Mod+ 237. DR. PATRICIA CHURCHLAND SANDBAGGED BY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE QUESTIONS

#41
I'd forgotten how sadly funny this interview was. It was the "dog ate my homework" of Skeptiko podcasts. Just look at Churchland's failed attempt to redeem herself after the initial panic attack when she hung up on Alex:

http://www.skeptiko.com/237-patricia-churchland-sandbagged-by-near-death-experience/

"Dr. Patricia Churchland: Hello?

Alex Tsakiris: Are we back?

Dr. Patricia Churchland: I can hear you; can you hear me?

Alex Tsakiris: You’re coming through loud and clear.

Dr. Patricia Churchland: Oh, okay, great. Whoops. Sorry. My headset fell off. Yeah, okay, so what’s up?

Alex Tsakiris: Well, let’s try and finish. I think it was getting a little bit testy there. Tell me what the rub is here. I’m telling you that you totally distorted Van Lommel’s thing. It’s right there in your book. I can give you the exact page. It’s on page 71. You say, “There’s a neurological explanation for NDEs. Is there?” And then you cite Pim Van Lommel as a NDE researcher who says there is. He clearly doesn’t; he says the exact opposite.

Dr. Patricia Churchland: [Silence]

Alex Tsakiris: Hello?

Dr. Patricia Churchland: Oh. Sorry. Yeah.

Alex Tsakiris: So how do you explain that? Was it just a mistake or do you not know his research or…

Dr. Patricia Churchland: It’s that a lot of people do see that. There are certain drugs and so forth that can cause out-of-body experiences or near-death experiences.

Alex Tsakiris: But Dr. Churchland, I’m talking about what you wrote in your book on page 71. You say that this researcher, near-death experience researcher, claims that there’s a neurological-based explanation for NDEs. That’s not what he says. He says the opposite.

What other NDE researchers do you know who support what you’re saying? Do you know any who do?

Dr. Patricia Churchland: [Silence]

Alex Tsakiris: Hello? Dr. Churchland? Are you there?

Dr. Patricia Churchland: Oh. Sorry. Can you hear me?

Alex Tsakiris: I hear you now. I didn’t hear anything before. There was just a long silence.

Dr. Patricia Churchland: Oh. I don’t know what is going on. I don’t know whether it’s your computer or whether it’s my computer or whether you’re just messing with me or what’s going on here but this is not actually working out. I say things and you say you can’t hear me so I don’t really know what to say.

Alex Tsakiris: No, please respond. I hear you fine now. I don’t have any problem.

Dr. Patricia Churchland: [Silence]

Alex Tsakiris: Do you want to write me an email response, maybe, to that question? I can do that.

Dr. Patricia Churchland: [Silence]

[End of Interview] "
 
#42
Patel
"Still haven't provided me with something you think she is right about regarding the nature of reality."

I'm not sure if that's a genuine question or a trolling question.
I don't know that I have to provide you with that.
My objection was to the aggressive interview, and I see Churchland's reaction as quite natural.

One thing about reality that "might" be right would be the better question.
"Is" right? That's just immature. Who "knows" at the end of the day what is "right".
Theories are subject to falsification and are continually improved.

If you are genuinely interested despite my suspicions about your "questions", you can read about hormones.
Churchland does good work on hormones, whether "right" or not, it is "good" work.

Understand?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#45
And please guys, tell that man what you think about his opinion. If no one tells him he wont know why you dont agree with him.
Dude smells like a sock puppet to me.

Not to say there isn't a Marcus Morgan out there, but I am not convinced the guy posting here is the [same] as the guy who wrote that book.
 
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#46
Patel

You are just defamatory now.
Why waste my time with this rubbish?

I saw an email from you asking for an apology for saying you lacked manners. Ridiculous.
Can't you read the above?
You smeared Churchland's approach to the interview, along with Don.
I disagree. I said Churchland reacted naturally to an aggressive interview that made assumptions.
Just read and stop being a time waster.

Its good you got access to the book.
You overcame your security blockage, well done.
Indeed I wrote it. I am writing now more sternly, because I am responding to time wasting circularity.

