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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter
    #4520562 - 08/11/05 01:47 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I was googling "human consciousness interface" and found this site.

The article is quite interesting for anyone interested in conscioussness interfaced with matter. I thought to share it since it gets discussed here a lot.

http://www.thymos.com/science/qc.html

Please read the article if you are going to post in this thread I ask.

If you care not to read it and want to discuss what you know about consciousness interfacing with matter, then maybe start your own thread.

This post is about the article and is is meant to discuss what is being explored in the article.

Perhaps copy and paste from it what you wish to comment on so we know if you read it or not. Points taken from it can be debated. Thats fine. Lets keep it to the research from the article.

Points not taken from it and discussed deserve their own post as they are not based on the article. They will have nothing to do with the article being presented and the information in it.

Note* The article is an exploratory one. It's 14 printed pages long and packed with information. If you bother to read through 14 pages, it shows you are seriously interested in exploring this topic.


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


Edited by gettinjiggywithit (08/12/05 12:14 AM)


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OfflinePhanTomCat
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4520815 - 08/11/05 02:47 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Very interesting read....!  :smile:


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Invisiblezorbman
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4520934 - 08/11/05 03:21 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

It seems trendy to attach the word "quantum" to anything connected to New Age thinking, but I wonder what it really has to do with anything but physics?


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“The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.”  -- Rudiger Dornbusch


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: zorbman]
    #4521771 - 08/11/05 01:42 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

:lol:

The research article comes with a Bibliography. It didn't read new agey at all to me. Science has been studying quantum mechanics since before the "new age" right? Neural researchers continue to try and understand how consciousness interfaces with the physical body, right? You know they don't know yet right?

That's what this article is about. What they know so far and theories they are looking into.

It's mostly on science physics and are thinking they may be taking the wrong approach using the laws of physics and are now looking at applying quantum mechanics to solve the mystery.

You'd be surprised at ow interesting this is.

I didn't realize there was a "new agey" bias to quantum mechanics and consciousness research. Maybe I should change the name of this post if people are over looking a very interesting and eye opening article because of that.

If you have been involved in any of the discussions here on it you will most likely appreciate this article and learn something new from it. I did. There was so much information I haven't even processed an 1/8 of it yet. I printed it up and am going to take more time with it today. :thumbup:


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4521809 - 08/11/05 01:49 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

i already posted that in this thread which you replied to http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/4247910 but i wish this type of research was paid attention and discussed more. it seems to me that even people who are very interested in science are often very ignorant about conciousness.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: Deviate]
    #4521936 - 08/11/05 02:20 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Sorry, it was late that night. Last night I got back on the case and ran off on a google search with a new idea for how to word it before I went back to your link.

Your talking about the pondering thread right?

Considering you referred it to me and I found it right off on my own, going after the same rabbit from two different approaches is pretty neat.

I was wanting to get my hands on information JUST like this and didn't know how to start searching for it or what I was really searching for. Funny how you sent it to me and I wasn't "home" for the first delivery, but I got it on the next delivery attempt.

It was 3 in the morning last night when I found it and breezed through most of it. I printed it up and can't wait to sink into it slowly today.

Anyhoo, I agree, this type of research is highly worthy of attention and discussion. Yes, there is some assumption out there that the brain is consciousness. That is no where near being proofed with scientific evidence. This article pretty much blows it out of the water.

Give me a chance to read and absorb it thoroughly and maybe there will be something I can start a discussion on and or questions for you. I want to be in the right zone when I read it thoroughly and it'll be later this evening. I'll probably get a lot of insight from in between the lines. (from the cracks they discussed) he he he

I love this stuff!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like a kid an Christmas. Even dreamt about Christmas last night. The Christams dreams were followed by ones where I was living in a cool new place where everything took on a wonderful quality.


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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Offlinepsychomime
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Re: Quantum Consciousness [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4523452 - 08/11/05 08:35 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

that was easily the most interesting article I have read in a LONG time.

I love this stuff!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like a kid an Christmas.

yeah me too. :grin:


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4523483 - 08/11/05 08:42 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I don't really believe it. There's not enough evidence that neurons cannot create consciousness, so to jump to this quantum assumption without additional evidence would be a violation of Occam's razor. Neurons already have more evidence than quantum mechanics anyway, seeing as, while we might not be able to fully explain consciousness, we can see it's contained in neurons and that damage to the neurons will damage consciousness. It's working back, but successful at showing at least simple evidence that neurobiologists are looking into.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Offlinepsychomime
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4523514 - 08/11/05 08:50 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

while we might not be able to fully explain consciousness, we can see it's contained in neurons and that damage to the neurons will damage consciousness




did you read the article? nowhere did it say consciousness wasn't seated in the neurons. it was a pretty solid argument for the mechanisms of how consciousness operates in the brain.


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4523642 - 08/11/05 09:28 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Added to favorites. Will read maybe in a few minutes.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: psychomime]
    #4523660 - 08/11/05 09:32 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I read it, but by neurons I mean neurons in the traditional sense. It doesn't have enough evidence to make such a huge jump against Occam's razor. Why does there have to be a virtual second system? We may not know enough to be able to positively conclude that consciousenss lies within the neurons, but if neurons can send synaptic messages there doesn't seem to be a need to create a virtual system using quantum tunneling.

It assumes that consciousness is so great it requires a completely additional system that utilizes quantum mechanics, but this is a huge leap based on mostly nothing.

They constantly state that "classical physics cannot explain consciousness" without explaining their statement more, because really the entire article rests upon this statement. If the traditional view of an immensely complex neural web in the brain is what creates consciousness is not assumed to be false, then they have nothing to go on. They almost try to assume that consciousness is something special, but in my point of view an extremely complex web of neurons sending signals is adequate to create human logic, perception and consciousness, which is why I call bullshit. :shrug:


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: RedNucleus]
    #4523754 - 08/11/05 09:57 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

I don't really believe it. There's not enough evidence that neurons cannot create consciousness, so to jump to this quantum assumption without additional evidence would be a violation of Occam's razor. Neurons already have more evidence than quantum mechanics anyway, seeing as, while we might not be able to fully explain consciousness, we can see it's contained in neurons and that damage to the neurons will damage consciousness. It's working back, but successful at showing at least simple evidence that neurobiologists are looking into.





there is zero evidence to suggest that neurons can create conciousness, especially considering that we don't even have a concrete understanding of what conciouness is. any thoery which suggests that conciousness interfaces with matter through the brain would explain any change in conciousness due to changes in neurons equally well. whether it is a violation of Occam's razor totally depends on the point of view from which you approach the problem. my own life experience would suggest it is a violation of Occam's razor to postulate any extraneous thing as necessary for the exstance of simple awareness/conciousness. here is a link with some buddhist arguments against materialism http://www.geocities.com/scimah/. don't you think its an odd coincidence that people have reached this conclusion many times over accorss cultures? even jesus said spirit (conciousness) was more fundamental than flesh and beleiving that spirit came from flesh is a much more farfetched, mystical idea with absolutely no evidence. all the classical evidence is explained equally well by opposing theories.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4523769 - 08/11/05 10:00 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

I read it, but by neurons I mean neurons in the traditional sense. It doesn't have enough evidence to make such a huge jump against Occam's razor. Why does there have to be a virtual second system? We may not know enough to be able to positively conclude that consciousenss lies within the neurons, but if neurons can send synaptic messages there doesn't seem to be a need to create a virtual system using quantum tunneling.

It assumes that consciousness is so great it requires a completely additional system that utilizes quantum mechanics, but this is a huge leap based on mostly nothing.

They constantly state that "classical physics cannot explain consciousness" without explaining their statement more, because really the entire article rests upon this statement. If the traditional view of an immensely complex neural web in the brain is what creates consciousness is not assumed to be false, then they have nothing to go on. They almost try to assume that consciousness is something special, but in my point of view an extremely complex web of neurons sending signals is adequate to create human logic, perception and consciousness, which is why I call bullshit.




how could fundamentally dead matter ever create conciousness merely by arranging itself in a pattern? what does complexity have to do with it?


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4523794 - 08/11/05 10:06 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The problem that still exists Ravus, is that there is no evidence neurons create it either. So far, the evidence just shows how it processes it.

Science has been looking for it in the neurons. Shit we are down to DNA mapping. They have attacked this problem with every law of physics and everything they know and have been stumped.

They started looking at it using quantum mechanics and there has been reason to continue the research in that direction.

Whats the big deal if it turns out that consciousness is created in the quantum field. Science is looking into it for whats behind everything else physical. What makes this so different.

It's to premature to call BS on it when there is no evidence consciousness is created in the neurons. Besides, there's not much to call BS on either. No claims were made that consciousness is created in the quantum field. Just some working hypothesis right now and interesting considerations.

Doesn't hurt to keep an open mind and keep on top of the research.

Psycho mime,

That's how I feel about this article too. It's been a Looooooong time since I read something this interesting and exciting.

Glad you dug it!

hahahah I typed this whole reply with that man staring at me from that woman's ass in your sig RedNukleus.

I had an unexpected company drop by. I am off to give it a thorough read now. So far I just did a quick breeze over and didn't even get to the end.


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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4523804 - 08/11/05 10:09 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Perhapse we are seaching for an abstract ghost here.
Maybe we will never find consciosuness because there is none, and all this exeprience is just some confusing paradoxal game of dead perception


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: OldWoodSpecter]
    #4523830 - 08/11/05 10:18 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

We posted at the same time deviate. Sorry for the repeat coming at you Ravus.

Oldwood, who for sure knows? No body right now. We know the quantum field exists. Science found that as they moved to a smaller scale. It's reasonable to consider consciousness may be found there.

Maybe it is an abstract element, maybe even ghost like. Millions if not billions of us want to know though whatever turns up if anything ever does.

For those interested, lets just keep sharing what we find or think on it.


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4523838 - 08/11/05 10:47 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I like that it explores the idea that things other than human brains could have consciousness.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4523846 - 08/11/05 10:51 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

how could fundamentally dead matter ever create conciousness merely by arranging itself in a pattern? what does complexity have to do with it?




What is "dead matter"? That assumes that matter somehow changes between death and life, but it is only the configuration of the matter that changes.

When you die, the matter that makes you up is still the same. The atoms are still the same as they were only a few minutes ago when you were a living, thinking human being. Evidently the matter's complex configuration is all that matters.

It's amazing to me that we humans can move matter together to create computers much more mathematically adept than humans will ever be, but it is entirely within the complexity and configuration of the computer that its purpose comes about. It's not just a block of silicon with wires in it, it's an entire machine working to produce results, just like the human brain.

Consciousness is only seen as special because we haven't yet produced it in a computer, but truely it isn't any different from any of the other abilities granted to humans through natural selection. And that "dead matter" you speak of doesn't changed in the quantum theory; neurons are made of the quantum "dead matter" so that philosophical argument seems moot in the face of it.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4523876 - 08/11/05 11:03 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

no, there is so assumption matter somehow changes through death and life. by dead i only meant unconciouss (would a universe just like ours except with no conciousness be considered to contain life? would it even exist at all?). in the quantom view conciousness isn't something created afresh, its a property of energy itself. conciousness is energy and matter (another form of energy) only serves to organize it into something much more complex like a mind. the notion that conciousness magically appears when matter assumes some formation is an extremely farfetched idea with zero evidence. from that assumption it could follow that any physical process is accompanied by a subjective conciouss experience, why is conciousness limited to the arragement found in the human brain? if the brain works purely mechanically what is the function of something extra like conciousness at all?


Edited by Deviate (08/11/05 11:05 PM)


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4523903 - 08/11/05 11:11 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"the notion that conciousness 'magically' appears when matter assumes some formation" is not something that is being discussed. Clearly consciousness has something to do with the arrangment of matter, and no one mentioned magic.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: RedNucleus]
    #4523914 - 08/11/05 11:17 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

conciousness can be influenced by the formation of matter but no one has presented a single peice of evidence that matter has anything to do with creating concioiusness.


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OfflineRedNucleus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4523935 - 08/11/05 11:24 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

OK :smile:


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: RedNucleus]
    #4523936 - 08/11/05 11:25 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I'm a third way through, taking a break and Red is correct in that "magical appearances" are not being discussed or explored in the article. It covers a very interesting section on how it arranges universal matter on page 5. I just finished that page.

The bullet section on that page was awesome. Thats how it works for me.

I'm not sure if Ravus read past the first few paragraghs.

On page 3 it says that Computer Scientist James Culbertson, a pioneer of research on robots, speculates the same and agrees with the direction this research is going.

I think it may be important to consider that artificial intelligence is not necessarily artificial consciousness.

How can robotics science invent conscious AI when Science doesn't know what creates consciousness yet. We do know how to create intelligence and can artificially, through the accumulation and storage of data and mathematics principles. See the difference? If we create AI, we are acting as it's quantum consciousness, in a way.

back to it.........


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: RedNucleus]
    #4523977 - 08/11/05 11:41 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

no evidence that consciousness is not "created by" neurons?

if you hit someone in the neurons hard enough (blasting apart the configuration), they lose consciousness and die. if you don't kill them, you can cause brain damage, which yields noticable differences in consciousness and behavior.

in my opinion science's failure to understand consciousness derives from screwy philosophical assumptions held for thousands of years- 1) the idea that matter and consciousness are separate. this problematic idea already has a simple solution: matter and consciousness are different ways of looking at the same thing. yet people have stuck with this idea, perhaps because of the notion of christian soul is so ingrained in our culture.

2) the idea that the mind is symbolic (like a computer).
i looked at that nature link and found some article about hypothesizing how representations form in the eye! what bullshit. people have been hypothesizing about this for decades and will continue to do this fruitlessly. this concept of the symbolic brain has been thoroughly debunked by people like walter freedman, hubert dreyfus, humberto maturana, terry winograd, and in philosophy (decades ago) by martin heidegger.

yet this bogus assumption continues to be the foundation for so much neurobiological research. and this unfounded notion is still implicitly taught in every intro psych/intro to cognitive psych/intro to biopsych book i've ever looked at.

rant rant rant

scientists are so dumb sometimes.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4524022 - 08/11/05 11:53 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

no evidence that consciousness is not "created by" neurons?

if you hit someone in the neurons hard enough (blasting apart the configuration), they lose consciousness and die. if you don't kill them, you can cause brain damage, which yields noticable differences in consciousness and behavior.





what point are you trying to make? this would still hold true according to any of the major theories of conciousness.?smashing a radio also causes the program to be lost. does this mean the weather man only exists inside the radio?


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524053 - 08/12/05 12:00 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

no, but we have evidence that the radio program is separate from the radio. the best theory to describe the radio says, there is a radio, and a radio program.

we have no evidence that consciousness is separate from the brain however.

so occam's razor would cut away that theory. it's simpler to say consciousness is the brain.

IOW you could be believe that consciousness is separate from the brain if you like, but it would not be a scientific belief, since science takes the simplest explanation for something wherever it can.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524059 - 08/12/05 12:00 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

You didn't read it either did you?

Why you loose consciousness when you smash a neuron can be explained with the information on page 7;

Microtubules inside the neurons contain quasi crystalline water molecules lend themselves to quantum effects.

If you smash the neuron, your ability to experience quantum effects of "consciousness" get smashed along with it.

Please read the article if you are going to post in this thread I ask.

If you care not to read it and want to discuss what you know about consciousness interfacing with matter, then maybe start your own thread.

This post is about the article and is is meant to discuss what is being explored in the article.

Perhaps copy and paste from it what you wish to comment on so we know if you read it or not. Points taken from it can be debated. Thats fine. Lets keep it to the research from the article.

Points not taken from it and discussed deserve their own post. They will have nothing to do with the article being presented and the information in it. The article is an exploratory one.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524108 - 08/12/05 12:11 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

i should probably re-read the article since its been months since the last time i read it but first i want to respond to this

Quote:

no, but we have evidence that the radio program is separate from the radio. the best theory to describe the radio says, there is a radio, and a radio program.

we have no evidence that consciousness is separate from the brain however.

so occam's razor would cut away that theory. it's simpler to say consciousness is the brain.

