Intelligent Design

My Thought About Justice is Not Justice: Easy for ID; a Deal Killer for Materialism

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At ENV Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor exposes how materialist metaphysics flounders on logical grounds in its theory of mind:

As an example, let us suppose that a certain pattern of neuronal activation in my cortex were shown to represent my thought about justice. Obviously that pattern is not my thought about justice itself — justice is a concept, not a bunch of neurons. And if that pattern of neuronal activation represented my thought about justice, it must map to my thought of justice, which presupposes my thought about justice and thus cannot explain it.

Succinctly, mental representation of abstract thought presupposes abstract thought, and cannot explain it. It is on abstract thought that materialism, as a theory of mind, flounders. Abstract thought, classically understood as intellect and will, are inherently immaterial. Any representation in the brain of abstract thought (while it may exist) necessarily presupposes abstract thought itself, which must, by its nature, be an immaterial power of the mind.

163 Replies to “My Thought About Justice is Not Justice: Easy for ID; a Deal Killer for Materialism

  1. 1
    BPS from AZ says:

    Thank you for the link to this article. Perhaps my favorite part is this:

    “A representation of a city — a map — presumes the city. A representation of my cat presumes my cat. And here’s the problem: a representation of my thought about justice presumes my thought about justice. So representation cannot provide any final explanation for abstract thought, because the representation of an abstract thought, even if it exists, presupposes the abstract thought itself.”

    I’m occasionally fond of saying “A materialist trying to explain consciousness is like a man yanking on his hair real hard in an attempt to lift his feet off the ground.”

    For some reason, this is a difficult notion for many folks to apprehend.

  2. 2
    J-Mac says:

    The problem with Dr. Egnor’s thinking is that if something in the brain is not material, or can’t be expressed by materialistic means, therefore it has to be spiritual; i.e. immortal soul…It’s not quantum mechanics, we all get it.

    However, my problem with this is that if thoughts are generated by the immortal soul, why did we need a brain in the first place? Why does the mind function fine until certain parts of the brain are damaged or disabled by anesthetic? If the soul is the mind, thought, consciousness creator, why does it fail when there is a small and yet essential brain injury? Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?

  3. 3
    niwrad says:

    “Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?”

    Because the soul has to control a body. To control it a material brain is necessary. Similarly, you can conceive things in abstract, but if you want to construct or control them in matter you have to descend on the material level and use material means.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    J-Mac

    However, my problem with this is that if thoughts are generated by the immortal soul, why did we need a brain in the first place?

    It is astonishing that you think the fact that you have a “problem” with the truth should matter to anyone other than yourself.

    Perhaps you find that an argument from personal incredulity is effective. Most people do not.

    Help me out here J. Unless you can tell us why your personal incredulity matters, why should we respond to it other than by saying it does not matter?

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    BPS, agreed. I started to use the “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” trope. But it is overworked and some people seem to believe one can actually do that. I like yours better.

  6. 6
    J-Mac says:

    niwrad @3

    “Because the soul has to control a body. To control it a material brain is necessary.”

    Except when the soul doesn’t, just like in the instances I have mentioned…

  7. 7
    J-Mac says:

    @Barry Arrington,

    The pursuit of science and religion should be the pursuit of truth and not preconceived ideas…

  8. 8
    outside_observer says:

    J-Mac @1 “Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?”

    Why would the soul need a body at all, then? But I don’t think that many would dispute that a reasonably functioning body (including, but not limited to the brain) is required for a human to properly express himself in the natural world.

    To illustrate, If your brain was fully functioning, but you were “locked in”, then for the purposes of you actually doing anything you would essentially be as good as dead.

    If your body was fully functioning, but your brain was damaged to the point that you’re thinking was impaired, then likewise you would be in the same condition.

    Or put another way, if your brain is damaged to the point where it would no longer be able to accurately process “your thoughts,” it doesn’t mean that there is no immaterial, immortal “you.”

    If I had a radio but it was seriously damaged, it may no longer be able to pick up the signal, but that doesn’t mean that the signal doesn’t exist.

    When the radio is properly working, does the radio produce the signal? Certainly not! All it does is receive the signal and process it in such a way that it is recognizable and meaningful to the listener. It takes something that it unobserved (ie, wavelengths undetectable to normal human senses), and turns it into something that can be observed.

    But if the radio breaks, that does not mean that the signal is gone, it just means that the radio broke.

    Does the brain produce consciousness? No, but it is nonetheless required for consciousness to properly operate.

    If we presuppose an immortal soul and/or spirit, then it is self-evident that a reasonably functioning body (which would include the brain) is still be a vital necessity for individuals to express themselves in this natural world.

    But just because it is self-evident that a reasonably functioning body is necessary for consciousness to operate in this natural world, that does not make it self-evident that a reasonably functioning body is ALL that is required.

    p.s. It seems to me someone on this site may have made a similar argument. If that is the case, I am not trying to purloin, but regardless this is a simple version how I see it.

  9. 9
    J-Mac says:

    @8
    “Why would the soul need a body at all, then?”

    Congratulations!!! I have proven my point!

  10. 10
    outside_observer says:

    @9, Not really. If one does believe in an immortal, non-material soul, then you also believe that there is more to life than a material existence.

    The assumption that there is more to existence than a purely material existence, of necessity requires that at least part of existence is, or at least involves, a material existence.

    In that case, if one believes that we are essentially immaterial, immaterial souls, then the brain and body is still required for one’s MATERIAL existence and expression.

    It does not mean that the soul could not in any circumstance operate outside of it (eg when someone dies and their soul is free from being tied to the body…which is necessarily part of having an immortal soul, otherwise it wouldn’t be immortal).

  11. 11
    DennisM says:

    The stipulation of an immortal, conscious, non-material soul is not needed to appreciate a non-material aspect to the mind’s operation. To assume it is creates an unnecessary weakness for design arguments.

    We are more than physical beings, but that does not require that we have some part of us existing separate from our body, and certainly not that it is immortal. The idea of an immortal soul is a majority belief among Christians and in some other faiths. A minority of Christians see our existence as a physical body infused with an animating spirit. It is both of those components, together, that makes us a person, and neither part lives or thinks on its own.

    In the Christian Bible, this belief begins in the book of Genesis with the statement that “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. (Gen 2:7) A physical body allied with the breath of life becomes a living soul.

    I don’t intend to begin an argument about the Bible definition of a soul. I only offer this idea as another option for those who see problems with an immortal, non-material yet conscious soul’s need for a physical body.

  12. 12
    rvb8 says:

    Yet another discussion on the ‘spiritual animal’, that is man, and his, ‘immortal'(?) soul?

    Of course this necessarily, and messily spills into ‘mind’ versus material brain consciousness.

    Unfortunately for all the supporters of the, ‘exceptional’ human mind, J-Mac points out the show stopper to the,’mind’ is separate to the ‘material’ brain supporters.

    What happened to my mind when I was drunk last night? Did it sit that evening out? Large parts of an occasional evening are lost, and my physical brain has lost them, has the mind?

    Simple brain trauma destroys an individual, their personality, their memories, their lives; how do I explain these facts if the mind is separate from the physical brain? Surely the ‘mind’ would retain the individual’s personality, and memories; knowledge of who they are as an individual?

    I’m sorry, without a functioning physical brain there is no individual, or their mind.

  13. 13
    BPS from AZ says:

    rvb8, the thing is, you’re actually asserting a metaphysical position. But hey, you don’t need to be sorry! 🙂

  14. 14
    ET says:

    So software isn’t separate from the hardware? Really?

  15. 15
    mike1962 says:

    JMac: if thoughts are generated by the immortal soul, why did we need a brain in the first place? Why does the mind function fine until certain parts of the brain are damaged or disabled by anesthetic? If the soul is the mind, thought, consciousness creator, why does it fail when there is a small and yet essential brain injury? Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?

    Nobody is saying (AFAICT) that the brain is not involved in the thinking process. I think it is patently obvious that it is. When I consume alcohol to excess, my intellectual abilities are manifestly downgraded. Even moreso when I’m asleep. But consciousness is not thinking. Thinking is a process determined by a cooperative interaction between consciousness and the brain. The brain is a bi-directional interface that is a tool that consciousness “uses” to interact, both intellectually, and as a sensory interface, to spacetime.

  16. 16
    Bob O'H says:

    outside_observer @ 8 –

    If we presuppose an immortal soul and/or spirit, then it is self-evident that a reasonably functioning body (which would include the brain) is still be a vital necessity for individuals to express themselves in this natural world.

    But the body isn’t immortal, so an immortal soul would only be able to express itself in this natural world for a brief period of its existence, which makes me wonder what the point is.

  17. 17
    kurx78 says:

    J-Mac’s argument is spot on…
    But then maybe we can consider the nondual perspective
    https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/about/nonduality/

  18. 18
    Molson Bleu says:

    I’ve never been a big believer in the immortal soul. There is no reason why a soul/mind can’t develop and die with the brain and still be more that the sum of the parts of the brain. And before anyone jumps all over me, I am not talking about the airy-fairy ‘emergent property’ concept.

    There is little doubt that we are conscious, self aware and have free will. Why wouldn’t the designer be satisfied with that? Why would he feel it necessary to make that soul/mind immortal? The immortal soul seems more like the mythologized desires of humans rather than the goals of a designer.

  19. 19
    Axel says:

    Three things to ponder, imo, but which nobody seems to have addressed.

    1. There is a man functioning almost normally, who holds down a clerical job, yet possesses considerably less than half of his brain. Nor is he the only one functioning adequately, yet with a large part of their brain missing.

    2. Rather than give a layman’s garbled account, myself, I refer you to the second article in the blog, The Bridge : a Science and Spirituality Resource, linked below, describing
    the dualism of the mind and brain that seems to be indicated by the subsequent NDE of a woman, who had undergone the most astonishing deprivation of any possible sensory sensitivity during a major surgical intervention on her brain. – I believe, it was to remove a large aneurysm in a most inaccessible position.

    “From these studies we know that in our prospective study of patients that have been clinically dead (VF on the ECG) no electric activity of the cortex of the brain (flat EEG) must have been possible, but also the abolition of brain stem activity like the loss of the cornea reflex, fixed dilated pupils and the loss of the gag reflex is a clinical finding in those patients. However, patients with an NDE can report a clear consciousness, in which cognitive functioning, emotion, sense of identity, and memory from early childhood was possible, as well as perception from a position out and above their “dead” body. Because of the sometimes reported and verifiable out-of -body experiences, like the case of the dentures reported in our study, we know that the NDE must happen during the period of unconsciousness, and not in the first or last second of this period.

    So we have to conclude that NDE in our study was experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem. It is important to mention that there is a well documented report of a patient with constant registration of the EEG during cerebral surgery for an gigantic cerebral aneurysm at the base of the brain, operated with a body temperature between 10 and 15 degrees, she was put on the heart-lung machine, with VF, with all blood drained from her head, with a flat line EEG, with clicking devices in both ears, with eyes taped shut, and this patient experienced an NDE with an out-of-body experience, and all details she perceived and heard could later be verified. (8)”

    To cut a long story, short, taking such evidence into account, it has been postulated that the brain, far from producing thoughts (something never proved), acts as a kind of radio/TV receiver.

    http://science-spirituality.bl.....ly-to.html

    http://www.timcolemanmedia.com.....m-reynolds

    3. In one of his essays, perhaps, The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley referred to a theory postulating that the brain served as a reducing-valve, to enable us to survive in time, in the physical world. Without it, we should be in a state of ‘lotus-eater’ state, perpetually gazing at the Beatific Vision. There is evidence tending to confirm that, too, both scriptural and experiential.

    Hope you find the sources as interesting as I did.

    There are YouTube video-clips of the Pam Reynolds case, but I believe the best one, probably the earliest one, has been copyrighted

  20. 20
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    But the body isn’t immortal, so an immortal soul would only be able to express itself in this natural world for a brief period of its existence, which makes me wonder what the point is.

    Unless of course one accepts reincarnation.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    J Mac:

    However, my problem with this is that if thoughts are generated by the immortal soul, why did we need a brain in the first place?

    So those thoughts can be acted on.

    Why does the mind function fine until certain parts of the brain are damaged or disabled by anesthetic?

    The mind may still function fine but the output is scrambled by the defect.

    If the soul is the mind, thought, consciousness creator, why does it fail when there is a small and yet essential brain injury?

    The same reason the software fails when there is a hardware failure.

    Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?

    Might be another straw man. Does it operate on its own without a brain or is it part and parcel of a collective?

  22. 22
    outside_observer says:

    Bob O’H @ 16:

    “But the body isn’t immortal, so an immortal soul would only be able to express itself in this natural world for a brief period of its existence, which makes me wonder what the point is.”

    But the body is indeed mortal, so a mortal soul would only be able to express itself in this natural world for exactly the same period of time and then cease to exist forever, which makes me wonder what the point to that would be.

    Just because someone may not personally see the point in something, or anything for that matter, does not necessarily mean that there really is no point to it.

    Which is not to say that one is wrong to wonder, but at this point we have gone beyond science and are now asking fundamental religious/philosophical questions like “Why are we here?” “What is our purpose?”, etc.

  23. 23
    J-Mac says:

    In Gen 2:16 and 17 we read;

    “16 God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.*”

    *You actually will not die, because you both have an immortal soul…So, if you disobey me and eat the forbidden apple, I will have no choice but to send your souls to hell where you will be tormented forever and ever… Sorry…You should have read the fine line…

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    The focus of Dr. Egnor’s article is that ‘immaterial’ abstract concepts can not be mapped to any material things but can only be mapped to the abstract thought itself. He gives these examples of abstract concepts that lack any material basis:

    “Thoughts about universals are abstract thoughts, and are thoughts about concepts. Justice, mercy, logic, mathematics, etc., are abstract thoughts.”
    – Dr. Egnor

    Mathematics by itself is particularly interesting to look at. Alfred Russell Wallace himself, co-discoverer of the now discredited idea of Natural Selection, held that Man’s mathematical ability was alone sufficient to conclude that man possessed a soul:

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.,,,”
    — Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, – 1910
    http://people.wku.edu/charles......e/S746.htm

    And when examining the nature of ‘abstract’ math we find that Wallace was not exaggerating too much in his claim that man’s mathematical ability provided evidence for the immaterial soul of man.

    Darwinian evolution is based on a materialistic view of reality which denies that anything beyond nature exists. On the other hand, Mathematics, which provides the backbone for all of science, engineering and technology, exists in a transcendent, beyond space and time, realm which is not reducible any possible material explanation. This transcendent mathematical realm has been referred to as a Platonic mathematical world.
    Simply put, Mathematics itself, contrary to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, does not need the physical world in order to exist. And yet Darwinists, although they deny that anything beyond nature exists, need this transcendent world of mathematics in order for their theory to be considered scientific in the first place. The predicament that Darwinists find themselves in regards to denying the reality of this transcendent world of mathematics, and yet needing validation from this transcendent world of mathematics in order to be considered scientific, should be the very definition of self-refuting.
    – Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gyx70BHvA

    Besides abstract ideas, actual Empirical evidence for the power of the immaterial mind to interact with the material brain is provided by the following:

    In direct contradiction to the atheistic claim that our thoughts are merely the result of whatever state our material brain happens to be in, ‘Brain Plasticity’, the ability to alter the structure of the brain from a person’s focused intention, has now been established by Jeffrey Schwartz, as well as among other researchers.

    The Case for the Soul – InspiringPhilosophy – (4:03 minute mark, Brain Plasticity including Schwartz’s work) – Oct. 2014 – video
    The Mind is able to modify the brain (brain plasticity). Moreover, Idealism explains all anomalous evidence of personality changes due to brain injury, whereas physicalism cannot explain mind.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70

    The Case for the Soul: Quantum Biology – (7:25 minute mark – Brain Plasticity and Mindfulness control of DNA expression)
    https://youtu.be/6_xEraQWvgM?t=446

    Moreover, as alluded to in the preceding video, and completely contrary to materialistic thought, mind has been now also been shown to be able to reach all the way down and have pronounced, ‘epigenetic’, effects on the gene expression of our bodies:

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    Then there is also the well documented placebo effect in which a person’s beliefs have pronounced physiological effects on their body

    How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes – Mar 24, 2017
    Excerpt: Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve vision, fitness, and strength. The placebo effect, as observed with fake operations and sham drugs, for example, works because of the power of thought. Expectancies and learned associations have been shown to change brain chemistry and circuitry which results in real physiological and cognitive outcomes, such as less fatigue, lower immune system reaction, elevated hormone levels, and reduced anxiety.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....16176.html

    Then there is also empirical evidence for ‘free will’.

    Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making – January 4, 2016
    Excerpt: Back (in the 1980s), the American researcher Benjamin Libet studied the nature of cerebral processes of study participants during conscious decision-making. He demonstrated that conscious decisions were initiated by unconscious brain processes, and that a wave of brain activity referred to as a ‘readiness potential’ could be recorded even before the subject had made a conscious decision.
    ,,, Until now, the existence of such preparatory brain processes has been regarded as evidence of ‘determinism’, according to which free will is nothing but an illusion, meaning our decisions are initiated by unconscious brain processes, and not by our ‘conscious self’. ,,,
    Using state-of-the-art measurement techniques, the researchers tested whether people are able to stop planned movements once the readiness potential for a movement has been triggered.
    “The aim of our research was to find out whether the presence of early brain waves means that further decision-making is automatic and not under conscious control, or whether the person can still cancel the decision, i.e. use a ‘veto’,” explains Prof. Haynes. ,,,
    “A person’s decisions are not at the mercy of unconscious and early brain waves. They are able to actively intervene in the decision-making process and interrupt a movement,” says Prof. Haynes. “Previously people have used the preparatory brain signals to argue against free will. Our study now shows that the freedom is much less limited than previously thought.
    http://m.medicalxpress.com/new.....aking.html

    In fact, free will, besides being detectable in the brain, is also found to be ‘built into’ the equations of quantum mechanics. As Steven Weinberg put it, in quantum mechanics, instead of humans being the result of the laws of nature as Darwinists hold, humans, via free will, are instead brought into the laws of nature at there most fundamental level:

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....mechanics/

    Determinism vs Free Will – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwPER4m2axI

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following article, George Ellis points out that proof for the reality of the immaterial mind is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt page 7: The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    Thus contrary to what the dogmatic atheists on UD would prefer to delude themselves into thinking, the fact of the matter is that we have very powerful evidence for the reality of the immaterial mind.

    A few more notes in regards to empirical evidence for the ‘soul’:

    Whereas Darwinists have no clue how the basic ‘form’ of any particular biological organism might be achieved during embryological development, or how that basic ‘form’ might be maintained for precisely a lifetime, and not a moment longer,,,

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    per – The New Atlantis

    Christians, and the other hand, can appeal directly to breakthroughs in quantum biology to support their belief in a ‘soul’ that gives the material body its basic form and also to support their belief in a soul which is capable of living past the death of our material bodies:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    As well, whereas, atheists have no compelling evidence for the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    ,, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk

    Someone in the preceding comments on this thread questioned just how important the ‘soul’ really was. ,,, Jesus held that your soul is worth more than the entire world.

