From: Richard Loosemore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Dec 28 2005 - 10:14:28 MST
> On Tue, 27 Dec 2005 "Phillip Huggan" <email@example.com> said:
>>Oops. I meant to use the term telepathic, not the term psychic.
> Shit by any other name would stink as bad. Can we use psychic evidence
> to support out pet theories now?
I'd like to interject a couple of comments into this [lost?] debate
about free will etc.
I can speak from personal experience as someone who is BOTH heavily
committed to the strong AI thesis (i.e. I believe that computers can be
programmed to have genuine consciousness) AND who is also a former
parapsychology experimentalist. In other words, I once did some
carefully controlled experiments to investigate telepathy, precognition etc.
My conclusions from the parapsychology work is that I personally have
very strong evidence that there is _something_ going on out there that
is not encompassed by normal science. (I don't care to try to justify
this to anyone else anymore because the eventual response from skeptics
is that experimenter deceipt is a satisfactory explanation for the
results that I got, and that is rather tedious if you are the experimenter).
What this means for consciousness, free will, etc. is that the whole
debate is not going to be settled by pure thought alone: for example,
it is possible that conscious systems have effects on the world that are
grossly at odds with the the "cause and effect" pattern that we see in
normal science.... they could simply bias the other random events in the
world to happen in a particular way, and the nature of the bias could
end up being opaque to further analysis.
So at the end of the day, I find all debates about consciousness and
free will are premature. If you want to find out more, do some
experiments and collect more data, don't rely on pure thought and reasoning.
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