On Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 6:35 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Jul 23, 7:06 pm, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Jul 23, 5:52 pm, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On Jul 23, 11:06 am, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > There are robust counterexamples to that. I can relace an iron key
> > with a brasskey. The material
> > isn't important in that case. You need to argue points, not just
> > announce them.
> It's not that the material isn't important, it's that the nature of a
> standard lock is going to be functionally matched by any material
> which has certain common characteristics.

Okay, but earlier you said functionally identical = materially identical.
While certainly there are differences between brass and iron which mean they
will not function identically in every role, in this case either can serve
in the role of unlocking a door.  The point others have been making on this
list is that in principal, a machine can be created which is functionally
equivalent to other neurons, or to a group of neurons, or to the whole brain
to the point that a person's entire repertoire of behaviors can be
reproduced with perfect fidelity.

> A digital simulation of a
> key is not going to open the lock. A key made of wet cheerios is not
> going to work. Likewise neither an iron or brass key is going to work
> if they aren't cut to the right pattern. Both parameters are
> important.
There may be many conditions required to make something functionally
equivalent using different materials, but this doesn't mean functional
equivalence is not achievable.  Now ask yourself, "What functional
properties of a hydrogen atom important to capture?"  Do you believe it is
possible to build a type of object such that two of these objects together
behave and react to eachother in the same ways to each other as two hydrogen
atoms would?  Ignore the engineering challenges and say we build these
objects as models in a computer.  We do tests and find that these simulated
hydrogen atoms behave (with respect to other simulated hydrogen atoms)
identically to real hydrogen.  (Let me know if you are in agreement up to
this point.)

Assuming we have a perfect simulation of how hydrogen atoms behave, we build
a giant simulation of a star, and allow it to fuse some hydrogen into
heavier elements.  Then the star goes super nova and out of its remains form
some planets and smaller stars, and life evolves in one of these planets,
and eventually becomes intelligent, and creates a civilization.  All of this
is possible given a functionally equivalent model of the hydrogen atom which
can be run in a computer.  Do you agree with this, if not please point out
where I have gone wrong in my reasoning.

> The question with human consciousness is where the substitution level
> is. Intuitively the idea of silicon as a polite material with
> microcosmic molecular behaviors more exposed to the macrocosm than
> other substances seems to work.

You are anthropomorphizing the elements based on some personal experiences
of yours.  Would you say uranium is unstable and has a temper, or that
arsenic is mean spirited and murderous?  The only reason you think silicon
is polite is that your experience with it deals with simply programmed
computers which do what programmers tell them to do, but don't make the
mistake of thinking silicon can only do what we tell it to do: what makes
the difference is the programming.  It can be made to behave like any other
finite process.

> A cell seems more the product of
> spunky, hydrophile materials which might be more capable of self-
> sustaining 'feeling'.

Okay, what about the simulation of these spunky hydrophilic materials that
existed in the simulation of the star I described above?  Do you understand
now that within a simulation, any thing with any type of characteristic can
be perfectly mimicked? (So long as there are no infinities)

> I can only argue points with other people, because I'm in agreement
> with myself. It sounds like I'm announcing, but I'm really asking 'Is
> there any particular reason why this isn't true?' It seems redundant
> to keep saying 'this is something I'm thinking about and it's just an
> opinion' since I figure that's what informal conversations on the
> internet are for.
That is understandable, but I think it would be helpful for you to say: "The
following is my hypothesis ... I believe it is true for the following
reasons ... ".  Otherwise readers on this list may confuse your hypotheses
with your understanding of the the world, and without explaining why you
hold the beliefs you do it is difficult to generate useful and appropriate


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