    Matthew 16:25-26
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

    Jewel – Who will save your soul – Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LukEq643Mk

    Myself, I take Jesus’s opinion for the soul’s worth far more seriously than some blogger’s opinion.

  26. 26
    Barry Arrington says:

    Not a single response from the materialists even attempts to take on Egnor’s argument.

    Everyone of them wants to talk about something else.

    Typical.

    And telling.

  27. 27
    J-Mac says:

    Rvb8,

    In doubt I have ever agreed with you before… If I did, I don’t remember… and I don’t drink…

    Hopefully, this proves that spiritual people should follow the facts and logic and not preconceived ideas that clearly make no sense…

  28. 28
    J-Mac says:

    kurx78
    I like the idea though pretty new to me…

  29. 29
    ET says:

    J Mac- Until they ate from that tree they were immortal- body and soul.

  30. 30
    J-Mac says:

    Molson Bleu,

    Great analysis! I don’t think I have ever thought about it this way…I’ve learned something new. Thanks

  31. 31
    J-Mac says:

    ET @29,

    It’s a contradiction… How could something immortal die?

  32. 32
    Seversky says:

    niwrad @ 3

    “Why would the soul need a brain, if it creates thoughts, consciousness and operates on its own without it?”

    Because the soul has to control a body. To control it a material brain is necessary. Similarly, you can conceive things in abstract, but if you want to construct or control them in matter you have to descend on the material level and use material means.

    So your argument is that the immaterial soul can’t interface directly with the physical body, it has to use the brain as an intermediary? But if the soul needs a material intermediary to act on the material body, why doesn’t it need another material intermediary to act between it and the material brain. And then another material intermediary to act between it and that intermediary and so on ad infinitum.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    J Mac- they wouldn’t be immortal after eating from that tree.

  34. 34
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    So your argument is that the immaterial soul can’t interface directly with the physical body, it has to use the brain as an intermediary?

    Umm, the brain is part of the physical body and just happens to be the body’s control center. So the brain is hardly an intermediary.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    Molson Bleu- The immortal soul goes hand-in-hand with God and Heaven.

  36. 36
    critical rationalist says:

    My Thought About Justice is Not Justice: Easy for ID.

    Can someone please explain why should I care about ID’s designer’s conception of Justice? Since ID says nothing about the designer, how do we know the designers idea of Justice is just?

    For example, given that human beings are often presented as concrete examples of designers, do you care about all human ideas of justice? Is it just by nature of being a designer?

    If not, then it’s unclear how this is “easy” for ID, given that it supposedly doesn’t say anything about the designer, including its moral character, etc. Furthermore, ID’s designer is supposedly only a proximate cause, not an ultimate cause.

    This is yet another example of claiming that ID is somehow a superior response as opposed to something like eugenics, despite the fact ID, the supposed scientific theory, would be perfectly compatible with eugenics because its designer is abstract.

    It only seems to make sense if you assume that everyone thinks ID’s designer is actually God, and makes assumptions as such, while denying it, at the same time.

  37. 37
    J-Mac says:

    If we were created to live forever, why would we need an immortal soul?

    If we were created with an immortal soul, what’s the point of the prohibition of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil with the death sentence for disobedience?

    It seems like a bluff to me…

  38. 38
    J-Mac says:

    ET,

    You don’t know what immortality means or don’t want to know… which means you are wasting my and others time…

  39. 39
    Seversky says:

    One thing I am curious about is how Egnor lives with the cognitive dissonance inherent in his immaterialist views.

    On the one hand he scorns the materialist position but, on the other, as a neurosurgeon he has spent his professional life working with a purely material or physical concept of the brain and the world.

    I assume that, when performing surgery on a brain, he does not do a Luke Skywalker and lower the blast-shield on his helmet, reach out with his feelings and trust the Force to guide his hands. At least, I certainly hope he doesn’t. I assume that in practice he uses his detailed knowledge of the anatomy and functions of the physical brain assisted by the latest technology.

    Could it be that he has found that, for all his beliefs in the non-material, when it comes to treating disorders of the physical brain he has found that surgery tends to work better than prayer?

  40. 40
    kurx78 says:

    J-Mac,
    “You don’t know what immortality means or don’t want to know… which means you are wasting my and others time…”

    Exactly my point, if you understand what inmortality really implies, you may not want to be inmortal after all.
    Life is beatiful because is limited and short, living forever destroys the magic of being alive.
    But I’m not a materialist, not at all…
    That’s why I really like the nondual perspective, it really challenges your worldview if you are christian but in the end, it provides with a more coherent form of spirituality.
    Maybe mind or spirit are not an ilussion, the ilusion itself is “me”.. the notion of separation from the natural world, the notion of time and space.

    “Spirituality is not creating boundaries but creating space for others to come into your life.”
    Amit Ray, Enlightenment Step by Step

  41. 41
    critical rationalist says:

    @outside_obesrver

    Does the brain produce consciousness? No, but it is nonetheless required for consciousness to properly operate.

    So God isn’t conscious because a brain is required to be conscious? I don’t think that’s what you mean.

    Perhaps, when you say “to properly operate” you mean “operate as designed” as opposed to what was necessary for consciousness.

    It seems these are two very different ideas that are conflated here on a regular basis.

  42. 42
    J-Mac says:

    @39

    To give Egnor credit, he has been thinking about it but he seems to attribute everything to immortal soul…

    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/a-map-of-the-soul

    The removal of the large parts of the brain is fascinating to me…

  43. 43
    J-Mac says:

    kurx78

    Thanks for that. You have provided me with new prospective.

    Are you familiar with quantum consciousness?

  44. 44
    outside_observer says:

    @41 critical rationalist

    Yeah, I guess I assumed that the context made it clear enough, and apparently you did understand the basic intent.
    But I’ll endeavor be more clear going forward. 😉

  45. 45
    J-Mac says:

    @41 CR

    I was thinking the same thing… unless OB meant something else possibly…

  46. 46
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Molson Bleu- The immortal soul goes hand-in-hand with God and Heaven.”

    ID is not about God and heaven.

  47. 47
    mikeenders says:

    terminal lucidity is an interesting phenomenon that most people do not know of but has been observed for over 2 centuries. Its where even people who have had severe mental disorders have suddenly become lucid within a week to one day of their death. Materialists have no rational explanation for it since they consider the mind and brain to be one and the same. Non materialists don’t have any problem explaining it since as the person goes toward death the connection between body and mind could theoretically change to allow the soul to shine through.

    the radio example was a pretty good example but we have to remember its a two way street. A brain is needed to express control over the body but its also needed the other way – to process physical information back to the soul.

    I’d refine the analogy as that of a microphone and a headset. If those are damaged and attached to how you hear and communicate then they are going to affect you (soul) but the damage of the headset and microphone need not be a primary damage to the mind/soul.

    Most of us have had some experience with someone who we know having a mental disorder and yet still we see from time to time the person we knew shining through.

    Not sure what jmacs rational objection is – no one is claiming that we live in a spiritual dominated world and communication between dimensions would always require a mechanism to translate back and forth with the mechanism itself being part of the experience.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    ME, you have described in a nutshell what I have seen with my parents. I know what my father (lucid to the very last) went through at the end, when he turned to me and a caregiver to bid farewell then looked up to One we could not see and surrendered his spirit. My mom faces Alzheimer’s and has shown evidence of a mind locked in and reviewing the past, even through clearly increasing physical deterioration now at the stage of loss of much of the ability to communicate. Her spirit shines through and now carries her frame with dignity and courage. KF

  49. 49
    gpuccio says:

    mike1962:

    “Nobody is saying (AFAICT) that the brain is not involved in the thinking process. I think it is patently obvious that it is. When I consume alcohol to excess, my intellectual abilities are manifestly downgraded. Even moreso when I’m asleep. But consciousness is not thinking. Thinking is a process determined by a cooperative interaction between consciousness and the brain. The brain is a bi-directional interface that is a tool that consciousness “uses” to interact, both intellectually, and as a sensory interface, to spacetime.”

    Very well said! 🙂

  50. 50
    gpuccio says:

    Bob O’H:

    “But the body isn’t immortal, so an immortal soul would only be able to express itself in this natural world for a brief period of its existence”

    Of course, that’s the idea!

    “which makes me wonder what the point is.”

    And that’s a very good question, that we all should wonder about.

  51. 51
    gpuccio says:

    Molson Bleu:

    “There is little doubt that we are conscious, self aware and have free will. Why wouldn’t the designer be satisfied with that? Why would he feel it necessary to make that soul/mind immortal? The immortal soul seems more like the mythologized desires of humans rather than the goals of a designer.”

    Well, I think you are right on one simple point: ID theory has nothing to say about the immortality of the soul.

    The immortality of the soul is, IMO, an important philosophical and religious issue, but it is not part of ID theory.

    An empirical approach to consciousness is enought to support ID reasoning, and it does not require any special scientific inference about the survival of individual consciousness after death.

  52. 52
    gpuccio says:

    Axel:

    You are right in mentioning NDEs. They are probably the single most important scientific evidence in favour of cosnciousness survival after death.

    However, as I have said at #51, that problem, which is certainly extremely important and relevant, is not directly linked to design inference, and therefore for ID theory.

    To be more precise, the idea that conscious beings can exist without a physical interface is indirectly connected to ID, because for biological objects a non physical designer is certainly much more likely than a physical designer. And that idea is certainly strongly supported by NDEs. But “immortality” is not really a requisite for ID reasoning.

  53. 53
    gpuccio says:

    outside_observer:

    “Which is not to say that one is wrong to wonder, but at this point we have gone beyond science and are now asking fundamental religious/philosophical questions like “Why are we here?” “What is our purpose?”, etc.”

    A very good point! We should always try to discriminate between what is a scientific problem and what is a philosophical problem, even if the two things are often related.

    Both science and philosophy are important and valid tools for cognition. However, there are some differences between them.

    I would say that, however one wants to define science, there can be little doubt that scientific arguments depend strictly on observable facts, and what we can directly infer from them. Philosophical reasoning is not disconnected from facts, of course, but I think that it is in some way more independent. As I have said, both are necessary, but they are slightly different things.

  54. 54
    gpuccio says:

    Seversky:

    “So your argument is that the immaterial soul can’t interface directly with the physical body, it has to use the brain as an intermediary? But if the soul needs a material intermediary to act on the material body, why doesn’t it need another material intermediary to act between it and the material brain. And then another material intermediary to act between it and that intermediary and so on ad infinitum.”

    I cannot see any problem here.

    The interface is between consciousness and the body, and the main interface is thorugh the nervous system and in particualr the brain. What’s the problem?

    The nervous system is a part of the body. It controls the body in well known ways. So, if you have an interface to the nervous system, that is indeed an interface to the whole body. And, through the body, to the physical world of which the body is a part.

  55. 55
    gpuccio says:

    Seversky:

    “On the one hand he scorns the materialist position but, on the other, as a neurosurgeon he has spent his professional life working with a purely material or physical concept of the brain and the world.”

    Waht’s the problem? The brain is material. It is a physical organ.

    “I assume that, when performing surgery on a brain, he does not do a Luke Skywalker and lower the blast-shield on his helmet, reach out with his feelings and trust the Force to guide his hands. At least, I certainly hope he doesn’t. I assume that in practice he uses his detailed knowledge of the anatomy and functions of the physical brain assisted by the latest technology.”

    Of course.

    “Could it be that he has found that, for all his beliefs in the non-material, when it comes to treating disorders of the physical brain he has found that surgery tends to work better than prayer?”

    He has certainly found that surgery works. What has that to do with prayer?

  56. 56
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    “So God isn’t conscious because a brain is required to be conscious? I don’t think that’s what you mean.”

    No, of course. A brain is required for humans, in their physical life. That’s all.

  57. 57
    gpuccio says:

    mikeenders:

    Very well said.

    Again, the point is that humans have to use their physical brain to relate to their physical environment. So, their consciousness is mainly expressed thorugh their physical brain. At least, during their physical life.

  58. 58
    gpuccio says:

    KF:

    “Her spirit shines through and now carries her frame with dignity and courage”

    🙂 🙂

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    For those who did not read it yet, this previous article from Dr. Egnor is also of related interest to his topic of abstract concepts of the mind which have no material reference point for atheists to appeal to:

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: For Clark, thoughts merely appear out of matter, which has no properties, by the laws of physics, for generating thought. For Clark to assert that naturalistic matter as described by physics gives rise to the mind, without immateriality of any sort, is merely to assert magic.
    Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

  60. 60
    critical rationalist says:

    @outside_obesrver

    So, if we take your view seriously, for the purpose of criticism, then you do not actually think a brain is required for consciousness.

    Our brains could be the size of a walnut, pea, flea or even completely absent, if that’s how the designer wanted it to be. IOW, that we have a brain at all seems to have been an arbitrary choice by the designer.

    You’re assuming the only reason it’s necessary is because your assuming human beings were designed and that necessity was part of the design.

    Our point is that this arbitrary choice is not equivalent to being necessary for conciseness at all. There is an important distinction to be made in that our expiation for consciousness would, should we end up with one, be that conciseness is an emergent property of a complex material nervous system.

  61. 61
    critical rationalist says:

    @BA

    Excerpt: For Clark, thoughts merely appear out of matter, which has no properties, by the laws of physics, for generating thought. For Clark to assert that naturalistic matter as described by physics gives rise to the mind, without immateriality of any sort, is merely to assert magic.

    We’ve been over this before. Is the universality of computation magic?

    And I said continually said the very idea of emergence as a concrete explanation would represent a category error that Barry keeps perpetuating, as if he does not understand the concept, despite having been presented multiple clarifications and examples.

    One such example is the universality of computation, which Barry omitted and apparently objects to for some reason I still cannot understand.

    Barry’s extremely vague claim of some of supposed mistaken use by some unknown number of yet to be identied or quoted “materialists” doesn’t negate the fact that we have concrete examples of emergent properties of matter. Where are these “materialists”? Where are the relivant quotes?

    Just as we do not think our emergent explation of the universality of computation is “magic”, nor would we consider a future emergent explantion for consciousness “magic” either, or any more impossible. Again, there are no non-physical computers, yet the explanation for that universality is not found at the level of atoms. Nor does it require the existence of some non-material sea that surrounds some material bubble.

    So, what gives?

    Any such future explanation for consciousness would be in the same class and level. Just as what was a future explanation for the universality of computation. Nor are we somehow guaranteed to develop such an explantion. But perpetuating this absurd category error is, well, disegneous at best, or represents significant ignorance on what emergent phenomena is.

  62. 62
    critical rationalist says:

    @gpuccio

    No, of course. A brain is required for humans, in their physical life. That’s all.

    If the supposedly non-material aspect of our “souls” can interact with the matter in our brains, then this same non-material aspect could just as well interact with the nerves in the rest of our bodies and the impulses in our eyes, ears, etc. If the gap can be bridged at our brain, it could be bridged at some furthermore point out.

    Again, the point at which this gap is bridged would be an arbitrary choice by the designer. Brains would be an arbitrary choice.

  63. 63
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    Why arbitrary? The whole purpose of the central nervous system is to process outer stimuli. It’s absolutely logical that the interface must be at the end of the processing task.

    Our interface with our computer is at the screen and keyboard, not at the RAM or CPU.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    J Mac:

    If we were created to live forever, why would we need an immortal soul?

    Because you arte not alive without one

    If we were created with an immortal soul, what’s the point of the prohibition of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil with the death sentence for disobedience?

    It wasn’t just knowledge of good and evil and the soul can still suffer by not being allowed in Heaven after the body dies

    You don’t know what immortality means or don’t want to know…

    Now I see why you get beaten over on TSZ every time you post. You don’t know jack and your comprehension is abysmal.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Seversky:

    On the one hand he scorns the materialist position but, on the other, as a neurosurgeon he has spent his professional life working with a purely material or physical concept of the brain and the world.

    He realizes that it did NOT come about by materialistic processes

  66. 66
    ET says:

    Molson Bleu:

    ID is not about God and heaven.

    LoL! This is NOT about ID. This is about the soul.

  67. 67
    LocalMinimum says:

    In my toying with multi-user simulation, one of my goals was to make special non-special observers out of the clients. My intention was to put clients at the same level as the fully simulated actors in the simulation. I also wanted the clients and fully simulated actors to both have the same interface with the world. Also, I wanted to be able to reuse low level functions for simulated actions within the world.

    So, for clients, I essentially removed the higher order planning/intention/scheduling/decision state modules and replaced it with client input queuing/interpretation modules, and the input interpretation functions were replaced with client output functions, completely invisible to the physics of the simulation.

    You could also reduce the external soul from an independent, fully self sufficient client to a remote record of intention/character/experience, connected to physical body, that could be reconnected with something more of its own sort of non-volatile constitution.

    So, from my view, it can easily go either way, in any measure, though I prefer to err on the side of necessity. A fully material brain still puts a person beyond the reach of materialism, and ID can show this; but it’s far more subtle than a structure remote to the dynamics of what is directly perceived.

  68. 68
    Molson Bleu says:

    “LoL! This is NOT about ID. This is about the soul.”

    The OP is about ID. Are you suggesting that the soul was not part of the designed?

  69. 69
    ET says:

    J Mac brought up the soul, not the OP. The OP just says the mind and brain are not one in the same and that materialism cannot account for the mind.

  70. 70
    Bob O'H says:

    outside_observer @ 22 – thanks for that response. I suspect it’s the second best possible (the best being ET’s @ 20, but that makes some specific assumptions).

    The non-existence of the soul has parsimony going for it, even if that does not mean that it is correct.

  71. 71
    ET says:

    Bob O’H- I happen to accept reincarnation because I just refuse to accept that a soul can be condemned to hell for the rest of eternity for something that happened in a relative blink of an eye. I say souls have to come back here until it gets it right. Here is hell for an immortal soul seeking to get into Heaven.

  72. 72
    J-Mac says:

    For those who doubt that Dr. Egnor’s main reason for criticism of materialistic and others’ views of thought, mind, consciousness etc. is not the promotion of the immaterial (immortal) soul:

    “Emergence” and the Soul

    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/emergence-and-the-soul/

    The Craniopagus Twins and Thomistic Dualism

    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/12/the-craniopagus-twins-and-thomistic-dualism/

    What the Craniopagus Twins Teach Us About the Mind and the Brain

    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/what-the-craniopagus-twins-teach-us-about-the-mind-and-the-brain/

    A MAP OF THE SOUL

    https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/a-map-of-the-soul

  73. 73
    ET says:

    Mind and soul are not the same.

  74. 74
    john_a_designer says:

    Michael Egnor writes:

    Thoughts may be divided into thoughts about particulars and thoughts about universals. Thoughts about particulars are thoughts, including perceptions, imagination, memory, etc., about particular objects in our environments. Thoughts about my coffee, or my car, or my family would be thoughts about particulars.

    Thoughts about universals are abstract thoughts, and are thoughts about concepts. Justice, mercy, logic, mathematics, etc., are abstract thoughts.

