Artificial Intelligence brains and computation vs contemplation Computing, AI, Cybernetics and Mechatronics ID Foundations

Putting the mind back on the table for discussion

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Design theory infers to design on inductive inference on tested reliable empirical signs. While many are disinclined to accept such inferences on matters linked to origins, that says more about lab coat clad materialist ideological a prioris and their cultural influences than it does about the actual balance of evidence on the merits.

But also, design implies designer.

One who exhibits creative, purposeful, imaginative, skilled intelligence adequate to configure a functionally specific, complex organised information-rich entity. Ranging from the text of this contribution (well beyond the 500 – 1,000 bits of FSCO/I that are easily shown to be beyond the plausible reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of solar system or observed cosmos), to complex body plans, to the DNA code — code! — involved, to first cell-based life to the complex fine tuned cosmos that facilitates the possibility of such life.

But, it seems, genuinely independent, conscious, purposeful, creative designing mind is also under materialist interdict.

Never mind the still telling force of famed Evolutionist J B S Haldane’s apt turn of the 1930’s observation:

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

So, I think it is time to put the mind back on the table.

Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams:

self_aware_or_not

Which, means that conscious mind is categorically distinct from blind mechanism based on cogs acting blindly on other cogs, or the substantial equivalent.

And continuing with the issue that blind mechanical processing is inherently limited by that blindness . . . a rock has no dreams, including “dust” reconfigured as neural network “gate” arrays:

A neural network is essentially a weighted sum interconnected gate array, it is not an exception to the GIGO principle
A neural network is essentially a weighted sum interconnected gate array, it is not an exception to the GIGO principle

 

I do so here, as there is a video involved that I doubt can be embedded at UD.

So. now, let us ponder the GIGO principle. As wiki aptly summarises (inadvertently testifying against known ideological inclination):

Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) in the field of computer science or information and communications technology refers to the fact that computers, since they operate by logical processes, will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (“garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”).

Yes, blind mechanisms do not ask un-programmed questions and if out of whack or inadequately debugged, will just as blindly spew out garbage. They are utterly unreasoning, glorified calculation devices.

So, I say: GIGO-limited computation is not contemplation.

Again, I say: contemplative, creative designing mind does not credibly emerge from blind chance and mechanical necessity.

Yet again, I say: contemplative mind is categorically different from blindly computing matter, as a rock has no dreams.

So, now, what do you say, why? END

133 Replies to “Putting the mind back on the table for discussion

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    It is time to ponder on mind over matter, even neural network matter.

  2. 2

    When someone talks about “mind over matter”, they are usually talking about matter exterior to the body. What is lost in such a debate over something universally considered “supernatural” or “miraculous” is the ubiquitous, unnoticed apparently supernatural miracle of the every-day capacity to think and act.

    I have no idea how my body performs the function of moving. All that is required is that I intend it, and instantly trillions of molecules leap into action, doing whatever they do, interacting however they must, in order to accomplish the intentional task. At the same time, I can simply intend to write on a subject, and somehow all sorts of ideas, examples, considerations, and related thoughts come pouring into (or, some would say, are manufactured by) my brain.

    Because of this sense of normalcy, we feel that because we are not apparently physically connected to an object a few feet away, it would be more of a miracle if we could move that object, without knowing how, “with our minds”, than the fact that we move physical objects and orchestrate billions of precise functional mechanisms to perform simple, every-day tasks – with nothing more than “intention”.

    Also, we can produce a virtually infinite amount of functionally specified complex information simply upon intent. This appears to me to be the very definition of supernatural capacity; how does physics account for the human capacity to infinitely arrange matter into apparently unlimited amounts of FSCI? How can a brain, which contains only a certain, finite amount of matter, produce such volumes of FSCI as if is connected to some unlimited information-generating machine?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Semi OT:

    Skeptiko interviews Dr. Raymond Moody (author of ‘Life after Life’)
    Excerpt: Dr. Raymond Moody: “Alex, As you know, I’m a psychiatrist and not only that I was a forensic psychiatrist for a while in a maximum security unit for the criminally insane. I’ve lived in a lot of different sets of circumstances and so on. What I’ve really come to see is that everybody has about the same secrets. Plus, secret-keeping is an intrinsically dysphoric experience.,,
    http://www.skeptiko.com/raymon.....-nonsense/
    audio:
    http://www.skeptiko.com/upload.....-moody.mp3

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    dysphoric: An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease

  5. 5
    OldArmy94 says:

    Wasn’t it Hume who said that there is no rational explanation for the connection between a flame and heat or a flame and light?

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    OA: Hume challenged the then generally accepted concept of cause and effect. KF

  7. 7

    Thanks for that link to the Navy Mk1-A Fire Control Computer. I was a Fire Control Technician (FT) on an old WW-II Fletcher class tin can in the 60’s and operated some of those knobs shown. Here is the story of my very first computer: http://ayearningforpublius.wor.....-computer/

    And another you might enjoy:
    http://ayearningforpublius.wor.....-a-sailor/

    Cheers,
    don Johnson (FTG-3)

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP: How are you, yes the old integrator based analogue computers were very significant. Lord Kelvin and his brother got the ball rolling . . . oops, pun. I get the feeling that we need to lay out the basis for computing technologies and why GIGO highlights the difference between computation ande contemplation. I get the feeling that too many just don’t know or have a hands-on feel for that difference. Even, with neural networks. KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP: Note how I am treating the neuron as a summing gate with a trigger threshold. KF

  10. 10

    Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams

    I absolutely agree.

    And why are we so confident that rocks have no dreams (beliefs, desires, subjective experiences)?

    Because rocks don’t have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    RB: And neither do we. You failed to see that rocks lead to GIGO-constrained blind mechanical computation, minds contemplate. Including the one you are using to imagine that you are a glorified rock. (Never mind that the involved FSCO/I points to design of even that much, whether a Thomson integrator analogue comp cascade, or a collection of gates and software in silicio, or neural networks using electrochemistry.) There is a categorical difference that has to be faced and the sci-fi equivalent of poof magic, emergence or its substantial equivalent, has to be seen for what it is. KF

  12. 12

    RB: rocks don’t have the right physical organization to sustain/instantiate such states.

    KF: And neither do we.

    If the physical states exhibited by brains, but absent in rocks, don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams – at least not on the basis of the physical states present in brains and absent in rocks.

    Given that, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    hey kf, I wonder if that integrator in the video is irreducibly complex. I would wager that something analogous can be found in nature somewhere.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    Given that, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

    On what basis do you claim that if you had your brain removed you’d stop dreaming?

  15. 15

    KF: I forgot to mention. A month ago or so I took my son and grandson to Battleship Cove in Southern MASS. That’s a cluster of museum ships including the USS Massachusetts(BB-59), USS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850) a “tin can”, the USS Lionfish, a WWII diesel sub; and the Hiddensee, an East German/Soviet guided missile corvette. They also have a really excellent PT boat exhibit, with a couple of restored boats.
    On BB-59 we walked through the fire control spaces for the big 16 inchers, and on DD-850 we saw fire control “Plot” where the Mk1A resides and I worked a good many missions. It’s restored beautifully and it was good to see it after these many years (1969.
    On BB59 you can actually get up into a gun mount and the 16″ ammo handling rooms below – quite an awesome sight.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    RB:

    You still miss the point, conflating GIGO-limited computation with contemplation.

    An unrefined un-organised rock will have a problem computing, it has not got a net of elements and algorithms and codes or signals to compute.

    An organised, refined set of rocks or “dust” — stardust really . . . literally — sush as in the integrator or a microprocessor or a biological neural net can compute, once the designer has solved the GIGO problem.

    But that still has not bridged to contemplation, say on the beauty of a red rose in which case we are aware of being appeared to redly and beautifully [where certain aesthetic judgements are as stable and reliable as any others] which is of a different order. Further, to assume or demand that such contemplation only can and must rest on a computational substrate begs huge questions.

    Questions that say arise in connexion with a fine tuned cosmos and the issue of mind at the root of being.

    Where also, our awareness of a world, our observation and measuring, our creative inferences on underlying dymnamics etc etc all require that contemplative ability.

    And if you ponder Haldane’s point you will see that rational mind and even correctly computing substrates do not credibly spontaneously arise from blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. As, things of only modest complexity utterly dwarf the config space sampling power of the solar system or observed cosmos. 500 – 1,000 bits.

    Time for a fresh think.

    KF

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    AYP: must have been quite a trip down memory lane. KF

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung: That Thomson mechanical integrator is irreducibly complex in so many ways it is ridiculous. The balls, disks and shaft plus support apparatus are each quite complex, specific and requiring an extremely precise mutual match and organisation. For instance, dimensional tolerances, balances of friction and lube [no slip, no wear, precise interaction) and more. A near perfect sphere of right material and size is already a tall order. I suspect brain integrators . . . we do make 3-d tracking path projections to catch a ball, etc . . . will run on neural networks. KF

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    kf, on board ship they are not called lanes!

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Were you using such still in your stint in the US Navy? Computing gunsights?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, didn’t think of that. Passage-ways on a ship are rather like lanes. KF

  22. 22
    Mung says:

    AYP, no doubt you are familiar with the term knee knocker!

    This one Knee-knockers

    Not the other one 😉

    knee knocker (Urban Dictionary)

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    If we removed Running Bill’s brain from his body would it go on dreaming without him?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

  24. 24

    An unrefined un-organised rock will have a problem computing, …An organised, refined set of rocks or “dust” — stardust really . . . literally — sush as in the integrator or a microprocessor or a biological neural net can compute, once the designer has solved the GIGO problem.

    But that still has not bridged to contemplation

    If the computational states exhibited by brains don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams – at least not on the basis of computational states that are present in brains and absent in rocks.

    Given that neither physical nor computational states account for contemplation, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    If the computational states exhibited by brains don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams – at least not on the basis of computational states that are present in brains and absent in rocks.

    How is it that you equate contemplation with dreams?

    If the computational states exhibited by brains don’t account for human dreams…

    Only humans have brains? Really?

    Did you mean to ask:

    If the computational states exhibited by human brains don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams

    Given that neither physical nor computational states account for contemplation, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream?

    Do you seriously expect us to believe that rocks dream?

    Do androids dream of electric sheep?

  26. 26
    Bruce David says:

    WJM, re. #2:

    Also, we can produce a virtually infinite amount of functionally specified complex information simply upon intent. This appears to me to be the very definition of supernatural capacity; how does physics account for the human capacity to infinitely arrange matter into apparently unlimited amounts of FSCI? How can a brain, which contains only a certain, finite amount of matter, produce such volumes of FSCI as if is connected to some unlimited information-generating machine?

    Excellent point. Dembski likes to characterize the ability to create complex specified information (CSI) as making a choice of one particular configuration from the space of all possible ones. However, introspectively, this is not what happens. When I write a paragraph or solve a problem or create a piece of music, I don’t find myself running through a near infinite list of possibilities and then choosing the one I prefer. Rather, the words or a solution or a melody simply show up in my awareness. This is the mysterious process of creativity.

    A consequence of this capacity that mind has—creativity—is that mind appears to be the only phenomenon in our experience that is capable of violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which our minds do repeatedly and routinely. This is additional evidence (additional to near death experiences, out of body travel, remembrance of past lives, etc.) that mind is not a physical phenomenon. The physical universe obeys the Second Law. Our minds do not.

