217. DR. GARY MARCUS SANDBAGGED BY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE SCIENCE QUESTIONS

People on every side of every controversy don't play fair. Unfairness is not concentrated on one side of the NDE controversy. Unfair attacks appear in this thread. Either I'm so obstinate that I appear lazy or I'm so lazy that I appear obstinate. That's called a false choice fallacy.
Illusion of choice informal fallacy (distinct from false dilemma).

Yeah but Martin bud, you came in with guns drawn dude. :) Skeptics drift through this old mining town like 16 year-old gunfighter-wannabe's on a regular basis. (You are not one of those - btw). When people imply that there is a hypothesis of science here, and that such a hypothesis is the null hypothesis as well, when this is indeed not the case - most of us associate that with imperious thought. We've seen that puppet show before, at least 10,000 times. We know the arguments.

However, I understand some of your contentions better now and see where you are leading with your thoughts. I carry these same possibilities as constructs (not hypotheses).

When science lacks a real null hypothesis - a claim to the absence requires much more substantiation and work than does a conjecture to the presence. One cannot just flippantly declare an absence to be the more likely alternative (Einfach Mechanism). If one does so, it can tender the appearance of being lazy, yes.

Shortcuts to the denial are more oppressive than are shortcuts to the affirmative. Because the former is granted free pass as truth.

The reason I am here is because we have a group of sincere, science literate, spiritually connected and incredibly intelligent people who have demonstrated a willingness to risk their allegiances (although painful). Not because everything said here is correct. I do not want to frequent a board where science communicators just patrol about and instruct everyone as to what is what - and everything is forced correct. We got tons of that out there.

Skeptiko is a quite bit different than the conspiracy forums. Get to know Alex, David, Andrew, Malf, Eric, Michael P. and Michael L., Typoz, SuperQ, Steve, et. al. You will find a rather robust cache of scientific literacy (and in some cases way more qualification and experience than the average scientist) - a LOT of bloodhound work and direct experience which one will not find with science communicators - along with an eventual willingness to consider a variety of ideas.

One cannot fully eliminate bias nor ignorance - but one can eliminate agency, and there is a difference. :)
 
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You are saying that a happenstance noticing and recalling of a tennis shoe is the same as noticing and recalling of a zip code on a hidden card.
No. I'm asking how observing the shape of a shoe string (in the material world) during an OBE and recalling it later differs from observing the shape of a numeral drawn on a wall. I'm not equating the two. I'm asking why an OB experiencer can observe and recall one and not the other, because I don't know why. Since I don't know why, the experiment seems reasonable to me as a test of the anecdote. I can be convinced that it's not a reasonable test, but then I'm left only with the anecdote, and the anecdote has many possible explanations.

I don't expect you to believe me, but I have experienced a number of OBEs.
I believe you. I don't know what you experienced precisely.

The things I saw and felt were totally random (although true of what was in the room), but, in your favor, I did remember them clearly afterward.
I understand your experience somewhat. I've never had what seemed an OBE to me, but I've had lucid dreams (in which I am aware of dreaming and can control the dream to some extent). I've had many more non-lucid dreams, and though I've read that some people can become lucid while dreaming at will, I definitely cannot.

Usually, I become lucid during a dream by realizing that what's happening in the dream can't be "real". Something occurs that violates "laws of physics" or otherwise makes me "wake up and realize" that I must be dreaming. More precisely, I become aware that I'm dreaming without waking up. In one memorable case, I became lucid while dreaming in the presence of another "person" and decided to approach this person for a better look. When I was seemingly only inches away, the other person's face began to look like a mannequin or a 3D graphics image, too "smooth" to be real. Most of my dreams are ephemeral, but I remember this one vividly decades later.

... began to deliberately induce OBEs ...
How do you induce them?

I still say that you would then just shoot down that report as law of large numbers, subconscious cues from staff chatter who were discussing the numbers, etc etc ad nauseam.
The law of large numbers is not a catch-all explanation, and chatty staffers can be ruled out otherwise. Guessing random, four digit numbers ten times out of a thousand strongly violates the law of large numbers. That's the point.

I am saying you're lazy or obstinate because you are ignoring that NDEs regularly accurately report what was happening during attempts to resuscitate them at a time when materialist ideology says that the brain should not be able to assemble anything, let alone such coherent images.
You don't know me well enough to reach any conclusion about my laziness or obstinance. You leap to conclusions reinforcing your assumptions very easily.

How do you know precisely when an NDE occurs if you have only reports of the ND experiencer hours later? How do you know when a dream can no longer occur in a brain if neurologists don't claim this precise knowledge?

