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Author Topic: Major Bombshell : Manifesto For A Post-Materialistic Science :  (Read 186125 times)

Offline alancalverd

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Back to my "single gold atom" experiment. A person with an acquisitive soul could become very rich by thought alone, but AFAIK it has not happened. So either there is no such thing as an acquisitive soul, or there is no means by which a soul can affect the physical universe.

I really don't see an "interpretation problem". QM describes what happens. It isn't what you would expect if classical mechanics applied to very small objects, but if you scale QM up to large objects, it begins to look like classical mechanics. So QM is an accurate representation of events and CM is an easier approximation. What's the problem?  Admittedly we don't have a quantum formalism for gravitation, but the CM model only predicts what happens without proposing how it works, so it's no big deal and certainly no reason for invoking the supernatural. 
 

Offline dlorde

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... if there was indeed a separate soul , the latter would have causal effects on matter without obeying , by definition , any laws of physics...
If there are souls that can causally affect matter without obeying any of the laws of the universe, but all they ever bother to do is f*ck with certain physics experiments in a consistent and predictable fashion, souls have an odd sense of humor.
And here was I thinking that causality was a fundamental law of physics...
 

Offline cheryl j

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While discussions of quantum mechanics are interesting in their own right, I still fail to see  the logical progression from the role of consciousness in them, (which is starting look more and more doubtful) to “consciousness cannot be brain activity” or “we have immortal souls.”

I’ve been thinking more about an article I posted a link for earlier – Biological Function of Consciousness by Brian Earl

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4122207/

It includes a good synopsis of consciousness research and different recent approaches. It also provides a very good argument that consciousness is not epiphenomena, that qualia and consciousness have biological functions in facilitating information processing and selecting appropriate response, and is therefore causal by influencing choices and behaviour which have evolutionary advantages.
 
But then there’s Section Four of Earl's article which is likely to make many readers slam on the brakes: “Evidence that conscious is solely information.”

I’m sure many will find the conclusion, that consciousness is information, unsatisfying. Superficially,  it seems to not only contradict, but flagrantly ignore, the hard problem and Chalmer’s argument, as well as Cooper’s primary objection, with the rather bold claim  “consciousness functions solely as input data; every component of consciousness is information in some form, and no part of one's experience is ever not information.” 

We insist feeling is not information, that it is something qualitatively different, more salient, more real, despite the obvious fact that if we destroy that information – if I block the transmission of the nerve, if I erase the memory of that painful experience – where is feeling's salient reality then? Even if the damage to my mangled finger is permanent, the pain disappears when the pain receptors stop transmitting  information. Even emotional pain about the fact that I now have a weird looking or dysfunctional finger disappears if I’m asleep, or engaged in other tasks. Where there is no transmission of information, there is no feeling.

 If philosophers are going to shout “show me a component of information that can feel” the rebuttal “show me feeling apart from information” is equally appropriate. 

What's more, there is nothing in quantum mechanics that explains what it “feels like”  to be a collapsing wave function, or how they are related in any logical way,  something that is utterly ignored in every quantum consciousness explanation, from Stapp to Penrose. This is odd, considering accounting for feeling and qualia is supposed to be neuroscience's Achilles heel from the dualist point of view.)

I think Earl's position is worth taking a closer look at, if anyone is interested. It also overlaps with other approaches such as Baars "global workspace," Kock and Crick's works on the function of the claustrum, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/neuronal-superhub-might-generate-consciousness/ and Tononi's integrated information theory.
« Last Edit: 02/01/2015 19:18:10 by cheryl j »
 

Offline dlorde

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I think Earl's position is worth taking a closer look at, if anyone is interested. It also overlaps with other approaches such as Baars "global workspace," Kock and Crick's works on the function of the claustrum, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/neuronal-superhub-might-generate-consciousness/ and Tononi's integrated information theory.
Yes, I agree - to an extent. I haven't heard a clear definition of information in this context. In physics, information is a somewhat abstruse concept, but here I think it's more like 'data with meaning' (e.g. sensory data). I would suggest that the meaning comes via pattern-matching, with the associative patterns of neural activity that the incoming data triggers. Patterns of input signals will stimulate pathways established by similar previous experience, and through those pathways, associations established previously for those patterns, so triggering recognition, familiarity, emotional associations, etc., at the same time contextual differences and novelties in the input will create new pathways, triggering different areas, and generating new associations.

Something along those lines...
 

Offline cheryl j

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Yes, I agree - to an extent. I haven't heard a clear definition of information in this context. In physics, information is a somewhat abstruse concept, but here I think it's more like 'data with meaning' (e.g. sensory data).

That is, I think, his use of the term information. He says "I use the term “information” to mean data or facts, which is a broader meaning than the usage in information theory as reduction in uncertainty. Some examples should help clarify my usage: The fact that I know something is information, and what I know is information. The fact that I am in pain is information, but the pain itself is information about possible bodily damage. The fact that I am angry is information, but my feeling angry is itself information about my own response to events.  Each of these statements does more than simply reduce uncertainty; it establishes the meaning or context of the information."
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I would suggest that the meaning comes via pattern-matching, with the associative patterns of neural activity that the incoming data triggers. Patterns of input signals will stimulate pathways established by similar previous experience, and through those pathways, associations established previously for those patterns, so triggering recognition, familiarity, emotional associations, etc., at the same time contextual differences and novelties in the input will create new pathways, triggering different areas, and generating new associations.

