On 10/4/2011 6:32 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
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.
But he doesn't say what effect is has. It could be anything and hence could explain any
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.
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to email@example.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at