Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13401 - 13420 of total 22772 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 7, 2013 - 11:12am PT

Until a better understanding comes along, I like to view consciousness as a sophisticated predictive property of the brain, using past experience, modeling, imagination, and who knows what else to see into the future.

FINALLY! Someone willing to step up and describe this mosaic
in their own tint of words.

Remember the Mona Lisa started out as just separate piles of red, white, and blues.
Until someone's conscience smeared them together to create that form of beauty.
Now when we look at her. Are we trying to figure out what's the different tints of her hair?
No. We're trying to figure out what's behind that "cock-eyed" smirk on her face.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 7, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Ed, how much of the math in QM is non-linear? I may be mistaken and haven't looked it up lately but I get the impression that a lot of it is linear.

In a world as complex as ours one would think that much of measured reality, especially at quantum levels, would be non-linear (a difficult area and one I have dabbled in for many years, beginning with infinite continued fractions - often one seeks ways of approximating the non-linear with the linear)


;>)
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
MH2: Until a better understanding comes along, I like to view consciousness as a sophisticated predictive property of the brain, using past experience, modeling, imagination, and who knows what else to see into the future. Natural selection rewards predictive ability in certain branches of the tree of life, mainly where predators and prey are roughly evenly matched in brain power.

I posited that conjecture several thousand posts ago stating I believe the selective 'pressure' of predation - on both predator and prey - likely acted as an 'arms race' with that arms race in turn driving the evolution of consciousness. The pace of that evolution was likely governed by the motility of the players and their ability to anticipate and visualize alternate futures. Or, more simply, the ability to 'anticipate' drove the evolution of consciousness.

I had hoped it would gain more traction at the time given the degree it likely influenced how humans evolved and why many aspects of our 'advance' society can still be mapped back onto basic predation behaviors and strategies. For instance - and with regard to the role of motility and and anticipation in predation - the stock market has evolved high-speed trading which, in turn, spurred the clever employment of physicists to calculate worldwide network latencies on trades sent on all the planets major optic fiber trunks. Those analyses have driven the recent wholesale relocation of trade origination data centers to far-flung geographic locations and remote fiber hubs in an attempt to achieve millisecond optimizations / advantage in transaction speeds.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
consensus view is that quantum mechanics "works" (i.e. it leads to predictions that are consistent with observations) without much serious thought into what it "means" in terms of "reality."

I take this to mean that 'workable' abstractions - like Hilbert space- or for that matter quantum mechanics itself- begin to breakdown the further one ventures outside of the consensually agreed upon confines of the measured and predicted system?

"Reality" in this context cannot be understood because it is larger than the abstraction used to predict specialized and measured fragments. Perhaps the universe contains far too many strong emergent properties?
As was clearly stated, these theories and their abstractive frameworks are provisional.

At this stage ,science is in the early construction of the jigsaw puzzle ,with only one or two pieces looking like they fit at the corner of the frame. And yet they are important pieces. Perhaps they display form and function characteristic of every other piece in the whole picture
Still, relative to where we have been , Science , in general, constitutes a major revolution in thought and practice. (Understatement of the day)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I posited that conjecture several thousand posts ago stating I believe the selective 'pressure' of predation - on both predator and prey - likely acted as an 'arms race' with that arms race in turn driving the evolution of consciousness. The pace of that evolution was likely governed by the motility of the players and their ability to anticipate and visualize alternate futures. Or, more simply, the ability to 'anticipate' drove the evolution of consciousness.

One can make the case that species not under the prey/ predator selection dynamic you outlined underwent a change in consciousness based solely upon the ever- changing availability and type of plant food sources.
For instance , there have been island species of various creatures relatively free of predatory pressures who nonetheless developed the acquired capacity to more easily spot the distinctive color of a new fruit source. This heightened color vision constitutes a quantum leap in consciousness for those species.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Ward Trotter: One can make the case that species not under the prey / predator selection dynamic you outlined underwent a change in consciousness based solely upon the ever- changing availability and type of food sources.

For instance , there have island species of various creatures relatively free of predatory pressures who nonetheless developed the acquired capacity to more easily spot the distinctive color of a new fruit source. This heightened color vision constitutes a quantum leap in consciousness for those species.

I wouldn't necessarily argue that point, but merely say predation probably represents an 'accelerant' to the development of higher orders of consciousness (cue Werner).
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Why do most people prefer warm showers to cold?

lol, not in Colombia. I installed a water heater that goes on the end of the shower head, it works a little and is better than ice cold water, but that's what everyone in the tropics likes. The cold water feels good to them and refreshing, no one but me takes hot showers. And when I do it normally blows a fuse anyway.

I agree that the brain's predictive capacity is its main purpose. It evolved really fast once humans began to live in large communities, and the crucial skill was to understand how other people thought and predict what they would do. That turned out to be the most important survival skill, modeling the thinking of other humans to predict what they would do.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
I wouldn't necessarily argue that point, but merely say predation probably represents an 'accelerant' to the development of higher orders of consciousness (queue Werner).

Okay. I'm not necessarily skeptical of that general contention. I was hoping you would further detail and identify the origins and extent of the unique prey/predator profile encountered by humans and its role in the development of higher consciousness.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 7, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Oh, I didn't mean humans specifically - could just as easily be talking Jumping Spiders, Killer Whales, or Wolves. Though I find it interesting in humans that, in many respects, predation (and competition) has become increasingly more abstract over time.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
increasingly more abstract over time.

That is the core of the supposition. Anticipation, visualization, prediction- these are abstract functions.
In other words, it is thought that the development of higher orders of consciousness are intimately bound up with executive cerebral function, which was more critically selected for under prey/predator pressure.

But then we have Don Paul's comment above:

I agree that the brain's predictive capacity is its main purpose. It evolved really fast once humans began to live in large communities, and the crucial skill was to understand how other people thought and predict what they would do. That turned out to be the most important survival skill, modeling the thinking of other humans to predict what they would do.

Apparently these abstract functions were later driven by intra-species social adjustments, after we largely gave up hunting and being hunted (except by our fellow humans that is).
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:08pm PT
Not predator/prey - competition within the human species. If you need 10 brain cells to outsmart a lion, think how many you'd need to outsmart another person.
WBraun

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
You don't outsmart people with brain cells.

Even a single cell amoeba can outsmart the whole world .....
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
This is good;
developed the acquired capacity to more easily spot the distinctive color of a new fruit source. This heightened color vision constitutes a quantum leap in consciousness for those species.

This surely exposes an expanse of awareness to the animals conscienceness.

But what about the plant? For the plant to even conjure up a colorful flower to promote
awareness to the world (in this case a bird or insect) in order for it to be polenized.

Can't this be perceived as a conscienceness between plants and animals and visa-versa?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Can't this be perceived as a conscienceness between plants and animals and visa-versa?

Yes, Blueblocr, but we would have to reframe the current discussion and reverse engineer it with a new set of definitions.
I know what you are saying though.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
Time to go home from work but one more post. Saw a really tripped out TED talk about how plants can communicate with each other through their root tips, check it out:


Psilocyborg

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
Once upon an eternity there was one consciousness, and it is was all there is was.

Then one day it got bored. It splintered itself in an infinite fractal consciousness. It then struck a deal with itself.

"I released me you from the shackles of eternal perfection. But me you must promise me you won't remember what we are"

Chop wood, carry water.

rrider

climber
Mckinleyville, Ca
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
You mean DILBERT SPACE ?
Credit: rrider
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 7, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
Not predator/prey - competition within the human species. If you need 10 brain cells to outsmart a lion, think how many you'd need to outsmart another person.
6 ??
MH2

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Even a single cell amoeba can outsmart the whole world .....


Sure, if it gets to choose the game. I bet I could take it at chess, though.




healyje,

I was thinking of your earlier post on predation/prediction but I don't like to make any reference to the history of this thread lest it get a puffed-up idea of itself. Backward looking is only okay for derogatory purposes. Otherwise live in the moment.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 7, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Years ago John could add no details as to why he felt there was some non-material extension to humans. His statement was based upon how making that statement made him feel. It felt right. That's great. But it fails to form the basis for any discussion between two different people.


What's amazing to me is that I can say time and again that experiential insight has nothing whatsoever to do with "feelings," but people as smart as John S. can keep trotting that out - that a limbic brain response is the "reason" I stay with what I am saying, as opposed to the idea that it is fundamentally true. The problem for dedicated quantifiers (who do nothing else) is that they have a limited understanding of what true is.

More later.

JL
WBraun

climber
Mar 7, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
I bet I could take it at chess, though.


Never ever underestimate what you're up against.

If you really understood consciousness and how it works you can easily see how even a simple amoeba can destroy anyone at chess if it so needs to be done.

But looking at from from the material only view you'll "think" you are superior and can beat it and there's no possibility .....

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