The Cambrian Explosion

What actually occurred?

The accumulation of small heritable changes within populations over time.

Moderators: Calilasseia, amok, ADParker

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#101  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 11:33 am

UndercoverElephant wrote:
The explanatory gap is the "hard problem" and if you don't understand that by now then you ought to be ashamed of yourself, given the length of time you've been posting on this board.


Yes, there is always the 'hard problem'.

Science can explain the 'how' bit, but 'why' will be still there for the philosophers to muck about with.

Much in the same way we are getting pretty near to answering 'how' the universe started but have no idea 'why'.
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#102  Postby z8000783 » Apr 06, 2012 11:37 am

campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:That doesn't make sense to me. Won't you end up begging the question here? You can define conciousness as any brain function you like such that if you find it the organism has conciousness and if you don't, it doesn't. What have you discovered as a result of that?


What will be discovered is the set of mechanisms (brain functions) that enable humans to have this subjective feeling we have labeled C.

But what did the label say?

John
I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
z8000783
 
Name: WTF
Posts: 9291
Age: 61
Male

Greece (gr)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#103  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 11:38 am

UndercoverElephant wrote: What can't be done is reducing "self-awareness" to neural function (quantum or otherwise).


Why not?

There seems to be some promising ideas outlined here;
'THE NEUROLOGY OF SELF-AWARENESS'
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramacha ... index.html
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#104  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 11:40 am

z8000783 wrote:
campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:That doesn't make sense to me. Won't you end up begging the question here? You can define conciousness as any brain function you like such that if you find it the organism has conciousness and if you don't, it doesn't. What have you discovered as a result of that?


What will be discovered is the set of mechanisms (brain functions) that enable humans to have this subjective feeling we have labeled C.

But what did the label say?

John


Yes, that's the rub.

:)
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#105  Postby z8000783 » Apr 06, 2012 11:41 am

Good luck with that then. :cheers:

John
I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
z8000783
 
Name: WTF
Posts: 9291
Age: 61
Male

Greece (gr)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#106  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 11:46 am

z8000783 wrote:Good luck with that then. :cheers:

John


:lol:

It may be the case that 'consciousness' doesn't actually mean anything useful to science.

:cheers:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#107  Postby twistor59 » Apr 06, 2012 11:46 am

campermon wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
The explanatory gap is the "hard problem" and if you don't understand that by now then you ought to be ashamed of yourself, given the length of time you've been posting on this board.


Yes, there is always the 'hard problem'.



Just try to relax a bit more, and it will happen.
Feel your body melt Mum to mud to mad to dad
Dad diddley office Dad diddley office.....you're all full of ball
Dad to dam to dum to mum
Mum diddley washing Mum diddley washing.....you're all full of ball
User avatar
twistor59
RS Donator
 
Posts: 4632
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#108  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 11:47 am

twistor59 wrote:
campermon wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
The explanatory gap is the "hard problem" and if you don't understand that by now then you ought to be ashamed of yourself, given the length of time you've been posting on this board.


Yes, there is always the 'hard problem'.



Just try to relax a bit more, and it will happen.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#109  Postby z8000783 » Apr 06, 2012 12:00 pm

campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:Good luck with that then. :cheers:

John


:lol:

It may be the case that 'consciousness' doesn't actually mean anything useful to science.

I think the problem is not that it means nothing, it's that it can mean anything you like.

It's the same for intelligence, propose a definition then look for it and low and behold you find it. These are words that are man-made, that is the problem.

John
I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
z8000783
 
Name: WTF
Posts: 9291
Age: 61
Male

Greece (gr)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#110  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 12:02 pm

z8000783 wrote:
campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:Good luck with that then. :cheers:

John


:lol:

It may be the case that 'consciousness' doesn't actually mean anything useful to science.

I think the problem is not that it means nothing, it's that it can mean anything you like.

It's the same for intelligence, propose a definition then look for it and low and behold you find it. These are words that are man-made, that is the problem.

John


Yes.

BTW - are there any words that aren't 'man-made'?

:mrgreen:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#111  Postby UndercoverElephant » Apr 06, 2012 12:05 pm

campermon wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
The explanatory gap is the "hard problem" and if you don't understand that by now then you ought to be ashamed of yourself, given the length of time you've been posting on this board.


Yes, there is always the 'hard problem'.

Science can explain the 'how' bit, but 'why' will be still there for the philosophers to muck about with.

Much in the same way we are getting pretty near to answering 'how' the universe started but have no idea 'why'.


In a way, these aren't two different questions but different aspects of the same question. One of them is about why there is any such thing as consciousness and the other is about why there is a physical universe, but the only reason we know there is a physical universe is because we're conscious of one. They are both fundamental questions about the nature of reality, and both ultimately boil down to "why does anything exist?" Put it this way: I suspect that if and when an answer is found, it will end up covering both questions.
UndercoverElephant
 
Posts: 5774
Age: 45
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#112  Postby z8000783 » Apr 06, 2012 12:06 pm

campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:
campermon wrote:
z8000783 wrote:Good luck with that then. :cheers:

John


:lol:

It may be the case that 'consciousness' doesn't actually mean anything useful to science.

I think the problem is not that it means nothing, it's that it can mean anything you like.

It's the same for intelligence, propose a definition then look for it and low and behold you find it. These are words that are man-made, that is the problem.

John


Yes.

