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Old 15th October 2018, 11:39 AM   #41
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Within a metaphysical certainty nobody who is making the claim that "science" cannot explain "consciousness" will:

1. Define "consciousness" to any meaningful degree.
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/consciousness?s=ts Items 1 and 6.


Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
2. Lay out how any test is supposed to test for it.
Isn't that a pretty silly thing to say? Not being able to test for it is one of the reasons science can't explain it. If you claim science has explained it then you should be citing these tests.
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Old 15th October 2018, 11:51 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Isn't that a pretty silly thing to say? Not being able to test for it is one of the reasons science can't explain it. If you claim science has explained it then you should be citing these tests.
Science has explained (to at least a fair degree) all the parts it recognizes as valid.

Again I know this dance, I've danced it many times. We're talking about a soul and people are going to dance around that term, obviously talking about it while doing their best to avoid saying it directly with a fervor.

There is no such thing as a soul, so science doesn't have to explain it. People are saying science can't explain this or that when they really mean "Soul."

All of this is just that, every time we talk about it, it is all just a pantomime, shadow theater, house of cards facade put up around that.

Neurology is an established science, I will not waste my keystrokes explaining how at least the broad outlines of how the human brain operates have been built. Whatever hair split definition of "consciousness" you, me, or any other Tom, Dick, or Harry want to use it comes from the normal functioning of a human brain. This is no longer up for debate.

If you add something to that, some unexplained, (it's a soul), undefined (it's a soul), vague (it's a soul), "You know that feeling that you're not just your mind..." (it's a soul), "Oh so I guess your comfortable just being a bag of meat and electrical impulses" (it's a soul) to it and demand science explain that it can't. Because it doesn't exist. Because it's a soul.

The Woo Slingers are mad because "The Human Condition" was one of the last gaps they got to shove their Woo into and now they have to change tactics to pretending the gap is still there by making up stuff we need the gap to explain that is silly word games or distinctions without difference.
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Old 15th October 2018, 12:06 PM   #43
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I'm an atheist who has never believed in a soul and believe that we'll develop artificial intelligence, including consciousness, in a computer. So try again.

Cite the explanation if you have it. You can't, there isn't one. FFS we don't even know the mechanism that stores memories, and that's part of the simple problem.
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Old 15th October 2018, 12:07 PM   #44
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There are many different definitions of consciousness, none seem to really cover it. This has lead people who would like there to be a "soul" to claim that this is sign of such a thing.

However, the difficulty to unequivocally define consciousness can also be taken as evidence that it doesn't exist as a definite concept: There are simply a number of properties of beings with complex brains, and if a suitable collection of them are present, we consider the being to conscious, but here is no unique and consistent definition.

There has been much talk about whether computers will be conscious when complex enough. This all depends on which definition we use. Current computers, with the proper software installed and running, will exhibit properties that we might tend to consider as consciousness if observed in a biological being.

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Old 15th October 2018, 12:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Cite the explanation if you have it. You can't, there isn't one.
Explanation for what? I'm the one arguing there's nothing to explain in the broad strokes. Not that it's been explained, that there isn't anything to explain.

What thing, what mental process, what function of the human brain do you want me to explain?

This always happen. People start screaming at people to "Explain this!" but never actually stop to clarity what they want explained and it turns into this loop of "I demand you explain the thing I'm refusing the define except I'm defining it as the thing you can't explain" and people will fight to keep the conversation there and react, angrily at times, at any attempt to pull it out of there and the whole thing just turns into getting screamed out to explain something I don't recognize as valid, then getting screamed out for not defining the things other people are demanding I explain.

No better to just throwing the loaded, vague, variable to the point of meaningless term "conscious" around and put all your effort into never defining it so it can be envoked at will but never answered or addressed.

Again I'm not playing the game until you describe what thing the human mind that falls under anything that could be called "consciousness" does that you think needs to be explained.

Quote:
FFS we don't even know the mechanism that stores memories, and that's part of the simple problem.
That has sweet FA to do with "Science cannot explain the vague, loaded term 'consciousness.'

Memory is still a poorly understood process yes, probably because "memory" isn't really one thing. To frame it a total mystery is intentional ignorance, but it is still a very poorly understood process.

But we know more then enough to know that it is a naturalistic process that happens completely and totally within a normal, functioning human brain.
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Old 15th October 2018, 12:32 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Explanation for what? I'm the one arguing there's nothing to explain in the broad strokes. Not that it's been explained, that there isn't anything to explain.

