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A universe from nothing… BS
Posted: 25 January 2012 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]  
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Michael Kean - 24 January 2012 10:52 PM

Srrr, it is the adherence to a dogma that is fixed, not the contents of that dogma.  Your dogma is that primordial consciousness always existed.  Is there any movement or change in that belief, or are you sticking to that fixation?  I’d be a lot happier if you said “maybe PC weakly emerged but maybe it didn’t”.  Then I could see you have an open mind.  Likewise, “maybe there are fundamental particles, but maybe there aren’t”.  That way you give the reader the choice to make up their own mind on the topic.  But if you want to make a bold claim then you need to support it - not just say “that’s it”.  Look carefully at the topic of this thread you chose.  You have totally bagged a prominent scientist and author writing in his own area of expertise.  So when you say we get PC no matter what, i.e. “for nothing”, i.e. without any precedent, don’t you think someone like myself is going to think that rather contradictory?  Why is it ok for you to claim something for nothing and not someone like Dr Krauss?  Don’t you think you should apologise to Dr Krauss? :)

Your post contains no counterarguments. All you are doing now is saying “dogma” and “divine”. You are no longer defending your own position that something fundamental must be something without change. And even if this were so (which it isnt), then it just as much applies to your very own panproto stuff.

 

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Posted: 25 January 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]  
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Michael Kean - 24 January 2012 03:52 PM

1. I think the idea that “some materialist believe that matter always existed” is the very idea being boldly challenged by modern theories such as that presented in Cahill’s paper.  And Krauss also supports the idea that we can no longer think about nothing (and something) as we have perhaps considered them before QM came along.  So your philosophical materialism will pass away in the light of science’s discoveries and successes.  Science will not be held captive by the past and its philosophical boxes.  So your statement that some materialists believe that matter always existed is irrelevant except that it supports the idea that anyone who believes anything always existed seem always to be proven wrong eventually.

Yeah its good that people like Cahill are finally discovering that everything within science points towards panpsychism/panexperientalism.

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Posted: 29 January 2012 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]  
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srrr - simple question: Which came first: Fundamental particles or primordial consciousness?

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Posted: 30 January 2012 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]  
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Michael Kean - 29 January 2012 06:49 PM

srrr - simple question: Which came first: Fundamental particles or primordial consciousness?

PC. There are already many ideas in science about other things that precede the particles.

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Posted: 30 January 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]  
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srrr - 30 January 2012 12:42 PM
Michael Kean - 29 January 2012 06:49 PM

srrr - simple question: Which came first: Fundamental particles or primordial consciousness?

PC. There are already many ideas in science about other things that precede the particles.

So PC always existed but “the particles” didn’t - they weakly emerged, presumably from PC.  Interesting.  From what you said earlier PC randomly moved and changed within itself without changing its fundamental nature for some time too.  So PC is a bit like the primordial soup from which all things, including particles, weakly emerged.  Sounds a lot like Krauss’s & Cahill’s quantum foam now.  That is, your “primordial consciousness” is equivalent to Cahill’s “quantum foam” and Krauss’s “something from nothing” equates to your “particles” from “primordial consciousness”.  So what exactly are you fundamentally objecting to in Krauss’s idea?


It seems your only remaining point of difference with Krauss is that you assign a measure of objective consciousness to his quantum foam.  And your basis for this objective consciousness is the only thing you reckon we can be sure of - our “subjective consciousness”.  Don’t you think “extrapolating” from your subjectivity to any kind of objectivity in the real world is a bit of a bold leap?  Solipsism maybe?  The only thing that changes the quantum foam into primordial consciousness is your own subjective feelings that you claim have no need of scientific analysis.  Wow!


When we look at human consciousness, we’re all agreed that it is a complex, multi-faceted thing that seems to have a point of focus somewhere between and behind the eyes but actually is just a unification of many parallel processes.  For instance Julian Baggini presents a pretty simple picture of “self” here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_baggini_is_there_a_real_you.html


How on earth can you take away all the brain’s complex flow of interactions and still end up with some kind of fundamental, single-point-of-focus consciousness?  You can’t.  Your own subjectivity from which you “extrapolate” has emerged from simpler objective things and the reverse is clearly not possible.  That is, you can’t extrapolate from your own marvellous and complex subjectivity back to a simple subjectivity independent of particles, or much less, a simple objective consciousness independent of matter. smile

