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FAITH AND SCIENCE
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 19757

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jews, Christians and Muslims - at the roots of science

Contemporary science finds its roots in the work of ancient Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars. In the Middle Ages they translated the texts of ancient researchers. An exhibition in Berlin is dedicated to that era.

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http://www.dw.com/en/jews-christians-and-muslims-at-the-roots-of-science/g-41708121
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELAINE HOWARD ECKLUND WANTS TO DISPEL MYTHS SURROUNDING RELIGIOUS RESISTANCE TO SCIENCE

Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund studies the intersection of religion and science in Houston, a city with Texas-sized helpings of both: Joel Osteen preaches to packed houses in the old Houston Rockets stadium fifteen minutes from the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world. Ecklund’s work at Rice University focuses on what happens when the two ways of knowing—what Stephen Jay Gould famously called “non-overlapping magisteria”—come into contact.

As useful as the data can often be, Ecklund’s interpretations and prescriptions often strain to “depoliticize” the sites of conflict, as if it’s even possible to depoliticize an issue like climate science in the United States. Her reasons are numerous, no doubt, but the factors that distort public discussion, money and power, are the kinds of forces that can warp research of this kind. If one proposes to survey and study the way that beliefs, framing, and social structures impact views on science and religion, one is likely to develop an explanation that relies heavily on those very factors.

While the general observer might be more tempted to blame resistance to climate science on well-documented lobbying and misinformation campaigns by fossil fuel interests—which target religious conservatives and the politicians who represent them with cultural kowtows—Ecklund elides that history, emphasizing comity and attributing the fraught politics to poor communication from those stressing the perils of climate change.

Still, Ecklund’s research remains valuable, providing insights that might help as part of a multi-dimensional effort to combat resistance to science. This fall, she spoke with Religion Dispatches in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey about the fallout from the storm and about how religious and scientific communities might be able to communicate more effectively.

It seems like a lot of your research is focused on demonstrating that despite the way that they’re generally talked about, science and religion are in fact compatible, or at least that people believe that they are. Is that fair?

It depends who you’re talking to and what you mean by science. We surveyed evangelical Christians and mainline Christians like Episcopals and Presbyterians. We also surveyed members of non-Christian religions—Jews, Muslims, and Hindus—and members of historically black Christian denominations. And Latinos, and all range of Catholics.

In the more conservative faith traditions—evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, for example—there is this sense that if science appears to be messing with the image of who God is, or who human beings are, then there are some tensions between faith and science. Think about an issue like human genetic reproductive technologies. Those kinds of technologies tend to challenge conceptualizations of what it means to be human, for some religious people.

So then they do pause. Some of them don’t go so far as saying, “science is all bad.” Where I think there’s a real myth is sometimes the scientific community thinks that all religious people are against them. Actually, amongst all Americans, esteem for science is very high. And it’s just that these hot-button issues get so much press, it kind of feels like, “Oh my God—they’re all science haters.”

I think it’s useful, especially in a restricted funding climate for science, that we kind of dispel that myth. We look at other kinds of survey measures, like “are you okay with your child marrying a scientist”—social scientists love to use that, because it’s a good measure of social distance—heck yeah, everyone would love their child to marry a scientist! These are highly educated people, who we hold in esteem. And “would you like your child to have more science education”—of course!

But especially the more conservative faith traditions do sometimes feel like scientists overstep their bounds, and that they go into philosophic and religious territory that they shouldn’t. There is some conflict between communities, if that makes sense. It’s different than saying, “all religion is bad,” or “all science is bad.” I think it’s really helpful to try to think through relationships between people-groups, and under what conditions they’re strained—and how might we use research to start to dispel some of those misconceptions they might have about each other.

Full interview:

http://religiondispatches.org/elaine-howard-ecklund-wants-to-dispel-myths-surrounding-religious-resistance-to-science/?utm_source=Religion+Dispatches+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1d0fab3a3d-RD_Daily_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_742d86f519-1d0fab3a3d-84570085
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why Your Biology Runs on Feelings

Think feelings are important? You’re more right than you know.


Excerpts:

Importantly, feelings are not an independent fabrication of the brain. They are the result of a cooperative partnership of body and brain, interacting by way of free-ranging chemical molecules and nerve pathways.

The alignment of pleasant and unpleasant feelings with, respectively, positive and negative ranges of homeostasis is a verified fact. Homeostasis in good or even optimal ranges expresses itself as well-being and even joy, while the happiness caused by love and friendship contributes to more efficient homeostasis and promotes health. The negative examples are just as clear. The stress associated with sadness is caused by calling into action the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and by releasing molecules whose consequence is reducing homeostasis and actually damaging countless body parts such as blood vessels and muscular structures. Interestingly, the homeostatic burden of physical disease can activate the same hypothalamic-pituitary axis and cause release of dynorphin, a molecule that induces dysphoria.

The circularity of these operations is remarkable. On the face of it, mind and brain influence the body proper just as much as the body proper can influence the brain and the mind. They are merely two aspects of the very same being.

