Immortal Soul Anyone?

At Evolution News and other, Dr. Michael Egnor has been writing extensively on the subject of mind, thought, consciousness and soul: here,  here, here , here , here and here.
It seems that all his efforts have been concentrated on the critic of the materialistic views of the origins the mind, thoughts and consciousness. To make the long story short, Dr. Egnor is convinced that with the exception of one type of thoughts, where some thought patterns have been detected in human brain by MRI, EEG etc., other types of thoughts, such as abstract thoughts, can’t be explained in materialistic terms and therefore they are directly or indirectly a solid proof of the existence of an immaterial soul or the Thomistic Dualism dogma propagated Thomas Aquinas  in the 13th century…

While there maybe a third explanation for this phenomenon, such as quantum consciousness/mind/thoughts, which I had already covered here , in this OP however, I would like to focus on another aspect of this issue:

Where did the idea of the immortal soul come from in the first place?

As a Christian, Dr. Egnor must rely on the bible to support his beliefs, including the dogma of the immortal soul. But here is where I seem to have found a discrepancy…

When God introduced Adam and Eve to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, He didn’t mention that they possessed an immortal soul that will continue on living if they ate the forbidden fruit and therefore sinned which would lead to death. God simply said that if they disobey, they will die. There is no mention of any afterlife or eternal torment in the fiery hell…

Judge it  for yourself:

Gen 2:17

“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

“…You will surely die…”No hell, no afterlife, no nothing…

Not only that, after Adam and Eve sinned, one would hope that God would tell them all the details about their future regarding their afterlife, hell and all.. And yet, another disappointment. No word on the soul living on or afterlife either..

Gen 3:19

“By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

“…You will return do the ground… because from it you were taken…”

So again, no word about the immortal soul and their destiny in the fiery hell…

Instead, God clearly tells them that they are going to return to where they were before…

What’s going on here?

I have also discussed this issue at UD here.

 

78 thoughts on “Immortal Soul Anyone?

  1. How about the New Testament? Surely it provides some support for the notion of an immortal soul?

    Matthew 10:28
    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    2 Corinthians 5:8
    We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

    Philippians 1:23-24
    I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on.

    Luke 23:43
    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    Revelation 6:9-10
    When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

  2. vjtorley,

    These are beautiful… but how do they help Adam and Eve?
    Why would the details about the reality of the immortality of the soul were to be revealed thousands years later after Adam and Eve’s souls were sent to fiery hell?
    It may help keiths or OMGain, but not the millions of people after Adam and Eve who didn’t know about this minor adjustment after Adam and Eve were told the punishment for disobedience was death…

  3. vjtorley,

    So Greek ideas regarding the soul show up after the widespread dissemination of Greek ideas throughout much of the ancient world, including Judea. Is that surprising?

    While there does appear to be a kind of dim afterlife involving a “spirit” or some such thing prior to the infusion of Greek beliefs into Jewish culture (the dead Samuel rising up at Endor, etc.), it’s a mere shadow by comparison with the view of the Greek idea of the soul as the most real aspect of the human.

    Glen Davidson

  4. GlenDavidson:
    vjtorley,

    So Greek ideas regarding the soul show up after the widespread dissemination of Greek ideas throughout much of the ancient world, including Judea.Is that surprising?

    While there does appear to be a kind of dim afterlife involving a “spirit” or some such thing prior to the infusion of Greek beliefs into Jewish culture (the dead Samuel rising up at Endor, etc.), it’s a mere shadow by comparison with the view of the Greek idea of the soul as the most real aspect of the human.

    Glen Davidson

    What Greek ideas? What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that Greek Mythology about the afterlife has influenced the Christian teachings of the soul?

  5. J-Mac:
    vjtorley,

    These are beautiful… but how do they help Adam and Eve?
    Why would the details about the reality of the immortality of the soul were to be revealed thousands years later after Adam and Eve’s souls were sent to fiery hell?
    It may help keiths or OMGain, but not the millions of people after Adam and Eve who didn’t know about this minor adjustment after Adam and Eve were told the punishment for disobedience was death…

    Thought Jesus descended into the Hell and stamped a ticket to Heaven for all the righteous souls absent the promise of eternal reward who still were obedient to Laws of God but who had expired before the Crucifixion.

