Sunday, August 06, 2006

Subjective Science

The spirit and principles of science are mere affairs of method; there is nothing in them that need hinder science from dealing successfully with a world in which personal forces are the starting point of new effects. The only form of thing that we directly encounter, the only experience that we concretely have is our own personal life. The only completed category of our thinking, our professors of philosophy tell us, is the category of personality, every other category being one of the abstract elements of that. And this systematic denial on science’s part of personality as a condition of events, this rigorous belief that in its own essential and innermost nature our world is a strictly impersonal world, may, conceivably, as the whirligig of time goes round, prove to be the very defect that our descendants will be most surprised at in our boasted science, the omission that to their eyes will most tend to make it look perspectiveless and short. --William James

Here is a link to a wonderful academic journal article from some folks at Princeton about the nature of science and the position of subjective inquiry therein. This is an important piece of literature for the pantheist in that it is the beginning of any serious scientific inquiry into the possibility of universal consciousness. I would certainly be interested in the input of anyone who has experience in these matters. Of particular interest would be experimental results that indicate a moderate to high correlation between observer and subsequent experimental results.


At 5:15 AM, Blogger Bluepanther said...

Science, to me is very much like religion. Both aim to explore the realms of the unknown and shed light on those areas that are dark to us humans at a certain point of time.
Thanks for mentioning my blog in your post.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Codesuidae said...

In response to bluepanther's comment above:

Science and religion are different things to different people. To some they are fundamentally different, with different purposes, to others just different ways of doing the same thing. It is difficult to generalize about what religion is or what purpose it serves to those individuals who practice it. Science is a little easier to pigeonhole as to what it is, but again every individual sets his own purpose for it.

I think the most apt description of science I've heard is the one put forth by Feynman, to the effect of "science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves." This is, to me, what seperates science and religion; religion is less strict (depending on who is practicing it) about fooling oneself.

In response to the article:

This is facinating research. I've read similar studies in the past, but they were not as complete as this. I would like to see a good executive summary of the results of this study.

Most interesting I think is that they checked for and evidently found a non-random shifts in data collected days before the tests were run. If this is genuine it is mind boggling. The avenues for research are endless. It would be interesting to investigate if the non-random shift is present if the user is not aware that the test is running (for example if the user was instead focusing on a video game designed to elicit the same affect), then, if that worked, move on to animal tests.

I remain highly skeptical, but I hope to see more research in this area; the potential to change how we view the world (and PowerBall) is great.

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Kyle Vernon said...

Yeah, so far I can tell you that powerball results using the power of only one consciousness are less than stellar. As for my view of science and religion, I'd say they are both attempts to understand the world around us. Neither is perfect. Neither is infallible. As far as further research goes, I'd like to see some results using folks who claim a unified consciousness. That is, one who has "mastered" his ego. Further, I'd also like to see results of mass consciousness tests where groups of folks share a common goal.
I've known for a while that consciousness has a very definite effect on reality, however, have been at a loss on how to prove it. Maybe now the ball will start rolling a little faster toward the point where I have a small black box on the corner of my lawn that "amplifies" thoughts such that I can simply "wish" my reality into being.


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