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Author Topic:   The Sudden Dawn of the Cosmos and the Constancy of Physical Laws
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 220 of 244 (888548)
09-20-2021 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Christian7
09-18-2021 8:33 PM


Re: gobbledygook
Christian7 writes:
... there is no way that sentience emerges from biological, chemical, or quantum mechanical processes.
I think you are only saying this because you yourself don't see a way how this could happen. It is indeed a difficult problem that science still struggles to unravel. But so is the problem of how biology emerges from mere chemical processes. It would seem that simple chemicals just react with one another and that biological macrolecules begin to exhibit more purposeful behaviour, like moving things around and cutting other molecules into pieces, or instead pasting them together. It's as if these macromolecules sort of "know" what to do. But the main thing that changes when we go from chemistry to biology is the level of complexity. So I don't think it's a stretch to expect the emergence of sentience when we crank up the level of complexity a couple of notches.
You draw the line between the levels of biology and sentience, so I ask you: what would you say to someone who says there's no way that biology emerges from chemistry? Perhaps you should reflect on how their incredulity compares to yours.
As for some very instructive examples of the power of emergence, I urge you to take a look at John Horton Conway's Game of Life. Prepare to be amazed to the point of incredulity once again.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Christian7, posted 09-18-2021 8:33 PM Christian7 has not replied

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


(1)
Message 236 of 244 (888580)
09-21-2021 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Percy
09-21-2021 9:05 AM


Re: gobbledygook
Christian7 writes:
There is nothing it is like to be a physical object.
Percy writes:
You mangled the second sentence, who knows what you meant.
Percy, think Thomas Nagel, who famously asked: "What is it like to be a bat?", by which he meant to ask what kind of experience you would have if you were a bat.
I guess Christian7 is saying that purely physical objects do not have any experiences at all. The question "what is it like to be a bat?" can possibly be answered, whereas the question "what is it like to be a rock?" probably can't.
I agree with you that Christian7 is using confusing terminology, thinking that 'physical' and 'non-living' are interchangeable concepts, as are, in his view, 'non-physical', 'mental', and 'living'. He's all about the mind (or rather the 'soul') being non-physical.
However, he didn't botch that sentence. I do not agree with it, because I think I am a physical object having an experience - of being me - but I understand what he meant by it.
As for his playful use of English: he was probably just trying to have some fun with unorthodox word order. Has later post proves his fluency in what I think is his native language.
Edited by Parasomnium, : Spelling

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Percy, posted 09-21-2021 9:05 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by Christian7, posted 09-22-2021 11:28 AM Parasomnium has replied

  
Parasomnium
Member
Posts: 2224
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 241 of 244 (888597)
09-22-2021 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by Christian7
09-22-2021 11:28 AM


Re: gobbledygook
Christian7 writes:
[...] there is no grouping of their working together, which is able to generate things we know as qualia [...]
How do you know this? This is the core of your argument but you fail to present objective reasons for it. Apart from the fact that you switch from the emergence of consciousness to the generation of qualia (about which there is dissent among scientists and philosophers of science as to whether they actually exist), you make the mistake of stating as fact the object of your own incredulity.
Let's look at some real facts:
- you are conscious;
- your brain is a physical object;
- some physical and/or chemical causes influencing your brain can alter your conscious experience;
- a physical blow to the head can render you unconscious.
In short, consciousness has all the hallmarks of being rooted in physical causes. The details of how it happens may still be sketchy, but we have ample reason to suspect that consciousness is an emergent property of the workings of the brain.
William Thomson, also called Lord Kelvin, the pre-eminent scientist of the late 19th century, is known to have promulgated that heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. Your statement is reminiscent of this mistaken certitude. An apt reply to it would be what Darwin said in the quote below, which I have used for many years as my signature quote on this site, and which has proven wonderfully pertinent to many a discussion here.
Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by Christian7, posted 09-22-2021 11:28 AM Christian7 has not replied

  
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