IOW you could be believe that consciousness is separate from the brain if you like, but it would not be a scientific belief, since science takes the simplest explanation for something wherever it can.




first of all as i said before occam's razor depends on your point of view. if you believe conciousness is the most fundmental aspect of existance than it would be a violation of occam's razor to propose anything physical as creating it. secondly there is a mountain of evidence that conciousness is more fundamental than the brain. im talking about thousands of experiences by people from all parts of the world all saying the same thing, not to mention that the theory explains a lot of phenomena which are unexplainable by other means.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524159 - 08/12/05 12:20 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"Microtubules inside the neurons contain quasi crystalline water molecules lend themselves to quantum effects"

it's simpler to say that the brain is what it is, without quantum effects. i read the article but still do not understand why quantum effects are needed to explain anything.

"if you believe conciousness is the most fundmental aspect of existance than it would be a violation of occam's razor to propose anything physical as creating it."

is it simpler to say that consciousness creates what's physical then? or is it simpler to say that consciousness and what's physical are two sides of one coin so-to-speak?

"im talking about thousands of experiences by people from all parts of the world all saying the same thing"

the number of people who agree on something has nothing to do with how true it is. people thought the earth was flat a long time.

"not to mention that the theory explains a lot of phenomena which are unexplainable by other means."

like what? i was not convinced that anything explained consciousness when i read the article. what convinced you, what part of the article are you referring to?


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524173 - 08/12/05 12:21 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

to people who think i'm violating occam's razor you're forgetting to consider the assumptions you're making. you're starting with a certain idea about conciousness and than assuming that is the base from which everyone should work their reasoning from. but why? read the view of conciousness presented here: http://www.hinduism.co.za/consciou.htm. this is the understanding of conciousness which makes sense according to my experience so why should i start my reasoning from some other arbitrary position? for me to suggest concioussness was created by the brain would be a violation of occam's razor .


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524180 - 08/12/05 12:22 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I have to back track now, but the article also covered why Occam's razor is not applied to quantum mechanics.

deviate, maybe hold off on replying to ravus and re read it first. I don't think he did and if you reread it, you'll be able to address the arguments he brought up already from the article. He may be reading it now. He hasn't posted in a while.

When I am done, I'll back track to find what they said about having to approach quantum mechanics differently from physics. Pretty much it had to do with the laws being different.

I'm learning so much from this I didn't know before. I am overwhelmed at the moment. Thats why I keep taking breaks. :lol:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524190 - 08/12/05 12:24 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I like how you're constantly accusing every dissenting voice of not reading the article, but perhaps you're simply trying to encourage them to quote directly from it.

Quote:

Any paradigm that tries to manufacture consciousness out of something else is doomed to failure. Things don't just happen. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Consciousness doesn't come simply from the act of putting neurons together.




As I've said before, the fatal assumption of this article is the unsupported claim that consciousness is somehow a separate force from everything else and therefore cannot be explained without weird theories stating consciousness is a type of conductivity that is only activated in certain areas. But there is no evidence for this claim, and this article is therefore intended for those who've already taken that leap of faith.

Nothing comes from nothing indeed, but neurons and molecules are not "nothing". It's like saying the software from a computer must have some sort of quantum availability all over the universe because simply wiring wires together will never generate a program like we're observing now with Firefox (if you know what a good browser is :wink:).

Consciousness doesn't come from nothing anymore than the software of a computer comes from nothing. Consciousness is just extremely advanced software, along with human perception and other factors that have been deemed necessary to our survival by natural selection. Consciousness is just a result of human neural wiring, and not a universal force. That is a jump without any evidence to pad the fall when people realize its just trying to justify our consciousness and free will as something greater than they are.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524205 - 08/12/05 12:26 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"is it simpler to say that consciousness creates what's physical then? or is it simpler to say that consciousness and what's physical are two sides of one coin so-to-speak?"

its probably simpler to say they are two sides of the same coin although i believe our conciousness plays a role in creating what we consider physical.


"the number of people who agree on something has nothing to do with how true it is. people thought the earth was flat a long time.'

but the fact they have report similar experiences from which they independentally drew the same conclusion suggests they are on to something.



"like what? i was not convinced that anything explained consciousness when i read the article. what convinced you, what part of the article are you referring to? "

like spiritual experiences, placebo effect


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4524234 - 08/12/05 12:32 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The article never said it comes from nothing. The quantum field is something. Science can observe it. This whhy there is no leap of faith. If the quantum field was not observable, it would be a leap of faith then.

Ravus, please, this post is about the information given in the article. Again, it is clear you havn't read it in full.

If you want to be critical of something it is exploring, please copy and paste the section you are critising.

So far your replies read like you are criticing the work of others and not the specific work being presented in this article.

Question? What did you learn about dendritic-dendritic processing and axonal firings from the article and under what section was it from?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524241 - 08/12/05 12:33 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"Consciousness doesn't come from nothing anymore than the software of a computer comes from nothing. Consciousness is just extremely advanced software, along with human perception and other factors that have been deemed necessary to our survival by natural selection. Consciousness is just a result of human neural wiring, and not a universal force. That is a jump without any evidence to pad the fall when people realize its just trying to justify our consciousness and free will as something greater than they are.
"

and you know this how? those are bold claims backed by zero evidence.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524247 - 08/12/05 12:34 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

This reply is to crunchytoast. It went to deviate. I must have clicked wrong.

"if you hit someone in the neurons hard enough (blasting apart the configuration), they lose consciousness and die."

"matter and consciousness are different ways of looking at the same thing"

So show me where the brain matter disappears when one loses consciousness.


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Edited by RedNukleus (08/12/05 12:35 AM)


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524264 - 08/12/05 12:36 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I don't think you understood my post properly. They're stating that the modern non-quantum theory of consciousness relies on consciousness coming from nothing- notice the section of the article I quoted. I realize in their interpretation of it they give you an explanation, but I was arguing from the non-quantum explanation of it, that to state the non-quantum version of it is "coming from nothing" is similar to stating that computer software comes from nothing.

The quantum field is scientific and has evidence, there's no doubt about that, but the theory that consciousness is contained in this quantum field is what we're discussing, and that is what is lacking evidence.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524273 - 08/12/05 12:37 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"you're starting with a certain idea about conciousness and than assuming that is the base from which everyone should work their reasoning from."

i think anyone can work whatever reasoning they want. whether that reasoning is scientific or not is another question. i dont believe that science is the only valid experience a person can have. but yes, certain things are scientific and certain things aren't, which is okay, IMO.

i don't understand how you conclude from your link that quantum mechanisms connecting the brain, plus the brain connecting in classical physics, is a simpler explanation for consciousness, than the brain connecting in classical physics alone.

interesting link btw.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524277 - 08/12/05 12:38 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

deviate,

No where in the article do they even refer to consciousness being like computer software. He didn't read it and is making posts arguing against other stuff he's read elsewhere as if it came from this article.

I asked him to copy and paste what he is arguing against from here on.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4524284 - 08/12/05 12:39 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

ravus, thats only true if you assume concioussness to be identical to computer software. its circular logic. would our universe with no conciousness even exist? where would it exist?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524326 - 08/12/05 12:50 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"i think anyone can work whatever reasoning they want. whether that reasoning is scientific or not is another question. i dont believe that science is the only valid experience a person can have. but yes, certain things are scientific and certain things aren't, which is okay, IMO.

i don't understand how you conclude from your link that quantum mechanisms connecting the brain, plus the brain connecting in classical physics, is a simpler explanation for consciousness, than the brain connecting in classical physics alone."



interesting link btw."

i conclude it based on the need for a theory which explains the phenomena oberved. the link i posted explains my experiences and observations far better than any other theory i have encountered. every test i have concieved of has been correctly predicted by it so i have to accept it as a starting point for my reasoning. the theory is very simple, it only becomes complex in application because the brain is very complex.

edit: i have to go right now but ill be sure to re-read the article and check this thread later. fascinating discussion and many of you have made very good points.


Edited by Deviate (08/12/05 12:56 AM)


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4524379 - 08/12/05 01:00 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

rednucleus-
i would say individual consciousness of a particular person appears to end when the material configurations dissolve

"the number of people who agree on something has nothing to do with how true it is. people thought the earth was flat a long time.'
but the fact they have report similar experiences from which they independentally drew the same conclusion suggests they are on to something.

still, people thought the earth was flat, for a long time, and they were wrong.


"like spiritual experiences, placebo effect "
how does quantum physics brain explain this better than the classical physics brain?"

"i conclude it based on the need for a theory which explains the phenomena oberved. the link i posted explains my experiences and observations far better than any other theory i have encountered. every test i have concieved of has been correctly predicted by it so i have to accept it as a starting point for my reasoning. the theory is very simple, it only becomes complex in application because the brain is very complex. "
i don't understand from your link how this theory points to quantum physics brain + classical physics vs. classical physics brain only


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524443 - 08/12/05 01:11 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

gettinjiggywithit said:
deviate,

No where in the article do they even refer to consciousness being like computer software. He didn't read it and is making posts arguing against other stuff he's read elsewhere as if it came from this article.

I asked him to copy and paste what he is arguing against from here on.




Jiggy, I said that was my analogy. I was responding to the article with my own ideas that would dispute their assumptions.

You are not reading my posts at all correctly for some reason. Perhaps I need to clarify them, but I didn't think they were that confusing. I did point out the section I was responding to, and then responded to it with my own ideas and talked about why I didn't believe the leap needed to be made.

I said:

Quote:

It's like saying the software from a computer must have some sort of quantum availability all over the universe because simply wiring wires together will never generate a program like we're observing now with Firefox (if you know what a good browser is ).




That seems to be quite evidently my own words. It would be counterproductive for the quantum argument for them to use that analogy, because they're trying to say consciousness is more than the hardware. I disagree.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4524478 - 08/12/05 01:18 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Ravus, If you are ready to conclude that consciousness comes from classical physical reality, that is fine by me.

Deviate has concluded it doesn't. Fine by me.

I have come to no conclusions and am not prepared to as existance has not concluded itself yet. I just wish to explore it along with science as they havn't come to any conclusions either.

Rock on! :hairmetal: :heart:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524530 - 08/12/05 01:29 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

science may not have come to any conclusions
but the most scientific interpretation, would be the simplest one.

does science ever come to conclusions?

i admire your openness to the quantum physics consciousness perspective jiggy- i find myself getting stuck cringing  :twitchy:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4524567 - 08/12/05 01:35 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

i admire your openness to the quantum physics consciousness perspective jiggy- i find myself getting stuck cringing




Same here. It seems to be New Age spirituality wrapped up in the veil of science as they say consciousness is a force pervading the universe. I've heard that before, but it's easy to ignore as a spiritual philosophy. It's only when it's presented as a scientific theory that it seems excessive.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524588 - 08/12/05 01:39 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

It is all interesting to me....

I can see how some people can relate the brain functions to a computer - hardware and software.... Then the question comes up as to if or when a man made computer will be made to sustain consciousness to a level of man's consciousness....

Then it brings up questions in my mind of why we can't "safely" reboot our "software".... Or weather there will be ways to "load intelligence programs", or "programmed experiences" at a quicker rate of speed then real-time experienced learning.... If one is to take a stance that we are just organized chemicals, then wouldn't it be safe to form a conclusion that you could get a IV "shot of organized chemicals" that could make make for a perception of memories containing "past" experienced consciousness/awareness....?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4524642 - 08/12/05 01:48 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Ravus, If you are ready to conclude that consciousness comes from classical physical reality, that is fine by me.

Deviate has concluded it doesn't. Fine by me.


Consciousness is a word; an ephemeral concept like beauty. It is not an inherent property to be measured and examined. Beauty comes from a certain arrangement of colors on a canvas or the symmetry of face. Consciousness is a certain complexity of neuronal arrangement.

Does beauty arise at the quantum level? The question itself is ridiculous based on the false notion that a word is a shorthand for what IS.


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Edited by Swami (08/12/05 03:23 AM)


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4524948 - 08/12/05 02:32 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

It's scientists, neural biologists and quantum physicist who are being presented in it Ravus.

They are taking research and ideas from scientific pioneers.

Perhaps I should grab all of the names referred to and google them and their accomplishments and credentials and post them.

Why would the author of the article post a bibliography for you to research the research yourself with if it would turn up bogus?

Regardless of all of the interesting ideas presented and research done and facts given, they still didn't find the interface.


To present them as being "new age" people isn't correct.
Since when did research into the quantum field become new agey?

I never considered that maybe some people don't believe the quantum field even exists and has been observed.

Is that the case with you Ravus. Did you Razor cut it away? That was discussed as the research in general was first done from the Descartes division of matter and spirit, dealing with matter only.

Swami, you are freaking me out. That was poetic. Sweet! Not only that, catch this weird synchronicity. In your sky post, I saw a father and son in the portion Blue posted and mentioned that. I questioned it later for fun from the Rorshack perspective we discussed. Came up with zippo and forgot about it. Today, in the car, RUSH's 2112 was on. The lyric ran,

"We work together father and son,
Never need to wonder how or why."

While I have been wondering how and why it works.

Then you post in here where I am wondering that , to say that it is to be left a wonder. My life is freaky fun.

Anyhow, guess what guys. I have come to no conclusions on where the interface between consciousness and matter is. For now, I am rolling as if that is how it works. Though I am only on page 7 now, I am a bit disappointed that all the research has them looking within the neurons for it. I don't think it's there myself.

The article has given me new ideas for where to hone in on more specifically.

Make of it as you all will as I am doing for myself! Nothing like the freedom to be as you will!

I'm just appreciative to be sharing the journey with you all!

Love you guys! :heart: :crazy2:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525047 - 08/12/05 02:52 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

To present them as being "new age" people isn't correct.
Since when did research into the quantum field become new agey?

I never considered that maybe some people don't believe the quantum field even exists and has been observed.

Is that the case with you Ravus. Did you Razor cut it away? That was discussed as the research in general was first done from the Descartes division of matter and spirit, dealing with matter only.




I have no problem with quantum field theory. It is indeed interesting science, and never stated an objection to it.

My main problem with it can be summarized in the following quotes from the article:

Quote:

I am conviced that, no matter how detailed an account is provided of the neural processes that led to an action (say, a smile), that account will never explain where the feeling associated to that action (say, happiness) came from. No theory of the brain can explain why and how consciousness happens, if it assumes that consciousness is somehow created by some neural entity which is completely different in structure, function and behavior from our feelings.

From a logical standpoint, the only way out of this dead-end is to accept that consciousness must be a physical property.

Similarly, if consciousness comes from a fundamental property of matter (from a property that is present in all matter starting from the most fundamental constituents), then, and only then, we can study why and how, under special circumstances, that property enables a particular configuration of matter (e.g., the brain) to exhibit "consciousness".

Any paradigm that tries to manufacture consciousness out of something else is doomed to failure. Things don't just happen. Ex nihilo nihil fit. Consciousness doesn't come simply from the act of putting neurons together. It doesn't appear like magic. Conductivity seems to appear by magic in some configurations of matter (e.g. metallic objects), but there's no magic: just a fundamental property of matter, the electrical charge, which is present in every single particle of this universe, a property which is mostly useless but that under the proper circumstances yields the phenomenon known as conductivity.

Particles are not conductors by themselves, just like they are not conscious, and most things made of particles (wood, plastic, glass, etc. etc.) are not conductors (and maybe have no consciousness), but each single particle in the universe has an electrical charge and each single particle in the universe has a property, say, C. That property C is the one that allows our brain to be conscious. I am not claiming that each single particle is conscious or that each single piece of matter in the universe is conscious. I am only arguing that each single particle has this property C which, under the special circumstances of our brain configuration (and maybe other brain configurations as well and maybe even things with no brain) yields consciousness.




To put it bluntly, the bolded statement is really indicative of the intent of the article. Very unscientific mystical bullshit in my opinion. It's good for spiritual discussions between stoned people maybe, but as a scientific hypothesis seems ridiculous.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4525062 - 08/12/05 02:57 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The bolded part agrees with what you have been saying.  :confused:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525083 - 08/12/05 03:02 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

:confused:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525127 - 08/12/05 03:11 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I was a philosophy major in college.  Philosophy of mind was my favorite subject.  In particular, the Hameroff/Penrose model of consciousness fascinated me.  I remember not having to take the phil of mind final because the prof wanted me to proofread it instead.  :laugh: 

However, I think many of us make two mistakes.  First of all, by failing to understand the mathematical basis of quantum mechanics, none of us, myself included, are in a position to speculate much about it.  It is better to admit ignorance then to try and claim to see similarities.  The fact is, you need a mathematical grounding to understand quantum physics deeply.  If you do not have this grounding, you are just jacking off your brain.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but you'll never find the truth about this issue that way.

