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Why “neuroaesthetics” isn’t going anywhere

arroba Email

Unintentionally explained in a recent Science article:

While current neuroscientific methods are adept at probing stable and relatively universal properties of our minds, they are challenged by historically contingent qualities of art, such as the intent of an artist or redefinitions of what constitutes art, as French-American artist Marcel Duchamp did famously with his urinal museum piece in 1917. Artworks are often vehicles for ideas embedded in specific contexts. The meaning of individual works of art can be fluid and subject to different interpretations across viewers, cultures, and time. Reactions to art—whether joy, disgust, or anger—often pertain to the ideas being conveyed. Understanding the context in which the work was produced, the intent of the artists, and the historical and cultural conversation in which it was engendered enhances one’s appreciation. Neuroscience methods do not easily grasp these complex aspects of the richly textured meaning of art.

These are early days in neuroaesthetics, and the contours of the field’s methods and research agenda continue to evolve. …

The problem is, it’s just not clear then how to apply the methods of science to something that depends so much on the unstable and non-universal. At least in this piece, neuroscientist Anjan Chatterjee avoided crackpot evo psych theories. We needn’t trip over our own banana peels if we focus on art and responses thereto for which we have actual evidence—instead of making claims about what our early ancestors supposedly “would have” liked and found meaningful. We can’t usually even predict that for the future a century hence.

@SteveGoss I looked over it, and while I do think that it is indeed enlightening, I never found a single thing regarding medieval thought. VunderGuy
Correction - here's a link with the info. http://www.ligonier.org/rym/broadcasts/video/battle-devil-april-2014/ SteveGoss
Hmm. for some reason it got truncated. http://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/angels_and_demons/the-adversary/ SteveGoss
Vunderguy- I heard it from R.C. Sproul. I don't remember exactly which lecture it was, but it might have been this one: SteveGoss
@Steve Goss Could you send me somewhere where I could verify the validity of what you said about the middle ages and how people back then thought that the best way to get people away from Satan was to mock him in artistic depictions of him. I don't doubt it, but, I would like the correct links to it. VunderGuy
@barb True, but with Jesus, they make it clear that he had a human appearance and nature and was not just a spirit. VunderGuy
Vunderguy -
@Barb So, what I’m getting is that it’s not clear if there is a certain look they must take and that it’s likely that any shape given to them is metaphoric of their character and given to them by humans, however, they still remain malignant and altogether not good, correct?
Yes. They're not completely physically described in the Bible but, then again, neither was Jesus Christ. In some biblical accounts such as Saul going to see the witch of En-Dor, a demon took the form of a person Saul recognized.
Also, it leaves things open as to how demons may act: I.E., they may be legitimately or falsely affable and well spoken in their evil nature instead of the ‘Ooga Booga’ depictions we often get?
Exactly. Barb
VunderGuy- For visual depictions of demons (and satan) you need to check out the middle ages. Somewhere around that time I've heard that some people in the church decided that the best way to repel the devil would be to mock him with sarcastic images of him having horns, a tail, a red suit, and a pitchfork. But subsequent generations thought that these depictions were what the original artists actually believed. And so they thought of the devil more as a buffoon than a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. SteveGoss
LUX AETERNA from Cristóbal Vila - video https://vimeo.com/57125220 bornagain77
Some art is timeless and refuses to be put into the context of a current fad Nature by Numbers - Fibonacci - video http://vimeo.com/9953368 View from the ISS (International Space Station) at Night - video https://vimeo.com/45878034# Baja California Timelapses - video (speaks a tension between time and timelessness that brings a holiness to mind and eye) http://vimeo.com/11892211 Shockfossil - Swallowtail Butterfly - photo http://shockfossils.deviantart.com/art/Swallowtail-134453289 Chalk Artist - Julian Beever - Goes 3-D (CBS News) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECeGwg7Cm0A 3-D Rubik's https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152400049964429&set=vb.86080409428&type=2&theater Beauty Evades the Clutches of Materialism – March 27, 2013 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/03/beauty_evades_t070321.html Though the preceding article was somewhat technical, it was almost comical to read how every approach, in which the materialists tried to reduce the subjective sense of beauty to a mere material mechanism, was thwarted.,, But alas, don’t those materialistic researchers have even the faintest clue that All Things Bright And Beautiful come from God?? All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate. The purple headed mountains, The river running by, The sunset and the morning That brightens up the sky. The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. The tall trees in the greenwood, The meadows where we play, The rushes by the water, To gather every day. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. Music and Verse: Animusic - Pipe Dreams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QStm3ZyzgY0 Psalm 90:17 - And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. bornagain77
@Barb So, what I'm getting is that it's not clear if there is a certain look they must take and that it's likely that any shape given to them is metaphoric of their character and given to them by humans, however, they still remain malignant and altogether not good, correct? Also, it leaves things open as to how demons may act: I.E., they may be legitimately or falsely affable and well spoken in their evil nature instead of the 'Ooga Booga' depictions we often get? VunderGuy
Vunderguy @ 7:
How are demons described Biblically?
The Bible teaches that the Creator himself is a Spirit and that his first creations were spirits. (John 4:24; Hebrews 1:13, 14) Further, the Bible mentions wicked spirits, sometimes referring to them as demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20, 21; James 2:19) Various religions might refer to them as goblins, ghouls, ghosts, genies/djinn, or demons. They originally were created as angels, to serve God in heaven. In time, they forsook their original position in heaven and materialized in human bodies to enjoy sexual relations with women. (Genesis 6:1, 2) The record mentions only males being born from those unnatural couplings. And it seems that the offspring were hybrids, unable to reproduce. They became known as mighty ones, Nephilim, or Fellers, since they would cause others to fall down. (Genesis 6:4; footnote) Evidently they were violent, aggressive, displaying no tender compassion. The angels that materialized were likely good-looking. And the Nephilim were big and muscular, but their mental attitude was twisted. When the Flood occurred, the materialized “angels that sinned” apparently returned to the spirit realm. (2 Peter 2:4; Genesis 7:17-24) In time, they came to be called demons.—Deuteronomy 32:17; Mark 1:34. There is a reference to a “goat-shaped demon” in the gospels. At both Leviticus 17:7 and 2 Chronicles 11:15 it is clear that the term (se?i•rim?, plural) is used in referring to things to which worship and sacrifice are given, and this in connection with false religion. The translators of the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, therefore, rendered the Hebrew word as “the senseless things” (LXX) and “the demons” (Vg). Modern translators and lexicographers in general adopt the same view in these two texts, using “demons” (Ro), “satyrs” (RS, AT, JB, JP), or “goat-shaped demons” (NW; see also Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, Leiden, 1958, p. 926, and A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1980, p. 972), exceptions being the translation by Robert Young, which renders the term literally as “goat(s),” and the American Standard Version, which uses “he-goats.” Joshua’s words at Joshua 24:14 show that the Israelites had been affected to some extent by the false worship of Egypt during their sojourn there, while Ezekiel indicates that such pagan practices continued to plague them long afterward. (Eze 23:8, 21) For this reason some scholars consider that the divine decree issued in the wilderness to prevent the Israelites from making “sacrifices to the goat-shaped demons” (Le 17:1-7) and Jeroboam’s establishing priests “for the high places and for the goat-shaped demons and for the calves that he had made” (2Ch 11:15) indicate there was some form of goat worship among the Israelites such as was prominent in Egypt, particularly in Lower Egypt. Herodotus (II, 46) claims that from such Egyptian worship the Greeks derived their belief in Pan and also in the satyrs, woodland gods of a lustful nature, who were eventually depicted as having horns, a goat’s tail, and goat’s legs. Some suggest that such half-animal form of these pagan gods is the source of the practice of picturing Satan with tail, horns, and cloven feet, a custom prevalent among professed Christians in the Dark Ages. While some consider them to be literal goats or idols in the form of goats, this does not necessarily seem to be indicated; nor do other scriptures provide evidence of that nature. The term used may simply indicate that in the minds of those worshiping them such false gods were conceived of as being goatlike in shape or hairy in appearance. History shows that the people of Syria and Arabia have long associated monstrous creatures with similar ruins, and the jinn of the Arabs are depicted as having monstrous hairy forms. Barb
@Mahuna Though I can agree largely with the gist of what you're saying, your critique of the rap genre was like reading a comedian's stereotypical recounting of their grandpa or an elitist prune or both. Look, I'm not going to deny that the genre has a bad rap that is largely deserved in some areas, but this kind of logic in knocking the entire genre is like saying all pop is garbage just because Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Rebecca Black exist. Furthermore, it shows a lack of understanding that 'them no good rotten young people today' are still just as loyal to the kind of music they like as the old folks who still listen to the Beetles and Elvis and that when them young people are old, they'll likely still be listening to Tupac and Biggie, and etc. VunderGuy
@StephenA 1. But they are described as being against the will of God, correct? 2. But, they are described as being a lot more nuanced and... what's the word I'm looking for... 'Apollonian,' I think is a good word, than the typical 'swallow your soul, swallow your soul, swallow your soul' Dionision portrayals, right? Or, at least, them being of the more sneaky kind of evil is of a possibility if the information is sparse enough, correct? VunderGuy
@Vunderguy I am not certain that the Bible does in fact explicitly say that they are fallen angels. I believe it may be implied at points, but I forget the references. It does however explicitly mention that they exist and describes what they have done in several cases. In those cases (that I recall) they are not described as having any physical form or appearance. StephenA
Moreover, as would be expected if General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:
The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete 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/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/C1A0802004/271 "It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was "lifted cleanly" from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state." Kevin Moran - optical engineer
As well, it is found the process that formed the image on the shroud had to be extremely powerful:
Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011 Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists. However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax. Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic. “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said. And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html
Personally, considering the extreme difficulty that many brilliant minds have had in trying to reconcile Quantum Mechanics and special relativity, i.e. QED, with Gravity, I consider the preceding nuance on the Shroud of Turin to be a subtle, but powerful, evidence substantiating Christ’s primary claim as to being our Savior from sin, death, and hell:
John 8:23-24 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.
There are many more nuances that support the view that God, through Christ, was necessary to reconcile General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, such as, for instance, biophotonic emissions from humans, te fact that higher dimensional mathematics is required to explain both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, Godel's incompleteness theorem,,,
THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS - DAVID P. GOLDMAN - August 2010 Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel's critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians The God of the Mathematicians - Goldman Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” - Kurt Gödel - (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed) http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/the-god-of-the-mathematicians
ans although there are many more nuances that support this, let's suffice it to stop there for right now. I hope what I have shown you thus far is more than enough to demonstrate that the universe is far more conducive to overriding Theistic concerns, particularly Christian concerns, than many atheists are willing to believe. Verse and Music:
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. Evanescence - My Heart Is Broken http://www.vevo.com/watch/evanescence/my-heart-is-broken/USWV41100052
VunderGuy, yes I firmly believe that is correct. And though I can't go much further than that theologically, scientifically I can give you a bit more. Theism has predicted two very different eternities, that awaits after death, for thousands of years. Modern science does indeed reveal two very different eternities to us. One eternity is revealed if a 'hypothetical' observer were to accelerate to the speed of light. The other, very different, eternity is reveal for a hypothetical observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole:
Time dilation Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity: In Albert Einstein's theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized: 1. --In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. 2.--In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation "The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass." Richard Swenson - More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12
To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.
Albert Einstein - Special Relativity - Insight Into Eternity - 'thought experiment' video https://vimeo.com/93101738 "I've just developed a new theory of eternity." Albert Einstein - The Einstein Factor - Reader's Digest - 2005
This higher dimension, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is also warranted, by logic, because light is not ‘frozen within time’, i.e. light appears to move to us in our temporal framework of time, yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light. The only way this is possible is if light is indeed of a higher dimensional value of time than our temporal time is otherwise light would simply be ‘frozen in time’ to our temporal frame of reference. Another line of evidence that supports the inference that ‘tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday’, at the ‘eternal’ speed of light, is visualizing what would happen if a hypothetical observer were to approach the speed of light. Please note, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).
Approaching The Speed Of Light - Optical Effects – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4
Moreover, as with any observer accelerating to the speed of light, it is found that for any ‘hypothetical’ observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole, that time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop for them. This is because the accelerative force of gravity at black holes is so intense that not even light can escape its grip:
Space-Time of a Black hole - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8
As well, tunnel curvature to the 'higher eternal dimension' is also noted in the preceding video. One thing that dramatically separates these two different eternities is their relation to entropy. The initial entropy of the universe is found to be a very orderly 1 in 10^10^123 whilst the entropy of black holes is found to be very chaotic:
Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang? “But why was the big bang so precisely organized, whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space." How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123. (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, – 1989) The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).” "Einstein's equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist." Kip S. Thorne - "Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy" pg. 476
i.e. Black Holes are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order such as the extreme order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang. Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternity of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of the ‘spiritually minded' persuasion! Another thing that dramatically separates these two different eternities is that special relativity can be joined with the 'conscious' universe of quantum mechanics, whereas gravity (general relativity) refuses all attempts at unification with quantum mechanics:
Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed. In the 1960s and '70s, the success of QED prompted other physicists to try an analogous approach to unifying the weak, the strong, and the gravitational forces. Out of these discoveries came another set of theories that merged the strong and weak forces called quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, and quantum electroweak theory, or simply the electroweak theory, which you've already been introduced to. If you examine the forces and particles that have been combined in the theories we just covered, you'll notice that the obvious force missing is that of gravity. http://www.infoplease.com/cig/theories-universe/quantum-mechanics-vs-general-relativity.html A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics - September 17, 2013 Excerpt: The amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity.,,, Even without unitarity and locality, the amplituhedron formulation of quantum field theory does not yet incorporate gravity. But researchers are working on it.,,, https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20130917-a-jewel-at-the-heart-of-quantum-physics/ A Capella Science - Bohemian Gravity! - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rjbtsX7twc
In light of this dilemma that the two very different eternities present to us 'spiritually minded' people, and the fact that Gravity is, in so far as we can tell, completely incompatible with Quantum Mechanics, it is interesting to point out a subtle nuance on the Shroud of Turin. Namely that Gravity was overcome in the resurrection event of Christ:
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.org/sre/PDF/pdf2012/30JulSpeIss/Antonacci.pdf A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. per khouse THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox. http://shroud3d.com/findings/isabel-piczek-image-formation
Modern art started when photography could easily reproduce real objects with very little skill or training. And so rejected more than 2,000 years of human attempts to comply with the understanding that "Beauty is Truth". The 20th century is easily the low point of art in the Western world with almost any piece of crap being accepted momentarily as "art" because the producer (whose is arguably NOT an "artist") is of the right crowd and has appropriate friends. Future generations will recognize this as some version of insanity, or a long running joke on society. Very, very few pieces of modern art will have any lasting value except as oddities. I saw a collection of Picasso's pen & ink drawings in Chicago once. It looked like the kind of stuff that guys find drawn on the walls of stalls in restrooms. Although there was a certain economy of lines and a precision generally lacking in the untrained artist. The same is true of popular music. It fell off a cliff someplace back in the '90s. Other than for archeological purposes, what would be the point of assembling a "greatest hits of Rap" album? I believe that we have no pretty much reached the point where the purpose of Western "art" is merely to be "different", which is to say immediately offensive or pointless. I don't think Neanderthals would understand or accept this. mahuna
@bornagain77 But you would say that the bible explicitly mentions that, at the very least, that that is what they are and that they do, indeed, exist, correct? VunderGuy
Perhaps Barb, StephenB or kairosfocus (or etc.) would be better people to ask that question on UD. I, like you, have a very rudimentary notion of demons as to being fallen spiritual beings who have turned against God. Other than that I have no clue what they actually look like (nor do I particularly care to personally find out :) ) bornagain77
