On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 5:01 AM, John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Stathis, allow me to barge in before Craig.
> I am glad you ask  -  the wrong question,
> I am not FOR the brain to think, it is a tool working in the process we did
> not so far deciphered. (That's exactly MY agnosticism). So we are talking
> about tools, be it 'chemistry' (an explanational figment of conventional
> sciences for pheomena so far only partially learned, but "scientificall"
> explained (almost!) into atomic etc. theories and math), - or 'electronic'
> devises we construct with capabilities to do exactly what we expect from
> them to do.
> Maybe the IBM Synapse can do at least as well as we get the results from
> 'brainwork'.
> I would not assign 'creativity' to chemistry (what I practiced and learned)
> only 'applications'.
> There is one item that startles me in this respect: Robert Rosen's (Mihai
> Nadin's) initial work on Anticipatory Systems  where anticipation is an
> unprecedented 'barging-in' beyond the given circumstances (allegedly).
> I am willing to go as far as a "slight shaving" beyond the borders of our
> known limitations - into the 'right-or-wrong' unknowable to be checked
>  (better: verified) later on.  We see abundant bad anticipation in economic.
> genetic and political etc. assumptions to make us careful in anticipation.
> If so many anticipation goes wrong, the conventional "foretelling" has to be
> taken with a spoon-full of scrutiny.
> A question in your profession: would you vouch for our present knowledge to
> have deciphered all that is to mentality by the so far discovered
> brain-organ's functional data?
> (And I want to be restricted here to physical measurements/data only).

No, we are nowhere near a complete correlation between the mental and
the physical. But that does not mean there is no correlation.

> You asked a question:
> "As a chemist, have you seen any special magic in chemical
> reactions that might explain the brain's ability to think?"
> No, but I have encountered questions about
> 1. what does it mean "to think" (and all its cousins)
> 2. how is the 'hard problem' answerable? (transition from milliamps etc. to
> ideas)
> 3. what mechanism (if...) is stronger than the neuronal brain to decide e.g.
> self destruct?
> 4. has 'creativity' the same meaning in our vocabularies?
> 5 - 1000 I save those.

So you agree that chemistry, which is all that the brain contains, is
no more magical than electronics?

Stathis Papaioannou

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