Vervaeke, Awakening from the Meaning Crisis

I thought he was stuck waiting in a room with a fancy tiled floor with a few flies buzzing around. Rather than getting irritated at being stuck waiting for his appointment, he focused on the flies flying above the floor, and EUREKA, it came to him.

I am not disputing his greatness, I’m pointing out he lived in the dark ages with no conception of what our physical body is all about. It was all totally within his mindscape and philosophers have remained within their mindscape and myopic toward the physical reality part of our existence

Think of the computer analogy: Garbage in = garbage out.
It may sound disrespectful to you, but I’ve taken the time to read some of Descartes own words and I learned for myself that the man was a genius, but that was then, this is now.

We are ready for the next stage, namely coming to terms with our biological, evolutionary reality. Electricity comes out of magnets and Mind comes out of bodies in action. why don’t we focus on absorbing that breaking news, rather then constantly rehashing the old. I don’t even mind Vervaeke or anyone discussing him, but they, so far a my limited exposure goes, never make the next leap. That’s where my objection comes in, even if I can’t frame it as pretty or diplomatically as I ought.

Not sure where you’re going with that Haven’t the past few decades clarified where emotions come from? Emotions started evolutionarily as tools for bodies to maintain homeostasis - humans have been able to layer all sorts of brainpower on top of that, so it’s gotten complicated.

Again I don’t know where you’re going with that. Sounds like an argument for ignorance. Very little consensus, actually I guess consensus is in the eyes of the beholder. I see lots of consilience of evidence, even if Solms next to Hameroff seems worlds apart.

Okay, so why not continue that progress, I feel like there’s too much clinging to the ancient great minds and too little focus on the new reality, such a us being evolved biological sensing creatures.
Rather going on and on as though we appeared out of some religious mist or philosophical thoughts. I mean it’s right there in front of us, yet why do so many want to continue the May Pole dance around ancient revelations.

Although I guess Vervaeke has another dozen or so videos to go, who knows he may surprise me in the end. I am enjoying listening to him, when the timing is right, so will probably continue with the series.

We are. My point is, it’s not that easy. You keep stating it as if it is, if we’d just do it, and forget the past. I’m not arguing for ignorance, I’m aware of my limitations. I don’t know where you get that we have clarified where emotions come from. We can barely measure an impulse in our brains that is connected to a conscious decision to move a finger. You say, “so it’s gotten complicated”, yeah, damn straight.

No, I’m trying to enunciate the importance of switching our lens, we (the NOVA show being an excellent example of focusing on the human drama with facts in the background and trying to figure it out:

50:00 Dr. Kasthuri “I’d like to believe that you are in charge of your life …” (more on that later)

But through the lens of appreciating the each of us is an evolved biological creature, then all this confusing piece fall into place much easier.

Does it though? What’s easy is fooling ourselves. It’s easyvto let someone tell us what our values should be, instead of working through 10,000 years of our history. How do we ignore that and see ourselves as the product of evolution? Knowing that we did evolve tells us nothing of what we evolved from.

Or evolving into.
We might be an evolutionary cul-de-sac, just another failed experiment of nature.
A little too smart for our own good.

@cuthbertj, you might like Episode 23. He talks about Kant in the beginning. Kant said we can’t know the world as it really is, so we seek patterns and organize them so it makes sense to our minds. Math works so well as the grammar of the world, not that the world is really based on it.

How do we justify disregarding the findings of the past century and especially this past half century, simply because it removes our godlike self-certitudes? Just because of human conceit? Seems to me the past 10,000 years of human history has left us with such a cold hearted, self-destructive society (globally not just the US, we just happen to be the fattest of the global fat cats).

That’s why I talk about having to do the homework to attain a thorough understanding of the pageant of Earth’s evolution unfolding over the eons, before the nuances can soak in.

What you are talking about is shallow knowledge.
Knowing we are evolved, is a far crying from finding out (and absorbing) the details which dang well does tell us how and “what we evolved from.”

It’s the self-serving Human Ego that won’t allow that to soak into the type of deep understanding that has taken root inside of my mind.

Looking at human behavior and our continued disregard for Earth’s complex systems that make life possible for - it’s well past “might” - we’re preordaining it.