Second of all, the sorts of quantum effects needed in the Penrose/Hameroff model are very, very, very picky.  In a system with a lot of noise, including the noise from being 98.6 degrees in temperature, like a brain, quantum effects are going to be cancelled out by the noise from the temperature.  Although, I think Penrose postulates a very convincing response to this problem, anyone who is not initially convinced by this problem is not attacking this issue with a skeptical enough mind to have an opinion worth listening too.  It's very easy to see some superfical similarities between eastern mysticism, psychedelic states, quantum mechanics, etc, and start saying they are the same thing.  That is all fine, but in making these claims, we must be sure that we are not letting our desire to see unification between these disparate things cloud our rational thinking.

Finally, there are two deep philosophical problems. 

First of all, trying to understand consciousness as chalmers wants to leads to a big problem.  You see, chalmers asks, "how to get from the material world to consciouness?  Science can't do it." and then smokes some DMT and says "Thats a really hard question dude." and gets famous.  But, Chalmers, working from an analytic tradition, is working exactly backwards.  The interesting an relevant questions are not how to get from the material world to conscious experience, but realizing that conscious experience transcends the material world.  That is, our consciousness does not come from the material world, rather, the material world arises from our consciousness.  Chalmers (and the entire tradition he is working from) in his writing, misses this point, and is trying to work backwards.  (ETA:  I don't think chalmers is ignorant of this point, just that he doesn't bring it up much in his writings.  I remember thinking that reading between the lines of what he writes in some more speculative places, that this must of been in his head.)  The question should be, how does our conscious experience give rise to the material world.  I would predict that this, and not the 'hard question', is going to be the root of the involvement of consciousness and the material world.  This is why theories involving all matter having proto-consciousness are the only theories I think work the right direction, except for a certain reading of the penrose/hameroff model.  Ultimately, I think these proto-consciousness theories are also wrong, but they are closer to the right track. 

The deeper issue is going to have to wait for tomorrow.  It's bedtime.

There is a fascinating aside on how the structure of space (namely, it being quantitizable rather then continuous) could lend support to some of these views.  This is fascinating in large part because there are experiments underway to determine if space is quantitizable or continuous, and these empirical results will influence these views a lot. 

I can dig up some of my old papers on this topic if anyone is interested.

I will say that the article is good on historical overview, but rambles a bit and is not nearly the best article I've read on this topic.


--------------------
"I am eternally free"


Edited by tomk (08/12/05 03:16 AM)


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525134 - 08/12/05 03:14 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I started my research on these guys. they are far from being new age flakes. they are highly accomplished and accredited scientists. I will provide info on all the article was done on. It may take a few replies as there are so many and I won't get to it all tonight.

In order of the article and in this reply we have Alfred Lotka, Evan Walker, Bose-Einstein, and Herbert Froehlich.
Lotka, Alfred James (1880 - 1949), USA

Read up on them, they are some impressive mother fuckers!



Alfred Lotka, chemist, demographer, ecologist and mathematician, was born in Lviv (Lemberg), at that time situated in Austria, now in Ukraine. He came to the United States in 1902 and wrote a number of theoretical articles on chemical oscillations during the early decades of the twentieth century, and authored a book on theoretical biology (1925). He is best known for the predator-prey model he proposed, at the same time but independent from Volterra (the Lotka-Volterra model, still the basis of many models used in the analysis of population dynamics). He then left (academic) science and spent the majority of his working life at an insurance company (Metropolitan Life). In that capacity he became president of the PAA (the Population Association of America).



The article that made him famous as a bibliometrician (avant la lettre) is just a footnote in his oeuvre. He showed that the number of authors with n publications in a bibliography is described by a power law of the form C/na, where C is a constant. The exponent a is often close to 2. Rewriting this equation as a statistical distribution (so that the sum over all n becomes 1), he showed that in the case that a is exactly equal to two, C must be 6/(pi)?, or approximately 0.61. This means that if a bibliography can be described by Lotka's square law, approximately 61% of all authors have contributed just one article to this bibliography.



Lotka A.J. (1926). The frequency distribution of scientific productivity. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 16: 317-323.

Lotka, A. J. (1925). Elements of physical biology. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore. [Reprinted in 1956: Elements of mathematical biology. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, New York].



See also my Time Table of Bibliometrics

and a program to fit Lotka's law (more information about this program can be found in a corresponding article published in Cybermetrics).

Dr Evan H Walker
President of the Walker Cancer Research Institute

Bio

Dr. Walker continues his important research in cancer chemotherapy as the Director of the Walker Cancer Research Institute with laboratories in Tallahassee with collaborative efforts at Florida State University and the National Magnet Laboratory and a laboratory at Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan.

Dr. Walker is the author of The Physics of Consciousness (Perseus Books: 2000). He is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern science of consciousness research, in particular, of the quantum theory of consciousness with publications dating back to 1970. He has made significant contributions to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics and originated the 'Observer Theory' relating to state vector collapse. He has contributed to the fields of neurophysiology, specifically to the mechanism of synaptic functioning, and in psychology to understanding optical illusion phenomena.

Dr. Walker's physics research has been directed toward the problems of Big Bang cosmology, black hole phenomena, and dark matter in the universe.

Dr. Walker has developed numerous concepts and designs that have resulted in twelve inventions including one invention in the field of solar energy and a recent development in the field of environmental protection.

Bose-Einstein Condensate
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A Bose-Einstein condensate is a gaseous superfluid phase formed by atoms cooled to temperatures very near to absolute zero. The first such condensate was produced by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman in 1995 at the University of Colorado at Boulder, using a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to 170 nanokelvins (nK). Under such conditions, a large fraction of the atoms collapse into the lowest quantum state, producing a superfluid.


Velocity-distribution data confirming the discovery of a new phase of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, out of a gas of rubidium atoms. The artificial colors indicate the number of atoms at each velocity, with red being the fewest and white being the most. The areas appearing white and light blue are at the lowest velocities. Left: just before the appearance of the Bose-Einstein condensate. Center: just after the appearance of the condensate. Right: after further evaporation, leaving a sample of nearly pure condensate. The peak is not infinitely narrow because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: since the atoms are trapped in a particular region of space, their velocity distribution necessarily possesses a certain minimum width.Contents [hide]
1 Theory
2 Discovery
3 Slowing light
4 See also
5 External links
6 References



[edit]
Theory
The collapse of the atoms into a single quantum state is known as Bose condensation or Bose-Einstein condensation. This phenomenon was predicted in the 1920s by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein, based on Bose's work on the statistical mechanics of photons, which was then formalized and generalized by Einstein. The result of their efforts is the concept of a Bose gas, governed by the Bose-Einstein statistics, which describes the statistical distribution of certain types of identical particles now known as bosons. Bosonic particles, which include the photon as well as atoms such as helium-4, are allowed to share quantum states with each other. Einstein speculated that cooling bosonic atoms to a very low temperature would cause them to fall (or "condense") into the lowest accessible quantum state, resulting in a new form of matter.

The critical temperature (in a uniform three-dimensional gas with no or uniform external potential) at which this happens can be derived to be:


Where:

Tc = the critical temperature
n = particle density
m = mass per boson
h = Planck's constant,
kB = Boltzmann constant
&#950; = the Riemann zeta function.
[edit]
Discovery
In 1938, Pyotr Kapitsa, John Allen and Don Misener discovered that helium-4 became a new kind of fluid, now known as a superfluid, at temperatures below 2.2 kelvins (K). Superfluid helium has many unusual properties, including the ability to flow without dissipating energy (i.e. zero viscosity) and the existence of quantized vortices. It was quickly realized that the superfluidity was due to Bose-Einstein condensation of the helium-4 atoms, which are bosons. In fact, many of the properties of superfluid helium also appear in the gaseous Bose-Einstein condensates created by Cornell, Wieman and Ketterle (see below). However, superfluid helium-4 is not commonly referred to as a "Bose-Einstein condensate" because it is a liquid rather than a gas, which means that the interactions between the atoms are relatively strong. The original Bose-Einstein theory has to be heavily modified in order to describe it.

The first "true" Bose-Einstein condensate was created by Cornell, Wieman, and co-workers at JILA on June 5, 1995. They did this by cooling a dilute vapor consisting of approximately 2000 rubidium-87 atoms to 170 nK using a combination of laser cooling (a technique that won its inventors Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, and William D. Phillips the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics) and magnetic evaporative cooling. About four months later, an independent effort led by Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT created a condensate made of sodium-23. Ketterle's condensate had about a hundred times more atoms, allowing him to obtain several important results such as the observation of quantum mechanical interference between two different condensates. Cornell, Wieman and Ketterle won the 2001 Nobel Prize for their achievement.

The initial results by the JILA and MIT groups have led to an explosion of experimental activity. For instance, the first molecular Bose-Einstein condensates were created in November 2003 by teams surrounding Rudolf Grimm at the University of Innsbruck, Deborah S. Jin at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT.

Bose-Einstein condensates are extremely fragile, compared to other states of matter more commonly encountered. The slightest interaction with the outside world can be enough to warm them past the condensation threshold, causing them to break back down into individual atoms again; it will likely be some time before any practical applications are developed for them.

[edit]
Slowing light
Despite our inability to fully understand these new states of matter, several interesting properties have already been observed in experiments. Bose-Einstein condensates can be made to have an extremely high gradient in optical density. Normally, condensates do not have a particularly special refractive index, due to having an atomic density far less than normal solid materials. However, additional pump lasers can be used at frequencies designed to alter the state of atoms in the Bose-Einstein condensate, increasing drastically the index for a beam of a precise target frequency recorded at a probe point. This results in extremely low measured speed of light within it; some condensates have slowed beams of light down to mere meters per second, speeds which can be exceeded by a human on a bicycle. A rotating Bose-Einstein condensate could be used as a model black hole, allowing light to enter but not to escape. Condensates could also be used to "freeze" pulses of light, to be released again when the condensate breaks down. This is done by shutting off the pumping lasers with pulses still in transit and allowing the photons to be absorbed. Reapplying the pump lasers can then release the pulses of light, and due to the coherence of the Bose-Einstein condensate, there may be very little degradation. Research in this field is still young and ongoing.

[edit]
See also
Electromagnetically induced transparency
Slow glass
Gravastar
Superfluid
Supersolid
Super-heavy atom
Tonks-Girardeau gas
Gas in a box
Bose gas
[edit]
External links
Bose-Einstein Condensates at JILA
Atom Optics at UQ
Europhysics News Report on Slowed Light
[edit]
References
S. N. Bose, Z. Phys. 26, 178 (1924)
A. Einstein, Sitz. Ber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. (Berlin) 22, 261 (1924)
L.D. Landau, J. Phys. USSR 5, 71 (1941)
L.D. Landau, Phys. Rev. 60, 356 (1941)
M.H. Anderson, J.R. Ensher, M.R. Matthews, C.E. Wieman, and E.A. Cornell, Science 269, 198 (1995).
D.S. Jin, J.R. Ensher, M.R. Matthews, C.E. Wieman, and E.A. Cornell, Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 420 (1996).
M.R. Matthews, B.P. Anderson,P.C. Haljan, D.S. Hall, C.E.Wieman, E.A. Cornell, Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, pp. 2498 (1999)
S. Jochim, M. Bartenstein, A. Altmeyer, G. Hendl, S. Riedl, C. Chin, J. Hecker Denschlag, and R. Grimm, Science 302, 2101 (2003)
M. Greiner, C.A. Regal, and D.S. Jin, Nature 426, 537 (2003)
M.W. Zwierlein, C.A. Stan, C.H. Schunck, S.M.F. Raupach, S. Gupta, Z. Hadzibabic, and W. Ketterle, Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 250401 (2003).
C. J. Pethick and H. Smith, "Bose-Einstein Condensation in Dilute Gases", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose-Einstein_condensate"

INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOPHYSICS


Herbert Fr?hlich FRS, 1905 - 1991



GJ Hyland: Associate Fellow of the University of Warwick, UK
Member of Int. Institute of Biophysics, Neuss-Holzheim, D




Fr?hlich was born in the Black Forest town of Rexingen on 9th December 1905, and, after a brief period in commerce upon leaving school at the age of 15, entered the University of Munich as an undergraduate in 1927. There, under Sommerfeld's direction, he obtained his D.Phil (for a thesis on the Photoelectric Effect in Metals) after only 3 years, and without ever having taken a first degree! With the rise of Nazism, however, he was soon dismissed from his first post in Freiburg - where he was Privatdozent responsible for introducing modern physics - and in 1933 left Germany for Russia, to work (at Frenkel's invitation), as a 'Foreign Expert', in Joffe's Physico-Technical Institute in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). There he became acquainted with current work on semiconductors, and included a discussion of them in his now famous book, Elektronentheorie der Metalle (Springer, 1936, 1969). Being for some years the only textbook to contain a treatment of semiconductors, it later proved very influential when the technological potential of these materials started to be appreciated, particularly in the USA, where it was reprinted, un-translated, in 1943.

After only 2 years, the political situation in Russia forced him to flee again, and eventually, in 1935, he found himself in England - in Mott's department at the University of Bristol. Apart from a short stay in Holland in 1937, and a period of internment during the War, he remained in Bristol until 1948, rising to the position of Reader. Then, at Chadwick's instigation, he took up the first Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Liverpool. This he held with great distinction until his retirement in 1973, after which he was Professor Emeritus from 1976 until his death on 23rd January 1991, at the age of 85. Between 1973 and 1976, he was Professor of Solid State Electronics at the University of Salford, during which time he still maintained an office in Liverpool, spending there a total of 43 years.

Fr?hlich was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951, was awarded the Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society in 1972, and received numerous Honorary Degrees worldwide. From 1974 until his death, he was a Foreign Member of the Stuttgart Max Planck Institute, where he regularly made extended visits, as he also did to many other parts of the world, lecturing and discussing physics.

During his long and illustrious career spanning some 60 years, Fr?hlich made many contributions of fundamental significance to areas as diverse as meson theory and biology. Most influential of all was undoubtedly his introduction, around 1950, of the methods of quantum field theory into Solid State Physics, which completely revolutionised the future development of the subject. First came his work with Pelzer & Zienau on the motion of slow electrons in polar materials, from which emerged 'large' polaron theory. This was immediately followed by his fundamental contribution to the theory of superconductivity, which proved crucial to the eventual solution of the problem - namely, that the basic underlying interaction was a hitherto unrecognized aspect of the same interaction as is responsible electrical resistivity: the electron-phonon interaction. From field-theoretical considerations, with which he was already familiar with from his earlier work on the meson theory of nuclear forces with Heitler and Kemmer, he realized that this entailed an (attractive) interaction between electrons mediated by the exchange of virtual phonons. Consistent with the involvement of the ions in the phenomenon of superconductivity was, of course, the contemporaneous discovery of the isotope effect, for which his theory perfectly accounted.

1952 marked the start of a new era in Solid-State Physics, with his introduction of creation and annihilation operators for both electrons and phonons, in terms of which what is now known as the 'Fr?hlich Hamiltonian' was first formulated, and from which he re-derived his phonon-mediated electron-electron interaction by canonical transformation.

He then succeeded in solving exactly a one-dimensional model of a superconductor, obtaining, for the first time, an energy spectrum with a gap, and one that exhibited an essential singularity in the electron-lattice coupling constant - a feature shared by the eventual BCS solution 3 years later.

Prior to these contributions, he was best known for his work (loc.cit.) on nuclear forces during the late 1930's, and for his many contributions - which were to continue for almost 30 years - in the field of dielectrics, where he was a world authority; of particular importance was his early work on dielectric breakdown, out of which later evolved the subject now known as 'hot' electrons. His second book, Theory of Dielectrics (OUP, 1949, 1958), immediately became the definitive work on the theory of the dielectric constant and dielectric loss, and was subsequently published in several languages, including Japanese. On its pages were also born such topics as ferroelectric 'soft modes' and 'polaritons', although these names were introduced somewhat later by others.

