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At Mind Matters News: Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor takes on philosopher David Papineau, Round 1

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Michael Egnor asks: Is Joe Blow really anti-intellectual ...
Michael Egnor

In the debate, Egnor begins by offering three fundamental reasons why the mind is not the brain:

Michael Egnor: Just as a little background about where I’m coming from, I was raised as a functional atheist, and I was educated as a scientific atheist, so I was an atheist for most of my life. I was a biochemistry major in college, and I had and still have tremendous confidence in science and fascination with science. I had a conversion to Christianity, to Catholicism, when I was 45. There are a lot of reasons for it. I had a Damascus Road experience, you might say, but also, there were a lot of intellectual reasons as well.

I had felt through much of my career that physics, biochemistry, biology, and particularly neuroscience, just didn’t make a lot of sense in a materialist paradigm.

Note: Egnor had reason. He kept seeing patients who had largely missing brains or had brains split in half (for medical reasons, to treat otherwise intractable epilepsy) who lived normal lives. Whatever the mind is, it did not appear to be wholly dependent on the brain.

Michael Egnor: And particularly neuroscience kind of broke me away from my materialist perspective. When I was a first-year medical student, I was absolutely fascinated by neuroscience and neuroanatomy. I … was thrilled at the prospect of being able to understand my mind and the minds of people around me by learning about the neuroscience of the brain.

News, “Neurosurgeon Egnor takes on philosopher Papineau Round 1” at Mind Matters News
David Papineau
David Papineau

Takehome: Neuroscience caused Egnor to honestly doubt Papineau’s materialist perspective that the mind is simply what the brain does.

Next: Physicalist philosopher David Papineau replies. Stay tuned.

You may also wish to read: Philosopher: Consciousness Is Not a Problem. Dualism Is! He says that consciousness is just “brain processes that feel like something” Physicalist David Papineau argues that consciousness “seems mysterious not because of any hidden essence, but only because we think about it in a special way.” In short, it’s all in our heads. But wait, say others, the hard problem of consciousness is not so easily dismissed.

19 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor takes on philosopher David Papineau, Round 1

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As to

    “Note: Egnor had reason. He kept seeing patients who had largely missing brains or had brains split in half (for medical reasons, to treat otherwise intractable epilepsy) who lived normal lives. Whatever the mind is, it did not appear to be wholly dependent on the brain.”

    If a ‘person’ were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least be somewhat ‘less of a person’, as they were before. But that is not what is found,,, the ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:

    Here are a few notes to that effect

    A MAP OF THE SOUL by Michael Egnor – June 29 2017
    Excerpt: I’m a neuroscientist and professor of neurosurgery. The mind-brain question haunts me. Neurosurgeons alter the brain on a daily basis, and what we find doesn’t fit the prevailing view that the brain runs the mind as computer hardware runs software.
    I have scores of patients who are missing large areas of their brains, yet who have quite good minds. I have a patient born with two-thirds of her brain absent. She’s a normal junior high kid who loves to play soccer. Another patient, missing a similar amount of brain tissue, is an accomplished musician with a master’s degree in English.
    How can this be? It wasn’t until I read Thomas Aquinas that I began to understand.,,,
    Aquinas taught that our soul’s immaterial powers are only facilitated by matter, not caused by it, and the correlation is loose. His insight presaged certain findings of modern neuroscience.,,,
    Our higher brain functions defy precise mapping onto brain tissue, because they are not generated by tissue, as our lower brain functions are.
    Materialism, the view that matter is all that exists, is the premise of much contemporary thinking about what a human being is. Yet evidence from the laboratory, operating room, and clinical experience points to a less fashionable conclusion: Human beings straddle the material and immaterial realms.
    We can do better science—and medicine—when we recognize that human beings have abilities that transcend reductionist material explanations. In this century of unprecedented advances in brain research, it’s remarkable that the deepest insights emerge from an ancient paradigm: Thomas Aquinas’s map of the soul.
    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/a-map-of-the-soul