Which brings me to another point Lausten, you talk about he past 10,000 years of history as some wonderful triumph which, to my sensibilities, is an outrageously myopic perspective. Yippy we landed on the moon and got bored with it. Now we’re interested in it again, but for what? For billioniares to having BDGs and space tourism (while our biosphere (and big cities) are degenerating faster than we dare realize)???

From a broader perspective human knowledge and “wisdom” has actually been quite the failure considering the parade of despots and horrors that can be laid at our feet over the past ten thousand years.

It’s that heritage that has led directly to today’s state of our modern world and human attitudes towards each other, and the planet that created, nurtured, and sustains us. I myself am ashamed of us.

I understand what you are saying but I am not sure I agree with the validity of the statement.

When I say ;“there is a pyramid in Egypt”, I know the grammar (pyramid) is not written in the sand, but the thing that the grammar symbolically represents does exist.

I believe that what humans have named “mathematics” is not the word but the thing the grammar represents that does exist as an inherent property of spacetime geometry.
No symbolic numbers, or pictures of points, lines, or triangles exist, but the “generic relational values” and "mathematical interactive functions " do, and we know them as Platonic values.

If our symbolic maths were wrong they would not work at all. This is an irrefutable argument. Therefore we know this is how it works in the abstract. It cannot do otherwise.


Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics with the major subdisciplines of number theory,[1] algebra,[2] geometry,[1] and analysis,[3][4] respectively. There is no general consensus among mathematicians about a common definition for their academic discipline.

Schematic depiction of a function described metaphorically as a “machine” or “black box” that for each input yields a corresponding output

Most mathematical activity involves the discovery of properties of abstract objects and the use of pure reason to prove them. These objects consist of either abstractions from nature or—in modern mathematics—entities that are stipulated to have certain properties, called axioms. A proof consists of a succession of applications of deductive rules to already established results. These results include previously proved theorems, axioms, and—in case of abstraction from nature—some basic properties that are considered true starting points of the theory under consideration.[[5]]


The connection between mathematics and material reality has led to philosophical debates since at least the time of Pythagoras. The ancient philosopher Plato argued that abstractions that reflect material reality have themselves a reality that exists outside space and time. As a result, the philosophical view that mathematical objects somehow exist on their own in abstraction is often referred to as Platonism. Independently of their possible philosophical opinions, modern mathematicians may be generally considered as Platonists, since they think of and talk of their objects of study as real objects.[151]

Armand Borel summarized this view of mathematics reality as follows, and provided quotations of G. H. Hardy, Charles Hermite, Henri Poincaré and Albert Einstein that support his views.[128]

" Something becomes objective (as opposed to “subjective”) as soon as we are convinced that it exists in the minds of others in the same form as it does in ours and that we can think about it and discuss it together.[152]

" Because the language of mathematics is so precise, it is ideally suited to defining concepts for which such a consensus exists. In my opinion, that is sufficient to provide us with a feeling of an objective existence, of a reality of mathematics …
(Mathematics - Wikipedia)

See Anil Seth: “when our observations agree, we call that reality”, i.e. it is axiomatic.
with the caveat that humans can only observe part of reality even with our most sophisticated measuring devises. But the part of reality that is observable and is quantifiable must exist, else our maths would not work.

Mathematics are not unreasonably effective, they are reasonably effective because they accurately symbolize the generic relational values and their mathematically interactive processes.

Why we can argue for an unknowable God without any evidence, but argue against Mathematics when there is evidence everywhere we look, is a mystery to me.

But then God works in mysterious ways, while mathematics work perfectly when done correctly. IOW, God works in mathematical ways. But in the abstract, Mathematical ways do not need a God of any kind.

Mythology teaches that ;

Athena was the Goddess of mathematics and she taught it to Prometheus to give it to humans.

But that is mythology and doesn’t count anymore because nobody believes in Athena or Prometheus anymore. Those Gods are dead.

