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At Mind Matters News: How philosopher John Locke turned reality into theatre

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His “little theater in the mind” concept means that you can’t even know that nature exists. It may just be a movie that’s being played in front of your eyes

Michael Egnor: Sure. It’s a classic debate in philosophy of mind. It goes back really to John Locke: What does perception mean?

Locke argued that what we experience in our minds is our perceptions. And perceptions are essentially pictures of the outside world, that are projected onto our brain in some form.

[Philosopher Daniel] Dennett has called this the “Cartesian theater.” It’s as if there’s a little “us” sitting inside our brains in a little theater, and our eyes are shining movies, and our ears are shining audio, and everything’s coming into this theater …

I think Locke made a terrible mistake. The problem with that way of looking at things is that a completely cuts you off from reality. (00:48:11)

News, “How philosopher John Locke turned reality into theatre” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Aristotle and Aquinas’s traditional philosophical approach, Michael Egnor argues, offers more assurance that we can truly perceive reality.

Here’s a transcript and notes for the first 47 minutes:

How did Descartes come to make such a mess of dualism? Mathematician René Descartes strictly separated mind and matter in a way that left the mind very vulnerable. After Descartes started the idea that only minds have experiences, materialist philosophers dispensed with mind, then puzzled over how matter has experiences.

What’s the best option for understanding the mind and the brain? Theories that attempt to show that the mind does not really exist clearly don’t work and never did. Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor reviews the mind-brain theories for East Meets West: Theology Unleashed. He think dualism makes the best sense of the evidence.

How we can know mental states are real?
Mental states are always “about” something; physical states are not “about” anything. Michael Egnor argues that doing science as a physicalist (a materialist) is like driving a car with the parking brake on; it’s a major impediment to science.

Why neurosurgeon Mike Egnor stopped being a materialist atheist. He found that materialism is just not working out in science. Most propositions in basic science are based on mathematics and mathematics is not a material thing.

and

How science points to meaning in life. The earliest philosopher of science, Aristotle, pioneered a way of understanding it. Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor talks about the four causes of the events in our world, from the material to the mind.

You may also wish to read: Why the universe itself can’t be the most fundamental thing. Atheist biology professor Jerry Coyne is mistaken in dismissing my observation that proofs of God’s existence follow the same logical structure as any other scientific theory. (Michael Egnor)

11 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: How philosopher John Locke turned reality into theatre

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dr Egnor does a great job bringing Aristotle and Aquinas into contemporary issues.
    … also thanks for the transcript and notes (I usually can’t sit through video interviews)

  2. 2

    This kind of theorizing is utterly meaningless. One must first investigate the logic used in ordinary common discourse, and not arbitrarily make stuff up.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    News, we need to follow up the theatre model. Go back to Plato’s prisoners trapped in a cave of shadow shows and echoes they imagine to be reality, c what, 380 BC? When one is freed and made to stand and see the apparatus of the theatre, isn’t he then potentially seeing play no 2? And being forced out into the outer world — the forms are here lurking — isn’t that play no. 3? And so we see the problem of grand delusion lurking from the beginnings of the Western Philosophical Tradition. Beneath is Thales of Miletus and the challenge of the one and the many, to make good sense of unity and diversity, cosmos not chaos, where our inner life and first fact of embodiment in a physical world, make us a microcosm of the problem. Egnor is right the mind-body problem is central. I suggest, we need to take common sense and first facts of experience seriously, rejecting as absurd any scheme from the cave to the Wizard of Oz to the Matrix to last Thursday creation ism, which would propose grand delusion. Self-discredit of credibility of mindedness is too high of a price, yes we may and do err, but there is no reason to invite or enable the thesis of global error. KF

