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Profile: Ms. B. Have
User Name: Ms. B. Have
Forum Rank: Member
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Friday, April 6, 2012
Last Visit: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:15:13 PM
Number of Posts: 355
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 4:46:00 PM
“This was an embarrassment to Princeton, to Science, and to their "sacred" hope that there was nothing sacred in the universe, like maybe the Spiritual. Robert Jahn never talked about it this way in his scientific papers describing the work. He had set up experiments to test something, checked out all the variables, analyzed the data, and reported the results. Pure objective Science. The hypocrites screamed at the top of their registers about methodology but it was a smokescreen. This was impossible; and very undesirable. One editor, violating everything that editorship, let alone Science, should be about, told Bob that he'd publish the work only if Bob could telepathically send the paper to him. I cannot resist at this moment referring to that man (the editor) as a pathetic, arrogant jerk, and an enemy of real science.”

Robert Jahn and the Freedom of the Will
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

leonAzul wrote:
You are, of course, aware that PEAR was abandoned in 2007 for lack of evidence. Despite centuries of anecdote, conjecture, and outright fraud, not a single instance of a testable or repeatable paranormal event could be observed.

Not. One.

Every claim of psychic ability was demonstrated to involve confirmation bias, magical thinking, or clever manipulation that was revealed on careful observation.

Every. Single. One.

They do continue to maintain the archive of reports that was established around 1925.

I would be a bit more careful about the sources I cited.

You, leonAzul, are always so rapid in demonizing people who do not agree with what you believe and so skilled in throwing mud to everyone who is expressing another opinion. You should focus more on the real issue and ask yourself what you could learn from people who have studied certain questions more intensively and on a higher level of knowledge and understanding than you did.

If you do not like to read what Robert Jahn is writing about human consciousness, you are free to disregard it, or come up with more reliable data and some good arguments to proof where and why he is wrong. If you do so we could maybe learn something from each other.


Robert Jahn

During his career, he worked on electrically powered spacecraft propulsion and rose to be Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science of Princeton University. In 1961, he founded the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton and directed it for more than three decades.

He also studied psychic and parapsychological phenomena for many years.

He is a Fellow of the “American Physical Society” and of the “American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics”, and has been chairman of the “AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee”, associate editor of the “AIAA Journal”, and a member of the “NASA Space Science and Technology Advisory Committee”. He is vice President of the Society for Scientific Exploration and Chairman of the Board of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories consortium. He has been a long-term member of the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. and chairman of its Technology Committee, and a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc. He has received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andhra University.

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 10:32:37 PM
There is something very weird going on in this thread.

You started this topic with this sentence:

FounDit wrote:
Per our discussion on how recent consciousness developed in humans, this news item seems to me to indicate that it was not a recent developement at all, but has been with us for a very long time...about 41,000 years.

This looks to me as an open question about how recent consciousness developed in humans; nowhere is stated that the answer on that question may only be given based on only one definition of consciousness.

How should anyone know that he/she is not allowed to give his/her opinion about this subject only because he/she is using another definition of the concept consciousness than the topic-starter had in mind and was refering to?

Could you explain to me why in a topic about consciousness only the followers of the Jaynes doctrine have a freedom of speech?

You asked: "If you disagree with the definition, what purpose is served by arguing that definition? And why would not the definition of the Original Poster be the one that should be the standard; particularly at this late date in the discussion?"

The answer is that the answer on the question “how recent is consciousness” depends on what definition is used for consciousness. And as I said above, when you started this topic you did not dictate that the answer on that question was only to be given based on only one preceding definition of consciousness.

What are you trying to find out here? How recent consciousness really is? Or how recent consciousness could have been in case your concept of consciousness would be true?

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:11:28 AM
Epiphileon wrote:

" Recognition " of unitary groups is by electrical , ultrastructural ,
and connectionistic action and is precise . Multiple signaling to primary
repertoire groups leads to associative recognition and the formation of a
secondary repertoire of neuronal groups having a higher likelihood of
response than the cell groups of the primary repertoire .
As a result of experience and the formation of secondary
repertoires , structures are formed that discriminate between self inputs
and external inputs .
Consciousness , it is hypothesized , may result from reentrant
signaling that involves associations between current sensory input and
stored patterns of neuronal groups . Details are specified about the
stages in which reentrant signals are processed in relation to responses
in primary and secondary repertoires .
It is important to emphasize that the concept of reentry is a
critical one . Because of the degenerate nature of the proposed selection
process , the absence of reentry would lead to a failure of continuity in
the system as well as a failure to form coordinated abstract representations
of external signals. In other words , reentry guarantees continuity
in a distributed selectional system .. Consciousness may be a kind of
associative recollective updating by reentrant inputs that continually
confirms or alters the theory of the self by parallel sensory or motor
inputs and outputs .

Didn't you notice the words “Consciousness , it is hypothesized” in your quote?

It is no more than a hypothesis, one of the many there are.

Yes, it is no secret that science has many theories and models do describe the phenomenon “Consciousness”, like the “Modular Model of Mind/Matter Manifestations” (M5) Jahn is explaining in his article, but there is no overall and commonly accepted definition of it that can be used to judge which living creature is conscious and which one is not, or when and where mankind became conscious, if there would be a reason to presume that “homo-whatever” would ever been unconscious in his history or pre-history.

Science can see a parallel between certain activities in a human brain, and the awareness of that human being. But science has no answer on the question what it is that we can say that we are “aware” of these brain-activities. As long as we do not know why we are “aware” of some activities in our brain, then how can we be sure that other creatures cannot be “aware” of other biochemical processes in their body? Or how many neurons we need and what kind of brain-activities are necessary for awareness, consciousness or meta-consciousness? Maybe the brain of a fly is big enough to give it as much awareness as we have, though it is less intelligent, probably not meta-conscious and less complex programmed as we are, but nevertheless conscious. That is also a hypothesis.

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 10:19:30 AM
Epiphileon wrote:
For those of you who are unaware that there actually is a vibrant and robust, scientific theory of consciousness, the following is a quote from the introduction, by Francis Schmitt to the book, "The Mindful Brain" by Mountcastle and Edelman published in 1977.

1977, seems to have been 35 years ago.
Quote Epiphileon: “...and there has a lot of work done in this field since then by just as reputable investigators.”

A few more recent quotes taken from: “The Challenge of Consciousness”
by Robert G. Jahn, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR)


Attempts to include consciousness within an architecture of rigorous quantitative science encounter several formidable difficulties, among them the elusiveness of its definition, the plethora of mental states that can prevail, the intrinsically subjective character of many forms of experience, the wide variance of individual responses to sensory stimuli , and the capacity for anomalous modes of information acquisition and generation. Nowhere are these characteristics more dramatically demonstrated than in research on mind/matter interactions and remote perception, from which have been compounded large bodies of empirical evidence, but little insight regarding viable theoretical models or profitable strategies for superior experiments.

Definition of the Term
First, there is the enduring fundamental problem of establishing a consensus definition of “consciousness” that is sufficiently firm to convey a scientific concept, yet sufficiently flexible to encompass all of its pertinent psychological, physiological, and physical dimensions. Two decades ago, the term consciousness rarely was invoked in any epistemological context; today it enjoys proliferate applications ranging from brain physiology and psychotherapeutic nomenclature on the one hand, to mystical practice and new-age jargon on the other. We have consciousness journals, professional societies, workshops, encounter groups, and television specials, in each context of which the term functions as a popular buzzword, yet remains only vaguely defined. If we are to undertake a serious science of consciousness , more specificity will be re quired.

One common quick response to this aspect of the “challenge” is simply to propose as a synonym the term “awareness,” but this takes us little closer to any resolution. Awareness of what? Awareness of self? Of physical environment? Of other beings? Of cosmic harmony and purpose? I know that I am aware, and I presume that you are also. I believe that my dog is aware, and I notice that all of the “higher” animals act as if they are aware. But what a bout bacteria and mold spores, trees and rocks? Oceans and icebergs? Planets and stars? Each of these is bombarded with stimuli from its respective environment, and each reacts to the minits appropriate fashion. Are these legitimate forms of consciousness?

Other synonyms may be proposed, but at the end of the day we may be forced to concede some intrinsic ineffability to the concept of consciousness, and take our place in the long line of philosophers, theologians, and mystics who over the ages have waffled in scholarly exasperation over essentially this same problem of specification, e.g.: “I Am That I Am”; “I think, therefore I am”; “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao”; “ If you have to ask the question, you cannot comprehend the answer ” ; etc ., etc.
Consciousness would seem to emerge from this gauntlet of elusiveness as nothing more, but nothing less, than what we are, albeit in the particular environment in which we have that being. Can science handle such an elusive, intangible, enigmatic concept as one of its primary parameters? That indeed is a major portion of our challenge. But there is more much more.

