Universe has a mind of it's own

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this is a completely pointless discussion
 
Les Sleeth
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saltydog said:
From this perspective, the genesis of organ arises from the dynamics of the biochemistry as well: through random change, the biochemistry is pushed through a critical point into a basin of attraction, the center of which lies the attractor we perceive as the organ, the organism, and mind itself.
As you predict, I would ask for proof, but not necessarily a demonstration of an entire organ developing. Two areas where if sufficient evidence were collected would make me more open is that 1) biochemistry can, on its own without conscious asssistance, be pushed to the "criticial point" perpetual system-building self organization, and 2) either if the quality of genetic variation we see today were shown to be creating organs in progress or if some set of conditions could shown to dramtically alter the now-observed bird-beak quality of genetic variation to a highly creative quality of genetic variation. Getting a few amino acids to form spontaneously and adjustments to existing organs doesn't cut it as "sufficient evidence" to make the kind of inferences evolution theorists are now making.
saltydog said:
No doubt some, Ok Les maybe, will require proof of such. I yield and can offer none. However, in time through study, I've come to adopt this posture in the matter simply because it makes sense and provides at least a plausable working hypothesis to explain many of the questions about nature and life that I've pursued most of my adult life.
I commend your careful statements about the evidence you have. I respect other opinions as long as they aren't claiming they have evidence they don't, or making improper inferences from the evidence they have. A working hypothesis is a crucial part of conducting science, but not nearly as important as confirming that hypothesis with observation.
saltydog said:
I don't believe in a universal conscience, rather there are only dynamics.
We believe what we (or others we trust) have experieced, yes? Universal consciousness has been reported experientially for millennia, but few science enthusiasts have studied those reports. So statements I often hear such as "there is absolutely no evidence of a universal consciousness" is a statement made in ignorance.

I myself can't say there is enough objective evidence to state unequivocally that there is a universal consciousness. On the other hand, the experience of a universal consciousness has been primarily an "inner" experience. One cannot judge an inner experience by the externalizing standards of science.

Most science enthusiasts now believe, like you, that they can account for everything with physical dynamics. I don't think they can and here is my number one reason: the lack of a mechanistic self-organizing principle capable of organizing chemistry into life, and then capable of varying genes so effectively as to create organs (and gene variation does boil down to biochemistry's self-organizing potentials).

If someone could demonstrate such a self-organizing potential in ordinary chemistry, that for me would really tip the scales in favor of physical processes/dynamics as the creator of life and subsequent life forms.

Yet the truth is, no such potential has been demonstrated, not even close. ONLY when you add human consciousness to the mix do you start to see the kind of system-building organization that life exhibits. Now, in terms of inferring from what we know, I infer that because consciousness is the only known force in the universe to organize with the quality needed to lead to metabolizing, self-sustaining, reproducing, adapting systems, then it is possible that consciousness was what organized the first life and what guided genetic changes that created new organs.

You say you believe in dymanics. Why couldn't one of the universe's dynamics be consciousness? Do you know of any other organizing dymanic that comes close to it as an organizing force? As I said, there is evidence (albeit, somewhat difficult to find) in the form of reports of quite serious inner practitioners (i.e., not religious doctrine). So I don't see why dynamic lovers are so closed to the possibility, especially when they don't have anything better to propose.
 
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Les Sleeth
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LaPalida said:
I am beginning to feel that we disagree on this issue alot less than we think we do. Whether it is by your bad phrasing of your original statements, shifting ground, or I my lack of comprehension . . .
I don't know which either. I am very interested in learning how to communicate my point so that it is understood right away and I can avoid the seemingly endless repetition of what I am trying to say. But I must admit that part of me feels that to even question anything at all about evolution theory draws attacks from people who believe it wholeheartedly. It's ironic because most of what they attack me for I am not even proposing.


LaPalida said:
. . . of them I don't know because as I see it you don't disagree that macroevolution (evolution above the species level) happens . . . you just disagree with the theory of random genetic drift happening on a larger scale (new phyla arising in a short time with only random genetic variation as the only cause). Did I get that right?
All I have been saying is that there isn't sufficient evidence to conclude that known microevolution processes created organs, because all they can be observed doing today is making "adjustments" to existing organs (i.e., not actually creating useful new organs).


LaPalida said:
I don't disagree with this paper at all (that is why I quoted it). There is a genuine scientific controversy here regarding the workings of evolution but it is NOT about whether macroevolution takes place it is about HOW it takes place.
Yes and that has been my one and only point all along (and not just here, but in other debates in the Philosophy of Science and General Discussion areas of PF). Yet every single time I try to point to this gap in evolution theory (which quite a few experts acknowledge) I have been attacked for everything from not understanding evolution, lacking education and being "silly" to being a creationist or intelligent design advocate. :cry:

All I have been doing is trying to point out we need some dynamic we don't have, or some unknown kind of change to dynamics we know about, in order to explain the level of organization and quality of change we know must have occurred to produce all aspects of life forms.


LaPalida said:
Anyway now back to the conscious universe (I apologize for contributing to the drifting away from the topic): If it is possible then how would we know it and how could we prove it? I am open to the possibility of some sort of intelligence that is so far beyond our comprehension that we wouldn't know it even if it was right in front of us, but that leaves us at an impasse since then it would only be pure speculation either way. Could life itself and the laws of physics be proof of this "intelligence"? The fact that we exist? Could life be the universe asking itself a question? Is it possible that if life arose from chemicals that it is subject to the same kind of physical laws and that the laws themselves are what guides the development of life - but how did the laws of the universe come about? Could the universe be a mass consciousness, not a single mind but a hive mind? What are your thoughts?
Well, you are reasoning as many of us do about the possibility of a universal consciousness. Other than the "reports" I mentioned to saltydog, there isn't much in the way of proof.

