Gees

Consciousness and Evolution

Recommended Posts

14 hours ago, Gees said:

I don't agree. It is my thought that if one removes consciousness from a person, they die. 

This suggests zero distinction between being in a coma and being deceased, or being under general anesthesia and being dead, which (as I'm sure you'll agree) is absurd. 

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, EdEarl said:

 As a young soldier, I worked on a Nike Missile site as a repairman. Among the things I repaired was an analog computer system that computed intercept trajectory from the position of a target and the missile based on radar data. All the information was encoded as hundreds of different voltages processed by circuits that summed voltages, integrated voltages over time, and differentiated changes in voltages over time. After graduation from the Army, I attended University and became an expert with a slide rule, an analog calculator that uses lengths as data, while I studied digital computers. Then, I learn of neural networks, both living and simulated, and learn another way to process data. 

The Universe may be simulated or "live." Cosmology has tracked the beginning and end of the Universe, within limits, knowing we see only ~5% of it all. Within that simulation are tiny sentient beings, looking out a the Universe, hoping to find other sentient beings. If the Universe is simulated, there exists a Turing equivalent machine running the simulation. If the Universe is "live," it must be a vast analog computer that is Turing equivalent. Yet, the Universe does not seem to be sentient; is it? What is sentience? Why can part of something be sentient without the whole also being so.

Ed Earl,

I am thinking that life is a special case of universe stuff.  That is, as an emergent entity, life in general and life in particular, attempts to flaunt the universe's general movement toward greater entropy by grabbing hold of an ordered arrangement, and maintaining it.  The greater universe may or may not be aware of life, but life is aware of itself, and in some cases, life is aware of the greater universe.  So a part, could, potentially obtain an emergent characteristic that did not exist in any of the part's subcomponents, or in any of the other entities differently arranged on the same scale and in the same proximity as the life form.   And similarly the greater universe need not either have awareness gained by lifeforms, nor be required to spawn life regularly or in an isotropic fashion.  Life on Earth, could be a one off, not indicative of how our universe should or could behave.  Probably though, since life on Earth fits the place rather well, in terms of elements needed, heat needed, pressure needed and such, it is conceivable that something like life could develop in another place, on another scale, using different elements, pressure, heat and so on, to where something could be alive and "aware" on some level...and we just don't recognize it because we are too small, too large, to brief or too longlived, too close or too far, to notice.  

Regards, TAR

I am also thinking that the universe is definitely analog in nature, regardless of the quantum nature of its subcomponents.  On larger scales the in between 0 and 1, no and yes, negative and positive, non-existence and existence, matters the most.  And time and distance play an incredibly important role, in keeping everything from happening at once.  And since a human is a point of focus thing,  aware of the rest of the universe only after the "form" gets "in", the universe is not information, the process of consciousness is bringing the form in and comparing it with what has been brought in before.   So theuniverse is happening quite independently from the consciousness that beholds it, and the consciousness that beholds the place is conscious of the place, not conscious of itself alone.  That is as consciousness evolved, the place stayed the place.  Just our awareness of the place got more detailed and larger in scope through tools and records.  This differenciates us from other mammals, but other mammals still have eyes and ears and taste and smell and feelings, and these things evolved so that they could operate in and survive in, and raise children in the place.

Consider how our brain is folded and distances between signals create time lags between activation and allow for signals to cascade and such.  Like it matters how many bees are stinging you, to whether you use your energy to swat and wipe, or to run toward the lake. 

In addition, the information we gather, arrives in an analogous fashion, and is stored in an analogous fashion.  One thing standing for another.  The frequency and position of light focused on the back of our eye, turned to electrical/chemical signal, standing for a deer or a tree or a sunset or a wife.

Edited by tar
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, iNow said:

My point is mostly that consciousness is complex and it's a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form, as if we're some pinnacle against which all others must be measured.

INow;

Your above statement is nonsense, maybe emotional nonsense. My statement that we were the advanced version of consciousness is based on known, accepted, accredited information. This is a Science forum, so one must be careful to not assume things that are not known and accepted by science. One can not measure what one does not know about. If you have other information, please start another thread to discuss it.

 

Quote

 

Maybe we are, but we don't know whether or not that's the case on our own planer, let alone our galaxy, local supercluster, or beyond  

Maybe the universe is conscious. I suspect in ways it MUST be since we're humans, we're part of what comprises the universe, and we're conscious. It all depends on the definition we arbitrarily select  

 

Your above statements come very close to speculation. If you want to speculate, start another thread as this is off-topic.

