On 17 May 2013, at 12:07, Russell Standish wrote:

On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 05:39:50AM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
Hi Art Funkhouser

The documented fact that people have had "near death"
experiences after death,  after electrical activity in the brain
ceases suggests to me at least that  the mind does not
need the brain to function.

This is also suggested by "out of the body" experiences


Where's your evidence of this happening? You're not just claiming that
people have been resuscitated from a brain dead state, but that they
are conscious as well. Reliable evidence of this would be big news indeed!


It is very hard to assess scientifically presence, or absence, of consciousness, notably of person in highly comatose state. One reason for this is the Maury Effect ((as I call it in "conscience et m├ęcanisme") . You have perhaps heard about Maury's theory of dream. Maury, like Malcolm, pretended that we are unconscious the whole night, including during "dream episodes". In fact Maury argued that dreams do not exist, and that a dream is a construction done at the moment of awakening. This has been rather properly refuted with the use of lucid dreams and Electro Encephalo-measurements (Hearne, Laberge, Dement, ...(You can find the references in the bibliography of "conscience et M├ęcanism"(*)). Yet, in dream, the brain, like a talented novelist can create in a short laps of time an imaginary past, similar to what Maury thought the entire dream is. In fact it is hard to imagine how a dream can "begun" without creating a situation and a memory configuration for that situation. This does not explain all aspect of a NDE, but can invalidate too quick deduction, especially that the recovering from coma is a slow process, where the brain get more active in some incremental way, and during that time a Maury effect would be the easier explanation for the apparent feeling of having live something during the time of the comma. Note that a digital reconstitution can also be seen as some Maury effect. The reconstitution creates a long-life-past memory.

Other more impressive reports exist, where people, after a coma, can describe happenings in the room or in the hospital when they were in the comatose state. This is far more impressive, but unfortunately, although amazingly many physicians reports such facts, it is hard to assess them, or repeat them, as it is obvious we can't put a human Guinea Pig in such state, which are "really" near death, and that would be unethical to try. For each particular case, loopholes exist in the account. More case studies are needed, with some progress in anesthesiology.

Are NDE contradicting "mainstream science"? It seems to me that "mainstream science", by its current Aristotelianism is already contradicted itself by ideas like COMP or STRONG-AI.

Does NDE assess the comp platonism? Comp predicts a large range of "after-life experiences". Comp predicts also what can be memorized from them, what can be told, and what cannot be memorized at all. It is here that the salvia reports seem to me very amazing, as it looks people can memorize more than what comp would allowed, unless our subst-level appears to be *very* more low than neurons (perhaps).

Well, given that we might be seriously wrong with the mind-matter connection since Aristotle, we can be sure only of one thing: much more work has to be done on this subject, and this, if possible, in a very large open frame of mind, far from religious or anti-religious prejudices. Use of different narcotics should be encouraged, but we are a long way from that too. Salvia and DMT seem to have NDE like effects, and seem to be non toxic, and non dangerous when done with a minimum amount of responsibility.

Bruno

(*) http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/bxlthesis/consciencemecanisme.html



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Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
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