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http://nautil.us//issue/56/perspective/why-your-biology-runs-on-feelings?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=e8d913aa00-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-e8d913aa00-60760513

The above article echos of the Ginan verse:

ejee kaachee chhe kaayaa man haiddo chhe paramal
e man varteene chaalo - ho jeere bhaai.......................1

The physical form is raw and unstable, and the (enlightened) mind/heart is fragrant(lively). Follow the promptings of such a mind/heart o living brothers!

Saloko Nano:

satgur kahere: prem ras to atee ras meetthddaa
ane je koi dekhe chaakh
shah jo paave seer lagee
tenu hayddu deve saa(n)kh re....................95

The True Guide says: The essence of Divine Love is very delightful to whoever is fortunate to taste it. If one attains the Lord through the activity of the head(reflection, meditation, discrimination), this person's heart will provide the proof/evidence.

Hadith on the purification of the heart:

"There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart."

******
Homeostasis, Feelings, and the Rise of Culture

When people talk about the evolution and development of all that makes humans “unique,” one thing that often gets overlooked is our feelings. For neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, though, there can be no conversation about our humanity — or even our culture — without saving a seat at the table for this often-overlooked aspect of our nature.

“It is not possible to talk about thinking, intelligence, and creativity in any meaningful way without factoring in feelings,” writes Damasio in a new book titled The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures.

More...
https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/?post_type=post&p=121868&mc_cid=db77127e8a&mc_eid=a3ac270552


Last edited by kmaherali on Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meet Harvard’s Own Poet-Physician

Rafael Campo on finding the humanity in medicine and science.


Rafael Campo speaks Nautilus’ language. A professor at Harvard Medical school and Lesley University, and a practicing physician, he has also published a-half dozen volumes of poetry and won a Guggenheim fellowship for his work. A passionate believer in experiencing patients’ illness through both a scientific and a humanist lens, Campo demonstrates a remarkable balance between a mechanistic curiosity and a deeply felt empathy. Science and art, he tells us, are asking the same kinds of questions. Which could have come straight from this magazine’s first editorial meeting.

Conversation:

One of your poems reads: “It was terrible, what the body told / I’d look inside another person’s mouth, / And see the desolation of the world.” Could you talk through what those lines mean?

Every encounter with a patient is a kind of demonstration of a weird paradox. I have all of this amazing technology, all of this book learning and medical training that has helped me understand the mechanics of the body. And yet that biomedical understanding doesn’t fully explicate the experience of suffering that my patients relate to me. What I was trying to get at with those lines of poetry is that juxtaposition: We are both limited by our bodies, and in this constant state of amazement as inhabitants of our bodies. Poetry has this astounding and terrible power to speak the unspeakable. It is the perfect medium for trying to express the conundrum that I experience every day in my work as a physician.

When does poetry become a tool for a doctor?

Medical technologies inevitably reach their limits. There isn’t going to be another round of chemotherapy. There’s not another medication to try. What do we still have to offer in those moments? What we have to offer is our hearts, our souls, our human connection. In those moments of reaching the limits of my knowledge I reach for other kinds of tools. I try to act as interpreter of my patient’s suffering. There are many inspiring precedents: Traditional healers in Native American cultures use performative language to effect a kind of healing for the afflicted. For ancient Greeks, catharsis was experienced through the dramatic reading of poetry, and was felt to be healing. There is a profound connection between our impulse to alleviate suffering in that very fundamental sense, and what poetry can do.

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http://nautil.us/issue/58/self/meet-harvards-own-poet_physician?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=e13ccc108b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-e13ccc108b-60760513
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kmaherali



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Posts: 19757

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flashback: Human Uniqueness

Shining a light on the spark that separates man from beast.


A physicist and a philosopher walk into a lab… no, this isn’t the start of a joke. It’s an everyday occurrence in the lab of Andrew Briggs, Professor of Nanomaterials at Oxford University. While working on how to exploit quantum mechanics to better store and process information, he also maintains an active interest in philosophy, and even has a philosopher working as part of his team. His interests extend into the nature of scientific inquiry, and to the nature of human uniqueness—hearkening back to the very first issue of Nautilus.

How does philosophy play a role in physics?

Well, for the last three years we’ve had a philosopher in residence in my laboratory. For all that time he sits in the same office as the others who are doing experimental work, which has proved an immensely fruitful interaction that works two ways. On the one hand, he has taken a great deal of interest in the experiments we’ve been doing and reshaped our philosophical understanding of them. Conversely he’s identified how we could do new experiments that would sharpen up the tests of some of those concepts. So he’s actually suggested experiments that we should do and he’s now got a major research program of his own in the philosophy of physics.

So what is this doing? Well, it’s helping those of us who are doing the experimental science and its theoretical basis to understand more clearly what the deeper questions are; to sharpen them up and to formulate them better. Conversely it’s prompting us to think of questions that maybe we otherwise wouldn’t have thought of.

Conversely, how are philosophers using physics in their work?