    Truth is also a universal concept. For example, naturalism/materialism makes a universal truth claim when it claims that mind and consciousness are the result of some kind of mindless and purposeless “natural” process. But, how do we know that is true? So far, at least as far as I can see, none of our nat/mat interlocutors have provided any proof that their universal truth claims about mind and consciousness are true. All they have are beliefs and opinions which they believe are true. But believing something to be true doesn’t make it true. For example, at one time virtually everyone believed that the earth was the center of the universe, however, the truth was that it wasn’t. So, just having strong opinions and beliefs doesn’t establish the truth about anything.

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    CR, as to your appeal to ’emergent magic’, and not that you will ever be honest to the empirical evidence, (very few dogmatic atheists ever are honest), but for the sake of others who are reasonable, and contrary to claims from Darwinists who say immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis, immaterial information is now experimentally shown to be its own distinct physical entity that is separate from matter and energy.

    Information is physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video
    https://youtu.be/H35I83y5Uro

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, 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.
    – per physorg

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    – per physorg

    Matter, energy… knowledge: – May 11, 2016
    Running a brain-twisting thought experiment for real shows that information is a physical thing – so can we now harness the most elusive entity in the cosmos?
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23030730-200-demon-no-more-physics-most-elusive-entity-gives-up-its-secret/

    New Scientist astounds: Information is physical – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Recently came the most startling demonstration yet: a tiny machine powered purely by information, which chilled metal through the power of its knowledge. This seemingly magical device could put us on the road to new, more efficient nanoscale machines, a better understanding of the workings of life, and a more complete picture of perhaps our most fundamental theory of the physical world.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-physical/

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    The generalized second law of thermodynamics states that the work extracted from an information engine is limited by the sum of two components: the first is the free energy difference between the final and initial states (this is the sole limit placed on conventional engines by the conventional second law), and the other is the amount of available information (this part sets an upper bound on the extra work that can be extracted from information).
    To achieve the maximum efficiency set by the generalized second law, the researchers in the new study designed and implemented an information engine made of a particle trapped by light at room temperature. Random thermal fluctuations cause the tiny particle to move slightly due to Brownian motion, and a photodiode tracks the particle’s changing position with a spatial accuracy of 1 nanometer. If the particle moves more than a certain distance away from its starting point in a certain direction, the light trap quickly shifts in the direction of the particle. This process repeats, so that over time the engine transports the particle in a desired direction simply by extracting work from the information it obtains from the system’s random thermal fluctuations (the free energy component here is zero, so it does not contribute to the work extracted).
    One of the most important features of this system is its nearly instantaneous feedback response: the trap shifts in just a fraction of a millisecond, giving the particle no time to move further and dissipate energy. As a result, almost none of the energy gained by the shift is lost to heat, but rather nearly all of it is converted into work. By avoiding practically any information loss, the information-to-energy conversion of this process reaches approximately 98.5% of the bound set by the generalized second law. The results lend support for this bound, and illustrate the possibility of extracting the maximum amount of work possible from information.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

    What is information? – animated video (May 2016)
    Quote: “If information is not (physically) real then neither are we”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AvIOzVJMCM

    Although the preceding is certainly very strong evidence for the physical reality of immaterial information, the coup de grace for demonstrating that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity, separate from matter and energy, is Quantum Teleportation:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    If Darwinian evolution were treated as a falsifiable science by Darwinists, instead of being jealously protected from empirical falsification, then these empirical findings showing that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity separate from matter and energy should have been the experimental death blow against the foundational claims of Darwinists who claim that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis.

    But alas, the empirical evidence never really mattered to Darwinists in the first place. Which is yet more proof that Darwinism is, in reality, a religion instead of a science.

    Talking Evolution With Evolutionists – Cornelius Hunter – December 2011
    Excerpt: “Like the cultist I spoke with, evolutionists are certain even though the facts do not support such certainty.,,,” “You can present the facts, you can walk through the logic, you can review the experiments, and you can tally up the findings. It doesn’t matter. It never did matter because, ultimately, evolution never was about the science.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....nists.html

    “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality,,, Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”
    Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse – Prominent Atheistic Philosopher

  76. 76

    BA77 @ 75: “very few dogmatic atheists ever are honest…”

    Indeed.

  77. 77
    asauber says:

    TWSYF @ 76

    Ditto that.

    They whip out their canards with lightning swiftness, and just like that, you might as well be talking to a bag of ground beef… which they will assert they are anyway.

    Andrew

  78. 78
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Mind and soul are not the same.”

    I realize that. But I presume that you believe that we have both. And if we were designed, does that not imply that both the soul and the mind are also designed? Or do you consider one or both to be emergent properties of the physical brain?

  79. 79
    ET says:

    Neither the soul nor the mind can be accounted for via purely materialistic processes. I don’t know if they were intelligently designed, will into being or part of the whole.

  80. 80
    J-Mac says:

    BA77 @75,

    Aren’t you the big supporter of quantum consciousness that survives death as quantum soul?

    Wouldn’t that mean that quantum consciousness/soul is “emergent” in the sense that quantum information would have to be “generated” in microtubules of neurons in the brain in order create qualia, experiences and memories?

  81. 81
    J-Mac says:

    I would be very careful with judging people, including atheists/materialists…
    Many of them are at/mats because they are confused about the many religious teachings, including the immortality of the soul, eternal hellfire, limbo, purgatory and the prevalence of evil, but especially omnipotence and omniscience of God that implies that God knew that Adam and Eve would sin…

    I found that quite a few of them are searching for truth and not to support preconceived ideas, like many overconfident religious do…

  82. 82
    asauber says:

    I would be very careful with judging people, including atheists/materialists…

    J-Mac

    From one bag of judgemental ground beef to another, I find your admonishment very unscientific. Or almost theological, if I may use the phrase.

    Andrew

  83. 83
    outside_observer says:

    @81 J-Mac

    I agree that judging people individually is not the best way to go.

    In the case of ID, from a scientific standpoint it is about empirically evaluating the evidence for/against Intelligent Design.

    The question of “Why?” is more religious/philosophical than scientific in nature.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV7OQV5eU2I

  84. 84
    J-Mac says:

    asauber @82

    “I find your admonishment very unscientific. Or almost theological, if I may use the phrase.”

    It was’t meant to be scientific…
    I was a human admonishment…

    I always try to think what Jesus would say…

    Or

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”-Mark Twain

  85. 85
    asauber says:

    It wasn’t meant to be scientific…

    Then why would it it mean anything to me?

    Andrew

  86. 86
    J-Mac says:

    O_O@83

    Good question in the video…Any thoughts?

  87. 87
    J-Mac says:

    @85

    Then I was not talking to you…

  88. 88
    outside_observer says:

    @86 Depends on what the question is.

  89. 89
    J-Mac says:

    @88 WHY GOD DIDN’T STOP EVIL?

  90. 90
    asauber says:

    Then I was not talking to you…

    Then there goes another Modern Sir Robin, unwilling to face a difficult question.

    Andrew

  91. 91
    outside_observer says:

    Why doesn’t he stop anything being less than perfect?

    Why doesn’t he stop people from murdering?
    Why doesn’t he stop manslaughter?
    Why doesn’t he stop theft?
    Why doesn’t he stop people not using their turn signals?
    Why doesn’t he stop people from overeating?
    Why doesn’t he stop people from being lazy?

    Why doesn’t he stop every person in the universe from not being perfect in every way?

    But if he did that then there would be no decisions for us to make. The fact that we are even having this discussion illustrates that we do.

    On the other hand, if you are free to choose (one way or the other), then
    You are free to be lazy
    You are free to overeat
    You are free to not use your turn signal

    You are basically free to be as dastardly as you choose, including to other people.

    If you believe in free will, then you believe that evil is a very real, albeit undesirable, potential.

    So if you believe God gave man a free will, then a possibility for some measure of evil must exist, otherwise he would not be truly free.

    BUT, if you don’t believe in free will, then everything we do is just an illusion of choice, and all bad choices are just the product of such an illusion. Our interpretations (thoughts) of what constitutes evil itself would likewise be part of the same illusion.

    But if all the things that we think are evil, and all that we construe the concept of evil as being – If these are merely the product of an illusion, how can they be actually be evil?

    The fact that we can even accept that evil is, in fact, evil, is predicated on the fact that our decisions and thoughts are more than just an illusion.

    And if our decisions are not just an illusion, then we do, at least in part, have a free will, and therefore the potential for evil, both conceptually and in actuality, must exist.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac,

    Wouldn’t that mean that quantum consciousness/soul is “emergent” in the sense that quantum information would have to be “generated” in microtubules of neurons in the brain in order create qualia, experiences and memories?

    I sure do wish people would stick to empirical evidence,,, First off, the material brain, whilst it can host quantum entanglement, does not ‘generate’ quantum entanglement. i.e. quantum entanglement is a ‘non-local’ effect that demands a beyond space and time cause in order to explain the effect.

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

    Despite all the il-founded hope of materialists that hidden variables between particles might someday explain away quantum non-locality,,

    “When Bohm expressed “hope” that violations of QM (Quantum Mechanics) would be found later and hidden variables supported, Bohr responded that the strange sentence is almost isomorphic to “I hope that 2×2=5 will be proven at some point which will have a good effect on our finances.”
    https://motls.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-term-copenhagen-interpretation-got.html

    ,,, The fact of the matter is that multiple mathematical theorems have all but proven that hidden variables between particles cannot explain away all of the bizarre behaviors seen in quantum mechanics.

    The One Theory of Quantum Mechanics That Actually Kind of Makes Sense – But most physicists don’t buy it. – Dec 1, 2016
    Excerpt: pilot-wave theory requires that “hidden variables” exist,,,
    But despite Einstein’s reservations, multiple mathematical theorems have all but proven that hidden variables cannot explain away all of the bizarre behaviors seen in quantum mechanics. The most recent and famous being John Stewart Bell’s theorem, which concludes that, “No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics.”
    http://www.popularmechanics.co.....cs-theory/

    These multiple mathematical theorems that have all but falsified hidden variables between particles have now been experimentally confirmed in that it is now experimentally shown that “entangled objects do not cause each other to behave the way they do.”

    Quantum correlations do not imply instant causation – August 12, 2016
    Excerpt: A research team led by a Heriot-Watt scientist has shown that the universe is even weirder than had previously been thought.
    In 2015 the universe was officially proven to be weird. After many decades of research, a series of experiments showed that distant, entangled objects can seemingly interact with each other through what Albert Einstein famously dismissed as “Spooky action at a distance”.
    A new experiment by an international team led by Heriot-Watt’s Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi has now found that the universe is even weirder than that: entangled objects do not cause each other to behave the way they do.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-08-q.....ation.html

    Whereas materialists have been thwarted in their efforts to explain away quantum entanglement, as a Christian, I have a beyond space and time cause to appeal to in order to explain quantum entanglement:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    Moreover, the quantum information associated with quantum entanglement,,,

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

    ,,, this quantum information is conserved in that it cannot be created nor destroyed,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    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

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    The preceding facts are why Stuart Hameroff stated this obvious inference to the ‘soul’,,

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    To add weight to Haneroff’s inference, microtubles are far from the only biological molecules to exhibit quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is now found to be pervasive within biological molecules.

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

  93. 93
    bornagain77 says:

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

    Thus, take from it what you will, but the plain fact of the matter is that quantum entanglement/information, which has no possible materialistic explanation, and which indeed requires a beyond space and time cause to explain its existence, is now found to be pervasive within life. Moreover, to repeat, this quantum information is conserved in that it cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Thus, the question now becomes, ‘where does this ‘conserved’ quantum information go when the material body dies?’ ,,, Well, physics also provides some fairly compelling answers to that question as well:

    Whereas, atheists have no compelling evidence for the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth,,

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    ,, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk

    Some people in the preceding comments on this thread continue to question just how important the ‘soul’ really is. ,,, Jesus held that your soul is worth more than the entire world.

    Matthew 16:25-26
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

    Jewel – Who will save your soul – Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LukEq643Mk

    Myself, since He died to save us from the penalty of our sins, I take Jesus’s assessment about the soul’s worth very seriously:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

  94. 94
    groovamos says:

    RVB: What happened to my mind when I was drunk last night? Did it sit that evening out? Large parts of an occasional evening are lost, and my physical brain has lost them, has the mind?

    RVB likes to use maybe his favorite mind altering substance to “prove” consciousness depends upon the brain. Its like when you unplug a flat screen TV, the TV show is over. In his mind that is. Conversely when the RVB show is over as it will be, he thinks his mind is over, tee hee. His life depends upon that belief. Life as he thinks it should be, and death too.

    Funny about how some of the other mind-altering substances around maybe have something to teach RVB about his mind, but he dare not go there. Doesn’t want to learn too much about the mind after all. Quite interesting to ponder that conundrum.

    But guess what: people addicted to the above substance of the RVB post have some intriguing avenues out of addiction. And here is one where the participants invariably don’t come out of it as committed materialists at all, quite the contrary as this report from Russia can show: http://whale.to/b/kungurtsev.html

  95. 95
    J-Mac says:

    BA77 @92

    “I sure do wish people would stick to empirical evidence”.

    Empirical evidence? As you see it?

    Once you wrote empirical evidence I knew the “empirical evidence” for the Shroud of Turin was going to be mentioned somewhere…

    BTW: Hameroff is referring to consciousness that is generated in microtubules of brain neurons by quantum vibrations…
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085105.htm

    Hameroff believes that quantum information doesn’t get destroyed as per quantum information conservation… So, if consciousness is quantum, as he believes (he has no empirical evidence for it), then that quantum information after death dissipates into the universe at large…

    Now, he said it many times that he doesn’t have a problem with peoples’ beliefs, like yours, that quantum information after death continues on as a soul… That’s not his inference. It’s people like you who make this inference…

    Hameroff also believes that quantum information surviving after death supports many other beliefs of afterlife, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and many, many other beliefs that support reincarnation that quantum information conservation is useful for, especially when 300 pound Schwarzenegger gets reincarnated as a cockroach…

    It all makes perfect sense now…

  96. 96
    kurx78 says:

    Hameroff himself explains quantum conciousness in an elegant and easy to grasp way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQBpQaAGkno

    I don’t think the “soul” exists, at least not in the usual conception, it seems that the concept is more linked to the ego and the natural desire to preserve one’s personality and memories.
    But personality traits and memories are just burdens when you see the whole picture.
    Before embracing nonduality, at least in my personal case I’ve suffered a lot with my asperger’s condition and my fears.
    Now I have more peace, more compassion… I meditate to escape de the self and try to grasp the nondual state of mind for a few moments.
    The concept of a “soul” may not be entirely wrong but is too limited, to conditioned to the western worldview.

  97. 97
    J-Mac says:

    Kurx @96

    Quantum consciousness is the closest science ever got to explaining it… I love Hameroff’s passion…
    I think quantum consciousness could be real but I don’t thing quantum information on it’s own (quantum soul) can constitute consciousness… It needs a functioning brain…
    I think near-death-experiences are hallucinations…
    Thanks to quantum information conservation, resurrections described in the bible finally make sense to me…

  98. 98
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac, he said what he said,,,

    “then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Hameroff

    spin it however it makes you feel better, but those are his exact words.

    You then said

    “if consciousness is quantum, as he believes (he has no empirical evidence for it),”

    First off, contrary to what you are implying, Hameroff’s model was empirically confirmed:

    New Study Favors Quantum Mind – Quantum coherence in brain protein resembles plant photosynthesis – 18-Sep-2014
    Excerpt: Photosynthesis, the ubiquitous and essential mechanism by which plants produce food from sunlight, has been shown since 2006 to routinely utilize quantum coherence (quantum coherent superposition) at warm temperatures.,,,
    Back in the brain, microtubules are components of the cytoskeleton inside neurons, cylindrical lattice polymers of the protein ‘tubulin’.,,, now it appears quantum mechanisms eerily similar to those in photosynthesis may operate in tubulins within microtubules.
    In an article published September 17,, a team of scientists,, used computer simulation and theoretical quantum biophysics to analyze quantum coherence among tryptophan pi resonance rings in tubulin, the component protein in microtubules.,,,
    (They) mapped locations of the tryptophan pi electron resonance clouds in tubulin, and found them analogous to (the quantum coherent superposition of) chromophores in photosynthesis proteins.,,,
    Along with recent evidence for coherent megahertz vibrations in microtubules, and that anesthetics act to erase consciousness via microtubules, quantum brain biology will become increasingly important.,,
    http://www.newswise.com/articl.....sone_share

    Moreover, there is further empirical evidence for a correlation between quantum entanglement and consciousness, (just not how Hameroff originally envisioned it i.e. he only got part of it,,),, At about the 21:45 minute mark of the following video, an interesting experiment on the sleeping brain is highlighted in which it is demonstrated that there is a fairly profound difference in in the way the brain ‘shares information’ between different parts of the brain in its sleeping state compared to how the brain ‘shares information’ in its waking state. i.e. In the sleeping state, the brain shares much less information with different parts of the brain than the brain does during our waking state.

    Through The Wormhole s02e01 Is There Life After Death – video (21:46 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XhrDrqmXE4

    Simply put, long range quantum correlations are present in a conscious brain, whereas in the sleeping brain the long range quantum correlations in the brain are, for the most part, missing

    The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain – Dec. 17, 2010
    Excerpt: It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,,
    ,,, It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....the-brain/

    You further stated

    “then that quantum information after death dissipates into the universe at large…”

    If you are trying to claim that quantum information ‘dissipates’ in the sense that quantum information spreads out and loses its coherence when it leaves the material body, then you the one who is making a claim for which you have no evidence, but are only making a claim to suit your own philosophical bias.

    Whereas, on the other hand, I can point to the fact that this quantum information is what maintained our material body’s coherence during this temporal existence in the first place (not the material particles of the body).

    i.e. Darwinists, with reductive materialism, have no clue how the basic ‘form’ of any particular biological organism might be achieved during embryological development, or how that basic ‘form’ might be maintained for precisely a lifetime, and not a moment longer,,, whereas, on the other hand, I can point to evidence from quantum biology to support the view that it is quantum information that cohering the body into a ‘form’ for ‘precisely a lifetime’

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    per – The New Atlantis

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

    Moreover, I can produce evidence from thousands of Near Death testimonies that testify to the fact that a person does not ‘dissipate’ into the universe at large after the death of the material body, but indeed stays ‘cohered’ as a person.

    Thus, whilst you may not like the implications, as is evident in your post, the empirical evidence, none-the less, does indeed support my position.

  99. 99
    J-Mac says:

    BA77@98

    Possible? That’s not what you’ve said…

    “I sure do wish people would stick to empirical evidence”.

    Remember?

    So, physician, cure yourself first!

  100. 100
    bornagain77 says:

    Correction, Hameroff also holds to ‘long range’ quantum coherence in the brain, not just short range as I mistakenly thought:

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video (1:55 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=118

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever J-Mac, I’m happy with this ‘possible’ state of the evidence as it currently sits as it, i.e. life after death, is, as far as our best science can tell us, indeed very much a plausible possibility that has only gotten far stronger as our science has progressed.

    Guess for you personally, you will have to wait until you die to know for 100% certainty if you live after your material body dies.

