« Last post by DonQuichotte on Today at 19:45:59 »
"The Spiritual Brain , A Neuroscientist's Case For The Existence of The Soul " By Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary
(Prior note : Cheryl : why didn't you download the audio version of this book for which i provided you with a link to download it from ? Why didn't you use the library's wifi for that then, lazy sis , since you pretend to be interested in what these scientists had to say ? , not to mention your cameleon-like mood swings that make this discussion with you a very Kafkaian weird one .
Non-materialist cognitive therapy might help you with that , i guess .
I tried to fix the display of this excerpt , almost in vain ...sorry .)
When my doctoral student Vincent Paquette and I first began studying
the spiritual experiences of Carmelite nuns at the Université de Montréal,
we knew that our motives were quite likely to be misunderstood.
First, we had to convince the nuns that we were not trying to prove that
their religious experiences did not actually occur, that they were delusions,
or that a brain glitch explained them. Then we had to quiet both the
hopes of professional atheists and the fears of clergy about the possibility
that we were trying to reduce these experiences to some kind of “God
switch” in the brain.
Many neuroscientists want to do just that. But Vincent and I belong to
a minority—nonmaterialist neuroscientists. Most scientists today are materialists who believe that the physical world is the only reality. Absolutely everything else—including thought, feeling, mind, and will—can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena, leaving no room for the possibility that religious and spiritual experiences are anything but illusions.
Materialists are like Charles Dickens’s character Ebeneezer
Scrooge who dismisses his experience of Marley’s ghost as merely “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.”
Vincent and I, on the other hand, did not approach our research with
any such materialist presumption. As we are not materialists, we did not
doubt in principle that a contemplative might contact a reality outside
herself during a mystical experience. In fact, I went into neuroscience in
part because I knew experientially that such things can indeed happen.
Vincent and I simply wanted to know what the neural correlates—the activity of the neurons—during such an experience might be. Given the
overwhelming dominance of materialism in neuroscience today, we count
ourselves lucky that the nuns believed in our sincerity and agreed to help us and that the Templeton Foundation saw the value of funding our studies.
Of course, you may well ask, can neuroscience studies of contemplative
nuns demonstrate that God exists? No, but they can—and did—demonstrate
that the mystical state of consciousness really exists. In this state, the
contemplative likely experiences aspects of reality that are not available in
other states. These findings rule out various materialist theses that the
contemplative is faking or confabulating the experience. Vincent and I
also showed that mystical experiences are complex—a finding that challenges a vast variety of simplistic materialist explanations such as a “God gene,” “God spot,” or “God switch” in our brains.
Toronto-based journalist Denyse O’Leary and I have written this book to
discuss the significance of these studies, and more generally, to provide a neuroscientific approach to understanding religious, spiritual, and mystical experiences.
The discipline of neuroscience today is materialist. That is, it assumes
that the mind is quite simply the physical workings of the brain. To see what this means, consider a simple sentence: “I made up my mind to buy a bike.”
One would not say, “I made up my brain to buy a bike.” By contrast, one
might say, “Bike helmets prevent brain damage,” but not “Bike helmets prevent ideological system.
” But materialists think that the distinction you make between
your mind as an immaterial entity and your brain as a bodily organ
has no real basis. The mind is assumed to be a mere illusion generated by the workings of the brain. Some materialists even think you should not in fact use terminology that implies that your mind exists.
In this book, we intend to show you that your mind does exist, that it
is not merely your brain. Your thoughts and feelings cannot be dismissed
or explained away by firing synapses and physical phenomena alone. In a
solely material world, “will power” or “mind over matter” are illusions,
there is no such thing as purpose or meaning, there is no room for God.
Yet many people have experience of these things, and we present evidence
that these experiences are real.
In contrast, many materialists now argue that notions like meaning or
purpose do not correspond to reality; they are merely adaptations for
human survival. In other words, they have no existence beyond the evolution of circuits in our brains. As co-discoverer of the genetic code
Francis Crick writes in The Astonishing Hypothesis, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive and leave descendants.”
But are questions about our meaning or purpose merely survival
mechanisms? If such an airy dismissal of the intellectual life of
thousands of years sounds vaguely unconvincing, well, perhaps it should.
Suppose, for example, a healthy man donates a kidney for free to a
dying stranger. The materialist may look for an analogy among moles,
rats, or chimpanzees, as the best way to understand the donor’s motives.
