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Old 09-16-2012, 04:08 AM   #531 (permalink)
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All science starts as a hypothesis. It's still a pretty new field, of course it'a not tried and true.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:10 AM   #532 (permalink)
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So you really think there isn't any credibility behind theories of a scientist who is as prestigious as roger Penrose? I'm not saying that just because someone is prestigious means they are right, but you know this guy is a lot smarter than you are, so how could you not think he has an idea of what he's talking about? I know this isn't a roger Penrose interview but he Is involved in this theory. I just think some people are a little quick to dismiss anything that disagrees with what you know at the moment, as if your knowledge couldn't change in the future.
I could write a long-winded post about why I think it has little credibility or I could just say "no, I don't".
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:14 AM   #533 (permalink)
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You're very sure of yourself, tore. And thats not a personal attack. Have you ever been wrong?

Ive found some fallacies in this article myself, but tell me, tore, just how much **** is this full of?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...brain-activity
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:53 AM   #534 (permalink)
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I've realized a lot of the ideas I had before I became a critical thinker were wrong or even downright silly.

The problem with consciousness is that people have a problem tying in brain activity with human experiences of for example eating fruit. In a brain scanner, you can clearly see the brains response to tasting an apple, but people don't understand how the releases of certain neurotransmitters here and there can become our experience of apple taste. Do you know what I mean?

That leads some to think that consciousness must be more than just the mass of the brain. But I think that saying that consciousness existing on a subatomic level does not make things easier to relate to. It actually makes it harder because at least we can see that there's a lot of brain chemistry going on on the atomic level and attempt to understand that, but we have never seen any consciousness going on at a subatomic level and we don't know of any way that atomic stuff interacts with subatomic happenings. Understand me right here, of course subatomics is a foundation for everything on top, but while a particle may not be in its place in its state all the time, it usually is. Macrophysics generally rely on the average of what goes on at the subatomic level (like sub-atomic particles usually being in their place) and what I mean here is that there's no way we know of that lets molecular structures such as microtubules pick up a language going on at a subatomic level. Microtubules are small, but the scale difference between a microtubule and subatomic particles is still enormous. But okay, let's say we can pick up consciousness from a cosmic reservoir of consciousness, how does that make it any easier to understand the experience of eating an apple? How does the state of quantum particles become an experience? It's not easier, it's just even more difficult. If you think it's easier, it's because it goes further into some territory you don't understand and then it becomes like believing in magic which in many ways is simpler.

Plus, if we all pick up our consciousness from a universal reservoir, why do personality traits run in families? Why do people with underdeveloped brains generally have simpler interests? Why can a brain damage change your personality? Why are other mammals with lots of brain matter and microtubules, like dolphins, different in their personality than humans? Assuming this guy's hypothesis is true, the only explanation would have to be that it's the biology of the receptor that makes the final expression and that this biology is heritable. So dolphins translate the signals into something that makes sense for dolphins, for example dolphin behaviour like hunting fish. If the brain is hurt, that damages the expression. That's the only way this hypothesis could fit the natural world as we knot it. Yet that would mean that the only new thing about this hypothesis, from a practical point of view, is to say something about where consciousness is generated. And as an explanation to that, it is less parsimonious and much less observable than the current explanation which is observable, testable and can be manipulated (f.ex by stimulating specific parts of the brain during surgery). In other words, it is less credible than the current general explanation of where consciousness comes from, observable going-ons at the atomic level.

As a biologist, I see more problems as well. Evolution happens on the atomic level, molecules acting on other atoms and molecules. How do you even evolve something that interacts with subatomic particles? How would tapping into this consciousness reservoir be useful in a single celled organism? You have to be able to start somewhere and then that trait has to survive natural selection which means it should have an associated advantage from a fitness point of view. Otherwise, the trait couldn't have evolved.


There are more things I could point out, but this is starting to become the long-winded post I wanted to avoid. Basically, I think the idea is unparsimonious. It raises more questions than it answers and needs a wealth of additional hypotheses to make it even slightly credible. Again, extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence and when they have that, I may believe in them.

edit :

Tried to present my criticism a bit more concisely.
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Last edited by tore; 09-16-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #535 (permalink)
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Perharps you should real Roger Penroses book The Emperors New Mind. You cant really count on me or some internet article to properly explain every detail. It would be a much more reliable and thorough explanation.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:51 PM   #536 (permalink)
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Perharps you should real Roger Penroses book The Emperors New Mind. You cant really count on me or some internet article to properly explain every detail. It would be a much more reliable and thorough explanation.
I could, but I doubt it would change my mind.

I also find it interesting and perhaps a little frustrating at times how people from other fields often seem to ignore the evolutionary angle. Whatever they propose has to have evolved at some point and that's a significant hurdle right there. Evolution doesn't just give you magic powers. That ability has to come together piece by piece and, generally speaking, every piece added has to have some benefit to the organism possessing it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #537 (permalink)
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Well it might address some of the problems you have with it. Are you sure that part of you doesn't want to change your way of thinking? You believe what you want because you don't see any reason to think otherwise. In the same way that some theists might not see enough evidence to change their beliefs. And yes, I Already know that your'e logical and anyone who might not fully agree with science is illogical.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:41 PM   #538 (permalink)
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I would believe it if I thought the evidence was good. As I wrote, the more daring the claim, the better the evidence should be.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:21 PM   #539 (permalink)
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Admittedly I have a tendency to give leeway to claims that most skeptics reject, I've noticed that there is a growing tendency in the new age/thought movement to attach the term quantum to anything consciousness related. Although I'm a little more hesitant to dismiss certain concepts and theories than the typical skeptic, the trend of filing everything under quantum mechanics in an effort to give it some sort of scientific credibility is rather annoying.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:40 PM   #540 (permalink)
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^^because it's an unpredictable unobservable phenomenon

there are ghosts in my house and they're "quantum"
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