Will science ever explain consciousness?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by makeshift, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. makeshift Registered Senior Member

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    Do you think it's possible or likely that in the coming decades science will be able to explain what consciousness actually is?

    It seems to be one of those extremely elusive things that consciousness. What is its nature and why is it so hard to put your finger on? Despite its elusiveness, do you think there could eventually a scientific explanation of what consciousness is that would be easy for a regular person to understand?

    It seems somewhat likely to me that we may get there eventually because of all the progress we're having with scaling the brain and neuroscience. We're already using computer programs to simulate parts of the human brain. If we can already do parts of the brain, it may eventually possible for us to simulate entire brains if our computers get fast enough. By some estimates we're going to need computers that can process about 10^15 calculations per second. What we learn from these simuations may help us create better AI and possibly conscious computers. Is that so hard to believe? Well, that's for another debate. But the more we find ourselves messing and tinkering with brains and and applications in which programs appear to be conscious, will it ever become clear what creates consciousness? Or will it always be one of those deep and profound mysteries?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
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  3. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    I think so.

    Not even our minds shall be holy. We will eventually dissect all its properties and find out what makes it tick.
     
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  5. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    Not only humans or animals have consciousness, everything in nature actually has some form of consciousness. However, when the "consciousness" is in a stone, it obviously can't express itself very much. Our brains are not the source of consciousness, they're more like transformers created by consciousness which allows it to express itself more precisely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
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  7. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    I think we will be able to gain some understanding of consciousness and how it is developed. I feel it will probably be something like our understanding of emotions. We know the details of what actually creates an emotion. But it doesn't really explain an emotion as you have to experience it. I think it may be similar with consciousness.

    As far as a rock having consciousness....that is just silly.
     
  8. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    Why?
    Animals are also conscious, aren't they (although not as much as humans)?
    If small insects have consciousness, why not plants also?
    How do plants turn against the sun if they're not conscious?
    Why does matter, like magnets, radiate positive and negative energy?
    Why does matter build up following geometric patterns and mathematical laws if it is not conscious to a certain degree [limited by the body]?

    http://www.snowcrystals.com/

    How does matter even hold itself together if it doesn't have consciousness? I'm not saying that rocks are self-conscious like humans, but they do have some sort of "consciousness". We are conscious of our consicousness.

    We are no longer limited by natural laws. Although most people still follow them, because they're not enough conscious of themselves, we can learn to control the natural laws that govern our body.
     
  9. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Not only do I think it's possible, I see it as quite probable.

    If by 'nature' you mean description, there are many resources out there on the subject. Its comprehensive to say the least. IMO the reason it's so hard to wrap our grubbly little paws around is because it appears to be an effect if a daunting super-complexity.

    Don't know.
     
  10. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    No sensory input, no memory, no thought...

    Humans are animals too and yes non-human animals are very much conscious. There is no indication that they are more or less conscious... humans simply have a gazallion times more neurons upstairs than other animals.

    Plant's that I am aware of have no means to achieve or retain knowledge for starters. It doesn't mean that there aren't any conscious plants in existence; however, I have certainly not have heard of any.

    Autonomic response to light and heat... same mechanism that allows you to breathe without thinking or being conscious.

    Huh? positive and negative energy? Do you mean poles? If so, the poles aren't two seperate things, they are a single effect of a magnet. That effect is a force field that has two sides (like a piece of paper has two sides). Each side exerts raw force in opposite directions that exclusively interacts with electrical charge.

    To simplyfy the answer, I'll re-ask the question in a way that utilizes poles (assuming that's what you meant) and provide a simple answer:

    Q: Why do magnets have a negative and positive pole?
    A: Becuase they exert a force field against electrical charge in two directions simultaneously.

    I would speculate it's because reality is composed of mathematical law, logic, gemoetry, etc. Of course the best answer is I don't know. I think a better question would be, why would consciousness even be required?

    Through a relationship of attraction and repulsion. It's the way reality is.

    The very definition of consciousness includes gaining knowledge. Rocks don't do that. More importantly there exists no evidence to even remotely suggest a rock is conscious. While the very idea is quite attractive, reality says it's not true.

    If you can control the natural laws of reality then please make a video clearly demonstrating this fantastic ability and post a URL to it.
     
  11. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    1,762
    c7ityi,
    Most of my answers can be deferred to Crunchy. However I will add: Yes, I do agree animals are conscious. Sometimes even showing signs of self-consciousness. It would be an enormous stretch of terms to associate consciousness with plant life. At some point 'life' and 'consciousness' would cease to be differentiated.

    Are atoms conscious? No. Molecules? No. Cells? I dont think so. A neuron? No. A couple trillion neurons organzied in a highly effective network? Apparently so.
     
  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    I think science has already explained it.

    Conciousness is a kind of omnidirectional threat detection and assesment system, put in place by paranoid and very small monkeys, in a grassland environment, frequented by very large hunting cats. So the purpose of conciousness is to inform you when something horrible and catastrophic is about to happen in the hope that you can then do something about it.

    Terence McKenna
     
  13. ellion Magician & Exorcist (93) Registered Senior Member

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    it seems science thinks of consciousness as awareness.
    it seems C7 thinks of consciousness as the will of energy.
     
  14. ellion Magician & Exorcist (93) Registered Senior Member

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    has this been proven?
     
  15. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    That's not a explanation of consciousness, that is just a idea of why it is needed.

    Omnidirectional? What is that? What is directed?

    Terence also say that it is a detection and assesment system, which limits consciousness to..let's say 0,005% of what it really is, even smaller than that perhaps.

    One of the uses of consciousness is of course threat detection, how many other things can you imagine consciousness being used for?

    Science is *very* narrow-minded sometimes... or at least in this case, Terence McKenna...
     
  16. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    1,762
    ellion,
    “ Are atoms conscious? No. ”
    "has this been proven? "

    Explain to me some plausible scenario where a singular atom is conscious.
     
  17. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    Why do they exert a force field against electrical charge in two directions simultaneously?

    I don't think movement is possible without consciousness. Everything in nature is moves. What causes this movement?

    You misunderstood what I said, although it is also possible to control those kind of natural laws.


    it moves.
     
  18. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    c7,
    "Everything in nature is moves. What causes this movement?"
    True everything moves. Energy is in motion. So like Ellion said:
    "it seems C7 thinks of consciousness as the will of energy. "
    But does energy need to have a 'will'? Energy is energy. You seem to be replacing the word energy with 'consciousness' as an explanation for 'why' when IMO there is none.
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2006
  20. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    No idea. I would speculate it's fundamental processr built into reality.

    Energy and relationship.

    If an conceptual example is provided I might better understand what was meant.
     
  21. Possumking I think, I am? Registered Senior Member

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    Maybe our consciousness evolutionarily developed as a further method of increasing reproduction. Our consiousness interprets what we see with our eyes, and this 'ability to interpret' could have been something much better than the cellular response to changes in the environment. Maybe conciousness was needed for prediction and analysis of a situation. This all, of course, would have developed with the first multicellular organisms. Maybe with certain sinlge celled organisms. Who knows. I may be completely wrong, but thats an idea of what consciousness is.
     
  22. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    1,924
    What causes energy?

    What is energy?
     
  23. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Like every evolutionary change, it persisted because it benefitted the genes, allowing them to reproduce better than some rival plan. Even single celled ameobas sense and react to the environment, so in that sense, consciousness is common to all animals. Why don't plants have it? Because even if they could sense danger, any response is to slow to require the intricate coordination of neurons that define animalistic responses. I think humans tend to attribute too much supernatural mystery to themselves. Consciousness is just a style of information processing.
     

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