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

    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

    How Removing Half of Someone’s Brain Can Improve Their Life – Oct. 2015
    Excerpt: Next spring, del Peral (who has only half a brain) will graduate from Curry College, where she has made the dean’s list every semester since freshman year.
    http://www.mentalfloss.com/art.....their-life

    Discrepancy Between Cerebral Structure and Cognitive Functioning: A Review – 2017
    Excerpt: The aforementioned student of mathematics had a global IQ of 130 and a verbal IQ of 140 at the age of 25 (Lorber, 1983), but had “virtually no brain” (Lewin 1980, p. 1232).,,,
    This student belonged to the group of patients that Lorber classified as having “extreme hydrocephalus,” meaning that more than 90% of their cranium appeared to be filled with cerebrospinal fluid (Lorber, 1983).,,,
    Apart from the above-mentioned student of mathematics, he described a woman with an extreme degree of hydrocephalus showing “virtually no cerebral mantle” who had an IQ of 118, a girl aged 5 who had an IQ of 123 despite extreme hydrocephalus, a 7-year-old boy with gross hydrocephalus and an IQ of 128, another young adult with gross hydrocephalus and a verbal IQ of 144, and a nurse and an English teacher who both led normal lives despite gross hydrocephalus.,,,
    Another interesting case is that of a 44-year-old woman with very gross hydrocephalus described by Masdeu (2008) and Masdeu et al. (2009). She had a global IQ of 98, worked as an administrator for a government agency, and spoke seven languages.,,,
    ,,, , people who grew up with only one hemisphere developed all the neuronal foundations
    needed for ordinary cognitive and most motor skills. Even so, it seems additionally surprising that one hemisphere can accomplish this after the other has been removed or was isolated anatomically and functionally from the rest of the brain, as it is the case of surgical hemispherectomy.,,,
    It is astonishing that many patients can lead an ordinary life after this drastic procedure, having only minor motor disabilities that result from mild hemiplegia.,,,
    McFie (1961) was astonished that “not only does it (one hemishere) perform motor and sensory functions for both sides of the body, it performs the associative and intellectual functions normally allocated to two hemispheres” (p. 248).,,,
    https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2017/12/Discrepancy-between-cerebral-structure-and-cognitive-functioning-JNMD.pdf

    “Katie, like you and me, has a soul.” – Michael Egnor
    Science and the Soul – Michael Egnor – June 2018
    Excerpt: I watched the CAT scan images appear on the screen, one by one. The baby’s head was mostly empty. There were only thin slivers of brain – a bit of brain tissue at the base of the skull, and a thin rim around the edges. The rest was water.
    Her parents had feared this. We had seen it on the prenatal ultrasound; the CAT scan, hours after birth, was much more accurate. Katie looked like a normal newborn, but she had little chance at a normal life. She had a fraternal-twin sister in the incubator next to her. But Katie only had a third of the brain that her sister had. I explained all of this to her family, trying to keep alive a flicker of hope for their daughter.
    I cared for Katie as she grew up. At every stage of Katie’s life so far, she has excelled. She sat and talked and walked earlier than her sister. She’s made the honor roll. She will soon graduate high school.
    I’ve had other patients whose brains fell far short of their minds. Maria had only two-thirds of a brain. She needed a couple of operations to drain fluid, but she thrives. She just finished her master’s degree in English literature, and is a published musician. Jesse was born with a head shaped like a football and half-full of water – doctors told his mother to let him die at birth. She disobeyed. He is a normal happy middle-schooler, loves sports, and wears his hair long.
    Some people with deficient brains are profoundly handicapped. But not all are. I’ve treated and cared for scores of kids who grow up with brains that are deficient but minds that thrive. How is this possible? Neuroscience, and Thomas Aquinas, point to the answer.,,,
    The most remarkable result of Sperry’s Nobel Prize­–winning work was that the person’s intellect and will – what we might call the soul – remained undivided.
    The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot.,,,
    I see her (Katie) in my office each year. She is thriving: headstrong and bright. Her mother is exasperated, and, after seventeen years, still surprised. So am I.
    There is much about the brain and the mind that I don’t understand. But neuroscience tells a consistent story. There is a part of Katie’s mind that is not her brain. She is more than that. She can reason and she can choose. There is a part of her that is immaterial – the part that Sperry couldn’t split, that Penfield couldn’t reach, and that Libet couldn’t find with his electrodes. There is a part of Katie that didn’t show up on those CAT scans when she was born.
    Katie, like you and me, has a soul.
    https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

