Intelligent Design

Guest Post: Constancy of Self in Light of Near Death Experiences – A Disproof of Materialism

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The following is a guest post be nkendall:

One of the striking things about our experience as conscious, thinking humans is how constant our sense of self–our identity–is. Never in my life has there been any suspension or change of my conscious sense of who I am other than during sleep. Throughout our lives our brains change considerably. A myriad of new synaptic connections are formed especially in the early years. Yet one’s identity is immutable. Aside from these ongoing modifications of the brain, there are catastrophic changes as well. Those who have experienced surgery under general anesthesia or suffered cardiac arrest have had their brains shut down and consciousness suspended even if only briefly. Near death experiences represent a more profound disruption of consciousness often involving complete cessation of detectable brain activity. Yet we know from countless surgeries conducted under general anesthesia and near death experiences that one’s consciousness, sense of self and mental faculties, i.e. memories, knowledge, beliefs, etc. are usually fully restored even in extreme cases following the event. Why is it that our sense of self is so constant even when the brain is subjected to change and catastrophic effects? What material causal processes in the brain could account for this constancy of self?

Near death experiences are dismissed by materialists as hallucinations resulting from a brain in distress; this despite the fact that many near death type experiences occur when the subject is not near death and even cases where multiple persons witness the events, i.e. “shared death experiences”. Nevertheless, materialists believe that by dismissing near death experiences as hallucinations they are safeguarding their materialist world view. The reality is that when materialists make this claim they are unwittingly embracing an explanation that disproves materialism. If the near death experiences are hallucinations, they cannot be hallucinations of a material brain, they can only be hallucinations of an immaterial mind. The reason is simple: the brain, being an electro-chemical computer in a sense, cannot possibly generate vast quantities of novel, continuous, unique, complex specified information spontaneously especially when it involves unearthly and ineffable visual and abstract mental content which accompany near death experiences. The brain cannot even account for the complex specified information we experience in our nightly dreams. It requires a callous disregard of reason to believe that a brain in distress could spontaneously produce an interactive audio-video experience, with the most real, unearthly and spectacular mental phenomena one has ever experienced. There are no material process that could account for this even in principle. Furthermore, out of body experiences associated with near death experiences, also dismissed as hallucinations by materialists, cannot be hallucinations if what the subject is experiencing is real and can be corroborated as such. And in fact several, and perhaps many, out of body experiences have been corroborated to some extent.

The last refuge of materialism is simply to dismiss near death experiences as a bunch of unverifiable anecdotes. The subjective nature of near death experiences and the timing as to when they actually occur, make it difficult to disprove materialism based on human testimony alone. Therefore, I want to take a different approach in order to disprove materialism with respect to near death experiences. I want to focus on the materialist claim that consciousness, one’s sense of self, along with memories, knowledge and beliefs could be restored by material processes unaided by an immaterial mind following a near death experience. First lets take a brief look at materialist claims about the brain.

Although it is not known or even imaginable how our mental experiences could be reducible to physical phenomena in the brain; nevertheless, that is what materialists believe. According to materialism, consciousness and all mental phenomena we experience are the result of complex molecular interactions in the brain. Since all mental phenomena involve time, there is a dynamic quality to them. If materialism is true then it has to be the case that precise and specific neural sequences of events underlie these mental phenomena. These sequences of events have to be precise and specific because there is an incalculable number of ways in which various thoughts, memories, beliefs and knowledge can be modified in just the slightest and nuanced ways. Imagine a memory, belief, insight, or bit of knowledge that you possess. Then think of the innumerable ways in which it can be slightly modified even in very subtle ways. Each version of these mental phenomena would have–must have if materialism is true–a slightly different underlying neural signature otherwise they would not be distinguishable from thoughts which were slightly different.

What would happen–what should happen–under a materialist accounting of mental phenomena, if the precise and specific causal sequences of events in the brain, from which all mental phenomena are purported to be derived, were disrupted in a catastrophic way? Many such cases have occurred. I want to focus on one well-known case involving a women named Pam Reynolds.

Pam Reynolds had a large aneurysm deep in the base of her brain. In order to remove the aneurysm, the medical team would have to use a procedure referred to as “standstill” whereby all molecular activity in her brain would be halted. To achieve this the doctors would have to chill her body and drain all the blood out of her brain. The surgery was a success. The surgeon removed the aneurysm, the medical staff warmed the blood and re-infused it back into her brain. They then resuscitated her which required a defibrillator. During the operation Pam Reynolds had many of the classic elements of a near death experience, including two out of body experiences, an trip through a dark tunnel with a bright light, a visit with deceased relatives and it appears a brief life review. Pam’s near death experience began while she was under deep general anesthesia and ended just prior to her resuscitation. She is reported to have said that her experience was continuous–uninterrupted–from the time of her first out of body experience in the operating room prior to “standstill” to her second out of body experience, also in the operating room, just prior to her resuscitation. This time period would include the time she was in “standstill.” Much of what she claims to have witnessed in the operating room during her first out of body experience, has been corroborated by the medical staff who were present in the operating room. I suppose skeptics can nitpick about a few things here and there. But in any case, if she was correct that the experience was continuous, then materialism and atheism can be relegated to the ash heap of history once and for all where they belong.

For the primary point I am making in this post, it really does not matter whether or not Pam Reynolds had the subjective experiences associated with near death experiences that she claims. Personally I have little doubt that she experienced what she claimed. What matters here is that her brain was entirely shut down with no molecular activity for about 45 minutes. She was effectively brain dead throughout “standstill.” This is known with certainty based on medical records. Yet when she was resuscitated, her consciousness, sense of self, memories and presumable all, or most all, mental capabilities were restored. That her sense of self and all other complex mental phenomena were restored, is an inference that can be made by watching interviews with her on Youtube and reading accounts of interviews with her. Just to cite one example, shortly after she regained consciousness, she recognized the Eagle’s song “Hotel California” and commented about a particular line in the song in a clever way to the attending physician. In order to do this, she would have to have been conscious, cognizant as to who she was and what had happened to her, recognized the song, understood the meaning of the lyrics and applied the meaning differently in a metaphorical way. All these mental phenomena are extraordinarily complex and would necessarily have extraordinarily complex material process underlying them if materialism is true.

In order to re-establish one’s consciousness, sense of self, beliefs, knowledge and memories and all associated mental capabilities following complete cessation of the brain, some prior set of conditions would have to have been re-established and resynchronized throughout the brain. But by what set of complex material causes could a prior set of conditions been preserved and re-established? And how could such a marvelous function have evolved in the first place? There could have been nothing like an orderly shutdown of her brain given the nature of the general anesthesia and the “standstill” process. There must have been countless molecular reactions interrupted, neuro-transmitters half built, aborted synapse firings, synaptic connections partially constructed as she transitioned through deep general anesthesia to “standstill” without any blood in her brain. The delicate balance of inter-dependencies that must have existed during her prior set of neural sequences of events would have been irreparably lost. There would be no conceivable way to restore the prior conditions to any sort of “known-good” state. Rather, a new set of “initial conditions” would have asserted themselves upon resuscitation and, given materialism’s strict bottom up causation, the sequence of molecular activity would continue to act in accordance with this new set of local causal sequences of events. But it would have been totally random as to which synapses within which neuron’s within which area of her brain would have come up first and begun operating. To gain just a hint of the complexity involved, imagine if you stored a computer’s boot loader, operating system and application programs in volatile memory and then pulled the power plug. What would you expect to happen when you plugged the power cord back in?

To think that the precise, specific set of complex brain processes that materialism alleges give rise to consciousness, one’s sense of self, memories, knowledge and beliefs could re-establish themselves, strictly through material causation following complete cessation of brain function, is an appeal to miracles but without any human testimony or empirical evidence to support them. Calculating the probabilities for the material causation required to bring about the necessary causal sequence of events to restore the same person cannot be done and is utterly pointless. The only reasonable conclusion is that there is some sort of immaterial quality we are endowed with–mind–that orchestrates the resumption of all the necessary brain functions to re-establish the person and all their accompanying mental faculties.

92 Replies to “Guest Post: Constancy of Self in Light of Near Death Experiences – A Disproof of Materialism

  1. 1
    harry says:

    I think it is also very compelling when it is verified that people who were “brain dead” are correct about what was going on while they were out. It has also been verified that items of which they became aware in other locations while they were out were really there. See:

    http://www.magiscenter.com/lif.....periences/

  2. 2

    There is an enormous amount of evidence that consciousness survives death and is not derivable from local/bodily causation. Pam Reynolds is probably the best documented case, but far, far from the only case, and NDE’s are just one kind of such evidence.

  3. 3
    Andre says:

    Materialism busted again…. I swear materialists are like piñata ‘ they just can’t help getting beaten over and over and over again.

  4. 4

    Problem is, we’ve known for 60+ years (since Donald Hebb) that learning and memory are mediated by synaptic plasticity, whereby the strength of synaptic connections between neurons change in response to coordinated neural activity, given the correct timing. Roughly, “neurons that fire together wire together” (although the required timing is more nuanced than suggested by this phrase). This is ultimately a physical change.

    Those connection strengths, and hence the learning (and memory) they mediate, endure even in brains at “stand-still.”

    Hence it is no surprise that learning, memory, a sense of self etc. persist through such a stand-still. Indeed, it is the physical persistence of those connections that account for pre- to post-standstill continuity – which works against the argument that nonmaterial factors are at work.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    RB @ 4. I confess that I don’t know much about this area. But I do know about materialist claims to knowledge.

    So when you say “we know . . .” do you mean we actually know? Or, as is so often the case with materialists, do you mean, “we assume because it is the only assumption consonant with our metaphysics”?

    If the former, how exactly do we know such a thing?

  6. 6
    Mark Frank says:

    This took a bit of research but it is worth reading a bit of background. Pam Reynolds brain was taken to a state called “Burst Suppression” a distinctive EEG pattern. This is not the same as “no molecular activity”.

  7. 7
    Andre says:

    Pam Reynolds is not the only case. What does brain dead mean to a materialist? Dead but not really? It is a very good thing to be sceptical, but that is not what you lot are.

  8. 8
    nkendall says:

    Hi Bill,

    I am aware of this (comment #4). But it cannot possibly be the entire story and cannot account for the resumption of mental phenomena. I will respond in detail in a few hours once I clear my current work load. Thanks for the comment.

    Mark Frank (Comment #6) Ditto. Well be back at you.

    Thanks

  9. 9
    Andre says:

    The rest ion of mental states is not Bill’s only worry. He needs to explain the replacement of all atoms over a period of time and why we don’t lose self. After all the atoms have been replaced we are still who we have been mentally but not physically.

  10. 10
    drc466 says:

    So, I tried to post this earlier, and it apparently didn’t go through – my apologies if this ends up a double post. Quoting myself:

    So, as a disclaimer, I am not a materialist. However, I am always willing to play devil’s advocate (oops, materialists don’t believe in the devil – Dawkin’s advocate maybe?), so I’m curious – how would you deal with this response:

    It is technically possible to design and build a computer that has the characteristics you cite in your article. In your computer example, you are careful to state that all functions exist in “volatile” memory, but a materialist description of the brain would certainly include sections of non-volatile memory.
    So – we could build a computer (brain) that runs a simple program (thinks), and while it does so captures its state real-time in non-volatile memory (remembers). If we pull the plug on the computer (anesthesia, sleep, cessation of brain activity), the on-going process (thinking) is killed, but the state-capture (memory) still retains an image of where the computer was (last thoughts). Upon plugging the computer back in (brain activity restarts), the computer checks its volatile instruction pointer (last thought position), recognizes that it has been reset (stopped thinking), and dynamically reloads its last state image (resets the brain to where it was before it went to sleep). It then continues on its way (thinks) as if nothing had happened. There is also some new data (memories) in the volatile ram (short-term memory) that get auto-generated as part of the reboot process (brain reset), to fill in empty spaces that are based on previous data storage (old memories, life experiences), which gradually and partially gets integrated into the on-going state machine (long-term memory and realtime thought mapping).

    So – it is certainly possible to design and build a computer that would mimic the NDE behavior of a brain. And we clearly don’t impart any type of “soul” or “self” to such a device. So what are the weaknesses of this materialist response? IOW – what part of your description of an NDE event above do you feel could NOT be duplicated by a machine? Or what capabilities exist in computers that you feel could NOT exist in the brain?

    Again, let me clarify strongly that I am not a materialist, and have my own ideas about a response – but I would definitely be interested in hearing yours and others.

    Update: Re Andre – the brain obviously has self-repairing RAID drives holding the memory and in-process state backup. As cells die and are replaced, a self-repairing process repopulates the correct data to the cells from the live backup (again – a materialist response).

    Update 2: If any materialists feel I am mis-representing their position, feel free to chime in.

  11. 11
    KevNick says:

    I’m not exactly sure what near death experiences actually reveal or prove? That there is life after death? That humans have a soul that survives after death? Or that humans can hallucinate as their body functions–especially brain functions–subside? There are drugs out there that have similar if not the same effect.

  12. 12
    Carpathian says:

    Brains are effectively behaving like FLASH memory in computers. In order to program or erase FLASH, power is used. If it is not explicitly erased, ( with a cost in energy ), the FLASH preserves its bit configuration. That’s why turning off a computer for days does not change the software code and data in the FLASH.

    When the computer is turned on again, the FLASH will be intact and will reboot the OS which is then loaded and run from RAM memory which does get mangled when the power is removed and thus needs to be re-initialized.

    The brain seems to mimic the workings of FLASH memory and not RAM and therefore it should retain its configuration.

    At death, there would be no power to run the physical and logical processes required to break connections between neurons and so I think it would be possible to be clinically dead for a period shorter than the time required for cell death and come back with an intact self.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Frank at 6 cites Woerlee to try question the credibility of Reynold’s NDE account.

    Near death, explained – New science is shedding light on what really happens during out-of-body experiences — with shocking results. – (defence of Pam Reynolds’s NDE) –
    Mario Beauregard – 2012
    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/2.....explained/

    An atheist named Woerlee tried to attack the credibility of Dr. Beauregard’s timeline of events for Pam Reynold’s NDE. Here is a technical defence of Dr. Beauregard’s timeline from that attack:

    Reply to Woerlee’s Rejoinder on the Pam Reynolds Case – Chris Carter (2012 or 2013)
    Excerpt: In summary, I agree with the assessment of this case by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard,,
    http://www.merkawah.nl/public_.....gwrepr.pdf
    Response to “Could Pam Reynolds Hear?” Stuart Hameroff, M.D.
    Response to “Could Pam Reynolds Hear?” Chris Carter, P.P.E., M.A.

