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BA77, replies to prof Lombrozo on Evolutionary Belief and Cultural Factors

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I think BA77’s reply deserves to be headlined, as a part of the issue on self-falsification of evolutionary materialism.

First, a picture:

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .
Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

Now, the clip:

>>as to Lombrozo’s comment here:

“in the last 20 years or so, research in psychology and the cognitive science of religion has increasingly focused on another factor that contributes to evolutionary disbelief: the very cognitive mechanisms underlying human cognition.”

There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???

Something smells rotten in Denmark! Let’s analyze this a bit more closely with our ‘mechanism’ of human cognition shall we?:

Cognition is the set of all mental abilities and processes related to knowledge: attention, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc.
per wikipedia:

As to all that “judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making” of human cognition, exactly how does Lombrozo propose we do all that “problem solving and decision making” if she, as a materialist, denies we have the free will to make decisions in the first place?

[Nancy Pearcey] When Reality Clashes with Your Atheistic Worldview – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Kpn3HBMiQ

[youtube C0Kpn3HBMiQ]

Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2…..66221.html

(1) rationality implies a thinker in control of thoughts.
(2) under materialism a thinker is an effect caused by processes in the brain.
(3) in order for materialism to ground rationality a thinker (an effect) must control processes in the brain (a cause). (1)&(2)
(4) no effect can control its cause.
Therefore materialism cannot ground rationality.
per Box UD

The practical benefits of believing in free will and that you are not a robot (several studies):
http://www.uncommondescent.com…..ent-565274

Perhaps after Lombrozo turns her incredible analytical/cognitive abilities on her unsolved problem of free will in her materialistic worldview, i.e. figuring out exactly how we can possibly make rational decisions without the inherent ability to make rational decisions, she can then turn her incredible analytical talents on the hard problem of consciousness?

David Chalmers on Consciousness (Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

Philosophical Zombies – cartoon
http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11

‘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 – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist

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

There is simply no direct evidence that anything material is capable of generating consciousness. As Rutgers University philosopher Jerry Fodor says,

“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. Regardless of our knowledge of the structure of the brain, no one has any idea how the brain could possibly generate conscious experience.”

As Nobel neurophysiologist Roger Sperry wrote,

“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.”

From modern physics, Nobel prize-winner Eugene Wigner agreed:

“We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
Contemporary physicist Nick Herbert states,

“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.”

Physician and author Larry Dossey wrote:

“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.”

Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro…..9919758.do

Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May 05, 2015
Excerpt: “Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford
http://www.prnewswire.com/news…..77306.html

Mathematical Model Of Consciousness Proves Human Experience Cannot Be Modeled On A Computer – May 2014
Excerpt: The central part of their new work is to describe the mathematical properties of a system that can store integrated information in this way but without it leaking away. And this leads them to their central proof. “The implications of this proof are that we have to abandon either the idea that people enjoy genuinely [integrated] consciousness or that brain processes can be modeled computationally,” say Maguire and co.
Since Tononi’s main assumption is that consciousness is the experience of integrated information, it is the second idea that must be abandoned: brain processes cannot be modeled computationally.
https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/mathematical-model-of-consciousness-proves-human-experience-cannot-be-modelled-on-a-computer-898b104158d

I think Lombrozo has her work cut out for her on the hard problem. :)>>

Indeed, there is a challenge to be addressed. Let us see what evolutionary materialist scientism advocates have to say. END

131 Replies to “BA77, replies to prof Lombrozo on Evolutionary Belief and Cultural Factors

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Headlined for discussion

  2. 2
    REC says:

    “There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???”

    What are you proposing–are you a disembodied spirit? If we perturb your material brain pharmacologically or mechanically, do your cognitive abilities remain unchanged?

  3. 3
  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    REC:

    The underlying issue was aptly put by Plato in The Laws, Bk x:

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]

    Are you responsibly free and rational?

    KF

  5. 5
    REC says:

    KF, I’ll ask again, is your cognition disembodied or embodied?

    Plato’s quote is a bit odd here. He sees motion as a result of the soul, placing the soul more ancient than life. This includes the ‘souls’ pushing around celestial bodies.

    We know how motion works, and I feel this is now more a case study on how this sort of inference fails. Not knowing all the details, the logic may be sound, but the premise deeply flawed.

    Additionally, Plato can’t prove ‘soul’ is older than body, or even distinct from it, so many critics argue this passage is fallacious.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    REC, first we are obviously embodied. Which does not address the issue that is pivotal, the self, the I. Are we responsibly free thinkers and deciders? If not, reason and moral government collapse, showing that evolutionary materialism is inescapably self-falsifying. Leading to absurdity, chaos and ruin. After we face that, there is something serious to discuss about how a minded, morally governed being can come to be in a quantum based physical world. The attempt to dismiss Plato, in that light, becomes all too sadly revealing of the evolutionary materialistic, selectively hyperskeptical, scientistic, failed, intellectually and morally bankrupt mindset. KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Onlookers will find this earlier post helpful: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-freedom/

  8. 8
    REC says:

    “REC, first we are obviously embodied.”

    So you agree that there are physical mechanisms underlying our cognitive abilities?

    “The attempt to dismiss Plato, in that light, becomes all too sadly revealing….”

    Do you have a response to me, or just slurs? What does Plato’s treatment of souls (confusingly used to mean human to god-like) and motion tell us about cognition? Why does Plato just invoke that soul is older than body and distinct from it?

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    REC,

    again, are we responsibly free thus rational and open to moral government, or do we reduce to blind chance and mechanical necessity working on a meat computational substrate?

    If the latter, rationality collapses.

    This becomes self-referentially absurd.

    As, the consistent dodge aside implies you understand.

    Here, again, is Reppert on that:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    And earlier, Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    I have high confidence that self referential absurdity is a decisive sign of error, and that we at least some of the time are responsibly free and rational.

    That gives me good comparative difficulties grounds to reject schemes of thought that by attempted reduction of responsible freedom to blind chance and mechanical necessity, end in absurdity.

    The very fact that you are trying an argument implies that you are either incoherent or in the end agree with me.

    So, now, let us put to one side the falsified by way of self-refutation, and reflect on what is left.

    Namely, if we are embodied but are responsibly free and reasonable, then we must open up to a class of explanations that go beyond blindly mechanical and or chance driven computing substrates. Namely, that there is more to the human mind than blind chance and mechanical necessity playing out mechanistically on a meat substrate.

    That is plainly required if we are to be responsibly free and rational — an issue that is beginning to cost our civilisation dear.

    Unless, through a priori prejudice we cling to the absurd because the alternative, starting from the experienced fact of conscious rationality, points where we refuse to go.

    I refuse to cling to absurdity.

    And BTW, pointing out a reduction to absurdity is a correction, not a slur.

    So, kindly withdraw that unwarranted, atmosphere poisoning projective accusation.

    KF

  10. 10
    harry says:

    REC @2

    “There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???”

    What are you proposing–are you a disembodied spirit? If we perturb your material brain pharmacologically or mechanically, do your cognitive abilities remain unchanged?

    The existence of the non-material, rational soul is obvious and has been for a very long time. As Gregory of Nyssa put it over 1600 years ago, “For ‘the mind sees,’ not the eye.”

    The images you see are not to be found anywhere is your physical brain, just electrochemical reactions that correspond to them, which were ultimately brought about by the body’s optical system processing millions of photons. The processing of photons is not “seeing” anymore than a recording video camera is “seeing” anything as it processes photons. You know the images the mind sees exist — you see them. The images in your mind have no material reality, yet they exist, just as does the non-material rational soul that perceives them.

    That the physical brain and the non-material, rational soul are somehow integrated is obvious. One affects the other. So, yes, perturbations of the material brain pharmacologically or mechanically, affect one’s cognitive abilities, just as the state of one’s soul has an affect on one’s cognitive abilities. The proof of the latter is demonstrated by those who insist we believe that which they claim they really have no choice but to assert, as they are compelled to do so by mindless, materialistic forces beyond their control that have no inherent capacity to discern the truth or falsity of the assertion. In other words, godlessness makes one stupid.

  11. 11
    harry says:

    One more quick thought: BA77 needs to write a book, or maybe an encyclopedia. BA, you are a natural resource. Or should I say “supernatural” resource?

    BA, God bless you! And thanks for sharing all your research with us!

  12. 12
    REC says:

    “And BTW, pointing out a reduction to absurdity is a correction, not a slur.

    So, kindly withdraw that unwarranted, atmosphere poisoning projective accusation.”

    Typical. I asked some straightforward questions:

    What does Plato’s treatment of souls (confusingly used to mean human to god-like) and motion tell us about cognition? Why does Plato just invoke that soul is older than body and distinct from it?

    and was met with….

    “The attempt to dismiss Plato, in that light, becomes all too sadly revealing of the evolutionary materialistic, selectively hyperskeptical, scientistic, failed, intellectually and morally bankrupt mindset.”

    and I’m accused of poisoning the atmosphere!!!! After being called morally and intellectually bankrupt.

    Here’s the point: the materialism or logic “my way or the highway” dichotomy you set up is a false one. You concede that our cognitive processes are dependent on a material substrate. Drugs, physical damage and disease can perturb them. So you acknowledge the “meat computational substrate” which you also dismiss, and then call it a problem only for materialism.

    This is incoherent, and leaves us in the same place. There are physical processes to cognition which (when functional) are to be trusted (or not). If they cannot be trusted, cognition and all that follows fails.

  13. 13
    REC says:

    “The images you see are not to be found anywhere is your physical brain”

    http://www.bcr.org/content/tap.....oding-fmri

    The language you use in your argument is compatible with only your conclusion: “non-material rational soul” vs body.

    Do you agree with KF and Plato–do souls move planets?

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: To underscore the point, I cite:

    Crick, in The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    Provine in his U Tenn Darwin Day address:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .

    In short, the issue is very real. On evolutionary materialism, we can only have an illusion of being responsibly free or rational. Of course it is often not baldly put, there is a redefinition of freedom so that if the mechanisms are internal, the initial conditions are internal one is “free” in the sense of not being coerced from without.

    Comes down to playing word games.

    The end point is the same: absent genuine responsible freedom, reason and morality collapse. Which takes down science too. And just about everything else.

    So, again, we see good reason to take instead that we are responsibly free as our start point and see where that leads us.

    For one, it will mean that brains don’t equal minds, but minds use brains.

    Getting that back ways ends in absurdity.

    Yes, it means we need to ponder what sort of reality allows reflexive, first person responsible freedom.

    And that opens back up a whole world long since derided and dismissed by adherents of a priori evolutionary materialist scientism.

    But as this is plainly self-falsifying, that is not a real problem once we move beyond this sort of ideological posturing:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads we must first get an incorrect view out . . . the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [[–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [Lewontin, NYRB, 1997. If you have been led to imagine this is quote mined, kindly read the fuller annotated cite as just linked.]

    It is time for a re-think, too much is now plainly in the stakes not to do so.

    KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers, focus carefully on the self-falsifying challenge that is repeatedly being side-stepped. Ask yourself, is it a “slur” to point this issue out, given what say a Crick is inadvertently implying? Then ponder the sort of a priori imposition of evolutionary materialist scientism joined to a very dismissive attitude that Lewontin revealed so long ago now. Then consider the pivotal question again: are we responsibly free (and so potentially rational and moral)? If not, all collapses. But we are — that is what argument is about. And so we have good reason just on this to utterly reject as self-falsifying, self refuting, schemes of thought that undermine such responsible freedom — notably, evolutionary materialist scientism. Never mind the lab coat. KF

  16. 16
    REC says:

    I see we’ve abandoned Plato altogether now. Really, I was curious what point you think is made there.

