Discussion:
Evolutionist Kevin?
(too old to reply)
Kevin Saldanha
2007-07-12 17:32:32 UTC
Permalink
Hei Rui,

Thank you for your compliments and encouragement. You are making a
GoaNet monster out of me as the veteran GNetters know not to stroke my
ego... it only goes to my head ;-)

To answer your first question, I am a professional (companion animal
veterinarian) with more than a passing interest in the theory of
evolution though not as a career. I apologise for misleading you by
putting the two words together (for GL's benefit) but have come to the
realization that after studying evolution for the last 25 years, but
only the last 5 from a secular perspective, it is understandable why
the Church banned Darwin's 'Origin of the Species' for over a hundred
years. His thoughts and conclusions have been verified by many
unrelated scientific disciplines and the body of proof in biology is
as incontrovertible as the Theory of Gravity in physics. A true
understanding of evolution is incompatible with a belief in God unless
hermetically sealed in separate intellectual compartments. As I have
said before, there can only be ONE truth and it is up to each one of
us to question the integrity of our own beliefs.

As to your second question, I can no longer revert to the bliss of a
'simple belief' without suffering some catastrophic cerebral accident!
In fact, one of my greatest fears is that in the coming years I might
suffer the misfortune of a right temporal lobe injury which might
relegate my current understanding of life to the darker recesses of my
memory, instead stimulating the delusions of my indoctrination to the
delight of the organized religious. I am making this public
proclamation as I wouldn't want to be misunderstood in the future in
the unfortunate circumstance that the injury is an invisible stroke as
opposed to a gunshot wound or inadvertent nail gun misfire :-(
Loading Image...

My sincere conviction today is that of an unapologetic atheist. I
don't expect convince anyone other than myself that there cannot be a
god or afterlife or soul or any other of the myriad of convoluted
explanations that accompany faithful belief of angels, etherous
spirits, psychic communication with the dead, heaven, hell, purgatory
etc. etc. I have come to this conclusion entirely on my own,
coincidently after converting to vegetarianism. I see a connection
between that dietary change and a deeper understanding of our (human)
connection with all life forms which, I am convinced, all had a common
ancestor approximately 3.5 billion years ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ancestor's_Tale

I would answer your question 'is HOPE a stronger currency then BELIEF
and is belief an insurance policy which is a tradeable commodity
milked at the alters of all religions?' with a resounding YES! But
for the right and wrong of alcoholic addiction (or for that matter ANY
addiction including belief) I would suggest a neurological
predisposition or chemical imbalance which may actually have an
inheritable component. In my opinion, there is no difference between
'mind' and 'the physical process of neuronal computation' or 'body'.

Sincerely,

Kevin Saldanha
Mississauga, ON.
=======
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 14:54:22 +0200
From: "rui nuvo" <rui.nuvo at gmail.com>

Re: Evolutionist Kevin?

But Kevin an evolutionist or Kevin a believer or Kevin both an
evolutionist and a believer would be very interesting to know in
private or in public.
--
Be impeccable with your word - Don Miguel Ruiz
http://www.nderf.org/4AgreementsReview.htm
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-14 15:13:28 UTC
Permalink
In my opinion, there is no difference between 'mind'
and 'the physical process of neuronal computation' or
'body'.
There is no reason for this to be simply an opinion at
this stage in this new century. This notion is not
just another fluffy ideology. The point is that there
are objective scientific facts that indicate that
terms such as mind, soul, self, etc are most likely
particular configurations of the electrical activity
of the brain. Knowledge of specific details of these
configurations is about to be uncovered. The
enthusiasm is palpable. All signs portend an
intellectual upheaval that would dwarf Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions. It would be mighty interesting
to see how our religious institutions, theistic and
atheistic ideologies, and legal and political systems
react to it.

Cheers,

Santosh
Carvalho
2007-07-15 05:09:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
There is no reason for this to be simply an opinion
at
this stage in this new century. This notion is not
just another fluffy ideology. The point is that
there
are objective scientific facts that indicate that
terms such as mind, soul, self, etc are most likely
particular configurations of the electrical activity
of the brain. Knowledge of specific details of these
configurations is about to be uncovered.
-------------------------------

What Santosh is trying to say with his excessive
throat-clearing, is that one is either a Monist or a
Dualist. Those interested in this topic, can google
Monism and Dualism, suffice it to say Dualists believe
that a sense of self exists outside of the body.

I'd be very interested in knowing what precise
scientific evidence exists that discredits Dualism
without a shadow of doubt. The fact is, man throughout
the ages has been conscious of a sense of self
distinct from his physical being. This sense of self
manifests very early and can be noticed in children
even as young as two.

