Trasducing

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Glenn

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Aug 31, 2021, 8:25:06 AMAug 31
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"It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."

https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/

Martin Harran

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Sep 2, 2021, 5:15:06 AMSep 2
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On Tue, 31 Aug 2021 05:23:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
wrote:

>"It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."
>
>https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/

The original article [1] by Robert Epstein [2] is a very interesting
read. His transducer ideas are at this stage speculative, but he does
offer ideas that address things where purely materialistic approaches
to consciousness have failed miserably, what David Chalmers famously
labelled "the hard problem".


[1]
https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/your-brain-is-not-a-computer-it-is-a-transducer


[2] Robert Epstein is senior research psychologist at the American
Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California. He
holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University and is the former
editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He's authored 15 books
and more than 300 articles on various topics in the behavioral
sciences.

Zen Cycle

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Sep 2, 2021, 10:15:06 AMSep 2
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the analogy fails in that a transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. Better analogies would be a how a microphone or imaging device turns light or sound into electrical energy. Eyes and ears convert light and sound into electrical impulses which are then processed by the brain, in the same way that a computer can be used to process the electrical signals from microphones or imaging devices. This excludes the brain from the 'transducer' category.

IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion. It's a discussion of the nature of consciousness. IMO trying to use a 'transducer' label is at best obfuscatroy.

Glenn

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Sep 2, 2021, 11:35:06 AMSep 2
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Your education was wasted on you.

Martin Harran

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Sep 2, 2021, 1:05:06 PMSep 2
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On Thu, 2 Sep 2021 07:13:59 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
<funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 5:15:06 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
>> On Tue, 31 Aug 2021 05:23:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
>> wrote:
>> >"It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."
>> >
>> >https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/
>> The original article [1] by Robert Epstein [2] is a very interesting
>> read. His transducer ideas are at this stage speculative, but he does
>> offer ideas that address things where purely materialistic approaches
>> to consciousness have failed miserably, what David Chalmers famously
>> labelled "the hard problem".
>>
>>
>> [1]
>> https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/your-brain-is-not-a-computer-it-is-a-transducer
>>
>>
>> [2] Robert Epstein is senior research psychologist at the American
>> Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California. He
>> holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University and is the former
>> editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He's authored 15 books
>> and more than 300 articles on various topics in the behavioral
>> sciences.
>
>the analogy fails in that a transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. Better analogies would be a how a microphone or imaging device turns light or sound into electrical energy. Eyes and ears convert light and sound into electrical impulses which are then processed by the brain, in the same way that a computer can be used to process the electrical signals from microphones or imaging devices. This excludes the brain from the 'transducer' category.

I don't quite follow your logic there, at best it seems like a severe
bout of pedantry.

>
>IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion.

That sounds rather like a reluctant admission that despite a lot of
effort, science has produced nothing of value here.

Zen Cycle

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Sep 2, 2021, 2:20:06 PMSep 2
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Breathable air is wasted on you

Zen Cycle

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Sep 2, 2021, 2:50:06 PMSep 2
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On Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 1:05:06 PM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Sep 2021 07:13:59 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
> <funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >On Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 5:15:06 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> >> On Tue, 31 Aug 2021 05:23:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >"It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."
> >> >
> >> >https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/
> >> The original article [1] by Robert Epstein [2] is a very interesting
> >> read. His transducer ideas are at this stage speculative, but he does
> >> offer ideas that address things where purely materialistic approaches
> >> to consciousness have failed miserably, what David Chalmers famously
> >> labelled "the hard problem".
> >>
> >>
> >> [1]
> >> https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/your-brain-is-not-a-computer-it-is-a-transducer
> >>
> >>
> >> [2] Robert Epstein is senior research psychologist at the American
> >> Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California. He
> >> holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University and is the former
> >> editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He's authored 15 books
> >> and more than 300 articles on various topics in the behavioral
> >> sciences.
> >
> >the analogy fails in that a transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. Better analogies would be a how a microphone or imaging device turns light or sound into electrical energy. Eyes and ears convert light and sound into electrical impulses which are then processed by the brain, in the same way that a computer can be used to process the electrical signals from microphones or imaging devices. This excludes the brain from the 'transducer' category.
> I don't quite follow your logic there, at best it seems like a severe
> bout of pedantry.

Hardly pedantic. Transduction is a very basic concept. It's the conversion of one form of energy into another. The analogy was made in the OP :
"A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."

The first half of that is correct. The second half is the leap. The transduction performed by the eye is the conversion of light into electrical impulses. It is these electrical impulses that the brain processes and becomes vision. The brain processes information. Attempting to call processing 'transduction' is a gross oversimplifiction of the how the brain turns electrical impulses from our sensory organs into impressions, emotions, and reactions. He's trying to reduce consciousness and personality into a simple possibly quantifiable conversion process. I would think you and glenn of all people would take severe issue with that.

> >IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion.

> That sounds rather like a reluctant admission that despite a lot of
> effort, science has produced nothing of value here.

That's quite a leap, first off, science has in fact produced a great deal of value into researching the nature of consciousness and personality. There is an entire branch of science dedicated to it that you very cleverly listed in your first response. You might want to stick to theological discussions.


Glenn

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Sep 2, 2021, 3:05:06 PMSep 2
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On Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 10:05:06 AM UTC-7, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Sep 2021 07:13:59 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
> <funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >On Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 5:15:06 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> >> On Tue, 31 Aug 2021 05:23:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
> >> wrote:
> >> >"It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."
> >> >
> >> >https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/
> >> The original article [1] by Robert Epstein [2] is a very interesting
> >> read. His transducer ideas are at this stage speculative, but he does
> >> offer ideas that address things where purely materialistic approaches
> >> to consciousness have failed miserably, what David Chalmers famously
> >> labelled "the hard problem".
> >>
> >>
> >> [1]
> >> https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/your-brain-is-not-a-computer-it-is-a-transducer
> >>
> >>
> >> [2] Robert Epstein is senior research psychologist at the American
> >> Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California. He
> >> holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University and is the former
> >> editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He's authored 15 books
> >> and more than 300 articles on various topics in the behavioral
> >> sciences.
> >
> >the analogy fails in that a transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. Better analogies would be a how a microphone or imaging device turns light or sound into electrical energy. Eyes and ears convert light and sound into electrical impulses which are then processed by the brain, in the same way that a computer can be used to process the electrical signals from microphones or imaging devices. This excludes the brain from the 'transducer' category.
> I don't quite follow your logic there, at best it seems like a severe
> bout of pedantry.

There is no logic there, nor is it pedantic.
> >
> >IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion.
> That sounds rather like a reluctant admission that despite a lot of
> effort, science has produced nothing of value here.

Sarcasm won't help you.

> >It's a discussion of the nature of consciousness. IMO trying to use a 'transducer' label is at best obfuscatroy.

He didn't even bother reading the original article.

Martin Harran

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Sep 2, 2021, 5:25:06 PMSep 2
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On Thu, 2 Sep 2021 12:04:03 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
Where's the sarcasm?