  27. 27
    Robert Byers says:

    I would add that computers are not logical. ALL that they are is accurate with memorized programs. They don’t mean to be logical and are not. They have no concept of what they are talking about. So no logic is involved.
    Logic even for humans is based on memorized agreement about facts etc.

    i would also say we move our bodies entirely by our memories. We do just have a thought/intent but it /soul is attached to our great memory machine and simply its the memory that does the moving.
    the memory has wrongly been missed as the great thing in humans connection between our soul and the world.
    thats why they imagine computers are intelligent or will be because they misunderstand we ourselves greatly use our memories and this hides we aree just thinking souls.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    RB: You are quite right that computers are not logical, instead they are blindly mechanical. They process signals blindly based on a configuration. This holds also for neural networks, hence my contrasting programming with the term “learning” that is being applied in a way that suggests contemplation. A genuinely logical reasoning process understands, perceives, and draws consequences of premises based on insight. Which, we all routinely experience. Materialists are guilty of unwarranted reductionism and discarding of patently important features of our common experience with reasoned thought. KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    RB: Memory, by itself is not what explains insightful contemplative reasoning. It is not just that we store and recirculate memories — so do flip flops and so do computer processors — but the kind that we store . . . meaningful, based on contemplative insight. We do not merely see X, we see X as type Z, or case Q, etc. We perceive, conceive and understand relationships, concepts and the like and through that understanding, we reason. This is not simply reducible to clusters of weights and connexions in neural networks and propagating electrochemical pulses, though we obviously use such. And, labelling such as not objective or not scientific simply amounts to tossing away a vast pool of common experience tied to empirical fact no 1 of our life as intelligent, consciously aware creatures. KF

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    BD:

    Dembski likes to characterize the ability to create complex specified information (CSI) as making a choice of one particular configuration from the space of all possible ones. However, introspectively, this is not what happens. When I write a paragraph or solve a problem or create a piece of music, I don’t find myself running through a near infinite list of possibilities and then choosing the one I prefer. Rather, the words or a solution or a melody simply show up in my awareness. This is the mysterious process of creativity.

    I’d say, Dembski is comparing to what a blind, chance and mechanical necessity based process would do.

    I like J Bartlett’s remark about an oracle machine that feeds insightful influences into the cybernetic subsystem. That enriches my onward discussion of the Smith model two-tier controller with a shared memory space, here in the main discussion linked from the OP above.

    KF

    PS: I think a powerful direct illustration of mind distinct from body is not so much near death as post death experience. Here, I very much have in mind the case of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth with 500+ unstoppable eyewitnesses. (It is easy to show, per Babbage’s point in the 9th Bridgewater thesis on how rapidly the likelihood of a large number of witnesses agreeing in a common error falls . . . exponentially, that 6 – 10 or so witnesses to even the most unusual phenomenon, suffices to overcome a Hume type objection. [Just think, 6 independent witnesses to a common event being in agreement in error, where each would be in error say 1 in 1,000 times . . . we are talking about recognising a friend and colleague here, and about knowing which of several events came 1st, 2nd, etc.])

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    R_Bill:

    Let me clip and comment point by point:

    >> If the computational states exhibited by brains don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams>>

    1 –> Not at all. There is no good evidence that raw rocks compute, which is long before we get to the issue of contemplation.

    2 –> So you are here again conflating computing with contemplation, and failing to see the difference.

    >> – at least not on the basis of computational states that are present in brains and absent in rocks.>>

    3 –> Who ever said that contemplation is to be accounted on the basis of computational states or substrates in brains but not rocks? That is, that the one emerges from the other and is founded on it?

    4 –> Instead, what was pointed out is that rocks are the material basis of computational substrates, but being raw or refined rocks or “dust” [stardust, literally] does not explain the FSCO/I exhibited in successful computational entities, that overcomes the GIGO challenge.

    5 –> Indeed, that FSCO/I is on our experience and analysis of config space island of function search challenges, invariably and morally certainly, the product of intelligent, insightful design.

    6 –> As, can be seen from even the text of posts here, where analysis on strings is WLOG as 3-D functional systems can be coded as strings, cf AutoCAD etc.

    >>Given that neither physical nor computational states account for contemplation, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream? >>

    7 –> On what evidence do you wish to suggest that raw rocks compute, much less contemplate? Why should we entertain such as a serious alternative?

    8 –> Going beyond, we do have direct experience of computing substrates in action, indeed in the linked from the OP I addressed Thomson ball-disk integrators [much more intuitive than the op amp based integrators I worked with waaay back when analogue computers were still in serious use], digital switch based processors [in an onward linked] and neural networks.

    9 –> In each case what we have is blind mechanical signal processing based on intelligently designed organisation that has to surmount the GIGO challenge and the FSCO/I search challenge that easily swamps the computational potential of our solar system or the observed cosmos beyond 500 – 1,000 bits.

    10 –> So, we have evidence in hand that is empirically and analytically grounded, that a different order of operation is at work in such designs. In effect, from our experience as designers, we have an oracular machine that easily transcends GIGO and computational limits of our observed cosmos.

    11 –> That is, we have here evidence of intelligent, insightful mind, and we directly know that our minds contemplate, they do not merely blindly compute.

    12 –> If raw rocks showed signs of designing, insightful, creative intelligence, we would respect that. Just as we respect the limited designing intelligence manifested in beavers etc.

    13 –> But, patently, beyond reasonable doubt, we don’t.

    14 –> And it is that difference that makes the use of rocks as raw materials a no problem act, but the abuse of people who exhibit “eternity in their hearts” is a matter of a different order entirely.

    15 –> which brings up a further matter. We do not put walls on trial for the crime of falling on victims, we put the designers and builders. Another very strong sign of a different order of being, a morally governed creature.

    KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Leibnitz, in Monadology 17:

    [P]erception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception.

    Compare that to the Thomson integrator, etc. KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Searle on the crucial difference between computation and contemplation, via the Chinese Room thought exercise:

    _____________

    >> Imagine that a person—me, for example—knows no Chinese and is locked in a room with boxes full of Chinese symbols and an instruction book written in English for manipulating the symbols. Unknown to me, the boxes are called “the database” and the instruction book is called “the program.” I am called “the computer.”

    People outside the room pass in bunches of Chinese symbols that, unknown to me, are questions. I look up in the instruction book what I am supposed to do and I give back answers in Chinese symbols.

    Suppose I get so good at shuffling the symbols and passing out the answers that my answers are indistinguishable from a native Chinese speaker’s. I give every indication of understanding the language despite the fact that I actually don’t understand a word of Chinese.

    And if I do not, neither does any digital computer, because no computer, qua computer, has anything I do not have. It has stocks of symbols, rules for manipulating symbols, a system that allows it to rapidly transition from zeros to ones, and the ability to process inputs and outputs. That is it. There is nothing else. >>
    _____________

    Note, SOMEONE very intelligent had to set up that algorithm and its physical instantiation.

    Someone who understood Chinese very well indeed.

    Thus, we see the self-moved, insightful contemplative mind lurking behind the facade of computation. We can reliably say that complex computation is a sign of design.

    And then observe the contrast between blind GIGO-limited computing and insightful, creative responsiveness.

    KF

  34. 34

    KF:

    On what evidence do you wish to suggest that raw rocks compute, much less contemplate? Why should we entertain such as a serious alternative?

    I don’t suggest that rocks compute, much less dream (contemplate, etc.; your language, which seems to be confusing Mung). Why would you think I do? I said above that I absolutely agree with you that rocks don’t dream.

    What I am stating that while I can base my belief that rocks don’t dream upon knowledge of their physical structure (which precludes, among other things, computation), you can’t.

    That’s because you deny that the physical structure of human beings (e.g. of their brains) account for the fact that human beings dream (contemplate, etc.). If human physical organization doesn’t account for human dreaming, then the absence of similar/analogous organization in rocks can’t be a basis for the claim that rocks don’t dream.

    So, I know the basis for my belief that rocks don’t dream. On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream, and that with the certainty of “principle?”

    I’m asking because it is a core claim of your OP.

  35. 35

    Should read, “What I am stating is that…”

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    Do kindly tell me, are you a conscious, enconscienced, contemplating minded human being, or are you the subject of this rebuke from J b S Haldane:

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

    If the latter, I need not take anything you say as any more serious than the sound the wind makes when it passes through the coconut trees outside my window.

    If the former, then that simply is not grounded in the material — on pain of self referential incoherence, and you need to attend carefully to the Searle thought exercise already cited.

    KF

  37. 37

    KF:

    Although you open with “Starting with the principle that rocks have no dreams,” you either won’t or can’t respond to my question:

    “On what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream, and that with the certainty of ‘principle?'”

    If the latter, I need not take anything you say as any more serious than the sound the wind makes when it passes through the coconut trees outside my window.

    I know you’d love to ignore my question on the basis of Haldane’s reasoning. But it only matters what you take to be the case for me, not what I take to be the case, when it comes to your decision to dismiss my question on that basis.

    Unfortunately, you’d then be in the position of dismissing your own beliefs as well, because you can’t reasonably doubt that, whatever I am, we are creatures of the same sort. You don’t want that result. So you are stuck with me as “a conscious, enconscienced, contemplating minded human being” because that is what you believe about me.

    So, on what basis do you claim that rocks don’t dream, and that with the certainty of “principle?”

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill: I have answered, more than answered. Take another look, please, without a priori materialist blinkers. As a cue, raw rocks can neither compute nor contemplate. Processed rocks or dust [stardust] which are correctly organised . . . invariably, by a designer . . . can compute, with onward links given. But computing, GIGO limited as it is, is an inherently blind mechanical process, as Leibnitz long ago highlighted and as I developed for Thomson integrators, digital processors in Silicon, and neural networks — also pointing out that appeals to emergence are appeals to poof magic. Rocks, raw or processed, do not account for contemplation; cf Searle’s Chinese Room for the difference, and beyond, Nagel on what it is like to be a bat, or what it is to be appeared to redly and beautifully, Chalmers’ the hard problem of consciousness, etc. Those are well known. Since we do know that we do contemplate, we must look elsewhere for its roots and capacity. The Smith model and the idea of an oracle machine begin to point us apropriately, towards bridging an explanatory gap unbridgeable by rocks. KF

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: This paper gives an idea of why the problem is hard and how it is so often skirted around by failing to up-front first and foremost face the fact that self-aware consciousness is experiential fact no 1 bfor each of us. Indeed, the fact through which we access the world of facts. (I suggest the onlooker scroll up to the OP and look at the chart with a rock and a brain in a vat. A rock has no dreams or beliefs and cannot be fooled to think it does — obvious, for many good reasons. But for us, we may be deluded as to what we are, but we cannot be deluded that we are self-aware, conscious, contemplative. Such is self-evident. The trick of objection to such is to either try to push the other on the rhetorical defensive or to try to dodge facing the absurdity or brazenly denying that absurdities are absurd, the better to cling to them.)

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Money clip:

    we do not come to have a concept of subjective experience because we have noticed that we have subjective experience. Rather the ability to notice that we have subjective experience is already to have the concept of it. This means that because we have inherited a folk-Cartesian concept that includes a doctrine of direct access, we will experience ourselves as confronting first person subjectivity as a brute fact, an explanandum, and thus the hard problem seems to be unavoidable. This is why a large majority of people think that something other than structure and function needs explaining: Because introspection tells them so. However, the Sellarsian view can account for this experience without asserting that we must know on the basis of introspection that we are conscious.

    Sellarsians claim that the existence of internal states is something we posit to explain certain facts about our life in the world. (for example, the fact that sometimes we hallucinate and have red-apple experiences when there are no red apples present., or that red apples look orange in yellow light.) Consequently, introspection does not directly reveal to us that we have mental states, rather introspection is only possible because we accept a theory that posits the existence of mental states that can be introspected. Those who have genuinely appropriated such a theory spontaneously make a distinction between inner events and outer events, and it thus seems to them that the inner events are directly given, and that the outer events are only inferred from those inner events. Professional epistemologists eventually refined this assumption into various sense datum theories. These eventually became so full of conceptual tangles that eventually Sellars had to come along and posit a new theory, which said that none of our experience is directly given, not even our experience of our own inner states.

