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The Enigma of Consciousness — challenges for Evolutionists and Materialists

I had accepted the evolutionary story since elementary school. I think I accepted it after seeing diagrams like
ape to man and visiting the Air and Space Museum and learning of our supposed origins. I didn’t find the story revolting. I found it kind of cool we were evolving and getting better and better.

But as a freshman in high school, I began to doubt evolution when I considered the problem of consciousness. I remember sitting in class and the biology teacher gave the standard talking points. But for some reason, the fact I was conscious did not seem reducible to evolutionary explanations. Strange that I would even be perplexed about it as a high school student, but I was. That was the beginning of my doubts about Darwin…

Years later, when I related the story to Walter ReMine, he explained to me consciousness poses a serious problem for evolution.

He said something to the effect, “Say an animal has to flee a predator — all it has to do is run away. Why does it have to evolve consciousness in order to flee predators?” Mechanically speaking the animal can be programmed to flee or even hunt without having to be self-aware. Why does it have to evolve consciousness to do anything for survival?

Why would selection favor the evolution of consciousness? How does selection select for the pre-cursors of consciousness? I don’t think it can. Ergo, consciousness didn’t evolve, or it’s just a maladaptation, or an illusion — or maybe it is created by God. Materialists can say consciousness is an illusion all they want, but once upon a time, when my arm was broken in a hang gliding crash, I felt real pain. It would have been nice if consciousness were an illusion back then, it wasn’t. Even with the questions of split-brain patients, something tells me that even if my consciousness had been split, there would still be a conscious entity feeling the pain from that shattered arm.

If we consider the two cells (one from the mother and the other from the father) that conceive a human, are those cells conscious, sentient beings? Most will say they are not. But then these cells join and somewhere along the way, a conscious being emerges from a mechanical process? Something seems wrong with this picture. Something seems paradoxical. How can a purely mechanical process create consciousness?

One way the paradox is resolved is to assume consciousness is more fundamental than matter and energy. That is the view of some physicists. Shockingly, the journal Nature allowed such a bold proposal in its prestigious pages:

The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental.

According to Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter…we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”
….
The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual.

Richard Conn Henry
The Mental Universe: Nature Volume 436

The Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer

I suppose we cannot formally prove that view, but I sympathize with it, I accept it as true — if consciousness exists, it is in a separate realm than the mechanical, material universe.

Can a Darwinist explain how selection selects for the pre-cursors of consciousness? Can a computer engineer say what number of bits is needed to implement it? I don’t think so. Logically it seems to transcend pure materialism (matter and energy). It is reassuring some physicists share this view as well. MIND and spirit, more than matter and energy, could well be the ultimate reality.

Photo credits superstock

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49 Responses to The Enigma of Consciousness — challenges for Evolutionists and Materialists

  1. He said something to the effect, “Say an animal has to flee a predator — all it has to do is run away. Why does it have to evolve consciousness in order to flee predators?”

    The animal has to be conscious that there is a predator, before it can know to run.

    Something seems paradoxical. How can a purely mechanical process create consciousness?

    I suppose that depends on what you mean by “mechanical.” I do not see biological development as purely mechanical. I see it as highly adaptive, so dependent on feedback.

    Can a Darwinist explain how selection selects for the pre-cursors of consciousness?

    I’m not really a Darwinist. The most important precursor of consciousness is homeostasis, and that can be found in even the simplest biological cell.

  2. scordova,

    Your argument re consciousness and the inability of Darwinian evolution to explain its existence is a powerful one. I suspect that a similar argument can be made about the human infatuation with beauty and the arts. Beauty is not a property of physical matter. And yet, we recognize it when we see it. For examples, humans spend an enormous amount of time on fashion and creating/listening to all sorts of music. We can even sense olfactory beauty in products like perfumes and soaps.

    The worst part for Darwinism is that, just as with consciousness, our inordinate preoccupation with beauty does not give the human species any survival advantage that natural selection would favor during the selection process. In fact, it may be a hindrance because it distracts us from pursuing goals that are more in tune with long term survival.

  3. Rickert:

    The animal has to be conscious that there is a predator, before it can know to run.

    I can’t believe you wrote that. Are you intentionally trying to deceive by using a fuzzy or ambiguous meaning of consciousness? There is a difference between “sensing” and “being conscious of”. They are two different things. While both may exist at the same time for a given phenomenon, it is not a necessity. A thermostat senses changes in temperature; does that means it is conscious of the changes? I don’t think so. Is my computer conscious of the key presses on the keyboard when I type? I don’t think so.

  4. Rickert @1:

    I suppose that depends on what you mean by “mechanical.” I do not see biological development as purely mechanical. I see it as highly adaptive, so dependent on feedback.

    How do you figure that adaptation and feedback are not mechanical?

  5. Rickert @1:

    The most important precursor of consciousness is homeostasis.

    Where is the science in that statement?

  6. A thermostat senses changes in temperature; does that means it is conscious of the changes?

    The thermostat does not adaptively react. It only reacts in a programmed manner.

    Sensing a predator is not easy. You could make a robot, and design it to sense a “predator”. But then, as a human, you could easily act as a predator which got around that programming. It’s the ability to learn, such as to learn to recognize a predator, that is going to require at least a primitive form of consciousness.

  7. Neil Rickert: The most important precursor of consciousness is homeostasis, and that can be found in even the simplest biological cell.

    Isn’t homeostasis a precursor for life in general?

  8. The thermostat does not adaptively react. It only reacts in a programmed manner.

    Sensing a predator is not easy. You could make a robot, and design it to sense a “predator”. But then, as a human, you could easily act as a predator which got around that programming. It’s the ability to learn, such as to learn to recognize a predator, that is going to require at least a primitive form of consciousness.

    All that stuff is purely mechanical, though. I have been working on a speech recognition program (Rebel Speech) that can learn autonomously to recognize various types of sounds such as speech, car horns, dog barks, phone ring, etc. Are you telling me that Rebel Speech has some rudimentary form of consciousness? If so, how do you know?