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Posted: 31 January 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]  
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Michael Kean - 30 January 2012 04:43 PM

So PC always existed but “the particles” didn’t - they weakly emerged, presumably from PC.  Interesting.  From what you said earlier PC randomly moved and changed within itself without changing its fundamental nature for some time too.  So PC is a bit like the primordial soup from which all things, including particles, weakly emerged.  Sounds a lot like Krauss’s & Cahill’s quantum foam now.  That is, your “primordial consciousness” is equivalent to Cahill’s “quantum foam” and Krauss’s “something from nothing” equates to your “particles” from “primordial consciousness”.  So what exactly are you fundamentally objecting to in Krauss’s idea?

What i object to, and what i have refuted, is written in the opening post: that mathematics is “nothing”, and that a mathematical universe would support the idea of a non-created universe. The exact opposite is true. The paper you introduced to argue my point turned out to support it with a panexperientalist universal information system…


Btw, i never said PC randomly changes within itself. We know from human C, is that it has capacities like math, will, intent, etc.

It seems your only remaining point of difference with Krauss is that you assign a measure of objective consciousness to his quantum foam.  And your basis for this objective consciousness is the only thing you reckon we can be sure of - our “subjective consciousness”.  Don’t you think “extrapolating” from your subjectivity to any kind of objectivity in the real world is a bit of a bold leap?  Solipsism maybe?  The only thing that changes the quantum foam into primordial consciousness is your own subjective feelings that you claim have no need of scientific analysis.  Wow!

First of all, Krauss does not mention the foam (at least not in the article). Secondly, as i explained to you earlier (about energy), the foam is mathematical in nature. Math is conceptual. Concepts are had by conscious beings. Third, i did not even mention objective/subjective distinction. What i did mention was consciousness. Can you tell me what you mean with subjective/objective, and why consciousness falls in either or both categories? Fourth, why can we not extrapolate from known natural facts, of which consciousness is one?

When we look at human consciousness, we’re all agreed that it is a complex, multi-faceted thing that seems to have a point of focus somewhere between and behind the eyes but actually is just a unification of many parallel processes.  For instance Julian Baggini presents a pretty simple picture of “self” here:

http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_baggini_is_there_a_real_you.html


How on earth can you take away all the brain’s complex flow of interactions and still end up with some kind of fundamental, single-point-of-focus consciousness?  You can’t.  Your own subjectivity from which you “extrapolate” has emerged from simpler objective things and the reverse is clearly not possible.  That is, you can’t extrapolate from your own marvellous and complex subjectivity back to a simple subjectivity independent of particles, or much less, a simple objective consciousness independent of matter. :)

You say it yourself: our consciousness is complex (as is our brain). Complex things have simpler versions. I do not understand why you think simpler consciousness is impossible, especially as it is well known to exist in simpler organisms.

 

The “self”: i consider it to be identical to consciousness (the experiences one has). If the experiences change, the self changes because its the same thing. There is no extra self-entity that has the experiences. Here too, human experience offers many interesting examples that can be used for extrapolation: split brain surgery suggests a single C can be split in two. Certain drugs make people experience being at multiple locations at the same time, or have different shapes of the body (flatter, pointlike, larger, etc.). Meditation in which sensory information is ignored can make people feel like they expand or merge with the universe. People can experience situations with no time or space. People can have OBEs. Not that im saying they are actually floating out there, but it at least suggests that being in the body is as artificial as being out of it.

[ Edited: 31 January 2012 09:40 AM by srrr]
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Posted: 31 January 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]  
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srrr - 31 January 2012 09:04 AM

The “self”: i consider it to be identical to consciousness (the experiences one has). If the experiences change, the self changes because its the same thing. There is no extra self-entity that has the experiences.

Do you think that the experiences are all there is, without being had by something? If so, it sounds a bit like the Buddhist idea of ‘anatta’ (not-self). Are you familiar with it, and would you characterize your view of the self as being similar to it?

