Home » Human evolution, News » Complete skull of an adult male Homo erectus creates shock waves

Complete skull of an adult male Homo erectus creates shock waves

Everyone is talking about this:

Analysis of the skull and other remains at Dmanisi suggests that scientists have been too ready to name separate species of human ancestors in Africa. Many of those species may now have to be wiped from the textbooks.

You mean, the ones vigorously defended at controversial textbook hearings?

The scientists went on to compare the Dmanisi remains with those of supposedly different species of human ancestor that lived in Africa at the time. They concluded that the variation among them was no greater than that seen at Dmanisi. Rather than being separate species, the human ancestors found in Africa from the same period may simply be normal variants of H erectus.

Here’s the kicker: The level of variation between the skull remains at Dmanisi could well be matched among modern humans waiting for the bus in a multicultural city.

What makes the find controversial is that much ideology around human evolution depends on a variety of not-quite-human species that once walked the Earth (but one rose above its fellows or prevailed over them). If there is no real evidence for more than one human species, ever, well, the unity of the human race is more consistent with traditional non-materialist assumptions than modern materialist ones.

In any event, this is better news for Fred Flintstone than for The Ascent of Man.

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37 Responses to Complete skull of an adult male Homo erectus creates shock waves

  1. Does anyone else think 546cc is small for an adult human? I wonder how this person would’ve functioned mentally. Smallest non-microencelphiliacs today are around 800cc, I think

  2. JoeCoder, meet professor Lorber: (PDF)

    “There’s a young student at this university,” says Lorber, “who has an IQ of 126, has gained a first-class honors degree in mathematics, and is socially completely normal. And yet the boy has virtually no brain.”
    “I can’t say whether the mathematics student has a brain weighing 50 grams or 150 grams, but it’s clear that it is nowhere near the normal 1.5 kilo-grams,” asserts Lorber, “and much of the brain he does have is in the more primitive deep structures that are relatively spared in hydrocephalus.”

    Or meet rooster Mike.

  3. Well yes, JoeCoder, but it is best not to jump to conclusions. We don’t know how well the person did function. There is also remarkable modern evidence for people whose brains were compressed by disease functioning – and the problem was discovered by modern methods. At this point, it would be best to look at a number of possiibilities before declaring a separate species.

  4. Seems Henry Gee’s insight has proven correct;

    “Despite decades of patient work we still know rather little about the evolution of humanity…the remains we have are very scarce and very meager and that means that there are probably lots of different species that existed, lived for hundreds of thousands of years and then became extinct and we know nothing about them… All you need is just one to completely blow apart your well entrenched comfortable idea of the linear progress of evolution.”
    Henry Gee – Editor Of Nature Magazine
    http://post-darwinist.blogspot.....-with.html

    As well, Henry Gee has a history of being rather blunt about what he thinks (not much!) about the ‘story telling’ that revolves around the fossil evidence for human evolution:

    “We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
    Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),

    “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way… To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
    - Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life

  5. Joe Coder:

    Does anyone else think 546cc is small for an adult human? I wonder how this person would’ve functioned mentally.

    The brain consists mostly of fat cells (oligodendrocytes, glial cells, astrocytes, etc.) and other supporting cells. The 100 billion neurons that comprise the average brain is a very small part of the brain’s total volume. If a person suffering from hydrocephalus is observed to have a miniscule brain while functioning normally, this does not mean that the brain is overrated or that intelligence is not in the brain. If that person’s cortical neural network is mostly intact, it should not surprise anyone that he or she can still have a normal life.

    Given the above, the widespread use of cranium size as a measure of IQ cannot be called science.

  6. Intelligence is in the brain like fortitude is in the belly.

  7. Mumg:

    Intelligence is in the brain like fortitude is in the belly.

    Mung, this is hogwash. Sorry. Intelligence is certainly in the brain. 100 billion neurons and trillions of synapses are not there just for grins and giggles.

