Intelligent Design

Mind Over Matter

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In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place. 

William J Murray

172 Replies to “Mind Over Matter

  1. 1
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    The difficulty with this position is that there is more than one sense of “priority.”

    There is priority with respect to methodology — what must be taken as first in order to get inquiry going at all — and then there is priority with respect to ontology — what is more fundamentally real than other things.

    Methodological priority and ontological priority could align, but they don’t have to. Here are some philosophers for whom methodological priority and ontological priority are not the same thing: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel, and Dewey.

    So while “mind” (which is not quite how I’d put it myself, but who asked me?) is methodologically prior, it doesn’t follow that it is also ontologically prior. There are a lot of careful distinctions here that have to be maintained.

  2. 2
    Neil Rickert says:

    That sounds like an argument for solipsism.

  3. 3
    timothya says:

    Barry quoted this:

    Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first.

    Hold onto your unexamined assumptions, we are in for a bumpy ride on the Infinite Regress Express.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Well it seems that if KN, NR and Tim are not impressed with the obvious truthfulness of William j Murray’s statement, they are going to have a pretty tough row to hoe as far as the experimental science is concerned:

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    (Max Planck, as cited in de Purucker, Gottfried. 1940. The Esoteric Tradition. California: Theosophical University Press, ch. 13).

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    Besides the weight that Schroedinger and Planck bring to this, William J Murray also has the weight of experimental science behind him:

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    Here is Wigner commenting on the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: When I returned to Berlin, the excellent crystallographer Weissenberg asked me to study: why is it that in a crystal the atoms like to sit in a symmetry plane or symmetry axis. After a short time of thinking I understood:,,,, To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” (also see “Wigner’s Friend”)

    Moreover, further work has come along after Wigner’s Nobel winning work to provide even stronger support:

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Here’s a recent variation of Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, which highlights the ability of the conscious observer to effect ‘spooky action into the past’, thus further solidifying consciousness’s centrality in reality. Furthermore in the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    Here is a experiment which further clarifies the centrality of ‘consciousness’ in quantum mechanics

    “I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.

    Preceding quote taken from this following video;

    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness – A New Measurement – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video)
    http://vimeo.com/37517080

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Moreover, as if the preceding was not nough:

    Nonlocal “realistic” Leggett models can be considered refuted by the before-before experiment – 2008 – Antoine Suarez Center for Quantum Philosophy,
    Excerpt: (page 3)”nonlocal correlations happen from outside space-time, in the sense that there is no story in space-time that tells us how they happen.”
    http://www.quantumphil.org/SuarezFOOP201R2.pdf

    A simple approach to test Leggett’s model of nonlocal quantum correlations – 2009
    Excerpt of Abstract: Bell’s strong sentence “Correlations cry out for explanations” remains relevant,,,we go beyond Leggett’s model, and show that one cannot ascribe even partially defined individual properties to the components of a maximally entangled pair.
    http://www.mendeley.com/resear.....relations/

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.
    Mathematically (and mind-bogglingly), these constraints define an 80-dimensional object. The testable hidden influence inequality is the boundary of the shadow this 80-dimensional shape casts in 44 dimensions. The researchers showed that quantum predictions can lie outside this boundary, which means they are going against one of the assumptions. Outside the boundary, either the influences can’t stay hidden, or they must have infinite speed.,,,
    The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
    “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,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142217.htm

    But if KN, NR, and Tim want to argue that these experimental results are wrong they are free to conduct their own experiments to show us how consciousness can ’emerge’ from a material basis so as to prove that the experiments conducted thus far, at the very ‘quantum’ foundation of reality, are wrong:

    Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist

    Neuroscientist: “The Most Seamless Illusions Ever Created” – April 2012
    Excerpt: We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    Music and verse:

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY

    Isaiah 40:18
    To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?

  5. 5
    William J Murray says:

    KN:

    Ideas about ontology and methodology, what those concepts mean and how they are organized, and the potential non-alignments thereof, are held, argued, decided upon and believed or not believed …. where?

    To refuse that mind is ontologically primary is to deny any presumed valid basis – other than chance – for considering your statement to be true; if your mind is an effect of non-mind, then whichever you consider to be true will just be the effect of non-mind; your argument for it and how valid you consider that argument to be will also just be an effect of non-mind. IOW, if non-mind happens to produce it, you can bark like a dog, drool like an idiot, and believe you have made a compelling, air-tight logical argument.

    You can argue that non-mind necessarily produces true mental beliefs, but we know this is not true. We know both true and false mental beliefs can be held. Thus, non-mind cannot be trusted to produce true beliefs, true concepts, true evaluations, or true conclusions.

    In a non-mind primary world, there is nothing “primary” to appeal to in order to arbit the truth-quality of statements that is not itself equally prone to error. The fox (error-producing primary non-mind) is guarding the henouse of error. It is only if we posit something ontologically “superior” to the error-prone mechanism, that can override its misperceptions and mistakes (where such “overriding” is not generated by the same error-prone fox), that we can purchase a means by which to meaningfully discern true statements from false, and arbit true conclusions from error.

    This is the inherent assumption in any and every rational argument: that mind is ontologically primary.

    Without assuming mind is ontologically primary, as well as methodologically, you have undermined your own arguments to be nothing more than chance noises and sensations being caused by whatever non-mind agencies happen to be present and/or responsible, and you have undermined the nature of those listening to or reading your utterings to be capable of anything more than reacting to them however non-mind forces dictate. If non-mind happens to dictate that I interpret what you write as profound wisdom or babbling nonsense, that is what will occur.

    Even as you argue otherwise, your arguments necessarily assumes both the methodological and ontological primacy of mind. Because it is possible that the mind is not ontologically primary doesn’t give one the rational grounding for asserting that it is so any more than the fact that it is possible that I am a disembodied brain in a vat gives me rational basis for claiming it is so. It may be possible that the mind is not ontologically primary, but it is ultimately self-defeating sophistry to argue that it is not.

    This is the miracle of free will: the power to deny that which is breathtakingly obvious.

  6. 6
    niwrad says:

    Timothya,

    No “infinite regress” of minds. Indeed the fact that you write is proof that a first mind does exist. With an *infinite* regress in progress you wouldn’t be able to think and write anything *definite*.

  7. 7
    William J Murray says:

    BA77 @ #4:

    Which shows why free will is both both a necessary and important scientific assumption. Without it, we have no scientific explanation for anything to emerge from the quantum psychoplasm.

  8. 8
    timothya says:

    What is a “quantum psychoplasm”?

    What units does one use to measure its existence?

  9. 9
    Breckmin says:

    One of the problems is that we really don’t know (for certain)with any clarity what the exact difference is between “matter” and “spiritual.” When it comes to attempting to ontologically define the ‘spiritual’ we often resort to negation rather than exactism (since we really don’t have the nomenclature yet to perfectly define the spiritual with any real exact meaning). If the metaphysical is a different ‘type’ of “matter” (“meta-matter?”) we can not test it now… to ‘see’ what it is exactly. If the empirical world is sustained by the supernatural Creator through infinite order and power – then everything is “supernatural” to a different degree and we must make the distinctions by admitting the PROBLEM we have with have with terminology… NOT concept. We see this problem (imperfection) in theology all the time. It is a media problem (language)… not a conceptual one (truth).

  10. 10
    timothya says:

    Niwrad wote this:

    Indeed the fact that you write is proof that a first mind does exist. 

    Well, it is evidence that I might have a mind, but proof of a “first mind” would require more than quantum psychobabble.

  11. 11
    timothya says:

    Breckmin wrote this:

    It is a media problem (language)… not a conceptual one (truth).

    Please explain how it is possible to form a concept without language.

  12. 12
    William J Murray says:

    timothya:

    From Merriam-Webster:

    psychoplasm: a primordial substance held to supply the basis of the psychical as well as of the physical

    I consider quantum field of potentials to be – more or less – psychoplasm. I also call it “the body of God”.

  13. 13
    timothya says:

    From the Urban Dictionary:

    ” psychoplasmics n.

    From David Cronenberg’s 1979 film “The Brood”. A renegade branch of psychology that deals in the physical manifestations of one’s inner emotions, primarily, rage. One is encouraged to “go through their anger to the end.” In the movie, one of the main characters express her rage in the form of giving birth to mutant children (the “brood” of the title) who exact her anger on those she feels have hurt her.”

    Great. The Brood provides inspiration for The Body of God? I wonder theologies what we can develop from The Killer Tomatoes From Mars?

  14. 14
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    If there were an ontological gulf between mind and world, then it would be necessary to show that gulf could be bridged. But I don’t think that there is any such gulf. The fact of that we can err, and recognize that we err, and correct our errors, doesn’t show that there’s a gulf between mind and world.

    At this point, I don’t know what I would regard as “ontologically primary”. Perhaps the universe itself. What I would regard as methodologically primary isn’t so much “the mind,” in a Cartesian sense of a self-enclosed sphere of being, but rather what Edmund Husserl called “the life-world“.

    Personally, I’m very much taken with the idea that it is through human cognitive practices, and in particular that body of institutionalized cognitive practices we call “science,” that the universe discovers itself. That process runs through the origins and evolution of life itself, to the evolution of large-brained social animals, to the emergence of rational cognition amongst a small group of them, and thence to the history of inquiry that they initiated.

    I don’t know why folks here seem to insist on calling me a materialist, since I understand my own view to be pretty much just Hegelian idealism dressed up in contemporary scientific naturalism. Like all the pragmatists, my view is that one can naturalize spirit, in a Hegelian sense of spirit, without sacrificing the nature/spirit distinction or spiritualizing nature. More on that, I guess, if there’s interest.

  15. 15
    Breckmin says:

    timothya wrote:

    Please explain how it is possible to form a concept without language.

    The concept exists independently as objective meaning and can be communicated/translated into any imperfect language via inexact terms(an attempt at dynamic equivalence – perhaps).

    It is NOT that we are forming a concept without a unit of language (word) to describe the concept..but it is rather that our terminology so often contains equivocation OR inexactism to describe the concept we are grasping for.

    So it is NOT so much the general language that is the problem, but rather the specific terms and definitions for those terms which can be inexact.

    This leads to all sorts of misunderstandings especially in systematic theology where multiple distinctions must be made continually.

  16. 16
    timothya says:

    Breckmin wrote this:

    The concept exists independently as objective meaning. . .

    Note the word “meaning”. To construct a meaning, you have to use language. You haven’t solved the difficulty. You have simply asserted a poorly defined thing (a “concept”), and then proceeded to claim that it exists “objectively”, without evidence. Replace the word “concept” with the word “god” and apply the same reasoning. You may then see the problem.

  17. 17
    William J Murray says:

    KN said: “The fact of that we can err, and recognize that we err, and correct our errors, doesn’t show that there’s a gulf between mind and world.”

    It doesn’t mean such a gulf exists in fact; it just means that you must assume such a gulf exists. Again: because something is possible doesn’t mean it is a rational position to hold.

    You’ve begged the question that is represented by your use of the term “we”. What are “we” in the above scenario? If “we” are not distinct from that which we are evaluating, and “we” are not using some other commodity (stolen concept) than that which produces errors in the first place, then saying that “we” are “correcting errors” begs the question and necessarily utilizes an implied stolen concept – as if you are “something else” than what is producing errors, and as if what you are using to evaluate is something other than what is originally prone to errors. Without those assumptions, you have essentially said nothing, because you have proposed no means of discovering errors other than that which produces errors in the first place.

    If there is no “gulf” between mind and world, and if “we” are just aspects of the world, then the assumed and question-begged distinctions implied by your statement above are not available to you.

    How can X (matter) meaningfully recognize that it produced an error if the nature of matter is that it can produce all sorts of errors, even erroneous “recognitions” of error? If all X has to work with is the very mechanism that produces errors in the first place, then all such “recognitions of error” and attempted corrections can themselves be erroneous. There is no significantly different commodity to appeal to.

    Without anything extraneous to the error-prone X to appeal to or to employ as an arbiter, and indeed without something with a “gulf” between itself and the error-prone X to use the means of arbitration, there is simply no way to indemnify against such errors in any significant manner.

    Why bother computing answers when you know the computer produces all sorts of errors? Why bother running a diagnostic when you know the comptuer’s diagnostic process can produce all sorts of errors?

    X cannot guard itself against errors when X is known to produce pervasive, systemic and enduring errors.

  18. 18
    William J Murray says:

    tl;dr version of #17:

    You cannot rationally refer to the original error-producing system as a means of producing non-erroneous output required to solve the problem of error recognition and correction.

  19. 19
    Upright BiPed says:

    Tim “Hold onto your unexamined assumptions, we are in for a bumpy ride on the Infinite Regress Express”.

    Its funny that you should say this, given that the infinite regress is an issue in origins only if materialism is assumed to be true. So much for unexamined assuptions.

  20. 20
    Breckmin says:

    Note the word “meaning”.

    Think of “existence” and meaning/concepts that would come from such existence or being. (being as in existing)- independently of someone describing or defining it. Non-language perception might exist (i.e. sight observation), but the existence itself exists with all its implications regardless of the subjective perception of it.

    To construct a meaning, you have to use language.

    We are not talking about constructing a meaning but rather observing an existence that exists independently of our communication or our existence. Light as an existence independently of language – for example. The order of mathematics exists objectively regardless of our discovering it – another example.

    Existences and the concepts of these existences – apart from language describing them or attempting to describe them. It is the meaning translated from one language to another that I am referring to…NOT the construction of the communication itself.

    …without evidence. Replace the word “concept” with the word “god” and apply the same reasoning.

    I’m not really making an argument here – just acknowledging that there is/was existence regardless/before humans had language and that humankind doesn’t not have a monopoly on such objective meaning/existence… mathematics can exist in its order before the mathematician discovers it.

  21. 21
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: William J Murray @ 18

    You cannot rationally refer to the original error-producing system as a means of producing non-erroneous output required to solve the problem of error recognition and correction.

    For now, let the following ‘appeal to authority’ suffice:

    In studying logic, you hope to correct your present ideas of what reasoning is good, what bad. This, of course must be done by reasoning. . . . Some writers fancy that they see some absurdity in this. . . . They say it would be a petitio principii. . . . Let us rather state the case thus. At present you are in possession of a logica utens which seems to be unsatisfactory. The question is whether, using this unsatisfactory logica utens you can make out wherein it must be modified, and can attain to a better system. This is a truer way of stating the question; and so stated it appears to present no such insuperable difficulty, as is pretended. (Peirce)

  22. 22
    timothya says:

    Upright Biped wrote this:

    Its funny that you should say this, given that the infinite regress is an issue in origins only if materialism is assumed to be true. So much for unexamined assuptions.

    Fortunate we are that science makes no such assumption. On the other hand, scientific evidence for supernatural causes, proximate or ultimate, remains. . . zero.

  23. 23
    Upright BiPed says:

    Tim,

    UB: Its funny that you should say this, given that the infinite regress is an issue in origins only if materialism is assumed to be true. So much for unexamined assuptions.

    Tim: Fortunate we are that science makes no such assumption.

    If the assumption is not made, there there is no infinte regress, and consequently you had no basis for your comment at #3. I suppose you can counsel yourself as to why you made a comment based on making the assumption in #3, only to retract that assumption in #22.

    Tim: On the other hand, scientific evidence for supernatural causes, proximate or ultimate, remains. . . zero.

    You’ve been given material evidence that you cannot refute. The issue becomes how one equivocates on the question: “what counts as evidence”?

    In understanding this predicament, perhaps we can gain insight from a materialist who staunchly believes that Life originated from unguided processes, but also knows that the demonstrable evidence for that remains, as you say, “zero”. Yet he turns to the design proponent who holds evidence he cannot refute and simply says “You have no evidence”.

  24. 24
    Box says:

    @ W.J.Murray

    W.J.Murray: “Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer (…)”

    What do you mean by ‘unobserved observer’? Are you saying that the mind must regard itself as being distinct from what it observes; the mind has an outside perspective by definition? If so, there is an exception to this rule, because one of the extraordinary aspects of mind is that it observes itself.

    W.J.Murray: “Mind must be postulated as the (…) uncaused cause (…)”

    Are you referring to your own mind? I’m sure you do when you write: “Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized”. You are not talking about mind in general or God’s mind. I think you must be referring to your own mind. And I agree with you. The nature of (my) mind is freedom. And freedom can only create itself, or else it won’t be freedom. (My) mind is a whole and a whole can only create itself, or else it won’t be a whole.

    W.J.Murray: “It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first.”

    So my mind is its own cause.

  25. 25
    Alan Fox says:

    You’ve been given material evidence that you cannot refute.

    Join the club, timothya!

    Semiotics

  26. 26
    Alan Fox says:

    In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.

    This bit of text neatly illustrates why philosophy has become a minority pursuit!

  27. 27
    William J Murray says:

    KN:

    You’re really going to use, as an authority, the guy who considered matter to be a congealed form of mind, and considered mind to be ubiquitous as a universal commodity, as an authority to prosecute against the argument that mind must be held as ontologically and methodologically primary?

    From Stanford.edu: “This pan-psychistic view, combined with his synechism, meant for Peirce that mind is extended in some sort of continuum throughout the universe. Peirce tended to think of ideas as existing in mind in somewhat the same way as physical forms exist in physically extended things. He even spoke of ideas as “spreading” out through the same continuum in which mind is extended. This set of conceptions is part of what Peirce regarded as (his own version of) Scotistic realism, which he sharply contrasted with nominalism. He tended to blame what he regarded as the errors of much of the philosophy of his contemporaries as owing to its nominalistic disregard for the objective existence of form.”

    I’m not really sure what case you’re attempting to make via the quote you used. Are you trying to claim that logic is a flawed means of discerning true statements? I suppose you would have to hold that position, since logic, and individual, and world, are all cut from the same error-producing material under your view.

    If you hold that logic is a flawed means of determining the truth value of a statement, there’s no reason to debate other than as monkeys flinging rhetorical (and metaphorical) feces at each other. No sense trying to measure something with a ruler you know to be flawed, and for which you know you have no means of substantively correcting.

  28. 28
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mr. Fox, do you have anything to add to the conversation? Besides sneers and scoffs I mean.

  29. 29
    William J Murray says:

    timothya said: “On the other hand, scientific evidence for supernatural causes, proximate or ultimate, remains. . . zero.”

    Please support your assertion that there is zero scientific evidence for supernatural causes.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    The title of this thread “Mind Over Matter” reminds me of this video:

    The following video was surprisingly impressive to me in its experimental evidence for the mind:

    The Mind Is Not The Brain – Scientific Evidence – Rupert Sheldrake – (Referenced Notes) – video
    http://vimeo.com/33479544

    In the preceding video Rupert Sheldrake talks of a internet site that he has set up, especially for the skeptics, with specific instructions so anyone who is skeptical can do the experiments for themselves and see the results firsthand:

    Here is that online site:

    Online Tests
    Excerpt: Rupert Sheldrake invites you to participate in his ongoing research. No previous experience is necessary, and the online tests can be done immediately. Most of these experiments are suitable for use in schools and colleges, and some make an excellent basis for student projects.
    http://www.sheldrake.org/Onlin.....index.html

    Related notes:

    Study suggests precognition may be possible – November 2010
    Excerpt: A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ition.html

    This following experiment is really interesting:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    Here are some of the papers to go with the preceding video;

    Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research – Scientific Study of Consciousness-Related Physical Phenomena – publications
    http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/publications.html

    Correlations of Random Binary Sequences with Pre-Stated Operator Intention: A Review of a 12-Year Program – 1997
    http://www.princeton.edu/~pear.....review.pdf

    The Global Consciousness Project – Meaningful Correlations in Random Data
    http://teilhard.global-mind.org/

    I once asked a evolutionist, after showing him the preceding experiments, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”

  31. 31
    Upright BiPed says:

    Alan,

    A pack of relinquished materialists, patting themselves on the back for the snappiest soundbite (after six threads of trying to demonstate a flaw) is hardly sufficient for your purposes. Unless of course your pusposes are merely to portray a stiff upper lip. You are certainly well-suited to that creed.

    Just imagine how much more convicing the lot of you would be if you could simply articulate the flaw. Your best bet at this point is to appear unconvinced… and toss out one-liners.

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    It is my sincere goal in life to go beyond the one liner.

    To the two liner.

