Thoughts are not of material matter

thoughts are not of material matter,

I rely on that to draw the sharp distinction between physical reality-body-brain v. our mind.

Although a devil’s advocate can immediate counter: Are you claiming the electro-magnetic spectrum isn’t physical???

# Brain Waves -

With EEG, these brain waves are measured in terms of electrical activity over time and the relative dominance of different types of waves, e.g. alpha waves, can be identified.

From: Tea in Health and Disease Prevention, 2013

No I could never do that, though please note,

2.1.1 Brain Waves

Brain waves are oscillating electrical voltages in the brain measuring just a few millionths of a volt. There are five widely recognized brain waves, and the main frequencies of human EEG waves are listed in Table 2.1 along with their characteristics.

At a few millionths of a volt you have to admit it’s about as tenuous a shadow of the physical realm as can be, yet that’s the realm where everything humanity has ever dreamt up, has unfolded.

I don’t think the millionth volt nature of the dance detracts from my observation that the realm of our thoughts is qualitatively, profoundly distinct from the physical realm of Earth, biology and physics.

Furthermore, I believe recognizing that divide provides an intellectual benchmark that helps us assess the difference between serious science and pseudo science.

Why would that be?

A) recognizing and appreciating the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.

B) recognizing that I am not a figment of my own imagination and that Earth is a real thing beyond my own existence.

C) Therefore, Earth and we must have unfolded down one and only one specific evolutionary cascade, or we wouldn’t be here to begin with.

D) Our human challenge is to learn as much as we can about it. Rather than to think reality needs to prove itself to us. Or that we need to define it.
Rather than being satisfied with perceiving it best we can.

What I see all around me is folks who are more focused on peddling their own ideas, it’s become careers and fortunes, and the great talking heads are overtaken by their own egos and start believing they are creating the shape of reality for us.
Hubris personified.
That’s the Abrahamic Mindset in action.

To repeat the thesis:

Recognizing that the divide between our thoughts and actual physical reality provides an intellectual benchmark that helps us assess the difference between serious science and pseudo science. Between serious scholars and egos run amok.

Table 2.1. Characteristics of the Five Basic Brain Waves

Frequency band Frequency Brain states
Gamma (γ) >35 Hz Concentration
Beta (β) 12–35 Hz Anxiety dominant, active, external attention, relaxed
Alpha (α) 8–12 Hz Very relaxed, passive attention
Theta (θ) 4–8 Hz Deeply relaxed, inward focused
Delta (δ) 0.5–4 Hz Sleep

Various regions of the brain do not emit the same brain wave frequency simultaneously. An EEG signal between electrodes placed on the scalp consists of many waves with different characteristics. The large amount of data received from even one single EEG recording makes interpretation difficult. The brain wave patterns are unique for every individual.

From: Tea in Health and Disease Prevention, 2013

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:1, topic:9661”]
At a few millionths of a volt you have to admit it’s about as tenuous a shadow of the physical realm as can be, yet that’s the realm where everything humanity has ever dreamt up, has unfolded.

At that quantum level any threshold event is “detectable”. Penrose proposes that thought happens at quantum levels. Reality itself also emerges at quantum levels, no?

I don’t think the millionth volt nature of the dance detracts from my observation that the realm of our thoughts is qualitatively, profoundly distinct from the physical realm of Earth, biology and physics.

It depends on your definition of non-human “thought”. Does thought have to be conscious?

Remember the AI when asked if a falling tree made a sound if there was no one to hear.
It responded with “no”.
Then when asked why not, it responded “it was a thought”. i.e. a wave function may be considered a thought that can be heard when there is a listener!

How does a human hear sounds? Our brain consciously translates EM data of the wave
function into what we experience as sound, no?

