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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 25 August 2012 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2356 ]
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GdB - 25 August 2012 03:28 PM
Write4U - 25 August 2012 02:51 PM

Hummm, after a little research, it appears that blood of necessity has to be red (appear red to us), i.e. it is a property of blood, not a byproduct. The red is not a random color, it is caused by oxidized iron in our blood. Red is not a byproduct of blood, it is a byproduct of ferrous oxide in our blood and therfore a necessary color.

And what if another compound, e.g. based on magnesium or copper could also transport oxygen? And evolution would have found this ‘trick’ before the one with Fe++? Then we all might have had green blood (and pointed ears?). Or cobalt? We all would have blue blood!

Seems that evolution actually found this trick very early on but then, in mammals, found an element better suited to our environment, Iron.

wiki

Hemocyanin
The blood of most mollusks – including cephalopods and gastropods – as well as some arthropods, such as horseshoe crabs, is blue, as it contains the copper-containing protein hemocyanin at concentrations of about 50 grams per liter.[25] Hemocyanin is colorless when deoxygenated and dark blue when oxygenated. The blood in the circulation of these creatures, which generally live in cold environments with low oxygen tensions, is grey-white to pale yellow,[25] and it turns dark blue when exposed to the oxygen in the air, as seen when they bleed.[25] This is due to change in color of hemocyanin when it is oxidized.[25] Hemocyanin carries oxygen in extracellular fluid, which is in contrast to the intracellular oxygen transport in mammals by hemoglobin in RBCs.[25]
Hemovanadin
The blood of some species of ascidians and tunicates, also known as sea squirts and sea cucumbers, contains proteins called vanabins. These proteins are based on vanadium, and give the creatures a concentration of vanadium in their bodies 100 times higher than the surrounding sea water. It is not clear whether these vanabins actually carry oxygen. When exposed to oxygen, however, vanabins turn a mustard yellow.


Thus by evolutionary necessity, in mammals blood has to contain iron.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2357 ]
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For me, consciousness, is most easily conceptualized as the various thinking “behaviors” of which we are aware at any given moment.  (We percieve external and internal stimuli pretty much all the time, but we are not always aware that we are percieving them.)  When we focus and register (or become aware of) a particular stimuli, I would say that this is one kind of consciousness “behavior”.  We we picture or visualize something and are aware of it, this is another kind of consciousness “behavior”. Becoming aware of a representation of something that we esperienced in the past can be another kind of consciousness moment, aka, remembering something.  When we are aware of and engaged in our internal verbal behavior, this is another kind of consciousness “behavior”. 

I must disclose that these have not traditionally been considered as behaviors, in my field, as they cannot be observed, but theoretically the patterns of neurological correlates for each could someday be observed should the technology for obseving neurological activity continue to advance as it has been.  And, more importantly, I suspect that they are subject to the same basic behavioral principles that our directly observable actions are.  Any obsevable action that we do has a correlated pattern of firing neurons.  So it does not seem a big stretch to me to consider a pattern of neurological firing, that correlates to a thought, as a kind of behavior.

[ Edited: 25 August 2012 08:29 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2358 ]
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As far as consciousness’s relevance to free will, I think that we can exert free will without being aware of it, but I think that our various consciosness skills, greatly expand the parameters of the free will that we can exert. 

For example, if we were not able to focus and register our thoughts, we would have been unable to take all of the complex actions that we wanted to take in collectively participating in the production of 158 pages of discussion of free will.

In regards to the question of consciousness as a product or by product of evolution, I don’t know if this particular activity on this particular topic is in any way likely to contribute to our survival to reproduce (probably not), but other complex conscious reflections may well have played a role in some of our ancestors survival to reproduction.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2359 ]
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I have heard that sensory deprivation can be relaxing for awhile, but brings about a certain madness eventually, an uncrontrolled desire for stimuli.

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

wiki

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology,[3] though this perhaps oversimplifies the necessity of feedback for regulating the subsystem. The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism and the term “Cybernetic organism” has been applied to networks, such as road systems, corporations and governments, which have been classed as such. The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts.

[ Edited: 25 August 2012 09:19 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 25 August 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2360 ]
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Write4U - 25 August 2012 09:11 PM

I have heard that sensory deprivation can be relaxing for awhile, but brings about a certain madness eventually, an uncrontrolled desire for stimuli.

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

wiki

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology,[3] though this perhaps oversimplifies the necessity of feedback for regulating the subsystem. The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism and the term “Cybernetic organism” has been applied to networks, such as road systems, corporations and governments, which have been classed as such. The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts.