In other threads I have questioned the demand for empirical proof when it comes to universal consciousness. The basis of empiricism is sense experience. In other words, one proposes something (a hypothesis) and then one tries to confirm what's been proposed by observation (i.e., using the senses to see, hear, taste, etc.).

But what if a human being is capable of an experience that is not dependent on the senses? And what if it is precisely that experience where all the reports of a universal consciousness is coming?

Well, in fact that really is the case. There are records stretching back 3000 years of people who practiced withdrawing from the senses, and then claiming they merged or joined with something vast and conscious. This practice in the East is called samadhi, and in the West is called union. I've talked about it so many times here at PF I won't subject everyone to it again, but you can do some research yourself and find out about it.

My point is, when it comes to proof, there are different standards for proving something externally and proving something internally. I've heard science types so many times demand the kind of proof for a universal consciousness that one requires for science. Personally I don't think physicalness and the presence of a universal consciousness are studied or known through the same methods; that is, the way we get to know the physical universe is different (exactly opposite in fact) than the way we would investigate the possibility of a universal consciousness.

If that is so, the only way science is going to know anything about it will be due to "gaps" where physical principles can't explain things. Of course, scientists, as human beings, can learn to withdraw from the senses, turn inward, and experience what others have, and thereby prove to themselves what is possible in that regard. They just can't use science to investigate it. :smile:
 
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We believe what we (or others we trust) have experieced, yes? Universal consciousness has been reported experientially for millennia, but few science enthusiasts have studied those reports. So statements I often hear such as "there is absolutely no evidence of a universal consciousness" is a statement made in ignorance.

I myself can't say there is enough objective evidence to state unequivocally that there is a universal consciousness. On the other hand, the experience of a universal consciousness has been primarily an "inner" experience. One cannot judge an inner experience by the externalizing standards of science.
For me anecdotal evidence just doesn't cut it. People also reported seeing ghosts, the Virgin Mary, aliens and UFO's, the Devil, and Elvis too. Until there is concrete proof for this it's all just hockey pockey stuff. Hate, love, thinking, hallucination are all inner experiences too but no one is denying they exist. Why?

But what if a human being is capable of an experience that is not dependent on the senses? And what if it is precisely that experience where all the reports of a universal consciousness is coming?

Well, in fact that really is the case. There are records stretching back 3000 years of people who practiced withdrawing from the senses, and then claiming they merged or joined with something vast and conscious. This practice in the East is called samadhi, and in the West is called union. I've talked about it so many times here at PF I won't subject everyone to it again, but you can do some research yourself and find out about it.
How would one know then that it is a genuine experience, independent of external senses, and not just imagination, hallucination, schizophrenia or self-delusion?
 
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Les Sleeth
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LaPalida said:
For me anecdotal evidence just doesn't cut it. People also reported seeing ghosts, the Virgin Mary, aliens and UFO's, the Devil, and Elvis too. Until there is concrete proof for this it's all just hockey pockey stuff. Hate, love, thinking, hallucination are all inner experiences too but no one is denying they exist. Why?
The "concrete proof" is acquired by you, the individual, learning the inner skills, practicing them for years so that you can have the "union" experience regularly, and then deciding what YOU believe that experience is. You cannot judge it by other's experience.


LaPalida said:
How would one know then that it is a genuine experience, independent of external senses, and not just imagination, hallucination, schizophrenia or self-delusion?
Well, how do you know you aren't living in a Matrix? How do you know you aren't dreaming all this? How do you know you aren't a computer program? How do you know . . . anything?
 
saltydog
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Les Sleeth said:
A working hypothesis is a crucial part of conducting science, but not nearly as important as confirming that hypothesis with observation.
Thanks Les. I agree and perhaps should spend more time doing the latter than proclaiming the former. They have already accumulated what I believe to be a very rich source of information about the neurosciences in the Mind and Brain Forum.:smile:
 
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Big Question

The one question I haven't seen addressed is this, if the universe had a mind would we be able to percieve it as such?
This is akin to a neuron in our brain being able to percieve our minds much like we experience our minds in the "Descartes" sense.
Though we are much more complicated than a neuron and are self aware it does not necessarly follow that we would be able to percieve such a universal self awareness. At the current time we won't even be able to answer such a question using reason since we don't really understand the origin of self awareness within our own brains.
Our limited notion of mind or self awareness is seriously tinged with human notions of what it means to be self aware. Being that we are the pinnicale of self aware animals (on planet earth), there appears to be a heirarchy of self awareness and intelligence. We could easily imagine entities or beings with an intelligence and self awareness that would be incomprehensible to us humans, much like an ant trying to understand human thinking.
John G.
 
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Les Sleeth said:
So no more condescending "very silly" or "parroting" comments meant to distract us from your crappy logic.
By "silly" I meant nonsensical. I apologize if you thought I was condescending.

The "parroting" comment was justified, although it was not meant to be condescending. Your claim that mutations always result in a loss of information is absolutely false. You received disinformation and you repeated it without understanding. Otherwise you would have seen the fallacy of your claim. A mutation will lose information if and only if the opposite mutation will add information. A mutation is possible if and only if the opposite mutation is possible. You repeated disinformation without such basic understanding. That is parroting.


Les Sleeth said:
I am very interested in learning how to communicate my point so that it is understood right away
It would help me understand your points better if you:
1) Provide precise definitions, especially when requested to do so.
2) Use your own terminology in a consistent manner.
3) State your claims and questions in a consistent and unambiguous manner.
4) This last issue is harder to describe... Sometimes you shift out of context when you reply to my response of your comments. It gives me the impression that you only read my response, but not what I have quoted in my response. Subsequently your reply has nothing to do with what I have responded to in the first place. I'll try to point it out next time.