Something along those lines...

I agree, but what is bold about his claim the inclusion of feeling as information that contributes to all of those recognitions, and associations above.

In a nut shell, he says consciousness is  a changing three-dimensional perceptual array of information that functions as input data to a process, or processes, that determine behavior. Consciousness includes no actual mental processes itself, but we experience the results of these processes.The only experiences that might superficially seem like processes are transitions from one group of sensations to the next or from one thought to the next. Qualia incorporate qualitative and quantitative information into consciousness. Qualia permit information about various qualitative properties, such as color or texture, and quantitative properties, such as relative size and location, to be incorporated into the information of consciousness, and that is why they evolved.

Feelings, like qualia, are also information. He divides them into various categories - "Physical state feelings represent information about internal physical conditions.For example, pain is a representation of bodily disturbance or peripheral tissue trauma and hunger informs consciousness of a need or desire for food.
Emotional feelings are representations and information concerning our state of physical and psychological responding to actual events, or to memories, thoughts,  or imaginings.
Mood feelings represent emotional states that are not tied to a particular situation, and are less well differentiated than other emotional feelings.  They inform consciousness concerning one's pre-existing psychological state or response bias. Therefore, these feelings are information.
Evaluative feelings are based upon nonconscious evaluations of things, and innate responses or learned associations in relation to them These feelings qualify objects, events, people, ideas, and so on, with regard to their meaning for us, our attitudes to them, or our judgments about them, and result from nonconscious and immediate evaluation processes ,but also what we understand, distrust, are familiar with, and so on; they are information about one's personal valuation of things."


The great irony is that feelings only seem superfluous to philosophers and other verbose humans, who rarely stop to consider the idea that feelings are the primary “language” of any animal that has consciousness, but no language. How does a conscious animal flag an event or an object in conscious awareness, memory, or imagination as good, bad, delicious,  risky,  threatening,  effective, ineffective, sexy,  or surprising, without the words "good, bad, delicious, risky, threatening effective", etc?  What is the “short form” for qualitatively flagging an event instead of replaying the entire memory in your head?

Emotions also serve to provoke displays of corresponding behavior (like screaming in terror) which are likely to provoke a similar or appropriate feeling and response in others, so they are a form of social communication as well.

Whether it's the language of words, or the language of feeling, it’s information, either way. We have may both, but we evolved from animals that didn’t. If emotions are more powerful drivers of behavior than word-based thoughts, perhaps it is because feelings have been with us a great deal longer. Humans and other animals who ignored fear or didn’t remember or express fear, suffered the consequences,  where as we have rarely died from mis-phrasing a sentence.

Anyway, it would be interesting to know how someone like Chalmers or Thomas Nagel would respond to Earl's ideas.

« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 07:49:36 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg447743#msg447743 date=1420150650]
It's always the fault of other people , never ours , right ?
A little self-reflection or self-introspection won't hurt anybody , to the contrary .
Quite. Nobody's perfect, but anyone reading the thread can make up their own mind.

Indeed  lol , ironically enough  .

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Here you go again , emotional maturity , of course : you're not guilty of the above , silly me : i have just imagined all that , thanks to my emotional immaturity.
::) 

The basic rule for civil and polite debate or discussion is that you may attack the argument but not the arguer. If you attack the arguer, don't be surprised if they bite back.

The arguer cannot be separated from the argued for ,especially when the arguer is an irritating dogmatic scientist who confuses and equates his own materialistic beliefs with science ,and hence can't but try to "explain " (away ) or belittle counter-arguments and the one making them .

What's the point of arguing with dogmatic people or with dogmatic scientists  then ?

Discussion with them like this one can't but end up like it did previously and on many similar occasions  , from time to time thus : very predictable indeed .

P.S.: I was just conducting some ethical tests on you though : you passed them successfully thus , but not in your favor, i am afraid  .
« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 19:16:46 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Don't know how I missed this:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.1996v2

Critique of Quantum Enigma:Physics encounters consciousness by Micheal Nauenberg
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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You either choose to conduct a 2-slit interference experiment without a detector thus  or otherwise= a 2-slit experiment with a detector at the top of the 2-slits thus  .Isn't that true ? It is .


No detector = no experiment.

Watch Joy Jim at work : he explains that to you in a funny way : don't "shut up and calculate " as if there is no interpretation problem in QM , there is , big time  : Enjoy :

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Alasatair Rae in his "Quantum physics , illusion or reality ? " book was even clearer when he talked about the interpretation problem in QM while discussing the co-authored book of Popper and Eccles that argued for a separate soul :
Alastair who's a proponent of MW interpretation of QM said that if there was indeed a separate soul , the latter would have causal effects on matter without obeying , by definition , any laws of physics ,and that would solve the interpretation problem in QM .



If there are souls that can causally affect matter without obeying any of the laws of the universe, but all they ever bother to do is f*ck with certain physics experiments in a consistent and predictable fashion, souls have an odd sense of humor.

That's a funny way of putting  it indeed . lol

The undeniable existence of separate souls has been f...with science ,especially with quantum physics ,  big time, by turning science in general upside down :
That's what the encountered anomalies usually do anyway when science happens to stumble upon them , ironically enough .

Anomalies like that are a bit like the unpredicted and undetected unexpected landmines or black swans : whenever science would encounter them or stumble upon them ,they explode in its nice scientific face ,while making it reconsider its (meta)paradigms ,big time.