I really think you are trolling me with your comments, whereas I am responding logically to yours!

Anyway, pointless nonsense here is overwhelming, so you're not likely to see another post from me.
 
#50
Well, I downloaded Morgan's book and started to try to read it, but it made little sense. For all I know, he could be onto something, but if he can't write reasonably intelligible English, his readers are on a hiding to nothing.

The last paragraph of the book is interesting:

Some of the most awful replies to my work have been from our
Australian academics. Our Australian national network, ABC,
rejected my ideas as “self-promotion”, when shared about a
show
. I replied to the producer I promote new ideas free and
that everyone links to free work to follow up
, then she banned
naming my book. I wrote to the ABC science host, who invites
ideas from the public, to scan it for 5 minutes, and his entire
reply was “I do not have 5 minutes”. That is a bloody disgrace,

and these are not examples of our efficacious Australian way,
but whining is a joke. Media just fawns to academics and
spews out press releases and promotions. It is a stacked deck.
Which academics have courage to admit to actual stupidity?
The ship you sail remains captained by fools advised by the
likes of the above, and will probably remain so until it hits the
rocks. I have done my part, but I do not have children.
Enterprises that educate you continue to lead you astray. You
can decide what to do about it, as my job is done. The next job
is a total bore, dealing with lazy ignorant fools.

If you can make sure sense of the English meaning/relevance of the bolded bits, you're a better man than I: the book is full of such solecisms, and in general his syntax and grammar lead to a lack of clarity. His first task is to learn how to use the English language effectively: if and when he does, he might be able to see why a lot of what he says comes across as gibberish.

A small example: I looked in vain for a definition of the term "epicycle" as he uses it, which doesn't seem to be at all standard. Try it: do a text search and see if it's defined anywhere. Another: he introduces quite early on diagram 2, which he fails to adequately explain. Maybe it means something to him, but to me it conveys very little. This is important, because he seems to use variants of the diagram subsequently in the book. He constantly assumes that he's making sense when in fact he's not, except perhaps to himself.

It seems to me that he has a chip on his shoulder and is projecting failure to appreciate his work onto others' stupidity rather than to his own obscurantism. When you write, you have to bear in mind the readers, and appreciate that you're not explicating merely for your own benefit, but purportedly trying to convey your concepts to them. It's the height of discourtesy to be obscure, and then to blame the reader for your own inadequacy.
 
#51
Anyway, pointless nonsense here is overwhelming, so you're not likely to see another post from me
At times like this it's probably a reminder that the world can act as a mirror, reflecting back to ourselves based on our own expectations and behaviour. The verdict given for this forum is at least as likely a verdict on the poster's own actions.
 
#52
Well, I downloaded Morgan's book and started to try to read it, but it made little sense. For all I know, he could be onto something, but if he can't write reasonably intelligible English, his readers are on a hiding to nothing.

The last paragraph of the book is interesting:

Some of the most awful replies to my work have been from our
Australian academics. Our Australian national network, ABC,
rejected my ideas as “self-promotion”, when shared about a
show
. I replied to the producer I promote new ideas free and
that everyone links to free work to follow up
, then she banned
naming my book. I wrote to the ABC science host, who invites
ideas from the public, to scan it for 5 minutes, and his entire
reply was “I do not have 5 minutes”. That is a bloody disgrace,

and these are not examples of our efficacious Australian way,
but whining is a joke. Media just fawns to academics and
spews out press releases and promotions. It is a stacked deck.
Which academics have courage to admit to actual stupidity?
The ship you sail remains captained by fools advised by the
likes of the above, and will probably remain so until it hits the
rocks. I have done my part, but I do not have children.
Enterprises that educate you continue to lead you astray. You
can decide what to do about it, as my job is done. The next job
is a total bore, dealing with lazy ignorant fools.

If you can make sure sense of the English meaning/relevance of the bolded bits, you're a better man than I: the book is full of such solecisms, and in general his syntax and grammar lead to a lack of clarity. His first task is to learn how to use the English language effectively: if and when he does, he might be able to see why a lot of what he says comes across as gibberish.

