Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Neuroscience

Materialism’s secret of success, Hint: It’s not evidence

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Materialism enables irrational ideas about ourselves to compete with rational ones on an equal basis. It won’t work:

[Neurosurgeon Michael] Egnor offers a much more dramatic demonstration from an operation he performs, the corpus callosotomy, where a human brain is cut in half, to minimize otherwise uncontrollable epileptic seizures:

“But they still seemed to be a unitary person, they still seemed to be fairly normal. And what that implies I that the human mind is not generated purely by the matter of the brain. Otherwise, cutting the brain in half would have profound effects. It might create two people. Certainly, it would create a rather profound effect on a person’s state of consciousness. And it doesn’t.”

He also discusses the remarkable discoveries of twentieth-century Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield (1891–1976) who found that consciousness remained somehow intact, despite deep brain surgery, and that free will could be detected in the brain. And much more.

Denyse O’Leary, “Science Uprising: Stop ignoring evidence for the existence of the human mind! ” at Mind Matters News

Here’s the second episode: Mind: The Inescapable I:

See also: Robert J. Marks: A new short film series takes on materialism in science, including that of AI’s pop prophets At the Bradley Center, we are open to discussing and reporting any such discovery but are also open to evidence leading to alternative explanations.

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24 Replies to “Materialism’s secret of success, Hint: It’s not evidence

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    Brother Brian says:

    But they still seemed to be a unitary person, they still seemed to be fairly normal. And what that implies I that the human mind is not generated purely by the matter of the brain. Otherwise, cutting the brain in half would have profound effects.

    Blindfold a person with a split brain and put a ball in their right hand and ask them what he is holding. He won’t be able to tell you. There are all sorts of consequences of severing the corpus collasum.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    In regards to the commentary for free won’t in the video, Patrick haggard made a very specific push to eliminate that and found apparently some form of brain activity that either preceded it or was at the same time. This free won’t isn’t free either.

    Now free won’t and free will are HIGHLY contested sadly, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to be the master of your on destiny, but there really seems to be a lot of people in these areas that seem pretty gleeful to be proven right about having no free will. A kinda of “I told you so” attitude buttered up with the usual excuses that their perspective might better humanity now, might.

    But could I get commentary from a freewill Advocate on the claims patrick haggard and other have made trying to shoot down free won’t

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    From Psychology Today Split Brains:
    Brain’s Processing of Information Affected by Hemispheric Transfer

    Michael Gazzaniga and Roger W. Sperry, the first to study split brains in humans, found that several patients who had undergone a complete calloscotomy suffered from split-brain syndrome. In patients with split-brain syndrome the right hemisphere, which controls the left hand and foot, acts independently of the left hemisphere and the person’s ability to make rational decisions. This can give rise to a kind of split personality, in which the left hemisphere give orders that reflect the person’s rational goals, whereas the right hemisphere issues conflicting demands that reveal hidden desires.

    Gazzaniga and Sperry’s split-brain research is now legendary. One of their child participants, Paul S, had a fully functional language center in both hemispheres. This allowed the researchers to question each side of the brain. When they asked the right side what their patient wanted to be when he grew up, he replied “an automobile racer.” When they posed the same question to the left, however, he responded “a draftsman.” Another patient pulled down his pants with the left hand and back up with the right in a continuing struggle. On a different occasion, this same patient’s left hand made an attempt to strike the unsuspecting wife as the right hand grabbed the villainous limp to stop it.

    Split personality is a rare consequence of a split brain. In some cases, impaired interhemispheric communication leaves personality intact but still allows people to use the two hemispheres to complete independent intellectual tasks. An MRI scan of the savant, Kim Peek, who lent inspiration to the fictional character Raymond Babbitt (played by Dustin Hoffman) in the movie Rain Man, revealed an absence of the corpus callosum, the anterior commissure and the hippocampal commissure, the three cables for information transfer between hemispheres. As a consequence of this complete split, Peek, who sadly died last year, was able to simultaneously read both pages of an open book and retain the information. He apparently had developed language areas in both hemispheres. Peek was a living encyclopedia. He spent every day with his dad in the library absorbing information. Among his most impressive feats was his ability to provide traveling directions between any two cities in the world.