I think one of the most fundamental questions you can ask is what is the nature of reality? Because that underpins a lot of other questions that are worth asking. Is morality real? Is truth real? Is a relationship with God real? And if you’re going to ask questions like that sensibly, you’ve got to know what you mean by real and reality—a lot of this gets thrown up into the air with the advent of quantum theory, because quantum theory says that what you previously thought of as reality may need rethinking partly because there isn’t an objective thing out there whose properties are determined just by the object itself. It depends on the interaction with the observer. And so that means you’ve got to rethink what you mean by reality—and if you’re going to think about questions like that, you need all the technical resources that philosophers can bring to bear to be sure that your thinking is clear.

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http://nautil.us/issue/11/Light/flashback-human-uniqueness
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sentient Robots, Conscious Spoons and Other Cheerful Follies

Contemporary science fiction seems obsessed with ideas such as downloading consciousness into silicon chips, sentient robots, conscious software and whatnot. Films like Her and Ex_Machina and recent episodes of series such as Black Mirror portray these ideas very matter-of-factly, desensitizing contemporary culture to their extraordinary implausibility.

The entertainment media takes its cue from the fact that research on artificial intelligence—an objectively measurable property that can unquestionably be engineered—is often conflated with artificial consciousness. The problem is that the presence of intelligence does not imply the presence of consciousness: whereas a computer may effectively emulate the information processing that occurs in a human brain, this does not mean that the calculations performed by the computer will be accompanied by private inner experience.

After all, the mere emulation of a phenomenon isn’t the phenomenon: I can emulate the physiology of kidney function in all its excruciating molecular details in my desktop computer, but this won’t make the computer urinate on my desk. Why, then, should the emulation of human information processing render a computer conscious?

When it comes to consciousness, even academics seem liable to lose touch with basic notions of plausibility. This is because, despite the prevailing assumption that consciousness is generated by arrangements of matter, we have no idea how to deduce the qualities of experience from physical parameters. There is nothing about mass, charge, spin or momentum that allows us to deduce how it feels to see red, to fall in love or to have a belly ache. Rationally, this abyssal explanatory gap should immediately lead us to question our prevailing assumptions about the nature of consciousness. Unfortunately, it has instead given license to a circus of arbitrary speculations about how to engineer, download and upload consciousness.

Already in the early 20th century, Bertrand Russell observed that science says nothing about the intrinsic nature of the physical world, but only about its structure and behavior. A contemporary of Russell’s, Sir Arthur Eddington, also observed that the only physical entity we have intrinsic access to is our own nervous system, whose nature is clearly experiential. Might this not be the case for the rest of the physical world as well? Under this “panpsychist” hypothesis, the explanatory gap disappears: consciousness isn’t generated by physical arrangements but, instead, is the intrinsic nature of the physical world. The latter, in turn, is merely the extrinsic appearance of conscious inner life.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/sentient-robots-conscious-spoons-and-other-cheerful-follies/?mc_cid=93ffac7035&mc_eid=a3ac270552
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why Happiness Is Hard to Find—in the Brain

Talking blobology with a neuroimaging researcher.


Excerpt:

Turns out, it’s one thing to use imaging tools to study something like vision; you can reliably control what your subjects see, and ensure each subject is presented with the same image to ensure consistency, and locate and study the visual cortex this way. But it’s a lot trickier to study what Professor Chambers terms “the interesting stuff”; the higher functions, such as emotions or self-control.

“The question is not ‘Where is happiness in the brain?’ That’s like asking ‘Where is the perception of the sound of a dog barking in the brain?’ The better question is ‘How does the brain support happiness? What networks and processes are used to give rise to it?’ ”

Professor Chambers also touched on another issue: What is happiness, in the technical sense? “What timescale are we talking about? Is it an immediate happiness, like ‘this pint is nice!’? Or is it long-term and general, like your children making you happy, or working toward a goal, achieving contentment in life, being calm and relaxed, things like that? You have several levels of functioning in the brain supporting all this, and how do you unpack that?”

More....
http://nautil.us/issue/60/searches/why-happiness-is-hard-to-findin-the-brain?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=624e44e6c0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-624e44e6c0-60760513
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You Perform Miracles Every Moment—If You Didn’t You’d Cease to Exist

One of the timeless claims of religions is that many saints, sages, and saviors can, seemingly, defy the laws of matter: change water into wine, cure the sick, raise the dead, walk on water, levitate, or manifest objects out of thin air.

But, according to the saints and sages themselves, those who have been described by thousands of people to have worked such miracles, we have the same ability that they do—we just don’t realize it (yet). In fact both the saints and science tell us that, without knowing how we do it, or even that we are doing it, we perform an astonishing miracle every moment: we continuously create our own physical body.

The saints and sages tell us that the dramatic miracles they work are but the conscious and deliberate extension of the same hidden laws of energy and thought that we use—without knowing how we use them—every day, every moment, to manifest our physical form.

We tend to think of our body as a fixed physical entity that exists regardless of anything we do. We might think that we can influence our body, for better or worse, by diet, exercise, and even by our thoughts and feelings, but we are pretty certain that birth—not a miracle—takes care of creating our body.

One certainly doesn’t see people routinely popping miraculously into or out of existence. Our bodies give every appearance of being fixed in their reality—especially when we, ah, try to lose weight—and the effects of any “normal” methods we use to change our body unfold very, very slowly.

You might be surprised to discover, then, that there are people—who are not saints or sages—who routinely undergo instantaneous physical change.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/?post_type=post&p=123260&mc_cid=929d955c5f&mc_eid=a3ac270552
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Research is In: Can Thoughts Create Things?

Thoughts are things.


Wisdom holders from the Buddha to Emerson have all placed great importance on the link between what we think and what we create…

And science is finally catching up!

Renowned scientist Dawson Church found study after study showing a direct link between what you think and what manifests around you, and he’s written a brilliant new book about it, called:

Mind To Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality

https://mindtomatter.club/?oprid=857

The book includes powerful stories about people who cured themselves of disease, created financial success, and manifested love…

And Dawson also shares the *exact* recipe for creating the brain states that can…

•Decrease the stress hormone cortisol—linked to disease and obesity—by over 24%

•Turn on 72 healthy genes

•Boost biological markers that destroy cancer cells, improve immunity, and increase your energy levels

•Increase the volume of your brain’s emotional regulation center by 23%

•Clear the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease

•Increase the number of healing stem cells in your body

•Lengthen chains of molecules called telomeres, your body’s main aging marker

•Multiply the number of synchronicities in your relationships and financial life

•Increase both life-span and health-span by 10 years or more

Discover the brain states to cultivate for wellness by pre-ordering your copy of Mind to Matter Here:

https://mindtomatter.club/?oprid=857

The book is being published June 12th, but by pre-ordering now, you’ll get 8 bonuses at no extra cost, including…

•A LIVE webinar training with Dawson on how to create healing hormones and neurotransmitters with your mind

•A meditation on visualizing and manifesting your highest potential

•A special dialogue between Dawson and Malcolm Gladwell (mega-bestselling author of The Tipping Point and Blink) sharing how your biggest life obstacles can be your best opportunities


•And 5 more high-value bonuses!


Check out all the bonuses here

Mind to Matter is a truly liberating book that reveals how changing your thoughts can radically improve your life.

One visionary entrepreneur calls this one of the most important books ever written, and when you see what it can do for your health and happiness, you’ll understand why.

Pre-order Your Copy Here Today

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Community Director
Evolving Wisdom

P.S. In Mind to Matter, Dawson shows that happiness isn’t an accident reserved for a few lucky people. It’s a biological state that anyone can attain using the brain formulas in the book. Get it here today.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Religion Gives Us (That Science Can’t)

It’s a tough time to defend religion. Respect for it has diminished in almost every corner of modern life — not just among atheists and intellectuals, but among the wider public, too. And the next generation of young people looks likely to be the most religiously unaffiliated demographic in recent memory.

There are good reasons for this discontent: continued revelations of abuse by priests and clerics, jihad campaigns against “infidels” and homegrown Christian hostility toward diversity and secular culture. This convergence of bad behavior and bad press has led many to echo the evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson’s claim that “for the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faiths.”

Despite the very real problems with religion — and my own historical skepticism toward it — I don’t subscribe to that view. I would like to argue here, in fact, that we still need religion. Perhaps a story is a good way to begin.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/opinion/why-we-need-religion.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mysticism of Music

What is music? What happens when music touches us? If we could somehow float above planet Earth and hear the abundance and diversity of music rising up from around the globe — monks chanting in cloisters, rappers hip-hopping in Detroit, mothers humming lullabies in China, string quartets performing in Vienna, distant lovers singing of their longing — what would we be witnessing? What is it that enchants us in the mingling of sounds? What is happening that moves us so?

I am not sure these questions have reliable answers. Of course, we might say music comforts us, or calms us, or excites us, or inspires us, but we still wouldn’t be any nearer to answering what music is, or what is behind the mystery of its capacity to touch us in so many ways.

My purpose here is not to dream up answers to these questions about music’s mystery, but to suggest another way of experiencing what is behind the questions. In aid of this purpose I would like to point to another mystery, what the great 13th century sufi mystic Ibn ‘Arabi called “the Breath of the Merciful.” This is a mystery on the scale of the cosmos and its origins. Yet its awesome majesty can be experienced within the intimate mystery of music itself.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-mysticism-of-music/
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are Singularities Real?

It’s hard to imagine infinity: something that is, by definition, larger than everything you can imagine. Physicists have to deal with the unimaginable every day, and have the tools to do so. But does their math describe reality?

Mathematicians have found a way to pack infinity into manageable equations and theorems as part of a class of mathematical oddities called “singularities.” To a mathematician, a singularity is simply a point where a function breaks down, as 1/x does when x gets close to zero. The defining property of a singular point is that it’s impossible to predict what happens beyond it. But are the singularities in mathematicians’ equations just an abstract concept? Or do they occur in nature?

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/are-singularities-real/
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Holographic Principle

The most famous case study in science, prior to Freud, was published in 1728 in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society by the English surgeon William Cheselden, who attended Newton in his final illness. It bore a snappy title: “An Account of Some Observations Made by a Young Gentleman, Who Was Born Blind, or Lost His Sight so Early, That He Had no Remembrance of Ever Having Seen, and Was Couch’d between 13 and 14 Years of Age.”

The poor boy “was couch’d”—his cataracts removed—without anesthesia. Cheselden reported what he then saw:

When he first saw, he was so far from making any Judgment about Distances, that he thought all Objects whatever touch’d his Eyes, (as he express’d it) as what he felt, did his Skin . . . We thought he soon knew what Pictures represented, which were shew’d to him, but we found afterwards we were mistaken; for about two Months after he was couch’d, he discovered at once, they represented solid Bodies.

The boy saw, at first, patterns and colors pressed flat upon his eyes. Only weeks later did he learn to perform the magic that we daily take for granted: to inflate a flat pattern at the eye into a three-dimensional world.

The image at the eye has but two dimensions. Our visual world, vividly extending in three dimensions, is our holographic construction. We can catch ourselves in the act of holography each time we view a drawing of a Necker cube—a few lines on paper which we see as a cube, enclosing a volume, in three dimensions. That cubic volume in visual space is, of course, virtual. No one tries to use it for storage. But most of us—both lay and vision-science expert—believe that volumes in visual space usually depict, with high fidelity, the real volumes of physical space, volumes which can properly be used for storage.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-holographic-principle/
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Holographic Principle and the Shadows That Bind

As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe.
~ The Upanishads

In Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” prisoners are chained inside a cave, able to look at only shadows cast on the wall by puppeteers standing in front of a fire behind them. For these prisoners, the shadows—not the real objects that cast those shadows—represent their entire reality.

It’s only when prisoners are released from the cave that they understand the true nature of reality—that what they called a “book” or a “man” were really just shadows of the real objects projected onto a wall.

Plato’s point is that even for us, outside the cave, we may not perceive reality accurately. For example, we may confuse the name or image of an object in our mind with the actual object itself.

Physicists, however, are starting to see that “shadows” like those experienced by Plato’s prisoners may be a much more accurate representation of reality than the philosopher realized, and could help tie together previously unconnected physics concepts like spacetime, gravity and quantum entanglement.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-holographic-principle-and-the-shadows-that-bind/
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mind of Plants: Thinking the Unthinkable

Across all species, individuals thrive in complex ecological systems, which they rarely have complete knowledge of. To cope with this uncertainty and still make good choices while avoiding costly errors, organisms have developed the ability to exploit key features associated with their environment. That through experience, humans and other animals are quick at learning to associate specific cues with particular places, events and circumstances has long been known; the idea that plants are also capable of learning by association had never been proven until now. Here I comment on the recent paper that experimentally demonstrated associative learning in plants, thus qualifying them as proper subjects of cognitive research. Additionally, I make the point that the current fundamental premise in cognitive science—that we must understand the precise neural underpinning of a given cognitive feature in order to understand the evolution of cognition and behavior—needs to be reimagined.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-mind-of-plants-thinking-the-unthinkable/?mc_cid=b7301ce00d&mc_eid=a3ac270552
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing the Unseen Cosmic Organism

In recent years, many attempts have been made to explain how the large cluster of neurons and synapses in the human brain produce or generate consciousness. Some theorists propose that the synaptic mesh, or indeed the neural web of ‘microtubules’, is sufficiently complex for the extraordinary qualities and capabilities of human consciousness to somehow emerge spontaneously. This approach leaves unsolved the persistent issue of coherence.

How do we explain the unity and coherence of both conscious awareness and perceptual experience? How does the brain function as a whole?

Perhaps the human brain, rather than generating consciousness itself, is like an antenna, tuning in to a field of consciousness in all space in the Universe? Rather than seeing each human brain as an isolated system, entirely separate from the space that surrounds it, we might consider the possibility of a cosmic consciousness and spatial-orchestration field both inside the brain and all around it in all space everywhere. After all, the presence of a field of non-local cosmic energy throughout all space in the Universe is well known to science.

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https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/?post_type=post&p=127019&mc_cid=145d3ed0a4&mc_eid=a3ac270552
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Physics and Philosophy of Time - with Carlo Rovelli

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1094&v=-6rWqJhDv7M

From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Carlo Rovelli brings together physics, philosophy and art to unravel the mystery of time.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How Doctors Use Poetry

A Harvard medical student describes how he is learning to both treat and heal.

One part of the Hippocratic Oath, the vow taken by physicians, requires us to “remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” When I, along with my medical school class, recited that oath at my white coat ceremony a year ago, I admit that I was more focused on the biomedical aspects than the “art.” I bought into the mechanism of insulin lowering blood sugar. I bought into the concept of diabetes-induced kidney damage. I bought into the idea of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with diabetes. But art’s—poetry’s—role in the modern practice of medicine?

I’ve changed my mind. Physicians are beginning to understand that the role of language and human expression in medicine extends beyond that horizon of uncertainty where doctor and patient must speak to each other about a course of treatment. The restricted language of blood oxygen levels, drug protocols, and surgical interventions may conspire against understanding between doctor and patient—and against healing. As doctors learn to communicate beyond these restrictions, they are reaching for new tools—like poetry.

