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im guessing its your speculation, It is possible there is no soul but we do have more of a counsiousness then most animals and although I do not belive that we have past lives there are people who claim they have seen supernatural beings like ghosts and people claim they remember their own past life. there is also a part of most people that wants to belive in a soul and the counsiousness living on because no one really wants their councousness to end. maybey they want to phisicaly die but they also want to keep thinking somewhere elce.

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Soul is only a illusion of the human mind

 

 

And your evidence for this is what, exactly?

 

 

 

as same as time is an illusion.

 

And your evidence for this is what, exactly?

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Without time nothing would move, so, it's not an illusion.

 

Is the converse true, viz." Without movement, time would not exist.

 

Some other relevant questions:

 

  1. Is a soul dependent upon movement and time as we know it, i.e., in terms of mass and spacetime?
  2. In what ways might science investigate the question as to whether there is a soul?
  3. Also, does having a soul imply that ones consciousness survives physical death?
  4. Does having a soul imply that we must believe in a personal God or in any other religious beliefs?
Edited by disarray
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Although this is a very popular meme, there is no reason to think it is true.

 

Meme? But isn't that exactly what Hawking concluded?

 

And does not string theory also claim that time relates to motion: "Consistency of string theory at the quantum level therefore imposes equations of motion in the target spacetime"

 

If one is not going to measure the amount of distance something has moved (aka engaged in motion) divided by its rate, how can one arrive at a quantity of time?

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Meme? But isn't that exactly what Hawking concluded?

 

 

Did he? I haven't heard that.

What did he say? (And where?)

If one is not going to measure the amount of distance something has moved (aka engaged in motion) divided by its rate, how can one arrive at a quantity of time?

 

Swanson can give you a more detailed answer (he does this for a living). But measuring time accurately does not involve movement. In fact the definition of the second states "at absolute zero with no motion" and the non-zero temperature and any remaining motion has to be compensated for.

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Strange:

 

Please give me the origin of your quote re "at absolute zero with no motion."

in a Brief History of TIme, Hawking states that, “The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.”

 

From there, I am assuming that one cannot have directionless time.

 

"Without entropy, which is an increase in disorder, then I don't know how there can be "time."

 

Hawking notes that the arrow of time is consistent with the entropy of an expanding universe, and asks:

 

“why does disorder increase in the same direction of time as that in which the universe expands?”

 

Assuming that entropy can be defined here in the same way that it is defined in chemistry, e.g., randomness/freedom of motion, it seems to me, then, that without motion, there would be no time.

 

In any case, even the early inflation period of spacetime implies expansion (and thus movement) of something, be it forces or particles (presumably with mass), I would think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please give me the origin of your quote re "at absolute zero with no motion."

 

http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/second.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second#International_second

 

The entropy point appears to be about the (perceived) direction of time and is more of a philosophical point than a physics one (as far as I can tell, but this is getting beyond what I understand).

 

However, there are vacuum solutions to the equations of GR; in other words models of space-time containing no mass or energy. This still include time (as they are models of space time) and, in at least some of them, there is still expansion of space.

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@Strange

But by the laws of thermodynamics zero entropy is impossible. Hence a perfect vacuum cannot exist.

When one actually measures the energy in any vacuum, it will then be a non-zero number. The extreme discrepancy between our theory and observation is known as the "vacuum catastrophe."

 

Also, your definition of a "second" as per your links notes that the definition is based upon a theoretical condition of zero temperature, and, if we are to use Wiki, it is known that "Absolute zero cannot be achieved." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero

 

Anyway, it's an interesting question, but I think we got away from the topic of the thread. (Whether time is an illusion is a pretty huge issue, though.)

 

To get back on track, I will repost the following points for possible discussion with a bit more elaboration:

  1. Is a soul dependent upon motion and/or time as we know it, i.e., in terms of mass and spacetime? That is, can we conceive of it as something natural rather than supernatural?
  2. In what ways might science investigate the question as to whether there is a soul (e.g., a form of consciousness that survives physicial death)? Is it possible to collect any empirical evidence at all on this topic?
  3. Does a belief that we have a soul imply or require that ones consciousness survives physical death? Can science presume that a soul does not exist if it has no clue as to whether even "consciousness" is something that exists or not.
  4. Is the term "soul" so interwoven with other religious concepts that it is not a suitable topic for scientific investigation? Does having a soul imply that we must believe in a personal God or in any other religious beliefs?
Edited by disarray
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@Strange

But by the laws of thermodynamics zero entropy is impossible. Hence a perfect vacuum cannot exist.

