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Author Topic:   Man raised back to life in Jesus' name
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8838
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 226 of 300 (277102)
01-08-2006 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 225 by nator
01-08-2006 9:42 AM


Experts
But how many neuroscientists would disagree?

Who cares? What are the reasons they disagree is what counts; whatever their expertise.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 225 by nator, posted 01-08-2006 9:42 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 227 of 300 (277103)
01-08-2006 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 213 by Ben!
01-08-2006 1:01 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
quote:
Ugh, you're going to make me go try and dig up those "home experiments" where you modify your perception of the extent of your body to include parts of your desk, or a fake rubber hand, and thus are able to FEEL touches to parts of your body as emanating from those inanimate objects.

I've done the rubber hand one.

It works. It's VERY wierd.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Ben!, posted 01-08-2006 1:01 AM Ben! has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 228 of 300 (277106)
01-08-2006 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 226 by NosyNed
01-08-2006 9:47 AM


Re: Experts
Doctors as a group, including neurologists, are pretty notorious among scientists for often being quite unscientific in their thinking. (MD/PhD's excluded)

In the same way I would be more apt to pay heed to what a neurologist has to say about brains compared to what a naturopath has to say, I am more interested in what a neuroscientist has to say about brains than a neurologist.


This message is a reply to:
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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4624 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 229 of 300 (277108)
01-08-2006 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by nator
01-08-2006 9:33 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
Soul: a human consciousness that can exist independantly of its own brain.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 01-08-2006 10:19 AM


This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 230 of 300 (277111)
01-08-2006 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 215 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 2:54 AM


Mind and matter
It seems to me that you're basically conclusing that mind (or consciousness) is a function of matter -- matter that has attained a certain degree of organization.

That wouldn't be my preferred choice of words, but I basically agree with that.

If so, some neurosurgurians in the field has concluded otherwise.

I would look to neuroscientists, rather than neurosurgeons.

For example, Wilder Penfield actually changed his mind on this very topic based on his own investigations into neurological connections. Penfield is actually considerd the father of modern neurosurgury -- and he, like you, actually started off with the idea that consciousness somehow emanated from the neural activities of the brain.

My own view is that you cannot confine consciousness to be due to the brain. I believe it takes a whole person, and a brain by itself (say a brain in a vat) is not sufficient.

Lee Edward Travis writes:

Penfield would stimulate electrically the proper motor cortx of conscious patients and challenge them to keep one hand from moving when current was applied. The patient would seize his hand with the other hand and struggle to hold it still. Thus one hand under the control of the eletrical current and the other hand under the control of the patient's mind fought against each other.

There is positive evidence that consciousness and the self are not merely a physical process of the brain. We have experimental data where people's brains are electrically stimulatd in order to cause them to move their arms or legs, turn their heads or eyes, talk or swallow. And invariably the patient (each one) would respond by saying something like, "I didn't do that. You did."


I'm not sure what conclusions you are drawing from that. The brain is complex, and the way behavior is generated and controlled is complex. I don't see this as giving any evidence against materialism.

In other words, the patient clearly thinks of himself as having an existence separate from his body. In fact, no matter how far Penfield probed the cerebral cortex, there was no place that he could find where an eletrical stimulation of the brain would cause a patient to "believe" or "decide".

I think the general view is that belief is not a matter of electrical signal, but has to do with the structural organization of the brain. Electrical stimulation could not easily create beliefs. Changes in neural structure would be needed for that.

Decision might be electrical, but it won't be the kind of simple electrical signal that can be generated by probes.

Another study showed a delay between the time an eletric shock was applied to the skin, its reaching the cerebral cortx, and the self conscious perception of it by the person. This too suggests that "the self" is more than just a machine that simply "reacts" to stimuli as it receives them.

Some people have jumped to conclusions as a result of studies of timing differences. But I think those conclusions are premature.

Think about dreaming itself.

How exactly do researchers know that there are a certain eye movements when people are dreaming?


They observe and measure that movement.

You can see eye movement, even when the eye is closed. In sleep labs, they can use instrumentation to measure more precisely.

Researchers can certainly know about the brain by studying it, but they can't know about the mind without asking the person to reveal it.

This is true. Many scientists believe that "mind" is a poor concept to use in scientific discussion. It's a folk theory construct. There are many folk theory constructs that scientists find to be poor concepts. For example, physicists will tell you that "centrifugal force" is a poor term and doesn't actually refer to any real force.

The details of the neurophysiology of the brain can easilly be viewed as merely footprints (in a physical medium) of non-physical, non-genetic supersensible realities connected to the activity of human consciousness. In fact, it seems as though the evidence currently points towards the view that consciousness exists independently of the brain.

That's roughly the view of Cartesian dualism. It's a philosophical position. I don't know of any credible neuro-scientist who believes it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 2:54 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 234 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 12:49 PM nwr has responded

Ben!
Member (Idle past 1698 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 231 of 300 (277123)
01-08-2006 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 215 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 2:54 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
Hi Mr. Ex,

I'm always glad to get constructive, head-on responses. That's why we're here, right? To discuss what we know, ask questions, etc. When people face issues head-on, I feel the opportunity to learn and to be understood. It's a good feeling.

It seems to me that you're basically conclusing that mind (or consciousness) is a function of matter -- matter that has attained a certain degree of organization.

Am I correct with that assumption?

I would say it a little differently, but I think you've got it. I haven't seen evidence that forces any view of the mind as being anything more than due to 'matter that has attained a certain degree of organization.' I am certainly open to examining new evidence, or re-examining old evidence.

We have experimental data where people's brains are electrically stimulatd in order to cause them to move ... And invariably the patient (each one) would respond by saying something like, "I didn't do that. You did."

In other words, the patient clearly thinks of himself as having an existence separate from his body.

This can be explained physically by saying that motor function is localized in the brain, and that when motion is detected without internal stimulation, that it is interpreted as "not me doing it." This itself doesn't mean there's no physical instantiation of "will to move".

In fact, no matter how far Penfield probed the cerebral cortex, there was no place that he could find where an eletrical stimulation of the brain would cause a patient to "believe" or "decide".

Good. This is the kind of argument that is needed to complete the above.

Zhimbo is going to be a much better reference for this than me; looks like his work involves frontal lobe function (although maybe not medial frontal lobe). Anyway, I believe the medial frontal lobe, as well as the basal ganglia, have been implicated in what you call "decide".

Here's a link to the current behavioral test for "dysexecutive function", and a short quote to introduce it:

...dysexecutive syndrome, a cluster of impairmentsgenerally associated with damage to the frontal lobes ofthe brain. These impairments include difficulties withhigh-level tasks such as planning, organising, initiating,monitoring and adapting behaviour.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/joped/vol5/no2_sum_03_test_review_2.pdf

The problem with excitatory electrical stimulation is that it's useful only in certain situations. It's useful only when a brain function is localized, not distributed. If a function requires the simultaneous or consecutive stimulation of multiple areas of the brain, and you stimulate just one, you're not going to get anything.

This is why inhibitory electrical stimulation is much more useful; you can determine the necessity of an area of the brain in a function by inhibiting that area through stimulation, then asking the patient to attempt to do something. This is how, for example, language function is ascertained before resection (removal) of epileptic parts of the brain. You can't simply stimulate one part of the brain and get words out. Does that mean there's no physical instantiation of linguistic behavior? Far from it. It just means it's distributed and contentful (see below about 'contentful').

Oh right. One more thing about electrical stimulation. YOu can't stimulate parts of the cortex that aren't at the "surface". The brain has many folds, with lots of functional neurons not exposed when you remove the skull. Electrical stimulation deals only with the surface of the brain that is at the exterior surface. Any convolutions of the brain are not accessible. It means you're not testing a large percentage (I don't know offhand; 40% maybe) of the cereberal cortex (to ignore the other critical but "lower" parts of the brain)

And it's not useful for functions which require content. Even if there were a localized "belief" part of the brain, if you stimulated it, what would you believe in? There's no content. It would require 'meaningful' stimulation from other parts of the brain to determine content. "Meaningful stimulation" ... it's hard to explain without some knowledge of how neurons interconnect and work together in networks. Suffice it to say that electrical stimulation cannot stimulate selectively enough to make such "meaningful stimulation".

To summarize. The evidence you gave, while useful evidence, is evidence against a localized, contentful expression of "belief" or "decision" in the brain. That's good, because we've got other evidence against such organization of the brain, and that's not how we think these functions are organized.

The work of Roger Sperry (and John Eccles) has shown us that the movements of consciousness trigger the patterns of neural events.

I'm quite certain that their work showed a correlation between conscious perception of will and patterns of neural events. To take that as the acutal conscious expereince "triggering" something is unsupported by any studies that I know. There are studies that suggest the opposite though--that conscious perception of will is often delayed compared to the actual onset of a behavior.

I can't comment much more, because I can't read the study... unless you have a link somewhere? Anyway, Zhimbo can tell us about the neural correlates to "willful activity", such as dorsal prefrontal cortex for "willfully" keeping a string of numbers in mind or such the sort.

Another study showed a delay between the time an eletric shock was applied to the skin, its reaching the cerebral cortx, and the self conscious perception of it by the person. This too suggests that "the self" is more than just a machine that simply "reacts" to stimuli as it receives them.

I don't get this at all. Neurons are slow. Long axons take time to transmit information. Transmission of that signal across synaptic connections is slow. Exciting other neurons, involved in the conscous perception of pain is slow. Slow transmission tracing a path from skin to brain is exactly what physical models predict. What's the trouble?

Researchers can certainly know about the brain by studying it, but they can't know about the mind without asking the person to reveal it. It seems to me as though this is because "conscious states" have the feature of being inner and private whereas "brain states" don't.

With all due respect, it "seems" that way to you because you don't know much about the brain. There's two very basic reasons we can't ascertain these things without asking.

The first is that we have a really crude, totally incomplete understanding about, at a macroscopic level, how the brain works. NOw, one of the things that we know about the brain is that individual neurons interconnect in "networks", and it is this interconnectivity and the patterns of which neurons activate in a network over time that determine actual function. To do what you suggest, we would have to observe all neurons over time, and then compute, based on those observations, what is going on. The second problem is that we have neither the tools to observe any of the things I described, nor do we have the computational power to simulate and compute such a thing.

I could be a lot more specific and thus be more correct. I don't see the point so I'll just lay it out grossly at this high level.

As for autism, ... I'm reluctant to make a comment. Except to note that Tito is EXCEPTIONAL for a person with autism. And to say that without knowing Tito's specific physical deficit, it's impossible to correlate behavior with physical deficit. So.. it's impossible to say anything without more information. Information that I'm sure we don't have.

Maybe it sounds like a cop out. Unfortunately, those are the facts of life when it comes to studying the brain. It can be really frustrating.

the research of Ramachandran is rather interesting

He does tons of work. Don't swallow everything he says whole, but a lot of it is provocative. I was trying to refer you more to his work on phantom limbs, which made him famous and is well-respected and, to a lesser degree, his work on synaesthesia. It's all interesting stuff, having to do with unusual conscious perception and how they may manifest physically.

Finally,

The details of the neurophysiology of the brain can easilly be viewed as merely footprints (in a physical medium) of non-physical, non-genetic supersensible realities connected to the activity of human consciousness.

This says more about us than it says about the facts. It's also easy to view a really simple computer program as human, or a bee as having volition, or patterns as being random. Our relatively uneducated thoughts on things we know relatively little about are amazingly flexible.

In fact, it seems as though the evidence currently points towards the view that consciousness exists independently of the brain.

The key in basing conclusions on facts is to be patient in waiting for them. Human consciousness as separate from the body is seemingly based on no facts. Only a lack of them. To me, that's a real red flag.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 2:54 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 242 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 1:14 PM Ben! has responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1698 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 232 of 300 (277125)
01-08-2006 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 3:21 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
My simple answer is that I think this phenomenon is worthy of further investigation.

My simple comment is that I agree.

By the way, thanks for not being bothered by what I perceived to be my crankiness. I was feeeling a bit ... shall we say, "moose-y" last night.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 233 of 300 (277163)
01-08-2006 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 3:02 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
How old are you crashfrog?

Old enough to know better. What's your excuse?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 3:02 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 235 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 12:55 PM crashfrog has responded

Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4624 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 234 of 300 (277164)
01-08-2006 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by nwr
01-08-2006 10:39 AM


Re: Mind and matter
nwr writes:

I would look to neuroscientists, rather than neurosurgeons.

How this...

nwr writes:

My own view is that you cannot confine consciousness to be due to the brain. I believe it takes a whole person, and a brain by itself (say a brain in a vat) is not sufficient.

I basically agree.

nwr writes:

I'm not sure what conclusions you are drawing from that. The brain is complex, and the way behavior is generated and controlled is complex. I don't see this as giving any evidence against materialism.

What it suggests is that the mind is something which can work independently from the brain itself. In other words, the basic observation is that people are quite aware of the fact that they are not "willingly" doing the actions that these electrical signals are producing in them. In fact, they can (and have) resisted these impusles using their own consciousness working independently of their own brain synapses.

If one wants to suggest that naturalistic causality is responsible for this, it seems as if they are going against the available data in order to reinforce a conclusion that they already had to begin with.

The researchers I've quoted were actively searching for purely naturalistic causalities within the brain to conclude to the brain itself is the sum total of a person's consciousness. Contrary to what they were expecting to find, however, they found convincing data which appeared to contradict their own assumptions in regards to the "seat of consciousness".

In their own examples they arrive at conclusions based on the tests they performed -- and concluded the opposite of what they thought was initially going on.

nwr writes:

Some people have jumped to conclusions as a result of studies of timing differences. But I think those conclusions are premature.

Maybe so. But, then again, maybe not. The data susggests that a person's consciousness is something which can work independently of the brain itself. If, on the chance, there is found to be memories and thoughts within other parts of the body outside the brain -- something which more readilly appears to be the seat of one's consciousness -- it must be stressed that this is exactly what was not predicted by purely natural causalities.

nwr writes:

You can see eye movement, even when the eye is closed. In sleep labs, they can use instrumentation to measure more precisely.

That's exactly what I said. The point is that nobody knew for sure what was going on until they woke them up and asked them.

nwr writes:

That's roughly the view of Cartesian dualism. It's a philosophical position. I don't know of any credible neuro-scientist who believes it.

It seems as though Julia Mossbridge might be working on it.

Here's her CV for your perusal.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by nwr, posted 01-08-2006 10:39 AM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 244 by nwr, posted 01-08-2006 1:25 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

  
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4624 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 235 of 300 (277165)
01-08-2006 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 233 by crashfrog
01-08-2006 12:48 PM


Re: Ghost limbs
I don't need an excuse.

But, since you seem to be suggesting that your answer (old enough to know better) somehow excused you of something in contrast to my reply, I'll ask what you felt you needed an excuse for?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 233 by crashfrog, posted 01-08-2006 12:48 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by crashfrog, posted 01-08-2006 1:01 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 236 of 300 (277166)
01-08-2006 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 3:17 AM


Re: Can anyone define a miracle for me? Anyone?
I answered his question as best as I could. It doesn't have anything to do with sex.

People have souls, right? And we know that people come about as a result of sex, right?

It doesn't seem unreasonable, then, to ask how the process of sex results in a person with a soul. I understand how sex results in a person, but how does the soul become a part of it?

If you want to find out how sex produces souls, maybe you should go watch a porn movie and take notes. Or, better yet, spend time with your S.O. and find out for yourself.

I've had sex with my wife a number of times, and other women before that, but never once have I been a part of an act of sex that created some kind of standing-wave time-portal to the initial conditions of the Big Bang. (No pun intended.) You'd think something like that occuring in my partner's vagina would be something she would notice. Like, you'd think it would be a burning sensation, considering that the initial conditions of the Big Bang were ALMOST INFINITE HEAT!

I've just given you a definite theory.

No, you haven't. The most fundamental and obvious characteristic of an actual theory is that it answers questions. All you've done is avoid them. There's not a single thing that your idea does besides give you an opportunity to use big words from quantum mechanics.

Your theory doesn't answer or explain a thing. Nothing at all. It's the idle, and ridiculous, speculations of someone obsessed with the idea that naturalist explanations of life and consciousness have to be wrong, no matter what.

Prove me wrong. What does your theory explain?

Actually, I'll go one step further and predict that these virtual particles will be found in both solid objects and open spaces, but areas where human souls are theorized to exist will be found to have significantly less 'virtual particles'.

We know that we can induce areas of space with less virtual particle activity ("vacuumn tension" is the term, I believe) between two charged metal plates. This is what is known as the "Casimir effect." Are you telling me that the Casimir effect generates a human soul?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 3:17 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 255 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 9:45 PM crashfrog has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 237 of 300 (277168)
01-08-2006 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 235 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
01-08-2006 12:55 PM


Re: Ghost limbs
I don't need an excuse.

To completely avoid my questions with an ad hominem attack against my age? You're damn right you need an excuse.

How about you answer my questions? How about you address my point?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 12:55 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 01-08-2006 1:16 PM crashfrog has responded

macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2004 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 238 of 300 (277169)
01-08-2006 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by nator
01-08-2006 9:37 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
i figured.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by nator, posted 01-08-2006 9:37 AM nator has not yet responded

macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2004 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 239 of 300 (277170)
01-08-2006 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by nator
01-08-2006 9:26 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
oh go away.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by nator, posted 01-08-2006 9:26 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 241 by AdminAsgara, posted 01-08-2006 1:07 PM macaroniandcheese has responded
 Message 250 by nator, posted 01-08-2006 3:26 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2004 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 240 of 300 (277172)
01-08-2006 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Ben!
01-08-2006 1:01 AM


Re: Ghost limbs
haha no. i was just being funny.
This message is a reply to:
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