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    hazel says:

    Read “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” or similar books by Oliver Sacks. Egnor is minimizing the effects of various defects in the brain.

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    Seversky says:

    I don’t know if Dr Egnor mentions this but I was not aware, until I read this article, that there are actually three “cables” connecting the two brain hemispheres, so cutting the corpus callosum still leaves two others able to transfer information between the two halves.. In fact, some of these observed effects are what you might expect from a materialistic model of the brain/mind.

    And, as far as I’m aware, even Dr Egnor has not found any examples of a conscious mind that is not closely correlated with a living physical brain.

  7. 7
    AaronS1978 says:

    There is actually quite a bit of discussion about split brain patients on this website alone, just type in split brain, there is tons of conflict and evidence on both sides.
    The incident that you were speaking of, the person with a fully functional language center their brain, was not that fully functional and they were able to question it using scrabble letters. I was very unimpressed with what they found. Supposedly his right brain was an atheist. However as I would like to point out on this website alone there’s an incredible amount of discussion around split brain patients this is only one exert contradicting the dual personality hypothesis.

    The claustrum is also considered to be the seat of the consciousness and from my understanding still connects many parts of the brain even after you perform the surgery. Kristof Kotch believed that the information passing through it could be what makes us all conscious. If you electrically stimulated you pass out immediately with no recollection of the event. However, people like Raymond Tallis Going to great lengths explaining how the nerve would have to process every individual impulse and keep it from mixing and becoming cluttered which is impossible for it.

    And I’m pretty sure you can explain everything through materialistic perspective you just have to add more hoops to jump through

    Medical News Today:

    A new research study contradicts the established view that so-called split-brain patients have a split consciousness. Instead, the researchers behind the study, led by UvA psychologist Yair Pinto, have found strong evidence showing that despite being characterised by little to no communication between the right and left brain hemispheres, split brain does not cause two independent conscious perceivers in one brain. Their results are published in the latest edition of the journal Brain.

    Split brain is a lay term to describe the result of a corpus callosotomy, a surgical procedure first performed in the 1940s to alleviate severe epilepsy among patients. During this procedure, the corpus callosum, a bundle of neural fibres connecting the left and right cerebral hemispheres, is severed to prevent the spread of epileptic activity between the two brain halves. While mostly successful in relieving epilepsy, the procedure also virtually eliminates all communication between the cerebral hemispheres, thereby resulting in a ‘split brain’.

    This condition was made famous by the work of Nobel laureate Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga. In their canonical work, Sperry and Gazzaniga discovered that split-brain patients can only respond to stimuli in the right visual field with their right hand and vice versa. This was taken as evidence that severing the corpus callosum causes each hemisphere to gain its own consciousness.

    For their study, Pinto and his fellow researchers conducted a series of tests on two patients who had undergone a full callosotomy. In one of the tests, the patients were placed in front of a screen and shown various objects displayed in several locations. The patients were then asked to confirm whether an object appeared and to indicate its location. In another test, they had to correctly name the object they had seen, a notorious difficulty among spit-brain patients.

    To the researchers’ surprise, the patients were able to respond to stimuli throughout the entire visual field with all the response types: left hand, right hand and verbally. Pinto: ‘The patients could accurately indicate whether an object was present in the left visual field and pinpoint its location, even when they responded with the right hand or verbally. This despite the fact that their cerebral hemispheres can hardly communicate with each other and do so at perhaps 1 bit per second, which is less than a normal conversation. I was so surprised that I decide repeat the experiments several more times with all types of control.’

    According to Pinto, the results present clear evidence for unity of consciousness in split-brain patients. ‘The established view of split-brain patients implies that physical connections transmitting massive amounts of information are indispensable for unified consciousness, i.e. one conscious agent in one brain. Our findings, however, reveal that although the two hemispheres are completely insulated from each other, the brain as a whole is still able to produce only one conscious agent. This directly contradicts current orthodoxy and highlights the complexity of unified consciousness.’ Paper. (paywall) – Split brain: divided perception but undivided consciousness Yair Pinto David A. Neville Marte Otten Paul M. Corballis Victor A. F. Lamme Edward H. F de Haan Nicoletta Foschi Mara Fabri More.

