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If You are Going to Reject Something, At Least Take the Time to Understand What You Are Rejecting

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The post by News here about how an atheist believed that miracles are impossible because “science,” reminded me of the atheist who responded to one of my posts a few weeks ago.  He said he cannot believe in an immaterial mind because in his view the interaction problem is hopeless for dualists.  The problem of course is that the atheist was attacking a strawman caricature of what most dualists believe, not actual dualism.   It is as if our A-Mat thinks all dualists hold to a sort of hyper-Cartesian  substance dualism in which an immaterial homunculus  sits in a material seat in the brain (perhaps in the pineal gland) and pulls levers to operate the body, and his knock-down objection to that theory is that an immaterial homunculus has no way to grip a material lever.  Of course I exaggerate, but you get the picture.  Our A-Mat gives no indication that he has ever heard of (far less considered and rejected) dualist arguments addressing the interaction problem, especially  Aristotelian-Thomistic Hylomorphism which makes the interaction problem go away by rejecting the very concept of substance dualism.   I am willing to grant that maybe Aristotle and Aquinas got it wrong, and their arguments don’t really solve the interaction problem after all.  But, Mr. A-Mat, if you are going to advance that proposition at least give us some evidence that you are aware of who Aristotle and Aquinas were, what they said, and why you think they are wrong.  Arguments that sound like “an immaterial homunculus has no way to grip the levers in the pineal gland” just make you sound silly.

But wait; there’s more.  Our A-Mat is mistaken at an even more basic level.  He seems to believe there are two kinds of people — rational A-Mats like himself who deal with “things and facts” and irrational theists who try to bring immaterial concepts like the mind into the discussion.  He is wrong, and I will let Werner Heisenberg explain why:

In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But atoms and the elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts … The probability wave … mean[s] tendency for something. It’s a quantitative version of the old concept of potentia from Aristotle’s philosophy. It introduces something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality.

Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy. London: Allen and Unwin. (1958), p. 41


> So, why use the perception to try to undermine the perceiver? Indeed. > What is energy? That too. Matter, Energy, Gravity ... Mung
PS: Where, particles are wavicles and many particles are composite. What is "waving"? What is energy? What is mass? What is matter? What is space-time? What is number? What is information? What is reality? Why do many think it must be confined to just these entities, which we perceive through our conscious mindedness? kairosfocus
WJM, you are always thought-provoking. Maybe the key point is, matter is not so solid as it seems, indeed the sense of solidity is a matter of close in repulsion of interacting electron clouds per the inter-atomic force curve. That is, modern physics has transformed how we understand solidity. Interacting fields of influence and exchanged virtual particles etc are quite different from the naive hard massy balls of yore. In that context, bring to bear multidimensional fine tuning that sets up a cosmos for C-chem, aqueous medium, cell based life on terrestrial planets in galactic and planetary system habitable zones, and design of cosmos becomes a relevant issue pointing beyond the material cosmos. Blend in the gigo-limited computational substrate view of brains at work (how did the hardware & software come about, per observed factors, on blind watchmaker forces?) and we find blind mechanical and/or stochastic causal chains which undermines confidence in inference, reasoning, logic, warrant, knowledge. So, it turns out that we have here the side-stepping on a serious issue of self-referential incoherence. We cannot but act as responsibly, reasonably significantly free knowing, conscious, contemplative creatures, so why not start from that first undeniable empirical fact? Is it not so that we perceive matter through the lens of rational consciousness? Not to mention, the very important immaterial entities, information and numbers, without which science would be a non-starter. So, why use the perception to try to undermine the perceiver? Is that not self-referentially incoherent? Why not start out, we do not understand how mindedness interacts with matter, but we are more sure of it than we are of the result of that interaction, that we are credibly embodied beings in a physical world? Then, we can ask how say a Smith type model could work, and how quantum influences could shape neural network behaviour, etc? KF kairosfocus
Modern physics has long ago disproved the idea that "matter" exists at all. Timothy's position might as be that because we all perceive the sun moving through the sky from East to West, it is a fact that it is the sun that is doing the moving. Just because we perceive a world of what we call "matter" doesn't change the fact that we know no such world actually exists regardless of what our perception tells us. What we call "matter" is a perceptual interpretation of something that is not, in any meaningful sense, "matter". We know now (current science) that matter is, at its root, entirely "immaterial", despite what our macro sensory perceptions have told us for millennia (like the sun moving through the sky). Materialists are clinging to a pre-Victorian perspective of what it is we are perceiving, long since discarded after over a hundred years of experimental results. Now we get to the so-called "material-immaterial interaction problem". First, there is no "material world," so it's problematic to begin with a term that draws from an archaic, unscientific understanding of what it is we are perceiving. Second, has the "material-material" interaction problem even been addressed, much less "solved"? We have absolutely no idea **how** "matter" interacts with other "matter". We can describe the behavior of that interaction, then use a term to refer to that model as if that term was an actual "thing", but describing the behavior is not explaining the **how** of the interaction. When so-called dualism objectors can first explain matter/matter interaction, and when they can tell us what they mean by "material" and "immaterial", they will then have a meaningful foundation to form a cogent objection to the idea of material/immaterial interaction. Any materialist here up to that very basic task? William J Murray
TA, there is no actual observational evidence that shows that chance, non-foresighted variations filtered through differential reproductive success can account for main body plans. What has manifestly happened is that ideological imposition and dominance of evolutionary materialistic scientism has led to the widespread belief that something like that more or less must account for what we see around us and in the fossils. However, such is doubly self-referentially incoherent and self-falsifying. The scientism claim locks up the world to the material world, implying that only what is tied to evolutionary materialistic, undirected cumulative changes from hydrogen to humans has reality so that it can be known, but the implied claim is a philosophical imposition. In short the inference that science utterly dominates knowledge is an epistemological, philosophical assertion. Second, there is no empirical observational basis for inferring that rational responsible freedom required to think, reason and warrant thus know can rise from gigo-limited computational substrates. Where ground-consequent reasoning is categorically distinct from gigo-limited chains of cause-effect in a blind substrate. This undermines the minds used to think up such theories. KF kairosfocus
Two key questions: 1. What is consciousness? 2. How is it created? What is the answer to those questions from a naturalistic evolutionary perspective? john_a_designer
Evolutionary biology would be a good place to start.
For evolutionists. ET
Moreover even these 'directed' mutations are of no help to Darwinists. Specifically we find that, "Even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent."
“The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain - Michael Behe - December 2010 Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain. http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2010/12/the-first-rule-of-adaptive-evolution/ Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy - Dr John Sanford - 7 March 2013 Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.]. African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare! http://creation.com/genetic-entropy
Thus both natural selection and 'random' mutations are shown to be virtually non-existent, and even 'directed' mutations are of no help to Darwinists. If Darwinian evolution were a normal science, these findings SHOULD HAVE rendered it to the garbage heap of failed scientific theories. But alas, Darwinian Evolution, at least how Darwinists treat it, never really qualified as a testable/falsifiable scientific theory in the first place:
Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ
To continue on in the falsification of the Darwinian presupposition of ‘randomness’ within biology, it is now found, due to advances in quantum biology, that there is far less ‘randomness’, or more specifically, far less ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology than was originally presupposed by Darwinists: At the 6:52 minute mark of the following video, Jim Al-Khalili states:
“To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”. Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q
The following video goes over many more lines of evidence from quantum biology that have falsified the Darwinian presupposition of ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology.
Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y
In fact, due to quantum non-locality, and the necessity to postulate a ‘beyond space and time’ cause in order to explain quantum entanglement (and/or quantum information) within molecular biology, advances in quantum biology have now also falsified the entire reductive materialistic foundation that lays beneath Darwinian thought. Whereas on the other hand, finding quantum non-locality to be pervasive with molecular biology is VERY friendly to Theistic presuppositions. Verse:
Psalm 139:13 For it was You who formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Of supplemental note: The reductive materialistic foundation that undergirds Darwinian evolution is also found to be grossly inadequate for explaining how any particular organism might achieve its basic 'biological form' in the first place
Darwinism vs Biological Form - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w
The failure of reductive materialism to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself. In the following article entitled 'Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable', which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists' point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description."
Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics - December 9, 2015 Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,, It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, "We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s," added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. "So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists' point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description." http://phys.org/news/2015-12-quantum-physics-problem-unsolvable-godel.html
timothya states;
“If You are Going to Reject Something, At Least Take the Time to Understand What You Are Rejecting” Absolutely agree. Evolutionary biology would be a good place to start.
Well what part of evolutionary biology are you talking about? The Natural Selection part? or the random variation/mutation part? Because of the “waiting time problem”, Darwinists were forced to cast natural selection, Charles Darwin’s supposed ‘designer substitute’, by the wayside.
The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17 John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,, Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information. While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man. It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573302/ “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.” Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q
Empirical evidence supports this:
Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila – 2010 Excerpt of concluding paragraph: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.” http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/aspiliop//2010_2011/Burke%20et%20al%202010.pdf “The Third Way” – James Shapiro, Denis Noble, and etc.. etc..,,, excerpt: “some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis.” http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/ “the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer” Michael Lynch – The Origins of Genome Architecture, p 368
Since natural selection has been cast by the wayside, Darwinists now claim, via neutral theory, that the vast majority of the amazing integrated complexity found in life is the result of pure chance instead of the result of natural selection. In the following article Larry Moran quotes Austin Hughes who states, ‘Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance.’
Austin Hughes and Neutral Theory – Laurence A. Moran – June 19, 2017 Excerpt: Originally proposed by Motoo Kimura, Jack King, and Thomas Jukes, the neutral theory of molecular evolution is inherently non-Darwinian. Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance. http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2017/06/austin-hughes-and-neutral-theory.html “many genomic features could not have emerged without a near-complete disengagement of the power of natural selection” Michael Lynch – The Origins of Genome Architecture, intro “a relative lack of natural selection may be the prerequisite for major evolutionary advance” Mae Wan Ho – Beyond neo-Darwinism – Evolution by Absence of Selection
Thus, with Natural selection being tossed aside by the mathematics of population genetics, and by empirical evidence, as the explanation for the ‘appearance of design’ that we see in life, Darwinists now claim, basically, that random mutations, all by their lonesome, with virtually no help from natural selection, (i.e. neutral theory), created all the amazing integrated complexity, i.e. ‘appearance of design’, that we see in life. Small problem with this heavy reliance on ‘random’ mutations that Darwinists now have with neutral theory, mutations are now, empirically, shown to NOT be random mutations but to be directed mutations:
How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013 Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611 WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Fully Random Mutations – Kevin Kelly – 2014 Excerpt: What is commonly called “random mutation” does not in fact occur in a mathematically random pattern. The process of genetic mutation is extremely complex, with multiple pathways, involving more than one system. Current research suggests most spontaneous mutations occur as errors in the repair process for damaged DNA. Neither the damage nor the errors in repair have been shown to be random in where they occur, how they occur, or when they occur. Rather, the idea that mutations are random is simply a widely held assumption by non-specialists and even many teachers of biology. There is no direct evidence for it. On the contrary, there’s much evidence that genetic mutation vary in patterns. For instance it is pretty much accepted that mutation rates increase or decrease as stress on the cells increases or decreases. These variable rates of mutation include mutations induced by stress from an organism’s predators and competition, and as well as increased mutations brought on by environmental and epigenetic factors. Mutations have also been shown to have a higher chance of occurring near a place in DNA where mutations have already occurred, creating mutation hotspot clusters—a non-random pattern. http://edge.org/response-detail/25264 Duality in the human genome – November 28, 2014 Excerpt: The results show that most genes can occur in many different forms within a population: On average, about 250 different forms of each gene exist. The researchers found around four million different gene forms just in the 400 or so genomes they analysed. This figure is certain to increase as more human genomes are examined. More than 85 percent of all genes have no predominant form which occurs in more than half of all individuals. This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word. The gene, as we imagined it, exists only in exceptional cases. “We need to fundamentally rethink the view of genes that every schoolchild has learned since Gregor Mendel’s time.,,, According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-duality-human-genome.html
"If You are Going to Reject Something, At Least Take the Time to Understand What You Are Rejecting" Absolutely agree. Evolutionary biology would be a good place to start. timothya
OP: "He said he cannot believe in an immaterial mind because in his view the interaction problem is hopeless for dualists." Well, maybe, but philosopher J.P. Moreland claims in his book Consciousness and the Existence of God that the interaction problem is the most overrated problem in all of philosophy. Dick
Some well-educated atheists believe that mind and consciousness is an illusion. That apparently is what Daniel Dennett thinks. In his book review of Dennett’s book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds, Thomas Nagel describes Dennett’s view as follows:
Dennett holds a distinctive and openly paradoxical position. Our manifest image of the world and ourselves includes as a prominent part not only the physical body and central nervous system but our own consciousness with its elaborate features—sensory, emotional, and cognitive—as well as the consciousness of other humans and many nonhuman species. In keeping with his general view of the manifest image, Dennett holds that consciousness is not part of reality in the way the brain is. Rather, it is a particularly salient and convincing user-illusion, an illusion that is indispensable in our dealings with one another and in monitoring and managing ourselves, but an illusion nonetheless. You may well ask how consciousness can be an illusion, since every illusion is itself a conscious experience—an appearance that doesn’t correspond to reality. So it cannot appear to me that I am conscious though I am not: as Descartes famously observed, the reality of my own consciousness is the one thing I cannot be deluded about. The way Dennett avoids this apparent contradiction takes us to the heart of his position, which is to deny the authority of the first-person perspective with regard to consciousness and the mind generally.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/03/09/is-consciousness-an-illusion-dennett-evolution/ However, if Daniel Dennett’s self-conscious experience (I assume he includes himself) is just an illusion, how does he know that? Here are a few of examples of optical illusions: 1. If you sit back from your screen you will see black dots randomly flashing in the white circles of the matrix. However, it’s not hard to prove to yourself that it’s an illusion. https://www.rd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/06-Optical-Illusions-That-Will-Make-Your-Brain-Hurt_11066665-%C2%A9mark-1024x683.jpg 2, This is an example of some smoke and mirrors but without the smoke and with just one mirror. The girl in the picture is the photographer. I wonder how she did that. Did she have someone else take the picture or is this the ultimate selfie? Either way it’s gone viral. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e0/44/89/e0448964a36bbb9671392c9558239a17.jpg 3. Do you see a rabbit or duck? Or are you like me? I see a rabbit, then a duck, then a rabbit, then a duck then… https://www.all-about-psychology.com/images/rabbit-duck-illusion-psychology.jpg My point is we know or we can prove that these things are illusions. But how can anyone prove, as Dennett claims, that you (your self-conscious experience) is only an illusion? Without proof I find such a view not only irrational but totally absurd. To paraphrase Descartes, I am conscious therefore I exist. That is self-evident and therefore indubitable. Only a fool would believe otherwise. john_a_designer
Thanks for this quote Mr. Arrington:
"In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But atoms and the elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts … The probability wave … mean[s] tendency for something. It’s a quantitative version of the old concept of potentia from Aristotle’s philosophy. It introduces something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality." - Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy. London: Allen and Unwin. (1958), p. 41
Dr. Egnor pointed out much the same thing last year
What Is Matter? The Aristotelian Perspective - Michael Egnor - July 21, 2017 Excerpt: Heisenberg, almost alone among the great physicists of the quantum revolution, understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory and evidence.,,, Heisenberg wrote: ,,,The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater… was a quantitative version of the old concept of “potentia” in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality…The probability function combines objective and subjective elements,,, Thus, the existence of potential quantum states described by Schrodinger’s equation (which is a probability function) are the potency (the “matter”) of the system, and the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act. To an Aristotelian (like Heisenberg), quantum mechanics isn’t strange at all. https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/
Here is a technical explanation and a video of Aquinas’ First way argument for God where you can, at your leisure, see just how well the argument from motion dovetails into what we are seeing in quantum mechanics
Aquinas’ First Way 1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act. 2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually. 3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act. 4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature. 5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency. 6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series. 7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God. http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2011/08/aquinas-first-way.html Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As
Or to put Aquinas' argument much more simply "The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.":
"The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment." Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/09/jerry_coyne_and_aquinas_first.html
The double slit experiment and quantum electrodynamics both offer strong experimental support for this ancient philosophical argument:
Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism- video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM
Of supplemental note, Dr. Egnor, who is a brain surgeon as well as a teacher/professor of brain surgery, recently wrote an excellent article on the experimental evidence, that has been accumulating over decades, which strongly supports the reality of the immaterial mind.
Science and the Soul - Michael Egnor - June 2018 Excerpt:,,, Katie looked like a normal newborn, but she had little chance at a normal life. She had a fraternal-twin sister in the incubator next to her. But Katie only had a third of the brain that her sister had. I explained all of this to her family, trying to keep alive a flicker of hope for their daughter. I cared for Katie as she grew up. At every stage of Katie’s life so far, she has excelled. She sat and talked and walked earlier than her sister. She’s made the honor roll. She will soon graduate high school.,,, ,,, How is this possible? Neuroscience, and Thomas Aquinas, point to the answer.,,, Neuroscience and Metaphysics Remarkably, neuroscience tells us three things about the mind: the mind is metaphysically simple, the intellect and will are immaterial, and free will is real. In the middle of the twentieth century, neurosurgeons discovered that they could treat a certain kind of epilepsy by severing a large bundle of brain fibers, called the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Following these operations, each hemisphere worked independently. But what happened to the mind of a person with his or her brain split in half? The neuroscientist Roger Sperry studied scores of split-brain patients. He found, surprisingly, that in ordinary life the patients showed little effect. Each patient was still one person. The intellect and will – the capacity to have abstract thought and to choose – remained unified. Only by meticulous testing could Sperry find any differences: their perceptions were altered by the surgery. Sensations – elicited by touch or vision – could be presented to one hemisphere of the brain, and not be experienced in the other hemisphere. Speech production is associated with the left hemisphere of the brain; patients could not name an object presented to the right hemisphere (via the left visual field). Yet they could point to the object with their left hand (which is controlled by the right hemisphere). The most remarkable result of Sperry’s Nobel Prize­–winning work was that the person’s intellect and will – what we might call the soul – remained undivided. The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot. One of the neurosurgeons who pioneered the corpus callosotomy for epilepsy patients was Wilder Penfield, who worked in Montreal in the middle of the twentieth century. Penfield studied the brains and minds of epileptic patients in a remarkably direct way, in the course of treating them. He operated on people who were awake. The brain itself feels no pain, and local anesthetics numb the scalp and skull enough to permit painless brain surgery. Penfield asked them to do and think things while he was observing and temporarily stimulating or impairing regions of their brains. Two things astonished him. First, he noticed something about seizures. He could cause seizures by stimulating the brain. A patient would jerk his arm, or feel tingling, or see flashes of light, or even have memories. But what he could never do was cause an intellectual seizure: the patient would never reason when his brain was stimulated. The patient never contemplated mercy or bemoaned injustice or calculated second derivatives in response to brain stimulation. If the brain wholly gives rise to the mind, why are there no intellectual seizures? Second, Penfield noted that patients always knew that the movement or sensation elicited by brain stimulation was done to them, but not by them. When Penfield stimulated the arm area of the brain, patients always said, “You made my arm move” and never said, “I moved my arm.” Patients always retained a correct awareness of agency. There was a part of the patient – the will – that Penfield could not reach with his electrode. Penfield began his career as a materialist. He finished his career as an emphatic dualist. He insisted that there is an aspect of the self – the intellect and the will – that is not the brain, and that cannot be elicited by stimulation of the brain. Some of the most fascinating research on consciousness was done by Penfield’s contemporary Benjamin Libet at the University of California, San Francisco. Libet asked: What happens in the brain when we think? How are electrical signals in the brain related to our thoughts? He was particularly interested in the timing of brain waves and thoughts. Did a brain wave happen at the same moment as the thought, or before, or after? It was a difficult question to answer. It wasn’t hard to measure electrical changes in the brain: that could be done routinely by electrodes on the scalp, and Libet enlisted neurosurgeons to allow him to record signals deep in the brain while patients were awake. The challenge Libet faced was to accurately measure the time interval between the signals and the thoughts. But the signals last only a few milliseconds, and how can you time a thought with that kind of accuracy? Libet began by choosing a very simple thought: the decision to press a button. He modified an oscilloscope so that a dot circled the screen once each second, and when the subject decided to push the button, he or she noted the location of the dot at the time of the decision. Libet measured the timing of the decision and the timing of the brain waves of many volunteers with accuracy in the tens of milliseconds. Consistently he found that the conscious decision to push the button was preceded by about half a second by a brain wave, which he called the readiness potential. Then a half-second later the subject became aware of his decision. It appeared at first that the subjects were not free; their brains made the decision to move and they followed it. But Libet looked deeper. He asked his subjects to veto their decision immediately after they made it – to not push the button. Again, the readiness potential appeared a half-second before conscious awareness of the decision to push the button, but Libet found that the veto – he called it “free won’t” – had no brain wave corresponding to it. The brain, then, has activity that corresponds to a pre-conscious urge to do something. But we are free to veto or accept this urge. The motives are material. The veto, and implicitly the acceptance, is an immaterial act of the will. Libet noted the correspondence between his experiments and the traditional religious understanding of human beings. We are, he said, beset by a sea of inclinations, corresponding to material activity in our brains, which we have the free choice to reject or accept. It is hard not to read this in more familiar terms: we are tempted by sin, yet we are free to choose. The approach to understanding the world and ourselves that was replaced by materialism was that of classical metaphysics. This tradition’s most notable investigator and teacher was Saint Thomas Aquinas. Following Aristotle, Aquinas wrote that the human soul has distinct kinds of abilities. Vegetative powers, shared by plants and animals, serve growth, nourishment, and metabolism. Sensitive powers, shared with animals, include perception, passions, and locomotion. The vegetative and sensitive powers are material abilities of the brain. Yet human beings have two powers of the soul that are not material – intellect and will. These transcend matter. They are the means by which we reason, and by which we choose based on reason. We are composites of matter and spirit. We have spiritual souls. Aquinas would not be surprised by the results of these researchers’ investigations.,,, I see her (Katie) in my office each year. She is thriving: headstrong and bright. Her mother is exasperated, and, after seventeen years, still surprised. So am I. There is much about the brain and the mind that I don’t understand. But neuroscience tells a consistent story. There is a part of Katie’s mind that is not her brain. She is more than that. She can reason and she can choose. There is a part of her that is immaterial – the part that Sperry couldn’t split, that Penfield couldn’t reach, and that Libet couldn’t find with his electrodes. There is a part of Katie that didn’t show up on those CAT scans when she was born. Katie, like you and me, has a soul. https://www.plough.com/en/topics/justice/reconciliation/science-and-the-soul

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