Les Sleeth said:
I know you are about ten times smarter than you need to be to see what's wrong with pushing accidental genetic variation as the creator of organs.

Lay out step by step the logic that justifies inferring today's genetic variation, which can only be proven to produce bigger bird beaks et ect., can produce organs.
That's a good example of issues 1, 2 and 3 above.
1) You never gave a precise definition for "accidental genetic variation". When I asked for a definition all I got was an example involving bird beak size.
2) Your change of terminology from "accidental genetic variation" to "today's genetic variation" confuses me because I don't understand the difference.
3) You have asked us to demonstrate that accidental genetic variation can cause organ development as well as organ creation. Development could mean creation or alteration to something that is already in existence. It's not clear to me which interpretation is correct.


Les Sleeth said:
I know you are about ten times smarter than you need to be to see what's wrong with pushing accidental genetic variation as the creator of organs.
I sincerely don't see the problem. Perhaps you feel frustrated because you don't fully understand my position. It's probably my fault because I didn't give enough reasoning to support my opinion. Consequently you may have interpreted my lack of justification as a sign of denial. I apologize if that is the case.

Your main objection is that Evolutionists credit genetic variation as a cause of organ development (i.e. both creation and alteration). My response is that your quarrel is with the foundation of genetics and not with Evolution. The mechanisms for genetic variation is a subject of contention in the scientific community. However, the affects of genetic variation on organ development is a scientific fact that has been observed in nature and demonstrated in the lab. To say "there is no indication that mutations will lead to organ development" (your exact words) implies "DNA doesn't specify organ development". If you truly think that then bring your objections to geneticists rather than evolutionary biologists. The onus would be on you to show which of the necessary insertions, deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations, etc. are impossible.
 
Les Sleeth
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wave said:
Your main objection is that Evolutionists credit genetic variation as a cause of organ development (i.e. both creation and alteration). My response is that your quarrel is with the foundation of genetics and not with Evolution. The mechanisms for genetic variation is a subject of contention in the scientific community. However, the affects of genetic variation on organ development is a scientific fact that has been observed in nature and demonstrated in the lab.
I am going to disagree here. You may be stating the ideal statement of the facts, but it isn't how a great many evolutionists present their theory to the public. I know this for a fact having observed it many, many times even as recently as last week on the Science Channel where working scientists implied that the facts of evolution are so overwhelming there is little doubt; and here's the kicker, they also implied that the exact sort of genetic variation that gives us bigger/smaller bird beaks gave us organs.

Another example. I was reading a program for teaching evolution to high school students a couple of days ago. It organized the lessons into a several-week teaching program; included in the lessons was teaching how gradual changes, with ordinary genetic variation and natural selection, over time produced organs. How can that be taught without making it crystal clear how little evidence there is to support that part of the theory?

To tell you the truth, I cannot recall any scientists publically acknowledging that when it comes to accounting for HOW genetic changes were able to produce organs, the evidence is sorely lacking. In too many instances I've read or heard, scientists leave the impression that there is enough evidence to assume purely mechanistic genetic variation-natural selection alone is an adequate "creator."


wave said:
To say "there is no indication that mutations will lead to organ development" (your exact words) implies "DNA doesn't specify organ development".

I have repeated "accidental" so many times I occasionally leave it out of a sentence. If you want to take that particular "mutation" comment out of the context of the dozens of times I had "accidental" attached to it (or genetic variation), fine.

You say I need to define my terms better. Okay, I will accept that. But how many ways can one interpret "accidental"? Genetic variation, if it is unguided by consciousness, requires chance in order to create organs (unless someone can demonstrate a mechanistic basis for self-organization, which no one can yet).

I specifically juxtaposed guided genetic changes and "accidental" genetic changes early on in this thread, and repeated it a couple of more times. I also pointed out that the only type of "accidental" genetic variation we know of right now cannot be demonstrated to produce organs. Possibly we humans can apply our consciousness to genetics to produce some neat organs, but then that wouldn't be "accidental" would it.


wave said:
If you truly think that then bring your objections to geneticists rather than evolutionary biologists. The onus would be on you to show which of the necessary insertions, deletions, duplications, inversions, translocations, etc. are impossible.
I'm sorry, but that is absolute nonsense. The onus is not on me to disprove someone else's theory!!!! If you advocate a theory, then it is on you to demonstrate the accuracy of it. Besides, I've not said it isn't possible, I said there isn't enough evidence to be acting like HOW genes varied as they did when organs were created is covered by what we know of microevolutionary processes today (this is every bit an improper inference as saying the possibility of abiogenesis is covered by the couple of amino acids that formed in the Miller-Urey experiment). My demands for better evidence and more conservative inferences are perfectly proper and healthy skepticism.

If evolutionist believers weren't leaving the impression, and sometimes claiming outright, that today's observed genetic variation-natural selection team (i.e., bird beak producers) created all life forms (plus not openly acknowledging where there is a lack of evidence), then you might get away with saying it's a genetics problem. But as long as evolution is being represented to the public the way it is now, I and other thinkers demanding objectivity are going to fight the current misrepresentation of the strength of the theory.
 
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wave said:
However, the affects of genetic variation on organ development is a scientific fact that has been observed in nature and demonstrated in the lab.
Can you provide support or a link to support this statement? Scientific facts are hard to come by honestly in nature or the lab.
 
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Les Sleeth said:
I am going to disagree here. You may be stating the ideal statement of the facts, but it isn't how a great many evolutionists present their theory to the public.
Fine, if that is your perception.


