Home » Intelligent Design, Mind, Neuroscience, News » No, we are not afraid that science will eliminate the soul.

No, we are not afraid that science will eliminate the soul.

It’s the fate of common sense that we are worried about

In “Surely by now we’ve outgrown the soul?” (The Independent , 16 October 2011), neuroscience PhD student Martha Robinson informs us,

Although no branch of scientific thought has all the answers, we have known for some time that there is no theoretical need to look outside of the human body for a explanation of the many and varied phenomena that we collectively refer to as ‘consciousness’.

Apparently, she has not noticed the utter failure of materialist explanations to even get a handle on what the materialist would explain.

She writes as though the problem is that we are “afraid” that materialists would discover the secret of consciousness. Actually, most people are afraid of the cascade of nonsense we will be subjected to as they fail, decade after decade.

The nonsense, she concedes:

Neuroscience certainly hasn’t done itself any favours in this argument. We’ve all read over-hyped and nonsensical reports in national newspapers about scientists discovering the neural location of love or the brain areas responsible for iPhone addiction. Even more accurate stories, exemplified by the recent fantastic work by Professor Mintz’s lab in Tel Aviv, tend to be over-sold: while amazing, replacing one functional loop does not an ‘artificial cerebellum’ make. This kind of ‘neurotrash’ allows eminent fuzzy-dualists like Ray Tallis to bandy around accusations of ‘Neuromania’ with some credibility – which is then used to shore-up the rejection of any and all scientific approaches to the explanation of human consciousness. To do this is to wastefully throw the baby of good science out with the sensationalist bathwater.

Hey, just a minute!

Martha Robinson, we don’t have any reason to believe that a “baby of good science” exists in this case. They faked up the pregnancy. That’s how the situation came to be overwhelmed in the media by nonsense.

When good science is being done, there is a distant pop pop fizz fizz of nonsense in the background (NASA is hiding space aliens, cell phones cause cancer … ) but it does not dominate.

It dominates the foreground where science has lost its way.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

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8 Responses to No, we are not afraid that science will eliminate the soul.

  1. “Actually, most people are afraid of the cascade of nonsense we will be subjected to as they fail, decade after decade.”

    Love it. Sums it up exactly.

  2. ,,,And despite her faith that consciousness can be accounted for by the human body: Here’s a Darwinian Psychologist who has a moment of honesty facing the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness;

    Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52491.html

    Yet despite this impasse for atheists of any experiment showing consciousness arising from a material basis, there are experiments that show, unequivocally, that consciousness is to be treated as its own unique entity:

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    This following experiment extended Wheeler’s delayed choice double slit experiment (which is really a ‘mind’ blowing experiment) to highlight the centrality of a ‘conscious observer’ in the Double Slit Experiment and refutes any ‘detector centered’ arguments for why the wave collapses:

    (Double Slit) A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at D0 (Detector Zero) at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    i.e. This experiment clearly shows that the ‘material’ detector is secondary in the experiment and that a conscious observer, being able to know the information of which path a photon takes with local certainty, is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle in the experiment.

    It is also very interesting to note that some materialists seem to have a very hard time grasping the simple point of these extended double slit experiments, but to try to put it more clearly; To explain an event which defies time and space, as the quantum erasure experiment clearly does, you cannot appeal to any material entity in the experiment like the detector, or any other 3D physical part of the experiment, which is itself constrained by the limits of time and space. To give an adequate explanation for defying time and space one is forced to appeal to a transcendent entity which is itself not confined by time or space. But then again I guess I can see why forcing someone, who claims to be a atheistic materialist, to appeal to a non-material transcendent entity, to give an adequate explanation for such a ‘spooky’ event, would invoke such utter confusion on their part. Yet to try to put it in even more ‘shocking’ terms for the atheists, the ‘shocking’ conclusion of the experiment is that a transcendent Mind, with a capital M, must precede the collapse of quantum waves to 3-Dimensional particles. Moreover, it is impossible for a human mind to ever ‘emerge’ from any 3-D material basis which is dependent on a preceding conscious cause for its own collapse to a 3D state in the first place. This is more than a slight problem for the atheistic-evolutionary materialist who insists that our minds simply ‘emerged’, or evolved, from a conglomeration of 3D matter.

    The following is an interesting way for establishing the ‘spiritual’ aspect of man. The first part of Szostak’s functional information paper reads:

    Complex emergent systems, in which interactions among numerous components or agents produce patterns or behaviors not obtainable by individual components, are ubiquitous at every scale of the physical universe,
    http://genetics.mgh.harvard.ed.....S_2007.pdf

    and If you strip out the punctuation and spaces from that sentence, there are a total of 181 alphabetic characters there. How many possible arrangements of 26 letters in a sequence 181 characters long can there be? 26^181, or 1.3 x 10^256. It’s huge! If we take the -log2, we find that we could encode that one specific sentence in 851 functional information bits.

    And yet even the entire material processes of the universe, over the entire history of the universe, cannot reasonably be expected to generate even that 851 functional information bits:

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds,,, Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    Thus since our minds/brains are ‘easily’ producing more functional information bits than all the material particles of the universe can reasonably be expected to, over the entire history in the universe, every time we write even just one sentence, then it naturally follows, compellingly, that there is something that is transcendent within us that is not reducible to the material particles of our brain. The ‘material’ particles of our brain, and all their complex interactions (no matter how funky the interactions of material particles may be envisioned to be) are simply grossly insufficient as a resource to explain the origination (emergence) of the functional information we witness continually coming from humans. ,,,

    further notes:

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely ‘Monitored’ Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

  3. Further notes:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

    Is the Brain Just an Illusion? – Anika Smith interviews Denyse O’Leary – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....8_33-07_00

    The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....super.html

    Materialism and Human Dignity – Casey Luskin interviews Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook, on the relationship between the mind and the brain. – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_37-07_00

    Poem:

    There Is More – Poem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102086/

  4. BA77

    Thanks for the links.. They’re greatly appreciated!

  5. No problem, Glad to be of whatever small help I can be, especially when atheists say otherwise.

  6. It’s funny because I’m a Christian and I believe in an anthropological idea of the “soul”. I also don’t believe that we as human have “souls”. We ARE souls and that’s it. The idea of an eternal, immortal soul is a neo-platonic idea, and I don’t know if it was taught by the earliest Christians. I also don’t believe the concept is found in the bible. But if this scientist thinks that by getting rid of the soul you get rid of religion is fooling himself. Not to mention we know so little about the brain, why anyone is making any claims about it is beyond me!

  7. Hello all, this may (or may not) be relevant to this issue:

    What Happens When We Die

    I find it interesting.

  8. You know what’s outrageous? These poseurs who masquerade as physicists, and theoretical physicists at that, are – not ‘seem’ – unable to grasp basic concepts of quantum physics; YET THEY MAKE A FAT LIVING FROM IT AND POSTURE AS BONA FIDE PHYSICISTS.

    At school, I just about grasped simple, quadratic equations in Maths, and the insulating property of a vacuum in a thermos flask in Physics, yet I could see some of these observer-dependent implications immediately. WHAT GIVES?

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