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    Egnor: “Locke argued that what we experience in our minds is our perceptions. And perceptions are essentially pictures of the outside world, that are projected onto our brain in some form.
    [Philosopher Daniel] Dennett has called this the “Cartesian theater.” It’s as if there’s a little “us” sitting inside our brains in a little theater, and our eyes are shining movies, and our ears are shining audio, and everything’s coming into this theater …
    I think Locke made a terrible mistake. The problem with that way of looking at things is that a completely cuts you off from reality.
    If you’re living in a theater then you’re utterly dependent upon the projector and the audio system to tell you what’s out there in the world. You have no direct contact with world at all.
    But if you have no direct contact with the world at all, you can’t communicate with other people, because you can’t be sure that even other people exist, let alone that what you’re hearing from them is what they’re really saying.
    You can’t do science because you can’t even know that nature exists. It may just be some movie that’s being played in front of your eyes. So the Lockean way of looking at this as a Cartesian theater, I think, is a serious mistake.
    The Aristotelian way is that the form of the object that you’re perceiving actually comes into your mind. That your mind is, in a way, all things. That you connect to the outside world in a direct way.
    Saint Thomas emphasized that we don’t see our perceptions. If I’m looking at a tree, what I’m looking at is not my perception of the tree. I’m looking at the tree, the real tree. And my perception is that by which I look at the tree… The end of my perception is the object itself.”
    Arjuna Das: “The whole Cartesian theater thing creates a regress problem too, because, if you’ve got sensory data being presented to the homunculus inside the brain, then what’s going on inside the homunculus? Do you then have another Cartesian theater inside of there? Where does it stop?”
    Note: Homunculus “the assumption that there is a little man (or rather, something that is the functional equivalent of a full-fledged visual system, including eyes), or, at the very least, something with inexplicable mental powers, inside the head to reperceive, experience, and interpret the [visual] image.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    First off, if you really believe that the material brain generates your perceptions, (as is commonly taught in leading universities), and that all your perceptions are, therefore, ‘in your brain’ then, apparently, the ‘hard problem of consciousness’, i.e. qualia, is never adequately dealt with and ‘the hard problem’ comes roaring back in the form of the “Homunculus”, i.e. an infinite regress of ‘little men’ inside your head. …. (LOL, just when I thought the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists couldn’t get any stranger, now we have infinite little men apparently roaming around inside Darwinian heads. 🙂 ,,, )

    And while that ‘infinite little men inside your head’ problem should, from a logical and philosophical point of view, be enough, in and of itself, to render materialistic presuppositions about the mind, and perceptions, utterly absurd and false, it is also interesting to note that Mathematics and Empirical Science have also come alongside this logical and philosophical proof and rendered this widespread belief that the material brain generates our perceptions false.

    First, in establishing this fact, it is important to note that leading Darwinian materialist themselves admit that, if Darwinian materialism were actually true, then any perceptions that he may have about reality may be illusory and not true.

    “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    – Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    “the illusion that our brains evolved to have, a very compelling and persistent illusion – namely that the reality we perceive is real, rather than a constructed representation.”
    – Steven Novella – academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine

    Moreover, the Darwinian materialist has no way to differentiate between his real and true perceptions and his illusory perceptions..

    “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.”
    – Steven Pinker

    “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.”
    – John Gray

    “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.”
    – Francis Crick

    “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.”
    – Eric Baum

    Moreover, besides leading Darwinian atheists themselves admitting that, if Darwinian evolution were true, we could not trust our perceptions and beliefs to be reliable, Donald Hoffman, a cognitive scientist, via extensive analysis of the mathematics of population genetics, has proven that, (again if Darwinian evolution is assumed as being true), then ALL, not just some, of our perceptions of reality would be illusory

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction (those organisms) that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    The belief that any perceptions and/or beliefs that we may have about reality may be illusory, and that we have no way to differentiate between the two beliefs, simply, besides being completely insane, undercuts the entire scientific enterprise itself.

    As Nancy Pearcey explains, “Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”,,, Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.”

