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The most important question I can ask.

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posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 04:31 PM

Originally posted by Mike_A
You’re not posting evidence you are posting quackery from a self help group with a track record of bad science, not a scientific body.

And I said prove it. Just because a bunch of you armchair "skeptics" sit around bitching and moaning about the science they do, doesn't amount to actually refuting it with other science. Your religion of scientific materialism is being infringed upon by other science and so you just attack these guys with accusations and insinuations. The basic and most obvious way to contradict them would be to replicate their various studies (that is science) and prove their conclusions were flawed. Where has this been done?

For example on the first page they claim that Dr Armour has found that the heart can “learn, remember, and even feel and sense” but I can’t find any reference to this in any of his work and they don’t provide a proper reference for anyone to get this information. Just writing it on their site doesn’t make it true.

Sure, but that goes both way. You have been saying things this entire time without posting a damned bit of evidence to back it up (ie the brain makes consciousness), though I don't think you are a doctor. And there's another difference: they DO have scientific studies that DO refute various other claims you have been making in this thread, that you still have not addressed though I have posted them 2 or 3 times already just to TRY to get you to respond specifically to them.

Another from just the first page of their “science” of the heart section.

“Thus, under normal physiological conditions, the heart’s intrinsic nervous system plays an important role in much of the routine control of cardiac function, independent of the central nervous system.”

This is just not true. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord with interneurons being found only in this system; though axons can extend beyond the spinal cord the soma remains.

You didn't refute the quote you posted. It simply says the interneurons in the heart regulate the heart's function independently of the rest of the nervous system. If the heart's interneurons are gathering information provided to them by other parts of the nervous system and processing that, then he could have worded that better, though ultimate control over certain functions would still be coming from those interneurons. What science do you have to refute the statement that the heart's interneurons play "an important role in much of the routine control of cardiac function"?

Thus to say that the heart operates independent of the central nervous system is just not true. Just as it is wrong to state that there are interneuron’s in the heart

Can you give me sources stating there are no interneurons in the heart? Because I can give you sources that say there are, and even show pictures of networks of them interconnected within the heart. Dismissing the source out of hand does nothing to contradict their actual data, and there are actual professional doctors and scientists related to this work.

what you fail to understand is that an being part of an intrinsic nervous system does not mean all the neurons are localised in the organ in question. As I have said earlier, a polysynaptic reflex arc that involves the foot shares a similar layout but interneurons are still located in the central nervous system.

So would you compare the interneuron activity involved in a foot reflex to the interneuron activity within the brain? Earlier you were insinuating that interneurons within the brain were what gave it its special property of being able to "make consciousness" somehow but the same neurons are involved with totally unconscious reflexes and are not themselves the source of conscious. It also means the brain is not special when it comes to "making consciousness" only because it has interneurons.

Do you have references to any scientific studies that say your right testicle "has a pleasing baritone"?

Do you have any references to any scientific studies that have found that the heart can learn and remember?

No, but you are picking and choosing which statements you want proof for, and completely ignoring all of those which already have evidence offered for them in the form of various academic papers referenced on that website.

No actually you don’t, you have a self help group that makes second hand claims without proper references. That’s not good enough.

Again, there are plenty of references to academic papers written by professionals that you are completely ignoring. Ignoring information literally leads to ignorance. I haven't been ignoring anything because you haven't even been posting contradictory science, you have only been slandering the website as a whole. Just tell me that name-calling is hard evidence to you and I'll completely understand the mindset you are coming form, we can agree to disagree.

You make no logical arguments of your own, if you want to talk about logical fallacies how about appeal to authority? “They’ve got a nice website so they must be correct”.

You wouldn't be ignoring lists of scientific papers that DO validate various claims they make, would you? Oh, nope, you are repeatedly ignoring them.

But other than that you're placing significance on insignificant things, like the fact that the state of heart has an affect on what you consciously experience, so does the temperature of the hand, but has nothing to do with where this conscious experience is produced.