 

Quote

Its an interesting topic. I'm not being argumentative for its own sake, but will point out flaws and weaknesses in the positions of others when I encounter them. 

You are not talking about a "flaw" or "weakness" in my position. You chide me because I stated that humans have advanced consciousness, yet you are intelligent enough to know that if I implied there was a higher consciousness, people's minds would go straight to "God" ideas or maybe aliens which would destroy this thread and my credibility. My position is one that can be attacked by any argumentative person, so I chose to go with accredited science.  The flaws and weaknesses are in your position.

 

Quote

As for human consciousness, connections between the brain stem and the rostral dorsolateral pontine tegmentum seem crucial: https://futurism.com/harvard-may-have-pinpointed-the-source-of-human-consciousness/

I find it ironic that you start by chiding me for talking about advanced human consciousness, then end your post talking about advanced human consciousness. Again, you are trying to take one of my threads off topic to instead discuss something that you are interested in. 

Gee

 

16 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

I'm not happy with a definition of "consciousness" that doesn't distinguish a man who is unconscious from one who isn't.

John Cuthber;

Consciousness is a vast and complex subject. I have studied it most of my life and have only a glimmer of understanding of this topic. If I had ten lifetimes and half a dozen geniuses to help, I'm still not sure that I could fully understand it. The definition that I gave was a simplified explanation of consciousness as it relates to life forms and evolution. It is about levels of consciousness or awareness. A full definition of consciousness is not feasible in a thread like this, even if it were possible.

What you are asking about are states of consciousness -- not levels. States of consciousness can include unconscious, varying degrees of coma from deep coma to semi coma, consciousness while hypnotized, sleeping, etc. If you want to learn about states of consciousness, I recommend the SEP, the on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, where you can lose yourself in pages and pages of that information. It is free to use and can be googled.

Consider that being in an auto accident and being rendered unconscious does not evolve or devolve your consciousness, so this is off-topic.

 

Quote

 

If the definition is that "it reacts to its surroundings", can you tell me anything that did anything without consciousness?

And if not, what use is the word?

 

The definition that I learned from Science is that conscious life "responds to stimuli". As far as I can tell, this means that it perceives, senses, or feels the stimuli and reacts in a way that will cause it to thrive and continue.

Well, robots react, but robots use electricity or some other form of power in order to react. As far as we can tell, consciousness is what empowers life.

Gee

 

8 hours ago, iNow said:

This suggests zero distinction between being in a coma and being deceased, or being under general anesthesia and being dead, which (as I'm sure you'll agree) is absurd. 

iNow;

You, and a few others by the + votes I saw, were not paying attention. You still have this idea that the brain and consciousness are the same thing -- they are not. Even if you are in such a deep coma that you do not know how to breath on your own and a ventilator must be used, your body is still conscious.  Although the ventilator can push oxygen into your lungs, that does not put it in your blood stream. Your cells are still active, still alive, still conscious, so they continue to do the work  necessary to maintain your body. Some systems may shut down when you are unconscious or comatose,  but unless all of your cells shut down,  you are still alive. 

Every cell in your body is sentient, which means that it is conscious in the lowest known degree. Every cell in every body of every life form is sentient,  which means that all life is conscious. If you remove all consciousness (sentience) from a body, it is dead.

We can clone a cell, we can change and manipulate a cell, but we can not create a cell -- because we can not create life -- because we do not know what consciousness actually is.

Gee

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/09/2017 at 1:43 AM, iNow said:

My point is mostly that consciousness is complex and it's a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form, as if we're some pinnacle against which all others must be measured.

 

9 hours ago, Gees said:

INow;

Your above statement is nonsense, maybe emotional nonsense. My statement that we were the advanced version of consciousness is based on known, accepted, accredited information. This is a Science forum, so one must be careful to not assume things that are not known and accepted by science. One can not measure what one does not know about. If you have other information, please start another thread to discuss it.

I fail to see any emotion in iNow's post. I'm having almost equal difficulty in discerning any nonsense.  Let's dissect it.

Is consciousness complex? I don't believe you can disagree with that as you have stated in this thread, in the same post as the reply to iNow: " Consciousness is a vast and complex subject."  So, either you agree with that statement, or you consider your own statements to be nonsense.

iNow continues "It is a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form [of consciousness]". The general consensus among exobiologists is that life probably exists elswhere. The more rambunctious of them envisage millions of civilisations in our galaxy alone. My own views are more measured, but I believe the majority of then, regardless of where they sit on the spectrum, would view it as foolish to assume that there are no entities that have achieved a higher level of consciousness than humans.

