The Reality of Reality: A Tale of Five Senses

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Hi all,

Just curious about your thoughts on the discussion listed below on the subject of perception, inherent biases and what constitutes reality.

One particular part I found interesting to my main area of focus (life after death), is at 17:10 when Dr Christine Constantinople mentions that studies have shown that turning off a certain part of the brain eliminates a particular bias in rats where if they gambled as to receive a reward, they were more likely to gamble again than those who did not receive a reward. As turning off this area completely eradicated this bias, do you think this is strong evidence for the brain creating consciousness? And if not how would we explain this in non-physical means?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1jn86eUX0E
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-31, 11:20 PM by Darren_SeekingI.)
(2021-01-31, 06:57 PM)Darren_SeekingI Wrote: Hi all,

Just curious about your thoughts on the discussion listed below on the subject of perception, inherent biases and what constitutes reality.

One particular part I found interesting to my main area of focus (life after death), is at 17:10 when Dr Christine Constantinople mentions that studies have shown that turning off a certain part of the brain eliminates a particular bias in rats where if they gambled as to receive a reward, they were more likely to gamble again than those who did not receive a reward. As turning off this area completely eradicated this bias, do you think this is strong evidence for the brain creating consciousness? And if not how would we explain this in non-physical means?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1jn86eUX0E

Tim (and anybody else interested):

I'd like to ask you to take a look at the 'comment debate' on one of my recent videos between myself and a philosopher of sorts I believe. In it we discussed the evidence of veridical out of body perception from which the Pam Reynolds case crops up.
Would like to have your opinions on what has been said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZGUvH9b...JBaPtJysUr

Hi Darren. I took a quick look at your exchange. Nothing new there; I've had many of those with his type. 
It used to be "there's no evidence, show us the evidence, where is it?" Now they've got wiser, simply demanding the ultimate. They want all the aces lined up, so to speak.

"Just give me one double blind scientifically controlled veridical hit. You can't can you" (gloating). 

Not that one in itself would ever be enough for the likes of him because even if we had that, he'd certainly demand more, they always do. So no, there isn't (yet) a double blind scientifically controlled case as per what Parnia is trying to achieve, which is incredibly difficult for reasons I'm sure you're well aware of, not least because 90% of cardiac arrest patients die anyway and can't be interviewed. 

I noted that he wasn't impressed with the Pam Reynolds case, not controlled, therefore dismissed. If someone wants to be intellectually dishonest there's not much one can say to them that will make much difference. Was the case authentic, yes absolutely 100%. Did she see and hear things she couldn't possibly have heard under scientifically controlled conditions (the monitoring of her brain and the extreme protocol of the operation) which absolutely should have prevented such an occurrence ? Yes. 

Getting to the truth of any anything in science (the scientific method) starts with the observation and noting of events (in this case a compelling pattern of reports) and then the continued collection of data that is examined and double checked. All the doctors (medical scientists) that have looked into the reports from cardiac arrest patients, are of the same view that there is something extraordinary going on. 

That is why the research is ramping up at a pace. You might like to ask your friend if one double blind hit will convince him because we've got everything else.
(This post was last modified: 2021-01-31, 08:36 PM by tim.)
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Even if information processing goes on in the brain, it doesn't explain  consciousness.  Information processing goes on in a computer but it's highly doubtful that a computer is conscious of it.  I don't think the evidence is there at all for the brain creating consciousness.
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(2021-01-31, 06:57 PM)Darren_SeekingI Wrote: Hi all,

Just curious about your thoughts on the discussion listed below on the subject of perception, inherent biases and what constitutes reality.

One particular part I found interesting to my main area of focus (life after death), is at 17:10 when Dr Christine Constantinople mentions that studies have shown that turning off a certain part of the brain eliminates a particular bias in rats where if they gambled as to receive a reward, they were more likely to gamble again than those who did not receive a reward. As turning off this area completely eradicated this bias, do you think this is strong evidence for the brain creating consciousness? And if not how would we explain this in non-physical means?

Consciousness? What is described here is the reward and punishment model. Something which tends to be used in materialistic descriptions of the world. What IS consciousness? I think this first needs to be considered. Just what do you understand consciousness to mean? Is it to you just a robotic set of mechanical switches? Where would you draw the line between a machine and a conscious agent? I'm certainly not sure of your position.
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Isn't the problem with all of these animal studies that you can't ask them what their conscious experience of these experiments was?
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(2021-01-31, 11:47 PM)Will Wrote: Isn't the problem with all of these animal studies that you can't ask them what their conscious experience of these experiments was?

In this case you can see the behavioural difference though which is more than indicative.
(2021-01-31, 11:52 PM)Darren_SeekingI Wrote: In this case you can see the behavioural difference though which is more than indicative.
When I'm drunk, I get happy, loopy, uncoordinated, and uninhibited. My conscious experience of being drunk is a weird sort of "mind splitting;" half of me leans into the behavioral changes, and the other half is acutely aware of the effects of alcohol and goes into overtime trying to note where I am, how much I've drank, how unusual my behavior is, and if I'm getting close to doing anything stupid.


