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But why is the quantum world thought spooky anyway?

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From Nature:

Quantum ‘spookiness’ passes toughest test yet

It’s a bad day both for Albert Einstein and for hackers. The most rigorous test of quantum theory ever carried out has confirmed that the ‘spooky action at a distance’ that the German physicist famously hated — in which manipulating one object instantaneously seems to affect another, far away one — is an inherent part of the quantum world.

In quantum mechanics, objects can be in multiple states simultaneously: for example, an atom can be in two places, or spin in opposite directions, at once. Measuring an object forces it to snap into a well-defined state. Furthermore, the properties of different objects can become ‘entangled’, meaning that their states are linked: when a property of one such object is measured, the properties of all its entangled twins become set, too.

Zeilinger also notes that there remains one last, somewhat philosophical loophole, first identified by Bell himself: the possibility that hidden variables could somehow manipulate the experimenters’ choices of what properties to measure, tricking them into thinking quantum theory is correct.

That would be the evolutionary psychology version, right?: The physicists were naturally selected back on the African savannah to see things this way, to spread their selfish genes.  There is no way for a hairless primate to know how things actually are.

Leifer is less troubled by this ‘freedom-of-choice loophole’, however. “It could be that there is some kind of superdeterminism, so that the choice of measurement settings was determined at the Big Bang,” he says. “We can never prove that is not the case, so I think it’s fair to say that most physicists don’t worry too much about this.” More.

Great physicists were often not even materialists. See what they have said about immateriality and consciousness

Our friendly local physicist Rob Sheldon notes,

Quantum spookiness is only spooky to materialists–like Einstein himself. For physicists like Aristotle, you would expect there to be purpose and order and long-distance correlations. For example, if you made a machine to observe at 500nm wavelength, it wouldn’t be spooky to find that there was a source of 500nm light nearby that illuminated the laboratory. They are both “entangled” by design.

Not to worry, an American circuit court is going to strike that down soon.

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48 Replies to “But why is the quantum world thought spooky anyway?

  1. 1
    Jim Smith says:

    Einstein wasn’t a materialist:

    https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers#researchers_einstein

    These quotes by Einstein from Wikiquote explain his beliefs:

    I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

    My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.

    This next quote shows that Einstein’s beliefs were not merely based on faith but were shaped by his experiences working as a scientist.

    On the other hand, however, every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

    Did Einstein Believe in God? by John Marsh provides a very detailed discussion demonstrating the fact that Einstein believed in God. Marsh writes:

    To sum up: Einstein was – like Newton before him – deeply religious and a firm believer in a transcendent God.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Thanks! We shall let Rob Sheldon know and ask for a response. Out of interest, to what do you attribute Einstein’s dislike of quantum mechanics.

  3. 3
    Box says:

    What does the confirmed veracity of ‘spooky action at a distance’ mean for the mind-body causal interaction problem?

    Bill Vallicella:
    One of the standard objections to substance dualism in the philosophy of mind is that the substance dualist cannot account for mind-body and body-mind causal interaction. (…)
    The issue for now is simply this: How can two things belonging to radically disjoint ontological categories be in causal contact? But here again, Churchland seems to be laboring under a false assumption, namely, that causation must involve contact between cause and effect. But why should we think that this ‘billiards ball’ model of causation fits every type of causation? Why must we think of causation as itself a physical process whereby a physical magnitude such as energy is transferred from one physical object to another? On regularity and counterfactual theories of causation there is no difficulty in principle with the notion of a causal relation obtaining between two events that do not make physical contact.

    We can safely add ‘spooky action at a distance’ to the list of causality types that do not involve physical contact.

  4. 4
    awstar says:

    More “spooky action at a distance” causality:

    And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. — Jesus Christ

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Einstein was far more of a materialist in his philosophy than many people realize. Here he states:

    “I must confess that I was not able to find a way to explain the atomistic character of nature. My opinion is that … one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.”
    — Albert Einstein (1954) – Einstein from “B” to “Z” Springer, p. 151 – John Stachel
    Stated the year before he passed away after 3 decades of trying to find a way around quantum mechanics for a, in essence, ‘complete’ materialistic theory of everything.

    God Science: Episode One – The Simulation Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqVrIBkhqOo

    As to the oft repeated ‘Spinoza’s God’ quote which Theists use, Godel, Einstein’s closest confidant at Princeton, stated this in regards to Einstein’s Theistic beliefs:

    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/art.....ematicians

    In fact, Einstein was so wedded to the materialistic view of reality that Einstein even went so far as to deny the reality of free will itself.

