The Evolution of Human Consciousness

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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 22nd, 2018, 10:15 am 

mitchellmckain » June 22nd, 2018, 12:28 am wrote:
The demonstrable and repeatable facts of human consciousness could never be irrelevant. The fanciful ideas of self-styled philosophers about some imagined "true nature of consciousness," however, may indeed be irrelevant. If anything is going to make such philosophical ideas relevant, it is the attention they give to the scientific facts. Thus the dismissal of science in your words here only give good reason for the dismissal your own propositions.


I'm not going to be allowed to defend my theory here but just for the record I never said that there's anything wrong with science. I said that there is a problem with "science" and much of it is simply wrong.

"Experimental research on consciousness presents special difficulties, due to the lack of a universally accepted operational definition. In the majority of experiments that are specifically about consciousness, the subjects are human, and the criterion used is verbal report: in other words, subjects are asked to describe their experiences, and their descriptions are treated as observations of the contents of consciousness.[79]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

Each researcher is by definition measuring something different.

"The topic of animal consciousness is beset by a number of difficulties. It poses the problem of other minds in an especially severe form, because non-human animals, lacking the ability to express human language, cannot tell us about their experiences.[56]"

Since every researcher is using language to gauge levels, states, and even types of "consciousness" it certainly follows that the nature of language plays a vital and fundamental role in our "understanding" of consciousness by any current definition.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby mitchellmckain on June 22nd, 2018, 1:41 pm 

cladking » June 22nd, 2018, 9:15 am wrote:I'm not going to be allowed to defend my theory here but just for the record I never said that there's anything wrong with science. I said that there is a problem with "science" and much of it is simply wrong.

The retreat recorded here is to a more reasonable position. Since science is about objective observation, there is an inherent blind spot when its focus is turned upon the observer himself. But these difficulties do not constitute proof of alternate hypotheses, let alone support a claim that consciousness is unquantifiable. There is still much that can be observed and measured in the operation of the brain and the processes of living organisms.

As always the philosophical aspects of the question will be plagued by disputes, for that is the nature of philosophical inquiry. Complaints about this cannot rationally justify turning from the methods of science to that of mere rhetoric which is all philosophy has going for it. Instead the diversity of opinion in the philsophical considerations must simply be accepted and embraced while keeping the few findings of science as a judge of which opinions are viable.

cladking » June 22nd, 2018, 9:15 am wrote:"Experimental research on consciousness presents special difficulties, due to the lack of a universally accepted operational definition. In the majority of experiments that are specifically about consciousness, the subjects are human, and the criterion used is verbal report: in other words, subjects are asked to describe their experiences, and their descriptions are treated as observations of the contents of consciousness.[79]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

Each researcher is by definition measuring something different.

This is a silly claim to make. Researchers MAY indeed be measuring something different, but it does not follow that these are not a part of the phenomenon of consciousness, which might and I would even say is likely to be a large collection of different abilities reflecting the many different ways in which we are aware of the environment and ourselves.

cladking » June 22nd, 2018, 9:15 am wrote:"The topic of animal consciousness is beset by a number of difficulties. It poses the problem of other minds in an especially severe form, because non-human animals, lacking the ability to express human language, cannot tell us about their experiences.[56]"

Since every researcher is using language to gauge levels, states, and even types of "consciousness" it certainly follows that the nature of language plays a vital and fundamental role in our "understanding" of consciousness by any current definition.

On the contrary, since you have already complained that the inside view is plagued by interpretive diversity, an argument can easily be made that this ability to communicate is as much an obstacle to researching consciousness as it is of any help. Thus viewing the physical process from the outside may be more helpful and in this we have an advantage when it comes to organisms we can (legally and morally) control, manipulate and dissect.

With that said, I have already stipulated that language is the most likely difference between the consciousness of humans from that of other living organisms. But as much as the philosophical magicians (with eye-distracting handwaving) would like to jump on this as an excuse for a gaps argument imagining something unquantifiable, it would still be foolish to discount what can be learned from biology. And I believe it to be entirely possible, even likely, that what we learn of the mechanism of consciousness in other organisms will also be applicable to the difference that language makes to our own consciousness.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 23rd, 2018, 10:06 am 

mitchellmckain » June 22nd, 2018, 12:41 pm wrote:
The retreat recorded here is to a more reasonable position. Since science is about objective observation, there is an inherent blind spot when its focus is turned upon the observer himself. But these difficulties do not constitute proof of alternate hypotheses, let alone support a claim that consciousness is unquantifiable. There is still much that can be observed and measured in the operation of the brain and the processes of living organisms.


There's no 'retreat' here.

Observation primary to experiment is not science and this is exactly why so many erroneous beliefs have crept into science. It's impossible to objectively observe or experiment on anything which can't be defined.

As always the philosophical aspects of the question will be plagued by disputes, for that is the nature of philosophical inquiry. Complaints about this cannot rationally justify turning from the methods of science to that of mere rhetoric which is all philosophy has going for it. Instead the diversity of opinion in the philsophical considerations must simply be accepted and embraced while keeping the few findings of science as a judge of which opinions are viable.


Any comment I can make here would be off topic except philosophy does underlie metaphysics. Science was invented specifically to exclude human interference and belief.

This is a silly claim to make. Researchers MAY indeed be measuring something different, but it does not follow that these are not a part of the phenomenon of consciousness, which might and I would even say is likely to be a large collection of different abilities reflecting the many different ways in which we are aware of the environment and ourselves.


I don't know how to untangle this.

Suffice to say that comparing results on a thing without a definition would be like assembling a Model T from a box full of washing machine parts.

Thus viewing the physical process from the outside may be more helpful and in this we have an advantage when it comes to organisms we can (legally and morally) control, manipulate and dissect.


Once you ask the experiment what's he's feeling you are including language, experimental bias, and experimenter bias.

With that said, I have already stipulated that language is the most likely difference between the consciousness of humans from that of other living organisms.


I couldn't agree more but this is irrelevant to everything. Indeed, I believe that any "experiment" on human consciousness is mostly an exercise in language. Without being able to show how languages differ and how these differences might affect an "experiment" on consciousness it's irrelevant.

But as much as the philosophical magicians (with eye-distracting handwaving) would like to jump on this as an excuse for a gaps argument imagining something unquantifiable, it would still be foolish to discount what can be learned from biology.


Obviously there is important knowledge arising from much of this research but at the current time none of it is rises to the level of experiment on consciousness. Knowing how the brain works is a part of what led to my theory.

And I believe it to be entirely possible, even likely, that what we learn of the mechanism of consciousness in other organisms will also be applicable to the difference that language makes to our own consciousness.


Sure.

In the long run...
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby mitchellmckain on June 23rd, 2018, 6:10 pm 

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:There's no 'retreat' here.

That is unfortunate. Your failure to retreat from the claim that "scientific explanations and understanding of consciousness is irrelevant" can only reaffirm the conclusion that you only give good reason for the dismissal of your own propositions.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:Observation primary to experiment is not science and this is exactly why so many erroneous beliefs have crept into science.

Incorrect. Beliefs do not creep into science. Beliefs are irrelevant to science. There is only the testing of hypotheses and written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same results. Interpretations and philosophical speculations from these basic conclusions are something else entirely.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:It's impossible to objectively observe or experiment on anything which can't be defined.

Nonsense! We make objective observations and experiment on things which cannot be defined all the time. Or you can simply say that we make tentative working definition: that bright hot thing there in the sky, we don't know what it is but let's measure how it moves in the sky and measure the heat and light coming from it.

As for consciousness, the word is already defined in numerous dictionaries. These may not tell us exactly what consciousness is but it works just fine to show science where to look and study it.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:
As always the philosophical aspects of the question will be plagued by disputes, for that is the nature of philosophical inquiry. Complaints about this cannot rationally justify turning from the methods of science to that of mere rhetoric which is all philosophy has going for it. Instead the diversity of opinion in the philsophical considerations must simply be accepted and embraced while keeping the few findings of science as a judge of which opinions are viable.

Any comment I can make here would be off topic except philosophy does underlie metaphysics. Science was invented specifically to exclude human interference and belief.

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. But apparently you are operating by the mistaken idea that "metaphysics is the basis of science," which is utter nonsense. To be sure science developed from natural philosophy and metaphysics is not the crucial branch of philosophy in that development. You can also say that science required pen/pencil and paper for its development. But neither of these mean that science depends on philosophy any more than it depends on paper and pens/pencils. Human knowledge and activities use all kinds of temporary instruments and move on to others as is required or convenient.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:
This is a silly claim to make. Researchers MAY indeed be measuring something different, but it does not follow that these are not a part of the phenomenon of consciousness, which might and I would even say is likely to be a large collection of different abilities reflecting the many different ways in which we are aware of the environment and ourselves.


I don't know how to untangle this.

Suffice to say that comparing results on a thing without a definition would be like assembling a Model T from a box full of washing machine parts.

You mean once I have unraveled your tangle of rhetoric it no longer seems sufficient for weaving the nonsense you have posted. Suffice to say, after using whatever definitions are on hand to guide our scientific investigations we are free to make more precise definitions when we discover new things that make the topic more sensible and less susceptible to the hand-waving of gaps type arguments and woo woo meta-physicians.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:
Thus viewing the physical process from the outside may be more helpful and in this we have an advantage when it comes to organisms we can (legally and morally) control, manipulate and dissect.

Once you ask the experiment what's he's feeling you are including language, experimental bias, and experimenter bias.

Apparently you are not grasping what is meant by viewing the physical process from the outside. Talking to people about their experience of consciousness would be studying it from the inside. But this is not the only approach possible. We can also look at physical processes in the operation of organisms and the human brain in order to understand what they do as a basis for understanding what might be behind those experiences people are talking about.

In this we set aside the possibility that such an outside view may not be telling the whole story. This is a standard way of dealing with obstacles in science. We go around them and take directions where progress is possible in order to get clues from different directions.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:
With that said, I have already stipulated that language is the most likely difference between the consciousness of humans from that of other living organisms.


I couldn't agree more but this is irrelevant to everything. Indeed, I believe that any "experiment" on human consciousness is mostly an exercise in language. Without being able to show how languages differ and how these differences might affect an "experiment" on consciousness it's irrelevant.

Apparently, in your lexicon "irrelevant" only means uninteresting to you and unhelpful in pushing your rhetoric. Since language is the one clear difference between humans and animals then if we want to understand the differences in consciousness between these two, then the effect of language on consciousness is place to look.

cladking » June 23rd, 2018, 9:06 am wrote:
But as much as the philosophical magicians (with eye-distracting handwaving) would like to jump on this as an excuse for a gaps argument imagining something unquantifiable, it would still be foolish to discount what can be learned from biology.


Obviously there is important knowledge arising from much of this research but at the current time none of it is rises to the level of experiment on consciousness. Knowing how the brain works is a part of what led to my theory.

Experimenting on human consciousness is excluded for ethical reasons. But this just means we are limited studying the results of varied conditions due to accident and disease.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby mitchellmckain on June 23rd, 2018, 10:24 pm 

mitchellmckain » June 23rd, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. But apparently you are operating by the mistaken idea that "metaphysics is the basis of science," which is utter nonsense. To be sure science developed from natural philosophy and metaphysics is not the crucial branch of philosophy in that development. You can also say that science required pen/pencil and paper for its development. But neither of these mean that science depends on philosophy any more than it depends on paper and pens/pencils. Human knowledge and activities use all kinds of temporary instruments and move on to others as is required or convenient.

Oh... and before you jump to conclusions...

I am not a logical positivist or making the claim that metaphysics is not worthwhile. I love metaphysics. But that doesn't stop me from categorically repudiating your claim that science is founded on metaphysics. Frankly, your claim reminds me of the medieval claim that theology is the "queen of the sciences" -- an idea which I hold in greatest contempt along with that whole stinking cesspool dark-age period of history.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby wolfhnd on June 23rd, 2018, 11:06 pm 

There are an infinite number of plausible explanations but a very limited number that can be supported by empirical evidence. That a great deal of that evidence is correlative is no justification for simply maintaining that all narratives are equally valid regardless of how subjective meaning may seem. Even things as abstract as money have measurable and somewhat predictable causes and effects.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 10:12 am 

Your failure to retreat from the claim that "scientific explanations and understanding of consciousness is irrelevant" can only reaffirm the conclusion that you only give good reason for the dismissal of your own propositions.


It's irrelevant because the assumptions are irrelevant, not because science is irrelevant.

that bright hot thing there in the sky, we don't know what it is but let's measure how it moves in the sky and measure the heat and light coming from it.


As long as you remember that you don't know what the bright thing is, can't measure it, and don't know whether we orbit it or it orbits us then you can study it to your heart's content. As long as you can accept that we may not even know enough to ask the right questions then probing around it is the way to start.

As for consciousness, the word is already defined in numerous dictionaries. These may not tell us exactly what consciousness is but it works just fine to show science where to look and study it.


...and those dictionaries are full of words with numerous defintions to define one another. "Definitions" are not "logical" or "mathematical" in nature and each word has a somewhat different meaning to each of the bright lights that use them. Indeed, one of the definitions of "metaphysics" is the "basis of science".

...is likely to be a large collection of different abilities reflecting the many different ways in which we are aware of the environment and ourselves.


So if I have no ability to communicate with you then I can't speak English and am that much less conscious!

Since language is the one clear difference between humans and animals then if we want to understand the differences in consciousness between these two, then the effect of language on consciousness is place to look.


You're starting with the erroneous assumption that language and consciousness are somehow equivalent. The relationship is far more complex than this. They are not correlated in this way. "Consciousness" and what we call "thought" (which is merely an artefact of modern language) have no correlation whatsoever. If you start science with bad premises there's a good chance you'll never get anywhere.