  33. 33
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: William J Murray @ 27:

    You’re really going to use, as an authority, the guy who considered matter to be a congealed form of mind, and considered mind to be ubiquitous as a universal commodity, as an authority to prosecute against the argument that mind must be held as ontologically and methodologically primary?

    Actually, I like a lot of Peirce’s metaphysics. I don’t fully share his panpsychism but I can see why he accepted it, and something like that makes sense to me.

    Where I would disagree with Peirce, and side more with Dewey, is that I think that there are somewhat sharper “plateaus” or semi-discontinuities — I wouldn’t read “mind”, in the full-blooded sense, all the way back into “matter as such” (whatever that is!), but I do think that mind, in a somewhat less than full-blooded sense, is deeply rooted in the nature of life as such. I have no problem with the view that grass, mushrooms, or even bacteria display a very rudimentary kind of mindedness. And I do think, also, that the properties of life are deeply rooted in the very structure of matter. That’s part of what I meant when I said that there’s no ontological gulf between mind and world — there’s no ontological gulf because mind is a feature of life, and life is a product of the universe.

    Indeed, I think that something like Peirce’s notion of “evolutionary love” anticipates self-organization theory. Nor do I have any quarrel with his defense of final causes or the reality of form. I keep on trying to say that I’m not a materialist, but a pragmatist, but for some reason no one here believes me. All I can say is, I’m trying.

    Another point about Peirce (and about pragmatism in particular) that is quite important to me is his rejection of Cartesian epistemology and the Cartesian conception of mind. Now, if one insists the the conception of mind as a private, individualistic, self-enclosed sphere of being, with problematic and at best inferential relations to anything outside of it, is the only conception of mind that there is — that that’s just what mindedness is — then, yes, there will be quite profound disagreements between us. But my rejecting that specific conception of mindedness does not make me an Epicurean reductive materialist.

    I’m not really sure what case you’re attempting to make via the quote you used. Are you trying to claim that logic is a flawed means of discerning true statements? I suppose you would have to hold that position, since logic, and individual, and world, are all cut from the same error-producing material under your view.

    I’m trying to claim that reasoning-in-use is fallible-but-corrigible, that as inquiry proceeds we not only arrive at better knowledge of states of affairs, but also better principles by which to guide our inquiry.

    If you hold that logic is a flawed means of determining the truth value of a statement, there’s no reason to debate other than as monkeys flinging rhetorical (and metaphorical) feces at each other. No sense trying to measure something with a ruler you know to be flawed, and for which you know you have no means of substantively correcting.

    I would think, on the contrary, that our conceptual schemata are ‘corrected’ by how well they are borne out by experience, and that it is in and through our experience that the world gets a vote, so to speak, in what we say about it.

    (But do you really think that monkeys do not reason? We know that they are remarkably intelligent in many ways. Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory, has argued that the capuchin monkeys he studies actually have an implicit sense of fairness. I find this quite fascinating.)

    Where we disagree, it seems to me, is whether the norms that guide inquiry must be utterly transcendent with regards to all worldly experience, or whether they can still serve their role as guiding and regulating our inquiry and conduct even if they too are revised in the course of human experience. I take the latter position, and it seem to me that you take the former. Is that fair?

  34. 34
    Graham2 says:

    Does anyone here have the slightest idea of how a ‘mind’ can work ? When does it appear (conception? birth? 3rd birthday?), when does it die ? Where is it ? (perhaps a little grey cloud above our head?), how does an immaterial mind communicate with our material brain? (telepathy ?, X-rays?). Do cats have a mind ?

    You lot appear to be remarkably willing to accept this kind of stuff, but equally lacking in curiosity about the obvious things.

  35. 35
    Graham2 says:

    Upright Biped at 31: Im surprised anyone wasted time on your incoherent word-salad.

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    Graham2:

    Upright Biped at 31: Im surprised anyone wasted time on your incoherent word-salad.

    Why? You obviously spent enough time on it to make the judgment that it was “incoherent word-salad,” why wouldn’t numerous others have similarly spent time on it?

    Does anyone here have the slightest idea of how a ‘mind’ can work?

    What a silly question. How much thought did you put into it?

  37. 37
    William J Murray says:

    KN asks: “Where we disagree, it seems to me, is whether the norms that guide inquiry must be utterly transcendent with regards to all worldly experience, or whether they can still serve their role as guiding and regulating our inquiry and conduct even if they too are revised in the course of human experience. I take the latter position, and it seem to me that you take the former. Is that fair?”

    I hold the logical principles of identity, non-contradiction and excluded middle to be objectively existent characteristics of mind. What we revise, IMO, are our descriptions of those characteristics, much as we revise our descriptions of gravity or entropy.

  38. 38
    Upright BiPed says:

    Graham,

    Im surprised anyone wasted time on your incoherent word-salad.

    My argument is surely wounded by your powerful retort. I suppose I’ll be forced to survive on the spectacle of you promoting your ignorance as a line of defense.

    Actually, we may have reached an agreement after all. Thanks for chiming in.

  39. 39
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed,

    Even a word-salad is a semiotic system!

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Breckmin @20 you state:

    The order of mathematics exists objectively regardless of our discovering it – another example.

    Actually the ‘order of mathematics’ is shown to be dependent on a cause outside of itself. To be contingent. i.e. Mathematics is shown not to have an independent, objective, or some might even say ‘Platonic’ existence but a dependent existence!

    Notes:

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Alan Turing and Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    of note; ‘the Word’ is translated from the Greek word ‘Logos’. Logos happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word ‘Logic’.

    Moreover:

    Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – 2010
    Excerpt: The Delayed Choice experiment changes the boundary conditions of the Schrodinger equation after the particle enters the first beamsplitter.
    http://www.physics.drexel.edu/.....elayed.pdf

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    i.e. Why should a mathematical equation even care when I decide to look at a photon? Mathematical equations can’t care about anything! Only infinite almighty God can care when or how I should decide to look at any particular photon in the universe!

    It is also interesting to note that ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics had to be developed before Einstein could elucidate General Relativity, or even before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated;

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss and Riemann – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/

    3D to 4D shift – Carl Sagan – video with notes
    Excerpt from Notes: The state-space of quantum mechanics is an infinite-dimensional function space. Some physical theories are also by nature high-dimensional, such as the 4-dimensional general relativity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VS1mwEV9wA

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Music:

    Sara Groves – The Word – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ofE-GZ8zTU

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    related note:

    Can Information Theory Explain Consciousness? January 2013
    John R. Searle (book review)
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....rminology/

    John Searle on information theory: Can we start by agreeing on terminology?
    Denyse O’Leary
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....rminology/

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    Corrected link:

    Can Information Theory Explain Consciousness? January 2013
    John R. Searle (book review)
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....tion=false

  43. 43
    Joe says:

    Did timothya really try to play the “regress” card?

    LoL!

    Well timothya, natural processes only exist in nature and therefor cannot account for its origin, which science says it had.

    You lose. Nice job, ace.

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Implicit in Graham2’s questions (gripes) here,,,

    Does anyone here have the slightest idea of how a ‘mind’ can work ? When does it appear (conception? birth? 3rd birthday?), when does it die ? Where is it ? (perhaps a little grey cloud above our head?), how does an immaterial mind communicate with our material brain? (telepathy ?, X-rays?). Do cats have a mind ?

    You lot appear to be remarkably willing to accept this kind of stuff, but equally lacking in curiosity about the obvious things.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-442746

    ,,,is the assumption that the material particles of the brain are sufficient within themselves to explain their own ‘eternal’ existence within space-time without reference to a prior ‘non-local’ cause. i.e. Material particles are assumed by materialists to be ‘self sustaining’. But materialists are now known to be wrong in this metaphysical assumption of theirs. All the material particles of the universe, including all the material particles of Graham2’s brain, are dependent a ‘non-local’ beyond space and time cause in order to explain their continued existence within space-time. Thus the more appropriate question that Graham2 should have asked is ‘what is this beyond space and time (non-local) cause that material particles are dependent on? i.e. why does he even have a brain in the first place for his ‘non-local’ consciousness to interact with?

    Quantum Mechanics has now been extended to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    A Quantum Delayed Choice Experiment – June 2012
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.4926v2.pdf

    Moreover:

    Another point of interest worth drawing out is that the brain has more switches than all the computers on earth,,,,

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    And computers with many switches have a huge problem with heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    Yet the brain, even though it has as many switches as all the computers on earth, does not have such a problem with heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, the heat generated by computers is primarily because of the erasure of information,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as the material computer is required to do,, because our memories are stored on the ‘spiritual’ level rather than a material level,,,

    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/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    Implicit in Graham2’s questions (gripes) here,,,

    Does anyone here have the slightest idea of how a ‘mind’ can work ? When does it appear (conception? birth? 3rd birthday?), when does it die ? Where is it ? (perhaps a little grey cloud above our head?), how does an immaterial mind communicate with our material brain? (telepathy ?, X-rays?). Do cats have a mind ?

    You lot appear to be remarkably willing to accept this kind of stuff, but equally lacking in curiosity about the obvious things.”

    ,,,is the assumption that the material particles of the brain are sufficient within themselves to explain their own ‘eternal’ existence within space-time without reference to a prior ‘non-local’ cause. i.e. Material particles are assumed by materialists to be ‘self sustaining’. But materialists are now known to be wrong in this metaphysical assumption of theirs. All the material particles of the universe, including all the material particles of Graham2’s brain, are dependent a ‘non-local’ beyond space and time cause in order to explain their continued existence within space-time. Thus the more appropriate question that Graham2 should have asked is ‘what is this beyond space and time (non-local) cause that material particles are dependent on? i.e. why does he even have a brain in the first place for his ‘non-local’ consciousness to interact with?

    Quantum Mechanics has now been extended to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    A Quantum Delayed Choice Experiment – June 2012
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.4926v2.pdf

    Moreover:

    Another point of interest worth drawing out is that the brain has more switches than all the computers on earth,,,,

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    And computers with many switches have a huge problem with heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    Yet the brain, even though it has as many switches as all the computers on earth, does not have such a problem with heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, the heat generated by computers is primarily because of the erasure of information,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as the material computer is required to do,, because our memories are stored on the ‘spiritual’ level rather than a material level,,,

    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/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

  46. 46
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: William J Murray @ 37

    I hold the logical principles of identity, non-contradiction and excluded middle to be objectively existent characteristics of mind. What we revise, IMO, are our descriptions of those characteristics, much as we revise our descriptions of gravity or entropy.

    I can somewhat see where you’re coming from here. But there’s a tension, it seems to me, in this view. One fairly natural way of securing the objectivity of logic is by thinking of logical principles as being intrinsic to how reality is anyway, just as gravity and entropy are part of how reality is anyway. But gravity and entropy, as part of the physical reality, don’t depend upon any minds in order to be what they are — if there were no minds, presumably, apples would still fall from trees and iron would still rust. (One might think that these physical events somehow still depend on some transcendent or infinite Mind, maybe.)

    But, if the objectivity of physics is secured by being mind-transcendent objects and relations, then presumably the objectivity of logic could also be secured by being about mind-transcendent objects and relations — namely the abstract objects and relations that we call the logical principles. And if logic no more depends on mind than physics does, then the objectivity of logic provides no basis for the ontological priority of mind.

    It seems to me that one would need to argue either that all objective knowledge, of both concreta (physics) and abstracta (logic), depends on some Mind — so the objective is grounded in the subjective? — or that neither physics nor logic are mind-dependent.

    In light of these considerations, I take the latter view.

    The difference between physics and logic is that our physical theories are true by virtue of explaining the causal relations between spatio-temporal events, whereas our logical theories are true by virtue of explicating the implicit norms of human reasoning.

    But the latter are just as objective in their own way as the former, because they are not subjective — the norms of human reasoning do not depend on the mental states of any particular person.

  47. 47
    Alan Fox says:

    Mr. Fox, do you have anything to add to the conversation? Besides sneers and scoffs I mean.

    Please feel free to address me as Alan.

    It’s your own fault, Barry. I am at a loss to understand why my posting privileges were restored without notice or explanation. (On the other hand, they were similarly and summarily withdrawn 🙂 ) I make no secret of the fact that I think philosophy is bunk. I just can’t take it seriously. You get nowhere just gazing at your navel. You need to look at the universe as it presents itself, not as you wish it to be.

  48. 48
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Alan Fox: I think philosophy is bunk… you need to look at the universe as it presents itself, not as you wish it to be.

    Evidence without a framework of interpretation is meaningless- merely sense data. While I would agree much philosophy is tedious and ultimately useless, the study and understanding of what I would call “practical philosophy” – the common sense epistemological framework that humans seem to be born with – seems to be worth studying because it can help to clarify thinking, yielding demonstrable benefits.

  49. 49
    Mung says:

    Alan Fox:

    I make no secret of the fact that I think philosophy is bunk.

    Philosophy is the love of wisdom. There’s a word for people who reject wisdom. If you were banned in the past it’s probably because whoever did so could not tolerate fools.

    You get nowhere just gazing at your navel.

    You just did philosophy.

    You need to look at the universe as it presents itself, not as you wish it to be.

    That’s philosophy.

    If you truly think philosophy is bunk, why do you engage in it?

  50. 50
    William J Murray says:

    KN said: ” But gravity and entropy, as part of the physical reality, don’t depend upon any minds in order to be what they are — if there were no minds, presumably, apples would still fall from trees and iron would still rust.”

    There’s two meaningful ways to go about this; there’s the rational approach, which requires mind to be considered primary, or there’s the scientific approach, which examines the physical world to find best explanations. Both means refute your position.

    However, if the exhaustive nature of BA77’s information on why nothing occurs in a quantum substrate universe without a conscious mind observationally collapsing potential states into realized states cannot move your view, I’m certainly not about to attempt it.

    Your view about a concrete reality existing outside of interaction with conscious observers, IMO, has been scientifically disproven for a long, long time, and all the evidence since (see BA77’s links and citations) have done nothing but confirm this perspective. What the physical world is (in any operable and definable sense) depends on how it is observed. It has no state other than as potential without discrete observation.

    “(One might think that these physical events somehow still depend on some transcendent or infinite Mind, maybe.) “

    Since you enjoy appeals to authority:

    “The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.” – Sir Arthur Eddington, Nobel Physicist

    “There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists, only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” – Max Planck, Nobel Physicist

    “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Max Planck

    “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter – not of course our individual minds, but the mind in which the atoms out of which our individual minds have grown exist as thoughts. — Sir James Jeans, Nobel Physicist

    Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel the electron to assume a definite position… We ourselves produce the result of the experiment. – Pascual Jordan

    “When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again. It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.” 0 Eugene Wigner

    “The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment.” – Bernard d’Espagnat

    “In the beginning there were only probabilities. The universe could only come into existence if someone observed it. It does not matter that the observers turned up several billion years later. The universe exists because we are aware of it.” – Martin Rees

    “[T]he atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.” – Werner Heisenberg

    Well, maybe I’m in pretty good company.

    I’m not sure what it would take to dislodge the notion of a atomist-like, physical reality with set characteristics that exists independent of conscious observation thereof if over a hundred years of theory-supporting research and experiment, and sound reasoning back to necessary assumption of primacy of mind cannot do the job.

    The idea of a materialist-like universe that exists independent of mind, and the idea that consciousness sprang up from that physical world, has been soundly refuted by 100 years of physics (not to mention being rationally untenable in the first place). BA77 soundly and exhaustively defeats this view at least once a week, sometimes several times a week.

    However, we are free to believe, ignore and dismiss whatever we wish.

  51. 51
    William J Murray says:

    Nothing quite so ironic as someone unwittingly employing philosophy while complaining that philosophy is “bunk”.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    ”But gravity and entropy, as part of the physical reality, don’t depend upon any minds in order to be what they are”

    Actually,,,

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must ex­plain space and time (General Relativity, i.e. gravity) as somehow emerging from fundamental­ly spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    and:

    Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh! – January 2010
    Excerpt: The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....fact-uhoh/

  53. 53
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    My main reason for thinking that quantum mechanics does not, pace BornAgain77, show that “mind” is more ontologically fundamental than “matter” is the following: from what I can tell, the citations he provides rest upon accepting the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    But, from what I know, there are at least two other interpretations that seem to be viable contenders: Everett’s many-worlds interpretation and Bohmian mechanics. (Perhaps there are others; I don’t know.) The other interpretations do not prioritize the observer as the Copenhagen Interpretation does. Not being a physicist (obviously!) I don’t have any scientific reasons for preferring one interpretation over another. I confess a penchant for Bohmian mechanics, from what little I know of it, but that’s just because he’s a Hegelian, as I am. So one could consider that as a “philosophical” rather than “scientific” reason, if you like.

    Granted, my knowledge of the philosophy of quantum mechanics is quite limited — I’ve read exactly articles in the field, one by Hilary Putnam (“A Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics (Again)“) and one by Nancy Cartwright (“Another Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics“). So I am not pretending to be as well-versed in the subject as BornAgain77.

    In any event, I have some reasons for disputing the claim that “the rational approach” requires that mind be ontologically primary — bearing in mind that I’m willing to accept, with reservation, the claim that mind is methodologically primary. So if it’s all the same to you, and if you’re still willing to engage with me, I’d rather go back to discussing that.

  54. 54
    Graham2 says:

    I presume the ‘mind’ is not to be questioned because its part of your theology.

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    ‘I presume the ‘mind’ is not to be questioned because its part of your theology.’

    correction:

    ‘I presume the ‘mind’ material is not to be questioned because its part of your theology religion.’

    There, all better!

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    ‘Everett’s many-worlds interpretation’

    Ludicrous, and now falsified!

    “and Bohmian mechanics.”

    now falsified!

    KN, I’ve noted before that you always fail to provide any precise empirical evidence to support any of your positions you claim to hold (you tend to just allude to broad areas without bothering to cite any specific experiments). So please tell me why should I, or anyone, pay your “educated” musings any ‘mind’ at all since as far as science is concerned, without empirical support, your words may sound as sweet as the ocean breeze but be just as empty for informing one on the true structure of reality?

  57. 57
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I have no interest in informing anyone about the true structure of reality. I’m an intellectual, not a mystic. I have to offer what it is I have to offer. If what I have to offer is of no value to you, then by all means ignore me; I shan’t be offended.

  58. 58
    bornagain77 says:

    “I have no interest in informing anyone about the true structure of reality.”

    Then why in blue blazes are you trying to defend your position that mind is not primary?

  59. 59
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Then why in blue blazes are you trying to defend your position that mind is not primary?

    Because it makes no sense to me how it could be.

    The view towards which I lean most strongly takes it that what is epistemologically primary is what the phenomenologists (Husserl and Merleau-Ponty in particular) called “the life-world”. As for what is ontologically primary, I suppose I would say “the universe”. The path from life-world to universe is the history of knowledge, and in particular of science; the path from universe to life-world is the history of life, and in particular sentient and sapient life.

    I like the idea that it is through science that the universe discovers itself. As I said, I’m very Hegelian. 🙂

    As for the origins or causes of the universe, I have no opinion at all. Quite frankly, it’s not a question that interests me very much. On the other hand, I am very interested in the origins of life, and I have just barely enough biology under my belt that I can sort of follow abiogenesis research.

    I wouldn’t presume to call what I think makes most sense “the correct structure of reality.” It’s the view that makes the most sense to me, and to a certain tradition of philosophers, scientists, logicians, etc.

  60. 60
    bornagain77 says:

    “I have no interest in informing anyone about the true structure of reality.”

    Then why in blue blazes are you trying to defend your position that mind is not primary?

    “Because it makes no sense to me how it could be.”

    Strange, did your mind decide that your mind does not make sense or was it the material state of your brain that decided your mind does not make sense?

  61. 61
    StephenB says:

    I am not clear on the terms of this debate. What precisely does it mean to say that the mind is primary?

    From a metaphysical perspective, it seems evident that mind is primary in the sense that matter arose from mind and not the other way around. Thus, God as pure spirit brought matter into existence.

    From an epistemological perspective, though, it seems equally evident that the human mind does not create physical reality, it apprehends it. A tree doesn’t exist because I think it into existence.

    What exactly are we saying or not saying?

  62. 62
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Funny you should ask, StephenB– I’m not too clear on the terms of the debate myself. It began with my taking issue with something William Murray said, and snowballed from there.

    I took issue with William Murray’s claim that “mind is primary” by introducing the distinction between ontological priory and epistemological priority. I wanted to make this distinction between I thought that Murray was appealing to the epistemological priority of mind as an argument for the ontological priority of mind, and that seemed confused to me.