Until, it is decidedly proven one way or another,
despite Santosh's enthusiasm, Monism remains an
opinion just as Dualism does.

selma



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Aristo
2007-07-16 05:16:33 UTC
Permalink
In my opinion, getting rid of the concept of Dualism is the last step
from a 99% Atheist (Agnostic) to a 100% Atheist.

In my attempt to learn more about the sense or self or "Consciousness"
a long time ago, I picked a copy of Roger Penrose's "The Emperors new
Mind" but I found it digressing and did not manage to complete the
book. Perhaps I should have picked up Dan Dennett's bestseller
"Consciousness Explained". Although I've already taken the last step,
I would still be interested to get the lowdown on conciousness.

Santosh, any suggestions for pertinent PS books?

Cheers,
Aristo.
Post by Carvalho
Post by Santosh Helekar
There is no reason for this to be simply an opinion
at
this stage in this new century. This notion is not
just another fluffy ideology. The point is that
there
are objective scientific facts that indicate that
terms such as mind, soul, self, etc are most likely
particular configurations of the electrical activity
of the brain. Knowledge of specific details of these
configurations is about to be uncovered.
-------------------------------
What Santosh is trying to say with his excessive
throat-clearing, is that one is either a Monist or a
Dualist. Those interested in this topic, can google
Monism and Dualism, suffice it to say Dualists believe
that a sense of self exists outside of the body.
I'd be very interested in knowing what precise
scientific evidence exists that discredits Dualism
without a shadow of doubt. The fact is, man throughout
the ages has been conscious of a sense of self
distinct from his physical being. This sense of self
manifests very early and can be noticed in children
even as young as two.
Until, it is decidedly proven one way or another,
despite Santosh's enthusiasm, Monism remains an
opinion just as Dualism does.
selma
____________________________________________________________________________________
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that gives answers, not web links.
http://mobile.yahoo.com/mobileweb/onesearch?refer=1ONXIC
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Santosh Helekar
2007-07-16 07:25:58 UTC
Permalink
Selma's characterization below of my assertions in
this thread is totally wrong.

What I stated cannot be recast in the antiquated
philosophical dichotomy of monism and dualism. The
current scientific understanding of the brain points
to a much more complicated scenario. Googling for
monism and dualism, as she recommends, will not give
you much of an insight into it. One will have to
google at a minimum for about a week, and spend more
than six months reading and trying to understand all
the papers that google throws up to grasp a little bit
of what we are dealing with here.

However, if one finds comfort in using rhetorical
flourish or pre-scientific philosophical labels then
the current scientific position can be referred to as
a cross between the philosophical concepts of
emergentism and property dualism. In short, it is
neither monism nor dualism.

The ancient classical views alluded to by Selma have
long been refuted by both modern philosophy and
science. In particular, there is hardly any
philosopher alive today, let alone a brain scientist,
who believes in classical mind-body dualism or
Cartesian dualism or substance dualism. The concept
that a mind, soul, self, etc exists independently of
the brain has been rejected on strong scientific as
well as philosophical grounds. I have already provided
some of the evidence against it on Goanet itself over
the last few years.

For example, I have told you that the first scientific
nail in its coffin was hammered in in the 18th and
19th centuries with the discovery of the first and
second laws of thermodynamics. Any spooky non-physical
entity cannot interact with the matter and energy of
physical objects such as the brain without violating
those well established fundamental laws. The coffin
was finally buried by the second half of the 20th
century by advances in neurology, neurosurgery,
neurophysiology and cognitive neuroscience, all of
which showed that not a single mental or conscious
phenomenon survives in the face of damage to specific
parts of the brain. The last two decades have provided
fascinating insights into the brain basis of the most
elusive conscious mental and spiritual phenomena you
can imagine. Out of body experiences, near death
experiences, phantom limbs, phantom selves, multiple
ghostly apparitions, religious experiences, merging
with universal consciousness, etc have all been shown
to result from certain patterns of electrical
activation in specific parts on the brain. I am not
talking about armchair speculations here. In each case
this has been a direct unequivocal inference from
reproducible experimental observations.

On the flip side no evidence has ever been uncovered
for the persistence of any mental or conscious
phenomenon in the absence of a functioning brain
structure that mediates it, or for the interaction of
non-physical entities with the world of matter and
energy. And believe me this is not for lack of trying.


All of the serious scientific studies designed to
uncover such evidence have in the final analysis come
up empty. Examples of such failures include
investigations of near death experiences and
reincarnation studies at the University of Virginia
(the latter also at NIMHANS, Bangalore), the PEAR
(Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research) project of
Princeton University, the paranormal investigations of
psychologists Richard Wiseman and Susan Blackmore in
UK, and the intercessary prayer studies at Columbia
University and elsewhere, funded by the Templeton
foundation.