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    In other words, Einstein took the importance of mind (and free will), as to coherently explaining reality, far too lightly, since he himself would not have been able to deduce relativity unless he possessed faculties of mind that are not reducible to a material basis.
    That is to say that Einstein, like Dawkins and other present day materialists, denied the reality of agent causality.

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    at 37:51 minute mark of following video, according to the law of identity, Richard Dawkins does not exist as a person: (the unity of Aristotelian Form is also discussed) i.e. ironically, in atheists denying that God really exists, they end up denying that they themselves really exist as real persons.

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    In fact, Einstein went so far as to deny that consciousness, i.e. ‘the experience of the now’, could ever be ‘turned into an object of physical measurement’.
    Einstein was once asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video or can be read in full context in the article following the video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, July 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://www.saintcd.com/science.....imitstart=

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    i.e. ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, and according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time. Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Here are a few quotes testifying to that effect:

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms –
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables –

    Although to be fair, Einstein did state this following quote the month before he passed away:

    “..the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious this illusion may be.”
    Albert Einstein – March 1955 (he passed away in April of that year)

    Moreover, it is interesting to note how Einstein’s relativity itself blends into ‘the experience of the now’.
    Both special relativity and general relativity reveal a higher dimensional ‘eternal framework’:

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    “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 (6:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jHnRqhnkyGs?t=364

    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, both the ‘eternal’ and tunnel aspects of special relativity are confirmed in NDE’s:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s66DchGhhD0

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively
    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightlin….._gydvW8jbI

    Of related interest: Long before Einstein ever came along, Jesus implored us to store treasure up in the eternal realm rather than storing them in the temporal realm that we currently live in:

    Matthew 6:19-21
    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Luke 20:36
    for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

    Of supplemental note: hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light. This is because time does not pass for them, yet, and this is a very big ‘yet’ to take note of; this ‘timeless’ travel is still not instantaneous and transcendent to our temporal framework of time (as quantum entanglement/teleportation is), i.e. Speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference, is still not completely transcendent of our framework since light appears to take time to travel from our temporal perspective. Yet, in quantum entanglement/teleportation of information, the ‘time not passing’, i.e. ‘eternal’, framework is not only achieved in the speed of light framework/dimension, but is also ‘instantaneously’ achieved in our temporal framework. That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of quantum information is instantaneous to both the temporal framework and the eternal speed of light framework, not just in, and to, the speed of light framework. Information entanglement/travel is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us in this temporal framework.

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Thus ‘pure transcendent information’ (in quantum experiments) is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks. Moreover, ‘instantaneous information’ is indeed real and the framework in which ‘It’ resides is the primary reality (highest dimension) that can exist, (in so far as our limited perception of a primary reality, i.e. highest dimension, can be discerned).

    “An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality”
    Akiane Kramarik – Child Prodigy –

    Verse and Music:

    Psalm 115:2-3
    Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
    Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

    Rich Mullins – Creed – music
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LR2hFP1yb4

  7. 7
    Axel says:

    BA77 #6

    ‘The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality.

    But quantum mechanics surely corroborates my contention that we each live in a world of our own, seamlessly integrated and coordinated by God.

    In fact, though I have not yet been able to find the passage again in the book, Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer, I believe Einstein is quoted somewhere early in the book as having said that people misunderstood the major breakthrough of his theory, in that it was actually that truth is, in a sense, a personal perception. If so, it accords with QM, like the quote from Max Planck below, accords with your rephrasing of the import of the latest QM findings:

    Paraphrase of BA77:
    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now of the mind’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Max Planck:
    “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

    Don’t hesitate to just say: ‘Wrong’, if you thinks so, BA. I don’t discount the possibility with regard to all but my contention of integrated and coordinated personal worlds. Which, of course, you may not be prepared to countenance.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Axel, I don’t disagree with ‘integrated and coordinated personal worlds’. In fact, I would hold it as a requirement to avoid solipsism.

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    as to

    “Einstein is quoted somewhere early in the book as having said that people misunderstood the major breakthrough of his theory, in that it was actually that truth is, in a sense, a personal perception.”