He believes that the donor’s mind can be completely explained by the hypothesis
that his brain evolved slowly and painstakingly from the brains of
creatures like these. Therefore, his mind is merely an illusion created by
the workings of an overdeveloped brain, and his consciousness of his situation is actually irrelevant as an explanation of his actions.
This book argues that the fact that the human brain evolves does not
show that the human mind can be dismissed in this way. Rather, the
human brain can enable a human mind, whereas the mole brain cannot
(with my apologies to the mole species). The brain, however, is not the
mind; it is an organ suitable for connecting a mind to the rest of the universe.
By analogy, Olympic swimming events require an Olympic class
swimming pool. But the pool does not create the Olympic events; it
makes them feasible at a given location.
From the materialist perspective, our human mind’s consciousness and
free will are problems to be explained away. To see what this means, consider Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker’s comments on consciousness in a recent piece in Time magazine entitled “The Mystery of
Consciousness” ( January 19, 2007). Addressing two key problems that
scientists face, he writes, Although neither problem has been solved, neuroscientists agree on many features of both of them, and the feature they find least controversial is the one that many people outside the field find the most shocking.
Francis Crick called it “the astonishing hypothesis”—the idea that our thoughts, sensations, joys and aches consist entirely of physiological activity in the tissues of the brain. Consciousness does not reside in an ethereal soul that uses the brain like a PDA [personal digital assistant]; consciousness is the activity of the brain.
Given that Pinker admits that neither problem concerning consciousness
is either solved or anywhere close to being solved, how can he be so
sure that consciousness is merely “the activity of the brain,” implying that
there is no soul? .
One convenient aspect of Pinker’s materialism is that any doubt can be
labeled “unscientific” in principle. That preempts a discussion of materialism’s plausibility .
Certainly, materialism is a faith that many intellectuals
would never think of questioning. But the strength of their conviction
neither shows that it is a correct account of reality nor provides evidence
in its favor. A good case can be made for the opposite view, as this book
Yes, this book—departing from a general trend in books on neuroscience
aimed at the general public—does question materialism. Much more
than that, it presents evidence that materialism is not true. You will see for
yourself that the evidence for materialism is not nearly so good as Steven
Pinker would like you to believe. You can only retain your faith in materialism by assuming—on faith—that any contrary evidence you read about must be wrong.
For example, as we will show, a materialist readily believes—without
any reliable evidence whatsoever—that great spiritual leaders suffer from
temporal-lobe epilepsy rather than that they have spiritual experiences that
inspire others as well as themselves. Where spirituality is concerned, this
experiential data is an embarrassment to narrow materialism. That is because a system like materialism is severely damaged by any evidence against it.
Consequently, data that defy materialism are simply ignored by many
scientists. For instance, materialists have conducted a running war against
psi research (research on knowledge or action at a distance, such as extrasensory perception, telepathy, precognition, or telekinesis) for decades,because any evidence of psi’s validity, no matter how minor, is fatal to their ideological system.
Recently, for example, self-professed skeptics have attacked atheist neuroscience grad student Sam Harris for having proposed,
in his book entitled The End of Faith (2004), that psi research has validity.
Harris is only following the evidence, as we shall see. But in doing so, he is
clearly violating an important tenet of materialism: materialist ideology
But other challenges to materialism exist. Materialists must believe that
their minds are simply an illusion created by the workings of the brain
and therefore that free will does not really exist and could have no influence in controlling any disorder. But nonmaterialist approaches have
clearly demonstrated mental health benefits. The following are a few examples discussed in this book.
Jeffrey Schwartz, a nonmaterialist UCLA neuropsychiatrist, treats
obsessive-compulsive disorder—a neuropsychiatric disease marked by distressing,intrusive, and unwanted thoughts—by getting patients to reprogram their brains. Their minds change their brains.
Similarly, some of my neuroscientist colleagues at the Université de
Montréal and I have demonstrated, via brain imaging techniques, the
• Women and young girls can voluntarily control their level of
response to sad thoughts, though young girls found it more difficult
to do so.
• Men who view erotic films are quite able to control their responses
to them, when asked to do so.
• People who suffer from phobias such as spider phobia can
reorganize their brains so that they lose the fear.
Evidence of the mind’s control over the brain is actually captured in
these studies. There is such a thing as “mind over matter.” We do have will
power, consciousness, and emotions, and combined with a sense of purpose
and meaning, we can effect change.
