Major Bombshell : Manifesto For A Post-Materialistic Science :

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Offline dlorde

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Since you are still a die-hard dogmatic materialist reductionist who has been taking his materialistic beliefs for granted as science , as Libet showed here above , i see no point in discussing Libet's theory or the mind -body problem with you ,what for ? .
Because you might learn something? No, I take that back. Your reluctance to discuss with people who disagree with your worldview simply highlights your lack of confidence of defending it with reasoned argument.

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Try to differentiate between materialist beliefs and science by distinguishing them from each other ,and hence by stopping to equate between them ,then and only then , we can progress in this debate .
This is a science forum. All you need to do is provide some plausible scientific evidence that you have something to discuss or debate, and we can progress. So far, all we've heard from you is bald assertion and cherry-picked copypasta.


 

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Offline cheryl j

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What 's your point , Cheryl ?
You could have just displayed that wiki link in question .
I have read most of that book , so, what's your point then ?
I didn't know if your version included the same Forward by Kosslyn. What was your point in posting Libet's comments if you have no interest in his work and do not feel he is credible?

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Libet assumed that consciousness was an emergent phenomena ,that's what that theory of his was all about .
I'm aware of that.
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He just replaced the materialistic magical identity theory with yet another inexplicable magic : consciousness as an alleged emergent phenomena .
Consciousness cannot be an emergent phenomena though : we have already talked about that on many occasions , on that lengthy consciousness thread : even Cooper did reject it .

I disagree.

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Why don't you react to the following from that same book ?,regarding the materialistic identity theory that's just a matter of belief , no scientific theory  :


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I did acknowledge that in another post, but again, he also says "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," which you chose to ignore.
  But unlike Chris Carter, Libet's work is not primarily based on gripes with materialism or a belief in the supernatural. He is trying to construct a model that explains his experimental observations and makes testable predictions. His theory rests on its own merits, regardless of how he feels about materialism, one way or the other.

Every time I see the the Popper example of falsifiability, using Einstein's theory and the eclipse, I imagine you saying "But Albert, that is no kind of evidence - no way, no how!  You are merely mistaking the image of the process with the process!"


« Last Edit: 14/12/2014 19:31:52 by cheryl j »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Some people's personalities or characters  , sense of morality ....and more do change almost completely when they get ...drunk lol, for example .
Some good nice polite mannered  people become aggressive ,rude, vulgar , offensive ...you name it , because alcohol blocks or deactivates their inhibitions area in the brain, i guess  .

Even peaceful people can become beasts Under certain circumstances..
Is that an allusion of an apology for your past uncivil rants? - not your fault because they were drunken rants?

And, of course, that only makes sense if your brain is what makes you the person you are  ;) .

That drunk "analogy"  was just referring to those personality , sense of morality ...changes in Alzheimer's, dementia ..patients .Sort of, but not really  .

That does absolutely not mean that we are our brains : our minds have to work through their brains ,so, when alcohol or drugs deactivate the inhibition area in the brain , or when some drugs or other chemicals seem to either expand or reduce consciousness accordingly , that does not mean that that brain activity is all what there is : that identity theory is just a belief , not a scientific theory , as Libet and others said by the way.

Ach, just spare me your irritating bullshit , please , from now on .Deal ?

Thanks for nothing , for not appreciating all the time and efforts i have been investing in here in many ways .



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Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde , alancalverd :

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

Source : "Quantum Enigma , Physics encounters consciousness : "

http://quantumenigma.com/

The following are the results of experiments , no abstract talk :

Quote :

"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." End quotes

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

How can you deny the obvious fact that placebo effects are incompatible with materialism , especially those at the level of surgery that were proved by Bruce Mosely and by others so clearly through Lipton's specific excerpt ?

How can materialism account for , let alone explain, the placebo effects ?

I am not gonna even discuss that silly autonomic brain "explanation " away of placebo effects , since our minds can be so trained as to control the autonomic nervous system itself via biofeedback informed training , to say just that .

Furthermore, all material, physiological and psychological materialistic 'explanations "  (away ) of placebo/nocebo effects , psi phenomena , including remote viewing , "explanations " away of the mindful trained effects of meditation, mindfulness .....have been refuted ,and hence do hold no water whatsoever .

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Offline dlorde

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You're just such a narrow-minded  dogmatic materialist ( I have more respect for scientists like Libet , for example, who can change their minds in the face of evidence , none for ossified dogmatics like yourself , to be honest ) , a believer who has been taking his own materialistic beliefs as granted for science ,or who has been equating between science and materialism , like the majority of scientists today have been doing .
...
You've got no reasons , no evidence ...to stick to your false materialist beliefs .
...
You can't see evidence , even if it would hit you in the eye .
...
This is extremely tragic -hilarious , pathetic and ironic coming from such a dogmatic materialist scientist like yourself who has been bombarding my eyes with a lots of "empirical evidence " lol that has been supporting the materialistic reductionist identity theory,and other materialist non-sense  lol


Er, yeah... great argument.


Is this a temporary histrionic distraction, or have we once more reached that point in the thread where you just lose it completely?


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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446579#msg446579 date=1418585013]

What 's your point , Cheryl ?
You could have just displayed that wiki link in question .
I have read most of that book , so, what's your point then ?
I didn't know if your version included the same Forward by Kosslyn. What was your point in posting Libet's comments if you have no interest in his work and do not feel he is credible?

A lots of false assumptions in just those above displayed few lines of yours , Cheryl : wow :

Who said i was not interested in Libet's work ? of course i am .I read from and make personal research , my own way , about all the existing thoughtstreams or camps out there , from idealists to materialists through dualists , humanists , buddhists ...and the rest , relatively speaking then (I exclude new age and all those pseudo-scientific lunatics , needless to add . I would even try to learn from the devil in person ,if that would be possible lol .)

I have read  many  works of materialist scientists and philosophers ...( I used to assume that materialistic  science and materialist scientists are the only real ones , seriously .) like that of Graziano, Gazanniga ,Dawkins, Dennett , Harris ,Chalmers , Searle ,  Hitchens, Sagan, Jay Gould , Ramachandran , and a lot more . That does not mean that i should not express my own opinions about the their  works .

I have not even implicitly insinuated that Libet was not credible,for example  .What makes you say all the above ?

I have posted his excerpts , just to show that there are materialists scientists like himself , the exceptions to the rule , who were able to move on beyond the false identity theory belief that's no scientific theory .....like the ones who were materialists and rejected reductionist materialism , later on ...like Eccles , Penfield  and others did  .

I respect  Libet ,for example,  for that  and more , despite his flaws (nobody is perfect ) ,and because i wanted to discuss some relevant parts of his work as well , like his brilliant astonishing experimental experiment  regarding the mindful volitional effort of attention through the veto power and more , and their implications for all of us ,as well as for all the theories of consciousness that must thus take into consideration Libet's relevant empirical evidence on the subject  and more .

Not to mention that i wanted also to discuss with you , guys , the interpretation dilemma in science ,like the lethal  mistake that was made by Libet and by most other neuroscientists : confusing correlation with causation and more .

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I have read almost all that book of his ,as i said , earlier on, that he was a great mind , after all , despite my disagreements with his work, the part of which that assumes that consciousness is just an emergent phenomena ,that is .

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Libet assumed that consciousness was an emergent phenomena ,that's what that theory of his was all about .
I'm aware of that.

Good to know that . We have already talked extensively , i guess , about the so-called emergent phenomena theory regarding the origin function and nature of consciousness,haven't we ? Even Cooper rejected that .

The fact that i do disagree with Libet regarding his consciousness emergent phenomena theory , does not mean that i reject all his work , needless to add .

I just wanna know how such great minds can make such lethal mistakes of interpretation by confusing correlation with causation , the more when we see Libet , and rightly so, rejecting the materialistic reductionist identity theory belief .

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He just replaced the materialistic magical identity theory with yet another inexplicable magic : consciousness as an alleged emergent phenomena .
Consciousness cannot be an emergent phenomena though : we have already talked about that on many occasions , on that lengthy consciousness thread : even Cooper did reject it .

I disagree.

Why ? You're entitled to your own opinion though of course , needless to add .

To assume that the non-physical subjective experience ( Libet , for example, and others as well ,did acknowledge the non-physical nature of consciousness ) can arise from the activity of the related neuronal correlates is no less an inexplicably magical assumption  than that of the identity theory that was rejected by Libet , ironically and unfortunately enough .

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Why don't you react to the following from that same book ?,regarding the materialistic identity theory that's just a matter of belief , no scientific theory  :


.
I did acknowledge that in another post, but again, he also says "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," which you chose to ignore.
  But unlike Chris Carter, Libet's work is not primarily based on gripes with materialism or a belief in the supernatural. He is trying to construct a model that explains his experimental observations and makes testable predictions. His theory rests on its own merits, regardless of how he feels about materialism, one way or the other.

Yeah, i know that you acknowledged that in one of your previous posts .I respect that in you , that's why i said once that you are the most open-minded person who's been participating to this thread .

dlorde , for example, just ignored that specific Libet's excerpt about the materialistic reductionist identity theory belief that's no scientific theory , by accusing me of being selective  lol  .No wonder .

For the rest ,many false assumptions again .
For your info, Cheryl : I do deal with all the works of scientists on the subject the same way , either those of the non-materialist or those of the materialist scientists alike , as i do have my own critique regarding the books of Carter also , regarding the work of Stapp, regarding that of Schwartz , Sheldrake and others , needless to add .

I do accept only the conclusively proved empirical evidence such as that famous Libet's test , for example, regarding decision-making ...to mention just that one then .

What's not scientifically proved conclusively remains controversial and a matter of interpretation , opinion, belief, or speculation : that's how i see and deal with all that .

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Every time I see the the Popper example of falsifiability, using Einstein's theory and the eclipse, I imagine you saying "But Albert, that is no kind of evidence - no way, no how!  You are merely mistaking the image of the process with the process!"

Don't be silly , please , Cheryl : I know you can do much better than that :

You're comparing apples with olives :

Einstein's relativity theories have been proved to work successfully via many predictions , the same goes for QM , Newton's physics , thermodynamics  and electromagnetism  ...

I object only to the materialistic interpretations of the empirical evidence , as well as to the non-materialist ones that do not get verified conclusively and that might be contradicted by other empirical evidence .
« Last Edit: 14/12/2014 21:29:10 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline dlorde

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You're just confirming what i was saying about you all along , from the very start : you are just a dogmatic believer who's a believer first and a dogmatic narrow-minded scientist only second .

What can one learn from you then ? Oh , please , just spare me your dogmatic materialistic non-sense .Amazing .
Right... OK, let me know when you want to grow up address the arguments rather than make childish insults  ::)

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Offline DonQuichotte

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The Measurement or Interpretation Problem in QM :

Excerpt from a certain Carter's book :

Quote :

"Rosenblum and Kuttner sum up the puzzle:

Quantum mechanics is the most battle-tested theory in science. Not a single violation of its predictions has ever been demonstrated, no matter how preposterous the predictions might seem.

However, anyone concerned with what the theory means faces a philosophical enigma: the so-called measurement problem, or the problem of observation … before you look we could have proven—with an interference experiment—that each atom was a wave equally in both boxes.
After you look it was in a single box.

 It was thus your observation that created the reality of each atom’s existence in a particular box. Before your observation only probability existed. But it was not the probability that an actual object existed in a particular place (as in the classical shell game)—it was just the probability of a future observation of such an object, which does not include the assumption that the object existed there prior to its observation. This hard-to-accept observer-created reality is the measurement problem in quantum mechanics.