Martin Harran

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Sep 2, 2021, 5:25:06 PMSep 2
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On Thu, 2 Sep 2021 11:44:39 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
It's pedantic because the microphone starts the process.

>
>The first half of that is correct. The second half is the leap. The transduction performed by the eye is the conversion of light into electrical impulses. It is these electrical impulses that the brain processes and becomes vision. The brain processes information. Attempting to call processing 'transduction' is a gross oversimplifiction of the how the brain turns electrical impulses from our sensory organs into impressions, emotions, and reactions. He's trying to reduce consciousness and personality into a simple possibly quantifiable conversion process. I would think you and glenn of all people would take severe issue with that.
>

Why on earth do you think I would have a problem with that?

>> >IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion.
>
>> That sounds rather like a reluctant admission that despite a lot of
>> effort, science has produced nothing of value here.
>
>That's quite a leap, first off, science has in fact produced a great deal of value into researching the nature of consciousness and personality.

It has nothing to offer in as to how "electrical impulses from our
sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions" -
your statement that I was responding to.

> There is an entire branch of science dedicated to it that you very cleverly listed in your first response. You might want to stick to theological discussions.
>

You might want to learn to not make assumptions about people who
happen to disagree with you on some point or other.

Zen Cycle

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Sep 3, 2021, 6:00:06 AMSep 3
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This might help:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedantic

> >
> >The first half of that is correct. The second half is the leap. The transduction performed by the eye is the conversion of light into electrical impulses. It is these electrical impulses that the brain processes and becomes vision. The brain processes information. Attempting to call processing 'transduction' is a gross oversimplifiction of the how the brain turns electrical impulses from our sensory organs into impressions, emotions, and reactions. He's trying to reduce consciousness and personality into a simple possibly quantifiable conversion process. I would think you and glenn of all people would take severe issue with that.
> >
> Why on earth do you think I would have a problem with that?

Because you wrote "despite a lot of effort, science has produced nothing of value here." which doesn't have even the smallest grain of truth.

> >> >IMO any discussion of the brain as a transduction device where the electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions is more of a philosophical or metaphysical discussion.
> >
> >> That sounds rather like a reluctant admission that despite a lot of
> >> effort, science has produced nothing of value here.
> >
> >That's quite a leap, first off, science has in fact produced a great deal of value into researching the nature of consciousness and personality.
> It has nothing to offer in as to how "electrical impulses from our
> sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions" -
> your statement that I was responding to.
> > There is an entire branch of science dedicated to it that you very cleverly listed in your first response. You might want to stick to theological discussions.
> >
> You might want to learn to not make assumptions about people who
> happen to disagree with you on some point or other.

In this thread you've written two demonstrably false statements:

"despite a lot of effort, science has produced nothing of value here."

and

"It's pedantic because the microphone starts the process." - which is nowhere close to an example of pedantry _and_ shows you don't understand the flaw in the analogies presented in the OP (but hey, what do you expect from the discovery institute).

I'm not making an assumption. I've seen your posts on theological issues and even though there are those here that disagree with your positions you usually offer lucid discussion. In this case however, it's pretty clear you aren't getting the point.

FWIW, I didn't bother with the Mind Matters article because it's from the discovery institute which means by definition they're getting it wrong, but I did read the Discover article. And yes, Epstein is very clearly forging full steam into the area of metaphysics.

Burkhard

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Sep 3, 2021, 7:30:07 AMSep 3
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But wasn't that simply echoing the point you had made? It followed the
sentence where you said that this was a philosophical or metaphysical
issue, not one of science.

So I thought you are in violent agreement there

Zen Cycle

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Sep 3, 2021, 9:50:06 AMSep 3
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No, I wrote that epsteins work was on transduction was in the realm of metaphysics. Martin was making a much more broad statement about scientific research into consciousness in general.

Burkhard

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Sep 3, 2021, 10:10:06 AMSep 3
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Possibly, though I saw his "here" as referring to the paper that you
yourself had criticized on these grounds - and after all his initial
take on its scientific merits seem to have been more positive than
yours, so reading this as a criticism of scientific progress in general
would be rather inconsistent.

Martin Harran

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Sep 3, 2021, 10:15:06 AMSep 3
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On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 06:46:21 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
I did NOT make any "much more broad statement about scientific
research into consciousness in general". In my OP, I made a comment
specifically relating to qualia with a reference to David Chalmers'
"hard problem". In reply to your post, I made a targeted statement in
regard to your comment about how "electrical impulses from our
sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions".
I pointed that out to you in my last post but you have chosen to
ignore it. Trying to move the goalposts by misrepresenting what I said
or handwaving about theology doesn't cut it. You need to show actual
examples of how science has come up with an explanation for how we
experience qualia or else accept that what I said was fully justified.

Mark Isaak

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Sep 3, 2021, 1:20:06 PMSep 3
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Consciousness is not a form of energy. To speak of transduction of
thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors. The exercise is more likely
to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred
to the presence of those who think they've found it." - Terry Pratchett

Mark Isaak

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Sep 3, 2021, 1:30:06 PMSep 3
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On 9/3/21 7:13 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
> [...] You need to show actual
> examples of how science has come up with an explanation for how we
> experience qualia . . .

In an important sense, we don't experience qualia. Rather, qualia
create the experience of "we". The "we" is the endpoint; to put it into
one's theories before it is fully explained is to assume one's conclusion.
Message has been deleted

Zen Cycle

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Sep 3, 2021, 2:55:06 PMSep 3
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After rereading the thread, then this message and Burkhards comments, I understand the disconnect. The point I was trying to make is the statement from the discovery institute page of "A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision" is a bad analogy based on the basic definition of a transducer. If one qualifies a microphone as transducer of sound energy to electrical energy, the correct analogy would be that the eye converts light to electrical energy (via synapse) - not vision.

I did miss your comment "It has nothing to offer in as to how electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions". I blame typing before my coffee has cooled enough to drink. Still, I still don't agree with that statement, or even the (now what I understand to be) more narrow context of "science has produced nothing of value here".

There are thousands of research projects into characterizing emotion and consciousness without reaching into metaphysics. Christof Koch and Francis Crick (yes, _that_ Crick) worked 30 years ago in the field of neural correlates of consciousness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness). While Chalmers may opine that such research can't answer his 'hard problem', for you to claim "science has produced nothing of value here" even within the more narrowed context is at best hyperbolic. Bringing this back around to Epstein, the attempt to explain the transition of states of consciousness via Transduction is a misappropriation of the term and concept. To your point "science has produced nothing of value here", even Epstein refers to specific scientific research on the claustrum in his article.*

Who knows, I could be wrong and the concept of transduction may turn out to be widely accepted in the field of consciousness, but for me, Epsteins theory is still firmly panted in the realm of metaphysics, not hard science.

