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Nice post!

Glad you posted this, as I've thought about this phenomenon quite a bit in the past. What's interesting is that split brain patients, from what I've read, don't even notice any difference in their consciousness.

Let's do a thought experiment. Suppose this operation had never been performed before. We ask materialists what they think would happen. My guess is they would say: "This operation will cause massive disruptions in how the brain functions and most likely result in two minds competing for control in the same body. Chaos will likely ensue."

Heck, I think the average person would guess that. I would probably guess that. But nope.

At the same time, before we get too giddy about the positive implications for our "side," we must also recognize that plenty of brain diseases and operations *do* result in big problems, personality changes, etc. Is it hard to put all the pieces together into a coherent whole? Absolutely.

Great post!

Such researches are very important. They were conducted by mainstream neuroscientists from TOP European universities. I've checked 3 authors from the group and they all seem credible. Very credible.

How the hell two separate parts of the brain exchange information with each other? Isn't it some kind of PSI inside one head?))

It doesn't complicate the case for materialism at all. There is still communication flow between the hemispheres of about 1 bit per second. It just means that the two halves don't need as much communication as previously thought.

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/01/25/Study-Split-brain-fails-to-yield-split-consciousness/6171485354572/

I was present with a group of friends at a small, informal weekend gathering in the mid 1990s along with Richard Gregory (of 'Eye & Brain' fame). I recall that during the discussion he insisted that the idea of the two hemispheres of the brain representing two different 'selves' was fallacious.

At the time it seemed absurd - given all the evidence from split-brain research. But in light of the above from Michael, it doesn't seem quite so improbable today.

I must add that Richard Gregory made that comment at dinner. But even so, he seemed very determined. :)

Great post!

Matt wrote: "...we must also recognize that plenty of brain diseases and operations *do* result in big problems, personality changes, etc." I don't think that argument works against the transmission theory. For instance, if I take a hammer to my TV, the episode of "Breaking Bad" I'm watching is going to be greatly affected, while the satellite streaming (?) it to my TV isn't going to be affected at all.

John's comment may be true, that the two parts may still be able to communicate with each other. But for the admittedly small research I've done, I'm always impressed with how the brain can recover from some pretty significant trauma when it seems unlikely that it could do so.

Personally, I don't think we know enough about "the brain" yet, but I, personally, agree with the transmission theory.

Especially to John: An information flow of 1 bit per second does not seem enough to sustain the feeling of unified consciousness...

Matt Rouge said:
"Let's do a thought experiment. Suppose this operation had never been performed before. We ask materialists what they think would happen. My guess is they would say: "This operation will cause massive disruptions in how the brain functions and most likely result in two minds competing for control in the same body. Chaos will likely ensue."

"Heck, I think the average person would guess that. I would probably guess that. But nope."

Why on earth would they think that? I think the fact there appeared to be 2 streams of consciousness was deeply surprising to everyone. Where is everyone's prediction that 2 streams of consciousness would result? Indeed can you name anyone who predicted this?

Matt Rouge said:
"At the same time, before we get too giddy about the positive implications for our "side," we must also recognize that plenty of brain diseases and operations *do* result in big problems, personality changes, etc. Is it hard to put all the pieces together into a coherent whole? Absolutely".

You need to explain how it results in big problems.

Julio wrote, "An information flow of 1 bit per second does not seem enough to sustain the feeling of unified consciousness."

The researchers themselves seem to agree. Here is part of the article I didn't quote in the main post:

"To the researchers’ surprise, the patients were able to respond to stimuli throughout the entire visual field with all the response types: left hand, right hand and verbally. Pinto: ‘The patients could accurately indicate whether an object was present in the left visual field and pinpoint its location, even when they responded with the right hand or verbally. This despite the fact that their cerebral hemispheres can hardly communicate with each other and do so at perhaps 1 bit per second, which is less than a normal conversation. I was so surprised that I decide repeat the experiments several more times with all types of control.’"

Just to expand on the above point, consider that a standard phone line transmits information at 57.6 Kbps, which equals 57,600 bits per second. DSL technology works about ten times faster, at 512 Kbps or 512,000 bits per second. A cable modem transmits data at a rate of 1.5 Mbps or faster. 1.5 Mbps = 1,500,000 bits per second.

If it is true that the various commissures still operating after a callosotomy can maintain communications between the cerebral hemispheres at a rate of only about 1 bps, then communication must be very minimal indeed. Remember how slow a dial-up modem was? It typically operated in the 40 Kbps range, or approximately 40,000 times faster than the transhemispheric communications of a severed brain.

Ian Wardell wrote,

||Why on earth would they think that? I think the fact there appeared to be 2 streams of consciousness was deeply surprising to everyone. Where is everyone's prediction that 2 streams of consciousness would result? Indeed can you name anyone who predicted this?||

It's a thought experiment in which we imagine what materialists *would have thought.* It is easy enough to explain things away after the fact; indeed, this is what materialists do all the time. Anything inconvenient to their worldview is handwaved away.


||You need to explain how it results in big problems.||

I don't mean big philosophical problems. I mean... you know, strokes, brain tumors, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, etc., cause big *problems.* They impair normal functioning, alter personalities, etc.

Kathleen wrote,

||I don't think that argument works against the transmission theory.||

I've said it before, but I think the transmission theory is a no-go:

1. It doesn't explain why we have human nature instead of a generic soul. IOW, the structure of our minds clearly has its origin in the body: we are "designed" to live, interact, and survive here on planet Earth.

2. If the mind or soul is transmitted from afar, why don't we perceive ourselves as being *there* instead of here?

I don't think the transmission theory is totally wrong, however. I think memories are stored outside the brain (what we New Agers would call he Akashic Record: pure, unmediated information), and the brain is "designed" to located and access such memories as needed. Further, the brain transmits Universal Consciousness and steps it down into our personal "I-Thought." So I would call this a hybrid model.

Ps. Sorry, I should have added that Gregory maintained that the two hemispheres don't, in fact, perform different functions. But he was at the port stage of the meal by then. ;)

We are all connected and our separation is an illusion. The two halves of the brain may have been separated by the knife but they are still connected through the holographic universe and like two twins who can feel and know the pain of the other twin, the two halves of the brain may have had their corpus callosum cut but they are still connected just because we live in a non-local universe. Just like two sub atomic particles form a bond and can react to each other instantaneously over vast distances those two halves of the brain are also still connected.

excerpt from Michelle M's NDE description,
"remember understanding the others here.. as if the others here were a part of me too. As if all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was .. gosh this is so hard to explain.. it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body."
http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/NDE_Experiences/michelle_m%27s_nde.htm

"Lord I pray that those who come after me may be one as we are one, you in me, and me in you." (Jesus praying for his followers in the garden.)