Up until the moment of measurement, certain properties of quantum phenomena, such as location, momentum, and direction of spin, simply exist as a collection of probabilities, known as the wave function, or state vector. The wave function can be thought of as the probability distribution of all possible states, such as, for instance, the probability distribution of all possible locations for an electron.*

But this is not the probability that the electron is actually at certain locations, instead, it is the probability that the electron will be found at certain locations. The electron does not have a definite location until it is observed. Upon measurement, this collection of all possible locations “collapses” to a single value—the location of the particle that is actually observed.
Physicist Nick Herbert expresses it this way:

The quantum physicist treats the atom as a wave of oscillating possibilities as long as it is not observed. But whenever it is looked at, the atom stops vibrating and objectifies one of its many possibilities.

Whenever someone chooses to look at it, the atom ceases its fuzzy dance and seems to “freeze” into a tiny object with definite attributes, only to dissolve once more into a quivering pool of possibilities as soon as the observer withdraws his attention from it. The apparent observer-induced change in an atom’s mode of existence is called the collapse of the wave function.

Measurements thus play a more positive role in quantum mechanics than in classical physics, because here they are not merely observations of something already present but actually help produce it. According to one interpretation of quantum mechanics popular among many theorists, it is the existence of consciousness that introduces intrinsic probability into the quantum world.

This interpretation owes its origin to mathematician John von Neumann, one of the most important intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In addition to his contributions to pure mathematics, von Neumann also invented game theory, which models economic and social behavior as rational games, and made fundamental contributions to the development of the early computers.

 In the 1930s, von Neumann turned his restless mind to the task of expressing the newly developed theories of quantum mechanics in rigorous mathematical form, and the result was his classic book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. In it he tackled the measurement problem head on and rejected the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, which was becoming the orthodox position among physicists.

 Although it is somewhat vague, the central tenets of the Copenhagen interpretation seem to be (1) that all we have access to are the results of observations, and so it is simply pointless to ask questions about the quantum reality behind those observations, and (2) that although observation is necessary for establishing the reality of quantum phenomena, no form of consciousness, human or otherwise, is necessary for making an observation. Rather, an observer is anything that makes a record of an event, and so it is at the level of macroscopic measuring instruments (such as Geiger counters) that the actual values of quantum phenomena are randomly set from a range of statistical possibilities.

Von Neumann objected to the Copenhagen interpretation practice of dividing the world in two parts: indefinite quantum entities on the one side, and measuring instruments that obey the laws of classical mechanics on the other. He considered a measuring apparatus, a Geiger counter for example, in a room isolated from the rest of the world but in contact with a quantum system, such as an atom simultaneously in two boxes. The Geiger counter is set to fire if the atom is found in one box, but to remain unfired if it is found in the other. This Geiger counter is a physical instrument, hence subject to the rules of quantum mechanics.

 Therefore, it should be expected to enter into a superposition state along with the atom, a state in which it is simultaneously fired and unfired.
Should the Geiger counter be in contact with a device that records whether the counter has fired, then logically, it too should enter a superposition state that records both situations as existing simultaneously.

 Should an observer walk into the room and examine the recording device, this logic can be continued up the “von Neumann chain” from the recording device, to photons, to the eyes and brain of the observer, which are also physical instruments that we have no reason to suppose are exempt from the rules of quantum mechanics. The only peculiar link in the von Neumann chain is the process by which electrical signals in the brain of the observer become a conscious experience.

Von Neumann argued that the entire physical world is quantum mechanical, so the process that collapses the wave functions into actual facts cannot be a physical process; instead, the intervention of something from outside of physics is required. Something nonphysical, not subject to the laws of quantum mechanics, must account for the collapse of the wave function: the only nonphysical entity in the observation process that von Neumann could think of was the consciousness of the observer.

 He reluctantly concluded that this outside entity had to be consciousness and that prior to observation,even measuring instruments interacting with a quantum system must exist in an indefinite state.
Von Neumann extended the Copenhagen interpretation by requiring the measurement process to take place in a mind.

He was reluctantly driven to this conclusion by his relentless logic: the only process in the von Neumann chain that is not merely the motion of molecules is the consciousness of the observer. His arguments were developed more completely by his illustrious followers, most notably Fritz London, Edmond Bauer, and Eugene Wigner. Wigner, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics, wrote, “When the province of physical theory was extended to encompass microscopic phenomena, through the creation of quantum mechanics, the concept of consciousness came to the fore again; it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”

The box-pair experiment also bears on the role of consciousness and free will. After all, you can choose to look in one of the boxes or to do an interference experiment, and you will get different “realities,” one being particle-like, the other wavelike. But your choice of which experiment to do is not determined, even statistically, by anything in the physical theory. Nothing in quantum mechanics says you must choose one experiment rather than the other. If you deny that consciousness collapses the wave function, then this means atoms prior to observation existed as either particle or wave.

Somehow you chose to only look in those boxes that contained particle atoms and you chose to only do an interference experiment with wave-form atoms. This would also deny free will, because then your illusion of choice is determined by a conspiracy of the physical universe with the state of your brain and your perceived choice. This replaces the deterministic universe with one that is deterministic and conspiratorial.
This is how von Neumann, Wigner, and others brought mind back into nature and made a strong case against the causal closure of the physical. As we will see, the case gets even stronger.

At this point, it should be stressed that this is only one interpretation of the facts of quantum mechanics: in addition to the Copenhagen interpretation, there are several other speculations about what is really happening when quantum possibilities settle down into one actuality. Most attempt to rescue the determinism and observer independence of classical physics.

For instance, the hidden variable theory holds that the indeterminacy of quantum physics is an illusion due to our ignorance: if we knew more about the system in question—that is, if we knew the value of some “hidden variables”—then the indeterminacy would vanish. However, there are several reasons why the general community of quantum physicists never held the hidden-variable theory in high regard.

One reason, according to quantum physicist Euan Squires, is that the hidden variable theory is “extremely complicated and messy. We know the answers from quantum theory and then we construct a hidden-variable, deterministic theory specifically to give these answers. The resulting theory appears contrived and unnatural.”

Squires points out that the hidden variable theory never gained widespread acceptance because “the elegance, simplicity and economy of quantum theory contrasted sharply with the contrived nature of a hidden-variable theory which gave no new predictions in return for its increased complexity; the whole hidden-variable enterprise was easily dismissed as arising from a desire, in the minds of those too conservative to accept change, to return to the determinism of classical physics.”

Another reason the general community of quantum physicists consider the hidden variable theory highly implausible is that it explains away indeterminacy by postulating the existence of an ad hoc quantum force that, unlike any of the other four forces in nature, behaves in a manner completely unaffected by distance.

The many worlds hypothesis is perhaps the strangest of all. It is the only one that denies the existence of nonlocality, but it does so by postulating that all possible values of a measured property exist simultaneously in coexisting universes. When a measurement is made, we are told, the universe we are in splits into multiple universes, with one of the possible results in each of them. For instance, if a measurement may yield two possible results, then at the instant of measurement the entire universe splits in two, with each possible result realized in each universe. If a measurement may yield a continuum of possible states—such as the position of an electron—then the instant such a measurement occurs, it is proposed that the universe splits into an infinite number of universes!

 Since it is further assumed that these parallel universes cannot interact with each other, this hypothesis is completely untestable. Entities are being multiplied with incredible profusion. William of Occam must be spinning in his grave.

In the opinion of many physicists, the last two interpretations are simply desperate, last-ditch attempts to rescue the classical assumptions of determinism and observer independence that have been abandoned by quantum mechanics.

 For instance, one interpretation salvages determinism from classical physics by postulating hidden variables and the other by speculating that everything that can happen does in fact happen in an infinite number of constantly splitting parallel universes, regardless of the way things may appear to any particular version of our constantly splitting selves.

At any rate, these four interpretations are all consistent with the observed facts. They are attempts to describe what reality is really like between observations, to account for the seemingly bizarre behavior of matter predicted so accurately by the theory of quantum physics.

They are not usually considered to be scientific theories about the nature of reality, but rather metaphysical theories, as within quantum mechanics there does not currently seem to be any obvious experiment that one could perform in order to choose between them.* End quote

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Materialism is a Dogma, an Ideology , a Belief , No Science :

Quote :

"It is only in searching for refutations that science can hope to learn and to advance. It is only in considering how its various theories stand up to tests that it can distinguish between better and worse theories and so find a criterion of progress."

KARL POPPER, CONJECTURES AND REFUTATIONS

"...Materialism is an ideology, a dogma. For such individuals, materialism is not a scientific hypothesis that is open to potentially being proved false; it is an article of faith that “must” be true, regardless of evidence to the contrary.

 As Grossman shrewdly pointed out, a complicating factor is that materialists are typically under the impression that their belief in materialism is not ideological, but empirical.
That is, they talk as though their adherence to materialism is rigorously scientific, when in fact it is merely an expression of faith.

It is this confusion, this implicit equation of materialism with science, that explains the widespread practice of ignoring and dismissing the objectionable evidence as somehow “unscientific.”
Materialism is upheld as an incontestable dogma on which, it is thought, rests the entire edifice of science.

 But the difference between science and ideology is not that they are based on different dogmas; rather, it is that scientific beliefs are not held as dogmas, but are open to testing and hence possible rejection. Science cannot be an objective process of discovery if it is wedded to a metaphysical belief that is accepted without question and that leads to the exclusion of certain lines of evidence on the grounds that these lines of evidence contradict the metaphysical belief.
Grossman makes this point clearly:
Science is a methodological process of discovering truths about reality. Insofar as science is an objective process of discovery, it is, and must be, metaphysically neutral.

In sofar as science is not metaphysically neutral, but instead weds itself to a particular metaphysical theory, such as materialism, it cannot be an objective process for discovery. There is much confusion on this point, because many people equate science with materialist metaphysics, and phenomena that fall outside the scope of such metaphysics, and hence cannot be explained in physical terms, are called “unscientific.”

This is a most unfortunate usage of the term. For if souls and spirits are in fact a part of reality, and science is conceived epistemologically as a system of investigation of reality, then there is no reason why science cannot devise appropriate methods to investigate souls and spirits." End quote

Chris Carter

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Mindful Conscious Aware Volitional Veto Power , and How Determinism is False :

Determinism was just the legacy of the fundamentally false classical Newtonian world view upon which materialism was built ,and hence deterministic reductionist materialism is also false .

I think that free will is our human conscious and aware capacity to choose from all the existing  possibilities , eventualities, probabilities ...that are available to us .

Our past does not determin our present or future , we can change the present and the future by changing ourselves .

I must say up front that the opposite of determinism is  not randomness .It is the mindful conscious aware  volitonal action through the veto power ,as S. M. Kosslyn said , in similar words , in his forward to Libet's book in question when he said that "...Libet is right to focus on consciousness when theorizing about free will: In order to employ free will, one must evaluate information in working memory. Such information includes the alternative choices, the rationales for each, and the anticipated consequences of making each choice (although not all this information must be in working memory at the same time). If an external force coerces us, or we are operating on “automatic pilot,”

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Libet's Conscious Mental Field Theory Sounds Like Electromagnetism lol :

"Regardless of whether the CMF theory is valid, a knowledge of nerve cell structures and functions can never, in itself, explain or describe conscious subjective experience. As noted earlier, studying the brain can show you what nerve cells are doing and so forth, but there is nothing in that which exhibits or describes any subjective experience. Also, it is possible that some mental phenomena have no direct neuronal basis (see Chapter 3) and it is also possible that the conscious will does not always obey the natural laws of the physical world (see Chapter 4).

