you wind up in epistemological failure.
    In other words, if you deny your own free will then you undermine your own ability to reason coherently and to make a logically coherent argument as to the truthfulness of your propositions:

    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/2.....66221.html

    Physicalism and Reason – May 2013
    Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions:
    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.
    To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures.
    Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us?
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....nd-reason/

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Thus RDFish, you are in a pickle from two angles. First, the experimental evidence undermines your contention that a person’s choices are deterministic. Second, even if you persist in denying the reality of your own free will, then you undermine any right you have argue coherently for your position in the first place since you deny you have an ability to rationally choose the most reasonable option. Of course, judging from your actions in the past, I don’t expect you to admit any of this. But I think that the unbiased readers will be interested to see just how irrational your position actually is.

    And not that you will care about this either RDFish, but since our free will choices figure so prominently in how reality is actually found to be constructed in our understanding of quantum mechanics, I think a Christian perspective on just how important our choices are in this temporal life, in regards to our eternal destiny, is very fitting:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    “The Problem of Pain,” C.S. Lewis (Chapter 8 – pg. 67 – Hell)
    http://www.fellowshipoffaith.o.....f_Pain.pdf

    And exactly as would be expected on a Theistic view of reality, we find two very different eternities in reality. A ‘infinitely destructive’ eternity associated with General Relativity and a extremely orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity:

    Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    Verse and Music:

    Deuteronomy 30:19
    This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

    Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
    http://www.vevo.com/watch/evan.....tantsearch

    Of supplemental note: Here are Dr. Antoine Suarez lecture videos:

    Antoine Suarez
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVmgTa2vbopdjpMNAQBqXHw/videos

  34. 34
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    velikovskys,

    If the incarnation cannot be created without the incarnation existing ,how exactly does that work?

    I say,

    Allow me to speculate wildly

    1) I don’t get to hung up on which came first questions. The Chicken and the egg are both equally ultimate temporally.

    2)The incarnation was not created. The Word became flesh

    3)Time is relative before and after have no meaning with out creation. Creation begins with the Word expressed.

    check it out

    quote:

    This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    (Eph 3:11)

    and

    which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
    (2Ti 1:9b)

    and

    He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
    (1Pe 1:20)

    and

    whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    (Rev 13:8b KJV)

    end quote:

    peace

  35. 35
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    Instead of admitting you were wrong, and thanking me for correcting you on your misconception, which is what you should have done,

    Hahahahaha you are a laugh riot. This QM woo-woo nonsense starts by baldly assuming your forgone conclusion – dualist interactionism – then decides that since that is true, it explains quantum phenomena. Virtually noone except for a few New Age gurus and religious folks trying to co-opt actual science to support their theistic dogma believe any of this.

    You point to experiments that we are all perfectly familiar with, declare that 19th century materialism is dead (there’s some news!! welcome to the 20th century!), and proceed to claim that somehow this supports your particular metaphysics, including dualism/interactionism (ugh) and of course your particular brand of theism. On top of that you proclaim that all this somehow has something to do with evolutionary theory, which is completely ridiculous – and I’m saying this as somebody who doesn’t even believe evolutionary theory explains OOL or speciation!

    For instance, quantum entanglement/information has now been found in DNA.

    Perfect example of so what?.

    If you cannot see the insurmountable problem that quantum non-locality of information presents to neo-Darwinism, there is not really much I can do for you since you don’t even know the basics of the reductive materialistic theory you are trying to defend.

    HAHAHAHAHahahahah who is trying to defend “reductive materialistic theory” here? Certainly not me. Could it be one of your men made out of a pile of pure straw? All I’m doing is pointing out that this nonsense about QM supporting dualism/interactionism and theism is an absolute parody of science.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    As I said RDFish, “judging from your actions in the past, I don’t expect you to admit any of this”, but I am more than satisfied that the unbiased reader can easily tell who is being honest towards the evidence and who is full of bluff and bluster.

    Good night sir.

  37. 37
    DillyGill says:

    BA77 @36 You are very right about that, don’t forget it!

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    O’ Leary weighs in on free will here:

    How Can We Believe in Naturalism if We Have No Choice? – Denyse O’Leary – February 10, 2015
    Excerpt: — Even naturalists cannot take their own view seriously for long. Matthew Lieberman openly admits that his own materialist position is — a leap of faith:
    “I am a neuroscientist and so 99 percent of the time I behave like a materialist, acknowledging that the mind is real but fully dependent on the brain. But we don’t actually know this. We really don’t. We assume our sense of will is a causal result of the neurochemical processes in our brain, but this is a leap of faith.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....93411.html

  39. 39
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    Well that’s just it, ba77! Why can’t you see it, even when you provide the quote yourself?

    We don’t actually know this. We really don’t

    You see, this is my position on many of the Big Questions discussed on this board, yet you and the other true believers here just don’t get it. How did the universe come to exist? We really don’t know. What is the solution to the mind/body problem? The problem of free will? The origin of life, and of biological complexity? The quantum measurement problem? These are the problems that fascinate us all, and (because!) none of these problems have answers that we can actually justify as being true. We justify many, many other things as true beliefs (knowledge) using science, but not everything, and not these things.

    Instead of just admitting this the way scientists do, you amass reams of quotes and links and videos and pretend that this or that somehow scientifically supports your religious views. Why bother? Why can’t you be just a regular religious person and have your beliefs and faith and not pretend that you are doing science?

    Why pretend that quantum phenomena demonstrate the truth of dualism/interactionism? It simply doesn’t. Or the truth of theism (it doesn’t). Why make a fuss over the overthrow of 19th century physics, as though scientists still believe in it?

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually RDFish, it is impossible for you to ‘know’ anything if you deny the reality of your own mind.

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    Thus when you claim that you, ‘really don’t know’, at least you are being consistent with your atheism in this instance.
    Moreover, it is impossible to do science unless Theism is true. Besides the fact that modern science was born out of the Judeo-Christian worldview:

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed, and as I pointed out in two of my talks at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC), science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

    Besides the ‘inconvenient truth’ for atheists that Christianty gave rise to modern science, Naturalism, besides not providing the correct epistemological basis for doing science, actually drives modern science into epistemological failure when it tries to account for the origin of the universe, and also for when it tries to account for the origin of human consciousness:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Quote: “In evolutionary games we put truth (true perception) on the stage and it dies. And in genetic algorithms it (true perception) never gets on the stage”
    Donald Hoffman PhD. – Consciousness and The Interface Theory of Perception – 7:19 to 9:20 minute mark – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dqDP34a-epI#t=439

    Moreover RDFish, you contradicted yourself in your own statement. You claimed you, ‘really don’t know’, and then you turned right around and claimed that you really did know that science didn’t support theism.
    Which is it RDFish, do you really not know or do you really know? ,,, Or do you really know that you really do not know? 🙂
    Moreover, contrary to what you ‘really don’t know’, the findings of modern science are far more supportive of Theistic premises than they are of Naturalitic/Atheistic premises:

    1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted time-space energy-matter always existed. Whereas Theism predicted time-space energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago.

    2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence.

    3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is a ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. –

    4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) –

    5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).-

    6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez, H. Ross). –

    7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geo-chemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photo-synthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. –

    8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) –

    9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. –

    10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. –

    11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin)–

    12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. –

    13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) –

    14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening.

    15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    As a footnote to the ‘free will’ issue and quantum mechanics, the agent causality of theists has always been a much superior explanation in modern science compared to the blind, (it just happened), causality of atheists:

    “God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.,,, C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    John Lennox – Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – 2012

    “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”
    C.S. Lewis – doodle video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk

    “to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen”
    – CS Lewis

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

  41. 41
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    Actually RDFish, it is impossible for you to ‘know’ anything if you deny the reality of your own mind.

    I do no such thing of course, nor does anyone else that I’m aware of, so that’s a perfectly ridiculous thing to say. It appears that the only people you are willing to argue with are the strawmen you yourself build.

    Moreover, it is impossible to do science unless Theism is true.

    This unsubstantiate and patently insane claim makes it clear you really are too far gone to reason with. Thanks for that.

    I’m happy to see yet another example of how Intelligent Design Theory really is a scientific theory that is separate from theism. Bwaaahahahahahahahahahahaha 🙂

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  42. 42
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Hey RDfish,

    There was a time when you weren’t so bitter. What happened?

    peace

  43. 43
    buffalo says:

    The National Catholic Reporter is the liberal mag, not the National Catholic Register. The National Catholic Register is pretty orthodox.

  44. 44
    RDFish says:

    Hey FMM,
    Not bitter, my friend. Sometimes I think it takes a bit of aggressiveness to break through particularly entrenched patterns of thought, plus I have a special dislike for quantum woo.

    New Age folks peddle this same stuff, telling people that their consciousness creates their reality so all they have to do is believe that something is true (they are rich, successful, extraordinary, etc) and they can make it happen through quantum magic. That’s really bad nuttiness. In this case here’s ba77 endlessly cluttering up these threads with his gigantic collection of links to mined quotes (and other things that are actually completely irrelevant to what ba77 thinks they mean) and internet crazies who think the measurement problem has been solved and it somehow shows that science is on Jesus’ side, so all other religious beliefs can be summarily dismissed. And now he informs us that nobody can do science without theism. Very bad nuttiness indeed.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  45. 45
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    RDfish.

    I have a special dislike for quantum woo.

    I say,

    I seem to recall a time when you appealed to quantum vibrations in microtubules as a possible explanation for all sorts of things like consciousness. Is that not woo?

    One thing that hasn’t changed is your confident belief that anything that makes orthodox Christianity more likely must be mistaken. 😉

    Same old song just with a heavy metal beat I suppose 😉

    peace

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish as to this statement of mine,,,

    “deny the reality of your own mind”

    you claim,,,

    “I do no such thing of course, nor does anyone else that I’m aware of”

    Which is a pretty interesting claim for you to make since I can think of many atheists/agnostics right off the top of my head who deny the reality of their own mind and free will:
    For instance Alan Turing, who invented computers, infamously thought that his mind was a ‘Turing Machine’.

    Alan’s brain tells his mind, “Don’t you blow it.”
    Listen up! (Even though it’s inchoate.)
    “My claim’s neat and clean.
    I’m a Turing Machine!”
    … ‘Tis somewhat curious how he could know it.

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (with Gregory Chaitin)
    https://vimeo.com/92387854

    Jerry Coyne also denies the reality of his own mind and free will:

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 2014
    Excerpt: Well and good. But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.)
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....&_r=0

    Jerry Coyne Is Determined to Deny Free Will Michael Egnor October 3, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77421.html

    Matthew D. Lieberman directly states that under materialistic assumptions, ‘free will and consciousness are just an illusion’

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    Just today, O’Leary quoted New Scientist editor Graham Lawton denying he had free will:

    “We live in a deterministic universe. Given enough information about its present state, we could extrapolate to any past or future state with 100 per cent accuracy. Everything that has or will happen was determined at the big bang — and given that our brains are part of the physical universe, free will does not exist.”
    New Scientist editor Graham Lawton

    I could go on and on quoting various atheists denying the reality of their own mind and free will, but you knew all of this already, so why did you make the false claim in the first place? It reflects badly on you to be so blatantly dishonest. But hey, go for it if you want. You can become another shining example, like Evolve currently is, as to how intellectually dishonest atheists are willing to be when faced with actual evidence that directly threatens the preferred atheistic worldview.

    Of note:

    William J Murray gets the basic point of the necessity of the ‘primacy of consciousness’ across more clearly than anyone else I’ve ever read:

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

  47. 47
    RDFish says:

    Hi FMM,

    I seem to recall a time when you appealed to quantum vibrations in microtubules as a possible explanation for all sorts of things like consciousness. Is that not woo?

    ??? That’s Penrose and Hameroff, not me. Yup, that’s woo too 🙂

    One thing that hasn’t changed is your confident belief that anything that makes orthodox Christianity more likely must be mistaken. 😉

    You’re zero for two, I’m afraid, since I don’t think that either. One thing that hasn’t changed is that people here just don’t know what little box to put me in, so they’re never arguing against what I actually believe.

    Another thing that hasn’t changed is my basic argument: We don’t have answers to these big questions, and pretending that science has solved them is a mistake, whether you’re Dawkins claiming Evolution explains it all, or you’re here on UD claiming that immaterial souls and God explains it!

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  48. 48
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    Which is a pretty interesting claim for you to make since I can think of many atheists/agnostics right off the top of my head who deny the reality of their own mind and free will:

    Just more confusion on your part I’m afraid. Nobody denies the reality of their own mind – that’s just another of your (infinite supply of) silly strawmen. Lots of people deny that mind is ontologically distinct from the rest of the universe. You have no idea what my position is on the matter, but that never makes any difference to you, because you’d rather tell people what they think than ask them.

    For instance Alan Turing, who invented computers, infamously thought that his mind was a ‘Turing Machine’.

    I already know who Alan Turing was, but thanks for the clarification 😉

    So you’ve just proved yourself wrong in this very post: First you claim that folks like Turing deny the reality of their own minds, then you turn around and contradict yourself by explaining that Turing thought his mind was a deterministic physical mechanism, which obviously is part of reality. Your confusion on these matters knows no bounds.

    As for free will, that’s a different question, and neither you nor me nor anyone else knows if our mentality transcends physical cause (nor what sorts of physical cause may exist). The only difference is that you pretend that you do.

    I could go on and on quoting various atheists denying the reality of their own mind and free will, but you knew all of this already, so why did you make the false claim in the first place?

    I could go on and on explaining that none of these people have denied that their mind is real; the problem is that you equate the word “mind” with “immaterial res cogitans” or some such term that entails dualism. Of course people deny dualism! That doesn’t mean they deny they have minds!

    So the reason I made my claim is because I was right, and you were wrong.

    It reflects badly on you to be so blatantly dishonest.

    That is just a dishonest accusation on your part, so I suppose the shame is on you.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, that you would try to play games with the word ‘mind’ and say that atheists believe in the reality of their own mind is disingenuous to put it mildly. Especially after I listed quotes by atheists stating that they believe their mind is ‘illusory’. Theists hold mind/consciousness to be distinct from material. Atheists, of course, hold mind to ’emergent’ from material. In other words, Atheists hold their mind to be ‘illusory’ to the material brain and also hold that the mind has no causal power over the brain (they are wrong on both counts). You state that I have no clue what your position is, but since you clearly are (angrily) defending atheism, and since you deny that consciousness is separate from matter and also deny the causal power of mind over matter (i.e. free will), then that firmly puts you in the atheistic/materialistic camp. I would be happy for you to deny that is your position since it would defeat you arguments from within, so please do deny that is your position if it is not your position.

    In the rest of your post, you basically claim ignorance once again and try to project that ignorance onto everybody else.

    I concur that you are ignorant on the issue (as well as being purposely deceptive).
    There are many studies I could list contradicting your position/claims but you will just ignore them and be purposely disingenuous to the evidence once again, and moreover, YAWN, you are boring me with your inane argumentation.

  50. 50
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    rdfish

    That’s Penrose and Hameroff, not me. Yup, that’s woo too

    I say,

    sorry about that I was confounding your opinions with those of your fellow traveler Thought Provoker.

    Apparently you all sound alike to me 😉

    peace

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    “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-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

  52. 52
    RDFish says:

    ba77,

    RDFish, that you would try to play games with the word ‘mind’ and say that atheists believe in the reality of their own mind is disingenuous to put it mildly.

    You declare that anyone who doesn’t share your own particular position on the mind/body problem (which, if you are not aware of it, is called “substance dualism”) must not believe in their own minds! That’s a novel debating strategy, I must say 🙂

    Especially after I listed quotes by atheists stating that they believe their mind is ‘illusory’.

    Can’t you even read the quotes that you plaster all over this board? You have not provided one single quote that said that. There are certainly folks who believe that libertarian free will is an illusion (I’m one of them), and there are folks who call our sense of being an immaterial conscious “self” an illusion (which I don’t really understand), but nobody I’ve ever read has ever claimed that their mind does not exist.

    Theists hold mind/consciousness to be distinct from material.

    This is generally true, although I’ve many theists who have a much more nuanced view of dualism than the Cartesian interactionist substance dualism that you espouse.

    Atheists, of course, hold mind to ‘emergent’ from material.

    No, ba, this is completely mistaken. There are literally dozens of different theories of mind that philosophers have come up with, and emergentism is only one of them. Just curious: Have you ever actually read a book on any of this? Or are you too busy copying and pasting quotes without bothering to understand them?

