The Science of thoughts?

b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
The Science of thoughts?

Hello everyone, I came upon this site when I was using google to look something up about a Geology paper I got back today. First of all, it's a pretty simple high school class and one question on the paper that tried to make the student emphasize the difference between what is matter and what is not. The question went sort of like this -

Is your brain matter? Are your thoughts and ideas also matter, please explain why or why not.

I answered the first part obviously and the second part, although I knew what the question was going for, I decided to make a point about thoughts also being matter. I expressed this in the small answer by talking about how thoughts and memories are stored in molecular proteins in the brain and that this makes them obviously matter. I got a half point off (out of 4, she did kind of recognize my argument) and it sparked a debate at the end of class with her.

I plan to write a small paper and give it to her since we don't have the time to debate in class and I was wondering if anyone could help me a few of my points. My two points are thoughts ARE quantifiable, and thoughts ARE matter/not just the electrical impulse.

She asked if I considered the electrical impulses in a computer to be matter, and I said no, so she went on to say that I can't call thoughts matter because they are electrical impulses in the brain. I disagree that a "thought" is just an electrical impulse. What I know of thoughts is that they are steeped in human conscience, every thought I have is bound to be more developed than a simple electrical impulse, as it also holds my perceptions of things and my senses, which places the thought as matter because it has to be developed in the brain to what you are thinking, and not just a simple electrical impulse.

Such as how one bit, just one binary string is never the entire "thought" but just a tiny section of a packet of information that builds something much larger. Not to mention that in the simplest of terms, bits are so quantifiable they make your head hurt (Behold the IP address). These simple electric impulses sent through the computer carry vast arrays of info in just 1's and 0's, but are virtually worthless without the hardware (Brain matter) and what it can do, such as memory latches in a RAM stick that hold strings of data like molecular short term memory, to the "writing" of this data to a magnetic disk to be read later such as the processes of forming long term memories in the brain.

I've yet to look into how the brain actually makes a thought and memory, but I've read articles which try to place a brain's storage based on molecular processes in the brain.

One other matter around the idea is one another teacher brought up. She'd compare my assertion of thought to be matter, to me having to be able to quantify the thought. She'd keep using an old idea of weighing someone at death to try and find the weight of their soul, and comparing my simple scientific idea to Phrenology, and was honestly pissing me off.

The more I think about this specific idea though, logically, thoughts would have to be quantifiable. They are specific biochemical functions in the brain and are no less subjective to varying factors than say, a physics equation. I can't think of any actual example to give with the basest idea of quantifying thoughts but to a degree I think of an fMRI machine. These can basically be used as virtual lie detectors because they can see exactly what parts of your brain you're using to form the thoughts you're turning into speech, and even get a plain idea of what you're thinking based upon pictures you're being shown.

I contend that anything you ever actually THINK of, is the result of complex biochemical processes in the brain based upon perception. I am not comfortable saying that the complex abilities we have put together to be able to think, is no different than shooting a signal into your leg muscle to kick.

If anyone can tell me more about how the brain makes thoughts/memory or if you have any scientific studies or peer-reviewed literature, that would be great Smiling


b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
I would also like to mean

I would also like to mean this as my introduction. I wrote that all thinking I could post it into sciences and then go to introductions and say hi, but I guess not.

Hi everyone, my name is Josh and I'm a senior in highschool. I like Science a lot, and I like to debate sometimes O.o.

 

I look forward to meeting everyone  Smiling

 

-B33p3rz


luca
atheist
Posts: 399
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
asdfghjkl

Hi beep. A lot of people here debates veemently. You'll feel at home. Go and pick a topic.


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I see where you are going. However, if you want to equate thought to matter, then are not the electrical impulses in a computer also formed from electrons?

 

I think that where your teacher is going is that while the brain is obviously matter, it is a substrate for thoughts. Looked at that way, thoughts are not matter but the patterns in the matter. Just the same as the bits in a computer are not the same as electrons.

