Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 9245 times)

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #609 on: April 23, 2014, 08:50:56 AM »
You tell me anything mankind has achieved whilst he is asleep.

I heard some people have erotic dreams, but I have no such luck.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #610 on: April 23, 2014, 09:32:01 AM »
You tell me anything mankind has achieved whilst he is asleep.

I heard some people have erotic dreams, but I have no such luck.

I have no such problem. I am quite lucky in that regards...if you want to call that lucky.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #611 on: April 23, 2014, 10:03:08 AM »
I might be reading too much into Dominic's position here, but there's a peculiar aspect of it that's bugging me.

Dominic seems to be taking emergence and doing a 180° with it.  That the most fundamental constituent of reality is something vastly complex (consciousness), and from that vast complexity, simpler components (matter, energy, etc.) are gestated.  That simpler components are an emergent property of vast complexity instead of the other way around.

It seems so...backwards to me.  It's almost like claiming that oxygen and hydrogen were created because water...distinctified...itself into subcomponents, rather than water being composed  - being created by the combination - of oxygen and hydrogen[1].

And I'm not saying this necessarily disproves or counters the model that Dominic is presenting, but it seems to me to be a fundamentally different way of understanding how elements relate to each other and affect each other.
 1. I get that it's not a perfect analogy, hence the 'almost'.
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Offline wheels5894

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #612 on: April 23, 2014, 10:18:04 AM »
No, I think you are on to something here, actually, Dawg. Oddly, I found Peter Russell's site - the guy Dominic quoted to make his points - and it turns out Russell had done some brain research and, more importantly, wrote a book called The Global Brain in which he considers the connected world as  Global Brain based on the people connecting into the Internet and sharing idea etc. This is actually quite an interesting idea which, in some sense, i used by a lot of the population seeking advice or help - forums like this for advice whilst academics and professionals link up to find answers.

However, it looks as though, somewhere, the Global Brain turned into a universal consciousness by the time Dominic was tlaking to us - a reversal of the concept of Russell.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #613 on: April 23, 2014, 10:25:30 AM »
That we only experience an image of the tree when we look at it and not the tree itself is the most low class and blatently obvious thing i can think of.


it is hardly even worth stating let alone writing in a book or quoting on the internet. it laughable or i am completely missing the point.


please. explain the purpose of the quote and why it is not the most trivial self evident and obvious statement that could be uttered .
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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #614 on: April 23, 2014, 10:29:17 AM »
I just watched Dennett's talk.

He presented several examples of weaknesses in visual sense perception.  Weaknesses in visual sense perception indicate that consciousness can quite easily make mistakes when describing the physical world (our shared experiences).

There was nothing at all presented which showed consciousness to be an illusion.  So I wonder why it has that false title ?

I wonder if the title is meant to be 'The errors made by consciousness'.  And somehow that becomes the error of consciousness and then the illusion of consciousness. 

It seems that someone is trying to trick our consciousness again.  To make us think we saw/heard something in that talk that wasn't actually there.

No, the talk is demonstrating that you are not the expert on your own consciousness! You have an illusion that you are and it should be corrected. You have yet to even attempt to demonstrate that consciousness (that word we use to describe our waking experiences) is anything other than the functional representation of physical substrates. Again, all of the evidence we have demonstrates that minds are the products of physical brains and are inherently and intricately tied to them, such that the two are indistinguishable from one another in any real sense. These things you are trying here are super old, like Descartes old, and the problems before you still persist. Merely assuming your own "non-physical" definition of what consciousness is doesn't get the conversation anywhere - for one because you haven't presented a coherent definition of what "immaterial" or "non-physical" even are. I could makeup the term "non-unicorn" and use it just like you are trying to, same diff.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 10:32:01 AM by median »
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Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #615 on: April 23, 2014, 10:31:56 AM »
Actually in my dreams i am quiet the super hero and one helluva ladies man.


i have saved the planet many times...



you guys all owe me.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #616 on: April 23, 2014, 10:37:15 AM »
One main reason why the consciousness model is superior to the matter model is because consciousness cannot be doubted but matter can be.

Why is that superior?  How does that help you in your day to day dealings? 

If such an appeal is valid then the consciousness model becomes the preferred default position for the reasons set out in this message.

Then you are misusing Occam's Razor.  If consciousness is all there is, nothing is explained.  "All of life is just a dream..."  Okay, you are a brain in a jar.  You can know nothing about anything because all sensory input is/ can be manipulated.  Now what?  I've asked you this already.  It looks to me like you are just playing a dead-end philosophical game.  Solipsism goes nowhere.

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #617 on: April 23, 2014, 10:37:52 AM »
Actually in my dreams i am quiet the super hero and one helluva ladies man.


i have saved the planet many times...



you guys all owe me.

So it's you that keeps thwarting my dream-world domination plans.

I'll get you next time, Gadgeteh!.  NEXT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #618 on: April 23, 2014, 10:58:37 AM »
I can imagine a hungry, man-eating lion that is 100 feet tall and made of pink balloons. There is no such creature in reality, as far as we can detect.
That's the other thing too.  While there is no such creature in reality, every aspect of that creature has some analog in external reality that you have presumably experienced.  You know what a 'balloon' is, you know what 'pink' is, you have a rough idea of how a lion moves around and comports itself, you have some idea of scale of what '100 feet tall' is...

If consciousness can indeed create, and dreams are an example of that process of creation, then it stands to reason that there should be things that arise in dreams that have no analog in external reality.  Entire, vastly different types of realities should be found, experienced, and described in dreams.  And I mean vastly different.  But dreams are never vastly different...they're different in a 'Vulcans have pointy ears' kind of way.  They're not human, but they sure as hell look and act like modified humans.  Dreams appear to be realities that are modified versions of what we experience in actual reality.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #619 on: April 23, 2014, 11:20:04 AM »
So what yr saying reality mimics our dreams quiet well??
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #620 on: April 23, 2014, 11:26:59 AM »
So what yr saying reality mimics our dreams quiet well??
Flip 'reality' and 'dreams', and replace 'quiet well' with 'with inconsistent arrangements of experiences from reality devised from our imperfect psyches' and that probably gets closer to the gist of what I'm saying.

Dreams mimic our reality with inconsistent arrangements of experiences from reality devised from our imperfect psyches.

Yeah, I think that gets it.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #621 on: April 23, 2014, 11:44:15 AM »
So reality is an inconsistent replication of our consistent dreams????
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Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #622 on: April 23, 2014, 11:54:07 AM »
Whoa....dominic you got nasty taste in your mouth? I just dreamed my azz was an orange........
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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #623 on: April 23, 2014, 12:30:28 PM »
Ok, I've just watched the Peter Russell video in it's entirety and I'm actually glad that I did because I knew someone a couple years back who believed exactly like Peter here and I had disagreements with her as well. Here are the main notes I took from his talk:

NOTES:

•Consciousness is the capacity to experience.

Descartes noted that he could doubt everything except his own consciousness - that he was experiencing.

We cannot measure consciousness. There are no scientific experiments that can be done to determine whether something is conscious. [A zombie looks conscious too]

New paradigms are always rejected first, then interpreted by the old paradigm, then seen as self evident (like Copernicus). The primacy of consciousness is one of those.

The universe works perfectly well without an explanation of consciousness.

There is a "meta-paradigm" - which is a paradigm behind all paradigms (which is consciousness).

Remote viewing, reincarnation, and healing are problems for materialism.

Consciousness (in varying degrees) is as fundamental, if not more so, than space/time/matter.

Consciousness is in everything.

Those who think that a living thing with no nervous system can have no consciousness are just assuming.

•Consciousness goes "all the way down", but is sometimes and often faint.

•Matter as we know it only exists in the mind (Noumena vs Phenomena).

•The concept of consciousness has evolved but not consciousness itself.

•"There is an objective reality" is just an assumption.

•"Thingness" is something the mind creates. There is no "thing" there. We know this from quantum physics.

•The question is not how diverse forms of matter manifest into consciousness but how consciousness has manifested into all these diverse forms of matter.

•Everything in the world is a manifestation of consciousness

•God is universal consciousness - "I am [and you are] God"


So there you have it folks - the new mysticism. I really did not see any actual evidence presented by P. Russell through the entire talk. He just basically started off by priming everyone for what he knew would be something many people would resist (while really just assuming a particular definition of what consciousness is, and then not really showing how all things display that definition). Then, he attempted to assert that consciousness is primary (again nothing solid or sound here), and then poked at materialism a couple of times, as if to say, "I just won't accept it".

The funniest part of this talk is how he quoted Schopenhauer (at about 24 mins): "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." as if to imply that his assertion about the primacy of consciousness was one of those and that we should just jump on board with it even if it doesn't seem plausible or likely right now (because, you know, every great known truth in history has come about this way). What's most interesting about this, though, is that in attacking the "old" paradigms he is, in effect, shooting himself in the foot quite directly. What is the oldest paradigm in the attempts of human knowledge? THEISM! Theism, "spirituality", and "supernatural" claims have been the old paradigm for centuries, even millennia. It is the new paradigm that has said, "Sorry guys, there's no magic here. It's just OZ pulling the levers." and the superstitionists have been the ones resisting this IN MASS for the longest amount of time. So the new understanding (the truth that is being resisted) is that the universe is natural and that supernatural explanations (including the age old "everything is God consciousness" model) are the old paradigms of which people will not let go. And humans have been going through those three stages of acceptance for the longest time. First the theist resists the natural explanation (because he doesn't like the magic trick to be exposed as not magic), then he ridicules it as being "impossible" ("There's just no way it's natural!"), then, like many of us here, he accepts it. Go Schopenhauer!

A CRITIQUE:

http://www.defenseofreason.com/is-consciousness-all-there-is/
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 01:29:36 PM by median »
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #624 on: April 23, 2014, 01:05:51 PM »
So reality is an inconsistent replication of our consistent dreams????
Flip 'reality' and 'dreams' and that probably gets closer to the gist of what I'm saying.

So dreams (are) an inconsistent replication of our consistent reality???

Yeah, I think that gets it.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #625 on: April 23, 2014, 01:25:43 PM »
Seems like there's a lot of problems with Russell's position.

First off, stating that consciousness is the capacity to experience is a very bad definition, because it is so general as to be nearly meaningless.  What exactly is "the capacity to experience", anyway?  How do we tell if something has an actual capacity to experience things or not?

Second, Russell has foreclosed on any possibility of determining what "the capacity to experience" is, by stating that we cannot measure it and can perform no scientific experiments to determine whether something is conscious or not.  These are assumptions, made specifically to prevent any effort to scientifically analyze "the capacity to experience".  Furthermore, they commit the fallacy of special pleading, because they attempt to set consciousness out of the realm of science without good reason.

Third, he states that the universe works perfectly well without an explanation of consciousness.  Well, the universe works perfectly well without an explanation of gravity, or of electromagnetism, or any number of other things.  Is that a good reason not to try to explain how those things work?  No, it's simply an excuse to keep from having to deal with pesky attempts to explain it via science.

Fourth, he states that remote viewing, reincarnation, and healing (I assume he means faith healing or some equivalent) are problems for materialism.  Leaving aside the fact that none of these things have been demonstrated to actually happen, something being a problem for materialism does not mean that materialism is no longer valid.  Quantum physics was unquestionably a problem for materialism, and yet materialism is still considered perfectly valid.

Fifth, he states that consciousness is as fundamental, if not more so, than space/time/matter.  However, this is an assumption, because according to him we cannot measure consciousness and can perform no scientific experiments to determine whether something is conscious.  If we cannot measure consciousness, how do we know that it is at least as fundamental as space, time, and matter, all of which we can measure, even if only imperfectly?

Sixth, he states that consciousness is in everything.  This is also an assumption, because according to him we cannot measure consciousness and cannot scientifically determine whether something is conscious.  This is also a package assumption, meaning it contains innumerable other assumptions - such as that subatomic particles, electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules, and so on up the line, are all conscious, which we cannot determine for the same reason as before.  In short, he violates the principle of Occam's razor so badly here that his argument is not really worth considering unless and until he reformulates it; he has sliced his own argument to ribbons by ignoring Occam's razor.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #626 on: April 23, 2014, 01:30:12 PM »
In short, he violates the principle of Occam's razor so badly here that his argument is not really worth considering unless and until he reformulates it; he has sliced his own argument to ribbons by ignoring Occam's razor.
It's not so much that he sliced up his own arguments.

Occam's razor sliced up his arguments.  He's trying to use Deepak's duct tape to hold his arguments together.

But excellent analysis.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #627 on: April 23, 2014, 02:21:00 PM »
Actually in my dreams i am quiet the super hero and one helluva ladies man.


i have saved the planet many times...



you guys all owe me.

That would be your alter ego called 'sh!' then.
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Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #628 on: April 23, 2014, 02:34:55 PM »
How can you prove that is not my real ego and eh! is my alter ego. why do you give more importance to the real world and not my imagination world ...that's racist.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #629 on: April 23, 2014, 03:07:23 PM »
How can you prove that is not my real ego and eh! is my alter ego. why do you give more importance to the real world and not my imagination world ...that's racist.
I can't tell if you're being serious or not here.

If you're not being serious, please say so.

Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #630 on: April 23, 2014, 03:27:41 PM »
Nah i kind of get in a character in this case inspired by dom and i just go with it.


i think i have suppressed artistic tendencies or early onset dementia.


i am much worse IRL. when i go with something.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #631 on: April 23, 2014, 03:31:08 PM »
Those who think that a living thing with no nervous system can have no consciousness are just assuming.

heh.  Then I suppose the same is true for nonliving things as well, no?
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #632 on: April 23, 2014, 05:47:30 PM »
In short, he violates the principle of Occam's razor so badly here that his argument is not really worth considering unless and until he reformulates it; he has sliced his own argument to ribbons by ignoring Occam's razor.
It's not so much that he sliced up his own arguments.

Occam's razor sliced up his arguments.  He's trying to use Deepak's duct tape to hold his arguments together.

But excellent analysis.


Good shit, jdawg70. Here's some more good shit:


Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #633 on: April 24, 2014, 09:57:30 AM »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #634 on: April 24, 2014, 02:38:53 PM »
Dominic did mind create brain or brain create mind?

I'll quote Peter Russell on this.  He says it quite well -

All our experiences—all our perceptions, sensations, dreams, thoughts and feelings—are forms appearing in consciousness. […] Everything we know, perceive, and imagine, every color, sound, sensation, every thought and every feeling, is a form appearing in the mind. It is all an in-forming of consciousness.
Dominic,

Neither you nor Russell have answered eh!’s question. In case you missed it when you quoted it, here it is again.
Dominic did mind create brain or brain create mind?

Please answer.

GB Mod


Option 1:  Minds create brains


In a dream, we could theoretically open up someone's head, remove the brain and dissect it to try and discover its nature.

No matter to what level of detail we undertook this process we would still have no idea (while in the dream) whether we were dealing with an independent physical entity (a brain) or not.

Therefore we are forced to acknowledge that for all intents and purposes the mind can create what we call a brain.

[ Whether or not we have had such a dream is irrelevant.  We have had a vast array of different types of dreams and we have no idea what the limits of dreaming are. ]


Option 2:  Brains create minds

Can a brain create a mind ?   We cannot rule out the possibility, but we do not know if it has ever actually occurred.  Most people in our society believe that our brain creates our mind (or they simply assume it) but that is just a belief.  Science is apparently having some difficulty explaining consciousness (the mind).

Furthermore we do not know that the brain itself is material or that it creates anything at all - because (for one reason) we cannot be certain that the physical brain is not simply part of a dream we are currently experiencing.


Conclusion

So we know that option 1 is almost definitely possible, and although the second option may be possible, it could never be verified with certainty.

I won't say I am certain of option 1 but it requires at least two fewer assumptions than option 2 - as set out above.

[I won't invoke Occam's Razor because the simpler model is not necessarily the more correct - despite someone else implying that in this thread.]


Offline Dante

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #635 on: April 24, 2014, 02:47:44 PM »

Option 2:  Brains create minds

Can a brain create a mind ?   We cannot rule out the possibility, but we do not know if it has ever actually occurred.

Yet when physical damage occurs to the brain, the mind can be damaged as well. Why is that, do you think?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #636 on: April 24, 2014, 02:48:53 PM »
I might be reading too much into Dominic's position here, but there's a peculiar aspect of it that's bugging me.

Dominic seems to be taking emergence and doing a 180° with it.  That the most fundamental constituent of reality is something vastly complex (consciousness), and from that vast complexity, simpler components (matter, energy, etc.) are gestated.  That simpler components are an emergent property of vast complexity instead of the other way around.

It seems so...backwards to me.  It's almost like claiming that oxygen and hydrogen were created because water...distinctified...itself into subcomponents, rather than water being composed  - being created by the combination - of oxygen and hydrogen[1].

And I'm not saying this necessarily disproves or counters the model that Dominic is presenting, but it seems to me to be a fundamentally different way of understanding how elements relate to each other and affect each other.
 1. I get that it's not a perfect analogy, hence the 'almost'.

I'd agree with that analysis.  Reductionism vs Holism.

Offline Dominic

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #637 on: April 24, 2014, 03:04:21 PM »

Option 2:  Brains create minds

Can a brain create a mind ?   We cannot rule out the possibility, but we do not know if it has ever actually occurred.

Yet when physical damage occurs to the brain, the mind can be damaged as well. Why is that, do you think?

I'll see your damaged brain and raise you a 'dead' brain - where mind continued with vivid awareness [Pam Reynold's NDE] -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mYVSBs_bq8