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Author Topic:   How is Natural selection a mechanism?
Taq
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Message 60 of 191 (815377)
07-19-2017 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by AndrewPD
07-19-2017 3:57 PM


AndrewPD writes:

If I create 5 different models of cars and only one of them works then in that way the environment has selected the successful car but it didn't create the cars.
In what sense is evolution creating new species.

Natural selection did create a population of one type of car instead of a population of different types of cars. That is what is meant by creating new species. The "creation" part is describing why we see individuals with one set of features instead of another. Of course, biologists realize that new organisms are created by biological reproduction. Words can have different meanings in different contexts.

Essentially the organism is a series of biochemical events and structures that are described by biochemical events. In what way are these biochemical events evolutionary?

An individual organism does not evolve. Evolution involves a population of organisms over several generations. It refers to the emergence of new variations in a population followed by a change in the ratios of different variations within that same population.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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Message 66 of 191 (815462)
07-20-2017 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by AndrewPD
07-19-2017 6:57 PM


AndrewPD writes:

If you think consciousness is an emergent property of the brain then that would suggest consciousness is a disposition available at some level of reality. It's not clear how evolution can explain consciousness and similar goes for any emergent property.

Consciousness is no different than the emergent properties of digestion or circulation. The brain produces consciousness, and embryonic development produces the brain. Embryonic development is guided by the genome of the embryo, and that genome is the product of evolution. How is this not a valid explanation?


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 71 of 191 (815568)
07-21-2017 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by AndrewPD
07-21-2017 8:39 AM


AndrewPD writes:

Digestion and circulation are visible phenomena that we can obejectively study and that we see emerging from their components we don't see any thing like consciousness and sensation and cognition emerging from neurons these are private subjective phenomena only accessible to one person directly.

That isn't true. Techniques like functional MRI can actually tell us what a person is thinking about. We can measure neurons firing and functioning. We can measure brain activity. Consciousness is a very visible phenomenon.

The point is emergent properties in themselves aren't explained by evolution.

Why not?

So even if consciousness is "selected" or thrives because it is survival aiding that doesn't explain or origin and it seems a rather trivial point to just list potential survival benefits of consciousness.

I already explained the origin in the previous post.

Why do these dispositions exist especially the ability for a hypothetical "physical reality" to allow self reflection and the observation of reality.?

They exist because they evolved.


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 82 of 191 (815804)
07-24-2017 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by AndrewPD
07-22-2017 11:11 AM


AndrewPD writes:

Emergent properties are properties created by atomic interactions they rely on prexistent dispositions or "availabilities" as explained or described through atomic and chemical theories (Physics/chemistry). None of these theories relies on Darwinian evolution.

There is limit as to what could happen on a planet with only one or two elements or just water.

I thought evolution was supposed to occur after a primeval soup had formed and this soup therefore has to have available dispositions that things can emerge from.

So in what way does evolution explain these available dispositions (ie dispostions that natural "laws" allow or control or do not prohibit")

So for instance if you diamond very little will happen to it over long periods of time. It doesn't have the suitable dispositions. In this way "Hair" could not evolve if chemistry did not allow it.

In what way can evolution NOT explain emergent properties found in biological species? I am still waiting for this explanation.


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 83 of 191 (815806)
07-24-2017 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by AndrewPD
07-22-2017 3:32 PM


AndrewPD writes:

It is not clear however what this brain activity is doing, so claims of finding brain regions resonsible for X have to taken with a pinch of salt.

There is zero doubt among scientists that consciousness is the product of the physical brain that occurs through physical processes. We don't need to know the fine details to understand the gross phenomenon.

Brain lesions have showed that lots of "thoughts" or perceptions and cognitions break down in weird ways. So for example people can lose the ability to name living things but not inanimate objects. United perceptions that we take for granted break down so there is no simple single perception to be mapped on the brain.

Yet more evidence that consciousness is a physical product of the physical brain.


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 84 of 191 (815808)
07-24-2017 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by AndrewPD
07-22-2017 11:23 AM


AndrewPD writes:

The idea that the brain "Prodcuces" consciousness is problematic. Consciousness is not like food being turned into waste product and emerging as faeces. What emerges is entirely private. Only I experience my headache.

