4
   

Berkeley's Response to Descartes

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 01:48 am
@Setanta,
Thank you chairman, for that predictable and somewhat turgid summing up.

In the opinion of my chairman, the need for for congratulations is somewhat hollow compared with the satisfaction of helping another to better understanding.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 04:46 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
. . . the satisfaction of helping another to better understanding.


Which, of course, entails the dubious proposition that you'll ever actually attain such a laudable goal.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 04:53 am
@Cyracuz,
Good lord . . . you might as well paint yourself blue and haunt the woods wearing animal skins, considering the superstition with which you view the world. An internal combustion engine involves combustion--you know, burning? The fuel is combined with oxygen in an energetic reaction which produces heat, producing it so quickly as to be explosive and therefore pushing the piston. The gasoline "goes" out the exhaust manifuld in the form of the exhaust gases.

Whether you're burning fat or just digesting your meal, the cells produce energy through breaking down the molecular bonds. The basic elemental atoms remain elemental atoms, and the body harvests the energy created when the molecular bonds are broken. The cells produce exhaust gases, such as carbon dioxide, which then go out the exhaust manifold--in this case, known as the lungs.

I had thought you were much older, maybe university age or even a university graduate. However, you apparently don't even have the basic grasp of chemistry and biology one would expect of a student in high school.

Are you pulling my leg? Is this some elaborate (and pathetic) attempt at humor? Are you really this supersitious about how the world works?
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 04:55 am
You know, Cyracus, i never have had (and don't now have) any personal animus toward you. You seem a nice, likeable guy. So i'm not going to help you embarrass yourself (even if you don't know it) by continuing this line of discussion. Get some books, read up.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 05:25 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
you might as well paint yourself blue and haunt the woods wearing animal skins


Wait... who told you about that?? Razz

Are you saying that any amount of gas burned in an engine produces the exact same amount of mass in the form of smoke?

I have never been very afraid of embarrassing myself on an anonymous forum, but thanks for the concern.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 07:06 am
@Setanta,
Hey the "last word" guy could be right ! Maybe I should bin all these Xmas cards from former students. Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 08:09 am
@Cyracuz,
Yes, that's what i'm saying. The gasoline is converted to waste gases and water. Look up the conservation of energy and the conservation of mass. Until nuclear physics became a realistic field of study, it was a "law" of science that matter cannot be created or destroyed. However, in a thermonuclear reaction, matter can be converted into energy. That, however, is the only exception to that "law."

But matter is not being converted into energy in your car or your gut. In both those cases, the energy derives from the alteration of the molecular structure of the fuel. In your gut, complex carbohydrates are conversted into simple carbohydrates (sugar), and energy is a by-product, with waste gases being produced as well. In your cells, the simple sugars are broken down, producing waste gases. The energy derives from the dyamic of altering or breaking the molecular bonds. The mass of the food you eat is excreted through the bowels as faeces, through the kidneys and bladder as urine and through the lungs as carbon dioxide. There is nothing going on there at the sub-atomic level. Anything which occurs at the subatomic level is only coincidental the digestive process.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 10:08 am
@Setanta,
Thanks for the explanation.

Just one more question.
Is the sub-atomic structure of an oxygen atom the same in a single atom as it is in atoms that have bonded to form dioxygen (O2)?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 11:10 am
@Setanta,
Of course that's what I'm doing; you're very perceptive. But how can I not attribute your aggression to gross anger when you use phrases like: "...peddle that bullshit...", "trying to flog that bullshit...", "...your bullshit is as bad as his...", and "...leaving aside your apparent ignorance...."
If those statements were made in a calm state of mind (say like that characteristic of Wandeljw) I'd hate to talk to you when you ARE angry.
No I think my prescription is accurate: try some Pepto Bismol.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 11:24 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:
If those statements were made in a calm state of mind (say like that characteristic of Wandeljw)


Setanta is going to love that! Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 11:24 am
@JLNobody,
My stomach is not upset, and i'm not angry. It's a shame that you are offended by a term such as bullshit, because you've been preddling bullshit regularly in this thread. But that's your problem, not mine.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 11:31 am
@Cyracuz,
I've been avoiding those complexities because you have a habit of taking things and running with them. Essentially, the structure of oxygen atoms is the same from one atom to another, although there are exceptions, such as carbon 14. However, radio carbon 14 is a product of cosmic radiation or open air testing of nuclear weapons. So, essentially, it is a product of thermonuclear reactions, in that cosmic radition is produced in the hearts of stars where thermonuclear fusion is taking place. So, once again, differences in elemental nuclides adhere to the rule that sub-atomic activities are separate from activities which occur in the "solid" realm. You eating a granola bar or driving your car are not going to generate nuclides such as carbon 14.

This is actually a fascinating area of study in chemistry, but it is far more advanced than the rather simple processes by which either your food or gasoline produce energy through the breaking or the reformation of molecules.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 11:46 am
@Setanta,
I took your advice and did some reading.
It turns out that single atoms, or free radicals, are atoms with unpaired electrons. Most of them are highly reactive and play an important role in many chemical processes such as combustion and biochemistry.
When these atoms form pairs, that causes a change in the structure of electrons of the atoms, which must be said to be a sub-atomic process.