Classical monism is equally dead. It runs into a
serious conceptual problem in explaining the natural
phenomenon of consciousness - the problem as to how
and why only certain brain processes are conscious.
Modern philosophers have labeled this problem or gap
in understanding with rather uncreative terms such as
"the hard problem" or "the explanatory gap". Those who
took monism seriously in the past did so by rejecting
the reality of conscious experience. They can no
longer do so because modern brain science has
established that consciousness is a measurable and
manipulable natural phenomenon. A good case can be
made that it is most likely a fundamental physical
property similar in some respects to mass and
electrical charge.

So please don't be misguided by Selma's claim that the
present day scientific explanation of a natural
phenomenon, the mind, in terms of an underlying
natural causal process, the activity of the brain, is
simply some age-old philosophical opinion.

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Carvalho
What Santosh is trying to say with his excessive
throat-clearing, is that one is either a Monist or a
Dualist. Those interested in this topic, can google
Monism and Dualism, suffice it to say Dualists
believe
that a sense of self exists outside of the body.
I'd be very interested in knowing what precise
scientific evidence exists that discredits Dualism
without a shadow of doubt. The fact is, man
throughout
the ages has been conscious of a sense of self
distinct from his physical being. This sense of self
manifests very early and can be noticed in children
even as young as two.
Until, it is decidedly proven one way or another,
despite Santosh's enthusiasm, Monism remains an
opinion just as Dualism does.
selma
Carvalho
2007-07-17 05:02:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
Selma's characterization below of my assertions in
this thread is totally wrong.
Response:
There you go again Santosh with those words "totally
wrong". Of late, you've even begun calling for the
pastoral exile of people who you find "totally wrong".
Very disappointing that was coming from you. I had
truly held you in much higher esteem.

Now, let me at the onset point out that I don't have a
bone in my body that understands anything in the realm
of science, so I am by no means attempting to
discredit your knowledge in these subjects but let me
respond nonetheless to some of your points from a
layman's point of view.

Santosh wrote:
multiple
Post by Santosh Helekar
ghostly apparitions, religious experiences, merging
with universal consciousness, etc have all been
shown
to result from certain patterns of electrical
activation in specific parts on the brain.
Response:
Now, this statement alone is fudging the truth a bit
isn't it? What you mean to say is that certain
patterns of electrical activation have been known to
reproduce apparitions, religious experiences etc. In
order for the converse to be true, you would have to
round up centuries of "fools" who have had
apparitions, religious experiences, near death
experiences, heightened sense of awareness, etc and
conclusively prove that at that precise moment, their
brains were undergoing "certain patterns of electrical
activation in specific parts of the brain".

Now, Eric Von Daniken also has "conclusive evidence",
that religious apparitions are holograms beamed to us
from aliens in outer space. What if in 50 years from
now, we find out that Eric Von Daniken was right. It
would certainly disapprove that apparitions were
divinely motivated but it would also disprove your
theory.

My point is simply this, by all means let science move
ahead, dispelling truths and half-truths that have
crowded our lives. Humanity doesn't owe anyone a dime
except the Deity of Truth but just as I'm wary of
religious zealots who insist they have uncovered the
whole truth, I'm becoming anxious about scientific
inquiry which seeks to prematurely euthanise the
indomitable fakir that resides in all of us.

selma
PS: Re Dualism and Monism, I shall certainly add the
recommended reading to my list. Sincere thanks.



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Santosh Helekar
2007-07-17 08:47:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carvalho
There you go again Santosh with those words "totally
wrong". Of late, you've even begun calling for the
pastoral exile of people who you find "totally
wrong".
Very disappointing that was coming from you. I had
truly held you in much higher esteem.
The above statements of Selma do not add anything
worthwhile to this discussion. She is simply engaging
in innuendo and further mischaracterization of my
statements. I have already explained why her
characterization of my earlier assertions were totally
wrong. In the academic field, one does have to point
out when a student or colleague is totally wrong about
some thing. More importantly, one has to tell them why
they are wrong.