OT: "Substantial Evidence the Universe is a hologram":

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/substantial-evidence-universe-hologram-1603852

Matt: if you pour water into a bottle, it takes on the shape of that bottle. That doesn't mean the water isn't there.

"1. It doesn't explain why we have human nature instead of a generic soul. IOW, the structure of our minds clearly has its origin in the body: we are "designed" to live, interact, and survive here on planet Earth.

2. If the mind or soul is transmitted from afar, why don't we perceive ourselves as being *there* instead of here?" - Matt

These are good questions, IMO.

Starting with your point #2 - When we are dreaming we do not usually know it; only sometimes/rarely - and even then it's more like a brief flash of, "Aha, this is a dream" without access to all of our normal thoughts, feelings, memories and normal environmental awareness. We don't say, "I am Eric and I have a meeting with those troublesome execs over in pricing tomorrow and I have to remember to send a file to Sandy before hand and, hey, the tv is still on, should have turned that off before falling asleep, and I'm wearing my blue PJs...etc, etc. None of that stuff that is relevant to our waking world that we think about upon actually waking and that we thought about just before sleeping is accessible to us normally.

Rather, a dream is typically a fully immersive experience. Whatever is occurring in the dream is totally "real" to us at that moment and that which is normally "real" to us is not present. Right?

It's all a matter of where awareness is focused, IMO.

When we inhabit this realm and have a body with a brain our awareness is primarily focused on having a body with a brain and the physical needs of those things.

The brain is more like a symptom than a cause. Because we focused on the physical realm (as we normally know it) and came to have a physical body we need a brain. The brain is obviously necessary to create and moderate neurological messages to all parts of the body. That's just the way these things work.

Similarly, it is also obviously necessary to have a brain to input sensory stimulus and translate those into appropriate neurological responses. Though it is apparently not necessary to simply perceive external inputs because OBEs and NDEs, especially, demonstrate that the physical world can be perceived without a functioning brain. But the body needs a brain to translate these inputs into action.

Sometimes people *do* perceive themselves from an afar vantage point. Remote viewing, OBE/NDE experiences of other worlds, various other mystical lapses in the normal consciousness, maybe UFOs. Again, it's just normally we are not focused on the afar.

Your point #1. We have a unique human nature because we are focused on being a unique human. Most certainly part of that uniqueness is due to interactions between our environment and our biology. Much uniqueness arises from our historical social experiences. Then there is also ample evidence that past lives have an influence on personality. Eastern traditions say that our original uniqueness is due to a conflux of karmic and other pre-human energetic forces.

Given the above, what of the fact that some head injuries and brain diseases can appear to alter the unique personality, sometimes in very significant ways?

Well, as already stated, the brain is necessary for operating the neurological functions of the body. When that breaks down we can get what looks to be a mess that cannot communicate or operate normally and appears to have altered or truncated memory and personality. But is the personality really changed? Are the memories really gone? Is the continuity of the personality broken? Those are key questions.

Sometimes the answer is clearly "no". I have seen stroke victims that are still themselves inside; just a very messed up version on the outside. Other times the answer is clearly "yes". I have seen head injured and Alzheimer's victims that are very different people than they used to be.

Is the latter category evidence that the brain is responsible for personality beyond the influences discussed above? I don't think so. In keeping with my "focus of awareness" hypothesis, it seems that if the brain is seriously damaged, the body is no longer a fully viable unit and, therefore, this earthly existence is no longer a fully viable experience. The awareness drifts to other dimensions. The historic personality associated with the body/brain is otherwise occupied. The personality can also become susceptible to other influences, some not good. In fact, often, people with serious brain issues become victimized by malevolent forces and entities. This is also seen as a personality change.

At bottom, I think the transmitter/receiver is a useful meme to toss at materialist skeptics in a pinch, but it is still a materialist concept. How would a physical brain convert spirit into matter? All the quantum theory alchemy in the world doesn't really explain it. The awareness focus model does explain without discounting actual observable biological process.

OK Matt Rouge, you haven't answered my questions, so nothing for me to respond to.

You say to Kathleen.

"I've said it before, but I think the transmission theory is a no-go"

How does the transmission theory differ from the filter hypothesis of the brain?

Wonder if there's anything to be made of how people with dissociative identity disorder work in the transmission theory. Switching between personalities can affect the body; one might have an allergy the others don't have, their blood pressures can be different, and so on. Certainly shows the mind affects the body pretty substantially.

I'm always wary of attempts to equate the brain with computer technology and related terminology.

We now know that the brain in *not* like a computer, and this cognitive model is outdated.

Therefore saying that 'data is transmitted at around 1 bit per minute' means what exactly?

How can they possibly reduce brain function to 'bits per minute'? The brain is not a digital computer.

Any attempts to describe the brain in such a fashion are automatically suspicious in my view.

It's like those ridiculous internet 'facts' that pop up, claiming to estimate the maximum amount of data the human brain 'contains' usually measured in multiples of terabytes.... it's all total nonsense IMV.

Anyone here heard anything from Amos lately? Havent's seen anything from him anywhere of late. Hope he's okay. :/

I don't think that people are understanding this transmission or filter hypothesis -- or at least they don't have the same understanding of it as I do. It's not a materialist concept as Eric Newhill claims, nor are souls being transmitted from some location as Matt Rouge claims.

We have the mind-body correlations. What accounts for them? It could be that the body --more specifically the brain -- causes(as in produces) the mind (or the mind might be what the brain *does* etc).

The other option is to suppose the brain influences the self, but does not produce the self.

Consider a prism. We see coloured light (the colours of the rainbow) coming from the prism. Does the prism produce this coloured light all by itself? Obviously not. It couldn't do so since there is nothing to the prism that could possibly create coloured light. We can't understand why coloured light results unless we introduce an extra ingredient, in this case the existence of white light entering the prism.

It's exactly the same for the brain. Physical processes all by themselves couldn't possibly produce consciousness. Similar to the prism an extra ingredient is required, in my opinion the self or soul.

But there's a difference. We have a full scientific understanding of how we get coloured light from a prism. But we have no such scientific story for consciousness. However, that doesn't alter the fact that the brain all by itself couldn't possibly produce consciousness! Not unless one identifies consciousness with some physical process or function.