* The Discover article refers to "The claustrum coordinates cortical slow-wave activity" (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-0625-7) - ironically coming full circle back to Koch and Crick, who published "What is the function of the claustrum? (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1569501/) in 2005. Francis Crick was making edits to the second draft of the paper when he died. Koch is still very much with us, and has published over 300 papers and books on consciousness and neuroscience.

Glenn

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Sep 3, 2021, 6:35:07 PMSep 3
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On Friday, September 3, 2021 at 10:30:06 AM UTC-7, Mark Isaak wrote:
> On 9/3/21 7:13 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
> > [...] You need to show actual
> > examples of how science has come up with an explanation for how we
> > experience qualia . . .
>
> In an important sense, we don't experience qualia. Rather, qualia
> create the experience of "we". The "we" is the endpoint; to put it into
> one's theories before it is fully explained is to assume one's conclusion.
> --
Why is your sense of qualia important? Do apples have different qualia for different people?

Glenn

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Sep 3, 2021, 7:00:06 PMSep 3
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Consciousness is a force. Consciousness directs action. That is undeniable. The metaphors are fair and obvious. Energy is a property that is transferred to a system to do work. You think it comes from the physical brain. Others think it is property of the Universe, transferred to living things to do work.

If consciousness is a property of the Universe,

Max Tegmark says he believes consciousness is a state of matter.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/physicists-say-consciousness-might-be-a-state-of-matter/

The atheist activist "Mark Isaak" might not agree, but many well known professionals have
made similar statements as Tegmark.

"They have turned to the alternative view that it is actually a fundamental quality of the Universe."

http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/psychology/consciousness-fundamental-quality-universe-07291.html

For those few that are truly interested and not dogmatic, an interesting piece:

"But perhaps consciousness is not uniquely troublesome. Going back to Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, philosophers of science have struggled with a lesser known, but equally hard, problem of matter. What is physical matter in and of itself, behind the mathematical structure described by physics? This problem, too, seems to lie beyond the traditional methods of science, because all we can observe is what matter does, not what it is in itself—the “software” of the universe but not its ultimate “hardware.” On the surface, these problems seem entirely separate. But a closer look reveals that they might be deeply connected."

https://nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/is-matter-conscious

Martin Harran

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Sep 4, 2021, 3:10:07 AMSep 4
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On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 11:52:11 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
You said earlier that you didn't bother with the Mind Matters article
because it's from the discovery institute which means by definition
they're getting it wrong [a sentiment I agree with, which is why I
went to the original article], but you did read the Discover article;
now you say you were referring to the Mind Matters article. If you'll
forgive the pun, I wish you'd make your mind up.


>>of "A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision" is a bad analogy based on the basic definition of a transducer. If one qualifies a microphone as transducer of sound energy to electrical energy, the correct analogy would be that the eye converts light to electrical energy (via synapse) - not vision.
>
>I did miss your comment "It has nothing to offer in as to how electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions, and reactions". I blame typing before my coffee has cooled enough to drink.

I take that as a begrudging admission that you were wrong in the
attack you made on me. It would have been nicer if you had taken me
out of the bucket you put me into with Glenn but apparently that would
be too much to hope for.


>Still, I still don't agree with that statement, or even the (now what I understand to be) more narrow context of "science has produced nothing of value here".
>
>There are thousands of research projects into characterizing emotion and consciousness without reaching into metaphysics. Christof Koch and Francis Crick (yes, _that_ Crick) worked 30 years ago in the field of neural correlates of consciousness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness). While Chalmers may opine that such research can't answer his 'hard problem', for you to claim "science has produced nothing of value here" even within the more narrowed context is at best hyperbolic.

Yet you cannot give a single example of how any of that research
explains qualia.

> Bringing this back around to Epstein, the attempt to explain the transition of states of consciousness via Transduction is a misappropriation of the term and concept. To your point "science has produced nothing of value here", even Epstein refers to specific scientific research on the claustrum in his article.*
>
>Who knows, I could be wrong and the concept of transduction may turn out to be widely accepted in the field of consciousness, but for me, Epsteins theory is still firmly panted in the realm of metaphysics, not hard science.

Epstein recognises that science is currently making little or no real
progress in regard to qualia so he is suggesting going back to first
principles to see if we can identify different paths that science
might fruitfully research and find explanations. You tried to make out
that I was rejecting work on this for theological reasons. The exact
opposite applies - I thoroughly welcome the exploration of new ideas
and approaches. You are the one who seems hung up on theology and
afraid to open the door to any research that might in any way give
even a hint of support for any form of dualism; I regard that sort of
attitude as far more harmful to scientific progress than either
Creationism or ID.

Martin Harran

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Sep 4, 2021, 3:10:07 AMSep 4
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On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 10:25:11 -0700, Mark Isaak
<eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:

>On 9/3/21 7:13 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
>> [...] You need to show actual
>> examples of how science has come up with an explanation for how we
>> experience qualia . . .
>
>In an important sense, we don't experience qualia. Rather, qualia
>create the experience of "we". The "we" is the endpoint; to put it into
>one's theories before it is fully explained is to assume one's conclusion.

Sounds like a bit of philosophical navel gazing - certainly no science
involved.

Martin Harran

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Sep 4, 2021, 3:15:06 AMSep 4
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On what basis do you state that?

>To speak of transduction of
>thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors.

All metaphors have limitations. It seems to me that those who attack
weaknesses in them generally do so in the absence of being able to
attack the underlying ideas that the metaphors are used to explain.

>The exercise is more likely
>to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.

In what way *hinder* research?

broger...@gmail.com

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Sep 4, 2021, 6:15:06 AMSep 4
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On Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 3:10:07 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 11:52:11 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
> <funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
<snip a lot>
> >There are thousands of research projects into characterizing emotion and consciousness without reaching into metaphysics. Christof Koch and Francis Crick (yes, _that_ Crick) worked 30 years ago in the field of neural correlates of consciousness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness). While Chalmers may opine that such research can't answer his 'hard problem', for you to claim "science has produced nothing of value here" even within the more narrowed context is at best hyperbolic.
> Yet you cannot give a single example of how any of that research
> explains qualia.

Personally, I think that explaining qualia or answering the "hard problem" of consciousness, is sort of like explaining "life." Nowadays, vitalism is not really much of a thing any more and most people are content to describe life by describing the physical and biochemical things that happen in living things. Not many people say - "That's all great, but it doesn't explain life itself." As more of the "easy" problems of consciousness get solved, ie the mechanistic, behavioral ones, I think questions about "how qualia are produced" or the "hard question" itself will just gradually wither away. A brain looks different from the inside than from the outside in the same way that a cone looks different when viewed from above than when viewed from the side.
<snip a lot>

Martin Harran

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Sep 4, 2021, 10:20:06 AMSep 4
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On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 03:10:34 -0700 (PDT), "broger...@gmail.com"
<broger...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 3:10:07 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
>> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 11:52:11 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
>> <funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
><snip a lot>
>> >There are thousands of research projects into characterizing emotion and consciousness without reaching into metaphysics. Christof Koch and Francis Crick (yes, _that_ Crick) worked 30 years ago in the field of neural correlates of consciousness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness). While Chalmers may opine that such research can't answer his 'hard problem', for you to claim "science has produced nothing of value here" even within the more narrowed context is at best hyperbolic.
>> Yet you cannot give a single example of how any of that research
>> explains qualia.
>
>Personally, I think that explaining qualia or answering the "hard problem" of consciousness, is sort of like explaining "life."