  8. as to: “Intelligence is certainly in the brain.”

    actually, that point of intelligence being “IN” the brain is not nearly as ironclad as one, especially someone of a materialistic persuasion, would presuppose. For instance if the mind/consciousness/intelligence of a person were merely ‘emergent’ from the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of the brain were removed then we should rightly expect that a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of the ‘person’, as they were before the operation, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’, upon ‘hemispherectomy’, stays intact even though half the brain has been removed:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    The preceding ‘surprise’ is simply completely inexplicable for atheistic materialists. Especially given the fact that atheistic materialists cannot realistically model, nor even explain the origin of, a single neuron:

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 2012
    Excerpt: “This is bad news. Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    presynaptic terminal – image (Neurons communicate with each other by synaptic transmission at specialized intercellular junctions called synapses.)
    http://www.hhmi.org/sites/defa.....ig1_lg.jpg

    Evolution vs. Functional Proteins – Doug Axe – Video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222

    Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson
    Excerpt: Regardless of how the trials are performed, the answer ends up being at least half of the total number of password possibilities, which is the staggering figure of 10^77 (written out as 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000). Armed with this calculation, you should be very confident in your skepticism, because a 1 in 10^77 chance of success is, for all practical purposes, no chance of success. My experimentally based estimate of the rarity of functional proteins produced that same figure, making these likewise apparently beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35561.html

  9. bornAgain77, the hemispherectomy example you give does not tell the whole story. It does not mention that half the body is paralyzed after such a radical operation. And the one half that is cut off happens to be the one with Broca’s area, the ability to speak will likewise disappear.

    In a way, this is not unlike the removal of one kidney or one lung for medical purposes: the body still continues to function because one organ can do the work of two.

    The fact that the person’s intellect is not considerably affected by a hemispherectomy simply means that human beings (and animals) are actually two brains (or two persons) in one. I see no reason to interpret this as meaning that intelligence is not in the brain.

    [As an aside, this reminds me of something Jesus once said: "I and the Father are One" and "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." Was Jesus describing God's brain? Something to think about.]

    I am not a materialist and I certainly do not believe that the brain is all there is to the mind, but in our zeal to counter the materialist juggernaut, we run the risk of shooting ourselves in the foot.

  10. Intelligence is certainly in the brain.

    And fortitude is certainly in the belly.

  11. Mung, explain the function of the 100 billion neurons and the trillions of synapses in the brain.

    In my opinion, the reason that animals are not as intelligent as humans is not so much that their brains are not up to the task but that they are not motivated to pursue the goals that humans find appealing. The things that animals are good at (e.g., hunting prey) are proof that their intelligence in those areas are excellent, even superior to our own. We, on the other hand, can select new goals in areas that animals are not motivated to venture. This is what our spirits give us and this why we can send rockets to the moon.

  12. Mapou, I’m sorry but this statement,,

    “The fact that the person’s intellect is not considerably affected by a hemispherectomy simply means that human beings (and animals) are actually two brains (or two persons) in one. I see no reason to interpret this as meaning that intelligence is not in the brain.”

    Is complete BS!

  13. Of course, you can support your conjecture of ‘two people/one brain’, by say, solving the hard problem of consciousness?!? :) Good luck with all that!

  14. For if scientists can be honestly self-deluded…then prior prejudice may be found anywhere, even in the basics of measuring bones and toting sums.

    – Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man

    And if religious people can be honestly self-deluded, whether by gene or by meme, why are scientists exempt?

    And if scientists can be deluded, why not Richard Dawkins?

    For any thinking person the scientific enterprise itself ought to put paid to the Darwinian myth and favor ID. But who needs to think where you have “consensus science” on your side?

  15. boranAgain77:

    Is complete BS!

