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Topic: Consciousness

Reading Complexity: Easy
Science: The Vedic View In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a group of scientists, mainly from the Los Alamos National Laboratories, once held a conference on “Artificial Life.” The theme of the conference, which I attended, was that the essence of life lies not in biological substance but in patterned organization. If this idea is valid, the thinking goes, life forms should be able to set themselves up...
Reading Complexity: Easy
The distinquished British scientist Michael Polanyi speaks of something he finds “unbelievable.” What is that? For three hundred years, he says, writers who contested the idea that life can be explained by physics and chemistry “argued by affirming that living things are not, or not wholly, machinelike.” What’s wrong with that? Instead, Polanyi says, those writers should have been “pointing out...
Reading Complexity: Easy
How can we study nonmaterial aspects of reality when we’re living in a world of matter? Modern mechanistic science rests on the premise that reality is ultimately reducible to a simple set of mathematical equations. Such a view fails to account for two important aspects of reality: consciousness, and complex biological form. Here, in the first of a series of articles excerpted from the conclusion...
Reading Complexity: Medium
The search for the source of inspiration in science, mathematics, and art leads beyond the mechanistic framework of present-day biological theory. Here we will examine how human beings acquire knowledge in science, mathematics, and art. Our focus shall primarily be on the formation of ideas and hypotheses in science and mathematics, since the formal nature of these subjects tends to put the...
Reading Complexity: Medium
The deeper scientists probe into the nature of perception, the farther away their subject recedes. The idea that now dominates the life sciences is that life can be completely understood within the framework of chemistry and physics. Those who subscribe to this viewpoint say that we can explain all features of life—from the metabolic functioning of cells up to the mental phenomena of thinking,...
Reading Complexity: Hard
Can a machine be conscious? Science fiction writers often try to solve the problems of old age and death by taking advantage of the idea that a human being is essentially a complex machine. In a typical scene, doctors and technicians scan the head of the dying Samuel Jones with a “cerebroscope,” a highly sensitive instrument that records in full detail the synaptic connections of the neurons in...
Reading Complexity: Hard
Although quantum mechanics has been around since before World War II, many scientists refer to it as the new physics. They suggest that it conveys deep insights into the nature of consciousness, insights that confirm the mystical teachings of yogis and herald a new age of enhanced awareness. But does quantum mechanics (or QM) truly reveal anything about consciousness and its role in nature? A...
Reading Complexity: Hard
a.k.a. "Brain, neurons, vision, soul, consciousness, observer, optic nerve, computer" During a TV show entitled “Inside Information,” vision scientist V. S. Ramachandran of the University of California at San Diego made some interesting points about how we see. He said that if you ask the man in the street how vision works, he would say there is an image on the retina of the eye. The optic nerve...