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.



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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
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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?
......................................
CORNEL DACOSTA
2007-07-19 04:08:27 UTC
Permalink
Hi Santosh, Aristo and others who have addressed the issue of Dualism

Many thanks for the interesting exchange. I do not know much in this field
but my appetite has been whetted to find out more.
Regards
Cornel
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:
George Pinto
2007-07-19 04:55:53 UTC
Permalink
It is always hard to understand Gilbert when he writes something original.
As far as I know, the only person who understands him well is George Pinto.
To help other Goanetters better understand Gilbert, I requested JoeGoaUK to come along with me
this morning and videotape Gilbert defending the Catholic Church. Footage was going to be placed
on You Tube and Konkan TV. I could not tell which Catholic Church Gilbert would be defending so we
first went to the Aldona Catholic Church just in case. I was hoping to see Gilbert standing at the
church gate, valiantly defending against atheists (cosmotheists is a better word for some to
accept), RSS sympathizers, and illegal Muslims in Goa (according to the RSS all Muslims are
illegal in Goa, in India, and in any country they are found). No sign of Gilbert.

In heavy monsoon downpour we traveled to nearby Moira Catholic Church. Still no sign of Gilbert.
Off to South Goa. No Gilbert defending the Margao Catholic churches. I told JoeGoaUK, for the
benefit of Frederick and other Goanetters to turn the video camera on himself so they could
finally see what he looked like. Alas, the video camera battery died then. Not a productive
morning.

Regards,
George
allwyntc
2007-07-19 08:36:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by George Pinto
To help other Goanetters better understand Gilbert, I requested JoeGoaUK to come along
with me this morning and videotape Gilbert defending the Catholic Church.
Vividly brings to my mind visions of Don Quixote versus the
windmills... :) All we need now is a Sancho Panza. Selma?

Allwyn.
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-19 15:07:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by allwyntc
Vividly brings to my mind visions of Don Quixote
versus the
windmills... :) All we need now is a Sancho Panza.
Selma?
There are many who find themselves in the
circumstances in which Don Quixote found himself. I
had written about this earlier on Goanet under the
title "Goan Cyber-Ranga-La Mancha". Here is the link:

http://www.mail-archive.com/goanet at goanet.org/msg35062.html

Gilbert is defending the Church against the atheists,
sociologists and scientists. Allwyn is defending
postmodernism, the New Age and eastern mysticism
against modern science and western establishment.

Gilbert believes Christian theologians and
grandmothers have already discovered everything about
the brain and cancer, so it is a waste of money to do
medical research. Allwyn believes Ayurveda and Chinese
Medicine are legitimate sciences, whereas modern
medical science is not a science at all because it
relies on objective observational evidence.

Gilbert believes those who point out wrongdoing such
as plagiarism and verbal abuse on Goanet should
apologize or be reprimanded. Allwyn believes that
there are no proofs even in Mathematics.

I am happy to play Sancho Panza in all these types of
circumstances.

Cheers,

Santosh
Bosco D'Mello
2007-07-19 21:06:13 UTC
Permalink
Our home-grown "dukracho-vhois", Kevin, is a smart-alec. He has pulled a
Goveia on us!!

Even though he is busy adjusting his Speedo, so as to adjust his tan line,
all week on a Caribbean beach(Psst!!), he successfully managed to keep his
name on every third message on Goanet..........grin-grin.

Should recommend the vhois switch professions to marketing when he returns
tomorrow!!!

Ohhh.....another thing........besides Kevin's affair with the K-C, he wears
alot of orange clothing with the Aum sign all over. He is also a veg (check
his email address).........he is definitely evolving..........and leaving a
few Goanetters revolving..........in his wake!