    Of related note, not only do reductive materialists not have any realistic clue as to how the brain con possibly generate consciousness, i.e.”The hard problem of consciousness’, but under the materialistic premises of Darwinian evolution, the entire concept of ‘personhood’ is held to be merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ which is generated by the material brain. Which is a interesting thing for them to hold since illusions are only possible for conscious minds.

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    In short, if, as atheists hold, God does not really exist as a real person, but is only an illusion, then the atheist himself does not really exist as a real person but is himself only a ‘neuronal illusion.

    Now that is a beautiful case of ‘poetic justice’ if ever there were a case of poetic justice! 🙂

    Quote and Verse:

    “I think, therefore I am”
    René Descartes

    Exodus 3:14
    And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

  2. 2
    MikeW says:

    I partially agree with Egnor when he asserts that materialism cannot explain brain states. What I believe is that materialism cannot explain the origin of brain states. But once the brain has been designed and created, it’s still possible that materialism can explain the operation of the brain states. This is because God may have designed and created brains to operate within the material universe.

    So Egnor’s first fundamental argument, i.e. that the brain can make logical connections, can be explained by assuming that it was designed that way. So once the brain’s circuits have been established, it might be making its logical connections using the known laws of the material universe.

    Egnor’s second fundamental argument, i.e. the “hard problem” of consciousness can be explained materialistically by electromagnetic theories of consciousness, specifically by McFaddon’s Conscious ElectroMagnetic Information (CEMI) theory. Paraphrasing Egnor, I see no reason why the EM field cannot create my own first-person experiences (qualia). I personally don’t know the difference between qualia generated by conscious EM versus qualia generated by a spiritual force, so I’m open-minded about that.

    Egnor’s third fundamental argument, i.e. the phenomenon of intentionality, again can be explained by assuming that the brain was designed that way. So once the brain is created, it might go after its innate goals in a material way.

    All objections to CEMI that I know of can be handled materialistically. For example, my own first-person experiences of a single conscious state coordinating multiple threads of unconscious states are explained naturally by CEMI. The latest research that split brains or half-brains do not lead to split consciousness is also explained by CEMI. And the objections from parapsychology and psi-science can be explained away by disregarding them as pseudoscience (which is the standard materialistic view).

  3. 3
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    The Source of Consciousness, a conversation with Mark Solms,
    director of neuropsychology, Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cape Town, South Africa

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFEQmsMXEFo&t=413s

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    If the conscious mind is entirely separate from and not dependent on the physical brain, how does Egnor explain the slow and irreversible degradation in mental functioning seen in patients with dementias such as Alzheimer’s or the difficulty in regaining full mental functioning in patients emerging from coma or persistent vegetative states? These neurological disorders clearly have such a profound effect on a patient’s mind, so far as it can be observed, that it becomes perverse to deny the intimate association between mind and brain.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    These neurological disorders clearly have such a profound effect on a patient’s mind, so far as it can be observed, that it becomes perverse to deny the intimate association between mind and brain.

    Are you talking about Joe Biden?

