Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-21-2019 6:41 AM
18 online now:
PaulK, Tangle (2 members, 16 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 849,955 Year: 4,992/19,786 Month: 1,114/873 Week: 10/460 Day: 10/91 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev123
4
5678Next
Author Topic:   My problem with evolution
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 120 (23324)
11-20-2002 1:17 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 12:42 AM


A note on argument: I really don't think, that in response to a point, that someone should say, well, you obviously haven't read this person or that person. If you know what this person or that person has said, just say it in brief, and stop this name-dropping.

But I do enjoy this stuff.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 12:42 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 120 (23325)
11-20-2002 1:22 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Brad McFall
11-19-2002 11:40 AM


Brad, the reason I haven't responded to your post is that I have no idea what you are talking about. "My view of physics"??? Make it a little clearer for us folks in the boondocks. Thanks.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Brad McFall, posted 11-19-2002 11:40 AM Brad McFall has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Quetzal, posted 11-20-2002 4:03 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3978 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 48 of 120 (23331)
11-20-2002 4:02 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by robinrohan
11-19-2002 10:31 AM


Okay, I think I’m starting to understand your question a bit better. Although I’m directly responding to this post for simplicity, I am basing my response also in part on your posts 37, 38, and 40. For those familiar with cognitive neuroscience, please forgive the gross oversimplification that follows.

One of the interesting things about the brain is its ability to select information from the environment, shape it, combine it with information from memory, and produce action, new memories, or “thoughts” as you’ve defined the term. Much of normal day-to-day “thinking” depends on environmental stimuli of one form or another triggering one or more of the functional, distinct neural networks in the brain that process such things as object recognition, movement recognition, auditory cues, etc (most of these are from various parts of the temporal cortex). Environment in this context can include internal state. The incoming signal is then processed/coordinated by the prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex (in humans), and an action, new neural linkage or physiological change is initiated. In essence, the brain acts to create a representation of the moment-to-moment environment through the linking of external cues, internal cues, and previously stored memory patterns. Since humans are primarily visual organisms, this representation is often a “visual” image. (Here’s an excellent, peer-reviewed on-line journal article from the “Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience” that explains it better than I can: Mental Imagery of Faces and Places Activates Corresponding Stimulus-Specific Brain Regions. The article also explains how your imagination of the lady from post #40 works.) Basically, the exact same regions of the brain are activated during processing of certain classes of external stimuli as are activated during imagination of those classes.

There is, in fact, no difference between “mind”, “thought” and “physical”. These terms are simply convenient labels for the neuroarchitecture of the brain and how it processes information. All thought is physical – it has no extrinsic reality outside the confines of the neural networks that are preferentially activated when the particular class of object you’re thinking about is processed. Imagining a beautiful woman is based on stored memories of: the class of object “women”, the learned social/semantic affect “beautiful”, and manipulation or modification of learned and pre-existing attributes (everything from object class “dress” to color perception to emotional lading). The fact that we “see” the mental image is simply the activation of the visual cortex in conjunction with the executive control function of the prefrontal cortex.

For those interested in current literature on the subject, here are a few interesting on-line journal articles from PNAS:

Emotion-induced changes in human medial prefrontal cortex: I. During cognitive task performance
Emotion-induced changes in human medial prefrontal cortex: II. During anticipatory anxiety
Medial prefrontal cortex and self-referential mental activity: Relation to a default mode of brain function
Integration of emotion and cognition in the lateral prefrontal cortex
A resource model of the neural basis of executive working memory (I think this one is pretty cool because it discusses actual functioning of the executive processor in pulling together other brain resources and memory to accomplish specific tasks).

I guess what all this boils down to robin, is that you don’t have “matter producing mental” – it’s all physical.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by robinrohan, posted 11-19-2002 10:31 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 5:31 PM Quetzal has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3978 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 49 of 120 (23332)
11-20-2002 4:03 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 1:22 AM


Don't feel bad robin, none of the rest of us understand Brad either.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 1:22 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 120 (23351)
11-20-2002 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 12:33 AM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
OK, take your #2. That reality is not accessible. It doesn't matter if it is accessible or not by humans--it still has be mental or physical or both.

Why? So far, all you've done is assert this premise.

Everything we see, feel, and know, for Kant, is a mental construct-- reality filtered through the mind. But reality itself is inaccessable. We have no information about it at all, so how is it that you can claim it must be one or the other of your assumptions? It makes no sense. It is a plain and simple gross over-generealization-- a fallacy.

You've not addressed Hume.

And lets add Plato just for fun. Platonic forms do not fit any difinitions you've given of either physical or mental phenomenon.

quote:
Show me something that is not one or other of these things.

I don't have to show you something. Your argument makes a bold statement about what is or is not possible. All I have to do to break it is come up with another possibility, which I have done. I have, in fact, introduced the ideas of several important philosophers for this purpose. It then falls to you to analyze and eliminate those possibilities, which you have not done, but merely asserted an opinion without analysis.

