do u think a God excists?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Tom, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,188
    Hi Hoth,

    Welcome to sciforums.

    I’m afraid I don’t follow your reasoning. Please explain a bit more.

    I believe you are incorrect in every aspect.

    1. The mind is what the brain does.
    2. The neural networks (brain patterns if you like) are the physical manifestation of thoughts and memories.
    3. Thoughts, mind, consciousness, are all products of the brain.

    What do you think the neural networks do if they are not responsible for thoughts and memories? Thoughts are not some abstract floating energy field; they are formed specifically by the physical properties of the brain.

    Define not physical if it isn’t supernatural?

    Try this link from Drake University -

    http://www.educ.drake.edu/romig/cogito/brain_and_mind.html

    A few quotes from the article –

    1. The Mind is What the Brain Does.
    2. Mind-Body dualism is rejected by modern cognitive scientists.
    3. The structure and functions of the brain largely determine the nature of mind.
    4. The neuron is the primary building block of the brain.
    5. The Processing Brain is Primarily a Meaning Maker.

    Have fun
    Cris
     
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  3. ImaHamster2 Registered Senior Member

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    Messin' with the brain. That is how this hamster intends to escape the limits of this hamster. Add a little here, nip a little there. Store some memories in chips. Use other chips to make the biological memories more accessible. Add a math chip to do the calculations for which the wetware seems so poorly equipped.

    Will CyberHamster be Imahamster? Will CyberHamster’s identity change with each revision of chip software?

    This hamster’s identity has always seemed to change. Sometimes quickly. Go from executive one day to bum the next. Is it the same person? Sometimes death is easier to accept than change.

    This hamster intends to shed identity as a snake sheds a skin it has outgrown.
     
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  5. ImaHamster2 Registered Senior Member

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    Cris, this hamster found the Drake University link interesting. However some of the information is outdated (examples provided below). Much speculation was presented as fact. The author seems too intent on presenting a complete theory of mind. This hamster feels the story is far more cloudy than one would gather from reading this article. (Good topics for the Nature of Thought thread. Wish you would participate. This hamster has enjoyed your posts.)

    “The human brain is composed of approximately 100 billion neurons each having 1 to 10 thousand synaptic connections to other neurons (providing an incredibly large number of possible connections)”

    And yet later this hamster reads…

    “The brain consists of approximately 10 billion neurons”

    “Cro-magnon cave paintings at Lascaux, France, made about 17,000 years ago, provide one of our earliest records of human "mind." The paintings provide rich pictures of hunting scenes, showing the animals in great detail, but there is an almost total absence of human figures. It suggests that early man did not have a firm concept of self. “

    “Studies of chimpanzee behavior show that primates other than man (some of whom share up to 99% of the genetic material carried by humans) show no evidence of consciousness Chimps exhibit social behaviors, even primitive communication, but show little ability to use symbols and no sense of self.”

    “Evolution is facilitated by a genetic mutation rate of about 10%”

    This hamster finds the above quotes highly questionable.

    Overall an interesting read but to be chewed carefully before swallowing.
     
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Hi Hamster,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yes I was looking for something that wasn't so lost in scientific terminology that made it difficlut to read but not so simple that my point wasn't made.

    I need to dig deeper and this would probably be good material for the science forums, it is time I returned there I think. But I do seem to enjoy controversy more than the discipline of dry science, and religion definitely stimulates more controversy than almost anything else.

    Take care my furry friend.
    Cris
     
  8. ImaHamster2 Registered Senior Member

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    Cris, this hamster has never learned to provide the right level of information. Tend to be a pedantic little critter.

    Explaining complex systems to newcomers has caused this hamster distress. Should one start with a simple explanation that would be understood but that contained fundamental errors? This hamster’s approach has been to preface explanation by saying that the following story is largely fiction. Once they understood the simple story, this hamster would tell a better story. Few were willing to listen to the hamster’s final story. Hehe.

    There is an art to teaching and explaining that is beyond this hamster. Cris does it well.
     
  9. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    383
    Yes, I think that substitution would be a big mistake. You seem to be identifying your body as you, which works in regular life but doesn't make much sense in philosophy. It's your body, but if you somehow ended up in another body you'd still be you... and if someone else got transplanted into your body you would cease to identify with that body since it'd be someone else's.

