Neuroscience

Materialists respond to backlash against materialist neuroscience

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Recently, I have been noting the current backlash against materialist neuroscience (here, for example.)

No surprise, there is a “rebacklash.” At the New Yorker, Gary Marcus, defending the mind as merely the brain in motion, warns,

The worst possibility of a full-scale, reckless backlash against neuroscience, to the exclusion of the field’s best work, is that it might sacrifice important insights that could reshape psychiatry and medicine. A colleague at N.Y.U., the neuroscientist Elizabeth Phelps, wrote in an e-mail: “It would be ridiculous to suggest that we shouldn’t use brain science to help in the treatment/diagnosis of mental disorders, but if one takes the [current backlash] to the extreme, that is the logical conclusion.”

And who but her ever suggested any such thing?

If I could take climbing the tree in the back yard to an extreme, I would end up on the moon. And so?

The backlash against materialist neuroscience is based on the fact that brain scanners do not really read minds, and the field has been mercilessly exploited by vendors of nonsense in the meantime.

Gary Marcus helpfully says,

Perhaps as neuroscience progresses, it is possible for objective, physiological assessment of the brain to win out as the ultimate arbiter of truth when it comes to the mind. But that’s a long way off, if it ever will be possible at all. For now, we still need fields like psychology and psychiatry, which take the mind as their starting point, rather than the brain, to complement neuroscience.

Note the little words “For now.” The materialists are not going away, they are just waiting for a new gimcrack to come along.

And they honestly believe it will.

Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

24 Replies to “Materialists respond to backlash against materialist neuroscience

  1. 1

    But psychiatrists themselves do neuroscience. It isn’t either/or. If we want to understand the mind and its disorders we need to understand the brain, and if we want to understand the brain and its disorders, we need to understand the mind. They are two sides of the same coin, not separate entities.

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    How do you know the mind and the brain are the same thing? That’s like saying a comnputer and the software are the same thing- however they ain’t.

  3. 3

    Mind and brain are not the same thing, and I did not say that they were. Heads and Tails are not the same thing either!

    I’d say that the mind is a property of an entire organism. A brain is merely one of the organs that enables an organism to have a mind, albeit probably one of the most important. To understand how minds malfunction, understanding how brains malfunction is useful. But, equally, understanding how brains malfunction, understanding how minds malfunction is important. Depression, for example, can be either “exogenous” – the result of tragedy, or stress, or “endogenous” – the result of sub-optimal neurotransmitter systems, or both, or an interaction between the two.

    And whatever the cause, the treatment may be pharmocological, psychological, or both. And the point about psychiatrists is that the deal with both – not just the mind-stuff but also the brain-stuff.

    John Krystal, professor of translational neuroscience at Yale, is a psychiatrist, and uses the analogy of making a horseshoe: heat alone won’t shape the horseshoe, and hammering it cold will merely break it. But heat (pharmacology) may prepare the horseshoe (brain) in such a way that the hammer (psychological or cognitive interventions) can reshape horseshoe (the malfunctioning networks).

    And there is increasing evidence for malfunctioning brain networks in people with mental disorders.

    I don’t think mental health care is well-served by polarisation between mind-people and brain-people.

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    My apologies for the misunderstanding.

    I’d say that the mind is a property of an entire organism.

    So it emerges as the organism develops?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Not to knock medicine in the least, in fact I just had to take two aspirin for a headache, but I would like to relate something I learned fairly recently which is inexplicable to the materialistic/atheistic framework. But first to back up a bit to a few years ago to give full context. It was not too long ago that atheists had infected our culture with their gene centric view of reality in which it was popularly believed, besides physical traits such as color of hair or eyes, that specific genes also caused specific behaviors. Such as a gay gene, fat gene, or alcoholism gene, or you name it etc..,, and the result of such thinking being that if you had a particular gene there was really nothing you could ever do to ever change your behavior. i.e. On a genetic reductionism view of reality you were forever inextricably bound to that particular behavior since it was genetic.,,, This following video humorously reveals the bankruptcy that atheists had in trying to firmly ground such ‘genetic reductionism’ beliefs in reality;

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

    But this belief in Genetic Reductionism, which grounds the popular materialistic/atheistic belief that behaviors are caused primarily by genes, is not so easily overturned just by pointing out the absurdity inherent within it as John Cleese did in his video. For it turns out that the modern synthesis of neo-Darwinism is itself built upon a genetic reductionism model (i.e. DNA, makes RNA, makes protein,,, The Central Dogma).,,, And although cortical inheritance had for several decades gave clues that DNA was not the ‘be all end all’ entity that Darwinists envisioned it to be, the major blow against the gene-centric view of reality that Darwinists have was first felt a few years ago with ‘non-random’ epigentics:

    Evidence of biological process that embeds social experience in DNA that affects entire networks of genes – October 11, 2012
    Excerpt: Early life experience results in a broad change in the way our DNA is “epigenetically” chemically marked in the brain by a coat of small chemicals called methyl groups,,,
    “This study provides strong evidence of a biological process that embeds social experience in DNA in the brain that affects not just a few genes but entire networks of genes,” says Szyf. “We highlighted the immense importance of the social environment during childhood and illustrated the profound consequences of child adversity on the way our DNA is programmed.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....tml#ajTabs

    In fact it is now shown that epigenetic influences can cross generations:

    Epigenetics: Feast, Famine, and Fatness – Helen Kollias – December 25th, 2009
    Excerpt: In the last five to ten years, there has been more and more evidence showing there is a non-genetic part that can be passed down to children and even grandchildren. As of this summer there are over 100 scientific articles documenting non-DNA inheritance, also called transgenerational epigenetics (1).
    http://www.precisionnutrition......nd-fatness

    In fact, in direct contradiction to the central dogma of neo-Darwinism, Epigenetically induced changes to level of DNA have now been found:

    Non-Random and Targeted Mutations (Epigentics to the level of DNA) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTChu5vX1VI

    Of semi-related note: No less than Denis Nobel, President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, is now calling the gene-centric view of evolution false:

    Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology – Denis Noble – 17 MAY 2013
    Excerpt: The ‘Modern Synthesis’ (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection.,,, We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....4/abstract

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    But what I considered a particularly devastating blow to the central dogma of neo-Darwinism, genetic reductionism, was when the ENCODE consortium released studies last September strongly suggesting a ‘redefinition of the concept of a gene:

    Landscape of transcription in human cells – Sept. 6, 2012
    Excerpt: Here we report evidence that three-quarters of the human genome is capable of being transcribed, as well as observations about the range and levels of expression, localization, processing fates, regulatory regions and modifications of almost all currently annotated and thousands of previously unannotated RNAs. These observations, taken together, prompt a redefinition of the concept of a gene.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....11233.html

    But as if ‘redefining the concept of a gene’ and environmental epigentics were not enough to overthrow the gene-centric view of reality that Darwinists have, it is now found that ‘mental states’, i.e. thoughts and feelings, can have pronounced effects on the way ‘genes’ are expressed:

    Genie In Your Genes – video
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/ggtrailer.html

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    I was recently surprised to learn that the negative mental states of stress, and anxiety, have been shown to have a rather pronounced detrimental effect upon ones health:

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

    How those marital rows can be bad for your health by JENNY HOPE – December 2005
    Excerpt: Married couples who constantly argue risk damaging their health, according to a study.
    It found that marital rows can prolong the time it takes the body to heal itself after an injury.
    One argument alone can slow this process by a day.
    And the study claims that when married couples feel consistently hostile towards one another, the delay in the healing process can be doubled.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....ealth.html

    Whereas conversely, it is found that the positive mental state of happiness, love, caring, and nurturing, have a pronounced positive effect on health,,

    The health benefits of happiness – Mark Easton – 2006
    Excerpt: “It’s not just that if you’re physically well you’re likely to be happy but actually the opposite way round,” said Dr Cox.
    (Extensive studies show that) “If you are happy you are (much more) likely in the future to have less in the way of physical illness than those who are unhappy”.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/pro.....924180.stm