Science has then to do the latter , it has no choice but to do that ,if it wants to survive or wants to continue functioning in a reliable way at least .

Anomalies like that are the raw material thanks to which science can progress too, if you haven't noticed just that yet  .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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... if there was indeed a separate soul , the latter would have causal effects on matter without obeying , by definition , any laws of physics...
If there are souls that can causally affect matter without obeying any of the laws of the universe, but all they ever bother to do is f*ck with certain physics experiments in a consistent and predictable fashion, souls have an odd sense of humor.
And here was I thinking that causality was a fundamental law of physics...

There is also what can be called a non-mechanical   causation .
Maybe , the whole concept of causation is just a product of our minds , in order to make sense of "reality " .The latter might also be yet another product of the mind too .Who knows ?

Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge classical realism, remember ,not to mention classical determinism and classical locality too .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Email reply from Fred Kuttner :

Date : January the first , 2015 :

Quote : " Dear ...

Your ideas about consciousness are interesting, and agree with some of the things that I and my co-author have thought.

I do not think I will have time anytime in the near future to examine the article you so kindly brought to my attention.  I am now working in an entirely different field, and am devoting all my efforts to it.

Cheers,

Fred
" End quote

P.S.: Yeah right , Fred co-authored a book the responsibility of which he has no time to address .
I did let him know about my disappointment in him as a scientist .
What a dick .
« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 18:39:57 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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Watch Joy Jim at work : he explains that to you in a funny way : don't "shut up and calculate " as if there is no interpretation problem in QM , there is , big time  : Enjoy :

That's a bog standard presentation of the 2 Slit experiment - the QM principles behind which are the motivation for all QM interpretations - including MW.

In what sense do you think the very reason for which the MW interpretation was formulated is a problem for it?
 

Offline dlorde

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Don't know how I missed this:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.1996v2

Critique of Quantum Enigma:Physics encounters consciousness by Micheal Nauenberg
Well spotted Cheryl - I've seen some criticism of the Quantum Enigma excerpts on their web site, but Nauenberg seems to have been very thorough (even spotting an out-of-context, cherry-picked contribution of his own). Looks like yet another example of a misleading textbook being promoted and used as the basis for college courses.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg447911#msg447911 date=1420310212]
Watch Joy Jim at work : he explains that to you in a funny way : don't "shut up and calculate " as if there is no interpretation problem in QM , there is , big time  : Enjoy :

That's a bog standard presentation of the 2 Slit experiment - the QM principles behind which are the motivation for all QM interpretations - including MW.

Well , Alan said : no detector = no experiment , so i referred him to Jim on the subject .
Or as Feynman said : the double slit experiment is the only mystery in QM ....something like that .

That's where and how the interpretation ,observation or measurement problem in QM saw the light of day .

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In what sense do you think the very reason for which the MW interpretation was formulated is a problem for it?

MW interpretation of QM is based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process ,so it is a -priori false thus and does not deserve any further serious talk about it .It is untestable too , to mention just that .


 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Don't know how I missed this:
http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.1996v2

Critique of Quantum Enigma:Physics encounters consciousness by Micheal Nauenberg
Well spotted Cheryl - I've seen some criticism of the Quantum Enigma excerpts on their web site, but Nauenberg seems to have been very thorough (even spotting an out-of-context, cherry-picked contribution of his own). Looks like yet another example of a misleading textbook being promoted and used as the basis for college courses.

Already forgot about the fact that all interpretations of QM are "equally valid " ,as Jim said in that posted excerpt of his earlier on ?

In fact ,the consciousness -based interpretation of QM  (interpretation that must not be taken literally though ) is , once again , the simplest and most plausible one than the rest ,simply because consciousness is a separate non-physical and a non-local process that has to have non-mechanical causal effects on matter ,without having , by definition, to obey any laws of physics (Even Alastair Rae who's a proponent of MW interpretation of QM said that if there was indeed such a separate non-physical soul, then the interpretation of QM would be solved .He just dismissed the consciousness -based interpretation of QM ,simply because he has to give up reality as a result somehow , and simply because he does not believe in that alleged nature of consciousness .He prefers to believe in the materialist version of consciousness thus : a matter of belief , a matter of taste or a matter of aesthetics or philosophical preferences as he admitted .) .

Furthermore , There is no such "thing" as the independent observer and independent observed = they are inescapably and inseparably intertwined with each other .

On the other hand , MW interpretation of QM must be rejected together with materialism and all the latter's extensions, including all materialist theories of consciousness .....since materialism is false , simply because it can never intrinsically account for consciousness , let alone explain it .

The latter has been the major anomaly that broke the phony neck of materialism lol

So, science has to reconsider its materialistic false (meta) paradigm, reject it and move beyond it .

That's  what science should do and how it should work at least whenever stumbling upon such major landmines that cannot but explode in its orthodox face .

That's the only way science can save itself as a valid and reliable source of knowledge , and hence progress .

 

Offline dlorde

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... if there was indeed a separate soul , the latter would have causal effects on matter without obeying , by definition , any laws of physics...
And here was I thinking that causality was a fundamental law of physics...
There is also what can be called a non-mechanical   causation .
If you mean Hasker's emergent dualism, it's a non-explanation. Otherwise, I was pointing out that a claim of causal effects on matter without obeying physical laws, is a contradiction because causality is a physical law and the claimed effects are physical.

