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Science finally outdoes itself

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Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/3/15 7:53 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Ryan J 6/3/15 3:12 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself cian 6/3/15 3:21 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/7/15 8:37 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Dada Kind 6/3/15 4:01 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/7/15 8:40 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Dada Kind 6/7/15 1:51 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself C P M 6/4/15 7:47 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/7/15 8:45 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/7/15 8:33 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself sawfoot _ 6/7/15 3:29 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Ryan J 6/7/15 4:11 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself sawfoot _ 6/11/15 5:34 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Eva Nie 6/11/15 10:49 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself sawfoot _ 6/12/15 3:41 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/16/15 6:54 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/9/15 7:19 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Stick Man 6/12/15 12:21 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Chuck Kasmire 6/7/15 4:30 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/9/15 7:27 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Stick Man 6/11/15 11:28 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Stick Man 6/11/15 11:43 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Ryan J 6/11/15 3:41 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Ryan J 6/11/15 3:52 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself sawfoot _ 6/11/15 6:16 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Ryan J 6/11/15 6:36 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Dada Kind 6/11/15 6:29 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Stick Man 6/11/15 11:27 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself sawfoot _ 6/12/15 2:49 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Matt 6/12/15 2:55 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/15/15 3:23 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Dada Kind 6/11/15 6:25 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Stick Man 6/17/15 1:27 AM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Eva Nie 6/11/15 9:34 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself Eva Nie 6/11/15 1:50 PM
RE: Science finally outdoes itself CJMacie 6/15/15 8:54 AM
Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/3/15 7:53 AM
(What category to put this in -- Humor? Magick? Phenomenology? I guess Science and Meditation is as good as any.)

"Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness"
(http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/experiment-confirms-quantum-theory-weirdness)

"...scientists ...  proving that reality does not exist until it is measured."
" 'It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it...' "

Ever since learning to get over my education (indoctrination into the current zeitgeist religion called science), the myth of objective reality has become gradually increasingly obvious. (As in, for instance, the embarrassingly anthropomorphic nature of the 'big bang' theory of cosmology.)

Another way of looking at it (as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel suggested 200 years ago in Die Phaenomenologie des Geistes*): science's basic job is to mirror for the human mind it's own last best working guess as to what it itself is actually all about (the mind and its models).

More recently I've found a better conceptual framework in which to express this -- it's all sankhata (fabrications) conditioned by avijjia (ignorance).

* A curious statement in the Wikipedia bio: "Hegel's thought is not just a philosophical system, but a system which knows about its own relationship to the rest of experience which is not philosophy, and knows above all that its own knowing cannot exhaust this relationship."

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/3/15 3:12 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
This was a super interesting experiment. After reading it, I was going to make (Probably will later) a thread called "The Quantum Woo Zone" where posters deliberately come up with baseless guesses matching experiments like this and meditative realizations in face of the obvious offensiveness to the rationalists and materialists, which I personally find funny coming from the fact I have a degree in mathematics and am not fearly reactive to things labeled Woo. You can see the same fear reactivity to the EM Drive, who knows if it works, but the backlash has been impressive.

This experiment is literally more insane, weird, and strange than the magic that oozes out of mysticism, and yet a sort of flat Newtonian mechanical worldview reigns all around us.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/3/15 3:21 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
I'd love a good thread on flatland newtonian mechanical worldview skepticism, Quantic Woo-ziness and other good oozings!

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/3/15 4:01 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI66ZglzcO0&list=PLHLjQ1DfVhxLLcZpIfHbLeQXq0c4nShLR

For those who want it from closer to the horse's mouth, or with more clarity, or with more careful word choice, etc

Also, Chris, you use many Buddhist terms in your posts but from what I've seen you don't include many alternative translations. For example, sankhara is variously translated as 'formations', 'volitional activities', 'constructing activities', 'compositional factors', etc. Each of these seems distinct to me

Ryan, I'm working on my math degree now. I feel ya. It seems to me that people who are reactive to 'quantum woo' damage quantum PR as much as the worst of the wooers.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/4/15 7:47 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris

Very interesting link, thanks.

I studied math and physics at university. In second or third year I took my first quantum physics course. Early in the course, the professor's lecture included a description of Schrödinger's cat. Until that class, I had thought of math/physics as interesting/challenging/beautiful/orderly. But that class was the first time I had feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. I had never associated those feelings with my field of study, but quantum physics was so weird that it shook my common sense concept of reality to the core.

I've started to read "Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense: An Inquiry into Science, Philosophy, and Perception" by Steve Hagan, so I'm revisiting these themes.

Chris J Macie:

Ever since learning to get over my education (indoctrination into the current zeitgeist religion called science), the myth of objective reality has become gradually increasingly obvious.


I don't understand this perspective, I'll have to dig a bit into the references you list, but could you elaborate? My thinking is that these quantum physics theories and experiments are revolutionary, and further our understanding of reality.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 8:33 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
re: Chris J Macie (6/3/15 7:53 AM)

To try to clarify that s/w cryptic OP:

The intent is not at all to put-down science per se. The experiment cited -- if the data is verifiable (reproducible) and the interpretation passes review -- is certainly important -- as per Ryan J: "a super interesting experiment".