I’m enjoying this conversation. Or I was, until that question. I never said we should disregard recent history. Where do you “start history”? Trump and Biden are the result of history. How do we understand that? How do we handle the science of propaganda?

to attain a thorough understanding of the pageant of Earth’s evolution unfolding over the eons

Either you agree with me, or you don’t understand my question. I don’t see much in your writing about the evolution of ideas. Not even how we got from small tribes to city/states, or astrology to astronomy. Of course it’s Ego, that’s part of our evolution.

you talk about the past 10,000 years of history as some wonderful triumph

Do I? Didn’t mean to. The heritage you talk about sounds like the philosophy of Bill Hicks, “I’m tired of all this backslapping “Isn’t humanity neat?” b.s. We’re a virus with shoes, okay? That’s all we are.” I’ve referred to him many a time. Maybe you missed that.

Understanding is really the important part. I didn’t say it, Hegel did. There may be some confusion that I’m endorsing Vervaeke. In the course, he constantly states that he’s not endorsing these historical figures, he’s only describing their ideas. Sometimes he interjects his own thoughts, but there is nothing to agree with or not here. If someone has the end of history, let me know. If we are indeed at the pinnacle of human knowledge, and there is an end to this course that tells us how to think, well, I’ll skip to episode 50 now and live happily and meaningfully ever after.

I’m not trying to find answers. I’m trying to figure out how the leader of the Oath Keepers claims he is a political prisoner and keeps a straight face. I’ve directly experienced five people I know descend from a few harmless woo-woo ideas into pure conspiratorial madness. I don’t find Trump incomprehensible, I find it incomprehensible that we didn’t see him coming.

Episode 24 is a good example of how I’m using the course. Hegel tried to translate the myths of the past into the scientific language of his time. That’s something that I was trying to do for a few years. By seeing how others have tried to work through these things, and how the culture has responded, and how they’ve failed, helps me to figure out what I should be looking to today.

[quote=“lausten, post:51, topic:10251”]
Understanding is really the important part. I didn’t say it, Hegel did. There may be some confusion that I’m endorsing Vervaeke. In the course, he constantly states that he’s not endorsing these historical figures, he’s only describing their ideas.

OK, in that case, I disagree with the original author (Wigner?) who offered the idea that Mathematics are “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences”.
I doubt he is smarter than the original discoverers of the mathematical nature of the universe. i.e. Plato, Galileo, Pythagoras, Aristotle

I’m not trying to find answers.

I do!

I’m trying to figure out how the leader of the Oath Keepers claims he is a political prisoner and keeps a straight face. I’ve directly experienced five people I know descend from a few harmless woo-woo ideas into pure conspiratorial madness. I don’t find Trump incomprehensible, I find it incomprehensible that we didn’t see him coming.

I absolutely agree with you there. I believe these types are afflicted with a form of egocentric madness. Perhaps a form of Autism.
I know Trump is clinically insane. Some 200 psychologists and psychiatrists have attested to that.

that’s too easy. I meant “madness” in a descriptive way, as in that’s what it looks like, not that they actually are experiencing a mental illness. Depression is on the rise, drug addiction never was something for just the immoral few, it’s tied directly to how mental health care developed. Nietzsche lived just over 100 years ago, and his thoughts weren’t well received. It didn’t help that he contradicted himself and had some mental issues of his own in the end. The religious world reacted with fundamentalism, something that intellectuals keep thinking will die out, but it keeps resurging.

Egocentrism is still rewarded. Psychopathy is a trait that will get you promoted. Not caring about long-term consequences is profitable. Are the inmates in charge of the asylum, or is there only asylum?

Okay, well, this is getting dark. We are getting a rare coincidence of good weather and Memorial Day weekend up here. Maybe some sun will brighten me up a bit.

The inmates have always been in charge of the asylum.

To clarify,
I’m talking specifically about accumulated scientific knowledge, massive amounts of internally consistent evidence.

My whole point isn’t about any of that crap your talking about there, this is about scientific understanding, sans all the politics and economy and head games and BDGs.

This is about a down to Earth realistic appreciation for one’s own biological body,
via the accumulating facts being gathered, biology, medical understanding and neurology, paleontology, geology and on and on -
Your history and intellectual heritage seems to me about intense immersion within the “mindscape,” self-absorption and pointed disregard for our bodies.