So as I understand it there's only 2 options

a) The brain (or whole body) all by itself produces consciousness and the mind. Something I regard as impossible (see the link to my blog entry at the end of my post where I go into this).

b) The brain or body all by itself is insufficient to account for consciousness and the mind. An extra ingredient is required. I think this extra ingredient is the self or soul. This option is what I regard as the filter/transmission hypothesis. The brain influences consciousness and suppresses conscious experience, but the origin of consciousness comes from "outside" the brain. I put "outside" in quotes since it seems to me that consciousness doesn't literally have a physical location. Our "location" is simply defined as our visual perspective. Think of playing a first person shooter computer game. Or better still, virtual reality. It seems you're at a particular location, but you aren't literally.

Anyway, it seems to me these are the only 2 viable options. In order to account for the influence that brain processes have on our conscious experiences, then either the brain produces consciousness, or consciousness has its ultimate origin elsewhere (I think the self).

So Matt Rouge either you have a different understanding of the transmission/filter hypothesis than me. Or you are able to think of some third alternative. If the former, and regardless of what we should label it, are you happy with "b"? If not what other alternative is there?

Readers might be interested in an essay I wrote. If people don't want to read it in its entirety just read "part 6": http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/neither-modern-materialism-nor-science.html

Eric,

I enjoyed your comments, and at the end you said:

||At bottom, I think the transmitter/receiver is a useful meme to toss at materialist skeptics in a pinch, but it is still a materialist concept. How would a physical brain convert spirit into matter?||

Right.

I think the most efficient way to respond to you and Ian is to say how think things actually work. Or, at least, my best model thereof:

1. There are no "souls" that exist in us or outside us, if by "soul" we mean some sort of object created by "God" that in some sense *is* us. At base, we are not objects subject to destruction, etc.

2. The Universe is not a created diorama in the Western religion sense but is, in fact, "real": an evolved and evolving system. Humans and therefore human nature came into being through evolution and we are messy animals in a messy environment. Note: I do not mean to imply that there is no purpose or no higher power at work in the Universe, but reality differs greatly from the neat and clean Western Myth.

3. Animals, in order to survive and likely as part of spiritual evolution, evolved sentience and then consciousness, in which they are in communion at various levels with Universal Mind, Brahman/Atman. Averroes (Ibn Rushd) was correct: there is a shared mind that is instantiated in the individual animal. Now, we can say we "transmit" or "filter" Universal Mind, but that is a metaphor.

4. We exist on several levels simultaneously because we exist as the "real" animals made of matter but also as pure information. Yes, this is not the same way we use information on a daily basis and it takes some getting used to. I did my best to explain it in my guest post on Leibniz here. Information is eternal and indestructible. We do not store memories in the mind but instead, in some way that we are not even close to understanding currently, access our previous brain states that continue to exist as pure information. This is another sense in which the brain "transmits" or "filters." It also helps to explain psi, which aside from PK (at least nominally) is about accessing pure information outside our brains.

5. Our soul, insofar as we have one, is the sum total of the information "about" us. Since information is eternal and indestructible, death doesn't "kill" us. This cuts the Gordian knot of how the Afterlife "works," whether non-human animals have an Afterlife, etc. Sure, even rocks have an "Afterlife": they were never sentient in the first place and thus are not sentient in the Afterlife, but their information content too is eternal.

Since information is non-local and relational, the above explanation clears up why we feel that we are *in* our bodies and not being "transmitted" from external soul. It also explains the immersiveness of dreams that Eric mentioned.

I hope this clears a few things up!

There is a variation on the transmission theory that I don't think I have seen mentioned on this blog that might be of interest. I don't know if it has a name, I found it presented in the essay, "Using Turing Oracles in Cognitive Models of Problem-Solving":

http://www.blythinstitute.org/images/data/attachments/0000/0041/bartlett1.pdf

"I don't think that people are understanding this transmission or filter hypothesis -- or at least they don't have the same understanding of it as I do." Ian

I think I do understand your version of the concept. It's just that I reject it.

"But there's a difference. We have a full scientific understanding of how we get coloured light from a prism. But we have no such scientific story for consciousness."

My spell checker doesn't like how you spell colored ;-)

I totally understand your prism/light analogy. I am not so concerned that science can't explain consciousness. My issue is that I cannot understand how the "soul" interfaces with the material brain to create consciousness. The brain would have to act like an antenna and then somehow translate the soul's light (to continue with your prism analogy) into thought and energy for the body.

Actually, my problem with it goes beyond not seeing how it could happen. My problem is more that it is all superfluous and unnecessary. Furthermore, it fails to completely fit the evidence we have.

1. The soul is analogous to pure light going through the prism of the brain - how does that happen? Where is the brain's antenna or other structure that can receive and translate this "light"? We can see into the cell structure, even the atomic structure of the brain and we don't see any "antennae". How does a soul attach itself or shine through a body?

2. If the soul is like the light of the prism analogy and the body gives it personality, why are ADCs communicated as personality? How could there be a personality without the brain in your model? It would seem logical that when the body died the soul would return to pure "light". However, that is not what ADCs tell us.

3. If personality exists without the body, then the prism/light model breaks down. The body is superfluous to having a personality.

For this reason I think that what we have is more of a situation that is like PK combined with synchronicity. An aware entity - or soul if you prefer - begins to focus on this level of awareness; this vibrational field. That focus sets off a chain of events that results in a baby being born that is that soul in the physical field; this low vibrational level dream.

The soul is not outside the body. The soul is not inside the body. The body is a symbolic representation of the soul in this dream field.

I guess I have come to accept something like Michael's VR/avatar model; so long as we recognize that the avatar *is* the player because they share one awareness. It is focus of awareness that puts the player in the game as the avatar or back outside the game as the larger soul (perhaps in another, different, game)....totally immersive.

Death is not the soul leaving the body. Death is a symbolic event representing the soul relinquishing its focus on this dream realm. The "dead body" is a symbolic memory of the dream in this dream realm that fades away as all memories do.

Studying the brain and trying to see what makes it tick is like having a dream of a beautiful meadow and trying to see what makes the flowers there grow; perhaps pulling them apart and looking for the magical key to their growth and color. It would seem real to you while dreaming. Maybe even important. But when you woke up, it would seem silly and unimportant and misguided.