    In other words, Atheists hold their mind to be ‘illusory’ to the material brain and also hold that the mind has no causal power over the brain (they are wrong on both counts).

    One theory of mind is called “identity theory”, which holds that words describing the mind are describing the operation of the brain. For identity theorists (I am not one of them), saying “the mind has no causal power over the brain” is false, since the brain demonstrably does have causal power over itself, and there is nothing illusory about it. That’s just one example of a physicalist theory that defies your characterization – there are many, many more.

    You state that I have no clue what your position is, but since you clearly are (angrily) defending atheism,

    Wrong again: I am not defending atheism. Everything is black-and-white for you, isn’t it? One one side is atheist-materialist-emergentist-reductivist-Darwinist-relativist… and on the other side is theist-dualist-objectivist-. If you’d like to know what my position on theology is, it is not atheism – it is called theological non-cognitivism.

    and since you deny that consciousness is separate from matter

    Wrong again: I have not said that either. Rather, I have taken you to task for assuming dualist metaphysics and pretending that QM supports your views. My own metaphysics is neither physicalism nor dualism – it is neutral monism.

    and also deny the causal power of mind over matter (i.e. free will),

    Here you’ve conflated two separate issues. I don’t believe in “the causal power of mind over matter” because I don’t think we understand either category in a coherent way, and it makes no sense to treat them as separate interacting ontological categories. As for free will (and I assume you are talking about libertarianism), I am agnostic on the matter: Nobody knows if our minds transcend processes underlying all other phenomena.

    then that firmly puts you in the atheistic/materialistic camp.

    There is no such camp – that is your delusion. There are dozens of different theories, you just lump them all together because you don’t understand them.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, you falsely state:

    “You have not provided one single quote that said that (atheists hold that mind is illusory).”

    and yet I provided several, for instance this one:

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    English not your first language RDFish?

    Illusion, in case you don’t know, means NOT REAL. If you want to define mind as separate from consciousness, go for it. Let me know when you have ANY experimental evidence of mind apart from consciousness. Most people, save for apparently overly educated idiots who think they know better than common people, know perfectly well what people mean when they say mind as opposed to brain:

    The mind–body problem in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....dy_problem

    as to your “chosen’ philosophy,,, (or did your philosophy choose you since you deny free will? 🙂 )

    “Neutral monism is a monistic metaphysics. It holds that ultimate reality is all of one kind. To this extent neutral monism is in agreement with idealism and materialism What distinguishes neutral monism from its better known monistic rivals is the claim that the intrinsic nature of ultimate reality is neither mental nor physical. This negative claim also captures the idea of neutrality: being intrinsically neither mental nor physical in nature ultimate reality is said to be neutral between the two.”

    No wonder you are so hopelessly wish-washy in your thinking and are saying such incoherent things as you are, everything is smoke and mirrors, nothing is really clearly defined, in your chosen (minus free will or course) philosophy.
    No wonder you state such things as ‘you really don’t know’. Your philosophy precludes such surety of knowledge from the get go. Indeed, your philosophy seems to be anti-knowledge to me at first blush.

    My personal opinion is that somebody has sold you a lame horse. Good luck with all that. I suggest you sell it as glue and count it as a loss:

    Not that you will care, or that I hold any more hope that you will ever be rigorously honest, (in fact I now consider you a hopeless case of anti-theistic dogmatism), but here are few videos that may help you out of your intellectual quagmire if, by some miracle of God, you feel so inclined as to actually be honest someday,,, (at least the videos will helpful for the unbiased reader):

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    Christianity and Panentheism – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xki03G_TO4

  54. 54
    Barry Arrington says:

    I will fisk Red Fish’s fisk:

    but nobody I’ve ever read has ever claimed that their mind does not exist.

    For someone who purports to be qualified to comment on these issues, you don’t get out much. Here’s Daniel Dennett:

    There is only one sort of stuff, namely, matter-the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology-and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon. In short, the mind is the brain.

    Here’s Michael S. A. Graziano:

    How does the brain go beyond processing information to become subjectively aware of information? The answer is: It doesn’t. The brain has arrived at a conclusion that is not correct. When we introspect and seem to find that ghostly thing — awareness, consciousness, the way green looks or pain feels — our cognitive machinery is accessing internal models and those models are providing information that is wrong

    Let me anticipate your next ploy. You will say that neither Dennett nor Graziano said the mind does not exist. If you do go there, that will be a semantic dodge, not an apt response. If one defines the mind as anything other than the physical stuff that makes up the brain, then Dennett would most certainly say that the mind, as defined, does not exist. If one defines the mind in terms of consciousness, Graziano would most certainly insist that the mind does not exist, because, in his view, what we feel as consciousness/subjective self awareness is nothing but an error committed by the brain’s information processing systems.

    Yes, Fish, they deny the mind exists under any meaningful definition of the term “mind.” This really is non-controversial elementary stuff in this field. You should read more widely before presuming to fisk on it.

    This is generally true, although I’ve many theists who have a much more nuanced view of dualism than the Cartesian interactionist substance dualism that you espouse.

    Here we agree. There are a number of nuanced views of dualism.

    Atheists, of course, hold mind to ‘emergent’ from material.
    No, ba, this is completely mistaken.

    Are you insane? Have you ever read Dennett. You don’t even have to read his whole book, Consciousness Explained. Just read the excerpt above.

    Fish, atheism has entailments. One of those entailments is that matter, energy and space are all there are. If, for an atheist, mind does not emerge from the electro-chemical properties of the brain, what in God’s name (if you will pardon the expression) does it emerge from? For the atheist, “electro-chemical process of the brain” exhausts the possibilities.

    BA: Atheists hold . . . that the mind has no causal power over the brain (they are wrong on both counts).

    Paraphrasing Fish: Wong; consider “identity theory” for example.

    Fish, I am sure BA meant that atheists cannot both be logically coherent and also say that the mind has control over the brain. Identity theory is logically incoherent. An atheist cannot logically say at one and the same time that the mind is the material brain and that the mind controls the material brain as if it were somehow separate from it. The identify theory you describe rests on a massive equivocation. The theorists hope we won’t notice when they use the word “mind” in two different senses.

    BA: that firmly puts you in the atheistic/materialistic camp.
    Fish: There is no such camp

    Sorry Fish. Atheism entails materialism. That should be obvious.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Atheism entails materialism. That should be obvious.

    One counterexample should suffice. Many forms of Buddhism are atheistic, but are hardly materialistic.

  56. 56
    Zachriel says:

    RDFish: There are certainly folks who believe that libertarian free will is an illusion (I’m one of them), and there are folks who call our sense of being an immaterial conscious “self” an illusion (which I don’t really understand)

    The simplest expression of the idea is to consider mind a sensation of the brain. It’s no more an ‘illusion per se‘ than a pain in the foot is an illusion.

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Mr. Arrington. I will take a closer look at your post this afternoon.

  58. 58
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    RDFish, you falsely state:
    “You have not provided one single quote that said that (atheists hold that mind is illusory).”

    What I said was true. What you say is false. I’ve patiently explained this to you already. “The mind” is not the same as “free will” or “conscious self”. What is wrong with you?

    Nobody thinks that they have no mind, ba77, and you have provided exactly ZERO quotes from anyone who says otherwise… as if mining quotes from people on the internet is somehow a worthwhile endeavor in the first place.

    If you want to define mind as separate from consciousness, go for it.

    Thanks, I will! When people say that the conscious self is an illusion, do you imagine they are saying they do not experience conscious awareness? (hint: no). Rather, they mean that the intuitive feeling that we have of inhabiting out bodies and existing a few inches behind our eyeballs is an illusion – there is no immaterial soul or humunculus that operates our bodies.

    Let me know when you have ANY experimental evidence of mind apart from consciousness.

    Oh good grief, you are making no sense at all. This is not a matter of discovery, it is a matter of definition of course. Honestly, since you are obviously unaware of the most rudimentary aspects of philosophy of mind it really doesn’t make sense to continue this with you.

    Most people, save for apparently overly educated idiots who think they know better than common people…

    Yes, you’ve got to watch out for people who have read books and learned things… they really are dangerous 🙂

    as to your “chosen’ philosophy,,, (or did your philosophy choose you since you deny free will? 🙂 )

    You are now graduating from misunderstanding to lying, simply lying. Here is from my last post:

    RDF: As for free will (and I assume you are talking about libertarianism), I am agnostic on the matter: Nobody knows if our minds transcend processes underlying all other phenomena.

    You turn around in the very next post and lie about what I said. What is wrong with you???

    Indeed, your philosophy seems to be anti-knowledge to me at first blush.

    Since the entire subject of philosophy of mind appears to be “first blush” to you, I wouldn’t expect you to have anything knowledgeable to say about any of this. And my expectations have been exceeded.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  59. 59
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    RDF: but nobody I’ve ever read has ever claimed that their mind does not exist.
    BA: For someone who purports to be qualified to comment on these issues, you don’t get out much. Here’s Daniel Dennett:

    I actually have corresponded with Dennett on a number of occasions. I disagree with his philosophy, but he’s a great writer.

    DENNETT: There is only one sort of stuff, namely, matter-the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology-and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon. In short, the mind is the brain.

    That’s right, Barry. Where does he say the mind does not exist? Well, he doesn’t of course. He says the mind is the brain, which I explained to poor ba77 here was called “identity theory”. Brains exist, Barry, and so if somebody believes the mind is the brain, they ipso facto believe that the mind exists.

    Likewise Garziano of course.

    Let me anticipate your next ploy. You will say that neither Dennett nor Graziano said the mind does not exist. If you do go there, that will be a semantic dodge, not an apt response.

    Since when is the truth a ploy or a dodge, Barry? You are pretending the these people (who I don’t happen to agree with by the way) say something that they do not say, and when I point that out, you accuse me of dodging? That’s rich.

    If one defines the mind as anything other than the physical stuff that makes up the brain, then Dennett would most certainly say that the mind, as defined, does not exist.

    OF COURSE! These people deny dualism (as do I). Why don’t you just say it truthfully, instead of pretending they are saying something else? (The reason you do this is to try and make their philosophy sound stupid. You shouldn’t do that.)

    If one defines the mind in terms of consciousness, Graziano would most certainly insist that the mind does not exist, because, in his view, what we feel as consciousness/subjective self awareness is nothing but an error committed by the brain’s information processing systems.

    He does not deny we feel phenomenological consciousness; he denies that consciousness is a causal thing.

    I also believe that consciousness per se is not causal, and that neural processes are necessary for consciousness, but I do not believe that it is explanatory to say that consciousness is the same thing as neural processes, nor that it emerges from neural processes.

    Yes, Fish, they deny the mind exists under any meaningful definition of the term “mind.” This really is non-controversial elementary stuff in this field. You should read more widely before presuming to fisk on it.

    Of you, me, and ba77, I am the only one who appears to have an understanding of these fundamental issues.

    ba: Atheists, of course, hold mind to ‘emergent’ from material.
    RDF: No, ba, this is completely mistaken.
    BA: Are you insane?

    No, are you?

    Have you ever read Dennett.

    Pretty much everything he’s written. Have you ever taken a single course in philosophy of mind? You don’t need to – just spend a few minutes on Wiki and you’ll discover that, just as I explained to ba77, emergentism is only one of a large number of theories of mind that atheists might adhere to. I am not a theist, and I am not an emergentist, so I myself directly contradict your naive belief.

    Fish, atheism has entailments. One of those entailments is that matter, energy and space are all there are.

    Everything you say is wrong. I am not a theist nor an atheist; my view is more nuanced than that, so in your naive view I look like an atheist to you – that’s fine. Yet I do not believe that matter, energy, and space are all there are, because I believe our understanding of ontology is incomplete, and that is the reason we can’t resolve deep problems of metaphysics (mind/body problem, problem of free will, etc).

    If, for an atheist, mind does not emerge from the electro-chemical properties of the brain, what in God’s name (if you will pardon the expression) does it emerge from?

    Instead of “mind”, let’s talk about “conscious experience”. I think saying that conscious experience “emerges” from the electro-chemical properties of the brain is nothing but hand-waving – nobody has any idea what that means.

    For the atheist, “electro-chemical process of the brain” exhausts the possibilities.

    Everything you say is wrong, including this. Really, Barry, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

    An atheist cannot logically say at one and the same time that the mind is the material brain and that the mind controls the material brain as if it were somehow separate from it.

    Good grief. Identity theorists do indeed say the mind controls the brain, meaning not that it is separate, but rather that the brain controls itself. There is nothing incoherent or illogical about it (although I don’t happen to think it is correct).

    Sorry Fish. Atheism entails materialism. That should be obvious.

    What is obvious is that you feel like philosophy of mind is simple and basically consists of two opposing positions. All I can say is you’ve revealed a deep ignorance here.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  60. 60
    Barry Arrington says:

    Red Fish:

    The reason you do this is to try and make their philosophy sound stupid.

    Their philosophy is profoundly stupid all by itself. I don’t have to “try” anything to make it sound so.

    Only stupid people deny what Hart calls the “primordial datum,” the self evident fact that I am an object that perceives a subject. Every other thought “about” anything else is logically downstream from that thought.

  61. 61
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    Only stupid people deny what Hart calls the “primordial datum,” the self evident fact that I am an object that perceives a subject.

    Stupid?

    What sort of person would think that anyone denies conscious awareness or self-perception?

    And would fail to realize that the question is not whether we are conscious beings, but rather what is the relationship between consciousness and the physical world?

    And would fail to understand that there are literally dozens of different theories regarding the mind/body problem, not just two?

    And would dodge all of my responses, but accuse me of dodging?

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIFish

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, you are quite full of it and astonishingly stupid if you think people cannot see through your empty rhetoric. You stated that nobody you know of denies the reality of their own mind. I pointed several quotes of atheists denying the reality of consciousness and free will. Then you tried to play a definition games with the word mind. So for good measure Mr Arrington cited these quotes:

    There is only one sort of stuff, namely, matter-the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology-and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon. In short, the mind is the brain.
    Daniel Dennett

    How does the brain go beyond processing information to become subjectively aware of information? The answer is: It doesn’t. The brain has arrived at a conclusion that is not correct. When we introspect and seem to find that ghostly thing — awareness, consciousness, the way green looks or pain feels — our cognitive machinery is accessing internal models and those models are providing information that is wrong.
    Michael S. A. Graziano

    After those quotes of Athiests denying the reality of their mind, sure enough you tried to once again play semantics with the word mind and tried to equivocate it with the word brain,, just as Mr. Arrington predicted you would try to do. But none-the-less you did it anyway. (Pound the table if you can’t pound the facts ???? ),,, “Red Fish (Herring)”, is a very apt nick name Mr. Arrington has given you.

    I fully concur with Mr. Arrington’s last statement

    “Only stupid people deny what Hart calls the “primordial datum,” the self evident fact that I am an object that perceives a subject. Every other thought “about” anything else is logically downstream from that thought.”

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    RDFish, to simplify matters greatly, do you believe the ‘mind is the brain’? i.e. In your smoke and mirrors philosophy, if there were no brain would there be no mind? Yes or no? Can your convoluted philosophy, with all its bells and whistles, even answer that question in a straightforward manner?

  64. 64
    Barry Arrington says:

    Red Fish; Blue Fish; One Fish; Two Fish

    My wife bought Dr. Seuss books for our grandchildren yesterday. Some of this really is Dr. Seuss level stuff like: A thing cannot be itself and something other than itself at the same time.

    he’s [i.e., Dennett’s] a great writer.

    If you mean he’s an excellent stylist; agreed. If you mean he writes the truth, not so much. So I would say he describes his delusions in very pithy prose. Kind of like Dawkins in that respect (though I believe I recall hearing they hate each other; or maybe that is someone else who hates Dawkins – that’s a pretty long line after all).

    Barry: Let me anticipate your next ploy. You will say that neither Dennett nor Graziano said the mind does not exist. If you do go there, that will be a semantic dodge, not an apt response.

    Fish: Since when is the truth a ploy or a dodge, Barry?

    The truth is not a ploy or a dodge. Violent abuse of language is, and that is what you are doing.

    Barry: If one defines the mind as anything other than the physical stuff that makes up the brain, then Dennett would most certainly say that the mind, as defined, does not exist.

    Fish: OF COURSE! These people deny dualism (as do I). Why don’t you just say it truthfully, instead of pretending they are saying something else?

