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From Brain to Consciousness to Mind--the biological basis

 
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:56 am
@xris,
xris I'm on your side in all this.

The argument is always 'Consciousness is describable in scientific terms, and if you say it is not, then show me some scientific evidence for that'.

I do have some scientific arguments to consider, and will bring them up. But I have already raised a number of philosophical objections, which are usually met with the objection that they are not scientific!

Anyway, doesn't matter, we've been at this for long enough now to be friends anyway, if you know what I mean. I will try and come up with some evidence which is scientifically compelling. I have some but it is very hard to summarize.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 04:13 am
@jeeprs,
I wish you well and hope its considered . My opinion has always stayed the same, science has not ever proved the seat of consciousness to be located in the brain,it only observes the workings of the brain. To me the brain is the machine through which the conscious mind expresses it ability. I think telling me how a car works will never explain the driver. If the brakes dont perform correctly, it does not infer the driver is using them incorrectly . The conscious mind has to perform to the brains ability .
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:23 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
But you cant prove conclusively your view , you have not shown the place where consciousness actually resides as many, scientists, say it is like an electromagnetic field surrounding the brain.


Thank you for your thoughts, xris. I am happy to see that you are putting a little more thought into your posts--instead of non-productive 'one-liners.' A couple of points need refining, however. First of all, it would be rather wrong to mistake this as simply being 'my' view, but rather what would be more correct, to see it as it is, the greater evidenced, and far more practical view. Then, one error which stands to be corrected, is the assertion that it has not been shown where consciousness resides. We have our standard definition, and we have our working description, and then the knowledge acquired in the aggregate of research and investigation over time, has clearly shown without any doubt whatsoever, that conscious is a brain thing, and that consciousness is exactly an upper threshold of that activity, and is thus, a matter of brain. In this way, xris, consciousness resides in the brain.

Now, one error you have been hung up on in the past, was that of thinking that consciousness had to be in a single cluster, gyrus, sulculus, area, or lobe of the brain. That is an error on your part due to a lack of knowledge in the field...of course, learning is important, so I point this only...not for any other purpose here. Conscious does reside in a single area of brain tissue alone, and in that very same way, consciousness does not either.

Finally, your latter statement is false. Additionally, I'll offer you two weeks to present the list of scientists which hold that conclusion, and any papers or literature they have published on that.


[quote="xris"]This subject is not so easily decided by science, even by its own admission, so please, lets not continue this with the assumed certainty of biology giving us our conscious ability[/quote]

Are you sure you have carefully considered just what it is you have written; in bold? Xris, you are attempting to assert that it is not certain that you are a biological organism. Do you actually think such an assertion has any degree of truth to it? I will ask you to again put your money where your mouth is, then...support the truthfulness of your claims with data.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:09 am
@KaseiJin,
Sorry but I have never thought of it as being situated in any particular part of the brain, quite the opposite. I dont think it can be located, thats my defining opinion. You need to clarify your view, not me mine. If you dispute that fact I would dearly love to be told where it actually does exist. I think you believe it to be an accumulation of particular functions of the brain, is that correct? I suppose you could discount where it is not and work backwards. But then in my opinion that would not solve the dilemma. Take the speaker away from a radio, it is still receiving information and translating it into the necessary audible code. I will endeavour to find the information, I partly formed my opinions on...Thanks xris
salima
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 08:20 am
just checking in ... no comment at the moment, but great to be back on a roll!
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 04:10 pm
@KaseiJin,
Quote:
that it is not certain that you are a biological organism


Here is both your initial premise, and your conclusion, again.

However I propose that humans are physical, biological, intellectual, and spiritual beings, and that each level cannot be explained solely in terms of the others. This is why the science of biology is different from the science of physics, and the science of medicine is different from the science of biology, even though each includes elements of the other. The science of the spiritual plane is called the sacred science, Scientia Sacra, which you would most likely think of as religion.

The separation of domains is due to the hierarchical nature of reality itself which comprises physical, formal and causal layers. Most science is concerned with the physical layer only, but it can be argued that what shows up as scientific law emanates from the formal layer. Scientists therefore make use of it all the time, without actually recognizing that they are doing this. (Some do, though.)

Accordingly I will continue to argue against reductionism. Thankyou.

0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:53 pm
@xris,
I can see, xris, that you are being extremely illogical in your approach, and at the same time, seemingly (at least as I interpret the evidence) lacking earnest involvement. I have no idea, other than a possible total lack of experience in academia, as to why you feel you can just say something, describe something, and call it a fact of reality without fully and (at least trying to work towards) exhaustively an explanatory argument.

Now, xris, are you claiming to not be a biological entity? A non-organic unit which exists on organic particles?

jeeprs, same question to you then . . . and at first only that much, please don't rush, or go off, because I want to keep focused here, and work towards the theme of the thread (of course with embedding, but . . . within reasonable bounds). Do you claim to not be a biological entity, as per English
language usage?

HI salima, meree baheen !!
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:33 am
@KaseiJin,
Quote:
Do you claim to not be a biological entity, as per English

Well of course I am a 'biological being' (which I prefer to entity). But if I am ill, I will see a doctor, and if mad, a psychiatrist. If everything could be explained in terms of biology, why would either profession exist?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 02:51 am
@KaseiJin,
I may not be as well educated ,as you, but that does not automatically give you the right to say Im illogical. You can claim I am illogical but not on the those grounds , thats just being slightly superior. I am a biological animal but that does not exclude the fact that I might also have an ethereal existence also. Just as you cant prove the origin of consciousness , I can not prove to you it lies beyond biological understanding...What I did say was that the EM field surrounding the brain appears to be very relevant to the working of our conscious ability. It appears this field has the ability to act like a wireless computer making sense of the information and exerting our free will. Do you dispute these theoretical views? do you think this is a total impossibility?
MuchToLearn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 05:01 am
“I can see, xris, that you are being extremely illogical in your approach…”

As I read through this thread, why do I feel like I am following a Star trek episode and a dialogue between Spock and Captain Kirk?
xris
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 07:50 am
@MuchToLearn,
You should see his ears..
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 07:53 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
... But if I am ill, I will see a doctor, and if mad, a psychiatrist.

I won't be seeing either as existence, for me, is a pre-existing condition
salima
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 08:22 am
@Khethil,
you dont think you exist? or you dont think doctors and psychiatrists exist?

we REALLy need an LOL smiley!
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 08:35 am
@KaseiJin,
oli, mere bhai!
i have to say that i agree with jeeprs in his post (the number of which i can no longer see now that i am writing a reply) about being a biological being as well as a spiritual being, and other what he said too. in mysticism (i know, that should be in the metaphysical thread) there are from five to seven different bodies, some of which being the physical, astral(mental), spiritual, causal...and we are of course most aware of the physical or biological one because of its being sensorial in a very loud way. but there are other senses related to the other bodies, and though fewer people recognize the signals, they lead us to the conclusion that we have other areas of being that are not physical.

now what i am trying to comprehend is how much of what we are actually stems from the physical and how much, if any, from anywhere else. you have been a great help to me in explaining how much of what i had thought of as coming from spirit could certainly be generated originally from the body.

i have no arguments also, only brainstorming now...but i think it may be a case of both ends of the spectrum being able to generate various phenomena and the basic understanding i have now is that the sense of individual identity is an illusion and nothing more. so there is a whole or ground that cannot be changed and belongs to us all but we are only momentary reflections of its essence, like rays of light coming from the sun.

now i have gone way off topic, but you cant want us to answer the question 'do you believe you are a biological creature' with a simple yes or no.
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 08:38 am
@xris,
Again, I'll have to get back either tomorrow or the next day...and just a quickie here.

xris wrote:
I am a biological animal but that does not exclude the fact that I might also have an ethereal existence also.

Good for you. This is exactly the fact as is set by our linguistic definitions. Now, do happen to recall having eaten dinner this past Sunday night? (this IS a relevant question for the purpose of demonstration

xris wrote:
Just as you cant prove the origin of consciousness , I can not prove to you it lies beyond biological understanding...

Firstly, I think you may have used a word which can be misused, so object to that minor term. I am arguing the biological basis of consciousness and mind to brain, which conclusion has come to be best determined over especially the past 150 past years of study and observation. Thus, I can demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conclusion reached is far most likely the case; so much so that we can say it is, in all practical conditions.

xris wrote:
What I did say was that the EM field surrounding the brain appears to be very relevant to the working of our conscious ability. It appears this field has the ability to act like a wireless computer making sense of the information and exerting our free will. Do you dispute these theoretical views? do you think this is a total impossibility?


One, the evidence denies the truthfulness of that proposition. The few papers I have come into contact with (not in any major journal) which purposed such a condition was very seriously flawed--and done by a lady who had not actually done her undergraduate work, nor post graduate work, but had recieved an honorary degree only. (of course having the degree or not will not really make a difference, but doing the spade work makes a
BIG difference)

What is the strength of that EM field (which, just to make clear, is a real thing) and what is the source of that field, and does it change in 'resting mode, ' or 'REM sleep,' or in 'DWS'? Would a nine year old have the same strength as he or she would at the age of 13? (after neuron pruning by automated cell death) or after the age of 23 when the prefrontal cortex is fully myelinated? Does that field strength remain the same for that person if he or she later develops mild cognitive impairment, and then Alzheimer's?

Then, please present the literature on that idea of yours. I'd like see that. Oh...by the way, xris did you watch TV after you fell off into deep sleep last night?
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 08:49 am
@salima,
Well said!

The sheaths are five in number: physical, energy (prana), mind (manas), discriminative wisdom (vijna), bliss (ananda) and Self (atma).

Here is a reference: http://www.swamij.com/koshas.htm
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 09:04 am
@salima,
Hey there, salima, meree baheen !! First of all, yeah, I know about the difficulty of the seeing thing. It has forced me to keep two pages open constantly...one for posting in (either 'reply [to post],' or 'quote [post],' or reply to all.' [but then you can't see anything at all]) If you do that it is also easy for copying post links (the little number in blue in the top right hand corner of each post) and such too.

Then, as you may have predicted, however, I would argue that what jeeprs has said can only be true in the sense of 'spiritual' being an element of emotion, which is exactly an element of brain; and not in any non-material manner at all. As far at typical tenets of mysticism, I hold that they are not literal concepts of reality worth considering--because if one holds such to ultimate be elements of reality (such as minerals of the earth, bodies in space, and so on), they will have to demonstrate not only how that knowledge had come to be known of, but how that knowledge (especially in the area of this particular thread and theme) is so inconsistent with, and disproved by the evidence we have.

Additionally, it will have to be shown through aggregate, subjective experience reporting applied to third person testing (with controls to verify differences of states and processes) to verify how the brain is working to sense; beyond normal brain sensory activity. {well, in other words, as Dr. Baars would say, if we can't present something testable, then we can't really call it theoretical}

While I respect, and understand, meree baheen, that you may well have the disposition to agree with those tenets, and can kind of imagine how it is that you may have come to accept them, I cannot agree that there is any pragmatic value applicable towards the understand of brain, mind, and consciousness. These are most clearly biologically based, resultant things. I appreciate your taking the time to expound on them, however--even if thinking out loud in a sort of 'stream of consciousness' manner. (The question had actually been intended for xris alone, at that moment, however...but fair for all.)
salima
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 09:15 am
@jeeprs,
there are some few small variations in esoteric teaching of course, so some philosophies espouse seven divisions, though i dont know what they are offhand. it might be related to the seven realms of existence, but they also are sometimes considered to be five-either way, it is only a question of categorization and how to verbally or visually make a chart of such things, not a difference of real opinion as to what they are comprised of.

just as the basic elements are different in various traditions-in my reading or reference material they are: fire, water, earth, air and ether. but i know others exist, dont recall what they are...
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 09:27 am
@KaseiJin,
Quote:
As far at typical tenets of mysticism, I hold that they are not literal concepts of reality worth considering

you are probably right there. they certainly are not literal concepts of reality, that is the reality that we are aware of as coming through our senses and physical apparatus.

now you may indeed some day show me that spirituality is nothing more than emotion...i currently concur that emotions can certainly be wholly produced by brain, and it is a fact that esoteric traditions try to train the mind to go beyond the emotions...thinking out loud again.

Quote:
you may well have the disposition to agree with those tenets...I cannot agree that there is any pragmatic value applicable towards the understand of brain, mind, and consciousness.

and this too is certainly true. but it may be that science is attributing more to the brain, mind and consciousness than is its proper due. it is actually trying to attribute the spirit or essence of being, which it doesnt even agree to recognize as real, to the physical realm.

and i know you also as a musician and artist, mr spock (hee hee!)
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2010 10:26 am
@KaseiJin,
I think its more than one scientist that has proposed em as our conscious ability...http://www.unisci.com/stories/20022/0516026.htm

I have no idea the strength of this field, in varied aspects of our existence. I dont think its relevant. The most subtle of fields could still be having an effect. When you consider that any em field can be influenced by other fields, the idea that we are just isolated electrochemical blobs becomes less and less likely.. I'm not capable of making a scientific study of this theory and you know it. What I will say is that till it has been discounted and further investigations are made you are not in position to make a conclusive claim we are biologically grounded ..
0 Replies
 
 

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