Forget the exobiologists and rope in all scientists. Your view harks back to the geocentrism that bedevilled science centuries ago and replaces it with an anthropocentrism. I think you'll find that "known, accepted, accredited information" is on the side of iNow here, not you.

iNow finishes with "as if [our consciousness was] some pinnacle against which all others must be measured." Here you may have a small point in your favour, although context might eliminate that. In practical terms it is useful to measure the consciousness of other organisms against human consciousness.

This is a Science forum, so one must be careful to not assume things that are not known and accepted by science

I thought this was very amusing, for obvious reasons, but my all means provide citations to papers that assert we are the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe.

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Area54 said:

 

...

iNow continues "It is a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form [of consciousness]". The general consensus among exobiologists is that life probably exists elswhere. The more rambunctious of them envisage millions of civilisations in our galaxy alone. My own views are more measured, but I believe the majority of then, regardless of where they sit on the spectrum, would view it as foolish to assume that there are no entities that have achieved a higher level of consciousness than humans.

...

I thought this was very amusing, for obvious reasons, but my all means provide citations to papers that assert we are the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe.

Area54,

 

 

 

The topic is consciousness and evolution.  I would think that has to do with consciousness compared to human consciousness, as that is the consciousness we are all familiar with, and evolution on Earth.  What life forms exist elsewhere in the universe is speculative, and there is so far not scientific evidence of life, outside of maybe organic chemicals, outside the Earth.

You are asking Gees to prove a negative if you need her to provide evidence that human consciousness is at the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe. Might as well ask me to prove no one else in the entire universe has drawn lines on  balloons in the same manner, design, position and color as I have done on the four balloons next to me.  As far as  I know, it has not been done by anybody but me.  I can not prove it, but simple probability would not force that such a combo of balloons was ever before assembled in such a fashion.   (no one else has the same questions about and interest in the spherical rhombic dodecahedron and the divisions and relationships I have discovered/invented and played with for the last four years.)

And there is no reason to propose that another planet in our galaxy has undergone exactly the same evolution we have to produce any life at all, much less our particular mix, and it is not reasonable to assume that human life would have come to prominence on a planet other than Earth, much less have had a Darwin and a Gees and an iNow and a talk board on the internet.

Scientists are mostly humans, at the same stage of evolution as criminals and despicable idiots.  And the question is not whose consciousness is raised to a higher level than the next guy, like we should allow ourselves to be embarrassed by the consciousness level our children will come to, or be miniaturize by the consciousness level of some speculative master race In another galaxy.

We are here.  It is now.  And using human consciousness on Earth, as a ruler, we are by definition, at the pinnacle of it.

Regards, TAR

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life elsewhere in the universe isn't necessary for my point to hold. There IS other life on earth... other conscious life...  and we can't even confidently arrive at conclusions about that. Octopus, whales, ravens, etc... First measure their level of consciousness and we'll talk, but even then... It all depends on the arbitrary definition of consciousness we happen to select and we seem to have a really bad habit of selecting definitions that place humans "above" all others.

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tar said:

We are here.  It is now.  And using human consciousness on Earth, as a ruler, we are by definition, at the pinnacle of it.

1

By that definition, every conscious being on Earth is at the pinnacle, of it... So long and thanks for all the fish;)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tar said:

 

The topic is consciousness and evolution.

Correct. And Gees made an unwarranted assumption regarding the nature of human consciousness, asserting that it represented the pinnacle of consciousness. Perhaps Gees meant this only in relation to the Earth, but when iNow broadened it to include the Universe Gees repeated the assumption for the Universe. I repeat, that assumption is wholly unwarranted.

3 hours ago, tar said:

You are asking Gees to prove a negative if you need her to provide evidence that human consciousness is at the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe.

Precisely so. We cannot prove that human consciousness is at the pinnacle. We cannot prove it is not. Therefore, to make either claim is to make an unwarranted assumption. This isn't difficult thinking, Tar.

 

3 hours ago, tar said:

And there is no reason to propose that another planet in our galaxy has undergone exactly the same evolution we have to produce any life at all, much less our particular mix, and it is not reasonable to assume that human life would have come to prominence on a planet other than Earth, much less have had a Darwin and a Gees and an iNow and a talk board on the internet.

I am unable to see any way in which this is relevant to the point I was making.  The same goes for the remainder of your post, until this

 

3 hours ago, tar said:

We are here.  It is now.  And using human consciousness on Earth, as a ruler, we are by definition, at the pinnacle of it.