Little cilia in the ear vibrate and send micro action potentials via the neural system to the brain. The brain itself doesn’t hear anything.
# Structure of cilia in the mouse respiratory and olfactory epithelium. ( A – C ) Transmission electron micrographs of an adult mouse olfactory epithelium; ( A ) The respiratory epithelium contains multiple motile cilia on one cell; ( B ) Higher magnification of a cross section showing the (9 × 2 + 2) microtubule configuration of olfactory cilia; ( C ) Longitudinal section of an olfactory knob (OK) with extending olfactory cilia (OC); ( D ) Schematics of an olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) and its olfactory knob. OSNs are the receptor elements of the olfactory system. They are surrounded by supporting cells (SC) with a microvilli (MV) border on their apical surface and continually replaced by basal cells (BC) throughout life. OSNs are bipolar neurons with dendrites ending in an olfactory knob which has specialized sensory cilia responsible for olfaction. The mammalian olfactory cilium comprises the transition zone (TZ), the proximal segment (PS), and the distal segment (DS). The TZ (9 × 2 + 0 structure) is located at the base of the olfactory cilium between the basal body and the origin of the axoneme’s central pair of microtubules. The PS projects from the basal body in a (9 × 2 + 2) configuration. The DS represents the end of the cilium and contains characteristic arrays of singlet microtubules (from 9 × 1 to 2 × 1); ( E – H ) Higher magnification electron micrographs showing the different microtubule configurations of the DS ( E – G ) and PS (H) of an olfactory cilium. CS: centrosomes. BL: basal lamina. Scale bars: 500 nm ( A , C ), 200 nm ( B ), 100 nm ( E – H ).

In “E”, do I detect a microtubule tuning fork at the tip of the cilia?

(You say microtubules are present everywhere. So why assume understanding them is the key that makes human brain something extra special? Which incidentally you also tell us that it’s two genes melded into one that makes the human brain so special? )
Although I :pray:t2: you start its own thread for your response, because it doesn’t fit into this thread - which is about considering the unique character of thoughts compared to the physical world we think about.

Yada, yada, yada quantum dreams are a great way to avoid dealing with consciousness on a REAL level - Real as in creatures acting within Earth’s environment.

As opposed the quantum angels dancing on pin heads.

Frankly all that jazz is head games when you get down to it.
Unprovable in the end
and of little actual value in the day to day matters of our lives
and how we deal with our selves, and others.
You’ve still never offer any examples of how that quantum mumbo jumbo has helped us better understand the world we actually live in. The interactions that unfold around us during our dance with life’s challenges, and so on and so forth.

That’s a non sequitur. Where is “conscious” mentioned in that line.

This isn’t about consciousness, here I’m back to discussing the relation we have with the knowledge we possess and you just can’t focus on that instead toss all this other junk at me.

*Yes, junk in regards to the conversation I’m trying to have here.

An idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind.
Having knowledge of something; aware.

Diversions, sure they hold truths, but they are not what this discussion is about and I think you know it, but you can’t deal with what I’m discuss so you derail into the ubiquitous microtubules - as if they hold the secret to humanity! Why? Beat the hell out of me. But why else are you always trying to divert this discussion into your pet topic, which it’s offsides off what I’m trying to discuss*

If you want to discuss the difference between being conscious and having thoughts, lets do that, but that would require a trip down evolutions history and the start of another thread - Or at least toss out an interesting thought provoking suggestion that reveals some relevance to what I’m discussing, …but no instead you’re just toss spanners to gum up my workings.

So what!?!
Trying to mimic human thinking, still isn’t human thinking. let alone the dynamic between humans and their environment - which is what I’m talking about.

Why do you seem incapable of appreciating that?
Why, because (yes I’m speculating here) you seem to believe in human superiority and anything this mythic god that we love babbling about endlessly, can do - we can do better?

Me I’m currently occupied with the human condition and trying to understand the human dynamic itself! Rather than constantly looking for diversions to entertain and distract.

So what!?! What’s it got to do with what I’m talking about?

You repeatedly share things that I’m fully aware of, and that don’t help this particular dialogue one bit. My first grade, my first book fair, my first book I ever bought was about “My Body” physiology for the grade school set.

My friend you seem obsessed with trying to understand the tiniest mechanics and with an implicit implication that that will somehow define who we humans are, or something like that.
Yet, you never make it clear, instead opting to share every bit of microtubule trivia you can muster, as though that clarifies dynamic human thought. Or as though I’m totally unaware of their existence.

Microtubules have a lot to tell us about our evolutionary roots and the amazing connections between all life on Earth, and the mechanism of cells, including nerve cells - but it’s physics and mechanics and physiology and wonderful background information, about the fundamental workings of our bodies, but they don’t cover the human condition of what it means to think and to act.

The real prize for me is understanding myself and my place in the world, understanding that amazing dynamic between my body and “spirit” and the outside world.

