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Neuroscience gears up for duel on the issue of brain versus deity

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A letter in nature brings up something I wihsed to talk about...

I do beleive that the mind is the prodcut of the brain but that is such an atrocity inthe view of other people, nobody I talk to about this things this way, well there will be some duel here and I wonder what are your toughts

 

Neuroscience gears up for duel on the issue of brain versus deity

Kenneth S. Kosik1

 

Neuroscience Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular and Developmental Biology, Bio II, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-5060, USA

 

 

Sir:

The argument over evolution versus intelligent design, discussed in your News story "Day of judgement for intelligent design" (Nature 438, 267; 2005), is a relatively small-stakes theological issue compared with the potential eruption in neuroscience over the material nature of the mind.

 

Siding with evolution does not really pose a serious problem for many deeply religious people, because one can easily accept evolution without doubting the existence of a non-material being. On the other hand, the truly radical and still maturing view in the neuroscience community that the mind is entirely the product of the brain presents the ultimate challenge to nearly all religions.

 

The slow ramping up of this debate, from Descartes' dualism in the seventeenth century to the neurophilosopher materialists' claims of victory today, is about to spill over from an esoteric mind–brain debate to the divisive question of whether a product of the mind, such as God, can have any traditionally valid existence whatsoever.

 

The debate becomes whether a deity, on one hand, stems from human imagination or biological drive or, on the other hand, has an authentic existence that the brain has evolved to perceive.

 

The reappearance of dualism brings back dusty old memories of long-ago battles that may now need to be refought. As we saw from the media ruckus raised by the Dalai Lama's address to November's Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC (even if this did turn down to a rather low simmer on site), the potential for impassioned disagreement exists.

 

The matter now stands at an intellectual impasse, waiting for an issue around which polarized views will crystallize. We can expect some heady days.

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You must look past the question of whether proving god is important or not (its not).

 

The importance of religious belief lies in the many benefical facets it provides...

 

I have extolled these several times, quietly, here...with little comment in return.

 

Without it, life would be quite different - and I daresay that much of the social, cultural, and technological progress of man may be ascribed directly to its benefits.

 

I would hope that neuroscience keeps its paws off of this question of whether or not god exists.

 

In our self created reality, belief plays a critical role in the function of the mind.

 

Instead, science should be deleving much deeper into the changes in hardwiring afforded by various degrees of acceptance of a belief system - a neuroprotective benefit often overlooked, if not disregarded as hype and con.

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Hi trouble we're not talking religeon but metaphysics. it does connect to religeon but I'm more interested in

 

"the mind is entirely the product of the brain"

(this is what was hinted in GEB)

and thus BTW god is a product of the brain isn't it. heck lets leave religeon out for a sec.

 

1) why it bothers people so muchthe mind is entirely the product of the brain

2) what are the trends in conciousness studies

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Hi Liorhh, you must have missed this bit from the leader article:

 

"...to spill over from an esoteric mind–brain debate to the divisive question of whether a product of the mind, such as God, can have any traditionally valid existence whatsoever."

 

My comments are on the neuroprotective and sociological benefits.

 

"The debate becomes whether a deity, on one hand, stems from human imagination or biological drive or, on the other hand, has an authentic existence that the brain has evolved to perceive."

 

Belief in a diety arises from human need; I see it as a bit of both biological drive that affords "an authentic existence".

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I fail to see the irreconcilability of religion(s) with the idea that the mind is purely a product of the brain (assuming it is, for argument's sake).

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Hi trouble we're not talking religeon but metaphysics. it does connect to religeon but I'm more interested in

 

"the mind is entirely the product of the brain"

(this is what was hinted in GEB)

and thus BTW god is a product of the brain isn't it. heck lets leave religeon out for a sec.