I'm not saying science can't address things like solar characteristics phenomena. Look how much we've learned about the sun without ever understanding how gravity and the other forces interact. We don't even understand gravity yet we know what makes us all go in 280 million mile circle! Science is remarkable when operated within its metaphysics.
Last edited by cladking on June 25th, 2018, 10:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 10:22 am 

wolfhnd » June 23rd, 2018, 10:06 pm wrote: That a great deal of that evidence is correlative is no justification for simply maintaining that all narratives are equally valid regardless of how subjective meaning may seem.


There is reality and then there is a best way to interpret, understand, and communicate that reality. The problem is mostly in the tool we must use to do these things. "Science" does probe reality and thereby creates understanding which we can see and is palpable by its ability to generate prediction. Tertiarily it also generates technology which is the poor step sister of prediction but still is related to understanding of reality.

Until science can generate prediction it is not really "Reality" at all. It is an exercise of recreation and hypothesis generation.

There's a lot of "science" now days that has no predictive capabilities.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 10:42 am 

I then pose this question: If we have a different consciousness from the Chimpanzee now and assume that 6-7 million years ago we did not - as we were both the same species, then we can conclude that our consciousness emerged during this 6-7 million year period. We can then list the major developments in our evolution over that time and try to determine which of them have had some link to the emergence of our consciousness. As on overlay we can also look at the development of the human brain within this period.


The invention of writing in 3200 BC and the printing press must be considered as of extreme importance to the "emergence" of modern consciousness, I believe. Obviously the invention of science is key to economic development.

The real questions are how and why did writing arise? If it's really as simple as the desire to communicate at a distance then why wasn't it invented far earlier and why didn't history start in 3200 BC instead of 2000 BC? There was extensive world trade before 3200 BC so why no writing? How did they trade without writing?

The list of questions is endless.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Braininvat on June 25th, 2018, 12:15 pm 

When something "suddenly" appears, it's not a bad hypothesis to consider that proto forms existed before that which gradually evolved into what archeologists have found. When anthropologists study pre-agrarian societies, that can be a window into an earlier epoch which may not have left physical remnants. The fact that no one has found remnants of materials more fragile than clay tablets, doesn't mean that writing or proto-literate forms just suddenly popped into existence due to a Jaynesian consciousness wave. That's not just bad science, that's bad common sense.

As for science, there's also a lot of science which has such predictive power that you place your faith in it by boarding jetliners. Not bad for a "poor step-sister."
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 1:01 pm 

When something "suddenly" appears, it's not a bad hypothesis to consider that proto forms existed before that which gradually evolved into what archeologists have found.


Indeed! And in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad there are clay discs with symbols that represented farm assets. These are "known" to have evolved into writing because the symbols represent later words. There also appears to be proto-Egyptian glyphs carved into cliffs or jar labels going back 2000 years before writing.

But to suppose they lacked writing before 2000 BC because they were less intelligent or less conscious or too superstitious are leaps of faith and are an interpretation of virtually no evidence at all. We don't really know what happened before 2000 BC becausae no intelligible writing appears to exist before. Certainly no texts and no history are recorded.

When anthropologists study pre-agrarian societies, that can be a window into an earlier epoch which may not have left physical remnants.


There's very little evidence about anything that can be construed as an indication of how these people thought. That they made art and decorative objects is not really proof that they were superstitious or understood metaphor or symbolism. These are interpretations that are consistent with our beliefs and are often inconsistent with logic and facts.

The fact that no one has found remnants of materials more fragile than clay tablets, doesn't mean that writing or proto-literate forms just suddenly popped into existence due to a Jaynesian consciousness wave. That's not just bad science, that's bad common sense.


Curiously enough a blank papyrus scroll was found from 3200 BC! For decades this was the oldest papyrus in the world. Logically it can be concluded that papyrus could have survived in massive amounts from betweem 2000 and 3200 BC but it did not. We should be asking what happenbed to the early writing and the early recorded verbal traditions from the dawn of history in 3200 BC, but instead it's gone in its entirety.

Anthropologists have force fit the facts into a framework of existing assumptions. They assume that humans are evolving consciousness and intelligence and that our ancestors invented agriculture and cities through trial and error while being highly superstitious and primitive. Modern humans look arround and say we must be more conscious and intelligent while being unable to explain most animal behavior or language other than to suggest instinct, randomness, and fitness to survive. When we want to communicate with animals we must try to teach themn our language because we don't seem to have a clue how to understand theirs (at least until recently).

It might be noted a papyrus log (Merrer's diary) was recently found that "obviously" recorded the transport of casing stone across the Nile for use in the construction of the Great Pyramid).

As for science, there's also a lot of science which has such predictive power that you place your faith in it by boarding jetliners. Not bad for a "poor step-sister."