  6. J-Mac: What Greek ideas? What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that Greek Mythology aboutthe afterlife has influenced the Christian teachings of the soul?

    Aristotle certainly influenced Catholic Thinkers.

  7. J-Mac:
    Can anybody access the links in this OP to evolutionnews.org?
    I can’t….

    I assume you mean the 6 “here” links in your first paragraph.

    I just checked, and I was able to access all of them.

  8. Dr Egnor is right. our thoughts do exist in the immaterial soul except for our memory. I guess the memory has thoughts. yet it’s our soul doing the thinking.
    yes aDam died when he ate . yet he did not die. so this means his soul died. nOt his body. so his soul has a existence separate from his body. his body later would go to the dust but his soul, made in God’s image, as genesis says lET US MAKE GOD in OUR (trinity) image. survives forever. How otherwise could such a image die?
    dr Egnor makes great case for the soul. he misses about our soul being meshed only to a giant memory machine.
    i say reductionist direction would show all human thought as soul dealing with memory.
    No other words needed.
    Just like in the bible. soul, spiritheart mind.
    The mind is the memory. the heart is priority conclusions. The spirit is a habit. tHe soul is all we are.

  9. Egnor’s arguments for the immateriality of the intellect rely on his assumption of realism about universals.

    No doubt he’s right about this much: if realism about universals (“abstract concepts”) were independently plausible, that would be a compelling reason to support immateriality of the intellect, or at least that there’s something interesting about brains that can’t be explained entirely in terms of empirical neuroscience.

    But I don’t think there’s any good reason to support realism about universals, so there’s no good reason to support the immateriality of the intellect, either.

    (If one were to insist on distinguishing the universal/particular distinction from the abstract/concrete distinction, then I’d put my view as follows: the only real objects are concrete particulars.)

  10. Kantian Naturalist: No doubt he’s right about this much: if realism about universals (“abstract concepts”) were independently plausible, that would be a compelling reason to support immateriality of the intellect, or at least that there’s something interesting about brains that can’t be explained entirely in terms of empirical neuroscience.

    I think you’re too generous there. I read only the first link, but it was a mess.

  11. When I was in high school, one of my class mates had a serious head injury (a motor cycle accident, if I recall correctly). When he eventually returned to class, he was a very different person. He looked the same, but a completely changed personality.

    This is the sort of thing that leads people to doubt the idea of a spiritual soul.

    So sure, thoughts are abstract, so immaterial. If there can be said to be a container of thought, that too is an abstraction, so immaterial. But that kind of talk isn’t very persuasive. It is probably all consistent with supervenience physcalism.

    Personally, I’m not a materialist. But I’m also not an immaterialist. Those “isms” are just too vague to be useful, so why bother to choose sides.

  12. As a Christian, Dr. Egnor must rely on the bible to support his beliefs …

    Doesn’t that just say it all ?

  13. Kantian Naturalist: But I don’t think there’s any good reason to support realism about universals, so there’s no good reason to support the immateriality of the intellect, either.

    Those who support realism about universals, support it precisely because they have reasons to do so and normally they state the reasons. When you say “I don’t think there’s any good reason…” you have most likely not been paying attention.

  14. Hi J-Mac,

    I’d like to answer the question in your OP with a quote from C. S. Lewis:

    From my own point of view, the example of Judaism and Buddhism is of immense importance. The system, which is meaningless without a doctrine of immortality, regards immortality as a nightmare, not a prize. The religion, which of all ancient religions is most specifically religious, that is, at once most ethical and most numinous, is hardly interested in the question. Believing as I do, that Jehovah is a real being, indeed the ens realissimum, I cannot sufficiently admire the divine tact of thus training the chosen race for centuries in religion before even hinting the shining secret of eternal life. He behaves like the rich lover in a romance who woos the maiden on his own merits, disguised as a poor man, and only when he has won her reveals that he has a throne and palace to offer. For I cannot help thinking that any religion which begins with a thirst for immortality is damned, as a religion, from the outset. Until a certain spiritual level has been reached, the promise of immortality will always operate as a bribe which vitiates the whole religion and infinitely inflames those very self-regards which religion must cut down and uproot. (God in the Dock, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970, pp. 130-131.)

