Darwinism Intelligent Design Mind

Michael Egnor and Bernardo Kastrup: Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud

Spread the love

Michael Egnor and Bernardo Kastrup: Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud

Kastrup, a philosopher and computer scientist, does not accept a Darwinian account of the evolution of consciousness:

Michael Egnor: And so can consciousness have evolved by a Darwinian mechanism?

Bernardo Kastrup: I think by definition it cannot. By the way we define matter, it could not have evolved because it performs no function. Our physicalist account of reality entails that it is the measurable quantitative properties of matter that are causally efficacious. In other words, it’s mass, spin, charge, momentum that leads to effects, that leads to the dynamisms of nature, to the chains of cause and effect. And consciousness, that qualitative state that seems to accompany the quantitative dynamics of physicality, by definition cannot have causal efficacy…

News, “Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud” at Mind Matters News

Kastrup, a panpsychist, is also sympathetic to the basic intuitions behind the idea that there is design in nature (intelligent design theory)

Michael Egnor: What do you think of intelligent design theory?

Bernardo Kastrup: I do not know enough about it to really make an intelligent comment. I am ashamed to confess to this. But what I read about it, the limited reading I spent on this, suggests to me that there is nothing crazy about it. It seems a very reasonable thing to imagine that there are organizing principles in nature that have a causal influence on the organization of genomes in the course of evolution. And that we may not be aware of these organizing principles yet. I mean, that’s a fundamental assumption in science, that there are patterns of organization out there that we don’t know yet. That’s why we do research. That’s why you try to find out more about how the universe works.

News, “Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud” at Mind Matters News


Further reading on panpsychism:

Consciousness cannot have evolved. How many joules of consciousness would make you a human instead of a chimpanzee? How many more joules of consciousness would make you a genius?

Why is science growing comfortable with panpsychism (“everything is conscious”)? At one time, the idea that “everything is conscious” was the stuff of jokes. Not any more, it seems.

Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious. They’re not mystics. But materialism is not giving good answers so they are looking around

No materialist theory of consciousness is plausible. All such theories either deny the very thing they are trying to explain, result in absurd scenarios, or end up requiring an immaterial intervention. (Eric Holloway)

Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug. Materialists have a solution to the problem of consciousness, and it may startle you.

How can consciousness be a material thing? Maybe it can’t. But materialist philosophers face starkly limited choices in how to view consciousness.

and

Can machines be given consciousness? A prominent researcher in consciousness studies offers reasons for doubt.

11 Replies to “Michael Egnor and Bernardo Kastrup: Why consciousness couldn’t just evolve from the mud

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    Kastrup –

    In other words, it’s mass, spin, charge, momentum that leads to effects, that leads to the dynamisms of nature, to the chains of cause and effect. And consciousness, that qualitative state that seems to accompany the quantitative dynamics of physicality, by definition cannot have causal efficacy…

    Therefore, by definition (at least according to Kastrup), conscious thought didn’t cause him to make those statements.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H, you do realize that Kastrup is highlighting the failure inherent within the materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution do you not? As Sedgwick told Darwin, “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly”

    From Adam Sedgwick 24 November 1859 – Cambridge
    My dear Darwin
    ,,, There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro’ final cause , link material to moral; & yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, & our classification of such laws whether we consider one side of nature or the other— You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it—& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history. ,,,
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

  3. 3

    Perhaps at some point in the future, Kastrup will be known as the father of mental reality theory.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    “It performs no function” is an assertion, not an observation.

    Everything else in life has a well-defined purpose. Repeatedly we think Organ X or Behavior Y or Gene Z has no function, only to find that it’s crucially necessary. We should have learned to avoid broad assertions that a part of life has no purpose.

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    Wow.
    Bob O’H needs his reading glasses.
    Dr. Bernardo Kastrup is saying that the physicalist account of life is false. He is describing it (as it is sold and understood). NOT endorsing it.

    Btw. Bernardo Kastrup is an IDEALIST. He dislikes panpsychism.
    https://www.bernardokastrup.com/2015/05/the-threat-of-panpsychism-warning.html?m=1

    And he dislikes J. Coyne (the “dim-witted biologist”). That shows Dr. Bernardo Kastrup is an intelligent man.
    https://www.bernardokastrup.com/2020/02/dim-witted-biologist-consciousness-is.html?m=1

  6. 6

    Kastrup says:

    What seems to be completely beyond Jerry Berry’s ability to comprehend is that the dualism between mind and matter he implicitly relies on—particularly when talking about the effects of “manipulating that brain”—doesn’t exist. To an idealist like me, there is no brain outside and independent of mind. Instead, the ‘material’ brain is merely the extrinsic appearance, in some mind, of the inner mentation of (some other) mind.

    Therefore, when a neurosurgeon manipulates one’s brain leading to a corresponding modulation of inner experience, or when a drug does the same thing after being swallowed, what is happening is that one kind of mental process—whose extrinsic appearance is the surgeon’s probe or the swallowed pill—modulates another kind of mental process; namely, the subject’s inner experience. I elaborated more on this in the last paragraph of Section 9, page 25, of this paper.

    As such, the causation link from matter to mind that Jerry Berry implicitly relies on to ‘prove’ his materialism is only valid within his own hallucination of what a non-materialist metaphysics entails. As a matter of fact, Jerry Berry’s metaphysical views seem to be fundamentally based on misunderstandings of materialism and misunderstandings of other metaphysics. Philosophically speaking, the man seems unable to think straight or get anything right.

    Unfortunately, the same problematic misapprehension and bad reasoning is applied not only by materialists, but also by dualists, as we have seen in other threads on this site.

  7. 7
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hey guys I’ve been wondering this for a long time and I’ve tried to find any research studies that showed this

    But is there anything that shows when the neurologist or surgeon manipulated the patient’s brain through with DBS or electroshock stimulation, that the patient believed that they where doing the behavior and that they couldn’t tell it was not them

    Wilder penfield’s accounts are often quoted here were the patient could tell the difference but what about if it was the opposite? Would it pose a problem for the independence or dualistic nature of the mind

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    Anybody? Voodoo, voodoo economics

  9. 9
    Truthfreedom says:

    Dr. Bernardo Kastrup on the unfalsifiability of evolutionary theory:

    “Because if something, as presumably complex as consciousness can evolve, even if it has no function, even if it’s not selected by natural selection, then anything at all could have evolved and we might as well just throw our arms up and start over”.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-and-bernardo-kastrup-why-consciousness-couldnt-just-evolve-from-the-mud/

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    @9 truthfreedom
    I say this every time I see someone post “this is perfectly consistent with evolution”

    @ 7
    Does anyone know of any experiments where the patient was unaware that the neurosurgeon was making them do stuff

    It’s a question if there’s any proof of epiphenomenology

    I’m just worried about that

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    @AaronS1978
    No idea. 🙂

Leave a Reply