On Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 5:59 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> This goes by the name "causal completeness"; the idea that the 3-p
> observable state at t is sufficient to predict the state at t+dt.  Craig
> wants add to this that there is additional information which is not 3-p
> observable and which makes a difference, so that the state at t+dt depends
> not just on the 3-p observables at t, but also on some additional
> "sensorimotive" variables.  If you assume these variables are not
> independent of the 3-p observables, then this is just panpsychic version of
> consciousness supervening on the 3-p states.  They are redundant in the
> informational sense.   If you assume they are independent of the 3-p
> variables and yet make a difference in the time evolution of the state then
> it means the predictions based on the 3-p observables will fail, i.e. the
> laws of physics and chemistry will be violated.
> Of course this violation maybe hard to detect in something very complicated
> like a brain; but Craig's theory doesn't seem to assume the brain is special
> in that respect and even a single electron supposedly has these extra,
> unobservable variables, i.e. a mind of its own.  The problem with electrons
> or other simple systems is that while we have complete access to their 3-p
> variables, we don't have access to their hypothetical other variables; the
> ones we call 1-p when referring to humans.  So when all the silver atoms in
> a Stern-Gerlach do just as we predict, it can be claimed that they all had
> the same 1-p variables and that's why the 3-p variables were sufficient to
> predict their behavior.

That's a bit like saying there are fairies at the bottom of the garden
but they hide whenever we look for them. According to Craig, the 1-p
influence (which is equivalent to an immaterial soul) is ubiquitous in
living things, and possibly in other things as well. I think if no
scientist has ever seen evidence of this ubiquitous influence that is
good reason to say that it doesn't exist. In fact, Craig himself
denies that his theory would manifest as violation of physical law,
and is therefore inconsistent.

> So the only way I see to test this theory, even in principle, would be to
> observe Craig's brain at a very low level while having him report his
> experiences (at least to himself) and show that his experiences and his
> brain states were not one-to-one.  Of course this is probably impossible
> with current technology.  Observing the brain at a coarse grained level
> leaves open the possibility that one is just missing the 3-p variables that
> you show the relationship to be one-to-one.
> So I'd say that until someone thinks of an empirical test for this "soul
> theory", discussing it is a waste of bandwidth.

Stathis Papaioannou

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to