    Fish, this is not a matter of this or that “actual state of things.” Whether dualism is true or monism is true is beside this point. The point is that neither you, nor I, nor Dennett, nor Graziano get to use words any old way we want if we want to be honest. Words have meaning. That meaning is defined by common usage. And the practically universal usage of the word “mind” is in contradistinction to the word “brain.” That’s why the issue we are talking about is called the “mind-body” problem after all.

    Anyone who wants to make the problem go away by linguistic fiat, as you seem to do, is not engaging the problem in good faith.

    He [Graziano] does not deny we feel phenomenological consciousness; he denies that consciousness is a causal thing.

    Wrong; not even close to correct. You really are shameless.

    Graziano denies that consciousness is a “thing” period. And he describes the feeling of phenomenological consciousness to which you allude as not a real thing at all, but an error made by the computational machinery of the brain.

    Of you, me, and ba77, I am the only one who appears to have an understanding of these fundamental issues.

    It is amusing that you would say that when you’ve made Romper Room errors on this very thread.

    emergantism is only one of a large number of theories of mind that atheists might adhere to. I am not a theist, and I am not an emergentist, so I myself directly contradict your naive belief.

    The issue, again, is this. Is it possible even in principle for an atheist to aver logically that the mind is reducible to anything other than the electro-chemical processes of the brain. The answer to that question is self-evidently “no,” because, for an atheist, the electro-chemical processes of the brain is, in principle, the only thing there can be. This is true for any physicalist; any monist.

    Your vague allusion to a “large number of theories” that atheists adhere to that contradicts this position is noted. Vague allusions are not arguments. You do not even seem to feel obligated to argue at all. Your “argument,” such as it is, is that you are deeply knowledgeable and if anyone disagrees with you it can only be because they are ignorant.

    Fish, you’re not fooling anyone you know. If you have an argument, make it. If not, then admit that. “Barry and BA are ignorant poopyheads” is not an argument.

    Everything you say is wrong. I am not a theist nor an atheist; my view is more nuanced than that, so in your naive view I look like an atheist to you – that’s fine. Yet I do not believe that matter, energy, and space are all there are, because I believe our understanding of ontology is incomplete, and that is the reason we can’t resolve deep problems of metaphysics (mind/body problem, problem of free will, etc).

    Translation from Fish-speak: My intellect is so powerful that I’ve come up with a theory that is so elegant, so powerful, so wise, so smart, so wonderful, that not even I – as stupendously intellectual as I am – can understand it. You see, it’s all about “nuance.” Nuance Nuance über alles. But I can’t be bothered to make an actual argument. It’ all complicated and stuff and you wouldn’t understand even it I did.

    Fish, saying “it’s just so complicated that you can’t possibly understand” is also not an argument.

    I think saying that conscious experience “emerges” from the electro-chemical properties of the brain is nothing but hand-waving – nobody has any idea what that means.

    Well, it’s nice to know that we agree on something.

    Everything you say is wrong, including this. Really, Barry, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Again, “Barry, you’re an ignorant poopyhead” is not an argument. You seem to be stuck on this. Let me try to help you. In an intellectual argument, I make an assertion and try to support it with evidence and logic. If you think my evidence is insufficient to support my premises or if you think my logic is unsound or invalid, you demonstrate why you thing that. Mere contradiction is not argument. That you seem to think it is should cause you to reflect and think again on the obviously high opinion you have of your own intelligence and rectitude.

    Good grief. Identity theorists do indeed say . . .

    Good grief. I’ve explained why identify theorists’ position in based on an equivocation. How do you respond? By repeating the equivocation! A healthy respect for language is absolutely essential for sound reasoning. You respect language like Humpty Dumpty did.

    What is obvious is that you feel like philosophy of mind is simple and basically consists of two opposing positions. All I can say is you’ve revealed a deep ignorance here.

    No, I do not believe philosophy of mind is simple. But I do distinguish between those that are logically or onotologically incoherent and those that are not (and that sets me apart from you). It is not simple though; there are some thorny issues. Yes, there are two generally opposing positions: Dualism in its various forms and monism in its various forms. That you don’t seem to understand this is very telling. It tells me that the triumphalist tone you always use concerning your own competence is unwarranted. Please do better.

  65. 65
    Barry Arrington says:

    Fish, here is a link to a report on a conference of theorists in which the consensus view was that “consciousness is an illusion.”

    You ask “What sort of person would think that anyone denies conscious awareness or self-perception?” Well, that was the consensus view at this conference. Let me help you with the language. You don’t seem to understand this. When someone says something is an “illusion” that means they are denying that it is a real thing.

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Arrington you comment here drove the nail home:

    “Barry, you’re an ignorant poopyhead” is not an argument. You seem to be stuck on this. Let me try to help you. In an intellectual argument, I make an assertion and try to support it with evidence and logic. If you think my evidence is insufficient to support my premises or if you think my logic is unsound or invalid, you demonstrate why you think that. Mere contradiction is not argument. That you seem to think it is should cause you to reflect and think again on the obviously high opinion you have of your own intelligence and rectitude.

  67. 67
    skram says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Is it possible even in principle for an atheist to aver logically that the mind is reducible to anything other than the electro-chemical processes of the brain. The answer to that question is self-evidently “no,” because, for an atheist, the electro-chemical processes of the brain is, in principle, the only thing there can be. This is true for any physicalist; any monist.

    Perhaps Mr. Arrington has never heard of Phil Anderson? Let us remind him of this gentleman’s famous words:

    The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. At each level of complexity entirely new properties appear. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. We can now see that the whole becomes not merely more, but very different from the sum of its parts.

    Anderson’s approach directly contradicts Barry’s simplistic picture.

    UDEditors: Yeah skram. Nothing is ever simple for you. For me it is easy to say “the Holocaust was evil, period.” Not you. You can’t bring yourself to say “the Holocaust was evil, period.” That is not to your credit. Making simple things complex is not a sign of superior intelligence. It is a sign of moral failure. BTW, the materialist “poof; it happened” strategy you advocate here is intellectually indefensible. It is a lie materialists tell to themselves because otherwise they have to admit that their program is bankrupt. Even your buddy Red Fish agrees with this. See above where he dismisses the very idea you are pushing here. Another major fail skram.

  68. 68
    Box says:

    Especially for RDFish:

    FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.
    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates.
    The physical facts fix all the facts. The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live. Not that there was ever much doubt about mortality anyway.
    This chapter uses the science of Chapter 8 to provide scientism’s answers to the persistent questions about us and the mind. The fact that these answers are so different from what life’s illusions tell us from the inside of consciousness is just more reason not to take introspection seriously.
    THE GRAND ILLUSION DOWN THE AGES AND UP FROM BIRTH

    The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak. To see why we make these mistakes and why it’s so hard to avoid them, we need to understand the source of the illusion that thoughts are about stuff.

    [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist Guide to Reality, Ch.9]

  69. 69
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    You stated that nobody you know of denies the reality of their own mind. I pointed several quotes of atheists denying the reality of consciousness and free will. Then you tried to play a definition games with the word mind. So for good measure Mr Arrington cited these quotes:
    There is only one sort of stuff, namely, matter-the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology-and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon. In short, the mind is the brain.

    And I corrected Barry by explaining that if the mind is the brain, and we agree that brains exist, then ipso facto minds exist. You’re not going to win this – you should give up.

    After those quotes of Athiests denying the reality of their mind, sure enough you tried to once again play semantics with the word mind and tried to equivocate it with the word brain,, just as Mr. Arrington predicted you would try to do.

    HAHAHAhahahaha you are unbelievable. I’ve explained over and over that identity theorists believe that mind=brain, and that I am not an identity theorist, and that “mind” is neither “brain” nor “free will” nor “conscious self”!!!

    RDFish, to simplify matters greatly, do you believe the ‘mind is the brain’? i.e. In your smoke and mirrors philosophy, if there were no brain would there be no mind? Yes or no? Can your convoluted philosophy, with all its bells and whistles, even answer that question in a straightforward manner?

    I’ll see if I can make my views simple enough for you.

    1) “Easy” problem: thought, by which I mean mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, etc)
    2) Hard problem: consciousness, by which I mean nothing more or less than our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness

    As for (1), it’s clear that we use our brains for thinking, so without a brain, we could not any of these mental tasks. It is not clear whether or not the neural processes we currently understand can ever fully account for our ability to think; it’s possible that certain mental tasks are not Turing-computible. It is also possible that our brains utilize aspects of physics (yes, as in QM, etc) that we do not currently understand, or in ways we don’t understand.

    As for (2), nobody has any understanding about conscious awareness other than our direct experience of it. Nobody knows what the sufficient conditions for consciousness are, although we do have some understanding of various physiological correlates of consciousness. Nobody knows if our conscious will is causal (we decide to do something and make it happen by conscious free will) or if it is perceptual (as the Libet and Wegner studies suggest – but of course do not prove). Apart from very poor evidence from paranormal psychology, the vast (huge!) preponderance of evidence indicates that conscious awareness, like thought, critically depends upon neural function, but again nobody can even imagine how consciousness arises from brain function. It may be that our minds (our thinking) are not capable of understanding the nature of consciousness at all.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  70. 70
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    My wife bought Dr. Seuss books for our grandchildren yesterday. Some of this really is Dr. Seuss level stuff like: A thing cannot be itself and something other than itself at the same time.

    I knew we could agree on something!

    If you mean he’s [Dennett] an excellent stylist; agreed. If you mean he writes the truth, not so much. So I would say he describes his delusions in very pithy prose. Kind of like Dawkins in that respect…

    I agree with all of this as well!

    Violent abuse of language is, and that is what you are doing.

    Now you’re confused again. Relax – it all makes sense if you just try and be open to rational thinking.

    Whether dualism is true or monism is true is beside this point.

    On the contrary, it is quite central to this discussion. Technically, it’s not just the question of the truth here, but also of knowability (both current and theoretical).

    The point is that neither you, nor I, nor Dennett, nor Graziano get to use words any old way we want if we want to be honest. Words have meaning. That meaning is defined by common usage. And the practically universal usage of the word “mind” is in contradistinction to the word “brain.” That’s why the issue we are talking about is called the “mind-body” problem after all.

    The first thing you would learn if you embarked on a study of philosophy of mind is that our common meanings for words are insufficient to frame these questions, and so the first step (as in any philosophical endeavor) is to provide clear technical terms for the investigation. The fact that people speak as though minds are something other than the operation of their brains does not make that itself an empirical fact!

    Anyone who wants to make the problem go away by linguistic fiat, as you seem to do, is not engaging the problem in good faith.

    Let’s be clear, so we can both talk in good faith. Here are what I find to be useful definitions; you can offer different ones if you’d like, as long as you clearly say what those definitions are:

    1) Brain – the physical organ in our heads
    2) Consciousness – our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness
    3) Thought – our mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, planning, etc)
    4) Mind – that which thinks(3) and experiences consciousness(2)

    When I told you that nobody denies their own mind, I meant nobody believes that they can’t think or experience consciousness.

    Do you get it now?

    Graziano denies that consciousness is a “thing” period. And he describes the feeling of phenomenological consciousness to which you allude as not a real thing at all, but an error made by the computational machinery of the brain.

    I think it should be clear that calling consciousness a “thing” is meaningless. But I think you still don’t understand Graziano, but rather than argue about what he thinks let’s just argue about what you and I think, OK? Please refer to my previous post to ba77 for a short summary of what I think. (Why do I think you won’t, but instead would rather beat down straw men of your own design?)

    The issue, again, is this. Is it possible even in principle for an atheist to aver logically that the mind is reducible to anything other than the electro-chemical processes of the brain. The answer to that question is self-evidently “no,” because, for an atheist, the electro-chemical processes of the brain is, in principle, the only thing there can be. This is true for any physicalist; any monist.

    This is truly such an ignorant position it’s hard to know where to start. But just for starters: Who says that the brain operates soley on electro-chemical processes, and not also, say, quantum effects, or quantum gravitational effects, or effects that nobody has yet discovered? Your silly over-simplifications make talking about these things impossible.

    Your vague allusion to a “large number of theories” that atheists adhere to that contradicts this position is noted. Vague allusions are not arguments. You do not even seem to feel obligated to argue at all. Your “argument,” such as it is, is that you are deeply knowledgeable and if anyone disagrees with you it can only be because they are ignorant.

    OK, let me get this straight (if I can keep from laughing). Are you seriously doubting that there are a large number of theories regarding the mind/body problem? OH MY. Please – just say it straight out. You think there are, what – maybe two? Three at most? Sorry to break it to you, but it’s a bit more involved than dualism vs. materialism I’m afraid. And why in the world can’t an atheist be a dualist? There is no contradiction in that! Perhaps you’re thinking of the converse – it is very difficult to resolve theism with physicalism (but not impossible).

    Interactionist dualism, Psychophysical parallelism, Occasionalism, Property dualism, Dual aspect theory, Behaviorism, Identity theory, Functionalism, Non-reductive physicalism, Weak emergentism, Eliminative materialism, Idealism, Neutral monism… and these are still in broad strokes of course, with plenty more variations on a number of different themes. Besides these there is Mysterianism, various mystical “theories” and explanations in Eastern philosophy, new theories such as IIT,and so on and so on and so on…

    “Barry and BA are ignorant poopyheads” is not an argument.

    Of course that isn’t an argument! That is simply a statement.

    My intellect is so powerful that I’ve come up with a theory…

    Sure I’m a smart guy, but no, I didn’t invent the theories I adhere to. Thanks though, I’m flattered 🙂

    I’ve explained why identify theorists’ position in based on an equivocation. How do you respond? By repeating the equivocation! A healthy respect for language is absolutely essential for sound reasoning.

    In that case let’s settle on our terms, the way real adults do, can we?

    Yes, there are two generally opposing positions: Dualism in its various forms and monism in its various forms. That you don’t seem to understand this is very telling.

    I don’t seem to understand it because you’re wrong. Not only are there many, many very different (and mutually exclusive) positions within dualism, and the same within monism, but there are other theories that can’t be categorized under either heading (where does IIT fit, for example)?

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “And I corrected Barry by explaining that if the mind is the brain, and we agree that brains exist, then ipso facto minds exist. You’re not going to win this – you should give up.”

    You should take a class in basic logic. Calling the mind the brain denies the reality of the mind and confers it on the brain! Perhaps you should step away from the mirror you are staring in, admiring your false sense of intellectual prowess that you seem to be enamored with, so that you could see this simple fact that even a five year old could realize!

    I asked for a simple yes or no answer in regards to mind/soul surviving death, and as usual you were trying to be too clever by half. I take it that you are leaning heavily towards saying that you do not believe you have a mind/soul that can survive death.

    If so, in that regards you are severely mistaken!

  72. 72
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    BA said

    Some of this really is Dr. Seuss level stuff like: A thing cannot be itself and something other than itself at the same time.

    I say,

    Please don’t go down that road with RDFish.

    My head has still not healed from his squares can be circles talk. 😉

    peace

  73. 73
    Barry Arrington says:

    Whether dualism is true or monism is true is beside this point.

    On the contrary, it is quite central to this discussion.

    You seem to have misunderstood me. Of course it is perhaps the central issue with respect to philosophy of mind. It is beside the point with respect to whether you get to Humpty Dumpty your terms.

    The first thing you would learn if you embarked on a study of philosophy of mind . . .

    You really do need to get a handle on this little arrogance thing you’ve got going. I have studied this issue for many years. You seem to think that the only possible explanation for someone not agreeing with you is that they don’t understand the issues as well as you do. That kinda makes you a pompous ass.

    1) Brain – the physical organ in our heads
    2) Consciousness – our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness
    3) Thought – our mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, planning, etc)
    4) Mind – that which thinks(3) and experiences consciousness(2)

    I am happy with these as working definitions. And if someone says consciousness is an illusion and that the mind does not experience consciousness, then they are saying that neither (2) nor (4) exists. Both Dennett and Graziano say that.

    Get it now? (he said echoing the pompous ass tone of his interlocutor).

    I think it should be clear that calling consciousness a “thing” is meaningless.

    *sigh* And I thought we were making progress. Of course “consciousness” is a thing. Otherwise your definition (2) would have no referent.

    It is you who do not understand Graziano. He affirmatively says that we do not have a subjective phenomenological experience of awareness. Go back and read him again.

    Why do I think you won’t [read what you wrote to BA], but instead would rather beat down straw men of your own design?

    I dunno. Because in addition to being pompous, arrogant asshat you are also cynical?