[ Edited: 31 January 2012 11:54 AM by rammaq]
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Posted: 31 January 2012 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]  
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srrr - 31 January 2012 09:04 AM

What i object to, and what i have refuted, is written in the opening post: that mathematics is “nothing”, and that a mathematical universe would support the idea of a non-created universe. The exact opposite is true. The paper you introduced to argue my point turned out to support it with a panexperientalist universal information system…

I’ve said this before - mathematics is a way to model reality, not to create it.  The rest has also been discussed before.  Meaning was not assigned to our universe by an external creator or information system; rather order emerged internally and meaning was self-assigned by self-aware entities within that emergent and self-organising universe.  This is also the basis of Dennett’s book “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”.  So the lack of external purpose we see in Cahill’s model is the same lack of external purpose we see in Darwin’s model.  The mistake that anthropomorphic mystics apply in both scenarios is that because order wonderfully emerges in a random soup, this infers an external designer.  It doesn’t.  All it requires is an unstable nothingness / somethingness - i.e. the bubbling soup.


This is the whole point of Cahill’s model: To discover how order could emerge from disorder.  Your alternative only leaves you with what I would call a magical acceptance of “something for nothing”, i.e. PC.  I think you get confused by Cahill’s paper because he struggles to explain the ability of the universe to bootstrap itself without any external influence.  It’s as if there is some kind of magical “characteristic” of the soup itself.  And I guess this particular debate could go on for another century or whatever while we get to know the constituents of the soup so well that we advance to a yet deeper level of knowledge and see knowledge of the soup itself as mundane.


But maybe the great advance we both have made at this point is that the “magic” (or “something for nothing” or “PC”), if there is any to be found, does not come from outside the system, but from within it.  I sincerely hope you agree with this idea: All that exists has all the “magic” or “PC”, if there is any, within it.  However Occam’s razor suggests to me at least that there is no “magic” or “something for nothing” or “PC” - just an uneasy cohabitation of order and disorder.

Btw, i never said PC randomly changes within itself. We know from human C, is that it has capacities like math, will, intent, etc.

See http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewreply/220444/  Anyway, not important.  And we certainly don’t know from human C that PC has capacities like math, will, intent, etc.  This is a perfect example of you extrapolating your subjective human experience to a concept you call primordial consciousness and that you want us to accept as part of objective reality.

Complex things have simpler versions

No - this is not correct.  If all complex things have simpler versions, then there are literally homunculi in the first mammals, the first plants and the first bacteria.  You make this same mistake over and over again.  Like there is a little house in each brick in a wheelbarrow.  Or a little consciousness in rocks.  What it is correct to say is that all complex or orderly things wonderfully emerge from simpler or disorderly things.

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Posted: 01 February 2012 01:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]  
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Michael Kean - 31 January 2012 08:29 PM
srrr - 31 January 2012 09:04 AM

What i object to, and what i have refuted, is written in the opening post: that mathematics is “nothing”, and that a mathematical universe would support the idea of a non-created universe. The exact opposite is true. The paper you introduced to argue my point turned out to support it with a panexperientalist universal information system…

I’ve said this before - mathematics is a way to model reality, not to create it.  The rest has also been discussed before.  Meaning was not assigned to our universe by an external creator or information system; rather order emerged internally and meaning was self-assigned by self-aware entities within that emergent and self-organising universe.  This is also the basis of Dennett’s book “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”.  So the lack of external purpose we see in Cahill’s model is the same lack of external purpose we see in Darwin’s model.  The mistake that anthropomorphic mystics apply in both scenarios is that because order wonderfully emerges in a random soup, this infers an external designer.  It doesn’t.  All it requires is an unstable nothingness / somethingness - i.e. the bubbling soup.

So the designer is not external, but internal. Fine with me. What i said about the quantum foam and energy remains true, they are purely conceptual. To assign concrete existence to them is to become an idealist. They are called virtual particles for a reason. I think many scientists are now discovering that consciousness (which includes concepts such as math) can become very very simple, to the point where some even mistake it with “nothingness”, and that this “nothingness” can turn into a very complex universe.  Krauss and Cahill (Stenger also) are good examples of this.

This is the whole point of Cahill’s model: To discover how order could emerge from disorder.  Your alternative only leaves you with what I would call a magical acceptance of “something for nothing”, i.e. PC.  I think you get confused by Cahill’s paper because he struggles to explain the ability of the universe to bootstrap itself without any external influence.  It’s as if there is some kind of magical “characteristic” of the soup itself.  And I guess this particular debate could go on for another century or whatever while we get to know the constituents of the soup so well that we advance to a yet deeper level of knowledge and see knowledge of the soup itself as mundane.


