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Author Topic:   What we must accept if we accept evolution
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 196 of 318 (281782)
01-26-2006 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by Faith
01-26-2006 2:57 PM


Re: one more baby step.
RR still seems to hold that the mind is incorporeal.

I guess I was thinking of gradations from primitive nervous systems to conscious brains. Life began and then started to get more organized. Nervous systems developed, got more complex and brains developed, then the brain got even more developed and some animals now have consciousness (not just humans). It's been a long and many stepped path and I would not know where to put my finger and say here is where the mind/consciousness came into existence, but it has.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 2:57 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 3:36 PM kjsimons has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 197 of 318 (281784)
01-26-2006 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 196 by kjsimons
01-26-2006 3:27 PM


Re: one more baby step.
RR still seems to hold that the mind is incorporeal.

Yes, HE does, but he's saying the ToE suggests something else, and that's what you just now agreed with, and so did sidelined in his last post. But then I haven't been having an easy time of following this thread so I could be wrong. I don't understand how mind could in any sense be called "corporeal" OR could have evolved by the processes of the ToE, but you and Sidelined apparently think it can be.

How can the mind be corporeal at all? I'd ask you and Sidelined. IN order to say that don't you have to be able to locate it, measure it?

If it is INcorporeal how can its existence be accounted for by the biological processes of the ToE at all? Some have asserted that this has simply happened somehow or other, but again I haven't been able to follow all the reasoning so if a coherent idea of HOW it happened has been given I've managed to miss it.

I guess I was thinking of gradations from primitive nervous systems to conscious brains. Life began and then started to get more organized. Nervous systems developed, got more complex and brains developed, then the brain got even more developed and some animals now have consciousness (not just humans). It's been a long and many stepped path and I would not know where to put my finger and say here is where the mind/consciousness came into existence, but it has.

That's what I thought you meant, but there had to be a beginning of it somewhere along that line whether anyone knows where it was or not.

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-26-2006 03:40 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by kjsimons, posted 01-26-2006 3:27 PM kjsimons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 198 by kjsimons, posted 01-26-2006 3:42 PM Faith has responded

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 198 of 318 (281785)
01-26-2006 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 197 by Faith
01-26-2006 3:36 PM


Re: one more baby step.
That's what I thought you meant, but there had to be a beginning of it somewhere along that line whether anyone knows where it was or not.

This is the way all but the simplest features in living things came about, gradations from point A to point B, but nowhere along the line could you point and say here is where the change happened.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 197 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 3:36 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 199 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 3:50 PM kjsimons has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 199 of 318 (281787)
01-26-2006 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by kjsimons
01-26-2006 3:42 PM


Re: one more baby step.
This is the way all but the simplest features in living things came about, gradations from point A to point B, but nowhere along the line could you point and say here is where the change happened

But the point where mind happened is crucial because it is a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about. All anyone is able to say about it so far sounds magical -- Well it happened, so there! Yes it did, it exists, but it couldn't have by the processes of evolution, and if you think it could have you have to say more than that it did. It should count as an unanswered argument against the ToE.

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-26-2006 03:52 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by kjsimons, posted 01-26-2006 3:42 PM kjsimons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 200 by kjsimons, posted 01-26-2006 4:06 PM Faith has responded
 Message 201 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 4:27 PM Faith has responded

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 200 of 318 (281790)
01-26-2006 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 199 by Faith
01-26-2006 3:50 PM


Re: one more baby step.
But the point where mind happened is crucial because it is a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about

This is the crux of the issue. I and probably many others here, don't see the mind (whatever it is) this way. I see the mind/consciousness as an attribute of a very developed brain and therefore corporeal.

Yes it did, it exists, but it couldn't have by the processes of evolution

Why not?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 3:50 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 4:42 PM kjsimons has not yet responded

Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 201 of 318 (281791)
01-26-2006 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 199 by Faith
01-26-2006 3:50 PM


Re: one more baby step.
Faith writes:

But the point where mind happened is crucial because it is a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about.

Hi, Faith.

Your assertion seems to assume its conclusion.

