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Unpacking Idealism: Animals and Consciousness

Mind Matters
Robert J. Marks II
Dr. Doug Axe
Audio File (31.61M)

In this episode, co-hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian R. Krouse continue to discuss the concept of idealism with guest Dr. Doug Axe. The topic this time is idealism and its implications for animals and quantum mechanics. Idealism suggests that reality consists of thinkers and their thoughts, with physical objects perhaps being the thoughts of God. When it comes to animals, Dr. Axe argues that their behavior indicates a conscious experience, similar to humans. He also delves into the strange world of quantum mechanics, where particles like electrons exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behavior. This leads to the idea that the physical world is not the base reality. The conversation highlights the mind-bending nature of quantum mechanics and its potential alignment with the concept of idealism.

Additional Resources

Douglas Axe

Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology at Biola University, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Douglas Axe is the Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology at Biola University, the founding Director of Biologic Institute, the founding Editor of BIO-Complexity, and the author of Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed. After completing his PhD at Caltech, he held postdoctoral and research scientist positions at the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Medical Research Council Centre. His research, which examines the functional and structural constraints on the evolution of proteins and protein systems, has been featured in many scientific journals, including the Journal of Molecular Biology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, BIO-Complexity, and Nature, and in such books as Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt by Stephen Meyer and Life’s Solution by Simon Conway Morris.

Robert J. Marks II

Director, Senior Fellow, Walter Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Robert J. Marks Ph.D. is Senior Fellow and Director of the Bradley Center and is Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Marks is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America). He was the former Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and is the current Editor-in-Chief of BIO-Complexity. Marks is author of the books Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will Never Do and The Case For Killer Robots. He is co-author of the books For a Greater Purpose: The Life and Legacy of Walter BradleyNeural Smithing: Supervised Learning in Feedforward Artificial Neural Networks and Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics. For more information, see Dr. Marks’s expanded bio.

Brian Krouse

Brian Krouse is a software engineer with research interests in the philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience. Krouse has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Whitman College, a master’s in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence from Arizona State University, and a master’s in applied mathematics with a focus on computational neuroscience from the University of Washington. He was an early employee at GoDaddy (from 1997 through 2013), the domain name registration and hosting company, and spent most of his employ there in software development and management positions, culminating in Vice President of Hosting Development.
Brian R. Krouse
Doug Axe
Minding the Brain (book)
Robert J. Marks