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Thread: What is it in the body that makes it alive?

  1. #1 What is it in the body that makes it alive? 
    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive? Are we spirits in a material world? Talk of bio-chemical electric reactions does not satisfy. There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong. I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there. We all understand that mind is different from brain, and that when we speak to someone we are not addressing the flesh, or even the brain, but something else. If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?


    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    Not so far as anyone can demonstrate.

    Talk of bio-chemical electric reactions does not satisfy.
    Why not?

    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong. I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    In other words you prefer belief to supported facts.


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    I do not believe in the ghost in the machine, but I do think that mind and identity are emergent properties of the interaction between information storage and information processing.

    Edit: Consciousness as a State of Matter, Max Tegmark, MIT.
    [1401.1219] Consciousness as a State of Matter
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    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    Life.

    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    A human being.


    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.

    Since we have only the facts that science has found we use those facts until more information is shown to change those facts into something new. Do you have any new facts to support your claims or are you only speculating and giving your opinion with no facts to substantiate them?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism, whose cell types show considerably diversity and which generate, especially within the neurological system, emergent properties such as consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    In a metaphorical sense, yes. There is no convincing evidence to support mind-body duality. (If you think there is please do present it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.
    I don't like the Big Bang Theory. I think it lacks elegance. And I don't like some of its implications. So, science must be wrong.

    An opinion like that has no objective value. The universe is quite indifferent to your opinion. It is not science that says there is no more to it - the universe says there is nor more to it. Again, if you think there is, just present the evidence. Otherwise you are no better than a preacher on a street corner pushing his brand of salvation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    Yes, there is intelligence and self awareness. We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    We all understand that mind is different from brain,
    Then why did I change after my first stroke? Why did my mind not remain as it was? (And it is weak debating style to tell others how they think.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.
    Is that what you think may be happening? You don't think it may be impossible? What about "We are the universe trying to look at itself" ?

    I don't just mean that the universe can't look at itself but also as a person that is also impossible (sure we can look at abstracts and what is left behind from our existence but the simplest act of self regard seems to me to be impossible both in practice and theory) .
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism, whose cell types show considerably diversity and which generate, especially within the neurological system, emergent properties such as consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    In a metaphorical sense, yes. There is no convincing evidence to support mind-body duality. (If you think there is please do present it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.
    I don't like the Big Bang Theory. I think it lacks elegance. And I don't like some of its implications. So, science must be wrong.

    An opinion like that has no objective value. The universe is quite indifferent to your opinion. It is not science that says there is no more to it - the universe says there is nor more to it. Again, if you think there is, just present the evidence. Otherwise you are no better than a preacher on a street corner pushing his brand of salvation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    Yes, there is intelligence and self awareness. We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    We all understand that mind is different from brain,
    Then why did I change after my first stroke? Why did my mind not remain as it was? (And it is weak debating style to tell others how they think.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism.
    Thanks for all that, John. That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. I present no evidence of mind-body duality because I don't really know. I am asking for answers in posting here. And when I say 'science must be wrong' I merely mean to express my dissatisfaction with the wholly material explanation of mind/spirit/whatever it is. The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter? How can you know that? If I am not being objective, then I am not being objective. I feel no obligation to be so. I think you do know that mind is different from brain, you're just making a point. I don't really understand about your changing after your stroke, so I won't comment on that. I hope you are on the mend though. A weak debating style? I was never debating. I am asking, and yes, I think it is common knowledge what 'mind' and 'brain' are and what the difference is. I can't see that I am telling anyone how they think. Yes, it is remarkable that we are the universe looking at itself. I see you know your Alan Watts, but I don't see how it answers the question.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    .... That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. ....
    Please expand a bit on that for me, just to satisfy my curiosity.
    I find the idea that life is a natural process quite impressive and see no need for any puppeteer, so I am wondering why you do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I do not believe in the ghost in the machine, but I do think that mind and identity are emergent properties of the interaction between information storage and information processing.

    Edit: Consciousness as a State of Matter, Max Tegmark, MIT.
    [1401.1219] Consciousness as a State of Matter
    Thanks for a sincere and serious reply, Dan, but I can't make heads or tails of your link. Could you explain it please?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    .... That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. ....
    Please expand a bit on that for me, just to satisfy my curiosity.
    I find the idea that life is a natural process quite impressive and see no need for any puppeteer, so I am wondering why you do.
    Not to be crude, but it's kind of like this - did you ever see a film where a guy is talking to a woman and (perhaps without realizing he is doing so) is staring at her breasts, and so she says, "Hey! I'm up here!" Then she points to her eyes.

    What does she mean? The woman seems to think 'she' (her self) is behind her eyes, or in her head. Is the man a materialist like you, and feels that addressing her breasts is the same as addressing her since she is nothing but meat? Or does he just like staring at breasts?

    I won't speak for others, but I feel that "I" am in my head, and yet I don't feel that I am in my brain. If I had to say, I suppose I would have to say that my mind kind of just hovers around my brain. When I am asleep, or just day dreaming or even on the phone or internet, my mind is disengaged entirely from the brain - or at least forgets that it is anchored there. Do you feel differently?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    The most concise way of saying it is Tegmark says conciousness is what information feels when it is being processed.
    He says it himself in the introduction.
    I have long contended that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed in certain complex ways [1, 2], i.e., that it corresponds to certain complex patterns in spacetime that obey the same laws of physics as other complex systems, with no “secret sauce” required.
    and
    In this paper, I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness. However, this should not preclude us from identifying, quantifying, modeling and ultimately understanding the characteristic properties that all liquid forms of matter (or all conscious forms of matter) share.
    He links easily writable and readable memory with the ability to process that data.
    He says the processing of the data should leave it with some degree of interdependence and yet some degree of separability. In other words you should be able to see things as separate but related.

    The body of the paper is his argument to support the idea that conciousness is a material property than can be calculated, and it gets pretty technical.

    However the idea he is supporting was proposed more simply by G. Tononi and you might find his paper on it more accessable.
    Consciousness as Integrated Information: a Provisional Manifesto

    and of course there is a summary of this on Wikipedia.
    Integrated information theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Note: I don't quite agree with all of their ideas, but I do see how it might be a useful way of thinking about conciousness.
    (Now lets design a concious computer like they have in scifi movies.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive? Are we spirits in a material world? Talk of bio-chemical electric reactions does not satisfy. There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong. I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there. We all understand that mind is different from brain, and that when we speak to someone we are not addressing the flesh, or even the brain, but something else. If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    You know what? I think that what makes as feel "alive" is that we are able to ask ourselves why are we alive. We are the only living beings capable of self awareness and not only that, but ask ourselves why are we the only ones with selfawareness. We are capable of analize life and the lack of life (death). Our intelect is not only to solve problems and survive... we are beyond that now.

    Of course, just because we can ask ourselves those questions doesn´t mean that we are beyond our body. We do, in fact, die. And our psyche depends on our body. We all know the consequences of neurodegenerative diseases or accidents that cause brain death.

    Also,,,, I kind of feel bad when people say hat we can not be just chemical processes. Why does chemical processes has such a bad and cold connotation? May be because science is so objective. But the fact that we are the result of chemical processes and that in our body everything functions because of that, actually makes me feel even more respectful towards chemistry and admire it.

    Why the word alive is more meaningful if we use it in a poetic context? I see beauty in chemistry and biology.
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    @dan hunter -Tegmark says consciousness is what information feels when it is being processed!? But how can information feel anything? No, I haven't read it. I find it very esoteric. A little more help, please.
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive? Are we spirits in a material world? Talk of bio-chemical electric reactions does not satisfy. There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong. I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there. We all understand that mind is different from brain, and that when we speak to someone we are not addressing the flesh, or even the brain, but something else. If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    Do you mean consciousness, or just any living thing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    ... consciousness is what information feels when it is being processed!? But how can information feel anything?...
    Fair question. (How are you interpreting the word feel?)
    I would think if you can say matter can be conscious then you should to be able to think it has feelings too.
    To me the idea of consciousness implies subjectivity, which in turn suggests having feelings about whatever you are aware of.