    For those who cannot afford the $16, here is a brief outline of the main points of the debate between Woerlee and Carter in the IANDs magazine:
    http://michaelprescott.typepad.....-this.html
    Judge for yourself whether Woerlee was overly dogmatic

    Here is a short defence of Pam’s NDE
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-553744

    Moreover, Woerlee, the atheist who attacked the credibility of Pam Reynold’s NDE, is shown to be grasping for straws in trying to ‘explain away’ NDEs:

    Near-Death Experience Skeptics Running Out of Excuses
    Excerpt: As to her amazing near-death experience during which she left her body and was able to look down on medical stuff during their frantic attempt to revive her, Woerlee offered this explanation, “…she hears the conversations. She feels the sensations. And she also is a woman who also has seen films and she knows how these things go. She hears the conversations, why? Because she is awake. That does not surprise me.”
    Dr. Woerlee’s claims contradict the accounts of medical staff on the scene. They indicated she was clinically dead, “what we call sheet-faced”, and under heavy anesthesia making it medically impossible for her to have a consciousness memory of the experience.
    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/2.....explained/

    Alex and Dr. Jeffrey Long debunks Woerlee’s anesthesia awareness hypothesis here:
    Excerpt: ”Dr. Jeffrey Long: That’s a really good point. I agree with everything you said, Alex, and there’s even more. In fact, if you look at the book, Evidence of the Afterlife, on pages 103 to 104, I talk directly about this so-called anesthetic-awareness that Dr. Woerlee discusses.
    As an overview, let me say that these anesthetic-awareness experiences are so very, very rare that I hope this never dissuades anybody from having medically appropriate general anesthesia. Please don’t let any of the discussion here be an issue in preventing appropriate medical care.
    As I say in the book, and this is a direct quote, “Rather than the type of coherent NDEs you read here, anesthetic-awareness results in a totally different experience.” And I provide a number of references on that, by the way, for interested listeners.
    I go on to say, “Those who experience anesthetic-awareness often report very unpleasant, painful and frightening experiences. Unlike NDEs which are predominantly visual experiences, this partial awakening during anesthesia more often involves brief and fragmented experiences that may involve hearing but usually not vision.” Again, I emphasize that anesthetic-awareness is very rare under anesthesia.
    By the way, I’m not aware of any near-death experiences that occurred under general anesthesia on the NDERF website that described the typical content of anesthetic-awareness experiences. Dr. Woerlee brings up a few anecdotal discussions about anesthetic-awareness but I have a number of references. These are the scholarly people that have actually studied a number of anesthetic-awareness experiences and published them in peer-reviewed journals in the past. That’s my source of that.
    As all of your listeners can easily see, you just don’t have near-death experiences that are predominantly hearing but no vision. You don’t essentially ever have near-death experiences that involve brief, fragmented experiences that are painful or frightening. In fact, none of the general anesthesia near-death experiences that I reviewed had any of those components of them. Really, there’s no doubt about that.
    These are completely different experiences. That being anesthetic-awareness and near-death experiences. I don’t think Dr. Woerlee quite got that point how clear that was; how crystal clear the distinction between those two types of experiences is.””
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-553792

  14. 14
    bFast says:

    I see this post as very valid. I say only this — I take a pill that gives me a very active dream life. My experience as a dreamer is that I never loose my sense of self even in my dreams.

  15. 15
    groovamos says:

    KN: Or that humans can hallucinate …. There are drugs out there that have similar if not the same effect.

    Since the use of psychotropic substances for the study of mental health and mental illness is a serious study topic of yours truly since 1977 with my first reading of Grof and others, trust me, the quoted assertions are quite naive. If the contributor knew anything about the topic, he would know that the terms “hallucination” and “same effect” are slippery terms that lose explanatory utility when the clinical use of psychedelics is explored. When misuse of the psychedelics is undertaken, in other words in inappropriate settings, the aesthetic prelude to the normal psychic unfolding process is corrupted. And so the subject can interpret that which makes sense in the proper setting as that which has no utility and no sense in improper settings. Sometimes it can be misinterpreted as insanity and the subject can even remain with this interpretation and be imprisoned by it for the long term.

    The above contributor’s words indicate naivete in the sense of psychedelics having a psychological effect, when in truth these substances are content neutral. And so they do not bring content to the awareness, and as such are not content specific, having no psychic content. And the fact of their utility in obliterating mental illness should further cement my argument, as the subjects who experience the so induced mental progress do not identify their experiences as “hallucinations”. This even as what they report in many cases is parallel to the NDE reports. This is all made plain by extensive study of the literature on these substances, which most materialists do not undertake for obvious reasons unless they are in a position to jettison their worldview which can be difficult, even painful. But it is what they have created, such is the power of the mind to create even delusions.

  16. 16
    groovamos says:

    Here’s how Grof puts it and it should be apparent why the NDE’s and similar experiences of non-ordinary states are normal, beneficial aspect of existence and perceived as threats to materialists and their worldview:

    “The individual comes to realize, through these [perinatal] experiences, that no matter what he does in his life, he cannot escape the inevitable; he will have to leave this world bereft of everything that he has accumulated and achieved and to which he has been emotionally attached. The similarity between birth and death-the startling realization that the beginning of life is the same as its end-is the major philosophical issue that accompanies the perinatal experiences. The other important consequence of the shocking emotional and physical encounter with the phenomenon of death is the opening up of areas of spiritual and religious experiences that appear to be an intrinsic part of the human personality and are independent of the individual’s cultural and religious background and programming. In my experience, everyone who has reached these levels develops convincing insights into the utmost relevance of the spiritual and religious dimensions in the universal scheme of things. Even hard-core materialists, positively oriented scientists, skeptics and cynics, and uncompromising Marxist philosophers suddenly became interested in a spiritual search after they confronted these levels in themselves. “

  17. 17

    Barry:

    So when you say “we know . . .” do you mean we actually know? Or, as is so often the case with materialists, do you mean, “we assume because it is the only assumption consonant with our metaphysics”?

    If the former, how exactly do we know such a thing?

    It’s the former, knowledge derived from decades of empirical neuroscience stimulated by Donald Hebb’s 1949 book, extending through the discovery of long term potentiation in the 1960s, the development of techniques such as single unit recording, and so on.

  18. 18
    nkendall says:

    Hi Bill,

    Regarding your comment #4

    I may not fully understand your point so correct me if I have misunderstood.

    I think it is possible that there is some confusion between cause and effect, between structure and function and between necessary causation and sufficient causation.

    Regarding cause and effect – The thought must arise first, correct? New thoughts arise all the time without the aid of a prior structural change in the brain facilitating it. If this were not the case then no new thoughts would ever arise except by chance–maybe that is what you believe? New insights occur on the fly, then they are stored and then perhaps the physiological connections are made or existing connections strengthened through neuro-plasticity to reinforce or to allow for a more expeditious recall. If physical changes in the brain were required for learning, then how could you explain that we can learn so quickly? I coach girls softball. I explain something to them and they get it right away. No time for any new connections to be built in the brain. Sometimes I use analogies. Analogies make associations to other knowledge and memories which have associations with other knowledge and memories. Therefore, almost immediately there are a vast number of new “virtual” hyperlinks to other memories created when we learn. How could it be the case that structural changes–physical hyperlinks in the brain–are required for all these new mental “virtual” hyperlinks between knowledge and memories?

    Regarding structure and function – Thought is dynamic. Thoughts have a temporal quality; they take time to unfold. So thinking must involve events not just structure. I understand that the structures are left intact even following standstill but it is the events, these precise patterns of neurons firing–a process–that needs to be explained. The software not the hardware. Neuron firings are caused by a complex cascade of events–a chain of antecedent causation. Disruption of that chain of causation should produce a different result if materialism is true. Yet we know that all one’s mental capabilities including consciousness itself, sense of self, ability to think, one’s knowledge, behavior, memories, beliefs are restored following massive, catastrophic disruption to a vast set of causative chains of events in the brain. There is no magic reset button to re-establish the initial conditions across 100 billion neurons and there synapses.

    Regarding necessary and sufficient causation – The fact that we witness events in the brain when we acquire knowledge does not mean that these events cause the acquisition of knowledge or are required for the acquisition of knowledge.

    Sorry for the hasty response, I am out of time…I hope I did not misunderstand you. Before I go though, although I won’t ask you to explain how all this marvelous abstract thought could have evolved throughout the brief tenure of hominids, I will ask you how thought and especially abstract thought and memories are represented in brain and how they are registered in one’s consciousness.

  19. 19
    KevNick says:

    Carp:“At death, there would be no power to run the physical and logical processes required to break connections between neurons and so I think it would be possible to be clinically dead for a period shorter than the time required for cell death and come back with an intact self.”

    This is excellent what you have written but there is one problem, I think.

    What if, and I think some individuals very keen on OOL may suspect it, there is energy undetectable to us that sustains and provides life? Why can’t supposedly intelligent scientists recreate life or even sustain it? Why?

  20. 20
    nkendall says:

    Hello Mr. Frank, (comment #6) nice to meet you.

    The purpose of my post was not to rehash the Pam Reynolds case. I was primarily asking how person-hood, and all that goes with it, could have persisted though a complete shut down of the brain and then a resuscitation. Mr. Bornagain77 has adequately responded to much of this, so I will make my response at least somewhat brief.

    I have read the critique by Woerlee of course. Pam was in fact taken to standstill where all the blood was drained out of her head unless all other accounts that I have read are part of a vast urban myth. They had to do this because of the size and location of the aneurysm. So all molecular activity was halted. The point Mr. Woerlee is trying hard to make through tortured logic is that, perhaps she could have had the entire near death experience before she was put into standstill. The near death experience did start when she was under general anesthesia, prior to standstill. That is known (assuming you believe her story) because she described what was going on as she watched from above and her statements correlated with the medical records. I think Woerlee, like others who dismiss out of body experiences and near death experiences as hallucinations, are confusing out of body illusions with what are (this is the question) real time out of body experiences that many hundreds of near death experiencers have testified to. The mind (not the brain) can produce some marvelously creative motion video; dreams for example. I think it is impossible that a physical brain could produce these (see my previous post). But these come from the mind’s imagination; people do not dream about something that is really happening at that moment in time. And if they did, it would be another demonstration that materialism was false. I do not see how, without positing an immaterial mind, one’s eyes could be disembodied then render, in the distant physical brain, a real time view of what was really going on.

    Furthermore, as I mentioned in the post, Ms. Reynolds indicated that her experience was continuous from the first out of body experience during anesthesia to her second out of body experience just prior to being resuscitated. This would of course include the time she was in standstill. There is a time anchor during her second out of body experience as well as the first out of body experience (where her statements and descriptions were corroborated). The second time anchor was that she is reported to have said she saw her body jump just before she was instructed to jump back into it. The most likely and consistent explanation for this is that her body jumped as a result of the defibrillation attempts during resuscitation. So one would have to explain how on earth it is possible to have very similar types out of body experiences involving the same people both prior to standstill and after standstill, (unless the claim is that the non-out of body experience portion of the near death experience occurred after standstill, but then the explanation gets further muddied).

    I am not sure what your view on this is but I suppose if you really want to be a materialist you could believe that the body jumping could have been something else and not the defibrillation. In this case maybe the near death experience ended prior to standstill. Even that is not that clear cut though. The accounts of this in the various books are not clear. I suppose that she could have been lucky and guessed what the saw used to cut her skull looked like and the way the operating room looked. I suppose with 100dB clicks in her tapped shut ears she could somehow have heard a women speak. I suppose that the out of body experiences that so many others have experienced could be hallucinations where the imagination just happens to correspond with reality. I suppose she and many hundreds if not thousands of persons who have related similar accounts during a close encounter with death (and even not when close to death such as shared death experiences) are all just making this stuff up. But boy, that is a very fragile set of denials to hang one’s ideological hat on, especially if one fancies themselves as a skeptic. In that case, I would simply tip my hat and say God Bless and best regards.

  21. 21
    nkendall says:

    Hello drc466,

    Regarding your Comments in #10, Yes it is “technically possible to design and build a computer that has the characteristics you cite in your article” with a few important caveats. Computers do in fact store data and preserve it through non-volatile memory as I stated. That decision and all others related to the creation of computers was accomplished by humans. Humans are intelligent, they can design things from the top down in a thoughtful way. But the brain is suppose to have evolved by chance processes according to materialism so it would have not way of designing any complex feature that would seem to require foresight. That the brain stores things in non-volatile memory is an inference you are making because you know that things like resumption of memories and thought occurs following near death experiences, cardiac arrest, etc. So in a sense I think at least some of what you are saying is begging the question. I do not agree that the brain alone can do these things; that was the point of my post.

    Secondly, computers do not think in the sense that we do. Only by greatly diminishing the meaning of the term “think” could you claim that computers think. They store data, crunch through algorithms and for the most part produce a deterministic output which could always have been predicted by the programmer in theory. Computers store words and can search through text to match things but they do not understand the words they store. People understand things and store knowledge through thought and memory. But humans do much more than just store symbolic things like words. The demonstration of this is that the same words whether in poem, prayer or prose, mean different things to different people but are treated identically by a computer. If symbolic things like words were all that was necessary to comprehend then learning would be reduced to rote. Computers store pictures and video as well but they have no clue about the content. Notice that a human is always required to interpret the meaning of the symbolic content that computers store.

    The fact that a computer (programmed by humans) can beat humans in chess is unimpressive. I am surprised it took a team of programmers and chess champions as consultants, as long as it did to beat the best humanity has to offer.

    I know there is a lot of buzz about a “singularity” from people who should know better, e.g. Bill Gates, Steven Hawking. This just reveals one of two things: 1) how strong the grip of materialism has become through the brain washing one is subjected to in the university environment or 2) that there is a fine line between genius and idiocy. Noam Chomsky calls the singularity “science fiction.” I agree with him, and that might be the only thing I agree with Noam Chomsky on.

    The other aspect to all this is that you have to account for the origin of all this marvelous abstract thought that we humans are endowed with. Invoking evolutionary explanations that go back to the Cambrian are not valid–and would not help anyway. You have very few hominids to amortize the necessary magical mystery mutations that are presumed by materialists to give rise to higher abstract thought. We may be talking about a couple billion individuals over 5 million years leading to the advent of Cro-Magnon man. That is the blink of an eye given the capabilities of human thought.