I can’t remember you ever actually taking the words I write and dealing with them,
you never try to ‘see’ what they are trying to say. No instead it’s always: Yeah but …

Then you come up with physiology lessons,
Write, I am aware of microtubules and mitochondria (which doesn’t seem to interest you in the least), and the evolving mammalian organism and I digested those lessons to the best of my abilities, because I’ve keep up on science news and learned from it, so I possess the prerequisites to digest the ever more amazing finding coming out.

So stop coming at me with stuff that I’m well aware and have also digested (I admit you’ve introduced to me to many new and interesting articles that have deepened my understanding, but there’s noting revolutionary about any of it, it’s all of the same mosaic. Yet you keep acting as though we have some sort of physiology argument going on or something, but we don’t.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:3, topic:9661”]
*(You say microtubules are present everywhere. So why assume understanding them is the key that makes human brain something extra special?

For the same reason we have computer programmers who know how computers work.
Because we also know that when microtubules fail we get mental problems.

If we know how they work and we can fix them, we may be able to cure Alzheimer’s. Is that special enough?

Which incidentally you also tell us that it’s two genes melded into one that makes the human brain so special? )*

I’ll admit that is speculative on my part , but the fact that of all great apes only humans have a mutated extraordinarily large BENEFICIAL chromosome and we are the only ape with an extraordinary complex brain, it seems logical to draw the conclusion that the complex size of chromosome 2 in humans is responsible for extraordinary growth instructions of the human brain.

Incidentally, microtubules are responsible for chromosomes copying during mitosis.
They form the mitotic spindle that rips the chromosomes apart and deposits them in the daughter cell.
(See my thread on microtubules for the mechanics ).

I have a thread on microtubules and your posts bring your own unique character to it.
I welcome diverse perspectives. I had hoped you read what I post there.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:3, topic:9661”]
Frankly all that jazz is head games when you get down to it.
Unprovable in the end and of little actual value in the day to day matters of our lives
and how we deal with our selves, and others.

Headgames? And you are not talking about head games?

I can’t believe you are serious. Why have science? It is of little value in the day-to-day activity of “thinking”, right?

You’ve still never offered any examples of how that quantum mumbo jumbo has helped us better understand the world we actually live in. The interactions that unfold around us during our dance with life’s challenges, and so on and so forth.

I suspect this is an example of Abrahamic thinking.

The existence of the universe itself rests on quantum mechanics., but why should we even bother with that stuff ? It is of no importance in our day-to-day lives, right?

You seek instant gratification of meddling with nano-scale biology? We have just become able to look and study detail at that scale. This is an entirely new world we are exploring!
How many labs have electron microscopes? Not many researchers have access to
10, 000,000 dollar microscopes.

p.s. For detailed explanation of the "mitotic spindle"which is crucial in cell-division in our daily dance with life’s challenges (like cancer) see my thread on microtubules.

You just can’t let go.

Do we really?
Where are your papers on that - and please not another paper on microtubules and mitosis! When you’re supposedly to be discussing better understanding of our consciousness.

Here again I’ll bet you are elevating assumptions, and the usual PR driven hopes, to the level of certitude, when it’s no more than dreams at this point.

“If” “if” “if”
But, in this thread, I’m trying to talk about our relationship with the knowledge we have accumulated, it’s not special at all, it’s a disingenuous diversion is what it is. Besides being wild supposition, more science fiction that evidence based reality.

I think you do yourself too proud. I’m pretty sure it’s been written about by others. But not in the mood to chase it down.

So what? That’s irrelevant to higher brain function, it occurs in every Eukaryote cell.
I dare say most studies about microtubules are about structural aspects of their behavior and its consequences, as that behavior during mitosis.

I read what you posted and it’s old news I’m well aware of those outlines and it all besides the point of what I’m trying to discuss here. Thus, irrelevant.

Nope I’m not talking head games.

I’m talking about a fundamental observation that helps us establish a benchmark that leads to a bit more sobriety when we dance with all the knowledge we have acquired within our minds. Recognizing the distinct differences between your thoughts and the physical reality that creates your body.

All this in order to get a better handle on those head games we love playing. :wink:

I’m not talking about real physicists with their deep education and specialized knowledge pursuing the evidence.

I’m talking about the talking heads, the under educated, discoursing way the heck beyond their knowledge range, about this of which they only have the roughest clues, to lay people with even less of a clue.

What’s Abrahamic, is that it’s so impossible for you to conceive of what I’m trying to say.
All you can do is defend your certitude in what you “know”, even though I can see you don’t really know as much as you project. But you have a difficult time facing that.

WTF ? ? ?