Darn, Write.  You are far out. (IOW, you can come up with a very broad range of seemingly unrelated thoughts.) I don’t care what anyone else says.  I like it. (Although I don’t have a clue where you are going with this.)

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2361 ]
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TimB - 25 August 2012 10:11 PM
Write4U - 25 August 2012 09:11 PM

I have heard that sensory deprivation can be relaxing for awhile, but brings about a certain madness eventually, an uncrontrolled desire for stimuli.

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

wiki

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology,[3] though this perhaps oversimplifies the necessity of feedback for regulating the subsystem. The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism and the term “Cybernetic organism” has been applied to networks, such as road systems, corporations and governments, which have been classed as such. The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts.

Darn, Write.  You are far out. (IOW, you can come up with a very broad range of seemingly unrelated thoughts.) I don’t care what anyone else says.  I like it. (Although I don’t have a clue where you are going with this.)

LOL .. I am probably being influenced by another thread “Can you help but do evil?” where consciousness is part of the discussion.

IMO, when a question comes to my mind, it is in itself a request for information produced by my brain. What makes it so? Is that what we call “curiosity” in the abstract. Why am I curious?
What symbolic message (the fundamental premise of the question) am I looking for? Do we exist simultaneously in a physical and metaphysical state? Is this why we are able to abstractly and symbolically understand the concept of say, Quantum?

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Posted: 25 August 2012 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2362 ]
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Write4U - 25 August 2012 04:38 PM

Seems that evolution actually found this trick very early on but then, in mammals, found an element better suited to our environment, Iron.

I did not even know that, I was just guessing…

But, my dear Write, it is of no relevance. There might exist organic compounds that are even better than haemoglobin, and evolution poorly enough did not stumble on it (yet).

Write4U - 25 August 2012 04:38 PM

Thus by evolutionary necessity, in mammals blood has to contain iron.

In the way you mean it there does not exist such a thing as ‘evolutionary necessity’. Evolution at most finds local optima in design space, and there is no guarantee it will find the ‘global optimal design’.

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 11:29 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2363 ]
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George - 25 August 2012 11:33 AM

No, I really don’t think you understand it, GdB. Adaptation has an evolutionary advantage, but not its byproduct; that’s why it’s called a “byproduct.”

I think I perfectly understand that. And I am saying that reasoning has an evolutionary advantage, and that there exists no reasoning without consciousness. (It is like mathematics without numbers, or a married bachelor.)

George - 25 August 2012 11:33 AM

Now, the reason I said that consciousness may be (IMO!) a byproduct of the process of reasoning is precisely because of Libet’s study, since it showed that our awareness doesn’t seem to play a role in our decision making, and would therefore be blind to natural selection—again, just like the colour red of our blood plays no role in providing nutrients to our body.

As I said before, without naively seeing consciousness as the Cartesian Theatre your interpretation makes no sense.

You see George, the problem is that you are combating the naive ideas of free will (free will as a prime mover) and consciousness (the homunculus in the brain). You think that you’ve got something when you show that the idea of the little man in the brain, where everything comes together, and then, free from any physical conditions, decides what it will do is wrong. That is the picture you are arguing against, and that is not the way I see consciousness and freedom.

George - 25 August 2012 11:33 AM

No, I really don’t think you understand it, GdB. Adaptation has an evolutionary But this is all obviously just a speculation, since none of us (including Dennett) really knows what consciousness actually is or does.

Well, we might not know what consciousness actually is, but what it does we know very well.

PS Here is the view you are opposing. Libet shows that essential processes happen outside the room. That is devastating for those who believe in this room with its little man…

illust2.jpg

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 12:30 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2364 ]
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Write4U - 25 August 2012 09:11 PM

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

I assume you mean the brain in a vat?

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Posted: 26 August 2012 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2365 ]
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Write4U - 25 August 2012 11:41 PM
TimB - 25 August 2012 10:11 PM
Write4U - 25 August 2012 09:11 PM

I have heard that sensory deprivation can be relaxing for awhile, but brings about a certain madness eventually, an uncrontrolled desire for stimuli.

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

wiki

The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology,[3] though this perhaps oversimplifies the necessity of feedback for regulating the subsystem. The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities. While cyborgs are commonly thought of as mammals, they might also conceivably be any kind of organism and the term “Cybernetic organism” has been applied to networks, such as road systems, corporations and governments, which have been classed as such. The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts.

Darn, Write.  You are far out. (IOW, you can come up with a very broad range of seemingly unrelated thoughts.) I don’t care what anyone else says.  I like it. (Although I don’t have a clue where you are going with this.)