BTW - are there any words that aren't 'man-made'?

:mrgreen:

EEEEEEEEEooooooooooorrrrrscreeeeeetch.

My cat when it's in the tumble dryer. I think it means something like "What the fuck do you think you are doing putting me in here!".

John
I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
z8000783
 
Name: WTF
Posts: 9291
Age: 61
Male

Greece (gr)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#113  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 12:08 pm

:lol:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#114  Postby hackenslash » Apr 06, 2012 12:08 pm

:rofl:
Dogma is the death of the intellect
There is no more thunderous prescient of doom than the flutter of tiny wings...
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 17158
Age: 45
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#115  Postby UndercoverElephant » Apr 06, 2012 12:09 pm

campermon wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote: What can't be done is reducing "self-awareness" to neural function (quantum or otherwise).


Why not?


Because there is no non-circular way to define either "self" or "awareness". "Self-awareness" is exactly the same as "consciousness." It could only be "defined" via a Wittgenstein-busting "private ostensive definition", and that's no use if you want to reduce the thing to matter.


There seems to be some promising ideas outlined here;
'THE NEUROLOGY OF SELF-AWARENESS'
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramacha ... index.html



Ramachandran is a self-declared neutral monist. He doesn't believe consciousness is physical or can be reduced to physical things. He thinks both physical and mental things can be reduced to something else which is neither.
UndercoverElephant
 
Posts: 5774
Age: 45
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#116  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 12:20 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
campermon wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote: What can't be done is reducing "self-awareness" to neural function (quantum or otherwise).


Why not?


Because there is no non-circular way to define either "self" or "awareness". "Self-awareness" is exactly the same as "consciousness." It could only be "defined" via a Wittgenstein-busting "private ostensive definition", and that's no use if you want to reduce the thing to matter.


There seems to be some promising ideas outlined here;
'THE NEUROLOGY OF SELF-AWARENESS'
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/ramacha ... index.html



Ramachandran is a self-declared neutral monist. He doesn't believe consciousness is physical or can be reduced to physical things. He thinks both physical and mental things can be reduced to something else which is neither.


OK, let's forget the philosophy for the moment, I'm not particularly interested in Ramachandran's metaphysical leanings. :)

If self awareness can be measured in some sort of experiment (drawing on monkey faces or whatever..) and we suspect that mirror neurons enable this, then an experiment can be performed to demonstrate whether or not self awareness can be reduced to the function of mirror neurons.

I can't see the scientific problem here.
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#117  Postby UndercoverElephant » Apr 06, 2012 12:32 pm

campermon wrote:
OK, let's forget the philosophy for the moment, I'm not particularly interested in Ramachandran's metaphysical leanings. :)

If self awareness can be measured in some sort of experiment


What we are talking about when we say "consciousness" or "awareness" is the very fact that we are aware of anything at all. "Self-awareness" is one step beyond that, and it means "aware that I am aware" or "aware that I am separate from everything else." But judging by the rest of your post...


(drawing on monkey faces or whatever..) and we suspect that mirror neurons enable this, then an experiment can be performed to demonstrate whether or not self awareness can be reduced to the function of mirror neurons.

I can't see the scientific problem here.


...you are now talking about self-recognition of the physical body. You are talking about a system which is analysing sensory data, and processing it, working out that physical object it is sensing corresponds to "itself". Now...monkeys and dogs seem to be able to do things like this. Siamese fighting fish are totally incapable of it, and will relentlessly attack a mirror placed in their tank.

There's two aspects to this. The first has something to do with pattern-recognition. It has to to do with the ability to process the data coming in. There is no scientific problem explaining this ability, because it is typical of the sort of things brains do all the time. I can also imagine it is possible for a robot which is not conscious to learn how to recognise it's own "body" by trying to match up the instructions it is giving to its mobile parts with changes in the sensory data it is recieving.

The robot isn't conscious, but it is capable of doing the thing you claim is evidence of "self-awareness." Do you see the problem? There's no scientific difficulty in carrying out this sort of experiment, but it doesn't lead to any progress towards solving the Hard Problem. It doesn't close the explanatory gap, even if it might tell us something interesting about the way brains work.
UndercoverElephant
 
Posts: 5774
Age: 45
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#118  Postby twistor59 » Apr 06, 2012 12:33 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Ramachandran is a self-declared neutral monist.


A "monist" is a follower of the legendary Campermon IIRC
Feel your body melt Mum to mud to mad to dad
Dad diddley office Dad diddley office.....you're all full of ball
Dad to dam to dum to mum
Mum diddley washing Mum diddley washing.....you're all full of ball
User avatar
twistor59
RS Donator
 
Posts: 4632
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#119  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 12:36 pm

twistor59 wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
Ramachandran is a self-declared neutral monist.


A "monist" is a follower of the legendary Campermon IIRC


:pray:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: The Cambrian Explosion

#120  Postby campermon » Apr 06, 2012 12:39 pm

UndercoverElephant wrote:There's no scientific difficulty in carrying out this sort of experiment, but it doesn't lead to any progress towards solving the Hard Problem. It doesn't close the explanatory gap, even if it might tell us something interesting about the way brains work.


Yes. As I said before, science isn't interested, or even equipped, to answer the hard problem. We take pity upon the philosophers and spare them a few crumbs from our banquet table. :)
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
Moderator
 
Posts: 14324
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Evolution & Natural Selection

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest