Bio-engineering Intelligent Design

At Science Daily: Fiddler crab eye view inspires researchers to develop novel artificial vision

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Artificial vision systems find a wide range of applications, including self-driving cars, object detection, crop monitoring, and smart cameras. Such vision is often inspired by the vision of biological organisms. For instance, human and insect vision have inspired terrestrial artificial vision, while fish eyes have led to aquatic artificial vision. While the progress is remarkable, current artificial visions suffer from some limitations: they are not suitable for imaging both land and underwater environments, and are limited to a hemispherical (180°) field-of-view (FOV).

Fiddler crabs can look all around, without the need to move their eyes. https://biology.anu.edu.au

To overcome these issues, a group of researchers from Korea and USA, including Professor Young Min Song from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in Korea, have now designed a novel artificial vision system with an omnidirectional imaging ability, which can work in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Their study was made available online on 12 July 2022 and published in Nature Electronics on 11 July 2022.

“Research in bio-inspired vision often results in a novel development that did not exist before. This, in turn, enables a deeper understanding of nature and ensure that the developed imaging device is both structurally and functionally effective,” says Prof. Song, explaining his motivation behind the study.

The inspiration for the system came from the fiddler crab (Uca arcuata), a semiterrestrial crab species with amphibious imaging ability and a 360° FOV. These remarkable features result from the ellipsoidal eye stalk of the fiddler crab’s compound eyes, enabling panoramic imaging, and flat corneas with a graded refractive index profile, allowing for amphibious imaging.

Accordingly, the researchers developed a vision system consisting of an array of flat micro-lenses with a graded refractive index profile that was integrated into a flexible comb-shaped silicon photodiode array and then mounted onto a spherical structure. The graded refractive index and the flat surface of the micro-lens were optimized to offset the defocusing effects due to changes in the external environment. Put simply, light rays traveling in different mediums (corresponding to different refractive indices) were made to focus at the same spot.

To test the capabilities of their system, the team performed optical simulations and imaging demonstrations in air and water. Amphibious imaging was performed by immersing the device halfway in water. To their delight, the images produced by the system were clear and free of distortions. The team further showed that the system had a panoramic visual field, 300o horizontally and 160o vertically, in both air and water. Additionally, the spherical mount was only 2 cm in diameter, making the system compact and portable.

Science Daily

It’s worth highlighting this quote: “These remarkable features result from the ellipsoidal eye stalk of the fiddler crab’s compound eyes, enabling panoramic imaging, and flat corneas with a graded refractive index profile, allowing for amphibious imaging.” Does this sound like intelligent design or the result of unguided, random evolutionary processes?

103 Replies to “At Science Daily: Fiddler crab eye view inspires researchers to develop novel artificial vision

  1. 1
    doubter says:

    It would be interesting to get a plausible just -so story recounting in detail, step by tiny step, how random with respect to fitness genetic variations or mutations slowly but surely changed these parts of the crab’s vision system to what it is today. Where each step had to be advantageous not detrimental, even though transitional stages of lens shape, etc. would destroy clear vision, and of course all the different changes to different parts of the crab eye had to change in synchrony or good vision would have been lost. And all it would take to cut off a promising line of descent is one generation with a loss of good vision.

    I think I had better not hold my breath for this Darwinistic feat to be published in PNAS.

  2. 2
    zweston says:

    waiting for sev or the other black knights of monty python to start talking theology and other non-sequiturs…

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    Doubter@1
    Darwinists believe in miracles…. That is for sure….

    E.g. inverted image on mammalian retina… … From the moment, a lens was invented by ‘blind unguided process’ the image mammals see got up side down … because of physics … of course, Darwinian clowns will explain to you, that this is not an issue, because you brain inverts it back…
    Some silly questions:

    1. How an blind unguided process knows that something is up side down, and that this is not how it supposed to be

    2. How an blind unguided process knows how to invert it back

    3. How species survive with up side down image till blind unguided process figured out how to invert it back, unless Darwinists believe that it happened simultaneously in other words a miracle happened ….

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: How an blind unguided process knows how to invert it back

    Experiments have been done with humans giving them prismatic glasses which make everything look upside down. In about a week or so their brains somehow learn how to ‘flip’ the images back to the way they’re used to interpreting them. So, part of your questions are answered by the plasticity of neural matter, i.e. brains.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, you do realize that neural plasticity, particularly the ability of the immaterial mind to ‘reshape’ the material brain, is antagonistic to the blind unguided process of Darwinian evolution do you not? i.e. You did not come close to answering Martin’s question but merely assumed/imagined that something that does not support Darwinian materialism somehow supports Darwinian materialism.

    in direct contradiction to the materialistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever prior state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.

    Jeffrey Schwartz: You Are More than Your Brain – 2019 – video interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFIOSQNuXuY

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

    The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force
    Excerpt: Through decades of work treating patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), Schwartz made an extraordinary finding: while following the therapy he developed, his patients were effecting significant and lasting changes in their own neural pathways. It was a scientific first: by actively focusing their attention away from negative behaviors and toward more positive ones, Schwartz’s patients were using their minds to reshape their brains–and discovering a thrilling new dimension to the concept of neuroplasticity.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Brain-Neuroplasticity-Power-Mental/dp/0060988479

  6. 6
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: you do realize that neural plasticity, particularly the ability of the immaterial mind to ‘reshape’ the material brain, is antagonistic to the blind unguided process of Darwinian evolution do you not?

    I don’t think so. IF the mind is separate from the brain then there would never be a need for neural plasticity since the actual processing of images and thoughts would be done elsewhere.

    What do you think the brain actually does? Is it just a transmitter? I would think it would be a lot less complicated in that case. It certainly seems to house some memories as people can lose some of their memories via traumatic events and/or ageing processes. It seems to maintain control over certain bodily functions as well.

    I’ve just never figured out what dualists think the brain is doing. And I’ve never been able to rectify my own personal experience with general anaesthetic and a separate mind from the body. Plus I’ve never been entirely convinced that anyone has been able to speak to a now-deceased person which you would think would be possible if the mind goes on after the body is defunct. And, to tell you the truth, even though I’ve heard a lot of them I haven’t found any of the out-of-body experiences completely convincing as evidence of there being a non-corporeal mind.

    Anyway, let’s start with what you think the brain is for and what it actually does.

  7. 7
    asauber says:

    “brains somehow learn”

    Wow, JVL. You really know a lot about brains. 😉

    Andrew

  8. 8
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Wow, JVL. You really know a lot about brains. ?

    I don’t actually but I have heard about some of the experiments and research.

    If you think the mind is separate from the brain then what do you think the brain does? What’s it for?

  9. 9
    asauber says:

    “I don’t actually”

    JVL,

    Noooo. Really? Somebody did some experiments and research somewhere? I’ll be damned. I’m sure they figured everything out. They just haven’t informed you yet.

    Andrew

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Noooo. Really? Somebody did some experiments and research somewhere? I’ll be damned. I’m sure they figured everything out. They just haven’t informed you yet.

    While I’m sure you enjoy being sarky and sarcastic I am really interested in what you think the brain does and what it’s for.

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    “While I’m sure you enjoy being sarky and sarcastic”

    JVL,

    I do enjoy it. There’s little else to be entertained by when dead horses are being beaten.

    Andrew

  12. 12
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I do enjoy it. There’s little else to be entertained by when dead horses are being beaten.

    Okay. I’m still interested in what you think the brain is for. But I guess you’re not in the mood for a discussion about it.

  13. 13
    chuckdarwin says:

    Does this sound like intelligent design or the result of unguided, random evolutionary processes?

    Why not just come clean and restate the question: “Does this sound like God (more precisely, the Christian God) or the result of unguided, random evolutionary processes?”

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Doubter/1

    It would be interesting to get a plausible just -so story recounting in detail, step by tiny step, how random with respect to fitness genetic variations or mutations slowly but surely changed these parts of the crab’s vision system to what it is today.

    It would. It would also be interesting if ID proponents could give a detailed explanation of how their putative designer did it – and who he/she/it is.

    Where each step had to be advantageous not detrimental, even though transitional stages of lens shape, etc. would destroy clear vision, and of course all the different changes to different parts of the crab eye had to change in synchrony or good vision would have been lost. And all it would take to cut off a promising line of descent is one generation with a loss of good vision.

    Exactly. That’s how evolution works. There’s a whole lot more dead ends than there are successful outcomes. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL: “I don’t think so.”

    And yet, as Schwartz’s, and others’s, experimental research highlights, “the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.””

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

    “We regard promissory materialism as superstition without a rational foundation. The more we discover about the brain, the more clearly do we distinguish between the brain events and the mental phenomena, and the more wonderful do both the brain events and the mental phenomena become. Promissory materialism is simply a religious belief held by dogmatic materialists… who often confuse their religion with their science.”
    – John C. Eccles, The Wonder of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, 1984 – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963

    JVL, empirical evidence could care less what you would prefer to believe! i.e. This line of research by Schwartz and others demonstrating the immaterial mind’s capacity to ‘restructure’ the material brain is simply completely devastating to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution which hold that the material brain is somehow capable of generating the immaterial mind.

    JVL: “What do you think the brain actually does? Is it just a transmitter?”

    Dr. Pim van Lommel has a good illustration,

    A Reply to Shermer: Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Dr. Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,
    ,, In trying to understand this concept of mutual interaction between the “invisible and not measurable” consciousness, with its enormous amount of information, and our visible, material body it seems wise to compare it with modern worldwide communication.
    There is a continuous exchange of objective information by means of electromagnetic fields (real photons) for radio, TV, mobile telephone, or laptop computer. We are unaware of the innumerable amounts of electromagnetic fields that constantly, day and night, exist around us and through us as well as through structures like walls and buildings. We only become aware of these electromagnetic informational fields the moment we use our mobile telephone or by switching on our radio, TV or laptop. What we receive is not inside the instrument, nor in the components, but thanks to the receiver the information from the electromagnetic fields becomes observable to our senses and hence perception occurs in our consciousness. The voice we hear in our telephone is not inside the telephone. The concert we hear in our radio is transmitted to our radio. The images and music we hear and see on TV is transmitted to our TV set. The internet is not located inside our laptop. We can receive at about the same time what is transmitted with the speed of light from a distance of some hundreds or thousands of miles. And if we switch off the TV set, the reception disappears, but the transmission continues. The information transmitted remains present within the electromagnetic fields. The connection has been interrupted, but it has not vanished and can still be received elsewhere by using another TV set. Again, we do not realize us the thousands of telephone calls, the hundreds of radio and TV transmissions, as well as the internet, coded as electromagnetic fields, that exist around us and through us.
    Could our brain be compared with the TV set that electromagnetic waves (photons) receives and transforms into image and sound, as well as with the TV camera that image and sound transforms into electromagnetic waves (photons)? This electromagnetic radiation holds the essence of all information, but is only conceivable to our senses by suited instruments like camera and TV set.
    The informational fields of our consciousness and of our memories, both evaluating by our experiences and by the informational input from our sense organs during our lifetime, are present around us as electrical and/or magnetic fields [possible virtual photons? (18)], and these fields only become available to our waking consciousness through our functioning brain and other cells of our body.
    So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body.
    https://vdocuments.site/a-reply-to-shermer-medical-evidence-for-ndes-by-pim-van-lommel.html

    The Mystery of Perception During Near Death Experiences – Pim van Lommel – video – 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avyUsPgIuQ0

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    CD at 13,

    Blind, unguided chance that is not goal oriented. Sound plausible?

  17. 17
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 14,

    It’s the Christian God. A God who can perform miracles. And who is worthy of worship because He created, not dead chemicals springing to life for no particular reason. Stop worshiping science.

    Do you believe the following fiction? Time X dead chemicals + accidents equals all the living things that are alive today? Toss the dice often enough and a Mercedes can assemble itself? Design itself? Life is a lot more complicated. Even a single living cell. But you believe that “evolution” just stumbled its way into making things? Why?

  18. 18
    OldArmy94 says:

    As an aside, my middle school mascot was the fiddler crab. I grew up on the Gulf coast, and those little suckers are everywhere along the shoreline.

  19. 19
    doubter says:

    JVL@4

    You left out one extremely important factor: the workings of Darwinistic evolution actually had to contrive to modify the genetic DNA structure in exactly the right ways to reorganize millions of sensory and processing neurons so as to invert the image to right side up. Otherwise “brain plasticity” would just give evolution a long period of plasticity transformation during development during which the organism would be eliminated by natural selection due to its bad vision.

    And of course, the brain plasticity mechanism had to somehow be also first developed.

    Brain plasticity just doesn’t work for this problem – you have to explain how critical parts of the genome DNA coding for a complex irreducibly complex system could be gradually transformed to re-invert the image in such a way that the intermediate forms would not be eliminated by natural selection. Both the wait time problem and the irreducible complexity (very wide scattering of “islands of functionality in the fitness landscape”) problem.

  20. 20
    doubter says:

    Seversky@14

    That’s how evolution works. There’s a whole lot more dead ends than there are successful outcomes. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

    It’s what’s so difficult to believe. Typically, you gloss over the barriers to such a Darwinistic transformation that I have pointed out (actually there are many more). They start with the aforementioned wait time problem and the irreducible complexity (very wide scattering of “islands of functionality” in the fitness landscape) problem.

  21. 21
    Caspian says:

    JVL @ 6
    Let’s imagine that the mind is an immaterial entity and the brain is an organ by means of which the mind can interact with the physical world, through the medium of the body.

    The processing of images and thoughts involves both the brain and the mind (perhaps analogous to how the functioning of a computer involves both the hardware and the software).

    The brain would not be just a transmitter, as you have indicated.

    You express a doubt that near-death experiences validate the mind (or soul) and brain duality. A massive amount of research suggests otherwise. Another line of research that concludes the validity of mind/brain dualism comes from Wilder Penfield (neurosurgeon). Here is an excerpt from my book, Canceled Science (p. 193-94), that summarizes his key results:

    “What other evidence can we bring to bear on this question of the nature of the mind and the brain? Pioneer neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, whose brain surgery techniques helped numerous patients suffering from epilepsy, provided an unusually well-informed perspective on the distinction between the mind and the brain. In his book, The Mystery of the Mind, Penfield’s direct observations of the human brain in conscious patients led him to conclude that “our being is to be explained on the basis of two fundamental elements.” He was referring to the mind and the brain, and he meant that the mind is distinct from the physical. In describing the relationship between the two, he wrote, “The mind seems to act independently of the brain in the same sense that a programmer acts independently of his computer, however much he may depend upon the action of that computer for certain purposes.”
    Penfield offered several lines of evidence for this conclusion. A particularly dramatic source of evidence came from his observations during brain surgery on patients who remained conscious (a possibility since the brain itself doesn’t have pain receptors). “When I have caused a conscious patient to move his hand by applying an electrode to the motor cortex of one hemisphere, I have often asked him about it,” Penfield wrote. “Invariably his response was: ‘I didn’t do that. You did.’ When I caused him to vocalize, he said: ‘I didn’t make that sound. You pulled it out of me.’” He then adds, “There is no place in the cerebral cortex where electrical stimulation will cause a patient to believe or to decide.”
    What this suggests is that the mind, which refers to itself as “I” or “me,” stands aloof from the brain. This view is consistent with the idea, shared by many religions and even by some who do not consider themselves religious, that humans possess an immaterial soul, one that may persist after death. Penfield’s conclusions about the mind/brain duality are not shared by all researchers, but his conclusions are to him the best fit with his surgical observations.”

  22. 22
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: And yet, as Schwartz’s, and others’s, experimental research highlights, “the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.””

    But other experimental results suggest that is not the case. You have to consider all the data and results.

    Dr. Pim van Lommel has a good illustration,

    I am quite familiar with Dr van Lammel especially with his work on NDEs; I mention that just so you know that my comments are not completely uninformed.

    The basic idea (which I have come across before) is that the physical brain is a combination of video camera and television in that it detects and grabs information from the real world, beams it out to some receiver somewhere and, also, receives broadcasts from some source somewhere which enables it to react to those broadcasts in the real world. I guess.

    Anyway, the scenario generates some obvious questions:

    Since no communications channel has been detected how do the brain and the mind communicate? Without actually detected signals or mechanisms (in the brain) clearly able to broadcast and receive signals it’s all just an assumption. Something you accuse non-dualists of having.

    Assuming there is some communications channel that can travel over vast distances instantaneously with little or no loss of signal then . . . where is the mind? How is it stored? How is it sustained without a physical device?

    Another question about this assumed communication protocol is: since I don’t pick up signals from all the existing and dead people on earth each person must have a dedicated ‘frequency’ or channel. Which means there must be billions and billions of channels which are distinct enough so that, most of the time, there is no bleed-through. How is it that physical brains can potentially detect billons of different channels? Another assumption?

    We know that devices like mobile phones and televisions and radios (which have some of the above functionality) require fairly robust power sources. If we’re talking about a constantly working communications channel with some undetected and undefined source/detector then where is the source of that power, both for the brain and for the distant source? More assumptions?

    How come it is that, under certain circumstances, we have no memories or experiences? Let’s say the brain is temporarily blocked like when we get a general anaesthetic. Why isn’t the mind still processing information and thinking even when it’s physical station is off-line? In my own personal experience that doesn’t happen; there was zero time or events detected between the time I went ‘out’ and when I ‘woke up’. Just a quick blank. Nothing.

    It seems to me that your view entails a lot of assumptions (and brings up a lot of questions) which seem to violate criteria like Ockham’s Razor. If you want to hold that view as a matter of faith then I’ve got nothing to say. If you think it’s science then I have to be more critical.

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Doubter: You left out one extremely important factor: the workings of Darwinistic evolution actually had to contrive to modify the genetic DNA structure in exactly the right ways to reorganize millions of sensory and processing neurons so as to invert the image to right side up.

    No, I don’t think that is so. IF you can equip human beings with prismatic lenses which invert the view presented to their eyes and their brain can adapt, in a matter of days, an flip that image back around I don’t think a genetic change is required.

    And of course, the brain plasticity mechanism had to somehow be also first developed.

    Why wouldn’t it be the case that creatures which had that capacity would have an advantage?

  24. 24
    JVL says:

    Caspian: Let’s imagine that the mind is an immaterial entity and the brain is an organ by means of which the mind can interact with the physical world, through the medium of the body.

    Okay, but would that be required? The claim of people experiencing out of body experiences is that they can detect events without the intervention of the body/brain.

    The processing of images and thoughts involves both the brain and the mind (perhaps analogous to how the functioning of a computer involves both the hardware and the software).

    A lot of assumptions about channels and signals and processing and unbreakable links.

    You express a doubt that near-death experiences validate the mind (or soul) and brain duality. A massive amount of research suggests otherwise. Another line of research that concludes the validity of mind/brain dualism comes from Wilder Penfield (neurosurgeon).

    I am fairly familiar with the near-death research. And, in the end, I don’t find any of the evidence strong enough to make all the questions and assumptions go away. I find the ‘brain is the mind’ arguments more plausible and with far less assumptions.

    What this suggests is that the mind, which refers to itself as “I” or “me,” stands aloof from the brain.

    I think exactly the opposite; if you can physically stimulate a place in the brain and make the patient react in a certain, predictable way then it’s clear there is no uber-mind which is observing everything and understanding what is going on. And the patients saying: I didn’t do that makes that clear. There mind is completely unaware of what the brain is doing at a very basic level at times.

  25. 25
    relatd says:

    JVL at 23,

    What creatures, where? Just invent explanations that don’t explain anything? That’s not science. That’s storytelling. As in fiction storytelling.

  26. 26
    doubter says:

    Seversky@14

    It would also be interesting if ID proponents could give a detailed explanation of how their putative designer did it – and who he/she/it is.

    The usual straw man argument, that deliberately misdefines ID. ID research, ID science, takes on the primary critical task of identifying that some sort of intelligent design is the main “guilty party” in evolution, rather than Darwinistic RM+NS. That there absolutely must have been an intelligent agent or agents involved. Determining who or what was the intelligent agent involved and how they (it) did it is very secondary in this endeavor.

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    Asauber: What creatures, where? Just invent explanations that don’t explain anything? That’s not science. That’s storytelling. As in fiction storytelling.

    I was just speculating. I thought that was clear. I am not a evolutionary researchers and I’m not up on all the current work.

    You have yet to respond to my request for you to explain what you think the brain does and what it’s for. Others have and I appreciate that because there should be no shame or reason why anyone should hide their reasons for their views. I expect people here to disagree with me and, I assume, people expect me to disagree with them. But I think the exchange of ideas and questions is good and helps, at the least, make it more likely that when people propose legislation or vote that they will consider the views of others that they have taken the time to understand. If you’d rather just snark and thumb your nose that’s your right. But if you don’t think that actually helps build understanding then I’d encourage you to have a think about what you actually want to accomplish.

  28. 28
    asauber says:

    “Asauber: What creatures, where?”

    JVL,

    Not me.

    Andrew

  29. 29
    JVL says:

    Doubter: Determining who or what was the intelligent agent involved and how they (it) did it is very secondary in this endeavor.