If I didn't have the power of language, and all a researcher had to go on was my observed behavior and measurable physical changes, they would never know about that, and it wouldn't factor into their conclusions.
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With reference to sceptics moving the goalposts:

A fair if somewhat cliched analogy of their behaviour. It used to be, just after Moody's book, that the demand was, okay, now find me someone who really died, because these people were only near death and they didn't actually die. (In fact some of Moody's cases were cardiac arrests but because he'd styled the phenomenon near death experience, the whole collection was waved away as fantasy and the sceptics probably believed or in many cases hoped (I suspect), that the whole fuss would die down and Moody's observations would prove groundless) 

That it didn't, we have Ken Ring and Michael Sabom to thank and of course the support of Bruce Greyson. Ring's book, Life at Death came out in 1980 in England. I was possibly the first person in the country, (or one of them) to read it, believe it or not, (NDE nerd) my local library ordered it from the USA after a lot of pleading.

Life at Death contained a lot of impressive cases of veridical NDE's but they were all retrospective; that is the accounts were submitted to the researcher on request (advertising in newspapers etc) without knowing if they were genuinely correct and authentic. Psychologists in England made a big deal out of this, scoffing at them (and the book) and effectively rendering them meaningless because of it. (Interestingly the retrospective reports have subsequently turned out to be consistent with the prospective reports--sceptics were wrong)  

I'm fairly sure that Ring mentioned that Sabom (and Sarah Kreutziger)  was carrying out a prospectively constructed study with proper controls etc in this book but I'm not certain. When Sabom's study was published in 1982, Susan Blackmore, the self appointed expert on this matter, got wind of "Recollections of death" (Sabom's study book containing very persuasive veridical OBE's ) and accepted that the study was at least well executed and acceptable, adding that "If Sabom's right, I'm wrong!" 

Probably realising that this was now a serious threat to the principles of her discipline psychology (the Irony that William James was one of the founders of Psychology was lost on her) she then set out to find fault with it. Fortunately for her,  a couple of Sabom's control patients (the ones who didn't have an NDE) were not 'cardiac arrests' and therefore the study had a flaw and could be discounted. And it was. More than four years of hard work with real patients in hospital and strikingly accurate reports, simply waved away. (Goal posts moved back)

Four years later in Holland (The Netherlands) Cardiologist Pim Van Lommel was beginning a pilot study of 50 patients, based on his curious observations that some patients whom he had revived,  did not seem very happy about it (They'd had NDE's and wanted to go back) Out of the fifty, 12 reported an NDE=24%)

Realising that he needed to carry out a full prospective study, with the help of psychologists Vincent Meijers and Ruud van Wees, he began his study in ten Dutch hospitals between 1988 and 1992 with a further eight year longitudinal aspect (did the memory of the report stay the same etc because English and American psychologists had insisted that it wouldn't--but it did--sceptics wrong again). 

18% of his sample reported an NDE after a period of cardiac arrest (death). 50% had an awareness of being dead (but not feeling dead). This time, psychologists such as Blackmore and French could not find fault with the study.  Van Lommel's was of the highest standard possible, even Woerlee acknowledged that, calling it the gold standard, but rejecting it's conclusions of course. 

Published in the Lancet, the foremost medical journal in the world, psychologists then began trying to explain the experiences away by suggesting that maybe brain function doesn't really cease altogether after cardiac arrest, even though it has been  shown to in experiments (sadly on animals) and also in ultrasound techniques during the implantation of pacemakers (apparently). Goal posts moved back again.

In order to falsify materialism, what better than to have a very well sourced and counter balanced collection of patients who've had memories from a period of when they had no brain function and were effectively dead. To note here, is that a new aspect to the sceptic's tactics arose, that of claiming that they were not really dead (because they were brought back) 

This is of course patently ridiculous. If they were not dead, why did Van Lommel and his colleagues have to resuscitate them in the first place, I wonder. Nevertheless, despite the quality of this study, the sceptics moved the goal posts back again, wanting double blind out of body veridical hits. In Van Lommel's study, no one had an OBE in a room with a target which had been placed on top of the lights (I think)

Parnia and Fenwick then took up the challenge in the UK but their study had to be abandoned because of lack of funding (staff) and the design of the targets which were suspended from the ceiling, thereby attracting curious nurses to climb up and see what they were for. 

Then Penny Sartori (RGN awarded PHD) with a lot of hard work on her own, nearly achieved the first double blind hit, but as luck would have it, the patient for whatever reason didn't notice it. The subsequent very accurate OBE was ignored because of that.

And that's where we are today. Stalemate until Parnia manages to do almost the equivalent of catching a ghost. That's the bar that has to be reached and not just once, many times because one would never be enough for these 'sceptics'. I'd like to call them something else, rather than sceptics,  because I really think they've behaved badly.     
   
(This post was last modified: 2021-02-01, 05:51 PM by tim.)
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