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The second round of Sheldrake vs Shermer = Mind vs brain

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Underway:

Sheldrake For committed materialists, psychic (psi) phenomena such as telepathy and the sense of being stared at must be illusory because they are impossible. Minds are inside brains. Mental activity is nothing but electro-chemical brain activity. Hence thoughts and intentions cannot have direct effects at a distance, nor can minds be open to influences from the future. Although psi phenomena seem to occur, they must have normal explanations in terms of coincidence, or subtle sensory cues, or wishful thinking, or fraud.

Dogmatic skeptics often repeat the slogan that “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.” But the sense of being stared at and telepathy are not extraordinary, they are ordinary. Most people have experienced them. From this point of view, the skeptics’ claim is extraordinary. Where is the extraordinary evidence that most people are deluded about their own experience? Skeptics can only fall back on generic arguments about the fallibility of human judgement.

First round:

This is getting to be fun.

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8 Replies to “The second round of Sheldrake vs Shermer = Mind vs brain

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Amoeba-inspired computing system outperforms conventional optimization methods – June 1, 2015
    Excerpt: Researchers have designed and implemented an algorithm that solves computing problems using a strategy inspired by the way that an amoeba branches out to obtain resources. The new algorithm, called AmoebaSAT, can solve the satisfiability (SAT) problem—a difficult optimization problem with many practical applications—using orders of magnitude fewer steps than the number of steps required by one of the fastest conventional algorithms.The researchers predict that the amoeba-inspired computing system may offer several benefits, such as high efficiency, miniaturization, and low energy consumption, that could lead to a new computing paradigm for nanoscale high-speed problem solving.
    Led by Masashi Aono, Associate Principal Investigator at the Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and at PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, the researchers have published a paper on the amoeba-inspired system in a recent issue of Nanotechnology.
    “We demonstrated a way to harness the huge computational power of natural phenomena in terms of complexity and energy,” Aono told
    http://phys.org/news/2015-06-a.....thods.html

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    I greatly fear the intelligence of those scientists will hamper the infinite genius for serendipity of random chance.

    Now, if they had the brain of an amoeba…

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    One would only know if one was being stared at if one discovered it.
    So its already playing with odds.
    In reality one simply feels the sound in some way of someone staring at you.
    There is no inner mind to clue you in.
    There is no mind or brain. its , I say, just a single memory machine. Our soul is meshed to it.

  4. 4
    Box says:

    //Off-topic//

    Kairosfocus, I would like to respond to your post on Paley’s watch, but “comments are off”.
    – – – –
    – – – –
    The parts of a watch form a functional unity—they are all aimed at performing one single function. This harmonious directionality of the parts cannot be explained by the parts themselves, since the parts have no tendency to perform the function. In order to explain the harmonious directionality of the parts an external cause is required.

    1. A watch has one single function
    2. All the parts are aimed at performing this function
    3. This harmonious directionality cannot be explained by the parts
    Conclusion: an external cause is responsible for the harmonious directionality of the parts.

    The following qualities are necessarily part of the cause in order to be sufficient: plan, overview, knowledge of parts and skillful manipulation. IOW a “designer”.

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  6. 6
    Box says:

    KF, thank you very much. Can I bother you one more time? I would like to add the term “intrinsic” here:

    This harmonious directionality of the parts cannot be explained by the parts themselves, since the parts have no intrinsic tendency to perform the function.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, Done. Sorry on the no comments but a point needs to be made to those who resorted to an insistent threadjacking. KF

  8. 8
    Box says:

    KF, thanks again. I understand your motives. I’m certain there will be new opportunities to discuss this incredibly important topic.

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