    Just to wrap up, your questions: “what part of your (my) description of an NDE event (and I can add, any human thought for that matter) above do you feel could NOT be duplicated by a machine?” My response is: thinking, loving, wishing, caring, sacrificing, worrying, hoping, longing, despairing, entreaty, consoling, sympathizing, contentedness, certainty, anger, jealously, envy, selfishness, hatred, analysis, imagining, creating, composing, writing poetry and novels, sculpting, painting, drawing, lusting after and…well it would be easy to cite the things that both humans and computers have in common: both humans and computers can add numbers; computers can do it much faster but they know not what they do.

  22. 22
    News says:

    Some years ago, I was a guest at a wedding in western Canada. I live some thousands of kilometres east of the venue.

    A guest seated beside me asked what I did for a living. I said I wrote popular science; a recent book of which I was co-author argued for the existence of the soul. Somehow, we got talking about near-death experiences. He, a middle-aged man, commented that he had had one.

    He said he had had a heart attack, and suddenly became aware of himself looking *down* at the paramedics trying to revive him. He heard them say, “He’s going, he’s going …” but they persisted anyway. He ended up – he says – back in his body, and at that time, waiting with me for our turn at the beef n’ beans. Apparently, the paramedics HAD said that. They had thought they would lose him.

    Well, I don’t know. I hear stories. Do they sound similar because people are copying each other or because, as great physicists have said, consciousness is immaterial? In which case, we might expect such things.

  23. 23
    Jim Smith says:

    News @ 22

    People who have NDEs sometimes report verifiable information when there is no electrical activity in their brain and some of these verifiable reports are of things they could not perceive with their normal senses even if they were conscious. How can you copy that from someone else?

    Materialist explanation of NDE’s do not explain the anomalies of the phenomenon.

    To fully understand the phenomenon you have to read the full accounts of what people experience:
    http://www.near-death.com/notable.html
    It is much harder to explain away the phenomenon if you understand exactly what people are experiencing. This is why so many of the doctors who study NDEs, after initial skepticism, become convinced NDEs are evidence of the afterlife because of what they hear when interviewing patients.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    nkendall, in regards to ‘Constancy of Self’, it might interest to know that that there are at least six “conditions of mind”, including ‘Persistence of Self-Identity’, that are irreconcilable with materialism:

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....super.html

    Detective J. Warner Wallace, author of the best-selling book ‘Cold Case Christianity’, uses these six properties of mind, in conjunction with the law of identity, to prove that the mind is not the same thing as the brain:

    podcast and summary – Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – podcast and summary (Law of Identity: 6 properties of mind that are not identical to properties of the brain, thus the mind is not the brain)
    http://winteryknight.wordpress.....cal-minds/

    Alvin Plantinga, using the ‘modal argument’, and by imagining that his body could possibly be a ‘beetle body’, has a humorous way of getting this ‘Law of Identity’ point across:

    Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the mind/soul) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0

    Moreover, besides airtight philosophical arguments for the reality of mind, due to advances in science, we now also have excellent empirical evidence for the reality of mind and soul.
    The following video shows, completely contrary to ‘bottom up’ materialistic thought, that the mind is able to have pronounced effects on the structure of the brain (i.e. brain plasticity).

    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

    Moreover, besides effecting the structure of the brain, i.e. to effect brain plasticity, the mind is also, through a technique the researchers term ‘mindfulness’, now shown to have the ability to reach all the way down to the molecular level of our temporal/material bodies and effect the expression of our genes:

    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/

    Needless to say, this is NOT what materialism would expect or predict whereas in Theism it is expected for mind to have such deep causal power.

    Also of related interest to empirical evidence for the soul/mind, it is now found that transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule).

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

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

    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, the quantum entanglement is found to be in the brain. Yet, in contrast to the material/temporal body, the quantum entanglement in the brain is found to be much more ‘spread out’ that it is in the material body:

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    http://vimeo.com/39982578

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays – 2008
    Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,,
    Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,,
    Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication.
    Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2575223/

    The following paper appeals to a ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), cause to try to explain the synchronization in neural circuits,,,

    Nonlocal mechanism for cluster synchronization in neural circuits – 2011
    Excerpt: The findings,,, call for reexamining sources of correlated activity in cortex,,,
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3634

    Materialists would hold that this ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement/information would simply disappear from our material body upon the death of our temporal/material bodies. But, contrary to what atheists would prefer to believe beforehand, it is found that quantum entanglement/information is, in fact, ‘conservered’:

    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

    But where does this ‘conserved’ quantum information that cannot be destroyed, and that is in our material bodies, go upon the death of our material bodies? Well Theists hold that your soul either goes to the higher, eternal, dimension of heaven or to hell.

    Some people may think we have no evidence for higher dimensions above this one. They would be wrong in that presupposition. Although higher dimensions are invisible to our 3-dimensional sight,,,

    This following video gets this ‘we are blind to higher dimensions’ point across quite clearly:
    Dr. Quantum in Flatland – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5yxZ5I-zsE&feature=player_detailpage#t=25
    of note: The preceding video is the lead off video on the outreach page of Dr. Anton Zeilinger’s quantum group in Vienna:
    https://vcq.quantum.at/outreach/multimedia/videos.html

    Although higher dimensions are invisible to a 3-dimensional sight, we have far more evidence for a higher dimension(s) above this one than we have for the infinite universes that are conjectured by materialists to try to get around the theistic implications of the fine-tuning for this universe.
    In physics we find two very different higher dimensional ‘eternities’ just as Theism has held for millennia. An orderly eternity associated with Special Relativity and a destructive eternity associated with General Relativity.
    In the following, I will focus on the eternity associated with Special Relativity.
    One higher dimensional eternity in physics is found ‘if’ a hypothetical observer were to accelerate to the speed of light. In this scenario, time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop for the hypothetical observer. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ – video
    https://vimeo.com/93101738

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    Some may think that time, as we understand it, coming to a complete stop at the speed of light is pure science fiction, but, as incredible as it sounds, Einstein’s famous thought experiment has many lines of evidence now supporting it.

    Velocity time dilation tests
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....tion_tests

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    This following confirmation of time dilation is my favorite since they have actually caught time dilation on film:
    (of note: light travels approximately 1 foot in a nanosecond (billionth of a second) whilst the camera used in the experiment takes a trillion pictures a second):

    Amazing — light filmed at 1,000,000,000,000 Frames/Second! – video (so fast that at 9:00 Minute mark of video you can briefly see the time dilation effect of relativity caught on film!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    This higher dimension, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is also warranted, by logic, because light is not ‘frozen within time’, i.e. light appears to move to us in our temporal framework of time, yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light. The only way this is possible is if light is indeed of a higher dimensional value of time than our temporal time is otherwise it would simply be ‘frozen in time’. Another line of evidence that supports the inference that ‘tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday’, at the ‘eternal’ speed of light, is visualizing what would happen if a hypothetical observer were to approach the speed of light. Please note, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    And we have testimonies from Near Death Experiences testifying to these ‘higher dimensional attributes’ that are witnessed in Special Relativity. Specifically, we have testimony for both the ‘eternal’ attribute and the ‘tunnel’ attribute of Special Relativity.
    Here is testimony from Near Death Experiencers experiencing the ‘eternal’ attribute of special relativity:

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    And here is testimony from Near Death Experiencers experiencing the ‘tunnel’ attribute of special relativity:

    “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://vimeo.com/79072924

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

    Vicky Noratuk’s, who is physically blind, ‘tunnel’ testimony is interesting to look at because her testimony also includes testimony of her being ‘a body of energy, or of light’:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact. I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    Many other NDEers also testify to being a ‘body of light’. But do we have scientific evidence that humans can be ”a body of energy, or of light’? The answer to that question is, surprisingly, yes! Yes, we do now have scientific evidence that humans can be ‘beings of light’:

    Are humans really beings of light?
    Excerpt: “We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light.”,,, “There are about 100,000 chemical reactions happening in every cell each second. The chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon… Once the photon has excited a reaction it returns to the field and is available for more reactions… We are swimming in an ocean of light.”
    http://viewzone2.com/dna.html

    The Real Bioinformatics Revolution – Proteins and Nucleic Acids ‘Singing’ to One Another?
    Excerpt: the molecules send out specific frequencies of electromagnetic waves which not only enable them to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ each other, as both photon and phonon modes exist for electromagnetic waves, but also to influence each other at a distance and become ineluctably drawn to each other if vibrating out of phase (in a complementary way).,,, More than 1 000 proteins from over 30 functional groups have been analysed. Remarkably, the results showed that proteins with the same biological function share a single frequency peak while there is no significant peak in common for proteins with different functions; furthermore the characteristic peak frequency differs for different biological functions. ,,, The same results were obtained when regulatory DNA sequences were analysed.
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/TheRea.....lution.php

    You can see an actual picture of humans emitting the weak ‘biophotonic’ light here:

    Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light – Charles Q. Choi – July 22, 2009
    Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one of the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions.
    http://i.livescience.com/image.....1296086873

    Moreover, this light coming from the human body is found to a emitted by a quantum process, it is not emitted by a classical process:

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus Vicky Noratuk’s testimony that she was ”a body of energy, or of light’ during her NDE finds strong support from our present scientific evidence for biophotonics in our material bodies.

    Of related interest: Regardless of how much energy we pour into a particle of matter, we can never ‘push’ the particle of matter to the higher dimension of the speed of light:

    Question: If a particle with rest-mass were to, in theory, travel at the speed of light, would its mass actually be infinite, or just very, very, very, large, just like it would supposedly take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate the particle to the speed of light in the first place? How can you calculate this?
    Answer 4: A particle with non-zero rest-mass cannot be accelerated to the speed of light. Put in other terms, the energy of a moving particle with rest-mass m equals E=(r-1)mc2, where the factor r=1/sqrt(1-(v/c)2), with v the speed of the particle and c the speed of light. You can use this formula in an Excel sheet to try different values of rest-mass m and speed v. This equation tells you that you need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a particle to (exactly) the speed of light, however, you can always take it to, say 99.99999% the speed of light with a finite (but huge) amount of energy.
    http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1571

    “By special relativity, the energy needed to accelerate a particle (with mass) grow super-quadratically when the speed is close to c, and is infinite when it is c.
    Since you can’t supply infinite energy to the particle, it is not possible to get (a particle with mass) to 100% c.”

    Verse and Music:

    Mark 8:36-37
    What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

    The Police – Spirits in the Material World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....page#t=62s

  28. 28
    nkendall says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Bornagain77 for the information. You are a source of great insight and resources. I am familiar with much of what you have provided but not all. I will take a look when I have a chance.

  29. 29
    Robert Byers says:

    I am YEC but disagree that there are near death experiences. the bible is clear that abscent from the body means present with the lord for Christians.
    It is not the brain that shuts down. There is no brain. Thats just a interpretation of complex things in the skull.
    it is the memory that is the important thing.
    The memory is the brain I say.
    these people simply use their memory, awake or not, and create these floating over the body things.
    Pete townscend, THE who, had it during a drug experience. Not deadish at all.
    its no big deal.
    The memory would not be affected by any operation. its powerful and doesn’t shut down by mans efforts.
    By the way in order to see ones body laying there requires all the memories of what things look like and spave and distance.
    Yes I believe the soul takes its memories with it to the afterlife BUT there is no evidence the soul has memorized the material world as we know it.

    Tes we have souls but NOPE its not floating about. god doesn’t let it. in fact it must separate from the memory machine called the brain.
    its just the glory of the human ,memory. sorry folks.

  30. 30

    NKendall:

    Regarding cause and effect – The thought must arise first, correct?

    No – I don’t think this is correct.

    New thoughts arise all the time without the aid of a prior structural change in the brain facilitating it.

    Again, I don’t think this is correct.

    If this were not the case then no new thoughts would ever arise except by chance.

    I disagree with this statement as well. Quite the reverse: rapid successions of complex, reentrant brain states, very likely involving the simultaneous operation of Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, accompany and in part determine the creation of thoughts in a verbal modality. The temporal lobes mediate conceptual representations that become increasingly abstract as we move anteriorly. Activation of parietal and visual cortex accompany imagined body states and visual experiences. Limbic activation mediates fundamental emotional states (fear, attachment) and underwrites motivation and interest. And so forth.

    If physical changes in the brain were required for learning, then how could you explain that we can learn so quickly?

    Learning and memory are hierarchical and multifaceted. Some elements (sustaining the contents of working memory, acquiring and updating an immediate spatial map) are sustained by rapid functional activities, such as reentrant neural activity within the hippocampus and 40 hz synchronization/desynchronization within the cortex. Because they require active maintenance these functions are vulnerable to disruption. Hence the retro- and anterograde amnesia that can accompany traumatic brain injury. Others elements of memory, such as long term biographical memory – including the foundational representation of self and identity to which you refer – are thoroughly baked into the structure and networks of the cerebral cortex and persist despite interruptions brain function. Even at that level, profound structural disruptions, such as severing the corpus callosum, result in equally profound disruptions of the experience of a unitary self – the disconnections of the hemispheres can result in the creation of separate selves (KeithS at TSZ has discussed this at length.)

    As if that weren’t enough, positing a further immaterial author of those activities has zero explanatory power.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this claim:

    “the disconnections of the hemispheres can result in the creation of separate selves (KeithS at TSZ has discussed this at length.)”

    actually that claim is false. There are not ‘two selves’ in split brain patients. Here is a personal testimony

    Excerpt: BTW, with regards to your citation of the split-brain experiments (and people who suffer from that due to injury, etc). I was involved in one of those split-brain experiments myself. (Which is possible by temporarily numbing the corpus callosum.) And believe me, it was the damnedest thing. The thing is, even though different parts of my brain were acting as if they had no knowledge of “each other”, behind it all was still “me”, consciously experiencing the strange disconnection.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-460565

    a more detailed refutation of the atheistic claim of ‘two selves’ in split brain patients is in the following video

    The Case for the Soul: Refuting Physicalist Objections – video
    Computers vs. Qualia, Libet and ‘Free won’t’, Split Brain (unified attention of brain despite split hemispheres, visual and motion information is shared between the two hemispheres despite the hemispheres being split),
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB5TNrtu9Pk

    of related interest is the first video from InspiringPhilosophy in which ‘dual aspect’ Idealism, instead of substance dualism, is established as true:

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70
    The Mind is able to modify the brain. Moreover, ‘dual aspect’ Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism does not, indeed CAN NOT, explain mind.

    also of related interest:

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

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

    Dr. Gary Mathern – What Can You Do With Half A Brain? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrKijBx_hAw

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:

    “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

  32. 32
    wallstreeter43 says:

    If you wanna see a complete annihilation of an atheist/materialist you need to listen to the skeptiko interview with atheist oxford educated ucsd professor of the philosophy of neuroscience patricia churchland .