  8. 8
    ET says:


    In fact, some of these observed effects are what you might expect from a materialistic model of the brain/mind.

    Except for the fact that there isn’t any materialistic model of the brain.

  9. 9
    Brother Brian says:


    Except for the fact that there isn’t any materialistic model of the brain.

    It’s right next to the no scientific theory of evolution. 🙂

  10. 10
    doubter says:

    AaronS1978 @ 3
    ” Patrick haggard made a very specific push to eliminate that and found apparently some form of brain activity that either preceded it or was at the same time.”

    Links please?

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    ET says:

    It’s right next to the no scientific theory of evolution.

    I don’t speak imbecile. Can someone translate that into English?

  12. 12
    FourFaces says:

    Speaking as a Christian: Yes, we are ONE, in the same sense that Jesus meant when he said, “I and the Father are ONE.” There is no question that, just like God, every human being is two persons in one. We live in a yin-yang reality. The right hemisphere is the boss and tells the left one what to do, just as the Father is the boss and tells the Son what to do. Just as Jesus is the Logos (the word or speaker), the left hemisphere of the human brain is the only one that speaks. A further analogy is that, just as the left hemisphere controls the right side (sits on the right side) of the body, we are taught that “the Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right side…” Both Christians and heathens will be astonished when the revolutionary scientific knowledge contained in some scriptures is revealed, especially the metaphorical ones.

    Just saying.

  13. 13
    FourFaces says:

    Re FourFaces @12,
    So I disagree with Dr Egnor that cutting the corpus callosum has almost no effect. The effects are not very noticeable in adults but careful experiments can be done to show that the two brains do think independently.

  14. 14
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ doubter
    I’m currently on my iPhone and I don’t know why my Google is not working to get you the link but I’ll tell you what the look up.

    It’s 2013 You can Google Patrick haggard “There is no free won’t” And it will come up it should be at the very top. I was reading through it, I’m not sure how to interpret it mainly because the fact that he almost alludes to any brain activity that occurs before the actual action can explain free won’t as some kind of subliminal priming which he also tries to eliminate in his experiment as well. I don’t know if he found anything truly specific from what I was reading in his conclusion. There was another experiment that was suggested at the wiki but to be honest with you the experiment was trying to see if there was an exact point where you would know you would veto the action and nobody could be very specific on that

    Because nobody could be exactly specific on the timing in which they vetoed the action they concluded that the veto was also caused by previous brain activity

    I just dismissed this very quickly as I don’t not know how anybody could pay attention to all of those things at once. Alfred Mele addresses this quite well.

    But Patrick Haggard is someone that desperately does not want free will to exist for whatever reason to the point that he had brain surgery done to himself just to test whether or not there was any level of free will so his subjective self would be able to know and tell. He is probably the biggest most prominent willusionist there is

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    AaronS1978 says:

    Doubter let me know if you found it ok if not I should be able to get it to u tonight

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    AaronS1978 says:

    I would really like some commentary from a free will advocate on this one that would be really nice.

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    doubter says:

    AaronS1978 @14

    Thanks. I found the paper, at . Presently slogging through it. Far be it from me to suggest strongly held, even desperately held, beliefs could influence objectivity and corresponding research results, but it certainly seems that his work on this issue raises that question.

    I consider the work on the “experimenter effect” phenomenon in parapsychology to be especially troubling, concerning the ability of researchers to achieve truly unbiased experimental results.

    Has there ever been a replication of these results?

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    AS78, are you rational and responsible? If not, it’s over . . . we can’t do anything requiring genuine rational, responsible significant freedom to be self-moved. If so, the source of such rationality cannot — repeat, CANNOT — trace to the activity of a composite, chain of interaction based computational substrate. We have to have an inherently unitary supervisory oracle that influences the in-the-loop controller, the brain . . . which is a computational substrate. That’s antecedent to studies of the behaviour of the brain, reaction times (with lags etc) and the like; which are misdirected. For scientific research to be valid we have to have credible researchers . . . who must be freely rational and responsible, accurately perceiving, categorising and reasoning about observational evidence, so the self-referential question is, do we have valid researchers? Further, if we really are morally governed by duties to truth, right reason, prudence (including warrant) etc, that means our mindedness is on both sides of the IS-OUGHT gap, which can only be bridged in the root of reality. The bill of requisites for such a source of reality include being able to cause a cosmos and being inherently good and wise thus trustworthy in framing such moral government. These worldview level logic of being issues are antecedent to science and its requisite rationality and responsibility. KF

    PS: Reppert needs to sink in:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A [–> notice, state of a wetware, electrochemically operated computational substrate], 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 [–> concious, perceptual state or disposition] 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.

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    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Egnor’s response to the misuse of Libet and others at ENV: Note also a more technical critique of the genre of such studies:

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    AaronS1978 says:

    For this particular experiment no, he was the first to do it, he has be the first to do a lot of experiments, many involve the sma, he also in his attempts to disprove free will, shot himself in the foot and discredited Libet’s RP as the cause of action, however found another candidate LRP, to correlate with the decision to move. This however, came much closer to time of will, and many times it came after. Patrick I think is the worst of the willusionists

    Agreed, there is an intrinsic self, awareness that I can’t see how they can erase, or exclude, with any level of success to be able to have unbiased results in these particular types of experiments. You can’t these these experiments on a sleeping, unaware, dead, or brainless being. ALL experiments start with that subjective self. Even Sam Harris admits that, and that it is irreducibly subjective, he said it was like flipping a coin and trying to argue that the coin is heads because it landed on tails. Neuro correlates and the subjective experiences are two sides of the same coin. He says this and them immediately denies the self right afterwards and states we have no freewill because you become aware of your thoughts after they “just pop in your head” he is frustratingly hypocritical but at the same token I can’t see how to refute his logic on thoughts, although for that thought to have any power it has to go through that subjective self first after it was generated.

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    AaronS1978 says:


    I’m not trying to keep this thread alive but I was just curious at what you thought about the paper once you’ve got a chance to digest it

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    OLV says:

    This paper is more recent:

    From Freedom From to Freedom To: New Perspectives on Intentional Action
    Sofia Bonicalzi and Patrick Haggard

    There are few concepts as relevant as that of intentional action in shaping our sense of self and the interaction with the environment.

    At the same time, few concepts are so elusive.

    Indeed, both conceptual and neuroscientific accounts of intentional agency have proven to be problematic.

    On the one hand, most conceptual views struggle in defining how agents can adequately exert control over their actions.

    On the other hand, neuroscience settles for definitions by exclusion whereby key features of human intentional actions, including goal-directness, remain underspecified.

    However, whereas action control is crucial for voluntary behavior, the nature of the control-conveying property eludes explanation. In particular, it is unclear whether action control requires conscious awareness.

    At the same time, it remains questionable whether low-level, automatic processes can account for the fine-grained movements featuring in skilled actions

    There are few concepts as relevant as that of intentional action in shaping our sense of self and the interaction with the environment. At the same time, few concepts are so elusive.

    Several questions remain open. Perhaps the most fascinating ones concern the match between what we named as the subjective and the objective sides of agency. In our view, the combination of conceptual analysis and empirical investigation is likely to continue playing a key role for this research field.

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    AaronS1978 says:

    I read the article it’s actually very interesting read it looks like they’re trying to actually combine both perspectives but one thing that I really appreciated about the article was the fact that they brought up that the locus of intentionality should not be looked for at the beginning of the onset of RP

    Even though the title was very confusing and epiphenomenalist challenge to freedom

    Also I was wondering who exactly wrote the article because if that really was Patrick haggard I have a little bit more respect for him if he actually wrote that that is very off base from what I normally read from him

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