  6. 6
    ET says:

    seversky:

    If the conscious mind is entirely separate from and not dependent on the physical brain, how does Egnor explain the slow and irreversible degradation in mental functioning seen in patients with dementias such as Alzheimer’s or the difficulty in regaining full mental functioning in patients emerging from coma or persistent vegetative states?

    When one is alive the conscious mind and the physical brain are as one. The conscious mind can only function as well as the physical brain allows.

  7. 7
    MikeW says:

    Seversky@4, you’re arguing against a straw man. Egnor doesn’t maintain that “the conscious mind is entirely separate from and not dependent on the physical brain.” Everyone believes there is an “intimate association between mind and brain”, and that brain problems can result in the loss of full mental functioning. Egnor doesn’t deny that. Egnor argues that the conscious mind cannot be explained from material processes alone (even if it’s Joe Biden’s).

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    “Note: Egnor had reason. He kept seeing patients who had largely missing brains or had brains split in half (for medical reasons, to treat otherwise intractable epilepsy) who lived normal lives. Whatever the mind is, it did not appear to be wholly dependent on the brain.”

    One of the problems with ID folks is their compulsion to exaggerate. I doubt Egnor
    saw patients “with largely missing brains” living normal lives. Two scenarios led me to conclude that the brain and the mind are coextensive: watching my mother lose virtually all of her cognitive, affective and psychomotor function as a result of a decade of Alzheimer’s and counseling vets with traumatic brain injury (TBIs) typically from IED blasts leaving them with permanent and severe cognitive and affective deficits.

    Evolution has provided us with resilient brains that have amazing redundancy and transferability in a fashion that evolution does with innumerable other functions. But there are thresholds beyond which an injured brain cannot function correctly and that directly correlates to functions we call “mind.”

  9. 9
    MikeW says:

    It’s interesting that in the video debate, the materialist Papineau also makes up a straw man when he accuses Egnor of trying to defend the view “that my emotions, feelings, thoughts and so on don’t make any difference to what I do.” As soon as Papineau’s argument got as ridiculous as that, it was time to stop watching or reading. At that point he had clearly lost the debate.

  10. 10
    MikeW says:

    Chuckdarwin@8, another straw man! Darwinists are relentless, if not original. No one is arguing against the fact that “there are thresholds beyond which an injured brain cannot function correctly and that directly correlates to functions we call ‘mind’.”

    You’d be better off simply saying that we have “resilient brains that have amazing redundancy and transferability”. Adding the “Evolution has provided us with…” phrase is an unwarranted “just-so” story that adds nothing to your argument.

  11. 11
    AaronS1978 says:

    Not god of gaps religion at all
    Chucky D

    “Evolution has provided us with resilient brains that have amazing redundancy and transferability in a fashion that evolution does with innumerable other functions. But there are thresholds beyond which an injured brain cannot function correctly and that directly correlates to functions we call “mind.””

    Now some adjustments

    Evo God has provided us with resilient brains that have amazing redundancy and transferability in a fashion that Evo God does with innumerable other functions. But there are thresholds beyond which an injured brain cannot function correctly and that directly correlates to functions we call “mind.”

    Thank you Evo God you did it again! Your priest Chuckdarwin has opened my eyes to your truth once more!

    By the way moron instead of saying you ID folks over exaggerates shit go look at Michael Egnor’s work he did actually witness this because they were his patients!

    I to have also met individuals that have had half the brain removed

    The effects very, but they very much or a unified consciousness they are very much a person

    The type of brain injury has different effects depended on the actual individual surprisingly And unsurprisingly

    But he has a point and it’s not erased because you declared ID folks like to over exaggerate

    Oh and one last note your comment of “directly correlates” is bull crap it will correlate in some cases and in some cases it does not directly correlate. You make it sound like it’s one and one when it most certainly is not

    The sheer plasticity of the brain and the fact that the brains neurons fire differently from one week to the next says you’re absolutely wrong and that’s just one little example, twins are a good example of why that’s just flat wrong

    Even neuroscientist say that correlation does not equal causation, only hardnose materialist like Allen Seth say that type of crap

    Materialism is a philosophy and your philosophy is not an argument for proof

    Now why don’t you go in squirm up some crap about Phineas Gage and miss quote crap out of it so that way you might have a little bit of a point

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @ 1,
    Thanks for the excerpts and links. It’s amazing how the brain can function competently with so much less brain matter. Naturally, evolutionists cannot explain why so much “extra” brain matter is present in humans except by their usual vacuous speculation.

