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Old 7th November 2019, 11:54 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
And I don't dispute that the effect is observable. You keep attacking a strawman.
But the observed effect without observed cause is the observation you don't have. All you have is a circular ball of speculation in search of something to explain.
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:58 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
But the observed effect without observed cause is the observation you don't have. All you have is a circular ball of speculation in search of something to explain.
The observed effect is the brain activity on fMRI or EEG. But you can't tell whether the observed brain activity is caused entirely by known particles inside and outside a messy system of billions of neurons and synapsies.
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:00 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
The observed effect is the brain activity on fMRI or EEG.
No that's not the scale we're operating at in addressing your theory. I've hijacked Darat's line of questioning, which was impolite. Let's wait until he weighs in.

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Old 7th November 2019, 12:02 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
Yes, but I guess it is also apparent to you that you are reading words on a screen. I will let you make your own conclusion from that appearance.
What conclusion do you think he should draw?
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:04 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You seem to be saying whatever you think will help your case at any given moment.
I'm getting a lot of that from litewave's posts.
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:06 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
No that's not the scale we're operating at in addressing your theory.
On what scale are you operating then and how do you observe brain activity on that scale?
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:36 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
The observed effect is the brain activity on fMRI or EEG. But you can't tell whether the observed brain activity is caused entirely by known particles inside and outside a messy system of billions of neurons and synapsies.
That's true of everything. For all we know, atoms move about because tiny fairies are pushing them.
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Old 7th November 2019, 12:40 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That's true of everything. For all we know, atoms move about because tiny fairies are pushing them.
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Old 7th November 2019, 01:18 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
So do you acknowledge that patients feel as if they are floating outside of their body? If so, what could such a patient think about it? "Hm, I am outside of my body, which makes sense because I am just my body."
[emphasis mine]

What is being asked of you is what did the patient actually think about it, not what could the patient have though about it?

The former is what is actually being asked and for which there might be some evidence available, the latter is just inviting idle speculation not based on any evidence. It sounds like you're making conclusions on what OBE experiencers think, based on what you imagine they would or should think, instead of what they say they actually think. That's not a very reliable methodology.
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Old 7th November 2019, 02:01 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
I'm getting a lot of that from litewave's posts.
What I'm seeing is a lot of hasty assertions and generalizations, followed by ineffective backfill attempts at post-justification. For example, he's trying really hard to make the Wikipedia summary of French sound like what he intended all along, even though it patently isn't if you actually read the chapter.

But in all fairness, how can patients describe what they experienced except in experiential terms? Try, for example, to describe the smell of something -- anything -- without comparing it to another thing.

What we describe informally as an "out-of-body experience" (OBE) is a collection of reported phenomena that sometimes get called things like contextual dissociation in the neurology literature. There is no one agreed-upon term, either in the technical or in the popular vocabulary. As far as the spectrum of actual reports goes, some report a simple feeling of being nowhere, or a general feeling of detachment. Certainly the spectrum includes people who say, "It seemed like I was floating above my body." But it's important not to preferentially sever these specific reports from all the dissociation reports and give them special significance.

Another thing neuroscience reminds us is that we have no metasensation properties in the brain. Fans of The Simpsons may recall the episode where Dr. Nick asks, "When you were in that coma, did you feel your brain getting damaged?" Hilarious, yes, but that's pretty much what critics of the neuropathological explanation for NDEs want us to expect. Instead neurologists remind us that when things go wrong in the brain, it's always perceived in terms of sensory inputs because that's the only way the brain can present information to the cognitive layers. It's not like people suddenly grab their heads and say, "Ow! My amgydala!"

If something goes wrong with, say, the central vestibular system, it's not like there's a light that flashes in the cognitive layer saying, "GIMBAL LOCK." No, you might just have the sensation of being off balance, even when your body is balanced -- or of being perfectly balanced when you're about to fall over. Trauma or dysfunction in the sensory conditioning areas of the brain have no out-of-band method of reporting to the conscious perception. Similarly there are areas of the brain that keep track of where the various parts of our body are. When those areas are affected abnormally, the result is a sensation of not knowing where your body is, not some special indication that we consciously interpret as something wrong elsewhere in the brain.

