Re: Non-sensory experiences

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Nov 09 2001 - 10:42:10 MST

From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <>
> I think your assumption is an inappropriate use of Occam's
> razor: we should disbelieve the existance of something if we have
> _no reason_ to think it exists; but the mere fact that we can't
> come up with a handy example (which may just be a personal failing
> on my part to communicate) shouldn't be taken that seriously when
> we _do_ have reasons (specifically, our knowledge of how the brain
> works) to believe they exist. We don't really have a good example
> of a black hole either; but we have good reason to think they
> exist, and we even think we've spotted the side-effects of them.

Apply Occam's Razor rather like this: We can explain "Non-sensory experiences"
and ghosts, etc., by simply recognizing and acknowledging that people do in
fact hallucinate. We do not know how the brain works, but we do have some
clues about how it fails to work.

No examples of black holes? Check this out:
One black hole that has been detected was the black hole in the giant galaxy
M87. This galaxy is a dense and violent place. This photograph taken in 1994
by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a disk of hot gas was orbiting at the
center of this massive galaxy. The disk is located at the lower left corner of
the picture. Observations show a central density so high that the only object
it could be is a black hole. The picture also shows the black hole shooting
off energy. The energy is composed of fast moving charged particles and has
broken into pieces as small as 10 light years across.
Glowing gas clouds are streaming from the core of a galaxy NGC4151 at hundreds
of thousands of miles per hour. Using the powerful tool from the Hubble Space
Telescope's new STIS instrument, it is possible to map out the cloud
velocities - producing this false color velocity map for the central regions
of NGC4151. The horizontal line is light from the intensely bright region near
the galaxy nucleus. Emission at two wavelengths characteristic of oxygen atoms
in the gas clouds is visible along this line. Where do the clouds come from?
As scientist receive evidence, the explanation for energetic nuclear activity
in galaxies based on material spiraling into a central black hole with over a
million times the mass of our sun is proving to be right.
These are a few examples of black holes and what they are. In the future, as
IRAS documents get more researched and uncovered more black holes will be
found. Also, when WIRE gets launched, it will for sure spot some black holes.
Researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope announced today that they had
found new examples of black holes residing in nearby large galaxies. Their
results indicate that most large galaxies seem to have so-called supermassive
black holes, black holes weighing anywhere from 10 million to 10 billion times
the mass of our sun.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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