Secondly, show me 'mind.' Show me 'matter' for that matter. Show me 'thought itself' You make demands which reflected back towards your arguments will cause trouble.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 12:33 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 5:06 PM John has responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 120 (23354)
11-20-2002 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by robinrohan
11-19-2002 4:44 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
Shrafanator, I'm not denying that the mind is "based in" the brain and that if you do something to the brain you affect the mind. The question I had was not whether a series of electrical impusles cause thoughts to occur (I agree they do), but whether or not we can equate a cause (electrical impulse) to the product (a thought). A cause is not the same thing as what it causes. The question is whether a thought is non-physical. If it's non-physical then it's hard to see how something physical can create something non-physical, just as it's hard to see how something non-physical (say, a God) can create something physical. If that happens it's a "miracle" in traditional terms, and so the opposite would be too.

Ok robinrohan,

What exactly is your position? Initially, you listed three options: mental, physical, and dualistic. You then criticised two of those: physical and dualistic. And mentioned that quantum physics had struck a blow for the mental. This led me to believe that you believe mind to be primary. Now I find that you are arguing for dualism, which you have already criticised?

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by robinrohan, posted 11-19-2002 4:44 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 4:59 PM John has not yet responded

  
TechnoCore
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 120 (23392)
11-20-2002 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 12:42 AM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
Technocore, you make a good point about which came first, the language or the thought. I don't have the answer to that. My point is that you have to have some kind of medium to think in--and language is that medium.

I don't agree really. Or rather I believe the problem is how do you define a language ? The simplest form of language should be some form of basic logic-manipulation of objects. But then again isn't that also exactly what an advanced language is ?

Lets take the "brain" of a simple creature like and ant. Almost by definition it _has to have_ some form of internal language in the brain. Something that knits together the different impulses, processes them and produces a response. And does so with logic. So there is some kind of medium, even though it is not represented through spoken words. Everything(concepts) in a brain is in the end representated by electrical charges, and some chemicals. Surely these (propably simple) concepts don't need words to be represented in the antbrain. They are just a bunch of signals in the end, just as in a human brain.

With your model, if I get you right, you say that all concepts must first be translated into another language than the low-level language of the brain. I don't see why that has to be so.

I don't believe that concepts are defined through words, but that words are defined by concepts.

[QUOTE]
posted by robinrohan:
We could visualize something without language. This visualizing would certainly be mental activity.

But the linguists say that humans come equipped with language knowledge. We already know about nouns and verbs. We even know about tense. A little kid will say "I fighted." He never heard that expression, but he already knows about past tense.[/B][/QUOTE]

When the kid says "I fighted" he does so because his brain has learned a rule (a matching, which is what brains are good at). Since there are 1000's of languages with different grammar, specific grammar isn't hardcoded into the brain. Rather the brain is just good at pure logic, deducing the most logically spoken form. What brains do most of the time is trying to find patterns in chaos.
If the child had said "I fought" it would be a proof of hardcoding into the brain.
But don't get me wrong, ofcourse language functions are hardcoded into the brain, but the "I fighted" example says nothing about that, imho.

Lets assume the brain has NO hardcoded language-skills when the child is born. How would you prove the brain didn't just use its standard patern-recognition skills top learn languge ?

!! TechnoCore


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 12:42 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 5:58 PM TechnoCore has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 120 (23405)
11-20-2002 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by John
11-20-2002 9:00 AM


John, I'm not advocating any particular metaphysical belief. I was asking questions about them. Of course, I had to assume a dualistic stance when talking about the brain/mind problem. I was trying to figure out how something physical can produce something mental. If one is a materialist, such as Quetzal, then the question is answered as far as evolution is concerned. There is no mystery because there is really no such thing as mentality. Everything is physical.

I still have some questions about whether materialism is probable, which I will address below.

As regards idealism and physics, I do think there are some interesting questions, but it doesn't have anything to do with evolution so perhaps the topic is not appropriate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by John, posted 11-20-2002 9:00 AM John has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 120 (23407)
11-20-2002 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by John
11-20-2002 8:50 AM


John, the only other possibility you've come up with is "spirit."

Care to say what spirit is if it's not mind?

The rest of what you've said consists of positing that we can't know anything, or that we can only know phenomena, or maybe possibly there's something else out there that we don't know about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by John, posted 11-20-2002 8:50 AM John has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by John, posted 11-21-2002 8:37 AM robinrohan has responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 120 (23408)
11-20-2002 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Quetzal
11-20-2002 4:02 AM


Great post, Quetzal. I also had a look at that first article you mention, and I think I grasp your idea. Let me summarize it to see if I do. Your point is that when we imagine an object or when we actually see an object, we are using the same brain-parts either way. Imagining is very like seeing, as far as the brain goes.

However, imagining is not like seeing for the eyes. The eyes are not used; however, the brain-parts that normally control vision are used.

And so you conclude that both seeing and imagining are physical events.

But have you forgotten my beautiful imaginary woman? What happened to her? Are you suggesting that image which I visualize is physical? If it were physical that image would be present in the brain. Couldn't we search the brain high and low and never find that image?