"It seemed like I was floating above my body" doesn't necessarily translate to, "I literally believed my soul had left my body and was floating above it." People report their NDE observations as sensations because at the cognitive level they are indistinguishable from actual sensations. That certain researchers choose to take the reports literally is no indication that the patients themselves did.

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Old 7th November 2019, 02:26 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Not to me. NDErs see whatever cultural deity is appropriate.

Strawman. NDEs are not random they are the result of notions ALREADY IN THE BRAIN. Thus christians see jesus, muslims see little mo and so forth. The point is that these myths were already in the brain in the first place.

Been there, done that. Your answer is No.
I've been musing about posting, once again, the story of my then-girl friend who had her own NDE. And possibly mine as well, though I don't think I've ever talked about it here before.



Originally Posted by litewave View Post
I don't believe it. I said repeatedly that I don't have enough data to make a conclusion about the existence of the soul. I explore possibilities in the context of our knowledge from physics and neuroscience.
And yet, so far, you've quoted from cardiologists who have spent years specializing in, and pardon me for the use of formal technical medical jargon, study of the 'not-brain' right? Something which is about 20 centimeters below the thingy that we're interested in?
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Old 7th November 2019, 02:39 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
The observed effect is the brain activity on fMRI or EEG. But you can't tell whether the observed brain activity is caused entirely by known particles inside and outside a messy system of billions of neurons and synapsies.
I missed this post earlier:

Yes, we can tell whether the observed brain activity is caused entirely by known particles. That was the whole point in my posting the link to Sean Carroll's blog -- physicists have discovered all the forces which could interact at the scales which affect the brain. That there are blanks in theories which describe forces which are far, far (far) smaller is irrelevant.

From what I've gathered, your resonance idea is based upon the concept that these incredibly tiny forces can somehow grow and magnify to the levels which are capable of interacting with the human brain, yes? Do you think that is a fair understanding?

If so, then what I and others are saying, once this tiny, tiny, tiny force grew or resonated with other stronger [larger] forces enough to interact with the brain then, at that point, we can measure them.

If there were some sort of force that is strong enough to interact with the brain that had no other explanation, then I think you could have some validity in theorizing a possible cause. But there isn't.
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Old 7th November 2019, 04:05 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But we would still be able to detect the location of the moved particle, which means we would know something had moved them.
Do you keep track of all the particles in your brain?
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Old 7th November 2019, 04:13 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
What variables? Wouldn't we notice if a variable was changed by a supposed simulator?
How?

Say I have a simulation of a hundred particles, all moving around according to a physical law, say moving at delta t * v and colliding with momentum conserved.

I take ten of those particles and I nudge them a little to get an outcome I want.

Do you think you could tell which ones were nudged and which were just behaving according to physics? I can post a video of an example if you like and you tell me which are moving according to the general law and which ones have been nudged. You can't, or only if I make the movement really obvious.

And that is only one hundred particles that you can keep track of on screen and run the video back and forth as much as you like.

So you are telling me that if you were a simulation you could tell which particles in your brain the programmers had nudged?
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Old 7th November 2019, 04:47 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If something interacts with the brain it is doing so via the known forces/fields/dragons we already know about.
I agree. There is no unknown energy input causing the observed synapse activity

In addition, if the consciousness was leaving the body, we should see a significant reduction in synapse activity.....but no such reduction has been observed.
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File Type: jpg Brain synapse activity..jpg (36.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 7th November 2019, 06:55 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
It depends on what you mean by "physical". My hypothesis is that the soul consists of yet unknown particle-fields that can under certain conditions interact with known particle-fields and could potentially be added to the Standard Model of particle physics.
Oh you can do this with anything. Watch:

I think there might be an alien civilization on the moon.
The surface of the moon has been thoroughly observed. There's no alien civilization there.
Yes, but what about the ineterior of the moon? If the moon were hollow...
The moon isn't hollow. The formation of astral bodies doesn't work like that.
Perhaps the moon is made of a special material that would allow it to form as a hollow shape.
We have moon rock samples. They've been studied. It isn't possible.
But what if the scientists weren't performing the right test?