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Maybe , the whole concept of causation is just a product of our minds , in order to make sense of "reality " .The latter might also be yet another product of the mind too .Who knows ?
I side with Dr. Johnson on this, and idealistic solipsism is a null philosophy.

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Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge classical realism, remember ,not to mention classical determinism and classical locality too .
But not causality, so not relevant here.
 

Offline dlorde

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MW interpretation of QM is based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process ,so it is a -priori false thus and does not deserve any further serious talk about it .It is untestable too , to mention just that .
Ah, no. MW has nothing to say about consciousness or materialism, it's the simplest interpretation of the quantum formalism, making no additional assumptions.

Reading up on other interpretations, I'm wondering whether the De Broglie-Bohm Pilot Wave interpretation will ever make a come-back; it looks rather promising.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=alancalverd link=topic=52526.msg447839#msg447839 date=1420188325]
Back to my "single gold atom" experiment. A person with an acquisitive soul could become very rich by thought alone, but AFAIK it has not happened. So either there is no such thing as an acquisitive soul, or there is no means by which a soul can affect the physical universe.

( How can one deny the obvious causal effect of the mind on matter ? If there was no such effect , no civilization, let alone science ,would exist as such,to say the least thus . You can't even survive , let alone function and develop without the causal effects of your own mind on your physical brain and body ,and on the rest of your environment .)

Then , you haven't only misunderstood what the consciousness-based interpretation of QM is all about , but you also are so intellectually lazy and close -minded (QM has by the way eliminated the causal closure of the physical and replaced the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one that allows , so to speak, for a non-mechanical causal effect of the mind on matter ) as not to read my posted excerpts of Carter regarding the "interaction problem " of substance dualism that was resolved by QM .

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I really don't see an "interpretation problem".

You're not the only physicist who keeps  that skeleton in your closet , be assured (I will not call the police about that , don't worry ) , by denying the interpretation problem in QM .
There is a problem though , big time .
Don't "shut up and calculate " ,try to address it , otherwise i will call the police regarding that skeleton in you closet .

Get it out of your closet while you can .Get out of the closet yourself now . lol

 
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QM describes what happens. It isn't what you would expect if classical mechanics applied to very small objects, but if you scale QM up to large objects, it begins to look like classical mechanics. So QM is an accurate representation of events and CM is an easier approximation. What's the problem?


(I thought the whole universe was quantum "mechanical " : quantum effects have been proven to occur at relatively "macroscopic " levels like at the level of some large molecules ...and as technology advances , more sophisticated experiments will be conducted at even more macroscopic levels )

Well, then : try to explain the central mystery in QM : the above mentioned double slit experiment then, if you think there is no problem or mystery in QM : a Nobel prize and beyond are waiting for you as Jim said .

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Admittedly we don't have a quantum formalism for gravitation, but the CM model only predicts what happens without proposing how it works

For your info : QM has been the only scientific theory ever ( a highly successful one at that ,that is ) that has been requiring an interpretative subjective element in it .

No other scientific theory has ever required such a subjective element in it.

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, so it's no big deal and certainly no reason for invoking the supernatural.


Who invoked any 'supernatural " ?, unless you assume that your own soul is "supernatural " . lol

The separate non-physical and non-local nature of consciousness which is inseparable from matter and which does have mutual interactions with it has nothing supernatural about it : it is a part of you even , the most important part of you , that is .

« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 20:14:19 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg447919#msg447919 date=1420312971]
MW interpretation of QM is based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process ,so it is a -priori false thus and does not deserve any further serious talk about it .It is untestable too , to mention just that .
Ah, no. MW has nothing to say about consciousness or materialism, it's the simplest interpretation of the quantum formalism, making no additional assumptions.

Ah, yes : Re-read  your own previous  Caroll's link about it : MW interpretation would make no sense ,if it was not based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process that has to get entangled with its "observed " measuring devices and quantum systems , by joining their superposition states in its turn ...blablablabla...

On the other hand , For your info :  Von Neumann based all his interpretation of QM on the assumption , through rigorous maths , that there had to be a non-physical process that had to collapse the wave function (all measuring devices , quantum systems and the rest of the environment were /are all material or physical ) .He could not think of any other such non-physical process than the consciousness of the observer,logically  .

If consciousness is indeed a separate non-physical process , it cannot ever be in a superposition state , but non-held in place brain states , thoughts ....through the mindful volitional effort of attention through the veto power might be in a mental 'superposition state " maybe ( when we focus our mindful volitional attention on a particular brain state ,for example , or thoughts ...also , we maintain them  or hold them  in place for as along as we wish or can )

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Reading up on other interpretations, I'm wondering whether the De Broglie-Bohm Pilot Wave interpretation will ever make a come-back; it looks rather promising.

It has been making a timid come-back indeed .It is worth considering ,unlike that silly MW interpretation bullshit thus .
 

Offline dlorde

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...what is bold about his claim the inclusion of feeling as information that contributes to all of those recognitions, and associations above.
Is it really that bold? Damasio talks about feelings (e.g. primordial feelings arising from the brain stem) and their influence as constituting an important aspect of the construction of the sense of self, and they will be behavioural drivers in even the earliest evolutionary consciousness.

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In a nut shell, he says consciousness is  a changing three-dimensional perceptual array of information that functions as input data to a process, or processes, that determine behavior. Consciousness includes no actual mental processes itself, but we experience the results of these processes.The only experiences that might superficially seem like processes are transitions from one group of sensations to the next or from one thought to the next. Qualia incorporate qualitative and quantitative information into consciousness. Qualia permit information about various qualitative properties, such as color or texture, and quantitative properties, such as relative size and location, to be incorporated into the information of consciousness, and that is why they evolved.
I agree with this in general; my problem with it is that, even if we restrict the scope of we're considering to conscious awareness alone, the incoming data isn't information without ongoing processing. The associative matching, the triggering of established pathways, the feedback 'echoes' that give the data meaning, are all processes - the processing of data. Maybe he has a different type of processing in mind when he says consciousness is information without processing, but it's not clear to me.

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg447918#msg447918 date=1420312472]
... if there was indeed a separate soul , the latter would have causal effects on matter without obeying , by definition , any laws of physics...
And here was I thinking that causality was a fundamental law of physics...
There is also what can be called a non-mechanical   causation .
If you mean Hasker's emergent dualism, it's a non-explanation. Otherwise, I was pointing out that a claim of causal effects on matter without obeying physical laws, is a contradiction because causality is a physical law and the claimed effects are physical.

No, i was just referring to what Carter said in my  latest posted excerpt of his on the subject regarding "the interaction problem " of substance dualism that was solved by QM, as he claimed at least , in the sense that QM has eliminated the classical and deterministic causal closure of the physical while replacing the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one, and hence has been making room for  , so to speak, a non-mechanical causation of the mind in relation to  matter to occur .

Non-mechanical causation of the mind is yet another form of causation thus , but one that does not have to obey any ordinary laws of physics .

For example, when you look at something or just at these lines , you instantly not only get aware and conscious of them , but you also understand them : no laws of physics alone , no brain activity alone can account for that  human ability of yours to instantly not only to be aware and conscious of these lines but to also understand them .

You can't explain the latter via just ordinary perception through the senses to the brain ,no way .

Even the "ordinary " act of seeing cannot be explained just by the physiology of the biological eye and brain , no way : it's the mind that sees through the eye and brain , not the latter .

Think about it , let's talk about how you decide to hold in place certain mind states , thoughts , feelings , emotions ....while eliminating or suppressing the other competitive or rival ones in the process that do compete to grab your attention  : you do that via your own mindful volitional effort of attention through your veto power .That choice cannot be determined by the laws of physics , not entirely at least ,as the forward writer to a certain Libet's book said )I posted that earlier on ) .

Try then to imagine what happens at the quantum level accordingly :
When you "observe" a measurement , you instantly get aware and conscious of not only what it is but also of what it might mean , you interpret what you see through your mind .

Taking into consideration the non-mechanical causal efficacy of the mind on matter and the fact that you interpret what you see or perceive mindfully , considering all that and more , i do not see how the mind cannot have any 'disturbing and interpretative "  effects on the "observed " measurements or data , i don't know , but to assert there can be no effect is really far fetched an assertion or a denial .

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Maybe , the whole concept of causation is just a product of our minds , in order to make sense of "reality " .The latter might also be yet another product of the mind too .Who knows ?
I side with Dr. Johnson on this, and idealistic solipsism is a null philosophy.

I said maybe. I do not really subscribe to that idealist monist view of the world  . I think that what's been called the contemplative cognitive science that's been some sort of a marriage between buddhism and cognitive science has been saying some interesting things on the subject of consciousness and its brain through the works of neuroscientist Francisco Varela , through that of Richard Davidson ...There are subtle states of consciousness that do need no brain or physical basis , for example , like those that are reached by highly experienced meditation experts or buddhist monks .some pure state of awareness ...

This interesting book talks about that :

http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Dreaming-Being-Consciousness-Neuroscience/dp/0231137095

Quote from amazon.com :

"A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian and Western philosophy of the mind, casting new light on the self and its relation to the brain.

Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate--either in the waking state or in a lucid dream--we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self.

Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives."End quote.



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Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge classical realism, remember ,not to mention classical determinism and classical locality too .
But not causality, so not relevant here.

Not causality ? Sure about that ? How can one explain entanglement or non-locality that challenged the classical locality or separability that used to asset that no event A can be caused by B without any physical causation  and one that should not exceed the speed of light ? Explain that "spooky action at a distance " to me and what causality is there to explain it ?

Entanglement and other quantum effects that have been proved to occur even at the level of some "macroscopic " large molecules and beyond .

As technology gets more advanced , more sophisticated experiments are expected to be conducted at even more macroscopic levels thus .

Entanglement that has been turning the very concept of causality on its head thus ...

In short :

Maybe the non-local and non-physical separate mind does have a non-mechanical causal effect on matter through ...entanglement , who knows ? The non-mechanical causation of the mind = entanglement .

What about that ? It's possible . Nobody had ever imagined that entanglement could ever exist , not even at the level of sub-atomic "particles", let alone at the level of some "macroscopic " large molecules and beyond , so why can't the mind act via entanglement then in relation to matter ?

How can you a -priori exclude that possibility or unknown black swan .?


« Last Edit: 03/01/2015 21:07:11 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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...MW interpretation would make no sense ,if it was not based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process that has to get entangled with its "observed " measuring devices and quantum systems , by joining their superposition states in its turn ...blablablabla...
Not really. However you want to interpret it, there are superpositions & entanglements - in theory and empirically observed. Nevertheless, the outcome of a measurement is always singular. If you believe that only consciousness collapses the wavefunction, then you must concede that the universe developed according to the MW interpretation until consciousness evolved - so there's tacit acceptance of an MW-style universe in conscious collapse, pre consciousness.