 

Does that make the question clear?

 

Also, Hi Josh.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10143
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Welcome! Matter is just

Welcome!

Matter is just energy in a different form, so I'm not sure there's a significant point to the argument. If thoughts arise from matter, they still originate in energy.

Beyond that, I think AIGS put it very well.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5800
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Thoughts are part of a

Thoughts are part of a process, a pattern of interactions between physical 'objects' - in this case neurons - and modulated by release of different chemicals. The thoughts are not identifiable with the physical objects or chemicals, any more than you can identify 'Windows' with the chips in your computer which is running it.

Thoughts are better considered to be forms of 'information'.

'Matter' particles are essential to form a stable persistent framework, the complex structure needed to support the complex processes that thought involves.

Matter particles are those which have attributes that allow them to stable basic structures such as atoms.

Other particles, like photons, are associated with forces, such as electro-magnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces.

We need both kinds.

I would strongly recommend you visit this website:

http://docartemis.com/brainsciencepodcast/

I have found her 'Brain Science podcast' extremely helpful in getting my head around this topic.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1829
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forum OP, you

Welcome to the forum OP, you will like it here.

I have had a few debates with theists that have touched on this subject.  Mine were centered around fundamental epistemology but concluding that inner narrative symbols and concepts are arrangements of electrons in your brain is one of the starting points for such a debate.  Ultimately, the difficulty of quantifying a pattern comes down to incommensurability of concepts.  One cannot agree that pattern A, corresponding to the concept of BEAUTIFUL relative to a painting and pattern B, corresponding to the concept of BEAUTIFUL relative to the same painting 10 minutes later after having thought about it in depth are identical.  Taking snapshots of the brain with an MRI scan will likely yelled mixed scientific results, and is missing the point.  Our empirical perception is strictly subjective and heavily influenced by the context.

The question of whether or not thoughts are material is a category error in the sense that thought is a process, not a thing.  If you want to get some answers as to how much thought your teachers have put in this, ask them what is thought if not material?  In other words, everything we know of  in nature is material, therefore thoughts are material.  

If any of them are alluding to the whole 21 grams weight of your soul thing, I think you should immediately lose all intellectual respect for that individual.

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I like the painting analogy. The painting is clearly matter but is the image matter?

 

Let me take that farther. A CD is matter but is music matter? How about that download that I got the other day? Somewhere in the world, there is a hard drive. Now there is a copy on my hard drive. What was it while in transit?

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5800
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I like the painting analogy. The painting is clearly matter but is the image matter?

 

Let me take that farther. A CD is matter but is music matter? How about that download that I got the other day? Somewhere in the world, there is a hard drive. Now there is a copy on my hard drive. What was it while in transit?

 

That is where the additional category - information - comes  in.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
I do see now that a brains

I do see now that a brains thoughts and ideas aren't really matter. Patterns in function aren't necessarily matter. The CD idea seems concise, because it's an addition of pattern, but physical removal of matter, to make information. I chose to drop it because the teacher that was equating my idea with (I always heard 27 grams O.o) weight of the soul, is always in my Geology class.

I understand now how the thoughts are information and the aren't actually the chemical processes, and the more I think about it, that is kind of the argument my Geology teacher was going for, if the other one hadn't been so disruptive. I raised my hand to ask the teacher about the question, and got her instead. Thanks for all the replies, and it's nice to meet everyone!


luca
atheist
Posts: 399
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
kapt

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
Let me take that farther. A CD is matter but is music matter? How about that download that I got the other day? Somewhere in the world, there is a hard drive. Now there is a copy on my hard drive. What was it while in transit?
Doesn't it depend from the definition? What I care is, anyway, that music resides in the physical world, whatever it is.

Without thinking, an immediate definition for me would be "a particular configuration of energy in time". Try to outline the properties that music has:

-sound; it doesn't matter if it comes from acoustic instruments, from a speaker, from a tesla coil Sticking out tongue, it's matter that moves; (to be honest, we could say "vibrations" because some of the lowest, and above all, big, waves are not percepted by ear but by "skin&quotEye-wink

-humans; I mean, when aliens will come we'll listen to their music, but for now music is music because it's judged by us. I don't think that every noise is considered music a priori, no?