    Really, now!

    Why do we have a “folk theory”?

    Could it just possibly be that we are indeed self-aware, and pejoratively tagging it with a half-ludicrous strawman label — one step away from folk-tale — will not make it go away? (Except of course among those intimidated by name-calling.)

    Let us relabel: people have a common-sense understanding that we are normally self aware and aware of a real external world. We even have a Glasgow Coma Scale to have an index of that.

    And, while we can be in deluded or dream states, that has not undermined that we are indeed contemplatively aware of the inner and the outer life.

  41. 41

    KF:

    I have answered, more than answered.

    I don’t think you have. You’ve offered reasons why you believe that the human capacity for dreaming and contemplation (etc.) can’t be accounted for in physical and/or computational terms. I haven’t asked you about that.

    What I have asked you is how you justify your belief that rocks don’t dream. I know how I justify it, but you don’t have access to that justification.

    As a cue, raw rocks can neither compute nor contemplate.

    Wihch parses to:

    Raw rocks can’t compute…

    Right. We know this because they don’t have the right physical structure and organization for computation. But I don’t see how this is relevant to your position vis rocks and dreams, as you state that the computational states of creatures that do (namely, human beings) fail to account for their subjective states (dreams, contemplation, etc). Therefore It can’t be the absence of computational states justifies your belief that rocks don’t dream, as it is your argument that even were they endowed with computational states comparable to those of human beings they would still be devoid of dreams.

    Raw rocks can’t contemplate…

    Which just restates your original assertion: rocks don’t dream – the very assertion I am asking you to justify.

    I know why I believe that: Upon inspecting rocks we find that they lack the right physical structure and organization necessary for contemplation. An exemplar of the right structure is the physical and organizational structure of human beings and their brains. Rocks have nothing resembling that organization.

    But that can’t be your reasoning: you state that humans, like rocks, lack the right physical structure and organization for contemplation. Even the computational characteristics of the human brain are insufficient.

    Therefore, it can’t be your reasoning that the physical and/or computational insufficiency of rocks justifies your belief that they are devoid of dreams. Then what does?

    As you have offered no other rationale, you have no basis for claiming your first principle: “rocks have no dreams.”

    I do.

    A rock has no dreams or beliefs and cannot be fooled to think it does — obvious, for many good reasons.

    What are they?

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill, this is taking on the air of if I deny there was a response, that skepticism prevails. I’ll be short. Rocks, raw, can neither compute — execute algorithms on signals — nor contemplate. Refined rock, organised by design, can compute. But computation itself is a blind mechanical, GIGO limited process. It exhibits no understanding or self awareness and the notion of such emerging from complex loops and data bases is little more than abracadabra. At the same time, we experience such consciousness, which points to a different order of existence . . . hence the hesitation in an era dominated by materialism. Ironically, as Haldane and many others have pointed out, that materialism is self-referentially incoherent and so should not unduly detain us. KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Put a rock in your backyard through the Glasgow Coma Scale test and see where that gets you.

  44. 44

    KF:

    I’ll be short. Rocks, raw, can neither compute — execute algorithms on signals — nor contemplate.

    Which is exactly the assertion I’ve asked you to justify. But again you fail to do so: instead, you move on to the computational abilities of refined rock and the claimed limitations of those computational abilities vis contemplation and dreams.

    None of which is remotely responsive to my question. So it goes.

    It can’t be your reasoning that the physical and/or computational insufficiency of rocks justifies your belief that they are devoid of dreams – that reasoning isn’t available to you, as argued above. You haven’t stated otherwise.

    Then what does?

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    Strawman.

    You snipped out of context where I drew out step by step, and skipped over the challenge I gave — the Glasgow Coma test.

    The manifest truth is that raw rocks are passive entities moved by blind chance and the mechanical necessity of physics and chemistry. They show no centre of volitional or even internally programmed algorithmic control, much less creative intelligent behaviour.

    When we shape rocks or process them, we may compose computational entities such as a Thomson integrator or a Si- etc based analogue or digital computer, or even a neural network gate array processor, but neither the rock nor dust we use show capability in themselves to be originating sources of the requisite functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I. Unlike beavers, they manifest no designs, not even those of limited scope.

    Nor do blind chance and mechanical necessity acting on them on the gamut of our observed cosmos. Moreover, when we examine computation in action, we observe that it is GIGO limited, a blind mechanical process that is in itself utterly unintelligent.

    The PC I am using will mechanically transfer symbol strings (using well debugged hard and soft ware), but it cannot compose this post. It is I — a self-moved, contemplative creative intelligence irreducible to a programmed machine and/or blind chance as source of diversity — who am causing that text to be composed, step by step.

    And yes, I am pointing out a broader, deeper pattern linked to the design inference you and others have strenuously objected to for years . . . it allows us to recognise self-moved creative, designing, intelligent behaviour on observable, tested, reliable signs; and, to distinguish it from programming manifested in computational signal processing and passive interaction under blind chance and mechanical necessity. A fresh paradigm opens up ways of seeing that an old one locks out.

    Actually, re-opens.

    Plato, long ago had somewhat to say of the self-moved and what that points to.

    We have no good reason to hold that a raw rock has in it anything more than the observed mechanical passivity, and every good reason to distinguish blindly mechanical computation from intelligent, complex behaviour requiring creative and purposeful insight.

    Aristotle, long ago, was dead on target in defining nothing as what rocks dream of. This is the context in which it is predictable that the kind of complex creativity that manifests in designs showing FSCO/I will continue to be a reliable sign of intelligence with capability to contemplate and genuinely understand, per Searle’s Chinese Room vs a genuinely understanding speaker of Chinese.

    I further suggest that the idea of an oracle machine beyond a Turing entity, and that of the Smith two-tier cybernetic controller in the linked from the OP and beyond, point to positive ways forward. Nothing is what rocks dream of and nothing — non-being — can have no causal powers.

    But a dreaming oracle that uses small, despised things and things that as yet have no external reality, but which it sees can be made, that is a different story.

    Yes, things that are not, but can be, by the power of designing insightful contemplation and linked action, can be and can nullify what is. And yes, the echo of Paul, c. 55 AD as he describes God’s astonishing toolkit in 1 Cor 1:17 ff, is intended.

    KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Glasgow Coma Scale — try it on a rock statue in your backyard or a natural — that’s a giveaway — rock. If you try it on a dead human being, you will see the difference between dust left behind, and that active, creative, self-moved intelligence we term life. (And yes, the scale infers to active conscious intelligence from activity that reliably flows from it. It is a case of the design inference at routine work — acipenser, if you are lurking, we still have that point to settle . . . )

  47. 47
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @Reciprocating Bill:
    Rocks don’t have brains or equivalent processing components necessary (but not sufficient) for dreaming. Therefore they are in principle not able to dream.

  48. 48
    Roy says:

    So, now, what do you say, why?

    I say: is that Haldane quote actually from Haldane?

    Roy

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    Roy, yes; and note too the onward discussion of this famous remark in say C S Lewis (and IIRC, Wikipedia mentions it too in discussing Haldane, quite a colourful figure). And even if it were not a word for word, comma for comma accurate citation of what Haldane said, the wider argument thus captured in a nutshell is still quite valid. Evolutionary materialism is irretrievably self referentially incoherent and self-refuting — as Crick’s notorious remark of 1994 on the astonishing hypothesis confirms in our time. (I only cited Haldane as a short sharp well known summary; I suggest to you that you address that substance.) KF

    PS: On a check back it seems Google Books is now far more restrictive on that page than it was only a few years ago . . . maybe I now need to make a screen scan photo and add it to my vaults now, when I pick up a quote like that!

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: I am not even convinced that a brain is necessary for dreaming. What I am convinced of, is that rocks or dust, whether in raw or refined and organised forms, are passive entities that interact by blind chance and mechanical necessity. At most, with input organisation and information, that can account for GIGO-limited computation. That does not even begin to come close to creative, intelligent, self-moved contemplation . . . “dreams.” And as the Glasgow Coma test shows, creative, contemplative, insightful consciousness shows itself by active and evidently intelligent interaction with the world. Rocks — as R-Bill full well knows, are entirely passive. He is simply trying to burden-shift, effectively demanding a default materialism. That is part of why I am answering him the way I am, by going from passivity to computation to contemplation and showing that the line between blind and insightful comes AFTER computation is addressed. And, too, that is why I took time to take the mystique out of computational technologies, above and in the onward linked (used in part as I doubt the vid of a mechanical integrator can be embedded here at UD). KF

  51. 51
    Bruce David says:

    KF, re. #30:

    I like J Bartlett’s remark about an oracle machine that feeds insightful influences into the cybernetic subsystem. That enriches my onward discussion of the Smith model two-tier controller with a shared memory space, here in the main discussion linked from the OP above.

    Personally, I think that the cybernetic metaphor is misleading, because we are talking about mind here, and mind is not a machine. I believe the truth is that our minds participate in and are part of the Universal Mind (there is only One Being) and that we are made in It’s “image and likeness”. Thus, our creativity is a gift, so to speak, from the creativity of God and ultimately flows from Him through us.

    PS: I think a powerful direct illustration of mind distinct from body is not so much near death as post death experience. Here, I very much have in mind the case of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth with 500+ unstoppable eyewitnesses. (It is easy to show, per Babbage’s point in the 9th Bridgewater thesis on how rapidly the likelihood of a large number of witnesses agreeing in a common error falls . . . exponentially, that 6 – 10 or so witnesses to even the most unusual phenomenon, suffices to overcome a Hume type objection.

    The appearance after death of someone to people who were close to them while alive is not nearly so rare as you imagine. It happens frequently. Often the vision includes the ability to converse with the deceased person, and occasionally even includes the ability to touch, as though the deceased person were actually present in his or her physical body. Also, these visitations are frequently experienced by several people at the same time, so if one wishes to dismiss them as mere hallucinations, they would have to be collective ones. Furthermore, if you decide that all these visitations are in fact only hallucinations, then how do you justify not coming to the same conclusion regarding Jesus’ resurrection?

  52. 52

    KF, I may not be able to get back to this discussion today. I’ll check in when I can.

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    I may not be able to get back to this discussion today.

    What discussion? You just keep repeating yourself.

    kf doesn’t believe that rocks dream, or even compute. Neither do you. So why not grant the premise and move on?

  54. 54
    Mung says:

    …natural rock is heterogeneous at all scales…
    Relevance of computational rock physics (pdf)

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    BD:

    1: The Smith Model addresses the cybernetic loop and raises the point of what a two-tier controller would point to.

    2: An oracular machine is in effect a hybrid. It allows us to understand how embodiment with a computational cybernetic loop can transcend the Turing and computational processing limits.

    3: I won’t debate pantheism or the like, as it is irrelevant to the issue at stake. yes it is a possible design oriented view, as is the related simulation view.

    4: On the resurrection it was not merely apparitions, but eating suppers together, having physical inspection of fearful but now powerless wounds, and even making a breakfast by a lakeside.

    Gotta rush off in a few minutes.

    KF

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, yes rocks show a random or partly random distribution of minerals and layers etc. Very complex but as a rule not functionally specific. Gotta run. KF

  57. 57
    Bruce David says:

    KF, re. #55:

    4: On the resurrection it was not merely apparitions, but eating suppers together, having physical inspection of fearful but now powerless wounds, and even making a breakfast by a lakeside.

    These sorts of things have happened with other people as well. Raymond Moody in Reunion gives us the following account of a woman who had a vision of her late grandfather in the mirror:

    I was so happy to see him that I began to cry. Through the tears I could still see him in the mirror. Then he seemed to get closer and he must have come out of the mirror because the next thing I knew he was holding me and hugging me. It felt like he said something like, “It’s okay, don’t cry.”