    Adaptation, too, is purely mechanical. It can be programmed into a computer application just like anything pattern learning. It is based on the ability to make predictions based on previous experience and to determine whether or not a situation or a planned sequence of actions might lead to pain or pleasure. Why would that require consciousness?

  9. Are you telling me that Rebel Speech has some rudimentary form of consciousness?

    I doubt it. If you programmed it, then it is unlikely to be conscious.

    Adaptation, too, is purely mechanical. It can be programmed into a computer application just like anything pattern learning.

    Again, if it is programmed, it is unlikely to be conscious.

  10. Box:

    Isn’t homeostasis a precursor for life in general?

    Yes, I think so.

  11. Again, if it is programmed, it is unlikely to be conscious.

    Well, in that case, you must have a theory of consciousness that the rest of the world is not privy to. What does it predict that existing intelligence theories do not predict? What experiments can we perform to falsify it? And what is the fundamental difference between between an intelligence that is created via genetic programming and one that is created via a computer programming? What if the programmer used genetic programming instead?

    No need for you to reply, Rickert. This is my last response to you on this topic. You’re wasting my time. I’m not learning anything in this exchange and neither are you, apparently. Thanks anyway.

  12. Neil Rickert

    It’s the ability to learn, such as to learn to recognize a predator, that is going to require at least a primitive form of consciousness.

    I would go even further. Consciousness is always deeply tied to intelligence (and intelligence is still higher than ability to learn). No intelligence no consciousness. This explain why to be conscious of a predator is not simply a matter of sensing, rather mainly a matter of intelligence. Analogously, but in a non-ontological mechanical field, in a computer the input/output devices do nothing without the CPU, the basic operating system and the drivers software.

    The ontological causation chain is always, top-down, being/agency, intelligence, consciousness, sensing. This chain works eminently in humans, but works also necessarily, at lower degrees, in all living sentient beings. In another comment I have said that even spiders show, with their behavior, that chain in action. A spider, at its low degree, is not a machine, rather a true being/agent. After all, it does manifest, at its humble and simple level, the agency of the Being. This is the unbridgeable fundamental difference between machines and living beings. The beings are, at the very end, the Being in action, the machines are mere artificial mechanical products of the beings.

    I’m not really a Darwinist.

    I appreciate that.

  13. Hi scordova,
    It is very interesting post and a challenge to the evolutionist. Please post this here: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/
    Let’s see how they react :-)

  14. Does a rock have dreams? (With apologies to Ari.) KF

  15. Mr. Rickert you state:

    The most important precursor of consciousness is homeostasis

    And why is the most important precursor to homeostasis not consciousness?

    Homeostasis is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant.

    In your view, The most important variable to be regulated would have to be randomness/entropy itself.

    Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator
    Excerpt: From an information theoretic point of view, the amount of randomness, the entropy that can be generated is equal to the entropy provided by the system.,,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C....._generator

    How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
    (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)
    http://www.ws5.com/Penrose/

    Roger Penrose discusses initial entropy of the universe. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhGdVMBk6Zo

    Yet for that most important variable to be regulated would require consciousness/intelligence to precede it. Which reminds me of this bit of history:

    It is also very interesting to note that Ludwig Boltzmann, an atheist, when he linked entropy and probability, did not, as Max Planck a Christian Theist points out in the following link, think to look for a constant for entropy:

    The Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann first linked entropy and probability in 1877. However, the equation as shown, involving a specific constant, was first written down by Max Planck, the father of quantum mechanics in 1900. In his 1918 Nobel Prize lecture, Planck said: “This constant is often referred to as Boltzmann’s constant, although, to my knowledge, Boltzmann himself never introduced it – a peculiar state of affairs, which can be explained by the fact that Boltzmann, as appears from his occasional utterances, never gave thought to the possibility of carrying out an exact measurement of the constant.”
    http://www.daviddarling.info/e.....ation.html

    I hold that the primary reason why Boltzmann, an atheist, never thought to carry out, or even propose, a precise measurement for the constant on entropy is that he, as an atheist, had thought he had arrived at the ultimate ‘random’ explanation for how everything in the universe operates when he had link probability with entropy. i.e. In linking entropy with probability, Boltzmann, again an atheist, thought he had explained everything that happens in the universe to a ‘random’ chance basis. To him, as an atheist, I hold that it would simply be unfathomable for him to conceive that the ‘random chance’ (probabilistic) events of entropy in the universe should ever be constrained by a constant that would limit the effects of ‘random’ entropic events of the universe. Whereas on the contrary, to a Christian Theist such as Planck, it is expected that even these seemingly random entropic events of the universe should be bounded by a constant. In fact modern science was born out of such thinking:

    ‘Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true.’
    Lewis, C.S., Miracles: a preliminary study, Collins, London, p. 110, 1947.

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY

    Supplemental notes as to regulating variables:

    Doug Axe: Lignin & the Coherent Design of the Ecosystem – podcast
    Excerpt: Lignin provides a paradoxical case for the Darwinian method of evolution, but fits perfectly into a design oriented scientific paradigm. Thirty percent of non-fossil organic carbon on the planet is lignin, so in a Darwinian world, something should have developed the ability to consume lignin–but it hasn’t. Lignin binds together and protects plant cellulose, which is vital to all types of large plant life; “The peculiar properties of lignin therefore make perfect sense when seen as part of a coherent design for the entire ecosystem of our planet.”
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201.....ent_d.html

    Engineering and Science Magazine – Caltech – March 2010
    Excerpt: “Without these microbes, the planet would run out of biologically available nitrogen in less than a month,” Realizations like this are stimulating a flourishing field of “geobiology” – the study of relationships between life and the earth. One member of the Caltech team commented, “If all bacteria and archaea just stopped functioning, life on Earth would come to an abrupt halt.” Microbes are key players in earth’s nutrient cycles. Dr. Orphan added, “…every fifth breath you take, thank a microbe.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100316a