At one time, materialist explanations of religion and spirituality were at
least worth considering. For example, Sigmund Freud argued that childhood
memories of a father figure led religious people to believe in God.
Freud’s explanation failed because Christianity is the only major religion
that emphasizes the fatherhood of God. But his idea, while wrong, was
not ridiculous. Relationships with fathers, happy or otherwise, are complex
human experiences, with some analogies to religion. Similarly, anthropologist
J. G. Frazer thought that modern religions grew out of primal
fertility cults and were only later spiritualized. Actually, the evidence
points more clearly to spiritual experiences as the source of later religious
beliefs and rituals. Still, Frazer’s idea was far from trivial. It derived from a
long and deep acquaintance with ancient belief systems.
But recently, materialistic explanations of religion and spirituality have
gotten out of hand. Influenced by this materialistic prejudice, popular
media jump at stories about the violence gene, the fat gene, the monogamy
gene, the infidelity gene, and now, even a God gene! The argument goes like this: evolutionary psychologists attempt to explain human spirituality and belief in God by insisting that cave dwellers in the remote past who believed in a supernatural reality were more likely to pass on their genes than cave dwellers who didn’t. Progress in genetics and neuroscience has encouraged some to look, quite seriously, for such a God gene, or else a God spot,module, factor, or switch in the human brain. By the time the amazing God helmet” (a snowmobile helmet modified with solenoids that purportedly could stimulate subjects to experience God) in Sudbury,Canada,
became a magnet for science journalists in the 1990s (the Decade of the
Brain), materialism was just about passing beyond parody. Nonetheless,
materialists continue to search for a God switch. Such comic diversions
aside, there is no escaping the nonmaterialism of the human mind.
Essentially, there is no God switch. As the studies with the Carmelite
nuns have demonstrated and this book will detail, spiritual experiences are
complex experiences, like our experiences of human relationships. They
leave signatures in many parts of the brain. That fact is consistent with
(though it does not by itself demonstrate) the notion that the experiencer
contacts a reality outside herself.
The fact is materialism is stalled. It neither has any useful hypotheses
for the human mind or spiritual experiences nor comes close to developing
any. Just beyond lies a great realm that cannot even be entered via
materialism, let alone explored. But the good news is that, in the absence
of materialism, there are hopeful signs that spirituality can indeed be entered and explored with modern neuroscience.
Nonmaterialist neuroscience is not compelled to reject, deny, explain
away, or treat as problems all evidence that defies materialism. That is
promising because current research is turning up a growing body of such
evidence. Three examples addressed in this book are the psi effect, near
death experiences (NDEs), and the placebo effect.
The psi effect, as seen in such phenomena as extrasensory perception
and psychokinesis, is a low-level effect, to be sure, but efforts to disconfirm it have failed. NDEs have also become a more frequent subject of research in recent years, probably because the spread of advanced resuscitation techniques has created a much larger population that survives
to recount them. As a result of the work of researchers such as Pim
van Lommel, Sam Parnia, Peter Fenwick, and Bruce Greyson, we now
have a growing base of information. The results do not support a materialist
view of mind and consciousness, as advanced by Pinker, who writes
in Time “when the physiological activity of the brain ceases, as far as
anyone can tell the person’s consciousness goes out of existence.”
Most of us have not experienced unusual effects like psi or NDE, but
we have all probably experienced the placebo effect: have you ever gone to your doctor to get a letter saying you can’t go to work because you have a bad cold—and suddenly begun to feel better while sitting in the clinic, leafing through magazines? It’s embarrassing, but easy to explain: your mind generates messages to begin the analgesic or healing processes when you accept that you have in fact started on a path to recovery.
Materialist neuroscience has long regarded the placebo effect as a problem, but it is one of the best attested phenomena in medicine. But for nonmaterialist neuroscience, it is a normal effect that can be of great therapeutic value when properly used.
Materialism is apparently unable to answer key questions about the
nature of being human and has little prospect of ever answering them intelligibly. It has also convinced millions of people that they should not seek to develop their spiritual nature because they have none.
Some think that the solution is to continue to uphold materialism a bit
more raucously than before. Currently, key materialist spokespersons have
launched a heavily publicized and somewhat puzzling “anti-God” crusade.