    For another example, after his death, Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda’s teacher came to him in a fully physical body which Yogananda verified by touching and held a conversation with him.

    Jesus didn’t come to save us from our sins. He came to show us by his example who and what we really are. We are every one of us a son or daughter of God, made in His image and likeness.

  58. 58
    Mapou says:

    Bruce David:

    Personally, I think that the cybernetic metaphor is misleading, because we are talking about mind here, and mind is not a machine. I believe the truth is that our minds participate in and are part of the Universal Mind (there is only One Being) and that we are made in It’s “image and likeness”. Thus, our creativity is a gift, so to speak, from the creativity of God and ultimately flows from Him through us.

    I have to disagree with this. God (or anybody else) can only create physical matter. While matter can be created, destroyed and/or modified, spiritual entities are eternal and unchanging. Thus the mind is necessarily half machine, half spirit.

    Your spirit is your own. It is your unique identity. God did not give it to you or create it for you. He only gave you a body where your spirit can reside.

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David claims:

    “Sri Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda’s teacher came to him in a fully physical body which Yogananda verified by touching and held a conversation with him.”

    yet:

    The highlight of our pilgrimage is Sri Yukteswar’s hermitage, where he left his body 1936.
    http://www.anandapilgrimages.o.....x-roi.html

    Funny that his burial place is now a place of reverence if he took his body with him when he died as Bruce claimed?!?

    and As I’ve heard said by many preachers before, You can go to the graves of all the other founders of all the other major religions of the world and find the remains of a body, yet, as the Shroud stubbornly testifies despite many attempts to refute the shroud’s authenticity, if you go to the tomb of Jesus you will not find the remains of a body for He has risen.

    Matthew 28:5-6
    The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

    Burial places of founders of world religions
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B....._religions

    Moreover, as Bruce David well knows, the Near Death Experiences of non-Judeo-Christian cultures are horrendous:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-361697

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

  60. 60
    bornagain77 says:

    The Exclusivity of Jesus – video
    http://www.watermark.org/media.....play=video

    General Relativity, Special Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

  61. 61
    Bruce David says:

    BA77, re. #59

    Funny that his burial place is now a place of reverence if he took his body with him when he died as Bruce claimed?!?

    I made no such claim. My assertion is that Sri Yukteswar came to Yogananda in a fully physical body. Whether it was in fact his original body or one that replicated the original I do not know. I don’t believe that anyone has dug up his grave to find out. Nor do I see much significance in whether or not a particular individual revivifies his original body or creates another one for such return visits. The act is miraculous by ordinary standards in either case.

  62. 62
    Bruce David says:

    BA77, re. #59:

    Moreover, as Bruce David well knows, the Near Death Experiences of non-Judeo-Christian cultures are horrendous:

    And as you well know, the most obvious explanation for this is that people in certain eastern cultures believe strongly in a kind of purgatory from which there is no escape, which colors their NDEs. In our culture, however, people either do not believe in Hell or they believe that their Christianity will save them from it, so their NDEs are not so affected.

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    translation

    overcoming physical death, overcoming physical smeath,, no problem,,, miracles are miracles, whether I blink my eye or Jesus rose from the dead, its all the same.

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, take your chances with your hybrid religion if you want, I clinging to the one who defeated death, i.e. Jesus:

    General Relativity, Special Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

  65. 65
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    JWT: I am not even convinced that a brain is necessary for dreaming

    Hi, I start from the principles
    – I am an intelligent designer,
    – I am ingelligently designed machinery,
    – one needs brains (or equivalent technology) to do stuff, and
    – it’s an observed fact, that rocks don’t have brains.

  66. 66
    Bruce David says:

    BA77 re. #64:

    Bruce David, take your chances with your hybrid religion if you want, I clinging to the one who defeated death, i.e. Jesus:

    There’s nothing to defeat. Death is merely a transition from one state of being to another. As Seth remarked so pithily (Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts), “You’re as dead now as you’ll ever be.”

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    New Age Movement
    Channeling the Spirits
    Excerpt: Psychologist Jane Roberts, back in the 1960’s, first met a Spirit who identified himself as Seth, when she started experimenting with an Ouija Board. An Ouija Board is a mechanism that is used to contact the Spirit World and upon it there are letters with which the Spirits can spell out messages. The Board also has the words Yes and No upon it. If you will recall, J.Z. Knight first had her meeting with the Spirit “Ramtha” after fooling around with Occult Pyramids. Being in any way connected with occultic practices leaves one vulnerable to demonic forces, and can become extremely dangerous!

    Miss Roberts was thereafter able to discard her Ouija Board and speak on her own for the Spirit ‘Seth’, who from then on seemed to possess her.
    http://www.religiouscounterfei.....pirits.htm

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David claims in regards to Jesus defeating death:

    “There’s nothing to defeat. Death is merely a transition from one state of being to another.”

    Well contrary to David’s druthers to write death off as merely an illusion that needs to be overcome, the physical death that Jesus overcame was very real, and very costly, indeed:

    Detailed Forensic Evidence of The Shroud – video
    Excerpt: “it is definitely an anatomically and forensically correct depiction of a victim of a Roman crucifixion.”
    http://www.shroud-enigma.com/w.....ology.html

    Forensic evidence of the Shroud of Turin – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5QEsaNiMVc

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words ‘The Lamb’ – short video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=J21MECNU

    Solid Oval Object Under The Beard
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/s.....-the-beard

    Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic, Italian Study Suggests – December 2011
    Excerpt: Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren’t available 2,000 years ago — nor during the medieval times, for that matter.,,, Since the shroud and “all its facets” still cannot be replicated using today’s top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period.
    http://www.thegopnet.com/shrou.....ests-87037

    New Evidence Overturns Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating – Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford – video
    (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    As to the primary physical cause of physical death:

    John Sanford on (Genetic Entropy) – Down, Not Up – 2-4-2012 (at Loma Linda University) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....L0#t=1040s

    Notes from John Sanford’s preceding video:
    *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.

    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

    This following video brings the point personally home to us about the effects of genetic entropy:

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

  69. 69
    bornagain77 says:

    And if we trace the primary source in the universe for this entropy which is the primary source of physical death we find:

    Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010
    Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated.
    http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe

    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?
    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized, whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of the ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion!

    Moreover, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/19tGkwrdg6cu5mH-RmlKxHv5KPMOL49qEU8MLGL6ojHU/edit

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Verse:

    Matthew 28:18
    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

    Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”
    Kevin Moran – optical engineer

    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

    Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics and special relativity(QED), with Gravity,

    A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: there’s a large contingent of physicists who believe that string theory is the heroin of theoretical physics. It has absorbed not just millions of dollars, but hundreds if not thousands of grad student lifetimes without delivering what it promised–a unified theory of the universe and life. It is hard, in fact, to find a single contribution from string theory despite 25 years of intense effort by thousands of the very brightest and best minds our society can find.
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/bohemian-gravity/

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    I consider the preceding ‘quantum’ nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:

    John 8:23-24
    But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.

    G.O.S.P.E.L. – (the grace of propitiation) – poetry slam – video
    https://vimeo.com/20960385

    Matthew 10:28
    “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Of note:

    Biblical Definition of Death as separation
    1. Physical Death
    The separation of the body and soul
    2. Spiritual Death
    The separation of the man from God
    3. Second Death
    Hell as the second spiritual separation from God
    http://www.bible.ca/d-death=separation.htm

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:15-22
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

    Mercy (Live From LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQv1mHxc_0

  71. 71
    Bruce David says:

    BA77, re. #68:

    Don’t confuse Who You Really Are with your body. Physical bodies are simply structures that we choose to occupy and work within from time to time for the purpose of spiritual growth.

    re. #s 65–70:

    Well, the shroud of Turin is certainly an interesting phenomenon. At most what it shows, however, is that Jesus was quite an advanced soul (one of many advanced souls who have lived and taught throughout the ages). There have been other after death miracles related to advanced souls. For example, Yogananda’s body showed no evidence of decay for 17 days after his death at which point it was buried.

    Also, quoting scripture to me is basically wasted. I regard the Bible, particularly with regard to the accuracy of the reported words of Jesus, as very unreliable for many reasons, including the massive number of contradictions among the gospels, the length of time that elapsed between the life of Jesus and the time the gospels were written, the fact that the gospels were written in highly literate Greek whereas Jesus’ eyewitnesses were almost certainly illiterate speakers of Aramaic, and the fact that we don’t know who wrote them nor how committed those authors were to historical accuracy.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “I regard the Bible, particularly with regard to the accuracy of the reported words of Jesus, as very unreliable for many reasons”

    says the man who believes what a spirit named Seth says when talking thru a woman, when she started experimenting with an Ouija Board.,,

    Yep no bias there,,, believe what you want Mr. David, it is clear you have quite a different way of looking at the evidence than I do.

  73. 73
    Jaceli123 says:

    Hey its been a long time since I’ve been online here but how can there be a mind and decision making processes when time creates constant copies of yourself and other people? How can we talk to people freely when they are actually just a copy not the real thing?

  74. 74
    Bruce David says:

    BA77 re. #72:

    Seth’s words were recorded exactly as he spoke them by Jane’s husband. My point is that I really have no confidence that anyone knows what Jesus actually said. Nor, by the way, do I give much credence to passages in the Bible attributed to anyone other than Jesus.

    The difference between us, BA, is that you regard the Bible as the word of God, whereas I regard it as a very imperfect record of the life of someone who might have been a very advanced soul, coupled with stories about the lives of some of those who followed him.

  75. 75
    StephenA says:

    Hey its been a long time since I’ve been online here but how can there be a mind and decision making processes when time creates constant copies of yourself and other people? How can we talk to people freely when they are actually just a copy not the real thing?

    I’m not entirely sure why you say time creates constant copies. It is something that I believe is implied if you hold to strict materialism, but most materialists don’t seem to believe it. You may want to explain why materialists should believe this, since most don’t seem to have thought it through.

    I’m not a materialist however, and I believe that souls are eternal and immutable. Our bodies may be ‘copied’ from moment to moment, but our souls remain the same entity to the end of time and beyond.

  76. 76
    Jaceli123 says:

    ok thanks @StephenA also what is Platonism and what does it imply for views of Space, Time and the Mind. I’ve looked and researched but I do not really understand.

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    Oh goody, Seth’s words were recorded exactly as they were spoken by a woman who made contact with the spirit named Seth when she started experimenting with an Ouija Board,,,

    Color me unimpressed,,, severely so!

    Let’s see I can do you one better and show you an actual video recording of a woman channeling the ‘master teacher’ Ramtha:

    Ramtha – Be Your Own Savior
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnSZZafpf1c

    Interesting, watching the video recording makes it even more stupid than it sounded to me when I read about it.

    Yep, believe what you want Mr. David, but I’m certainly not going off that cliff with ya! 🙂

  78. 78
    Bruce David says:

    BA 77 re. 77:

    You regard a document that has come down to us from 2000 years ago as the word of God, a document whose accuracy I regard as highly dubious, for reasons already stated (#74), among others.

    I accept that the the entity who calls himself Seth lived many lives on Earth and was able to communicate to us through the woman Jane Roberts, based on the quality of the material transmitted, and the degree to which it resonates with my own inner sense of what is true. I also accept that Neale Donald Walsch was able to transmit direct revelation from God, as recorded in Conversations with God for similar reasons.

    Each of us must sift through the myriad competing claimants of truth and decide for ourself which to accept and which to reject. There is no other option.

    You and I have come to different conclusions in the matter. So be it.

    You do realize that derision and disdain do not qualify as valid arguments, right?

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    What part of

    “believe what you want Mr. David, but I’m certainly not going off that cliff with ya! 🙂 ”

    did you not understand?

  80. 80
    Bruce David says:

    BA77:

    I understood you perfectly. The purpose of my comment was to point out that where one person perceives a cliff, another experiences a launching pad into the infinite.