    You acknowledge a “meat computational substrate” and that “minds use brains.” So either the meat computational substrate is trustworthy or it isn’t. Invoking a mind, or soul is a neat trick, but it doesn’t get you away from this fact. We acknowledge that some individuals (infants, the insane) lack full capacity and control of their actions–regardless of the presence or absence of what you call a soul. We assume others are rationally free. This normal interpretation is independent of the truth of materialism or dualism. Our “meat computational substrate” must be proper to enjoy rational free will under both.

    I think most people are rationally free, and that we know pitifully little about neuroscience to conclude otherwise.

  17. 17
    harry says:

    REC @13,

    Yeah, I have seen that before. Of course one can construct from the electrochemical reactions taking place in the brain, the image of an exterior object that brought about the photon flow the human optical system processed. We will eventually, if it isn’t already being done somewhere, do that with the electrochemical reactions brought about by our auditory systems, and be able to play back what was heard.

    None of that in any way explains the images and the sounds seen and heard by our mind. There is a “who” home in us that is not home in recording video or audio devices, so they don’t see or hear a thing. There is nobody home in them to do so. We see and hear because there is a non-material “who” home in us to do so.

    do souls move planets

    In terms of God’s creation being on ongoing activity on His part as He holds the Universe in existence instant by instant, one might think of it that way. ;o)

  18. 18
    REC says:

    Is it a “slur”?

    …..selectively hyperskeptical, scientistic, intellectually and morally bankrupt

    Slur: an insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation.

    synonyms:insult, slight, slander, slanderous statement, aspersion, smear, allegation;

    informal: smack talk

    KF—do an experiment for me. Go into town and call 5 people morally bankrupt. Record their response.

  19. 19
    REC says:

    “We see and hear because there is a non-material “who” home in us to do so.”

    This is as loose as the use of Plato’s “soul”

    You feel like there is a “person” at home, that is distinct from, but dependent on, and brought about by, physical/chemical impulses that scientists sometimes can trace?

    Again, the mind/body division your arguments rely on is not such a bright line.

  20. 20
    mjoels says:

    First, you obviously misconstrued what he said REC. He was very plain in what he said and I actually take offense that you would misrepresent it like that. What he said is that while the input signals can be monitored, and a projection of those input signals can be represented, you can NOT account for the man watching the images or listening to the sounds. His assertion is that you are not your senses. You are distinct from them in that you are the interpreter of them. The you that is you is over and above senses. Distinctly different.

  21. 21
    harry says:

    REC @19

    You feel like there is a “person” at home, that is distinct from, but dependent on, and brought about by, physical/chemical impulses that scientists sometimes can trace?

    I am with Max Planck in thinking that the matrix of all matter is a Mind. So, I don’t think there is a “person” at home brought about by physical/chemical impulses. I think matter is an epiphenomenon of Mind (God’s mind). That we have absolutely no idea what the the recipe is for configuring matter such that consciousness and rationality emerge, is due to the fact that mind is not an epiphenomenon of matter.

    Rationality and free will (a person) existed before matter. He always existed. He created persons consisting of rationality and free will, but not matter. We are are far more mysterious beings than are these angels and demons in that we are rationality and free will integrated with matter. The first of such beings could have been as frightening to some of the angels as incorporeal beings are to some of us. ;o)

  22. 22
    Phinehas says:

    Is it a “slur?”

    …selectively hyperskeptical, scientistic, intellectually and morally bankrupt

    If it had been said of you, then yes. But it wasn’t. It was said of a “mindset.” But you probably knew that, which would explain why you cut the quote off where you did instead of including that last pesky word of the sentence. Why portray something accurately when it doesn’t support the narrative?

    KF, like many, believes that we (including you) have the power to adopt or reject a mindset like the one described. You don’t have to be a victim. Even more, you are responsible for your choice. Only you can decide whether that shoe/mindset fits. But the mindset described will clearly offer neither you nor others anything on which to build intellectually or morally.

  23. 23
    Phinehas says:

    I don’t believe in a mind/body division any more than I believe in a Father/Son/Holy Spirit division. I believe in a mind/body unity.

  24. 24
    REC says:

    Mjoels–

    Which do you disagree with?

    Are “you”:

    Dependent on the function of your brain?
    Are your senses and the interpretation of them brought about by physical and chemical impulses that scientists can trace?

    I see no compelling reason to posit this entity “you” of mind which is separate from the underlying biology. I also see no compelling reason why this eliminates reason or free will any more than a “mind” using a “meat computational substrate.”

  25. 25
    REC says:

    @22

    The full phrase was my attempt to dismiss Plato (to which KF has not returned to defend) is…… mindset.

    So, yes, it was directed at me. I copied and pasted the slurs, and nothing else.

    Lets try this: These weak attempts at the defense of ID/Creationism reveal an intellectually and morally bankrupt mindset. Not an insult? It is ok–I have thick skin. I only pointed it out to preempt the false outrage and pearl clutching that had started, and will surely follow.

  26. 26
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    These weak attempts at the defense of ID/Creationism reveal an intellectually and morally bankrupt mindset. Not a slur?

    I certainly don’t take it as one. I merely take it as an absurd allegation. I feel pretty confident that my reputation will bear up under the (lack of any) weight of it.

    But if you are saying that the allegation of intellectual and moral bankruptcy toward materialism carries much less absurdity and a lot more weight and impact such that you feel your reputation is being affected negatively, then perhaps you have a point.

  27. 27
    REC says:

  28. 28
    REC says:

    But back to the topics at hand:

    1) Can anyone defend the use of Plato?

    2) Can anyone demonstrate why we must accept a mind/body dichotomy?

    3) If the mind relies on a “meat computational substrate,” why is materialism in worse shape regarding rationality and free will?

  29. 29
    Phinehas says:

    Following suit. Thanks.

  30. 30
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    1) Can anyone defend the use of Plato?

    I can’t see any reason why his use ought to need defending. Are you saying he is being abused? If so, then how?

    2) Can anyone demonstrate why we must accept a mind/body dichotomy?

    No. It is exceedingly difficult to demonstrate why anyone *must* accept the vast majority of concepts. Usually, one must settle for providing evidence. In this case, I don’t really believe in a mind/body dichotomy in the same way I don’t believe in a Father/Son/Holy Spirit dichotomy, so I’m probably not the best person for providing evidence.

    3) If the mind relies on a “meat computational substrate,” why is materialism in worse shape regarding rationality and free will?

    Is the above your way of admitting that materialism is in bad shape regarding these concepts? This might be helpful. If not, then can you explain how, under materialism, “meat computational substrates” along with the underlying physics or chemistry are capable of self-movement?

  31. 31
    Box says:

    Provine:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; 5) human free will is nonexistent; and 6) *no rationality exists*

    [*my modification*]

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    REC:

    Let’s go back to 6 above:

    6
    kairosfocusJuly 1, 2015 at 9:24 am (Edit)

    REC, first we are obviously embodied. Which does not address the issue that is pivotal, the self, the I. Are we responsibly free thinkers and deciders? If not, reason and moral government collapse, showing that evolutionary materialism is inescapably self-falsifying. Leading to absurdity, chaos and ruin. After we face that, there is something serious to discuss about how a minded, morally governed being can come to be in a quantum based physical world. The attempt to dismiss Plato, in that light, becomes all too sadly revealing of the evolutionary materialistic, selectively hyperskeptical, scientistic, failed, intellectually and morally bankrupt mindset.

    We can contrast the substantiation in outline elaborated further above and in the OP with the empty turnabout talking point.

    That speaks volumes on what is on the table: responsible, rational freedom and the utter breakdown of attempts to go there from blind chance and mechanical necessity acting on matter and energy in a space-time continuum without purpose.

    Indeed, it is evident that as we are reasoning and responsible, the failure is a sign of exactly the self referential incoherence already discussed.

    In that context, Plato’s contrast of blind chains of mechanical interaction with the self-moved initiating cause THAT WE ALL KNOW FROM THE INSIDE speaks volumes.

    And in the context of a cosmos replete with signs of fine tuned organisation, his point on such a self-moved root of reality becomes highly relevant.

    But of course, if there is an a priori determination to cling to the self-falsified, all that can be done is to highlight the clinging to absurdity.

    Far better, to start from the first fact of all, self-aware, conscious, responsibly free rationality.

    Then, let us see where that takes us, by way of addressing say roots of reality and the answer to the IS-OUGHT gap. With a few clues on a designed world also in the picture.

    KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, dead right, but that will never be acknowledged. We just have to keep pointing out that without responsible freedom we cannot choose to follow evidence and step by step reasoning to reasonable conclusions. Just compare clips above and others that may be brought forth. We need to realise that evolutionary materialist scientism is self-falsifying and because we have been led to bow to its august lab coat clad presence, has led our whole civilisation deeply astray on a path to ruin. We will now have to pay a stiff price to correct, IF it can be corrected. I am by no means persuaded that repair is possible absent a horrific and self-inflicted needless crash caused by yet another march of grand folly. KF

  34. 34

    no rationality exists

    Absolutely – because rationality depends on morality – acknowledgement and adherence to law.

  35. 35
    REC says:

    @ 30

    Re: Plato, you’ve ignored my criticisms above. More to follow.

    “under materialism, “meat computational substrates” along with the underlying physics or chemistry are capable of self-movement?”

    Bacteria move towards chemicals and light with sets of proteins and small molecules that are quite well known. Do you think they are ensouled? They have little immaterial minds?

    Are you familiar with the long-dead notion of vitalism? This thread smacks of it.

  36. 36
    REC says:

    @32

    Ok, so we’re back to Plato. Just to be sure, you know he’s literally talking about movement?

    Yes or no.

    For example: “”And some move or rest in one place and some in more places than one?” You mean to say, we shall rejoin, that those things which rest at the centre move in one place, just as the circumference goes round of globes which are said to be at rest? “Yes.” And we observe that, in the revolution, the motion which carries round the larger and the lesser circle at the same time is proportionally distributed to greater and smaller, and is greater and smaller in a certain proportion. Here is a wonder which might be thought an impossibility, that the same motion should impart swiftness and slowness in due proportion to larger and lesser circles. “Very true”.

  37. 37
    REC says:

    Question 2: Define “soul” and “souls” as Plato intends

    “And this soul of the sun, which is therefore better than the sun, whether taking the sun about in a chariot to give light to men, or acting from without or in whatever way, ought by every man to be deemed a God. ”

    “And of the stars too, and of the moon, and of the years and months and seasons, must we not say in like manner, that since a soul or souls having every sort of excellence are the causes of all of them, those souls are Gods, whether they are living beings and reside in bodies, and in this way order the whole heaven, or whatever be the place and mode of their existence;-and will any one who admits all this venture to deny that all things full of Gods?”

  38. 38
    REC says:

    Now, back to the original question.

    1) Show me Plato’s proof that ‘soul’ in the sense you are using it–the self, in terms of human cognition, is older than the body.

    2) Show me where Plato demonstrates the soul is distinct from body.

    3) Are there any known physical mechanisms that account for the movement of planets and stars and bacteria and the human body?

    4) Are there mechanisms underlying cognitive abilities?

  39. 39
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    Bacteria move towards chemicals and light with sets of proteins and small molecules that are quite well known. Do you think they are ensouled? They have little immaterial minds?

    So, under materialism, are ‘meat computational substrates’ (for instance, in the bacteria you describe) along with the underlying physics and chemistry capable of self-movement? Or not? It is unclear to me which you are claiming.

  40. 40
    Mung says:

    REC: After being called morally and intellectually bankrupt.

    ok, so morally and intellectually penniless?

  41. 41
    REC says:

    @39

    “So, under materialism, are ‘meat computational substrates’ (for instance, in the bacteria you describe) along with the underlying physics and chemistry capable of self-movement?”

    Yes.

    Do you disagree? Do you think they are ensouled? They have little immaterial minds?

  42. 42
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    I’m not sure how Plato talking about literal movement diminishes his point. Can you please explain why you think it does?