In the end every music is categorized so slowly while humans listen to it, and so we learn what music is by experience, then we try to generalize the concept searching something that every piece of music considered "music" has. Right?

If that's true then music is something that provokes emotions, that "tells something", only it does so by hearing. I don't know what more general (in this aspect) there could be.

So this bring another question, for me: if we take the result of the music, what it stimulates in our brain, and we remove the sound, do we have music? I think not, but on another hand we don't need a material waveform, an electric one (to the nerves of the relative sense) is required, that's why at the beginning of the post I wrote that stuff, because energy/movement is needed, although it's a definition sa vague that it's almost useless.


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
b33p3rz wrote:She asked if I

b33p3rz wrote:

She asked if I considered the electrical impulses in a computer to be matter, and I said no, so she went on to say that I can't call thoughts matter because they are electrical impulses in the brain. I disagree that a "thought" is just an electrical impulse. What I know of thoughts is that they are steeped in human conscience, every thought I have is bound to be more developed than a simple electrical impulse, as it also holds my perceptions of things and my senses, which places the thought as matter because it has to be developed in the brain to what you are thinking, and not just a simple electrical impulse.

Such as how one bit, just one binary string is never the entire "thought" but just a tiny section of a packet of information that builds something much larger. Not to mention that in the simplest of terms, bits are so quantifiable they make your head hurt (Behold the IP address). These simple electric impulses sent through the computer carry vast arrays of info in just 1's and 0's, but are virtually worthless without the hardware (Brain matter) and what it can do, such as memory latches in a RAM stick that hold strings of data like molecular short term memory, to the "writing" of this data to a magnetic disk to be read later such as the processes of forming long term memories in the brain.

I've yet to look into how the brain actually makes a thought and memory, but I've read articles which try to place a brain's storage based on molecular processes in the brain.

The memory itself is probably on molecular basis, at least the short-term memory. With short-term memory, we know where it is stored and how it can be accidentally erased, like during a shock. Maybe even some drugs can do that. 
I am not sure how much are thoughts electrical impulses. (of course it's not as much electrons as ions of the neurotransmitters that do the job) I'd suggest that a thought is a summary of brain activity on a given moment, of multiple areas of simultaneously firing neurons. We've got to differ thought from perception. Thought is something that starts within. Some people also know, that thoughts may cease, but awareness remains, even more than when we were thinking.

b33p3rz wrote:
 One other matter around the idea is one another teacher brought up. She'd compare my assertion of thought to be matter, to me having to be able to quantify the thought. She'd keep using an old idea of weighing someone at death to try and find the weight of their soul, and comparing my simple scientific idea to Phrenology, and was honestly pissing me off.

The more I think about this specific idea though, logically, thoughts would have to be quantifiable. They are specific biochemical functions in the brain and are no less subjective to varying factors than say, a physics equation. I can't think of any actual example to give with the basest idea of quantifying thoughts but to a degree I think of an fMRI machine. These can basically be used as virtual lie detectors because they can see exactly what parts of your brain you're using to form the thoughts you're turning into speech, and even get a plain idea of what you're thinking based upon pictures you're being shown.

As for the weighing experiment, if it's not an urban legend, then it was probably done multiple times per 20th century. It would also be good to measure how much the air in lungs weighs. But anyway, my information is, that these unanimously weighed 21 grams are not soul, but (check my theist badge, I'm not the primary voice of reason here) substances of the etheric body. There are multiple independent researches that managed to physically detect etheric substances in atmosphere and as a vital aura around objects. (and I discover still more from time to time)
Etheric body is considered necessary for transmission of signals along the nerves, as necessary for quality of consciousness as health of the physical brain itself. But it is not a source of consciousness, which suggests that neither is the physical brain. How much that applies to thought itself, I can't tell. 