It seems clear, for example, that self-aware consciousness--the realization that the chimp in the mirror with the red hat is me, as evidenced by my chimp hand reaching for it immediately upon viewing the mirror image--arose before human consciousness.

It is certainly a more complex phenomenon than instinctive behaviors, but the question of whether it is "a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about" is another facet of the issue being debated.

All anyone is able to say about it so far sounds magical -- Well it happened, so there! Yes it did, it exists, but it couldn't have by the processes of evolution,...

I see no reason why not. Could you tell me why not? Robin has also neglected to explain why a sensation of incorporeality could not evolve in biological systems if it conferred a fitness advantage--though I am not asking you to defend his perspective.

and if you think it could have you have to say more than that it did. It should count as an unanswered argument against the ToE.

We can change the mind in predictable ways by changing the brain, and we can destroy the mind by destroying the brain. fMRI imaging tells us that every major function of the brain examined so far has a corresponding brain state, a correspondence so close that researchers can often determine the nature of the subject's thoughts with startling accuracy.

The brain clearly appears to be a aggregate of biological systems and structures, with multiple complex sets of inhibition and disinhibition.

In animals we see greater or lesser degrees of self-aware consciousness corresponding to greater or lesser degrees of brain complexity. We see that earlier hominids had brains somewhat similar to ours but simpler; we see that our close cousins (as determined by DNA and morphology) have the brains that are most like ours--and minds most like ours.

If you have an explanation that sounds less magical than the ToE, along with supporting observations for it, then that would indeed be a challenge to the ToE. I suspect you do not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 3:50 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 203 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 4:45 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded
 Message 204 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 5:02 PM Omnivorous has responded
 Message 205 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 5:03 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 202 of 318 (281796)
01-26-2006 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by kjsimons
01-26-2006 4:06 PM


Re: one more baby step.
But the point where mind happened is crucial because it is a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about

This is the crux of the issue. I and probably many others here, don't see the mind (whatever it is) this way. I see the mind/consciousness as an attribute of a very developed brain and therefore corporeal.

But, to repeat, if it is corporeal it should be locatable and measurable and this it is not. You merely ASSUME it is corporeal because that is consistent with the biological processes you ASSUME it arose from. But there is no evidence anywhere of the corporeality of the mind.

I admit I got lost trying to follow this thread. Some of it made me quite dizzy. But maybe some attempt to define things here and there would help.

Yes it did, it exists, but it couldn't have by the processes of evolution

Why not?

Here I think I've failed to identify my own assumption clearly, which is that mind IS incorporeal, and that being the case it couldn't have come about through the processes of evolution. This is merely to say what Robin has been saying all along, that there's no way to see how the incorporeal could arise from the corporeal.

These are the competing logical constructs it seems to me:

1) Mind has to be corporeal because according to the ToE it had to arise out of biological processes. A couple of you have said this in the last few posts. So you now have the job of proving this. You can't merely state it. Mind does not have any corporeal properties. You can't locate it or measure it. So how can it be corporeal?

2) Some who recognize that mind is incorporeal say that it couldn't have come out of biological processes for that reason.

3) Some I think have said that it is both incorporeal and has evolved out of biological processes but I couldn't follow that argument.

{abe: emphasize logical alternatives}

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-26-2006 11:34 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by kjsimons, posted 01-26-2006 4:06 PM kjsimons has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by sidelined, posted 01-27-2006 2:20 AM Faith has responded
 Message 210 by nwr, posted 01-27-2006 2:35 AM Faith has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 203 of 318 (281797)
01-26-2006 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by Omnivorous
01-26-2006 4:27 PM


Re: one more baby step.
It is certainly a more complex phenomenon than instinctive behaviors, but the question of whether it is "a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about" is another facet of the issue being debated.

This is true. I wasn't being clear. I should merely have stated it as my assumption at that point from which my conclusion was drawn. I wasn't arguing the assumption at that point but yes, it is also under debate. I think I laid out the different positions in my last post -- (to kjsimons?)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 4:27 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 204 of 318 (281801)
01-26-2006 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by Omnivorous
01-26-2006 4:27 PM


Re: one more baby step.
It seems clear, for example, that self-aware consciousness--the realization that the chimp in the mirror with the red hat is me, as evidenced by my chimp hand reaching for it immediately upon viewing the mirror image--arose before human consciousness.

