Society/Culture Nobody has anything new to say about God.

Snake_Baker

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Another piece in the puzzle:

When Caitlin Cornell looked down her microscope, she saw large bright spots against a black background. They resembled miniature suns, blazing against the backdrop of space. And when Cornell showed the spots to her supervisor, Sarah Keller, a chemist at the University of Washington, “we got really excited,” she recalls. “It was a bit of an ‘Aha!’ moment.” Those spots, she realized, might help address a long-standing puzzle about the origin of life itself.

The cells that make up all living things, despite their endless variations, contain three fundamental elements. There are molecules that encode information and can be copied—DNA and its simpler relative, RNA. There are proteins—workhorse molecules that perform important tasks. And encapsulating them all, there’s a membrane made from fatty acids. Go back far enough in time, before animals and plants and even bacteria existed, and you’d find that the precursor of all life—what scientists call a “protocell”—likely had this same trinity of parts: RNA and proteins, in a membrane. As the physicist Freeman Dyson once said, “Life began with little bags of garbage.”

The bags—the membranes—were crucial. Without something to corral the other molecules, they would all just float away, diffusing into the world and achieving nothing. By concentrating them, membranes transformed an inanimate world of disordered chemicals into one teeming with redwoods and redstarts, elephants and E. coli, humans and hagfish. Life, at its core, is about creating compartments. And that’s much easier and much harder than it might seem.

First, the easy bit. Early cell membranes were built from fatty acids—molecules that look like lollipops, with round heads and long tails. The heads enjoy the company of water; the tails despise it. So, when placed in water, fatty acids self-assemble into hollow spheres, with the water-hating tails pointing inward and the water-loving heads on the surface. These spheres can enclose RNA and proteins, making protocells. Fatty acids, then, can automatically create the compartments that were necessary for life to emerge. It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is, for two reasons. Life first arose in salty oceans, and salt catastrophically destabilizes the fatty-acid spheres. Also, certain ions, including magnesium and iron, cause the spheres to collapse, which is problematic since RNA—another key component of early protocells—requires these ions. How, then, could life possibly have arisen, when the compartments it needs are destroyed by the conditions in which it first emerged, and by the very ingredients it needs to thrive?

Caitlin Cornell and Sarah Keller have an answer to this paradox. They’ve shown that the spheres can withstand both salt and magnesium ions, as long as they’re in the presence of amino acids—the simple molecules that are the building blocks of proteins. The little suns that Cornell saw under her microscope were mixtures of amino acids and fatty acids, holding their spherical shape in the presence of salt.

I find that utterly magical. It means that two of the essential components of life, a protocell’s membrane and its proteins, provided the conditions for each other to exist. By sticking to the fatty acids, the amino acids gave them stability. In turn, the fatty acids concentrated the amino acids, perhaps encouraging them to coalesce into proteins. From the very beginning, these partners were locked in a two-step dance that continued for 3.5 billion years, and helped create all the richness of biology from a starting place of mere chemistry. “I agree completely,” Keller tells me. “It’s completely magical. You need those two parts together.”

“It’s fantastic work,” says Neal Devaraj, of UC San Diego. “Their suggestion that membranes could promote the synthesis of [proteins] is really fascinating.”


 
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Total Power

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One of the most brilliant Q&A sessions i have seen on consciousness, from Harvard Professor and Neuroscientst Rudolph Tazni.

jason pm you might be interested in this, very similar to what i said all along, about everything being a product of consciosuness.

 

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Not looking to be combative here TP, but what is your take away from this?
Thanks for once we can have a discussion on the subject properly.

Every theory of nature works by explaining certain aspects of reality in terms of other aspects. For exampel, we tend to explain living beings/creatures in terms of organs, then organs are explained in terms of tissues, tissues in terms of molecules, molecules in terms of atoms, atoms in terms of subatomic partcles etc, etc. But one cannot keep on playing this game forever: at some point we hit rock bottom...... Therefore, every theory of nature needs to grant at least one fundamental aspect of reality that cannot be explained, but in terms of which everything else should be explainable.

The mental universe cannot be explained, it simply "is". Sure they'll find more correlates of consciousness, many of which will probably turn out to be useful. But any explanation of consciousness purely in terms of physical processes or algorithms is ultimately doomed. Some scientists simply don't grasp the problem (and Tanzi hit the nail in the video where he said "they are not asking the question) : you can't explain the subjective via objective means. Physical processes, no matter how complex, have objective properties and that's all. You can't throw a bunch of objective matter, forces, and fields together and declare that the invisible subjective magically emerges. There's no way to get there from here. Subjective properties are just not in the language of our basic physics and I don't see that changing any time soon.