It isn't entirely private. Your brain activity can be measured.

You might as well say your heart beating and the act of pooping are also entirely private because only you experience your heart beating and your feces moving through your gut.

In what way can neuronal activty represent or capture experience and who does it represent to? (homunculi). I have vivid memories and these are not memories of neurons firing or neurotransmitter activity. So the brain looks like it contains neurons, support cells, blood and so on but not images that we experince or semantics. Where is the experincer (the undeniable subject of experice)

Can you point to any consciousness existing outside of active neurons?


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 87 of 191 (815816)
07-24-2017 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by AndrewPD
07-24-2017 5:40 PM


Re: How would you design an experiment/test?
AndrewPD writes:

There have been several disturbing cases where anesthesia failed, people were paralysed by medication and operated on whilst consciousness.

Yet more evidence that consciousness is a product of a physical brain. Anesthetics bind to receptors on neurons which can alter consciousness.


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Replies to this message:
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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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Message 96 of 191 (815864)
07-25-2017 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by AndrewPD
07-24-2017 7:46 PM


Re: How would you design an experiment/test?
AndrewPD writes:

No it only proves consciousness can interact with the brain.

That's like saying "digestion only interacts with the intestines".

Why don't you show us the existence of a consciousness independent of a brain. Until then, we are correctly concluding that the brain produces consciousness.

Now if consciousness is some kind of emergent property leaking out of neuronal synapses that is still a mystery and I don't see what role evolution has in explaining that, or natural selection.

Reality isn't limited to what you can or can't accept. The reality is that evolution is responsible for the human brain which produces consciousness.

Anyhow as I posted earlier there are cases like the man with 90% of his brain missing which make large areas of the brain redundant for consciousness or neural correlates.

There are people who are missing large sections of their intestines, yet they are still able to digest food. Does this mean that digestion is some separate entity from the gastrointestinal tract?


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 Message 89 by AndrewPD, posted 07-24-2017 7:46 PM AndrewPD has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 100 of 191 (815871)
07-25-2017 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by AndrewPD
07-25-2017 4:41 PM


Re: How would you design an experiment/test?
AndrewPD writes:

I cited that case (and there are various others) because it undermines neural correlations. The brain is different than the digestive system when you are claiming that specific brain regions are correlated with specific conscious states or cognitive abilities.

Get back to me when you find a human without a brain who still functions normally.


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Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 102 of 191 (815873)
07-25-2017 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by AndrewPD
07-25-2017 4:34 PM


Re: How would you design an experiment/test?
AndrewPD writes:

For a start digestion is not private and subjective like conscious states only directly accessible to the subjects.

It is just as private and subjective as conscious states. The way you experience food moving through your body is only experienced by you.

There is an explanatory gap between brain states and conscious states. I don't see how natural selection sheds any light on this.

That would be an argument from ignorance. There is really no doubt that the brain is causing those conscious states. The brain is a product of embryonic development which is itself a product of the genome and its specific DNA sequence. That DNA sequence is a product of natural selection and evolution.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


Message 104 of 191 (815876)
07-25-2017 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by AndrewPD
07-25-2017 6:53 PM


Re: How would you design an experiment/test?
AndrewPD writes:

This is naive. I mentioned earlier vegetative states and other states where the presence of consciousness is unknown. You seem to be trying to describe consciousness as it appears to an observer observing someone else's behaviour but as I have said it is private and subjectivity.

You could also claim that the conscious state of rock is unknown, and then conclude that a rock could also have consciousness.

If you can't find a person who demonstrates consciousness but lacks a brain, then I would call this very strong evidence that the brain produces consciousness.


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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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:
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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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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.


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Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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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Taq
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Posts: 8453
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 8.6


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Message 122 of 191 (816067)
07-28-2017 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by JonF
07-28-2017 3:13 PM


JonF writes:

But any "evolutionist" could sign that with a clear conscience.

That's the part that cracks me up. You could completely retitle the list as "People who think this description of evolution is incomplete".

“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.”

I am skeptical as well. I would also need to include neutral drift and speciation. On top of that, I would also encourage everyone to carefully examine every single theory in science.


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