  81. 81
    Graham2 says:

    KF: We all agree rocks cant dream, compute etc, but you whole shtick is that we have something outside ourselves (mind/soul etc etc) that we cant see/detect that is doing the dreaming/computing for us.

    So, if we cant detect this in the case of humans (but you seem confident exists) why cant rocks have a mind/soul/whatever ?

  82. 82
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Bruce David ,IMF you dnt have much confidence in believing what Jeus said in the bible is what Jesus really said ,then heck, lets throw out all of ancient history because they have a super poor historicity then the New Testament .

    While we are at it lets through out the words of the students of the apostles starting with Clemente of Rome (80 to 90 ad) ignatius of Antioch who called. Jesus God in 110 ad and polycarp in about the same time period who were all amazingly consistent with what the New Testament .

    While we are at a it let through out the Didache which is also from that time period. Only someone from the lunatic fringe in contemporary New Testament history thinks as you do.

    While we are at it we can also discuss the shroud of turin which I a have researched for 5+ years now. Maybe you can shine in with your opinion on that relic which fits hand in glove with the gospels description of the passion and crucifixion of Christ.

    Indontbknow which history yoir readimg but the more I read the more confident I became in the reliability if the New Testament .

    While your at it you can also read any book on sir William Ramsey who thought exactly like you (a Christian liberal theology archeologist) who went to the holy lands to prove that the New Testament writings came 200 years after. Christ and were therefor unreliable , but came back from his dig more convinced of the relability of the New Testament’s historicity and also came away with a deep respect for the gospel writer Luke who he called a historian of unparalleled equal .

    I’m available by email anytime younwantbto discuss the shroud of turin but it seems like most atheists are deftly afraid to discuss it. I’m running out of atheists to debate it with lol. 18 tried from one forum and 18 have come away very insecure of their atheism 🙂

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    G2:

    Where did you get the notion from that mindedness is OUTSIDE ourselves, apart from implicit a priori materialism?

    Which, runs straight into the Haldane challenge and its extensions.

    You are also failing to address the discussion already had in which it was pointed out step by step that in considering a rock, we find only passive behaviour under blind stochastic and mechanical/chemical forces . . . you forget the scientific principle of organised observation and description as prior to and controlling of hypothesising and testing on inference to best explanation.

    Show us a raw rock or rock-statue that passes the Glasgow Coma test or the reasonable equivalent (including contextually aware reasonable response in language that goes beyond obvious canned responses) and we will accept that rock as a physical manifestation of mind at work.

    Raw rocks don’t pass that test.

    That monumental failure is on record as far back as the Israelite Prophets ridiculing idolatry.

    Refining and re-organising, we get to computation, which further turns out to be blind also and GIGO limited. That is what the OP and its partner post where I can freely embed a vid, comes in.

    Whether we look at a Thomson mechanical integrator (in response to Leibnitz’s analogy of the mill), or a digital computer — note the onward link to a discussion of exactly how a typical digital computer works — or an array of neural “gates,” we find ourselves staring at the GIGO limit. All these devices and networks are simply mechanically processing signals based on functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I], and are sensitive to signal/information quality, specific correctness of organisation, underlying models/algorithms embedded in design and software, etc etc.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    (Though these days we are too often fooled into thinking garbage in, gospel out.)

    As FSCO/I based entities, the existence of such, in a world of beyond astronomical config spaces [try deducing the number of configs for just 1,000 bits of info, noting that a 3-d blueprint is reducible to coded strings per AutoCAD etc] points to the only known vera causa plausible source, design.

    That’s already an oracle involved: the designer.

    And, if you imagine that config spaces like that with GIGO-driven islands of function like that can be successfully traversed on the gamut of our observable cosmos by blind chance and mechanical necessity, do the search scope to config space comparison and think again.

    Next, observe our own capacities to reason, intuit, understand, have insight, know, create and purpose as well as decide and act. Contrast Haldane’s point, as can be expanded. Blind chance and mechanical necessity simply do not credibly account for that, nor does GIGO limited processing.

    Yes, the brain-body system is a MIMO, memory using cybernetic loop as Derek Smith models usefully.

    But that is a GIGO limited computational system.

    The OBSERVED capacities go well beyond what such can do, just notice how easily we output essentially unlimited quantities of FSCO/I verbally and by what we do with our hands and extensions through machines and tools. Through keyboards we even talk with our hands. With pencils and paper etc, we visualise with our hands. Or, in the case of Joni Eareckson-Tada, her mouth.

    We routinely go well beyond the limits of blind chance and necessity and GIGO-limited computation.

    We reason, warrant, know, intuit, have insight, create, diagnose and debug, develop, strategise, purpose, judge, transform, and more. All of this points to an oracle that supervises the loop and carries it beyond mechanical blind signal processing based computation.

    We have a semantic, semiotic, self-aware oracle within that understands and acts on meanings. And that is in fact the first fact we know about ourselves — we are self-aware, self-moved minded entities.

    And, mindedness vastly transcends the mechanical world we find ourselves embodied in with a fine granularity that transcends the credible limits of computational simulations.

    (Fineness of resolution, as anyone who has done visual manipulation of images knows, rapidly chokes processing power. The “processors” are in a vast distributed network programmed by laws of nature — we are in a world of atoms, molecules etc. The 3-D nature means that a doubling of fine-scale multiplies complexity eightfold. The relevant basic scale is of order 10^-15 m, and 10^-44s as time-tick. Mind-bogglingly complex.)

    So, we find ourselves as minded, and indeed if we try to reduce mind to computational, mechanical/ chemical/ electrical mechanism, GIGO cuts in and leads straight to self-referential incoherence.

    Evolutionary materialism is patently self-refuting.

    The real issue is, what is mind, and how does it interface with the brain-body cybernetic loop.

    And that in turn points to the fine tuning evidence that indicates that mind is prior to and creative of physical cosmos.

    Thence, we may wish to ponder possibilities for quantum level influence as mechanisms for interface between the world of minds — yes, plural — and that of MIMO loops based on material substrates.

    Welcome to C21.

    KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    WS: Get a keyboard for that tablet! (The glass keyboard is a toy.) KF

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: For those pondering the malevolent supernatural, all I will say is that I have personally and in company of dozens, seen that in action in violation of known physics; and I mean basic reliable laws. Things I used to laugh at when as a kid I saw on cartoon Saturdays, I no longer find so funny . . . I begin to wonder about just what lies behind some of those cartoons. I cannot deny what I have indisputably seen under circumstances that make convergent mass hallucination from multiple perspectives by people of diverse backgrounds etc essentially a non-starter, and have had to deal with and process those facts. I think we had better begin to think about a world of oracles that can interface with MIMO cybernetic entities, sometimes in very strange ways. Whether or no this sits comfortably with a nice mid-C20 smugly “scientific” mindset.

  86. 86
    Mapou says:

    kairosfocus @85,

    Strange post. Please clarify.

  87. 87
    Robert Byers says:

    Kairofocus
    yes i agree our memory is only a tool for our true thinking self. Our soul.
    Yet we are so meshed to our memory that only death allows us to think freely with our soul.
    We are trapped by our memory in almost every way.
    in fact I believe jesus was likewise trapped by a human memory and this is why he had to grow in wisdom as a boy. otherwise gOd would not have to grow in wisdom at all much less pick it up here.
    i am confident the memory is the greatest think in our brain and in fact our brain might just be a big memory machine. So our mind is just a memory machine.
    This is why there is such error about machines being intelligent.
    They are only memory operations. anything they mimic of man is proof its just memory with us.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou, that is one I don’t wish to detail. All I will say is that I have recently witnessed the malevolent supernatural in action in ways beyond the reach of physical law, held down to a limit by the Benevolent Supernatural, in the context of rescue of a victim. Along with dozens of others, literally. Here, there be dragons, and I do not mean in the sense of ignorance. KF

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, memory is important but there is a LOT more than memory going on there. I think we have to start thinking of the neuron as a complex, sophisticated information processing gate with analogue and digital aspects. Weightings of couplings, networks of coupled elements and feedback loops are all important, I think. Cf the 101 level intro chart in the OP. KF

  90. 90
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    in violation of known physics; and I mean basic reliable laws.

    Meaning they are not that reliable after all. No wonder, these are physical laws, WE, ignorant beings, formulate. How much do our laws represent the actual physical laws established by God? No one knows…

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT, Thanks for a thought. Gravity (as an example) is not invented by us — more recognised as a mechanical pattern with well known effects, nor is it unreliable. But, circumstances may obtain that overcome its effects. And, as one who is alive today because of miracles, I would be the last to suggest that laws of nature are exception-less; once a relevant factor is acting. And while I would be first to accept that our picture of laws of nature is incomplete and open-ended, gravity is an example of something that is not particularly likely to be revised at the level of heavy unsupported things near earth’s surface tending to fall at 9.8 N/kg and needing a similar level of support not to fall. KF

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    BD further to:

    “where one person perceives a cliff, another experiences a launching pad into the infinite.”

    Watch that first step buddy 🙂

    I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing
    I’m learning to fly around the clouds
    But what goes up must come down

    Tom Petty – Learning To Fly
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5BJXwNeKsQ

  93. 93
    Joe says:

    RB:

    If the physical states exhibited by brains, but absent in rocks, don’t account for human dreams (contemplation, etc.) then you’ve no basis for claiming rocks are devoid of dreams – at least not on the basis of the physical states present in brains and absent in rocks.

    The physical states exhibited by our brains are necessary but not sufficient to account for human dreams.

    Rocks don’t even have the necessary part.

  94. 94
    Bruce David says:

    BA77, re. #92:

    Don’t worry about it. The cliff exists solely in your imagination.

  95. 95
    Bruce David says:

    wallstreeter43, re. #82:

    Bruce David ,IMF you dnt have much confidence in believing what Jeus said in the bible is what Jesus really said ,then heck, lets throw out all of ancient history because they have a super poor historicity then the New Testament .

    First of all, I’m not sure it’s true that other elements of ancient history are poorer than the New Testament. It’s true that the sources tend to be sparser and more removed in time from the events they record, but on the other hand, their authors were primarily historians whose agenda was presumably an unbiased reporting of what actually happened, to the best of their ability. We can make no such assumption on the part of the gospel writers. We don’t know who they were, and their agenda almost certainly included inspiring the faithful and converting the unbelievers. We have no way of knowing to what extent that agenda influenced their commitment to historical accuracy. Likewise, we don’t know how committed the gospel writers’ own sources were to historical accuracy, either.

    Secondly, I personally have a rather higher standard for the truth of the spiritual information by which I will live my life than I do for the truth of what happened historically in ancient times. Having an imperfect record of the history of those times is better than no record at all, and if it is incorrect in some or even many of the details, well, so what? On the other hand, if I am going to attempt to live my life according to the teachings of a spiritual master, then I want to know that I have available to me an accurate version of what those teachings are or were, and frankly, I have no confidence at all that we know what Jesus actually said during his ministry.

    As for the shroud of Turin, see my comments in #71, second paragraph.