Les Sleeth said:
To tell you the truth, I cannot recall a single scientist honestly acknowledging that when it comes to accounting for HOW genetic changes were able to produce organs, the evidence is sorely lacking.
Evolutionary mechanisms can be a controversial subject in the scientific community, and I say that while donning my "evolutionist zealot" hat. I attended a seminar last month where two biologists argued over that very subject until they were blue in the face. On the other hand, whether genetic variations can produce organs is not contested.

It is reasonable to question whether the accepted evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient for organ creation. However, your objections has also been targeted towards whether genetic variations can produce organs (posts 12, 34, 53, 55, 59, 64 and 70). The latter objection is the source of our disagreement.


Les Sleeth said:
I'm sorry, but that is absolute nonsense. The onus is not on me to disprove someone else's theory!!!!
If you claim that a theory is invalid, then the onus is on you to support that claim.


Les Sleeth said:
If evolutionist believers weren't leaving the impression, and sometimes claiming outright, that today's observed genetic variation-natural selection team (i.e., bird beak producers) created all life forms (plus not openly acknowledging where there is a lack of evidence), then you might get away with saying it's a genetics problem. But as long as evolution is being represented to the public the way it is now, I and other thinkers demanding objectivity are going to fight the current misrepresentation of the strength of the theory.
Once again, that is your perception. However, you are correct to doubt anyone who claims that genetic variation created all life forms.
 
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Royce said:
Can you provide support or a link to support this statement?
Reference for the vitamin C synthesis example that I used in this thread:

Nishikimi M, Fukuyama R, Minoshima S, Shimizu N, Yagi K., 1994. Cloning and Chromosomal Mapping of the Human Nonfunctional Gene for L-Gulono-gamma-lactone Oxidase, the Enzyme for L-Ascorbic Acid Biosynthesis Missing in Man. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 269: 13685-13688.


Royce said:
Scientific facts are hard to come by honestly in nature or the lab.
How do you define "scientific fact"?
 
Les Sleeth
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wave said:
If you claim that a theory is invalid, then the onus is on you to support that claim.
Well, we must running out of things to disagree about. :smile:

I've supported the claim, repeatedly. But a theory has to be worthy of refuting too. I'm pretty sure that's one reason the staff here at PF discontinued having a liberal Theory Development section -- too many theories failed to fit the facts or be supported by evidence.

In this case, if one buries an evidentially unsupported feature of a theory amongst otherwise well supported aspects, and then pretends it deserves the same confidence as everything else, then I say that lack of a fair representation of the facts demands a proper defence by advocates; it isn't me who is making misleading statements. Anyway, what am I to do if advocates refuse to admit what they are doing?
 
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Les Sleeth said:
Well, we must running out of things to disagree about. :smile:
I am sure we'll find something eventually. Perhaps the next time you bring up union. :biggrin:


Les Sleeth said:
In this case, if one buries an evidentially unsupported feature of a theory amongst otherwise well supported aspects...
Just to be clear - the unsupported feature (i.e. evolutionary mechanisms) that we've been discussing is not a part of Evolution.

Evolution can be defined as changes in allele frequency within a population over time. Notice the definition doesn't mention how allele frequency change or what causes it to change. In other words, the mechanisms of evolution is independent of Evolution itself. We have separate theories to explain evolutionary mechanisms. So it is inconsequential to the theory of evolution how genetic variations came to be. Evolution will not be affected, even if "universal consciousness" is the mechanism for all genetic variations.


Les Sleeth said:
Anyway, what am I to do if advocates refuse to admit what they are doing?
I have never met someone like that in a research setting. We attack each other viciously, so we try to be the first to point out our own flaws. If you visit Toronto Canada, come to one of our seminars and you'll see what I mean.

The only time when I encounter such advocates is on the internet. They often accept Evolution based on faith rather than understanding. It is just as bad as those who dismiss Evolution without truly understanding the theory. All you can do is try to reason with them. However, it's easy to label people when they disagree with you. Some of those people could be right and you are the one not getting it. :wink:
 
Amp1
I see that no one has commented on Paul Martin’s Post (# 46). He has produced a reasonable line of thought. It may occur to you that I agree with it because it is somewhat similar to my posts and invests the premise of universal conscious with a time transcendent quality. The only short coming I think I notice is a way for the individuality of each conscious being to be differ from one another. Unique personality should be some sort of consequence of a universal conscious interaction between and with the unique beings/personalities within the universe.
 
Les Sleeth
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wave said:
I am sure we'll find something eventually. Perhaps the next time you bring up union. :biggrin:
I not sure how one can disagree with what one knows nothing about.


wave said:
Just to be clear - the unsupported feature (i.e. evolutionary mechanisms) that we've been discussing is not a part of Evolution. . . .I have never met someone like that in a research setting. We attack each other viciously, so we try to be the first to point out our own flaws. If you visit Toronto Canada, come to one of our seminars and you'll see what I mean.
The only time when I encounter such advocates is on the internet. They often accept Evolution based on faith rather than understanding.
Uhhhhh, remember those science specials I've mentioned one sees on TV programs like PBS and the National Geographic and Science Channels? Those programs often include numerous brief interviews with scientists who I've witnessed repeatedly leaving the impression that microevolutionary processes are adequate for explaining the development of all life. Furthermore, I also know it's often taught that way in high school and college.

I understand the desire on scientists' part to keep creationism and it's modified cousin, intelligent design, out of the classroom. I suspect much of the exaggeration is efforts to make sure ID is not allowed as science. But I also think many have their own physicalistic/mechanistic agendas. Mechanics are what scientists are good at.