I don't think that it is a useful comparison. We might not have a
generally accepted definition of "life" but there seems to be pretty
general agreement on *what* is alive and what isn't; if I understand
it correctly, the only real area of disagreement is whether or not
viruses count as lifeforms. The opposite applies with consciousness.
There seems to be a general acceptance that other primates have some
level of consciousness but widespread disagreement as to whether other
animals have consciousness, let alone fish and plants or even
inanimate objects as increasing numbers of researchers seem to be
considering. I also think the whole question of consciousness is very
pertinent in regard to the ongoing developments in artificial
intelligence.


>Nowadays, vitalism is not really much of a thing any more and most people are content to describe life by describing the physical and biochemical things that happen in living things. Not many people say - "That's all great, but it doesn't explain life itself."

I'm not sure about your "most" and "not many"; I certainly am
fascinated by the question of just what life really is and I don't
think I am part of a small minority. There also is still a lot of
scientific work going on - it seems a contradiction to be
investigating abiogenesis without some reference point as to what life
is.


>As more of the "easy" problems of consciousness get solved, ie the mechanistic, behavioral ones, I think questions about "how qualia are produced" or the "hard question" itself will just gradually wither away.

I somehow doubt that. However we define consciousness, I think we can
agree that insatiable curiosity abut what things are and how they work
is a major feature of human consciousness.

jillery

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Sep 4, 2021, 11:25:06 AMSep 4
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Pedantically, metaphors are not explanations in themselves. Instead
they are illustrations within an explanation. As such, metaphors can
illustrate explanations well, poorly, or even contrarily aka
"muddled", especially in cases where metaphors sneak in unstated
assumptions, whether intentionally or not, ex. design.

In the case of consciousness, it is a process of life, but is not
itself a form of energy, any more than is life. To use another
metaphor, consciousness and life are like fire, in that all are
exothermic chemical processes. IOW they are the processes that
transduce (note the spelling) chemical energy to heat energy.

And to illustrate the limitations of metaphors, my metaphors above do
not imply people spontaneously combust, nor that fire has jerky knees.

--
You're entitled to your own opinions.
You're not entitled to your own facts.

broger...@gmail.com

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Sep 4, 2021, 12:15:06 PMSep 4
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There's no scientific investigation about what life is. There's no answer to the question possible. All we can do is decide what things we want to call alive and why we want to call them that. We can investigate them to our heart's content and describe all of their properties and behaviors in detail and still the question of whether they are alive or not is just a question about how we want to use the word "life."

> >As more of the "easy" problems of consciousness get solved, ie the mechanistic, behavioral ones, I think questions about "how qualia are produced" or the "hard question" itself will just gradually wither away.
> I somehow doubt that. However we define consciousness, I think we can
> agree that insatiable curiosity abut what things are and how they work
> is a major feature of human consciousness.

Sure, there are tons of things to be insatiably curious about as to how the brain works. I don't deny that there will always be questions about how conscious operates. But I think that the "hard question" will just cease to seem so interesting, as more and more is understood about how the brain does its thing. There may certainly remain people who ask about something (an animal or a robot) "But is it really conscious?" who will persist in thinking that they are asking something deep about the world, whether than thinking about how they want to use a word.

Mark Isaak

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Sep 4, 2021, 12:30:06 PMSep 4
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Oddly, that is what I thought of the brain-as-transducer idea you posted.

Consciousness is a hard problem for at least two reasons. First,
because "consciousness" is very poorly defined, and second because it is
so familiar that calling it "familiar" is an understatement. The
metaphor of a fish trying to understand water might be helpful, but even
that understates the case. Consciousness is not a piece that can be
examined in a fMRI; it is what we are when we are trying to understand
consciousness.

You are correct that what I wrote is not science. The science is being
done by people experimenting with illusions, drug effects, induced
out-of-body experiences, brain damage case studies, and much more. But
I think some philosophy is necessary to avoid (or at least reduce) the
all-too-common mistake of thinking, "this is part of the body where
consciousness lies."

Glenn

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Sep 4, 2021, 12:55:06 PMSep 4
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On Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 5:25:06 AM UTC-7, Glenn wrote:
> "It is the theory that the brain is a type of transducer, that is, a device or an organ that converts one signal to another signal, commonly from one medium to another. A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision."
>
> https://mindmatters.ai/2021/08/a-neuroscience-theory-that-actually-helps-explain-the-brain/


"Electromagnetic energy in the brain enables brain matter to create our consciousness and our ability to be aware and think, according to a new theory developed by Professor Johnjoe McFadden from the University of Surrey.
Publishing his theory in the eminent Oxford University Press journal Neuroscience of Consciousness, Professor McFadden posits that consciousness is in fact the brain’s energy field."

https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/new-theory-suggests-consciousness-is-the-brains-energy-field-341866

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnjoe_McFadden

Mark Isaak

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Sep 4, 2021, 1:15:06 PMSep 4
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Knowing what energy is. Energy is involved in consciousness, of course,
but energy is involved in practically everything. If you regard
consciousness as a form of energy, then you would also need to consider
a pinball game, a lunar eclipse, and the formation of a stalactite as
separate forms of energy.

>> To speak of transduction of
>> thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors.
>
> All metaphors have limitations. It seems to me that those who attack
> weaknesses in them generally do so in the absence of being able to
> attack the underlying ideas that the metaphors are used to explain.

If the listener does not understand the underlying ideas (which, I
grant, I do not), then the metaphor failed in its intent.

>> The exercise is more likely
>> to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.
>
> In what way *hinder* research?

Leading to dead ends.

Glenn

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Sep 4, 2021, 1:25:06 PMSep 4
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Information scares you, doesn't it.

> >> To speak of transduction of
> >> thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors.
> >
> > All metaphors have limitations. It seems to me that those who attack
> > weaknesses in them generally do so in the absence of being able to
> > attack the underlying ideas that the metaphors are used to explain.
> If the listener does not understand the underlying ideas (which, I
> grant, I do not), then the metaphor failed in its intent.
> >> The exercise is more likely
> >> to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.
> >
> > In what way *hinder* research?
> Leading to dead ends.
> --

Martin Harran

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Sep 5, 2021, 4:25:07 AMSep 5
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On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 09:29:07 -0700, Mark Isaak
<eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:

>On 9/4/21 12:07 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
>> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 10:25:11 -0700, Mark Isaak
>> <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
>>
>>> On 9/3/21 7:13 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
>>>> [...] You need to show actual
>>>> examples of how science has come up with an explanation for how we
>>>> experience qualia . . .
>>>
>>> In an important sense, we don't experience qualia. Rather, qualia
>>> create the experience of "we". The "we" is the endpoint; to put it into
>>> one's theories before it is fully explained is to assume one's conclusion.
>>
>> Sounds like a bit of philosophical navel gazing - certainly no science
>> involved.
>
>Oddly, that is what I thought of the brain-as-transducer idea you posted.