The aspect that especially catches my attention is the implication that the process of science conditions it's findings. Clearly, much scientific experimentation is plaged by 'conformational bias' -- posing of a question already implies the answer. This is especially evident in a lot of the studies dealing with 'meditation'.

I understand the ideal of science to bea meta-methodology, holding, at the deepest level, a principle of establishing knowledge. The specific methods, both experimental and interpretative (theory), at any point in time (history), are provisional, are the best we've got at the moment. But the overall process is inherently self-transcending: specific strategies are to be continuously critically re-examined, and abandoned or superceded when they prove inadequate.

For instance, the relatively modern (from the 1950's) notion of the 'double-blind randomly controlled trial' (DBRCT), considered the 'gold standard' and a basis of the currently fashionable idea of 'evidence-based medicine' (EBM), is in fact seriously limited as to the scope of health-care phenomena where it can be applied. It works well in pharmacological studies, where it originated, but poorly in many other areas. (Sample critique can be seen in a paper by Ted Kaptchuk (Harvard Medical School) titled: "DBRCT – Gold Standard or Golden Calf?".)

I referred to Hegel's work because he demonstrates well the nature of the historical evolution of human knowledge (classically known as 'scientia'). In 'Die Phaenomenologie des Geistes' ('The Phenomenology of the Mind'), he traces the development of various notions of 'reality' throughout history. In each era, there's a sense of 'now we really know, where in the past ages were deluded.' Logically extending this to any 'now' (e.g. 21st-century or continuing), he posits an 'absolute knowledge' ('Das Absolutes Wissen'), which is not knowing what reality in toto (and at some historical locus) really is, but rather knowing accurately how we are perceiving (the phenomena) and fashioning what we think it is that we know – knowing how we know, so to speak. What we can best surely know is more the nature, the quality of our knowing, rather than anything totally definitive about the external 'objects' of our knowings.

This, to my mind, obviously relates to the Buddhist (in at least some interpretations) process of awakening to what phenomena ('sensations') and our interpretation thereof is actually all about. That's why I raised this thread and think that it's, in some sense, OT (ON-topic) in DhO.

Not that I expect everyone to agree with this…

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 8:37 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
re: Ryan J (6/3/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"
baseless guesses matching experiments like this and meditative realizations in face of the obvious offensiveness to the rationalists and materialists…"

This statement in its cryptic nature seems to match the fuzziness of my original OP, but I don't quite get how to interpret it. Thanks for in fact forking that discussion off into a new thread (The Quantum Woo Zone http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5736485).

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 8:40 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
re:Droll Dedekind (6/3/154:01 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

(s/w OT)

"
Also, Chris, you use many Buddhist terms in your posts but from what I've seen you don't include many alternative translations. For example, sankhara is variously translated as 'formations', 'volitional activities', 'constructing activities', 'compositional factors', etc. Each of these seems distinct to me"
Bascially I try to use the Pali terms, and then some English translation to avoid being too esoteric; and at times, when seems appropriate to the discussion, will investigate variations of English translation, all of which reflect the POV of the translator – in that sense, they are all 'distinct'.

"Fabrications" is in the sense of Thanissaro Bhikkhu's quite deliberate usage; "formations" is used by Bhikkhu Bodhi and many others, often not very self-critically; "volitional activities" sounds like the usage of Linda Blanchard (and possibly others), which has a distinct slant; "constructing activities" and "compositional factors" are not familiar to me – can you cite usages, preferably with the rationale?

A major problem, to my mind, is people using some preferred English term, which has seemingly clear (but more often unexamined) associations for them, and which they often then uncritically attribute to the orginal Pali author(s). Two or more people doing this simultaneously gives rise to a lot of the "noise" in, for instance, DhO discussions.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 8:45 AM as a reply to C P M.
re: C P M (6/4/15 7:47 PM as a reply to Chris JMacie.)

Chris J Macie:
Ever since learning to get over my education (indoctrination into the current zeitgeist religion called science), the myth of objective reality has become gradually increasingly obvious.


C P M
:
I don't understand this perspective, I'll have to dig a bit into the references you list, but could you elaborate? My thinking is that these quantum physics theories and experiments are revolutionary, and further our understanding of reality.


In the above quotation, I'm thinking about the common, everyday sort of idea of 'reality' that we're conditioned into by upbringing, socialization, inculturation (education). That we consider it to be self-evidently real is a sort of pragmatic, and essentially religious belief – re-ligio : back to a basic linkage or bonding, that we accept on the basis of partially 'blind' and partially 'verified' faith.

Relativity theory, and quantum theory (and what's going on in many areas of art, music, etc.) are, as you put it, 'revolutionary' – turning things upside-down, or inside-out. And they are largely meaningless to the 'man-on-the-street', the 'run-of-the-mill person' (various translations of the Buddha's term for the unawakened).

People naturally want the comfort of their conditioned 'reality'. We want to relax to 'music', namely some form of pop-music, or for some 'classical' music (up to about 100 years ago), but rarely the music of Anton Webern, or Karl-Heinz Stockhausen (music of 80 to 20 years ago), let alone what avant-garde composers are producing right now. Likewise in the graphic arts.

How can we 'live' with the implications of quantum theory? Who, actually, fully knows the implications?

