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Scientific World View. Monistic/ Materialistic. The universe of atoms, molecules, and energy is all there is. Universe is lawful The laws can be discovered and understood (at least some of them). Mystery Magic and Abstraction.

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monistic materialistic
Monistic/ Materialistic
  • The universe of atoms, molecules, and energy is all there is.
  • Universe is lawful
  • The laws can be discovered and understood (at least some of them)
mystery magic and abstraction
Mystery Magic and Abstraction
  • The most interesting and important parts of the universe don’t exist in the molecules themselves, but in the mathematical relationship between the molecules.
    • What is the difference between a pile of bricks and a brick wall?
    • If I take the brick wall apart and make a sidewalk where did the wall go?
    • Physics and chemistry can analyze the bricks and won’t find the wall.
    • The wall exists in the particular arrangement of the bricks.
    • But the wall doesn’t exist in a separate realm. The arrangement of things is part of the same realm as the things themselves.
    • I can build the same wall out of different bricks. The wallness is in the arrangement, not in the particular molecules that make up the bricks.
mystery of life
Mystery of Life
  • Life is a self sustaining chemical process
  • At first this was a mystery, chemical processes always ran down
  • Postulated “life force” in every cell that kept it going.
  • Discover DNA
    • Self sustaining chemical process
    • Capable of replicating itself (a replicator)
  • Decoding the Human Genome
  • Mystery of life is essentially solved – it’s all chemistry – there is no need for a “life force.”
  • Evolution was proved in 1850’s
    • By the time of the Scopes Monkey Trial the evidence was so overwhelming that even the Tennessee Supreme court couldn’t reject it.
  • All you need for natural selection to get started is a replicator in an appropriate environment. A replicator is something that copies itself, though not always perfectly. The environment must be one in which the replicator can create numerous copies of itself, not all of which can survive.
  • We now know there is nobody in there
  • Thoughts, feelings, memories, and all mental and psychological processes are produced by the brain.
  • The processes in humans are virtually identical to animals
  • Mind emerges gradually through the evolutionary process.
brain and mental processes
Brain and Mental Processes
  • Mental processes change the brain
    • Experience adjusts the sensitivity of neuronal connections
    • Experience turns certain genes on and off
    • Brain grows new connections in response to experience.
    • Thinking a particular thought pattern can alter the relative balance of certain brain chemicals
mental processes and the brain
Mental Processes and the Brain
  • Changing the brain changes mental processes
    • Drug effects
    • Effect of brain damage
depression as a model of brain behavior relationships
Depression as a Model of Brain Behavior Relationships
  • Depression results when there are low serotonin levels in the brain.
    • Can produce depression with a drug that blocks serotonin
    • Can cure depression by giving drug that elevates serotonin
  • Serotonin levels in the brain can be controlled by thinking certain thought patterns (taught in cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • Serotonin levels in the brain can be controlled by taking SSRI’s (such as Prozac or Paxil)
  • Is depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or is the chemical imbalance in the brain caused by depressing psychological events.
brain damage and personality
Brain Damage and Personality
  • Brain damage can result in major personality changes in
    • Will and willful behavior
    • Moral and ethical behavior
    • Self control and restraint
    • Decision making and planning
    • Social controls and knowledge of appropriateness of behavior (right and wrong)
  • Not a shred of scientific evidence that humans have a separate soul that lives in the body and leaves the body when you die and goes and lives somewhere else.
  • The real you exists in the relationship among the molecules of your body.
  • Change the brain and you change the real you.
  • When you change, your brain changes physically and physiologically
  • Emerges gradually as you go up the phylogenetic scale
    • Deliberate deception appears in dogs
    • Ability to recognize self in a mirror appears in primates
    • Language ability emerges in chimps and gorillas
    • Understanding of death and loss is quite well developed in certain gorillas
    • Animal behavior can be remarkably human
      • “My dog thinks he is a person.”
artificial intelligence and artificial consciousness
Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Consciousness
  • Already have computers that can learn, make decisions, think logically, analyze problems and come up with new and creative solutions.
  • Already have computers that can modify their own programs
  • Can simulate computers that can modify their own programs and modify their own hardware
  • Certain computer systems are remarkably human
    • Make similar errors
    • Deterioration patterns when damaged are very similar
    • Mental processes (learning, decision making, etc.) have similar characteristics
artificial consciousness
Artificial Consciousness
  • Consciousness naturally emerges as the complexity of the nervous system increases
  • Consciousness is a product of the processes and arrangement of the nervous system.
  • We expect that as computer systems (robots) become more complex an intelligent consciousness will emerge in these systems as well.
  • That consciousness will be a product of the processes and arrangement of the hardware.
  • Where will it go when you turn off the computer?
supernatural and occult
Supernatural and Occult
  • Scientific Psychology rejects ESP, Astrology and Psychic powers
  • No psychic or medium ever helped the police solve a case
  • Nobody can see the future
  • Nobody has visions of the past
  • There is no such thing as channeling or contacting the spirits of the dead.
  • Ouija boards work because people shake the table
  • Dreams don’t foretell the future
  • There’s no such thing as ghosts or haunted houses.
  • There are no such things as demons and demon possession and exorcisms are superstitious rituals
demon rum
Demon Rum
  • People are frequently plagued by demons but they demons like demon rum and the demon of jealousy.
  • Drugs and alcohol are destructive forces that can take over your life and kill you. But if you die of an overdose, the drug doesn’t leave your body and roam the earth looking for another soul to destroy.
  • Jealousy is like a demon. Jealousy can take over your life. Dominate every thought and action. It can destroy your relationships, your family, your life. It can infect and spread to other people.
  • Jealousy can kill but you can be free of it, control it, and get it to let go of your life.
  • But when you finally kill the object of your jealousy and turn the gun on yourself, the jealousy does not leave your body and roam the earth looking for another soul to possess.
post modernism and science
Post-modernism and Science
  • The post-modern view can be summarized as follows:
    • Reality is constructed
    • Every culture, society, and in fact every person constructs their own reality
    • No one reality is better than another
    • No one has the right to tell you that your reality is wrong.
    • Culture that believes disease is caused by animal spirits is just as valid as modern medicine
    • No one can ever know another persons reality.
  • This leads to solipsism and nihilism.
science and post modernism
Science and Post-modernism
  • Post-modernism was never very influential in the sciences.
    • People are all about the same. We all have the same needs wants and desires. Perception, learning, memory, cognition, all work about the same across culture place and time.
    • The similarities among people are way more impressive than the differences.
    • Scientific reality is not a result of culture.
    • Science can uncover facts, principles and laws that transcend culture place and time.
    • Some cultural traditions and beliefs are just plain wrong.
  • Science works.
religion and the scientific world view
Religion and the Scientific World View
  • Adopting the scientific world view impacts ones religion in various ways, for example:
    • Life after death would require resurrection
    • The person is in a particular mathematical relationship among molecules, not in the molecules themselves. Recreating the relationship, recreates the person, even if they are recreated from different molecules.
    • Spiritual warfare becomes psychological struggle
  • However science does not do away with religion or the need for religion.