Re: A Confusing Example

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 23:54:27 GMT

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    > "Dace" <> <> Re: A Confusing ExampleDate: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 09:39:11 -0800
    >> >> >When I learned how to tie my shoes, no doubt this had an effect on
    >> >> >my brain. But that doesn't mean my brain learned how to tie shoes.
    >> >> >The only thing that happened in my brain is that a few neurons
    >> >> >forged some new connections. That the brain facilitates mental
    >> >> >activity by itself, constitute proof that it contains or is in some
    >> >> >identical mental activity. Given the abstract and representational
    >> >> >nature of mentality, it seems absurd that mind could be reduced to
    >> >> >any physical object, including the brain. (Since when did an atom
    >> >> >"represent" another atom?) That memes are in the mind doesn't
    >> >> >mean they're in the brain. The brain's activities facilitate memes as
    >> >> >much as any other aspect of human consciousness.
    >> >> >
    >> >> The dynamically recursive mind that emerges from the complex
    >> >> material substrate brain experiences and acts.
    >> >
    >> >Joe,
    >> >
    >> >Water is a property that emerges, quite surprisingly, from the
    >> >agglomeration of H2O molecules. This would be a nice example of
    >> >emergent property. So, does water somehow reach back into its
    >> >molecules and influence their configurations? Yet the mind influences
    >> >the brain. Without this, there would be no possibility of free will.
    >> >
    >> >No matter how much you mix up the molecules, it's still water. Yet
    >> >when we mix up the neurons, we get very different minds. If it's
    >> >an emergent property, then every mind should be the same. With your
    >> >model we could account for a sort of generic mentality but never a
    >> >living mind in all its particularities.
    >> >
    >> >We must start with the fact that life is self-existence. The mind is the
    >> >self-existence of the body. Not just the brain but every organic
    >> >is minded, i.e. intrinsic, i.e. itself.
    >> >
    >> There is a difference in complexity that supervenes over several
    >magnitues; to desceibe your analogy as simplistic would be the
    >understatement of the millennium.
    >It's your analogy, not mine. You're claiming that mentality works according
    >to the same principle that produces water from H20 molecules. Water isn't
    >even alive. Emergent properties don't tell us anything about what makes a
    >thing alive, much less intelligent.
    Emergent properties are those that do not inhere within an existent system until it passes a threshhod of complexity. The nucleic acids could not replicate until they united into strings of complex code pairs; when they did, they became alive. Subsequent specialization and complexification allowed for development of separation of functions (ingesting food and replicating being the two most primordial divisions), and cooperation/communication betweeen these components subsequently or concommitantly developed, as well as the ability to distinguish between food and nonfood (the first tactile perception). To perceive something is to be conscious of it. To be able to correlate the inputs of multiple perceptions in the construction of a world-schema is to be said to have a conscious awarenss of an environment rather than a mere stimulus or two. Conscious life has already emerged in the lower animals; when they evolve to the point of the prerequisite complexity to allow recurs!
    ive relf-reference, then self-conscious awareness may emerge.
    Of course, all, this is ancient history, and to be found in texts on developmental biology.
    >> Water is composed of 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atom, and the bnds between
    >them have only a few possibiloities (solid, liquid, gas, plasma), but even
    >in these circumstances, crystallization of the solid and waterskin on the
    >surface of liquid bodies are emergent principles. However, they are not
    >recursive principles, precisely because h2o lacks the prerequisite
    >complexity and subsequent variety (see Godel's Theorems I and II).
    >Regardless of the complexity of a chemical system, if it's not alive, it's
    >not going to have a mind. You'll never explain mentality on the basis of a
    >nonliving, natural phenomenon.
    No, becuase they are two many levels apart. But one can move from nonlife to life (this is what DNA accomplishes), and one can move from life to consciousness of stimuli when more complexity and variety and specialization are added, and one can then recursively apply that consciousness to oneself when one develops the necessary complexity to allow for self-reference. Now, which are you going to deny; the existence/efficacy of genes, or the apodictic cognitive evidence that you are aware of yourself reading this message?
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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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