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself
    Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.
    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.,,,
    Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/03/why_evolutionar/

    In fact, reliable observation and/or reliable perception is an indispensable part of the scientific method itself, in fact reliable observation and/or reliable perception is the first step in, and therefore the cornerstone of, the scientific method itself,

    The scientific method
    At the core of biology and other sciences lies a problem-solving approach called the scientific method. The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step:
    1. Make an observation.
    2. Ask a question.
    3, Form a hypothesis, or testable explanation.
    4. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
    5. Test the prediction.
    6. Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.
    The scientific method is used in all sciences—including chemistry, physics, geology, and psychology. The scientists in these fields ask different questions and perform different tests. However, they use the same core approach to find answers that are logical and supported by evidence.
    https://www.khanacademy.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-biology-foundations/hs-biology-and-the-scientific-method/a/the-science-of-biology

    Since reliable observation is an indispensable part of the scientific method itself, then the Darwinian claim that ALL our perceptions of reality are illusory undercuts any Darwinian claim that their worldview is, or can be, ‘scientific’.

    Fortunately for us, science itself, (real science, and not the ‘scientism’ of Atheistic materialists), could care less if Darwinists are forced to believe that ALL their perceptions of reality are illusory.

    Specifically, advances in Quantum Mechanics have now experimentally proven that our observations of reality far more integral to reality, and therefore reliable of reality, than Darwinists are forced to claim via the mathematics of population genetics.

    As the following Wheeler Delayed Choice experiment that was conducted with atoms found, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    https://themindunleashed.com/2015/06/new-mind-blowing-experiment-confirms-that-reality-doesnt-exist-if-you-are-not-looking-at-it.html

    And as the following violation of Leggett’s inequality found, “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Thus, apparently, empirical science itself could care less that Darwinists are forced to believe that ALL their perceptions of reality are illusory.

    As far as experimental science itself is concerned, the Darwinist’s materialistic belief that ALL our perceptions of reality must be illusory is experimentally falsified. Our conscious observations and/or perceptions are shown to be, via advances in Quantum Mechanics, to be far more integral to reality, and therefore to be far more reliable of reality, than Darwinists are forced to believe via the mathematics of population genetics.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    What Dr. Egnor terms “Perception at a distance” draws this distinction between Aristotelian metaphysics and Darwinian materialism out in an even more dramatic fashion.

    Specifically, Dr. Michael Egnor’s holds, (via Aristotle), that “Perception at a distance is no more inconceivable than action at a distance.”

    Perception and the Cartesian Theater – Michael Egnor – December 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Perception at a distance is no more inconceivable than action at a distance. The notion that a perception of the moon occurs at the moon is “bizarre” (Torley’s word) only if one presumes that perception is constrained by distance and local conditions — perhaps perception would get tired if it had to go to the moon or it wouldn’t be able to go because it’s too cold there. Yet surely the view that the perception of a rose held up to my eye was located at the rose wouldn’t be deemed nearly as bizarre. At what distance does perception of an object at the object become inconceivable?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....01471.html

    This ‘perception at a distance’ claim from Dr. Egnor was simply too much Dr. Vincent Torley.to take.

    Dr. Torley strenuously objected against Dr. Egnor that perception cannot possibly occur ‘at a distance’ since a Supernova that we might be observing “ceased to exist nearly 200 millennia ago, long before the dawn of human history.”

    The Squid and the Supernova: A Reply to Professor Egnor – December 9, 2015 – vjtorley
    Excerpt: In February 1987, a supernova appeared in the Southern skies, and remained visible for several months. ,,, The problem is that the object itself ceased to exist nearly 200 millennia ago, long before the dawn of human history. Even if the squid that witnessed the explosion were capable of having perceptions which are located in intergalactic space, as Egnor contends, they are surely incapable of having perceptions which go back in time.
    ,,,perception is a bodily event, and that an event involving my body cannot take place at a point which is separate from my body. An event involving my body may occur inside my body, or at the surface of my body, but never separately from it. Thus it simply makes no sense to assert that I am here, at point X, but that my perceptions – or for that matter, my actions – are located at an external point Y.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-squid-and-the-supernova-a-reply-to-professor-egnor/

    Yet, despite Dr. Torley’s strenuous objection against Dr. Egnor’s claim that “Perception at a distance is no more inconceivable than action at a distance”, advances in quantum mechanics could, once again, care less how Darwinian materialists would prefer the world to behave and have now shown that Dr. Egnor’s contention, via Aristotle, is correct, i.e. As far as empirical science is concerned, perception does indeed happen ‘at a distance’.