    In that regards, here are a few notes of related interest:

    According to Einstein, choosing the reference frame that you decide to measure from is completely up to you. i.e. According to Einstein’s theories of relativity, there is no reason to give one frame of reference more consideration over another frame of reference:
    In fact, in regards to the Copernican Principle and how it relates to relativity, Einstein stated this very anti-Copernican principle fact:

    “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.”
    Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);

    Fred Hoyle, discoverer of stellar nucleosynthesis, weighs in here:

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    Moreover, contrary to the generalized form of the Copernican principle which holds that ‘humans are not privileged observers of the universe’, the ‘observer’ is, in fact, given a special frame of reference in Einstein’s relativity equations (given a special frame of reference in both special and general relativity):

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....relativity

    Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (privileged frame of reference for the observer) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev9zrt__lec

    In fact, both of Einstein’s breakthrough insights for Special Relativity and for General Relativity came from Einstein giving the ‘observer’ a distinct frame of reference.
    As well, Einstein’s ‘happiest thought’ of his life was when he envisioned ‘an observer freely falling from the roof of a house’. Which is the thought experiment which gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into General Relativity:

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”
    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/.....ode85.html

    And in special relativity, moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2, (i.e. into special relativity).

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ – video (6:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jHnRqhnkyGs?t=364

    Of related interest: When the observer, instead of looking backwards at the face of a clock as he accelerates to the speed of light, instead looks in his direction of travel as he accelerates towards the speed of light, something very interesting happens.
    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,

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4
    Of note: The preceding video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.

    Thus it appears that Einstein’s own theories were strongly pointing to agent causality but Einstein still tried to salvage a worldview in which an ‘agent’ was the result of physics instead of being the prerequisite for physics:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,,
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

  9. 9
    Axel says:

    Thanks for all that, BA77. It got to be beyond my understanding, but I saw enough to feel pleased by your response. Thank you again.

    In fact, there are so many indicators pointing to theism, that only his determination to hold onto his world view, ‘as was’, until such time as he chose to allow it to be modified in a manner that suited him, can have prevented his being a theist, it seems to me.

    How a man of such intelligence and wisdom can have managed to blind himself to so many ineluctable implications of QM pointing to theism is itself a wonder – if of a disappointing kind. Although the likely trauma of the Nazi horrors, surely should not be underestimated, either in their effect on his own attitude towards ‘organised religion’ or on that of his egregiously brilliant, physicist-colleagues – not to speak of the rest of European Jewry. I think Einstein hated QM because he would immediately have seen its unequivocal, theistic implications.

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    Einstein did not like quantum mechanics (even though he helped in founding it) because he was what is known as a “localist”. That is, he believed that no particle could influence another over distance. There had to be intermediary particles, he insisted. This is why he rejected Newton’s nonlocal gravity theory. Newton assumed that gravity acted instantaneously everywhere in the universe while Einstein believed that gravity traveled at the speed of light.

    The success of Newton’s theory forced the relativists to come up with all sorts of silly pseudoscientific magic to explain why gravity behaved as if it were instantaneous. But it gets worse. Einstein’s local gravity requires the existence of massless intermediary particles or waves (e.g., gravitons) that travel between bodies in order to communicate the actions of gravity. The problem with this is that gravity affects all particles equally, even massless particles. This is something that Newton and Galileo understood way back when because they could observe different masses falling at the same velocity and acceleration. Why is this a problem? It is because the intermediary massless particles that communicate gravity are also affected by gravity, complicating things immensely to the point of silliness.

    One could conceivably solve the problem by insisting that the graviton is not affected by gravity but Einstein’s own theory of spacetime curvature would not allow it. And neither does Newtonian gravity.

    General relativity is thus in limbo between a rock and a graviton. My opinion: Einstein was wrong and Newton was right. Gravity is a non-local quantum phenomenon.

  11. 11
    Mapou says:

    Einstein’s spooky action at a distance is not a problem once one realizes that distance is an illusion. Distance is not needed to explain anything because it is abstractly derived from two positions. Only the positions are real.

    The universe is ONE and everything “sees” everything else. But everybody knows this. I think.

  12. 12

    The spooky action at a distance mimics to a large extent the common logic of choosing.

    There are not 2 particles, but there is 1 particle with a position parameter with 2 potential states to choose from.

    However in common discourse about how choosing works these alternatives are said to be in the future, while with quantum mechanics the 2 “particles” are said to be in the present.

