Will science ever explain consciousness?

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

  1. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    It implies that the knowledge of the atom as a tool for measuring time was known at least several thousands of years before Democritus was speculating about an imperishable foundation for matter called "atoma" - so the word atom originated from Democritus, but an equation for measuring time using the atom is given in the Vedas before his time .
     
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  3. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

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    Woah! Could you please share this passage with us?
     
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  5. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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  7. Diogenes' Dog Subvert the dominant cliche... Registered Senior Member

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    Ancient India 1, Classical Greece 0

    My suggested improvement for reality is that it would have made things a lot easier for scientists if atoms (or benzene rings) were that big and "visible in the sunshine"!
    . <--- I think this might be one?
     
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    The word for the window screen is jālārka - it could very well be some sort of microscope - jala means network and arka means sunlight

    regardless they give a pretty exhaustive definition of time
     
  9. Diogenes' Dog Subvert the dominant cliche... Registered Senior Member

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    It's hard (impossible) to know what a child is experiencing. It may be that at 3 months a child is just beginning to sort out it's perceptions of the world, and therefore respond, rather than that it was not conscious before that age.

    Babies seem to smile, yawn etc. in the womb, which to me indicates that some internal experience is occurring. See "Scanner shows unborn babies smile"
    Yes, but how do you then test whether your HAL9000 is conscious or just simulating consciousness (e.g. remember the legacy "Elisa" prog)? There's still unresolvable debate about whether animals are conscious, and no very good tests to demonstrate it!
     
  10. Diogenes' Dog Subvert the dominant cliche... Registered Senior Member

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    Not to diminish the achievement - but it might have had to be a very good electron microscope to see molecules!
     
  11. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Light gigantic,
    "Well those endeavoring in that field disagree"

    Are you telling me that most neuroscientists believe the mind and brain are separate? If you really think that, you have alot of catching up to do. Seriously, that is about as incorrect as you can get. Alos, linking to some new age site won't help your argument.

    Diogenes',
    Of course an infant is conscious. But it is at the basic level. The same way a fly is conscious. Response to simuli. But higher consciousness and self-awareness is obviously not there at birth. That is the type of consciousness we are talking about on this thread. We already have computers that are much more advanced than a bug.

    "Yes, but how do you then test whether your HAL9000 is conscious or just simulating consciousness "
    Not exactly sure. If something is clever enough to pass the turing test, doesn't necessarily mean it has consciousness.
     
  12. Tnerb Banned Banned

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    Nice I got the thread questioning "what's already there?"
    that, is important.
    serious. where is this thread goin?
    wtf
     
  13. makeshift Registered Senior Member

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    Interesting stuff, fading captain.

    I mean, what you were talking regarding observing the growing cognition of your children. And yes, it's very obvious that consciousness is a function of the brain. One thing that really illustrates that is the fact that our hippocampuses aren't well developed until about the age of 3. Apparently that's why most people don't have explicit memories before that time (implicit memories are a different animal).

    Memory, it seems, plays an integral role in consciousness. It makes me wonder to what extent and/or how fundamentally it affects our sense of "I". There must be a good case study that would indicate that.

    Here is an excerpt from an article on Distributed Consciousness by Douglas Hofstadter, author of the book "Goedel, Escher, Bach" for those familiar with his work.

    http://www.psybertron.org/?p=1260
     
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    Well it did include a reference to a co-operative effort by J. Eccles - That the mind and the brain are seperate were Eccles's exact words - are you trying to say Eccles doesn't know what he is talking about when he is talking about the brain?
    - you might disagree, whatever is the value of your opinion, and others with greater opinions may disagree, but the point is that it is a controversial issue - and more specifically it is your attitude towards the nature of consciousness, that you think you know where it does and doesn't exist in regards to the self, which makes the whole nature of evolving the empirical scientific paradigm so excrutiating
     
  15. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

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    I especially like this one from your first link:

    It sounds a lot like the modern concept of the "multiverse"! Cool!
     
  16. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

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    So whenever a scientist proposes something based on evidence and their conclusion doesnt match yours theyre falling victim to a quasi-religous belief in something intangible like god?


    Simpler as in 'simpler than a mammalian life form'. Obviously you can only call something 'simple' relative to something else. You could (of course) see a bacteria as being highly complex if we started comparing it to other things.


    what continually gets me is that you assume that someones (obviously) thrown rationality and critial thinking out of the window and simply embraced the attractive everytime someone proposes something or reaches a conclusion that doesnt appeal to you. Because when someone doesnt agree with crunchy cat's version of reality they *cant* be using rationality seeing as crunchy *always* uses rationality when approaching any scientifc proposition...


    How can you even make that assertion when you dont even have a basic understanding of what consciousness means?