What thing, what mental process, what function of the human brain do you want me to explain?

Memory, thought, and/or Conscious awareness.
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Old 15th October 2018, 01:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Memory, thought, and/or Conscious awareness.
Memory is simple. Thought? Data processing, including the ability to work with inferred/imagined data. Conscious awareness? Define, please.

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Old 15th October 2018, 01:41 PM   #48
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I already cited the definition FFS. And human memory is not at all simple. Tell me how a memory is recorded.
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Old 15th October 2018, 01:45 PM   #49
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Good, "awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc."

Now all we need to define is "awareness" ..
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Old 15th October 2018, 01:56 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by servicesoon
Synopsis: Controlling by exactly duplicating every aspect currently known to contribute to the individual conscious experience (nature/biology and nurture/environment) would provide evidence to allow reasonable inference if a variable exists which contributes to consciousness that is not currently found in the scientific literature.

Scientific Process:
1. Ask a question. Does the Biopsychosocial (BPS) Model adequately capture all variables that contribute to consciousness?

2. Background research. The current scientific literature is awash with evidence that supports the theories that Biology, Psychology, and Sociology contribute to consciousness. These areas of study are all included in the BPS Model.

My assessment for any scientific literature examining the possible existence of factors outside the BPS Model that contribute to the emergence of consciousness are very limited. All of them have been sensibly dismissed for various breaches in the scientific methodology.

3. Hypothesis. There exist a variable which contributes to consciousness that the current BPS Model does not include.

4. Test with experiment. This experiment will consist of no less than thirty test subjects. All three areas of the BPS Model will be controlled and exactly duplicated. Every test subject will have exactly the same;
DNA, nutrition, social/physical interaction and stimulation, environment, etc.

The test administered will seek differential anomalies among test subjects and could include the following tests and/or observations; behavioral, intelligence/adaptation, neuroscience, inspection of urine/fecal matter and blood, etc.

Any deviations from this protocol or observations of divergence among the test subjects will be recorded and documented so that they can be accessed for distortion of the results.

5. Analyze data and draw conclusion. Possible outcomes and conclusions:
a) The test subjects exhibit statistical and practically significant differences that are consistent and measurable on anytests. There exists a variable which contributes to consciousness that the current BPS Model does not account for.
b) The test subjects exhibit no statistical or practically significant differences that are consistent and measurable on all tests. The BPS Model completely includes all variables that contribute to consciousness.
Please explain why it is that Langton's ant invariably builds a highway regardless of starting conditions? Can you do that?
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Old 15th October 2018, 06:13 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
But why would differences between individuals necessarily mean there is some unknown variable?

It's possible that the same person raised with all the same stimuli down to the atom might turn out differently each time the experiment is run. It's possible he might turn out the same.

If you don't know what a null result is, I'm not sure how you could zero in on a deviation from the null.
The underlined is a fair question. If the current body of scientific theories cannot explain the variances, then further inquiry is warranted. These inquiries could lead to improvements of current models or birth new areas of research.

My proposed experiment isn't the end all know all. It's the start to expanding our knowledge from a different perspective that has not been tried before.

Are you certain that a null result must always be identified before an experiment can be conducted or a conclusions can be determined?

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And we've reached peak Woo B.S.

Slap the word "Quantum" in front of it.
The link I provided is to a scholarly article with cites. Why do you dismiss it with reflexive contempt?

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I propose a similar test on a game of pool. Let's build a robot to play a game of pool. If it can't play the same identical game every time for 30 consecutive games I propose that there is something beyond the Standard Model that impacts upon the dynamics of the game...
If your point is that some systems are stable, simple, linear, predictable & others are chaotic (as jrhowell has mentioned) or random, then I agree with you. Which system type does consciousness fit into?
Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
You have yet to say what your experiment is,:
What are you variables; dependent/independent, how will you test for them?
Is consciousness in/dependent of biology? The experiment I want to conduct to dissect this question is in the OP.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Within a metaphysical certainty nobody who is making the claim that "science" cannot explain "consciousness" will:

