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I don't believe that there's such thing as a spirit

  1. Aug 17, 2010 #1
    Hi, there

    I'm not entirely sure where to post this, so please forgive me if this is the incorrect area to post in.

    So, I've been studying a bit on psychology, physics and other areas too. I don't believe that there's such thing as a spirit or soul, I think that's part of your body, but I was wondering if anybody had any research that supports the idea that the spirit or soul isn't separate from your body, but rather what the brain does - if you get what I mean.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2010 #2
    Re: Spirits

    The Society for Scientific Exploration explores these topics. Their papers are peer reviewed. Here is a link to some PDF abstracts:

    http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/articles.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Aug 17, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Spirits

    Note that the Society for Scientific Exploration is not an accepted mainstream source. It may only be used here anecdotally with no references to studies or theories.

    A list of journals that may be used are found here:
    http://scientific.thomson.com/index.html

    I have no idea what the op is asking.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2010 #4
    Re: Spirits

    I think the OP is stating that he is a materialist, but asking if there is some scientific evidence of dualism. The obvious answer is that with current technology, and probably until we die as a species, there will never be a scientific answer to that question, rather it is a matter of philosophy.

    LJ, note that materialism in this context means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialist and that dualism means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_(philosophy_of_mind [Broken])
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Aug 17, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Spirits

    Thanks, I didn't recognize the context.

    I know there are a number of schools of thought on this matter - no doubt many being fringe or crackpot - but I don't know if there is any scientific basis for these ideas. I will leave the thread open for any papers suggesting that the mind cannot be explained solely in terms of brain function.

    Please note that we are interested in scientific papers and evidence, not personal or internet theories.
     
  7. Aug 17, 2010 #6

    loseyourname

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    Re: Spirits

    I actually think he's asking for the opposite, for scientific evidence that mental phenomena are entirely caused by the brain.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2010 #7
    Re: Spirits

    Thanks for your replies! :), I'm checking out those links now.

    Yes, loseyourname understood what I meant. I'm looking for scientific studies that prove or suggest that dualism highly improbable or impossible, studies that do NOT work in the favour of dualism.

    Though, I'd actually also be interested if there are studies that DO support dualism, but from what I can gather so far is that dualism is considered incorrect (if incorrect is the correct term :P) in the scientific community and I pretty much just want to know why. I'm very interested in the topic.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Spirits

    That seems like a backwards question: I would think that nearly every bit of our understanding of the mind and brain function would qualify as the desired evidence. The exception to the rule would be something suggesting otherwise. I don't know if there are any examples.

    Moving to philosophy.
     
  10. Aug 18, 2010 #9

    Pythagorean

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    Re: Spirits

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

    Basically, the modern word for soul is consciousness.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2010 #10
    Re: Spirits

    That is the explanation that works for me, and beyond that I think my capacity to understand the topic with current technology is at an end.

    tJohnstone: Sorry that I got your intent off kilter!
     
  12. Aug 18, 2010 #11
    Re: Spirits

    You might want to look at:

    The Emerging Physics of Consciousness - edited by J. A. Tuszynski - Springer 2006

    which covers several materialistic approaches, some classical, some quantum.

    Skippy

    PS Although it is not what you are looking for, there is some scientific research being done by the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, Division of Perceptual Studies on apparent cases of reincarnation. They are continuing the work of the late Dr. Ian Stevenson. http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page.
     
  13. Aug 18, 2010 #12
    Re: Spirits

    Until I, or whoever, understands how you can make a computer, or whole internet (since it's even more complex than the brain itself), aware of itself (and also have true feelings), I'd be inclined, and very much so, that there is something beyond this physical realm we scientifically can understand and/or prove.

    So, yes, in my experience, we, humans, have souls. Or rather, souls enable us to be aware and feel while existing in this physical bodies which are governed my natural laws, but via souls, free-will is possible, not just consciousness, pain and pleasure and other "human" qualities.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2010 #13
    Re: Spirits

    This is analogues to a demand by pre-space civilization that until they see that the earth is roughly spherical, they will assume it is flat.
     
  15. Aug 18, 2010 #14

    Pythagorean

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    That's a good summary of the general topics of neurophysics! I've been looking for a text like that for a while.
     
  16. Aug 18, 2010 #15

    apeiron

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    Re: Spirits

    Actually it is quantum consciousness crack-pottery.....
     
  17. Aug 18, 2010 #16

    Pythagorean

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    Re: Spirits

    Take a closer look. Quantum is only one topic. It covers several approaches.
     
  18. Aug 18, 2010 #17

    Evo

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    Re: Spirits

    Your lack of understanding means nothing. If you knew how simple the internet was you'd be too ashamed to post here again.

    This is nonsense.
     
  19. Aug 18, 2010 #18

    apeiron

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    Re: Spirits

    OK, apart from Scott, which isn't a crackpot approach?
     
  20. Aug 18, 2010 #19

    Pythagorean

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    Re: Spirits

    Well, Scott's approach is the only one I'm actually familiar with (as in, I've done hands on research in the subject) and it's necessarily classical (i.e. not quantum).

    But there's other non-quantum approaches in the book that represent the general neurophysics (and not just to conscoiusness, btw, neuroscience in general):

    JohnJoe McFadden
    Avner Priel, et al
    Christopher Davia
    Nancy J Woolf

    Who have all been productive in neuroscience research and have little to no mention of QM.

    Anyway, there's no reason QM somehow shouldn't be applied to neuroscience in general. It already successfully has. "Quantum Consciousness" as developed by Penrose is what largely receives the criticism, but that's a very narrow scope and shouldn't represent all things QM + neuroscience. Pretty much all of the chemistry that is done in neuroscience would be meaningless without it's recent developments through QM.
     
  21. Aug 18, 2010 #20

    Pythagorean

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    Re: Spirits

    Though I must admit, I'm disappointed to not see a thermodynamics chapter.
     
  22. Aug 19, 2010 #21

    apeiron

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    You can't have read these authors before coming to that opinion.

    All these researchers are part of a crackpot subculture organised by Hameroff.
     
  23. Aug 19, 2010 #22

    Pythagorean

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    Well, no, I don't know the authors. I was looking at the subjects:

    microtubules, computational properties of dendritic cytoskeleton, metabolism, etc, are all valid topics in neuroscience. I have no idea about their applications to consciousness, but I'm starting to steer clear of the direct topic of consciousness more and more lately.
     
  24. Aug 19, 2010 #23

    apeiron

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    OK, if you ever read the research :uhh:, you will see it is indeed all quantum consciousness crack-pottery.....
     
  25. Aug 19, 2010 #24

    Pythagorean

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    Ok... let's look at each author and what they've contributed to the field of neuroscience:

    Nancy Woolf:

    http://nwoolf.bol.ucla.edu/

    yep, bonified neuroscience research topics.

    Christopher Davia:

    http://www.psy.cmu.edu:16080/~davia/mbc/4start.html

    Davia hasn't done anything productive that I can find. He only has this very informal proposal that's based on a dynamical systems view. I won't judge him so quickly.

    Johnjoe McFadden, lets look at his paper contributions:

    http://www3.surrey.ac.uk/qe/pdfs/papers.pdf

    His papers are boring and very obviously not crackpottery... But the books he writes for the public... yeah, ok, he's a little out there.

    Avner Priel:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?r...q=Avner Priel&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=ws

    Has been productive in biophysics with similar titles to those presented in this book.




    So, besides JohnJoe McFadden, would you please explain to me why the others are crackpots?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  26. Aug 19, 2010 #25

    apeiron

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    Re: Spirits

    Yes, some of these guys have day jobs. When you have read more than the contents page of the book, get back to me........:zzz:
     
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