LOL .. I am probably being influenced by another thread “Can you help but do evil?” where consciousness is part of the discussion.

IMO, when a question comes to my mind, it is in itself a request for information produced by my brain. What makes it so? Is that what we call “curiosity” in the abstract. Why am I curious?
What symbolic message (the fundamental premise of the question) am I looking for? Do we exist simultaneously in a physical and metaphysical state? Is this why we are able to abstractly and symbolically understand the concept of say, Quantum?

Well, I don’t know about all that, but I think you have the makings of an extraordinarily creative person, if you are not one already.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 26 August 2012 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2366 ]
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author=“GdB” ...Here is the view you are opposing. Libet shows that essential processes happen outside the room. That is devastating for those who believe in this room with its little man…

illust2.jpg

Ee-gads! There is no room and no little man!!!

...  unless.. (and I realize this verges on a conspiracy theory)...  the little man inside each of our brains is actually… (gasp)...  gods forbid…. .... .... yes!.....  Karl Rove!.... Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!.... no wonder things are so screwed up… but it all makes sense now… (insert psychotic laughter here)...

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 26 August 2012 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2367 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 12:12 AM
Write4U - 25 August 2012 09:11 PM

question: is it possible that the brain seperated from the body (artificially maintained),  and provided with artificial sensory stimuli, could still be conscious and function (in human terms), i.e. be sentient and aware? A cyborg with human qualities?

I assume you mean the brain in a vat?

Thank you GdB, i had heard of the term but never really looked it up.

wiki

In other words, if a brain in a vat stated “I am a brain in a vat”, it would always be stating a falsehood. If the brain making this statement lives in the “real” world, then it is not a brain in a vat. On the other hand, if the brain making this statement is really just a brain in the vat then by stating “I am a brain in a vat” what the brain is really stating is “I am what nerve stimuli have convinced me is a ‘brain,’ and I reside in an image that I have been convinced is called a ‘vat’.” That is, a brain in a vat would never be thinking about real brains or real vats, but rather about images sent into it that resemble real brains or real vats. This of course makes our definition of “real” even more muddled. This refutation of the vat theory is a consequence of his endorsement, at that time, of the causal theory of reference. Roughly, in this case: if you’ve never experienced the real world, then you can’t have thoughts about it, whether to deny or affirm them. Putnam contends that by “brain” and “vat” the brain in a vat must be referring not to things in the “outside” world but to elements of its own “virtual world”; and it is clearly not a brain in a vat in that sense. One of the other problems is that the supposed brain in a vat cannot have any evidence for being a brain in a vat, because that would be saying “I have what nerve stimuli have convinced me is evidence to my being a brain in a vat” and also “Nerve stimuli have convinced me of the fact that I am a brain in a vat”.

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Posted: 26 August 2012 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2368 ]
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GdB - 25 August 2012 03:30 PM
StephenLawrence - 25 August 2012 01:29 PM

Which, of course, is rubbish because everything in the universe being as it was prevented you from wanting to.

*Sigh*. You still don’t understand….

I do understand GdB, you are making an exception for human will.

In your counterfactual the will is

1) Contrary to physical laws.
2) Uncaused

That’s what is meant by contra causal

This is in contrast with my train example in which all else is ‘relevantly’ the same but not exactly the same.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2369 ]
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GdB - 25 August 2012 03:37 PM
George - 25 August 2012 01:33 PM

Everything in the universe is okay for me to drop a bowling ball from the Pisa Tower and expect it to fly towards the clouds except for gravity.  grin

What a bear nonsense, George. Nowhere I am ‘putting the laws of physics out of order’.

Yes you are.

I can give two examples of people who disagree with you, appeal to authority, I know. David Lewis and Norman Swartz. (Assuming determinism) They both say physical laws would have been different if you had wanted to go to Paris, all else exactly the same.

It is funny how you seem to be so sure that you understand evolution, but you have no idea about the underlying thinking in causes and effects.

No, it’s not our underlying thinking about cause and effect which is the problem, it’s that you are making an exception of the human will. And trying to bamboozle George over it.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2370 ]
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GdB - 25 August 2012 03:37 PM
George - 25 August 2012 01:33 PM

Everything in the universe is okay for me to drop a bowling ball from the Pisa Tower and expect it to fly towards the clouds except for gravity.  grin

What a bear nonsense,

No, George is correct.

If you’d had a different want all else exactly the same it’s not obvious what law would have been broken. But some law would because indeterminism would have been true. This is similar to the gravity example he uses but he takes an obvious law to expose the problem.

Stephen

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 04:57 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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