Antitheistic works such as Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (Daniel Dennett), The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins), God:
The Failed Hypothesis—How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist (Victor
J. Stenger), God Is Not Great (Christopher Hitchens), and Letters to a
Christian Nation (Sam Harris) are accompanied by conferences such as
the Science Network’s “Beyond Belief ” and campaigns such as the You-
Tube Blasphemy Challenge.
The remarkable thing is that there isn’t a single new idea in anything
they have to say. Eighteenth-century philosophes said it all long ago, to as
much or little purpose. Granted, recent works have been spiced with the
questionable assumptions of evolutionary psychology—the attempt to
derive religion and spirituality from the practices that may have enabled a
few of our Pleistocene ancestors to pass on their genes. But the Pleistocene ancestors are long gone, and not much can really be learned from a discipline that lacks a subject. There are also plenty of assurances about the illusory nature of mind, consciousness, and free will, and the uselessness or danger of spirituality.
A variety of experts of the mid-twentieth century had predicted that
spirituality would slowly but surely disappear. Once supplied with abundant
material goods, people would just stop thinking about God. But the
experts were wrong. Spirituality today is more varied, but it is growing all
over the world. Thus, its continuing vitality prompts speculations, fears,
and some pretty wild guesses—but most of all, a compelling curiosity, a
desire to investigate.
But how can we investigate spirituality scientifically? To start with, we
can rediscover our nonmaterialist inheritance. It has always been there,
just widely ignored. Famous neuroscientists such as Charles Sherrington,
Wilder Penfield, and John Eccles, were not in fact reductive materialists,
and they had good reasons for their position. Today, nonmaterialist neuroscience is thriving, despite the limitations imposed by widespread misunderstanding and, in a few cases, hostility. Readers are urged to approach all the questions and evidence presented in this book with an open mind.
This is a time for exploration, not dogma.
Our book will establish three key ideas. The nonmaterialist approach
to the human mind is a rich and vital tradition that accounts for the evidence much better than the currently stalled materialist one. Second,
nonmaterialist approaches to the mind result in practical benefits and
treatments, as well as promising approaches to phenomena that materialist
accounts cannot even address. Lastly—and this may be the most important
value for many readers—our book shows that when spiritual experiences
transform lives, the most reasonable explanation and the one that best accounts for all the evidence, is that the people who have such experiences have actually contacted a reality outside themselves, a reality that has brought them closer to the real nature of the universe.
March 4, 2007
« Last post by Bored chemist on Today at 19:44:18 »
You may have learned that "I've learnt in school that the energy required to break Ozone O3 into O2 +O is equivalent to a UV-Phtoton with a wavelength of 220-310 nm. "
but it's wrong.
Energy is required to get the reaction to goo the other way.
Energy is released by that reaction (as written)
There are 2 reasons why the energy released when ozone decomposes isn't set free as a photon.
Firstly the reaction only occurs in the presence of a 3rd body, and that takes some of the energy.
Also some of the energy is carried away by the molecules- partly as kinetic energy :partly as excitation of the O2 molecule and the O atom.
« Last post by DonQuichotte on Today at 19:20:06 »
James A. Shapiro - Revisiting Evolution in The 21st Century :
« Last post by Roju on Today at 18:41:37 »
Because the reaction 3O2 → 2O3 requires energy input, so it absorbs photons.
I don't think you understood my question. I know that when O and O2 bond to become O3 energy is released in the form of heat.
My question is: Why and how is it released in the form of heat instead of being emitted as a photon with a wavelenght of 220-310 nm (Which is equivalent to the energy required to break the bond between O2 and O). Maybe it is totally obvious to you and you are leaving that part out, try to be as detailed as possible.
« Last post by yor_on on Today at 18:41:32 »
Or no superconductivity at all? "The rare-earth magnets currently available at the retail level are made of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB). Only three elements are ferromagnetic at room temperature; these are iron, cobalt and nickel. Virtually all other elements increase permanence (coercivity), but any magnet must contain one of the base three to work. The four main magnet types used today are ceramic, alnico, neodymium, and samarium cobalt." http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/page.aspx?p=40077&cat=3,42363
And then we apparently have Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) and single-chain magnets. (SCMs) I'm getting curious to what it is here.
spelling, spelling, spelling, as always.
Some fine day I will find out how to spell, just not now.
« Last post by yor_on on Today at 17:49:02 »
Seems there are two types of maglev's. Wonder if this idea doesn't use electrodynamic suspension?
