The natural and the supernatural

The world of physical phenomena can be investigated by science. Science has developed over the last two hundred years to put forward hypotheses, challenge them test them and develop theories about how the physical world behaves according to rules. In general this system works because we can make predictions about how physical things will behave and this has allowed the rapid development of technology so we know it works. Many people believe in a supernatural world. This world has been put forward in various forms to explain, the origin of all things, human free will and so on. If the supernatural world interacts with the physical world at some point the supernatural world actually has to manifest a physical effect. It has to, for example, start an electrical impulse that causes motor neurones to fire and our bodies to move. In the case of god he has to be able to create matter and energy that wasn't there before to move things about. God is a bit difficult to test because he doesn't always show up but the human soul must constantly be interacting with the physical world. It must be receiving information from the physical world, which means that physical energy must be disappearing into the supernatural world. This makes it a physical phenomenon that we just don't understand at the moment. Presumably believers think that if we manage to map all the physiological functions of the human brain we would be left with a gap – effectively a machine without a controller, a robot with no commands. Assuming this soul exists why can't we detect it? If we can some day detect it what is it made of? If it exists how does it work? How is my soul different from yours? How does it process physical information? Presumably the supernatural world is a world that co-exists with ours but only interacts along a certain interface. Are there rules for this interaction? What is the limit of the power of the soul? To me suggesting the existence of a soul as though it answers any questions is a very strange thing it just raises more questions. It just forces the question of consciousness out of the physical world and then I'm forced to ask well how does the soul's consciousness work?   

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer
popular

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less