    For literal movement, let’s assume that you understand better than Plato and can tell us what causes the Sun to move. Please feel free to enlighten. You may want to keep in mind C. S. Lewis’ keen insight that, “To say that a stone falls to earth because it is obeying a law makes it a man and even a citizen.” Are you certain the only thing required to cause something to move is an observed regularity that we can describe? Just slap a label on the observation and call it a cause and you’re done?

    Whether literal movement or else wise, under materialism there is no room for the concept of an uncaused cause, is there?

    @ 38 doesn’t appear to be directed at the things I’ve said, so can I assume it isn’t?

  43. 43
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    “So, under materialism, are ‘meat computational substrates’ (for instance, in the bacteria you describe) along with the underlying physics and chemistry capable of self-movement?”

    Yes.

    Awesome! I’m a bit confused about, under materialism, what the “self” in self-movement means, but perhaps if you could explain the physics and chemistry of it I would understand.

  44. 44
    REC says:

    @42 Phinehas

    You’re moving the discussion towards the concept of an “unmoved mover,” which is actually more Aristotle and not Plato.

    Truly, I am asking KF what his point is, how Plato’s discussion of souls and Gods moving things about relates to my question regarding mechanisms of cognition.

    @39 was directed at you.
    Go back and read it. Do bacteria have minds and souls?

  45. 45
    Box says:

    Phinehas: So, under materialism, are ‘meat computational substrates’ (for instance, in the bacteria you describe) along with the underlying physics and chemistry capable of self-movement?

    Of course not. 🙂

  46. 46
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    @39 was directed at you.
    Go back and read it. Do bacteria have minds and souls?

    If they have a “self” that is capable of moving them beyond what can be explained merely in terms of physical and chemical causes, then it would appear there is something more than the mere material at work, would it not? Of course, I’m not the one who claimed they were capable of self-movement. On the other hand, my philosophy doesn’t rule out this very possibility for either bacteria or humans.

  47. 47
    REC says:

    Box @45: Are you being snarky, or advocating that bacteria and amoeba, which are capable of directed self movement have minds and souls?

    Phinehas can’t rule this out.

    I think if this is where your argument leads, you may want to reconsider. Unless you think Neo-vitalism has some merit.

  48. 48
    Box says:

    REC #47,

    Given materialism, what is the “self” of bacteria and amoeba—or any organism?
    My prediction: you have no answer. IOW materialism cannot accommodate life.

  49. 49
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    Are you being snarky, or advocating that bacteria and amoeba, which are capable of directed self movement have minds and souls?

    Phinehas can’t rule this out.

    Not quite. I merely pointed out that my philosophy doesn’t rule out the possibility of directed self movement. Unless you can explain the physics and chemistry behind self-direction, it would appear that materialism does. This goes directly to your question about how materialism is worse off.

  50. 50
    Box says:

    REC,

    BA77: “There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???”

    REC: What are you proposing–are you a disembodied spirit?

    Not so fast. BA77 is not proposing disembodied spirits by pointing out that rationality is impossible when a mechanism—controlled by blind non-rational forces—underlies it.

    REC: If we perturb your material brain pharmacologically or mechanically, do your cognitive abilities remain unchanged?

    When A can influence B does that mean that B is identical to A?

    REC: So you agree that there are physical mechanisms underlying our cognitive abilities?

    Of course not, because if that was the case—if materialism is true—then we cannot have cognitive abilities.

    REC: You concede that our cognitive processes are dependent on a material substrate.

    No, we concede that cognitive processes can be influenced by matter.

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892
    Evidence to that effect

    Of related interest: the fact we have souls, and the fact that unguided Darwinian processes cannot generate functional information, appear to be two sides of the same coin that support each other.
    In clarifying this point of the relatedness of information and the soul, it is helpful to learn a little bit about the nature of information.

    In regards to the ‘transcendent’ nature of information. Dr. Stephen Meyer states:

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

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

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

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

    Materialists/atheists would believe, since they hold, (without any empirical demonstration), that information is merely emergent from a material basis, that the information in the organism simply ceases to exist upon the death of an organism.
    But our science tells us otherwise.
    In learning what actually happens to the information of an organism upon death of an organism, it is also helpful to learn a little bit about the hierarchy of information in the body.

    There are two types of information in an organism. First, there is the ‘normal’ classical/digital information, which Darwinists and ID proponents constantly debate over, that we find encoded in DNA, RNA and Proteins:

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

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

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

    Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009
    Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_.....ities.html

    Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
    Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.
    http://www.scientific.net/MSF.518.491

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

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

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, quantum information is found to be ‘conserved’:

    Black holes don’t erase information, scientists say – April 2, 2015
    Excerpt: This posed a huge problem for the field of physics because it meant that information inside a black hole could be permanently lost when the black hole disappeared—a violation of quantum mechanics, which states that information must be conserved.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-b.....sts.html+/

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

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

    Information Conservation and the Unitarity of Quantum Mechanics
    Excerpt: “In more technical terms, information conservation is related to the unitarity of quantum mechanics. In this article, I will explain what unitarity is and how it’s related to information conservation.”
    http://youngsubyoon.com/QMunitarity.htm

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’ quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyEjh6ef_8

    Verses and Music:

    2 Corinthians 5:1
    For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

    Luke 23:43
    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    The Allman brothers Band – Soulshine – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3BYTS8uxM

    supplemental note:

    Higher Dimensional Special Relativity, Near Death Experiences, Biophotons, and the Quantum Soul
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGuV7FWwaDag4T5glstQWjsQNtWHKw3T9qLF14fUHHo/edit

  53. 53
    Querius says:

    For any interested observers . . .

    For decades now, quantum mechanics has falsified materialism. Then, following Leggett (who falsified non-local realism), researchers (Anton Zeilinger and his team) conclude by questioning realism. We seem to be left with some form of idealism. Quantum mechanics seems to exclude the possibility of any mind-independent reality and already excludes any reality that resembles our usual concepts of reality.

    What we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure, which is a very, very deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.
    – Anton Zeilinger, Quantum Physicist

    Quantum physics experiments have been repeatedly verified at increasing scales with increasing precision. NONE of its predictions have ever been falsified.

    Thus, physicists, philosophers, and philanderers are left to ponder its meaning and implications, which in contrast to the experiments is vigorously debated.

    Arguments to the contrary are rhetorical blather, not science.

    -Q

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    Phineas:

    Well said: >>I merely pointed out that my philosophy doesn’t rule out the possibility of directed self movement. Unless you can explain the physics and chemistry behind self-direction, it would appear that materialism does. This goes directly to your question about how materialism is worse off.>>

    Box:

    Well said too: >> BA77: “There is a mechanism underlying my cognitive abilities? Really???”

    REC: What are you proposing–are you a disembodied spirit?

    Not so fast. BA77 is not proposing disembodied spirits by pointing out that rationality is impossible when a mechanism—controlled by blind non-rational forces—underlies it.

    REC: If we perturb your material brain pharmacologically or mechanically, do your cognitive abilities remain unchanged?

    When A can influence B does that mean that B is identical to A?

    REC: So you agree that there are physical mechanisms underlying our cognitive abilities?

    Of course not, because if that was the case—if materialism is true—then we cannot have cognitive abilities.

    REC: You concede that our cognitive processes are dependent on a material substrate.

    No, we concede that cognitive processes can be influenced by matter. [–> known ever since the first man got drunk or was hit on the head and knocked out]>>

    KF

  55. 55
    rhampton7 says:

    One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity.

    Wow, Meyer missed an obvious one here. There is a difference in mass because data is saved in the form of pits etched in the medium. A blank disk will be essentially free of pits. The difference, while quite small, is non-trivial and could be measured with a sensitive scale. Given that Meyer was holding up two disks in the quote, it’s quite like he was referring to CDs or DVDs.

    However, even if Meyer meant a hard drive or similar device that registers information as changes in magnetic fields, there is a difference in mass (see http://www.ellipsix.net/blog/2.....weigh.html). But comparing the mass of data recorded as magnetic fields is as nonsensical as comparing the magnetic fields of data recorded as physical holes in a medium.

    In either case, the data on Meyer’s disks is material as can be measured as such, not immaterial as he implies.

  56. 56
    Box says:

    Rhampton7: There is a difference in mass because data is saved in the form of pits etched in the medium. A blank disk will be essentially free of pits. The difference, while quite small, is non-trivial and could be measured with a sensitive scale.

    I take it that, by etching a pit, matter is removed. A blank disk, free of pits, contains more matter.
    IOW information is added by removing matter? That’s an interesting thought…
    Thanks Rhampton7!

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Meyer’s argument holds because a CD with pits (i.e. full of information) weigh less than a CD with no information

    Moreover your full hard drive example has the maximum weight differences being found for the hard drive when the hard drive is all ones compared to when it is all zeros (i.e. no information content at both extremes of the hard drive in which the maximum weight difference is obtained for the hard drive!):

    SI{-5}{J} if every domain is aligned in the same direction (that’s like a drive containing all zeros) or SI{5}{J} if the domains are antialigned. Dividing the difference by c^2 we get an effective “mass” difference around 10^{-14} grams. Given that a full hard drive weighs on the order of a kilogram, we’re talking about one part in 10^{17}
    http://www.ellipsix.net/blog/2.....weigh.html

    Thus Meyer’s claim that information has no mass holds for hard drives too.

  58. 58
    rhampton7 says:

    Box,

    There are many ways to add information by removing matter – you’ve probably seen letters chiseled into stone and holes punched into cards, for example.

  59. 59
    rhampton7 says:

    You can also add information by adding matter – you’ve probably seen ink letters written onto paper, for example.

    Point being, because of mass-energy equivalence, information recorded as energy or mass is a material, measurable phenomena.

  60. 60
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7, actually no. Information is not a ‘measurable phenomena’ with any direct relation to the material substrate on which it is encoded since both the adding of weight, i.e. ink, or the removal of weight, i.e. pit engravings, can represent exactly the same amount of information.

    Meyer’s claim is that information weighs nothing. To refute his claim you cannot point to both a gain of mass and a loss of mass as a proof that information weighs something.

    i.e. Your attempted refutation refutes itself!

    John Lennox – Semiotic Information – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw

  61. 61
    Mung says:

    REC: 2) Can anyone demonstrate why we must accept a mind/body dichotomy?

    First let’s get something straight. You and the rest of the rationalist followers of Descartes with your “ghost in the machine” are the real dualists.

    The “problems” of body-mind dualism arises because of your mechanist philosophy.

  62. 62
    REC says:

    Ok, so I guess we have fully abandoned Plato now?
    Fingers crossed.

  63. 63
    REC says:

    The original post questions free will and rationality in a materialist framework.

    I posited: “Here’s the point: the materialism or logic “my way or the highway” dichotomy you set up is a false one. You concede that our cognitive processes are dependent on a material substrate. Drugs, physical damage and disease can perturb them. So you acknowledge the “meat computational substrate” which you also dismiss, and then call it a problem only for materialism.”

    KF conceeds :”No, we concede that cognitive processes can be influenced by matter. [–> known ever since the first man got drunk or was hit on the head and knocked out]>>”

    Which takes us to my original conclusion: “This is incoherent, and leaves us in the same place. There are physical processes to cognition which (when functional) are to be trusted (or not). If they cannot be trusted, cognition and all that follows fails.”

  64. 64
    REC says:

    Since people are interested: for bacteria and other single-celled organisms.

    They move, in response to light, chemicals, heat. They have sensors (protein receptors) for these signals that transmit that information, in the form of chemical messengers, to motor proteins. This system is physically defined, and can be reconstituted from parts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk4vazjnCqU

    They have no nervous system, no brain.

    I’m not sure how ascribing “self”* to such an organism, or positing it has a soul improves our understanding of the system. It seems materially defined.