It is certainly a more complex phenomenon than instinctive behaviors, but the question of whether it is "a different order of things than the biological processes that supposedly brought it about" is another facet of the issue being debated.

I wasn't limiting this to human mentality. I meant ALL manifestations of mind, or consciousness, as far down the food chain as you want to go. KJSimons was saying that there's no way to locate the point of its origin and I was saying yes but it did HAVE a point of origin -- maybe instinct of some sort should be included in it or maybe not, but wherever you identify its origin it is something that happened after the evolutionary processes were underway. And the question is how?

All anyone is able to say about it so far sounds magical -- Well it happened, so there! Yes it did, it exists, but it couldn't have by the processes of evolution,...

I see no reason why not. Could you tell me why not? Robin has also neglected to explain why a sensation of incorporeality could not evolve in biological systems if it conferred a fitness advantage--though I am not asking you to defend his perspective.

First, it's not a "sensation of" incorporeality. Incorporeality is an objective "quality" of mind. You can't locate it or measure it so it isn't corporeal. Second, we're trying to define WHAT it is, which is a different consideration than its fitness, as far as WHY it might have evolved if it did. So Robin doesn't need to explain WHY. That's not the question. The question is how COULD this awfully real and yet incorporeal part of us, the mind, or soul, feelings and so on, the INCORPOREAL SUBSTANCE of the thing as it were (which gets paradoxical but forget that for the moment)-- how could biological physical processes EVER toss up such a phenomenon???? You can't get blood out of a turnip, or spirit out of earth. Or since you say you can, SHOW US HOW.

You can't just say "I see no reason why not" as you just did. It IS what the debate is ABOUT. As I already said, as follows:

and if you think it could have you have to say more than that it did. It should count as an unanswered argument against the ToE.

We can change the mind in predictable ways by changing the brain, and we can destroy the mind by destroying the brain. fMRI imaging tells us that every major function of the brain examined so far has a corresponding brain state, a correspondence so close that researchers can often determine the nature of the subject's thoughts with startling accuracy.

OK, but the mind is still not corporeal. All you are measuring is its correlations with its physical instrument, the brain, not its substance.

The brain clearly appears to be a aggregate of biological systems and structures, with multiple complex sets of inhibition and disinhibition. In animals we see greater or lesser degrees of self-aware consciousness corresponding to greater or lesser degrees of brain complexity. We see that earlier hominids had brains somewhat similar to ours but simpler; we see that our close cousins (as determined by DNA and morphology) have the brains that are most like ours--and minds most like ours.

Yes, but evolution is not the only explanation for this.

If you have an explanation that sounds less magical than the ToE, along with supporting observations for it, then that would indeed be a challenge to the ToE. I suspect you do not.

No doubt the explanations are problematic on both sides, but the scientists don't have one at all that I can see. What I meant by magical was the lack of interest on the part of the scientifically minded here in thinking about HOW it could have arisen given its incorporeality, which is of a different order than corporeality. You simply say abracadabra there it is, and feel no need to figure out HOW it could have happened. More ploddingly prosaic souls, perhaps, look at the thing and say couldn't happen.

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-26-2006 05:18 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 4:27 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 207 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 11:16 PM Faith has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 205 of 318 (281802)
01-26-2006 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by Omnivorous
01-26-2006 4:27 PM


Re: one more baby step.
sorry, duplicate post

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-26-2006 05:06 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 4:27 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3142 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 206 of 318 (281821)
01-26-2006 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by robinrohan
01-26-2006 1:44 PM


Re: Determinism
Java-Man

quote:
Evolution is a good example of a non-deterministic process. If evolution were deterministic, then given current conditions I could determine the exact range of animals that would evolve from my pet dog over the next 100,000 years.