    Planet’s Nitrogen Cycle Overturned – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: “Ammonia is a waste product that can be toxic to animals.,,, archaea can scavenge nitrogen-containing ammonia in the most barren environments of the deep sea, solving a long-running mystery of how the microorganisms can survive in that environment. Archaea therefore not only play a role, but are central to the planetary nitrogen cycles on which all life depends.,,,the organism can survive on a mere whiff of ammonia – 10 nanomolar concentration, equivalent to a teaspoon of ammonia salt in 10 million gallons of water.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132656.htm

  16. Scordova: If we consider the two cells (one from the mother and the other from the father) that conceive a human, (…)

    Scordova, you have made this point several times. In another thread you wrote:

    Scordova: A cell from the father and a cell from the mother join to conceive a human being. The cells, are presumably non-sentient entities.
    Yet they spawn a conscious being. I do think consciousness is spiritual, but the fact conscious beings are being spawned by non-sentient entities is paradoxical.
    Those non-sentient entities (the sperm and ovum egg) are arguably weak AI systems. They are able to govern the fabrication of a new human being. (..) these “mindless” cells can make a thinking mindful conscious human being.

    [my emphasis]

    I would like to argue that (two) cells cannot do this on their own:

    Firstly, cells lack the necessary overview, the building process is inconceivable without a director.

    Secondly, the building process cannot be explained from DNA – “Other sources of information must help arrange individual proteins into systems of proteins, systems of proteins into distinctive cell types, cell types into tissues, and different tissues into organs. And different organs and tissues must be arranged to form body plans”, S. Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt, p.298.

    Thirdly, it cannot be explained by epigenetics – “When regulators are in turn regulated, what do we mean by “regulate” — and where within the web of regulation can we single out a master controller capable of dictating cellular fates? And if we can’t, what are reputable scientists doing when they claim to have identified such a controller, or, rather, various such controllers? “, S L Talbott.

    My final argument is that chimerism – two (or more) sets of DNA in one organism – also points to a whole (consciousness) which governs the building process of the human being.

  17. Mapou:

    Well, in that case, you must have a theory of consciousness that the rest of the world is not privy to.

    Yes, that’s about right. However, I am unable to explain it, because it is incompatible with assumptions that people make. And people seem unwilling to question those assumptions. Thus it is entirely reasonable for Mapou and others the be skeptical.

    Sal’s post explains why Sal and many others find it difficult to understand how consciousness could evolve. Personally, I don’t have that difficulty — I came upon my ideas about consciousness by way of studying how our cognitive abilities could evolve.

    Here’s the point. From “it is difficult to understand how consciousness could evolve”, it does not follow that consciousness could not evolve. The most you can say, is that there is a knowledge gap.

    There’s a similar problem with ID. All of your reasons for finding it difficult to see how consciousness could evolve are also reasons to find it difficult to see how consciousness could be designed. So ID is in no better shape than evolution, with respect to accounting for consciousness.

  18. bornagain77:

    And why is the most important precursor to homeostasis not consciousness?

    I suppose that depends on what we mean by “consciousness”, and people are all over the map about that. If you want to say that a homeostatic system is conscious, that’s one possible view of consciousness.

    Homeostasis is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant.

    I would not define it that way. Variables are our constructs, as part of our analysis. They don’t exist, except as cognitive constructs. I’d rather define homeostasis in terms of behavior being regulated so as to remain stable. But that leaves it vague as to what it is that remains stable.

    I’m inclined to think that reductionism cannot work. There’s the old saying “it’s turtles all the way down”. Our attempts to give reductionist accounts add a few more turtles, but never get to the bottom.

  19. Bornagain77 #15: Homeostasis is the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant.

    Neil Rickert #18: I would not define it that way. Variables are our constructs, as part of our analysis. They don’t exist, except as cognitive constructs. I’d rather define homeostasis in terms of behavior being regulated so as to remain stable. But that leaves it vague as to what it is that remains stable.

    Homeostasis itself is a cognitive construct. Homeostasis is a collective term for a myriad of systems that stabilize parts of the organism, one example is the DNA repair mechanism.
    If one states that ‘homeostasis’ is responsible for sustaining the organism, the question arises: what directs and sustains homeostasis?

  20. Well,there is consciousness. If there is no evolutionary precursor to consciousness, then obviously it has to have come from the body, and the most likely part is brain – neurons in brain. All we need to do is explore and find what creates consciousness from those neurons or find a field which influences neurons to create consciousness. Even if you believe God created consciousness there has to be a mechanism by which consciousness arises, so what is mechanism of consciousness? We don’t have enough knowledge yet, but we will get there.
    I hope now you can see what happens when we bring God into science-we lose the passion to explore and discover.
    Science is (base jumping)^infinity, Science is the rush, Science is infinite Dopamine. Experience Science !

  21. selvaRajan

    I hope now you can see what happens when we bring God into science-we lose the passion to explore and discover.

    Are you joking, aren’t you? There were (and still there are) countless scientists who believed in God and in the same time had the passion to explore and discover sciences. For them, whatever they found was sign of God’s designs.
    Evolutionists/materialists/atheists do claim that God is a science-stopper. I don’t believe you are one of them.

  22. as to: “All we need to do is explore and find what creates consciousness from those neurons or find a field which influences neurons to create consciousness.”

    Good luck with all that, Surely a Nobel Prize awaits :) Perhaps we can have someone work on the origin of life problem while you are busy with solving the consciousness enigma??? :) More modestly, I’d be happy if someone could just explain how a single neuron randomly ‘emerged’.

    a few notes:

    Self-awareness in humans is more complex, diffuse than previously thought – August 22, 2012
    Excerpt: Self-awareness is defined as being aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors. Neuroscientists have believed that three brain regions are critical for self-awareness: the insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the medial prefrontal cortex. However, a research team led by the University of Iowa has challenged this theory by showing that self-awareness is more a product of a diffuse patchwork of pathways in the brain – including other regions – rather than confined to specific areas. The conclusions came from a rare opportunity to study a person with extensive brain damage to the three regions believed critical for self-awareness. The person, a 57-year-old, college-educated man known as “Patient R,” passed all standard tests of self-awareness. He also displayed repeated self-recognition, both when looking in the mirror and when identifying himself in unaltered photographs taken during all periods of his life. “What this research clearly shows is that self-awareness corresponds to a brain process that cannot be localized to a single region of the brain,”,,,
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....ously.html

    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

    The Hard Problem (Of Consciousness) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRG1fA_DQ9s

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    “quantum theory entails and irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view.”
    On The Comparison Of Quantum and Relativity Theories – Sachs – 1986

  23. niwrad,
    I agree. I think that was a superfluous statement by me that I shouldn’t have used.

    bornagain77,
    I can’t reconcile to the fact that we just say ‘evolution can’t do it’ and sit back. If Intelligent agent infused consciousness, we need to figure out how it was done. What is the alternate mechanism to evolution? What does ‘infuse’ mean in terms of a process?

  24. as to “If Intelligent agent infused consciousness, we need to figure out how it was done. What is the alternate mechanism to evolution? What does ‘infuse’ mean in terms of a process?”

    Perhaps Rieper’s and Stuart Hameroff’s work?

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    In the following article, Dr. Hameroff expands on the quantum computation aspect of Rieper, Anders and Vedral paper:

    Is DNA a quantum computer? Stuart Hameroff
    Excerpt: DNA could function as a quantum computers with superpositions of base pair dipoles acting as qubits. Entanglement among the qubits, necessary in quantum computation is accounted for through quantum coherence in the pi stack where the quantum information is shared,,,
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....puter1.htm

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

    Quantum Entangled Consciousness (Permanence of Quantum Information) – Life After Death – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://vimeo.com/39982578

    Brain ‘entanglement’ could explain memories – January 2010
    Excerpt: In both cases, the researchers noticed that the voltage of the electrical signal in groups of neurons separated by up to 10 millimetres sometimes rose and fell with exactly the same rhythm. These patterns of activity, dubbed “coherence potentials”, often started in one set of neurons, only to be mimicked or “cloned” by others milliseconds later. They were also much more complicated than the simple phase-locked oscillations and always matched each other in amplitude as well as in frequency. (Perfect clones) “The precision with which these new sites pick up on the activity of the initiating group is quite astounding – they are perfect clones,” says Plen
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-399098

    Hameroff’s infamous Orch-Or model for quantum consciousness has preliminary confirmation from first direct test for it:

    Evidence for Quantum Consciousness – video
    Excerpt: Fascinating new study. The chemical anesthetic 1-azidoanthracine was administered to tadpoles and found to work by disrupting microtubules in the nervous system. A second chemical which repaired the microtubules was found to restore consciousness.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wxtzpp4Gts

    Quantum Cognition and Brain Microtubules – Hameroff – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm6Mt9BoZ_M

    Stuart Hameroff defends Orch-OR (Quantum Consciousness) theory at TSC 2010 – Pt 1 of 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAVQjMf2fEQ

  25. Selvarajan: niwrad, I agree. I think that was a superfluous statement by me that I shouldn’t have used.

    I take it that by ‘superfluous’ you mean incorrect?

    Selvarajan: I can’t reconcile to the fact that we just say ‘evolution can’t do it’ and sit back. If Intelligent agent infused consciousness, we need to figure out how it was done.

    That is quite ambitious … Why not start off with a more simple question, like by which mechanism was the universe created?

  26. Box,

    My own personal theological speculation. When the cells from mother and father unite to create a new life, in terms of the material substrate what is forming is essentially a storage container and a radio like receiver for signals from the immaterial world.

    If one is a Christian, and one accepts the story of the demon possession and how a legion of sentient, self-conscious, self-aware demons migrated from a demon possessed man into a herd of pigs, and the pigs went over the cliff, then the receiver/storage contain model seems to depict this. Are animals sentient, well if one accepts the story, their bodies are capable of being multiply-sentient! Keiths at TSZ thought his split brain essay somehow disproved the existence of souls, I interpreted it to mean it showed multiple souls can exist in one body or a single soul can exist in multiple persons (hmm, Keiths unwittingly lent support to one certain Christian doctrine of more than one persons in one essence ).

    Physicists suggests quantum wave-functions must be collapsed non-material entity somewhere in the regress. We build such machines already like the double-slit delayed choice experiments. That was the quantum enigma I described here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-designer/

    Penrose, sort of suggest this too, but of course, being a materialist, he has to frame his description in guarded ways….

    Curiously, lots of atheists have reported they’ve seen ghosts. I wonder why? :shock:

    These are theological speculations. They are not amenable to observation, hypothesis, and testing. They may be true, but outside the reach of science.

    Like non-computable numbers, there are truths that our minds will never comprehend, and as Gödel showed, some truths must simply be received on faith.

    Sal

  27. bornagain77,
    Thank you for the links. More food for thought.

    Box,

    I take it that by ‘superfluous’ you mean incorrect?

    No. Surely you will agree that there is a difference between giving God as reason for a phenomenon (which hinders science)- which is what I am objecting to, and belief in God for spiritual guidance but going about exploring and discovering universe’s many secrets as scientifically as possible – which is what most scientists do and which is what I advocate.

    Why not start off with a more simple question, like by which mechanism was the universe created?

    I think both are difficult ! No one is satisfied with origin of universe theory – least of all the physicists. Every one is still searching for a better theory to fit the data or discover new evidence to fit the theory. The universe is vast and does not yield to experimentations. At least the progress is satisfactory.