- Bosco
T.O
allwyntc
2007-07-19 21:41:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sunith Velho
Would you care to list a single axiom in pure science that one needs to
believe in with the complete absence of proof.
Bhandare has already replied to this. In addition, Wikipedia is your
friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom

Allwyn.
allwyntc
2007-07-20 06:18:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
http://www.mail-archive.com/goanet at goanet.org/msg35062.html
Nice! I missed this, I was on a "pastoral sabbatical" for several
years, and I intend to shortly go on another. Goanet is too crazy for
me to keep up with. In any case, 5 years from now we will still be
rehashing the same things :)
Post by Santosh Helekar
Allwyn is defending postmodernism, the New Age and eastern mysticism
against modern science and western establishment.
That sounds like an impressive. Think I may put that in my resume :)
Post by Santosh Helekar
Allwyn believes Ayurveda and Chinese
Medicine are legitimate sciences, whereas modern
medical science is not a science at all because it
relies on objective observational evidence.
Only that the science has not changed. It was empirical, it still is
empirical. The problem I have with modern science is that there is
too much special interest driving it.
Post by Santosh Helekar
Allwyn believes that there are no proofs even in Mathematics.
That's not what I said. Yes, there are indeed proofs. However the
proofs are based upon axioms, and are therefore susceptible to the
validity of the axioms on which they are based. Check out the wiki
link for axioms which explains this better.

Cheers, buddy...

a..
Cecil Pinto
2007-07-20 08:31:08 UTC
Permalink
George Pinto wrote on GoaNet:
I could not tell which Catholic Church Gilbert would be defending so we
first went to the Aldona Catholic Church just in case. I was hoping to see
Gilbert standing at the
church gate, valiantly defending against atheists (cosmotheists is a better
word for some to accept), RSS sympathizers, and illegal Muslims in Goa
(according to the RSS all Muslims are illegal in Goa, in India, and in any
country they are found). No sign of Gilbert.


----------------

Dear George,

1) You obviously got your churches wrong. The Aldona Church does not have a
gate. Neither for the compound wall nor at the main door. The side door to
he sacristy though does have a relatively new gate which is locked from
12.30 pm till 4 pm to dissuade tourists from disturbing the priests. Also
there was a major cash robbery some few years back.

2) Though Gilbert has roots in Aldona there aren't many Aldonkars (other
than maybe his close relatives - who don't really have a choice) who want
to celebrate the fact of his being an Aldonkar by origin. All Gilbert has
ever given back to Aldona (or Goa for that matter) is his gratuitous, and
mostly vague, advice. There are non resident Aldonkars who are not as rich
but are generous when appeals are made. Gilbert is generous only with his
preachy (and always unasked for) advice and opinions, and not with his
cheque book. This is very uncharacteristic, as Aldonkars are known for
their philanthropy.

3) Cheers!


Cecil

=============
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-20 08:50:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by allwyntc
Only that the science has not changed. It was
empirical, it still is empirical. The problem I have
with modern science is that there is too much special
interest driving it.
As you can see, the statement made earlier by Allwyn
that medical science is not a science, and all the
scare quotes around science and scientists, appear to
have stemmed from a deeply held personal belief that
"too much special interest is driving it". None of it
was based on a proper objective understanding of what
is really meant by science.

The idea that any science is not a science because it
is empirical i.e. based on objective observational
evidence, is laughable. Indeed, it is the dependence
on evidence for confirmation or falsification of
scientific hypotheses that makes science powerful and
of practical significance. The technological
achievements of all natural sciences can be attributed
in large part to the fact that they are empirical.

BTW, in his previous post Allywn might have created
the impression, perhaps intentionally to somehow
belittle me, that only medical science is an empirical
science. Actually, all natural and social sciences are
empirical. Only Mathematics and Logic are
non-empirical or formal sciences.

On the matter of proofs, the implication that a
science is somehow deficient because it cannot prove
anything with absolute certainty is equally
wrongheaded. Absolute certainty and truth is clearly
not required to build and fly an airplane, communicate
electronically across continents, oceans and
interplanetary space, completely cure someone from
tuberculosis or typhoid, eradicate small pox, and so
on. The stark reality that empirical evidence leads to
new discoveries cannot be hidden from the public by
abstract arguments of axioms and proofs.