Which is precisely why I stated

9 hours ago, Area54 said:

Here you may have a small point in your favour, although context might eliminate that. In practical terms it is useful to measure the consciousness of other organisms against human consciousness.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Gees said:

What you are asking about are states of consciousness

"Unconscious" is a state of consciousness in the same way that "bald" is a state of hair colour.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Area54,

I would propose that imagining a consciousness, "higher" than our own, would be difficult.  Same way as it would be difficult to imagine being more intelligent.  If you could imagine it, you would be it.  So what would it mean to be more conscious, or to have a better kind of consciousness?  We can only imagine analogies to our own, and comparing us to worms, it seems we have more consciousness, and a greater understanding of the world around us, than a worm.  However we are not conscious of the magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun, and maybe migrating geese are, so their's is a different type of consciousness, based on what they are conscious of.  They care about other geese and wind turbulence and such, we care about crossword puzzles and the Yankees and doing a good job on whatever project we are working on, and taking care of loved ones and the like.

I would say another lifeform somewhere else in the galaxy would care about, be conscious of, an entirely different set of things than we humans on Earth are conscious of.  Therefore, in this discussion, related to evolution, I would think looking at the mechanisms of consciousness, the base of the brain stem that iNow was talking about, eyes, ears, skin nerves, and the other things that work to allow a life form to know about the environment they are in, are the things we should be talking about. How does a thing evolve to be able to sense prey, sense danger, sense comfortable surrounding, and uncomfortable ones, to move toward the good and away from the bad?   You need a memory system of some sort to store sense input, and some way to find your way home.   You have to have a template of some sort built internally that matches in some analog fashion some important aspect of the outside environment, so that you can respond to the situation in a beneficial way.  I noticed that my pear trees grow toward the morning sun.  The one that has its morning sun blocked by the hemlocks, did not grow south toward the open noon sun, it grew more branches to the North to get to the left of the Hemlocks, and get the morning sun.   The tree is aware, on some level of the morning sun.

Regards, TAR

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tar said:

Area54,

I would propose that imagining a consciousness, "higher" than our own, would be difficult.

Whether or not that is true it has nothing whatsoever to do with my central point. I repeated it in my last post. Do you wish me to repeat it again?

1 hour ago, tar said:

Same way as it would be difficult to imagine being more intelligent.  If you could imagine it, you would be it. 

I have no difficulty imagining beings more intelligent than I. I am aware of many of my intellectual limitations and can therefore envisage the effect of those being overcome.  Indeed, all I have to do is to look at the posts from some members here to see the reality of a greater intelligence.

As far as I am concerned it has been clearly established that Gees made an unwarranted assumption regarding humanity's place at the pinnacle of consciousness. I'll entertain serious objections to this position, but otherwise I am done here. (Just to be clear, you haven't offered any serious objections.) Perhaps we can now return to the subject of the thread. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Area54,

I am arguing your main point that Gees made an unwarranted claim that humans are at the pinnacle of consciousness.   One way I disagree is that you have no greater consciousness to point to, anywhere within human investigative space.  Second way is that it is human consciousness we are talking about, so we set the rules on what is up and down on the scale and we don't know any lifeforms that have more human consciousness than humans, so it is not an unwarranted claim.

Regards, TAR

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, tar said:

Area54,

I am arguing your main point that Gees made an unwarranted claim that humans are at the pinnacle of consciousness.   One way I disagree is that you have no greater consciousness to point to, anywhere within human investigative space.  Second way is that it is human consciousness we are talking about, so we set the rules on what is up and down on the scale and we don't know any lifeforms that have more human consciousness than humans, so it is not an unwarranted claim.

Regards, TAR

Using your first argument we can state the following:

  • There are no civilisations anywhere else in the universe.
  • There is no intelligent life anywhere else in the universe
  • There is no complex life anywhere else in the universe.
  • There is no life anywhere else in the universe.

These are all unwarranted assumptions as is the assertion that there is no consciousness greater than human anywhere else in the universe. We do not know whether or not any of these statements is true. Therefore to state that they are is an unwarranted assumption. This should not be this difficult tar.

Your second argument is just silly/illogical. If you cannot see the illogic you have my sympathy, but no more of my time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gees accused me of being emotional. Pretty sure I wasn't, but do find it fascinating that s/he is the one who keeps neg repping me. Gees...shh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, iNow said:

Gees accused me of being emotional. Pretty sure I wasn't, but do find it fascinating that s/he is the one who keeps neg repping me. Gees...shh.

