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Author Topic:   My problem with evolution
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 120 (22993)
11-17-2002 12:59 PM


Evolution is a fact. But I do not understand how matter can create mind. Is the phenomenon of "mind"(in the sense of self-awareness) a sudden threshold after the accumulation of a certain number and kind of brain cells, or is the process a gradual awakening? And what precisely is the relationship between the physical actions of the brain to a "thought"? One is physical, the other mental--two very different things unless mentality or physicality is a sort of illusion.

Mind is a synonym for spirit. This is why there are religions in the world. The mind is the spirit-world.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Zhimbo, posted 11-17-2002 1:14 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 3 by nator, posted 11-17-2002 1:14 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 4 by TechnoCore, posted 11-17-2002 1:38 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 5 by Brad McFall, posted 11-17-2002 4:26 PM robinrohan has responded

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4118 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 2 of 120 (22996)
11-17-2002 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 12:59 PM


posting mistake...shared computer!

[This message has been edited by Zhimbo, 11-17-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 12:59 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 276 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 3 of 120 (22997)
11-17-2002 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 12:59 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
[B]Evolution is a fact. But I do not understand how matter can create mind.[/QUOTE]

It depends where you think the mind comes from.

I think the mind comes from the brain. Where do you think it comes from?

quote:
Is the phenomenon of "mind"(in the sense of self-awareness) a sudden threshold after the accumulation of a certain number and kind of brain cells, or is the process a gradual awakening? And what precisely is the relationship between the physical actions of
the brain to a "thought"?

A common philosophy of mind is that "mind is to brain as software is to hardware."

quote:
One is physical, the other mental--two very different things unless mentality or physicality is a sort of illusion.

Well, if the mental wasn't based in the physical, neurological illness, psychoactive drugs, and brain damage, for example, wouldn't have mental effects, right?

[QUOTE]Mind is a synonym for spirit. This is why there are religions in the world. The mind is the spirit-world.[/B]


I don't think that most people would agree with you. I think most people think that the spirit is something separate from the mind.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 12:59 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

    
TechnoCore
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 120 (22998)
11-17-2002 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 12:59 PM


Ahh this drives me crazy, i've been thinking alot of it.
It's sitting next to Decartes old saying.. "i think therefore i am"
(Or i think he said "i doubt, therefor i am")
Of all things we can come up with in science this is the only thing anyone can be truly certain of. And at the same time the "doubt" or self-awareness is the one thing we (now) cannot even begin to explain.

It is almost like the "soul" problem of christianity. How can we have a soul, separated from matter, and still be influenced by it ? It is impossible. And if it isn't completly separated we should be able to measure it's quantities, which then makes it no soul. If it is completly separated from matter, it becomes pointless.
Since how does then the soul connect to the "me" in my brain ?

If consiousness arises from higher forms of information complexity, like nerv-clusters how can it influese the nerves themselves ?

I tend to believe that it has to be a gradual awakening... that allmost all forms of life has some kind of awareness... even if it is just pain and joy. Still... the simplest form of self-replicating molecule can't have it. Or can it ? If there is a first level of complexity where feelings arise, maybe that could be found, if a lot of effort were put into it. Maybe there is some kind of measurable quantity that changes when a selfreplicating system goes from 100 to 101 atoms ? Sounds unlikly but... grrrrr

Maybe consiousness sits in everthing. In the matter itself. Uhu.
In the structure of the universe. I generally don't believe things like that. But in this issue i don't know what to think.

//TechnoCore


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3139 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 5 of 120 (23005)
11-17-2002 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 12:59 PM


As far as I know it is the other way around. At least until someone can tell authortiatively that one can compute around any "black" particle Newton defined in the Opticks and then it would not be clear what created what. Seems like with Democritus and the current atomism it is MIND (Anaxagors) that created matter (nuclear bomb) but if a Chinese poster knows otherwise, well, let me, western electric, etc know.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 12:59 PM robinrohan has responded

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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 120 (23006)
11-17-2002 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Brad McFall
11-17-2002 4:26 PM


Some very good responses.

As regards "spirit" and "mind." I say that mind is a synonym for spirit because if not, there is no evidence of spirit. In order for religious belief to make any sense, we have to be able to imagine minds without bodies. Well, at least we know we have a mind, but to have this other category called "sprit" which is supposed to be something different from mind requires an additional leap of faith. We want to take as few leaps as possible.

If mind created matter, that means there's a God. If matter created mind, I suppose that means there's no God unless God is something "emergent."

Evolution suggests that brains when they get complex enough somehow produce "thoughts." But what does complexity have to do with being self-aware? It's like we've made a sudden transformation from the quantitative to the qualititative. 2 + 2 + 3=hate.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 5:52 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 9 by Quetzal, posted 11-18-2002 1:59 AM robinrohan has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 120 (23011)
11-17-2002 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 4:57 PM


As to the analogy of hardware/sorftware to brain/mind, the problem with that analogy is that software is physical.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 4:57 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by John, posted 11-17-2002 7:53 PM robinrohan has responded
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 Message 18 by Brad McFall, posted 11-18-2002 6:44 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 120 (23028)
11-17-2002 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 5:52 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
As to the analogy of hardware/sorftware to brain/mind, the problem with that analogy is that software is physical.