But equating your materialistic thought model to phrenology, that's just rude. Matter is a fact, phrenology isn't. 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I have to burst your bubble on this one. 21 grams is the title of a movie where the characters briefly discuss the idea that the experiment has actually been done.

 

As it happens, it was done back in 1907. Under non scientifuc conditions and in a really bizarre manner.

 

There was a doctor who reasoned that if he could prove the existence of a soul, that would prove the existence of god. So he went to a sanatarium (place that poor people with tuberculosis were stuck so that they would not spread the disease). He put an army cot on an industrial scale and badgered six dying men to let him do the measurement.

 

One of the measurments was “three fourths of an ounce” which is close enough to 21 grams. The others were various other numbers. Then, in order to back up his idea, he also tried it on fifteen dogs. To no great surprise, dogs clearly have no souls.

 

As there are no records of a serious fatal disease of dogs in the area at the time (and record keeping was good enough by then that they should exist if true), it seems that the good doctor was poisoning the dogs to get his measurments.

 

For over a century, nobody has been willing to repeat the experiment. One must wonder why...

 

Of course, three fourth of an ounce would be a terrible title for a movie, so it was changed to metric.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5066
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Why not

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

 What was it while in transit?

 

 

an electrical wave form?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
OK smarty pants, now tell

OK smarty pants, now tell the crowd what Ben Franklin's mistake was...

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

I have to burst your bubble on this one. 21 grams is the title of a movie where the characters briefly discuss the idea that the experiment has actually been done.

As it happens, it was done back in 1907. Under non scientifuc conditions and in a really bizarre manner.

There was a doctor who reasoned that if he could prove the existence of a soul, that would prove the existence of god. So he went to a sanatarium (place that poor people with tuberculosis were stuck so that they would not spread the disease). He put an army cot on an industrial scale and badgered six dying men to let him do the measurement.

One of the measurments was “three fourths of an ounce” which is close enough to 21 grams. The others were various other numbers. Then, in order to back up his idea, he also tried it on fifteen dogs. To no great surprise, dogs clearly have no souls.

As there are no records of a serious fatal disease of dogs in the area at the time (and record keeping was good enough by then that they should exist if true), it seems that the good doctor was poisoning the dogs to get his measurments.

For over a century, nobody has been willing to repeat the experiment. One must wonder why...

Of course, three fourth of an ounce would be a terrible title for a movie, so it was changed to metric.

Did you ever hear about the repeated experiment from 1988? This time they measured the weight of "soul" 9,3 mg (1/3000 oz) in 200 dying patients on a device with margin of error 0,28 mg. (1/100,000 oz) The weight of air in lungs was accounted for. 

This is not that much surprising. Etheric substances are measurable, electrically, optically, mechanically and personally. I've got about four researches to support that. (don't worry, no Kirlian photography) This newer experiment of weighing of "soul" might be one more piece into the mosaic of evidence. If not, I'll search for more anyway. 

I still claim that the ether is a (supersymmetric) dark matter, which is capable of  biological activity equivalent (and complementary) to our matter. This has to be taken in consideration, because so far scientists search for interacting DM in the most empty and lifeless places and with little success. There is an interaction between the kinds of matter, but the secret seems to lie in high-energetic circumstances. An object of high vibration (mechanical or otherwise) is much easier to throw out of balance and therefore capable of reacting to these subtle forces. This is unlike the current trend in methodology, where nothing must move or radiate to not disturb the readings. Maybe this is why it takes scientists so long.

I suggest you read this document. It mentions both measurements and then some very interesting weighing and calculations of dark matter in solar system and Earth system and eventually in human body. There is an increasing density of dark matter. Galactic halo has some negligible density, solar system maybe more, Earth definitely more (enough to cause some navigational anomalies) and we, living people, most of all. We are the concentrations of dense, living and interacting dark matter. To search for it in vacuum tanks is just wrong, when it's literally right in front of our noses. 
Turns out that the article was written by some Jay Alfred. I've got to look at this guy's website, maybe there will be more evidence. There are even some scientific papers. Wow, a gold mine.