Prove it. Speaking of making things up, I want to see actual scientific sources for this, too.

You want a scientific paper saying that the temperature of your hand affects what you consciously experience?!

No, I want you to prove that the brain creates the conscious experience of temperature totally inside itself.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 04:40 PM

But I never said that a heart attack only affects neurology within the brain as you claimed, you keep making things up.

You know damned well what you said and meant. I don't have to explain it to you. You said if consciousness can reside in the heart, a heart attack would affect it and we would no longer be conscious at all. And first of all I did not say consciousness resided exclusively within the heart, either, so YOU were making things up with that when you originally said it. Then I said prove that a heart attack does not affect consciousness in the heart. Since then you have been twisting words and relying on a lot of rhetoric. I am still waiting on the proof I asked for. I won't have it because, again, you can't even FIND consciousness biologically so your whole premise is a load of crap.

And I did give evidence suggesting (I would never say proved) that a heart attack does not affect the consciousness (I am here referring to the production of the conscious experience, not what is experiences); I gave examples of surgery that interrupts operation of the heart, in some cases stopping it completely along with its ability to communicate with the brain while the patient remains conscious showing no signs of change in their ability to consciously experience. Here’s a reference to one such surgery if you don’t believe it happens.

That the brain remains conscious while the heart is being operated on refutes nothing of what I am saying.

Similarly, saying brain damage affects the experience of consciousness in the brain does not refute anything I am saying.

I have repeatedly said that consciousness manifests differently in both the brain and the heart, and they are a PARALLEL system and not dependent upon one another to have sensations in either one of them. You are going to have to come up with something that is actually relevant to that statement in order to refute it.

I never said sensory input is the source of consciousness.

So what have you presented, even in the heartmath stuff, that suggests the heart is conscious or that consciousness is produced by the heart?

You are asking me to show with biological evidence that consciousness can reside in the heart. According to what I myself have been saying this would be impossible. Which just goes to show how deeply you are really thinking about ANY of what I have been saying this entire time. I brought up HeartMath in response to other baseless claims you were making, such as that the heart does not have interneurons (which are photographed on the HeartMath site).

I have to go out now but I'll be back later.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 07:39 PM
Again I posted a review of their methodology by Dr David Douglas, I didn't make it up.

But as I said let's just put aside the criticism of heartmath aside and assume that everything they say is totally correct, interneurons and al, how does it support anything you have said about consciousness?

If it doesn't, then what does?

You are asking me to show with biological evidence that consciousness can reside in the heart. According to what I myself have been saying this would be impossible.

Hang on, so you're badgering me for evidence for my assertion that consciousness is produced by the brain but you admit that your assertion that a rock can be conscious or that consciousness can reside in another part of the body are impossible to prove. It is therefore, in scientific terms, unfalsibiable?

If so this discussion is moot.

By the way I did give you a paper on the brain and consciousness earlier;

Here are a few more.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:36 PM
reply to post by Chonx

The big question...I believe consciousness to be outside of the electro-chemical workings of the brain.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 06:03 AM
reply to post by Bicent76

Of course, you are correct, there is no definitive answer to the question posed which is why this debate has been stimulated. I have read every post in this thread and it has been thoroughly fascinating.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 06:27 AM

Edit – From what I understand these theories, as they relate to consciousness, still rely on the unique structure of the brain and processes there in to explain the phenomena and don’t posit that everything is conscious.

Ok, well I'm going to try and demonstrate why that is not the case based on the information I posted in those links.

The evidence for the brain working hologrgaphically comes from the experiments detailed in the comparative essay. In a nut-shell, they seem to show that memory is not stored in the brain as the conventional model of neurology would have us think but in a non-local manner somewhat akin to a holograph. I won't re-iterate the specifics as the info is provided in the links I posted before.

Here a a recent serendipitous discovery made by a group of physicists which suggests that the entire universe may follow the model of holography:

I want to say at this point that this is not definitive and needs more research but is provocative nonetheless.