    Sure but if ID proponents don’t move on to those other obviously important questions ID will have a harder time escaping the accusation of being a science stopper.

  30. 30
    relatd says:

    JVL at 27,

    You picked the wrong person. I wrote that. So, after science being turned into god, politics is the next god. Quite sad. The Marxist-Atheist school system cannot be affected since it will create/indoctrinate young people to the “correct” way of thinking. The Marxist-Atheist state within a state must remain in control or problems, like believing in God, might appear. Can’t have that.

    You’ve shown no effort to “build understanding.” In this particular case, all you do is point out what you call “thumb your nose” responses. Is that unexpected? I prefer to be polite but I also prefer that my politeness not to be a reason to take advantage of my trust. Do you understand?

    Your choices are:

    Blind, unguided chance that is not goal oriented.

    Or Intelligent Design where it is clear, based on the evidence, that chance, even with millions of years to play with, is incapable of building a living thing or something as specialized as the Fiddler crab eye.

    To the brain and what it does. The brain is an organ. It is the input and control center for all of the senses. There are reports of people on operating tables, under anesthesia, that end up above their bodies, and able to accurately report what the surgeons are doing. If accurate then this shows that the brain can undergo states that are poorly understood and not accepted as actually occurring. Such states cannot be brought out on command so that would make them impossible to study under a controlled setting. And even if they could, what would the practical use of such a state be?

    But the brain as an organ is also connected to something else. Human creativity is not a computer-like function, along with human invention. Some of it can be modeled but in reality, the majority cannot. I propose the brain has molecular connections that work at the quantum level as well. The implications are for brain-mind researchers to unravel – scientifically.

  31. 31
    doubter says:

    JVL@24

    I am fairly familiar with the near-death research. And, in the end, I don’t find any of the evidence strong enough to make all the questions and assumptions go away. I find the ‘brain is the mind’ arguments more plausible and with far less assumptions.

    Familiar with the research? Obviously your scientistic bias prevents you from open mindedly considering all the research that has been carried out in this field. As an example try actually reading and absorbing the excellent detailed summary of some of this work that exists in the book The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences by Rivas, Dirven and Smit.

    This book contains over 100 reliable, often firsthand, veridical NDE accounts of perceptions during NDEs that were later verified by careful and thorough investigators as accurate by independent sources. These near-death experiencers were everyday people from all over the world — many of whom were clinically dead, unable to see or hear, and yet able to perceive details of such things as rescusitative procedures, doctor’s identities, other people and places in the physical world, and sometimes encounters with deceased loved ones whom they didn’t know were dead.

    Of course I will not hold my breath waiting for you to really look at the empirical evidence – it too greatly conflicts with your fixed materialistic world-view.

  32. 32
    relatd says:

    JVL at 29,

    You like slogans, don’t you? ID is not a “science stopper.” As science, it does not get in the way of ongoing scientific research. That’s not your real concern. The actual concern is ID getting into the public Marxist-Atheist reeducation camps as a belief in something beyond science, beyond what you can show in a lab. The evidence for ID is all around you. Living things are designed. Yet, somehow, people cling to Richard Dawkins and his dismissal of the actual design of living things. If this gets into the schools then people might be inclined to believe in God. Can’t have that.

  33. 33
    doubter says:

    JVL@24

    if you can physically stimulate a place in the brain and make the patient react in a certain, predictable way then it’s clear there is no uber-mind which is observing everything and understanding what is going on. And the patients saying: I didn’t do that makes that clear. There mind is completely unaware of what the brain is doing at a very basic level at times.

    Of course, in addition to veridical NDEs, you ignore the work of Wilder Penfield, the founder of epilipsy surgery. From https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/epilepsy-if-you-follow-the-science-materialism-is-dead/:

    He operated on 1100 patients with epilepsy and really developed the whole field of doing brain surgery to prevent seizures. His specialty was awake craniotomy. You give the patient local anesthesia so they don’t feel any pain. You inject the scalp with Novocaine, and so on.

    Penfield did this operation on over a thousand patients and he noticed two things that were fascinating.

    He would do hundreds of stimulations of different parts of the brain in each operation. And he would stimulate all kinds of things. He could stimulate sensations where the patients would see flashes of light or feel tingling on their skin. He could stimulate the brain and stimulate movements where the patient would raise their arm or raise their leg. He could stimulate memories where they would have this vivid memory of their mother’s face or their first day of school or being in college, and he could stimulate emotions where they would have intense emotions, to feel intense pleasure or intense fear.

    But he noted, and he wrote a book about it, actually — The Mystery of the Mind (1975) — that never once in hundreds of thousands of stimulations of the brain was he ever able to stimulate what he called “mind action.” He meant by that, “abstract thought.” He was never able to stimulate a person to think about philosophy or logic or do mathematics. And he said, “Isn’t that strange that most of our mental contents entails abstract thought, and that’s the one kind of mental state that I have never been able to evoke by stimulating the brain.”

    He said, it kind of makes sense then that maybe it doesn’t come from the brain. Maybe it’s dependent upon the brain for its normal function, but the brain is not what gives rise to it. He thought that was clear evidence for dualism. And he said that he had started out his career as a materialist and at the end of his career he was a passionate dualist. He said that this mind-action, this ability to have abstract thought, clearly does not come from the brain.

  34. 34
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Blind, unguided chance that is not goal oriented. Or Intelligent Design where it is clear, based on the evidence, that chance, even with millions of years to play with, is incapable of building a living thing or something as specialized as the Fiddler crab eye.

    I don’t think you have represented the unguided evolutionary theory correctly. You’ve focused on the random/chance aspect when, it’s clear, that a lot of the theory is based on biased cumulative selection. And we are talking about millions of years.

    To the brain and what it does. The brain is an organ. It is the input and control center for all of the senses. There are reports of people on operating tables, under anesthesia, that end up above their bodies, and able to accurately report what the surgeons are doing.

    Yes but there is a researcher who has put objects at the top of cupboards and storage units in their trauma wards the idea being that IF someone was actually seeing the world from outside of their body from a position well above their body then they should have been able to see the objects stashed up there but, to this day, no one in that ward having an out-of-body experience has been able to see those objects.

    Why is that?

    But the brain as an organ is also connected to something else.

    Assumptions and guesses without any real hard evidence.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    Doubter: Obviously your scientistic bias prevents you from open mindedly considering all the research that has been carried out in this field.

    Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I haven’t spent time seriously considering the data. I find your assumption offensive. You seem to think that anyone who disagrees with you must be wrong.

    Of course I will not hold my breath waiting for you to really look at the empirical evidence – it too greatly conflicts with your fixed materialistic world-view.

    I have spent a long time looking at all the data you cite. And, in the end, I disagree with you. I assume you will conclude that I am crazy or deluded or being paid money to toe the party line. Can you actually really accept that an intelligent person might end up disagreeing with you after considering all the same data? Is that okay?

  36. 36
    groovamos says:

    Seversky:
    It would. It would also be interesting if ID proponents could give a detailed explanation of how their putative designer did it – and who he/she/it is.

    Wow spoken like someone who has faith that science can answer all questions that can be thought of. Well guess what: the majority of the world doesn’t think that way and are OK that many things cannot be known to humans. Maybe this is too much of a philosophical leap for materialists worshipping science and the human intellect.

    Exactly. That’s how evolution works. There’s a whole lot more dead ends than there are successful outcomes. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

    Wait a sec. Macroevolution, which as is said supposedly “works”, has never been observed, same as those millions of transitional forms that left no fossils. Why don’t we instead say “supposed to work” which is to say provides selective advantage for each “step” in a stepwise progression.
    So for some reason over the years when I ask for a stepwise advent of the respiratory endothelium with billions of cilia in coordinated motion, all electrochemically linked up to move the mucus — it seems that the true believers can never come up with an example that would have a decimated number that provides advantage. Or starts out at very small scale and still successful moving the mucus. All I can ever get is excuses as to my question being unworthy of answer.

    On a different topic does anyone wonder why the same materialists come on here year after year with the same wise guy attitude, thinking somehow they’r gonna ‘win’? Here’s what I think: materialists worship the human intellect and invented the term ‘humanism’ to so indicate. On the other hand, they are terrified of the mind, because in their own mind, their mind is destined for obliteration because the brain inevitably meets its annihilation. And for people who think science can answer all questions, it is amusing to observe them struggle with one big question: if my mind is doomed, then what is it for, what does it serve? It is the one question that terrifies them, because they are deathly afraid of their ‘truth’, pun intended. They try to answer it, or rather their ego tries to answer it, but the ego maintains control by maintaining the fear and the belief system that underlies it. And science surely can’t answer it.

    Which brings up a possibility. Maybe those kinds of people come to this site unconsciously seeking salvation from their mind as they perceive it. Many of us on here are free from even questioning our survival, and maybe these people harbor unconsciously a desire to reach such confidence. It takes a bit of philosophical maturity for an adult to recognize that humankind cannot know everything, but even children I think understand it until the modern educational system takes it away to be replaced with the dominant paradigm.

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Relatd: As science, it does not get in the way of ongoing scientific research.

    The question is: does it support it and encourage it and does it promote an ongoing research agenda?

    Well, does it?

    The actual concern is ID getting into the public Marxist-Atheist reeducation camps as a belief in something beyond science, beyond what you can show in a lab.

    If you can’t show it in a lab then is it science? That is the point!!

    The evidence for ID is all around you. Living things are designed. Yet, somehow, people cling to Richard Dawkins and his dismissal of the actual design of living things. If this gets into the schools then people might be inclined to believe in God. Can’t have that.

    I have a lot of very good friends who believe in God. I have one friend in particular who has discussed these issues with me and who is a staunch believer in God and we still find a lot of common ground for lots of other things. This is not a problem with me. That is not the point.

    The point is: what is science. And I still do not see how you can test the Divine in a lab. Faith is not science. But it’s the clear stated motivation of organisations like The Discovery Institute to make faith part of science. That I object to. As should anyone of faith. Because . ..

    Faith should be about that which cannot be proven or shown in some cold and calculating situation. Faith should be about trusting that there is something beyond which the test tubes and scales can show. Faith should be something that lifts people above the dull and drab and mind numblingly boring everyday life. Faith sustains people, inspires peoples, gives people hope, encourages them, lifts them up above the hard scrabble every day graft they have to deal with. People of faith are lucky to have that kind of inspiration.

    Science is about the drab, boring, grind of churning out little steps of mechanical insight. That’s the deal. If I can’t reproduce your results under the same situation then I gotta think you got it wrong. It’s not about faith.

    And faith is not about science. Nor should it be.