    The brain itself is the weird part of the body. It seems to be very deeply linked to the self, seems to create the self, but you still can't say you are your brain because you never actually directly experience being your brain. The only thing you directly encounter is thought, which clearly lies with the mind rather than the brain even though there's of course the causal relationship between the two. As far as I can see, the mind is where the actual person exists.

    The only definition I can give is "thought-like"... thoughts are the only things I've observed that aren't physical. (You could also choose to conclude as Hindu thought does that your observation of thought means that the consciousness itself is at a higher lever than thought, in another sort of state... but that can't be observed since there's no way of getting an outside perspective on that.)

    1. The Mind is What the Brain Does.

    If that means the mind is what the brain creates, maintains, and triggers thoughts in, then yes, I agree.

    2. Mind-Body dualism is rejected by modern cognitive scientists.

    Dualism in the Cartesian sense of the mind and body being unrelated types of things is obviously false. If the mind and body were entirely different types of things, they couldn't possibly communicate. Yet, we know thoughts are based on brain patterns. Also at least many of us recognize the mind can't exist without the brain... which dualists wouldn't accept.

    At the same, the purely physical approach is also false. If the brain is basically no different in nature than a rock, that can explain all the patterns in the brain but it doesn't explain how there could be anything to be conscious of that. A neuron can't be aware of itself.

    I'll just give you several of the reasons people have pointed out for why the mind can't be simply physical:

    1) Qualia - You can sit in a closet and learn everything there is to know about a color, for example all the wavelengths that produce blue, but that can never be the same thing as experiencing it. The wavelength of light we call blue, and the stimulus it causes in the brain, are not the experience of blue themselves. Another example is emotion... emotion corresponds to brain states, but the brain states themselves are not the actual experiences of anger, happiness, sadness, etc. -- the related brain states simply prompt the qualitative experience that is itself mental rather than physical.

    2) Subjectivity / privacy - It's possible, if everything in the mind is in fact produced by the brain, that a theoretical machine could perfectly deduce from chemical reactions in the brain what a person is thinking. This could never duplicate that person's experience of those thoughts. You hook yourself up to another theoretical machine that would stimulate those same thoughts in you, but those would be your thoughts as a result of being experienced by you. That's what I mean by subjectivity.

    And another commonly pointed out one, just because it's an interesting idea:
    3) Intentionality - Unlike patterns of neurons, thoughts can be about things other than themselves. I can have a thought that's about sciforums, and it there will be activity in my brain related to that, but the brain activity itself can never have the intentionality. The pattern of firing neurons can't be about sciforums, because that aboutness is a mental concept. Maybe it makes it a little clearer if I point out that beliefs and reasoning involve this... machines produce results, but to have those be about something requires a mental aspect to provide the intentionality. (This actually seems a lot weaker to me than the qualia and subjectivity ideas... because if you give up the idea of free will you might be able to attempt some sort of way of saying there is no intentionality and seeming intentionality is just random chance. Or maybe I just don't understand it well enough.)

    Most modern philosophers who study the mind will tell you that there are emergent mental aspects to the physical brain. (A few still cling to total physicalism/materialism or total dualism of course, but I reserve the right to ignore them.

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    )

    3. The structure and functions of the brain largely determine the nature of mind.
    4. The neuron is the primary building block of the brain.
    5. The Processing Brain is Primarily a Meaning Maker.


    I agree with all that. Note in #3 right there you've shown a distinction between the brain and the mind yourself. Thanks, you've made my point for me.

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    The brain seems to determine thought, but the brain itself is not and cannot be those thoughts themselves. If you open up a person's brain you can find all the neurons firing, but you can never find the actual thoughts they create -- the thoughts aren't physical, they're mental.
     
  10. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    579
    My guess is that despite our disagreement about the workings of the mind, most of the folks here would agree that our brain along with the rest of our body is made entirely from the set of ninety-two or so naturally occurring atomic building blocks.

    Having accepted that, imagine that we could devise a machine that scans the human body to create a database of the location, type, orientation, etc. for every atom in the body. Imagine also that we could build a machine that extracts atoms from raw material and places them one by one into their proper location as directed by the above database. In principle, we could use a municipal waste dump as a source for our atoms. Trash goes in one end and a duplicate human comes out the other end. This process creates the perfect clone; an exact reproduction that includes every memory held by the human at the moment they were scanned.

