Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in brains. There may be a simple reason for this: the hypothetical traces do not exist. However long or hard researchers look for them they may never find them. Instead, memories may depend on resonance from an organism's own past. The brain may be more like a television set than a hard-drive recorder. What you see on TV depends on the resonant tuning of the set to invisible fields. No one can find out today what programs you watched yesterday by analyzing the wires and transistors in your TV set for traces of yesterday's programs.

-


Maybe it's that hunting for "memories," as though they were themselves molecular structures, or bio filing cabinets full of data, is like searching for a tune inside a guitar. I don't know about "invisible fields," whatever that means, but my wild guess is that the real stumbling block might be a bottom up causal model, however you choose to describe it, where more fundamental and less complex atomic structures somehow give rise to meta functions like memories. This is the "broadcast," or "telecast" model, where the brain creates and telecasts the program (memory) to itself. One can only wonder what else might be involved that people have been missing for the last century. Chances are if they keep looking for some discrete thing, they'll keep getting the same results. Nada.

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
(Jed Mckenna?)
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in brains.

Not entirely true.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015151155.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/index.php?type=news&keyword=memories§ion=all&period=365&sort=relevance&total=174&page=2

In a related vein here's an article on memory just released today

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132428.htm


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
so memory is just magical?

It certainly isn't very accurate. Somehow we live life through filters, presumably to keep from being overwhelmed.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
Somehow we live life through filters,

Researchers are beginning to find out the significant role that sleep plays in memory formation and consolidation.
The April. 12 article I cited above points out the central significance of rehearsal of memories during sleep .
Sometimes if an individual is experiencing poor memory it could simply be a matter of sleep patterns and habits that are not conducive to memory formation.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
One can only wonder what else might be involved that people have been missing for the last century.

so memory is just magical?


We've been over this before - how if a standard, bottom-up physicalist model doesn't explain it, the only other option in "magic." That's an all-or-nothing approach to the problem. Are you willing to imagine other options, besides magic (what IS magic, exactly??)?

And the examples given for memory creation have to do with objective processing, spacial signaling in particular, not memories per se - unless we are back to insisting that said signaling ARE memories themselves.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 05:38pm PT
And the examples given for memory creation have to do with objective processing, spacial signaling in particular, not memories per se - unless we are back to insisting that said signaling ARE memories themselves.

The brain's signaling , or dendritic activity in general, when changed , or as in the case of Alzheimer's , are destroyed through the accumulation of beta amyloid plaques- memory is demonstrably affected.
When memory is profoundly altered- in the case of Alzheimer's - by an interruption in signalling- the stricken individual seems to lose all sense of self; the subjective state is progressively eradicated ,along with a purely objective grasp of the external.
Alzheimer's patients, when in the advanced stages of the disorder, are not going to be doing any science experiments , or meditation anytime soon.


Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
memory is essentially a non-linear process, it is rooted in something physical in the brain, for instance brain injury can eliminate memories... and altering brain function (e.g. anesthetics, other drugs, etc which are not injurious) does not.


I think the airy fairy description about the brain being more like a TV set then a hard drive recorder might have suggested that memory cannot be fully explained or understood by the hardware that seemingly transmits it. For instance, if I unhook ("injure") the speaker in a transistor radio, it will no longer transmit the radio station. I believe the physicalist is saying that the brain transmits the signal ENTIRELY itself, cognates the memory via the same hardware, responds, and all the rest. In other words, one need not go beyond the brain itself to explain all of consciousness. Where else would we go, right?

We'll just see how this plays out in the meantime. I'll bet it won't be like what any of us currently believe in, and i hold out virtually no hop[e for a bottom up, fully self-contained model to go anywhere past objective functioning.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
In other words, one need not go beyond the brain itself to explain all of consciousness. Where else would we go, right?

"All" consciousness is another matter.
At this moment it is a leap of faith and an ideological position( i am currently not prepared to fully take) for me personally to assume that all human consciousness can be thoroughly explained by science. Science cannot at this moment. Perhaps never.
As you said : " we'll just see..."

Going to the park to shoot some hoops.
Later.
WBraun

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Science cannot at this moment. Perhaps never.

Definitely not modern science with their rigid sterile minds locked in their mechanical machines and gross materialism.

They are the gatekeepers of sterile-ism.

They think of themselves as open minded critical thinkers of which everything they come in contact with their senses can be explained logically, and in conformity with their bias.

Intellectually proud they are.

But so foolishly they balk that there could be unseen forces guiding the whole entire cosmic manifestations.

Their tools they use are the wrong tools for studying the mind and consciousness .....
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
Definitely not modern science with their rigid sterile minds locked in their mechanical machines and gross materialism

Mad Scientist by Roberto Campus
Mad Scientist by Roberto Campus
Credit: jogill





;>)
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Werner's ^^^^^ There's a lot of good one's in that one! HeHeHe...

But so foolishly they balk that there could be unseen forces guiding the whole entire cosmic manifestations.


Yea! They are predestined to be sterilestic so let's be nice to them and maybe they won't blow up the world.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
We'll just see how this plays out in the meantime. I'll bet it won't be like what any of us currently believe in, and i hold out virtually no hop[e for a bottom up, fully self-contained model to go anywhere past objective functioning.

But it's only going to play out because of "bottom-up" research, since all the "top-downers" do is offer their heartfelt assurances.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
But it's only going to play out because of "bottom-up" research, since all the "top-downers" can do is offer their assurances.


Kindly give an example of top-down "research??" (excepting financial stuff - where it is commonly used. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-down_and_bottom-up_design);

And the examples that Ed gives are interesting but they all have to do with objective functioning - a heart beating, this doing that, and so forth. Without belaboring the point, applying this kind of manufacturing or "production" to subjective realities such as memories seems logical only when you neglect to acknowledge the magnificent difference between the subjective and objective. When everything is dumbed down to the same "thing," from the smell of Channel No 5 to an atom smasher, you're left with an impossible thing to square - that the subjective is the objective, which also means the objective is the subjective if in fact they are the "same things." If we say that no, they are not selfsame, but rather the subjective is an emergent function of the physical, a kind of sub-set derived from material, then we must explain the magical transition from physical to experiential (an aspect of the so-called "hard question" of consciousness), or use daft and meaningless language like, consciousness is simply what the brain "does." While there are simple reasons why the heart beats, there is a 1,000,000 prize for anyone who can demonstrate a soulution or explanation of the "hard question" in a peer reviewed journal. As mentioned MANY times, neuroscientists have "no idea" using traditional methods. So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.

JL

BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
We've covered all of this before. One side says that the mind and the spirit and whatever wha wha resides in the brain. Where else would it be?

Then you have the faithful who believe that we are a soul that invisibly goes to paradise at the moment of death.

Then you have Largo in the middle. He refutes a physical model but refuses to acknowledge religion or an ever lasting soul.

I think I got that right. More or less.

We have plenty of evidence which proves that the brain is where all of our cognitive functions reside. I know that Werner says it is all in the heart, but I don't see him or anyone else wearing a helmet around the chest. I'm sure that Werner has seen many brain injuries and the outcome, just like the rest of us.

Just look at stroke victims. I have a buddy that I help almost every day due to a stroke he had a while back. His problem is aphasia. He has trouble speaking or typing. The language part of his brain was seriously damaged. It is terrible, because he is younger than us and is blisteringly smart and witty. Now it is all trapped inside.

I can make a brain that will function perfectly. I had a son. A lot of teaching was involved, but my wife and I taught him language and social skills, as well as how to change a flat tire.



BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
WHOA! THIS IS SUPPER GOOD^^^^^ (try'in to keep up w/ Largo and Ed)


Base;
Then you have the faithful who believe that we are a soul that invisibly goes to paradise at the moment of death.

The soul is "some-THING", which isnt apparent to the EYES of your body.
And paradise was an intermediate place BEFORE Christ rose.
Now we go straight to Heaven!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.

Oh the irony.

But since were slinging Wikipedia definitions about, here's one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps#Usage_in_referring_to_a_type_of_argument
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
JL, it isn't very genuine when you say that the brain has been well studied for a century. For most of that time, brain function couldn't be observed while alive and processing. Neuroscience, to those of us who don't know jack about it, is pretty young.

If we only had a cutting edge neuroscientist in on this argument. They would probably shame us because we are so ignorant of the science. I will say that an article about the brain is on the cover of about half of the Scientific Americans that I receive.

It is the beginning of the Golden Age of brain research. 50 years ago it was lobotomies and ice picks.

At the same time we already knew a lot about capture cross sections, neutron scattering, infinite reflectors, and fast neutron induced fission chain reactions.

That was more useful to the human race, evidently.
MH2

climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
As mentioned MANY times, neuroscientists have "no idea" using traditional methods. So far, the idea belief that the brain is the only player in consciousness is simply science fiction and magical thinking.


Sounds definitive. It has been mentioned. MANY times. Take that you foolish materialists.



Much as I like science fiction and magical thinking, I will point out that the human brain, like the ant, did not arise de novo. We, like the ant, are a creation of Nature. Neither we nor the ant are "the only player" in consciousness or any other context. We can only be understood as players in the larger world around us.

For example:

JL is bored at work.


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