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DrmDoc

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DrmDoc last won the day on September 16 2018

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    Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, Oneirology, Brain Evolution,

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  1. Forgive this delayed response but there is a definition for "mind". Mind is the environment of cognitive activity within a brain, which arises from that brain's functional matrix. That matrix involves a brain's capacity to integrate dicotomous sensory stimuli with its memory functions to produce behaviors independent of an organism's instinct. In essence, an organism has a mind when its behaviors suggest a thought process--a process that allows an organism to engage behaviors contrary to its instinctive nature. To produce a mind, an organism must demostrate a capacity to experience stimuli and an associative capacity to store and recall the affects of that stimuli. This is more about the science of brain function that philosophy.
  2. If I may add a final thought on this interest, certainly consciousness, by my definition, isn't a particularly rare quality to be found among the vast variety of organisms we may find on our planet. What elevates and makes an expression of consciousness comparatively special is whether that consciousness produces or provides evidence of a mind. Although an organism's behaviors may suggest some measure of awareness, those behaviors may not necessarily suggest that the organism has a mind. Mind and consciousness are distinctly different qualities where one of those qualities arises from and cannot exist without the other--mind cannot exist without a consciousness as its progenitor.
  3. Pardon my late arrival to this question whose answer, IMO, depends on how we defind consciousness. From a perspective in science, consciousness is merely the awareness suggested by an organism's responses to stimuli. Using this perspectvie virtually any organism, whose behaviors are observed reactions to a stimulus, can be considered as possessing consciousness. This view infers that consciousness isn't a quality unique to humans and that it may manifest in varying degrees depending on the orgasm being observed. Whether an organism posesses a human-like degree of consciousness depends on observed behaviors suggesting humanlike reactions to comparably humanlike stimuli. For example, an animal that appears to greive over the loss of an offspring may be viewed as having a human equivalent effective state we observe in humans as sorrow.
  4. Although brain function may appear computational, computation is not what drives its functional matrix. What the brain is or isn't is likely more closely aligned with the biological engine at the basis of brain function. That engine is homestasis, which means the brain's functional output is driven by its metabolic equillibrium.
  5. More like the DNA of the earliest humans would appear in the Russians, Chinese, and British rather than conversely.
  6. "Scientists discovered an absolutely massive bacterium that can be seen without the aid of a microscope and lurks among the mangroves of Grande-Terre in the Caribbean, Science magazine reported." That comment is from a Live Science article about a new bacterium, 2 centimeters long, that was recently discovered in the Caribbean. Enjoy!
  7. Laws do not exist unless the Legislative branch proposes them and the Executive branch signs-off or approves them. A law may continue to exist as long as it isn't challenged as a violation of our Constitution, which is where the SCOTUS intercedes. A law may be rendered unenforceable if they do not agree with the primary law of our land, which is our Constitution as interpreted by the SCOTUS. Understand that if a law is rendered permissible by a SCOTUS ruling, this not the making of that law but rather the judgement of that law as to whether it is valid and enforceable under our Constitution. That judgement of a law's validation doesn't occur unless it is challenged before the Supreme Court. A law may be valid if it isn't challenged and after that challenge, a SCOTUS ruling merely guides how that law may be applied by government going forward.
  8. No, they do not make laws, they merely decide whether a law is constitutional. If that law is constitutional, then it has a compelling governing force among our citizenry; if it is unconstitutional, then those who engage practices against that law do not have to fear legal reprisals and may engage those practices freely. Laws are proposed by the Legislative branches of our government and do not become law until they are signed by the Executive branches of our government.
  9. No specific Federal law, but legal rulings on the regulations governing same have been rendered by the SCOTUS that legally permitted the practice.
  10. The US Constitution is the foundation for all laws in our country and it is the SCOTUS job to reconcile these modern times with that foundation. The laws that permit and regulate abortion in our country must be tracible to our constitutional foundation in some discernable way. For example, the laws that govern abortion are tracible to the laws in our Constitution that govern personal freedom and whether government has the right to abridge that freedom. If a law can be traced to the Constitution, then it can be adjudicated on that basis and, if it cannot, then the law is invalid and must be dismissed on that basis. These modern times doesn't have to appear in the wording of the Constitution, but their laws must be based on that foundation.
  11. It matters when a majority of our SCJ rule a law or lower court ruling to be either constitutional or not constitutional. If a law or rule is judged to be constitutional, then that law or rule is enforceable and must be honored by the various governing bodies of our country who are charged with maintaining our social order, freedom, and stability. Conversely, an unconstitutional law is unenforceable and our citizens cannot be compelled to adhere to that law. Our society is comprised of both Conservative and Liberal citizens who want these SCJ rulings to reflect their differing ideas and values. The "hand-wringing" comes when our court's rulings appear to lean in a partisan or political direction incongruent with the separate ideas and values each side holds--which is why we want Justices on our Supreme Court who are likely to constitutionally validate laws that favor our views over the oppositions.
  12. Just to add my tardy 2 cents to this discussion, the SCOTUS doesn't make laws nor necessarily interpret laws. The SCOTUS decides whether a new law or a lower court ruling conforms to our Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. Laws are proposed by the Legislative branch of our government, which is the House of Representatives and Senate. These proposed laws or bills only become law when they are signed by the POTUS. New laws that change our Constitution must go through this process in addition to having a majority of our individual state governments ratify that change. The Supreme Court has no intercession in this process unless they are presented with a challenge to a law or ruling. The members of our Supreme Court decides whether a challenged law or court ruling conforms to their individual interpretation of our Constitution, which is not an interpretation of the new law or ruling but whether these legal instruments agree with the intent of our Constitution as paved by its original signers. In deciding whether some legal challenge is valid, the process can become partisan or political through the individual interpretations of our Constitution as held by the Justices on our Supreme Court.
  13. Although I agree this perspective appears plausible, it really isn't a possibly if this dying brain was experiencing a dreamlike state as its gamma waves appeared to suggest. If near-death brain function produces a dreamlike state, then our perceptions within that state are more likely interpretations of what the brain believes it is experiencing. This suggests that the dying brain's perceptual experiences are interpretations of what is happening to it rather than a memory search for those interpretations.
  14. If I may further elaborate, the initial impact of any stimuli on brain function is a cognitive response, which is essentially a response that minimally suggests an awareness of some state of stimulation. The brain waves these researchers observed as their epileptic patient died certainly suggests that this patient's brain was experiencing some state of stimulation. How a dying brain reacts to stimuli should inform our assessment of how this brain interprets the stimuli associated with that state. At the very least, this research suggests that this patience's dying brain experienced that stimulus visually and in a dreamlike state. If we can agree that the dying brain is engaging an interpretive process, then it is very unlikely that "life flashes" are part of that process. I believe it is likely that a dying brain is more engaged in the experience of what is having an immediate impact on its function than experiences that are far removed. Memories of a life lived doesn't interpret the process of dying, which is a state antithetical to life. Accordingly, the process of dying is likely more aptly interpreted as entering a state from which others of similar experience has not returned. Rather than a review of the patient's life experiences to understand what it may be presently experiencing, I believe the dying brain interprets that experience in the present as something that is happening now rather than as something it has encountered before. This would present as experiencing some perceptual change of state--a perceived transition from some former state to another.
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