On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:46 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > It depends entirely on the degree to which the neurons are modified or > artificial. If you replace some parts of a care with ones made out of > chewing gum or ice, they may work for a while under particular > conditions, temperatures, etc. Think of how simple an artificial heart > is by comparison to even a single neuron, let alone a brain. It's a > pump with a regular beat. Yet, the longest anyone has survived with > one is seven years. > > All I'm saying is that for something to function identically to a > neuron, it must in all likelihood be a living organism, and to be a > living organism, it's likely that it needs to be composed of complex > organic molecules. Not due to the specific magic of organic > configurations but due to the extraordinary level of fidelity required > to reproduce the tangible feelings produced by living organisms, and > the critical role those feelings likely play in the aggregation of > what we consider to be consciousness. Consciousness is made of > feelings themselves, and their behaviors, their internal consistency > and not just the neurological behaviors which are associated with > them. It is a first person experience, completely undetectable in > third person. > > Or, to use your car analogy, would the replaceable parts of a car > include a driver? Are all drivers capable of driving the car in the > same way? A blind person can physically drive the car, push the > pedals, turn the wheel. Can a blind or unconscious nucleus drive a > neuron?
No doubt it would be technically difficult to make an artificial replacement for a neuron in a different substrate, but there is no theoretical reason why it could not be done, since there is no evidence for any magical processes inside neurons. The argument is that IF an artificial neuron could be made which would replicate the behaviour of a biological neuron well enough to slot into position in a brain unnoticed THEN the consciousness of that brain would be unaffected. If not, a bizarre situation would arise where consciousness could change or disappear (eg., going blind) without the subject noticing. Can you address this particular point? -- Stathis Papaioannou -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.