How did consciousness manifest?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Theoryofrelativity, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned

    you are correct

    will do so later. thanks
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  3. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    How come the IQ 155 didn't manage to find the proper forum for this topic?

    Consciousness doesn't always manifest it appears.
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Yes seven pages back on 23Aug I posted:

    "You {SpuriousMonkey} seem to make no distinction between consciousness and awareness. This is a very useful distinction. Machines can be very aware (sensing even things like EM waves which humans can not.) but lack consciousness. Consciousness is essentially impossible to define but its existence is undeniable, but not demonstrable by behavior. Traditionally a humanoid behaving in all aspect as if were a conscious human is called a zombie in cognitive science circles. Consciousness is a first person, not third person, observable thing. Generally it is also associated with "mental states" for example "being thirsty" or "in pain" (These are "qualias" or “feelings“) other mental state are "desires" and "beliefs" etc. Zombies do not (by definition) have mental states."

    A quick summary:

    is the sensing of external factors / conditions / states, as machines (and all animals, humans included, and most plants) can do.*
    "SelfAwareness" is the sensing of internal factors / conditions / states, as machines (and many animals, humans included, and some plants) can do.*

    "Consciousness" fundamentally is posing "mental states" and "mental" is a described at the end of the above paragraph.

    A machine can behave as if it were hungry but it lacks the "qualia" of "hungry" - what it feels like to be hungry. It can have a "state of internal "food" indicator, but that is not a "feeling" or "qualia."

    Back in circa 1950, APL built a little "self aware" robot that wandered around in the halls, until its battery got low, then it systematically searched for an electric outlet to plug into, so it could recharge its battery. When you saw it do so, you might remark:
    "I thought it would eat soon because it has been going around in this hall most of the day. - Finally it got hungry and we can have some quiet in the halls now."
    This is however pure anthropomorphism. - It was just responding to the logic of the program built into it into - the "seek outlet" sub-routine. It was not really hungry.

    Hard to know how far down to simpler life forms "qaulia" exist, but surely not to single cell animals, and very likely not to some with millions of cells.

    My main concern is "how far up do they go?" - I.e. am I really different from that robot? Or do I just have a generalization in “my programs” that covers many cases of my behavior. - Various of my “food state indicators” are low and all “lumped together” as the "mental state" I am "hungry"??? I.e. are “qualia” real, or just illusions.
    *Awareness can be confirmed(with very high confidence) by behavioral studies, but consciousness can not be - See prior discussion about "zombies" the philosophical sense (not from Hatti etc.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2006
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  7. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned


    "In psychology, bicameralism is a controversial theory which argues that the human brain once assumed a state known as a bicameral mind in which cognitive functions are divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking," and a second part which listens and obeys.

    The term was coined by psychologist Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in the 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that the bicameral mentality was the normal state of the human mind everywhere as recently as 3000 years ago. He used governmental bicameralism metaphorically to describe this state, exemplifying his theoretical postulate that language (and thus thought) expands by the use of metaphors."

    fascinating ,

    From a tightly constrained definition of human consciousness, Jaynes offers a wealth of archeological and historical evidence to build his thesis. A novel idea even now, Jaynes proposed that until about 3 000 years ago, the human mind was sharply divided - a "bicameral mind." One part dealt with the normal daily occupations of survival and reproduction. The other part was a conduit for communications with the gods. Jaynes portrays the brain's structure and how it might generate "hallucinatory" voices and images that were construed as supernatural. Not until the civilization of Greece was well advanced did the consciousness we're familiar with arise and partially replace these hallucinatory visions. The pivot point, in Jaynes' view, is the distinction between the Iliad and Odyssey."

    the book suggest people thought they were talking to god

    If this were true then why did not people from those times who wrote books etc detail talking to God and hearing voices as if it were the norm? If everyone was that way inclined, it would have been normal and not a topic for debate and certainly those claiming to be talking to god would not have been held in high esteem or ridiculed or promoted to religious positions? If everyone communicated (or so they thought) with god in their head they would not think it odd when someone mentioned it?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I read book about 25 years ago (still have it in storage box). Your observation is a good one, but not destructive of Jame's thesis, which I strongly doubt. By analogy, why are the thought of Warren Buffet or Greenspan etc. reported, commented upon? Answer, now as back then, was the pronouncements of some are /were more important than others.

    The oracle (always a young girl, probably incoherently intoxicated*) at Delphi (and some other sites) made incomprehensible utterances, which were "interpreted" by the guardians of the site. These revelations were cleverly developed over the years so after the facts were established, usually the predictions could be found to be true.

    Moses was another case, where god's voice was often reported. - read your Bible.

