On the 4th of July, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that the two largest experiments at the Large Hadron Collider had uncovered evidence for the Higgs boson. This ‘particle’, called by some the ‘God particle’, and the Higgs quantum field that causes it, have been hypothesized as being necessary to explain how mass comes into being. As the science writer Jim Baggott says in his recent book Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the ‘God Particle’: “Mass is constructed entirely from the energy of interactions involving naturally massless elementary particles… The physicists kept dividing, and in the end found nothing at all.” Mass, and so matter, are derived aspects of an insubstantial process of reality. In fact, they’re also products of aspects of reality that are immaterial, ie not material at all. However, this conclusion should not come as a shock, for if there is one thing that has been established by the science of quantum mechanics, it is the fact that ‘materialism’ must be abandoned as a viable metaphysical position. In fact, the belief in the existence of solid material stuff which exists completely independent of mind is now about as scientifically acceptable as the phlogiston theory of heat. This is why physicist John Gribben has written a book entitled The End of the Matter Myth; not to forget pronouncements such as that made in 1931 by the instigator of quantum theory, Max Planck, that he regarded “consciousness as fundamental, I regard matter as derivative from consciousness,” or that by Erwin Schrödinger, “Mind has erected the objective outside world … out of its own stuff” (What is Life? 1944). Regarding the metaphysical implications of the quantum revolution, quantum physicist Professor Henry Stapp of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, says in his article ‘Why Classical Mechanics Cannot Naturally Accommodate Consciousness But Quantum Mechanics Can’: “the ‘matter’ that occurs in classical physics … does not exist in nature.” As we shall see, there is absolutely no ‘material stuff’ to be found anywhere in the fundamental grounds of the Universe – that is, as ‘material stuff’ has been classically (mis)understood.
Posts Tagged ‘Mind’
IQ tests are misleading because they do not accurately reflect intelligence, according to a study which found that a minimum of three different exams are needed to measure someone’s brainpower.
For more than a century our intelligence quotient (IQ) has been used to measure how clever people are and Mensa, the society for the intellectual elite, has even used the test to weed out sub-par applicants. But now the scale has been dismissed as a “myth” by scientists who found that our intelligence can only be predicted by combining results from at least three tests of our mental agility. Different circuits within the brain are used for different thought processes, the researchers showed, meaning separate tests of short-term memory, reasoning and verbal skills are needed to measure someone’s overall intelligence. Their landmark study was based on the results of an online intelligence test which was launched by the Daily Telegraph and New Scientist two years ago, and attracted more than 110,000 responses. Dr Roger Highfield, the Telegraph columnist and one of the authors of the paper, said: “When you come to the most complex known object, the human brain, the idea that there is only one measure of intelligence had to be wrong. (via IQ tests ‘do not reflect intelligence’ – Telegraph)
Tags: Attention, Awareness, meditation, Mind, mindfullness, Neuroscience
READ of the day:
The name of the game is active-control
Research to date links mindfulness practices to alterations in health and physiology, cognitive control, emotional regulation, responsiveness to pain, and a large array of positive clinical outcomes. However, the explicit nature of mindfulness training makes for some particularly difficult methodological issues. Group cross-sectional studies, where advanced practitioners are compared to age-matched controls, cannot provide causal evidence. Indeed, it is always possible that having a big fancy brain makes you more likely to spend many years meditating, and not that meditating gives you a big fancy brain. So training studies are essential to verifying the claim that mindfulness actually leads to interesting kinds of plasticity. However, unlike with a new drug study or computerized intervention, you cannot simply provide a sugar pill to the control group. Double-blind design is impossible; by definition subjects will know they are receiving mindfulness. To actually assess the impact of MT on neural activity and behavior, we need to compare to groups doing relatively equivalent things in similar experimental contexts. We need an active control.