I hope you'll help me along to show our new colleague Josh the process of critical thinking and weighing of evidence. Maybe you can give some suggestions on what is missing. Maybe a neater, complex presentation? More academic names and titles? What will get you convinced? I know there is so much woo woo around this subject, but this is what it is about, a natural phenomenon behind all that woo. Understanding it will expose all the charlatans.
 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
I honestly had no idea of

I honestly had no idea of the extensiveness behind this Weighing the soul idea before my teacher happened to mention it, and some of the research behind it is very interesting and before I get back to some of the papers, I was wondering about the dark matter idea though. I've heard from several locations that it's theororized that dark matter has an effect on gravity at the smallest scale. I haven't read anything necessarily against your idea yet, but wouldn't any minute measurement of weight possibly be effected at the time of death, if this dark matter stopped reacting. wouldn't the mass in a body seem to measure in at less by a given?

I understand that this is the exact idea behind the soul idea, but what if, like you said, it's just matter that exists alongside biological processes and compliments them. There isn't any idea of a soul that can really be attributed to it, unless we're simply calling anything that leaves the body a soul. I hate the connotation behind "soul".

In biology and medicine we have found out many of the things in a Human brain that is responsible for the consciousness we all have, and without the brain, or the death of the "feeling" body, what exactly would any material we find to be released after death actually be? It could be the biggest revolution in science, or it could be as simple as voiding your bowels. What makes anyone somehow add the intrinsic properties usually given to the idea of a soul, to any measurement of reduced mass at time of death, especially when it seems to be just a logic problem, without any tangible matter to test?

Also, from the most recent topic, electrons? I'm under the idea that we never actually give a mass number to electrons, because of their relative size to say, a proton, but once someone dies, and their ceases to be an electrical current or drive, how much electron "matter" has technically left the body? Has it even left the body? High energy particles such as that might bond to lifeless parts of the body after death, or completely radiate away. If we are technically giving weight to supposed dark matter at a fraction of an ounce, even if it seems practically inane to do so, how are we not contriving weight from basically proven electrons?

No matter what way I cut it, it seems ridiculous to put someone on a cot at the time of death to look for something that would've left the body, considering I can't find a way that you would ever prove that anything leaving the body, dark matter, electrons, lungful of gutter air, etc, would ever be seen as a soul, since the very idea of this research, is whatever loss you're measuring, is literally lost as it is taken somewhere supernatural. How can any idea of this magnitude be called scientific, if the conclusion is that you're trying to measure something before it leaves the physical world?


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
b33p3rz wrote:I honestly had

b33p3rz wrote:

I honestly had no idea of the extensiveness behind this Weighing the soul idea before my teacher happened to mention it, and some of the research behind it is very interesting and before I get back to some of the papers, I was wondering about the dark matter idea though. I've heard from several locations that it's theororized that dark matter has an effect on gravity at the smallest scale. I haven't read anything necessarily against your idea yet, but wouldn't any minute measurement of weight possibly be effected at the time of death, if this dark matter stopped reacting. wouldn't the mass in a body seem to measure in at less by a given?

I understand that this is the exact idea behind the soul idea, but what if, like you said, it's just matter that exists alongside biological processes and compliments them. There isn't any idea of a soul that can really be attributed to it, unless we're simply calling anything that leaves the body a soul. I hate the connotation behind "soul".

In biology and medicine we have found out many of the things in a Human brain that is responsible for the consciousness we all have, and without the brain, or the death of the "feeling" body, what exactly would any material we find to be released after death actually be? It could be the biggest revolution in science, or it could be as simple as voiding your bowels. What makes anyone somehow add the intrinsic properties usually given to the idea of a soul, to any measurement of reduced mass at time of death, especially when it seems to be just a logic problem, without any tangible matter to test?