    Ok, I surrender to your superior argument. :-D

  16. Did you all see David Berlinski’s YouTube video in 3 parts on evolution?

  17. Mapou, you’ve certainly convinced me that Mapou is two different people (two different brains) with this statement:

    (retained intellect upon hemispherectomy) “simply means that human beings (and animals) are actually two brains (or two persons) in one.”

    and with this statement following that one:

    I am not a materialist and I certainly do not believe that the brain is all there is to the mind but in our zeal to counter the materialist juggernaut, we run the risk of shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Well you didn’t shoot yourself in the foot, you shot yourself in the brain! But luckily there are two of you (via two brains) to make up for that huge non-sequitur and the prognosis looks good for you. :) Believe me Mapou, you need not worry about theist shooting themselves in the foot trying to dance around materialistic arguments for consciousness/mind/intellect because materialist don’t have a leg to stand on anyway as far as explaining where a single neuron came from much less the entire brain.

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    And even that comparison is a severe underestimation:

    Could the Internet ever be conscious? Definitely not before 2115, even if you’re a materialist. – Dr. Torley – December 7, 2012
    Excerpt: “What about the Internet as a whole?” you might ask. As we saw above, the number of transistors (N) in the entire Internet is 10^18, so log(N) is 18. log(Z) is log(2) or about 0.3, so C=(18*0.3)=5.4. That’s right: on Deamer’s scale, the complexity of the entire Internet is a miserable 5.4, or 40 orders of magnitude less than that of the human brain, which stands at 45.5.
    Remember that Deamer’s formula is a logarithmic one, using logarithms to base 10. What that means is that the human brain is, in reality, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times more complex than the entire Internet! And that’s based on explicitly materialistic assumptions about consciousness.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....terialist/

    A remember Materialists cannot even explain where a single neuron of that complexity came from! But to support the position that the mind is not the brain, it is good to remember that super-computers with many switches have a huge problem with heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    - per wikipedia

    Yet the brain, though having as many switches as all the computers on earth (and that’s a conservative estimate), does not have any such problem with heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, a large portion of the heat generated by computers is primarily because of the erasure of information physically stored in the computer,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,,
    -per wikipedia

    Quantum knowledge cools computers – Published: 01.06.11
    Excerpt: The fact that computers produce heat when they process data is a logistical challenge for computer manufacturers and supercomputer operators. In addition, this heat production also imposes a fundamental limit on their maximum possible performance. According to the so-called Landauer Principle formulated by the physicist Rolf Landauer in 1961, energy is always released as heat when data is deleted. Renner says, “According to Landauer’s Principle, if a certain number of computing operations per second is exceeded, the heat generated can no longer be dissipated.” Assuming that supercomputers develop at the same rate as in the past, this critical limit will probably be reached in the next 10 to 20 years.
    http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/arc.....u/index_EN

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles that no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett; IBM), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as the material computer is required to do,, because our memories are stored on the ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level,,,

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every detail of a person’s life, EVERY MINUTE DETAIL, is reviewed in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    also of note;

    A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body.
    http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel.....sponse.htm

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    Verse and Music:

    Luke 10:27
    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    The Police – Spirits in the Material World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....page#t=62s

  18. Mapou:

    The fact that the person’s intellect is not considerably affected by a hemispherectomy simply means that human beings (and animals) are actually two brains (or two persons) in one. I see no reason to interpret this as meaning that intelligence is not in the brain.

    I’m not sure I understand; do you mean two persons as in a physical being and a spiritual being (i.e, the soul)?

  19. Barb:

    I’m not sure I understand; do you mean two persons as in a physical being and a spiritual being (i.e, the soul)?

    No, I mean the brain consists of two separate but complementary intelligent entities. This has been demonstrated in several experiments involving the cutting of the corpus callosum, the nerve bundle that connects the two hemispheres. Given my interpretation of scripture, I believe that the right hemisphere is the boss/leader and the left hemisphere is the servant. The left does everything that the right tells it to do, not unlike the relationship between the Father and the Son. There has to be a strict master/slave relationship between the two, otherwise we would truly be of two minds and would have a hard time functioning. And, just like the Godhead, the left hemisphere is also the only one that speaks. I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said “I and the Father are one” and I believe the goal of the Godhead is for us humans to become one with them, as in marriage. Personally I look at the Bible as one would look at a fabulous love story between a man and a woman.

    I also think I know why the nervous system is crossed in such a way that the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right controls the left side. There is no practical utility for this and evolutionists cannot explain it with their lame storytelling. The reason has to do with this:

    “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?”

    It’s a symbolic way for the Father to honor the Son and it’s reflected in the design of the species. That is all, for now. Have fun with it. Caveat: I am a known crackpot.

  20. Here is a first person account of the split-brain experiment in which the person in the experiment testifies to being ‘one’ person although his actions were split
    Excerpt: with regards to your citation of the split-brain experiments (and people who suffer from that due to injury, etc). I was involved in one of those split-brain experiments myself. (Which is possible by temporarily numbing the corpus callosum.) And believe me, it was the damnedest thing. The thing is, even though different parts of my brain were acting as if they had no knowledge of “each other”, behind it all was still “me”, consciously experiencing the strange disconnection. It’s akin to having different senses, like hearing and sight. You, a normal person (I assume), have hearing and you have sight, and you consciously experience them both concurrently. But sight and hearing are RADICALLY different experiences within consciousness. Hearing is not sight. Yet, they are somehow unified in that single consciousness which is “you.” The split-brain experience does weird things, and causes different “circuits” to become unaware of other “circuits.” Even to the point of having different “will” about various actions. But behind the weird disconnect the conscious “you” are still experiencing all the weird disconnects. All through-out there is never more than a single consciousness, even though much confusion about how the mechanics of brain processes are apparent.

    So, while I’m convinced that much of what we think of as “free will” is largely automatic and not free, the consciousness in back of it all, experiencing it all, is a single unified “entity.” And for reasons previously stated in another post, I’m firmly convinced it’s “outside” of space-time, and merely interfaced to space-time via brains.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-460565

    i.e. Hardware malfunction does not support your case!

  21. bornAgain77 @20,

    I have no problem with your account of split-brain experiments. I think there is only one “me” or “I” because there is only one spirit or consciousness in the human brain. I haven’t seen anything (yet) in either scripture or science to indicate that we have two spirits.

  22. But there is no question that we have two intelligences.

  23. 22 does not follow from 21! Material processes cannot create even trivial levels of functional information (500 bits Universal Probability Bound), thus intelligence, since it is inextricably associated with the creation of large amounts of functional information, must be spiritual in its basis. Thus since you hold you are ‘only one spirit’, and only ‘spiritual’ intelligence can provide causal adequacy for the creation of functional information, then, to remain consistent in your argument, it must follow that you have only one intelligence.

    Of related note, to defeat the Turing test all one must do is create a new axiom,,,

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

  24. 24
    TheisticEvolutionist

    lovely jubbly quntum woo bornagain ;)

  25. bornAgain77 @23:

    22 does not follow from 21! Material processes cannot create even trivial levels of functional information (500 bits Universal Probability Bound), thus intelligence, since it is inextricably associated with the creation of large amounts of functional information, must be spiritual in its basis. Thus since you hold you are ‘only one spirit’, and only ‘spiritual’ intelligence can provide causal adequacy for the creation of functional information, then, to remain consistent in your argument, it must follow that you have only one intelligence.

    Wow. Where are you finding this stuff? Is this your own hypothesis or are you getting it from someone else? I don’t think you understand how the brain stores information. The brain uses the most efficient data compression mechanism in existence. It’s called a hierarchy. It’s a tree structure whereby high level objects are represented in terms of lower level objects, not unlike the tree of life. Each branch of the tree represents a single object or concept. In fact, based on my research, I found out that each brain hemisphere has two such trees, one for concurrent patterns and the other for sequential patterns.

    Here is something that will blow your mind (I hope). I did not figure this stuff out on my own. It’s all explained in metaphorical language in the book of Zechariah, in chapter 4 to be precise. I just interpret it as well as I can.

    And the angel who talked with me came again and waked me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, “What seest thou?” And I said, “I have looked and behold, a candlestick all of gold with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.”