If it doesn't then those magnets used should be worth a fortune, shouldn't they? And very special, as they both create a primary, then secondary, magnetic field, spread in a 'plane' (the passive conductive ground it balance on).
What doesn't make sense is the question of how it uses superconductivity, if so? There is no existing superconductivity at room temperature, that I've heard of? Meta materials?
Don't mean that you need 'coils' placed in the floor, but you should need something inducing the change?
Or maybe not?
Maybe it's electromagnetic suspension?
« Last post by DonQuichotte on Today at 17:12:09 »
I thought i was clear enough .I have no time for silly games . Cheers.
« Last post by DonQuichotte on Today at 16:32:20 »
author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg442690#msg442690 date=1413845324]... See also the entanglement phenomena in quantum physics : explain that instantaneous action from huge distances between particles through some material process of yours then ? I thought nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light .
Ok, then .
There are many interpretations of quantum physics , you know .
A historical footnote ? How come that many physicists , even today , still take it for granted as a physic's fact, such as quantum physicist Amit Goswami and many others then ? :
See what Goswami says about the wave function collapse and more .He's an idealist monist .I don't necessarily agree with the latter philosophy though : The man is still alive and kicking : has he been deluded ? or is he no expert of quantum physics ? : lol :
As you know , there are many interpretations of quantum theory , what makes you then think that the materialist one is the approximately 'correct " one ?
Regarding Stapp's work in relation to ions : see this new discovery concerning potassium channels :
Researchers reach 'paradigm shift' in understanding potassium channels :
Not to mention Wilder Pnefield's and Eccles' work regarding the mind -body problem :
Excerpt from a book by Chris Carter :
Wilder Penfield started his career as a neurosurgeon trying to explain the mind in terms of physical processes in the brain. In the course of surgical treatment of patients who have temporal lobe seizures, Penfield stumbled upon the fact that electrical stimulation of certain areas of the cortex could activate a stream of memories that had been laid down years or even decades earlier. In fact, the patient would “relive” the earlier episode, recalling incidents in far greater detail than would be possible by voluntary recall, but during the flashback, the patient would remain completely aware of what was happening in the operating room. Penfield summed up the conclusions he formed on the basis of these experiments by stating:
The patient’s mind, which is considering the situation in such an aloof and critical manner, can only be something quite apart from neuronal reflex action. It is noteworthy that two streams of consciousness are flowing, the one driven by input from the environment, the other by an electrode delivering sixty pulses per second to the cortex. The fact that there should be no confusion in the conscious state suggests that, although the content of consciousness depends in large measure on neuronal activity, awareness itself does not.
On the basis of his experiments and examinations of patients with various forms of epilepsy, Penfield concluded that the mind interacts with the brain in the upper brain stem, an ancient structure that humans share with reptiles. Penfield, who won the Nobel Prize for his work, considers the rest of the brain to be a magnificent biological computer, programmed by the mind. He found that electrical stimulation of most parts of the brain resulted either in memories relived in vivid detail, involuntary movement of a part of the body, or paralysis of some function, such as speech. By contrast, injury to or epileptic discharge in the higher brain stem always simply resulted in loss of consciousness, leading Penfield to conclude, “Here is the meeting of mind and brain. The psychico-physical frontier is here.”
Penfield thought that the brain as a computer could accomplish a great deal by automatic mechanisms, but that “what the mind does is different. It is not to be accounted for by any neuronal mechanism that I can discover.” He also stated:
There is no area of gray matter, as far as my experience goes, in which local epileptic discharge brings to pass what could be called “mindaction” … there is no valid evidence that either epileptic discharge or electrical stimulation can activate the mind.
If one stops to consider it, this is an arresting fact. The record of consciousness can be set in motion, complicated though it is, by the electrode or by epileptic discharge. An illusion of interpretation can be produced in the same way. But none of the actions that we attribute to the mind has been initiated by electrode stimulation or epileptic discharge. If there were a mechanism in the brain that could do what the mind does, one might expect that the mechanism would betray its presence in a convincing manner by some better evidence of epileptic or electrode activation.
In other words, Penfield argues that if the brain produced or generated consciousness, then we would expect that consciousness itself could be influenced by epilepsy or electrical stimulation in some way other than simply being switched off; that is, we would expect beliefs or decisions to be produced. The complete absence of any such effect in Penfield’s experience led him to reject the production hypothesis in favor of dualistic interaction.
