The Big Bang theory is equivalent to the belief in an omnipotent God.

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posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Greylorn
 

Have you read the famous essay, 'What is it like to be a bat?' by Thomas Nagel?

A bat exists in the same world as ourselves, but has a very different picture of it due to its dependence on sound as its primary sense for perceiving and mapping its environment. A bat also differs from us in the uses it makes of things in the world, and this, too, causes its perceived world to differ from ours.

All human beings, whether they are morons or savants, have brains that evolved the same way, perceive the world in similar ways and conceive of it in predetermined, hard-wired patterns (the most obvious of which is the deep grammatical structure of language). Yes, of course we vary considerably from one another in our perceptions and conclusions, often in ways that seem radical, but these are minor differences compared to the those we would have with a bat, a snake or a killer whale.

I am of the view that these hard-wired patterns – the parameters of what I called earlier our native operating systems – shape our thoughts and stringently limit our perceptions and conceptions.


Apologies for the delayed reply.

I'd not read the essay, but have developed my own perspective on alternative perceptions by spending many years building the appearance of intelligence into single machines and networks of machines. From this I conclude that none of these machines, and likewise the bat, have any properties that are equivalent to human perception.

My machines all had a brain (computer) and "sense organs." My telescope system could determine the position of its body to high precision, 1 second of arc. Its primary eye could "see" ultraviolet light. Its skin could detect a single droplet of water. Its secondary eye could distinguish between daylight and automobile headlamps. It had a precise sense of time. It knew when to work, when to quit, and could hide and protect itself like a turtle when necessary.

Yet neither its rudimentary brain nor delicate senses gave it anything like perception, because there was no perceiver. To get the motors to work properly I placed a stethoscope on the drive-train housing, the closest I could get my own mind to the machine. I could not visually see through its telescopic eye, so while teaching it to find stars I attached a smaller telescope designed for human vision so that I could watch it while it worked.

Perception, from my perspective anyway, requires being inside the instrument, or the bat, like I am within my body. Perhaps this is a singular viewpoint. Or perhaps we are using a single word, perception, to describe two different kinds, or levels, of perception. Or it could be that my distinction is irrelevant to others.

Once I was completely unconscious for about two hours after getting slammed in a football game. However, no one noticed that I was unconscious because after the hit my body got up and continued to play football until the coach sent me to the sidelines, where I stood watching the game and chatting stupidly with anyone nearby, until returning to consciousness in the middle of a stupid chat. "I" perceived nothing during that interval.

IMO true perception would require that I be interfaced directly to a machine's sensory organs--- somehow connected directly to a telescope, race car, bat, or whale. Would that be a ride, or what?

Finally, let's consider your statement about native operating systems. Certainly our brains and sensory systems shape our thoughts and actions. (I had an interesting discussion about this with the blind man who once gave my piano the finest, richest tuning it has ever had.)

However, I believe that our minds are shaped much more profoundly by the software within our brains than by the sensory hardware to which our brains are connected.

We have learned to extend our vision into the ultraviolet, infrared, microwave and radio wavelengths with instruments. We have microscopes that can see atoms, meters that measure electromagnetic fields. Our submarines use sonar instruments to view their surroundings like bats. These instruments extend our senses and transcend the limits of our native perceptual mechanisms. They also extend the understanding of those who choose to view the world through those instruments, or study the data obtained by those who do.

However, for almost everyone, the mind's greatest barrier to understanding new and better ideas has nothing to do with sensory limitations-- the toughest barrier is the rat's-nest of programmed beliefs and mistaken ideas clogging our brain.




posted on Aug, 24 2013 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


that was a FASCINATING post.

I have recently become interested in the psychology of the use of tools as literal extensions of our physical body. a well studied example of this is the computer mouse. through the use of the mouse, a direct link is made between our mind and the cursor.

I am also reminded of the curiosity of when a person wears a device which inverts their visual image (turning the world upside-down), at first they find it impossible to maneuver... but after around a week the brain has adapted and if the device is removed, their natural vision appears inverted.

