Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

If you are not a materialist, there is no problem with understanding consciousness

Spread the love
The Deep History of Ourselves by Joseph LeDoux

Psychiatrist Joseph LeDoux, author of The Deep History of Ourselves (2019), offers an extract, musing on the mystery of consciousness. In a way, his approach typifies what is wrong with the wholly materialist approach to the mind and the brain:

Like all living things, humans are organisms, biological entities that function as physiological aggregates whose constituent parts operate with a high degree of cooperation and a low degree of conflict. But unlike other organisms, humans possess a rogue component – a brain network that can, at will, choose to defect and undermine the survival mission and purpose of the rest of the body. This is the network that underlies human consciousness, and especially our capacity for autonoetic, or reflective, self-awareness, the basis of the conceptions that underlie our greatest achievements as a species – art, music, architecture, literature, science – and our ability to appreciate them.

Joseph LeDoux, “Can our self-conscious minds save us from our selfish selves?” at Aeon (September 4, 2019)

So what makes us explicitly human is merely a “rogue component”? Well, “rogue” according to whom?News, “Consciousness is mainly a problem for materialists” at Mind Matters News


At some point, shouldn’t some of us help these people find their way to a picnic table? Why are human distinctives denied or treated dismissively?

Takehome: Consciousness is like eyesight. It is simply your awareness of the real, bigger world. But materialists have a hard problem with that.


You may also wish to read:

Science journalist: No hype. Consciousness is a HARD problem! Michael Hanson reflected on the many futile efforts to “solve” consciousness. Perhaps accepting the fact that the mind is immaterial may convert the problem from intractable to difficult but solvable in principle.

25 Replies to “If you are not a materialist, there is no problem with understanding consciousness

  1. 1
    William J Murray says:

    When what most people call “objective reality” is itself determined by the conscious state of that which is observing it, it is clear that until we start seriously researching the capacity of consciousness to alter/interact/cause our “reality experience,” science is operating with ideological blinders.

    Mainstream science has spent the better part of 100 years attempting to dismiss and trivialize so-called “psi” research. The problem they have now is that that have made such research so discreditably toxic that few scientists will even consider it, much less attempt to conduct it.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    There’s no need for an “understanding” of consciousness. We know it exists, we know how to modulate it, we know when it turns off and on automatically. That’s all we need to know.

    Any attempt to form a theory ABOUT the phenomenon that enables us to form theories will be intrinsically circular and a total waste of time.

  3. 3
    William J Murray says:

    Polistra,

    So, research into how far consciousness can affect what we call physical reality is a waste of time?

  4. 4
    MikeW says:

    McFaddon’s CEMI field theory of consciousness (Conscious ElectroMagnetic Information) offers a materialistic explanation of our subjective conscious experience. As McFaddon puts it, his theory “proposes a scientific dualism that is rooted in the difference between matter and energy, rather than matter and spirit.” The field nature of the theory explains how each conscious thought can simultaneously perceive and process a vast amount of information, e.g. the visual information from a human face. It also explains why the unconscious mind can be processing several different threads of mental activity at the same time, whereas our conscious thoughts are experienced serially as a single and special mental process. It also explains why consciousness cannot exist in any current mechanical machine or silicon-based computer environment.
    https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2020/1/niaa016/5909853

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    MikeW@4

    If McFaddon’s theory really claims a materialistic account for consciousness using physical electromagnetic fields, it’s dead in the water. First of all it runs squarely into the “Hard Problem” of consciousness, where it is seen that the basic elements of consciousness like qualia (for instance the subjective (as opposed to objective) awareness and perception of things like the color red) are in an entirely different and higher realm of existence than the elements of matter and energy. The awareness of the color red is in another realm of existence from the EM field strengths, frequencies, etc. detectable by physical instrumentation. And there is not a clue how to derive the former from the latter. The same applies to other basic elements of sentient consciousness such as “understanding”, “knowing”, “willing” (or intentionality), and so on.