When one actually measures the energy in any vacuum, it will then be a non-zero number. The extreme discrepancy between our theory and observation is known as the "vacuum catastrophe."

 

Also, your definition of a "second" as per your links notes that the definition is based upon a theoretical condition of zero temperature, and, if we are to use Wiki, it is known that "Absolute zero cannot be achieved." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero

 

Anyway, it's an interesting question, but I think we got away from the topic of the thread. (Whether time is an illusion is a pretty huge issue, though.)

 

To get back on track, I will repost the following points for possible discussion with a bit more elaboration:

  1. Is a soul dependent upon motion and/or time as we know it, i.e., in terms of mass and spacetime? That is, can we conceive of it as something natural rather than supernatural?
  2. In what ways might science investigate the question as to whether there is a soul (e.g., a form of consciousness that survives physicial death)? Is it possible to collect any empirical evidence at all on this topic?
  3. Does a belief that we have a soul imply or require that ones consciousness survives physical death? Can science presume that a soul does not exist if it has no clue as to whether even "consciousness" is something that exists or not.
  4. Is the term "soul" so interwoven with other religious concepts that it is not a suitable topic for scientific investigation? Does having a soul imply that we must believe in a personal God or in any other religious beliefs?

 

 

  1. Is this not the dividing line between Soul and Consciousness - the taint of the supernatural hangs around the former but not the later
  2. If it is supernatural science cannot investigate it - if science can investigate it then it is not supernatural. Science needs the beginning of empirical observation to start from; without that a fully-fledged and working mathematical model can be completely divorced from the datum reality and not much good for anything.
  3. I think some belief systems have souls (for want of a better word) that are entirely separate from the conscious entity - another being trapped inside. And the null hypothesis that we would seek evidence to disprove would be that the soul did not exist. We have more of a clue about consciousness - even if we are still struggling; but as our only access to the emergent property of our brain which we call consciousness is via subjective reporting/questioning of a conscious mind it is very difficult to extrapolate from that point to something similar which is a soul that must be without the aforementioned reporter
  4. Until there is a tiniest scrap of objective proof - then yes I would agree. The belief in the existence of a soul, I think, is a quintessentially supernatural belief - but not necessarily religious and def not personal God religious

BTW - feel free to open a physics thread on the atomic clock stuff. It is fascinating

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Soul is only a illusion of the human mind as same as time is an illusion.

 

Depends on your definition of soul. A soul could be the part of the information in the brain that describes the person.

 

Without time nothing would move, so, it's not an illusion.

 

But what is time outside of the current models? It seems to simply be the continuation of processes in reality.

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Imatfaal: Your comments are reasonable. Just to clarify, the null hypothesis would be that there is no soul. In my experience with a null hypothesis, one usually has some sort of control/experimental situation. I am not sure how one would set that up with regards to the existence of a soul.

 

String Junky: I think we got on the issue of whether time was an illusion simply because people wanted to make the point that abstractions (such as time) can or cannot exist (or do or do not exist). If so, my response to such a claim would be not to generalize from one example (e.g., time).. The "concreteness" of abstract nouns needs to be examined on a case by case (i.e., word by word) basis.

 

I am no physicist, but it seems to me, for example, that even as an element in spacetime, the reality of "time" as a "fundamental, physical" property of the universe, as opposed to being just a functional and useful abstraction, is still controversial. (Much like temperature was thought to be a fundamental property of the universe, but was later just regarded as being secondary effect of the motion of molecules).

 

So we are back to the question as to what empirical evidence we have for the "soul" and whether we can make predictions about it, or measure it, or whatever.

 

Short scientific answer is that no "paranormal" activity has been demonstrated to exist under laboratory conditions (as far as I know).

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Depends on your definition of soul. A soul could be the part of the information in the brain that describes the person.

 

 

But what is time outside of the current models? It seems to simply be the continuation of processes in reality.

Don't overthink it. Time is what clocks measure, just as rulers measure space or distance.You never hear people asking "What is the ontology of distance?" it's a parameter that can be measured with clocks, nothing more. It is existential with space and does not require objects for it to exist. What objects do is curve spacetime and thus alters the rate of time relative to another frame that is not moving with the same velocity and/or not in the same gravitational potential.

Imatfaal: Your comments are reasonable. Just to clarify, the null hypothesis would be that there is no soul. In my experience with a null hypothesis, one usually has some sort of control/experimental situation. I am not sure how one would set that up with regards to the existence of a soul.