    She got destroyed so bad that instead of answering the assertions aboit Nde’s she ended up making a fool out of herself and hanging up on the interviewer not once but 3 times. This interview shows how blatantly ignorant and dishonest these people are at the academic level.

    Nde’s are a major thorn in the atheist/materialists side

    http://youtu.be/7a6ZaivvCnE

  33. 33
    anthropic says:

    Sorry to be pedantic, but I don’t believe all molecular activity can cease unless the brain is cooled to absolute zero.

    What is meant, I think, is that electrical activity ceases.

    Now back to the very interesting discussion! 🙂

  34. 34
    Jim Smith says:

    Two selves produced by a split brain would not conflict with belief in a soul. The brain does not produce consciousness it filters consciousness.

    http://sites.google.com/site/c.....cies_brain

    Broken sunglasses might produce double vision, or if you put your finger across the opening of a hose when watering your garden, you can get two streams of water coming out of it.

    This is entirely compatible with many personal spiritual experiences that suggest we are all part of the same oneness.
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/201.....imate.html

    He saw this Beingness as something like a comb. He was at the spine of the comb and all the teeth fanned out from it, each one thinking it was separate and different from all the other teeth. And that was true, but only if you looked at it from the tooth end of the comb. Once you got back to the spine or source, you could see that it wasn’t true.

    Moving awareness to the base of the comb is not like losing individuality, it is like remembering who you really are.

  35. 35
    Andre says:

    There it is Bill denying that there is such a thing as the law of causality, foundational to science but not for Bill’s religion.

  36. 36

    Jim Smith:

    Two selves produced by a split brain would not conflict with belief in a soul.

    Nkendall’s argument is premised on a putatively unchanging sense of self, identity, memory, and so forth in the face of drastic physical events, such as “standstill.”

    You acknowledge that split brains may produce “two selves.” If that’s not a change in the sense self, identity, memory etc., (a “profound disruption of the experience of a unitary self”) then I don’t know what is.

    Andre:

    There it is Bill denying that there is such a thing as the law of causality, foundational to science but not for Bill’s religion.

    In what way do my posts above “deny that there is such a thing as the law of causality?”

  37. 37
    nkendall says:

    Bill @30, Only by operating from a materialist assumption could your response be at all viable. I have heard all that stuff. Just because we observe activity in the brain during thought does not mean it causes thought. I have a busy day to day so I will have to get back to you later with a more detailed response. In the mean please explain in some level of detail how thought is represented in the brain and how it is registered in one’s consciousness. Also what are the structures that you claim give rise to self-hood and are “backed in”. Be well.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest to undermining Bill’s materialistic assumption:

    God, Immanuel Kant, Richard Dawkins, and the Quantum. – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQOwMX4bCqk

  39. 39
    nkendall says:

    Hi Bill (Comment #30),

    Here is what your points related to thought distill down to:

    “Rapid successions of complex, reentrant brain states…accompany and determine the creation of thoughts.”

    I am not sure how to interpret the statement. You could mean “rapid succession” of new structures or you could mean rapid succession of neural events over these new structures. Then you say both “accompany and determine the creation of new thoughts.” Accompany and determine are very different; one is a cause and one is an effect. I am going to guess you mean the creation of new neural structures are required to facilitate the creation of new thoughts which are produced by new neural sequences of events over these new structures. I am sure there are neural structures and events that accompany new thoughts. The brain clearly does something. So I will focus on the point that you seem to be making that new structures and new neural sequences of events (my words) “determine the creation of thoughts.” I hope I am understanding you correctly.

    So at time0 there are no structure in place at locationsX,Y,Z…; then some unidentified cause occurs such that at time1 there are a new structures put in place at locationX,Y,Z…. Shortly after, a specific series of neural events occur through these new structures that gives rise to a new abstract thoughts–something that you may never have thought of before. This process cries out for foresight. What possible set of material causes could produce new rewirings of the brain which just happen to facilitate and accommodate an extraordinarily complex, specific cascade of events which just happen to produce a coherent series of thoughts which just happen to get hyperlinked to other related knowledge and memories (presumably through new neural structures and processes) and just happens to be consistent with what one is interested in and just happens to occur in such a way that they can interface to one’s consciousness such that they are recognizable? Do you have any idea how complex that process must be at a molecular level? There would have to be hundreds of billions and probably trillions of molecular reactions that would have to occur in just the right way, at just the right place, at just the right time. Yet you claim all this arises virtually instantaneously. I wish road construction in Chicago could be as efficient.

    This appears to be coming from something Giulio Tononi wrote. It is just a proposal, a theory. It isn’t science, it’s magic. Science is about explaining causation. You are simply describing changes that have been observed and inferring that they are the cause of thought as oppose to the effects of thought or some administrative process in the brain.

    I am not going to address learning which is more complex than creative thinking because it (learning) is interactive and requires recall from memory, processing input as well as creative thinking.

    So I will move on to your comments related to constancy of self:

    “Self and identity are thoroughly baked into the structure and networks of the cerebral cortex and persist despite interruptions brain function.”

    You appear to be suggesting that one’s conscious sense of self results purely from neural structures that are “baked in” to the brain. I think you really would acknowledge that there are complex and specific sets of neural sequences of events that have to occur over these neural structures, right? I mean, to use a computer analogy, obviously, an intact circuit board is not enough to account for the function of a computer. There is firmware, admin software and application software, which is highly specific, that is required to do something useful. Similarly, there must be a complex set of neural processes, analogous to software, that underlies all these mental phenomena including consciousness and one’s sense of self. The fact that there must be an interface between one’s consciousness and all thoughts, memories, beliefs and knowledge is indicative of a process, not simply a structure. I hope you would agree that these neural events would have to be very complex and very specific. If not we can just end the conversation at this point. Assuming that you agree with this, then in order to re-establish the identical set of mental qualities following an abrupt, complete disruption and cessation of all neural (and actually molecular activity) the same complex set of precise, specific neural sequences of events would have to reassert themselves, right? How? All the underlying molecular components and activity that are necessary to produce the specific causal chain of events producing consciousness and one’s sense of self (and all other mental phenomena for that matter and all inter-associations between all phenomena) would be in an unknown and unfamiliar state–complete chaos–resulting from both the complete shut down and turn up of the brain. Saying that the process is “baked in” by the structure is again an appeal to magic.

    As an aside, I am sure that there is not enough information in the DNA to specify the neural structures that you claim are “baked in” and persist to produce one’s consciousness and sense of self. So again you have to explain not only how the neural circuits that give rise to consciousness can somehow magically appear from random connections in the brain, you also have to explain how it evolved and you also have to explain what material causation can even account for consciousness, thought, memory, etc.

    The explanatory power of an immaterial mind to produce complex specified information is effectively infinite. In another post I asked if we started receiving signals from the far reaches of outer space that used an unfamiliar modulation scheme and encoding scheme, yet when demodulated and decoded produced the Bible, I am sure that your response would not be something like: “Well, we know it is some natural phenomenon because the explanatory power of an immaterial (intelligent) mind is zero.” Yet the complexity you are claiming occurs strictly through material causes in the brain far exceeds the complexity of the signals I used in this example of space communication.

    This is going to have to be it for me for a day or two. I am swamped and way behind on things. Be well.

  40. 40
    KevNick says:

    How many of you have heard or read about near-death-experiences where the person having the experience saw God, Jesus and Holy Spirit in Heaven?

  41. 41
  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick:

    The Easter Question – Eben Alexander, M.D. – March 2013
    Excerpt: More than ever since my near death experience, I consider myself a Christian -,,,
    Now, I can tell you that if someone had asked me, in the days before my NDE, what I thought of this (Easter) story, I would have said that it was lovely. But it remained just that — a story. To say that the physical body of a man who had been brutally tortured and killed could simply get up and return to the world a few days later is to contradict every fact we know about the universe. It wasn’t simply an unscientific idea. It was a downright anti-scientific one.
    But it is an idea that I now believe. Not in a lip-service way. Not in a dress-up-it’s-Easter kind of way. I believe it with all my heart, and all my soul.,,
    We are, really and truly, made in God’s image. But most of the time we are sadly unaware of this fact. We are unconscious both of our intimate kinship with God, and of His constant presence with us. On the level of our everyday consciousness, this is a world of separation — one where people and objects move about, occasionally interacting with each other, but where essentially we are always alone.
    But this cold dead world of separate objects is an illusion. It’s not the world we actually live in.,,,
    ,,He (God) is right here with each of us right now, seeing what we see, suffering what we suffer… and hoping desperately that we will keep our hope and faith in Him. Because that hope and faith will be triumphant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....79741.html

    Present! – Mary Neal’s Near-Death Experience – video testimony
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as6yslz-RDw

    Coast to Coast – Vicki’s Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    video – former militant atheist Howard Storm continues to share his gripping story of his own near death experience. Today, he picks up just as Jesus was rescuing him from the horrors of Hell and carrying him into the glories of Heaven.
    http://www.daystar.com/ondeman.....5342592001

    “I knew for certain there was no such thing as life after death. Only simple minded people believed in that sort of thing. I didn’t believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, or any other fairy tales. I drifted into darkness.
    Drifting asleep into anihilation.,,(Chapter 2 – The Descent),, I was standing up. I opened my eyes to see why I was standing up. I was between two hospital beds in the hospital room.,,, Everything that was me, my consciousness and my physical being, was standing next to the bed. No, it wasn’t me lying in the bed. It was just a thing that didn’t have any importance to me. It might as well have been a slab of meat in the supermarket”,,,
    Howard Storm – former hard-core atheist – Excerpt from his book, ‘My Descent Into Death’ (Page 12-14) http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    It should be noted: All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian culture, NDE studies that I have looked at have an extreme rarity of encounters with ‘The Being Of Light’ and tend to be very unpleasant NDE’s save for the few pleasant children’s NDEs of those cultures that I’ve seen (It seems there is indeed an ‘age of accountability’).
    The following study was shocking for what was found in some non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    Near Death Experience Thailand Asia – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8M5J3zWG5g

    Also of note: if scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the “3D hologram – photographic negative” image on the Shroud of Turin, I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright ‘Light’ or ‘Being of Light’ who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before.

    “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively and has written a book on the scientific evidence for NDEs

    “Suddenly, I was enveloped in this brilliant golden light. The light was more brilliant that the light emanating from the sun, many times more powerful and radiant than the sun itself. Yet, I was not blinded by it nor burned by it. Instead, the light was a source of energy that embraced my being.”
    Ned Dougherty’s – Fast Lane To Heaven – Quoted from “To Heaven and Back” pg. 71 – Mary C. Neal MD

    “The Light was brighter than hundreds of suns, but it did not hurt my eyes. I had never seen anything as luminous or as golden as this Light, and I immediately understood it was entirely composed of love, all directed at me. This wonderful, vibrant love was very personal, as you might describe secular love, but also sacred.
    Though I had never seen God, I recognized this light as the Light of God. But even the word God seemed too small to describe the magnificence of that presence. I was with my Creator, in holy communication with that presence. The Light was directed at me and through me; it surrounded me and pierced me. It existed just for me.”
    – testimony taken from Kimberly Clark Sharp’s Near Death Experience

    All people who have been in the presence of ‘The Being of Light’, while having a deep NDE, have no doubt whatsoever that the ‘The Being of Light’ they were in the presence of is none other than ‘The Lord God Almighty’ of heaven and earth.

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    1 John 1:5-7
    “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

    Acts 26:13-15
    at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

    Toby Mac (In The Light) – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_MpGRQRrP0

  43. 43
    Axel says:

    KevNick @11

    Read Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception : Heaven and Hell. Fascinating.

  44. 44
    KevNick says:

    How do people experiencing the “visions” know that what they are seeing in their near-death-experience are the actually “persons” like God, Jesus the Holy Ghost and even Mary? How?

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, as Rene, ‘I think therefore I am’, Descartes would ask, ‘and how do you know that what you are seeing, touching, hearing, right now is really real and is not an illusion?’

    Especially now that quantum physicists are in the habit of referring to material reality as an illusion?

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    As Descartes, Chalmers, and modern philosophical zombies make clear, it all comes down to a subjective first person account as to whether the experience is ‘real’ or not.

    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

    And when measured against that standard of subjective first person accounts, Judeo-Christian NDEs are found to be ‘even more real than real’:

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-a.....31791.html

    Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten – 10/24/2013
    Excerpt: To take the approach of, “Oh it had to be a hallucination of the brain” is just crazy. The simplistic idea that NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are a trick of a dying brain is similar to taking a piece of cardboard out of a pizza delivery box, rolling it down a hill and then claiming that it’s an identical event as rolling a beautiful Ferrari down a hill. They are not the same at all. The problem is the pure materialist scientists can be so closed-minded about it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....51093.html

  46. 46
    nkendall says:

    Hi KevNick @ 44,

    I have struggled with that question as well. If the mind can produce phenomena such as dreams with persons you have never seen before, then perhaps NDEs are sort of like spectacular dreams. I do tend to believe that they are probably more than just spectacular dreams because of the consistent nature of the message–unconditional love and the importance of knowledge and the unimportance of material success. I do think there are cases where genuine NDE experiences are mixed up and confused with dreams and also cases where people embellish the content or simply make things up. I suppose, unless and until I have one I will always have some level of doubt as to what they are. But I do view NDEs as disproving materialism for the reasons I mentioned.

    However…”shared death experiences” are an entirely different thing and they corroborate NDEs to a significant degree. Here, multiple healthy persons in the same room claim to have witnessed the same unearthly phenomena when someone close to them passes away. These are detailed in a recent book by Ray Moody, who himself–with others–had such an experience. If these really do occur, then as Ray Moody says near the end of his book, “If these are not proof of life after life, [then] what are they.”

  47. 47

    Nkendall:

    I am not sure how to interpret the statement. You could mean “rapid succession” of new structures or you could mean rapid succession of neural events over these new structures.

