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Author Topic: Major Bombshell : Manifesto For A Post-Materialistic Science :  (Read 187901 times)

Offline dlorde

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Did the world's leading neuroscientists and philosophers such as Ben Libet , -Lord Adrian, Sir John Eccles, Herbert Jasper, Charles Phillips,Wilder Penfield, Roger Sperry, Frederic Bremer, Ragnar Granit, Anders Lundberg, Robert Doty, and Howard Shevrin, Thomas Nagel, Karl Popper , David Chalmers , John Searle and many others as well , did they not acknowledge the the non-physical nature of consciousness ??? ,for example ?
Well, no, they didn't. Looking at that list, at least three spring to mind, Libet, Searle, and Popper, that explicitly acknowledge that consciousness arises from brain activity (and Chalmers has an open mind).

Libet proposed the 'Conscious Mental Field' (CMF) to explain how the mental arises from the physical brain, saying, "The CMF is not a Cartesian dualistic phenomenon; it is not separable from the brain. Rather, it is proposed to be a localizable system property produced by appropriate neuronal activities, and it cannot exist without them". He called it 'non-physical' because it isn't made of 'stuff', it is patterns of neuronal activity.

Searle said consciousness is a real subjective experience, caused by the physical processes of the brain (he called this view 'biological naturalism'). In 'The Problem of Consciousness', he says, "brain processes cause conscious processes".

Popper, in 'Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind', said consciousness is an evolved behaviour:
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Ecological conditions like those that favor the evolution of open behavioral programs sometimes also favor the evolution of the beginnings of consciousness, by favoring conscious choices. Or in other words, consciousness originates with the choices that are left open by open behavioral programs.

Let us look at various possible stages in the emergence of consciousness.

As a possible first stage there may evolve something that acts like a centralized warning, that is, like irritation or discomfort or pain, inducing the organism to stop an inadequate movement and to adopt some alternative behavior in its stead before it is too late, before too much damage has been done. The absence of a warning like pain will lead in many cases to destruction. Thus natural selection will favor those individuals that shrink back when they receive a signal indicating an inadequate movement; which means, anticipating the inherent danger of the movement. I suggest that pain may evolve as such a signal; and perhaps also fear.

As a second stage, we may consider that natural selection will favor those organisms that try out, by some method or other, the possible movements that might be adopted before they are executed. In this way, real trial-and-error behavior may be replaced, or preceded, by imagined or vicarious trial-and-error behavior. The imagining may perhaps initially consist of incipient efferent nervous signals, serving as a kind of model, or symbolic representation of the actual behavior, and of its possible results.

Richard Dawkins has brilliantly developed some such speculations about the beginnings of mind in considerable detail.18 The main points about them are two. One is that these beginnings of mind or consciousness should be favored by natural selection, simply because they mean the substitution of imagined or symbolic or vicarious behavior for real trials which, if erroneous, may have fatal consequences. The other is that we can here apply the ideas of selection and of downward causation to what is clearly a choice situation: the open program allows for possibilities to be played through tentatively — on a screen, as it were — in order that a selection can be made from among these possibilities. [See R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), pp. 62f].

As a third stage, we may perhaps consider the evolution of more or less conscious aims, or ends: of purposeful animal actions, such as hunting. Unconscious instinctive action may have been purpose-directed before, but once vicarious or imagined trial-and-error behavior has started, it becomes necessary, in situations of choice, to evaluate the end state of the imagined behavior. This may lead to feelings of avoidance or rejection — to anticipations of pain — or to feelings of eager acceptance of the end state; and the latter feelings may come to characterize a consciousness of aim or end or purpose. In connection with open choices, a feeling may evolve of preference for one possibility rather than another; preference for one kind of food, and thus for one kind of ecological niche, rather than another.

You need to understand that the fact that you don't like something doesn't make it false, and continually asserting what you'd like to be true doesn't make it true - neither do false appeals to well-known authorities by misrepresenting their views.
 

Offline dlorde

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<Popper Quote>...
Baseless speculations .

<Popper Quote>...
lol The conscious aware perception or feeling of pain cannot be reduced to its neuronal correlates ,as biological evolution can never intrinsically account for , let alone, explain conscious awareness in general , simply because the latter is irreducible to the former , and simply because the latter cannot emerge from the former , no way : there is no empirical evidence that even implies or suggests that .

<Popper Quote>...
Speculative fairy tales . Where is the alleged empirical evidence that allegedly supports that = a big zero .

<Popper Quote>...
Dawkins' simplistic bullshit is not even worth discussing , his refuted genetic determinism even less , his corresponding neo-Darwinism does not hold much water .

<Popper Quote>...
Why do you confuse baseless speculations with science then ?

<Popper Quote>...
I thought that the so-called blind random unguided lottery of evolution through the natural selection was / is purposeless : why are you trying to introduce teleology where it does not belong ?

Lol! Ask Popper - they're not my words you're criticising, that's the Popper quote. You're casting scorn at a direct quote from the very authority you claimed support from... oh dear.

Quote
You need to understand that all your materialistic non-sense is no science = has been supported by a big zero evidence .
Yawn - the evidence is all around you. You're a living example of it yourself (and a very entertaining one  ;D).
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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"Mind Time The Temporal Factor in Consciousness-Benjamin Libet" : "General Views on Mind and Matter ":

Quote : "At one pole is the determinist materialist position. In this philosophy, observable matter is the only reality and everything, including thought, will, and feeling, can be explained only in terms of matter and the natural laws that govern matter. The eminent scientist Francis Crick (codiscoverer of the genetic molecular code) states this view elegantly (Crick and Koch, 1998):

“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. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased it: ‘You’re nothing but a pack of neurons (nerve cells).’”
According to this determinist view, your awareness of yourself and the world around you is simply the by-product or epiphenomenon of neuronal activities, with no independent ability to affect or control neuronal activities.

Is this position a “proven” scientific theory? I shall state, straight out, that this determinist materialist view is a belief system; it is not a scientific theory that has been verified by direct tests. It is true that scientific discoveries have increasingly produced powerful evidence for the ways in which mental abilities, and even the nature of one’s personality, are dependent on, and can be controlled by, specific structures and functions of the brain.

 However, the nonphysical nature of subjective awareness, including the feelings of spirituality, creativity, conscious will, and imagination, is not describable or explainable directly by the physical evidence alone.
As a neuroscientist investigating these issues for more than thirty years, I can say that these subjective phenomena are not predictable by knowledge of neuronal function.

 This is in contrast to my earlier views as a young scientist, when I believed in the validity of determinist materialism. That was before I began my research on brain processes in conscious experience, at age 40. There is no guarantee that the phenomenon of awareness and its concomitants will be explainable in terms of presently known physics.

In fact, conscious mental phenomena are not reducible to or explicable by knowledge of nerve cell activities. You could look into the brain and see nerve cell interconnections and neural messages popping about in immense profusion. But you would not observe any conscious mental subjective phenomena. Only a report by the individual who is experiencing such phenomena could tell you about them.

Francis Crick demonstrated his scientific credentials by terming
his physicalist-determinist view an “astonishing hypothesis,” awaiting future developments that might produce more ade-quate answers. But many scientists and philosophers appear not to realize that their rigid view that determinism is valid is still based on faith. They really don’t have the answer.

Actually, even the nonmental physical world exhibits uncertainties (quantum theory) as well as chaotic behaviors that make a deterministic predictability of events impossible. At a small conference on these issues, the eminent theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner was asked whether physics could ever explain consciousness.
Wigner replied, “Physics can’t even explain physics,” let alone consciousness.
 The more meaningful question, therefore, would be: Does the phenomenon of conscious experience, and its relation to the physical brain, fully obey the known rules and laws of the physical world? (More on this later.).