We may, therefore, have to be satisfied with knowledge of how conscious subjective experience is related to brain activities, but we may not be able to explain why or how subjective experience can be produced by brain activities any more than we can explain why gravity is a property of matter. We accept that each fundamental category of phenomena exists and that its relation to other systems may be studied without knowing why such relationships
exist."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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"...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.?"

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Offline alancalverd

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Cut to the chase, Don.

Reality is what happens. Quantum mechanics is our best effort at predicting what happens. Now show me a nonmaterialist prediction that works better than quantum mechanics. That's all it takes to explode your "bombshell", and so far you haven't even lit the fuse.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline domkarr

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Ummm... I know that I am new here but I have heard and read a fair bit about the topic and although it may invoke a poor response.
I just though maybe I should ask.
If reality is relevant to the person and experiences of that person, not to mention their own psychological and mental state combined with
that persons knowledge of reality and personal opinion plus the faction of science that they belong to.

Then is this conversation ever going to end before all of your heads explode trying to force others into your version of reality?

I don't mean any offense and I don't want to sound patronizing because I can see that you have all taken a lot of time to learn about the
subject and are all obviously very learned people. But what I mean is that unless you all had the same upbringing with the same genetics
with the same learning, the same lecturers and the same brain chemistry then is it not possible that no one will ever agree on the subject
or if they do agree it will only ever be on a majority basis.

I personally have found that two people who watch the exact same event will almost always walk away experiencing different realities.
I definitely enjoyed reading the argument as all sides made some very good arguments but I feel that this is one of those arguments that
will probably carry on into the next millennia with people still arguing that a cat is not a cat but merely a perception of cat within a box
and that box doesn't exist unless someone makes the box and if no-one makes the box then the cat never existed and so on and so on.
A very interesting subject and a good read so thanks guys.     

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Offline dlorde

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If reality is relevant to the person and experiences of that person, not to mention their own psychological and mental state combined with that persons knowledge of reality and personal opinion plus the faction of science that they belong to.

Then is this conversation ever going to end before all of your heads explode trying to force others into your version of reality?
These are good points and fundamental questions. Basically you're asking what is the point of discussing metaphysics and the philosophy of science.

For me, it's an exchange of knowledge and understanding, of science, the philosophy of science, metaphysics; and, importantly, other people and their views, how they see the world, how they think about it.

The way I see it, you can't force anyone into your view of the world, but you can help them to see and understand things differently, and they can do the same for you. This may or may not lead to a change of views. When you argue or discuss with someone with different views, not only may you learn new knowledge and insights from them, but you also have to review and reassess your own understanding and assumptions to integrate new information and in countering arguments you think are wrong. In this way you often find new knowledge and insights for yourself, prompted by the discussion.

A directly antagonistic approach like telling someone they are wrong, even if you give valid reasons, tends to reinforce their belief and determination not to acknowledge your argument - just as if you physically push them, they will want to push back. For this reason, I prefer a Socratic approach, where you ask them questions designed to get them to think about your argument for themselves and so potentially find the flaws in their own; if they are able to answer your questions with valid responses that counter your argument, then you will learn something about the flaws in your own argument.

Even when the Socratic approach fails because someone refuses to answer the questions you ask (like Don), you may still benefit from finding new questions and new ways to make your points - and you get a chance to exercise your patience and learn to control frustration.

In principle, it's a win-win, as long as you are mature enough to understand and accept that changing your own mind or restructuring your own views and arguments as a result of the discussion is as much a personal victory as causing the same changes in the other person.

ETA - another important reason to continue with even an apparently unproductive debate on a forum like this is to provide a balancing view for the lurkers and new arrivals - like yourself [;)]
« Last Edit: 16/12/2014 10:30:14 by dlorde »

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Offline cheryl j

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Ummm... I know that I am new here but I have heard and read a fair bit about the topic and although it may invoke a poor response.
I just though maybe I should ask.
If reality is relevant to the person and experiences of that person, not to mention their own psychological and mental state combined with
that persons knowledge of reality and personal opinion plus the faction of science that they belong to.

Then is this conversation ever going to end before all of your heads explode trying to force others into your version of reality?

I don't mean any offense and I don't want to sound patronizing because I can see that you have all taken a lot of time to learn about the
subject and are all obviously very learned people. But what I mean is that unless you all had the same upbringing with the same genetics
with the same learning, the same lecturers and the same brain chemistry then is it not possible that no one will ever agree on the subject
or if they do agree it will only ever be on a majority basis.

I personally have found that two people who watch the exact same event will almost always walk away experiencing different realities.
I definitely enjoyed reading the argument as all sides made some very good arguments but I feel that this is one of those arguments that
will probably carry on into the next millennia with people still arguing that a cat is not a cat but merely a perception of cat within a box
and that box doesn't exist unless someone makes the box and if no-one makes the box then the cat never existed and so on and so on.
A very interesting subject and a good read so thanks guys.     

Thank you for making me laugh. And you are absolutely right about a number of things. But while not coming to any consensus, this thread and the previous one like it, has motivated me to think about different things, research information,  clarify my own ideas or opinions, and alter them or incorporate new ones. So I don't think it is utterly pointless. I once heard the expression "You can't change what is in the box using only what is already in the box; there are a limited number of useful combinations" so occasionally I try to throw new things in the box or my brain, even randomly at times, hoping for novel combinations and new insights.

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Offline cheryl j

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He just replaced the materialistic magical identity theory with yet another inexplicable magic : consciousness as an alleged emergent phenomena .
Consciousness cannot be an emergent phenomena though : we have already talked about that on many occasions , on that lengthy consciousness thread : even Cooper did reject it .
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I disagree.
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Why ? You're entitled to your own opinion though of course , needless to add .



I recognize that consciousness is an unsolved problem, so my “disagreement” is an opinion, based on which theories or approaches I believe have the best explanatory track record so far.  In order to explain why I disagree, I would have to restate much of what I’ve said over the last year.  If my comments weren’t very convincing the first time around, I doubt you’ll find them so a second or third  time, even though my ideas have evolved or changed quite a bit with these discussions.
 Never the less, I’ll summarize as briefly as possible my view of consciousness so far:

1)   Neuroscience or brain activity is a sufficient basis for mental activity as demonstrated by studies that show intact, functioning brain structures are required for mental activity to occur. Counterfactual dependence makes this unlikely to be a mere correlation.
2)   I reject dualism and supernatural explanations because of lack of evidence and the interaction problem. There is no interaction problem if consciousness is an emergent property of brain activity.
3)   Consciousness and qualia are tightly linked to sensory detection, perception, and response in living things. More complex brains allow for greater processing of sensory information (perception) and more flexibility or options in response.  If sensory detection and response were selected for in evolution, then arguably, processing of them, including consciousness and qualia, were selected for as well, and they are not epiphenomena.
4)   Some  biological functions of qualia include  a) distinguishing between objects in the here and now from those in mental test simulations, b) to enhance discrimination and reduce noise, and c) to make connected and integrated, but qualitatively different, sensory information available to different processing systems in the brain simultaneously. 
5)   For consciousness and qualia to have been adaptive and selected for in evolution, they must causally affect our choices and behavior. If consciousness and qualia had no effect on behavior and were not adaptive, it would not matter if our subjective experience and qualia had any consistent correlation with reality, were consistent over time, or radically different from person to person.  While it is (as yet) impossible to know if your subjective experience is like my subjective experience, for minds of animals that depend on social interaction for survival to have any common frame of reference, there must be significant similarity and consistency of qualia from person to person.
6)   For consciousness to be adaptive there must be a limited form of free will, better described as choice, within boundaries set by genetics, environmental influences, subconscious and reflexive processes, and learned experience. At the same time, learning and brain plasticity also makes those boundaries less rigid.
7)    Not everything we are consciously aware of is necessarily under conscious control.
8)   Volition and choice are also mediated by structures and activity of the brain through top down control.
9)   Even though computers can replicate mental processes without consciousness, that does not mean that consciousness does not facilitate information processing or learning in humans and other animals. In the same way that there are multiple strategies for  locomotion, reproduction or energy conversion  in nature, there may be different methods of processing information in biological systems compared to machines.
10)   I reject that consciousness must “look like” the system from which it emerges, or that the every or any component of the system must share all of the properties of consciousness, since that is not necessarily true (or even usually true) of other emergent processes. And thus, I reject Cooperism.

 Libet says “Yet, if you look into this neural activity and neural structures involved you would not see anything  that looked like subjective experience.”  However, if you looked at DNA, you would not see anything that “looks like” animals or the phenotypical traits that DNA gives rise to. The function of DNA would seem equally unlikely or magical without knowing about messenger RNA, amino acids, proteins, hormones, and regulation of gene expression, or metabolism. Looking just at DNA, you cannot “see” meiosis, alleles, sexual combination of gametes, cell differentiation, embryology, or natural selection, or any number of things or processes that would complete the picture of how DNA does what it does. Without that additional information, you would be left wondering how you can possibly get a giraffe or an oyster or an oak tree from the same damn molecule. Expecting consciousness to physically resemble neurons and neurotransmitters is like expecting to see a tiny anatomical drawing of a giraffe inside every giraffe cell. Processes are not things.

Processes are materially based, but not material in themselves. “Life” and consciousness are materially based but they are also events in time, and that is why they are irreducible to just matter.

That's it in a nutshell. Fire away.
« Last Edit: 16/12/2014 18:04:56 by cheryl j »

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Offline cheryl j

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I also invite anyone else to summarize their view of consciousness so far. It's harder than you think.

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Offline Ethos_

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Processes are materially based, but not material in themselves. “Life” and consciousness are materially based but they are also events in time, and that is why they are irreducible to just matter.

That's it in a nutshell. Fire away.
Absolutely Cheryl, processes are materially based. But when we consider time in the equation, one must remember that time and space are inseparable. And time and space are necessary constituents of the local matter we observe in our reality. So I would disagree somewhat and suggest that "Life" and consciousness are, in fact, reducible to matter which is a manifestation of space/time and energy.
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Quote
author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446679#msg446679 date=1418749239]

He just replaced the materialistic magical identity theory with yet another inexplicable magic : consciousness as an alleged emergent phenomena .
Consciousness cannot be an emergent phenomena though : we have already talked about that on many occasions , on that lengthy consciousness thread : even Cooper did reject it .
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Quote
I disagree.
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Why ? You're entitled to your own opinion though of course , needless to add .



I recognize that consciousness is an unsolved problem, so my “disagreement” is an opinion, based on which theories or approaches I believe have the best explanatory track record so far.  In order to explain why I disagree, I would have to restate much of what I’ve said over the last year.  If my comments weren’t very convincing the first time around, I doubt you’ll find them so a second or third  time, even though my ideas have evolved or changed quite a bit with these discussions.

(Prior note : This " in an nutshell " long post of yours was quite a punishment for me lol .Took me quite some time to address .There is still a lot to say about  all that , but i will leave it at that then , otherwise , my reply would be way too long ...Thanks for your raised  relevant important and interesting issues here below . )

That 's the right attitude , or state of mind  indeed , Cheryl , not to mention that scientific humility does dictate that to all of us , whether we like it or not , in the sense that no single theory of consciousness out there can pretend to have the final word on the subject , not even remotely close thus .

Better still : none is really scientific .

Furthermore , all those theories of consciousness are still in their  infancy stage + science's methodology as well as its epistemology, not to mention its vocabulary (the latter since science has to be communicated through human language thus)   have to evolve enough as to try to tackle the hard problem of consciousness more efficiently .

So, we must all try to be open-minded on the subject .
 I must admit i have learned a lot from these discussions , explored many unexpected routes and territories.....you have no idea .

As long as one thus can admit the obvious fact that consciousness is still the hard problem in science , still the biggest mystery ever , and that we do still do not know much about the brain itself, let alone about the mind , only then can one progress , instead of assuming the converse so dogmatically , irrationally and unscientifically as some people here as well as elsewhere have been assuming  .


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Never the less, I’ll summarize as briefly as possible my view of consciousness so far:

1)   Neuroscience or brain activity is a sufficient basis for mental activity as demonstrated by studies that show intact, functioning brain structures are required for mental activity to occur. Counterfactual dependence makes this unlikely to be a mere correlation.

Well , i have to disagree with your last argument  of course , while agreeing with the first : the mind has to work through its brain ,so the correlation between the related activity of the neuronal correlates and that of the mind does not necessarily imply causation .
There is no "conclusive" evidence whatsoever , no evidence at all in fact , that even implies that the relationship between the mind and its brain is not  a mere correlation .

Even Libet's conscious mental field theory did not deliver that evidence , let alone the conclusive one on the subject, even though Libet's work is indeed extremely fascinating , like that of Ramachandran ... .

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2)   I reject dualism and supernatural explanations because of lack of evidence and the interaction problem. There is no interaction problem if consciousness is an emergent property of brain activity
.

Zero of all lol : Your materialistic above displayed 'arguments " are just the legacy of the fundamentally false classical physics upon which materialism was built , ironically enough, that made no room whatsoever for the causal and active efficacy of the mind , since the classical world view was mechanical and deterministic + was causally closed , not to mention its classical locality and realism  .

When you try to move on to QM that replaced the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one , your 'arguments " will fade or smelt  away like snow under the bright lovely warm smiling sun .

First of all , there is nothing "supernatural " about dualism : your non-physical and non-mental consciousness is your key feature or key part that does interact with your brain body and with the rest of your environment , including with the rest of the physical reality  .

Second : QM is the major "living " proof of the fact that consciousness of the observer cannot be separated from the so-called objective reality : even Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge both the classical locality and the classical realism ,and since materialism has been built upon the fundamentally false classical  deterministic mechanical Newtonian world view , then materialism is also false , which means that the universe , including ourselves thus , is not   exclusively material or physical , and since materialism can intrinsically never account for , let alone explain, consciousness, then the latter cannot but be a non-physical as well as a non-local process that's consistent with QM,since the whole universe is quantum "mechanical ", as Von Neumann , for example, used to say , in the sense that the non-physical consciousness plays a central role in shaping the physical reality via a non-mechanical causation, that is .

The materialistic standard model of quantum field theory thus , for example, might be  approximately correct and fundamentally false   , like classical physics were /are by the way .

Third : we have already dealt with the alleged dreaded interaction problem of dualism ,on many occasions, that's just the legacy of classical physics , in the sense that the universe is deterministic and causally closed ,where both locality and realism were compatible with classical physics,to mention just that .QM has been opening its wide weird spooky wave-like cloudy doors to approaching that interaction problem  by proving the inseparability of the consciousness of the observer from the observed .

Better still, locality or separability ( any given objects can interact with each other only through physical forces where any interaction cannot exceed the speed of light , and objects cannot thus influence each other from a distance ) as well as realism ( The objects' properties exist independently of their observation ) have been challenged by Bell's theorem and its related experiments that corroborated what QM has been predicting on the subject : "spooky action at a distance " ,non-locality or entanglement does exist and occur instantaneously at that , that is + QM has been proving the fact that the universe is not causally closed , and hence consciousness can have efficacious causal effects on matter , brain , body and on the rest of the physical reality through the mindful volitional effort of the veto power at least and action , the latter that's irreducible to   the activity of its related neuronal correlates .
That mindful conscious aware veto power and action cannot be explained by any known laws of physics , as Stapp and others tried to prove .

In short : QM has been opening its wide doors to consciousness by allowing its causal efficacy .

QM that might be superseded in its turn also maybe .QM that can never be understood without reference to the mind , ironically enough .

So, if QM cannot fully account  or conclusively for the causal efficacy of consciousness , then any physical theory that might supersede it must have a better explanatory power : must predict all what QM predicts and more .

 The visionary William James , for example, did predict that classical physics were fundamentally false ,since they could absolutely not account for the major anomaly of them all : consciousness .

We might be needing better physics that can better account for consciousness thus ,as Wigner said .

Fourth :

In fact , everything that goes beyond the false materialistic conception of nature is , per definition, "supernatural " lol : that's just a materialistic tactical  terminology that's used to exclude its  competition from science .

The latter whose naturalism or naturalistic methodology and naturalistic epistemology are no synonymous of materialism : go beyond the latter .

In other words : anything that's non-material must be 'supernatural " lol to materialism , and since the latter is false, then the universe is both mental non-physical non-material and material physical .


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3)   Consciousness and qualia are tightly linked to sensory detection, perception, and response in living things. More complex brains allow for greater processing of sensory information (perception) and more flexibility or options in response.  If sensory detection and response were selected for in evolution, then arguably, processing of them, including consciousness and qualia, were selected for as well, and they are not epiphenomena.

( Materialistic monism in all its shapes and forms cannot but consider consciousness as being a useless side effect or by-product of evolution , without any causal effects on matter : consciousness as an alleged epiphenomena thus ,ironically enough .
Even Libet's conscious mental field theory that proves the causality and action of the mindful volitional veto power is a kindda panpyschism in disguise : although Libet did acknowledge the very non-physical nature of consciousness , he just assumed that the latter was just an emergent phenomena from the activity of the physical brain : that's an inexplicable magical panpsychism : how can the non-physical arise from the physical then ? and how can that so-called emergent property that allegedly arises from the physical can ,in its turn , affect causally its physical "maker " ? ,so to speak .)

That they are linked to each other does not mean they are either identical with each other  or that consciousness is  an alleged emergent property from the activity of the evolutionary complexity of the brain  .

I see not how biological evolution can ever intrinsically account for , let alone  explain the origin emergence function nature or "evolution " of consciousness , do you ?

Once again , the mind has to work through its brain via the senses ,so , you're making a false conclusion from a correct premise : how can you jump from the one to the other , Cheryl ?

You're jumping from sensory detection, as you put it , to a totally different territory in kind : the conscious aware perception .

There is a huge gap in there you can't bridge that simple way , no way .

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4)   Some  biological functions of qualia include  a) distinguishing between objects in the here and now from those in mental test simulations, b) to enhance discrimination and reduce noise, and c) to make connected and integrated, but qualitatively different, sensory information available to different processing systems in the brain simultaneously.
 

Consciousness is not a biological process, Cheryl : your materialistic monistic identity theory and Libet's  conscious mental field theory do hold no water whatsoever .

I haven't checked out Libet's alleged evidence regarding the latter at least .

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5)   For consciousness and qualia to have been adaptive and selected for in evolution, they must causally affect our choices and behavior. If consciousness and qualia had no effect on behavior and were not adaptive, it would not matter if our subjective experience and qualia had any consistent correlation with reality, were consistent over time, or radically different from person to person.  While it is (as yet) impossible to know if your subjective experience is like my subjective experience, for minds to have any common frame of reference, there must be significant similarity and consistency of qualia from person to person.

Ironically enough , you 're kissing goodbye your own materialistic monism by saying the above . Materialism that cannot intrinsically but consider consciousness as being just an epiphenomena ,as mentioned above .

If that was "true ", what's the point of  having consciousness ? lol

I was just going along with your above displayed arguments , just for discussion's sake .

Tell me now how the biological evolution can ever account for , let alone explain , consciousness ? Then , we can address the rest of your arguments .


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6)   For consciousness to be adaptive there must be a limited form of free will, better described as choice, within boundaries set by genetics, environmental influences, subconscious and reflexive processes, and learned experience. At the same time, learning and brain plasticity also makes those boundaries less rigid.

Well, the issue of free will is a very broad one , a hard one , i must admit.
I think that our limited degree of free will , in the form of the causality and action of our mindful conscious aware volitional veto power cannot be governed by any, let alone by any  known , laws of physics , not in the absolute sense at least .

Our genes or biology , experiences , knowledge , education , environment , the sub-conscious ...do have their own roles in shaping us all , but , they are not the only players : they can maybe  partly shape the  existing possibilities , eventualities , probabilities ...that might be available to us , but they can't always determin what choices we would make , i guess, i don't know .

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7)    Not everything we are consciously aware of is necessarily under conscious control.

Hilarious tautology lol

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8)   Volition and choice are also mediated by structures and activity of the brain.

The mind has to work through its brain anyway .

Mediated by the brain but they also have a causal efficacy in relation to the brain , like in the case of mindful informed trained self-directed neuroplasticity , like in the case of choosing or not to move one's arm or to do this rather than that , like in the case of mindful biofeedback training , like in the case of mindful belief in the curing power of a placebo or medicine , .....


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9)   Even though computers can replicate mental processes without consciousness, that does not mean that consciousness does not facilitate information processing or learning in humans and other animals. In the same way that there are multiple strategies for  locomotion, reproduction or energy conversion  in nature, there may different methods of processing information in biological systems compared to machines.

That  materialistic  machine or computer analogy or terminology regarding the nature function and origin of consciousness is false .

Even though (super) computers can do what they are programmed to do faster and better than humans can ,without being conscious or aware , they can never be conscious or aware , let alone alive : conscious awareness and life cannot be separated from each other .

Living organisms are no machines or computers : it's about time that you ,guys , try to drop that computer false analogy and terminology regarding the work ,origin and nature of the living conscious awareness .

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10)   I reject that consciousness must “look like” the system from which it emerges, or that the every or any component of the system must share all of the properties of consciousness, since that is not necessarily true of other emergent processes ( and thus, I reject Cooperism.)

Who said that ? : the biological or physical emergent properties are different from their original biological or physical components in genre only ( the wetness of water or the ocean waves are different in genre from their original components , but they remain material physical  ) , while consciousness is totally different in kind from its alleged original physical or biological components : to say otherwise , that's simply inexplicable magic or panpyshism . Even Cooper rejects that , and rightly so : how can physical material or biological systems or rather living organisms be conscious or aware ?: they can do without ,as there is nothing intrinsic in the biological or physical  system , no "mechanism " that can explain that , while the non-mechanical causal effect of consciousness in the dualistic sense or in the idealistic monistic sense are the ones that can account for that through QM, for example ..

 
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Libet says “Yet, if you look into this neural activity and neural structures involved you would not see anything  that looked like subjective experience.”  However, if you looked at DNA, you would not see anything that “looks like” animals or the phenotypical traits that DNA gives rise to. The function of DNA would seem equally unlikely or magical without knowing about messenger RNA, amino acids, proteins, hormones, and regulation of gene expression, or metabolism. Looking just at DNA, you cannot “see” meiosis, alleles, sexual combination of gametes, cell differentiation, embryology, or natural selection, or any number of things or processes that would complete the picture of how DNA does what it does. Without that additional information, you would be left wondering how you can possibly get a giraffe or an oyster or an oak tree from the same damn molecule. Expecting consciousness to physically resemble neurons and neurotransmitters is like expecting to see a tiny anatomical drawing of a giraffe inside every giraffe cell. Processes are not things.

Oh, Cheryl : you're comparing potatoes  with bananas ,once again : see above .

Even those physical or biological processes examples of yours can be dealt with as follows :

The role of DNA , for example has been overrated ,as biological determinism that makes no biological sense whatsoever has been refuted as well , not to mention that DNA alone cannot account for morphogenesis ,for example, cannot account for the origin of its life "information " either , to mention just that .



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Processes are materially based, but not material in themselves. “Life” and consciousness are materially based but they are also events in time, and that is why they are irreducible to just matter.

Wrong comparison again + yet other tautologies : material processes are not material, even though they are based on material processes lol :
All material or biological processes , including their emergent physical or biological processes ,remain material or biological .


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That's it in a nutshell. Fire away.

In a nutshell ? I am scared of when you're gonna elaborate on all that .The above took me quite some time to finish lol
« Last Edit: 16/12/2014 20:24:09 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline cheryl j

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In a nutshell ? I am scared of when you're gonna elaborate on all that .The above took me quite some time to finish lol


I thought that was rather concise, to summarize a years worth of my posts. Give us your view of consciousness in ten points, (And not simply 1) Materialism is false. 2) Materialism is false 3) Materialism is thus super duper false 4) Materialism is still false...)
« Last Edit: 16/12/2014 20:41:20 by cheryl j »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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In a nutshell ? I am scared of when you're gonna elaborate on all that .The above took me quite some time to finish lol


I thought that was rather concise, to summarize a years worth of my posts. Give us your view of consciousness in ten points, (And not simply 1) Materialism is false. 2) Materialism is false 3) Materialism is thus super duper false....)

Thanks for that , Cheryl : i was just kidding though : that post of yours was extremely interesting and challenging indeed :

Later then, Cheryl .
I did not just say that materialism was false ,i did more than that .
Well, we 're talking about consciousness and the brain ,so i have to say that materialism is false ,because it can intrinsically never account for consciousness, let alone explain it , and then go from there to the next stage .

Even Libet rejected materialistic monism and its identity theory, together with an army of scientists and philosophers  .They all moved on beyond materialism .

But you , guys, are still stuck  within the  fundamentally false classical deterministic mechanical Newtonian world view upon which materialism  was built .

QM moved on beyond that , but materialists still do try to resist what QM has been saying , by trying to rescue their refuted determinism, as well as their challenged classical localism and realism ,so .

Libet and others did move beyond materialistic monism and beyond its identity theory that's just a belief , no scientific theory , even though their alternatives were not proven conclusively , but that was a start anyway, an excellent one  .

On the other hand , even Schwartz whose books ' excerpts i have been posting did base his work on that of Stapp as well as on Libet's conscious mental field theory .

Regardless of whether or not the latter will turn out to be valid (it is not ) , LIbet did open a wide door for further research on the subject .

You should all do the same,instead of sticking to the approximately correct and fundamentally false classical physics of materialism , no matter what .

Libet was a pioneer indeed .His work is very fascinating . I respect him for that and more , despite his flaws (nobody is perfect or all-knowing .) .

Libet and other scientists like Eccles, Sperry , Penfield and others have opened a whole universe to science beyond materialism .That was their greatest achievement .


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Offline alancalverd

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 before you look we could have proven—with an interference experiment—that each atom was a wave equally in both boxes.
Wrong. Not "proven" but "modelled"

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After you look it was in a single box.
Yes

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It was thus your observation that created the reality of each atom’s existence in a particular box.
No.

Before the race, we had a good idea of which dog was likely to win, based on previous form - a probability model. Indeed the bookies have a reasonable wave function for all the dogs. After the race we know exactly which dog won. But our presence at the finishing post had nothing to do with it - he won by being faster than the others over the half mile that we didn't see.

If observation creates the reality of the atom in the box, then observation equally creates the nonexistence of the atom in the other box. But that is absurd - either the same action (opening the box) produces two completely different outcomes, or every observation creates an atom - which is patently untrue as it means that two simultaneous observations creates two atoms where only one existed beforehand. That would indeed be interesting: it would mean that the universe is doubling its mass every time an atom interacts with another - which is not observed.

So, put simply, in quantum mechanics "observation" does not have its colloquial meaning.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline cheryl j

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ps. Are you sure you know what a tautology is, Don? Where exactly is my reasoning circular in any of those ten points?

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Offline domkarr

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thanks for the replies

always happy to make people smile, it's a cheap and pleasant medicine I've found.

In one of the fields that I have studied, graphic design, there is a phenomena that I cannot remember the name for that advertisers use. usually in order to manipulate the client.
Also entertainment industry relies very heavily upon this.

It goes something like this (I cannot find the original experiment so I'm fictionalizing one). so lets say there is just a line on a blank page and nothing else and you show that line to a hundred people. Pretty much everyone in the group when asked will describe it as a line with little variation. but then you show the group a white line on a black background and suddenly the description variates and some people begin to use unusual descriptions like a worm in the dirt and so on.

then the same thing with a plain box on a blank white page, peoples description of the box variates very little as with the line but then when adding a color such as green people start to fill the box not with color but other things like leaves or vomit or they start to say that the box is sick or that the box holds a forest. a lot admittedly would describe the box as a simple green box.

make the box red and bounce on a computer screen and all of a sudden people give the box a personality to match an action the box is suddenly jumping mad. say if the box was blue and slowly moving up and down then the description might be something like a sad box creature plodding along a rainy road.

anyway the point is that; essentially the box hasn't really changed in any significant way but in the human mind the box has suddenly come to life and has a personality.
The more visual effects that are added the more character, story and variances are created by the group until a point is reached where just about every single person has a different story for the box.

anyway, the thing that I am getting at is, in a way this is similar to what I would personally think of as a consciousness (this is my limited thought on the matter and in no way a thesis). Is it not possible that although we are by and large, widely receptive of reality as being real and therefore quantifiable.

That it is entirely possible that the reason consciousness is not as quantifiable is because we are not all in our minds experiencing the same version of consciousness but more sort of making up our own individual version of consciousness? is what I am perplexed about.

I'm just curious to hear if this has been considered before or if there was anything in this line of thinking at all.

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Offline dlorde

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That it is entirely possible that the reason consciousness is not as quantifiable is because we are not all in our minds experiencing the same version of consciousness but more sort of making up our own individual version of consciousness? is what I am perplexed about.

I'm just curious to hear if this has been considered before or if there was anything in this line of thinking at all.
This has been a major theme of philosophy since man started philosophising. Naturally, each of us is unique in genetic expression, developmental detail, and life experience, so our brains are unique; but, as Cheryl alluded to previously, we all have the same physical brain structures performing the same functions, our genetics are broadly similar, and for most of us, our basic experiences of the world are similar. Considering the evolutionary context, consciousness is a trait evolving in populations because it gives a selective advantage, and in humans has strong social and communication function, also implying fundamental similarities.

So it seems reasonable to assume that, despite differences in detail, our consciousnesses should be similar enough that we can gain advantage from understanding each other and sharing experience vicariously or empathically (the discovery of mirror neurons suggests this is important).

There will be some people that do have significant differences, due to developmental problems, etc. Your description of the way people respond to elaborations of simple images reminds me of an example of the difference between normative and autistic consciousness. Subjects are shown a short 2D animation where a small square, a circle, and a triangle are moving around a square 'box' or room with a single opening or 'door'. The circle repeatedly moves towards the door and as it does so, the triangle repeatedly moves to obstruct its entry. After a while, the square moves over to obstruct the triangle and the circle moves inside the 'room'.

Normative subjects generally describe this animation as an anthropomorphic story, giving the shapes motivation, and character, for example, with the 'bad guy' triangle bullying the circle and the 'good guy' square stepping in to stop the bullying and allow the circle to proceed (or some similar story). Autistic subjects are generally more literal, just describing the shapes moving, and not attributing motivation or character (i.e. not making a story of it).

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Offline cheryl j

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When you try to move on to QM that replaced the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one , your 'arguments " will fade or smelt  away like snow under the bright lovely warm smiling sun .



Nothing I've said is incompatible with a probabilistic universe. You are the one making a special exemption for consciousness from that universe.

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

You wanted 10 points .I will give you 20 .I am very generous ,so people say lol at least .

I will summarize my  20 points for you, regarding consciousness in its mutual interactions with its environment , including with the physical brain and with the rest of the physical reality , as follows :

1- Consciousness is obviously a non-physical process .Anyone who would say otherwise is either a fool , an idiot or a materialist lol .

2 - Human conscious free will does exist as such , in its limited mindful volitional effort of attention and action via the veto power , as Libet proved .Anyone who would think otherwise is either a fraud , an idiot , a fool or a classical determinist , not to mention a deterministic materialist who cannot but (mis )interpret QM materialistically .

3- The non-physical and non -local nature of consciousness has been proved as such by the related indirect empirical evidence,including by the world's leading neuroscientists and others such as  Benjamin 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.....

4- Consciousness and the mind +their related processes have to work through their  physical brain , through  their related neuronal correlates ,so any damage to the latter ,either via injuries, diseases , genetic or other defect ... has to affect the expression of the former through the latter accordingly.

5- Consciousness can exist separately of its brain as many near death experiences , out of body experiences and more ...have proved .

6 - All materialistic physiological , material and psychological "explanations " (away) of the placebo /nocebo effects  , near death experiences , remote viewing and other psi phenomena , biofeedback training that enables one   to take control of one's own autonomic nervous system and more , the effects of meditation , mindfulness , the informed trained self-directed neuroplasticity ....have been refuted and do hold no water whatsoever .

7- As Libet and others admitted , there is nothing in science that contradicts the possible existence of a soul, an afterlife ...nothing in science that can contradict the belief that consciousness can take off ,after death , to some destination beyond this world, unless one would equate  science with  the false materialistic conception of nature ,  as the majority of scientists today have been doing , unfortunately enough  .

8- Correlation between the mind and its brain does not necessarily imply causation .There is no conclusive empirical evidence whatsoever that proves that the relationship between the mind and its brain is not a mere correlation .

9-Materialistic monistic identity or production theory is just a false belief , no scientific theory .

10- The emergent property phenomena theory regarding the origin , emergence and function of consciousness has not been proved conclusively ,including Libet's conscious mental field theory .
The mere activity of the brain can intrinsically never account for , let alone explain, consciousness thus .

11-QM had replaced the deterministic universe  of classical physics with the probabilistic one .

12-QM had replaced the causally closed universe of classical physics with the causally open one,or as Von Neumann proved through rigorous maths : a non-physical process is the one that might be collapsing the wave function via a non-mechanical causation : consciousness of the observer at the end of the measurement chain, since conscious observation has to be made at the end of that chain,after all  .

13-QM can never be understood without reference to the mind : the 2 major enigmas have been encountering  each other thus : consciousness and QM that are inseparable from each other .

14-QM had challenged locality and realism of classical physics, and had intoduced the limited notion of free will as well at the level of the measurements in QM ,as Bell's theorem and its related or stimulated experiments had proved  .

15-Bell's theorem and its related experiments corroborated the predictions of QM by challenging the classical realism :
The properties of the observed particles are NOT independent of their observation : the observed is not independent of the observer .

16-QM has already been proving the fact that any real progress in the scientific study of the physical universe  will be almost impossible without that in the study of consciousness ,since the former and the latter are inseparably and inescapably intertwined with each other .

17-Biological evolution can never account for the emergence nature function or orgin of consciousness ,since the latter cannot arise from the former .

18- The origin of life and the evolution of life are inseparable of the nature of life ,as well as of consciousness (Life cannot but be conscious ) ,meaning : since materialism is false , because it can intrinsically never account for, let alone explain, consciousness ,then any theories of the origin of life , the nature of life , the evolution of life must take into consideration and account for the existence of consciousness that's irreducible to matter or to brain activity .

19 - Since conscious life cannot be reduced to just material processes , then evolution cannot be just biological .