Interestingly, in mentioning axioms and proofs the
value of disproving or falsification was conveniently
left out by Allwyn. Empirical evidence is a powerful
tool to disprove or falsify something with a high
degree of confidence, as the agnostic dualist Karl
Popper showed. Empirical observations disproved the
notions that the world is flat and the atom is
indivisible, just as today they have disproved the
substance dualistic belief that the mind, self and
consciousness can exist independently of the brain.

Cheers,

Santosh
Carvalho
2007-07-20 23:19:27 UTC
Permalink
--- Cecil Pinto <cpinto at sancharnet.in> wrote:

All Gilbert has
Post by Cecil Pinto
ever given back to Aldona (or Goa for that matter)
is his gratuitous, and
mostly vague, advice. There are non resident
Aldonkars who are not as rich
but are generous when appeals are made. Gilbert is
generous only with his
preachy (and always unasked for) advice and
opinions, and not with his
cheque book. This is very uncharacteristic, as
Aldonkars are known for
their philanthropy.
---------------------------
I wish to categorically refute this unfounded
accusation made, without any proof whatsoever. This,
as I have said many times before is what is wrong with
the internet, where people can make all sorts of
unfounded accusations and then there they hang heavy
in cyberspace, like scarlet letters hanging around
cyber necks or real necks even.

I have it on very good record that Gilbert has
contributed substantially in dollar amount to a
certain project. I do not know anything else about
Gilbert, except for this bit of information, which I
hope Gilbert does not mind me sharing in his defense.
People on this forum seem to see it as their right to
make all sorts of accusations in public, anything from
theft to character assassinations. It is ofcourse a
good thing that they live in Goa, where any defamation
law suit can be dealt with by bribing the appropriate
MLA.

This post is not such much in defense of Gilbert but
more to illustrate the point of spurious character
assassinations on Goanet, which one is then not
obliged to substantiate with any proof.

selma



____________________________________________________________________________________
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Frederick [FN] Noronha * फ्रेडरिक नोरोंया
2007-07-22 16:05:39 UTC
Permalink
I do not believe in tithes and the buying of indulgences. Likewise, I
do not subscribe to the view that good goenkarponn (if there is
anything like that!) consists of sending dollar remittances to
charities back home. I disagree with Cecil's berating of Gilbert. Who
are we to judge what others have done "for Goa"? If I were to be
judged by the same yardstick, I would probably come across as the
stingiest Uncle Scrooge around. So, is it fair to set criteria for
others?
When Cecil constrasts Gilbert to other Aldonkars, is he (i) flattering
other Aldonkars into being "more generous"? (ii) saying that everyone
should support the causes he supports to get a good word out of him?
Well, as everyone knows, I believe that investing in reading-rooms and
magazine centres for schools is the best investment anyone can make in
a Goan context, when it comes to building social capital here. Yet,
I'm certainly not going to judge people on the basis of how much they
share my views on this or other points.
Maybe, I'm more than a bit fundamentalist when it comes to discussing
with people who don't agree with the primacy I give to secularism. Or,
the need to question the infallability of Science. But that is another
point. Cecil, your earlier disagreements apart, I don't think it's
fair to castigate Gilbert in the manner you have. Peace ani moipas. FN
Post by Cecil Pinto
All Gilbert has
Post by Cecil Pinto
ever given back to Aldona (or Goa for that matter)
is his gratuitous, and
mostly vague, advice. There are non resident
Aldonkars who are not as rich
but are generous when appeals are made. Gilbert is
generous only with his
preachy (and always unasked for) advice and
opinions, and not with his
cheque book. This is very uncharacteristic, as
Aldonkars are known for
their philanthropy.
---------------------------
I wish to categorically refute this unfounded
accusation made, without any proof whatsoever. This,
as I have said many times before is what is wrong with
the internet, where people can make all sorts of
unfounded accusations and then there they hang heavy
in cyberspace, like scarlet letters hanging around
cyber necks or real necks even.
I have it on very good record that Gilbert has
contributed substantially in dollar amount to a
certain project. I do not know anything else about
Gilbert, except for this bit of information, which I
hope Gilbert does not mind me sharing in his defense.
People on this forum seem to see it as their right to
make all sorts of accusations in public, anything from
theft to character assassinations. It is ofcourse a
good thing that they live in Goa, where any defamation
law suit can be dealt with by bribing the appropriate
MLA.
This post is not such much in defense of Gilbert but
more to illustrate the point of spurious character
assassinations on Goanet, which one is then not
obliged to substantiate with any proof.
selma
--
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
Frederick [FN] Noronha
2007-07-21 04:46:30 UTC
Permalink
If Science is all that accurate and self-cleansing, how come so many horrors
have been conducted in the name of "Science"? Or is it Doc Helecar's claim
that when Science does exceesses of any kind, it is not longer "Science"?

Didn't "Science" create the atom bombs? All those many scientific medicines,
the harmful effects were discovered only years or decades after their use?
Haven't we heard of thalidomide [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide]
that was meant to combat morning sickness and had tragic consequences on
new-found babies? How could we explain that "Science" created all those
chemical fertilizers, which only went on to ruin soils while promising
bountiful productivity for the crop -- Goa is a good case? How do you
explain to farmers in Kerala that it was the ever-so-pure endosulfan [
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endosulfan] that was created by Science that is
wrecking havoc on their lives? And, wasn't Science behind Three Mile Island
and Chernobyl, or are we going to simply blame the "misuse" of Science when
it comes to cases like these? (In which case, why not give the same benefit
to other ideologies, whether it is National Socialism aka Nazism, Facism,
the Soviet gulags, Hindutva, or even various forms of religion?)

I've had the opportunity to visit the concentration camps at Dachau, outside
Munich, and see how Science was married to Nazism, and what effects it had.
Alwyn's point about "too much special interest" driving Science is bang on
target, even if he states his case very politely. (Instead of talking about
corruption and misrule in Goa, can we not talk of "too much special
interest" driving Goa too?)

What is "objective observational evidence"? It sounds very good in theory.
In practice, Dr Helecar reads the Devanagari rendering of my name on Yahoo
or probably somewhere else, and pokes fun at how my name is rendered. When I
see it in my Google talk or Gmail window, it appears perfect! There is also
an element of subjectivity in all "objective obserational evidence".

The faster we treat Science as a god (which can also sometimes get things
wrong, badly wrong, and also be manipulated, as Allwyn suggests), the better
for all of us. FN


On 20/07/07, Santosh Helekar wrote:

The idea that any science is not a science because it
is empirical i.e. based on objective observational
evidence, is laughable. Indeed, it is the dependence
on evidence for confirmation or falsification of
scientific hypotheses that makes science powerful and
of practical significance. The technological
achievements of all natural sciences can be attributed
in large part to the fact that they are empirical....
--
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
Mervyn Lobo
2007-07-21 12:18:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Santosh Helekar
Empirical evidence is a powerful
tool to disprove or falsify something with a high
degree of confidence, as the agnostic dualist Karl
Popper showed. Empirical observations disproved the
notions that the world is flat and the atom is
indivisible, just as today they have disproved the
substance dualistic belief that the mind, self and
consciousness can exist independently of the brain.
Folks,
Here is a quote from Max Perutz in, Is Science
Necessary?

"The priest persuades humble people to endure their
hard lot; the politician urges them to rebel against
it; and the scientist thinks of a method that does
away with the hard lot altogether."


Mervyn3.0




Be smarter than spam. See how smart SpamGuard is at giving junk email the boot with the All-new Yahoo! Mail at http://mrd.mail.yahoo.com/try_beta?.intl=ca
Bhandare
2007-07-21 18:55:12 UTC
Permalink
Dear Goanetters:

Coming from a person whose own writings are full of
lies, half truths, inappropriate hyperbole as well as
snide insinuations, this sort of braazen hypocrisy is
indeed apalling.