Thank God a jet doesn't fly because of scientific understanding or they'd all crashing. They fly because they are engineered to fly and built such that they can and do. Humans and animals use counrterweights without understanding gravity and we "defy" it with planes that obey many "laws" of nature we don't understand and are not yet aware.

"Technology" arises more through the understanding of experiment than through the understanding of the underlying reality. This is no fine distinction. One must understand the reality to make prediction but we "all" understand experiment.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby mitchellmckain on June 25th, 2018, 3:20 pm 

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:
Your failure to retreat from the claim that "scientific explanations and understanding of consciousness is irrelevant" can only reaffirm the conclusion that you only give good reason for the dismissal of your own propositions.


It's irrelevant because the assumptions are irrelevant, not because science is irrelevant.

Your propositions are irrelevant because you say science is irrelevant not because your propositions are irrelevant.
Sounds like incoherent nonsense to me but hey you think it is meaningful so I'll send that one back to you. I just say your propositions should be dismissed because the one thing that must be taken into account is the objective evidence of science.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:
that bright hot thing there in the sky, we don't know what it is but let's measure how it moves in the sky and measure the heat and light coming from it.


As long as you remember that you don't know what the bright thing is, can't measure it, and don't know whether we orbit it or it orbits us then you can study it to your heart's content. As long as you can accept that we may not even know enough to ask the right questions then probing around it is the way to start.

But we can measure it. That is the point. Defining something and measuring it are entirely separate things. We measure it in order to understand it, and the idea that we have to understand something in order to measure it is just stupid -- obviously concocted to prop up a bunch of lies.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:
As for consciousness, the word is already defined in numerous dictionaries. These may not tell us exactly what consciousness is but it works just fine to show science where to look and study it.


...and those dictionaries are full of words with numerous defintions to define one another. "Definitions" are not "logical" or "mathematical" in nature and each word has a somewhat different meaning to each of the bright lights that use them.

Nevertheless definitions are a signpost showing us where to look -- where to point our instruments to make observations and take measurements.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:Indeed, one of the definitions of "metaphysics" is the "basis of science".

The definition of metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality. I disagree with the logical positivists that metaphysics is meaningless, nevertheless the fact that many scientists supported this position demonstrated the fundamental fact that metaphysics is irrelevant to science. This is a one way barrier however. Science is highly relevant to anyone interested in doing metaphysics.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:
...is likely to be a large collection of different abilities reflecting the many different ways in which we are aware of the environment and ourselves.


So if I have no ability to communicate with you then I can't speak English and am that much less conscious!

Incorrect. There are a number of premises and equivocations behind this irrational leap to a bizarre conclusion which will not stand.
1. You equate language with communication and this is very wrong. Animals do not have language but the certainly do communicate.
2. You assume communication is one of these abilities which make up consciousness without any explanation or rational. I don't see any reason for doing so. Consciousness is about awareness of self and environment not communication -- about acquiring information not giving it.
So is this the best strawman you can come up with?



cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:
Since language is the one clear difference between humans and animals then if we want to understand the differences in consciousness between these two, then the effect of language on consciousness is place to look.


You're starting with the erroneous assumption that language and consciousness are somehow equivalent.

Incorrect. Just because your erroneous assumption, that a difference between humans and animals somehow defines conscious, leads you to make such an absurd equivalence does not mean I do. Language is not consciousness. Language is a difference between man and animals. But I absolutely refute your absurd religious idea that only humans are conscious. But yes I certainly do think that language (abstract language NOT communication) has a profound impact on the consciousness of human beings.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:The relationship is far more complex than this.

Yes the strawman you have fabricated out of thin air is quite silly and your ability to defeat of your own silly ideas does not impress me in the slightest.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:They are not correlated in this way. "Consciousness" and what we call "thought" (which is merely an artefact of modern language) have no correlation whatsoever.

Prove it.

Impossible because it is wrong. I can demonstrate the opposite. Language and thought has an enormous impact on perception and awareness -- this is a scientifically demonstrated fact.

But perhaps you are playing games of semantics with your own special definitions of words like consciousness -- perhaps you pretend to know what it is as a part of some subjective ideology you want to push on people. Well you can redefine words as long as you them clear so you communicate probably, not that I or anyone else are going to accept those definitions as a guide to our own use of the words -- we will stick to the dictionary, except when we want to define our terms differently.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:If you start science with bad premises there's a good chance you'll never get anywhere.

True. But we can start with the well defined premises of all modern science and those have already been proven over and over again to be the difference between what makes progress and what just runs around in circles with lot of empty opinions.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 9:12 am wrote:I'm not saying science can't address things like solar characteristics phenomena. Look how much we've learned about the sun without ever understanding how gravity and the other forces interact. We don't even understand gravity yet we know what makes us all go in 280 million mile circle! Science is remarkable when operated within its metaphysics.