How are demons described Biblically? If you can recall, I am a writer in college currently taking a Sci-FI/Fantasy class and I ask because my teacher seems to have a real hang-up with what I think is the cultural view of them being fiery, red, and etc and seems to hold that view as a knock against their existence even though I'm fairly certain that the only necessary qualifier for a demon is a finite spirit that opposes God and, while certainly evil and malevolent because of this, need not necessarily be so 'in your face' as the culture would have one believe. VunderGuy
VunderGuy, sure you can ask some questions. I can't guarantee that I will have the proper answers, or even that I'm the proper person to ask, but you can ask. But there are a lot of bright people on UD, certainly brighter than me, so, if you float the question, perhaps one of them can answer it more properly than I can. bornagain77
Hello born again. Speaking of the mind and consciousness, can I ask you some questions? VunderGuy
supplemental note: The Gene Myth, Part II - August 2010 Excerpt: “It was long believed that a protein molecule’s three-dimensional shape, on which its function depends, is uniquely determined by its amino acid sequence. But we now know that this is not always true – the rate at which a protein is synthesized, which depends on factors internal and external to the cell, affects the order in which its different portions fold. So even with the same sequence a given protein can have different shapes and functions. Furthermore, many proteins have no intrinsic shape, taking on different roles in different molecular contexts. So even though genes specify protein sequences they have only a tenuous (very weak or slight) influence over their functions. ,,,,So, to reiterate, the genes do not uniquely determine what is in the cell, but what is in the cell determines how the genes get used. Only if the pie were to rise up, take hold of the recipe book and rewrite the instructions for its own production, would this popular analogy for the role of genes be pertinent. Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D. – Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/gene-myth-part-ii.html bornagain77
Context dependency, and the insurmountable problem that it presents for ‘bottom up’ Darwinian evolution is perhaps most dramatically illustrated by the following examples in which ‘form’ dictates how the parts are used:
An Electric Face: A Rendering Worth a Thousand Falsifications – Cornelius Hunter – September 2011 Excerpt: The video suggests that bioelectric signals presage the morphological development of the face. It also, in an instant, gives a peak at the phenomenal processes at work in biology. As the lead researcher said, “It’s a jaw dropper.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi1Qn306IUU What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott – Winter 2011 Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements … take unique meaning from their context.[3]“,,, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/what-do-organisms-mean Intelligent Design Might Be Wrong, But Not the Way You Think by Stephen H. Webb - February 2014 Excerpt: Darwin, like all moderns, believed that matter was something particular, that matter is composed of small bits of stuff called atoms, and thus it can be pushed from behind, as it were, without being pulled from beyond, by form. http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/02/occasionalism-intelligent-design-and-the-myth-of-secondary-causation
I think pastor Joe Boot, although he is talking about the universe as a whole in the following quote, illustrates the insurmountable problem that ‘context dependency’ places on reductive materialism very well:
“If you have no God, then you have no design plan for the universe. You have no prexisting structure to the universe.,, As the ancient Greeks held, like Democritus and others, the universe is flux. It’s just matter in motion. Now on that basis all you are confronted with is innumerable brute facts that are unrelated pieces of data. They have no meaningful connection to each other because there is no overall structure. There’s no design plan. It’s like my kids do ‘join the dots’ puzzles. It’s just dots, but when you join the dots there is a structure, and a picture emerges. Well, the atheists is without that (final picture). There is no preestablished pattern (to connect the facts given atheism).” Pastor Joe Boot – 13:20 minute mark of the following video Defending the Christian Faith – Pastor Joe Boot – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqE5_ZOAnKo
Supplemental quote:
‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ - Stephen Meyer – (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate – 2009) Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video https://vimeo.com/91322260
Supplemental note as to aesthetics:
Aesthetic Arguments for the Existence of God - Peter Williams Excerpt: Beauty... can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this `idea' of beauty were not found in the mind in a more perfect form. http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/williams-aesthetic.shtml
Verse and Music:
Acts 10: 11-16 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. Creed - My Sacrifice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-fyNgHdmLI
as to the problem that 'context' presents to the materialistic understanding for aesthetics,,,
"Understanding the context in which the work was produced, the intent of the artists, and the historical and cultural conversation in which it was engendered enhances one’s appreciation. Neuroscience methods do not easily grasp these complex aspects of the richly textured meaning of art."
It is interesting to point out how this problem of 'context' keeps popping up for materialists. Just yesterday on ENV, "holistic interpretation" was pointed as to being a insurmountable problem for Artificial Intelligence:
What Is a Mind? More Hype from Big Data - Erik J. Larson - May 6, 2014 Excerpt: In 1979, University of Pittsburgh philosopher John Haugeland wrote an interesting article in the Journal of Philosophy, "Understanding Natural Language," about Artificial Intelligence. At that time, philosophy and AI were still paired, if uncomfortably. Haugeland's article is one of my all time favorite expositions of the deep mystery of how we interpret language. He gave a number of examples of sentences and longer narratives that, because of ambiguities at the lexical (word) level, he said required "holistic interpretation." That is, the ambiguities weren't resolvable except by taking a broader context into account. The words by themselves weren't enough. Well, I took the old 1979 examples Haugeland claimed were difficult for MT, and submitted them to Google Translate, as an informal "test" to see if his claims were still valid today.,,, ,,,Translation must account for context, so the fact that Google Translate generates the same phrase in radically different contexts is simply Haugeland's point about machine translation made afresh, in 2014. Erik J. Larson - Founder and CEO of a software company in Austin, Texas http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/05/what_is_a_mind085251.html
As clearly illustrating to problem that context, i.e. 'holistic interpretation', presents for the materialist, I highly recommend Wiker & Witt’s book “A Meaningful World” in which they show, using the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase that Dawkins’ used from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet to try to illustrate the feasibility of Evolutionary Algorithms, that the problem is much worse for Darwinists than just finding the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase by a unguided search, since the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase doesn't makes any sense at all unless the entire play of Hamlet is taken into consideration so as to give the “Weasel” phrase a proper context. Moreover the context in which the weasel phrase finds its meaning is derived from several different levels of the play. i.e. the ENTIRE play, and even the Elizabethan culture, provides contextual meaning for the individual “Weasel” phrase.
A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature – Book Review Excerpt: They focus instead on what “Methinks it is like a weasel” really means. In isolation, in fact, it means almost nothing. Who said it? Why? What does the “it” refer to? What does it reveal about the characters? How does it advance the plot? In the context of the entire play, and of Elizabethan culture, this brief line takes on significance of surprising depth. The whole is required to give meaning to the part. http://www.thinkingchristian.net/C228303755/E20060821202417/
It is also interesting to note what the actual context is for “Methinks it is like a weasel”. The context in which the phrase is used is to illustrate the spineless nature of one of the characters of the play. To illustrate how easily the spineless character can be manipulated to say anything that Hamlet wants him to say:
Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel? Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed. Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel. Pol. It is backed like a weasel. Ham. Or like a whale? Pol. Very like a whale. http://www.bartleby.com/100/138.32.147.html
After realizing what the context of ‘Methinks it is like a weasel’ actually was, I remember thinking to myself that it was perhaps the worse possible phrase Dawkins could have possibly chosen to try to prove his point, since the phrase, when taken into context, actually illustrates that the person saying it (Hamlet) was shamelessly manipulating the other character into saying a cloud looked like a weasel. Which, I am sure, is hardly the idea, i.e. deception and manipulation, that Dawkins was trying to convey with his ‘Weasel’ example. But is this context dependency problem that is found in literature, and computer programs, also found in life? Yes! Starting at the amino acids of proteins we find context dependency:
Fred Sanger, Protein Sequences and Evolution Versus Science – Are Proteins Random? Cornelius Hunter – November 2013 Excerpt: Standard tests of randomness show that English text, and protein sequences, are not random.,,, http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2013/11/fred-sanger-protein-sequences-and.html (A Reply To PZ Myers) Estimating the Probability of Functional Biological Proteins? Kirk Durston , Ph.D. Biophysics – 2012 Excerpt (Page 4): The Probabilities Get Worse This measure of functional information (for the RecA protein) is good as a first pass estimate, but the situation is actually far worse for an evolutionary search. In the method described above and as noted in our paper, each site in an amino acid protein sequence is assumed to be independent of all other sites in the sequence. In reality, we know that this is not the case. There are numerous sites in the sequence that are mutually interdependent with other sites somewhere else in the sequence. A more recent paper shows how these interdependencies can be located within multiple sequence alignments.[6] These interdependencies greatly reduce the number of possible functional protein sequences by many orders of magnitude which, in turn, reduce the probabilities by many orders of magnitude as well. In other words, the numbers we obtained for RecA above are exceedingly generous; the actual situation is far worse for an evolutionary search. http://powertochange.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Devious-Distortions-Durston-or-Myers_.pdf
Moreover, context dependency is found on at least three different levels of the protein structure:
“Why Proteins Aren’t Easily Recombined, Part 2? – Ann Gauger – May 2012 Excerpt: “So we have context-dependent effects on protein function at the level of primary sequence, secondary structure, and tertiary (domain-level) structure. This does not bode well for successful, random recombination of bits of sequence into functional, stable protein folds, or even for domain-level recombinations where significant interaction is required.” http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/23170843182/why-proteins-arent-easily-recombined-part-2
Moreover, it is interesting to note that many (most?) proteins are now found to be multifunctional depending on the overall context (i.e. position in cell, cell type, tissue type, etc..) that the protein happens to be involved in. Thus, the sheer brick wall that Darwinian processes face in finding ANY novel functional protein to perform any specific single task in a cell in the first place (Axe; Sauer) is only exponentially exasperated by the fact that many proteins are multifunctional and, serendipitously, perform several different ‘context dependent’ functions within the cell:
Human Genes: Alternative Splicing (For Proteins) Far More Common Than Thought: Excerpt: two different forms of the same protein, known as isoforms, can have different, even completely opposite functions. For example, one protein may activate cell death pathways while its close relative promotes cell survival. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102134623.htm Genes Code For Many Layers of Information – They May Have Just Discovered Another – Cornelius Hunter – January 21, 2013 Excerpt: “protein multifunctionality is more the rule than the exception.” In fact, “Perhaps all proteins perform many different functions by employing as many different mechanisms.” http://www.fasebj.org/content/23/7/2022.full
Since the researchers start with a false materialistic presupposition for consciousness,,,
"our brains never evolved to be sensitive to the shape of shadows"
,,, then they may want to first ponder the mystery of how consciousness 'emerges' from the particles of the brain before they ponder the mystery of how aesthetics emerges from the brain,,,
'But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can't even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don't even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.' David Barash - Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good. Matthew D. Lieberman - neuroscientist - materialist - UCLA professor (Harvard Neurosurgeon) Dr. Eben Alexander Says It's Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten - 10/24/2013 Excerpt: As long as scientists hold onto that simplistic (materialistic) thinking they are going to be mired down to never, ever explain consciousness or the enigmas of quantum mechanics. But there are a lot of scientists out there who do get it,,, The pure scientific materialist model that I worshiped for so many years has absolutely nothing to offer up in terms of explaining how consciousness might emerge from the physical brain.,,, consciousness is a far deeper, more profound mystery than "kindergarten level" scientific materialism offers up. Now that's why I include in my book the hard problem of consciousness and the enigma of quantum mechanics.,,, It's time for brain science, mind science, physics, cosmology, to move from kindergarten up into first grade and realize we will never truly understand consciousness with that simplistic materialist mindset. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ingrid-peschke/near-death-experiences_b_4151093.html The Hard Problem (Of Consciousness) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRG1fA_DQ9s David Chalmers on Consciousness - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo
Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
But I guess before these materialists try to tell us how consciousness emerges from a material basis, they may want to back up a step further and first tell us how information emerges from a material basis:
"Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter... These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism.'... Information doesn't have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn't have bytes... This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms." George Williams - Evolutionary Biologist "Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day." Norbert Weiner - MIT Mathematician - Father of Cybernetics

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