And so on, and so on...

This thread has more to do with creative writing and imagination than it does with science or evidence.
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Old 7th November 2019, 08:12 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
This thread has more to do with creative writing and imagination than it does with science or evidence.

Yeah, I missed two pages and none of this has gone anywhere. Litewave just keeps asserting, "But what if ..."

And the thing that kills me - absolutely slays me dead - is this argument that since scientists haven't figured out the exact movement of every subparticle everywhere, their theories are incomplete and thus just as valid as anything anyone could fancifully dream up.
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:05 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
From what I've gathered, your resonance idea is based upon the concept that these incredibly tiny forces can somehow grow and magnify to the levels which are capable of interacting with the human brain, yes? Do you think that is a fair understanding?

If so, then what I and others are saying, once this tiny, tiny, tiny force grew or resonated with other stronger [larger] forces enough to interact with the brain then, at that point, we can measure them.
Yes, you can measure the effect but the problem is how to trace its origins. fMRI has spatial resoultion on the scale of millimeters, EEG even worse. That was my point.
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:15 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
[color="Navy"]I agree. There is no unknown energy input causing the observed synapse activity
It's true that scientists are able to dissect an individual nerve cell but the problem is on a larger scale where the observation of individual neurons becomes intractable.

Quote:
He explains the current dilemma in brain studies: On the one hand, neuroscientists have a great deal of knowledge of how one neuron works and have observed a handful of neurons interacting in the lab. Scientists studying human behavior, on the other hand, have set up MRI experiments mapping areas of the brain that react to certain stimuli. For instance, they’ve shown photos of babies to adults and recorded which part of the brain responded. These areas identified through MRIs are typically about a million neurons in size. “But what happens between a handful of neurons and a million neurons?” Xu asks. “We don’t know. We don’t have the tools we need to study the phenomenon in between.”
https://research.cornell.edu/news-fe...ities-and-more

Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
In addition, if the consciousness was leaving the body, we should see a significant reduction in synapse activity.....but no such reduction has been observed.
That depends on how much synapse activity there would be without a soul's meddling in the brain.
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Old 7th November 2019, 11:17 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
How?

Say I have a simulation of a hundred particles, all moving around according to a physical law, say moving at delta t * v and colliding with momentum conserved.

I take ten of those particles and I nudge them a little to get an outcome I want.

Do you think you could tell which ones were nudged and which were just behaving according to physics? I can post a video of an example if you like and you tell me which are moving according to the general law and which ones have been nudged. You can't, or only if I make the movement really obvious.

And that is only one hundred particles that you can keep track of on screen and run the video back and forth as much as you like.

So you are telling me that if you were a simulation you could tell which particles in your brain the programmers had nudged?
Physicists can measure particle movements with great precision in particle accelerators, but I agree that the measurements would become intractable in the brain.
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Old 8th November 2019, 12:11 AM   #261
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No reduction of synapse activity during claimed out of body experiences
Originally Posted by litewave View Post
That depends on how much synapse activity there would be without a soul's meddling in the brain.
You are suggesting the paranormal concept of the "soul" isn't that connected with the inputs received and thought patterns undertaken by the real physical brain. That sort of downgrades the "soul" to something like a disconnected blind earthworm parasite and people should want to get rid of it.