If we accept the reports of inner experts, the skills required for knowing a possible universal consciousness are nothing like the skills required for science. One's feeling nature is developed and brought to the forefront in an effort to experience something very subtle. It not only doesn't involve cogitation, it requires the ability to completely still all thought in order to feel ever more deeply.

Aren't scientists human? Shouldn't we expect egos to try to elevate what they are best at to the highest place? Plus, I think I might fall over in a coma if I were to meet a science enthusiast who knew the slightest thing about inner skills and just how far certain individuals have developed them (the Buddha for instance).

So the situation is one of a group studing and developing only one type of consciousness skill (that required for science), ignoring what anyone else might have achieved consciously, and then going around claiming the "most likely" answers to all questions are physicalistic/mechanistic ones.

Now really, what kind of opinion is that to be publically proclaiming?
 
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The "concrete proof" is acquired by you, the individual, learning the inner skills, practicing them for years so that you can have the "union" experience regularly, and then deciding what YOU believe that experience is. You cannot judge it by other's experience.
Too subjective. The mind is known to be faulty (optical illusions, hallucinations for example). How would I know that what I experienced is the real thing and not a delusion. How do I know that I experienced it at all? There must be a criteria which I can follow and compare. For example they (the meditators) explain to me what it is that I am supposed to feel and then I can compare my experience to the description. Next, if I do get the real thing,...then how does that prove that it was some sort of cosmic connection? How do you know it was a cosmic connection and not some altered brain chemistry?

And this is precisely how Science works no? Set out the rules and try to reproduce the phenomena according to the "formula". If it's not produceable then ... it simply isn't there right? Or alternately if the "feeling" is there that still wouldn't be proof that it's a connection to the universe, the phenomena could be explained in simple terms (let's say for example meditation alters brain patterns or chemistry somehow and that gives the feeling of bliss). Perhaps if you are cosmically connected to the whole you can reveal to us some sort of an insight that none of us can possibly know? Maybe this cosmic connection enables you to read the mind of a person next to you? I don't know but until then it's bs to say that there is something there.

Well, how do you know you aren't living in a Matrix? How do you know you aren't dreaming all this? How do you know you aren't a computer program? How do you know . . . anything?
I don't make assertions about things that I cannot test or prove. Until I have the evidence as to the contrary (something that I can test) then it's all speculation and solipsism. Things that I do know are based on the scientific principle (observation, data, repeatable experiments, etc). This is precisely my point. That's how I know what I know and I don't claim to know everything.

Aren't scientists human? Shouldn't we expect egos to try to elevate what they are best at to the highest place? Plus, I think I might fall over in a coma if I were to meet a science enthusiast who knew the slightest thing about inner skills and just how far certain individuals have developed them (the Buddha for instance).

So the situation is one of a group studing and developing only one type of consciousness skill (that required for science), ignoring what anyone else might have achieved consciously, and then going around claiming the "most likely" answers to all questions are physicalistic/mechanistic ones.
Ok surely if they had all this time together with the universal union then they got to have something to show for it? What can they do with this union? Talk to each other over distance? Get some kind of answers? All they get is this feeling, how then are they deducing that this feeling is in fact them being connected to everything? Leap of logic maybe? Some people have paranoia, they feel like they are under surveillance by the aliens. Are they justified in concluding that there are in fact aliens?
 
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Les Sleeth said:
I not sure how one can disagree with what one knows nothing about.
Oops... hit a sore spot. :rofl:


Les Sleeth said:
Uhhhhh, remember those science specials I've mentioned one sees on TV programs like PBS and the National Geographic and Science Channels? Those programs often include numerous brief interviews with scientists who I've witnessed repeatedly leaving the impression that microevolutionary processes are adequate for explaining the development of all life.
You should bring your objection to the shows' producers. I didn't see those shows, but I doubt those scientists conspired to deceive the public. Visit a reputable university and talk to a few evolutionary biologists in person. Read their papers and get your science directly. You might get a very distorted view if you rely on popular science. It's unfortunate that scientists are often too absorbed in their work to improve PR.


Les Sleeth said:
If we accept the reports of inner experts, the skills required for knowing a possible universal consciousness are nothing like the skills required for science.
Which reports should we accept? The ones you deem to be accurate? What methods do you use to judge whether or not a report is accurate?


Les Sleeth said:
So the situation is one of a group studing and developing only one type of consciousness skill (that required for science), ignoring what anyone else might have achieved consciously
What did they achieve? Anything on organ creation?


Les Sleeth said:
...and then going around claiming the "most likely" answers to all questions are physicalistic/mechanistic ones.

Now really, what kind of opinion is that to be publically proclaiming?
Are you talking about your perception of TV shows again? You've said that many times, but you have never referenced a reputable scientific journal that contains such a claim. I am sure some scientists hold that personal belief, but professional opinion is a separate issue.
 
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Amp1 said:
I see that no one has commented on Paul Martin’s Post (# 46). He has produced a reasonable line of thought. It may occur to you that I agree with it because it is somewhat similar to my posts and invests the premise of universal conscious with a time transcendent quality. The only short coming I think I notice is a way for the individuality of each conscious being to be differ from one another. Unique personality should be some sort of consequence of a universal conscious interaction between and with the unique beings/personalities within the universe.
I think individuality and unique personalities can be explained if you accept the car/driver, model where biological organisms are seen as the "cars" or vehicles which are "driven" by the one universal consciousness. But to explain the individuality, the "cars" must be equipped with extensive on-board computing capability -- like Mars rovers. Certain biological actions, like autonomic functions and reflex actions, seem to be explainable completely from a material biological basis. They are functions of the central nervous system. Other actions, like willful and deliberate muscle movement, seem to involve a component of consciousness, so a complete explanation may require the participation of the universal consciousness, which by hypothesis is outside the brain.

The way I see it, the brain has a considerable capability to store information locally which represents the view of the universe from the particular world line traversed by this particular organism. That history is unique and it is reasonable to expect that it would "color" any perceptions or conceptions of the universal consciousness relating to this particular organism. This would result in the appearance of a unique individual with its own unique personality.

Furthermore, I suspect that this "considerable capability" of brains is causing brain researchers to jump to the conclusion that all mentality is housed in the brain, when in reality, the functions associated with consciousness may very well be located outside the brain.

Paul
 
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,164
2
LaPalida said:
Too subjective. The mind is known to be faulty (optical illusions, hallucinations for example). How would I know that what I experienced is the real thing and not a delusion. How do I know that I experienced it at all? There must be a criteria which I can follow and compare. For example they (the meditators) explain to me what it is that I am supposed to feel and then I can compare my experience to the description. Next, if I do get the real thing,...then how does that prove that it was some sort of cosmic connection? How do you know it was a cosmic connection and not some altered brain chemistry?
This is an old point here at PF, but in case you haven't thought about it, everything you know and experience is subjective. And even when you have millions of the world's population agreeing reality is a certain way, they can be wrong.

Look, you prove things to yourself in one way and one way only. You experience something until you achieve certainty. There are no shortcuts (except to rely on other's experience to guide you where to seek confirming experience), no exceptions. The only difference with the inner thing is that instead of information flowing in through your senses, information is coming another way. You have to experience that new information over time, just like sense data, before any kind of certainty can be established.

What if you were the only human being on the planet, and you had absolutely no other person's approval to make you feel certain what you experience is real? Are you saying you can never know anything? Can you figure out how things work? Can you come to understand something about reality?

Well, the inner thing is no different. You are on your own. Nobody can inject information in there, nobody else can tell you what it all means. You are on your own.


LaPalida said:
Ok surely if they had all this time together with the universal union then they got to have something to show for it? What can they do with this union? Talk to each other over distance? Get some kind of answers?
How about peace? How about happiness? How about wisdom? Do you think the world, and each individual life, would be improved if there were more of those qualities?

You seem to assume that understanding and creating "things" is all that's valuable in this life.


LaPalida said:
All they get is this feeling, how then are they deducing that this feeling is in fact them being connected to everything? Leap of logic maybe? Some people have paranoia, they feel like they are under surveillance by the aliens. Are they justified in concluding that there are in fact aliens?
You are wildly speculating. None of that is what the experience is like. This is a real problem because some people don't seem the slightest bit concerned they have strong opinions about something they know absolutely nothing about. But let me try to explain a little.

Self knowledge is what the inner path is about. Just like we have a discipline for studying "out there," and sound methods for confirming what we find, there is also a well-established discipline for learning to know what "in there," inside of us.

Most people seem mesmerized, not by what's inside, by what's "out there." They get degrees in studying "out there," they dream of the ideal "out there, if only they had the right stuff from "out there" they would be happy and content . . .


Yet since birth they have been overlooking something. Why did Socrates recommend "know thy self"? Listen to this quote of Socrates that Plato presents as taking place just before his execution, “And he attains to the purest knowledge who . . . has got rid, as far as he can, of eyes and ears and, so to speak, of the whole body, these being in his opinion distracting elements which when they infect the soul hinder her from acquiring truth and knowledge . . . . [so that] he is in a manner purified . . . and what is purification but the . . . habit of the soul gathering and collecting herself into herself from all sides out of the body; then dwelling in her own place alone, as in another life . . .”

A thousand years later the monk Maximus also writes about turning one's attention inward, “A man whose mind cleaves to God with love holds as naught all visible things, even his own body, as though it were not his . . . When, urged by love, the mind . . . has no sensation either of itself or of anything existing. . . . it is insensible to all that's created . . . As the physical eye is attracted by the beauty of visible things, so is a pure mind by knowledge of the invisible.”

In the tenth century the Greek Orthodox monk Simeon described principles of turning inward, “ A man tears his mind away from all sensed objects and leads it within himself, guarding his senses and collecting his thoughts, so that they cease to wander . . . . the mind should be in the heart. It should guard the heart . . . remaining always within.”

The thirteenth century German Dominican, Meister Eckhart, put it this way, “Go to the depths of the soul, the secret place of the most high, to the roots . . . . I have spoken at times of a light in the soul that is uncreated, a light that is not arbitrarily turned on . . . Thus, if one refers the soul’s agents back to the soul’s essence . . . [a person] will find his unity and blessing in that little spark in the soul, which neither space nor time touches . . . This Core is a simple stillness, which is unmoved itself but by whose immobility all things are moved and all receive life . . .”

Late in the 18th century the Russian monk Seraphim says, “When a man contemplates inwardly the eternal light, the mind is pure, and has in it no sensuous images, but, being wholly immersed in the contemplation of uncreated beauty, forgets everything sensuous and does not wish to see even itself.”

Believe me, I could easily provide a hundred more quotes from serious inner practitioners in many different cultures of the world on the subject of turning inward. How much do you think most people dedicated to investigating "out there" know about withdrawal from the senses, and then dwelling inside oneself with whatever it is that is there? Do you know what is there? A single look won't reveal it. It takes real skill to find it and experience it, skill that takes most people a lifetime of dedicated work to achieve.

And then we modern guys, obsessed with the desire to understand and have what's "out there," come along and pooh pooh those devoted inner practitioners, and we boldly pass our opinions without making the slightest effort to ensure they are informed. Is that an intelligent approach to understanding? Isn't it possible that consciousness knows "out there" one way, and knows "in there" another way? Isn't it possible that "in there" knowledge, since it requires sense withdrawal, leads to knowing something utterly unavailable to the senses?

I am making no claims about the nature of reality. I am just talking about educating oneself broadly instead of blindly accepting ethocentric values, conditioning, and training and then believing one has understood all that's worth understanding. :cool:
 
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Rade
Les Sleeth said:
I didn't say "genetic variation." Geez!!!!!! I said ACCIDENTAL genetic variation. You guys are so blinded by your a priori beliefs you can't understand a very simple point. How do you know, for example, that genes weren't consciously manipulated to produce organisms?
Yes, how do we "know" anything-- a valid philosophic question. But, I find it hard to understand this line of logic --even if it is within "philosophy" section and not "biology". ALL MUTATION IS ACCIDENTAL, there is no scientific hypothesis that genes are "consciously manipulated", or any factual evidence of "non-accidental mutation". A mutation is nothing more than a change in the DNA code structure (of the A,T,G,C,U). There are many recognized causes of mutations, but not a single peer reviewed paper where "conscious manipulation" was suggested to cause a mutation, nor "non-accidental genetic variation" (which on the face of it is a condradiction of terms). And, mutation is not the only source of genetic variation in the gene pool of populations, of fundamental importance also are gene flow and recombination of genes via crossing over and independent assortment during meiosis.
As to your objections to the scientific evidence that genetic variation from mutation, gene flow, and recombination via natural selection are the origin of "organs" within plant and animal species, I am open to learn about your alternative hypothesis how such organs came to be in the many plant and aniaml species that now exist on earth. How exactly did the lungs come to be, the air bladder, and what about all those amphibians with no lungs or gills as adults, how did they come to be if not by evolutionary processes ? You have made it clear that you reject Creationism and Intelligent Design--what then is the hypothesis that you do hold (if any) ? It is one thing for a scientist to have an open mind and attempt to falsify (a very healthy thing), but skepticism should include presentation of alternative hypothesis--which seems to be lacking from any of your posts on this topic.
 
Les Sleeth
Gold Member
2,164
2
Rade said:
Yes, how do we "know" anything-- a valid philosophic question. But, I find it hard to understand this line of logic --even if it is within "philosophy" section and not "biology". ALL MUTATION IS ACCIDENTAL, there is no scientific hypothesis that genes are "consciously manipulated", or any factual evidence of "non-accidental mutation".
I have covered this a dozen times in this thread, but I will explain it again assuming somehow I've not done a good enough job.

First of all, so what if there is no scientific hypothesis that genes are consciously manipulated? You seem to be operating under the assumption that unless science can know, discover, and study it then it can’t be true. I certainly don’t accept that, and I think it’s safe to say neither do the majority of the people of the world. I understand that what the majority believe doesn’t determine what is true, but science has only proven it is effective at mechanics and detecting what the senses perceive So if something exists which is not mechanical and which is unavailable to the senses, then science is going to be useless isn’t it?

You have to keep in mind that I have labeled this issue a logic problem. My objection has nothing to do with biology, but rather it is about how some thinkers are making inferences. If we are to infer, and if it is to be as scientifically sound as possible, then inferences must be made from evidence.

A proper inference is one where true premises lead to true conclusions. Now, you made a statement above that I claim cannot be logically inferred from any known premises. You said, "All mutation is accidental." That is a conclusion. What are your true premises that allow such an inference?

I need a couple of more posts to explain why I am objecting to certain inferences.


Rade said:
A mutation is nothing more than a change in the DNA code structure (of the A,T,G,C,U). There are many recognized causes of mutations, but not a single peer reviewed paper where "conscious manipulation" was suggested to cause a mutation, nor "non-accidental genetic variation" (which on the face of it is a contradiction of terms). And, mutation is not the only source of genetic variation in the gene pool of populations, of fundamental importance also are gene flow and recombination of genes via crossing over and independent assortment during meiosis.
I understand all that, but it has nothing to do with my point. I have said all along that all known mutation is accidental; that is, the mutation we observe operating today seems, at least, to be accidental. But I have been talking about past mutations, those that created organs. In fact, it is precisely due to what today’s mutations produce, or more accurately, fail to produce (organs), that I question those who infer that the mutation observed today is the same quality of mutation that occurred when new organs were created.


Rade said:
As to your objections to the scientific evidence that genetic variation from mutation, gene flow, and recombination via natural selection are the origin of "organs" within plant and animal species, I am open to learn about your alternative hypothesis how such organs came to be in the many plant and aniaml species that now exist on earth. . . . It is one thing for a scientist to have an open mind and attempt to falsify (a very healthy thing), but skepticism should include presentation of alternative hypothesis--which seems to be lacking from any of your posts on this topic.
I don’t need an alternative hypothesis to point out the flaws in others’ logic. If someone makes improper inferences, that alone is enough to justify the objections of anyone intelligent enough to recognize the logic mistakes. This argument has been thrown at me lots of times, and it is a absurd line of reasoning I am quite certain you yourself would not submit to in circumstances where you weren’t defending your cherished beliefs.

For example, say you wake up one morning and find a two ton boulder in your kitchen. The police come and find boulder particles on your four year old daughter’s hands and clothes, and then conclude she must have put the boulder there. You object that a four year old girl is incapable of placing a boulder anywhere. But the police demand that you produce an alternative theory before they will accept your challenge to their logic. Now really, does that make any sense? You don’t need no stinkin’ alternate theory to see the problem with their logic.

Similarly, I might have an alternative theory, but I am not pushing that. All I am doing is pointing out that there’s a part of evolutionary theory accounted for with a known microevolutionary mechanism which is not based on a logically sound inference.