Sorry, if the best I can come up with is just further paradox.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 1:51 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
"Fabrications" is in the sense of Thanissaro Bhikkhu's quite deliberate usage; "formations" is used by Bhikkhu Bodhi and many others, often not very self-critically; "volitional activities" sounds like the usage of Linda Blanchard (and possibly others), which has a distinct slant; "constructing activities" and "compositional factors" are not familiar to me – can you cite usages, preferably with the rationale?

A major problem, to my mind, is people using some preferred English term, which has seemingly clear (but more often unexamined) associations for them, and which they often then uncritically attribute to the orginal Pali author(s). Two or more people doing this simultaneously gives rise to a lot of the "noise" in, for instance, DhO discussions.
I completely agree with the latter paragraph.

"Constructing activities" is Peter Harvey's translation. He doesn't provide a rationale for that one, afaik, but he does provide rationales for other unorthodox translations (Non-Self instead of noself. Four True Realities of the Spiritually Ennobled instead of Four Noble Truths. Etc). I don't know the source of "compositional factors" but I've seen it around.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 3:29 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Yes, isn't science amazing! I am so glad we have science. Imagine, without science and the astonishingly accurate predictions made by quantum physics, the DhO would be just us sending messages us each other via carrier pigeons, and think how long we would have to wait to get new posts delivered to us. Imagine, if we didn't have quantum physics, there would be no blu-rays. And we would have to watch plays for our entertainment. I suppose that means leaving the house more though, so perhaps it wouldn't be so bad.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/everyday-quantum-physics/

And wow, yes, what an experiment. Can you imagine, John Wheeler, 1978, thought up a thought experiment, in which seemed an impossibility to test atthe time, but the progress of science means that within 30 years that impossible dream became a reality, and the predictions he made turned out to be accurate.

I don't really understand the results though. Reality doesn't exist when you aren't observing it? It’s a bit like whether the fridge light is always on. It always seems to be on when I open the door of the fridge. I sometimes wonder when I walk into a room and shut the door, whether the room I just came from still exists. When I open the door again, it always seems to exist. But who knows! Maybe it is just because I want the room to exist.

I wonder what people used to think happened before we had science. I guess they thought that huge gods made the landscapes and drew the stars across the sky in chariots. Or that diseases were caused by tiny little demons working their black magic. I suppose back then that would seem like common sense, as it is hard to imagine the operation of phenomena at vastly different scales to our own, as we only have our experience as conscious humans to go on, where roughly speaking newtonian principles operate. But hey, science is just a bunch of theories, and so, who knows, maybe they are all wrong and fools in believing in an objective reality that conforms incredibly accurately to the predictions you make about it, and there is going to be some big paradigm shift and we move beyond the current zeitgeist and the church of science, and we all go back to believing in the demons again, and we all learn to unlock our hidden potential and communicate with each other psychically, and violate fundamental principles of physics. You never know.

Speaking of scales, have a look at this:

http://htwins.net/scale2/

Mind. Blown.

Neutrino's are really tiny aren't they.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 4:11 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
"But hey, science is just a bunch of theories, and so, who knows, maybe they are all wrong and fools in believing in an objective reality that conforms incredibly accurately to the predictions you make about it, and there is going to be some big paradigm shift and we move beyond the current zeitgeist and the church of science"

Maybe not 100% wrong, merely disasterously wrong in some areas to the point of potentially killing millions of people: http://meaningness.com/perfection-salad


"This is an essay about scientism: the special social power given to people and discourses that cast themselves as “scientific.” It examines a particular case, “domestic science,” which is now plainly bogus. Thereby it tries to illuminate, and to cast as bogus, other cases (such as “cognitive science”) currently accepted as legitimate.

My theoretical framework here relies heavily on Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality. This book is better titled in the French edition: The Will to Knowledge. It takes sex as a concrete example, but is actually concerned with the relationship between knowledge and power.

My concrete example is drawn from Laura Shapiro’s Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century. Shapiro’s book is a history of the “domestic science” movement. Domestic science was founded in the late nineteenth century as, simultaneously, an intellectual discipline and a reform movement, both directed at the improvement of cooking. In its later manifestation as “home economics,” it had an overwhelming effect on women’s lives that has abated only partly in the last twenty years.

Domestic science provides a neat illustration for the pathologies of intellectualized rationality, authoritative knowledge, and transcendence. Here at the end of the twentieth century, it seems mostly absurd to think that science has anything much to say about cooking,3 and we thus have a degree of distance on a particular manifestation of a group of connected twistednesses that still dominate the way we think about most things.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/7/15 4:30 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
(What category to put this in -- Humor? Magick? Phenomenology? I guess Science and Meditation is as good as any.)

"Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness"
(http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/experiment-confirms-quantum-theory-weirdness)

"...scientists ...  proving that reality does not exist until it is measured."
" 'It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it...' "


I seem to remember Tom Campbell in his book My Big TOE (Theory of Everything)  mentioning that with a large enough test apparatus you can throw a piano though it and see the same result. What if there was an ant in the piano - is the ant an observer? Would this introduce a bug into the experiment?

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/9/15 7:19 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
re: sawfoot _ (6/7/15 3:29 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)
" It’s a bit like whether the fridge light is always on. It always seems to be on when I open the door of the fridge. I sometimes wonder when I walk into a room and shut the door, whether the room I just came from still exists."
Once I took my auto to the mechanic because the (new) battery was running down repeatedly, though slowly ,over a week or two. He found that the trunk light wasn't going off when the lid ("bonnet" to some) was closed. Maybe he was a quantum-mechanic?