That's not the way it came across to me. It sounded more like "OK,
guys, what we're doing isn't working, let's try this approach and see
if it gets us somewhere." A perfectly rational and reasonable
suggestion.

Martin Harran

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Sep 5, 2021, 4:30:06 AMSep 5
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On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 10:13:20 -0700, Mark Isaak
We may know what energy is, though I'm not sure that we understand it
completely. We don't know what consciousness is so I don't see how we
can say that it is or isn't energy.

>Energy is involved in consciousness, of course,
>but energy is involved in practically everything. If you regard
>consciousness as a form of energy, then you would also need to consider
>a pinball game, a lunar eclipse, and the formation of a stalactite as
>separate forms of energy.
>
>>> To speak of transduction of
>>> thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors.
>>
>> All metaphors have limitations. It seems to me that those who attack
>> weaknesses in them generally do so in the absence of being able to
>> attack the underlying ideas that the metaphors are used to explain.
>
>If the listener does not understand the underlying ideas (which, I
>grant, I do not), then the metaphor failed in its intent.
>
>>> The exercise is more likely
>>> to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.
>>
>> In what way *hinder* research?
>
>Leading to dead ends.

Why are you worried about dead ends? It seems to me that dead ends are
part and parcel of research; I doubt if there was ever any significant
scientific discovery that wasn't preceded by a whole series of dead
ends.

Martin Harran

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Sep 5, 2021, 5:10:07 AMSep 5
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On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 09:14:35 -0700 (PDT), "broger...@gmail.com"
I read a book a few years ago, it may have been 'The Shallows: How the
Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember' by Nicolas
Carr but I don't have a copy to hand to check it. In the book, the
author bemoans the modern trend where the Internet puts us into a
particular bubble and focuses on providing us with ever more
information that is really only reinforcement of what we already know
or think. He compares this to the early days of the Internet and
search engines where users came upon all sorts of unexpected material.
He described it as something along the lines of olden days when
intrepid explorers wandered the world and gathered in inns to discuss
the wonders they had seen and the monsters they had wrestled. He
worried in particular about the loss of serendipity.

Okay, maybe a bit on the hyperbolic side but a lot of truth in it at
the same time. I think the same principle applies to science. Slow,
painstaking progress, building incrementally on what we already know,
is the backbone of science but science also needs a bit of blue sky
exploration, people who are not afraid to go where nobody has gone
before. It seems to me that alternative approaches to investigating
consciousness are something of a forbidden land in the eyes of many
scientists; I get the impression that that is fired primarily by an
intense fear of opening the door to dualism. In my mind, that is
philosophy being allowed to dictate to science what can and can't be
studied.

broger...@gmail.com

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Sep 5, 2021, 6:10:07 AMSep 5
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I think you have to be more specific about what alternative approaches neuroscientists are intensely fearful of. I generally don't think that scientists are afraid of dualism because dualism is hardly more of a thriving concern than YEC. And if you can suggest an approach to neuroscience based on dualism, you'll have to overcome the problem of how all those material scientific instruments can ever interact with non-material stuff and how the non-material stuff can ever interact with the brain.

So, I guess the short form of the question is "What experiment is it that you think neuroscientists are too terrified to try because it would open the door to dualism?"

Zen Cycle

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Sep 5, 2021, 9:50:06 AMSep 5
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On Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 3:10:07 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 11:52:11 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
> <funkma...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> >After rereading the thread, then this message and Burkhards comments, I understand the disconnect. The point I was trying to make is the statement from the discovery institute page
> You said earlier that you didn't bother with the Mind Matters article
> because it's from the discovery institute which means by definition
> they're getting it wrong [a sentiment I agree with, which is why I
> went to the original article], but you did read the Discover article;
> now you say you were referring to the Mind Matters article. If you'll
> forgive the pun, I wish you'd make your mind up.

Try thinking for a change, Martin. I didn't read need to the Mind Matters article. The reference was posted in the OP.

Just to help you out since it seems as if _you_ haven't had your coffee, Glenn listed the following quote:

"A microphone, for example, is a transducer that converts sound waves to electrical current. Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision"

My response to that was:

"the analogy fails in that a transducer is a device that converts one form of energy into another. Better analogies would be a how a microphone or imaging device turns light or sound into electrical energy. Eyes and ears convert light and sound into electrical impulses which are then processed by the brain, in the same way that a computer can be used to process the electrical signals from microphones or imaging devices. This excludes the brain from the 'transducer' category. "

I read the Discover article and found that Epstein made no such analogies. Epstein referred to a microphone as _part_ of the entire process of how his voice makes it to someone's radio, and very specifically notes the correct usage of transduction, even with his statement:

" Our sense organs — eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin —transduce distinctive properties of electromagnetic radiation, air pressure waves, airborne chemicals, liquid-borne chemicals, textures, pressure, and temperature into distinctive patterns of electrical and chemical activity in the brain."

He then goes on the parse it further, epstein writes:

"If you never teach that scientist about transduction, he or she might never unravel the mysteries of that phone."

Because transduction is _part_ of the process, not _the_ process. So the mind matters article quote of "Your eye is a transducer that converts light to vision" is a bad analogy based on the basic definition of a transducer. It's another example of how the discovery institute gets things wrong.

> > I did miss your comment "It has nothing to offer in as to how electrical impulses from our sensory organs are turned into impressions, emotions,
> > and reactions". I blame typing before my coffee has cooled enough to drink.
>
> I take that as a begrudging admission that you were wrong in the
> attack you made on me.

First off, your first response to me was to accuse me of pedantry*. My response of 'stick to theology' was because your very clearly don't see the bad analogy in the mind matters article. Secondly, it was an admission that I inadvertently missed a comment you made since you accused me of deliberately ignoring it. If you recall, I also wrote that I disagree with it.

> It would have been nicer if you had taken me
> out of the bucket you put me into with Glenn but apparently that would
> be too much to hope for.

If it makes you feel any better, I don't put you in, or any where near the bucket with Glenn. With very few exceptions, most of the posters in this forum have agreed with one or more positions held by others that they usually disagree with. Peter, Freon Bob, and Glenn have all made statements I agree with. That doesn't put me in the same bucket as them.

> >
> >There are thousands of research projects into characterizing emotion and consciousness without reaching into metaphysics. Christof Koch and
> >Francis Crick (yes, _that_ Crick) worked 30 years ago in the field of neural correlates of consciousness
> >(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness). While Chalmers may opine that
> >such research can't answer his 'hard problem', for you to claim "science has produced nothing of value here" even
> > within the more narrowed context is at best hyperbolic.
>
> Yet you cannot give a single example of how any of that research
> explains qualia.

And this is why I said you should stick to theology. Here's an analogy that might help: Spooky Entanglement had been theorized for decades. For most of that time, quantum physicists weren't even sure how it could be tested. Electron Spin turned out to be the key. When Electron spin was discovered, it wasn't done in the context of Spooky Entanglement. It was an "aha" moment that some researchers had when they observed spin correlations at a distance.

This brings us to Neural Correlates of Consciousness. Since you're making it more obvious that your mother used to do your homework for you, here's just one research paper (that conveniently references Crick and Koch):

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18701321/
from the abstract:
"Neuroimaging confirms major activations in regions of the basal brain during primordial emotions in humans. The behaviour of decorticate humans and animals is discussed in relation to the possible existence of primitive awareness."......"There is contemporaneous rapid disappearance of particular regions of brain activation which suggests they may be part of the jointly sufficient and severally necessary activations and deactivations which correlate with consciousness "

Hmmmm, research into the physics of the brain in the context of explaining awareness and consciousness? Ya think that just _might_ have applications in helping to understand how humans interpret their environment? .....nah.

That's just one of the thousands of research papers and books written by people approaching the idea from hard science. Koch has written or co-authored over 300 papers and books himself.

> > Bringing this back around to Epstein, the attempt to explain the transition of states of consciousness via Transduction is a
> > misappropriation of the term and concept. To your point "science has produced nothing of value here", even Epstein refers to specific
> > scientific research on the claustrum in his article.*
> >
> > Who knows, I could be wrong and the concept of transduction may turn out to be widely accepted in the field of consciousness,
> > but for me, Epsteins theory is still firmly panted in the realm of metaphysics, not hard science.
>
> Epstein recognises that science is currently making little or no real
> progress in regard to qualia

I think he's being dismissive. He make several dubious claims in that article, such as "the brain is not a storage device": He writes:

"piano virtuoso and conductor Daniel Barenboim memorized all thirty-two of Beethoven’s sonatas by the time he was 17, and he has since memorized hundreds of other major piano works, as well as dozens of entire symphony scores — tens of millions of notes and symbols."

followed by:

"Do you think all this content is somehow stored in Barenboim’s ever-changing, ever-shrinking, ever-decaying brain? Sorry, but if you study his brain for a hundred years, you will never find a single note, a single musical score, a single instruction for how to move his fingers — not even a “representation” of any of those things. The brain is simply not a storage device. It is an extraordinary entity for sure, but not because it stores or processes information. "

To state someone has memorized a vast amount of information , then write that the brain is not a staorage device seems to me to be a pretty serious congitive disconnect. Then he goes on to write several paragraphs denigrating hard scientific research in paranormal activity.

Wait, So the brain doesn't store or process information - it 'transduces' from some other unknown medium, but these scientists doing research into telepathy are quacks. Sure.

> so he is suggesting going back to first
> principles to see if we can identify different paths that science
> might fruitfully research and find explanations. You tried to make out
> that I was rejecting work on this for theological reasons.

No, I suggested that someone with such a hard bent towards the supernatural (your belief in god) usually has a hard time with someone that says things like consciousness and humanity can be characterized by the scientific process. (the fact that epstein seems to be talking out both sides of his mouth at one not withstanding)

> The exact
> opposite applies - I thoroughly welcome the exploration of new ideas
> and approaches. You are the one who seems hung up on theology and
> afraid to open the door to any research that might in any way give
> even a hint of support for any form of dualism;

Not at all. My hang-up is with how epstein seems dismissive of the vast amount of hard science being done in the field of consciousness, then very vociferously denigrates hard science into para-normality, then suggest the brain does not store of process information but simply channels ('transduces') from the ether. Yet to you, this is not a hard turn into pure metaphysics.

> I regard that sort of
> attitude as far more harmful to scientific progress than either
> Creationism or ID.
> >

* From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedantic:
"Pedantic is an insulting word used to describe someone who annoys others by correcting small errors, caring too much about minor details, or emphasizing their own expertise especially in some narrow or boring subject matter."
"A pedantic person may do lots of annoying things, such as point out minor errors, correct people who make small mistakes, and brag about their own knowledge and expertise."

Zen Cycle

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Sep 5, 2021, 10:15:06 AMSep 5
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On Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 6:10:07 AM UTC-4, broger...@gmail.com wrote:

> I think you have to be more specific about what alternative approaches neuroscientists are intensely fearful of.
> I generally don't think that scientists are afraid of dualism because dualism is hardly more of a thriving concern
> than YEC. And if you can suggest an approach to neuroscience based on dualism, you'll have to overcome the
> problem of how all those material scientific instruments can ever interact with non-material stuff and how the
> non-material stuff can ever interact with the brain.
>
> So, I guess the short form of the question is "What experiment is it that you think neuroscientists are too terrified to try because it would open the door to dualism?"

Epstein isn't a neuroscientist but he seems pretty terrified about the field of Post-Material research. Curious, since he suggests in the article that Martin referenced in his initial response that:
"If modern brain scientists begin to look for evidence that the brain is a transducer, ......They might even be able to create devices that send signals to a parallel universe, or, of greater interest, that receive signals from that universe. "

Worse yet, Epstein writes an entire section in that article denigrating paranormal research, but then writes the following:

"And have you ever met a stranger who made you feel, almost immediately, that you had known him or her your entire life? And sometimes this stranger has the same feeling about you. It’s a strong feeling, almost overwhelming. We can try to explain such feelings with speculations about how a voice or physical characteristics might remind us of someone from our past, but there is another possibility — that in some sense you had actually known this person your whole life. If the brain is a bidirectional transducer, that is not a strange idea at all.

In fact, when viewed through the lens of transduction theory, none of these odd phenomena — dreams, hallucinations, lucidity that comes and goes, blind vision, and so on — looks mysterious. "

Zen Cycle

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Sep 5, 2021, 10:25:07 AMSep 5
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Yes, stupid. Some people don't like apples. Some people are allergic to apples. Qualia is by definition subjective experience. Feel free to stop making your idiocy more obvious any time now.

Glenn

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Sep 5, 2021, 11:50:06 AMSep 5
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Thanks for playing. So you agree we don't experience qualia.

Mark Isaak

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Sep 5, 2021, 2:25:06 PMSep 5
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On 9/5/21 1:27 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 10:13:20 -0700, Mark Isaak
> <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
>
>> On 9/4/21 12:12 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
>>> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 10:17:07 -0700, Mark Isaak
>>> <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>> Consciousness is not a form of energy.
>>>
>>> On what basis do you state that?
>>
>> Knowing what energy is.
>
> We may know what energy is, though I'm not sure that we understand it
> completely. We don't know what consciousness is so I don't see how we
> can say that it is or isn't energy.

We don't completely understand water either, but I think it is safe to
say that consciousness is not water.

"Energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to a body
or physical system to perform work on the body, or to heat it." A lot
of the time that I'm conscious, I'm not getting any work done, nor am I
heating anything more than when I'm not conscious.

>>>> The exercise is more likely
>>>> to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.
>>>
>>> In what way *hinder* research?
>>
>> Leading to dead ends.
>
> Why are you worried about dead ends? It seems to me that dead ends are
> part and parcel of research; I doubt if there was ever any significant
> scientific discovery that wasn't preceded by a whole series of dead
> ends.

Indeed. No doubt more dead ends will be encountered in due course. But
that does not mean people should pursue courses that are more likely to
lead to them than other courses.

In another post, you referred to the transducer idea as something worth
trying out. (Please correct if this is not an accurate paraphrase.) I
have some sympathy with that; with hard problems, wild ideas *are* worth
considering. But if they are considered a little bit and don't lead
anywhere, they are probably not worth considering further. And I just
don't see the leads. The article I read threw out various concepts --
transduction, hallucinations, consciousness, etc. -- but didn't show how
one lead to another. I got the impression that the intent was to
suggest that mentioning two concepts in the same sentence was supposed
to be enough to link them causally. Perhaps there *is* something there,
but saying "there's something there" isn't enough; you need to show me.

jillery

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Sep 5, 2021, 2:35:06 PMSep 5
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There are very few things, if any, we understand completely. That
doesn't stop us from knowing many things about many things.

Even though we don't know "completely" what consciousness and energy
are, that doesn't stop us from knowing what they are not. Although
consciousness uses energy, as do all processes, it isn't energy by any
reasonable definition of the terms.



>>Energy is involved in consciousness, of course,
>>but energy is involved in practically everything. If you regard
>>consciousness as a form of energy, then you would also need to consider
>>a pinball game, a lunar eclipse, and the formation of a stalactite as
>>separate forms of energy.
>>
>>>> To speak of transduction of
>>>> thought is to appeal to muddled metaphors.
>>>
>>> All metaphors have limitations. It seems to me that those who attack
>>> weaknesses in them generally do so in the absence of being able to
>>> attack the underlying ideas that the metaphors are used to explain.
>>
>>If the listener does not understand the underlying ideas (which, I
>>grant, I do not), then the metaphor failed in its intent.
>>
>>>> The exercise is more likely
>>>> to hinder research in consciousness than to help it.
>>>
>>> In what way *hinder* research?
>>
>>Leading to dead ends.
>
>Why are you worried about dead ends? It seems to me that dead ends are
>part and parcel of research; I doubt if there was ever any significant
>scientific discovery that wasn't preceded by a whole series of dead
>ends.

Glenn

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Sep 5, 2021, 2:45:06 PMSep 5
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On Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 11:25:06 AM UTC-7, Mark Isaak wrote:
> On 9/5/21 1:27 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
> > On Sat, 4 Sep 2021 10:13:20 -0700, Mark Isaak
> > <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
> >
> >> On 9/4/21 12:12 AM, Martin Harran wrote:
> >>> On Fri, 3 Sep 2021 10:17:07 -0700, Mark Isaak
> >>> <eci...@curioustaxonomyNOSPAM.net> wrote:
> >>>> [...]
> >>>> Consciousness is not a form of energy.
> >>>
> >>> On what basis do you state that?
> >>
> >> Knowing what energy is.
> >
> > We may know what energy is, though I'm not sure that we understand it
> > completely. We don't know what consciousness is so I don't see how we
> > can say that it is or isn't energy.

> We don't completely understand water either, but I think it is safe to
> say that consciousness is not water.

Water does not make decisions such as whether to hold up it's left hand to wave bye bye.
If you know what energy is, you know that act entails energy transfers.

But when it come right down to it, none of us knows what energy is, anymore than we really know what "matter" is.
A "force" is easier to understand and less likely to be regarded as an unknown like energy or matter.
Consciousness is a force. Unless you regard humans and all life as being nothing more than unconscious robots fooling ourselves into thinking we have free will to determine whether we wave bye bye to the friends leaving on the boat, you must consider that consciousness is a force that initiates energy transfers.

>
> "Energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to a body
> or physical system to perform work on the body, or to heat it." A lot
> of the time that I'm conscious, I'm not getting any work done, nor am I
> heating anything more than when I'm not conscious.


Your claim assumes you know what consciousness is and when you are and are not "conscious".

Zen Cycle

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Sep 6, 2021, 6:20:07 AMSep 6
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As many before me have pointed out to you before, responses such as that are why people see you as an idiot.

Glenn

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Sep 6, 2021, 10:25:07 AMSep 6
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Thanks for playing, again. So you believe apples have qualia. Who am I to question that?

Martin Harran

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Sep 6, 2021, 10:40:07 AMSep 6
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2021 06:44:45 -0700 (PDT), Zen Cycle
I have never challenged any settled science here; on the contrary, I
have made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that where
evidenced science contradicts or challenges religious belief, the
onus is on religion to accommodate that science. Your dismissal of me
as having “such a hard bent towards the supernatural” and accusation
of me having a hard time with the scientific process simply highlights
your own extreme prejudices towards anyone with religious belief; that
is reinforced by your persistence in trying to make theology part of
the discussion when theology is not mentioned in Epstein’s article and
no one else here has tried to associate his ideas with theology. I
have found that trying to have a rational discussion with someone do
deeply prejudiced is an utter waste of time so I will waste no more
time on it.

Martin Harran

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Sep 6, 2021, 11:00:07 AMSep 6
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2021 03:06:49 -0700 (PDT), "broger...@gmail.com"

Martin Harran

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Sep 6, 2021, 11:25:07 AMSep 6
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2021 03:06:49 -0700 (PDT), "broger...@gmail.com"
There has been an undoubted swing away from dualism in scientific
circle over the last half century or so, but I get the impression that
there is now an increasing disenchantment with materialism’s failure
to provide answers in the area of consciousness and an increasing
support for looking at new approaches. FWIW, I don’t think it is a
strictly ‘either or’ choice, my own feeling is that the answers lie
somewhere in the middle between dualism and materialism but even the
suggestion of a middle ground raises the hackles of those resolutely
opposed to any hint of dualism. Philip Goff has written quite a lot in
that area in relation to panpsychism and reaction to it - I thought
his ideas were well presented in his book ‘Galileo’s Error’ (though I
hated the title which came across to me as a form of literary
clickbait).

>And if you can suggest an approach to neuroscience based on dualism, you'll have to overcome the problem of how all those material scientific instruments can ever interact with non-material stuff and how the non-material stuff can ever interact with the brain.
>
>So, I guess the short form of the question is "What experiment is it that you think neuroscientists are too terrified to try because it would open the door to dualism?"