  28. selvaRajan:

    Well,there is consciousness. If there is no evolutionary precursor to consciousness, then obviously it has to have come from the body, and the most likely part is brain – neurons in brain. All we need to do is explore and find what creates consciousness from those neurons or find a field which influences neurons to create consciousness. Even if you believe God created consciousness there has to be a mechanism by which consciousness arises, so what is mechanism of consciousness? We don’t have enough knowledge yet, but we will get there.

    We will not get there if we assume a priori, as materialists cluelessly do, that consciousness is simply the result of some kind of brain chemistry. The salient point of scordova’s article is that consciousness cannot be selected for by evolution because it affords no survival advantage to a living organism. In fact, it’s a hindrance to survival because a conscious organism becomes preoccupied with activities (such as music and the arts) that have nothing to do with survival.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, the undeniable fact is that it takes two things for consciousness to exist: the knower and the known. The two are opposites by definition. That is to say, the knower cannot be known and the known cannot know. We can safely assume that the known is part of the brain’s neural networks. The knower cannot be part of the brain because it cannot be known by definition.

    That being said, there has to be something (a physical or chemical property) about the parts of the brain that are involved with consciousness that makes it possible for knower and known to interact. This “something” is what we should be searching for. As an aside, we need not look in the cerebellum because we already know it’s not involved with consciousness. The cerebellum is an automaton that handles routine tasks such as posture and balance.

  29. selvaRajan:

    No. Surely you will agree that there is a difference between giving God as reason for a phenomenon (which hinders science)-

    You’ve been called on this nonsense many times before. This is like saying that we should not study an archaeological artifact because we know it was designed by a human designer. Wake up.

  30. Mapou #28 (..) the undeniable fact is that it takes two things for consciousness to exist: the knower and the known. The two are opposites by definition. That is to say, the knower cannot be known and the known cannot know.

    Mapou, if the knower cannot be known how does one explain self-consciousness? Self-consciousness means that the knower reflects on the knower, right?
    ~ BTW I’m asking you this question for the third time now. Maybe this time you will feel inclined to answer.

  31. Scordova #26: My own personal theological speculation. When the cells from mother and father unite to create a new life, in terms of the material substrate what is forming is essentially a storage container and a radio like receiver for signals from the immaterial world.

    We can agree that something like this must be happening, because a bottom-up explanation from the two cells is inconceivable (see my 4 arguments in post#16).

    Scordova #26: If one is a Christian, and one accepts the story of the demon possession and how a legion of sentient, self-conscious, self-aware demons migrated from a demon possessed man into a herd of pigs, and the pigs went over the cliff, then the receiver/storage contain model seems to depict this.

    I’m no Christian and believe in reincarnation so I don’t have any problems with your speculation.

    Scordova #26: Are animals sentient, well if one accepts the story, their bodies are capable of being multiply-sentient!

    Which story are you referring to? I believe that animals possess consciousness without self-reflection.

    Scordova #26: Keiths at TSZ thought his split brain essay somehow disproved the existence of souls, I interpreted it to mean it showed multiple souls can exist in one body or a single soul can exist in multiple persons (hmm, Keiths unwittingly lent support to one certain Christian doctrine of more than one persons in one essence ).

    As usual I like Bornagain77’s input in this thread. And Eugen (post 37) makes a profound observation about split brains: “Cutting connections between two cooperating processors is quite an event. If anything, it’s amazing how it all still works after something severe as that.” Indeed, the fact that it all still works points towards the strength of unity and consciousness – contrary to Keiths claim that split brain symptoms indicate that there is no such thing.

    Scordova #26: Curiously, lots of atheists have reported they’ve seen ghosts. I wonder why? :shock:

    Can you give me a link? :)

  32. Box @30:

    Mapou, if the knower cannot be known how does one explain self-consciousness? Self-consciousness means that the knower reflects on the knower, right?
    ~ BTW I’m asking you this question for the third time now. Maybe this time you will feel inclined to answer.

    Box, I’m sorry. I must have missed your previous requests. It happens. This forum’s software leaves a little to be desired because it has no email notification mechanism.

    In my opinion, what we call “the self” consists of all the things that we know. Nobody can reflect directly on the knower, in my view. As a Christian, I believe that not even God can know the knower directly. This is why the scriptures teach us that every spirit must be tested and that a spirit can only be known by its actions, i.e., indirectly.

  33. Mapou #32: In my opinion, what we call “the self” consists of all the things that we know. Nobody can reflect directly on the knower, in my view. (..) a spirit can only be known by its actions, i.e., indirectly.

    I don’t understand your position at all. How does one explain being conscious of e.g. ones intentions? Intentions do not necessarily lead to actions, besides we have direct access to our intentions.
    Why do we perceive our memories, thoughts, feelings and will directly – internal? We do in fact, don’t we? Are they not part of your alleged invisible knower? Please explain.

  34. Box @33:

    I don’t understand your position at all. How does one explain being conscious of e.g. ones intentions? Intentions do not necessarily lead to actions, besides we have direct access to our intentions.
    Why do we perceive our memories, thoughts, feelings and will directly – internal? We do in fact, don’t we? Are they not part of your alleged invisible knower? Please explain.

    Are they not part of your alleged invisible knower?
    In my opinion, no. All the things you mentioned are in the brain’s cortex, i.e., in memory. We know them precisely because they are in the brain and are what I call the “known”. What you and I call an “intention” is really a sequence of potential actions in memory that may or may not be activated at a later date.

    PS. I realize that my understanding of consciousness and intelligence goes contrary to that of many here at UD and the Christian and materialist communities at large but these are things that I have meditated on for many years and they form the basis of my research on intelligence and the brain.

  35. Which story are you referring to? I believe that animals possess consciousness without self-reflection.

    From:
    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=ESV

    5 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 And when Jesus[b] had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

    As far as atheists and ghosts, here is a discussion. Buried in the comments, we have some atheists reporting ghost sightings:

    http://www.atheistrev.com/2010.....hosts.html

  36. The Urantia Papers 5th epochal divine revelation (published 1955):

  37. http://www.urantia.org/urantia.....-pentecost

    7. The Vulnerability of Materialism

    (2078.4) 195:7.1 How foolish it is for material-minded man to allow such vulnerable theories as those of a mechanistic universe to deprive him of the vast spiritual resources of the personal experience of true religion. Facts never quarrel with real spiritual faith; theories may. Better that science should be devoted to the destruction of superstition rather than attempting the overthrow of religious faith — human belief in spiritual realities and divine values.

    (2078.5) 195:7.2 Science should do for man materially what religion does for him spiritually: extend the horizon of life and enlarge his personality. True science can have no lasting quarrel with true religion. The “scientific method” is merely an intellectual yardstick wherewith to measure material adventures and physical achievements. But being material and wholly intellectual, it is utterly useless in the evaluation of spiritual realities and religious experiences.

    (2078.6) 195:7.3 The inconsistency of the modern mechanist is: If this were merely a material universe and man only a machine, such a man would be wholly unable to recognize himself as such a machine, and likewise would such a machine-man be wholly unconscious of the fact of the existence of such a material universe. The materialistic dismay and despair of a mechanistic science has failed to recognize the fact of the spirit-indwelt mind of the scientist whose very supermaterial insight formulates these mistaken and self-contradictory concepts of a materialistic universe.

    (2078.7) 195:7.4 Paradise values of eternity and infinity, of truth, beauty, and goodness, are concealed within the facts of the phenomena of the universes of time and space. But it requires the eye of faith in a spirit-born mortal to detect and discern these spiritual values.

    (2078.8) 195:7.5 The realities and values of spiritual progress are not a “psychologic projection” — a mere glorified daydream of the material mind. Such things are the spiritual forecasts of the indwelling Adjuster, the spirit of God living in the mind of man. And let not your dabblings with the faintly glimpsed findings of “relativity” disturb your concepts of the eternity and infinity of God. And in all your solicitation concerning the necessity for self-expression do not make the mistake of failing to provide for Adjuster-expression, the manifestation of your real and better self.

    (2079.1) 195:7.6 If this were only a material universe, material man would never be able to arrive at the concept of the mechanistic character of such an exclusively material existence. This very mechanistic concept of the universe is in itself a nonmaterial phenomenon of mind, and all mind is of nonmaterial origin, no matter how thoroughly it may appear to be materially conditioned and mechanistically controlled.

    (2079.2) 195:7.7 The partially evolved mental mechanism of mortal man is not overendowed with consistency and wisdom. Man’s conceit often outruns his reason and eludes his logic.

    (2079.3) 195:7.8 The very pessimism of the most pessimistic materialist is, in and of itself, sufficient proof that the universe of the pessimist is not wholly material. Both optimism and pessimism are concept reactions in a mind conscious of values as well as of facts. If the universe were truly what the materialist regards it to be, man as a human machine would then be devoid of all conscious recognition of that very fact. Without the consciousness of the concept of values within the spirit-born mind, the fact of universe materialism and the mechanistic phenomena of universe operation would be wholly unrecognized by man. One machine cannot be conscious of the nature or value of another machine.

    (2079.4) 195:7.9 A mechanistic philosophy of life and the universe cannot be scientific because science recognizes and deals only with materials and facts. Philosophy is inevitably superscientific. Man is a material fact of nature, but his life is a phenomenon which transcends the material levels of nature in that it exhibits the control attributes of mind and the creative qualities of spirit.

    (2079.5) 195:7.10 The sincere effort of man to become a mechanist represents the tragic phenomenon of that man’s futile effort to commit intellectual and moral suicide. But he cannot do it.

    (2079.6) 195:7.11 If the universe were only material and man only a machine, there would be no science to embolden the scientist to postulate this mechanization of the universe. Machines cannot measure, classify, nor evaluate themselves. Such a scientific piece of work could be executed only by some entity of supermachine status.

    (2079.7) 195:7.12 If universe reality is only one vast machine, then man must be outside of the universe and apart from it in order to recognize such a fact and become conscious of the insight of such an evaluation.

    (2079.8) 195:7.13 If man is only a machine, by what technique does this man come to believe or claim to know that he is only a machine? The experience of self-conscious evaluation of one’s self is never an attribute of a mere machine. A self-conscious and avowed mechanist is the best possible answer to mechanism. If materialism were a fact, there could be no self-conscious mechanist. It is also true that one must first be a moral person before one can perform immoral acts.

    (2079.9) 195:7.14 The very claim of materialism implies a supermaterial consciousness of the mind which presumes to assert such dogmas. A mechanism might deteriorate, but it could never progress. Machines do not think, create, dream, aspire, idealize, hunger for truth, or thirst for righteousness. They do not motivate their lives with the passion to serve other machines and to choose as their goal of eternal progression the sublime task of finding God and striving to be like him. Machines are never intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, ethical, moral, or spiritual.

    (2079.10) 195:7.15 Art proves that man is not mechanistic, but it does not prove that he is spiritually immortal. Art is mortal morontia, the intervening field between man, the material, and man, the spiritual. Poetry is an effort to escape from material realities to spiritual values.

    (2080.1) 195:7.16 In a high civilization, art humanizes science, while in turn it is spiritualized by true religion — insight into spiritual and eternal values. Art represents the human and time-space evaluation of reality. Religion is the divine embrace of cosmic values and connotes eternal progression in spiritual ascension and expansion. The art of time is dangerous only when it becomes blind to the spirit standards of the divine patterns which eternity reflects as the reality shadows of time. True art is the effective manipulation of the material things of life; religion is the ennobling transformation of the material facts of life, and it never ceases in its spiritual evaluation of art.

    (2080.2) 195:7.17 How foolish to presume that an automaton could conceive a philosophy of automatism, and how ridiculous that it should presume to form such a concept of other and fellow automatons!

    (2080.3) 195:7.18 Any scientific interpretation of the material universe is valueless unless it provides due recognition for the scientist. No appreciation of art is genuine unless it accords recognition to the artist. No evaluation of morals is worth while unless it includes the moralist. No recognition of philosophy is edifying if it ignores the philosopher, and religion cannot exist without the real experience of the religionist who, in and through this very experience, is seeking to find God and to know him. Likewise is the universe of universes without significance apart from the I AM, the infinite God who made it and unceasingly manages it.

    (2080.4) 195:7.19 Mechanists — humanists — tend to drift with the material currents. Idealists and spiritists dare to use their oars with intelligence and vigor in order to modify the apparently purely material course of the energy streams.

    (2080.5) 195:7.20 Science lives by the mathematics of the mind; music expresses the tempo of the emotions. Religion is the spiritual rhythm of the soul in time-space harmony with the higher and eternal melody measurements of Infinity. Religious experience is something in human life which is truly supermathematical.

    (2080.6) 195:7.21 In language, an alphabet represents the mechanism of materialism, while the words expressive of the meaning of a thousand thoughts, grand ideas, and noble ideals — of love and hate, of cowardice and courage — represent the performances of mind within the scope defined by both material and spiritual law, directed by the assertion of the will of personality, and limited by the inherent situational endowment.

    (2080.7) 195:7.22 The universe is not like the laws, mechanisms, and the uniformities which the scientist discovers, and which he comes to regard as science, but rather like the curious, thinking, choosing, creative, combining, and discriminating scientist who thus observes universe phenomena and classifies the mathematical facts inherent in the mechanistic phases of the material side of creation. Neither is the universe like the art of the artist, but rather like the striving, dreaming, aspiring, and advancing artist who seeks to transcend the world of material things in an effort to achieve a spiritual goal.

    (2080.8) 195:7.23 The scientist, not science, perceives the reality of an evolving and advancing universe of energy and matter. The artist, not art, demonstrates the existence of the transient morontia world intervening between material existence and spiritual liberty. The religionist, not religion, proves the existence of the spirit realities and divine values which are to be encountered in the progress of eternity.

  38. Mapou #34

    BOX #33: Why do we perceive our memories, thoughts, feelings and will directly – internal? We do in fact, don’t we? Are they not part of your alleged invisible knower?

    Maopou #34: In my opinion, no. All the things you mentioned are in the brain’s cortex, i.e., in memory. We know them precisely because they are in the brain and are what I call the “known”. What you and I call an “intention” is really a sequence of potential actions in memory that may or may not be activated at a later date.

    So the knower is not a thinker – it is the brain that thinks independently from the knower. Likewise the knower is not actually feeling – it is the brain/ nervous system that feels independently from the knower. Likewise the knower is not willing something – it is the brain who is doing the willing independently from the knower.
    So our conception of ourselves is invalid. The knower – or the combination knower-brain – is deceiving us to believe that we are in control and have free will, that we are persons who think, feel and act on will. But in fact there is a totally passive knower and a brain who is responsible for about everything?

  39. Box @38:

    So the knower is not a thinker – it is the brain that thinks independently from the knower. Likewise the knower is not actually feeling – it is the brain/ nervous system that feels independently from the knower. Likewise the knower is not willing something – it is the brain who is doing the willing independently from the knower.
    So our conception of ourselves is invalid. The knower – or the combination knower-brain – is deceiving us to believe that we are in control and have free will, that we are persons who think, feel and act on will. But in fact there is a totally passive knower and a brain who is responsible for about everything?

    In my opinion, the brain does all the hard work of learning and building a model of the world automatically. However, it cannot make decisions about what to learn and which courses of actions to take. The knower chooses what to focus on and what to do. What you call “feeling” is what I call “sensing”. Unless the knower is focusing on a phenomenon, it can have no conscious knowledge of it.

    In my research I have found that knowledge is organized hierarchically, like a tree. Each branch of the tree represents an object or concept. Only one branch can be active at any one time; that’s the mechanism of attention. In humans, it’s the knower/spirit that decides which branch to activate. Even then, our focus on a particular subject can last no more than about 12 seconds and then it is forced to switch to something else (another branch). This is almost always true except when innate programming takes over, usually in situations having to do with pain, injury, reproduction, etc.

  40. Mapou: The knower chooses what to focus on and what to do.

    The knower chooses this based on .. what? When I asked you about memories, thoughts, feelings and will, you told me that “all the things you mentioned are in the brain’s cortex”, so on what does the knower bases its decisions? Because if the knower makes decisions for the brain, as you seem to say, there must be a ground for decisions external from the brain.
    You try to separate thinker and thoughts and I’m arguing that this is not logically possible.

  41. Box @40:

    Mapou: The knower chooses what to focus on and what to do.

    The knower chooses this based on .. what? When I asked you about memories, thoughts, feelings and will, you told me that “all the things you mentioned are in the brain’s cortex”, so on what does the knower bases its decisions? Because if the knower makes decisions for the brain, as you seem to say, there must be a ground for decisions external from the brain.

    Absolutely. Decisions are like pathways in the brain. The knower examines them and selects which one to take. To borrow from Blaise Pascal, the knower has its reasons, which reason does not know. I think this is where free will comes in. Again, the knower cannot be known. We can only observe its choices.

    You try to separate thinker and thoughts and I’m arguing that this is not logically possible.

    Well, I agree but there are conscious thoughts and there are unconscious thoughts. There is an amazing number of things that occur all the time in the brain that we are completely unaware of. As I said earlier, the cerebellum is an automaton, our trusted robot helper in the back of the brain that performs all sorts of complex tasks for us without our being conscious of them. If we did not have a cerebellum, we would not be able to think or talk while walking or even sitting in a chair.

  42. Mapou #41

    Box: When I asked you about memories, thoughts, feelings and will, you told me that “all the things you mentioned are in the brain’s cortex”, so on what does the knower bases its decisions? Because if the knower makes decisions for the brain, as you seem to say, there must be a ground for decisions external from the brain.

    Mapou: Absolutely. Decisions are like pathways in the brain. The knower examines them and selects which one to take.

    So the knower somehow knows what different neural pathways are ‘thinking’ about. Generally worded: The knower can translate chemical processes into thoughts, feelings, will and can consequently select on them? If so, how did the knower acquire this translating ability?
    The knower examines neural pathways, you say, with … its eyes? The knower translates chemical processes into thoughts with … reason? The knower makes decisions based on .. thoughts?

    Mapou: To borrow from Blaise Pascal, the knower has its reasons, which reason does not know. I think this is where free will comes in. Again, the knower cannot be known. We can only observe its choices.

    You cannot strip the knower of the ability to think and then let the knower make decisions based on free will without grounding.

    First your theory strips the thinker of the ability to think.
    After that you realize that you still need an agency to explain decision-making.
    Then you propose a ‘knower’ – NOT a thinker – whose primary job is making decisions.
    However by definition the knower’s decisions – selecting on different neural pathways – are based on nothing. Not because ‘we cannot know the knower’, but because the knower is bereft of all the necessary mental capacities to make informed decisions.
    You try to separate thinker and thoughts and I’m arguing that this is not logically possible.

  43. Box:

    Generally worded: The knower can translate chemical processes into thoughts, feelings, will and can consequently select on them? If so, how did the knower acquire this translating ability?

    Nope, the knower translates nothing. The neural pathways are the thoughts. Thoughts cannot make decisions on their own. It takes two to tango.

    You try to separate thinker and thoughts and I’m arguing that this is not logically possible.

    But I am not doing that at all. This is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. It takes two things to think, the thinker and the thought, i.e., the knower and the known. Neither the thinker nor the thought can think by itself. The two are complementary opposites. I, more than anyone I know, am a firm believer in a yin-yang reality. Opposites are ONE but they are not the same thing.

    I suspect you’re trying to pull a Zen trick on me, the sound of one hand clapping and all that nonsense.

  44. Mapou: The neural pathways are the thoughts.

    Simply asserting something doesn’t make it so. How are chemical processes thoughts? How is that obvious?

    Mapou: Thoughts cannot make decisions on their own. It takes two to tango.

    According to you, the knower chooses between neural pathways. By doing so it needs a basis / grounding. You did agree with this analysis. For the third time in a row I ask you: what is the basis for the knower’s decisions?
    Then there is also the question ‘how does the knower do this’, which you forgot to answer.

    Mapou: I suspect you’re trying to pull a Zen trick on me, the sound of one hand clapping and all that nonsense.

    I don’t know what you are talking about here, I have lost interest in eastern religion a long time ago.

  45. box:

    Mapou: The neural pathways are the thoughts.

    Simply asserting something doesn’t make it so. How are chemical processes thoughts? How is that obvious?

    Well, neural pathways don’t have to be chemical. They could be electro-mechanical. They just happen to use electrochemical processes in the brain for whatever reason. Are you telling me that this is not obvious and that the brain could be using some other form of processing? That’s news to me.

    Mapou: Thoughts cannot make decisions on their own. It takes two to tango.

    According to you, the knower chooses between neural pathways. By doing so it needs a basis / grounding. You did agree with this analysis. For the third time in a row I ask you: what is the basis for the knower’s decisions?

    And how many times have it said that the knower cannot be known and the known cannot know by definition? We can only infer that the knower has some grounding in the spiritual realm but the spiritual realm is forever beyond direct scrutiny. Why? because that is its nature by yin-yang necessity. Only the known can be known.

    Then there is also the question ‘how does the knower do this’, which you forgot to answer.

    If I knew everything, I would be some kind of exalted guru sitting on top of some holy mountain somewhere but, fortunately, I’m not. I’m just a researcher and I like it that way. However, there can be no doubt that there is some form of physical arrangement of matter that makes it possible for knower and known to interact. If I had the money, I would set up some kind of biological lab to look for it. Unfortunately, I am not a multi-millionaire. Hopefully, Bill Gates or some other fortunate soul is reading this thread and may fork up the money to investigate the matter. I have some ideas on how to conduct the search but they’re just ideas.

  46. Mapou #45

    Box: what is the basis for the knower’s decisions?

    Mapou: And how many times have it said that the knower cannot be known and the known cannot know by definition?

    So how do we even know that there is a knower? This is getting ridiculous.
    What do we even mean with ‘I’?? Not the knower I presume … because the knower (sigh) cannot be known.
    Contrary to your belief, that we cannot know anything about the knower, you were willing to share with me that the knower examines neural pathways and makes decisions. You cannot know that by definition right? But when I ask you for the basis of these decisions you reply with: ‘the knower cannot be known’.

    Mapou: We can only infer that the knower has some grounding in the spiritual realm but the spiritual realm is forever beyond direct scrutiny. Why? because that is its nature by yin-yang necessity. Only the known can be known.

    ‘Some grounding in the spiritual realm’ or whatever. Surely, we cannot know this … why? Because my theory says so.
    Summary: We cannot know the knower because my theory says so.

  47. Box:

    Summary: We cannot know the knower because my theory says so.

    No, it’s not my theory. It’s the nature of opposites, of yin and yang. It’s an age-old truth.

    PS. I think you are a man/woman of bad faith, whoever you are. You’ve been wasting my time in this thread. I learned absolutely nothing from you. This is my last reply to you. Adios.

  48. Mapou,
    you tell me that you have learned nothing. What you should have learned is that you run away from tough questions.

    Your theory makes little sense and you know it. At least I bet your knower knows it. Don’t try to deny it, because you cannot know :)

  49. While interacting in day-to-day life, we need to act or react to bodily processes and the happenings in our environment/world, sometimes instantly, to provide us beneficial outcomes.

    Consciousness is designed by the evolutionary process to filter out data from such interactions that may require power of making judgments to become available for the decision making process, thereby benefiting from such interactions.

    The process is explained in detail here http://www.whatismind.com/WIDN.aspx and here http://www.whatismind.com/WIDN2.aspx (free membership)

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