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cladking

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About cladking

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  1. The problem with our reductionistic perspective is that it's unlikely we can put it all together until we have nearly every piece of the puzzle and we're a very long way from that. Even now massive pieces of the puzzle aren't even recognized as being relevant and all the (fractal) corner pieces and most of the edge pieces are missing. Reality is logic as is mathematics so there is hope even in the short run.
  2. "Vonk presented the apes with a touch-screen computer and got them to tap an image of an animal—for instance, a snake—on the screen. Then she showed each ape two side-by-side animal pictures: one from the same category as the animal in the original image and one from another—for example, images of a different reptile and a bird. When they correctly matched animal pairs, they received a treat such as nuts or dried fruit." What these animals are doing isn't abstraction. There's no evidence (other than observations such as these) that any animal has words which mean "thought", "belief", abstraction, taxonomies, or reductionistic words. An animal can certainly see similarities between different types of things without the ability to form abstraction. A cat that comes when it's can of food is opened is responding to the various clues it's about to be fed and not to the concept that can opener makes food or allows it to be fed. It simply knows it means food as surely as a frog that senses but can't see a fly nearby knows that it's about to snack. Animals are conscious but don't know abstraction. The ape doesn't have taxonomic words. It can't tell a reptile from a mammal but many animals are going to know what is a threat and what is not. Most small mammals and birds are well acquainted with the shape of raptors and will sound an alarm when one is nearby. But, again, few animal know a warm blooded animal from a cold blooded one unless it's important to them or from experience. A dog understands pointing but not because it understands abstraction but because it knows the act represents identifying an object at a distance. Just as a bee points at a food source in a dance that represents the magnitude, distance, and direction of the food. We, humans, are bound up in abstraction but there's no evidence this applies to animals. And before someone talks about love etc, yes, animals have emotions but just like human emotions they arise from the brain and are not abstractions,. We experience them as abstractions because this is the way our brains work now days. You are assuming a slug lacks free will and consciousness. I believe this assumption is obviously false. Just because it doesn't "think" doesn't mean it isn't alive and have its own "concerns" and choices.
  3. I would type out the definition of "life" from my unabridged dictionary but I wager it's more than 1200 words of very fine print, colons, italics, and various other devices as is found in these sources. There are definitions of "life" that are not abstractions and there are definitions that are pure abstraction. Meanwhile EVERY SINGLE definition of "life" can apply each time someone uses the word. The life of a guinea pig is dissimilar to the life of a human, yet few mourn when a guinea pig's life passes and few people will think of their pet guinea pig when their life passes before their eyes. Language is a life long interest of mine. Most people will deconstruct these sentences correctly despite using a few of the very very many different definitions for life. If I call our concept of "life" an abstraction I am simply not talking about whether it is breathing or will ever breath again. "Consciousness" is far worse. I have never observed or seen evidence that anyone has observed an abstraction in the life of an animal.
  4. We have turned even free will, consciousness, and life into abstractions. Yet a slug still has these attributes despite an inability to understand abstraction. I maintain these are simple observation and don't require experiment or "fatties". Indeed, no one has ever properly defined any of these such that "experiment" can be performed so the questions are ones of philosophy and not true science at this time. And, yes, I am referring to "life" in the abstract which has not been properly defined and I am aware there are reasonably good definitions for the difference between a "live" guinea pig and a dead one.
  5. Of course. But it's considered off-topic in almost every thread and certainly in this one. But we don't need no stinkin' research because we have observation and logic. We can see animals display intelligence and consciousness and have an extremely poor ability to teach them any sort of abstractions. There are some things that seem like abstractions but I don't believe they are to the individual. If a coffee grinder is activated every time right before you feed a cat the sound simply represents food. A bird that flies into a window to get food merely associates your attention to being fed. Animals always have a choice though the choice is far more limited when under attack or otherwise operating strictly on what we call "instinct". Humans suppress instinct, animals much less so. We see humans operating on belief and these beliefs are framed in language and manifested in models. These models, the language formatting them, and the beliefs themselves are abstractions. We simply don't see free will directly because there are too many underlying beliefs. How does a scientist reconcile the idea of free will if he believes the universe is a clockwork or that it behaves physical laws? How does a theologian believe in free will if God is all powerful? No matter what kind of beliefs you have they will interfere with the most basic and simple questions like "what is life", "what is consciousness", and "do we have free will". They actually interfere with every single aspect of our perceptions but this is largely invisible to us. These things have been shown in experiment again and again but we usually interpret them differently and we all always interpret them in terms of our beliefs. I'm about to bring back the "evidence of your own eyes" thread and the next post will touch on this.
  6. I believe a slug has a better understanding of being a slug than we do of being human. Indeed, i believe the slug has a better understanding of life, reality, and free will than we do; at least from the perspective of a slug. We mostly understand human concerns that are based around emotions, definitions, and abstractions. From this perspective the nature of life and free will can be hard to see.
  7. Animals obviously have free will and consciousness but they don't understand the concept of abstraction. They don't understand any concept at all because even a concept is an abstraction. Humans overthink everything. We do it for myriad reasons like the fact we can ONLY think in abstraction because that's the nature of our language today. "Abstractions" aren't real for exactly the reasons you delineate. We have reduced reality to abstractions we call religion or "physical law" but reality is concrete; it is a roundish (sphere-like) object that floats in space. It is unique and continually changing just like all of reality. Within that reality we can do as we choose whether we know it or not. This is the very nature of what it means to be "alive"; CHOICE. It is a gift bestowed by nature to prolong out lives and propagate our genes which are our individual realities. Some things are very hard to see if you have the "wrong" perspective and definitions.
  8. No. Science doesn't even have a working definition of "consciousness". This is as far removed from experiment as is "soul". "Consciousness" at this time is in the realm of philosophy.
  9. You're assuming you know what consciousness and free will are and that it takes place in the brain. The nature of living things is predetermined but not the behavior. Given the exact same conditions two individuals will behave differently. Certainly the individual being born had few choices but the kicking and screaming are more about the rigors of birth than the horror of conception. And then we each always have an out even where that out runs contrary to our natures.
  10. Any free will expressed by spermatozoa or ova is wholly independent of us or our consciousness. We didn't and wouldn't exist until we actually did when two specific ones became a zygote. They no longer existed at all by this time.
  11. You seem to be assuming a spermatozoon has no consciousness and no free will. You are also assuming that ova drop by mere chance alone. I'm guessing you also think that babies are born when they're "done" rather than by consensus.
  12. cladking

    Pyramids

    It's been tough but I've survived so far.
  13. What any individual believes has no bearing on whether or not free will exists. It's irrelevant whether or not a Deity exists. If there's no free will what is stopping people from harming themselves? There are plenty of miserable people yet very few wait for the train on its tracks.
  14. You can be quite certain there is free will. Reality is an infinite number of orders of magnitude too chaotic for consciousness to be driven by any sort of chemical reaction or mechanical process. The belief in preordination and predeterminism is caused by a belief in perception and physical "law". Apropos of nothing in particular you'll never see anyone who believes there is no free will lie down in front of a train to prove his point.
  15. The schools have failed due to lack of responsibility and lack of standards. This means many individuals are less capable of understanding or recognizing real science. This even applies to scientists to greater or lesser extent depending on the specific individual. Far worse is that specialization occurs earlier and earlier so those individuals who become journalists (entertainers) often can't tell real science from the latest fad among the educated. They often don't care if something is actual science or something that will generate ad revenue so "soup of the day science" was born. It is called "science" to give it a mystique among their uneducated readers but it is no more real science than most of the other Look and See Science that is derived from opinion and the belief in the correctness of expert opinion. I don't believe the real threat here is ignorance and belief in silly science. The real threat is most of these people would have had a religion to provide some sort of moral compass a century ago. Now they are adrift believing in any nonsense that comes down the pike and ripe for some leader who might use them for his own ends. Real science won every battle and lost the war.
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