Ian,

Great comments, and I had read your essay in the past, actually. It is excellent and I agree for the most part. I think we are on the same page philosophically; perhaps a few nuances are different. Allow me to respond directly to some things you said:

||Physical processes all by themselves couldn't possibly produce consciousness. Similar to the prism an extra ingredient is required, in my opinion the self or soul.||

I agree. I'm not sure if we agree on this precise point or not, but I think the light of the prism is Universal Consciousness, not an individual "soul."

||I think this extra ingredient is the self or soul. This option is what I regard as the filter/transmission hypothesis.||

Yes, I basically agree, but I think both the word "filter" and the word "transmission" lead people into error. I think the TV metaphor, for instance is ultimately incorrect. Consciousness isn't like a TV program that comes from outside, and the brain isn't a passive transmitter. The brain *does* produce what we experience as our minds and mediates what we call our lives.

Let me use another metaphor. Suppose we go to Disney World. We ride the rides, see the shows, take in the whole physical experience. It would be absurd to say that we are able to experience Disney World because a Platonic ideal of the park is being transmitted to us. Rather, there are actual *physical objects* with which we are interacting in a specific geographic location.

So it is with the brain. It is *not* merely receiving the Platonic ideal of our minds. It is *not* merely a cup being filled with spiritual water. Matt Rouge exists as he does because an actual physical animal was born, and his mind with all its messiness and foibles and a few good things, some generically human and some specifically Mattean, was influenced by his physical DNA and physical environment and *yes* by stuff that doesn't fit the materialist paradigm, such as potentially morphic fields and various spiritual realities.

||The brain influences consciousness and suppresses conscious experience, but the origin of consciousness comes from "outside" the brain. I put "outside" in quotes since it seems to me that consciousness doesn't literally have a physical location.||

Here's where we need to be careful. The mind and consciousness are not the same thing. I think there is a tendency to conflate these. I am not trying to be original here. As Michael has pointed out in previous posts, "I am not my thoughts." Our mental content largely (but absolutely not entirely) arises in the physical world. At base, "I" is Universal Consciousness and is not physically constrained and is completely non-local, per your point.

Matt Rouge
"I hope this clears a few things up!"

No, I have zero understanding of any of what you wrote. It's complete meaningless gobbledegook to me. The notion that rocks have an afterlife even though they are not conscious is just meaningless. An object cannot have an afterlife if it is never alive in the first place.

In arguing against the notion of the brain is a "filter" Eric Newhill says:

"1. The soul is analogous to pure light going through the prism of the brain - how does that happen? Where is the brain's antenna or other structure that can receive and translate this "light"? We can see into the cell structure, even the atomic structure of the brain and we don't see any "antennae". How does a soul attach itself or shine through a body?

The expanding Universe is analogous to blowing up a balloon. So what happens when the Universe pops?

The point being is that the prism wasn't meant as an analogy as such, rather it is an example where you get some phenomenon -- in the case of a prism, coloured light -- that cannot be explained by the relevant object alone; some extra ingredient is required. Same goes for TV sets, radios, the Internet etc.

And as for all these "how questions", we cannot answer any how questions about anything. How does gravity work? How does an electron have an electrical charge? How does the Universe exist?

You see I can ask no end of "how" questions too. The point being that science only describes reality, it doesn't actually explain reality (see a blog entry of mine, in particular read where I quote Bernardo http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/do-scientific-explanations-actually.html).

What we need is to dream up some scientific theory that incorporates consciousness as a reality in itself. Once we have such a theory we will either be able to see that the brain all by itself somehow creates consciousness, or that the brain is insufficient and some extra ingredient is required. I cannot think of any obvious third alternative, although I'm open to suggestions.


So as I said in my previous post, there appears to me to be only 2 alternatives. The body all by itself creates the mind and consciousness, or this isn't sufficient and an extra ingredient is required.

Eric Newhill said:

2. If the soul is like the light of the prism analogy and the body gives it personality, why are ADCs communicated as personality? How could there be a personality without the brain in your model? It would seem logical that when the body died the soul would return to pure "light". However, that is not what ADCs tell us.

What do you mean by personality? Whilst in our bodies our personality constantly fluctuates. A foul mood one minute, a beneficent mood the next minute etc. So in the afterlife would I be in the same mood all the time? Will my self in the afterlife be like what I am when I am sober, or when I am drunk? If you think the former, then why? What is special about being sober compared to being a bit tipsy? And will my personality in the afterlife be like me when I am 20 years old? Or 5 years old? Or an old man suffering from dementia?

And the body doesn't give it personality as such, rather it influences personality. I submit that each soul has an essence that the body can modify in various ways. Think of a container and lots of objects filling that container. Compare the container to the self, and the objects within it to one's personality characteristics. Just as the objects themselves are not the container, so our experiences, intelligence, interests etc are not the very same thing as the self. Moreover, the objects are all different shapes and not any shape will fit into any container. Likewise not any personality characteristic will go with any self. The nature of one's self will limit the possible personality characteristics.

I'm not sure what evidence these ADC's provide, but of course we don't know if these are communications from deceased people. Might be psi.

Well said, our Ian! :)

Matt Rouge said:

"Great comments"

Now you've made me feel a bit guilty when I said your post was gobbledegook! Although I still don't understand it I'm afraid!

Matt Rouge:
I think the light of the prism is Universal Consciousness, not an individual "soul."

But that would mean that the brain is responsible for making me me? I'm inclined to think the light is an individual soul. Otherwise *I* would not survive my death. However, it is certainly possible you are right.


Matt Rouge:
"I think the TV metaphor, for instance is ultimately incorrect. Consciousness isn't like a TV program that comes from outside, and the brain isn't a passive transmitter. The brain *does* produce what we experience as our minds and mediates what we call our lives".

I'm now avoiding that metaphor as people keep taking it too literally. Hence the prism. But elsewhere I have said:

Electromagnetic signal → TV receiver → TV program images

is to

Soul or Self → Brain → Mind

So when we tinker with the innards of the set, we can alter the picture quality, but not the electromagnetic waves. Likewise brain damage can bring about changes in mood and our mental capacity etc, but has no effect on the self/soul.

Consciousness is a property of the self or soul. But of course it is influenced by the brain.


Later you say:

"The mind and consciousness are not the same thing".

The mind is that portion of the self "filtered" by the brain. So I agree they are not the same thing.

"Matt Rouge exists as he does because an actual physical animal was born, and his mind with all its messiness and foibles and a few good things, some generically human and some specifically Mattean, was influenced by his physical DNA and physical environment and *yes* by stuff that doesn't fit the materialist paradigm, such as potentially morphic fields and various spiritual realities." - Matt

You animal you!