Edwards argues that the most Penfield has shown is that brain activity is not a sufficient condition of consciousness; Edwards argues that it may still be a necessary condition. Edwards refers to this alleged confusion of sufficient and necessary conditions as “the confusions of Penfield.” Edwards wrote, “The fact that Penfield could not produce beliefs or decisions by electrical stimulation of the brain in no way shows that they do not need what we may call a brain-base any less than memories and sensations.” But Penfield fully agrees that the brain might still be a necessary condition for consciousness. He wrote, “When death at last blows out the candle that was life … what can one really conclude? What is the reasonable hypothesis in regard to this matter, considering the physiological evidence? Only this: the brain has not explained the mind fully.Penfield’s point is simply that there is nothing in brain physiology that precludes the possibility of consciousness in the absence of a brain, contrary to what Edwards would have us believe. Once again it is Edwards who is confused—in this case, about what Penfield actually thought.
In direct contrast to Edwards’ statement that “the instrument theory is absurd,” Penfield writes: “To expect the highest brain-mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd.”
Penfield sums up what he thinks the physiological evidence suggests for the relationship between mind and body.
On the basis of mind and brain as two semi-independent elements, one would still be forced to assume that the mind makes its impact upon the brain through the highest brain-mechanism. The mind must act upon it. The mind must also be acted upon by the highest brain-mechanism. The mind must remember by making use of the brain’s recording mechanisms… . And yet the mind seems to act independently of the brain in the same sense that a programmer acts independently of his computer, however much he may depend upon the action of that computer for certain purposes.
On the final pages of his book he states:
I worked as a scientist trying to prove that the brain accounted for the mind and demonstrating as many brain-mechanisms as possible hoping to show how the brain did so. In presenting this monograph I do not begin with a conclusion and I do not end by making a final and unalterable one. Instead, I reconsider the present-day neurophysiological evidence on the basis of two hypotheses: (a) that man’s being consists of one fundamental element, and (b) that it consists of two. In the end I conclude that there is no good evidence, in spite of new methods, such as the employment of stimulating electrodes, the study of conscious patients and the analysis of epileptic attacks, that the brain alone can carry out the work that the mind does. I conclude that it is easier to rationalize man’s being on the basis of two elements than on the basis of one.
The relevance of Penfield’s arguments can be summarized as this: if the neurophysiological evidence suggests that man’s being consists of two elements rather than one, then the separate existence of these two elements cannot be ruled out by consideration of this evidence.
A second prominent neuroscientist to endorse a dualistic model of mind-brain interaction was John Eccles, who found the conscious integration of visual experience impossible to account for in terms of known neurological processes because nerve impulses related to visual experience appear to be fragmented and sent to divergent areas of the brain. This difficulty led Eccles to postulate the existence of a conscious mind existing separate from and in addition to the physical brain, with the raison d’etre of the former being the integration of neural activity.
In addition to noting that there is a unitary character about the experiences of the self-conscious mind despite the fragmentary nature of brain activity, Eccles also held that there can be a temporal discrepancy between neural events and conscious experiences* and that there is a continual experience that the mind can act on brain events, which is most apparent in voluntary action or the attempt to recall a word or a memory. These considerations, combined with his lifelong study of the brain and its neurons, form the basis of his opinions on the mind-body relationship.
Eccles hypothesizes that the mind may influence the brain by exerting spatio-temporal patterns of influence on the brain, which operates as a detector of these fields of influence. In his book Facing Reality: Philosophical Adventures of a Brain Scientist, Eccles first discusses the structure and activity of the brain in great detail and then writes:
In this discussion of the functioning of the brain, it has initially been regarded as a “machine” operating according to the laws of physics and chemistry. In conscious states it has been shown that it could be in a state of extreme sensitivity as a detector of minute spatiotemporal fields of influence. The hypothesis is here developed that these spatio-temporal fields of influence are exerted by the mind on the brain in willed action. If one uses the expressive terminology of Ryle, the “ghost” operates a “machine,” not of ropes and pulleys, valves and pipes, but of microscopic spatio-temporal patterns of activity in the neuronal net woven by the synaptic connections of ten thousand million neurons, and even then only by operating on neurons that are momentarily poised close to a just threshold level of excitability. It would appear that it is the sort of machine a “ghost” could operate, if by ghost we mean in the first place an “agent” whose action has escaped detection even by the most delicate physical instruments. *
Eccles postulated a two-way interaction between brain and mind, with “brain receiving from conscious mind in a willed action and in turn transmitting to mind in a conscious experience.”
