The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Raw unfiltered musings. Critiques may not be for the faint of heart.

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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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Brent696 on October 11th, 2018, 11:14 pm 

pythicnome » June 18th, 2018, 3:42 pm

Still apropos defining consciousness, I wanted to raise some general contextual issues and also to make one proposal as a different basis for arriving at a practical definition for the purposes of the further line of research I am attempting to pursue.


Hey Pythi,

Not sure your still around but I thought I would add my 2 cents.

First, it seems you are really talking about cognitive awareness and not consciousness itself. Consciousness is the outgrowth of Life itself, even a cell is consciousness.

Since I accept the conclusions of General Relativity and the Block universe, I have no need of Evolution as science presently tries to define it, but what can be noted is that any life form, depending on the complexity of its neurological makeup, can draw higher degrees of consciousness (cognitive awareness) from the Life dynamic.

A little explanation of the Life dynamic, just as in Quantum field theory, there are layers of fields from which matter arises in the universe, so Life/Consciousness has its own field, it exists along with everything else in the Universe so that the Universe has the potential to know itself. From the Philosophical angle, just like Light and Gravity, Consciousness is also a foundational constant of the Universe. This translates from the old Koan of "If a tree falls in the forest", for the universe to have meaning, it must have awareness, yet many do not believe this about the Universe as it is difficulty to quantify Consciousness.

Cognitive awareness though can be quantified somewhat, but to do so it to gauge relationship of consciousness with the environment, social ability, intelligence, and such. Such "relationships" might adapt, but they cannot evolve. If you blind someone, there is no decrease in consciousness any more than removing an arm, blindness might be a handicap in awareness to the environment as removing an arm functionality, and you might say eyes and arms are subject to having been evolved, but consciousness flows from Life itself.

If they are alive, they are conscious. If they are vegetative, then only cognition is effected.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby davidm on October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm 

Brent696 » October 11th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:
Since I accept the conclusions of General Relativity and the Block universe, I have no need of Evolution as science presently tries to define it, but what can be noted is that any life form, depending on the complexity of its neurological makeup, can draw higher degrees of consciousness (cognitive awareness) from the Life dynamic.


It is certainly odd how you continue to single out evolution for some special disavowal under the block theory. Why is that disavowed, but not, say, you getting up in the morning and writing your posts?

Evolution is true, regardless of whether the block interpretation is correct — and we cannot say the block universe is correct based on relativity alone, because there is a conflict between relativity and QM and unless and until that conflict resolved, your ontology is speculative.

As I’ve previously noted, the advocate of the block universe owes an explanation of how the mind functions in such a static and timeless environment. Weyl’s “consciousness crawling up a world tube” is not only nonscientific but seemingly gibberish. If nothing changes in a static block world how does consciousness “crawl up” anything?

You have asserted, but not adequately defended, IMO, that consciousness is somehow fundamental to reality. Vague appeals to life/consciousness having its own “field” remain unscientific and philosophically suspect. Nevertheless, I am not averse to this idea. Mind/consciousness is notoriously slippery and hard to quantify under standard physicalism, as Chalmers has shown. We have literally no explanation of how qualia arise, except a purely functionalist one, which so far as I can tell explains nothing about qualia but only about the physical operations of the brain.


As an aside, this topic of consciousness once arose at the Sandwalk blog of the biochemist Larry Moran, whose posts on biochemistry and evolution I have always admired, and from whom I have learned quite a bit on both topics. When I first ventured to point out the problem in a post on the thread, I was completely taken aback when Moran first asked me to state whether I believed in God (if I did, he said, I was not worth responding to). I told him I did not believe in God, and then pressed the issue home. I was even more taken aback when he responded that if I thought there was a difficulty in connecting functionalism to qualia and consciousness, then I was still not worth talking to!

I suppose he thought he could dispose of me with the “you-believe-in-God-therefore-you’re-in-idiot” card. Why he supposes that God belief underpins an interrogation into Chalmers’ Hard Problem was and is opaque to me, but I guess Larry must be classified, as a I think Dennett is, as an eliminativist with respect to the Hard Problem: Once we’ve explained how the brain functions, we’ve explained everything that there is to be explained.