At the opposite pole from determinist materialism are beliefs that the mind is separable from the brain (dualism). A religious version of dualism may maintain a belief in the existence of a soul that is somehow part of the body during life, but can separate and take off to variously defined destinations of immortality after death.
I shall state, at once, that the latter is absolutely tenable as a belief.

The same is true for most other philosophical and religious proposals. There is nothing in all of scientific evidence that directly contradicts such beliefs. Indeed, they do not fall within the purview of scientific knowledge (see Karl Popper’s position, described earlier).
A beautiful example of the scientific process was given by Einstein’s
proposal that light is subject to the same gravitational influences as matter.

 However, to demonstrate the gravitational effect on light requires that the light pass near an object of immense mass, one far greater than that available on earth. The difficulty in providing a proper test prevented full acceptance of Einstein’s proposal. Fortunately, around 1920 a complete solar eclipse occurred.

The light from a star located on the other side of the sun passed near the sun on its way to earth and was visible during the eclipse. Indeed, the star’s apparent position was altered, as the light was bent from its path by the “pull” of the sun. Had the light not been bent, Einstein’s proposal would have been falsified (contradicted)..." End quote
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Is There Any Scientific Approach to the Mind-Brain Problem? :

Excerpt from the same above mentioned book .

Libet assumed  that consciousness was  an emergent phenomena , David Cooper would not agree with  that , i guess .

Libet had some very interesting things to say anyway .  He was a great mind indeed .

Quote : " ...Is there some way to arrive at convincing knowledge of how conscious subjective experience arises? Is there a way to do this that is based on observable evidence?.

We must first recognize that the brain is the physical “organ” for conscious and unconscious mental functions. For life as we know it, the necessity of the appropriate function and structure of the brain is incontrovertible. There is no objective evidence for the existence of conscious phenomena apart from the brain.
(A belief in a separable conscious soul is not excluded, as noted previously.) .
Perhaps the most convincing piece of evidence that it is the brain and not any other bodily structure that is crucial lies in the effects of a complete severing (transaction) of the spinal cord at its junction with the brain.

This unfortunate event occurs not infrequently in accidents in which the neck is “broken,” as in the recently publicized case of the actor Christopher Reeves. The patient remains the same conscious person he was before the accident. However, he loses all control of body movements from the neck down, including of breathing movements, as well as all sensations that are carried by spinal nerves to the body.

Interruption of the nerve pathways that connect the brain with the spinal cord is the reason for the loss of sensory and motor control below the neck. The person does remain aware of all the important sensations arising with intact nerve connections to the head. And, if the brain is functional, the person retains awareness of his thoughts, feelings, and self.
On the other hand, damage to the brain itself can result in the loss of various conscious functions, or even a permanent loss of consciousness, depending on the sites of the damage.

 It is the loss of brain function that truly defines the end of conscious human life, that is, death. This is so even when the rest of the body, including the spinal cord, skeletal muscles, and the heart, are still functioning. Indeed, under this condition of brain death, the other organs or tissues may be taken for transplantation to other people.

In earlier times, the heart was often regarded as the seat of consciousness and of emotional feelings (see Aristotle). But replacing one heart with another (even one that is a mechanical device) does not alter an individual’s emotional makeup or experience.

So, what sorts of factual answers to the questions about conscious experience could we hope to pursue successfully, and what answers have we now achieved? One important question—how brain activities are related to conscious and unconscious mental function—is, in principle, amenable to descriptive and experimental investigation. But to do that, we need to define conscious subjective experience, and do so in a way that is operational—
that is, practical for study.

We start with the stubborn fact that a conscious subjective experience
is directly accessible only to the individual who has the experience. Consequently, the only valid evidence for an external observer must come from an introspective report of the experience by the subject.

Introspective Reports of Subjective Experience :.

Scientists, like philosophers, have speculated about how the brain and mind are connected. But, until recently, very few, including neuroscientists, have attempted direct experimental studies of how cerebral nerve cell activities are involved in the production or appearance of conscious, subjective experiences.
Why? Apart from the technical difficulties for such experiments on human subjects, a philosophical impediment has played a major role.

Studies that require data from introspective reports of subjective experiences have tended to be taboo in the academic community.
That negative attitude was influenced in large part by the dominance, during the first seventy-five years of the twentieth century, of behaviorism in psychology and of logical positivism in philosophy.

These viewpoints hold that only directly observable events are admissible as scientific data. Introspective reports are only indirectly related to the actual subjective experiences; that is, they are reports of something not directly observable by the investigator and are untrustworthy observations.
However, unless scientists can find a way to obtain valid introspective
reports, they can never study the profoundly important question of how our conscious mind is related to our brain.

The late great physicist Richard Feynman stated, “I’m just looking to find out more about the world . . . Whatever way it comes out, it’s nature, and she is going to come out the way she is! Therefore, when we go to investigate it we shouldn’t pre-decide what it is we’re going to find.”

We must, of course, admit that an introspective report does not provide absolute evidence about the experience. (Paren-thetically, physicists agree that even hard-nosed physical measurements
cannot be made with absolute certainty.) .

The only subjective experience that one can be absolutely certain about is one’s own experience—as noted by René Descartes, Bishop Berkeley, and others. Yet, in our ordinary social interactions we commonly accept introspective reports of experiences by other individuals as meaningful reflections of their experiences, although we may try to evaluate the validity of these reports.
To be sure, the conversion and transmission of an experience into a report may involve some distortion.

However, it is possible to limit the kinds of experiences being studied to very simple ones that do not have emotional content. These experiences can even be tested for reliability. In our own investigations we used very simple sensory experiences that had no emotional aspects that might lead to distortion.

 Furthermore, we could test the reliability of the reports, by changing the sensory inputs in ways under the investigator’s control and comparing the different reports elicited in this way. It should have been clear, therefore, that a way to study subjective experiences scientifically can be achieved.

I should add that an introspective report need not be made by a verbal, oral statement. A nonverbal report, like tapping an appropriate key to indicate whether a sensation had been subjectively felt, can be quite acceptable, providing the subject understands that this indicator in fact refers to a subjective, introspective experience.

I may add here that when I was an undergraduate, I realized that verbal expressions are not completely adequate representations of reality. They are only approximations, limited by the meanings attributable to the words.

 I decided, therefore, to try to think about reality in a nonverbal way—that is, to try to grasp the real situation in a fully integrated and intuitive way. In my subsequent thinking about experimental problems, I did actually tend to view them in nonverbal ways.
The development of cognitive psychology in the 1970s onward became a major factor in shifting scientific opinion on the usefulness of introspective reports.

Cognitive scientists wanted to deal with questions about what people knew and felt, and how that was related to reality. To do so, they had to have people tell them about their subjective experiences. I should note that there are still traditional behaviorists among psychologists, and that a large group of philosophers adhere to a movement related to behaviorism called functionalism.

Starting in the late 1950s, I did not wait for cognitive science to
support my use of introspective reports in our studies. I approached
this issue as a physiologist, with no stake in behaviorism or functionalism. My attitude was, from the start, that conscious experience could be studied and treated like any other observable function of the brain. As an experimental scientist, it was, and is, my firm conviction that a person’s report of a conscious experience should be regarded as primary evidence.

 This evidence should not be altered or distorted so as to be made to conform to a preconceived view or theory about the nature of consciousness. Unless they can be convincingly affected or contradicted by other evidence, properly obtained introspective reports of conscious experience should be looked on like other kinds of objective evidence.

I was, in fact surprised when I found that a controlling body of opinion among behavioral scientists did not agree with my view. Indeed, a visiting group of such individuals, representing a study section of the National Institutes of Health, told me I was not studying a suitable topic. They denied my application for a grant.