....but I have no idea how that relates to the thread topic.



posted on Aug, 25 2013 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


Perception, from my perspective anyway, requires being inside the instrument, or the bat, like I am within my body.

Quite so. And it is limited by the instrument, because

  1. it cannot observe what the instrument cannot detect;

  2. it cannot observe phenomena directly, but only the images produced by the instrument – an abstraction from reality, not reality itself.

The human brain has no power to imagine, to conceive or to understand except in terms of sensory responses to external stimuli. This is true of even the most abstract ideas. By his own account, Einstein developed his ideas in a metaphorical vocabulary of muscular movements.

That is how limited our apprehension of reality is. We cannot ever say with confidence, 'this is how things really are.' All we can do is describe (in ways limited by the way our brains are designed to operate), the shadow-play that reality projects upon our senses, and deduce what we can from the description.


For almost everyone, the mind's greatest barrier to understanding new and better ideas has nothing to do with sensory limitations -- the toughest barrier is the rat's-nest of programmed beliefs and mistaken ideas clogging our brain.

No, this is not the problem. The human race has never been short of new and better ideas. However, all such ideas are based on the limits of human apprehension and understanding – that is, on what evolution has given us to work with. That is the point at issue – although I would not describe it as a problem.

Evolution has seen to it that we experience and interpret reality in ways that make it possible for us, as organisms, to interact usefully with it. Thus we see a stone as a solid object that can be picked up and thrown, a fruit as something tasty to be eaten. In reality such objects are mostly empty space, through which force-carrying distortions of spacetime move in stochastic patterns.

Do you see what I mean now?

edit on 25/8/13 by Astyanax because: of a few bits and bobs.



posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Quite so. And it [perception] is limited by the instrument, because

  1. it cannot observe what the instrument cannot detect;

  2. it cannot observe phenomena directly, but only the images produced by the instrument – an abstraction from reality, not reality itself.

The human brain has no power to imagine, to conceive or to understand except in terms of sensory responses to external stimuli. This is true of even the most abstract ideas. By his own account, Einstein developed his ideas in a metaphorical vocabulary of muscular movements.

That is how limited our apprehension of reality is. We cannot ever say with confidence, 'this is how things really are.' All we can do is describe (in ways limited by the way our brains are designed to operate), the shadow-play that reality projects upon our senses, and deduce what we can from the description.


For almost everyone, the mind's greatest barrier to understanding new and better ideas has nothing to do with sensory limitations -- the toughest barrier is the rat's-nest of programmed beliefs and mistaken ideas clogging our brain.

No, this is not the problem. The human race has never been short of new and better ideas. However, all such ideas are based on the limits of human apprehension and understanding – that is, on what evolution has given us to work with. That is the point at issue – although I would not describe it as a problem.

Evolution has seen to it that we experience and interpret reality in ways that make it possible for us, as organisms, to interact usefully with it. Thus we see a stone as a solid object that can be picked up and thrown, a fruit as something tasty to be eaten. In reality such objects are mostly empty space, through which force-carrying distortions of spacetime move in stochastic patterns.

Do you see what I mean now?

edit on 25/8/13 by Astyanax because: of a few bits and bobs.


Your post itself makes my point, in that you (from my perspective) adjust your facts to match your beliefs.

I'll guess that your model of human intelligence is typical of the modern, well educated, effective programmed atheist, that you attribute human intelligence to the brain. As a result, you have either not studied paranormal material, or dismiss the little that you have studied.

My perspective differs from yours. I know, personally, that both of your points, 1 and 2, are untrue, the result of a few paranormal experiences.

For example, years ago I was writing at home in my little cubbyhole reserved for that work, when I "saw" a brief flash of light directly to my left. Problem was, the image appeared at least 20 degrees past the limit of my peripheral vision. Upon looking in the "direction" of my perception, I saw only the framed and paneled room wall. Nonetheless, I was certain that I had seen something real, and set about to investigate.