    Who says that the brain operates soley on electro-chemical processes?

    Ummm? How about pretty much every materialist who has ever rendered an opinion on the issue.

    and not also, say, quantum effects, or quantum gravitational effects, or effects that nobody has yet discovered?

    Are you saying that quantum effects or quantum gravitational effects amount to something more than the interaction of energy and particles in space-time? If so, you need to support that proposition with something other than mere assertion. If not, then my statement stands unrebutted.

    The paragraph that begins with “OK, let me get this straight . . .” is nothing but pure asshat spewings. Let me try to help you again. Mere assertion is not an argument; mere contradiction is not an argument. Mocking your opponent is not argument.

    Where did you get the idea that I deny that there are lots of theories about the mind-body issue? Certainly not from me. So I will just ignore that last part of your rant, tilting as it does at a position I do not hold.

    Let’s summarize: So far I have argued. Red Fish has ranted and preened. We will let the readers judge.

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    Fish, if the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists/atheists (and whatever you are) hold, then if half of a brain were removed a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment during hemispherectomy:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBrY77mBNg

    Dr. Gary Mathern – What Can You Do With Half A Brain? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrKijBx_hAw

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:

    “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    Moreover Fish, much like the evidence-free Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can generate functional information that far exceeds, in terms of sophistication, anything man has ever programmed into computers, you simply have no scientific evidence for your claim that souls/minds do not really exist and do not survive death. In fact, we have far more observational evidence for the reality of souls surviving death than we do for the Darwinian claim that unguided material processes can ever generate sophisticated functional information:

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    As to the validity of the Near Death Experience testimonies, the experiences are found, by surprised materialistic researchers no less, to be ‘even more real than real’:

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Moreover, the fact we do have souls, and the fact that unguided Darwinian processes cannot generate functional information, appear to be two sides of the same coin that support each other.
    In clarifying this point of the relatedness of information and the soul, it is helpful to learn about the nature of information.
    In regards to the ‘transcendent’ nature of information. Dr. Stephen Meyer states:

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences.

    Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    To further support the contention that the immateriality of information and the immateriality of the soul are correlated to each other, it is also helpful to point out what happens to the physics of an organism upon the death of the organism.
    The immaterial information, that was keeping the organism alive, ‘disappears’ from the body upon death of the organism:

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    Materialists/atheists would believe, since they hold information to be merely emergent from a material basis, that the information in the organism simply ceased to exist upon the death of an organism.
    But our science tells us otherwise.
    In learning what actually happens to the information of an organism, information that was keeping the organism alive, upon death of an organism, it is helpful to learn a little bit about the hierarchy of information in the body.
    There are two types of information in an organism. First, there is the ‘normal’ classical/digital information, which Darwinists and ID proponents constantly debate over, that we find encoded in DNA, RNA and Proteins:

    Every Bit Digital: DNA’s Programming Really Bugs Some ID Critics – Casey Luskin – 2010
    Excerpt: “There’s a very recognizable digital code of the kind that electrical engineers rediscovered in the 1950s that maps the codes for sequences of DNA onto expressions of proteins.”
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....uskin2.php

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    And then there is also quantum information. In other words, besides the ‘normal’ classical/digital information that is found in life, there is now also found to be ‘quantum’ information in life. Moreover, this quantum information is found in every DNA and Protein molecule:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – short video
    https://vimeo.com/92405752

    Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
    Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.
    per – scimednet.org

    Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
    Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
    Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from.
    To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,,
    Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
    That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....f-protein/

    etc.. etc..

    Moreover, it is important to learn that this ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger, etc..), which is found in every DNA and protein molecule, can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

    And by using this ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, ‘quantum information channel’ of quantum entanglement, such as they use in quantum computation, physicists have reduced material to quantum information. (of note: energy is completely reduced to quantum information, whereas matter is semi-completely reduced, with the caveat being that matter can be reduced to energy via e=mc2). (forgive the fairly long list of references)

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original,,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data By JOHN MARKOFF – MAY 29, 2014
    Excerpt: They report that they have achieved perfectly accurate teleportation of quantum information over short distances. They are now seeking to repeat their experiment over the distance of more than a kilometer. If they are able to repeatedly show that entanglement works at this distance, it will be a definitive demonstration of the entanglement phenomenon and quantum mechanical theory.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05......html?_r=2

    First Teleportation Of Multiple Quantum Properties Of A Single Photon – Oct 7, 2014
    To truly teleport an object, you have to include all its quantum properties.
    Excerpt: ,,,It is these properties— the spin angular momentum and the orbital angular momentum?(of a photon)—?that Xi-Lin and co have teleported together for the first time.,,,
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/first-teleportation-of-multiple-quantum-properties-of-a-single-photon-7c1e61598565

    Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves – April 2011
    Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost.
    http://www.popsci.com/technolo.....-computing

    How Teleportation Will Work –
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    per howstuffworks

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://researcher.ibm.com/view_project.php?id=2862

    etc.. etc..

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact an entire human can, theoretically, be reduced to quantum information and teleported to another location in the universe:

    Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? – video
    https://vimeo.com/75163272

    Thus not only is information not reducible to a energy-matter basis, as is presupposed in neo-Darwinism, but in actuality both energy and matter ultimately reduce to a information basis as is presupposed in Christian Theism (John1:1-4).
    Of related note, encoded ‘classical’ digital information, such as what William Dembski and Robert Marks have demonstrated the mathematical conservation of,,,,

    Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://www.evoinfo.org/publications.html

    ,,this conserved classical ‘digital’ information is found to be a subset of ‘non-local’ (i.e. beyond space and time) quantum entanglement/information by the following method:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    ,,,And this quantum information is found to be ‘physically conserved’ (not just mathematically conserved),,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of neo-Darwinian claims as to the generation of functional information, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

    Will Human Teleportation Ever Be Possible?
    As experiments in relocating particles advance, will we be able to say, “Beam me up, Scotty” one day soon? By Corey S. Powell|Monday, June 16, 2014
    Excerpt: Note a fascinating common thread through all these possibilities. Whether you regard yourself as a pile of atoms, a DNA sequence, a series of sensory inputs or an elaborate computer file, in all of these interpretations you are nothing but a stack of data. According to the principle of unitarity, quantum information is never lost. Put them together, and those two statements lead to a staggering corollary: At the most fundamental level, the laws of physics say you are immortal.
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....eportation

    Also of interest, the quantum entanglement of consciousness in the brain is of a somewhat different nature than the entanglement that is witnessed (thus far) in the rest of the body:

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

    ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays – 2008
    Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,,
    Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,,
    Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication.
    Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2575223/

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    The following paper appeals to a ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), cause to try to explain the synchronization in neural circuits,,,

    Nonlocal mechanism for cluster synchronization in neural circuits – 2011
    Excerpt: The findings,,, call for reexamining sources of correlated activity in cortex,,,
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3634

    Moreover, unlike the multiverse postulation of atheists/materialists, for which we have no empirical evidence, we have excellent evidence for two very different ‘higher dimensional eternities’ above this temporal realm (just as is postulated in theism, Christian Theism in particular):

    Two very different ‘eternities’ revealed by physics:
    Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    In light of this dilemma that these two very different eternities present to us spiritually minded people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity (i.e. Quantum Electro-Dynamics),,, including the failure of string theory, M-theory, etc.. ,,in light of that dilemma, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/19tGkwrdg6cu5mH-RmlKxHv5KPMOL49qEU8MLGL6ojHU/edit

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life (Jesus) – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    Kevin Moran – optical engineer

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics and special relativity(QED), with Gravity, through string theory and M-theory,,,,

    A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: there’s a large contingent of physicists who believe that string theory is the heroin of theoretical physics. It has absorbed not just millions of dollars, but hundreds if not thousands of grad student lifetimes without delivering what it promised–a unified theory of the universe and life. It is hard, in fact, to find a single contribution from string theory despite 25 years of intense effort by thousands of the very brightest and best minds our society can find.
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/bohemian-gravity/

    ,,,Taking that failure in mind, I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:

    Verses and the grace of ‘propitiation’

    John 8:23-24
    But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.

    Matthew 10:28
    “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    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.

    G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) – poetry slam – video
    https://vimeo.com/20960385

    supplemental notes:

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....15901.html

    Quote, Photo, and Music:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    Shakespeare Quotes – Context of the Quote
    http://www.enotes.com/shakespe.....th-horatio

    An Atheist contemplates his mind – photo
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

    Mystery Of Grace-4HIM – music
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcNbzvFylmc

  79. 79
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    First, I am taken aback by your seeming willingness to actually engage the topic in good faith. As is my longstanding personal policy, whenever I am treated to a serious discussion I immediately agree to debate cordially. I thus apologize for jerking your chain with arrogance and insults – I was wrong to assume that this was to be just another spitting match. You can rest assured I will debate the topic in complete seriousness as long as you do the same.

    I am happy with these as working definitions. And if someone says consciousness is an illusion and that the mind does not experience consciousness, then they are saying that neither (2) nor (4) exists. Both Dennett and Graziano say that.

    I still disagree about Dennett and Graziano (but I’m still less interested in debating their views than ours). Let me try to explain the reason we are speaking past each other here:

    Imagine I show you a design where some stripe is “really” (note the scare quotes) blue (i.e. the stripe is in ink that reflects wavelengths in the blue range), but is perceived as being green (similar to this.) We would say that the blue color is an illusion. Does that mean we don’t actually see blue? No – of course we actually experience the quale of blue.

    Likewise, when Dennett says that consciousness is an illusion, he is not saying that we do not experience conscious awareness, nor that we do not have minds. Rather, he is saying that the way we experience consciousness is an illusion: While it intuitively appears to us that consciousness is thought, and that our conscious decisions are the causes of our volitional actions, all of that (according to Dennett) is illusory.

    RDF: I think it should be clear that calling consciousness a “thing” is meaningless.
    BA: *sigh* And I thought we were making progress. Of course “consciousness” is a thing. Otherwise your definition (2) would have no referent.

    Here our problem is what is meant by “thing” of course. For example, John Wheeler famously said that atoms are not things, meaning they do not exist in space and time the way we think of those things in the classical world. Neither does consciousness. Dualists reify intelligence and consciousness, but we are not assuming dualism is correct (or if you are, you are simply begging the question).

    It is you who do not understand Graziano. He affirmatively says that we do not have a subjective phenomenological experience of awareness. Go back and read him again.

    He says this: “When we introspect and seem to find that ghostly thing — awareness, consciousness, the way green looks or pain feels — our cognitive machinery is accessing internal models and those models are providing information that is wrong.”
    Again, he is not saying that we do NOT seem to find some ghostly thing; rather, he is saying that the ghostly things we seem to find do not exist in reality. But if you think that Graziano believes we do not actually see green or feel pain, then fine, let us agree that Dr. Graziano is saying something very bizarre indeed. Again, let’s focus on our debate here rather than debate about what others may or may not think.

    RDF: Who says that the brain operates soley on electro-chemical processes?
    BA: Ummm? How about pretty much every materialist who has ever rendered an opinion on the issue.

    Then you simply haven’t read much on the topic (not a jab this time, I’m really just saying…). Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are “materialists” (I suppose – that term is abused to the point of meaninglessness as well) who reject outright that electro-chemical processes are responsible for consciousness (or even certain types of thought). There are many other examples of course.

    Are you saying that quantum effects or quantum gravitational effects amount to something more than the interaction of energy and particles in space-time? If so, you need to support that proposition with something other than mere assertion. If not, then my statement stands unrebutted.

    You are rebutted by modern physics of course: All of the wonderful things that ba77 here clutters up these threads with show that energy and particles (which are the same thing) do not account for all the phenomena we observe. Correlations of entangled particles cannot be explained by energy/particles or any field theory, for example.

    Let’s summarize: So far I have argued. Red Fish has ranted and preened.

    My summary: Barry suggested I was insane for suggesting, among other things, that atheists could hold any position on the mind/body problem except electro-chemical emergentism. I have soundly refuted this position, and await Barry’s rebuttal.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  80. 80
    bornagain77 says:

    Red Fish, Contrary to what you believe, Non-local, beyond space and time, quantum effects in biology are not reducible to materialism. i.e. Finding something that transcends space and time in biology is a Theistic expectation not an atheistic/materialistic expectation.

    Moreover, Stuart Hameroff, although he leans on eastern philosophy too much, certainly is not materialistic/atheistic in the traditional sense since he holds that life after death is plausible given quantum effects in biology:

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence of Quantum Information) – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

    Being the skunk at an atheist convention – Hameroff – 2006
    Excerpt: In November 2006 I was invited to a meeting at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California called “Beyond Belief”. Other speakers and attendees were predominantly atheists, and harshly critical of the notion of spirituality. They included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Patricia Churchland, Steven Weinberg (the least venal), Neil deGrasse Tyson and others who collectively vilified creationists and religious warriors. But the speakers also ragged on the notion of any purpose or meaning to existence, heaped ridicule on the very possibility of a God-like entity (and those who believed in such an entity), declared that scientists and philosophers should set society’s moral and ethical standards, and called for a billion dollar public relations campaign to convince the public God does not exist.

    Near the end of the first day came my turn to speak. I began by saying that the conference to that point had been like the Spanish Inquisition in reverse – the scientists were burning the believers. And while I had no particular interest in organized religion, I did believe there could be a scientific account for spirituality. After pointing out faulty assumptions in conventional brain models for consciousness and summarizing the Penrose-Hameroff theory, I laid out my plausibility argument for scientific, secular spirituality, suggesting cosmic connections and influence in our conscious thoughts occurred via quantum interactions in microtubules. I closed with a slide of the DNA molecule which emphasized it’s internal core where quantum effects rule, suggesting a Penrose non-computable influence in genetic mutations and evolution (aimed at Dawkins in the form of a quantum-based intelligent design). At the end a few people clapped loudly, but most sat in steely silence.,,,
    http://quantum.webhost.uits.ar.....convention

    My summary, Red Fish has soundly refuted nothing.

    ,,Of note on Hameroff’s model, although I very much enjoyed the feisty, “Galileo”, way in which Hameroff defended his model against the “atheists’ inquisition”, I have to say that Hameroff’s model fall’s short of finding complete agreement with quantum mechanics, and thus I find his model falls short of truly explaining consciousness. The primary reason why I think Hameroff model falls short of finding complete agreement with quantum theory is primarily because of his pantheistic metaphysical view of reality. A metaphysical view of reality in which consciousness, for him, is somehow, if I read him right, co-terminus with the space-time of material reality at the Planck scale. Something he calls ‘proto-consciousness’ at the fine (Planck) scale. Yet, the instantaneous actions of Quantum mechanics have no use for any space-time postulate! Thus, his postulation of ‘proto-consciousness’ at the Planck scale falls short of fully accounting for the origin of consciousness in humans.

  81. 81
    skram says:

    Who died and made Stuart Hameroff an expert in quantum mechanics?

  82. 82
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    Red Fish,

    You have my handle wrong (it is “RDFish”), but at least you are consistent in being wrong 🙂

    Contrary to what you believe, Non-local, beyond space and time, quantum effects in biology are not reducible to materialism.

    At this point, ba77, it is apparent that you have no interest in debating anything at all with me. Each and every time you argue some point, you argue against something that I do not believe. You dump post after post of irrelevant quotes into every thread you enter, and then you build strawmen and proceed to knock them down, and you can do all that without having to listen to anyone else. So let’s agree that you have no clue what I believe about anything, and you can go your merry way arguing with yourself. Enjoy!

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  83. 83
    Barry Arrington says:

    Red Fish

    Yes, yes, I’ve seen Dennett’s “consciousness is like an optical illusion” analogy many times. It explains precisely nothing. It is little more than saying illusion is possible; therefore it is possible that consciousness is an illusion. OK; even if I grant that, it does not follow that consciousness is an illusion. Here is my favorite Dennett quote:

    “Are zombies possible? They’re not just possible, they’re actual. We’re all zombies.”

    An idiot could not write something that stupid. It takes someone with a lot of education to be that spectacularly wrong. It is almost literally not debatable. That first person consciousness is a real phenomenon is self-evident and therefore cannot be demonstrated. Nagel’s and Searle’s critiques of Dennett are devastating; irrefutable except on pure mule-headed contradiction of what everyone (including Dennett himself) knows to be true. I have no time for his idiocy.