And the humans in it are losing their minds.

We are lost in space and drowning ourselves in mountains of information has become a way to hind from what we need to be facing - how humans are destroying there own future at increasingly breakneck speed.

But you don’t have any interesting that, it’s the tiniest of tiny that fascinates you, seeking the unknown, while pretty well ignoring all we have already learned.

For the umpteenth time:
This discussion is about our relationship with the knowledge we possible and microtubules and quantum weirdness has nothing to do with that.

It is philosophical in nature, not physical!

Obviously you do NOT read everything I post or you would not be asking such a fundamental question which I have already answered several times.

But I’m glad to provide proof of that claim.

Enhancing microtubule stabilization rescues cognitive deficits and ameliorates pathological phenotype in an amyloidogenic Alzheimer’s disease model


In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and other tauopathies, microtubule destabilization compromises axonal and synaptic integrity contributing to neurodegeneration. These diseases are characterized by the intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau leading to neurofibrillary pathology. AD brains also accumulate amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposits. However, the effect of microtubule stabilizing agents on Aβ pathology has not been assessed so far. Here we have evaluated the impact of the brain-penetrant microtubule-stabilizing agent Epothilone D (EpoD) in an amyloidogenic model of AD. Three-month-old APP/PS1 mice, before the pathology onset, were weekly injected with EpoD for 3 months.

Treated mice showed significant decrease in the phospho-tau levels and, more interesting, in the intracellular and extracellular hippocampal Aβ accumulation, including the soluble oligomeric forms.

Moreover, a significant cognitive improvement and amelioration of the synaptic and neuritic pathology was found. Remarkably, EpoD exerted a neuroprotective effect on SOM-interneurons, a highly AD-vulnerable GABAergic subpopulation. Therefore, our results suggested that EpoD improved microtubule dynamics and axonal transport in an AD-like context, reducing tau and Aβ levels and promoting neuronal and cognitive protection.

These results underline the existence of a crosstalk between cytoskeleton pathology and the two major AD protein lesions. Therefore, microtubule stabilizers could be considered therapeutic agents to slow the progression of both tau and Aβ pathology.


Alzheimer disease (AD) is a member of a category of neurodegenerative disorders called tauopathies (Wang and Liu, 2008).

Figure 1

Microtubules in axons and dendrites consist of a stable region towards the minus end of the microtubule and a labile region towards the plus end, as well as a pool of free tubulin subunits. Microtubule severing is a normal event in the neuron, when tightly regulated. Abnormal (deregulated) microtubule severing is posited to account for microtubule loss in AD. Severing in the stable region of the microtubule would create two new microtubules, with fairly minimal disassembly of either one. Severing in the labile region of the microtubule would result in notably more disassembly. Severing at the end of the microtubule would result in disassembly. Because known microtubule-severing proteins favour the stable region of the microtubule, treatment of AD with a microtubule-stabilizing drug may mitigate disassembly that occurs as an aftereffect of the severing, but the severing events themselves would likely increase.*


There are several pages in Google search alone that discuss the link between microtubule catastrophe and neural (mental) degeneration.

Alzheimer’s is just one out of a dozen or so mental degradation diseases caused by
microtubule failure.
There is no doubt that microtubules are intimately connected with brain functions and access to consciousness.

Accept that proven fact and the rest becomes a lot easier. This is not a belief, this is proven and applied science.

The Biology of General Anesthesia from Paramecium to Primate

Anesthetics bind to tubulin, causing microtubules to destabilize** [84,85]. They can also cause microtubule-based molecular motors, such as kinesin, to reversibly fall off the micro- tubule lattice and thus disrupt transport of vesicles, proteins, and organelles to synapses [86].Nov 18, 2019

Thoughts are the composite sums of several electrochemical transmissions from stored individual memories

i.e. Green field + flowers + rectangle + stacked triangle =image

The Biology of General Anesthesia from Paramecium to Primate

It is a fascinating article, but at R1200 he really tossed me for a loop. Such a loop and smackeroo, I gotta get it out of my system before going on. And there was so much I like about the actual science I was digging, it’s a shame, (we’ll get back to it),

but at R1200 is such a great example of that Abrahamic Mindset in action, which more than anything is about an attitude, so subtle and inbred, but also a betrayal, exposer of shallow thinking. That is from the perspective of Earth Centrism and a deep appreciation for both deep time and the evolutionary pageant that brought us into being.

