40 Years of study Disproves Ghosts
Posted 24 October 2010 - 08:45 PM
We already know that the amount of the human brain power being used is in low percentages - nowhere near maximum power. What is the figure? Something like 10% - 15% when we are awake?
Isn't it possible that at times, we can utilize more of our brain power, and experience these phenomenon? Something uncommon (not unnatural or non-existent)?
With this in mind, it just doesn't make sense when skeptics like this say, "It's all in your head." and then follow it up by saying, "So it doesn't exist."
Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:13 PM
Not to take away from your larger point, but I wanted to address this part specifically. This is a myth. We use pretty much all of our brain.
Don't feel bad, this is a very widespread myth. I used to believe it myself.
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
Posted 24 October 2010 - 10:52 PM
Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:15 AM
I don't know what sources you been reading.
Think about what you've just said. Does it make sense that 90% of that brain tissue is there for no reason. Or does it make more sense that this other supposedly unused brain matter does function. Here's some info on the 'We only use 10% of our brain' myth
Claim: We use only ten percent of our brains.
Origins: Someone has taken most of your brain away and you probably didn't even know it. Well, not taken your brain away, exactly, but decided that you don't use it. It's the old myth heard time and again about how people use only ten percent of their brains. While for the people who repeat that myth, it's probably true, the rest of us happily use all of our brains.
The Myth and the Media
That tired Ten-Percent claim pops up all the time. In 1998, national magazine ads for U.S. Satellite Broadcasting showed a drawing of a brain. Under it was the caption, "You only use 11 percent of its potential." Well, they're a little closer than the ten-percent figure, but still off by about 89 percent. In July 1998, ABC television ran promotional spots for The Secret Lives of Men, one of their offerings for the fall season's lineup. The spot featured a full-screen blurb that read, "Men only use ten percent of their brains."
One reason this myth has endured is that it has been adopted by psychics and other paranormal pushers to explain psychic powers. On more than one occasion I've heard psychics tell their audiences, "We only use ten percent of our minds. If scientists don't know what we do with the other
ninety percent, it must be used for psychic powers!" In Reason To Believe: A Practical Guide to Psychic Phenomena, author Michael Clark mentions a man named Craig Karges. Karges charges a lot of money for his "Intuitive Edge" program, designed to develop natural psychic abilities. Clark quotes Karges as saying: "We normally use only 10 to 20 percent of our minds. Think how different your life would be if you could utilize that other 80 to 90 percent known as the subconscious mind."
This was also the reason that Caroline Myss gave for her alleged intuitive powers on a segment of Eye to Eye with Bryant Gumbel, which aired in July of 1998. Myss, who has written books on unleashing "intuitive powers," said that everyone has intuitive gifts, and lamented that we use so little of the mind's potential. To make matters worse, just the week before, on the very same program, correct information was presented about the myth. In a bumper spot between the program and commercials, a quick quiz flashed onscreen: What percentage of the brain is used? The multiple-choice answers ranged from 10 percent to 100 percent. The correct answer appeared, which I was glad to see. But if the producers knew that what one of their interviewees said is clearly and demonstrably inaccurate, why did they let it air? Does the right brain not know what the left brain is doing? Perhaps the Myss interview was a repeat, in which case the producers presumably checked her facts after it aired and felt some responsibility to correct the error in the following week's broadcast. Or possibly the broadcasts aired in sequence and the producers simply did not care and broadcast Myss and her misinformation anyway.
Even Uri Geller, who has made a career out of trying to convince people he can bend metal with his mind, trots out this little gem. This claim appears in his book Uri Geller's Mind-Power Book in the introduction: "Our minds are capable of remarkable, incredible feats, yet we don't use them to their full capacity. In fact, most of us only use about 10 per cent of our brains, if that. The other 90 per cent is full of untapped potential and undiscovered abilities, which means our minds are only operating in a very limited way instead of at full stretch. I believe that we once had full power over our minds. We had to, in order to survive, but as our world has become more sophisticated and complex we have forgotten many of the abilities we once had" (italicized phrases emphasized in original).
Evidence Against the Ten-Percent Myth
The argument that psychic powers come from the unused majority of the brain is based on the logical fallacy of the argument from ignorance. In this fallacy, lack of proof for a position (or simply lack of information) is used to try to support a particular claim. Even if it were true that the vast majority of the human mind is unused (which it clearly is not), that fact in no way implies that any extra capacity could somehow give people paranormal powers. This fallacy pops up all the time in paranormal claims, and is especially prevalent among UFO proponents. For example: Two people see a strange light in the sky. The first, a UFO believer, says, "See there! Can you explain that?" The skeptic replies that no, he can't. The UFO believer is gleeful. "Ha! You don't know what it is, so it must be aliens!" he says, arguing from ignorance.
What follows are two of the reasons that the Ten-Percent story is suspect. (For a much more thorough and detailed analysis of the subject, see Barry Beyerstein's chapter in the 1999 book Mind Myths: Exploring Everyday Mysteries of the Mind.)
1) Brain imaging research techniques such as PET scans (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) clearly show that the vast majority of the brain does not lie fallow. Indeed, although certain minor functions may use only a small part of the brain at one time, any sufficiently complex set of activities or thought patterns will indeed use many parts of the brain. Just as people don't use all of their muscle groups at one time, they also don't use all of their brain at once. For any given activity, such as eating, watching television, making love, or reading, you may use a few specific parts of your brain. Over the course of a whole day, however, just about all of the brain is used at one time or another.
