, is the nature of consciousness in the same arena? Are we currently displaced of the proper technological equipment necessary to establish a solid truth on the matter? I’m definitely open to accepting that possibility, but alas, whether I am right or wrong, I will do what I can to understand.
I will sooner admit to ignorance than commit deceit.
The mechanics of consciousness may justly be regard as almost mythical, largely not understood. We are not completely blind to its workings, though. Allow me to create an analogy to demonstrate what I mean. Imagine that there is a device the size of a box. On the top side, there are one hundred equally sized buttons, ten by ten. On the side, there is a glass plate where images are displayed. Upon pressing one button, it lights up yellow. When you press there buttons in succession, an image is displayed on the side. And, let’s say that when you press these three buttons, it shows a picture of a horse. There is a general consistency that certain buttons in succession produce a certain picture, but there are exceptions of the rules. If, for example, a picture of a house is displayed, then no matter what buttons are pressed next, it will always be a frog next. This happens fifty percent of the time, and we suspect that there is a general pattern of when it happens, but we don’t know what it is. Another example of an exception is that if a picture of a tree is brought up, then the third picture drawn will be either a barn, a mountain, or a little girl. Some people observing this mystical picture box say that there is a trend of the previous pictures that will determine the probability of whether it is a barn, a mountain, or a little girl. Other exceptions to various rules, among others. We cannot, however, open this picture box. This picture box is much like the human mind. We can make general, vague rules on how it will respond to the natural world and stimulus, but we have not opened it to understand its mechanics. If we could open the picture box, we could watch the gears, the pipes, the strings, and the other machine parts that operated. We could see exactly why one picture was brought up instead of another one. But, the human mind is much like this box. We can only observe it and make general rules of responses to stimuli, because — like our scenario of the picture box — the actual causes of response, the inner workings, is very much hidden from us.
Psychology has aided us in understanding the course that a mindset might take. It has allowed us to observe symptoms and, with those symptoms, to make predictions about future behavior. This is, effectually, the very basic precept that turns art into science: the observation of the natural environment, and then using these observations to create an accurate (or roughly accurate) prediction. In this sense, we may call biology a science. It has observed the natural organisms of our world, and then is capable of responding accurately to certain questions, such as: Would this animal be able to survive in this other environment? Is it possible that other planets could be inhabited by life forms? What effect will pollution have on the natural inhabitants of an ecology system have? Etc., etc.. The observations made by biologists are a full array of categorizing the organisms of the wild and understanding the functions that the organs of their bodies have. The predictions are based on these observations. Take another field of study, one that better fits my argument. Meteorology may justly be called a science, because it observes current weather patterns, and based on these observations, it predicts the future weather patterns. The same may be said of astronomy. It tracks the movements of the stars and the planets and, with extreme accuracy, predicts the future movements of such astrological entities.
There are certain things that some people use today that cannot be accurately call a science. Such areas of thought are not sciences because they do not make observations, or when they do, such observations logically are incapable of arriving at any viable predictions. For example, the predictions made by Nostradamus are without a doubt, not scientific in the least bit. It may be true that his followers argue that he predicted many things. But, the institutions of logic and reason are by far too skeptical to let this pass by. The events of the twentieth century, for example, include the rise and fall of Nazism, the murderous acts of Lenin and Stalin, the Vietnam War, new styles of music and culture in the west, and — most recently — the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City. No person, before any of these events, ever said, “This is going to happen — Nostradamus predicted it.” Not one single, solitary soul, before the fall of the Twin Towers, ever said, “Excuse me, everyone… Those Twin Towers are going to collapse tomorrow from two planes crashing in to them.” Nor did anyone else quote anything by Nostradamus to prove that any event in the future would happen. The fact is that such predictions of this person were quite ambiguous and vague. The only way I could ever become a prophet was to make some oblivious remark, appear serene and thoughtful for a few moments, and then have a group of fools onlooking at every moment. There is no other way to become the prophet of any major religion, cult, or sect.