    I wouldn’t say that “mind is epistemologically primary,” but I do think that there is something almost right about that thought.

    What is right about it is this: our epistemological starting-point is the fact of our lived experience as conscious and self-conscious embodied beings in the midst of a perceptible and intelligible world.

    I suppose we might argue over whether what is ontologically primary is “the universe” or “God.” But in my more pantheistic moods, I doubt that it matters very much.

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    StephenB: “What exactly are we saying or not saying?”

    Sorry for any ambiguity on my part. I didn’t mean to imply that the human mind is ‘creating’ physical reality. As far as our empirical science is concerned, each human mind is found to be merely ‘central’ to physical reality.

    here is a rough outline of the evidence:

    The Galileo Affair and the true “Center of the Universe”

    The Galileo affair has certainly turned out to be far different, and far more nuanced, than the simplistic ‘science vs. religion’ narrative that is told in popular culture today.

    Often times an atheist will try to deride a person’s Christian belief by saying something along the lines of, ‘Well, we also don’t believe that the sun orbits the earth any longer do we?’, trying to mock the person’s Christian belief as some type of superstitious belief that is left over from the Dark Ages that had blocked the progress of science. Yet, those atheists who say such things fail to realize that the geocentric (Earth centered) model of the solar system was overturned by three devout Christians, Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, the three primary scientists involved in overturning the geocentric model, were all devout Christians and it certainly was not an atheist, nor some group of atheists, nor some other religion, involved in overturning the geocentric model. Johann Kepler (1571-1630), a devout Lutheran, was the mathematician who mathematically verified Copernicus’s, a loyal Catholic, heliocentric model for the solar system. Diana Severance (PhD, Rice University), a historian with broad experience teaching in universities and seminaries, stated this about Kepler

    “About the time that the Reformation was proclaiming Christ rather than the pope as the head of the Church, science was announcing that the sun rather than the earth was the center of our planetary system. A leader in this changing scientific perspective was the German scientist Johann Kepler.,,, Throughout his scientific work, Kepler never sought any glory for himself, but always sought to bring glory to God. At the end of his life his prayer was: I give you thanks, Creator and God, that you have given me this joy in thy creation, and I rejoice in the works of your hands. See I have now completed the work to which I was called. In it I have used all the talents you have lent to my spirit.”[1]

    In fact, on discovering the laws of planetary motion, Johann Kepler declared this very ‘unscientific’ thought:

    ‘O God, I am thinking your thoughts after you!’ [2]

    I/n 1610, it was the Italian scientist Galileo Galilee (1564-1642), who was also a dedicated Christian to his dying day despite his infamous conflict with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church [3,4], who empirically verified Catholic Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’s (1473-1543) heliocentric theory. Thus it is undeniable fact of history that it was men of the Christian faith, and no other faith (especially atheistic faith), who overturned the geocentric model. In fact, it can also be forcefully argued that modern science had its foundation laid during the protestant reformation of the 16th century, and also when the Catholic church had its own private ‘mini-reformation’ from Greek influences over its central teachings during this era. The main point being that it can be forcefully argued that modern scientific thought itself, of a rational, approachable, intelligible, universe, a universe that could dare be comprehended by the mind of man, was brought to a sustained maturity when a more pure Christian influence was brought to maturity in the Christian church(es) of western culture and the stifling pagan influences were purged from it.[5,6,7,8,9]

    The heliocentric theory was hotly debated at that time, for it proposed a revolutionary idea for the 1600’s stating all the planets revolved around the sun. Many people of the era had simply, and wrongly, presumed everything in the universe revolved around the earth (geocentric theory), since from their limited perspective everything did seem to be revolving around the earth. As well the geocentric model seems, at first glance, to agree with the religious sensibilities of being made in God’s image, although the Bible never actually directly states the earth is the ‘center of the universe’.

    Job 26:7
    “He stretches the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing”

    Galileo had improved upon the recently invented telescope. With this improved telescope he observed many strange things about the solar system. This included the phases of Venus as she revolved around the sun and the fact Jupiter had her own satellites (moons) which revolved around her. Thus, Galileo wrote and spoke about what had become obvious to him; Copernicus was right, the planets do indeed revolve around the sun. It is now commonly believed that man was cast down from his special place in the grand scheme of things, for the Earth beneath his feet no longer appeared to be the ‘center of the universe’, and indeed the Earth is now commonly believed by many people to be reduced to nothing but an insignificant speck of dust in the vast ocean of space (mediocrity principle). Yet actually the earth became exalted in the eyes of many people of that era, with its supposed removal from the center of the universe, since centrality in the universe had a very different meaning in those days. A meaning that equated being at the center of the universe with being at the ‘bottom’ of the universe, or being in the ‘cesspool’ of the universe, as this following quote makes clear.

    In addition, contrary to what is commonly believed, we now know that in the eyes of its contemporaries, the Copernican Revolution glorified the Earth, making it an object worthy of study, in contrast to the preceding view, which demeaned the Earth. Ironically, the Copernican Revolution is almost invariably portrayed today as having demoted the Earth from a position at the center of the universe, the main concern of God, to being merely one of the planets. Danielson(2001) made a compelling case that this portrayal is the opposite of what really happened, i.e., that before the Copernican Revolution, Earth was seen not as being at the center, but rather at the bottom, the cesspool where all filth and corruption fell and accumulated. [10]

    Yet contrary to what is commonly believed by many people today of the earth being nothing but a insignificant speck of dust lost in a vast ocean of space, there is actually a strong case that can now be made for the earth being central in the universe once again.

    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, Einstein’s General Relativity has shown that 4-dimensional (4D) space-time, along with all energy and matter, was created in the ‘Big Bang’ and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

    There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. [11]

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live.

    So in a holistic sense, when taking into consideration the ‘Privileged Planet principle’ [12] which overturned the mediocrity principle, and which gives strong indication that the Earth is uniquely suited to host complex life in this universe, it may now be possible for the earth to be legitimately, once again, considered ‘central in the universe’. This intriguing possibility, for the earth to once again be considered central, is clearly illustrated by the fact the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), remaining from the creation of the universe, due to the 4-Dimensional space-time of General Relativity, forms a sphere around the earth. I find the best way to get this ‘centrality of the Earth in the universe” point across is to visualize it first hand. Thus I reference the first few minutes of this following video to clearly get this ‘centrality’ point across:

    Centrality of The Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8421879

    Moreover, this ‘circle’ of the CMBR that is found by modern science to encompass the Earth, from the remnant of the creation event that brought the entire universe instantaneously into being, was actually predicted in the Bible centuries earlier:

    Proverbs 8:27 (King James Version)
    “When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he drew a circle upon the face of the depth:”

    Proverbs 8:27 (New International Version)
    “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,”

    But as compelling as it is to use the privileged planet principle, in conjunction with the centrality of the Earth in the 4-Dimensional (4D) space-time of General Relativity, to establish the centrality of the Earth in the universe, this method of establishing centrality for the earth falls short of explaining ‘true centrality’ in the universe and still does not fully explain exactly why the CMBR forms an ‘almost’ perfect sphere around the Earth. The primary reason for why the higher dimensional 4D space-time, governing the expansion of this 3-Dimensional universe, is insufficient to maintain 3D symmetry, all by itself, becomes clear if one tries to imagine radically different points of observation in the universe. Since the universe is shown to have only (approximately) 10^79 atoms to work with, once a person tries to imagine keeping perfect 3D symmetry, from radically different points of observation within the CMBR sphere, a person quickly finds that it is geometrically impossible to maintain such 3D symmetry of centrality within the CMBR sphere with finite 3D material particles to work with for radically different 3D points of ‘imagined observation’ in the universe. As well, fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, seems to, at least from as far as I can follow the math, mathematically prove the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for the ‘completeness’ of 4D space-time within the sphere of the CMBR from differing points of observation in the universe. [13] But if the 4D space-time of General Relativity is insufficient to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ in the universe, what else is since we certainly observe centrality for ourselves within the sphere of the CMBR? Quantum Mechanics gives us the reason why. ‘True centrality’ in the universe is achieved by ‘universal quantum wave collapse of photons’, to each point of ‘conscious observation’ in the universe, and is the only answer that has adequate sufficiency to explain ‘true 3D centrality’ that we witness for ourselves within the CMBR of the universe. Moreover because of advances in Quantum Mechanics, 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. [14]
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    As to the fact that, as far as the solar system itself is concerned, the earth is not ‘central’, I find the fact that this seemingly insignificant earth is found to revolve around the much more massive sun to be a very fitting ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition. Please reflect on this for a moment, in regards to God’s ‘kingdom of light’, are we not to keep in mind our lives are to be guided by the much higher purpose which is tied to our future in God’s kingdom of light? Are we not to avoid placing too much emphasis on what this world has to offer, since it is so much more insignificant than what heaven has to offer?

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Here is a quote from evangelist Louie Giglio which I think captures this ‘poetic reflection’ of our true spiritual condition

    You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God. – Louie Giglio [16]

    Thus, as is extremely fitting from the basic Christian view of reality, the centrality of the world in the universe, comparatively speaking, is found to be rather negligible, save for ‘the privileged planet’ principle which reflects God’s craftsmanship, whereas the centrality of each individual ‘conscious soul’ in the universe is found to be primary,,,

    ,,,”Is anything worth more than your soul?”
    Matthew 16:26

    References linked at bottom of following page:

    The Galileo Affair and the true “Center of the Universe”
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

  64. 64
    William J Murray says:

    StephenB:

    My argument isn’t that mind “is” primary in the factual sense (although I personally hold this to be true), but rather that it must be considered primary in any debate. By primary, I mean that we must agree (or else fall into rational ruin) that mind cannot be considered the product of non-mind, but rather an objectively existent, uncaused commodity in its own right, with objectively valid or true principles as characteristics (logic, good), that is not caused by non-mind.

    Rather, how we see, examine, argue, interact with, and reach conclusions about our existence and what we call the physical world is entirely dependent upon the mind, and cannot rationally be held as entirely dependent upon non-mind (non-deliberate, non-teleological, caused) materials and forces as they happen to have interacted in our particular cases.

    The view that mind is either methodologically or ontologically secondary is self-defeating, even if it is true. Mind must be held as primary (without cause, not a secondary effect) in our epistemological and ontological considerations.

    This is why materialism (if true) would undermine one’s basis for meaningful rational debate, and why non-teleological, non-deliberate matter cannot be the foundation of anything other than a self-defeating worldview. Unless, of course, one’s worldview is that they just happen to believe whatever physics and biology happen to have produced in their particular case without any claimed, necessary or demonstrable connection to what is true.

    Buy, I don’t see any “mind-is-secondary” advocates who accept that about their position.

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    WJM,
    BA,

    Thank you for the clarification. I concur.

  66. 66
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Not surprisingly, I’m still willing to fight the good fight, for a while longer anyway.

    In re: William J Murray @ 64

    I mean that we must agree (or else fall into rational ruin) that mind cannot be considered the product of non-mind, but rather an objectively existent, uncaused commodity in its own right, with objectively valid or true principles as characteristics (logic, good), that is not caused by non-mind.

    Rather, how we see, examine, argue, interact with, and reach conclusions about our existence and what we call the physical world is entirely dependent upon the mind, and cannot rationally be held as entirely dependent upon non-mind (non-deliberate, non-teleological, caused) materials and forces as they happen to have interacted in our particular cases.

    There’s a non sequitur buried deep somewhere in here. The assumption seems to be something like this:

    We should not regard our cognitive capacities — especially our inferential capacities — as reliable if those capacities are caused by, or dependent on, any biological, chemical, or physical properties.

    I won’t dispute that lots of people have believed this, or something like it. The question is whether this assumption really makes any sense. On my view, this assumption combines a deep insight with a serious error.

    The deep insight is the distinction between reasons and causes, and the further idea that reasons are sui generis with regard to causes. We cannot understand “what it is for something to be a reason for what” in terms of causes governed by laws.

    John McDowell, in his Mind and World, draws the distinction between “the space of reasons,” using Sellars’ term, and “the realm of law”. McDowell’s own view, which I largely share in outline but not in detail, is what he calls “naturalized platonism” — in contrast with the “bald naturalism” (his term) which reduces the space of reasons to the realm of law (think Quine) and with “rampant platonism”, which makes reasons look ‘spooky’ or ‘mysterious’ in comparison with the natural world.

    There’s a long tradition of philosophers who insist on this distinction, running (roughly) from Plato’s critique of Anaxagoras in Phaedo through Leibniz’s critique of Spinoza down to Kant, somewhat overshadowed by late 19th-century materialism, and then revived at the beginning of the twentieth century by the critique of psychologism in Frege and Husserl. In the mid-20th century there was a naturalistic backlash against anti-naturalism, mostly led by Quine, but there are signs of it abating. My own view is, put quite roughly, a dialectical overcoming of the opposition between naturalism and anti-naturalism that focuses on “life” as the suppressed term that sustains the opposition between these views. (McDowell’s “naturalized platonism” almost does this.)

    That’s the insight. The error, as I see it, is to move too quickly from a categorical distinction — a distinction in terms of the basic categories of how we carve up the world — to basic ontology. Doing that just assumes a priori that the world as it really is conforms to our fairly naive categories about it. I think the relationship between how the world is, and our pre-theoretical, naive categories about it, is actually quite complicated and has to be mediated by empirical inquiry. And there could be some categorical revision as the result of empirical inquiry.

    In other words: just because we’re committed, as a fundamental presupposition, to a distinction between “the space of reasons” and “the realm of law,” it doesn’t follow that we must reject out of hand, a priori, a naturalized account of the space of reasons which shows how the space of reasons fits into the natural world. Doing that would involve showing how reason-giving, inference, perception, and action all supervene on a whole host of complicated facts, including (but not limited to) neurophysiological facts.

    That is extraordinarily difficult, but I think the correct attitude for an anti-naturalism to have is, “ok, but I’m not holding my breath” rather than “INCONCEIVABLE!”

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    KN,

    Your statement “Doing that just assumes a priori that the world as it really is conforms to our fairly naive categories about it. I think the relationship between how the world is, and our pre-theoretical, naive categories about it, is actually quite complicated and has to be mediated by empirical inquiry. And there could be some categorical revision as the result of empirical inquiry. “

    Doing that just assumes a priori that the world as it really is conforms to [y]our fairly naive categories about it – unless, of course, it is your view that it can be best understood via empirical inquiry is not just another naive category?

    Mediated … by mind. Empirical = mental methodology. Inquiry – capacity of mind to examine, sort, categorize, reflect.

    One cannot apply a method of inquiry without a metaphysical framework (assumptions) to begin with; these lie in the mind. You seem to think that you can investigate and reach conclusions without fundamental assumptions about who and what you and the world are, and how it would be best to go about doing that, and what any collection of data would mean.

    For whatever reason, you (and many others) are just intent on believing that mind is a caused, secondary phenomena, and will – apparently – repeatedly beg the question and steal concepts to do so.

  68. 68
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: William J Murray @ 67:

    One cannot apply a method of inquiry without a metaphysical framework (assumptions) to begin with; these lie in the mind. You seem to think that you can investigate and reach conclusions without fundamental assumptions about who and what you and the world are, and how it would be best to go about doing that, and what any collection of data would mean.

    I agree with letter but not with the spirit. 🙂

    Where you said, “One cannot apply a method of inquiry without a metaphysical framework (assumptions) to begin with; these lie in the mind,” it is only the second clause, “these lie in the mind,” with which I disagree.

    Because I do agree that we bring metaphysical categories to bear on empirical inquiry, so that for any particular inquiry in which we engage, there is already some metaphysics up and running that gives that inquiry its value, significance, and purpose.

    But, for one thing, notice that it would be a sheer fallacy to infer from:

    (1) For all particular inquiry in which we engage, there is some metaphysics already at work prior to it.

    to

    (2) Therefore, there exists some metaphysics already at work prior to all inquiry.

    For another, I don’t think of metaphysical categories as already at work “in the mind,” at least not if the mind is regarded as a self-enclosed sphere of being that has direct access to its own contents and (at best) problematic or inferential access to what is outside of it. That is precisely what I’ve been calling “the Cartesian model of mind”, and I think I’ve made my hostility to that conception abundantly clear by now.

    Instead, I think of metaphysical categories, as the most general features of a particular conceptual scheme or system, as necessarily embodied and social. They are implicit within our practices, and it takes the very rare person — the philosopher — to reflect upon them and make them explicit, sometimes also make suggestions for revision and improvement. But metaphysics is not the creation of philosophical reflection; it is always and already at work in our forms of life.

    And not just ours — I commend to your attention Baboon Metaphysics and How Monkeys See the World, both by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth, as contemporary works which describe how non-human, extremely intelligent and social primates categorize their physical and social environments.

    Indeed, I think that a truly comprehensive history of metaphysics would have to begin, not with Plato or Aristotle, or with the Pre-socratics or even with Homer, but with the social primates of the Oligocene.

    What is unique (so far as we know) about human beings is that, because of culture, language, and technology, we are not ‘locked into’ the metaphysics of our evolutionary inheritance, but rather our metaphysical categories themselves evolve over time, and this evolution goes ‘all the way up’ to include even our conception of what metaphysics is.

    So I think that the “historicity” of metaphysics goes all the way up — not only is there a history of metaphysics, but metaphysics is itself affected by this history, although the very idea that metaphysics is historically constituted was first realized by Hegel. What I add to that account is the insistence that not only is all metaphysics historical for us human beings, but also that the history of metaphysics reaches deep into our continuity with other living things.

  69. 69
    StephenB says:

    To say that matter came from mind is an easy enough proposition to defend. A self-existent, omnipotent, causeless, personal being, created matter from out of nothing and fashioned the laws that determine its activity. From a philosophical perspective, this is a perfectly straightforward and reasonable account of the beginning of time, space, and matter. It ties in nicely with science’s Big Bang cosmology and he Biblical report of God’s command, “Let there be light.” It makes perfect sense. The universe is the intended product of an immaterial, causeless cause.

    On the other hand, nothing exists in the raw materials of matter that could possibly bring about the finished product of a human mind. One could perhaps argue that a material brain can emerge from a material cosmic base, but that would not suffice to explain human activity. Among other things, humans composed solely of matter cannot arrange or re-arrange other material elements. Only an immaterial, spiritual mind can lead matter’s path. A human brain, absent the spiritual component, would simply act as matter acts; it would follow the laws of matter. Spirit leads; matter follows.

    If cosmic matter cannot produce humans with a spiritual faculty, can we then place our hopes in some eternal, pre-existing cosmic “law” that could generate a universe containing spiritual beings? No. By definition, an eternal law cannot make sudden decisions or perform creative acts such as creating time, space, and matter. As a slave to its own principle, a law can only do what it does. If it was flexible enough to do anything other than what it does, it would not be a law. Neither the existence of matter nor the principle of law can produce anything at all. This brings us back to the eternal, personal, self-existent, omnipotent, causeless cause as the only viable candidate.

  70. 70
    Box says:

    J.B.S.Haldane:
    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]”

  71. 71
    StephenB says:

    KN

    What is unique (so far as we know) about human beings is that, because of culture, language, and technology, we are not ‘locked into’ the metaphysics of our evolutionary inheritance, but rather our metaphysical categories themselves evolve over time, and this evolution goes ‘all the way up’ to include even our conception of what metaphysics is.

    Among other things, metaphysics provides us with the rational yardstick by which we analyze everything else. This is especially true for the first principles of right reason: the unchanging principles by which we analyze the ever changing world. We do not reason our way TO them; we reason our way FROM them. Accordingly, the Laws of Identity and Causality are not moving targets. If both the the yardstick and the thing being measured are thought to be changing, rationality is lost forever. That seems evident.

    What I add to that account is the insistence that not only is all metaphysics historical for us human beings, but also that the history of metaphysics reaches deep into our continuity with other living things.

    We don’t judge rational principles by examining history; we examine history by using rational principles.

  72. 72
    Mung says:

    StephenB:

    On the other hand, nothing exists in the raw materials of matter that could possibly bring about the finished product of a human mind.

    Matter lacks the potential to be the cause of mind?