    Note that I do not think he is arguing for hylopathism as much as modeling properties required for conciousness to exist, however I can't be sure he isn't thinking of hylopathism either.
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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking.


    Dead or alive?
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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    Dead, but great hair.

    Actually, that's the most energetic I've ever seen Carroll in a photo.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by [B
    甘肃人[/B]]
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.
    Is that what you think may be happening? You don't think it may be impossible? What about "We are the universe trying to look at itself" ?

    I don't just mean that the universe can't look at itself but also as a person that is also impossible (sure we can look at abstracts and what is left behind from our existence but the simplest act of self regard seems to me to be impossible both in practice and theory) .
    Of course I think that is what happening. It is self evidently true. We are looking at the universe. It is irrelevant that thus far our looking is incomplete and open to misinterpretation. We are looking at the universe and as we are an emergent property of the universe, so of course we are the universe looking at itself.

    And since it it self evidently true I cannot suspect that it might be impossible. The act of considering that possibility automatically falsifies it.

    You seem to conflate looking at itself with looking at itself comprehensively and accurately.


    Quote Originally Posted by M_Gabriela
    We are the only living beings capable of self awareness
    This is incorrect. Several primates, some corvidae and other birds, elephants and probably other yet unidentified species are self aware. The notion that only humans are self aware was discarded decades ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Thanks for all that, John. That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true.
    The universe had no interest in what you do or do not find disappointing (yet). I do not know why you find it disappointing. From a handful of basic constants, four forces and some simple laws the universe has evolved from chaos, to a realm of order with self contemplating beings. If you find that disappointing afternoon TV must drive you crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I present no evidence of mind-body duality because I don't really know. I am asking for answers in posting here..
    In that case it is probably best to phrase questions as questions rather than assertions.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    And when I say 'science must be wrong' I merely mean to express my dissatisfaction with the wholly material explanation of mind/spirit/whatever it is.
    Again science and the way of the universe is wholly indifferent to your opinion. You really should work on getting used to that.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter?
    There is no convincing evidence for a puppeteer. (I had no need of that hypothesis - Pierre-Simon Laplace.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter? How can you know that?
    Lots of evidence for; very little evidence against.



    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If I am not being objective, then I am not being objective. I feel no obligation to be so.
    You are on a science forum. There is an implicit obligation to be objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I think you do know that mind is different from brain, you're just making a point.
    I most certainly do not know this. This concept was rejected by science some time ago (based on evidence). Some philosophers have not yet woken up to the importance of evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    A weak debating style? I was never debating. I am asking,
    Then to repeat my earlier point, if you are asking you should not make assertions. When you make assertions you are initiating a debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I think it is common knowledge what 'mind' and 'brain' are and what the difference is. I can't see that I am telling anyone how they think. Yes, it is remarkable that we are the universe looking at itself. I see you know your Alan Watts, but I don't see how it answers the question.
    It is not common knowledge. Well it may be common misinformation, held as opinion by some people, but it is wrong. And in asserting that this is how people think - in telling me that you think I do know the two are different, you are pretty much doing that which you deny.

    I have never heard of Alan Watts. Having now googled him I do not recognise any of his books, or anything about him. I pretty much stayed clear of the hippy interpretations of Buddhism in the sixties and seventies.

    Thank you for your comments on my well being. The stroke was a decade ago. The point is that my character changed as a direct result of a change in my brain. I only mentioned it because you seem to like the anecdotal. (Personally I find it rather unconvincing since it is equivalent to eye witness testimony. I accept it as the most likely explanation because of oodles of peer reviewed research on others.)
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism, whose cell types show considerably diversity and which generate, especially within the neurological system, emergent properties such as consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    In a metaphorical sense, yes. There is no convincing evidence to support mind-body duality. (If you think there is please do present it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.
    I don't like the Big Bang Theory. I think it lacks elegance. And I don't like some of its implications. So, science must be wrong.

    An opinion like that has no objective value. The universe is quite indifferent to your opinion. It is not science that says there is no more to it - the universe says there is nor more to it. Again, if you think there is, just present the evidence. Otherwise you are no better than a preacher on a street corner pushing his brand of salvation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    Yes, there is intelligence and self awareness. We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    We all understand that mind is different from brain,
    Then why did I change after my first stroke? Why did my mind not remain as it was? (And it is weak debating style to tell others how they think.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism.
    Thanks for all that, John. That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. I present no evidence of mind-body duality because I don't really know. I am asking for answers in posting here. And when I say 'science must be wrong' I merely mean to express my dissatisfaction with the wholly material explanation of mind/spirit/whatever it is. The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter? How can you know that? If I am not being objective, then I am not being objective. I feel no obligation to be so. I think you do know that mind is different from brain, you're just making a point. I don't really understand about your changing after your stroke, so I won't comment on that. I hope you are on the mend though. A weak debating style? I was never debating. I am asking, and yes, I think it is common knowledge what 'mind' and 'brain' are and what the difference is. I can't see that I am telling anyone how they think. Yes, it is remarkable that we are the universe looking at itself. I see you know your Alan Watts, but I don't see how it answers the question.
    Granted, there are aspects of consciousness that are not yet adequately explained, especially things like qualia, the "feeling" of what it is like to be something or experience something - the so-called"hard" problem of consciousness, which dualists claim will never be solved. But I would argue that the hard problem will be solved by chipping away at the easy problems. Every time people say neuroscientists will never be able to explain some aspect of learning or memory or perception or emotion, another study is published, another piece of the puzzle falls into place, without resorting to souls, spirits, or even minds.

    An alternate way to think of consciousness is that "consciousness is what brains do." Anti-materialists often say "Show me where a memory is in the brain, show me where a dream or a thought is in the brain." But one could just as easily say "Show me where walking is located in your legs, explain how a bird can fly if none of its individual cells can fly" Consciousness may be an emergent property, dependent on the arrangement and interaction of components. That, too, is, I think, the answer to your question about what makes a living thing so different from a dead thing. When those interactions stop, when the arrangement is irreparably and irreversibly changed, it stops being what it was, and doing what it did.
    Last edited by DianeG; September 22nd, 2014 at 08:28 PM.
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    flattened rat 甘肃人's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive? Are we spirits in a material world? Talk of bio-chemical electric reactions does not satisfy. There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong. I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there. We all understand that mind is different from brain, and that when we speak to someone we are not addressing the flesh, or even the brain, but something else. If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    Do you mean consciousness, or just any living thing?
    Any living thing. However, consciousness is an interesting question too, but it looks like there are two other new threads on it by newuser:
    If consciousness is a function of neurons ?
    Mind uploading ?
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism, whose cell types show considerably diversity and which generate, especially within the neurological system, emergent properties such as consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    In a metaphorical sense, yes. There is no convincing evidence to support mind-body duality. (If you think there is please do present it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.
    I don't like the Big Bang Theory. I think it lacks elegance. And I don't like some of its implications. So, science must be wrong.

    An opinion like that has no objective value. The universe is quite indifferent to your opinion. It is not science that says there is no more to it - the universe says there is nor more to it. Again, if you think there is, just present the evidence. Otherwise you are no better than a preacher on a street corner pushing his brand of salvation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    Yes, there is intelligence and self awareness. We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    We all understand that mind is different from brain,
    Then why did I change after my first stroke? Why did my mind not remain as it was? (And it is weak debating style to tell others how they think.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism.
    Thanks for all that, John. That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. I present no evidence of mind-body duality because I don't really know. I am asking for answers in posting here. And when I say 'science must be wrong' I merely mean to express my dissatisfaction with the wholly material explanation of mind/spirit/whatever it is. The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter? How can you know that? If I am not being objective, then I am not being objective. I feel no obligation to be so. I think you do know that mind is different from brain, you're just making a point. I don't really understand about your changing after your stroke, so I won't comment on that. I hope you are on the mend though. A weak debating style? I was never debating. I am asking, and yes, I think it is common knowledge what 'mind' and 'brain' are and what the difference is. I can't see that I am telling anyone how they think. Yes, it is remarkable that we are the universe looking at itself. I see you know your Alan Watts, but I don't see how it answers the question.
    Granted, there are aspects of consciousness that are not yet adequately explained, especially things like qualia, the "feeling" of what it is like to be something or experience something - the so-called"hard" problem of consciousness, which dualists claim will never be solved. But I would argue that the hard problem will be solved by chipping away at the easy problems. Every time people say neuroscientists will never be able to explain some aspect of learning or memory or perception or emotion, another study is published, another piece of the puzzle falls into place, without resorting to souls, spirits, or even minds.