Interestingly, I found no such rejection among the world’s
leaders in experimental neurophysiology, such as Lord Adrian, Sir John Eccles, Herbert Jasper, Charles Phillips,Wilder Penfield, Roger Sperry, Frederic Bremer, Ragnar Granit, Anders Lundberg, Robert Doty, and Howard Shevrin.

These researchers regarded our work as praiseworthy and pioneering—sentiments also expressed during a major symposium entitled “Brain and Conscious Experience” in 1964. Sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and chaired by Sir John Eccles, this symposium was held in the fifteenth-century house of Pius IV, inside the Vatican grounds. Pope Paul took us seriously enough to hold a formal audience with us.

The twenty-five or so members of the symposium were seated on one side of a great hall, and a roughly equal number of Cardinals faced us on the other side in their red robes. When the Pope came down to greet us, the Catholic scientists knelt and kissed his ring, and the rest of us shook his hand. I still have the thick red leather nameplate with gold lettering from that meeting. Since then, I have been a participant and speaker in a number of additional interesting symposia on consciousness. There was, in fact, another one in the Vatican in 1988, again organized by Sir John Eccles.

Besides neurophysiologists, leading philosophers such as the
late Sir Karl Popper, Thomas Nagel, and the late Stephen Pepper also agree with my views concerning how to study conscious subjective experience. Stephen Pepper was Professor of Philosophy at the University of California–Berkeley.

Pepper was a strong advocate of so-called identity theory, which holds that the externally observable physical quality of the brain and the inner quality of subjective experience are simply different phenomenological aspects of a single “substrate.” Nevertheless, Pepper listened carefully to my discussion of my team’s views and findings; he even concluded that our evidence for a retroactive referral of sensory timing might argue against the validity of identity theory..."End quote
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

You're a lousy reader .Cheryl   did understand the above at least :
Do not confuse property dualism with substance dualism either .


Quote
author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446567#msg446567 date=1418573514]
"Mind-Time The Temporal Factor -Benjamin Libet" : "General

I will say that Don is correct in that Libet is critical of reductionist materialism, as expressed in the excerpt and else where in the book. Libet  does not automatically exclude the possibility of the immaterial or even things like souls, life after death, etc.

« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 19:35:52 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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From the same above mentioned Libet's book :

"...How does the categorically different nonphysical phenomenon of subjective experience come from the physical activities of nerve cells? This problem has been termed the “hard problem” by philosopher David Chalmers (1996).

Chalmers (1995) tried to solve this problem by proposing a double-aspect theory of information. He postulated information as having both physical and phenomenal aspects. Experience would emerge from or be identical with the phenomenal aspect.

This proposal, which appears to be a version of identity theory, is unconvincing for various reasons (Libet, 1996). Identity theory posits that there is a common “substrate” for all reality, and this substrate has an observable “outer quality” and an “inner quality.”

The outer quality is what we see and measure as the physical brain; the inner quality of subjective experience is not accessible to an external observer. But identity theory, including the Chalmers’s version of it, is not testable; it is therefore not a scientific theory. A different testable solution, the unified conscious mental field, is presented in this chapter.?"

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Quote
author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg446822#msg446822 date=1418992825]
Did the world's leading neuroscientists and philosophers such as Ben Libet , -Lord Adrian, Sir John Eccles, Herbert Jasper, Charles Phillips,Wilder Penfield, Roger Sperry, Frederic Bremer, Ragnar Granit, Anders Lundberg, Robert Doty, and Howard Shevrin, Thomas Nagel, Karl Popper , David Chalmers , John Searle and many others as well , did they not acknowledge the the non-physical nature of consciousness ??? ,for example ?
Well, no, they didn't. Looking at that list, at least three spring to mind, Libet, Searle, and Popper, that explicitly acknowledge that consciousness arises from brain activity (and Chalmers has an open mind).

They did all acknowledge the non-physical nature of consciousness , once again , in the non-substance dualistic sense , that is,as they assumed that consciousness was irreducible to brain activity also  .

Don't confuse property dualism with substance dualism ,and don't confuse Libet's conscious mental field theory = emergent property theory, regarding the origin emergence and function of consciousness , with the materialistic monistic identity theory either .

Libet 's theory says that consciousness as a non-physical process does arise from brain activity indeed .That's not the same as equating consciousness with brain activity , not the same as assuming that brain activity produces consciousness, as the materialistic identity theory assumes .The latter that's just a belief , no scientific theory ,as Libet said here above : see his specific 2 excerpts here above : i did repost them for you .

On the other hand , Chalmers ' property dualism  is a kindda panpsychism and another version of identity theory in disguise , despite the fact that Chalmers tried to refute reductionist materialistic monism .He even said that science does neither require materialism nor does it need to be materialistic .

Libet said the following about that : see above the rest of that quote :
Quote : "Chalmers (1995) tried to solve this problem by proposing a double-aspect theory of information. He postulated information as having both physical and phenomenal aspects. Experience would emerge from or be identical with the phenomenal aspect." End quote .

Searle also acknowledges the non-physical nature of consciousness ,not in the sense of substance dualism thus ,even though he says that consciousness arises from brain activity .His theory of consciousness is untestable ,as Libet said .

Popper had even co-authored a book with Eccles "The self and its brain " :
Here below is a summary of the book in question from amazon.com :

http://www.amazon.com/The-Self-Its-Brain-Interactionism/dp/0415058988

Quote : " The relation between body and mind is one of the oldest riddles that has puzzled mankind. That material and mental events may interact is accepted even by the law: our mental capacity to concentrate on the task can be seriously reduced by drugs. Physical and chemical processes may act upon the mind; and when we are writing a difficult letter, our mind acts upon our body and, through a chain of physical events, upon the mind of the recipient of the letter. This is what the authors of this book call the 'interaction of mental and physical events'. We know very little about this interaction; and according to recent philosophical fashions this is explained by the alleged fact that we have brains but no thoughts. The authors of this book stress that they cannot solve the body mind problem; but they hope that they have been able to shed new light on it. Eccles especially with his theory that the brain is a detector and amplifier; a theory that has given rise to important new developments, including new and exciting experiments; and Popper with his highly controversial theory of 'World 3'. They show that certain fashionable solutions which have been offered fail to understand the seriousness of the problems of the emergence of life, or consciousness and of the creativity of our minds.
In Part I, Popper discusses the philosophical issue between dualist or even pluralist interaction on the one side, and materialism and parallelism on the other. There is also a historical review of these issues.
In Part II, Eccles examines the mind from the neurological standpoint: the structure of the brain and its functional performance under normal as well as abnormal circumstances. The result is a radical and intriguing hypothesis on the interaction between mental events and detailed neurological occurrences in the cerebral cortex.
Part III, based on twelve recorded conversations, reflects the exciting exchange between the authors as they attempt to come to terms with their opinions." End quote .

All those world 's leading neuroscientists ,together  with Popper , Nagel and other philosophers did support the work of Libet .The latter who acknowledged the non-physical nature of consciousness , in the non -substance dualistic sense , in his conscious mental field theory or emergent property theory that has not been proved conclusively either,as well as the fact that consciousness is irreducible to brain activity  .

Quote
Libet proposed the 'Conscious Mental Field' (CMF) to explain how the mental arises from the physical brain, saying, "The CMF is not a Cartesian dualistic phenomenon; it is not separable from the brain. Rather, it is proposed to be a localizable system property produced by appropriate neuronal activities, and it cannot exist without them". He called it 'non-physical' because it isn't made of 'stuff', it is patterns of neuronal activity.

At the end of the above mentioned book of his , Libet talks about an interesting imaginary discussion between himself and Descartes ,while mentioning some errors that were committed by Damasio in the latter's book about the errors of Descartes .