  73. 73
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Stephen B @ 69:

    On the other hand, nothing exists in the raw materials of matter that could possibly bring about the finished product of a human mind. One could perhaps argue that a material brain can emerge from a material cosmic base, but that would not suffice to explain human activity. Among other things, humans composed solely of matter cannot arrange or re-arrange other material elements. Only an immaterial, spiritual mind can lead matter’s path. A human brain, absent the spiritual component, would simply act as matter acts; it would follow the laws of matter. Spirit leads; matter follows.

    If one insisted upon an Epicurean or Stoic conception of “matter”, as little billiard-ball items bouncing around hither and yon, governed only by strict laws, then I would of course agree entirely. But that is no part of my conception of nature, as I would like to think I’ve made quite clear on numerous occasions since I began posting here.

    The same point applies to Box’s quote from Haldane; if the Epicurean conception of matter were the only option for the committed naturalist, then Haldane’s worries would be quite apt, and his retreat into Platonism about thought would be well-motivated. But since that conception is not only one available, I find Haldane’s worries to be primarily a historical curiosity, and a warning against Epicureanism. But it is not something I’m particularly concerned about.

    I feel as though I’m repeating myself, and perhaps becoming quite boring in the process, but I shall say this one last time: it is perfectly clear to me that Epicurean metaphysics is fatally flawed. (Though I should also say at once that the anti-clerical motive which made that metaphysics so popular in the 17th centuries and onward is one with which I have the deepest sympathies.)

    Now, it has long seemed to me that among the deepest motivations for theological metaphysics is the conviction that life and mind could not arise from mere matter alone, and in some sense this is perfectly correct. But it puts the emphasis in the wrong place and gets things completely backward as a result.

    For theological metaphysics, the ‘formula’ is

    matter + mind = life

    But why, I enjoin you to ask yourselves, must we begin with a conception of matter to which something else must be added in order to produce life?

    The answer, I believe, is that the Epicureans were so adamant in following Democritus’ anti-creationism that they failed to see that in the process they were eliminating life as a basic category. It might also be noted that Democritus’ arguments for atomism are generated entirely by a priori considerations, in his attempt to reconcile Parmenides’ conception of being with the appearances. Aristotle, who was more attentive to the world as directly experienced, did not follow their error.

    So the correct starting-point for my inquiry is to begin roughly where Aristotle began: by taking life seriously. When this is done, both “matter” and “mind” fall into place as abstractions from the sensuous reality of embodied experience, not as fundamental realities in themselves.

    Now, I do not think that life always existed in the universe; there are no indications that it existed before about 3.4 billion years ago. And of course the problem of abiogenesis is one of the biggest problems of contemporary science. But here too, the path to a correct solution begins with the thought that “matter” itself is proto-biological, or that it has an inherent tendency to organize itself into larger and more complicated structures — a tendency that Kauffmann calls ‘the fourth law of thermodynamics’. (I’m not sure I follow him in all particulars, but it seems to be on the right track.)

    It might be noted here that Kauffman is following up on the insights of Prigogine, Deleuze, Whitehead, and Bergson — to put them in reverse chronological order. Point being, people have been working on this problem for over a hundred years. I’ve been reading their work. It’s really quite fascinating.

    If both the the yardstick and the thing being measured are thought to be changing, rationality is lost forever. That seems evident.

    Certainty, yes; rationality, no.

  74. 74
    Graham2 says:

    Bornagain77 @ 40: Mathematical equations can’t care about anything! Only infinite almighty God can care …

    I may be wrong, but I believe you once claimed that mathematical equations come from God. Is this correct ?

  75. 75
    StephenB says:

    Mung:

    Matter lacks the potential to be the cause of mind?

    That is a fabulous question and it deserves a straightforward response. I would say that, yes, matter lacks the potential to be the cause of mind. My reasoning would be as follows: Mind (like will) is an immaterial faculty of an immortal soul. I submit that temporal, corruptible matter cannot be transformed into an eternal, incorruptible soul. Put another way, matter cannot morph into spirit.

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Graham2

    I may be wrong, but I believe you once claimed that mathematical equations come from God. Is this correct ?

    That is what I believe the evidence we now have overwhelmingly indicates. The technical term is to say that mathematics are shown to be ‘incomplete’, and I find that this ‘incompleteness’ of mathematics matches up extremely well with ‘quantum non-locality’ (beyond space and time causation):

    notes:

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity . . . all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency . . . no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness . . . all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    Please note this quote from the preceding article:

    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.”

    and please note this:

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    The Known Universe by AMNH – video – (please note the ‘centrality’ of the Earth in the ‘circle’ of the universe in the video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    Planck satellite unveils the Universe — now and then (w/ Video showing the mapping of the ‘sphere’ of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with the satellite) – 2010
    http://phys.org/news197534140.html#nRlv

    also of note

    Is it possible to find the radius of an electron?
    The honest answer would be, nobody knows yet. The current knowledge is that the electron seems to be a ‘point particle’ and has refused to show any signs of internal structure in all measurements. We have an upper limit on the radius of the electron, set by experiment, but that’s about it. By our current knowledge, it is an elementary particle with no internal structure, and thus no ‘size’.
    http://www4.hcmut.edu.vn/~huyn.....14.cfm.htm

    Moreover:

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” –
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston (paper delivered at Hawking’s 70th birthday party)

    Mathematics of Eternity Prove The Universe Must Have Had A Beginning – April 2012
    Excerpt: They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. “A simple emergent universe model…cannot escape quantum collapse,” they say.
    The conclusion is inescapable. “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal,” say Mithani and Vilenkin.
    Since the observational evidence is that our universe is expanding, then it must also have been born in the past. A profound conclusion (albeit the same one that lead to the idea of the big bang in the first place).
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27793/

    As well, Turing extended Godel’s incompleteness theorem to the material world here:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356

    Whereas Gödel’s theorem says:

    “Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory.”

    and The Church-Turing thesis says:

    a physical system can express elementary arithmetic just as a human can, and that the arithmetic of a Turing Machine (computer) is not provable within the system and is likewise subject to incompleteness.

    *Any physical system subjected to measurement is capable of expressing elementary arithmetic. (This extends Godel’s incompleteness theorem to elementary particles of the universe) (Of note: both quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation are, in reality, instantaneous operations of mathematical logic

    *Therefore the material universe is capable of expressing elementary arithmetic and like both mathematics itself and a Turing machine, is incomplete.

    i.e. Any material particle you can draw a circle around cannot explain its own continued existence within space-time. Moreover, this incompleteness principle for material particles has now been born out on the empirical level:

    of interest:

    ,,,Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    Particle and Wave-Like Behavior of Light Measured Simultaneously (Nov. 1, 2012)
    Excerpt: Dr Peruzzo, Research Fellow at the Centre for Quantum Photonics, said: “The measurement apparatus detected strong nonlocality, which certified that the photon behaved simultaneously as a wave and a particle in our experiment. This represents a strong refutation of models in which the photon is either a wave or a particle.”

    i.e. Material particles cannot explain their own continued existence within space-time without referring to a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause to explain their continued existence within space-time.

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note:

    Qubits that never interact could exhibit past-future entanglement – July 30, 2012
    Excerpt: Typically, for two particles to become entangled, they must first physically interact. Then when the particles are physically separated and still share the same quantum state, they are considered to be entangled. But in a new study, physicists have investigated a new twist on entanglement in which two qubits become entangled with each other even though they never physically interact.,,
    In the current study, the physicists have proposed an experiment based on circuit quantum electrodynamics (QED) that is fully within reach of current technologies. They describe a set-up that involves a pair of superconducting qubits, P and F, with qubit P connected to a quantum field vacuum by a transmission line. During the first time interval, which the scientists call the past, P interacts with the field. Then P is quickly decoupled from the field for the second time interval. Finally, F is coupled to the field for a time interval called the future. Even though P and F never interact with the field at the same time or with each other at all, F’s interactions with the field cause it to become entangled with P. The physicists call this correlation “past-future entanglement.”
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-q.....ement.html

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    Kauffman’s speculations notwithstanding, the actual on the ground observation is that while there are ordering forces in the world (such as form crystals), there are also disordering and chance forces (thus 2nd law of thermo-d), leading to a situation where the net global trend is downhill.

    And, the other issue is that we are not here looking for order, but organisation and even contrivance.

    DNA, RNA and proteins, at the heart of cell based life, are not cases of spontaneous order, indeed the thermodynamics of the reactions are very hostile to forming such complex and endothermic molecules. Nope, these are information-rich, contrived molecules that are shaped by the need to form something specific to carry out a function in the cell.

    In the case of DNA and messenger RNA manufactured from it through an astonishing duplication procedure involving dozens of supporting molecules and an algorithmic process, then used in ribosomes to assemble proteins per a further algorithmic procedure, we are looking at algorithms, data structures, codes and final causes [purposes] far removed form the first steps to build the components required. Not to mention some serious chicken and egg loops.

    The protein synthesis process, to name just one key cell based feature, is irreducibly complex and coded information based, using molecular nano machines that are formed in the usual course through earlier cycles.

    There simply is no passive law or force pattern in nature that can credibly account for that on blind chance and mechanical necessity in some warm little pond or the like.

    There is only one thing that is empirically observed that can account for it, and that is intelligence acting by skill and knowledge to achieve purpose, through ART.

    Metrics like the Chi_500 CSI metric are only helping us see at what sort of threshold it becomes clear that blind forces and circumstances lose all credibility: about 500 – 1,000 bits. But that is easily surpassed by many more or less average sized proteins, not to mention by the assemblage required to get to the proteins. We have not even got to the whole living cell yet.

    In short, we are back at Plato’s remarks on the self-moving soul that manifests life by that purposeful activity that can act as a first cause that triggers a cascade of material effects, second or second thousandth.

    Don’t forget the point where Plato has his characters speak that soul (here embracing mind) in action is recognised as life.

    Plato’s contention is of course that soul comes first and the material world is a product of soul, with its well ordered character pointing to the goodness of the soul behind it.

    While we may debate the ins and outs of his wider philosophy all day, that will not be pivotal, what is, is the issue that organisation towards purpose through art is empirically detectable and points to the action of the knowledgeable, skilled and purposeful mind as chief initiating cause behind the resulting contrivance. Even where a contrivance has the further feature Paley identified, of being able to replicate itself, and which von Neumann elaborated on the idea of a coded blueprint, reader and constructor under control of that blueprint.

    And all this also brings us back to the final turtle issue you have said you would get back to some weeks back now.

    KF

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    Graham2:

    Try out the well known result:

    0 = 1 + e^i*pi

    Not the more or less simple derivation, the astonishing unity of mathematics — the structural, logical features of reality and potential reality — that is thereby revealed.

    Remember, we are looking at entire provinces of learning in mathematics, and in related fields brought together in one here. Where, e^jwt is the core of Fourier frequency domain analysis, and if we bring in the transient factor sigma, we are looking at the whole province of Laplace and Z transform dynamic systems behaviour. Where pi is rooted in the structural ratios of a circle, and leads out to the natural unit of angle measure. Where e is the result of using calculus to evaluate the area under 1/x from 1 to a point where the resulting area is 1, thus grounding a natural logarithm base. Thus also bringing in the whole province of things like the Weber Fechner law of log compressions in our sensing of reality. But also, the whole world of exponential growth. And, we must not forget what 0 and 1 signify, how we can start with the empty set {} and then construct a set containing it, then a set containing the two sets so far, then the three so far, and thus the natural numbers, then we can define operations on manipulations and from that we get equality, functions, extensions to the rationals, the reals and the complex numbers by defining a planar rotation vector that on double application gets us to the negation, i.e. we have a square root of negative unity.

    And in all of this astonishing complexity, as we work along, BANG, we drop out to an expression that brings it all together in one. The Euler expression above.

    I call that equation the personal signature of the unifying architect of the cosmos. (I would have inscribed it on the Scutum Fidei, viewed as God’s coat of arms as his seal and signet, I think that much of this equation and what it is telling us.)

    Now, kindly climb down from the high horse of Alinskyite ridicule and mockery by insinuation and tell us just why you think that Mathematics does not point strongly to a unifying mind behind reality and reason, a mind who is Reason Himself and who invites us to contemplate the beauty of sheer reason through mathematics and then has the grace to bless us with making that mathematics into the magic chalice that unlocks the potentialities of the world for our benefit.

    KF

  80. 80
    bornagain77 says:

    As well, Godel’s incompleteness theorem, since it does indeed apply to ANY material system in the universe, and the material universe itself, is excellent logical proof for Craig’s Kalam Cosmological argument, as well I hold it as excellent logical proof for Aquinas’s First, Second, and Third way of his ‘the five ways’:

    notes:

    Thomas Aquinas, “The Five Ways”
    Part I. The Argument from Motion. (Thomas argues that since everything that moves is moved by another, there must thereby exist an Unmoved Mover.)
    Part II. The Argument from Efficient Cause. (The sequence of causes which make up this universe must have a First Cause.)
    Part III. The Argument to Necessary Being. (Since all existent things depend upon other things for their existence, there must exist at least one thing that is not dependent and so is a Necessary Being.)
    http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/aquinas.shtml

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    And To comment on KF’s observation for Euler’s Identity. The following is the very ‘different’ equation that is found to govern the ‘macro’ structure of the universe:

    0 = 1 + e ^(i*pi) — Euler’s Identity

    Believe it or not, the five most important numbers in mathematics are tied together, through the complex domain in Euler’s number, And that points, ever so subtly but strongly, to a world of reality beyond the immediately physical.

    God by the Numbers – Connecting the constants
    Excerpt: The final number comes from theoretical mathematics. It is Euler’s (pronounced “Oiler’s”) number: e^pi*i. This number is equal to -1, so when the formula is written e^pi*i+1 = 0, it connects the five most important constants in mathematics (e, pi, i, 0, and 1) along with three of the most important mathematical operations (addition, multiplication, and exponentiation). These five constants symbolize the four major branches of classical mathematics: arithmetic, represented by 1 and 0; algebra, by i; geometry, by pi; and analysis, by e, the base of the natural log. e^pi*i+1 = 0 has been called “the most famous of all formulas,” because, as one textbook says, “It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientist, the philosopher, and the mathematician.”,,,
    The discovery of this number gave mathematicians the same sense of delight and wonder that would come from the discovery that three broken pieces of pottery, each made in different countries, could be fitted together to make a perfect sphere. It seemed to argue that there was a plan where no plan should be.,,,
    Today, numbers from astronomy, biology, and theoretical mathematics point to a rational mind behind the universe.,,, The apostle John prepared the way for this conclusion when he used the word for logic, reason, and rationality—logos—to describe Christ at the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with God, and the logos was God.” When we think logically, which is the goal of mathematics, we are led to think of God.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=3

    (of note; Euler’s Number is more properly called Euler’s Identity in math circles.)

    I find it extremely strange that the enigmatic Euler’s identity, which was deduced centuries ago, would also finds striking correlation to how reality is actually found to be structured by modern science. In pi we have correlation to the ‘sphere of the universe’ as revealed by the Cosmic Background radiation, as well pi correlates to the finely-tuned ‘geometric flatness’ within the ‘sphere of the universe’ that has now been found by modern science. In ‘e’ we have the fundamental constant that is used for ascertaining growth that strongly correlates to the fact that 4-D space-time is ‘expanding/growing equally’ in all places of the universe. In the square root of -1 we have what is termed a ‘imaginary number’, which was first proposed to help solve equations like x2+ 1 = 0 back in the 17th century, yet now it is found that the square root of -1 is required to explain the behavior of quantum mechanics in this universe. The correlation of Euler’s identity, to the foundational characteristics of how this universe is constructed and operates, points overwhelmingly to a transcendent Intelligence, with a capital I, which created this universe! It should also be noted that these mathematical constants, pi,e, and square root -1, were at first thought by many to be completely transcendent of any material basis, to find that these transcendent constants of Euler’s identity in fact correspond to material reality in such a foundational way should be enough to send shivers down any mathematicians spine.,, Further discussion

    in the equation e^pi*i + 1 = 0 ,,,we find that pi is required in;

    General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_52c9nxpz2h_b

    ,,,and we also find that the square root of negative 1 is required in;

    Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
    https://docs.google.com/File?id=dc8z67wz_51ck47zff3_b

    ,,and we also find that e is required for;

    e is required here in wave equations, in finding the distribution of prime numbers, in electrical theory, and is also found to be foundational to trigonometry.,,,this number, e, also appears in banking, because it is the maximum limit for growth of compound interest.

    Some of the various uses and equations of ‘e’ are listed at the bottom of the following page:

    Bible math
    http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/img0.gif

    I don’t how much this will adversly effect the mathematical ‘tastes’ of some people of atheistic persuasion, but Dr. William Dembski has even found 1 and 0, which are also found in Euler’s identity, to be interesting:

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhD. Mathematics
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Of note: I hold ‘growing large without measure’ to be a lesser quality infinity than a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The reason why I hold it to be a ‘lesser quality infinity’ is stated in the following videos:

    Georg Cantor – The Mathematics Of Infinity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4572335

    Can A “Beginning-less Universe” Exist? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8YN0fwo5J4

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    Quote:

    “Like a Shakespearean sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting that brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler’s Equation reaches down into the very depths of existence.”
    Stanford University mathematics professor – Dr. Keith Devlin

    It is also interesting to note that ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics had to be developed before Einstein could elucidate General Relativity, or even before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated;

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss and Riemann – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    The Fibonacci Number also shows God’s fingerprint on nature in a fairly beautiful fashion:

    Nature by Numbers – The Fingerprint of God – video
    https://vimeo.com/9953368

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    It is amazing that Schroedinger’s Equation and Einstein’s General Relativity equation are tied together, however loosely, in Euler’s Identity, because General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have been notoriously difficult for mathematicians (and physicists) to unify into a mathematical ‘theory of everything’. The primary problem that is encountered in unifying the Quantum Mechanics and Einstein’s General Relativity equation into a mathematical ‘theory of everything’ is what is termed the zero/infinity problem:

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    In the following video, the physicists voice their utter exasperation that infinity presents to ever coherently reconciling General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘theory of everything’,,,

    Science vs God : Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHHz4mB9GKY

    At about the 5:40 minute mark of the preceding video the physicist stated:

    “To me what is so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict anything about what is going to come out of it”

    Yet, apparently unbeknownst to the physicist in the preceding video, their is another singularity to be found in the universe besides the singularities and Blackholes and the singularity at the creation event of the Big Bang

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    Of note: The following scientist offers a very interesting insight into this issue of ‘reconciling’ the ‘conscious’ universe of Quantum Mechanics with the space-time of General Relativity:

    How the Power of Intention Alters Matter – Dr. William A. Tiller
    Excerpt: “Most people think that the matter is empty, but for internal self consistency of quantum mechanics and relativity theory, there is required to be the equivalent of 10 to 94 grams of mass energy, each gram being E=MC2 kind of energy. Now, that’s a huge number, but what does it mean practically? Practically, if I can assume that the universe is flat, and more and more astronomical data is showing that it’s pretty darn flat, if I can assume that, then if I take the volume or take the vacuum within a single hydrogen atom, that’s about 10 to the minus 23 cubic centimeters. If I take that amount of vacuum and I take the latent energy in that, there is a trillion times more energy there than in all of the mass of all of the stars and all of the planets out to 20 billion light-years. That’s big, that’s big. And if consciousness allows you to control even a small fraction of that, creating a big bang is no problem.” – Dr. William Tiller – has been a professor at Stanford U. in the Department of materials science & Engineering
    http://www.beyondtheordinary.n.....ller.shtml

    Thus, if one allows God into math, as Godel indicated must ultimately be done to keep math from being ‘incomplete’, then there actually exists a very credible, even a empirically backed, reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into a ‘Theory of Everything’!

    notes:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    As a footnote; Godel, who proved you cannot have a mathematical ‘Theory of Everything’, without allowing God to bring completeness to the ‘Theory of Everything’, also had this to say:

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Philippians 2: 5-11
    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Music:

    Natalie Grant – Alive (Resurrection music video)
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KPYWPGNX

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:

    Yet, apparently unbeknownst to the physicist in the preceding video, there is another singularity to be found in the universe besides the singularities of Blackholes and the singularity at the creation event of the Big Bang,,

  84. 84
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Kairos Focus @ 78

    Kauffman’s speculations notwithstanding, the actual on the ground observation is that while there are ordering forces in the world (such as form crystals), there are also disordering and chance forces (thus 2nd law of thermo-d), leading to a situation where the net global trend is downhill.

