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Ex Nihilo

The Fault In Our Stars?

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I thought Hawking is a theoretical physicist, not a biologist or a neuroscientist.

The experiment in question measured the conscious decision to press a button and the neural activity that preceded and predicted the pressing of a button and when the button was pressed. The conscious decision was one second before the button was pressed. The predictive neural activity was seven seconds before the button was pressed. From this they concluded that the conscious mind was made to make the decision six seconds before it did so. They also concluded that this decision was the mechanical consequences of mechanical neural activity in the brain, like so much clockwork. This second part is where they jump to a conclusion bases on their pre-experimental bias. It is also just as likely that the unconscious mind made the choice and then directed the conscious mind to make the choice to consciously move press the button. Most overly rational people such as empiricists conclude that the conscious mind is what runs things when it is just a shell used to communicate to others and subsidiarily to ourselves. The unconscious is what runs the show. As much as these neuroscientists would like to believe they have not proven their case.

Edited by panpareil

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The experiment in question measured the conscious decision to press a button and the neural activity that preceded and predicted the pressing of a button and when the button was pressed. The conscious decision was one second before the button was pressed. The predictive neural activity was seven seconds before the button was pressed. From this they concluded that the conscious mind was made to make the decision six seconds before it did so. They also concluded that this decision was the mechanical consequences of mechanical neural activity in the brain, like so much clockwork. This second part is where they jump to a conclusion bases on their pre-experimental bias. It is also just as likely that the unconscious mind made the choice and then directed the conscious mind to make the choice to consciously move press the button. Most overly rational people such as empiricists conclude that the conscious mind is what runs things when it is just a shell used to communicate to others and subsidiarily to ourselves. The unconscious is what runs the show. As much as these neuroscientists would like to believe they have not proven their case.

I largely agree, and we are referring to the same experiment. I see a slightly different interpretation again. Where you say "conscious decision" I would say "consciousness of the decision". Consciousness is the brain's self-inspection function. It is both input and output for the decision-making function, which I believe is separate and more holistic. It allows us to modify our decision-making process, but is the view screen, not the film.

As with the experimenters, this is an interpretation - the data remain the same.

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