The concepts tossed out by debunkers ...
I'm not debunking anything here. I'm asking how we can agree on an interpretation of NDEs in terms of a disembodied, immaterial soul experiencing sights and sounds without eyes and ears. The sort of experiment I've discussed here would convince me, so my assumptions, counter to the disembodied soul theory, are falsifiable. Failure to observe a significant result in this experiment would not convince me that the disembodied soul theory is false, but observing the result would convince that it's true.

Also, because you fail to recognize how easy it is to "digitalize" pictures and images such that statistical probabilities can be derived from the identification. In fact, that is how facial recognition software works. You're stuck on statistics 101. Not impressive.
My first job, over thirty years ago, involved creating digital images from geometric models in the Geometric Modeling group at Intergraph Corporation, but I won't label you "label" or "obstinate" for leaping to conclusions about me here.
 
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I'm not debunking anything here. I'm asking how we can agree on an interpretation of NDEs in terms of a disembodied, immaterial soul experiencing sights and sounds without eyes and ears.
Maybe the most interesting place to start, would be to ask what you thought when you first heard of an NDE. My bet is that you instinctively declared it to be phoney - produced by someone who was crazy, or wanted to make money, or prove some religious 'truth'. In fact NDE's sound (superficially) as though they were designed to prove a religious story - and that may have helped you to dismiss the story. I used to be very much the materialist, and that would have been my reaction - although as it happens, I don't remember exactly how I first became aware of the NDE concept.

Perhaps that is the point - you didn't start thinking, well maybe there is just enough blood flowing through the brain to explain how that could happen, or maybe the brain stores information from the resuscitation process, and then confabulates a story later. These arguments aren't rational scientific explanations of NDE's from a materialistic perspective, they are desperately cobbled together ideas produced when denying the raw data become impossible.

I mean, if people's brains were getting some supply of oxygenated blood, wouldn't you expect them to partly wake up, maybe scream, or struggle a bit - something ordinary. You wouldn't expect brains in that condition to do something totally innovative, would you? You don't need to know a lot of physiology (which I don't) to see that explanations like that are contrived.

When science was at its best, it didn't behave like that. I mean think of those interference fringes produced by light, or the much smaller scale fringes produced by electrons. Recorded on photographic plates, I'll bet many of them looked pretty crummy. It would have been possible to have gone through debunking each photographic plate in turn - oh that was caused by vibrations from a horse and cart, the next one was some sort of imperfection in the film, etc etc. Thank goodness science was a bit more open minded in those days!

David
 
No. I'm asking how observing the shape of a shoe string (in the material world) during an OBE and recalling it later differs from observing the shape of a numeral drawn on a wall. I'm not equating the two. I'm asking why an OB experiencer can observe and recall one and not the other, because I don't know why. Since I don't know why, the experiment seems reasonable to me as a test of the anecdote. I can be convinced that it's not a reasonable test, but then I'm left only with the anecdote, and the anecdote has many possible explanations.


I believe you. I don't know what you experienced precisely.


I understand your experience somewhat. I've never had what seemed an OBE to me, but I've had lucid dreams (in which I am aware of dreaming and can control the dream to some extent). I've had many more non-lucid dreams, and though I've read that some people can become lucid while dreaming at will, I definitely cannot.

Usually, I become lucid during a dream by realizing that what's happening in the dream can't be "real". Something occurs that violates "laws of physics" or otherwise makes me "wake up and realize" that I must be dreaming. More precisely, I become aware that I'm dreaming without waking up. In one memorable case, I became lucid while dreaming in the presence of another "person" and decided to approach this person for a better look. When I was seemingly only inches away, the other person's face began to look like a mannequin or a 3D graphics image, too "smooth" to be real. Most of my dreams are ephemeral, but I remember this one vividly decades later.


How do you induce them?


The law of large numbers is not a catch-all explanation, and chatty staffers can be ruled out otherwise. Guessing random, four digit numbers ten times out of a thousand strongly violates the law of large numbers. That's the point.


You don't know me well enough to reach any conclusion about my laziness or obstinance. You leap to conclusions reinforcing your assumptions very easily.

How do you know precisely when an NDE occurs if you have only reports of the ND experiencer hours later? How do you know when a dream can no longer occur in a brain if neurologists don't claim this precise knowledge?


I'm not debunking anything here. I'm asking how we can agree on an interpretation of NDEs in terms of a disembodied, immaterial soul experiencing sights and sounds without eyes and ears. The sort of experiment I've discussed here would convince me, so my assumptions, counter to the disembodied soul theory, are falsifiable. Failure to observe a significant result in this experiment would not convince me that the disembodied soul theory is false, but observing the result would convince that it's true.


My first job, over thirty years ago, involved creating digital images from geometric models in the Geometric Modeling group at Intergraph Corporation, but I won't label you "label" or "obstinate" for leaping to conclusions about me here.
Alright Martin, fair enough.

So you are saying that your problem with the multitude of reports from both Dr's and patients wherein the patient accurately describes the resuscitation procedures, conversations, people in the room, etc is that don't know when those events occurred in the timeline of the patient's death?.

If that's what you're saying, I really don't it because, obviously, to me at least, the patient is describing events, sometimes even from a perspective that a person lying on a bed couldn't have, when they were clinically dead.

What alternative timeline are you proposing?

How did I induce OBEs? As I said, the first two were quite unexpected and spontaneous. Why they occurred, I don't know. My theory is that they may have been related to chi kung exercises I was performing as a part of a Chinese martial arts system I was deeply into at the time. My teacher (Si Fu) was very traditional and included chi kiung in the actual fighting training. The exercises are designed to raise "chi"; something that my teacher didn't believe in beyond relaxation that led to heightened awareness, quicker reaction times and better health. I felt those states of mind after practicing and I liked it so much that I over-practiced, meaning way more than my teacher recommended. I digress.

The first OBE occurred when I was lying on my back in bed, maybe a few minutes after I had hit the rack. I was fully conscious. There a "funny" sensation of my ears ringing with a buzzing sound and simultaneously it felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. I couldn't tell if I was breathing. The effects were overwhelming. I could pull out of the this thing that was overcoming me. Then it felt as if there was a rushing wind that rocked my awareness out of my body. Then I was floating, like a helium balloon against the ceiling. I could see my body lying on the bed. I could see out of the blinds to the world outside. My awareness then got attracted to the light reflecting off the blinds and I was pulled into them. Bizarre. Several OBEs later and all of those effects had toned way down. Rather than floating like a balloon in the breeze, I was able to go where I wanted and at the speed I wanted to. I could observe distant events and then return to my body, record what I had seen (or heard) and then physically go verify. I also perceived idiosyncratic events that would happen in the future in detail, only to have them occur as recorded a few days later.

After doing some reading after the first two OBEs I decided that I wasn't dying or going insane and I wanted to explore to see if these things were objectively real or just bizarre dreams or hallucinations (though they didn't feel like hallucinations or dreams).

Basically, I just laid on my in bed and focused on the solar plexus until my awareness felt like it was there instead of in my head. This was a technique I found in one of the books I read after the first two OBEs. I also recalled the sensations of the first two OBEs. That's all it took to get to where I could have these things almost at will (maybe worked 85% of time I attempted).
 
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Maybe the most interesting place to start, would be to ask what you thought when you first heard of an NDE.
I state on the first page that I'm a convinced mortal, but I definitely do not believe that NDEs are "phoney". "Not phoney" does not imply an interpretation in terms of a disembodied, immaterial soul able somehow to see without eyes and hear without ears. Many other interpretations exist. I believe that most ND experiencers are completely sincere and describe an experience that seemed completely real to them. Again, I've had very vivid and lucid dreams myself, but I don't interpret them in terms of an immaterial soul separable or separated from my material body. This interpretation is worth considering, but the evidentiary bar is high, because I understand vision in terms of photons passing through a lens focusing the photons on optic nerves conveying electro-chemical signals to a neural network and so on. A disembodied, immaterial soul "seeing" something in the material world requires an entirely new and different understanding of how vision works. I've made this point repeatedly here, and the point is ignored as often.
 
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Many other interpretations exist.
I can't see any that don't seem contrived. However, look I'm not saying 'immortal soul', but whatever does the seeing doesn't seem to be inside the patient!

I think sitting in the dentist's chair should tell us something. You can be fully awake with eyes open, and yet you could not begin to describe what went on except in terms of generalities. If I found myself hovering above the scene and could describe the container holding the filling material, or the various bits or whatever that could be attached to the drill, or see exactly how they clamp the tooth as they fill it, I'd be stupefied - particularly if most or all the facts checked out.

David
 
I state on the first page that I'm a convinced mortal, but I definitely do not believe that NDEs are "phoney". "Not phoney" does not imply an interpretation in terms of a disembodied, immaterial soul able somehow to see without eyes and hear without ears. Many other interpretations exist. I believe that most ND experiencers are completely sincere and describe an experience that seemed completely real to them. Again, I've had very vivid and lucid dreams myself, but I don't interpret them in terms of an immaterial soul separable or separated from my material body. This interpretation is worth considering, but the evidentiary bar is high, because I understand vision in terms of photons passing through a lens focusing the photons on optic nerves conveying electro-chemical signals to a neural network and so on. A disembodied, immaterial soul "seeing" something in the material world requires an entirely new and different understanding of how vision works. I've made this point repeatedly here, and it is ignored as often.
Martin,
Lucid dreams - which I have had - are not the same as an OBE or, I think, an NDE (never had an NDE, but have read accounts, of course). I don't know why you're conflating them - or actually I think I do know why you're conflating, no need to go there again.

That "how do they hear without ears/ see without eyes" argument is a materialist favorite. It's actually not unreasonable to ask. I suggest that it is the mind's way of interpreting what is being perceived. The mind is accustomed to using eyes and ears when perceiving certain energies and frequencies. When those same energies and frequencies are perceived via other modes, the newly disembodied mind interprets them to be seeing and hearing as with eyes and ears. I really don't know, but I think I just offered one explanation. It really didn't take much effort or thought.

One reason I think it's an interpretation is that I have seen and heard, in detail, future events while OBE. How can eyes and ears see or hear events that have not occurred? They cannot. For that matter, how can you see or hear in your dreams? Again it's an interpretation.

You keep saying that there are several alternative explanations for NDEs - I keep asking for you to present one that makes more sense. You won't do it.
 
... when they were clinically dead.

Clinical death involves EKG signals and the like. A brain might operate without an EKG or EEG signal, and even if it doesn't, I don't know the relationship between brain activity and later recollection of a subjective experience.

What alternative timeline are you proposing?
We're discussing the subjective experience of other souls, and I can only speculate about these experiences. The only subjective experience I have with which to compare is what I'm calling "dreams". I associate dreams with neurological activity, perhaps wrongly, and I experience "the end" of a dream when I wake up. I perceive a dream ending immediately before I wake up, but I don't assume that the neurological activity associated with the dream ends seconds before I wake up. It could end much earlier, but since I have no subjective experience between the end of the dream and the beginning of my waking state, the end of the dream seems to occur immediately before I wake. Dream researchers associate dreaming with rapid eye movement and the like, but I have no reason to believe that dreams are possible only during rapid eye movement. I only know that I (often only briefly) recall dreams after waking.

I could observe distant events and then return to my body, record what I had seen (or heard) and then physically go verify.
What's a specific example of something you observed and later verified?
 
I can't see any that don't seem contrived. However, look I'm not saying 'immortal soul', but whatever does the seeing doesn't seem to be inside the patient!
"Soul" is not a silly word to me. Conscious souls are undoubtedly real, because I experience one continually. Whether or not my soul is immortal or separable from my material body (or what I experience as a material body) is a question that interests me for obvious reasons.

If I found myself hovering above the scene and could describe the container holding the filling material, or the various bits or whatever that could be attached to the drill, or see exactly how they clamp the tooth as they fill it, I'd be stupefied - particularly if most or all the facts checked out.
Sure, but I've never had this experience. If I could experience the material world this way, I suppose I'd be much richer.
 
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I don't know why you're conflating them - or actually I think I do know why you're conflating, no need to go there again.
I'm comparing dreams to NDEs, because I have no other subjective experience to compare with NDEs.

That "how do they hear without ears/ see without eyes" argument is a materialist favorite. .... When those same energies and frequencies are perceived via other modes, ...
Sure, but what are these other modes, and why do material bodies have eyes if an immaterial souls separable from the body doesn't need eyes to see? "Other mode" is not very specific.

You keep saying that there are several alternative explanations for NDEs - I keep asking for you to present one that makes more sense. You won't do it.
I offer one on the first page. An OBE perspective "from the ceiling" could involve telepathic communication between the nearly dead person and other persons in the room. The nearly dead person somehow has access to visual perception of other persons perceiving the room from many different perspectives but must integrate these many perspectives in terms of "two eyes in front of my head", and the "from the ceiling" perspective results. Your suggestion is similar, but you aren't specifying a sensory mechanism. What specifically focuses the light? You describe an OBE with no one else in the room, but I wasn't speculating on your experience earlier.
 
Sure, but what are these other modes, and why do material bodies have eyes if an immaterial souls separable from the body doesn't need eyes to see?
This is a good question - I like it. The same question arises as a ramification of postulating OBE's per your point below. With OBE's why do we need eyes?

This is all per hoc aditum - or according to this line of reason. A material body has a hand, which is necessary to push objects in this cause and effect world. A spiritual eye per hoc aditum could not be coordinated with a physical hand as reliably and repeatedly. Spiritual eyes only feed our conscious perception, but cannot coordinate a fine motor skill physical ability. Can you imagine Tom Brady being a 60% passer, trying to coordinate his perception floating around the football field, with his hands having to feel the texture of the football and sense its stitching within a millisecond of the center snap? One would be rubber banding around the field like being in a video game with a poor internet connection. Or if you are being chased by a lion, probably die - or not eat for months.

Further, the ability to see around corners and into rooms and a variety of places one is not - is a god-power. I am not sure we are here to exercise such power, while we are here. If all we are doing is coming here to survey or take a tour of the place - well then yes, physical eyes are not necessary. But that is not our task now is it? We are to live in this prison possibly to learn and accomplish something - not visit it like a god.

In order to force the question the way in which you pose it, you must stack up a large set of special pleadings, in order to substantiate the question as being critical path.

I offer one on the first page. An OBE perspective "from the ceiling" could involve telepathic communication between the nearly dead person and other persons in the room. The nearly dead person somehow has access to visual perception of other persons perceiving the room from many different perspectives but must integrate these many perspectives in terms of "two eyes in front of my head", and the "from the ceiling" perspective results. Your suggestion is similar, but you aren't specifying a sensory mechanism. What specifically focuses the light? You describe an OBE with no one else in the room, but I wasn't speculating on your experience earlier.
Ockham’s Inversion
The condition when the ‘more rational or simple explanation’ requires so many risky, stacked or outlandish assumptions in order to make it viable, that is has become even more outlandish than the complex explanation it was originally posed against and was supposed to surpass in likelihood.​
 
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I'm comparing dreams to NDEs, because I have no other subjective experience to compare with NDEs..
Then why not compare NDEs to a ham sandwich? You're comparing to dreams reveals your bias.


I offer one on the first page. An OBE perspective "from the ceiling" could involve telepathic communication between the nearly dead person and other persons in the room. The nearly dead person somehow has access to visual perception of other persons perceiving the room from many different perspectives but must integrate these many perspectives in terms of "two eyes in front of my head", and the "from the ceiling" perspective results. .
''

I'm sorry that is a preposterous alternative. It is subject to all of the critiques you aim at the independent soul explanation - and then some.



Your suggestion is similar, but you aren't specifying a sensory mechanism. What specifically focuses the light? You describe an OBE with no one else in the room, but I wasn't speculating on your experience earlier.
Good and honest observation on your part that I describe an OBE with a view from the ceiling with no one else around. Yes. That is damaging, probably fatal, to your wild speculations.




It should not be difficult to follow the bouncing ball here, Martin. We have people describing experiences as consciousness separate from the brain with evidence to support that perspective. Then we have credible sittings with mediums* with highly evidential evidence that consciousness and personalities survive bodily death and can observe the goings on the world of the living. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that humans are more an immortal soul than a physical structure.

What is the mechanism? I have ideas, but can't describe for sure to your satisfaction. What is important is that there must be an explanation that covers both the NDE and the after death communication. Essentially, you need to develop a model of human awareness without resorting to the brain. So you'll have to live with a mystery while accepting that something that you can't describe is there or delve into this yourself and have the experiences and come to your own conclusions. Not everything is going to conform to your rules, you know.



*Yes. I have had two highly evidential sittings with a medium. Masked identity. Very detailed factual personal information given to me with no fishing, no stumbles from the medium and minimal feedback from me.

And yes, I think that 90% of psychics , mediums, etc are con artists or fake for other reasons.
 
Malf,
The thing is that I have had my own OBE experiences and in some of them I was able to demonstrate to myself that they were real by perceiving idiosyncratic events distant from the physical location of my body while OBE and then verifying when not OBE. I was able to do this more than once - and, no, I'm not talking about seeing my friend who likes cheeseburgers eating a cheeseburger.

So I don't have a problem with the concept of NDEs being exactly what people say they are.

Yes, I am sure that if one goes to, say, Dr Long's web page and reads the NDE accounts there, that probably 50% of them are fake or exaggerated. I'm sure that most of the books about saved by the light blah blah blah are BS designed to make money.

However, the NDE has been long documented. It's a common phenomenon all over the world. Many plain simple people have honestly reported their experiences. I think that people who had NDEs have often reported, accurately, what was going on in the hospital room at a time when they were unconscious. If people like you want to imagine all sorts of brain processes doing things that brains have never been proven to be able to do in order to explain how, at a time when science says that brains shouldn't be doing anything, NDErs are perceiving all this stuff, then that demonstrates that you are either a materialist fanatic or suffer from analysis paralysis.