I went to the kitchen where my wife was cooking, about 30 feet south of me. She had seen no flash, heard no sound. I did not bother looking outside because I "knew," go figure how, that the flash happened indoors. Continuing to investigate, I figured out where my line of "sight" would have ended and found that the heating element in our hot water heater had shorted out, explosively enough to render the heater unrepairable.

To have visually seen this explosion I'd have needed to be superman with x-ray vision. Had I been looking in the direction of the heater at the moment of explosion, I would have had to see into the basement, through the wall of my room, the living room floor and basement ceiling, a section of steel heating duct, and through the outer steel wall of the heater, an inch of insulation, and a galvanized 14 gauge steel water tank.

The natural tendency of skeptics is to label such information as lies or delusions. Feel free to do that, in which case our conversations must terminate. An open-minded skeptic (the opposite of which you have declared yourself to be) would peruse some of the excellent paranormal literature that is available. I've not seen an example similar to that just described in that literature, but there is plenty of excellent evidence, obtained by rigorous scientific methods, that some human minds are capable of extra-sensory perceptions.

Many of the writers on this subject claim that all of us are capable of psychic activity, but there is no evidence for it. Einstein could handle tensor mathematics just fine, but that does not mean that everyone else can do so. Psychic abilities, like other properties of mind, do not extend to all people. Nor does the absence of such abilities among the many mean that a few cannot have them.

My understanding of mind comes from a somewhat Cartesian perspective, from which, with the addition of physics, extrasensory phenomena make perfect sense.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 06:14 AM
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Originally posted by Greylorn
there is plenty of excellent evidence, obtained by rigorous scientific methods, that some human minds are capable of extra-sensory perceptions.


Do you have a source for that excellent evidence?

Just wondering why It hasn't been reported worldwide, as it's a bit of a game changer if true....

However if you can't, it does kinda sound like you want to be Professor X.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by Prezbo369

Originally posted by Greylorn
there is plenty of excellent evidence, obtained by rigorous scientific methods, that some human minds are capable of extra-sensory perceptions.


Do you have a source for that excellent evidence?

Just wondering why It hasn't been reported worldwide, as it's a bit of a game changer if true....

However if you can't, it does kinda sound like you want to be Professor X.


You will want serious science rather than pop-parapsychology, so I'd recommend Dean Radin's book, "The Conscious Universe." This is not a trivial read. The back pages include a "References" section, 28 pages worth, should you care to pursue the study of parapsychology. I hope that you do, because it will open your mind to a broad subject that you apparently have not yet examined.

The evidence for extrasensory phenomena has been around forever. I believe that it is what inspired men to create religions, and is the origin for afterlife beliefs, although I've no proof of that.

Psi has been well researched since the British Society for Psychical Research was founded in the latter part of the 18th century, so you can pretty much count upon the information itself not being a game-changer.

As Thomas Kuhn pointed out a half-century ago, data contrary to an established scientific paradigm cannot itself change the paradigm, or core theory of a scientific system. That can only happen when the new data is combined with a new and divergent paradigm, such as mine.

Please let me know what you think of the material in Radin's book after studying it. Take at least a month. It is not potty-reading.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


The speed of light is quite tremendous, it is possible it reflected every where it could and found its way in your eye, potentially there could have been higher energy particles that short circuited or interacted with your mind mechanism. I have experienced similar things when near sever lightning, and once when lightening erupted a power box. Nothing super natural about it, besides the fact that nature is super.



posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


I'll guess that your model of human intelligence is typical of the modern, well educated, effective programmed atheist, that you attribute human intelligence to the brain. As a result, you have either not studied paranormal material, or dismiss the little that you have studied.

I certainly do attribute human intelligence to the human brain, because I don't know of any other entity that produces it. This applies just as firmly to the experiences we call paranormal as it does to more mundane ones.

You are right that I am a thoroughgoing materialist, but there are varieties of materialism that may surprise you. If you've followed the implications of all I have written in this thread so far, you understand that I am no reductionist.

As regards your own apparently paranormal experience, it is at least arguable that you saw a phosphene caused by a high-energy particle of some kind – most probably a cosmic ray – which may also have induced failure in your geyser's heating element. This would account for the coincidence quite nicely without bringing in any supernatural elements.

In any case, I thought your objection to the Big Bang hypothesis and the postulate of an omnipotent Creator was that these explanations demand a degree of faith. Do you have an explanation for what you saw that doesn't call for a similar degree of it?

edit on 29/8/13 by Astyanax because: of an organ.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 12:49 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I certainly do attribute human intelligence to the human brain, because I don't know of any other entity that produces it. This applies just as firmly to the experiences we call paranormal as it does to more mundane ones.


Stick with my OPs as they progress, and if I live long enough you will be exposed to the "other entity." If I die beforehand you can always read my book.


Originally posted by Astyanax
You are right that I am a thoroughgoing materialist, but there are varieties of materialism that may surprise you. If you've followed the implications of all I have written in this thread so far, you understand that I am no reductionist.


As I mentioned, your mind does not appear to be fully closed, as your title implies.


Originally posted by Astyanax
As regards your own apparently paranormal experience, it is at least arguable that you saw a phosphene caused by a high-energy particle of some kind – most probably a cosmic ray – which may also have induced failure in your geyser's heating element. This would account for the coincidence quite nicely without bringing in any supernatural elements.


Oh, Please!! Did the cosmic ray first zap my brain and then bounce around and find its way into the basement where it nailed my water heater? Or did it get the heater first, and get thrust from there into my brain? No doubt you also believe the "single bullet" theory for the JFK assassination.

BTW, cosmic rays are not known to produce images in the brain, much less fairly large images such as that which I experienced. They are not capable of damaging large scale high-current electrical devices such as heating elements. The worst damage they do is to trigger an occasional flip-flop in your computer.


Originally posted by Astyanax
In any case, I thought your objection to the Big Bang hypothesis and the postulate of an omnipotent Creator was that these explanations demand a degree of faith. Do you have an explanation for what you saw that doesn't call for a similar degree of it?


Perhaps you should actually read what I write? I object to those theories because they are illogical hypotheses that, when developed, contradict empirical and experimental evidence as well as ordinary common sense.

My theories are derived from the facts that those dreadful theories contradict, but I do not have a sufficiently detailed explanation for any paranormal activity to satisfy either of us. What I do have is a theoretical framework into which these things fit, kind of like Newtonian mechanics provided for phenomena that his basic theories did not fully explain. (e.g: thermodynamics, e/m radiation) That will be the case until my theories engage the interest of a serious theoretical physicist/mathematician, and the curiosity of some neurological researchers.

In the meantime, your question is interesting. I've never sought a specific explanation for the water heater event, and now might be a good time to give that a shot.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 01:06 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


"BTW, cosmic rays are not known to produce images in the brain, much less fairly large images such as that which I experienced"

This is a funny statement, the fairly large part. What is the scale of size of images do you think you can experience in your brain? Arent all 'seen' things from the external world appearing on the same mechanism of mind? Couldnt a very bright, 'very large' blotch of light imagery, be due to your receptors being flooded with a level of energy and data that it cannot handle, like photographs being overexposed or white outed, or like glitches of white on cosmic sensory satellites that have their sensors flooded with a higher amount of energy it is designed to be able to handle and clearly interpret?

When it comes down to it, your story is one of the weakest examples ive heard of that would lead one to believe in 'paranormal'.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 05:08 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


Oh, Please!! Did the cosmic ray first zap my brain and then bounce around and find its way into the basement where it nailed my water heater?

I'd say water heater first, then you. Always assuming the two events really were connected.


No doubt you also believe the "single bullet" theory for the JFK assassination.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, so I probably believe all kinds of things you don't. Ça fait rien.