A small example: I looked in vain for a definition of the term "epicycle" as he uses it, which doesn't seem to be at all standard. Try it: do a text search and see if it's defined anywhere. Another: he introduces quite early on diagram 2, which he fails to adequately explain. Maybe it means something to him, but to me it conveys very little. This is important, because he seems to use variants of the diagram subsequently in the book. He constantly assumes that he's making sense when in fact he's not, except perhaps to himself.

It seems to me that he has a chip on his shoulder and is projecting failure to appreciate his work onto others' stupidity rather than to his own obscurantism. When you write, you have to bear in mind the readers, and appreciate that you're not explicating merely for your own benefit, but purportedly trying to convey your concepts to them. It's the height of discourtesy to be obscure, and then to blame the reader for your own inadequacy.
Wasn't there a guy from Australia/Indonesia who used to troll the old forum and get repeatedly banned that sounded a lot like this guy? The one who was mentally ill and threatened suicide - but then said he wasn't really serious about that.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#53
Wasn't there a guy from Australia/Indonesia who used to troll the old forum and get repeatedly banned that sounded a lot like this guy? The one who was mentally ill and threatened suicide - but then said he wasn't really serious about that.
I think you may be on to something there, K9.

This says the author is a lawyer from Melbourne, Australia:
http://www.biblioscribe.com/press/p...al_Allen_Key_to_Unlock_Nature_Humankind.shtml

But if you google Marcus Morgan lawyer Melbourne, you find here a newspaper article (left column) where a lawyer named Marcus Morgan from Melbourne was an intruder on the roof of the British Prime Minister's residence in 1986 and caused a security clampdown! :eek:
 
#54
Don, I read your Penfield thread.
I'm familiar with Penfield and have no issue with his generalities, except for the obvious fact that a brain is not isolated from a body.
Do you realize a brain is directly connected to every part of anatomy by inputs and outputs?
And yet you say brain = mind?
Clearly that is an error. Neurons constitute minds, not merely "the brain".
Neurons represent the anatomy in which they are embedded!
Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, etc etc, including thoughts about those feelings, are represented in the neuronal experience.
Its obvious the brain is not isolated.
You getting "mind" mixed up with the finalization of neural signals in the brain for its occurrence, which does occur!
But finalization of signals to and from anatomy does not locate mind "in the brain".
It is located across an entire anatomy that is represented by finalization in the brain.
Were you not aware of that?
Your approach is far too simplistic and ignores general anatomy.
You need to read my book to understand my "point", not skim the first paragraph of it.
Hi Marcus. I am a physiology professor. Of course I know how it is all connected. Believe me, you wouldn't want to get into the level of detail I understand the topic. Or maybe you would. It's all good to me.

Anyway, Penfield's results are, to use his term "arresting". If someone cannot refute his findings, then, to state the matter tersely, they are a hack.

I am not sure how you interpret Penfield to somehow say the brain is isolated from the body. He was a neurosurgeon. Surely he understood the whole of anatomy and physiology. He had to - he operated on living people.

It is ironic that you make comments about the brain. A very large portion of what we know about it is due to Penfield's efforts, work and findings. If you referenced general statements about the brain, you would find that many of them would have to cite Penfield.

Why would you say neurons constitute the mind? Isn't that reductionist? In addition, it is incorrect. Neurons are only 1/10th of the brain cells. What about the glia? They don't play any role at all? Or the vasculature? Further, neurons are only 1 spatial-temporal level in the brain structure. There are perhaps half dozen to a dozen functional levels (depending on how one slices the pie), of which the neurons sit in the middle. As my one post makes plain, the anatomy is uber-complex. So much so that when materialists claim they can reduce the mind to this or that aspect of brain function and anatomy, they are simply ignorant of the task they have set before themselves.

You keep saying "finalization in the brain". That is not a technical term from the field. What do you mean?

Anyway, I sympathize with your desire to get a handle on things. That is why I wrote Experience. It explains that mere ideas in the mind will never allow you to get a handle on things. So, from this perspective, what we are doing is having pleasant conversation, and hopefully all mutually educating each other about things the other parties may be unaware.

