Are plants conscious?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Musika, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This is why Hameroff and Penrose propose that while survival to reproduce is fundamental, the urge to actually mate for procreation is derived from the experience of "pleasure", a parsimonious state of organization.
    Note: sentience is not the same as intelligence and does not necessarily require a brain at all. What we call pleasure is from the production of Dopamine.. But there may many other mechanisms that produce a physical state of parsimony in non-brained organisms.
    In fact Penrose proposes that this phenomenon already occurs abstractly in "bonding" at quantum level.

    I mentioned the Table of Elements before. One can readily see that the protons, electrons, and neutrons are all arranged in specific and orderly mathematical patterns, which we attribute to the "attractive" properties between those quantum particles. Certain elements lack this stability and become radio active.
    http://www.atomicarchive.com/Physics/Physics5.shtml

    The same thing happens with building molecules. Their mathematical arrangements are always parsimonious. If not, they become unstable and revert to a simpler state.
    In my book all of the universe is mathematical in essence and with that I mean everything has a specific "value". When these values are "compatible" they will bond and form patterns, starting at quantum (atomic) level to complex organisms. All are fundamentally arranged by their mathematical values each which reinforces the whole. That is the Evolutionary process.

    Mutation and Natural Selection are natural probabilistic events. The more complex the organism the greater the probability for something going wrong and the mathematical processing between the system's information network becomes injured or is broken, usually results in detrimental effects, but once in awhile the error results in a beneficial trait to the organism. A beneficial "mutation". Of course the next day a meteor may smash on top of that organism and that would be "natural selection".....

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    But considering the astronomical mathematical values we are dealing with, any beneficial traits usually will survive and gain an advantage in survivability in order to find a mate.....

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    IMO, Sentience is the ability to experience change in "some form" of symmetry between comfort and discomfort by the exchange of information mathematical or biological in the functions of the organism, must be present because it provides "motive". And self-aware motivation provides purpose and meaning to the whole of the organism.

    My cat can't wait until I sit down to watch TV, the moment I am comfortable, he is on my chest, purring and scenting me with his cheeks. He knows that when I stroke him his personal goal to be stroked will have been achieved. Parsimony.

    As I understand Penrose, he thinks it goes even deeper.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  3. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    The filters of consciousness are a continuum. For instance an addicted or nonaddicted individual has reduced or increased scope for performance according to the aperture of their filter. Its not their consciousness that changes (in their self same body) but rather their outlook.

    Or alternatively, there are things that are conscious and things that are not conscious. Conscious things are imposed with various filters (such as their body or habits/behaviours). These filters give rise to a range actions which can grant greater or lesser perception of things. Unconscious things (such as ai) can be overlaid with the protocols of a filter, but this merely gives them the dissemblance of consciousness. So you can make an ai that "acts" like an earthworm or even a drug addict, but it is not conscious, so it will not ultimately "see" the world as one.

    No.
    If something has no self interest, it is not conscious.

    The perennial conflict between the perceptions of long term and short term benefits is an even more complicated realm that takes us even further away from what is capable of ai. There is another thread here about whether ai can develop mental illness. I haven't looked at it closely, but the very title suggests they have brought more than one horse before the cart.

    Planes are essentially vehicles with no brakes that crash unless they have a designated place to stop. Obviously a critical manouver in a plane takes a different form than a car.

    An aircraft's working environment, at least compared to cars with their windows of response time to collisions in response to multiple hazards, is many times less complex ... and that is just when you isolate driverless cars to freeways and other simplified environments they currently function on. If you want to move into congested urban environments, then the complexity of hazards grows exponentially ... hence the experience of an ai car of 1000's within minutes (even if you aren't periodically thrown around in your seatbelt).


    I am saying there is a whole realm of law beyond suing for damages - namely culpability (manslaughter, etc). Maybe its different in the states (the "home of the ridiculous law suit"), but practically everywhere else it represents a different kettle of fish. (Actually IIRC, even in the states rolled out a mandatory framework for ai standards, much to the hand wringing of the tech giants).

    In this case however it is the individuals employed by the manufacturer of the trolley who runs the potential of being liable (and not just in the sense of a corporate pay out for damages).
    IOW the fact that individuals within the manufacturing body may be liable to "trolley problems" indicates a new field .... and as it pertains to the OP, no one is talking about making the cars themselves culpable (since everyone clearly sees ai (artificial intelligence) as a but a transparent medium to the real ai (actual intelligence) driving the machine. IOW you just have to look at whose feet everyone will lay the blame at in the event of a catastrophe to clearly see how convincing this "independant ai" argument is.

    Unless the law enforcement agency is tremendously corrupt and dysfunctional, the charges of culpability begin and end with the cop (very few legal agencies in the civilized world have a policy endorsed by management of shooting non threatening unarmed people on sight, for instance)

    The problem arises when you try to engineer a protocol for a trolley problem response in ai and you (the programmer) read the data wrong. So you have a driverless vehicle taking evasive action in a scenario where a trolley problem response wasn't warranted (like say, swerving to avoid a piece of cardboard and killing a pedestrian in the process)
     
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  5. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, for the severely abridged version ....

