Monday, June 8, 2009

My Response To Keith Augustine's View That The Production Theory Is The Most Parsimonious Explanation For The Evidence In Neuroscience

Keith,

Who ever said the better the brain, the better the filter?. If you assume that the main source of consciousness and mind is a medium but not the brain. Your saying that from outside observation that what we observe is damage brain equals damage mind and consciousness. But evidence coming from near death experiences and out of body experiences show that the inner subjective consciousness along with mind[information] is not damaged or destroyed, rather restricted by the brain.



Their is another argument for dualism which i have come across from this site

http://www.afterlifedebate.com/for.html

The argument from geometry, this is based on two premises

1. Additional dimensions besides our own
2. A Additional dimension of space and an additional dimension of time would affect our experience, and this conception seems to correlate with dream experience


More about the argument from geometry can
be found here

http://www.afterlifedebate.com/bookshop.html


Keith it depends on what you view mind and consciousness

Mind- Dreams, Thoughts, Memories,
Consciousness- Personality, Inner Subjective experience.



I seen you mentioned Phineas Gage before where he had a spike go through his
head. You probably see this case as supportive of the production hypothesis. Here is why it isn't consistent with the production hypothesis.

- The uncertainty of Harlow's sources for the changes he describes in Gage, combined with the fact that he waited almost twenty years (between his first and second papers) to communicate those changes, constitute one of the central puzzles of the case.


Current Research

- Recently, an advertisement for a previously-unknown public appearance by Gage has been discovered, as have a report of his behavior during his time in Chile and a description of what may have been his daily work routine there as a long-distance coach driver. This new information suggests that the seriously maladapted Gage described by Harlow may have existed for only a limited time after the accident—that Phineas eventually "figured out how to live"[39] despite his injury, and was in later life far more functional, and socially far better adapted, than has been thought.

If this is so then (along with theoretical implications) it "would add to current evidence that rehabilitation can be effective even in difficult and long-standing cases," according to Macmillan. To better understand the question, Macmillan and collaborators are actively seeking additional evidence on Gage's life and behavior.[40]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage

The case above is usually presented to be one of the best cases if not the best evidence that materialists have used based on.

-Harlow's observation which is very questionable based on him taking almost 20 years to communicate changes he saw in Phineas Gage, between his first and second papers. Possible embellishment, could be. However, materialists insists on taking Harlow's account as a trustworthy source. Now with new evidence which i posted above it's even more likely that the personality changes that Harlow's said occur weren't as dramatic as he said they were.

This case based on these facts show that this case is consistent with the filter or transmission theory. It also shows that the mind brain close link to eachother is not as close as what is assumed.

Another piece of evidence which appears to be consistent with the production hypothesis is the split brain experiments, HOWEVER, it appears that two conscious streams of consciousness didn't happen at all.

Due to its inherent private character, an actual co-consciousness is impossible to prove conclusively, and one self with only temporary functional dissociation is even the best explanation as split-brain patients normally show a remarkable psychological and motoric unity that can hardly be reconciled with the somatogenic creation of a new nonphysical subject by commisurectomy.

More here about split brain experiments

http://www.geocities.com/athanasiafoundation/Dualismlives.htm

Keith says


We're not talking about mere influence here. We're talking about radical modification. When you strike a tuning fork against a status, that strike influences the statue in barely noticable ways. When you light some dynamite placed in the middle of it, the dynamite radically modifies the statue. The latter is the sort of brain "influence" on mind we're talking about. And it occurs in contradiction to what dualism predicts: that the mind is one thing, the brain another thing, and the two things interact with each other (hence: interactionist substance dualism). Just as I can't modify my body (get a facelift, say, or make myself grow 3 more feet overnight) merely by "willing it," my brain should not be able to turn my personality into that of a totally different sort of person merely by interacting with it. The PCP example does not fit what one would expect if substance dualism were true. Radical brain changes can result in radical changes of one's mind. There is no evidence that the mind can change the body in so radical a way. You can't think "grow muscles" really hard and make it so. Only physical activity can do that. So clearly the mind is far more more dependent on the brain than any converse claim that the brain depends on the mind. Schizophrenics can't just wish their schizophrenia away. This is why the brain is treated as primary and the mind as secondary. If their powers were reversed, and the brain hardly influenced the mind at all, but one could will changes in the physical world and watch them happen (think: changing the channel without a remote control), the mind would be considered primary and the brain secondary. The reason that this is not the case is because that's now how it works in the real world.

My response


Experiments on humans (some of the Buddhist monks under the Dalai Lama’s direction) seem to demonstrate that the physical organ of the brain can be shaped and transformed by choices made by the mind.

Without mind though you can't make goals to acheive arm muscle. Then their is introspection studies down that bring further evidence for dualism. Let's also not forget the failure of behaviorism which goal was to provide evidence that the mind was produced by the brain. Also artifical intelligence main goal was to show the mind can be put into an robot another failure.




Keith says


"It seems inescapable to me that any form of substance dualism is committed to predicting that the mind (the controller) is largely independent from the brain (the drone's transmitter/receiver). The worst you can do to the controller by manipulating the drone's transmitter/receiver is make the controller deaf or blind regarding the drone's environment, or unable to move the drone. You cannot affect the the controller's ability to do math, to understand language, or recognize undistorted faces. You cannot get the controller to go into a psychotic rage by manipulating the drone's radio. But you can make someone psychotic by spiking his drink with PCP, or prevent him from being able to do simple addition by lesioning certain areas of his brain. In short, basic neuroscientific facts are simply inexplicable on any variety of substance dualism."


My response


Unless that receiver is very advanced, the maybe a very advanced receiver. Also you seem to be assuming that dualists believe a soul is controlling the physical body, i don't think many dualists hold that view, they hold that this soul is restricted and heavily constrained by the physical body. The brain is a reducing valve to consciousness.

Also i like to quote Keith here when he says


That Phineas Gage's personality changes might not be as dramatic as previously reported does not show that his brain damage resulted in no dramatic personality changes. The Gage example is commonly used in Introduction to Psychology textbooks, and that is why it is typically cited, but numerous other examples could be mentioned.

Here he is begging the question why you ask?. Here is why.


The uncertainty of Harlow's sources for the changes he describes in Gage, combined with the fact that he waited almost twenty years (between his first and second papers) to communicate those changes, constitute one of the central puzzles of the case.

-Harlow's observation which is very questionable based on him taking almost 20 years to communicate changes he saw in Phineas Gage, between his first and second papers. Possible embellishment, could be. However, materialists insists on taking Harlow's account as a trustworthy source. Now with new evidence which i posted above it's even more likely that the personality changes that Harlow's said occur weren't as dramatic as he said they were.

No doubt Phineas Gage that their was some effect on his personality, any theory that looks to Gage for support faces the difficulty that the nature and extent of the injury's effects on his mental state are highly uncertain. In fact, very little is known about what Phineas was like either before or after his injury (almost none of it first-hand),[22] the mental changes described after his death were far more dramatic than anything reported while he was alive, and even those descriptions which seem credible do not tell us the period of his post-accident life to which they are meant to apply.
This shows also that the mind brain linkage often cited by materialists is not as close as what is assumed.



Keith says


First, Leo, I'd recommend you stop pushing the Houdini Code stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ford#The_Three_Houdini_Messages_and_others

Douglas Stokes also says in one of his parapsychological books that the medium Arthur Ford, who "broke" the Houdini code, "was discovered to have kept elaborate files on prospective sitters." So the Wikipedia entry's explanation of how Ford broke it, by reading the solution off of Houdini's wife's engraved ring when he handled it for "psychometry," certainly seems plausible. (That said, I don't know more about this case than that tidbit; and I'm characterizing it from memory, so see the Wikipedia entry itself for the specifics.)


My response

So i am suppose to assume that Arthur Ford was a fraud, because of an anecdote says that may of happened?.


Keith also says

I don't suppose that you'd argue that Rosemary Kennedy's mind was hardly affected by her lobotomy: "Instead of producing the hoped-for result, however, the lobotomy reduced Rosemary to an infantile mentality that left her incontinent and staring blankly at walls for hours. Her verbal skills were reduced to unintelligible babble. Her mother, Mrs. Rose Kennedy, remarked that although the lobotomy stopped her daughter's violent behavior, it left her completely incapacitated."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary_Kennedy#Lobotomy

Yes her verbal skills were affected, no dualist deny's the face that information[memories, thoughts, verbal skills etc.] get affected by a host of thing such as brain damage, lomotomies etc. But the question is this information being constrained and restricted by the brain or the brain is like a reducing valve, or is that information so dependent that it couldn't survive death?. Certainly this case don't tell us anything about this. It is compatible on both views, it's really about which theory accounts for all of the data. This is what the transmission theory does.

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