    You also write:

    Why would the details about the reality of the immortality of the soul were to be revealed thousands years later after Adam and Eve’s souls were sent to fiery hell?

    Neither Jews nor Christians have historically believed that Adam and Eve went to fiery hell. The deuterocanonical book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) declares in chapter 49, verses 14-16:

    14 No one else like Enoch has ever walked the face of the earth, for he was taken up from the earth. 15 No one else like Joseph has ever been born; even his bones were honored. 16 Shem, Seth, and Enosh were highly honored, but Adam’s glory was above that of any other living being.

    The Orthodox Church thinks very highly of Adam and Eve.

  15. Vincent, quoting C.S. Lewis:

    Until a certain spiritual level has been reached, the promise of immortality will always operate as a bribe which vitiates the whole religion and infinitely inflames those very self-regards which religion must cut down and uproot.

    That’s a pure rationalization. Eternal life very much operates as a bribe now, and Lewis is too smart not to recognize that.

  16. Hi keiths,

    I’m not sure I agree with you. Lewis continues:

    For the essence of religion, in my view, is the thirst for an end higher than natural ends; the finite self’s desire for, and acquiescence in, and self-rejection in favour of, an object wholly good and wholly good for it. That the self-rejection will turn out to be also a self-finding, that bread cast upon the waters will be found after many days, that to die is to live — these are sacred paradoxes of which the human race must not be told too soon.

  17. Vincent,

    Just talk to a sampling of Christians. You’ll find that eternal life is a huge motivator for many of them.

    Hell, look at Sal Cordova. He’s always talking about how Christianity offers him “a better deal” than atheism.

    It’s silly to suppose that the human race has reached a point where eternal life no longer functions as a bribe.

  18. vjtorley: Neither Jews nor Christians have historically believed that Adam and Eve went to fiery hell. The deuterocanonical book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) declares in chapter 49, verses 14-16:

    So, when did the belief change and why? If Adam and Eve didn’t go to hell, why should others? Isn’t the origin of sin their fault?

    At UD the kairofocus and BA77 are insisting that it all depends on the meaning or the definition of death…
    The body dies the souls continue…

    https://uncommondescent.com/ethics/science-worldview-issues-and-society/a-thought-on-soul-body-spirit-and-on-the-meaning-of-death-in-the-judaeo-christian-frame-of-thought

  19. J-Mac: I’ve read about it… but didn’t he believe that the soul was mortal?

    Aristotle didn’t believe in personal souls — it’s not like, on Aristotle’s view, you have a soul and I have a soul and those other people have got their own souls. Rather, for Aristotle, the soul is the form (morphe) of a living thing. (To be alive is to be ensouled.)

    There are four major kinds of souls, characterized in terms of their proper functions: the vegetative (the ability to take in nourishment), the sensitive (the ability to be aware of surroundings), the locomotive (the ability to move towards and away things that are pleasurable and painful) and the rational (the ability to comprehend and to be virtuous).

    All and only human beings are rational animals, with all four kinds of soul.

    Here’s the important point, though: the soul is just the essence of a living thing. You and I are both rational animals, we have the same essence, which means that we have the same soul. The same soul is differently instantiated in you and in me, but the soul is not the instantiation.

    Put otherwise: for Aristotle, “soul” is a kind term, not a particular term — more like “dog” than “Fido”.

    Once we have that idea clear, notice that for Aristotle, souls — since they are forms — are structures. The function of form (morphe) is to organize material (hule) that has mere potency (dunamis) but not actuality (energeia). Without form, material would not be anything at all. It would be mere potency or possibility, completely indeterminate. Determinate being requires a structuring form that organizes the material into a definite thing (ousia, “substance”).