  13. 13

    I was asked to comment on Einstein’s materialism, which was denied by Wikipedia, and as proof, the famous quote about Einstein believing in Spinoza’s God.
    a) One can be a materialist and still believe in God. Sure, something has to give, but you’d be amazed at the contortions that are regularly on display in places like Biologos. So the quote from Einstein is nice, but in no way minimizes his commitment to materialism, which is why he had so much trouble with Bohr’s dualism.
    b) Notice that Einstein said he believes in Spinoza’s god. Well, did anyone look up Spinoza’s god? Would it help if you knew that Spinoza was Jewish and was kicked out of his synagogue for being an atheist? Which may have been Einstein’s point–if you knew enough about Spinoza to know his god, you probably thought Einstein clever. If you didn’t know much, you thought him devout.
    c) Finally, I didn’t bring up the link between materialism and atheism, but since you did, let me apply Pascal’s wager to Einstein: if you are a materialist you are likely not to believe in heaven and eternal judgement. And if you do not believe in eternal judgement, you are likely to be untruthful about things that might advance your career–such as stating a belief in God. So why shouldn’t a materialist say whatever makes the best press? What does he lose that he hasn’t already lost?

    If you have the time to read a book, there’s a newish biography of Einstein that talks about his attempt to be a devout Jew at age 11, and how he lost his faith at 12. It almost makes me weep.

  14. 14
    daveS says:

    Dr Sheldon,

    Finally, I didn’t bring up the link between materialism and atheism, but since you did, let me apply Pascal’s wager to Einstein: if you are a materialist you are likely not to believe in heaven and eternal judgement. And if you do not believe in eternal judgement, you are likely to be untruthful about things that might advance your career–such as stating a belief in God. So why shouldn’t a materialist say whatever makes the best press? What does he lose that he hasn’t already lost?

    Atheists generally don’t find Pascal’s wager at all convincing, to put it mildly. That’s just not how our minds work. I doubt that any gods exist, and I don’t attempt to force myself to somehow believe, so you could say I’m taking the “riskier” side of the bet because I think it’s the truth. So I have serious doubts about any conclusions drawn by trying to apply a Pascal’s wager argument to Einstein.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “That’s just not how our minds work.”

    correction:

    “That’s just not how our minds the randomly colliding particles of our material brains work.”

    There all better!

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne

    Photo – an atheist contemplating his mind
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

    ” Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.
    Hawking needs God in order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter –

  16. 16
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    I had trouble believing Dr Hunter would make such an absurd statement, but there it is, September 21 of last year. Madness.

  17. 17
    Axel says:

    The box also made of molecules… to be pedantic about it. Molecules all the way doon, upwards and sideways.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS exactly to whom does this fictitious “I” refer to in your sentence?

    You really need to learn how to state your materialistic/atheistic position in purely atheistic/materialistic terms and stop stealing Theistic premises when you want to counter a Theistic position.
    For instance, the first part of your sentence,,

    “I had trouble believing,,,”

    should be rewritten as such,,,

    The illusion of me, which the neurons of my brain have created, has trouble believing a certain proposition is true.

    But then again, since when you clearly state the atheistic position it is clear that it is patently absurd, I can see why the illusion of ‘you’ would want to dishonestly steal the concept of personhood, i.e. the concept of “I”, from Theism.

    But alas that is not my problem. It is yours!
    Thus, for the sake of honesty and clarity, will you please stop referring to yourself as a real person and from now on start your sentences with the proper qualifiers such as the following,,

    ‘the illusion of “I” has difficultly believing such and such”

  19. 19
    Box says:

    BA77 (to DaveS): Thus, for the sake of honesty and clarity, will you please stop referring to yourself as a real person and from now forward start your sentences with qualifiers such as the following

    “the illusion of “I” has difficultly believing.”

    While daveS is at it, maybe it is not too much to ask to end his posts with a qualifier such as “these thoughts are not about stuff”.

    The brain’s neural states, like the states of the semiconductor circuits in a Mac or PC (or in Watson for that matter), are not by themselves intrinsically about anything at all. What you have got is a lot of neural architecture geared up to respond with exquisite appropriateness to external and internal stimuli. Its responses produce characteristically human behavior—for example, making noise with your throat, tongue, teeth, and breath (that is, speaking). In addition to the many other effects inside the body that these neural activities produce, they also produce the illusion that the thoughts in there, in the brain, are really about the world. This is such a powerful illusion that it has been with us forever, or at least for a couple of hundred thousand years.