Rade said:
How exactly did the lungs come to be, the air bladder, and what about all those amphibians with no lungs or gills as adults, how did they come to be if not by evolutionary processes? You have made it clear that you reject Creationism and Intelligent Design--what then is the hypothesis that you do hold (if any) ?
You know, it isn’t just me; more than a few scientists acknowledge that something must have influenced genetic variation during the relatively short period when so many new organs and organisms develop. What is that “something”? The development of Hox genes? True polar wander? Gamma rays bombarding Earth? No one knows.

In this thread, where the question is posed if the universe might be conscious, I have made my own effort to suggest why the hypothesis that consciousness could have been a factor in genetic variation is a valid possibility.

My logic was, if you look at the quality of organization required to build something so high-functioning and effective as, say, a liver, we don’t find the mutations going on today producing anything near that quality (of organization). The only known force in this universe that comes close to organizing with such quality is consciousness.

So the evolutionist infers from the quality of mutation today that it produced the organs of yesteryear, yet that quality cannot be demonstrated to produce organs. And I am inferring from the only known force that can organize at that quality level. So who’s inference is following from the most sound premises?

And if you say, there is no evidence of a universal consciousness, I refer you to my previous post to LaPalida. I regret saying this (a little anyway), but anyone who declares there is no evidence of a universal consciousness is just plain ignorant of all that’s been developed and realized in the history of humankind. All they are doing is restricting themselves to one epistemology and disregarding anything other than what they choose to look at.
 
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So from my perspective this thread seems to have settled around the topic the Cambrian Explosion. Some participants believe that a purely mechanistic (Darwinian or some variation say punctuated equilibrium) theory more or less accounts for the development of the 30 or so Phyla that appeared over a 5 million year time period. Others like Les Sleeth are challenging this theory by demanding that the mechanisms for producing the dramatic changes in organisms like organs be demonstrated. Presumably without any mechanical evidence for organ development there is a greater possibility that some explanation like concious intervention would be needed to explain the situation.
Personally I am very interested in hearing some comments on this claim I came across in a paper on the Cambrian Explosion.
Assuming a spontaneous mutation rate to be a generous 10–9 per
base pair per year and also assuming no negative interference by natural
The Cambrian Explosion: Biology’s Big Bang 371
selection, it still takes 10 million years to undergo 1% change in DNA base
sequences. It follows that 6–10 million years in the evolutionary time scale
is but a blink of an eye. The Cambrian explosion denoting the almost simultaneous
emergence of nearly all the extant phyla . . . within the time
span of 6–10 million years can’t possibly be explained by mutational divergence
of individual gene functions.10
I got that from this http://www.theapologiaproject.org/Cambrian.pdf" paper, but if any of this is remotely true it would seem that pure Darwinists have at least some revising to do on their theory. If those numbers are close to being right it seems that there is no way random mutations in DNA and natural selection could ever account for the amount huge increase in information and organization that the DNA of Cambrian organisms seem to have. Is this bogus evidence?
 
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roamer said:
Presumably without any mechanical evidence for organ development there is a greater possibility that some explanation like concious intervention would be needed to explain the situation.
That is a false dichotomy. "Universal consciousness did it" can always serve as an explanation, whether or not we have any mechanical evidence for organ development.


roamer said:
If those numbers are close to being right it seems that there is no way random mutations in DNA and natural selection could ever account for the amount huge increase in information and organization that the DNA of Cambrian organisms seem to have.
That is exactly what Meyer and other ID proponents want you to believe. They took the quote completely out of context, and you have fallen victim to their dishonesty. Here is the quote within its original context:

"Assuming the spontaneous mutation rate to be generous 10^-9 per base pair per year and also assuming no negative interference by natural selection, it still takes 10 million years to undergo 1% change in DNA base sequences. It follows that 6-10 million years in the evolutionary time scale is but a blink of an eye. The Cambrian explosion denoting the almost simultaneous emergence of nearly all the extant phyla of the kingdom Animalia within the time span of 6-10 million years can't possibly be explained by mutational divergence of individual gene functions. Rather, it is more likely that all the animals involved in the Cambrian explosion were endowed with nearly the identical genome, with enormous morphological diversities displayed by multitudes of animal phyla being due to differential usages of the identical set of genes."

Ohno S., 1996. The Notion of the Cambrian Pananimalia Genome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 6;93(16):8475-8.

As you can see, Meyer omitted the emphasized portion completely. He wants you to think that there are no scientific explanations, and to conclude conscious intervention - when in fact Dr. Ohno has provided a natural explanation in the very next sentence! It's a common tactic used by creationists and IDists... I've seen much worse.

I hope it is apparent to you, and others like Les, that Cambrian explosion is a controversial topic in the scientific community. Scientists are not trying to deceive the public by pretending they know everything. Here is a perfect example, where a scientist is trying to show that his colleagues are full of it. It certainly doesn't give me the impression that everything has been accounted for.
 
Rade
Les Sleeth said:
.....So if something exists which is not mechanical and which is unavailable to the senses, then science is going to be useless isn’t it?.....
First, this philosophy section is not the correct place to discuss the evidence for "evolution of organs"...so I plan to start a new thread in the "biology" section and hope you will join the discussion and present your "hypothesis" on the origin of "organs". As to your above question, the answer is no. Many new things that exist (your term) are brought forth to the collective sense of humans each and every day--consider the Hubble telescope and how it brings forth scientific evidence of new star clusters, etc. But, perhaps you will object vis-a-vis your "mechanical" criterion--so could you provide an example of:
1. something that exists (please explain how this is known)
2. that is not mechanical (please give examples as relates to existence)
3. unavailable to the senses (this seems clear enough, but please explain)
4. how science is "useless" in helping understand the above.
Thank you.
 

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