Metaphysics must be another word which you have given a strange definition. Science is limited not by metaphysical beliefs but by epistemological method. Things which are not testable, demonstrable, or falsifiable are excluded because the methodology is inapplicable. So yes, science will ignore your untestable, indemonstrable, and unfalsifiable opinions and focus upon what can be tested and demonstrated with measurements of the things we all can believe are really there.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby wolfhnd on June 25th, 2018, 4:17 pm 

cladking » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:22 pm wrote:
wolfhnd » June 23rd, 2018, 10:06 pm wrote: That a great deal of that evidence is correlative is no justification for simply maintaining that all narratives are equally valid regardless of how subjective meaning may seem.


There is reality and then there is a best way to interpret, understand, and communicate that reality. The problem is mostly in the tool we must use to do these things. "Science" does probe reality and thereby creates understanding which we can see and is palpable by its ability to generate prediction. Tertiarily it also generates technology which is the poor step sister of prediction but still is related to understanding of reality.

Until science can generate prediction it is not really "Reality" at all. It is an exercise of recreation and hypothesis generation.

There's a lot of "science" now days that has no predictive capabilities.


True but you have to weigh that against the alternatives which are often by design not possible to test.

There is a need to determine when a high resolution but extremely narrow explanation is necessary or a broad low resolution explanation is sufficient. All of science is approximation but some things we are concerned about require more accuracy and precision than others so in addition to resolution you have to decide what mix of those two things are necessary or even possible. The science culture is constantly in internal conflict because the standard has always been ultimate explanations despite a long history that demonstratively proves that the advancement of science is incremental. Claims of ultimate vs proximate explanations need philosophical examination.

When science is applied to engineering, either psychological or physical, a good deal of judgement is necessary but there are standards. Unfortunately standards for accuracy tend to increase as the ability to achieve accuracy increases and the purpose gets lost in the process.

If I had a complaint about modern science it would be that it is sufficiently reductionist that it loses sight of the big picture. This is especially true when attacking complex chaotic systems that cannot be reduced to a set of parts. There are significant barriers remaining in mathematics and other fields that will give us the tools to answer some important questions but these things take time.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 5:51 pm 

True but you have to weigh that against the alternatives which are often by design not possible to test.


Exactly!

But we are already testing hypotheses in the soft sciences which can't really be tested at all because they are overly dependent on definitions, assumptions, and meta-metaphysical axioms. We don't notice it because we take much of our experience and knowledge for granted. We misinterpret experiment and data to agree with the basic framework of experience that we have. This framework isn't "consciousness" itself but merely the perspective of the construct we experience as consciousness.

This testing is leading us from false assumptions to false conclusions. Eventually there should be an experiment that returns wholly anomalous results that show how wrong we are about everything, but true experiment and data that can't be misinterpreted is very rare in the soft sciences.

There is a need to determine when a high resolution but extremely narrow explanation is necessary or a broad low resolution explanation is sufficient. All of science is approximation but some things we are concerned about require more accuracy and precision than others so in addition to resolution you have to decide what mix of those two things are necessary or even possible. The science culture is constantly in internal conflict because the standard has always been ultimate explanations despite a long history that demonstratively proves that the advancement of science is incremental.


The true standard is prediction but since we are wrong about everything prediction has become impossible therefore we've lost sight of its importance. Instead we are constantly testing and looking to understand things in terms of paradigms. Many things don't fit so they are held aside as irrelevancies to be addressed when more data is available. Meanwhile, meaningful prediction of any sort is impossible... ...or at the very least, hasn't occurred.

Claims of ultimate vs proximate explanations need philosophical examination.


I'm not a philosopher and don't believe in philosophy because language is too fluid to build on the work of the "giants of the past". We certainly need philosophy and we need to blend it with science. Someday philosophy will be as important as science.

If I had a complaint about modern science it would be that it is sufficiently reductionist that it loses sight of the big picture. This is especially true when attacking complex chaotic systems that cannot be reduced to a set of parts. There are significant barriers remaining in mathematics and other fields that will give us the tools to answer some important questions but these things take time.


The entire modern world is imploding because of specialization. There are no generalists and we shovel wealth into landfills nearly as fast as we shovel it out of the earth. The economy hums along at about a 3% efficiciency as the population turns to waste, greed, and hedonism. Human resources are wasted in far larger percentages than any other as suicide soars and much of the population is left behind.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 25th, 2018, 6:10 pm 

Incorrect. Just because your erroneous assumption, that a difference between humans and animals somehow defines conscious, leads you to make such an absurd equivalence does not mean I do. Language is not consciousness. Language is a difference between man and animals. But I absolutely refute your absurd religious idea that only humans are conscious. But yes I certainly do think that language (abstract language NOT communication) has a profound impact on the consciousness of human beings.