He was also active in many other areas, such as statistical mechanics, where he did much to elucidate, using reduced density matrices, the connection between microphysics and the physics of macroscopic systems near

thermal equilibrium, including not only 'classical' systems, but also those exhibiting quantum effects on a macroscopic scale, such as superfluids and superconductors, where Yang's concept of 'off-diagonal-long-range order' played a crucial role.

Nowhere, however, was Fr?hlich's holistic outlook better illustrated than by his brilliantly daring introduction of concepts of modern theoretical physics - in particular, that of coherence - into biology. From the point of view of physics, living systems are highly non-linear, open, dissipative systems with remarkable dielectric properties, which are held far from thermal equilibrium by their metabolic activity. Using these facts, he showed in 1968 that, given a sufficient level of metabolic activity, the lowest frequency mode of a longitudinal electric polarisation field in such a system becomes strongly excited, attaining macroscopic significance as a 'coherent excitation', which is stabilised through elastic deformations.

In 1972, he went on to show that between two coherent systems of almost equal frequency is an attractive interaction (stronger than that of van der Waals) proportional to the inverse cube of their separation, via which the specificity of the attraction between enzymes and their substrates, for example, becomes immediately understandable. This attractive interaction later played a central role in his model of electrical brain-wave activity based on self-sustaining (limit cycling) oscillations.

The importance of his pioneering work on coherent excitations in living systems is that it directed attention from (static) biological structure to dynamic biological functionality. It continues to generate considerable interest because of the variety of possibilities it offers for understanding the ultra-sensitivity of living systems to very weak electromagnetic radiation at specific frequencies, in which deterministic chaos was later found to be implicated. Quite unexpected, was the role that macroscopic quantum effects apparently play in living systems - a role that has been subsequently invoked in consciousness studies.

These ideas - for which there is now some experimental support - stimulated much other work, both theoretical and experimental, and led to the establishment of series of international conferences, such as those at l'Institute de la Vie in Paris, which continued for many years. The situation as of 1988 was summarised in the book Biological Coherence & Response to External Stimuli (Springer, 1988), which he edited at the age of 82.

It is perhaps not generally appreciated that throughout his life Fr?hlich maintained a profound interest in elementary particle physics. In 1960, he developed an ingenious treatment of space reflections as continuous (rotational) transformations in a 4-dimensional space, which not only accounted for all mesons known at the time, but also predicted a further 4 particles with properties identical to those of subsequently discovered vector mesons. During his later years, eschewing contemporary approaches based on interactions, he focused on attempting to understand the separation of elementary particles into leptons and quarks in terms of a novel bilocal extension of the conventional Dirac theory. This programme, which sadly remained incomplete at the time of his death, made unexpected contact with his earlier work on continuous reflections.

Outside of physics, Fr?hlich's interests included hiking, skiing, music and abstract art - an interest he shared with his wife, herself an artist.

For all his eminence, FR?HLICH remained always accessible to the two generations of researchers who studied under him, and who benefited so much from his wise counsel, always so generously given; on them his magnetic personality made an indelible impression. His enthusiasm for physics was infectious, and his incisive, critical insight legendary. His holistic outlook and constant alertness to the possibility that certain concepts might well have relevance to fields other than those in which they had first arisen helped to resolve some of the most enigmatic mysteries of the physics of his era.

His most heroic attribute, however, was undoubtedly a courage to entertain an unusually wide range of novel ideas and to have the conviction to express them without fear of possible refutation - an attribute not uncommon amongst physicists of his generation, but one that is sadly conspicuously absent today.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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OfflineFiveLights
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Registered: 08/09/05
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525143 - 08/12/05 03:19 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I think two different definitions of "consciousness" are being used in this discussion.

The first one,

1) Consciousness is the information processing that occurs in the brain

is NOT what jiggy is referring to (lemme know J).

The second,

2)Consciousness is the information processing that occurs in the brain as well as the subjective experience that occurs alongside it

is. So here's a quote for further deliniation:

Why doesn't all this information-processing go on "in the dark", free of any inner feel? Why is it that when electromagnetic waveforms impinge on a retina and are discriminated and categorized by a visual system, this discrimination and categorization is experienced as a sensation of vivid red? We know that conscious experience does arise when these functions are performed, but the very fact that it arises is the central mystery. There is an explanatory gap (a term due to Levine 1983) between the functions and experience, and we need an explanatory bridge to cross it. A mere account of the functions stays on one side of the gap, so the materials for the bridge must be found elsewhere.

http://consc.net/papers/facing.html

I recommend that everyone go read sections 1-6 of that article (it's short). The discussion on separating the Easy (how information processing happens) and Hard (why there's a subjective experience) Problems of Consciousness would be enormously helpful to those interested in the subject.

Also, here's a site for more information on QC: http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/

I think I'll read up more on the Hard vs. Easy problem and write something about it sometime soon.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: FiveLights]
    #4525218 - 08/12/05 03:52 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

The same goes for nonlinear and chaotic dynamics. These might provide a novel account of the dynamics of cognitive functioning, quite different from that given by standard methods in cognitive science. But from dynamics, one only gets more dynamics. The question about experience here is as mysterious as ever.




only when experience and brain dynamics treated as different things!

IMO feelings are just processes
i "feel" pain, this is "real" but what does real mean?
i talk about it
i act on it
i think things based on it
i can talk about the fact that i feel it

it's just this element in this larger system

the brain is not an information processor but a process itself IMO

when you end up with "i am aware" it's like it's information and it becomes a problem, you start saying things like "experience is this basic thing" but if you just treat awareness as an element in a process, i think the problem is dissolved.

tomk- i still don't see why quantum effects are needed to explain consciousness, complicated math or no. i understand the issue to be 1) show that quantum physics are necessary to explain it 2) work out all the mathemetics of the explanation

but the first thing hasn't been shown
?


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525230 - 08/12/05 03:56 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Continued research on researchers. Many more to come in more replies.

John Bell, Bertrand Russell, John Eccles, Nick Herbert


John Bell and the most profound discovery of science
Feature: December 1998

Quantum theory is the most successful scientific theory of all time. Many of the great names of physics are associated with quantum theory. Heisenberg and Schr?dinger established the mathematical form of the theory, while Einstein and Bohr analysed many of its important features. However, it was John Bell who investigated quantum theory in the greatest depth and established what the theory can tell us about the fundamental nature of the physical world.


John Bell

Moreover, by stimulating experimental tests of the deepest and most profound aspects of quantum theory, Bell's work led to the possibility of exploring seemingly philosophical questions, such as the nature of reality, directly through experiments.

And this was just Bell's "hobby".


Early life


John Stewart Bell was born in Belfast on 28 July 1928. The families of both his parents, Annie and John, had lived in the north of Ireland for several generations. Annie's family had originally come from Scotland and John's middle name, Stewart, was her family name. In fact, John was known as Stewart at home, only becoming John when he went to university.

John Stewart, his elder sister Ruby and his two younger brothers David and Robert were brought up as firm members of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. There was no hint of prejudice in the family, and Annie Bell had many friends in the Catholic community.

Bell's parents were known as intelligent lively people, and although the family was not well-off, love and care were never in short supply. In particular Annie Bell was keen to impress on the children that education was the key to a satisfying life in which "they could wear their Sunday suits all week". Although only John was able to stay at school much beyond the age of 14, David studied in the evening to become a qualified electrical engineer, and now lectures at Lambton College in Canada, while Robert is a successful local businessman. Later in life they were all able to joke with their mother that they could indeed wear their Sunday suits all week, although John rarely did!

John showed exceptional promise at his first schools, Ulsterville Avenue and Fane Street, and also used the public library in Belfast voraciously. Indeed, he was known as "The Prof" at home because of his tendency to amass great quantities of information, on which he would then freely expound. At the age of 11 John announced to his mother that he wanted to be a scientist.

Although John did extremely well in his "qualifying examination" at 11, his family could not afford to send him to any of Belfast's more prestigious schools. However, money was found for John to attend the Belfast Technical High School for four years. This was probably ideal for him, as practical courses, which he enjoyed, were mixed in with a full academic curriculum that allowed him to qualify for entrance to university.



Entering physics

At age 16, however, Bell was a year younger than the minimum age for admission to Queen's, the local university. Instead in 1944 he entered the physics department at Queen's as a technician in the teaching laboratory, where he greatly impressed the lecturing staff, Professor Karl Emeleus and Dr Robert Sloane. Indeed, Emeleus and Sloane lent John books and allowed him to attend the first-year lectures while still working as a technician. With savings from this year's salary, and help from other sources, Bell was able to enter the university as a student in 1945. His performance was outstanding and he graduated with first-class honours in experimental physics in 1948.

Bell was especially interested in theoretical physics and a year later he was able to graduate for a second time, obtaining a first in mathematical physics in 1949. His teacher in this area was Peter Paul Ewald, famous as one of the founders of X-ray crystallography, who had been driven out of Germany by the Nazis and had been in Belfast since 1939. Bell enjoyed his contact with Ewald from an academic point of view and for its lack of formality.

Bell was less happy about the way Queen's taught quantum theory, a subject in which he was already interested. Although there was a good course on the basics, later courses concentrated on applying quantum theory to atoms, whereas Bell wanted to study the more philosophical aspects of the theory as well. In particular he clashed with Sloane, whose account of the Heisenberg principle made it appear rather subjective in nature, which was not unusual in those days.

In retrospect Sloane should not feel guilty about not living up to Bell's standards concerning quantum theory; over the next 40 years or so, many others would follow suit.

Career: particles and accelerators


In 1949, after he graduated, Bell joined the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) at Harwell, although he soon moved to the accelerator design group in Malvern. After the financial stresses of student life, it must have been pleasant to have a tenured position and a steady, if modest, income. He bought a motorbike, though a nasty accident while riding this led to a deep cut around the mouth, and thus to the famous beard.

An important event in this period was meeting his future wife, Mary Ross, who had joined the accelerator design group with a degree in mathematics and physics from Glasgow. They married in 1954, and enjoyed a long and happy life together, even writing joint papers. When some of John's papers were collected as Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics in 1987 (see further reading), he ended the preface with the following words: "I here renew very especially my warm thanks to Mary Bell. When I look through these papers again I see her everywhere."

Bell's work up to 1953 consisted of modelling the paths of charged particles through accelerators. Without the benefit of computers, the work required a thorough knowledge of physical principles, together with the skill to retain the important physics while making sufficient approximations to allow the problem to be solved on a mechanical calculator. Bell's work, produced in a series of AERE reports (including one in collaboration with Mary), was excellent.

This was the period when the discovery of "strong focusing", in which axial and radial focusing are applied separately to the beam being accelerated, led to the next generation of synchrotrons. Bell's numerical calculations had shown signs of the strong focusing principle, and when it was established formally in 1952 he rapidly became an expert and acted as a consultant to the team designing the Proton Synchrotron at CERN in Geneva.

The accelerator design group moved from Malvern to Harwell in 1951. That same year Bell was delighted to be offered a year's leave to work with Rudolf Peierls, professor of theoretical physics at Birmingham University. At Birmingham, Bell discovered the important CPT theorem of quantum field theory. The CPT theorem states that the combined operation of charge conjugation (in which a particle is replaced by its antiparticle), parity reversal (reflection in a mirror) and time reversal is a symmetry operation that leaves the system unchanged. This is a fundamental theorem which proves, for example, that particles and antiparticles must have equal masses. Unfortunately Gerhard L?ders and Wolfgang Pauli performed similar work at the same time and received all the credit for what is usually called the L?ders-Pauli theorem.

Bell, however, had built up his reputation where it counted, and on his return to Harwell in 1954 he joined a group being set up to work on elementary particle physics, obtaining his PhD in 1956. However, in the years that followed he and Mary became worried that Harwell was moving away from fundamental work, and in 1960 they moved to CERN, where they spent the rest of their careers.

Between 1955 and 1984, Bell published around 80 papers in the general area of high-energy physics and field theory, including nuclear physics and many-body physics. Some work was directly concerned with experiments at CERN; for example, Bell helped to analyse the first neutrino experiments performed there in 1963. Most of the work, however, tackled theoretical issues.

Bell's most famous paper in this area - published with Roman Jackiw in Il Nuovo Cimento in 1969 and cited more than any other of his papers - was the discovery, clarified to some extent by Stephen Adler, of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly. At the time, theory predicted that the neutral pion could not decay into two photons, but this had been observed in experiments. Bell, Jackiw and Adler were able to explain the observed decays theoretically by adding an "anomalous" term resulting from the divergences of quantum field theory. A condition that the "anomaly" produced agreement with experiment was that the sum of the charges of the elementary fermions had to be zero. This provided support for the idea that quarks come in three colours, now part of the widely accepted Standard Model. (The first family of elementary fermions consists of the electron, which has charge -1; the neutrino, which has no charge; and the three colours of up- and down-quarks, which have charges 2/3 and -1/3, respectively. If quarks came in only one colour, then the sum of the charges would be -2/3, not zero.)

Another crucial paper was Bell's 1967 argument that weak interactions should be described using a gauge theory. (Gauge theories possess gauge symmetries: these symmetries are connected with the idea that quantities such as electric charge and quark colour are conserved locally as well as globally.) This suggestion was picked up by his collaborator, Martinus Veltman, whose research student, Gerard 't Hooft, later showed that the unwanted infinities in this gauge theory could be removed or "renormalized". This in turn gave mass to the particles, now known as the W and Z bosons, that carried the weak nuclear force. The Standard Model of particle physics is based on gauge theories.

In the 1980s Bell returned to accelerator design, writing papers with his wife on electron cooling, radiation damping and quantum bremsstrahlung, including a theoretical tour de force in which he related Hawking radiation to the heating of electrons in an accelerator beam.

The quantum background


As a man of the highest principles, Bell gave every effort to his work on accelerator and particle physics, for which CERN paid him. Quantum theory, on the other hand, was his hobby, perhaps his obsession. And it was quantum theory that was to make him famous.

From his student days Bell had been fascinated by the theory and its implications for the nature of the physical universe. Many of these implications had been argued over by Bohr and Einstein in the 1920s and 1930s (see Whitaker in further reading). From the birth of the theory it was clear that if the only properties of the system that exist are those that are implicit in the wavefunction, then many properties with precise classical values just do not have quantum values at any particular time. The most famous example was the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: if a particle has a precise value of position, then its momentum cannot have a value. Similarly, if a spin-1/2 particle possesses a value of spin in the z-direction, sz, then it does not have values of spin in either the x- or y-direction. This is a much stronger statement than saying that the particle may have such values but that we do not or cannot know them. Physicists often call this property a lack of realism, although philosophers may define the same word in a more general manner.

Furthermore, measurement has a very special role in quantum theory: if we measure, say, spin in the x-direction, sx, then we must obtain a precise value for this quantity, even if a precise value did not exist beforehand. There are two possible results or "eigenvalues" for sx: +hw/2, which is associated with a quantum "eigenstate" a+, and - hw/2, which is associated with the eigenstate a-. We can predict the result of a measurement if the initial state vector describing the system, y0, is either a+ or a-: if y0 = a+ the result will be + hw/2, and if y0 = a- the result will be - hw/2.

In general, however, the state vector will be a linear combination of both eigenstates: y = c+a+ + c-a-, where c+ and c- are complex constants, and c+2 + c-2 = 1. In this case, we are still bound to get one or other of the eigenvalues, but it is not certain which one. Born's postulate tells us that the probabilities of obtaining +hw/2 and - hw/2 are c+2 and c-2, respectively. Therefore the long-cherished principle of determinism, according to which identical initial conditions (e.g. identical state vectors) must always evolve with time in exactly the same way, is no longer valid.

The most common approach to measurement is von Neumann's collapse postulate: for example, if the result +hw/2 is obtained in the measurement, then the state vector collapses at that instant to the corresponding eigenstate, a+, and another measurement of the same quantity will again yield +hw/2. The scheme works well pragmatically but, as von Neumann admitted, the collapse process is mathematically distinct from the normal evolution of the state as described by the Schr?dinger equation. However, as measurement is just a conventional physical process, it should be governed by the Schr?dinger equation.