    From spectrographic studies we know that the identical atoms which make up our body also exist in distant space (in fact, the atoms that make up our body were created in distant space). So, in theory we might give instructions to a race of alien beings on how to build a copy of our atomic-extraction-reconstruction machine on their distant planet. Once they finish tightening the last screw on their machine, we could send them the database of information to reconstruct a human on their planet, perhaps using a pile of their municipal waste as the resource of raw atoms. Obviously, what I'm describing is similar to the fictional "teleportation" device from the Star Trek television series.

    Now suppose I want to go on an extra-terrestrial holiday. I download my data to the distant planet and I receive back a sort of "check sum" verification that the reproduction was a success. I now exist in two places. At this point I could safely kill myself on planet earth and the copy of me is free to lie about on a distant beach until my vacation is over and it is time to reverse the process and "return" to earth.

    Though these imaginary machines sound fantastic, I'm reminded that some scientists believe each and every molecule in our body is replaced over a period of roughly every seven years. Our body quite naturally performs a task similar to what I envision that a machine might be made to do. It is thus very probable that atom for atom, I am an entirely different person at age 44 than I was at age 22. The 22 year old Michael was killed sometime before my 30th birthday and replaced with an identical copy.

    But this begs a digression on the topic of how one atom might be tagged as unique from another atom? A 60kg human contains roughly 39kg of oxygen, 11kg of carbon, 6kg of hydrogen, 2kg of nitrogen, 1kg of calcium, 0.6kg of phosphorus, along with the lesser trace elements. It is my tentative contention that every atom in your body is identical to every atom of the same type in my body, the same as every atom from my 22 year old body was identical to every atom of the same type in my 44 year old body (This reminds me that a well-known physicist, whose name now escapes me, once suggested that perhaps there is only one electron; it just continually zips around every atom in the universe in an endless loop). Since we humans are made up from identical building blocks, it appears that the practice of killing the original once a perfect copy has been produced, is above moral reproach. (Though hopefully the "killing" will be done by nearly instantaneously randomizing the atoms in the body of my original, rather than just whacking me with a fire-axe!)

    Hmm…as I finished that last paragraph I began to think of the implications should we ever be able to prove that our universe is only one among an infinity of universes which make up the so-called "multiverse". If an infinite number of randomly varying universes could be proved to exist, there would be no question that an exact duplicate of me exists in at least one other universe. In fact, an infinite number of identical replicas of me would certainly exist! And if it were true that an infinite number of "me" already exists, then my suicide here on earth would be of no consequence. By my teleportation argument above, one less "me" here on earth could easily be countered by the concept of infinity. If you remove one member from an infinite set of identical members, you are left with the same infinite set. My suicide here on earth will not in the least reduce the infinite set of my identical replicas!

    And as I finished that last paragraph I began to think how spooky it would be if our earth were in fact only a hard copy "backup" created by another planet. Well...yes, that's my signal that it's time to think about something else for a while

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    Some folks might be disheartened to think that their most sincere hope and most tender love is constructed from nothing more than piles of carbon, phosphorus, and the like. I don't find this idea disheartening; I find it fascinating! It's often been said that a single neuron does not have the capacity to think or to love, but a complex interconnected network of 100 billion neurons does have the ability to love. I certainly cannot state this any better than did Francis Crick in his "Astonishing Hypothesis":

    “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. It does not come easily to most people to believe that I am the detailed behavior of a set of nerve cells,
    however many there may be and however intricate their interactions. But I know I am in there somewhere, looking out on the world.”

    A postscript;
    In the words of Neils Bohr, "Everything I say should be considered a question, rather than a statement."

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2002
  11. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

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    373
    Cris, Hoth & orthogonal...

    as well as anyone else interested in mind/brain topics...

    The recent posts offered here have been a pleasure to read. Although I'm not the originator of the Nature of Thought thread, I have no doubt that your contributions would be welcome there as well.

    Stimulating stuff.

    Thx,

    Counterbalance
     
  12. ImaHamster2 Registered Senior Member

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    Orthogonal the well-known physicist with the time-traveling electron-positron was a hamster hero Richard Feynman who exemplified scientific brilliance and creativity spiced with playful zest.
     