    Form does so by being constantly at work, constantly organizing. The form of a frog is not the physical anatomy of the frog but the whole life-cycle that keeps frogs from lapsing into non-existence — the form of the frog is the movement from potency to actuality, from egg to tadpole to frog to eggs again.

    If you think about it this way, then the question for Aristotle might be, “where do forms come from?” And his answer to that is (so far as I know), “they don’t come from anywhere. All forms are eternal: they were neither created nor can they be destroyed.” There have always been frogs, and oak trees, and people.

    It’s ultimately a rather cyclical universe: each thing has its own form, which is a cyclical movement from potency to actuality and back, the same way for all eternity. And what holds the whole cosmos together as an organized whole is the highest and purest activity or actuality, the thought that thinks itself.

    This much should already suggest that in order to reconcile Aristotle with Scripture, Aquinas had to make some rather significant alternations to the basic Aristotelian story. Fortunately for him, much of the heavy lifting had already been done by Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, and Maimonides.

  20. Kantian Naturalist: If you think about it this way, then the question for Aristotle might be, “where do forms come from?” And his answer to that is (so far as I know), “they don’t come from anywhere. All forms are eternal: they were neither created nor can they be destroyed.” T

    It looks like Aristotle had an advanced insight into the quantum information conservation law, where quantum information is neither be created nor destroyed’… quantum souls/beings…

  21. J-Mac: It looks like Aristotle had an advanced insight into the quantum information conservation law, where quantum information is neither be created nor destroyed’… quantum souls/beings…

    Hahahahaha!

  22. walto: Got it. Thanks.

    It means, if your scoffing, that aDam was said he would die if he ate, he ate, and so he died. As God scores death. yet he lived for hundreds of more years on earth.
    so death was not related to the body but to the soul.
    our body dieing is a minor detail. death is about our soul.
    thus the soul existence is proved in the first chapters of genesis.
    Why not?

  23. Neil Rickert:
    When I was in high school, one of my class mates had a serious head injury (a motor cycle accident, if I recall correctly).When he eventually returned to class, he was a very different person.He looked the same, but a completely changed personality.

    This is the sort of thing that leads people to doubt the idea of a spiritual soul.

    So sure, thoughts are abstract, so immaterial.If there can be said to be a container of thought, that too is an abstraction, so immaterial.But that kind of talk isn’t very persuasive.It is probably all consistent with supervenience physcalism.

    Personally, I’m not a materialist.But I’m also not an immaterialist.Those “isms” are just too vague to be useful, so why bother to choose sides.

    Your classmate being different proves the soul.
    your trying to say a soul is a fixed thing from birth.
    its not. i A soul simply becomes a personality under influences. or rather it memorizes things and we call it a personality.
    a head injury just interferes with the memory. so the person starts over. indeed it could only be that he becomes very different.
    We become different passing childhoopd, youth, etc etc.
    Yet we are the same soul/person.
    why any different?
    These head injuries etc prove only we are a collection of memorized conclusions.
    This guy you knew was the same soul and person. You just noticed details.

  24. Neil Rickert: Personally, I’m not a materialist. But I’m also not an immaterialist. Those “isms” are just too vague to be useful, so why bother to choose sides.

    I’m the same when it comes to consciousness/mind/abstract thought etc…
    It is not the soul and it’s not material, what is it?
    I like quantum consciousness/mind/thought idea but you have your own, don’t you? I’m really curious what it is though I already know it is not electric…

  25. There is the so-called Time Independent Schrodinger equation of QM:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger_equation#Time-independent_equation

    It looks innocent enough, but when I contemplated the implications, it suggested there is a God who is eternal and from a future eternity can affect quantum systems like our universe. When Christians sing the Hymn “Immortal Invisible” this describes well the ultimate MIND that is predicted by Quantum Mechanics that is ultimately responsible for the collapse (aka making real) all the Quantum wave functions of reality. This is not an original idea on my part, I posted thoughts on this at UD where I cited an article by physicist Richard Conn Henry in 2005 edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-quantum-enigma-of-consciousness-and-the-identity-of-the-designer/

    Amazing that Nature allowed this article to be posted! That was a miracle in and of itself but Richard Conn Henry holds a distinguished professorship at Johns Hopkins so I guess the editors gave him leeway to speak his mind.

