Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mind-body problem, emergent property

Even respected neuroscientists, for example Rudolph Tanzi from Harvard, still struggle with the fallacy of division. They look at the brain with the latest tools available, learn all the current theories about how neurons function, find out some new stuff along the way, but still get confused, and that is just sad. They say consciousness cannot be encoded into fat and water and DNA, therefore souls exists, and we have a "life after death". The failure here is understanding what an emergent property is. Allow me to explain, using a simple car analogy, since everybody loves these.

Take an engine and a transmission, and put it on top of a frame with wheels attached to it. Congratulations, you now have a car. One of the car's properties, is that it can move on its own. In short, it has the property called "locomotion". Now take the four pieces apart, and look at them individually. Can the engine lomocote ?Nope. What about the wheels. Neither. What about the chassis ? The transmission ? Nope and nope. None of the COMPONENTS of the 'car' has the property of locomotion, but the CAR ITSELF does. Therefore, locomotion is an emergent property of the system that CANNOT be assigned to any of its components.

The same with the brain. No, you cannot reduce consciousness to individual neurons, or neural nets, or anything else. Consciousness is a property of a well functioning brain. Let's stop the bullshit please.

A second, slightly unrelated and much shorter refutation of the mind-body problem is this : how can something immaterial, that is, completely OUTSIDE of the physical world, outside of the planet system, outside of the galaxy, outside of the universe, outside time and space - how can such a thing ACT upon, take CONTROL of something material such as the brain ? How do you make that connection between what is OUTSIDE the physical world, and make it work with the physical world ? And no, you can't use energy, or dark energy, since both exist in the physical world.