  13. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    Good Man Hamster (er...oh whatever),

    It was Feynman? Gosh, I'd totally forgotten where I read that, but it makes perfect sense that he would have said it.

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2002
  14. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    383
    Orthogonal, I would say that a clone of yourself with the exact same memories and thoughts would not be you. It would think just like you, but you yourself would not be conscious of the identical set of thoughts in its mind... only of the thoughts in your current mind. You would not suddenly gain the ability to control a body that exists light years away and become a mind that exists light years away, because it would still not be yours, just a duplicate that everyone else would see as you. That's what subjectivity is all about... you can't do anything physical to make it possible to be conscious of multiple minds... you're stuck being conscious of only one mind, and not of any copies. Restoring a backup would work nicely to let everyone else think you were still alive, but there's no reason to think your consciousness would suddenly be transfered over to the backup.
     
  15. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    2,235
    Oh well ...

    Cris

    Re. "...if you are assuming that ‘person’ means your whole body"

    It's the only way I can 'think' of 'me' ... or anyone else. I cannot 'think' of you
    as a 'person' ... You are simply a construct from those who I have interacted
    with over the years who seem to have had similar thoughts and similar ways
    of expressing them.

    Re. "You are your mind and that is also your brain."

    Don't agree. I consider 'myself' to be the sum of all the experiences I have
    had over the years ... as experienced with this body and it's unique way
    of interacting with the environments it has found itself in over the years.
    My 'brain' is what has evaluated, integrated, and stored the sensory inputs
    the rest of 'me' has provided it with.

    Re. "Without an identity would you still be you?"

    Where does 'identity' come into the picture? What does it mean?
    Without the totality of my memories I would not be 'me'. Is that what you
    mean by 'identity'; the uniqueness of my life experience as evaluated and
    integrated, then stored in my uniquely structured brain?

    Hoth

    Re. "You seem to be identifying your body as you, which works in regular
    life but doesn't make much sense in philosophy."


    What 'philosophy' are you talking about that doesn't find sense in 'regular' life?

    Re. "... if you somehow ended up in another body you'd still be you... "

    If you ended up in a female's body (I'm assuming you are a male, if not,
    reverse 'female') do you really think 'you' would still be you?

    Re. "The only thing you directly encounter is thought,"

    The only thing I 'directly encounter' is my body, 'me'.

    Re. " ... the mind is where the actual person exists."

    Please define: 'actual person'

    Take care all.
     
  16. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

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    4,197
    Interesting twist with the Sci-fi bit...

    Great input Orth, wow, the good old days of Star-Treck brought back some memories. Loved that show.

    A little more sci-fi:

    The other day at work I thought of something outrageous, totally mystical and yet apealing to discussions.

    *"We are one individual, with billions of personalities" Each individual that exists is I, and each individual that has perished is one of my personlities that has expired. I am god!*

    Well the thought crossed my mind, then I cracked up laughing as I know of the imposibilities of it. However if ancient civilizations had believed such rhetoric, it would more than likely would be some tipe of belief today.
     
  17. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    383
    Re: Oh well ...

    Yes, if I ended up in a female body I'd certainly still say I'd be me. I wouldn't be the same, but I'd still be me in the basic sense even though not in the externally observable sense.

    This also answers the part about defining "person"... what I call "me" is that which is conscious. The stuff I'm conscious of (like my body) is very important to me and I strongly identify with it, but if I got switched to an alien body and even got a new set of memories with my old ones being wiped out, I'd still be conscious... I'd still exist in most basic sense, I'd just be very different.

    You've never directly encountered your body. (In fact when it comes right down to it you can't absolutely prove it exists, you just have to do like G.E. Moore and say you know it without proving it.) You can only encounter conceptions of your body through thought. Every bit of sense data you get through your body and of your body has to be expressed in the mind for you to actually experience it... thus it's only the mental part that you're directly encountering.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2002
  18. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    579
    Hello Holth,

    Suppose…
    I surreptitiously scanned your body, and only a moment later introduced you to an exact duplicate of yourself. But I immediately have second thoughts about what I've done, so I decide to kill the duplicate. Unfortunately, I've lost track of which one of you was the original and which was the duplicate. Of course I can't now tell the difference, so I ask the both of you to decide which one of you should be killed.