    Specifically, as the following article states, “Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,”

    Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time – 2016
    Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.
    Excerpt: Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later.,,,
    “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said Caslav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said — as is the case in experiments he has proposed — then “you don’t have space-time.”,,,
    Quantum correlations come first, space-time later. Exactly how does space-time emerge out of the quantum world? Bruner said he is still unsure.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160119-time-entanglement/

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

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

    The implications of these ‘quantum entanglement in time’ experiments are fairly dramatic. As Professor Crull explains in the following 2018 article, “entanglement can occur across two quantum systems that never coexisted,,, it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.”

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

    Thus, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, Dr. Egnor’s contention, via Aristotle, that perception happens ‘at a distance’ is validated and Dr. Torley’s strenuous ‘materialistic’ objection against Dr. Egnor has been falsified.

    Thus in conclusion, the materialistic “Cartesian theater” view of the mind has been falsified from several angles. i.e. Philosophy and Logic, Mathematics and Empirical science, ALL join together and falsify the materialistic “Cartesian theater” view of the mind!

    Of supplemental note to Dr. Egnor’s claim that, “The Aristotelian way is that the form of the object that you’re perceiving actually comes into your mind. That your mind is, in a way, all things. That you connect to the outside world in a direct way.”

    In Aquinas’s extension of Aristotle we find that “the essence of a thing is the composition of its matter and form,,,”

    Aquinas: Metaphysics: 5. Matter and Form
    Excerpt: It follows that on Thomas’s account the essence of a thing is the composition of its matter and form,,,
    https://iep.utm.edu/aq-meta/#H5

    And via Aquinas, we also find that “the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge.”

    And we also find that Atheistic materialists, (because of their denial of “essence” within their reductive materialistic framework), deny ‘the true object of out knowledge’ and therefore can’t even define what a species truly is, (much less can they define what it truly means to be human).

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt:,,, In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    In short, Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, have completely lost the ability to delineate what a species even is in the first place.

    And you don’t have to take Logan Paul Gage’s word for it. Darwinist materialists themselves admit that have no rigorous way in which to delineate what a species truly is.

    At New Scientist: Questioning The Idea Of Species – Nov. 2020
    Excerpt: Take the apparently simple organising principle of a species. You might have learned at school that a species is a group of individuals that can breed to produce fertile offspring. But this is just one of at least 34 competing definitions concocted over the past century by researchers working in different fields.,,,,
    – per UD

    What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery – July 16, 2019
    Excerpt: Enough of species?
    This is only the tip of a deep and confusing iceberg. There is absolutely no agreement among biologists about how we should understand the species. One 2006 article on the subject listed 26 separate definitions of species, all with their advocates and detractors. Even this list is incomplete.
    The mystery surrounding species is well-known in biology, and commonly referred to as “the species problem”. Frustration with the idea of a species goes back at least as far as Darwin.,,,
    some contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology have,,, suggested that biology would be much better off if it didn’t think about life in terms of species at all.,,,
    https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-species-the-most-important-concept-in-all-of-biology-is-a-complete-mystery-119200

    As should be needless to say, the inability of a supposedly scientific theory, a supposedly scientific theory that seeks to explain the “Origin of Species” in the first place, to clearly define what a species actually is in the first place is a clear indication that that supposedly scientific theory cannot possibly be the proper ‘scientific’ explanation for the “Origin of Species”!

    Thus summarily, we find that Dr. Egnor’s entire thesis, i.e. “the form of the object that you’re perceiving actually comes into your mind”, a thesis which he derived from the metaphysics of Aristotle and Aquinas, has remarkable support from numerous different angles, not least of which is the abject failure of Darwinists themselves to ever be able to account for the ‘essence of species’, which is the quote unquote ‘true object of our knowledge’.

  6. 6
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    Comprehensive and excellent material – thank you!

    And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals

    As stated, materialism destroyed the correct understanding of essenses and natures – so Darwinism destroyed human nature. It’s anti-human.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic thank you,

    Also of note to ‘perception at a distance’, (and also via Dr. Egnor), we find that “The sensory experiments of Benjamin Libet,, demonstrated that a subject perceives a sensory stimulus on the skin at the moment the skin is touched, before the stimulus reaches the brain and before full deliberative consciousness occurs.”

    Do Perceptions Happen in Your Brain? – Michael Egnor – December 1, 2015
    Excerpt: I have pointed out that many ordinary concepts in materialist neuroscience don’t hold up to scrutiny. You don’t store memories in your brain — you can’t store memories in your brain. Your mind isn’t a computer — in a very real sense it is anything but a computer. Your intellect and will are immaterial powers — they cannot be instantiated in matter at all.
    So here’s a question: Are there any other conventional materialist interpretations of neuroscience that are logically incoherent? Consider the belief that “perceptions happen in the brain.”,,,
    He (Aristotle) commented that the mind is not a passive recipient of perceptions — it actively grasps the sensible properties of objects and it does so externally — at the objects perceived.
    Remarkably, Aristotle’s simple rule of perception is consistent with experiment. The sensory experiments of Benjamin Libet, a neuroscientist at U.C. San Francisco in the mid 20th century, demonstrated that a subject perceives a sensory stimulus on the skin at the moment the skin is touched, before the stimulus reaches the brain and before full deliberative consciousness occurs. Libet was flabbergasted by this result and hypothesized that “the subjective timing of the experience is (automatically) referred backwards in time.” Yet Aristotle offered a much simpler and logically coherent explanation — the stimulus on the skin is perceived on the skin, not in the brain. Perception occurs at the location of the stimulus, not in the brain.
    Only your perception of your brain would genuinely be “in your brain,” just as your perception of the pain in your finger is in your finger, and the perception of the tree in your yard is in your yard. Your mind is not bound by location. Wherever the object is that you perceive, the location of the object is where you perceive it.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....01261.html

    John Eccles went so far as to say that Libet’s findings of ‘instantaneous perception’ suggested “a backward step in time made by a non-physical mind.”

    Benjamin Libet – Subjective backward referral or “antedating” of sensory experience
    Excerpt: Libet’s early theory, resting on study of stimuli and sensation,[17] was found bizarre by some commentators, including Patricia Churchland,[18] due to the apparent idea of backward causation. Libet[19] argued that data suggested that we retrospectively “antedate” the beginning of a sensation to the moment of the primary neuronal response. People interpreted Libet’s work on stimulus and sensation in a number of different ways. John Eccles[20] presented Libet’s work as suggesting a backward step in time made by a non-physical mind.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet#Subjective_backward_referral_or_%22antedating%22_of_sensory_experience

    The reason why John Eccles thought that ‘instantaneous perception’ must be the result of “a backward step in time made by a non-physical mind” is because it was, (and still is), widely believed that electrochemical nerve impulses were the only way that perceptions on the skin could possibly be transmitted to the brain. And since electrochemical signals take time to travel and could not possibly be instantaneous, something else must be at play. Hence Eccles suggesting “a backward step in time made by a non-physical mind”.

    Since ‘delicate’ quantum entanglements were not even thought to be possible within ‘noisy’ molecular biology at that time, Eccles simply had no other mechanism to appeal to in order to explain ‘instantaneous perception’.

    This has now all changed, As the following 2011 article stated, ‘this reverses the previous orthodoxy, which held that quantum effects could not exist in biological systems because of the amount of noise in these systems’,,, Environmental noise here drives a persistent and cyclic generation of new entanglement.