I mentioned Penrose before..but he hardly talks about "the hard problem",He does make a very strong case about human understanding of certain mathematical problems that are not possible to solve in an algorithmic fashion. The solution to the problem might be questionable but the problem he comes up is very concrete.Worth reading more about it.We mapped the entire nervous system of the c-elegans, all synapses, connections and we haven't got one step closer understanding how it works. Our models don't work. Maybe it is time to listen to Penrose.

I hope we can have a good discussion from here on. Cheers.
 

Snake_Baker

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When I stated "this", I was referring to actual pieces in the clip you posted. I am trying to stay out of the rabbit hole.

What you have just posted makes a lot of leaps without explanation.

For instance, you leap straight to a "mental universe" after your very brief paragraph pertaining to what I assume is human analytical reasoning, as if it is some accepted fact, and then go on to make definitive correlations based upon that vague premise.

I'd prefer it if you just stuck to your personal takeaways from the clip you posted, which is basically this:

"Some scientists simply don't grasp the problem (and Tanzi hit the nail in the video where he said "they are not asking the question) : you can't explain the subjective via objective means. Physical processes, no matter how complex, have objective properties and that's all. Physical processes, no matter how complex, have objective properties and that's all. You can't throw a bunch of objective matter, forces, and fields together and declare that the invisible subjective magically emerges. There's no way to get there from here. Subjective properties are just not in the language of our basic physics and I don't see that changing any time soon."

Of course not, because "subjective" properties are of a personal nature. They are unscientific by default.

Your premise is predominately philosophical, and I don't think you do yourself any great service by attempting to borrow so heavily from science.
 

Snake_Baker

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All Tanzi is really claiming is that we need to be "open to possibilities" regarding consciousness in the similiar way that a theoretical physicist engages in mental gymnastics to facilitate the pushing of the boundaries of physics. These are philosophical constructs based upon some semblance of a scientific platform. These people cannot step away from the science that moulded their reasoning in the first place. It facilitates their theoretical modelling.

This does not correlate in any way with "theoretical" exercises landing upon truth, as on many occasions they fail, but the scientific worth is in that failure.
 

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All Tanzi is really claiming is that we need to be "open to possibilities" regarding consciousness in the similiar way that a theoretical physicist engages in mental gymnastics to facilitate the pushing of the boundaries of physics. These are philosophical constructs.

This does not correlate in any way with "theoretical" exercises landing upon truth, as on many occasions they fail, but the scientific worth is in that failure.
I don't understand what you are to trying to say, cause there is no scientific opinion or definition of consciousness except for "this might be". Hypothesis of Nonlocality, might be small in numbers but one of the hundred possibilities out there. There is no testifiable hypothesis, nor there is a theory that can explain consciousness. Listen to his opinion on the 14th minute mark. He compares the "brain" to a receiver. Please note, other scientists like Penrose, Wheeler have stated the same thing exactly. There is some evidence which points to this.

And i agree this is "outside of realm" of "present day" physics/science but at present the study of consciousness is extremely vague. I listened lengthily to Daniel Dennett and to Roger Penrose. Although the first has a robust mind with great intellect but I'm more inclined to agree with the second. Dennett goes in his hypotheses about mind far beyond experimental reasons that sometimes he comes off as ideologist, while Penrose offers a wider scope of looking at the subject. Dennett ridicules human mind so much that he doesn't see it more than a usually-dysfunctioning giant computer. He also implicitly ridicules the minds of whoever reject this idea and advises them to use his "thinking tools" to think "better". While Penrose simply capitalizes on common intuition to get people agreeing on the transition from the deadly-narrow machine thinking to altra-substance dimension. Dennett attitude is like 'No no don't go this far. It is all here, in my unproven hypothesis that our minds are biological computers'. While Penrose is like 'Don't be afraid to reject material paradigms. This is a hypothesis that even if unproven yet opens your mind to endless possibilities'.

Roger Penrose has one of the greatest minds of the last century, possibly of all time. I can not recommend highly enough his two books, The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. They're not easy reads, this isn't an easy subject, but they're well worth the effort.
 

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For instance, you leap straight to a "mental universe" after your very brief paragraph pertaining to what I assume is human analytical reasoning, as if it is some accepted fact, and then go on to make definitive correlations based upon that vague premise.
I don't agree.

Quantum mechanics fundamentally states that the world and everything it contains is not independent of acts of measurement, i.e., measuring something is how physics derives all “physical” properties.

In the quantum universe, where reality is already mental in the above sense, the usual assumption held by modern neuroscience, that the brain creates the mind, cannot work. Of course, without the physical brain, human mental processes of the waking and sleep states would not be possible. But this does not imply that the mental realm ends here, in the physical brain. Such a claim is like saying that without a physical radio, broadcasts consisting of electromagnetic waves cease to exist. The brain does not create the sense of mental reality but is necessary for human cognition and human experience to take on their specific human attributes.

