Thomas Nagel’s book made the front page of the National Post today. You read about it first here a few days ago. Nagel said that the Darwinian explanation for the felt experience of consciousness was wholly inadequate. You can’t get mind from meat, in essence. Either matter is a whole lot more spooky, or matter is not the only thing in the universe. Nagel has been condemned by all right thinking materialists and their innumerable hangers-on.
Here is Pinker’s commentary upon Nagel’s refusal to bend his knee to the God of Matter.
Linking to one particularly damning review in The Nation, Steven Pinker tweeted, “What has gotten into Thomas Nagel? Two philosophers expose the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.”
Contrast Steve Pinker eloquent defence of the university against political correctness with his silly intolerance of Thomas Nagel stepping out of the materialist dogma.
Wikipedia says we are still in an ice age as long as Antarctica and Greenland are covered with ice. So when will the ice come grinding back?
Within 2,000 years, says this professor.
Now, carbon levels are approaching 400 ppmv as the burning of fossil fuels pumps more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even if the rate of growth could be moderated enough to stabilize levels at about 550 ppmv, average temperatures might well rise by about 5 oC–with devastating effects for us earthlings, such as rising sea levels and dramatic changes in weather patterns.
But even that warming will not stave off the eventual return of huge glaciers, because ice ages last for millennia and fossil fuels will not.In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following centuries, excess carbon dioxide will naturally dissolve into the oceans or get trapped by the formation of carbonate minerals. Such processes won’t be offset by the industrial emissions we see today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide will slowly decline toward preindustrial levels. In about 2,000 years, when the types of planetary motions that can induce polar cooling start to coincide again, the current warming trend will be a distant memory.
Professor Franklin Hadley Cocks ‘63, SM ‘64, ScD ‘65, teaches energy technology and climate-related courses at Duke University and is the author of Energy Demand and Climate Change (Wiley-VCH), which summarizes energy and climate issues of the past, present, and future.
As I gaze out my windonw at this winter’s worst snow storm, I long for the annual warming trend called spring.
Dale Carrico posted this about the tedious futurists and trans-humanists predicting singluarities, irreversible shockwaves of transformative change, and similiar blather. An excellent rant. One does not have to agree with every opinion and impulse of the author to share the glee that so much crap is being dismissed for the quackery it is.
Frankly, many of the ideas are already there decades earlier, in Turing, Shannon, Weiner, Bush. Heck, Anne Lindbergh was already surfing the “Wave of the Future” (and it was already fascist) even before a victorious post-war America managed through the inflation of the petrochemical bubble and the imposition of the mass-mediated Culture Industry to “invent” The Future Gernsback and Madison Avenue and all our Presidents would peddle the planet long before Toffler and company would stumble on the obvious and re-invent the wheel as a profitable pseudo-discipline for the seventies, then Brand and company would do again for the eighties, then WIRED and company would do it again for the nineties, then the various p2p and Web 2.0 enthusiasts would do again for the lost Bush decade, over and over and over again, the same hopes, the same tropes, the same dopes on and on and on from WW2 to Star Wars to whatever (probably bombed out cities or a pointless polluted moonscape).
Carrico blogs at Amor Mundi (love of the world). After all, how much can I really oppose something that he labels the Unwholesome Whole That Is Neoliberal/Neoconservative Corporate-Militarism? Insults like that remind me of Communists referring to “Judaeo-Masonic capitalism”, or Nazis refering to “Judaeo-Masonic communism”. You have no idea what they mean except that they intend to summarize a vast thing that they profess to hate. I call them “wallboard words”, labels measuring four feet by eight. Nevertheless I think Ray Kurzweil and his ilk need to be ruthlessly mocked for their hubris.
If you have not yet done so, get to the Sun TV petition and sign it. Please. Yes, I understand all the reasons why TV channels should not extort money from viewers but I can get past that part for now. Give Ezra and his colleagues a shot at the bigger audience they have been working so hard to deserve – then, from a level platform, they can continue to attack those and other ills on our behalf. Look, good TV costs money and plenty of it, so if the CRTC can direct a bunch more to Sun, then raise up your voice. Please. The left liberals hate and fear this alternative and will kill it if they can. Please. Sign ze paper.
In contrast to John Searle’s materialist interpretation of why consciousness is generated from the meat, I want you to look now at Peter Russel’s view that consciousness is primary. He goes into the implications of modern physics to justify his views.
Our problem is this: we have been living in the era of quantum physics since the 1920s, but we still have minds formed in the physics of Newton. We still believe that the universe is made of space, time and energy. So we try to examine consciousness as if it were made of space, time and energy. After all, is that not what real science does? How can it be possible that consciousness is not the result, rather than the cause, of evolution?
Take Shakespeare as an example. He knew for a fact that the earth revolved around the sun; his cosmology was Copernican, but his inherited mental furniture was still (Ptolemaic) Greek. He still wrote of rulers waxing strong under the influence of Mars, and the stars in their courses shaping events – even if he did not actually believe any such thing. It was just the language he had to communicate with.
So it is with us.
Immanuel Kant, who first proposed the idea of mind 250 years ago spoken about by Peter Russell in his video, has finally found his confirmation in contemporary physics.
Hence I find all the discussion by Dawkins, Dennett, Searle, and the legions of materialists attempting to explain consciousness as arising from the evolution of meat under the influence of natural and sexual selection as another example of trying to pick up the Gross National Product with a set of tongs. They are not even wrong Of course, my view may be not even wrong too.
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Thanks to Glendronach for his encyclopedic knowledge of all Star Trek and Simpsons references.