Anyway , modern substance dualism has not much to do with the old and false Cartesian dualism : the former says that the mind and matter  are 2 different substances or processes that are not only inseparable from each other , but they also interact mutually with each other + the mind has a causal effect on matter or on the physical brain and body , while being influenced by them  , unlike what Descartes said about all that .

Furthermore , modern dualism says also that the observed so-called objective reality is inseparable from the consciousness of the observer : the mind is inseparable from the physical reality : the observer and the observed are inseparable , the subjective and the objective are inseparable: there is no such thing as the independent observer or independent observed = they are intertwined with each other  .

As of Libet's conscious mental field theory or emergent property theory , Libet acknowledges the non-physical nature of consciousness that's irreducible to brain activity , but emerges from it .

Libet even said in one of his above displayed excerpts that there is nothing in science that contradicts the substance dualistic or religious beliefs ,in the sense that there is nothing in science that contradicts the belief assumptions that consciousness might take off ,after death , to some destination beyond this world .

Furthermore , LIbet said also that brain activity is a necessary condition for consciousness , but that does not mean that the latter cannot exist without its brain : many near death experiences, out of body experiences ...proved the fact that consciousness can exist even when cardiac arrest occurs and brain activity is non-existent .

Quote
Searle said consciousness is a real subjective experience, caused by the physical processes of the brain (he called this view 'biological naturalism'). In 'The Problem of Consciousness', he says, "brain processes cause conscious processes".

Libet said consciousness emerges from brain activity , not that the former is caused by the latter , or that the latter produces or is identical with the former ,since Libet says that consciousness is a non-physical process that's irreducible to brain activity but emerges from it .

See above .The point is : all those mentioned neuroscientists and philosophers did acknowledge the non-physical nature of consciousness (that's a good start in the right direction ) , in the non-substance dualistic sense indeed , even though they assumed that consciousness can arise from the brain as an alleged emergent phenomena .

The latter's assumption has not been proved conclusively anyway (how can it ever be ) .

Quote
Popper, in 'Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind', said consciousness is an evolved behaviour:Ecological conditions like those that favor the evolution of open behavioral programs sometimes also favor the evolution of the beginnings of consciousness, by favoring conscious choices. Or in other words, consciousness originates with the choices that are left open by open behavioral programs.

Biological evolution can intrinsically never account for consciousness , let alone explain it , simply because consciousness is neither reducible to brain activity , neither is it brain activity , nor is it an emergent property from biology .


Quote
Let us look at various possible stages in the emergence of consciousness.

lol

Quote
As a possible first stage there may evolve something that acts like a centralized warning, that is, like irritation or discomfort or pain, inducing the organism to stop an inadequate movement and to adopt some alternative behavior in its stead before it is too late, before too much damage has been done. The absence of a warning like pain will lead in many cases to destruction. Thus natural selection will favor those individuals that shrink back when they receive a signal indicating an inadequate movement; which means, anticipating the inherent danger of the movement. I suggest that pain may evolve as such a signal; and perhaps also fear.

The conscious aware feeling of pain or perception of pain is both irreducible to brain activity and cannot emerge from it : that's the main issue in consciousness studies , if you haven't noticed yet : the gap between the 2 is unbridgeable : you can't jump from the one to the other .

All scientists or philosophers who do base their sand castles on that major false premise are wrong : consciousness allegedly arising or emerging from brain activity : those are just beliefs or baseless speculations = fairy tales.

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As a second stage, we may consider that natural selection will favor those organisms that try out, by some method or other, the possible movements that might be adopted before they are executed. In this way, real trial-and-error behavior may be replaced, or preceded, by imagined or vicarious trial-and-error behavior. The imagining may perhaps initially consist of incipient efferent nervous signals, serving as a kind of model, or symbolic representation of the actual behavior, and of its possible results.

Non-sense  based on the previous non-sense , on false premises . .Consciousness is neither reducible to biology or brain activity , nor can it emerge from it : that's the main issue in consciousness studies .

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Richard Dawkins has brilliantly developed some such speculations about the beginnings of mind in considerable detail.18 The main points about them are two. One is that these beginnings of mind or consciousness should be favored by natural selection, simply because they mean the substitution of imagined or symbolic or vicarious behavior for real trials which, if erroneous, may have fatal consequences. The other is that we can here apply the ideas of selection and of downward causation to what is clearly a choice situation: the open program allows for possibilities to be played through tentatively — on a screen, as it were — in order that a selection can be made from among these possibilities. [See R. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), pp. 62f].

Oh, please , spare me those  simplistic speculative evolutionary non-sense fairy tales  of Dawkins ( I read enough about that ) that make no biological sense either : his genetic determinism has been refuted and his rigid and dogmatic neo-Darwinism does hold not much water whatsoever either .

Quote
As a third stage, we may perhaps consider the evolution of more or less conscious aims, or ends: of purposeful animal actions, such as hunting. Unconscious instinctive action may have been purpose-directed before, but once vicarious or imagined trial-and-error behavior has started, it becomes necessary, in situations of choice, to evaluate the end state of the imagined behavior. This may lead to feelings of avoidance or rejection — to anticipations of pain — or to feelings of eager acceptance of the end state; and the latter feelings may come to characterize a consciousness of aim or end or purpose. In connection with open choices, a feeling may evolve of preference for one possibility rather than another; preference for one kind of food, and thus for one kind of ecological niche, rather than another.

I thought that the so-called blind random unguided evolution through the natural selection was purposeless lol

Quote
You need to understand that the fact that you don't like something doesn't make it false, and continually asserting what you'd like to be true doesn't make it true - neither do false appeals to well-known authorities by misrepresenting their views.

See above : you're the one who doesn't understand what those well -known "authorities " have been saying ,regarding their non-substance dualism acknowledgments of the non-physical nature of consciousness at least ,and regarding the fact that it is irreducible to brain activity or biology ,physics and chemistry .

I was not appealing to their 'authority " either : science is above the latter .Even prominent scientists and philosophers can be wrong too .

I was just referring to the empirical or rational sides of their work , in the above mentioned sense at least .

I do accept only what's been proved as such via empirical evidence thus .

So,you need to understand the fact that your materialistic non-sense has been supported by a big zero evidence , and hence it is false .Whether i like something or not is not the point thus .
« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 20:54:07 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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dlorde :

You're a lousy reader .Cheryl   did understand the above at least :
Do not confuse property dualism with substance dualism either .


Quote
author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446567#msg446567 date=1418573514]


I will say that Don is correct in that Libet is critical of reductionist materialism, as expressed in the excerpt and else where in the book. Libet  does not automatically exclude the possibility of the immaterial or even things like souls, life after death, etc.



Yes, he did criticize reductionist materialism in his argument for emergent properties. That does not equal a ringing endorsement of any mystical idea you care to propose. That does not mean evidence for non local consciousness that interacts with the brain as a transceiver and exists independently of it. 

Despite the fact you've quoted the introduction to his book 3 or 4 times, you seem to have completely misread or ignored the last few paragraphs of that excerpt. That souls, life after death and other religious ideas are tenable as "beliefs" "since there is nothing in all of scientific evidence that directly contradicts such beliefs", but "they do not fall within the purview of scientific knowledge (see Karl Popper’s position, described earlier)." That is the whole point of the Popper reference to Einstein and the eclipse, that while you may not be able to exclude a belief, for that belief to be a scientific theory, it must be testable, and be confirmed empirically. Which is what every other scientist says as well!

How can you ignore that statement? And how can you ignore the other ones like:

"Nondeterminism—which is the view that conscious will may,at times, exert effects not in accord with known physical laws— is of course also a nonproven speculative belief."

and

"There is no objective evidence for the existence of conscious phenomena apart from the brain."

"On this last point, we must recognize that there is no evidence to support the concept of separate entity status, which can only be a metaphysical belief."




« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 21:05:39 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde , alancalverd :

What particular word , concept , sentence or whatever exactly can't  you understand from the following ? :

Conscious aware observation has to be made anyway , at the end of the measurement chain, as Von Neumann said ,so .

Source : "Quantum Enigma , Physics encounters consciousness : "

http://quantumenigma.com/

"According to Bell:
In his arguments with Bohr, Einstein was wrong in all the details.
Bohr understood the actual manipulation of quantum mechanics much better than Einstein. But still, in his philosophy of physics and his idea of what it is all about and what we are doing and should do, Einstein seems to be absolutely admirable. . . . [T]here is no doubt that he is, for me, the model of how one should think about physics."

.......


"Bell’s theorem and the experiments it fostered are responsible. They
did more than confi rm the weird predictions of quantum theory. The
experiments showed that no future theory could ever explain our actual
world as a “reasonable” one. Any correct future theory must describe a world in which objects do not have properties that are separately their own, independent of their “observation.” In principle, that applies to all objects. Even to us?"

............

Bell’s theorem has been called “the most profound discovery in science in
the last half of the twentieth century.” It has rubbed physics’ nose in the weirdness of quantum mechanics. Bell’s theorem and the experiments it stimulated answered what was supposedly a “merely philosophical question” in the laboratory. We now know Einstein’s “spooky actions” actually exist. Even events at the edge of the galaxy instantly influence what happens at the edge of your garden. We quickly emphasize that such influences are undetectable in any normally complex situation.Nevertheless, What are now called “EPR-Bell influences,” or entanglement, now get attention in industrial laboratories for their potential to allow incredibly powerful computers. They already provide the most secure encryption for confidential communication. Bell’s theorem has renewed interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics, and dramatically displays physics’ encounter with consciousness."

..........

.."When the experiments were done, Bell’s inequality was violated. Assumptions of reality and separability yielded a wrong prediction in our actual world.

Bell’s straw man was knocked down, as Bell expected it would be. Our world therefore does not have both reality and separability. It’s in this sense, an “unreasonable” world.
We immediately admit not understanding what the world lacking “reality” might mean. Even what “reality” itself might mean. In fact, whether or not reality is indeed required as a premise in Bell’s theorem is in dispute.
However, we need not deal with that right now.

 For our derivation of a Bell inequality, we assume a straightforward real world. Later, when we discuss the consequences of the violation of Bell’s inequality in our actual world, we’ll define a “reality” implicitly accepted by most physicists. It will leave us with a strangely connected world."



 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Excerpt from "Quantum Enigma ..." : Consciousness and Reduction :

Quote : " With consciousness encountered in the quantum experiment, or even just arising in the quantum theory, we can see a problem with reductionism.The reductionist perspective seeks to reduce the explanation of a complex system to its underlying science. For example, one can seek explanations of psychological phenomena in biological terms. Biological phenomena can be seen as ultimately chemical. And no chemist doubts that chemical phenomena are fundamentally the interactions of atoms obeying quantum physics. Physics, itself, can supposedly rest firmly on primitive empirical ground.

In chapter 3 we represented this view with the reductionist pyramid. That view of the primitive empirical ground on which physics rests is challenged by quantum mechanics, where physics ultimately rests on observation. Observation somehow involves consciousness, whatever that is. Therefore, add a somewhat cloudy consciousness at the base of our reductionist pyramid in Figure 17.2. For all practical purposes, science will always be hierarchical, with each level in the hierarchy needing its own set of concepts.

Nevertheless, this new perspective on reduction can change the way we perceive the scientific enterprise."End quote

Old "pyramid " :

Psychology
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Empirical evidence

New scientific hierarchy : New "pyramid " : Fig 17.2 :

Psychology
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Consciousness
« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 21:19:04 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446852#msg446852 date=1419022949]
dlorde :

You're a lousy reader .Cheryl   did understand the above at least :
Do not confuse property dualism with substance dualism either .


Quote
author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446567#msg446567 date=1418573514]


I will say that Don is correct in that Libet is critical of reductionist materialism, as expressed in the excerpt and else where in the book. Libet  does not automatically exclude the possibility of the immaterial or even things like souls, life after death, etc.



Yes, he did criticize reductionist materialism in his argument for emergent properties. That does not equal a ringing endorsement of any mystical idea you care to propose. That does not mean evidence for non local consciousness that interacts with the brain as a transceiver and exists independently of it.


Who said otherwise then ? Did i say that Libet endorsed those beliefs or your distortions of what they mean ?

Oh, forgot : see this regarding the self and its brain by Popper and Eccles :

Download the PDF , if you want to :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2448303/pdf/ulstermedj00079-0013.pdf

"...Eccles especially with his theory that the brain is a detector and amplifier; a theory that has given rise to important new developments, including new and exciting experiments..."

http://www.amazon.com/The-Self-Its-Brain-Interactionism/dp/0415058988

Quote from amazon.com :

"The relation between body and mind is one of the oldest riddles that has puzzled mankind. That material and mental events may interact is accepted even by the law: our mental capacity to concentrate on the task can be seriously reduced by drugs. Physical and chemical processes may act upon the mind; and when we are writing a difficult letter, our mind acts upon our body and, through a chain of physical events, upon the mind of the recipient of the letter. This is what the authors of this book call the 'interaction of mental and physical events'. We know very little about this interaction; and according to recent philosophical fashions this is explained by the alleged fact that we have brains but no thoughts. The authors of this book stress that they cannot solve the body mind problem; but they hope that they have been able to shed new light on it. Eccles especially with his theory that the brain is a detector and amplifier; a theory that has given rise to important new developments, including new and exciting experiments; and Popper with his highly controversial theory of 'World 3'. They show that certain fashionable solutions which have been offered fail to understand the seriousness of the problems of the emergence of life, or consciousness and of the creativity of our minds.
In Part I, Popper discusses the philosophical issue between dualist or even pluralist interaction on the one side, and materialism and parallelism on the other. There is also a historical review of these issues.
In Part II, Eccles examines the mind from the neurological standpoint: the structure of the brain and its functional performance under normal as well as abnormal circumstances. The result is a radical and intriguing hypothesis on the interaction between mental events and detailed neurological occurrences in the cerebral cortex.
Part III, based on twelve recorded conversations, reflects the exciting exchange between the authors as they attempt to come to terms with their opinions."End quote .

Furthermore,what's so mystical about the non-physical and non -local nature of consciousness interacting with its brain mutually then ? Even QM has been encountering consciousness : the interpretation or measurement or observation problem in QM : see above .

QM that can never be understood without reference to the mind , once again .

Who said that consciousness can exist independently of its brain ,in this life at least , under normal circumstances ,that is ? ( Many near death experiences ,for example, proved the fact that consciousness can exist even after cardiac arrest and brain clinical "near death " by the way .)

Quote
Despite the fact you've quoted the introduction to his book 3 or 4 times, you seem to have completely misread or ignored the last few paragraphs of that excerpt. That souls, life after death and other religious ideas are tenable as "beliefs" "since there is nothing in all of scientific evidence that directly contradicts such beliefs", but "they do not fall within the purview of scientific knowledge (see Karl Popper’s position, described earlier)."

Did i say otherwise ?
I did not misread them ? That's just your false speculation  or false assumption on the subject . I used them even against the non-sense of dlorde, if you haven't noticed that yet , in my won words that is .

I said that Libet assumed that there is nothing in science that can contradict the belief that consciousness can take off to some destination beyond this world, after death .

I will even tell you now that Libet was wrong about assuming that the beliefs in the existence of the soul, and in the after life do fall outside the purview of scientific knowledge :

Near death experiences and other consciousness studies have been delivering some indirect evidence , yet not conclusively , that prove the existence of the after -life , and that prove the non-physical and non-local nature of consciousness or the soul or whatever that's both irreducible to brain activity and cannot be an emergent phenomena from biology or from brain activity .

