Source: Scientists data from Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey, conducted in May and June 2009; (see below fn 17)
In Academic circles, of which I used to aspire, we had something called "climate of opinion." I was first introduced to this phrase by a professor who advised me to use it for a paper I delivered at a conference it was an academically hip way of saying "this is just appeal to popularity" in somewhat more respectful way.Last week Ryan M came to "Skeptical's" defense with the following argument:
Indeed. If we followed Joe's standards, then we 'd need to accept that there is no evidence for human made climate change since there exists some 'experts' who disagree that such evidence exists. According to the old Philpapers survey of philosophers, among philosophers of mind we find that 61% of respondents accept physicalism and 59% accept naturalism. Or consider the philosophers of cognitive science where we find 76% of respondents accept physicalism and 85% accept naturalism.Ryan, in all fairness, is not arguing that truth lies with the majority opinion,He's assuming that my argument was that because I have some support that justifies a counter view. What he is missing is that I am cognizant of the reason for the differences. Nevertheless I have been confronted with some atheists arguing that because the majority of philosophical specialists support naturalism belief in God is not valid. These atheists were primarily on CARM years ago.
Are such people 'experts'? I think so, so we have plenty of experts disagreeing with Joe. If we left philosophy and headed over to the sciences, then I'd bet we find a greater consensus among relevant experts that physicalism about the mental is true. Sure, Joe can cite people who claim such people are wrong, but this doesn't justify rejecting the majority.
Playing a citation game is boring and useless.
First let's consider the idea that we should be awed by the fact (?) that the majority in a given field agree on a view and that should shut us up? Of course his implication that I was assuming that any support is proof for my view or that I would hold out agaisnt global warming if just one guy agrees against it, Obviously not true since I've written blog pieces defending global warming with the idea that man is the trigger. I actually use the 97% to put it over so in that case I was pulling a move similar to the one he is doing here. The difference is I actually researched the reasons for the 97% (scientists who agree man is causing global worming) and I found why they say that. I saw which scientists are in the 97% (97% of scientists who study climate not 97% of all scientists but of climatologists). I use the 97% as a short hand for political rhetoric but not without foot noting the details and limits.
Here we are given no idea what constitutes these percentages (except they are philosophers of mind and cognitive science). He asserts they are experts because of what they study,I don't deny that except that it is not supported because we can;'t be sure of human knowledge at this point. I read his survey a long time ago (if memory serves I believe David Chalmers was part of that survey and research effort). I don't remember how detailed they are but I'll assuming for the sake of argument that they are all professional philosophers. Even so how does that make them experts on Neuro science? Are philosophers usually trained in nuero science? I had a professor at Perkins who studied at Oxford with John Rawls he said "I am trained in getting my sentences in order." He does study nuero science as an mature he admits:"I really know noting about it," I bet the bulk of Ryan's philosophers have no actual training in nuero science.
Now in all fairness to Ryan his groups are philosophers of mind an philosophers of cognitive science. I do assume they have had a lot of exposure to the kind of materiel a neuroscience resercher would be exposed to. Does that mean they have any real expertise? Their expertise,like my professor from Oxford, is in how to reflect the party line, and getting their sentences in order. I studied Philosophy of science, probably not too well. I know how much of the curriculum exposed me to actual science it was not much in terms of the data pertaining to scientific fact, more so in terms of methodology. I found myself in a seminar class with a biology Ph.D candidate he knew so much more about scoence than anyone I was in class with (and me who knew the least) it was not funny. So how much expertise should we assume these guys have? I am sure they are up on the literature. Does that they know for a fact there is no God? I think that means they don't have the knowledge of neuo sciences that Raymond Talis does, or any of the researchers I quoted.
Even assuming they are on a par with my nuero experts what does that really mean they know? First of all it probably means that most of them accept the bait and switch Chalmer's talks about without questioning it. If he's right about that, he says they do. They equate conciseness with brain function with real basis in doing so, then assume they study consciousness. Chalmers tells us this leaes an explanatory gap,such that claim to to expertise in question of reduceability of mind to brain function isnot acute. There are no real experts,  If Dennitt is the standard Of their knowledge I am not intimidated,(see the article in Negations debunking Dennett,They study brain function and call it consciousness, So they are not even studying consciousness the just assume it;s all settled.
Secondly, there is no empirical evidence proving redueability.Both sciences and the general public have come to accept the idea that the mind is dependent upon the brain and that we can reduce mental activity to some specific aspect of the brain upon which it is dependent and by which it is produced. Within this assumption neuroimaging studies are given special credence. These kinds of studies are given special credence probably because the tangibility of their subject matter and the empirical data produced creates the illusion of “proof.” Yet EEG and MRI both have resolution problems and can’t really pin point exactly where neural activity is located.” In short, neuroimaging studies may not be as objective as some would like to think. There are still large gaps between observation and interpretation – gaps that are ‘filled’ by theoretical or methodological assumptions.” Learning is not hard wired but is the result of “Plasticity.” This plasticity is what allows us the flexibility to learn in new situations. This means that most of our neocortex is involved in higher level psychological processes such as learning from experiences. Our brains are developed by new experiences including skills acquisition. Exercise and mediation can change the brain.
Classical psychological reductionism assumes the mind is essentially the brain. Mental behaviors are explained totally in terms of brain function. Mental states are merely reduced to brain states.
But while it may be true that certain psychological processes are contingent on some neurophysiological activity, we cannot necessarily say that psychological processes reduce to ‘nothing but’ that activity. Why not? – Because much of the time we are not dealing with cause and effect, as many neuroscientists seem to think, but rather two different and non-equivalent kinds of description. One describes mechanism, the other contains meaning. Understanding the physical mechanisms of a clock, for example, tells us nothing about the culturally constructed meaning of time. In a similar vein, understanding the physiological mechanisms underlying the human blink, tells us nothing about the meaning inherent in a human wink (Gergen, 2010). Human meaning often transcends its underlying mechanisms. But how does it do this?
Reducing mind to brain confuses mechanism with meaning.
Raymond Tallis was a professor of Geriatric medicine at University of Manchester, and researcher, who retired in 2006 to devote himself to philosophy and writing. Tallis denounces what he calls “neurohype,” “the claims made on behalf of neuroscience in areas outside those in which it has any kind of explanatory power….”
The fundamental assumption is that we are our brains and this, I will argue presently, is not true. But this is not the only reason why neuroscience does not tell us what human beings “really” are: it does not even tell us how the brain works, how bits of the brain work, or (even if you accept the dubious assumption that human living could be parcelled up into a number of discrete functions) which bit of the brain is responsible for which function. The rationale for thinking of the kind – “This bit of the brain houses that bit of us...” – is mind-numbingly simplistic.
Specifically Tallis has refernce to experiments where the brain is scanned while the subject does some activity and the differences are attributed to some structure in that part of the brain. Tallis is highly skeptical of this method.
Why is this fallacious? First, when it is stated that a particular part of the brain lights up in response to a particular stimulus, this is not the whole story. Much more of the brain is already active or lit up; all that can be observed is the additional activity associated with the stimulus. Minor changes noted diffusely are also overlooked. Secondly, the additional activity can be identified only by a process of averaging the results of subtractions after the stimulus has been given repeatedly: variations in the response to successive stimuli are ironed out. Finally, and most importantly, the experiments look at the response to very simple stimuli – for example, a picture of the face of a loved one compared with that of the face of one who is not loved. But, as I have pointed out elsewhere (for the benefit of Martians), romantic love is not like a response to a stimulus. It is not even a single enduring state, like being cold. It encompasses many things, including not feeling in love at that moment; hunger, indifference, delight; wanting to be kind, wanting to impress; worrying over the logistics of meetings; lust, awe, surprise; imagining conversations, events; speculating what the loved one is doing when one is not there; and so on. (The most sophisticated neural imaging, by the way, cannot even distinguish between physical pain and the pain of social rejection: they seem to “light up” the same areas!)
Hal Pashler’s study, University of California, San Diego is discussed in an an editorial in New Scientist, he is quoted as saying “In most of the studies that linked brain regions to feelings including social rejection, neuroticism and jealousy, researchers … used a method that inflates the strength of the link between a brain region and the emotion of behaviour.”
Let's do some analysis on those stats,
*61% of respondents accept physicalism and 59% accept naturalism.
*philosophers of cognitive science where we find 76% of respondents accept physicalism and 85% accept naturalism.
61% are physicalists but only 59% are naturalists. That means about 3% are physicalists who believe in God (or some equivalent "higher power," "ground of being," or what have you). Now do we really know that this 59% equates to atheists? Not necessarily, because there's good evidence that the answer to that question would be determined by how the question is asked Research scientists look a lot more like believers when asked about liberal God concepts such as process theology or ground of being rather than when asked about big-man-in-sky. Since we do;t know what questions were asked or how they were asked in that regard we don't really need to assume their atheism is as deep as that.
Just using Ryan's logic a majority of scientists actually believe in God, therefore, chalk one up for belief.
A survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009, finds that members of this group are, on the whole, much less religious than the general public. Indeed, the survey shows that scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. By contrast, 95% of Americans believe in some form of deity or higher power, according to a survey of the general public conducted by the Pew Research Center in July 2006. Specifically, more than eight-in-ten Americans (83%) say they believe in God and 12% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. Finally, the poll of scientists finds that four-in-ten scientists (41%) say they do believe in God or a higher power, while the poll of the public finds that only 4% of Americans share this view.Not only is there an explanatory gap but there is also a deeper epistemological problem; it's akin to the epistemological fallacy. Because the medium thorough which all our perceptions of the world passes is consciousness all data gathered of the world is marked by and dependent upon mind. It's pretty obvious that mental knowledge is not physical, This is why I can have a whole world inside my imagination and my head doesn't explode from lack of room,. They want to pretend that it's all dendrites and electricity but that does not explain the storage problem.
There are no experts on God, We are all experts on having consciousness, Don't let philosophers, scientists,atheists Christians, priests, Theologians or anyone else tell you what to think.
 "Dialogue on Material and Immaterial Existence," comment section Metacrock's Blog (June 10,2018)
 David Chalmers,"Facing up to the problem of Consciosuness" Department of Philosophy
University of ArizonaTucson, AZ 85721b (200) Published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies 2(3):200-19, 1995
 Lantz Miller, “the Hard Sell of Human Consciousness, and the recovery of consciousness in the nature of new language. part 1.” Negations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Criticism.Issue 3, Winter 1998. On line copy: URL:http://www.datawranglers.com/negations/ scroll down paet 1 is 1998 part 2 2002.
 Brad Peters, Modern Psychologist, “the Mind Does not Reduce to the Brain.” On line resource, blog, 2/4/12
URL: http://modernpsychologist.ca/the-mind-does-not-reduce-to-the-brain/ visited 5/3/12
Brad Peters, M.Sc. Psychologist (Cand. Reg.) • Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Schore, A. N. Affect regulation and the origin of the self: The neurobiology of emotional development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (1994).
See also: Siegel, D. J. The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. New York, NY: Guilford Press. (1999).
 Peters, ibid.
 K. Gergen, The accultured brain. Theory & Psychology, 20(6), (2010). 795-816.
 quoted by Tallis, ibid.
Rodney Stark, a professor of sociology and comparative religion at the University of Washington in Seattle, said that because the questions in the Leuba survey are so narrowly phrased, the results probably underestimate the extent of religious sentiment among scientists. Several recent surveys of American college professors, he said, show that professors are almost as likely to express a belief in God as are Americans as a whole.
Joseph Hinman. "Who is Smarter?: page 2" Doxa, Christian Thought in 21 Century, Private website, 2001.http://www.doxa.ws/other/smarter2.html (access 6/17/18)
I had a Gallup poll that said this straight out I can;t find it, There are several versification in studies dealing with belief among specialized high IQ groups such as scientific members,
This entire section
This next one is extremely amusing because he just dogmatically decides that Unitarians and main line protestants are not religious and than shows that almost all of these accomplished scientists have high numbers of these sorts of people in them. But in fact he's actually proving that a lot of them are religious, and he just assumes that non-fundamentalist Christians equates to non-religious! he's actually giving coutner evidence! STUDIES Of SCIENTISTS: David Masci,"Scientists and belief." Religion and public life. Pew Research ,Center,
1. William S. Ament, 1927
"C. C. Little, president of the University of Michigan, checked persons listed in Who's Who in America: "Unitarians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Universalists, and Presbyterians [who are less religious] areŠ far more numerous in Who's Who than would be expected on the basis of the population which they form. Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics are distinctly less numerous."So in fact all he's really proven is that intelligence corrollates to liberal notions, but I knew that! That in now way argues for reigious belief corrollating with lesser intelligence and he has no right to assume that these liberal groups are less religious!Ament confirmed Little's conclusion. He noted that Unitarians, the least religious, were more than 40 times as numerous in Who's Who as in the U.S. population.Which actually means that there are many religious people in that category! All he's really proven is that intelligent people may not like organized religion or more conservative religion!"
2. Lehman and Witty, 1931
"Identified 1189 scientists found in both Who's Who (1927) and American Men of Science (1927). Only 25 percent of those listed in the latter and 50 percent of those in the former reported their religious denomination, despite the specific request to do so, under the heading of "religious denomination (if any)." Well over 90 percent of the general population claims religious affiliation. The figure of 25 percent suggests far less religiosity among scientists."
Of course fully half or more didn't report it so we dont' know, but he concludes that slience equals proof for his thesis!Unitarians were 81.4 times as numerous among eminent scientists as non-Unitarians.Which proves? Nothing.
David Masci, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.