I am not a scientist nor am I involved in scientific research so it’s
hardly up to me to suggest what sort of experiments might take place.
Anyway, my point here is not about specific experiments, it is about
leaving the door open to new approaches. Take for example Suzanne
Simard who has been investigating whether trees can communicate with
each other and with other species in their vicinity.

https://www.universityaffairs.ca/features/feature-article/suzanne-simard-overcame-adversity-to-unlock-the-secret-world-of-trees/

https://bit.ly/3DNJsDH

I don’t know enough about the subject to judge whether her results
and conclusions are good, bad or indifferent but if they are open to
criticism, that should be based on scientific argument and reasoning,
not the blithe dismissal of it as “not science” accompanied by the
sort of vitriolic attacks she has endured. It seems to me that those
guilty of such dismissal and attacks are more concerned with
maintaining their own comfort zones than they are in potentially
opening up new areas of knowledge.

Martin Harran

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Sep 6, 2021, 11:35:07 AMSep 6
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2021 11:22:35 -0700, in talk.origins Mark Isaak
Yes, I agree with that but it applies to materialistic approaches as
well as non-materialistic ones. My issue here is not that
non-materialistic ideas are dismissed when shown to be unsuccessful,
it is that there are too many people who want to strangle them at
birth in favour of work that is clearly not producing results. (Again
for clarity, I am talking about the hard problem with qualia, not with
the neurological research into consciousness in general).

Zen Cycle

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Sep 6, 2021, 12:25:07 PMSep 6
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On Monday, September 6, 2021 at 10:40:07 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:

> I have never challenged any settled science here; on the contrary, I
> have made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that where
> evidenced science contradicts or challenges religious belief, the
> onus is on religion to accommodate that science. Your dismissal of me
> as having “such a hard bent towards the supernatural” and accusation
> of me having a hard time with the scientific process simply highlights
> your own extreme prejudices towards anyone with religious belief; that
> is reinforced by your persistence in trying to make theology part of
> the discussion when theology is not mentioned in Epstein’s article

You obviously didn't read the article, or you have a different definition of 'theology' than anyone else.

"Nearly all religions teach that immaterial realms exist that transcend the reality we know. For Christians and Muslims, those realms are Heaven and Hell."

"William James, a prominent Harvard philosopher and also arguably America’s first psychologist. In 1898, James published a short book entitled Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine, in which he praised his contemporaries for boldly using scientific methods to investigate "providential leadings [sic] in answer to prayer, instantaneous healings, premonitions, apparitions at time of death, clairvoyant visions or impressions, and the whole range of mediumistic capacities.""

"alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra says that ancient Hindu texts teach that the material world we know is nothing but a projection from the universal consciousness that fills all space. From this perspective, death is not an end; it is a merging of a relatively pathetic human consciousness with that of the dazzling universal one. "

"we might also begin to unravel some of the greatest mysteries in the universe: where our universe came from, what else and who else is out there — even whether there is, in some sense, a God."

Glenn

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Sep 6, 2021, 1:10:07 PMSep 6
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On Monday, September 6, 2021 at 9:25:07 AM UTC-7, funkma...@hotmail.com wrote:
> On Monday, September 6, 2021 at 10:40:07 AM UTC-4, martin...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > I have never challenged any settled science here; on the contrary, I
> > have made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that where
> > evidenced science contradicts or challenges religious belief, the
> > onus is on religion to accommodate that science. Your dismissal of me
> > as having “such a hard bent towards the supernatural” and accusation
> > of me having a hard time with the scientific process simply highlights
> > your own extreme prejudices towards anyone with religious belief; that
> > is reinforced by your persistence in trying to make theology part of
> > the discussion when theology is not mentioned in Epstein’s article
> You obviously didn't read the article, or you have a different definition of 'theology' than anyone else.
Or you are using your own definition of theology for your own purposes. You've ignored Martin's accusation against you, and cut his paragraph in half.
>
> "Nearly all religions teach that immaterial realms exist that transcend the reality we know. For Christians and Muslims, those realms are Heaven and Hell."
>
> "William James, a prominent Harvard philosopher and also arguably America’s first psychologist. In 1898, James published a short book entitled Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine, in which he praised his contemporaries for boldly using scientific methods to investigate "providential leadings [sic] in answer to prayer, instantaneous healings, premonitions, apparitions at time of death, clairvoyant visions or impressions, and the whole range of mediumistic capacities.""
>
> "alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra says that ancient Hindu texts teach that the material world we know is nothing but a projection from the universal consciousness that fills all space. From this perspective, death is not an end; it is a merging of a relatively pathetic human consciousness with that of the dazzling universal one. "
>
> "we might also begin to unravel some of the greatest mysteries in the universe: where our universe came from, what else and who else is out there — even whether there is, in some sense, a God."
> and
> > no one else here has tried to associate his ideas with theology. I
> > have found that trying to have a rational discussion with someone do
> > deeply prejudiced is an utter waste of time so I will waste no more
> > time on it.

You've succeeded in verifying Martin's accusations against you.

broger...@gmail.com

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Sep 6, 2021, 2:40:06 PMSep 6
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I would say that it's better not to try to diagnose the motives of the people who disagree with you. You probably don't like it when it's done to you, and in any case, one can always imagine ignoble motives for any position that anyone holds. Better to stick to the (in this case) scientific details. If you can't be specific about the sort of experiment you think neuroscientists are terrified of because it might open the door to dualism, then there's nothing specific to discuss.

Glenn

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Sep 6, 2021, 3:00:07 PMSep 6
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Wow, what a pronouncement. You must feel the gravity of the situation. Apparently you are not about leaving the door open to new approaches.

Martin Harran

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Sep 7, 2021, 2:55:08 AMSep 7
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On Mon, 6 Sep 2021 11:36:25 -0700 (PDT), "broger...@gmail.com"
I suspect that if I said something along those lines in other
contexts, I would very quickly be accused of victim blaming.

broger...@gmail.com

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Sep 7, 2021, 7:30:07 AMSep 7
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I don't see how that statement would constitute victim blaming. And as long as the focus stays on arguments rather than on the hypothetical arguments the other guy might have for making them, it won't even come up.

I'm afraid that I still don't see anything more detailed than "Those folks are afraid of dualism and it's limiting the experiments they do." It would make things clearer if you could give an example of the sort of doable experiment that might support a dualist view of consciousness and showed that people had been shying away from doing it. Otherwise, you end up with a position like that of one occasional creationist here who keeps saying that science is straight-jacketed by methodological naturalism, but never actually proposes an experiment about anything at all that doesn't use methodological naturalism. The general principle that one should be open to new approaches is fine, and lots of scientists make their names by coming up with new approaches; but they are always more specific than "We need a new approach."

Mark Isaak

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Sep 7, 2021, 12:30:07 PMSep 7
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First, how do you know that the materialist work on consciousness is not
producing results? How many of the relevant peer-reviewed journals do
you read? I know from reading popular literature that the work has
progressed at least until 2005. Do you think it has stopped since then?

Second, what non-materialistic approaches? How do you strangle
something that isn't there?

Glenn

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Sep 7, 2021, 12:40:07 PMSep 7
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How do you swat gravity?
I suppose I shouldn't bother with someone who thinks that they "know" things by reading popular literature.

Martin Harran

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Sep 8, 2021, 3:55:07 AMSep 8