    Secondly, there is much parapsychological research that has shown that psi and esp abilities are independent of Faraday shields and the like, with no diminution of the phenomena with distance according to the inverse square law. And thirdly, a large body of empirical evidence from veridical NDEs and verified reincarnation memories has demonstrated the ability of the human spirit to detach from the physical body, observe from a distance in some sort of spirit “body”, and encounter deceased loved ones; it goes on. It would seem that none of these latter psychical phenomena should be possible if the human spirit is physically based on EM field effects.

  6. 6
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@5, actually the “Hard Problem” is one of the aspects of consciousness that is tackled head-on by McFaddon’s theory, which he discusses extensively in his 2020 article. Qualia are properties of the EM field that are integrated into the brain. The simultaneous firing of neurons stimulates the brain’s conscious EM field, which in turn stimulates downstream neurons. For example, when the brain’s neurons send information from the retina to turn a pixel in the visual cortex to “red”, the brain stimulates that pixel’s portion of the EM field to an orientation (polarization) that carries the property “red”. So that pixel in our conscious mind actually becomes red. See the article below for more details on this.
    https://www.findingmeaningfulness.com/Meaning_HowColor.pdf

    With regard to parapsychology, there’s a reason for the “para-“ prefix. After more than a century of research, there’s no objective scientific evidence for any psychic phenomena.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parapsychology

  7. 7
    doubter says:

    MikeW

    Please explain what physically measeable properties of EM fields are related to properties of consciousness such as awareness, perception, qualia (the experience of what it is like to see the color red for example), intentionality, etc. If they are related, how? For instance, how is the experience of seeing the color red related to the wavelength of the EM radiation, or its polarization, or its field intensity, or the degree and pattern of excitation of the rods and cones of the retina, etc.? Please explain how any of this relatedness is anything other than correlation between unmeasureable immaterial elements or properties of consciousness and measureable elements of EM fields and their associated neural effects.

    After more than a century of research, there’s no objective scientific evidence for any psychic phenomena.

    To the contrary. Take an unbiased look if possible at Etzel Cardena’s theoretical analysis and survey of meta-analyses of a lot of the research that has been carried out, in his paper in the American Psychologist, at https://ameribeiraopreto.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/The-Experimental-Evidence-for-Parapsychological-Phenomena.pdf :

    From the Abstract:

    This article clarifies the domain of psi, summarizes recent theories from physics and psychology that present psi phenomena as at least plausible, and then provides an overview of recent/updated meta-analyses. The evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms. The evidence for psi is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.

    The response from the establishment was remarkably weak, principally Reber and Alcock’s. They can’t and don’t plausibly attack the experimental evidence in any detail at all, so they dismiss all the work and all the evidence simply on the grounds that these phenomena are philosophically or metaphysically impossible according to current theory. They claim that since according to prevailing physics these phenomena are impossible, therefore they can’t and don’t exist regardless of any and all evidence. They don’t attempt to actually show how all the data accumulated are “flawed and result from weak methodology or improper data analyses or are Type I errors”. That would not be possible while being plausible, so they just take the lazy way out.

    Needless to say, in the pursuit of scientism this throws out any following of the true scientific enterprise.

    From Reber and Alcock’s attempt at debunking Cardena: “Searching for the impossible: Parapsychology’s elusive quest” :

    Recently, American Psychologist published a review of the evidence for parapsychology that supported the general claims of psi (the umbrella term often used for anomalous or paranormal phenomena). We present an opposing perspective and a broad-based critique of the entire parapsychology enterprise. Our position is straightforward. Claims made by parapsychologists cannot be true. The effects reported can have no ontological status; the data have no existential value. We examine a variety of reasons for this conclusion based on well-understood scientific principles. In the classic English adynaton, “pigs cannot fly.” Hence, data that suggest that they can are necessarily flawed and result from weak methodology or improper data analyses or are Type I errors. So it must be with psi effects. What we find particularly intriguing is that, despite the existential impossibility of psi phenomena and the nearly 150 years of efforts during which there has been, literally, no progress, there are still scientists who continue to embrace the pursuit.

    (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-31453-001 )

    This is just the experimental evidence from parapsychology. Then there is the large body of empirical evidence accumulated for psychical phenomena such as NDEs and reincarnation memories, that have been shown to be real even though only occuring spontaneously and not under control of experimenters. Reams of cases have been objectively and thoroughly investigated and found to be veridical. Documented for instance (for NDEs) in the book “The Self Does Not Die” by Dirven and Smit, and for reincarnation, numerous volumes by UVA researcher Ian Stevenson.

  8. 8
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@7

    CEMI theory is relatively new, but there already are some measurable and replicable experimental results that support it. McFaddon discusses these in various sections of his article. For example, CEMI predicts that synchronized neuron firing should be correlated with consciousness, which has been observed. Also, a lot of research has confirmed that external EM fields can impact the firing patterns of neuronal cells, that EM fields do play a role in communicating between brain neurons, and that people can experience EM field mediated motor control as conscious actions. You should read McFaddon’s article. It’s very interesting.

    Wrt wavelengths of visible light, when light of the wavelength associated with “red” hits the retina, signals are sent to the visual cortex to display “red” in the corresponding pixel of the visual EM field. The brain knows how to interpret that signal to orient the EM field on that pixel to the “red” property. The brain doesn’t “see” the red quale. Instead, the conscious mind, which is the EM field, actually becomes red at that pixel of the visual field. Non-mental devices and machines can’t perceive the color, because they don’t have the homochirality, the chiral-induced spin selectivity (CISS) and the Quantum Coherence of brain states. As Quantum Consciousness research continues, much more will be observed and learned about this.

    Wrt psi, the article you cite sums it up nicely on Page 10: “Clearly, psi effects cannot be replicated ‘on demand’ ”. The bottom line is that materialists like McFaddon wouldn’t bother trying to explain psi with any materialistic theory.

  9. 9
    EDTA says:

    >”Can our self-conscious minds save us from our selfish selves?”

    Nope. If there’s no God, then we are doomed because of our selfish selves.

  10. 10
    doubter says:

    MikeW:

    Concerning all the apparent confirmations that EM fields are intimately involved with consciousness: these are not in principle any different than the myriad of other neural workings and physical effects that have already been found to correlate with consciousness, such as the neural blood flow measurements and mappings produced by fMRI scans. These are all simply correlations between measurable neural phenomena and nonmeasurable events and actions in consciousness. These correlations are not even in principle evidence that the mind and consciousness are being generated by or are one and the same as these neural structures in the brain.

    What these correlations are evidence for is the alternate view that in physical life immaterial consciousness inhabits and is intimately associated with the neural structures of the brain.

    …when light of the wavelength associated with “red” hits the retina, signals are sent to the visual cortex to display “red” in the corresponding pixel of the visual EM field. The brain knows how to interpret that signal to orient the EM field on that pixel to the “red” property. The brain doesn’t “see” the red quale. Instead, the conscious mind, which is the EM field, actually becomes red at that pixel of the visual field.

    This seems incoherent to me, since it is simply stated that the conscious mind IS the EM field, without answering the conundrum of the Hard Problem, that absolutely no measureable parameter or characteristic of an EM field has anything to do with the inner experience of consciousness or subjectivity. Correlations are correlations not things being one and the same as.

    The bottom line is that materialists like McFaddon wouldn’t bother trying to explain psi with any materialistic theory.

    Since McFaddon is a materialist he probably would (like Reber and Alcock) simply dismiss the entire body of parapsychological and psychical data regardless of its evidentiality, since it simply can’t happen under his scientific paradigm. This accumulated evidence outright contradicts his theory. He has to simply dismiss it a priori without any detailed examination. As do so many other scientists or I should say practitioners of the religion of scientism today. So much for real science.

  11. 11
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@10

    You really should read McFaddon’s article, especially the section on “Testing the cemi field theory”. Recent brain-computer interface studies have shown that “patients trained to use [TMS] devices experience EM field mediated motor control as their conscious actions”. That is direct verification of EM fields generating conscious perceptions in humans, which has been replicated at multiple sites. That is exactly what the CEMI theory is all about. While it’s true that TMS devices haven’t yet been configured to generate color qualia experiences, that capability is probably coming soon, and it is certainly understandable within the CEMI theory.

  12. 12
    AaronS1978 says:

    We have post on em field before
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/03/a-new-theory-links-consciousness-to-bioelectricity/

    I found it originally on neuroscience news
    Although the theory is still a work in progress it is still a better alternative to the consciousness is an illusion motif many materialists adhere to

    But is the interaction between these fields and BCI proof it explains consciousness and qualia?

    I would think not.

    Reasons are that the theory depends on the brain’s ability to read the information in the field. This DOESNT explain why that results in a first person experience and the brain knowing how to interpret the waive adds nothing to why it does.

    It’s no different then the original claim that neurons just know how to create the consciousness which would be an illusion

    And it is important to know that correlation is not causation

    Further more if the field was the sole creator of consciousness due to the information it carried, then it would stand to reason that our brain would experience severe complications any time when entering em fields, from partial information loss, scrambled hallucinations, to total loss of consciousness (not the magnitude of an emp)

    Having studied MBS for sometime in school, this was not the case and people would experience minor side effects and the effects vary per person

    One thing that this theory could explain is unity of consciousness if the information if carried through out the brain at once

    It also MIGHT provide a scientific bases for a physical soul

    The theory is to new to tell at this point and I would hold my breath for it being the answer to the hard problem of the consciousness

  13. 13
    MikeW says:

    AaronS1978 @ 12,

    I can’t speak for you, but the idea of a “red” qualia being simply a property of an EM field that is integrated into my brain neatly explains my own first person experience.

    Wrt your objection concerning interference from external EM fields, Mcfaddon deals with that effectively in the “Objections to EM field theories of consciousness” section of his 2020 article. Separate EM fields do not generally couple and interact unless their strengths and frequencies are compatible. That’s why TV/radio/cell tower/etc. EM fields pass over, under, around, and through each other all the time, and why you need specially constructed antennas to receive them. Similarly, the strengths and frequencies of external EM fields don’t normally couple with the brain’s EM field. But Mcfaddon does mention that “well-established neurophysiological (Pell et al. 2011) and cognitive (Guse et al. 2010; Rounis et al. 2010) effects of TMS do however provide strong evidence that, appropriately structured, external EM fields do indeed influence our thoughts”.

    But I don’t think that CEMI can provide a scientific basis for a physical soul. Our soul includes all the information and design specifications needed to define our individual existence over time. That information is timeless and immortal, and far too complicated to be incorporated into any materialistic theory.

  14. 14
    doubter says:

    MikeW@6

    Qualia are properties of the EM field that are integrated into the brain. The simultaneous firing of neurons stimulates the brain’s conscious EM field, which in turn stimulates downstream neurons…

    This states as facts that (1) qualia, such as the subjective conscious perception of the color red for instance are somehow properties of the electromagnetic fields of the brain, and (2) that the brain’s EM field is conscious. If this is the case, please indicate what measureable physical property or properties of the brain’s EM field these are. The obvious physical properties or qualities of EM fields like field intensity, frequency, spatial pattern, polarization, phase patterns, etc. won’t do since the measured parameters of these and their units of measure have nothing to do with subjective elements of conscious perception. They are in entirely different existential realms. Neither do quantum mechanical parameters or properties seem to be candidates since they are still fundamentally physical.

  15. 15
    doubter says:

    MikeW@13

    Wrt your objection concerning interference from external EM fields, Mcfaddon deals with that effectively in the “Objections to EM field theories of consciousness” section of his 2020 article. Separate EM fields do not generally couple and interact unless their strengths and frequencies are compatible. That’s why TV/radio/cell tower/etc. EM fields pass over, under, around, and through each other all the time, and why you need specially constructed antennas to receive them. Similarly, the strengths and frequencies of external EM fields don’t normally couple with the brain’s EM field. But Mcfaddon does mention that “well-established neurophysiological (Pell et al. 2011) and cognitive (Guse et al. 2010; Rounis et al. 2010) effects of TMS do however provide strong evidence that, appropriately structured, external EM fields do indeed influence our thoughts”.

    This is very hard to believe, because for one thing people can live and work in very high intensity EM fields all day without their consciousness being affected. Near radar installations, radio and TV transmitters. Near high intensity microwave generators in microwave ovens. And people can spend a lot of time inside very high flux density Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines with no effect on their consciousness. With MRI scanning, the magnetic fields are very strong (the patient has to be free of any ferromagnetic objects including metallic implants) and the fields definitely and deliberately interact with the neurons of the brain in order to register images of soft tissues and blood flow. But they don’t affect the patients’ thoughts or generate qualia or other subjective whatnot.

  16. 16
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@15, the EM field is amazing. With frequency division multiplexing, thousands of EM signals can share the same cable wire at the same time, without interfering. Thousands to millions of EM signals from radio, TV, cell tower, satellite internet, etc. share the same airspace all the time without interfering. We take it for granted, but it’s still amazing when you think about it. The ability of many simultaneous EM fields to remain uncoupled makes possible a lot of our modern technology, especially wireless technology. It’s not hard to imagine that our Designer would make use of that feature for our bodies.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency-division_multiplexing

    MRI EM fields definitely interact with body solids/liquids, but not so much with other EM fields. Same for microwave ovens and food solids/liquids. In the past, there were concerns that microwave oven radiation might interfere with pacemakers, but that has been resolved with simple shielding of the pacemakers.
    https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/resources-you-radiation-emitting-products/microwave-oven-radiation

  17. 17
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@14, thanks for allowing me to clarify. The statements in @6 that you cite were made in the context of McFaddon’s theory. I should have made that clearer. As McFaddon mentions in the article, it’s certainly true that current non-biological devices and machines are unable to detect and measure much of the EM field activity in the brain. This is because the brain cells are so exquisitely finely-tuned, energy efficient, and shielded that much of their activities operate at undetectably low levels. Indeed, some of their activity may never be measurable with external devices, or may require ultra-high precision technology based on biological levels of homochirality, chiral-induced spin selectivity and quantum coherence. Who knows when or if any of that will happen outside of biology? In the meantime, Mcfaddon does cite experimental work where specially-tuned external EM signals have been shown to affect conscious perceptions. That work is fairly new, and so will most likely advance and improve in the future. But will technology ever progress to the point where they can project a “Gone With the Wind” movie as qualia directly onto your conscious visual cortex screen? That remains to be seen.

  18. 18
    doubter says:

    MikeW@17

    Unfortunately your post does not seem to really address my challenge in #14. To paraphrase this, the basic problem with this theory is that the physical properties or qualities of EM fields whether measurable or not have nothing to do with the elements of conscious perception, which are entirely subjective and unmeasurable.

    Physical properties, and the elements or qualities of consciousness, are in entirely different existential realms or categories of existence. You simply can’t even in principle measure the weight or velocity or energy of a thought or a perception. Neither do quantum mechanical parameters or properties seem to be candidates since they are still fundamentally physical.

    Therefore, your stated as a fact remark that qualia, such as the subjective conscious perception of the color red for instance, are properties of the electromagnetic fields of the brain seems not to be a fact but instead an erroneous opinion. The same seems to go for your statement that the brain’s EM field is conscious.

    Please engage with this issue.

  19. 19
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@18, I agree with you that non-biological laboratory devices and machines cannot currently measure the properties of perceived qualia. But I disagree that the properties of qualia cannot be measured at all. They are measured all the time with human and animal test subjects. For example, the NCS color system claims that its color system is closer than any other to a “Uniform Color Space” where every geometrical distance in the color space reflects the same amount of perceived color difference. The “perceived color difference” is based on test subjects’ perceptions of the qualia they perceive. The PCS color system adopts a spherically symmetric color space model which it proposes will be closer to a uniform color space than NCS. If that turns out to be true, then the spherical symmetries in PCS enhance the possibility that EM elementary particles may be the sources of the color qualia.