Also, from the most recent topic, electrons? I'm under the idea that we never actually give a mass number to electrons, because of their relative size to say, a proton, but once someone dies, and their ceases to be an electrical current or drive, how much electron "matter" has technically left the body? Has it even left the body? High energy particles such as that might bond to lifeless parts of the body after death, or completely radiate away. If we are technically giving weight to supposed dark matter at a fraction of an ounce, even if it seems practically inane to do so, how are we not contriving weight from basically proven electrons?

No matter what way I cut it, it seems ridiculous to put someone on a cot at the time of death to look for something that would've left the body, considering I can't find a way that you would ever prove that anything leaving the body, dark matter, electrons, lungful of gutter air, etc, would ever be seen as a soul, since the very idea of this research, is whatever loss you're measuring, is literally lost as it is taken somewhere supernatural. How can any idea of this magnitude be called scientific, if the conclusion is that you're trying to measure something before it leaves the physical world?

 

The difference in weight is most likely various gases leaving the body.

 

Dark matter is only "found" in the cosmos, and electrons return to the valence shells. It is unlikey to be electrons, and pretty much impossible to be Dark Matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
b33p3rz wrote:I honestly had

b33p3rz wrote:

I honestly had no idea of the extensiveness behind this Weighing the soul idea before my teacher happened to mention it, and some of the research behind it is very interesting and before I get back to some of the papers, I was wondering about the dark matter idea though. I've heard from several locations that it's theororized that dark matter has an effect on gravity at the smallest scale. I haven't read anything necessarily against your idea yet, but wouldn't any minute measurement of weight possibly be effected at the time of death, if this dark matter stopped reacting. wouldn't the mass in a body seem to measure in at less by a given?

 I understand that this is the exact idea behind the soul idea, but what if, like you said, it's just matter that exists alongside biological processes and compliments them. There isn't any idea of a soul that can really be attributed to it, unless we're simply calling anything that leaves the body a soul. I hate the connotation behind "soul".

You're rather correct, except that this is not supposed to be just an amorphous cloud of etheric matter that participates on the biologic processes. It is a full-fledged counterpart of our dense-material body, with complex structure and function, even capable of surviving alone for a limited time. Its health has also a great influence on our health, disease, sanity and clarity of thinking. 

Physicists say, that there may be seven superstring dimensions of material existence. Esotericists say, that humans possess a set of overlapping bodies of still subtler matter, one or two per dimension. When the first and second one dies, the consciousness shifts upwards, to the next one. It's a bit more complicated than that, but it also explains a lot with relatively little. This is the traditional ‘Many Bodies-Many Universes’ theory of metaphysics. 


b33p3rz wrote:
 In biology and medicine we have found out many of the things in a Human brain that is responsible for the consciousness we all have, and without the brain, or the death of the "feeling" body, what exactly would any material we find to be released after death actually be? It could be the biggest revolution in science, or it could be as simple as voiding your bowels. What makes anyone somehow add the intrinsic properties usually given to the idea of a soul, to any measurement of reduced mass at time of death, especially when it seems to be just a logic problem, without any tangible matter to test?
The theory of successive set of subtle bodies does not contradict the current scientific findings. Physical brain, as the final outpost of our living, determines the outcoming quality of our physical awareness. That is, if the consciousness streams from "above". An occult idea of a soul as a source of consciousness is rather different than the popular idea. It is more similar to an external superconsciousness. A religious person would describe experiencing it as meeting our "divine father in heaven", except that it is just a higher part of ourselves. A Higher self, you know the term, if there are any New Agers lurking in your vicinity. There is no point in proving it now, it's too early. We're busy proving the existence of etheric body. And when there can be one more subtle body, why not a couple more?