Java-Man

quote:
A process can only be described a deterministic if you can say that for a given set of conditions a given outcome will arise. It doesn't make any sense to call a process deterministic just because the outcome had a set of physical causes.

message # - 189
Now Sewall Wright when making the argument against Fisher’s stoichology, expressed a method wherein evolution was deterministic in the sense that SW argued TO specific outcomes (not as correctly commented by JM as if only the “set of physical causes” were). So to me translation in space and form-making as raised methodically by Croizat (which as a methodical thought process that fails to be done but in New Zeland, does not remand obvious denial of creationism but only removal of useless subtilties) continues to fail to be recognized not because some form of ID or creationism is outpacing the current best process of science, but because a certainly label able tradition in evolutionary theory (both my grandfather and Wright studied under Zelensky) are being out patterned. The marks of the problem only find more publicity in simplistic popular disagreement of creation and evolution rather than the actual thought process that makes the debate continue.

Once we have the liberty to say how God created a watermelon we might have the humanity to change the bias to a neturality in our schools of higher education.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 01-26-2006 06:57 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by robinrohan, posted 01-26-2006 1:44 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1077 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 207 of 318 (281865)
01-26-2006 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Faith
01-26-2006 5:02 PM


Meating of minds
Hi again, Faith. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I believe many unexpressed assumptions distinguish our perspectives on these questions. I believe the brain generates the mind; I wonder if your reference to the brain as the "physical instrument" of the mind does not mean you see things the other way around, with the activities of the mind causing alterations in brain activity? From my perspective, the mind has no existence beyond its manifestation by the brain, just as the electromagnetic field depends on the current.

To me

First, it's not a "sensation of" incorporeality. Incorporeality is an objective "quality" of mind. You can't locate it or measure it so it isn't corporeal.

doesn't make any sense at all. If we cannot locate or measure it, then how can the term "objective" apply at all? How can anything "objective" be said about the mind? Our primary evidence of mind is experiential and privileged.

I would prefer the term "interiority" to incorporeal. My experience of mind does not suggest incorporeality to me. I am "in here."

Second, we're trying to define WHAT it is, which is a different consideration than its fitness, as far as WHY it might have evolved if it did. So Robin doesn't need to explain WHY. That's not the question. The question is how COULD this awfully real and yet incorporeal part of us, the mind, or soul, feelings and so on, the INCORPOREAL SUBSTANCE of the thing as it were (which gets paradoxical but forget that for the moment)-- how could biological physical processes EVER toss up such a phenomenon???? You can't get blood out of a turnip, or spirit out of earth. Or since you say you can, SHOW US HOW.

I feel that in the case of mind, the how and why of its emergence is the easy part. I described correspondences between brain complexity and degrees of self-awareness/consciousness in humans and animals, and current and past primates, because I see those strong correspondences as strong evidence that consciousness did, indeed, evolve. How? The same way every other biological phenomenon did: variation and selection. Why? Because it produced greater fitness. What is mind? That is the hard part, because mind is experientially privileged.

True, I cannot point to a new structure in the mammalian brain and say, Voila! the grief of elephants and porpoises, and I cannot decoct a neurotransmitter and say, Ecce agape, circa 200,000 B.C.!

But I can observe close correspondences between increasingly complex brains and increasing self-awareness and consciousness and quite reasonably conclude that one produces the other. Since there are no unaccounted for minds lying about, and since my own mind's dim beginnings are a few years this side of infancy, I believe it is the complex brain encountering a complex environment that produces the experience of mind.

You can't just say "I see no reason why not" as you just did. It IS what the debate is ABOUT.

Sure I can :p You have declared that the mind is incorporeal and that the corporeal cannot give rise to the incorporeal, both unsupported assertions, even if intuitively attractive.

Even if I accept that the mind is incorporeal (and I'm still not sure what that means), you haven't given any reasons to believe that one thing cannot give rise to a dissimilar thing. No, you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip, but if a turnip ever developed a brain, you probably could.

We might well image qualia such as love one day as a particular cascade of brain hormones that triggers a particular constellation of greater and lesser activity in diverse brain structures, and measure the strength of that love with signal intensity.

If our instrumentality achieves this, can I show you love on the monitors, and would that suffice for corporeality? Many corporeal things are only detectable by sensitive instruments, after all, and we do not "experience" things we consider corporeal, we merely sense them.

If we could see the mind, would you consider it corporeal? We see illusions--are they corporeal?