This is not the same as conspiracy theories at all. NDEs are simply a huge body of people, across time and across geography reporting that when they were "dead" they perceived things going on in the operating room, in "heaven", etc.. It's a body of reporting of personal experiences. Conspiracy theories are people using lousy logic and low thresholds of proof, incomplete information, information filtered through biases, outright lies, innuendo and non-confirmable alleged eye witness reports, to connect data points and tell a story. Totally different.

Even if I didn't have personal experiences, I wouldn't hang my hat on the sneakers story. I agree with what you say abut that. My sense is that it's true, but, there's no way to know and it is indeed flimsy evidence from a court room standpoint. There is no need to rely on that. Plenty of phsyicians have reported their patients knowing what was happening during attempts to resuscitate them. This is common. Again, if you want to resort to any of the brain based theories to explain those, then it is you who are way out of the limb of desperation. None of those explanations is based on solid science.
Fair enough. The book I mentioned also goes into some depth as to why we can't 100% rely on our own senses/experiences/impressions/memories etc, but we're all on our own path.
 
Come on, Malf. That's a sophist's argument. You're linking two entirely different things merely because I happened to use the same grammatical construction that you have used in the dinosaur example -- and I've just used it again. I'm not a creationist, and you know it; you're just attempting to discredit me by using a scurrilous association. It's a typical materialist ploy and unworthy of you.
I was giving another example of circular special pleading. I know you're not pushing a YEC agenda (despite often advancing arguments that provide those perspectives some succour)

Really? The mainstream view is entirely consistent with Hoffman? Well blow me down, I guess I've misheard the eliminative materialists who maintain that consciousness doesn't even exist, not to mention many other materialists who scoff at the very idea that the world might not be WYSIWYG. Malf, do I detect a smidgen of uncertainty in you? Might you be projecting that onto materialists in general? Are you teetering on the edge of a conversion experience?
A mainstream view is that the brain is providing a representation of reality, one that helps us efficiently interact with it. I don't think that is at all at odds with what Hoffman is saying in that video. Both (materialist & idealist) models are representing an illusion of reality in some respects. Beyond that, whether or not consciousness "exists" is determined by how one is defining consciousness. To say, "Consciousness exists, because I experience it!", is as meaningless as it is circular, because under any model the illusion of experience is at play. Does external reality 'exist' if I experience it? You see the problem...

If you haven't met any materialists who deny QM, that means, presumably, that they all must necessarily reject general relativity. Both theories can't be correct, after all. Maybe some of them consciously accept QM but not GR (regarding it as only a model), or vice-versa, or regard both as only models? Color me sceptical: to hear most materialists talk, they're the high priests of certain knowledge. Because materialism works (at least to some extent), that means it must be right. That's what their argument boils down to.
Reconciling the physics of the microscopic and macroscopic is an ongoing endeavour. We clearly mix in different circles because I hear scientists (who work in this field) speaking of the exciting challenges this incompleteness presents. Does Idealism have a way of reconciling the problem?


Well, it can't be right, can it? Especially if, as you maintain, they're so open to ideas like Hoffman's. They're all terribly nice crypto-idealists who would never think of excommunicating the odd dissenter who had ideas differing from their own. Anyone would think there had never been anyone like Peter Duesberg, Halton Arp, Pons and Fleischmann, Michael Behe, Eric Laithwaite...
We've spoken before about consistently taking the non-mainstream, anti-consensus position in so many areas. I understand the lure of the exotic. Whilst it can feel empowering to contradict the experts (who themselves are standing on the shoulders of giants), history would indicate that this is a poor way to back a winning horse: To find the expert academic consensus wildly erroneous in one field of study would be extremely unusual, to discover that to be the case in practically every field of science would be beyond incredible. Laughably so.

Dear lord. For the thousandth time, there is definitely a correlation between the thing that appears as a brain and certain aspects of consciousness. When a person can't perceive a certain colour, then of course there's going to be brain (and/or other organ) correlates of that. A blind person can't perceive any colour, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us are having the mere illusion of colour, that we can't share experience of the same qualia. The question is, whence originates the causality? Do brain/organ defects cause certain perceptual problems, or does the causation go in the opposite direction? Is a person born with a brain defect that causes blindness, or is their blindness reflected in the appearance of their brains/organs?
I'm not talking about a neural correlates of awareness here, I'm referencing the photoreceptive cone cells and their (well understood) interaction with different (external?) wavelengths of light. How can that fold back into an "all is consciousness" model?

Whichever is the case, no one is denying causality: only its direction. The materialists posit that the physical causes the mental, whereas idealists posit the reverse. And one advantage of that is that the Hard and Combination problems cease to be problems. No one has to run around pretending that consciousness doesn't exist, or wave their hands asserting that consciousness can emerge in some mysterious way from insentient matter. To me, it's much simpler to invert the materialistic view, and there's much less inconsistency.
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Maybe. "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" appears to be based on a category error; it conflates (1) the explanation of consciousness with (2) the nature of consciousness. The fact that (1) eludes us actually says nothing at all about (2).
 
consensus position
I tend to be more parsimonious with that word. It does not apply to most of the areas you are implying it does. Consensus is not a democratic vote among scientists ('97% of scientists' and such media blather). Most of what scientists held as popular opinion has been overturned throughout history, not conserved as you suggest. Science advances when we prove wrong - not when we venerate what is popular, as right.

When it comes to consciousness - there is no scientific consensus.

Whilst it can feel empowering to contradict the experts (who themselves are standing on the shoulders of giants)
This is an imperium ex absurdum appeal to authority. Our greatest challenge of ignorance does not in any way reside in persons contemplating 'less probable' alternatives to popular dogma. Rather it resides squarely with science communicators who exaggerate and misrepresent the conclusions, methods and philosophy of science (skepticism) - and then use those misrepresentations to bully both layman and scientists into venerating the popular, simpleton or 'probable' - as truth.

When a deductive falsification pathway is available, and it is cowardly embargoed from study - there is no such thing as a giant of any kind, ethically nor intellectually.
 
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I tend to be more parsimonious with that word. It does not apply to most of the areas you are implying it does. Consensus is not a democratic vote among scientists ('97% of scientists' and such media blather). Most of what scientists held as popular opinion has been overturned throughout history, not conserved as you suggest. Science advances when we prove wrong - not when we venerate what is popular, as right.
To be an academic expert in a field takes hard work, focus and dedication over decades. We can’t all do that in all areas and have little choice to defer to those that have expertise in any given field.

When it comes to consciousness - there is no scientific consensus.
Well it just is what it is I guess. It doesn’t really matter unless you’re using it to prop up a preferred model of reality/want to survive death.


This is an imperium ex absurdum appeal to authority. Our greatest challenge of ignorance does not in any way reside in persons contemplating 'less probable' alternatives to popular dogma. Rather it resides squarely with science communicators who exaggerate and misrepresent the conclusions, methods and philosophy of science (skepticism) - and then use those misrepresentations to bully both layman and scientists into venerating the popular, simpleton or 'probable' - as truth.

When a deductive falsification pathway is available, and it is cowardly embargoed from study - there is no such thing as a giant of any kind, ethically nor intellectually.
In context, the post to which I was responding reeled off a bunch of (Skeptiko bingo) maverick fringe science proponents. History tells us that the quest of increasing human knowledge has happened incrementally; one finding building on another, one generation benefiting from the endeavour of their predecessors. That is what is meant by ‘standing in the shoulders of giants’, nothing more.
 
I was giving another example of circular special pleading. I know you're not pushing a YEC agenda (despite often advancing arguments that provide those perspectives some succour)
I not only don't provide succour to YECs, I thoroughly reject YEC. You're still trying to employ ad hominem arguments.
A mainstream view is that the brain is providing a representation of reality, one that helps us efficiently interact with it. I don't think that is at all at odds with what Hoffman is saying in that video.
You say "a" mainstream view. I don't think so: it's Hoffman's view, and it's hardly mainstream. Most mainstream scientists are materialists who think of the world in a WYSIWYG way.
Both (materialist & idealist) models are representing an illusion of reality in some respects. Beyond that, whether or not consciousness "exists" is determined by how one is defining consciousness. To say, "Consciousness exists, because I experience it!", is as meaningless as it is circular, because under any model the illusion of experience is at play. Does external reality 'exist' if I experience it? You see the problem...
Sophistry again. Just playing with words. Stick quotes around "exist" and voila, point to some ambiguity in the word that you don't actually explain. And how can one "define consciousness" (or indeed anything) without being conscious? According to you, the thing doing the defining is an illusion, so why should anyone give what you say any credence?

That's the irony; eliminative materialists rubbish consciousness using -- what? -- it can only be consciousness. Follow your logic, and no one can possibly claim to be right about anything. There can only be some people who agree about something and those who agree about something else. But whence comes the concept of agreement? It's a conscious construct, as is language in general, which you, like everyone else, uses: but you use it to deny the existence of the very thing you're employing to construct your sentences. It's the ultimate in self-refuting logic.
Reconciling the physics of the microscopic and macroscopic is an ongoing endeavour. We clearly mix in different circles because I hear scientists (who work in this field) speaking of the exciting challenges this incompleteness presents. Does Idealism have a way of reconciling the problem?
No need to reconcile the problem; idealism makes it disappear because it reverses the direction of causality. No longer does consciousness have to arise from that which doesn't possess consciousness. Instead, consciousness is fundamental and gives rise to the world of appearances.
We've spoken before about consistently taking the non-mainstream, anti-consensus position in so many areas. I understand the lure of the exotic. Whilst it can feel empowering to contradict the experts (who themselves are standing on the shoulders of giants), history would indicate that this is a poor way to back a winning horse: To find the expert academic consensus wildly erroneous in one field of study would be extremely unusual, to discover that to be the case in practically every field of science would be beyond incredible. Laughably so.
"Exotic" is an unsurprising word choice. It's just another thinly disguised way of seeking to rubbish ideas you disagree with. As is the use of the word "giants", implying that those revered by materialists possess the most likely version of truth. Would it be extremely unusual to find experts "wildly erroneous"? I think not. There are plenty of examples of experts who got things wrong in the past, and there's no reason to believe that present experts are immune; if they were, then there'd be no point in doing science, would there? We'd always get things right on the first outing and progress would be impossible.

Science is predicated on people eventually being proven wrong, though we're in a cultural phase where this has been forgotten, and are drowning in certainties that are blocking scientific progress. Fact is, quite a lot of the current models of reality adopted by science are in some cases beyond laughable, such as the current cosmological model; the Darwinist model of macroevolution; and the materialist, self-refuting model of consciousness. Inconsistencies abound in science: are the rule rather than the exception.
I'm not talking about a neural correlates of awareness here, I'm referencing the photoreceptive cone cells and their (well understood) interaction with different (external?) wavelengths of light. How can that fold back into an "all is consciousness" model?
You can't escape your WYSIWYG view of the world. For you, the arrow of causation simply must go from inanimate, unconscious (unless you're a panpsychist) particles to animate, conscious entities. That's what your senses are telling you, and you're accepting it literally, which is why you're trying to tell me that Hoffman's views are compatible with materalism -- move on, nothing to see here. I think people like Hoffman have such intriguing and well-founded hypotheses about reality that even people like you have to accommodate them in some way. Not wanting to deny them outright, you are attempting to fit them in with your predilections as if they cause no serious difficulty for them. Who do you think you're kidding?
Maybe. "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" appears to be based on a category error; it conflates (1) the explanation of consciousness with (2) the nature of consciousness. The fact that (1) eludes us actually says nothing at all about (2).
Category error, shmategory error. An explanation is telling us something about what we think the nature of a certain aspect of reality is; even if the explanation is wrong, it's still how we think of its nature. Your statement is just more sophistry that I don't think even you are convinced of. Stop with the semantics, already. It's fooling no one.
 
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Well it just is what it is I guess. It doesn’t really matter unless you’re using it to prop up a preferred model of reality/want to survive death.
What does prop up mean? Where in the scientific method does 'should not prop up' occur? Construct formulation? Observation? Inductive research? Intelligence development? Necessity formulation? Hypothesis construction?

Every single idea in the history of man was at one time, propped up. This is a false standard, taught by a modern religious order, not something taught by our key philosophers of science.

History tells us that the quest of increasing human knowledge has happened incrementally; one finding building on another, one generation benefiting from the endeavour of their predecessors. That is what is meant by ‘standing in the shoulders of giants’, nothing more.
This is romanticizing - when the history of the accrual of knowledge is used to justify the oppression of thought. This is a learned martial art of immunity from scientific method (pseudoscience). It is like saying it's OK for your family to rob banks since all its ancestors were preachers and ran orphanages.

For instance, I am a solid Climate Change proponent. I have invested a ton into green energy and crude oil businesses seeking remedy of our accelerating carbon and methane ppm's. I support science in this consensus. But that does not mean that I go out and try and marginalize those who are doing Earth core exothermal cycle research. I want to see their research - even if it threatens or changes our ideas about climate change. Just because I heed the consensus on climate change does not mean that I must attack anyone who proposes a supplemental or alternative idea, by deeming it 'propped up'.

So can you imagine how extensively more invalid such activity is, when consensus does not exist?

History tells us that the quest of increasing human knowledge has happened incrementally; one finding building on another, one generation benefiting from the endeavour of their predecessors.
A materialist with integrity should never be threatened by the work of those who do not share the same bent. They should be excited by the work, not attack the work as worthless and the researchers as fringe bingo. History tells us that knowledge advances by Paradigm Shifts and the passing-on of those who were holding new ideas back (Kuhn-Planck Paradigm Shift). Again, what you have related here is false social propaganda from a specific religious group.

This is not how philosophers of science, pose how science works.
 
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