BTW, cosmic rays are not known to produce images in the brain, much less fairly large images such as that which I experienced. They are not capable of damaging large scale high-current electrical devices such as heating elements. The worst damage they do is to trigger an occasional flip-flop in your computer.

For the first, see 'phosphenes'. The apparent size of the image would depend on what it hit inside your brain.

Concerning the second, I admit it is unlikely, but not impossible, especially if the temperature control unit had some electronic components instead of a simple thermostat.

Here's the bottom line: if the flash you saw had a connection with the demise of your water heater, the connection is probably a material one – and until you have exhausted all such possibilities, it seems redundant to invoke miracles to explain it.

Remember, you are merely assuming that the flash and the destruction of the element occurred simultaneously. Obviously it took you some time to get to where the water heater was. Even if the thing was still hot and smoking when you looked at it, the accident could have happened before or after you saw the flash.

And as for the flash itself, lots of people see them, especially when they get older, especially when their eyes are tired. I occasionally see them myself, as a matter of fact.

Still, for all I know, you may have experienced some kind of spatiotemporal displacement event of the sort people call supernatural or paranormal. Such things are not unheard of, though very hard to prove. To believe in them without investigating and eliminating all natural explanations first is very unwise.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:21 AM
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Originally posted by Greylorn

You will want serious science rather than pop-parapsychology, so I'd recommend Dean Radin's book, "The Conscious Universe."


That's your standard for 'excellent scientific evidence'?



With such a fantastical claim I was hoping for something other than a month long trawl through nothing but statistics.

James Randi has $1 million dollars with your name, Radins name or any of your super powered friends/colleagues names/aliases on it if proof or conclusive evidence can be provided.

Everybody (outside of religion) wants this to be true, the world would be a much more interesting and wondrous place to live.

But there's really no reason whatsoever to think these claims are true, and people like yourself validate all those fraudulent high street 'psychics' that fleece the desperate and naive at the lowest points of their lives (usually after losing a loved one).

Folk like yourself usually have a an inflated ego too, considering themselves teachers or educators.



edit on 31-8-2013 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by Greylorn
 


Perhaps you should actually read what I write?

You, sir, would do well to keep a civil tongue in your head.


I object to those theories because they are illogical hypotheses that, when developed, contradict empirical and experimental evidence as well as ordinary common sense.

Rather than pin you to that indefensible position, I offered you the softer alternative of objecting to these ideas because they invoke belief within a space where no facts or framework of logic are applicable. My mistake. A man who claims to receive telepathic messages from his domestic appliances is clearly not someone with whom one needs to be over-nice in matters of fact or logic.

I am growing tired of this conversation. If you have an explanation you think is superior to the singularity or the God hypotheses, let's hear it. Please try and keep it short – one sentence should do.

edit on 1/9/13 by Astyanax because: one should not always do as one is done by.



posted on Sep, 5 2013 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Greylorn
 


Perhaps you should actually read what I write?

You, sir, would do well to keep a civil tongue in your head.


I object to those theories because they are illogical hypotheses that, when developed, contradict empirical and experimental evidence as well as ordinary common sense.

Rather than pin you to that indefensible position, I offered you the softer alternative of objecting to these ideas because they invoke belief within a space where no facts or framework of logic are applicable. My mistake. A man who claims to receive telepathic messages from his domestic appliances is clearly not someone with whom one needs to be over-nice in matters of fact or logic.

I am growing tired of this conversation. If you have an explanation you think is superior to the singularity or the God hypotheses, let's hear it. Please try and keep it short – one sentence should do.

edit on 1/9/13 by Astyanax because: one should not always do as one is done by.


Astyanax,
This particular post of mine seems to have caught you not long after you might have tried unsuccessfully to get laid. Hey! Been there, know how it feels. So I'll forgive this uncharacteristically petulant snippet, because you have contributed intelligence to the threads in which you have participated. We've run this particular thread into the ground anyway, so, shall we quit snarling and move on?





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