No doubt the explanations are problematic on both sides, but the scientists don't have one at all that I can see. What I meant by magical was the lack of interest on the part of the scientifically minded here in thinking about HOW it could have arisen given its incorporeality, which is of a different order than corporeality. You simply say abracadabra there it is, and feel no need to figure out HOW it could have happened. More ploddingly prosaic souls, perhaps, look at the thing and say couldn't happen.

I don't think that's accurate, Faith, here or among scientists in general--and I don't see you as a "plodding prosaic soul."

What the mind is, how it arises in the individual, how it evolved--these are questions being addressed by many scientists, as well as philosophers, linguists, psychologists, neurologists, etc. In fact, I see no one except scientists trying to answer the whats and hows of the mind; the religious essentially have their explanations already, yes?

Perhaps, for the sake of argument, I should take a genuinely materialistic stance and simply say that the mind is the brain, or, more precisely, the experiential state of having a great big beautiful one.

Anyway, it's a fascinating discussion, and I am enjoying it.

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 01-26-2006 11:47 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 5:02 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 208 by Faith, posted 01-27-2006 12:46 AM Omnivorous has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30976
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 208 of 318 (281902)
01-27-2006 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 207 by Omnivorous
01-26-2006 11:16 PM


Mind/brain ruminations
I believe many unexpressed assumptions distinguish our perspectives on these questions. I believe the brain generates the mind; I wonder if your reference to the brain as the "physical instrument" of the mind does not mean you see things the other way around, with the activities of the mind causing alterations in brain activity?

I'm not thinking of causality on that everyday basis, I guess. It's more a matter of my belief that the human mind/soul is immortal and will live beyond the body/brain. They are really of a piece -- we are all body-souls, inextricably in a sense, and yet at death the two are separated (until the resurrection). So I guess it's not a which-is-in-the-driver's-seat thing as much as a reciprocal thing. Anyway, I can accept that brain activity affects mental processes and that this can be measured without thinking this is the sum total of the mind or soul.

From my perspective, the mind has no existence beyond its manifestation by the brain, just as the electromagnetic field depends on the current.

Actually, regarding incorporeality, electricity is maybe a useful analogy here. You can do things with electricity, get it to run along wires and perform all kinds of tasks, and measure its effects in many ways, but you can't pin down electricity itself, what it is, can you? We know that the apparati that harness it for various purposes didn't create it, and that it exists independent of all those physical means of containing it.

First, it's not a "sensation of" incorporeality. Incorporeality is an objective "quality" of mind. You can't locate it or measure it so it isn't corporeal.

doesn't make any sense at all. If we cannot locate or measure it, then how can the term "objective" apply at all? How can anything "objective" be said about the mind? Our primary evidence of mind is experiential and privileged.

See, now this gets very frustrating for this ploddingly prosaic soul. Objective simply means it's independent of our thinking about it. This doesn't require physicality. I think our primary evidence of mind is probably not our experience of our own so much as our recognition of it in others. The fact that we can communicate with each other about anything at all, agree about anything, recognize the proofs of a proposition or the solution of a problem and agree upon them. Somewhere in all that is the objective existence of mind. Nothing physical has to be involved in any of that. Just your talking to me ought to be clear enough proof of its objective existence.

I would prefer the term "interiority" to incorporeal. My experience of mind does not suggest incorporeality to me. I am "in here."

OK. I'm sure there are a variety of different ways we experience our selfness; Robin's appears to be its incorporeality. But you remind me, maybe it would be clearer if we identified our subject as the self, or the personality, or the "I" as in "I am 'in here?'" Didn't we all have that experience as children of pondering how come my I-ness is something so completely independent of the I-ness I see in other people? and how come I'm the I-ness I am? And nobody else knows anything about what's going on inside myself (and how glad I am of that sometimes, but other times I'm glad when someone recognizes some of it -- and that person often becomes a friend). And isn't my I-ness the most important thing about me? It is *I* who tell my body what to do -- except for its biological functions of course. It is *I* who am talking to you, and this involves nothing physical whatever.

Second, we're trying to define WHAT it is, which is a different consideration than its fitness, as far as WHY it might have evolved if it did. So Robin doesn't need to explain WHY. That's not the question. The question is how COULD this awfully real and yet incorporeal part of us, the mind, or soul, feelings and so on, the INCORPOREAL SUBSTANCE of the thing as it were (which gets paradoxical but forget that for the moment)-- how could biological physical processes EVER toss up such a phenomenon???? You can't get blood out of a turnip, or spirit out of earth. Or since you say you can, SHOW US HOW.

I feel that in the case of mind, the how and why of its emergence is the easy part. I described correspondences between brain complexity and degrees of self-awareness/consciousness in humans and animals, and current and past primates, because I see those strong correspondences as strong evidence that consciousness did, indeed, evolve. How? The same way every other biological phenomenon did: variation and selection. Why? Because it produced greater fitness. What is mind? That is the hard part, because mind is experientially privileged.

True, I cannot point to a new structure in the mammalian brain and say, Voila! the grief of elephants and porpoises, and I cannot decoct a neurotransmitter and say, Ecce agape, circa 200,000 B.C.!

But I can observe close correspondences between increasingly complex brains and increasing self-awareness and consciousness and quite reasonably conclude that one produces the other. Since there are no unaccounted for minds lying about, and since my own mind's dim beginnings are a few years this side of infancy, I believe it is the complex brain encountering a complex environment that produces the experience of mind.

OR it was created by God for dealing with that complex environment, which He also created. Or at least some of it was. The part I was just talking about, the I-ness of each of us, seems completely superfluous in such a scheme.

You can't just say "I see no reason why not" as you just did. It IS what the debate is ABOUT.

Sure I can You have declared that the mind is incorporeal and that the corporeal cannot give rise to the incorporeal, both unsupported assertions, even if intuitively attractive.

In saying that I didn't mean to exempt it from the debate, as I tried to explain in a previous post. It IS my position but it's also part of the dispute. And so is the position you are taking.

Even if I accept that the mind is incorporeal (and I'm still not sure what that means),

Another frustrating bit here, to which I want to say Come o-o-o-n-n-n, I really don't get how anyone can deny this. Think of the thoughts that pass between you and me in this exchange. Forget all the instrumentality required to convey them. The thoughts themselves have NO corporeality whatever. Thoughts can cause all kinds of physicality but they aren't in themselves physical. Is this REALLY not obvious?

you haven't given any reasons to believe that one thing cannot give rise to a dissimilar thing. No, you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip, but if a turnip ever developed a brain, you probably could.

Hokey dokey, well I can say right back to you that you haven't given any reason to believe that one thing CAN give rise to a dissimilar thing. Show me a turnip that developed a brain and then we'll talk.

We might well image qualia such as love one day as a particular cascade of brain hormones that triggers a particular constellation of greater and lesser activity in diverse brain structures, and measure the strength of that love with signal intensity.

If our instrumentality achieves this, can I show you love on the monitors, and would that suffice for corporeality?

You can't show love, only possibly maybe the fact that it is experienced at a particular time, makes certain brain waves happen, kind of the way you can't show electricity but can measure its effects within apparati designed to put it to use. And you'll NEVER be able to quantify the MOTIVES that brought it about, the I-ness that experiences it.

Many corporeal things are only detectable by sensitive instruments, after all, and we do not "experience" things we consider corporeal, we merely sense them.

Not sure what the point of this is.

If we could see the mind, would you consider it corporeal? We see illusions--are they corporeal?

Robin already gave such an example, and I agree, of course not. Our minds are powerful instruments for generating all kinds of things from ideas to illusions, to imagining to inventing to picturing what needs to be done etc. All this is incorporeal, and it comes from the *I* that is "in here," not from the brain.

No doubt the explanations are problematic on both sides, but the scientists don't have one at all that I can see. What I meant by magical was the lack of interest on the part of the scientifically minded here in thinking about HOW it could have arisen given its incorporeality, which is of a different order than corporeality. You simply say abracadabra there it is, and feel no need to figure out HOW it could have happened. More ploddingly prosaic souls, perhaps, look at the thing and say couldn't happen.

I don't think that's accurate, Faith, here or among scientists in general--and I don't see you as a "plodding prosaic soul."

First, I was simply referring to the positions taken on this particular thread -- keeping up with all the possible ways of being misunderstood is impossible I guess -- and second, of course you must suspect I'm not so humble, but thinking of us PPS's as having superior thought processes. :P

What the mind is, how it arises in the individual, how it evolved--these are questions being addressed by many scientists, as well as philosophers, linguists, psychologists, neurologists, etc. In fact, I see no one except scientists trying to answer the whats and hows of the mind; the religious essentially have their explanations already, yes?

This is basically true, I'm sure. I used to ponder the mind-body problem some myself, as a pre-Christian I mean, and had pretty much the same position I have now, only now I simply KNOW the mind/soul is prior, whereas then I thought everything had to be established by proof.

Nevertheless, on this particular thread I haven't seen any actual explanations given from the scientific side, as I said, for how mind could arise from chemistry, just claims that it must, because, well, it must, because, well, it did.

Perhaps, for the sake of argument, I should take a genuinely materialistic stance and simply say that the mind is the brain, or, more precisely, the experiential state of having a great big beautiful one.

A great big beautiful BRAIN? Is there such a thing at all as an EXPERIENTIAL state of having a brain?

Anyway, it's a fascinating discussion, and I am enjoying it.

SO much more pleasant than back in the olden days when you called me every name in the book. :P

This message has been edited by Faith, 01-27-2006 01:07 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 207 by Omnivorous, posted 01-26-2006 11:16 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by Omnivorous, posted 01-27-2006 10:24 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 209 of 318 (281916)
01-27-2006 2:20 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by Faith
01-26-2006 4:42 PM


Re: one more baby step.
Faith

But, to repeat, if it is corporeal it should be locatable and measurable and this it is not. You merely ASSUME it is corporeal because that is consistent with the biological processes you ASSUME it arose from. But there is no evidence anywhere of the corporeality of the mind.

Let us examine the evidence in favour of it being corporeal. Physical processes of many types can affect the operation of the mind. We can elicit various emotions and altered states by the application of drugs which are themselves the result of the physics of electromagnetism. We can elicit memories by touching areas of the brain which also falls under the the electromagnetic influence. We can induce coma in people wherein all sensation and memory are rendered inactive.The brain can be mapped to show that electrical activity of varying frequencies attends different states of awareness which also suggests that it is physical in nature.If you have some aspect of the mind that you feel I have overlooked then please tell me.

Since it seems also that as brains get more complex among the animal world there also attends with the complexity a greater level of interaction with the world.Thus we have remnants of brain such as the reptilian {the brain stem} that are common to many creatures and govern the operation of levels of awareness, such processes as breathing and heartbeat.Our reptilian brain gets its name from the fact that this portion of human brains resembles the entire brain of reptiles.

You can check out the differences and similarities in different animal brains{including humans} at this website. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Compare1.html

I can go into much greater depth if you wish.


But I realize now that these people were not in science; they didn’t understand it. They didn’t understand technology; they didn’t understand their time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 4:42 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by Faith, posted 01-27-2006 12:22 PM sidelined has not yet responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 210 of 318 (281918)
01-27-2006 2:35 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by Faith
01-26-2006 4:42 PM


Re: one more baby step.
But, to repeat, if it is corporeal it should be locatable and measurable and this it is not. You merely ASSUME it is corporeal because that is consistent with the biological processes you ASSUME it arose from. But there is no evidence anywhere of the corporeality of the mind.

There are many things that you cannot locate or measure. For example, the number 5. We have many nouns that refer to abstactions of one kind or another. Abstractions have no location and are not made of physical stuff.

It really makes little sense to use "incorporeal" for such things.

The say that the mind is incorporeal ought to mean more than that it is an abstraction. It ought to mean that if can float free of the body. To say that your mind is incorporeal ought to mean that you mind can be enjoying a vacation in China, while your body is busy at work in the U.S.

While the mind is not made of stuff, that does not make it incorporeal in any important sense. It merely indicates that mind is something of an abstraction, an entity invented so serve a particular role in language.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by Faith, posted 01-26-2006 4:42 PM Faith has responded

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