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View Diary: Let's Teach the Controversy of Evolution vs Intelligent Design **Updated with Poll question** (365 comments)

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  •  I'll try my best to answer. (1+ / 0-)
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    Joieau

    One of the greatest mysteries of consciousness, for me, is the unity of conscoiusness.  Regular physical processes occur as a chain reaction of events down, it would seem, down to the quantum particle level.  Macroscopically, a computer keyborad inputs data to the computer in this way.  The memory of the computer is not directly attached to the keyboard but get populated following from a chain reaction of events such as the signal travelling down the wire from the keyboard.

    Consciousness is diffierent that its events exist collectively.  My consciousness is aware simultaneously of my thoughts, field of vision, noises that I hear, etc.  There is a non-arbitrary togetherness that seems not otherwise idenitifiable in the material world.

    Materialist Daniel Dennett said the unity of consciounsess  (what he calls Cartesian theater) will never be found in the brain precisely because there is no point or location in the brain of pre/conscious versus post/consciousness.  For him there is only separate streams of parallel processing (as we would normally think the physical world).  I think this point can be used against him as I introspectively know there is unity to my consciousness.

    •  Neural networks (1+ / 0-)
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      JerryNA

      Consciousness really isn't all that different. The brain is essentially just a biological neural network. We can and have built those. They're really good at pattern recognition-- just like the brain. Take away the neural network and there is no consciousness. The brain is the mind.
      And humans really aren't capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time. Parallel processing does occur, but that isn't unique to the brain.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:29:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is your computer conscious? n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  not yet (0+ / 0-)

          Once we build neural networks that approximate brains in animals the answer will be very different.

          +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

          by cybersaur on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:11:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only if consciousness (0+ / 0-)

            is a magically 'emergent property' of the wiring. I don't believe in magic, myself. That's probably because I know far too many magicians...

            •  That doesn't follow (0+ / 0-)

              If you don't believe consciousness is a magically 'emergent property' of the wiring between your own ears, there's no reason to make that assumption with a man-made neural net.
              That's like asserting computers can't "remember" things because they're made out of silicon and copper...

              +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

              by cybersaur on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:41:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course it follows. (0+ / 0-)

                You claim that a complex enough 'neural net' built on the model of, say, a rat brain, would be as conscious as a rat. Or am I misunderstanding your contention?

                Hence, per my understanding of what you've said, consciousness is an emergent property of the 'neural net' and its complexity. Presuming of course we are to believe that rats have consciousness, and the computer speaks English (with a rat's level of consciousness). Is that not so?

                An 'emergent property' is a property/quality of something that emerges suddenly from the underlying complexity without being any sort of inherent property of any component or combination of components from which it emerges.

                IOW, consciousness would not be considered an inherent property of the wires or the electrons running through them, or of the gates that allow its logic functions and/or memory to operate. To where if you gather enough of them in one place, it suddenly wakes up and says, "Hi, there. I'm conscious and self-aware, and your programs are intolerably stupid."

                You are instead saying that the WAY they are interconnected will at some point (X number of connections and cross-connections) magically produce the consciousness that would wake up and say, "Hi, there. I'm conscious and self-aware, and your programs are intolerably stupid."

                I'm not buying it.

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