But maybe the great advance we both have made at this point is that the “magic” (or “something for nothing” or “PC”), if there is any to be found, does not come from outside the system, but from within it.  I sincerely hope you agree with this idea: All that exists has all the “magic” or “PC”, if there is any, within it.  However Occam’s razor suggests to me at least that there is no “magic” or “something for nothing” or “PC” - just an uneasy cohabitation of order and disorder.

The idea of consciousness being “outside” of nature doesnt make sense in the first place. We are conscious and we are inside the universe arent we? There is no reason (nothing natural to extrapolate from) to think PC is any different. So i dont know where you get all those ideas from, that PC must be random, that it must be unchanging, that it must be outside nature, etc.

As for order and disorder, both are subjective qualifications and not objective in any way. So lets call it “(self)organising” and lets look at which phenomenon in nature does this best. Take a guess? Look at the world around you, the computer, the houses, life, even your own brain. Consciousness is involved in the most complex forms of organising in nature.

 

No - this is not correct.  If all complex things have simpler versions, then there are literally homunculi in the first mammals, the first plants and the first bacteria.  You make this same mistake over and over again.  Like there is a little house in each brick in a wheelbarrow.  Or a little consciousness in rocks.  What it is correct to say is that all complex or orderly things wonderfully emerge from simpler or disorderly things.

I thought Rammaq explained this earlier. “houseness” is not a physical property. Everything about a house is reducible to its ingredients. There really is nothing more to houses than that. So when you say that bricks “dont have a house in them”, what exactly are you talking about? That the bricks dont have a quantity of particles? Of spacetime? If there is something else to houses than their physical ingredients, and you think that bricks lack any quantity of that something else, let me know what it is.

[ Edited: 01 February 2012 01:47 AM by srrr]
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Posted: 01 February 2012 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]  
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rammaq - 31 January 2012 11:44 AM

Do you think that the experiences are all there is, without being had by something? If so, it sounds a bit like the Buddhist idea of ‘anatta’ (not-self). Are you familiar with it, and would you characterize your view of the self as being similar to it?

I heard of it but i dont remember all the details. Buddhist thinking quickly confuses me, perhaps because of all the indian words involved. And then they dividide it all into steps and different (and conflicting) schools of thought. I like reading about what the monks can achieve with their minds, it tells us about the flexibility of consciousness. Really what they do is about the most thorough and systematic exploration of consciousness from within. Some philosophers (i think Dennett is one of them) think that consciousness will vanish when the “self” is gone, and that the self will go away when cognition and sensory perception is stopped. What certain types of buddhist meditation reveal is that when there is no cognition and no sensory perception, the result is an extremely vivid type of consciousness.

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Posted: 01 February 2012 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]  
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srrr - 01 February 2012 01:42 AM

So the designer is not external, but internal. Fine with me…The idea of consciousness being “outside” of nature doesnt make sense in the first place. We are conscious and we are inside the universe arent we?

Good - so there is no designer looking on and designing from an external vantage point.  So the designer is within the system it supposedly designs.  That is, it must design itself.  That is, the designer emerges - it moves from less order to more order.  If the designer does this, then so does its designs as well.  If you hold this view then I think it would be very close to Cahill’s view.  You both seem to see the ability of the universe to bootstrap itself as something extraordinary, maybe even suggesting a characteristic of some kind of innate self-awareness.  I think that’s as far as Cahill goes.  You go a step further and assert that the innate self-awareness or PC is a fact.  If I’m right about what Cahill believes here, then I would not go as far as Cahill.  Yes the ability of the cosmos to bootstrap itself is amazing, but not mystical.  Any kind of innate self-awareness or PC would suggest it “always existed” and is thus “something for nothing” - or “magic” IMO.  I think the ability for the bubbling soup to create defects that eventually lead to emergent order is not magic.  But maybe this view is still a little simplistic in its detail.  I also think that Cahill would agree that everything after the bootstrapping event is just weak emergence - and so there is no ongoing requirement for PC.  This, I think, further supports my view that PC was not required in the bootstrapping either.

No - this is not correct.  If all complex things have simpler versions, then there are literally homunculi in the first mammals, the first plants and the first bacteria.  You make this same mistake over and over again.  Like there is a little house in each brick in a wheelbarrow.  Or a little consciousness in rocks.  What it is correct to say is that all complex or orderly things wonderfully emerge from simpler or disorderly things.