One such excerpt is reproduced below:

"To that list, I add barad, jeevan and kamalaksh, all
cut in the same cloth. I'm told the reason they are
suddenly out in full force is because they've lost the
election and they have to forment trouble somewhere,
so they've chosen Goanet. For all we know it may just
be one person taking on different aliases."

Regards
Bhandare









____________________________________________________________________________________
Pinpoint customers who are looking for what you sell.
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
Santosh Helekar
2007-07-21 21:39:58 UTC
Permalink
--- "Frederick [FN] Noronha"
Post by Frederick [FN] Noronha
If Science is all that accurate and self-cleansing,
how come so many horrors have been conducted in the
name of "Science"? Or is it Doc Helecar's claim
that when Science does exceesses of any kind, it is
not longer "Science"?
It is my claim that science does not claim to be
infallible, as someone else pointed out earlier in
this forum. Frederick has answered his own questions
in referring to the misuse of science. Yes, science
can also be misused for destructive purposes such as
in the case of the atom bomb and the firearm, just as
journalism, networking and charitable services can be
used to propagate lies and hatred, and hatch
conspiracies and terrorist plots.
Post by Frederick [FN] Noronha
What is "objective observational evidence"? It
sounds very good in theory.
It is also good in practice as the monumental progress
in empirical sciences such as Physics, Chemistry,
Biology and the technologies they have created, has
demonstrated.
Post by Frederick [FN] Noronha
In practice, Dr Helecar reads the Devanagari
rendering of my name on Yahoo or probably somewhere
else, and pokes fun at how my name is rendered. When
I
Post by Frederick [FN] Noronha
see it in my Google talk or Gmail window, it appears
perfect!
I am seeing Frederick's Devanagri name in Google Talk
and Gmail. I have showed it two other people here. It
is horribly misspelled. Please ask anybody who can
read in Devanagri anywhere in the world. It sounds
like Fraraydaraky Noronya. Is that how you pronounce
it in your Konknni or Portuguese?

This is a test of the objectivity of observational
evidence. So please ask other people around the world
who can read and write in Devanagri script to read
your name in Gmail, and tell me what they say.

Cheers,

Santosh
Edward Verdes
2007-07-22 13:32:05 UTC
Permalink
In my Microsoft Outlook Express 6 - I can read it as 'Frederick Noronya"

Rgds
Edward Verdes
Post by Santosh Helekar
I am seeing Frederick's Devanagri name in Google Talk
and Gmail. I have showed it two other people here. It
is horribly misspelled. Please ask anybody who can
read in Devanagri anywhere in the world. It sounds
like Fraraydaraky Noronya. Is that how you pronounce
it in your Konknni or Portuguese?
This is a test of the objectivity of observational
evidence. So please ask other people around the world
who can read and write in Devanagri script to read
your name in Gmail, and tell me what they say.
Cheers,
Santosh
Philip Thomas
2007-07-22 02:21:58 UTC
Permalink
<how come so many horrors have been conducted in the name of "Science"?>
[FN]

Are you referring to the work of "mad scientists" which make good story
lines and movie plots? It seems you are confusing between science and
technology as hinted at in the sentence about "misuse". The former is
generally value neutral. The latter is often value laden. They may also have
unintended consequences, toxic side effects etc.

You go on to argue that if physical technology can go awry then the same
can happen with social technologies. So, you add cynically, "why not give
the same benefit to other ideologies, whether it is National Socialism aka
Nazism, Facism, the Soviet gulags, Hindutva, or even various forms of
religion?" Sure, why not? But hopefully a society has enough wits about it
to learn from others' mistakes and nip dangerous experiments in its own
before they get out of hand.

You go on to say "Alwyn's point about "too much special interest" driving
Science is bang on target, even if he states his case very politely.
(Instead of talking about corruption and misrule in Goa, can we not talk of
"too much special interest" driving Goa too?)What is "objective
observational evidence"? It sounds very good in theory."