It’s written:

“Like anesthesia, sleep is a state that at first glance should
arguably have been selected against
because it also incurs identically profound risks and opportunity costs.
Alan Rechtschaffen, a pioneer in sleep neurobiology, wryly stated that

‘**‘if sleep doesn’t serve some vital function, **
> > it is the biggest mistake evolution ever made’’ [21].”

Why not just stick to what’s being observed and measured?

Instead a gratuitous, dare I paternalistic, bold judgement. Has evolution made the grade, succeeded or failed when she invented sleep? It’s as though Evolution needs to justify itself.

It goes back to the simplistic procreation balance sheet attitude,
Which itself reveals a disregard for most of what’s happening during evolution,
within nature’s (biosphere’s) dealing with life, one day at a time, day after days that added together created the Evolution that we need to do a better job of understanding.

The survival of the fittest tally sheet is a God Eye, an after the fact view, point, but living happens in the now. That’s not worth disregarding.

Think about that attitude.

I think that sort of distracting hyperbole is nothing more than an echo of millennia worth of religious indoctrination and argumentation. The paternalistic attitude towards everything whether invited or not.

Want to discuss Evolution?
How about Evolution is about creatures figuring out how to deal with the very immediate challenging task of surviving the next moment and figuring out how to live through the seasons.

“Evolution” is simply the tally sheet, life itself is the creative force.
We shouldn’t lose sight of that, and make out Evolution to be the creative force.

The end result is passing along genes, but that’s the “God’s Eye.”

But, for the creatures themselves, there’s more than “procreation” dictating their day to days, and to ignore that by laser focusing a simplistic formula that =’s procreation. It’s foolish and totally misses what’s happening in the bigger natural world around us. The thing that will survive and recover.

We sleep because any complex thermodynamic system stressed nonstop, without maintenance will self destruct. It’s like physics and not a choice. Evolution was doing the best it could with what it had.

No master plan, no chess, just plain dealing with the situation in front of it, a gazillion times over, at every level of the scale, doing the best it could with what it had, and learning via success & survival while leaving the rest behind. All of it happening moment to moment.


And now I’ve run out of time.
The Biology of General Anesthesia from Paramecium to Primate
Cool article, I don’t dismiss any of it, but since you have a hard time figuring out my attitude and that Abrahamic Attitude (might be better than ‘mindset’ )

I’ve a life time of reading & hearing those kinds of self-centered ignorant judgement calls where there’s zero justification for it beyond the great ego. It’s always bugs me.

Write, thanks for those links, interesting read, just wish I had more time for it. later

1 Like

You missed the dialogue attribution, “wryly said”. I’m sure Rechtschaffen knows that evolution doesn’t make mistakes. I think he knows that if an animal somehow could have evolved to not need sleep, and still have high cognitive abilities, one would have. In fact, some people can function well with less sleep, and I’d say they do have an advantage.

I’d say that’s what we do, or at least think we are doing, after we have arrived here, after all the evolution has created us as imperfect beings. Since I had not beat the odds of driving under the influence, did I someone “figure out” how to deal with the challenge of a drug culture and survive? If I had chosen to manipulate a church into giving me a lifetime of support, and never let on that I thought they were idiots, did I “deal with the situation in front of” me, or did I “do the best with what I had”?

What sets us apart from creatures that don’t appear to have language skills, is that we can express all of our advantages and disadvantages and calculate odds of them helping or harming us. I’d say we are extremely bad at it, since so many come up with logic like, “well, I just fell like that’s true, so I’ll act like it’s true, and so far I’m doing okay, and have no need to look at any more reasoning or evidence.”

… and I don’t think any of that justifies constructing that frame of reference.

The wording is indicative of a certain slovenliness that I’ve come to resent -
sort of like reducing evolution to procreation success and not seeing anything beyond that.

I ordered a copy of Descartes Meditations, after having listened to the book now for a second time and reading part in a PDF. What arrived was Selections from the Objections and Replies, Part of Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, past couple days what spare time I can steal I’ve been going through and it’s interesting reading the best and brightest commenting on Descartes writing and the wrestling with understanding our functioning minds and all the rest - yet nowhere have I found evolution mentioned at all.

No where do they struggle to come to grips with, let alone explicit incorporate, the reality that what we are is evolved sensing creatures, we started as mats absorbing eons worth scum off the ocean floors and we’ve come a long way baby, and in any event our body and brain and the mind it produces are absolutely interwoven with each other to the point of being fused into one amazing creature.