    Ah, but that’s the crucial question — entropy always increases in closed systems. Kauffman’s speculation is that there is a counter-balancing tendency towards increased complexity in open systems.

    And, the other issue is that we are not here looking for order, but organisation and even contrivance.

    I’d have to hear a lot more about how you’re distinguishing between “order”, “organization,” and “contrivance.” From my perspective, it sure looks to me as though Paley’s contrivances are emergent phenomena. It’s one thing to say that protein synthesis or the Krebs cycle are “irreducibly complex,” if that means that if one component of the system is removed, the entire system breaks down; it’s quite another to say that they could not have emerged from simpler autocatalytic cycles.

    All that “irreducible complexity” entails is that the system could not have emerged through a linear accumulation of parts added onto the whole. It doesn’t entail that a simple autocatalytic holistic system could not have developed into a more complex one. At best irreducible complexity undermines reductionism.

    There is only one thing that is empirically observed that can account for it, and that is intelligence acting by skill and knowledge to achieve purpose, through ART.

    First of all, this simply raises the question, “what is intelligence”? I can’t make any sense of the idea that “intelligence” is some weird kind of thing, out there in reality or whatever, all by itself. Intelligence is a kind of behavior that is manifest in the detection, manipulation, and creation of patterns.

    As for the passage from The Laws you cited, I think there’s plenty of room here for someone to interject, “wait a minute — ‘self-moving activity, ‘life,’ and ‘soul’ are all very different notions, we need to make some distinctions.”

    While we may debate the ins and outs of his wider philosophy all day, that will not be pivotal, what is, is the issue that organisation towards purpose through art is empirically detectable and points to the action of the knowledgeable, skilled and purposeful mind as chief initiating cause behind the resulting contrivance. Even where a contrivance has the further feature Paley identified, of being able to replicate itself, and which von Neumann elaborated on the idea of a coded blueprint, reader and constructor under control of that blueprint.

    This is the very heart of the issue: are organisms and artifacts species of a common genus? If so, does that genus contain predicates that allow us to predicate of organisms what is predicated of artifacts, namely, that they are manufactured?

    To be perfectly blunt, I simply don’t think that organisms and artifacts are species of a common genus. I think that artifacts and organisms share certain features in common, such as purposiveness, because artifacts are made by organisms — in particular, intelligent organisms, and especially by us — in order to advance our interests and satisfy our needs. But I think that to then turn this all around and say that organisms are themselves a kind of artifact, manufactured by some mysterious Intelligence, is no explanation at all.

    Artifacts display finality, or final causes, as a result of having been made by organisms that are purposively organized, and treating organisms as if they were artifacts in order to explain how the organisms themselves came to be purposively organized is just one big petitio principii

    And all this also brings us back to the final turtle issue you have said you would get back to some weeks back now.

    I’m pretty sure I already responded to that, at least twice, but here’s a third go at it: in your criticism of “the raft metaphor”, you allude to the fact that the raft rests on “the ocean,” which you explicated as the biological, chemical, and physical facts which make it possible for us to exist at all.

    My response is to basically concede the letter of your criticism but to deny the spirit. Because I think that there is a serious conflation of two very different senses of “grounding” — grounding-as-justifying and grounding-as-causing — at work here. The “planks” of the raft ‘ground’ each other in the sense that it is the inferential relationships between the beliefs which confers warrant. (So I hold a coherence theory of justification, though not of truth.)

    Of course the raft as a whole — the whole fabric of beliefs which occupies the space of reasons — is ‘grounded’, but not in the sense of warranted — it is ‘grounded’ in the sense of caused — caused by precisely the biological, chemical, and physical facts cited in criticism of the raft metaphor.

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “Ah, but that’s the crucial question — entropy always increases in closed systems. Kauffman’s speculation is that there is a counter-balancing tendency towards increased complexity in open systems.”

    Can “ANYTHING” Happen in an Open System? – Granville Sewell PhD. Math
    Excerpt: If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth’s atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here (it would have been violated somewhere else!).
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....endixd.pdf

    Can Anything Happen In A Open System – Granville Sewell PhD. Math – video
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....ondlaw.htm

    The common sense law of physics – Granville Sewell – July 2010
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-physics/

    Are You Looking for the Simplest and Clearest Argument for Intelligent Design? – Granville Sewell – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....56711.html

    Casey Luskin interviews Granville Sewell – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_00-08_00

    Prof. Granville Sewell on Evolution: In The Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHOnqDNJ0Bc

    Granville Sewell – Mathematics Dept. University of Texas El Paso (Papers and Videos)
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/sewell/

    Why Tornados Running Backward do not Violate the Second Law – Granville Sewell – May 2012 – article with video
    Excerpt: So, how does the spontaneous rearrangement of matter on a rocky, barren, planet into human brains and spaceships and jet airplanes and nuclear power plants and libraries full of science texts and novels, and supercomputers running partial differential equation solving software , represent a less obvious or less spectacular violation of the second law—or at least of the fundamental natural principle behind this law—than tornados turning rubble into houses and cars? Can anyone even imagine a more spectacular violation?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....econd-law/

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

  86. 86
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Those of you who aren’t afraid of a little math might find this interesting: “Entropy and Evolution“, Daniel Styer. The conclusion is worth noting:

    In other words, at a minimum the Earth is bathed in about one trillion times the amount of entropy flux required to support the rate of evolution assumed here.

    Presumably the entropy of the Earth’s biosphere is indeed decreasing by a tiny amount due to evolution, and the entropy of the cosmic microwave background is increasing by an even greater amount to compensate for that decrease. But the decrease in entropy required for evolution is so small compared to the entropy throughput that would occur even if the Earth were a dead planet, or if life on Earth were not evolving, that no measurement would ever detect it.

  87. 87
    William J Murray says:

    KN:

    Because I fill my car up with gas doesn’t mean it can fly or rebuild itself into a tank. Energy doesn’t bestow limitless, magical ability on a material system to create **anything**.

  88. 88
    Mung says:

    The creationist argument is that advanced organisms are more orderly than primitive organisms, and hence as evolution proceeds living things become more ordered, that is less disordered, that is less entropic. Because the second law of thermodynamics prohibits a decrease in entropy, it therefore prohibits biological evolution.

    lol. really? That’s the creationist argument?

  89. 89
    bornagain77 says:

    KN 86:

    Other Types of Entropy – September 6, 2012
    Excerpt: So why do people like Styer and Bunn and Sal, insist on treating all types of entropy as thermal entropy, and attempt to express the entropy associated with evolution, or the entropy of a 747, in units of Joules/degree Kelvin?

    If you insist on limiting the second law to applications involving thermal entropy, and that the only entropy is thermal entropy, than Sal is right that the second law has little to say about the emergence of life on Earth. But it is not just the “creationists” who apply it much more generally, many violent opponents of ID (including Asimov, Dawkins, Styer and Bunn) agree that this emergence does represent a decrease in “entropy” in the more general sense, they just argue that this decrease is compensated by increases outside our open system, an argument that is so widely used that I created the video below, Evolution is a Natural Process Running Backward to address it a few months ago.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-entropy/

    Evolution is a Natural Process Running Backward – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=259r-iDckjQ

    Of course KN you can prove to us that the second law does not hold for evolutionary processes by providing empirical evidence. Trouble is that the empirical evidence does not support your preferred metaphysics:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.(that is a net ‘fitness gain’ within a ‘stressed’ environment i.e. remove the stress from the environment and the parent strain is always more ‘fit’)
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    supplemental note:

    Physicist Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts on Sal Cordova vs. Granville Sewell on 2nd Law Thermo – July 5, 2012
    Excerpt: This is where Granville derives the potency of his argument, since a living organism certainly shows unusual permutations of the atoms, and thus has stat mech entropy that via Boltzmann, must obey the 2nd law. If life violates this, then it must not be lawfully possible for evolution to happen (without an input of work or information.)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....aw-thermo/

    While neo-Darwinian evolution has no evidence that material processes can generate functional prescriptive information above that which is already present, i.e. Intelligent Design does have ‘proof of principle’ that information, via intelligence, can ‘locally’ violate the second law and generate potential energy:

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    As well KN, since Darwinists certainly will not bring this up, it is interesting to note just how extreme is the violation of thermodynamics for the simplest life on earth:

    Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis – Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: A thermodynamic analysis of a mixture of protein and amino acids in an ocean containing a 1 molar solution of each amino acid (100,000,000 times higher concentration than we inferred to be present in the prebiological ocean) indicates the concentration of a protein containing just 100 peptide bonds (101 amino acids) at equilibrium would be 10^-338 molar. Just to make this number meaningful, our universe may have a volume somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^85 liters. At 10^-338 molar, we would need an ocean with a volume equal to 10^229 universes (100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) just to find a single molecule of any protein with 100 peptide bonds. So we must look elsewhere for a mechanism to produce polymers. It will not happen in the ocean.
    http://origins.swau.edu/papers.....fault.html

    Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life ‘problem’ escalates dramatically over the 1 in 10^40,000 figure when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

    “The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!”
    (Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)

    Dr. Morowitz did another probability calculation working from the thermodynamic perspective with a already existing cell and came up with this number:

    DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
    http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

    Punctured cell will never reassemble – Jonathan Wells – 2:40 mark of video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKoiivfe_mo

    Also of interest is the information content that is derived in a cell when working from a thermodynamic perspective:

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    of note: The 10^12 bits of information number for a bacterium is derived from entropic considerations, which is, due to the tightly integrated relationship between information and entropy, considered the most accurate measure of the transcendent quantum information/entanglement constraining a ‘simple’ life form to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…” Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

    For calculations, from the thermodynamic perspective, please see the following site:

    Moleular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    Related note:

    “Klimontovich’s S-theorem, an analogue of Boltzmann’s entropy for open systems, explains why the further an open system gets from the equilibrium, the less entropy becomes. So entropy-wise, in open systems there is nothing wrong about the Second Law. S-theorem demonstrates that spontaneous emergence of regular structures in a continuum is possible.,,, The hard bit though is emergence of cybernetic control (which is assumed by self-organisation theories and which has not been observed anywhere yet). In contrast to the assumptions, observations suggest that between Regularity and Cybernetic Systems there is a vast Cut which cannot be crossed spontaneously. In practice, it can be crossed by intelligent integration and guidance of systems through a sequence of states towards better utility. No observations exist that would warrant a guess that apart from intelligence it can be done by anything else.”
    Eugene S – UD Blogger
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-418185

    supplemental note:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    KN: Irrelevant. That earth is an open system is challenged by no one, there is a sun in the sky and there is a steady flux of cosmic dust for instance. What is the big problem is to move from mere uptake of “raw” energy — which naturally INCREASES entropy — to the organising “shaft work” that accounts for complex, functionally specific organisation on a molecular scale in the living cell. This, from my always linked, app 1, will give an explanation that starts from the issues raised by Thaxton et al nearly 30 years back, now. KF

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: And order is to be sharply distinguished from organisation in this context. Maybe, the 2nd ID foundations series post, here, will help too.

  93. 93
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist

    But why, I enjoin you to ask yourselves, must we begin with a conception of matter to which something else must be added in order to produce life?

    Because the Law of Causality indicates that nothing can be in the effect that was not first present in the cause. Or, as I have put it elsewhere, you can’t get something from nothing. “Poof, there it is,” does not qualify as a logical explanation. Also, recall that we are not discussing “life,” we are discussing “mind.” The former can exist without the latter. You are moving the target.

    The answer, I believe, is that the Epicureans were so adamant in following Democritus’ anti-creationism that they failed to see that in the process they were eliminating life as a basic category.

    If you want to use another word other than matter, feel free. I think we should use the word matter as a common term so as to avoid confusion. In any case, the issue is that the basic raw materials (what I call matter) of the universe, absent any immaterial qualities, cannot produce the quality of a non-material faculty, which is what is required for mind. A designer must introduce that element from the top down. (Notice also, that if you refuse to use the word matter, then I cannot use the word non-material and we cannot have a rational discussion).

    So the correct starting-point for my inquiry is to begin roughly where Aristotle began: by taking life seriously. When this is done, both “matter” and “mind” fall into place as abstractions from the sensuous reality of embodied experience, not as fundamental realities in themselves.

    At first, you seemed to say that matter can produce mind; later you said, in effect, that something like matter can produce mind, but you didn’t want to call it matter; now you say that neither exists at all, except as an abstraction from “the sensuous reality of embodied experience.” Once again, you appear to be setting up a moving target.

    Let’s return to the point: Matter cannot produce spirit. Something cannot come from nothing. There is nothing in the former that can account for the latter. I think we agreed previously that I was successful in demonstrating that the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to the law of Non-contradiction. Do I also need to explain why the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to its corollary [nothing can exist in the effect unless it was first present in the cause]. If you reflect on it, I think it will become clear to you.

    [If both the [yardstick and the thing being measured are thought to be changing, rationality is lost forever. That seems evident].

    Certainty, yes; rationality, no.

    How can rationality be maintained if the Law of Non-contradiction is subject to evolutionary change? That would invalidate our previous discussion about the reliability of reason’s rules as principles that are true for everyone at all times.

  94. 94
    Graham2 says:

    Bornagain77 @76: I am surprised by your candor. So, if we take an example (area rectangle)

    A = LXB

    Does this (specific example) come from God ?

  95. 95
    Box says:

    @78 kairosfocus

    kairosfocus : And, the other issue is that we are not here looking for order, but organisation and even contrivance.

    Kairosfocus, what are your thoughts on ‘downward organization’?
    James A. Shapiro considers the cell, as a whole, to be an agency: “By itself, DNA does nothing. It is the cell that uses DNA as a RW memory device. To think biologically about agency, we have to focus at the cell level. All vital activities occur in this context.” Stephen L. Talbott is also very outspoken on this subject: “When regulators are in turn regulated, what do we mean by “regulate” — and where within the web of regulation can we single out a master controller capable of dictating cellular fates? And if we can’t, what are reputable scientists doing when they claim to have identified such a controller, or, rather, various such controllers? If they really mean something like “influencers,” then that’s fine. But influence is not about mechanism and control; the things at issue just don’t have controlling powers. What we see, rather, is a continual mutual adaptation, interaction, and coordination that occurs from above.”

    And if life is downward organization of matter (the parts) isn’t that telling us that materialism is utterly debunked? Would you agree with me that downward organization cannot be explained from the parts?

  96. 96
    bornagain77 says:

    And what specifically do you not understand about incompleteness:

    Gödel’s theorem says:

    “Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory.”

    i.e.

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    further note:

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Mario Livio, or the Poverty of Atheist Philosophy: A Review of “Is God a Mathematician?”
    Excerpt: In short, Wigner committed a treason against science. He didn’t, in an Einsteinian fashion, just declare a personal faith in a God that had only marginal relevance to his scientific studies. He went farther than that: he implied that science was impossible and inexplicable without accepting a higher reality, transcending the mind of man and its capabilities for reasoning and experimentation. The short and ostensibly innocent article faced some really violent reactions; some objected to the conclusions in it, others to the premises, and still others refused to even deal with it, pretending it had never been written. But Wigner remained right about one thing: Despite the many attempts, no one could give a rational explanation for what Wigner described as the “uncanny ability of mathematics to describe and predict accurately the physical world.”
    http://americanvision.org/4333.....ematician/

    Calvin and Hobbes – cartoon – The Mathematical Atheist
    http://s3.hubimg.com/u/270622_f520.jpg

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    KN: Please read the previously linked. complexity is not in itself either order or organisation. A chaotic situation may be complex indeed, but utterly irrelevant to functionally specific organisation, especially the sort in cell based life. And the example of marbles in a box should help see how moving from simplicity — say a specific pattern that is periodic, to one that is much harder to describe specifically, can be consistent with moving from order to disorder. I need not mention that vortices and snowflakes do not represent specific, functional complex organisation, which is what cell based life is about. Cf Orgel and Wicken on this, as I have often cited. KF

  98. 98
    Graham2 says:

    To Ba77: OK, so maths is incomplete. How do you jump from that to the claim that a specific result came from god ?

    You are fond of citing all manner of weird and wonderful ideas, and then jumping to the conclusion that goddidit. Our brain is capable of doing something you know.

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    Graham2, this is a weird statement:

    Our brain is capable of doing something you know.

    Because as a Darwinist, and on evolutionary naturalism (which you hold, without warrant of evidence, to be true), you simply have no coherent reason to presuppose that the cognitive faculties of your ‘brain’ to be reliable for ascertaining reality, much less for appreciating mathematical truths that probe the deepest mysteries of reality.

    notes:

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth that he is purporting to give in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    Evolutionists Are Now Saying Their Thinking is Flawed (But Evolution is Still a Fact) – Cornelius Hunter – May 2012
    Excerpt: But the point here is that these “researchers” are making an assertion (human reasoning evolved and is flawed) which undermines their very argument. If human reasoning evolved and is flawed, then how can we know that evolution is a fact, much less any particular details of said evolutionary process that they think they understand via their “research”?
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....their.html

    An atheist said the following in response to Dr. Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalism:

    ‘Creatures inveterately wrong in their inductions have a pathetic but praiseworthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind.’

    Yet we find,,,

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – Telegraph – November 2008
    Excerpt: “The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    ‘Believers’ gene’ will spread religion , says academic – January 2011
    Excerpt: The World Values Survey, which covered 82 nations from 1981 to 2004, found that adults who attended religious services more than once a week had 2.5 children on average; while those who went once a month had two; and those who never attended had 1.67.
    Prof Rowthorn wrote: “The more devout people are, the more children they are likely to have.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sci.....demic.html

    Why do atheists have such a low retention rate? – July 2012
    Excerpt: Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This “retention rate” was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tion-rate/

    Thus either the atheist is right and evolution is producing a true belief, and that true belief is Theism, since atheists have a ‘praiseworthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind’, or Dr. Plantinga is right and there is no guarantee that the results of Darwinian evolution will produce true beliefs about the nature of reality! Which is it? Either answer is a self defeater for evolutionary naturalism!

  100. 100
    Graham2 says:

    This is weird and getting weirder … you have no reason to presuppose that .. your ‘brain’ .. reliable for ascertaining reality

    So how do I make it to the shops ? Does god lead the way?.

    I note with some alarm that this all passes without comment by the regulars. Do you all agree math equations come from god ?

  101. 101
    Mung says:

    SB:

    I think we agreed previously that I was successful in demonstrating that the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to the law of Non-contradiction. Do I also need to explain why the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to its corollary [nothing can exist in the effect unless it was first present in the cause]. If you reflect on it, I think it will become clear to you.

    Laying things out 1, 2, 3 might make for a very good topic for an OP some day.

    🙂

    1. Law of Identity

    2. Law of Non-Contradiction.

    3. Law of Causality

    4. Nothing can exist in the effect that is not present in the cause.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen these laid out in an easily accessible manner.

  102. 102
    Phinehas says:

    Graham2:

    So how do I make it to the shops ? Does god lead the way?.

    Does matter lead the way? Exactly what characteristic of matter allows it to lead other matter?

    Do you all agree math equations come from god ?

    Do you believe math equations come from matter? Exactly what characteristic of matter leads other matter to math equations?

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    So how do I make it to the shops ?

    You, your mind, made a decision to go to the shops and directed you body via your brain to go there.

    Does god lead the way?.

    You have a free will to go to the shop or to not go. God did not make you a robot to blindly obey him. Whereas, ironically, on materialistic determinism you would have no choice but to go. (Go figure!)

    But to back up, since you seem to have a extremely difficult time understanding incompleteness to its ultimate conclusion for the necessity of God let’s try to go back over that trouble spot for you and see if the following can help you out of your rut: Alan Turing extended Godel’s incompleteness to material computers, as is illustrated in this following video:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356

    And it is now found that,,,

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    Yet super-computers with many switches have a huge problem with heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    yet the brain, though having as many switches as all the computers on earth, does not have such a problem with heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, the heat generated by computers is primarily caused by the erasure of information from the computer,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as material computers are required to do,, because our memories are stored on the ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level,,,

    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/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

  104. 104
    Graham2 says:

    I still think the area of a rectangle = LxB. I was told this by a schoolteacher, and god didnt seem to be involved. If god didnt exist, then we couldnt calculate the area of rectangles ?

  105. 105
    Mung says:

    g2:
    If god didnt exist, then we couldnt calculate the area of rectangles?

    bingo! bingo! bingo! bingo!

    One for each side.

  106. 106
    Graham2 says:

    That was meant as sarcasm. This is just creepy, Im out of here.

  107. 107
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: StephenB @ 93:

    Because the Law of Causality indicates that nothing can be in the effect that was not first present in the cause. Or, as I have put it elsewhere, you can’t get something from nothing. “Poof, there it is,” does not qualify as a logical explanation. Also, recall that we are not discussing “life,” we are discussing “mind.” The former can exist without the latter. You are moving the target.

    A few casual remarks:

    (1) I wonder about this edict, “nothing can be in the effect that was not first present in the cause”. Is that really so ‘self-evident’? I’m quite familiar with how Descartes uses it in the Third Meditation, where he uses it as a premise for the existence of God. There, he basically just says, “it is clear by the light of reason.” Oh, “the light of reason”! So obvious, now that the light of reason has shined down upon us! Except that it’s completely un-obvious how might get from “everything that exists must have a cause” to “there cannot be more ____ (reality? power? ___?) in the effect than there was in the cause.”

    (2) I’m not trying to get to something from nothing, I’m trying to get from one kind of something (mind) from another kind of something (matter). So to speak. Except not, because,

    (3) I’m sorry I came across as illicitly ‘moving the target’ because I really hoped to come across as arguing that the target really is ill-conceived. One cannot get to “mind” from “matter” — on that much we can agree. But, what I’ve been trying to argue here is that (a) one can get from “matter” to “life” and (b) one can get from “life” to “mind”. If one doesn’t have “life” as a basic category, then but only then does the transition from “matter” to “mind” look like an unbridgeable gulf.

    If you want to use another word other than matter, feel free. I think we should use the word matter as a common term so as to avoid confusion. In any case, the issue is that the basic raw materials (what I call matter) of the universe, absent any immaterial qualities, cannot produce the quality of a non-material faculty, which is what is required for mind. A designer must introduce that element from the top down. (Notice also, that if you refuse to use the word matter, then I cannot use the word non-material and we cannot have a rational discussion).

    I’m willing to use the term “matter” as a dummy-term for “the structure, objects, and properties of the universe minus all living things and their properties”, but I’m reticent to endorse the term with all its various historical uses, implications, connotations, etc.

    It’s not that I think “mind” is “material” or “immaterial,” or that there is no “mind” — it’s that I think all these questions are just fundamentally ill-conceived.

    Do I have a “mind”? I have thoughts, beliefs, sensations, pains, aches, wishes, desires, fears, dreams, neuroses — are these all features of my mind? Certainly they are all features of me, the rational animal, the embodied person, that I am. But, having read Ryle, Sellars, Rorty, and Dennett, I am increasingly uncertain how much sense it really makes to class all these together under one heading, “mind”, and then in a totally different class put my height, weight, hair color, cholesterol levels, blood type, respiration rate, heart beat, etc.

    Clearly there’s some point to these distinctions — but what? I don’t think it’s really as obvious as you make it out to be.

    At first, you seemed to say that matter can produce mind, later you said, in effect, that something like matter can produce mind, but you didn’t want to call it matter; now you say that neither exists at all, except as an abstraction from “the sensuous reality of embodied experience.” Once again, you appear to be setting up a moving target.

    I apologize for the inconsistency of my presentation. I certainly hope I didn’t say that matter could produce mind! In any event, it’s not that neither “matter” nor “mind” exist, so much as that our concepts of matter and of mind are arrived at through abstraction from lived experience. Abstractions are not useless guides to reality — on the contrary! I’m just trying to sort out the epistemological issues from the metaphysical ones. It’s complicated.

    I think we agreed previously that I was successful in demonstrating that the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to the law of Non-contradiction.

    I interpreted your argument to have shown the following: since causality is necessarily temporal, nothing can be the cause of itself without violating the law of non-contradiction. This doesn’t show that everything must have a cause, but rather that if something has a cause, then that cause cannot be itself. (A further corollary was introduced, I believe by Mung, that if something is contingent, then it must have a cause. That does seem intuitively right, but part of the job of the philosopher is to question her intuitions, as far as she can.)

    Do I also need to explain why the Law of Causality is inextricably tied to its corollary [nothing can exist in the effect unless it was first present in the cause]. If you reflect on it, I think it will become clear to you.

    Please feel free to enlighten me. I do mean that seriously. I’m teaching Descartes soon, and I’m aware that he leans heavily on this Scholastic precept (without acknowledging his predecessors, the scurrilous bastard!), but my knowledge of the Scholastic tradition is, ahem, casual.

    How can rationality be maintained if the Law of Non-contradiction is subject to evolutionary change? That would invalidate our previous discussion about the reliability of reason’s rules as principles that are true for everyone at all times.

    I don’t recall signing off on “reason’s rules” — in fact, if memory serves, we went around a couple of times about the history of logic without concluding. In point of fact, however, I do accept something like a priori truths — but I’m less confident than you are that Aristotle just got them right the first time around.

    Here’s one way of putting it: on a careful reading of Aristotle’s own argument for the LNC, he basically just presupposes his own ontology — that there are things with properties — and reads the LNC off of it. If one changes the ontology, one changes the logic. (Hegel realized this, I think.) Buddhist logic rejects the LNC, but guess what? Buddhist metaphysics rejects the object-property ontology, too! (Indeed, the Buddhists teach that it is acceptance of this ontology that leads to suffering!)

    In any event, I do think that there are some very general rational norms that are “valid for everyone, everywhere, for all times” — by virtue of being implicit in what it is for something to be a language at all. But do I really want to say that, prior to the emergence of language around 1.5 million years ago, there were no rational norms? You know, upon reflection, yes — yes, that is what I want to say.

    I’m not denying the LNC; I’m just doing philosophy here, exploring a line of thought in dialogue and seeing what happens.

  108. 108
    Mung says:

    KN:

    It’s not that I think “mind” is “material” or “immaterial,” or that there is no “mind” — it’s that I think all these questions are just fundamentally ill-conceived.

    Ill-conceived by matter, or mind? 😉

  109. 109
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    By philosophers. Nice try, though! 🙂

  110. 110
    bornagain77 says:

    graham2, if you take a peek back, you state:

    I still think the area of a rectangle = LxB. I was told this by a schoolteacher, and god didnt seem to be involved.

    Yet you hold that area of a rectangle = LxB is true but incompleteness shows that the truth of area of a rectangle = LxB is not inherent within the equation area of a rectangle = LxB. The truth of area of a rectangle = LxB, and all mathematical statements, derives from an outside source. Yet numbers and equations are transcendent of any space time constraints, thus the source that makes area of a rectangle = LxB true must also be transcendent of any space time constraints. Being that area of a rectangle = LxB is true in all parts of the universe, this transcendent source that makes area of a rectangle = LxB true must be omnipresent in all parts of the universe. Being that area of a rectangle = LxB is true regardless of whatever year it is,,, are you starting to get the drift? You see Graham2, you need to ask yourself why is area of a rectangle = LxB true since the truth of the equation is not contained within itself? That leads to the necessary Being of God:

    note, this is hardly the only line of argumentation in this line of thought:

    Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser – June 2012
    Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
    ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ng-nothing

  111. 111
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist

    I wonder about this edict, “nothing can be in the effect that was not first present in the cause”. Is that really so ‘self-evident’?

    I didn’t say that it was self-evident. I asked you to recognize its validity as a corollary to the Law of Causality.

    I’m quite familiar with how Descartes uses it in the Third Meditation, where he uses it as a premise for the existence of God. There, he basically just says, “it is clear by the light of reason.” Oh, “the light of reason”! So obvious, now that the light of reason has shined down upon us! Except that it’s completely un-obvious how might get from “everything that exists must have a cause” to “there cannot be more ____ (reality? power? ___?) in the effect than there was in the cause.”

    For purposes of our discussion, the relevant quote from Descartes would be this: “For if we admit that there is something in the effect that was not previously present in the cause, we shall also have to admit that this something was produced by nothing.” Descartes was wrong about many things, but he was right about that.

    It is perfectly straightforward. It’s just a question of going through the process, beginning with the Law of Causality as a premise: Nothing can begin to exist without a cause. If something was in the effect that was not first in the cause, then it would have come into being without a cause. Yet nothing can begin to exist without a cause. Therefore, nothing can be in the effect unless it was first in the cause.

    From that point, it is a simple matter of substitution. Mind cannot be in the effect if mind was not first in the cause.

    One cannot get to “mind” from “matter” — on that much we can agree. But, what I’ve been trying to argue here is that (a) one can get from “matter” to “life” and (b) one can get from “life” to “mind”.

    You might want to rethink that comment. To acknowledge that one cannot get from matter to mind is to also acknowledge that one cannot get from matter to mind through life.

    I’m willing to use the term “matter” as a dummy-term for “the structure, objects, and properties of the universe minus all living things and their properties”, but I’m reticent to endorse the term with all its various historical uses, implications, connotations, etc.

    Just call it M/E for matter and energy if you like. Or, use your own definition or formulation. The point is that you can’t make the journey from M/E to mind and maintain the Law of Causality.

    Do I have a “mind”? I have thoughts, beliefs, sensations, pains, aches, wishes, desires, fears, dreams, neuroses — are these all features of my mind? Certainly they are all features of me, the rational animal, the embodied person, that I am. But, having read Ryle, Sellars, Rorty, and Dennett, I am increasingly uncertain how much sense it really makes to class all these together under one heading, “mind”, and then in a totally different class put my height, weight, hair color, cholesterol levels, blood type, respiration rate, heart beat, etc.

    For my part, a mind is an immaterial faculty of a spiritual soul. That is why I argue that matter cannot produce one. Perhaps you don’t think that minds exist by that definition.

    I don’t recall signing off on “reason’s rules” — in fact, if memory serves, we went around a couple of times about the history of logic without concluding. In point of fact, however, I do accept something like a priori truths — but I’m less confident than you are that Aristotle just got them right the first time around.

    What I had in mind was the Laws of …Identity, Excluded Middle, Non-Contradiction, and Causality. Do you accept these rules of reason as being ontologically, epistemologically, and psychologically true—for everyone, for all times, and for all places?

    Here’s one way of putting it: on a careful reading of Aristotle’s own argument for the LNC, he basically just presupposes his own ontology — that there are things with properties — and reads the LNC off of it. If one changes the ontology, one changes the logic. (Hegel realized this, I think.) Buddhist logic rejects the LNC, but guess what? Buddhist metaphysics rejects the object-property ontology, too! (Indeed, the Buddhists teach that it is acceptance of this ontology that leads to suffering!)

    I am aware that there are many traditions that do not accept reason’s rules. My question is about your position.

    In any event, I do think that there are some very general rational norms that are “valid for everyone, everywhere, for all times” — by virtue of being implicit in what it is for something to be a language at all. But do I really want to say that, prior to the emergence of language around 1.5 million years ago, there were no rational norms? You know, upon reflection, yes — yes, that is what I want to say

    Are you saying that prior to the development of language, it was logically possible that Jupiter could exist and not exist at the same time and under the same formal circumstances, but after language emerged, it became logically impossible.

    I’m not denying the LNC; I’m just doing philosophy here, exploring a line of thought in dialogue and seeing what happens.

    I am not clear on your position. If you are not denying the “Law” of Non-Contradiction, why did you just reduce it to a “norm” in the preceding comment?

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    You are a philosophy professor, by your own admission. Could you therefore explain to me why you have put up the strawman caricature:

    it’s completely un-obvious how might get from “everything that exists [begins to exist or may cease from existing or is otherwise contingent] must have a cause”

    As I have used the strike and insert to show, this is a caricature of half of the principle of sufficient reason, that for what exists we may properly ask, why.

    Those things that depend on external necessary (on/off switch, enabling or required component etc . . . ) factors that must be “on” are the things that are contingent, like a fire that depends on heat, oxidiser, fuel and an uninterrupted chain reaction. Such things can begin, are sustained in being by supporting factors, and once one or more key factors are withdrawn, will cease to exist.

    These contingent beings are said to be caused, i.e. a sufficient cluster of factors for them to exist must be present and must be sustained across their existence, and where withdrawal of one or more necessary causal factors will cause such things to cease to exist, perhaps leaving remains that decay. And of course the effect of the withdrawal may be gradual not necessarily instant, e.g. there is such a thing as a mortal wound.

    Contingent beings need to be causally explained.

    There is another possible and indeed actual class of being, that does not have these on/off factors, the necessary being.

    Not having external dependence on on/off factors, it does not come into being, nor can it cease from being, nor is its being sustained by external factors.

    A good simple example is the truth expressed in the symbols 2 + 3 = 5.

    It did not have a point where it was not true, it is not dependent for its truth on factors we can turn on or off, and it cannot cease from being true.

    The key relevance is that our observed cosmos — the only observed cosmos, never mind multiverse speculations branes and the like — is credibly contingent, not least per the Hubble results form 90 years ago, near on. E = m*c^2 also implies that both forms of matter and energy in its various forms are contingent.

    The contingent observed cosmos cries out for a root of its being, ultimately in a necessary being sufficient to account for such. Multiply by the finetuning for life and we see that a very credible candidate is a necessary, intelligent, purposeful, powerful being who is self-existent, uncaused and the cause of what would have to be regarded as creation.

    KF

  113. 113
    William J Murray says:

    The state of current evidence concerning quantum theory and survival of consciousness after death clearly indicate that mind cannot be (theoretically) and is not (afterlife research) a product of, or limited to, material life. Additionally, mind cannot be held as caused if one wishes to maintain a rational worldview.

    The idea that mind is ultimately a product of material life is simply not supported either by rational argument or available evidence.

  114. 114
    Alan Fox says:

    The state of current evidence concerning quantum theory and survival of consciousness after death clearly indicate that mind cannot be (theoretically) and is not (afterlife research) a product of, or limited to, material life.

    Are you saying there is evidence that minds exist other than in brain tissue? I should very much like to examine such evidence. (Unless you are referring to anecdotes of “near-death” experience, in which case, no worries.)

    When Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, he was felled by a sword-blow that took off the top of his cranium. One of his assailants then proceeded to scoop out brain tissue with his sword and spread it on the flagstones like butter. I will take some convincing that that was not the end of Becket’s mind!

  115. 115
    bornagain77 says:

    Alan, I find it ironic that you accept the myth of Darwinism as true with far, far, less proof (none actually) than what we have for Near Death Experiences,,,

    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 origin of life), 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 and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    You wouldn’t be a dogmatist would you Alan? Dogmatism is the antithesis of the scientific endeavor you know Alan!

    Further notes:

    “A recent analysis of several hundred cases showed that 48% of near-death experiencers reported seeing their physical bodies from a different visual perspective. Many of them also reported witnessing events going on in the vicinity of their body, such as the attempts of medical personnel to resuscitate them (Kelly et al., 2007).”
    Kelly, E. W., Greyson, B., & Kelly, E. F. (2007). Unusual experiences near death and related phenomena. In E. F. Kelly, E. W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso, & B. Greyson, Irreducible mind (pp. 367-421). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    Dr. Jeffery Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs

    But Near Death Experiences are far from the only ‘proof’ we have for ‘mind’,, a few notes along that line:

    Do Conscious Thoughts Cause Behavior? -Roy F. Baumeister, E. J. Masicampo, and Kathleen D. Vohs – 2010
    Excerpt: The evidence for conscious causation of behavior is profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically strong.
    http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/165663.pdf

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;lpg=PT28

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Sir John Eccles – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....15901.html

    Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue? (meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010) – (Oct. 22, 2012)
    Excerpt: “But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand,,,
    This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.
    “I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,'” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....145342.htm

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
    Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....super.html

    This following video humorously reveals the bankruptcy that atheists have in trying to ground beliefs within a materialistic, genetic reductionism, worldview;

    John Cleese – The Scientists – humorous video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M-vnmejwXo

  116. 116
    William J Murray says:

    Alan,

    There is a difference between anecdote and corroborated eyewitness testimony, such as that published in the Lancet about NDE research. Such kinds of evidence are relatively easy to locate if one is sincere in their desire to look it over.

  117. 117
    Alan Fox says:

    …corroborated eyewitness testimony, such as that published in the Lancet about NDE research.

    I don’t doubt that people have these experiences. I question whether they are real or symptomatic resulting from anaesthesia.

    It’s still anecdotal.

  118. 118
    bornagain77 says:

    “I question whether they are real or symptomatic resulting from anaesthesia.”

    Well it is apparent you have not truly questioned too deeply for Dr. Long addressed that very question in one of the videos I listed. In Fact NDE’s happen in all sorts of circumstances where anesthesia is not even a part of it.,,, But more to the point of empirical evidence (not that empirical evidence matters to dogmatic Darwinian materialists), what does the empirical evidence say?

    Can quantum theory be improved? – July 23, 2012
    Excerpt: However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice. free will, assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,,
    ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html

    Now Alan this is completely unheard of in science as far as I know. i.e. That a mathematical description of reality would advance to the point that one can actually perform a experiment showing that your current theory will not be exceeded in predictive power by another future theory is simply unprecedented in science! Moreover, it was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free will or conscious observation as a starting assumption(s) in Quantum Mechanics!

    Moreover, Here’s a recent variation of Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, which highlights the ability of the conscious observer to effect ‘spooky action into the past’, thus further solidifying consciousness’s centrality in reality. Furthermore in the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,,, I consider the preceding experimental evidence to be an improvement over the traditional ‘uncertainty’ argument for free will, from quantum mechanics, that had been used to undermine the deterministic belief of materialists:

  119. 119
    bornagain77 says:

    But Alan, even more crushing to the materialistic position (as if materialism was not already crushed to smithereens), non-local, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement/information has now been found in molecular biology on a massive scale:

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009
    Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_.....ave-t.html

    Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
    Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.
    http://www.scimednet.org/quant.....d-protein/

    Testing quantum entanglement in protein
    Excerpt: The authors remark that this reverses the previous orthodoxy, which held that quantum effects could not exist in biological systems because of the amount of noise in these systems.,,, Environmental noise here drives a persistent and cyclic generation of new entanglement.,,, In summary, the authors say that they have demonstrated that entanglement can recur even in a hot noisy environment. In biological systems this can be related to changes in the conformation of macromolecules.
    http://www.quantum-mind.co.uk/.....-c288.html

    The reason why finding non-local, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement/information is so devastating to atheistic materialism, is because there is no ‘story’ within space time that can tell us how the quantum correlations happen:

    Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.
    Mathematically (and mind-bogglingly), these constraints define an 80-dimensional object. The testable hidden influence inequality is the boundary of the shadow this 80-dimensional shape casts in 44 dimensions. The researchers showed that quantum predictions can lie outside this boundary, which means they are going against one of the assumptions. Outside the boundary, either the influences can’t stay hidden, or they must have infinite speed.,,,
    The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
    “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,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142217.htm

    Moreover quantum information has strong evidence suggesting that it is ‘conserved’:

    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

    Moreover, material atoms are now shown to reduce to quantum information:

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    etc.. etc.., The point being Alan is that you, as usual for a Darwinist, have nothing except incredulity. Too bad for you that incredulity does not count for evidence in science.

  120. 120
    Alan Fox says:

    Phil

    Was there anything in those last two posts about evidence for NDE? If you select one piece of evidence, I suggest your best shot, and post it without any excess verbiage, I’ll have a look.

    Not now, I have a busy few days.

  121. 121
    bornagain77 says:

    Let’s see Alan, there is found to be a beyond space and time component in molecular biology, on a massive scale, (in every DNA molecule and every protein molecule) that can’t possibly be explained by the reductive materialistic, within space and time, processes of neo-Darwinism, and you have the sheer audacity (or ignorance) to pretend that this has nothing to do with evidence for NDE’s??? Okie Dokie, let’s go way back, clean off the black board, and get really basic. Alan have you ever heard of what is termed a ‘soul’?

    Is the Soul Immortal? (J.P. Moreland) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7nqB7SH-7s

    Case for the Existence of the Soul – JP Moreland, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SJ4_ZC0xpM

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence of Quantum Information)- Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

  122. 122
    Mung says:

    Thanks SB.

    BA77:

    KN:

    You are a philosophy professor, by your own admission.

    lol. Like that’s a bad thing.

  123. 123
    Mung says:

    oops! the above was not by BA77. my bad.

  124. 124
    Mung says:

    Alan Fox:

    Are you saying there is evidence that minds exist other than in brain tissue?

    How much mind per brain cell, pray tell?