Oh?

Well, this eliminativist stance strikes me as thoroughly unscientific, and I suspect that in the case of Larry and a number of other scientists, it exemplifies a refusal to consider seriously a problem that so far eludes scientific explanation — or else, they consider the problem to be a mere trifling plaything of philosophers, and they have contempt for philosophers just as they do for theologians.

To say that “mind supervenes on brains,” or that “mind is an emergent property of brains,” as so many scientists (and philosophers) assert, may be right, but without a stepwise scientific demonstration of how and why this occurs, it strikes me as empty sloganeering and radically unscientific. By contrast, when we say that wetness, or liquid water, supervenes on certain combinations of molecules, we can give a stepwise scientific account of this emergentism — though even here, it must be noted that mind comes into the final account, because the quale wetness is in the mind and not in the water. Nor, for that matter, is the water intrinsically cool or warm, limpid or murky, or any other quality you could possibly name.

I have thought about starting a thread on metaphysical idealism — the topsy-turvy notion that the brain supervenes on the mind rather than the other way around, which is the account of metaphysical naturalism.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Braininvat on October 13th, 2018, 4:27 pm 

Dave,

The metaphysics forum has some fairly lively consciousness threads we've had....and some scattered about in Anything Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, computer science etc. Or maybe a search on terms like qualia, Chalmers (I think member Dave_C, appropriately enough, had a Chalmers-driven topic a while back), Dennett, Searle (there were some Searle pro and con threads started in 2014), Mary in the black and white room, functionalism, Hilary Putnam, Frank Jackson, Jaegwon Kim, epiphenomenalism (if you like to suffer... these were heavily trolled and may not be worth delving), emergentism, Churchlands,..you get the idea. Tons of threads, but maybe hard to tweeze out without multiple searches. I haven't looked around there for a while. I think we even had a visit from some New Mysterians. Idealism hasn't been discussed as much, but I think there are Leibnizians lurking around...and McTaggart has been touched on in various threads.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Brent696 on October 14th, 2018, 9:54 pm 

davidm » October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm wrote:
Brent696 » October 11th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:
Since I accept the conclusions of General Relativity and the Block universe, I have no need of Evolution as science presently tries to define it, but what can be noted is that any life form, depending on the complexity of its neurological makeup, can draw higher degrees of consciousness (cognitive awareness) from the Life dynamic.


It is certainly odd how you continue to single out evolution for some special disavowal under the block theory. Why is that disavowed, but not, say, you getting up in the morning and writing your posts?



I brought up "evolution" only in regards to his assertion of evolving consciousness. Not to make it an issue here, but in short, as I posted before, I perceive what I would call a seed principle, Life/Consciousness finding avenue to express what they already are, much the same as we might say Time and Space allow for the manifestation of Life and Consciousness, whereas the Universe exists in order to be known.

I find reason for existence that is based in intelligence, you see the Universe existing because (???) not to put words in your mouth. We simply disagree philosophically here.

davidm » October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm

Evolution is true, regardless of whether the block interpretation is correct — and we cannot say the block universe is correct based on relativity alone, because there is a conflict between relativity and QM and unless and until that conflict resolved, your ontology is speculative.


I believe I can accept QFT, QM seems to be a proverbial rabbit hole. like the Planke unit, you can continue to halve a thing forever but you can never reach nothing. Whereas it is readily observable in Relativity that the objective flow of Time is illusionary, QM demands and depends upon this objection reality which is proven false. But here again, we would probably disagree.

davidm » October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm

As I’ve previously noted, the advocate of the block universe owes an explanation of how the mind functions in such a static and timeless environment. Weyl’s “consciousness crawling up a world tube” is not only nonscientific but seemingly gibberish. If nothing changes in a static block world how does consciousness “crawl up” anything?


I have not promoted his views,

davidm » October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm

You have asserted, but not adequately defended, IMO, that consciousness is somehow fundamental to reality. Vague appeals to life/consciousness having its own “field” remain unscientific and philosophically suspect. Nevertheless, I am not averse to this idea. Mind/consciousness is notoriously slippery and hard to quantify under standard physicalism, as Chalmers has shown. We have literally no explanation of how qualia arise, except a purely functionalist one, which so far as I can tell explains nothing about qualia but only about the physical operations of the brain.


I agree "notoriously slippery", perhaps the Universe is arranged in such a way that it cannot be properly understood without also understanding the nature of our very selves. That would be an interesting twist to the pride of mankind.

{quote]davidm » October 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm

As an aside, this topic of consciousness once arose at the Sandwalk blog of the biochemist Larry Moran, whose posts on biochemistry and evolution I have always admired, and from whom I have learned quite a bit on both topics. When I first ventured to point out the problem in a post on the thread, I was completely taken aback when Moran first asked me to state whether I believed in God (if I did, he said, I was not worth responding to). I told him I did not believe in God, and then pressed the issue home. I was even more taken aback when he responded that if I thought there was a difficulty in connecting functionalism to qualia and consciousness, then I was still not worth talking to!

I suppose he thought he could dispose of me with the “you-believe-in-God-therefore-you’re-in-idiot” card. Why he supposes that God belief underpins an interrogation into Chalmers’ Hard Problem was and is opaque to me, but I guess Larry must be classified, as a I think Dennett is, as an eliminativist with respect to the Hard Problem: Once we’ve explained how the brain functions, we’ve explained everything that there is to be explained.[/quote]

"God" brings up all kinds of preconceived notions, since I am not seeking to convert anyone here, the term seems unnecessary as it merely stirs contention. But it would seem pertinent to perhaps ask if their is an intelligence beyond the Universe. After all, what seems more reasonable, that intelligence in some form might be the cause of the universe, just as your intelligence brings forth action, or that somewhat random action somehow brings forth intelligence. What might be the most intelligence conclusion. But such questions cannot be directly answered by the measurement of physical quantities, light measures light, weight measures weight, perhaps only consciousness can measure consciousness. One might say Philosophy is the art of intelligence measuring intelligence.

But I imagine as long as two distinct individuals exist, so will two distinct experiences.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby davidm on October 16th, 2018, 10:40 am 

I find reason for existence that is based in intelligence, you see the Universe existing because (???).


It really depends on what you mean by “reason.” Do you mean cause, or purpose?

It’s unclear whether the universe needs a cause — indeed, if your block universe is true, then it literally has no cause. Purpose is a different matter, as this implies values, or valuation. I would hold that consciousness is the only source of values or valuation, since these are concepts that can only arise from consciousness.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Brent696 on October 16th, 2018, 1:41 pm 

davidm » October 16th, 2018, 10:40 am

I find reason for existence that is based in intelligence, you see the Universe existing because (???).


It really depends on what you mean by “reason.” Do you mean cause, or purpose?

It’s unclear whether the universe needs a cause — indeed, if your block universe is true, then it literally has no cause. Purpose is a different matter, as this implies values, or valuation. I would hold that consciousness is the only source of values or valuation, since these are concepts that can only arise from consciousness.


Unlike Einstein where the Block arose out of his theory of GR, I came to the same conclusion from a theological/philosophical direction as I considered/meditated upon how a finite construct reconciles with an infinite meta context. I began from timelessness, not eternity as in continuance into a vacuous future as is our finite experience, but a true timelessness where such a dimension simply does not exist.

Timelessness is extremely difficult to explorate as the very nature of our existence demands such a dimension. From a free thought meditation I developed what such a finite structure would look like, one in which time was simply a dimension, along with space, etc.. and it was only after my descriptions that Dragonfly mentioned the Block. After researching, and setting aside the (Expanding Block) as inaccurate, I found the Block a very good description as to what I envisioned.

And the block is not a side theory of GR, it is the factual outcome of it as if to say GR=Block. The expanding Block is simply an effort, IMO, for some to try to cling to some form of the intuitive illusion of time/freewill, etc...Perhaps some since of true objectivity also. Even QM seems to be driven by an effort to avoid the conclusions a Block universe brings, yet even their perception is thrown back in our faces as consciousness makes its necessity known.