    Pater @3,
    While I was fascinated to learn that human consciousness seems to be concentrated in such a tiny region in the brain (about “the size of a match head”), I was disappointed that Professor Solms made such a massive jump from response to stimuli to human self consciousness through the limitless magic of “evolution.”

    ChuckDarwin @8,

    One of the problems with ID folks is their compulsion to exaggerate.

    And one of the problems with Darwinists is their compulsion to lie, deceive, and to engage in flights of science fantasy and speculation.

    MikeW summarizes it well, in @10:

    Adding the “Evolution has provided us with…” phrase is an unwarranted “just-so” story that adds nothing to your argument.

    Personifying evolution as if it were God, is exactly one such departure from science-based reasoning in favor a faith-based clinging to a failed, racist theory from the nineteenth century.

    -Q

  13. 13
    AaronS1978 says:

    @pater
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/12/psychologist-consciousness-is-not-a-thing-but-a-point-of-view/

    First of all old news

    Second of all if you had an understanding of neural biology you would’ve known this by now

    It is very very very old news that the brainstem plays a key critical role in wakefulness

    This chump psychiatrist Is literally rehashing stuff you can find on the wiki

    I mean if you want to know how old his information that he provides you just look up reticular activating system the RAS

    Any boxer can tell you this is true and you did not need this guy to tell you about it

    If this is come to a surprise to you or you think this is just pivotal evidence that it explains the entirety of the subjective experience combined qualia you have a sad understanding of consciousness

    I know of no philosopher of the mind that doesn’t know or is not aware of this information that this doctor regurgitated on YouTube

    It is like blaming the claustrum for all things consciousness because Kristof Koch Electrified a portion of it and the patient lost consciousness

    There are many areas in the brain stem that you can poke and you would lose consciousness

    This does nothing to figure out the hard problem of the consciousness nor does it generate consciousness it can easily be stated as it has been that it’s roll directly pertains to wakefulness

    By the way I read a lot of the comments in that video and they all are the same “wow look at how awesome and amazing sciency he is evolution evolution evolution”

    And another thing to point out is his comments of how lesions to that area of the brain OBLITERATES the consciousness

    So does electrifying the claustrom but I digress
    This is just powerful language to emphasize what little point he has

    So he has to manipulate his audience by repeating it Obliterates the consciousness, even when brain activity still happens in the rest of the brain despite that area of the brain being damaged and they are in a coma

  14. 14
    Sandy says:

    If the conscious mind is entirely separate from and not dependent on the physical brain, how does Egnor explain the slow and irreversible degradation in mental functioning seen in patients with dementias such as Alzheimer’s or…

    Brain = RAM (work with info)
    Soul= HDD(source of info)
    Degradation of RAM result in erroneous reading /transmission of info received from HDD (resulting Alzheimer ,etc.)
    Info from HDD is the same and functional but RAM errors make info to reach end point scrambled. Info is correct but reading of info is erroneous.

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    Wow I am oddly impressed by your analogy Sandy

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Pater cites Solms. Solms’ claims that consciousness “is generated not in the cortex but the brainstem.”

    ,,, tiny lesions in the brainstem (as small as 2mm3) obliterate all consciousness, including visual consciousness. This stands in sharp contrast to the fact that consciousness is preserved with prenatal or neonatal destruction of the entire cortex. These facts suggest that the fundamental type of consciousness is affect, and that it is generated not in the cortex but the brainstem.,,,
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/12/psychologist-consciousness-is-not-a-thing-but-a-point-of-view/

    So what???