    It basically arose from abiogenesis illustrating a necessarily reducible model for consciousness. Consciousness arose (or emerged) from matter, therefore consciousness must have no intrinsic quality beyond matter (so there is no ontological divide between ai and life, as far as consciousness is concerned).

    However, if all that can be demonstrated in the direction of abiogenesis is the synthesis of chemicals life utilizes (as opposed to the ?bio?synthesis of life), the clear divide between what can and cannot be ?bio?/synthesized spells the margin that one cannot exclude dualism from the path of inquiry.

    So posing a materially reducible anecdote for consciousness could be so much of the cat that never went up that tree, despite the extent of the barking that goes around the base of it.

    IOW purposely keeping it vague about exactly who is doing the "synthesizing" and to what ends seems to be a ploy to throw an ai spanner into the problem of consciousness.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    We have clearly demonstrated the synthesis of a living being from non-living chemicals, as a routine event in the world around us.
    Every conscious being we know of, like the unconscious ones, grew from being synthesized in this fashion.
    I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. Clearly many patterns emergent from substrates have properties, features, qualities, etc, that their substrates do not possess - that's a general truth of patterns and substrates. Quarks do not burn. Water molecules do not freeze. Chitin does not buzz, bite, or fly. Neurons do not think.
     
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    But do they "experience"?
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's not an argument, it's an observed fact.
    And so we see that survival is merely one of several possible immediate and contingent priorities a living being may have, and is always a temporary one.
    Suit yourself - they do not, as substrate, share the emergent properties of the living brain, much less the mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  10. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    You can inquire about dualism all you like, there's still no evidence that life is anything other than chemistry.
     
  11. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    On the contrary, its apparent to anyone who has shaken a dog's back leg in the general direction of biology and chemistry, there is quite a lot of inquiring going into proving what you claim there is no evidence of.
     
  12. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    here i think we have a dawning reality of the evolution of the human mind.
    it is only in th elast 30 to 50 years that the majority of modern western folk can conceptualise different types of consciousness.
     
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  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    physics meets biological mechanisms etc...
    fascinating and (to many)very scary.

    e.g "why do i pick my nose in public when im lying" ?
    "do i really have free will?" err-go panic attack about if they can resist buying the latest chinese apple iphone
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Except insects have been doing just fine for millions of years.......

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    and when the temporary life of homo sapiens comes to an end the insects will still thrive ........

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    Hive minds seem to acquire their own awareness and response mechanisms.
     
  15. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    So, you claim some scientists have a conclusion about the non-physical and are looking for evidence to prove it? Those aren't scientists! Because science doesn't work like that.
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Maximum lifespan of any insect is something like 25 years. Median would be closer to 25 days. So no exceptions there.
    And quite limited consciousness - not zero, maybe, but not given to reflection.

    Meanwhile, we seem to be revisiting the long-defunct billiard ball model of bottom-up preset mechanical fate. As if substrate determined pattern, ever.

    One can't help but speculate that in such a view the difference in consciousness between a plant and a person would be largely illusion - the one with no more freedom of choice than the other, would imply no actual role for consciousness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    We might not be able to build a mountain, with its complex arrangement of complex crystal structures, from scratch yet. We might not ever be able to. But that doesn't mean there is some magical effect that we can't duplicate. Same with cells.
     
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    To be more specific: What is chemically different between synthesis and reproduction?

    What difference does it make whether the chemicals were poured into a test tube by a "host" or they just happened to drift past each other in some scummy pond? How do the chemicals "know" about a host?

    I'm just asking how, at the chemical level, there can be a difference between an arrangement of chemicals and the same arrangement of chemicals. If you look at an arrangement of chemicals, can you tell how they got arranged that way? Is there "history" written on them?
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Right. They synthesized the genome and stuck it in a cell. The genome then 'took over' and directed reproduction.
    It proves that there is no difference between "natural" and "synthetic" genomes/proteins/enzymes etc.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    If you have ever seen an addict during a high, or during withdrawal, you would not think that "only their outlook" changed.
    Again, it's a scale, it is not a binary decision.
    Nope, sorry. You may prefer biological systems to mechanical or electronic ones. Doesn't change the definition of consciousness for those entities.
    So a human soldier that throws itself on a hand grenade to protect his comrades is not conscious?

    I think you would find a lot of people who would disagree with you on that.
    Are you a pilot?
    That's not a trolley problem, that's a bug in a sensor system. And THAT is what people will be working on solving.
     
  21. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    I agree. I never meant to imply there was a magical barrier that we will never be able to cross.
     
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  22. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    That's right. Scientists have been introducing/inserting synthetic macromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins/enzymes etc.) into cells and model organisms for a long time. I do it almost every week. The cells recognize and utilize the synthetic versions of these molecules in the same way they do for their own endogenous analogues.
     
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

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    but i wonder if there is a difference between plantlife where some plants are more conscious than others. for instance, if trees are more conscious than mushroom or grass etc.
     

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