" Speaking of scales, have a look at this:
http://htwins.net/scale2/
Mind. Blown.
Neutrino's are really tiny aren't they."

Thanks, fascinating. And the music's nice too (speaking of scales).

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/9/15 7:27 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
re: Chuck Kasmire (6/7/15 4:30 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"…with a large enough test apparatus you can throw a piano though it and see the same result. What if there was an ant in the piano - is the ant an observer? Would this introduce a bug into the experiment?"


A bit ago in the Hacker's forum (descendents of Stuart Brand's Hacker's Conference) a reference came up to some accounts of early adventures with computing machinery, ca. the 1940's. Apparently once a moth was found to have toasted itself and messed up a vacuum tube or two in one of the first computers. That was the first computer 'bug', and the origin of the expression.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 11:28 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
(What category to put this in -- Humor? Magick? Phenomenology? I guess Science and Meditation is as good as any.)

"Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness"
(http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/experiment-confirms-quantum-theory-weirdness)

"...scientists ...  proving that reality does not exist until it is measured."
" 'It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it...' "

Ever since learning to get over my education (indoctrination into the current zeitgeist religion called science), the myth of objective reality has become gradually increasingly obvious. (As in, for instance, the embarrassingly anthropomorphic nature of the 'big bang' theory of cosmology.)

Another way of looking at it (as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel suggested 200 years ago in Die Phaenomenologie des Geistes*): science's basic job is to mirror for the human mind it's own last best working guess as to what it itself is actually all about (the mind and its models).

More recently I've found a better conceptual framework in which to express this -- it's all sankhata (fabrications) conditioned by avijjia (ignorance).

* A curious statement in the Wikipedia bio: "Hegel's thought is not just a philosophical system, but a system which knows about its own relationship to the rest of experience which is not philosophy, and knows above all that its own knowing cannot exhaust this relationship."

Meaning Lemaitre came up with a scientific version of "let there be light", evolutionary theory developed under a competing and selectively breeding European aristocracy, and the permeation of eastern religions into western society is leading to cyclical cosmologies ?

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 11:43 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
What to think about Dean Radin's double slit experiment where he uses a person simply thinking about the photons in order to act as an observer - ie psi observation at a distance will affect the outcome ? He says it works and has been replicated.


Pro: http://www.noetic.org/research/project/double-slit-experiment
Pro: http://deanradin.com/evidence/RadinPhysicsEssays2013.pdf
Con: http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229021
Con: https://barenormality.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/attention-double-slit/

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 1:50 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Sounds freaky but isn't that what books like Seth have been saying all along, ie you create your own reality with your thoughts and consciousness.  I remember a while back, some new agers were saying that through enlightenment and various woo woo things, your DNA would actually change.  ANd of course the scientists flipped out about how that was the most impossible bunch of BS ever spoken out loud and 'everyone knows'  you can't change your DNA, etc.  Then more recently I started hearing all this new scientific breakthrough information about epigenentics and how experiences in life change how your DNA is expressed and which parts of your DNA are turned on and off, and how the parts interact and how the tightness of the DNA double helix can change which also changes which parts of your DNA are expressed. 

Also there have been rat studies showing fear of simple things like a color can be induced via electric shocks (that part we knew of course), but that the fear is ALSO then inherited genetically by the offspring.  Off spring were separated at birth to minimize chance that any other learnign could occur but the offspring still showed increased fear of the stimuli the first time it was presented compared to control groups.  Offspring even showed morphological changes in body allowing them improved ability to perceive the stimuli compared to controls (an example would be increased cones in eyes allowing them to see the color better or some such).  I remember it wasn't long ago that to assert any type of inheritance theory other than Darwinian was almost enough to get a person burned at the stake because 'everyone knew' aready how inheritance worked.  Of course, all those 'airy fairy' new age gurus saying DNA could change for some reason have yet to receive an apology from the scientists, perhaps because 'everyone knows' those guys are all full of BS anyway and maybe they just got lucky that time.  ;-P

So is the 'you make your own reality' new age airy fairy assertion also BS and the fact that this experiment appears to support it just coincidence? 
-Eva

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 3:41 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
When I was doing my senior project on the backtracking algorithm for convolutional neural networks (A type of artificial neural network used for things like computer vision) I went back to the sources, of which the computer scientist Paul Werber was a major influence on the backtracking algorithm which basically resurrected interest in ANNs from the AI winter. I was struck by the end of his book, where he talks about mind and body and basically (I really tried to get a free access so I could show you verbatim what he said) but basically what he said is:

We should give serious attention to the mind-body problem and alternative views of reality than the standard scientific materialist view on the grounds a very significant portion of the best scientists tend to have mystical views. 

I couldn't find it, but it turns out Paul Werbos thinks mysticism and magic is real and talks about the relationship between mysticism and science. He has an essay here about it:

http://www.rosecroixjournal.org/issues/2012/articles/vol9_74_86_werbos.pdf

"But now I must move on, and make a sharper distinction.
Science actually has some ability to reach beyond the laboratory, and correlate neural network mathematics with those types of first-person experience which anyone can see fairly easily. Science can make sense of Freud’s concept of “sanity” and of Confucius’s concept of “integrity” as interpreted by those Confucian scholars who do not believe in the soul at all.2

At a time when I did not believe in the soul at all myself, I could easily see the logic of trying to achieve that kind of sanity or integrity. I tried to understand intelligence in the brain, in part because I knew that greater integrity would allow me to be far more effective in using my mind, but also because I felt that a better understanding of this mathematics would help us get rid of wrong ideas about the soul which cripple people and cause wars and other problems on a large scale. Like most of the other founders of the neural network field, I was deeply excited by one of the two books which launched the neural network revolution, by D.O. Hebb.7
Hebb argued that the probability of soul or of paranormal abilities is very low, despite laboratory evidence which would be convincing for any other theory about the mind, because of the strong prior probability against the idea. Sagan has popularized this line of thinking by saying “extraordinary claims require extraordinary justification.” Hebb argued for a low prior probability, based on the apparent physical impossibility of those kinds of connections between human minds and the larger universe. All of this rested heavily on his understanding of the laws of physics.

Ironically, the effort to achieve greater integrity and to understand the brain was one of the main causes of life experience which forced me to change my position. (Other causes may include some kind of genetic predisposition, and concern for the fate of humanity as a whole.) That was not the intention, but the effect was evident. In truth, it happened in stages, as one thing happened after another. But one very unmistakable experience of quoting a speech before it was given8 made me resolve in 1967 that I would henceforth be open-minded. I did not immediately accept the existence of paranormal effects or of the soul, but in Hebb’s language – I adjusted my likelihood function enough that I resolved to be truly open-minded, and to assume a kind of 50- 50 attitude towards the possibility of soul and paranormal phenomena. I also resolved to not let this get in the way of my clarity of thought or effectiveness, and to work hard to understand just what was really going on here."

-----

(Typically arguments against this stuff say: If it were real, scientists would publish it. The obvious rebuttal to that is the highly political nature of scientific publication that I have read from various scientists lamenting the publishing process.)

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 3:52 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Scientists definitely don't jump at the chance to be proven wrong. Here is a Nobel Lauret of Chemistry talking about how scientists reacted to his discovery of quasi-crystals: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EZRTzOMHQ4s&feature=youtu.be (Starts at 6 minutes)

tldr: He turns out to be right, but all the scientists he showed evidence basically told him to go fuck himself, essentially. I can't imagine trying to push something 1000x more politically hot, as in, anything magical related.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 5:34 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan J:
"But hey, science is just a bunch of theories, and so, who knows, maybe they are all wrong and fools in believing in an objective reality that conforms incredibly accurately to the predictions you make about it, and there is going to be some big paradigm shift and we move beyond the current zeitgeist and the church of science"

Maybe not 100% wrong, merely disasterously wrong in some areas to the point of potentially killing millions of people: http://meaningness.com/perfection-salad




The post by David Chapman is not about science or the knowledge acquired through the scientific process, but is about the application of scientism and rationality to a particular domain. His claim that it has led to millions of deaths is not backed up any evidence in the post. And I rather suspect that people eat too much sugar and fat because they taste real good, rather than due to some people suggesting in a period of history that they are good for you.

But, anyway, no-one in science claims that science is 100% right, and that errors in our knowledge gleaned from science cannot lead to disastrous consequences.

Back to the OP, Chris says this experiment in the OP that this experiment, if verified, are important. Ryan talks about delayed choice quantum eraser experiments in the other thread and how important the results of these are. I don't know the field that well, but my impression is that these experiments are bog standard quantum physics. Not important or theoretically interesting. The quantum eraser stuff is just given a sexy title so its easier to publish and it gets discussed and cited. But it is not telling us anything new - because it just follows from the predictions of what we know about quantum physics. And the fact that you are reading this now on a computer over an internet connection would suggest that the basic framework is extremely unlikely to be wrong, let along disastrously wrong.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 6:16 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan J:
I couldn't find it, but it turns out Paul Werbos thinks mysticism and magic is real and talks about the relationship between mysticism and science. He has an essay here about it:

I did not immediately accept the existence of paranormal effects or of the soul, but in Hebb’s language – I adjusted my likelihood function enough that I resolved to be truly open-minded, and to assume a kind of 50- 50 attitude towards the possibility of soul and paranormal phenomena. I also resolved to not let this get in the way of my clarity of thought or effectiveness, and to work hard to understand just what was really going on here."

Hmmm, interesing idea. Perhaps I should turn truly open-minded as well. Perhaps its possible that rather than my brain being responsible for actions, there is an invisible race of goat handed Belgian horse whisphers, who trick invisible unicorns to control my actions using invisible bits of string tied to my limbs, like a marrionette. Perhaps I should be open to a 50-50 possibility of that being true, or would that sound a bit silly?

"We should give serious attention to the mind-body problem and alternative views of reality than the standard scientific materialist view on the grounds a very significant portion of the best scientists tend to have mystical views. "

Yes there are some famous scientists who have alternative views. Bohm is one cited above. But it seems very unlikely that a significant portion of the best scientists believe in crackpot ideas. A very very small portion, perhaps. And it is a fallicious argument from authority anyway. 

"So is the 'you make your own reality' new age airy fairy assertion also BS and the fact that this experiment appears to support it just coincidence?"

Yes, BS, and the experiment doesn't confirm it - the idea that a conscious observer is responsible collapsing a wave function and influence reality is quantum woo. 

"I remember it wasn't long ago that to assert any type of inheritance theory other than Darwinian was almost enough to get a person burned at the stake because 'everyone knew' aready how inheritance worked."

Darwin didn't propose a theory of inheritance. That came later. The molecular theory of inheritance is an active research area and while much progress has been in recent years the processes are still being understood. But the findings Eva cites are very interesting. 

Yes scientists are skeptical people though, and when new findings come out that run contary to existing theories they take a lot convincing - wanting to see replications, and to understand the mechanisms responsible. The alternative is being "open minded" and to increase the likelihood in believing bad ideas. We talk about the distinction between false postives and false negatives. In science, it is generally worse to believe in something that isn't true than to not believe in something that is true. And so the "fuck off that is bullshit" attitude is actually a good thing, as scientists will not want to push things (e.g. woo) for which there is no or virtually no good evidence for, where there is no mechanism to explain how they work, and they violate successful theories which are very confident about.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 6:36 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
I was taking issue with your narrative around science, that's why I italicized the word some branches of science because I didn't mean all of science, but how we talk about science and the linguistic ramifications of it. I never said quantum mechanics is disasteriously wrong, perhaps I should have been more clear, since I know you speak in hyperbole.

For example, Carl Sagan (I think) coined the notion extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Was Truzzi, thanks Droll. This isn't so much a scientific statement as much as it is a political statement indicating allegiance to scientific materialism. The consequence being one could give scientific evidence of unusual phenomena by materialistic world views and be dismissed. Something like this suggests but does not prove the potential of 'Psi': http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/staring1.pdf Without tenure you'd probably lose your career and be left jobless. That doesn't mean magic is real, I'm simply pointing out that science isn't this happy silly fun game that's above ideology, tribalism, and money. I gave you an example of this in my second post, but considering you deal in hyperbole it's simply going to be a shouting match past each other.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 6:25 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
Thanks for the David Chapman recommendation in that other thread. I've warmed up to him a bit.

Anyway, a significant number of the contributors to quantum mechanics entertained mystical ideas. See here if you care. And, here's a quicker read. To me, the beliefs of the contributors to QM mean more than the beliefs of the majority of scientists today.

"A significant number of the contributors to quantum mechanics entertained mystical ideas, therefore mystical ideas are 'true'."
That is a fallacious argument

"A significant number of the contributors to quantum mechanics entertained mystical ideas, therefore I also believe they're worth entertaining"
Isn't

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 6:29 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Was Truzzi
http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00017/full
With respect to the proposal that “exceptional claims require exceptional evidence,” the original intention of the phrase is typically misunderstood (Truzzi, 1978). Even in its inaccurate interpretation what counts as an “exceptional claim” is far from clear. For instance, many phenomena now accepted in science such as the existence of meteorites, the germ theory of disease, or, more recently, adult neurogenesis, were originally considered so exceptional that evidence for their existence was ignored or dismissed by contemporaneous scientists. It is also far from clear what would count as “exceptional evidence” or who would set that threshold. Dismissing empirical observations a priori, based solely on biases or theoretical assumptions, underlies a distrust of the ability of the scientific process to discuss and evaluate evidence on its own merits. The undersigned differ in the extent to which we are convinced that the case for psi phenomena has already been made, but not in our view of science as a non-dogmatic, open, critical but respectful process that requires thorough consideration of all evidence as well as skepticism toward both the assumptions we already hold and those that challenge them.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 9:34 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
The alternative is being "open minded" and to increase the likelihood in believing bad ideas. We talk about the distinction between false postives and false negatives. In science, it is generally worse to believe in something that isn't true than to not believe in something that is true. And so the "fuck off that is bullshit" attitude is actually a good thing, as scientists will not want to push things (e.g. woo) for which there is no or virtually no good evidence for, where there is no mechanism to explain how they work, and they violate successful theories which are very confident about.
Yours is an inaccurate (and thus unscientific ;-P) definition of open mindedness.   The true definition according to google is "willing to consider new ideas; unprejudiced."  That means you are not going to BELIEVE, it means you CONSIDER with an open mind.  It's curiosity and thinking outside the box.  It woud be neither blindly believing nor saying 'f off.'  IMO, saying F off is foolish considering most of what science believes has historically turned out to be incorrect in the long run.  Obviously one doesn't have time to follow every lead or idea in the universe, but it does pay to keep and open mind and consider alternative explanations.  IMO, most of the greatest breakthroughs come from people with an open mind who considered alternative explanations and then did the appropriate research to back it up.  But first they had to CONSIDER the alternate idea first, without open mindedness, progress tends to be very slow and often even at a standstill until someone with an open mind can break out of the tired old rote.  Like how sickness is caused by creepy invisible entities you can't see (aka germs). 

The paranormal gets very little play time because scientist lack funding and many risk loss of prestige and/or tenure should they even try to publish. And most journals don't want to publish it either, no matter how nicely done the experiment is.  Science is very political and competition for funding is fierce.  In an atmosphere where even attempting research can be political suicide, amazingly there is some that is done and so it would also be inaccurate to say there is virtually no good evidence for it, when it fact there is a bit more than virtually none.  Here is a list of some of them: http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm .  