Nope instead we’re still kicking the tires on Descartes and, well of course it’s not like he said it, but still wrap ourselves up in endlessly debating our belly button, rather than taking a look at our blinding self-serving arrogance when it comes to all that exists outside of our heads.

People are constantly treating “Evolution” as a thing, yet when that’s pointed out, denial, dismissal and resentment are all that can be expected.

I wish I could sit down for hours to come with an adequate response to your thoughtful comment, perhaps this winter, but not possible now . . .

Guess, my point (among many) is: It’s time we stop focusing so much on what keeps us apart from other animals and so smug - and start to recognize how freak’n un-apart we actually are.
Lots more to learn once we do a better job of recognizing physical reality and the Pageant of Evolving Life that produced us.

gotta run.

That is by no means unique to humans. I agree with CC that our normal perspective is that humans are “endowed” with language skills because we do have Shakespeare and Stephen Fry and Einstein.

But consider that what we talk about in our language is an expression of another, more subtle language of mathematics that evolution and natural selection use for communication, from single celled organisms to Shakespeare at various evolutionary stages of consciousness and complexity of data processing.

For instance, why does a fly have to trigger two cilia in a Venus Flytrap before it triggers an “action response” and the closing of its leaves via hydraulic power.

If it took only one disturbance, then any inanimate object that might land inside the trap would trigger the closing and waste valuable energy.
Disturbing two or more cilia “means” movement and movement means “living food”.

The plant doesn’t know this, but still has an active and complex triggering mechanism. What would it take to become aware of its own movements?

The Venus flytrap is a flowering plant best known for its carnivorous eating habits. The “trap” is made of two hinged lobes at the end of each leaf. On the inner surfaces of the lobes are hair-like projections called trichomes that cause the lobes to snap shut when prey comes in contact with them.

This type of movement is called thigmonasty—a nondirectional plant response to being touched. To prevent the plant from wasting energy if prey isn’t actually there, the trap will only shut when the trichomes are touched multiple times. The hinged traps are edged with small bristles that interlock when the trap shuts to ensure the prey can’t squirm out.

There are other carnivorous plants in the wild, but the Venus flytrap is one of the very few that exhibits motion to actively trap its prey.

This is why microtubules are responsible for triggering and transporting “action potentials” and IMO that is a simple form of thought used for survival.
there are as many of these survival techniques that involve “cognition” and “response” as there are living things on earth, indeed from bacteria too Shakespeare.

I agree with this, and was going to say something about my own clunky use of “sets us apart”, but then I re-read your OP, in which, you say,
“the realm of our thoughts is qualitatively, profoundly distinct from the physical realm of Earth, biology and physics”

I’ve already tried to cover how Descartes was a beginning of philosophy that recognized us as individual thinking beings but much has been added. You seem to have doubled-down on demonstrating that people still talk about him. Not sure how that proves anything. It doesn’t prove that many others have moved on from him.

I was talking to a 5 year old this summer, and someone had said she was an “animal”. She took it as an insult, which is what it was meant to be. We tried to tell her that she was part of the animal kingdom, hoping she’ll get that words are only harmful if you let them be. Not sure it sunk in. It’s something we all have to deal with as we advance through biology classes, where is our place in these cycles? It’s not just a material question, it effects how you think about abortion, end-of-life choices, burial, grieving, how much junk you should accumulate, what you should have for breakfast.

I think “demonstrating” is giving me too much credit, I’m reading his own words for the first time, and it’s been eye opening and surprising in good and not so good ways (or should I have said good and quite unrealistic through no fault of his own.), and that’s what I’m bringing to this board - my observations and questions.

What it proves? Perhaps that Descartes was way more amazingly wrapped in the concept of God being the necessity for human mind to exist, than I’d have ever thought - and so far I haven’t found where philosophers have actually taken explicit issue with such a failure (sort of hoping someone might turn me on to someone’s relevant writing, if it exists, that might shed more light on that) -
Descartes’ writing seems to be passively accepted as simply the background hum. Rather than something that at some point needed to get aired out in light of actual factual evolutionary reality of creatures on this Earth. Rather than getting plowed into further philosophical thinking. {such as jokers like Donald Hoffman who’s “Case Against Reality” which is more complex math hiding as theology, than anything serious bound by scientific rules and expectations. Oh but he’ll scream up and down he’s doing serious science, because he tells 'he’s using rigorous math. Which itself can be a master deceiver when in the cunning hands of a storyteller with a buck to make. Fun with statistics and all that. }

Descartes conception sees the human body as totally separated from our mind. He doubles down on that repeatedly.

