On 14/06/07, Colin Hales <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> This point is poised on the cliff edge of loaded word meanings and their
> use with the words 'sufficient' and 'necessary'. By technology I mean
> novel artifacts resulting from the trajectory of causality including human
> scientists. By that definition 'life', in the sense you infer, is not
> technology. The resulting logical loop can be thus avoided. There is a
> biosphere that arose naturally. It includes complexity of sufficient depth
> to have created observers within it. Those observers can produce
> technology. Douglas Adams (bless him) had the digital watch as a valid
> product of evolution - and I agree with him - it's just that humans are
> necessarily involved in its causal ancestry.
Your argument that only consciousness can give rise to technology loses
validity if you include "must be produced by a conscious being" as part of
the definition of technology.
> > That assumes that complexity itself (organisation of information) is
> > origin of consciousness in some unspecified, unjustified way. This
> > position is completely unable to make any empirical predictions
> > about the
> > nature of human conscousness (eg why your cortex generates qualia
> > and your
> > spinal chord doesn't - a physiologically proven fact).
> > Well, why does your eye generate visual qualia and not your big toe?
> It's because the big toe lacks the necessary machinery.
> I am afraid you have your physiology mixed up. The eye does NOT generate
> visual qualia. Your visual cortex generates it based on measurements in
> the eye. The qualia are manufactured and simultaneously projected to
> appear to come from the eye (actually somewhere medial to them). It's how
> you have 90degrees++ peripheral vison. The same visual qualia can be
> generated without an eye (hallucination/dream). Some blind (no functioning
> retina) people have a visual field for numbers. Other cross-modal mixups
> can occur in synesthesia (you can hear colours, taste words). You can have
> a "phantom big toe" without having any big toe at all....just because the
> cortex is still there making the qualia. If you swapped the sensory nerves
> in two fingers the motor cortex would drive finger A and it would feel
> like finger B moved and you would see finger A move. The sensation is in
> your head, not the periphery. It's merely projected at the periphery.
Of course all that is true, but it doesn't explain why neurons in the cortex
are the ones giving rise to qualia rather than other neurons or indeed
peripheral sense organs.
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