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http://nautil.us/issue/64/the-unseen/how-doctors-use-poetry?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=dbf9c53d45-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_26_07_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-dbf9c53d45-60760513
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 Mind-Bending Perceptual Illusions

Everyone loves a good optical illusion. Most people first come across them as kids, and are instantly transfixed. And most of us never quite outgrow them. Even cats seem to enjoy the occasional optical illusion!

The good news, then, for humans and nonhumans alike, is that our illusions seem to be getting better over time. In the age of social media, lots of people are making and sharing them, and the best ones are quickly going viral and setting the new standard. In effect, our illusions are evolving culturally to be more and more powerful.

But although perceptual illusions are fun, they also have important philosophical implications. They show us in a clear and unambiguous way that we don’t directly perceive the world around us. Perceptual experience is a simulation—a mental model—that doesn’t always correspond to the reality it aims to depict.

The following illusions are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

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http://nautil.us//blog/12-mind_bending-perceptual-illusions?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=3c609e4506-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_02_08_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-3c609e4506-60760513
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 Mind-Bending Perceptual Illusions

Everyone loves a good optical illusion. Most people first come across them as kids, and are instantly transfixed. And most of us never quite outgrow them. Even cats seem to enjoy the occasional optical illusion!

The good news, then, for humans and nonhumans alike, is that our illusions seem to be getting better over time. In the age of social media, lots of people are making and sharing them, and the best ones are quickly going viral and setting the new standard. In effect, our illusions are evolving culturally to be more and more powerful.

But although perceptual illusions are fun, they also have important philosophical implications. They show us in a clear and unambiguous way that we don’t directly perceive the world around us. Perceptual experience is a simulation—a mental model—that doesn’t always correspond to the reality it aims to depict.

The following illusions are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

More...

http://nautil.us//blog/12-mind_bending-perceptual-illusions?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=3c609e4506-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_02_08_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-3c609e4506-60760513
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We Are All Bewildered Machines

Bewilderment is the antidote to scientific reductionism.


Excerpt:

I do indeed. Thomas, a physician, who died in 1993, is my exemplary science writer. He was an accomplished scientist who wrote from experience and late-night reflection. His lucid essays, laced with wit and humility, may be the closest that science writing has come to prose poetry. In “On Matters of Doubt,” from the early ’80s, Thomas wrote, “We would be better off if we had never invented the terms ‘science’ and ‘humanities’ and then set them up as if they represented two different kinds of intellectual enterprise.” Despite the fact we did, he wrote, there was a “common earth beneath the feet of all the humanists and all the scientists, a single underlying view,” and that view “is called bewilderment.” “Most things in the world are unsettling and bewildering, and it is a mistake to try to explain them away; they are there for marveling at and wondering at, and we should be doing more of this.”

Powers loved Thomas’ idea that bewilderment was the common ground between science and art. “The word ‘bewilderment’ has such a great etymology,” he said. “It means to partake in the state of being wild. It’s lovely to think that amazement is a recognition the wild is part of us. There’s amazement and there’s awe. It’s largely a function of literacy that someone, because of their natural capacities, but more often because of their environmental encouragement or discouragements along the way, believes the world is properly apprehended through one of those kinds of awes—the humanities or science—and not the other. Then the other kind of awe is going to seem like an incursion, it’s going to seem like a reduction, it’s going to seem a diminishment, right?”

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http://nautil.us/issue/66/clockwork/we-are-all-bewildered-machines?utm_source=Nautilus&utm_campaign=9a48f9c469-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_14_10_43&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dc96ec7a9d-9a48f9c469-60760513
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

Excerpt:

It is no wonder why, for decades, Einstein’s views on religion became muddled in the popular imagination: The inconsistency is clear. Here, God means one thing; over there, another. Just going off his letter to Gutkind, Einstein appears to be an atheist. But read Einstein in other places and you find him directly declaring that he is not one. “I am not an Atheist,” he said in an interview published in 1930. “I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.” Einstein was asked whether he was a pantheist. The rest of his response is worth quoting in full:

May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvellously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.

Benedict Spinoza, the 17th century Jewish-Dutch philosopher, was also in his day confused for an atheist for writing things like this, from his treatise Ethics: “All things, I say, are in God, and everything which takes place takes place by the laws alone of the infinite nature of God, and follows (as I shall presently show) from the necessity of His essence.”

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http://nautil.us//blog/how-einstein-reconciled-religion-to-science
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

America’s New Religions

Excerpt:

In his highly entertaining book, The Seven Types of Atheism, released in October in the U.S., philosopher John Gray puts it this way: “Religion is an attempt to find meaning in events, not a theory that tries to explain the universe.” It exists because we humans are the only species, so far as we can know, who have evolved to know explicitly that, one day in the future, we will die. And this existential fact requires some way of reconciling us to it while we are alive.

This is why science cannot replace it. Science does not tell you how to live, or what life is about; it can provide hypotheses and tentative explanations, but no ultimate meaning. Art can provide an escape from the deadliness of our daily doing, but, again, appreciating great art or music is ultimately an act of wonder and contemplation, and has almost nothing to say about morality and life.

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http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/andrew-sullivan-americas-new-religions.html
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Matter Conscious?

Why the central problem in neuroscience is mirrored in physics.