    By the way, Fish, who is being deceived by the illusion? Dennett’s entire project is one massive assertion based on his religious predilections. He demonstrates nothing.

    we are not assuming dualism is correct (or if you are, you are simply begging the question)

    Why not? Dennett assumes the opposite on an a priori basis. He does not even address it (other than to exclude it), thereby rigging the game so that something like his preferred solutions is compelled simply as a matter of logical necessity. Doubtless he learned this tactic from Darwinists.

    But no, I am not assuming it. It is merely the most plausible explanation. And there is some force to the obvious criticism that I am accepting it as an inexplicable brute fact. I cannot explain it. But I know I am in here; you know you are in there. Denying that fact does neither of us any good. There may never be a satisfactory explanation. Nagel has thrown up his hands while he waits for nothing less that the next scientific resolution. He’s a lot smarter than I. Why can’t I throw up my hands. That is why they call it a hard problem after all.

    Again, he is not saying that we do NOT seem to find some ghostly thing; rather, he is saying that the ghostly things we seem to find do not exist in reality

    He is also most emphatically saying that the “we” to which you refer in that sentence does not exist. I can’t tell if this is a language difficulty or if you do not get it conceptually.

    Let us focus on this sentence again: “our cognitive machinery is accessing internal models and those models are providing information that is wrong.” To whom is the cognitive machinery providing wrong information? To itself? It makes no sense to conceptualize “cognitive machinery” as both the subject and object of that sentence. Then who? Us. But there is no “us.” That’s the whole point of the exercise.

    Bottom line: He is forced to deny subject/object duality in subject/object terms. You assume Graziano is being logically coherent. I don’t. I am convinced of just the opposite.

    Then you simply haven’t read much on the topic (not a jab this time, I’m really just saying…). Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are “materialists . . .

    I have read extensively on the subject. Dennett is the ultimate reductionist. I should have said that every materialist who is logically coherent has said that the mind is an epiphenomenon of the electro-chemical processes of the brain for the simple reason that, for the materialist, that exhausts the possibilities.

    Barry suggested I was insane for suggesting, among other things, that atheists could hold any position on the mind/body problem except electro-chemical emergentism. I have soundly refuted this position, and await Barry’s rebuttal.

    An appeal to quantum woo is a sound refutation? We’ll have to disagree about the definition of “sound refutation.”

    Yes. Energy and matter are the same thing. I don’t disagree with that. So what do we have? We have energy/matter (which we will call for convenience sake “particles”). We have space. We have time. I also have God. And for that reason dualism is the best explanation. But the materialist does not get to resort to that explanation. Indeed; he has specifically rejected it. So tell me Fish, what else is there besides particles, space and time? I am truly curious.

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    Rd Herring Fish, let’s agree that you have no clue what you are debating about scientifically and that you are thus inept at empirically backing up any of your philosophical claims that apparently only you understand.

    For instance, you claimed that Hameroff was a materialist.

    “Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are “materialists””

    Yet, I cited a video and article showing Hameroff arguing, from empirical evidence, for life after death.

    Well by golly Red Herring Fish, if you are so flexible in your definitions so as to consider those who believe in life after death to be materialists, then I guess you can consider me and Mr. Arrington, and every other Theist on the internet, to be a materialists as well in you ever plastic philosophy that apparently only you understand.

    The truth is you have no clue what the science says one way or the other towards any philosophical view that you may have as was made abundantly clear in your failed attempt to refute Theism earlier.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-547309

    philosophically you are a boorish mess, and empirically you have no case whatsoever against theism (even if you could evaluate evidence properly), in fact Theism stands heads and shoulders above any other religion and/or philosophy in regards to empirical support.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-547528

    Moreover, science is not possible unless Theism is true:

    “Nonphysical formalism not only describes, but preceded physicality and the Big Bang
    Formalism prescribed, organized and continues to govern physicodynamics.”
    http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/2/1/106/ag

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

  85. 85
    RDFish says:

    Hi ba77,

    you have no clue what you are debating about scientifically and that you are thus inept at empirically backing up any of your philosophical claims that apparently only you understand. For instance, you claimed that Hameroff was a materialist. “Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are “materialists””

    Here was the actual quote of mine @79 that you shamelessly mined by leaving off the qualification:

    RDF: Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff are “materialists” (I suppose – that term is abused to the point of meaninglessness as well)

    As everyone here can see, I put “materialist” in scare quotes, and explicitly qualified my remark to indicate that there is no clear meaning to that term and various materialists may not all agree on everything.

    Then you point out that Hameroff believes in the possibility of life after death. Ok, fine, so what? You yourself don’t even say that this means they aren’t materialists! Rather, you say this @80:

    BA77:You decide that whether or not they are materialists, they are not at least “materialists” in the traditional sense.

    So you weren’t sure if they were materialists or not @80… until now, when you decide that I have made a gigantic blunder by calling them materialists, proving my ineptitude at emprically backing up my claims 🙂

    Give it a rest, junior.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  86. 86
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    Yes, yes, I’ve seen Dennett’s “consciousness is like an optical illusion” analogy many times. It explains precisely nothing. It is little more than saying illusion is possible; therefore it is possible that consciousness is an illusion. OK; even if I grant that, it does not follow that consciousness is an illusion.

    Sorry, but have you already forgotten that I agree on this point? I’ve mentioned it multiple times now, for example when I said “I disagree with his philosophy” @59? The only thing I said about Dennett is that he doesn’t deny that minds exist, not that he’s right about conscious awareness being an illusion.

    By the way, Fish, who is being deceived by the illusion? Dennett’s entire project is one massive assertion based on his religious predilections. He demonstrates nothing.

    You’re making me laugh here – both you and ba77 fling these arguments at me that have nothing to do with what I think, no matter how many times I tell you otherwise. It’s as though you have no response to the points I make, so you decide to respond to points I don’t make! I even wrote that I agreed with you that he “doesn’t write the truth” and that he “writes his delusions pithily”. How much more clear could I have been?

    RDF: we are not assuming dualism is correct (or if you are, you are simply begging the question)
    BA: Why not? Dennett assumes the opposite on an a priori basis.

    In that case, I suggest you go argue with Dennett. You certainly don’t seem to be able to argue with me, since all you do is ignore my position and fight with Dennett’s instead.

    If you would like to simply assume that interactionist dualism is true, then be my guest – we will at least be clear regarding your epistemology.

    It [dualism] is merely the most plausible explanation.

    You have merely asserted this, not argued it.

    And there is some force to the obvious criticism that I am accepting it as an inexplicable brute fact. I cannot explain it.

    There are more problems than that. If you’re talking about the sort of dualism ba77 here is advocating for, then you have the interaction problem, for starters. (Pineal gland, perhaps?) Also, since we cannot objectively characterize consciousness, either mathematically or even verbally/conceptually, it isn’t even clear what brute fact you believe you are accepting in dualism. And finally, there are real questions regarding how a causal consciousness can be consistent with the results of experiments by Libet, Wegner, and many others.

    But I know I am in here; you know you are in there. Denying that fact does neither of us any good. There may never be a satisfactory explanation. Nagel has thrown up his hands while he waits for nothing less that the next scientific resolution. He’s a lot smarter than I. Why can’t I throw up my hands. That is why they call it a hard problem after all.

    Ok, this is really funny. Barry, you have just described my position exactly. We are in violent agreement here.

    Dennett is the ultimate reductionist.

    Yes.

    I should have said that every materialist who is logically coherent has said that the mind is an epiphenomenon of the electro-chemical processes of the brain for the simple reason that, for the materialist, that exhausts the possibilities.

    No, you’re still wrong about this. Dennett is a functionalist, and thinks it makes no difference what sort of physical processes are involved. Searle disagrees vehemently, and argues that the specific biological processes that occur in the brain are what produce consciousness. Other people think that exotic physics must be involved. And still other people – like me, and Nagel – simply acknowledge that we have no idea whatsoever about how consciousness arises.

    An appeal to quantum woo is a sound refutation?

    Oh, brother. It was actually ba77 who appealed to woo, not me.

    Here – instead of you, like BA77, endlessly building these strawmen and knocking them down, I will repeat exactly what my position is:

    HERE IS WHAT I THINK (repeated from @69):

    1) “Easy” problem: thought, by which I mean mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, etc)
    2) Hard problem: consciousness, by which I mean our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness

    As for (1), it’s clear that we use our brains for thinking, so without a brain, we could not accomplish any of these mental tasks. It is not clear whether or not the neural processes we currently understand can ever fully account for our ability to think; it’s possible that certain mental tasks are not Turing-computible. It is also possible that our brains utilize aspects of physics that we do not currently understand, or in ways we don’t understand.

    As for (2), nobody has any understanding about conscious awareness other than our direct experience of it. Nobody knows what the sufficient conditions for consciousness are, although we do have some understanding of various physiological correlates of consciousness. Nobody knows if our conscious will is causal (we decide to do something and make it happen by conscious free will) or if it is perceptual (as the Libet and Wegner studies suggest – but of course do not prove). Apart from very poor evidence from paranormal psychology, the vast (huge!) preponderance of evidence indicates that conscious awareness, like thought, critically depends upon neural function, but again nobody can even imagine how consciousness arises from brain function. It may be that our minds (our thinking) are not capable of understanding the nature of consciousness at all.

    So what do we have? We have energy/matter (which we will call for convenience sake “particles”). We have space. We have time. I also have God.

    But if you have God, doesn’t that mean you don’t need the rest of it? After all, you could explain anything with God alone if you wanted to without contradiction.

    And for that reason dualism is the best explanation.

    I missed the reason… was it because you have God? That is why dualism is the best explanation?

    But the materialist does not get to resort to that explanation. Indeed; he has specifically rejected it. So tell me Fish, what else is there besides particles, space and time? I am truly curious.

    Well there’s also dark matter and dark energy, plus a few forces, some physical constants, some equations describing how small systems evolve over time with implications that challenge realism, locality, and causality, and some other equations that describe the large-scale geometry of spacetime and its interaction with mass/energy. That’s only what we’ve got so far, except for untethered speculations about extra dimensions, multiple universes, and the like.

    But the important point here is that we already know that this understanding is radically incomplete. We have no unified theory of everything. Moreover, we have no conceptual understanding of the quantum effects (the ones ba77 loves) that we can describe and predict mathematically with QM. So we have no understanding of how the world actually operates at the smallest levels, and atoms are not things.

    Maybe when we figure out how it all really goes together we will be able to understand what consciousness actually is and how it relates to the outside world (if there even is an “outside world”). But quantum woo like ba77’s “consciousness collapses the waveform” has nothing to do with science, and his efforts to start with pop physics and end with Christian theology adds a good deal to the crackpot factor of this forum.

    Nobody has solved the measurement problem, and nobody has solved the mind/body problem, and those have been my points to ba77 all along.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    RED Herring Fish, the reigning ‘crackpot’ on this thread is you. You yourself disingenuously called Hameroff, who believes in life after death because of the evidence from quantum mechanics, a ‘materialist’. That renders the term materialist, as you yourself admitted, meaningless. But regardless of that admission, you yourself tried to use that ‘meaningless” term, so as to try undermine Mr. Arrington’s argument. DUH! That is YOU, not anyone else I have ever seen, severely abusing the term ‘materialist’ for your own ends.

    The term materialist to everyone with a lick of common sense means someone who believes the material realm is primary and the transcendent realm is illusory.

    Despite how much smarter you think you are than you actually are, you don’t get to redefine words in such a radical fashion so to make the words refute themselves in their common usage, and just so that it makes your preferred philosophical view of reality (atheism) more plausible in a debate.

    As that and other instances on this very thread make clear, you have no clue how to properly evaluate the scientific evidence in a consistent manner as to any overarching philosophical concerns.

    In fact IMHO, you are driven to be disingenuous to the scientific evidence is such a radical fashion because of your philosophical desire to ‘be against’ Theism no matter what (even if you have to radically redefine words to do so).

  88. 88
    Barry Arrington says:

    I’s glad we’ve had this exchange. It turns out are positions are not that far apart. Who knew?

    Barry: But the materialist does not get to resort to that explanation [God]. Indeed; he has specifically rejected it. So tell me Fish, what else is there besides particles, space and time? I am truly curious.

    Fish: Well there’s also dark matter and dark energy, plus a few forces, some physical constants, some equations describing how small systems evolve over time with implications that challenge realism, locality, and causality, and some other equations that describe the large-scale geometry of spacetime and its interaction with mass/energy. That’s only what we’ve got so far, except for untethered speculations about extra dimensions, multiple universes, and the like.

    OK, let’s review. The materialist has (1) matter/energy; (2) space; and (3) time

    Dark matter is (1)

    Dark energy is (1)

    “A few forces” so vague as to be meaningless; I grant that there are “forces” out there. Four fundamental ones to be precise. And all they are is observed regularities about how particles move through space time. They are not some “thing” in addition to (1), (2) and (3).

    Physical constants. Again, not some “thing” in addition to (1), (2) and (3).

    Equations. Ditto.

    I expected an answer like this. After all of the dust settles the materialist is left with particles in motion through space/time.

    Now we need to account for your resistance to that rather obvious conclusion. My theory — you know your monism cannot hold up under scrutiny. Your options: (1) become a dualist. (2) Resort to woo and speculation about esoteric but unspecified “forces” to do the heavy lifting that spirit does for the dualist. Both require faith. You prefer the more irrational kind. OK. To each his own.

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this fallacious claim (out of many) of Red Herring Fish:

    “And finally, there are real questions regarding how a causal consciousness can be consistent with the results of experiments by Libet, Wegner, and many others.”

    That claim, as is so common with claims from anti-theists, is simply false. Libet himself interpreted his findings as supporting free will:

    Do Benjamin Libet’s Experiments Show that Free Will Is an Illusion? – Michael Egnor – January 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Materialists often invoke the experiments of Benjamin Libet when they deny free will.,,,
    (Yet) Libet himself was a strong defender of free will, and he interpreted his own experiments as validating free will. He noted that his subjects often vetoed the unconscious “decision” after the readiness potential appeared.
    ,,,”The role of conscious free will would be, then, not to initiate a voluntary act, but rather to control whether the act takes place. We may view the unconscious initiatives for voluntary actions as ‘bubbling up’ in the brain. The conscious-will then selects which of these initiatives may go forward to an action or which ones to veto and abort, with no act appearing.” – Libet
    Libet even observed that his experimental confirmation of free will accorded with the traditional religious understanding of free will:,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....81171.html

    Libet was hardly alone:

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....15901.html

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;lpg=PT28

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.”
    Sir John Eccles – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963 – (as quoted in Cousins, 1985, pp. 61-62,85-86)

    The Libet experiments, which materialists, in spite of Libet’s claim to the contrary, falsely thought supported their ‘no free will’ position, is debunked here:

    Random Brain Waves Save Free Will? – November 15, 2013
    Excerpt: A new paper adds to the perennial free will debate, by casting doubt on the famous Libet experiment. Back in 1983, neuroscientists led by Benjamin Libet found that, about two seconds before someone presses a button ‘of their own free will’, a negative electrical potential – dubbed the Readiness Potential (RP) – began to build up in the cortex. Their EEG study showed that the brain seemed to have ‘decided’ before the conscious mind did – bad news for free will.
    Since then, the meaning of the RP has been extensively debated. But the new study by Han-Gue Jo and colleagues of Freiburg makes a strong case that the “RP” is not really a ‘thing’ at all.
    They say that, in the two seconds before a button press, you see both negative and positive changes, in roughly equal numbers. There are slightly more negative ones, so on average, there is a small negative “RP”, but only on average. Almost half the button presses were not preceded by a negative potential, yet the button still got pressed – which means that the negative “RP” can’t directly reflect the decision to press.,,,
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......free-will/

    Of related note:

    Do Conscious Thoughts Cause Behavior? -Roy F. Baumeister, E. J. Masicampo, and Kathleen D. Vohs – 2010
    Excerpt: The evidence for conscious causation of behavior is profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically strong.
    http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/165663.pdf

    And, to reference this finding once again, the evidence that ‘conscious causation’ is real is also, in rather dramatic fashion, now established by Schwartz’s work in brain plasticity:

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    In fact not only is the mind now shown to be able to have a pronounced effect on the physical structure of the brain, but the mind is now also shown to have pronounced effects all the way down to the genetic level of the body:

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    The preceding finding is simply completely inexplicable, and unexpected, for atheists/materialists! i.e. We are not such helpless victims of our genes that materialists such as Richards Dawkins (selfish gene) would have us believe!

