Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Oct 31, 2013
    Well of course, his book is entitled, "Why Materialism is Baloney".

    I suppose the best refutation of Dualism, is that it is inconsistent - you have two realms that are meant to be distinct, and yet which must obviously interact! As for Panpsychism - there doesn't seem to be much evidence in its favour. Also, if you take it down to the level of fundamental particles, it seems to be in contradiction with QM.

    However, my feeling is that science is absolutely built on theories that are strictly speaking obviously false. Take Ohm's law. If you push the voltage on a resistor too high, the thing will burn, but even at smaller voltages, it will heat up, which will in turn change its resistance! Ohm's law is useful because in many practical situations, those problems can be neglected. Taking Dualism as a real theory in the same sense would be a decent step forward because it would be far more testable than Idealism. In a very real sense many ψ experiments can be seen as tests of Dualism - thus for example, ESP can be seen as an interaction in the mental realm that is not mediated by physical processes.

    Ian Thompson likes this.
  2. tempel

    tempel New

    Dec 10, 2013
    Not sure if the rest of your comment is in response to anything I wrote here. Seems like a response to this comment in the Jeff Kitsch thread. If so, perhaps repost your comment there for thread continuity?

    The puzzle of the power of mathematics is in fact even more complex than the above examples from electromagnetism might suggest. There are actually two facets to the “unreasonable effectiveness,” one that I call active and another that I dub passive. The active facet refers to the fact that when scientists attempt to light their way through the labyrinth of natural phenomena, they use mathematics as their torch. In other words, at least some of the laws of nature are formulated in directly applicable mathematical terms. The mathematical entities, relations, and equations used in those laws were developed for a specific application. Newton, for instance, formulated the branch of mathematics known as calculus because he needed this tool for capturing motion and change, breaking them up into tiny frame-by-frame sequences. Similarly, string theorists today often develop the mathematical machinery they need.

    Passive effectiveness, on the other hand, refers to cases in which mathematicians developed abstract branches of mathematics with absolutely no applications in mind; yet decades, or sometimes centuries later, physicists discovered that those theories provided necessary mathematical underpinnings for physical phenomena. Examples of passive effectiveness abound. Mathematician Bernhard Riemann, for example, discussed in the 1850s new types of geometries that you would encounter on surfaces curved like a sphere or a saddle (instead of the flat plane geometry that we learn in school). Then, when Einstein formulated his theory of General Relativity (in 1915), Riemann’s geometries turned out to be precisely the tool he needed!
    NOVA: The Great Math Mystery
    Is math invented by humans, or is it the language of the universe? NOVA takes on this question in a new film premiering April 15, 2015 at 9pm on most PBS stations.

    NOVA: Describing Nature with Math
    How do scientists use mathematics to define reality? And why? Peter Tyson investigates two millennia of mathematical discovery.

    The Washington Post: The Structure of Everything
    Learn more about the “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in this review of Mario Livio’s book “Is God a Mathematician?”
    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences
    Richard Courant Lecture in Mathematical Sciences delivered at New York University,
    May 11, 1959
    Princeton University
    David Eire likes this.
  4. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Jan 29, 2014

    Hello Jim Smith
    I have not had time to follow up on the links etc but I want to ask your opinion on something re math

    I agree with your analysis that pure consciousness is not part of the physical universe
    I call it 'presence-awareness' to indicate two of its essential qualities - beingness and awareness
    It also has the essential quality of intelligence

    Presence-awareness is a primary or essential reality - ie Divine

    The body and its nervous system is part of the objective physical universe

    What we experience as human mind is an effect or product of the encounter between presence-awareness and the nervous system
    Mind is a sort of holographic emergence from that encounter; an effect of incarnation

    Human mind is not a primary or essential reality - ie not Divine

    The qualities of human mind are a mix of those it derives from physical reality (specifically the nervous system)
    and from presence-awareness or pure consciousness

    Math I suggest is a product of human mind
    The reason it maps onto physical reality is because human mind and therefore math is partly a product or effect of matter
    The other part or aspect of human mind being presence-awareness or pure consciousness

    If we examine the neuron, the basic operational component of the nervous system, we find it is functionally a biological digital device
    in the sense that it either fires or it does not fire - the action potential

    The nervous system and the brain is functionally a biological digital mechanism

    Math is a mental product made possible by the inherent digital nature of the nervous system

    Not sure if I have presented that clearly

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  5. Those links were not really needed to understand the post they are more for people who liked the quote and want more of the same.

    Regarding consciousness, I think you have to experience it to understand it:

    I like the comb analogy:
    It's true and it's not true. Duality is not exactly right and oneness is not exactly right. But they're both right but they're both wrong.

    What's it like when your awareness moves to the spine of the comb? I think it is like remembering, it is not loss of self, not annihilation. It is gaining something like knowledge not losing something.

    I think the filter model of the brain has a lot of merit.

    I'm not sure if I'm answering your question or not ... I see consciousness and individuality existing apart from the brain with the brain as an interface between an individual consciousness and the physical universe and biological body. My opinion is that mathematical concepts do not originate in nature they originate in consciousness that uses them to produce the physical universe.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
    Ian Gordon likes this.

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