1. Define "consciousness" to any meaningful degree.
2. Lay out how any test is supposed to test for it.
Does science explain consciousness to your satisfaction? Do you believe that science is discovered or invented?
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Old 15th October 2018, 07:03 PM   #52
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Your test would not test consciousness being dependent on biology. It would test behavior being dependent on factors we can control.
The test seems completely irrelevant as far as consciousness goes. Will you be testing during the experiment if the subjects are conscious or not ? If so, how ?
Am I conscious ? Are you ? How can you test that ?
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Old 16th October 2018, 01:16 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
If your point is that some systems are stable, simple, linear, predictable & others are chaotic (as jrhowell has mentioned) or random, then I agree with you. Which system type does consciousness fit into?
Humans behaviour is obviously chaotic in the sense of being very sensitive to initial conditions. Which makes your suggested experiment basically impossible, or at least impossible to do in a way that would offer meaningful results.
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Old 16th October 2018, 02:34 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Humans behaviour is obviously chaotic in the sense of being very sensitive to initial conditions. Which makes your suggested experiment basically impossible, or at least impossible to do in a way that would offer meaningful results.
Well, most likely this is one reason our increasingly complex computers don't suddenly develop consciousness, and probably never will: They are carefully built to be as deterministic as possible. If they do show chaotic signs, it is a malfunction (or a Windows feature ).

Not so with the biological brain. It has evolved to handle uncertainty. One trait of sentience is the ability to make useful decisions based on insufficient data. An animal in the wild can rarely afford to wait for sufficient data to show up (yes, that lion WAS coming for me), it must try to make the best possible decision with what it haves, and it fills in the blanks with previous experiences and pure fantasy.

I have worked with automatic routing algorithms. It sometimes happens that two paths are equally valid. It is then useful to program the router to make a random decision. It is not unlikely that biological brains do the same.

Thus, even theoretically identical beings might make different decisions in identical situation.

The OP (and others searching for the soul in similar ways) would also be wise to ask themselves: Is the sole purpose of the putative soul really just to add variability?

Hans
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Old 16th October 2018, 02:37 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I already cited the definition FFS. And human memory is not at all simple. Tell me how a memory is recorded.
No, but memory is simple in concept. Store and recall information.

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Old 16th October 2018, 02:43 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Are you certain that a null result must always be identified before an experiment can be conducted or a conclusions can be determined?
Of course. How else would you determine if you have discovered something?

Quote:
If your point is that some systems are stable, simple, linear, predictable & others are chaotic (as jrhowell has mentioned) or random, then I agree with you. Which system type does consciousness fit into?
Most systems are in between. Consciousness certainly is.

Quote:
Is consciousness in/dependent of biology? The experiment I want to conduct to dissect this question is in the OP.
The experiment is not suited to discover that. How about artificial consciousness.?

Quote:
Does science explain consciousness to your satisfaction?
Not yet.

Quote:
Do you believe that science is discovered or invented?
Question makes no sense. Science is a method for discovering reality.

- What is the difference between discovery and invention?

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Old 16th October 2018, 07:07 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
No, but memory is simple in concept. Store and recall information.
Yes, of course. But as an explanation for human memory, that's a totally pathetic non-starter. Do you have an explanation or not?
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:10 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Without using the word consciousness, explain to me what factor of the functioning, normal mental operation level of the human mind you think "science" doesn't understand or can't account for? In this answer you are not allowed to:

1. Beg the question.
2. Circular answer the question by defining it only as the thing you are trying to prove.
3. Loud angry incredulity.
4. Word salad.
5. Anything that is obviously a soul just not being called that.
6. Attack the broader concept of knowledge conceptually. (No scorching the Earth.)

Using those criteria, please describe the thing you think science can't describe.
Addendum.

7. No made up air gaps between the process and the experience when the process is the experience.
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:11 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yes, of course. But as an explanation for human memory, that's a totally pathetic non-starter. Do you have an explanation or not?
Recurring electrochemical patterns in the brain reproduce the experiences that originally contributed to the formation of those patterns.
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:24 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Recurring electrochemical patterns in the brain reproduce the experiences that originally contributed to the formation of those patterns.
And basically everything is just particles and fields interacting. But neither of those things implies that there are no interesting questions or surprises left.

RY isn't suggesting anything supernatural. Unless I'm mistaken I think he's just pointing out that there are still meaningful questions about the human brain, and our experiences which it produces, that remain unanswered.

When Joe says:
Quote:
Without using the word consciousness, explain to me what factor of the functioning, normal mental operation level of the human mind you think "science" doesn't understand or can't account for?
He seems to be implying that neuroscience and psychology are complete. Which is nonsense. Now, I says seems, because it's also clear that's not what he meant, that he's simply saying that there's nothing supernatural going on, and I do think we have very good evidence that he's right.