Quote
That is the whole point of the Popper reference to Einstein and the eclipse, that while you may not be able to exclude a belief, for that belief to be a scientific theory, it must be testable, and be confirmed empirically. Which is what every other scientist says as well!

The above latter claims of mine were proved , indirectly and yet not conclusively , through near death experiences and through other scientific consciousness studies .

By the way , what's so testable or provable about either the identity theory or the emergent property theory regarding consciousness at least ? = a big zero evidence .


Quote
How can you ignore that statement?


See above .I did not ignore it .Don't project your own misunderstanding of my words and your wild speculations about that on me .

Quote
And how can you ignore the other ones like:

"There is no objective evidence for the existence of conscious phenomena apart from the brain."


I did not ignore that either .I used them even against the non-sense of dlorde, if you haven't noticed that yet , in my won words that is .

Well, who said otherwise ? In normal circumstances ,consciousness and its brain are inseparable and cannot exist without each other .

That consciousness takes off to another destination beyond this world , after death , well, that happens after death , not in this life at least .

But then again , see my emphasis on near death experiences studies on the subject as mentioned above .

Quote
"On this last point, we must recognize that there is no evidence to support the concept of separate entity status, which can only be a metaphysical belief."

What separate entity ? The one in your imagination, i guess :
Once again : consciousness and its brain are inseparable in this life at least .Who said otherwise ? ,although near death experiences have shown that consciousness can exist without its brain after the clinical "near death " of the brain .

Strange Kafkaian accusations again.Amazing .
« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 22:07:01 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Who said otherwise then ? Did i say that Libet endorsed those beliefs or your distortions of what they mean ?...

Who said that consciousness can exist independently of its brain ,in this life at least , under normal circumstances ,that is ?

Did i say otherwise ?
Uh, yeah you have, repeatedly. Back peddling at it's worst. Do I really have to go back and dig up all your quotes??

Quote

What separate entity ? The one in your imagination, i guess :
Once again : consciousness and its brain are inseparable in this life at least .Who said otherwise ? ,although near death experiences have shown that consciousness can exist without its brain after the clinical "near death " of the brain .

Strange Kafkaian accusations again.Amazing .


hahahaha. That sentence is as Kafkaian as it gets!
 

Offline dlorde

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...
Libet 's theory says that consciousness as a non-physical process does arise from brain activity indeed .... not the same as assuming that brain activity produces consciousness...
So consciousness arising from brain activity is different from brain activity producing consciousness - how?   ::)

Quote
The point is : all those mentioned neuroscientists and philosophers did acknowledge the non-physical nature of consciousness (that's a good start in the right direction ) , in the non-substance dualistic sense indeed , even though they assumed that consciousness can arise from the brain as an alleged emergent phenomena .
So what are you now saying - have you changed your mind and now espouse property dualism instead of substance dualism? Have you now come to terms with consciousness as an emergent phenomenon of brain activity?

If not, why all this harping on about it?

Personally, I'm quite happy with a property dualistic perspective; I agree that consciousness can reasonably be seen as an emergent phenomenon of brain activity - I'm prepared to accept labelling it as 'non-physical' in that sense (although I think it's misleading, with a risk of equivocation with the 'non-physical' of substance dualist immaterialism). But if you're moving in that direction, or thinking about it, congratulations, I think you'll find it rewarding.

 

Offline alancalverd

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dlorde , alancalverd :

What particular word , concept , sentence or whatever exactly can't  you understand from the following ? :


I understand every word. It's bunkum. See reply #890 above.
 

Offline dlorde

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Who said otherwise then ? Did i say that Libet endorsed those beliefs or your distortions of what they mean ?...

Who said that consciousness can exist independently of its brain ,in this life at least , under normal circumstances ,that is ?

Did i say otherwise ?
Uh, yeah you have, repeatedly. Back peddling at it's worst. Do I really have to go back and dig up all your quotes??

Quote

What separate entity ? The one in your imagination, i guess :
Once again : consciousness and its brain are inseparable in this life at least .Who said otherwise ? ,although near death experiences have shown that consciousness can exist without its brain after the clinical "near death " of the brain .

Strange Kafkaian accusations again.Amazing .


hahahaha. That sentence is as Kafkaian as it gets!

I think you're right Cheryl; I also noticed he seemed to have changed his position. He's not going to admit it, but what he's saying now is different from what he said at the outset:

"consciousness is neither in the brain nor is it brain activity"

"What you don't understand is that no physical reality or matter can exist without consciousness = "matter " exists only when observed , so, consciousness precedes the existence of "matter ""

But then he also said:

".. I am NOT here to "defend " or talk about the work of those non-materialist scientists thus ,also because it would cost me too much time and energy i cannot afford ."

Cough...  ;D
 

Offline domkarr

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thanks for the concise reply dlord and sorry if i was jumping up on horse that has already been ridden to death, i am just trying to catch up with everyone else.

I hope it's not too annoying explaining to the newbie but could I ask another?

You see I was sort of trying to come to grips with what is currently accepted as being a human consciousness, sub-consciousness and what is the mind and what is the brain.
As I understand it, although I am probably wrong, The consciousness is a kind of intangible substantial entity that our brains have built or evolution built in order to guide the mind and body through life.

then there is the sub-conscious, a secondary but in no way lesser form of automated guiding tool, that our brains and bodies use to navigate life.

Then we have the mind and that is yet another tool but one that is used by the brain more as a data bank of sorts and also the reference for human emotive responses, learned behaviors and so on.

then there is the housing for these tools, the hardware, the brain, where various chemical and electrical functions (much like a computer) allow us to assemble reality by using these functions in conjunction with the aforementioned tools to create the marvelous machine that is us (humanity).

I just wanted to make sure that I'm on the same page as everyone else and haven't invented my own tangent from a lack of structured learning. As what I have learned on this subject is mainly from personal research and discussion.

To tell the truth I don't think there is anything particularly spiritual about the brain but in saying that I have had thoughts that maybe there are certain things that science may never be able to answer or we won't find the answer before we all go extinct.  [8]

As mr. quichotte pointed out, how do we explain instances where people have outer body experiences?

I have heard a bit on the subject and there are all sorts of ideas about it but has there ever been a definite answer?  ???
for instance how can anyone say for certain that this is not some kind of telekinetic response to death?
Or as Don says a force not yet found? 

Even as I wrote that I felt a bit like a fool for bringing it up as i have trouble dealing with something i cannot prove. but I'm seeking to catch up with the conversation and find better understanding of the topic, not to throw doubt on anyone and certainly I don't think I need to fuel the conversation  ;D
 

Offline cheryl j

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I think you are definitely on the right page, Domkarr.

Wikipedia's not a bad place to start for an overview of philosophical and scientific approaches to the question and you can then clink the links or google the names of people whose ideas interest you.
For example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness
 

Offline cheryl j

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I was reading this article today about experiments that show crows can understand analogies. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141218131427.htm

It also made me think more about the consciousness and evolution. In philosophy and the field of AI, people often make a hard and firm distinction between mere sensation/detection and consciousness, while there would not appear to be that same strict division in evolutionary phylogeny at all. Rather there's a broad and gradual spectrum of consciousness from single celled organisms to more complex animals. I'm not saying amoebas are conscious, but if one believes there is a strict division between sensation and sentience, tell me where the cut off point is. Trace the evolutionary past of a conscious animal and show me at what point they weren't. If apes have consciousness, what about cats, rabbits or mice, or sparrows?  Which ones have qualia? Does it matter how many types of qualia a species has?  (Hofstadter discusses some of this in his book "I am a Strange Loop)

What's more,  very diverse or widely genetically separated groups, (like humans and crows in the example above) may share some attributes or abilities,  but not others.  There is convergent evolution with physical traits. But what I find interesting about convergent evolution of specific traits associated with consciousness is that it demonstrates that our view of consciousness as this unified, either/or, all or nothing "thing" is likely wrong. Consciousness is not some additional, special stuff that was somehow tacked on to a system so it could experience itself- it is the system. Consciousness has an evolutionary past and rudimentary forms. Substance dualist philosophers who only look at the human mind and all its grandeur and insist there is no way it can be produced by cellular activity- there is no way you can get this from that - ignore evolution which says, yes you can, and this is how it happened.

http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00667/full

The evolutionary and genetic origins of consciousness in the Cambrian Period over 500 million years ago

 Todd E. Feinberg1* and Jon Mallatt2
1Neurology and Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
2School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Abstract:
Vertebrates evolved in the Cambrian Period before 520 million years ago, but we do not know when or how consciousness arose in the history of the vertebrate brain. Here we propose multiple levels of isomorphic or somatotopic neural representations as an objective marker for sensory consciousness. All extant vertebrates have these, so we deduce that consciousness extends back to the group's origin. The first conscious sense may have been vision. Then vision, coupled with additional sensory systems derived from ectodermal placodes and neural crest, transformed primitive reflexive systems into image forming brains that map and perceive the external world and the body's interior. We posit that the minimum requirement for sensory consciousness and qualia is a brain including a forebrain (but not necessarily a developed cerebral cortex/pallium), midbrain, and hindbrain. This brain must also have (1) hierarchical systems of intercommunicating, isomorphically organized, processing nuclei that extensively integrate the different senses into representations that emerge in upper levels of the neural hierarchy; and (2) a widespread reticular formation that integrates the sensory inputs and contributes to attention, awareness, and neural synchronization. We propose a two-step evolutionary history, in which the optic tectum was the original center of multi-sensory conscious perception (as in fish and amphibians: step 1), followed by a gradual shift of this center to the dorsal pallium or its cerebral cortex (in mammals, reptiles, birds: step 2). We address objections to the hypothesis and call for more studies of fish and amphibians. In our view, the lamprey has all the neural requisites and is likely the simplest extant vertebrate with sensory consciousness and qualia. Genes that pattern the proposed elements of consciousness (isomorphism, neural crest, placodes) have been identified in all vertebrates. Thus, consciousness is in the genes, some of which are already known."

« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 06:47:10 by cheryl j »
 

Offline dlorde

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thanks for the concise reply dlord and sorry if i was jumping up on horse that has already been ridden to death, i am just trying to catch up with everyone else.

I hope it's not too annoying explaining to the newbie but could I ask another?
Feel free - it's good to have fresh questions and another viewpoint - this thread is a bit stale!

Quote
As I understand it, although I am probably wrong, The consciousness is a kind of intangible substantial entity that our brains have built or evolution built in order to guide the mind and body through life.

then there is the sub-conscious, a secondary but in no way lesser form of automated guiding tool, that our brains and bodies use to navigate life.

Then we have the mind and that is yet another tool but one that is used by the brain more as a data bank of sorts and also the reference for human emotive responses, learned behaviors and so on.

then there is the housing for these tools, the hardware, the brain, where various chemical and electrical functions (much like a computer) allow us to assemble reality by using these functions in conjunction with the aforementioned tools to create the marvelous machine that is us (humanity).
There aren't really any 'wrong' definitions or meanings for these labels - it's really a moveable feast, with different meanings dependent on context and usage. If there's any field that supports Wittgenstein's idea that meaning is usage, it's this one. What counts is that we try to understand what others are talking about.

I see the mind as what the brain does (excluding the low-level automatic body management stuff); the 'mental faculties' in general. It can be awake, asleep, conscious, unconscious, focused, unfocused, emotional, etc. Consciousness is a particular state of mind, a mode of brain operation, typically involving (in humans) awareness, responsiveness, a sense of self, a sense of agency and control, etc. The subconscious is where the bulk of the activity occurs, updating the consciousness with significant events on a 'need to know' basis. Subconscious processing (System 1 thought) involves multiple highly parallel processes of which we are not aware, producing fast one-shot results; conscious processing (System 2) provides a scratchpad or workspace where these results can be held, manipulated and sent for further System 1 processing. This deliberative System 2 thinking is slow, sequential, and effortful, and we are consciously aware of it.

Beyond this, interpretations vary wildly, but it seems clear, from medical and experimental evidence, that consciousness isn't quite what it seems to be; the sense of self is explicitly constructed from the mapping & integration of a number of sensory streams (hence OBEs), and the sense of agency is largely retrospective - we become aware of decisions & actions by subconscious processes and have the sense they were consciously made.

I currently see consciousness having a monitoring and coordinating role with the subconscious processes, using their processing facilities for resolving non-trivial problems, forward planning, controlling social interaction, etc.   I see the aware self as a simplified, idealised model of the system (the mind as a whole), used in planning and 'what-if' scenarios, and playing the role of an interface for social interaction - a kind of social avatar or representative. As a model and representative of the whole system, it must be given a sense of agency or it would feel like a helpless passenger, and a sense of self awareness arises out of the constructed sense of self and the reflective need to model its own behaviour (e.g. in forward planning).

Quote
As mr. quichotte pointed out, how do we explain instances where people have outer body experiences?

I have heard a bit on the subject and there are all sorts of ideas about it but has there ever been a definite answer?  ???
The evidence suggests the OBEs are due to anomalous functioning of the area(s) of the brain dealing with the location component of the sense of self. Streams of sensory information from eyes, ears (balance), and proprioception (position of arms & legs, skin touch sensors, etc) are used to maintain a dynamic sense of location and orientation. This is part of what is called Multisensory Integration. If you mess with these data streams, you can cause problems, for example, if balance information from the ears conflicts with information from the eyes, you may become disoriented or nauseous. If you mess with visual information and touch information you can get identification errors, e.g. the rubber hand illusion; this is a minor example of the Body Transfer Illusion (bear with me!), where, using a similar technique you can be deceived into thinking you are in a different body entirely.

If you mess with the brain areas where this sensory integration occurs and the sense of location is generated, you can get all kinds of weird effects, including the sense of being located outside the body (often above it, for some reason), or having no bodily boundaries and being located everywhere (psychoactive drugs may do this - giving a sense of 'cosmic consciousness'). Most OBEs occur under extreme circumstances of stress, pain, oxygen deprivation, influence of drugs, seizures, epilepsy, etc., where there is likely to be some impairment to general levels of consciousness, and even partial dream state. In these circumstances, visual imagery may be constructed to match the sensation, either from existing knowledge and expectations or from scratch (e.g. floating above the scene of the accident or operating theatre, or floating through an alien landscape). It's not clear exactly when these images and experiences actually occur, as they are always recalled after the fact; there may be components from prior to losing consciousness and/or as consciousness returns. Partial memories and gaps may be filled in and elaborated on recall. OBEs of varying intensity have been artificially generated by stimulating areas of the brain with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Quote
... how can anyone say for certain that this is not some kind of telekinetic response to death?
Or as Don says a force not yet found?
People who are dead don't report any experiences (people commonly report they died or were declared clinically dead, but these days it's generally an exaggeration for their heart stopping temporarily, or just an example that the clinical assessment of death isn't 100% reliable). Nevertheless, when death is a possibility, there is often severe physiological or mental stress, which could be expected to generate anomalous experiences.

As for telekinesis, there is no convincing evidence for it, despite over a hundred years of attempts to find some (although many fraudsters have been exposed), and no plausible mechanism (the brain barely produces enough electrical potential to be detectable by sensitive EEG electrodes on the scalp). The clincher is that our best physical model of the world (quantum field theory) tells us there are no unknown fields or forces that are long range enough and strong enough to significantly interact with matter at human scales (see The Higgs Boson and the Fundamental Nature of Reality for fascinating details).

Bear in mind also that there are probably Nobel prizes and a whole new field of serious research awaiting any scientists who can demonstrate reliable and repeatable instances of telekinesis, or any 'paranormal' phenomena, and millions of dollars in prize challenge awards from skeptic organizations. There is also a whole industry generating revenue from unproven paranormal claims.
« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 14:48:19 by dlorde »
 

Offline dlorde

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... What's more,  very diverse or widely genetically separated groups, (like humans and crows in the example above) may share some attributes or abilities,  but not others.  There is convergent evolution with physical traits. But what I find interesting about convergent evolution of specific traits associated with consciousness is that it demonstrates that our view of consciousness as this unified, either/or, all or nothing "thing" is likely wrong. Consciousness is not some additional, special stuff that was somehow tacked on to a system so it could experience itself- it is the system. Consciousness has an evolutionary past and rudimentary forms. Substance dualist philosophers who only look at the human mind and all its grandeur and insist there is no way it can be produced by cellular activity- there is no way you can get this from that - ignore evolution which says, yes you can, and this is how it happened.
Yes, I absolutely agree; the evolutionary context is crucial to understanding the basis and origins of consciousness. Taking a limited anthropocentric view is bound to raise puzzling questions and arguments from incredulity in the absence of such context.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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... What's more,  very diverse or widely genetically separated groups, (like humans and crows in the example above) may share some attributes or abilities,  but not others.  There is convergent evolution with physical traits. But what I find interesting about convergent evolution of specific traits associated with consciousness is that it demonstrates that our view of consciousness as this unified, either/or, all or nothing "thing" is likely wrong. Consciousness is not some additional, special stuff that was somehow tacked on to a system so it could experience itself- it is the system. Consciousness has an evolutionary past and rudimentary forms. Substance dualist philosophers who only look at the human mind and all its grandeur and insist there is no way it can be produced by cellular activity- there is no way you can get this from that - ignore evolution which says, yes you can, and this is how it happened.
Yes, I absolutely agree; the evolutionary context is crucial to understanding the basis and origins of consciousness. Taking a limited anthropocentric view is bound to raise puzzling questions and arguments from incredulity in the absence of such context.

You have to try to prove first that consciousness can arise from the biological evolution lol , from physics and chemistry .

Clearly , the biological evolution  can never intrinsically account for either the origin , nature or emergence of consciousness , let alone for  its 'evolution " .

Furthermore, all consciousness studies have not been able so far , if ever , to answer how aware consciousness emerges ,in the first place to begin with, what its origin might be .....: that's still the main unresolved issue , not a matter of or argument from  incredulity.
« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 17:48:19 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446864#msg446864 date=1419027906]

Who said otherwise then ? Did i say that Libet endorsed those beliefs or your distortions of what they mean ?...

Who said that consciousness can exist independently of its brain ,in this life at least , under normal circumstances ,that is ?

Did i say otherwise ?
Uh, yeah you have, repeatedly. Back peddling at it's worst. Do I really have to go back and dig up all your quotes??

I am not aware of any such thing .You have just misunderstood what i said , i guess .Feel free to remind me of those specific quotes that allegedly support your claims here above .

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What separate entity ? The one in your imagination, i guess :
Once again : consciousness and its brain are inseparable in this life at least .Who said otherwise ? ,although near death experiences have shown that consciousness can exist without its brain after the clinical "near death " of the brain .

Strange Kafkaian accusations again.Amazing .


hahahaha. That sentence is as Kafkaian as it gets!

What do you mean exactly ?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Who said otherwise then ? Did i say that Libet endorsed those beliefs or your distortions of what they mean ?...

Who said that consciousness can exist independently of its brain ,in this life at least , under normal circumstances ,that is ?

Did i say otherwise ?
Uh, yeah you have, repeatedly. Back peddling at it's worst. Do I really have to go back and dig up all your quotes??

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What separate entity ? The one in your imagination, i guess :
Once again : consciousness and its brain are inseparable in this life at least .Who said otherwise ? ,although near death experiences have shown that consciousness can exist without its brain after the clinical "near death " of the brain .

Strange Kafkaian accusations again.Amazing .


hahahaha. That sentence is as Kafkaian as it gets!

I think you're right Cheryl; I also noticed he seemed to have changed his position. He's not going to admit it, but what he's saying now is different from what he said at the outset:

"consciousness is neither in the brain nor is it brain activity"

You're both completely wrong about that:
I haven't changed my position ,since there is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever that supports either the materialistic identity theory , nor the so-called emergent property theory regarding the nature, origin emergence and function of consciousness : the latter that's indeed neither in the brain nor is it brain activity , let alone that it can be an emergent phenomena from the latter .

I was just responding to your earlier claims, that's all


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"What you don't understand is that no physical reality or matter can exist without consciousness = "matter " exists only when observed , so, consciousness precedes the existence of "matter ""

That was said within a certain particular context .It's not what i appears to be thus , outside of that specific context .

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But then he also said:

".. I am NOT here to "defend " or talk about the work of those non-materialist scientists thus ,also because it would cost me too much time and energy i cannot afford ."

This whole thread is just about a certain manifesto thus .One can check that out via the main link of this thread .

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Cough...  ;D

To your health .
« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 18:23:30 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde , alancalverd :

What particular word , concept , sentence or whatever exactly can't  you understand from the following ? :


I understand every word. It's bunkum. See reply #890 above.

Try to address  that specific post of mine then ,or rather try to refute it lol
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg446871#msg446871 date=1419032352]
...
Libet 's theory says that consciousness as a non-physical process does arise from brain activity indeed .... not the same as assuming that brain activity produces consciousness...
So consciousness arising from brain activity is different from brain activity producing consciousness - how?   ::)

You're deliberately trying to play some nasty tricks here :

Consciousness arising from brain activity = the latter "producing" the former, like the interactions between hydrogen and oxygen atoms "produce " the wetness of water ,or like the ocean "produces " its waves ...= emergent property theory regarding consciousness = the 2 are 2 different processes , brain activity is material or physical and consciousness is non -physical in the property dualistic sense  .
On the other hand , Identity theory says  brain activity = consciousness : equating between the 2 .

There is not much 'difference " between the identity theory and between emergent property theory regarding consciousness and its brain  indeed anyway : that's exactly what i thought .

This following lecture in PDF form will tell you the relative "difference" between the 2 above mentioned bullshit theories lol :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2448303/

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The point is : all those mentioned neuroscientists and philosophers did acknowledge the non-physical nature of consciousness (that's a good start in the right direction ) , in the non-substance dualistic sense indeed , even though they assumed that consciousness can arise from the brain as an alleged emergent phenomena .
So what are you now saying - have you changed your mind and now espouse property dualism instead of substance dualism? Have you now come to terms with consciousness as an emergent phenomenon of brain activity?

Sweet dreams, Alice lol

I haven't changed my position .I was just responding to your earlier claims, that's all .

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If not, why all this harping on about it?

Just responding to your earlier claims ,once again .

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Personally, I'm quite happy with a property dualistic perspective; I agree that consciousness can reasonably be seen as an emergent phenomenon of brain activity - I'm prepared to accept labelling it as 'non-physical' in that sense (although I think it's misleading, with a risk of equivocation with the 'non-physical' of substance dualist immaterialism). But if you're moving in that direction, or thinking about it, congratulations, I think you'll find it rewarding.

lol : see above .

The so-called emergent property theory regarding the origin emergence function and nature of consciousness is no less inexplicably magical than the other materialistic identity theory : even our mechanical David Cooper   did reject it , earlier on , in that length consciousness thread .
« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 19:21:37 by DonQuichotte »
 

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