As for the objective evidence I have available, please look below. 

b33p3rz wrote:
 Also, from the most recent topic, electrons? I'm under the idea that we never actually give a mass number to electrons, because of their relative size to say, a proton, but once someone dies, and their ceases to be an electrical current or drive, how much electron "matter" has technically left the body? Has it even left the body? High energy particles such as that might bond to lifeless parts of the body after death, or completely radiate away. If we are technically giving weight to supposed dark matter at a fraction of an ounce, even if it seems practically inane to do so, how are we not contriving weight from basically proven electrons?
Because we know electrons are not good candidates. Electrons do not leave the body, just as they do not leave the wire when you switch off the electricity. They just find a nice empty orbital of a nearest atom and sit down. AFAIK, electrons (and ions) fly freely around in vacuum, this is what CRT screen is about, also solar wind. So if the quick, sudden and equal decrease in weight wasn't the air, electrons, gases, fluids or anything else the scientists thought of as well, then we need to search for something new. 

b33p3rz wrote:
 No matter what way I cut it, it seems ridiculous to put someone on a cot at the time of death to look for something that would've left the body, considering I can't find a way that you would ever prove that anything leaving the body, dark matter, electrons, lungful of gutter air, etc, would ever be seen as a soul, since the very idea of this research, is whatever loss you're measuring, is literally lost as it is taken somewhere supernatural. How can any idea of this magnitude be called scientific, if the conclusion is that you're trying to measure something before it leaves the physical world?

Good thinking. It really gives no sense, unless you try to test if the etheric body is the next vehicle of consciousness. In which case the person's "ghost" wants to get out of the old meat bag. Just like you get out of a car if you crash it, to see what the damage is. So the berth gets lighter.

In science things typically aren't proven by one piece of evidence. They must explain or even predict hundreds or thousands of small pieces of evidence, to be taken seriously. So this weighing, even if it shows a positive anomaly, doesn't really prove anything by itself, it only says there is such and such sudden decrease in weight in the moment of death and it is not from this or that known cause. It is also one of many pieces of evidence, that point towards this theory of etheric body and world, or how it's called. 

The conclusions can not seem justified to you, unless you view the evidence first. I recommend to read at least a few chapters from the book Our Invisible Bodies by Jay Alfred. Don't worry, it's an interesting and reasonable read. There are a few conclusions which I think are a bit far-fetched, but other than that, we're on the same page. Then look at my five cents which I gathered from around the world, as an additional evidence. 

The book is officially free to download here, but I've uploaded it for you, so you don't have to register.

One of my favorite quotes:
If the universe consists of 1% visible and 99% invisible matter (both baryonic and not baryonic), it would be surprising if our body (in its totality) is not composed of both visible and invisible matter and energy. In fact, if it was not, we would need a good explanation for that!

So here's my 5 cents:
Firstly, there is professor James DeMeo from Oregon. (http://orgonelab.org/) He succesfully repeated many experiments of Wilhelm Reich. I personally appreciate most his work on making Reich's life energy detector portable and affordable. It exploits the fact, that etheric bodies absorb a displacement current field. So this device emits this kind of field and measures how much it is absorbed. (http://www.orgonelab.org/cart/ylemeter.htm
Another pioneer is my countryman, Miroslav Provod. His work is most similar to prof. DeMeo. (http://www.miroslavprovod.com/)
I should also mention Harry Oldfield and his Polycontrast Interference Photography. (http://www.electrocrystal.com/pip.html)
And very recently I discovered the work of dr. Kozyrev, who provides more ways to measure the etheric levels of matter. ( http://www.divinecosmos.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=36 )

Of course I've got a lot of personal experiments and anecdotes, even some related/competitive theory, but the ready evidence goes first. (now that I have it)

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Welcome, b33p3rz, Since

Welcome, b33p3rz,

Since others have already brought up the important concepts of 'information' and 'processes', I'm going to focus on one particular detail. First though, I want to point out that your original post already contained the seeds of the correct answer:

Quote:
Such as how one bit, just one binary string is never the entire "thought" but just a tiny section of a packet of information that builds something much larger. Not to mention that in the simplest of terms, bits are so quantifiable they make your head hurt (Behold the IP address). These simple electric impulses sent through the computer carry vast arrays of info in just 1's and 0's, ...