 

1) why it bothers people so muchthe mind is entirely the product of the brain

2) what are the trends in conciousness studies

 

To REALLY gloss over this... the position that you are describing is emergent materialism. There are a lot of problems with the position. To name a few:

 

1. Production of the mental from the physical is still ex nihilo creationism as long as there isn't any explanation of how something that is apparently devoid of qualitative experience comes to produce an entity that does possess it. In order for such an explanation to be provided, it seems like one would have to redefine matter in such a way that it would hardly seem like a pure materialism anyone.

 

2. If you accept the categories of mental and physical as givens, then what you have is basically a chicken and egg problem. There should be some motivation to privilege one over the other, given that there isn't any particular epistemological reason to do so.

 

3. There isn't any particular reason WHY the categories of mental and physical should be accepted as such.

 

4. Interaction problems. What happens once the mind is produced? How does it exert causal influence over the matter that produces it? Nietzsche seemed to try to explain this away by referring to consciousness as a disease or negative symptom of life (see Beyond Good and Evil). That doesn't really seem like a satisfactory answer. The problem is that it isn't clear what might take its place if everything else is left as is.

 

5. The big problem with all physicalist theories right now is quantum physics. To paraphrase Nagel, there was a time when it would have seemed like outright denial to deny what was obvious, a physical cosmology governed by physical laws, etc.; now that the picture of things described by physics is one that is literally beyond our capacity to represent in any but an abstract manner, the problem of how cognition is possible, period, if the physicalist stance is accepted comes back to the forefront.

 

 

There are a lot of objections. David Chalmers does a decent job of going over all the common theories, their pros and cons, and presenting his own in his book "The Conscious Mind", if you are interested in the subject and all of the prevalent views. Personally, information/cognition based theories strike my fancy most atm.

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OK let me iterate "my stance". as it is, I'm siding with the GEB's version that is:

 

first there was the brain. the brain recieves sensory input. in a point in time, you can call it "creation of the mind" there is a distinction between input regarding self("metabrain" is now part of the brain) and input regarding others. knowledge about self changes the brain and further changes the the metabrain as knowledge about the metabrain (or metametabrain) is in the metabrain now (and thus in the brain) and the superposition of all this process (which we call conciousness) is, constatnly the mind.

 

Now, it doesn't need to be deterministic to be a prodcut of the brain or described by science. how is that connected? we have fuzzy logic and chaos logic and quantum logic.

quantum physics? I think Godel's theorem was before that. and still it sits well with me that there is some arbitrary unkown things in the mind I can't describe but everything I want to describe or understand I will.

 

is this the cognition theory you were tlaking about?

 

there was an intersting article on how physical manifestations of perceptions are represeneted differenetly when its a "metaperception" kind of perception. there is signaling in a special part in the right forebrain. that is our "self" wiring. (no wonder its in the right I guess. highly left dominant people are very dissattached from personal thinking)

 

 

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>

 

I want my NEUROTHEOLOGY SUPPLEMENTS, and I want them NOW!

 

>

 

IPB Image

 

>

 

IPB Image

 

>

 

 

Dimethyltriptamine with a good MAO-I should suffice... :o

 

 

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Brain creates the mind - that is my belief.

 

But, I dont believe neuroscience knows how.

 

I believe an understanding of information and computation needs to be acheived first, then look for evidence of appropriate systems (to the phenomena of processing in the mind) within the brain.

 

I think I have a working model of information and computation that can explain the mind. Whether it is there in the brain is another matter!

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Brain creates the mind - that is my belief.

 

But, I dont believe neuroscience knows how.

 

I believe an understanding of information and computation needs to be acheived first, then look for evidence of appropriate systems (to the phenomena of processing in the mind) within the brain.

 

I think I have a working model of information and computation that can explain the mind. Whether it is there in the brain is another matter!

 

The brain exists as neural cells.

The mind exists as an unstable quantum field.

The brain interfaces with the mind through neurotubules and refreshes the mind which is collapsed by gravity at the brain wave frequency measured on an EEG.

The mind collects memory and uses quantum physics to have many different outcomes for a single event.