    Thus we have very dubious, and now overturned, evidence that was highjacked from Libet in the first place to try to support the materialists position for ‘no free will’ (why does that ‘highjacked evidence’ not surprise me?), whereas on the other hand we have very strong empirical support for the Theist’s contention that conscious causation is real not only in the brain but in the body as well. Thus once again Red Fish is found to be disingenuous to the empirical evidence just so as to try to support his preferred anti-theistic philosophy.

    Of related note, Mental Intention is also shown to have an effect outside the body (although of a much less pronounced effect than inside the body):

    Dean Radin – Random Number Generators correlate to intention – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFULrlxTFsA

  90. 90
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    1) “Easy” problem: thought, by which I mean mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, etc)

    RD, you are missing two points.

    First, the issue is not “how” the mind could arise from matter (it can’t). There is nothing in the cause (the brain or its physical processes) that could produce the effect. The issue is whether or not the “arisen mind” is a substantially different entity than the brain that is alleged to have produced it. If the mind is substantially different from the brain, then matter cannot explain it; if it is not substantially different, then there are no minds. If, indeed, the mind “is grounded in matter,” as the epiphenominalists say, then it cannot be different from matter or do something that matter cannot do. The physico-chemical “process” alluded to cannot substitue for a faculty. It is simply a description of what the faculty or organ is doing. It cannot be the cause of mind. The idea that matter can reflect on itself is nonsensical in the extreme.

    Second, what matters is not whether or not we think with our brain. Obviously, we do. What matters is where thoughts originate, which is the mind. It is the materialist claim that our thoughts originate in the brain and that they contain matter or can be defined in materialistic terms that cannot be defended. Accordingly, thoughts have no size and weight and are not physically extended in time and space. At the moment of death, you will weigh no less than you weighed a minute earlier. Thoughts are immaterial realities that can be processed through the physical brain, though they need not be. Evidence for NDE’s, which you dismiss for obvious reasons, provide strong evidence that the mind, as a faculty, can operate without the brain as an organ. That makes sense since the mind (and the will) are faculties and the brain is an organ. No other formulation can explain human thought and volition.

  91. 91
    RDFish says:

    Hi Barry,

    OK, let’s review. The materialist has (1) matter/energy; (2) space; and (3) time
    Dark matter is (1)
    Dark energy is (1)

    Actually they’re not (they do not obey the same laws – physicists simply don’t know what they are, actually), but I don’t think that’s directly relevant to our discussion.

    “A few forces” so vague as to be meaningless; I grant that there are “forces” out there. Four fundamental ones to be precise.

    No, the forces are neither vague nor meaningless – they are described with complete precision and experimentally confirmed. And to be even more precise, there are only three (the weak and electro-magnetic have been shown to be the same). We don’t understand gravity the same way we understand the other two; we hypothesize a graviton but haven’t observed one, and we have general relativity that explains gravity in a way that is incompatible with its description as a particle-mediated force. But again, I don’t see how this bears on our discussion.

    And all they are is observed regularities about how particles move through space time. They are not some “thing” in addition to (1), (2) and (3).
    Physical constants. Again, not some “thing” in addition to (1), (2) and (3).
    Equations. Ditto.

    I don’t agree at all. The equations of QM describe things that are not at all about how particles move through spacetime – in particular, they describe entanglement effects that cannot possibly be due to particles moving through spacetime! (I guess you don’t read ba77’s links either :-)) But I still don’t see why you think this is relevant.

    I expected an answer like this. After all of the dust settles the materialist is left with particles in motion through space/time.

    Ah, ok I think I see. You see “materialism” as the 19th century belief that the world is nothing but matter in motion, and you don’t see how that could yield phenomena such as consciousness or intelligence.

    So this is actually a very interesting thing about the folks here:
    1) BA77 spends his life plastering these pages with post after post of quotes about how quantum physics defeats materialism. I point out to him that by his reasoning, “materialism” hasn’t existed for 100 years+, because physicists completely discarded the model of “particles in motion” at the beginning of the 20th century. That doesn’t stop BA77 though, and he keeps railing at “materialists” that don’t exist, and claiming that by falsifying the Leibnizian clockwork physics has somehow proven theism.

    2) You actually take the opposite tack: Rather than present modern physics as an antidote to “materialism”, you actually try to discount the fact that physics was completely revolutionized and that nobody believes that the world operates as “matter in motion” any more! So while BA77 argues that modern physics proves God because it disproves old-fashioned matter-in-motion materialism, you argue that modern physics is essentially still nothing but matter-in-motion materialism, and that this also supports theism because how could mere matter-in-motion account for consciousness, etc?

    Hmmm, this really is extremely interesting!

    Now we need to account for your resistance to that rather obvious conclusion. My theory — you know your monism cannot hold up under scrutiny.

    I don’t really know what you mean here. My monism is neither physicalism nor idealism, because neither of those hold up to scrutiny. What is left is to simply say “We do not – and perhaps can not – understand the nature of reality at the level of fundamental ontology. It appears that neither our conception of the physical nor the mental is sufficient to account for what we collectively observe. So our conceptions must be lacking, and so for now the intellectually honest position is to say that we should be “neutral” with respect to what reality is made of.

    Your options: (1) become a dualist.

    I’ve already presented you with some of the traditional problems associated with dualism (you neglected to respond).

    (2) Resort to woo and speculation about esoteric but unspecified “forces” to do the heavy lifting that spirit does for the dualist.

    Again, it is BA77 who resorts to woo, but hilariously thinks that woo somehow proves a Christian God.

    Both require faith.

    Yes these sorts of answers require faith, and also a tolerance for incoherence and ambiguity.

    You prefer the more irrational kind. OK. To each his own.

    Hahahaha. On the contrary, Barry – I am the only one here honest enough to admit that none of us – nor anyone else – knows the answers to these questions. The mind/body problem, the problem of free will, and the measurement problem all remain unsolved.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  92. 92
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    First, the issue is not “how” the mind could arise from matter (it can’t). There is nothing in the cause (the brain or its physical processes) that could produce the effect.

    Assertion is not argument.

    The issue is whether or not the “arisen mind” is a substantially different entity than the brain that is alleged to have produced it. If the mind is substantially different from the brain, then matter cannot explain it; if it is not substantially different, then there are no minds.

    You assume that we understand “matter”, and how brains work, and we don’t. There is certainly something very mysterious about consciousness, and we have no explanation for it. There are also very mysterious things about matter that we have no explanation for. Perhaps these two types of mysteries are connected; perhaps they aren’t!

    Second, what matters is not whether or not we think with our brain. Obviously, we do. What matters is where thoughts originate, which is the mind.

    Actually the question is, “What is the relationship between the brain (the organ in our head) and our mind (our ability to think, plan, design, use language, etc) and our consciousness (our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness and self-awareness).” That is the question. Nobody knows the answer yet.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  93. 93
    bornagain77 says:

    Red Herring Fish

    “1) BA77 spends his life plastering these pages with post after post of quotes about how quantum physics defeats materialism. I point out to him that by his reasoning, “materialism” hasn’t existed for 100 years+, because physicists completely discarded the model of “particles in motion” at the beginning of the 20th century. That doesn’t stop BA77 though, and he keeps railing at “materialists” that don’t exist, and claiming that by falsifying the Leibnizian clockwork physics has somehow proven theism.”

    Red Herring Fish, although materialism has indeed been falsified for almost 100 years through quantum mechanics, neo-Darwinian evolution is still built upon the reductive materialistic view of reality. Yet you said that materialists do not exist today, yet I debate them practically every day.

    Are you saying that neo-Darwinists are not reductive materialists or are you saying that neo-Darwinists do not exist? 🙂

    Moreover quantum mechanics, via teleportation, shows us that not only is information not reducible to a energy-matter basis, as is presupposed in neo-Darwinism, but in actuality both energy and matter ultimately reduce to a information basis as is presupposed in Christian Theism (John1:1-4).
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-547775

    And this quantum information/entanglement which can’t possibly arise from material particles, in now found in DNA (and Proteins)”

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – short video
    https://vimeo.com/92405752

    Since you agree with me that, via QM, materialism is false, then I suggest you quit fighting us and concern yourself with informing the neo-Darwinists that their theory is falsified empirically and philosophically.

    Then Darwin, one step at a time, may finally go the way of Marx and Freud into the ash heap of materialistic history!

  94. 94
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    Assertion is not an argument.

    The argument is that every effect requires a proportional cause. There is nothing in matter (whatever its mysteries) that can produce spirit. It isn’t logically possible.

    You assume that we understand “matter”, and how brains work, and we don’t. There is certainly something very mysterious about consciousness, and we have no explanation for it. There are also very mysterious things about matter that we have no explanation for. Perhaps these two types of mysteries are connected; perhaps they aren’t!

    That is not really the substance of my point. Mind, as understood by the dualist, is unchanging non matter (or spirit). Thus, changing matter with physical features that are extended in space (whatever other mysteries it contains) cannot produce unchanging spirit, which does not have physical features and is not extended in space. The alleged cause (matter) simply doesn’t have the stuff to accomplish the task (produce spirit). So, by the dualist definition, mind cannot logically come from matter.

    The epiphenominalist, on the other hand, wants to Hijack the language of spirit (mind) to create the illusion that he is talking about something different than the brain, while at the same time, arguing for the non-existence of spirit, and claiming that the mind is really made out of the same stuff (matter). In order to be logical and consistent (insofar as it is possible for a materialist to be rational and consistent), he must say that the brain and its processes is (are) all there is and refrain from using the word, “mind.”

  95. 95
    RDFish says:

    Hi BA77,

    Since you agree with me that, via QM, materialism is false, …

    Nope, you’re still wrong. You’re always wrong. Materialism/physicalism holds that the universe is as physics says it is, and physics says that QM is true. What you mean by “materialism” hasn’t been believed for over 100 years – get over it, everyone else has.

    The best argument you’ve come up with is making fun of my name here. Why not just stick with that one, and stop cluttering up these threads with your interminable posts? It makes it hard to scroll through all your crap to get to the next interesting post.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  96. 96
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    The argument is that every effect requires a proportional cause. There is nothing in matter (whatever its mysteries) that can produce spirit. It isn’t logically possible.

    Here are the terms Barry and I have agreed to use as working definitions here:

    1) Brain – the physical organ in our heads
    2) Consciousness – our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness
    3) Thought – our mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, planning, etc)
    4) Mind – that which thinks(3) and experiences consciousness(2)

    When you say “spirit” are you referring to any of these?

    Anyway, of course I disagree that this is a matter of logic. You very much want to reduce all difficult questions to matters of absolute certainty, even to logic itself. But you can’t. By your reasoning, there is nothing in subatomic particles, atoms of hydrogen or oxygen, or molecules of water that can produce wetness – it isn’t logically possible. But there it is.

    You might object that wetness is still a physical property, even if its constituents lack anything resembling wetness. But that is question-begging – you’re just assuming your conclusion that consciousness is not a physical property.

    As perhaps you’ll remember, I have often said that I find the hard problem of consciousness to be very real and very unsolved, so of course I’m not saying that consciousness is some emergent physical property. But you can’t simply declare that the mind/body problem has been solved – especially by applying mere logic!

    Mind, as understood by the dualist, is unchanging non matter (or spirit). Thus, changing matter with physical features that are extended in space (whatever other mysteries it contains) cannot produce unchanging spirit, which does not have physical features and is not extended in space. The alleged cause (matter) simply doesn’t have the stuff to accomplish the task (produce spirit). So, by the dualist definition, mind cannot logically come from matter.

    Ok, I see. But you can’t solve the mind/body problem simply by defining words either! If all you are saying is that dualism holds that mind doesn’t arise from matter, then you needn’t have – Barry and I both knew that already.

    The epiphenominalist, on the other hand, wants to Hijack the language of spirit (mind) to create the illusion that he is talking about something different than the brain, while at the same time, arguing for the non-existence of spirit, and claiming that the mind is really made out of the same stuff (matter).

    First, epiphenomenalism doesn’t hijack any language, and it actually is a form of (property) dualism. It just denies that consciousness is causal. So you probably are talking about some other, physicalist position and not epiphenomenalism.

    In order to be logical and consistent (insofar as it is possible for a materialist to be rational and consistent), he must say that the brain and its processes is (are) all there is and refrain from using the word, “mind.”

    That’s nonsense. Let’s say by “materialist” (which you seem to have equated with epiphenomenalist?) you are actually talking about, say, a biological naturalist like John Searle. He believes that a computer could never be conscious, but that all mental phenomena and experience are caused by biological processes in the brain, and that the word “mind” refers to the operation of the these processes, just as “digestion” refers to the operation of processes in the intestines.

    The point is that what philosophers are trying to do is figure out what the relationship is between our thinking, our experiencing, and our physical being, and depending on what you think about those relationships, you will mean different things by the word “mind”. You can’t just forbid everyone who you disagree with from using that word, and then declare that your favored theory has somehow been proven by logic.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    RED Herring Fish, nope you are the one who is wrong and are always wrong.,, (why do I feel like I’m in third grade with you having a argument?).

    You tried to contend that the observer had no role in quantum mechanics and were shown to be wrong by empirical evidence. You were too dishonest to admit it and too impolite to thank me for correcting you.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-547309

    The evidence on this thread speaks for itself. Quantum mechanics is true for you as long as the observer has no role in it, but as soon as the observer is shown to unequivocally have a role you retreat into calling the findings ‘quantum woo’. I suppose that you think that the shear fantasy of the Many Worlds Interpretation is not ‘quantum woo’ at all since it supposedly does away with the ‘observer problem’?

    Yet, if there were ever anything in Quantum Mechanics that deserved to be called ‘quantum woo’ it is certainly the Many Worlds Interpretation. Here is a concise refutation of Many Worlds (instead of just refutation by ‘name calling’ as you do):

    A Critique of the Many Worlds Interpretation – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_42skzOHjtA

    Calling something ‘woo’ only when you don’t like the philosophical implications does not a empirical refutation make. It instead clearly exposes your irrational bias against Theism. The empirical evidence (much like me) could care less that you don’t personally like the Theistic implications of quantum mechanics:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    The preceding experiment, and the mathematics behind it, are discussed beginning at the 24:15 minute mark of the following video:

    Quantum Weirdness and God 8-9-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=N7HHz14tS1c#t=1449

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    Music:

    Today Is The Day
    http://myktis.com/songs/today-is-the-day/

  98. 98
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    Definitions:

    1) Brain – the physical organ in our heads
    2) Consciousness – our subjective phenomenological experience of awareness
    3) Thought – our mental abilities (reasoning, problem solving, language, planning, etc)
    4) Mind – that which thinks(3) and experiences consciousness(2)

    It doesn’t quite work for me. The word “that” doesn’t define what it is. Mind = immaterial faculty by which we think and experience consciousness. We need the counterpoise to brain as physical organ. Its faculty vs. organ. Granted that epiphenomenalism allows for “mind” in some sense.

    Here, though, is the issue. You can’t get from brain to mind via a causal process. There is no logical pathway. There is nothing in matter by which that transition can be made. (No logical route from physical brain and processes extended in space to non material mind not extended in space).

    The problem of causation looms large and transcends the mind/body problem by a mile. As I recall, you have often argued that the Universe may have come into existence without a cause. But if the universe was uncaused, it follows that everything associated with it, including space, matter, time, life, and humanity, also came into existence without a cause. Or, (even crazier) the universe came into existence without a cause and then the principle of causality emerged from that same causeless universe. This is not—how can I put it charitably—a richly conceived world view.

  99. 99
    StephenB says:

    Bornagain 77, I must say that you have provided a great deal of scientific evidence to support the proposition that the mind can influence the brain and other parts of the body. You are a great resource for anyone who is interested in the facts. Keep up the good work.

  100. 100
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    It doesn’t quite work for me.

    Hmm, Barry found it OK. Guess you anti-materialists haven’t worked it all out yet 🙂

    The word “that” doesn’t define what it is.

    Right, which is why I added those other words after it.

    Mind = immaterial faculty by which we think and experience consciousness.

    That doesn’t say what it is either, of course. But worse than that, what you’ve done is tried to rig the definitions so that we can’t talk about different potential solutions to the mind/body problem – only yours. It’s like a physicalist defining mind as “the operation of the brain”, and then complaining when you hijack his word to mean something different.

    If you just want to declare that dualism is true because you want it to be, or because you find it “self-evident”, then say so and we can leave it at that. But if you’d like to debate the relative merits and problems with each of the mind/body solutions, and what position is the most intellectually honest one, then we need to have a vocabulary that allows us to debate this. Again, Barry had no trouble using these definitions to debate his position.