20- Considering all the above , all what materialistic science has been telling us about the origin of the universe , the origin of life , the evolution of life , the nature of life and more must be reexamined and revisited , to say the least .

I will add just one last point then :

Science is just a human social activity , and to some extent a cultural one also (see how the Eurocentric materialistic ideology  has been not only dominating in science , but has been also equated with science as well , without question, almost worldwide,since the second half of the 19th century at least  .), and since the old Cartesian dichotomy between the subjective and the objective , or between the observer and the observed is false , then some aspects of science cannot but be subjective also ,which means that naturalistic science, its naturalistic methodology , its naturalistic epistemology and naturalistic vocabulary as well (science has to be communicated through human language  anyway ) that do go beyond the materialistic ones,needless to add ,  must incorporate or integrate the subjective element in the rational empiricism of science thus .

There is a lot more to say on the subject , but i will leave it at then, for the time being at least .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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When you try to move on to QM that replaced the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one , your 'arguments " will fade or smelt  away like snow under the bright lovely warm smiling sun .



Nothing I've said is incompatible with a probabilistic universe. You are the one making a special exemption for consciousness from that universe.

You do believe in the emergent property theory regarding the emergence function and origin of consciousness , don't you ?

I hope that you have already kissed goodbye that false materialistic belief that's no scientific theory : identity or production theory , thanks to Libet and others .

How can consciousness have any degree of causal efficacy , let alone any degree of free will then , if it had arisen  from just the determined physics and chemistry of the so-called evolutionary complexity of the brain ?

Don't tell me about that materialistic paradoxical top-down causation or about higher and lower levels of brain "processing " , since reductionist materialism cannot but allow a bottom- up causation , so any so-called top-down causation must be the latter in disguise .

Not to mention that even Libet could not prove how his conscious mental field theory can account for that conscious aware top-down causation through the veto power .

There is no way to account for all that and more than through acknowledging the fact that aware consciousness does play a central role in shaping its environment , including its physical brain and the rest of the physical reality ,as QM has been showing ,consciousness that's not only irreducible to brain activity , but can also  never be an emergent property of brain activity , and hence consciousness has to be a central and key component or key "building block " of the universe , not a property of matter and  not an emergent property of matter  .

Consciousness that's more primordial than matter can ever be . "Matter " that's the one that might be just an elaborate and persistent illusion that feels ,taste , looks, sounds ...real , not consciousness thus , who knows ?

No wonder that 0,00000...1 % of the universe , including ourselves thus , is made out of "matter " :

The whole human population of this planet can fit into an apple, for example, if all 'empty space " in it would be 'sucked out of it "  .

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Offline DonQuichotte

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 before you look we could have proven—with an interference experiment—that each atom was a wave equally in both boxes.
Wrong. Not "proven" but "modelled"

Quote
After you look it was in a single box.
Yes

Quote
It was thus your observation that created the reality of each atom’s existence in a particular box.
No.

Before the race, we had a good idea of which dog was likely to win, based on previous form - a probability model. Indeed the bookies have a reasonable wave function for all the dogs. After the race we know exactly which dog won. But our presence at the finishing post had nothing to do with it - he won by being faster than the others over the half mile that we didn't see.

If observation creates the reality of the atom in the box, then observation equally creates the nonexistence of the atom in the other box. But that is absurd - either the same action (opening the box) produces two completely different outcomes, or every observation creates an atom - which is patently untrue as it means that two simultaneous observations creates two atoms where only one existed beforehand. That would indeed be interesting: it would mean that the universe is doubling its mass every time an atom interacts with another - which is not observed.

So, put simply, in quantum mechanics "observation" does not have its colloquial meaning.

I do not agree with the concept or term " creates "  , collapses or "freezes" the wave function would be more correct , i guess :

Rosenblum and Kuttner sum up the puzzle:

Quote : "Quantum mechanics is the most battle-tested theory in science. Not a single violation of its predictions has ever been demonstrated, no matter how preposterous the predictions might seem.

However, anyone concerned with what the theory means faces a philosophical enigma: the so-called measurement problem, or the problem of observation … before you look we could have proven—with an interference experiment—that each atom was a wave equally in both boxes.

After you look it was in a single box. It was thus your observation that created the reality of each atom’s existence in a particular box. Before your observation only probability existed.

 But it was not the probability that an actual object existed in a particular place (as in the classical shell game)—it was just the probability of a future observation of such an object, which does not include the assumption that the object existed there prior to its observation. This hard-to-accept observer-created reality is the measurement problem in quantum mechanics" End quote

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

Quote : "Physicist J. C. Polkinghorne sums up the metaphysical confusion many quantum theorists feel when he writes:
"It is a curious tale. All over the world measurements are continually being made on quantum mechanical systems. The theory triumphantly predicts, within its probabilistic limits, what their outcomes will be. It is all a great success. Yet we do not understand what is going on. Does the fixity on a particular occasion set in as a purely mental act of knowledge? At a transition from small to large physical systems? At the interface of matter and mind that we call consciousness?.
In one of the many subsequent worlds into which the universe has divided itself?".

Perhaps one interpretation is simpler or more logically consistent, or perhaps one of the interpretations is more aesthetically pleasing than the others. These considerations may provide philosophical reasons for preferring one over the others, but such reasons can hardly be considered decisive. However, a fascinating set of experiments performed by physicist

Helmut Schmidt and others appears to show that conscious intent can affect the behavior of otherwise purely random quantum phenomena. Could an experiment be designed to test the Von Neumann interpretation?
Consciousness is central to the von Neumann interpretation of quantum mechanics.

 According to this interpretation, some properties of quantum phenomena do not exist in any definite state except through the intervention of a conscious mind, at which point the wave function of possibilities collapses into a single state. The usual form of this interpretation allows the observer to collapse the wave function to a unique outcome but not to have any effect on what outcome actually occurs: the actual outcome is assumed to be randomly chosen by nature from the range of values provided by the wave function. But the experiments of German physicist Helmut Schmidt and other physicists indicate that the consciousness of the observer may not only collapse the wave function to a single outcome but may also help specify what outcome occurs by shifting the odds in a desired direction." End quote
« Last Edit: 17/12/2014 20:40:29 by DonQuichotte »

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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."




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Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

See my 20+ points here above and more . Thanks.Cheers .

alancalverd :

What do you make of Bell's theorem and its related experiments ? See above and more .

dlorde :

Since the materialistic identity or production theory regarding the origin function and emergence of consciousness is a false belief , no scientific theory , what alternatives for that can you propose ?

The emergent property theory on the same subject has not been proved conclusively (how can it ever be ) , so .

domkarr :

Welcome to the party lol

What theory of consciousness are you inclined to "fall for " .Thanks .

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Offline dlorde

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dlorde , alancalverd :

What particular word , concept , sentence or whatever exactly can't  you understand from the following ?
I understand all the quotes you posted. What's your point?

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Offline dlorde

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dlorde :

Since the materialistic identity or production theory regarding the origin function and emergence of consciousness is a false belief , no scientific theory , what alternatives for that can you propose ?
Since the theory of immaterial non-physical consciousness interacting with the brain is a self-contradictory, unevidenced example of magical thinking, what alternatives can you propose?  [::)]

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Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

Since the materialistic identity or production theory regarding the origin function and emergence of consciousness is a false belief , no scientific theory , what alternatives for that can you propose ?
Since the theory of immaterial non-physical consciousness interacting with the brain is a self-contradictory, unevidenced example of magical thinking, what alternatives can you propose?  [::)]

Really ? See my 20+ points to our Cheryl   here above then .I am not quite sure about some of them at least .

Even the  world's leading neuroscientists such as Libet , Eccles, Penfield , Sperry and many others + philosophers such as Popper , Nagel,Chalmers , Searle  ... (regardless of the fact that the latter's philosophical theories are untestable + regardless of the fact that the emergent property theory in relation to consciousness has not been proved conclusively ...) + physicists such as Stapp and others + cognitive scientists such as Schwartz ( the latter did base his work on Stapp's work and Libet's conscious mental field theory ) and others did acknowledge the obvious fact that consciousness is a non-physical process at least .A fact you cannot but consider as being "magical " , since you are a materialist (just projecting thus lol ) .

Everything that goes beyond materialism is , per definition, "magical or supernatural " lol , no wonder .

On the other hand , dualism and idealism do make more scientific sense than materialism, so .

The non-physical and non-local nature of consciousness is compatible and consistent with QM, for example, see Von Neumann and the rest .

Try to break free from classical physics then upon which materialism was built .

See Stap's work ,for example, despite its flaws .to mention just that one ,or just Libet's work then .

Consciousness studies are still in their infancy stage though : take your pick : all materialist theories of consciousness must be either completely or partly eliminated from the competition , i guess, since the materialistic identity or production theory is false , and since materialism as a whole is also false : Take your pick thus :

http://www.imprint.co.uk/jcs.html

P.S.: Forget about what happened earlier on .These kindda topics cannot but involve heated passions sometimes....nothing personal thus .My apologies .Thanks .Good night .Take care .Cheers .

Oh, yeah , Graziano , Damasio , Dehanne Stanislas ,Ben Goldacre Bad Science , Penrose -Hameroff , and many others ( Got both the kindle bad science ebook and the audio now .Read some of the placebo part . Have all those other books also .) ....and other materialists do have some interesting things to say , but it's such a waste of talent , intelligence , knowledge ....since they all base their theories on the identity or production theory belief .

Imagine what you,as a scientist ,  and those other materialist scientists can accomplish if they only would realize how false materialism is and move on beyond it like Libet , Eccles and the mentioned rest above did . Such a waste of talent , really .

Take care .Nice holidays by the way .

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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 all the quotes you posted. What's your point?

What i meant was/is :
You have (mis)interpreted them materialistically , i guess ,while they were so clear about what they were saying about classical realism ,classical determinism, and classical locality that have been challenged by QM and and by Bell's theorem and its related experiments ....Later , more  .

Gotta go now, thanks . Good night.Cheers.

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Offline dlorde

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Really ? See my 20+ points to our Cheryl   here above then .I am not quite sure about some of them at least .
Those that made any kind of sense were either variations on the assertion 'materialism is wrong so you're wrong', or non-sequiturs. Hitchens's razor applies.


Quote
P.S.: Forget about what happened earlier on .These kindda topics cannot but involve heated passions sometimes....nothing personal thus .My apologies .Thanks .Good night .Take care .Cheers .
You've done that often enough that I'm well aware of your instability.

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Offline dlorde

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What i meant was/is :
You have (mis)interpreted them materialistically , i guess ,while they were so clear about what they were saying about classical realism ,classical determinism, and classical locality that have been challenged by QM and and by Bell's theorem and its related experiments ....Later , more 
More unevidenced assertion. By all means explain how I'm mistaken, or produce a reasoned argument. I won't hold my breath.

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Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl :

You wanted 10 points .I will give you 20 .I am very generous ,so people say lol at least .

I will summarize my  20 points for you, regarding consciousness in its mutual interactions with its environment , including with the physical brain and with the rest of the physical reality , as follows :



As I anticipated, most of your points for your view of consciousness were variations of "materialism is false."

You reject mounds of evidence regarding neuroscience as mere correlation (or the "image" of the process), but are not bothered in the least by the dismal lack of direct evidence (or even well replicated correlations!) for psi, souls, life after death, psycho-kinesis, consciousness outside the brain, etc.

You haven't convinced me that your amalgamation of quantum mechanics contributes anything to the understanding of consciousness itself, and it utterly fails to address any of the deficits you attributed to material explanation when you first began this thread.

Your particular brand of quantum woo is less of a means to describe any aspect of consciousness than it is an attempt to justify an irrational argument lacking evidence. If there is no determinism on any level, OR if consciousness is exempt from even probabilistic predictions, then one theory of consciousness is as valid as the next, equally likely, irrefutable, and simply a preference.

It would be essentially the same argument if you proposed that because of indeterminacy in the universe, astrology, voo-doo, crystal healing, homeopathy, magic spells -anything at all - must all be considered equally valid phenomena, since there is no basis for any criteria for facts or beliefs.

Basically your strategy is, if you can't construct a rational argument, attack rationality itself, and assert that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot, fool, etc.
« Last Edit: 18/12/2014 00:36:17 by cheryl j »

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Offline alancalverd

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Sorry, Don, but repetitively quoting something I had carefully pointed out was obviously wrong, doesn't make it right.

We now have the capability to detect a single photon or particle with versions of the double-slit experiment. When we do so, it is in one place only. If we repeat the experiment, the next particle may turn out to be somewhere else. And when we do it lots of times, we get a distribution that looks exactly like the diffraction pattern of the wave function of a single particle. No problem: that is how nature works. I can't see why you get so excited by it.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline cheryl j

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But the experiments of German physicist Helmut Schmidt and other physicists indicate that the consciousness of the observer may not only collapse the wave function to a single outcome but may also help specify what outcome occurs by shifting the odds in a desired direction." End quote

I question how many physicists besides Schmidt believe this. Is he this Helmut Schmidt?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Schmidt_%28parapsychologist%29

If this were true, why wouldn't every scientist conducting the measurement get a completely different distribution?
« Last Edit: 18/12/2014 00:33:55 by cheryl j »

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Offline cheryl j

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11-QM had replaced the deterministic universe  of classical physics with the probabilistic one .

12-QM had replaced the causally closed universe of classical physics with the causally open one,or as Von Neumann proved through rigorous maths : a non-physical process is the one that might be collapsing the wave function via a non-mechanical causation : consciousness of the observer at the end of the measurement chain, since conscious observation has to be made at the end of that chain,after all  .

13-QM can never be understood without reference to the mind : the 2 major enigmas have been encountering  each other thus : consciousness and QM that are inseparable from each other .

14-QM had challenged locality and realism of classical physics, and had intoduced the limited notion of free will as well at the level of the measurements in QM ,as Bell's theorem and its related or stimulated experiments had proved  .

15-Bell's theorem and its related experiments corroborated the predictions of QM by challenging the classical realism :
The properties of the observed particles are NOT independent of their observation : the observed is not independent of the observer .

16-QM has already been proving the fact that any real progress in the scientific study of the physical universe  will be almost impossible without that in the study of consciousness ,since the former and the latter are inseparably and inescapably intertwined with each other .

Regarding 11-16:

I really didn’t ask for your 10 points in order to toss back at you the same criticisms I’ve made before. I was genuinely trying to piece together the logical steps in your own version of consciousness theory (as opposed to just materialism is false.)

Considering how critical you are of gaps, there would seem to be a lot of them. Perhaps you can fill them in for me.

Your theory seems to go something like this:
An observation in quantum mechanics requires a conscious human to make a choice in what to measure, and become aware of the result in order to collapse the wavefunction. --->

Consciousness can collapse wave functions without measuring devices made up of physical material. Not only is an observation “not  just,” it does not even require physical interactions, interference by particles. Immaterial thoughts alone will have the same effect. --->

Consciousness can collapse the wave functions in the brain without actually being aware that it is engaging in that the process. While Stapp used quantum effects mainly to explain how an unidentified conscious agency freely selects from a number of conscious choices, Hammeroff says that somehow  these options may bubble up from the subconscious neural machinery, and consciousness selects from among them, which is not entirely different from Libet or any materialist theory, (other than materialists see the executive function as being generated by the structures like the prefrontal cortex).But with any of these scenarios, the process itself is subconscious, and it only becomes conscious after the results are in. That is, I am not aware of where to go looking for these ideas or options, how or when they first took up residence. I am not aware of this underlying quantum activity or its application, as if  I were perusing and selecting from my closet which shirt I am going to wear that day. I am unaware of these underlying interactions (quantum or conventional) or the location or generation of these choices. When I have a “tip of the tongue” experience, I do not know where to go looking for the celebrity name that I can’t recall or why it suddenly pops in my head 3 hours later.

It would appear that Stapp and Hammeroff are replicating in their theory the set up of the interference experiment on a microscopic scale in the brain, as near as I can tell, even though the “choices” to be selected from (to measure or not measure) are manifestly conscious in the experiment, and the specific outcome is not actually controllable.

Or perhaps the above is not how your own theory works at all – that from your “consciousness collapses the wave function” assertion you  jump to the idea that consciousness is a kind of as yet undetected universal field,  that finds its way to my brain transceiver and controls me like a robot, but the real work of consciousness, all thought and deliberation, all subjective experience and qualia, etc occurs elsewhere though mechanisms that are unknown and undetected. Some aspect of this nonlocal consciousness is discrete and unique to “me” and no one else, separate from other biological robot's designated share of the universal consciousness.
That is quite a leap, and you haven’t actually presented any evidence from physicists, or even models from physicists who think the above might be true. If I’m confused about how your theory actually works, perhaps you could enlighten me and bridge those explanatory gaps.

« Last Edit: 18/12/2014 14:43:01 by cheryl j »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg446745#msg446745 date=1418854587]
Really ? See my 20+ points to our Cheryl   here above then .I am not quite sure about some of them at least .
Those that made any kind of sense were either variations on the assertion 'materialism is wrong so you're wrong', or non-sequiturs. Hitchens's razor applies.

No way . You can do much better than that , dlorde , come on .

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P.S.: Forget about what happened earlier on .These kindda topics cannot but involve heated passions sometimes....nothing personal thus .My apologies .Thanks .Good night .Take care .Cheers .
You've done that often enough that I'm well aware of your instability.

Wrong diagnosis , Dr.

That's certainly no instability , just the fact that i cannot stand stubborn dogmatism in the face of evidence , especially not in science and especially not from a scientist such as yourself ,that's all .

You have been claiming all along that your materialistic "all is brain" or that "we are just our brains"  beliefs have been supported by empirical evidence ,  while the converse was true ,so : see Libet on the subject then.

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=alancalverd link=topic=52526.msg446748#msg446748 date=1418858503]
Sorry, Don, but repetitively quoting something I had carefully pointed out was obviously wrong, doesn't make it right.

Shall i then just take your word for  it above the expertise of those prominent physicists in question ?


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We now have the capability to detect a single photon or particle with versions of the double-slit experiment. When we do so, it is in one place only. If we repeat the experiment, the next particle may turn out to be somewhere else. And when we do it lots of times, we get a distribution that looks exactly like the diffraction pattern of the wave function of a single particle. No problem: that is how nature works. I can't see why you get so excited by it.

Of course , no problem at all .No interpretation or measurement problem in QM at all ,silly me .
You're the only physicist who understands QM thus .Feynman was an idiot thus when he claimed that " I can safely say that nobody understands QM ..."

Thanks for your brilliant response ,Alan .
« Last Edit: 18/12/2014 18:29:19 by DonQuichotte »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=dlorde link=topic=52526.msg446746#msg446746 date=1418854874]
What i meant was/is :
You have (mis)interpreted them materialistically , i guess ,while they were so clear about what they were saying about classical realism ,classical determinism, and classical locality that have been challenged by QM and and by Bell's theorem and its related experiments ....Later , more 
More unevidenced assertion. By all means explain how I'm mistaken, or produce a reasoned argument

I thought my posted quotes on the subject were clear enough : they couldn't be more clearer .

Besides proving non-locality to occur as QM predicted , Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge the classical realism too as QM predicted also  ,classical realism in the sense that the measured objects do have their own properties that are independent of the fact of whether or not they are observed : the so-called objective reality out there is independent of any observation : realism was thus challenged too ( Will the moon be still there when you don't look at it,as Einstein jokingly said . ) .

The latter fact was by the way Einstein's "quantum demon " , in the sense that he could not bring himself to accept it , not to mention non-locality or "spooky action at a distance " as Einstein so derisively said , the EPR argument with Bohr was thus all about trying to prove that QM was incomplete ...in order to rescue realism and locality at least  .

Bell's theorem and its related experiments did thus prove Einstein to be wrong in all details, as Bell said , and Bohr to be right .

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I won't hold my breath.

Please, stop using these kindda irritating remarks that do really  "push my buttons" , thanks .



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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446767#msg446767 date=1418908719]


11-QM had replaced the deterministic universe  of classical physics with the probabilistic one .

12-QM had replaced the causally closed universe of classical physics with the causally open one,or as Von Neumann proved through rigorous maths : a non-physical process is the one that might be collapsing the wave function via a non-mechanical causation : consciousness of the observer at the end of the measurement chain, since conscious observation has to be made at the end of that chain,after all  .

13-QM can never be understood without reference to the mind : the 2 major enigmas have been encountering  each other thus : consciousness and QM that are inseparable from each other .

14-QM had challenged locality and realism of classical physics, and had intoduced the limited notion of free will as well at the level of the measurements in QM ,as Bell's theorem and its related or stimulated experiments had proved  .

15-Bell's theorem and its related experiments corroborated the predictions of QM by challenging the classical realism :
The properties of the observed particles are NOT independent of their observation : the observed is not independent of the observer .

16-QM has already been proving the fact that any real progress in the scientific study of the physical universe  will be almost impossible without that in the study of consciousness ,since the former and the latter are inseparably and inescapably intertwined with each other .

Regarding 11-16:

I really didn’t ask for your 10 points in order to toss back at you the same criticisms I’ve made before. I was genuinely trying to piece together the logical steps in your own version of consciousness theory (as opposed to just materialism is false.)

I was also just genuinely trying to tell you about those points of mine too, that's all, Cheryl . Beware of false speculations then .

Don't imitate , innovate ,Cheryl .Don't imitate dlorde by reducing all my points to just "materialism is false " assertions . Our dlorde is the wrong guy or the wrong scientist to imitate ,since he can't let go of his cherished identity theory , to mention just that one , even in the face of evidence .

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Considering how critical you are of gaps, there would seem to be a lot of them. Perhaps you can fill them in for me.

Your theory seems to go something like this:
An observation in quantum mechanics requires a conscious human to make a choice in what to measure, and become aware of the result in order to collapse the wavefunction. --->
Consciousness can collapse wave functions without measuring devices made up of physical material. Not only is an observation “not  just,” it does not even require physical interactions, interference by particles. Immaterial thoughts alone will have the same effect. --->

lol

Completely wrong : i did not say such non-sense  : your own misunderstanding of my own words thus .

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Consciousness can collapse the wave functions in the brain without actually being aware that it is engaging in that the process.


Wrong again : your own misunderstanding of my words .


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While Stapp used quantum effects mainly to explain how an unidentified conscious agency freely selects from a number of conscious choices,

Unidentified ? What are you talking about ? Did Stapp say that ?
Stapp talked about the mindful conscious aware maintained sustained volitional effort of attention that collapses certain brain states and hold them in place through the quantum Zeno effect and Hebb's law, grosso -modo thus  .
Stapp says that that happens at the level of calcium ions ...


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Hammeroff says that somehow  these options may bubble up from the subconscious neural machinery, and consciousness selects from among them, which is not entirely different from Libet or any materialist theory,


The subconscious cannot be equated with your so-called neural "machinery " either  . The above does not really contradict Stapp's work on the subject anyway .Stapp does not say that consciousness "creates " those choices , possibilities , eventualities , probabilities or brain states out of nothing .

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(other than materialists see the executive function as being generated by the structures like the prefrontal cortex)

Generated ? We have already talked about that : that's the  materialistic  identity theory false belief that's no scientific theory ,as Libet said .

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.But with any of these scenarios, the process itself is subconscious, and it only becomes conscious after the results are in. That is, I am not aware of where to go looking for these ideas or options, how or when they first took up residence. I am not aware of this underlying quantum activity or its application, as if  I were perusing and selecting from my closet which shirt I am going to wear that day. I am unaware of these underlying interactions (quantum or conventional) or the location or generation of these choices. When I have a “tip of the tongue” experience, I do not know where to go looking for the celebrity name that I can’t recall or why it suddenly pops in my head 3 hours later.

You don't have to be aware of your brain activity , of the rest of your biology , to be able to function : you don't see your neurons doing what they do, you're not aware of that  .Stapp just tried to explain how things happen at the interface between the mind and its brain,at the level of calcium ions , others went even deeper or "lower " and placed the interface of the mind and its brain at the level of electrons ... .

Since we are made out of atoms , electrons ...,and since the whole universe , including ourselves thus , seem to be quantum "mechanical " , then neuroscientists have to let go of their classical assumptions regarding how the mind and brain work when studying them : materialist neuroscientists thus are still stuck within classical physics regarding the mind -body problem .

Classical physics that cannot account for the mind causal efficacy ,since classical physics is  both mechanical deterministic and also assume that the universe is causally closed , so the mind can have no causal efficacy on matter the brain body or on the rest of its environment , including on the physical reality , but QM says otherwise .

Furthermore, all those processes remain just "wave-like " possibilities , eventualities , probabilities ..waiting to be actualized by the very act of mindful conscious aware volitional effort of attention , the latter does not "create " them out of nothing , just chooses consciously what particular ones should be actualized through the volitional effort of attention and action = veto power : see above .


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It would appear that Stapp and Hammeroff are replicating in their theory the set up of the interference experiment on a microscopic scale in the brain, as near as I can tell, even though the “choices” to be selected from (to measure or not measure) are manifestly conscious in the experiment, and the specific outcome is not actually controllable.

See above . You can hold in place whatever  brain states you choose to , but you can also decide to dismiss them for the "benefit " of others : you can decide to act upon them or not .You can choose to focus and act upon certain thoughts rather than on other ones : you can decide not only the outcome but you can also decide the direction of the outcome .

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Or perhaps the above is not how your own theory works at all – that from your “consciousness collapses the wave function” assertion you  jump to the idea that consciousness is a kind of as yet undetected universal field,  that finds its way to my brain transceiver and controls me like a robot, but the real work of consciousness, all thought and deliberation, all subjective experience and qualia, etc occurs elsewhere though mechanisms that are unknown and undetected. Some aspect of this nonlocal consciousness is discrete and unique to “me” and no one else, separate from other biological robot's designated share of the universal consciousness.

Stapp's work is all about the fact that the mind of the observer is inseparable from the observed (QM showed that fact ) ,about the causal efficacy of the mind regarding its environment ,  from there he went on building the causal efficacy of the mindful conscious aware volitional effort of attention and action regarding the physical brain ,body and regarding the rest of the physical reality ,at the level of calcium ions through the Zeno effect and Hebb's law , once again .

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That is quite a leap, and you haven’t actually presented any evidence from physicists, or even models from physicists who think the above might be true. If I’m confused about how your theory actually works, perhaps you could enlighten me and bridge those explanatory gaps.

What do you think i have done in that lengthy consciousness thread as well as in this thread by talking to you about Stapp's theory on the subject , about that of Schwartz that is based both on Stapp's work and on Libet's conscious mental field theory through the veto power . not to mention that Beauregard bases also his theories on Stapp's work , not to mention that the manifesto of this thread is based on Stapp's work and on those of other non-materialist scientists as well .

It's not that i  did not tell you about what  all those non-materialistic theories of consciousness were  all about , it is exactly the other way around : you either forgot about all those excerpts , other material and more ,or you just did not make the necessary effort to research about that .

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Offline cheryl j

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Don't imitate , innovate ,Cheryl .Don't imitate dlorde by reducing all my points to just "materialism is false " assertions .

No, that's pretty much the general consensus, not just dlorde.
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It's not that i  did not tell you about what  all those non-materialistic theories of consciousness were  all about , it is exactly the other way around : you either forgot about all those excerpts , other material and more ,or you just did not make the necessary effort to research about that .


Hahahahaha. Yeah, Don, that's it. I just forgot how you explained your theory so well before.
« Last Edit: 18/12/2014 20:33:54 by cheryl j »

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Offline DonQuichotte

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author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg446747#msg446747 date=1418856484]
Cheryl :

You wanted 10 points .I will give you 20 .I am very generous ,so people say lol at least .

I will summarize my  20 points for you, regarding consciousness in its mutual interactions with its environment , including with the physical brain and with the rest of the physical reality , as follows :



As I anticipated, most of your points for your view of consciousness were variations of "materialism is false."

That 's not true , Cheryl :
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 ?
Did they not reject reductionist deterministic materialism ?
Did Libet ,for example , to mention just this one, not reject the materialistic monistic reductionist identity theory belief that's no scientific theory ?
Is this thread not all about a certain manifesto ?
I will leave it at then , for the time being at least . .

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You reject mounds of evidence regarding neuroscience as mere correlation (or the "image" of the process), but are not bothered in the least by the dismal lack of direct evidence (or even well replicated correlations!) for psi, souls, life after death, psycho-kinesis, consciousness outside the brain, etc.


I don't reject no evidence . I just reject all the materialist theories of consciousness, simply because they reduce the latter to just brain activity .
The materialistic identity theory , for example, has been supported by a big zero evidence ,No wonder , simply because it is just a belief , no scientific theory .
The emergent property theory regarding consciousness has also been supported by a big zero empirical evidence, while the dualistic and idealistic theories of consciousness were /are the ones that make more scientific sense , despite their flaws .
The latter is pretty normal, since we are ,once again, still in the infancy stage regarding consciousness studies .
As for psi phenomena, near death experiences .....they have been delivering a lots of evidence  .that can only accounted for if we would assume that consciousness is a non-physical and a non-local process that's neither irreducible to brain activity , nor can it be an emergent property of the so-called evolutionary complexity of the physical brain .
Furthermore , biological evolution can also not account for , let alone explain,   consciousness ,simply because the latter is both irreducible to biology and can also not be an emergent property from biology  ..

If you want me to display for you all the evidence that has been delivered by psi research ...I would  be more than willing to deliver that .I would even provide you with all the refutations of all the material, physiological and psychological materialistic "explanations " (away ) of psi phenomena, near death experiences , placebo/nocebo effects and the rest .

But then again , once again , i am not really interested in psi phenomena ..

I do focus mostly on the mind -body hard problem, simply because there is nothing more important than that : all the rest is relatively just details , since consciousness is a key and central player in the universe , including in our own lives , without which there can even be no science , without which we cannot try to understand the universe or ourselves , or as William James used to say ,or in words to the same effect at least : all the erst would fade away in comparison with finding out about how we are able to be aware of ourselves and this universe .


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You haven't convinced me that your amalgamation of quantum mechanics contributes anything to the understanding of consciousness itself, and it utterly fails to address any of the deficits you attributed to material explanation when you first began this thread.

See my prior reply to your post here above on the subject .
Since the whole universe ,including ourselves, seems to be quantum "mechanical " in the Von Neumannian sense where consciousness has a non-mechanical causal efficacy on the brain and on the rest of the physical reality , then scientists have to try to find out about how the mind works through its brain at the interface between mind and brain : neuroscientists must abandon classical physics in their attempts to study the brain mind relationship

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Your particular brand of quantum woo is less of a means to describe any aspect of consciousness than it is an attempt to justify an irrational argument lacking evidence. If there is no determinism on any level, OR if consciousness is exempt from even probabilistic predictions, then one theory of consciousness is as valid as the next, equally likely, irrefutable, and simply a preference.

You just did not understand what i was saying .See my prior reply to your post here above on the subject .
Deterministic mechanical classical physics made no room for the causal efficacy of consciousness on the physical reality , needless to add : there is no way that consciousness can have any effects on the physical reality, including on its physical brain and body , if classical physics were not fundamentally false , and hence were not superseded by QM that had replaced the classical deterministic universe with the probabilistic one , replaced the causally close universe of classical physics with the causally open one , replaced classical locality with non-locality and challenged classical realism that asserted that the objective reality out there (the physical reality thus ) is independent of the observer = the latter is inseparable from the former as QM showed = taking into consideration all the above + LIbet's work regarding the mindful volitional veto power at least ,  consciousness can thus have causal effects on its physical brain and body as well as on the erst of its environment , including on the rest of the physical reality through the mind -brain interface as well as through extrasensory effects ....

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It would be essentially the same argument if you proposed that because of indeterminacy in the universe, astrology, voo-doo, crystal healing, homeopathy, magic spells -anything at all - must all be considered equally valid phenomena, since there is no basis for any criteria for facts or beliefs.

Don't confuse potatoes with apples :
I am only interested in the brain -body problem , and in how the minds might work through the brain, how the mind has causal effects on the physical brain and on the erst of the physical reality ...

What materialistic science has been telling us thus about our minds , about the origin of life , the evolution of life , ....have to be revisited and questioned radically , simply because deterministic reductionist materialism that was built upon the approximately correct and fundamentally false classical physics is false, whether you like it or not
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Basically your strategy is, if you can't construct a rational argument, attack rationality itself, and assert that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot, fool, etc.

You're just projecting , Cheryl :

What rationality are you talking about then ? What rationality is there , what empirical evidence is there that support the false materialistic conception of nature that has been equated with science = a big zero .

P.S.: I wonder why and i am extremely puzzled by the fact that you , guys , do see more value ,where there is none , in your own irrational materialistic beliefs than in the empirical evidence that has been contradicting them .How come ? Amazing .



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Offline dlorde

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Besides proving non-locality to occur as QM predicted , Bell's theorem and its related experiments did challenge the classical realism too as QM predicted also  ,classical realism in the sense that the measured objects do have their own properties that are independent of the fact of whether or not they are observed : the so-called objective reality out there is independent of any observation : realism was thus challenged too ( Will the moon be still there when you don't look at it,as Einstein jokingly said . ) .
Yes, we know. I've already addressed this, but I'll repeat it anyway.

Quantum mechanics (Quantum Field Theory) accounts for our material world.  It's the most precise and most tested theory we have ever had.

QFT and the experiments that physicists have done to test it, tells us that there are no unknown fields or forces that can interact significantly with humans or their brains - only gravity and electromagnetism are relevant.

You may not like it, but mother nature cares not a jot - she does what she does. The plain fact is, the quantum mechanics that you've been showing such enthusiasm for directly contradicts your 'immaterial consciousness' idea.

You might find that getting a better understanding of the empirical evidence about consciousness will help; this does require that you're prepared to change your mind according to the evidence. The first half of this paper, previously posted by Cheryl, gives a good summary of the current position: The Biological Function of Consciousness.

It's possible that some macro-scale QM effect may contribute to the generation of consciousness, as in optimizations found elsewhere in biology; but no convincing argument has yet been made that it's necessary, no plausible models have been proposed, and it seems unlikely given the short evolutionary timescale. Nevertheless, it's possible.

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I won't hold my breath.
Please, stop using these kindda irritating remarks that do really  "push my buttons" , thanks .
Oh grow up.