The CERN experiment, Einstein and we humans; (Updated- Read more comments)
Posted on November 29th, 2011

by Bodhi Dhanapala

An atom-smashing experiment conducted at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) to test the behaviour of matter at high energies and very short impact distances  has reported a surprising outcome. It claims that some neutrinos (these are electrically uncharged particles with almost zero weight) had been detected that seemed to move with velocities faster than light!

Now, according to Einstein nothing can move faster than light, as every object increases its mass as you increase its speed, and ultimately becomes infinitely heavy at the speed of light. Light has zero mass and so it alone can go at the top allowed speed. Neutrinos are very difficult to detect, and most experiments with neutrinos are open to large errors. So this claim may be a ‘red herring’. However, it has raised lots of interest and much speculation.

In the course of a discussion regarding matter and the mind, the question arose as to whether there is  hard-science evidence to show that the mind can move matter. All the physiological (neuro-science etc) evidence we have is that the brain moves the body, and the mind is  an intermediate  giving room for further physiological adjustment of the outcomes. Writers like Daniel Dennette (author of the book ‘The mind’s I, Fantasies and reflections of self and soul) have discussed these matters in popular books.

Professor Ladduwahetty, previously at the University of Colombo suggested that even if there is as yet no hard-science evidence beyond physiological precesses, we should allow for the possibility that such evidence may come in the future, and indicated that  With more understanding as to how Neutrinos behave, we can expect some interesting stuff to emerge on the mind/energy connection.  Right now it is perhaps more in the realm of conjecture and Sci-Fi though!

Indeed, as Prof. Ladduwahetty points out, this is at the edge of science fiction. However we thought it would be worth while following this up with people who have expert knowledge in physics. Hence we wrote to three well known Sri Lankan Physicists, namely, Professor Chandre Dharmawardana, a past Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University,  (currently a Physicist working on the quantum theory and attached to the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Montreal), Prof. Keerthi Tennakoon, who was the Head of the Institute of Fundamental Studies in Kandy, as well as Prof. P. W. Epasinghe, an Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and a student of the world famous Nobel Physicist Abdus Salam. Further more, Prof. Dharmawardana was our Vice-Chancellor at Vidyodaya in the mid 1970s when we were student there, while Prof. Epasinghe was the Professor of mathematics. Dr. Tennakoon was a lecturer in Physics. So they were all our teachers and they have kindly responded to my call.

I include below the triggering remarks of Prof. Ladduwahetty, and the responses of the three physicists.  Our thanks are directed to Prof. Ladduwahetty for her inspiring initiating remarks, and to  Professors Epasinghe, Dharmawardana and Tennakoon for their explanations.

 I believe that their responses are of great interest to the general reader who can make their own judgments, remembering that science is ‘a doubt system’, and not  ‘a belief system’.

Professor Dharmawardana’s reply:
Our job when teaching science to university students is to teach them how to think, and how to see the wood for the trees. We can’t  teach them the last word in science, as there is NONE. But there are basic things that help people to navigate themselves. So I will write around the topic at first so that people can figure out the answers themselves.

Indeed, it is true that scientists in each subject tend to specialize. Most of us physicists do not know enough biology, and most biologists do not know enough physics.   Edward O. Wilson in his famous book “Consilience” wrote “it is not surprising to find physicists who do not know what a gene is, and biologists who guess that string theory has something to do with violins”. So it is important for scientists of different disciplines to get together.

But the situation is worse between scientists and non-scientists. We live in a world where the division is no longer between black and white, or rich and poor, but increasingly between those who are scientifically literate and some-what able to understand what is going on, and the vast majority of “those who are captive within a wall of scientific illiteracy”  (in the words of Wilson); and yet the latter control our media and public policy. So, before we discuss CERN we need to get the background to modern physics in the context of human knowledge.

The first things you need to know are what is known as energy and length scales. The very high energies are associated with large forces, and with very short lengths (remember,  work W is energy, and Energy = force times length)

So very large energies and very short length scales go together. Elementary particles (i.e., subatomic particles) like electrons, positrons,  neutrinos, and the heavier protons, neutrons,  and their constituents (quarks) correspond to higher energies and  shorter length scales.

Next we have the atomic length scales, and atomic energy scales. These are also very high energies and very short lengths compared to bread and butter. Thus we need about a million-billion atoms placed in one line to make one hair-width.

Then  we have the molecular energy scales and molecular length scales. This is our everyday world of food digestion, fermentation, cooking etc. That is where human biochemistry, the brain and biology works. Here we talk of energies in calories and lengths in centimeters or microns.

Next we have macroscopic energy scales, where the engineers take over, and use kilograms and tons  (Kilowatts as the energy scales), and kilometers as the length scale. Then we have astronomical length scales and weak forces like gravitation (which arises in general relativity from the curvature of space-time which makes objects to go in curved paths rather than straight lines).

We will stop here in this discussion and return to the neutrinos.
Before that, we need a bit of physics theory.

Physics says that all phenomena obey the very simple-looking laws of the quantum theory (Heisenberg-Schrodinger-Dirac theory) and the very compact field equations of Einstein which deal with space-time. These two theories are combined side by side (but not unified) in what is called the “standard model”. The standard model was developed by Abdus Salam (Pakistani-English physicist), Weinberg, and Glashow who jointly won the Nobel price  for it. This theory PREDICTS exactly what type of elementary particles (i.e., electrons, quarks, neutrinos etc) should exist. These predictions have all been confirmed, not just qualitatively, but quantitatively (that is why they got the prize); except for a number of NEW particles that have not been seen yet. They are the Higgs Boson, and other special particles. The theory PREDICTS that they will be seen at some yet to be reached  higher energies. The effort of CERN is to reach such energies, which may have prevailed just after the big bang.

The ‘big bang’ is not just an empty  theory but an actual event. Its after-glow can be actually observed by looking out into the night sky with a radio telescope, and  what is seen is exactly what is predicted. So it fits perfectly.

The “big-bang” is not the ‘moment of creation’, but just one “bang” out of thousands of other ‘explosions” that are occurring all the time in space-time; but we can only know about what is happening within our ‘information horizon’ limited by the speed of light.

So the CERN experiment is virtually trying to get close to the earliest big-bang state of the universe. It has to go a long way. But on its way, it should meet these PREDICTED  particles, and possibly, unexpected new effects. It should also bring out new theories BEYOND this standard model which contains Einstein’s model and the Quantum theory. The theory that has been put forward to surpass them is known as “String Theory”. According to Einstein the world has four dimensions. But according to one version of the new ‘String Theory’  the world really has 11 dimensions, with 7 of them folded in (compacted) so that we see only four dimensions. These four dimensions are length, breath, height, and time.

The ‘distance’ measured in four dimensions is the valid, ‘invariant’ way to measure ‘separations’ between events in the world, and this is known as “Lorentz invariance”. Now, when we go to these high energies, and very short length scales, we may begin to see some of this folded dimensions.  Are we seeing such dimensions in the CERN experiment? In my view this is very unlikely, and the most likely explanation is experimental error. It is very hard to do accurate experiments with neutrinos.

The NEWSPAPER BLURBS meant to sensationalize the CERN news is partly HYPE.  If the neutrinos have exposed some new compacted dimension and seen to propagate in a manner which is not according to naive relativity, that is sensational but may be consistent with the expectation of string theory. The question is, is it in agreement with some theory? It is more likely that this is a bit of “noise” coming from doing experiments in a range where no one has any experience.

It need not contradict EINSTEIN’s theory as said in the newspaper reports.  It may extend Einsteins theory (In technical language, we say that a  multi-dimensional space-time metric is used in string theory, instead of the 4-dimensional manifold). Some writers, surely not physicists,  have said that ‘we may have to return to Newton’. That is completely wrong. In fact, Einstein’s theory is verified every day at our (Newtonian)  length scales, each time you use a GPS to verify your location when travelling. The velocity of light is accurately known and I doubt if that would need any revision.  Even neutrino velocities have been measured using neutrinos emitted from Supernova explosions. The new extensions of Einstein’s theory, if actually needed, probably occur only at very short length scales very very different from human energy and length scales.

Now, when we think about life forms and brains, all this is irrelevant to biology because our biological energy scales and length scales are trillions and trillions and trillions and quadrillions of times different from the energy scales created with enormous difficulty inside the CERN accelerator. The latter  are comparable to what is happening inside a thermonuclear explosion.

Since evolution is now an extremely well established theory, it can guide us. We know that the human body, its organs, the hand, the eye, the digestion, the brain, sight, hearing and thought all evolved to cope with daily life and its struggle. They don’t occur at neutrino length scales or inside compacted dimensions at Plank scales, nor are they mediated by Higgs Bosons or high-energy neutrinos that exist in nuclear explosions. Evolution keeps only stuff that it needs to adapt the organism for its life process, and sheds unnecessary appendages. So all aspects of our body are intimately adapted to normal energy and length scales, i.e., calories (and not Giga Watts), and centimeters (and not units measured in the Plank length which is some trillion trillion times smaller than an atomic nucleus. The Plank length is the smallest ‘quantum’ of length possible).

Hence I agree with Prof. Ladduwahetty that the possibility of this experiment having and impact on mind-matter issues is mostly in the area of science fiction and speculation. However, although most physicists prefer  terra firma, there are a  very  small number of physicists, e.g., Roger Penrose of Oxford, and Eugene Wigner, who always felt that the mind was  ultimately necessary to solve the problem of observation in the quantum theory.

The reason for building the Hadron collider in CERN is to generate those extreme high energies, of the sort found in the center of the sun or close to the big bang, where particles interact at extremely short length scales.   Of course  journalists have to put a slant to the news to make the scientifically unconcerned public sit up and take note.

Closing remarks from Prof. Dharmawardana.:
I know from a message I got from Anada Wijesinghe that this discussion is not just about neutrinos and relativity, but also about this question of whether the “mind is supreme or the brain is supreme”. One of the best answers to this was given by the Buddha long ago when he suggested that this is ‘a metaphysical question that ordinary people cannot decide’, and indicated how we should go about our daily lives while leaving metaphysics aside.

Of course today we have more scientific tools than long ago, and some well-trained scientists in well-equipped neuro-science laboratories can look at some such questions. Some metaphysical questions have become physics questions.  But most of us are mere ring-side on-lookers, even if we have students and colleagues working in such labs.

These modern tools have on the whole shown that mental functions can be understood using physiology, in somewhat the same way that we understand that a lotus is made up of the atoms that are found in the mud. However, although the processes occurring in a lotus can be treated at the microscopic level by physiology, the lotus is the “Emergent Reality”, and it has an undeniable distinct reality different from its origins. In that sense, while the mind can be related to the brain by physiology, there is good reason to treat the mind as a “quasi-new emergent system” on its own right. Its behaviour can be ultimately reduced to physics; but an extremely long causal chain is required to connect it to molecular physics and then this connection usually becomes “irrelevant” at human length scales. So we don’t discuss our daily lives in terms of biochemistry (unless some pathology is involved). When it comes to  ethics, biochemistry is probably quite irrelevant.

86 Responses to “The CERN experiment, Einstein and we humans; (Updated- Read more comments)”

  1. Ariya Says:

    This question started not with any CERN experiments, but whether the mind is supreme and our thoughts are made in the mind. Bodhi Dhanapala states that brain is equal to mind, trying to prove it through science and completely going against the Gauthama Buddh’s words as in Dhammapada.

    Science could be right, Biology too, but there are enough times Science had gone wrong.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty’s “closing comment” has nothing to do with this question, even though Bodhi had used it. Bodhi wouldn’t know why that comment had come through in a sort of a email thread of Sinhalese.

    Prof. Epasinghe simply says; “I do not know the answer to your question.”

    Prof. Tennakoon says; “It is true that the CERN neutrino experiment has been reproduced. Nevertheless it is too early to assume that all systematic errors are ruled out.” He is not replying to the main question, which of course Bodhi had simply taken out.

    Professor Dharmawardana’s long harangue doesn’t give us anything, except lot of spin. He practically says he doesn’t know.

    As for me, the mind is supreme and thoughts are made in the mind. Mind is separate from the brain, and brain does as the mind commands. Mahes agrees to that. Most of the Sinhala Buddhists, agree to that.

    Science had never transplanted a brain. Science had not made a human being with a brain too.

  2. Ariya Says:

    What Bodhi Dhanapala wants to prove here is that the Gauthama Buddha had said the wrong thing–All thoughts begin in the mind; mind is supreme and mind made are they–මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා, මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා, තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං

  3. nilwala Says:

    From Mahes Ladduwahetty:

    The OPERA experiments regarding Neutrinos were quoted by me when I speculated that more experimentation with these non-charged near-zero-mass particles could one day lead to greater understanding of Mind, Bodhi Dhanapala has taken umbrage at this since it conflicts with his position on mind/brain.

    Prof. Chandre Dharmawardene has not dismissed my suggestion since he considers Mind to be a quasi-emergent system that can be ultimately reduced to Physics. My position is that just as Biochemistry provided the breakthrough into understanding Genetics, Biophysics would provide the next big breakthrough into understanding Mind.

    What is unacceptable is that it was not ethical of Bodhi Dhanapala to make this posting using HIS PERSONALLY SELECTED EXTRACTS from a long discussion thread WITHOUT THE PERMISSION of the participants that he is quoting. There is a detectable intent to embarrass me in particular, as he has included statements by me that are quite irrelevant to the debate as presented to this Forum.

    I think that an APOLOGY is in order.

  4. Ariya Says:

    Bodhi Dhanapala writes; “In the course of a discussion regarding matter and the mind,”

    With whom did he discuss this matter?

    Profs. Epasinghe, Tennakoon and Dharmawardena were never in the discussion and never wrote to that forum. Prof. Dharmawardana: “I know from a message I got from Anada Wijesinghe that this discussion is not just about neutrinos and relativity, but also about this question of whether the “mind is supreme or the brain is supreme”. Ananda Wijesinghe is made to be involved…how come?

    It was not ethical for Dhanapala to just select what he wanted without permission from prof. Mahes Ladduwahetty and an apology is in order!

  5. Ben_silva Says:

    It would have been helpful if there is a clear definition/description of mind first. Relativity is based on the observation that speed of light is constant irrespective of the observer. Do we know if the speed of neutrinos is constant ?. Do we know how it is measured ? Speed depends on measurement of distance and time. These two factors can influence the speed.
    Science relies on theory and experimental evidence. Religion relies on unproven myths. Also religion work as a mind virus and can cloud a persons thinking.
    There is no experimental, verifiable evidence that mind controls matter or the brain. I have no problems in accepting that thoughts are a result of brain activity. I do not see a conflict witH BUddhism either, as long as mind is taken as a product or manifestation of brain activity, just as learning is a manifestation of brain activity. Published literature indicate that cognition, learning and perception etc are a result of brain activity and that of neural networks.

    Thanks to Bodhi for discussing a science tropic.

  6. Ariya Says:

    Ben says; “Religion relies on unproven myths. Also religion work as a mind virus and can cloud a persons thinking.” Is Ben stating that Buddhism is also a myth?

    Ben says; “There is no experimental, verifiable evidence that mind controls matter or the brain.” There is evidence that brain controls matter, if we consider our hands, legs, joints moving and our blood pressure, and other parts of our body controlled by the brain, a physical effort. There is no experimental evidence of brain controlling any matter outside the body.

    There are enough experimental evidence of mind controlling matter outside the body, Telekinesis for example. Nina Kulagina had been tested many times. The objects are not only of steel, but also of timber, plastic, etc.

    There is Radiesthesia, which is dowsing by rods and pendulums in order to locate buried substances and not only that. Radiesthesia is perception by the senses or the capacity for feeling or sensation. This phenomena had been known to the world since 1930s.

  7. AnuD Says:

    In comparison to the content in the article, comments are worth 1000 times.

    Physicists with organized knowledge handle things differently.

    I think the brain is the anatomical structure. Mind is how everything is connected to the everything else at the particle level.

    But which particle/particles are responsible ?

    That is still a long time away because education is still not advanced enough.

    It is the same old education and we try to excel in one small part of a selected discipline.

  8. herman Says:

    Science has a very long, long way to go to prove the Buddha wrong – The mind is faster than light. If these scientist were to step out of their comfort zones and go out to the Himalayas, or to the forest monestaries in Myanmar or Thailand there are some monks capable of proving this fact, known more than 2500 years ago. According to the Dalai Lama, today there are scientist participating with some Tibetean meditators on various “mind” issues in the USA, unfortunately the public and the most of the Scientific community will be kept in the dark for a very long time.

  9. Ben_silva Says:

    To respond to Ariya.
    Buddhist precepts as formulated by Lord Buddha is excellent and most valuable in terms of ethics, morality and values. However, Nirvana, Sansare, Karma,and rebirth also existed as Indians beliefs and myths around the time of Lord Buddha. Nirvana, Sansare, Karma and rebirth have no verifiable evidence and therefore can be classed as unproven Indian myths. As Buddhism is no longer a major Indian religion, it could safely said that Indians have moved on have dumped Buddhism, although we are still hanging on to myths, which could harm us in the modern highly competitive dangerous world.
    Nirvana itself have about 4 descriptions, the safest being heavenly birth, as believed by most folk Buddhists and the most dangerous being termination of birth/rebirth cycle.
    The evidence is that the Brain is controlling the body and mind rather than the reverse.

  10. Ariya Says:

    Ben, we are not talking about nirvana, sansare or karma, the question is whether mind is supreme and the thoughts are made in the mind, is brain and mind separate, and at the same time we are not arguing about Buddhism too.

    As Herman stated before your post, the mind is faster than the light. And science has a very long, long way to go to prove Buddha wrong, meaning this world would not exist, if that day would come.

    Do we Sinhalese Buddhists need CERN experiments, neutrinos etc, to prove or disprove that the mind is supreme and the thoughts are made in the mind.

    You may argue about Indian myths, but we are not interested in Shiva, Vishnu, Kali Amma etc. Actually, in Sri Lanka, minister Mervyn Silva is much more powerful than Kaliamma, who is some Indian god’s wife. He blocked the animal sacrifice in that Kaliamma’s name.

    Is the mind supreme and the thoughts are made in the mind? That is the ONLY question.

  11. Bodhi Says:

    The document for sending to Lankaweb was prepared on the 22nd of November and sent out to every body. I got some feed back which was included as “closing remarks”. No one sent a note saying don’t publish my comment, or demanded any modifications. So, finally I included the closing remarks sent by them and sent it to the Lanka web after a delay of two days on 24 th November. You see that what was sent out, and what was published, included those closing remarks, and I could do that because I held up the material without really submitting to lankaweb for 48 hours, so that anyone could send in their objections. So I don’t know why Mahes did not include her objections, or requests for modifications in her closing remarks which were included as sent, as I did not understand that there was a problem.

    The Lankaweb is an electronic journal which is on the whole anl extension of the e-mail forum as mainly the same people who are in the e-mail group read lanka web. I thought Prof. Mahes and I had a good understanding since we had already been in private e-mail communication for some time. So, am sorry, and will certainly do apologize, and am surprised at her feeling that there is something missing. All she has to do now is to write a longer article to the Lanka Web and I think the Editor will publish it. Such an article would put the record right, and surely be most welcomed by everybody as more clarity is needed in all this. The Lankaweb editors address is [email protected]

    I have spent a lot of time and lot of effort, and my interest is purely in understanding this complex issue. It is because I welcome transparency that I invited old teachers and Prof. Mahes into the discussion. Of course, a number of people in the e-mail forum tried to poison the discussion by casting aspirations of bad chethanaa on my part. I simply ignore them.

    We appealed to you scientists as experts, and I tried to prevent our back-and-forth views from getting entangled by cutting out most of the earlier discussions as we can’t reproduce them in the Lankaweb. It would be impossible for me to summarize those, as different people would become upset about summarizing them them in my way.

    So I am surprised to hear that I took “umbrage” at Mahes’s views on the neutrino experiments. Instead, I thought her views should be a good spring board to get other experts involved in our discussion which was running out of steam due to a lack of high-level participants with scientific knowledge. In fact, after we put this on the lankaweb, I see that Dr. Susantha Goonatilleke has also sent an e-mail message. So the lankaweb article helped to bring in other ringside people. He is also an eminent intellectual and he should be posting his comment for all of us to see. That is the nature of transparency. Science works by openness.

  12. Bodhi Says:

    Ariya (aka chldvs?) is saying that the question is whether mind or the brain is supreme.
    The question here is NOT that, but it is about the meaning of the new experiments with neutrinos,
    and if it will shed light on the mind-brain problem.

    The brain is supreme in most matters and it posts the decision on the mind (Mana-Aesa, මනැස) for immediate matters, like when you pull out your hand automatically when the hand accidentally touches a hot plate. You had no time to think about it.
    But when it comes to longer-range matters, the mind can plan ahead and get the body to act on it. For example, you might decided to go to Dambadiva next April, and actually go there. Here it is a set of processes in the mind which registered these thoughts in the neurons of the brain, a bit like an alarm clock registering to ring and wake you up next morning. There someone sets tha alarm. In the case of the mind, it is some thought process of the moment (and not an Aathma) that sets the decision. There is no soul, no aathma, no person, and no driver in the mind.
    The Buddha understood this very well when he said, there is no ego or a ‘person’ deciding these things, but just mental states (anatta).
    He also said that in Moral matters the mind is supreme, and that is why Chethana, and not actions determine Paw and Ping.
    As regards the general Mind-Body problem the Buddha said, don’t waste your time discussing it, as it is a metaphysical question. So Aiya and others who are trying to put Buddhism on the hot seat are completely ignorant of Buddhism. he Buddha understood all this very well, and 2600 years ago, charted the right course of thinking.

    In fact, Janaka Perera or some one very interested in this question wrote to Bhikku Samhita (Buddha Direct) and
    Here is what Bhikku Samhita says (24-Janyary 2011):
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    I hereby apologize unconditionally for having diverted attention
    to this irresolvable mind-brain issue, since I this morning realized
    that it is a variant of the 10 indeterminable subjects deliberately
    undeclared by the Buddha:

    1: The cosmos is eternal
    2: The cosmos is not eternal,
    3: The cosmos is finite…
    4: The cosmos is infinite…
    5: The soul (mind) & the body (brain) are the same. (inseparable)
    6: The soul (mind) is one thing and the body (brain) another. (separable)
    7: After death a Tathagata exists…
    8: After death a Tathagata does not exist…
    9: After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist…
    10: After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does he not exist.

    “And they lived arguing, quarreling, and disputing, wounding one another
    with weapons of the mouth, saying, “The Dhamma is like this, not like that.
    The Dhamma’s not like that, it’s like this.” Ud 6.4

  13. Ariya Says:

    Bodhi, there is no mind-brain problem. And we are not awaiting results of billion dollar experiment to get the answer. I am quite sure that you are trying to say that Buddha had uttered falsehood.

  14. jimmy Says:

    This is One of the best articles in Lanka web
    I will be happy If I see many articles like this which help us to think smart. I am not as smart as most of the folks who wrote comments here. I enjoyed reading

    I like what Bodhi said “The brain is supreme in most matters and it posts the decision on the mind (Mana-Aesa, මනැස) for immediate matters, like when you pull out your hand automatically when the hand accidentally touches a hot plate. You had no time to think about it.
    But when it comes to longer-range matters, the mind can plan ahead and get the body to act on it”

    work of mind is a mystery
    I believe in repetitions also . When you do something over and over and over again it becomes a habit it change the personality We should never give up a good habit
    I started a good habit 3 months ago. I eat bolied vegetables. I do not eat unhealthy food
    I walk or run 1 hour before work . I also do some weights every day
    Things went well for a while

    I visted my mother who lives very far away from me for 4 days. Ate lots of lankan food Hoppers and so on . I can not say no to her.I came home I could not get back to my daily routine . I am disappointed. I am eating junk food now which I did 3 months ago and unable to go for run or walk which I used to enjoy for the last 3 months
    The point is when we do things over and over and over again it becomes a habit . your mind
    does it without any problems
    we should never give up a good habit even for a day like what I did and finding difficult to do the good routine
    some one say if you do good habits for 21 days over and over again it becomes a daily routine

  15. nilwala Says:

    Bodhi Dhanapala has attempted to explain that he had no mala-fide intentions behind his inserting my SIDEBAR response to Chanath de Silva about the behavior of cats vs. dogs in the context of a question that had been raised as to whether animals “think”, By not giving ANY EXPLANATION OF CONTEXT, Bodhi imparted to my comment a silliness and superficiality that I found unacceptable and malicious when put up on a publicly viewed webpage.

    At NO POINT IN HIS COMMUNICATIONS HAD BODHI INDICATED THAT HE SOUGHT OUR OK TO PUT HIS SELECTIVE COMPILATION UP ON THE LANKAWEB.
    WHEN HE CIRCULATED IT HE HAD ALREADY SENT IT IN, I HOPED THAT THE EDITOR HAD NOT ACCEPTED IT IN THE ABSENCE OF APPROVAL BY THE PERSONS QUOTED. BUT THE DAMAGE HAD BEEN DONE.

    HE HAS APOLOGIZED AND I ACCEPT HIS APOLOGY, although I am not convinced that his action was as innocent as he makes it out to be.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  16. Ariya Says:

    මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා,
    මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා,
    තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං

    I dare Ben and Bodhi to prove the above wrong!

  17. Ariya Says:

    jimmy too, can you prove the below saying as wrong?

    මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා,
    මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා,
    තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං

    Prove, if you can that the brain can give orders to the mind.

  18. nilwala Says:

    I WISH TO ADD THAT THE VERSION OF THE ARTICLE THAT BODHI DHANAPALA CIRCULATED TO THOSE IN THE DISCUSSION THREAD DID NOT CARRY A PARAGRAPH with the HEADER: “PROF LADDDUWAHETTY’S CLOSING COMMENTS”….WHICH IS THE VERY COMMENT THAT I HAVE TAKEN OBJECTION TO IN HIS VERSION ON THIS WEBPAGE.

    I AM WRITING THIS FOR THE RECORD AS THIS KIND OF MALICIOUSNESS SHOULD BE EXPOSED.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  19. Bodhi Says:

    Mahes (or Nilwala) says;
    I WISH TO ADD THAT THE VERSION OF THE ARTICLE THAT BODHI DHANAPALA CIRCULATED TO THOSE IN THE DISCUSSION THREAD DID NOT CARRY A PARAGRAPH with the HEADER: “PROF LADDDUWAHETTY’S CLOSING COMMENTS”….WHICH IS THE VERY COMMENT THAT I HAVE TAKEN OBJECTION TO IN HIS VERSION ON THIS WEBPAGE.
    I AM WRITING THIS FOR THE RECORD AS THIS KIND OF MALICIOUSNESS SHOULD BE EXPOSED.
    Mahes Ladduwahetty
    ——————————-

    The version that I circulated is what I submitted to every one as the point of departure for submitting to Lanka web. Then two people send replies (with the ‘heading cern experiment’ – one was prof. Mahes L, and the other was Prof. Chandr D.” I thought this was their closing remarks in reply to my heading ‘cern expts’. The message from Chdlv regarding his pets came (to my mailbox) after Mahes’s message.

    So I now understand why Mahes was unhappy – it is that I included the closing remarks about pet animals, and that is indeed my fault, because I judged them in a very different light.

    I did not think Maghes’s allusion to cats or dogs was at all superficial; in fact I thought it was a very smart and very apt reply, as I was aware that when Conrad Lorentz and other Nobel laureates (in animal behaviour) challenged the utterly Pavlovian explanation by B. F. Skinner et al of the Pavolov school, Lorentz, Timbergen and others attacked Skinner’s position exactly in the way that Mahes presented the Cat-Dog argument. Of course, Lorentz and others used not only cat-dog arguments but the bastion was his extensive work on Geese who he adopted as “his children”. May be I should have added a remark about the work of Conrad Lorentz, because it was a great turning point in the study of animal behaviour and animal cognition, away from the mechanistic models of the Harvard school. But I think most people know the work of Lorentz very well.
    Now, being aware how I thought about it, I am sure Mahes would understand my valuing her remark very much. I really thought that she had Lorentz’s work on animal cognition in her mind when she broached this discussion in terms of pet behaviour. Far from trying to make her views look petty, I thought what she wrote was perfectly in line with the most recent models of animal cognition where the behaviour of pets is understood in a more “humane” point of view; i.e., pets are a bit like our own menatlly handicapped children – they are the geese children of Lorentz.

    I invite Mahes to write out her ideas more fully and send it to the Lankaweb, and she is welcome to tear me apart as much as is needed to correct the unintended wrong- I will not protest or oppse it. I sincerely have no problem with that – there is no MALICIOUSNESS to be BE EXPOSED. My error was not in writing a few sentences about Conrad Lorentz’s work to set the background for Mahes’s comment. But I didn’t want to put too much external stuff given that the main article is about neutrinos.

  20. Bodhi Says:

    Ariya (aka Chanth?) says
    මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා,
    මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා,
    තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං
    and wants us to disprove this. Is he crazy? This is exactly what we say, and it applies for volitions and moral consequences as I have expanined so many times, if you understand it properly.
    First write down the translation for those who don’t know Pali:
    Mind is the fore-runner of all evil states; mid is chief,; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox (Ven. Narada’s translation).
    Now read the explanation (first given by Ven. Buddaghosha). Then you realize that is is entirely in regard to moral issues.
    Ariya (alias Chanath?) merely states the stanza, and seems to suggest the fully subjective interpretation. But Narada takes care to add qualifying sentences like “all evil”, “wicked” etc., emphasizing the moral aspect.

    Max Muller, discussing this stanza says
    “I do not deny that this… (mind is always more important point-of-view)… may have been the traditional interpretation, at all events since the days of Buddhaghosa, but the very legend quoted by Buddhaghosa in illustration of this verse shows that its simpler and purely moral interpretation was likewise supported by tradition, and I therefore adhere to my original translation”.

    [Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 10: The Dhammapada and Sutta Nipata, by Max Müller and Max Fausböll]
    Max Muller’s view is also supported by Bhikku Gnanamoli.
    hence Max Muller, Gnanamoli and Narada agree.
    So Chanth or Ariya can believe what they want, and spread Vaithulya Vaada and Avijja as much as they want. My effort is to light a torch of Samma Dhitta into all this.

  21. jimmy Says:

    Ariya
    sorry my friend sinhala dhana na
    ( I do not understand sinhala )

    I think Brain can give orders to mind
    Logical brain will have logical thoughts or mind

    I read the book PMA ( Positive mental attitude)
    Nepolean hill says when use our brain logically it becomes our daily routine
    Mind or thoughts change after a while and we become different person . It is not easy but one can accomplish if a person does not give up . There could be many failures but never give up
    I think Budhisim says Truth is within you .

    I am still learning about mind ( mystery )
    Like the writer says it is a mystery

    Sorry folks for my limitted knowledge but I enjoy reading all your comments

  22. aloy Says:

    I think the real question is which came first; whether it is the brain or mind. What ever it is this a very interesting article. I have been reading Lanka Web for some time and did not come across similar articles before. Thank you Lana Web for publishing it and thanks to Bodhi for writing it.

  23. Sirih Says:

    Having studied 2 yrs of Nuclear Physics I have great admiration for Einstein and the scientists in this field.. Question is can any thing move faster than light ? I always thought Einstein’s observations are limited to planetary inertia and gravitational forces and there are some question marks on vacuum on space or lack of knowledge on this area that create some unknowns to the final conclusion that nothing can go faster than light.

    I would say light is not a good reference model and in due course we may see things can go faster than light..

  24. herman Says:

    More “bodhis” and “bens” will appear in and outside the media to distort the True Dhamma with all these useless topics. As Buddhist, Its better we undestand BUDDHA Dhamma and more importantly PRACTICE, to get out of samsara ASAP.

  25. nilwala Says:

    TO Bodhi:

    SORRY, BUT YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO DISTORT WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ISSUE OF YOUR DECISION TO SEND YOUR ‘CUT AND PASTE’ VERSION OF OUR DISCUSSION WITHOUT GETTING THE OK OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS.
    THE DISCUSSION THREAD DATED NOV. 23 WHICH CARRIED YOUR ARTICLE INTENDED FOR LANKAWEB DID NOT HAVE THE PARA THAT I HAVE TAKEN EXCEPTION TO, AND WHICH WAS A SIDEBAR RESPONSE TO CHANATH WHO HAD BROUGHT UP THE ISSUE OF HIS CATS. BEHAVIOR, AND WERE NOT MY CLOSING REMARKS. YOUR CLOAKING IT WITH REFERENCES TO CONRAD & LORENZ DO NOT IMPRESS!

    YOU COULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED MY RESPONSE BEFORE CHANATH’S COMMENT!! I AND OTHER PARTICIPANTS HAVE THE EVIDENCE,

    I GUESS YOU WILL NOW SAY IT WAS AN INTERNET ERROR THAT LED TO YOUR MISUNDERSTANDING!

    JUST AS THE “MANO PUBBHANG” VERSES OF THE BUDDHA HAVE EXPLAINED THAT THE MIND IS THE FORERUNNER OF ALL DEEDS, YOU KNOW IN YOUR MIND WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DID.

    I NEED NOT SAY MORE. PLEASE DO NOT PROVOKE ANY MORE RESPONSES FROM ME AS THIS CONVERSATION IS FUTILE.

    LET THE SUBJECT OF MIND/BRAIN ON WHICH WE HAD OUR ORIGINAL DISAGREEMENT —
    I AM OF THE CONVICTION THAT MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS ARE SEPARATE FROM BRAIN, WHEREAS YOU CONSIDER MIND AND BRAIN AS ONE, AND THAT MIND CEASES AT DEATH—.CONTINUE BETWEEN INTERESTED READERS.

    BRINGING UP THIS SUBJECT ON THIS WEBSITE WAS COMMENDABLE IF ONLY YOU HAD DONE IT WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVES AND YOU HAD FOLLOWED THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE WAY YOU SET ABOUT IT.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  26. Ariya Says:

    jimmy Says:
    November 25th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Ariya
    sorry my friend sinhala dhana na
    ( I do not understand sinhala )

    That was in Pali and if you don’t “sinhala dhana na”, you may stay away from the discussion, beginning of which you have no idea.

    I am glad Bodhi considers, “මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා,
    මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා,
    තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං” as merely stanza. I am sure Bodhi is one of the rare humans in this world, who would “think with his brain”.

    Ven. Naradha was my teacher.

    I am not interested in all these Christian-born, Jewish-born ‘scientists’, who continually search for the soul and trying to pin it somewhere inside the human body.

    If you think, Gauthama Buddha was not a scientist, just because he was not born/lived in the West, you are surely mistaken. Many words uttered by Gauthama Buddha cannot be even thought by these new scientists of today.

    You want to prove that the brain is supreme, and thoughts are made in the brain, then prove it. but, don’t do it by trying to embarrass people by doing a cut & paste of emails they sent you. Are the 3 profs, Dharmawardena, Epasinghe and Tennakoon commenting here.

    You didn’t understand anything written to you, so your “cut & paste” of part of Mahes’s emails is NOT ethical, as you tried to misinterpret and mislead the masses, who read this page – article and comments.

    Dr. Mahes ladduwahetty protested, so you should apologise without additional explanations. You must understand NEVER to break the trust.

    ආරියරත්න

  27. Bodhi Says:

    I will not and did NOT say it is an internet error. The readers can judge if the “closing message” by Ladduwahetty is
    embarassing in any way. I included the closing message as being a very appropriate and meaningful closure. However, I now see that Mahes has not accepted even my apology. There is nothing more that I can do. Let readers judge.

  28. AnuD Says:

    Mind is for thoughts. A Thought needs an outside object, eye and the “brain”. In this case brain includes the whole body. The reason is, think that you notice with your leg toe finger that the ground is hard. In that case, nerve endings in the Toe finger becomes a part of the brain.

    When we consider the outside object that can include the whole universe.

    A Samyak San Buddha is one who sees, hears and perceives the whole universe.

    Tell me if you don’t agree.

    Then the next thing comes how various particle realities engage in these things. Because we are familiar only with the visible matter.

  29. nilwala Says:

    To Bodhi:

    YOU MAKE THIS HIGHLY CONVOLUTED APOLOGY THAT IS NO APOLOGY!
    But IF you are sincere and feel genuinely that you made a mistake in not running the final article through the participants in the discussion thread (in which case I would have pointed out the irrelevance of the paragraph in dispute, that had no place in your piece without an explanation of context)…..then your apology is valid, and I DO accept it.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  30. Bodhi Says:

    Laudduwahetty (nilwala) says ” I would have pointed out the irrelevance of the paragraph in dispute”.

    How about pointing out what is irrelevant even now. Prof. Dharmawardana’s closing remark also went into the
    question of nature of mind. This para in disput also explained it very well. Furthermore, we can also make our judgments as to what is relevant or irrelevant.
    Many of us in this forum still don’t know how it is irrelevant.

  31. nilwala Says:

    To Bodhi Dhanapala:

    YOU ARE DODGING AGAIN…

    You know that anyone reading your article would wonder how ‘the dog and cat behavior’ references got into a Mind/Brain debate. You did not explain the context of animal behavior and that the relevance was whether they are capable of “THOUGHT”. In the circumstances, you did inject a derisive quality into y assertions. You did have some ulterior motives. You are now trying to find a way out by digressing in order to dodge the issue. Is this your regular style of argument?

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  32. jimmy Says:

    Folks
    I want to write something before I go to bed
    forgive me if I am wrong

    The writer wrote a great article . What I do not understand is why are we arguing in a negative way
    If you guys want to say some thing say something postive about it or do not say anything

    You praise some one infront of many If you want to find fault say it in person not infront of others
    The writer wrote a good article . He must have spent lot of time and energy on this

    why not appreciate the writer instead of ridiculuing the guy who wrote a good article

    There ar e too many brilliant minds commenting here.
    Please give the guy credit for the article even if you do not agree everything
    Good night

  33. nilwala Says:

    Thanks but no thanks for your advice Jimmy.
    This was a subject brought into the open by the author having defaulted in his presentation. I being quoted by him, have to sort this out for my own dignity, OK?
    You don’t have to read these comments if they bother you.
    Goodnight!

  34. aloy Says:

    Can we have a similar or better article from Nilwala. If not new one, perhaps she can reproduce one that has done earlier.

  35. Ariya Says:

    Jimmy, the ‘author’ did not write it, except few comments. He only “cut & paste” parts of emails he had got from 3 profs and Mahes, but the so-called “closing comment” from Dr. Mahes Ladduwahetty about dogs and cats was not meant for this author. Actually, he didn’t know and still doesn’t know the rest of the correspondence. This so-closed “closing comment” did not close there.

    Anyway, Dr. Mahes had demanded an apology from the author for “cutting & pasting” and misguiding the public by doing so and embarrassing her publicly.

    He should simply say “I apologise” without any comments. Then this would end.

    You may have noticed that the author’s “3 profs” are silent. I’m sure they had not intended their private emails to the author would be “cut & paste” into a pretty brainy “scientific” article to prove that Gauthama Buddha’s words are wrong, and to prove his theory that “the brain is supreme and the thoughts are made in brain.”

    Anyone can see that in his comment above on;
    Bodhi Says:
    November 25th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    “The brain is supreme in most matters and it posts the decision on the mind…”

    No one had proved that the brain is supreme. No one had proved the thoughts are made in the brain. The brain is a part of the body, which is completely depends on the pumping of blood by the motor of the body-heart. This blood is pumped by a piece of muscle, which somehow finds energy to go against the gravity of the earth to push that blood up. This piece of muscle keeps on growing and beating, then grows ‘old’ and stops beating to stop pumping blood to the brain, and within 4-5 minutes the brain is dead. Kaput!

    There are thousands of people, who had come back to life after the stage of clinical death, to find their blood-pump and the brain working, and sometimes even better than before.

    The mind is a very powerful thing, element, energy, whatever and much more powerful than a human brain.

  36. Kamal Says:

    To whom it may concern.
    I followed this discussion very carefully to find a scientific solution, if there is any for the Nobel Truths. Sadly it ended like a typical Sri Lankan Parliamentary debate, calling who said what and so forth. I wish I could be a Neutrino to speed past the photons, and go back 3000 years.

  37. Ben_silva Says:

    My opinion is that there is a misunderstanding between Bodhi and Mahes. I do not think Bodhi has malicious intentions. Probably both want to find the truth.
    My view is we need to move away from religion, that could cloud thinking and introduce bias. Since both India and China dumping religion, they ahve made tremendous progress. As indicated earlier, there are unproven I myths in Buddhism and other religions that could have a negative effect..

  38. Bodhi Says:

    For those of you who would like an interesting discussion on related topics of soul, birth, death, nature of consciousness and science, as well as the early Buddhist sermons,
    please see http://this-life-buddhism.blogspot.com/

  39. AnuD Says:

    I feel Nilawala did not like Bodhi posting this article. So, he tries simply to thrash Bodhi.

  40. brahamin Says:

    I agree with AnuD, and feel that Nilwala is the one who has to apologize. The accusation on a public e-mail forum that HIS KIND OF MALICIOUSNESS SHOULD BE EXPOSED, claiming that he imparted a “silliness ans superficiality” is an extreme statement.

    I don’t see any silliness or superficiality anywhere. Furthermore, electronic journals are different from printed newspapers as the interested parties can immediately come in and leave a correction or addendum. If LadduawaHetty finds it silly and superficial, he/she can just give a better paragraph for all to see, as several people have even suggested. Electronic articles are ephemeral in topicality and so people write and post very fast. Some of the older people don’t get it, and think in their slow-moving ways of the hard-printed medium.

    I think this is a superb article, and I don’t know Bodhi Dhanapala, Nilwala/Ladduahetty and others; I have heard of Prof. Epasinghe, and Prof. Dharmawardana’s articles have appeared in the Island newspaper.

    I see that Bodhi Dhanapala’s article as well as his replies are extremely erudite, well read and very polite. He bent backwards and apologized at the very start, although I don’t think he needed to, for a little procedural error which can easily be put right on an electronic journal by putting a correction.
    Instead Nilwala engages in bickering, accepting while rejecting the apology, and and the, even after the apology claiming that ‘MALICIOUSNESS SHOULD BE EXPOSED’. Nilawala sounds vindictive and malicious. Anyway, this is a storm in a teacup.

  41. db Says:

    My opinion when it comes to light speed constancy and whether that itself sets up the ultimate speed for any form of matter/energy transfer is shared below followed by some opinions regarding the ‘Mind & Matter’ question.

    1. it should be noted that light speed itself is based on the curvature of the space and most of the time when we talk about light speed – we assume the curvature of the path that the said particle moved is as same as our local curvature.
    ie neither negatively nor positively curved space, compared to the local curvature. when you are in your local frame/space and observe a photon which is moving on a negatively curved space, you would assume that the observed photon travels faster than light. And similarly, if the observer is on a more negatively curved space, he or she would assume that the photon travels slower than the speed of light (compared to the c – speed of light on his/her frame / curvature)

    2.if neutrinos did travel in a negatively curved space (by a very little margin), then the observers outside would calculate the light speed of the neutrinos to be higher than their local speed of light. on the other hand, if the data set being received had been transformed based on the curvature effects ( I am not aware whether this effect has been taken into account when the CERN calculated the speed of neutrinos) we could have very well ended up with the same light speed.

    3. Also it is not clear, whether they did a test run with firing photons with different energies ,inside the same tunnel and calculated the speed of light (photons).

    4. moving particles or more precisely energy packets curves the space around themselves. based on the energy/mass/charge configuration – they curve the space differently. in this case how a photon and neutrino curves the space on its path will be different from each others.

    5. There should be a speed limit , whether it is light speed or some other, so that the locality & causal-effect holds and nothing moves instantaneously. When Buddha stated causal-effect 26 centuries ago, he didn’t have high energy Hadron colliders to verify the statement. Science learn things and modify its own existence with measured data – where as the basic universal laws being laid down by Buddha himself stand firm even after 26 centuries.

    As for the ‘Mind & Matter’ – what I can say is that Mind works in a much faster realm than the Matter. If you understand this phenomena , you would know that trying to understand a chiththa with a test equipment (matter) is not possible. its as if you are trying to construct a wave which has a much higher frequency (chiththa) compared to your local sampling frequency of the test equipment (matter). You don’t have to learn Nyquist theorem to understand this basic phenomena. Only way to understand the behavior of chiththas is to practice meditation and observe the chiththas with your own FASTER THAN LIGHT speed chiththa process.

    also it should be noted that chiththas are not made – but they arise. there is a clear difference between these terms.

  42. AnuD Says:

    Nowa days,many people in the west believe that animals can communicate. They have their own language. emotions etc., etc., and they can express their emotions.

    As some one said, they are bit like handicapped humans.

    That is what exactly the Eastern philosophy talks.

  43. AnuD Says:

    Step aside from this bickering….

    If anyone think critically, All the thoughts together makes the mind. “Brain” includes the whole body as the neurons are all over the body.

    As a thought includes the brain, “eye” or the sensing organ and the outside object or the mental object. Because of that mind includes the whole universe.

    When you understand the whole mind and take control of it, you become a Samyak Sambuddha.

    That is how I think.

    How the different particle realities connect to that, Science with the scientific method will never not find it.

    Einstein did everything with maths and thought experiments.

    Buddha is one who understood everything. Buddha is not saravaghana is simply lack of reasoning.

  44. nilwala Says:

    To Brahamin and others of the mindset that I owe Bodhi an apology:

    Readers of this article do not know the background in which all this happened. They have come to conclusions based on a part of the narrative before them.
    What took place BEFORE this was placed on the web as a “cut and paste” article WITHOUT the permission of participants in the e-mail discussion thread, and using sections without explaining context with seeming intent to trivialize and ridicule is what was deemed to be not ethical.
    An apology was due in view of that background.

    If Bodhi was sincere in his apology, it is accepted and the matter ends here.

    Mahes Ladduwahetty

  45. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Can I respectfully ask all of you to discuss all your personal disagreements, disparities differences through personal communication without wasting our computer space available for us to discuss this vital and fascinating subject on CERN’s particle physics experiment. Suggest all of you go to the nearest park and sort that out among yourselves.

    For rest of us, as you all know, on the 18th of November CERN confirmed that they ran the test again – and broke the speed of light for the second time. If it is true, certainly, there will have a major impact on the way we look at theoretical and experimental particle physics.

    However, according to Prof Mark Lancaster of the University of Manchester, those mathematicians/physicists working on the string theories are going to be happy, because, one possible explanation to this phenomena is involving quantum tunnelling via extra dimensions and concept of extra dimensions appear in all string theories. (The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow)

    By the way, Dear Bodhi, some of your introductory explanations are incorrect. As Professors Mark Lancaster of the University of Mancheter explained, the speed greater than the speed of light would imply the mass is imaginary (that’s in the mathematical sense) not infinite in that it is then defined as the square root of a negative number.
    As far as the measurement is concern, the measurement, while in principle simple and involves many sub-measurements, all of which have some potential for an oversight but the paper describes all the checks in detail.
    Professors Mark ask you to Imagine the neutrinos which are travelling faster than light are a clock and we tell the time by photons light being emitted by this neutrino. So the neutrino ticks and emits a photon at say 12:00 which takes some time to get to us travelling at the speed of light and it hits your eye and you go OK it’s 12:00. The neutrino/clock though is itself moving quicker than the photon in emitted and so will overtake it on the way to you – let’s say it overtakes the 12:00 photon and ticks again and emits the 12:01 photon – the 12:01 photon will then reach you BEFORE the 12:00 photon so you are seeing time tick backwards ie you see the clock going 12:01, 12:00, 11:59
    But the fact that the speed is measured to be larger than the speed of light (which is very precisely known), doesn’t mean that the neutrinos go back in time. It might just appear that way because they travel a shorter distance.
    We conclude that nothing can travel faster than light on the assertion Einstein made but it has subsequently been tested to a very high degree of accuracy – but this is how science works – a theory is formed to explain observation (actually in this case the theory came first which makes Einstein so remarkable and why initially it was viewed with skepticism) and then the theory is kept or altered as new experiments are made. In the case of nothing travel faster than light – this has stood the test of time very well and with the current theory travel faster than light speed causes the causality problems – so we’d need to revise the theory to accommodates that.

  46. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    In the field of epistemology of mind, this will further support the Brain-Mind-Consciousness relationship analogous to the concept of System-Functionality-Control, in engineering. Under this theory the brain and the mind can be classified as local while consciousness can only be explained as a non local quantum energy function. This has already been suggested through clinical investigation on cases reported had “out of body experience”. (Ref Hold-Book was taken to Sri Lanka) Consciousness can change the physiology of brain. This is particularly conspicuous in the first few years of life, when the growth of the complex brain circuitry, finally boiling down to increasing the synapses and connections and accounts for the growth of the brain. A good example of plasticity in the adult brain was of London taxi drivers who are renowned for their ‘Knowledge’ whereby they have to memories the streets of London and how to navigate them. In taxi drivers, part of the hippocampus is larger than in non-taxi drivers of a similar age. So, your life experience is reflected in the strength and extension of brain connections and even if you are an identical twin, you will have a unique configuration of brain cell connections.
    ‘Consciousness’ then, should be differentiated from ‘ mind’ in that it is subjective, first-person, and no one else can hack into. However, it can be dissociated from the ‘mind’, as in case of out of body experience. If we view mind and consciousness as completely distinct but completely rooted in the physical brain, as in explained Buddhism, it may be that we have new insights and can think of new ways not just reaching towards the most elusive questions concerning human happiness but achieving mindfulness.

  47. Bodhi Says:

    I am gald to read NeelaMahaYodaya’s reply. When Mahes was asked to give even one experiment showing that the mind was independent of the brain she suggested that the neutrino experiments may reveal such things in future. Indeed, since some – a very few- quantum physicists (Wigner, Penrose, and much less illustrious people like Henry Strapp, and a whole host of science popularizers who like to talk about ‘weirdness of quantum physics’ have taken it up). So I thought there was a case to check out Mahes’s proposal with people who know the subject in depth. The string theory argument and the extra dimension is what prof. Dharmawardana also mentions, and this is somewhat in line with what Mark Lancaster of Manchester says. But Marc is not quite correct because when the mass (which is not a number but a quantum operator) becomes complex, it has a real part m1 and an imaginary part m2, and then the effective mass is the modulus which is the square root of |m1*m1+m2*m2|, and his discussion does not correctly evaluate the expectation value of the mass operator on the corrected space-time-string geodesic. But you see, the problem is, neither Lancaster, (nor Prof. Dharmawardana), or anyone else can give a water-tight answer as there is no accepted unified theory of quantum gravity. The string-theory unifications are not universally accepted. Hence we need these experiments to choose between possibilities and to direct scientists to the correct theories. However, these theories are relevant at the very very very short length scales 9as explained by prof. Dharmawardana), and they are in all probability irrelevant to biological/human life.
    As for the ‘mind-body’ experience and related phenomena, they can all be completely correctly reproduced in the laboratory and we have clear physiological explanations. Such results have been published in the learned journals. But the tabloids love to talk about them as weird phenomena as such stuff sells, while hrad-headed science does not.
    This “functional” you talk of has even less empirical evidence than the Loch-Ness monster. The labs (at Duke University), and at Imperial College which for decades looked for paranormal phenomena and examined them in detail have now closed their doors due to lack of any hard evidence. On the other hand, functional-NRM, PET (positron-emission tomography) and other novel brain imaging techniques have led to astounding new information on the brain and its structure and how it maps almost one-to-one with the ‘unconscious’ part of the consciousness as well as the direct consciousness (awareness). All the evidence so far is that consciousness is a product of the brain, just as digestion is the activity of the tummy, and hearing is the activity of the ear. Indeed, hearing becomes aware only when the brain comes into play.
    Otherwise, you still have hearing but you cannot really “hear”.

    I am sure you will enjoy reading Chapter 6 (entitled Mind) of E. O. Wilson’s book ‘consilience’ (Knopf, Ney York), and the utterly fascinating autobiographical work ‘In search of the mind’ by Eric Kendal, Nobel Laureate in medicine. The Latter writes extremely well as his first Ph.D from harward was in European Literature, and then he decided to become a medical doctor and then moved out to become a neuro-biologist. These are all ‘popular books’ and does not require much technical knowledge. I think you have all it needs. It is a pleasure to talk sense rather than having to deal with people whose ego trip has not gone the way they wanted .

  48. Bodhi Says:

    Reply to ArunD
    The Nalanda University (5th century) Buddhist philosophers realized that a Buddha, or anyone, cannot be ‘Sarvaggna” in the sense of knowing every event that would occur in the future. That leads to logical problems.

    Why is it logically impossible for anyone to be Sarvaggna? Let us say, as the Christians do, that there is a God who knows exactly what you would be doing tomorrow. In that case your actions tomorrow are pre-determined. So you have no free will or volitions. Then you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for your actions. That means there is no Kusala or Akusala committed by you, since what you did was not your volition by predetermined. So this is unacceptable to a teaching based on moral choice.

    In western philosophy Laplace was the first person to state this problem in a technically rigorous way, although medieval philosophers in the East and West understood all this. Most books on philosophy will explain to you all this.

    Buddha was Sarvaggna or ‘omnicient’ in the sense that he understood ALL ASPECTS of the what we OUGHT TO DO to achieve mental happiness and contentment.
    Remember the parable of the arrow. The Buddha refused to discuss questions regarding the origins of the Universe, or end of the universe etc. These have become physics questions that he classified as metaphysics as they could not be settled by the available means of his day – perhaps meditative reflection may get you there, but you and i don’t have that capacity.

    Buddha insisted that our most immediate concern should be to get rid of our attachments and achieve mental peace. of course, only a handful would have the strength to leave their daily lives and become monks and follow that view. But even as laymen, we can follow the eight-fold path.

    Thank you.

  49. . Says:

    Please note that Neelamahayodaya is a regular contributor registered with Lankaweb before Bodhi. -LankaWeb

  50. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear Bodhi
    We all know that the contemporary views of theology, Buddhist Philosophy, Metaphysics, Epistemology, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and cybernetics all come up with different interpretations of mind and consciousness relationship.
    On the Non-Locality = Everywhere-Presence of Consciousness…
    Please read renowned cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel’s view on Consciousness Beyond Life and about his research into the near-death experience and it’s implications for a radically new paradigm for living in the 21st century. He has got some evidence of patients remembering certain activities taken place in the operating theater while patient is clinically dead for 2 minutes. I.e. while encephalography shows no sign activities in the brain cells

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOeLJCdHojU&feature=relmfu

    The bottle contains the beer, but the bottle DOES NOT produce the beer…
    Similarly:
    The brain contains consciousness, but the brain DOES NOT produce consciousness!

  51. aloy Says:

    Neela Maha Yodhaya,
    Is consciousness the mind?. If so, was it floating somewhere before the brain was created?. Perhaps someone must have written about this.

  52. Shan9 Says:

    If you transplant my “brain” with another my MIND will be the same untill I die. Brain transplants have not happened yet but it is possible with the evolution of science just like other organ transplants.

    This explains the “brain” is independent of the MIND. There is enough evidence around us.

    The “MASTER MIND SURGEON” who truly understood the MIND was the last historical Buddha, Gauthama. In fact he rediscoverd what previous Buddha’s before him discovered.. This was through DIRECT KNOWLEDGE which science will only get close but one has to be of PURE mind to access these TRUTHS. Here we are talking Jhana territory which scientists have no clue unless they themselves follow the Eightfold Noble path. Very few achieve this as many cannot let go of their EGO to penetrate this sublime TRUTH.

    There are people living in this very world who have attained these levels.

    Here is some background to the “brain” being independent to the MIND.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOeLJCdHojU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1k4fwWZMwI

    Comments:
    The bottle contains the beer, but the bottle DOES NOT produce the beer…
    Similarly:
    The brain contains consciousness, but the brain DOES NOT produce consciousness

    Problem with some scientists is, their EGO is so big and would not accept anything that challenge their ARROGANCE!

    The people who have little dust in their eyes penetrate the TRUTH by understanding things the “way they really are”.

    These people have overcome greed, hatred and delusion which unfortunately majority of the world including the leaders who lead this world, are full of this due to IGNORANCE!!

  53. Ariya Says:

    Lankaweb,

    We’d leave this topic to be discussed by Bodhi and NeelaMahaYoda, etc.

    None of the others within the small group of people, who were discussing the statement raised by Bodhi that the brain is supreme and the mind is subordinated to the brain. This didn’t work out. So, he hoodwinked 3 profs, took arbitrary sections from Mahes, and patched up an article. Read it carefully, check out the 3 prof’s parts, and Mahes’s so-called parts and the “closing remark”. Of course, you can’t find it any more as the ‘article’ is now edited.

    The author did not write this article per se. The “facts” in it are false/misleading. The email address, he had sent us as your email address was a false one, done deliberately. [email protected] does not exist, right?

  54. AnuD Says:

    Bodhi:

    I do not agree with you. I wrote some comments even in your blog where you discussed something about Buddhism.

    Forget what Buddha said. Even a West Virginia university Prof had developed techniques to investigate future life regression. That is in contrast to past life regression.

    As you all are physicists, I don’t want to talk here about how Quantum dynamics would explain that.

  55. AnuD Says:

    [Is consciousness the mind?. ]

    Before using these terms those should be defined to mark the limitations.

    One scientist, one from the two who found the structure of the DNA molecule defines consciousness, somewhat similar to Buddhism, as the neuron signal transmitted by one cell in the eye, tongue or ear etc.,

  56. aloy Says:

    It appears to me that only a few people are commenting on this topic although the total number exceeds 50. Perhaps LankaWebs reader ship is limited or readers have limited knowledge on this subject. I too have limited knowledge but like to encourage others with knowledge to contribute. My knowledge was only up to 1st year Engineering in Physics under Myla at Colombo uni in early 60s. Prof. Epasinghe was our Maths lecturer. However I came across the Physics textbook being used in a school at A’ level in this country (Brunei) recently.
    What is being taught as fundamental particle are no longer electrons, protons and neutrons but upquarks, downquarks etc. They also teach about nutrinos, mesons and antimatter. It seems for every particle in matter there exist opposite number in antimatter. The stuff being taught include results of research work done just a few years ago. It was so interesting that I covered the whole syllabus in three days. The reaction path of antimatter with matter was shown clearly in pictures. It appear to be similar to the path of fireballs (or circles) that we see when lightening strikes. They say this is the same syllabus being taught in UK schools and the exams are held at night to coincide with UK exam time.
    According to some books the nutrinos exist in such abundance that more than a million of them pass through a persons head every second.
    When can our SL students (who are being taught in Sinhala) hope to learn modern physics. I hope our SL academics advice the government to adopt the UK syllabus without wasting time on research work on what to teach our students.
    If Bodhi is a biology teacher, it is great to see him writing like this. No one has contradicted the content so far.

  57. Ben_silva Says:

    I agree with Aloy and It is good to see Bodhi displaying a wide knowledge. It is good to see people using critical thinking skills and relying on evidence and theory, rather than unproven myths. Unfortunately many are affected by the religion mind virus. The evidence is that mind is an outcome of brain activities rather than the reverse.

  58. Fran Diaz Says:

    The topic under discussion is very interesting. Einstein’s brain was put into formalin and taken around America as an exhibit, but the brain by itself was of no use ! The Consciousness (Life Force) that gave life to the brain was missing, and was therefore not capable of functioning. A friend of mine advised me read Arthur Kostler’s book “Ghost in the Machine” to understand the human Consciousness. This book gives a good explanation.

    It would have been a good academic ethics to seek the permission/approval of the authors concerned re content from private exchange of e-mails, prior to printing parts of it in the Lankaweb as names of authors have been included. This is my understanding of the matter as an observer.

  59. Ariya Says:

    Fran Diaz, what you can read is not the ‘original’ article of Bodhi Dhanapala. Certain part shave been taken off, edited. CERN experiments were nothing to do with what we were discussing.

    Bodhi states that the brain is supreme, thoughts are made in the brain and the mind is subordinated to the brain.

    We standby Gauthama Buddha’s words; Mind is supreme and the thoughts are made in the mind.

    In this higher technological day, no one had transplanted a brain, no one had made a human being with a brain, except women giving birth to human children.

    Whether neutrino goes faster, or light goes faster, the mind works faster than any. We have supper processors with tens of millions transistors mounted on a very small chip. How to mount, what to mount, etc was once decided by a human mind or few human minds. This super chip might do billions of combination per second, but if the human had not given knowledge how-to to that chip, and/or individual transistors, that super processor is piece of garbage. The human mind visualised these happenings, before this super chip was made. And that too was made using machines, human mind had visualised and created.

    The human mind is supreme and whatever the human mind thinks, could be created, if appropriate action would be taken.

    All positive thinking books authored in the West uses the above sentence around which they write hundreds of pages. Whatever the thickness of the book, or the author, whether it is Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Joe Vitale, Deepak Chopra, etc writes around that single line.

    The first known person to tell the world that was Gauthama Buddha 2600 years ago! “මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා, මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන…the first sentence of the Dhammapada.

    CERN experiment might prove that neutrino particle might be faster than light. Whether they spend few billions of dollars to prove Einstein wrong, doesn’t mean that they’d prove Gauthama Buddha is wrong.

  60. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ariya: Totally agree with you !

  61. Bodhi Says:

    Let me briefly answer some of the comments:
    Neelamahayodya has referred to a U-tube movie. These are a bit like the Channel-4 movies about Sri Lanka. The only thing to trust are what is published in peer reviewed journals, or books by very distinguished people. I referred to E.O. Wilson and Erik Kendal’s recent books (Arthur Koestler’s ‘Gohst in the machine’ is many decades old, and Koestler is not a scientist, but a Journalist-writer). The out-of-body experience can be reproduced and studied in the lab, and there is no mystery. When the amount of sugar or oxygen entering the brain is controlled (using clips on the blood supply, or if suitable electric excitations are aplied (as in old Penfield’s experients), ALL out-of-body feelings can be produced.
    But still some people don’t agree.
    For example, Dr. sam Parnia of the Weil medical center (New York) says:
    the assumption that the mind and brain are the same thing is fine for most circumstances, because in 99% of circumstances we can’t separate the mind and brain, they work at the exactly the same time. But then there are certain extreme examples, like when the brain shuts down, that we see that that this assumption may no longer seem to hold true. So a new science is needed in the same way that we had to have a new quantum physics. The CERN particle accelerator may take us back to our roots. It may take us back to the first moments after the big bang, the very beginning. With our study, for the first time, we have the technology and the means to be able to investigate this.

    So you see, always these people say “May be quantum physics, may be CERN”, but as explained by one of the physicists, you just have to consider the disparity in energy and length scales to realize that CERN experiments at nuclear energies would have little to do with mind and brain. It is more physiology that we need.

    In answer to the gentleman from Brunai, now in Sri Lanka science is taught in English.

    ArunD was discussing ‘Sarvaggna”, and said A Buddha knows the future in detail. I explained that if it is so, then there is no Kusal or Akusal. he has not answered that.

    AS for the claim that I ‘tricked some people’ in making this article, and in answwer to Franz, I gave two days for people to object if they wished and circulated a draft. In any case, even after publication, in an electronic journal anyone can immediately add a comment or addendum. This is a discussion and not a case of property rights or deciding international borders or something. I could have recirculated the final draft, but surely, how many iterations do you do? In any case, there was not an inkling of anyone objecting, for needing to re-circulate. As the p[erson composing the material, I made the selections. I don’t want to reply people like Ariya (Chanath) who contribute nothing.

  62. Bodhi Says:

    The previous comment went in to the internet before I could complete it or correct it, involuntarily. Anyway, i will leave it at that.

  63. brahamin Says:

    I think Ariya, Bodhi, Franz and other should settle their private differences OUTSIDE this webpage. We are quite happy with the article as it is, and need to get on with the topic at hand.

    The whole question is, if 99% of the time the brain and mind are found to work together, as claimed by the Weil-center scientist or Doctor, why would the remaining unknown aspects of mind-brain behaviour need new physics, or chemistry, or biology?

    We know that a sperm has no basically consciousness, and it joins with the ovum, becomes a little fetus, and slowly acquires consciousness as the brain grows. Consciousness is completely grown only after adolescence since the hormones do not kick in until after puberty.

    The pet behaviour mentioned by the Zoologist Mahes shows that pets have consciousness, just like humans, but at a lower level of ability. Chimpanzees can be taught words and they can even make sentences, count etc, but they don’t have the ability of a human child. So is there a reason to introduce some new “mystic principle” for the remaining 1%?
    I think they just need more experiments along the same lines in biology and NOT it has nothing to do with CERN-type experiments.

  64. jimmy Says:

    Amen Brahmin
    I can not imagine how people are mean to this guy.
    I enjoy reading the article . I printed it and show it to some of my colleagues.
    They like it also eventhough they do not agree everything
    I encourage people to write good articles like this

    Bodhi,
    The poem below is for you written by Rudyard Kipling

    ——————————————————————————–

    IF…..

    —————————————————————————-

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

  65. aloy Says:

    Bodhi,
    Do they teach modern Physics in Sri Lanka as they teach in the UK. I know all schools in SL do not teach A’ level in English. Students in rural areas prefer to do in Sinhala as they can score higher marks. That is the point I am trying to make.
    Also I would like the people who condemn this writer to note the following:
    We are a small community spread out all over world like Jews because of the fault of our rulers. Otherwise we would not have left our shores for economic gains. But we all have one thing in common (this include the people who declare themselves as refugees) and that is our love for the country of our birth. We all want to go back to SL at the first opportunity we get. So , let us be together without arguing on trivial issues. When we were together we reached as far as Cambodia about a thousand years ago. We have the potential to rise up again. Look at our apparel and IT sector. Our leaders should look at ways of uniting the people and harnessing that potential.
    Please forgive me for deviating from the topic.

  66. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Lets now move into Buddhist Philosophy,
    The first Paramattha or reality is Citta (consciousness.)in abidhamma. Citta, Ceta, Cittuppada, Nama, Mana, Vinnana are all used as synonymous terms in Abhidhamma. Hence from the Abhidhamma standpoint no distinction is made between mind and consciousness.

    However, lot of people got confused and they can easily be mislead when they use the word “mind”. In most of the Abidhamma books including “A Manual of Abhidhamma” By Narada Maha Thera the word Citta is translated as consciousness.

    As the first Paramattha or reality, Abidamma says Citta (consciousness.) has fourfold of existence, Namely
    (i) Consciousness pertaining to the Sensuous-Sphere, ( Three dimensional universe we live in)
    (ii) Consciousness pertaining to the Form-Sphere, (rupavacara)
    (iii) Consciousness pertaining to the Formless-Sphere, ( arupavaca ra )
    (iv) Supramundane consciousness. (lokuttara)

    Arupalokas or Formless-Sphere are planes without material bodies. Lokuttara: -Here “Loka” means five aggregates. “Uttara” means above, beyond or that which transcends. It is the supra-mundane (beyond universe) consciousness that enables one to transcend this world of mind-body (from the Space and Time domain) into the types of consciousness that directly accomplish the realisation of Nibbana.(Sort of condition similar to Singularity where no time or no space exists.
    Therfore, according to Abhidhamma there is no doubt that consciousness can exist without body or brain.

    In modern Science ‘mind’ is considered as personalization of the brain, or personal aspects of brain function, as in ‘I don’t mind’, ‘broaden the mind’, ‘ make your mind up’, etc. mind’ is very close to what we might refer to as ‘ personality’, in a first-person perspective, i.e. it is what it feels like to be you rather than what other people judge you to be.

    Personalization of brain possible through plasticity of the brain, which is particularly conspicuous in the first few years of life (Infant stage), when the growth of the nerve connections accounts for the growth of the brain and, indeed, can allow for compensation for damage. A particularly amusing example of plasticity in the adult brain was of London taxi drivers (Maguire et al, 2000), who are renowned for their ‘Knowledge’ whereby they have to memorise the streets of London and how to navigate them. In taxi drivers, part of the hippocampus is larger than in non-taxi drivers of a similar age. Experiences, then, are reflected in the strength and extension of brain connections and it is this process, whereby connections so exquisitely mirror what happens to us, that I would call the ‘mind’. Hence, even if you are a clone, i.e. an identical twin, you will have a unique configuration of brain cell connections. This is about individual mind.
    Consciousness is the functionality of mind, comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one’s environment. It is a subject of much research in philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science. (This brief note developed on the basis of an article published in the British Journal of Psychiatry)

  67. Christie Says:

    I am no scientist but with my ols GCE Ord Physics & Chem etc I leave it to all others.

    What I observe is how Sinhalese could start something and then get upset.

    It is the behaviour of people with a minority complex. This is found in most of the British -Indian empire in tropiccs.

    Look at the Island of the Sinhalese, they are the majority and the minority dictate the outcomes.

    Coming back to the subject, Einsteins era (whether Einstein got it from Italians) is over and we are in to a new era. This era is first tests then the theory.

    Are there smaller matter that go faster than light light and with stem cells in the basket science is moving faster than light.

  68. Bodhi Says:

    I have not edited the article. I think Lankaweb editor must have edited that out because Mahes adduwahetty claimed that they were put in without her permisson and people like Ariya (chanath) carried out a big vendetta. So the Editor acted correct, and he has every right to do so. But he has done that on his own will, and NOT because I wrote to him and asked him. May be Mahes L or others may have written and requested it. I don’t now, and it doesn’t matter.
    But all the essential parts are there. Mahes L was invited to write her piece, but she is absent.

    I agree with NeelamahaYodaya regarding Abhidamma. But if you stick to the Theravada, it is very close to the modern science view. I will (next week) write an article about it and put it up on Lankaweb, as we can have a better discussion away from the CERN experiment now.

    There is no question of the plasticity of the mind or consciousness, and it grows in step with the neurons in the brain. Taxi drivers grow a ‘map’ of the city in their neurons, and the map shrinks when they stop driving around, and similarly guitarists grow additional neurons associated their playing fingers etc. All that is well accepted and are part of standard physiology.

  69. Bodhi Says:

    All experiments so far show that the mind is a result of the brain. Mahes ladduwahetty and people like you hope that these Billion dollar experiments would “debunk that” and show that the mind is supreme. But as all the physicists said, there is no hope from these experiments.
    Also, the billion dollar experiments are not for settling mind and matter issues, but for testing string theory which have nothing to do with religious fantasies. Note that the Editor has also changed the title of the article as well, and has all the essentials. he has done a great job.

  70. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear Bodhi
    You are perfectly correct, Mind is a result of the brain. But you got confused OBE with NDE. We all know that some of the out-of-body experience OBE reports coming from various con- artists are type of drug induced or sugar induced hallucinations. You do not need to have a laboratory to do that. Some time this can happen even when a patient is under anesthesia also. This particular subject has been discussed more in details in Thomas Metzingers’s book “the Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self”. Thomas Metzingers is the former president of the German Cognitive Science Society and is the President –Elect of the association for the scientific study of Consciousness. He is an expert on this subjects and he can stimulate out of body experience by himself.
    But the renowned Dutch cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel’s investigations on cases of near death experiences are different from that of OBE phenomena because near death experience NDE happens during cardiac arrest while the patient is still in the operating theater when electroencephalogram(EEG) shows no brain activities. Without reading clinical trials carried out by these two scientists, you will never be able to grasp the validity of these clinical trials. (Please read Dr. Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life and Thomas Metzingers’s the Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self”if you need more information)
    I am surprised to notice that you are completely unaware of the work done by one of your neighbor, a distinguished cognitive neuroscientist Michael Persinger at Laurentian University in Ontario He has given a lecture recently on the experiment he has done showing the connections between the electromagnetic activity of human brains and the activity of earth’s electromagnetic field . In the lecture, he suggested that the brain is analogous to a radio receiver or a television. This implies that consciousness isn’t produced inside the skull, but is a non-local field within which information is shared at the speed of light (i.e., independent of space-time). He seems to suggest that his lab has developed a communications technology capable of reading and/or controlling minds.
    So, with all these information, don’t you think that with all these theories on consciousness we are moving into a radically new paradigm for living in the 21st centuryand it is time for you to give up the idea of a fixed and predetermined world based on Newtonian laws.
    Please remember that mind is local and consciousness is non local.

  71. Ben_silva Says:

    My view also that some may attempt to justify religious fantasies using science, just as some Christians tried intelligent design. The evidence is that cognition, and other brain functions such as perception. learning, knowledge are assocoayed with the brain. The whole story is not yet clear, but progress is being made without having to resort to CERN experiments or fantasies. Mind floating in thin air ? or some sort of strange energy ?

  72. Bodhi Says:

    Thanks to NeelamahaYodaya. I will read up on Pim van Lommel and Michael Persinger at Laurentian as I don’t know their
    work.

  73. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Ben
    This is not religion. It is modern Science.But the findings are in agreement with Buddhist philosophy (Abidhamma).
    So, Mind is in your brain. Consciousness is outside -Non Local -Everywhere in the universe, not limited to this universe but extending into other universes if multi universe theory is correct but ultimately controling your qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and one’s environment. Some classified it as a quantum energy form because it shows some common characteristics of quantum energy (RefDr Pim van Lommel book) Information tranfer through brain via cel membrane.

  74. AnuD Says:

    One theory says that the universe works like a hologram.

    Another theory explain that the mechanism of brain functioning is also a hologram.

    In other words, very tiny portion of each has everything that the whole thing, be it the universe or the brain.

    Buddhism says (hinduism has borrowed it from Buddhism) that one makes many and many becomes one. I think, Buddha had told some one that in order to see the edge of the universe see in your inside.

    On the other hand, just simple logics can prove that the whole universe is one mind or one thought etc.,

    With the popular Layman’s physics that I read, the whole universe can be one string and that string can be an infinite number strings too. Each string has exactly the same properties of every other.

  75. Raj Says:

    This must be an interesting article, as it has attracted 87 comments from about 5 people, who are arguing with each other. Even the author probably did not expect his work to attract so many (5) people!.

  76. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    brahamin Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 6:24 pm
    —-Abhidhamma cannot in agrrement or disagreement with science. Abhidhamma has NO experimentally verifiable content, and that is why it is called Abhi-dharma. It is not a part of the tri-pitaka (the three accepted canons of Buddhism).–

    Brahamin is wrong again. The third collection of Thripitaka is the Abhidhamma Pitaka which is the higher doctrine of Buddhism.The seemingly stubborn problem associated with study of consciousness or Abidhamma is that they have subjective qualities.

  77. Ariya Says:

    Its quite interesting that “this article” had now being posted on the 29th, but still have comments posted on the 24th, the “article” becoming shorter by the day! Its also interesting that out of 3 profs and Dr. Mahes, only one Chandre Dharmawardana’s “opening” and “closing” are left in it! Poor profs Epasinghe’s and Tennakoon’s “comments” also are deleted.

    There is no further use of commenting on this “article”.

    CERN experiments or not, the brain is th executive of the mind, mind is supreme and the thoughts are made in the mind. The first person to say the mind is supreme was Gauthama the Buddha. මනො පුබ්බංගමා ධම්මා – මනො සෙට්ඨා මනොමයා, මනසා වෙ පදුට්ඨෙන – භාසති වා කරොති වා,
    තතො නං දුක්ඛමන්වේති – චක්කංව වහතො පදං

    CERN experiments has nothing to do with mind.

  78. AnuD Says:

    My thinking is, at the particle level, CHARGE is the consciousness. Because, charge makes the particle aware about itself and also the other similar or opposite charge particles.

    Again with respect the near death experience, some people have felt that they were floating along an endless tube until which time that became conscious. I think, at one point the “life” or the consciousness or the neuronal charges become limited only the spinal cord neuronal tube. At that point. “life” or this charge moves ONLY along the that tube and eventually making the patient aware about floating eternally along a certain tube like space.

  79. AnuD Says:

    Particle pairs know each other’s position whether they are located at one milimeter away or billion miles away. Can some Physicist explain how that is possible within the context of What Einstein has told ?

  80. Ariya Says:

    AnuD, Now that the ‘article’ had become short and without “opening and closing” comments by profs, one might start discussing the merit of this ‘article’.

    The ‘author’ of this article wants to prove that the brain is supreme and the thoughts are made in the brain. CERN experiments came into the discussion to help prove that point. Whether the billion dollar experiments prove that there are smaller particles, which might travel faster than light, it would only help to prove that Einstein was somewhat wrong. It’d be hard to prove Einstein’s formula wrong, though.

    Even, if a particle, which might not have a mass, to travel, it should be given a force, and that force has to come from somewhere. There should be energy to make the force to happen. The question is how does the energy happen? Doesn’t matter how small is a neutrino, a force should be applied for it to move. Newton’s old law would come to effect.

    Interestingly, there are simple methods to make an object to move without a force being applied, i.e, which is against the Newton’s Law, action – reaction. This kind of experiments don’t need billions of dollars, just anything found at home, a piece of string and something weighing few grammes. Still there is a force applied, which cannot be measured – mind power!

  81. AnuD Says:

    Ariya:

    Thank you for enlightening me.

    Einstein told these things with mathematics and thought experiments (no scientific method).

    I think, trying to explain quantum events on the basis of Newtonian physics may be causing problems.

    Can you agree ?

  82. Ariya Says:

    AnuD, yes I agree!

    Einstein was a genius in his time and the world evolves. Mathematics is quite an interesting subject, where certain simple actions to get a result cannot be explained using science, like using fingers to tell the multiplication table from 6 to 10. My son never memorized this table and could do that with fingers much faster than one could push buttons in the cal. His whole class did that. Now, most of them are Engineers.

    Physics is an exact science, but there were enough times its results were wrong. There are lot of assumptions, which are taken as true to come to a conclusion, but these assumptions are unproved. The word assume can be broken into ass-u-me, or making an ass of you and me. This would bring a smile.

    Have a nice day!

  83. Ariya Says:

    If you guys want to read a good article about neutrinos, etc goto http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/09/25/an-outsider%E2%80%99s-view-5-opera-test-on-speed-of-light-deals-heavy-blow-to-physicsmakes-time-travel-possible/

  84. Ariya Says:

    It seems to me that no one is commenting any more!
    Now, that only Chandre’s reply is available in this edited article, let’s look at what Chandre says;

    “So the CERN experiment is virtually trying to get close to the earliest big-bang state of the universe. It has to go a long way. But on its way, it should meet these PREDICTED  particles, and possibly, unexpected new effects. It should also bring out new theories BEYOND this standard model which contains Einstein’s model and the Quantum theory. The theory that has been put forward to surpass them is known as “String Theory”. According to Einstein the world has four dimensions. But according to one version of the new ‘String Theory’  the world really has 11 dimensions, with 7 of them folded in (compacted) so that we see only four dimensions. These four dimensions are length, breath, height, and time.

    The ‘distance’ measured in four dimensions is the valid, ‘invariant’ way to measure ‘separations’ between events in the world, and this is known as “Lorentz invariance”. Now, when we go to these high energies, and very short length scales, we may begin to see some of this folded dimensions.  Are we seeing such dimensions in the CERN experiment? In my view this is very unlikely, and the most likely explanation is experimental error. It is very hard to do accurate experiments with neutrinos.

    The NEWSPAPER BLURBS meant to sensationalize the CERN news is partly HYPE.

    Now, when we think about life forms and brains, all this is irrelevant to biology because our biological energy scales and length scales are trillions and trillions and trillions and quadrillions of times different from the energy scales created with enormous difficulty inside the CERN accelerator.
    ————-
    Rest you can read by yourself.

  85. AnuD Says:

    For me these discussions, with respect to the Big Bang Theory and particles are not that exciting unless the other evidence which support other theories are also are discussed.

    Anyway, I learned lot of information about these things from Stephan Hawking’s books and from similar other books.

  86. jimmy Says:

    I like this article and will read over and over again
    There are too many brilliant minds giving their opinion

    I amt sure Brain is important . That is my opinion

    Brain is important and once you use it it beomes your daily mind
    (a) there is a phrace which say use your brain not your heart
    example
    My field is IT. I do not use my mind but my brain to resolve issue in the beginning
    I also know once I resolve the Tech issue and for future I do not need to use brain for similar tech issue . It becomes a repitition . you do it over and over and over again . You do not use brain if the issue is the similar you resolve before

    For a person who does not know Information technology might think I use brain but in reality it is a repitition
    It makes me to think you use brain first and then mind take over
    samething for other professions also

    (b) An alcoholic use his brain not to drink even one beer because he fears it could make him addict
    if he uses his brain then he will succeed
    If he does not use brain he may end up alcoholic again
    A chrsitian might say the brain is Holy spirit which helps him to lead a good life instead of Alcoholic or A hindu might say Lord Krishna helped to cure his alcohol issue

    The point is Brain is very very superior than mind

    (c) I believe very much when we use our brain to change a bad habit then it becomes daily routine
    example
    I wanted to loose weight and I use brain not the mind to see what I can do to loose weight
    run / eat healthy food
    I am working on it everyday .
    I used brain to change
    The mind follows the order and it does not make difficult decisions

    Happy christmas and New Year

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