The qigong state of bigu is believed to be supported by the absorption of qi from the universe. Gamma radiation is ubiquitous in the cosmos and, according to some, may be a possible source of energy for cellular functioning. When the concept of energy is integrated with the concept of dynamical systems, the logic leads to the theory—termed systemic memory—that predicts all systems, from the micro to macro, store information and energy to various degrees. New research indicates that the human (...) body absorbs gamma radiation from the environment and emits high-frequency X rays. There are substantial individual differences in these effects that appear to be related, in part, to the psychological state of the person. Future research can determine if bigu is associated with increased absorption of gamma radiation and/or decreased emission of high frequency X rays. The hypothesis that qi can be viewed as quality information is proposed. (shrink)
Los autores abordan el desafío de integrar la medicina convencional, la medicina psicosomática, y la medicina alternativa, necesario, según señalan, no sólo por razones clínicas y económicas, sino por el desafío de crear una teoría comprehensiva que integre la riqueza de datos aparentemente disparatados y teorías de la salud y la enfermedad en un todo organizado. Se trata de llegar a una medicina integrada. En este trabajo los autores identifican ocho visiones fundacionales sobre la naturaleza, cada una de las cuales (...) genera hipótesis diferentes acerca de la naturaleza y de la medicina, y han conducido a tres diferentes conceptos de medicina. El artículo aborda cómo el conocimiento de tales hipótesis puede alcanzar el objetivo de integrar la medicina. (shrink)
No one need deny the importance of language to thought and cognition. At the same time, there is a tendency in studies of mind and mental functioning to assume that properties and principles of linguistic, or language-like, forms of representation must hold of forms of thought and representation in general. Consideration of a wider range of symbol systems shows that this is not so. In turn, various claims and arguments in cognitive theory that depend on assumptions applicable only to linguistic (...) systems, do not go through or become difficult to state in a manner that makes them both interesting and plausible. (shrink)
William James’s historic fascination with psychic phenomena, including the possibility of life after death, has become more widely known with the publication of recent books and articles on this controversial aspect of his scientific legacy. However, little is known about the emerging evidence suggesting the possibility that James’s scientific interest in these topics has not waned since he died. This paper reviews preliminary observations, including two exploratory double-blinded mediumship investigations, which are consistent with the hypothesis that James (with others) may (...) be continuing his lifelong quest to address the question of the survival of consciousness after physical death ‘from the other side’. These proof-of-concept investigations illustrate how future systematic laboratory research is possible. The limitations of current neuroscience methods are explicated in terms of investigating the hypothesis of the brain as a possible antenna-receiver for consciousness. If James’s tentative conclusions about the nature of the relationship between consciousness and the brain turn out to be accurate, then it is logically plausible (if not essential) to posit the possibility that his efforts have persisted in the recent past and present, and may even continue in the future. Scientific integrity plus the pursuit of verity require our being open to this important theoretical and empirical possibility. (shrink)
Previous research has demonstrated electroencephalogram (EEG) changes in response to low-odor concentrations, resulting in near-chance detection. Such findings have been taken as evidence for olfaction without awareness. We replicated and extended previous work by examining EEG responses to water-water control, 0.0001, 0.001, 0.01, and 1 ppm isoamyl acetate (IAA) in water paired with water only. Detection was above chance (>50%) for .001 and above, and alpha decreased only to those concentrations, suggesting that EEG changes corresponded to IAA awareness. However, when (...) correct trial EEGs were compared to incorrect trial EEGs during .001 ppm, right posterior/central alpha decreased during incorrect trials and alpha decreased more globally (including frontal sites) during correct trials. These data may not reflect awareness or unawareness per se. Instead, results are discussed regarding activation of perceptual systems in the posterior region during incorrect trials and the activation of frontal action systems during a subset of correct trials. (shrink)
This book offers a powerful response to what Varner calls the "two dogmas of environmental ethics"--the assumptions that animal rights philosophies and anthropocentric views are each antithetical to sound environmental policy. Allowing that every living organism has interests which ought, other things being equal, to be protected, Varner contends that some interests take priority over others. He defends both a sentientist principle giving priority to the lives of organisms with conscious desires and an anthropocentric principle giving priority to certain very (...) inclusive interests which only humans have. He then shows that these principles not only comport with but provide significant support for environmental goals. (shrink)
Drawing heavily on recent empirical research to update R.M. Hare's two-level utilitarianism and expand Hare's treatment of "intuitive level rules," Gary Varner considers in detail the theory's application to animals while arguing that Hare should have recognized a hierarchy of persons, near-persons, & the merely sentient.
in a 2nd task (e.g., pleasant vs. unpleasant words for an evaluation attribute). When instructions oblige highly associated categories (e.g., liower + pleasant) to share a response key, performance is faster than when less associated categories (e.g., insect + pleasant) share a key. This performance difference implicitly measures differential association of the 2 concepts with the attribute. In 3..