He can’t really be knocked for that, since Western Society was totally wrapped up in being subservient to the Christian paradigm and the hard hammer of political expectations that were also total devoted to the God deity and the notion of a supreme creator and maker of laws, who in fact lifts their royalty to god-like status to justify the governments own superiority and dominion over people.

[quote=“lausten, post:12, topic:9661”]
I was talking to a 5 year old this summer, and someone had said she was an “animal”.

I was around 5 years old when my grandma explained that she clipped our finger nails outside by her gazebo because our nail clipping would dissolve turn into plant food and be absorbed by next years flowers.
For that little five year old it was an epiphany about the circle of life. Later when I was taught that I was in fact an evolutionary creature and simply another animal on Earth, it feel into place with excitement, rather than fear that something had been taken from me.

I imagine my environment was it that made that possible, instead of having “God” pounded into my head, I was busy eavesdropping on two fascinating eclectic parents talking about the world news and happening and told to figure out religion for myself if I wanted to.
They believed in drilling in ethics and a sense of morality and duty to others (one hand washes the other is something my mom probably said a million times - and in my old age I’m totally impressed and can’t think of a better simple way to express such an important concept to a growing five year old who’s still more confused at the world than anything.)

Back to the I am an animal thing. Although it was later when learning to butcher that it was really brought home for me on a visceral certainty level and that had to wait till I was around 20, but that’s just it, one step leads to another and it needs to start somewhere.

In Western Thinking, so much of it always leads back to the supreme being, whether explicit or within the intellectual undercurrent within that blindingly superiority attitude humans love cultivating,
or simply sloppy language and not being able to realize that Evolution is simply the name we place on something incredibly complex - cumulative change over time.

Of course, that’s what I’m bitching about.

Our questions; limit our answers; which limits our understanding - and I believe Western thinking has been on too much of a self-serving trip then tends to us oblivious to all the rest of creation out there. And it’s going to destroy us and most of the really complex life out there before we’re done.

But then Earth will step in like a devoted mother and deal with after math and make it better, if not for us, then for what ever comes next.

Hume said we should always be skeptical. His ideas can be seen in the US Constitution. Voltaire and Nietzsche were atheists who spoke out against the church. 20th century philosophers built on them.

Not sure what your point is.
I’m not dismissing Descartes outright, not at all, I’m questioning interpretations more than his work.

If taken strictly within the frame of reference of his time, he’s really an amazing man who wrote a fascinating piece of work on human thinking (of course bound by his own background), which listening to it and reading it myself mades plain to me. It’s also humbling, though perhaps it does’t seem that way from the outside, but I deeply appreciate these great deep thinkers for their, internal discipline, perseverance. etc. etc. that I only have in my dreams.

But you know the computer adage: Garbage in, Garbage out
no matter how well said.
Descartes (and his time) had minimal understanding of our cosmology and Earth geological-biological ways & means.

Hume said we should always be skeptical, and I have been, I don’t read these books, I have dialogues with them, at times arguments and more often than not I get my butt spanked as I keep reading and cogitating, still, some things keep surviving every tearing down and abandoning.

For instance, consciousness must be framed as a dynamic interaction, not a thing:
For one, we are like a sensing instruments, think of the voyager hurling through space. Our senses taking in what they can and what we process limited by what we absorb.

… But we are living things that must maintain our bodies and energy levels by manipulating & consuming some part of the world around you.

… As you are assessing your environments, you are also projecting yourself into that environment and the creatures that inhabit it - and visa versa.

… Everything linked together in some fashion, with the outcomes of each linkage passing through time having rippling effects that impact other members of the community - in any number ways and over differing time scales.

Another truth that keeps reassembling itself is that the “Brain in the Vat” conception and all the muchoblahblah talking heads have churned out, is a waste.

How you ask your questions and frame your exploration dictate the kind of information you gather.

I contend that it doesn’t matter how much genius anyone has, the Brain in the Vat offers only dead-ends.

It may offer occasional tidbits of understanding - but there’s nothing coherent, nothing to help prepare the human intellect for understanding today’s modern flood of scientific, **evidence-based, understanding and the whole actual pulsating complexity of the brain, that is actually factually plugged into every cubic centimeter of our body, monitoring, opining, maintaining, that is producing the mind that reflects upon itself.

The same imperative that are reflected, if to a decreasing degree, in all the creatures that came before us.**

Descartes asserts with certainty that cutting off your arm won’t impact your brain or mind at all. Seriously? Ya think? How’s that work?
This is 2022 and he was writing this is the 1630s, so give the man a break, but junk the misleading mind experiment.

As for our super and perfect mind (oh that’s another thing, Descartes obsession with perfection and his assumption that its possible to achieve - ergo God.)

Human’s are aware and we are introspective, we tell stories and we record our stories, so has build up a knowledge base and mastery, unknown in the rest of the animal kingdom,
while our own bodies are busy getting us through life. That is really unique.
Of course, probably most animals are not aware of “self” as we are, but that doesn’t mean that most animals neural system aren’t every bit as engaged and focused on the same tasks of self monitoring and action, and for the same pragmatic existential reasons as we, complex biological creatures are Otherwise, you if you are clueless, you die and get eaten.

Human have simply been blessed with a few extra systems that added extra layers of emergent “mirroring” and processing ability onto the mammal foundation. which of course is based on previous foundations being achieved.

From my limited perspective that truth still isn’t being incorporated into the philosophy of who we are and what are minds are…

I find that very wrong.

Another thing,
it seems to me that the realization the our gods are in fact produced from our own human minds, both individually and collectively, is a revolutionary idea of the first order,
and that ought to be rippling through every aspect of religious/philosophical talk and writings.

But is it?

I never come across anything, but admit to a very narrow bandwidth.

Same with Evolution, it can’t be grasped as a “thing”, because it’s an “interactive dynamic”!

Thanks for the dialogue

So to be clear, I believe gods, and congregations, and faith, and energy feeding energy, is very real. Our God’s are very real, that Jewish/Islamic/Catholic b@st@rd has a strangle hold on the imagination of billions of people. That’s more real and powerful and lasting than the Three Gorges Dam.

But, still it comes from within us and our most powerful Egos.

It does not represent the Physical World we live in - even if it does control the Human World we live within,

Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.


Finally, your argument is beginning to make sense from an analytical perspective of the dichotomy between human ability to imagine and adopt a persistent Ego based belief system that is contrary to the reality that can be tested and analyzed for its properties.

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Why study philosophy?
Bertrand Russell (1912)

“Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.”

— Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (1912), Ch. XV: The Value of Philosophy, p. 127

First published in 1912, Bertrand Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy has never been out of print and is often considered essential reading for philosophy students. Russell, in his trademark usage of clear and concise language, introduces to the reader the key theories of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, David Hume, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel and others to lay the foundation of philosophical inquiry.

Russell considers philosophy as a repeating series of (failed) attempts to answer the same questions:

• Can we prove that there is an external world?

• Can we prove cause and effect?

• Can we validate any of our generalizations?

• Can we objectively justify morality?

He asserts that philosophy cannot answer any of these questions and that any value of philosophy must lie elsewhere than in offering proofs to these questions.

“In the following pages I have confined myself in the main to those problems of philosophy in regard to which I thought it possible to say something positive and constructive, since merely negative criticism seemed out of place. For this reason, theory of knowledge occupies a larger space than metaphysics in the present volume, and some topics much discussed by philosophers are treated very briefly, if at all.”

— Bertrand Russell, Preface of The Problems of Philosophy (1912)

Image: Bertrand Russell (1907)

Sorry I don’t see what he has to offer, at a certain point it starts looking like those holy men bobbing their heads as they read the holy texts for the umpteenth time.

We are in a new time, we are destroying this society we have come to depend on exactly because of that sort of self indulgence, when we should have been oh so boring and a bit serious and grown-up about our planet and future being a real place where our children are going to have to endure real lives that are being made oh so horrendous by our collective willful disconnect and ignorance.

And what’s it got to offer, so far as incorporation evolution into our gut felt reality ?

Or facing the fact of being evolved sensing and information processing organs, along with all other creatures on this planet ?
Or digesting the fact of that fundamental observation of a physical reality ~ human mindscape thing with its self evident conclusion that our gods are of our own creation ?

I mean how many times to we have to go over the same ground?

A lot has happened since 1912 when science was still a leisurely occupation.
Today science is expanding at breakneck speed along with our knowledge of the properties of spacetime and material reality as a testable object.