On 6/21/2011 1:49 PM, John Mikes wrote:
Dear Rex,

an enjoyable reading, indeed. I send my best to Caenorhabdites elegantes for their scientific prowess. Are your numbers correct? Is the brain-"wiring" length indeed 170 trillion microns long? (I took 1.7 km for a mile). And for the synapses: I was modest and took only 10 billion neurons to a brain, which accounts for 20,000 synapses per neuron if there are 100 trillions of them. (2 axons to 1 s) I am not an expert in these topics, but the drawings I saw would not facilitate that much.
I think I counted the zeros correctly.

S.Hameroff and Penrose had a piece in an early issue of Journal of Consciousness Studies (UK) about "How to feel to be a worm" - counting with 1000 neurons per earthworm (It was a follow-up to Nagel's "What is it to be like a bat?") of which my reflection denied any conclusions if one is not thinking "worm"-ly, i.e. by the complexity of an earth worm-like mentality. We try to understand primitive construct using our very sophisticated (complex) structures and there is no way to play it down to a lesser complex level - we just have a complex mentality, terms/thoughts. We may pretend to understand a lower level.

Notice that the researchers say nothing about *understanding* the worms consciousness or thoughts. They are attempting to *predict* its behavior. When they are able to predict the worms behavior in perfect detail; will that mean they understand what it's like to be a worm? I don't think the question will make sense.


I feel similar troubles in a computer-evaluation of the 302 neuron chap by a 'base-structure' built (by and for) in 10 billion neuronal complexity brains, or - as some AI fans state: for even an exceeding of such. I find it not believable to properly downgrade.
The study, however, is relevant and appreciable. Thanks again.

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