In fairness, you cannot be sure of that. You may feel it is likely, it may even be likely. It must certainly be annoying for you. But its inconclusive. It would be beneficial if Gees came forward and addressed the counterpoints offered by yourself and by me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Area54;

12 hours ago, Area54 said:

I fail to see any emotion in iNow's post. I'm having almost equal difficulty in discerning any nonsense.  Let's dissect it.

I hope to help you see it, but since this is a Philosophy forum, let's analyze it.

 

Quote

Is consciousness complex? I don't believe you can disagree with that as you have stated in this thread, in the same post as the reply to iNow: " Consciousness is a vast and complex subject."  So, either you agree with that statement, or you consider your own statements to be nonsense.

Consciousness is a vast and complex subject. But do you know what I mean when I say "vast"? Let me explain: Consciousness is the subject of ALL religion; consciousness is the subject of more than half of philosophy; and consciousness is related to at least half of all sciences. It is indeed vast.

Even the simplest of minds should be able to grasp the idea that any study of consciousness must be focused and disciplined, otherwise the study turns into a tangle of unrelated nonsense,  and nothing is learned. So it is easy to stay on the subject of consciousness, in chemistry, regarding "God", in the Universe, and other assorted Theories of Consciousness, while completely ignoring the Original Post and the topic of Consciousness and Evolution.

When you stated that "iNow broadened it to include the Universe", you were exactly right. When iNow did that the focus was changed; it was no longer a thread about Consciousness and Evolution; it was now a thread about Consciousness in the Universe. My thread is dead; no one is discussing it; I will learn nothing. iNow has this thread now and it is what iNow wants to talk about. From what I can see, iNow mostly wants to talk about what iNow thinks,  and I have no interest in that. So my thread is gone and  you are supporting iNow's thread. Thanks a lot.

 

Quote

iNow continues "It is a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form [of consciousness]". The general consensus among exobiologists is that life probably exists elswhere. The more rambunctious of them envisage millions of civilisations in our galaxy alone. My own views are more measured, but I believe the majority of then, regardless of where they sit on the spectrum, would view it as foolish to assume that there are no entities that have achieved a higher level of consciousness than humans.

The assumption here is iNow's and the rest of it is pure speculation. Taking over a thread is bad enough, but taking it over in order to turn it into a speculations thread (garbage) is incredibly rude.

 

Quote

Forget the exobiologists and rope in all scientists. Your view harks back to the geocentrism that bedevilled science centuries ago and replaces it with an anthropocentrism. I think you'll find that "known, accepted, accredited information" is on the side of iNow here, not you.

The above is nothing but opinion, and that opinion is based on assumption, not fact or evidence. You have no idea of my "view".

 

Quote

iNow finishes with "as if [our consciousness was] some pinnacle against which all others must be measured." Here you may have a small point in your favour, although context might eliminate that. In practical terms it is useful to measure the consciousness of other organisms against human consciousness.

It is always nice to do your homework. Following is my quote from earlier in this thread. It is the one that iNow keeps harping about, so let us take a look at it.

On ‎9‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 3:46 PM, Gees said:

INow;

You make a reasonable point, so + vote for you.

People have many definitions for consciousness, as it is one of the most defined, and yet worst defined, terms that exist. The simple definition for consciousness is that it means awareness. What you are conscious of, you are aware of.

Problems arise when one tries to determine what a different life form is aware of, because awareness is subjective and not known to anyone but the subject. We can determine that other people are aware through language, because we can question them, but what of other species that we can not communicate with? The only way to determine the awareness of other species is to objectively observe them.

What we can observe in other life forms is that they will react to stimuli; specifically, they will eat to maintain themselves, grow, and reproduce or duplicate themselves in order to maintain their specie. This tells us that they are aware of the need to continue, that they have survival instincts, and that they are life forms. If they chose not to eat and reproduce, they would die and become extinct.

No one will argue that an earth worm has the same consciousness as you and I, but it does have some awareness, so a variety of terms have been used to try to explain different levels of consciousness. As I stated in my OP, consciousness evolves.

The simplest, and most basic, form of consciousness is sentience, which means that the life form has the ability to perceive, feel, or sense something in it's surroundings and react to it in some appropriate observable way. All life is sentient. This is not to be confused with sapient, which is more about intelligence, judgment, and wisdom. AI is sapient, but not necessarily sentient.

The most advanced form of consciousness is what we experience as humans, the ability to be conscious of our consciousness, or to be self aware. All other consciousness lies in levels and grades between sentience and self awareness.

This is a simplified explanation of consciousness, which will hopefully answer your questions. If you want further explanation, you can go to the on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but be prepared to read a LOT of information. (chuckle)

Gee

If you are able to break down a simple sentence in English, you will note that the underlined completes a sentence. The subject "form" (of consciousness); the verb "is" and the object "ability to be conscious of our consciousness" completes a full sentence. If you will look  at the non-underlined words between the two parts of that sentence, you will find another subject "we" and verb "experience". So what we have here is a sentence within a sentence. I missed putting the coma between "is" and "what". The most advanced form of consciousness is self awareness and we, as humans, do experience it.

Does it state anywhere that no other species experiences self-awareness? No. It does not. I know this because I am very aware of tests like the Mirror test that support the idea that other species are self aware. One can not spent a lifetime studying consciousness and be ignorant of these types of tests.

Does it state anywhere that we are the "pinnacle" of consciousness? No it does not, as I would not be so asinine as to even imply this.

It does state that self awareness is the most advanced form of consciousness; but really, if you are aware of things around you (sentience) and you are aware of your self, what else is there? The only thing I can think of is awareness of all things and all selves -- that would be "God" and I am  not ready to go there. Also note the bolded words at the end, this was meant to be a "simplified" explanation and not inclusive of all explanations of consciousness.

So how did iNow interpret my meaning to be that I think we are the "pinnacle" of consciousness? I don't know. iNow is intelligent enough to understand what I wrote, iNow obviously can read, so my thought was that maybe the very bad interpretation of my thoughts were caused by emotion. If you study consciousness, you will be aware that emotion can mix what you see with what you are feeling and corrupt what you learn from it. 

 

Quote

I thought this was very amusing, for obvious reasons, but my all means provide citations to papers that assert we are the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe.

Well, I don't find it funny at all. What I did note was that iNow did not even try to answer my question in the OP or offer any pertinent information that was on topic. For that matter, neither did you. Your first post was about "snow" and your second post was about "iNow", yet you are following this thread. Why?

Gee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Gees said:

If you study consciousness, you will be aware that emotion can mix what you see with what you are feeling and corrupt what you learn from it. 

My irony meter just broke

15 minutes ago, Gees said:

The most advanced form of consciousness is what we experience as humans

 

15 minutes ago, Gees said:

self awareness is the most advanced form of consciousness;

You have no way of knowing this. It's an assumption, not a fact. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Gees said:

Gees, you made an unwarranted assumption. The only reason the thread has been diverted from the OP is that you refused to acknowledge this. Had you simply said, "Good point iNow, it would be an assumption to assert that humanity must be the pinnacle of consciousness", we could then have moved on to more interesting points. Now there are two possibilities I am aware of to explain this disruptive behaviour*:

1) You genuinely fail to see the complete illogic of your stance.

2) You have difficulty to admit when you are in error.

The first is a failure of intellect, the second of character. Neither encourage me to have any further exchanges with you.

 

*There could be others. If any of them are valid and are pointed out by any member, yourself included I shall be happy to admit my error and apologise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Cuthber;

9 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

"Unconscious" is a state of consciousness in the same way that "bald" is a state of hair colour.

You didn't check with the SEP did you? Well, it is a lot of reading, so try this: Go to Wiki and type in Id, Ego, and Superego. When you get to that page, scroll down about half way and you will see a picture of an iceberg on the right hand side. This is the representation that Freud created of the mind. It is now widely accepted as a reasonable picture of how the conscious and unconscious are divided. Freud stated that the conscious mind is like the tip of an iceberg with the vast majority of mind (the unconscious) hidden from our awareness.

This is not just from psychology. A working neurologist explained to me that the unconscious is necessary as there is just too much information to process in the rational conscious mind, trying to do so would make us useless at best, or crazy at worst.

It is unfortunate that the  medical definition of mind that divided it into conscious and unconscious is the one that we use to describe this aspect of mind, as it makes one think that nothing is going on when we are unconscious. Nothing could be further from the truth. The unconscious aspect of mind is massive, and I personally suspect that it is even greater that Freud described.

Gee

 

6 hours ago, Area54 said:

Using your first argument we can state the following:

  • There are no civilisations anywhere else in the universe.
  • There is no intelligent life anywhere else in the universe
  • There is no complex life anywhere else in the universe.
  • There is no life anywhere else in the universe.

These are all unwarranted assumptions as is the assertion that there is no consciousness greater than human anywhere else in the universe. We do not know whether or not any of these statements is true. Therefore to state that they are is an unwarranted assumption. This should not be this difficult tar.

Your second argument is just silly/illogical. If you cannot see the illogic you have my sympathy, but no more of my time.

Area54;

Did you know that just before you wake up every time, little fairies riding on miniature pink unicorns are what start the process of your waking up? You don't know about them because you are sleeping when it happens, but you can't deny it because that would be an unwarranted assumption. Sorry, but I had to either get mad or laugh, I chose to laugh.

Your logic is so illogical that it is funny. If something is known, we can discuss it; if it is not known, then it is speculation. This is real easy stuff here.

Gee

 

6 hours ago, iNow said:

Gees accused me of being emotional. Pretty sure I wasn't, but do find it fascinating that s/he is the one who keeps neg repping me. Gees...shh.

iNow;

Yes. I will give out neg reps when someone in my thread passes out disinformation. If I think that I can argue the point or explain where the person is wrong, I will do so, but some people just do not listen to facts, and others make a joke, often sarcastically, to make their point. This can sway a reader into believing what was written, and I hate causing someone to receive bad information because I hate receiving bad information myself. So I use the neg reps to hopefully make the reader consider that what they are reading may not be true.

An example would be when (paraphrased) you stated that a person in a coma would be the same as a person, who is dead -- according to me. This was a clear example of disinformation, and some people bought into it. You could have just asked.

 

3 hours ago, iNow said:

My irony meter just broke

You have no way of knowing this. It's an assumption, not a fact. 

OK. Self awareness is the most advanced consciousness that we know of. Is that better? This is how I know it. (chuckle)

Gee

 

3 hours ago, Area54 said:

Gees, you made an unwarranted assumption. The only reason the thread has been diverted from the OP is that you refused to acknowledge this. Had you simply said, "Good point iNow, it would be an assumption to assert that humanity must be the pinnacle of consciousness", we could then have moved on to more interesting points.

Area54;

But I did not assert that humanity must be the pinnacle of consciousness. So you think that I should say "Good point" to someone who corrupts the meaning of my words, and congratulate them on their brilliant observation that their assumption and interpretation of what I wrote is wrong? Don't you think that there are enough people kissing iNow's backside? Is one more really necessary? Why don't I get the apology????

You probably don't know this, but iNow was in my thread on the Supernatural, and in my thread on Emotion, and in this thread. In all three of these threads, iNow contributed nothing of value, picked at posts that were made by me, and attempted to introduce neurology and/or studies of the brain into the threads. This is documented fact -- look them up if you want.

You think this is coincidence? You think that iNow is going to cease and desist? Can you recognize a pattern?

 

Quote

The first is a failure of intellect, the second of character. Neither encourage me to have any further exchanges with you.

 

OK.

Gee

 

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

iNow,

 

So I take your point that we don't know if whales or octopi or ravens are more, less or differently conscious than we are.  The scale has not been set, at least in this forum on this thread it has not been agreed upon.

I remember reading once how whales communicate "areas" of the sea to each other and such.  Distinctions we are not usually conscious of as land animals.

I am thinking that neurology is central to this discussion.  That is, brain structure, and brain chemistry plays an important role in consciousness, and animals, especially mammals,  close o us in evolutionary terms, are probably outfitted with similar equipment.  I would speculate that the mechanisms that make consciousness possible in humans are probably present in our close relatives in the animal kingdom.   My pet dopamine theory for instance, would say that we survive because we like to live, and we like to live because we get a pleasure reward for doing it right.  If this is true, then it would be consistent logic to expect that other animals that survive, do it because it feels good to do it, as well, and one might reasonably expect to find dopamine in the brains of happy dogs.

Freud was a neurologist, and the id, ego and superego have their analogs in the brain, its structure and its chemistry.   The part of the brain you showed me that Rebecca Saxe studied, that was active when people made moral decisions, and conversed with unseen others, is rather like the superego, the rules, the societal judge, the conscience.   The dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine complex in our brains along with the various endorphins and hormones like adrenaline and the pheromones that establish the emotions that Gees talks about are analogous to the Id.  And the ego, the moderator between the id and the superego, is something perhaps like the brain stem base you mentioned that seems to "house" conscious awareness.

If my thinking is accurate, other conscious lifeforms on the planet, especially our mammal relatives probably have similar mechanisms, for the same survival reasons.  We already know they have eyes and ears and other senses similar to ours.  

And elephants cry.

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2017 at 3:12 AM, Gees said:

 

What I have seen is evidence that consciousness evolves, life forms evolve, and all life forms are conscious. This would seem to indicate that consciousness and evolution are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact related. Possibly even interdependent.

If I have missed some important information, please tell me what it is.

Gee

Hello, Gees. At my present level of understanding, i would suggest that it isn't Consciousness that evolves but what does evolve is the capacity to become more conscious of that of which we can be conscious. As life-forms evolve and nervous-systems and cerebral cortices become more sophisticated and sensitive, the spectrum of consciousness spreads from " simple ", primitive sense-consciousness to the present degree of self-consciousness which we have reached - which may be the pinnacle of self-consciousness but is most probably not the true pinnacle of Consciousness as a whole: mystics, philosophers and some scientists give credence to an actual, supreme " Cosmic " or " Universal " Consciousness which is primordial and timeless and which, in extreme circumstances, can overwhelm and displace self-consciousness. Perhaps this  " Cosmic Consciousness " is the ultimate goal of human evolution - if Consciousness can be said to have distance, direction and destination.

The link here is quite thought-provoking.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panpsychism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/09/2017 at 11:46 PM, Gees said:

The most advanced form of consciousness is what we experience as humans

 

9 hours ago, Gees said:

But I did not assert that humanity must be the pinnacle of consciousness

The first quote follows a section where you move upwards in 'levels' of consciousness from the self awareness of an earthworm and end with the quote statement.  The only alternative way I can see to read that position is that humanity is not the pinnacle of consciouness, but is at the pinnacle of consciousness, sharing it with one or more entities.

All of the objections I had to your statement "humanity is the pinnacle of consciousness" apply equally and fully to "humanity is at the pinnacle of cosciousness".

 

Are you arguing that your statement meant something else? That "most advanced form of consciousness" does not equate to "pinnacle of consciousness"? Or do you maintain that there is no more advanced form of consciousness in the universe than humanity and such other organisms as share our level?

I have no interest in whatever disagreements you may feel you have with iNow.  I am supporting his position in this thread because it coincides with mine. What is relevant is you made a silly remark and now are refusing to acknowledge it. That's your choice.

2 hours ago, Tub said:

 Perhaps this  " Cosmic Consciousness " is the ultimate goal of human evolution - if Consciousness can be said to have distance, direction and destination.

The very widely accepted consensus in the science community is that evolution has no ultimate goal. If we pursue this "cosmic consciousness" notion does that not mean we have moved from a firm base, grounded in science, to an unrooted speculation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/09/2017 at 8:47 PM, tar said:

I would propose that imagining a consciousness, "higher" than our own, would be difficult.  Same way as it would be difficult to imagine being more intelligent. 

I propose that it's difficult because it's like imagining someone more pregnant than the duchess of Cornwall.

You are seeking to qualify an absolute.

However that may simply mean that your definition doesn't tally with mine (or that of medical science- which know about these things)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Area54 said:

The very widely accepted consensus in the science community is that evolution has no ultimate goal. If we pursue this "cosmic consciousness" notion does that not mean we have moved from a firm base, grounded in science, to an unrooted speculation?

First of all, let me say that, being aware of the Sagan Standard, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagan_standard  ), i really wasn't making any assertions re " Cosmic Consciousness ", having no extraordinary evidence of my own to offer. Yet, despite the Latin phrase i recently discovered: " Quod gratis asseritur,gratis negatur ", ( in English : " Whatever is claimed without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence " ), i can't convince myself to dismiss completely out of hand those admittedly rare accounts of experiences of radically altered states of consciousness documented in times past and present, so i must say that even the slimmest of such evidence must be some proof against dismissal as a completely baseless speculation.

Perhaps " Cosmic Consciousness " is not a very good phrase to use - it may have a hint of hippy pseudophilosophy to it -  but if  we can correctly say that there are different states of consciousness " lower " than ours, can we confidently say that there aren't any states of consciousness " higher " than ours?  Perhaps even that speculative universal awareness of wholeness that isn't a by-product of evolution? I don't have the knowledge or confidence to disregard Panpsychism as insignificant.

All i know of evolution can be seen in this great little video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl89HIJ6HDo&pbjreload=10 so perhaps i should have said that this so-called " Cosmic Consciousness " is perhaps the psychological culmination of human evolution and it would be very vain to assume that material evolution had reached its peak on our little blue dot. The long and winding road from molecule to mankind, and then beyond,  potentially still has billions of years to stretch, perhaps forever, so who knows what changes may occur - without any  ultimate material goal, just endless improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now