 

String Junky: I think we got on the issue of whether time was an illusion simply because people wanted to make the point that abstractions (such as time) can or cannot exist (or do or do not exist). If so, my response to such a claim would be not to generalize from one example (e.g., time).. The "concreteness" of abstract nouns needs to be examined on a case by case (i.e., word by word) basis.

 

I am no physicist, but it seems to me, for example, that even as an element in spacetime, the reality of "time" as a "fundamental, physical" property of the universe, as opposed to being just a functional and useful abstraction, is still controversial. (Much like temperature was thought to be a fundamental property of the universe, but was later just regarded as being secondary effect of the motion of molecules).

See my response to Thoram. That's as much i think I know on the subject.

 

 

 

So we are back to the question as to what empirical evidence we have for the "soul" and whether we can make predictions about it, or measure it, or whatever.

 

Short scientific answer is that no "paranormal" activity has been demonstrated to exist under laboratory conditions (as far as I know).

I think the notion of the soul arises from Cartesian duality which stems from religion; the mind and body being distinct. The evidence suggests, as you know, that mind (soul) is an emergent property of the brain's processes.

So we are back to the question as to what empirical evidence we have for the "soul" and whether we can make predictions about it, or measure it, or whatever.

Edited by StringJunky
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Aristotle cut open many an animal in search for their soul. He found none at all... Unless it is part of the brain. I always thought it was a religious thing, soul and spirit being pretty much the same thing, imaginary immortal parts of us that people made up so we do not feel so pointless with our existence or worry about what will happen after we die.

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Imatfaal: Your comments are reasonable. Just to clarify, the null hypothesis would be that there is no soul. In my experience with a null hypothesis, one usually has some sort of control/experimental situation. I am not sure how one would set that up with regards to the existence of a soul...

 

The null hypothesis is normally that there is no significant reason to believe the actual hypothesis proposed; ie you do not seek to show that there is evidence that x is true - you show that the preponderance of evidence makes it very unlikely that x is not true which is disproving the null hypothesis (what is the chance that you have gathered this evidence and the null hypothesis is still true - at a certain point <5% <1% etc. you claim to have shown that the null hypothesis does not hold)

 

In this case the null hypothesis is that other than consciousness as an emergent feature of the human brain there is no need to postulate anything further such as an immortal soul. Is there any evidence that does not tie in with the null hypothesis - at present NO.

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imatfaal: Yes, that is my understanding of the null hypothesis with respect to the issue. But that does not answer my question as to how one would test the null hypothesis. One needs data to begin with. Were I to test the connection between cancer and smoking, for example, I might look at the number of smokers who had smoked for 10 years and got cancer vs. the number of nonsmokers who had cancer. Or, I could set up a group of nonsmokers and smokers of equal numbers and track the development of cancer as time went on. But how would one test the existence of a soul? One needs data to begin with?

 

I would just note that some scientists claim that consciousness does not exist per se, and the existence of emergence is also controversial in this regard.

 

For example, Sam Harris states that:

 

"The problem, however, is that no evidence for consciousness exists in the physical world....this notion of emergence strikes me as nothing more than a restatement of a miracle. To say that consciousness emerged at some point in the evolution of life doesn’t give us an inkling of how it could emerge from unconscious processes, even in principle."

https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-mystery-of-consciousness

So, at this point we are left with non-empirical, perhaps intuitive inklings that consciousness (and perhaps consciousness after death) exists in its own right. I think that the term "soul" is too fraught with ambigous religious connotations to be of much use in terms of scientific verification." In any case, it is, I suggest, unscientific to assume that something does not exist because we don't have any scientific evidence i favor of it.

 

We do have a lot of personal reports (as qualitative "evidence") that, for example consciousness exists, and even personal reports of consciousness outside the body or after a person has flatlined momentarilly (as I understand it)...though skeptics might point out that lost of people claim to see angels and ghosts and UFOs.

 

Certainly, the existence of consciousness is not as bizarre as claiming that the earth is supported on a turtle and its turtles all the way down....so I don't know if there are criteria for assessing whether one totally unsupported (with evidence) null hypothesis is more bizarre and unlikely than any other null hypothesis, e.g., the whole range of alleged paranormal activity: Is it more ridiculous to claim that people can move objects with their minds than the claim that people can feel what their spouses hundreds of miles away are feeling at times, or that there are 5 inch high pixies dancing at the bottom of my 95-year-old neighbor's garden as she claims? Does the fact that she has alzheimer's and is short sighted affect my judgment as to how likely her claim might be?

