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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 307727 times)

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #475 on: 08/10/2013 00:23:02 »
The Skeptic's Dictionary has a good summary of Sheldrake's great idea and his current position.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #476 on: 08/10/2013 17:54:33 »
Regarding Sheldrake's criticisms of materialist explanation of memories in the brain:


It was once thought that memory was distributed "across the brain," and that you could not remove a particular cell that would make you forget the day you got married. And I am familiar with the hologram analogy. But now it seems more likely that memories are stored in multiple ways in different areas of the brain. There are brain areas responsible for things, shape of things, the identifying characteristics of things. There brain areas responsible for events that happened to you, called episodic memory. Several different parts of the brain may contribute to the overall memory of your wedding day, so you'd have to destroy a large part of brain to completely wipe it out.

It is, however, surprising how specifically located some memory is in the brain. One lady in a medical study who suffered a stroke  could not identify or remember the names of fruit. Her intelligence, vocabulary and memory seemed normal in every other respect, and she could identify other common house hold objects - a spoon, a hammer, a chair, a toaster, a tooth brush. But bananas, apples, oranges, or any other kind of fruit were all gone from her memory. A person I knew personally had brain surgery for an aneurysm. She said she felt normal, the only thing she noticed afterwords was she could no longer tell time from a dial face clock. She could from a digital one, but not the one with the numbers in a circle and big and small hands that she understood since she was five years old. That is just anecdotal evidence, but I thought it was interesting, none the less.

As for the comment that memory cannot exist in the brain because of molecular turnover, I question it for several reasons. The bones in your body are not the same ones you had in your body five, ten or 30 years ago. There is constant remodeling,  and yet they maintain their form and size and arrangement, with some wear and tear, perhaps a loss of density as you age. Patterns can be replicated.  There is also research that suggests that a memory is not like a file that records the original event and is stored forever. They do fade with time, and the ones that remain do so because you access them, and think about them, and store not the original memory but the newly recalled version of it. When you re-record it, you may re-record a slightly different version of it with missing information,  new embellishments or interpretations of it. That is the basis of false memories, as well as therapeutic techniques to help PTSD patients.

If memory is based on morphic resonance, why should memories fade at all? Why should some memories fade but not others, and why should they not be completely accurate? 

One problem with talking about consciousness is the habit of thinking of it as a "thing" and not a process or an action.  I notice that in discussing consciousness, people like Sheldrake point and say "show me  where a memory is in the brain," but I could just as easily point to your lower limbs and say "Show me where walking is in the legs." A lot of complicated things have to happen together in a precise way, or you're not going anywhere.

I do not agree with Sheldrake's morphic resonance theory ,as i said earlier , simply because it sounds too magical to me to be true  ,but to say that memory is stored in the brain is the epitome of stupidity , or materialist magic .
Sheldrake just replaces the materialist magic by his own in that regard .
But , that does not make the fact go away that materialism is a magical false conception of nature in science .
We'll thus have to wait for future non-materialist approaches of consciousness, life , memory , feelings , emotions, human cognition , ...............their origins emergence and evolution ,after the removal of those materialist cancer  cells and materialist cancer tumors from the brain body and sipirit of science thus .
I cannot yet conceive of any non-materialist approaches of the above yet though ...
Maybe , someone here or elsewhere would succeed in inspiring me someday on the subject , who knows ...
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #477 on: 08/10/2013 18:11:12 »
... you do dare have the nerve to say that some of you, guys , are working scientists doing research ?????????
It takes no special nerve to be a scientist, although an appropriate qualification helps. In my case, it was many years ago, but, as the man said, it was what they paid me for; even had my name on some cited papers.

What's your name then ? I would be interested in following your work .
Ok, but i was mainly talking about the fact that you do still confuse science with materialism in science , a fact you cannot deny as such , a fact you should have acknowledged and recognized as such a long time ago , as a scientist, don't you think ?
But , you do act think and behave in a worse manner than just the above : you continue "defending "   the obviously undeniably indefensible materialism in science , by continuing to see materialism as  being  "scientific " ...
If you cannot or do not want to accept obvious undeniable facts as such , regarding the fact that materialism is an ideology that has been dominating and hijacking science since the 19 century at least , what kindda scientist are you then ? if you cannot accept such obvious undeniable facts ?
Materialism that has absolutely nothing to do with science , once again .

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I do fear the worst for science in your hands , obviously , logically ...
Meh; some of the kit I helped design and build is still saving lives (on the Hajj, ironically enough), which puts your distain and 'fears for science' into some perspective.

You do not get yet again :
I was mainly talking about materialism in science , not about science : in the sense that you still continue to confuse the 2 with each other : one can do or build what you said you built while being an alien from Mars practicing science : science does not care by whom it is practiced ...but, science would be free indeed under a potentially valid conception of nature, as an alternative to materialism in science ...instead of keeping science  confined to that materialist prison,it gotta be liberated from , if science wanna evolve and progress at least : science or rather the sciences , in plural, that have been  even  superseding that outdated false materialism  ,once again  .

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Materialism in science is an incurable lethal disease  in fact  , a bit like cancer , even though some forms of cancer can be cured indeed : the only alternative to rid science from the materialist lethal cancer disease is by eradicating materialism from science ,from all sciences for that matter , by eradicating its symthoms extensions   also in all sciences thus  , and all its left-overs and  traces as well  in all sciences and elsewhere  .............if one wants to have a real healthy science or sciences as a result at least...
Healthy science as a result? very amusing - confusing a healthy body for a tumour and amputating it to save the head; ouch! should have gone to SpecSavers... The world is grateful you're not a surgeon :) 

Which puts me in mind of the old adage, "The operation was a great success, but the patient died".

What kindda scientist are you that twists or distorts people's words beyond any recognition repeatedly ? Unbelievable .
I see a pattern there ...
Materialism and its materialist extensions in science are the cancer cells or cancer tumors and their sympthoms that should be urgently removed from the body brain and spirit of science , if one wanna have a progressive evolving healthy science as a result at least : that's what i meant   by my above mentioned words you should have easily understood , if you only took the time to read them carefully ...
« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 18:23:59 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #478 on: 08/10/2013 18:34:19 »
"Science Set Free , 10 Paths to New Discovery "  by R.Sheldrake , Chapter 8 : "Are Minds Confined To Brains ?":