You've misunderstood.

There is no difference between the consciousness of a human and an oak tree except degree. Consciousness is the tool all life has to survive, grow, and reproduce. It lies at the heart of all life.

I believe that for the last 4000 years man experiences consciousness differently than all other life.

Humans experience consciousness "second hand" through their beliefs. We believe what we choose to believe and then we experience those beliefs and in time become them. We see reality in terms of our beliefs and are blind to things that lie outside of them.

All experiment and data support this.

All other life and ancient humans experience(d) reality directly. Reality i(wa)s modeled in the brain. The brain's wiring reflects reality and is modeled by it.

Obviously language is different between humans and animals but just as consciousness was the same in ancient people and animals, so too was language except to the degree of complexity of the language. All the experiment and data support this as well, in my opinion, but this is far more open to interpretation.

Perhaps we can take this up in the philosophy forum along with all the data, facts, and logic that support it. Indeed, I've got some first rate prediction that essentially proves the theory.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Braininvat on June 25th, 2018, 7:02 pm 

Clad, review subforum guidelines....


Welcome to the Personal Theories subforum. This forum hosts theories not yet accepted by peer review but which nevertheless constitute empirical (i.e. testable) science. It is recommended that you make clear your goal in your opening post. Theories should be presented in a clear enough form that they could be critiqued by members of the scientific community.

There are some basic guidelines to follow when posting an unproven theory or idea in this subforum.

1) Support each theory with scientific data on which it is based. If your theory is quantitative, explain the structure thoroughly, and let us know what body of data your model is intended to fit. Some effort should be made to research and check theories before they are posted in the forum. An idea with no visible basis of support is not a theory.
......

4) Since this is a Science subforum any Theory to be considered appropriate should first recover prior art (reproduce the successful predictions of established theory where it applies) and secondly should predict some new phenomenon by which it can be tested.


You haven't presented a theory. You have presented some vague and broad assertions about cognition that ignore agreed-upon definitions used in various cognitive sciences and make sweeping statements of confidence in a body of evidence you haven't shown us. You are free to copy/paste whatever material you think would meet PCF guidelines and take them over there. Anything not meeting PCF guidelines will be removed at moderator's discretion. I doubt that statements such as

" We don't notice it because we take much of our experience and knowledge for granted. We misinterpret experiment and data to agree with the basic framework of experience that we have. "

will have much traction, given the gross misrepresentation of what actual scientists do. Quantum mechanics, for example, involved the development of descriptions of reality utterly at odds with our basic human framework of experience. And yet it has proven highly effective in its predictive powers. When data is misinterpreted, science has a wondrous way of self correction: bad data interpretation leads to bad hypotheses which leads to falsification by further testing and therefore the discarding of the bad interpretation. When science doesn't do this, due to corruption or political pressure or plain sloppiness, there is an eventual process of peer review which will catch up with the miscreants. That's why jets stay aloft, medical procedures save lives, and the computer network you're using lets you chat with people thousands of miles away.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby mitchellmckain on June 25th, 2018, 9:02 pm 

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:
Incorrect. Just because your erroneous assumption, that a difference between humans and animals somehow defines conscious, leads you to make such an absurd equivalence does not mean I do. Language is not consciousness. Language is a difference between man and animals. But I absolutely refute your absurd religious idea that only humans are conscious. But yes I certainly do think that language (abstract language NOT communication) has a profound impact on the consciousness of human beings.


You've misunderstood.

Misunderstood what? -- the reasons for your misunderstanding of what I said? Quite possible. I only know for sure that whether by design or the application of different premises that you have misunderstood what I said.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:There is no difference between the consciousness of a human and an oak tree except degree.

Excellent! That is something on which we agree. It is also highly at odds with your previous claim that consciousness is unquantifiable, for the word "degree" describes a quantitative difference.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:Consciousness is the tool all life has to survive, grow, and reproduce. It lies at the heart of all life.

Excellent again! This is precisely my claim as well.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:I believe that for the last 4000 years man experiences consciousness differently than all other life.

That idea is very attractive to Christians and other theists. But without proof it is unreasonable to expect others to accept it. But if it is true, I cannot see where you are going to find it except in language or in a set of ideas which are possible because of language.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:Humans experience consciousness "second hand" through their beliefs. We believe what we choose to believe and then we experience those beliefs and in time become them. We see reality in terms of our beliefs and are blind to things that lie outside of them.

