http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... ie/?page=2
No one denies that consciousness is a hard problem. But before we reify consciousness to the level of an independent agency capable of creating its own reality, let's give the hypotheses we do have for how brains create mind more time. Because we know for a fact that measurable consciousness dies when the brain dies, until proved otherwise, the default hypothesis must be that brains cause consciousness. I am, therefore I think.
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What is meant here by "measurable consciousness"? Scince when is "consciousness" part of the scientific wold?
If I assume the subjective mental content of me being conscious to be what is meant here as "measurable consciousness" then the world would also die when my brain dies, until proven otherwise, and the default hypothesis must be that brains cause worlds.
Obviously this isn't meant by "measurable consciousness" because my subjective mental content is not scientifically measurable and I don't think science would agree that the world dies when my brain dies. Thus consciousness by a buddhist definition doesn't apply here.
Therefore I assume that the article equates objective observable data with consciousness. Electical values, signals and waves of a living brain, behaviour and response from a living being as well as common vital functions. Since all that data can only be aquired with reference to a living brain the obvious conclusion, when all that data stops by the dead of the brain, must be that consciousness dies with the dead of the brain.
I however question the applicability of those measurements and the equation of such "measurable" data with consciousness, which in my eyes cannot be part of the scientific world, due to the fact that consciousness is not observable with scientifc methods.
The scientist takes for granted that his scientific methods based on materialism are applicable and that thus aquired data reflects what the scientist desires to observe, while he presupposes that it is appropriate to equate materialistic data with a mental state.
It's always the same problem with science here. Let's think about pain for example. Scientist can mesaure the electrical signal from the nerves when one feels pain and in theory the signal travels from the triggered nerves to the brain and creates the feeling of pain. The scientist equates the electrical signals from the nerves and the brain with pain, however as far as I can tell, when I cut my finger I've never felt a painful feeling running up my hand over my arm into my head but only felt pain where I cut myself.
To cut a long story short, I don't think science is able to tell anything about consciousness (from a buddhist perspective).
best wishes, acinteyyo