    Myself, since the potential consequences are so great, I wager all on Christ in this life. i.e. Pascal’s wager

    Matthew 10:28
    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

  102. 102
    bornagain77 says:

    Further correction: The sleeping brain experiment is at the 16:30 minute mark

    Through The Wormhole s02e01 Is There Life After Death – video (16:30 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XhrDrqmXE4

    Of note, the preceding video, after you sign up, can be watched in much better quality at this following site (season 2 episode 1)
    https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/through-the-wormhole/

    Researchers: Deep sleep short-circuits brain’s grid of connectivity – September 29, 2005
    Excerpt: Tononi and his team observed the disconnect when brief, magnetically generated pulses of electricity were directed to specific regions of the brain. The pulses stimulated an electrochemical response from the targeted cells, which, when the subject was awake, rippled across the brain, traveling along networks of nerve fibers to different cerebral destinations. But when the subject was in deep sleep, the same response was quickly extinguished and did not travel beyond the stimulated cells.
    When consciousness fades, according to Tononi, “the brain breaks down into little islands that can’t talk to one another.”
    https://news.wisc.edu/researchers-deep-sleep-short-circuits-brains-grid-of-connectivity/

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On the problem(s) of evil vs good, kindly cf. here in context on what is now a significantly de-fanged issue. KF

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac, I also noticed this comment you made:

    “Once you wrote empirical evidence I knew the “empirical evidence” for the Shroud of Turin was going to be mentioned somewhere…”

    And, since we are talking about life after death, why should I not mention the Shroud? Like the ‘quantum’ evidence for the soul, the empirical evidence for the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin has only gotten far stronger as time has passed, not weaker:

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram
    https://youtu.be/F-TL4QOCiis

    Professor Fanti displays a 3D “distance information” image of the Shroud of Turin. – picture
    https://i0.wp.com/www.bizpacreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Fanti-3D.jpg

    Five reasons why the Shroud of Turin could be authentic
    April 17, 2014
    Excerpt: How was the image formed on the cloth? The answer to this question can be found in a 2012 study by world-renowned Shroud researcher Professor Giulio Fanti of Padua University in Italy. His study strongly suggested that the force which caused the man’s image to be imprinted on the cloth was radiation released in the form of an electrical discharge. In layman’s terms, a burst of light and energy.
    http://www.bizpacreview.com/20.....tic-113215

    New Evidence Bolsters Claim That Turin Shroud Was Used To Bury Christ – July 17, 2017
    Excerpt: A new study of the Shroud of Turin,,, found a high level of creatinine and ferritin in the blood particles present in the linen fabric, indicating that the person wrapped in it was a victim of torture.,,,
    “Indeed, a high level of creatinine and ferritin is related to patients suffering of strong polytrauma like torture,” Fanti said. “Hence, the presence of these biological nanoparticles found during our experiments point a violent death for the man wrapped in the Turin shroud.”,,,
    http://www.westernjournalism.c.....ry-christ/

    Detailed Forensic Evidence of The Shroud – video
    Excerpt: “it is definitely an anatomically and forensically correct depiction of a victim of a Roman crucifixion.”
    http://www.shroud-enigma.com/w.....ology.html

    Below is a summary of scientific and historical evidence supporting the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the ancient burial cloth of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
    by J. Michael Fischer, adapted from the original article by John C. Iannone
    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....ght=shroud

    New Study: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo Covered the Same Person
    Researcher finds complete correspondence in the points where blood flow started – April 11, 2016
    http://aleteia.org/2016/04/11/.....me-person/

  105. 105
    bornagain77 says:

    Whereas, the evidence against the authenticity of the Shroud, which supposedly dated the Shroud to the medieval period, has now been overturned:

    Shroud of Turin – Carbon 14 Test Proven False –
    – Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford – video
    (with Raymond Rogers, lead chemist from the STURP project)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDdx6vxthE

    Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid, Raymond Rogers
    per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)
    Excerpt: Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/issu.....oudold.htm

    Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired.
    – Robert Villarreal – Los Alamos National Laboratory
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Turin Shroud ‘is not a medieval forgery’ – 28 Mar 2013
    Excerpt: Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud to ancient times, a few centuries before and after the life of Christ.,,,
    The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University,,,
    Scientists, including Prof Fanti, used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyse fibres from the shroud,,,
    The tests dated the age of the shroud to between 300 BC and 400AD.,,,
    Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Mr Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
    He said his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.,,,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....rgery.html

    Thus, take from it what you will, but the Shroud of Turin certainly is not so easily dismissed as you seem to imply in your comment.

    Gödel, Infinity, and Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Jw5Y686jY
    Excerpt: the fact that Jesus Christ dealt with both general relativity and quantum mechanics in His resurrection from the dead is made evident by the Shroud of Turin.,,,

    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

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/mus/541/1/c1a0802004.pdf

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come only to several billion watts)”.
    Comment
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion (trillion) Watts of VUV radiation to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.
    https://www.ewtn.co.uk/news/latest/astonishing-discovery-at-christ-s-tomb-supports-turin-shroud

    Verse:

    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.

  106. 106
    J-Mac says:

    It seems obvious to me that for all those with their philosophical bias toward the immortal soul, like BA77, Dr. Egnor and many others, is to answer the question:

    Why God didn’t tell Adam and Eve that they were actually not going to die (because they had an immortal soul), if they had disobeyed and eaten the forbidden apple?

    In Gen 2:16 and 17 we read;
    “16 God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    I would think had they known that they had the immortal souls that would be sent to hell after death to be tormented forever maybe they would have reconsidered…

    But did they know???!! Since there is no mentioning of it at all…So how could they have known?

    The question still remains: Did God not tell ALL the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin? Or many in the world today, including BA77, Dr. Egnor, are simply using their philosophical bias to support their preconceived ideas?

    The answer is simple and that is all it boils down to on this OP, but not very convenient for many…

    BTW: Please do not overwhelm this issue with countless and irrelevant videos, quotes and distractions such as the Shroud even if you believe they are semi-related. I don’t read them or watch them…few times is enough to get the point that they are totally irrelevant…

  107. 107
    ET says:

    J Mac:

    Why God didn’t tell Adam and Eve that they were actually not going to die (because they had an immortal soul), if they had disobeyed and eaten the forbidden apple?

    The body dies.

    Look J Mac, you are the problem and not Egnor, BA77 or anyone else

  108. 108
    J-Mac says:

    ET @107

    The body dies.

    Why didn’t God say that then?

    “The day you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, your body will die, but your soul will be sent to hell to be tormented forever…”

    You would expect that from humans…Wouldn’t you expect that from God?

    Look J Mac, you are the problem and not Egnor, BA77 or anyone else

    Why would you say that? Are you angry? If yes, why?

  109. 109
    ET says:

    Straw man- How do you know what God said? All you know is what you have taken from the Bible- an interpreted translation of the original. Man’s rendering of God’s Words. Do you really think it contains every Word God spoke to them?

    Why would I say that you are the problem? Your straw men.

  110. 110
    DennisM says:

    Per J-Mac @106:

    > Why God didn’t tell Adam and Eve that they were
    > actually not going to die (because they had an
    > immortal soul), if they had disobeyed and eaten
    > the forbidden apple?

    You persist in asking a lot of questions that have little if any bearing on ID. They’re good questions, if honest, but they are more appropriately addressed in a forum about spiritual topics.

    I’ll just respond to this one to illustrate your own assumptions.

    According to the Christian Bible, God *did* tell Adam that he would actually die if he ate the forbidden fruit. (For one who insists that God did not tell Adam some things, it’s odd that you specify his eating an apple.) It was the serpent who contradicted God’s instructions, telling Eve, “you will not certainly die.” I think it’s fair to understand “certainly” in that context as equivalent to your word “actually”. In your place, I’d be concerned that I was taking the side of that serpent.

    God’s instruction was clear, that Adam would actually die on the day he ate that fruit.

    Why Adam did not actually die on that day has nothing to do with an alleged immortal soul. It is because God did something else to rescue Adam from the fate he would otherwise have experienced.

    Adam may or may not have an immortal soul. That question and others are better discussed in a different forum. (I’ll be happy to talk more about it there if you want to specify a location.) None of your questions rebut the concept of ID, nor do they counter Dr Egnor’s original (quoted) reasoning about an immaterial aspect of the human mind.

    Apologies to the others in this thread for continuing a religious/spiritual argument. I’ll stop now.

  111. 111
    bornagain77 says:

    Might I suggest Michelangelo in this painting, as well as the vast majority of other Christians during the ages, have had a very different interpretation of the fall than you?

    https://artmodel.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/michelangelo_expulsion.jpg

    Moreover, does anyone else find it interesting that the fall of man entailed eating from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’,,,

    Genesis 2:17
    but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

    ,,, and that one of the top arguments against God, if not the top argument, is the ‘argument from evil’

    Dr. Jonathan Pararejasingham has compiled a video of elite scientists and scholars to make the connection between atheism and science. Unfortunately for Pararejasingham, once you get past the self-identification of these scholars as non-believers, there is simply very little there to justify the belief in atheism….

    What I found was 50 elite scientists expressing their personal opinions, but none had some powerful argument or evidence to justify their opinions. In fact, most did not even cite a reason for thinking atheism was true….

    The few that did try to justify their atheism commonly appealed to God of the Gaps arguments (there is no need for God, therefore God does not exist) and the Argument from Evil (our bad world could not have come from an All Loving, All Powerful God). In other words, it is just as I thought it would be. Yes, most elite scientists and scholars are atheists. But their reasons for being atheists and agnostics are varied and often personal. And their typical arguments are rather common and shallow – god of the gaps and the existence of evil. It would seem clear that their expertise and elite status is simply not a causal factor behind their atheism.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/film-night-with-philip-cunningham-atheists-reasons-for-not-believing-in-god-are-not-scientific-and-more/

    I find it very curious that one of the top arguments against God, if not the top argument, i.e. the argument from evil, entails the presupposition that man is able to accurately differentiate what is morally good and what is morally evil better than God can, and that the ‘original sin’ entailed just that.

    Even Darwin himself relied heavily on the ‘argument from evil’ in his book Origin of Species., i.e. ‘God would not have done it that way’

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.

    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    And although atheists may find the argument from evil compelling, the fact of the matter is that the argument from evil is pathetically shallow and refutes itself. Simply put, If Good and Evil exist then God must necessarily exist.

    Where Do Good and Evil Come From? – Peter Kreeft
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    “The strength of materialism is that it obviates the problem of evil altogether. God need not be reconciled with evil, because neither exists. Therefore the problem of evil is no problem at all.,,, And of course since there is no evil, the materialist must, ironically, not use evil to justify atheism. The problem of evil presupposes the existence of an objective evil-the very thing the materialist seems to deny. The argument (from Theodicy) that led to materialism is exhausted just when it is needed most. In other words, the problem of evil is only generated by the prior claims that evil exists. One cannot then conclude, with Dawkins, that there is ‘no evil and no good’ in the universe.,,,
    The fact that evolution’s acceptance hinges on a theological position would, for many, be enough to expel it from science.”
    Cornelius Hunter – Darwin’s God – pg. 154 & 159

  112. 112
    critical rationalist says:

    Why arbitrary? The whole purpose of the central nervous system is to process outer stimuli. It’s absolutely logical that the interface must be at the end of the processing task.

    Why does a non-material soul need to receive pre-processed stimuli? How can somehow non-material, by definition, be missing something necessary for it to perform some task if that non-material aspect is supposedly not well adapted to serve that task in the first place? What could possibly be “added” or better adapted to give it that ability?

    If it can somehow bridge the gap to interface with our brain, what prevents it from directly connecting to the nerves in our skin all over our body? Why can’t it interface with all of the photons in a sphere that surrounds me and turn those into 360 degree vision, as opposed to just the electrical impulses emitted from my eyes?

    And since we don’t actually touch anything, due to the way physics works, why can’t it interface with those changing field levels, rather than the nerves in our skin, etc. It’s unclear what makes our soul bridge the gap only with the material aspects of our brain, as opposed to some other physical aspect of our body or even physical aspects around us.

    Given that it supposedly has no physical location at all and is not bound to the laws of physicsl, why doesn’t it interface with all the photons around me, or all the photons in the universe?

    And why just my brain? Again, since it has no physical location, what prevents it from connecting to all the brains of people in my vicinity, all the brains in my city, the brains in my state, in my entire country or every brains in the universe?

    If we exist in a bubble of explicably that exists in a sea of inexplicability, the best explanation we can have for anything in that sea is that “Zeus rules” there. But it doesn’t end there. Why? Because our bubble of explicably supposedly depends on this sea in a myriad of ways. So, the best explanation we could possibility have for anything inside this bubble is “Zeus rues” here, as well. As such, things inside this bubble only appear explicable if you carefully avoid specific questions, such as the one’s I’ve just asked.

    IOW, if you’re assuming there is some non-material aspect of us that is not bound to the laws of physics, then the best explanation we could possibly have for why these things do not happen is that “Zeus rules” here.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  113. 113
    AnimatedDust says:

    JMac @ 108:

    Maybe because God decided that the book of Genesis and the whole bible had to be understandable to all of humanity throughout recorded history, and not just for your highly individualistic western, dare I say, narcissistic expectation that he explain everything perfectly for you and to you in your cultural moment.

    Humility is a useful tool toward the acquisition of wisdom, but impossible through your eyes of pride.

  114. 114
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    You go on repeating your only argument. I have discussed it many times, and unfortunately I find it completely silly. But of course you are entitled to believeing silly things.

    You had stated at #62:

    “Again, the point at which this gap is bridged would be an arbitrary choice by the designer. Brains would be an arbitrary choice.”

    I have very simply said at #63 thatthere is nothing arbitrary in the choice of the brain for the interface from a design point of view, because that’s exactly the way it must be to allow the design to work.

    That’s the simple truth. If you design a tool for someone to use, you put the interface where it should be for the tool to be used.

    Having no arguments about that, you reiterate that in your very personal and very imaginative bad philosophy, of which you seem to be very proud, there is no need for the tool. Of course you are wrong, but you can certainly go on believing that.

    But that does not mean that the place where the interface has been designed is arbitrary.

  115. 115
    critical rationalist says:

    CR: IOW, if you’re assuming there is some non-material aspect of us that is not bound to the laws of physics, then the best explanation we could possibly have for why these things do not happen is that “Zeus rules” here.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

    Your reply?

    I have very simply said at #63 thatthere is nothing arbitrary in the choice of the brain for the interface from a design point of view, because that’s exactly the way it must be to allow the design to work.

    That’s the simple truth. If you design a tool for someone to use, you put the interface where it should be for the tool to be used.

    This not disagreeing with me. “that’s exactly the way it must be to allow the design to work.” is no different than “Zeus rules” here because the designer by rule, wanted to to “work” that way. Not because that was the only implementation that could achieve the same goal.

  116. 116
    critical rationalist says:

    If it wanted us to see, our “non” material soul could have interfaced with the photons around us, rather than our brains, etc. A complex path that consist of a complex material nervous system isn’t a “necessary” implementation of sight because, being non-material, it has no single physical location to which all matter must converge to bridge the non-materal to material gap.

    It is in the sense that the choice to implement sight in this particular way is arbitrary. It’s unclear why a non-material thing that has no physical location must somehow connect something in a specific physical location because, well, it has no physical location. You don’t need to have signals converge to a particular point to interface with something that isn’t anywhere in particular.

    Nothing prevents it from doing so, other than by the designer’s fiat, which is equivalent to saying no better explanation can be had other than “”Zeus rules.”

  117. 117
    critical rationalist says:

    To use another example, chances are, you’re connected to the internet wirelessly, as opposed to using an ethernet cable that connects your computers to a router.

    But, still, the wifi base station is located somewhere, transmits on a specific frequency at a specific power, uses protocols to determine what data you should receive, etc. Radio waives exist in physical space, but they exist in a radius, not along some unbroken chain of atoms.

    As designers, we’ve achieved the same functionality without requiring hard wired connections. If we can achieve this, given our limited knowledge, then it’s possible the ID’s designer could have designed us to receive and send signals wirelessly as well. Right? Bluetooth low power systems can be developed using very low energy, and that’s still what we can do with limited knowledge.

    But, given that there is some supposed part of us that isn’t anywhere in physical space, has no surface area, doesn’t require a power source, etc. then there is no necessary radius in which it must operate, or limit to what it could connect to. It doesn’t even need a wireless network at all.

    If it can bridge the gap at our brain, it’s unclear why something with no location couldn’t bridge the gap in two places, five places or everywhere. That it does not bridge the gap everywhere is an arbitrary choice because there is no physical constraint of requiring a path to somewhere when there is no somewhere at which it exists in a physical sense.

    Again, no better explanation can be had other than “that’s just what the designer must have wanted.”

    And we’re supposedly the ones without any imagination?

  118. 118
    J-Mac says:

    It looks like some have decided to resort do dismissals and distractions… What else can they do?

    But, here is even more interesting thing: After Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t tell them they have immortal souls and that they are not going to die either?

    Can you believe this?

    Genesis 3:19

    19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

    I think this is some kind of a conspiracy… but on whose part?

  119. 119
    bornagain77 says:

    “19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

    And who disputed that? ,,, The whole resurrection thing by Christ to reunite a spiritually dead humanity with God depends on such a ‘barrier of death’ that only Christ could cross.

    In fact, My handle ‘bornagain’ reflects that whole line of thinking:

    John 3:1-16
    Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
    Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    Luke 23:39-43
    And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    Matthew 27:51-53
    At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs broke open, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After Jesus’ resurrection, when they had come out of the tombs, they entered the holy city and appeared to many people.…

  120. 120
    ET says:

    It looks like J Mac is happy to erect straw man after straw man.

    Good luck with that

  121. 121
    J-Mac says:

    CR,

    BA77 is a proponent of quantum consciousness…as I am because there is some quite convincing evidence that consciousness is quantum… However, because of his preconceived ideas, he automatically assumed that:

    quantum consciousness = soul

    Unfortunately, if BA77 and many others here as well as Dr. Egnor want to remain Christians, they need to ignore the bible’s accounts that are more than problematic, involving the issue of the immortal soul and the afterlife, as I have pointed it out here…

    If there is afterlife, how come scientists were able to simulated it by experiments?

    The Trigger of Brain Stimulation:

    Dr. Bruce Greyson’s Near-Death Experience Research
    Doctors say they have triggered out-of-body experiences (OBEs) in a female patient by stimulating her brain. They believe their work may help to explain mysterious incidents when people report experiences of “leaving” their body and watching it from above. The doctors did not set out to achieve the effect – they were actually treating the women for epilepsy. Neurologist Professor Dr. Olaf Blanke and colleagues at University Hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland were using electrodes to stimulate the brain. They found that stimulating one spot – the angular gyrus in the right cortex – repeatedly caused out-of-body experiences (OBEs).

    https://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers/brain-stimulation.html

  122. 122
    J-Mac says:

    If the issue of an immaterial/immortal soul is not an ID issue, maybe Dr. Egnor should focus on something else in his articles other then referring to mind/thought(abstract mainly) /consciousness/soul…as if they were one or had the same source…

    To me, he clearly makes that connections…

    BTW: Why does an independent being (soul) need the brain for some thoughts and not for other, such as abstract thoughts? Is there a plan to only think in abstract terms after death?