What's wrong with the motive force of "special interests"? Why equate them
insidiously to " corruption and misrule"? Arent there enough countervailing
forces in society? In Goa's society? If they are weak then the idea should
be to identify them and strengthen them instead of crying "woe is me".

Btw, what is the "special interest" if any behind the generous grant of
democracy to Goa while simultaneously parking an arm of the military in the
"heart of town" to keep a watchful eye on things?
CORNEL DACOSTA
2007-07-22 03:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Hi Frederick

Just a few quick comments before I get away for a short break.

Cornel

"Frederick [FN] Noronha" wrote:
If Science is all that accurate and self-cleansing, how come so many
horrors
have been conducted in the name of "Science"? Or is it Doc Helecar's claim
that when Science does exceesses of any kind, it is not longer "Science"?

CORNEL: To me science is a methodology embracing the key concept of
falsification. Scientific theories are always provisional.They are open to
testing unlike religious theories for example. Some scientific theories are
considerably more rigorous/firm than others. And yes, man has been able to
use science for constructive purposes and also for destructive purposes.
Scientific theories used in hospitals have saved many lives but scientific
theories have also been used for destructive purposes throught the use of
horrendous weapons etc.

I don't think anyone has ever claimed that science is totally accurate but
it is "self-cleansing" to use your non-scientific terms through the process
of falsification. The use of science can't always be successful. Yes, errors
have occured in using scientific knowledge of some of the type to which you
refer.

I am afraid I have never had difficulty understanding (indeed I have
generally been impressed) by what Santosh has to say about science. This may
simply be because I have had a substantial academic grounding in the nature
of science and this may differentiate me from a layman's understanding of
science. Above all, I don't believe Santosh has made excessive claims for
science but I will be happy to receive specific examples of where he is
supposed to have fallen short and examine such material disinterestedly.

Progression in the scientific field has been too great to put any stop to
it. However, ethics have to play a stronger part perhaps in the utilisation
of science. The empirical sciences are here to stay but there is always room
towards refining this discipline.

Regret I cannot go further for now but I do value the scientific culture
strongly in its potential for good. Equally, I'd like to see more invested
in reducing its capacity for destruction at all levels. In the final
analysis, political decisions have to decide how much science to use and how
much not to use.
Cornel
PS Science did nor create the atom bomb. Man did it through the use of
available scientific knowledge. Science has no life of its own!


On 20/07/07, Santosh Helekar wrote:

The idea that any science is not a science because it
is empirical i.e. based on objective observational
evidence, is laughable. Indeed, it is the dependence
on evidence for confirmation or falsification of
scientific hypotheses that makes science powerful and
of practical significance. The technological
achievements of all natural sciences can be attributed
in large part to the fact that they are empirical.
Cecil Pinto
2007-07-22 04:52:29 UTC
Permalink
Selma wrote:
I wish to categorically refute this unfounded accusation made, without any
proof whatsoever. This,as I have said many times before is what is wrong
with the internet, where people can make all sorts of unfounded accusations
and then there they hang heavy in cyberspace, like scarlet letters hanging
around cyber necks or real necks even.


Cecil replies:
1) Selma the know-all has said so many things with authority so many times
that nobody can keep count of her diverse, and sometimes
self-contradictory, opinions.
2) Millions of Internet users worldwide will be eternally grateful to Selma
for so easily pin pointing what exactly "is wrong with the internet".
Actually in my opinion it is the few-holds-barred nature of such discussion
groups that makes them vibrant. Some hypocrites use this to advantage to
insult others but then criticise this same property when they, or their
friends, come under scrutiny.
3) Selma should learn to differentiate between an accusation, an opinion
and a statement. Here is an example to throw some light on the usage: "She
keeps saying that she will take a break from spewing nonsense on GoaNet but
returns at the drop of an opinion to have the last word". Now is that "a
charge of wrongdoing that is made against a person or other party" or an
opinion or a statement?
4) Scarlet Letters Hanging Heavy - is a nice name for a song.

-------------------

Selma wrote:
I have it on very good record that Gilbert has contributed substantially in
dollar amount to a certain project. I do not know anything else about
Gilbert, except for this bit of information, which I hope Gilbert does not
mind me sharing in his defense.


Cecil:
What a pity you valiantly defend someone you claim to know nothing about
other than that he "has contributed substantially in dollar amount to a
certain project".

Read Gilbert's self written (but not for 'personal aggrandizement') bio
data here:
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2003-March/000277.html

There's also a photo for you at:
http://www.goanet.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=281

I am happy to have educated you. I too have contributed substantially in
dollar amounts to a certain project. But like you I will not get into
specifics.

Being at ground level in Aldona and Goa I am involved with a quite a few
local fund raising projects and am hence in the know about anonymous and
non-anonymous donors. So unlike you I can be quite specific in that area.

Here's a few anonymous people who have given generously to causes here:
- Towards the annual Goemchem Prize
- Towards Aldona church repairs
- Towards magazine subscriptions for the Aldona Institute
- Towards Edward Soares Memorial Fund
- Towards Andrew Viegas cancer treatment
- Towards relief for Andrew's child
- Towards gifts for poor children

I could go on but that's not the point. Some of the sums mentioned above
are huge, even in 'dollar amounts'. I have mentioned only these because
they have all been given by Goan doctors living in the USA. I cannot
divulge their names but can assure you none of them is Gilbert.

That of course does not discount the possibility of Gilbert having donated
generously to some projects here in Aldona/ Goa. I just seriously doubt
though that he has given anything other than his gratuitous advice.

---------------------

Selma:
People on this forum seem to see it as their right to make all sorts of
accusations in public, anything from theft to character assassinations. It
is of course a good thing that they live in Goa, where any defamation law
suit can be dealt with by bribing the appropriate MLA.


Cecil:
1) Selma herself has attacked so many people's character here that she
really has no right to complain.
2) Please send me the name of the appropriate MLA that I can bribe to get
out of a defamation suit
3) Just dramatically shooting your mouth off without specific knowledge is
too easy.
4) Plagiarizing other people's articles and publishing them as your own is
'theft'. Read the rules of intellectual property laws. Read a book named
"Amchem Goem". Know who and what you defend.

-------------

Selma:
This post is not such much in defense of Gilbert but more to illustrate the
point of spurious character assassinations on GoaNet, which one is then not
obliged to substantiate with any proof.


Cecil:
Your post is nothing but a defense of Gilbert. You should be the last
person top speak of character assassination on GoaNet having indulged in it
yourself many times. You and Gilbert can continue to scratch each others
backs. I have a life. Cloudy morning here in Aldona but the monsoon
greenery is unbelievable. Am tempted to take the boys for a jump in the
field well. On the other hand I do have lunch guests who will arrive any
moment.

Cheers!

P.S.
In Selma's defense I must state that she has contributed quite generously
in terms of cash and kind towards Goan causes. In fact she herself
volunteered enthusiastically without being forced. I cannot give details of
her contributions as that is a confidential matter. But I must say that
despite her other failings Selma puts her money where her mouth is. The
same cannot be said about the people she defends. And a lot of overseas
Goans who can talk the talk but rarely or never actually walk the talk.

===============
Carvalho
2007-07-22 13:13:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cecil Pinto
her contributions as that is a confidential matter.
But I must say that
despite her other failings Selma puts her money
where her mouth is. The
same cannot be said about the people she defends.
And a lot of overseas
Goans who can talk the talk but rarely or never
actually walk the talk.
-----------------------------------
Cecil,

You and I know much more about each other than our
altruistic leanings, would you feel free to make such
knowledge public one day? My point is only this,
discussions on this forum can become as heated as they
can possibly become but knowledge that resides outside
the purview of this forum should remain outside the
purview of this forum.

My two cents worth.
selma


____________________________________________________________________________________
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