is love for family/friends nonsense? You can't prove it scientifically, either. Beauty can't be scientifically quantified either; does that invalidate it as a reality? I'd argue there are a number of wonderful things in this life that aren't bound, limited or measured by science. And I still live science. :)
I think things like love and beauty will (or at least could, given sufficient data) both someday be proven scientifically, as might be the reasons why some people believe in things they cannot sense such as gods. That doesn't make gods real. They're pure fantasy, bordering on mental illness.
that's pure conjecture and speculation, at this point; you lack the data and only have your guess. why is that any saner than belief in God? is love or beauty something people "sense" any more than God?
I do lack the data, but the fact is that the data is out there and collectible. There is absolutely no data to support the existence of an omniscient supreme being that communicates via psychic power.
Oh, and, I think we're much closer to proving that love is a purely biological process than we are to proving that god is.
Have you ever taken any biopsychology courses Rachel? Most emotions are pretty straight-forward biological functions that can be traced to specific areas of the brain. If I still had my biopsych books from my days at UT, I'd send them to you so you could read up on it(if you haven't already).
Thanks for backing up my guess. Can you recommend a particular book that deals directly with this sort of thing, maybe I can find it in a library or on Amazon?
Here's the textbook they're using in the class I took(PSY 308) at UT:
Breedlove, S.M., Rosenzweig, M.R. and Watson, N.V. (2007). Biological Psychology: An Introduction to Behavioral, Cognitive, and Clinical Neuroscience, 5th ed. Sinauer Associates.
I don't remember what the name of the textbook was when I was there, but that should get you on the right path.
I work for the Dept of Psychiatry on brain imaging, and believe me, the more one knows about brain imaging, the less one draws strong, confident conclusions based on brain imaging.
Everything significant that happens in the brain is the result of a combination of electrical and chemical phenomena, which we're only beginning to understand. Any thoughts that involve emotion, or emotions that involve thought, are global phenomena of the brain with feedback loops through the endocrine system.
And we're only down to about 1mm resolution in scans -- the FMRI studies of brain activity in real time are much fuzzier and lower resolution than that. Consider the size of a neuron vs 1mm and it's clear to me we don't know diddly yet. These are very early days, and anyone getting reductionist about it are talking out their ass.
Not to mention the fact that 'the subject does X and these parts of the brain use more oxygen' doesn't really tell you much of anything. You can get a very general map of brain functions, something we've been refining for 50 years, but we're nowhere near knowing at the fundamental level how consciousness works.
Fair enough, I probably overstated the simplicity of the situation as it's been a decade since I took the course.
"we're nowhere near knowing at the fundamental level how consciousness works"
That is clearly the case, but I can guarantee you it's not invisible help elves.
the idea though is that we WILL one day be able to examine these things with greater detail and map functions to parts of the brain conclusively. the same is not true of "god". i mean, already we have machines that can be controlled by your thought processes, but we have no machines that can be controlled by god.
> but we have no machines that can be controlled by god.
How do you know ;-)