  123. 123
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    You seem to love repeating the same things over and over. I don’t.

    You go on making unwarranted assumtoion on what some non physical conscious agent should be able to do. You seem to attribute by default omnicscience and omnipotence to any possible non physical entity. I cannot understand why, but I doubt that you will stop doing that.

    Again, when we are playng at some very good PC game, tyhe screen and keyboard are our interface.

    As humans, we are playing at some very complex game. You may ask why, but that is of course a philosophical problem. The simple truth is that we are at it.

    Our consciousness interacts with the outer world by our body, and in our body the interface between matter and conscious representations os obviously mainly in the brain.

    This is an observable fact.

    Inputs that reach the brain are in some way processed. That is another fact.

    Our conscious representations are mainly representation of those processed inputs. That is another fact.

    Therefore, there can be no doubt that the interface is at the brain. It is a fact.

    And there can be no doubt that an interface at the brain allows us to represent not only inputs, but processed inputs.

    So, if the purpose if to allow our consciousness to interact with the outer world thoruigh our physical body, it is absolutely logical, and not arbitrary, to design the interface at the brain.

    OK, now repeat again your silly ideas about possible infinite onterfaces with all existing photons, or whatever you like. Until you deal only with your imaginations and rationalizations, I doubt you can say anything really interesting.

    And you knwo, one of the main points in a lot of philosophies is that human consciousness, while being possibly beyond physycal limitations in the ultimate sense, is certainly strongly limited in the course of human life in a physical body. Maybe you are so intelligent that you have, alone, understood that all those thinking that way are fools. Good luck with that.

    By the way, you have never explained how, in your brilliant opinion, complex functional information (yes, the prescriptive type, what you call “non explicatory knowledge”) can arise without any intervention of beings capable of generating descriptive information (what you call “explicatory knowledge”).

  124. 124
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac cites out of body experiences as proof against the validity of NDE’s???

    Really??? Just how is it possible for a material brain to have accurate perceptions about reality from anywhere other than the material brain itself unless conscious perception is not strictly limited to a material brain?

    Moreover, J-Mac cites Dr. Bruce Greyson’s research as proof against NDE’s??? Really???

    Funny that Dr. Bruce Greyson, a well respected researcher at the University of Virginia, himself finds his research to very much support the validity of NDE’s or more particularly to support the validity of Consciousness Independent of the Brain

    Dr Bruce Greyson Consciousness Independent of the Brain
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aWM95RuMqU
    transcription of preceding talk: “Some of the best evidence of consciousness functioning independently of the brain comes from near-death experiences,”
    – Bruce Greyson
    http://sfm.scienceformonks.org.....oduced.pdf

    Interview: Bruce Greyson on Researching Near-Death Experiences at the University of Virginia – May 25, 2015
    Excerpt: Dr. Greyson once told the University of Virginia magazine: “Our mind-brain identity model works fine for everyday walking and talking, but when you’re looking at times when the brain is not functioning and the mind seems to function quite well, you get into that extreme area where we need to look at some other models.”
    https://www.theepochtimes.com/interview-bruce-greyson-on-researching-near-death-experiences-at-the-university-of-virginia_1368200.html

    J-Mac, before this thread, and your recent responses, I thought you might be somewhat reasonable, but I was mistaken. You are so wedded to the prior commitment of how you “WANT” the world to be that you can no longer see how the world actually is.

  125. 125
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to dogmatic worldviews that are impervious to contrary empirical evidence that falsifies them, is this recent article on ENV:

    Heretic, Intelligent Design, and the Materialism of the Gaps
    Matti Leisola and Jonathan Witt – February 8, 2018
    Excerpt: James Tour is a leading origin-of-life researcher with over 630 research publications and over 120 patents. He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015, listed in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters in 2014, and named “Scientist of the Year” by R&D Magazine. Here is how he recently described the state of the field:
    “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions….Those that say, “Oh this is well worked out,” they know nothing — nothing — about chemical synthesis — nothing….From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot even figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks, let alone assembly into a complex system. That’s how clueless we are. I have asked all of my colleagues — National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners — I sit with them in offices. Nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, if your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
    Despite all this, Stanley Miller’s (1953) experiment is still presented in textbooks as if it all but sealed the deal for a naturalistic origin of life. NASA is still searching for marks of life on nearby planets, fueled by the belief that life should spring up relatively easily given the right conditions. And the uninformed public continues to be told that life is nothing more than complex matter. There seems to be only one explanation for this stubborn refusal to register all of the contrary evidence. We are dealing with a conviction deeply rooted in a worldview.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/02/heretic-intelligent-design-materialism-of-gaps/

  126. 126
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note: Dr. Pim van Lommel also cited electrically stimulated Out of Body Experiences in his article entitled “Medical Evidence for NDEs”

    A Reply to Shermer
    Medical Evidence for NDEs
    Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: The influence of external localized magnetic and electric fields on these constant changing electric and/or magnetic fields during normal function of the brain should now be mentioned.

    Neurophysiological research is being performed using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), in the course of which a localized magnetic field (photons) is produced. TMS can excite or inhibit different parts of the brain, depending of the amount of energy given, allowing functional mapping of cortical regions, and creation of transient functional lesions. It allows assessing the function in focal brain regions on a millisecond scale, and it can study the contribution of cortical networks to specific cognitive functions. TMS is a non-invasive research tool to study aspects of human brain physiology including motor function, vision, language, and the pathophysiology of brain disorders as well as mood disorders like depression, and it even may be useful for therapy. In studies TMS can interfere with visual and motion perception, it gives an interruption of cortical processing with an interval of 80-100 milliseconds. Intracortical inhibition and facilitation are obtained by paired-pulse studies with TMS, and reflect the activity of interneurons in the cortex. Also TMS can alter the functioning of the brain beyond the time of stimulation, but it does not appear to leave any lasting effect. (14).

    Interrupting the electrical fields of local neuronal networks in parts of the cortex also disturbs the normal function of the brain, because by localized electrical stimulation of the temporal and parietal lobe during surgery for epilepsy the neurosurgeon and Nobel prize winner W. Penfield could sometimes induce flashes of recollection of the past (never a complete life review), experiences of light, sound or music, and rarely a kind of out-of-body experience. These experiences did not produce any transformation.(15-16) After many years of research he finally reached the conclusion that it is not possible to localize memories inside the brain. Olaf Blanke also recently described in Nature a patient with induced OBE by inhibition of cortical activity caused by more intense external electrical stimulation of the gyrus angularis in a patient with epilepsy (17).

    The effect of the external magnetic or electrical stimulation is dependent of the amount of energy given. There may be no clinical effect or sometimes stimulation is seen when only a small amount of energy is given, for instance during stimulation of the motoric cortex. But during “stimulation” with higher energy inhibition of local cortical functions occurs by extinction of the electrical and magnetic fields resulting in inhibition of local neuronal networks (personal communication Blanke). Also in the patient described by Blanke in Nature stimulation with higher electric energy was given, resulting in inhibition of the function of the local neuronal networks in the gyrus angularis.

    And when for instance the occipital visual cortex is stimulated by TMS, this results not in a better sight, but instead it causes temporary blindness by inhibition of this part of the cortex. We have to conclude that localized artificial stimulation with real photons (electrical or magnetic energy) disturb and also inhibit the constant changing electrical and magnetic fields of our neuronal networks, and so influence and inhibit the normal function of our brain.

    In trying to understand this concept of mutual interaction between the “invisible and not measurable” consciousness, with its enormous amount of information, and our visible, material body it seems wise to compare it with modern worldwide communication.
    http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    Like Dr. Greyson, Dr. Lommel is well respected in his research:

    PIM VAN LOMMEL, MD
    Cardiologist/Author

    VIDEO:
    Pim van Lommel: The Mystery of Perception During Near Death Experiences
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avyUsPgIuQ0

    In our prospective study of 344 patients who survived cardiac arrest we had to come to the surprising conclusion that all the reported elements of a Near-Death Experience (NDE) like an out-of-body perception, meeting with deceased relatives or a life review were experienced during a transient functional loss of the cortex and of the brainstem, with a flat line EEG. During their cardiac arrest people can have veridical perceptions from a position outside and above their lifeless body. NDE-ers have the feeling that they have apparently taken off their body like an old coat and to their surprise they appear to have retained their own identity with the possibility of perception, emotions, and a very clear consciousness. This out-of-body experience (OBE) is scientifically important because doctors, nurses, and relatives can verify the reported perceptions, and they can also corroborate the precise moment the NDE with OBE occurred during the period of CPR. This proves that an OBE cannot be a hallucination, because this means experiencing a perception that has no basis in “reality”, like in psychosis, neither it can be a delusion, which is an incorrect assessment of a correct perception, nor an illusion, which means a misleading image. Moreover, one needs a functioning brain for experiencing hallucinations, delusions or illusions. Additionally, even people blind from birth have reported veridical perceptions during NDE and OBE. Based on several NDE-studies it seems inevitable to conclude that veridical perception is possible independently of brain function. In my lecture I will give several examples of veridical perceptions during NDE, and discuss the differences between seeing with the eyes during waking consciousness (who is seeing? what is seeing?) and perceiving during the period of a non-functioning brain (‘apparent unconsciousness during clinical death’).

  127. 127
    critical rationalist says:

    You go on making unwarranted assumtoion on what some non physical conscious agent should be able to do.

    Again, my point is, if something isn’t capable of serving a purpose by nature of it being well adapted to perform that purpose, (which non-material things could never be because there is nothing about them that can be well adapted) then what makes them able to perform some purposes, but not others?

    Namely, I’m only trying to take your view seriously, as if it were true, in reality, for the purpose of criticism.

    Example? Right, now, I’m sitting on a stool in a coffee shop. Before then, I was sitting at a desk across town. If there is some part of me that is immaterial, then it must be able to interact with the matter of my brain in both of those two physical locations, right?

    And if I flew to the other side of the world, the supposed non-material aspect would be able to interact with my brain, there as well, right? And if I somehow went though a worm hole and ended up on the other side of the galaxy, it would be able to interact with my brain there as well, correct?

    And, what about the previous person who was sitting where I am now? There supposed non-material aspect must have been able to interact with their brain in the same location that mine is now, right?

    And when I get get up to leave in about an hour from now, there will be photons traveling though the space where my brain was. If that non-material aspect of myself could interact with the matter of my brain that was there, then it’s unclear why it couldn’t also interact with other matter that will take it’s place in the future, including those photons. Right? So, why not the photons in a sphere around me? Why not all photons, etc?

    Being non-material, it has no physical location, because to have a location it must be material. Right?

    So, if this non-matieral aspect of myself can interact with the matter of my brain wherever it is anywhere in the universe, then why couldn’t it interact with other matter anywhere in the universe, including other brains or even photons? To rephrase the question, why doesn’t it interact with all matter in the universe?

    Being non-material, the explanation cannot be that it’s well adapted to the purpose of interacting with only my brain. Why? Because that would require it to have some material aspect to be well adapted, in that it’s located in my skull connected only to my brain, or that it’s well adapted in that it transmits on a specific frequency, etc. But none of those things can be possible because, being non-material, it cannot have a location or be find tuned, etc.

    Again, to my point, the best explanation we could possibility have as to why my non-material soul doesn’t interact with all matter is that “it’s not supposed to”, which is the equivalent to “Zeus rules” here.

  128. 128
    critical rationalist says:

    @gpuccio

    From a paper that BA77 appealed to…..

    Another important feature that challenges the materialistic model of consciousness and the brain is being “out of the body” and accurately perceiving things that could not be perceived normally. Among several hundred near-death experiences I have studied, 48% reported accurate “out-of-body” vision.

    Here BA77 is appealing to the claim that people are supposedly able to accurately perceive things that could not be perceived though their nervous system.

    Are you saying this must be false because the non-material aspect of us can only interact with our brains? And since any input not from our brains wouldn’t be pre-processed by our nervous systems, then our non material aspect of ourselves couldn’t make heads or tails of it?

    Since we do not have eyes floating behind us in tow via nerves that lead to our brains, wouldn’t that mean that non-material part was interacting with something other than our brains, such as raw unprocessed photons that are behind out bodies?

    IOW, if we trying to take your view seriously, for the purpose of criticism, you should think this is impossible because “it’s not supposed to work that way”, right?

    Let me guess, it’s not supposed to work this way, except when we’re near death? Then it can suddenly access inputs unprocessed by our nervous system?

    But then why can’t we perceive other things when we’re near death, like a quasar across the galaxy or rovers on mars or the input of some other person’s brain? What prevents it from happening only when we’re near death?

    Let me guess again, because it’s not supposed to work that way?

    And you wonder why this sort of thing isn’t taken seriously?

  129. 129
    J-Mac says:

    Electrodes trigger out-of-body experience

    Stimulating brain region elicits illusion often attributed to the paranormal.

    Helen Pearson

    Stimulation of the brain can lead to out-of-body sensations.
    Stimulation of the brain can lead to out-of-body sensations.

    Activity in one region of the brain could explain out-of-body experiences. Researchers in Switzerland have triggered the phenomenon using electrodes1.

    People describe out-of-body experiences as feeling that their consciousness becomes detached from their body, often floating above it. Because these lucid states are popularly linked to the paranormal, “a lot of people are reluctant to talk about them”, says neurologist Olaf Blanke of Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland.

    Blanke found that electrically stimulating one brain region — the right angular gyrus — repeatedly triggers out-of-body experiences. Blanke and his team were using electrodes to excite the brain of a woman being treated for epilepsy.

    The right angular gyrus integrates visual information — the sight of your body — and information that creates the mind’s representation of your body. This is based on balance and feedback from your limbs about their position in space.

    “It makes perfect sense,” agrees Peter Brugger of University Hospital, Zurich, in Switzerland, who studies the phenomenon. “We have representations of our entire body that can be dissociated from our real body,” he says. But this is an isolated case, he points out.

    With gentle stimulation, the woman, who could speak during the operation, felt she was falling or growing lighter. As the intensity increased she told them: “I see myself lying in bed, from above.”

    When asked to look at her raised arm, she thought it was coming to punch her. This observation suggests that ‘alien hand syndrome’ — when people feel that a limb is foreign — or ‘phantom’ limbs that people can feel after amputations could be related to out-of-body experiences, says Blanke.

    Weird science

    Out-of-body experiences are incredibly common, says clinical neurologist John Marshall of the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, UK. Some are part of near-death experiences.

    Some believe that the events have religious or spiritual causes, or that a person really leaves their physical body behind. They may, for example, interpret them as evidence that the physical and spiritual body can separate again after death.

    The new experiments cannot disprove such ideas, says Marshall: “It doesn’t show that people with paranormal beliefs are wrong” – it simply demonstrates one way that the experience can be stimulated. Nevertheless, “I think it would give great comfort to patients” who, he says, frequently question their own sanity.

    Thrill-seekers will be hard-pushed to artificially create their own out-of-body experiences, adds Brugger. “You can’t stimulate that precisely without opening up the skull,” he says.

    http://www.nature.com/news/199.....916-8.html

    If out of the body existences can be stimulated by an electrode in one part of the brain, who needs an immortal soul?

    This would explain why only a small percentage of people who were clinically dead had an out of body experiences… not everyone clinically dead gets this part of the brain stimulated or affected by some processes related to a dying brain….

    Let’s not forget that God didn’t tell Adam and Eve at least on two occasions the their souls will continue to live on after their bodies die…

    So all the pieces of the puzzle fall in place unless BA77 and other supports of the immortal soul finally decide why God didn’t tell them ALL the details about their death and afterlife…

  130. 130
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    First of all, I cannot understand your repeated concept that things are “capable of serving a purpose by nature of it being well adapted to perform that purpose”. In particualr, the words “well adapted” seem to mean nothing specific, and generate only confusion. In my world, an object is capable of serving a purpose if we can use it to implement that purpose, that’s all. I don’t understand what you are assuming when you speak of “adaptation”.

    Second, all your “argument” about space is completely wrong. Of course, the non physical cosnciousness which is in us is tied to the brain: indeed, it can perceive the outer world only through the brain, in the normal condition of humans in their physical body. As the brain and the body can change their location in space, so consciousness goes on interacting with the body and brain wherever they are, until that link is working.

    Third, of course death is a process which changes completely that condition. The link between consciousness and body and brain is gradually resolved, and consciousness can express itself in different ways. That is what we observe in NDEs, which are about the transition, when the transition itself is still incomplete and therefore reversible.

    I don’t “wonder why this sort of thing isn’t taken seriously?”. It’s very clear to me why you don’t take these things seriously, and have to create bizarre and arrogant “arguments” to “demonstrate” that others should share your bad reasoning.

  131. 131
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    If you are really “trying to take my view seriously, as if it were true, in reality, for the purpose of criticism”, then why don’t you try to answer my main argument?

    “By the way, you have never explained how, in your brilliant opinion, complex functional information (yes, the prescriptive type, what you call “non explicatory knowledge”) can arise without any intervention of beings capable of generating descriptive information (what you call “explicatory knowledge”).”

  132. 132
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac states:

    “If out of the body existences can be stimulated by an electrode in one part of the brain, who needs an immortal soul?”

    And again, how is it possible to have accurate perceptions of reality from anywhere other than the material brain if consciousness really is reducible to the material brain as you hold?

    “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.

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

    Indeed, how is it possible for people who are blind from birth to be able to see for the first time in their lives, during their NDEs, if consciousness is reducible to brain states as you hold:

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKyQJDZuMHE

    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://www.newdualism.org/nde-.....-147-1.pdf

    Near death, explained? – Mario Beauregard – Apr 21, 2012
    Excerpt: The scientific NDE (Near Death Experience) studies performed over the past decades indicate that heightened mental functions can be experienced independently of the body at a time when brain activity is greatly impaired or seemingly absent (such as during cardiac arrest). Some of these studies demonstrate that blind people can have veridical perceptions during OBEs associated with an NDE. Other investigations show that NDEs often result in deep psychological and spiritual changes.
    These findings strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity. As we have seen, such a view fails to account for how NDErs can experience—while their hearts are stopped—vivid and complex thoughts and acquire veridical information about objects or events remote from their bodies.
    NDE studies also suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness. Needless to say, this view is utterly incompatible with the belief of many materialists that the material world is the only reality.
    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/2.....socialflow

    Contrary to what you apparently desperately want to believe to be true, the preceding evidence is simply impossible on your preferred reductive materialistic view of mind.

    You also claimed that NDEs are rare but they are not ‘rare’,,,

    Facts about NDEs – video clip on the site
    Excerpt: In 1982 a Gallup poll estimated that 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience and a more recent study, a US News & World Report in March of 1997, found that 15 million have had the experience.
    http://www.ndelight.org/index......;Itemid=63

    In summation, the evidence that you yourself cite, electrically stimulated OBE’s, contrary to what you desperately “WANT” to believe to be true, simply does not support your worldview of reductive materialism, but in fact your own cited evidence instead supports my worldview of Christian Theism.

    In fact, both Drs. Greyson and Lommel cited stimulated OBE’s as supporting evidence for the reality of NDE’s, whilst Dr. Egnor himself cites Penfield overall body of work of stimulating various areas of the brain as supporting the immateriality of the mind and/or soul.