But somehow those two ideas are being conflated, even by him, otherwise he wouldn't be arguing with RY after RY said:
Quote:
I'm an atheist who has never believed in a soul and believe that we'll develop artificial intelligence, including consciousness, in a computer.
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:35 AM   #61
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Thanks, Roborama, for saving me from typing some of this.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
And basically everything is just particles and fields interacting. But neither of those things implies that there are no interesting questions or surprises left.
Yeah, that explanation was definitely true but still incredibly vacuous. Short of nuclear reactions, what theprestige said could apply to everything else.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
He seems to be implying that neuroscience and psychology are complete. Which is nonsense. Now, I says seems, because it's also clear that's not what he meant, that he's simply saying that there's nothing supernatural going on, and I do think we have very good evidence that he's right.
This is a recurring problem on this forum, especially on this subject. It can't be discussed because it gets shutdown with people lying about anyone who claims neuroscience is complete enough to explain memory, thought, or consciousness. There was a recent thread that went 400 posts before any dualists or "soulists" showed up, yet that didn't stop the accusations of being a theist or the one line zingers ("mind is what the brain does") that only make sense to say to theists.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
But somehow those two ideas are being conflated, even by him, otherwise he wouldn't be arguing with RY after RY said:
Yeah, that's what you get on this forum. People who can only argue against you by completely misrepresenting you.
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Old 16th October 2018, 08:59 AM   #62
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ServiceSoon, do you basically want to compare identical people to each other in the hope that they will in some way behave differently from each other?
The conclusion being that the difference cannot have a material origin and therefore consciousness must have a supernatural aspect.


Definitely impossible to do in practice.
The best way to do it would be to use a either a matter replicator or a time machine, or both.

Even though consciousness is not understood it's really no less mysterious than many other things neural networks can do. There is absolutely no reason to suspect any supernatural input.


Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yes, of course. But as an explanation for human memory, that's a totally pathetic non-starter. Do you have an explanation or not?
Presumably in a similar way that a neural network can look at a bunch of photos and memorize them so that it can fill in the details in a blurry photo from memory, even though it has not seen that specific photo before.
Or the same way it can learn to control a bipedal robot and learn to balance itself and to walk by trail and error, or play chess, even discovering brand new strategies never seen before.


If simple small NNs can do that, imagine what one with a 100 billion cells, each with about 10,000 connections, arranged in who knows how many specialized modules and honed over millions of years of evolution is capable of.
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Old 16th October 2018, 09:30 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
What specifically is impossible to achieve?
You need 30 genetically identical subjects raised in identical environments and with identical life experiences. Even if that were possible to some arbitrary level of precision, you're investigating consciousness so (I dare to presume) the test subjects ought to be capable of consciousness. If that does not mean humans, what does it mean?

Quote:
Agreed! I am not attempting to measure something. I cannot measure something if Iím unaware of its existence. At this stage Iím not interested in speculating what that something might be. This experiment was designed to determine if that something exist.
You hope to infer the existence of some unidentified effect by measuring other phenomena. Exactly which phenomena are relevant indicators of a difference between subjects' consciousness? How do you choose what differences to look for and how do you prove their relevance?
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Old 16th October 2018, 09:56 AM   #64
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Just to add, you cannot have two identical people. You cannot even have two identical cells, never mind a multi-cellular organism.
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Old 16th October 2018, 09:59 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
What specifically is impossible to achieve?

Agreed! I am not attempting to measure something. I cannot measure something if Iím unaware of its existence. At this stage Iím not interested in speculating what that something might be. This experiment was designed to determine if that something exist.

How can you determine that something exists without defining characteristics by which it could be detected?

Are you attempting some sort of ďGod of the gapsĒ argument?
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Old 16th October 2018, 10:43 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Please explain why it is that Langton's ant invariably builds a highway regardless of starting conditions? Can you do that?
I've never seen this before. I appreciate your introducing me to it. I believe that the 'highway' pattern is an artifact of the programming. The pattern may have been an unintentional result of the programming, but it a result none-the-less.

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
No, but memory is simple in concept. Store and recall information.