    Holth, I'm asking you to imagine yourself in this situation. You are fully capable of playing both roles. Neither of you has a clue that he is the duplicate. Please let me know how the both of you will jointly agree to the killing of one of you.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  19. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    383
    Obviously, both of us would say to kill the other one.

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    We'd both think the other one must be the duplicate. From the perspective of the clone, I would seem like the duplicate, just as the clone would seem like the duplicate to me... and to you the outsider, we'd seem just the same. However, once the duplication process occurs I would not be conscious of the thoughts going on in the mind of the other version... and the other version would not be conscious of the thoughts going on in my mind. There would be no dual consciousness, just as there'd be no ability for my mind to cause the clone's leg to move. You can have two things that look totally identical and have totally identical compositions, but if they're in different places they automatically have distinct perspectives.

    If you as the creator want to kill one of us, it makes no difference to you or the world which one you kill. We'd seem exactly the same in every observable way. Objectively you'd call us the same person. Whichever one of us you shot, that one would be quite upset and would think you made the wrong choice. Subjectively I myself would still have only one consciousness though, and so if you killed the one that I was conscious of then I would not be conscious anymore, I'd be dead. Naturally that means I'd prefer you kill the one I'm not conscious of so that I can continue to go on experiencing this strange property we call consciousness.
     
  20. whatsherface imaginary entity Registered Senior Member

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    136
    Funny you should say that, Godless, i've been thinking that too, something along the lines of if there is only one consciousness which we each imagine we use separately that might reflect in each as being many personalities imagining we are one.
     
  21. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    Holth,

    Your answer was well stated.

    However, I don't understand where your question of a "dual consciousness" arose. If you were to be identically replicated, your thought would no more cause your replica's leg to move than your thought would cause my leg to move.

    Ahhh...now I think I see what you're thinking! You believe that since you and your replica were identical at the moment the replica was created, that you both must remain forever identical. I see it quite differently. From the moment your replica was created, his life track will begin to diverge from yours.

    Think of the so-called, "butterfly effect", which is used to explain how tiny differences become amplified in a complex system to produce vastly different results. The idea is that a butterfly flapping it's winds in Europe might end up producing a storm in the Americas. Said another way:

    "For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse, the battle was lost.
    From loss of the battle, a war was lost."

    In other words, seemingly insignificant and random events would cascade to change the course of the life of both you and your replica. Think of the case where twins are delivered only minutes apart from the same mother, yet they end up with different careers and with different life fortunes. Granted, you and your replica are not merely twins, you are instead identical in every respect at the moment the replica was created. But after the replication you and your replica become two autonomous beings. What if you and your replica decided that neither of you would die? What if you both instead agreed to meet again twenty years later at the very same spot? Can you imagine how different your two lives would become in the intervening years?

    More abstractly; you and I came from the same ancestor. Never mind that I'd rather think I was related to shower-mold than own up to my common ancestory with certain other humans on this planet! But in a sense, we are all simply members of a single, six billion celled human organism. Seen from a distance of a billion light years, the ten thousand mile difference between myself and a man in China is as insignificant as the distance between a skin cell on the tip of my nose and another on my left ear. All humans came from the same mother, we are co-dependant and interrelated to a high degree, we all share the space contained in this tiny speck of a planet, and yet we see ourselves first and foremost as individuals. In the above context, this notion of individuality seems quite a silly illusion. I suppose if the cells in my body each had a consciousness, they would think that they also have individual free-will.

    So Holth, does this make sense to you? Well, maybe not the last paragraph

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    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2002
  22. Hoth Registered Senior Member

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    Exactly. That's why I'm saying I would not be the same person as the replica, just as I'm not the same person as you. Relating back to your earlier mention of the idea of long-distance space travel by having a replica of yourself created light years away and then destroying the version of you that's here on Earth: this is why I'd be very unwilling to let someone disintegrate me in the name of faster space travel -- I'd have no reason to believe that I would become conscious of the duplicate which wakes up light years away.

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    Yes, I agree once the clone is created it starts to become different. I didn't mean to imply that it would have to stay the same, I was just using that to illustrate the point. My point was that even if it were theoretically possible for the replica to be exactly the same composition and even exactly the same thoughts for a moment, the duplicate still wouldn't be me since I would only be aware of the thoughts in my mind and still not of the duplicate thoughts in the replica's mind.