    FWIW, for technical reasons, I’m now posting my QM stuff at my old forum. Here are my QM thoughts so far:

    QM and ID:
    http://creationevolutionuniversity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142

    QM and Schrodinger’s equation overview
    http://creationevolutionuniversity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=141

    So QM establishes the notion there is an Ultimate Immortal soul. I suppose for we humans, we can only accept on faith that our souls are immortal if indeed the Ultimate MIND has communicated to us that we are immortal. Christians believe the Ultimate MIND has communicated to humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.

    When I nearly left the Christian faith circa 2001 as my father was fighting a terminal illness, I lost faith in the Bible. My only science training was in physics, but I kept seeing the physicists perplexed about what the equations of physics predicted. So many of them seemed to “prophesy” that an ultimate immortal MIND is a necessary consequence of physics. This was the beginning of my steps back to Christian faith and the Bible.

    Astonishing, that Dennett’s co-author, mathematician Hofstadter wrote:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/there-is-a-strangeness-in-the-air-a-quasi-id-friendly-essay-in-dennett-and-hofstadters-1981-book/

    one way to think of the universal wave function [of quantum physics] is as the mind– or brain, if you prefer–of the great novelist in the sky, God.
    Douglas Hofstadter

    and Harold Morowitz professor at my undergrad alma mater, famous OOL researcher, and no friend of creationists wrote:

    Something peculiar has been going on in science for the past 100 years or so. Many researchers are unaware of it, and others won’t admit it even to their own colleagues. But there is a strangeness in the air.

    What has happened is that biologists, who once postulated a privileged role for the human mind in nature’s hierarchy, have been moving relentlessly toward the hard-core materialism that characterized nineteenth-century physics. At the same time, physicists, faced with compelling experimental evidence, have been moving away from strictly mechanical models of the universe to a view that sees that mind as playing an integral role in all physical events.

    his linkage forced many researchers to seriously consider consciousness as an integral part of the structure of physics. Such interpretations moved science toward the idealist as contrasted with the realist conception of philosophy.
    ..
    The views of a large number of contemporary physical scientists are summed up in the essay “Remarks on the Mind-Body Question” written by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner. Wigner begins by pointing out that most physical scientists have returned to the recognition that thought – meaning the mind – is primary. He goes on to state: “It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.” And he concludes by noting how remarkable it is that the scientific study of the world led to the content of consciousness as an ultimate reality.
    ….
    Third and last, atomic physics, which is now understood most fully by means of quantum mechanics, must be formulated with the mind as a primitive component of the system.

    The “realist” conception of reality? My QM book discusses the 3 philosophical positions of QM:

    1. Realist (favored by Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen)
    2. Orthodox (can be said to be “mentalist”)
    3. Agnostic

    And in the end the “mentalist” version of QM is shown as the most mathematically tenable in my book. The book was by Griffiths, but he avoids using the word “mentalist” but instead uses the euphemism “Copenhagen interpretation.” But the “Copenhagen interpretation”, by way of extension suggests God. That is a conclusion that is difficult to escape.

    Now, does this imply human souls are immortal? Imho, NO, but it implies there is some Immortal Soul and MIND that governs all reality. Let me refer to this MIND as God. If God chooses to confer immortality to mortals, that is his choice, but one can’t as far as I can tell, deduce immortality for mere human souls from quantum mechanics alone. Immortality for mere mortals must be a gift from God, not a right conferred by the laws of physics.

    Below is the QM textbook I studied 7 years ago. I’m now going back through the book again and occasionally posting some supplementary thoughts about each of the sections like this:

    QM: G1.3 Probability and Expectation
    http://creationevolutionuniversity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=146&p=721#p721

    Note the portrait of Schrodinger’s cat on the book cover. 🙂

  26. J-Mac: I’m the same when it comes to consciousness/mind/abstract thought etc…
    It is not the soul and it’s not material, what is it?