Selma's statement above that I have begun calling for
the pastoral exile of people who I find totally wrong
is false. I had merely made a light-hearted comment in
response to a derogatory remark made by another
Goanetter, in the form of question to Bosco about his
rules for pastoral action. My comment had nothing to
do with whether I thought the person was right or
wrong.
Post by Carvalho
Now, this statement alone is fudging the truth a bit
isn't it?
No, it isn't. Please see below.
Post by Carvalho
What you mean to say is that certain patterns of
electrical activation have been known to reproduce
apparitions, religious experiences etc. In order for
the converse to be true, you would have to round up
centuries of "fools" who have had apparitions,
religious experiences, near death experiences,
heightened sense of awareness, etc and conclusively
prove that at that precise moment, their brains were
undergoing "certain patterns of electrical
activation in specific parts of the brain".
First of all, I do not think these people are "fools".
Science does not claim that these people are "fools".
Science is a dispassionate enterprise. It contends
that these people are displaying well-recognized
natural phenomena, which have now been reproduced in
the laboratory. Second, it is unreasonable for anybody
to expect scientists to go back in time and prove that
any natural phenomenon (in this case a given conscious
experience) that has occurred in the past is due to a
natural cause (in this case brain electrical patterns)
because this type of time travel is not yet possible.
If people demanded this type of proof, several
well-established scientific theories describing our
past would also have been regarded as mere
philosophical opinions. Examples of such theories
include the theory of evolution by natural selection,
the Big Bang theory, the theory of stellar evolution,
and the geological formation and age of the earth.
Indeed, the case for these theories would have been
weaker than the case for the brain basis of mental
phenomena.

What modern scientists have done instead to confirm
the dependence of mental phenomena on brain activity
is the following:

1. They have recorded brain activation patterns while
present day folks are having these experiences in the
clinic or the laboratory.

2. They have reproducibly induced these experiences by
direct electrical stimulation of specific parts of the
brain.
Post by Carvalho
Now, Eric Von Daniken also has "conclusive evidence",
that religious apparitions are holograms beamed to
us from aliens in outer space. What if in 50 years
from now, we find out that Eric Von Daniken was
right. >It would certainly disapprove that apparitions
were
Post by Carvalho
divinely motivated but it would also disprove your
theory.
To find out if this is an appropriate analogy or not
please provide me with the "conclusive evidence" that
Eric Von Daniken has for his extraordinary theory.

I have already implied what would disprove the current
scientific explanation for mental phenomena. To state
it explicitly, any experiment that shows a person has
no specific electrical activation of the brain while
he/she is having a religious or any other conscious
experience would conclusively disprove the current
explanation.
Post by Carvalho
Humanity doesn't owe anyone a dime except the Deity
of >Truth but just as I'm wary of religious zealots
who >insist they have uncovered the whole truth, I'm
Post by Carvalho
becoming anxious about scientific inquiry which seeks
to prematurely euthanise the indomitable fakir that
resides in all of us.
This anxiety is unfounded. As I have said earlier,
science is simply a humble method to find internally
consistent natural explanations for observed natural
phenomena based on objective evidence.

The scientific method has not yet yielded a detailed
complete natural explanation for the conscious mind.
However, we know that the idea that it exists
independently of the brain is inconsistent with an
overwhelming body of objective evidence. Moreover,
there is absolutely no positive evidence in support of
this idea.

Cheers,

Santosh
Carvalho
2007-07-17 13:03:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
The scientific method has not yet yielded a detailed
complete natural explanation for the conscious mind.
However, we know that the idea that it exists
independently of the brain is inconsistent with an
overwhelming body of objective evidence. Moreover,
there is absolutely no positive evidence in support
of
this idea.
Cheers,
Santosh
-------------------------------------

We are going through the same argument over and over
again. Just because something is unproveable at the
present time, does not mean it will be unproveable
sometime in the future. It surprises me that a
scientiest should extrapolate into the future with a
limited number of current variables. I would have
thought science itself worked the other way round, or
is it just the other way round when it works in one's
favour?

selma




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Santosh Helekar
2007-07-17 22:38:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carvalho
We are going through the same argument over and over
again.
Which argument? Please state it clearly.
Post by Carvalho
Just because something is unproveable at the present
time, does not mean it will be unproveable sometime
in >the future.
What will be provable in the future? If you are
talking about substance dualism, I have presented most
of the already available objective evidence that
completely disproves this ancient philosophy as it
applies to mental phenomena. If you need more details,
I can provide them to you. For example, I can explain
to you why it violates one of the most fundamental
laws of Physics, the second law of thermodynamics. If
you still believe that it is unprovable at the present
time, please state your reasons.
Post by Carvalho
It surprises me that a scientiest should extrapolate
into the future with a limited number of current
variables.
Perhaps, the surprise is because of a
misunderstanding. Please explain clearly as to what
you are trying to say? What variables? What have I
extrapolated into the future?
Post by Carvalho
I would have thought science itself worked the other
way round, or is it just the other way round when it
works in one's favour?
Again, please explain. I am sorry I do not understand
your point at all.