Are Minds Confined to Brains?
Materialism is the doctrine that only matter is real. Hence minds are in brains, and mental activity is
nothing but brain activity. This assumption conflicts with our own experience. When we look at a
blackbird, we see a blackbird; we do not experience complex electrical changes in our brains. But
most of us accepted the mind-within-the-brain theory before we ever had a chance to question it. We
took it for granted as children because it seemed to be supported by all the authority of science and the
educational system.
In his study of children’s intellectual development, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that
before about the age of ten or eleven, European children were like “primitive” people. They did not
know that the mind was confined to the head; they thought it extended into the world around them. But
by about the age of eleven, most had assimilated what Piaget called the “correct” view: “Images and
thoughts are situated in the head.”1
Educated people rarely question this “scientifically correct” view in public, perhaps because they do
not want to be thought stupid, childish or primitive. Yet the “correct” view conflicts with our most
immediate experience every time we look around us. We see things outside our bodies; we do not
experience images inside our heads. The materialist theory dominated academic psychology for most
of the twentieth century. The long-dominant behavioralist school explicitly denied the reality of
consciousness. The leading American behavioralist, B. F. Skinner, proclaimed in 1953 that mind and
consciousness were non-existent entities “invented for the sole purpose of providing spurious
explanations … Since mental or psychic events are asserted to lack the dimensions of physical
science, we have an additional reason for rejecting them.”2 As discussed in Chapter 4, a similar denial
of conscious experience is still advocated by contemporary philosophers of the school known as
“eliminative materialism.” Paul Churchland, for example, argues that subjectively experienced mental
states should be regarded as non-existent because descriptions of such states cannot be reduced to the
language of neuroscience.3
Likewise, many leading scientists regard conscious experience as nothing but the subjective
experience of brain activity (see Chapter 4). Francis Crick called this the Astonishing Hypothesis:
“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 behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and
their associated molecules … This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people alive today
that it can truly be called astonishing.4
This is, indeed, an astonishing claim. But within institutional science it is commonplace. Crick was no
revolutionary: he spoke for the mainstream. Susan Greenfield, an influential neuroscientist, looked at
an exposed brain in an operating theater and reflected, “This was all there was to Sarah, or indeed to
any of us … We are but sludgy brains, and … somehow a character and a mind are generated in this
soupy mess.”5
The traditional alternative to materialism is dualism, the doctrine that minds and brains are
radically different: minds are immaterial and brains are material; minds are outside time and space,
matter is inside time and space. Dualism makes better sense of our experience but makes no sense in
terms of mechanistic science, which is why materialists reject it so vehemently (see Chapter 4).
We need not stay stuck in this materialist-dualist contradiction. There is a way out: a field theory of
minds. We are used to the fact that fields exist both within and outside material objects. The field of a
magnet is inside it and also extends beyond its surface. The gravitational field of the earth is inside the
earth and also stretches out far beyond it, keeping the moon in its orbit. The electromagnetic field of a
mobile phone is both inside it and extends all around it. In this chapter I suggest that the fields of
minds are within brains and extend beyond them.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #479 on: 08/10/2013 18:36:06 »
Extended Minds :



Extended minds:
If we follow Francis Crick and treat materialism as a hypothesis, rather than a philosophical dogma, it
should be testable. As Carl Sagan liked to say, “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary
evidence.” Where is the extraordinary evidence for the materialist claim that the mind is nothing but
the activity of the brain?
There is very little. No one has ever seen a thought or image inside someone else’s brain, or inside
his or her own.6 When we look around us, the images of the things we see are outside us, not in our
heads. Our experiences of our bodies are in our bodies. The feelings in my fingers are in my fingers,
not in my head. Direct experience offers no support for the extraordinary claim that all experiences
are inside brains. Direct experience is not irrelevant to the nature of consciousness: it is
consciousness.
Extended minds are implicit in our language. The words “attention” and “intention” come from the
Latin root tendere, to stretch, as in “tense” and “tension.” “Attention” is ad + tendere, “to stretch
toward”; “intention,” in + tendere, “to stretch into.”
« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 18:37:44 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #480 on: 08/10/2013 18:38:49 »
How Does Vision Work ? :


How does vision work?:
A debate about the nature of vision was going on in ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. It was taken up in
the Roman Empire and in the Islamic world, and continued in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and
the Renaissance. The debate played an important part in the birth of modern science, and is still alive
today.
There were three main theories of how we see. The first was that vision involves an outward
projection of invisible rays through the eyes. This is often called the “extramission” theory, which
literally means “sending out.” Second was the idea of a “sending in” of images through light into the
eyes, the “intromission” theory. The third theory, a combination of the other two, states that there is
both an inward movement of light and an outward movement of attention.
The extramission theory agrees with people’s experience of vision as an active process. We look at
things, and can decide where to direct our attention. Vision is not passive. Plato supported this theory
of vision, and around 300 BC Euclid, famous for his works on geometry, worked it out in mathematical
detail. He showed how projection of virtual images from the eye could explain how we see images in
mirrors. Unlike light itself, which is reflected by mirrors, visual projections go straight through them.
They are not material.
Isaac Newton accepted Euclid’s theory, and illustrated it in 1704 in his book Opticks (Figure 8.1).
Essentially the same diagram is used in science textbooks today. A typical British physics textbook
for secondary schools describes the process as follows: “Rays from a point on the object are reflected
at the mirror and appear to come from a point behind the mirror where the eye imagines the rays
intersect when produced backwards.”7 There is no discussion of how the eye “imagines” rays
intersecting, or how it produces them backwards. This is essentially Euclid’s extramission theory of
virtual images, but its implications are left implicit.
Since the early seventeenth century the intromission theory has been scientifically orthodox, largely
thanks to the work of Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), best known for his discoveries in astronomy.
Kepler realized that light entering the eye through the pupil was focused by the lens, and produced an
inverted image on the retina. He published his theory of the retinal image in 1604. Although this was a
major triumph, and a landmark in the development of modern science, it raised questions that Kepler
could not answer, and are still unanswered today. The problem was that the images on the retinas of
both eyes were inverted and reversed; in other words, they were upside down and the left side was at
the right, and vice versa. Yet we do not see two small, inverted, reversed images.8
FIGURE 8.1. Isaac Newton’s diagram of reflection in a plane mirror: “If an Object A can be seen by
Reflexion of a Looking-glass mn, it shall appear, not in its proper place A, but behind the Glass at a.”
(Newton, 1704, Fig. 9)
The only way Kepler could deal with this problem was by excluding it from optics. Once the image
had been formed on the retina, it was someone else’s business to explain how we actually see it.9
Vision itself was “mysterious.” Ironically, the triumph of the intromission theory was achieved by
leaving the experience of seeing unexplained. This problem has haunted science ever since.
Kepler’s contemporary, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), likewise withdrew perceptions from the
external world and squeezed them into the brain. He made a distinction between what he called
primary and secondary qualities of objects. The primary qualities were those that could be measured
and treated mathematically, such as size, weight and shape. These were the concern of objective
science. The secondary qualities, such as color, taste, texture and smell, were not within matter itself.
They were subjective rather than objective. And subjective meant within the brain. Thus our direct
experience of the world was split into two separate poles, the objective, out there, and the subjective,
within the brain.
After four hundred years of mechanistic science, there has been almost no progress in
understanding how the brain produces subjective experience, although many details have been
discovered about the activities of different regions of the brain. The orthodox assumption is that the
brain constructs a picture or model of the world inside itself. This is how an authoritative textbook
called Essentials of Neural Science and Behavior described the process:
[T]he brain constructs an internal representation of external physical events after first analyzing
them into component parts. In scanning the visual field the brain simultaneously but separately
analyzes the form of objects, their movement, and their color, all before putting together an
image according to the brain’s own rules.10
Most contemporary metaphors for the activity of the brain are derived from computers, and “internal
representations” are commonly conceived of as “virtual reality” displays. As the psychologist Jeffrey
Gray put it succinctly, “The ‘out there’ of conscious experience isn’t really out there at all; it’s inside
the head.” Our visual perceptions are a “simulation” of the real world that is “made by, and exists
within, the brain.”11
The idea of visual experiences as simulations inside heads leads to strange consequences, as the
philosopher Stephen Lehar has pointed out.12 It means that when I look at the sky, the sky I see is
inside my head. My skull is beyond the sky!
I propose that out beyond the farthest things you can perceive in all directions, i.e. above the
dome of the sky, and below the solid earth under your feet, or beyond the walls and ceiling of the
room you see around you, is located the inner surface of your true physical skull, beyond which is
an unimaginably immense external world of which the world you see around you is merely a
miniature internal replica. In other words, the head you have come to know as your own is not
your true physical head, but only a miniature perceptual copy of your head in a perceptual copy
of the world, all of which is contained within your real head.13
Despite the theories of academic scientists and philosophers, most people do not accept that all their
experiences are located inside their heads. They think they are where they seem to be, outside their
heads.
In the 1990s, Gerald Winer and his colleagues in the psychology department at Ohio State
University investigated people’s beliefs about the nature of vision through a series of questionnaires
and tests. They were surprised that extramission beliefs were common among children, and “shocked”
when they discovered that they were also widespread among college students, even among those
studying psychology, who had been taught the “correct” theory of vision.14 Among schoolchildren
from grades five to eight, more than 70 percent believed in a combined intromission-extramission
theory, and among college students 59 percent.15 Winer and his colleagues called this a “striking
instance of a scientific misconception.”16 Education had failed to convert most of the students to the
correct belief:
Given that extramissionists in our studies affirm extramission even though they have been taught
about vision, our attention is now directed to understanding whether education can eradicate
these odd, but seemingly powerful, intuitions about perception.17
Winer and his colleagues seem doomed to failure in their crusade for intellectual cleansing. These
“odd” intuitions about perception persist because they are closer to experience than the official
doctrine, which leaves so much unexplained—including consciousness itself.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #481 on: 08/10/2013 18:41:08 »
Images Outside Bodies :


Images outside bodies:
Not all philosophers and psychologists believe the mind-in-the-brain theory, and over the years a
minority has always recognized that our perceptions may be just where they seem to be, in the
external world outside our heads, rather than representations inside our brains.18 In 1904, William
James wrote:
[T]he whole philosophy of perception from Democritus’ time downwards has been just one long
wrangle over the paradox that what is evidently one reality should be in two places at once, both
in outer space and in a person’s mind. “Representative” theories of perception avoid the logical
paradox, but on the other hand they violate the reader’s sense of life which knows no intervening
mental image but seems to see the room and the book immediately as they physically exist.19
As Alfred North Whitehead expressed it in 1925, “sensations are projected by the mind so as to clothe
appropriate bodies in external nature.”20
A recent proponent of the extended mind is the psychologist Max Velmans. In his book
Understanding Consciousness (2000), he proposed a “reflexive model” of the mind, which he
illustrated by this discussion of a subject (S) looking at a cat:
According to reductionists there seems to be a phenomenal cat “in S’s mind,” but this is really
nothing more than a state of her brain. According to the reflexive model, while S is gazing at the
cat, her only visual experience of the cat is the cat she sees out in the world. If she is asked to
point to this phenomenal cat (her “cat experience”), she should point not to her brain but to the
cat as perceived, out in space beyond the body surface.21
Velmans suggested that this image might be like “a kind of neural ‘projection hologram’. A projection
hologram has the interesting quality that the three-dimensional image it encodes is perceived to be out
in space, in front of its two-dimensional surface.”22 But Velmans was ambiguous about the nature of
this projection. A hologram is, after all, a field phenomenon. He called it “psychological” rather than
“physical” and in the end said he did not know how it happened, but added, “not fully understanding
how it happens does not alter the fact that it happens.”
My own suggestion is that the outward projection of visual images is both psychological and
physical. It occurs through perceptual fields. These are psychological, in the sense that they underlie
our conscious perceptions, and also physical or natural in that they exist outside the brain and have
detectable effects. Human perception is not unique in being extended through seeing and hearing.
Other animals see things through fields projected beyond the surfaces of their bodies, and hear things
through projected auditory fields. We are like other animals.
The senses are not static. The eyes move as we look at things, and our heads and entire bodies move
around in our environments. As we move, our perceptual fields change. Perceptual fields are not
separate from our bodies, but include them. We can see our own outer surface, our skin, hair and
clothing. We are inside our fields of vision and action. Our awareness of three-dimensional space
includes our own bodies within it, and our movements and intentions in relation to what is around us.
Like other animals, we are not passive perceivers but active behavers, and our perceptions and
behavior are closely linked.23
Some neuroscientists and philosophers agree that perceptions depend on the close connection
between perception and activity, linking an animal or person to the environment. One school of
thought advocates an “enactive” or “embodied” or “sensorimotor” approach. Perceptions are not
represented in a world-model inside the head, but are enacted or “brought forth” as a result of the
interaction of the organism and its environment. As Francisco Varela and his colleagues expressed it,
“perception and action have evolved together … perception is always perceptually guided activity.”24
As the philosopher Arva Noë put it, “We are out of our heads. We are in the world and of it. We are
patterns of active engagement with fluid boundaries and changing components. We are distributed.”25
The psychologist Kevin O’Regan, a committed materialist, prefers this approach to the mind-in-thebrain
theory precisely because he wants to expel all magic from the brain. He does not accept that
seeing is in the brain, because this would “put you in the terrible situation of having to postulate some
magical mechanism that endows the visual cortex with sight, and the auditory cortex with hearing.”26
Henri Bergson anticipated the enactive and sensorimotor approaches more than a century ago. He
emphasized that perception is directed toward action. Through perception, “The objects which
surround my body reflect its possible action upon them.”27 The images are not inside the brain:
The truth is that the point P, the rays which it emits, the retina and the nervous elements affected,
form a single whole; that the luminous point P is a part of this whole; and that it is really in P,
and not elsewhere, that the image of P is formed and perceived.28
My own interpretation is that vision takes place through extended perceptual fields, which are both
within the brain and stretch out beyond it.29 Vision is rooted in the activity of the brain, but is not
confined to the inside of the head. Like Velmans, I suggest that the formation of these fields depends
on changes in various regions of the brain as vision takes place, influenced by expectations, intentions
and memories. These are a kind of morphic field and, like other morphic fields, connect together parts
within wholes, and have an inherent memory given by morphic resonance from similar fields in the
past (see Chapter 3). When I look at a person or an animal, my perceptual field interacts with the field
of the person or animal I am looking at, enabling my gaze to be detected.
Our experience certainly suggests that our minds are extended beyond our brains. We see and hear
things in the space around us. But there is a strong taboo against anything that suggests that seeing and
hearing might involve any kind of outward projection. This issue cannot be resolved by theoretical
arguments alone, or else there would have been more progress over the last century—or even over the
last 2,500 years.
I am convinced that the way forward is to treat fields of the mind as a testable scientific hypothesis
rather than a philosophical theory. When I look at something, my perceptual fields “clothe” what I am
looking at. My mind touches what I am seeing. Therefore I might be able to affect another person just
by looking. If I look at someone from behind when she cannot hear me, or see me, and does not know I
am there, can she feel my gaze?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #482 on: 08/10/2013 18:46:58 »
The Detection of Stares:


The detection of stares:
Most people have felt someone looking at them from behind, turned around and met the person’s eyes.
Most people have also experienced the converse: they have sometimes made people turn round by
staring at them. In extensive surveys in Europe and North America, between 70 and 97 percent of
adults and children reported experiences of these kinds.30
In surveys I carried out in Britain, Sweden and the United States, these experiences seemed to be
most common when people were being stared at by strangers in public places, such as streets and bars.
They happened more when people felt vulnerable than when they felt secure.
When people made others turn around by staring at them, both men and women said that curiosity
was their most frequent reason for staring, followed by a desire to attract the other person’s attention.
Other motives included sexual attraction, anger and affection.31 In short, the ability to detect
someone’s attention was associated with a range of motives and emotions.
In some Oriental martial arts, students are trained to increase their sensitivity to being looked at
from behind.32 And some people observe others for a living. The sense of being stared at is well
known to many police officers, surveillance personnel and soldiers, as I found through a series of
interviews with professionals. Most felt that some people they were watching seemed to know, even
though the watchers were well hidden. For example, a narcotics officer in Plains, Texas, said, “I’ve
noticed that a lot of times the crook will just get a feeling that things aren’t right, that he’s being
watched. We often have somebody look right in our direction even though he can’t see us. A lot of
times we’re inside a vehicle.” When detectives are trained to follow people, they are told not to stare
at their backs any more than necessary because otherwise the person might turn around, catch their
eye and blow their cover.33
According to experienced surveillance officers, this sense also works at a distance when people are
watched through binoculars. Several soldiers told me that some people could tell when they were
being looked at through telescopic sights. For example, a soldier in the US Marine Corps served as a
sniper in Bosnia in 1995, where he was assigned to shoot “known terrorists.” While aiming through
the telescopic sight of his rifle, he found that people seemed to know when he was aiming at them.
“Within one second prior to actual termination, a target would somehow seem to make eye contact
with me. I am convinced that these people somehow sensed my presence at distances over one mile.
They did so with uncanny accuracy, in effect to stare down my own scope.”
Many celebrity photographers have had similar experiences. One long-lens photographer who
worked for the Sun, the most popular tabloid newspaper in Britain, said that he was amazed by how
many times his quarries would “turn round and look right down the lens,” even if they were looking in
the opposite direction to start with. He did not think they could see him or detect his movements. “I
am talking about taking pictures at distances of up to half a mile away in situations where it is quite
impossible for people to see me, although I can see them. They are so aware it is uncanny.”34
Many species of non-human animals also seem able to detect looks. Some hunters and wildlife
photographers are convinced that animals can detect their gaze even when they are hidden and looking
at the animals through telescopic lenses or sights. One British deer hunter found that the animals
seemed to detect his intention, especially if he delayed shooting when he had them in his rifle sights:
“If you wait a fraction too long, it will just take off. It’ll sense you.”
Several bird photographers told me that when they were in hides, invisible to the birds they were
watching, the birds still seemed to know when they were being looked at. One said, “I spend a lot of
time in hides and it is uncanny how birds can just seem to sense you are there, become agitated, even
though you know you haven’t moved. With herons you can tell instantly that they are alert to danger.
Very often the lens is completely still and they suddenly seem to realize that there is something
looking at them, and their heads go up and they go very stiff and wait to see if they can see anything
else.”35
Conversely, some photographers and hunters had felt wild animals looking at them.36 The naturalist
William Long wrote that when he was sitting in the woods alone,
I often found within myself an impression which I expressed in the words, “Something is
watching you.” Again and again, when nothing stirred in my sight, that curious warning would
come; and almost invariably, on looking around, I would find some bird or fox or squirrel which
had probably caught a slight motion of my head and had halted his roaming to creep near and
watch me inquisitively.37
Some pet owners claim that they can wake their sleeping dogs or cats by staring at them. Others have
found it works the other way round and that their animals can wake them by staring.
In their surveys in Ohio, Winer and his colleagues found that more than a third of their respondents
said they had felt when animals were looking at them. About half believed that animals could feel
their looks, even when the animals could not see their eyes.38
If the sense of being stared at is real, then it must have been subject to evolution by natural
selection. How might it have evolved? The most obvious possibility is in the context of predator-prey
relations. Prey animals that detected when predators were looking at them would stand a better chance
of surviving than those that did not.39
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #483 on: 08/10/2013 18:49:39 »
Experimental Tests:


Experimental tests:
Since the 1980s the sense of being stared at has been investigated experimentally both through direct
looking and also through closed circuit television (CCTV). In the scientific literature it is variously
referred to as “unseen gaze detection” or “remote attention” or “scopaesthesia” (from Greek skopein,
to view, and aisthetikos, sensitive).
In direct-looking experiments, people work in pairs, with a subject and a looker. In a randomized
series of trials, blindfolded subjects sit with their backs to the lookers, who either stare at the back of
their necks, or look away and think of something else. A mechanical signal—a click or a beep—marks
the beginning of each trial. Within a few seconds the subjects guess whether they are being looked at
or not. Their guesses are either right or wrong, and are recorded immediately. A test usually consists
of twenty trials.
These tests are so simple that a child can do them, and thousands of children already have. In the
1990s, this research was popularized through New Scientist magazine, BBC TV and Discovery
Channel TV, and many tests were conducted in schools and as student projects at universities.
Altogether, tens of thousands of trials were carried out.40 The results were remarkably consistent.
Typically, about 55 percent of the guesses were right, as opposed to 50 percent expected by chance.
Although the effect was small, because it was so widely replicated it was highly significant
statistically. In more rigorous experiments subjects and starers were separated by windows or one-way
mirrors, eliminating the possibility of subtle cues by sound or even smell. They were still able to tell
when they were being watched.41
The largest experiment on the sense of being stared at began in 1995 at the NEMO Science Centre
in Amsterdam. More than eighteen thousand pairs took part, with positive results that were highly
significant statistically.42 The most sensitive subjects were children under the age of nine.43
Surprisingly, the sense of being stared at works even when people are looked at on screens, rather
than directly. CCTV systems are routinely used for surveillance in shopping malls, banks, airports,
streets and other public spaces. My assistants and I interviewed surveillance officers and security
personnel whose job it was to observe people on screens. Most were convinced that some people could
feel when they were being watched.44 The security manager in a large firm in London had no doubt
that some people have a sixth sense: “They can have their backs to the cameras, or be scanned using
hidden devices, yet they still become agitated when the camera is trained on them. Some move on,
some look around for the camera.”
In laboratory tests, many people respond physiologically to being watched through CCTV, even
though they are unconscious of their response. In these experiments, the researchers put a subject in
one room and a looker in another, where the subject could be watched through CCTV. The subjects’
galvanic skin response was recorded, as in lie-detector tests, enabling emotional changes to be
detected through differences in sweating; wet skin conducts electricity better than dry skin. In a
randomized series of trials, the starers either looked at the subject’s image on the TV monitor, or
looked away and thought of something else. The subjects’ skin resistance changed significantly when
they were being looked at.45
The fact that gaze detection works through CCTV shows that people can detect other people’s
attention even when they are not being watched directly.
The effects of attention at a distance show that minds are not confined to the insides of brains.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #484 on: 08/10/2013 18:51:35 »
Minds Extended in Time :



Minds extended in time:
Minds extend beyond brains in time as well as space. We are connected to the past by memory and
habit, and to the future by desires, plans and intentions. Are these memories and virtual futures
contained materially within brains in the present, or are minds connected to the past and future by
non-material links?
The conventional answer is that our memories and intentions must be inside brains in the present.
Where else could they be? The computer metaphor reinforces this way of thinking. A computer’s
memories are stored on magnetic or optical disks, or in solid-state memory systems. These memories
are material structures or patterns in the present. And just as the computer’s memories exist
physically in its present, so its programmed goals are present in it too. Past and future are both
physically present. By analogy, memories, goals, plans and intentions are physically present in brains.
The assumption that memories are stored materially inside brains was discussed in the previous
chapter. The assumption that future goals are inside brains is equally questionable. They exist in a
realm of possibility; they are virtual futures. Possibilities are not material. In quantum physics, the
wave function that describes how electrons or other particles might behave is a mathematical model in
a multi-dimensional space based on “complex numbers” that include an imaginary number, the square
root of -1. The wave function maps possible future states of the system in terms of probabilities.
When a quantum particle such as an electron interacts with a physical system, for example in a
process of being measured in a laboratory, the wave function collapses into one of its many possible
outcomes. Many possibilities are reduced to an objectively observable fact, just as they are when a
person takes a decision and acts on it. But the wave function itself is not material; it is a mathematical
description of possibilities.
As the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead suggested, minds and matter are related as processes in
time, rather than in space (see Chapter 4). The subject chooses among its potential futures, and the
direction of mental causation runs from potential futures to the present. Neither the future nor the past
is material, but both have effects in the present through memories, habits and choices.
According to the hypothesis of morphic resonance, similar processes occur at all levels of
organization, including biological morphogenesis. As a carrot seed develops into a carrot plant, it is
shaped by its morphogenetic fields, inherited from previous carrot plants by morphic resonance. These
morphogenetic fields contain the attractors and chreodes that channel its development toward the form
of a mature plant (see Chapters 5 and 6). Neither inherited habits nor future goals are material
structures present in the plant; instead they are patterns of goal-directed activity. In a similar way
neither memories nor purposes are contained in brains, although they influence brain activity.
Most of our mental activity is habitual and unconscious. Conscious mental activity is largely
concerned with possible actions, including speaking. Our conscious minds inhabit the realm of
possibility, and languages greatly expand the possibilities they can entertain. Think of hearing a story.
Our minds can embrace possibilities that go far beyond our own experience. Conscious minds choose
among possibilities, and their choices collapse possibilities into actions that are objectively
observable in the physical world. The arrow of causation is from the virtual future, going “backward”
in time. In this sense minds act as final causes, setting goals and purposes.
In order to make choices, minds must contain alternative possibilities: coexisting at the same time.
In the language of quantum physics, these possibilities are “superposed.” The physicist Freeman
Dyson wrote, “The processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the
processes of choice between quantum states which we call ‘chance’ when made by electrons.”46
According to the hypothesis of morphic resonance, all self-organizing systems, including protein
molecules, Acetabularia cells, carrot plants, human embryos and flocks of birds, are shaped by
memory from previous similar systems transmitted by morphic resonance and drawn toward attractors
through chreodes. Their very being involves an invisible presence of both past and future. Minds are
extended in time not because they are miraculously different from ordinary matter, but because they
are self-organizing systems. All self-organizing systems are extended in time, shaped by morphic
resonance from the past, and drawn toward attractors in the future.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #485 on: 08/10/2013 18:53:56 »
What Difference does it Make ?:



What difference does it make?:
Liberating minds from confinement in heads is like being released from prison. Most people have
already broken out in secret. Even most materialists are not true believers when it comes to
themselves; they effectively ignore the materialist theory in their private lives. They do not take
seriously the idea that their skulls are beyond the sky. In practice, they are dualists who believe they
make free choices.
Those who take their materialist faith seriously ought to believe that they are like robots with no
free will. And some materialists actually want to experience themselves as automata. For example, the
psychologist Kevin O’Regan told his fellow materialist Susan Blackmore, “Ever since I’ve been a
child I’ve wanted to be a robot. I think one of the great difficulties of human life is that one’s life is
inhabited by uncontrollable desires and that if one could only be master of those and become more
like a robot one would be much better off.” He thought everyone else was a robot too, but “just
labouring under the illusion that they weren’t.” But as Blackmore pointed out, a robot with emotions it
could control would be an unusual kind of robot.47 O’Regan is exceptional in extending materialist
theories to the realm of private life, but nevertheless he endowed his robot-self with a desire to be
master of his emotions, implying both conscious experience and choice.
Materialism is unpersuasive if one takes one’s own experience into account. But because it is the
creed of established science, its authority is enormous. That is why so many educated people try to
resolve this dilemma by adopting a materialist persona in scientific discourse, while in private
accepting the reality of conscious experience and choice.
A field theory of minds and bodies liberates us from this stalemate. Minds are closely connected to
fields that extend beyond brains in space, and also extend beyond brains in time, linked to the past by
morphic resonance and to virtual futures through attractors.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #486 on: 08/10/2013 18:56:49 »
Face it , dude , you are  just  a vulgar liar : if you are a scientist , then i am Lady Gaga or Madonna also,not just Elvis  .

Should be quite a gig, then.

Alan M Calverd MA(Cantab), PhD(Warwick), CPhys, MInstP, MIPEM, CertRPA
State Registered Clinical Physicist

...and part-time musician
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #487 on: 08/10/2013 19:02:25 »
Face it , dude , you are  just  a vulgar liar : if you are a scientist , then i am Lady Gaga or Madonna also,not just Elvis  .

Should be quite a gig, then.

Alan M Calverd MA(Cantab), PhD(Warwick), CPhys, MInstP, MIPEM, CertRPA
State Registered Clinical Physicist

...and part-time musician

Whatever :
You still need to correct many of your views concerning science and materialism, concerning the illusion of objectivity in science , concering the nature function and role of science ...to say just that .
Good luck indeed.
P.S.: Why don't you try to enlighten us , as a presumed scientist then, regarding the above ?
I saw nothing but empty remarks, insults , silly egocentric behaviour,empty rhetorics, irrelevant silly sarcasm   ...from you so far on this thread .
« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 19:04:08 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #488 on: 08/10/2013 20:07:48 »
... In my case, it was many years ago, but, as the man said, it was what they paid me for; even had my name on some cited papers.
What's your name then ? I would be interested in following your work .
Can you not even follow a link? (hint: compare my user name with the authors) As it happens, that's the only paper of mine I can find online - it was a long time ago, in my first career. We did a bunch of stuff under Joe Weiner (of Piltdown Man fame), from creating a heat-stroke treatment bed for the Hajj (for Sudan & Saudi Arabia), to hypothermia in the elderly (one colleague was asked onto BBC TV each winter to give his advice to the elderly: "wrap up well, & keep warm"!), to studying recovery from leg fractures & knee surgery.

Quote
i was mainly talking about the fact that you do still confuse science with materialism in science , a fact you cannot deny as such , a fact you should have acknowledged and recognized as such a long time ago , as a scientist, don't you think ?
Until you can suggest some way of observing and measuring the non-material, science will continue productively discovering and learning more about the observable and measurable world. [Incidentally, if, as you appeared to suggest earlier, you feel that quantum mechanics somehow involves the non-material, then science is already involved in the non-material. Most physicists would disagree with that attribution, but you seem to have your own definitions for these things].

Quote
But , you do act think and behave in a worse manner than just the above : you continue "defending "   the obviously undeniably indefensible materialism in science , by continuing to see materialism as  being  "scientific " ...
Science involves learning about, describing, and explaining the observable world. Currently it can only observe material things. If you know how the scientific method can be applied to observing and measuring the non-material, science will happily include it, and you'll probably be up for a Nobel prize. Nobody's 'defending' anything, we're just telling you what the current situation is. Sadly, you don't listen or can't understand, so you keep on your hobby horse, tilting at windmills and attacking straw men, with your bonnet full of bees...

Quote
If you cannot or do not want to accept obvious undeniable facts as such , regarding the fact that materialism is an ideology that has been dominating and hijacking science since the 19 century at least , what kindda scientist are you then ?
I was a human physiologist & environmental biologist. What kindda scientist are you?

Quote
if you cannot accept such obvious undeniable facts ?
Materialism that has absolutely nothing to do with science , once again .
While you whine and whinge about ideologies and 'undeniable facts', the undeniable fact is, scientists around the world are making discoveries in a multitude of fields, increasing the sum total of human knowledge, and generating the technologies that can feed you, make you comfortable, keep you alive, and allow you to communicate with almost anyone on the planet.

It's a human enterprise, so of course it's imperfect; if you have anything practical to contribute why not get off your backside and get your hands dirty making a contribution, instead of sitting around bleating that you don't like how it's being done?

Let me guess - you don't have a clue how science is actually done, or what drives scientists to do it. Just like you post up whole chapters of other people's books in place of presenting arguments of your own.

You remind me of those fat couch potatoes watching the TV with a beer in one hand and a pizza in the other, telling the world's elite athletes what they're doing wrong... It's quite sad really - but also quite funny!
« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 20:11:02 by dlorde »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #489 on: 08/10/2013 20:17:23 »
I saw nothing but empty remarks, insults , silly egocentric behaviour,empty rhetorics, irrelevant silly sarcasm   ...from you so far on this thread .
Dang! there goes another irony meter. I'm going to have to use disposables for this thread :)
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #490 on: 08/10/2013 20:47:24 »
I saw nothing but empty remarks, insults , silly egocentric behaviour,empty rhetorics, irrelevant silly sarcasm   ...from you so far on this thread .
Dang! there goes another irony meter. I'm going to have to use disposables for this thread :)

Boring .
Your mechanic soulless so-called irony meter  is false outdated and therefore can't handle  my irony  haha , (i am called the king of irony haha by friends relatives loved ones ...no pretences or arrogance .),can't detect subtle irony - can't detect humour , can't detect some facts .............
 

Offline RD

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #491 on: 08/10/2013 21:29:16 »
The Detection of Stares:

The detection of stares:
Most people have felt someone looking at them from behind, turned around and met the person’s eyes ...

But proper scientific experiments show this power doesn't actually exist ... http://www.csicop.org/si/show/psychic_staring_effect_an_artifact_of_pseudo_randomization/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopaesthesia

« Last Edit: 08/10/2013 21:32:17 by RD »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #492 on: 08/10/2013 21:43:18 »
... In my case, it was many years ago, but, as the man said, it was what they paid me for; even had my name on some cited papers.
What's your name then ? I would be interested in following your work .
Can you not even follow a link? (hint: compare my user name with the authors) As it happens, that's the only paper of mine I can find online - it was a long time ago, in my first career. We did a bunch of stuff under Joe Weiner (of Piltdown Man fame), from creating a heat-stroke treatment bed for the Hajj (for Sudan & Saudi Arabia), to hypothermia in the elderly (one colleague was asked onto BBC TV each winter to give his advice to the elderly: "wrap up well, & keep warm"!), to studying recovery from leg fractures & knee surgery.

Sounds interesting : i will look at that .I saw 2 or 3 names there quickly , so .

Quote
Quote
i was mainly talking about the fact that you do still confuse science with materialism in science , a fact you cannot deny as such , a fact you should have acknowledged and recognized as such a long time ago , as a scientist, don't you think ?
Until you can suggest some way of observing and measuring the non-material, science will continue productively discovering and learning more about the observable and measurable world. [Incidentally, if, as you appeared to suggest earlier, you feel that quantum mechanics somehow involves the non-material, then science is already involved in the non-material. Most physicists would disagree with that attribution, but you seem to have your own definitions for these things].

(What about Sheldrake's work and views on the subject ,Nagel's ...views on the subject ? missed that ? hallooo )

I am not talking about science , once again , just about that false outdated materialism in science : can't you get just that ? Come on.

Science does not have to be materialistic , science will continue functioning and delivering results without materialism ....the latter that has absolutely nothing to do with science .
Science will be free from materialism ...
See some quotes i did post from Sheldrake's above mentioned book , regarding how the observer changes his/her  observations and scientific experiments , just by looking at them ......
I will try to find those relevant Sheldrake's quotes regarding that and therefore regarding also quantum physics ,the latter that has been superseding materialism as well .

Quote
Quote
But , you do act think and behave in a worse manner than just the above : you continue "defending "   the obviously undeniably indefensible materialism in science , by continuing to see materialism as  being  "scientific " ...
Science involves learning about, describing, and explaining the observable world. Currently it can only observe material things. If you know how the scientific method can be applied to observing and measuring the non-material, science will happily include it, and you'll probably be up for a Nobel prize. Nobody's 'defending' anything, we're just telling you what the current situation is. Sadly, you don't listen or can't understand, so you keep on your hobby horse, tilting at windmills and attacking straw men, with your bonnet full of bees...

God ...
Anyway :
Science is all about understanding and explaining the universe , so, when science is imprisoned by  a false conception of nature such as materialism, science is logically crippled in its effective and unparalleled capabilities methods or approaches to understand and explain nature or the universe  (There are in fact multiple forms of the scientific method , not just one ,: cosmology , for example ,cannot experiment with stars, galaxies , planets ....by putting them in the lab and by subjecting them to experiments ...).
You're the one who do not wanna understand that materialism is just a false outdated ideology secular religion in science , that has been crippling science , the latter can perfectly function and deliver results without materialism : can't you get just that ?
Non-reductionist naturalism might be an option for science , i dunno, Nagel and others talked about , even though it is still a vague vision in the making , once again .


Quote
Quote
If you cannot or do not want to accept obvious undeniable facts as such , regarding the fact that materialism is an ideology that has been dominating and hijacking science since the 19 century at least , what kindda scientist are you then ?
I was a human physiologist & environmental biologist. What kindda scientist are you?

Good to know what kindda scientist you are indeed : interesting : i will take your word for it , at face value .
But , that was not the point :
The point was/ is :

"What kindda scientist are you ...." was not a question ,hallloooo.
what kindda scientist are you , if you cannot accept obvious undeniable facts regarding the false outdated nature of materialism in science ...that's what i meant .

As of my field of study , i will keep it as a secret , untill  i see we are getting somewhere on this thread : just be patient with me : i will reveal the purpose of just why i keep that as a secret , for the time being at least , in due time .

Quote
Quote
if you cannot accept such obvious undeniable facts ?
Materialism that has absolutely nothing to do with science , once again .
While you whine and whinge about ideologies and 'undeniable facts', the undeniable fact is, scientists around the world are making discoveries in a multitude of fields, increasing the sum total of human knowledge, and generating the technologies that can feed you, make you comfortable, keep you alive, and allow you to communicate with almost anyone on the planet.

Unbelievable : you do not get it yet : what a shame for a self-declared scientist .
God...
Anyway :
I am not talking about science ,or about its effective wonderful amazing ...you name it ....unparalleled method that's like no other , i am not talking about the amazing "miracles " achieved by science , materialism has absolutely nothing to do with = materialism that's been just taking a free ride on the unwilling back of science and has been confining science to its materialist prison .
I was not talking about modern science itself (or about its huge and unparalled achievements ), that's been a unique unparalleled effective human activity "discovery or invention " ,tool or instrument that has been transforming this world and ourselves in the process , and will continue to do so with or without materialism, in ways humanity had / has and will never be able to imagine .
I have ben talking only about materialism in science as a false deceptiive outdated orthodox primitive backward secular religion and false conception of nature in science , that has been hijacking an imprisoning science within its ideological walls , materialism that has been deliberately deceiving humanity in the name of science , by pretending to be "scientific " , by selling its materialist false conception of nature in all sciences for that matter and elsewhere ,and elsewhere  including in art , literature ..........(.i deliberately repeat " and elsewhere " for you ,so , in order to avoid being accused by yourself potentially eventually of labelling art and literature as ..."sciences " , since you seem to be the champion of distorting twisting people's words .), by selling thus its materialist false and outdated ideological misconception of nature in science , as science proper , as scientific facts , as scientific results or as scientific approaches : Get that ? You're really exhausting = an understatement thus= i wanna remain polite with you, out of respect for your purely scientific qualifications  .

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It's a human enterprise, so of course it's imperfect; if you have anything practical to contribute why not get off your backside and get your hands dirty making a contribution, instead of sitting around bleating that you don't like how it's being done?

What do you think i have been doing here and elsewhere? , you have no idea .
Besides, helping science get rid of that materialist magical ideological bullshit prison  is a noble great thing to do also ...that would help science florish blossom prosper progress evolve in unimaginable ways yet , you have no idea , by breaking free from that materialist prison ...= whole new unparalleled unimaginable-yet vistas would open for science as a result , you have no idea = the fact that the possible probable alternatives to materialism are still so vague and in the making , does/will not prevent science from making that ultimate  freedom dream come true , in ways we can still not imagine yet ...
Only the future will tell indeed .

Quote
Let me guess - you don't have a clue how science is actually done, or what drives scientists to do it. Just like you post up whole chapters of other people's books in place of presenting arguments of your own.

No, wrong again , as often is the case with you, i see : my own quick humble input , due to my tight time-frame and due to the nature of this exchange also , did ,obviously , not help making you, people, get my points , so, i have been resorting to quoting some relevant well -informed sources to support my allegations and claims .

Quote
You remind me of those fat couch potatoes watching the TV with a beer in one hand and a pizza in the other, telling the world's elite athletes what they're doing wrong... It's quite sad really - but also quite funny!

Wrong again, as usual : you have no idea of what i have been doing or who i might be ...no pretences or arrogance , no false ones either .
Besides, delivering science from that materialist bullshit prison is worth a while , and beyond that , you have still no idea ................
God...
Amazing ...
I am speechless ...
Take care .
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #493 on: 08/10/2013 22:19:59 »
The Detection of Stares:

The detection of stares:
Most people have felt someone looking at them from behind, turned around and met the person’s eyes ...

But proper scientific experiments show this power doesn't actually exist ... http://www.csicop.org/si/show/psychic_staring_effect_an_artifact_of_pseudo_randomization/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopaesthesia
Sheldrake can't let go of morphic resonance. The rest of the community looked at it quite carefully when he first came up with the idea, found no evidence whatsoever for it, and moved on. Sheldrake just can't move on, it was his 'great idea', and so he looks for hidden 'fields' of influence wherever he can, while criticising the scientific community for not joining him. Paranormal and pseudo-scientific claims are a rich hunting ground for such phenomena - and, as he ought to know, if you go looking for something subtle and expecting to find it, if you're not careful you'll often 'find' it whether it's there or not. He wasn't careful, and ironically in this case, underestimated or didn't account for a real 'hidden' human ability - picking up on pseudo-random sequences.

Quite a few scientists seem to wander off-piste into pseudo-science in their late careers, but he's a clever man, and given the numerous misleading distortions of fact he presented in the video posted earlier, I wonder whether he actually knows his case is lost, and the ship is going down, but he keeps paddling and baling rather than sink without trace - and if anything strange does crop up, he can say "I told you so". 

Is that too cynical Don? 
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #494 on: 08/10/2013 22:54:37 »
Science will be free from materialism ...
Hurrah!

Quote
I will try to find those relevant Sheldrake's quotes regarding that and therefore regarding also quantum physics ,the latter that has been superseding materialism as well .
Please don't trouble yourself. If you think quantum physics supercedes materialism, tell me how it does so in your own words. Who was it said, "when one pretends to know this or that  about something , one gotta prove that to be true"?

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... materialism is just a false outdated ideology secular religion in science , that has been crippling science , the latter can perfectly function and deliver results without materialism...
You're just quite unable to say how, eh?

Quote
As of my field of study , i will keep it as a secret , untill  i see we are getting somewhere on this thread : just be patient with me : i will reveal the purpose of just why i keep that as a secret , for the time being at least , in due time .
Don't bother. As far as I'm concerned, it's your arguments that count here. They add up to a big fat zero so far.

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I have ben talking only about materialism in science as a false deceptiive outdated orthodox primitive backward secular religion and false conception of nature in science , that has been hijacking an imprisoning science within its ideological walls , materialism that has been deliberately deceiving humanity in the name of science , by pretending to be "scientific " , by selling its materialist false conception of nature in all sciences for that matter and elsewhere ,and elsewhere  including in art , literature ..........(.i deliberately repeat " and elsewhere " for you ,so , in order to avoid being accused by yourself potentially eventually of labelling art and literature as ..."sciences " , since you seem to be the champion of distorting twisting people's words .), by selling thus its materialist false and outdated ideological misconception of nature in science , as science proper , as scientific facts , as scientific results or as scientific approaches.
Oh dear, that sounds awful. I'm also strongly against all 'false deceptiive outdated orthodox primitive backward secular religion' (especially that), all 'hijacking an imprisoning science within ... ideological walls', and anything that 'deliberately deceives humanity in the name of science , by pretending to be "scientific "', and 'selling ...  false and outdated ideological misconceptions of nature in science...'.

Looks like we're on the same side after all!  :)

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Quote
.. if you have anything practical to contribute why not get off your backside and get your hands dirty making a contribution, instead of sitting around bleating that you don't like how it's being done?
What do you think i have been doing here and elsewhere?
Here? bloviating.

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Besides, helping science get rid of that materialist magical ideological bullshit prison  is a noble great thing to do also ...that would help science florish blossom prosper progress evolve in unimaginable ways yet , you have no idea , by breaking free from that materialist prison ...= whole new unparalleled unimaginable-yet vistas would open for science as a result , you have no idea...
So how are you helping, exactly?

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I am speechless .
That'll be the day!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #495 on: 09/10/2013 00:48:22 »
Whatever :

I'd like to take that as an apology, but then you go and spoil it wth a childish rant.

When you have acquired the humility that underpins the application of science, you will understand a lot more.