    It is easy ‘obliterate all consciousness’, as Aaron succinctly stated, “There are many areas in the brain stem that you can poke and you would lose consciousness”

    As well, drug addicts can easily ‘obliterate’ their own consciousness all the time with just a very small amount of fentanyl. Yet no one in their right mind would ever suggest that the tiny amount of fentanyl that drug addicts were taking is what is generating their consciousness in the first place.

    Yet this is exactly the type of fallacious reasoning that Solms, (and apparently Pater), expect us to accept. i.e. Their erroneous assumption is that if you can ‘obliterate consciousness’ then you have, somehow, successfully explained the origin of consciousness.

    DUH!

    As Aaron succinctly stated the obvious problem with Solms’ claim

    “This does nothing to figure out the hard problem of the consciousness nor does it generate consciousness it can easily be stated as it has been that it’s roll directly pertains to wakefulness”,,,

    In other words, the question being asked is NOT, “What material process can ‘obliterate’ consciousness?”, but rather the question being asked is, “What material process can possibly generate our inner subjective conscious experience in the first place?, i.e. what material process can possibly explain ‘the hard problem’ of consciousness?”

    And as to the actual question that is being asked, (instead of the fallacious question that Solms and Pater are asking), the answer from reductive materialists to the hard problem of consciousness has been resounding crickets!

    i.e. “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    As Paul Davies explained, “Our phenomenal experiences, (i.e. qualia), are the only aspect of consciousness that appears as though it cannot, even in principle, be reduced to known physical principles.”

    The “Hard Problem” of Life – Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies = June 23, 2016
    Excerpt:. In the case of consciousness, it seems evident that certain aspects will ultimately defy reductionist explanation, the most important being the phenomenon of qualia – roughly speaking our subjective experience as observers. It is a priori far from obvious why we should have experiences such as the sensation of the smell of coffee or the blueness of the sky. Subjective experience isn’t necessary for the evolution of intelligence (we could for example be zombies in the philosophical sense and appear to function just as well from the outside with nothing going on inside). Even if we do succeed in eventually uncovering a complete mechanistic understanding of the wiring and firing of every neuron in the brain, it might tell us nothing about thoughts, feelings and what it is like to experience something. Our phenomenal experiences are the only aspect of consciousness that appears as though it cannot, even in principle, be reduced to known physical principles. This led Chalmers to identify pinpointing an explanation for our subjective experience as the “hard problem of consciousness” [5]. The corresponding “easy problems” (in practice not so easy) are associated with mapping the neural correlates of various experiences. By focusing attention on the problem of subjective experience, Chalmers highlighted the truly inexplicable aspect of consciousness, based on our current understanding.,,,
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1606.07184v1.pdf

    And indeed, I hold that since it is impossible, “even in principle”, to reduce consciousness ‘to known physical principles” then consciousness must be, of necessity, generated by some ‘non-material’ process.

    And unlike materialists who have no clue, much less empirical evidence, how anything material can possibly be conscious, the Christian Theist can appeal directly to empirical evidence to support his contention that consciousness must be generated by a ‘non-material’ process.

    In fact, as I touched upon yesterday, the Christian Theist has abundant empirical evidence for a ‘soul’ that is capable of living beyond the death of his material body.

    That empirical evidence for a ‘soul’ comes from recent advances in ‘quantum biology’.

