Penfield: Mystery of the mind, Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain, page 62: The mind may be a distinct and different essence.
I reconsider the present-day neurophysiological evidence on the basis of two hypotheses: (a) that man's being consists of one fundamental element and (b) that it consists of two.
Penfield: I conclude that there is no good evidence, in spite of new methods, such as the employment of stimulating electrodes, the study of conscious patients, and the analysis of epileptic attacks, that the brain alone can
carry out the work that the mind does.
HANGED CONCEPTS OF BRAIN AND CONSCIOUSNESS: SOME VALUE IMPLICATIONS by Roger Sperry
Aditional reductive materialist interpretations emphasizing causal control from below upward are replaced by revised concepts that emphasize the reciprocal control exerted by higher emergent forces from above downward.
Conventional focus in science on the role of material, mass-energy components in determining the nature of man and the universe is countered by an increased emphasis on the crucial causal role played by the nonmaterial space-time, pattern, or form factors.
The molecules and atoms of our world are seen to be moved (their space-time trajectories determined) not so much by atomic and molecular forces, as long predicated in science, nor by quantum mechanics, but rather by higher-level forces that are not reducible in principle to the fundamental forces of physics
Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: visions of a dying brain or visions of a new science of consciousness 2002 Jan
Interestingly, there are a small proportion of cardiac arrest survivors who have reported being conscious and aware of events during resuscitation and have recalled ‘seeing’ specific details that would not have been known to them. These experiences have been recalled, while cerebral function has, through many studies, been shown to be severely compromised and electrical activity in both the cerebral cortex and the deeper structures of the brain have been shown to be absent. From a scientific point of view, the occurrence of these experiences would therefore seem highly improbable and paradoxical. However, the fact that they do occur, raises some questions regarding our current views on the nature of human consciousness and its relationship with the brain. Editorials in recent years, including some in ‘Scientific American’ and ‘Nature Neuroscience’, have highlighted the difficulties faced by cognitive neuroscience in attempting to answer questions regarding the nature and the mechanism by which subjective experiences and sense of consciousness may arise through cellular processes. Traditionally, it has been argued that thoughts or consciousness; are produced by the interaction of large groups of neurons or neural networks. Evidence for this view has come from the clinical observation that specific changes in function such as personality or memory are associated with specific cerebral lesions such as those that occur after head injury. This is further supported by the results of cerebral localization studies using functional MRI and PET scanning, in which specific areas of the brain have been shown to become metabolically active in response to a thought or feeling. However, those studies, although providing evidence for the role of neuronal networks as an intermediary for the manifestation of thoughts, do not necessarily imply that those cells also produce the thoughts. Although, undoubtedly complex these networks nevertheless are composed of individual neurons connected via synapses and various neurotransmitters that lead to the generation of action potentials across the cell membrane. With our current scientific understanding a neurobiological mechanism to explain how cerebral chemical and electrical processes may lead to subjective experiences has yet to be discovered. Direct evidence of how neurons or neural circuits can produce the subjective essence of the mind and thoughts is currently lacking and provides one of the biggest challenges to neuroscience. Alternative scientific views for the causation of consciousness and subjective phenomenon have, therefore, been proposed. These range from the view that consciousness may arise from ‘quantum’ processes within neuronal microtubule, to consciousness being a form of ‘morphic resonance’ or the possibility that the mind or consciousness may actually be a fundamental scientific entity in its own right irreducible to anything more basic. This concept has been proposed to be similar to the discovery of electromagnetic phenomenon in the 19th century, or quantum mechanics in the 20th century, both of which were inexplicable in terms of previously known principles and were introduced as fundamental entities in their own right. An extension of this has been the view that contrary to popular perception, what has traditionally been perceived as spirituality, is therefore also an objective branch of knowledge with its own laws, theorems and axioms. If the occurrence of NDEs during a cardiac arrest, when the mind (the collection of all our thoughts, feelings, and emotions) and consciousness (self-awareness) appear to continue at a time when the brain is non-functional and clinical criteria of death have been reached, can be proven objectively through large studies, then this will lend some support to this view. Although at present, this remains a mere possibility, if investigated through appropriate studies it may have significant implications not only for medicine but also for society as a whole. Such studies are currently possible, and it has been proposed to test the claims of ‘consciousness’ and being able to ‘see’ during cardiac arrest objectively by use of hidden targets that are only visible from a vantage point above. Although, at first these suggestions may sound rather unconventional. the study of consciousness has itself for many years been thought of as unconventional but has now become a significant point of debate in neuroscience. Therefore, a new way of thinking may be needed to provide an insight into understanding this intriguing, yet largely undiscovered area of science.
It will never suddenly start to think about calculus
1. Minds are composed of intentional states
2. Intentional states are normative states that create the possibilities of failure
3. Good or bad are not natural states
Argument from consciousness
1. Consciousness englobes the mind, "qualia", intellectual activity, calculating, thinking, forming abstract ideas, imagination, introspection, cognition, memories, awareness, experiencing, intentions, free volition, free creation, invention, generation of information. It classifies, recognizes and judges behavior, good and evil. It is aware of beauty, and feels sensations and emotions.
2. Hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves into abstract ideas. To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties. The mind is to the brain what a pianist is to a piano. The former (the pianist) is not reducible to the latter (the piano).
3. Those are all fundamental discrete indivisible non-quantifiable qualities of substance, which has a different identity from hard physical objects, matter and space. It is immaterial Perception, understanding, and evaluation of things adds a quality beyond and absent from natural physical matter and states, and can, therefore, not be reduced to known physical principles.The mind cannot be an emergent property of the brain. Existing fundamentals—space, time, mass, charge can’t explain consciousness, which itself is something fundamental, and essentially different than physical things.Therefore, dualism is true, and since the universe had a beginning, the mind precedes and exists beyond the universe. That mind is God.
Paul Davies: THE MIND OF GOD The Scientific Basis for a Rational Word: I have come to the point of view that mind conscious awareness of the world is not a meaningless and accidental quirk of nature, but an absolutely fundamental facet of reality.
Consciousness is a fundamental feature of reality.
An atom, a group of atoms, a chemical element, a rock, a molecule, a biomolecule, left on its own, will act and behave according to the forces, and laws of nature. A cell will act based on the genetic and epigenetic program it was encoded for. It has sensitivity and responds to the environment, reproduces, grows and develops, regulates itself, and generates and processes energy. A single neuron processes information like a computer. A group of neurons can interact with each other and process more information. But it will never start doing something fundamentally different, which is to become self-conscious, rational, starting to have volition, foresight, memories, imagination, pain, and happiness. Claiming that a single neuron cannot be conscious, but a group of neurons can suddenly start being so, is a fallacy of composition. Consciousness is itself is something fundamental, and essentially different than physical things. The Self is unique, singular, irreducible, fundamental, indivisible, not bound to physical laws, a supernatural spiritual creation.
John C. Eccles: “Since materialist solutions fail to account for our experienced uniqueness, I am constrained to attribute the uniqueness of the Self or Soul to a supernatural spiritual creation.”(Eccles 1989).
The idea that matter, somehow, by evolutionary processes, can become conscious, is absurd.
If you convert the idea to a sentence to communicate (as I do here) or to remember it, that sentence may be physical, yet is dependent upon the non-physical idea, which is in no way dependent upon it.
Mind is a set of Cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory. The mind is the faculty of a human being's reasoning and thoughts. It holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions. Signals.
Either my intelligence is the product of far higher intelligence or no intelligence at all. If my intelligence came from no intelligence, but by evolution, then why should I trust my thoughts?
Non-logic produce logic?
Non-intelligence produce intelligence?
Non-language produce language?
Non-consciousness produce consciousness?
Non-imagination produce imagination?
Non-thinking create thinking?
No thoughts create thoughts?
No feelings create feelings?
No awareness of beauty create awareness of beauty?
No emotions create emotions?
If the mind and consciousness are a product of the brain and neurons, then why is the heart, which has its own 'little brain', called the intracardiac nervous system (ICN), which monitors and corrects any local disturbances in communication, not conscious as well?
Living in a universe without god reduces the mind to mere electric discharges in the tissue of the brain. Molecules in motion, so to speak. Molecules act exclusively in a lawful cause-and-effect- relation. So, humans must be input-reaction-automaton. Thinking, therefore, is just the result of physical behavior. Molecules in motion also do not generate or identify truth, so everything one could possibly express is just one's opinion dictated by molecules in motion.
If the entire universe is bound to the laws of physics, and all that is physical behaves according to these laws - and so our brain, which is made of physical stuff, and the mind is a product of the brain, then: to what physical law is the mind bound? what law does it obey?
If consciousness arises from the brain, why do people whose brains have been split in half (due to otherwise untreatable epilepsy) function surprisingly well, as do people with only half a brain?
The Mind is Not The Brain
The Law of identity states that each thing is identical to itself. Every neuron processes and transmits information to other cells through electrical and chemical signals. Animal brains perform the same algorithms like humans but require no consciousness, memory, will, intentions, thinking, judgment, thoughts, imagination, recognition, and appreciation, resulting in attitudes and actions.
It is nothing but sets of electrons, protons, and neutrons, in a given spatial arrangement; the electromagnetic interaction may, in fact, be attractive so that particles may attract one another and form certain geometrical arrangements in the space. Fundamental properties do not generate new properties emerging from the interaction between them. That's a fallacy of composition. The addition of more neurons does not cause them to start interacting by valuing things creating intentions and will, nor philosophical societies. Its a category error. It does not matter if there are a few, or billions of neurons interacting with each other. The human heart possesses a heart-brain composed of about 40,000 neurons. Why is our heart not conscious?
When one tries to limit mental activity to the physical processes that I believe produce the mental activity but isn't the mental activity itself, it is the same as trying to say that a movie is merely the shining of a light through a celluloid strip. You can't capture the movie at all by looking at light shining through celluloid, which shows that a physicalistic explanation of what a movie amounts to falls far short of what the movie really is. The perception, understanding, and evaluation of the story adds a quality beyond, which is more than just the physical projection of the movie.
Neurons perform physical functions resulting in behavior and reactions, but those physical functions are accompanied by consciousness for that we need something accompanied by an extra ingredient in the picture. Consciousness or qualia, this amazing inner movie which is another substance or entity, is fundamental.
How should and could the inanimate convert into the animate? How can consciousness come from mindless swirling electrons and atoms? These are impossibilities, pure and simple. The origin of consciousness is only understood and makes sense as soon as it’s accepted that the foundation and cause of the universe, in its most basic aspect, is a conscious eternal living intelligent spirit, and not dead matter, minded, and not mindless. The ontology goes from a conscious eternal mind, to use mathematics, to create the physical laws governing the universe, physics, chemistry, biology, and as a crown of all creation: us.
Marco Biagini Ph.D. in Solid State Physics
The claim that the electric impulses in our brain are or generate sensations and thoughts, is in contradiction with the laws of physics that consider equivalent all-electric impulses, inside or outside our brain. In fact, an electric impulse is formed only by some electrons moving in a certain direction; according to the laws of physics, electrons are all equal and indistinguishable, and they are always moving in every material or electric circuits. To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties.
Every electron is identical to every other electron. They all have the same mass, the same electric charge, and the same spin.
Now we know that our brain is only a set of particles, such as electrons and protons, interacting through the electromagnetic field. Every biological process is due only to the chemical reactions, which in their turn, are due only to the electromagnetic interaction among the electrons and the protons of the atoms forming our organism. Every neuron and every cell are nothing but sets of electrons, protons and neutrons, in a given spatial arrangement; the electromagnetic interaction may, in fact, be attractive so that particles may attract one another and form certain geometrical arrangements in the space. The properties of every (including also DNA molecules) and every biological process are due only to the laws of physics; more precisely, since in our organism no nuclear reactions occur and gravitational forces are too weak to interfere with molecular processes, every biological process is due uniquely to the laws of quantum electrodynamics. Science has proved that all chemical, biological and cerebral processes consist only in some successions of elementary physical processes, determined in their turn only by the laws of quantum mechanics. Such a view of biological processes does not allow to account for the existence of consciousness; so, materialism is incompatible with science.
Paul Davies: From Matter to Life
Our phenomenal experiences are the only aspect of consciousness that cannot, even in principle, be reduced to known physical principles. This is the “hard problem of consciousness.” Consciousness is an irreducible, fundamental property of mind, with its own laws and principles.
What about the analogy of the brain as an antenna? If you modify, manipulate, or damage a receiver, like a TV antenna, for example, you change the reception. But the signal, in this case, exists independently and externally from the antenna. Receiving a signal is what a healthy antenna does, but only when there is an independent, external signal to be received. The fact that changing the antenna changes how well the signal is received does not imply that antennae are responsible for the signals they detect.
MICHAEL EGNOR, “SCIENCE AND THE SOUL” AT THE PLOUGH
The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot. The intellect and will are metaphysically simple.
"It’s sobering to note that neuroscience has utterly failed to explain how the brain and mind relate. It is as if cosmology had failed to tell us anything meaningful about the universe; or medical science failed to tell us anything about health and disease; or geology failed to tell us anything about rocks. Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem (of consciousness), after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved."
- Michael R. Egnor, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook
Mental is involving the mind or an intellectual process. Behavior - Psychology.
Why should merely changing the position of physical objects like electrons cause the emergence of an apparently completely unconnected phenomenon: the feeling of consciousness?
Flowering plants of the genus Musa will always only generate Bananas. Citrus species will always only produce citrus fruits like Orange, lemon etc.
Only an intelligent mind, capable of logical reasoning, is an adequate cause to create other minds able to reason. If we as humans possess the capability to intellectually understand and to know, then the cause must have the same or better capabilities of the same sort.
Arguing that matter can produce a mind, consciousness, intelligence, and the capability of logical reasoning is special pleading.
Read and repeat in your mind: " Saying that matter produces thoughts is as saying that the color blue produces the smell of perfume channel ". That thought of yours is not in its essence of material causation, but mental. It's not because some electrons fired in some special way in your neurons, that you had this thought. That's an error of category. It's actually the contrary. Your thoughts had a material consequence in your neurons. Therefore, the supernatural realm exists. And is right amongst us. Our mind and thoughts are in their essence not a manifestation of matter, but of a supernatural realm.
The Mind is Not The Brain
Near Death experience , evidence of dualism
Mind and brain: A scientific discussion leading to the existence of the soul
The universe: Caused by a Conscient creator, information and energy
In the past, atheists suggested that the mind is nothing more than a function of the brain, which is matter; thus the mind and the brain are the same, and matter is all that exists. However, that viewpoint no longer is credible scientifically, due in large part to the experiments of the renowned Australian physiologist Sir John Eccles. Dr. Eccles, who won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries regarding how certain portions (known as “neural synapses”) of the brain work, documented that the mind is more than merely physical. He showed that the supplementary motor area of the brain may be fired by mere intention to do something, without the motor cortex (which controls muscle movements) operating. In effect, the mind is to the brain what a librarian is to a library. The former (the librarian) is not reducible to the latter (the library). Eccles explained his scientific methodology and his conclusions in The Self and Its Brain, a book he co-authored with the eminent British philosopher of science, Sir Karl Popper.
Einstein's Gulf: Can Evolution cross it? by John Oller, Ph.d
The mind cannot emerge from matter
Albert Einstein, undoubtedly one of the greatest scientists of all time, described the "gulf' that logically separates the concrete world of hard objects on the one hand from the abstract world of ideas on the other. He wrote: We have the habit of combining certain concepts and conceptual relations (propositions) so definitely with certain sense experiences that we do not become conscious of the gulf-logically unbridgeable which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts and propositions
On the one side, we find the real world of objects, events, and tensional spacetime relations. On the other side, we find fully abstract representations that contain information about the material world. That articulate information is abstracted first by our senses, secondarily by our bodily actions, and tertiarily by our ability to use one or more particular languages . Between the two realms we find what appears to be an uncrossable gulf.
A small part of the materialists problem is that hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves (on their own recognizance) into abstract ideas.
Albert Einstein, “Remarks on Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Knowledge,” The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 5 of The Library of Living Philosophers, editor Paul Arthur Schilpp (LaSalle, Illinois, Open Court, 1944), p. 289.
I am convinced that ... the concepts which arise in our thought and in our linguistic expressions are all—when viewed logically—the free creations of thought which cannot inductively be gained from sense experiences. ... we have the habit of combining certain concepts and conceptual relations (propositions) so definitely with certain sense experiences that we do not become conscious of the gulf—logically unbridgeable—which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts and propositions
You can know for sure just with a moment's reflection that your brain is not your soul.
The headline in the article says, "A memory is nothing more than a few thousand brain cells firing in a particular pattern." In other words, they are saying that a memory is identical with brain cells firing in a pattern. It is not correlated with a mind state such that the brain cells firing causes your mind or soul to have a memory. It is saying that that's all it is.
That's like saying that a movie is nothing more than light shining through a piece of celluloid. A movie requires light shining through a piece of celluloid and then you can see it projected on the screen. But to say that it is nothing more than that misses something very obvious. Did you ever go upstairs in a movie theater and look through the window of the projection room? There is a big giant disc spinning, the celluloid goes through an apparatus, and there is hot light.
Now, what if I were to tell you that that is the movie right there. The movie is the physical action that I can see happening. You'd think that was ridiculous. A movie is much more than the physical mechanism, the machinery with the celluloid passing through it with a sharp, bright light behind it. Rather, the movie is the image that is being projected on the screen, and it's even more than just an image. There is a story, dialogue, characterization. There are all these other things that go beyond just the physical representation.
When one tries to limit mental activity to the physical processes that I believe produce the mental activity, but isn't the mental activity itself, it is the same as trying to say that a movie is merely the shining of a light through a celluloid strip. You can't capture the movie at all by looking at light shining through celluloid, which shows that a physicalistic explanation of what a movie amounts to falls far short of what the movie really is. What's more, if you look at the light on the celluloid, you will never, ever even see the movie.
11-year-old conjoined twins have a connected brain, see through each others’ eyes, but have separate minds - November 6, 2017
Excerpt: Krista and Tatiana Hogan share the senses of touch and taste and even control one another’s limbs. Tatiana can see out of both of Krista’s eyes, while Krista can only see out of one of Tatiana’s.
Tatiana controls three arms and a leg, while Krista controls three legs and an arm. They can also switch to self-control of their limbs.
(But their personalities are not conjoined; indeed, they are typical for twins):
The girls have very different personalities. Tatiana is outgoing, talkative and high strung while Krista is quieter, more relaxed and loves to tell jokes.
Blue Brain Project – Brain Waves Simulation – video
Although, as the preceding video shows, descriptions of what is happening in the brain can be quite elaborate, in regards to consciousness, the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness is never honestly addressed in these elaborate models of brain activity. This following neuroscientist agrees that the 'how' of consciousness is never properly addressed:
Consciousness: What are some concise ways to convince people that consciousness is not an emergent property?
Excerpt: First off, “emergent property” is one of those hand-wavey terms people like to throw around without much substance behind it. A basic definition is something like complex properties that results from the interaction of simple behaviors.
That doesn’t actually answer the how of consciousness particularly well by itself.,,,
How do you explain the subjective experience of “redness”, let’s say. Saying simply that it’s the correlate of the neurophysiological response to certain rods and cones sensitive to certain light waves does not answer the question of why there is a gestalt qualitative experience of red.
- Marc Ettlinger, Research Neuroscientist, Department of Veterans Affairs
In other words, materialists/atheists, with their elaborate descriptions of what is happening in the brain, never really ever honestly address the 'hard' question(s) being asked about the brain:
Fallacies of Contemporary Neuroscience: “A Vast Collection of Answers, with No Memory of the Questions” – Michael Egnor – February 20, 2014
Excerpt: [Scruton:] Neuroenvy… consist[s] of a vast collection of answers, with no memory of the questions. And the answers are encased in neurononsense of the following kind:
‘The brains of social animals are wired to feel pleasure in the exercise of social dispositions such as grooming and co-operation, and to feel pain when shunned, scolded, or excluded. Neurochemicals such as vasopressin and oxytocin mediate pair-bonding, parent-offspring bonding, and probably also bonding to kith and kin…’ (Patricia Churchland).
As though we didn’t know already that people feel pleasure in grooming and co-operating, and as though it adds anything to say that their brains are ‘wired’ to this effect, or that ‘neurochemicals’ might possibly be involved in producing it. This is pseudoscience of the first order, and owes what scant plausibility it possesses to the fact that it simply repeats the matter that it fails to explain. It perfectly illustrates the prevailing academic disorder, which is the loss of questions.
David Chalmers is semi-famous for getting the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness across to lay people in a very easy to understand manner:
David Chalmers on Consciousness (Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
a bit more in-depth look at the ‘hard problem’ is here:
The impossible Problem of Consciousness – video
Here are a few more comments, from atheists, that agree with Chalmers on the insolubility of ‘hard problem’ of consciousness,,
Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
- per UD News
“We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor
Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
Here a Harvard neurosurgeon, who is now a former atheist who had a life changing Near Death Experience, comments on the ‘hard' problem:
The Science of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander – Nov. 18, 2012
Can consciousness exist when the body fails? One neurosurgeon says he has seen it firsthand—and takes on critics who vehemently disagree.
Excerpt: Many scientists who study consciousness would agree with me that, in fact, the hard problem of consciousness is probably the one question facing modern science that is arguably forever beyond our knowing, at least in terms of a physicalist model of how the brain might create consciousness. In fact, they would agree that the problem is so profound that we don’t even know how to phrase a scientific question addressing it. But if we must decide which produces which, modern physics is pushing us in precisely the opposite direction, suggesting that it is consciousness that is primary and matter secondary.
Basically, Materialists/Atheists, when they proclaim that consciousness is merely an ‘emergent property’ of the brain, are, in essence, saying that consciousness is merely an illusion. But as Chalmers pointed out in his video via Rene Decartes (i.e. ‘I think therefore I am’), the fact that we are conscious is the most concrete thing we can know about reality. And as Decartes first elucidated, we can reasonably doubt everything else we perceive about reality, but the fact that we ourselves are conscious, within this reality we are trying to describe, is the one thing that we can doubt least about reality. In fact, if consciousness is held to be merely an illusion (merely ‘an emergent property’ of the brain), as atheists hold, then our ability to know anything else is real/true about reality is undermined from within by that presupposition (see Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism and Bruce Gordon on Boltzmann’s Brain). This ‘undermined from within’ epistemological failure inherent within the atheist’s materialistic worldview is reveled in a rather humorous fashion here:
The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 2014
Excerpt: Well and good. But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.)
William J Murray gets the basic point of the necessity of the ‘primacy of consciousness’ across more clearly than anyone else I’ve ever read:
“In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
- William J. Murray
William J Murray is in VERY good company in his reasoning:
“No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931
“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
(Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)
“It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’
Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified to 80 orders of magnitude)
Although atheists have the impossible task of trying to ‘explain away’ the hard problem of consciousness, the Theist has a much easier task at hand. The Theist merely has to show that the mind is not the same thing as the brain. Here are a few simple ways to prove that the mind is not the same thing as the brain.
One simple way of demonstrating that the mind is not the brain comes from utilizing the ‘Law Of Identity’ to separate properties of mind from properties of brain:
Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – podcast and summary (Law of Identity: 6 properties of mind that are not identical to properties of the brain, thus the mind is not the brain)
The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
Alvin Plantinga has a humorous way of getting this ‘Law of Identity’ point across:
Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the mind/soul) – video
Another simple way of proving the mind is not the brain is by utilizing Godel’s incompleteness theorem.
Alan Turing, who invented computers, infamously thought that his brain was merely a ‘Turing Machine’. This following poem teases the ‘merely a machine’ notion of Turing
Alan’s brain tells his mind, “Don’t you blow it.”
Listen up! (Even though it’s inchoate.)
“My claim’s neat and clean.
I’m a Turing Machine!”
… ‘Tis somewhat curious how he could know it.
Yet, in spite of Turing’s irrational belief, and although I don’t believe Turing ever actually admitted it, Alan Turing actually succeeded in extending Godel’s incompleteness to material computers, and thus undermining his own materialistic belief that he was merely a machine in the process. This point is illustrated in the following videos and quotes:
Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (with Gregory Chaitin)
Quote from video: Turing recast incompleteness in terms of computers and showed that since they are logic machines, there would always be some problems they would never solve. A machine fed one of these problems would never stop (halting problem). And worse, Turing proved there was no way of telling beforehand which these problems were.”
The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
Excerpt: “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”,,,
“Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine”
~ Kurt Godel
Gödel’s philosophical challenge (to Turing) – Wilfried Sieg – lecture video
(“The human mind infinitely surpasses any finite machine.”)
It is also interesting to note that even though, as was shown in the Godel-Turing video, Alan Turing believed humans were merely machines, much like the computers he had envisioned, Turing failed to realize that his entire idea for computers came to him suddenly, ‘in a vision’ as he put it, thus confirming, in fairly dramatic fashion, Godel’s contention that humans had access to the ‘divine spark of intuition’. A divine spark which enables humans to transcend the limits he, and Godel, had found in the incompleteness theorem for computers, mathematics, (and even for all of material reality in general (Jaki)).
Of related note, the following paper gives the ‘secret’ away for defeating the infamous ‘Turing test’:
Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas G. Robertson – 1999
Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomenon: the creation of new information.
“… no operation performed by a computer can create new information.”
I consider the preceding proofs (Law of Identity and Incompleteness) to be a pretty simple and solid 'logical' proofs for demonstrating that the mind is not the brain. On the emotional side, here is a touching proof that the mind is not the same thing as the brain
This following video, although the girl in the video was written off as hopelessly retarded by everyone who saw her, reveals that there was/is indeed a gentle intelligence, a “me”, a “soul’, within the girl that was/is trapped within her body. And that that “me” was/is unable to express herself properly to others because of her neurological disorder. Here is a short teaser for her book telling the struggle of her ‘miracle’ breakthrough to be enable her to communicate with the outside world:
Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes – video
Here is another 'touching' proof that the mind is not the brain.
Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
In other words, if the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment during a hemispherectomy:
Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
The preceding evidence from hemispherectomies is a rather dramatic, and convincing, confirmation for the ‘argument from divisibility’ for the soul:
Case for the Existence of the Soul – (Argument from Divisibility at 38:20 minute mark) – JP Moreland – video
Another rather dramatic proof that the mind is not the same thing as the brain has been from the studies of people who were born blind who have had Near Death Experience (NDE). Blind people who could see for the first time in their lives during their NDE. There simply is no rational explanation within the materialistic/atheistic framework for why this should happen, whereas, in the theistic framework, this is result expected:
Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
“I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact. I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
Vicky Noratuk’s NDE – Blind since birth – quote taken from the following video
Coast to Coast – Vicki’s Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3
Here are some ‘simple’ ways to empirically demonstrate, at home or school, that the mind is not the same thing as the brain:
Rupert Sheldrake invites you to participate in his ongoing research. No previous experience is necessary, and the online tests can be done immediately. Most of these experiments are suitable for use in schools and colleges, and some make an excellent basis for student projects.
Telephone Telepathy – video
The Mind Is Not The Brain – Scientific Evidence – Rupert Sheldrake – video
Here is another way, though not quite as simple, to show that the mind is not the same thing as the brain.
An absolutely astonishing fact that seems to be completely lost on hard core Darwinists is that a single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. Yet supercomputers with many switches have a huge problem dissipating heat,,,
Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers. The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components. There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
But the brain, though having more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth, does not have such a problem dissipating heat,,,
Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
-per Scientific American
And then, though not simple, there is the argument for God from consciousness in quantum mechanics. i.e. due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
The Galileo Affair and Life/Consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
Verse and Music:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:46 pm; edited 67 times in total