I thought Rammaq explained this earlier. “houseness” is not a physical property. Everything about a house is reducible to its ingredients. There really is nothing more to houses than that.

If there is any confusion here it is caused by your comment “all complex things have simpler versions”.  This is a very different statement to “all things are made up of common ingredients”, with which I would agree.  Human consciousness is a complex thing, and in my view totally dependent on many common ingredients coming together in the brain.  Animals have simpler brains and thus probably simpler consciousness.  Rocks don’t have brains, even though rocks are made up of simple ingredients just like animal brains.  But a certain rock is missing a lot of the elemental ingredients required to make one certain animal brain function.  So rocks probably don’t have consciousness as we understand it.  This is the simple “extrapolation” most people make which you don’t make.  You insist that primordial consciousness - something for nothing - makes all the difference in rocks.  And yet you harshly criticise Krauss!

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Posted: 02 February 2012 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]  
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Michael Kean - 01 February 2012 03:55 PM

Good - so there is no designer looking on and designing from an external vantage point.  So the designer is within the system it supposedly designs.  That is, it must design itself.  That is, the designer emerges - it moves from less order to more order.  If the designer does this, then so does its designs as well.  If you hold this view then I think it would be very close to Cahill’s view.  You both seem to see the ability of the universe to bootstrap itself as something extraordinary, maybe even suggesting a characteristic of some kind of innate self-awareness.  I think that’s as far as Cahill goes.  You go a step further and assert that the innate self-awareness or PC is a fact.  If I’m right about what Cahill believes here, then I would not go as far as Cahill.  Yes the ability of the cosmos to bootstrap itself is amazing, but not mystical.  Any kind of innate self-awareness or PC would suggest it “always existed” and is thus “something for nothing” - or “magic” IMO.  I think the ability for the bubbling soup to create defects that eventually lead to emergent order is not magic.  But maybe this view is still a little simplistic in its detail.  I also think that Cahill would agree that everything after the bootstrapping event is just weak emergence - and so there is no ongoing requirement for PC.  This, I think, further supports my view that PC was not required in the bootstrapping either.

So lets put it all together. A designer (consciousness) can influence itself (just as humans can too, again simple extrapolation from known natural facts). There is only ever a quantitative difference in consciousness (aka weak emergence). This being so, what makes you think PC did not exist at some point and then strongly emerged?

if there is any confusion here it is caused by your comment “all complex things have simpler versions”.  This is a very different statement to “all things are made up of common ingredients”, with which I would agree.  Human consciousness is a complex thing, and in my view totally dependent on many common ingredients coming together in the brain.  Animals have simpler brains and thus probably simpler consciousness.  Rocks don’t have brains, even though rocks are made up of simple ingredients just like animal brains.  But a certain rock is missing a lot of the elemental ingredients required to make one certain animal brain function.  So rocks probably don’t have consciousness as we understand it.  This is the simple “extrapolation” most people make which you don’t make.  You insist that primordial consciousness - something for nothing - makes all the difference in rocks.  And yet you harshly criticise Krauss!

What is true for the house, is also true for rocks and brains. Both of those are reducible to their ingredients. So i ask again:


When you say that bricks “dont have a house in them”, what exactly are you talking about? That the bricks dont have a quantity of particles? Of spacetime? If there is something else to houses than their physical ingredients, and you think that bricks lack any quantity of that something else, let me know what it is.

 

But a certain rock is missing a lot of the elemental ingredients required to make one certain animal brain function.

I think this talk about “requirements” may give people the wrong impression. You dont say that rock A lacks the requirement to be like rock B. You just say that rock A has a different shape than rock B. There are no “requirements” floating around to be fullfilled. The same goes for rocks and brains. Both just have different configurations of their ingredients.

[ Edited: 02 February 2012 04:40 AM by srrr]
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Posted: 02 February 2012 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]  
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srrr - 02 February 2012 04:19 AM

So lets put it all together. A designer (consciousness) can influence itself (just as humans can too, again simple extrapolation from known natural facts). There is only ever a quantitative difference in consciousness (aka weak emergence). This being so, what makes you think PC did not exist at some point and then strongly emerged?

Hey - I don’t think anything strongly emerged by your definition of magical strong emergence.  By your definition, I think ‘PC’, if it existed, would weakly emerge along with everything else.  So I don’t believe anything was “always there” either.  If a soft kind of strong emergence is something magically appearing from classical nothing, then the hardest kind of strong emergence is something, such as your PC, magically always being there!