In the same way we count numbers, forever counting, and by such a restricted form we can never truly reach an infinity, never arrive, so QM, seeking to divide the universe into smaller bits, can only continue to half it forever, never reaching absolute nothingness. So simply by existing, even as observers, we are trapped behind a veil, like the eye which is made to see only light but cannot see darkness.

But before I go down a philosophical rabbit hole, lets return to the Block and what it might conclude. This might be hard for some to consider, but the very fact the Block exists in a completeness, denotes a design, intelligence, thus cause and purpose. This purpose then is translated into the universe by the existence of consciousness, whereby the universe, being known/observed, finding meaning, a reason to exist.

Is this not reflected in our own sense of consciousness, would you exist without a cause, is there meaning to your existence (Rh). I know that you might, and others, tend to force such meanings back into the physical, survival instincts etc...But all that would be a subset, and does not address why does anything exists, period, the cosmos, consciousness, even matter. If consciousness remains in a box inside your head, then one can objectify the universe, consider it just blew into existence, it just happened, life just happened, consciousness just happened.

But if science is coming around to understand that consciousness is an integral factor at the very foundation of the universe, and not an evolved side effect, but is rather in fact a concluding dimension of its own, then some kind of purpose falls in line with that. This doesn't mean you have to run out and join a church, although it might mean the golden rule applies as if we hurt another, we all suffer having shared in the same flow of consciousness, Quantumly entangled as it were.

Like you I suppose, I am looking to understand the universe, hence our interest in Physics, the vast majority of what is called science, curing diseases, feeding people improving crops, making smaller then larger cell phones (Pfff), is a God sent, pardon the pun, but understanding the nature of reality seems to demand we give up the idea of objectivity, not that the subjective becomes real as if we all create our own reality more than simply our own interpretations, but that we, as conscious observers, give the universe another level of depth, of dimension.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on October 19th, 2018, 11:05 am 

Brent696 » October 16th, 2018, 12:41 pm wrote:
Like you I suppose, I am looking to understand the universe, hence our interest in Physics, the vast majority of what is called science, curing diseases, feeding people improving crops, making smaller then larger cell phones (Pfff), is a God sent, pardon the pun, but understanding the nature of reality seems to demand we give up the idea of objectivity, not that the subjective becomes real as if we all create our own reality more than simply our own interpretations, but that we, as conscious observers, give the universe another level of depth, of dimension.


Without life and how it changes and spreads reality would be pretty boring but it would be no less real. Stars would still collide and the questions would still exist even without life to observe and ask them.

Consciousness is life. It is the only tool given by nature to survive. Consciousness and life are individual.

Science is magic trick that allows people with superstitions to observe reality by means of how it manifests in experiment. But superstition doesn't go away just because we know the results of experiment. Ignorance doesn't go away just because we extrapolate experimental results. We merely acquire new superstitions and can now make some basic predictions. This is the purpose of science.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Braininvat on October 19th, 2018, 11:56 am 

Could you post the definition of "superstition" you are using, Clad? Might be less confusing to readers, to fully explicate in what regard scientists entertain superstitions. I got this definiton from the OED:

mass noun

1. Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for the supernatural.
‘he dismissed the ghost stories as mere superstition’

2, A widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief.
‘she touched her locket for luck, a superstition she'd had since childhood’
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Brent696 on October 19th, 2018, 12:06 pm 

cladking » October 19th, 2018, 11:05 am

Without life and how it changes and spreads reality would be pretty boring but it would be no less real. Stars would still collide and the questions would still exist even without life to observe and ask them.


Of course we come back to the old paradox, If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound. The quandary is a little shallow in that there is life in the forest, even other trees, and they do here it. But it can be simplified...

If the only star in the universe explodes, and it effects nothing else, how real is it.
Or, If the universe comes into existence, and them collapses without life ever being actualized, can there be found any purpose or meaning to it.