2) The myth presupposes an extreme localization of functions in the brain. If the "used" or "necessary" parts of the brain were scattered all around the organ, that would imply that much of the brain is in fact necessary. But the myth implies that the "used" part of the brain is a discrete area, and the "unused" part is like an appendix or tonsil, taking up space but essentially unnecessary. But if all those parts of the brain are unused, removal or damage to the "unused" part of the brain should be minor or unnoticed. Yet people who have suffered head trauma, a stroke, or other brain injury are frequently severely impaired. Have you ever heard a doctor say, ". . . But luckily when that bullet entered his skull, it only damaged the 90 percent of his brain he didn't use"? Of course not.
More: The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.co...s/10percent.asp
I am indebted to Dr. Barry Beyerstein for providing research help and suggestions.
Benjamin Radford is Managing Editor of the Skeptical Inquirer and holds a degree in psychology.
Last updated: 21 July 2007
Edited by ohreally?, 25 October 2010 - 10:19 AM.
Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:51 AM
Posted 25 October 2010 - 11:31 AM
No Prob, I figured it was some sort of affectionate nick-name you created for me. Oh well.
I was serious before. I was taught this as well and really believed the 10% myth into my thirties. I was pretty disgusted when I found out the truth.
My understanding is that when a person's brain is damaged, it is able to create new pathways to a certain exent and maintain normal functions. I am not sure how far that can go. I don't really know much about brains (ask my wife) but I guess it would have a lot to do with the nature of the damage & what parts are removed.
I would also like to thank Mr. Really for taking up my slack by supplying the link here.
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
Posted 25 October 2010 - 06:35 PM
Still, even if we're using 90% of our brains, heck, 100% of our brain power, isn't it still possible for this complex organic computer to structure it's abilities to sense these uncommon phenomenon?
I recall an AI experiment where 5 computer processors were hooked up, and programmed to make itself more efficient. In the end, 4 processors were running, and the AI was functioning better than with 5 processors! Why can't an organic computer, full of electrical impulses, do the same?
Why is it that small children tend to experience these phenomenon more than adults, and as they grow older lose this '6th sense'? Someone mentioned rerouting brain pathways in a response earlier - I agree. We are told, "Ghosts don't exist, Johnny. Go back to bed." Have that reinforced over and over again, and your brain may very well adjust itself to NOT experience the phenomenon. This is true for all early childhood development - we are a product of the environment we grow up in.
I wouldn't be surprised if we block some of it out ourselves as children, and force our brains to 'ignore' what we are experiencing. You can read case after case of people who have stored away deep dark ugly childhood memories to the point where they cannot even recall what has happened in their childhood because the experience was so bad.
A perfect example of what I am discussing above would be Mantras. We can literally program our brains to do things they would not normally do. When one wants to do deep dream studies they will often repeat mantras before sleep to command their brain to allow conscious access to the night's dreams. I've done this myself - it was exhausting. Sleep had become so vivid that I barely felt as if I had slept. I stopped the experiments even though they were productive.
In a nutshell, even if we are using all of our brain power all the time, this is an organic, electrically charged, ever changing bodily organ capable of more than science is fully aware of at this point in time. If we knew exactly what the human brain was capable of, there would be no need for brain research! There would probably be a book out called something like, "The Human Brain: The Complete User's Manual"
Good discussion, people
Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:44 PM
To build on APPORT's processor concept, consider the brain as a type of parallel processor. Each cell may be considered a simple processor, the links between them memory. Now consider that only certain cells are linked. The number of these links may represent the capacity for total processing. But unlike the CPU based processor in a computer, these cells can be linked as needed directly, no common bus. (The bus is actually what limits the amount of data that can be transfered in a computer, not the processor itself.)
Since no common bus exists in a perfect parallel processor, simply ading one new pathway doubles the number of unique items that can be stored. Thus the brain as a parallel processor can increase its capacity by simply adding one new link. And in theory, if all possible links could be utilized, each new link link would double the previous capacity, i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. It is clear that the potential increases exponentially, thus the capacity is incredible. Of course it is also likely not every link can be utilized, but as we learn, certain ones can be added.
In this manner it can be shown that all cells are used, but since only certain links are utilized, the total usage remains at a low level of the absolute potential. It could also help explain how at times a part of the brain can be damaged and all is not lost. Perhaps a redundent link somewhere else can take over in event another is damaged, as well as learning permitting new links to be formed as one is rehabilitated from an injury.
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Posted 25 October 2010 - 08:04 PM
I don't remember the name of the condition, hydro encephalitic cyst???? maybe, but it is characterised by the fact that their "brain" is similar to an egg, sitting on top of their brain stem. Ie: the functional part is a shell about one eighth of an inch thick, and filled with fluid.
All indications are that these people are perfectly "normal" in both intellectual and physical function. Their condition was discovered purely by accident when they underwent medical examination for something completely unrelated.
So given that these people are indistinguishable from "normal" people while having so little brain mass, one can only wonder what the total mass of the brain the rest of us have is really for.
Posted 04 November 2010 - 08:50 AM
You are welcomed.
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