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Is the brain a pasta maker or radio receiver, for thoughts?

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In a recent article in Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey H. Kripal discusses the way materialism prevents lines of evidence from being considered, usually by ruling them out in principle. One familiar materialist theme is that the mind is simply the buzzing of neurons in the brain, and “science” does not permit or admit any other possible view.

Actually, another possible view is that the brain is to the mind what a radio system is to a broadcast. As a matter of fact, the radio image accounts just as effectively for what we actually see. The reason for its unpopularity is that it is not materialist.

Baylor College of Medicine researcher David Eagleman (author of Incognito who may be starting to get the picture), offers an analogy in the form of a parable, relayed by Kripal, of what the present scene would look like if that were th correct state of affairs:

Imagine that you are a Kalahari Bushman and that you stumble upon a transistor radio in the sand. You might pick it up, twiddle the knobs, and suddenly, to your surprise, hear voices streaming out of this strange little box. … Now let’s say you begin a careful, scientific study of what causes the voices. You notice that each time you pull out the green wire, the voices stop. When you put the wire back on its contact, the voices begin again. … You come to a clear conclusion: The voices depend entirely on the integrity of the circuitry. At some point, a young person asks you how some simple loops of electrical signals can engender music and conversations, and you admit that you don’t know—but you insist that your science is about to crack that problem at any moment.

Assuming that you are truly isolated, what you do not know is pretty much everything that you need to know: radio waves, electromagnetism, distant cities, radio stations, and modern civilization—everything outside the radio box. You would not have the capacity to even imagine such things. And if you could, Eagleman says, “you have no technology to demonstrate the existence of the waves, and everyone justifiably points out that the onus is on you to convince them.” You could convince almost no one, and you yourself would probably reject the existence of such mysterious, spiritlike waves. You would become a “radio materialist.” Eagleman points out at the end of his book: “I’m not asserting that the brain is like a radio, but I am pointing out that it could be true. There is nothing in our current science that rules this out.”

Nothing in science but lots in materialism.

Incidentally, the Bushman might not be nearly as isolated, these days, as some materialists.

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Amen. Finally these folks figure out that indeed theres a logical option for a soul. Then the soul merely is connected to the brain. The wiring is just from the soul to the body. I am convinced we largely have a high memory and our soul just is connected to that and reads that. nothing else going on. I think i'm right and it fits better biblical boundaries. How can a Christian believe in brainism as the origin of any thought?? We think on the other side right?! Who needs brains? i don't ! Robert Byers
This bushman story reminds me of a delightful short story "He Who Thinks Has to Believe" by A.E. Wilder-Smith. The story is a conversation between isolated Neanderthals and the intrusion into their lives of "modern man" who try to convince them of the truth of the modern view that everything evolved. Find it at http://www.amazon.com/He-Who-Thinks-Has-Believe/dp/0871232596 Truly a must read. ayearningforpublius
Great analogy!,, along that line of thought here are a few notes,
The Mystery of Perception During Near Death Experiences - Pim van Lommel - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avyUsPgIuQ0 A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body. http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel_skeptic_response.htm A neurosurgeon confronts the non-material nature of consciousness - December 2011 Excerpted quote: To me one thing that has emerged from my experience and from very rigorous analysis of that experience over several years, talking it over with others that I respect in neuroscience, and really trying to come up with an answer, is that consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact. And of course, that was a hard place for me to get, coming from being a card-toting reductive materialist over decades. It was very difficult to get to knowing that consciousness, that there’s a soul of us that is not dependent on the brain. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/he-said-it-a-neurosurgeon-confronts-the-non-material-nature-of-consciousness/
also of note:
Mind and Cosmos - Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False - Thomas Nagel Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199919758.do the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this: 1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality. Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

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