What is true for the house, is also true for rocks and brains. Both of those are reducible to their ingredients. So i ask again:

When you say that bricks “dont have a house in them”, what exactly are you talking about? That the bricks dont have a quantity of particles? Of spacetime? If there is something else to houses than their physical ingredients, and you think that bricks lack any quantity of that something else, let me know what it is.

We must have missed something here.  I was using an analogy - bricks are to houses what particles are to matter.  Why are you muddling up the analogy?  Houses are made of bricks just like matter is made of particles.  Houses are complex things, bricks are simple things.  Your statement was that “complex things always have simpler versions”.  I refuted that statement by suggesting that the simplest things houses are made of are bricks - and bricks are not houses.  Simple really.  So likewise, if we could suggest that consciousness is made up of ‘virtual’ particles or ‘whatever’, then when you simplify or break up consciousness as much as possible, you do not end up with a simpler version of itself - you just end up with a bunch of poorly arranged and useless virtual particles (like the bricks in the wheelbarrow).  This underlines my earlier point that it is in the complex arrangement of things (such as in your diagram) that the behaviours (gravitational force, nuclear force, etc.) of a system emerges and not just in its constituents.  This also underlines the central role weak emergence has played in everything orderly around us.

But a certain rock is missing a lot of the elemental ingredients required to make one certain animal brain function.

I think this talk about “requirements” may give people the wrong impression. You dont say that rock A lacks the requirement to be like rock B. You just say that rock A has a different shape than rock B. There are no “requirements” floating around to be fullfilled. The same goes for rocks and brains. Both just have different configurations of their ingredients.

I can see your point but you are missing my point.  Consciousness in humans or animals is complex.  It is there in humans and animals because of a highly evolved and very particular arrangement of ingredients.  Neither the ingredients nor the special arrangement is present in rocks.  So rocks consist of sticky strings of real and ‘virtual’ particles, but not in sufficient arrangements to bring about something as complex as consciousness.  The complexity required is not in each sticky string alone - it is in all the chemical elements and their arrangement as a whole.  Your PC to me is just a bunch of ‘virtual’ particles (stuck to real particles in each string).  Each virtual particle is just as dumb as each real particle - but when you combine those sticky strings in just the right way in human brains (the real arrangement) then human consciousness (the slightly asymmetrical virtual arrangement) emerges.  But this is just my theory…

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Posted: 02 February 2012 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]  
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Michael Kean - 02 February 2012 06:06 AM

Hey - I don’t think anything strongly emerged by your definition of magical strong emergence.  By your definition, I think ‘PC’, if it existed, would weakly emerge along with everything else.  So I don’t believe anything was “always there” either.  If a soft kind of strong emergence is something magically appearing from classical nothing, then the hardest kind of strong emergence is something, such as your PC, magically always being there!

Weak emergence implies that a quantity of C has always been around. If you think there was a time without any C, then thats plain strong emergence.

Houses are complex things, bricks are simple things.

Good, so that confirms that all complex things have simpler versions.

Your statement was that “complex things always have simpler versions”.  I refuted that statement by suggesting that the simplest things houses are made of are bricks - and bricks are not houses.

The simplest things houses are made of, are not bricks, but elementary particles and fundamental forces. The same goes for bricks.

I can see your point but you are missing my point.  Consciousness in humans or animals is complex.  It is there in humans and animals because of a highly evolved and very particular arrangement of ingredients.  Neither the ingredients nor the special arrangement is present in rocks.

Rocks are made of fundamental particles and brains are too. Now as for the “configuration”: configurations are only different from eachother in terms of quantities of spacetime between the ingredients. So once again, we have merely quantitative differences. Why would it suddenly be different for C?

 

Btw i see you talk about “particular” and “special” arrangements, but really every arrangement is “particular”. I think this talk about specialness and particularness again can give people the same kind of wrong impression, as if the brain has reached some magical jackpot configuration that brings consciousness into existence. Thats just not how physics works. Physics tells us that arrangements are just arrangements. Never ever does anything else pop into existence when an arrangement changes into another arrangement.

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Posted: 02 February 2012 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]  
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If there was a genuine comparison of your view to my view and maybe a SWOT analysis of both views, our conversation could continue.  But this conversation is boring.  I think I’m done with this thread now.

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