Let's use the following analogy. The brain is a tv set. I am watching a live football game. The figures I see on my screen are copies of the reality, the game being played live 100 miles away. The tv set football players are only copies of reality. Nonetheless they are physical copies. If I wanted to I could measure them physically, measure how tall they were, for example (of course they keep changing in size, depending on whether we have close-up shots or not, like the flickering imagination). So both the live game and the copy are physical. It strikes me that this is your description of the brain. Somewhere down in the brain is a physical image of my imaginary beautiful woman. It's not a mental image--it's a physical image. If I had a super brainscope I could measure how tall the image is, like I can measure the football players on the tv set.

Is that what you are saying?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Quetzal, posted 11-20-2002 4:02 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by obsidian, posted 11-21-2002 2:14 AM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 63 by Quetzal, posted 11-21-2002 3:54 AM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 120 (23410)
11-20-2002 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by TechnoCore
11-20-2002 1:55 PM


Technocore, a lot of what you say I don't dispute. I wasn't thinking in terms of low-level langauge because I assume that is unconscious. Language, as I define it, is the ability to create sentences. If you are able to take verbs and nouns and recombine them in ways you have not heard before, you have language. A dog's bark is not language, by this definition. It's an expression of emotion.

But this is what I think (at the moment!). Full consciousness and language are dependent on each other. You can't have one without the other. By full consciousness, I mean human-like consciousness. No doubt there is another kind of consciousness in animals, but I think it's different, and I do so because they have no language. I don't think animals are self-aware. I don't think they have a concept of "me."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by TechnoCore, posted 11-20-2002 1:55 PM TechnoCore has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by TechnoCore, posted 11-20-2002 9:00 PM robinrohan has responded
 Message 61 by John, posted 11-20-2002 11:43 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 120 (23411)
11-20-2002 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by TechnoCore
11-19-2002 7:58 PM


A dog whimpering serves the same purpose as a baby crying. It calls attention to itself, to be helped. This is very useful from an evolutionary standpoint. The baby doesn't have to know what's bothering it, only that it is bothered.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by TechnoCore, posted 11-19-2002 7:58 PM TechnoCore has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 6:51 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 120 (23413)
11-20-2002 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 6:02 PM


A note on Creationists: I've been "arguing" with a few creationists lately out of curiosity to see what they thought, and I think I learned something. I think I realize now how their minds work (if they have minds and if they work). Dumb me, I thought it was about religion, but come to find out they think evolution is a left-wing political conspiracy, and that it is responsible for increasing crime, drug use, high divorce rates, and other societal ills. I had no idea.

[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 11-20-2002]

[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 11-20-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 6:02 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by John, posted 11-20-2002 11:34 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 91 by TrueCreation, posted 11-23-2002 9:44 PM robinrohan has not yet responded
 Message 92 by Chara, posted 11-23-2002 9:59 PM robinrohan has responded

  
TechnoCore
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 120 (23425)
11-20-2002 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 5:58 PM


It's just that I can't believe that spoken language, is the only form to hold self-awareness. When I think about how I think... and thats hard I dont find myself to think in words... really. It is more like thinking in pictures. Its hard to say that it is definately so, but generally. When I speak about things I still think in terms of pictures, but sometimes they have names. At least all things spoken about. Like a "sofa". Should i place something infront of or behind the sofa ? It's just images im getting in my head.

More abstract concepts gets trickier...
The thing is i even have a inner image for "tommorow"... Its a feeling mixed with.. i dunno really...a bright day outside...

(Another thing... did you know that if you teach a child to read but prevents it from sounding letters. He will have a reading-speed that is 2-3 times faster than his classmates. (he will take a bit longer to learn though) This is because the memory areas for "talking" are accessed if you learn the traditional way. But the fastreading kid skips accessing those areas)

However maybe you are right after all. Language must have influenced the genes a lot. And speeded up the consciuos parts of the brain, and its intelligence. Perhaps one need to define self-awareness a bit. From human viewport it would be: A complete understanding of "me" as an individual separated from the outer world. And how "I" fit into this world.

A dog maybe doesn't have all that. But I still have to believe he have some kind of experience of beeing separeted from the outer world. If he lived in a pack, he needs pretty complicated understanding of his relationship with the other animals. Like what's his position is in the pack. I just can't believe its just working from automata.

Yee im tired it's 3am here now... mind the spelling


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 5:58 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by robinrohan, posted 11-21-2002 4:48 PM TechnoCore has not yet responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 120 (23449)
11-20-2002 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by robinrohan
11-20-2002 6:51 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
A note on Creationists: I've been "arguing" with a few creationists lately out of curiosity to see what they thought, and I think I learned something. I think I realize now how their minds work (if they have minds and if they work). Dumb me, I thought it was about religion, but come to find out they think evolution is a left-wing political conspiracy, and that it is responsible for increasing crime, drug use, high divorce rates, and other societal ills. I had no idea.

[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 11-20-2002]

[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 11-20-2002]


Weird isn't it?

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by robinrohan, posted 11-20-2002 6:51 PM robinrohan has not yet responded

  
Prev123
4
5678Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019