Friday (belated) Roundup

The post-modern and physics…it’s perspective all the way down; and, we are not machines…

Is another dichotomy falling?  Is it time to revise the theory of evolution?

Thislooks like an interesting book and is on my list…

Seemsreassuring despite a nickname like “Mad Dog” …

Indeed, “perhaps” it is true…

Many(most?) Trump supporters are fragile, insecure, and emotional weaklings…the typical bully…

Oh, how I love the Onion…though satire—this explains much of the vote for Trump…
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6 Responses to Friday (belated) Roundup

  1. Burk says:

    Hi, Darrell-

    Good luck with your quantum consciousness crank in the first link- it seems that you don't even exist. Sad!

    Your second link is a bit more serious, but doesn't actually touch the core issue. Variability may have more sources than genetic mutation, (as we knew forever), and such variability may have multi-generational effects, but the variations that last forever and form lineages such as we see in speciation.. that is all Darwinian. In addition, all the epigenetic features are themselves subject to natural selection, (note how they say that the phenomenon is “highly conserved”- how could that be?), so the hierarchy of what leads what remains clear.

    The second article also makes a hash of the first. If we can study these figments of our perceived reality and make consistent, logical conclusions about them, what is the point of positing that it doesn't exist?

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  2. Darrell says:

    Burk,

    I’m not sure how anything he is noting would mean we don’t exist. In fact, he ends with this:

    “I’m claiming that experiences are the real coin of the realm. The experiences of everyday life—my real feeling of a headache, my real taste of chocolate—that really is the ultimate nature of reality.”

    If we experience existence, and clearly we do, then—such is the “real”. And nothing he is asserting here would impact scientific work/investigation in any field, whether evolutionary biology, theory, and so on. To read it that way is to completely misunderstand him. The further question, for an empiricist, physicalist, is whether or not the writer's understanding of physics is correct. If it is, then what? Is he wrong about the physics, or do you simply not agree with his “perspective” regarding what his, perhaps, correct view of physics leads him to believe about what is “real”? Where do you challenge him here?

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  3. Burk says:

    Hi, Darrell-

    This is the shoddiest piece of clickbait I have read for a long time. And induced intellectual pain just by re-reading it to comment.

    “The neuroscientists are saying, “We don’t need to invoke those kind of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.” I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain!”

    Ergo, you, Darrell, are not real. Sorry!

    “As a conscious realist, I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world.”

    This is absurd, and then produces the rest of the gibberish you read. Garbage in, garbage out. One could just as well posit monads as the primitive, or pixies. The fact is that, in the history of our present universe, there is no evidence that consciousness preceeds anything else. Quite the opposite- it was a very late arrival. And this applies to the insinuations about quanta being “dependent” on observers as well. Not so.

    “Physics tells us that there are no public physical objects.”

    Well, quite a lot of physicists might be surprised. But then he spends the rest of this discussion backtracking this exact claim. There are public objects that we can jointly observe, even if our subjective models of them are private and idiosyncratic.

    “… you have your own moon. But I assume it’s relevantly similar to mine.”

    Well sure.. so what of all the quantum hocus pocus and insinuations?

    The bottom line is that the quantum reality is still an open question- what it really means and how to make sense of it in connection with everything else we know about physics. Mr. Hoffman, from this article seems far from a leader on this front. And we do know quite a bit, including publicly observable and weigh-able snakes, moons, etc. Likewise, we know that brain and mental activities are perfectly consistent with classical physical models of their operations, not to mention their existence. Again, the whole thing is just shoddy clickbait.

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  4. Burk says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention the “equation” he sets up, which is without meaning or use. “W” is the world, and hey, let's just substitute “W” with “C” for Conscious agent, and presto.. the meaning doesn't change, because the whole thing was meaningless to start with. It is an embarrassment.

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  5. Darrell says:

    Burk,

    “The neuroscientists are saying, “We don’t need to invoke those kind of quantum processes, we don’t need quantum wave functions collapsing inside neurons, we can just use classical physics to describe processes in the brain.” I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain!”

    “Ergo, you, Darrell, are not real. Sorry!”

    Sorry, but that is not what the above means-at all.

    “As a conscious realist, I am postulating conscious experiences as ontological primitives, the most basic ingredients of the world.”

    “…The fact is that, in the history of our present universe, there is no evidence that consciousness preceeds anything else.”

    That is not a fact, but, rather, a philosophical opinion.

    “Physics tells us that there are no public physical objects.”

    “Well, quite a lot of physicists might be surprised.”

    I doubt it.

    “Oh, I forgot to mention the “equation” he sets up, which is without meaning or use. “W” is the world, and hey, let's just substitute “W” with “C” for Conscious agent, and presto…”

    That is not his point there. He is noting that either way, whether we use a “W” or a “C”, it is still conscious agents all the way down.

    So then, if we remove all the hyperbolic rhetoric and misunderstandings on your part, you don’t disagree with his understanding of physics, or some scientific fact, or point of math related to physics (in fact, he is a physicist and you are not), you simply disagree with his perspective regarding what he thinks the physics tells us—what it means.

    That sort of proves his point, right?

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  6. Burk says:

    I am sure it does.

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