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Author Topic:   How is Natural selection a mechanism?
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 106 of 191 (815921)
07-26-2017 12:03 PM


I can give two examples here of the fundamental privacy of consciousness here. Apologies if this becomes a long post.

If you are not from the UK you may not have heard of Harold Shipman but he is considered our most prolific serial killer who is thought to have killed hundreds of mainly old ladies by overdoses.

However his wife always stuck by him declaring his innocence until he died from suicide in prison.

So Prudence Shipman went to bed every night next to a mass murderer but she had no access to this information hidden in his mind. He must have had hundreds if not thousands of memories relating to the killings floating around.

This is the absurdity that arises from mental privacy is that we communicate a veneer of our mind through language that can mask immense diversity.

The other example is that my elder brother has been paralysed by MS for many years where he can only blink or slightly shake is head and I cared for him for several years in the past when I lived with him for around 6 years. During this Period and to the present I never assumed I knew what it was like to be my brother and I find people who second guess in this situation impose their believes on the ill person.

To be a good carer you are supposed to ask what the person you are caring through wants exactly. You can never assume you know better than them. With my own mental health issues it has been really painful combatting peoples prejudices about why you are how you are and that includes damaging interactions with the mental health services.

So I think an excess of (alleged) objectivity can lead to just ignoring the role and value of subjective input. It is implausible we can replace symbolic language with pointing at brain scans or subsume consciousness under a physicalist paradigm.


Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 7282
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 107 of 191 (815922)
07-26-2017 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 12:03 PM


AndrewPD writes:

I can give two examples here of the fundamental privacy of consciousness here. Apologies if this becomes a long post.

I really don't see what this has to do with the topic of the thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by AndrewPD, posted 07-26-2017 12:03 PM AndrewPD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by AndrewPD, posted 07-26-2017 1:35 PM Taq has responded

  
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 108 of 191 (815931)
07-26-2017 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Taq
07-26-2017 12:14 PM


Taq writes:

I really don't see what this has to do with the topic of the thread.

It is challenging the idea that consciousness is an emergent property, that can be readily explained eventually and derived from natural selection.

I don't agree that science has access to other people's consciousness to examine it objectively like cell mechanisms. Here I am highlighting the problem of accessing consciousness in order to study it and reduce it to a mechanistic by product and the weakness of neural correlations as access to mental content.

Therefore the scope of evolutionary explanation is limited.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Taq, posted 07-26-2017 12:14 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Tangle, posted 07-26-2017 2:07 PM AndrewPD has not yet responded
 Message 110 by Taq, posted 07-26-2017 3:58 PM AndrewPD has responded
 Message 111 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2017 5:41 PM AndrewPD has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5249
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 109 of 191 (815932)
07-26-2017 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 1:35 PM


Andrew writes:

It is challenging the idea that consciousness is an emergent property that can be readily explained eventually and derived from natural selection.

It's not readily explained; science simply concludes that consciousness evolved naturally like all other features, functions and behaviours. That's the working hypothesis which stands until disproven.

So far the only other mechanism we have is goddidit - which we reject.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 7282
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 110 of 191 (815943)
07-26-2017 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 1:35 PM


AndrewPD writes:

I don't agree that science has access to other people's consciousness to examine it objectively like cell mechanisms. Here I am highlighting the problem of accessing consciousness in order to study it and reduce it to a mechanistic by product and the weakness of neural correlations as access to mental content.

The correlation is pretty clear. No brain = no consciousness.

The brain is explained by embryonic development. Embryonic development is explained by the genome. The genome is explained by natural selection and evolution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by AndrewPD, posted 07-26-2017 1:35 PM AndrewPD has responded

Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10123
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 111 of 191 (815948)
07-26-2017 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 1:35 PM


It is challenging the idea that consciousness is an emergent property, that can be readily explained eventually and derived from natural selection.

You haven't made any such argument. Your thoughts are private because there is no outward indication of what goes on inside your head. That should not be all that surprising given that your skull is opaque. That condition would be the same whether or not consciousness was an emergent property.