As I mentioned the universal mind cannot be explained, and does not need to be explained in terms of anything else. It simply is. Everything else, in turn, needs to be explained in terms of the behavior—excitations, modulations, vibrations, movements, or whatever other metaphor is most suitable—of the universal mind. This is the challenge incumbent upon theories of the mental universe, which is in the works at present, still in its infancy. That's all i am stating.
 

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The evidence for a locality of consciousness swamps any evidence of non-locality arguments?

Surely you can concede this, even if you don't personally believe it?
He mentioned it in his video and he mentioned that this has been assumed for 150 years and it hasn't gotten us any closer to the truth. I agree scientific consensus is towards locality, however it hasn't gotten the answers we are striving to find. As i said before maybe it's time to listen to Penrose.
 

Snake_Baker

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He mentioned it in his video and he mentioned that this has been assumed for 150 years and it hasn't gotten us any closer to the truth.
Is there some time limit to science where it is written off as a complete failure? I wasn't aware of this.

I agree scientific consensus is towards locality, however it hasn't gotten the answers we are striving to find. As i said before maybe it's time to listen to Penrose.
I respect your act of concession, and again, I would point out that there is no time limit where science automatically becomes a failure, as time is a function of its method. This includes theoretical science, but to correlate strong outcomes upon its presently inherent vagaries is a very flawed act of reasoning. It's also worth noting that these men are predominately respected in this world because of the empirical worth of the aspects of their work and not their philosophical musings, at least at this point anyway.
 

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The evidence for a locality of consciousness swamps any evidence of non-locality arguments?

Surely you can concede this, even if you don't personally believe it?
Allow me to explain citing Sir Roger again. Hameroff presents the medical perspective of Hameroff+Penroses theories, where I am more competent to discuss the details as i have read their books. Medical perspective is less interesting, physics is interesting in this case because it's the core of this topic. Reasoning of Penrose goes something like this:

1. Gödel's incompleteness theorem proves the brain is non-computable.
2. Outcome of quantum experiment is also non-computable.
3. Therefore quantum effects are important to intelligence/perception/memory/mind/whatever in the brain.

The whole motivation part of the Pen's theory is a mystery to me therefore discussing some medical facts about microtubules is irrelevant when it comes to consciousness. It's non-computable IMO.

So IMO science is on the wrong track in regards to consciousness.
 

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Is there some time limit to science where it is written off as a complete failure? I wasn't aware of this.



I respect your act of concession, and again, I would point out that there is no time limit where science automatically becomes a failure, as time is a function of its method. This includes theoretical science, but to correlate strong outcomes upon its presently inherent vagaries is a very flawed act of reasoning. It's also worth noting that these men are predominately respected in this world because of the empirical worth of the aspects of their work and not their philosophical musings, at least at this point anyway.
Gödel’s theorem basically prove that you cannot conflate understanding with knowing. hence subjective experiences are important, hence it's outside the realm of present day science. Hence all discussions and experiments on consciousness is useless. This is Penrose stated in his book. This is the reason why meditation became science, to understand how subjective experience changes the brain structure. My journey from a militant atheist to a spiritualst (not religious) is explicitly based on experiences gathered through intense meditation.
 

Snake_Baker

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Gödel’s theorem basically prove that you cannot conflate understanding with knowing. hence subjective experiences are important, hence it's outside the realm of present day science. Hence all discussions and experiments on consciousness is useless. This is Penrose stated in his book. This is the reason why meditation became science, to understand how subjective experience changes the brain structure. My journey from a militant atheist to a spiritualst (not religious) is explicitly based on experiences gathered through intense meditation.
Godels theorems is a philosophical exercise relating to gaps in mathematical reasoning, but the fact in reality is that math serves us better than any other scientific construct. Science is not perfect. This gives rise to the possibility of your universal consciousness belief, in the same way it equally applies to the possibility that Alpha Centauri is made out of chocolate flavored milk, and it also makes any and all ventures absolutely pointless in the first place.

If this is how you want to engage with your reality, then that's fine, but it doesn't work for me, or apparently the majority of the human race.

Again, your premise is built upon philosophy.
 

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Godels theorems is a philosophical exercise relating to gaps in mathematical reasoning, but the fact in reality is that math serves us better than any other scientific construct. Science is not perfect. This gives rise to the possibility of your universal consciousness belief, in the same way it equally applies to the possibility that Alpha Centauri is made out of chocolate flavored milk, and makes any and all ventures absolutely pointless in the first place. If this is how you want to engage with your reality, then that's fine, but it doesn't work for me.

Again, your premise is built upon philosophy.
No. For your particular question I can recommend the book "Infinity and the Mind" by Rudy Rucker, which can tell you much about Godel and his theorems (among an interesting variety of other things). Chapter 4 is devoted to your query, and RR's conclusion is (p. 173): "Reality is, on the deepest level, essentially infinite. No finitely programmed machine can ever exhaust the richness of the mental and physical world we inhabit".