If it turns out that the universe is a hologram, it means that the apparent spatial and temporal distance between events and objects in the universe is an illusion. Everything in the universe can be attributed at the very most fundamental level, to be part of or aspects of the same thing, which David Bohm called the implicate order. This includes consciousness and shows that it cannot be produced by the brain as the brain is a hologram within a hologram if you like and itself owes its existence to the same deeper aspect of reality which is ultimately responsible for consciousness.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 09:31 AM
reply to post by Chonx

I somewhat agree in as far as the holographic universe theory goes (but I’m not familiar with it enough to really say) but I think this and the holonomic brain theory need to be separated. In the latter the unique structure of the brain, or neurons therein, are still required in encoding and recalling memories; as the author states in the conclusion:

The medium of the optical holography, the silver grains on the photographic film, encodes the Fourier coefficients. In the holonomic brain theory, the Fourier coefficients are stored as the micro process of polarizations and depolarizations occurring in the dendritic networks.

With regards to consciousness he says:

conscious experience is the act of correlation itself and this correlation occurs in the dendritic structures by the summation of the polarizations (and depolarizations) through the processes in the dendritic networks.

Scholarpedia has a good write up of this theory including some common misconceptions:

With regard to the holographic universe theory, it seems to me that this would still not suggest that consciousness is produced or experienced outside of the brain, merely that what we call the brain is not what (edit - where is probably a better word) we think of it as.

[edit on 23-1-2010 by Mike_A]

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 10:04 AM

With regard to the holographic universe theory, it seems to me that this would still not suggest that consciousness is produced or experienced outside of the brain, merely that what we call the brain is not what we think of it as.

Indeed. The brain would not be what we think of it as, because it would be an expression of the implicate order as would consciousness. So if the brain is a projection or unfurling of some fundamental level of reality and so is consciousness, then it follows that the latter cannot possibly be created by the former.

obviously, this all depends on the accuracy of the theory.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 10:15 AM
reply to post by Chonx

because it would be an expression of the implicate order as would consciousness.

Even so the two can still be intrinsically linked (which is what we observe) so that they cannot be separated.

I still think it's wrong to say that consciousness is not produced by the brain in this model, the difference is that the interactions that produce it are found on a 2d plane rather than the 3d world we perceive.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by Mike_A

I can see where you are coming from there Mike but I would say that the brain (in this model) does not so much produce consciousness as acts as a vector for it's emergence. Perhaps a level of physical (that word seems to lose it's meaning while contemplating this topic!) complexity, i.e. human brain structure is needed to facilitate the projection of consciousness into reality (this one).

I'm struggling to find the correct terminology and words to use in this instance, so I apologise if I seem somewhat vague at times.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 11:08 AM
reply to post by Chonx

This goes back to the whole consciousness as a thing or a feature argument. What you are suggesting would require that consciousness be defined by its physical properties (even on a 2d plane) which I don't see how you can do.

Edit - On the general issue of consciousness here's another link that includes a little on the definition and how brain imaging techniques can demonstrate consciousness in the brain. It's a little simplistic being a leaflet for carers and relatives of impaired consciousness patients but still interesting.

[edit on 23-1-2010 by Mike_A]

posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 08:59 AM
Zen Physics by David Darling is probably one of the most profound books on this subject I have ever read. Fortunately enough, it can be found in its entirety on his site.

posted on Jan, 25 2010 @ 09:36 PM
The fact that NDE's occur seems to prove that conciousness can exist externally of any biology. Also, "ghosts" are really nothing more than a conciousness free to roam the world after it's body's death. So I think that yes, conciousness is seperate.

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 05:45 AM
reply to post by Vilkata

I'll give it a read. Never heard of the author before.

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 05:49 AM
reply to post by Captain Reynolds

Maybe. But then what if there is a biological reason for people reporting these kinds of experiences? Therre are a few cases I've read about however, in which the person dying somehow became privy to information which they could have no other way of getting other than being consciously alive while their body and brain where dead. I think a comprehensive study needs to be conducted.

