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If the mind can control a robot arm …

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From Huffington Post

Mind Controlled Robot Arm Lets Paralyzed Man Drink a Beer on His Own

… doesn’t that mean mind over matter?

A man paralyzed for 13 years can finally have a drink on his own again, thanks to a robotic arm he’s able to control using his brain. More.

See also: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism but then the brain got away

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5 Replies to “If the mind can control a robot arm …

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    … doesn’t that mean mind over matter?

    It seems to be the physical brain doing the controlling. I suspect that if you anesthetized the man the robot arm would do nothing. Whatever the ontological status of the mind, the material brain appears to be needed needed to mediate between the mind and the material world.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Seversky,that really doesn’t mean anything, as everyone knows.

    If someone bust up the signal switchbox on my street, I couldn’t send or receive messages. That doesn’t mean that the [signal switchbox] is “doing the controlling.”

    It is 2015. You gotta do better than this.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following article, Dr. Nelson ties the ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design:

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause,, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that you, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    You didn’t walk through the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.
    You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.
    You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, relates how he performed, for an audience full of ‘academics’, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his hand,,

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....qlE#t=746s

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    It does say he is able to control the robotic arm using his brain (as opposed to his mind). But what does “mind over matter” mean in this context?

    This part is interesting:

    “So in this trial, we were successfully able to decode these actual intents, by asking the subject to simply imagine the movement as a whole, rather than breaking it down into myriad components.”

    Quite amazing, but it’s not clear that this device is interfacing with anything nonphysical.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    The robot arm would work the same as real arms. Our thoughts do touch the material world. I think they only are attached to our memory.
    The guy is sending info to the robot arm no different then his own arm or something close to it.

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