Risk management of nanotechnology is challenged by the enormous uncertainties about the risks, benefits, properties, and future direction of nanotechnology applications. Because of these uncertainties, traditional risk management principles such as acceptable risk, cost–benefit analysis, and feasibility are unworkable, as is the newest risk management principle, the precautionary principle. Yet, simply waiting for these uncertainties to be resolved before undertaking risk management efforts would not be prudent, in part because of the growing public concerns about nanotechnology driven by risk perception (...) heuristics such as affect and availability. A more reflexive, incremental, and cooperative risk management approach is required, which not only will help manage emerging risks from nanotechnology applications, but will also create a new risk management model for managing future emerging technologies. (shrink)
Like all technologies, nanotechnology will inevitably present risks, whether they result from unintentional effects of otherwise beneficial applications, or from the malevolent misuse of technology. Increasingly, risks from new and emerging technologies are being regulated at the international level, although governments and private experts are only beginning to consider the appropriate international responses to nanotechnology. In this paper, we explore both the potential risks posed by nanotechnology and potential regulatory frameworks that law may impose. In so doing, we also explore (...) the various rationales for international regulation including the potential for cross-boundary harms, sharing of regulatory expertise and resources, controlling protectionism and trade conflicts, avoiding a “race to the bottom” in which governments seek economic advantage through lax regulation, and limiting the “nano divide” between North and South. Finally, we examine some models for international regulation and offer tentative thoughts on the prospects for each. (shrink)
Much of the scientific literature on vegetarian nutrition leaves one with the impression that vegan diets are significantly more risky than omnivorous ones, especially for individuals with high metabolic demands (such as pregnant or lactating women and children). But nutrition researchers have tended to skew their study populations toward new vegetarians, members of religious sects with especially restrictive diets and tendencies to eschew fortified foods and medical care, and these are arguably the last people we would expect to thrive on (...) vegan diets. Researchers also have some tendency to play up weakly confirmed risks of vegan dietsvis-à-vis equally weakly confirmed benefits. And, in spite of these methodological and rhetorical biases, for every nutrient which vegans are warned to be cognizant of, there is reason to believe that they are not at significantly greater risk of nutritional deficiency than omnivores. (shrink)
In his recent essay on moral pluralism in environmental ethics, J. Baird Callicott exaggerates the advantages of monism, ignoring the environmentally unsound implications of Leopold’s holism. In addition, he fails to see that Leopold’s view requires the same kind of intellectual schitzophrenia for which he criticizes the version of moral pluralism advocated by Christopher D. Stone in Earth and Other Ethics. If itis plausible to say that holistic entities like ecosystems are directly morally considerable-and that is a very big if-it (...) must be for a very different reason than is usually given for saying that individual human beings are directly morally considerable. (shrink)
There is much we do not know about nanotechnology. Despite its tremendous promise, nanotechnology today is mostly forecast and fervent hope. Predictions that spending on nanotechnology will increase from current levels of $13 billion to more than $1 trillion by 2015 are no more than that – simply predictions. Hopes that nanotechnology will be an essential part of solving the globe's energy, food, and water problems should be tempered by recalling a century of revolutionary technologies that failed to live up (...) to their early promise such as nuclear energy, supersonic airplanes, or gene therapy. Many other questions continue to nip at nanotechnology's heels, not the least of which are debates about what is and is not technically feasible. Despite these uncertainties, we can have complete confidence in one aspect of nanotechnology's future – it will be subject to a host of regulations. (shrink)
Scientific research is subject to a number of regulations which impose incidental (time, place), rather than substantive (type of research), restrictions on scientific research and the knowledge created through such research. In recent years, however, the premise that scientific research and knowledge should be free from substantive regulation has increasingly been called into question. Some have suggested that the law should be used as a tool to substantively restrict research which is dual-use in nature or which raises moral objections. There (...) are, however, some problems with using law to restrict or prohibit certain types of scientific research, including (i) the inherent imprecision of law for regulating complex and rapidly evolving scientific research; (ii) the difficulties of enforcing legal restrictions on an activity that is international in scope; (iii) the limited predictability of the consequences of restricting specific branches of scientific research; (iv) inertia in the legislative process; and (v) the susceptibility of legislators and regulators to inappropriate factors and influence. Rather than using law to restrict scientific research, it may be more appropriate and effective to use a combination of non-traditional legal tools including norms, codes of conduct, restrictions on publication, and scientist-developed voluntary standards to regulate problematic scientific research. (shrink)
E-Z Reader 7 is a processing model of eye-movement control. One constraint imposed on the model is that high-level cognitive processes do not influence eye movements unless normal reading processes are disturbed. I suggest that this constraint is unnecessary, and that the model provides a sensible architecture for explaining how both low- and high-level processes influence eye movements.
As policy makers struggle to develop regulatory oversight models for nanotechnologies, there are important lessons that can be drawn from previous attempts to govern other emerging technologies. Five such lessons are the following: public confidence and trust in a technology and its regulatory oversight is probably the most important factor for the commercial success of a technology; regulation should avoid discriminating against particular technologies unless there is a scientifically based rationale for the disparate treatment; regulatory systems need to be flexible (...) and adaptive to rapidly changing technologies; ethical and social concerns of the public about emerging technologies need to be expressly acknowledged and addressed in regulatory oversight; and international harmonization of regulation may be beneficial in a rapidly globalizing world. (shrink)
Nanotechnology is the latest in a growing list of emerging technologies that includes nuclear technologies, genetics, reproductive biology, biotechnology, information technology, robotics, communication technologies, surveillance technologies, synthetic biology, and neuroscience. As was the case for many of the technologies that came before, a key question facing nanotechnology is what type of regulatory oversight is appropriate for this emerging technology. As two of us wrote several years ago, the question facing nanotechnology is not whether it will be regulated, but when and (...) how.Yet, appropriate regulation of nanotechnology will be challenging. The term “nanotechnology” incorporates a broad, diverse range of materials, technologies, and products, with an even greater spectrum of potential risks and benefits. This technology slashes across the jurisdiction of many existing regulatory statutes and regulatory agencies, and does so across the globe. Nanotechnology is developing at an enormously rapid rate, perhaps surpassing the capability of any potential regulatory framework to keep pace. Finally, the risks of nanotechnology remain largely unknown, both because of the multitude of variations in the technology and because of the limited applicability of traditional toxicological approaches such as structure-activity relationship to nanotechnology products. (shrink)
In his recent article Should Trees Have Standing? Revisited" Christopher D. Stone has effectively withdrawn his proposal that natural objects be granted legal rights, in response to criticism from the Feinberg/McCloskey camp. Stone now favors a weaker proposal that natural objects be granted what he calls legal "considerateness". I argue that Stone's retreat is both unnecessary and undesirable. I develop the notion of a "de facto" legal right and argue that species already have de facto legal rights as statutory beneficiaries (...) of the "Endangered Species Act of 1973." I conclude that granting certain nonhuman natural entities legal rights is both more important and less costly that Stone and his critics have realized, and that it is not Stone's original proposal which needs rethinking, but the concept of interests at work in the Feinberg/McCloskey position. (shrink)
Without looking beyond the conditions under which laying hens typically live in the contemporary U.S. egg industry, we can understand why the production and consumption of factory farmed eggs could be judged immoral. However, the question, What (if anything) is wrong with animal by-products? cannot always be adequately answered by looking at the conditions under which animals live out their productive lives. For the dairy industry looks benign in those terms, but if we look beyond the conditions under which milk (...) cows live, we can better understand some animal rights activists' reasons for objecting to dairy products. The contemporary U.S. dairy industry requires a slaughter industry between one-seventh and one-third the size of the contemporary beef industry. Today, beef slaughter is vastly more humane than poultry slaughter, but if today's beef slaughter industry is judged emmoral, the contemporary dairy industry should be judged similarly immoral, because the two are wedded. This is the deep reason for moral suspicion of the dairy industry. (shrink)
As the health care system transitions to a precision medicine approach that tailors clinical care to the genetic profile of the individual patient, there is a potential tension between the clinical uptake of new technologies by providers and the legal system's expectation of the standard of care in applying such technologies. We examine this tension by comparing the type of evidence that physicians and courts are likely to rely on in determining a duty to recommend pharmacogenetic testing of patients prescribed (...) the oral anti-coagulant drug warfarin. There is a large body of inconsistent evidence and factors for and against such testing, but physicians and courts are likely to weigh this evidence differently. The potential implications for medical malpractice risk are evaluated and discussed. (shrink)
In Use and Abuse Revisited: Response to Pluhar and Varner, Kathryn Paxton George misunderstands the point of my essay, In Defense of the Vegan Ideal: Rhetoric and Bias in the Nutrition Literature. I did not claim that the nutrition literature unambiguously confirms that vegans are not at significantly greater risk of deficiencies than omnivores. Rather than settling any empirical controversy, my aim was to show how the literature can give the casual reader a skewed impression of what is known about (...) the risks of a vegan diet. In this brief rejoinder, I illustrate how two essays by nutritionists in the same volume as George's and my essays, and a referee's report on my manuscript which was authored by a nutritionist, confirm the soundness of this basic insight. (shrink)
Clinical trials of nanotechnology medical products present complex risk management challenges that involve many uncertainties and important risk-risk trade-offs. This paper inquires whether the precautionary principle can help to inform risk management approaches to nanomedicine clinical trials. It concludes that prudent precaution may be appropriate for ensuring the safety of such trials, but that the precautionary principle itself, especially in its more extreme forms, does not provide useful guidance for specific safety measures.
Medical technologies, including nanomedicine products, are intended to improve health but in many cases may also create their own health risks. Medical products that create their own health risks differ from most other risk-creating technologies in that the very purpose of the medical technology is to prevent or treat health risks. This paradox of technologies intended to reduce existing risks that may have the effect of creating new risks has two conflicting implications. On one hand, we may be more tolerant (...) of health risks from medical technologies because these products are intended to, and often do, reduce overall health risks and improve our health. The health benefits of a medical technology may outweigh the unavoidable adverse effects of that same technology in an individual patient or in the overall treated population. (shrink)
The standard means of seeking the classical limit in Bohmian mechanics is through the imposition of vanishing quantum force and quantum potential for pure states. We argue that this approach fails, and that the Bohmian classical limit can be realized only by combining narrow wave packets, mixed states, and environmental decoherence.