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 07:27 AM
reply to post by Captain Reynolds

The fact that NDE's occur seems to prove that conciousness can exist externally of any biology. Also, "ghosts" are really nothing more than a conciousness free to roam the world after it's body's death.

The problem is, as far as I’m aware, there have been no studies of NDE’s (of the kind that would suggest consciousness external to the body) or ghosts that have survived peer review.


No reply from you I see, can’t say I’m surprised. Have you at least read those papers?

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 02:50 PM

Originally posted by Chonx
I can see where you are coming from there Mike but I would say that the brain (in this model) does not so much produce consciousness as acts as a vector for it's emergence.

Which is exactly what I have been saying the entire time.

And the reason I stopped responding is because I got tired of arguing with someone who just wants to "win" the discussion and reinforce pre-conceptions. I don't need to prove physical experiences I've had with other people to understand them and neither am I helping anyone to explore anything new to them when they don't even want to hear about it. And even when I do produce a source that contradicts you, your habit appears to be to dismiss it out of hand by attacking the source. I see you are very good at keeping your beliefs no matter what you are exposed to. You can keep it up Mike. You'll figure it out when you die anyway, no skin off anybody's back.

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by bsbray11

Lol, the hypocrisy is amazing. You started your discussion with me by being rude and condescending, badgering me for evidence of my opinion despite me having already provided it; even going so far as to say outright that you were going to ignore it (of course that's fine for you to do but when I do something similar that's suddenly a problem, hmm!). You now have my own arguments plus five links that corroborate what I have said, where is the evidence that supports your views on consciousness?

Or if it is the case that you have no evidence and that, as you have already said, it would actually be impossible to provide evidence to support your opinion then who exactly is the one being stubborn in their beliefs?

You come into this thread, make huge claims that rocks are conscious, that a person's consciousness can reside in the heart, that consciousness is inherent to everything. Then you refuse to provide any evidence or even reasoned argument, bemoaning that this would be impossible, and yet you attack others for “already having their minds made up”!

Just answer this question, did you read the papers I provided?

[edit on 26-1-2010 by Mike_A]

posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 09:58 PM

Originally posted by Mike_A
You now have my own arguments plus five links that corroborate what I have said

I looked through your links and I don't see where any of them prove that your brain makes consciousness. Would you like to post the relevant sections that prove such a thing here?

where is the evidence that supports your views on consciousness?

Where is your response to the massive posts I made on the other page? Still waiting.

Just answer this question, did you read the papers I provided? -- Summary: "Frontoparietal association areas have many functions beyond those touched on here. However, several lines of evidence suggest that they could have a special relationship with consciousness, even though they do not support the contents of sensory experience."

Ie does not establish that the brain makes consciousness. Says absolutely NOTHING even resembling it. Did YOU read your own damned links? No, apparently not. It says specifically that the parts of the brain they looked at did NOT "support the contents of sensory experience."

Going on... -- Cannot find anything here either that establishes that the brain makes consciousness locally. Again, I would love you to post relevant excerpts here and not just links with no further commentary, as you apparently haven't read them yourself. -- Simply says that there is no one place in the brain that acts as the "conscious observer," which also is nowhere NEAR saying that the brain makes consciousness. Both this and the first link you posted actually support ME more than they do anything you have said, in that they have NOT been able to identify where exactly the "conscious observer" would be or how it works. -- Also does not prove anything related to what you have been arguing.

So let's see. I posted a ton of information from one website that included references to scientific studies and ongoing research, which I not only read and posted in detail here to make a case. You didn't read what the website said or even respond to those posts. You specifically said you were NOT going to respond to them because the website was crap in your opinion and no further comment. Great work man.

And now you post some links without even mentioning what the links are about and apparently without even reading them. Again, great work, you are truly brilliant.