Conciousness which exists in the mind collapses these possible outcomes into a single objective reality which is mechanically carried out by the brain and transferred into physical effects.

 

The brain creates the mind many times each second. If there is anything beyond that, it is beyond our perception.

 

I suggest reading "The Brain & The Mind"(sp) by Schwartz. Materialism of the mind is a common idea (much like "the human brain never grows new neural cells") that has been disproven is no longer a valid theory. Materialism of the mind isn't a threat to theology because it's fucking wrong and isn't scientific.

 

And evolution? There's no such thing as evolution, just a list of animals that Chuck Norris allows to live.

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Why should anyone accept the notion that the conscious is confined to our brains when so much of direct experience does not qualify this position?

 

1) Experiments with the CIA where parapsychology was proved beyond reasonable doubt to be true.

2) Animals sensing their owner’s thoughts and even the return of an owner. An example of such is an animal waiting by the door of his owner once his plane lands from a vacation.

3) Own personal experience with pre-cognition such as receiving a phone call from a person you just thought about that very instant prior to the call.

4) Telepath, especially enhanced under the influence of psychedelics.

 

The mind extends into space and we are all connected through some sort of field. Once you're open to this idea you begin to notice how much information you can gain from being observant of your surroundings and thoughts that you used to be attributed to witchcraft.

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The brain exists as neural cells.

The mind exists as an unstable quantum field.

The brain interfaces with the mind through neurotubules and refreshes the mind which is collapsed by gravity at the brain wave frequency measured on an EEG.

The mind collects memory and uses quantum physics to have many different outcomes for a single event.

Conciousness which exists in the mind collapses these possible outcomes into a single objective reality which is mechanically carried out by the brain and transferred into physical effects.

 

The brain creates the mind many times each second. If there is anything beyond that, it is beyond our perception.

 

I suggest reading "The Brain & The Mind"(sp) by Schwartz. Materialism of the mind is a common idea (much like "the human brain never grows new neural cells") that has been disproven is no longer a valid theory. Materialism of the mind isn't a threat to theology because it's fucking wrong and isn't scientific.

 

And evolution? There's no such thing as evolution, just a list of animals that Chuck Norris allows to live.

 

why is it collapsed by gravity?

 

i am familiar with these ideas, but according to these theories i'm not sure what exactly gives anyone confidence that they know details like this.

 

We have a FAR more fundamental bridge to cross before we can go there - that of, how does a hot, large noisy environment sustain quantum mechanical effects - information - across so many nodes?

 

It is a question of screening out, at least. We must start with a simple mechanism - how can cells link up in the first place, in such a way - how do they internally transmit information? or informational changes?

 

How would they store that information? If QM underlies mental computation in this way, it seems probable that the system would have to 'stripe' the output of a quantum computation into a physical structure that can hold the data in a different fashion, just as data is striped in RAID computer storage. Then, you would need to read it back out - to something quantumly entangled. That is my take on the basic problem and a presumed process if there is any quantum process at all possible at these scales.

 

A sensible starting point is to start in the control systems within the cell, find evidence, and then move on. Whether they are QM or not, this approach should back engineer evolution.

 

 

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Why should anyone accept the notion that the conscious is confined to our brains when so much of direct experience does not qualify this position?

 

1) Experiments with the CIA where parapsychology was proved beyond reasonable doubt to be true.

2) Animals sensing their owner’s thoughts and even the return of an owner. An example of such is an animal waiting by the door of his owner once his plane lands from a vacation.

3) Own personal experience with pre-cognition such as receiving a phone call from a person you just thought about that very instant prior to the call.

4) Telepath, especially enhanced under the influence of psychedelics.

 

The mind extends into space and we are all connected through some sort of field. Once you're open to this idea you begin to notice how much information you can gain from being observant of your surroundings and thoughts that you used to be attributed to witchcraft.

 

You are confusing perception and mind. They are not the same. If anything those odd methods of perception deal with temporal lobe based perception (which has been shown for animal earthquake prediction) or simple coincidence.

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why is it collapsed by gravity?

 

Gravity destabilizes and collapses quantum fields. That's just physics. There is also concious collapse of multiple outcomes into a single objective reality which produces physical results in the brain, "free will."

 

i am familiar with these ideas, but according to these theories i'm not sure what exactly gives anyone confidence that they know details like this.

 

We have a FAR more fundamental bridge to cross before we can go there - that of, how does a hot, large noisy environment sustain quantum mechanical effects - information - across so many nodes?

 

Evidence suggests rather heavy error correction is going on. The field is kept around too "long" for some reason... probably because a faster frequency overloads neurons and produces seizures.

 

It is a question of screening out, at least. We must start with a simple mechanism - how can cells link up in the first place, in such a way - how do they internally transmit information? or informational changes?

 

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/hep-ph/9505374 is a paper on that sort of thing and goes into a good deal of depth

 

How would they store that information? If QM underlies mental computation in this way, it seems probable that the system would have to 'stripe' the output of a quantum computation into a physical structure that can hold the data in a different fashion, just as data is striped in RAID computer storage. Then, you would need to read it back out - to something quantumly entangled. That is my take on the basic problem and a presumed process if there is any quantum process at all possible at these scales.

 

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/quant-ph/9912120 addresses the memory aspects more directly and is much shorter than the above paper.

 

A sensible starting point is to start in the control systems within the cell, find evidence, and then move on. Whether they are QM or not, this approach should back engineer evolution.

 

We can find evidence of microtubule involvement in memory and quantum functioning to some degree already. You can search PubMed for "quantum" and "microtubule" (or "neurotubule"). There were some better proof described in the previously mentioned book but I unfortunately cannot recall it at the moment. The first paper I linked to should have more of the nitty gritty than I can recall too.

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Yes, thankyou for posting those links. I know another quantum advocate like yourself on another board. A part of me feels that this is the only way to explain the phenomena of the mind, and I've suggested so here but since my interpretations are rather vague, and I'm working on common sense alone, I've not really espoused much on this subject to date here. My problem is that I cannot see a non-quantum way to interpret the mind. Classical theories are remarkably evasive on this subject. Yet still, like many, I am slightly tentative to dive in feet first confidently into the subject as I have done in the past, for fear of looking a fool.

 

We've had conversations on this topic elsewhere, and I have developed a simple concept of memory which seems at first glance to be similar to that in the link you gave. If the information is 'stripped' (that is, copied to seperate systems) each system may be exclusively vulnerable to interaction and thus memory could possibly be stored, and then it can be 'recovered' in some way (but what?). But longer term memories would be surely a function of a more sustainable architecture. I just suppose that the way an architecture of quantum and molecular systems may be arranged may create these capabilities in some way.

 

As a matter of fact, I wrote a letter to a scientist specialising in this field, a physicist, hoping to clarify a few problems and some thoughts, but due to a catastrophic computer failure I've yet to rewrite it and send.

 

I'll let you know if he doesn't laugh at my suggestions!

 

 

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Yes, thankyou for posting those links. I know another quantum advocate like yourself on another board. A part of me feels that this is the only way to explain the phenomena of the mind, and I've suggested so here but since my interpretations are rather vague, and I'm working on common sense alone, I've not really espoused much on this subject to date here. My problem is that I cannot see a non-quantum way to interpret the mind. Classical theories are remarkably evasive on this subject. Yet still, like many, I am slightly tentative to dive in feet first confidently into the subject as I have done in the past, for fear of looking a fool.

 

Indeed, I struggled for a long time with the concept of "no free will" from the deterministic laws arising from classic physics. I could not ever argue against that logically within the framework of classical physics, but I always felt there was something incomplete about it.

 

We've had conversations on this topic elsewhere, and I have developed a simple concept of memory which seems at first glance to be similar to that in the link you gave. If the information is 'stripped' (that is, copied to seperate systems) each system may be exclusively vulnerable to interaction and thus memory could possibly be stored, and then it can be 'recovered' in some way (but what?). But longer term memories would be surely a function of a more sustainable architecture. I just suppose that the way an architecture of quantum and molecular systems may be arranged may create these capabilities in some way.

 

I don't really know. Perhaps the individual memories have to be observed to be destabilized, and it is then that they are "refreshed" on an individual basis.

 

As a matter of fact, I wrote a letter to a scientist specialising in this field, a physicist, hoping to clarify a few problems and some thoughts, but due to a catastrophic computer failure I've yet to rewrite it and send.

 

I'll let you know if he doesn't laugh at my suggestions!

 

If you get a reply let me know, I'd like to understand it better myself. I suspect there are limits to how deep we can understand any sort of quantum field like that though. So the pharmaceutical industry isn't dead quite yet ;P

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You are confusing perception and mind. They are not the same. If anything those odd methods of perception deal with temporal lobe based perception (which has been shown for animal earthquake prediction) or simple coincidence.

No, I'm not. You obviously know very little about the subject. Think before you speak.

 

BTW - Animals sensing earthquakes and animals sensing the arrival of their owners (ie. plane landing) have little to do with one and other.

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No, I'm not. You obviously know very little about the subject. Think before you speak.

 

BTW - Animals sensing earthquakes and animals sensing the arrival of their owners (ie. plane landing) have little to do with one and other.

 

You are ruling out the possibility that earthquakes and owners returning to their homes send signals which animals can detect and react to; these signals would be things that have yet to be identified by the scientific community, but exist nonetheless. If this is the case, then the animals' brains are simply responding to another input, same as light/sound/etc.

 

Re: your psychadelic comment. I feel like this is the case, but objectively I must question whether or not I only think that I can read people's thoughts more effectively. I was actually thinking earlier this week about inventing a simple mind-reading game ("guess a number 1-4") which could be run for 10-20 trials on seperate occasions until results normalized, and then several instances of 10-20 trials could be re-run while one or both participants are under the influence of a psychadelic. I am probably much too lazy to actually do this, but I thought about it... hopefully, with the taboo on psychadelics breaking as we speak in the scientific community, such experiments will take place in the next decade.

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The brain exists as neural cells.

The mind exists as an unstable quantum field.

The brain interfaces with the mind through neurotubules and refreshes the mind which is collapsed by gravity at the brain wave frequency measured on an EEG.

The mind collects memory and uses quantum physics to have many different outcomes for a single event.

Conciousness which exists in the mind collapses these possible outcomes into a single objective reality which is mechanically carried out by the brain and transferred into physical effects.

 

The brain creates the mind many times each second. If there is anything beyond that, it is beyond our perception.

 

I suggest reading "The Brain & The Mind"(sp) by Schwartz. Materialism of the mind is a common idea (much like "the human brain never grows new neural cells") that has been disproven is no longer a valid theory. Materialism of the mind isn't a threat to theology because it's fucking wrong and isn't scientific.

 

And evolution? There's no such thing as evolution, just a list of animals that Chuck Norris allows to live.

 

 

I still havent waded all the way through those articles you posted in the other thread yet, (so I may be about to show my ass) but the fact that string theory was involved with the model(s) you are talking about would make me hesitant to phrase it as fact.

 

And how does one even test this quantum biology stuff out anyway? (Ras had posted another interesting article a few weeks back about the collapsing of the wave function taking place in the eye, and not the consciousness) Don't you run into Planck Scale issues, or can you work it out indirectly?

 

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Why should anyone accept the notion that the conscious is confined to our brains when so much of direct experience does not qualify this position?

 

1) Experiments with the CIA where parapsychology was proved beyond reasonable doubt to be true.

2) Animals sensing their owner’s thoughts and even the return of an owner. An example of such is an animal waiting by the door of his owner once his plane lands from a vacation.

3) Own personal experience with pre-cognition such as receiving a phone call from a person you just thought about that very instant prior to the call.

4) Telepath, especially enhanced under the influence of psychedelics.

 

The mind extends into space and we are all connected through some sort of field. Once you're open to this idea you begin to notice how much information you can gain from being observant of your surroundings and thoughts that you used to be attributed to witchcraft.

 

I think Isaac Asimov said something along the lines of "You never hear people talking about the time they dreamed something bad was going to happen and then nothing did." As stand alone data analysis machines, humans are much better at establishing correlation than causation. Well, and even our correlation is shitty because we have a bad habit of cherry picking.

 

Not that the "paranormal" isnt a rich and rewarding area to explore, I just have some serious doubts regarding the objective existence of most of the phenomenon people talk about.

 

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I think Isaac Asimov said something along the lines of "You never hear people talking about the time they dreamed something bad was going to happen and then nothing did." As stand alone data analysis machines, humans are much better at establishing correlation than causation. Well, and even our correlation is shitty because we have a bad habit of cherry picking.

 

Not that the "paranormal" isnt a rich and rewarding area to explore, I just have some serious doubts regarding the objective existence of most of the phenomenon people talk about.

I think that's where you're wrong. Science, does in fact, prove rather unequivocally the existence of psychic phenomenon of the extended mind. How it happens? - No one knows for sure. But the fact is that it does happen.

 

If you want more science on the subject, check this out.

 

http://www.sheldrake.org/blogs/paranormal_morphic.html

Through morphic resonance, the patterns of activity in self-organizing systems are influenced by similar patterns in the past, giving each species and each kind of self-organizing system a collective memory. This memory manifests itself in habits, not laws which are inherently human, and a natural selection of habits occurs over time resulting in not just biological but social, cultural, mental and cosmic evolution.

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You are ruling out the possibility that earthquakes and owners returning to their homes send signals which animals can detect and react to; these signals would be things that have yet to be identified by the scientific community, but exist nonetheless. If this is the case, then the animals' brains are simply responding to another input, same as light/sound/etc.

 

Re: your psychadelic comment. I feel like this is the case, but objectively I must question whether or not I only think that I can read people's thoughts more effectively. I was actually thinking earlier this week about inventing a simple mind-reading game ("guess a number 1-4") which could be run for 10-20 trials on seperate occasions until results normalized, and then several instances of 10-20 trials could be re-run while one or both participants are under the influence of a psychadelic. I am probably much too lazy to actually do this, but I thought about it... hopefully, with the taboo on psychadelics breaking as we speak in the scientific community, such experiments will take place in the next decade.

Yes, they send signals. These are fields of the extended mind that are perceived by the animals. The earthquake situation is a bit trickier. Can it be pre-cognition acted upon by animals? Certainly, but that is much more difficult to prove. The telepathy instance with dogs waiting for their owners at the door is proven scientifically, with a probability of chance in the 1 / 1,000,000,000 range. These are actual scientific tests of the animals recorded on video surveillance, and not with just airplanes. Many times the pets wait at the door at the instance the decision was made to go home, before the owner actually engaged in the act.

 

For the skeptics, you can read further. Decide for yourself.

 

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/060980533...glance&n=283155

 

 

Anyway, you say that they send out signals and we interpret them. This is a difficult to explain without an extended mind. How do the signals, with military precision, reach the host from hundreds of miles away if they were not in some sort of field? What type of signals are they? How does the mind perceive these signals? - What you are explaining is the mind, and the fact that it extends into space around us, connected us all through "morphic fields," as Sheldrake claims.

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I think Occum's Razor would have this explained by our brains sending signals through space, rather than accepting that our brains can pick up signals as if they were elsewhere in space. In other words, perhaps the decision to go home sends out a brain wave which can be detected by these dogs, the same as rumblings in the earth prior to a major earthquake send some kind of signal through space.

 

I have no explanation for why such waves have gone undetected thus far, but in the absence of proof in either direction I would have to believe this to be the more likely of the two explanations. I am open to hearing such proof or arguments in favor of your position, though.

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No, I'm not. You obviously know very little about the subject. Think before you speak.

 

BTW - Animals sensing earthquakes and animals sensing the arrival of their owners (ie. plane landing) have little to do with one and other.

 

Look, this is probably a stupid semantics debate. Your defintion of the mind includes sensory input. Mine does not. I am arguing from a quantum theory perspective. I agree with you it happens nonetheless. I don't know what mechanism is involved with animals and their owners. I do know that there was one documented and published (it's on PubMed) experiment with remote sensing. An individual who repeatedly demonstrated this ability was shown in the study to be impaired by electromagnetic fields generated by computers. The temporal lobe is extermely sensitive to EM fields so I personally doubt it happens at some sort of quantum remote entanglement level or something. The nature of the mind will never be fully known due to the nature of it so perhaps speculating is useless theoretical masturbation regardless.

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I think that's where you're wrong. Science, does in fact, prove rather unequivocally the existence of psychic phenomenon of the extended mind. How it happens? - No one knows for sure. But the fact is that it does happen.

 

If you want more science on the subject, check this out.

 

http://www.sheldrake.org/blogs/paranormal_morphic.html

 

 

Here, I'll trade you a link and we can both have something to chew on.

 

http://www.skepdic.com

 

Look up your favorite paranormal subject, and it should give you some decent alternative explanations and criticisms of the research techniques used to "prove" them. Just food for thought.

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Here, I'll trade you a link and we can both have something to chew on.

 

http://www.skepdic.com

 

Look up your favorite paranormal subject, and it should give you some decent alternative explanations and criticisms of the research techniques used to "prove" them. Just food for thought.

 

Geiger,

 

What if I told you that you could give me the first name of someone you know with an illness, or physical problem, and I could tell you the body part and the general nature of the illness...now what if I told you that you could be easily trained to do the same thing? Everyone does it at the last class in....horrible name but something called "silva mind control". I forget the details because I took it ages years ago, and the name refers to one's own mind, not some silly attempt to control others, but anyway everyone does this at the last class, and most do it very well.

 

Oh and I think there is a book that might be worth checking out, though it is ancient

 

REAL MAGIC. Isaac Bonewitz graduated from Cal Berkeley in 1970 with a BA in magic and thaumaturgy.

 

Gotta go now, there are some nice men in white coats at the door....

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Here, I'll trade you a link and we can both have something to chew on.

 

http://www.skepdic.com

 

Look up your favorite paranormal subject, and it should give you some decent alternative explanations and criticisms of the research techniques used to "prove" them. Just food for thought.

 

Most of it is bullshit and I doubt our understanding of it is anywhere near correct, but there are quite a few intringuing studies on PubMed that Skepdic convieniently ignores. The feeling of being watched from behind is probably the easiest to study and prove.

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Geiger,

 

What if I told you that you could give me the first name of someone you know with an illness, or physical problem, and I could tell you the body part and the general nature of the illness...now what if I told you that you could be easily trained to do the same thing? Everyone does it at the last class in....horrible name but something called "silva mind control". I forget the details because I took it ages years ago, and the name refers to one's own mind, not some silly attempt to control others, but anyway everyone does this at the last class, and most do it very well.

 

Oh and I think there is a book that might be worth checking out, though it is ancient

 

REAL MAGIC. Isaac Bonewitz graduated from Cal Berkeley in 1970 with a BA in magic and thaumaturgy.

 

Gotta go now, there are some nice men in white coats at the door....

 

 

I'd tell you to go get James Randi's million dollars.

 

http://www.randi.org/research/index.html

 

I'm not being flip, either. Seriously, go do it. I would love to see the paranormal pass a double blind test.

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