    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

    And to drive his point home, this follow up 2018 article stated that “There is no obvious evolutionary reason why a protein should evolve toward a quantum-critical state, and there is no chance at all that the state could occur randomly.,,,”

    Quantum Critical Proteins – Stuart Lindsay – Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Arizona State University – 2018
    Excerpt: The difficulty with this proposal lies in its improbability. Only an infinitesimal density of random states exists near the critical point.,,
    Gábor Vattay et al. recently examined a number of proteins and conducting and insulating polymers.14 The distribution for the insulators and conductors were as expected, but the functional proteins all fell on the quantum-critical distribution. Such a result cannot be a consequence of chance.,,,
    WHAT OF quantum criticality? Vattay et al. carried out electronic structure calculations for the very large protein used in our work. They found that the distribution of energy-level spacings fell on exactly the quantum-critical distribution, implying that this protein is also quantum critical. There is no obvious evolutionary reason why a protein should evolve toward a quantum-critical state, and there is no chance at all that the state could occur randomly.,,,
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....l-proteins
    Gábor Vattay et al., “Quantum Criticality at the Origin of Life,” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 626 (2015);
    Gábor Vattay, Stuart Kauffman, and Samuli Niiranen, “Quantum Biology on the Edge of Quantum Chaos,” PLOS One 9, no. 3 (2014)

    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

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    As well, it has now been found that, a ‘quantum underground’ pervades the brain’s neurons.”

    Consciousness Depends on Tubulin Vibrations Inside Neurons, Anesthesia Study Suggests – 5-Sep-2017
    Excerpt: The results provide a marked improvement to the Meyer-Overton correlation by discriminating anesthetics from non-anesthetics, and suggest that anesthetics block consciousness by altering terahertz oscillations in tubulin.,,,
    Senior co-author Jack Tuszynski said:
    “Scientific luminaries from Erwin Schrödinger to Sir Roger Penrose have proposed that consciousness requires quantum coherent processes, but skeptics have asserted such processes would suffer ‘decoherence’ in the ‘warm, wet and noisy’ biological milieu. Our study supports growing evidence that non-polar, pi resonance regions in microtubules and other biomolecules maintain these coherent states, and that a ‘quantum underground’ pervades the brain’s neurons.”
    https://www.newswise.com/articles/consciousness-depends-on-tubulin-vibrations-inside-neurons-anesthesia-study-suggests

    Moreover, at about the 16:30 minute mark of the following video, an interesting experiment on the sleeping brain is highlighted in which it is demonstrated that there is a fairly profound difference in the way the brain ‘shares information’ between different parts of the brain in its sleeping state compared to how the brain ‘shares information’ in its waking state. i.e. In the sleeping state, the brain shares much less information with different parts of the brain than the brain does during our waking state.

    Through The Wormhole s02e01 Is There Life After Death – video (16:30 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XhrDrqmXE4

    Of note, the preceding video, after you sign up, can be watched in much better quality at this following site (season 2 episode 1)
    https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/through-the-wormhole/
    Researchers: Deep sleep short-circuits brain’s grid of connectivity – September 29, 2005
    Excerpt: Tononi and his team observed the disconnect when brief, magnetically generated pulses of electricity were directed to specific regions of the brain. The pulses stimulated an electrochemical response from the targeted cells, which, when the subject was awake, rippled across the brain, traveling along networks of nerve fibers to different cerebral destinations. But when the subject was in deep sleep, the same response was quickly extinguished and did not travel beyond the stimulated cells.
    When consciousness fades, according to Tononi, “the brain breaks down into little islands that can’t talk to one another.”
    https://news.wisc.edu/researchers-deep-sleep-short-circuits-brains-grid-of-connectivity/

    The following more recent study found the same result:

    Study targets ‘fingerprint’ of human consciousness – OCTOBER 11, 2019
    Excerpt: “Remarkably, we saw very similar results in the two groups of participants scanned on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Specifically, loss of consciousness—whether due to propofol anaesthesia or brain injury—was accompanied by reduced functional diversity and integrative capacity in similar brain networks, which may represent a neurobiological marker or ‘brain fingerprint’ for consciousness,” Owen said.
    Put simply, functional diversity and integrative capacity are properties of the brain that reveal how much information is being exchanged and integrated between different brain regions.
    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-fingerprint-human-consciousness.html

    Moreover, the following study found that, despite missing the corpus callosum, the two hemispheres of the brain can still communicate with each other.

    Bridging the Gap – October 19, 2011
    Like a bridge that spans a river to connect two major metropolises, the corpus callosum is the main conduit for information flowing between the left and right hemispheres of our brains. Now, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that people who are born without that link—a condition called agenesis of the corpus callosum, or AgCC—still show remarkably normal communication across the gap between the two halves of their brains.
    https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/bridging-gap-1732

    The interesting thing about these long range correlations in the brain, long range correlations that differentiate a sleeping brain from a brain that is awake, is that the long range correlations are found to be, for all intents and purposes, ‘instantaneous’

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt: 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.,,,
    ,,, It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....the-brain/

    ,,, 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/

    In short, we have very good reason to believe that our ‘waking consciousness’ is a instantaneous, i.e. non-local, quantum effect that cannot be reduced to any possible materialistic explanation.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    What is so devastating to Darwinian presuppositions with the finding pervasive quantum coherence, quantum entanglement, and/or quantum information, within molecular biology, is that quantum coherence, quantum entanglement, and/or quantum information is a non-local, beyond space and time, effect that requires a beyond space and time cause in order to explain its existence. As the following paper 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

    Moreover, as the following study found, the greater the number of particles in a quantum hypergraph state, (which is exactly the type of quantum coherence that we have with protein and DNA molecules), the more strongly it violates local realism, with the strength increasing exponentially with the number of particles.

    Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states – Lisa Zyga – March 4, 2016
    Excerpt: Many quantum technologies rely on quantum states that violate local realism, which means that they either violate locality (such as when entangled particles influence each other from far away) or realism (the assumption that quantum states have well-defined properties, independent of measurement), or possibly both. Violation of local realism is one of the many counterintuitive, yet experimentally supported, characteristics of the quantum world.
    Determining whether or not multiparticle quantum states violate local realism can be challenging. Now in a new paper, physicists have shown that a large family of multiparticle quantum states called hypergraph states violates local realism in many ways. The results suggest that these states may serve as useful resources for quantum technologies, such as quantum computers and detecting gravitational waves.,,,
    The physicists also showed that the greater the number of particles in a quantum hypergraph state, the more strongly it violates local realism, with the strength increasing exponentially with the number of particles. In addition, even if a quantum hypergraph state loses one of its particles, it continues to violate local realism. This robustness to particle loss is in stark contrast to other types of quantum states, which no longer violate local realism if they lose a particle. This property is particularly appealing for applications, since it might allow for more noise in experiments.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-03-p.....alism.html

    In short, the ‘problem’ of quantum non-locality is exponentially worse for Darwinian biologists than it originally was for physicist who were ‘merely’ dealing with only two particles being entangled at one time.

    Darwinists, by contrast, are basically dealing with the entire human body being in a quantum entangled state at one time!

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, simply have no beyond space and time cause that they can appeal to so as to be able to explain the non-local quantum coherence and/or entanglement that is now found to be ubiquitous within biology. Whereas Christians readily do have a beyond space and time cause that they can appeal to so as to explain quantum entanglement. As Colossians 1:17 states, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    It is also important to realize that quantum information is conserved. As the following article states, “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.”

    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.....tally.html

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have 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, due to copyright issues, the video is no longer available for public viewing on Youtube)
    https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/10/life-after-death-soul-science-morgan-freeman/

    Verses:

    Isaiah 50:4
    The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are instructed to know how to sustain the weary with a word. He awakens me each morning; he awakens my ear to listen like those being instructed.

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

  19. 19
    Querius says:

    Thanks for the links and commentary, Bornagain77. Non-locality is an interesting possibility for consciousness. Certainly there’s no hidden variable that makes some molecules conscious and others not conscious.

    -Q

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