And also:

Quote:
but I've read articles which try to place a brain's storage based on molecular processes in the brain.

And this:

Quote:
I contend that anything you ever actually THINK of, is the result of complex biochemical processes in the brain based upon perception.

I highlighted some of the words you used without being consciously aware that you were speaking of things other than matter.

I've discussed this topic very frequently over many years, and I've come to some 'shortcuts' and concepts which I think might help you to see that 'matter' is not the only thing that 'exists', according to our best scientific understanding of the universe. I think this post might help: The word is: Physicalism


So, with those basics out of the way, I'd like to address one specific point:

Quote:
My two points are thoughts ARE quantifiable, and ...

... bits are so quantifiable they make your head hurt (Behold the IP address).

My point here is simply that information IS quantifiable, and one measure that we use to quantify information is very simply, the bit.

Next time you buy a hard-drive or a USB drive or whatever, think about what criterion you use to judge the 'size' of the drive. 8 bits is a byte. Approximately 1 million (actually, 220, which happens to equal 1,048,576) bytes are a megabyte. About a billion bytes are a gigabyte, etc.

So, if you buy a 4GB USB drive, what does the 4GB represent?

It represents the quantity of information that the drive can store. If you had a file that was 5GB in size, you simply would not be able to physically store it on that drive (ignoring compression for the moment).

It is important to realize that this is a physical quantity, a measurable, physical 'thing' in the broadest sense of the word 'thing'.

Information exists, can be measured, and has detectable effects on the real world.


Now, you bring up an important point:

Quote:
These simple electric impulses sent through the computer carry vast arrays of info in just 1's and 0's, but are virtually worthless without the hardware (Brain matter) and what it can do, such as memory latches in a RAM stick that hold strings of data like molecular short term memory, to the "writing" of this data to a magnetic disk to be read later such as the processes of forming long term memories in the brain.

It is true that information/processes without matter/energy to embody them are virtually useless. But this is not a point against information.

Every physical quantity (mass, energy, space, time, information, force, etc.) is dependent on every other quantity.

What good would matter/energy be, without a spacetime to manifest in?

What good would matter/energy and spacetime be without physical forces to modulate their transformations?

What good would all of those be without information to specify their structure and form?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13248
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Of course your brain is

Of course your brain is matter, unless you are Pat Robertson, his brain is merely hot air.

But you can think of "thoughts", not as things, but the manifestation of material processes. Much like running is the result of moving your legs faster, but, running itself is not a thing.

I hope that helps.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


whipped
whipped's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2011-10-18
User is offlineOffline
Thoughts ARE things.

Anybody wanna talk about astral projection?

Cuz June of 2010 I wuz in my room.(eyes closed) watchin (in memory) the incessant oil bubbling up from the bottom of the sea -

and next thing I saw (for about 7 seconds)  was a capuchin priest on his knees 1200  (space) miles away.  All I really wanna know is - did I have my clothes with me?

The OFM could SEE me - but he won't tell.   He'd gained about 30 pounds since I'd run away from him back in 2001.

Whipped Good


Jeffrick
High Level DonorRational VIP!SuperfanGold Member
Jeffrick's picture
Posts: 2355
Joined: 2008-03-25
User is onlineOnline
?????????????

 

 

 

                         Were you molested by a capuchin priest?

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1829
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
whipped wrote:Anybody wanna

whipped wrote:

Anybody wanna talk about astral projection?

Cuz June of 2010 I wuz in my room.(eyes closed) watchin (in memory) the incessant oil bubbling up from the bottom of the sea -

and next thing I saw (for about 7 seconds)  was a capuchin priest on his knees 1200  (space) miles away.  All I really wanna know is - did I have my clothes with me?

The OFM could SEE me - but he won't tell.   He'd gained about 30 pounds since I'd run away from him back in 2001.

Lol, that's funny.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc