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    Solved: The Mystery Of Human Consciousness (Almost)
    By News Staff | April 4th 2012 08:45 PM | 43 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Researchers have gotten some clues to primitive consciousness - thanks to anesthesia.

    People are often groggy when waking from anesthesia, and sometimes struggle. A group of  scientists believe they now know why this may occur: primitive consciousness emerges first.

     Using brain imaging techniques in healthy volunteers, a team of scientists have now imaged the process of returning consciousness after general anesthesia. The emergence of consciousness was found to be associated with activations of deep, primitive brain structures rather than the evolutionary younger neocortex. They hope these results may represent an important step forward in the scientific explanation of human consciousness. 

    Twenty young healthy volunteers were put under anesthesia in a brain scanner using either dexmedetomidine or propofol anesthetic drugs. The subjects were then woken up while brain activity pictures were being taken. Dexmedetomidine is used as a sedative in the intensive care unit setting and propofol is widely used for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Dexmedetomidine-induced unconsciousness has a close resemblance to normal physiological sleep, as it can be reversed with mild physical stimulation or loud voices without requiring any change in the dosing of the drug. This unique property was critical to the study design, as it enabled the investigators to separate the brain activity changes associated with the changing level of consciousness from the drug-related effects on the brain. The state-related changes in brain activity were imaged with positron emission tomography (PET).

    The emergence of consciousness, as assessed with a motor response to a spoken command, was associated with the activation of a core network involving subcortical and limbic regions that became functionally coupled with parts of frontal and inferior parietal cortices upon awakening from dexmedetomidine-induced unconsciousness. This network thus enabled the subjective awareness of the external world and the capacity to behaviorally express the contents of consciousness through voluntary responses.


    Interestingly, the same deep brain structures, i.e. the brain stem, thalamus, hypothalamus and the anterior cingulate cortex, were activated also upon emergence from propofol anesthesia, suggesting a common, drug-independent mechanism of arousal. For both drugs, activations seen upon regaining consciousness were thus mostly localized in deep, phylogenetically old brain structures rather than in the neocortex.

    “We expected to see the outer bits of brain, the cerebral cortex (often thought to be the seat of higher human consciousness), would turn back on when consciousness was restored following anesthesia. Surprisingly, that is not what the images showed us. In fact, the central core structures of the more primitive brain structures including the thalamus and parts of the limbic system appeared to become functional first, suggesting that a foundational primitive conscious state must be restored before higher order conscious activity can occur” said
    Adjunct Professor Harry Scheinin, M.D. from the University of Turku.

    The researchers speculate that because current depth-of-anesthesia monitoring technology is based on cortical electroencephalography (EEG) measurement (i.e., measuring electrical signals on the surface of the scalp that arise from the brain’s cortical surface), their results help to explain why these devices fail in differentiating the conscious and unconscious states and why patient awareness during general anesthesia may not always be detected. The results presented here also add to the current understanding of anesthesia mechanisms and form the foundation for developing more reliable depth-of-anesthesia technology.

    The anesthetized brain provides new views into the emergence of consciousness. Anesthetic agents are clinically useful for their remarkable property of being able to manipulate the state of consciousness. When given a sufficient dose of an anesthetic, a person will lose the precious but mysterious capacity of being aware of one’s own self and the surrounding world, and will sink into a state of oblivion. Conversely, when the dose is lightened or wears off, the brain almost magically recreates a subjective sense of being as experience and awareness returns. The ultimate nature of consciousness remains a mystery, but anesthesia offers a unique window for imaging internal brain activity when the subjective phenomenon of consciousness first vanishes and then re-emerges. This study was designed to give the clearest picture so far of the internal brain processes involved in this phenomenon.

    The results may also have broader implications. The demonstration of which brain mechanisms are involved in the emergence of the conscious state is an important step forward in the scientific explanation of consciousness. Yet, much harder questions remain. How and why do these neural mechanisms create the subjective feeling of being, the awareness of self and environment - the state of being conscious?

    Citation: Jaakko W. Långsjö, Michael T. Alkire, Kimmo Kaskinoro, Hiroki Hayama, Anu Maksimow, Kaike K. Kaisti, Sargo Aalto, Riku Aantaa, Satu K. Jääskeläinen, Antti Revonsuo and Harry Scheinin. Re-turning from Oblivion: Imaging the Neural Core of Consciousness. The Journal of Neuroscience 2012;32(14):4935-4943.

    Comments

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I have had a general anaesthetic twice and both times there were unexpected complications with regard to the drugs not fully removing my consciousness.

    The first time I apparently decided to get up and walk out of the operating theatre during the operation. I eventually woke up from the anaesthetic, covered in bruises and feeling as though I had strained every muscle in my body, probably because I had! I had no memory of anything untoward happening but they told me afterwards that only by having 5 people sitting on me and holding me down could they keep me down and that this went on for some time. Next day they all filed in to have a look at me, they were staring at me in amazement, probably because I was just an ordinary, quite slim, 23 year old woman with apparently quite amazing strength, however, I was always pretty good at arm wrestling with my boyfriends! 

    The second time I was under general anaesthetic I was aware of the conversations taking place between the doctors and the nurses and was able to recount them afterwards to my doctor, much to his amazement and embarassment. Fortunately I don't remember being in pain but I do remember feeling angry that they didn't know that I could hear them and their jokes! They were squirting dye up through my vagina and fallopian tubes at the time, to see if they were blocked, so I wasn't in the most dignified of positions, hence the jokes, much to my disgust.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    rholley
    Helen,
     
    I might get around to commenting directly on your observations, but in the meantime, here are two things I’ve seen on telly which might interest you:
     

    Pesticides hit queen bee numbers

    By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News

    Some of the world's most commonly used pesticides are killing bees by damaging their ability to navigate and reducing numbers of queens, research suggests.

    Secondly, I was watching “Border Security” (Australia), and they caught an illegal fruit picker from Asia with a full address book.  His itinerary had taken him to the Northern Territory.

    Do I remember rightly that competition from Asia had forced you to quit lychee farming?
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Thanks for the link Robert, I've been researching colony collapse disorder in my very limited free time and I think these neonicotinoids might be just yet another factor responsible for the current bee survival problems, as well as the usual diseases, parasites, reduction in the range of flowers growing wild in the countryside and pesticides, combined with possible immune and gastrointestinal disorders that may be being caused by exposure to the genetically modified insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis, which is now sprayed upon and also present in every mouthful of food that we and the bees consume of many genetically modified crops, including many 'organic' crops.

    I've been scouring the second hand book shops for old books about bee keeping and bees and have found a couple of really interesting books. One is a great book called 'Money in Bees in Australasia' written in 1916. In it they describe a disease that they called 'DT' or "disappearing trick" which sounds almost identical to colony collapse disorder and precedes these dangerous insecticides and GMOs. When I have finished my research I hope to be able to write an interested laywoman's blog on the topic. There are also many manuka honey bee hives on the farm where I keep my horses and I am hoping to interview the bee keeper there soon. I would be grateful to anyone who wants to email me any knowledge they wish to share on the subject. Sorry News Staff if we are digressing from the subject of consciousness here :)
    Secondly, I was watching “Border Security” (Australia), and they caught an illegal fruit picker from Asia with a full address book.  His itinerary had taken him to the Northern Territory. Do I remember rightly that competition from Asia had forced you to quit lychee farming? 
    Yes Robert, we did quit lychee farming after 8 years in the business because we couldn't compete with the large supermarket chains buying and selling large quantities of old, irradiated, cheap, tasteless lychees from Asia. Not sure what the connection is with the illegal fruit picker from Asia with the full address book though?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    rholley
    Perhaps not much of link between the TV episode and your farm.  But Asia, Northern Territory and fruit ticked three boxes in my mind, and that was enough to stir the memory.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    What does this actually have to say about consciousness?

    "The ultimate nature of consciousness remains a mystery, but anesthesia offers a unique window for imaging internal brain activity when the subjective phenomenon of consciousness first vanishes and then re-emerges."

    So, "brain death" is not frontal lobe activity, so logical. The brain stem is the core of life, just as with a plant. You may trim the outer layers, leaves, branches, but if the stem remains intact, even with a minimal root system and only one leaf node, the plant will regenerate if it is in a welcoming environment. So... the signal to pull the plug and harvest the body possibly should not be frontal lobe activity. Hey transplant money making and green wristband wearing, driver's licence marked alive people, think again.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    So... the signal to pull the plug and harvest the body possibly should not be frontal lobe activity. Hey transplant money making and green wristband wearing, driver's licence marked alive people, think again.
    Hmm, you might have a point there. I am an organ donor, but I must admit I have concerns about medical staff's ability to decide whether I am brain dead or not, especially after my own rather unpleasant experiences with them while under general anaesthetic. Appearing to be unconscious but still actually being conscious in some form, and being kept alive while having ones organs removed one by one, especially if they were cracking jokes or making disparaging comments while they were doing it, would be a very unpleasant experience. Hopefully these studies of people under general anaesthetic will shed a lot more light on the subject, with regard to consciousness and organ donation Wikipedia says :-
    Consciousness
    Those who view the neo-cortex of the brain as solely responsible for consciousness, however, argue that electrical activity there should be the only consideration when defining death. In many cases, especially when elevated intracranial pressure prevents blood flow into the brain, the entire brain is nonfunctional; however, some injuries may affect only the neo-cortex. During the death process, brain function can be lost gradually. When going through such a change, a small proportion of subjects have reported a variety of "near-death experiences".
    Organ donation
    Brain death may result in legal death, but still with the heart beating, and with mechanical ventilation all other vital organs may be kept completely alive and functional, providing optimal opportunities for organ transplantation. Most organ donation for organ transplantation is done in the setting of brain death. In some nations (for instance, Belgium, Poland, Portugal and France) everyone is automatically an organ donor, although some jurisdictions (such as Singapore, France and Portugal) allow opting out of the system. Elsewhere, consent from family members or next-of-kin may be required for organ donation. In New Zealand, preference for organ donation is indicated at the time a Driver's license is applied for. The non-living donor is kept on ventilator support until the organs have been surgically removed. If a brain-dead individual is not an organ donor, ventilator and drug support is discontinued and cardiac death is allowed to occur.
    Maybe I will untick that organ donor box (I've always felt sorry for anyone getting my rather worn out organs anyway) until they have done some more convincing studies to show that they can at least improve how they medically monitor internal consciousness in externally unconscious people.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Fortunately a number of tests are required in the determination of brain death prior to organ donation. And they include testing brain stem function via the vestibulo-ocular reflex and apnea challenge.

    Tony Fleming
    I think consciousness is related to the biophotonic state of that part of the brain that is tuned into the signals from the outside world.  What I mean is that the signals that are normally 'aware' of the multitude of signals coming in from the surface of the body, such as the eyes, the ears, the skin, taste, smell, etc, are switched to the 'off' position. Hence there is a flow of biophotons within the body that normally 'mediate' the signals coming from outside to the brain processing unit inside the brain. 
    It's interesting that outer and inner parts of the functional analysis is involved in the research which fits what I'm saying. Hence the more evolved brain functions. I think that the brain may have evolved from inside to outer layers.

    I'm also interested in the dielectric constants of the brain (and the rest of the body).   If it's as I think, there's an interesting relationship between dielectric constant and evolution. To my understanding evolution is a process that is related to mitosis and the quantitative ability of the body to grow cells when a particular body part evolved..
      
    Happy Easter All

    Tony
    Tony Fleming Biophotonics Research Institute tfleming@unifiedphysics.com
    Gerhard Adam
    To my understanding evolution is a process that is related to mitosis and the quantitative ability of the body to grow cells when a particular body part evolved.
    I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean.  From what I'm reading in your comment, the answer would be no.

    Mitosis is simply nuclear cell division, so I'm not sure why that would be anything of significance here; especially when you consider that the last thing a multicellular organism can afford is to have individual cells dividing according to their own ends.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Tony Fleming

    Hi, Gerhard

     I didn't want this concept to distract from the other point I was making about biophotons, but having mentioned it I need to very briefly explain myself. My point about dielectric constants is connected with the way biological evolution including the brain occurred over a period of around 4 billions of years since the solar system evolved. I'll leave it there for now.

    But let me add to the biophotonic mechanism I alluded to.  What we see in chloroform for example and other anesthetics is an ability to introduce cooling to the nervous system hence disabling it (switching it off) for a period. What this means is that the conscious brain is cut off from the biophotonic interaxctions with the outisde world. (Note chloroform is no longer used in surgery due to its dangers).

    cheers Tony

    Tony Fleming Biophotonics Research Institute tfleming@unifiedphysics.com
    Gerhard Adam
    It seems like you're trying to stretch this concept well beyond current speculation.  Your comment about biophotonic interaction with the outside world makes no sense since the skull would have to be transparent to such light. 

    Without more explanations, this simply sounds like fluff.
    Mundus vult decipi
    What we see in chloroform for example and other anesthetics is an ability to introduce cooling to the nervous system hence disabling it (switching it off) for a period.

    Are you sure about that? Although the mechanism of chloroform and of anesthetics in general is not fully understood, I've never heard of the "cooling theory". Like ether and alcohol, CHCl3 easily evaporates and if such substances are on your skin, it will feel cool. But I doubt the nervous system itself is cooled by the surface reaction!

    See more plausible anesthetics mechanisms from this neurochemist:

    http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2004-01/1075154500.Me.r.html
    Gerhard Adam
    We already know there can't be any "cooling" since the blood supply ensures a continued source of warmth, which is the basis for homeostasis.  There simply isn't any ability to have localized cooling for any length of time [at least without incurring systemic cooling].

    More importantly, we already know from studies of hypothermia that the process of homeostasis  will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the brain does NOT experience cooling [certainly not to the point of "shutting anything off"].
    Mundus vult decipi
    Tony Fleming
      Enrico and Gerhard 

    The body has many pores with a connection from the surface of the body directly to the nervous system similar to the Ampullae of Lorenzini (elasmobranch species, that are able to detect small flows of electric fields-we humans are related by evolution). What you are saying is that the body is impervious to photons and this is just not true. This is the reason for the body's ability to sense things other than chemically. 

     As a member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society of about 20 years standing Gerhard this is not ‘a piece of fluff’  And this ‘switching off’ may be exactly how the brain copes with hypothermia in the general sense, apart from anestheitcs. Try to think of ‘switching off’ as a process involving many excited molecules than are giving of and receiving streams of biophotons (to and from the surface and outside of the body in the normal state) that are converted into unexcited molecules (in the unconscious state). So if we could put a photon counter into the brain across the associated chromosomes we might see a count of photons that diminishes over time as the chloroform takes effect.  You might be surprised to realize that magnetic fields carry negative energy. Think of the polar caps for instance. 


    I realise there are more conventional chemical ways of understanding anesthetics but this is a new way of looking beyond chemistry to what is called ‘photon chemistry’ that involves the fields and not just the electrons and protons of atoms and molecules

    Cheers Tony



    Tony Fleming Biophotonics Research Institute tfleming@unifiedphysics.com
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but that doesn't square with the limited information that is available regarding biophotons.  In the first place, biophotons haven't been demonstrated as being a signaling pathway for anything, beyond the fact that all cells can emit light.
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1012/1012.3371.pdf

    It has certainly been speculated that because of the coherent nature of this light, it might be useful as a signaling mechanism and it may well explain certain interactions within the cell that might otherwise take too long [again, speculative].

    Since the photons are extremely weak they are speculated as being relevant only within the context of cell-to-cell "communication" [if that even exists], so your idea of photons being detectable [without any defined sensory organ] from outside the body is a bit hard to swallow.

    So, if you have some papers you would care to provide links for, then I would like to see what they have to say, but without something more substantive, I'm afraid I'll continue to consider it "fluff".

    http://www.rp-photonics.com/spotlight_2007_02_16.html
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-biophotons.htm
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26151/

    Of course, stuff like this doesn't help:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/your_friday_dose_of_woo_a_bio-photon_her.php
    Mundus vult decipi
    Tony Fleming
    You're free to look up my next book when it comes out "Inside the photon: A journey to health", Pan Stanford Publishing, not sure precisely when probably mid-year, in the mean time you can stay in skeptical mode; that your prerogative as a practicing scientist, Gerhard, no problems with that, do it myself. 
    But just realise that 'photon chemistry' in general is here to stay; it's an extension to quantum theory in that there are now two more quantum numbers (four known to quantum mechanics plus the two from 'photon chemistry equals six altogether) that treat how molecules form from atoms and their binding photons. Hence the magnetic field in gaseous form is a very important element of delivering anesthesia.

    Best thng I can do for you is to point you to a general paper about self-field theory and its role in biology including photon chemistry.  Fleming, A. H. J., Self-Field Theory: Analytic Spectroscopy of the Ordinary Photon, 2nd International Conference on Electromagnetic Fields, Health and Environment, Wroclaw, Poland, September 10–12, 2007.

    Here's a diagram from the paper you can download illustrating the evolution of chemistry over the past 120 years, from Mendeleev's periodic table 1891 (2-D), to quantum mechanics with its probability densities 1927 (4-D), to photon chemistry with its photon cillision rate which must be integer within atomic cycles 2005 (6-D). This theory is very general and applies to many situations not currently well understood in chemistry such as hydrogen bonding, etc.

    kind regards Tony




    Tony Fleming Biophotonics Research Institute tfleming@unifiedphysics.com
    This is in perfect agreement with Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction:
    When Mia awakes out of her heroin induced coma by an intracardial shot of amphetamine, somebody says to her: "Say something!", upon which she replies: "Something". Clearly not a conscious answer, more like a reflex.
    This is not to say I propose to do the experiment in the fNMR with said stimuli.

    I think Mia was making a yoke....er, Quentin perhaps...

    In a separate study...Tegmark invalidated Hameroff and Penrose's findings concerning
    brain micro-tubules and anesthesia, due to temperature discordance,
    I consider that the primitive brain holds many the clue...to who YOU are...
    The Neo...C is just for long thoughts...
    SAK

    Paul Maclean was the neuroscientist who first noted brain evolution in his Triune Brain idea.
    Although partially discredited, his theory remains the first on primitive evolutionary
    brain development...from reptile...to mammal...to Mia!...who was amazing. Well, each of us
    as well... Yes? Carl Sagan used the theory for his Dragons of Eden book...years ago...

    Also, DNA/infant development is interesting in that Gills develop and disappear
    for a wee bit of time...and finally, the lungs are adapted gills themselves.

    SAK

    Hank
    Although partially discredited, his theory remains the first on primitive evolutionary
    brain development
    It can't be both a theory and discredited.  Hypothesis, conjecture, speculation, sure...
    Gerhard Adam
    ...associated with the activation of a core network involving subcortical and limbic regions that became functionally coupled with parts of frontal and inferior parietal cortices upon awakening...
    It would seem that one of the most significant elements of this research is recognizing that consciousness exists in far more animal species than previously considered.
    Mundus vult decipi
    just reporting the wiki info hank...what's in a word...over the vastness of years?

    IMO Maclean did very good work......albeit some of his peers said it wasn't perfect.
    The notion of evolutionary brain accretions is also analogous to large computing operating systems.

    Consciousness is ubiquitous...it was only a few days ago that it was
    reported that only 5-10% of our trillions of cells were actually human...

    People have just grown accustomed to the idea of their being...human...

    SAK

    Gerhard Adam
    Actually part of the problem is the definition, since consciousness can refer to a variety of different mental states.  In most cases, it can certainly be argued that animals are conscious, and even those without nervous systems can be said to have "awareness" [regardless of how rudimentary].

    What separates "human consciousness" is that we have an autobiographical consciousness that creates a central character against which we evaluate information.  It is this sense that gives rise to the idea that there is an "observer" or a "self" that is aware.

    Mundus vult decipi
    That is so dogmatic. All 6.8 billion people on the planet who think they are conscious are deluded except for Gerhard and a handful of like-minded folk who have discovered that consciousness is just a funny idea that supplements the idea of self.
     
    I have some news for all you wannabe p-zombies! Consciousness is necessarily subjective, therefore it cannot be incorporated into an objective model, we all know that much. Thus your claim is unassailable from science as we know it. So well done for constructing a picture that begs the question!

    And yet it is completely wrong. "Remains the feeling that something profound remains"  - oh yes! - and that "feeling" happens to be certain knowledge.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Ha ha, very funny!
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    @SAK
    "Consciousness is ubiquitous...it was only a few days ago that it was
    reported that only 5-10% of our trillions of cells were actually human..."

    What strange nonsequitur! I'm sure all of MY cells are human! Unless you're talking about the ~90% bacterial cells in my gut. Which would rather lead to the following bottomline:

    "People have just grown accustomed to the idea of their being...shit..."

    Which I leave to your responsability. I don't identify whith my E. Coli.

    Gerhard Adam
    In fact, the central core structures of the more primitive brain structures including the thalamus and parts of the limbic system appeared to become functional first, suggesting that a foundational primitive conscious state must be restored before higher order conscious activity can occur” said Adjunct Professor Harry Scheinin, M.D. from the University of Turku.
    I'm not sure why this is a surprise.  This is precisely what's been stated before in neuroscience, specifically Antonio Damasio makes that specific point in his latest book; "Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain"
    Mundus vult decipi
    In early brain development......

    .first...comes the detection of light...

    then...the seeking of pleasure...

    The autobiographical consciousness, the Ego...Latin for I...

    ...is itself an illusion...

    Reality is an illusion...albeit a very persistent one...A. Einstein...

    I'm thinking he was just meaning the physical aspects...

    If you want Reality Unmasked...choose Death....Rumi.

    All comments made at 500,000 mph...or more, yes?

    Good night...and sweet dreams....

    SAK

    Gerhard Adam
    ...and your point?
    Mundus vult decipi
    My point was that the human consciousness is not very far along...

    Polemicists arise...

    Thus ends my experiment with Science 2.0...

    Gerhard Adam
    My point was that the human consciousness is not very far along...
    What does that even mean?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Polemicists arise...

    Thus ends my experiment with Science 2.0...

    Be patient my friend. Admittedly, there are a fair number of exceptions--we're just human--but for the most part, at Science 2.0, debate is used not as a peeing contest but as a means to arrive at a better approximation of the truth.
    Gerhard Adam
    Don't bother, Enrico.  He's trolling along with other identities he's come on here with.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I have no skin in this game, but as a generally educated, scientifically literate non-scientist I've found that the only person whose ideas on this topic make any sense to me was Julian Jaynes. And most people think he was at least a little nuts. Heck, I think he was a little nuts. But his ideas about how to define what consciousness is, and is not, are useful.

    Gerhard Adam
    You might want to check out the work of V.S. Ramachandran and Antonio Damasio for some more current insights.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Enrico,

    Thank you for kind words. Always appreciated. Gerhard, Apologies about your hat and such. An evil demon attacked me whilst I drank da wine. haha... J/K.......Actually, I feel a bit constrained here. This forum is not suited for me but I wish all of you well and the best of lessons as everyone needs them...and no Mr. Adams...I ain't hiding behind several id's....but to quote Lennon from the White Album: "Every-bodies got something to hide...cept for me and my monkey!" This would include 'the revolution" as stated here...

    Adios...
    SAK

    To, Gerhard Adam, I figured you would follow through on your fascist threat and delete my posts, which you couldn't refute.

    So I saved them and posted them to a website that is actually read more than this sad excuse. There they will remain so that all can forever see your cowardly sophistry in action. And that when confronted with actual science that invalidates the kind of dogmatic black magic humanist propaganda you and other high priests of your illogical religion promote, your only recourse is to make personal insults and then to delete all truth that offends your fanatical worldview, of which you are most faithful.

    But don’t worry; your behavior is typical of all sophists. Hell, they put Socrates to death for his teachings against them. The best you could do is delete my posts, though I’m sure you’d rather delete me as well. The best part is that I already know the ending, because fascists always get the same fate!

    Hank
    Like you showed regarding neuroscience, you don't know what 'fascism' is.  I guess you use it because you like exaggerated, emotional hyperbole and 'Nazi' is such a cliché. Not everyone who thinks you are stupid is a fascist, it may just be that you are stupid.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    To, Gerhard Adam, I figured you would follow through on your fascist threat and delete my posts, which you couldn't refute. So I saved them and posted them to a website that is actually read more than this sad excuse. There they will remain so that all can forever see your cowardly sophistry in action. And that when confronted with actual science that invalidates the kind of dogmatic black magic humanist propaganda you and other high priests of your illogical religion promote, your only recourse is to make personal insults and then to delete all truth that offends your fanatical worldview, of which you are most faithful.
    Chris, I personally don’t like it when mine or other people’s comments at Science20 are deleted, unless of course they are generally considered by most readers to be very offensive or completely off topic. I’m curious to know where this website is that you have posted the deleted comments?

    You say that deleting your comments was a fascist act, Wiki says that fascism is very difficult to define, the free online dictionary however defines fascism as :-
    1. often Fascism
    a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.

    2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
    I think that deleting comments that were on topic and just arguing an opposing viewpoint would be most unfair but I find it difficult to believe that Gerhard would do that, unless he was having a really bad hat day! However, Sascha Vongehr  may have started a trend here at Science20 as he deletes all comments that do not fit in with his personal worldview as acceptable or that are made by people he dislikes, like me for example.

    At least though in Sascha's defense he does list some of his many reasons for his blog comments censorship, in another of his blogs called ‘trollipop will be deleted’  I hope that Sascha’s rather authoritarian like control is not becoming contagious and symptomatic of a form of groupthink  which has been proven to have a very negative effect upon science and its comprehension in general. Wiki describes the causes of groupthink as :-

    1.High group cohesiveness
    2.Structural faults: insulation of the group or lack of impartial leadership or lack of norms requiring methodological procedure or homogeneity of members' social backgrounds and ideology
    3.Situational context: highly stressful external threats or recent failures or excessive difficulties on the decision-making task or moral dilemmas

    Groupthink, resulting from the symptoms listed above, results in defective decision-making.
    Let’s hope that fascist censorship and/or groupthink mentalities are not happening here at Science20, as freedom of speech of opposing viewpoints and different perspectives at least in the comments section is very important in an outreach scientific environment.

    If comments are being deleted for good reason then I think there should be either a comment in its place or a link to a blog explaining reasons why this was done or at least a flag showing that a comment has been deleted.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    There were no comments.  Just rants as you observed in the one post that remains.  Personally, I'm not putting up with people that simply want to rant against science to advance their own religious or superstitious agendas.  I've simply run out of patience for those kinds of insults.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    OK thanks Gerhard, that's a relief, I wouldn't want to be part of an overly censored Science20 and I know a few others who wouldn't either.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    I'm glad you put almost !

    D J Wray
    Complex Evolution - A complete theory of human consciousness