Again, thank you for the stimulating conversation.

Best wishes,

Don
 
#55
Arguably someone can present a philosophical argument for why nature is arranged a certain way based on existing evidence in combination with metaphysics.

So I don't think a lack of equations necessarily invalidates a book? And there is something to be said for non-specialists being able to possibly provide fresh insight.

All that said, I am a bit wary of Morgan's in-text assertions that the Laws of Nature are definite and need no explanations themselves.
Yes, that is all true. Still, I am reading Hermann Weyl right now and that is predisposing me to my "equation" mindset. As I learn more about math and physics, I am naturally learning more about its strengths and limits. One of they key strengths is the ability to generalize all possible cases of a given thing. It provides a viewpoint so much more encompassing than considering only one instance of the thing. It really is an "elegant" way to express stuff. Words just seem so cluggy and inefficient in comparison.

The limit is that there are whole domains of experience for which math is inapplicable. But scientific issues is not one of those domains!

And yes, nonspecialists can do stunning things. Alex is an example of that, as are many people here on this board.

Nice to hear from you, Sir. Hope you are well.

Best,

Don
 
#56
Sciborg

I don't see what's shoddy or deceptive about the Churchlands here.
The interviewer pushed a line that NED's exist, and Churchland said tthey may exist for the interviewer.
That was a proper response.
She does not know if NDE's exist, but if one says they experience them, then "perhaps" they exist for that person.
I think the interview got off on the wrong foot by having a slightly antagonistic tone, which could be excuse as robust.
But interviewer pushed a specific line that they exist, which got a proper response.
The problem is this tendency these days to black & white pronouncements.
If anyone says they know NDE's exist in the mystical sense of access to an afterlife, then they need to explain it.
It's polarization.
People like to polarize, its easy, it groups into "us" and "them", the usual stuff to feel secure and engaged.
That's comforting for some, and very boring for others who prefer reasoning, not prejudice.
.
You seem to be missing the point of what happened. Churchland was claiming the brain makes consciousness. Alex was invoking NDEs as a counter-example. Churchland was unfamiliar with this evidence. Alex asked her how she could come to a blanket conclusion without being aware of all the evidence. As a professional scientist, I found Alex's position compelling. Personally, however, I think he should have nailed her with the qualia problem. Unlike NDEs, there is no debating the existence of qualia. And like NDEs, there is no brain explanation of qualia. This would have served to make the point equally well with a less controversial counter-example.
 
#59
I don't know if the bloke (Morgan) is a loony or a genius, I had a look at his book and I don't know what to say other than there is some kind of intellect there. I got annoyed about his naïve comments on NDE. He may also have a problem with writing coherent English but that is not unusual if he is some kind of mad genius but I don't think he is ( he probably isn't) .
 
#60
Dude smells like a sock puppet to me.

Not to say there isn't a Marcus Morgan out there, but I am not convinced the guy posting here is the [same] as the guy who wrote that book.
Well, i dont know about him being a sock puppet. He seemed to be sincere in stating what he did. But who am i to judge people on a internet forum, right? Cant see his face while hes posting here. Hes even living on another continent(if he wasnt lying at that point), i dont know how people from down under are thinking. I dont even know how they can actually live there with all those dangerous plants and animals. But thats offtopic.

His book seemed to me like that what your average materialist would be saying. I didnt read it though, just looked into it for a few secs.

I didn't say anything about NDEs being proof of the afterlife. I'd suggest minding your manners and being less prejudicial. ;-)
Why do you think the Laws of Nature are "self-consistent and were not created"?
You know Godel proved a logical system can be self-consistent but incomplete, or complete but not self-consistent, right? :eek:
Thats not exactly related to any of those posts, but i would be really interested on your take of afterlife or something similar to that(i mean like, both of you). Would be most grateful for a answer if you got the time for it(in that thread, private conversation, whatever). Always looking out for more opinions on that, especially here where i dont know what answer i have to expect. Propably should open a seperate thread for that somewhere, but i had bad experiences with that in some other forums.
 
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