Broadly, without consciousness or an observer, why would anything exist. Shadows exist, but are they real, on the face of the eternal sky, this temporal universe might only be a shadow of a face on a passing cloud, it can be recognized, but is it REAL, as it lacks true Being, is anything that is not eternal real in any sense. "Real" is a highly subjective term it would appear.

cladking » October 19th, 2018, 11:05 am

Consciousness is life. It is the only tool given by nature to survive. Consciousness and life are individual.


This expresses the intuitive context, but consider that you did not pick up that tool, rather consciousness picked you up in order to observe itself and the universe. Do you own life, or does life own you. Do you see how we might be ego centric in our natural intuitive view? We could not see the grass or the tree were it not for a 3rd party, a source of light, neither could we see ourselves were it not for the sun of consciousness/life that brings awareness, is this not the nature of perception.

So there is the view that many hold that somehow the neurological flashes within our brain give rise to awareness, producing the light we call consciousness or self awareness. And science working from this view have come across many mental phenomenon that do not adjust easily to such a theory.

But if consciousness exists fundamentally, kind of like a quantum wave field, then maybe self awareness is the particle that appears as the appropriate energy is added to it. I am simply using this as a visual, but it shows how all life in the universe is connected and rises in different forms with different degrees of consciousness.

Just a few thoughts
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on October 19th, 2018, 12:35 pm 

I sympathize with your thoughts.

The problem is that science is only studying reality but the concept of reality is outside of its metaphysics. The inventors of science were well aware we each had our own reality born of beliefs and these beliefs had to be excluded from science and scientific investigation.

This hardly means there is no overarching reality that is identical to all observers and non-observers alike. Reality exists but we can only see it through the prism of experiment that we experience as models and belief.

We believe atoms exist and are identical because this is how we interpret experiment. We believe we can add, subtract, and divide atoms just as easily as we do apples or oranges. We don't notice reality always impinges on our beliefs and predictions and go so far to doubt its existence.

I'll freely admit that it's possible there is no reality however there is no experiment to show this. There are experiments that show the effect of consciousness, but none to suggest each observer has his own independent reality.

I believe physics is stuck in the 1920's because of the nature of the metaphysics by which science operates. I wonder if "atoms" aren't merely manifestation of natural logic and time.

"Consciousness" in all important but it has no effect and no cause with reality except through sensation and the expression of free will.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby Braininvat on October 19th, 2018, 12:42 pm 

Moderator Note:

CLADKING, please respond to the request for clarification in my previous post to you this morning. It is very important that you give us your definition of "superstition," so that we can evaluate your statement about scientists being superstitious.

If you are uncertain about our forum guidelines, you can go to the main page and read them. We do require that participants respond to such requests.
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Re: The Evolution of Human Consciousness

Postby cladking on October 19th, 2018, 1:41 pm 

Braininvat » October 19th, 2018, 11:42 am wrote:Moderator Note:

CLADKING, please respond to the request for clarification in my previous post to you this morning. It is very important that you give us your definition of "superstition," so that we can evaluate your statement about scientists being superstitious.

If you are uncertain about our forum guidelines, you can go to the main page and read them. We do require that participants respond to such requests.



Very sorry... ...I had overlooked the post.

For most practical purposes I am using the second definition. It might be pointed out however that I believe ALL belief is superstition: Or in this case "there is a high probability all belief is superstition".

Almost any time we accept something as being true we are in some sense ascribing supernatural causation. The sky is blue because of the behavior of light through air and repeated observation that the sky is blue. But the reality is very different since the sky can be almost any color and unseen at night.

Science is very good at making prediction such as there will be cloudless sky over the Sahara in two days and the sky will be blue. Such predictions can often be made with a high degree of certainty. But the sky isn't really "blue' at all so much as it often has many shades of blue in it.

I believe this distinction is extremely important because of the nature of modern human consciousness to be expressed as models of our beliefs. This may be unlike any other consciousness. Because we don't see this we don't see the nature of consciousness but rather the nature of language and the beliefs and science that arises from it. A bee (most bees) better understand(s) consciousness than a human. We know our beliefs.
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