    Of course with a real life clone, like identical twins, they end up with a lot of very different thoughts and different lives.

    In the above context, this notion of individuality seems quite a silly illusion. I suppose if the cells in my body each had a consciousness, they would think that they also have individual free-will.

    The notion of individuality may not be that important from the perspective of the universe, but then again neither is life itself or much of anything. Individuality is very meaningful from the perspective of how you actually interact with that universe. You can never be anyone but yourself. With or without free will, you can still only observe things from your one consciousness which seems to be restricted to looking at a single mind, and can process the universe only through that mind.

    If cells were conscious, then from their perspective individuality would be important. For example a conscious cell inside me wouldn't care much if I live another 60 or 70 years if the cell itself is going to die within a week. It would only consider the larger me important because of its tight connection and interaction with other parts of me during its life... in other words, the cell would only care about me because of my relation to it during its life.

    By the way, there's no "l" in Hoth.

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  23. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

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    Hoth,

    I'm pleased that we still have a fundamental conceptual disagreement. You object that an exact duplicate of you created in a different physical location is not you. (I'm pleased we disagree, because if we agreed, this pleasant discussion would be over)

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    Suppose you and I face each other in a conversation while standing on the surface of an otherwise empty and infinite geometrical plane. But as I'm in the middle of speaking, I suddenly find you standing ten feet to the left of me. So, I walk over to you and we continue having our conversation. But a moment later, while you are in mid-sentence, you again disappear before my eyes, and I hear your voice coming from twenty feet behind me. I turn around and walk over to you and we continue our conversation uninterrupted. Now remember, you object that an exact duplicate of you created in a different physical location is not you.

    Now comes the fun part of this argument! You abruptly disappeared only to reappear ten feet to the left of me, but in fact, it could have been me that disappeared only to reappear ten feet to the right of you! We have no way of deciding if it was you or if it was I that was instantly killed and reproduced in another spatial location. All you know is that my position suddenly shifted before your eyes. All I know is that your position suddenly shifted before my eyes. Neither of us has any way of knowing which of us was so unlucky(?) as to have been killed and reproduced.

    Your argument that the spatially distant, yet otherwise exact reproduction of you produced let's say, on planet Zenon, could never really be you, prompts me to ask yet more questions. Would you be the same person if you took just one step to the right? Now imagine that instead of taking one step to the right, my reproduction machine scans you where you stand and recreates you one step to the right by placing each and everyone of your original atoms back into the same relative physical position in your body. Your earlier argument was that this reproduction would not be the same as you. But may I point out that each time you take a step to the right, you are in fact producing the exact same result as does my machine; you are physically displacing every atom in your body by the distance of one step. If by chance my argument begins to sway you to think that you might be the same person if either you or the machine moved you one step to the right, then why would the principle not be the same if the machine moved you to planet Zenon? It doesn't matter if you "transmit" your body into the next room using your own legs or my machine "transmits" your body to the planet Zenon.

    But I already hear your complaint! When you or my machine moves you one step to the right, exactly the same set of atoms is displaced one step to the right. But when you are displaced to the remote planet of Zenon, it is necessary to recreate you using a local source of atoms found on planet Zenon. I return now to my earlier assertion that an atom of calcium in your left thighbone is exactly identical and indistinguishable from an atom of calcium found perhaps in the shell of a clam-like creature which at this moment is lying at the bottom of an ocean of hydrogen peroxide on the planet Zenon. Atoms have model numbers affixed to them, but not serial numbers! Please remember what I wrote earlier about the fact that your body completely exchanges its molecules over the course of seven years. Also remember that most of the atoms that make up our body have been recycled many times from past life. When I look at my arm; I am looking at the long dead bodies of fish, mammoths, carpenter ants, and even humans. It would be strange for me to claim that all these atoms that were part of so much past life are somehow unique and necessary to my own special being. Think further that the atoms in my arm were recycled from distant stars before they were recycled from the nearly countless earthly forms of life. What makes me unique is not the specific atoms that make up my body, it is the unique way in which these atoms are organized! Organization is property of information. An important property of information is that it may be transmitted, thus, I may be transmitted!

    Sorry about the "l", Hoth, I don't know where I picked that up!

    Regards,
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2002

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