Intelligent Design Mind Neuroscience

Michael Egnor: Neuroscientists can’t dismiss near death experiences

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Despite Christof Koch’s claims at Scientific American, says neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, NDEs are radically different from any mental experience caused by brain impairment. And that’s not all:

After amassing an extraordinary body of data about the brain over the past two centuries, we still have no clue as to how three pounds of brain meat gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem of the mind-brain relationship—the problem of explaining mental phenomena as wholly the consequence of the brain—remains completely unsolved, despite the fact that mental phenomena are the salient characteristics of consciousness.

It’s sobering to note that neuroscience has utterly failed to explain how the brain and mind relate. It is as if cosmology had failed to tell us anything meaningful about the universe; or medical science failed to tell us anything about health and disease; or geology failed to tell us anything about rocks. Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem, after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved.

Michael Egnor, “Neuroscience can’t dismiss near-death experiences” at Mind Matters News

See also:

Do near-death experiences defy science? NDEs do not defy science. They sometimes challenge human senses, which are based on our biology. For example, if the human eye’s usual limitations were not a factor, previously unknown colors—which we KNOW from science to exist—might be perceived.

and

Why medical scientists take near-death experiences seriously now. Today, we know much more about what happens to people when they die—and what we are learning does not support materialism. Near-death experiences are generally seen as real, even among hardcore skeptics and research focuses on how to account for them.

16 Replies to “Michael Egnor: Neuroscientists can’t dismiss near death experiences

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Nobody dismisses NDEs as reported experiences but interpreting them as drive-by visits to heaven is another matter.

    Egnor, meanwhile, in a clear breach of his own Ninth Commandment, misrepresents the field of neuroscience. No, there is no physical theory of consciousness yet, but to claim that, in two hundred years, neuroscience has made absolutely no progress in learning how the mind and brain function is not true.

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 1

    Think about what you wrote to sum up. “neuroscience has made absolutely no progress in learning how the mind and brain function is not true.” You admit that the mind is not an illusion and does exist apart from the brain.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to scientifically establishing the reality of NDE’s, it is interesting to note that the reality of NDE’s, or more specifically, the reality of a immaterial ‘soul’ that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies, plays right into the main debate between Darwinists and ID advocates.

    In particular, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information, which is the one thing that, (as every ID advocate intimately knows), unguided material processes cannot possibly explain the origin of, directly supports the transcendent nature as well as the physical reality of the soul.

    But first, to the consternation of atheists, the evidence for the reality of Near Death Experiences is far more robust than the supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution is. As Dr. Egnor noted, “Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a single protein/gene, or of a single molecular machine), which is never.,,,”

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    In fact, the main point of debate between ID advocates and Darwinists is over the fact that unguided material processes have never been shown to produce non-trivial amounts of information, yet we know from first hand experience that our minds can produce vast amounts of non-trivial information. I’m producing far more, (hopefully non-trivial 🙂 ), information right now as I write this post than has ever been observed to be generated by unguided material processes.

    The thing about information that forever prevents material processes from ever giving us an adequate account of it is its immaterial nature.

    As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in this following video, information is immaterial in its fundamental nature and therefore, by its very nature, is beyond the scope of, and is therefore irreducible to, any possible materialistic explanation.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    – Stephen Meyer – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    Moreover, on top of the ‘classical sequential immaterial information in DNA and proteins, (the classical sequential information in DNA that has been the source of endless debate among Darwinists and ID advocates), there is also now found to be quantum information that is ubiquitous within life. (within every important bio-molecule). For instance,

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    The interesting thing about quantum information is that it is non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, and that it is also conserved, i.e. it cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    The obvious implication of finding ‘non-local’, (beyond space and time), and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created nor destroyed), quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule of our material bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence directly implying that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.
    As Stuart Hameroff states ‘it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09QM86XBVKM

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    But to go further than just establishing the fact that, via quantum biology, we do indeed have a transcendent component to our being that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies, I would also like to touch upon the physical reality of heaven.