    *in the sense of self-awareness, not self-moving, as in a self-driving car, for example.

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    As well rampton7, contrary to the materialistic belief that information is emergent from, or reducible to, an matter-energy basis, it is now found that matter-energy can be reduced to an information basis.

    As pointed out before, quantum entanglement can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,

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

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

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

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

    How Teleportation Will Work –
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

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

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

    Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfePpMTbFYY

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

    Of Theological note: Since every protein and DNA molecule in the human body has quantum entanglement within them, then, via some method of quantum teleportation, these following miracles are plausible as far as our known science is now concerned.

    Acts 8:39
    8:39 caught away Philip. This was evidently a unique miracle, God somehow translating Philip rapidly from Gaza to Azotus (same as the ancient Ashdod), twenty miles to the north along the Mediterranean coast. For reference to similar miraculous translations in space, see I Kings 18:12, II Kings 2:16; Ezekiel 3:14; 8:3. A far greater translation will take place when Christ comes again (I Thessalonians 4:16,17).
    http://www.icr.org/books/defenders/6855

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    REC, a self-driving car is not an autonomous, self aware entity, it is an example of a programmed ultimately non-rational robot that is no better than the intelligently designed but fallible programmed instructions and algorithms stored in it: GIGO. KF

    PS: That our self aware mindedness is influenced by and interacts with our bodily state is an ancient item of knowledge, one that does not ground materialist reductionism. Plato’s point as to what comes first still obtains, a point that you are most eager to sweep off the table without actually cogently addressing:

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.]

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Has it registered that cases of evident self motion sans brains and/or CNS’s may be trying to tell you somewhat about what comes first?

    PPPS: Also, ponder the significance of responsibly free, rationally reflective, reflexive agents that can act on aspects of themselves such as fingers poised at keyboards.

  68. 68
    Box says:

    REC,

    REC: Ok, so I guess we have fully abandoned Plato now?

    What are you talking about? Do you understand that self-movement cannot be accommodated by materialism? Two reasons:
    1. Given materialism, there is no “self”.
    2. Given materialism, everything is (externally) determined; there are no effects without a (external) cause.

    Do you understand that rationality requires self-movement?

    KF: we concede that cognitive processes can be influenced by matter. [–> known ever since the first man got drunk or was hit on the head and knocked out]>>”

    REC: Which takes us to my original conclusion: “This is incoherent, and leaves us in the same place. There are physical processes to cognition which (when functional) are to be trusted (or not). If they cannot be trusted, cognition and all that follows fails.”

    Doesn’t follow. Physical processes cannot be in control of rationality, because they are non-rational. If blind forces make “rational” decisions for us, based on non-rational chemical reasons, then all is lost. IOW if blind unintentional physical processes are behind the steering wheel of reason then there cannot be rationality.

    A subordinate role for matter wrt to reason is however feasible. We can and do make use of intelligently designed objects like computers and eyes to inform our reason.

    Alcohol and hammers can influence rationality and obviously not in a positive way. However, they don’t influence rationality all the time.

    The wind influences the tree in many ways. Still the tree is not the wind.

  69. 69
    Box says:

    REC,

    REC: I’m not sure how ascribing “self”* to such an organism (…)

    Under materialism there is no such thing as an “organism” that has existence on its own. There is nothing beyond particles in motion.

    REC: Since people are interested: for bacteria and other single-celled organisms.

    They move, in response to light, chemicals, heat.(…)

    Under materialism, there is no “they”. There is just a happenstantial conglomerate of particles in motion having some chemical reactions correlated with light, chemicals, heat.

    REC: They have sensors (protein receptors) (…)

    Under materialism, there is no “they” that have sensors.

    REC: (…) for these signals that transmit that information,(…)

    Materialism cannot accommodate information.

    REC: (…) in the form of chemical messengers, (…)

    Under materialism, there are no “messengers” because there are no persons and no meaning—just particles in motion.

    REC: (…) to motor proteins.

    Under materialism there are no motors, because function implies intentionality and under materialism there is zero intentionality.

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    corrected link to post 51:

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

  71. 71
    Box says:

    Rhampton7,

    Rhampton7: There are many ways to add information by removing matter – you’ve probably seen letters chiseled into stone and holes punched into cards, for example.
    You can also add information by adding matter – you’ve probably seen ink letters written onto paper, for example.

    Obviously one can instantiate the same information by removing and adding matter. That should tell us something.

    Rhampton7: Point being, because of mass-energy equivalence, information recorded as energy or mass is a material, measurable phenomena.

    Nope, one cannot measure “meaning”. We can measure how much matter is removed when we chisel E = MC^2 in stone*, and we can measure how much matter is added when we use ink and paper. However we don’t measure the information that E = MC^2 contains.
    – – –

    * chiseling 100 meters wide or 1 meter wide interestingly leads to different outcomes for the same info.

  72. 72
    Silver Asiatic says:

    #60

    Information is not a ‘measurable phenomena’ with any direct relation to the material substrate on which it is encoded since both the adding of weight, i.e. ink, or the removal of weight, i.e. pit engravings, can represent exactly the same amount of information.

    Meyer’s claim is that information weighs nothing. To refute his claim you cannot point to both a gain of mass and a loss of mass as a proof that information weighs something.

    Excellent response, BA. Irrefutable.

    I would appreciate it if rhampton7 simply would admit that he was wrong here. It’s a significant error.

    If information could be identified by changes in mass and energy, then the ID argument would have to be different.

    As it stands, information requires knowledge of a future state. It is goal-oriented. Materialism cannot provide goals for future conditions.

    Information requires a mind and cannot be reduced to mass, matter and energy alone.

  73. 73
    Phinehas says:

    REC:

    Since people are interested: for bacteria and other single-celled organisms.

    They move, in response to light, chemicals, heat. They have sensors (protein receptors) for these signals that transmit that information, in the form of chemical messengers, to motor proteins. This system is physically defined, and can be reconstituted from parts.

    They have no nervous system, no brain.

    I’m not sure how ascribing “self”* to such an organism, or positing it has a soul improves our understanding of the system. It seems materially defined.

    *in the sense of self-awareness, not self-moving, as in a self-driving car, for example.

    You are the one who claimed bacteria could be *self* directed. (Self-awareness isn’t even at issue yet.) If you’d rather talk about how self-driving cars are actually self-directed (that is, not merely responding to external input in accord with programming that also originated outside of it”self”), then please continue. I’m all ears.

    And let’s be clear: My philosophy need not posit that bacteria have either self or souls any more than a programmed car does. But if evidence is presented for either bacteria or humans that demonstrates that much more than merely physics and chemistry is at work, my philosophy can accommodate this evidence. Materialism must try to explain this evidence away, and often does so in patently ludicrous fashion, revealing itself to be intellectually and morally bankrupt.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    REC #64

    I’m not sure how ascribing “self”* to such an organism, or positing it has a soul improves our understanding of the system. It seems materially defined.

    I think the same argument, from the materialist perspective, would be used regarding any organism, including humans.

    This is the point under contention. If a human “seems materially defined”, as it is claimed, then ascribing a self or soul adds nothing to our understanding.

    Some materialists solve this dilemma by simply denying that there is a self, and therefore no self-awareness and no self-consciousness.

    Others might say that the human person does not seem to be materially defined. This opens the possibility of an immaterial element – thus the existence of the soul.

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the claim that information is emergent from a material basis, it is important to note that, counter-intuitive to materialistic thought (and to every kid who has ever taken a math exam), a computer (and the brain) will not consume energy during the computation of information, but will only consume energy when information is erased from it.
    This counter-intuitive fact is formally known as Landauer’s Principle.

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    This lack of energy consumption holds for mental activities as well:

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    Scaling of Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow in Relation to Capillary and Neural Scaling – 2011
    Excerpt: Brain is one of the most energy demanding organs in mammals, and its total metabolic rate scales with brain volume raised to a power of around 5/6. This value is significantly higher than the more common exponent 3/4 (4- dimensional Quarter Power Scaling) relating whole body resting metabolism with body mass and several other physiological variables in animals and plants.,,,
    Moreover, cerebral metabolic, hemodynamic, and microvascular variables scale with allometric exponents that are simple multiples of 1/6, rather than 1/4, which suggests that brain metabolism is more similar to the metabolism of aerobic than resting body. Relation of these findings to brain functional imaging studies involving the link between cerebral metabolism and blood flow is also discussed.,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3203885/

    It should be noted that, in spite of the counter-intuitive fact that no energy is consumed during computation, Rolf Landauer himself maintained that the information in a computer was merely ‘physical’.

    “Information is Physical”
    Rolf Landauer – (Physics Today, 1991)

    i.e. Landauer held that information in a computer was merely an ‘emergent’ property of a material basis in spite of objections from such notable people as Penrose and Weiner who held that information is indeed real and has its own independent existence separate from matter-energy.

    “Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day.”
    Norbert Weiner – MIT Mathematician -(Cybernetics, 2nd edition, p.132) Norbert Wiener created the modern field of control and communication systems, utilizing concepts like negative feedback. His seminal 1948 book Cybernetics both defined and named the new field.

    “Those devices (computers) can yield only approximations to a structure (of information) that has a deep and “computer independent” existence of its own.” –
    Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind – Pg 147

    Landauer held this ‘materialistic’ position since he thought that it ALWAYS took energy to erase information from a computer and therefore the information in the computer must be ‘merely physical’ (merely emergent) according to his view of reality.
    Yet the validity of that fairly narrowly focused objection from Landauer, to the reality of ‘transcendent ‘information’ encoded within the computer, has now been overturned.
    Information, contrary to what Landauer thought possible, is now known to erasable from a computer without consuming energy.

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all. Instead, the cost of erasure can be paid in terms of another conserved quantity, such as spin angular momentum.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

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

    Of related note, the following researchers used a part of Landauers principle, specifically the ‘merging of two computational paths’, to prove that consciousness cannot be computational in its basis:

    Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths – 13 May 2014
    Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,,
    But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both.
    Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: “You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously haemorrhaging information.”,,,
    Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can’t handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can’t be conscious.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LD5ChuqCe

    In the following experiment, it was proven that information has a ‘thermodynamic content’ when the researchers succeeded in ‘ demonstrating the conversion of information to energy ‘

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note: Landauers principle was also instrumental in developing a deeper ‘information theoretic’ view of reality in these following two articles:

    How The Nature of Information Could Resolve One of The Great Paradoxes Of Cosmology – Feb. 17, 2015
    Excerpt: One of the biggest puzzles in science is the cosmological constant paradox. This arises when physicists attempt to calculate the energy density of the universe from first principles. Using quantum mechanics, the number they come up with is 10^94 g/cm^3.
    And yet the observed energy density, calculated from the density of mass in the cosmos and the way the universe is expanding, is about 10^-27 g/cm^3. In other words, our best theory of the universe misses the mark by 120 orders of magnitude.
    That’s left cosmologists somewhat red-faced. Indeed, Stephen Hawking has famously described this as the most spectacular failure of any physical theory in history. This huge discrepancy is all the more puzzling because quantum mechanics makes such accurate predictions in other circumstances. Just why it goes so badly wrong here is unknown.,,,
    Back in the 1960s, the physicist Rolf Landauer suggested that every bit of information had an energy associated with it, an idea that has gained considerable traction since then.
    So Fields uses Landauer’s principle to calculate the energy associated with the locations of all the stars in the universe. This turns out to be about 10^-30 g /cm^3, very similar to the observed energy density of the universe.
    But here’s the thing. That calculation requires the position of each star to be encoded only to within 10 km^3. Fields also asks how much information is required to encode the position of stars to the much higher resolution associated with the Planck length. “Encoding 10^25 stellar positions at [the Planck length] would incur a free-energy cost approx. 10^117 larger than that found here,” he says.
    That difference is remarkably similar to the 120 orders of magnitude discrepancy between the observed energy density and that calculated using quantum mechanics.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/how-the-nature-of-information-could-resolve-one-of-the-great-paradoxes-of-cosmology-8c16fc714756

    Gravity from Quantum Information – Dec. 2013
    Excerpt introduction: ,,,As a variant of the second law of thermodynamics, the Landauer’s principle states that to erase N bits of information of a system irreversibly at least kBN entropy of a bath should be increased and at least kBT N energy should be consumed, where kB is the Boltzman’s constant and T is the temperature of the thermal bath contacting with the system. For a black hole and the universe their causal horizons play roles of the bath and an information barrier. We suggested that there is energy Eh related to the information erasing at the horizon,,
    Excerpt conclusion: In short, the Einstein equation links matter to gravity and his famous formula E=mc2 links matter to energy. We know also that the Landauer’s principle links information to energy. Thus, now we have a relation between information and gravity, the Einstein equation with the quantum informational interpretation. Our theory implies that the Einstein equation is more about information rather than energy or equation of state. In other words, information might be more profound physical entity than matter or field.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1001.5445v2.pdf

    The preceding researchers are in very good company in their claim that ‘information might be more profound physical entity than matter or field’.