Cheers,

Santosh
allwyntc
2007-07-18 00:00:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carvalho
We are going through the same argument over and over
again. Just because something is unproveable at the
present time, does not mean it will be unproveable
sometime in the future. It surprises me that a
scientiest should extrapolate into the future with a
limited number of current variables. I would have
thought science itself worked the other way round, or
is it just the other way round when it works in one's
favour?
Well said, especially for someone who claims not to have "a bone in my
body that understands anything in the realm of science".
Post by Carvalho
From what I understand, from all the mails I have read from Santosh,
he is not a scientist. His expertise, from what I understand, is in
medical "science", which is an empirical "science".
Post by Carvalho
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
(see www.dict.org):

"Empirical: Depending upon experience or observation alone, without
due regard to science and theory; -- said especially of medical
practice, remedies, etc.; wanting in science and deep insight; as,
empiric skill, remedies."

Note the phrases, "without due regard to science and theory", also, "
wanting in science and deep insight".

Also, from the same dictionary:

"Empirical: Pertaining to, or founded upon, experiment or experience;
depending upon the observation of phenomena; versed in experiments."

Empirical "scientists" "prove" their conclusions based on observation.
Having observed 427 subjects, and seeing more or less a certain
pattern, they will claim as proof that the pattern exists in all
subjects.

That is the best they can do. Empirical science cannot prove naught.

"Pure" science too, for example mathematics, for that matter, cannot
prove naught. Pure science, too, is based on axioms. The axioms are
taken for granted. There is no proof for the axioms, one simply needs
to believe in them. If the axioms turn out to be wrong, science needs
to be re-written. Science does not exist without these axioms.

Most scientists know this -- they realize that their "proofs" are not
absolute -- that they are subject to the axioms on which they are
based.

Every once in a while one comes across a "scientist" like Santosh who,
from his arrogance it seems, does not seem to realize that his
understanding is, at best, limited.

Allwyn.
Gilbert Lawrence
2007-07-18 01:23:08 UTC
Permalink
Mogal Selma bhai,
Kitlem sobit posts boroita! Tuven boroilolem aum zaitem vaztam.

Thanks to you and Google for researching the research. Are you saying, we are presenting some one's research on this topic without providing reference?

Are you suggesting: What some claim as "configurations of the electrical activity of the brain", has already been:

Presented by some Greek philosopher in about 500 BCE, as "an opinion", (see below for reference) and

Repeatedly passed down by Christian theologists as "another fluffy ideology", with each generation of theologians giving us a 'New and Improved' version of the fluff;

And now, regurgitated by theist and atheist scientists as "objective scientific facts" and massaged as "an intellectual upheaval"?:=))

That certainly calls for an additional 50 million dollars in grant money to pursue this 'latest breakthrough'.

So, "It would be mighty interesting to see how our religious institutions, theistic and atheistic ideologies, and legal and political systems react to it."? Or more likely, would it be a Greek mauxi saying, "What's new?" :=))

Kind Regards, GL

Ref from Wikipedia: The origins of the term and understanding for the term Monad historically have their roots in the Hellenic philosophical teachings of Pythagoras. Monad derives from the Greek word ????? or Monos meaning single and without division.

------------------ Carvalho

Those interested in this topic, can google Monism and Dualism, suffice it to say Dualists believe that a sense of self exists outside of the body.
The fact is, man throughout the ages has been conscious of a sense of self distinct from his physical being. This sense of self manifests very early and can be noticed in children even as young as two.
Until, it is decidedly proven one way or another, despite Santosh's enthusiasm, Monism remains an opinion just as Dualism does.
Carvalho
2007-07-18 04:37:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
Perhaps, the surprise is because of a
misunderstanding. Please explain clearly as to what
you are trying to say? What variables? What have I
extrapolated into the future?
------------------------------------------

Alright Santosh,

Let me try this one more time. Your initial argument
no. 1 in your own words:

"The point is that there are objective scientific
facts that indicate that terms such as mind, soul,
self, etc are most likely particular configurations of
the electrical activity of the brain."

Hence, an entity such as the self and soul cannot
exist independent of the mind/body. You further went
on to state that this is no longer an opinion but that
some evidence will soon come to light which will
conclusively prove it to be so.

Now, I respect your scientific perspective on this,
but your assertion that the philosophical concept of
self and consciousness is to be totally disregarded is
a bit premature. After all, we are now not talking
about an organised religion's view of the "soul".