Moreover, to Einstein the collapse postulate was an even more pernicious retreat from realism than that described above: it implied that physical quantities usually have no values until they are observed, and therefore that the observer must be intrinsically involved in the physics being observed. This suggests that there might be no real world in the absence of an observer!


Enter the hidden variables


One obvious way to reinstate realism and determinism was to add "hidden variables" to the wavefunction to provide the most complete description of the system possible. These hidden variables might, for example, provide values for all components of the spin at all times, and thus dictate whether the result +hw/2 or -hw/2 was obtained in a measurement. However, Bohr and Heisenberg were convinced that one could not supplement quantum theory with hidden variables. Therefore they were pleased when, in 1932, von Neumann claimed to have proved that the application of hidden variables to quantum theory was indeed impossible. This was to remain accepted wisdom for over 30 years.

A conceptual approach to the problems of quantum measurement was provided by Bohr in the 1920s. Bohr's starting point was that the results of a measurement must be expressed classically; there must be a classical region of every experiment where physicists can set apparatus, read pointers and so on. And since (in the absence of hidden variables) there must also be a quantum region, then there must also be a "cut" between the two regions. The position of this cut will, to a considerable extent, be arbitrary.

The arbitrary position of the cut implies what Bohr called wholeness. The object being observed and the measuring apparatus cannot be regarded as separate - they are inextricably linked. Therefore measurement is not a passive registration by the apparatus of the value of a pre-existing property of the observed system. Rather measurement is a physical procedure involving the entire experimental set-up. So values of, say, sz and sx cannot be combined in a simple way, because completely different experimental arrangements are required to measure these two quantities.

This led Bohr to his framework of complementarity, according to which the value of a particular quantity can only be discussed in the context of an apparatus for measuring that quantity being in place. Evidence obtained under different conditions cannot be comprehended within a simple picture but is complementary. Thus one may not discuss simultaneously values of sx and sz, or x and px. Complementarity essentially forbids one to discuss the very situations that gave rise to conceptual problems; whether it actually explains anything is another question!

Bohr's position was at least self-consistent, and quickly became regarded as "orthodox". But it also contradicted many of science's most cherished beliefs, such as realism, and, as is well known, Einstein had a long-standing debate with Bohr over what he perceived to be its inadequacies. The only aspect of Einstein's criticisms that really struck home, and even then it took decades to do so, was his demonstration of entanglement via the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) thought experiment of 1935 (see box 1).

EPR argued that either there was a breakdown in locality, in the form of an instantaneous movement of information from one point to another (and obviously Einstein was appalled by this as it implied faster-than-light communication), or that the orthodox view of quantum theory was incomplete and there were elements of reality over and above those implicit in the wavefunction. EPR concluded that quantum theory was incomplete, but Bohr strongly disagreed with them. His response was to extend his definition of wholeness - both spins in the EPR set-up, although spatially separated, should be regarded as aspects of a single system. The scientific community almost unanimously sided with Bohr.


Enter John Bell


When Bell became interested in these matters in the late 1940s, his position on the Bohr-Einstein debate was unambiguous. Years later he explained this to Jeremy Bernstein: "I felt that Einstein's intellectual superiority over Bohr, in this instance, was enormous; a vast gulf between the man who saw clearly what was needed, and the obscurantist." Bell later showed Einstein to be wrong on this question, but that was the opposite of what he intended.

Bell felt that the introduction of deterministic hidden variables was very natural for three reasons. First it might eliminate the need for the cut between the classical and quantum regions of a measuring apparatus. In the terms used above, it could restore realism. His second, less compelling, motivation was to restore determinism.

His third motivation was specifically connected with EPR. Bell regarded Einstein's call for the completion of quantum theory as a simple call for the addition of hidden variables: if all components of each spin had precise values at all times, there could be no problems for locality. Bell may have actually misunderstood Einstein - who probably hoped for a theory on a much grander scale, rather like his general theory of relativity, that would almost incidentally solve all the problems of quantum theory - but much of Bell's major work would stem from this approach to hidden variables.

Bell described himself as a follower of Einstein. As for Bohr, Bell practically regarded him as two separate people. Bell strongly supported his assertion that apparatus must be classical in nature and his concept of wholeness in an individual measurement. Moreover, Bohr's idea that the measurement process was not a simple discovery of a pre-existing property was a major component of Bell's most important work, and he gave Bohr great credit for this insight. But Bell was repelled by what he felt was the complete lack of clarity in Bohr's complementarity, which he preferred to call contradictoriness. Bell regarded Bohr's "solution" of the EPR problem as incoherent.

Bell's enthusiasm for hidden variables had been tempered by reading about von Neumann's "proof" of their impossibility in his student days. He was frustrated because von Neumann's book was written in German and was not translated into English until 1955. However, in 1952 Bell "saw the impossible done". David Bohm, largely repeating work done a quarter of a century earlier by Louis de Broglie, was able to add hidden variables, actually particle positions, to standard quantum theory, and to obtain a fully realist and deterministic version of the theory.

Bohm suffered the strange fate of being dismissed equally by Bohr and Einstein. Bell, however, was enthralled and for a long time was just about the only supporter of the de Broglie-Bohm theory, which is also known as the pilot wave theory or the causal interpretation of quantum theory.

In 1953 Rudolf Peierls, who was to be a life-long friend and supporter, asked Bell to give a short talk at Birmingham. Bell offered to talk about either accelerator design or the foundations of quantum theory. Peierls, however, was part of the generation who considered that all the problems of quantum theory had been solved by Bohr, so he asked Bell to talk about accelerators. In fact it was probably a good thing that Bell resisted the temptation to join the debate on quantum theory until he was more established. By 1963, however, he had reached the peak of his "daytime" profession of high-energy physics, and a year's stay at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California gave him time and space to think.


John Bell and quantum theory


At last Bell was able to devote a fair proportion of his time to the questions that had interested him for so long. First he addressed von Neumann's work on hidden variables in the light of Bohm's theory. Bohm's argument had been fairly complicated, and it was easy for those who did not welcome its conclusions to assume it was flawed. Bell started by producing a hidden-variable model of his own. It was fairly simple, covering just the measurement of any component of spin for a spin-1/2 particle. But the simplicity was really the point - it was too simple just to ignore.

Bell then turned his attention to von Neumann. Clearly both Bohm's hidden-variable model and his own must violate one of the axioms of von Neumann's proof, and Bell was soon able to trace this down. In quantum theory let us say we measure sx and then sy on a particular spin. It is obviously wrong to say that, had we measured sx + sy, we would have obtained the sum of the two individual measurements. Bohr's argument of wholeness tells us that all three measurements require totally different arrangements of the apparatus, and that we cannot combine the results in a simple way.

However, if we calculate the "expectation value" of sx + sy, which is essentially the value of sx + sy averaged over all possible states of the system, we find that it is equal to the sum of the expectation values of sx and sy. Although this is little more than a strange coincidence in quantum theory, von Neumann had used this result as an axiom for his hypothetical hidden-variable states. There was no justification for this axiom and it did not work for either Bohm's or Bell's hidden-variable models. And when it was removed, von Neumann's theorem crashed. Thus Bell was able to remove a 30-year-long log-jam from the study of the fundamentals of quantum theory. There were other well known "impossibility theorems" and, in the same paper, Bell disposed of these as well. Although the paper was written in 1964 while Bell was at Stanford, it was not published in Reviews of Modern Physics until 1966. (The journal had mis-filed Bell's revised version of the paper, and by the time the editor had written to Bell to ask about the revisions, he had already returned to CERN and the letter was not forwarded.)

In the same paper, Bell also discussed two rather unwelcome properties of hidden-variables theories. The first was contextuality. This tells us that, except in trivial cases, any hidden-variable theory must be such that the result of measuring a particular observable will depend on which other observable(s) are measured simultaneously. The second was non-locality. All the hidden-variable models that Bell examined, including Bohm's, had the unpleasant feature that the behaviour of a particular particle depended on the properties of all others, however far away they were. In the EPR case, the measurement result obtained on one particle would depend on what measurement is performed on the second. As Bell said, this was the resolution of the EPR problem that Einstein would have liked least, and it is in this sense that it may be said that Bell proved Einstein wrong.



Bell & colleagues

These two features are actually related, for contextuality in a system with entanglement suggests that the results of a measurement on one particle may depend on measurements made simultaneously on a second particle, spatially separated from the first, with which the first has become entangled.

Suggestions of non-locality were one thing; Bell wished for a rigorous proof, and was able to provide one in his second great quantum paper, written and published in Physics, a now-defunct journal, in 1964. Bell wrote the first draft of the paper during a stay at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and completed it at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

As he stressed later, Bell started from locality and, following EPR, argued for the existence of deterministic hidden variables. However, he also went beyond EPR and considered measurements of spin components along arbitrary directions in each wing of the experiment (rather than just sz or sx as in EPR). Bell calculated what happened when the measurement direction was kept constant in one wing of the experiment and varied in the other. He was able to show that the behaviour predicted by quantum theory could not be duplicated by a hidden-variable theory if the hidden variables acted locally.

As subsequently shown by Bell and others, local realist theories (i.e. theories with hidden variables) satisfy a so-called Bell inequality. This is a constraint on the relationship between the joint probability densities of the signals recorded in the two wings of the apparatus; it involves the four distinct cases that may be obtained by having two settings in each wing (see box 2). Quantum theory, on the other hand, does not obey the Bell inequality. In this way Bell had opened up the possibility of experimental philosophy, the study of what are normally thought of as philosophical issues in experiments. Not only do these experiments probe the deepest and most profound aspects of quantum theory, they also provide information on the fundamental nature of the universe. Henry Stapp of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California was later to call Bell's work on quantum theory "the most profound discovery of science". Bell's work in this area is also a major influence on the rapidly growing field of quantum information (see Physics World March 1998).


After the inequality


A large number of Bell inequality experiments have been performed over the last 30 years or so, the most famous being those of Alain Aspect and co-workers at Orsay. In these experiments, pairs of photons are emitted in a cascade from an excited atomic state and their polarizations are measured along different axes. More recent experiments have used pairs of entangled photons emitted by nonlinear optical crystals. In these experiments the polarization of the photon plays the role of the spin in the EPR-Bohm-Bell set-up.

However, the low efficiency of the detectors used in the experiments means that additional assumptions (essentially that those photons detected are a fair sample of the total flux) have to be made to test the Bell inequality. If these assumptions are made, the results are found to rule out local realist theories, and to be in good agreement with the quantum predictions. Most physicists now accept that quantum theory is correct, and that local realism has to be abandoned.

However, other physicists, often known as the realists, strongly disagree. They question the additional assumptions in the experiments and insist on the "detection loophole" being taken seriously (see Selleri in further reading). Particles are easier to detect than photons and it will be possible to close the detection loophole with measurements of the kaons produced in f-meson decays. Such experiments are planned for the "f-factory" that was opened in Frascati, Italy, last year.

Bell himself was worried that, according to special relativity, the nonlocal (faster than light) influence demonstrated in the Aspect experiment could involve propagation backward in time in other inertial reference frames of equal status. What he called the "cheapest resolution" to this problem was to return to the Lorentz (i.e. pre-Einstein) approach to relativity in which an ether is retained. In other words, there is a preferred frame of reference in which a real causal sequence may be defined (see Bell's contribution to The Ghost in the Atom in further reading). Propagation backward in time in other frames may then be dismissed as "unreal" or "apparent". More generally, however, Bell hoped for better theories than the ones we have now, and insisted that our current version of quantum theory was no more than a temporary expedient.


Back at Queen's

In the 1980s Bell's work on quantum theory was centred on criticisms of the orthodox view of quantum measurement and suggestions for its modification. At the 1987 Schr?dinger conference, he famously championed the 1985 theory of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (GRW) in which the collapse of the wavefunction is not an arbitrary and artificial device but is represented by a precise, though probabilistic, term in a nonlinear modification of the standard Schr?dinger equation. Collapse would occur very fast for systems of macroscopic size, but its speed would decrease with the size of the system, and become negligible on the atomic scale.

In 1990, in an aggressive article called "Against 'measurement'" published in Physics World (August pp33-40), Bell severely criticized the von Neumann collapse procedure and the very idea of "measurement" as a "fundamental term". He also dismissed other approaches that, although more sophisticated, were in Bell's opinion no less contrived. Once again he advocated Bohm and the GRW theory.


The man


John Bell was greatly respected by all who knew him as a man of total integrity and great generosity. He was modest and unassuming, with a delightfully puckish sense of humour - most notably exhibited in his "Bertlmann's socks" paper in which the EPR problem was explained in analogy with the unmatched socks of one of his closest collaborators, Reinhold Bertlmann. Bell and his wife were both long-term vegetarians, and in his version of Schr?dinger's cat paradox, the two states of the cat are being hungry or not hungry, rather than being dead or alive.

Bell became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1972, and although he received many awards, they did not come for many years, until the nature of his exceptional achievements became fully realized. Indeed, between 1987 and 1989 he was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics and the Heineman Prize of the American Physical Society. And in 1988 he received honorary degrees from both the Queen's University of Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin. He was nominated for a Nobel prize and, had he lived longer, might well have received it.

In 1988 he made another visit to Belfast to lecture to the British Association. However, Bell remembered his early days in the teaching laboratory and spotting Reggie Scott, with whom he had worked as a technician over 40 years previously, left the assembled bigwigs to have a yarn about the old days when they were two young men making their way in the world.

Sadly it was much nearer the end than anyone would have hoped. On 1 October 1990 John Bell died suddenly of a stroke. This was of course a terrible tragedy for family and friends, but also a cause of great sadness to all those who knew him mainly from his work and his reputation. It may be a source of a little consolation that, over the last eight years, recognition has increased still further, and it is now unquestioned that he stands among the truly great scientists.






Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell (b.1872 - d.1970) was a British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. His most influential contributions include his defense of logicism (the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic), and his theories of definite descriptions and logical atomism. Along with G.E. Moore, Russell is generally recognized as one of the founders of analytic philosophy. Along with Kurt G?del, he is also regularly credited with being one of the two most important logicians of the twentieth century.
Over the course of his long career, Russell made significant contributions, not just to logic and philosophy, but to a broad range of other subjects including education, history, political theory and religious studies. In addition, many of his writings on a wide variety of topics in both the sciences and the humanities have influenced generations of general readers. After a life marked by controversy (including dismissals from both Trinity College, Cambridge, and City College, New York), Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Also noted for his many spirited anti-war and anti-nuclear protests, Russell remained a prominent public figure until his death at the age of 97.


Other sources of biographical information include Ronald Clark's The Life of Bertrand Russell (London: Jonathan Cape, 1975), Ray Monk's Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude (London: Jonathan Cape, 1996) and Bertrand Russell: The Ghost of Madness (London: Jonathan Cape, 2000), and the first volume of A.D. Irvine's Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments (London: Routledge, 1999).

For a chronology of Russell's major publications, readers are encouraged to consult Russell's Writings below. For a more complete list see A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell (3 vols, London: Routledge, 1994), by Kenneth Blackwell and Harry Ruja. A less detailed, but still comprehensive, list also appears in Paul Arthur Schilpp, The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, 3rd edn (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), pp. 746-803.

Finally, for a bibliography of the secondary literature surrounding Russell, see A.D. Irvine, Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1 (London: Routledge, 1999), pp. 247-312.

Russell's Work in Logic
Russell's contributions to logic and the foundations of mathematics include his discovery of Russell's paradox, his defense of logicism (the view that mathematics is, in some significant sense, reducible to formal logic), his development of the theory of types, and his refining of the first-order predicate calculus.
Russell discovered the paradox that bears his name in 1901, while working on his Principles of Mathematics (1903). The paradox arises in connection with the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Such a set, if it exists, will be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself. The paradox is significant since, using classical logic, all sentences are entailed by a contradiction. Russell's discovery thus prompted a large amount of work in logic, set theory, and the philosophy and foundations of mathematics.