    John Wheeler (1911–2008) summarizes his life in physics – February 2014
    Excerpt: “I think of my lifetime in physics as divided into three periods. In the first period, extending from the beginning of my career until the early 1950?s, I was in the grip of the idea that Everything Is Particles. I was looking for ways to build all basic entities – neutrons, protons, mesons, and so on – out of the lightest, most fundamental particles, electrons, and photons.
    I call my second period Everything Is Fields. From the time I fell in love with general relativity and gravitation in 1952 until late in my career, I pursued the vision of a world made of fields, one in which the apparent particles are really manifestations of electric and magnetic fields, gravitational fields, and space-time itself.
    Now I am in the grip of a new vision, that Everything Is Information. The more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability to comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible fundamental roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical theory.”
    – J. A. Wheeler, K. Ford, Geons, Black Hole, & Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics New York W.W. Norton & Co, 1998, pp 63-64.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....n-physics/

    “The thesis of my book ‘Being as Communion’ is that the fundamental stuff of the world is information. That things are real because they exchange information one with another.”
    Conversations with William Dembski–The Thesis of Being as Communion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYAsaU9IvnI

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

    Verse

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    (of note: ‘Word’ in Greek is ‘Logos’, and is the root word from which we get our word ‘Logic’)

  77. 77
    rhampton7 says:

    BA77

    Of course the information on the disk is material. The change in mass/energy is what is needed to record it. You can only alter the information on this disk by changing the material arrangement of mass/energy.

    Here’s a challenge for you and Meyer, try adding, deleting or changing the information on a disk using any immaterial method you like. Or if you prefer, try reading the information on the disk using only an immaterial process.

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7, tell you what, I’ll take you up on your challenge of ‘adding, deleting or changing the information on a disk’ by immaterial methods as soon as you can show me ANY functional information whatsoever that was first generated solely by unguided material processes and not by an intelligent mind.

    Something tells me I will be waiting a long, long, time for you to provide that example of unguided material processes generating functional information!

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Of note: although Dr. Behe had been mercilessly vilified by neo-Darwinists for daring to suggest that there could possibly be an ‘Edge’ to evolution (i.e. possibly be a limit to what Darwinian processes could be expected to accomplish), Dr. Behe’s was vindicated and his 10^20 number was recently verified in the lab.

    The Vindication of Michael Behe – podcast/video – 2014
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itkxFbyzyro

    The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway – Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe – April 2011
    Excerpt: We infer from the mutants examined that successful functional conversion would in this case require seven or more nucleotide substitutions. But evolutionary innovations requiring that many changes would be extraordinarily rare, becoming probable only on timescales much longer than the age of life on earth.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2011.1

    “Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – January 1, 2015
    Excerpt: The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92291.html

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....t-collide/

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.
    Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    “Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source — from a mind or personal agent.”
    (Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2):213-239 (2004).)

    “As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler once observed, “the creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity.” And, of course, he was right. Whenever we find information—whether embedded in a radio signal, carved in a stone monument, written in a book or etched on a magnetic disc—and we trace it back to its source, invariably we come to mind, not merely a material process. Thus, the discovery of functionally specified, digitally encoded information along the spine of DNA, provides compelling positive evidence of the activity of a prior designing intelligence. This conclusion is not based upon what we don’t know. It is based upon what we do know from our uniform experience about the cause and effect structure of the world—specifically, what we know about what does, and does not, have the power to produce large amounts of specified information.”
    – Stephen Meyer
    http://www.signatureinthecell......l-falk.php

    Of related note: The the human mind has causal power has been revealed by brain plasticity and by epigenetic influence of intentionality over gene expression:

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

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

  79. 79
    rhampton7 says:

    Box,

    Shannon’s information theory allows us to calculate information, and to do that you need to measure its content – that is a given communication’s expression as mass/energy.

  80. 80
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rhampton7

    Or if you prefer, try reading the information on the disk using only an immaterial process.

    Do you believe that immaterial entities exist?

  81. 81
    rhampton7 says:

    BA77,

    unguided material processes and not by an intelligent mind

    Here you posit a common misunderstanding within the ID community – that is that ID theory claims that intelligence must be immaterial.

    As I have explained before, the Weaver bird can make irreducible complex nests that we must recognize as the product of an intelligent designer. However it is far from certain that the Weaver bird’s intelligence is the product of some immaterial phenomena and not the product of purely material processes. (I refer to VJTorely’s The immateriality of animal consciousness: why I’m agnostic).

    So I believe I have honestly answered your question — it is reasonably plausible that birds, among others, are examples of “unguided material processes” generating functional information. Can you demonstrate a reasonably plausible method to address my question to you?

  82. 82
    rhampton7 says:

    SA,

    I believe God is an immaterial entity, but I think your question is meant to ask this specifically, “Do I believe immaterial entities (other than God) exist exclusively within our universe?” My hunch tells me no, but I’m irreversibly convinced of this.

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    rampton, FYI, birds nest are not functional information on a computer disk. Your claim is that unguided material processes can produce functional information on a computer disk and immaterial minds cannot. Now is your chance to PROVE IT!

    We all wait with anticipation for this ‘miracle’ to be performed!

    Of related interest, that the human mind has causal influence outside the human body was recently demonstrated by Dean Radin:

    Dean Radin, who spent years at Princeton testing different aspects of consciousness, recently performed experiments testing the possible role of consciousness in the double slit. His results were, not so surprisingly, very supportive of consciousness’s central role in the experiment:

    Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: six experiments – Radin – 2012
    Abstract: A double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wavefunction. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double-slit spectral power to its single-slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. Each test session consisted of 40 counterbalanced attention-toward and attention-away epochs, where each epoch lasted between 15 and 30 s(seconds). Data contributed by 137 people in six experiments, involving a total of 250 test sessions, indicate that on average the spectral ratio decreased as predicted (z = -4:36, p = 6·10^-6). Another 250 control sessions conducted without observers present tested hardware, software, and analytical procedures for potential artifacts; none were identified (z = 0:43, p = 0:67). Variables including temperature, vibration, and signal drift were also tested, and no spurious influences were identified. By contrast, factors associated with consciousness, such as meditation experience, electrocortical markers of focused attention, and psychological factors including openness and absorption, significantly correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double-slit interference pattern. The results appear to be consistent with a consciousness-related interpretation of the quantum measurement problem.
    http://www.deanradin.com/paper.....0final.pdf

    Psychophysical (i.e., mind–matter) interactions with a double-slit interference pattern –
    Dean Radin, Leena Michel, James Johnston, and Arnaud Delorme – December 2013
    Abstract: Previously reported experiments suggested that interference patterns generated by a double-slit optical system were perturbed by a psychophysical (i.e., mind–matter) interaction. Three new experiments were conducted to further investigate this phenomenon. The first study consisted of 50 half-hour test sessions where participants concentrated their attention-toward or -away from a double-slit system located 3 m away. The spectral magnitude and phase associated with the double-slit component of the interference pattern were compared between the two attention conditions, and the combined results provided evidence for an interaction,,,. One hundred control sessions using the same equipment, protocol and analysis, but without participants present, showed no effect,,,.
    The second experiment used a duplicate double-slit system and similar test protocol, but it was conducted over the Internet by streaming data to participants’ web browsers. Some 685 people from six continents contributed 2089 experimental sessions. Results were similar to those observed in the first experiment, but smaller in magnitude,,,. Data from 2303 control sessions, conducted automatically every 2 h using the same equipment but without observers showed no effect. Distance between participants and the optical system, ranging from 1 km to 18,000 km, showed no correlation with experimental effect size. The third experiment used a newly designed double-slit system, a revised test protocol, and a simpler method of statistical analysis. Twenty sessions contributed by 10 participants successfully replicated the interaction effect observed in the first two studies.
    http://deanradin.com/evidence/.....ys2013.pdf

  84. 84
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rhampton7

    Ok, thanks. Yes, I was asking something like that. For you, only God is an immaterial entity. Not angels, souls, saints, grace, miracles, locutions, apparitions, mystical phenomena, spiritual aspirations … these are all physical phenomena or they don’t exist, right?

    Just curious and somewhat off topic, but God is immaterial, so you can have no scientific evidence – therefore, what evidence do you accept supporting the existence of God?

  85. 85
    rhampton7 says:

    BA77.

    You challenge to me was; “show me ANY functional information whatsoever that was first generated solely by unguided material processes and not by an intelligent mind,” to which I have answered in good faith. I would greatly appreciate it if you would do the same.

  86. 86
    rhampton7 says:

    SA,

    Yes, I believe that all the miracles and such were material manifestations, no different than Jesus Christ.

    To your second question, one can’t prove God, nor is one supposed to be able to. Faith is much greater, and much more challenging, than that.

  87. 87
    Mung says:

    rhampton7:

    Shannon’s information theory allows us to calculate information, and to do that you need to measure its content – that is a given communication’s expression as mass/energy.

    Actually, no.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    FYI: birds nest are not functional information!

    moreover, I certainly don’t hold birds to be purely ‘unguided material processes’.

    That is your presupposition!

    A presupposition that I personally hold to be a false presupposition.

    I suggest you first generate a bird by unguided material processes so as to prove me wrong! 🙂

    You are disingenuous in your ‘good faith’ request in that you want me to demonstrate the origination of functional information on a computer disk by purely immaterial means and yet you yourself refuse to same standard you have set for me in that you will not demonstrate the origination of functional information on a computer disk by purely unguided material process.

    I suggest you look up hypocrisy in the dictionary!

    I’m done. I have much better things to do this afternoon than wander through the incoherence of your reasoning!

  89. 89
    rhampton7 says:

    Mung,

    By implication you believe the immaterial is subject to entropy (Shannon entropy), to which I would guess you would argue entropy=0. Because Shannon entropy is a measure of the information contained in a message, there could be no discrete messages as any and all communication would necessarily contain the infinite. I think that’s an apt description of God, but I am far from convinced that that’s apt description of information.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rh

    Yes, I believe that all the miracles and such were material manifestations, no different than Jesus Christ.

    To your second question, one can’t prove God, nor is one supposed to be able to. Faith is much greater, and much more challenging, than that.

    Thanks for your reply Ok, you believe God is immaterial by faith alone.
    Why not believe angels, miracles, grace and souls are immaterial on faith alone also?

  91. 91
    Box says:

    rhampton7 #79: Shannon’s information theory allows us to calculate information, and to do that you need to measure its content – that is a given communication’s expression as mass/energy.

    According to Shannon’s information theory, how much information does E = MC^2 contain?

    Do you agree that the meaning of E = MC^2 is an intractable part of the information that E = MC^2 contains? IOW if the meaning of E = MC^2 is not calculated by Shannon’s method, how could it be said that the information of E = MC^2 is calculated?