    What the Craniopagus Twins Teach Us About the Mind and the Brain – Michael Egnor – November 24, 2017
    Excerpt:,,, A patient with a split brain remains a discrete individual person, with one self and one mind. It is the perceptual and sensory aspect of the mind that splits with surgical cutting of the corpus callosum. The person remains unitary.

    A similar phenomenon was noted by Wilder Penfield, who was the pioneering neurosurgeon who started the discipline of epilepsy surgery. He noted that while operating on conscious patients he could stimulate many sensory and motor aspects of brain function, but he couldn’t stimulate or ablate that patient’s sense of self or experience of unitary existence. There was, Penfield noted, as aspect of the mind that he couldn’t reach, that remained beyond his surgical instruments. This has certainly been my experience as a neurosurgeon as well.
    Neuroscientist Benjamin Libet, who pioneered the scientific study of consciousness and of free will, also found an immaterial power of the mind that appears distinct from and prior to material mental powers. He concluded that free will is real, and that while our actions seem to be motivated by unconscious intentions, we retain the immaterial ability to veto our actions in accordance with moral law.
    It is worth noting that the conclusion that the human mind has material and immaterial powers is well founded in theology, philosophy, and neuroscience. The evidence for dualism, and specifically for Thomistic dualism, is abundant in neuroscience. We are composites of material powers and immaterial powers. In the traditional way of understanding man, we are composites of matter and spirit, and we bridge the gap between the two realms of nature.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/what-the-craniopagus-twins-teach-us-about-the-mind-and-the-brain/

    Since you originally tried to cite Dr. Greyson in support of your worldview, Here is further comment from Dr. Greyson about the validity of NDEs:

    Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research – 2014
    Excerpt: Improved Mental Functions With an Impaired Brain
    Bruce Greyson, M.D. and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, said NDEs are reliable because the accounts by near-death experiencers (NDErs) of these events remain unchanged over time. He compared a group of NDErs’ accounts about their NDEs made 20 years apart and found that they remained closely identical over time.
    Greyson believes that NDEs are an indication that the mind is independent of the brain because impaired brain functions would be expected during the clinical situation that the NDErs underwent, but his research found no corresponding impairment of mental functions in NDErs.
    “In most cases, people’s mental functioning is better in the NDE than [it] is during our normal waking life,” Greyson said during an interview with The Epoch Times.

    “Their thinking is faster, is clearer, is more logical, they have more control over their chain of thought, their senses are more acute, their memories are more vivid.
    “If you ask somebody about their near-death experience that happened 15 years ago, they tell it as if it happened yesterday. If you ask them [about] other experiences from their life at the same time, they are very fuzzy memories, if they have any at all.
    “[…] When you think that these experiences, which are characterized by enhanced thought processes [that] takes place when the brain is not functioning well or sometimes not functioning at all since it is in cardiac arrest or deep anesthesia—times when brain science would tell us that you shouldn’t be able to think or perceive or form memories—it becomes quite clear that we can’t explain this thing on the basis of brain physiology.”
    http://www.educatinghumanity.c.....e-nde.html

    It is beyond strange that anyone would cite OBEs, whether ‘stimulated’ or not, as evidence against the immateriality of the mind and/or soul. In fact, J-Mac citing of OBEs to support reductive materialism is a shining example of how badly our prior wordviews can blind us to the evidence that is right in front of us.

  133. 133
    critical rationalist says:

    @gpuccio

    First of all, I cannot understand your repeated concept that things are “capable of serving a purpose by nature of it being well adapted to perform that purpose”..

    I’m referring to the appearance of design, as first formalized by William Paley. Something is well adapted to serve a purpose if it cannot be easily varied without significantly impacting its ability to serve that purpose. The rock in Paley’s hypothetical field could be used as a sundial to tell time, despite not being well adapted for that purpose. The knowledge of how to use the rock to tell time is in us. However the watch is well adapted for the purpose of telling time. You cannot modify it without significantly reducing it’s ability to serve that purpose.

    On the other hand non-material things could be neither because they are, well, supposedly non-material. Specially, they cannot be well adapted to serve any purpose, like the watch, nor can they not well adapted to serve a purpose like the rock. Yet, you still seem to think the non-material aspect of us serves specific purpose, then suddenly some other purpose. It’s unclear why it serves some purposes, but not others and why it’s capable of somethings, but not others.

    Example?

    Second, all your “argument” about space is completely wrong. Of course, the non physical consciousness which is in us is tied to the brain: ….

    How can something non-material have any physical location, let alone a location that is “in us”? How can it be “tied” to anything?

    Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that some quantum spooky at a distance is going on, material things are entangled with other material things, like particles. How can our brains get entangled to something non-material?

    ..: indeed, it can perceive the outer world only through the brain, in the normal condition of humans in their physical body. As the brain and the body can change their location in space, so consciousness goes on interacting with the body and brain wherever they are, until that link is working

    So it’s impossible for this non-material aspect of ourselves to process raw photons ….

    Third, of course death is a process which changes completely that condition. The link between consciousness and body and brain is gradually resolved, and consciousness can express itself in different ways. That is what we observe in NDEs, which are about the transition, when the transition itself is still incomplete and therefore reversible.

    … until it’s possible? Does it become well adapted to serve the purpose that our brain previously performed? But, how can something non-material change to become well adapted to serve a purpose? Or was it capable of that all along? In either case, because if it’s possible to perform the purpose that our brains play at any point in time, then it was possible to “supposed” to work that way in the first place. Right?

    That it didn’t work that way in the first place was arbitrary choice, because it wasn’t the only way “sensing things” could have been implemented. “It’s not supposed to” doesn’t explain anything. This is when I mean when I say the best explanation we can possible have is that “Zeus rules” here as well.

  134. 134
    critical rationalist says:

    “By the way, you have never explained how, in your brilliant opinion, complex functional information (yes, the prescriptive type, what you call “non explicatory knowledge”) can arise without any intervention of beings capable of generating descriptive information (what you call “explicatory knowledge”).”

    You have confused the absence of an explanation with one you happen to disagree with or do not understand.

    From elsewhere….

    For example, imagine I’ve been shipwrecked on a deserted island and I have partial amnesia due to the wreck. I remember that coconuts are edible so climb a tree to pick them. While attempting to pick a coconut, the one next to it falls, lands of a rock and splits open. Note that I did not intend for the coconut to fall, let alone plan for it to fall because I conjectured (guessed) that if a coconut falls on a rocks, it might crack open. The coconut falling was random in respect to the problem I hadn’t yet even tried to solve. Furthermore, due to my amnesia, I’ve hypothetically forgotten what I know about physics, including mass, inertia, etc. Specifically, I lack an explanation as to why the coconut landing on the rock causes it to open. As such, my knowledge of how to open coconuts is merely a useful rule of thumb, which is limited in reach. For example, in the absence of an explanation, I might collect coconuts picked from other trees, carry them to this same tree, climb it, then drop them on the rocks to open them.

    However, explanatory knowledge has significant reach. Specifically, if my explanatory knowledge of physics, including inertia, mass, etc. returned, I could use that explanation to strike a coconut with any similar sized rock, rather than vice versa. Furthermore, I could exchange the rock with another object with significant mass, such as an anchor and open objects other than coconuts, such as the skull of an animal, which is useful in protecting myself from attacking wildlife, etc.

    So, to summarize, explanatory knowledge comes from intentional conjectures made by people and have significant reach. Non-explanatory knowledge (useful rules of thumb) represent unintentional conjectures and have limited reach. Knowledge can be created without intent in the form of useful rules of thumb. The knowledge of how to build biological adaptations is not explanatory in nature but represents useful rules of thumb that have limited reach. (which also explains why a great majority of species that have ever existed have gone extinct.)

    Whether one would think the creation of this knowledge in non-explanatory form “defies reason” would depend on how one explains the creation of knowledge in general, how they defined knowledge or if they think this sort of knowledge could be created at all.

    However, creationism, as well as the current crop of ID, suffers from the same flaw as all pre-enlightenment conceptions of human knowledge. In both cases, the origin of knowledge is irrational, supernatural or completely absent. As such, creationism is misleadingly named in that it is a means of denying that creation actually took place. And one of the implications of this denial is that the genuine creation of knowledge would be absurd.

    If the designer is God, having always been all knowing, would have always had the knowledge to build anything logically possible, including the every organism that has existed and those he decided not to create, but could have. And ID’s abstract intelligent designer supposedly has no defined limitations as to what it knows, when it knew it, which would prevent it from having known how to build every organism logically possible.

    In other words, before one could consider this absurd, one must first have in mind some kind of “theory” regarding how knowledge *is* created, or that it *was not* created in the first place. This is what I meant when I said we cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into some explanatory theory. But as I’ve pointed out, no such explanation is given beyond “that’s just what a designer must have wanted”, which does not actually any problems beyond how to reconcile one’s faith in a supernatural being with empirical observations.

    So, what’s in contention here isn’t that the genome contains the knowledge of how to build chickens. Rather, what is in contention here is epistemological in nature.

    Darwinism is the theory that this knowledge is genuinely created as non-explanatory knowledge via a form of conjecture and refutation. Specifically conjecture, in the form of genetic variation that is random to any problem to be solved, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. While people can also create non-explanatory knowledge, only people can create explanatory knowledge by conjecturing explanatory theories of how to solve a specific problem, and refutation, in the form of criticism, which includes empirical tests. Both fall under our best, current universal theory for the growth of knowledge.

    Evolution isn’t random, but random to any specific problem to solve. Amebas have problems, but cannot conceive of them as as such as we do. Nor can they conceive of explanatory theories that might solve them. Only people have made the leap to universal explainers. So, the idea that everything is one astronomically unlikely outcome represents a misconception of evolutionary theory.

    For example, If I had a genetic disease, I would expect my doctor to base my treatment on a good explanation, in that changing specific genes in my genome in a specific way would result in specific biological changes that could improve my condition. On the other hand, a doctor could base my treatment on a useful rule of thumb: changing any of my genes in any way could result in some biological change that could improve my condition. In the case of the former treatment, if my condition improves, we attribute that improvement to changing specific genes in my genome in a specific way resulted in specific biological changes. This results in explanatory knowledge. In the latter case, we we have no explanation for why changing those genes caused my improvement.

    Specifically, let’s say the the former treatment was hypothetically based on the explanation that three genes enable biological function x, which when degraded causes symptom Y. And, In my case, the third gene was deactivated. So, the treatment to activate that one specific gene was based on a specific explanation. If I actually did improve, this would result in explanatory knowledge. On the other hand, in the case of former treatment, there was no explanatory basis for changing that one gene. So my improvement, or lack there of, did not offer an opportunity to falsify any new conjectured explanation. This results in non-explanatory knowledge.

    In this same sense, I’m unaware of any such universal definition of knowledge or an explanation for its growth in the case of creationism. In fact, creationism seems to deny that such knowledge was created in the first place.

    To illustrate this, “Consider this: if a supernatural creator were to have created the universe at the moment when Einstein or Darwin or any great scientist (appeared to have) just completed their major discovery, then the true creator of that discovery (and of all earlier discoveries) would have been not that scientist but the supernatural being. So such a theory would deny the existence of the only creation that really did take place in the genesis of that scientist’s discoveries.”

    Note how this represents a variation of the same general purpose way to deny that any sort of creation actually took place. In the case of the biosphere, the designer supposedly always possessed the knowledge of how to build every biological organism that existed or that could possibly exist but, for some reason we cannot comprehend, chose to implement only the particular organisms we happen to observe, in the particular order we observe. So this essentially represents a claim that nothing genuinely new was actually created, either. As such, the reason why we see some organisms, rather than others, is beyond human reassigning and problem solving.

    However, one could make the same appeal, in that we cannot positively prove a designer did not create the universe 150 years ago, or even last Thursday, for some reason we cannot comprehend, either. So, one could appeal to the same logical-possibility to deny that you created the email I originally responded to. However, as with all fields of science, all we have is criticism. We cannot positive prove anything.

  135. 135
    Barry Arrington says:

    gpuccio,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of arguing with Critical Rationalist. We keep him around to demonstrate both the moral and intellectual poverty of the materialist project. And — amazingly — he never ceases to oblige.

    But keep one thing in mind when dealing with CR. He will be completely unfazed after you have destroyed his argument with logic and evidence. Instead, he will simply repeat his argument over and over and over and over as if you never said anything.

  136. 136
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note: The main flaw with Hameroff’s contention for the Eastern philosophy of pantheism, which holds that consciousness is an integral part of the universe, which Hammeroff stated as such

    “I think that consciousness, or to me a precursor, let’s call it ‘protoconsciouness’ has been in the universe all along, perhaps from the big bang,
    Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video (4:21 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=261

    The main flaw with Hameroff’s contention that consciousness is integral to the universe is that, according to the delayed choice experiments of quantum mechanics, the universe itself simply does not exist until a conscious observation is made of it.

    “No phenomenon is a physical phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.”
    — John Wheeler
    Quoted in Robert J. Scully, The Demon and the Quantum (2007), 191

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Simply put, quantum mechanics, although Hameroff appeals to quantum entanglement and quantum computation in microtubles to try to explain consciousness,,, quantum mechanics itself, in the big picture of quantum mechanics, supports a Theistic view of reality which holds that the infinite Mind of God upholds this universe in its continual existence rather than supporting Hameroff’s pantheistic view of reality which holds consciousness to be merely integral with the universe.

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: 5 Experiments – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5qphmi8gYE

    Although I respect Hameroff’s work on quantum consciousness very much, I have to say that his preferred Pantheistic view of reality comes up extremely short when looking at the big picture of what quantum mechanics is really revealing to us about reality.

    A few more related notes:

    Einstein’s denial of free will as well as his denial of ‘the experience of ‘the now’ is refuted by quantum mechanics
    https://uncommondescent.com/humor/ba77-links-on-the-consequences-of-mind-brain-ideologies/#comment-650844
    https://uncommondescent.com/humor/ba77-links-on-the-consequences-of-mind-brain-ideologies/#comment-650853

    A Cosmological Argument for God’s Existence, pt. 4 – Stephen Meyer on pantheism at the 3:52 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/hCfSgw_yCsU?t=232

  137. 137
    J-Mac says:

    Is it me, or is BA77 afraid to answer the question about God not telling Adam and Eve about the soul thingy?

    I personally have come across many people who would do anything to support their preconceived ideas in both science and religion but most of them were doing it for one reason; money. I absolutely can’t understand why someone would support an idea to deceive himself… I truly don’t get it…
    If the evidence is pointing in the direction other then the immortal soul, why would anybody in the right frame of mind keep supporting it?

    If it is not true, it’s not going to happen… It is going to affect you! Why would you support it?!

  138. 138
    J-Mac says:

    BA77
    Your related note or semi related doesn’t cut it, including the Shroud from Torino. You have created an illusion and keep looking for anything to support it while rejecting anything that contradicts your illusion…

    By overwhelming people with irrelevant information repeating it many times you are actually trying to confirm Goebbels’ theory that “a lie repeated often enough becomes true..

  139. 139
    gpuccio says:

    Barry Arrington:

    I know, I know…

    However, until he expresses some new aspects of his personal thought, I can try to go on with the discussion.

    But I hate mere repetitions of the same things.

  140. 140
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    So, if I understand you well:

    “well adapted to serve a purpose” = an object which has high functional information (the specific information which is necessary to implement the define function).

    The rock has low functional information in relation to the function of “being used as a sundial”, because many different rocks in the search space of rocks can be used for that.

    A watch, of course, has high functional specificity. Like a protein.

    OK, let’s go on.

    You say:

    The knowledge of how to use the rock to tell time is in us.

    Of course. In all my definitions, the function is objectively defined by some conscious agent. But, once defined, it can be used objectively to measure the linked information.

    On the other hand non-material things could be neither because they are, well, supposedly non-material. Specially, they cannot be well adapted to serve any purpose, like the watch, nor can they not well adapted to serve a purpose like the rock.

    This is an important point. The only “non-material” concept I have used here is consciousness. I treat consciousness empirically, and I do not try to explain what it is. It is an observable.

    In that sense, the point is not really that it is “non-material”. The important point is not what it is (which is probably beyond the inderstanding of science, at least at present), but the simple fact that it cannot be explained in terms of configurations of material objects.

    That should already answer your “points”. Consciousness has no functional information, because functional information is a property of material objects, indeed of their configuration.

    Consciousness, as far as we can observe, is a simple property: a single subjective “I” which refers to itself a multitude of different formal perceptions.

    So, the concept of functional information (what you call “being well adapted”) cannot be applied to consciousness, because consciousness cannot be explained as a configuration of material objects.

    You say:

    Yet, you still seem to think the non-material aspect of us serves specific purpose, then suddenly some other purpose.

    Consciousness experiences purposes. Purposes are conscious experiences, nothing else.

    We can ask ourselves what is the purpose of our personal consciousness. That is a correct philosophical question, but not at present, I am afraid, one that can be approached scientifically.

    You say:

    It’s unclear why it serves some purposes, but not others and why it’s capable of somethings, but not others.

    As I have said, you cannot analyze consciousness in terms of functional information. We can observe that it can do some things (for example, represent subjectively the inputs from our senses and brain) and not others (for example, represent subjectively the inputs from the senses and brain of another person).

    Your error is that you imagine, I don’t know why, that we should have some definite model of what consciousness can or cannot do, and then go on with top down reasonings from that model. But that is not true.

    The only things that we know of cosnciousness are the things we observe. Our approach to it must be bottom-up, not top down. We can only describe the behaviour of cosnciousness, and its connection with objects and matter.

    All your way of reasoning is anti-scientific, and completely upside down.

    How can something non-material have any physical location, let alone a location that is “in us”? How can it be “tied” to anything?

    I would not say that it has a “location”, but a connection with a speficic physical reality, our body. I don’t see the problem in that. Why are you so stubborn that something which is not “physical” cannot interact with physical things? There is nothing unreasonable in that idea. It would be like saying that something that is liquid cannot interact with solid bodies.

    You say:

    Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that some quantum spooky at a distance is going on, material things are entangled with other material things, like particles. How can our brains get entangled to something non-material?

    The interface is most likely at quantum level. Consciousness probably interacts at quantum level with cells, in particular neurons. What’s the problem?

    You say:

    So it’s impossible for this non-material aspect of ourselves to process raw photons ….

    You mean our personal consciousness? Yes, you are right. Our personal consciousness, in its human condition with a physical body, cannot as a rule directly process raw photons. It needs the eyes and the brain to do that. And so?

    But, how can something non-material change to become well adapted to serve a purpose? Or was it capable of that all along? In either case, because if it’s possible to perform the purpose that our brains play at any point in time, then it was possible to “supposed” to work that way in the first place. Right?

    It’s not clear at all what you mean here. In the transition form life to death, what happens is probably that the physical vehicle, and the brain, become gradually no more appropriate to serve their role. IOWs, they are no more so “well adapted”. Which is a correct idea here, because we are speaking of physical objects.

    That fact changes the condition of consciousness, which cannot any more express itself through the old connection, and is forced to do something else.

    It’s not cosnciousness which changes, but its condition, because its physical vehicle changes.