BY HEDDA HASSEL MØRCH

The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will. Astronomers wonder what dark matter is, geologists seek the origins of life, and biologists try to understand cancer—all difficult problems, of course, yet at least we have some idea of how to go about investigating them and rough conceptions of what their solutions could look like. Our first-person experience, on the other hand, lies beyond the traditional methods of science. Following the philosopher David Chalmers, we call it the hard problem of consciousness.

But perhaps consciousness is not uniquely troublesome. Going back to Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, philosophers of science have struggled with a lesser known, but equally hard, problem of matter. What is physical matter in and of itself, behind the mathematical structure described by physics? This problem, too, seems to lie beyond the traditional methods of science, because all we can observe is what matter does, not what it is in itself—the “software” of the universe but not its ultimate “hardware.” On the surface, these problems seem entirely separate. But a closer look reveals that they might be deeply connected.

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http://nautil.us//issue/47/consciousness/is-matter-conscious
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Book Review
The Mysteries of Friendship, Illuminated by Spooky Quantum Physics


LOST AND WANTED
By Nell Freudenberger

Excerpt:

After Charlie’s death, Helen begins to receive mysterious text messages and emails from her, and so, in addition to being a novel about science, “Lost and Wanted” is also a ghost story. In merging the two, Freudenberger joins another august tradition: that of fiction about science and ghosts, from Penelope Fitzgerald’s “The Gate of Angels” to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s “Properties of Light” and Andrea Barrett’s short story “The Marburg Sisters.” All these works — Freudenberger’s included — use ghost stories to intensify the mysteries involved in the scientific pursuit, just as they use science to reinforce the very real fact that we are at all times affected by invisible forces we can’t observe and haven’t yet understood.

In “Lost and Wanted,” the haunting occurs via the text messages and emails from Charlie’s phone, stolen just after her death. At times, Helen allows herself to believe that these communications are actually from Charlie. But, for the most part, it’s pretty clear that the mystery isn’t whether Charlie is operating her phone from another dimension, but who stole Charlie’s phone, and why this person has chosen to contact Helen.

So much of the power of ghost stories — from “Get Out” to “The Turn of the Screw” — derives from the uncertainty they invoke in readers (or viewers), that state of suspended logic in which it is unclear whether the protagonist is losing his or her mind as a result of grief or fear or anger, or whether supernatural forces are indeed at work in the world. They’re powerful because of the uncertainties they force us to live with, the insanity they cause us to approach. In “Lost and Wanted,” however, logic always prevails, at least when it comes to the messages from Charlie’s phone. For that reason, they never add up to a particularly powerful haunting.

The more affecting haunting is the way in which, after her death, Charlie occupies Helen’s mind and changes the reality she occupies. As though steered by Charlie’s hand, Helen reflects on the phases of their friendship: those years in college when she and Charlie were roommates; the years after Charlie moved to Los Angeles, when their friendship became strained; recent years, when Charlie was sick and they hardly spoke; and the present moment, now that Charlie is gone.

More...
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/books/review/nell-freudenberger-lost-and-wanted.html?emc=edit_th_190407&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=453053090407
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Photo of a Black Hole Reminds Us That Some Beautiful Things Are Beyond Our Grasp

God Need Not Be Real, But the Black Hole Photo Is


There are certain theological implications to the black hole. Not that it confirms any literal or conventional belief in a deity. God need not be real for divinity to be an applicable concept, for it’s good enough that the black hole is real.

.......

Notice the gloss of the unavoidable sacred in the media coverage about the discovery: Korin writes of “an unknown realm that can only be imagined”; Lee Billings at Scientific American describes the object as an “almost featureless nothingness”; and the title of Dennis Overbye’s article at The New York Times directly quotes the 17th century poet John Milton, who, in Paradise Lost, described hell as having “No light, but rather darkness visible.”

Such is the enormity, the awesome, sacred enchantment of such a thing, that even in our ostensibly secular age we must mine the metaphors of faith to generate something equivalent with our feelings before the altar of the singularity. Whether paradise or perdition lies behind that black boundary of the dead star I don’t know, nor if it’s something else entirely. A black hole is equivalent with mystery; a black hole is equivalent with wonder. A reminder that there are things in heaven and earth that are beyond our comprehension, and which we cannot describe except in the most rarefied of calculations.

We often think of our age as cynical, detached, broken, disenchanted—a jaded, post-truth era. Looking at that photo of a place where truth, and time, and space actually collapse, a place defined by both infinity and nothing, we can’t help but pause. Such a moment recalls the 19th century poet William Wordsworth’s evocation of how the mind tries to “grasp at something towards which it can make approaches but which it is incapable of attaining.” Our black hole, a reminder that there are some beautiful things beyond our grasp, some holy things beyond our vision. The closest we’ll ever come to a photograph of God.

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https://rewire.news/religion-dispatches/2019/04/12/god-need-not-be-real-but-the-black-hole-photo-is/
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE ROLE OF SUFISM ON DEVELOPING ISLAMIC SCIENCE

ABSTRACT

The consequence of Tawhid as the worldview of Islam is the unity of science and religion (Islam). This unity of science and religion leads to the unity of religious knowledge and science. In Islam, we do not merely find the unity of religious knowledge and science but the emergence of Islamic science inspired by religious knowledge. Even, religious knowledge also gave contribution on establishment and development of Islamic science. The main aim of this article is to examine the role has been played by Sufism on development of Islamic science. It attempts to elaborate the contribution has been given by Sufism upon Islamic science.