    Silver Asiatic: Information requires a mind and cannot be reduced to mass, matter and energy alone.

    Amen! Information/meaning cannot exist without context.

  92. 92
    rhampton7 says:

    Box,

    You can calculate the content of the message here, but guestimates are required (your may be different than mine)
    http://planetcalc.com/2476/

  93. 93
    Virgil Cain says:

    Shannon allows us to measure information carrying capacity as the methodology doesn’t say anything about meaning, ie information. So it tells us how much possible information there is in any given message.

    That is all because the machines that transmit and receive the messages do not care about the meaning. So Shannon wanted a way to check what was being sent to what was being received based on volume, ie the number of characters sent compared to the number of characters received and stored.

    And yes it is true that energy and matter are required to transmit, receive and store information but the information is not the energy nor the matter.

    Also if it could be shown that intelligence is material then ID would suffer a fatal blow.

  94. 94
    rhampton7 says:

    SA,

    If Jesus was materially real (his human half), why not angels, why not the miracle of life itself?

    I’m not a YEC, so I don’t see material explanations as an attack on faith nor a diminishment of God. Obviously not all agree.

  95. 95
    rhampton7 says:

    Also if it could be shown that intelligence is material then ID would suffer a fatal blow.

    While that may be true for some among the laymen ID community, it would be inconsequential to the scientific theory of Intelligent Design. Remember, it is a tool to reliably detect design, but it makes no claims as to what are the intelligent agent(s) that are detected. Material intelligences and immaterial intelligences are equally admissible.

    To all – have a safe and happy 4th of July. See you next week.

  96. 96
    Roy says:

    ba77:

    Actually Meyer’s argument holds because a CD with pits (i.e. full of information) weigh less than a CD with no information

    ba77, 35 minutes later:

    Information is not a ‘measurable phenomena’ with any direct relation to the material substrate on which it is encoded since both the adding of weight, i.e. ink, or the removal of weight, i.e. pit engravings, can represent exactly the same amount of information.

    What a lovely example of a reverse ferret.

  97. 97
    Virgil Cain says:

    rhampton7:

    Material intelligences and immaterial intelligences are equally admissible.

    What’s a “material intelligence”? ID is already on the record for saying that purely materialistic processes cannot produce living organisms.

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    Roy, do you even try to understand the context of something that hints at Design before rushing off to condemn it?

    I suggest you go back and read the posts very slowly for clarity.

    Read the words aloud to yourself if it helps you understand the subject more clearly,,, (as if there could be such a thing as understanding in the materialistic worldview in the first place):

    Here are the three posts in question:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-570516
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-570518
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-570522

    Quotes of Note:

    Materialism Ought to be Judged as Much by the Ignorance It Demands as by the Knowledge It Purports to Afford – Michael Egnor – December 6, 2014
    Excerpt: Materialism, properly understood, purports to afford knowledge, but its salient contribution to modernity is the ignorance it demands. Materialism is a denial of reality. It’s an impoverished superstition, hardly more than magical thinking. Materialism is an amalgam of unexamined presuppositions, delusions of explanatory relevance, smug scientism, self-refuting pretense, and witless non-sequiturs posing as “scientific” conclusions.
    The fact is that the world is plainly more than atoms in the void and man is plainly more than an evolved meat machine. Our beliefs and judgments and insight — all that make us human — are immaterial, and it is obvious that transcendent purpose permeates nature.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91771.html

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter

    Photo – “of all the things I’ve lost, I think I miss my mind the most”
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

  99. 99
    Phinehas says:

    Roy:

    What is it, exactly, that you think was reversed? Both of the quotes you reference demonstrate that information itself has no mass, which was ba77’s point. You may be able to encode information in a way that adds mass, but you can also encode it in a way that doesn’t or that even subtracts mass. So, obviously, the information itself doesn’t have mass. I didn’t find this point particularly difficult to grasp, but perhaps others did?

  100. 100
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 98

    Quotes of Note:

    Materialism Ought to be Judged as Much by the Ignorance It Demands as by the Knowledge It Purports to Afford – Michael Egnor – December 6, 2014
    Excerpt: Materialism, properly understood, purports to afford knowledge, but its salient contribution to modernity is the ignorance it demands. Materialism is a denial of reality. It’s an impoverished superstition, hardly more than magical thinking. Materialism is an amalgam of unexamined presuppositions, delusions of explanatory relevance, smug scientism, self-refuting pretense, and witless non-sequiturs posing as “scientific” conclusions.

    Is he serious? Are you serious?

    What on earth do you and he think our understanding of the physical brain is if not materialistic? When Egnor goes into a human brain to operate, does he close his eyes like a Jedi master and rely on some mystical Force to guide his hands or does keep his eyes wide open and draw on a detailed knowledge of the brain’s physiology and biochemistry? I know which it had better be or I wouldn’t let him within a mile of my brain no matter how great the need.

    Kairosfocus is fond of accusing arguments he disagrees with of “self-referential incoherence” but Egnor’s position is just plain absurd. He’s built his career on a materialistic description and explanation of the physical brain but condemns such knowledge as delusional and “self-refuting pretense”. If anything is a “witless non-sequitur” it’s his position.

  101. 101
    MatSpirit says:

    Harry @ 10: “The images you see are not to be found anywhere is your physical brain, just electrochemical reactions that correspond to them, which were ultimately brought about by the body’s optical system processing millions of photons. The processing of photons is not “seeing” anymore than a recording video camera is “seeing” anything as it processes photons. You know the images the mind sees exist — you see them. The images in your mind have no material reality, yet they exist, just as does the non-material rational soul that perceives them.”

    You’re way behind the times. Way back in the 60s Scientific American published a pair of astounding pictures. They were PET scans of the back of a person’s head. He was staring at a cross hatch pattern on a screen and there, on the back of his brain, was the cross hatch pattern, plain as day. The lines were a little wiggly but distinct and you could even see where parts of the cross hatch were missing where they dived down into one of the creases in the brain.

    But the _really_ astounding picture was the second one, taken while the volunteer closed his eyes and _imagined_ a cross hatch pattern. There it was, a little weaker and fuzzier, but still distinct: another cross hatch! It was a picture of what the man was imagining! And that picture was generated IN his brain solely through his mental facilities and it was located IN his brain.

  102. 102
    Box says:

    Seversky,

    Michael Egnor: Materialism is an amalgam of unexamined presuppositions (…)

    Seversky: Is he serious? Are you serious?

    Yes. Absolutely serious.

    Seversky: What on earth do you and he think our understanding of the physical brain is if not materialistic?

    Are you serious? How is this even related to what Egnor is saying?

    Seversky: When Egnor goes into a human brain to operate, does he close his eyes like a Jedi master and rely on some mystical Force to guide his hands or does keep his eyes wide open and draw on a detailed knowledge of the brain’s physiology and biochemistry?

    Are you barking mad? What are you responding to?

  103. 103
    harry says:

    MatSpirit @101

    See the images at the link posted by REC @ 13. The images there are much more impressive than a crosshatch. Even so, none of this means that the images we see in our mind’s eye are being displayed in the physical brain somewhere.

    The brain is a physical device capable of storing ongoing signals generated from sources of audio produced by vibrating air and video produced by photons bouncing off of objects. It does this in some systematic way, just as audio and video can be stored digitally on a hard drive in your computer. The brain doesn’t see or hear the sights and sounds it processes and stores any more than the computer and its hard drive does.

    As science and medicine have learned more about the physical brain, it has become possible to scan the brain as a signal is being processed and stored there, and reconstruct the sight (and someday the sounds) from which it was generated. This process isn’t as refined as reconstructing the actual audio or video from a signal that was stored digitally on a hard drive, but to scan the electrochemical reactions in the brain as one looks at something and then translating that into an image that can be displayed is an astounding feat of medicine and science. Even so, it says nothing about how the mind sees. There is no image of what we see in the physical brain somewhere, yet we know an image is being displayed because we see. The displayed image we see has no material existence, nor does the soul that perceives it.

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, as to ‘our understanding of the physical brain’, a better example of the irrationality that atheistic materialism forces science into would be hard to find than in the human brain.

    Anybody in their right mind should readily admit that God created the human brain

    The human brain is simply ‘beyond belief’ in terms of its inherent complexity:

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

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

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

    Now Seversky, you may hold that it is completely rational for you to believe that unguided material processes built that jaw dropping level of integrated complexity in the human brain, but I hold that not only is it irrational to believe unguided material processes built that unfathomable level of integrated complexity in the human brain, but that it is sheer insanity for you to believe as such.

    But since you deny free will, then I guess it is simply beyond your control and you have no choice but to believe completely insane things like that every once in awhile.

    Perhaps tomorrow the molecules of your brain will randomly reconfigure into a different pattern that will allow you, (whatever the person of ‘you’ really is in materialism), to finally believe that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God!

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

  105. 105
    Roy says:

    Phinehas @ 99:

    Yes, it’s an easy concept to grasp. ba77 may have found it difficult though, since he seemed to think the respective masses of recorded CDs and blank ones relevant. Why else would he bother to calculate the mass of the data on a hard drive and decide it was negligible compared to the mass of the drive itself?

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    if you wish to dismiss my argument — and it is not just my argument — that evolutionary materialistic scientism is self-referential, incoherent and self-falsifying, why not take it on in substantial form?

    For instance, here is Nancy Pearcey giving one facet of the argument, in her current Finding Truth:

    A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . .

    An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?

    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.

    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.

    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.

    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.

    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”

    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.”

    She goes on to highlight a key gap in Darwin’s reasoning, where he seems to have failed to recognise the self-referential, global incoherence in his argumentation:

    People are sometimes under the impression that Darwin himself recognized the problem. They typically cite Darwin’s famous “horrid doubt” passage where he questions whether the human mind can be trustworthy if it is a product of evolution: “With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.”

    But, of course, Darwin’s theory itself was a “conviction of man’s mind.” So why should it be “at all trustworthy”?

    Surprisingly, however, Darwin never confronted this internal contradiction in this theory. Why not? Because he expressed his “horrid doubt” selectively — only when considering the case for a Creator.

    From time to time, Darwin admitted that he still found the idea of God persuasive. He once confessed his “inward conviction … that the Universe is not the result of chance.” It was in the next sentence that he expressed his “horrid doubt.” So the “conviction” he mistrusted was his lingering conviction that the universe is not the result of chance.

    In another passage Darwin admitted, “I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man.” Again, however, he immediately veered off into skepticism: “But then arises the doubt — can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”

    That is, can it be trusted when it draws “grand conclusions” about a First Cause? Perhaps the concept of God is merely an instinct programmed into us by natural selection, Darwin added, like a monkey’s “instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.”

    In short, it was on occasions when Darwin’s mind led him to a theistic conclusion that he dismissed the mind as untrustworthy. He failed to recognize that, to be logically consistent, he needed to apply the same skepticism to his own theory . . . .

    Applied consistently, Darwinism undercuts not only itself but also the entire scientific enterprise. Kenan Malik, a writer trained in neurobiology, writes, “If our cognitive capacities were simply evolved dispositions, there would be no way of knowing which of these capacities lead to true beliefs and which to false ones.” Thus “to view humans as little more than sophisticated animals …undermines confidence in the scientific method.”

    Just so. Science itself is at stake. John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, writes that according to atheism, “the mind that does science … is the end product of a mindless unguided process. Now, if you knew your computer was the product of a mindless unguided process, you wouldn’t trust it. So, to me atheism undermines the rationality I need to do science.”

    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.

    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively . . .

    This is much like Crick’s notorious error in his The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    Here is Reppert, on another facet:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Here is Haldane on another:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    Do, tell me, does not an argument or implication thereof that addresses human cognition refer to oneself once one makes it by thinking, speaking or writing etc?

