It is deeply tragic for everyone living that the mainstream scientific community still insists that what we experience as conscious awareness arises from unconscious matter. A full century ago, the great quantum physicist Max Planck found that notion preposterous; and many other thoughtful physicists, including the deathless Albert Einstein, have said or hinted that they also understood that consciousness must predate matter. The scientific dogma of materialism which was codified at the turn of the previous century has taken mainstream science on a hundred-year-long detour to nowhere! Scientific investigation must be an open-minded search for the truth if it is to be of any value at all, yet the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals still continue to insist that reality must be studied from the viewpoint of matter alone. Belief-systems are religions, by definition. And like all religions, materialist science is as frozen in time as a fly in amber, stuck now a century into the past.
Meanwhile, research scientists need to make a living, so they must find ways to do funded research that fits within their materialist restriction. And with the scientific community still insisting that at death we blink out like a light, you may not be surprised to learn that there are gullible and desperate people who are eager now to fund research into creating a material eternal life. This research is of course unnecessary. The scientists and their funders are already immortal! And their research is guaranteed to lead them nowhere, since the materialist limits imposed on the process of figuring out a material immortality are making it impossible for researchers to learn enough for their efforts to amount to anything.
Are you thinking that with so much evidence against it, surely no one still believes in materialism? You may be right, but the pressure to conform remains strong. With the start of the year 2020 barely a month away, a man who is “the chief scientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle” and serves on Scientific American‘s board of advisers still feels required to pen these sentences: “There is little doubt that our intelligence and our experiences are ineluctable consequences of the natural causal powers of our brain, rather than any supernatural ones. That premise has served science extremely well over the past few centuries as people explored the world.” Dr. Christof Koch is to be pitied. This poor man had to write those demonstrably absurd sentences as a sop to the materialist thought-police, and his article itself refutes them, as presumably does his recent book, The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread but Can’t Be Computed. As he points out, no matter now rapidly and well a computer is able to calculate, it still doesn’t develop what he calls “experiences.” He is referring here to awareness. Emotions. Nuanced understandings. A living sense of self.
Because they are not allowed to study anything except from a materialist perspective, mainstream scientists still cannot define what consciousness is, figure out how or where it originates, or even describe how it might work. Nor, for that matter, can they define death. And their insistence on what is called “monism,” which is the primitive belief that the mind cannot exist apart from the brain, means that they must remain resolutely unaware of every bit of all the amazing and consistent evidence about consciousness that exceeds their materialist theories.
Many scientists are coming to see that what some call “feelings” are a missing ingredient in all their attempts to create artificial intelligence. Whatever they build lacks emotions, empathy, a sense of self, and all else that makes up a human being. As one of them puts it, “Fiction is full of robots with feelings… But in real life robots have no more feelings than a rock submerged in novocaine.” And all the ideas now being proposed to begin to bridge that gap depend upon consciousness being spontaneously generated in the robot, just as they still are forced to assume that human consciousness is generated in our brains. One researcher suggests that if robots are programmed to recognize perils to their own existence, perhaps that will instill in them a will to survive, and from that might come a sense of selfhood, emotions, and then consciousness and all the rest. Which seems to be a pretty big stretch!
Many scientists aren’t so much concerned about robots’ feelings, though. They just want to create advanced robots that can infinitely improve their own ability to learn. And all of that is well and good, but among scientists there is not even a consensus on whether artificial intelligence yet exits at all, or what needs to happen before it can be said to exist. Do the functions performed by a computer even qualify as “artificial intelligence”? The plain fact is that no matter how many calculations a computer can do at once, and no matter how rapidly it can do them, there is no relationship between those activities and the complex array of attributes which make up the individual awareness that we experience as human intelligence.
And even if scientists could create an intelligent and self-aware robot, it still is hard to imagine how that robot could become a fully intelligent and self-aware YOU when your body dies. So, inevitably, scientists who are trying to develop a workable material immortality are turning to seeking some way to mechanically perpetuate each human being’s awareness. They need to find a way to “upload” our minds. After all, as one researcher says, “According to the first law of thermodynamics, the energy that powers all life continues on and can never be destroyed.” Since consciousness seems to be a form of energy, they are trying to find a way to work with that; but they ignore the fact that the first law of thermodynamics actually states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So if consciousness really is energy, then by definition it cannot come from the brain! Still, all that immortality funding is there, so scientists are exploring what they call “the gray zone between life and death,” and they are trying to understand how Near-Death Experiences might be generated by the material brain. They are hoping to find ways to detect consciousness in matter, and to measure whether and the extent to which some material thing is conscious; and they are working out how they might establish some form of mechanical communication between brains. To add to the stress of these pointless efforts, there is a growing suspicion that preserving your awareness may not be possible after all, and a rising doubt that your uploaded mind still would really have the same awareness that it did when your material brain was alive. But the funding is there, so they press on.
Yet all of this research combined is not bringing the mechanical immortality of your personal awareness any closer. Even worse is the fact that the mainstream scientific community’s absurd insistence that reality must be only material despite all the contrary evidence just further deepens the worldwide negativity which is rooted in the fear of death. As young Americans turn away from Christianity, they then face the scientific certainty that they will be extinguished when their bodies die. And this surge in them of existential fear is especially tragic when a lot of evidence suggests that in the face of death, and even unexpected death, the truth takes over and fear is gone. This ambient negativity rooted in false science has created what is an otherwise inexplicable uptick in Americans’ midlife mortality, in what are called “deaths of despair.” Scientists use that term, and then they attribute these deaths to a wide variety of problems, with no awareness that our rapid nationwide secularization and a concomitant surge in the fear of death is a primary underlying cause.
The silly scientific dogma of materialism is doing humanity incalculable harm! We must find a way to put it behind us. But, how?