Re: [asa] Sense and nonsense

From: <>
Date: Thu Jun 21 2007 - 14:13:43 EDT
I would direct you to any of several books by V. S. Ramachandran, particularly "A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness", and  "The Emerging Mind".

On Thu Jun 21 12:55 , Christine Smith sent:

To this I will repost an earlier question of mine
which no one ventured an answer--it is evident, as Pim
pointed out, that brain and thought, emotions, etc.
are *correlated*, but *correlation does not prove
causation*--can someone please point me towards
specific research studies that *mechanistically* show
how non-sentient electrical impulses and atoms can
give rise to sentience? Do you propose that this is
another fundamental property of substances, as I
believe it was Don(?) argued earlier? Or do you
propose another *mechanism* which directly causes
these properties to emerge? I find the arugment of
"complexity" in and of itself to be an inadequate
explanation. Maybe I just don't undestand the research

Likewise, on a theological level, I posed the question
earlier (which none but David Buller ventured an
answer)--if we ascribe all the "intangible" qualities
of humanity to physical causes, do we also ascribe
God's "intangible" qualities (God is love, God is the
great I AM, etc.) to this process? If not, on what
basis do we presume that our intangible qualities stem
from a physical, tangible body/brain structure, but
God's do not?

To me, it seems logical that certain substantive steps
are not possible without God's help--specifically,
bringing something out of nothing, bringing life out
of lifelessness, and bringing sentience out of
non-sentience. The only way I can envision God's
direct intervention not being required to cause these
"jumps" in nature is if Don's position is true...


--- PvM <> wrote:

> It is tempting to assume that concepts are non
> physical and that
> consciousness etc are nonphysical and yet such a
> position seems often
> contradicted by the scientific evidence. Yet,
> Alexianian is right that
> our ignorance in these matters provides ID with a
> chance 'to be true'.
> To argue that physicalism is truly nonsensical is
> nonsensical given
> our ignorance, to argue that physicalism is the
> metaphysics underlying
> Darwinism is an even worse argument.
> I do understand that the latest ID arguments are
> that information,
> altruism etc are all non physical concepts because
> they do not have
> any mass associated with them. The question remains;
> Can information
> and other non physical concepts be reduced to
> natural laws? We know
> that stimulating the brain can induce sensations in
> people, suggesting
> that at least some concepts can be reduced to a
> simple stimulation of
> the brain. Other concepts such as self,
> consciousness etc may be
> harder to describe yet given the evidence that
> indeed concepts such as
> altruism may be explained in terms of natural
> processes, it seems too
> early to state that physicalism is wrong.
> In my research I ran across the following statement,
> suggesting that I
> am not the only one arguing that concepts can evolve
> :-)
> " Concepts of pain have continued to evolve,
> ascribing a greater role
> to the brain."
> Evolution of pain concepts
> Author: Melzack R.
> Source: Pathophysiology, Volume 5, Supplement 1,
> June 1998 , pp. 197-197
> On 6/21/07, Alexanian, Moorad <>
> wrote:
> > The subject matter of science is the physical
> aspect of Nature. Metaphysics comes in many flavors.
> Physicalism claims that all that exists is physical.
> However, this is nonsense since the person who makes
> such claims is not purely physical himself/herself.
> The latter is so since the human mind must create
> nonphysical concepts to describe the whole of
> reality, including Nature itself. In addition, his
> consciousness, self, and rationality are also
> nonphysical. It may also be that all living beings
> have physical and nonphysical aspects. Therefore, ID
> has a chance to be true; however, physicalism is
> truly nonsensical. The metaphysics underlying
> Darwinism is physicalism.
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To unsubscribe, send a message to with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. Received on Thu Jun 21 14:14:15 2007

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