On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 7:44 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Sep 30, 10:16 am, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Sep 30, 2011, at 7:22 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On Sep 29, 11:14 pm, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> Craig, do the neurons violate the conservation of energy and
> > >> momentum?  And if not, then how can they have any unexpected effects?
> >
> > > No. If you are wondering whether I think that anything that
> > > contradicts established observations of physics, chemistry, or biology
> > > is going on, the answer has always been no, and the fact that you are
> > > still asking means that you don't understand what I've said.
> >
> > If it seems that I have misunderstood it is because I see a
> > contradiction.  If a neuron opens it's ion channels because of a
> > thought, then thought is something we can see all the correlates of in
> > terms of third person observable particle collisions.  If the ion
> > channel were to open without the observable and necessary particle
> > collisions then the neuron would be violating the conservation if
> > momentum.
>
> It's not the particle collisions that cause an ion channel to open,
> it's the neuron's sensitivity to specific electrochemical conditions
> associated with neurotransmitter molecules,


The neurons sensitivities can be ignored if one looks at the neuron as a
collection of particals, and you see interactions between particles rather
than between neurons. If you think this is not possible, then you are
assuming neurons can do things that would violate the conservation of
momentum.


> and it's ability to
> respond with a specific physical change. All of those changes are
> accompanied by qualitative experiences on that microcosmic level. Our
> thoughts do not cause the ion channels to directly open or close any
> more than a screen writer causes the pixels of your TV to get brighter
> or dimmer, you are talking about two entirely different scales of
> perception. Think of our thoughts and feelings as the 'back end' of
> the total physical 'front end' activity of the brain.


I would be more inclined to say they are the "top end" rather than the "back
end", as thoughts are built on top of awareness of information, which is
built on top of brain behaviors and states, which is built on top of neuron
behaviors, which is built on top of chemistry, which is built on top of the
particle interactions of physics.  When you describe it as a "back end" it
casts a mystical, unprobable and thus unscientific light on the idea, since
that explanation ends with "there is no explanation".  Worse, either this
invisible back end is tinkering with the trajectories of particles (as in
interactionist dualism) or it is just there, having no effect (as an
epiphenomenon) and leads to zombies and questions of its purpose.
Alternately, you could adopt Liebniz's approach and say the front end and
back end are independent realities which are, using your term, synergized.
But Liebniz's harmony leads to pure idealism, for the existence of minds is
enough to explain all observations; there would be no need for a physical
word to "force" our observations to agree with physical law.


> The back end
> thoughts and feelings cannot be reduced to the front end activities of
> neurons or ion channels, but they can be reduced to the back end
> experiences of those neurons or ion channels - almost, except that
> they synergize in a more significant way than front end phenomena can.
>
> Think of it like a fractal vis if you want, where the large design is
> always emerging from small designs, but imagine that the large design
> and the small designs are both controlled by separate, but overlapping
> intelligences so that sometimes the small forms change and propagate
> to the larger picture and other times the largest picture changes and
> all of the smaller images are consequently changed. Now imagine that
> the entire fractal dynamic has an invisible, private backstage to it,
>

Either this invisible and irreducible backstage can alter the direction or
energy of particles (thus leading to observable physical differences and
effects) or it cannot, making it an unnecessary epiphenomenon.  Which would
you say it is?


> which has no fractal shapes developing and shifting every second, but
> it has instead flavors and sounds that change at completely different
> intervals of time than the front end fractal, so that the pulsating
> rhythms of the fractal are represented on the back end as long
> melodies and fragrant journeys.
>
> Both the visual fractal and the olfactory musical follow some of the
> same cues exactly and both of them diverge from each other completely
> as well so that you cannot look at the fractal and find some graphic
> mechanism that produces a song, and the existence of the song does not
> mean that there is an invisible musicality pushing the pixels of the
> fractal around, it's just that they are like the two ends of a bowtie;
> one matter across space and the other experience through time. They
> influence each other - sometimes intentionally, sometimes arbitrarily,
> and sometimes in a conflicting or self defeating way.
>
> Craig
>
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