    Consciousness does not change, but its representations can certainly change, as they do all the time during our life here.

    More in next post.

  141. 141
    ET says:

    J Mac:

    Is it me, or is BA77 afraid to answer the question about God not telling Adam and Eve about the soul thingy?

    It’s a straw man.

  142. 142
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac, you have presented virtually no evidence to support your position against Christianity and the one piece of empirical evidence that you did present, against the reality of the soul, actually supported my position instead of your position as you had falsely believed.

    Your ineptitude with evidence would be absolutely hilarious for me if the consequences for your soul, in rejecting Christianity, were not so dire.

    You also rail on and on about your particular interpretation of certain scriptures (an interpretation which holds that man has no soul) (an interpretation which I have, contrary to your accusation, addressed in post 111 and especially post 119), number 1, as if your interpretation were authoritative instead of just your personal, and peculiar, interpretation of scripture that is out of sync with the mainstream opinion of Christian scholars and laymen that has been held throughout history, number 2, as if your particular, and peculiar, interpretation of scripture is authoritative in refuting the empirical evidence from Quantum Biology, Biological Form, and Near Death Experiences that has been presented against your position.

    Given how out of sync your interpretation of scripture is (i,e, again you hold that man has no soul, according to scripture), one would think that you would be a bit more humble in presenting your case, but alas, scant humbleness is to be found on your part.

    Then, to top it all off, you accuse me of the very same thing that you yourself are repeatedly guilty of. (i.e. repeating unsubstantiated claims over and over again as if they should be accepted without question.)

    Sorry J-Mac, despite such bad habits that you may have picked up from Darwinists, that is just not how science, (nor Biblical hermeneutics), works.

    Like I said before, I am very happy with the current state of evidence from modern science as it fits with my presuppositions as a Christian.

    Frankly, I could not think of a better fit, and have been pleasantly surprised over and over again by what our best science reveals to us about reality and how it all fits into a cohesive structure for reality that fits hand in glove with my Christian presuppositions, For instance:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk
    Paper:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nRZECqs8Iqeqv0GzP5lV6et_K9_rYrz06Tchoa4U0Rw/edit

    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.

  143. 143
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist at #134:

    Your long discourse quoted here simply repeats the same old and unconvincing ideas.

    However, it does not address in any way the problem I have stated at #131:

    “By the way, you have never explained how, in your brilliant opinion, complex functional information (yes, the prescriptive type, what you call “non explicatory knowledge”) can arise without any intervention of beings capable of generating descriptive information (what you call “explicatory knowledge”).”

    Your coconut example does not even start to address the problem.

    First of all, you make some basic philosphical errors: for example, the simple “rule of thumb” derived from seeing the coconut falling and cracking open is, in itself, explanatory knowledge: indeed, it relies heavily on:

    a) Projecting a cuase – effect relationship to the sequence coconut falling – coconut cracking open

    b) Inferring that other coconuts will crck open if they fall from the same tree

    c) Desiring coconuts to crack open and

    d) Therefore attempting to establish a procedure based on the inference at b) and the desire at c).

    All that can only be done by conscious intelligent agents, capable of explanatory knowledge, as you call it.

    But that is not the real problem.

    The real problem is that you completely ignore the role of complexity in your “rules of thumb” (prescriptive information).

    Functional complexity is the whole point of ID, and you never address it.

    A coconut falling from a tree is a common event. That the coconut cracks open when falling is a rather common event too.

    The problem is when the prescriptive information to implement a function is extremely complex, and could never happen spontaneously in a non design system.

    For example, the code for Excel would never occur spontaneously. It is prescriptive information (a very complex “rule of thumb”: if I click on the icon, a window appears, and I can do things with it). But how do you explain that the icon is there, and that it starts a very complex software which works?

    This is what you should address. Instead of building silly and abstract theories about why ID is false, please explain your ideas about how complex functional information, prescriptive information, can originate, unless it is created by conscious intelligent beings, capable of descriptive information (explanatory knowledge, in your language).

    That is the explanation that I have requested, and that you have not given.

  144. 144
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    By the way, you could also try to address my old challenge, that nobody has ever tried to answer:

    Will anyone on the other side answer the following two simple questions?

    1) Is there any conceptual reason why we should believe that complex protein functions can be deconstructed into simpler, naturally selectable steps? That such a ladder exists, in general, or even in specific cases?

    2) Is there any evidence from facts that supports the hypothesis that complex protein functions can be deconstructed into simpler, naturally selectable steps? That such a ladder exists, in general, or even in specific cases?

  145. 145
    critical rationalist says:

    @Barry

    He will be completely unfazed after you have destroyed his argument with logic and evidence. Instead, he will simply repeat his argument over and over and over and over as if you never said anything.

    Funny you should mention this, as I have several arguments that you have yet to refute.

    Example? How have you managed to infallibly identify and infallibly interpret a source of objective moral values? Reason always comes first.

    Your response is to say this question confuses ontological with epistemology. But, my response is to say this is parochial in that is assumes morality isn’t about solving concrete moral problems.

    What’s the point of arguing over the ontological status of x if you can’t solve for x? How does this actually solve the problem?

    Specifically, to say “there must be some objectivity morally true duty or value that would be applicable in this concrete scenario and I believe it is x”, doesn’t actually solve the problem of providing guidance when faced with actual concrete moral problems. It’s not even clear that any objectively true source prescribes anything in particular. That too is an assumption.

    Not to mention that the entire idea of sources in general is parochial.

    Again, in the context of solving a moral problem, what’s the difference, in practice, between “I believe x is the morally correct duty or value” and “there could be some objectively morally true duty or value, I believe there is one and I believe it is x”?

    Reason always comes first.

    From this article

    And indeed, you did realize this; and as a result, you reinterpreted your “direct experience,” which was identical to that of witnessing an ex cathedra declaration, as not being one. Precisely by reasoning that the content of the declaration was absurd, you concluded that you didn’t have to believe it. Which is also what you would have done if you hadn’t believed the infallibility doctrine.

    You remain a believer, serious about giving your faith absolute priority over your own “unaided” reason (as reason is called in these contexts). But that very seriousness has forced you to decide first on the substance of the issue, using reason, and only then whether to defer to the infallible authority. This is neither fluke nor paradox. It is simply that if you take ideas seriously, there is no escape, even in dogma and faith, from the obligation to use reason and to give it priority over dogma, faith, and obedience.

    This is just as applicable in the case of moral knowledge and concrete moral problems.

    So, I’ll ask yet again: If morally isn’t about concrete moral problems, in the form of moral knowledge we can use to solve them, then what is it for? Please be specific.

    Your response? To just repeat the same argument, over and over as if I had not said anything.

  146. 146
    critical rationalist says:

    @gpuccio

    “well adapted to serve a purpose” = an object which has high functional information (the specific information which is necessary to implement the define function).

    ?I’m referring to something more fundamental and unifiyng. To make a distinction, do you considerer a watch something that contains information? The watch is well adapted, in that varying it would significantly impact it’s ability to serve that purpose nearly as well, if at all. It’s hard to vary.

    The rock has low functional information in relation to the function of “being used as a sundial”, because many different rocks in the search space of rocks can be used for that.

    It doesn’t matter if there were a trillion rocks or just one. The rock in question could be significantly modified and still serve the purpose of a sun-dial just as well. It’s easily varied. It can be used to tell time at at all because the knowledge of how to tell time is in us, like the knowledge of how to tell time is in the watch.

    If you made a 10 inch rock very flat, you could still turn it on it’s long side and it would tell time, as a sundial, just as well. Modify it so it is much thinner? It still cast a shadow just as well for the purpose of telling time. Cut it’s size in half proportionally? Still works just as well.

    But the watch? it’s a rare configuration of matter. You cannot modify the aspect of it that performs the task of telling time while retaining its ability to do so just as well. It’s hard to vary.

    Of course. In all my definitions, the function is objectively defined by some conscious agent.

    Except. With the exception of changing its orientation, we’re not varying the rock to better adapt it for the purpose of telling time. The knowledge of how to use a rock to tell time is in us and remains there, throughout the process. We’re well adapted, not the rock.

    This is an important point. The only “non-material” concept I have used here is consciousness. I treat consciousness empirically, and I do not try to explain what it is. It is an observable.

    I’m not following you. You’re using the concept of a different kind of thing (“non-material”), then presented consciousness as being supposedly an example of that kind of thing. Furthermore, are you suggesting that you can empirically observe something non-material? How would that work? Please be specific. If that’s the case, you’re a shoe in for a Nobel prize.

    Nor do I see how your your lack of an attempt to explain conciseness relevant.

    Consciousness, as far as we can observe, is a simple property: a single subjective “I” which refers to itself a multitude of different formal perceptions.

    First, you’re getting ahead of yourself, because it’s unclear how we can observe consciousness to know it’s simple. And there’s the thing about how conciseness ends integrates all of the pre-processed input from my brain, as opposed to the pre-processed input from your brain, etc. Is that simple too?

    But, if we take you seriously, this same non-material aspect supposedly can serve the same purpose that our brains, nerves and eyes serve as well, during a NDE. Is it still simple then? Why wasn’t it capable of doing so before if not being unwell adapted to serve that purpose?

    In that sense, the point is not really that it is “non-material”. The important point is not what it is (which is probably beyond the inderstanding of science, at least at present), but the simple fact that it cannot be explained in terms of configurations of material objects.

    First, I would again point out, there are no non-material computers. Yet, the explanation for the universality of computation is not found at the level of atoms. It represents a disproportional leap to universality from a specific repertoire of computations.

    Second, if you’re suggesting the means by something works is beyond the understanding of science, then it’s unclear how you know what it is or is not capable of. Are you assuming our experiences in the future will be like experiences we’ve had in the past? But what does that have to say about anything other than what human beings will experience, as opposed to what reality, or non-material things are like?

    That should already answer your “points”. Consciousness has no functional information, because functional information is a property of material objects, indeed of their configuration.

    ?First, you’re begging the question, in that your assuming your conclusion.

    Second, then why does it serve a any function? Why doesn’t it serve all functions simultaneously?

    Can a watch serve the same purpose as, say, a flame thrower? A watch is well adapted for the purpose of telling time, not covering fuel into long streams of flaming liquid. It cannot serve that purpose because it is not well adapted to serve that purpose. However, if you took a clock the size of, say, Big Ben, you could well adapt it to serve the purpose of a flame thrower. Right? But in the process, it’s no longer well adapted for the purpose of telling time. It’s just as well adapted for that purpose as the rock, because it cast a shadow. Right? The key point here is that well adaptedness goes both ways. There are purposes a watch cannot serve, including that of a flame thrower because it’s not well adapted to serve those purposes.

    This leads me to my statement that things in our bubble only appear to be explicable if we careful avoid asking specific questions, because they supposedly depend on some inexplicable sea.

    If conciseness cannot be well adapted to serve the specific purse is supposedly serves, then, in turn, it cannot be unwell adapted to prevent it from serving other purposes as well, right? In fact, you seem to suggest that, during an NDE, this non-material aspect can suddenly serve the very purposes it previously could not, (the purpose that our nervous system serves), despite not changing (becoming well adapted to serve those same purposes)

    The best explanation we can have as to why human beings have brains is because “Zeus rules” here too.

  147. 147
    critical rationalist says:

    @gpuccio

    You’re effectively asking me to explain how a non-authorative source of knowledge can be an authoritative source of knowledge. Of course, I can’t explain that. Nor will anyone else.

    This is because, knowledge doesn’t come from authoritative sources. You’re fundamentally mistaken about that. If that is your criteria then, of course, I haven’t addressed that.

    It’s an unreasonable expectation.

  148. 148
    critical rationalist says:

    I’ll ask again, why does the non-material aspect of us serve any purposes at all, or every purpose, if it’s not well adapted to serve some purposes but not others?

    The best you can say is, “it’s not supposed to”. Right? But that is the equivalent of saying “Zeus rules” here.

  149. 149
    ET says:

    I’ll ask again, why does the non-material aspect of us serve any purposes at all, or every purpose, if it’s not well adapted to serve some purposes but not others?

    Why does the non-material aspect of computers serve any purpose at all, or every purpose, if it’s not well adapted to serve some purposes and not others?

  150. 150
    critical rationalist says:

    @ET

    What non-material aspects of computers might you be referring to?

  151. 151
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    Your way of reasoning is becoming pure delirium (or maybe it has always been).

    Briefly, for the parts that still can make some sense:

    a) “Well adapted for”, “modifiable” and so on are all vague concepts that express the functional information in the object. What can be modified in the configuration without affecting the function is not part of the functional information. What cannot be modified is part of it. I suppose you have never understood the concept of functional information, and the way to compute it. But believe me, your terms are vague and absolutely non scientific.

    b) You say:

    “But, if we take you seriously, this same non-material aspect supposedly can serve the same purpose that our brains, nerves and eyes serve as well, during a NDE. Is it still simple then? Why wasn’t it capable of doing so before if not being unwell adapted to serve that purpose?”

    Completely wrong, again.

    Consciousness represents things subjectively, Those things are inputs from some external source.

    During NDEs, consciousness does the same thing as before. But the inputs are different. They don’t come from the physical world, certainly not from the world we experience during our human life.

    And yes, consciousness is still simple. And it experiences complex things.

    c) Of course consciousness is observable. Each of us can observe his own conscious experiences, knowing that he is experiencing them subjectively, and that there is one unifying subject that perceives the different experiences and refers them to itself. How do you think that we know that consciousness exists? By reasoning on watches and rules of thumb?

    d) The empirical reason why I speak of consciousness as “non material” is because we cannot explain it by any reference to configurations of material objects. IOWs, it is a pristine experience and knowledge, which does not depend on other concepts. Indeed, all other concepts depend on it.

    e) You say:

    “You’re effectively asking me to explain how a non-authorative source of knowledge can be an authoritative source of knowledge. Of course, I can’t explain that. Nor will anyone else.”

    I am only asking you how do you explain that proteins exist. It does not seem to be the same question, even if we want to consider your words as meaning something vaguely understandable.

    But luckily you clarify everything in the following paragraph:

    “This is because, knowledge doesn’t come from authoritative sources. You’re fundamentally mistaken about that. If that is your criteria then, of course, I haven’t addressed that.

    It’s an unreasonable expectation.”

    OK, my last statement was sarcasm, for those who did not realize it! 🙂

  152. 152
    critical rationalist says:

    a) “Well adapted for”, “modifiable” and so on are all vague concepts that express the functional information in the object.

    Except, you still haven’t answer my question. Are you saying a watch contains “information” beyond what time it is? Since a watch is not a self replicator, it doesn’t contain the information of how to construct a copy of itself from raw materials. As such, how does a watch represented “functional information” in the traditional sense?

    During NDEs, consciousness does the same thing as before. But the inputs are different. They don’t come from the physical world, certainly not from the world we experience during our human life.

    I’m not sure you’re actallly reading my comments, as the NDE included an out of body experience in which they saw themseves as if standing behind themsves. The scene appeared as if they had eyes that detected light that bounced off objects, and had been pre-processed by their brain, etc. They saw the scene as if they had used their senses, but were not.

    Again…

    Here BA77 is appealing to the claim that people are supposedly able to accurately perceive things that could not be perceived though their nervous system.

    Are you saying this must be false because the non-material aspect of us can only interact with our brains? And since any input not from our brains wouldn’t be pre-processed by our nervous systems, then our non material aspect of ourselves couldn’t make heads or tails of it?

    Since we do not have eyes floating behind us in tow via nerves that lead to our brains, wouldn’t that mean that non-material part was interacting with something other than our brains, such as raw unprocessed photons that are behind out bodies?

    Were they not perceiving their body “from the physical world,”? Was it unlike the what “we experience during our human life.”? How did the non-material aspect of us achieve that if not by interacting with the material world though something other than a brain? Did it interact with someone else’s brain in the room? Did it interact with the photons bouncing off their own body?

    Something other than our brain is at work here. Is it non-material too? And, apparently, our non-material consciousness can access it as well. So, why can’t it access at times other than an NDE?

    And how can consciousness be simple if it can interface both material inputs of our brain and whatever is at work during an near death out of body experience?

    c) Of course consciousness is observable. Each of us can observe his own conscious experiences, knowing that he is experiencing them subjectively, and that there is one unifying subject that perceives the different experiences and refers them to itself.

    If by “observe”, you mean see with your eyes, then no, it’s not. Our eyes only detect light and we don’t even observe that as it is, which is electrical crackles. So, it’s unclear how we can observe consciousness.

    We experience being conscious. But we also regularally experience two shapes as being two different colors when they are actually identical collars. We know the latter is false via criticism. Our brains cause us to experience colors of shapes that are in shadow as being lighter than they actually are.

    d) The empirical reason why I speak of consciousness as “non material” is because we cannot explain it by any reference to configurations of material objects. IOWs, it is a pristine experience and knowledge, which does not depend on other concepts. Indeed, all other concepts depend on it.

    I’m not following you. Are you saying that conciseness does serves a purpose because it is well adapted, we just don’t yet possess that explanation yet? And if we do come to possess it, it will somehow no longer be non-material?

    If not, then why does it serve any purpose at all? Why doesn’t it serve every purpose?

    Again, no better explatinon can be hand other than “it’s not supposed to”, which is arbitrary choice, not a necessary one. It is equivalent to saying “Zeus rules” here.

  153. 153
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    “Are you saying a watch contains “information” beyond what time it is?”

    Of course. The information necessary to build a wroking whatch. It can also be expressed in digital form. This is absolutely obvious.

    “Since a watch is not a self replicator, it doesn’t contain the information of how to construct a copy of itself from raw materials.”

    It contains the oinformation about how a watch is. the information about how to build it is additional information. It is not in the watch, but to builf a watch you certainly need the information that is in the watch, plus some additional information about how to build it. IOWs, you need the plan and the procedure.

    “I’m not sure you’re actallly reading my comments, as the NDE included an out of body experience in which they saw themseves as if standing behind themsves. The scene appeared as if they had eyes that detected light that bounced off objects, and had been pre-processed by their brain, etc. They saw the scene as if they had used their senses, but were not.”

    In OBEs, like in NDEs in general, consciousness has formal experiences. In OBEs, those experiences can include perceptions of the physical world. However, consciousness represents those inputs. But the inputs themselves come through formal instruments. You could call them “mental instruments”, if you like. And yes, it seems that there are non physical senses at work. But consciousness is always the final step, the single I which represents all the inputs, whatever they are, and refers them to itself.

    “How did the non-material aspect of us achieve that if not by interacting with the material world though something other than a brain? Did it interact with someone else’s brain in the room? Did it interact with the photons bouncing off their own body?”

    We don’t know in detail. I would say with perception instruments which are mental, and not physical. But that is an issue which should be investigated, as we get more information about NDEs. The simple fact that you do not understand how something happens does not mean that it does not happen.

    “And how can consciousness be simple if it can interface both material inputs of our brain and whatever is at work during an near death out of body experience?”

    I don’t see any problem in that. The perceiving I is simple. It represents different things, according to the different conditions it experiences, in its personal history. Including life, death, and after death.

    The same I represents waking expereinces and dream experiences. They are different things, but the I is the same.

    “If by “observe”, you mean see with your eyes, then no, it’s not.”

    Of course I don’t mean that. Would you say that the testimony of our ears, for example, has no scientific validity?

    “We experience being conscious. But we also regularally experience two shapes as being two different colors when they are actually identical collars. We know the latter is false via criticism. Our brains cause us to experience colors of shapes that are in shadow as being lighter than they actually are.”

    No. Our subjective experiences are always real, they are facts. The correspondence of the experience with physical properties of the object can be differently precise.

    Being conscious is certainly a fact. It does not correspond to any property of outer objects, so there is no problem of correspondence here.

    To be more clear, an hallucination is a real subjective experience, a fact. It’s content, however, does not correspond to a real external object.

    Consciousness is real, and it is objectively observed (intuitively, not by the senses) by ourselves.

    “I’m not following you. Are you saying that conciseness does serves a purpose because it is well adapted, we just don’t yet possess that explanation yet? And if we do come to possess it, it will somehow no longer be non-material?”

    I don’t follow you. Consciousness is. It is real. It experiences purposes, does not serve them.

    As I said, maybe there is a purpose in the existence of conscious beings, but that is not in the range of science at present.

    But conscious beings represent things as desirable or undesirable, and therefore have purposes among their representations. They seek joy, and try to avoid pain. Those are purposes. Those are purposes in consciousness, not served by consciousness. You make a lot of confusion with your terms, and your language is vague and imprecise.

  154. 154
    ET says:

    What non-material aspects of computers might you be referring to?

    Software

  155. 155
    J-Mac says:

    BA77,

    If you think I have not provided any evidence against the immortality of the soul, why don’t you answer my questions regarding the Adam and Eve scriptures?
    Are you afraid that God is going to punish you with hotter hell if you come to the right conclusions? 😉
    How can you be sure you are going to heaven? What about if you are mistaken and are set to go to hell? Your making sure it exists makes it more exciting… 😉

  156. 156
    critical rationalist says:

    CR: Are you saying a watch contains “information” beyond what time it is? Since a watch is not a self replicator, it doesn’t contain the information of how to construct a copy of itself from raw materials. As such, how does a watch represented “functional information” in the traditional sense?

    gpuccio:Of course. The information necessary to build a [working] whatch. It can also be expressed in digital form. This is absolutely obvious.

    If it contained information of how to build a working watch, then it would contain a list of instructions necessary for something to transform raw materials into a watch. If this is obvious, then you should be able to obviously point it to such a list.

    It contains the [information] about how a watch is.

    It’s unclear how this is information in the traditional sense. What form does it take?

    the information about how to build it is additional information. It is not in the watch, but to builf a watch you certainly need the information that is in the watch, plus some additional information about how to build it. IOWs, you need the plan and the procedure.

    If I received a list of instructions of what transformations of raw materials to perform and I performed them to the letter, I would’t end up with a watch? I’d have to actually have a pre-built version of that watch too, and use it how exactly?

    And yes, it seems that there are non physical senses at work. But consciousness is always the final step, the single I which represents all the inputs, whatever they are, and refers them to itself.

    This is a distinction without a difference. My claim was that having a material brain would be arbitrary. Specially, it wasn’t necessary for us to experiences things though them. Your preference to compartmentalize non-matrial processes into multiple “non-things” (whatever that means) doesn’t change this. If, at any point, a person has a OBE that appears indistinguishable from a experience that would have gone though their eyes, nervous system, brain, etc. then it’s possible without them and they could have been omitted. Right?

    We don’t know in detail. I would say with perception instruments which are mental, and not physical. But that is an issue which should be investigated, as we get more information about NDEs. The simple fact that you do not understand how something happens does not mean that it does not happen.

    I’m trying to take your view seriously, for the purpose of criticism, by assuming it did happen and there are real consequences of it happening.

    Namely if it happened, it would have happened independent of a eyes, nerves and a brain, because the persons eyes, nerves and brain didn’t have the physical access necessary give the user that perspective, which eventually was integrated by conciseness. If there were true, this implies that eyes, nerves and a brain were an arbitrary choice by the designer, as they were not needed to achieve the very same thing.

    CR: “And how can consciousness be simple if it can interface both material inputs of our brain and whatever is at work during an near death out of body experience?”

    G: I don’t see any problem in that. The perceiving I is simple. It represents different things, according to the different conditions it experiences, in its personal history. Including life, death, and after death.

    I’m not following you. if it is compatible with all of these multiple inputs, then what causes the perceiving I from perceiving just one of those inputs individually instead of all at once? What prevents me from experiencing the input from my eyes, nerves and brain and the input people experiences during a OOB NDE? Not to mention inputs of “the light” that people experiences during other NDEs?

    Your choice to consider this supposedly necessary non-material “input switcher” as somehow separate from conciseness, then claiming conciseness is simple does’t change the fact that it would be a necessary compilation. It’s unclear how this actually helps.

    Apparently, it doesn’t happen all at once because “it’s not supposed to”?

    Of course I don’t mean that. Would you say that the testimony of our ears, for example, has no scientific validity?

    As I’ve said before, theories are tested by observation, not derived from them. It’s unclear why you would assume this would be any different in the case of what we hear.

    Consciousness is real, and it is objectively observed (intuitively, not by the senses) by ourselves.

    We do not experience more than one vantage point at a time, as opposed to multiple vantage points. Are you suggesting it would be impossible to experience two “I”s simultaneously because we haven’t done so in the past? Furthermore, there are gaps in our consciousness, such as when we are under anesthesia, etc. In the absences of the input of our brain, why don’t we switch over to an OOBE or see “a bright light”, etc. as people do during a NDE?

    Let me guess, the answer is, it’s “not supposed to” as well?

    CR: “I’m not following you. Are you saying that conciseness does serves a purpose because it is well adapted, we just don’t yet possess that explanation yet? And if we do come to possess it, it will somehow no longer be non-material?”

    G: I don’t follow you. Consciousness is. It is real. It experiences purposes, does not serve them.

    You are equivocating.

    For your convenience…..

    … consciousness is always the final step, the single I which represents all the inputs, whatever they are, and refers them to itself.

    So, to rephrase….

    Are you saying that conciseness [performs the final step, and just that final step] because it is well adapted, we just don’t yet possess that explanation yet? And if we do come to possess it, it will somehow no longer be non-material?”

    If not, then why does it [perform any steps at all]? Why doesn’t it [perform every other “step” as well]?

    Again, it seems the best you can say is, it performs just that step because “it’s supposed to.” And it doesn’t perform other steps, because “it’s not supposed to.” Nothing you’ve said seems to conflict with this.

    From an earlier comment….

    If we exist in a bubble of explicably that exists in a sea of inexplicability, the best explanation we can have for anything in that sea is that “Zeus rules” there. But it doesn’t end there. Why? Because our bubble of explicably supposedly depends on this sea in a myriad of ways. So, the best explanation we could possibility have for anything inside this bubble is “Zeus rues” here, as well. As such, things inside this bubble only appear explicable if you carefully avoid specific questions, such as the one’s I’ve just asked.

  157. 157
    bornagain77 says:

    J-Mac, I am more than satisfied that I have made my case and am also more than happy to let the readers decide for themselves who is being fair and who is being dogmatic.

  158. 158
    gpuccio says:

    critical rationalist:

    A watch obviously has information. Even if it does not include instructions about how to build it, an observer can derive a lot of informatio just examinining the object.

    A detailed list of how to build the watch would include bothe the information about what the watch is, and the information about how to build it.

    Your reasonings about information in the watch clearly demonstrate that you don’t understand what information is.

    For example, if we look at a protein, we can get the right sequence from it. Of course, that is not enough to synthesize the protein, if we don’t have the tools to do that. But it is a fundamental information about the protein itself.

    Your ideas are really wrong about this point.

    “Your preference to compartmentalize non-matrial processes into multiple “non-things” (whatever that means) doesn’t change this. If, at any point, a person has a OBE that appears indistinguishable from a experience that would have gone though their eyes, nervous system, brain, etc. then it’s possible without them and they could have been omitted. Right?”

    Wrong. I have never said that there are multiple “non things”. What do you mean by “things”? I have said that there can be objective inputs that do not come from the physical world we know, or that come from the physical world thorugh different channels. All objective realities are “things”. The only reality which is not a thing is the perceiving I, which is a subject, and not an object.

    Moreover, OBEs are not indistinguishable from a normal experience in the body. Of course, if you see the outer world, and your body in it, from some perspective which is not tied to the body itself, that is a very different experience. Even you would be able to understand the difference, if you experience it.

    “Namely if it happened, it would have happened independent of a eyes, nerves and a brain, because the persons eyes, nerves and brain didn’t have the physical access necessary give the user that perspective, which eventually was integrated by conciseness. If there were true, this implies that eyes, nerves and a brain were an arbitrary choice by the designer, as they were not needed to achieve the very same thing.”

    Wrong. they are necessary during human physical life. They are no more necessary in the new state. Even in dreaming you see things without using the eyes.

    “Apparently, it doesn’t happen all at once because “it’s not supposed to”?”

    Here you make no sense. I cannot answer arguments that have no sense. You ask why it doesn’t happen all at once. I could ask why it should. Both statements are silly.

    The fact is that it happens as it happens. Again, we must start with facts, not with your imagination.

    I don’t know if Zeus rules, but certainly “critical rationalist rules” is not a really satisfying idea.

    “As I’ve said before, theories are tested by observation, not derived from them. It’s unclear why you would assume this would be any different in the case of what we hear.”

    This is senseless. Of course theories are derived from observations. And sometimes tested on new observations. But it’s always the facts that rule.

    “Are you suggesting it would be impossible to experience two “I”s simultaneously because we haven’t done so in the past? Furthermore, there are gaps in our consciousness, such as when we are under anesthesia, etc. In the absences of the input of our brain, why don’t we switch over to an OOBE or see “a bright light”, etc. as people do during a NDE?”

    Again you are confused. One can certainly experience two or more mental contents simultaneously (or apparently so: computers tell us that it is difficult to define real simultaneity and distibguishb it from mutli-tasking). But that means that one same I is experiecing different things. As usual.

    Two different “I”s experiencing different things is a very common event. For example, you and I certainly experience different things.

    Let’s imagine that for some strange situation I could experience, more or less at the same time, my thoughts and your thoughts. It would still be me experiencing that double content. The subject is always one. My thoughts and your thoughts would become, in the end, my experience. Or yours. But you cannot have two subjects conjoined in one subject. Each subject is simple and unique. Always.

    Sleep, dream and anesthesia are not suppression of consciousness. Consciousness still exists, but in a different condition. The fact that memory of that condition is not retained in the waking state is not evidence that no consciousness was there.

    Finally, as I have said, consciousness, the final step where inputs become subjective, is not well adapted. Your very vague coincept of being well adapted, which is only an imprecise form of functional information, does not apply to consciousness, because consciousness is not a sum of parts, and has no objective configuration. Again, it is simple.

    And still you do not address how proteins came into existence.

    Listen, if you cannot come with something which is more similar to reasoning, I will not go on answering your comments.

  159. 159
    ET says:

    My claim was that having a material brain would be arbitrary.

    In what sense? I agree it is arbitrary as it isn’t determined by any law

    Specially, it wasn’t necessary for us to experiences things though them.

    Not so. Did you actually make that case? Or did someone else? Where?

    The whole point is there is a reason for us-> our human form. And it seems that part of that reason is to experience things that the spirit/ soul alone cannot. Things that only come from the physical form and all it entails.

    As for the watch- it contains, at a minimum, all of the information needed to build it. That information can be teased out by reverse engineering it.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, the watch manifests coherent, functionally specific, complex organisation with information being implicit or latent in its structures and systems; an exploded view diagram draws that out in explicit terms, as may be seen in say AutoCAD etc. This information we can routinely deduce by way of reverse engineering, much as Paley discussed 200+ years ago in his Natural Theology. And BTW, just after the discussion of stumbling on a rock vs finding a watch in a field in Ch 1, Paley discussed recognising a watch that is self-replicating in Ch 2, implying that algorithmic sequences and procedures would be embedded to achieve that. This anticipated the discussion in von Neumann on self-replicating automata by what, 140+ years? KF

    PS: Notice, Orgel:

    living organisms are distinguished by theirspecified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

    [HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:]

    These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure.

    [–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant J S Wicken “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002, also cf here,

    here and

    here

    — (with here on self-moved agents as designing causes).]

    One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions.  [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes [–> Orgel had high hopes for what Chem evo and body-plan evo could do by way of info generation beyond the FSCO/I threshold, 500 – 1,000 bits.] [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196.]

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    J-Mac, consider the scriptural definition of physical death: “as the body without the spirit is dead . . . ” and likewise spiritual death is about alienated separation of the creature’s spirit from God: “Your sins have separated . . . “. Thus, we need to appreciate that death has a sense of violation of wholeness akin to severing a branch from a vine leading to decay or manifested in decay and of course fruitlessness. By contrast, redemption, regeneration and spiritual rebirth have to do with restoration of relationship with God, and eschatological resurrection of not mere restoration of mortal life but transformation of body to a spiritualised immortal form: “as in Adam all die so also in Christ shall all be made alive . . . ” From this, we see that there is an implied understanding that humans are trans-dimensional amphibians, embodied living souls. I suggest that the human soul is best understood as a bridging interface between spirit [the transdimensional inner self and core of identity] and body [the readily observable outer man]. In this context, the spiritual aspect [often called soul by the Greeks] is not subject to disintegration and loss of existence once created. However, it can be alienated from its true source and object and fulfillment through alienation from our Creator, both in time and in eternity, the latter being spoken of as the second death. Perhaps, these thoughts may help? KF

  162. 162
    LocalMinimum says:

    A practical illustration of gpuccio’s point could be found in simulation programming. If I am to simulate a mechanism, I need data that details its configuration to feed to the physics functions.

    So, I’d have a data structure for an existing object. The necessary configuration of that data to achieve the desired function would be the information spoken of.

    The data for a process to actually build that object from otherwise configured materials would be another data structure/record entirely.

  163. 163
    critical rationalist says:

    @Gupccio (@KF, @LM)

    Your responses are distinctions without a difference in respect to the points I’m making. Which is….

    If we exist in a bubble of explicably that exists in a sea of inexplicability, the best explanation we can have for anything in that sea is that “Zeus rules” there. But it doesn’t end there. Why? Because our bubble of explicably supposedly depends on this sea in a myriad of ways. So, the best explanation we could possibility have for anything inside this bubble is “Zeus rues” here, as well. As such, things inside this bubble only appear explicable if you carefully avoid specific questions, such as the one’s I’ve just asked.

    According to you, non-material aspects of ourselves do not perform a specific purpose (Or, if you like, perform the “work” in a specific step) due to being well adapted to serve that purposes. So, if we take that claim seriously, my question is, why does it serve any specific purpose at all? Or, to rephrase, why doesn’t it perform other purposes (or steps) just as well?

    This includes the use of material brains to experience the physical world. At best, you can say, we have brains because “we’re supposed to”. That’s a arbitrary choice. We could just as well not have brains, and get same outcome due to non-material aspects playing the same role because it was decided that “they’re supposed to”, as opposed to “not supposed to” .

    Example of a distinction without a difference? One can just as well say that the rock “obviously” contains information. Where each atom is located in the confines of the rock, its density, if it is made of limestone, etc. But it’s still not well adapted for the purpose of telling time, because you could make an exact copy of it, then ignore that information by significantly modifying it, and it would still serve the purpose of telling time just as well. The knowledge of how to use a rock to tell time is in us, not the rock.

    However, the watch is well adapted for the purpose of telling time. In constructor theoretic terms, it contains knowledge. The includes what we would traditionally consider information, and extends to the well adaptedness of the watch itself. This is a unification, not something vague, as this unification allows us to make exact statements that scale, rather than vague ones that are scale-dependent.

    So apparently, you’re all proponents of constructor theory as well, you just don’t realize it or don’t understand it?

    Furthermore, if a watch, which isn’t a self-replicator, contains “information” then what is UB going on about interpretation being necessary for evolution? Does the information in a watch need to be interpreted too?

    Apparently, the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.

    Another example? You’re focused on the definitions of words, instead of the ideas they represent and my criticism of them.

    Your preference to consider conciseness as “non-material” and some source of inputs as not “from the physical world” as somehow distinct, doesn’t seem to make any meaningful difference if neither of them serve a purpose because they are well adapted to serve that purpose. It’s unclear why either of them serve no purpose or every possible purpose. In the case of the latter, it would make all but one of them unnecessary. Furthermore, it’s unclear how something non-material can be distinct if not based on being well adapted in a way that something else is not. What else is there?

    Nor is it clear what “switches” between these inputs if consciousness just experiences what it receives. Is that non-material too? Is it complex?

    That’s like arguing that a CRT TV is simple because it just excites phosphorus on the in side surface of a tube. But that ignores the rest of the parts necessary to make it work, such as the receiver, a means to switch channels, something that performs the role of the automatic channel switching fail-over system you described during NDEs, the radio spectrum, the broadcast towers, the cameras that detect light, the relatively close proximity of the receiver to the tower, etc. Apparently, there are entire broadcasts stations that are not physical, yet act like a physical broadcast system?

    Apparently, some broadcast stations are material, while other are not, because that’s “just the way it’s supposed to be”, not because a broadcast station serves the purpose of broadcasting because it’s well adapted to serve the purpose of broadcasting TV channels.

    If something can serve a purpose without being well adapted to serve it, then why can’t it serve any other purpose as well, including that of eyes, nerves, brains, etc.?

    Another example?

    Moreover, OBEs are not indistinguishable from a normal experience in the body. Of course, if you see the outer world, and your body in it, from some perspective which is not tied to the body itself, that is a very different experience. Even you would be able to understand the difference, if you experience it.

    That’s my point! If people actually experiences OOBNDE, that difference is what excludes the use of eyes, nerves and brains and an explanation for what would otherwise be equivalent to standing behind someone else if you had physical eyes, nerves an brain, etc. The only difference is a distinction without a difference.

    Since conciseness can supposedly receive different “inputs” depending on if your experiencing a NDE, this experience could be mimicked exactly. Just send conciseness the “input” of photons that that would have impacted the retinas of your eyes, if you had them, when not experiencing and NDE. At which point, it’s indistinguishable, right? Specially, since non-material things can serve purposes without needing to be well adapted to serve those purposes, something non-material could serve the very same purpose of an eye without necessary being well adapted like an eye actually is. And you could say the same about the nerves that go between our eyes and our brains, and our brain itself. etc. Right?

    In addition, why would you need multiple non-material things? We need multiple material things because they must necessarily be well adapted to serve specific purposes, which in turn, means they are necessarily not well adapted to server other purposes. But non-material things supposedly don’t need to be well adapted at all. Supposedly, they cannot be adapted, yet still serve a purpose. So, why not the purpose of our eyes, and the nerve that goes between it and our brain, and our brain as well, etc?

    The best you can say is that “it could, but it’s just not supposed to”, as compared to, “it cannot because it’s not well adapted to serve that purpose.” The former is arbitrary, the latter is not.

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