May 22, 2007

From Wes Stillwagon:

Re: What is consciousness? Study aims to settle debate (May 20): I find it humorous to think about scientists, who for the most part do not even acknowledge the human unconscious to be theorizing and researching the conscious. Usually their lack of education in the realm of the psyche is sparse or non existent and I believe this is true with the researchers featured in this article. A medical education does not an expert on the human psyche make although it should. Many Western scientists do not even consider psychology a science at all and when they do they may refer to it as a “soft-science” supported by weak empirical study. Usually they arrogantly believe they know all there is to know about the structure, dynamics, and functions of the psyche. I suspect that this is true with these researchers.

Proper study of the human psyche may require the abandoning cause-effect in favor of an analytical approach. For the most part, only nuclear physicists acknowledge this and utilize such scientific research methodology.

Such researchers are usually unaware that their primary research tool for the study of the psyche is the subject of their research and that alone makes maintaining objectivity difficult to impossible.

They also usually believe that anything not proven true is automatically proven false. They ignore or forget the possibility that their thesis, examination method, and testing may be flawed. The opposing thesis deserves as much respect. They usually approach studies in such things as the human psyche and conscious expecting to prove such things false and this is often reflected in their thesis, study design, and conclusions. I suggest they review the Rosenthal ( effect on this subject to check their attitude and objectivity.

A study of the “out-of-body” experiences of clinically dead patients is hardly a way to draw a definition of human consciousness. It may help define a small facet but consciousness is a complex for which this is one very minor node.

So my point is that I do not believe the researchers are really qualified to speculate on or research anything having to do with the human psyche and I think that I could convincingly debate my position.

Wes Stillwagon
Lillington, North Carolina


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