Russell's own response to the paradox came with the development of his theory of types in 1903. It was clear to Russell that some restrictions needed to be placed upon the original comprehension (or abstraction) axiom of naive set theory, the axiom that formalizes the intuition that any coherent condition may be used to determine a set (or class). Russell's basic idea was that reference to sets such as the set of all sets that are not members of themselves could be avoided by arranging all sentences into a hierarchy, beginning with sentences about individuals at the lowest level, sentences about sets of individuals at the next lowest level, sentences about sets of sets of individuals at the next lowest level, and so on. Using a vicious circle principle similar to that adopted by the mathematician Henri Poincar?, and his own so-called "no class" theory of classes, Russell was able to explain why the unrestricted comprehension axiom fails: propositional functions, such as the function "x is a set," may not be applied to themselves since self-application would involve a vicious circle. On Russell's view, all objects for which a given condition (or predicate) holds must be at the same level or of the same "type."

Although first introduced in 1903, the theory of types was further developed by Russell in his 1908 article "Mathematical Logic as Based on the Theory of Types" and in the monumental work he co-authored with Alfred North Whitehead, Principia Mathematica (1910, 1912, 1913). Thus the theory admits of two versions, the "simple theory" of 1903 and the "ramified theory" of 1908. Both versions of the theory later came under attack for being both too weak and too strong. For some, the theory was too weak since it failed to resolve all of the known paradoxes. For others, it was too strong since it disallowed many mathematical definitions which, although consistent, violated the vicious circle principle. Russell's response was to introduce the axiom of reducibility, an axiom that lessened the vicious circle principle's scope of application, but which many people claimed was too ad hoc to be justified philosophically.

Of equal significance during this period was Russell's defense of logicism, the theory that mathematics was in some important sense reducible to logic. First defended in his 1901 article "Recent Work on the Principles of Mathematics," and then later in greater detail in his Principles of Mathematics and in Principia Mathematica, Russell's logicism consisted of two main theses. The first was that all mathematical truths can be translated into logical truths or, in other words, that the vocabulary of mathematics constitutes a proper subset of that of logic. The second was that all mathematical proofs can be recast as logical proofs or, in other words, that the theorems of mathematics constitute a proper subset of those of logic.

Like Gottlob Frege, Russell's basic idea for defending logicism was that numbers may be identified with classes of classes and that number-theoretic statements may be explained in terms of quantifiers and identity. Thus the number 1 would be identified with the class of all unit classes, the number 2 with the class of all two-membered classes, and so on. Statements such as "There are two books" would be recast as statements such as "There is a book, x, and there is a book, y, and x is not identical to y." It followed that number-theoretic operations could be explained in terms of set-theoretic operations such as intersection, union, and difference. In Principia Mathematica, Whitehead and Russell were able to provide many detailed derivations of major theorems in set theory, finite and transfinite arithmetic, and elementary measure theory. A fourth volume was planned but never completed.

Russell's most important writings relating to these topics include not only Principles of Mathematics (1903), "Mathematical Logic as Based on the Theory of Types" (1908), and Principia Mathematica (1910, 1912, 1913), but also his An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry (1897), and Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919).

Russell's Work in Analytic Philosophy
In much the same way that Russell used logic in an attempt to clarify issues in the foundations of mathematics, he also used logic in an attempt to clarify issues in philosophy. As one of the founders of analytic philosophy, Russell made significant contributions to a wide variety of areas, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and political theory, as well as to the history of philosophy. Underlying these various projects was not only Russell's use of logical analysis, but also his long-standing aim of discovering whether, and to what extent, knowledge is possible. "There is one great question," he writes in 1911. "Can human beings know anything, and if so, what and how? This question is really the most essentially philosophical of all questions."[1]
More than this, Russell's various contributions were also unified by his views concerning both the centrality of scientific knowledge and the importance of an underlying scientific methodology that is common to both philosophy and science. In the case of philosophy, this methodology expressed itself through Russell's use of logical analysis. In fact, Russell often claimed that he had more confidence in his methodology than in any particular philosophical conclusion.

Russell's conception of philosophy arose in part from his idealist origins.[2] This is so, even though he believed that his one, true revolution in philosophy came about as a result of his break from idealism. Russell saw that the idealist doctrine of internal relations led to a series of contradictions regarding asymmetrical (and other) relations necessary for mathematics. Thus, in 1898, he abandoned the idealism that he had encountered as a student at Cambridge, together with his Kantian methodology, in favour of a pluralistic realism. As a result, he soon became famous as an advocate of the "new realism" and for his "new philosophy of logic," emphasizing as it did the importance of modern logic for philosophical analysis. The underlying themes of this "revolution," including his belief in pluralism, his emphasis upon anti-psychologism, and the importance of science, remained central to Russell's philosophy for the remainder of his life.[3]

Russell's methodology consisted of the making and testing of hypotheses through the weighing of evidence (hence Russell's comment that he wished to emphasize the "scientific method" in philosophy[4]), together with a rigorous analysis of problematic propositions using the machinery of first-order logic. It was Russell's belief that by using the new logic of his day, philosophers would be able to exhibit the underlying "logical form" of natural language statements. A statement's logical form, in turn, would help philosophers resolve problems of reference associated with the ambiguity and vagueness of natural language. Thus, just as we distinguish three separate sense of "is" (the is of predication, the is of identity, and the is of existence) and exhibit these three senses by using three separate logical notations (Px, x=y, and x respectively) we will also discover other ontologically significant distinctions by being aware of a sentence's correct logical form. On Russell's view, the subject matter of philosophy is then distinguished from that of the sciences only by the generality and the a prioricity of philosophical statements, not by the underlying methodology of the discipline. In philosophy, as in mathematics, Russell believed that it was by applying logical machinery and insights that advances would be made.

Russell's most famous example of his "analytic" method concerns denoting phrases such as descriptions and proper names. In his Principles of Mathematics, Russell had adopted the view that every denoting phrase (for example, "Scott," "blue," "the number two," "the golden mountain") denoted, or referred to, an existing entity. By the time his landmark article, "On Denoting," appeared two years later, in 1905, Russell had modified this extreme realism and had instead become convinced that denoting phrases need not possess a theoretical unity.

While logically proper names (words such as "this" or "that" which refer to sensations of which an agent is immediately aware) do have referents associated with them, descriptive phrases (such as "the smallest number less than pi") should be viewed as a collection of quantifiers (such as "all" and "some") and propositional functions (such as "x is a number"). As such, they are not to be viewed as referring terms but, rather, as "incomplete symbols." In other words, they should be viewed as symbols that take on meaning within appropriate contexts, but that are meaningless in isolation.

Thus, in the sentence

(1) The present King of France is bald,
the definite description "The present King of France" plays a role quite different from that of a proper name such as "Scott" in the sentence
(2) Scott is bald.
Letting K abbreviate the predicate "is a present King of France" and B abbreviate the predicate "is bald," Russell assigns sentence (1) the logical form
(1&#8242;) There is an x such that (i) Kx, (ii) for any y, if Ky then y=x, and (iii) Bx.
Alternatively, in the notation of the predicate calculus, we have
(1&#8243;) &#8707;x[(Kx & &#8704;y(Ky &#8594; y=x)) & Bx].
In contrast, by allowing s to abbreviate the name "Scott," Russell assigns sentence (2) the very different logical form
(2&#8242;) Bs.
This distinction between various logical forms allows Russell to explain three important puzzles. The first concerns the operation of the Law of Excluded Middle and how this law relates to denoting terms. According to one reading of the Law of Excluded Middle, it must be the case that either "The present King of France is bald" is true or "The present King of France is not bald" is true. But if so, both sentences appear to entail the existence of a present King of France, clearly an undesirable result. Russell's analysis shows how this conclusion can be avoided. By appealing to analysis (1&#8242;), it follows that there is a way to deny (1) without being committed to the existence of a present King of France, namely by accepting that "It is not the case that there exists a present King of France who is bald" is true.
The second puzzle concerns the Law of Identity as it operates in (so-called) opaque contexts. Even though "Scott is the author of Waverley" is true, it does not follow that the two referring terms "Scott" and "the author of Waverley" are interchangeable in every situation. Thus although "George IV wanted to know whether Scott was the the author of Waverley" is true, "George IV wanted to know whether Scott was Scott" is, presumably, false. Russell's distinction between the logical forms associated with the use of proper names and definite descriptions shows why this is so.

To see this we once again let s abbreviate the name "Scott." We also let w abbreviate "Waverley" and A abbreviate the two-place predicate "is the author of." It then follows that the sentence

(3) s=s
is not at all equivalent to the sentence
(4) &#8707;x[Axw & &#8704;y(Ayw &#8594; y=x) & x=s].
The third puzzle relates to true negative existential claims, such as the claim "The golden mountain does not exist." Here, once again, by treating definite descriptions as having a logical form distinct from that of proper names, Russell is able to give an account of how a speaker may be committed to the truth of a negative existential without also being committed to the belief that the subject term has reference. That is, the claim that Scott does not exist is false since
(5) ~&#8707;x(x=s)
is self-contradictory. (After all, there must exist at least one thing that is identical to s since it is a logical truth that s is identical to itself!) In contrast, the claim that a golden mountain does not exist may be true since, assuming that G abbreviates the predicate "is golden" and M abbreviates the predicate "is a mountain," there is nothing contradictory about
(6) ~&#8707;x(Gx & Mx).
Russell's emphasis upon logical analysis also had consequences for his metaphysics. In response to the traditional problem of the external world which, it is claimed, arises since the external world can be known only by inference, Russell developed his famous 1910 distinction between "knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description." He then went on, in his 1918 lectures on logical atomism, to argue that the world itself consists of a complex of logical atoms (such as "little patches of colour") and their properties. Together they form the atomic facts which, in turn, are combined to form logically complex objects. What we normally take to be inferred entities (for example, enduring physical objects) are then understood to be "logical constructions" formed from the immediately given entities of sensation, viz., "sensibilia." It is only these latter entities that are known non-inferentially and with certainty.

According to Russell, the philosopher's job is to discover a logically ideal language that will exhibit the true nature of the world in such a way that the speaker will not be misled by the casual surface structure of natural language. Just as atomic facts (the association of universals with an appropriate number of individuals) may be combined into molecular facts in the world itself, such a language would allow for the description of such combinations using logical connectives such as "and" and "or." In addition to atomic and molecular facts, Russell also held that general facts (facts about "all" of something) were needed to complete the picture of the world. Famously, he vacillated on whether negative facts were also required.

Russell's most important writings relating to these topics include not only "On Denoting" (1905), but also his "Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description" (1910), "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism" (1918, 1919), "Logical Atomism" (1924), The Analysis of Mind (1921), and The Analysis of Matter (1927).

Russell's Social and Political Philosophy
Russell's social influence stems from three main sources: his long-standing social activism, his many writings on the social and political issues of his day, and his popularizations of technical writings in philosophy and the natural sciences.
Among Russell's many popularizations are his two best selling works, The Problems of Philosophy (1912) and A History of Western Philosophy (1945). Both of these books, as well as his numerous but less famous books popularizing science, have done much to educate and inform generations of general readers. Naturally enough, Russell saw a link between education, in this broad sense, and social progress. At the same time, Russell is also famous for suggesting that a widespread reliance upon evidence, rather than upon superstition, would have enormous social consequences: "I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration," says Russell, "a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."[5]

Still, Russell is best known in many circles as a result of his campaigns against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and against western involvement in the Vietnam War during the 1950s and 1960s. However, Russell's social activism stretches back at least as far as 1910, when he published his Anti-Suffragist Anxieties, and to 1916, when he was convicted and fined in connection with anti-war protests during World War I. Following his conviction, he was also dismissed from his post at Trinity College, Cambridge. Two years later, he was convicted a second time. The result was six months in prison. Russell also ran unsuccessfully for Parliament (in 1907, 1922, and 1923) and, together with his second wife, founded and operated an experimental school during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Although he became the third Earl Russell upon the death of his brother in 1931, Russell's radicalism continued to make him a controversial figure well through middle-age. While teaching in the United States in the late 1930s, he was offered a teaching appointment at City College, New York. The appointment was revoked following a large number of public protests and a 1940 judicial decision which found him morally unfit to teach at the College.

In 1954 he delivered his famous "Man's Peril" broadcast on the BBC, condemning the Bikini H-bomb tests. A year later, together with Albert Einstein, he released the Russell-Einstein Manifesto calling for the curtailment of nuclear weapons. In 1957 he was a prime organizer of the first Pugwash Conference, which brought together a large number of scientists concerned about the nuclear issue. He became the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 and was once again imprisoned, this time in connection with anti-nuclear protests in 1961. The media coverage surrounding his conviction only served to enhance Russell's reputation and to further inspire the many idealistic youths who were sympathetic to his anti-war and anti-nuclear protests.

During these controversial years Russell also wrote many of the books that brought him to the attention of popular audiences. These include his Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916), A Free Man's Worship (1923), On Education (1926), Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Marriage and Morals (1929), The Conquest of Happiness (1930), The Scientific Outlook (1931), and Power: A New Social Analysis (1938).

Upon being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, Russell used his acceptance speech to emphasize, once again, themes related to his social activism.