Mind/Brain Dichotomy
Without doubt, the single most perplexing aspect of the challenge of consciousness is the deeply set, long-enduring issue of the relationship of the physical construction, states, and dynamical processes of the brain and its associated neurophysiological networks to the subjective experiences of the mind. The most extreme materialist or physicalist views hold that complete specification of the brain electrodynamics and biochemistry is tantamount to identification of the mental experiences. The most radical dualist perspectives insist that the Cartesian cut is impenetrable and the res cogitans by their nature do not submit to the mechanics of the res extensa. Between these epistemological poles have a risen all manner of hybrid models that attempt to correlate impressionistic experience or intention with corresponding tangible physical events.

So we must concede that the incorporation of consciousness within the purview of rigorous science indeed presents a huge array of conceptual and methodological problems. As yet we do not really know how to define it , how to characterize it, how to model it, or how to measure its properties. We do not understand its relationships with the physical world, including those with its own physiological mechanics. Its inclusion inevitably will bring with it a universe of subjective experience and expression that does not nestle well into the canons of scientific objectivity, replicability, and quantification, along with a host of mildly and wildly anomalous physical effects. And it will insist in playing only on grossly probabilistic, inherently uncertain terms.

© 2001 Society for Scientific Exploration
ROBERT G. JAHN Princeton University

Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 443–457, 2001 08923310/01

Establishing that real scientists when it comes to "consciousness" in their papers still admit that: “we do not really know how to define it, how to characterize it, how to model it, or how to measure its properties. We do not understand its relationships with the physical world, including those with its own physiological mechanics.” I think it is very legal and on topic here to define the illusion that we can determine since when human beings are “conscious” founded on historical evidence is a complete nonsensical assumption.

(Wondering why Jahn never mentioned Julian Jaynes in this article? Probably they never heard of this guy on Princeton University Think )

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 6:27:57 AM
leonAzul wrote:
If you do the same thing in the same way under the same conditions, then the result will be the same. ;-)

Indeed, and that's probably why you repeat the same nonsense over and over again.

Now stop throwing mud to those who think different, stay on topic and answer the question how recent consciousness is.

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 12:10:24 AM
leonAzul wrote:
Ms. B. Have wrote:

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.

"Vas you dere, Tscharlie?"

Evidence, please.

Let's turn it around: Evidence that it is not true please!

You have no evidence that your believe is true, so why those who do not believe what you believe should be the first one to come with evidence?
Only denying that what you believe is a belief, without a serious argument why, is not the same as "evidence".

Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 9:59:16 PM
Topic; Recent Consciousness?

percivalpecksniff wrote:
There is absolutely no evidence that man has ever been unaware of himself. It is pure conjecture that holds no water at all.

Epiphileon wrote:
Peter please, we are well aware that you deny that evolution occurred so of course you wouldn't believe that there was ever a case where man was not possessed of the same consciousness as he is today.

Perci's statement has nothing to do with religion or creationism, but with science. Every scientist can confirm with 100% certainty that there is 0% evidence that man has ever been unaware of himself.

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.
Topic: Recent Consciousness?
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 5:37:20 PM
FounDit wrote:
You are absolutely right, Perci.

There is no concrete evidence, but we who are engaged in this discussion accept the idea that the possibility is likely......

Who is “we”???

Only those who believe in the image of consciousness Guru Epiphileon is preaching here?

“Recent Consciousness?” is an open question on an open forum! Why those who do not agree with the controversial theory that only meta-consciousness is consciousness, and qualify such a theory as “a nonsensical and disputable definition” are accused of “disrupting our dialogs with unwarranted insults”

As I said before, I understand that people like to share and discus their own ideas only with like-minded sparring partners, without being interrupted by people who have well considered but opposing opinions about that same questions, but then the major question should be if it is wise to organise such a coterie in what is known as an open thread in an open forum. As long as this forum is "open" also different opinions should be welcome.
Topic: Alan Mathison Turing (1912)
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:32:41 PM
Epiphileon wrote:
The crime was Britons, I guess we hadn't quite gotten out of the dark ages yet..

Depends on the definition we use for "dark ages".

Topic: Alan Mathison Turing (1912)
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:24:24 PM

(How To) Solve Alan Turing's Google Doodle Puzzle