    Specifically, the evidence from Special Relativity, (which is currently one of our most powerful theories in science), strongly supports the physical reality of a timeless eternity and of a heavenly dimension that exists above this temporal dimension.

    As to a timeless eternity, we now know from special relativity, that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop for a hypothetical observer travelling at the speed of light.

    To grasp the whole concept of time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the very same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into special relativity. Here is a short clip from a video that gives us a look into Einstein’s breakthrough insight.

    Einstein: Einstein’s Miracle Year (‘Insight into Eternity’ – Thought Experiment 55 second mark) – video
    http://www.history.com/topics/.....racle-year

    That time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, and yet light moves from point A to point B in our universe, and thus light is obviously not ‘frozen within time, has some fairly profound implications as to verifying the reality of eternal, i.e. timeless, dimension.

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Dr. Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 11

    The only way it is possible for time not to pass for light, and yet for light to move from point A to point B in our universe, is if light is of a higher dimensional nature of time than the temporal time that we are currently living in. If this were not the case, then light would simply be ‘frozen within time’ to our temporal frame of reference.

    And indeed that is exactly what we find. “Hermann Minkowski- one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space.”

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

    One way for us to more easily understand this higher dimensional framework for time that light exist in is for us to visualize what would happen if a hypothetical observer approached the speed of light.
    In the following video clip, at around the 2:40 minute mark, (a video which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors), we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video – full relativistic effects featured at around the 2:40 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/JQnHTKZBTI4?t=161

    Interestingly, as was visualized at the 3:00 minute mark of the preceding video, (i.e. all of the light concentrating into the direction of travel, i.e. the light visualized at the ‘end of the tunnel’ in the video), is termed to be the ‘headlight effect’

    Relativistic aberration
    Relativistic aberration is the relativistic version of aberration of light, including relativistic corrections that become significant for observers who move with velocities close to the speed of light. It is described by Einstein’s special theory of relativity.,,,
    One consequence of this is that a forward observer should normally be expected to intercept a greater proportion of the object’s light than a rearward one; this concentration of light in the object’s forward direction is referred to as the “searchlight effect” (or headlight effect).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_aberration

    Now that we have outlined the basics of what we know to be physically true from special relativity, It is very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in heavenly Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know to be physically true about Special Relativity.

    For instance, many times people who have had a Near Death Experience mention that their perception of time was radically altered. In the following video clip, Mickey Robinson gives his Near Death testimony of what it felt like for him to experience a ‘timeless eternity’.

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voak1RM-pXo

    And here are a few more quotes from people who have experienced Near Death, that speak of how their perception of time was radically altered as they were outside of their material body during their NDEs.

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – Near Death Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    As well, Near Death Experiencers also frequently mention going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension:

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, (besides being able to ‘miraculously” see for the first time during in her life during her Near Death Experience), Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel at a ‘horrifically’ rapid rate of speed:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, the two Near Death Experiencers both testify that they firmly believed that they were in a higher heavenly dimension that is above this three-dimensional world, and that the reason that they have a very difficult time explaining what their Near Death Experiences actually felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    Mary C. Neal, MD – To Heaven And Back pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    John Burke – Imagine Heaven pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    That what we now know to be true from special relativity, (namely that it outlines a ‘timeless’, i.e. eternal, dimension that exists above this temporal dimension), would fit hand and glove with the personal testimonies of people who have had a deep heavenly NDEs is, needless to say, powerful evidence that their testimonies are, in fact, true and that they are accurately describing the ‘reality’ of a higher heavenly dimension, that they experienced first hand, and that they say exists above this temporal dimension.

    I would even go so far as to say that such corroboration from ‘non-physicists’, who, in all likelihood, know nothing about the intricacies of special relativity, is a complete scientific verification of the overall validity of their personal NDE testimonies.

    Verses:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    Seversky @1

    Some obfuscation and word play here.

    What Dr. Egnor actually said was, ” Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem, after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved.”

    The essence of the mind is consciousness. Please explain how Dr. Egnor’s statement is not true.

    Certainly neuroscience has made a lot of progress in understanding how the brain works, but how it supposedly produces consciousness – zilch. Not surprising, since it doesn’t – it’s a transceiver to use a rough analogy from telecommunications.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    BobRyan @ 2

    Think about what you wrote to sum up. “neuroscience has made absolutely no progress in learning how the mind and brain function is not true.” You admit that the mind is not an illusion and does exist apart from the brain.

    No, the mind can be conceived of as the sum of the brain’s activity and the fact remains that, when the brain ceases to function, the associated consciousness is irretrievably lost. No brain, no mind.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    seversky:

    No, the mind can be conceived of as the sum of the brain’s activity…

    That’s your evidence-free opinion, anyway.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 3

    As to scientifically establishing the reality of NDE’s, it is interesting to note that the reality of NDE’s, or more specifically, the reality of a immaterial ‘soul’ that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies, plays right into the main debate between Darwinists and ID advocates.

    There is no credible evidence for the reality of an immaterial soul. There is not even clear agreement on what the “soul” is.

    In particular, the transcendent nature of ‘immaterial’ information,

    What definition of “information” are you using in this case?

    But first, to the consternation of atheists, the evidence for the reality of Near Death Experiences is far more robust than the supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution is. As Dr. Egnor noted, “Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a single protein/gene, or of a single molecular machine), which is never.,,,”

    Both you and Dr Egnor set a very low standard for what constitutes “robust” evidence. Research indicates that millions of people have experienced lucid dreams in which they have flown unaided at will. Is that evidence, robust or otherwise, that they actually flew unaided or have the capacity to fly unaided in real life? No, it is not.

    In fact, the main point of debate between ID advocates and Darwinists is over the fact that unguided material processes have never been shown to produce non-trivial amounts of information, yet we know from first hand experience that our minds can produce vast amounts of non-trivial information. I’m producing far more, (hopefully non-trivial ???? ), information right now as I write this post than has ever been observed to be generated by unguided material processes.

    In other words, you are saying that information is a property of the conscious mind which is doing the perceiving, not the thing being perceived. At least on that, we agree.

    Moreover, on top of the ‘classical sequential immaterial information in DNA and proteins, (the classical sequential information in DNA that has been the source of endless debate among Darwinists and ID advocates), there is also now found to be quantum information that is ubiquitous within life. (within every important bio-molecule). For instance,

    What do you understand by “classical information” and “quantum information” and how they differ?

    The interesting thing about quantum information is that it is non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, and that it is also conserved, i.e. it cannot be created nor destroyed.

    So quantum information is eternal? It must have existed before the Big Bang, including information about us? So, in that sense, we are also eternal? But if I’ve always existed, how come I can’t remember any of it? My earliest memories only go back a few decades.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Doubter @ 5

    What Dr. Egnor actually said was, ” Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem, after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved.”

    The essence of the mind is consciousness. Please explain how Dr. Egnor’s statement is not true

    First, once again, I agree that the Hard Problem of consciousness as articulated by David Chalmers is a hard problem and we don’t yet have a materialist/physicalist account of how the mind arises from the brain.

    But neuroscience has made considerable advances in mapping brain functions and understanding how they interact. More specifically, there is evidence from transcranial EM stimulation and stimulation by directly implanted electrodes that various memories and experiences can be elicited which are components of our overall conscious experience. That’s far from being a materialistic account of consciousness but it suggests we are moving in the right direction.

    it’s a transceiver to use a rough analogy from telecommunications.

    The transceiver analogy is speculation that’s been around for a while but, as far as I’m aware, it hasn’t moved on from being just that.

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Egnor, meanwhile, in a clear breach of his own Ninth Commandment, misrepresents the field of neuroscience. No, there is no physical theory of consciousness yet, but to claim that, in two hundred years, neuroscience has made absolutely no progress in learning how the mind and brain function is not true.

    Speaking of the 9th commandment.

    Dr Egnor stated: “Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind.”

    You creatively re-wrote that he claimed, ” … neuroscience has made absolutely no progress in learning how the mind and brain function”

  11. 11
    JVL says:

    Seversky: There is not even clear agreement on what the “soul” is.

    According to Bary Ehrman, at the time of Jesus the Jews did not believe in an immortal soul. Check this out:

    https://inquiring.show Listen to the episode entitled “A history of the Afterlife”.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic at 9. Touche!

    As to Seversky’s attempted rebuttal of my posts at 8.

    Flap-doodle may be too generous of a characterization of his response to me.

    Regardless of whatever derogatory adjective best describes Seversky’s evidence free response to my post, I’ll let the empirical evidence that I presented in post 3 for the reality of the soul, and even the empirical evidence I presented in post 4 for a heavenly dimension above this temporal dimension, speak for themselves.

    Unbiased readers can decide for themselves who is being scientific and who is engaging in evidence free rhetoric.

  13. 13
    doubter says:

    Seversky@9

    “But neuroscience has made considerable advances in mapping brain functions and understanding how they interact. More specifically, there is evidence from transcranial EM stimulation and stimulation by directly implanted electrodes that various memories and experiences can be elicited which are components of our overall conscious experience. That’s far from being a materialistic account of consciousness but it suggests we are moving in the right direction.”

    Moving in the right direction? Wilder Penfield was the pioneer in brain surgery for epilepsy and made a number of key observations on the effects of direct brain stimulation. These key observations have never been refuted and pointed clearly and directly toward dualism as the correct theory of mind/body relationship. Note the bolded below:

    From the discussion of Penfield’s work at https://evolutionnews.org/2016/04/wilder_penfield/ :

    “Wilder Penfield was a pivotal figure in modern neurosurgery. He was an American-born neurosurgeon at the Montreal Neurological Institute who pioneered surgery for epilepsy.
    ……………………………
    During surgery, Penfield observed that patients had a variable but limited response to brain stimulation. Sometimes the stimulation would cause a seizure or evoke a sensation, a perception, movement of muscles, a memory, or even a vivid emotion. Yet Penfield noticed that brain stimulation never evoked abstract thought. He wrote:

    There is no area of gray matter, as far as my experience goes, in which local epileptic discharge brings to pass what could be called “mindaction”… there is no valid evidence that either epileptic discharge or electrical stimulation can activate the mind… If one stops to consider it, this is an arresting fact. The record of consciousness can be set in motion, complicated though it is, by the electrode or by epileptic discharge. An illusion of interpretation can be produced in the same way. But none of the actions we attribute to the mind has been initiated by electrode stimulation or epileptic discharge. If there were a mechanism in the brain that could do what the mind does, one might expect that the mechanism would betray its presence in a convincing manner by some better evidence of epileptic or electrode activations.1 [Emphasis added.
    ……………………………
    Furthermore, Penfield noted that patients were always aware that the sensation, memory, etc., evoked by brain stimulation was done to them, but not by them. Penfield found that patients retained a “third person” perspective on mental events evoked by brain stimulation. There was always a “mind” that was independent of cortical stimulation”.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Both you and Dr Egnor set a very low standard for what constitutes “robust” evidence.

    It will never get any lower than yours.

  15. 15

    So often, Seversky says things like: “No, the mind can be conceived of as the sum of the brain’s activity and the fact remains that, when the brain ceases to function, the associated consciousness is irretrievably lost. No brain, no mind.”

    I’d like to see if Seversky would be willing to try to support that assertion of “fact”.

    Or this one: “There is no credible evidence for the reality of an immaterial soul. There is not even clear agreement on what the “soul” is.”

  16. 16

    There is an enormous amount of evidence that consciousness survives death. Credibility, of course, always lies within the mind of the observer.

    The soul phone project, along with other research groups, have established ongoing contact with the dead. Contact with the dead was established in modern times by William Crookes in the early 1900’s. The research into it has been ongoing at the University of Arizona and other places. The Scole Experiments, for example. A researcher in Brazil has successfully established the capacity to get pictures and video from the dead. There is little doubt among those who have looked over the evidence with an open mind that consciousness survives death, and that what we call “the afterlife” exists.

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