People feel so lost in the universe because they don’t have a first base appreciation for their own bodies and where they came from;
Once one figures that out we can change our outlook by starting understanding our minds as being generated by our bodies. The concept.
Ergo, everything we know is filtered through our body, it is our minds interface with the world, and all of us are profoundly influenced and dictated by the body that the fates has bestowed upon one. (Love it, or hate it, or in-between);
Only after all that gets to digesting can we start constructively thinking about our varied emotions, and so on.
That holds so many implications in regard to how people live their lives - though that’s a whole different conversation.

What I’m talking about here is simply processing the facts at hand and drawing one’s considered, provisional conclusions, until more information comes in, then we adjust from there. That’s more constructive than all this philosophizing and endless hand wrings. (I’ll get into that more when I have time for the NOVA program. Great info, questionable interpretations and Hollywood spin worth pointing out.)

This is about those that get it, appreciating what I’m writing about and profiting each to their own.

As for the Science of Propaganda? Yeah how to deal with that is the question, isn’t it.

d) Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue in 14 verses.

Why Accept Malicious Willful Ignorance and the Embrace of Lies?

But all that is a different question from what I’m going on about.

Because I’m not that presumptuous, lordie aren’t there enough going on and on about it from every angle. All of them with a life time of study and reading and acquiring a knowledge base, and encyclopedic knowledge of historic details, I couldn’t dream of. I have feelings to share occasionally that I can defend, but I’m not deluded about my qualities and shortcomings. I’m about sharing what I have experienced in my life, what I do know.

I’m about the here and now, and the result of my 60+yrs of musing on me, the people around me, my place in the universe, etc. I’m resolved, still more to learn, but a life time of doubt has gotten shed in these past couple years, I have arrived, foibles and all, I’m ready for all comers regarding these specifics.

This is the evolution of an idea born out of the past half century of science, and it doesn’t have time or the need to debate any of that history, because all of the history and spilled ink is pre-deep-biological understanding. (Please don’t say scientists barely know about brain’s production of thought, it’s very unfair.

Scientist have discovered and can explain amazing things. Asking the wrong questions is much of philosophies problem (IMHO), expecting impossible standards doesn’t mean we don’t understand enough to build upon.

Knowing that the mind is the inside reflection of our physical body/brain in action is real, we can build upon that even if we have not figured out every last biological transaction taking place. We can begin to get in touch (understand is too big a word), our own emotions and those chemical cascades coursing through our bodies, that so impact us.

Nothing I write about this requires any sort of intellectual pedigree, or justification, the physical evidence speaks for itself.

It stands on its own, it is solid observation that is worth discussing and thinking about.

Fair enough, but you brought it up. :wink:

good night

I must admit that from a nano scale perspective, each one of us is comparable to an entire galaxy.

That’s poetry.

Thing is, “we” don’t exist in the nano scale.
Even with we are made up of (or is it from) the nano scale,
scaled up a few billion fold.

That’s a philosophy. I don’t know which of the many philosophies is right or wrong, although I enjoy discussing them. I know a philosophical statement when I see one.

IMO, I (the mind) do exist at nanoscale. i.e. an emergent product of microtubule networks.

You correctly address evolution via natural selection as the creative process, but we must also remember that life itself began with the self-organization of a single self-replicating polymer.

And the halfway stage was/is a virus, a self-organizing polymer that is unable to self-replicate. It is called non-living for its inability to self-replicate.

Are viruses alive?

The usual answer to this question (and usually for the purpose of passing your Biology GCSEs) is that viruses are not alive, because they do not complete all of the seven life processes: Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Nutrition, Excretion, Reproduction and Growth.

However, viruses have genetic information coded in DNA or RNA, a characteristic shared by every other living thing. So does that mean they can be considered ‘alive’? Let’s take a look at what biologists mean by ‘alive’.

We can agree that dogs, for example, are living creatures; they grow, reproduce, release energy from nutrients, move and respond to the world around them. They also excrete waste products (including poo). But viruses don’t show all these characteristics.

Viruses can’t move, grow, convert nutrients into energy or excrete waste products. But viruses certainly reproduce, infecting people and causing illnesses. It’s how they reproduce that’s unusual.

