No. of Recommendations: 1
Does that mean that there are issues with the replicability of the old studies? No.

On the other hand the journal Nature devoted a whole issue on the problem of replicability in science.

One of the hats I wear is as an academic editor for a major scientific journal. Replicability is an issue.

Likewise, every study in the vein of Libet finds activity related to decision-making occurring before awareness. They merely differ on how much earlier it occurs.

Not only do they differ in timing but also in what part of the brain they occur and even whether the readiness potential always occurs before a decision. The point is that the replicability of Libet's study is not sufficient to justify the conclusion that the decision to move was unconscious. Some examples:

The point here is that people have a poor grasp on what's going on in their own head.

That is fine, but it is pretty far from disproving free will. No one argues that there are many factors influencing a decision, including hunger. What you are arguing is that conscious intent is not one of them as it is an illusion of a previous unconscious choice. Your judge study is hardly conclusive on that issue.

Maybe I've gotten you confused with someone else. I thought you had a Ph.D. in a biological field.

I think you are letting your emotions affect your judgement. You made the claim the Life is an example of an entity that arises out of complexity with properties that are totally absent in the component parts. You provide a list properties. Won't go through the whole list but not one of them is something that cannot be found in non-living things. Take you first example, Homeostasis. Stars regulate their internal environment to maintain a steady-state, as does the earth's climate, as does your building's air conditioning system. Homeostasis is not something novel that arises out of life.

Contrast that with consciousness. The defining feature of consciousness, what is called the hard problem, are subjective thoughts. Subjective thoughts are only associated with consciousness. If consciousness arises out of complexity then it represents a novel characteristic not present in the component parts.

I'm suggesting that the current definition of "consciousness" is so useless that it can't be meaningfully applied.

Yet most people would agree that consciousness exists. If we want to study it we have to deal with its complexity even if we can't describe it. At this point no one can define consciousness in a simple way. If all we have are inadequate definitions then that is what will have to do until something better comes along.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.