  96. 96
    bornagain77 says:

    the claim:

    “The cliff exists solely in your imagination”

    Yet the wings that you imagine that you have are what is imaginary and the ‘infinite’ cliff awaiting after death is what is very real:

    Space-Time of a Black hole – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8

    NASA’s Black-Hole-Hunter Catches Its First 10 Supermassive Black Holes – Sep. 9, 2013 —
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....154918.htm

    Birth of a black hole captured – November 22, 2013
    Excerpt: An artist’s conception of the processes by which a star collapses and becomes a black hole, releasing high-energy gamma rays and X-rays, as well as visible light, in the process. An armada of instruments detected the brightest recorded event of this type occurring on April 27, 2013. Los Alamos National Laboratory’s RAPTOR (RAPid Telescopes for Optical Response) system saw the visual flash as it occurred in the constellation Leo and lingered for more than two minutes.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-captured/

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Scientists gear up to take a picture of a black hole – January 2012
    Excerpt: “Swirling around the black hole like water circling the drain in a bathtub, the matter compresses and the resulting friction turns it into plasma heated to a billion degrees or more, causing it to ‘glow’ – and radiate energy that we can detect here on Earth.”
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....-hole.html

    A man, at the 7:00 minute mark of this video, gives testimony of falling down a ‘tunnel’ in the transition stage from this world to hell:

    Hell – A Warning! – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HSgH2AHkfkw&list=PLCB5F225ABC1F7330#t=420

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    “I personally have a rather higher standard for the truth of the spiritual information by which I will live my life”

    Not by me you don’t! In my opinion you have a greater propensity, via Ouija boards and channeling charlatans, to delude yourself into believing whatever you want to be true rather beforehand than following the evidence where it leads.

    i.e. “believe what you want Mr. David, but I’m certainly not going off that cliff with ya! 🙂 ”

    I’ve said my piece so, after you try to justify your insanity once more, I will not respond anymore.

  98. 98
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @kf:

    JWT, Thanks for a thought. Gravity (as an example) is not invented by us — more recognised as a mechanical pattern with well known effects, nor is it unreliable.

    “Our” gravity is modeled after one of God’s laws. There’s no requirement for a good model to model every aspect of the real object.
    You say it is not unreliable, yet let’s say I experience a case where gravity seems to be suspended: Does it mean our model of God’s law is incomplete (–> then the model IS unreliable for that particular case, which makes it still reliable for all the other cases) or maybe there’s an interference with another law (whatever that means) or that God’s law has been suspended? No one knows… The scientist in my brains says: let’s find out!

    I would be the last to suggest that laws of nature are exception-less;

    Obviously I would be the last one 😉

  99. 99
    Bruce David says:

    BA77 re. #97:

    “I personally have a rather higher standard for the truth of the spiritual information by which I will live my life”

    Not by me you don’t! In my opinion you have a greater propensity, via Ouija boards and channeling charlatans, to delude yourself into believing whatever you want to be true rather beforehand than following the evidence where it leads.

    BA, your arrogance is matched in my experience by only one other group of people, and that is a particular subset of atheists. You both are so certain not only that you are right, but also that no intelligent, objective person in possession of the evidence could arrive at any other conclusion than your own. Thus, since neither of you is willing to entertain the possibility that I have seriously contemplated the evidence and simply arrived at different conclusions than you have, you both make up stories regarding the psychological reasons that I reject the obvious truth that each of you endorses.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but in this case it’s basically worthless. You really have no clue regarding what motivates my spiritual seeking nor the reasons that I hold the beliefs that I do.

    Your assertion that you understand the psychology behind the path of my spiritual journey is the height of arrogance. It does you no credit.

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    JWT: The observation that heavy and unsupported objects near earth tend to fall at 9.8 N/kg is a common observation, and a reliable one we base ever so much of what we do on. E.g. we don’t usually build the roof of a building first. That is my context. And BTW, C S Lewis aptly pointed out that to stand out as signs pointing beyond the ordinary course of nature, miracles require that there be such an order. So does moral responsibility . . . consequences of our actions need to be reasonably intelligible and predictable. KF

  101. 101

    KF:

    You … skipped over the challenge I gave — the Glasgow Coma test.

    The first words I uttered on this thread were that I “absolutely agree” that rocks have no dreams (contemplation, consciousness, etc.). Why you think that rock-unresponsiveness to the Glasgow would be a problem for me, I can’t fathom.

    Further, if you administer the Glasgow to the conscious vat-bound brain in your illustration above (go ahead, they’re up there together in your OP), you’ll obtain the same result as from a rock. No less than rocks, brains in vats have no eyes, don’t verbalize and don’t engage in motor movements in response to painful stimulation, either. Where does that leave your challenge?

    Most important: What your citation of the Glasgow does show is that you don’t understand my question, as apparently you conclude from it that I am advocating that rocks dream (contemplate, etc.). That’s the only interpretation that comports with your notion that the absence of rock responses to the Glasgow would be a “challenge” for me. If you can suggest another, please do. Otherwise, you should withdraw the Glasgow challenge post-haste.

    That is part of why I am answering him the way I am…

    Specifically, by not answering.

    I am not even convinced that a brain is necessary for dreaming.

    Thank you for that.

    Given that you are willing to entertain the notion that brains are not necessary for dreaming (contemplation, subjectivity, etc.), what DO you think is necessary? Are bodies necessary at all?

    If dreaming may be possible absent brains (and therefore absent the physical and computational complexity brains entail), on what basis do you claim that brainless rocks can’t dream? Why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

  102. 102
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill:

    The first words I uttered on this thread were that I “absolutely agree” that rocks have no dreams (contemplation, consciousness, etc.).

    You can then perhaps justify your reason(s) for demanding that kairosfocus justify the premise of an argument in which you both agree upon the truth of the premise.

    Why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

    Why would you even ask such a question, given how you opened your post?

    I “absolutely agree” that rocks have no dreams (contemplation, consciousness, etc.).

    Why can’t anything be a rock? Why can’t everything be a rock? Why can’t a brain be a rock?

  103. 103
    Indium says:

    @102
    Only for kf this is a basic premise, RB indeed has a valid reason to believe that rocks don´t dream: No brains! RB seems to want this difference to be acknowledged.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    if you administer the Glasgow to the conscious vat-bound brain in your illustration above (go ahead, they’re up there together in your OP), you’ll obtain the same result as from a rock. No less than rocks, brains in vats have no eyes, don’t verbalize and don’t engage in motor movements in response to painful stimulation, either. Where does that leave your challenge?

    Do you know that to be the case in regards to that brain in a vat? As in, have you been around since the late 1990’s, in which PCs have become multimedia audio-visual, two way interfaces?

    As in, just as Dr Hawking’s voice now emanates from a computer but is his [though the interface is less sophisticated], an interface to a brain in a vat would be of a different order from your imagination. Remember, the coupling is sophisticated enough — as imagined — to have a screen image fed to the visual cortex. (And, I note how you have yet to acknowledge that the core point being made is self-evident: rocks have neither dreams nor beliefs and cannot be deluded that they do. By contrast, if you are self-aware, even if deluded or dreaming a fantasy, you cannot be mistaken that you are self-aware and have perceptions and beliefs.)

    Next, it seems to me that it is the a priori materialism driven failure to follow a paradigm shift that is underlying your further points. The reason I highlighted the Glasgow scale, is that it shows how we routinely infer to self-aware intelligence from interactions that manifest intelligence, especially through generating FSCO/I. A conscious person will do that, a carved statue or a rock in your backyard will not.

    Where, it is a commonplace of scientific thought, that we ought to have an empirical basis for our assertions and conclusions.

    So, I insist: absent good evidence of intelligent, self- and situation-aware interactions, we have good reason to accept that rocks have no dreams, which is where all of this started.

    Where also, I point out that I suggested the Glasgow test or a substantial equivalent.

    May I beg to remind, that while science routinely deals with “unobserveds” [electrons etc have never been directly “seen”], on an inference to best explanation basis, we can accept the reality of such based on a cluster of phenomena that point to such an underlying entity as best explanation. Whole fields of pure and applied science and large slices of the global economy now rest on the accepted reality of that unobserved electron.

    And, when I pointed out that I am not convinced something needs a brain to be minded, you missed the inner world, self-awareness point being made.

    Are we acting like Aristotelians, blinded by a paradigm and proverbially refusing to look through the telescope to see for ourselves? (Actually, it is worse, as we must use self-aware mindedness to interact with the world at all in the ways we are interested in. As in, what is that strange metal tube you have stuck to your eyes? Nothing! Really?)

    Have you taken time to look at the Smith model (and BTW, Derek Smith is an active researcher in the field)?

    If you do so, you will observe a distinction between the volitional etc supervisory controller and an in the loop controller that serves as an i/o interface for the first. I suggest we ponder the first as oracular.

    If you had suggested that a rock lacks the interface features for effective embodiment of such an oracular supervisory controller, that would be one thing. To demand a brain or the close like as a basis for such an oracle is another. One, that begs big worldviews questions while wearing a lab coat.

    And, where also, it is patent from details given that we look in vain to blind GIGO-limited computation for the seat of self-awareness.

    That is, we have an immediately and massively accessible fact — fact no 1 of our minded existence, through which we access all other facts we are consciously aware of — that cuts crossways against the notion of reduction of contemplation to computation.

    Where, too, this goes on to the issue that mindedness, reasoning, knowing, warranting, etc cannot be driven by blind chance and mechanical necessity, if they are to have any credibility. That is, if our scheme of thought implies chance and mechanical necessity working through accidents of genetics and conditioning etc, drive and control our thoughts, reasoning, attempts to warrant and ground knowledge, decide etc etc, we are in self referential incoherence.

    Evolutionary materialism, never mind the lab coats and boasting of cornering the market on rationality, is irretrievably intellectually bankrupt.

    Plantinga, in underscoring the relvance of his argument against naturalism based on reason, clips Churchland, P:

    Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in . . . feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principal chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive . . . . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism’s way of life and enhances the organism’s chances of survival [[Churchland’s emphasis]. Truth, whatever that is [[ –> let’s try, from Aristotle in Metaphysics, 1011b: “that which says of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not” . . . ], definitely takes the hindmost. (Plantinga also adds this from Darwin: “the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”)

    See the dismissiveness of truth? Notice Darwin’s horrid doubt? See the problem where the pragmatics of survival have no necessary connexion to the requisites of a seriously rational mind? See why there has been so much speculation about abracadabra, mind emerges, poof?

    Reppert’s retort to all such is apt:

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

    That , too, is why I took such pains to highlight just how analogue, digital and neural network computations are ALL inherently blind, non-rational mechanical processes.

    And the software that programs or configures such, is likewise GIGO-limited. Where also, the FSCO/I involved has but one empirically known and analytically credible source: contemplative, insightful mind.

    We have every reason to see that self-aware, contemplative mind is a fundamental reality, one that is not driven and controlled by blind mechanical forces, chance and the like.

    But, that is the challenge isn’t it, such independence of mind points to a very different world than the one commonly painted for us by the materialists in lab coats, such as — most recently — Mr Tyson et al.

    KF

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Indium: If You and R-Bill were saying that a brain is one means of interfacing to the world, and so a rock lacks that and is not a credible dreamer, that would be one thing. What is happening here is that this is serving as a distractor from the pivotal matter that disorganisation is not adequate for computation much less contemplation. Multiplied by the distraction from the further point that computation is inherently a mechanical blind process dependent on GIGO-limited configurations of hard and software. Where, on neither of these cases have we even come close to addressing the root of contemplation. But, by imposing an ideological a priori materialist interdict, there is a blindness to where the evidence points, namely that self aware mindedness — our fact of rational existence no 1 — strongly indicates that we live in a more complex more surprising or even more astonishing world than we may be wont to believe. KF

    PS: You may wish to read Leibnitz, Monadology 17 as is in the onward linked from the OP.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung: Thanks. A brain IS a rock, or more accurately, refined reorganised dust — stardust. That is precisely why it is a GIGO-limited, blindly mechanical computational device and not the credible source of contemplation. It may be very important in processing and interfacing to the world [and the source of confusion where it is damaged or deranged, as in the mad are often very logical but disconnected from reality and a lot of senile dementia can be seen in terms of breakdown of ability to process i/o info flows leading to confusion about, frustration with and gradual isolation from the world* (e.g. losing ability to accurately perceive text** or be able to communicate verbally) . . . ], but that is very different from being the causal root of self-aware, contemplative mindedness. This is of course exactly the point that R-Bill et al struggle to see. KF

    *PS: Consider what happens when a cell phone is dropped repeatedly and gradually breaks down. It no longer functions properly and comes across as confused and non-functional, but all the while the signals are still there, just there is a breakdown in ability to carry out i/o functionality, isolating the other party to the conversation and perhaps confusing him or her. And, if the way it works is distorting what you say, the party on the other side may mis- perceive and respond inappropriately. Eventually, s/he may not be able to control aspects of the call as they appear through the increasingly broken phone, which may eventually fail altogether. GP’s analogy here is useful, and points out that we need to focus on where the two paradigms critically differ, not where they are in-common. That point is not computation but contemplation.

    ** PPS: I suggest that neural networks with controllable feedback loops . . . trigger the loop by means of an enabling signal, whereupon the loop network triggers acquired performance [in effect a subroutine call and release] . . . can account for a lot of memory storage based learning, but not for the oracular insights that are needed for genuine creativeness of highly complex entities. Nor, do they account for responsible, rational freedom, which is pivotal to reason and to morality.

  107. 107
    Dionisio says:

    KF,
    Interesting OP and follow-up discussion. Thanks.

    Here’s a comment copied from another thread:

    The more we understand it, the more amazed we are by what we seem to understand. Every wow! seems to lead us to a newer WOW! in what looks like the unending revelation of the ultimate reality. Many outstanding questions that get answered lead to new unanswered questions.

    BTW, the “3rd. way” could use a little help from a friend. If you want to give them a hand, go to this thread:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..ent-503971
    Note that the “2nd. way” seems ‘unofficially’ out of the discussion, while the “First Way” appears more interested in the serious research on how the biological systems work, in order to* improve medical treatments and healthcare in general. The First Way is -at least partially- related to those who were called ‘The Way’ in the first century of this age, because they followed the True Way, which is The Only Way. 🙂

    (*) most importantly, in order to praise our Maker!

  108. 108

    KF:

    Do you know that to be the case in regards to that brain in a vat? …As in, just as Dr Hawking’s voice now emanates from a computer but is his [though the interface is less sophisticated], an interface to a brain in a vat would be of a different order from your imagination. Remember, the coupling is sophisticated enough — as imagined — to have a screen image fed to the visual cortex.

    A brain in a vat interfaced with the world by means of a multimedia, audio-visual, two way interface with the world wired directly into the visual cortex would no longer be the “brain in a vat” of your thought experiment. Brains in vats in the sense of the thought experiment would be no more responsive to the Glasgow than a rock. Point being: the Glasgow is irrelevant to the questions at hand.

    More important, given that I stated from the outset that rocks don’t dream (aren’t conscious, don’t contemplate, etc.), why do you think that results of administration of the Glasgow to a rock would present the least challenge to me? I take that as indicative of your incomprehension of the question I have posed to you.

    So, I insist: absent good evidence of intelligent, self- and situation-aware interactions, we have good reason to accept that rocks have no dreams, which is where all of this started.

    That’s because there are no instances of intelligent, self- and situation-aware organisms that lack brains and nervous systems or their functional equivalents, and rocks are devoid brains and nervous systems. In fact, a century of neuroscience shows that intelligent, self- and situation-aware interaction is reliable evidence of the presence of same. In short: what a rock’s lack of charisma discloses is the absence of the sort of physical and functional organization required for dreaming (contemplation, etc.) – organization that is present in human beings and sustains contemplative awareness, among other things – including (but not limited to) brains and nervous systems. So this is really a restatement of MY rationale for rejecting dreaming in rocks. I know that rocks don’t exhibit self- and situational awareness, and don’t dream, because they lack the physical organization required for dreaming – namely brains and nervous systems – upon which both dreaming and self- and situation-aware human interaction are contingent.

    As you entertain decoupling dreaming and brains (and the notion that brains aren’t necessary for dreaming) that argument isn’t available to you. You think dreaming may be present absent a brain. Why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

  109. 109
    Mung says:

    Given the right configuration, a rock could be a brain. And thus it follows that a brain could be a rock.

    So why can’t rocks dream?

    Well, apparently only properly configured rocks can be brains. But then, still, a brain could just be a properly configured rock.

    So why can’t rocks dream?

  110. 110
    Mapou says:

    I have been working on a speech learning/recognition program that does dream (I’m assuming I understand the argument correctly). When it is not actively recognizing sounds, the program scans through random patterns and sequences in its memory looking for redundancies and contradictions. I believe this is what the brain does automatically when we dream while asleep. IMO, if our brains could not dream, we would go mad and stop functioning.

  111. 111
    Mapou says:

    I completely disagree with the view that knowledge does not reside in the brain. Consciousness requires two complementary opposite entities, a knower and a known. If thinking did not occur in the brain, we would not need one.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    Please.

    Simply LOOK at the drawing you tried to use to make rhetorical points.

    The brain in vat there is hooked up to a PC that is feeding a vision of a person walking, presumably with the requisite sensations in a virtual world. Complete with cables to various attachment points or plugs, by my count four.

    While I would not expect detailed accuracy from such a cartoon, it is obvious that this is a brain hooked up to an i/o interface, and presumably with vat systems supporting the brain similar to one in a functioning body.

    Let us come back from this side-track and focus the main point.

    To do so, why don’t you re-read the OP and go on to look at the linked wider discussion and also please watch the video that illustrates just how a mechanical integrator works by accumulating flows of change in a linear, controlled way. (Where of course analogue computers of fond memory work by rearranging differential equations to put the highest order on one side then setting up a cascade of integrators to carry out the requisite chain of integration on input functions with appropriate feedback. Mechanical couplings can do it, but by the time I came along, it was more usual to use op amps, which can do wonderful and astonishing feats of signal processing . . I remember being awed by what my first simple logging amp used to linearise an exponential signal did; amazing what a diode can do. These days, all that is simulated, but I think something is lost in that.]

    I repeat, a rock quite evidently has no dreams and manifests no signs of potential to do so. And, we are dealing with an empirical world, where observation rules over speculation — so the rock needs to pass a Glasgow-type test of functional, creative, contemplative, appropriately responsive intelligence.

    A refined rock formed into a Thomson integrator is a mechanical blind device, computation not contemplation. Likewise, a digital computer and we can show, a neural network node also [cf the second infographic above]. Each of these is blindly mechanical, depending for success at computation upon separate correct FSCO/I rich design.

    So, what we have is that rocks (and more broadly bits of stardust) provide raw materials for computational devices. We have not even begun to address the source of ability to contemplate. Which we experience within, rely on for creative complex intelligent behaviour and can devise Glasgow-type tests to evaluate. As is done on a routine basis in a trauma centre.

    Self-aware, conscious creative, designing mind is not explained on clusters of computational devices and GIGO-limited processing or programming.

    I suggest you ponder the two-tier controller Smith cybernetic loop Model . . . with the point that an oracular supervisor can work with a computational I/O controller in the loop with also a two-port memory information store, and onwards the issue of an oracle machine not limited by GIGO and Turing algorithmic requisites. I suggest quantum influence interfaces and I further suggest that mindedness resides in the oracular supervisor that holds the self-aware in-the-world model. Where also impairment can affect performance dramatically.

    My basic point is, if we will but open our paradigms to see, there is abundant and easily accessible evidence that we have not fully grasped the world and its entities. In particular — apart from self referential absurdities — evolutionary materialism is forced to try to reduce mind to computational matter, and ends in further absurdities, If it tries instead to argue emergence, it ends in poof magic that boils down to, here, a miracle — something of a new order enters.

    KF

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung: A brain is a specially configured refined rock . . . or more broadly stardust. The neural network pattern of organisation it uses is a computational, signal processing one. Basically pulse frequency modulation on a 12-decade logging scale IIRC that last bit correctly. Hence BTW the Weber-Fechner log sensitivity law for sensation. And hence too the natural emergence of a log scale for stellar magnitude steps some 2000 years ago, and also the logging relationship for loudness of sounds. Computation is mechanical, blind and GIGO-limited. Hence the implications of Booze, mung bucket contents, ganja etc, and of things like Alzheimers to mess up the I/O part and doubtless confuse and impair the oracular supervisor. As a case that is very close to me exemplifies, under those circumstances when something comes through, it tends to reflect the heart. Caregivers report: “nothing but God.” As well I know from a lifelong relationship. KF

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou: Please do not conflate that mind works with brain in an embodied entity, with the idea that brain is necessary for mind to exist or function. We have striking evidence of contemplation transcending possibilities of computation. We need to open our eyes to that evidence, which is pretty directly accessible to each of us, and which we can evaluate and analyse. KF

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    there are no instances of intelligent, self- and situation-aware organisms that lack brains and nervous systems or their functional equivalents

    This begs huge questions, implicitly imposes materialist a prioris in doing so, and utterly fails to address evidence of mind behind and ontologically prior to material cosmos.

    Please, re[think.

    KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    D: Interesting, could you give us the link a bit better? Use angle brackets and the a = href and “” — oops, STRAIGHT not smart double quotes — tag surrounding text, an HTML standard for putting in a hyperlink. KF

  117. 117
    Joe says:

    RB:

    Given that you are willing to entertain the notion that brains are not necessary for dreaming (contemplation, subjectivity, etc.), what DO you think is necessary?

    A conscious mind- that has been very clear, even to me. So what is your problem, RB?

  118. 118

    KF:

    The brain in vat there is hooked up to a PC that is feeding a vision of a person walking, presumably with the requisite sensations in a virtual world.

    But Glasgow stimuli are administered in the real world, and would not present themselves within the stream of virtual experience supplied to the envatted brain. Nor would there be any Glasgow responses, which are observed and recorded in the real world.

    Let us come back from this side-track and focus the main point.

    Yes. That was this question, still unanswered: Given that I stated from the outset that rocks don’t dream (aren’t conscious, don’t contemplate, etc.), why do you think that results of administration of the Glasgow to a rock would present the least challenge to me? I take that as indicative of your incomprehension of the question I have posed to you.

    I repeat

    We both repeat.

    a rock quite evidently has no dreams and manifests no signs of potential to do so.

    It is evident to me because a rock lacks the requisite physical structure for dreaming, as exemplified by, for example, a mammalian brain (in the instance of literal dreaming) and higher cortical functioning (in the instance of human contemplation).

    But you entertain the idea that dreaming can occur in the absence of brains, so these facts, as obvious as they are, aren’t available to you. You think dreaming may occur absent a brain. Why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

    This begs huge questions, implicitly imposes materialist a prioris in doing so…

    Of course it does. And from within that framework it is obvious to that rocks don’t dream, as rocks lack the physical structures/functions we know are required for dreaming, as shown by 100 years of empirical neuroscience.

    My question to you is: given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains – on what basis do claim as a first principle that rocks don’t dream?

    and utterly fails to address evidence of mind behind and ontologically prior to material cosmos.

    Nor have I addressed the price of eggs in China.

    Again, given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains and that posits mind behind and ontologically prior to material cosmos, on what basis do claim that rocks don’t dream?

  119. 119
    Joe says:

    Again, given your non-physicalist framework – one within which dreaming may occur independent of brains and that posits mind behind and ontologically prior to material cosmos, on what basis do claim that rocks don’t dream?

    Rocks do not have a mind nor consciousness.

  120. 120

    By the way, KF, let’s suppose that your envatted brain, still wired up, suffered a medical malady and lapsed into a coma.

    Describe assessing that coma by means of the Glasgow.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    This is now obviously a red herring led away to a strawman.

    I will however note that we see in the thought exercise, ability to couple signals to the BIV, such that it experiences a virtual reality. This means ability to couple image, audio and similar info, presumably by feeding input neural channels.

    There is no in-principle reason why such a case could not enfold loudspeaker output and even textual output from typing on a virtual keyboard . . . we do that with tablets.

    Similarly, PTZ cams track and can be controlled, responding.

    So, there is no in=principle reason why Glasgow type tests could not be administered.

    And going to the next level, suggest the BIV is enfolded in a robotic — or is that now cyborg — entity. Glasgow type tests would be relevant. And, so would creativity tests that extend verbal responsiveness.

    And, for that matter, a robot without BIV could be similarly tested.

    I propose as a useful exercise, the game Go, which is a creative strategic game beyond the reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity . . . chessboards are, unfortunately, too small. Maybe a 3-d version 8 x 8 x 8 — 2^9 positions — might work. Or just simply put up a complex war game with the usual range of strategic, tactical and logistical as well as diplomatic and economic factors.

    Y’know, things that require genuine insight and creativity and are not vulnerable to brute force computation.

    The answer is, that computers are hopeless at Go.

    I would not bet on a computer vs an insightful strategist in a war game . . . or, a war. (And this includes strategic marketing.)

    So, we can see that the issue has not been successfully blunted.

    KF

    PS: A BIV in a coma would then not focus and track, would not speak coherently and situationally responsively, and would not text sensibly. It obviously would not be playing Go either. The Glasgow type test is still highly relevant. And BTW, this still is not addressing the actual seat of creative consciousness.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: How many times have I pointed out now, that we recognise contemplative intelligence in the end from its intelligent, self and situation aware creative and even purposeful, designing behavioural characteristics? Rocks show no evidence — note the term already used, “evident” — of being anything but passive objects acted on by blind forces of chance and necessity. I could pick up a stick of chalk and write and draw on the chalkboard. It will not complain of pain, and the complex glyph encoded information on the board is not reckoned as coming spontaneously from that bit of rock, but from its wielder. Likewise, with the computer keyboard and its FSCO/I rich text output. The chalk stick example is new, but the rest has been repeatedly pointed out, just diverted from. And the selectively hyperskeptical resistance to the patent is increasingly evident to those looking on.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: The existence of a complex, fine tuned observed cosmos is a solid roadblock in the path of all who would want to pretend that there is only evidence of a brain or similar computational substrate for any intelligent mind or self-aware agency. It reveals an underlying ideological a priori, evolutionary materialism or its influence. So long as there is a possible world in which mind is independent of matter, such a demand should not be accepted. If you wish to argue for a wholly material cosmos, show that is so. Otherwise, this demand dressed up in a lab coat and disguised under a radical redefinition of science and its methods is little more than implicit question begging. Which also runs into the self-referential incoherence of such materialism.

  124. 124
    kairosfocus says:

    Joe: Prezactly. Contemplation is not computation. Rocks only get us to computation, and only as material cause. The purposeful, designing, actuating cause of computational devices is designers, who exhibit creative intelligence and purpose thus decision, skill, creative non-routinised non algorithmic oracular problem solving and more. Mind over and ontologically prior to matter. Mind as supervisor in cybernetic loops. Mind, as the basis for an ordered cosmos set up in many complex fine tuned ways for C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell-based life. Don’t get me into the implications of the physics to get us to water and Carbon Chemistry, in a world where thanks to subtle forces and factors, H, He, O and C are the first four elements with N close by and 5th IIRC in our galaxy. That’s a put-up job if I ever saw one, and Sir Fred Hoyle rightly said that a reasonable conclusion is there are no blind forces worth talking about in the physical world and the world of biological life. That Nobel equivalent prize holding Bible thumping fundy — NOT.* KF

    * Onlookers, he was a life-long agnostic.

  125. 125
    Mapou says:

    kairosfocus:

    Mapou: Please do not conflate that mind works with brain in an embodied entity, with the idea that brain is necessary for mind to exist or function. We have striking evidence of contemplation transcending possibilities of computation. We need to open our eyes to that evidence, which is pretty directly accessible to each of us, and which we can evaluate and analyse. KF

    I have never seen this evidence you speak of. Consciousness requires a knower and a known. The two are complementary opposites. You can separate the two and still have consciousness.

  126. 126
    Mapou says:

    @125: I meant to write: You cannot separate the two and still have consciousness.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou, Please read the post and onward linked. You will see why I freely say, computation is a mechanical, blind process . . . Liebnitz’s mill wheels grinding. It is GIGO limited and does not exhibit reason, knowledge or insight. It is a blind cause effect chain in a designed system. Contemplation is self-aware and consiously rational. As we directly experience. We may reasonably infer its presence in others through the sort of process involved in say a Glasgow Coma type test. Indeed, if it were not so, we would undermine the credibility of reason, warrant, knowledge, choice and morality so also freedom . . . exactly what is so much under fire today. Indeed, I see where Texas Governor Perry was ridiculed and dismissed for pointing out on alcoholism that even where a genetic influence is strongly suspected or known in behaviour, it does not remove the issue of free responsible choice and disciplined behaviour in our own interest, that of family, and that of the public our behaviour may adversely affect. (Just think drunk driving. And jut think Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step recovery programme, based on spiritual disciplines.) Beyond, we see that fine tuning points decisively to mind beyond material cosmos. Indeed as its designer. We have no good reason to reject the possibility of mind beyond and independent of brain matter. Nor do we have good reason to demand that consciousness be based on embodiment. KF

  128. 128
    kairosfocus says:

    THOUGHT: What is at stake here, in the end is responsible freedom and thence, rights, freedoms and responsibilities in society. And science, falsely so called has been co-opted by dressing up a priori imposed materialism in the lab coat. Never mind the inescapable self referential incoherence that flows from it. Let us understand the matches we are playing with here before we burn down our civilisation. KF

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me remind us of Reppert’s analysis and implied warning on the significance of the difference between computing and contemplation, where the contemplation is not accounted for on blind computational cause effect chains so it must come from somewhere else, nor can it be viewed as simply an epiphenomenon riding on and controlled by that computation:

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

    Let us think twice again before we strike the matches and set them to the dry grass. KF

  130. 130
    Mapou says:

    kairosfocus, I am not a materialist but I will not for a second believe that matter is unimportant or irrelevant to consciousness/mind. The logic of your argument is weak, IMO. It leaves too much to interpretation. There is no doubt in my mind that the spirit controls the brain but only to an extent. Our genetic programming dictates a lot about how we behave (hunger, thirst, sex, etc.) and our spirit is subservient to those material instincts. Deny at your own detriment.

    Again, my argument is simple. The mind requires a knower and a known. The two are opposites. The opposite of spirit is matter. IMO, this is all that needs to be said.

    P.S. It is obvious to me that you are defending a strong personal ideology.

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou: Again, the matter is simple. Rock or dust can at most be a material cause for computation. Mind behaves at a different order and has a different identity. That we are formed of dust, i.e. are embodied also affects, but influence is not equal to determination. We are responsible to live above our feelings and appetites, for example we must manage or eating in interests of health, exercise level, sleeping patterns, saving and spending habits, alcohol consumption, sexual behaviour and more. And such ideological commitmrnt I have as I do is to the centrality of responsible liberty as opposed to licence and domination. That makes me a convinced, constitutional democrat. That is consistent with but does not determine my views on the pivotal centrality of self-aware, reasoning, intentional mindedness as fact no 1 of our existence. As I just clipped from Reppert as a useful summary, the effective reduction of that reasoning ability to blind computation is at once fatal to reason. But, it seems some pretty big matches are being recklessly played with in our day. And frankly, our civilisation is about to burn down flat because of our collective folly. KF

  132. 132

    KF:

    We see in the thought exercise, ability to couple signals to the BIV, such that it experiences a virtual reality…So, there is no in=principle reason why Glasgow type tests could not be administered.

    The essence of the envatted brain thought experiment is the brain’s isolation from genuine sensory input and genuine motor output. Even in your cartoon above, the brain is described as “in a state of self-delusion,” and in your comment above you describe it as experiencing “the requisite sensations in a virtual world.” The classic envatted brain in these senses would give responses to the Glasgow identical to those provided by a rock. Nor could the Glasgow distinguish between a brain in a vat in a coma an a conscious brain in a vat. Which all goes to the uselessness of your citation of the Glasgow in this context.

    Of course, you’re free to envision visual and motor interfaces between envatted brains and the world – brains wrapped in robots, etc. – but then you are envisioning something other than “a brain in a vat,” in the sense of the classic thought experiment. A meaningless move in this discussion. What I have stated is that the envatted brain as described your illustration above would give no responses to the Glasgow. That point stands.

    But you’re right, this is a side issue.

    The Glasgow question from which this is a detour: Given that I stated from the outset that rocks don’t dream (aren’t conscious, don’t contemplate, etc.), why do you think that results of administration of the Glasgow to a rock would present the least “challenge” to me?

    A rock quite evidently has no dreams and manifests no signs of potential to do so.

    Yes – in the sense that it exhibits the wrong physical structure for dreaming, and/or exhibits none of the dispositions that invariably reflect the presence of such structure. In contrast, we do find an example of the requisite structure in human beings – e.g., brains and nervous systems.

    But you entertain the notion that specific physical structures – brains and nervous systems – are not required for dreaming, so that reasoning is not available to you. So I ask again: why can’t that which dreams without a brain be a rock?

    Joe said, in response to the question “on what basis do claim that rocks don’t dream?”:

    Rocks do not have a mind nor consciousness.

    But throughout this discussion “dreaming” has obviously been a proxy for “contemplation, etc.,” i.e. for “mind and consciousness.”

    So Joe’s exchange reduces to, “Rocks don’t have a mind or consciousness because rocks don’t have a mind or consciousness.”

    And that does prezactly capture your reasoning.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    R-Bill:

    First, the point I drew out from the common example of delusion is the overlooked point that the self awareness involved is a point of self evident truth. A point where even the deluded are not. In that context you went all over the world to try to undermine conscious self-awareness.

    And yet, it remains.

    Now, you try to reduce what I have pointed out to empty question begging.

    To do so, you set up and knock over a strawman.

    First, In reply to your challenge about rocks, I have shown that rocks give every indication of passive impacts of blind chance and mechanical necessity in action. Further to this, I showed that refined rocks are capable of being organised into computational entities by designers. Then, I directly showed that whether Thomson mechanical integrators, or digital processors or neural networks, we are dealing with blind mechanical cause-effect chains that manifest GIGO limited computation. In the case of the integrator there was a linked article and video. For the digital computer, I linked a survey article I did some time ago. For the neural net I used an infographic with a link to an extensive article.

    In short, I showed in detail how Liebnitz’s analogy of the mill still obtains:

    [P]erception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain perception.

    Rocks refined and organised into computational devices are STILL blind. They are not contemplating.

    A computational refinement and rearrangement of rocks STILL does not move beyond blind cause-effect chains.

    As Reppert pointed out:

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

    I pointed out, again and again, that we do contemplate, exhibiting mindedness thereby; this can be seen through something like the Glasgow Coma test.

    This self-evident fact of contemplation is critically connected to self-aware, insightful reasoning and responsible choice. As Reppert put it: “It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts.”

    When that is brought to bear, your strawman caricature collapses.

    And in the wake of that collapse, it is evident that you would reduce contemplation to computation. Which is blind and non-rational, as a cause-effect chain. What saves it is that a properly designed computational device will execute certain designed or programmed steps with more or less reliability, having been debugged. But still GIGO lurks.

    Where also, such entities as are adequate to perform any significant task, will invariably be well beyond the FSCO/I limit. They trace to design. And so, we see a design chain reflecting the principle that FSCO/I is not credibly explained on blind chance and necessity.

    In the end, that traces back, beyond the computational devices in the cell, to the FSCO/I embedded in the fine tuning of the observed cosmos. Thus, we see beyond. a cosmological design inference.

    Mind, ontologically before matter.

    KF

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