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Science questions whose answers we may never get


Science writer Ross Pomeroy offers us four. Here’s one:

How Is Consciousness Created?

Philosophers and scientists have been grappling with consciousness for thousands of years. The discussions and explorations have been lively, but altogether unable to uncover how consciousness arises. According to Philip Goff, an assistant professor of philosophy at Durham University, there’s a simple reason for that.

“You can’t look inside someone’s head and see their feelings and experiences. If we were just going off what we can observe from a third-person perspective, we would have no grounds for postulating consciousness at all… The best scientists are able to do is to correlate unobservable experiences with observable processes, by scanning people’s brains and relying on their reports regarding their private conscious experiences.”

This is interesting, but doesn’t drive to the heart of the issue, Goff says.

“What we ultimately want is to explain why conscious experiences are correlated with brain activity.”

Right now, we have no clue how to do that.

Ross Pomeroy, “Four Scientific Questions We May Never Know the Answers To” at RealClearScience (July 19, 2021)

Part of the problem is that everyone is dealing from the same deck. No one has “super” consciousness. That must make a difference in understanding.

For more on Philip Goff, see Meet the serious panpsychists.

The rest of the article addresses qualia, the Big Bang, and black holes. All worth reading.

While we don’t have a fully confirmed theory yet on how the material brain can produce consciousness, we do have a clue: https://academic.oup.com/nc/article/2020/1/niaa016/5909853 What we don’t have is any materialistic clue on the origin of life (which would include the ultimate origin of the brain itself, and of its consciousness): https://evolutionnews.org/2020/09/james-tour-molecules-dont-care-about-life/ MikeW
What this article is really saying is that nobody understands about choice, subjectivity, emotions, and personal opinion anymore. mohammadnursyamsu

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