    They are names that we attach to “things” that we cannot define.

  27. The book was by Griffiths, but he avoids using the word “mentalist” but instead uses the euphemism “Copenhagen interpretation.” But the “Copenhagen interpretation”, by way of extension suggests God. That is a conclusion that is difficult to escape.

    I don’t see how that can possibly be right. The whole point of the Copenhagen Interpretation is to avoid positing unobservable entities, structures, relations, etc. Take Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle: the accuracy of our measurement of position is inversely proportional to the accuracy of our measurement of momentum. That’s a strictly epistemological thesis, not an ontological one.

    Likewise for the wave/particle complementary thesis insisted by Bohr: it says under some experimental conditions, it is pragmatically useful to consider quantum phenomena as if they are waves, and under other experimental conditions, it is pragmatically useful to consider quantum phenomena as particles.

    What you seem to say, or want to say, is something much like Berkeley’s idealism: that a supreme Mind is doing the observing, so that there really are determinate properties to these phenomena independent of what any finite human mind happens to be observing. But that requires giving the Copenhagen Interpretation a decidedly realist spin. The whole point of the Copenhagen Interpretation was to avoid realism and anti-realism by being committed to a thoroughgoing empiricism: in the absence of measurement, quantum phenomena do not have any determinate properties at all!

  28. Kantian Naturalist:
    in the absence of measurement, quantum phenomena do not have any determinate properties at all!

    Thank you for your response as it give me a chance to address some common objections which you articulated well.

    So Who measures the universe to give it determinate properties, as it’s obvious the universe has determinate properties (at least we assume it in order to do
    science, one such property being Planck’s constant itself).

    Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and marked off the sky with his span, and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

    Isaiah 40:12

    That’s sort of a poetic way of stating the problem of the existence of reality at all. For things to be real, something must have “measured” them. An in QM the “measurement” could well be in the future as in QM the future causally affects the past.

    I don’t know a single professor of QM of mine who didn’t point out something was unsettling with the double-slit experiments as it suggested the future being a causal event that affects the past. At the universal scale, this suggests some ultimate causal measurement, which also suggest some ultimate teleology.

    Something or some MIND in the future is “measuring” the universe. It is affixing properties and creating a history in the universe. It is just a grand scale experiment that we feebly approximate with double-slit experiments that show the particle-wave duality of QM entities like Photons.

    The whole point of the Copenhagen Interpretation was to avoid realism and anti-realism by being committed to a thoroughgoing empiricism: in the absence of measurement, quantum phenomena do not have any determinate properties at all!

    But the wave function collapses (as in breaks downs, abruptly, perhaps miraculously stops being in operation, is suspended, whatever) when measurement happens, and then things become real.

    This essay connects Berkeley and QM and the Ultimate Observer (God):

    http://goodxbadx.blogspot.com/2009/07/berkelys-ideas-in-physics.html

    Only when observed does a particle collapse into reality, actualizing one of its many possibilities.

    Thus for reality to exist, the Immortal God is collapsing the universal wave function. It seems, from physics alone, we can infer God is immortal and can’t be constrained by time otherwise we get a regress that doesn’t create reality.

    From the same link:

    Berkeley’s thought resurfaces again in the physics and philosophy of John Wheeler, who holds an idealist position similar to Berkeley’s: not only in the idea that esse is percipi, but also in his concept of God (Kolak 400). Wheeler theorizes that there exists “an ultimate observer who brings forth the entire universe into existence and coordinates into coherence all the observations of the conscious entities within it” (Kolak 400). We can see the similarities between Wheeler’s concept of God and Berkeley’s as Berkeley writes, “A spirit is one simple, undivided, active being—as it perceives ideas it is called the understanding, and as it produces or otherwise operates about them it is called the will” (Berkeley 312). God perceives everything and is the spirit that produces the sensations that are the reality that the human mind perceives.

    What I’m relating is the idea of Cosmological Intelligent Design that didn’t come from theological quarters at all, but was rather straightforward deductions from physics.

    One of Wheeler’s students was Tipler.
    Tipler relates something rather amusing:

    I discovered this the hard way when I published my book The Physics of Immortality. The entire book is devoted to describing what the known laws of physics predict the far future of the universe will be like. Not once in the entire book do I use anything but the known physical laws, the laws of physics that are in all the textbooks, and which agree with all experiments conducted to date. Unfortunately, in the book I gave reasons for believing that the final state of the universe, a state outside of space and time, and not material should be identified with the Judeo-Christian God. (It would take a book to explain why!) My scientific colleagues, atheists to a man, were outraged. Even though the theory of the final state of the universe involved only known physics, my fellow physicists refused even to discuss the theory. If the known laws of physics imply that God exists, then in their opinion, this can only mean that the laws of physics have to be wrong. This past September, at a conference held at Windsor Castle, I asked the well known cosmologist Paul Davies what he thought of my theory. He replied that he could find nothing wrong with it mathematically, but he asked what justified my assumption that the known laws of physics were correct.

    Frank Tipler
    Uncommon Dissent

  29. stcordova: So Who measures the universe to give it determinate properties, as it’s obvious the universe has determinate properties (at least we assume it in order to do
    science, one such property being Planck’s constant itself).

    I am not so sure that the universe has determinate properties.

  30. stcordova: You’re certain about your uncertainties.

    I’m not sure what that’s asking (or stating).

    We have a property of length that we measure.

    We look at the wave length of light from distant galaxies. It is longer than it should be (cosmic red shift). The usual assumption is that the cosmos is expanding. But it just as possible that lengths are changing over time. Maybe our rulers are getting shorter. Or maybe there is no property of length which is extendable to the entire cosmos. The properties that we use in science are all local properties with local pragmatic definitions. And they seem to be extendable to remote parts of the cosmos. But maybe they are not extendable throughout the entire cosmos.

    Perhaps all that we can ever have is local properties defined pragmatically.

  31. Sal,

    I am afraid you are getting an individual, immortal soul/mind mixed up with The Mind that could be outside of the spacetime possibly causing most of wave function to collapse to create reality… However, without knowing what 96% of the universe is made of (dark energy and matter) and their properties, I’d say it is still speculative but quite likely…

    If human consciousness/mind is quantum, created by quantum vibrations in microtubules of neurons, then quantum information (qualia, experiences, memories, thoughts) is needed for those experiences to be encoded and preserved. According to the law of quantum information conservation, quantum information cannot be created or destroyed even in black holes… It’s eternal…Consequently, when human body dies, human individual quantum information doesn’t get destroyed. It’s preserved but it can’t seem to function on its own as a “quantum soul” because general anaesthetic seems to prevent the quantum vibrations in microtubules causing total, yet reversible, loss of consciousness, thoughts, while leaving all other brain functions normal, which are essential for other body functions…

  32. stcordova: Neil Rickert: I am not so sure that the universe has determinate properties.

    You’re certain about your uncertainties.

    Sal,
    Considering that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, which means that spacetime is continually created, as are the new galaxies, I’d have to agree with Neil… Unless Dr. Maybe is right and the total energy of the universe is zero… I personally doubt that very much…

  33. Neil Rickert: They are names that we attach to “things” that we cannot define.

    Possibly…but just because we can’t define them it doesn’t mean they don’t exist, wouldn’t you agree?

  34. J-Mac: Possibly…but just because we can’t define them it doesn’t mean they don’t exist, wouldn’t you agree?

    If we cannot define them, then talk about whether they exist doesn’t seem particularly meaningul.

  35. Neil Rickert: From a physicist’s perspective, those are well defined.

    Really? Nobody knows what they are, so how could the be well defined? Unless you know something I don’t? 😉

  36. J-Mac: Nobody knows what they are, so how could the be well defined?

    They are defined by their role in the theory.

    In perspective, phlogiston was well defined until people decided that it didn’t exist. And the lumiferous æther was well defined, until people decided that it didn’t exist.