    Verse:

    Proverbs 17:22
    A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

    But not only does a positive attitude of cheerfulness, happiness, do a person good, love also has a pronounced effect:

    ABC News – The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

    Social isolation and its health implications January 2012
    Excerpt: Studies show that social isolation and/or loneliness predict morbidity and mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other diseases. In fact, the body perceives loneliness as a threat. Research from the University of California suggests that loneliness or lack of social support could triple the odds of being diagnosed with a heart condition. Redford Williams and his colleagues at Duke University directed a study in 1992 on heart patients and their relationships. They discovered that 50% of patients with heart disease who did not have a spouse or someone to confide in died within five years, while only 17% of those who did have a confidante died in the same time period.12
    http://www.how-to-be-healthy.o.....lications/

    Moreover the positive effect of a caring, loving, attitude is found to work both ways, in that not only does the person receiving loving care from another person heal more quickly, but it is also found that people of a giving, loving, nature also receive the tangible benefits of a longer and healthier life in return for pouring their love out onto another:

    Study finds it actually is better (and healthier) to give than to receive – February 4, 2013
    Excerpt: A five-year study by researchers at three universities has established that providing tangible assistance to others protects our health and lengthens our lives.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....thier.html

    Of course from a Theistic perspective this tangible effect of love is to be expected, whereas from a materialistic perspective, well to put it mildly, from a materialistic Darwinian perspective of survival of the fittest, i.e. dog eat dog, it is very counter intuitive to find as such:

    Music and verse:

    Mark 12:30-31
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

    For King & Country “The Proof Of Your Love” – Live Music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr9YVD05x8M

    And to further drive the nail home that we are not ‘victims of our genes’, as materialists believe, Jeffery Schwartz has done some fairly extensive work showing that focused attention can alter compulsive disorders..

    Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz – Focused Attention Changes Behavior – United Nations Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycnIO4o9vbE

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, despite some, what I consider, very dubious studies done by atheists in which the ‘personal aspect’ of prayer was removed and the effects of prayer were negligible, Candy Gunther Brown exposes that fallacy of atheists and has highlighted the fact that ‘personal’ prayer itself is in reality effective in healing:

    Testing Prayer: Science and Miraculous Healing – Candy Gunther Brown at Boston College – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRfLooh3ZOk

    related notes:

    A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature on Intercessory Prayer – March 2010
    Excerpt: Meta-analysis indicated small, but significant, effect sizes for the use of intercessory prayer,,
    http://rsw.sagepub.com/cgi/con.....t/17/2/174

    Of humorous note on prayer:

    What happened when an semi-famous atheist dared God to show Himself? Sci-fi author John C. Wright shares his story. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfO0raZlMCQ

    Verse and Music:

    And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:13-14

    Selah – Bless The Broken Road (Live) – Music Videos
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7PK7DPNX

  8. 8
    Robert Byers says:

    Elizabeth B Liddle
    There is no evidence that mental health problems have behind them wiring problems. Where’s the evidence as opposed to a presumption and watching things light up on a brain scan.
    its all a attempt to say our minds and brains(and anything in between) are knobs and buttons and we are not in reality brilliant thinking beings like our creator! We are not animals and dumb like they are. They are not brains/minds with unevolved wiring issues. thats just evolutionary gibberish with no evidence as usual.

    By the way depression is not about wiring neurons but is a simple issue of memory interference. its simply thoughts stuck in the memory regardless if the original thoughts/problem has dissipated or ceased.
    depression is just on a continuum with phobias etc. like a phobia its a stuck memory that has kept around beyond its time of original impulse of perceived important fear/trouble.
    i think depressions could be healed, after the causes are dissipated, by snapping it out of the memory like they do with phobias sometimes.
    Tricky but i think it could be done.
    One won’t do this if one thinks its about complicated brain wiring.
    no healing acoming soon!

  9. 9

    Joe:

    So it emerges as the organism develops?

    Yes, I’d say so.

  10. 10

    Robert:

    There is no evidence that mental health problems have behind them wiring problems. Where’s the evidence as opposed to a presumption and watching things light up on a brain scan.

    Well, there is considerable evidence, Robert – I’ve even published some of it myself. Yes, it’s correlational, based on both structural and functional brain scans (not on the brain “lighting up” – it doesn’t! What “lights up” are the statistical values for the tested hypothesis in each voxel).

  11. 11

    Robert:

    i think depressions could be healed, after the causes are dissipated, by snapping it out of the memory like they do with phobias sometimes.
    Tricky but i think it could be done.

    Yes indeed, also with PTSD.

    And indeed brain research supports what you say. You might be interested in this paper:

    Are the neural substrates of memory the final common pathway in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

  12. 12
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Elizabeth , there are many things that cannot be explained by the brain such as for example veridical near death experiences and sharers death experiences which cannot be explained in a metholodologically materialistic worldview, but then again we all know that you have a biased philosophical worldview that will not allow you to look at the evidences in an unbiased way.

    It’s no wonder that atheists score so high on a particular quotient syndrome test 😉

  13. 13
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Oops, I meant shared death experiences.

  14. 14

    Elizabeth , there are many things that cannot be explained by the brain such as for example veridical near death experiences and sharers death experiences which cannot be explained in a metholodologically materialistic worldview

    Well, it’s not clear to me that those experiences cannot be “explained by the brain”. But I’m certainly open to the possiblity, if it can be systematically demonstrated. But all attempts that I know of to do so have failed. Certainly if clear evidence of “non-local mind” could be demonstrated, I’d alter my position. But I do not find the evidence currently on offer persuasive.

    but then again we all know that you have a biased philosophical worldview that will not allow you to look at the evidences in an unbiased way.

    I’m not sure how you “all” know this, and I don’t think it’s particularly true (although I’m sure I have my biases like everyone else). But I’m certainly not “biased” in the way that you seem to assume. Indeed I still miss the faith I lost.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Contrary to what most dogmatic materialists/atheists may claim, there is now unambiguous evidence for a ‘mind element’, i.e. consciousness, within us which is not reducible to a materialistic basis. Though there are many lines of evidence from quantum mechanics converging on this fact, and quite a storied history of atheists moving goal posts,,,

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTBygadaM4#t=156s

    ,,,the simplest evidence from quantum mechanics to understand which directly undermines the materialistic/atheistic view of reality is the following experimental evidence:

    in the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

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

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

    Why Quantum Physics (Uncertainty) Ends the Free Will Debate – Michio Kaku – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLR5vNKiSw

    Moreover, the ‘unjust scale’ that Darwinists use when fairly evaluating evidence for NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) is extreme:

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

    “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.

  16. 16
    Barb says:

    Robert writes,

    By the way depression is not about wiring neurons but is a simple issue of memory interference. its simply thoughts stuck in the memory regardless if the original thoughts/problem has dissipated or ceased.

    Depression isn’t fully understood even though it’s been known by medical science for over 2000 years. It may be caused by chemical excess or deficiency, or it may be a purely psychological condition. Remember that “depression” covers a complex, multifaceted group of disorders. Some medications like tricyclic antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, and serotonin agonists have proven successful in treating depression, making it likely that it is a problem of “wiring neurons.”
    Our thoughts flow from one nerve cell to the next in the form of electrochemical impulses. A proper mood depends on their undistorted flow. The ends of the nerves do not touch. The nerve impulse stimulates the production of chemical neurotransmitters that bridge the gap and our thought continues undistorted. The chemical balance in this area called the synapse is vital.

    depression is just on a continuum with phobias etc. like a phobia its a stuck memory that has kept around beyond its time of original impulse of perceived important fear/trouble.

    No, it’s not. Here are some forms of depression:
    Demoralization and Grief: A low feeling because of some upsetting event such as a death, divorce, loss of job, medical problems or other stressful situation.
    Low-Grade Chronic Depression (Depressive Neurosis): The “blues” continue. There is a general negative feeling and dissatisfaction. One feels fatigued and loses interest in family and friends. Often there are feelings of worthlessness, anxiety and anger.
    Major Depression: “You feel like you are in the pits of the earth,” said one sufferer. There is no relief. Sleeping habits change; there is loss of appetite. The person feels full of guilt and may wish he were dead. Overwhelming feelings of dread, anxiety and lack of ability to concentrate. This may in some cases alternate with periods of normal behavior.
    Manic Depression: Periods of high elation—wild spending sprees, working around the clock, constant action—followed by deep depression.

    Phobias, on the other hand, are intense, unrealistic fears of an object, an event, or a feeling. They’re more psychological than physical. Phobias are classified among a group of ailments called anxiety disorders. Other anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

    Simple phobias focus on an object or a situation, such as insects, animals, flying, and being in closed spaces. Agoraphobia usually occurs in conjunction with panic attacks. The sufferer fears having a panic attack to the extent that he or she avoids all places and situations where previous attacks occurred. Social phobias are characterized by a fear of being embarrassed in public settings, such as speaking before an audience.

    i think depressions could be healed, after the causes are dissipated, by snapping it out of the memory like they do with phobias sometimes.

    See above; depression has been treated successfully with medications as well as various forms of therapy (talking to a psychiatrist, group therapy, etc.). “Snapping out of it” is really not an option for some people.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Or related note to relieving depression:

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? – 2000
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    In practical terms, religious people have the upper hand on atheists in several other areas. They drink and smoke less, are less likely to abuse drugs, and they stay married longer. After a stressful event like bereavement, unemployment, or illness, those who worship don’t take it as hard and recover faster. All of the above are likely to be beneficial to a person’s happiness. Additionally, religious people, as a result of their beliefs, have a greater sense of meaning, purpose and hope in their lives.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    Gallup Poll of 676,000 shows the most religious Americans have highest well-being – February 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ell-being/

    Of course individual results may vary, but I personally find having a tremendous hope in a future that does not end in oblivion to be a very positive thing:

    “I think death is an illusion. I think death is a really nasty, bad lie. I don’t see any truth in the word death at all” –
    Pam Reynolds Lowery (1956 – May 22, 2010)
    http://christopherlovejoy.com/.....eally-are/

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely Monitored NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

  18. 18
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Elizabeth, Pam Reynolds is the best example of a veredical nde that happened while the patient was monitored. The evidence is incredibly compelling that what was happening could not be explained by materialists.

    She could not hear what she heard or have seen what she saw throigh her normal auditory and visual systems. Her eyes were taped shut, she was in an induced coma . On top of that she had specially molded ear plugs and had an instrument inserted into her ear that made a loud clicking sound.

    http://youtu.be/WNbdUEqDB-k

    http://youtu.be/osfIY4B3y1U

    Elizabeth, the mark of whether an event happened shouldnt be based on whether that event can be repeated in a lab. This is only valid for people that ascribe to scientism .

    Pamela even described the device that was being used to cut into her head even though she had no visual access to the device.
    These are just some veridical Nde’s available to look at .

    I would also recommend looking into the work of doctor Pim Van Lommel , a cardiologist who was a materialist until he started to research the nde experiences of his patients over the span of many years. His research caused him to change his world view and he became a spiritualist .

    http://youtu.be/cJg5Ci2UNpk

    This is part one of his interview. The other 2 parts can be found on the right hand side.

    Elizabeth, if you Truely miss your faith you will do as many did and with an open mind SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND 🙂

  19. 19
    wallstreeter43 says:

    I see that born again allready posted the Pam Reynolds video. Good work my friend 🙂
    Lets see Elizabeth explain these things away with the brain alone.

  20. 20

    wallstreeter43:

    Elizabeth, the mark of whether an event happened shouldnt be based on whether that event can be repeated in a lab. This is only valid for people that ascribe to scientism

    .

    Thanks for the links, wallstreeter43, which are interesting. However, I must disagree with your implication that replicability is “only valid for people that ascribe to scientism”.

    It is the usual standard required for scientific inference. However, you are correct that it doesn’t have to be “repeated in a lab”. What is much more important is that we can make predictions that are supported by new data.

  21. 21
    Robert Byers says:

    Elizabeth B liddle
    A welcome conclusion from the link you gave me.
    Its a right direction, as i see it, to see memory as the actual problem with species, at least , of depressions.
    I think it could be healed with a actual pill one day if they can target the triggering mechanism of memory. Tricky but better then fixing the wiring in brains.
    YEC creationism demands the conclusion we only think with our soul and so the material world can’t affect our thinking. Therefore only the case of the memory , which is of the material world for man and beast, can be damaged.
    So only interference with the memory can be the problem with all problems in human thinking.

  22. 22
    Robert Byers says:

    Barb
    I understand how drugs help depressions but all they do is affect chemicals involved affecting our memory. not much diffeent then alcohol i say.
    Alcohol also only affects the triggering mechanism for memory.
    So i would say its wrong not to see phobias as exactly the same thing as depressions. The same mechanism.
    The phobia comes from a original conviction, memory, of a threat that later despite intellectual rejection of the threat still the person is terrified. This is simply a stuck memory. not much different then getting a song stuck in ones head. beyond simple free will in getting rid of it. yet still just a issue of memory interference.
    Likewise depressions are just part of this continuum .
    They are stuck memories .
    they are not chemical problems but memory triggering problems.
    the triggering mechanism just mimics/uses chemicals/neurons (if thats the words) but its not these conduits themselves that are the issue.
    Its simply over memorized conclusions not letting go.
    Manic depression is case in point.
    Elation to depression in short periods is about the dysfunction of the memory mechanism.
    The drugs just , possibly hopefully, slow the effects of the accompanying physical conduit that communicates the memory.

    Stuck in a phobia is just stuck in a depression and opposite.
    The same equation and not that complicated.
    The power of the memory is revealed and that its a part of the material world.
    Our souls do not get physically affected by depression save in thoughts.
    depressions are physicals things affecting our memory.

  23. 23
    Axel says:

    ‘Mind and brain are not the same thing, and I did not say that they were. Heads and Tails are not the same thing either!’

    They’re the same coin, Eizabeth. Do you believe mind and brain are a continuum? Or are you a dualist?

    ‘It (replicability) is the usual standard required for scientific inference. However, you are correct that it doesn’t have to be “repeated in a lab”. What is much more important is that we can make predictions that are supported by new data.

    Much more important? Hardly so important as to dispense you from accepting the logical implication of mind/body dualism empirically demonstrated by the highly-monitored surgical procedure on Pam Reynolds and, indeed, others.

    Short of accompanying her on her ‘astral travels’, I find it difficult to imagine how much more rigorous her monitoring could have been. How about you? Any suggestions?

    While it is not possible to replicate NDEs to order, the separation of the mind from the body has indeed been replicated innumerable times, in the same fashion.

    Of course, when dealing with an interface between spirit and matter, scientists don’t make the rules, or quantum mechanics would never have seen the light of day, would it? Still wouldn’t for the atheist Consensus, would it? How about you?

  24. 24
    keiths says:

    Hi UDers,

    I have a new post at TSZ:

    Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul

    In it, I explain why observations of split-brain patients pose a serious challenge to those who believe “that each of us has an immaterial mind or soul that constitutes our true self, and that the body, including the brain, is merely a vehicle ‘inhabited’ and controlled by the mind or soul.”

    I know that many of you believe in immaterial souls, so I would be interested in hearing how you can reconcile — and if you can reconcile — your belief in the soul with the fascinating characteristics of split-brain patients.

    I would of course prefer that you post your comments at TSZ, but here is fine too if you are TSZ-averse.

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