Russell's Writings
A Selection of Russell's Articles
A Selection of Russell's Books
Major Anthologies of Russell's Writings
The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell
A Selection of Russell's Articles
(1901) "Recent Work on the Principles of Mathematics," International Monthly, 4, 83-101. Repr. as "Mathematics and the Metaphysicians" in Russell, Bertrand, Mysticism and Logic, London: Longmans Green, 1918, 74-96.
(1905) "On Denoting," Mind, 14, 479-493. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Essays in Analysis, London: Allen and Unwin, 1973, 103-119.
(1908) "Mathematical Logic as Based on the Theory of Types," American Journal of Mathematics, 30, 222-262. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Logic and Knowledge, London: Allen and Unwin, 1956, 59-102, and in van Heijenoort, Jean, From Frege to G?del, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967, 152-182.
(1910) "Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 11, 108-128. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Mysticism and Logic, London: Allen and Unwin, 1963, 152-167.
(1912) "On the Relations of Universals and Particulars," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 12, 1-24. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Logic and Knowledge, London: Allen and Unwin, 1956, 105-124.
(1918, 1919) "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism," Monist, 28, 495-527; 29, 32-63, 190-222, 345-380. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Logic and Knowledge, London: Allen and Unwin, 1956, 177-281.
(1924) "Logical Atomism," in Muirhead, J.H., Contemporary British Philosophers, London: Allen and Unwin, 1924, 356-383. Repr. in Russell, Bertrand, Logic and Knowledge, London: Allen and Unwin, 1956, 323-343.
A Selection of Russell's Books
(1896) German Social Democracy, London: Longmans, Green.
(1897) An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, Cambridge: At the University Press.
(1900) A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, Cambridge: At the University Press.
(1903) The Principles of Mathematics, Cambridge: At the University Press.
(1910, 1912, 1913) (with Alfred North Whitehead) Principia Mathematica, 3 vols, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Second edition, 1925 (Vol. 1), 1927 (Vols 2, 3). Abridged as Principia Mathematica to *56, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962.
(1912) The Problems of Philosophy, London: Williams and Norgate; New York: Henry Holt and Company.
(1914) Our Knowledge of the External World, Chicago and London: The Open Court Publishing Company.
(1916) Principles of Social Reconstruction, London: George Allen and Unwin. Repr. as Why Men Fight, New York: The Century Company, 1917.
(1917) Political Ideals, New York: The Century Company.
(1919) Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: The Macmillan Company.
(1921) The Analysis of Mind, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: The Macmillan Company.
(1923) A Free Man's Worship, Portland, Maine: Thomas Bird Mosher. Repr. as What Can A Free Man Worship?, Girard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications, 1927.
(1926) On Education, Especially in Early Childhood, London: George Allen and Unwin. Repr. as Education and the Good Life, New York: Boni and Liveright, 1926. Abridged as Education of Character, New York: Philosophical Library, 1961.
(1927) The Analysis of Matter, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner; New York: Harcourt, Brace.
(1927) An Outline of Philosophy, London: George Allen and Unwin. Repr. as Philosophy, New York: W.W. Norton, 1927.
(1927) Why I Am Not a Christian, London: Watts, New York: The Truth Seeker Company.
(1928) Sceptical Essays, New York: Norton.
(1929) Marriage and Morals, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Horace Liveright.
(1930) The Conquest of Happiness, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Horace Liveright.
(1931) The Scientific Outlook, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: W.W. Norton.
(1938) Power: A New Social Analysis, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: W.W. Norton.
(1940) An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: W.W. Norton.
(1945) A History of Western Philosophy, New York: Simon and Schuster; London: George Allen and Unwin, 1946.
(1948) Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1949) Authority and the Individual, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1949) The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota. Repr. as Russell's Logical Atomism, Oxford: Fontana/Collins, 1972.
(1954) Human Society in Ethics and Politics, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1959) My Philosophical Development, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1967, 1968, 1969) The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 vols, London: George Allen and Unwin; Boston and Toronto: Little Brown and Company (Vols 1 and 2), New York: Simon and Schuster (Vol. 3).
Major Anthologies of Russell's Writings
(1910) Philosophical Essays, London: Longmans, Green.
(1918) Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, London and New York: Longmans, Green. Repr. as A Free Man's Worship and Other Essays, London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1976.
(1928) Sceptical Essays, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: W.W. Norton.
(1935) In Praise of Idleness, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: W.W. Norton.
(1950) Unpopular Essays, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1956) Logic and Knowledge: Essays, 1901-1950, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: The Macmillan Company.
(1956) Portraits From Memory and Other Essays, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1957) Why I am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1961) The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, 1903-1959, London: George Allen and Unwin; New York: Simon and Schuster.
(1969) Dear Bertrand Russell, London: George Allen and Unwin; Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
(1973) Essays in Analysis, London: George Allen and Unwin.
(1992) The Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell, London: Penguin Press.
The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell
The Bertrand Russell Editorial Project is currently in the process of publishing Russell's Collected Papers. When complete, these volumes will bring together all of Russell's writings, excluding his correspondence and previously published monographs.
In Print
Vol. 1: Cambridge Essays, 1888-99, London, Boston, Sydney: George Allen and Unwin, 1983.
Vol. 2: Philosophical Papers, 1896-99, London and New York: Routledge, 1990.
Vol. 3: Toward the Principles of Mathematics, London and New York: Routledge, 1994.
Vol. 4: Foundations of Logic, 1903-05, London and New York: Routledge, 1994.
Vol. 6: Logical and Philosophical Papers, 1909-13, London and New York: Routledge, 1992.
Vol. 7: Theory of Knowledge: The 1913 Manuscript, London, Boston, Sydney: George Allen and Unwin, 1984.
Vol. 8: The Philosophy of Logical Atomism and Other Essays, 1914-19, London: George Allen and Unwin, 1986.
Vol. 9: Essays on Language, Mind and Matter, 1919-26, London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.
Vol. 10: A Fresh Look at Empiricism, 1927-42, London and New York: Routledge, 1996.
Vol. 11: Last Philosophical Testament, 1943-68, London and New York: Routledge, 1997.
Vol. 12: Contemplation and Action, 1902-14, London, Boston, Sydney: George Allen and] Unwin, 1985.
Vol. 13: Prophecy and Dissent, 1914-16, London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.
Vol. 14: Pacifism and Revolution, 1916-18, London and New York: Routledge, 1995.
Vol. 15: Uncertain Paths to Freedom: Russia and China, 1919-1922, London and New York: Routledge, 2000.
Vol. 28: Man's Peril, 1954-56, London and New York: Routledge, 2003
Planned and Forthcoming
Vol. 5: Toward Principia Mathematica, 1906-08.
Vol. 16: Labour and Internationalism, 1922-24.
Vol. 17: Behaviourism and Education, 1925-28.
Vol. 18: Science, Sex and Society, 1929-31.
Vol. 19: Fascism and Other Depression Legacies, 1931-33.
Vol. 20: Fascism and Other Depression Legacies, 1933-34.
Vol. 21: How to Keep the Peace: The Pacifist Dilemma, 1934-36.
Vol. 22: The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed and Other Essays, 1936-39.
Vol. 23: The Problems of Democracy, 1940-44.
Vol. 24: Civilization and the Bomb, 1944-47.
Vol. 25: Civilization and the Bomb, 1948-50.
Vol. 26: Respectability at Last, 1950-51.
Vol. 27: Respectability at Last, 1952-53.
Vol. 29: "D?tente" or Destruction, 1955-57.
Vol. 30: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1957-60.
Vol. 31: A New Plan for Peace and Other Essays, 1960-64.
Vol. 32: The Vietnam Campaign, 1965-70.
Vol. 33: Newly Discovered Papers.
Vol. 34: Indexes.
Bibliography
Selected Articles
Selected Books
Selected Articles
Broad, C.D. (1973) "Bertrand Russell, as Philosopher," Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society, 5, 328-341.
Carnap, Rudolf (1931) "The Logicist Foundations of Mathematics," Erkenntnis, 2, 91-105. Repr. in Benacerraf, Paul, and Hilary Putnam (eds), Philosophy of Mathematics, 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, 41-52; in Klemke, E.D. (ed.), Essays on Bertrand Russell, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970, 341-354; and in Pears, David F. (ed.), Bertrand Russell: A Collection of Critical Essays, Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1972, 175-191.
Church, Alonzo (1976) "Comparison of Russell's Resolution of the Semantical Antinomies with That of Tarski," Journal of Symbolic Logic, 41, 747-760. Repr. in A.D. Irvine, Bertrand Russell: Critical Assessments, vol. 2, New York and London: Routledge, 1999, 96-112.
Church, Alonzo (1974) "Russellian Simple Type Theory," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 47, 21-33.
Gandy, R.O. (1973) "Bertrand Russell, as Mathematician," Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society, 5, 342-348.
G?del, Kurt (1944) "Russell's Mathematical Logic," in Schilpp, Paul Arthur (ed.), The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, 3rd ed., New York: Tudor, 1951, 123-153. Repr. in Benacerraf, Paul, and Hilary Putnam (eds), Philosophy of Mathematics, 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, 447-469; and in Pears, David F. (ed.) (1972) Bertrand Russell: A Collection of Critical Essays, Garden City, New York:


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525240 - 08/12/05 04:03 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Many many more bios to go, only on page 3 out of 14.

At this time, I would like to remind everyone that Ravus called the work of these men New Age Bullshit. He is entitled to his opinion.:confused:

Ravus, may I ask for your credentials and accomplishments in the fields of Neural Science and Quantum Mechanics?

off to bed now.........:kiss:


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


Edited by gettinjiggywithit (08/12/05 04:10 AM)


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4525261 - 08/12/05 04:11 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Next we will research how many trees make a forest.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: tomk]
    #4525263 - 08/12/05 04:11 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

The question should be, how does our conscious experience give rise to the material world. I would predict that this, and not the 'hard question', is going to be the root of the involvement of consciousness and the material world.



i am unable to experience what another person experiences. i can only empathize imperfectly.

so is my own consciousness really the generative source of other people's consciousness?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4526111 - 08/12/05 01:23 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
Next we will research how many trees make a forest.




Next, maybe you will. :lol:

Reasearching the works of these men is turning out to be more interesting and inspiring then the article, for me anyway.

My brand of spirituality is more of a meta-physical one. That is, how spirit(awareness/lifeforce energy) interfaces with matter. I think someday science will get it figured out. To see where they are at is very exciting to me.

I wish I could be in an experimental lab with all of these guys minds. What a dream come true that would be. I wish I could give them my ideas for what tests and experiments to run and point them in directions. I wish I could tell them what measurment tools to work on developing next.

Maybe you think sciences efforts in this area are futile. I think they are getting closer and on the verge of life altering break throughs in discovery. I think they will change the shape of the world as we know it.

I can enjoy the roller coaster ride and study the engineering of how the ride works and what makes it so much fun and scary yet relatively safe at the same time.

TomCat,

I use computer analogies myself. When discussing personal understandings of how we experience this to work, it's easy to pull from what we know about how computers work to communicate concepts.
I have read elsewhere a handful of times that looking to the computer to understand consciousness interfacing with matter is barking up the wrong tree. I have experiences that have me agreeing with that.

Computers don't deal with vortices and pressure systems. These guys have to look there next for finding the interface in our DNA.

Five, Good question about defining what is meant here by consciousness. We are working with a triad facet of the waking conscious "cognition", sub conscious "dream imagination states" and unconscious "not knowing/lack of awareness". Perhaps awareness to lack of it is a better word/phrase.

Well, I still have to get to researching the New Age BS artists of,

James Culberson-pioneering research in robotics,
Henry Strap- American Physicist,
Von Neuman-introduced ontoligical approach to quantum theory, Shroedinger-Shroedingers Process of machanical determinsitics, Heisenberg-Heisenberg Process of quantum mechanics,
Dirac-Diracs Process in quantum theory
Karl Pigram-Advanced holonomic model of memory
Fourier-Fourier Transformations in quantum theory
gabor- gabors uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics
Heisenberg and Von Neumann-Brain as quantum measuring device theory
Japanese Physicist Kunio Yasue and American Physicist Gordon Globus-claim that brain substrates upohold second order quantum fields, which can not be treated as measuring devices.
Hiroomi Umezawa-Concieved corticons as more primitive then neurons, developed quantum neurophysics that explains how the classical world can originate from quantum processess in the brain.
Froehlich- Frohelic Condensation
Roger Penrose- british LEADING physicist of our time
Plank- Plank Scale
Saul-Paul Sirag- Hyperspace theory
Erich harth-Physicist
Erich Harth-Physicist, hypercycles quantum theory
Alwyn Scott-American Physicist

With this list and the two I posted prior, it's a no wonder this article is a stunning read! I'm going to the water park today. I havn't even finished absorbing the whole article yet.:lol:


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4526485 - 08/12/05 03:24 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

gettinjiggywithit said:
Many many more bios to go, only on page 3 out of 14.

At this time, I would like to remind everyone that Ravus called the work of these men New Age Bullshit. He is entitled to his opinion.:confused:

Ravus, may I ask for your credentials and accomplishments in the fields of Neural Science and Quantum Mechanics?

off to bed now.........:kiss:




I called the idea that consciousness is a physical property of the universe the product of New Age bullshit, and the fact that this theory isn't very common in the scientific world shows that many brilliant scientists also don't see the value of it. We're not doing ad hominem attacks, we're talking about the idea that consciousness is a physical property of the universe, and that seems as ridiculous as saying emotions or software are physical properties of the universe. Your theory is a very minor one in the scientific world, and therefore it is not just a few dissenting voices, it's the majority of scientists who overlook it. The reasons seem obvious to me; the statement that consciousness is something more than neurotransmitters in the brain is illogical and excessive.

I'm not the one arguing here as much as the entire neurobiological field. The brain is made of neurons releasing neurotransmitters in the synapses, which, on a massive scale like the brain, transforms this complex hardware into the subjective programs we see as our reality. The only reason these subjective programs are so different than computer programs is that they include within them the feeling of subjectivity so that we cannot see beyond them, while in computer programs we just feel they are an external dissociated part of reality from us. The reason we feel this subjectivity is up to debate, but should be addressed in evolutionary terms, not excessive theories trying to say that this consciousness is the Tao. :smirk:

Evidently those who didn't feel the biological "software" as part of their subjective consciousness didn't survive, but this simply required rewiring of the brain. The reason they didn't survive is possibly because if the software seemed external then they wouldn't be attached enough to it to fight bone and tooth and instead were controlled more by sheer instinct, but again no neurologist claims to know everything. Yet the lack of understanding the inner part of the moon doesn't make scientists give up common theories and instead say it's made of cheese; it just makes them say we need to look into the common evidence and scientifically supported theories more.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4526512 - 08/12/05 03:30 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Methinks you miss my point. Consciousness, like a forest, is a concept, not a specific thing to be researched.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4526536 - 08/12/05 03:37 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

from a scientific standpoint, it matters whether the theory is the simplest explanation given the available evidence. this metric exists irrespective of the accomplishments or intelligence of the folks proposing the theory.

an intelligent, accomplished scientist may believe in fairies and unicorns, for example, but that does not make the theory the simplest explanation for the available evidence.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Swami]
    #4526565 - 08/12/05 03:43 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
Methinks you miss my point. Consciousness, like a forest, is a concept, not a specific thing to be researched.




Is it though? All words are simply concepts, but the objects they represent can often be researched, even the mental ones. Perception, logic, love, all of these things can be researched, so why not consciousness? Why can't we make someone lose consciousness and test what areas of the brain change their functioning? Perhaps even go from there and try to isolate certain areas of the brain and see if just one area or a few produce the feeling of subjective consciousness in the subject.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4526640 - 08/12/05 04:01 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Ok then. You have the best minds and equipment in the world and unlimited funding. Tell me how you would determine how many trees make up a forest.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Swami]
    #4526646 - 08/12/05 04:02 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Cut all of them down and throw them in the ocean, keeping track along the way.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4526699 - 08/12/05 04:12 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Consciousness, like a forest, is a concept, not a specific thing to be researched.




well this is an interesting perspecive. is it outside the purview of science to discover how the brain constructs concepts?

i mean, the thing about beauty- beauty seems like a value judgment to me, whereas consciousness seems like an objective reality. either an object has consciousness (a living person) or doesn't (a rock)


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4526774 - 08/12/05 04:35 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"I called the idea that consciousness is a physical property of the universe the product of New Age bullshit, and the fact that this theory isn't very common in the scientific world shows that many brilliant scientists also don't see the value of it. We're not doing ad hominem attacks, we're talking about the idea that consciousness is a physical property of the universe, and that seems as ridiculous as saying emotions or software are physical properties of the universe. Your theory is a very minor one in the scientific world, and therefore it is not just a few dissenting voices, it's the majority of scientists who overlook it. The reasons seem obvious to me; the statement that consciousness is something more than neurotransmitters in the brain is illogical and excessive."

what seems rediculous to you may be common sense to someone else. please explain what exactly is illogical about that statement. i will remind you that you still have provided absolutely no evidence at all to support your claim. you're argument is basically: "this is what seems most logical to me, therefore any other perspective is illogical."

" I'm not the one arguing here as much as the entire neurobiological field. The brain is made of neurons releasing neurotransmitters in the synapses, which, on a massive scale like the brain, transforms this complex hardware into the subjective programs we see as our reality. The only reason these subjective programs are so different than computer programs is that they include within them the feeling of subjectivity so that we cannot see beyond them, while in computer programs we just feel they are an external dissociated part of reality from us. The reason we feel this subjectivity is up to debate, but should be addressed in evolutionary terms, not excessive theories trying to say that this consciousness is the Tao."

why should it be addressed in evolutionary terms when the function of conciousness isn't even cleary understood?

"Evidently those who didn't feel the biological "software" as part of their subjective consciousness didn't survive, but this simply required rewiring of the brain. The reason they didn't survive is possibly because if the software seemed external then they wouldn't be attached enough to it to fight bone and tooth and instead were controlled more by sheer instinct, but again no neurologist claims to know everything. Yet the lack of understanding the inner part of the moon doesn't make scientists give up common theories and instead say it's made of cheese; it just makes them say we need to look into the common evidence and scientifically supported theories more. "

you're saying that conciousness is nothing more than the physical brain but at the same time saying that conciousness can influence the physical the brain? how is this possible? how does subjective experience interface with and influence physical matter? why isn't it "just along for the ride"?


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4526792 - 08/12/05 04:44 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

"this is what seems most logical to me, therefore any other perspective is illogical."



i think there are plenty of reasons in this thread; namely, classicial brain dynamics consciousness is a more parsimonious theory than classical brain dynamics plus quantum dynamics conssciousness.

Quote:

you're saying that conciousness is nothing more than the physical brain but at the same time saying that conciousness can influence the physical the brain? how is this possible? how does subjective experience interface with and influence physical matter? why isn't it "just along for the ride"?




maybe becasue they're the same thing


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4526798 - 08/12/05 04:47 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

mean, the thing about beauty- beauty seems like a value judgment to me, whereas consciousness seems like an objective reality. either an object has consciousness (a living person) or doesn't (a rock)

There are many assumptions in that statement. Look deeper.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Swami]
    #4526832 - 08/12/05 05:04 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"i think there are plenty of reasons in this thread; namely, classicial brain dynamics consciousness is a more parsimonious theory than classical brain dynamics plus quantum dynamics conssciousness."

that's not positive evidence though. newtonian mechanincs may be more parsimonious than einstein relativity but in order for us to make a conclusion in favor of it we would need corroborating evidence.