I agree that human perception cannot be separated from belief, but am a bit confused because this contradicts what you said before, when you tried to draw such a sharp line between thought and consciousness. However, I think you go too far. I see this involvement of belief as an addition to rather than a replacement of the same consciousness by other living organisms.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:All other life and ancient humans experience(d) reality directly. Reality i(wa)s modeled in the brain. The brain's wiring reflects reality and is modeled by it.

And I disagree with the idea that humans do not experience reality directly. We simply color what we experience with "meaning" derived from our linguistic mentality -- an addition not a replacement.

cladking » June 25th, 2018, 5:10 pm wrote:Perhaps we can take this up in the philosophy forum along with all the data, facts, and logic that support it. Indeed, I've got some first rate prediction that essentially proves the theory.

What theory would that be? Would that be the change in consciousness 4000 years ago? That is evidence I would like to see (consider that said with a very skeptical tone of voice).
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 28th, 2018, 9:46 am 

Braininvat » June 25th, 2018, 6:02 pm wrote:Clad, review subforum guidelines....


Welcome to the Personal Theories subforum. This forum hosts theories not yet accepted by peer review but which nevertheless constitute empirical (i.e. testable) science. It is recommended that you make clear your goal in your opening post. Theories should be presented in a clear enough form that they could be critiqued by members of the scientific community.

There are some basic guidelines to follow when posting an unproven theory or idea in this subforum.

1) Support each theory with scientific data on which it is based. If your theory is quantitative, explain the structure thoroughly, and let us know what body of data your model is intended to fit. Some effort should be made to research and check theories before they are posted in the forum. An idea with no visible basis of support is not a theory.
......

4) Since this is a Science subforum any Theory to be considered appropriate should first recover prior art (reproduce the successful predictions of established theory where it applies) and secondly should predict some new phenomenon by which it can be tested.


You haven't presented a theory. You have presented some vague and broad assertions about cognition that ignore agreed-upon definitions used in various cognitive sciences and make sweeping statements of confidence in a body of evidence you haven't shown us. You are free to copy/paste whatever material you think would meet PCF guidelines and take them over there. Anything not meeting PCF guidelines will be removed at moderator's discretion. I doubt that statements such as

" We don't notice it because we take much of our experience and knowledge for granted. We misinterpret experiment and data to agree with the basic framework of experience that we have. "

will have much traction, given the gross misrepresentation of what actual scientists do. Quantum mechanics, for example, involved the development of descriptions of reality utterly at odds with our basic human framework of experience. And yet it has proven highly effective in its predictive powers. When data is misinterpreted, science has a wondrous way of self correction: bad data interpretation leads to bad hypotheses which leads to falsification by further testing and therefore the discarding of the bad interpretation. When science doesn't do this, due to corruption or political pressure or plain sloppiness, there is an eventual process of peer review which will catch up with the miscreants. That's why jets stay aloft, medical procedures save lives, and the computer network you're using lets you chat with people thousands of miles away.


I haven't presented my theory here because it is not fully relevant in this thread and because it sounds philosophical. I do not believe its basis is in any way philosophical in the least but is rather based in facts and logic. The facts and logic "sound" like philosophy to people because modern humans have made a long series of false assumptions about the nature of consciousness and life itself.

But this theory does make a laundry list of predictions and some of them have been bourn out in recent times. So far these predictions have simply been considered "irrelevancies" by the "peers" that define "reality" in the soft sciences.

I don't really understand the nature of "consciousness" either but I do know that if my theory is correct then many things we have ascribed to it are really nothing more than an artefact of modern language. It is apparent that life has consciousness but humans have a "different" sort of experience of that consciousness. It is not a quantitative difference it is qualitative.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on June 28th, 2018, 12:36 pm 

That idea is very attractive to Christians and other theists. But without proof it is unreasonable to expect others to accept it. But if it is true, I cannot see where you are going to find it except in language or in a set of ideas which are possible because of language.


Just so people understand the nature of my theory let me just say that I have discovered the sense in some of the ancient writing. The "sense" shows people who are intelligent, sentient, and don't experience "consciousness" as we do. This language must be solved through context and then modelled to be understood. It is a completely different way to think where the language reflects reality as determined by a science based not on observation and experiment but on observation and logic.

Since I do understand author intent in this writing I know where the bodies are buried and can make predictions that are consistent with the intent.

"Peers" are so put off by the dramatic implications of my theory they refuse to study the anomalies I predicted.

Most of our underlying beliefs simply aren't strictly true or are true only from specific perspectives. Modern people are not the crown of creation and are not smarter, more sentient, or more conscious than ancient people and other life forms; we merely think differently. Individually, we are not even more "knowledgeable" than ancient people but in aggregate we command a lot more facts.
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