  38. 38
    relatd says:

    JVL at 37,

    The same old same old. That’s the best you can do? Here’s some information for you to consider.

    From Communion and Stewardship:

    “69. … But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2).’

    And that is the answer. God works infallibly in Creation. God. This knowledge combines science and Divine revelation. I know this is not allowed in Biology textbooks, but it is clear that God created.

  39. 39
    doubter says:

    JVL@35

    I guess here, the Devil is in the nitty gritty details. How about a plausible materialistic explanation of the Pam Reynolds NDE case, for instance? Even more importantly, keep in mind that all it takes is for just one out of the multitude of veridical NDEs to be actually valid, to make the case for NDEs being glimpses of an afterlife. It would require that for the investigated cases, the careful researchers looking into verification made egregious errors in their investigations, for every single one of the over than 100 documented in The Self Does Not Die. How likely is that?

  40. 40
    doubter says:

    JVL

    And I notice that you have not responded to my post (#33) citing the Wilder Penfield epilepsy surgery brain stimulation data. Please plausibly explain that via reductionist materialism.

  41. 41
    Querius says:

    All,

    The contrast between Intelligent Design and design by undirected random chance and selection has been explained here INNUMERABLE times. Yet, in each new thread, the comment by skeptics are static along the lines of:

    A. ID is unscientific.
    B. I’m not convinced.
    C. I’ve never seen anyone who could show evidence of ID.

    The appropriate answers are often along the lines of:

    A. Your opinion by itself does not constitute irrefutable proof.
    B. Who cares whether “you” are convinced. No amount of evidence would ever “convince” you. See A.
    C. You’ve been shown strong evidence with boring regularity, which you never bother reading because of B.

    What we need besides https://uncommondescent.com/comment-policy/put-a-sock-in-it/ is an ANTI-trollbot that simply negates unsupported assertions with . . . more unsupported assertions since no synapses were involved in the skeptical comments anyway.

    A. Random chance with natural selection is unscientific.
    B. I’m not convinced of your pathetic unsupported skepticism.
    C. I’ve never seen anyone who could show evidence of evolution.

    Q + -Q = 0

    Maybe then we wouldn’t waste our time on vacuous trollbot comments, especially when the skeptics and critics won’t even take the time to consider the links provided, bother to look up a term, or even create a cogent response to a question in return.

    On the other hand, a well-researched, cogent question about ID would be interesting and welcome.

    -Q

  42. 42
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Sure but if ID proponents don’t move on to those other obviously important questions ID will have a harder time escaping the accusation of being a science stopper.

    We still don’t know who designed Stonehenge. Is archaeology a science stopper? We don’t know by who or how the Mayan calendar round was designed.

    How does knowing the Wright brothers help us understand airplanes?

  43. 43
    doubter says:

    JVL

    Just a little on the related area of PSI and ESP, another area where you are coming up against a massive amount of empirical evidence. Your superskeptical materialist position probably includes the dismissal of PSI and ESP, along with NDEs and any and all evidence for an immaterial spirit along the lines of interactional dualism, or idealist monism, for that matter.

    The Wiki article on ESP, and other materialist scientistic pseudoskeptic dismissals of the paranormal, ignore or dismiss all major meta-analyses of the data, like Etzel Cardena’s survey article on psi and esp research findings in American Psychologist, which presented a very strong case for the reality of these phenomena based on the cumulatively overwhelmingly evidential peer-reviewed research findings from many studies accumulated over the years. The title was “The experimental evidence for parapsychological phenomena” (at https://ameribeiraopreto.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/The-Experimental-Evidence-for-Parapsychological-Phenomena.pdf). From the Abstract: “The evidence (presented here) provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms. The evidence for psi is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.”

    Any open-minded examination of the empirical evidence shows that parapsychology is not pseudo-science, but many widely believed-in mainstream materialist sources such as Wikipedia complacently lie that it is.

    With the Cardena paper the best that the materialist scientistic pseudoskeptics could do when presented with this challenge was Reber and Alcock’s incredible response (at https://skepticalinquirer.org/2019/07/why-parapsychological-claims-cannot-be-true/), where they couldn’t or wouldn’t waste their precious time and effort in actually examining the details of the data and research experimental results, but instead they closed-mindedly went back to David Hume and his old “pigs can’t fly” philosophical/metaphysical argument against “miracles” contravening currently understood natural law. Reber and Alcock claimed that esp and psi are simply existentially impossible, regardless of absolutely any conceivable evidence. Essentially, they threw out without examination the very large body of highly evidential experimental research results, a very large body of empirical evidence, just because they didn’t and couldn’t believe them. They strongly believe that all the data regardless of quality just must in principle be false in some way, with no need to actually show this falsity in detail.

    Wow, case closed. What an excellent argument. Of course, the real reason for their use of this tired and invalid old argument was that they knew that they couldn’t plausibly challenge the findings documented in Cardena’s paper.

  44. 44
    Alan Fox says:

    So many words to not tell us anything about “Intelligent Design”. Yet if we can’t cross every t and dot every I for evolutionary theory, “Intelligent Design” gets a pass. 🙂

  45. 45
    Alan Fox says:

    …challenge the findings documented in Cardena’s paper.

    Give us something to challenge, then. Let’s look closer at one of these documented findings. I’ll let you pick your best example.

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL at 22

    Bornagain77: And yet, as Schwartz’s, and others’s, experimental research highlights, “the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.””

    JVL: But other experimental results suggest that is not the case. You have to consider all the data and results.

    What other experimental work? You did not cite any other experimental research to counter Schwartz’s work. And you, despite what you may falsely imagine, in fact have ZERO experimental research that the material brain can somehow generate the immaterial mind. i.e. Your supposed ‘other experimental results’ simply do not exit in reality

    “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

    “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.

    ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    – David Barash – professor of psychology emeritus at the University of Washington.

    “It’s sobering to note that neuroscience has utterly failed to explain how the brain and mind relate. It is as if cosmology had failed to tell us anything meaningful about the universe; or medical science failed to tell us anything about health and disease; or geology failed to tell us anything about rocks. Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem (of consciousness), after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved.”
    – Michael R. Egnor, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook

    “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”:

    “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 in Physics –

    “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

    “I have a much easier time imagining how we would understand the big bang, even though we can’t do it yet, than I can imagine understanding consciousness.”
    – Edward Witten – professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey

    Moreover JVL, not only do you not have any experimental research showing that the material brain can somehow generate the immaterial mind, but both Big Bang Cosmology and Quantum Mechanics have now falsified your base assumption of reductive materialism, i.e. falsified your belief that ‘material reality’ is the ‘prime reality’ from which all other reality flows.

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

    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.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    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

    i.e. JVL, as far as our best experimental science from physics is concerned, your primary assumption of reductive materialism is now shown to be false.,,,, as far as empirical science itself is concerned this is certainly NOT a minor problem for you.

    JVL goes on, “Since no communications channel has been detected how do the brain and the mind communicate?”

    JVL, you do realize that ‘communication channels’ are the product of intelligent design do you not? In fact, there is a 10 million dollar prize being offered for the first person who can show that unguided material processes can create a ‘communication channel”.

    What You Must Do to Win The (10 Million Dollar) Prize
    You must arrange for a digital communication system to emerge or self-evolve without “cheating.” The diagram below describes the system. Without explicitly designing the system, your experiment must generate an encoder that sends digital code to a decoder. Your system needs to transmit at least five bits of information. (In other words it has to be able to represent 32 states. The genetic code supports 64.)
    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0?_ga=2.74388754.1238736579.1659607549-624621427.1659607549

    i.e. For JVL to even appeal to ‘communication channels’ is for him to refute his own worldview!

    But anyways, JVL goes on: “Without actually detected signals or mechanisms (in the brain) clearly able to broadcast and receive signals it’s all just an assumption. Something you accuse non-dualists of having.”

    What in the world are you going on about? Immaterial minds ‘broadcast and receive immaterial information all the time. We are doing it right now. As well, “In the brain” there is ample evidence of ‘information flow’.

    JVL goes on: “Assuming there is some communications channel that can travel over vast distances instantaneously with little or no loss of signal then . . .

    “vast distances”??? What in the world are you going on about? You really need to work on your clarity of exactly what you are trying to talk about.

    JVL goes on: “How is it (the immaterial mind) sustained without a physical device?”

    For crying out loud, besides you having ZERO empirical evidence that the material brain can somehow generate the immaterial mind, you are now, in your question, presupposing that the immaterial mind is somehow dependent on the material brain for its existence,

    Yet for you to do so, (especially when I am currently holding that the immaterial mind is not dependent on the material brain for its existence), is called ‘begging the question’ and/or ‘assuming your conclusion’, and is a well known logical fallacy.

    JVL goes on with a lot of other inconsequential stuff that is superficial to superfluous to the main question under consideration, (i.e. How can the material brain possibly generate the immaterial mind?), but anyways JVL ends with this: “It seems to me that your view entails a lot of assumptions (and brings up a lot of questions) which seem to violate criteria like Ockham’s Razor. If you want to hold that view as a matter of faith then I’ve got nothing to say. If you think it’s science then I have to be more critical.”

    First, Ockham’s Razor holds that, if two, or more, explanations for a given phenomena exist, then the simplest explanation is to be preferred.

    In criticism to JVL’s appeal to Ockham’s razor, two explanations exist for a rabbit coming out of a magician’s hat. The ‘complex’ explanation is that the magician took several ‘complex’ steps to make it appear as if the hat produced a rabbit. Whereas the ‘simple’ explanation is that hats really do produce rabbits.

    JVL prefers to believe the ‘simple’ explanation that hats produce rabbits.

    “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

    As to JVL criticizing faith, that is extremely ironic seeing that Atheistic Materialists, (despite having not one shred of empirical evidence unguided material processes can create anything, not even a single protein), have enough blind faith to make Muslim suicide bombers and Pentecostal snake handlers blush in comparison.

    Francis Collins, Eye Evolution, and Blind Faith
    https://idthefuture.com/1520/

    Verse:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  47. 47
    chuckdarwin says:

    I am guessing that Querius (41) cannot list the top ten journals in evolutionary biology, yet he parrots the quintessential ID plaint that “I’ve never seen anyone who could show evidence of evolution.” Well, if you don’t look, you obviously won’t find. Here’s the list for anyone interested:
    https://guides.library.cornell.edu/c.php?g=150193&p=2508503

  48. 48
    ET says:

    chuckdarwin:

    “Does this sound like God (more precisely, the Christian God) or the result of unguided, random evolutionary processes?”

    There isn’t any evidence that unguided, random evolutionary processes produced the diversity of life. There isn’t even any way to test the claim.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    chuckdarwin then equivocates “evolution” with “evolution by means of unguided, random evolutionary processes. Totally clueless.

  50. 50
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    :))) Per-review journals are useless when is about singular , unrepeatable , unobservable past events.
    All those suppositions about past(Big-Bang, Darwinism,etc.) events can be dismissed by anyone because an assumption made by a scientist remain just an assumption so basically it’s about competion among different beliefs based on previously preferred worldview(materialism,theism) 😆

  51. 51
    ET says:

    Alan Fox:

    So many words to not tell us anything about “Intelligent Design”. Yet if we can’t cross every t and dot every I for evolutionary theory, “Intelligent Design” gets a pass.

    What a load of lies and BS.
    1- We have said exactly what ID is and what the evidence for it is.
    2- ID exists because you and yours have FAILED to find evidentiary support for your position.
    3- You can’t even tell us how to test the claim that blind and mindless processes produced the diversity of life
    4- You and yours can’t dot any i’s nor cross any t’s

  52. 52
    ET says:

    seversky:

    It would also be interesting if ID proponents could give a detailed explanation of how their putative designer did it – and who he/she/it is.

    That doesn’t have anything to do with ID.

    Why are you such a clueless loser?

  53. 53
    ET says:

    Evos are a clueless lot. Theirs is the mechanistic position. And yet they don’t have a mechanism capable of producing the diversity of life! They are stuck on changes to DNA and yet such changes could never produce the diversity of life. All changes to DNA can do is produce variations within a population.

  54. 54
    chuckdarwin says:

    ET/49
    Would you tell me what the following is supposed to mean? Are you sure you don’t mean “equates” rather than “equivocates?”:

    chuckdarwin then equivocates “evolution” with “evolution by means of unguided, random evolutionary processes.

    Also, how come I’m only clueless but Sev is clueless AND a loser? What do I have to do to get the full monty?

  55. 55
    ET says:

    chuckdarwin/54- Get a dictionary and learn how to use it. and sev repeats the same nonsense ad nauseum.

  56. 56
    AaronS1978 says:

    equivocates
    “Uses ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself”

    Oxford dictionary, about 20 seconds to use.

    CD

    “Also, how come I’m only clueless but Sev is clueless AND a loser? What do I have to do to get the full monty?”

    Sev doesn’t have the full monty, he just repeats himself and tries really hard to segway conversations to why Christianity and God suck according to Sev. You on the other hand had earned the full monty long ago. You’re just to arrogant and ignorant to realize that you did.

  57. 57
    JVL says:

    Relatd: it is clear that God created.

    But can you test that hypothesis with an experiment?

  58. 58
    JVL says:

    Doubter: How about a plausible materialistic explanation of the Pam Reynolds NDE case, for instance?

    I will look at the case if you can provide details. I’d rather not guess until I’ve familiarised myself with the particulars.

    And I notice that you have not responded to my post (#33) citing the Wilder Penfield epilepsy surgery brain stimulation data. Please plausibly explain that via reductionist materialism.

    I will try and find time to look at that.

    Your superskeptical materialist position probably includes the dismissal of PSI and ESP, along with NDEs and any and all evidence for an immaterial spirit along the lines of interactional dualism, or idealist monism, for that matter.

    Let’s just say I haven’t found the available evidence completely convincing. I do think it’s perfectly reasonable to do more research however. So, not dismissal just a healthy skepticism.

  59. 59
    JVL says:

    ET: We still don’t know who designed Stonehenge. Is archaeology a science stopper? We don’t know by who or how the Mayan calendar round was designed.

    We know those things were done by humans, we know when then lived, roughly, we know some of what they ate, what tools they used. Archaeology is not a science stopper because people are working to answer historical questions using the materials left behind by previous cultures.

    What questions are ID researchers working on?

  60. 60
    ET says:

    1- We do not know that humans did it
    2- Humans are a what and not a who
    3- If saying humans did it is OK for archaeology than saying a non-human did it is OK for ID
    4- ID also trying to answer historical questions
    5- Your position still has nothing

  61. 61
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: What other experimental work? You did not cite any other experimental research to counter Schwartz’s work. And you, despite what you may falsely imagine, in fact have ZERO experimental research that the material brain can somehow generate the immaterial mind. i.e. Your supposed ‘other experimental results’ simply do not exit in reality

    At the moment I’m more interested in examining how you can explain how your paradigm can work. Which is why I asked you a lot of questions.

    both Big Bang Cosmology and Quantum Mechanics have now falsified your base assumption of reductive materialism, i.e. falsified your belief that ‘material reality’ is the ‘prime reality’ from which all other reality flows.

    I don’t think many physicists would agree with that!!

    Since no communications channel has been detected how do the brain and the mind communicate?”

    JVL, you do realize that ‘communication channels’ are the product of intelligent design do you not? In fact, there is a 10 million dollar prize being offered for the first person who can show that unguided material processes can create a ‘communication channel”.

    You seem to have tried to turn my question back on me. I said no communication channels or frequencies have been found so how do the mind and brain communicate? I’m interested in your answer for that.

    What in the world are you going on about? Immaterial minds ‘broadcast and receive immaterial information all the time. We are doing it right now. As well, “In the brain” there is ample evidence of ‘information flow’.

    The only way humans broadcast information is by using their bodies to communicate with another person (or animal). I consider typing/writing to fit into that category. You have proposed a system wherein the brain and the mind are conveying information back and forth continuously and I’m asking you questions about how that would work.

    “vast distances”??? What in the world are you going on about? You really need to work on your clarity of exactly what you are trying to talk about.

    I guess that depends on where you think the non-physical mind exists. Where do you think it exists?

    “How is it (the immaterial mind) sustained without a physical device?”

    For crying out loud, besides you having ZERO empirical evidence that the material brain can somehow generate the immaterial mind, you are now, in your question, presupposing that the immaterial mind is somehow dependent on the material brain for its existence,

    Look, I’m asking you about your belief. How do you explain how the mind can exist without some kind of physical support? Clearly you think the mind is separate from the brain so is there some other device and power source which generates the energy necessary for the mind to do its processing?

    Yet for you to do so, (especially when I am currently holding that the immaterial mind is not dependent on the material brain for its existence), is called ‘begging the question’ and/or ‘assuming your conclusion’, and is a well known logical fallacy.

    I’m asking you how your paradigm works. I know what you are saying I’m asking questions about how that can happen. If you can’t answer the questions then just say so.

    Whereas the ‘simple’ explanation is that hats really do produce rabbits.

    But that’s not really the simplest plausible answer is it? Because that generates a whole lot of other questions and, perhaps, assumptions. So, the magician using slight-of-hand and known mechanical procedures is the simplest answer; one that does not require and unknown or assumed mechanisms.

    My reference to Occam’s razor was because I think your view entails a lot more questions and assumptions and unknown processes than mine does. Which is why I was asking you about them so I could understand exactly what you are saying. If you have plausible and reasonable answers to those questions then I might change my mind and consider your explanation more parsimonious.

    I’ll leave it up to you. If you choose not to answer my questions then just say so. If you can’t answer my questions then just say so. Attacking my view is not the same as explaining yours which is what I’d like you to do.

  62. 62
    relatd says:

    JVL at 57,

    Say a prayer to God right now. Just do it. Ask Him to answer you.

  63. 63
    JVL says:

    ET: We do not know that humans did it

    We don’t have any evidence of any other beings around at the time. And we can see, in many cases, other works that humans did at about the same time along with their burials and their tools and sometimes even their writing.

    Humans are a what and not a who

    Yes, you always like to misinterpret that.

    If saying humans did it is OK for archaeology than saying a non-human did it is OK for ID

    First of all we know humans were around at the pertinent time and we know something about the humans that were around at the pertinent time. We know zilch about any intelligent non-humans around at any time. Secondly, we know roughly when most archaeological deposits were deposited; no one can say when the intelligent designers of ID did their thing. Third, it’s fair in both cases to ask questions about either the humans or the ID designer. Archaeologists keep working to find out more about humans from the past. What work are ID researchers doing?

    ID also trying to answer historical questions

    Great! Good for them! Like what?

  64. 64
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Say a prayer to God right now. Just do it. Ask Him to answer you.

    Why can’t you answer the questions? Also, what if I don’t get an answer asking God?

    You could ask God and tell me what the reply is . . .

  65. 65
    relatd says:

    JVL at 64,

    Your science worship amazes me. God knows who you are.

  66. 66
    ET says:

    LoL! How do we “know” that humans did it? It exists! And humans were there. So, they did it.

    And it is a fact that humans are a what and not a who. All of humanity isn’t a suspect in every murder or crime. All of humanity isn’t on trial.

    The evidence says that non-human intelligence was around at the time. And to refute that all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can account for it. Yet nature can’t even produce Stonehenge, even though it produces stones in abundance.

    The historical question of designed or nature did it. Designed won.

  67. 67
    Seversky says:

    I don’t understand the need to “worship” anything. I find the concept of an egotistical deity that needs to be worshipped inconsistent with qualities attributed to the Christian God by the faithful. If God knows who and where I am, He is welcome to visit in person so that we can talk. Is there any reason why that shouldn’t happen?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 67,

    I pray God opens your eyes. Churches are for prayer and worship or did you miss that?

    “Show me God. If you can show me God I might believe in Him.” Comic book convention in the 1970s.

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL you referred to other experimental work to refute my Schwartz reference. I said you have none, and you reply that, “At the moment I’m more interested in examining how you can explain how your paradigm can work. Which is why I asked you a lot of questions.”

    You made a blatantly false empirical claim. When called on it you punt. Thus, I don’t care what you are more interested in. You can’t even get to square one as far as science is concerned!

    You say that many physicists would disagree that reductive materialism is falsified by Big Bang Cosmology and Quantum Mechanics. Again, I don’t care what other physicists may believe. I only care what the empirical evidence itself is indicating. It is called empirical science. And on that score, materialism is dead.

    I did not ‘try’ to turn your ‘communication channel’ comment back on you. I DID. The existence of communication channels falsifies your materialistic worldview. Period.

    The rest of you post is just as scientifically pointless. I trust unbiased readers to clearly see that you got nothing but science-free rhetoric.

  71. 71
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Your science worship amazes me. God knows who you are.

    He could send me a message then!!

    What is wrong with asking questions and looking for answers? Isn’t that what Newton did?

  72. 72
    relatd says:

    JVL at 71,

    With due respect, you aren’t Newton. And to quote the great philosopher, Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want.”

    God will send you a message.

  73. 73
    JVL says:

    ET: LoL! How do we “know” that humans did it? It exists! And humans were there. So, they did it.

    Also we have seen other things they made at the same time, we have their tools, we know they were in the area, with the Egyptians we have some of their writings. I realise you have to push your (in Kairosfocus‘s phrase) hyper-skepticism about ancient monuments but aside from all the evidence that humans made them there is no other candidate.

    And it is a fact that humans are a what and not a who. All of humanity isn’t a suspect in every murder or crime. All of humanity isn’t on trial.

    Whatever. You pretending that asking who built Stonehenge implies “which person” is just a dodge to promote your narrative. Humans built Stonehenge, humans built the pyramids, humans built the Mayan and Aztec pyramids and temples.

    The evidence says that non-human intelligence was around at the time.

    What time was that?

    Your only ‘evidence’ is some complicated things you think were designed. You make a circular argument: these things were designed and we know there was a non-human intelligence around ’cause these things were designed. If we agree to not use the object under question as evidence you haven’t got any.

    And to refute that all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can account for it.

    Which I think has been done.

    Yet nature can’t even produce Stonehenge, even though it produces stones in abundance.

    Non-sequitur.

    The historical question of designed or nature did it. Designed won.

    When exactly are you claiming design was implemented?

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: You made a blatantly false empirical claim. When called on it you punt. Thus, I don’t care what you are more interested in. You can’t even get to square one as far as science is concerned!

    You do this all the time. To avoid addressing questions you attack the other person. Shall we get back to whether or not you can answer my questions? After that I will do my best to answer your questions.

    You say that many physicists would disagree that reductive materialism is falsified by Big Bang Cosmology and Quantum Mechanics. Again, I don’t care what other physicists may believe. I only care what the empirical evidence itself is indicating. It is called empirical science. And on that score, materialism is dead.

    Continuing to not even attempt to address my questions . . .

    I did not ‘try’ to turn your ‘communication channel’ comment back on you. I DID. The existence of communication channels falsifies your materialistic worldview. Period.

    What communication channels? I said they hadn’t been discovered. What are you thinking of? Between the brain and mind obviously.

    The rest of you post is just as scientifically pointless. I trust unbiased readers to clearly see that you got nothing but science-free rhetoric.

    Again, avoiding my questions.

    Since you’re clearly not even going to try and answer my questions why not be man-enough and mature-enough to say so clearly.

  75. 75
    relatd says:

    JVL at 73,

    “promote your narrative”

    New! (Not really) JVL Irritant. For online use only. Available only by prescription. Not for topical use. See warning label.

    Warning: Can cause vertigo, altered mental states and occasional periods of weightlessness.

  76. 76
    JVL says:

    Relatd: With due respect, you aren’t Newton. And to quote the great philosopher, Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want.” God will send you a message.

    I await with anticipation. I’ll make sure the answering machine is on.

    New! (Not really) JVL Irritant. For online use only. Available only by prescription. Not for topical use. See warning label.

    What is wrong with asking questions about how someone’s world view would actually work? And what is wrong with calling someone on incorrectly representing known and well-established science?

    I guess God will let me know since you’re not into answering questions.

  77. 77
    Querius says:

    Seversky @67,

    I don’t understand the need to “worship” anything.

    That’s because you’re not grasping the astonishing creativity, brilliance, and power of the Creator despite the overwhelming evidence in DNA code, biochemical cycles, and complex ecosystems including your own body.

    Instead, you unscientifically ascribe everything–including your mind–to mindless chance.

    I find the concept of an egotistical deity that needs to be worshipped inconsistent with qualities attributed to the Christian God by the faithful.

    Obviously. The conclusion then is that the Creator is brilliant, but not egotistical. You’re simply projecting pathetic human egotism on the Creator of space-time, mass-energy, life, and conscious minds.

    If God knows who and where I am, He is welcome to visit in person so that we can talk. Is there any reason why that shouldn’t happen?

    Great to hear! You’ll need to make a conscious and sincere effort to invite the presence of the Creator into your life. This will have a profound impact on you, as it has for many of us, including me.

    -Q

  78. 78
    relatd says:

    JVL at 76,

    You just want to ignore the obvious, don’t you? What separates you and others who refuse to believe in a deity is your belief – that is the correct word – that science is all. That what you can see or hold in your hand is all. And that’s all.

    Intelligent Design is the correct answer. The only answer. It looks at the data, records the problems – as opposed to rubber stamping everything with Evolution Did It – and the problems have been presented here. But no, it’s not good enough. You say you want science, right? So where does worldview come from? Your fear that the world of living things might become a world that was designed by an intelligence? That kids will be taught this? Based on your previous reference to politics and policy. Yes, the Intelligent Design Science textbook is on its way. Since space aliens are right out due to lack of evidence, we are left with God. Talk about a change! Instead of Richard Dawkins worship – Living things aren’t actually designed – we might get people believing in God. Atheists prefer evolution as their explanation for their worldview.

  79. 79
    JVL says:

    Relatd: You just want to ignore the obvious, don’t you? What separates you and others who refuse to believe in a deity is your belief – that is the correct word – that science is all. That what you can see or hold in your hand is all. And that’s all.

    Hang on. Newton (just an example) was a person of great and deep faith and he asked a lot of questions about how the universe worked and he experimented and he did a lot of mathematical work in an attempt to codify what he considered God’s creation. So what’s wrong with asking questions about how something works?

    You say you want science, right?

    ID is science right? I’d like to know what the ID answer is for certain questions. Like how do the mind and brain communicate if they’re separate? How is the mind sustained? Where does the energy come from? Are you saying asking such questions is wrong? Why?

    Your fear that the world of living things might become a world that was designed by an intelligence?

    Nope, I don’t feat that if ID can answer obvious questions and come up with testable explanations.

    Since space aliens are right out due to lack of evidence, we are left with God. Talk about a change! Instead of Richard Dawkins worship – Living things aren’t actually designed – we might get people believing in God.

    Again, what is wrong with asking questions of how the God explanation works? I’ve been told over and over that the reason there are rules of physics is because the universe was intelligently designed. But when I ask how those rules apply to mind-body dualism you tell me to stop asking questions!!

    If the laws of nature were designed by God then there should be an explanation using the rules God derived of things like PSI or NDEs or mind-body dualism.

  80. 80
    relatd says:

    JVL at 79,

    You are suddenly concerned with Newton and God? What brought this on?

    Yes, ID is science. Scientists, as was shown to you, have no idea how the brain/mind can think in the present or about the past or the future. Or even creatively.

    I haven’t told you to stop asking questions. You just insist on asking questions to support your worldview as opposed to looking at the answers previously provided to you.

    You don’t understand God or how God works because you don’t want to know. God creates from nothing. He uses no pre-existing substance. He creates from nothing. No one has an excuse for believing otherwise.

    Romans 1:20

    “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

  81. 81
    doubter says:

    Seversky@14

    Just to keep track of this discussion. Typically, it has become clear that once again, in response to a “put up or shut up” challenge, you will never actually engage with the reasonable request for some sort of plausible detailed account. You simply continue to gloss over without any elaboration in convincing detail the barriers to such a Darwinistic transformation (such as the fiddler crab eye evolution featured in the Op.) that I have pointed out. And of course there are many more.

    As I pointed out, these barriers to gradualistic RM+NS evolution of such a complex biological system start with the wait time problem and the irreducible complexity (very wide scattering of “islands of functionality” in the fitness landscape) problem. Still waiting for a substantive response, but I certainly won’t hold my breath.

  82. 82
    doubter says:

    JVL@58

    I will look at the (Pam Reynolds) case if you can provide details. I’d rather not guess until I’ve familiarised myself with the particulars.

    The Pam Reynolds case. You profess to be familiar with the NDE literature and data, but apparently are not aware of this very well-known prominent and important veridical NDE. Curious.

    The following is a very abbreviated summary excerpt from Rivas, Titus, The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences (pp. 95-123). International Association for Near-Death Studies. Kindle Edition. This is only a very abbreviated summary. The details of this case are long and voluminous in an extended literature, and can only be roughly summarized here due to limitations of space.

    During his Atlanta NDE study, cardiologist Michael Sabom (1998) came across the case of a 35-year-old American singer-songwriter, Pamela (Pam) Reynolds (1956–2010). In 1991, Reynolds had been diagnosed with a large saccular aneurysm — a sac-like bulge in the wall of a brain artery that is prone to rupture — at the base of her skull under her brain stem. If such an aneurysm does rupture, it leads to hemorrhaging that can affect the adjacent brain stem and result in death. The size and location of the aneurysm made it impossible to remove the bulge by means of a routine neurological intervention.
    For this reason, Reynolds was sent to neurosurgeon Robert Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Spetzler is a pioneer of the method known as hypothermic cardiac arrest, nicknamed the standstill operation. In such an operation, someone’s body temperature is dropped to between 59° and 63° F (15° to 17° C). Both heart rate and breathing are stopped, and the blood is drained from the head. In this way, normal physiological processes that could cause serious complications are avoided during operations on the brain, the major arteries, or the heart.
    From a biological viewpoint, the patient comes very close to death in this procedure, with the understanding that he or she will be roused back to life at the end of the operation. Once Reynolds was brought into the operating room, she received anesthetics, pain killers, and muscle relaxants, after which she was completely unconscious. Reynolds was hooked up to a machine that took over her breathing. Earbuds equipped with two little loudspeakers were inserted into her ears. The loudspeakers emitted 11 clicks per second at 95–100 decibels in one ear and loud white noise in the other; periodically, the clicking sound was switched to the opposite ear to avoid hearing damage. The earbuds were molded to completely fill her ear canals and then covered with gauze to keep them in place so that all other sound was blocked out.
    An anesthetist monitored her closely, including keeping track of her EEG to measure her brain activity and, particularly, possible reactions of her brain to the clicking sounds. Such reactions can indicate that the brain is inadvertently still active, even if there is an otherwise flat EEG. Her eyes were taped shut, her head was clamped in place, and the rest of her body was covered with sterile drapes.
    After this, neurosurgeon Spetzler began the actual operation on the aneurysm. At the same time, cardiac surgeon Camilla Mican monitored a bypass machine connected to Reynolds’s groin artery, a standard technique that is part of the total standstill operation. Her blood was pumped out of her body, cooled, and pumped back in. In this way, the entire body was cooled down. The heart function was taken over by the machine as well.
    Finally, the bypass machine was turned off and the aneurysm was removed without any complications. Then the machine was turned back on and used to pump blood back into the body and raise body temperature back to normal. Normal heart function was restored, tubes that had been inserted were removed, and the wounds were stitched up.
    Early in Spetzler’s part of the procedure, just before the cooling down part began, he used a surgical saw to open Reynolds’s skull. She later reported that this was when her NDE began.
    While Spetzler operated the saw, Reynolds perceived a sound that she identified as a musical note (a high natural D). She felt that she popped out of her body and floated above the operating table. The further she left her body behind, the clearer the tone became. Then she observed the doctors working on her body. Her vantage point was just over Spetzler’s shoulder. She saw him holding a tool that looked like an electric toothbrush. The thing made a sound that Reynolds found unpleasant, and she observed that it had a groove on top where it appeared to go into the handle. She thought the tool looked like a drill. It had interchangeable blades that resembled bits, and these bits were kept in a small case nearby that looked to her like a socket wrench case. She heard the sound of the saw grow louder. She did not see exactly where the saw bit in, but she did hear something being sawed into. Reynolds then heard someone say that the arteries in her right groin were too small, and somebody else answered that they should try the other side (her left groin). She thought the fuss around her lower body was strange because this was a brain operation, and she did not understand the need for an incision in the groin to connect her to the bypass machine in preparation to cool, then later warm, her blood. Sabom tried to determine to what extent Reynolds’s description of the beginning stage of the operation corresponded with the facts. He contacted Spetzler and was able to see the surgeon’s report of the operation. The correspondences were so major that even Spetzler himself could not offer any normal explanation for them. For instance, Reynolds accurately presented the exchange about her arteries. This perception was physically impossible because the exchange, even if she had been normally conscious, would at the very least have been distorted due to the ear buds. Pamela Reynolds’ Neurosurgeon Karl A. Greene, at the time a newly minted doctor who was involved in the operation, meanwhile also confirmed that Reynolds’s experiences were inexplicable.
    His confirmation came during a conversation with journalist and author Judy Bachrach (2014). She wrote: The doctor found it impossible to believe what he had just heard. The surgical saw did in fact look like an electric toothbrush; it emitted a high-pitched sound, and some of its blades were kept in what looked like a toolbox. One of Pam’s femoral arteries had been too small to connect to the heart-lung machine, and there had been some discussion about that before a decision was made to try the other femoral artery.
    …………………………………………..
    In one e-mail to Rivas, surgeon Spetzler recounted that Reynolds’s description was remarkably accurate. To Smit, he added, “She was under EEG burst suppression [a clear sign that the brain is not active but in a state of deep unconsciousness], which is incompatible with anesthetic awareness” (R. Spetzler, personal communication, 2013; see Chapter 11, Note 2). Dr. Greene wrote Rivas the following about this matter: Mrs. Reynolds’ NDE-consciousness during the first phase involving the bone saw, electrophysiological activity in the central nervous system was more likely than not to have been so profoundly suppressed that Mrs. Reynolds would not have had such a well-formed conscious experience of the use of a bone saw and its sequelae. (K. Greene, personal communication, July 7, 2015).
    …………………………………………..
    Reynolds (personal communication, August 2003) wrote Rivas that her accurate observations cannot be explained by normal foreknowledge. Prior to the operation, she had received only a summary explanation of what was going to be done. Considering it was a new procedure, she could not have had access beforehand to written
    information about the surgical procedures that would be performed — and there was no information online, as the Internet was in its infancy. Reynolds thought it was totally ridiculous that some people assumed that she would have gotten a tour of the operating room and been shown the medical instruments before the operation—which she felt would have been so scary, she might never have gone through with the operation. She also emphasized to Rivas that she could not after the fact have reconstructed the brief exchange that took place during the early phase of the operation, because she had not known prior to surgery that an incision would be made in her groin, and for 2 days following surgery, she was still unaware of this part of the procedure because the pain in her head was so great that she did not feel the pain in her groin. Reynolds added that before the operation, she had never read a book or article about NDEs and that she had been skeptical about the nature of her own NDE until Sabom investigated further. She thought that NDEs were caused by disruption to the cerebral processes and adjusted her opinion only when Sabom revealed his research results.

  83. 83
    JVL says:

    Relatd: You are suddenly concerned with Newton and God? What brought this on?

    I’m not ‘concerned’; I just think that Newton is an example of someone who had a deep and abiding faith but who asked questions and looked for answers.

    Scientists, as was shown to you, have no idea how the brain/mind can think in the present or about the past or the future. Or even creatively.

    Okay. But it’s okay asking questions and trying to find answers! And that’s true for those of faith and those without.

    You just insist on asking questions to support your worldview as opposed to looking at the answers previously provided to you.

    Just a minute . . . I’ve been told over and over again that God created the laws that run the universe. So . . . I’m asking how a God-view jibes with the laws you say God made. And you think I’m trying to support my view? I would think you would think that applying the laws of physics and chemistry to questions of PSI or ESP or NDEs or mind-brain duality would be supporting your view!!

    You don’t understand God or how God works because you don’t want to know. God creates from nothing. He uses no pre-existing substance. He creates from nothing. No one has an excuse for believing otherwise.

    But he invented the laws I’m trying to apply to your view of how the universe works . . . yes? And that’s a problem?

  84. 84
    JVL says:

    Doubter: The Pam Reynolds case. You profess to be familiar with the NDE literature and data, but apparently are not aware of this very well-known prominent and important veridical NDE. Curious.

    I have followed the Skeptiko podcast for over a decade and they have discussed many NDE cases and research. I did not recall this particular case but that does not mean that I am ignorant of the general claims and situation.

    As far as this particular case is concerned . . . as with any such events I’d be very interested in an accurate timeline of when certain medications were given and when certain procedures occurred. Also, I don’t find it completely out of the question that someone could hear some things even if they had tight-fitting earphones in. Frequently, during such procedures, there are times when the patient is partially conscious albeit at a low level. There are even times when someone under a strong general anaesthetic is aware of what is happening. I don’t find any of the patient reporting to be beyond the scope of someone who was not completely ‘out’; it doesn’t sound like they observed anything that they couldn’t have perceived from their position.

    So, if I have to pick between some physics-defying perceptual event and one that, while improbable, agrees with what we know of physics and chemistry and brain activity I’ll take the solution which doesn’t imply the overthrow of the known laws of physics (which apparently were dictated by God).

    Oh, by the way, there are dissenting views of the event:

    Critics say that the amount of time which Reynolds was “flatlined” is generally misrepresented and suggest that her NDE occurred while under general anaesthesia when the brain was still active, hours before Reynolds underwent hypothermic cardiac arrest.

    Anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee analyzed the case, and concluded that Reynolds’ ability to perceive events during her surgery was the result of “anesthesia awareness”.

    According to the psychologist Chris French:

    Woerlee, an anesthesiologist with many years of clinical experience, has considered this case in detail and remains unconvinced of the need for a paranormal explanation… [He] draws attention to the fact that Reynolds could only give a report of her experience some time after she recovered from the anesthetic as she was still intubated when she regained consciousness. This would provide some opportunity for her to associate and elaborate upon the sensations she had experienced during the operation with her existing knowledge and expectations. The fact that she described the small pneumatic saw used in the operation also does not impress Woerlee. As he points out, the saw sounds like and, to some extent, looks like the pneumatic drills used by dentists.

    Also:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079612305500256?via%3Dihub

  85. 85
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Also we have seen other things they made at the same time, we have their tools, we know they were in the area, with the Egyptians we have some of their writings.

    No tools for quarrying the stones. No tools for transporting them.

    You pretending that asking who built Stonehenge implies “which person” is just a dodge to promote your narrative. Humans built Stonehenge, humans built the pyramids, humans built the Mayan and Aztec pyramids and temples.

    Fine. You are a hypocrite for saying a non-human Intelligent Designer is not any good.

    Your only ‘evidence’ is some complicated things you think were designed.

    Wrong again.

    You make a circular argument: these things were designed and we know there was a non-human intelligence around ’cause these things were designed.

    Not. Even. Close.

    We say things are intelligently designed based on our KNOWLEDGE of cause-and-effect relationships.

    If we agree to not use the object under question as evidence you haven’t got any.

    Are you retarded?

    And to refute that all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can account for it.

    Which I think has been done.

    I know that it hasn’t. The reason why the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” was written is because there isn’t any such evidence.

    Yet nature can’t even produce Stonehenge, even though it produces stones in abundance.

    Non-sequitur.

    In what way? Be specific.

    When was the design implemented? 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon.

  86. 86
    JVL says:

    ET: No tools for quarrying the stones. No tools for transporting them.

    In which case?

    You are a hypocrite for saying a non-human Intelligent Designer is not any good.

    It’s not good if you can’t show that there were any around! And your reason for thinking there were any around is because you think something was designed but you can’t even say when design was implemented!! So when do think there were designers around?

    And to refute that all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes can account for it.

    No, the disproval of one hypothesis does not establish another. There might be a third explanation not covered by either of the previous two.

    I know that it hasn’t. The reason why the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” was written is because there isn’t any such evidence.

    Over and over and over again it’s been pointed out that your and Dr Behe’s interpretation of that paper is incorrect. You don’t even understand the math well enough to evaluate the probabilistic arguments made by Dr Behe so how do you know who is correct?

    When was the design implemented? 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon.

    Right, so you don’t know. Noted.

    Also, you did not provided the areas of historical studies you claimed ID researchers were researching. Also noted.

    Until ID supporters produce some science that is not just based on disproving unguided evolution or interpreting work done by others it will continue to be labelled, fairly or unfairly, as a science stopper. It’s not a lack of money, it’s not because you haven’t had time to ‘study the design’. No one wants to go past design detection. Or, even worse, they can’t go beyond design detection. Whatever, producing some ID-positive scientific work would be good.

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL claims that ID is a “science stopper’.

    Which is ironic coming from a man promoting an anti-theory

    “Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action.? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!”
    – Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel laureate – Physics – A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 168-69)

    As to going beyond design detection,

    The Surprising Relevance of Engineering in Biology
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9i2vFEa6rE
    Scientist Brian Miller explains the intriguing story of how biology is beginning to adopt more design-based models in its research. Although it’s true that many biologists still offer lip service to unguided evolution, engineers and biologists are actually working together to change the way we view how life developed.

    Stuart Burgess: Biology’s Designs Tutor Our Top Engineers
    https://www.discovery.org/podcast/stuart-burgess-biologys-designs-tutor-our-top-engineers/

    Intelligent Design 3.0 by Stephen C. Meyer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvwBaD8-00w
    Intelligent Design 3.0, an effort not to make the scientific case for ID directly but, instead, to use design insights to open up avenues for new scientific discoveries.

  88. 88
    asauber says:

    Well, evidently, as long as JVL thinks “millions of years” is a scientific explanation and not a fantasyland, we’re going to get the same regurgitated manure.