"maybe becasue they're the same thing"

if its the same thing than it could not influence itself. there would be no behavioral difference between a conciouss mind and an unconciouss one.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Swami]
    #4526871 - 08/12/05 05:13 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

i'm trying to.

are you saying they're the same on the subjective level? they're both subjective appraisals of reality? still, while science is ultimately subjective, that doesn't means that consciousness wouldn't fall under it's purview

the question of a forest- how many trees are in it? two? three? one hundred? one thousand?

i suppose you could argue that different beings have degrees of consciousness, just as different forests have different numbers of trees, and ultimately, it comes down to a subjective appraisal whether X trees qualifies as a forest.

which is a good point.

i wonder if different configurations of matter qualify as different levels of consciousness- empty space, inanimate matter, single neuronal organisms, organisms with neural feedback mechanisms, organisms with language...

as long as there's an agreed-upon definition of a real phenomenon ("a forest has 100 trees, for the intent of this discussion"), i think it can be approached scientifically.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4526877 - 08/12/05 05:15 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

you're saying that conciousness is nothing more than the physical brain but at the same time saying that conciousness can influence the physical the brain? how is this possible? how does subjective experience interface with and influence physical matter? why isn't it "just along for the ride"?




Interesting question.

Consciousness is contained in the brain yet can influence the brain just like anything else. Your vision is contained within the brain, yet when you see something it still changes the brain as the brain responds and makes the image. Subjective experience doesn't interface with physical matter, subjective experience is physical matter just like the program you're using right now is physical matter. It's extremely complex wiring, but that doesn't make Internet Explorer or Firefox separate from matter. The image of Firefox is in the matter with which it's communicated (the monitor) and the program itself is contained in the matter which creates it (the computer). Nothing is actually separate from matter.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4526916 - 08/12/05 05:24 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

that's not positive evidence though. newtonian mechanincs may be more parsimonious than einstein relativity but in order for us to make a conclusion in favor of it we would need corroborating evidence.



given all the evidence, einsteinian relativity is more parsimonious than newtonian mechanics. certain things are unexplained in newtonian mechanics that einsteinian relativity can explain. what does quantum mechanics explain that classical physics brain doesn't?

Quote:

if its the same thing than it could not influence itself.



as matter affects matter, mind affects mind?

Quote:

there would be no behavioral difference between a conciouss mind and an unconciouss one.



do you have an example...in mind?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4526925 - 08/12/05 05:27 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The meanings of most words are context-dependent. So to ask how many forests are in a tree is an unanswerable question. For example, if you ask where you can find a bear, and I say, "Look in the forest" and point to a group of trees, it doesn't matter if there are only 30 trees. You'll know that I mean to look in whatever area that I'm most likely referring to, based on your knowledge of the language.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: FiveLights]
    #4526934 - 08/12/05 05:30 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

That's why you should define all the words and subjects before delving into a project.

If you say "How many trees are in this forest?" you need to define what a tree is, whether there's a minimum age for a tree to be considered a tree, how to determine a tree from other tall shrubs or plants, where the boundaries of the forest are and whether trees on this boundary should be considered part of the forest.

But after the definitions are there it's pure brute force.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4527029 - 08/12/05 05:51 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

BTW, to the original poster, it becomes new age BS when idiots like us, who cannot possibly understand the mathematical underpinnings of quantum physics, start talking like we can see the relationships between them as if we actually understood all the mathematics and whatnot. The original researchers are skilled, and not spouting new age BS. However, when I say the same thing without mathematics, I am spouting new age BS.

Also, remember that there is a huge history of the greatest scientists of the time being hugely preoccupied by pretty trival things. Newton was fascinated by astrology and biblical geneology, for example. Many early chemists were alchemists. Just because these guys are great thinkers doesn't mean their pet metaphysical projects are going to bear fruit.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: tomk]
    #4527036 - 08/12/05 05:53 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

The mathematics of quantum mechanics are interesting, but I haven't seen an equation that shows consciousness is a physical property of the universe in all of my searchings.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: tomk]
    #4527799 - 08/12/05 09:16 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for saving me time tomk. I almost posted something like that pretty much saying the same thing, but had to jet when I thought to.

Maybe that's why this article gives some perspective to this forum of "lay people" who can only talk out of our experiential asses about this stuff.

In my next life, I am coming back as a PSI Calculus Physics Major. Until then, I will just be me.

Now, I am going to make some hot tea, curl up on the couch, grab a cozy blanket and finish absorbing the rest of this article.

I enjoyed reading through the earlier conversations guys!


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4527977 - 08/12/05 10:25 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"Interesting question.

Consciousness is contained in the brain yet can influence the brain just like anything else. Your vision is contained within the brain, yet when you see something it still changes the brain as the brain responds and makes the image. Subjective experience doesn't interface with physical matter, subjective experience is physical matter just like the program you're using right now is physical matter. It's extremely complex wiring, but that doesn't make Internet Explorer or Firefox separate from matter. The image of Firefox is in the matter with which it's communicated (the monitor) and the program itself is contained in the matter which creates it (the computer). Nothing is actually separate from matter"

subjective experience is physical matter? i always thought it was subjective experience. from the article

"Particles are not conductors by themselves, just like they are not conscious, and most things made of particles (wood, plastic, glass, etc. etc.) are not conductors (and maybe have no consciousness), but each single particle in the universe has an electrical charge and each single particle in the universe has a property, say, C. That property C is the one that allows our brain to be conscious. I am not claiming that each single particle is conscious or that each single piece of matter in the universe is conscious. I am only arguing that each single particle has this property C which, under the special circumstances of our brain configuration (and maybe other brain configurations as well and maybe even things with no brain) yields consciousness. "

i don't understand where we are in dissagreement anymore, i am not saying the mind is something seperate from the brain. i agree that the state of conciousness we experience correlates exactly with the physical arrangement of our brain. what i am saying is that the the property C is a property of the universe.

i also don't understand your hardware software examples. i understand that the image on my moniter is inseperable from the hardware in my computer. however switching off my minitor does not affect my computer's ability to run software. why would it be any different with a brain? you also keep ignorning my unconciouss universe example. would a universe exactly like ours minus conciounsess exist? if we assume conciousness is experience are you then saying that experience appeared from nothing the moment the first organism became conciouss? and what evolutionary advantage could the first conciouss organism possibly have had?

"given all the evidence, einsteinian relativity is more parsimonious than newtonian mechanics. certain things are unexplained in newtonian mechanics that einsteinian relativity can explain. what does quantum mechanics explain that classical physics brain doesn't?"

how a brain becomes conciouss.


"as matter affects matter, mind affects mind?"

what is matter and what is mind?



"do you have an example.."

sure, computer chess machines are often able to beat the world's top grand masters. the human has a subjective experience of the chess match while the computer does not (i assume). however this doesn't seem to hinder the computer's ability to play chess. i don't see why a powerful enough computer would be unable to guide the behavior of animals in the wild either. i find it a highly unlikely notion that at some point one animal was born with a bio computer (brain) that contained subjective experience as the result of some mutation and i fail to see what advantage this would provide (nor do i see why a mutation would result in something entirely new like subjective experience to suddenly snap into existance). i also don't see how the subjective experience would "double back" and exert influence on the computations of the brain. why wouldn't it simply be along for the ride?


Edited by Deviate (08/12/05 10:32 PM)


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528024 - 08/12/05 10:44 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I think you replied to the wrong person :confused:


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4528037 - 08/12/05 10:48 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

didnt i reply to ravus and crunchytoast? i should probably stop replying to this thread anyway as most the points i am making are already more eloquently stated in the article itself.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4528069 - 08/12/05 11:04 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

I think you replied to the wrong person

Is there really such a thing as a "wrong person"?


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528085 - 08/12/05 11:12 PM (16 years, 2 months ago)

My user name is at the top of your reply as if you replied to me.

And you are right, they are in the article. If they missed them, they must have different waves collapsing that are not condensating to cognate comprehension of those sections.  They got different probability waves. :lol: Maybe their protein tuning forks are set at a different pitch. :lol: Just playing around

This stuff is so cool.

I even found up ahead where vortices's came into play as quantum spin and some other stuff I hoped to find. Keep having to take breaks because I get so excited I loose focus.:lol: Still have 2 pages left to absorb.

I say wrap it.  If you feel strongly there is an interface, why waste time with people who don't? It turns into a right and wrong debate when neither side having proof so it will go nowhere but down the drain. Total waste of energy to do anything other then explore it with the intent to take it even further in theory and have stuff to test out metaphysically.

Hey, at least we found out who else here is interested in and following this stuff. We know who we can PM to discuss it further with if any of us wants to. :thumbup:

I know I want to be alone with my thoughts on this one for a while. Lots to sort through and test out before I run my trap any more on it.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4528396 - 08/13/05 01:30 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

yes, debating it for the sake of being right becomes pointless. however i will make the prediction that in the next 50-100 years science will revolutionize our understanding of concioussness which will inevitably coincide with the creation of a new worldview (beyond materialism). only time can prove me right or wrong.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528409 - 08/13/05 01:34 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

So quantum physics isn't materialistic?

If anything we've moved from a non-materialistic viewpoint, like vitalism and the idea of having souls, into having something more true and scientific, like modern chemistry and biology. Usually moving away from materialism is decadence of knowledge, so I'll match your prediction with one of my own and say science will move into a more and more materialistic viewpoint, hopefully wiping out the ideas of God, the soul and the added significance to consciousness until we're determined to be just the sum total of our natural selection-created cells.

Just a prediction, but unless science turns completely the other way it seems to be the way things are moving.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Ravus]
    #4528632 - 08/13/05 02:36 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

quantum physics is beyond materialism in the sense that it embraces both the materialistic veiwpoint and the relativistic viewpoint. remember that einstein showed that matter is a form of energy, thus our understanding must progress to the point where matter and energy cease to be thought of as seperate things.

ideas like God and the soul will not be wiped out by science as they are not based in science. the soul is illusiory, it exists as an appearance. explaining the source that gives rise to its appearance will not negate its existance, similarly to how explaining the cause of the water mirages you see on a hot day will not stop you from seeing the mirages. it's quite possible that science will explain in scientific terms what it is that people have previously called the soul and what people have been calling God or even create a new conception of God. the whole point is that these seemingly contradictory viewpoints are both true depending on your own level of understanding. the fact that you use the word "hopefully" makes me why you wish to see things pan out that way, shouldn't you be more concerned with finding the truth whatever it may be (even something unexpected)? something you should consider is what is the standard for what's real? aren't illusions still real in some sense? remember humans shape their own reality.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528661 - 08/13/05 02:45 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

quantum physics is beyond materialism in the sense that it embraces both the materialistic veiwpoint and the relativistic viewpoint. remember that einstein showed that matter is a form of energy, thus our understanding must progress to the point where matter and energy cease to be thought of as seperate things.





I'm not arguing with that, but the particles in quantum physics (as everything is) are not actually particles, they're a combination of a wave and a particle. The distinction between energy and matter becomes less relevant on the quantum realm, but it still says that all of reality is simply these wave particles and is therefore materialistic. After all, all that materialism states is that everything is made of "material", which on the quantum level is simply the particles and antiparticles which create everything.

Quote:

ideas like God and the soul will not be wiped out by science as they are not based in science.




Not based in it, but they are still affected by it. As scientific knowledge and explanations for the universe rise, the need for God and mystical explanations falls.

Quote:

the fact that you use the word "hopefully" makes me why you wish to see things pan out that way, shouldn't you be more concerned with finding the truth whatever it may be (even something unexpected)? something you should consider is what is the standard for what's real? aren't illusions still real in some sense? remember humans shape their own reality.




If humans shape their own reality, then what's wrong with my hope for the way science will work out? I am shaping reality, after all.

I hope that science will one day grow stronger and dominate mystical explanations because humans need a good foundation for Nihilism to sweep over them. A conflict of interests, perhaps, but in the end Nihilism would allow us to give up the old illusions and actually delve deeper into science than we ever have before.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528707 - 08/13/05 02:59 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

just to provide an example of what i'm getting at...


i did not believe in demons or demonic possesion, that is i did not believe in them until i was possesed by a demon on a mushroom trip. now of course i understand that it was all in my mind and ingesting the psilocybin gave rise to the experience of possesion, i interpret the experinece in a purely scientific way. the lesson is that now i know what people are talking about when they talk about "battling demons". when you are engrossed in an experience the underlying causes of the experience are not important, the experience is very real (does understanding the way your taste buds function take away from the taste of food? is that all you think about when you eat?). since primitive humans had no science they formed "experiential maps" or systems of understanding based on their own experience of reality, hence the poetic terms like soul and God. they weren't concerned with explaining experiencial relationships in terms of neurochemistry because the science of neurochemistry didn't exist. they were concerned with explaining them in terms that other people would understand, so for instance you could say if you are possessed by a demon do this to cure yourself. now humans have moved into a more rational state of conciousness in which they are willing to accept more rational explanations for their experiences rather than Gods and magic, this doesn't mean that Gods don't exist though, they just don't exist as what people have previously concieved of them as being.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528722 - 08/13/05 03:02 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

"Not based in it, but they are still affected by it. As scientific knowledge and explanations for the universe rise, the need for God and mystical explanations falls.
"

yes, exactly. but it doesn't mean mystical explanations are wrong, they are just explanations from an experiencial perspective and can still be useful in advancing understanding when properly used ( although they have a far greater potential to be misused than scientific explanations which is why science is my only hope for mankind right now.)

for example buddhism has given me better methods for controlling myself psychologically than studying science because science has not yet advanced to the point where it can tell me how to operate my own mind. that isn't even what science sets out to do. the experiencial perspective useing metaphor is still useful, once it is understood what the metaphor means the need for peotic sounding mystical beliefs dissapears.


Edited by Deviate (08/13/05 03:08 AM)


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4528797 - 08/13/05 03:26 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

as a side note, i believe much of mysticism is a front put up to make the truth sound socially acceptable. most people do not really want to know the truth and if it were preached to them many would run away in fear. the idea of spiritual teachings is to make it sound presentable enough that people may absorb it slowly and gradually raise their awareness.


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Re: Research into Consciousness Interfacing with matter [Re: Deviate]
    #4529521 - 08/13/05 09:40 AM (16 years, 2 months ago)

Nice posts Deviate!

I think the communication gap we are having with Ravus here comes down to his understanding of Occam's Razor and reductionism and use of templates.

As our understanding of systems evolve, they become more complex, not less.

Tissue was broken down to molecules to DNA to atoms and now quarks.

Tissue was one material and now we have 5 as we understand it better. It became more complex, not less.

What is a quark made of? where did it come from? How does it work? What is that made of? Where did it come from? How does it work?

Our understanding is only going to continue to become more complex as we continue to explore and make discoveries, not the other way around.

As science looks into the quantum field for answers to broadening the understanding of conscious awareness, it will naturally evolve into something more complex.

Correct me if I am wrong Ravus, but you seem to be using Occam's razor to shave away what is there in a back tracking way and soon, will have yourself back to a simple lump of flesh to keep it easy. Be careful with that thing. It may be cutting learning new things away from you. :lol:

Personally, I think people start shutting off and tuning out to new information when they just can't comprehend it anymore. It's understandable and probably a survival mechanism to keep us from short circuiting and or developing a mental disorder.

Here's a metaphysical take on this understanding. Everything physical has a template and form for it in the quantum geometry field made up first aka morph field.

When it cohesies into matter, some realized, made real, the form is filled.

Take that an apply it to how we first speculate and hypothesis when we get new ideas for what something may be or can be. That idea is a form or a template. Then science proceeds to look for a fit, "evidence" /something to fill it with.

The form has to be there first for that to happen, for a new realization, making something become real to take place.

For any of us who were speculating on this and had our own hypothesis loosely formed, much of this research fits our forms and had a place to go to make sense of it, keeping order.

For a reader who had no form prepared for it, the information had no where orderly to go so it was discarded.

Looking at it this way helps me to understand why so much info that gets presented here is easily understood, accepted or realized by some and not others.

This was sort of explained in the article, where it discussed having to ask questions of nature first and that nature will fill the void. It seems, the void/unknown doesn't get filled until we have some ideas about it first, a place to put it. The working form gets set up first and then, it can be fulfilled with an experiential realization or a scientific theory or new fact when or if discovered.


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