    Revisit my post. I have described a continuum of neurobiological phenomena, from rapid neural firing (e.g. rapid glutamate-mediated neural transmission underlying sensory experience, variations in reentrant neural firing that characterizes the hippocampus as it sustains patterns of activity that underlie the transfer of short term recall in to longer term storage, and so forth) to changes in the structures themselves, such as assemblies of neurons that wire together due to repeated joint activity – sometimes over a lifetime of development, use and learning. At still other levels are elaborate brain structures and interactions that arose over the course of evolution and are essentially invariant across individuals, in some instances across species (e.g. limbic organization that is more or less invariant across all mammals, including ourselves).

    As an example: There are facts about the organization of the brain structures responsible for the generation and comprehension of speech that have intriguing implications for “thought” in a verbal modality. Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area are massively connected through the arcuate bundle – hence areas of the human brain required for the generation of speech are closely connected to those responsible for the comprehension of speech, and the reverse. Further connections extend into frontal and prefrontal cortex where the volatile contents of working memory are sustained. These connections are largely absent in other primates and are a likely basis for the human capacity for silent “thought” in a verbal modality. The generation of sentences (including thoughts) therefore reflects the existence evolutionarily derived structures (Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, the arcuate bundle etc.), reflects enduring changes encoded in these structures through the establishment and modification of synaptic connections within these areas (and others) as one’s specific language is acquired in childhood (the structure of which, per Chomsky, is probably innately primed to verbally instantiate a grammatical subject – “I” in English), and reflects rapid neural firing over these structures as specific verbal thoughts are entertained. If you wish to maintain that thought nevertheless can occur absent these structures given the decades of research and clinical experience (e.g. with various aphasias in stroke patients) that have established these facts, the burden of proof (and credibility) is, I’m afraid, on you.

    So the distinction you draw between structure and functional changes over that structure is an important one. It also points to crux of of the problem with your argument.

    You describe a sense of self that is invariant regardless of transient experiences, sleep states, anesthesia, decades of life and even brain “standstill” and reboot. I don’t dispute that – I think that is mostly accurate. Where I think you depart from the evidence is in identifying this sense of invariant self primarily with the countless rapid functional changes and states that occur over those structures (with the software rather than the hardware, as you describe it), states you find unlikely to be quickly re-established after an event as drastic as “standstill.”

    I’ve think you’ve got it backward, and in that reverse miss the obvious explanation for the persistence of a sense of self to which you refer. Specifically, in a manner similar to the cortical structures and functions that underlie speech, one’s sense of enduring “self” reflects a continuum, or perhaps an historical hierarchy, of neural facts, from the deeply and historically structural to the rapidly functional, with the lion’s share lying at the structural end of the continuum. That’s why the experience is phenomenologically invariant! It remains invariant as other experiences rapidly come and go because it is embodied in myriad elements of brain and bodily organization that persist through shut-down, and across the years. Some of those persistent elements reflect individual elements that have been “baked in” during individual development through processes such as LTP and the establishment of new connections. Some are “recently” evolved human adaptations (those underlying speech, theory of mind, etc.) that organize experiences unique to human beings. Still other structures are almost unimaginably ancient, organizing a base stratum of experience that is common to all mammals, and perhaps all vertebrate animals, a stratum that is more ancient than the neurological peculiarities that originated with the evolution of hominins. In the human much of this is expressed at the midbrain level, in, for example, the relationship of the thalami and the cerebral cortex, modulated by the reticular formation, and so on. Hence the integration of sense information and the coordination of motor plans and volitional behavior in the human being are organized, in part, through a biology of awareness and behavior that is very ancient. These ancient platforms of experience and behavior comprise in each of us the deep and persistent sense of experiencing and acting self to which you refer.

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    nkendall this may interest you

    Neurons constantly rewrite their DNA – Apr. 27, 2015
    Excerpt: They (neurons) use minor “DNA surgeries” to toggle their activity levels all day, every day.,,,
    “We used to think that once a cell reaches full maturation, its DNA is totally stable, including the molecular tags attached to it to control its genes and maintain the cell’s identity,” says Hongjun Song, Ph.D.,, “This research shows that some cells actually alter their DNA all the time, just to perform everyday functions.”,,,
    ,,, recent studies had turned up evidence that mammals’ brains exhibit highly dynamic DNA modification activity—more than in any other area of the body,,,
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....e-dna.html

    As should be needless to say, this ‘top down’ finding is completely contrary to what the ‘central dogma’ of neo-Darwinism would predict.

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

  49. 49
    KevNick says:

    Thank you ALL for your comments. I’m sorry I’m not commenting much but rather ask a lot of questions. I’m just trying to establish some fundamental premises first.

    Here is what I have been able to establish so far:

    1. So for, I have not found even 1 description of the Holy Ghost/Spirit by anybody who had NDE and saw God and Jesus in the Heaven.

    Have you? If yes, please provide one and a link if possible.

    2. Most, if not ALL of the descriptions of God and Jesus fit the typical representations of the well known paintings and religious literature.
    God-usually man with white and long hair and beard, dressed in white long robes.
    2.Jesus-similar to God just a younger version with shorter beard and brown hair.
    3. Holy Ghost/Spirit-no description found so far and whether It is a He or She.
    4. Some NDE reported seeing Virgin Mary in Heaven with the typical “La Madonna” description, which pretty much tells me that this NDE bears no relation to reality.

  50. 50
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, it is clear that you did not go through the links I provided for you yesterday and are just rehashing your original complaint.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-562122

    I suggest watching the Mary Neal MD video

  51. 51
    StephenB says:

    Reciprocating Bill

    I have described a continuum of neurobiological phenomena, from rapid neural firing (e.g. rapid glutamate-mediated neural transmission underlying sensory experience, variations in reentrant neural firing that characterizes the hippocampus as it sustains patterns of activity that underlie the transfer of short term recall in to longer term storage, and so forth) to changes in the structures themselves, such as assemblies of neurons that wire together due to repeated joint activity – sometimes over a lifetime of development, use and learning. At still other levels are elaborate brain structures and interactions that arose over the course of evolution and are essentially invariant across individuals, in some instances across species (e.g. limbic organization that is more or less invariant across all mammals, including ourselves).

    Bill,

    I don’t understand how you get from concrete material molecules, which are normally associated with the brain, to abstract immaterial thoughts, which are understood to be the product an immaterial mind. How do you account for the existence of abstractness in the first place? As we know, non material minds are consistent with non material abstraction. However, you seem to be saying that abstraction doesn’t exist.

    Are you, in fact, trying to argue that the laws of logic and math or the concepts of truth and justice are mere manifestations of matter in motion? If so, how can they remain unchanged? Why doesn’t the Pythagorean Theorem or the Law of Non-Contradiction evolve with their material components? For that matter, how much do the virtues of courage and compassion weigh? Are they extended in space? If so, where are they located?

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick: The following two videos go over the commonalities of Near Death Experiences

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTuMYaEB35U

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

    As well it should be noted: Contrary to popular belief that holds that NDEs are basically the same worldwide, All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian culture, NDE studies that I have looked at have an extreme rarity of encounters with ‘The Being Of Light’ and tend to be very unpleasant NDE’s save for the few pleasant children’s NDEs of those cultures that I’ve seen (It seems there is indeed an ‘age of accountability’).

    Near-Death Experiences Among Survivors of the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake (Chinese)
    Excerpt: Our subjects reported NDE phemenological items not mentioned, or rarely mentioned in NDE’s reported from other countries: sensations of the world being exterminated or ceasing to exist, a sense of weightlessness, a feeling of being pulled or squeezed, ambivalence about death, a feeling of being a different person, or a different kind of person and unusual scents. The predominant phemenological features in our series were feeling estranged from the body as if it belonged to someone else, unusually vivid thoughts, loss of emotions, unusual bodily sensations, life seeming like a dream, a feeling of dying,,, These are not the same phemenological features most commonly found by researchers in other countries. Greyson (1983) reported the most common phemenological feature of American NDE’s to be a feeling of peace, joy, time stopping, experiencing an unearthly realm of existence, a feeling of cosmic unity, and a out of body experience.
    http://www.newdualism.org/nde-.....-39-48.pdf

    The Japanese find death a depressing experience – From an item by Peter Hadfield in the New Scientist (Nov. 30th 1991)
    Excerpt: A study in Japan shows that even in death the Japanese have an original way of looking at things. Instead of seeing ‘tunnels of light’ or having ‘out of body’ experiences, near-dead patients in Japanese hospitals tend to see rather less romantic images, according to researchers at Kyorin University. According to a report in the Mainichi newspaper, a group of doctors from Kyorin has spent the past year documenting the near-death experiences of 17 patients. They had all been resuscitated from comas caused by heart attacks, strokes, asthma or drug poisoning. All had shown minimal signs of life during the coma. Yoshia Hata, who led the team, said that eight of the 17 recalled ‘dreams’, many featuring rivers or ponds. Five of those patients had dreams which involved fear, pain and suffering. One 50-year-old asthmatic man said he had seen himself wade into a reservoir and do a handstand in the shallows. ‘Then I walked out of the water and took some deep breaths. In the dream, I was repeating this over and over.’ Another patient, a 73-year-old woman with cardiac arrest, saw a cloud filled with dead people. ‘It was a dark, gloomy day. I was chanting sutras. I believed they could be saved if they chanted sutras, so that is what I was telling them to do.’ Most of the group said they had never heard of Near-Death Experiences before.
    http://www.pureinsight.org/node/4

    The following study was shocking for what was found in some non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm
    We would suggest that the near-constant comparisons with the most frequently reported types of NDEs tends to blind researchers to the features of NDEs which are absent in these NDEs. Tunnels are rare, if not absent. The panoramic Life Review appears to be absent. Instead, our collection shows people reviewing just a few karmically-significant incidents. Perhaps they symbolize behavioral tendencies, the results of which are then experienced as determinative of their rebirths. These incidents are read out to them from a book. There is no Being of Light in these Thai NDEs, although The Buddha does appear in a symbolic form, in case #6. Yama is present during this truncated Life Review, as is the Being of Light during Western life reviews, but Yama is anything but a being of light. In popular Thai depictions, he is shown as a wrathful being, and is most often remembered in Thai culture for his power to condemn one to hell. Some of the functions of Angels and guides are also filled by Yamatoots. They guide, lead tours of hell, and are even seen to grant requests made by the experient.
    per shaktiti

    Near Death Experience Thailand Asia – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8M5J3zWG5g

    Near-Death Experiences of Hindus Pasricha and Stevenson’s research
    Except: “Two persons caught me and took me with them. I felt tired after walking some distance; they started to drag me. My feet became useless. There was a man sitting up. He looked dreadful and was all black. He was not wearing any clothes. He said in a rage [to the attendants who had brought Vasudev] “I had asked you to bring Vasudev the gardener.,,, In reply to questions about details, Vasudev said that the “black man” had a club and used foul language. Vasudev identified him as Yamraj, the Hindu god of the dead.
    http://www.near-death.com/hindu.html

    Of related interest:

    Muslim near death experience – Sees Jesus (Isa) and becomes Christian Pt 1 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TC-TLFYNCQ
    Part 2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F70Ray8Mdn4

  53. 53
    Jim Smith says:

    ba77 @ 52 Do you have an opinion on what the cultural differences mean? Do the cultural differences indicate that NDE’s are not experiences of disembodied consciousness and the afterlife? Or do they mean that different cultures have different experiences in the afterlife and if so, why would that be?

    Thanks

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    Jim Smith, I hold NDE’s to be real.

    And although single NDEs cannot be relied on too much to establish any particular ‘religious’ position, I do find the fact that the predominant form of NDEs in Judeo-Christian cultures are extremely pleasant, i.e. heavenly, and the fact that the predominant form of NDEs in non-Judeo-Christian cultures are extremely unpleasant, i.e. hellish, to be strong confirmation that the basic overarching precepts of Christianity are true.

    John 8:23-24
    And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

  55. 55
    nkendall says:

    Hi Bill (at Comment # 47)
    There is no reason to believe that consciousness, sense of self, thought, belief, meanings, memories and values, etc. could possibly be reducible to material phenomena. They are as dissimilar to one another as poetry is dissimilar to dust. And the fact that higher level abstract thought is a quite recent phenomenon in evolutionary terms, makes any materialist explanation, doubly difficult. There are just too few individuals involved for chance mutations to account for the vast difference in mental capabilities between humans and hominids.

    Much of what you have described I am at least somewhat familiar with. What you are doing is making assertions and simply offering a description of the brain and noting some correlations between various activities in the brain and structures over which these activities occur on the one hand and mental phenomena on the other. No dualist would ever deny that the brain does something. Clearly it does a lot. If you perturb the brain there will usually be an effect on the mental phenomena (but interestingly, not always). However, correlation is not the same as causation. A poorly tuned piano will result in bad experience despite the best music and pianist. That is why I said that I thought you were confusing necessary and sufficient causation and cause and effect.

    If my daughter were to ask me how to write a novel, the answer would not be limited to a description of a word processor, paper and ink. She would want to know about the plot, character development, description of settings, etc.

    In my post, I was making an imaginary concession—it was a hypothetical–of sorts by saying in effect, “Suppose it were the case that consciousness, sense of self, thought, belief, meaning and values were reducible to material phenomena” what could we then say about how the brain might be able to recover from a catastrophic interruption.

    When I ask how the conscious sense of self arises, you offer the following:

    …“one’s sense of enduring ‘self’ reflects a continuum, or perhaps an historical hierarchy, of neural facts, from the deeply and historically structural to the rapidly functional, with the lion’s share lying at the structural end of the continuum.”

    To me this statement of yours, once I remove all the words that get in the way, distills down to something like:

    One’s sense of self results primarily from structural components in the brain but also involves rapid functional activities (I assume neural firings).

    Of course it is not only consciousness and sense of self that is restored following near death experiences. Memories, ability to think, one’s beliefs, values, etc. are also restored. These other mental phenomena all interact with one another and interact with consciousness. It therefore must be a complex process. If the underlying cause of these things were strictly based on the structure of the brain, then what on earth is the purpose to all the neuron firings? And why is it that anyone ever loses consciousness during cardiac arrest or anesthesia? The structures remain intact. Unless the neuron firings are superfluous then they are doing something and that something is likely necessary for any mental phenomena and in all likelihood very specific and complex.

    If materialism is true and there is a material explanation for these things, then it has to involve a complexity comparable to what it claims to explain. Structure in and of itself is not complex because it is fixed and therefore not a good candidate to explain the dynamic versatility of mental phenomena which is attested to by the sum total of all human knowledge, all human artifacts and artistic renderings, all musings from the sacred to the profane and the sublime to the ridiculous.

    This will probably be my last comment on this thread. I think we are probably talking past each other and will just have to agree to disagree. If you respond I will read what you write and consider it and possibly reply.

    Before I leave though let me ask you a hypothetical. Suppose a good friend or relative whose honesty and integrity you really respected was in a car accident and told you, “Bill, it was unbelievable, I was up above the scene of the accident floating around watching them try to revive me. I could move around focus my attention where ever I wanted. It was the most lucid I have ever been. Then suddenly I was back in my body in the hospital. I later confirmed that what I saw really appears to be what was actually going on!”

    There are many who claim to have had these experiences and they aren’t flakes. Would you say that this would disprove materialism?

    Regardless of your response on this, I will close by saying that you strike me as a decent, intelligent man and I thank you for participating in this thread. God Bless you sir. I wish the best for you and your loved ones. And I would hope that in your mind in this respect, you would be reciprocating Bill.

  56. 56

    Nkendall:

    Thanks for your kind remarks. Consider them reciprocated. I do see that we are talking past one another. For example, you ask:

    “If the underlying cause of these things were strictly based on the structure of the brain, then what on earth is the purpose to all the neuron firings? And why is it that anyone ever loses consciousness during cardiac arrest or anesthesia? The structures remain intact.”

    Yet my last post alludes to the following, and the roles they play in sensory experience, memory, thinking and speech, and a sense of self:

    rapid neural firing (e.g. rapid glutamate-mediated neural transmission underlying sensory experience”

    “variations in reentrant neural firing that characterizes the hippocampus as it sustains patterns of activity that underlie the transfer of short term recall in to longer term storage…”

    “The generation of sentences (including thoughts) therefore reflects… rapid neural firing over these structures as specific verbal thoughts are entertained.”

    “…one’s sense of enduring “self” reflects a continuum, or perhaps an historical hierarchy, of neural facts, from the deeply and historically structural to the rapidly functional”

    Not to mention in earlier posts:

    “…rapid successions of complex, reentrant brain states…”

    “…activation of parietal and visual cortex…”

    elements of memory that are “sustained by rapid functional activities”

    Which of course also refer to neural firing.

    I don’t intend this as a “gotcha,” but it is beyond me how you take from what I have written a view that phenomenal consciousness and a sense of self are based “strictly on the structure of the brain” without reference to neural firing and other transient functional states.

    You should consider the possibility that you are leaving this discussion without really understanding what I am arguing, and how it bears upon your remarks on recovery from “standstill.”

  57. 57

    Reciprocating Bill: I have really enjoyed your posts on this thread, and absolutely agree. To add just a little more detail still: I am currently doing a lot of work investigating the electrophysiological correlates of mental states, including those involved in cognitive processing, using magnetoencephalography, which essentially measures oscillatory neural processes EEG does, but gives us better spatial resolution (because the inverse problem is more tractable), and there has also been a lot of recent work published on data collected from patients with deep electrode arrays, and what is increasingly clear is that, firstly (and we know this from fMRI as well), that the brain exhibits a relatively small number of large-scale “networks” in which specific sets of brain regions tend to work together, forming a large-scale “brain state” that can readily flip from one state to another, depending on whether attention is being focussed on the external or the “internal” (remembered, imagined) world; and secondly, that gamma oscillations are strongly associated with events that can readily recalled, i.e. mental experiences that the subject reports being aware of.

    So there really isn’t a problem with the idea that the same brain can be conscious and unconscious at different time – sure, the brain’s physical structure is always changing (Hebb’s rule, as you point out) but that just underscores the fact that, while a person is alive (and their brain functioning) the brain is undergoing constant dynamic change, both in terms of ionic current flow and actual change to the proteins and other molecules that it is made of. And, as such, it can enter a state in which its owner is unconscious (e.g. asleep) and recover readily from that state as consciousness resumes.

    Even while awake, we are constantly “flipping” from brain state to brain-state as need requires.

    And we can even simulate these processes, to some extent, in robots, resulting in robots that “sleep” and “wake” and “learn” and “become aware of objects” and “avoid obstructions” and “find ways of achieving goals in a dynamic environment filled with obstructions” and “solve problems”.

    So we can account for most cognitive functions, including awareness and problem-solving, and sleep, in entirely physical terms.

    The remaining problem is, I suggest, entirely philosophical: is it coherent to imagine a physical zombie who behaved exactly as we do – problem solving, expressing opinions, learning, sleeping, making mistakes, navigating a dynamic and unpredictable environment” but not be “conscious”?

    For me the answer is no, but not because I know stuff about the brain (well, maybe a little) but because the behaviour of a conscious entity exemplifies their consciousness of things, and if they can’t do those things, then they won’t be able to behave as though they are conscious. Sure, you could have a conscious person who was so immobilised that you might mistake them for an unconscious person (which is why research into the brain correlates of consciousness is of such great practical importance) but I suggest that a “person” who is able to function as a conscious person does, but not be conscious is an oxymoron.

  58. 58
    StephenB says:

    Bill,

    Elizabeth (welcome back),

    My questions @51 persist:

    How do you reconcile the existence of unchanging principles with your argument that they can be reduced to changing matter?

    Inasmuch as you rule out all manner of spirit and non-material existence, how do you get from changeable to unchangeable–from concrete to abstract?

    If abstractness or unchanging principles can be reduced to matter, why doesn’t the Pythagorean Theorem or the Law of Non-Contradiction evolve with changing matter? Indeed, how can anything remain unchanged?

    If abstract virtues are really products of changing matter, do they have quantifiable physical characteristics such as weight and location? If not, why not?

  59. 59
    nkendall says:

    Bill @comment #56,

    Let me net this all out. Neuroscience is going through a phase where each new technology gives greater insight into what goes on in the brain. I could pretty much have guessed most of what you are saying—or at least it is not surprising. I know the brain is complex and I know we are finding this out through various technologies. The field is enamored with these new data. But none of it has anything to do with explaining causation. It was like the early days of the modern synthesis, there was this excitement about how random mutations could produce all these marvelous features of life. I think now there is a coming to terms and a slow realization that random mutations and natural selection simply cannot explain the complexities of life. This same realization will someday occur in neuroscience. Soon there will be a realization that the field is only describing what is going on during conscious thought and not what is causing it.

    You talk about structures and you talk about neuron firings. It is not always easy to determine what physical phenomena you are ascribing to what mental phenomena. The bottom line is that you have not proposed any theory as to how these physical phenomena can possibly account for–cause–the mental phenomena. You have simply described what structures and functions in the brain appear to be associated with them. I know that. It is no surprise that there would be correlations. Obviously, thought, analysis, memory storage and recall, beliefs, as well as consciousness and sense of self are very complex and must have complex underlying material causal phenomena if materialism is true. And if materialism is not true, the brain will reveal complex physiological signatures about what is going on.

    Given the dynamic, interrelated and complex nature of all mental phenomena, it must be the case that many, many, complex cascade of events underlie these mental phenomena if materialism is true. You appear to be saying that both complex structures and complex functions (neuron firings) are associated with them. Complexity always means specificity. Specificity means that in order to re-establish the precise mental phenomena one experiences prior to an abrupt, total, catastrophic shut down of the brain that these same specific sequences of events have to be re-established when the brain was “rebooted”. Yet the underlying molecular components would be in complete disarray following shut down and would follow a new set of local complex causal chains of events. There is no conceivable way, save a hopeless appeal to chance, that a prior known-good state could have been re-established such that a person would experience a resumption of consciousness, one’s sense of self, thought, knowledge, memory storage/recall, one’s belief’s, meanings, values, etc. Best regards.

  60. 60
    nkendall says:

    Bill,

    You did not respond to my hypothetical:

    Suppose a good friend or relative whose honesty and integrity you really respected was in a car accident and told you, “Bill, it was unbelievable, I was up above the scene of the accident floating around watching them try to revive me. I could move around focus my attention where ever I wanted. It was the most lucid I have ever been. Then suddenly I was back in my body in the hospital. I later confirmed that what I saw really appears to be what was actually going on!”

    Would you say that this would disprove materialism?

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    I would like to emphasize the fact that quantum mechanics has now shown that the atheistic belief that consciousness is ’emergent’ from a material basis is false.
    As to consciousness in quantum mechanics. That consciousness is integral to quantum mechanics is fairly obvious to the unbiased observer (no pun intended). I first, much like everybody else, was immediately shocked to learn that the observer could have any effect whatsoever in the double slit experiment:

    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit and Delayed Choice Experiments – video
    https://vimeo.com/87175892

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1YqgPAtzho

    Double Slit Experiment – Explained By Prof Anton Zeilinger – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6101627/

    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    Prof. Zeilinger makes this rather startling statement in the preceding video:

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    Anton Zeilinger

    To back Zeilinger’s preceding statement up, recently the ‘superposition’ of a particle, which is something that Einstein himself fought against, was experimentally verified to be true:

    Scientists Prove That A Particle Can Be In Two Places At Once, Everything Gets Weird – Thomas Tamblyn – March 31 ,2015 (with video)
    Excerpt: Scientists at Griffith University in the US and the University of Tokyo in Japan have successfully carried out an experiment which should once and for all prove that a particle can indeed exist in two places at once.
    Described by Einstein as “spooky action across distance”, the theory goes that a particle in superposition can exist in two places at once. It is only when you try and measure one of the particles that its counterpart disappears.
    As ludicrous as that sounded, that wasn’t actually the problem that Einstein had with the theory. His real aggravation was focused around the idea that the reason the counterpart disappears is because somehow, it knows that its partner has been discovered.
    This would require a level of connection that would travel faster than light and as such, Einstein just wasn’t convinced.
    Well it turns out that even though we still don’t know how the particles know each other, you can indeed split a photon on half, send it to two separate locations and then have it exist in ‘superposition’ until it’s discovered and measured.,,
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.u.....1427800715

    Feynman said this in regards to the double slit experiment with electrons,

    “has in it the heart of quantum mechanics” and “is impos­sible, absolutely impos­sible, to explain in any clas­sical way.”
    http://thisquantumworld.com/wp.....xperiment/

    The double slit has now been accomplished for objects much larger than electrons:

    Physicists Smash Record For Wave-Particle Duality – Oct. 2013
    Excerpt: According to quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality and quantum superpositions must also occur for macroscopic objects such as viruses, cells and even baseballs,,,
    Having created a beam of these molecules, Eibenberger and co pass them through a series of slits that reveal any wavelike characteristics. Sure enough, the molecules form an interference pattern at the detector which implies that they must have been superposed (i.e. in superposition) while passing through the slits.,,,
    “Our data confirm the fully coherent quantum delocalization of single compounds composed of about 5000 protons, 5000 neutrons and 5000 electrons,” they say.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/physicists-smash-record-for-wave-particle-duality-462c39db8e7b

    Feynman also stated this in regards to quantum mechanics,,,

    “…the “paradox” is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality “ought to be.”
    Richard Feynman, in The Feynman Lectures on Physics, vol III, p. 18-9 (1965)

    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

    Of course, atheists/materialists were/are in complete denial as to the obvious implications of mind in the double slit (invoking infinite parallel universes and such as that to try to get around the obvious implications of ‘Mind’). But personally, not being imprisoned in the materialist’s box, my curiosity was aroused and I’ve been sort of poking around, finding out a little more here and there about quantum mechanics, and how the observer is central to it. One of the first interesting experiments in quantum mechanics I found after the double slit, that highlighted the centrality of the observer to the experiment, was Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries. Here is Wigner commenting on the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: When I returned to Berlin, the excellent crystallographer Weissenberg asked me to study: why is it that in a crystal the atoms like to sit in a symmetry plane or symmetry axis. After a short time of thinking I understood:,,,, To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    Wigner went on to make these rather dramatic comments in regards to his work:

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”;
    Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, Wigner was certainly no lightweight in quantum mechanics, but his deep insights continue to foster ‘a second revolution’ in quantum mechanics:

    Eugene Wigner – A Gedanken Pioneer of the Second Quantum Revolution – Anton Zeilinger – Sept. 2014
    Conclusion
    It would be fascinating to know Eugene Wigner’s reaction to the fact that the gedanken experiments he discussed (in 1963 and 1970) have not only become reality, but building on his gedanken experiments, new ideas have developed which on the one hand probe the foundations of quantum mechanics even deeper, and which on the other hand also provide the foundations to the new field of quantum information technology. All these experiments pay homage to the great insight Wigner expressed in developing these gedanken experiments and in his analyses of the foundations of quantum mechanics,
    http://epjwoc.epj.org/articles....._01010.pdf

    Also of note:

    Von Neumann–Wigner – interpretation
    Excerpt: The von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, also described as “consciousness causes collapse [of the wave function]“, is an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which consciousness is postulated to be necessary for the completion of the process of quantum measurement.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V.....rpretation

    “I think von Neumann’s orthodox QM gives a good way to understand the nature of the universe: it is tightly tied to the practical test and uses of our basic physical theory, while also accounting for the details of the mind-brain connection in a way that is rationally concordant with both our conscious experiences, and experience of control, and the neuroscience data.”
    Henry Stapp

    Then after I had learned about Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, I stumbled across Wheeler’s Delayed choice experiments in which this finding shocked me as to the central importance of the observer’s free will choice in quantum experiments:

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Genesis, Quantum Physics and Reality
    Excerpt: Simply put, an experiment on Earth can be made in such a way that it determines if one photon comes along either on the right or the left side or if it comes (as a wave) along both sides of the gravitational lens (of the galaxy) at the same time. However, how could the photons have known billions of years ago that someday there would be an earth with inhabitants on it, making just this experiment? ,,, This is big trouble for the multi-universe theory and for the “hidden-variables” approach.
    – per Greer

    “It begins to look as we ourselves, by our last minute decision, have an influence on what a photon will do when it has already accomplished most of its doing… we have to say that we ourselves have an undeniable part in what we have always called the past. The past is not really the past until is has been registered. Or to put it another way, the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present.”
    – John Wheeler – The Ghost In The Atom – Page 66-68

    Then, a little bit later, I learned that the delayed choice experiment had been extended:

    The Experiment That Debunked Materialism – video – (delayed choice quantum eraser)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xKUass7G8w

    (Double Slit) A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at D0 (Detector Zero) at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    And then I learned the delayed choice experiment was refined yet again:

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    i.e. The preceding experiment clearly shows, and removes any doubt whatsoever, that the ‘material’ detector recording information in the double slit is secondary to the experiment and that a conscious observer being able to consciously know the ‘which path’ information of a photon with local certainty, is of primary importance in the experiment. You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    And then, after the delayed choice experiments, I learned about something called Leggett’s Inequality. Leggett’s Inequality was, as far as I can tell, a mathematical proof developed by Nobelist Anthony Leggett to prove ‘realism’. Realism is the belief that an objective reality exists independently of a conscious observer looking at it. And, as is usual with challenging the predictions of Quantum Mechanics, his proof was violated by a stunning 80 orders of magnitude, thus once again, in over the top fashion, highlighting the central importance of the conscious observer to Quantum Experiments:

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    Leggett agrees with Zeilinger that realism is wrong in quantum mechanics, but when I asked him whether he now believes in the theory, he answered only “no” before demurring, “I’m in a small minority with that point of view and I wouldn’t stake my life on it.” For Leggett there are still enough loopholes to disbelieve. I asked him what could finally change his mind about quantum mechanics. Without hesitation, he said sending humans into space as detectors to test the theory.,,,
    (to which Anton Zeilinger responded)
    When I mentioned this to Prof. Zeilinger he said, “That will happen someday. There is no doubt in my mind. It is just a question of technology.” Alessandro Fedrizzi had already shown me a prototype of a realism experiment he is hoping to send up in a satellite. It’s a heavy, metallic slab the size of a dinner plate.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    Prof. Richard Conn Henry stated this after the Leggett results came in

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated to 80 orders of magnitude)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    As with the delayed choice experiment, the violation of Leggett’s inequalities have been extended. This following experiment violated Leggett’s inequality to a stunning 120 standard deviations:

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model.The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    The preceding experiment, and the mathematics behind it, are discussed beginning at the 24:15 minute mark of the following video:

    Quantum Weirdness and God 8-9-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=N7HHz14tS1c#t=1449

    The following video and paper get the general, and dramatic, point across of what ‘giving up realism’ actually means:

    Quantum Physics – (material reality does not exist until we look at it) – Dr. Quantum video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ezNvpFcJU

    Macrorealism Emerging from Quantum Physics – Brukner, Caslav; Kofler, Johannes
    American Physical Society, APS March Meeting, – March 5-9, 2007
    Excerpt: for unrestricted measurement accuracy a violation of macrorealism (i.e., a violation of the Leggett-Garg inequalities) is possible for arbitrary large systems.,,
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007APS..MARB33005B

    But, as if all that was not enough to demonstrate consciousness’s centrality in quantum mechanics, I then learned about something called the ‘Quantum Zeno Effect’,,

    Quantum Zeno Effect
    The quantum Zeno effect is,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    The reason why I am very impressed with the Quantum Zeno effect as to establishing consciousness’s primacy in quantum mechanics is, for one thing, that Entropy is, by a wide margin, the most finely tuned of initial conditions of the Big Bang:

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”

    How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
    (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    For another thing, it is interesting to note just how foundational entropy is in its explanatory power for actions within the space-time of the universe:

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,
    http://crev.info/2012/10/shini.....rk-energy/

    In fact, entropy is also the primary reason why our physical, temporal, bodies grow old and die,,,

    Aging Process – 85 years in 40 seconds – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A91Fwf_sMhk

    *3 new mutations every time a cell divides in your body
    * Average cell of 15 year old has up to 6000 mutations
    *Average cell of 60 year old has 40,000 mutations
    Reproductive cells are ‘designed’ so that, early on in development, they are ‘set aside’ and thus they do not accumulate mutations as the rest of the cells of our bodies do. Regardless of this protective barrier against the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations still we find that,,,
    *60-175 mutations are passed on to each new generation.
    Per John Sanford

    Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both – 2007
    Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,,
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0030220

    And yet, to repeat,,,

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    per wiki

    This is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay, unless consciousness was/is more foundational to reality than the 1 in 10^10^120 entropy is?

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)

    Related notes on ‘interaction free’ measurement:

    Quantum Zeno effect
    “It has been experimentally confirmed,, that unstable particles will not decay, or will decay less rapidly, if they are observed. Somehow, observation changes the quantum system. We’re talking pure observation, not interacting with the system in any way.”
    Douglas Ell – Counting to God – pg. 189 – 2014 – Douglas Ell graduated early from MIT, where he double majored in math and physics. He then obtained a masters in theoretical mathematics from the University of Maryland. After graduating from law school, magna cum laude, he became a prominent attorney.

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    The Renninger Negative Result Experiment – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3uzSlh_CV0

    Elitzur–Vaidman bomb tester
    Excerpt: In 1994, Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat, Harald Weinfurter, and Thomas Herzog actually performed an equivalent of the above experiment, proving interaction-free measurements are indeed possible.[2] In 1996, Kwiat et al. devised a method, using a sequence of polarising devices, that efficiently increases the yield rate to a level arbitrarily close to one.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....xperiments

    Experimental Realization of Interaction-Free Measurement – Paul G. Kwiat; H. Weinfurter, T. Herzog, A. Zeilinger, and M. Kasevich – 1994
    http://www.univie.ac.at/qfp/pu.....994-08.pdf

    Interaction-Free Measurement – 1995
    http://archive.is/AjexE

    Realization of an interaction-free measurement – 1996
    http://bg.bilkent.edu.tr/jc/to.....rement.pdf

    The following video also clearly demonstrates that “decoherence” does not solve the measurement problem:

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB7d5V71vUE

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    Brooke Fraser- “C S Lewis Song”
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DL6LPLNX

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, ‘spooky’ non-local, beyond space and time, quantum information/entanglement, though at first thought to be impossible to maintain in ‘hot and noisy’ cells, is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule:

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

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

    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

    In fact, non-local, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement is also strongly implicated in how the brain correlates activities between different parts of the brain:

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

    ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays – 2008
    Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,,
    Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,,
    Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication.
    Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2575223/

    Nonlocal mechanism for cluster synchronization in neural circuits – 2011
    Excerpt: The findings,,, call for reexamining sources of correlated activity in cortex,,,
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1103.3634

    That ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints (Bell, Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger, etc..), should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is a direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims, for how can the ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? Appealing to the probability of various ‘random’ configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply!

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

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
    Excerpt:– requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
    per physorg

    etc.. etc..

    In other words, to give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!

    And although Naturalists have proposed various, far fetched, naturalistic scenarios to try to get around the Theistic implications of quantum non-locality, none of the ‘far fetched’ naturalistic solutions, in themselves, are compatible with the reductive materialism that undergirds neo-Darwinian thought.

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism By Bruce L Gordon, Ph.D
    Excerpt: The underlying problem is this: there are correlations in nature that require a causal explanation but for which no physical explanation is in principle possible. Furthermore, the nonlocalizability of field quanta entails that these entities, whatever they are, fail the criterion of material individuality. So, paradoxically and ironically, the most fundamental constituents and relations of the material world cannot, in principle, be understood in terms of material substances. Since there must be some explanation for these things, the correct explanation will have to be one which is non-physical – and this is plainly incompatible with any and all varieties of materialism.
    http://www.4truth.net/fourtrut.....8589952939

    Thus, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, Neo-Darwinism is falsified in its claim that information and consciousness are ‘emergent’ from a reductive materialist basis.

  66. 66
    nkendall says:

    Dear Mr. Bornagain77, Thanks again for the insights and references. Although I had not brought that up, yes it certainly appears that consciousness is a fundamental aspect of reality and not a derivative. This is another embarrassing scientific finding that has been swept under the rug by materialists desperately wishing to hold on to their place of prime importance in the world of ideas. Were this to become widely known throughout the universities, it would mean that the philosophers and theologians would have an equal or better claim to the truth.

  67. 67

    Stephenb:

    Elizabeth (welcome back),

    Thanks 🙂

    My questions @51 persist:

    How do you reconcile the existence of unchanging principles with your argument that they can be reduced to changing matter?

    Inasmuch as you rule out all manner of spirit and non-material existence, how do you get from changeable to unchangeable–from concrete to abstract?

    First of all, I don’t “rule it out”. I just don’t think it’s necessary to account for our [common] observations.
    It could still be true.

    If abstractness or unchanging principles can be reduced to matter, why doesn’t the Pythagorean Theorem or the Law of Non-Contradiction evolve with changing matter? Indeed, how can anything remain unchanged?

    If abstract virtues are really products of changing matter, do they have quantifiable physical characteristics such as weight and location? If not, why not?

    I don’t really understand your question. I don’t think that abstract principles ARE matter (physical things), so I’m sniffing a map-territory confusion here. And I’m not really sure what you mean by “reduce to”. I don’t think that abstract ideas (Pythagoras’ Theorem; justice; General Relativity) “reduce to” matter. I think they are the output of material beings, but there’s nothing that “reduces” in my conception.

    So I’m not sure what it is you think I think.

    So let me turn to your earlier post, referred to in the one I just quoted:

    I don’t understand how you get from concrete material molecules, which are normally associated with the brain, to abstract immaterial thoughts, which are understood to be the product an immaterial mind. How do you account for the existence of abstractness in the first place? As we know, non material minds are consistent with non material abstraction. However, you seem to be saying that abstraction doesn’t exist.

    I’m certainly not saying that “abstraction doesn’t exist”. I think “abstraction” is something that people do, by virtue of their material bodies (and with particular use of the part of the body called the central nervous system). So “running” is an abstraction, in a sense (there’s no such material object as “a running”), and a specific race has real existence, even though it was run last Monday and never will be again. They are “material”, but nor are they particularly mysterious. I accept that “pythagoras theorem” is a bit more abstract than “the Boston marathon”, but I think the comparison is nonetheless fair. As I think I’ve said before, I think consciousness is best understood as something that people (or animals) do (“be conscious of X”) than something they are “conscious or not conscious”)

    And so address your question directly, the approach I take to getting “from concrete material molecules, which are normally associated with the brain, to abstract immaterial thoughts” is to say that the output from the complex system we call, say Stephenb includes the articulation of concepts that he then, using English language and the internet, causes to be, at least partially, processed by the complex system we call Lizzie, and output by her, back to Stephen, hopefully in not too mangled a form.

    More importantly, though, I’d say that what you, Stephenb (or the material system I know as “Stephenb”) are doing when you evoke in your mind, say, Pythogoras theorem, is that you are modelling the world (by means of neural circuits) on a map on which you yourself are represented, and because you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are represented on the map that you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are modelling, we have what Hofstadter calls a “Strange Loop” – a reentrant process by which we not only model the world, but model our own reactions to it, and the model the model of our own reactions to it, and the model of the model of the model of our own reactions to it, and it is that “Strange” (in the Lorenzian sense) loop that gives rise to both an experience and an experiencer, a loop that starts in utero at some point, and continues until death. One experience of which is the experience of conceptualising the relationship between the sides of a right-angled triangle in terms of the sum of squares on the hypotenuse being equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. And as you can share this concept with me, and with others, and as we have essentially the same mental equipment, we can all appreciate its unchanging coherence.

    Are you, in fact, trying to argue that the laws of logic and math or the concepts of truth and justice are mere manifestations of matter in motion? If so, how can they remain unchanged? Why doesn’t the Pythagorean Theorem or the Law of Non-Contradiction evolve with their material components? For that matter, how much do the virtues of courage and compassion weigh? Are they extended in space? If so, where are they located?

    I hope my attempt above has at least answered some of these questions.

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  68. 68
    StephenB says:

    Elizabeth

    More importantly, though, I’d say that what you, Stephenb (or the material system I know as “Stephenb”) are doing when you evoke in your mind, say, Pythogoras theorem, is that you are modelling the world (by means of neural circuits) on a map on which you yourself are represented, and because you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are represented on the map that you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are modelling, we have what Hofstadter calls a “Strange Loop” – a reentrant process by which we not only model the world, but model our own reactions to it, and the model the model of our own reactions to it, and the model of the model of the model of our own reactions to it, and it is that “Strange” (in the Lorenzian sense) loop that gives rise to both an experience and an experiencer, a loop that starts in utero at some point, and continues until death. One experience of which is the experience of conceptualising the relationship between the sides of a right-angled triangle in terms of the sum of squares on the hypotenuse being equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. And as you can share this concept with me, and with others, and as we have essentially the same mental equipment, we can all appreciate its unchanging coherence.

    But that is precisely what I am asking. How do you get an immaterial modeling map from a territory made of nothing but matter? How can changing matter produce or be the source of unchanging non-matter (The concept of triangle or the Pythagorean Theorem)? How can the cause give something to the effect that it does not have to give?

  69. 69
    KevNick says:

    I just noticed my last comment isn’t here. Don’t know what happened.

    Anyway:

    BA77: you are right that I didn’t watch ALL recommended by you videos. The reason is simple. All the ND experiences you provided are of people who think and believe more or less the same as you or you wouldn’t link them.
    These people, like you, are influenced by two things I can think about:

    Popular culture and literal interpretation of the bible text regarding US being created or made in “the image of God”. This can’t be…….for many, many reasons and that is why I don’t watch the videos you recommend because of this very serious flaw. I’m still a Christian at heart but not that kind.

  70. 70
    KRock says:

    @KevNick #69

    “Popular culture and literal interpretation of the bible text regarding US being created or made in “the image of God”. This can’t be…….for many, many reasons and that is why I don’t watch the videos you recommend because of this very serious flaw. I’m still a Christian at heart but not that kind.”

    Really? Why is that KevNick? What is your definition of being “created in the image of God.”

