RE: Yes we have souls...

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Tue, 20 Apr 1999 11:08:58 +1000

Actually, I am sure that I have seen this done with Axolotls (because they heal well?) on a tv doco or science program or something (some moons hence), one trained and one untrained, and the behavior did indeed go with the brain. Quite astounding, and even more astounding that one could actually train an Axolotl (I can't remember what it was trained to do, but it wasn't very impressive as I recall).

But who can tell if the little amphibian "soul" went with it, or whether the trained one suddenly thought "Hey, how did I do that thing again", and the untrained one went "Wow, I just thought of something, look at this mum!".

As I recall, the brain transfer looked like scooping the brain out with a spoon, and popping it in the other head like so much jelly - it didn't look too sophisticated. But they were wearing white lab coats, so it must be true.

I am positive that I didn't just dream this up... has someone seen something similar?


>Reply To:
>Sent: Monday, April 19, 1999 11:34 PM
>Subject: Yes we have souls...
>You can't notice the absence of something which doesn't leave. This is the
>sum of your self-awareness. The brain has a host of complicated funcitons,
>but to assume the brain possesses consciousness is making the same mistake
>as in the dark ages when the heart was believed to hold the soul, The
>opposite is probably more true: the soul posesses your brain, heart and
>body, discarding it when times up, but cohesive and valid. No one now,
>knows how long before birth your soul posesses integrity, or for how long
>after death. In some cases, the identity, the presence of someone's soul
>affects the phsyical to communicate fleetingly with someone.
>We should perhaps understand the process of consciosness transference, by
>not only understanding and replicating the functions of the human body, and
>brain, but of opening our eyes to the real possibility that until we
>understand the basis of sentience, we can't expect uploading to fulfill our
>hopes that when the brain is moved, the self-awareness goes with it.
>This is like telling someone who has irreversible brain damage that if they
>use fetal cells to replace damaged tissue, they are going to "take on"
>another un-born identity, and nobody's sure which one will be top dog in
>the person's mind. At one time, it was feared that transplanted tissues
>would retain enough of the chemistry at the time of death to transmit
>signals to the recipients nervous system. This is unfounded, and so is the
>idea of moving the brain to move the identity.
>Someone should try it with mice, train one to do something until it's
>mastered the trick. Train another to do the opposite trick (ie. to hit one
>button out of two for food, and vice-versa). Switch their little brains
>and after they recover (if they recover) have them stimulated the same way
>to perform the trick, and see which one does what- or if they just sit
>there scratching themselves because stitches are itchy. (Which would be
>expected if the neural responses are limited to bodily function, and not to
>conciousness or memory transference.)
>Until someone finds a way to have the soul disproven by all the
>technological verve we can toss at it, or until they prove that rats brains
>contain memory and self-awareness when transferred, I'm sticking with the
>idea of a soul.
>- Tamara