 

Stringjunky: I am getting used to the idea that time literally dilates (without some other physical explanation). As such, it seems that the Theory of Relativity as set forth by Einstein is complete, would you not agree? You must admit it is certainly something of an Alice in Wonderland concept. It seems to me that the whole thing springs from the fact that the speed of light is finite.

 

Apparently time dilation even affects biological rates of aging: "In 2010, Dr. C.W. Chou and colleagues demonstrated an optical clock sensitive enough to distinguish the time flow rate differential between one's scalp and toes, [as] we can now also detect time dilation due to a change in height near Earth’s surface of less than 1 meter."

https://www.quora.com/Does-gravitational-time-dilation-also-affect-biological-processes-like-how-quickly-our-bodies-age

 

All very well to say time slows down. But it still seems that spacetime might be some sort of substance whereby it "thickens" so to speak, thereby causing things to move sluggishly, as if in slow motion. Perhaps there is some resistance that prevents light from going faster than it does.

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It seems to me that the whole thing springs from the fact that the speed of light is finite.

 

More importantly, that it is invariant: all observers see the same speed of light regardless of their (relative) state of motion.

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Apparently time dilation even affects biological rates of aging: "In 2010, Dr. C.W. Chou and colleagues demonstrated an optical clock sensitive enough to distinguish the time flow rate differential between one's scalp and toes, [as] we can now also detect time dilation due to a change in height near Earth’s surface of less than 1 meter."

https://www.quora.com/Does-gravitational-time-dilation-also-affect-biological-processes-like-how-quickly-our-bodies-age

It's 2cm. now

 

 

 

"Our performance means that we can measure the gravitational shift when you raise the clock just 2 centimeters [0.79 inches] on the Earth's surface," study co-author Jun Ye, a physicist at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado, Boulder, said in a statement.

http://www.livescience.com/50545-most-precise-atomic-clock.html

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String Junky: 2cm is pretty amazing measurement. Though i am not sure that it is necessary to say that "time" slows down (even though we use "t" and " t' "in equations):

If time dilation (always or usually) refers to objects with mass, why not just make the observation that under certain conditions, objects (particles, forces, or whatever) slow down relative to each other depending upon such things as velocity or magnitude of mass, rather than saying that "time" (which is ultimately a rather empty abstraction) slows down?

 

And just to keep on topic, is there any reason to suspect that the rate that a person thinks (e.g., the rate that an action potential travels along a axon) slows down under the conditions that cause time dilation, since, after all, other biological processes are said to slow down (as per my quote above)?

 

If so, might we further suggest that the condition of ones "consciousness" slows down in some respects?

 

I pose this question as I am just trying to refer back to the topic of this thread, though no doubt, my question is a long shot: If we can show that consciousness is something that can be affected by time dilation, we might be able to claim that it is some "entity or property" that exists in nature.

Edited by disarray
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If time dilation (always or usually) refers to objects with mass, why not just make the observation that under certain conditions, objects (particles, forces, or whatever) slow down relative to each other depending upon such things as velocity or magnitude of mass, rather than saying that "time" (which is ultimately a rather empty abstraction) slows down?

 

 

It also affects photons (with no mass) as in the classic Pound-Reba experiment.

 

(You might get better answers to such questions if they were in the physics forum.)

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imatfaal: Yes, that is my understanding of the null hypothesis with respect to the issue. But that does not answer my question as to how one would test the null hypothesis. One needs data to begin with. Were I to test the connection between cancer and smoking, for example, I might look at the number of smokers who had smoked for 10 years and got cancer vs. the number of nonsmokers who had cancer. Or, I could set up a group of nonsmokers and smokers of equal numbers and track the development of cancer as time went on. But how would one test the existence of a soul? One needs data to begin with?

...

 

 

Yes it did answer it. You do not test the null hypothesis - you ask whether any data you have is inconsistent with the null hypothesis and whether this inconsistency is of such significance that it is highly unlikely for you to be able to gather such observations and yet still give credence to the null hypothesis. No data whatsoever is at present inconsistent with the null hypothesis - so using occam's razor we give credence to the simplest answer which requires fewest assumptions ie the null. Testing the efficacy of a solution to a problem is a whole new ball game - it is much more complex but does still grow from the same fundamental assumptions

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