    [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.8]

  20. 20
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    These bare assertions don’t become more convincing with repetition.

    Hunter claims that “[Under atheism] there is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth”.
    Do you think that atheists cannot distinguish between true and false statements in integer arithmetic? You surely agree that 2 + 2 = 4 is true while 3 + 5 = 7 is false. Why do you think atheists cannot make the same determination?

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS, It is not me that denies you are a real person and that ‘you’ can therefore ‘understand’ and ‘distinguish between true and false’, it is your atheistic philosophy that denies that. The fact that you can ‘understand’ and ‘distinguish between true and false’, is in fact rock solid proof that atheism is false!

    Metaphysical Naturalism is reducto ad absurdum on (at least) these eight following points that Dr. Craig pulled from atheist Dr. Rosenburg’s own book on atheism. In other words, Dr. Craig used Dr. Rosenburg’s own 8 conclusions about atheism, which Dr Rosenburg had reasoned out himself in his book, against him in the debate:

    1.) Argument from intentionality
    1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything.
    2. I am thinking about naturalism.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    2.) The argument from meaning
    1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning.
    2. Premise (1) has meaning.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    3.) The argument from truth
    1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences.
    2. Premise (1) is true.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    4.) The argument from moral blame and praise
    1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions.
    2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    5.) Argument from freedom
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely.
    2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1).
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    6.) The argument from purpose
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything.
    2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight’s debate.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    7.) The argument from enduring
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time.
    2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s following presentation of the 8 points to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s (atheist’s) position actually is.

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    Is Faith in God Reasonable? FULL DEBATE with William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ge#t=3641s

  22. 22
    daveS says:

    Is this some kind of joke?

    7.) The argument from enduring
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time.
    2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.

    Naturalism says that I do not endure for two moments? And I thought Dr Hunter’s statement was ridiculous.

  23. 23
    daveS says:

    Anyway BA77, you should write up and publish a paper demonstrating in detail that because we can (sometimes) distinguish between true and false integer arithmetical statements, atheism is false.

  24. 24
    Box says:

    daveS: Is this some kind of joke?
    Naturalism says that I do not endure for two moments?

    No joke! That is exactly what naturalism claims …

    There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.
    (…)

    So, the fiction of the enduring self is almost certainly a side effect of a highly effective way of keeping the human body out of harm’s way. It is a by-product of whatever selected for bodies—human and nonhuman—to take pains now that make things better for themselves later. For a long time now, Mother Nature has been filtering for bodies to postpone consumption in the present as investment for the body’s future. It looks a lot like planning. Even squirrels do it, storing nuts for the winter. Does this require each squirrel to have a single real enduring self through time? No. If not, then why take introspection’s word for it when it has a track record of being wrong about things like this, when the self just looks like part of the same illusions and is supposed to have features that physics tells us nothing real can have.

    [A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10]

  25. 25
    daveS says:

    Box,

    Thanks for that quote. I have to run now, but I’ll read through it more carefully later. Needless to say, I disagree with Rosenberg, and I suspect I’m not alone, even among atheists.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS

    you should write up and publish a paper demonstrating in detail that because we can (sometimes) distinguish between true and false integer arithmetical statements, atheism is false.

    MMM, sorry I don’t take suggestions from figments of imagination.

    And who is this ‘we’ you are referring to in your sentence?
    Remember to stay consistent within your atheism. There is only me, you don’t exist. So ‘we’ is not the proper word for ‘you’ (if there were a ‘you’) to use.

    Moreover:

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    Kurt Gödel As quoted in Topoi : The Categorial Analysis of Logic (1979) by Robert Goldblatt, p. 13

    “In an elegant mathematical proof, introduced to the world by the great mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann in September 1930, Gödel demonstrated that mathematics was intrinsically incomplete. Gödel was reportedly concerned that he might have inadvertently proved the existence of God, a faux pas in his Viennese and Princeton circle. It was one of the famously paranoid Gödel’s more reasonable fears.”
    George Gilder, in Knowledge and Power : The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World (2013), Ch. 10: Romer’s Recipes and Their Limits

  27. 27
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    MMM, sorry I don’t take suggestions from figments of imagination.