    Summary: Even if all heard god speak, some in positions of authority had their revelations written down.
    * She sat on three legged stool always over a certain spot (I have stood over it too, but nothing happen.) However, there is a minor geologic fault passing thru that spot and reason to believe that there was more geologic activity back when the Oracle was functioning. Someone went there and collected gas samples about 30 years ago and reported that an intoxicating volcanic gas is still detectable. - I have no way to know if it is true, but interesting.
  9. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned

    eh? What Bible would that be? I have no religion...and no Bible.
  10. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    It's not about sex, it's about good sex. If you have sex with the wrong ones, you'll die later. So it's not simply sex, it's having sex with the ones who want to live.
  11. valich Registered Senior Member

    No, I do not understand what you mean, or what you want me to elaborate on? As Perplexity replied, consciousness is a help, not a hindrance to thought. It can oversee what you are thinking about and guide your thoughts if you develop your consciousness to that extent. Some people never do because they are too busy struggling to survive with basic sustenance. They don't have the time for any reflective thought. Meditation helps to clear your mind of all your complicated intertwined thoughts so that you can think more clearly afterwards.

    Spurious: Just curious. Who has an IQ of 155?

    Also, why don't you elaborate on what you mean by "Consciousness doesn't always manifest it appears." To me I think it appears because you can delineate layers of consciousness and in doing so you become aware that you have a consciousness, or you become conscious of your consciousness: thus it appears. we probably mean the same thing. I dunna know.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Too bad (about the lack of at least access to a Bible. For me, your lack of any formal religion is not much of a loss, although I do think one can look around and this should at least provide a sense of awe or mystery to it all, which some chose to summarize in "god made it" or similar non-explanatory views.)

    I think you should at least peruse most books that have survived widely read for more than 100 years. On that theory, in addition to slowing working my way thru those you find in the 39 volumes of Britannica’s "Great Books" series, I have skimmed the book of Mormon, and once when in a San Francisco hotel, years ago, I was pleased to find that the oriental equivalent of the "Gideon Society" had placed Buda's works (or was it the writing of Confusus?) in my hotel room.
  13. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    And that's why it takes intelligence. You can meditate while at work, or on the way to work. There is plenty of time to study your environment, the problem is people forget to step back and get outside of themselves when they think. When you go to work, most jobs are easy, just routines, same sorta thing every single day.

    These types of jobs give you plenty of chances to study reality, because there isnt much else to think about since almost all jobs are meditative. If you are programing in code, thats as much meditation as if you were driving people around all day in a taxi, because a taxi driver can be enlightened and have conversations, while the coder could be in a trance while coding, thinking about multiple subjects at the same time.

    When you code, or when you are good at something, you get into the zone where you don't even have to think about what you are doing anymore. You have 8 hours to do it, you have 8 hours to work, and basically type in code, and during this 8 hours you can be thinking whatever the hell you want.


    #include < stdio.h >
    init main() {
    printf("hello world");

    #include <iostream>

    int main()
    std::cout << "Hello World!" << std::endl;

    Two basic hello world programs, but writing a program in any programming language is based on the same fundamentals, just like consciousness is based on fundamentals. If you understand the fundamentals to life, you'll not need to spend 100 years to reach a hightened awareness. The fundamentals could be explained in a few sentences about the length of the hello world program.
  14. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    Who's to say consciousness exists, as we learn and know it to be, at all?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2006
  15. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    So we shouldn't take anything for granted then... such as what we recognise as consciousness, may not actually exist at all? Utterly subjective and yet we can't evidence it. Just because there's more than one imagination in the world, doesn't necessarily mean that what is experienced by them is actually happening - it just creates extensions to that reality - doesn't it?
  16. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    I thought utterly subjective and conscious were wholly equivalent: a Roget's version of ergo cogito sum.
    If you claim a description of anything to be subjective, you are tacitly acknowledging the reality of consciousness.
  17. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    Ok if consciousness does not exist, what are you?
  18. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    Yep, as we all are - we're hypocrites of ourselves... it's purely imagination - You and I, and everything.
  19. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    I'm a figment of our imaginations - just because there's one more imagination in the room - this forum, or anywhere else in our lives (people etc), doesn't establish that they or you, or I are actually in any existence. Consciousness might as well be a series of cross-referenced habits... and nothing more, that mimic the interactions of any other atom-based microcosm - that our consciousnesses take for granted exist too.
  20. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    It doesn't necessarily mean that consciousness actually exists though.
  21. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    I'm merely attempting to logically explain our point of origin - being nothingness. Nothingness is paradoxically, the only thing that can exists wouldn't you agree? The basis to the all and everything. Our logical brains however, have a hard time in explaining logic's non-existence though, as that's all we've come to know and be.

    --- Chris.
  22. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned


    funnily enough when googling nothing exists I found this:

    I love the madness of how it is written

    (please try to forget the God implication, just an intresting piece of writing, oddly repetative yet charmingly bizarre)

    "The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God. ...and so ON!"
  23. Chris_Smith Registered Senior Member

    God eh? ...this must be an interpretation for the one true origin... not God though. There's a difference. God's linked to the impractical, fairy-land mess, a mind dreams up when self-denied such freedom of all his/her/its senses.

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