    In my opinion, the book of Zechariah (Yahweh-Remembers) is mostly a description of the memory storage mechanism of the brain. The book uses metaphors to hide scientific information in plain sight! Oh, by the way, the seven lamp lampstand or menorah, symbolizes a single memory node and is the reason that our short-term memory capacity is 7.

    I have said it elsewhere. The most disruptive or world changing scientific discoveries of this century will come straight from the Bible, both the old and the new testaments. Zechariah is just the tip of the iceberg. Prepare to live in interesting times. Have fun. :-D

  26. Ha ha.
    The more research done the more evolutionary evidences fall to pieces. Prediction is time will hurt and not help evolution conclusions now demanded to be accepted by good people everywhere.

    Brain stuff again.
    I insist. We have no brain, I don’t, for thinking. its just a middleman between our thinking soul and our physical body.
    There is no evidence otherwise or show it.
    Brain size is silly as a idea for smart size.
    We are spirits in a material world. (Good idea for a song).
    Its just a grand science fiction of presumption that we are the sum of brain parts.
    Not if we are made in Gods image and we are souls. Our souls go to heaven or hell. Not our brain. It will no make no difference.
    Show mew anyone with brain problems affecting intelligence etc and I will show you its explained by interference with the memory.
    The memory is a material organ.

  27. Mapou, I think you don’t understand the radically different nature of information over and above energy and matter! Information, although it can be represented in a material medium (semiotic information), cannot ever really be reduced to a material medium. Perhaps this video and these two quotes will help you finally understand the radically independent, and profoundly different, nature of information over and above matter and energy that renders your materialistic position absurd.

    John Lennox – Is There Evidence of Something Beyond Nature? (Semiotic Information) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw

    “The mechanical brain does not secrete thought “as the liver does bile,” as the earlier materialists claimed, nor does it put it out in the form of energy, as the muscle puts out its activity. Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day.”
    Norbert Wiener – created the modern field of control and communication systems, utilizing concepts like negative feedback. His seminal 1948 book Cybernetics both defined and named the new field.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University

    Thus, while we need a fully functional brain to receive information from the world into our consciousness, and for us to interact unimpaired in the world, (i.e. physical impairment of hemispherectomies), to believe that information is dependent upon material mediums for its existence is to misunderstand the true, foundational, nature of information over and above matter and energy!

    Verse:

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    Music:

    Why Me Lord Story – Told and Sung By kris kristofferson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tA7E7pbUws

  28. Of semi-related note: At the 17:50 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTuMYaEB35U

  29. BornAgain77,

    There is information and there is conscious information. In my opinion, not only can information be represented in a material medium, it can be represented nowhere else. This is the reason that there can be no consciousness without both matter and spirit. Consciousness requires two opposite and complementary entities, a knower and a known. The knower is the spirit and the known is the material medium. They are opposites in the following sense:

    That which knows cannot be known and that which is known cannot know.

    Furthermore, there can be no such thing as a spiritual medium for storing information because the spiritual realm is unchanging by nature. It just is. Our spirits can only sense the information that is in our brains. When we die, that information is lost and we become unconscious. We will regain that information at the resurrection when our spirits are reunited with our reconstituted bodies. God can reconstruct our bodies exactly as they were because everything that happens in this universe is being recorded down to the smallest details.

    In conclusion, I’d like to say that we Christians are so obsessed with proving the existence of the spirit and disproving that intelligence is in the brain that we open ourselves to self deception. In so doing, we make the same mistake that materialists make; we conflate intelligence with consciousness. They are not the same thing. Materialists believe that intelligence and consciousness are all in the brain whereas Christians believe that they are all in the spirit. Both beliefs are wrong, in my opinion.

    The intelligent brain is a tool used by the spirit. That is all. I am trying to spare us from being disappointed because highly intelligent, albeit unconscious, machines are on our doorsteps. But guess what? The amazing secret of intelligence happens to be in the one place that neither Christians nor materialists would suspect: the Bible. Hang in there.

  30. This statement is wrong:

    “This is the reason that there can be no consciousness without both matter and spirit.”

    You are stating your belief as fact but you can provide no empirical evidence for your belief so as to ground it as a fact whereas I can provide evidence for my belief, that consciousness is transcendent of a material basis, and thus ground my belief as a fact instead of just a bald assertion as you have done:

    the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTBygadaM4#t=156s
    Of note: at the 8:30 minute mark of the preceding video, Schrodinger’s cat and Wigner’s Friend are highlighted:

    The Galileo Affair and “Life/Consciousness” as the true “Center of the Universe”
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Moreover, I can appeal to personal testimony for my position that consciousness is transcendent of a materialistic basis. This following video interview of a Harvard Neurosurgeon, who had a Near Death Experience (NDE), is very interesting. His NDE was rather unique from typical NDEs in that he had completely lost brain wave function for 7 days while the rest of his body was on life support. As such he had what can be termed a ‘pure consciousness’ NDE that was dramatically different from the ‘typical’ Judeo-Christian NDEs of going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension, seeing departed relatives, and having a life review. His NDE featured his ‘consciousness’ going outside the confines of space/time, matter/energy to experience ‘non-locally’ what he termed ‘the Core’, i.e to experience God. It is also interesting to note that he retained a ‘finite sense of self-identity’, as Theism would hold, and did not blend into the infinite consciousness/omniscience of God, as pantheism would hold.

    A Conversation with Near Death Experiencer Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander III, M.D. with Steve Paulson (Interviewer) – video
    http://www.btci.org/bioethics/...../vid3.html

    A neurosurgeon confronts the non-material nature of consciousness – December 2011
    Excerpted quote: To me one thing that has emerged from my experience and from very rigorous analysis of that experience over several years, talking it over with others that I respect in neuroscience, and really trying to come up with an answer, is that consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact. And of course, that was a hard place for me to get, coming from being a card-toting reductive materialist over decades. It was very difficult to get to knowing that consciousness, that there’s a soul of us that is not dependent on the brain.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ciousness/

    Thus Mapou, believe what you will, since I have hardly ever seen anyone change their personal opinions on the web, but as for myself, I will follow the evidence.

  31. bornAgain77, I’m afraid we must bring this discussion to an end. You are engaging in storytelling, in my opinion, not unlike the materialists. I will end my arguments by restating the cornerstone of my understanding of consciousness and intelligence:

    That which is known cannot know and that which knows cannot be known.

    Not even God can know the spirit directly. A spirit can only be “known” by its actions in the material realm. This is the reason that we must be tested.

  32. Mapou #31: That which is known cannot know and that which knows cannot be known. Not even God can know the spirit directly.

    First: do you deny the reality of self-reflection?
    Second: do we not experience our thoughts and feelings directly? Are you saying we experience our mind, thoughts and feelings as they are ‘echoed’ back to us by our brain?

  33. Box:

    First: do you deny the reality of self-reflection?

    No. But I do deny that we can reflect on ourselves without a material “mirror”, symbolical speaking.

    Second: do we not experience our thoughts and feelings directly? Are you saying we experience our mind, thoughts and feelings as they are ‘echoed’ back to us by our brain?

    All I am saying is that it takes two to tango. I am a hard-core dualist, not just by name. And I am a dualist because I am convinced that we live in a yin-yang reality consisting of a spiritual realm and a material realm. The two are complementary and neither can exist without the other.

  34. Funny Mapou, I present empirical evidence for my belief, so as to ground them as fact and you merely restate your metaphysical beliefs (and rather peculiar theology) as if that makes them true. Not to deride purely logical argumentation too much, (such as the undeveloped, but promising, logical arguments you have tried to present), but I find many holes to drive semi-trucks through in your arguments thus far. For instance you state,

    I am convinced that we live in a yin-yang reality consisting of a spiritual realm and a material realm. The two are complementary and neither can exist without the other.

    But if the spirit cannot exist without the material what in blue blazes brought the material realm into being at the Big Bang? Do you deny that God existed ‘before’ the Big Bang?

    Genesis 1
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Or do you deny that God is spirit?

    John 4:24
    God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    Or to put it in more ‘scientific jargon’, do you deny that God is transcendent of time/space, matter/energy and that He created all things?

    Colossians 1 16-17
    For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Not to say you argument lacks any merit whatsoever Mapou, but I bet you will find that if you are willing to polish it up a bit, and to push the argument to its limits, you will arrive at something similar to the ontological argument for the Triune God (perhaps with the nuance of infinite information as the ‘known’, or something of that sort):

    The Ontological Argument for the Triune God – video
    http://messianicdrew.blogspot......e-god.html

  35. For instance you state,

    I am convinced that we live in a yin-yang reality consisting of a spiritual realm and a material realm. The two are complementary and neither can exist without the other.

    But if the spirit cannot exist without the material what in blue blazes brought the material realm into being at the Big Bang? Do you deny that God existed ‘before’ the Big Bang?

    You don’t get it. The expression “material realm” does not mean a universe. It is a type of universe. There exist two type of realms. One, the spiritual realm, is unchanging, i.e., nothing in it can be created or destroyed. They just are. The other realm, the material realm, is where change (creation/annihilation) occurs, i.e., where anything can be created and destroyed. And yes, I believe there are many spirits with great creative powers, not just Yahweh. The gods of Egypt had some visible power to create things. Yahweh did not take kindly to that, apparently, and eventually kicked their butts.

    As far as the Big Bang is concerned, I don’t believe the universe started with a bang. First came the heavens (a lattice of energetic particles that’s all around us) and then came ordinary matter (earth) possibly via a “bang”.

    Or do you deny that God is spirit?

    No. I just don’t agree with your interpretation of the word “spirit” in the scriptures. It does not necessarily mean non-physical. Ordinary matter was designed and is not the only possible form of matter. There are probably zillions of ways matter can be configured besides the known forms, e.g., protons, quarks, electrons, etc. In my opinion, any being that is not composed of ordinary matter is a spirit being.

    Or to put it in more ‘scientific jargon’, do you deny that God is transcendent of time/space, matter/energy and that He created all things?

    If this is scientific jargon, it may have flown above my head because I don’t understand it. I doubt that “transcendence” is a scientific concept, though. It means nothing to me. All I know is that time is generally synonymous with change and that space is an illusion of perception. There is just a changing realm and an unchanging realm. And yes, I believe that Yahweh created everything (with the help of the Holy Spirit). He even created his own body (or bodies), in my opinion. He is quoted in the scriptures as having said that he came before all the other gods who were on earth during the time of Moses. I take that to mean that he created himself and the material universe before he created the other gods. This may be why he is called the “ancient of days”.

    PS. I don’t want to get into arguments about a triune God, the Trinity or any such thing.

  36. Mapou, you are all over the place with your arguments and they lack any precise coherence as far as I can tell. They may make perfect sense to you, and good luck with all that, but I simply lack the desire to muddle through all that logical slop you just posted as an empirically unsupported argument for your position.

  37. Hi News,

    Thanks for a very interesting article. I’d just like to make one point, though. While the new skull lends support to the hypothesis that Homo erectus is indeed one species that includes Homo georgicus, Homo ergaster, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, it does not embrace modern Homo sapiens or Heidelberg man or Neandertal man, who appear to belong to a distinct species of their own:

    Lordkipanidze and his colleagues say that the new skull supports the idea that the many species of hominin thought to have coexisted during this period are, in fact, a single species, H. erectus, which is simply more variable in appearance than previously thought.

    To back up this claim, the team measured facial differences between the five Dmanisi hominins. Because they all lived in the same place at roughly the same time, this shows the extent of variation among H. erectus populations. Then they compared the Dmanisi population with a range of fossils belonging to ancient African hominins alive at the same time, and used modern humans and chimpanzees as control groups.

    Although the hominin fossils were clearly different from modern humans and chimpanzees, the analysis found the rest of the fossils fell into a single, highly variable group. The team says they all belong to one species, meaning hominins like H. habilis and H. rudolfensis simply belong to H. erectus.

    Anyway, the study is food for thought. Thanks again.

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