    Too bad, the world will be poorer without it. 🙂

  28. 28
    daveS says:

    Box,

    One thing I do agree with Rosenberg on is that the self changes over time (so is not identical from one day to the next). However, I just took a 10-minute walk with my wife, and I contend that my self underwent only minute changes over that interval, so that I am practically the same person.

    I don’t believe in any gods, Lucifer, ghosts, demons, and so forth, and am therefore a naturalist to that extent, but I don’t see how that would force me to believe “I do not endure for two moments of time”, as the quote stated.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    “I contend that my self underwent only minute changes over that interval, so that I am practically the same person.”

    And from whence comes the detached perspective of “I” that noticed that ‘I am practically the same person’?

    The detached perspective of “I” to notice any rate of change from “I” simply is an unavailable perspective given materialism.

    see “The Mind and its Now” Jaki

  30. 30
    daveS says:

    The detached perspective of “I” to notice any rate of change from “I” simply is an unavailable perspective given materialism.

    I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but I’m not a materialist.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS,

    “I’m sure “I” have mentioned this before”,,,

    and again, since you do not believe in a conscious mind that is transcendent of the material brain, who exactly is this fictitious person of “I” that you keep referring to in your sentences? i.e. Do ‘you’ always speak of illusions as if they are real? i.e. Are ‘you’ on mind altering drugs that make ‘you’ think the imaginary thing of ‘you’ is real?

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    “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

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:

    “consciousness is an illusion”

    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins

    ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.

    Dawkins vs Williams
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    at 37:51 minute mark of following video, according to the law of identity, Richard Dawkins does not exist as a person: (the unity of Aristotelian Form is also discussed) i.e. ironically, in atheists denying that God really exists, they end up denying that they themselves really exist as real persons.

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    How many inconsistencies can ‘you’ spot in the following sentence daveS?

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

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

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

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

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

    What should be needless to say daveS, since simply freely raising an arm when a person chooses to do so is enough to twist your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism/naturalism into contortions, then perhaps it is time for ‘you’ to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview? (assuming of course there really is a ‘you’ to consider the choice)

    David Chalmers on Consciousness – philosophical zombies and the hard problem of consciousness
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmZaA_xoJiM

  32. 32
    daveS says:

    you don’t believe in a conscious mind that is transcendent of the material brain

    ??

    Where did you get that from? I don’t recall saying that.

  33. 33
    Aleta says:

    There is a difference between the biological self – the whole system which acts for the well-being of the organism as a whole, and the metaphysical self, which does not exist. All this talk about whether “I” does or doesn’t exist isn’t being very clear about what is actually being talked about.

  34. 34
    Box says:

    daveS: I don’t believe in any gods, Lucifer, ghosts, demons, and so forth, (…)

    We share a disbelief in Lucifer. Demons … I have met them, the human version that is. Ghosts … I have communicated with them. I have witnessed several miracles — but haven’t we all?

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS, so you do believe in a mind that is transcendent of the material brain?

    Or are you just being purposely foggy so as to avoid dealing honestly with the inherent failings of your atheistic worldview?

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Aleta claims:

    “There is a difference between the biological self,,, and the metaphysical self”

    So do you believe that you are your brain or do you believe that ‘you’ are your whole body?

    If I cut off your arm will you still be ‘you’?

    How about your legs? Will you still be ‘you’?

    Will ‘you’ bite my knee?

    Monty Python And The Holy Grail- The Black Knight
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno

    Nicholas James Vujicic No arms..No legs.. No worries!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zeb-k-XzaI

    What if I removed half your brain Aleta, would you still be ‘you’?

    If the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBrY77mBNg

    Dr. Gary Mathern – What Can You Do With Half A Brain? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrKijBx_hAw

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives: – 1997
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining,,
    Dr. John Freeman, the director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, said he was dumbfounded at the ability of children to regain speech after losing the half of the brain that is supposedly central to language processing.
    ”It’s fascinating,” Dr. Freeman said. ”The classic lore is that you can’t change language after the age of 2 or 3.”
    But Dr. Freeman’s group has now removed diseased left hemispheres in more than 20 patients, including three 13-year-olds whose ability to speak transferred to the right side of the brain in much the way that Alex’s did.,,,
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study:

    “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

  37. 37
    daveS says:

    Box,

    We share a disbelief in Lucifer. Demons … I have met them, the human version that is. Ghosts … I have communicated with them. I have witnessed several miracles — but haven’t we all?

    Interesting. Well, all I can say is that I’d pay money to see evidence of demons, ghosts, or miracles, and so far, no dice.

  38. 38
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    daveS, so you do believe in a mind that is transcendent of the material brain?

    It’s an unsolved problem. No one knows (I’m sure that won’t stop you though).

    Clearly the brain has something to do with the mind, as we both agree (since you referred to mind-altering drugs above). Alzheimer’s disease exists, unfortunately. I don’t think my mind will survive my death.

    As to whether my mind transcends my brain right now, as I live, it’s possible. I give it a 50-50 chance.
    I actually was semi-serious in #23. If someone wrote up a self-contained proof of God’s existence via integer arithmetic, I would read it.

  39. 39
    Axel says:

    I once saw a demon, Dave, as I was lying in my pit.

    It appeared as a dull, dirty, yellowish glow, like you might in an oil slick, I believe, and indeterminate shape, smaller than a fist – rather like a patch, I suppose.
    It moved from my body, having presumably tried to gain access to my heart, and passed over my wife’s body without pausing.

    Now, the interesting think is that it seemed to move in a straight line – a feature of the angels in Ezekiel. Moreover, I’d recently seen a TV programme in which the lady owner of a haunted house, recounted a similar glow moving up the staircase in her house ‘in a straight line’.

    The staircase might have given me a clue about the straight line. Why would an angel heavenly or fallen, i.e. a demon, not move in a straight line.

    I think the answer lies in the nature of the way in which we walk, trot or run. The fact is, we pitch and roll as we do so, but we factor these movements of living creatures into our perception of them, subliminally discounting them as being of no consequence. And therein, I think, is the explanation of the strange sense of straight, forward movement, we would experience, if the person or creature were to merely glide along, as if on a conveyor belt.

    I can’t prove it to you, but I’m giving you ‘the good oil’, so be grateful!

  40. 40
    Axel says:

    ‘Axel, I don’t disagree with ‘integrated and coordinated personal worlds’.

    It also accords with the Talmud, BA. I’d read it simply as the saying of a Jewish Kabalist:

    ‘When a man dies, a whole world dies with him.’

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    well daveS, until you quit hiding in a non-falsifiable 50/50 grey area, and seriously consider the irreconcilable difficulties of thinking your mind is your brain, you will, IMHO, never make progress.

    Either the mind is caused by the brain or it is not. If it is not caused by the brain then, as an atheist, you have some very serious questions to be answered.

    I’m not the one who needs to ask nor answer these questions. You are. It is not about me convincing you of a position that you apparently would rather not be true. It is about you being honest enough to ask the right questions and open enough to then follow the evidence where it leads.

    as to:

    “I don’t think my mind will survive my death.”

    Are you absolutely certain about this or is this another one of those 50/50 waffles? Such as the 50/50 waffle you stated here,,,

    ‘As to whether my mind transcends my brain right now, as I live, it’s possible. I give it a 50-50 chance.’

    daveS, regardless of what you may think about the possibility of life after death, the fact of the matter is that we have far more observational evidence for the reality of life after death than we do for the validity of neo-Darwinian evolution.

    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 the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or a molecular machine), 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

    Of related note: ’90 minutes in Heaven’ is due to be released in theaters Sept. 11, 2015

    90 Minutes In Heaven – trailer
    http://90minutesinheaventhemovie.com/

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

  42. 42
    daveS says:

    Axel,

    Thanks for the account. I always find these interesting.

  43. 43
    Axel says:

    Thank you, Dave. I have another similar story with, given the context, a strangely hilarious aspect to it. Tomorrow. Must retire.

  44. 44
    daveS says:

    BA77,

    Of course I’m not certain my mind will not survive my body.

    Anyway, whatever the status of Darwinian evolution, the quality of the evidence for NDEs is terrible. Just one properly controlled, double-blind experiment is all I ask…

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    daveS,

    “whatever the status of Darwinian evolution,”

    Actually, the transcendent nature of information, one of the main things unguided material processes have not explained, and indeed cannot possibly explain, directly supports the transcendent nature of the soul:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-545518

    As to your claim that the quality of evidence is ‘terrible’, I consider the quality of evidence to be superb:

    For example Dr. Jeffrey Long’s research

    Dr. Jeffrey Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs

    The Reality of Near-Death Experiences and their Aftereffects – Jeffrey Long – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIqKTE6jNmQ

    Dr Jeffrey Long’s Near Death Experience Research a Game Changer for Science
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO_YHdD9evI

  46. 46
    daveS says:

    Has Dr Long performed controlled, double-blind experiments?

  47. 47
    Mung says:

    Aleta: There is a difference between the biological self – the whole system which acts for the well-being of the organism as a whole, and the metaphysical self, which does not exist.

    And there is a difference between sense and nonsense.

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    “Has Dr Long performed controlled, double-blind experiments?”

    A blind or blinded experiment is an experiment in which information about the test is kept from the participant until after the test.[1] Bias may be intentional or unconscious. If both tester and subject are blinded, the trial is a double-blind experiment.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_experiment

    Not that I know of.

    Although I do know there are many near death experiences where the experiencer themselves had no preconceived notion of NDE’s.

    For instance former militant atheist Howard Storm’s NDE,

    “I knew for certain there was no such thing as life after death. Only simple minded people believed in that sort of thing. I didn’t believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, or any other fairy tales. I drifted into darkness.
    Drifting asleep into anihilation.,,(Chapter 2 – The Descent),, I was standing up. I opened my eyes to see why I was standing up. I was between two hospital beds in the hospital room.,,, Everything that was me, my consciousness and my physical being, was standing next to the bed. No, it wasn’t me lying in the bed. It was just a thing that didn’t have any importance to me. It might as well have been a slab of meat in the supermarket”,,,
    Howard Storm – former hard-core atheist – Excerpt from his book, ‘My Descent Into Death’ (Page 12-14)
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    The Near Death Experience of Howard Storm: Parts I & II- The Chains We Forge in Life/Rescue – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsyWGPoMiMI

    Thus at least one aspect of the ‘blind’ test has been achieved in people who had no preconceived notion. In fact Dr. Storm was heavily biased against NDEs being real. So that definitely counts against personal bias being a factor.

    The only scientific ‘tests’ that I know of, (and I am certainly no expert on all the tests that have been done), were the Parnia study and the ‘more real than real’ study.

    Both of those studies resulted in positive evidence for the validity of NDEs:

    In the following study, researchers who had a bias against NDEs being real, set out to prove that they were merely hallucinations by setting up a questionnaire that would prove that the memories of NDEs were merely hallucinatory in nature. They did not expect the results they got:

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège researchers have demonstrated that the physiological mechanisms triggered during NDE lead to a more vivid perception not only of imagined events in the history of an individual but also of real events which have taken place in their lives!,,,
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    Parnia, who is perhaps the most skeptical NDE researcher out there, who originally set a ‘number test’ up in a operating room to try to prove remote viewing, though the number test itself drew no hits, now personally concedes the evidence for remote viewing of the hospital room is ‘very credible’

    Life after death? Largest-ever study provides evidence that ‘out of body’ and ‘near-death’ experiences may be real – October 7, 2014
    Excerpt: Dr Sam Parnia, an assistant professor at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton who led the research, said that he previously (held) that patients who described near-death experiences were only relating hallucinatory events.
    One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life – and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room.
    Speaking to The Telegraph about the evidence provided by a 57-year-old social worker Southampton, Dr Parnia said: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating.
    “But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes.
    “The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for.
    “He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....80195.html

    Near-death patients do see afterlife by JENNY HOPE – October 8, 2014
    Excerpt: The latest study, by Southampton University researchers, suggests the mind may continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function and the body is clinically dead.
    The research team studied 63 survivors of a cardiac arrest who were resuscitated at Southampton General Hospital after they had been clinically dead with no pulse, no respiration and fixed dilated pupils. Independent studies have confirmed that the brain ceases to function at that time.
    But seven out of the 63 survivors recalled emotions and visions during their unconsciousness, says a report in the journal Resuscitation. Four patients (six per cent) met the strict criteria used to diagnose NDEs.
    They recalled feelings of peace and joy, of time speeding up, heightened senses, lost awareness of body, seeing a bright light, entering another world, encountering a mystical being or deceased relative and coming to a point of no return.,,,
    It has been suggested that the experiences are hallucinations, the result of disturbed brain chemistry caused by medication, lack of oxygen or changes in carbon dioxide levels.
    But Dr Parnia said there was no difference in oxygen levels or drug treatment between the heart attack survivors who had not had NDEs and those who had.
    ‘In fact, the four patients who met the criteria for a true NDE actually had higher oxygen levels,’ he added.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....rlife.html

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