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    We agree for once

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    , youre right it is an interpretation issue (when is it ever not?, and i dont have any problems with you interpreating the data differently, my problem lies in you assuming that anyone interpretating the data differently from you in this instance *must* be in some kind of fuzzy quasi-religious mental haze. I find that really really offensive, as im sure any of the quantum physicists ive mentioned would too.


    haha youre pretty sure of yourself. Again, this is what i find so strange, if someone opposes my position on something they always; without fail, have an alternative explaition or a better idea of whats going on.
    You dont seem to have either, your whole position seems to be, 'look i know that its looks like the particles are demonstrating awareness and i cant give one alternative explaination or even explain why it *would* be impossible for particles to be aware. but i just really dont think particles can be aware'
    Cant you see the irony in all this? youre the one whos actually pursuing your feelings and hunch on all this.


    'The knowing or understanding of something which isnt yourself, and your relationship to it' thats how id define awareness probably.


    No no, youre confusing frontal lobe human throught processes with basic consciousness again.

    *sigh* now you muddling up the human brain's interpretation of information sent via the nerves in our bodies to tell us when something hurts.

    I think when i say 'hey a particle might be aware' youre litterally sitting there imagining a particle with a pair of eyes and human brain (he might look something like this --->

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    ) which is probably why you cant bring yourself to consider it as a real possibility.
    This is actually quite frustrating, this entire thread if you re-read it (specifically Cyperium's brilliant posts on the nature of consciousness, and lightgigantic's posts on the percieved religious nature of asking certain questions within science) should give you more than enough to go on, in terms of understanding what consciousness is and why conscious matter isnt a subject science cant quite stomach in the majority of cases.

    Theres a hell of alot to be learnt in this thread alone, if you take the time to digest it.


    No i dont think it is making the decision to change its state atall, however there clearly has to be a defintion on the particles part of observation/non-observation in order for the feeback loop to actusalise and present a state.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2006
  17. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

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    Yep, i think everything in the universe has that raw initital point of awareness, and from that point on as matter collects together to form complex lifeforms via evolution awareness becomes more specialised and more specific, to the point where we forget what raw consciousness even feels like, unless we ingest some drugs with fancy names or engage in some deep meditation.

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  18. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

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    Lightgigantic,
    "Well it did include a reference to a co-operative effort by J. Eccles - That the mind and the brain are seperate were Eccles's exact words - are you trying to say Eccles doesn't know what he is talking about when he is talking about the brain?"
    I thought you were saying that the majority of those "working in the field" believe the mind and brain to be separate. If that is not what you meant, just say so. What you apparently meant was - there is a guy named Eccles that works in the field and thinks so.

    "the point is that it is a controversial issue - and more specifically it is your attitude towards the nature of consciousness, that you think you know where it does and doesn't exist in regards to the self, which makes the whole nature of evolving the empirical scientific paradigm so excrutiating "
    Yes of course its a controversial issue. When did I refute that? I find it very revealing that I have offered my opinion and thus you have a problem with my "attitude" because I "think" I know something about consciousness. Are you sure I am the one being dogmatic?
     
  19. Diogenes' Dog Subvert the dominant cliche... Registered Senior Member

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    What evidence do you have for saying babies are only as conscious as flies?

    I understand Piaget's early stages focus on reflexes such as sucking, hand closing etc. and babies may not have developed a concept of self, and 'self-awareness' as an individual. However, I would argue that we cannot deduce from this that the baby isn't experiencing anything. The fact that they clearly react to attractive/aversive stimuli from birth, and by 18 months are able to evolve complex strategies in response to them them indicates to me that some experience/awareness is occurring. It would seem amazing if a child suddenly started to 'experience' things at e.g. 18 months, having previously been merely a bundle of non-conscious reflexes! Of course we cannot really know...

    Therein lies the problem with all consciousness studies...
     
  20. genep Guest

    The universe is a collection of thoughts that cannot understand anything because understanding is just a thought.
    Life, Reality, is the Supreme Comedy because not only is the universe just a collection of thoughts, but it is just a thought in a bigger collection of thoughts called the brain-body, mind.
    And the Supreme Comedy continues: the separation of the mind-body from the universe is also just a thought.

    And there are no limits to this Supreme Comedy we call life, reality. This is because just like our atoms have to be solid or real because they make up our real-solid molecules, so too: our dreams have to be solid and real because they are the exact same thoughts that make up our reality-life. (The same mind is called a dream on one level and a body-life on another. To think that the mind can change its ways from sleep-dreams to life is the Supreme Comedy.)

    Science just tells us that atoms are just a collection of thoughts called dreams, and molecules are a collection of the exact same thoughts we call brains and bodies... which make up the collection of thoughts called "universe."

    Life is just a joke in which we forget what we are, Consciousness, Atman. That is not the joke: the joke is that there is nothing to forget because forget is just a thought.
     
  21. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    What is a thought?

    What is consciousness/atman?
     
  22. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. Here's my guess: neurons and electrical impulses.
     
  23. Diogenes' Dog Subvert the dominant cliche... Registered Senior Member

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    I'm glad you used the term "guess" Hapsburg. It's hard to see how we can ever understand consciousness when we cannot detect it objectively. My 'guess' is that any theory (e.g. Orch-Or) will always be speculative.
     

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