The article can be viewed at:

https://www.academia.edu/38797003/The_Role_of_Sufism_on_the_Development_of_Islamic_Sciences?email_work_card=view-paper
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Research Says About How Religion Affects Your Health

Despite ample reason to believe that faith in a higher power is associated with improved health, very little is still known about the effect religion has on the living body.


Religion and spirituality are among the most important of cultural factors, giving structure and meaning to behaviors, value systems, and experiences. Near the holy days of Easter and Pesach, our bodies, minds, and spirit turn to renewing and reaffirming our faith for the year to come.

Consequently, theologians, scientists, and other thinkers have attempted for centuries to understand the effects religion can have on human beings, both mentally and physically. Despite ample reason to believe that faith in a higher power is associated with improved health, very little is still known about the effect religion has on the living body.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is still very little quantitative research published in peer-reviewed journals exploring the relationship between religiosity and health. A primary reason for the lack of institutional knowledge in this area of study is that as the centuries have progressed, scholars in medicine, public health, psychology, sociology, spirituality, religion, economics, and law have all gone to distinct silos.

Subsequently, there is a growing body of research, but it exists in disparate fields, with little overlap addressing the implications for health. There is also much contention about working definitions of terminology like “religious,” “faith,” and “spiritual,” making research difficult to standardize and impossible to randomize.

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https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/23/research-says-religion-affects-health/
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The young Waezin should each try and find new arguments based on the discoveries of all branches of science for keeping the soul like the ocean with the Divine wisdom and power." (Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah, Cairo, 06-02-1956, Message given to Alijah Mohamedali G. Fuzulbhoy, Ismailia Association for India)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEUROSCIENCE & MIND

First Episode of Science Uprising Is Out: Fake Science and Toxic Materialism


What if the way the culture directs us to think about our own biological origins is based on a vast, highly influential myth? The myth is materialism. It’s the idea that only material stuff actually exists, while what we thought are immaterial or spiritual realities — the mind, free will, the soul — aren’t real at all but are just fobbed off on us by the brain. That’s the theme of the first episode of Science Uprising, an aggressive new counterprogramming series of short videos.

The episode is up now on YouTube!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv3c7DWuqpM&feature=youtu.be
Science Uprising Episode 1 - Reality: Real vs. Material

The culture that propagates the myth works through the media, through popular science spokesmen like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins, through education that takes the form of indoctrination, and with the insistent endorsement of more than a few genuine scientists who, like so many in the public, have swallowed the materialist Kool-Aid. They’ve convinced millions of people that reality goes no further than what we can see and touch. If true, that would mean that the things we care about most, including love, passion, meaning, a sense of right and wrong, and so much else, are illusions. Unfortunately, a great many people believe that.

No Scientists, No Science
One of the ironies of this way of thinking is that if “science proves” that only brains not minds are real, then no minds do science. That would mean there are no scientists, and no science. Besides being spiritually toxic, a “scientific” idea like that is fake science.

Featuring Discovery Institute’s Michael Egnor and Jay Richards in this first episode, “Reality: Real vs. Material,” Science Uprising is a dramatic departure for the Center for Science & Culture. It’s an opportunity to change the culture in a direct way, and you can join us in doing that. Here’s what you can do right now:

**********
NEUROSCIENCE & MIND

Science Uprising, Episode 2: Mind Denial


We are robots made out of meat, which is what I’m going to try to convince you of today.” So says evolutionist Jerry Coyne in the second episode of the counterprogramming video series Science Uprising. Coyne, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris serve as the foils for the episode, up against neuroscientists Jeffrey Schwartz and Michael Egnor.

The question: Does the organ of the brain house the personality, the intellect, totally so that the “inescapable I” of the subjective self is reducible to three pounds of flesh? So say atheists and mind deniers Coyne, Dennett, and Harris, and college students and media consumers are similarly instructed. The denial of free will, of the soul, require the brain to be just that.

But as Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Egnor argue, if Harris et al. were right, then research should not show that thought can change the brain (mind over matter), as it can. If materialists were right, Benjamin Libet’s experiments demonstrating “free won’t” should have had different results. Wilder Penfield should have been able to reach into the brain and alter the intellect or the “sense of self.” Dr. Egnor describes operations he himself has performed, separating the two halves the brain, in which the patient’s personality nevertheless remains unified.

All this is against the expectations of the materialist cultural and scientific hegemony. But they never tell you that, do they? Find the episode here:


“Materialists are realists, in a sense,” says Egnor, summing up. “They understand that materialism cannot explain the mind. Rather than abandoning materialism, they abandon the mind.”

Photo: Professor Michael Egnor, Stony Brook University, in a scene from “Mind: The Inescapable I,” second episode of Science Uprising.

Video at:

https://evolutionnews.org/2019/06/science-uprising-episode-2-mind-denial/
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