I'm actually going a bit further than you are, or maybe even down a fork in the road. I'm saying that the "soul" is inseparable from the animal you describe because it is the animal. It is the soul expressing itself as an animal. Even the very DNA and other observable components of the animal are a *result of the soul's focus on this realm*.

In other words, the soul existed before the animal and will after. While the soul focusses here it *is*, primarily, the animal just as when you are dreaming you are whatever and wherever you are in the dream.

The soul causes the DNA to form and replicate because it *is* the DNA. The DNA is part of the soul's expression in this physical realm. That is why you can peal apart brains or DNA for years and still not understand what a human is, or what life is, or what consciousness is.

Doing that is analogous to taking a beautiful and moving Rembrandt and scraping of the paint and applying various chemical tests to it in an effort to understand the painting. It's really stupid. That the materialistic approach.

The receiver model is that instead of a canvas we have a TV set that, through its antenna, picks up the image of the painting that exist "out there" somewhere and is getting beamed around through space. For some inexplicable reason a lifeless object (the tv set) has developed the means to receive this image which then animates it. That is silly too. How did the lifeless object get to where it developed the appropriate antenna and electronic hardware.

Your proposition seems to be that the lifeless object evolved from primordial ooze and that consciousness somehow grew inside it. That doesn't sound reasonable either.

My proposition is that consciousness is primary and it can focus on many different conceptual realities, one of which is life in the physical realm as we know it. When it does that, the side effect is that it appears as an animal. When it focusses on a different realm it may appear as blob of light, or maybe as sound(s).....who knows?

The biggest challenge to my view, I think, is that we observe dead bodies. The body is there, but no one is home. So it appears that the soul has left the body. But I am answering that by saying that the physical world is much more symbolic than we think it is. It is also less real than we think it is. The dead body is just a memory - a memento of the fact that a consciousness was focused here - and entropy will disintegrate that memory in time, now that the consciousness is focused elsewhere.


So agree that, "So it is with the brain. It is *not* merely receiving the Platonic ideal of our minds. It is *not* merely a cup being filled with spiritual water".

I also agree that the experience of being focused on this realm influences the soul and, of course, vice versa.

As an aside - the symbolic and dream-like nature of this world is why we can have synchronicities, UFOs, and all sorts of paranormal phenomena - but especially synchronicities.

" So in the afterlife would I be in the same mood all the time?"

According to mediumship, all versions of our self over time are saved, what is presented in the session is a version that is recognizable for the present.

"I'm not sure what evidence these ADC's provide, but of course we don't know if these are communications from deceased people. Might be psi."

ADCs are apparitions of the deceased transmitting messages and mediumship, so that at first glance they provide evidence of a personal afterlife. We do not have certainty that these communications are from deceased people, but it is the most plausible, due to certain reasons: drop-in communications, that individuals show the personality and manner of being of certain deceased in a way that only loved ones could recognize, among other. That this can be pure biological psi is like saying that others might have no minds and are constructs of my own imagination.

"The biggest challenge to my view, I think, is that we observe dead bodies. The body is there, but no one is home. So it appears that the soul has left the body."

Your position is very similar to the idealism of Bernardo Kastrup, but idealism is not necessarily incompatible with dualism or physicalism: on a superficial level, the consciousness of a deceased has ceased to be based on macroscopic phenomena occurring in the nervous system to be based on a subcuantic network, ie physicalism, but on a metaphysical level, we can affirm that when dying, consciousness passes from one construct of experiences to another, idealism.

Ian wrote (to me),

||The notion that rocks have an afterlife even though they are not conscious is just meaningless. An object cannot have an afterlife if it is never alive in the first place.||

I think there are two main approaches to explaining the Afterlife: “God does it,” or, “It happens due to the nature of the things that have an afterlife.” The latter I would call the “organic approach,” and it’s what I think is true based on NDEs, ADCs, and my own philosophical musings (which take into consideration Eastern thought). What I think we consistently *fail* to hear in NDE reports and ADCs is, “God makes souls and controls the Afterlife.” It’s not as though higher powers are not at work at all, but they do not seem to take such a top-down, controlling approach.

Growing up Catholic, I would hear various opinions on whether animals have souls, whether animals go to the Afterlife, etc. In general, the opinion was that they do not. In contrast, departed pets and other animals clearly do appear in NDEs and ADCs. So do animals have “souls” too? Is there some concept that can tie everything together and explain how both humans and animals go to the Afterlife without having to resort to, “God makes it so”?

I think so. And that concept is “indestructible information.” The reason why we survive is that, while our bodies die, our “information content” does not. Neither does the information content of animals—or rocks. Anything has an Afterlife insofar as it was alive in the first place. So yes, rocks do not have an Afterlife per se, but, like everything else, their information content is eternal. For example, it’s clear that remote viewing allows people to see into the past and experience it, almost like virtual reality. They can experience the information content of those rocks: exactly how they looked, felt, etc. This is possible because that content exists outside of time and can never be deleted.

||But that would mean that the brain is responsible for making me me?||

To a large extent, yes. This instantiation of you. The current you, irrespective of past incarnations, your relationship to your Higher Self, or any of the other things that complicate things but which nevertheless must be explained as well.

||I'm inclined to think the light is an individual soul.||

OK, so what is the origin and nature of the soul? My main objection to concept of the “soul” is this: If it’s an object, then it’s either subject to destruction or not. If it’s not subject to destruction, then why? Because “God makes it so”? If that’s the case, then we are back to the inorganic approach that doesn’t seem to jibe with NDEs and ADCs. If, on the other hand, the soul is subject to destruction, then we will eventually be destroyed. Further we should not expect all souls to make it to the Afterlife. This scenario also does not match NDEs and ADCs.

||Otherwise *I* would not survive my death.||
I think we survive our death in two ways: Our information content survives, and our true self, which is Universal Consciousness, also of course survives.

||Consciousness is a property of the self or soul.||

I think this is incorrect. Consciousness is single “thing” shared by all sentient and conscious beings in this Universe and in any other universes.

Ian wrote (to Eric):

||What we need is to dream up some scientific theory that incorporates consciousness as a reality in itself. Once we have such a theory we will either be able to see that the brain all by itself somehow creates consciousness, or that the brain is insufficient and some extra ingredient is required.||

Yes. Science currently argues backwards from its materialist-atheist assumptions and therefore concludes, a priori, that the brain must be producing consciousness. Sure simplifies everything!

||I cannot think of any obvious third alternative, although I'm open to suggestions.||

I think the third option, which I think is true, is that the brain is responsible for the creation of mental content but requires Universal Consciousness in order to be conscious, in order for an “I” to be present. Further, mental processing is not possible beyond the most primitive level without this “I.” The “I” is the life, energy, fuel, etc., of the mind, without which it could not function.

||What do you mean by personality? Whilst in our bodies our personality constantly fluctuates. A foul mood one minute, a beneficent mood the next minute etc. So in the afterlife would I be in the same mood all the time? And will my personality in the afterlife be like me when I am 20 years old? Or 5 years old? Or an old man suffering from dementia?||

Good questions. I think Eric was right to cite ADCs. If we do not take NDEs and ADCs as genuine evidence, then I think there is no point in speculating about the Afterlife at all beyond the vague hope that there is something after we die. And I think our explanations have to take the phenomena, including NDEs and ADCs into consideration. That is the whole point of working on a scientific theory of the Afterlife.

ADCs seem pretty consistent in saying that people become young again, typically early 30s, and exist as their whole, healthy selves. Time clearly does not work there as it does here, so I think people exist as a sort of highlights reel of their timeline up to that point. These seem to be the facts on the ground, as it were, so I think philosophical arguments as to why that ought not be so are ultimately irrelevant. It would be like arguing why the double-slit experiment in quantum mechanics ought not work.

||What is special about being sober compared to being a bit tipsy?||

Word.

||And the body doesn't give it personality as such, rather it influences personality.||

What’s the difference? That’s just a quantitative difference (complete influence = creation) as opposed to a qualitative difference, correct? IOW, if one admits that the mind can be influenced by the physical, then I think it’s no stretch to say that the mind can be brought into being by the physical. Not that I think that’s the case; I agree that an “extra ingredient” is required.

||I submit that each soul has an essence that the body can modify in various ways.||

Though, if the soul can be “modified,” then it is hard to see why it cannot be destroyed unless we come up with a solid reason why it cannot.

||The nature of one's self will limit the possible personality characteristics.||

I think this is a bit of a philosophically and spiritually dangerous contention. If the individuated self has a nature, then that nature could be evil, spiritually incompetent, hopeless, etc. I.e., in some sense reprobate and unsalvageable. While I think that there are humans who are not going to make it, in some sense or other, in this life, I think it is their particular incarnation (i.e., mind, mental content, mental tendencies) that isn’t working, not some eternal “soul.” I think NDEs, ADCs, channeled material, and Eastern religious traditions encourage us to see the eternal part of us in a very positive light (I know you are not directly saying that such is not so; I am merely pointing out that your description of the soul might subtly imply otherwise).

||I'm not sure what evidence these ADC's provide, but of course we don't know if these are communications from deceased people. Might be psi.||

This is the thing you have said I need to push back against the most. If we are going to eliminate ADCs as evidence, we might as well just stop speculating about the Afterlife completely (unless you privilege NDEs above ADCS, but those “might be dreams,” right?).

Eric wrote,

||You animal you!||

I’m just wild and wooly.

||I'm saying that the "soul" is inseparable from the animal you describe because it is the animal. It is the soul expressing itself as an animal. Even the very DNA and other observable components of the animal are a *result of the soul's focus on this realm*.||

I think if we replace “soul” here with Higher Self, it makes more sense. Yeah, this stuff gets pretty complicated. And I think the Higher Self is a higher-order organization of information *itself* in communion with Universal Consciousness. The Higher Self does in some sense choose its incarnations, etc., while the rules of the physical realm are also in some sense “real.” The dual nature of things: “real world” but also Ebert’s “hoax.”

||In other words, the soul existed before the animal and will after. While the soul focusses here it *is*, primarily, the animal just as when you are dreaming you are whatever and wherever you are in the dream.||

Though, I think when we are dreaming we are our current incarnation having an OBE and not the Higher Self per se. Yes, that adds another layer of complexity, inasmuch as our current incarnation is *mostly* embodied but not necessarily and not always and sometimes only partially! As with psychedelic drug experiences.

||Doing that is analogous to taking a beautiful and moving Rembrandt and scraping of the paint and applying various chemical tests to it in an effort to understand the painting. It's really stupid. That the materialistic approach.||

Yes, it is a failure to understand how “information” (in the extended sense) works.

||For some inexplicable reason a lifeless object (the tv set) has developed the means to receive this image which then animates it. That is silly too. How did the lifeless object get to where it developed the appropriate antenna and electronic hardware.||

Well, we know psi is real so we have to explain that anyway. I think the relationship between the animal human and Universal Consciousness is *not*, however, like that between a TV set and a program. I also think memories are not stored in the brain, but rather the brain *does* have some method of accessing pure information (in this case, the brain state of the original memory) outside itself. And I think all animal brains work this way as well.

||Your proposition seems to be that the lifeless object evolved from primordial ooze and that consciousness somehow grew inside it. That doesn't sound reasonable either.||

Well, life did evolve from the primordial ooze. I think we can agree on that. If we agree that such a think as Universal Consciousness exists, and if we agree that we have some sort of relationship with Universal Consciousness, then it follows that we had to evolve into that relationship, somehow.

||My proposition is that consciousness is primary and it can focus on many different conceptual realities, one of which is life in the physical realm as we know it.||
Agreed, though I think that Universal Consciousness is an emergent property of Reality and not the creator of Reality. (E.g., it cannot create or control the fact that 1 + 1 = 2.)

||When it does that, the side effect is that it appears as an animal. When it focusses on a different realm it may appear as blob of light, or maybe as sound(s).....who knows?||

Indeed. One of my most unusual experiences was waking up one morning, and while mentally away but not yet quite “awake,” I experienced a realm that was a black void with orange spheres communicating with each other. There are certainly a vast number of realms with physics, etc., totally different from what we know.

||The biggest challenge to my view, I think, is that we observe dead bodies. The body is there, but no one is home. So it appears that the soul has left the body.||

I’m not sure it is really a challenge any more than someone being asleep and unconscious.

||But I am answering that by saying that the physical world is much more symbolic than we think it is. It is also less real than we think it is. The dead body is just a memory - a memento of the fact that a consciousness was focused here||

Right, again it is the paradoxical “real/hoax” thing.

||- and entropy will disintegrate that memory in time, now that the consciousness is focused elsewhere.||

I agree that consciousness can focus elsewhere, but I disagree that information gets annihilated (if that is what you are saying or implying).

So yeah, not sure how much we really disagree. It is indeed complex and hard to get all of the parts into balance, verbally.

Hi Everybody,

I could not take the time to look carefully at the voluminous comments made by so many contributors to this thread, so what I will be saying may not be news. Anyway...

I took an initial look at the original scientific paper itself: Yair Pinto, David A. Neville, Marte Otten, Paul M. Corballis, Victor A.F. Lamme, Edward H.F. de Haan, Nicoletta Foschi, Mara Fabri. Split brain: divided perception but undivided consciousness. Brain, January 2017 DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww358

It is my impression that the experiments were pretty much confusing and difficult to analyze and to interpret. I think I have also identified some potential methodological flaws (or at least weaknesses) in the experiments. Further, it seems to me that the results may serve as evidence to conclude pretty much the opposite way that the authors have concluded.

As of now (at least for me) this article is in desperate need of "dissecting"...

Best Wishes,
Julio

Matt Rouge said:
"If we do not take NDEs and ADCs as genuine evidence, then I think there is no point in speculating about the Afterlife at all beyond the vague hope that there is something after we die".

I have a lot to say with what you wrote and a lot of disagreement, but it all takes time! And does anyone read what I write anyway? I would though like to make a quick point about what you say that I've just quoted above.

One could reject both ADC's and NDE's and still be firmly convinced there's an afterlife. There are children's apparent recollection of previous lives. Not only this, but sometimes on odd occasions they allege they can recollect the period between their lives! And this is direct communication, not communication through a medium or communication with someone who was on the threshold of death. I think this evidence is much more compelling than ADC's, although I'll admit I've not read much on ADC's.

And then there's the difficulty of dreaming up some scientific theory that renders consciousness as a product of the brain. You see, it seems to me that necessarily consciousness must be causally efficacious (I argue this in a couple of blog entries). But also consciousness is not literally the same thing as any physical processes, or the function they perform. I just think it's going to be difficult, if not indeed impossible, to think up such a theory.

So we have somewhat more of a vague hope even if we reject NDEs and ADCs.

"Well, life did evolve from the primordial ooze. I think we can agree on that." - Matt

Actually, I don't agree to that. I think it is a myth akin to the garden of Eden. It's just science's version of explaining something that no one really knows.

We have gone pretty far afield, as we are wont to do. I'm actually interested in hearing from some people that understand the neurology involved in the original post. I wouldn't want to discourage them by getting too metaphysical.

"I'm actually interested in hearing from some people that understand the neurology involved in the original post. I wouldn't want to discourage them by getting too metaphysical."

Why, what difference would knowledge of the neuronal pathways and electro-chemical interactions make? The split-brain research was in its heyday at and around the time I was at university studying BSc Psychology. The effects on cognition are the only significant variables in terms of the effect of brain disruption.

Anyway, why not ask Trump? I'm sure he'll have some answers that will satisfy you. :)

Ian wrote,

||And does anyone read what I write anyway?||

Apparently. :)

||One could reject both ADC's and NDE's and still be firmly convinced there's an afterlife. There are children's apparent recollection of previous lives. Not only this, but sometimes on odd occasions they allege they can recollect the period between their lives! And this is direct communication, not communication through a medium or communication with someone who was on the threshold of death.||

Yes, my daughter spoke along such lines when she was younger. I agree that it's good evidence that dovetails well with out types of evidence we have. I don't think it's any more compelling that NDEs, however, which are also "direct communication," as you put it. I think if one can gratuitously dismiss NDEs, then such evidence from children can be similarly dismissed.

||And then there's the difficulty of dreaming up some scientific theory that renders consciousness as a product of the brain.||

I think science is a long, long way away from figuring out the brain, much less consciousness. That said, even if we conclude that the brain doesn't cause consciousness, it doesn't follow automatically that there is an Afterlife. It could be that our individual consciousnesses are immaterial and not caused by the brain but nevertheless dissipate after death.

Personally, what made me take the Afterlife seriously is NDEs. I think they are the best evidence we have because they are in the memories of living people. ADCs come next, then channeled material, then things like crisis apparitions and ghosts.

Our Universe is a holographic projection. Near death experiencers describe what they experienced in terminology that sounds like how Michael Talbot wrote about in his book The Holographic Universe. Like when you die your soul transitions to this holographic film heaven.

Now if this is true what that means is that everything that is here is also there. That means if there are rocks here the only way they could be here is if they originally existed in that other holographic film we call heaven.

And if everything that is here is also there that means that we really haven't lost anything. It will all be waiting for us on the other side after our physical body dies and our soul goes to that holographic film.

And the way that near death experiencers describe it whatever they focused their attention on, whatever they thought about that is what they saw and experienced. Time doesn't go only one way in heaven. The physics of that place aren't like the physics here. Consciousness seems to precursor to what we experience in heaven.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/01/30/universe-hologram-illusion/97249856/

Hi, I was reading ur blog and came up across this article, which made me google split brain. I read a long debate here

http://www.uncommondescent.com/neuroscience/why-materialist-neuroscience-must-necessarily-remain-a-pseudo-discipline/

that was in 2013 so no one will respond my replies. I think i might have an explanation for the question KeithS kept asking.

But first lets notice that NONE of the split brain patients report another consciousness. If there were truly 2 independent consciousness, u would expect the right brain's consciousness to be complaining that it can't speak, by writing down words with the left hand. It'll rebel against the (main) left brain, because it'll want different things (I'm sure even a clone copy of myself will fight with me over things and disagree on most thoughts). The main left brain consciousness will say "there's someone else in my body", but u never hear them saying this.

Now to explain the stuff like one hand attacks wife other hand defends wife, put cigarette in mouth with right hand and takes it out with left hand, i propose "dual signal". Many task in normal life requires sending 2 signals to different parts of the body, e.g. playing piano. Sometimes the signals are contradicting each other. If someone offered u $1 million to eat ur own shit, ur single consciousness will send 2 contradicting signals to ur mouth. Because ur brain is connected, the stronger signal will override the weak one, and u act in unity. Even then u can chew the shit for one second then spit it out, because the other signal overrides when u realize just how bad it tastes. When the person's brain is split, right brain might send a signal contradicting the left brain, but there's no connection so no overriding, and u act in a contradicting manner. Like hit wife with one hand because she pissed u off, but defend with other because u know its wrong.

I mean, if a guy with a normal connected brain hits his wife with one hand then suddenly grabs that hand with the other hand, will anyone even be surprised in the slightest?

What do u guys think of dual signals, in explaining split brains?

I think the best evidence will be if one of these split brain patients takes a basic course in neuroscience, and then respond to the most frequently asked questions. Somehow this isn't done. These are humans, but people test him like animals. They can talk you know. And they get along with everyday life just fine without complaining "there's another person inside my body". At first I thought this was serious challenge for dualism, but after reading and thinking i find the materialists are blowing this thing out of proportions. And then they just ignore all the veridical evidence from NDEs, calling verified visual perception of things in another room "wishful thinking".

"One could reject both ADC's and NDE's and still be firmly convinced there's an afterlife.

Yes but why do that?

"There are children's apparent recollection of previous lives."

That might be psi, if we continue with your argument, although it seems to me that there is reason to consider that this is not pure psi among the living.

"And this is direct communication, not communication through a medium or communication with someone who was on the threshold of death."

It is also direct communication that the apparition of a deceased deliver a message to someone alive, something unusual but there are registered cases.

Julio; in what ways? Examples?

Hi Chel,

You asked: "in what ways? Examples?"

What really makes me curious is the apparent lack of interest in this very question of yours by almost everyone...

Due to the almost annoyingly complicated nature of the content of the original scientific article itself, I was very much inclined to leave it all aside for sometime (months, years...). Your question is steering me into a more, let's say, productive direction.

Just for a start, if anyone is interested in deeper information about the original content of the article itself, just send me an email and I may be able to furnish some deeper "raw data" (or something rather close to it). The second step is the hardest: actually looking into this data and trying to figure out the strenths and weaknesses both of the approach and of the conclusions.

email: juliocbsiqueira2012@gmail.com

Best Wishes,
Julio Siqueira

Douglas said:

"How can they possibly reduce brain function to 'bits per minute'? The brain is not a digital computer."

In the actual scientific article, the authors mention only one bit, and not one bit per second. They are talking about the possibility of one side of the body sharing information with the other side, and not specifically of one hemisphere of the brain sharing information directly with the other hemisphere.

As they say on page 6 of the original article: "Another possible explanation to consider is that the current findings were caused by cross-cueing (one hemisphere informing the other hemisphere with behavioural tricks, such as touching the left hand with the right hand). We deem this explanation implausible for four reasons. First, cross-cueing is thought to only allow the transfer of one bit of information."

So they are talking about yes/no-type exchange of information, which is pretty much bit based (or bit like).

The talk of bit per second appears in the news web pages about the article, and I am not sure to what extent the author's words were reproduced correctly, or even if he was sufficiently thoughtful while uttering them at informal talks.

Best Regards,
Julio

Julio wrote, "What really makes me curious is the apparent lack of interest in this very question of yours by almost everyone..."

I can't speak for others, but I didn't respond to your original comment because you simply stated that the experiments were flawed, without providing any details. I assumed you would follow up with details at some point — unless the details are too technical for a layman to grasp.

I've done a little more reading about bits per second and so forth as related to the brain. As best I can tell, estimates of bps vary widely and are basically just educated guesses. It also appears that brain processing speeds are substantially slower than transmission speeds.

I have not been able to find any good data on the transmission rate of any of the commissures, whether the corpus callosum or the smaller, narrower ones that remain intact after a callosotomy. The general consensus, though, is that a callosotomy renders the two cerebral hemispheres almost entirely isolated from each other, because the remaining connective tissue is trivial in comparison with the magnitude of the connection that has been cut. (Of course, this consensus could be wrong.)

coper,

You made some really good points. I think people who espouse the transmission/filter theory and the primacy of consciousness tend, subtly, to portray mental functioning as much cleaner that it really is. I think our mental functioning tends to be pretty darn messy. Then again, I have OCD, so my mind is always swirling maelstrom of thought. I may be biased.

||But first lets notice that NONE of the split brain patients report another consciousness. If there were truly 2 independent consciousness, u would expect the right brain's consciousness to be complaining that it can't speak, by writing down words with the left hand. It'll rebel against the (main) left brain, because it'll want different things (I'm sure even a clone copy of myself will fight with me over things and disagree on most thoughts). The main left brain consciousness will say "there's someone else in my body", but u never hear them saying this.||

Yes, I think it's *astounding* that these patients encounter extremely little dysfunction. In fact, it's not clear that they are different than "normal" people to any significant degree. I think it also lends credence to my hypothesis that the brain functions by "downloading" memories externally, including entire brain states. E.g., when you want to rake leaves, you access your memory or memories of doing that in the past and simply get into that mental and physical mode again. The brain of such patients may be able to continuously download a memory of the whole brain and remain, in effect, undivided.

||Now to explain the stuff like one hand attacks wife other hand defends wife, put cigarette in mouth with right hand and takes it out with left hand, i propose "dual signal". Many task in normal life requires sending 2 signals to different parts of the body, e.g. playing piano. Sometimes the signals are contradicting each other.||

Yes, as a writer I experience this more than infrequently. Sometimes I go to type one word and find myself typing a different word, albeit usually related in form or meaning. Just a few minutes ago, I meant to type and clearly *thought* "impressive" but ended up typing "impression." I looked at the paragraph again after a brief pause and was surprised. (Funny that this real-life example happened a day after I began thinking about this reply.)

This kind of thing may happen more to split-brain patients, but it's not as though it is unheard of in "normal" people.

Yea the typing wrong word thing happens all the time. I had a test once, when I knew the answer perfectly in my head and wrote it down. Then i went to talk to my professor about the test. He took a look at it, immediately saw my answer to that question was nonsense, wasn't even related to the question. My brain was clearly thinking the answer, but my hands wrote something completely unrelated. Was my hand controlled by a 2nd consciousness inside me? Was I possessed?

Your reply reminds me of something else i do quite often. I look for some object, but my mind is occupied or talking to someone else. When i find the object, and continue for a few seconds to deal with the distraction, suddenly i say to myself "wtf why am i holding this object?". Even after a few minutes I still don't know why i was holding that object. My brain is intact so no one is surprised in the slightest. But if i had a split brain, the hardcore materialists are gonna jump on this like chimps and declare victory.

And everyone has had the experience when they are heavily engaged in conversation with another person with all their mental concentration, someone else comes along and distracts him for a few seconds, then he goes "what were we talking about again?"

I am taking a deeper look at the scientific paper by Yair Pinto and collaborators. I will be commenting on it here maybe next wednesday or thursday.

Best Wishes to all,
Julio

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