Get a better argument.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I was thinking as long as I have my hands up … they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking — they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong. -- Charles Kinsey

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by AndrewPD, posted 07-26-2017 1:35 PM AndrewPD has responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 114 by RAZD, posted 07-26-2017 8:25 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 112 of 191 (815950)
07-26-2017 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by NoNukes
07-26-2017 5:41 PM


NoNukes writes:

You haven't made any such argument. Your thoughts are private because there is no outward indication of what goes on inside your head. That should not be all that surprising given that your skull is opaque. That condition would be the same whether or not consciousness was an emergent property.

Get a better argument.

It's nothing to do with the skull or failure to access the brain and neurons etc it is that consciousness is private subjective and only directly accessible one person the experiencing subject. It is not accessible in principle to any other than the self.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2017 5:41 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by NoNukes, posted 07-31-2017 1:40 PM AndrewPD has responded

    
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 113 of 191 (815951)
07-26-2017 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Taq
07-26-2017 3:58 PM


Taq writes:

The correlation is pretty clear. No brain = no consciousness

You never have access to anyone's consciousness other than your own. Looking at someone's behaviour or their brain is not observing their consciousness.

If I am in pain you can never experience it and looking at my brain or body is not accessing my pain.

There are lots of phenomena that are dependent on one another but do not fully describe the individual phenomena. You are assuming consciousness can only arise in brains and in certain types of brains. What properties of the brain make it the only type of thing that could be associated with or cause consciousness.

And by consciousness here I explicitly mean the experiencer who is subject to experiences, the subjective perspective and so. In consciousness studies there has been a lot argument about not restricting consciousness to brains and proposing artificial consciousness and consciousness in animals with different nervous systems.

Nevertheless I don't see how evolution explains this property or predicts or ensures it.

I am sure natural selection would select something as rich as consciousness.....select it after it began to exist for no reason as a free disposition from nature. It seems nature and chemistry/physics gives a lot of free gifts to evolution for it to work with. Hence the primeval soup of treasures.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Taq, posted 07-26-2017 3:58 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Modulous, posted 07-26-2017 10:51 PM AndrewPD has not yet responded
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19309
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 114 of 191 (815954)
07-26-2017 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by NoNukes
07-26-2017 5:41 PM


arguement from the gaps of knowledge
It is challenging the idea that consciousness is an emergent property, that can be readily explained eventually and derived from natural selection.

You haven't made any such argument. Your thoughts are private because there is no outward indication of what goes on inside your head. That should not be all that surprising given that your skull is opaque. That condition would be the same whether or not consciousness was an emergent property.

Get a better argument.

It looks like AndrewPD is trying to make the argument that consciousness is god-given rather than an emergent property of the brain due to our current lack of knowledge re the connection between brain function and consciousness.

This ignores all the various levels of consciousness in other organisms that show it is a difference in degree rather than a difference in kind/type/category.

Fail.

Enjoy


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by our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by NoNukes, posted 07-26-2017 5:41 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 7537
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 115 of 191 (815959)
07-26-2017 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 7:23 PM


Nevertheless I don't see how evolution explains this property or predicts or ensures it.

There is no Theory of Consciousness. Without a consensus on what Consciousness is, what causes causes consciousness - it is not surprising that we don't have a specific answer as to how it came to be. The question then is, so what?

I am sure natural selection would select something as rich as consciousness

How can you be sure?

For all we know what was being selected was higher order thinking. The meta cognition of thinking about thinking and thinking about thinking about thinking - which in turn may have arose as a function of social need - understanding what others are thinking and what they think you are thinking and what they think you think they are thinking. Which might lead to a state of awareness about ones self that we have come to call consciousness.

Thus - consciousness itself is just a consequence that arose because other properties were being selected for that resulted in it. How can you be sure this is not the case? Since we cannot agree on a Theory of Consciousness - how can we say it isn't a spandrel?

It seems nature and chemistry/physics gives a lot of free gifts to evolution for it to work with.

Looking at the epic pile of dead bodies that are left behind makes me think maybe 'free' isn't the right word here. There are gifts, but in order to 'find' them - requires a lot of wandering about in 'genespace' - and a consequently large number of deaths - so they are certainly paid for.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 7282
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 116 of 191 (815990)
07-27-2017 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 7:23 PM


AndrewPD writes:

You never have access to anyone's consciousness other than your own.

You can't determine if someone has a consciousness? Really?

You are assuming consciousness can only arise in brains and in certain types of brains. What properties of the brain make it the only type of thing that could be associated with or cause consciousness.

I am making no such assumption. What I am doing is OBSERVING that human consciousness arises from the human brain. No human brain, no human consciousness.

In consciousness studies there has been a lot argument about not restricting consciousness to brains and proposing artificial consciousness and consciousness in animals with different nervous systems.

We are still talking about physical biological structures that are produced by embryonic development. Embryonic development is controlled by the genome, and the genome is a product of natural selection and evolution.

Nevertheless I don't see how evolution explains this property or predicts or ensures it.

You can lead a horse to water . . .

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11853
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 117 of 191 (815995)
07-27-2017 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by AndrewPD
07-26-2017 7:23 PM


You never have access to anyone's consciousness other than your own.

Uh, sure I do:

"Hey man, how are you feeling?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by AndrewPD, posted 07-26-2017 7:23 PM AndrewPD has not yet responded

  
AndrewPD
Member (Idle past 30 days)
Posts: 133
From: Bristol
Joined: 07-23-2009


Message 118 of 191 (816061)
07-28-2017 2:09 PM


Have you discussed this list on here?

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php

"Signatories of the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism must either hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences; or they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine. Signatories must also agree with the following statement:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

https://dissentfromdarwin.org/sign-the-list/


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 6037
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 119 of 191 (816062)
07-28-2017 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by AndrewPD
07-28-2017 2:09 PM


Scientific dissent? Bah!
Signatories of the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism...

You do realize, don't you, that "Belief gets in the way of learning."

Those who accept a belief in creationism can easily compartmentalize all of their scientific training and "believe six impossible things before breakfast."

When they are applying the creationist "method" (belief) to things they are no longer doing science. To do science one must follow the scientific method, which is the exact opposite.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other points of view--William F. Buckley Jr.


This message is a reply to:
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JonF
Member
Posts: 4000
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 120 of 191 (816065)
07-28-2017 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by AndrewPD
07-28-2017 2:09 PM


Science isn't settled by lists. But any "evolutionist" could sign that with a clear conscience.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/...entific_Dissent_From_Darwinism

quote:
The listed affiliations and areas of expertise of the signatories have also been criticized,[1][12] with many signatories coming from wholly unrelated fields of academia, such as aviation and engineering, computer science and meteorology.[38]

In addition, the list was signed by only about 0.01% of scientists in the relevant fields. According to the National Science Foundation, there were approximately 955,300 biological scientists in the United States in 1999.[39] Only about 1/4 of the approximately 700 Darwin Dissenters in 2007 are biologists, according to Kenneth Chang of the New York Times.[12] Approximately 40% of the Darwin Dissenters are not identified as residing in the United States, so in 2007, there were about 105 US biologists among the Darwin Dissenters, representing about 0.01% of the total number of US biologists that existed in 1999. The theory of evolution is overwhelmingly accepted throughout the scientific community.[21] Professor Brian Alters of McGill University, an expert in the creation-evolution controversy, is quoted in an article published by the NIH as stating that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution".[40]

The list has been criticized by many organizations and publications for lacking any true experts in the relevant fields of research, primarily biology. Critics have noted that of the 105 "scientists" listed on the original 2001 petition, fewer than 20% were biologists, with few of the remainder having the necessary expertise to contribute meaningfully to a discussion of the role of natural selection in evolution.[11][12]

Critics have also noted that the wording and advertising of the original statement was, and remains, misleading,[11] and that a review of the signatories suggested many doubt evolution due to religious, rather than scientific beliefs.[12] Robert T. Pennock notes that rather than being a "broad dissent", the statement's wording is "very narrow, omitting any mention of the evolutionary thesis of common descent, human evolution or any of the elements of evolutionary theory except for the Darwinian mechanism, and even that was mentioned in a very limited and rather vague manner." He concludes that it is not in fact a "radical statement".[41]


Note especially the last paragraph.

Of course any discussion of that meaningless list would be incomplete without Project Steve. 1,417 scientists have signed:

quote:
Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.

And each and every one is named Steve or some variant, including the renowned Professor Steve S. Steve . Approximately 1% of scientists are named Steve, so the signatories represent only a tiny fraction of scientists who would sign that statement.

(In case you haven't figured it out, the list is a joke mocking the foolish DI list and others creationists have produced.)


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