    Is it not a commonplace that once we are in self-referential territory we must beware of circularities that beg questions or end in mutual contradiction?

    And, is is not reasonably and seriously arguable that such has happened?

    In which case, your rhetoric above boils down to little more than a dismissive ad hominem. One built on an empty strawman, as though merely alluding to my handle is grounds for dismissal without further argument.

    But, I have shown how spectacularly that rhetorical stunt fails.

    I suggest, there is a serious issue on the table to be answered by advocates of evolutionary materialism, and that it should be substantially addressed.

    KF

  107. 107
    Roy says:

    As to the claim that information is emergent from a material basis, it is important to note that, counter-intuitive to materialistic thought (and to every kid who has ever taken a math exam), a computer (and the brain) will not consume energy during the computation of information, but will only consume energy when information is erased from it.
    This counter-intuitive fact is formally known as Landauer’s Principle.

    Landauer’s principle states that there is a theoretical minimum energy requirement for performing irreversible computations. It does not state that reversible computations carried out using physical hardware require no energy.

    I suggest naming that idea “ba77’s principle”.

  108. 108
    bornagain77 says:

    Roy, rampton7 was to one who claimed that information was a materially ‘measurable phenomena’, and was the one who referenced a change in mass to try to back up his claim that information was a materially ‘measurable phenomena’.

    As stated before, I suggest you go back and read the posts very slowly for clarity.

    Read the words aloud to yourself if it helps you understand the subject more clearly,,, (as if there could be such a thing as understanding in the materialistic worldview in the first place):

  109. 109
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of interest is that the integrated coding between the DNA, RNA and Proteins of the cell apparently seem to be ingeniously programmed along the very stringent guidelines laid out in Landauer’s principle, (by Charles Bennett from IBM of Quantum Teleportation fame), for ‘reversible computation’ in order to achieve such amazing energy/metabolic efficiency as it does.

    Logical Reversibility of Computation* – C. H. Bennett – 1973
    Excerpt from last paragraph: The biosynthesis and biodegradation of messenger RNA may be viewed as convenient examples of logically reversible and irreversible computation, respectively. Messenger RNA. a linear polymeric informational macromolecule like DNA, carries the genetic information from one or more genes of a DNA molecule. and serves to direct the synthesis of the proteins encoded by those genes. Messenger RNA is synthesized by the enzyme RNA polymerase in the presence of a double-stranded DNA molecule and a supply of RNA monomers (the four nucleotide pyrophosphates ATP, GTP, CTP, and UTP) [7]. The enzyme attaches to a specific site on the DNA molecule and moves along, sequentially incorporating the RNA monomers into a single-stranded RNA molecule whose nucleotide sequence exactly matches that of the DNA. The pyrophosphate groups are released into the surrounding solution as free pyrophosphate molecules. The enzyme may thus be compared to a simple tape-copying Turing machine that manufactures its output tape rather than merely writing on it. Tape copying is a logically reversible operation. and RNA polymerase is both thermodynamically and logically reversible.,,,
    http://www.cs.princeton.edu/co.....ett73.html

    Notes on Landauer’s principle, reversible computation, and Maxwell’s Demon – Charles H. Bennett – September 2003
    Excerpt: Of course, in practice, almost all data processing is done on macroscopic apparatus, dissipating macroscopic amounts of energy far in excess of what would be required by Landauer’s principle. Nevertheless, some stages of biomolecular information processing, such as transcription of DNA to RNA, appear to be accomplished by chemical reactions that are reversible not only in principle but in practice.,,,,
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....980300039X

    Logically and Physically Reversible Natural Computing: A Tutorial – 2013
    Excerpt: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Charles Bennett’s seminal paper on reversible computing. Bennett’s contribution is remembered as one of the first to demonstrate how any deterministic computation can be simulated by a logically reversible Turing machine. Perhaps less remembered is that the same paper suggests the use of nucleic acids to realise physical reversibility. In context, Bennett’s foresight predates Leonard Adleman’s famous experiments to solve instances of the Hamiltonian path problem using strands of DNA — a landmark date for the field of natural computing — by more than twenty years.
    http://link.springer.com/chapt.....38986-3_20

    The amazing energy efficiency possible with ‘reversible computation’ has been known about since Charles Bennett laid out the principles for such reversible programming in 1973, but as far as I know, due to the extreme level of complexity involved in achieving such ingenious ‘reversible coding’, has yet to be accomplished in any meaningful way for our computer programs even to this day:

    Reversible computing
    Excerpt: Reversible computing is a model of computing where the computational process to some extent is reversible, i.e., time-invertible.,,, Although achieving this goal presents a significant challenge for the design, manufacturing, and characterization of ultra-precise new physical mechanisms for computing, there is at present no fundamental reason to think that this goal cannot eventually be accomplished, allowing us to someday build computers that generate much less than 1 bit’s worth of physical entropy (and dissipate much less than kT ln 2 energy to heat) for each useful logical operation that they carry out internally.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R....._computing

    Related note:

    The unavoidable cost of computation revealed – Physicists have proved that forgetting (erasure of information) is the undoing of Maxwell’s demon. – Philip Ball – 07 March 2012
    Excerpt: To test the principle, the researchers created a simple two-state bit: a single microscopic silica bead held in a ‘light trap’ by a laser beam. The trap contains two ‘valleys’ where the particle can rest, one representing a 1 and the other a 0. It could jump between the two if the energy ‘hill’ separating them is not too high.,,,
    By monitoring the position and speed of the particle during a cycle of switching and resetting the bit, they could calculate how much energy was dissipated. Landauer’s limit applies only when the resetting is done infinitely slowly, and Lutz and colleagues found that, as they used longer switching cycles, the dissipation got smaller, heading towards a plateau equal to the amount predicted by Landauer.,,,
    More practically, Landauer’s principle implies a limit on how low the energy dissipation — and thus consumption — of a computer can be. “Heat dissipation in computer chips is one of the major problems hindering their miniaturization,” says Lutz.,,,
    Meanwhile, in fledgling quantum computers, which exploit the rules of quantum physics to achieve greater processing power, this limitation is already being confronted. “Logic processing in quantum computers already is well within the Landauer regime,” says physicist Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “One has to worry about Landauer’s principle all the time.”
    http://www.nature.com/news/the.....ed-1.10186

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    Roy, RH7 et al: It is first patent that Shannon showed how to measure information carrying capacity. Second, BA77 and others are correct to point out that meaningfulness and functionality cannot be weighed up or the like. Carving vs writing speaks volumes, as does the storage of info in a phase change on R/W CD ROMS etc. Likewise, info stored in magnetic alignments. Information is not a crudely physical quantity measurable as mass. Further to this, all of this is on a side track, the core reality being distracted from being that functionally specific complex information is only observed as actually caused by designing intelligence. But, there is a whole school of thought that pivots on the most spectacular cases of such FSCI we can see coming about effectively by lucky noise; where it should be seen readily that differential reproductive success across varieties SUBTRACTS information from the biosphere by extinction, it is not the source of information. So, we are left with a speculation of incremental lucky noise writing huge quantities of FSCI, which has never been actually observed, spectacularly failing the vera causa test. KF

  111. 111
    MatSpirit says:

    Harry, that second picture IS an example of an image we’re seeing in our mind’s eye being displayed in the back of the physical brain – the same area the brain uses to process vision.

    The experiment was pretty straight forward. A volunteer injects a weak radioactive liquid into a vein and sits down with the back of his head resting on the radiation detectors. The volunteer closes his eyes and just imagines a cross hatch. His eyes are closed, he’s just picturing a cross hatch in his mind.

    And on the screen a cross hatch slowly appears. It’s faint and it’s fuzzy, but its unmistakably a cross hatch. And then the volunteer stops thinking about a cross hatch and pictures a circle in his mind’s eye and a circle appears on the screen.

    The volunteer closes his eyes and imagines a figure and that mental activity makes neurons work harder so they show up on the screen. And those neurons are in the same area the brain uses for vision, a big clue about how we see what we’re imagining.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    how we process

  113. 113
    bornagain77 says:

    supplemental note

    Can reversible computing really dissipate absolutely zero energy?
    Of course not. Any non-equilibrium physical system (whether a computer or a rock) dissipates energy at some rate,,,
    Okay, then can reversible computing really make the energy dissipation of a computation be an arbitrarily small non-zero amount?
    Only insofar as the computer can be arbitrarily well isolated from unwanted interactions, errors, and energy leakage,,,
    But, despite all these caveats, it may yet be possible to set up reversible computations that dissipate such amazingly tiny amounts of energy that the dissipation is not a barrier to anything that we might wish to do with them – I call such computations ballistic. We are a long way from achieving ballistic computation, but we do not yet know of any fundamental reasons that forbid it from ever being technically possible.
    http://www.cise.ufl.edu/resear.....zeroenergy

  114. 114
    Roy says:

    Roy, rampton7 was to one who claimed that information was a materially ‘measurable phenomena’, and was the one who referenced a change in mass to try to back up his claim that information was a materially ‘measurable phenomena’.

    As stated before, I suggest you go back and read the posts very slowly for clarity.

    It doesn’t matter how often I read them, I keep seeing you stating that Meyer’s argument holds because a burnt CD weighs less than a blank one. It’s clear as crystal. I also keep seeing that it was you that insisted on calculating the mass difference for a hard drive.

    Perhaps you should go back and reread them? Then maybe you’ll be able to contribute something other than misplaced condescension.

    P.S. How’s your new principle coming along? Have you applied it to abaci yet?

  115. 115
    Roy says:

    KF @ 100: Yes, I know that information cannot be measured by mass. It was ba77, not me, that was trying to calculate the mass of a hard drive in different states.

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Roy, I suggest you re-examine the exchange from 55 on with RH7. BA77 responded in that context. KF

    PS: this is a side topic and I would be far happier to see a focus on the original focus, especially the tendency to reduce cognition to mechanistic forces, and the implications regarding responsible freedom. That is far more central to matters of significant moment.

  117. 117
    bornagain77 says:

    Roy after persisting in the same mistake 3 times in a row I have to no other option but to conclude you are not an IDiot but an actual idiot.

    FYI, RH7 posted the hard drive link. A link from which I excerpted so as to better refute his claim with his own link.

    That you would make such a willfully ignorant mistake three times in a row is gross intellectual negligence on your part!

    And although I readily admit I could have worded Landauer’s principle a little more clearly, I stand by the ‘surprising’ fact that I was trying to draw out. Namely, the fact that if information is not erased from a computer, and reversible computation employed, then ‘ballistic computation’ can be accomplished with ‘amazingly tiny amounts of energy’,,,

    it may yet be possible to set up reversible computations that dissipate such amazingly tiny amounts of energy that the dissipation is not a barrier to anything that we might wish to do with them – I call such computations ballistic. We are a long way from achieving ballistic computation, but we do not yet know of any fundamental reasons that forbid it from ever being technically possible.
    http://www.cise.ufl.edu/resear.....zeroenergy

    That computation can possibly be accomplished with ‘amazingly tiny amounts of energy’ is a very surprising finding in my book.

  118. 118
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note to RH7’s claim that ‘information recorded as energy or mass is a material, measurable phenomena’, I would like to point out that even though information has no weight, there is another method by which information can be physically measured.

    As noted previously, it is now established that information has a thermodynamic content:

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    And by taking this ‘thermodynamic content’ of information into consideration, it is possible to calculate the information content of a bacterium.

    Although I’m sure the following researchers did not use Jarzynski ‘refined’ equation in which they finally proved information has a thermodynamic content, the researchers, using ‘crude equations’, were, none the less, able to give a ball-park figure for the information content of a simple cell from a thermodynamic perspective:

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/18hO1bteXTPOqQtd2H12PI5wFFoTjwg8uBAU5N0nEQIE/edit

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

  119. 119
    bornagain77 says:

    Roy, after thinking it over I would like to apologize for calling you an idiot. Although I have been called many names by atheists over the years, that is no excuse for stooping to that low level and responding in kind. Thus I am sorry. I should have made my disappointment with your mistake known in a more gracious manner.

    While I’m at it, I would like to also apologize to all the real IDiots out there that I may have offended! 🙂

  120. 120
    Mung says:

    I think I’ll make a T-Shirt:

    Proud to be an IDiot!

  121. 121
    Axel says:

    ‘E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros.’

    I don’t really mean to ‘knock’ il Papa Francesco, as he really does seem to be ‘the gift that just keeps on giving’, but I think this should give the lie to his dismissive remark about God not being a magician(conjuror), etc., but just front loading the basic vehicles to develop in their own time, so to speak – because it would essentially be too trivial a task for him to occupy himself with.

    He must have forgotten the birds, when they fall, and each hair on our head. It’s surely no sweat to our omniscient God to keep track of the least movement of the smallest E-Coli bacterium.

    PS: I was surprised to see the Library of Congress didn’t appear in that list, BA77. For some reason I’d always thought of it as the ‘cat’s whiskers’.

  122. 122
    harry says:

    MatSpirit

    And on the screen a cross hatch slowly appears

    “ON THE SCREEN” not in the physical brain from which the signal was captured that was displayed on the screen.

    The bytes of which a JPEG file consists are not the image. The image doesn’t appear until those bytes are processed and displayed on some appropriate medium. The electrochemical activity of the brain is not the image. The image doesn’t appear until that activity is translated into an image and displayed on the “screen” of the mind’s eye. Zeros and ones stored in digital memory are not an image. Electrochemical activity is not an image. The image doesn’t appear until it is displayed on an appropriate medium, a physical screen or the non-material screen of the mind’s eye.

  123. 123
    Silver Asiatic says:

    rhampton7

    If Jesus was materially real (his human half), why not angels

    I would like to discuss this with you some time. If you’re saying that angels are material/physical beings, I’m very open to your argument in that regard. In this case, angels would occupy space, be composed of matter and would need some explanation for their origin, movements, powers, geography — and why they have not been detected scientifically.

    But until then, hope you have a happy 4th.

  124. 124
    Dionisio says:

    REC @13

    http://www.bcr.org/content/tap.....oding-fmri

    In the simpler example with the lines, is there anything said about detecting and decoding the information that corresponds to the actual decision process that led to pick one case or the other?

    They seem to have figured out (at least partially) the neural encoding/decoding of the images, but what about the decision process?

    BTW, as other folks stated before, what is stored in memory (either working/short or long term) is a representation of the images, not the images. Both encoding and decoding mechanisms are required to store/retrieve the images in/from memory.

  125. 125
    Dionisio says:

    REC @13

    Do you understand the questions @124 which relate to your post #13?
    Do you need help to answer those questions?

    You may ask KF, harry or BA77 to help you with understanding the questions @124

  126. 126
    Dionisio says:

    harry @17

    Can you help REC to understand the questions/comments @124 & @125?
    Thank you.

  127. 127
    Dionisio says:

    BA77

    Please, help with posts @124 & @125
    Thank you

  128. 128
    Dionisio says:

    KF

    Are posts @124 & @125 valid?
    Bottom line, are the actual decisions made by the volunteer in the paper referenced by REC @13 recorded anywhere?
    Are they encoded and stored somewhere?
    Does the given paper say anything about them?
    BTW, the statement “figured out” @124 was written with tongue in cheek. That’s a gross overstatement. They haven’t figured it out completely yet. It’s not that simple. They’re dealing with elaborate complexity. The reverse engineering process is very difficult.
    It took the soviets and their eastern European satellites several years to reverse engineer the IBM/360 and IBM/370 systems during Cold War 1.0. The neural systems are much more complex than any human-designed technology.
    Thank you

  129. 129
    bornagain77 says:

    Dionisio this may be of interest to you:

    Fallacies of Contemporary Neuroscience: “A Vast Collection of Answers, with No Memory of the Questions” – Michael Egnor – February 20, 2014
    Excerpt: Philosopher Ed Feser has a great post on the fallacies of contemporary neuroscience:

    We’ve had several occasions… to examine the fallacies committed by those who suppose that contemporary neuroscience has radically altered our understanding of human nature, and even undermined our commonsense conception of ourselves as conscious, rational, freely choosing agents. In a recent Spectator essay, Roger Scruton comments on the fad for neuroscientific pseudo-explanations within the humanities, labeling it “neuroenvy.”

    Here’s an especially insightful passage from the piece:

    [Scruton:] Neuroenvy… consist[s] of a vast collection of answers, with no memory of the questions. And the answers are encased in neurononsense of the following kind:??

    ‘The brains of social animals are wired to feel pleasure in the exercise of social dispositions such as grooming and co-operation, and to feel pain when shunned, scolded, or excluded. Neurochemicals such as vasopressin and oxytocin mediate pair-bonding, parent-offspring bonding, and probably also bonding to kith and kin…’ (Patricia Churchland).??

    As though we didn’t know already that people feel pleasure in grooming and co-operating, and as though it adds anything to say that their brains are ‘wired’ to this effect, or that ‘neurochemicals’ might possibly be involved in producing it. This is pseudoscience of the first order, and owes what scant plausibility it possesses to the fact that it simply repeats the matter that it fails to explain. It perfectly illustrates the prevailing academic disorder, which is the loss of questions.

    “A vast collection of answers, with no memory of the questions” is a stunningly accurate way to describe the modern fallacy of attributing mental acts to physical brain processes. No one doubts that mental states are associated with brain states. But it is breathtakingly naïve to assert that the mental state is “explained” in any meaningful way by the brain state. Regional changes in brain blood flow measured by fMRI scanning don’t explain the love (or hate or anger or belief or joy) we feel at the moment the changes are measured.

    Thoughts and emotions are mental acts that inherently entail intentionality (reference to something other than self), qualia (the subjective experience of things) that transcend mechanical explanation. Crude materialist reductionism has little real explanatory power.

    Modern neuroscience has provided so many answers that we’ve forgotten the questions.

    Feser suggests the antidote to neuroenvy:

    Materialists typically assume that the Cartesian move is what anyone who criticizes their reductionism must be committed to. (See Chapter 4 of Aquinas for a detailed account of the differences between the Aristotelian-Thomistic and Cartesian views of human nature.) And so deeply and unreflectively have they imbibed reductionist thinking that they fail to perceive that the arguments that they think prove reductionism really only assume reductionism — begging the question, and none too subtly at that. In particular, they fail to see that the stuff about increased dopamine levels “proves” that addicts lack moral responsibility, or that Libet’s experiments “prove” that we lack free will, only if we already assume that human action is entirely reducible to the neural phenomena in question, which is of course precisely what is at issue. And they would also beg the question were they to insist that categories like formal and final causation are acceptable only if they can somehow be reduced to those recognized by physics, chemistry, biology, or neuroscience.

    Meanwhile, critics like Scruton and Raymond Tallis, while they rightly denounce reductionism of both a materialist or Cartesian sort, fail to put in its place a systematic rival metaphysics like the Aristotelian one. Powerful as their criticisms are, their positive account of human nature is bound to seem obscurantist to those who cannot see any plausible alternative to materialism as a general conception of the natural world. For it takes a metaphysics to counter a metaphysics. Until materialism, scientism, and naturalism are not only criticized but replaced with something better, they will not lose the baneful grip on modern culture that Scruton and Tallis rightly deplore.

    Materialist reductionism of the mind is a foolish mistake. A rudimentary mistake. The Aristotelian hylomorphic understanding of the mind is a correction for that mistake, and seems to me to be closest to the truth.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....82351.html

    Among the Mind Deniers: A Darwinist Mathematician Reflects on Philosophy – Michael Egnor – October 26, 2014
    Excerpt: “Paul and Patricia Churchland are materialist philosophers who champion reductive materialism, which is the viewpoint that the mind does not exist at all. We have been tricked by “folk psychology” into thinking that we think. We are merely brains, tricked by our neurotransmitters into believing that we have beliefs.
    Shallit thinks this form of materialism is particularly profound. Actually he doesn’t think … or… he thinks that he doesn’t think that he does think…. Goodness gracious, materialism is confusing.
    What is revealing about Shallit’s denial is the extent to which materialists will go to insulate their ideology from critique. Philosophers raise profound questions about the validity — and even the coherence — of materialist theories of the mind. Rather than take those critiques seriously, Shallit denies the relevance of philosophical inquiry.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90631.html

    also of note, MRIs were originally invented by a Christian in the first place!

    http://creation.com/the-not-so.....madian-mri

  130. 130
    Dionisio says:

    BA77
    Thank you for that interesting information. I’m looking into it.
    Regarding the interlocutor REC @13, should we expect any reply to questions @124?
    REC posted a reference to a paper @13 and used it as a debate argument.
    I’ve noticed some interlocutors avoid answering follow up questions. Any idea why?
    Perhaps this is not the case, because REC hasn’t seen post @124 yet?
    Let’s assume so.
    🙂

  131. 131
    harry says:

    Dionisio @126

    Can you help REC to understand the questions/comments @124 & @125?

    I looked at the article at the link REC provided. On the decision-making process:

    Intentions, Haynes found, are also predictable. … The volunteers told the researchers which letter was in front of their eyes when they chose which button to press. Haynes and his coworkers found that not only could the classifier predict which button a volunteer was about to press, it could predict it far earlier than volunteer was able to — up to seven seconds before the volunteer reported consciously choosing which button to push. … With this study, Haynes established that our brains know some things before we do. “Not all of our decisions are made consciously,” he says.

    The “simpler example with the lines”:

    They showed a volunteer first one set of parallel lines, then another set in a different orientation. They told the volunteer to remember one of the sets. Then after an 11-second pause, they asked the volunteer to recall the orientation they kept in mind.

    During that pause, the overall brain activity in the early visual areas of the brain often returned to normal. However, even at that low level of activity (no greater than would be expected when viewing a blank screen), Tong found that pattern classifiers could pick out subtle shifts in brain patterns associated with each orientation, and could still be trained to predict which orientation the volunteer held in memory. “We can see these faint echoes of what they saw before, what they are actively holding in mind,” Tong says. “That would be invisible if we didn’t do multivoxel pattern analysis.”

    Tong’s study shows that working memory resides in the early visual areas of the brain, a zone where few expected to find such a higher thought process. And it helps establish that images held only in the mind are robust enough that pattern algorithms can decode and predict them.

    And you asked REC:

    In the simpler example with the lines, is there anything said about detecting and decoding the information that corresponds to the actual decision process that led to pick one case or the other?

    They seem to have figured out (at least partially) the neural encoding/decoding of the images, but what about the decision process?

    They are farther from understanding the brain in that kind of detail than jungle savages are from understanding how a computer does calculations.

    Modern science does not even know how to build from scratch a single-celled, self-replicating life form, much less have a grip on the workings of the most functionally complex phenomenon in the Universe yet known to us: the human brain, with its hundred billion interconnected cells.

    As for the implication — it wasn’t stated explicitly — that we have no free will, since it appears to the researchers that the physical brain has already determined what we are going to choose before we consciously choose it: Assuming for the moment that there may indeed be a correlation between detectable brain activity and utterly inconsequential decisions we are going to make in the next few seconds, the question becomes: Does that really say anything at all about free will?

    No. It doesn’t. And it doesn’t give us a clue about what kind of brain activity takes place when decisions with grave consequences are made, or what brain activity looks like when our prior reflection leads us to what we “ought” to decide, but we choose the opposite, and when our choice corresponds to our prior reflection’s suggestion of what we “ought” to decide. In other words, the results of these experiments say nothing about free will where free will matters.

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