    Also, you should watch Mickey Robinson’s Near Death Experience testimony. He was an atheist at the time of his NDE. Also, you should watch the documentary called “The Enemy God.” It is about a Shaman living in the Amazon who ends up converting to Christianity… The similarities between the experiences of shamanism and NDE’s, better yet, out of body experiences, OBE’s for short, is utterly fascinating.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, contrary to what you believe, actually we are made in the ‘image of God’. And, unlike you in which you made a claim and provided no evidence, I will list evidence for that fact.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-562165

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    nkendall, in regards to ‘Constancy of Self’, the following is closely related:

    Einstein was once asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video or can be read in full context in the article following the video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, July 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://www.saintcd.com/science.....imitstart=

    Quantum Physicist Antoine Suarez puts the situation like this:

    Nothing: God’s new Name – Antoine Suarez – video (it is impossible for us to be ‘persons’ experiencing ‘now’ if we are nothing but particles flowing in space time. Moreover, for us to refer to ourselves as ‘persons’, we cannot refer to space-time as the ultimate substratum upon which everything exists, but must refer to a person who is not bound by space time. i.e. We must refer to God!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOr9QqyaLlA

    The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics (see posts 61-65), undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    Quote:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    i.e. ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, and according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time. Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Of related note, Einstein took the importance of mind (and free will), as to coherently explaining reality, far too lightly, since he himself would not have been able to deduce relativity unless he possessed faculties of mind that are not reducible to a material basis:

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

  73. 73
    KRock says:

    Hey Bornagain77…

    Out of curiosity, have you seen the documentary “The Enemy God?” I think you’d like it if you haven’t. I’d post a link but I could not find the full version of the documentary on YouTube, just the trailers. Here’s a post to the official website though.

    http://www.theenemygod.com

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks KRock

  75. 75
    nkendall says:

    Elizabeth,

    I agree with StephenB @ Comment #68,

    Elizabeth you have not answered the question as how a set of material causes can give rise to a mental concept. Let’s take your 152 word sentence as follows:

    “More importantly, though, I’d say that what you, Stephenb (or the material system I know as “Stephenb”) are doing when you evoke in your mind, say, Pythogoras theorem, is that you are modelling the world (by means of neural circuits) on a map on which you yourself are represented, and because you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are represented on the map that you yourself (the system-known-as-Stephenb) are modelling, we have what Hofstadter calls a “Strange Loop” – a reentrant process by which we not only model the world, but model our own reactions to it, and the model the model of our own reactions to it, and the model of the model of the model of our own reactions to it, and it is that “Strange” (in the Lorenzian sense) loop that gives rise to both an experience and an experiencer, a loop that starts in utero at some point, and continues until death.”

    I have no idea what you are saying. I suppose if I read it over and over again, I might. If you are purporting to explain how material causation can produce a human conceptual thought and consciousness, I remain unconvinced. Let me get you started see if you can fill in the details.

    Since language is sort of the currency of the brain or “coin of the realm” so to speak, it seems probable that there are a host of brain functions related to language encoding, storage, recall, analysis and transmission. Since language is specific and learned in one’s life time all these functions would have to have a function that converts a specific language to an internal language.

    But language is only symbolic. In and of itself it has no meaning. So it is not enough just to manipulate language as symbols. Language always requires a human to interpret it into some sort of conceptual phenomena that we as conscious humans recognize in our mental experience. However, since the material and conceptual are two very different things, you will need some sort of a transduction function. But this is a very special kind of transducer. This transducer has to convert material, neural activity into something that has no obvious material qualities at all, i.e. human thought. It has to convert a concept (let’s take your 152 word sentence) into a complex, specific sequence of neural events and back. Note that no matter how many symbols (words) you use and to what level of detail you use to describe something there will always remain a subjective quality about what it means. If that were not the case then learning would be reduced to rote. For example, if I wanted to understand precisely what you are saying, all that would be necessary is to commit the words to memory. Clearly that is not the case. Understanding is an abstraction of the symbolic words.

    So Elizabeth, get to the point and tell us how material events can cause consciousness, one’s sense of self, memories, thoughts, knowledge, beliefs, meanings, values, etc. Give us a theory about how it might be possible. Best regards.

  76. 76
    KevNick says:

    BA77 and KRock,

    If we were created as the literal image of God, as some of you here claim, why couldn’t Moses see God’s face and stay alive?

    Exodus 33:19-23

    “And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live! Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23″Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

    I guess God had to protect Moses from some kind of radiation similar to the one that Sun emits. I mean it would be very hard for me to imagine that God, the Creator of stars like the Sun, literary resembles the image of human like Moses whom had to shield with his literal hand from seeing his own image.

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, I’ll leave scriptural debates to Theologians, and pointless arguments as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin to philosophers, but as to the actual scientific evidence, I can back up my claim that we are made in the ‘image of God’ and you cannot back up your claim that we are not:

    Although the fossil record, genetic evidence, and anatomical evidence, contrary to what Darwinists have misled people to believe, certainly does not indicate that “We are just a species of ape”, the most notable evidence that we are are not just another species of ape, but instead are made in the ‘Image Of God’, is our unique ability to understand, communicate, and create, information:

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Ian Tattersall, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    More interesting still, the three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic, i.e. the unique ability to process information inherent to man, are the very first things to be taught to children when they enter elementary school. And yet it is this information processing, i.e. reading, writing, and arithmetic, that is found to be foundational to life itself:

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer – video clip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVkdQhNdzHU

    As well, as if that was not ‘spooky’ enough, information, not material, is now found to be foundational to physical reality:

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    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

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information.
    I guess a more convincing evidence could be that God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God.
    But who has ever heard of such an overwhelming evidence as that?

    Shroud Of Turin In 3-D Hologram – Face and Body – Both Front And Back – video
    https://vimeo.com/40036132

    Verses and Music:

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Philippians 2:8-11
    Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – Your Name – music
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYNbKkwR1KQ

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Also of note as to providing a viable ‘mechanism’ for the apparent ‘burst of light’ emanating from the body of Christ:

    “Distant Intercellular Interactions in a System of Two Tissue Cultures,”
    Psychoenergetic Systems, Vol. 1, No. 3, March 1976, pp 141-142.
    Excerpt: Specifically, every cell emits mitogenetic radiation in the ultraviolet twice: when it is born and when it dies. The UV photon emitted at death contains the exact virtual state pattern of the condition of the cell at death.
    http://www.cheniere.org/books/.....ission.htm

    Cellular Communication through Light
    Excerpt: Information transfer is a life principle. On a cellular level we generally assume that molecules are carriers of information, yet there is evidence for non-molecular information transfer due to endogenous coherent light. This light is ultra-weak, is emitted by many organisms, including humans and is conventionally described as biophoton emission.
    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0005086

    Biophotons – The Light In Our Cells – Marco Bischof – March 2005
    Excerpt page 2: The Coherence of Biophotons: ,,, Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light. Such light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism.
    http://www.international-light.....hotons.pdf

    Are humans really beings of light?
    Excerpt: “We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light.”,,, “There are about 100,000 chemical reactions happening in every cell each second. The chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon… Once the photon has excited a reaction it returns to the field and is available for more reactions… We are swimming in an ocean of light.”
    http://viewzone2.com/dna.html

    Humans Glow in (Emit) Visible Light – July 2009
    Excerpt: Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light,
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32.....ble-light/

    Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body – 2006
    Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt: In recent years, a growing body of evidence shows that photons play an important role in the basic functioning of cells. Most of this evidence comes from turning the lights off and counting the number of photons that cells produce. It turns out, much to many people’s surprise, that many cells, perhaps even most, emit light as they work.
    In fact, it looks very much as if many cells use light to communicate. There’s certainly evidence that bacteria, plants and even kidney cells communicate in this way. Various groups have even shown that rats brains are literally alight thanks to the photons produced by neurons as they work.,,,
    ,,, earlier this year, one group showed that spinal neurons in rats can actually conduct light.
    ,, Rahnama and co point out that neurons contain many light sensitive molecules, such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores and aromatic amino acids. In particular, mitochondria, the machines inside cells which produce energy, contain several prominent chromophores.
    The presence of light sensitive molecules makes it hard to imagine how they might not be not influenced by biophotons.,,,
    They go on to suggest that the light channelled by microtubules can help to co-ordinate activities in different parts of the brain. It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,,
    (So) It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....the-brain/

    Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light – Charles Q. Choi – July 22, 2009
    Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one of the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions.
    http://www.livescience.com/779.....light.html

    Exodus 34:29-30:
    “Moses didn’t realize as he came back down the mountain with the tablets that his face glowed from being in the presence of God. Because of this radiance upon his face, Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come near him.”

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    ’2nd face’ on Shroud points to supernatural origin – April 2010
    Excerpt: The researchers, in other words, found a “doubly superficial” face image on both the front and back sides such that “if a cross-section of the fabric is made, one extremely superficial image appears above and one below, but there is nothing in the middle.”
    The shroud, therefore, they concluded, was not created by paint soaking through the linen or by a photographic image printing through to the reverse side, because the front and back facial images are not identical and the center fibers show no image creation whatsoever.
    Fanti and Maggiolo concluded the shroud image was created by a “corona discharge,” understood as a radiant burst of light and energy that scorched the body image of the crucified man on the topmost fibers of the shroud’s front and back sides, without producing any image on the centermost of its linen fibers.
    “Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell,” writes Daniel Porter, editor of ShroudStory.com. “The images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are this thin.”
    Fanti and Maggiolo found the faint image of the face on the reverse side of the shroud contained the same 3-D information contained in the face and body image of the crucified man seen on the shroud’s front side.
    http://www.wnd.com/2010/04/146689/

    Matthew 17:1-2
    After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

    Coast to Coast – Vicki’s Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    Quote from preceding video: ‘I was in a body and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head. It had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And ‘it’ was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.’ –
    Vicky Noratuk

  80. 80
    KevNick says:

    BA77,

    “I’ll leave scriptural debates to Theologians, and pointless arguments as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin to philosophers, but as to the actual scientific evidence”

    That’s is fine and yet you still quoted some scriptures that you think seem to support you theological idea that we were created in the literal image of God. Make up your mind.

    “I can back up my claim that we are made in the ‘image of God’ and you cannot back up your claim that we are not”

    I don’t think you did. You keep referring to NDEs of people saw God resembling a human. You believe that too so you keep linking it over and over again.

    I,on the other hand quoted scriptures that from scientific point of view indicate that God can’t resemble a human and that is why Moses could not see God’s face and yet live.

    You said it yourself: “the most notable evidence that we are are not just another species of ape, but instead are made in the ‘Image Of God’, is our unique ability to understand, communicate, and create, information.

    In bold I personally think is what being created in the image of God means..

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, IMHO, your last response is just about completely incoherent.

    I stand by the evidence (and scriptures) I presented, and ignore the evidence you have presented since you have in fact presented no scientific evidence to support your position that we are not made in the image of God but have only presented your personal opinions as if I should care what your personal opinions are above what the empirical evidence actually says.

    Let me make it crystal clear, I don’t care what your personal opinion is in this matter but only what the empirical evidence supports!

  82. 82
    StephenB says:

    KevNick

    If we were created as the literal image of God, as some of you here claim, why couldn’t Moses see God’s face and stay alive?

    We are made in God’s image insofar as we have been endowed with the faculties of intelligence and free will. In any face to face encounter, however, God’s infinite brilliance would overwhelm our finite capacities.

  83. 83
    KevNick says:

    BA77,

    What empirical evidence did you present for man to be created in the image of God? Your quantum mechanics “assumptions”? Non-locality? At best it can indicate that science is not as simple as some people think and yes, sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

    I know why you withdrew from debating theology, because we would eventually have to get to the point where the history of religion shows that the teaching of the immortal soul was introduced to Christianity from pagan beliefs of Egypt and Babylon and is not taught by the bible. You just want to fit both your religious and “scientific” beliefs into your own faith claiming that you have proof both scientific and scriptural. You have neither but you just do not want to look behind the veneer of faith you have yourself created.

    Further discussion to me is pointless.

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick, it is interesting that you blow off solid empirical evidence that we are made in God’s image with a wave of your hand,,,

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-562719

    And then rely on, as far as I can tell since you did not reference your claim, highly questionable Theological teachings to claim that,,,

    “the immortal soul was introduced to Christianity from pagan beliefs of Egypt and Babylon and is not taught by the bible”

    I believe you may be referring to this:

    This following video debunks the internet pagan myth of Osiris and Horus being parallel to Jesus;

    Jesus and the Story of Osiris and Horus (William Lane Craig) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6AZqOO2FJA

    If that is the myth that you were referring to, then I agree wholeheartedly that further discussion with you is pointless.

    Ecclesiastes 12:7
    and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

  85. 85
    KevNick says:

    I have nothing else say to you. I’m sorry.

    I don’t want state my own opinion about your mostly irrelevant, overwhelming and pointless floods of information and why they are being tolerated here.

  86. 86
    KevNick says:

    I believe in creation but I can’t tolerate imbeciles who call themselves creationists. I’m not surprised Darwinists are laughing their asses off.

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    KevNick

    “I have nothing else say to you. I’m sorry.”

    It would be more convincing if you would not have said “I have nothing else say to you. I’m sorry.” Kinda defeats the purpose.

    I’m glad you don’t “want state my own opinion”. That is my whole gripe with you. You have done nothing in this thread but state and restate your opinion as if it is a established fact, without a single reference, and hand wave off facts presented against you, facts that are referenced, with your personal opinion as if that was enough to settle the issue. Excuse me for not being impressed with your own personal opinion of your own personal opinion.

    With people like you defending ‘creation’, Darwinists certainly will not run out of laughing material at anytime soon. Your defense of ‘creation’ is a joke!

  88. 88
    StephenB says:

    KevNicK

    because we would eventually have to get to the point where the history of religion shows that the teaching of the immortal soul was introduced to Christianity from pagan beliefs of Egypt and Babylon

    That’s just silly. The “soul” has always been understood to be the internal principle by which we think, will, and feel. The soul was not “introduced” to Christianity any more than the body was introduced to Christianity. Where do you get this nonsense?

    ….

    and is not taught by the bible.

    Be sure to pass that information along to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—

    **”And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”**

    Again, I have to ask: Where do you get this stuff?

  89. 89
    KevNick says:

    StephenvB plus BA77,

    What if you are wrong?

    Have you ever considered it?

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    Have you ever considered it?

    Certainly!

    Nichole Nordeman – What If? – Passion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltu_30dHmWA

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  91. 91
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Semi-OT: I’m reading “Finding Peter: A True Story of the Hand of Providence and Evidence of Life after Death” by William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist.

    http://www.amazon.com/Finding-.....162157332X

    Fascinating insights into evidence for the existence of the soul and the afterlife, in a non-scholarly, autobiographical book. It probably won’t convince any hard-core skeptics, but it could do something for fence-sitters.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (Session 3) – Norman Geisler, PhD – video
    The Unmatched Reliability of the New Testament
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8GN1k-ocLw&list=PL-0zpu2toenaPM19kDyBsPibjaGAxup9K&index=3

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