More interestingly, you must also concede that an unconscious individual that interacts with an entangled quantum system will join its superposition. Once that unconscious, now superposed, individual interacts with his environment (e.g. breathing), decoherence will occur (equivalent to the appearance of wavefunction collapse), entanglement will be lost, and the two 'worlds' will become distinct and unique. Now, when that individual wakes up, MW says in each world he will see an appropriate (consistent) measurement outcome. Copenhagen Conscious Collapse says when he wakes up and looks to see the measurement outcome, the entangled wavefunction collapses to one particular outcome - which would be fine, and give a result consistent with that predicted by MW - except that by this time the entanglement has already decohered - conscious collapse simply can't account for this (because of the Von Neumann measurement chain error, below). 

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On the other hand , For your info :  Von Neumann based all his interpretation of QM on the assumption , through rigorous maths , that there had to be a non-physical process that had to collapse the wave function (all measuring devices , quantum systems and the rest of the environment were /are all material or physical ) .He could not think of any other such non-physical process than the consciousness of the observer,logically  .
As has already been pointed out earlier n the thread, the Von Neumann measurement chain is mathematically correct in its predictions, but makes the mistake of treating each step (link?) as a binary, ignoring the multiple degrees of freedom of real-world interactions - i.e. it's not really a chain of single particle-to-particle interactions as VN surmised, but a rapidly diverging tree of interactions, leading to the decoherence mentioned above. If this stochastic, discontinuous, and nonlinear environmental decoherence somehow is, or leads to, a real physical process of wavefunction collapse, it will probably invalidate the MW interpretation, but either way, it clearly makes conscious collapse untenable.

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If consciousness is indeed a separate non-physical process , it cannot ever be in a superposition state , but non-held in place brain states , thoughts ....through the mindful volitional effort of attention through the veto power might be in a mental 'superposition state " maybe ( when we focus our mindful volitional attention on a particular brain state ,for example , or thoughts ...also , we maintain them  or hold them  in place for as along as we wish or can )
This level of special pleading to retain consciousness as a non-superposable non-physical process hints, to paraphrase the Bard, that something is rotten in the state of non-physical Copenhagen Conscious Collapse. The combination of the interaction problem together with the now clearly exposed QM contradictions of conscious collapse, should give cause for serious reconsideration.
 

Offline dlorde

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For example, when you look at something or just at these lines , you instantly not only get aware and conscious of them , but you also understand them : no laws of physics alone , no brain activity alone can account for that  human ability of yours to instantly not only to be aware and conscious of these lines but to also understand them .
Well, the pathways through which they are processed in the brain have been identified, and the areas where specific steps in the identification and recognition of words have been identified, and it has been established that simple maths, and even simple contextual understanding of words & phrases occurs at a subconscious level (not to mention the more sophisticated executive functions, once thought to be purely conscious, like inhibiting automatic responses [see van Gaal, S., 'Frontal Cortex Mediates Unconsciously Triggered Inhibitory Control' - Journal of Neuroscience 30]). Also, as has been mentioned previously, specific disruptions to these brain areas and pathways cause specific deficits in understanding and awareness - as specific as failure to recognise or understand particular elements (specific words, or classes of words, or specific meanings, or numbers, or sentences but not individual words, etc). So it's pretty clear that most of this is below conscious awareness, and all of it is a matter of brain processing.

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Even the "ordinary " act of seeing cannot be explained just by the physiology of the biological eye and brain , no way : it's the mind that sees through the eye and brain , not the latter .
The recursive homunculus of Dennett's 'Cartesian Theatre'  is the argument you need to overcome to maintain that view. Then you'll need to account for the neurophysiology of the visual cortex, where the progressive and hierarchical processing of visual information to produce a coherent 3D model of the visual field is well established, and using models derived from the neural networks there, computer models have been product that are subject to the same visual illusions as we are. Even sensory interference illusions like the McGurk Effect have been elucidated.

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Think about it , let's talk about how you decide to hold in place certain mind states , thoughts , feelings , emotions ....while eliminating or suppressing the other competitive or rival ones in the process that do compete to grab your attention  : you do that via your own mindful volitional effort of attention through your veto power .That choice cannot be determined by the laws of physics , not entirely at least ,as the forward writer to a certain Libet's book said )I posted that earlier on ) .
See the van Gaal paper (above) for empirical evidence that's not necessarily the case.

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Taking into consideration the non-mechanical causal efficacy of the mind on matter and the fact that you interpret what you see or perceive mindfully , considering all that and more , i do not see how the mind cannot have any 'disturbing and interpretative "  effects on the "observed " measurements or data , i don't know , but to assert there can be no effect is really far fetched an assertion or a denial .
That's just a problem with assuming there's non-mechanical causal efficacy of non-physical mind on matter - it leads to all manner of problems and difficulties, particularly when the empirical evidence contradicts it.

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...Thompson shows how the self is a changing process, not a static thing. When we are awake we identify with our body, but if we let our mind wander or daydream, we project a mentally imagined self into the remembered past or anticipated future. As we fall asleep, the impression of being a bounded self distinct from the world dissolves, but the self reappears in the dream state. If we have a lucid dream, we no longer identify only with the self within the dream. Our sense of self now includes our dreaming self, the "I" as dreamer. Finally, as we meditate--either in the waking state or in a lucid dream--we can observe whatever images or thoughts arise and how we tend to identify with them as "me." We can also experience sheer awareness itself, distinct from the changing contents that make up our image of the self.

