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Everything posted by Gees

  1. Dimreepr; Maybe, or maybe you don't see my point. If we take every cognitive tool, like pattern recognition, and throw it out because it can be abused, then very soon we will have no cognitive tools left -- because they can all be abused. It is Philosophy's goal to achieve clarity of thought, so when I find a negative opinion regarding some tool of thought, I am likely to try to learn more about that tool. There is a way to use it well, and a way to use it poorly, so learning the difference is paramount if one wants to achieve clarity of thought. Why would I bother to do that for people, who are not going to read the link? I had already explained 'pattern recognition' twice. The only time that I will usually post a link, is when I think there is a great deal of interest, the idea is complex and needs to be read, and the link might be difficult for others to find. Otherwise I will just tell them where the information can be obtained and leave it to them to look or not look. If they are not interested enough to look, or if they are too lazy to look, then they are worthless in the discussion anyway. No. "Collecting observations/data and extrapolating a conclusion" is not a reasonable definition of science. It is a reasonable definition of pattern recognition, which is a tool that Science and Philosophy both use. Pattern recognition can also be pure speculation, and only becomes Science when testing and proofs are used and then repeatability and peer review confirm the testing and proofs. Pattern recognition becomes Philosophy when the conclusion is corroborated with a valid premise and then peer reviewed. Scanning gives information, but does not give understanding. So you don't know enough. This is why you need understanding. I didn't move the goal posts, you just haven't found them yet. I rarely use citations and will most often look up the information before posting if I have any doubts about what I am stating. I will also check my facts if someone disputes them, so I do a lot of research while writing these threads. If you doubt something that I state as being true or factual, you can always look it up and dispute it. Philosophy does a lot of interpreting the facts and evidence, so it is important for me to get feedback on my reasoning and logic, as that it what I am actually working on. The facts are easy to confirm, interpretation of the facts is what is difficult, but understanding is necessary for that interpretation. Gee
  2. Dimreepr; I see your point. On the other hand, brains, minds, thoughts, and memory are also responsible for "people seeing Jesus in a piece of toast", so maybe we should throw out all of those also? After all, they are "tenuous at best". Or, we could go in the other direction. We could go to Wiki, type "pattern recognition" into the search box and select the item from the drop-down menu that reads; Pattern recognition (Psychology). Then we could page down to the section that is labelled, "False Pattern Recognition", and read it. (I know you don't like to read much, but it is just one paragraph.) You can learn a brand new word there that you can show off to all your friends and relatives, because there is a word that labels what "Jesus finding" actually is and explains that it is not actually pattern recognition. Yes. That is a reasonable definition for pattern recognition. If you don't read most of my posts, then how could you possibly know if they contained any evidence? I suspect that you are not really looking for evidence, and may not recognize it when you see it; you are looking for links that validate what I am saying, because that is what you find to be evidence. This implies that in your opinion my words require validation, so I am either stupid or a liar. I am neither. I did not find your posts derailing my "train of thought"; I found them disheartening. After considering that a number of the click-it squad liked your posts regarding pattern recognition, it occurred to me that there were more than a few people, who were reading this thread, that were not bright enough to outsmart a box of rocks. Because I am trying to have a discussion about a very complex and abstract subject, this was not good news. iNow; No. That neg rep was because you seem incapable of treating Tar with even a modicum of respect. It seems to be your intention to run him out of this thread, but he is the ONLY other person in this thread who has any understanding of what I am trying to convey. So I don't really want to see him gone -- as there is no one to discuss the matter with without him. The rest of you seem to be clueless -- or at least, that is the feedback that I am getting. Not emotions (pleural) but emotion -- what it is, how it works, it's parameters. When you were a kid, I bet that either you or one of your friends took a 9V battery and held it to your tongue to experience the charge. I think most of us did it, or knew someone who did. It was a common dare when I was young. So afterward, if someone asked what electricity was, would you state that it is a sharp tingling on your tongue? No, of course not. That is what it felt like, not what it is. When people use the word, emotions, they are talking about what emotion feels like -- like the battery charge. I want to know what emotion actually is -- like the electricity. Most people will not dispute that emotion is part of our consciousness, but they see it as something that is secondary to thought, maybe even dependent upon thought. I suspect that the opposite is true, that thought is dependent upon emotion. I have learned a lot about emotion, but not nearly enough. It is part of the second division of consciousness, and may be responsible for life. I am pretty sure that it is responsible for evolution in life. Gee
  3. Eise: I apologize for being so late in responding. I tried to answer your post several days ago, but lost my response half way through. Please consider my following thoughts when you have time. You say, "investigation in our way of thinking"; I say, "interpreting knowledge". I suspect that we are both talking about the same thing, but using different words. This is not where our difference of opinion exists; the difference is where and how we divide what is Philosophy and what is Science. You divide it by subject matter, the empirical; I divide it by methodology, procedure. Instead of trying to turn this into a silly debate of Philosophy v Science, let us just talk about Philosophy. I think that we can both agree that in order to work Philosophy, one requires a premise. So please consider the next three questions. 1) How does one go about formulating a premise if they are not allowed to use the empirical which would include observation and/or experience and also evidence and fact? 2) How does one go about determining if said premise is a reflection of something real, or if it is just imagining? 3) What is real? If you can answer all three questions, and give examples, without using the empirical, then I will consider that the empirical may have nothing to do with Philosophy. Capra is the godfather of nothing. What you don't seem to understand here is that the key word is "consciousness". In my studies of consciousness, I learned that Spinoza (17th Century Philosopher) had a concept of "God" that was very close to mine and reflected a Universal understanding of consciousness. Spinoza's ideas have been compared to the Vedanta tradition of India -- so this is not anywhere close to a "new" idea. Because of Spinoza's work, I now have an interest in the Vedanta, and because QM has been related to consciousness, I also have an interest there. No doubt Capra also saw these ideas and is comparing them -- as many other people are doing. Do not confuse a study of consciousness with a new age religion. As for the book, Quantum Enigma, I finally browsed through it and found no reference to Capra. What I did find were references to Galileo, Newton, Planck, Einstein, and other physicists. There was a lot about Einstein, as one of the authors, when he was a student, actually visited with Einstein. He stated that he was so awed by the great man, that it took years before he finally realized what Einstein was trying to discuss with him. (chuckle) I also found the following on Page 251. "Does Quantum Mechanics Support Mysticism? It is sometimes implied that the sages of ancient religions intuited aspects of contemporary physics. The argument can go on to claim that quantum mechanics provides evidence for the validity of these ancient teachings. Such reasoning is not compelling." In that chapter, it goes on to state that physicists are often "embarrassed" by similar comparisons. So I suspect that you owe an apology to the authors of Quantum Enigma. Everything that we think we know is a kind of knowledge. What is your point? It did not escape my notice that you used theories of physics as an example, knowing full well that wannabe philosophers and wannabe scientists are constantly questioning theories of physics. Are you trying to throw me in with that lot? I can assure you that I have never in my entire life questioned theories of physics. I don't know enough about physics to even consider it. I suggested no such thing. I said that Philosophy interprets knowledge. If I meant that it interpreted theories, I would have stated that it interprets theories. I did not state that because it is a ridiculous idea. You are trying to make something very simple into something more. What is knowledge? It is what we know. Or is it what we think we know? Maybe it is what we believe or imagine or assume. How can we know that it is actual knowledge? How can we know that it is true? This is what Philosophy interprets -- truth. If "knowledge" is not true, then it is not knowledge. Sure. I will use a topic that I know well -- consciousness. Religion has decided that consciousness comes from "God" and this "knowledge" has produced theories and ideas to support their position. Science has decided that consciousness comes from us and this "knowledge" has produced theories and ideas to support their position. Both Disciplines have produced enough evidence for this Monism v Dualism debate to go on for more than a thousand years. Yet, there is still no comprehensive theory of consciousness. Why? Because both disciplines based their premises on assumption -- not knowledge. We don't even know what consciousness is, and they are arguing over where it came from. (chuckle) An invalid premise based on anything but true knowledge will corrupt the theory. I can understand your perspective and even appreciate your position. Having been academically trained, you tend to put things into their historical positions as related by your training. That is fine. I am just a simple philosopher looking for simple truths. Russell's statement is a summation given for the understanding of laymen, and as such it is true. I don't really care if it is right or wrong, or if it is relevant or irrelevant to the times. I just care if it is true. I could state, Philosophy is the beginning; Science is the ending. It also would be true. Like Russell's statement, it would not explain Philosophy or Science, as it would just be a summation. That does not affect the truth of it. It is a statement that is true now and will always be true. But I would not generally make that statement because people will misunderstand it. They will think that Philosophy starts things off, and Science finishes them, or that Science is the new and improved Philosophy -- which is not true. Philosophy puts it trust in the premise at the beginning of constructing new knowledge; Science puts it trust in the testing at the ending of constructing new knowledge. Both are necessary. Consider it like house construction. Philosophy would provide the water level to start the foundation and ensure that it is level, then it would provide the plumb line and square to ensure that it stays level and square. Science would come in and make sure that the windows and doors open and close as they should, that the plumbing does not leak, the electricity works, the roof does not leak, and the furnace is adequate. Between them, they can construct something that will last for ages. Without Philosophy there is a good chance that it would not start off well, and without Science there would be no one to ensure that it stayed level and square and was in working order. Both are necessary. Gee Eise; No. I did not at any time call "established theories 'bits of information'". You are putting ideas together that don't belong together and making me wonder if you are truly a philosopher. Every philosopher that I have ever met, or read about, has a passion for truth and an ability to recognize it. What I was talking about was the weakness that is inherent in any strength. The strength in Science lies in the scientific method, and the strength in the scientific method lies in it's ability to isolate one component so that the testing will show the attributes of that one component without influence by other things. So it has to turn things into "bits of information" in order to be sure of them and study them properly. This kind of study and testing has resulted in reliable information that is so valid, it was impossible to know before Science formed. But this is also a weakness, as these "bits" have to be reorganized and reformed into whatever they were beforehand. This also limits Science in areas where the information can not be broken down into bits. This is the reason why studies like Psychology, Animal Behaviorism, and Archeology are known as "soft" sciences, as they will not break down for study by the scientific method. Although there are some parts that can be helped along with the scientific method, a large part of these studies are a combination of Science and Philosophy. Studiot; I agree. The only problem that I see is that reality is not always rational. (chuckle) Gee
  4. Area54; Hello at last. Please consider my responses below: "A variety of sins"? Have you considered writing fiction? You have a wonderful flare for words. I often failed to use context to distinguish between them -- Because. There. Is. No. Between. Them. It does not exist. Is that clear? Probably not. Do you remember when I finally listed the "supposed" levels of consciousness? Sentience, awareness, consciousness, self-awareness, and the new control something? I said that sentience was applied to things like skin cells and bacteria? That it meant aware, but mindless? I stated that this designation for consciousness was emotional because we do not want to think that bacteria has mind. It is emotional because it is an invalid distinction made for emotional reasons. Do you know how I know that it is invalid? Because we can not know if skin cells have minds or if they don't -- we don't even know what mind is -- and can not even prove that other people have subjective minds. This designation is nonsense. It is not true. I also explained that self-awareness was designed to distinguish human superiority, and that the new designation, control something, was made because we are starting to learn that other species are self-aware. (chuckle) This is another emotional designation as we have no way of knowing how many other species are self-aware, or even if they all are self-aware. This designation is nonsense. It is not true. The difference between awareness and consciousness seems to be that people think that consciousness includes thought. There might be some truth to this, as it appears that the brain processes thought, but that would mean that spiders, ants, flies, and maybe fleas think. No one wants to admit that possibility, so we are stuck with another invalid, emotionally distorted designation. All life is conscious. This is true and it is how we distinguish life from non-life. Philosophy cares about what is true. If you want to have levels of consciousness, then assign a level to each and every specie, as it appears that consciousness, or the ability to be conscious of something, depends on the physical life form. Have a good time with that, as there must be thousands or tens of thousands of levels. This surprises me. How many varieties of meaning are there for "known"? I know of only one. Philosophy has no power in this forum. It has no support. It has no understanding. Most members view it as a "helper" to science or a kind of religion or emotional crutch. I doubt that there are any moderators, who are also philosophers, so I don't see how I can do it much damage. People, who think deeply, are always interesting, but sometimes hard to follow, especially if the listener has no background on the topic. If you want to follow the argument, then first you will have to open your mind. Have you viewed the following link regarding Richard Feynman and magnets? First he says that it is electricity that makes magnets work, but we know that is not true because you do not get an electrical charge when you put them on your tongue like you do a 9V battery, and there is no lightening coming out of it. Then he talks about ice and the chair arm and says that it is all related and that there are some things that he does not even know. Do you think that he is "obfuscating"? Is it a "characteristic of his style"? No. He explains that you could only understand him if you were one of his students, that you need enough background in order to understand it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO0r930Sn_8 So I will take a page out of Feynman's book and explain: Consciousness is emotion. There is that better? Do you understand now? Do you even believe me? My guess would be No, No, and No. Then you are doomed to failure. Philosophy is like dancing or sex; in that, what you get out of it directly relates to how much effort you are willing to put into it. You have to "work it". Oh, you were clear. Do you have any idea of how many hours I researched amino acids and prions because you implied that they might be related to consciousness? Too many. I learned a lot, but nothing about consciousness. I have a new idea to try out on you. If it works, let me know and I will post it in the other thread. Imagine that consciousness is the electricity wired into your house. There is a nightlight plugged into a wall outlet, and we will say this light represents bacteria. There is a computer plugged into another outlet, and we will say this computer represents humans. There are other appliances and lights that represent other species. You are viewing reality from inside the computer. So someone tells you that the nightlight has the same power that you do. "No way." you say, "As I have so much more power. I can do so much more. I can think." Yet, if we unplug the nightlight and the computer and switch them to the other outlets, they will not change. I do not think that consciousness itself has levels, as there seems to be no evidence to support this. Only the different species have levels or degrees that allow them to be conscious or aware of more things. The plug that plugs these appliances in is chemistry, hormones in particular. This is not a full explanation, but it shows that I do not see consciousness as being different, I see the way it is used as being different. I see consciousness as simply something that is part of reality, a force that happens to empower life. Gee iNow; When I first came to this forum, I thought that maybe you were the daughter of the owner of the forum. Some spoiled princess, who was allowed to make rude comments and sometimes stupid remarks because you were protected. That was before I learned about the Leaderboard and the emotional and sometimes dimwitted reactions of the click-it squad. Now I understand that you just want to stay on top and are willing to sacrifice your intelligence to do it. Pity, that. My last post should give you lots of ammunition. Gee
  5. Beecee; After reviewing your previous post, I have decided to not respond to it. You obviously have some very strongly held beliefs and opinions, which you have every right to hold. There seems to be nothing that I absolutely have to address in that post, but the following deserves and requires a response as it is very insulting to Philosophy and philosophers. I did not know who Henry Louis Mencken was, so I went to Wiki for answers. Please consider the following from Wiki. If you look at the last paragraph, you will note that he was a racist and anti-Semite, but he hid it from the public. He also thought that war was a "good thing", but did not want the US to enter World Wars l and ll. I suspect that theoretically, he found the idea of war valid, as long as it did not affect him or his. In short, he was a hypocrite. Philosophy studies truth, so it is not terribly surprising that a hypocrite would not like philosophers. Also, if he had hidden Nazi leanings, he would not want any deep thinkers looking too closely at him. Arguing is for drunks, idiots, children, and angry people. It is mostly "I am right and you are wrong" and serves no purpose except to enrage people. Philosophers do not argue, they make an argument. So what is the difference? In a philosophical argument, a philosopher takes his/her observations, experiences, any evidence and facts, and sets them into a well reasoned and logical format. Anyone reading this "argument" can learn why the philosopher holds that opinion or position. This "argument" serves two purposes: First it shares the philosopher's knowledge and information and may help others to learn and see the philosopher's point of view. Second, since the facts and evidence are set out in a logical format, if there is a mistake in evidence or fact, or if there is a mistake in logic or reasoning, others can point it out, so the philosopher can learn. Gee
  6. It does. You were next on my list. After you is Beecee and then Area54. I got five responses together in a very short time, so I am going through them one by one. I can only write one post per day, and only on good days, so you must be patient if you want to discuss something with me. Be nice to the old, slow, boring people. Regarding Philosophy, I do not agree. If one decides that the empirical and fact fall under the domain of Science, then Philosophy has to do it's work without using experience, observation, or fact. That leaves nonsense and fluff, unless I am missing something. Studiot; Please consider: Fine, it is ridicule, but I was not ridiculing Van Leeuwenhoek. I was attempting to show how people would react to his discovery and what he would have to deal with. If you know anything about human nature, then it was not only possible, it was probable that he would be ridiculed in this way. Let's see what Wiki says about it: Please note the sections that I underlined. Van Leeuwenhoek's credibility was questioned, his microscopic life was viewed with skepticism, and his relationship with the Royal Society became severely strained -- and these were people who greatly respected him because of his development of a superior lens. It took four years, from 1673 to 1677, to get acknowledgment from the Royal Society. Why? Because people do not like to change their minds, and because of the "Royal Society's theories of life that might require reform." He also "strongly preferred to work alone" which would just add to the secretive nature of his work. Can you not understand that people, who did not know and respect him, might resort to ridicule when faced with the idea of his wee little invisible animalcules that he likes to play with, but can only be seen through the magic glass? When no one else is looking? This would appear to be very much like the supernatural to most people, and it would be treated with the same regard. No. I made an all embracing and correct claim about knowledge, and that it was Philosophy that studied knowledge. You decided that it was an insult to Science. Just as my experience extends to situations and circumstances beyond yours. Most of my life, I have studied what we can know, and how we can know it -- Philosophy. I have applied this to the study of consciousness. I have read the theories, studied the Religions, even looked at the supernatural, and considered what Science has to say. Do you want to know what I have learned? I have learned that we do not know WTF it is. This is why Philosophy is the discipline that studies consciousness, because they are trying to learn WTF it is. That is what Philosophy does, makes the unknown known. Science tries to study consciousness by studying the brain, but they are in fact studying the brain -- not consciousness. Science can not study consciousness because they do not know WTF it is. You can not apply the scientific method to something if you do not know WTF it is. When Van Leeuwenhoek discovered his animalcules, he categorized them and classified them as life forms. This is ontology -- Philosophy. The methodology that he used is Philosophy. When he repeated his tests, he was working Science, because that is the scientific method. Philosophy and Science are not different people, they are different methodologies. Nobody gets it right every time, but that inbuilt correction mechanism did not do much for poor women and women of color that I talked about in my response to Ten oz. To this day, poor women and women of color are thought to be baby makers, although I have seen no reference to this prior to the "Doctor's Plague". Large v small is not the difference. The difference is in methodology and what is studied. Philosophy studies knowledge. Science takes that knowledge and studies everything that it applies to. The methodology of Philosophy also deals with the "what" answering the questions of what it is, to make the unknown known. Can't agree here. I think that statistics and city planning would fall to Science, though Philosophy might have some input on city planning. What did Eise call it? A lust for understanding? Philosophy and Science are both very lusty. Gee
  7. Ten oz; Hi. Please consider my comments below. No. Truth and fact are not interchangeable. Truth does not always lead to fact, and fact does not always give us truth. You can go to any Court, tell your absolute truth that you know to be a fact, but if you can not prove your truth, it will be taken for a lie. The fact will be that you are guilty, and it will have no relevance to the truth of the situation. Why is this so? Because truth is subjective, and is known only by the subject. Fact is objective. But fact gives us truth, right? No. The easiest way to explain this is with illusion. If twenty people witness the same illusion and all agree on what they saw, it will be taken for objective fact. But if it was illusion, then there was no truth in it. So each subjective truth of the twenty people was false leading to a false fact. The objective is always dependent upon the subjective. But there are facts that can stand alone because we have known about them for years, right? So they lead to truth. Not necessarily. Take the case of Van Leeuwenhoek and his animalcules. That was in the mid 1600's, and by the 1800's we knew a lot about bacteria and it's role in infections. Yet, in the late 1800's, a country doctor would think nothing of sewing up a man, who had an accident, then riding across town on a sweaty horse, arriving in time to have a meal and use the outhouse before delivering a woman's baby -- all without even washing his hands. Three days later, he would come back to the woman's house and think that it was a shame that she was dying of "childbirth fever" and her children would be motherless, that "God" had made women weak and that it was a shame that women had to pay for Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden. Two hundred years, 200 years, after we knew the facts, we still did not have any truth in this matter. Review what Wiki has to say on this under Postpartum Infections: So for all the facts at our disposal, very little truth came out of this. Note that women, who gave birth at home fared much better. This actually led to more disinformation, because it became apparent that country women and poor women were a hardier bunch, and with all of those children, it appeared that they also were more amenable to sex. So this evidence confirmed the "Farmer's Daughter" jokes and the idea that the classes were different, with the more "refined" ladies of quality being more virtuous. (Because they could afford doctors, who were killing them.) Remember that this happened for hundreds of years, more than enough time for people to speculate about the cause. The wealthy women, who martyred themselves on the birthing bed, seemed to bring out the Virgin Mary Complex in many of us, so we saw their sacrifice as pure; whereas, we saw the poor, less refined, women as more animalistic. A few years back, I was reading the arguments that were made regarding the freeing of slaves in America, and I think this was one of the points mentioned. It was argued that the slaves produced progeny in much the same way animals did without the difficulty that white women had, which lent credence and evidence to the argument that they were not really human, just high-level, trainable animals. It sometimes amazes me how quickly facts and evidence can become such nonsense when interpreted badly. By the 1900's doctors started taking "germs" seriously, but did not take the blame for the problems. Instead they decided that women were unclean, so they disinfected women, while they were in labor, and shaved them in a very private area to ensure that they were germ free. This went on in Michigan until the 1970's and was an uncomfortable and humiliating experience, not to mention afterward when the body was trying to heal, stiches were itchy, and hair was growing back. So after 300 years, all is well. No one is going to disinfect you, no one is going to shave you, and no one is going to infect you. It is OK to have a baby at a hospital. Now if we could just get some physicists to talk to the doctors about gravity, it could be perfect. OB doctors still like to put women on their backs in delivery with their legs in the air, which makes it awkward for the baby, who not only has to make it's way out, but also has to defy gravity to do it. It is also humiliating and uncomfortable for the mother, but I think it is pretty comfortable for the doctor. Aristarchus theorized that the Earth revolved around the Sun around 300 BC. Copernicus confirmed It mathematically in the 1500's. Robert Hooke identified the cell in 1665. Math was used in Babylon and by Egypt in 3,000 BC. The Scientific Method was first worked out by Galileo around 1600 and did not become the Science we know today until the 1700's and 1800's. I do not understand this competition between Science and Philosophy -- it makes no sense. Science with all of it's facts is nothing but disassociated bits of information without purpose or point. Philosophy with all of it's logic and reasoning is nothing but musing and imagining without purpose or point. But when they work together, Science's facts can be interpreted in ways that bring us knowledge and understanding, and Philosophy's musings can be given reality and substance in ways that bring us knowledge and understanding. They are a damned team -- why can no one see that? Gee
  8. Eise; Thank you for your response. Please consider my thoughts. No, we can not philosophize about everything, but can we philosophize about anything? Empirical means: What we observe and what we experience. If we remove the empirical and facts from philosophy, what is left? Imagination? I think that a lot of people have come to this conclusion, which would be why no one respects philosophy anymore. I am not about to hand my personal observations and experiences over to Science for testing. I will use them along with any facts that Science can provide to do my work in Philosophy. That is what I meant when I said that I was "keeping it real". Well, I am not sure who Fritjof Capra is, so that is not what I was talking about. I was referring to books like, "Quantum Enigma, Physics Encounters Consciousness" where the consciousness is more closely related to Eastern Religion's ideas than it is to the Christian "God" idea -- or more abstract than physical. I suspect we are talking past one another. I went back and checked in the thread, and your response was to my post about "knowledge", not physics. I stated that Philosophy was good at interpreting knowledge. I was also not talking about "theoretical" interpretation of experiments, just simple knowledge in general. In order for something unknown to become known, it has to process through a subjective mind. Whether that process takes a half of a second or a half of a month, the process itself is Philosophy. Philosophy is the study of what we can know and how we can know it -- or what is real and true. Maybe because it is my philosophy? As I stated earlier, I did not have a formal education in Philosophy, so I worked from my own ideas for a very long time. In my late teens and early twenties, I started to develop a philosophy about what "should be" in relation to what "is". Recently I found Hume's "Is and Ought", which is similar in some ways and overlaps, but is not quite the same thing. The "Should Be's" become problematic when someone decides that what "is" is not good enough and "should be" changed. In many circumstances, change can be very good, but when that change is motivated by idealism and/or human arrogance and is also directed toward the natural order of Nature, then, sooner or later, it will become a problem. Although the examples were of a technological nature, this philosophy is not limited to technology and seems to be relevant in human and family interactions, ecosystems, and some schools of thought. You could call it a very conservative opinion when it relates to Nature. Well, if you think so, I am sure you will make an argument and explain why you think so. I don't see it, and Bertrand Russell was a well respected philosopher. I don't like to say that any respected philosopher or scientist is wrong, without a good reason -- except for Dennett -- I have no problem saying that he is wrong. (chuckle) Gee
  9. Studiot; I don't see the problem here. Yes, the hypotheses were known, metaphysics had long been established, math had long been established, the scientific method was established or well on it's way (I don't know the time frame here). So the only thing missing was a person bright enough to ask the right question and find a method to test the answer. This is science. Is there a chance that you have the idea, that it is my position, that science does not seek knowledge? If so, then get that idea right out of your head. Philosophy and Science both seek knowledge. Philosophy seeks subjective knowledge -- truth. Science seeks objective knowledge -- facts. Objectivity is garnered through a consensus of subjective opinions, so if the subjective knowledge is invalid, then it will invalidate the objective knowledge. That is my only point! If anyone wants to argue that Science tests and proves it's work, so it is never wrong, I would like to suggest that you get yourself a 100 year old science book and compare it to a current science book. You will find that indeed Science can be wrong. Knowledge is accumulative, so the more we learn, the better our understanding and knowledge. The problem here is that I was not attempting to ridicule, so I wonder how you got that idea. A little confirmation bias maybe? What I was attempting to do was to put you into the time, or the now, of the discovery. Apparently, I did not do this very well. Do you really think that Van Leeuwenhoek looked through his microscope and said, "Wow. Look at the animalcules. I have made a great discovery!" Or do you think it more likely that he said, "What is that?" then leaned back, rubbed his eyes, and looked again? It would have taken some time for him to examine his discovery and be sure of it before he would have shared the information with peers. This 'time' is when the unknown became the known in his subjective mind. (philosophy) Then repeatability and peer review would have established the objective fact of this knowledge. (science) What I tried to point out above, and I am sure you know, is that subjective knowledge is not always knowledge. It is often opinion, bias, belief, assumption, imagination, or even outright lies and manipulations. Science knows this and does not trust subjective knowledge, which would be why Science insists on repeatability and peer review, which does a fine job of turning up subjective fallacies. But what of objective fallacies? Is there such a thing? Yes. Objective fallacies are caused by a whole group or society of subjective opinions that are based on assumptions, biases, or beliefs. Can the Scientific Method disprove these fallacies? No. Repeatability becomes confirmation bias and peer review is useless if everyone believes the same thing. Philosophy is our only effective weapon against this kind of ignorance. Examples: Burning witches for consorting with the Devil. My "God" is better than your "God" wars. The Spanish Inquisition. Nazi Germany and the torture and experimentation on Jews. Slavery in the early US history. Here is one related to Science: Consciousness is thought. AI will miraculously become conscious. We will always need Science, and we will always need Philosophy. Gee Area54; Well, I am beginning to have a problem. This sounds personal. My problem is that in the thread, Consciousness and Evolution, I have tried to establish some very simple facts: All life is conscious to some degree and the thread is about life forms. All life is at least sentient (conscious) is accepted acknowledged information in both, Philosophy and Science. I have repeatedly stated that I only wish to discuss accepted acknowledged information, yet after nine pages, your last post was still waffling between the Universe is alive or life is just a chemical reaction. What the hell am I supposed to do with that speculation? Gee
  10. Beecee; Well, this is marginally better than your last post, but your point is invalid. You are supposing that "scientific knowledge" has the ability to oppose "comfort" and "fear", which are emotions, and blaming the problem on "tradition". This is "apples and oranges" as you are putting things together that don't go together. You know that knowledge can not be built upon assumption, beliefs, and denials. So what is the truth of this matter? There are three Disciplines that work to give us knowledge, Science, Philosophy, and Religion. Science and Philosophy do their damnedest to avoid study of emotion, with the possible exception of Psychology. Religion is the study of emotion. Is there evidence for this? Yes, lots and lots, but I really do not want to go into it here. Humans as far back as we can discover have always had emotions, so this is the reason that Religion has consistently and pervasively been part of every culture world wide. We can not get rid of emotion as that would turn us all into psychotics. But emotion must be guided as the negative side of emotion is very dangerous. So what do Religions do? They try to mitigate damages caused by life, which lead to negative emotions. Examples would be charities, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, hospitals, etc. Catholic Social Services is the largest private charity in the US, behind only the US government. Similar religious charities can be found in countries all over the world. Religions also preach love instead of hate; kindness, compassion and hope, instead of envy, anger, and greed. The fact is that emotion is the only known thing that bonds people, which is probably why Religion has been noted to be "the glue that holds a society together". But bonding does not require positive emotion -- only strong emotion. Groups like ISIS and the KKK claim affiliation with religion, but they are in reality corruptions of religion. They bond people through anger and fear creating hate as their bonding emotion. True Religions bond with positive emotion celebrating births, weddings, Sunday socials, or anything that brings people together in a positive supportive way. So why do Religions teach about "mythical" deities? Two reasons. First, most people are not capable enough of abstract thought, so they need a physical representation of "God" that they can understand. Second, emotion does not like change -- does not accept change. Religions know this, so they don't push it too hard. Consider that it took tens of thousands of years to move from the "lionman" statue that is presumed to be 30 some thousand years old, to the "invisible God" that we have now. Even so, we still have to have the physical "Jesus" along with the invisible "God". We have statues of Buddha, even though Buddha himself did not want to be worshipped as a "God". As long as people have emotions, Religions will be necessary. If you like it, or if you don't like it, this will not change reality. Gee Area54; I am sorry that you are having problems communicating with me, but would like to suggest that if you have a problem that arose in another thread, that it should be addressed in that thread. Gee
  11. Randolpin; I can not say that there is a purpose for life, but neither can I say that there is no purpose, as there is some evidence. Every life form of every specie will work to maintain it's own life and attempt to produce progeny to maintain it's specie. So the continuance of life is the only purpose that I can see that is supported by evidence. It is my personal opinion that life perpetuates itself through motion, through maintenance and the production of progeny. If Science is correct and life also evolves and becomes more complex, then that complexity could be seen as a goal, but this kind of thinking would lead to speculation, idealism, human arrogance, etc. Gee
  12. Beecee; Well that is an interesting opinion. I do, however, have a problem with it. I have many friends, neighbors, and family members, who know all about the Moon, Sun, night and day, and even Summer and Winter, yet they still go to church on Sundays. So I think that your opinion is based on dismissal, denial, and a stunning lack of logic. You do realize that you are making my points for me, don't you? Gee Studiot; You asked, "In what way" I suggest that synthesis is invalid when used correctly. I responded, "In no way." -- is it invalid when it is used correctly. Now if you would like an example of what I think of as an invalid way to process and synthesize information, look to Beecee's post. You are making me smile. This truly is a communication problem, and I have been thinking about how to present it to you. You know how someone in the forums will state that they have a "theory", and a member will explain that what they have is definitely not a theory, not even close. This is because Science takes the word, theory, very seriously. Philosophy is kind of like that with the word, known. Philosophy studies knowledge, how we know that it is knowledge, how we know that it is true. If it is not true, then it is not knowledge, and learning whether or not it is true is not always easy. Some people know that there is a "God", others know that there is not; some know that their spouse would never cheat, others know that they do; some know what they saw, others know it is an illusion. All of this can not be knowledge. You can not build knowledge unless you start with knowledge, so rules have been set down that both, Philosophy and Science, use. Or think about this: Math instructors will present a problem and ask you to solve for the "unknown". This always makes me smile -- do they think the "unknown" will be a pink unicorn? a new pair of pants? a day of the week? Of course not, it will be a number. They may not know which number, but they know it will be a number -- this is not truly an unknown. If you truly want to study an unknown, try studying consciousness. It is either a "God" or "Gods" or illusion or a holographic universe or the brain or an Intelligent Designer or maybe it is Yoda's force -- who knows? Because I think like a philosopher, I had no trouble understanding Bertrand Russell: Science studies the known, Philosophy studies the unknown. Animalcules? Are you sure? That does not sound like something that is real. Maybe he had too much to drink that night? Maybe he is under stress and his family needs to send him on vacation to somewhere sunny and warm. These are possibilities. How many people have made "discoveries" that are not really discoveries? Once he is sure of what he is seeing, it would be known (Philosophy) then he would need to be able to repeat his discovery and let his peers review his work and repeat the experiment (Science). After Science evaluated it per the rules of Science, then, and only then, it would become acknowledged accredited information. Two known theories. Philosophy and Science are not that different -- the biggest difference is in their methodologies. Philosophy studies what we can know, the truth of it, then Science takes over and tells us what we can objectively know or the common objective truth of it. They are more of a team than they are opponents. Gee
  13. Studiot; In no way. Maybe you missed the word "sometimes" in my post? You stated that you thought synthesis was more difficult than analysis, in your experience. Maybe so. In my experience analysis helps us to understand a problem so it also helps synthesis in finding a solution. They are both necessary. An example might be in problem solving. It is amazing how many people can come up with solutions to a problem without knowing what the problem actually is. Probably because you are a science person. Whether discoveries are made by accident or intentionally, they still deal with the known. Science tends to dismiss anything that is not, or can not, be known. For an example of this I will use something that I don't think anyone will dispute -- religions, spirituality, and "Gods". Most science people will dismiss religious ideas as nonsense or imaginings. I can not. Nonsense and imaginings do not produce the consistent and pervasive physical evidence that can be found all over the world regarding religion. There are temples and churches, idols and icons, and sites of worship that were built and designed with great care for thousands of years, probably tens of thousands, and seem to be a historical fact of most, if not all, cultures. This is a little too much coincidence and too much evidence for me to ignore. There is a truth here, but it is unknown. Gee
  14. Eise; Thank you for your response. Please consider my thoughts below. I asked this same question in another forum and got two answers that seem to be reasonable. The first was that science has become so diverse that no one can know all of it. Science has branched off in so many different directions that some studies may support or oppose studies in other branches, so Philosophy of Science tries to find and compare these different studies. The second reason was that the scientific method is not set in stone. As Swansont noted above, Science has had to develop different methods to test, and these methods have to strictly adhere to philosophical principals or they will not be valid science. So Philosophy of Science tries to get rid of the crackpots. All of this information is second-hand and hearsay, so if you really need to know, Wiki it or Google it. I will take a "rough" point over no point any day. Most of my education regarding academic philosophy came from a few books and the internet. After high school, I had an opportunity to go to college, but I wanted to study philosophy. My Uncle, a self-made millionaire, offered to pay for college, but did not think philosophy worth his money, so I declined his very generous offer. Eventually I went into law. I envy you your education. I did not choose the labels, so whether it is Western or Continental philosophy, I suspect that philosophers will use any tool that gets to the truth. The term "emphasis" was used to explain that a conflict between pure analysis and tradition/intuition will be resolved by the philosopher's belief in which is more valid -- so s/he tends to lean one way or the other. I suspect that Continental Philosophy is more balanced, so although it may move slower, the steps are more sure. If you say so, but don't tell the neurologists, or chemists, or biologists, or ecologists, etc. They may not understand your point. (chuckle) But to answer your question; to keep it real. Science has a natural limitation built into the scientific method -- you can not test something that you do not know about. Philosophy has no such limitation. You can philosophize about anything that you can imagine, so would you call that philosophy? I would call it garbage, or maybe Fluff. In order to keep from wandering off into the land of Fluff, a philosopher needs to bear in mind anything that is real and incorporate that evidence into the philosopher's considerations. This is the difference between imaginings and knowledge. Most of what you are talking about above is the religious aspects of Eastern Philosophy. A lot of the Eastern philosophies work very well with psychology, and I have read that some of their idea seem to relate to new ideas in Physics. When I first read some of Spinoza's ideas, I was happy to see that someone else thought like I do regarding consciousness. It was in that article that Spinoza's concept of consciousness was compared to some Eastern philosophy. I don't remember which one, but can look it up if you are interested. Nonsense. In order for it to become "knowledge", it first must be interpreted. Philosophy is good at interpreting. Science can speculate all it wants, but if it wants to be "good science" it will adhere to the principals set down by philosophy. Well, I am kind of old, so maybe I am not up-to-date, but this is the way I see it. Philosophy interprets what something is, or should be, and passes it to Science. Science tests it and learns all about it, then passes that information on. Industry finds a way to make money off of it, and abuses our environment/people. Philosophy and Science together look for a solution and find one. Someone employs the solution to correct the prior problem and inadvertently creates a new problem. Round and around it goes. Examples: We thought that insects attacking our food products should be eliminated. Science agreed and invented insecticides killing off bees and butterflies and poisoning people. Oops. So then we brought in beetles, which have become a new pest problem. Oops. We thought that people should be able to lead longer healthier lives. Science agreed and invented vaccines, antibiotics, and many medical miracles. Now our population is growing too fast because people are not dying, so people are not having babies. Oops. Soon we may have more people collecting Social Security than people paying it. Oops. We thought that there must be a better way to kill off the American Indians without killing ourselves. We attacked their food source, killing the buffalo. Science provided the repeating firearms and the railroad. What we did not know was that the buffalo grass was the only thing that stopped erosion in times of drought, hence the Dust Bowl. Big OOPS. So my thought is that we are entirely too dumb as a specie to worry about either, Philosophy or Science, running out of work any time soon. (chuckle) Knowledge is accumulative. We can never know everything, so your argument is moot. Gee Studiot; The problem, as I see it, is that sometimes people will employ synthesis without taking the time to analyze what they are putting together. Gee
  15. Area54; Thank you. I do not see the fundamental misunderstanding and wish you would demonstrate or explain what you think it is. As to my first statement: All life is aware to some degree, so it is conscious of some things. That means that it's consciousness evolved along with the life form. I broke this down on page 3 or 4. When a specie develops eyes in order to navigate the planet, it also develops an awareness of vision -- so it's consciousness evolved along with the physical changes. It could not have had an awareness of vision before it had eyes. As to my second statement: All life is sentient, so all life feels. Life is going to be attracted to anything that feels good and repulsed by things that feel bad -- that is what motivates life. Everything that I have ever read about evolution in species stated that the result of evolving helped the specie survive. Survival feels good, death is to be avoided, as is demonstrated by the "fight or flight" instinct. Regarding your question: Why do you think that "lactose tolerance in adult humans" is caused directly by evolution? I know a lot of people, who have lactose intolerance. If, as I suspect, evolution is prompted by reaction, then there are going to be unplanned side effects to that reaction and there will be subsequent reactions to that reaction and more side effects. This is a fluid evolving process -- not a plan. Maybe we will all end up lactose tolerant or lactose intolerant. Who knows? When I reviewed this thread, I found that my posts were very consistent with my understanding. As I stated before, my understanding is rather singular, so what I see as connected others may see as disjointed. I tried to bring up my understanding on the first page, then the second page, then the third page, but people simply did not hear me. So I let them go till they ran out of steam -- it took seven pages. What they were disputing is that all life is at least sentient. I must have posted it half a dozen times --- all life is sentient. Sentience is the lowest form of consciousness according to the SEP (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). As life becomes more complex, it also becomes more aware, because it can be aware of more things. You may note that the title of this thread is: "Consciousness and Evolution", not "Aren't Biomechanical Machines Cool". Fine. Let's discuss it. Either you can agree that all life is conscious to some degree, or you can show me where life stores it's battery packs. Also explain why life dies, and explain why life uses motion to perpetuate itself, and explain why it evolves. I can't wait to hear it. You may note that the OP expressly mentioned "life forms" so that is the topic of this thread. On the other hand, I like to learn, so if you want to teach me about amino acids on up to life, and whether or not they evolve, I would love to hear it. This is true, but it is also true that each single life form must adapt to whatever threatens it, or it will die. OK. I look forward to your response. Gee
  16. Interesting thread. There was a question that was brought up early in this thread that was not well answered, and I thought an answer was appropriate. Everyone is talking about philosophy as if it were one type of study. It is not. Here in the US we practice mostly Western Philosophy, which is the philosophy that I study and try to work. Western Philosophy is also called analytic philosophy because the emphasis is on analysis. One has to consider that we can not analyze something without something to analyze, so yes, evidence is rather important. This is the philosophy that aligns most closely to science, and I would assume that Philosophy of Science would be part of Western Philosophy. There is also Continental Philosophy which I do not understand as well, but from what I know, it is much like Western Philosophy but places a stronger emphasis on tradition, wisdom, and intuition. This philosophy would also work well with science. There is also Eastern Philosophy, which is closer to religions like Buddhism. Eastern Philosophy does not seem to require much physical evidence and works mostly through the inner mind, observations, and experience. This philosophy does not necessarily align with science. Then there is personal philosophy, which is a person's attempt to find truth in their own reality. All of the above philosophies have one thing in common; they all seek knowledge. But knowledge is true, not imaginings or assumptions or biases or beliefs or opinions based on imaginings, assumptions, biases, or beliefs. This is what philosophy is all about, sweeping away the nonsense to find the truth. That would be the clarity that Eise is talking about, and why philosophy is a discipline. I agree with Bertrand Russell. "Science is what we know." It would be a little difficult to use the scientific method on something if we do not know what that something is. "Philosophy is what we don't know." Philosophy studies what we suspect, or what conflicts with other knowledge, or what there is only some evidence for, but not enough to call it knowledge. Philosophy puzzles out the truth of it, then once it is known, passes it to Science for testing. Because many things are now known, some people think that philosophy is obsolete -- they are fools. Philosophy will be obsolete when all things are known, or never -- whichever comes first. IMO Gee
  17. Cladking; I think this is true, but I don't think that it is intentional. Familiarity is very undervalued, but is important in recognition. Just as a hunter will recognize a squirrel in a tree, where a casual observer will not; or as a regular shopper will recognize a food product, where a new shopper will have to read each label, familiarity is a key to recognition. So when a new idea is presented that is completely unfamiliar, the listener will have problems recognizing the points of an idea and attaching any understanding to them -- you may as well talk to them in a foreign language for all the understanding that they receive. Metaphors and analogies often help to bring two different concepts together by making the new idea more familiar. Which would be why I let this thread go on for so long. Unless and until other members could understand that all life is sentient, and that I was not relating this to "God", the brain, or thought, there was no point in trying to discuss anything. Don't be so pessimistic. From what I can see, splittering is a pretty good definition of what life does; on the other hand, from what I know of Nature, self-balancing is also what life does. So I suspect that although there is splittering, there is also reconnecting -- just connecting in a different way. Gee Tar; You are welcome, but there is no need to thank me, except for maybe your good manners. I appreciate it when someone corrects my mistakes, because then I learn something. I expect that you are the same way, which makes you the opposite of an idiot. Everybody makes mistakes, well, except for liars -- they NEVER make mistakes. (chuckle chuckle) I look forward to your thoughts. The temperatures here are hitting the 90s, in Michigan. We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave . . . OK. I got it. When Terrell, the author of Digital Universe, Analog Soul, explained it to me, he used buckets. He said, you take two buckets, fill one with sand and the other with water. You can count the sand because it is in pieces, digital, but you can not count the water, analog. Although I understood that digital meant pieces and analog meant fluid, I could not see how that applied to consciousness. Now I do. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have had it backward all along. The second division should actually be the first, but I won't change it because people will have even more trouble understanding it. This also explains why the rational aspect of mind evolved from the unconscious aspect and why we can not actually know the components of the second division. Thank you again. I tried to put a + on your post, but after hitting it, I found a + and a - so I think I screwed it up. I didn't think that I could do that, but unless someone else hit it at the exact same time, I did it. My hands are shaky today, so I may have hit both. I will report it and see if I can correct the problem. Gee iNow; You could consider PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that takes people's awareness out of time and space and is caused by emotion. You could go to Wiki and look up the unconscious. I am sure that it will tell you that the unconscious is activated by emotion, then you could look up Matte Blanco in Wiki. He is the one that found logic in the unconscious by removing time from the considerations. Clinically tested and verified. Or you could go New Age and consider premonitions. No one ever has a premonition that Mom is going to go to the store and buy bread and milk. They have premonitions that Mom is going to get shot by a thief at the store while shopping. Emotion is always involved, usually strong emotion. Gee Dimreepr; So you think that pattern recognition has nothing to do with science or philosophy. You are making me think that you have a problem with your upper works, so I will keep this real simple. Someone noticed that the Sun comes up and causes morning, then goes down and causes night. This pattern repeated. After enough repetitions, people decided that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West and that there was something true about this pattern -- as I stated, "something true". What that truth was, was debatable, and many ideas were presented from the Sun circling the Earth, to "God's" blessings. As far as I know, Thales was the first philosopher to predict a solar eclipse, so he studied the stars and planets. Whether or not he understood that the Sun does not circle the Earth, I do not know. None of his personal work survived time. Finally someone figured out that the Earth actually circles the Sun, I don't remember who that was. But it was either a philosopher or a scientist. Yes. Philosophy and Science study, test, and interpret patterns. Because what you have been posting are opinions. Opinions are conclusions, not arguments. It would be like me posting, "The answer is 247." The answer to what? How did I arrive at that answer? I would have to state specifically what math problem I am addressing and how I arrived at that answer. That would be my argument -- the answer is not an argument. You have probably noticed that my posts are rather lengthy? That is because I will try to give my reasoning, logic, and evidence when I post my argument. I hope I haven't been boring you with such lengthy explanations. Gee Area54; I wanted to address your post, but I am getting tired. Give me a few days. Gee
  18. Tar; Use the word, division, because talking about levels confuses the matter with levels of awareness as previously discussed. Even species with the lowest level of consciousness, bacteria, have knowledge and feeling so they have both divisions, which apply to all consciousness, or all conscious life. Division is a better word, I think, because we are dividing consciousness into information, the first division, and how the information is acquired, the force or motion that causes the acquisition, the second division. So in life it could be said that the divisions evolved together. I am not as sure about the components, themselves, as having evolved together. People generally think of thought as information that is processed, so a brain or processor is required before that component evolves. Awareness, according to science, requires focus, and focus requires a point to focus from and a point to focus on, so it would require matter, time, and space. There are a lot of indications that awareness is dependent upon matter. I used to think of emotion as just being a faster moving awareness, but there are some indications that emotion may not require time and space. There is also some good evidence that emotion can affect matter, so I think that it may be different in some fundamental way. Still a force, yes, but a different kind of force. I have seen nothing that indicates that awareness can on it's own affect matter. We assume that the mind is within the brain, but that is an assumption. We don't know what mind is, and we can not even prove that it exists, except for our own personal belief in our own individual minds. Mind is a lot like a show on a television; a television is more like a brain. The television controls the show and can change it, take it out of focus, pervert the color, remove the sound, and completely control what we view. But is the show actually in the television? All I am doing is trying to track down where the show comes from, and who or what is the producer. Many people think the producer is "God"; I think that it is Nature. If I am right, then there are rules that Nature uses to produce the show. If I were to take a guess regarding Freud's divisions of mind, I would guess that the Ego, the rational aspect of mind, is directly connected to the brain and senses, because it deals with physical reality. I would guess that the Id, our drives and instincts, are hard wired through chemistry, because different species have different instincts and drives. I would guess that the Superego, the unconscious aspect of mind, is called "super" because it connects all aspects of mind and also connects to other life, specifically life that it is bonded to. This aspect is activated through emotion, we know that emotion does all of the bonding in life, and this aspect seems to ignore time -- as emotion does. Lots of coincidence here. A female dog goes into heat, her body releases pheromones, a male dog senses the pheromones and responds. So where was the information, within them or between them? If it was within them, then why are pheromones necessary -- why do they exist? An oak tree is attacked by some pestilence, the oak releases pheromones, other oak trees respond by building up resistance to an attack. Where was the information? Why didn't the asp, the pine, and the maple get the information? Whether we like it or not, the reality is that consciousness/communication works between life -- science is proving it. Every multi-celled life form possesses hormones; all species that possess hormones also possess pheromones. The communication that goes on in every ecosystem would be deafening if we could hear it. Ah, but Plato said "shadow", not illusion. A shadow is caused by something that is real, and Plato understood that. To compare that to Dennett's nonsense is exactly that -- nonsense. Yes, his name is Dennett, not Bennett. I thought that Dennett's theory was some kind of technologically enhanced form of solipsism because it dealt with illusion, no "God", and an objectification of other species. I was wrong. To be fair, and because I know that I can be wrong, I did some research on his ideas last weekend. His theory is much worse than I thought could be possible. He thinks that "qualia" is "incoherent" and therefore not acceptable as real. He thinks that "self" is just an illusion, that there really is no "self". The problem with this is that my subjectivity is based on the idea of my "self" and qualia, or what it is like to experience being me. So he does not think that subjectivity is valid either, and supposes that studies of "self" should be conducted third-person -- which I suppose means that the "third-person" is not a subject and has no subjectivity. (chuckle) He had no problem with objectivity, as far as I can see, but that is problematic. What is objectivity? Well, that is a consensus of subjective opinions. So if there is no subjectivity, can there be objectivity? Well, no. But there are still facts, yes? Not really. Facts are based on truths that were set down thousands of years ago, and are much like objective truths. Since truth is subjective, then there would be no truths and no facts. So if one removes subjectivity, they also remove objectivity, truth, and fact. It is no wonder that philosophers called his book "Consciousness Denied" or "Consciousness Explained Away". They were being kind or generous. I would call his book nonsense, and would like to suggest that he go back and take a beginning class in philosophy, logic, or critical thinking. The only illusion is Dennett's. I still don't have a clue about analog as it relates to consciousness. Do you remember how difficult it was for you to get me to understand entropy? You finally did it when no one else could, not even that physics professor. Analog is another one of those terms that simply will not go into my head after that last major attack of MS. But I have faith in you. Try to keep the explanation very simple. Gee Dimreepr; This is what I stated: This is how you responded: Apparently something that I stated made you think of "confirmation bias". Not sure what it was. Was it pattern recognition? I know that some people see patterns in everything, so we have to watch out for that; on the other hand, pattern recognition is a major part of every IQ test that I have ever taken or seen, so it does have some value and can indicate and measure intelligence. Maybe it is the repetition of patterns that bothers you. Does science make you do your experiments over and over and over, which is exhausting? Or maybe you think that philosophers do not care about what is true? Or maybe you think I don't care about what is true, as your lack of respect for me is not something that I could have missed if I were blind. Or maybe you just wanted to teach me about confirmation bias, yours toward me. If so that was brilliantly done. My thought is that if you actually had an argument against the points in my post, you would have made it. Gee
  19. Tar; It is not that I am uninterested in DNA, it is that I am almost clueless about it. One person can not know everything, and early in my life I realized that I am a philosopher, not a scientist, so I chose to study life and consciousness in a different way. This does not stop me from respecting and appreciating science and is the reason why I am in this forum. I need science to support and confirm my thoughts on consciousness, or to dispute them and show me where I am wrong so that I can adjust my thinking on this matter. You, and hopefully a few others, can help me in this, but only if there is understanding between us. The biggest problem that I have faced in this forum is people's belief that consciousness is either something produced by the brain or that it is "God", instead of considering what consciousness actually is. To that end, I think that it is time for me to explain a little more of my understanding regarding consciousness. Please consider the following: Many years ago I was reading a thread where someone mentioned "pure consciousness". At that time, my thoughts were that when someone says, "pure consciousness", they are talking about an ideal, or the "God" idea where "God" is pure and humans taint the consciousness, referring to sin and morality and whatever. I dismissed the idea, but kept the notion that consciousness may not be pure, not one singular thing. It occurred to me that there are different levels of consciousness, but there are also different kinds. For example: If I lay on the floor dying, my dog would whimper, but my cat would be more likely to look for any part of me that might twitch. Cats and dogs theoretically have the same or a similar level of consciousness, but they are often conscious of, or aware of, entirely different things. A lot of this can be explained by their different bodies, brains, and chemistry, but can these physical differences change consciousness so much if consciousness is one singular thing? To that end, I went to a philosophy forum, a real philosophy forum, and started a thread entitled, "Pure Consciousness?". I worked with others considering their suggestions and objections for about 30 pages and came to some conclusions. The core components of consciousness are thought and awareness, which can be expanded into; thought, knowledge, memory, awareness, feeling (not tactile) and emotion, and that these components can be divided into two divisions of what we call consciousness. There are more things to consider, of course, like bonding, focus, recognition, familiarity, self, intelligence, learning, and many other ideas, but I think that these things all relate to the core components, rather than being the core components. The divisions came from noting similarities and the way the components work -- what they do. The first division is made up of thought, knowledge and memory. Thought and knowledge are similar, but not the same, as knowledge is true and comes from reality and/or experience, whereas thought is more flexible and can be anything from true to fantasy. Memory is the storage of thought or knowledge. These components of the first division are internal, private, and known only to the life that possesses them -- I can not know your thoughts, knowledge, memories, unless you tell me, and vise-versa. It is my opinion that this is true for all life. Another attribute of this first division is that it is static, it can not move or activate on it's own. As a Professor explained to me, a book without a reader or a DVD without a player are just paper, ink, and plastic. The second division is made up of awareness, feeling and emotion. Feeling is a word that has many meanings, but for this understanding it can be identified with awareness, as in when you walk into a room and react to the atmosphere, or feel someone watching you, and it can be identified with emotion as a more subtle emotion like moods. These components of the second division are not private or internal, they are shared and work between things, which makes them predominantly external. Anyone who pays attention can see that you are awake and aware, can sense your mood, and can note your emotional state -- unless you specifically work to hide these things. I suspect this is also true for all life. Another attribute of this second division is that it is fluid, it works and moves between things and bonds them. It is experienced, but not known, in that we do not know awareness, we just know what we are aware of; we do not know feeling, we just know how we feel about something (this does not include tactile feeling), we do not know emotion, we just know the ideas that we attach to that emotion. This second division is experienced not known, but is often interpreted. One example would be body language. We can interpret other people's moods, how they are feeling, and even their self image by studying their body and movements. We can also interpret feeling in other species, like a cat's fur ruffling, a dog's aggressive stance, or a horse rearing up on it's hind legs. It is also interesting to note that interpretation of body language seems to be inter and intra specie, like an angry man raising his fists in the air, like a bear will do, or my cat will do, or a tarantula will do, an ant will do, and what most mammals and insects will do. Birds are more likely to flutter their wings. So I suspect that this second division was the first actual communication after sensing (awareness) and before the development of language. This communication is also why we will tell people that they are "sending mixed signals" because their body language is saying something different than their words. It is interesting to note that we will usually believe the body language. Another way that we interpret the second division is through art. We use everything from poetry to sculpture and design to dance and music to convey emotion. Why? Because although if I very carefully describe a table to you, you can picture it; if I explain a math problem, you can understand it the same way that I do, but if I describe my feelings, you can only relate them to your own experiences. You can not actually know what I feel, you can only get an approximation, if you have similar experiences. This is because awareness, feeling, and emotion are not actually known. What we think we know about them are just the ideas, pictures, and memories that we attach to them. Once you get a handle on this understanding, it becomes clear that all life, at least on this planet, is interrelated. Science may call this relationship pheromones and New Agers may call it spirituality, but it is all the second division of consciousness. Does this have bearing on evolution? I think so. Maybe I can explain how I think that works in my next post, now that my understanding of consciousness is posted. One other point. When I was working all of this out in the other forum, I met the author of "Digital Universe, Analog Soul", and he thought that my divisions related to his ideas. He actually asked to borrow some of my ideas, which is fine with me, as I have no desire to become rich and famous while trying to prove that I am right. (chuckle) If I am right. (chuckle chuckle) But early in this thread, EdEarl also mentioned digital and analog in relation to consciousness. I wanted to address his post, but the thread went ski-haw. I know diddly squat about digital and analog, so if EdEarl or someone else sees a connection between that and my divisions, and can explain it to me in very small words, I would appreciate it. Gee
  20. Tar; Yes. Pattern recognition is important in philosophy, and a repetition of patterns is a sign that something is true. I remember taking the children to a Science Institute years ago. There was a picture of some part of space, maybe a galaxy, that was taken with a high powered telescope, and there was a picture of some matter, maybe cells, that was taken with a high powered microscope. The pictures looked the same. Nature repeats what works. Yes. When we define what a word is (want), we also define what it isn't. By setting parameters around the word we limit it. Cladking could probably explain this, but hopefully would give a brief explanation. Unfortunately, we have defined 'want' to be something that is consciously wanted, so it looks like you are saying that planets and electrons are conscious -- this is not necessarily true. If you show a child some magnets, the child will say that the magnets 'want' to be together, then flipping one around, the child will say they 'want' to be apart. The child is anthropomorphizing the magnets, giving them a human consciousness, in order to understand the 'want'. This is really just attraction and repulsion, which like want, are just forces and motion between things. Yes, complex and interrelated, but not a straight path. This is one of the bigger problems that I have with the "God" idea or the Intelligent Designer theory. Why start with a human-like mind, then reduce it to microbes, then let it develop into dinosaurs, then wipe out most life, then rebuild it to humans? This makes no sense and looks nothing like a plan -- but neither is it random. I suspect that evolution is reactionary, and when the reaction is successful, it is repeated. This repetition then appears to be purposeful, although I doubt that it was originally "designed" to be purposeful. It is the nature of Nature to be assertive; to assert itself into an available void, so when I translate this into ideas of consciousness, I find that it is the nature of Nature to learn. Yes, if it is reactionary, it would also be interrelated. It is also the nature of Nature to self-balance, as we have learned while studying ecosystems. So any lack of balance would tempt Nature to try to fill the void and rebalance itself, which is where the reaction comes from. Agreed. My studies indicate that temperature and density affect consciousness, and water seriously changes up the rules. This information came mostly from studies of ecosystems where temperature, mountains, lakes, rivers, and oceans limit the interrelated self-balancing of Nature. It is also why island life is so interesting because it can evolve in totally unique ways because of the water that surrounds it and isolates it from many influences. There are also electro-magnetic fields, and probably other things, that influence consciousness. I have no idea not being a scientist. I don't know much about DNA, but am wondering if it is Nature's memory bank. Gee Cladking; It is good to hear from you again. Welcome to what appears to now be my thread. (chuckle) Gee
  21. Area54; I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. It took me a lot longer than I expected to review all eight pages, then I had to eat and was tired. It was probably too ambitious of me to try to start my own thread knowing that MS makes me tire easily and limits the number of posts that I can accomplish in a day -- and even limits which days I can post. Because consciousness is so complex, it is easy to take the thread off-topic without even trying, so a thread like this must be monitored closely. I could not do that. Tar, who is familiar with some of my thoughts on this subject, did a wonderful job of supporting my position, trying to pull the thread back on topic, and "herding cats". But I have not yet introduced anyone to my thoughts on the connection between consciousness and evolution, so he could only do so much. If people will be patient and allow me time to respond appropriately, I will try to explain my position. Remember everyone, this is not a race to see who can post the most or the fastest, it is more like a chess game, so taking time to review what has been stated has more value to me than throwing out a lot of disjointed ideas. Good, because I don't have a theory of consciousness. I do have an understanding of consciousness that seems to be rather singular, but not inaccurate. Yes. This is probably the most important point. When I state that bacteria is conscious, many will respond with something like," You mean it thinks and goes to the bar after work?" When they say this, what they are doing is anthropomorphizing the bacteria, giving it a human consciousness. But bacteria does not have a human consciousness -- it couldn't. It does not have eyes or ears, it does not have a brain to process vision and hearing, it does not have feet to move it around or hands to hold things, so it can not know about these things, can not be aware of them. All life is aware (conscious). That is how we know that it is life, but what is it aware of? What can it be aware of? What can it know? That is harder to determine. If we are going to look at life in terms of evolution, then we must examine levels of awareness. We must break it down as it would be unbelievable to attribute human consciousness to bacteria, bears, frogs, and butterflies. (except in children's stories) Yes and no. Yes, it is the simplest level, that I know of, but to describe bacteria as "is, in essence, a suite of reactions" is to also objectify it. This would make it no different from a chemical reaction or a mechanical machine. It would be better to state that it is 'recognized' by a suite of reactions. I am no biologist, so this is a layman's interpretation of what constitutes life. Life will eat, grow, and reproduce itself; so this activity continues it's life and is present in all life forms from the beginning. I base this on the information that a virus will only do these things when in another life form (specie), which is why it does not qualify as life on it's own. Life will also adapt, and if it cannot adapt, it will die. This adapting can also result in evolution, which would be why we are told that the first life on earth was microbial. So what does this have to do with consciousness? Well, there are no battery packs on bacteria. Something empowers it and motivates it. We call that something consciousness -- the same thing that empowers and motivates us and all life. Either the thing that empowers life is internal, consciousness, or it is external, "God"; since I have never met "God", I am going with the former. This internal empowerment is awareness (consciousness) of the need to continue, to preserve it's life and pattern. This need for life to preserve itself is present in all life forms and is known and studied as survival instincts. Instincts are part of consciousness. There are some people, who will state that the above is no more than a chemical reaction, but saying this is a denial of life. If life is just a chemical reaction, then you and I are just chemical reactions, as I have seen no evidence that justifies the idea that humans are above and beyond other life, except for the religious idea that claims we are "made in 'God's' image". Or we can go the other way and state that chemical reactions and life are the same thing because the entire Universe is alive -- maybe so. But this would mean that we have to redefine life, and that is not what this thread is about. This thread is about interpreting acknowledged, accredited information with regard to evolution in species. Anyone with another idea should start another thread because it would be off topic -- focus, focus, focus. So all life is sentient, but this first level is only sentient and can feel, sense, or perceive something, usually food, in it's environment. It also responds to this 'something'. So what we can know about first life is that it is aware of this 'something', that it possesses knowledge of how to respond to this 'something', that it has memory to store this knowledge, and that it has instincts which motivate it to react. These are the base qualities of conscious life. Yes. Yes. I will give you the accepted terms, then I will give you my understanding of them. Sentience -- to be able to perceive, sense or feel something. Awareness -- to be able to be aware of something. Consciousness -- to be able to be aware of something and also think about it. Self-awareness -- to be aware of your body in a third person way, or to be aware of your own mind in relation to other minds or vice-versa. Executive control -- this was a new one on me, but it is clear what it means. All of the above are awareness, which would be why they are listed under the heading of consciousness. The differences between them is mostly emotional. We use the word 'sentience' because we can not accept the possibility that bacteria and skin cells might have minds, so we designate the lowest life forms as sentient, aware but mindless. (chuckle) There is no real difference between awareness and consciousness, but most people think of consciousness as including thought, so I can live with that. Self-awareness was originally designed to prove the superiority of humans, but we have begun to test other species and think that they are also self-aware, so we have a new designation, executive control, to describe human superiority. (chuckle chuckle) Not sure what you mean here. We could say that there are different levels or phases in human life when comparing an infant and an adult, or comparing a caterpillar to a cocoon to a butterfly. Is that what you mean? What different conditions are you talking about? Are you talking about being unconscious? Not sure that these ideas are relevant to evolution, but if you think so, tell me how they are relevant. Yes. (chuckle) I don't think so. It is true that consciousness is a complex subject and has been studied for millennia by different cultures, thinkers, and religions, so it is a difficult study as it carries various ideas from various sources. Then when you think you have a handle on the concept, you become aware of a whole new area of study that also applies. (chuckle) I have had to rethink my concept of consciousness many, many times. Training and a lot of time are required to work on this puzzle. But then I like a good puzzle. People not truly listening and wanting to promote their own ideas are most of the reasons for misunderstanding and derailment. When I went back and reread this thread, I discovered that only one person actually supplied the information requested in the OP -- only one -- in eight pages. That was JohnCuthber on the first page. John and I never really got along well before, but I am beginning to rethink that position. He showed me that he can read, comprehend, follow a topic, and think at the same time, which appears to be truly amazing as no one else accomplished this. He stated that species could not evolve simply because they 'want' to, and the "God" idea or Intelligent Designer always comes into play when we try to combine consciousness and evolution. He is correct. We identify consciousness with the brain and thought, or we identify consciousness with "God". Since thought can not accomplish evolution, we are stuck with the "God" idea or an Intelligent Designer, which scares the bejeebers out of us. Fear can be stupefying. I thought that maybe it was time to look at consciousness for what it is, not the brain, not just thought, and not "God". Consciousness is just a part of Nature and works within Nature's rules just like everything else does. My thought is to simply understand consciousness, what it is and what it is made up of, thought, knowledge, memory, awareness, feeling, and emotion, and how these components work -- what they do, their limitations, their possibilities. I mentioned these ideas in the first few pages, but got ignored. You are way too dramatic. The study of consciousness is mostly sweeping away the garbage that has been attached to this word. Consciousness is awareness -- being aware of something, what that something is depends on the size of your suitcase as Tub noted -- or the development of your specie. This awareness 'communicates' some knowledge or information to you. My computer locked up a few time, but I think I will be able to post this. Gee
  22. Area54; A little clarity is a wonderful thing. I have been repeatedly asked for a definition of consciousness, and I have repeatedly given a definition of consciousness, so I could not understand the problem. It was the last line of your post that provided clarity. You don't want a definition of consciousness, you want my "thesis" or theory of consciousness. I thought I made that clear, but could be wrong, so I will review the thread and be back in a few hours. Gee
  23. StringJunky; Welcome to iNow's thread. Although 'construct' would work in some instances and has no negative connotations, it is too objective a term for consciousness as there seems to be variations in the differing consciousnesses. Consider that if you take a dozen people, who have all witnessed the same thing, you can easily end up with half a dozen reports on what happened. If we use the word 'illusion' to describe these differences, then we also create doubt as to whether or not anything at all happened. This would be a little problematic for the police officer trying to make the report. If, instead, we use the term 'interpret' it can explain the differences and even help the officer. If four really short people 'interpret' the suspect to be really tall, most of the people 'interpret' the suspect to be average height, and two very tall people 'interpret' the suspect to be rather short, the officer can 'construct' their statements into a conclusion that the suspect was average height. Gee Area54; You might want to hold off on that idea. You see, I have not yet presented my "claim regarding the linking of evolution and consciousness" so any response to it would not really be a response to it. Why have I not yet presented it? Well, besides the many distractions from the thread's topic, I am have another problem. Consider the following: If you were going to have a discussion with six other people about math, and early in the discussion you discovered that the other people only had a vague idea of what numbers are, then could you discuss math? No. The only viable solution would be to explain numbers. But if one of the people thought that use of the Roman Numerals is better, and another thought that the symbols used for numbers should be changed, and another thought that the idea of 'one to one' association with objects and numerals should be investigated, and they wanted to argue about it, then what could be accomplished? Nothing. Since many of the people in this thread will not even acknowledge that all life is conscious to some degree, even after being informed that both, philosophy and science agree on this, then showing how consciousness and the evolution of species are connected is impossible. Gee No iNow. Shit is when people continually take a thread off topic to discuss: the great 'pinnacle' debate, Tar's writing skills, and illusion, while trying to bait me into other off-topic discussions. Shit is when people intentionally corrupt the meaning of my words in order to have something to argue about. Shit is when people lie in order to pretend that they are not doing the above. That is shit. When I say that communication is the core attribute of consciousness, that does not mean that consciousness is the core attribute of communication. This is just more of your nonsense and apparently a sincere need to corrupt everything that I state. Gee
  24. Area54; I wouldn't have any objections. This is the first sane solution to the problem that I have seen. It also happened to be my thought as well. As I explained, and Tar repeated, consciousness at it's core is essentially communication. So let's look at a communication device; the cell phone. Suppose you are feeling lonely, so you call up your friend, and when he answers, it seems as though he is right there with you. Would we call that illusion? No we would not, nor would we think that we are having an illusionary conversation. Your friend's voice goes into the cell phone, is broken down into some digital form, bounced off a tower, a satellite, another tower, then received by your phone and "interpreted" back into his voice for you to hear. Using the word illusion just makes the whole concept sound like it is mystical or magical, done with smoke and mirrors. It also implies that the conversation is not real, or that your friend is not real. It would be a ridiculous way to explain it. Kind of like Dennett's theory. Gee
  25. iNow; Well, iNow, you have a point there -- I could be wrong. I have not really studied Dennett in any depth, so I could be mistaking his ideas. If consciousness is created through an illusion of the brain, that would mean that species with brains create the illusion of consciousness. A flea has a brain and flies have brains, I am pretty sure, so do they also produce consciousness? But that may be pushing it. How about dogs and horses, do they produce the illusion of consciousness? And sheep, because it would not be fair if we excluded herd animals. And goldfish? So maybe you could produce some reference as to whether or not all species with brains also experience this illusion of consciousness, or if there is some cut-off as to which species experience it and which do not. Since you have studied his work, this information should be available to you. That is not what I suggested. You cut the quote. Here is the quote with the relevant missing parts: "If humans have the most advanced and complex brain, which most people think we do," You see the underlined parts that you cut off? That "if" and the rest make the point. Most people do believe that the human mind/brain is the most advanced of our earthbound species. This is not an assumption; this is a fact. If you dispute this, please provide any valid evidence. Fiction is not acceptable. And I have no respect for parsing people's quotes in order to argue an irrelevant and nonexistent point as that breeds disinformation. Do you actually read anything that I write? Remember way back when I was explaining that consciousness was a vast and complex subject? I stated that consciousness was the subject of ALL religion, more than half of philosophy, and at least half of all science. Religion studies consciousness; they may call it "God", but what they are studying is consciousness. Anyone who does not understand this does not understand consciousness. I watched a video of Dennett on the subject of religion and was shocked by his ignorance. He seemed to regard religion as a group of people who were determined to subdue the masses through any manipulation available. He completely ignored any spiritual or emotional value in religion. I am not a religious person and see consciousness in a more analytic light, rather than a personalized "God" light, but that does not prevent me from seeing the value in religion. It is necessary, whether I need it or not, other people need it. Gee
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