  125. 125
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    For my part, a mind is an immaterial faculty of a spiritual soul. That is why I argue that matter cannot produce one. Perhaps you don’t think that minds exist by that definition.

    I don’t; Ryle’s The Concept of Mind thoroughly and completely disabused me of any such “ghost in the machine”. (Note: I linked to the 60th anniversary edition because the introductory essay by Julia Tanney is superb, though the standard edition has a lovely and very moving introduction by Dennett.)

    I’ve also been deeply influenced by Neither Brain Nor Ghost and The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, and The Problem Of The Soul: Two Visions Of Mind And How To Reconcile Them. All three show in tremendous detail how to understand experience, reason, thought, agency, and responsibility as dimensions of embodied human life, with no need for an immaterial or spiritual substance to do any serious explanatory work.

  126. 126
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Kairosfocus @ 112:

    I was being sloppy; it wasn’t an intended caricature of the PSR.

    Suppose I concede that a contingent being depends upon some being for its existence. (For all X, if X is contingent, then there exists some Y on which the existence of X depends.)

    Two points: (1) as I’ve indicated above, there’s no logical way to get from

    For all X, if X is contingent, then there exists some Y on which the existence of X depends.

    to

    There exists some non-contingently existing Y on which the existence of all contingent Xs depends.

    Somewhat more precisely, there’s no way to do that within modern symbolic logic, though conceivably Aristotelian logic has semantic resources that Fregean logic lacks. At any rate, such has been argued.

    In light of that, I’m still not clear why it can’t be “contingency all the way down” — the contingency of the universe, the contingency of the multiverse, the contingency of the meta-multiverse (because why not?), etc.

  127. 127
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Correction to (126): there’s only one point I was trying to make there. I thought there would be two, changed my mind and forget to edit. Mea culpa!

  128. 128
    Mung says:

    KN:

    In light of that, I’m still not clear why it can’t be “contingency all the way down” — the contingency of the universe, the contingency of the multiverse, the contingency of the meta-multiverse (because why not?), etc.

    You are going to argue for the rationality of the infinite regress?

  129. 129
    bornagain77 says:

    KN, it always amazes me how confident you can be in your pronouncements against anything to do with ID and yet when pressed for any precise evidence whatsoever to back up your claims (such as the claim that ‘self organization’ can produce functional information) you have, as hard as it is to believe, even less evidence for your pronouncements than Darwinists do. i.e. Why should your (IMHO) severely misleading words be given merit by anyone if you can show no linkage to reality by empirics? So here is a test: Show functional information being produced, without recourse to mind, by any self organization process, or any combination of natural processes thereof, so as to lay to rest my doubts about your ability to think in an unbiased fashion on these issues.

  130. 130
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: StephenB @ 111

    Are you saying that prior to the development of language, it was logically possible that Jupiter could exist and not exist at the same time and under the same formal circumstances, but after language emerged, it became logically impossible.

    No, that would clearly be an absurd position to take. 🙂

    It’s clear that Jupiter, being an object, is subject to logical principles, such as the LNC. The line of thought I’m exploring is that logic is just the semantic metavocabulary which explicates the rules that govern the vocabulary in which we talk about objects. And the vocabulary of objects is deeply embedded in how human beings, like other animals, perceive and act in the world.

    But are there objects, in some ‘deep’ sense? These days I find myself more and more drawn to some version of process philosophy. Now, I have not read Whitehead, who is the process philosopher, but I have read a bit of Bergson, a good bit of Dewey, and a lot of Nietzsche and of Deleuze. There are debates amongst process philosophers and I have not yet decided where to pitch my tent amongst them.

    But, if process metaphysics is the way forward, then it suddenly becomes entirely murky just how logic, which is primarily bound up with an ontology of objects, bears on reality. It’s an fertile area of inquiry, for sure.

    I am not clear on your position. If you are not denying the “Law” of Non-Contradiction, why did you just reduce it to a “norm” in the preceding comment?

    I treat logical principles as a class of rational norms — other rational norms being, for example, “Mill’s methods” of induction and Peirce’s abduction (‘inference to the best explanation’).

  131. 131
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Mung @ 128:

    You are going to argue for the rationality of the infinite regress?

    Possibly. 🙂

    Here’s one of my worries: just why is it that the classical philosophers, from Plato to (say) Kant, thought that infinite regresses are “absurd” or “irrational”? I suspect that one powerful motivation for this move on their part is that they lacked a precise concept of infinity. They just didn’t have the tools to think about it clearly. But we do, thanks to the foundations of set theory. So it’s not really clear to me that the classical objections to infinite regressions make as much sense to us now as they did when they were first articulated.

  132. 132
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: BornAgain77 @ 129

    Show functional information being produced, without recourse to mind, by any self organization process, or any combination of natural processes thereof, so as to lay to rest my doubts about your ability to think in an unbiased fashion on these issues.

    I don’t really know what “functional information” means, but there are plenty of examples of self-organizing processes. So the relevant question would be, does self-organization theory explain how complex organic molecules assembled into proto-cells?

    On that point, it’s quite clear that the experiments have not yet been performed, but as I keep on stressing, I have nowhere (to my knowledge) said, “this is how it is!” I’ve merely been indicating that it seems to me like a promising line of inquiry.

  133. 133
    bornagain77 says:

    KN:

    “I don’t really know what “functional information” means”

    Functional information and the emergence of bio-complexity:
    Robert M. Hazen, Patrick L. Griffin, James M. Carothers, and Jack W. Szostak:
    Abstract: Complex emergent systems of many interacting components, including complex biological systems, have the potential to perform quantifiable functions. Accordingly, we define ‘functional information,’ I(Ex), as a measure of system complexity. For a given system and function, x (e.g., a folded RNA sequence that binds to GTP), and degree of function, Ex (e.g., the RNA-GTP binding energy), I(Ex)= -log2 [F(Ex)], where F(Ex) is the fraction of all possible configurations of the system that possess a degree of function > Ex. Functional information, which we illustrate with letter sequences, artificial life, and biopolymers, thus represents the probability that an arbitrary configuration of a system will achieve a specific function to a specified degree. In each case we observe evidence for several distinct solutions with different maximum degrees of function, features that lead to steps in plots of information versus degree of functions.
    http://genetics.mgh.harvard.ed.....S_2007.pdf

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    Excerpt: Three qualitative kinds of sequence complexity exist: random (RSC), ordered (OSC), and functional (FSC).,,, Shannon information theory measures the relative degrees of RSC and OSC. Shannon information theory cannot measure FSC. FSC is invariably associated with all forms of complex biofunction, including biochemical pathways, cycles, positive and negative feedback regulation, and homeostatic metabolism. The algorithmic programming of FSC, not merely its aperiodicity, accounts for biological organization. No empirical evidence exists of either RSC of OSC ever having produced a single instance of sophisticated biological organization. Organization invariably manifests FSC rather than successive random events (RSC) or low-informational self-ordering phenomena (OSC).,,,

    Testable hypotheses about FSC

    What testable empirical hypotheses can we make about FSC that might allow us to identify when FSC exists? In any of the following null hypotheses [137], demonstrating a single exception would allow falsification. We invite assistance in the falsification of any of the following null hypotheses:

    Null hypothesis #1
    Stochastic ensembles of physical units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #2
    Dynamically-ordered sequences of individual physical units (physicality patterned by natural law causation) cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #3
    Statistically weighted means (e.g., increased availability of certain units in the polymerization environment) giving rise to patterned (compressible) sequences of units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #4
    Computationally successful configurable switches cannot be set by chance, necessity, or any combination of the two, even over large periods of time.

    We repeat that a single incident of nontrivial algorithmic programming success achieved without selection for fitness at the decision-node programming level would falsify any of these null hypotheses. This renders each of these hypotheses scientifically testable. We offer the prediction that none of these four hypotheses will be falsified.
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins – Kirk K Durston, David KY Chiu, David L Abel and Jack T Trevors – 2007
    Excerpt: We have extended Shannon uncertainty by incorporating the data variable with a functionality variable. The resulting measured unit, which we call Functional bit (Fit), is calculated from the sequence data jointly with the defined functionality variable. To demonstrate the relevance to functional bioinformatics, a method to measure functional sequence complexity was developed and applied to 35 protein families.,,,
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/4/1/47

  134. 134
    bornagain77 says:

    Premise One: No materialistic cause of specified complex information is known.
    Conclusion: Therefore, it must arise from some unknown materialistic cause

    On the other hand, Stephen Meyer describes the intelligent design argument as follows:

    “Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information in the cell.”

    There remains one and only one type of cause that has shown itself able to create functional information like we find in cells, books and software programs — intelligent design. We know this from our uniform experience and from the design filter — a mathematically rigorous method of detecting design. Both yield the same answer. (William Dembski and Jonathan Witt, Intelligent Design Uncensored: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy, p. 90 (InterVarsity Press, 2010).)

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    You see KN you have no evidence whatsoever that any natural processes, self organization or otherwise, have ever produced a single functional protein (much less a molecular machine) whereas ID has not only evidence for intelligence producing functional proteins,,

    Viral-Binding Protein Design Makes the Case for Intelligent Design Sick! (as in cool) – Fazale Rana – June 2011
    Excerpt: When considering this study, it is remarkable to note how much effort it took to design a protein that binds to a specific location on the hemagglutinin molecule. As biochemists Bryan Der and Brian Kuhlman point out while commenting on this work, the design of these proteins required:
    “…cutting-edge software developed by ~20 groups worldwide and 100,000 hours of highly parallel computing time. It also involved using a technique known as yeast display to screen candidate proteins and select those with high binding affinities, as well as x-ray crystallography to validate designs.2”
    If it takes this much work and intellectual input to create a single protein from scratch, is it really reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes could accomplish this task routinely?
    In other words, the researchers from the University of Washington and The Scripps Institute have unwittingly provided empirical evidence that the high-precision interactions required for PPIs requires intelligent agency to arise. Sick!
    http://www.reasons.org/viral-b.....-sick-cool

    Computer-designed proteins programmed to disarm variety of flu viruses – June 1, 2012
    Excerpt: The research efforts, akin to docking a space station but on a molecular level, are made possible by computers that can describe the landscapes of forces involved on the submicroscopic scale.,, These maps were used to reprogram the design to achieve a more precise interaction between the inhibitor protein and the virus molecule. It also enabled the scientists, they said, “to leapfrog over bottlenecks” to improve the activity of the binder.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-06-c.....ruses.html

    but also evidence for intelligence producing molecular machines:

    (Man-Made) DNA nanorobot – video
    https://vimeo.com/36880067

    Examples of molecular machines (molecular switches (or shuttles) and molecular motors) – Synthetic (Made By Chemists)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....r_machines

  135. 135
    bornagain77 says:

    KN: “I have nowhere (to my knowledge) said, “this is how it is!” I’ve merely been indicating that it seems to me like a promising line of inquiry.”

    Buddy there is nothing ‘merely’ as to how you present your case! That is why I expressed amazement at the repeated confidence you display in your comments since I know for a fact that your evidential basis is non-existent!

  136. 136
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist:

    It’s clear that Jupiter, being an object, is subject to logical principles, such as the LNC.

    Yes, but the question is this: Has Jupiter’s existence always been subject to logical principles? It is (or was) your position that logical principles didn’t exist prior to the advent of language.

    The line of thought I’m exploring is that logic is just the semantic metavocabulary which explicates the rules that govern the vocabulary in which we talk about objects. And the vocabulary of objects is deeply embedded in how human beings, like other animals, perceive and act in the world.

    Meaning no disrespect, but you have taken at least five positions so far: [a] Reason’s rules are norms, but they are not laws, [b] Reason’s rules are laws in the epistemological and psychological sense, but they are not laws in the ontological sense, [c] Reason’s rules came into being only with the advent of language, [d] Reason’s rules are dependent on one’s “conceptual framework” [e] Reason’s rules are subject to evolutionary change,

    But are there objects, in some ‘deep’ sense? These days I find myself more and more drawn to some version of process philosophy.

    So, you don’t really have a philosophy of life? You are just searching? Have you given any thought to the possibility that you are reading the wrong philosophers.

  137. 137
    Mung says:

    Mung: You are going to argue for the rationality of the infinite regress?

    KN: Possibly.

    Will you begin at the beginning?

    😉

  138. 138
    bornagain77 says:

    Here are a couple more strong pieces of supporting evidence for the ‘mind’:

    ,,If my mind were merely my brain as materialists hold, then if half of my brain were removed, then I should be ‘half the person’ I was before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ is still intact though the body suffers impairment:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    Another little known fact, a fact that is very antagonistic to the genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism, is that, besides environmental factors, even our thoughts and feelings can ‘epigenetically’ control the gene expression of our bodies:

    Genie In Your Genes – video
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/ggtrailer.html
    main website
    excerpt: There are over 100 genes in your body that are activated by your thoughts, feelings and experiences
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/

    Upgrade Your Brain
    Excerpt: The Research; In his book The Genie in Your Genes (Elite Books, 2009), researcher Dawson Church, PhD, explains the relationship between thought and belief patterns and the expression of healing- or disease-related genes. “Your body reads your mind,” Church says. “Science is discovering that while we may have a fixed set of genes in our chromosomes, which of those genes is active has a great deal to do with our subjective experiences, and how we process them.”
    One recent study conducted at Ohio University demonstrates vividly the effect of mental stress on healing. Researchers gave married couples small suction blisters on their skin, after which they were instructed to discuss either a neutral topic or a topic of dispute for half an hour. Researchers then monitored the production of three wound-repair proteins in the subjects’ bodies for the next several weeks, and found that the blisters healed 40 percent slower in those who’d had especially sarcastic, argumentative conversations than those who’d had neutral ones.
    http://experiencelife.com/arti.....our-brain/

    Genie In Your Genes – Book
    Book review: First of all, if you are a newcomer to Dawson Church’s writing, you need to know that his facts are unimpeachable – they were stringently peer-reviewed before publication. What is more, when Church makes categorical statements, he provides research to corroborate them.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ.....1600700225

    Anxiety May Shorten Your Cell Life – July 12, 2012
    Excerpt: These studies had the advantage of large data sets involving thousands of participants.
    If the correlations remain robust in similar studies, it would indicate that mental states and lifestyle choices can produce epigenetic effects on our genes.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/anxie.....cell-life/

    One of the more facinating branches of Near Death Studies have been the studies of people who were blind from birth who have had NDE’s, who could see for the first time during there NDE. This simply has no explanation within the materialistic framework, whereas this is expected within the theistic framework:

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

  139. 139
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    So, you don’t really have a philosophy of life? You are just searching? Have you given any thought to the possibility that you are reading the wrong philosophers.

    You might find hard this hard to believe, but I’m not really interested in a “philosophy of life.” I’m interested in living philosophically, which means being thoughtful, reflective, and self-critical. Did Socrates have a “philosophy of life”? I don’t think he had a ‘doctrine,’ in any event. He just lived a life of passionate questioning and quiet virtue. I do not think there is a better way for a human being to live than that.

    I read a great deal of philosophy, and I find something to agree with and something to disagree with in everyone I read. I have a fairly loosely defined ‘home’ at the intersection of pragmatism (Peirce, Dewey, C. I. Lewis, Sellars, Rorty), phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty), and critical theory (Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas), with Kant and Hegel as the headwaters from which those streams run and sometimes cross.

    In terms of my metaphysical and epistemological positions, my real interest lies in constructing one for myself, rather than adopting as my own the thoughts of someone else, but I have some fairly clear commitments, provisional credo: pragmatic realism in the form of metaphysics and process ontology in substance; a social-practice account of justification and reasoning that incorporates both fallibilism and ‘corrigibilism’; a qualified defense of the correspondence theory of truth; direct critical realism about perception; a distinction between conceptual and non-conceptual content in philosophy of mind (corresponding to social externalism and physical externalism); a holistic and inferentialist semantics; convergent realism in philosophy of science.

    In terms of my ethical position, I don’t think that anyone has really improved upon Martin Buber’s existentialist transformation of Kant’s categorical imperative, though Levinas’ injunction to bear witness to ‘the Face of the Other’ comes close, and that the I-Thou relation is the lived ground of all the virtues. I think that justice is distinct from other virtues (courage, honesty, integrity, sincerity, etc.) in being universalizable, and that justice requires de-institutionalizing all forms of privilege based on affluence, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. I think that non-human animals and plants deserve some moral consideration, though not identical with that which human persons deserve, and that environmental destruction is the most serious problem we currently face as a civilization and as a species.

    In politics, I’m a socialist with vaguely anarchist leanings at the level of principle (think Guy Debord or Noam Chomsky) and a staunch New Deal liberal at the level of policy. I think capitalism is both fundamentally immoral and essentially incompatible with democracy, but that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and that revolutions tend to bring out the worst side of human nature.

    OK, I guess went on a bit long there, but I think that should cover the main bases — I left out aesthetics, because I haven’t read much and have nothing interesting to say about it, and also philosophy of logic/mathematics, because I haven’t studied it carefully enough to have a well-defined position.

  140. 140
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I should also note that I tend towards nominalism about abstract entities, though I do worry that that puts excessive constraints on set theory, and towards cognitivism in metaethics, though I think that one has to specify very carefully just what the truth-makers are of moral judgments.

    How am I doing so far?

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    Okay, I see your acknowledgement re PSR.

    My own comment to you is that first you cannot count up, step by step to Aleph-null. A transfinite cardinality like that cannot be traversed in that way.

    Now, reverse sign, and assign an ordering of steps regressing in the past. The same obtains. Arriving at the present is an insuperable difficulty.

    We are back at the same issue of a finitely remote succession, i.e. time has a terminus in the past, to reach to now by successive causally connected events.

    This is multiplied by the entropy increase problem and other similar problems, even through multiverse speculations. Remember, also, we have credible empirical evidence for just one material cosmos, which is temporally limited, 13.7 BY on the usual Hubble estimates.

    A contingent cosmos cries out for causal explanation.

    A necessary being is logically possible, i.e. coherent. So, it is not an unreasonable explanatory object.

    So, already, (i) it is reasonable to dismiss the infinite traversal model, (ii) it is not coherent to have circular cause, and (iii) a necessary being is a coherent candidate. (This is linked to the worldview roots issue you have said you will get back on, some time ago now.)

    It is quite reasonable on the balance of evidence to infer that the best explanation of the causal root of a contingent world id a necessary being of intelligence, power, intent and skill to build a cosmos capable of hosting life as we experience it.

    Indeed, the evident alternatives are plainly inferior.

    In that context, too, we multiply by our moral experience of being under moral government and the experience many have had of dealing with, being positively transformed by and coming to know such a transcendent being. Better known as God. (And, in this context, the case of Jesus of Nazareth and his impact, in light of the prophetic tradition leading up to him, should be very carefully reflected on indeed, including in light of the alternatives that have been put on offer to deal with the testimony of the 500 recorded in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11, c. AD 55. [My own 101 on that is here on.])

    It is possible to reject all the premises and evidence that lurks behind this and related matters, but at a very stiff worldview price that reeks of reductio ad absurdum.

    KF

  142. 142
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Kairosfocus @ 141:

    My own comment to you is that first you cannot count up, step by step to Aleph-null. A transfinite cardinality like that cannot be traversed in that way.

    Now, reverse sign, and assign an ordering of steps regressing in the past. The same obtains. Arriving at the present is an insuperable difficulty.

    We are back at the same issue of a finitely remote succession, i.e. time has a terminus in the past, to reach to now by successive causally connected events.

    Oh, definitely — but I wasn’t wondering if perhaps the universe is infinite — that the universe is finite (but unbounded) is a result of contemporary cosmology I’m perfectly happy to take on board. My question was whether or not the cause of the universe couldn’t itself be contingent, and then have the cause of that in turn be contingent, and so on — ‘all the way down’. Why must the cause of this contingent being — the cosmos — be a necessary being? Why couldn’t this particular contingent being — the universe — have been caused by some other contingent being, and so on?

    (This is linked to the worldview roots issue you have said you will get back on, some time ago now.)

    On your criticism of “the raft metaphor,” I picked that thread back up in the last three paragraphs of my (84) above: epistemic ‘grounding’ is not causal ‘grounding’, and the very notion of ‘grounding’ elides that distinction if one is not exceedingly careful.

