I was using Google to do some research on the big bang, and I came across a promising looking site, All About Science. The creators of this site have worked very hard to make it look like a legitimate science web site. But it doesn't take long to realize that this is just more Creationist Woo Woo.

I am getting so fed up with all the blatant lying in our society, from the oil companies spending billions to discredit, or obfuscate the science of global warming, to the political lies we see in corporate funded slam ads.

I wish we had a liars' list for all these charlatans. They call it freedom of speech, but it should be illegal! Anyone have any ideas to help expose the hypocracy?

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@Michel - Agree, agree.

And wrt animals, does anyone know of evidence pro or con wrt how they dream? In the paper that Matt recommended about the evolution of animal cognition (which I recommend as a great read), the author says that most mammals dream, but reptiles don't.
A long time ago I read some research regarding sleep states and neurology, most of which I can't recall, but that's the extent of it.

There was some recent buzz about a link between video games and lucid dreaming, so it's possible this has had an impact on my sleep habits, but I can't rightly say. I don't remember when I started playing video games in relation to my realization that I could frequently recall my dreams and exercise varying levels of control in them. In both cases we are talking before the age of ten.
This study was based on REM sleep and dealt with your consciousness helping you to figure out problems. The model that all patients used was a large video game that was completely interactive, I believe it was a skiing game, or snowboarding.

The study went like this, you play the game for 4 hours straight and then go to sleep. After you wake up they ask you to recall any dreams you may have had, the ones that could, in some way explained they were flying or skiing or it was incorporated in their dream somehow. After that you go back to playing the game.

The study showed that all patients got better after dreaming about the game and increased in ability by 60% after their first dream about the game.

the study doesn't do much to explain consciousness but it does give us insight into how our subconscious mind works when in a dream state. The study continues and i have a friend that does a similar study but uses different methods than the video games. They use math problems, tv, music and etc.
I had lucid dreams last night where I did my whole workday. Then when I woke up, I had to do it all over again. I hate it when that happens! Can I sign up for the video game dream tonight?
Are you sure it was a dream? Perhaps you're trapped in a Groundhog's Day scenario.
That's what Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots call a tour on an aircraft carrier, groundhog day, because so many days are almost exactly alike.
Do they play the video game recently after sleep, or at about the same level of rest as before the sleep? (about 24 hours later)
Do they go through the exact same routine leading up to the game play?
Did they go through that routine for days ahead of time so that it's kind of the 'norm' by the time they began the study?
Are they given more than one task during these intervals? If so, is it always the most recent task before sleep that dominates the dream?
Anecdotally, for me, it usually is. I was playing an old Zelda game last night before sleep and had a dream about a similar game, with different controls, rules, goals, but clearly the same genre, and with no better graphics. ;) I ask about all these things because they all could be contributing factors to improved game performance. The person has also had plenty of waking time to process what they've played in the game as well. Either they're freshly rested, which should improve cognitive ability, or they've had a day to think about the problem, even if it's not the primary focus of their attention. As a result, i doubt that it can be said conclusively that dreams had anything to do with working out the problem at hand. The interruption to a train of thought that sleep provides may be the reset someone needs to pursue a different line of thinking instead of getting stuck in the same approach they might have cornered themselves in before sleep.

The brain is a processor of information. As said by Sagan, 'the simplest thought like the concept of the number one has an elaborate logical underpinning.... the brain has its own language" Modern microelectronics share this characteristic. We have memory, logic processors, inputs, and specialized subprocessors. If research is to be done, computer engineering might be a good place to draw hypotheses from. I know it's a side note, but. :P
It could also be invisible fairies sprinkling dust in my nose, but I have no proof of that. The default position is that it is a natural process, like everything else observed about the universe. To make the assertion that it is equally likely that it is an immeasurable supernatural force that causes the neurons to fire has no evidence and amounts to an argument from ignorance. (the logical fallacy, not the insult ;) )

There has been a lot of research done on brain state, both waking and sleeping. There are many, many brain states, but to assert that it is more than a natural process is no different than a god-of-the-gaps argument.
reread my post for your answers, i think you missed the point and shouldn't have all those questions. Or read about it and don't just make assumptions and spout off neurological bull.
What assumptions did I make? I did ask questions, but that was specifically to avoid assumption.
Also, what neurological bull? If I were to build a microprocessor on a completely different principle than binary logic gates, it would still be a microprocessor. If someone who has never seen this processor now had to reverse engineer it, it would still be a processor. If someone said that it is so different that it must not be a processor or it must have a soul or a metaphysical purpose, it would still be a processor. If I eliminate the electrical activity in the brain, it ceases to operate, same as a processor.
"The default position is that it is a natural process, like everything else observed about the universe. To make the assertion that it is equally likely that it is an immeasurable supernatural force that causes the neurons to fire has no evidence and amounts to an argument from ignorance. "

This is kinda funny that you use (default position). Often i find many people just take the default opinion of things, without thinking for themselves. I don't think i would say it is a supernatural force when discussing consciousness. maybe this is a problem with science and explaining why the brain works like it does. To many scientist if they can not explain it they just say, I don't know what it is but i know what it isn't.

Frankly i dont understand why this is such a touchy subject. Maybe it is the misconception that people think consciousness is linked to a soul, and many of you think the idea of a soul was invented by religion and has something to do with the afterlife.

I hear the argument o well it's just a natural process the brain creates the idea of consciousness. I have read a great deal of articles and talked to many scientist about there studies and many of them are inconclusive. A good scientist will never rule out any possibility.

I have read somewhere on here that many think consciousness comes later in life and is taught, or your brain makes it up to cope with all the information. I tend to think, based on research that consciousness comes first and is always present and one day can be proven to be natural in every living being. I also think that arguments against consciousness look at the facts wrong and use unreliable studies to prove it doesn't exist.

Take the brain dead or the coma patients or the mentally handicapped. Just because their brains are not processing the information right does not mean that their sub-consciousness or even conscious states are corrupted as well. I have a friend with a speech problem and a friend who has dyslexia. they both tell me that in their heads they have it right but when converting it into speech or writing, it comes out backwards or all jumbled up. May sound out there but you have to open your mind to the possibility and read both sides of the argument. never just write something off based on others research. Most science can and has been proven wrong on some scale. neurology is just one of the new fads that create great theories in explaining the mind, While many are right on, I will stick by we have a long way to go before we understand consciousness.
So what you're describing is a subprocessor, like in the case of dyslexia the one that would control speech or writing, malfunctioning, while the central processor is not affected. That would leave someone able to think clearly, but with a hard time verbalizing their thoughts.
I would agree that we have a long way to go before understanding consciousness, but to disregard neurology as a fad ignores advances in brain-machine interface. People have learned to communicate through a computer with thought alone, and have regained some sight even though their optic nerves were useless through direct interface with the part of the brain that controls visual interpretation. If a brain is physically altered, the personality can be changed. Recently an experiment was done showing that interfering with a part of the brain just above the right ear altered the ability of the test subjects to experience empathy. This is all evidence, not to be ignored.
If I can't write something based off of others' research, then I have to start from scratch, which if applied to science uniformly, would have slowed progress throughout history immeasurably.


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