    Quantum entanglement in hot systems – 2011
    Excerpt: The authors remark that this reverses the previous orthodoxy, which held that quantum effects could not exist in biological systems because of the amount of noise in these systems,,,
    Environmental noise here drives a persistent and cyclic generation of new entanglement.
    http://quantum-mind.co.uk/quan.....t-systems/

    And in the following 2015 paper entitled, “Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules” it was found that “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” and the researchers further commented that “finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

    As well, DNA itself does not belong to the world of classical mechanics but instead belongs to the world of quantum mechanics. In the following video, at the 22:20 minute mark, Dr Rieper shows why the high temperatures of biological systems do not prevent DNA from having quantum entanglement and then at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper goes on to remark that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it.

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    Thus quantum coherence and/or quantum entanglement, contrary to what was believed to be possible in molecular biology just a few short years ago, is now found to be ubiquitous within molecular biology.

    To repeat, Quantum effects are now found to be in all the important biomolecules of life.

    And finding quantum effects to be ubiquitous within molecular biology also provides us with a viable mechanism in order to be able to explain the ‘instantaneous perception’ of Libet’s experiments.

    Indeed, ‘spooky action at a distance’ is, practically speaking, the defining attribute of quantum mechanics

    As the following article entitled “Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory” stated, “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Thus, finding quantum effects to be ubiquitous within molecular biology provides us with a viable mechanism in order to explain ‘instantaneous perception’, and we do not have to appeal, as John Eccles himself did, to the ‘un-parsimonious’ notion of backwards in time causation.

    Moreover, due to the fact that quantum information also happens to be conserved,,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    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.....entally.ht

    ,,, due to the fact that quantum information also happens to be conserved, finding quantum effects to be ubiquitous within molecular biology also provides us with very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies. As Stuart Hameroff states in the following article, “the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark) (of note, this video is no longer available for public viewing)
    https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/10/life-after-death-soul-science-morgan-freeman/

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/6

    Comprehensive and excellent material – thank you!

    Cherry-picked quotes which may not be a fair representation of the author’s views and almost always ignore alternative and even contradictory interpretations are neither comprehensive nor excellent.

    As stated, materialism destroyed the correct understanding of essenses and natures – so Darwinism destroyed human nature. It’s anti-human

    How does one philosophical position destroy another, other than when it is better and truer than the alternative?

    Has human nature changed significantly since 1859?

    It’s anti-human.

    No, it’s nonsense.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky you claim that I “ignore alternative and even contradictory interpretations”.

    And exactly how did I not take your Darwinian worldview into consideration since I quoted verbatim from leading Darwinists, such as Richard Dawkins and Steven Novella, about the inability of your Darwinian worldview to ground our ability to have accurate perceptions.

    Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    – Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”

    “the illusion that our brains evolved to have, a very compelling and persistent illusion – namely that the reality we perceive is real, rather than a constructed representation.”
    – Steven Novella – academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine

    If you think I misquoted them, then please provide the exact quotes where it contradicts what I quoted them as saying, and do not just throw around baseless accusations about me ‘cherry picking’ quotes from them that do not accurately reflect what they really believe.

  10. 10

    For crying out loud, you don’t need to go back to Plato. You just need to look at the evidence directly available to you.

    The logic of subjectivity and objectivity are quite plain and simple, in ordinary common discourse. Why even a 5 year old child can already express personal opinions, and convey accurate facts. Your pretense that this is some kind of grand mystery of the ages, is shot to pieces by a 5 year old being capable to solve it all linguistically.

    Subjectivity:
    A subjective opinion is formed by choice, and expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    As can be found by considering the phrase “I find this painting beautiful”. The opinion is chosen, in spontaneous expression of emotion with free will. The opinion expresses a love for the way the painting looks.

    Objectivity:
    A fact is obtained by evidence of a creation, forcing to produce a 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind.

    As can be found by considering the phrase “There is a camel out back”. The words are a 1 to 1 corresponding model of the camel that is supposedly out back, forced by the evidence of it.

    Leading to the obvious conclusion of dualism.
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I pointed out how deeply rooted the issues are. KF

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