    I should add — and this is actually fairly important to me, though it might not be to any of you — that my agenda here isn’t to show that there’s anything irrational or mistaken about theism. I have no metaphysical or epistemological objections to theism, only to anti-atheism. That is, I have no reasons to hold that either theism or atheism is more or less rational than the other. It’s a leap of faith either way.

  143. 143
    Mung says:

    kf, can I have your mind when you’re done with it?

  144. 144
    Mung says:

    p.s. just box it up and send it to me when you get tired of it.

  145. 145
    Box says:

    @KN

    Kantian Naturalist: “My question was whether or not the cause of the universe couldn’t itself be contingent, and then have the cause of that in turn be contingent, and so on — ‘all the way down’. Why must the cause of this contingent being — the cosmos — be a necessary being? Why couldn’t this particular contingent being — the universe — have been caused by some other contingent being, and so on?”

    Turtles all the way down? I thought that the absurdity of infinite regress was a done deal. A person cannot be carried by another person who is carried by another person … etc. without anyone actually standing on the ground.
    Why isn’t infinite regress clearly absurd?

  146. 146
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In re: Box @ 145:

    I thought that the absurdity of infinite regress was a done deal. A person cannot be carried by another person who is carried by another person … etc. without anyone actually standing on the ground. Why isn’t infinite regress clearly absurd?

    Because of the considerations I raised in my (131) above.

  147. 147
    Box says:

    @Kantian Naturalist

    How does set theory change the verdict on infinite regress?

  148. 148
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    By because we can model an infinite regress as infinitely nested sets, and there’s nothing absurd about that.

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    Pardon, but you simply handed back the same problem of traversing aleph null stepwise in another form. How can we get here from aleph null past, and on what evidence do you suggest such an infinite regress to now in the teeth of the Hubble evidence and the issues of heat death?

    It seems to me that he observed cosmos is bounded in the past by a singularity, per the general results of the science, and in the future by thermodynamic deterioration.

    And, to speak of in effect the infinite succession of “gods” I raised at step one at three years of age brings us back to the same problem that any infinite succession of causal steps implies.

    Now, I have not really been tracking this thread so I missed your 84.

    On that, I do not find your remarks particularly impressive as there is indeed a distinction between the three as easily spotted as:

    1: . . . ASASASAS . . .

    2: . . . giq3tgu35reonwsfjb . . .

    3: Functionally specific organisation is not randomness nor repetitive periodic order.

    To get type 3, you have a very different causal pattern than the sort of blind forces that you have invoked, which at most get us to type 1 rather than 2. In the case of say a snowflake the symmetry is 1 ans the complexity is 2, though in principle we could manipulate circumstances to express a coded pattern. Forced natural regularity is not high contingency and contingency comes in two distinct forms.

    When we come to algorithmic messages that constitute prescriptive information, and which to work must be coupled to executing machines, the problems compound. It is a highly relevant finding that FSCO/I, when we can observe the cause, traces to intelligent design. It is relevant that on analysing the relevant config spaces and the implications of multipart complex function dependent on proper arrangement and interfacing as well as sequence, we credibly face the islands of function effect and we then see that even 500 bits worth of info exhausts the needle in haystack capacity of the solar system, and 1,000 bits the observed cosmos.

    The set of implied commitments to deny a finite and grounded cosmos [the reality of traversed infinite regress in some form or circularity of causation], rooted in a necessary being are mounting up in terms of metaphysical price tag and want of empirical warrant. In addition, the implied commitment to an amoral universe that scientism and materialism present to us, is little short of monstrously absurd.

    You and others need to explain to us why we should be willing to accept such a price tag. I think I am having a case of metaphysical price sticker shock, especially when a worldview predicated on an inherently good and wise Creator God, makes sense and does not call for such a price. I need not add much on my own experience with God and that of millions, save this: absent a miracle of guidance when my mother was desperate in the face of a chronic out of control illness that had me at death’s door, I would not be here to converse with you — forty years now. On that alone, I have no doubt of the reality of God. Nor am I by any means the only person like that, which gives me — and millions of others across the ages — a very different view on the credibility of the various speculations on offer in the market place of ideas and values.

    From my viewpoint, too many are willing to pay an extravagant metaphysical price to avoid dealing with an alternative that raises far more directly personal — especially, who is in charge of my life — challenges.

    Sorry if that gets a bit personal, but at this point eh matters are quite personal.

    Next, you seem to have implicitly slipped in an assumption that minded self-moved behaviour must somehow reduce to or emerge from type 1 and 2 together.

    But that is begging a big question and is not consistent with what we observe ourselves doing, i.e. we OBSERVE that we make genuine choices and reasonings, we do not simply carry out cobbled together survival reactions that are irrelevant to truth, logic or warrant or morality.

    Why should not mind/soul be of a different order of being that we experience as our first, first person reality that is indeed embodied but nonetheless is just as real as the body and world we perceive by that means?

    Where, BOTH are real?

    (Putting an unbridgeable ugly gulch between our necessarily inner experience and perception of reality and the reality of things in themselves in all cases goes several steps too far, into self-referential absurdity. How can we stand outside ourselves to know the external world is such that we cannot credibly know it accurately enough in many significant ways, never mind the limitations of our senses and reasonings? It is enough to follow Royce that error exists and we can thus know truths about the world to certainty, however humbling. Thus too, that which would undermine such or dismiss it, is refuted.)

    In that general context, pardon but you have mangled the raft metaphor as I extended it to include the sea and the sharks.

    I pointed out that in the context of seeking to speak of coherence as criterion and the idea of being partly under construction, the raft is all along resting on foundations that are necessary for it to float. Or the ever-lurking sharks will have lunch, so we have a first duty of care to do no irreparable harm — which seems to be being neglected by too many in our time. At no point am I conflating cause-effect with ground-consequent. (Remember, I cut my eye teeth on Lewis and Schaeffer, responding to Marxists with their love of dismissing bourgeois false consciousness!)

    My point was and is that chains of warrant do not just run in circles, and they have an undergirding foundation, most notoriously in the first principles of right reason, as I have repeatedly pointed out to you. Which principles undergird all reasoned thought and which we cannot even successfully deny, for to try to say the LNC does not hold is to implicitly appeal to it. Nor is this merely verbal, that car rushing at you on the street is or is not there it is not both. Identity and distinction are real before we recognise them in language that must meet the test of reflecting that reality. And for Buddhists in japan, they look both ways before crossing the street. Ravi Zacharias assures us that that happens in India too.

    Some things are indeed both-and, but other things are inescapably either -or but not both.

    BTW, the first problem of set theory — as the Barber paradox testifies — is the distinction of inclusion/exclusion, too. So, yes, we have to be very choosy about setting up our set theoretic structures, exactly because of the problem. And that does not disappear simply because there are empty sets that can be contrasted.

    Going back, infinite regress of gods is just as subject to comparative difficulties on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power as anything. Apart from a handy ad hoc that may save the phenomena, what do you have to offer?

    KF

  150. 150
    StephenB says:

    KN

    I read a great deal of philosophy, and I find something to agree with and something to disagree with in everyone I read. I have a fairly loosely defined ‘home’ at the intersection of pragmatism (Peirce, Dewey, C. I. Lewis, Sellars, Rorty), phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty), and critical theory (Adorno, Marcuse, Habermas), with Kant and Hegel as the headwaters from which those streams run and sometimes cross.

    Have you read anything from Reginald Garriquo-Lagrange, Eteinne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, Ralph McIrnerny. or David Olderberg.

  151. 151
    William J Murray says:

    Alan Fox said: ” I don’t doubt that people have these experiences. I question whether they are real or symptomatic resulting from anaesthesia.

    It’s still anecdotal.”

    This is a perfect example of ideological bias. You have no idea what the Lancet paper was about or how the research was conducted; you just assume it could have only been “anecdotal” in nature, which it wasn’t.

    Testimony corroborated by expert eyewitnesses and physical evidence in a rigorous experiment is not “anecdotal”, because none of it was “secondhand”.

  152. 152
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Have you read anything from Reginald Garriquo-Lagrange, Eteinne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, Ralph McIrnerny. or David Olderberg?

    No, I’m afraid not. Though I’ve heard of Gilson’s From Aristotle to Darwin and Back Again and it seems like something I’d enjoy.

    If I had time for only one book by one of those philosophers, what would you recommend?

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    KN:

    One more thing, above you have suggested that there is no proper analogy between machinery etc and life forms.

    This is incorrect.

    I am not comparing life forms as a whole with machines in some sort of comparison, I am highlighting an observed fact about key components of especially the living cell. It is a fact that DNA is a digital information store in a string data structure. It is a fact that protein synthesis is a step by step algorithmic procedure that uses that digital info as first transcribed to mRNA to assemble AA chains that then fold to function in ways that are critically dependent on the AA sequences. It is a fact that tRNA has a matching anticodon and is loaded by a relevant enzyme that attaches the AA to a universal CCA coupler tip based on the match to the particular tRNA.

    It is a fact that the process we see is an information processing process, of step by step finite targetted form, i.e we see the physical instantiation of digital, algorithmic information processing.

    Yes, a four-state digital system is different from a 2-state one, but so is a 10-state system such as we use in arithmetic. Binary digital is a subset of digital, not a constraint on whether or not something is digital.

    We are here dealing with instantiation of a digital, algorithmic info processing system using an object code in a machine language.

    Thus the inference on the known cause of such systems is appropriate and the use of a threshold of complexity beyond which chance and mechanical necessity are not credible, is a way of strengthening the inference.

    While I am at it, let me note that by definition, mechanical necessity does not produce high contingency, i.e the idea that the chemistry of warm little ponds deterministically orders macromolecules and clusters them to go up the energetic hill spontaneously and self-organise [not self order] to effect string data structures with protein codes, regulatory codes and associated properly arranged execution machinery and raw materials is simply not credible.

    If that were so, two things would obtain: (i) the physics of the cosmos would have been programmed to create life in any suitable environment, a case of fine tuning on steroids if there ever was one, and (ii) every can of soup in a supermarket would be teeming with primitive life when we pop it open. Spontaneous generation on steroids. There is no observational evidence for the first, and for the second, the same obtains: cans of soup are not noted for spoiling so spectacularly, other than if there is some living microorganism that has got in.

    There is one commonly observed and only observed source of FSCO/I, intelligent design.

    That holds in the teeth of the suggested genetic algorithm alternative, which by virtue of hill climbing algorithms, is shown to be a matter of adaptations as programmed within islands of function, programmed by a presumably intelligent programmer and running on a presumably intelligently engineered computer.

    In short, the empirical evidence is all around us, in all sorts of places, from posts in this thread, to the computers we are using, to the books that surround us, to the Internet, to cans of soup on laden supermarket shelves, groaning under the weight of thousands of cans carrying our a form of the Humpty Dumpty prick and spread out the components of life and see if diffusion can weave them back again experiment.

    KF

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I see this from 131:

    Here’s one of my worries: just why is it that the classical philosophers, from Plato to (say) Kant, thought that infinite regresses are “absurd” or “irrational”? I suspect that one powerful motivation for this move on their part is that they lacked a precise concept of infinity. They just didn’t have the tools to think about it clearly. But we do, thanks to the foundations of set theory. So it’s not really clear to me that the classical objections to infinite regressions make as much sense to us now as they did when they were first articulated.

    We can think about transfinite sets indeed, and what we can see underscores my point about the challenge of traversing a set of cardinality Aleph null step by step. Set operations on such sets are careful to either deliver the set at once, or to only suggest the set, e.g. {1, 2, 3, . . . }

    We are dealing with cause-effect chains, and specific events of cause from one to the next. There was credibly a big bang event, which expanded to yield our cosmos that we observe. At some point stars formed and cooked up key elements then dispersed their ingredients by various mechanisms, leading to onward generations of stars in our galaxy such as Sol. Planets formed, from the same giant molecular clouds. Atmospheres formed, as did hydrospheres etc.

    Somehow life was formed, and entered a succession of generations per a definite step by step reproduction and metabolism process.

    And so forth.

    That is, we are seeing dynamic, causal succession in stages, that can be counted, leading to the challenge of traversing the transfinite step by step. Where also, the classic paradox of Hilbert’s hotel infinity and absurdities gives us a way to see the problems with taking up procedures that are ho hum with finite sets, with transfinite countable ones. The hotel is full. A new guest arrives. No problem, announce over the intercom that every guest in room n moves to 2n. The hotel is now half empty and the guest can be sent to room 1. If an infinite number of guests — note, discrete — arrives instead, simply send them to take up rooms, having sent guests from 1, 2, 3, . . . to rooms 2n, send the new guests to rooms 2n + 1 from n = 0, 1, 2, 3, up.

    And that is just the beginnings of hotel Infinity’s absurdities.

    So, we cannot just wave off the issue of traversing the countable infinite step by step like the above.

    And that is exactly what traversing an infinite regress attempts to do. If you could deliver the actual infinity all at once — notice the n –> 2n transition and the n –> 2n + 1 transition — we carry out a single step or a few steps that give us an infinity all at once. But to count up, 1, 2, 3, . . . in succession step by finite step is a task of a different order.

    (You will notice, that I am NOT talking about spanning a continuum, which runs a race between dx and dt, leading to a finite limit. Yes, the tortoise will be overtaken by the hare in a finite amount of time as a result of the differing dx:dt ratios taken to the limit. That is what L’Hospital’s rule is all about, and it is how we can sketch curves and see how we can move to asymptotes, etc.)

    KF

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Cf Craig’s video, which uses Hilbert’s Hotel Infinity to show the problems above and more.

  156. 156
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus: “I am not comparing life forms as a whole with machines in some sort of comparison (…)”

    Kairosfocus, can you please respond to my question to you in post 95?

  157. 157
    Mung says:

    David Olderberg

    Oderberg?

  158. 158
    Mung says:

    That Hilbert Hotel argument is just a Hotel Manager of the Gaps argument.

  159. 159
    StephenB says:

    Mung: Oderberg?

    Yes, thanks!

  160. 160
    StephenB says:

    Kantian Naturalist

    “If I had time for only one book by one of those philosophers, what would you recommend?”

    Based on the books I have read, I would recommend either “Degrees of Knowledge” or “The Range of Reason,” by Jacques Maritain.

    If, however, I may be so presumptuous as to recommend something I am about to read (based on my knowledge of the author’s familiarity with current topics), try this:

    David Oderberg: “Real Essentialism” (2007)

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    Box: Organisation of extremely complex entities often tends to be designed in a sort of multi-layer fashion, leading to a degree of modularity. Think here of the ISO OSI seven layer communication model, from physical to applications. where, indeed, organisation per a wiring diagram and hierarchical modularity point very strongly to purpose and design, but so does code, digital code used in algorithms and so does much else. But, at this stage I don’t think anything apart from a personal meeting with the designer would be deemed acceptable evidence by some of the truly committed objectors out there. There is a term for that sort of attitude (multiply by how just so stories that fit the party line are just fine), and let’s just say that undue skepticism about what is uncongenial is not exactly an intellectual virtue. KF

  162. 162
    Box says:

    @161 Kairosfocus

    Kairosfocus: But, at this stage I don’t think anything apart from a personal meeting with the designer would be deemed acceptable evidence by some of the truly committed objectors out there. There is a term for that sort of attitude (multiply by how just so stories that fit the party line are just fine), and let’s just say that undue skepticism about what is uncongenial is not exactly an intellectual virtue. KF”

    I have to confess that ‘undue skepticism’ is part of me too. And I fully agree with you that is not an intellectual virtue. In fact I do not consider my doubts to be rational at all and am certainly not proud of them. I do not understand people who use it as a starting point. Moreover, I do not understand people who consider materialism to be attractive. I’ve never understood this and I never will. For me materialism is the ultimate nightmare of total lack of purpose and meaning. I see it as a duty for every man to strive for meaningfulness.

    Kairosfocus: (..) ”that car rushing at you on the street is or is not there it is not both.”

    I do not wish to argue about logic. This is an account of a miracle which I experienced, which seems more or less appropriate since you told about a miracle in post 149.
    About 15 years ago I was cycling and ignored a traffic light. On my right was a queue of cars which waited for traffic lights. Next to that queue of cars was an empty track, or so I thought. When I arrived at the “empty track” a black car rushed at me with formidable speed. I remember that I intended to pedal as hard as I could, but couldn’t because I knew it was useless, there was simply no escape possible. And then … the car went through me. Everything around me was quiet and I cycled on and did not look back. Totally amazed.

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    Box: An interesting tale [similar to the risen Jesus apparently walking through walls and appearing in the room then shut for fear], were there other witnesses, especially to the car being there? G

  164. 164
    Box says:

    @Kairosfocus
    I remember that I passed 4 or 5 cyclists whom were patiently waiting in queue at the traffic light which I chose to ignore. Two of them were standing next to each other so I had to really get around them in order to commit my traffic violation. Then there was the person sitting in the front car of the long queue for the other traffic light on my right. And last but not least the driver of the black car.
    But I don’t know any of them and I was not in a scientific mood during and right after the mind boggling event. Maybe being perplexed and not being able to do scientific research is a recurring problem during miracles.

  165. 165
    kairosfocus says:

    Did the papers take up the story? KF

  166. 166
    Box says:

    Would you offer this story to the papers? The idea never crossed my mind. It is completely unbelievable. I have told this to my wife, my mother and my best friend. These people want to believe me but even for them it is quite a stretch. I’m not even sure that I can believe it myself. What I’m sure of is that I try to be as accurate and honest as possible when I tell the story.

  167. 167
    William J Murray says:

    Box,

    I had a similar incident. I and my wife and son were driving back from Colorado to Texas on a stretch of highway that had a lot of construction. I was doing about 65 and had kind of “zoned out” until I realized my lane was ending abruptly and there was a couple of those huge barrels and then a concrete barrier in front of me too close to stop before hitting them at high speed.

    I glanced in my side and rear-view mirrors and there was an 18-wheeler in the right lane right on my back right fender and gaining ground as I had already started applying the brakes. Going forward was a certain bad accident and for whatever reason I swerved into the right lane to avoid it and braced for collision with the 18-wheeler. I guess I was hoping to somehow squeeze between the truck and the concrete construction divider and just do damage to both vehicles.

    Nothing happened. I looked around. The 18 wheeler was nowhere to be seen. I asked my wife if she saw that 18 wheeler and she looked like a ghost and said yes. There was no way off that road right there. It was just gone.

    Our lives have been full of such miracles.

  168. 168
    bornagain77 says:

    Box and William,,, WOW! I’ve seen ‘small’ “ordinary’ miracles but if I saw something like what you guys saw it would absolutely blow me away.

    Sarah McLachlan – Ordinary Miracle
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqZE4ZDnAkQ

  169. 169
    Box says:

    @William J Murray 167

    William J Murray: “I swerved into the right lane to avoid it and braced for collision with the 18-wheeler. I guess I was hoping to somehow squeeze between the truck and the concrete construction divider and just do damage to both vehicles.”

    I like your story much better. Your role is way more heroic. I was a complete sissy. Like I said before, for a moment I intended to peddle as hard as I could, but I caved in at the same time. My legs went to jello. A sob welled up. I bowed to the inevitable. All in split seconds.

    William J Murray: “Nothing happened.”

    Exactly. Nothing happened.

    William J Murray: “I looked around.”

    I was still looking down. And with legs filled with jello I pedaled along.

    William J Murray: “The 18 wheeler was nowhere to be seen. I asked my wife if she saw that 18 wheeler and she looked like a ghost and said yes. There was no way off that road right there. It was just gone.

    Earlier I wrote: ’And then … the car went through me’. That is probably an inference. It is probably more accurate to say that the car was just gone. Somehow it had vanished into thin air.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    Box and WJM: Do you see how some thing that is fairly common [in terms of absolute numbers, but rare relative to how many “ordinary course of nature” events happen], because of a hostile climate, can be severely under-reported? What does that tell us about the likelihood that conventional wisdom is sound on such things? Why? How? KF

  171. 171
    William J Murray says:

    KF:

    Maybe you should start a thread. I have enough of these stories to fill a book.

    You’re right about the hostility; it’s the same thing when it comes to any idea that the atheist/progressive media/academia/scientism complex is against. You get bullied, ridiculed, ostracized, blackballed.

    It is ironic that they have become the very thing that in their mind is so terrifying; a “church” of persecution against the “others” who will not toe their ideological line.

  172. 172
    Mung says:

    Hey BA77, these seem to be right up your alley:

    The Non-Local Universe

    Mindful Universe

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