    As I stated in @17, I also agree with you that the statements you cite from @6 are not facts. But they are statements of theory, not opinions, and they do have some experimental support, so they may not be erroneous. That’s what experimental testing is all about.

    I also agree with you that materialists may never be able to identify the ultimate physical sources of perceived qualia, just as they may never be able to identify the ultimate physical source of gravity. But the point I’m making is that materialists do have interesting theories of consciousness that can explain the hard problems, and that make testable predictions. Since they have already learned how to tune external EM signals to interact with some qualia perceptions, there is the possibility that they will learn how to strengthen the interactions to the point where they can actually create synthetic qualia perceptions. As I mentioned in @17, whether they will ever be able to tune external EM signals to create color qualia directly on someone’s visual cortex screen remains to be “seen”. (But I’d bet on that before I’d bet on an anti-gravity flying car.)

  20. 20
    doubter says:

    MikeW@19

    I agree with you that non-biological laboratory devices and machines cannot currently measure the properties of perceived qualia. But I disagree that the properties of qualia cannot be measured at all. They are measured all the time with human and animal test subjects. For example, the NCS color system claims that its color system is closer than any other to a “Uniform Color Space” where every geometrical distance in the color space reflects the same amount of perceived color difference…

    What I was saying was that laboratory devices and machines can’t ever even in principle measure subjective properties of consciousness like thought, emotion, perception, etc. And I explained why. It simply boils down to the impossibility of weighing or otherwise physically measuring the inner subjective experience of a thought or an emotion or a perception in consciousness. The units of measure are fundamentally, existentially, different.

    The example you cite having to do with laboratory testing the perception of color is decidedly not measuring the actual qualia, which are the essence of consciousness – the immaterial subjective inner experiences of perception. What the researchers are measuring is the physical communicative responses of the experimental subjects reporting their subjective experiences. None of this research is actually measuring qualia – it is merely measuring the physical responses of the subjects or their answers to questions about their experiences. This is the same as it has always been with a myriad of other laboratory studies in other areas of research into human and animal experiences. In fact this is the only way we ever can find out what another person is experiencing, barring a Vulcan mind-meld. We never can actually observe or experience their qualia.

  21. 21
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@20,

    Even if we don’t know the ultimate source of a phenomenon, we may still be able to measure its properties. For example, we don’t know the ultimate source of the electron’s electric charge, but we can measure its properties. And all experimental measurements involve at some point the “physical communicative responses” of the perceptions of test subjects or experimentalists, whether it’s reading a dial or computer output and communicating that perceived data into a journal article, or comparing two color swatches and communicating their perceived distance in color space to a recorder.

    In the case of the color qualia space, systematic experimental observations from high-color-acuity observers actually provide measurements of the color qualia. For example, the normal human color qualia space is known to be 3-dimensional, with opposing colors White-Black, Red-Green and Yellow-Blue. Knowledge about this helps us understand aspects of color vision, e.g. color blindness. Some people send only two channels of information from their retina to their visual cortex. When that happens, their visual cortex can only work in two dimensions of the color qualia space. Most of these people’s brains decide to work with the White-Black and Yellow-Blue qualia dimensions, so their discernment of Red and Green hues is reduced or eliminated.

    If the 3-dimensional human color space is shown to be spherically symmetric, that would indicate a potential physical source, since other physical sources like gravity and electric charge exhibit spherical symmetry in space. If that is the case, then “color” would be like “electric charge”, i.e. a physical property that we can measure and characterize even if we don’t understand its source. Right now, only biological brains have the incredibly sophisticated technology needed to detect this color property. But if scientists are able to borrow and appropriate this technology into their machines, then their machines may someday detect and measure that property also. Even now, work is proceeding on the Chiral Induced Spin Selectivity effect, which may hold the key to this:
    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.accounts.0c00485

  22. 22
    doubter says:

    MikeW@21

    Even if we don’t know the ultimate source of a phenomenon, we may still be able to measure its properties. For example, we don’t know the ultimate source of the electron’s electric charge, but we can measure its properties. And all experimental measurements involve at some point the “physical communicative responses” of the perceptions of test subjects or experimentalists, whether it’s reading a dial or computer output and communicating that perceived data into a journal article, or comparing two color swatches and communicating their perceived distance in color space to a recorder.

    I just doesn’t look like we’re properly communicating. None of the physically measureable (or indirectly measureable through experimental subject’s reports) color perception properties you describe have anything to do with the nature and essense of the subjectivity of the inner experience and willing intentionality, etc. of the conscious self that is experiencing these qualia of perception. The essense of this subjectivity has nothing to do with these color vision measurements.

    Therefore the theory’s claim that the quale literally IS the brain EM field is mistaken.

    Therefore none of these properties indicate that qualia and subjective consciousness itself are one and the same as EM fields of the brain, or that subjective consciousness is accordingly generated by the brain and cannot exist without the brain, or that these measurements measure the essence of what subjective experience really is.

    And as already mentioned, the implausibility of these claims of the theory is confirmed by the large body of empirical evidence for the reality of veridical NDEs, reincarnation memories, other psychical phenomena, and ESP and psi.

  23. 23
    MikeW says:

    Doubter@22, now you’re moving the goal posts. Perceptual color distance in color space is generally classified as a measurement of a subjective experience. But now if you require an explanation of the “nature and essence of the subjectivity” of that experience, then yes I would agree that those terms are too nebulous and ambiguous to discuss further.

    Wrt psi and esp, parapsychology has a lot in common with Darwinism – a lot of unreplicable assertions, a lot of nebulous “just-so” stories, a lot of propaganda, and a lot of outright fraud. Like Darwinism, psi-science is pseudo-science.

    CEMI field theory, on the other hand, is solid science. It proposes potential answers to the “binding question” and the “hard question” of consciousness. It makes testable predictions, many of which have been experimentally confirmed and replicated. It’s falsifiable, so it may someday be disproven or superseded by a superior theory. But so far it looks promising. In the roughly 20 years that it’s been around, CEMI has provided more confirmed and replicated predictions than parapsychology has managed to achieve in over 100 years.

  24. 24
    doubter says:

    MikeW@23

    Wrt psi and esp, parapsychology has a lot in common with Darwinism – a lot of unreplicable assertions, a lot of nebulous “just-so” stories, a lot of propaganda, and a lot of outright fraud. Like Darwinism, psi-science is pseudo-science.

    The usual closed-minded response of scientism to the evidence.

    Please debunk Etzel Cardena’s theoretical analysis and survey of meta-analyses of a lot of the research that has been carried out, at https://ameribeiraopreto.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/The-Experimental-Evidence-for-Parapsychological-Phenomena.pdf.

    In it he concluded :

    …The evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms. The evidence for psi is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.

    In this debunking, make it plausible; do it in some detail and don’t resort to the lazy blanket dismissal on the David Hume philosophical grounds that Reber and Alcock resorted to.

    Similarly, plausibly debunk in at least some detail the veridical NDE cases documented in Dirven and Smit’s volume The Self Doesn’t Die”. Don’t resort to the usual blanket dismissal based on the scientistic grounds that these reported events are impossible so they didn’t and couldn’t actually happen, regardless of any and all investigatory evidence.

  25. 25
    doubter says:

    MikeW@23

    …now you’re moving the goal posts. Perceptual color distance in color space is generally classified as a measurement of a subjective experience. But now if you require an explanation of the “nature and essence of the subjectivity” of that experience, then yes I would agree that those terms are too nebulous and ambiguous to discuss further.

    Let’s say I report that “I just saw that bright red fire engine, and the color was just like that color card you showed me”. Your assertions are quite like claiming that since this report is an (indirect) measurement of my inner subjective experience of perceiving that color red, then accordingly this subjectively experienced quale is one and the same as this measurement. In other words, that we can learn all about the nature of this quale from my report, to the point that we can conclude that the quale IS the measurement. This seems patently absurd to me.

Leave a Reply