So, finding a theory of everything would indeed be pretty much ruled out by Godel, since we can never have a finite set of axioms and rules to grasp everything. Unless of course you believe the universe is finite in content and possibilities.
 

Snake_Baker

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No. For your particular question I can recommend the book "Infinity and the Mind" by Rudy Rucker, which can tell you much about Godel and his theorems (among an interesting variety of other things). Chapter 4 is devoted to your query, and RR's conclusion is (p. 173): "Reality is, on the deepest level, essentially infinite. No finitely programmed machine can ever exhaust the richness of the mental and physical world we inhabit".

Thanks, but I am not interested.

The issue is not with the information here, it is how you personally consume and utilise that information.

So, finding a theory of everything would indeed be pretty much ruled out by Godel, since we can never have a finite set of axioms and rules to grasp everything. Unless of course you believe the universe is finite in content and possibilities.
It's a theorem. Cool your leaps of "faith".
 

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Again, your premise is built upon philosophy.
How so?

Aristotle had no notion of momentum, the motion stops as soon as the force stops, and it was empirically true.

Descartes said that the momentum is conserved because Nature is a manifestation of God, and God doesn't change. But he believed that the direction wasn't conserved, and that the mind could change it, he believed then in telekinesis.

Newton linked the change of momentum to force. But for him it was the quantity of motion, a meaningless product of mass and velocity, inertia was more important. It has been generalized to represent quite different quantities, like the vector potential.

In quantum mechanics, the momentum is another animal, it is a parameter of a wave like entity, and is broken down into elementary particles. The sum of wave numbers has no sensible meaning. The momentum is conserved because of the homogeneity of space, it is no more a property of a body.

Now with gauge theories and general relativity, the momentum still loses substance, its conservation is but a convention. It is true only in inertial referentials, and inertial referentials are defined by the conservation of momentum. Only space-time curvature, or gravitation, has a tangible existence.

On earth, momentum seemed to be conserved, because the mass of the eath makes it near an inertial referential. Actually, it is the comparision between the motion of the earth and other bodies that shows invariants. It is a relational concept, not an individual one.

The morale is, we can't speak about reality, since our very words don't necessarily correspond to something real. "The momentum is conserved" is not an absolute statement, even if it is verified experimentally, since the very notion of momentum isn't absolute.

The momentum is a representation, a purely abstract tool with which we model our perceptions. We can describe a tree in paint, in poetry, in music, in mathematics, in numbers, in botanical classification, but none of this is a tree, and there is none common attribute of all these different representations, apart from our perceptions.
 

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Thanks, but I am not interested.

The issue is not with the information here, it is how you personally consume and utilise that information.



It's a theorem. Cool your leaps of "faith".
I haven't said any of it. Take it up with Penrose. I am merely stating what he said, you can challenge his hypothesis.
 

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We're just never going to find mutual ground with this TP.

I am too much of a forensic style thinker, and you a heavy philosophical angle.
I am ok with this. I was an atheist once and i respect you being critical of everything i have said. This is why i am asking you to give meditation a go. It will take time, but you will get there, eventually. Be your own scientist, don't believe me.
 

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God is non ego driven love.

I do not know if God exists externally or just in that love, but that, in my experience is what God is.

Saint Francis talking to birds or the Buddha gently asking a woman who just lost her child and wants to find relief from that terrible suffering to find one family on Earth who has never known death.

God is non ego driven love.
 

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God is non ego driven love.

I do not know if God exists externally or just in that love, but that, in my experience is what God is.

Saint Francis talking to birds or the Buddha gently asking a woman who just lost her child and wants to find relief from that terrible suffering to find one family on Earth who has never known death.

God is non ego driven love.
Very well put.

God "is". (although i don't like using the term God, it scares a lot of people)

God is the unlimited, unconditioned, 'aphysical' super-system and you are a co-existing, conditioned sub-system learning, and evolving, within it.

The super-system is always with you, whether you choose to see it or not. It is there. Always. It is inexplicably magnificent!

I have experienced it first hand, but now that science states can meditation can "simulate" Near Death like Experience shows all the atheist theories about the brain easing you into death through illusion is a pile of crap. There is zero evolutionary advantage for that.

From my experience: I believe that there is an energy, which is often referred to as the Universal Mind, which is the primary activating force of everything. It is not a physical wave like electricity, light, or sound, but a static potence.

We are intimately connected to it, as our bodies are the instruments through which it acts. It is the substance of all force and form and it acts in accordance with fixed laws.

Some prefer to call the collective sum of all mind "God". Some, such as Buddhists prefer not to make the spiritual differentiation, as it in ways creates an ego constuct of separation from which one can never be separated from, and is detrimental to the work that we must undertake in order to become self-realised segments of the Universal Consciousness.
 

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