On 23 Jul 2011, at 03:58, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Jul 22, 8:40 pm, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

That would just mean that the neuronal level is too much high for
being the substitution level. Better to chose the DNA and metabolic
level.

Right. If you make tweaked real cells out of real atoms that are
arranged as an alternative to DNA, I think you'd have a good chance of
emulating an organism that is conscious. I don't think that you could
control it's behavior deterministically though, it would just be a
clone by another means. The question then becomes, why bother with the
synthetic DNA when natural DNA is already available.

If you're talking about emulating DNA in silicon, I think you still
come out with a convincing sculpture. A glass brain.

A sculpture (non moving, dead)?  Or a zombie? (behavior is preserved)

In both case it makes DNA magical, infinite or non Turing emulable. It makes also the theory of evolution doubtful, because it means that nature has to take into account infinite information to select the organisms. Biological evidences points on the contrary that nature bet on approximations, redundancy, and allow a big range of perturbation of its elements. Our material constitution changes all the time, and allow contingent variations which would be hard to manage in case all the decimals of the physical parameters have to be taken into account.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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