Asks nkendall. All that follows is his:
Okay lets see what I can come up with. This is just one of several disproofs of materialism that I have tried out on atheist websites. Never once had anyone lay of glove on it:
DREAM SEQUENCES – A SIMPLE DISPROOF OF MATERIALISM
Here is a simple disproof of materialism that everyone can understand; consider dream sequences:
1. Dreams always involve novel (NEW) content – they are not rehashings or restructuring of various memories; although the topics are in the context of one’s life experiences.
2. Dreams are high definition imagery.
3. Dreams are real imagery, i.e. you are unaware or unable to distinguish the dream imagery when it is going on from real visual imagery during waking consciousness.
4. Dreams contain complex specified information, each image element (analogous to a pixel in HDTV) WITHIN an imagery frame in a dream has to be what it is for the imagery to be coherent and correlated. And each image element (pixel) has to be what it is for the imagery to be coherent and correlated dynamically ACROSS frames. I.e. each image element is highly constrained–highly specific.
PROBLEM WITH MATERIAL EXPLANATIONS
Materialism posits bottom-up causation and therefore consciousness, mental thoughts are produced by the components of the brain. Yet each of the many components that would have to be involved to give rise to a dream image, would be subject to an antecedent chain of causation which would not be dictated by the mental events (e.g. dream imagery) in any way. And all these components would have to be in sync with one another.
CALCULATION OF PROBABILITIES
Calculating probabilities is an endeavor in searching through large space. I will be charitable to materialism with each assumption in the calculation.
Calculate the superset of the overall search space:
– Determine the number of brain components involved.
– Determine the number of alternative states that the brain components could be in.
– Determine the refresh rate or frame rate of the dream imagery.
– Determine the number of image frames in the dream.
Let’s say a neuron synapse is our “brain component” and it could be either firing or not, i.e. binary.
Let’s say that there would have to be 10 million brain components (synapses firing or not) to produce each imagery frame in the dream.
Let’s say a 5 second dream sequence has 20 image frames per second.
So: 2^10,000,000 * (20 * 5) = A prohibitively large number that computers cannot even represent. This is the super set of possible brain states within which our single precise set of brain states necessary to cause our coherent, correlated dream imagery. In effect, the brain would have to create a novel mini movie instantaneously. This is flat out impossible without some high level controlling and creative entity, i.e. immaterial mind. Probabilities are much poorer than universal probability bound: 10^150.
OTHER INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS NOT INCLUDED
Note that in this exercise I am waving away a whole host of intractable difficulties and just focusing on what can be quantitatively demonstrated. For example I am waving away the following:
The fact that dreams are imagery that is not initiated by vision.
The dialog that goes along with dreams.
The thoughts, abstract thoughts, that go along with a dream.
That you seem to be able to focus your attention to a specific point in the dream imagery.
The difficulty with how the brain could identify and sequester the precise set of brain components involved in producing the dream imagery.
That the brain components’ events would have to be synchronized.
The difficulty with how the brain even registers imagery and thoughts in one’s consciousness.