It is not clear whether Eccles was convinced of the existence of an afterlife, but he did write, “Atleast I would maintain that this possibility of a future existence cannot be denied on scientific grounds.”
It needs to be stressed that the findings of modern neuroscience do not alter the argument one bit, as they are equally compatible with both production and transmission. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, neurology, psychiatry, medicine, and surgery at the University of Arizona, points out that among neuroscientists with a materialist bent, the belief that consciousness arises from physical processes in the brain is based on three kinds of investigation:
1. Correlation studies (e.g., electroencephalogram, or EEG, correlates of visual perception)
2. Stimulation studies (e.g., electrical or magnetic stimulation)
3. Ablation studies (e.g., the effect of brain lesions).
However, analogous methods are applied during television repair with parallel results, yet no one comes to the conclusion that pictures on the screen are created inside the television. Schwartz describes the brain as the “antenna-receiver” for the mind and points out that the evidence from neuroscience, like the evidence from television repair, is just as compatible with the hypothesis of reception-transmission as it is with the hypothesis of production.
Like Penfield and Eccles before him, Schwartz has also come to the conclusion that the mind is a separate entity from the brain, and that mental processes cannot be reduced to neurochemical brain processes but on the contrary direct them. Like Penfield and Eccles, he also thinks that a mind may conceivably exist without a brain. Since Edwards has not succeeded in showing that the possibility of survival is inconsistent with the facts of neurology, and since we have seen that three prominent neuroscientists do not share Edwards’ opinion that the transmission theory is “absurd,” we can now clearly see Edwards dismissal as what it is: dogmatic prejudice against an empirical possibility that does not coincide with his materialistic faith.
« Last post by MichaelMD on Today at 16:30:37 »
Your point about my misattributing the theoretic basis for your statement that the present views of Physics (that space can't oscillate unless there is a time varying gravitational field) is correct. I carelessly attributed the source to QM when it should have been attributed to GR.
You continue critiquing my model in the same way, as though you either haven't read my position as to "standard theory versus my aether model", or else you haven't digested what I said. -My position is that QM and GR are inappropriate to cite, because they are based on earthbound observations. Quantum theory is based on energic systems involving spin, vectors, varying particle-capacities, and the like, and, I re-submit, do not correlate with what must have originated the world of forces in space in the very beginning. In my aether model, the origin of forces in space had to do with a simple process of oscillation of contiguous elemental spatial points, which transitioned to oscillational fatigue of a single point-pair, then propagation of a single disturbance all through space, producing a uniform energic aether that acts via simple vibrational resonance. -Therefore, your continuing to try rebutting this model by citing standard concepts from QM/GR gets us nowhere as far as assessing the aether origins model, or my view of aether-gravity as a simple contiguity-mechanism involving elemental aether units.
When you use the standard Physics view of space to debunk my aether model of original space, that comparison is not valid because there is no way to envision original space before the first appearance of the aether's elemental forces. Original space would certainly have differed from our present space.
In raising a point that I fail to offer any kind of empirical test for the aether that makes predictions that can be verified, again, that isn't true, because I mentioned in my posts above that there is a possible field test to detect the aether (the design for which I got from an obscure source), by generating an aether force field, then measuring materials inside the test system for a predicted decrease in densities. -This field test would be expensive to do, I lack the funds to do it myself, and I haven't been able to find a financial backer as yet.
Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology / Can we photograph the earth from the moon as we experience a lunar eclipse?« Last post by thedoc on Today at 16:30:01 »
Dan Frank Kuehn asked the Naked Scientists:
I'm wondering - Could Change 3 Lander photograph Earth as we experience the lunar eclipse on October 8?
Of course, from the moon, it would be the Earth eclipsing the sun¦
It seems there would be much to be learned, as well as documenting a phenomenon never before seen.
Perhaps it's much to dangerous for the optics, but I would love to see that image.
PS - Bonus question: From the moon, would the earth just hover in the same spot in the sky all the time, with the sun crossing the sky in a 14-day "day"?
What do you think?
© 2000–2013 The Naked Scientists®
The Naked Scientists® and Naked Science® are registered trademarks. Information presented on this website is the opinion of the individual contributors and does not reflect the general views of the administrators, editors, moderators, sponsors, Cambridge University or the public at large.