Organised religion has been so easy to discredit,
especially post 9/11 having come in for so much flak,
but we are now talking about centuries of philosophers
and schools of latter-day writers, among which include
such luminaries as Jung, M Scot Peck, Gibran and Paulo
Coelho, who speak eloquently and passionately about
consciousness. Two from the standpoint of clinical
psychologists with years of experience in the human
Psyche and the other two from the standpoint of poetic
writers and free thinkers.

After we've lined up all the theologians and disposed
off them for spewing nonsense for centuries (which I
agree a lot of them have been doing), I guess next in
line are those half-baked philosophers, poets,
free-thinkers and anyone else out there looking for
answers outside of the petri-dish.

So let's look at this from another point. Science is
very quick to prove that the regression theory of God
(for lack of a better word) is nonsense, simply
because there is no evidence to regress evolution back
to a supernatural Deity. Now we can talk about Big
bangs and black holes till kingdom come but the fact
of the matter is nothing has adequately explained how
matter and energy sparked off life. To which the
answer from scientific quarters is, that evidence will
present itself.

I'm sure lots of evidence will present itself in the
next billion years to come, but it is simply
impossible for us to extrapolate at this point where
that evidence will lead us and for you to make an
assertion one way or another, just seems to me to be
as dogmatic as the religious viewpoint.

That's my two cents and I've got no more spare change.
selma



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Santosh Helekar
2007-07-18 06:16:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aristo
Santosh, any suggestions for pertinent PS books?
Hi Aristo,

To you and to others who have expressed an interest in
this subject privately, here is a short list of
popular books you might want to read:

Consciousness: An Introduction by Susan Blackmore

Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the
Soul by Francis Crick

Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio

Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra
Blakeslee

If you want to read a short but nearly comprehensive
discussion on mind-brain philosophy from a historical
standpoint, please see:

Matter and Consciousness by Paul Churchland

Now regarding your opinion that getting rid of
dualistic belief is the last step towards 100%
atheism, I have to say that I disagree.

There are many theists, some of them scientists who do
not believe in dualism because of the strong
scientific evidence against it. These people contend,
and rightly so, that the mind is a natural phenomenon,
and therefore eminently amenable to scientific study,
while God is a supernatural entity, and not so
amenable. So their compartmentalized faith comes into
action in the latter case.

Indeed, I am told by my devout non-dualistic Catholic
buddy and colleague that dualism in a slightly more
general form is one of the oldest Christian heresies.
We can find out more about this later. On the other
hand, atheistic religions such as Buddhism, Jainism,
Taoism and Confucianism believe very strongly in
dualism. I understand that there are both monistic and
dualistic Christian philosophers and many postmodern
atheists who are dualists or even pluralists in the
multiple worlds sense.

Cheers,

Santosh

P.S. BTW, if you want to read a layman's book on the
neuroscience of religious experiences, please read:

Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology
of Belief by Andrew Newberg, Eugene D'Aquili and Vince
Rause
Post by Aristo
In my opinion, getting rid of the concept of Dualism
is the last step
from a 99% Atheist (Agnostic) to a 100% Atheist.
In my attempt to learn more about the sense or self
or "Consciousness"
a long time ago, I picked a copy of Roger Penrose's
"The Emperors new
Mind" but I found it digressing and did not manage
to complete the
book. Perhaps I should have picked up Dan Dennett's
bestseller
"Consciousness Explained". Although I've already
taken the last step,
I would still be interested to get the lowdown on
conciousness.
Gilbert Lawrence
2007-07-18 11:12:46 UTC
Permalink
I think the Selma and Santosh are describing two sides of the same coin. We see this often in science. At least those of us who have been in science for a long time.

Selma claims that the CONCEPTS in Kevin's latest theology is nothing new - Very True! (both for the concept and for Kevin's assertions)

Santosh insist the EXPLANATION of the concept is a 'new' breakthrough. Very True - (new explanation perhaps for now.)

This is like in 1492 when Columbus 'discovered' the "New World" and its people.
The people of the New World insisted, that WE were always here. We are not New.
Columbus effectively retorts, "You are New, because Now we know your 'latitude and longitude'. This is a New Concept.":=))

The accuracy with which scientist can express themselves is highlighted in Santosh's post below.
To quote: "Selma's statement .............. is false. I had merely made a light-hearted comment."
He accuses the other person of FALSELY quoting him. Then goes on to explain why the alleged statement was indeed made. How about apologizing for the faux pas, with Alfred Tavares' choice of words: Chuk zali... Moji chukk... Gunaum bogos... Gunaum muzo? How much science and research does that take?

Regards, GL


------------ Carvalho wrote:
There you go again Santosh with those words "totally wrong".
Of late, you've even begun calling for the pastoral exile of people who you find "totally wrong".

------------- Santosh wrote:

She is simply engaging in innuendo and further mischaracterization of my statements. Selma's statement above that I have begun calling for the pastoral exile of people who I find totally wrong is false. I had merely made a light-hearted comment ......... . My comment had nothing to do with whether I thought the person was right or wrong.
Sunith Velho
2007-07-18 12:29:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by allwyntc
Every once in a while one comes across a "scientist" like Santosh who,
from his arrogance it seems, does not seem to realize that his
understanding is, at best, limited.
Allwyn,

The thing about scientists is they will freely admit that their
understanding is very limited(if it indeed is, that is). Infact the best
scientists in the world will admit that their knowledege is restricted to a
minute aspect of the natural world.

Further there is no absolutism in Science, a single shred of evidence
contrary to a scientific theory is enough to bring it down. And the beauty
is that Scientists move on after that.

However you will find no such humility among religious chest thumpers. They
claim to know everything from how the universe was created to why
homosexuality exists, and put the onus of disproving their theories on
scientists.

I cannot think of a person more qualified to shed light on the neurological
basis of human experience than Santosh. He is at the very cutting edge of
this field.
Post by allwyntc
Post by allwyntc
Empirical science cannot prove naught.
So would you let yourself be exposed to asbestos or encourage pregnant women
to drink and smoke?
Post by allwyntc
"Pure" science too, for example mathematics, for that matter, cannot
prove naught.
The next time you go shopping, try explaining to the Cashier that your bill
should actuall be minus ten rupees and that arithmetic is only one of many
ways of calculating the amount.

What would you say to your employer if he paid you for three days less in a
month. Would mathematics be involved?
Post by allwyntc
Pure science, too, is based on axioms. The axioms are
taken for granted. There is no proof for the axioms, one simply needs
to believe in them.
Would you care to list a single axiom in pure science that one needs to
believe in with the complete absence of proof.

Regards
Sunith
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-18 14:51:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carvalho
Now, I respect your scientific perspective on this,
but your assertion that the philosophical concept of
self and consciousness is to be totally disregarded
is a bit premature. After all, we are now not
talking
Post by Carvalho
about an organised religion's view of the "soul".
As I had suspected in my last post, the above
statements and the rest of what she has written make
it clear that Selma has totally misunderstood me.
There is a serious logical fallacy in what she has
written above. To point it out let me requote the
paragraph of mine that she quoted in her post:

"The point is that there are objective scientific
facts that indicate that terms such as mind, soul,
self, etc are most likely particular configurations of
the electrical activity of the brain."

Now from the above she makes the erroneous logical
jump that I have asserted that "the philosophical
concept of self and consciousness is to be totally
disregarded".

I have made no such assertion. There is no reason for
me to make such an assertion. Instead, I have clearly
stated, and subsequently explained, that the concept
of self has now been defined in terms of brain
activity. I have never stated that once concretely
defined in this manner this concept has to be "totally
disregarded".

I have explained that from a philosophical point of
view what has been rejected are classical monism and
classical mind-body dualism. The philosophical concept
of self as defined in terms of emergentist/property
dualist philosophy, as modern brain science appears to
be doing, will never be disregarded. Actually, modern
brain sciences removes the fluff and haze from terms
such as self, spiritual experiences, etc, and defines
them more precisely and concretely. They are no longer
abstract imaginative concepts.

So poets, writers and religious folk whether organized
or disorganized, will have nothing to fear. No words
will ever be taken out of their mouths. I only hope
that no more words are put in my mouth by Selma and
others on this issue.

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Carvalho
Organised religion has been so easy to discredit,
especially post 9/11 having come in for so much
flak,
but we are now talking about centuries of
philosophers
and schools of latter-day writers, among which
include
such luminaries as Jung, M Scot Peck, Gibran and
Paulo
Coelho, who speak eloquently and passionately about
consciousness. Two from the standpoint of clinical
psychologists with years of experience in the human
Psyche and the other two from the standpoint of
poetic
writers and free thinkers.
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-18 15:14:34 UTC
Permalink
In the claim below that medical science is not a
science because it is empirical the author Allwyn has
only provided the definition of the word "empirical".
He has not provided the definitions of the terms
empirical science and medical science. From his
limited and partial dictionary definitions of a
truncated term and from his beliefs he draws many
sweeping conclusions, one of which is the following:

"Every once in a while one comes across a "scientist"
like Santosh who, from his arrogance it seems, does
not seem to realize that his understanding is, at
best, limited."

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by allwyntc
"Empirical: Depending upon experience or observation
alone, without due regard to science and theory; --
said especially of medical practice, remedies, etc.;
wanting in science and deep insight; as, empiric
skill, remedies."
Note the phrases, "without due regard to science and
theory", also, "
wanting in science and deep insight".
"Empirical: Pertaining to, or founded upon,
experiment or experience;
depending upon the observation of phenomena; versed
in experiments."
Empirical "scientists" "prove" their conclusions
based on observation.
Having observed 427 subjects, and seeing more or
less a certain
pattern, they will claim as proof that the pattern
exists in all
subjects.
That is the best they can do. Empirical science
cannot prove naught.
"Pure" science too, for example mathematics, for
that matter, cannot
prove naught. Pure science, too, is based on
axioms. The axioms are
taken for granted. There is no proof for the
axioms, one simply needs
to believe in them. If the axioms turn out to be
wrong, science needs
to be re-written. Science does not exist without
these axioms.
Most scientists know this -- they realize that their
"proofs" are not
absolute -- that they are subject to the axioms on
which they are
based.
Allwyn.
Carvalho
2007-07-18 19:07:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gilbert Lawrence
I think the Selma and Santosh are describing two
sides of the same coin. We see this often in
science. At least those of us who have been in
science for a long time.
----------------
Arrey Gilbert Irmao, sarko excited zainaka re :-)

I'm only ribbing Santosh, and trying to up the debate
level on Goanet. Santosh also is getting too excited
and swatting at bees in his existential bonnet. Sunith
at long last is showing his Christao colours. FN is
suddenly saying Bhardare doesn't have a right to say
what he was originally saying but which FN said he
could say at the time, and Bosco is also now saying
the same thing and getting irritated and irritating.
Rui is examining brain circuitry and Kevin is
explaining it to him, although Rui says Kevin is
calling him names. Aristo is still kutti with me.

And a good time was had by all at Goanet Kindergarten.



____________________________________________________________________________________
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's
Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.
http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/222
Frederick [FN] Noronha * फ्रेडरिक नोरोंया
2007-07-18 23:11:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gilbert Lawrence
science. At least those of us who have been in
science for a long time.
This is a really serious problem, Doc Gilbert!

Now guys, how do we de-addict him of all this Science (with a capital
S)? Doc Helecar, please don't rush to his rescue; sometimes too much
of a bad thing can be good (Science, in this case). --FN
--
Frederick Noronha Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred at bytesforall.org or fredericknoronha at gmail.com
P: +91-832-2409490 M: +91-9970157402
Yahoo: fredericknoronha Skype: fredericknoronha GTalk: fredericknoronha
784, Sonarbhat, Near Lourdes Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-18 16:53:06 UTC
Permalink
It is always hard to understand Gilbert when he writes
something original. He goes way over my head
especially when he assumes the role of a humorist on
Goanet. As far as I know, the only person who
understands him well is George Pinto. So please
forgive me if I am misunderstanding him again in my
observations below.

Gilbert has written two back to back humorous posts on
the "Evolutionist Kevin" thread. If I understand him
correctly, in these posts he is claiming that the
Greek philosopher Pythagoras in 500 B.C., some
Christian theologists and also Gilbert's own
grandmother who was Greek and nicknamed "Mauxi", had
already discovered "configurations of the electrical
activity of the brain".

Gilbert also accuses Selma and me of not providing
references of the original articles of Pythagoras, of
some unnamed Christian theologians, and of his
grandmother Mauxi, from the Wikipedia or Google.

He then implies that because Pythagoras, Christian
theologians and grandmothers already knew everything
about the mind and the brain, spending 50 million on
modern neuroscience research is a waste of money.

Finally, he asks us to apologize for having commented
on his abusive remarks against Kevin. In other words,
Gilbert wants me to apologize to him because I pointed
out that it might be inappropriate for Gilbert to
publicly deride Kevin by suggesting that he lived
under a rock in Canada.

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Gilbert Lawrence
Mogal Selma bhai,
Kitlem sobit posts boroita! Tuven boroilolem aum
zaitem vaztam.
Thanks to you and Google for researching the
research. >Are you saying, we are presenting some
one's research >on this topic without providing
reference?............
Post by Gilbert Lawrence
The accuracy with which scientist can express
themselves is highlighted in Santosh's post below.
To quote: "Selma's statement .............. is
false. I had merely made a light-hearted comment."
He accuses the other person of FALSELY quoting him.
Then goes on to explain why the alleged statement
was indeed made. How about apologizing for the faux
pas, with Alfred Tavares' choice of words: Chuk
zali... Moji chukk... Gunaum bogos... Gunaum muzo?
How much science and research does that take?
......................................
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