    Andrew

  89. 89
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: JVL claims that ID is a “science stopper’.

    No, I said it’s perceived as a science stopper.

    Anyway, you clearly have decided to avoid even attempting to answer any of my questions about how the (God given) laws of physics can be applied to your mind-brain duality hypothesis. Why don’t you just admit you can’t or won’t answer the questions?

    So, God set it all up and people like Newton figured out some of the rules but you can’t say how those rules apply. That’s it isn’t it?

  90. 90
    JVL says:

    Asuaber: Well, evidently, as long as JVL thinks “millions of years” is a scientific explanation and not a fantasyland, we’re going to get the same regurgitated manure.

    How about you take the laws and rules you think God set up and apply those to the way you think the universe works. Like with ESP or PSI or NDEs or mind-brain dualism.

    Or is It that all those God given rules get thrown out the window as soon as things get complicated?

    I’m just asking you to explain the way you think things work based on the laws you think God created. But you won’t. Or can’t. And, so far, God hasn’t given me any insight.

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    Oh, here’s another question: if the mind and brain are separate then why aren’t there a lot more events of people having out-of-body experiences where they can perceive and experience things when they are outside of their body? Why does it only happen when they are near death? Why can’t the mind always and often perceive and detect things outside of and away from the body/brain?

    And, why is it that out-of-body experiences happen only very near the physical body if the mind is completely separate?

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever JVL, I have much better things to do than play stupid rhetorical word games with someone who lacks the intellectual honesty to admit that his own brain is obviously the product of vastly superior Intelligent Design.

    At Mind Matters News: Why Some Life Forms Are Smarter Than Others Is Still A Mystery – July 17, 2022
    Excerpt: Michel Hofman, who describes the human brain as “one of the most complex and efficient structures in the animated universe,” Denton, noting that a cubic millimetre of human brain features sixty times as many synaptic connections as a 747 jetliner has components, goes on to say: “Many authors have concluded that it may be very nearly the most intelligent/ advanced biological brain possible. That is, its information-processing capacity may be close to the maximum of any brain built on biological principles, made of neurons, axons, synapses, dendrites, etc., and nourished by glial cells and provided with oxygen via circulation.,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-mind-matters-news-why-some-life-forms-are-smarter-than-others-is-still-a-mystery/

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    The human brain, marvel of design
    Excerpt: The average human brain has about 100 billion neurons (or nerve cells) and many more neuroglia (or glial cells) which serve to support and protect the neurons (although see the end of this page for more information on glial cells). Each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, passing signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion synaptic connections, equivalent by some estimates to a computer with a 1 trillion bit per second processor.,,,
    The brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. 8 That is not all the brains on Earth, nor all human brains, but merely a single brain of a single human. With over 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, and a quadrillion synapses, or connections, it is, as one researcher described, “truly awesome.”Researchers have found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, or as one evolutionist admitted, almost to the point of being “beyond belief.”,,,
    https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1377-the-human-brain-marvel-of-design

  93. 93
    AaronS1978 says:

    @91 There are many events in our universe that require very specific conditions for them to take place

    I think you’re assuming way to much simplicity in something that could be a very difficult and a very rare event to begin with

    And currently it seems to be that NDEs are less complicated than the emergence of life, which is just one good example of requiring very specific conditions for it to occur or you would get entirely new species from any electrified puddle of water.

    And my personal take on it would be that you would not have NDEs at all, if God demands your souls presence, I would think he would not let it linger even for a brief moment

  94. 94
    AaronS1978 says:

    @JVL why do you think our physics contradicts any of the fore mentioned things about the mind?

    Not one of those things you mentioned are contradictory to QM for reasons like quantum entanglement, particle wave duality, quantum fields, etc.

    Plus we don’t have a full understanding of the standard model let alone can claim Newtonian Physics are 100%

    So with our limited understanding of existence why is that our physics is a problem for mind brain duality?

  95. 95
    ET says:

    JVL:

    In which case?

    Stonehenge.

    No, the disproval of one hypothesis does not establish another.

    Daft. ID claims that blind and mindless are incapable. So, by demonstrating they are capable, ID is refuted. Science 101.

    It’s not good if you can’t show that there were any around! And your reason for thinking there were any around is because you think something was designed but you can’t even say when design was implemented!! So when do think there were designers around?

    The evidence says at least one was around. And there are by far more important questions to answer.

    Over and over and over again it’s been pointed out that your and Dr Behe’s interpretation of that paper is incorrect. You don’t even understand the math well enough to evaluate the probabilistic arguments made by Dr Behe so how do you know who is correct?

    1- Irrelevant.
    2- Wrong.
    3- Non-sequitur

    Also, you did not provided the areas of historical studies you claimed ID researchers were researching.

    Origins, duh.

    Look, JVL- all you can do is lie and bluff. If you and yours had the actual evidence, then ID would have been a non-starter. But you can only lie and bluff.

    You don’t even have a mechanism that has been shown capable of producing the diversity of life and yours is the mechanistic position!

  96. 96
    doubter says:

    JVL@84

    Anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee analyzed the case, and concluded that Reynolds’ ability to perceive events during her surgery was the result of “anesthesia awareness”.

    Woerlee’s skeptical scientismistic attempt to dismiss Reynolds’ veridical NDE was published in the IANDs journal, and was promptly and thoroughly debunked in two responses, one by Stuart Hameroff, and another by Chris Carter. Carter’s was quite a few pages long and very detailed.

    Just the beginning was the debunking of Woerlee’s claim that it was anesthesia awareness and that Reynolds could actually consciously hear during the procedure.

    Aside from the strong evidence that she simply wasn’t conscious during most of the procedure, there was the unfortunate (to Woerlee) facts of how securely and thoroughly Reynolds’ ear canals were blocked from outside sounds. Regardless of her level of consciousness, there simply was much too little sound physically getting through.

    From Chris Carter’s rejoinder to Woerlee:

    “In 2007 – in response to skeptical objections that Reynolds may have simply overheard the surgeon’s remarks – Sabom in his communication added more detail to his account:

    “Steven Cordova, Neuroscience Manager at the Barrow Neurological Institute, who was the intraoperative technologist responsible for inserting small molded speakers into Spetzler’ patients in the early 1990’s when Reynolds’ surgery was performed, told me that after these speakers were molded into each external auditory canal, they were further affixed with “mounds of tape and gauze to seal securely the ear piece into the ear canal.” This “tape and gauze” would “cover the whole ear pinnae” making it extremely unlikely that Reynolds could have physically overheard operating room conversation one hour and twenty minutes after anesthesia had been induced.””

  97. 97
    doubter says:

    JVL@58

    We are still waiting for a plausible detailed explanation of how neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield’s over 1000 brain operations for epilepsy didn’t actually conclusively show that the human Self while in body is a complex entity, part physically created by brain neuron processing, but also part immaterial spirit or soul.

    This clearly proven cumulatively by hundreds of thousands of brain stimulations to locate epilepsy points, stimulations that absolutely never evoked involuntary abstract thoughts or any other higher mind phenomena. A very large body of empirical evidence derived from neurosurgery that convinced Penfield (who started as a materialist) that the truth is some sort of interactional dualism, two sorts of substances and realms of reality, material and spiritual.

  98. 98
    Alan Fox says:

    JVL

    No, the disproval of one hypothesis does not establish another. There might be a third explanation not covered by either of the previous two.

    KF knows this. “Every tub must stand on its own bottom.” Problem is nobody bothers to read his comments.

  99. 99
    Alan Fox says:

    We are still waiting for a plausible detailed explanation of how neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield’s over 1000 brain operations for epilepsy didn’t actually conclusively show that the human Self while in body is a complex entity, part physically created by brain neuron processing, but also part immaterial spirit or soul.

    Classic burden shift and typical at Uncommon Descent. Why does the scientific community need to do all the work of refuting every pseudoscientific claim while pseudoscientists here can continue to make unsupported nonsense assertions?

    (Rhetorical question. 😉 )

  100. 100
    ET says:

    Earth to Alan Fox- Come in Alan-

    All this alleged “scientific community” has to do to refute ID is to substantiate their own claims that blind and mindless processes produced life and its diversity! They are the ones making unsupported nonsense assertions. YOU only make unsupported nonsense assertions.

  101. 101
    ET says:

    Alan Fox:

    “Every tub must stand on its own bottom.”

    True. Because had Alan read the comments what JVL said was refuted. And what Alan just said was also refuted. And Alan shouldn’t talk because he doesn’t even have a tub.

    Again, for the learning impaired: Intelligently Designer or not sweeps the field clear of choices. And science mandates that all design inferences eliminate nature, ie blind and mindless processes, before considering intelligent design.

  102. 102
    Querius says:

    The question is whether the human brain is limited to being a biological computer or whether it’s also a receiver or connector to a mind that’s not generated by nerve impulses.

    Scientific researchers are most certainly looking for what causes consciousness. For example:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/memory-medic/201910/nerve-impulses-the-key-understanding-the-brain

    This is where neurosurgeons come into the picture. If all thought originates from nerves, then the work in better understanding epilepsy by stimulating nerves and neurons should predictably result in stimulating aspects of self awareness and various thoughts, which it hasn’t.

    However, brain stimulation is being used to treat certain medical conditions and pain:
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21088-deep-brain-stimulation

    And new tools also show promise of greater specificity for stimulating neurons:
    https://hsci.harvard.edu/news/new-tool-allows-researchers-stimulate-neurons-and-observe-their-signals-real-time

    There’s even a scientific journal dedicated to the subject:
    https://www.journals.elsevier.com/brain-stimulation%20

    Such resources might even tempt some commentors to do some reading before posting their usual vacuous trollbot responses.

    ET @100,

    All this alleged “scientific community” has to do to refute ID is to substantiate their own claims that blind and mindless processes produced life and its diversity!

    Well said and raises the question of how mindless processes are able to give rise to mind and, especially, why they would do so.

    In other words, if humans are simply meat robots controlled by stimulus-response at the level of paramecium, insects, or trollbots, why does self consciousness need to exist, much less moral judgment, the appreciation of beauty and music, honor, kindness, honesty, philosophy, love, respect, and so on?

    -Q

  103. 103
    doubter says:

    Alan Fox@99

    while pseudoscientists here can continue to make unsupported nonsense assertions

    You seem either to be reading-impaired, or were so closed-mindedly certain of your materialist position that you just didn’t bother to peruse this thread and read the detailed expositions posted by me in #33 and by Caspian in #21.

    Now, in the absence from you of anything but unsupported dismissal (argument by assertion), it looks like there will be a wait (maybe forever) for your plausible detailed debunking of the Wilder Penfield findings.

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