Recently Neurologist Steven Novella on his blog Neurologica a two part post titled Reports of the demise of materialism are premature.
Here's some points that I like to address from his posts.
Steven Novella says
The New Scientist has recently discovered what readers of this blog have known for a while - that the denial of materialist neuroscience is the “new creationism.” In fact I have written extensively over the past year about the embrace by the Discovery Institute (an intelligent design group) of cartesian dualism, the notion that the mind is a different substance from the brain. The primary proponent of this argument for the DI (and a frequent foil of my blog entries) is Michael Egnor, a creationist neurosurgeon. But the New Scientist article correctly points out that this is actually part of a larger movement and a larger strategy.
So, anyone who disagrees with the materialist view is labelled a creationist?. Of course Intelligent Design is an alternative to evolution, like cartesian dualism is an alternative to theories that mind is either epiphenomenal or an emergent property of the brain. The question is should science be fully materialistic or dualistic?. For me after studying the evidence, I have come to the conclusion that we live in a dualistic universe.
Jason J. Braithwaite, a researcher in visual cognitive neuroscience has wrote a critique on Dr. Pim Van Lommel's study on nde's. His criticisms are that survivalist's nde researchers have completely misunderstood what the dying brain hypothesis really says. According to this theory, as formulated by Susan Blackmore and others, it's not the mere presence of anoxia that causes vivid seeming hallucinations, but the rate of its onset. If it comes on too rapidly, the patient will lose consciousness and black out, so no conscious experience or memory could occur.
He also mentions studies done on epileptics that show large scale seizure activity occurring in deep sub-cortical regions, that does not register at all on scalp-based EEG traces - an indication that an EEG is an unreliable measure of neural activity.
True, their maybe some deep brain activity that the instruments may not detect. The question really is not that their is no brain activity going on, but is it the specific form as regarded by contemporary neuroscience as the necessary condition of conscious experience. Activity of this form is eminently detectable by current EEG technology, and as we have already shown, it is abolished both by adequate general anesthesia and by cardiac arrest.
He also cites evidence that inter-ictal discharges in the hippocampus or amygdala alone are more than sufficient to produce complex meaningful hallucinations - no involvement from the cortex is necessary.
Yeah ok hallucinations which is the keyword here. Their are clear differences in nde's that happen in cardiac arrest or clinical death compared to electrical stimulation to the brain. This has been shown not just by nde researchers but also by other neuroscientists. Such as Dr. Edward Kelly and Dr.Emily Kelly in their book called the Irreducible Mind.
Keith Augustine has updated his essay called Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences. He expands greatly on mentioning his exchange with nde researchers called Does Paranormal Perception Occur in NDEs? http://www.iands.org/pubs/jnds/jnds25.html
To me Keith Augustine completely underestimates probability theory. I mean their are thousands of near death experience with apparent accurate out of body perceptions. Now Keith mentions some cases which appear to show that some nde's are hallucinatory.
1. Did a bunch of markdowns 2. Did the bakery 3. Sweep the floor 4. Put out some red bulk onions 5. Put out some brocoli 6. Bagged up some bananas 7. Put out some iceberg lettuce 8. Put out a bag of 2 lb bags of carrots 9. Counted bags of cranberries 10. Put out some white bulk onions 11. Put out a couple of cauliflower' 12. Put out 1 and a half boxes of bulk bananas 13. Cleaned out 3 big sinks with sos pad 14. Put out some bags of 5 1b carrots 15. Put out a bag of green beans 16. Put out a box of bulk yams 17. Put out a bag of 2 lb bags of parnsips
Being a materialist myself before I use to find this paranormal stuff was all bunk. It took a long while to realize this materialist view of reality is wrong. Near death death studies challenge greatly materialist theories of mind/brain relationship. They will continue too do for for years to come. If the evidence points towards a soul surviving death we must accept it. Bringing up the same old tired arguments like mind can't survive death because neuroscience proves mind dies when the brain dies. These arguments have been refuted over and over again.
1. Did two big boxes of cardboard 2. Put out some bulk pumpkins 3. I put out a 50 lb bag of bulk turnups 4. Did 4 and a half boxes of bulk bananas 5. Bagged them all up 6. I marked them all down 7. I put out 10 5 lb bags of carrots 8. I put out 15 bags of 3 lb bags of mcintosh apples 9. Put out some bulk bananas 10. Put out 10 5 lb bags of onions 11. Trimmed up a box of iceberg lettuce 12. Bagged them all 13. Put them all out 14. Put out a box of bulk tangerine oranges 15. Put out some bulk green beans 16. I trimmed up some cabbages 17. Put them all out 18. Bagged up some potatoes 19. Reduced them all down
1. Did 3 boxes of cardboard 2. Put out 8 boxes of 8 bags in each box of 31b bags of oranges, 3. Put out 2 bags of 48 bags of 21b onions 4. Put out the garbage 5. Cleaned off ledges 6. Put out 1 box of bulk bananas 7. Swept the floor 8. Did markdowns 9. Did some wrapping 10. Lifted a bunch of barrel's and wooden boxes and moved flowers 11. Bagged up some bananas 12. Put out some yellow beans 13. Put out 10 bags of 10 pound bags of beets 14. Put out 2 bags of 20 bags of 5 lb onions 15. Put out some avacadoes 16. Put out some ginger snaps
Things I did in the past
- Trimmed up some cabbages - Put out some grapefruit - Watered 30 plants - Put out 2 boxes of bulk bananas - Put out some green beans - Put out 2 boxes of hothouse tomatoes - Put out some 88 oranges - Put out some bulk turnups - Trimmed up a whole box of iceberg lettuce - Put them all out - Trimmed up a whole box of romaine lettuce - Put them all out - Put out a box of golden delicious apples - Put out 3 big 50 lb bags of corn - Put out a box of kiwi - Put out a box of black plums - Put out a box of red plums - Put out some leaf lettuce - Put out some black grapes - Put out some red grapes - Put out a box of granny smith apples - Put out a bunch of 5lb bags of potatoes - Put out some 20 lb bags of potatoes - Put out a box of royal gala apples - Put out some yellow plums - Put out a box of field tomatoes - Put out some red delicious apples - Put out some yellow peppers - Put out a box of green peppers - Put out some orange peppers - Put out a box of red peppers - Put out a box of cantalopes - Put out some 3 litre pear boxes - Put out a box of cluster tomatoes - Put out a box of peaches - Put out a box of green onions - Put out a bag of 24 bags of 2lb carrots - Put out a bag of 10 bags of 5lb carrots - Put out some rhubarb - Put out 6 boxes of strawberries - Put out 4 boxes of packed mushrooms - Put out a box of bulk mushrooms - Put out a box of garden bagged iceberg salads - Marked downed a bunch of stuff suchs as peppers, iceberg lettuce, bagged, apples, oranges, turnups, plums and peaches - Put out some organic bananas - Put out a box of necturanes -
I am going to now write also about what I have done on my job at coop
1. Did two big boxes of cardboard 2. Trimmed green onions 3. Put them all out 4. Put out two boxes of 5 x 6 tomatoes 5. Put out a box of field tomatoes 6. Put out two boxes of bagged clementine oranges 7. Bagged up some bananas 8. Took the skin of corn a big bag of them 9 .Put out some red delicious bulk apples 10. Put out some bulk golden delicious apples 11. Put out a box of bulk black plums 12. Put out some bulk red plums 13. Put out some turnups 14. Put out a box of bananas 15. Watered a bunch of flowers