Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id HAA02999 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Mon, 28 Jan 2002 07:13:02 GMT Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 23:08:45 -0800 Message-Id: <200201280708.g0S78jT24278@mail21.bigmailbox.com> Content-Type: text/plain Content-Disposition: inline Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary X-Mailer: MIME-tools 4.104 (Entity 4.116) X-Originating-Ip: [220.127.116.11] From: "Joe Dees" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: A Confusing Example Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is)
> "Dace" <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> Re: A Confusing ExampleDate: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 12:23:43 -0800
>> >> >> 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.
>> >> >
>> >> 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 threshhold of complexity. The nucleic acids could not
>replicate until they united into strings of complex code pairs; when they
>did, they became alive.
>DNA and protein are far too complex to have existed at the beginning of
>life. Check out *Seven Clues to the Origin of Life,* by A. G. Cairns-Smith.
>Most likely, the original organisms were based on clay crystals rather than
>nucleic acids. Later, when the framework was in place, the clay was
>gradually replaced by the more efficient nucleic acids.
This is also the schema suggested by Manfred Eigen in STEPS TOWARD LIFE. The point remains that reproductive capacity, a prime characteristic of life at the species level, itself requires a degree of complexity.
>You seem to be suggesting a vitalistic conception of life based around
>complexity. The "elan vital" that animates living things is their
>complexity. Life is a product of molecular complexity, while consciousness
>is a product of neural complexity. If this were true, machines would spring
>to life once we've sufficiently complexified them.
We'd have to complexify them in very specific ways; just any complexity would not do. See THE THEORY OF SELF-REPRODUCING AUTOMATA by John Von Neumann.
>I'm afraid it's not that simple.
No, it's complex. And that's the point.
>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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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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