    Granted that epiphenomenalism allows for “mind” in some sense.

    As I pointed out, it’s more than that: Epiphenomenalism doesn’t hijack any language, and it actually is a form of (property) dualism. It just denies that consciousness is causal. So you probably are talking about some other, physicalist position and not epiphenomenalism.

    You can’t get from brain to mind via a causal process. There is no logical pathway. There is nothing in matter by which that transition can be made. (No logical route from physical brain and processes extended in space to non material mind not extended in space).

    I’ve already rebutted this, perhaps you didn’t see it:
    You very much want to reduce all difficult questions to matters of absolute certainty, even to logic itself. But you can’t. By your reasoning, there is nothing in subatomic particles, atoms of hydrogen or oxygen, or molecules of water that can produce wetness – it isn’t logically possible. But there it is.

    You might object that wetness is still a physical property, even if its constituents lack anything resembling wetness. But that is question-begging – you’re just assuming your conclusion that consciousness is not a physical property.

    The problem of causation looms large and transcends the mind/body problem by a mile. As I recall, you have often argued that the Universe may have come into existence without a cause. But if the universe was uncaused, it follows that everything associated with it, including space, matter, time, life, and humanity, also came into existence without a cause.

    No, that doesn’t follow at all of course. Billiard ball A appears without a cause, pool cue B appears without a cause, and then once they are already in existence, B hits A and A begins to move. What was the cause of A moving? Why, B hit it of course!

    In any event, this thread was about BA77’s goofy notion that consciousness collapses the waveform, and then about the relative merits of the dualism entailed by that view. You seem to want to debate causality instead, which would take this in a very different direction.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    Well thanks StephenB, that’s quite a compliment coming from you.
    I suppose you are talking about these findings that support the proposition that the mind can influence the brain and other parts of the body:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-547863

    I would like to thank you StephenB for your philosophical work on UD. I guess I lean primarily on empirical evidence because I’m not really cut out for all the philosophical back and forth at which you excel.

  102. 102
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “In any event, this thread was about BA77?s goofy notion that consciousness collapses the waveform, and then about the relative merits of the dualism entailed by that view. You seem to want to debate causality instead, which would take this in a very different direction.”

    And since you are the one denying consciousness has any causal power, then that would be a ‘very different direction’ in terms of causality for what reason exactly? (other than just you saying so?)

    As pointed out before in this thread, the ‘agent causality’ of theists has always been a much superior explanation in modern science compared to the ‘blind, (i.e. it just happened), causality’ of atheists:

    “God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.,,, C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    John Lennox – Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – 2012

    “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.”
    C.S. Lewis – doodle video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk

    “to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen”
    – CS Lewis

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

  103. 103
    Mung says:

    When did RDFish start believing in objective truth? That ‘s a major news story.

  104. 104
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    Again, Barry had no trouble using these definitions to debate his position.

    What does that have to do with the fact that I find the definition of “mind” unacceptable? Nothing as far as I can tell. With respect to the mind/body problem, I don’t think we will ever know how one interacts with the other. I have no interest in speculating about that phase of it. I am interested, however, in any discussion about the mind’s capacity to affect the brain.

    SB: You can’t get from brain to mind via a causal process. There is no logical pathway. There is nothing in matter by which that transition can be made. (No logical route from physical brain and processes extended in space to non material mind not extended in space).

    I’ve already rebutted this, perhaps you didn’t see it:

    You have not addressed the issue.

    You very much want to reduce all difficult questions to matters of absolute certainty, even to logic itself.

    Irrelevant to the argument. There is no logical pathway from matter extended in space to mind that is not extended in space. If you disagree, feel free to articulate the way forward. Perhaps you disagree with the proposition that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Is that your objection?

    By your reasoning, there is nothing in subatomic particles, atoms of hydrogen or oxygen, or molecules of water that can produce wetness – it isn’t logically possible. But there it is.

    Irrelevant and inappropriate.

    But that is question-begging – you’re just assuming your conclusion that consciousness is not a physical property.

    Incorrect. You are not following the argument. I am saying that if mind is immaterial, then matter cannot be its source, or if mind is material, then it is simply material and nothing more.

    The problem of causation looms large and transcends the mind/body problem by a mile. As I recall, you have often argued that the Universe may have come into existence without a cause. But if the universe was uncaused, it follows that everything associated with it, including space, matter, time, life, and humanity, also came into existence without a cause.

    No, that doesn’t follow at all of course.

    It follows as surely as the night follows the day.

    Billiard ball A appears without a cause, pool cue B appears without a cause, and then once they are already in existence, B hits A and A begins to move. What was the cause of A moving? Why, B hit it of course!

    Irrelevant. All that means is that what we observe after the universe came into existence is inconsistent with your account of how the universe came to be.

    If the universe came into existence without a cause, then everything in the universe also came into existence without a cause. If you don’t need a cause for the whole universe, then you certainly don’t need a cause for any part of it–or for any event that follows. Of course, we know that causality does exist, which means that your proposition about a causeless universe is misguided.

    Accordingly, you need to account for the birth of causality inasmuch as you don’t think it was logically prior to the birth of time/space/history. So, when did the principle of causality come into play?

    In any event, this thread was about BA77?s goofy notion that consciousness collapses the waveform, and then about the relative merits of the dualism entailed by that view. You seem to want to debate causality instead, which would take this in a very different direction.

    No, actually this thread is about Intelligent Design in a liberal Catholic college.

  105. 105
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    RDF: Again, Barry had no trouble using these definitions to debate his position.
    SB: What does that have to do with the fact that I find the definition of “mind” unacceptable? Nothing as far as I can tell.

    I already explained this to you as well, right before I explained why you were wrong about epiphenomenalism: The point here was that your solution to all this must not be too obvious if you and Barry disagree about how these words can be defined.

    With respect to the mind/body problem, I don’t think we will ever know how one interacts with the other.

    You’ve again assumed your conclusion that there are two distinct sorts of things to interact. You have yet to provide any reason to believe that is the case.

    I am interested, however, in any discussion about the mind’s capacity to affect the brain.

    That is perfectly compatible with any mind/body position I can think of. In identity theory, for example, it would mean that some systems in the brain control other systems in the brain, which would certainly be expected.

    SB: You have not addressed the issue.

    Yes I did, twice now.

    You very much want to reduce all difficult questions to matters of absolute certainty, even to logic itself.

    Irrelevant to the argument. There is no logical pathway from matter extended in space to mind that is not extended in space. If you disagree, feel free to articulate the way forward. Perhaps you disagree with the proposition that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Is that your objection

    For the third time: One of my objections to your reasoning is that you mistakenly frame this as a matter of logic, when it is not; it is a question about the nature of reality.

    The second objection is that you assume your conclusion: You assume dualism is true, than declare that since dualism is true, physicalism must be false. This is not an argument, since you forgot to say why anyone should believe dualism is true in the first place.

    The third objection is that you declare that something that is not extended in space cannot (logically!) come from something that is extended in space. But yet again you simply pull these assertions out of thin air and declare them to be true – why should anyone believe you? You actually have to tell us why you think this.

    RDF: By your reasoning, there is nothing in subatomic particles, atoms of hydrogen or oxygen, or molecules of water that can produce wetness – it isn’t logically possible. But there it is.
    SB: Irrelevant and inappropriate.

    And there we have it – rather than respond to any of my rebuttals, you simply pound the table and make declarations. You actually haven’t made a single argument here – you just assert things for no reason at all. I have asked you twice how you justify this assertion that something not extended cannot emerge from something extended, and you have failed to respond. I have told you twice that one could just as easily say something wet cannot emerage from something not wet, and yet you dodge that point completely. Come on, StephenB – can you at least try here?

    I am saying that if mind is immaterial, then matter cannot be its source, or if mind is material, then it is simply material and nothing more.

    Huh? You started this by defining “mind” as immaterial. That is called “assuming your conclusion”. Now you are saying that IF mind is immaterial, then matter cannot be its source – but you haven’t explained why you think this is true or why it is relevant. You also say that IF mind is material, then it is material, duh.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  106. 106
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    You’ve again assumed your conclusion that there are two distinct sorts of things to interact. You have yet to provide any reason to believe that is the case.

    A definition is not an argument. I define the mind as an immaterial faculty. I don’t think your notion of an organ interacting with an event makes any sense, so I am not willing to grant it for the sake of argument.

    There is no logical pathway from matter extended in space to mind that is not extended in space. If you disagree, feel free to articulate the way forward. Perhaps you disagree with the proposition that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Is that your objection

    For the third time: One of my objections to your reasoning is that you mistakenly frame this as a matter of logic, when it is not; it is a question about the nature of reality.

    I realize that you want to disconnect logic from reality in order to say illogical things about reality, but I cannot go along with that program. Sorry.

    Accordingly, you have not yet responded to my point. A cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Yes or no?

    The second objection is that you assume your conclusion: You assume dualism is true, than declare that since dualism is true, physicalism must be false. This is not an argument, since you forgot to say why anyone should believe dualism is true in the first place.

    I am demonstrating that dualism is true; I am not assuming it. You just don’t like the demonstration, insisting that logic has nothing to do with reality. That will not work.

    The third objection is that you declare that something that is not extended in space cannot (logically!) come from something that is extended in space. But yet again you simply pull these assertions out of thin air and declare them to be true – why should anyone believe you? You actually have to tell us why you think this.

    I have explained it numerous times, but you glossed over it. The cause (matter) contains nothing that can produce the effect (non-matter). I realize that you don’t accept causation as a principle, but that is your gig, not mine.

    I have told you twice that one could just as easily say something wet cannot emerage from something not wet, and yet you dodge that point completely. Come on, StephenB – can you at least try here?

    It is a confused statement. If “something” emerges from “something else,” then the wetness is not doing the emerging, it is simply a quality of the thing that emerges.

    SB:I am saying that if mind is immaterial, then matter cannot be its source, or if mind is material, then it is simply material and nothing more.

    You started this by defining “mind” as immaterial. That is called “assuming your conclusion”. Now you are saying that IF mind is immaterial, then matter cannot be its source – but you haven’t explained why you think this is true or why it is relevant. You also say that IF mind is material, then it is material, duh.

    Yes, of course. I define the mind as an immaterial faculty. However, I am willing to point out the absurdity in other definitions of “mind.” IF mind is made of matter, (you do understand what a hypothetical is, right?) then it can produce nothing other than matter (it cannot produce mind)
    Why are you dodging the critical point about causality?

    If the universe came into existence without a cause, then everything in the universe also came into existence without a cause. If you don’t need a cause for the whole universe, then you certainly don’t need a cause for any part of it–or for any event that follows. Of course, we know that causality does exist, which means that your proposition about a causeless universe is misguided.

    Accordingly, you need to account for the birth of causality inasmuch as you don’t think it was logically prior to the birth of time/space/history. So, when did the principle of causality come into play?

    Please respond,
    Cheers.

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    SB:

    Much of this pivots on the gap between

    I: blindly mechanical GIGO-limited computation — which is a non-rational, purely physical process dependent for relevant results on externally imposed functionally correct organisation and

    II: self aware, rationally insightful contemplative analysis:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....oing-west/

    As has been pointed out to RDF et al with examples and reasoning (but of course repeatedly brushed aside), there is a categorical and utterly unbridged gap between the two, such that to try to derive the latter from the former is to try to get north by heading due west.

    But of course, the problem is, this speaks directly to a major ideological commitment of evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers so the attempt or even insistence is made that he answer must only come in the same ideological circle.

    The result is, the implications are ignored and there is an attempt to dismiss pointing them out as abandoning or attacking “science.”

    Where, an interesting observation is, that science is not applied materialist ideology dressed up in a lab coat, but should instead be summed up:

    science, at its best, is the unfettered — but ethically and intellectually responsible — progressive, observational evidence-led pursuit of the truth about our world (i.e. an accurate and reliable description and explanation of it), based on:

    a: collecting, recording, indexing, collating and reporting accurate, reliable (and where feasible, repeatable) empirical — real-world, on the ground — observations and measurements,

    b: inference to best current — thus, always provisional — abductive explanation of the observed facts,

    c: thus producing hypotheses, laws, theories and models, using logical-mathematical analysis, intuition and creative, rational imagination [[including Einstein’s favourite gedankenexperiment, i.e thought experiments],

    d: continual empirical testing through further experiments, observations and measurement; and,

    e: uncensored but mutually respectful discussion on the merits of fact, alternative assumptions and logic among the informed. (And, especially in wide-ranging areas that cut across traditional dividing lines between fields of study, or on controversial subjects, “the informed” is not to be confused with the eminent members of the guild of scholars and their publicists or popularisers who dominate a particular field at any given time.)

    As a result, science enables us to ever more effectively (albeit provisionally) describe, explain, understand, predict and influence or control objects, phenomena and processes in our world.

    In my view, per the above, the more/less closely science at any time or in an area approximates tot he ideals outlined, the more/less trustworthy and conservative in stating findings will it be.

    KF

  108. 108
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    A definition is not an argument. I define the mind as an immaterial faculty. I don’t think your notion of an organ interacting with an event makes any sense, so I am not willing to grant it for the sake of argument.

    In the definitions Barry and I are using, “mind” is defined as “that which thinks and experiences consciousness”. For a dualist like Barry, this means that an immaterial mind does the thinking (originates ideas, makes plans and decisions, and so on) and is a conscious, immaterial self. For a physicalist like, say, Pat Churchland, who is an eliminative reductionist, this definition would mean that mind is a reference to the brain processes which think and experience consciousness, much like “software” is a reference to patterns of electrical current in a computer.

    So our definition allows us to argue about whether either of these views is correct, or consistent, or substantiated, and so on. Using your definition, we can’t even talk about physicalist theories. You simply define the word “mind” to suit your own position, and tell everyone else that if they disagree with you, they have “hijacked” your word.

    I hope this is now clear.

    I realize that you want to disconnect logic from reality in order to say illogical things about reality, but I cannot go along with that program. Sorry.

    That is not what I mean of course. What I mean is that you can’t use logic to determine facts about the world. What logic, Stephen, tells us that while molecules are not wet, and water is made of molecules, water is wet? Answer: Logic cannot decide questions like this.

    Accordingly, you have not yet responded to my point. A cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Yes or no?

    I don’t understand what you mean by a cause “giving” things. A cause causes things. Water molecules have properties that cause water to be wet – they don’t “give water its wetness”. So I don’t think this point about causes giving what they have to give makes any sense at all.

    If “something” emerges from “something else,” then the wetness is not doing the emerging, it is simply a quality of the thing that emerges.

    Fine, in that sense the physicalist would say that consciousness is not doing the emerging, it is simply a quality of the thing that emerges. Many mind/body theories view consciousness as a property – there is even property dualism of course (and one example of that is epiphenomenalism).

    So again, the analogy to wetness is perfectly apt: You cannot decide whether or not the property of “wetness” can emerge from water molecules by using logic. Rather, it is an empirical fact that must be discovered. Likewise, you cannot decide whether or not the property of “consciousness” can emerge from neural activity by using logic. Rather, it is an empirical fact too.

    IF mind is made of matter, (you do understand what a hypothetical is, right?) then it can produce nothing other than matter (it cannot produce mind)

    First of all, nobody argues that mind is made of matter – that would be reifying mind and then saying it is constructed from matter. Instead, materialists say that mind reduces to matter, or that mind supervenes upon matter, or that mind is the operation of matter. Nobody thinks that minds “produce matter” – physicalists think that mind is a pattern, configuration, or system of matter, perhaps the way software is.

    But beyond that, your statement here is just another assertion, not an argument, and not a demonstration. Observe an analogous statement: IF water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, then it can produce nothing other than hydrogen and oxygen. Is that a demonstration, or an argument? No – it’s just an assertion. In order to substantiate that statement one would actually have to say why it is true… and of course it is not true at all. Same with your pronouncement that if mind is the operation of matter, the only thing it can produce is matter – you would have to explain why you think that is true.

    Why are you dodging the critical point about causality?

    Because I don’t understand what you are talking about. It seems you’ve brought up some version of the cosmological argument for God here, but I don’t see the relevance. I haven’t said anything about whether or not the universe has a cause, and if it did have a cause, what that cause might have been. It seems to me that causality entails temporal ordering, and it may be that this concept can’t apply to the beginning of the universe, so it may not make any sense to talk about the cause of the universe at all using our notion of causality. Our notions of causality also entail realism and locality, and both of these assumptions seem to be violated in certain quantum phenomena, so it isn’t altogether unfounded to believe that classical causality would not apply if spacetime did not exist. It’s all very mysterious of course, and there is currently no science to resolve these questions.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    RDF, Causality only constrains that an effect cannot temporally precede its cause. So long as cause is there when effect is there, conditions are satisfied. And, philosophical issues are antecedent to scientific ones, which must use results of such phil to sensibly and reasonably discuss its subject matter. KF

  110. 110
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    In the definitions Barry and I are using, “mind” is defined as “that which thinks and experiences consciousness”.

    The word “that” is too imprecise. It doesn’t tell me if you are referring to a state, an event, or a thing. I define a mind as particular “that,” namely, an immaterial faculty. I am prepared to argue that my definition corresponds to reality, but the definition itself is not an argument. Only arguments can be circular. Your claims to the contrary, therefore, are simply false. So far, you have not defined the mind to my satisfaction. If Barry is satisfied, more power to him. Perhaps he can work with your definition. I cannot.

    For a dualist like Barry, this means that an immaterial mind does the thinking (originates ideas, makes plans and decisions, and so on) and is a conscious, immaterial self. For a physicalist like, say, Pat Churchland, who is an eliminative reductionist, this definition would mean that mind is a reference to the brain processes which think and experience consciousness, much like “software” is a reference to patterns of electrical current in a computer.

    I understand. Again, however, the problem persists. How can a brain, which is a thing, interact with a “process?” The interaction could be a process, but that is a totally different kind of claim. This is why I am asking for a specific definition of brain and mind. I want to know what you think is interacting with what.

    You simply define the word “mind” to suit your own position, and tell everyone else that if they disagree with you, they have “hijacked” your word.

    I define the mind to explain what I mean when I use that term. I don’t think people should use words with fluid meanings. My objection concerns those who use that word as if they were referring to a thing when they really mean a process. A process is a series of steps, not a faculty or a thing.

    What I mean is that you can’t use logic to determine facts about the world. What logic, Stephen, tells us that while molecules are not wet, and water is made of molecules, water is wet? Answer: Logic cannot decide questions like this.

    Logic doesn’t uncover those kinds of facts. It tells us how to interpret them in a rational way. Logic helps us to know which things are possible and not possible, given the facts.

    Accordingly, you have not yet responded to my point. A cause cannot give what it does not have to give. Yes or no?

    I don’t understand what you mean by a cause “giving” things.

    Really? You don’t know what it means to say that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give?

    Apparently, you do not appreciate the significance of the word “sufficient” in reference to sufficient cause. Why do you think they chose that term? If a cause if sufficient, it is up to the task. Either the thing or conditions being referred to contain something that is capable of producing the effect or they do not. If a cause doesn’t have that something, then it cannot “give” it to the effect.

    Sufficient adjective
    enough; adequate.

    A sufficient cause is one that is “adequate.” It has” enough” of what it needs to produce the effect. By contrast, if that thing or those conditions do not have enough of what it takes to produce the effect, that is, if they are not adequate, then the effect will not materialize. The cause is not “sufficient” to produce it—or, if you like, purchase it.

    Using your example of billiards, if I replace the cue ball with a giant cotton ball, the replacement will not be up to the task: The new ball will not move the object ball. It does not have what it needs to give to the effect, namely the necessary amount of force to do the moving. Does that help?

    You cannot decide whether or not the property of “wetness” can emerge from water molecules by using logic. Rather, it is an empirical fact that must be discovered. Likewise, you cannot decide whether or not the property of “consciousness” can emerge from neural activity by using logic. Rather, it is an empirical fact too.

    The point is that wetness cannot emerge from non-wetness. If there are no water molecules in the cause, then there will be no water molecules in the effect. It’s basic logic. If you are waiting for empirical verification to confirm the point, you will miss out on a great deal of knowledge.

    Why are you dodging the critical point about causality?

    Because I don’t understand what you are talking about.

    You don’t recall this interchange?

    SB: You are here indicating that causality may not apply to the origin of the universe?

    RDF

    Yes, that’s exactly right. The concept of causality is connected to the concept of time: The cause must temporally precede the effect in a cause-effect relationship. But how can there be a cause that temporally precedes the beginning of time?

    This is, of course, false. Causality if not necessarily connected to time. An eternal universe still requires a sustaining cause. Meanwhile, my question remains unanswered. You need to account for the birth of causality inasmuch as you don’t think it was a logical requirement for the birth of time/space/history. If it didn’t exist as a cause for that event, when did the principle of causality come into play?

  111. 111
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: I define the mind as an immaterial faculty… I am demonstrating that dualism is true; I am not assuming it.

    Of course you are assuming it. You define mind as immaterial to show the existence of the immaterial. To demonstrate dualism, you have to show the existence of something immaterial, not merely define it so.

  112. 112
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    Of course you are assuming it. You define mind as immaterial to show the existence of the immaterial. To demonstrate dualism, you have to show the existence of something immaterial, not merely define it so.

    Quote mining. My argument is different from my definition and is found in a different place. Try to read for comprehenson.

  113. 113
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: My argument is different from my definition and is found in a different place. Try to read for comprehenson.

    Will do. So what is the argument?

  114. 114
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    The word “that” is too imprecise. It doesn’t tell me if you are referring to a state, an event, or a thing.

    Of course, Stephen, that is the whole point of course – to have a definition for what the question we are talking about without committing by definition to one or another particular answers!

    I define a mind as particular “that,” namely, an immaterial faculty.
    I am prepared to argue that my definition corresponds to reality, but the definition itself is not an argument.

    Once you define the term to suit your own theory, we can no longer debate the issue. Perhaps an analogous example will help here:

    SB: I define “defendant” as “the person who committed the crime”
    RD: But we haven’t determined if the defendant committed the crime or not! That is what the trial is for!
    SB: Of course he did it – that is the very definition of “defendant”!

    Get it?

    SB: I define “mind” as “an immaterial faculty”
    RD: But we haven’t determined if “mind” is an immaterial faculty or not! That is what this debate is for!
    SB: Of course mind is an immaterial faculty – that is the very definition of “mind”!

    See? So instead, we should say that mind is that which (whatever it is) can think and experience conscious awareness. That way we can start talking about if mind is an immaterial faculty, an abstract description of physical processes, a property of matter, a different substance, a pattern… whatever.

    Only arguments can be circular. Your claims to the contrary, therefore, are simply false.

    What I’m saying is that your definition simply assumes your conclusion.

    So far, you have not defined the mind to my satisfaction. If Barry is satisfied, more power to him. Perhaps he can work with your definition. I cannot.

    First, there is no “perhaps” about it – he said he was fine with these definitions on this very page.

    Here is the problem: You are trying to win the debate at the initial stage of defining our terms, so you won’t be satisfied until the definitions reflect the position that you are trying to defend (some sort of dualism). Instead, you need to accept definitions that are neutral with regard to the positions we are debating, so we can proceed to debate.

    How can a brain, which is a thing, interact with a “process?”

    That is a good topic for our debate. If you would agree to a useful working definition of “mind” like the one I offered, then we could talk about that. For example, I might say that computers process information by running “processes” (that is actually what they’re called), and the computer, which is a thing, interacts with these processes. If a computer can run software as a process, perhaps brains could run minds as a process. I’m not saying that this is the case (I actually don’t believe this), but at least with a useful definition of “mind” we can at least debate the issue. With your definition of “mind” we couldn’t.

    The interaction could be a process, but that is a totally different kind of claim. This is why I am asking for a specific definition of brain and mind. I want to know what you think is interacting with what.

    I have provided perfectly good working definitions of brain and mind. These are definitions of the terms, not answers to the questions of “what is mind” or “what is the relationship between mind and matter” and so on. That is what we are trying to debate.

    I define the mind to explain what I mean when I use that term.

    Yes I realize that, but in doing so you preclude our debate since you’ve already loaded the word with your particular viewpoint.

    I don’t think people should use words with fluid meanings.

    Yes, that’s right – we should settle on one particular working definition and stick with it. I’ve been trying to do that all along, right from the beginning.

    My objection concerns those who use that word as if they were referring to a thing when they really mean a process. A process is a series of steps, not a faculty or a thing.

    We can discuss if the mind is a thing, or a process, or a substance, or a property, or a pattern, or a faculty, or an illusion – whatever we’d like to discuss. But we can’t discuss any of this if you’ve decided before we start that it is an immaterial faculty.

    I don’t think I can make this any clearer than I already have, so if you insist that before our debate begins you need to define mind as an immaterial faculty (and in doing so, declare that dualism is true), then we’ll just stop here.

    RDF: What I mean is that you can’t use logic to determine facts about the world. What logic, Stephen, tells us that while molecules are not wet, and water is made of molecules, water is wet? Answer: Logic cannot decide questions like this.
    SB: Logic doesn’t uncover those kinds of facts.

    Hallelujah, we agree.

    Really? You don’t know what it means to say that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give?

    I don’t understand what you mean by a cause “giving” things. A cause causes things. Water molecules have properties that cause water to be wet – they don’t “give water its wetness”. So I don’t think this point about causes “giving what they have to give” makes any sense at all.

    Apparently, you do not appreciate the significance of the word “sufficient” in reference to sufficient cause. Why do you think they chose that term?

    Huh? Who are you talking about? Were we talking about “sufficient cause” somewhere? Are you mixing up this conversation with another one you are having?

    If a cause if sufficient, it is up to the task. Either the thing or conditions being referred to contain something that is capable of producing the effect or they do not. If a cause doesn’t have that something, then it cannot “give” it to the effect.

    Either a cause is sufficient for something, or it is necessary for something, or both, or neither. Please read this (I present for the third time) if you don’t understand the difference between these common and meaningful concepts, and your concept of causes “giving” things, which makes no sense at all: Water molecules have properties that cause water to be wet – they don’t “give water its wetness”.

    A sufficient cause is one that is “adequate.” It has” enough” of what it needs to produce the effect. By contrast, if that thing or those conditions do not have enough of what it takes to produce the effect, that is, if they are not adequate, then the effect will not materialize. The cause is not “sufficient” to produce it—or, if you like, purchase it.

    There is no confusion regarding the meaning of “sufficient”; what I am pointing out is that you are simply declaring the neural processes are not sufficient for thought and consciousness, rather than arguing the point.

    Using your example of billiards, if I replace the cue ball with a giant cotton ball, the replacement will not be up to the task: The new ball will not move the object ball. It does not have what it needs to give to the effect, namely the necessary amount of force to do the moving. Does that help?

    Sure, that helps. In that case, pretend that you don’t actually know if a cotton ball can or can’t cause a billiard ball to move. Pretend that is the question we are trying to answer. OK? Now replace “cotton ball” with “brain” and “billard ball moving” with “thinking and conscious awareness” and you should now understand what we are trying to talk about here.

    The point is that wetness cannot emerge from non-wetness.

    Hold the phone… are you saying that subatomic particles are “wet”? My apple is made of subatomic particles – are these particles red, or delicious? My dog is made of subatomic particles – do you believe that these subatomic particles are hungry or playful? Have you never heard of the fallacies of division or of composition?

    If there are no water molecules in the cause, then there will be no water molecules in the effect.

    Huh? The effect is “wetness”. Water is “wet”. Atoms are not “wet”.
    For our discussion, the effect is “able to think”, and you are arguing that since atoms can’t think, then a brain can’t think? That’s like saying atoms can’t fetch a ball, so my dog can’t fetch a ball.

    It’s basic logic.

    Sorry, but it’s basic rubbish.

    You don’t recall this interchange?

    No, I don’t, but it appears that we were talking about causality, rather than the mind/body problem.

    You need to account for the birth of causality

    Well, I’m very sorry, but I am unable to accommodate your request, because I do not know how causality was born. I don’t think you do either, of course 🙂

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  115. 115
    StephenB says:

    So what is the argument?

    I provide several reasons why monistic physicalism cannot be true:

    There can be no logical pathway from matter to mind,

    There can be no interaction between a process and thing,

    There can be no emergence from a materialistic cause,

    There can be no effect without a proportional cause….

  116. 116
    StephenB says:

    RDFish

    Once you define the term to suit your own theory, we can no longer debate the issue. Perhaps an analogous example will help here:

    I have explained several times why that isn’t true. Your analogy is not apt. My definition does not limit the discussion. You can easily try to argue that my definition does not correspond to reality.

    Meanwhile, I have asked you several times to tell me specifically what you mean by “mind.” I have even provided some of the possible criteria. Is it a state, an event, a process, or a thing? You chose to remain vague. So be it.

    There is no confusion regarding the meaning of “sufficient”;

    Why, then, did you ask what it means to say that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give?

    Hold the phone… are you saying that subatomic particles are “wet”?

    No. Not even close.

    For our discussion, the effect is “able to think”, and you are arguing that since atoms can’t think, then a brain can’t think? That’s like saying atoms can’t fetch a ball, so my dog can’t fetch a ball.

    It’s more like this: Matter cannot reflect on itself, therefore non matter must also play a role. Matter alone–as a cause–just doesn’t have the stuff to perform the task.

    Well, I’m very sorry, but I am unable to accommodate your request, because I do not know how causality was born.

    I didn’t ask you how it was born. I asked you when it was born, given the fact that you don’t think it is logically prior to the birth of the universe. Apparently, you think that causality, which you believe to have been unavailable as a cause for the universe, must have come into existence sometime after the beginning of the universe. It seems like a reasonable question to me.

    I don’t think you do either, of course 🙂

    Of course, I do know. The universe was caused because everything that ever began to exist was caused. Therefore, the principle of causation is logically prior to the beginning of the universe. That was easy.

  117. 117
    skram says:

    StephenB:

    The point is that wetness cannot emerge from non-wetness.

    What does this mean, exactly? A molecule of water is not wet. Furthermore, a collection of molecules can be wet (water) or not wet (ice). Can you pin down at which stage wetness emerges? What is the logical chain from molecules (which are not wet) to water (which is)?

  118. 118
    RDFish says:

    Hi StephenB,

    I have explained several times why that isn’t true. Your analogy is not apt. My definition does not limit the discussion. You can easily try to argue that my definition does not correspond to reality.

    Some philosophers think that a “mind” is what we call the operation of the brain. That is a perfectly coherent position; there is nothing nonsensical about it, just as there is nothing nonsensical about saying that a “program” is what we call the operation of a computer. But using your definition of “mind”, they would be saying the the operation of the brain is an immaterial faculty, which is incoherent. That is what I mean by saying we can’t use your definition to discuss the issue.

    Meanwhile, I have asked you several times to tell me specifically what you mean by “mind.”

    I gave you my definition. You are now asking me not for a definition, but rather for my solution to the mind/body problem. My answer is that thought is information processing that is accomplished in the brain via neural activity, but we do not understand the details of that activity. As for consciousness, however, there is not even a hint of what sort of explanation might account for it – we can’t even describe what it is, nor can we determine if it is causal or perceptual.

    RDF: Hold the phone… are you saying that subatomic particles are “wet”?
    SB: No. Not even close.

    ??? You said, “The point is that wetness cannot emerge from non-wetness.” But water is wet and atoms are not, so wetness obviously DOES emerge from non-wetness.

    Why, then, did you ask what it means to say that a cause cannot give what it does not have to give?

    Because that sentence doesn’t make any sense.

    It’s more like this: Matter cannot reflect on itself, therefore non matter must also play a role. Matter alone–as a cause–just doesn’t have the stuff to perform the task.

    OK, Stephen. Frankly – and I’m not trying to insult you here – you don’t seem to understand what the issues are here. You make these assertions, and think you are making arguments, but you aren’t.

    In your style of “argument”, you say stuff like “There can be no interaction between a process and a thing”. Well, I can say stuff like that too: “The immaterial cannot interact with the material”. OK? So now I have demonstrated that dualist interactionism is false. Wow – that was easy! I wonder why philosophers didn’t think of that a couple of thousand years ago!

    RDF: Well, I’m very sorry, but I am unable to accommodate your request, because I do not know how causality was born.
    SB: I didn’t ask you how it was born. I asked you when it was born, given the fact that you don’t think it is logically prior to the birth of the universe.

    Sorry but I don’t know when causality was born either. Oh – and neither do you.

    Cheers,
    RDFish/AIGuy

  119. 119
    Mung says:

    RDFish refuses to engage cogent criticisms of his views. He has no objective reason for doing so. But isn’t that the point?

    At least RDFish is consistent with his subjectivism, except when he isn’t.

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