As for not understanding the mechanisms behind it, scientists don't understand the mechanisms behind gravity, electricity, the sun, memory, consciousness, the creation of the universe, or slime molds either so since when does that stop research?  
-Eva    

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/11/15 10:49 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:


Back to the OP, Chris says this experiment in the OP that this experiment, if verified, are important. Ryan talks about delayed choice quantum eraser experiments in the other thread and how important the results of these are. I don't know the field that well, but my impression is that these experiments are bog standard quantum physics. Not important or theoretically interesting. The quantum eraser stuff is just given a sexy title so its easier to publish and it gets discussed and cited. But it is not telling us anything new - because it just follows from the predictions of what we know about quantum physics. And the fact that you are reading this now on a computer over an internet connection would suggest that the basic framework is extremely unlikely to be wrong, let along disastrously wrong.
You don't know the field well but are calling it quantum woo?  Interesting you feel so confident to pass judgement on science you don't even know much about.  Good luck finding any quantum theory or research results that aren't rather wacky.  The quantum world is full of really wacky stuff as standard fare, spooky action at a distance, being in two places at once, retrocausality, etc.  It's all quite bizarre.  One of the fallbacks of scientists has been that this wacky stuff is only currently known clearly to happen in the super small scale.  What this experiment did, using larger than the usual photons, is show that the wacky happens at a larger size than previously encountered in experiment.  That's what makes it new and interesting.  Is there a size cutoff where the wacky stops happening?  If so, we don't know where it is yet, but this experiment pushes the wacky to a larger size range than previously established, which is why it is turning heads. 
-Eva  

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/11/15 11:27 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
The existence of meteorites - did you ever read Robert Anton Wilson's Historical Illuminatus Chronicles ?

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/12/15 12:21 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
" Speaking of scales, have a look at this:
http://htwins.net/scale2/
Mind. Blown.
Neutrino's are really tiny aren't they."

Thanks, fascinating. And the music's nice too (speaking of scales).


This here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgfwCrKe_Fk

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/12/15 2:49 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan J:
I was taking issue with your narrative around science, that's why I italicized the word some branches of science because I didn't mean all of science, but how we talk about science and the linguistic ramifications of it. I never said quantum mechanics is disasteriously wrong, perhaps I should have been more clear, since I know you speak in hyperbole.

For example, Carl Sagan (I think) coined the notion extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Was Truzzi, thanks Droll. This isn't so much a scientific statement as much as it is a political statement indicating allegiance to scientific materialism. The consequence being one could give scientific evidence of unusual phenomena by materialistic world views and be dismissed. Something like this suggests but does not prove the potential of 'Psi': http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/staring1.pdf Without tenure you'd probably lose your career and be left jobless. That doesn't mean magic is real, I'm simply pointing out that science isn't this happy silly fun game that's above ideology, tribalism, and money. I gave you an example of this in my second post, but considering you deal in hyperbole it's simply going to be a shouting match past each other.

The accusation that I speak in hyperbole is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. 

Of course science is a flawed and imperfect enterprise, because its run by people. And it doesn't mean magic is real. And the moon doesn't exist if we aren't looking at it. However, the line of argument of the anti-science circle jerking on this thread which I am reacting to (seems to me) in service to that end - we shouldn't trust science, ergo magic is/might be real. And it doesn't seem very relevant to the OP. 

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/12/15 2:55 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
The accusation that I speak in hyperbole is the most ridiculous thing I have heard.
HA HA! Good one! You have a great sense of humor.

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/12/15 3:41 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
sawfoot _:


Back to the OP, Chris says this experiment in the OP that this experiment, if verified, are important. Ryan talks about delayed choice quantum eraser experiments in the other thread and how important the results of these are. I don't know the field that well, but my impression is that these experiments are bog standard quantum physics. Not important or theoretically interesting. The quantum eraser stuff is just given a sexy title so its easier to publish and it gets discussed and cited. But it is not telling us anything new - because it just follows from the predictions of what we know about quantum physics. And the fact that you are reading this now on a computer over an internet connection would suggest that the basic framework is extremely unlikely to be wrong, let along disastrously wrong.
You don't know the field well but are calling it quantum woo?  Interesting you feel so confident to pass judgement on science you don't even know much about.  Good luck finding any quantum theory or research results that aren't rather wacky.  The quantum world is full of really wacky stuff as standard fare, spooky action at a distance, being in two places at once, retrocausality, etc.  It's all quite bizarre.  One of the fallbacks of scientists has been that this wacky stuff is only currently known clearly to happen in the super small scale.  What this experiment did, using larger than the usual photons, is show that the wacky happens at a larger size than previously encountered in experiment.  That's what makes it new and interesting.  Is there a size cutoff where the wacky stops happening?  If so, we don't know where it is yet, but this experiment pushes the wacky to a larger size range than previously established, which is why it is turning heads. 
-Eva  

Its turning heads because science journalists have been set a press release and write articles about it as clickbait without really understanding the phenomena and the implications of the experiment. 

Einstein talked about "spooky action at a distance" because he didn't understand how quantum physics worked - he had certain assumptions about how the world works which turned out to be wrong given later developments in our understanding of quantum physics, which is why mystical leanings of some of the early figures of quantum physics shouldn't be taken too seriously. The results of the experiment are a consequence of quantum entanglement. In the wiki article it also points to a paper in which entanglement effects were found in diamonds. So the size issue in this particular experiment does seem like a breakthrough in terms of scale, though it seems like a nice experiment (but I am not an expert so its hard to judge). 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

Is quantum entanglement wacky? I would say no - this is is just how the world works (or rather, how our mathematical models which descibe it working). Does the operation of the world at other scales violate our "common sense" intutitions of how the world works given the scales we typically experience it? Yes, absolutely. 


 

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/15/15 3:23 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
As Mathew said, not bad! Not being sarcastic, either. The replies are sufficiently relevant given the social context that this is a forum about mysticism and meditation and so forth. However, reading your replies in your new thread to Droll and Daniel further convince me you deal in hyperbole. You're an intelligent person, which makes me want to reply, but I'm bowing out. I used Paul Werbos as an example of a non-scientific materialist. If he's anti-science then we're really fucked, do you know why? Not only did he get a PhD in Mathematics/Applied Physics from Harvard, he also served as a program director for the National Science Foundation, the foundation which gives out $7 Billion dollars to scientific research, accounts for 20% of all Federally funded scientific research from the most scientifically advanced economy in the world, that is, the United States. If a person like Werbos is anti-science, and you are pro-science, we are truly fucked.

http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/resume/pwerbos.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Science_Foundation
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/a-top-neuroscientist-warns-that-human-cyborgs-are-a-terrible-idea

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/15/15 8:54 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
re: Eva M Nie (6/11/15 1:50 PM as a reply to Chris JMacie.)
"…new scientific breakthrough information about epigenentics and how experiences in life change how your DNA is expressed and which parts of your DNA are turned on and off, and how the parts interact and how the tightness of the DNA double helix can change which also changes which parts of your DNA are expressed…"

Good points. Perhaps touching on how some scientific thinking (what people here refer to as 'materialist'?) tends to overstate the ontological bias. Also seen in how more recently the 'evo-devo' debate has developed.  Decoding the genome, a couple of decades ago, was to predicted be the key to all problems. Then a couple decades of research on that premise collapsed under the evidence that the deterministic effect of the DNA code ('evo' for 'evolution') was NOT a total explanation. It turned out the 'devo' ('development', how time and process interplays with the DNA coding) turns out to be at least as signficant.

The 'ontological bias' thing being that most basic reality is some kind of 'thing', e.g. DNA code. The alternative being that process can be just as 'real'; in fact, the DNA code was, is shaped by process, and has meaning only insofar as it supports process ('life'). As also in medicine: does morphology determine function (bodily form determines activity)? Or does function determine morphology (e.g. exercise or lack thereof shapes muscles and bones)?

Again, to bring the whole topic back to DhO relevance: What's more fundamental: something like an enduring substantial 'self'? Or something like an ongoing process, which imagines it'self'? (Notice how even our language reflects the ontological bias: 'some-thing'.)

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
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6/16/15 6:54 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
re: Ryan J (6/7/15 4:11 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.)
"But hey, science is just a bunch of theories, and so, who knows, maybe they are all wrong and fools in believing in an objective reality that conforms incredibly accurately to the predictions you make about it, and there is going to be some big paradigm shift and we move beyond the current zeitgeist and the church of science"
Once read a good book on current cosmology (ca. 2010, but forgetting the author or title), where Stephen Hawkins was cited as mentioning that the two dominent theories of time are both just theories, mental constructs. What matters is that one or the other can be practically utilized in various points of theory or practice – predictability and leverage.

I find this kind of view in the writings of many scientists I consider outstanding in the sense that they have not only made 1st class contributions, but also maintain historical perspective as to what we think we know at any time, and what we know we still don't know. They have an understanding of the nature of human knowledge.

Those scientists who get carried away with what fantastic breakthroughs they're making, and this or that total realization is just around the corner – these reflect something of a religious attitude. Though, admittedly, often such optimistic statements are in the context of publication at the level of the press or 'popular science' which is geared to ensure continued funding for their research projects – seeking to inspire 'faith' in their efforts on the part of decision-makers of public or private funding.

Examples: A lot of milage is claimed, by the 2nd type, from fMRI studies giving us definitive knowledge as to what parts of the brain do what. Those of the 1st type, on the other hand, will also emphasize that fMRI is a relatively crude measure, lacking the precision to really observe themechanisms at work – the colors are impressive (but just arbitrary translation of degrees of blood-flow); it's rather more like observing the outer atmosphere of Jupiter from the distance and theorizing about what's really going on there

re: sawfoot (6/11/15 5:34 PM as a reply to Ryan J.)
"Back to the OP, Chris says this experiment in the OP that this experiment, if verified, are important. Ryan talks about delayed choice quantum eraser experiments in the other thread and how important the results of these are. I don't know the field that well, but my impression is that these experiments are bog standard quantum physics."

My OP point is less trying to divine the significance in terms of the progress of scientific understanding per se (as many here admit, myself also being no expert in that area), but more to hint at a perceived similarity to insights in phenomenology and in Buddhism (at least some aspects, e.g. Theravadan Abhidhamma) – that analyzing, understanding the process of observation (in both physical science and science of the mind) can bemore subtle than often suggested by a simplistic dichotomy of subject (observer) and object (observed).

(And also to say, that it's a proper DhO issue.)

btw: Could someone mention explicitly what this mention of David Chapman "in another thread" is (link to it) ?

RE: Science finally outdoes itself
Answer
6/17/15 1:27 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.