Contemplative traditions say that we can learn to let go of the self, so that when we die we can witness its dissolution with equanimity. Thompson weaves together neuroscience, philosophy, and personal narrative to depict these transformations, adding uncommon depth to life's profound questions. Contemplative experience comes to illuminate scientific findings, and scientific evidence enriches the vast knowledge acquired by contemplatives."End quote.[/i]
None of that is inconsistent with the sense of self, and consciousness, being products of brain activity - in fact, the reported experiences are entirely consistent with the neuroscience of self and how it is constructed in the brain.

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Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge classical realism, remember ,not to mention classical determinism and classical locality too .
But not causality, so not relevant here.

Not causality ? Sure about that ? How can one explain entanglement or non-locality that challenged the classical locality or separability that used to asset that no event A can be caused by B without any physical causation  and one that should not exceed the speed of light ? Explain that "spooky action at a distance " to me and what causality is there to explain it ?
Sure as eggs is eggs. As has been said repeatedly in this very thread, nothing about entanglement or "spooky action at a distance " involves the transfer of information FTL. Causality remains intact and unthreatened. 

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Entanglement that has been turning the very concept of causality on its head thus ...
No.

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How can you a -priori exclude that possibility or unknown black swan .?
No-one's excluding possibilities a-priori. You look at what is known (the existing consistently reliable framework of knowledge), and the empirical data (what observation and experiment tells you), and you draw up testable models and hypotheses that are consistent with the existing framework. All provisional. What you don't do is make up stuff you'd like to be true and try to argue that anything that contradicts it must be wrong.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2015 11:21:35 by dlorde »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg447932#msg447932 date=1420321716]
...MW interpretation would make no sense ,if it was not based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process that has to get entangled with its "observed " measuring devices and quantum systems , by joining their superposition states in its turn ...blablablabla...
Not really. However you want to interpret it, there are superpositions & entanglements - in theory and empirically observed. Nevertheless, the outcome of a measurement is always singular. If you believe that only consciousness collapses the wavefunction, then you must concede that the universe developed according to the MW interpretation until consciousness evolved - so there's tacit acceptance of an MW-style universe in conscious collapse, pre consciousness.


(Prior note : Biological evolution can never intrinsically account for consciousness , let alone for its emergence ,function, origin or nature .consciousness could never have evolved from the biological evolution , no way , simply because consciousness is irreducible to biology and cannot have emerged from it , no way .Think about that .It makes no biological sense whatsoever to assert that : the subjective personal qualitative experiential can never rise from the quantitative non-experiential "impersonal objective " biology : they are totally different from each other in kind .Even some of your best philosophers , scientists ... cannot but agree with me on that , dlorde .Think about it .)

I don't know whether or not consciousness does collapse the wavefunction .I am just inclined to agree with what Alastair Rae ,for example ,said on the subject when talking about the consciousness -based interpretation of QM.

Assume for a sec thus that consciousness is a separate non-physical and non-local process , that would solve the interpretation problem in QM , as Alastair said , even though he doesn't believe in that alleged nature of consciousness , since he prefers to stick to the materialistic version of consciousness , and hence he's a proponent of MW interpretation of QM thus .

The latter is a -priori false since it is based on the false materialistic belief assumption that consciousness is just a material process,and hence cannot but get entangled, in its turn , with the "observed " quantum systems and measuring devices + with the rest of the environment ....by joining their "dance party " lol : their superposition states   .

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More interestingly, you must also concede that an unconscious individual that interacts with an entangled quantum system will join its superposition. Once that unconscious, now superposed, individual interacts with his environment (e.g. breathing), decoherence will occur (equivalent to the appearance of wavefunction collapse), entanglement will be lost, and the two 'worlds' will become distinct and unique. Now, when that individual wakes up, MW says in each world he will see an appropriate (consistent) measurement outcome. Copenhagen Conscious Collapse says when he wakes up and looks to see the measurement outcome, the entangled wavefunction collapses to one particular outcome - which would be fine, and give a result consistent with that predicted by MW - except that by this time the entanglement has already decohered - conscious collapse simply can't account for this (because of the Von Neumann measurement chain error, below). 

A temporary unconscious person is no synonymous of a person without consciousness .The latter is still there ,it is just 'disconnected " somehow,  from that person's physical brain and body +from the rest of his/her environment, but not totally disconnected , i presume , i don't know  .

For example ,a younger brother of mine used to do some sleep walking when we were kids .I had even to go after him during a certain night when he sleep walked out of the house to the street ...to bring him back lol
He was asleep but nevertheless , he did things like a conscious person would like opening the doors , going out , talking , walking down the street,and even eating ,drinking ...while asleep  ...

fMRI scans are even able now to detect a minimum form of consciousness in vegetative patients , not to mention that even at the level of deep dreamless or paradoxical deep sleep , some neuroscientists claim to have detected some subtle forms of consciousness .

Some Buddhist meditation experts monks ,for example ,even claim that they can train their minds to be aware or conscious of ,monitor and control their deep sleep state .

When you wake up feeling like you slept well, they claim, that means that you have remembered your calm deep sleep , i don't know .

In short : being asleep or temporary unconscious does not mean a total absence of consciousness .