Hans
Memory is conceptualized as a three step process similar to computers; encode, storage, & retrieve. Accepting those assumptions for the process of memory means that plants have memory. If memory is implicated in consciousness then plants deserve this most elusive designation.
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Old 16th October 2018, 10:47 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
........This experiment was designed to determine if that something exist.
Erm...........no. Everyone saw through that from the very first post. This experiment, if you can call it that, was designed to show that something you want to exist, exists.
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Old 16th October 2018, 11:13 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Memory is conceptualized as a three step process similar to computers; encode, storage, & retrieve. Accepting those assumptions for the process of memory means that plants have memory. If memory is implicated in consciousness then plants deserve this most elusive designation.
Memory is a part of consciousness, but it does not indicate consciousness. Nuts and bolds are parts of cars, but they don't indicate cars.

I can design a simple two transistor circuit for you that has memory.

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Old 16th October 2018, 11:25 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Biology of consciousness is old news. Quantum Biology may be the future. I wasn't aware of this area of inquiry until today. SG provided the keywords I used to find it.
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Old 16th October 2018, 11:33 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yes, of course. But as an explanation for human memory, that's a totally pathetic non-starter. Do you have an explanation or not?
What's that have to do with consciousness? Computers have memory.
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Old 17th October 2018, 01:05 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Erm...........no. Everyone saw through that from the very first post. This experiment, if you can call it that, was designed to show that something you want to exist, exists.
I think what everyone suspects is that the experiment is designed to give the appearance that something you want to exists, exists, whether it does or not. If all variables appear to be controlled, then any difference in outcome will be attributed to some mysterious other factor; but in reality it's impossible to control all variables sufficiently precisely to make all outcomes identical in a chaotic system, so it's more or less assured that a positive result will be claimed.

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Old 17th October 2018, 05:13 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What's that have to do with consciousness? Computers have memory.
Because consciousness as it is used in threads like this doesn't exist.

It's a vague term of vague vaguness that boils down to "I want magic to be real so I'm more than a sack of meat and bones driven by electrical impulses" so "Just keep screaming 'Explain this!' and 'Explain that!' about things that aren't even related" is used.

If this discussion picks up steam in a few pages the usual suspects will be in here screaming about materialism and subtext will become the text and will then go nowhere.
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Old 17th October 2018, 09:27 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I'm an atheist who has never believed in a soul and believe that we'll develop artificial intelligence, including consciousness, in a computer. So try again.

Cite the explanation if you have it. You can't, there isn't one. FFS we don't even know the mechanism that stores memories, and that's part of the simple problem.
Im existentialist agnostic who believes that scientist will invent an operational definition for consciousness, create AI which mimics those characteristics, and then claim to have created a conscious entity.
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Old 17th October 2018, 09:56 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
I believe that the proposed experiment is unworkable due to the effects of chaos. The end result will be so extremely sensitive to the initial conditions and uncontrollable minute differences between the subjects that it will be impossible to detect the effects any other influences. The approach is all wrong.

Added: Say you run the experiment as you propose, controlling as best you can for differences between subjects and as a result you find minute differences in the pH of their urine samples. What would that tell you about consciousness? What would your next step be?
Insufficient data to make any determination. The outcomes of such an experiment are numerous. We could speculate, but it would make more sense to conduct it. The data may or may not be usable.

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
There are many different definitions of consciousness, none seem to really cover it. This has lead people who would like there to be a "soul" to claim that this is sign of such a thing.
I'm not sure who these people are, however, I am not one of them.
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Old 17th October 2018, 11:58 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Insufficient data to make any determination. The outcomes of such an experiment are numerous. We could speculate, but it would make more sense to conduct it. The data may or may not be usable.
I don't think that you have convinced anyone of the value of conducting this experiment. If you are wealthy enough to afford to finance it then you are free to give it a go.
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Old 17th October 2018, 01:43 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Insufficient data to make any determination. The outcomes of such an experiment are numerous. We could speculate, but it would make more sense to conduct it. The data may or may not be usable.

Your experiment is completely impossible and won't prove anything in any case.
You aren't even the same person 5 minutes apart and could as likely make different choices in the same situation.


If you would like an idea of how the brain works, I read a pretty good book a few years ago, Incognito. It might be a few years old already and the field has progressed in leaps and bounds, but it's an easy and fascinating read.
I think we will eventually, probably, figure out brains and consciousness, not by studying a meat brain, but by studying a replica modeled on a computer.
Then we will finally realize computers also have souls.
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Old 17th October 2018, 02:07 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
I've never seen this before. I appreciate your introducing me to it. I believe that the 'highway' pattern is an artifact of the programming. The pattern may have been an unintentional result of the programming, but it a result none-the-less.
That is so wrong it is amusing. You can do this in the real world and get the same result.

It matters not in the slightest whether you do it in a computer or on your living room floor.