  37. Neil Rickert: They are defined by their role in the theory.

    In perspective, phlogiston was well defined until people decided that it didn’t exist.And the lumiferous æther was well defined, until people decided that it didn’t exist.

    I would add that “dark energy” and “dark matter” are defined in mathematical terms: they are defined in terms of mathematical physics.

    The hard question isn’t the epistemological question as to how we define these concepts, but the ontological question as whether these concepts refer to anything that exists.

  38. Kantian Naturalist: I would add that “dark energy” and “dark matter” are defined in mathematical terms: they are defined in terms of mathematical physics.
    The hard question isn’t the epistemological question as to how we define these concepts, but the ontological question as whether these concepts refer to anything that exists.

    So, what you’re implying is that mathematical physics predicts their existence even though their existence can’t be verified by observations?

  39. J-Mac: What theory?

    For dark matter, it is from gravitation (or GR, the general theory of relativity). Most cosmologists acknowledge that there could be something wronq with their understanding of gravity. But, if there isn’t, then the observations show dark matter.

    I haven’t followed dark energy as closely, but it is related to big bang theory and the apparent expansion of the cosmos.

  40. J-Mac:
    This is for you Sal…

    https://aeon.co/ideas/you-thought-quantum-mechanics-was-weird-check-out-entangled-time

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I put this in my public notebook on QM:
    http://creationevolutionuniversity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=147

    A couple things. That experiment or report was funded by the Templeton Foundation. I have a recording somewhere with me talking to Sir John Templeton on Good Friday 2001 on a public radio show! It almost puts tears in my eyes to remember the old man again. God rest his soul.

    One reason I’m not at TSZ so much these days is I’m going back to my science old books and trying to re-learn what I forgot not to mention resumption of my reporting activities at the NIH.

    My graduate advisor at JHU, Bryan Jacobs was an expert in Quantum Computing, he retired the year I graduated.

    When I was an engineer at MITRE in 2002 or so, one of my co-workers was working on the theory of quantum computing and was trying to determine possible timing problems from entanglement whereby future events could disrupt a quantum computation! I didn’t quite understand at the time what this all meant, but it fascinated me and it was also the time I was returning to the Christian faith. QM seemed to unify a lot of my theology, science, and notions of ID….

    From the article:

    What on Earth can this mean? Prima facie, it seems as troubling as saying that the polarity of starlight in the far-distant past – say, greater than twice Earth’s lifetime – nevertheless influenced the polarity of starlight falling through your amateur telescope this winter. Even more bizarrely: maybe it implies that the measurements carried out by your eye upon starlight falling through your telescope this winter somehow dictated the polarity of photons more than 9 billion years old.

    Griffiths deals with problem of super-luminal information travel at the end of his book. There is also a consistency issue that self-fixes itself. That is, we can’t do something now that re-writes our past, even though we have an effect on our past. It’s somewhere deep in the equations which I haven’t quite worked out in trying to understand Schrodinger’s cat.

    But this experiment again shows a causal relationship where the future influences the past by entanglement. What this also means for ID is that it suggests teleology, that the past events of the universe are being driven to a final event, a “measurement” if you will that will collapse the Universal Quantum Wave function. Yeah, it all sounds so theological and prophetic, but the irony is that it is written into the equations of physics.

    I really don’t understand this stuff as well as I should. So I’m shaking some of the dust off my Griffiths book and trying to re-learn what I should know like the back of my hand, but don’t.

    If you comb through Giffith’s book it looks like equations and dull math from start to finish, but somewhere deep down it made me feel connected to thoughts of God, and hence I’m revisiting the material. It’s put a lot of joy into my life these last few weeks to know there is a God.

  41. Neil Rickert: If we cannot define them, then talk about whether they exist doesn’t seem particularly meaningul.

    So talk of the existence of love isn’t particularly meaningful?

    No, I’m not going to accept that it love is better defined than consciousness or abstract thought. Indeed, I think abstract thought probably is better defined than is love.

    Of course it’s important that love and abstract thought exist, and we often try to find if another loves, and if they think abstractly–at least if they think well abstractly.

    Glen Davidson

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