Well considering "souls" don't have DNA nor environments to allow them to evolve, are you suggesting "souls" may be as primitive as a blind earthworm? That makes sense, as there is no evidence suggesting "souls" can do anything an earthworm can't.
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Old 8th November 2019, 01:03 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Do you keep track of all the particles in your brain?
Robin that doesn't seem to follow the discussion? We are talking about what we know. We have a theory which is backed up by plenty of experimental data, if particles started turning up in places in that the theory didn't predicts we'd know about it.
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Old 8th November 2019, 01:47 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
How?



Say I have a simulation of a hundred particles, all moving around according to a physical law, say moving at delta t * v and colliding with momentum conserved.



I take ten of those particles and I nudge them a little to get an outcome I want.



Do you think you could tell which ones were nudged and which were just behaving according to physics? I can post a video of an example if you like and you tell me which are moving according to the general law and which ones have been nudged. You can't, or only if I make the movement really obvious.



And that is only one hundred particles that you can keep track of on screen and run the video back and forth as much as you like.



So you are telling me that if you were a simulation you could tell which particles in your brain the programmers had nudged?
Ah, better understand your point. But that's all a grand idea, but where is the evidence that it describes our reality. Otherwise you you are really saying no more than Belz.... ridiculous idea that fairies move the particles (everyone knows it is tiny imps).
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Old 8th November 2019, 04:48 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
No reduction of synapse activity during claimed out of body experiences

You are suggesting the paranormal concept of the "soul" isn't that connected with the inputs received and thought patterns undertaken by the real physical brain. That sort of downgrades the "soul" to something like a disconnected blind earthworm parasite and people should want to get rid of it.
I don't know whether the withdrawal of a soul from the brain would necessarily reduce overall activity of the brain. The soul may just modify brain activity as it interacts with the brain. The brain itself is fueled by blood flow and oxygen.

Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
Well considering "souls" don't have DNA nor environments to allow them to evolve, are you suggesting "souls" may be as primitive as a blind earthworm? That makes sense, as there is no evidence suggesting "souls" can do anything an earthworm can't.
I don't know whether souls have something analogous to DNA which they could pass on to offspring. But if they exist they must have some properties and exist in some environment, so they could potentially accumulate changes in themselves and evolve in this sense.
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Old 8th November 2019, 06:03 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
If something goes wrong with, say, the central vestibular system, it's not like there's a light that flashes in the cognitive layer saying, "GIMBAL LOCK."
I don't need to hear the obvious, I've got the frappin' 8-ball right in front of me!


Seriously, it would be so much cooler if we got status reports like from a computer.
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Old 8th November 2019, 08:36 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Robin that doesn't seem to follow the discussion? We are talking about what we know. We have a theory which is backed up by plenty of experimental data, if particles started turning up in places in that the theory didn't predicts we'd know about it.
I think Robin is saying that we're talking about stuff such a fine detail that could, in principle, go unnoticed.

If I stole a grain of salt out of your salt shaker, you'd never realize it was missing.
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Old 8th November 2019, 09:26 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
I don't know whether souls have something analogous to DNA which they could pass on to offspring. But if they exist they must have some properties and exist in some environment, so they could potentially accumulate changes in themselves and evolve in this sense.
You could say that about anything you imagine might possibly exist.

For example: I don't know whether fairies exist or have something analogous to offspring, but if they exist, they must have some properties and exist in some environment, so they could potential accumulate changes in themselves and evolve in this sense.

Is that a sentence worth taking seriously? Replace fairies with wizards, demons, djinns, etc. Do you have anything to back up your theory other than the vaguest of notions about how it might possibly work if it possibly existed? Why should any of this be taken seriously at all when you've really not made any attempt to back it up with anything other than fanciful speculation of the vaguest kind?

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Old 8th November 2019, 10:51 AM   #268
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It's one of those religiousy sounding things that one can't really prove or disprove that gives Atheists a chance to pontificate.
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Old 8th November 2019, 11:16 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
You could say that about anything you imagine might possibly exist.
Indeed, for seven pages and counting people have been pointing out that all of this is nothing but an ever-shifting circus of speculation and circular reasoning. The empirical data don't fit the hypothesis? Just imagine that the data are "really" more favorable. Standard Model not allow for your proposal? Just imagine extending it so that it does. Plot holes in your proposal? Just speculate that there must be suitable unknowns that you declare will work out in your favor.

Nobody gives a standing ovation for that. It takes zero effort to just idly conjure up an imaginary world in which some desired idea can make sense.

Quote:
Replace fairies with wizards, demons, djinns, etc.
And this is a common rebuttal pattern. We try to show the parallels to other mythical concepts. We make up works that have no intrinsic meaning and point out that the same logic "validates" those too. We attempt reductio ad absurdum with notions like invisible elves or transvestite space cows. And it never works because the claimant has generally strongly normalized to his pet idea and disagrees with the premise of the rebuttal: "That may be the case for your MacGuffins, but a soul is reasonably well-accepted concept. Therefore my speculation is reasonable."

Oh, but is it?

A Mormon, a Hindu, and an atheist walk into a bar have a near-death out-of-body experience. Each of them says, "I felt like I was floating above my body." The spiritualists propose that we should take all those accounts at face value, and our claimant suggests further that each account should be construed as if the patient actually believed the alluded-to animism. Let's grant that, arguendo.

The Mormon and the Hindu will each have a fairly concrete, fairly well-developed notion of a soul. So it's tempting to say that the Mormon believes in a soul and so it's reasonable to suggest that he is literally saying his soul left his body. Ditto the Hindu. Except that the Mormon concept of the soul and the Hindu concept of the soul are as utterly incompatible as they can be, as are the respective concepts of the afterlife in each belief tradition. Both traditions can't simultaneously be true, so either the Mormon or the Hindu is mistaken, or perhaps both. And even an atheist who rejects the concept of gods may still want to keep his mind open to the notion that something as-yet uncharacterized in the natural world could be a seat of consciousness aside from the organism.

The point is that once you start talking about actual constructions of the soul, you can't escape the contradictions in particular formulations -- they can't all be true, yet many are believed. You can't escape the contradictions by softening the construction to the point where it says nothing about which we can ask questions and get answers. You can't fix it by flitting ad hoc between different traditions of belief.

Even a hard-core skeptic might accept a definition of "soul" as an abstract label for cognitive behaviors and factors that affect well-being, even if nothing he intends by it transcends the organism. I have no problem saying that a hike in the mountains "is good for my soul" without intending that to mean some supernatural entity that's going to try to flee the scene of the crime if I have a heart attack.

So no, the concept of a soul is not well enough nailed down or commonly enough construed that animist proposals escape all the various analogizing and reductionist rebuttals.
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Old 8th November 2019, 12:22 PM   #270
Darat
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
Yes, you can measure the effect but the problem is how to trace its origins. fMRI has spatial resoultion on the scale of millimeters, EEG even worse. That was my point.
And that means your idea of a soul is at the level of atoms and molecules, we examine synapses to that scale. Plus of course the soul if it exists has to be made of the same "stuff" as everything else so if it existed we could even with current technology not only detect it but be able to examine it. Yet there is no evidence of something like a soul existing.
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Old 8th November 2019, 07:40 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by litewave View Post
I don't know whether souls have something analogous to DNA which they could pass on to offspring. But if they exist they must have some properties and exist in some environment, so they could potentially accumulate changes in themselves and evolve in this sense.
Well it is obvious "souls" can't evolve as they don't have any sensory receiving devices to interact with the normal environment.

"Souls" travel through skull bones, so they obviously don't interact with normal physical things and thus can't hear sound waves in air.

"Souls" don't have evolved cones and rods, or any eye, that can receive electromagnetic wave form data (visible light), so souls are obviously blind

As "souls" don't have tongues, they wouldn't have a clue if their host human was eating a turd sandwich or a chocolate.

Yep. It is clear a soul, if it actually existed, is as useful to a human as a tapeworm.
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Old 11th November 2019, 02:38 PM   #272
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empiricism or rationalism?
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