Why do you not understand this?

Or is it simply an excuse of convenience?

Get it into your head. Langton's Ant behaves the same way regardless of whether or not it is modeled on a computer or a floor.

It boggles the mind that you did not comprehend this. You can do it with playing cards on a floor FFS.

Computers and programming is merely a means of speeding it up.

The claim that it is a programming artifact is risible.

Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
Memory is conceptualized as a three step process similar to computers; encode, storage, & retrieve. Accepting those assumptions for the process of memory means that plants have memory. If memory is implicated in consciousness then plants deserve this most elusive designation.
Every word you just said is wrong.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 07:23 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Just to add, you cannot have two identical people. You cannot even have two identical cells, never mind a multi-cellular organism.
I was planning to jump on this one. It appears from the first post that the proposed experiment is inherently impossible, and thus drops back into the usual speculative realm where most consciousness questions come to rest.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 02:21 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Humans behaviour is obviously chaotic in the sense of being very sensitive to initial conditions. Which makes your suggested experiment basically impossible, or at least impossible to do in a way that would offer meaningful results.
What if the subjects of the experiment were unicellular organisms?

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, most likely this is one reason our increasingly complex computers don't suddenly develop consciousness, and probably never will: They are carefully built to be as deterministic as possible. If they do show chaotic signs, it is a malfunction (or a Windows feature ).

Not so with the biological brain. It has evolved to handle uncertainty. One trait of sentience is the ability to make useful decisions based on insufficient data. An animal in the wild can rarely afford to wait for sufficient data to show up (yes, that lion WAS coming for me), it must try to make the best possible decision with what it haves, and it fills in the blanks with previous experiences and pure fantasy.

I have worked with automatic routing algorithms. It sometimes happens that two paths are equally valid. It is then useful to program the router to make a random decision. It is not unlikely that biological brains do the same.

Thus, even theoretically identical beings might make different decisions in identical situation.

The OP (and others searching for the soul in similar ways) would also be wise to ask themselves: Is the sole purpose of the putative soul really just to add variability?

Hans
I'm not searching for the soul. I will still answer your question. Theologians believe that each individual persons soul is unique. If I accept that presupposition it would be self evident that individuality would present as a measurable variability.

Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
You need 30 genetically identical subjects raised in identical environments and with identical life experiences. Even if that were possible to some arbitrary level of precision, you're investigating consciousness so (I dare to presume) the test subjects ought to be capable of consciousness. If that does not mean humans, what does it mean?
I cannot answer your question because consciousness hasn't been defined in any meaningful way. I'm not in position to speculate intelligently on that.

Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
You hope to infer the existence of some unidentified effect by measuring other phenomena. Exactly which phenomena are relevant indicators of a difference between subjects' consciousness? How do you choose what differences to look for and how do you prove their relevance?
I'm unsure which phenomena would be different. The results would be shared and dialogue would help answer what differences were relevant indicators.

Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
That is so wrong it is amusing. You can do this in the real world and get the same result.

It matters not in the slightest whether you do it in a computer or on your living room floor.

Why do you not understand this?

Or is it simply an excuse of convenience?

Get it into your head. Langton's Ant behaves the same way regardless of whether or not it is modeled on a computer or a floor.

It boggles the mind that you did not comprehend this. You can do it with playing cards on a floor FFS.

Computers and programming is merely a means of speeding it up.

The claim that it is a programming artifact is risible.

Every word you just said is wrong.
Programming can be described as a set of instructions that when followed have a specific result. A human or computer can follow those instructions in the same manner; the result will be the same.

There is no mystery to me that the result of the same instructions are independent of the medium used to carryout those instructions. The highway pattern is a result of the instructions, that is to say an artifact of the instructions/programming.

If I am completely overlooking something please share.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 09:30 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
I'm not searching for the soul. I will still answer your question. Theologians believe that each individual persons soul is unique. If I accept that presupposition it would be self evident that individuality would present as a measurable variability.

Then you don't need to do your experiment.
It is estimated that the average human cell contains 1014 atoms.
Even if you could create two cells with the exact same number of atoms (impossible) and arrange every single atom in the exact same position in relation to every other (totally impossible) they would literally diverge and not be identical any more in the minutest fraction of a second.
Take just one of the estimated 75000 human enzymes, Carbonic anhydrase, it's one of the fastest and can hydrate 106 molecules of CO2 per second.
Chemical reactions happen really fast.
All individual cells are unique.
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