    An alternate way to think of consciousness is that "consciousness is what brains do." Anti-materialists often say "Show me where a memory is in the brain, show me where a dream or a thought is in the brain." But one could just as easily say "Show me where walking is located in your legs, explain how a bird can fly if none of its individual cells can fly" Consciousness may be an emergent property, dependent on the arrangement and interaction of components. That too, is, I think the answer to your question about what makes a living thing so different from a dead thing. When those interactions stop, when the arrangement is irreparably and irreversibly changed, it stops being what it was, and doing what it did.
    Oh! I hadn't seen this when I replied earlier. This is very good! I understand this. I appreciated dan hunter's contributions but his resources made no sense to me. I still invite him to explain or post a mre layman accessible link. I thank you both, Diane and dan.
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    Can you get this one? http://arxiv.org/pdf/1401.1219v2.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Dead, but great hair.
    Actually, that's the most energetic I've ever seen Carroll in a photo.
    Personally, I've looked less alive than that and with worse hair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    ..... I appreciated dan hunter's contributions but his resources made no sense to me. I still invite him to explain or post a mre layman accessible link. I thank you both, Diane and dan.
    I don't know if I can really find an easy link that wouldn't cause just as much confusion by oversimplifying what Tegmark is trying to do.
    Maybe the arXive blog or a news article about it?
    Physicists Say Consciousness Might Be a State of Matter — NOVA Next | PBS

    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv...s-5e7ed624986d

    Like I said earlier, I think they are trying to find a way to model conciousness so they can ask testable questions about it. If you could model conciousness in a computer you would likely be very close to creating a true AI.
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    DianeG wrote:
    An alternate way to think of consciousness is that "consciousness is what brains do." Anti-materialists often say "Show me where a memory is in the brain, show me where a dream or a thought is in the brain." But one could just as easily say "Show me where walking is located in your legs, explain how a bird can fly if none of its individual cells can fly" Consciousness may be an emergent property, dependent on the arrangement and interaction of components. That too, is, I think the answer to your question about what makes a living thing so different from a dead thing. When those interactions stop, when the arrangement is irreparably and irreversibly changed, it stops being what it was, and doing what it did.
    Yes. I say again -Very good! And it also shows how mind and brain differ."Explain how a bird can fly if none of its individual cells can fly" is akin to where mind is located in the brain. None of the individual brain cells can think - mind or consciousness may be an emergent property, dependent on the arrangement and interaction of components.

    Dan, I thank you for your patience with me. I actually did understand these links:

    Physicists Say Consciousness Might Be a State of Matter — NOVA Next | PBS


    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv...s-5e7ed624986d

    I see what you mean of the dangers of oversimplification, but at least it's a pathway to getting the concept. I also noticed that scientists admit that they don't really know what consciousness is (yet), so any one who comes on here acting like they do know, I am going to regard with some suspicion.

    I see now that my original question should have been, What is consciousness?

    If it's not too late to change, can we concentrate on this question now, or ought I start a new thread?
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    It is OK, threads tend to morph anyhow.
    My answer to your new question is either I don't know, or I have to say things like being awake and aware.

    This guy Hofstadter has done a lot of work related to awareness and conciousness too, mostly because of his work on artificial intelligence.
    Douglas Hofstadter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As far as I am able to understand his writings he seems to relate conciousness and self-awareness to the idea of a "Strange Loop"
    Strange loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by dan hunter; September 23rd, 2014 at 09:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    It is OK, threads tend to morph anyhow.
    My answer to your new question is either I don't know, or I have to say things like being awake and aware.

    This guy Hofstadter has done a lot of work related to awareness and conciousness too, mostly because of his work on artificial intelligence.
    Douglas Hofstadter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As far as I am able to understand his writings he seems to relate conciousness and self-awareness to the idea of a "Strange Loop"
    Strange loop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    In addition to Hofstadter's Strange Loop, some books I've really enjoyed about consciousness that are very reader friendly, entertaining but based on research by credible neuroscientists are The Tell Tale Brain by VS Ramachandran, Who's in Charge by Michael S Gazzaniga, Self Comes to Mind by Antonio Damasio, and Ingognito - the Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman.

    Some other big names in the consciousness field are neuroscientists Patricia Churchland and Daniel Dennett, psychologist/economist Daniel Kahnemann, and philosopher David Chalmers.

    Even among neuroscientists you will find many different viewpoints. Hardcore materialists like Dennett and Churchland pretty much take the view that free will and even consciousness its self is an illusion, that we are biological machines - while others like Ramachandran or Gazziniga don't see any contradiction between biology/determinism and emergent concepts like the mind, free will or choice, qualia, etc.

    I've taught basic anatomy and physiology at a community college, but my knowledge of the brain was essentially anatomical - the central nervous system,peripheral nerves, neurotransmitters, the autonomic nervous system and things like "fight or flight", the senses and perception, and things related to neurological disorders or mental illness. But for some reason, I had never before delved into the topic of consciousness its self, from either a scientific or philosophical point of view. It all started with a discussion on another science forum that lasted over a year, involving about half a dozen very different individuals, which became very heated at times, even nasty, but also comical, and very enlightening. And it started with the very same question asked here - what is consciousness, how do you get from molecules and cells to thoughts, feelings and awareness, and the subjective but undeniable experience of "being?"

    In addition to being a fascinating topic from the standpoint of biology and human physiology, the reading I've done about consciousness has probably given me more insight into myself, other people, and human behavior, than anything else I've ever studied. It also has many applications to other areas like artificial intelligence, evolution, medicine, sociology, philosophy,ethics, game theory, economics, risk and decision making, even politics - almost anything I can think of. The topic of consciousness is by no means just navel gazing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    What is the thing in the body that makes it alive?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism, whose cell types show considerably diversity and which generate, especially within the neurological system, emergent properties such as consciousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Are we spirits in a material world?
    In a metaphorical sense, yes. There is no convincing evidence to support mind-body duality. (If you think there is please do present it.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    There must be more to it than that, and if science says there is not, science must be wrong.
    I don't like the Big Bang Theory. I think it lacks elegance. And I don't like some of its implications. So, science must be wrong.

    An opinion like that has no objective value. The universe is quite indifferent to your opinion. It is not science that says there is no more to it - the universe says there is nor more to it. Again, if you think there is, just present the evidence. Otherwise you are no better than a preacher on a street corner pushing his brand of salvation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    I don't insist on a soul, but there is something there.
    Yes, there is intelligence and self awareness. We are the universe looking at itself. That, surely is a remarkable thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    We all understand that mind is different from brain,
    Then why did I change after my first stroke? Why did my mind not remain as it was? (And it is weak debating style to tell others how they think.)


    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    If you see even a photo of a dead person it is quite plain that something is lacking. the What is that something?
    A finely balanced suite of biochemical reactions in a complex multicellular organism.
    Thanks for all that, John. That 'A finely balanced suite' stuff is very pretty, and it may be true, but it is rather disappointing if it is true. I present no evidence of mind-body duality because I don't really know. I am asking for answers in posting here. And when I say 'science must be wrong' I merely mean to express my dissatisfaction with the wholly material explanation of mind/spirit/whatever it is. The universe says there is no more to the meat puppet than electro-chemical reactions and no puppeter? How can you know that? If I am not being objective, then I am not being objective. I feel no obligation to be so. I think you do know that mind is different from brain, you're just making a point. I don't really understand about your changing after your stroke, so I won't comment on that. I hope you are on the mend though. A weak debating style? I was never debating. I am asking, and yes, I think it is common knowledge what 'mind' and 'brain' are and what the difference is. I can't see that I am telling anyone how they think. Yes, it is remarkable that we are the universe looking at itself. I see you know your Alan Watts, but I don't see how it answers the question.
    Granted, there are aspects of consciousness that are not yet adequately explained, especially things like qualia, the "feeling" of what it is like to be something or experience something - the so-called"hard" problem of consciousness, which dualists claim will never be solved. But I would argue that the hard problem will be solved by chipping away at the easy problems. Every time people say neuroscientists will never be able to explain some aspect of learning or memory or perception or emotion, another study is published, another piece of the puzzle falls into place, without resorting to souls, spirits, or even minds.

    An alternate way to think of consciousness is that "consciousness is what brains do." Anti-materialists often say "Show me where a memory is in the brain, show me where a dream or a thought is in the brain." But one could just as easily say "Show me where walking is located in your legs, explain how a bird can fly if none of its individual cells can fly" Consciousness may be an emergent property, dependent on the arrangement and interaction of components. That, too, is, I think, the answer to your question about what makes a living thing so different from a dead thing. When those interactions stop, when the arrangement is irreparably and irreversibly changed, it stops being what it was, and doing what it did.
    Diane, this is a very good contribution - pity likes are disabled. I like very much the concept of consciousness as the processing of the brain, rather than a thing.

    I think myself that the dualist way of looking at this may perhaps be seen as a model, useful in some ways from a practical point of view in helping Man makes sense of subjective experience and providing a base for his morality, but without necessarily being fundamentally true. We may eventually abandon it.
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    I remember in the original Body Snatchers film someone said the mind will some day understand everything but itself.

    P.S. Don't fall asleep near any large pods!
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Diane, this is a very good contribution - pity likes are disabled. I like very much the concept of consciousness as the processing of the brain, rather than a thing.

    I think myself that the dualist way of looking at this may perhaps be seen as a model, useful in some ways from a practical point of view in helping Man makes sense of subjective experience and providing a base for his morality, but without necessarily being fundamentally true. We may eventually abandon it.
    You can think of it as a model, but you can also think of "the mind" as an emergent property or higher level order. Emergent properties can be scientifically verifiable and measurable, and not simply airy-fairy. Since your name is exchemist, I'm sure you're already familiar with these things - brass has properties that neither tin or copper alone possess.

    Not all materialism is reductionist. You cannot derive the traffic patterns or accident rates of Los Angelos by taking apart an automobile and looking at the engine components or studying the cylinders and pistons, and the nuts and bolts and belts and hoses. Even though the movement of cars ultimately depends on those things, the answer you're looking for is found at a higher level of order. Statistics has a long history of studying higher order relationships, resulting even in equations that allow you to see connections or predict things that would seem highly unpredictable as individual events. One point on a graph is meaningless, a hundred or a thousand points tells a story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Diane, this is a very good contribution - pity likes are disabled. I like very much the concept of consciousness as the processing of the brain, rather than a thing.

    I think myself that the dualist way of looking at this may perhaps be seen as a model, useful in some ways from a practical point of view in helping Man makes sense of subjective experience and providing a base for his morality, but without necessarily being fundamentally true. We may eventually abandon it.
    You can think of it as a model, but you can also think of "the mind" it as an emergent property or higher level order. Emergent properties can be scientifically verifiable and measurable, and not simply airy-fairy. Since your name is exchemist, I'm sure you're already familiar with these things - brass has properties that neither tin or copper alone possess.

    Not all materialism is reductionist. You cannot derive the traffic patterns or accident rates of Los Angelos by taking apart an automobile and looking at the engine components or studying the cylinders and pistons, and the nuts and bolts and belts and hoses. Even though the movement of cars ultimately depends on those things, the answer you're looking for is found at a higher level of order. Statistics has a long history of studying higher order relationships, resulting even in equations that allow you to predict things that would seem highly unpredictable as individual events. One point on a graph is meaningless, a hundred or a thousand points tells a story.
    Yes that is a good way to look at it. Temperature and pressure are bulk properties emerging from underlying statistical processes at the molecular scale. Perhaps we can view mind and consciousness in a similar way. What we lack, however, is the analogue of statistical thermodynamics, to link one level to the other.
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    [QUOTE=John Galt;595195]
    Quote Originally Posted by 甘肃人 View Post
    Thanks for all that, John.

    You are on a science forum. There is an implicit obligation to be objective.

    There are many testimonies out there to view, from surgeons and medical scientists who have much to say on this subject. Their evidence, empirical evidence, suggests that the mechanics of life is based in consciousness, and that consciousness is not necessarily severed during physical death. Many people have lived through near-death experiences and recount remarkably similar stories after the event. The question in clarification may be, what is the energy which manifests as consciousness, and where is it located? Objectively, the answer may arise from any scientific quarter, but is most likely to root itself in physics, because the essential foundations of reality - ambiguous though some versions of reality may appear to be - are mapped by physical processes, and in issues such as this one, all that is necessary is for physics and metaphysics to accept each other's validity and begin to seriously - and objectively - ask questions of each other. For one half of the equation to refuse acknowledgement of the other is surely counter-productive.
    Last edited by Quantumologist; October 8th, 2017 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Quote line did not appear as I thought it would
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    There are many testimonies out there to view
    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    Their evidence, empirical evidence
    Um, empirical evidence? None so far that stands up to scrutiny.

    suggests that the mechanics of life is based in consciousness
    Nope.

    and that consciousness is not necessarily severed during physical death.
    Nope.

    Many people have lived through near-death experiences and recount remarkably similar stories after the event.
    Er, near death is not death. And there are more plausible explanations for the similarity of stories (e.g. human psychology).

    The question in clarification may be, what is the energy which manifests as consciousness
    A more fundamental question would be "IS there actually an 'energy' that 'manifests as consciousness'". (So far the answer appears to be "No").

    all that is necessary is for physics and metaphysics to accept each other's validity and begin to seriously - and objectively - ask questions of each other.
    Firstly one would expect that metaphysics shows itself as valid with regard to scientific claims. We can proceed from there...

    For one half of the equation to refuse acknowledgement of the other is surely counter-productive.
    So far metaphysics isn't "half of the equation".
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 8th, 2017 at 10:59 AM.
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    Our sex is decided in the 16th / 18th week of pregnancy.
    "Pardon me...but in religious scriptures it is written that the soul enters the body in the 4th month/16th week.
    Our sex determines whether we have a soul or not."
    Obviously soul has nothing to do with something other than our body.
    We are alive because of our body mechanisms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    Our sex is decided in the 16th / 18th week of pregnancy.
    "Pardon me...but in religious scriptures it is written that the soul enters the body in the 4th month/16th week.
    Our sex determines whether we have a soul or not."
    Obviously soul has nothing to do with something other than our body.
    We are alive because of our body mechanisms.
    Ummm, where does that come from?
    And how are you dealing with external genitalia does not make for gender?
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    How does it figure that your sex determines whether you have a soul or not?

    Oh, Chewee, if I have no soul, that explains everything......
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    "Pardon me...but in religious scriptures it is written that the soul enters the body in the 4th month/16th week.
    This is irrelevant.

    Our sex determines whether we have a soul or not."
    This is - so far as can be shown - nonsense.

    Obviously soul has nothing to do with something other than our body.
    Given the complete lack of evidence for a "soul" then you'd be more correct in saying "soul has nothing to do with anything, other than (unsupported) belief".
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    How does it figure that your sex determines whether you have a soul or not?

    Oh, Chewee, if I have no soul, that explains everything......
    I think we were talking about mind.
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    No, we were talking about soul, and there are many opinions on soul - right across the scientific community, there are more opinions on the nature of 'life' than jjust one, and the question of this thread is what makes the body alive. We have an EM field, and can possibly survive for longer without food than we can without sleep, and while we can't yet prove the existence of a soul, we can't prove it's not there, either. My bet is that this kind of discussion is going to stay amusing for a while https://www.huffingtonpost.com/cate-..._10112150.html and will give myself a brownie point for being able to spell Schroedinger without looking it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    and while we can't yet prove the existence of a soul, we can't prove it's not there
    There is no need to "prove it's not there".
    In exactly the same way there's no need to "prove" the non-existence of the giant planet-eating squirrel living on the "dark side" of the Moon.
    The onus of "proof"1 is on those making the claims of its existence.

    My bet is that this kind of discussion is going to stay amusing for a while https://www.huffingtonpost.com/cate-..._10112150.html
    Easily countered: brain damage (for one) will significantly change the "I". I.e. a physical change will alter the "person inside" - that's a definite argument that "soul" isn't distinct from the physicality.

    and will give myself a brownie point for being able to spell Schroedinger without looking it up.
    Close but no cigar: Schrödinger. (Although the diaeresis [umlaut] is actually a reduced and displaced "e" in this case).


    1 With regard to correct usage of words (in the other thread) "proof" doesn't apply to science - it's a mathematical thing only. The best we get is sufficient evidence as to make the conclusion certain beyond reasonable doubt. But there's always the get out clause (usually unspoken) that further evidence may invalidate that conclusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    No, we were talking about soul, and there are many opinions on soul - right across the scientific community, there are more opinions on the nature of 'life' than jjust one, and the question of this thread is what makes the body alive. We have an EM field, and can possibly survive for longer without food than we can without sleep, and while we can't yet prove the existence of a soul, we can't prove it's not there, either. My bet is that this kind of discussion is going to stay amusing for a while https://www.huffingtonpost.com/cate-..._10112150.html and will give myself a brownie point for being able to spell Schroedinger without looking it up.
    OK I meant the thread up to the point you came along.

    What is this about us having an EM field? Have you a reputable reference for that idea?

    P.S. I like "Erin Shrodinger". Very funny. He's even had a sex change, in that article.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    and while we can't yet prove the existence of a soul, we can't prove it's not there
    There is no need to "prove it's not there".
    In exactly the same way there's no need to "prove" the non-existence of the giant planet-eating squirrel living on the "dark side" of the Moon.
    The onus of "proof"1 is on those making the claims of its existence.

    My bet is that this kind of discussion is going to stay amusing for a while https://www.huffingtonpost.com/cate-..._10112150.html
    Easily countered: brain damage (for one) will significantly change the "I". I.e. a physical change will alter the "person inside" - that's a definite argument that "soul" isn't distinct from the physicality.

    and will give myself a brownie point for being able to spell Schroedinger without looking it up.
    Close but no cigar: Schrödinger. (Although the diaeresis [umlaut] is actually a reduced and displaced "e" in this case).


    1 With regard to correct usage of words (in the other thread) "proof" doesn't apply to science - it's a mathematical thing only. The best we get is sufficient evidence as to make the conclusion certain beyond reasonable doubt. But there's always the get out clause (usually unspoken) that further evidence may invalidate that conclusion.
    I find you harsh on the spelling of Schroedinger [sic]. My understanding is that spelling it like that is quite acceptable when no umlaut is available.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I find you harsh on the spelling of Schroedinger [sic]. My understanding is that spelling it like that is quite acceptable when no umlaut is available.
    What can I say?
    The guy's name is (linguistically) German and that's how the Germans (Austrians) spell it. (And I always have spare umlauts with me).
    I am, after all, the guy who wrote to Leeds Armouries to tell them that their label on the Russian rotary machine gun was incorrect: they had YKB 12.7 mm and it should have been YaKB-12.7 (there is no Russian letter "y" but they DO have the letter "ya" and the name is derived from the designers Yakushev and Borzov). They STILL hadn't corrected two years later when I visited, although prior to that I did get a letter thanking me for my input.
    FYI it IS designated YaKB in all Western publications...
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    I don't have any umlauts. Does that make me a lesser being?

    I don't visit armouries. Does that mean I might qualify as having a soul?

    Would rather be a lesser being with a soul, than a greater being who doesn't have one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    I don't have any umlauts.
    One simple solution is to cut and paste the "correct" spelling from elsewhere and then add it your spell checker's dictionary. Any subsequent use merely involves approximating the spelling and accepting the spell checker's recommendation.
    Of course, as exchemist pointed out, "spelling it like that is quite acceptable when no umlaut is available".
    I do (personally) however draw the line at "Schrodinger" that doesn't even come close to the pronunciation.
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I find you harsh on the spelling of Schroedinger [sic]. My understanding is that spelling it like that is quite acceptable when no umlaut is available.
    What can I say?
    The guy's name is (linguistically) German and that's how the Germans (Austrians) spell it. (And I always have spare umlauts with me).
    I am, after all, the guy who wrote to Leeds Armouries to tell them that their label on the Russian rotary machine gun was incorrect: they had YKB 12.7 mm and it should have been YaKB-12.7 (there is no Russian letter "y" but they DO have the letter "ya" and the name is derived from the designers Yakushev and Borzov). They STILL hadn't corrected two years later when I visited, although prior to that I did get a letter thanking me for my input.
    FYI it IS designated YaKB in all Western publications...
    Aha so you are worthy holder of the Nobel prize for pedantic githood, then. I salute you.
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    Last edited by Ged Mannix; October 11th, 2017 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Posted Twice in error
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged Mannix View Post
    Hello flattened rat Good to meet you.
    He hasn't posted for over a year.

    You could reflect on a question: Is there a body
    What, specifically, does this question mean? (Given that the usual definition of "human body" doesn't allow any answer other than "Of course there is").

    Yes I am referring to the human body. Perhaps if we find it's location
    Er, what?
    I know exactly where my body is located...
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    Your response to this (and my reply) have been moved to the thread you started (for continuity of YOUR premise).
    Located
    here.
    (On the premise that the same discussion spread over 2 different threads is going to get confusing).
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    The guy's name is (linguistically) German and that's how the Germans (Austrians) spell it. (And I always have spare umlauts with me).
    You encouraged me to look up the rules for this in German orthography. I had always assumed that ü and ue (etc.) were interchangeable. But, for very good reasons, the ue substitution is strongly discouraged unless unavoidable. I do a lot of work with German clients, so thanks for the prompt! (I have also looked up how to get the umlauted characters on the keyboard.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Thank you Dyw.......I really appreciate that and it would have been confusing. I think I pressed reply twice. Something like that.
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    That's wonderful, Dyw acting beneficially. So natural.
    This is actually a reply to #52 but it seems replies become "Last reply" and are not insert-able . Is that always the case?
    Last edited by Ged Mannix; October 12th, 2017 at 03:53 AM. Reason: I thought my reply would be attached to the comment further up the thread so that the person would know
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    You encouraged me to look up the rules for this in German orthography. I had always assumed that ü and ue (etc.) were interchangeable. But, for very good reasons, the ue substitution is strongly discouraged unless unavoidable. I do a lot of work with German clients, so thanks for the prompt! (I have also looked up how to get the umlauted characters on the keyboard.)
    [/QUOTE]

    A beneficial act by Dyw
    Last edited by Ged Mannix; October 12th, 2017 at 04:10 AM. Reason: To re-do with quotes wrap
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    WHAT? Why can't I have one of those? (Stomps petulantly) Oh, okay. Strange got it. I take that back.

    We might think we know where our body is, but if the mind and the body are not located in the same place (I'd use the word 'dimension' here but we know what would happen then) how can we be sure - given the Uncertainty Principle - where we are at all at any given time?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    how can we be sure - given the Uncertainty Principle - where we are at all at any given time?
    The uncertainty principle is not relevant to macroscopic objects.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    WHAT? Why can't I have one of those? (Stomps petulantly) Oh, okay. Strange got it. I take that back.

    We might think we know where our body is, but if the mind and the body are not located in the same place (I'd use the word 'dimension' here but we know what would happen then) how can we be sure - given the Uncertainty Principle - where we are at all at any given time?
    As Strange points out, this is a misunderstanding of the Uncertainty Principle. The amount of uncertainty is so small that it is utterly negligible on the macroscopic scale. The product of the uncertainties (std. deviations) in position and momentum is of the order of h/2π, where h is Planck's constant, ~ 6.6 x 10⁻³⁴ J sec. This is important for something on the scale of a subatomic particle, but not for a human body with a mass of several tens of kilos.

    Let's not indulge in Quantum Woo here!
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    If we have self awareness it means we may have a body outside our physical self. We exist somewhere between our physical self and our aural boundary(if there is one).
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    If we have self awareness it means we may have a body outside our physical self.
    Please explain the reasoning behind this statement.

    We exist somewhere between our physical self and our aural boundary(if there is one).
    Whut? WTF is an "aural boundary"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    If we have self awareness it means we may have a body outside our physical self.
    Why do you think that? The second statement has no connection to the first.
    We exist somewhere between our physical self and our aural boundary(if there is one).
    There isn't, so we don't...
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    If we have self awareness it means we may have a body outside our physical self. We exist somewhere between our physical self and our aural boundary(if there is one).
    Hello para, you seem to be implying that the body outside is aware of the physical body and that gives the sense of self-awareness? Is that close to what you meant?
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    Quote Originally Posted by parag29 View Post
    If we have self awareness it means we may have a body outside our physical self. We exist somewhere between our physical self and our aural boundary(if there is one).
    Self awareness comes from within, not without.

    Do you mean ''aura?''
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    If being alive is as simple as having "all the right cells in all the right places", then how do we explain people who die with no apparent reason, who, by all our measures, is physically capable of life? Let's take two identical patients, both in need of a heart transplant. We give one a successful transplant and they live, and on the other specimen, we wait until they die, then replace the heart. These two are physically similar, but no matter how much we pump the blood and stimulate the neural paths, specimen 2 no longer "Lives". Why?
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    Well if you freeze somebody and are able to thaw them out successfully without any damage at all would you not say they were dead in the intervening period?

    Similarly, if someone were killed in an explosion and put back together it is in principle possible to restore them to life.

    In practice it would probably always be impossible.Maybe with simple organisms...I can't say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Summer View Post
    If being alive is as simple as having "all the right cells in all the right places", then how do we explain people who die with no apparent reason, who, by all our measures, is physically capable of life?
    Because the processes aren't taking place.
    What's the difference between a computer with the power switched on and one with the power switched off? All the "right cells" in all the right places in both cases but one is "dead". (That analogy, of course, only goes so far since we can revive a "dead" computer...)
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    This from the Thayer School of Engineering refers to phenomena that might be useful in this context:
    https://engineering.dartmouth.edu/ev...he-human-body/

    It is important to stress what constitutes personal belief here. My personal belief tends towards the existence of mind outside the confines of the physical brain, but I also believe that scientists will find the link eventually, and that questions of consciousness and life force will be answered by progressions in physics.
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    My personal belief tends towards the existence of mind outside the confines of the physical brain
    Um (not that it's unexpected that you hold this view) why do you believe this? What makes you think so?

    life force
    Life force?
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    All the bodily processes basically come down to the brain. It's the brain that suffers from heart failure, suffocation, cancer, etc. It comes down to the fact that when the brain shuts down, we have no way of fixing it.
    I guess we will never know until we have the technology to fully "power on" a human brain like a computer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Summer View Post
    If being alive is as simple as having "all the right cells in all the right places", then how do we explain people who die with no apparent reason, who, by all our measures, is physically capable of life? Let's take two identical patients, both in need of a heart transplant. We give one a successful transplant and they live, and on the other specimen, we wait until they die, then replace the heart. These two are physically similar, but no matter how much we pump the blood and stimulate the neural paths, specimen 2 no longer "Lives". Why?
    Biochemistry.

    As Dywyddyr says, life involves a continuous series of processes - biochemical reactions - continuing throughout all the cells in the body. Deprived of oxygen for even a short while, some of the critical processes, particularly in the brain, cease. Irreversible chemical changes then rapidly occur, which prevent the successful restarting of these processes. Kaput.

    And that is why we will never be able to "power on" the brain. Once it is damaged, you have wrecked the biochemistry at the level of every individual cell.
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    But how hard can it be to replicate such a process in a small organism, like the supposed "first animals". Those were pretty simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Summer View Post
    All the bodily processes basically come down to the brain.
    Nah.

    It's the brain that suffers from heart failure, suffocation, cancer, etc. It comes down to the fact that when the brain shuts down, we have no way of fixing it.
    I guess we will never know until we have the technology to fully "power on" a human brain like a computer.
    Sure, in the event of a heart attack or whatever, the brain suffers (lack of blood flow, lack of oxygen) and the personality dies. But a brain isn't particularly a requirement for "being alive"1.

    1 Insert politician/ flat-Earther joke here to suit tastes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    My personal belief tends towards the existence of mind outside the confines of the physical brain
    Um (not that it's unexpected that you hold this view) why do you believe this? What makes you think so?

    life force
    Life force?
    Whilst citing merely another person's view, this article https://qz.com/866352/scientists-say...ven-your-body/ is about the research of Dan Seigel, a professor of psychiatry, and contains the following text:
    The definition has since been supported by research across the sciences, but much of the original idea came from mathematics. Siegel realized the mind meets the mathematical definition of a complex system in that it’s open (can influence things outside itself), chaos capable (which simply means it’s roughly randomly distributed), and non-linear (which means a small input leads to large and difficult to predict result).

    This study: Scientists Unlock The Mystery Of Out-of-Body Experiences – Collective Evolution
    centres on the experience of mind placement outside the body, and contains the following text:

    "...scientists continue to speculate that these types of experiences are hallucinations triggers by a neurological mechanism and the scientists of this study believe there are others out there who can do this at will. On the other side of the coin, and in line with my own understanding, people believe that these experiences are in fact real projections of their consciousness outside of their body. Much like the experiments done by the CIA involving remote viewing, where Ingo Swann, the test subject, was able to remote view specific rings around Jupiter before NASA’s Pioneer 10 Spacecraft flew by it. He was also able to remote view bases on the moon, according to his book, but at that point the project was shut down."

    There is much speculation in these areas, but certainly governments have invested in remote viewing projects (e.g. the StarGate project in the USA), which would be unlikely were there no likelihood of such projects bearing fruit. The fact that they appear to do so is, in my opinion, evidence for at the very least a non-local capability of the mind, if not the capability to actually disconnect from the confines of the brain. Since my view holds dear that physics, most specifically quantum physics, has answers within it which would unlock some of the deepest mysteries in these fields, I am hopeful that scientists working on matters of the quantum mechanical nature can and will openly and enthusiastically collaborate with those working on the mechanics of human senses and capability. I am also convinced that such collaboration would significantly contribute to the challenges of mental health sweeping through all sectors of society, problems to which solutions are urgently required and which can only be fully adopted if they are based on information the public can readily translate for themselves.

    Life force is a term (probably woo) commonly used to describe the energy (probably electromagnetic) which maintains a living organism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    My personal belief tends towards the existence of mind outside the confines of the physical brain
    Um (not that it's unexpected that you hold this view) why do you believe this? What makes you think so?

    life force
    Life force?
    Whilst citing merely another person's view, this article https://qz.com/866352/scientists-say...ven-your-body/ is about the research of Dan Seigel, a professor of psychiatry, and contains the following text:

    "The definition has since been supported by research across the sciences, but much of the original idea came from mathematics. Siegel realized the mind meets the mathematical definition of a complex system in that it’s open (can influence things outside itself), chaos capable (which simply means it’s roughly randomly distributed), and non-linear (which means a small input leads to large and difficult to predict result)."

    This study: Scientists Unlock The Mystery Of Out-of-Body Experiences – Collective Evolution
    centres on the experience of mind placement outside the body, and contains the following text:

    "...scientists continue to speculate that these types of experiences are hallucinations triggers by a neurological mechanism and the scientists of this study believe there are others out there who can do this at will. On the other side of the coin, and in line with my own understanding, people believe that these experiences are in fact real projections of their consciousness outside of their body. Much like the experiments done by the CIA involving remote viewing, where Ingo Swann, the test subject, was able to remote view specific rings around Jupiter before NASA’s Pioneer 10 Spacecraft flew by it. He was also able to remote view bases on the moon, according to his book, but at that point the project was shut down."

    There is much speculation in these areas, but certainly governments have invested in remote viewing projects (e.g. the StarGate project in the USA), which would be unlikely were there no likelihood of such projects bearing fruit. The fact that they appear to do so is, in my opinion, evidence for at the very least a non-local capability of the mind, if not the capability of the mind to actually disconnect from the confines of the brain. Since my view holds dear that physics, most specifically quantum physics, has answers within it which would unlock some of the deepest mysteries in these fields, I am hopeful that scientists working on matters of the quantum mechanical nature can and will openly and enthusiastically collaborate with those working on the mechanics of human senses and capability. I am also convinced that such collaboration would significantly contribute to the challenges of mental health sweeping through all sectors of society, problems to which solutions are urgently required and which can only be fully adopted if they are based on information the public can readily translate for themselves.

    Life force is a term (probably woo) commonly used to describe the energy (probably electromagnetic) which maintains a living organism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    Whilst citing merely another person's view, this article https://qz.com/866352/scientists-say...ven-your-body/ is about the research of Dan Seigel, a professor of psychiatry, and contains the following text:

    "The definition has since been supported by research across the sciences, but much of the original idea came from mathematics. Siegel realized the mind meets the mathematical definition of a complex system in that it’s open (can influence things outside itself), chaos capable (which simply means it’s roughly randomly distributed), and non-linear (which means a small input leads to large and difficult to predict result)."

    That's a claim made in a (popularising) book - not a scientific paper (and the quote you gave is wrong/ misleading with regard to what open means AND with regard to what choas capale means: i.e. it's "fluff" rather than science, intended to draw in potential purchasers of the book).
    The site linked to doesn't appear to be anything more than a "push it out as fast as possible" "news" feed (i.e. no guarantee of scientific rectitude), likewise Siegel himself runs an "institute" that he freely admits promotes (and sells - don't ignore the business aspect) stuff that is "based on science but is not constrained by science". (It's also suspicious when the founder of such an "institute" also has to note that he's a "pioneer" in a field that no one's ever heard of").
    All of this indicates that (potentially) the woo factor is high.

    This study: Scientists Unlock The Mystery Of Out-of-Body Experiences – Collective Evolution
    centres on the experience of mind placement outside the body, and contains the following text:

    "...scientists continue to speculate that these types of experiences are hallucinations triggers by a neurological mechanism and the scientists of this study believe there are others out there who can do this at will. On the other side of the coin, and in line with my own understanding, people believe that these experiences are in fact real projections of their consciousness outside of their body. Much like the experiments done by the CIA involving remote viewing, where Ingo Swann, the test subject, was able to remote view specific rings around Jupiter before NASA’s Pioneer 10 Spacecraft flew by it. He was also able to remote view bases on the moon, according to his book, but at that point the project was shut down."

    Ah...
    1) the website linked to is deeply woo-based.
    2) those "studies" were shown to be deeply flawed in execution AND highly subject to biased interpretation. In short there are NO studies that reliably show that "out of body" experiences are genuine.

    There is much speculation in these areas, but certainly governments have invested in remote viewing projects (e.g. the StarGate project in the USA), which would be unlikely were there no likelihood of such projects bearing fruit.
    1) They were conducted because it was reported at the time that the Soviet Union was doing such studies and the US invested in them in case there was any truth to the claims and in the hope that if there was then they wouldn't be left behind in the"psychic arms race". There's a difference between expecting a payoff and hoping for one.
    2) The project produced no valid results1 and was shut down in its entirety before the turn of the century (by which time they were down to only 3 personnel out a maximum of 22 at the peak of the project).

    Life force is a term (probably woo) commonly used to describe the energy (probably electromagnetic) which maintains a living organism.

    Exactly: a woo term with zero supporting evidence for its existence.

    1 Despite a flawed methodology AND biased experimenters.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 14th, 2017 at 05:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Summer View Post
    But how hard can it be to replicate such a process in a small organism, like the supposed "first animals". Those were pretty simple.
    The biochemistry of even the simplest single-celled organism is fiendishly complex. You may perhaps know that we have 50% of our DNA in common with a banana. Well, that is because a great deal of the biochemistry that has to replicated for a new banana plant is the same as for a human embryo. You don't get that much of a radical simplification in biochemistry just by going back to a single-celled organism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Summer View Post
    But how hard can it be to replicate such a process in a small organism, like the supposed "first animals". Those were pretty simple.
    The biochemistry of even the simplest single-celled organism is fiendishly complex. You may perhaps know that we have 50% of our DNA in common with a banana. Well, that is because a great deal of the biochemistry that has to replicated for a new banana plant is the same as for a human embryo. You don't get that much of a radical simplification in biochemistry just by going back to a single-celled organism.
    Very interesting.
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    We cannot force parameters, constraints or demands for evidence down people's throats in an effort to stop them thinking, questing and taking part in discussion. This is the problem with political tendency at the moment, and has probably been guilty of quashing all kinds of advances which could have been swiftly made were it not for a hard-line resistance movement.

    Science is not politics, it is a subject of study. It is not a religion, it's an evolving system of enquiry, belief, experiment and theory which has to include ALL these parts of the process in order to further itself. Science does not stand still, and those who demand that it must do so until the next piece of evidence comes to pass are themselves sibilating on the early parts of the process, and gunning down the student who, in the line of their enquiry, seeks to determine a truth (for their own purposes, perhaps, for there are many people holding a belief system whether or not Chewie has one) about the nature of life, and the workings of mind and body as yet remaining beyond interpretation.

    Because a study does not fall within personally desirable parameters does not mean that the study does not exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post


    Life force is a term (probably woo) commonly used to describe the energy (probably electromagnetic) which maintains a living organism.
    This is second time you have made claims about an electromagnetic energy or field associated with life. I have already asked you what evidence you have for this claim (post 42 on this thread), without response so far. I really think you need now either to produce evidence for it, or desist from propagating what appears to be nonsense.

    You should be aware that unscientific use of the term "energy" is a notorious practice of woo merchants. Energy has a meaning in science and that meaning needs to be respected by anyone hoping to be taken seriously.
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  80. #79  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    We cannot force parameters, constraints or demands for evidence down people's throats in an effort to stop them thinking, questing and taking part in discussion. This is the problem with political tendency at the moment, and has probably been guilty of quashing all kinds of advances which could have been swiftly made were it not for a hard-line resistance movement.

    Science is not politics, it is a subject of study. It is not a religion, it's an evolving system of enquiry, belief, experiment and theory which has to include ALL these parts of the process in order to further itself. Science does not stand still, and those who demand that it must do so until the next piece of evidence comes to pass are themselves sibilating on the early parts of the process, and gunning down the student who, in the line of their enquiry, seeks to determine a truth (for their own purposes, perhaps, for there are many people holding a belief system whether or not Chewie has one) about the nature of life, and the workings of mind and body as yet remaining beyond interpretation.

    Because a study does not fall within personally desirable parameters does not mean that the study does not exist.
    You don't mean parameters. From the context, you mean boundaries. Perimeters, perhaps?

    As for your assertion here, I go back to my previous suggestion that a thread on what science is, and what it is not, might be useful for you. You seem unaware that the discipline of science follows certain principles, deviation from which means you are not doing science but something else. It is vital to distinguish science from non-science. If you do not, everybody wastes their time, either talking at cross-purposes at best or, at worst, floundering around in a morass of half-baked nonsense. The ability to make this distinction was a hard-won gain at the Renaissance, when science started to emerge as something distinct from religion, philosophy, metaphysics and superstition.

    So, yes we can and do impose boundaries, not to stop people thinking, as you rather foolishly and tendentiously put it, but to tell them when they are doing science and when they aren't. This line about "freedom to think" can be used by unscrupulous people as a justification for some of the utter rubbish people spout about energy, EM fields, auras, vibrations man, and crystals-and-sh1t generally.
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  81. #80  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    We cannot force parameters, constraints or demands for evidence down people's throats in an effort to stop them thinking, questing and taking part in discussion.
    Correct. But we CAN insist that - on a science forum - people at least try to be scientific.

    Science is not politics, it is a subject of study.
    Nope.
    Like you said:
    it's an evolving system [my emphasis] of enquiry, belief [this part not so much], experiment and theory
    are themselves sibilating on the early parts of the process
    Sibilating? Whut?

    and gunning down the student who, in the line of their enquiry, seeks to determine a truth (for their own purposes, perhaps, for there are many people holding a belief system whether or not Chewie has one) about the nature of life, and the workings of mind and body as yet remaining beyond interpretation.
    1) Science doesn't do, and isn't particularly interested in, "truth".
    2) Science is certainly not interested in confirming beliefs.
    3) With regard to "for their own purposes":

    Because a study does not fall within personally desirable parameters does not mean that the study does not exist.
    On the other hand - if that "study" hasn't followed the scientific method then it's not a scientific study and the "results" (whatever they may be) are not acceptable to science.
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    Forum Freshman Quantumologist's Avatar
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    Science isn't interested in truth? What's all this about evidence then?
    Not interested in confirming beliefs? Really?
    We'll take free will into account then, huh? Or perhaps not?
    I think we're all interested in sticking to scientific subjects. Where those discussions take us comes back down to free will, surely?
    Unless we don't have any, of course, and I'm sitting on the fence with that one.
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  83. #82  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    Science isn't interested in truth? What's all this about evidence then?
    It is about testing models to see if they accurately describe the world around us. Those models are not (necessarily) "truth". (Some philosophers will argue that they cannot possibly be true.)

    Not interested in confirming beliefs? Really?
    No. It confirms (or disproves) models hypotheses. It doesn't; matter whether anyone believes or disbelieves in those hypotheses.

    We'll take free will into account then, huh? Or perhaps not?
    The existence of free will or otherwise is irrelevant to science. (In fact, the existence of reality is irrelevant to science!)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  84. #83  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    Science isn't interested in truth? What's all this about evidence then?
    Science doesn't bother about, nor look for, "truth" - it looks for what works (and what can be shown).

    Not interested in confirming beliefs? Really?
    Yes. Really.

    We'll take free will into account then, huh? Or perhaps not?
    I have no idea what your point - if there is one - is.

    I think we're all interested in sticking to scientific subjects. Where those discussions take us comes back down to free will, surely?
    Where does "free will" come into particle physics? Kinematics? Where does it come into the topic of this thread?
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 15th, 2017 at 06:16 PM.
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  85. #84  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Science is interested in evidence and what it tells or suggests. "Truth" is not something science lays claim over, but is something that is often used as a tool by people trying to one up others.


    All scientific discussions come down to free will? So discussion of wheather Archaeopteryx is a stem avian leading directly to modern avians, or rather a outgroup emember of theropoda that dead ends, leads to free will how Exactly??
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  86. #85  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantumologist View Post
    Science isn't interested in truth? What's all this about evidence then?
    Not interested in confirming beliefs? Really?
    We'll take free will into account then, huh? Or perhaps not?
    I think we're all interested in sticking to scientific subjects. Where those discussions take us comes back down to free will, surely?
    Unless we don't have any, of course, and I'm sitting on the fence with that one.
    This reconfirms you do indeed have some basic misunderstandings about the nature of science. "Truth" is a slippery concept outside the confines of logic and mathematics. For example, are Newton's Laws of motion "true" or "false"? For several hundred years they did very well, but we now find they break down at speeds that are a significant fraction of the speed of light, and at the atomic scale. But engineers and scientists continue to use Newton's system all the time, for the vast majority of physical problems, with excellent results. Is the Valence Bond theory of chemical bonding "true" or "False". If it is true, what about the alternative molecular orbital theory? If it is false, why do we still find it useful?

    So you see, "truth" is not the point. To give you another literary quotation, " "What is truth?", said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer."

    No theory in science can ever be proved. This is because science is always open to the possibility that further observation will show it to be wrong or incomplete. It is sometimes said that in science all "truth" is only provisional.

    Theories in science are predictive models of physical reality. Models. No more than that. Although with the highly successful ones we do tend to treat them as reality on a day to day basis, the good scientist is always aware, at the back of his or her mind, that they are just the best models we have, for the time being.

    Free will seems to be a total non-sequitur in this. You will have to explain what you think free will has to do with anything we have been talking about.
    Last edited by exchemist; October 16th, 2017 at 06:51 AM.
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  87. #86  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    This reconfirms you do indeed have some basic misunderstandings about the nature of science. "Truth" is a slippery concept outside the confines of logic and mathematics. For example, are Newton's Laws of motion "true" or "false"? For several hundred years they did very well, but we now find they break down at speeds that are a significant fraction of the speed of light, and at the atomic scale. But engineers and scientists continue to use Newton's system all the time, for the vast majority of physical problems, with excellent results. Is the Valence Bond theory of chemical bonding "true" or "False". If it is true, what about the alternative molecular orbital theory? If it is false, why do we still find it useful?

    So you see, "truth" is not the point. To give you another literary quotation, " "What is truth?", said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer."

    No theory in science can ever be proved. This is because is always open to the possibility that further observation will show it to be wrong or incomplete. It is sometimes said that in science all "truth" is only provisional.

    Theories in science and predictive models of physical reality. Models. No more than that. Although with the highly successful ones we do tend to treat them as reality on a day to day basis, the good scientist is always aware, at the back of his or her mind, that they are just the best models we have, for the time being.

    Free will seems to be a total non-sequitur in this. You will have to explain what you think free will has to do with anything we have been talking about.
    As well I did not post as you have explained it well."Truth" is used in different ways as in "the truth will set you free" where we are perhaps allowed to practically treat it as a tangible idea akin to a physical destination of the mind.

    As you say,scientific endeavours cannot have anything reliable to say on fuzzy(but useful) concepts like that but those who do not share the scientific ethos will heap this responsibility on its shoulders either as a way of discrediting its genuine achievements or to tag a ride on its coat tails and gain credit in that way.

    (Un)fortunately the scientific method cannot be patented and indeed is even likely itself to change over time.
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    This reconfirms you do indeed have some basic misunderstandings about the nature of science. "Truth" is a slippery concept outside the confines of logic and mathematics. For example, are Newton's Laws of motion "true" or "false"? For several hundred years they did very well, but we now find they break down at speeds that are a significant fraction of the speed of light, and at the atomic scale. But engineers and scientists continue to use Newton's system all the time, for the vast majority of physical problems, with excellent results. Is the Valence Bond theory of chemical bonding "true" or "False". If it is true, what about the alternative molecular orbital theory? If it is false, why do we still find it useful?

    So you see, "truth" is not the point. To give you another literary quotation, " "What is truth?", said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer."

    No theory in science can ever be proved. This is because is always open to the possibility that further observation will show it to be wrong or incomplete. It is sometimes said that in science all "truth" is only provisional.

    Theories in science and predictive models of physical reality. Models. No more than that. Although with the highly successful ones we do tend to treat them as reality on a day to day basis, the good scientist is always aware, at the back of his or her mind, that they are just the best models we have, for the time being.

    Free will seems to be a total non-sequitur in this. You will have to explain what you think free will has to do with anything we have been talking about.
    As well I did not post as you have explained it well."Truth" is used in different ways as in "the truth will set you free" where we are perhaps allowed to practically treat it as a tangible idea akin to a physical destination of the mind.

    As you say,scientific endeavours cannot have anything reliable to say on fuzzy(but useful) concepts like that but those who do not share the scientific ethos will heap this responsibility on its shoulders either as a way of discrediting its genuine achievements or to tag a ride on its coat tails and gain credit in that way.

    (Un)fortunately the scientific method cannot be patented and indeed is even likely itself to change over time.
    The so-called "scientific method" is a bit of a myth, in my view, though I have been led to believe it is often taught, esp. in some American schools, as holy gospel. There are certain principles, notably Popper's idea that theories must be in principle falsifiable by observation and that observations must be reproducible (different labs, different operators, preferably different experimental approaches) in order to be as sure as we can that they are objective rather than subjective. But I think that is about it. Sometimes the observations comes first and then the theory, sometimes the theory (or hypothesis) comes first and then the supporting observations. People sometimes waffle on about deductive vs. inductive reasoning and so on, but either is fine. And in real life, rival theories and observations often contend for many years before a consensus in a new area arises. As with any collective human pursuit, it is not a simple linear process.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    A number of posts (and their response) have been moved - now here.
    Ged: do NOT post in any of the hard science sub fora, or (since you can't be bothered with - or are incapable of - following the rules) any more.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  90. #89  
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    ok, thanks Dywyddyr
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