And yes, this is interesting. Incidentally, I am going back to school next year to pick up chemistry, a subject I turned away from in school as I chose to focus on languages.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:21 pm
@Cyracuz,
Well, that's not quite the same as "solid" realm processes having an effect on the sub-atomic realm. The reactions are in the sub-atomic realm, and you can't "push" those atoms together. Additionally, radicals are formed by the breaking of co-valent bonds, and this is much the same as the process by which your cells release energy by breaking down sugars. The difference is that (on an atomic scale) enormous amounts of energy are requied to form free radicals. Free radicals also have many important functions in metabolism. However, to attempt to suggest that this is the equivalent of sub-atomic physics would be an unreasonable stretch.

This is exactly why i didn't want to go into such detail. I suspect you now think that you've validated your claim to the effect that "all cognitive processes in the brain take place at the sub-atomic level." Nothing could be further from the truth.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:32 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
The difference is that (on an atomic scale) enormous amounts of energy are requied to form free radicals.


Isn't pure carbon, or soot, a free radical?

Quote:
However, to attempt to suggest that this is the equivalent of sub-atomic physics would be an unreasonable stretch.


Was that the claim I made? I said that as things change on the macro-cosmic level, corresponding changes happen on the sub-atomic level.

Quote:
I suspect you now think that you've validated your claim to the effect that "all cognitive processes in the brain take place at the sub-atomic level."


Actually, no. But it does counter your claim that the macro cosmic realm and the sub-atomic realm are completely unrelated. I'm still wrestling with the ideas of quantum mind.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:39 pm
@Cyracuz,
Well, you struggle to your heart's content. Your original statement was to the effect that all cognitive processes in the brain take place at the sub-atomic level, and that statement is completely unwarranted. Furthermore, you then tried to suggest that your food becomes energy because matter is converted into energy. Particle physics now understands that Einstein's claim to the effect that all matter and energy are the same thing is essentially true. It now appears that all matter has both wave and particle characteristics--but on the macro level, the level of "solid" matter, the wave-lengths are too small to be measured.

The problem with your claim is that your brain functions just as does the rest of your metabolism. Chemical reactions occur at the level of molecules and atoms, not at the level of sub-atomic particles. You can only make a feeble claim to substantiate your contention by noting that atomic structure is now seen as being a product of groups of sub-atomic particles, and that's clearly not something which even occured to you until you started reading, as i suggested that you should do. I have no problem with the ambiguities of particle physics being advanced for pointing out that distinctions between the sub-atomic realm and the macro or "solid" are perceived but not actual. That is no good reason, though, to accept you just throwing out the claim you made, clearly made without any sound knowledge of either chemistry or particle physics.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:44 pm
Soot is a form of carbon known as amorphous carbon. It is not actually amorphous, but is called that because it is neither diamond nor graphite. Once again, you're venturing into areas which require a high order of study to understand. I'd not be confident myself that i can explain to you here what soot is, and the structure of soot is a product of what it was that was burned to produce it. None of which, of course, is relevant to a discussion of how cognitive processes take place in the brain.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 12:57 pm
@Setanta,
Now I feel bad that I'm the only one learning something from our exchange. But that is perhaps, as you would say, not my problem.

Yes, I was mistaken about how energy is produced by combustion and digestion, but when I started reading about it, it turned out that the initial idea that macro-cosmic events have corresponding micro-cosmic events wasn't completely wrong.

Chemical reactions do occur in the brain at the level of molecules and atoms, but those reactions show no evidence of the consciousness that we say they produce. One single chemical process in the brain can be any number of cognitive processes in the mind. Perhaps these chemical processes carry information, which might suggest that there are sub-atomic variances that carry different bits of information which the brain assembles into a coherent and conscious mind.

Another angle to approach this from is the idea of objects, as perceived by us in the macro cosmic realm. Quantum physics is the only means we have of "bypassing our senses", revealing a world unbiased by the conditions set by our human perception. The macro-cosmos is primarily a human, metaphysical realm; it's existence is relative to us. We cannot know with any certainty that this perception is valid outside of the human condition.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 01:02 pm
@Cyracuz,
Sorry to interrupt but the concept of "all cognitive processes" is a different ball game from "all cognitive processes in the brain". Current theories now advocate cognitive processes as extending well being the brain to other parts of the body, and even to social entities (as perhaps per insect colony). And as stated previously, those sub-processes which might be located in the brain may indeed need to include a quantum component to explain their functioning. To a large extent the discussion of physics or chemistry is irrelevant to a discussion of "cognition" except where those levels of discourse are deemed to explain a necessary platform for cognition. But necessity and sufficiency are not equivalent, as indicated by the attempts at computer modelling of cognitive processes within AI. The fact that these attempts have largely hit dead-ends (except in minor achievements of neural nets) has stimulated the research in "embodied cognition" beyond the physics, chemistry or biology of the brain.

A good reference can be found at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/embodied-cognition/
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Dec, 2011 01:22 pm
@fresco,
Thanks fresco. That's interesting.
As you probably know, I am also fascinated by the idea of universal consciousness as proposed by John Hagelin and others.
I've bm'd the link for now, it looks to be a step further for me into understanding what's going on today.
0 Replies
 
 

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