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the illusion of objectivity in science

Your illusion, not mine. But it's a harmless one for the most part, especially if the sufferer is not a scientist.
« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 00:53:16 by alancalverd »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #496 on: 09/10/2013 01:45:59 »
"Science Set Free , 10 Paths to New Discovery "  by R.Sheldrake , Chapter 8 : "Are Minds Confined To Brains ?":



Are Minds Confined to Brains?
Materialism is the doctrine that only matter is real. Hence minds are in brains, and mental activity is
nothing but brain activity. This assumption conflicts with our own experience. When we look at a
blackbird, we see a blackbird; we do not experience complex electrical changes in our brains. But
most of us accepted the mind-within-the-brain theory before we ever had a chance to question it. We
took it for granted as children because it seemed to be supported by all the authority of science and the
educational system.
In his study of children’s intellectual development, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget found that
before about the age of ten or eleven, European children were like “primitive” people. They did not
know that the mind was confined to the head; they thought it extended into the world around them. But
by about the age of eleven, most had assimilated what Piaget called the “correct” view: “Images and
thoughts are situated in the head.”1
Educated people rarely question this “scientifically correct” view in public, perhaps because they do
not want to be thought stupid, childish or primitive. Yet the “correct” view conflicts with our most
immediate experience every time we look around us. We see things outside our bodies; we do not
experience images inside our heads. The materialist theory dominated academic psychology for most
of the twentieth century. The long-dominant behavioralist school explicitly denied the reality of
consciousness. The leading American behavioralist, B. F. Skinner, proclaimed in 1953 that mind and
consciousness were non-existent entities “invented for the sole purpose of providing spurious
explanations … Since mental or psychic events are asserted to lack the dimensions of physical
science, we have an additional reason for rejecting them.”2 As discussed in Chapter 4, a similar denial
of conscious experience is still advocated by contemporary philosophers of the school known as
“eliminative materialism.” Paul Churchland, for example, argues that subjectively experienced mental
states should be regarded as non-existent because descriptions of such states cannot be reduced to the
language of neuroscience.3
Likewise, many leading scientists regard conscious experience as nothing but the subjective
experience of brain activity (see Chapter 4). Francis Crick called this the Astonishing Hypothesis:
“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 behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and
their associated molecules … This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people alive today
that it can truly be called astonishing.4
This is, indeed, an astonishing claim. But within institutional science it is commonplace. Crick was no
revolutionary: he spoke for the mainstream. Susan Greenfield, an influential neuroscientist, looked at
an exposed brain in an operating theater and reflected, “This was all there was to Sarah, or indeed to
any of us … We are but sludgy brains, and … somehow a character and a mind are generated in this
soupy mess.”5
The traditional alternative to materialism is dualism, the doctrine that minds and brains are
radically different: minds are immaterial and brains are material; minds are outside time and space,
matter is inside time and space. Dualism makes better sense of our experience but makes no sense in
terms of mechanistic science, which is why materialists reject it so vehemently (see Chapter 4).
We need not stay stuck in this materialist-dualist contradiction. There is a way out: a field theory of
minds. We are used to the fact that fields exist both within and outside material objects. The field of a
magnet is inside it and also extends beyond its surface. The gravitational field of the earth is inside the
earth and also stretches out far beyond it, keeping the moon in its orbit. The electromagnetic field of a
mobile phone is both inside it and extends all around it. In this chapter I suggest that the fields of
minds are within brains and extend beyond them.

Wow, this excerpt gives me a whole new level of lack of respect for Sheldrake. The fact that we do not experience photons smacking into our retina and are not conscious of the nervous impulses traveling through the optic nerve hardly contradicts what is known about eye balls and vision.
I also don't see all the codes behind the Windows programs that allow me to interact with you on the Naked Science forum.  Lots of brain processes occur below our level of awareness. I am not conscious of "what it feels like" when my brain regulates my blood pressure, all I get is information about the end results. I'm either okay, or I'm dizzy and about to pass out.

As long as my visual representation of a black bird corresponds some what consistently with what's out there in the world, "real" or not, exactly like yours or not, I can function in the world.

Humans are not born with fully developed brains, the same way they do not hit the ground running like baby giraffes. It does take babies time to learn where they end and the rest of the world begins. It takes time for them to learn what their body parts can do. (One set of new parents took their young baby to the ER because he kept sticking out his tongue and crossing his eyes. They were worried he had something stuck in his throat, or was having some weird seizure. The ER doc reassured them "Nope, he's fine. He's just discovered his tongue, and that he can control it -he's trying to look at it, and he's fascinated by it.")

 Babies and children (much younger than 1O or 11!) also develop whats called a theory of mind, that is, they realize that other people think and have feelings like them, but just because they know something, doesn't mean that the other person knows it, and vice versa. Like their body, they discover that their mind and another person's mind are NOT connected. But they also develop the ability to imagine the world from another person's perspective, and to take into account the limits of that person's perspective. To me, that is a sign of intelligence, not brainwashing, as Sheldrake suggests. Even the chimps in the experiments mentioned many posts ago can do it, and they certainly weren't brainwashed by the education system or  Eurocentric materialists. 

Oh, and what is absolutely hilarious is the Crick comment, which Sheldrake has misinterpreted to mean the exact opposite of what it says. Crick was a strict materialist, who was simply trying to convince other materialists that consciousness could be explained and studied through conventional, empirical methods, and worth pursuing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Astonishing_Hypothesis

As for BF Skinner, that's a straw man argument. Skinner did research in the 50s, before much was known about neurochemistry, before there were brain imagining techniques. He did not deny the existence of subjective experience, he just said, we can't measure or observe it, so let's work on things we can observe and measure and see what that tells us about the brain and how people behave. As limited as his work was, because of the technology of the time, a lot of it still holds up because it was based on empirical observations. Where as other theories in psychology, based on abstract principles (the Id, Ego and Super Ego,) have fallen by the wayside.
But if Sheldrake is going to pick on materialists, he should at least choose some one from this century. I'd like to see him take on Vilayanur S. Ramachandran.

« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 04:51:42 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #497 on: 09/10/2013 01:56:21 »
I'd write more cranky responses, but the Northern lights are going crazy here!
« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 01:59:23 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #498 on: 09/10/2013 04:20:25 »
The Northern Lights have unfortunately dimmed a bit. So in the mean time, I've been searching for "science proper" on the internet, and strangely found nothing except for a question on a forum by someone named Shibboleth.

Although my knowledge of Islam is quite limited, it doesn't seem that scientists working in traditionally Islamic countries are rabid anti-materialists.

I think scientists working in Africa,Asia, the middle East, or South America, would not consider science, or empirically based, materialist scientific methodology, to be the domain of Eurocentric White devils trying to brain wash them or impose a false misconception of science upon them. The Renaissance in Europe was a long time ago, and many countries and ethnic groups have contributed to materialist scientific findings before and after, often at great personal threat to their safety by religious fundamentalists in their geographical area. The idea that materialism stems from Jesuit tradition is certainly questionable. The Jesuit tradition, as I understand it, (and I'm not Cathothic,) was simply that education had a civilizing effect on people which was overall beneficial . Some Catholic priests may have been more educated than the average person at the time; they knew Latin, and could read, they had time and income to think about science, but they pursued certain scientific findings at their own peril.
But even in Europe, early scientists, who were not associated with the church, like Galileo, or amateur scientists like Leeuwenhoek who looked at semen under a microscope, risked their lives communicating their "materialist"  observations to others. Undoubtably, scientists in Islamic countries encountered the same opposition.

Many religious scientists have attempted to reconcile science and religion, but I suspect Don Quixote's  proposed"paradigm shift" is an attempt to turn the clock back to an essentially medieval view of reality in which materialist science infringes on God's prerogative to alter reality in any way He sees fit.

« Last Edit: 09/10/2013 04:35:07 by cheryl j »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #499 on: 09/10/2013 06:03:50 »
Question: Why can you never trust an atom?

Because they make up everything!

Hahahahaha.I crack myself up.  Sorry, just a little materialist humor.  And yes I stole that joke.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #499 on: 09/10/2013 06:03:50 »

 

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