Viruses lack essential machinery needed to reproduce by themselves. In fact, viruses can only reproduce after infecting a living cell - a process called viral replication. Once inside a living cell, viruses re-program the cell’s machinery to produce viral proteins and genetic material to make new copies of themselves. Viruses with an envelope steal a fatty layer from the cell. Then, new virus particles infect other cells, turning them into virus production factories too.

The tobacco mosaic virus was the very first virus to be discovered.
It infects chloroplasts in the leaves of plants

Where did viruses come from?

Viruses have been around for a few billion years, but it’s not clear which evolved first: viruses or cells. Three theories try to explain where viruses came from. The first suggests that genes encoding viruses might originally have come from cells, like bacteria. Small sections of DNA may have escaped from a cell’s genome, eventually gaining a protein coat: bingo! The first virus.

The second theory suggests viruses evolved from an ancient single-cell organism that stopped being able to reproduce by itself, becoming dependent on host cells instead.

The final hypothesis proposes that viruses existed before cells; ancient viruses may have evolved over time to produce membranes and cell walls, giving rise to living cells. It’s possible that all these theories are right.

What would happen if all viruses disappeared?

Viruses have led to pandemics and death, which has caused them to have, it’s fair to say, a pretty bad reputation. But not all viruses are harmful. Millions of years of evolution alongside host cells mean that viruses are very selective about which type of cells they infect (for example, plant viruses don’t cause disease in humans), and some viruses may provide benefits to their hosts.

In fact, some scientists think that if all viruses magically disappeared one day, it would end life as we know it.

Viruses help maintain ecosystems by making sure that individual populations (such as insects) don’t outcompete other populations, causing a huge crash in biodiversity. Viruses kill around 20% of microbes in the oceans daily, releasing nutrients from dead cells which help feed other microbes. This is essential because microbes in the oceans produce about half of the oxygen on Earth. Viruses also affect carbon dioxide levels on Earth by helping to hide carbon deep in the oceans.

You’ve probably heard of ‘good bacteria’ which help keep your guts healthy. Viruses may help to regulate bacteria in your guts and train the immune system to fight some infections. Viruses can be used as tools in medicine, for example bacteriophages - viruses which infect bacteria. There should, in theory, be a bacteriophage capable of killing every single bacterium on Earth. If we can match the right bacteriophage to an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, we could treat untreatable-infections. Viruses can be used to deliver correct copies of defective genes into cells during gene therapy and research even suggests that viruses that specifically kill tumour cells might help us to fight cancer.

We’ve probably only discovered a tiny fraction of the viruses on our planet, with most research focusing on disease. But the more we learn about viruses, the more we understand their importance in the life of the planet.

So when we speak of life, we must include the entire spectrum of connecting parts.

image image

Sputnik virophage

Mimivirus-dependent virus Sputnik (from Russian спутник “satellite”) is a subviral agent that reproduces in amoeba cells that are already infected by a …

Virology · ‎Structure · ‎Other viruses of Sputnik genus · (Sputnik virophage - Wikipedia)

Genome sequence analysis showed that Sputnik has genes related to viruses infecting all three domains of life. Here, we report structural studies of Sputnik, which show that it is about 740 Å in diameter , has a T=27 icosahedral capsid, and has a lipid membrane inside the protein shell.

Evolution of viruses

Key points:

  • Viruses undergo evolution and natural selection, just like cell-based life, and most of them evolve rapidly.

  • When two viruses infect a cell at the same time, they may swap genetic material to make new, “mixed” viruses with unique properties. For example, flu strains can arise this way.

  • RNA viruses have high mutation rates that allow especially fast evolution. An example is the evolution of drug resistance in HIV.
    Evolution of viruses (article) | Khan Academy

IMO. the meaning of the term “life” includes all stages of living expression in nature.

I hate to poke this meme, but to me it sounds like you’re saying a switch is a computer.
It’s beyond right or wrong.

Beyond that I don’t think viruses have a place in this thread,
it’s an non sequitur.

Let’s get back to the philosophy, which is what this thread is about.


Well guess I do dabble in philosophy on the side. :wink: