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Missing Variable


KtownChemist
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So I was thinking last night; If some alien species were to discover earth but not realize that it was inhabited by "Life" what would they think.

 

If they were to look at a human the same way we look at a lifeless rock. The current model for how lifeless particles move about could not be used to explain the apparent random movements of organic matter on earth from an aliens point of view. You need an extra set of variables or extra dimensions to explain consciousness.

 

What is your take on this?

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Haha I wrote a short story on this exact premise. The creatures were silicon-based lifeforms, so they didn't recognize us as life. The point of it was that you didn't know that the visitors were not human until the very end. I thought it was half-decent.

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Our minds are analogous to computer programming. we can look at computer programming from various levels. You can look it it from the low level of electrons moving about on wires. In the same manner, you can look at the brain as ion currents through neurons. At a higher level, you have logic gates in computers and neural hierarchies in the brain. Then you have higher level programming like python. The analog in the brain is an idea.

Our actions, our choices, are all based upon our beliefs, our values, preconcieved notions, etc. It's algorithmic(albeit VERY complicated). All of these things come at the lowest level from deterministic physics(the brain is a classical system).

 

Our consciousness comes from a thin covering of the "old brain" called the neocortex. It works hierarchically to produce/use invariant auto-associative memories which are used recursively in hierarchical feedback loops to provide a model of our world. This model is what we experience. Most of our experiences are what we expect to experience rather than what we actually experience.

 

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Yeah thats what im saying the higher level processing you speak of must be included in a theory of how earth works or else you would never be able to predict movements of earth

 

How can you predict skyscrapers randomly popping up on mars

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Yeah thats what im saying the higher level processing you speak of must be included in a theory of how earth works or else you would never be able to predict movements of earth

 

But you don't. You can predict it on the lower levels, it's just INCREDIBLY impractical.

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Researchers are searching for amino acids and/or proteins in space to find life.

That means they assume it's carbon based.

 

SETI is searching for intelligence, and that SETI's type of search is technology focussed.That means they assume the technology is similar.

 

who says that those two assumptions make any sense?

 

Nobody looks for organized patterns in rocks (for example). I think that KtownChemist suggests that aliens might just misunderstand Earth's life, and overlook it. That would automatically mean that we're not able to see those aliens as well, despite the fact that they are here on earth. Similarly, we might be overlooking life as well in our searches.

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I think you could say that there are a lot of very interesting large-scale effects that arise out of far smaller events inside small, squishy, extremely complicated objects. And until you figure that out, the larger events might indeed be quite a puzzle. Or maybe not. Even if the specific mechanisms were mysterious, some notion of what's going on could be deducible, to a degree that I imagine depends very much on the nature of the observer.

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