Not to mention the fact that our unconsciousness is also a part of our separate souls that can have effects on our bodies brains and environment even when we are asleep or unconscious .

We don't know much about consciousness , or unconsciousness thus , so we can't refute their effects by basing that on insufficient data .

We don't even know what the effects of consciousness and unconsciousness are , how they work ...what they exactly are ...


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On the other hand , For your info :  Von Neumann based all his interpretation of QM on the assumption , through rigorous maths , that there had to be a non-physical process that had to collapse the wave function (all measuring devices , quantum systems and the rest of the environment were /are all material or physical ) .He could not think of any other such non-physical process than the consciousness of the observer,logically  .
As has already been pointed out earlier n the thread, the Von Neumann measurement chain is mathematically correct in its predictions, but makes the mistake of treating each step (link?) as a binary, ignoring the multiple degrees of freedom of real-world interactions - i.e. it's not really a chain of single particle-to-particle interactions as VN surmised, but a rapidly diverging tree of interactions, leading to the decoherence mentioned above. If this stochastic, discontinuous, and nonlinear environmental decoherence somehow is, or leads to, a real physical process of wavefunction collapse, it will probably invalidate the MW interpretation, but either way, it clearly makes conscious collapse untenable
.

I am gonna reformulate a quote from a prominent physicist on the subject by turning it upside down to illustrate what i wanna say,as follows :

You can't explain  the mystery of the interpretation of QM by trying to explain away the other major mystery :consciousness .See above .

You arguments are no better than those of the supporters of the consciousness -based interpretation of QM : they try to explain the central mystery of QM by yet another major mystery  ( consciousness ) , but you almost do the same, in the reverse sense .

We absolutely do not know what consciousness does or does not ,let alone how thus .

Trying to explain a mystery by arguing for the effects or lack thereof of yet another bigger mystery is no explanation ,the same goes for   the fact that some materialists try to explain the mystery of consciousness by yet another mystery : information : they just use meaningless semantics and metaphors like that and like those machine and computer metaphors to hide their ignorance and make it look like wisdom or sophisticated knowledge , like Damasio , Dehanne , like the writer of "I am a trange loop " , like Graziano and others do .

Non-materialists do the same too their own mystical way .Both non-materialist and materialist mysticism or metaphysics are no explanations thus .

Both materialists and non-materialists just replace a mystery with yet another mystery thus : that's no explanation .

Scientists should at least be humble enough as to admit that they still have no clue about what consciousness might be and thus suspend  their attempts to solve the interpretation problem in QM, for example, until they can at least come up with scientific empirical evidence regarding the work of consciousness somehow : contemplative cognitive science that combines both neuroscience with contemplative subjective experiences , psychology ....can at least shed some light on all that, much better than science alone or spirituality alone can do  .


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If consciousness is indeed a separate non-physical process , it cannot ever be in a superposition state , but non-held in place brain states , thoughts ....through the mindful volitional effort of attention through the veto power might be in a mental 'superposition state " maybe ( when we focus our mindful volitional attention on a particular brain state ,for example , or thoughts ...also , we maintain them  or hold them  in place for as along as we wish or can )
This level of special pleading to retain consciousness as a non-superposable non-physical process hints, to paraphrase the Bard, that something is rotten in the state of non-physical Copenhagen Conscious Collapse. The combination of the interaction problem together with the now clearly exposed QM contradictions of conscious collapse, should give cause for serious reconsideration.

Carter did at least try to show you how QM had solved the alleged  interaction problem of substance dualism,as he claimed at least  . Alastair too saw no interaction problem in assuming that there might be a separate soul , even though he did not agree with that latter assumption .

And since  we still do not know much , if anything at all , about how consciousness works , we should at least suspend such above statements of yours until we do .

I am really not religiously motivated in assuming that consciousness is a separate non-physical and non-local process that's totally different in kind from "matter "  (we don't even know what matter is , let alone what the mind is ,while both are inseparable in fact and have mutual interactions with each other as well : mind and matter are  no substances , but processes . ) , i believe in that nature of consciousness , simply because the latter is irreducible to biology and can never emerge from it ,as there is a lots of indirect empirical evidence that has been proving that nature of consciousness .

When we acknowledge that above mentioned nature of consciousness that cannot but have non-mechanical causal effects on matter , a kindda mental force that triggers physical effects , well, then all science has to be turned on its head as a result , including what materialist science has been saying about the origin of the universe , the origin of life , the nature of life , the evolution of life , to mention just that .

QM had just brought that major  issue of consciousness back to science ,so the interpretation problem in QM is just a part of the whole picture that should be addressed thus : the interpretation problem in QM is thus just the tree that hides the forest , so to speak , just a part of the picture , not the whole picture .


P.S.: We can't step outside of consciousness to study it ,so to speak, we will have to accept the fact that what all we might know about consciousness has to be revealed by the latter either through science or through subjective or spiritual experiences or both .

Science alone deals only with what Buddhists call the gross form of consciousness, the perceptual sensory one, while there are more subtle and higher forms of consciousness than that, not to mention the non-sensory spontaneous activity of the brain  that reflects that of the inner subjective  life .....
« Last Edit: 04/01/2015 20:54:25 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

Thanks for your interesting and challenging replies , insights , arguments ....appreciate indeed .
No time left to reply to your latest post , i am afraid, sorry .
Will try to address that another time , if possible .

Thanks .Take care . Cheers .
 

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