Is it? That is an interesting way to look at a collection of electrical impulses. I'd be interested if you expand on this.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 5:52 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3979 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 9 of 120 (23056)
11-18-2002 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 4:57 PM


This is an interesting question. Before offering an answer, however, I'd like to ask you for your definition of two terms: "mind" and "spirit". You seem to be defining mind as "self-awareness". Is this correct? You have not, however, made a stab at defining what you mean by spirit. I'd appreciate a clarification.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by robinrohan, posted 11-17-2002 4:57 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by robinrohan, posted 11-18-2002 5:17 PM Quetzal has responded

  
Karl
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 120 (23062)
11-18-2002 3:33 AM


quote:
As regards "spirit" and "mind." I say that mind is a synonym for spirit because if not, there is no evidence of spirit. In order for religious belief to make any sense, we have to be able to imagine minds without bodies.

Not necessarily; at least not human ones. The Christian doctrine has always been that we will be resurrected into new physical bodies. If mind/soul is an emergent property of the brain, then this would make perfect sense.

quote:
Well, at least we know we have a mind, but to have this other category called "sprit" which is supposed to be something different from mind requires an additional leap of faith.

If it's quite seperate from any human soul/mind, as I've suggested, then it's not science's concern. It may take a leap of faith, but religion is about faith.

quote:
We want to take as few leaps as possible.

Why? Nothing wrong with well supported leaps. We need to decide whether this is well supported. That may be a subjective judgement.

quote:
If mind created matter, that means there's a God.

Or some other mind.

quote:
If matter created mind, I suppose that means there's no God unless God is something "emergent."

Not at all. You're assuming that if our minds are emergent, God's has to be. Why do you assume that? What if God decreed that our minds would be the emergent property of a naturally occuring brain?


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TheDanish
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 120 (23068)
11-18-2002 4:12 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by robinrohan
11-17-2002 5:52 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
As to the analogy of hardware/sorftware to brain/mind, the problem with that analogy is that software is physical.

Indeed. Maybe the proper analogy would be "brain:mind::instruction register:instruction pointer execution." Doesn't quite have the same ring, but it works.


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Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 120 (23072)
11-18-2002 5:20 AM


quote:
Evolution suggests that brains when they get complex enough somehow produce "thoughts." But what does complexity have to do with being self-aware? It's like we've made a sudden transformation from the quantitative to the qualititative. 2 + 2 + 3=hate.

Hate the "word" is a symbol that is stored in your speech centers. If you look at a detailed MRI, you can probably see roughly where the nerve firing occurs for this pattern. A slice and reconstruct (if it were technically possible today) would probably be able to trace the particular set of neurons and their synaptic weights and connections which implement the "hate" wiring.

The feeling of "hate" comes from the lower parts of the reptilian brain, and these connections seem to influence a lot of the firing of the rest of the brain. These basal reptilian responses coming from these structures are where we find our strongest emotions and motivations.

And 104 + 97 + 116 + 101 = "hate". The fact that this sequence of numbers also form the word "hate" in ASCII code is an emergent property of the pattern, just as the feeling of hate is an emergent property of the circuitry in your thalmus.


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 120 (23121)
11-18-2002 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Rationalist
11-18-2002 5:20 AM


Rationalist, I feel like you are giving me a good answer here, but I don't quite get it. My main problem is, how does the physical become the mental? Or are you suggesting that those two categories--the physical and the mental--are misleading? "circuitry in the brain" is something physical--or sounds like it to me. A "thought" is very different-- or maybe not?
This message is a reply to:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 120 (23123)
11-18-2002 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Karl
11-18-2002 3:33 AM


I think there's some confusion about the word "emergent." When I said
that if matter created mind, that means there's no God, I was refering to the Big Bang and evolution--at the back of it all, if there's a God, then there is a mind (God's mind). If not, it is an automatic development that just happens. When I used the word "emergent" I was thinking of Bergson and such people--creative evolution--God is developing himself, so to speak, and consciousness (people) are the spearhead of God's emergent development. So God is "emerging."

I'm not sure how you are using this word.

Thanks for your response. I appreciate it.


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 120 (23124)
11-18-2002 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Quetzal
11-18-2002 1:59 AM


Quetzal, what I am saying is that "mind" and "spirit" are the same thing. We know what mind is--we've got one--but if spirit is something different, then there's no evidence that there is any such thing as spirit. "Mind" means self-awareness, the ability to imagine, the process of logic, memory--the usual qualities we associate with "mind." Now mind is something quite different from the physical, or at least appears to be. Thoughts are no doubt events, but they are very peculiar events. For one thing, they are always "about" something. Objects are not "about" anything until a mind comes along and invests them with significance.

The only thing we know of that is not physical, the only other type of reality--is "mind." That is the only evidence of the spirit-world.


This message is a reply to:
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