Like I said, I have made my case already, you have refused to respond to most of it. So if that's your attitude, you can think what you want, I really don't give a damn; you hard-headed disbelievers of various things are a dime a dozen because your mental defense mechanisms are all the same. I have experienced things personally that links to papers will never diminish and even your own papers refer to subjective conscious experiences as reliable experimental data. Go figure.

So if you aren't going to ever post the actual evidence that your brain makes consciousness, I really am not going to respond to you on this thread anymore. So if you post again, and I don't respond, then you know why. Because you have utterly failed yet again to provide any evidence of your claim, that your brain makes your consciousness and rather than simply manifesting an energy that is already there.

Good luck finding your evidence, even amongst your own links which you apparently haven't read, brain.

posted on Jan, 27 2010 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by bsbray11

You’re still coming from the perspective that I am saying, in absolute terms that the brain produces consciousness, but I am saying that the evidence only (strongly) suggests that it does.

My argument is that because we can observe cause and effect between the brain and consciousness we can most logically infer that the brain produces this consciousness. I’m open to further explanations but not without reason, i.e. I would consider the antenna argument if there was reason to believe that it was required to explain something that is observed. As it stands what I have said is both clearly evidenced and sufficient to explain what is observed.

What about this do you dispute? Is it that we observe changes in consciousness due to brain activity/damage? If so see the New Scientist link which establishes that brain activity is observed when the subject performs a task that involves conscious perception; however it crucially also distinguishes between those processes that are involved with consciousness and those that are involved with associated functions. By presenting stimuli that are processed unconsciously and others that are processed consciously it is possible to determine whether and what areas are used during conscious perception alone. The result was that yes, certain brain areas are only used when consciousness was present. Thus we see a cause and effect relationship between brain activity and the conscious perception of a stimulus.

This idea that brain activity directly correlates to consciousness is also supported in a number of the other links I posted, for example “table 1” in “The Conscious Access Hypothesis” lists a number of experiments that validate this claim.

From the first link, which you claim I didn’t read.

Visual consciousness has been studied in depth and it is well established that visual features are identified in the ventral stream of posterior cortex. There, feature-sensitive cells support visual experiences of light, color, contrast, motion, retinal size, location and object identity; small lesions can selectively abolish those conscious properties

The most easily understood demonstration of this is the last link I provided in which it says;

In Cambridge, scientists use an increasingly complex series of sounds and verbal instructions to see whether the damaged brain is able to respond to (a) sound, (b) speech, and (c) comprehend aspects of language (see figure 2). If the brain injured person is able to demonstrate brain activation at each of these increasingly complex levels, then scientists ask the person to (i) imagine playing tennis or (b) imagine moving around the rooms of their home. Although these tasks seem a peculiar thing to ask; in healthy volunteers they produce reproducible patterns of brain activity, which the volunteer can start and stop on command and ultimately use to answer basic questions.

The key point here is the observed pattern of brain activity and the fact that it is, and can, only be observed when the person is conscious of both the command to imagine and the actual processes of imagining. Because this is not observed when the person is conscious this is clear evidence that these processes are involved in the production of that experience. Could it be that this processes is actually picking up something from outside the brain? Possibly but it is up to you to demonstrate why this might be the case because otherwise the existing explanation is sufficient and there is no point in going beyond what is sufficient.

If you suggest that the heart does the same thing, in addition to asking you to provide the evidence and reasoning behind this, I will also point out that there is no reported change in consciousness observed when the heart is disconnected from the brain as in awake open heart surgery which I linked to earlier. If it was the case that the heart produced consciousness (or some significant feature of it) then this could not be the case.

As for the information you posted, again it had nothing to do with consciousness as far as I can tell. If you answer my request to detail what, out of all that you have posted, demonstrates that your claims on consciousness are correct then I will reply to them. But whether or not the heart communicates with the brain or whether it has interneurons or not does say anything of consciousness.

[edit on 27-1-2010 by Mike_A]

[edit on 27-1-2010 by Mike_A]

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