On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Of course all the parts of the car determine how it will move! You can
>> predict exactly what the car will do if you know how it works and you
>> have the inputs.
> What you are talking about is either tautological and obvious or
> delusional. if I send you the owner's manual of my car, you can tell
> me where I'm going to drive it tomorrow? So what are you talking
> about? That if you observe a car turning, you can tell which way it's
> turning or something?

If you send me the plans of your car and the inputs - which way you
intend to steer and so on - then yes, I can work out exactly where
you're going.

>>A model of the car, such as a car racing computer
>> game, does not include the driver and the whole universe, as you seem
>> to think, just the car.
> A car racing computer game is not a model of a car unless it is played
> by a user who is familiar with cars. A horse does not confuse the game
> with an automobile. It's a red herring anyways. You still can't tell
> where a real car is going to go unless you know where the driver is
> going to steer it, and that is something which cannot be determined by
> modeling the car or the driver's body, brain, neurons, ion channels,
> or molecules. The same brain in the same body with the same neurons,
> ion channels, or molecules can drive to the beach one day or the
> mountains the next depending upon nothing but how they feel. You could
> say that how they feel is a complex chain of events, but they would
> not be only microcosmic events which could be modeled, any butterfly
> wing in some part of the world could set off a chain of unpredictable
> happenstance that ends up in the driver deciding to go somewhere
> completely unexpected.

The real car and the real neuron don't know what inputs they are going
to receive next, so why do you expect that the model will?

>> So a neuron fires in those regions of the brain associated with
>> subjectivity where the biochemistry suggests it would not fire.
> How many times do you need me to tell you that biochemistry does not
> suggest whether such a neuron would fire? If I decide to move my arm,
> whatever it is that is deciding *is* the firing of some group of
> neurons. Biochemistry doesn't give you any insight as to whether your
> ion channels are about to speak Chinese or English with a New Jersey
> dialect. It's so wrong, it's not even wrong, it's just blanket denial
> of ordinary reality. There's nothing I can say to you because you're
> not listening or understanding what I mean at all.

But the neurons that fire when you decide to move your arm do so
because of the various internal and external factors I have listed.
Ion channels open in response to either a ligand or a votage across
the membrane, causing further changes in the voltage across the
membrane, causing more voltage activated ion channels to open, causing
an action potential which propagates down the axon. If you look at
*any* given neuron and observe all the relevant factors you can, if
your model is good enough, tell if it's going to fire. If it does
something other than this then it is contrary to physical laws.

>> Ligand-activated ion channels open without any ligand present,
> No, the ligand will always be present, because the electromagnetic
> conditions change to attract, repel, bind, etc. The electromagnetic
> conditions are the 3-p view of the 1-p sensorimotive intentions. They
> are the same thing. Just as you have an interior world which others do
> not experience directly when they look at the outside of your head,
> but when you smile it's a consequence of a human feeling, which they
> can make sense of in terms of their own feeling, and they may smile
> back. In your view, the only possibility is that the mouth movements
> of one person must cause the other person's mouth to move. It's a
> catastrophic mechanization of the reality - which is a sensorimotive
> semantic exchange through the natural language of human expression.
> The material monism view disqualifies this simple truth a priori and
> sticks it's head up it's theoretical ass to find some a-signifying
> stupidity to justify it.

"The ligand will always be present"?? Then what's the point of neurons
releasing neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft?

>> perhaps an action potential propagates down the axon without any
>> change in ion concentrations.
> Again, not what I'm saying. The ion concentrations change because the
> electromagnetic conditions of the ions change spontaneously.
> Spontaneously. Spontaneously.

What does that mean? An ion is an ion. Depolarisation occurs when
sodium channels open allowing sodium into the cell and making the
interior more positive with respect to the exterior. The sodium
channels in a particular neuron may open in response to a
neurotransmitter. At a certain threshold this then causes
voltage-activated sodium channels to open, causing positive feedback
and resulting in a voltage spike, the action potential. Repolarisation
occurs when voltage-activated potassium channels open. This is a
well-understood process that happens in every neuron. The neuron can't
fire unless these processes occur.

>>That is what I call "contrary to
>> physical laws".
> You would be incorrect. Just Google it.
> http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2007/10/human-behavior-linked-to-spontaneous-brain-activity.ars
> "these results show that spontaneous brain activity is more than
> simply a physiological artifact; it helps account for some of the
> variability in human behavior. In that sense, they argue for a greater
> acceptance of the view that our brain may have some intrinsic activity
> that's somewhat independent of sensory input. "
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17704812
> "The majority of functional neuroscience studies have focused on the
> brain's response to a task or stimulus. However, the brain is very
> active even in the absence of explicit input or output."
> http://bit.ly/nShjUI
> "On a more cellular level, MacLean and colleagues (2005) have
> demonstrated the existence of spontaneous activity patterns that mimic
> patterns evoked by thalamic stimulation."
> http://www.neuralwiki.org/index.php?title=Spontaneous_activity
> "Spontaneous activity is widely seen in cultured neural networks.
> However, the the exact mechanisms behind such activity is still
> relatively unknown. "
> http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/psychology/organisation/news/serge-rombouts.html
> The brain is buzzing 24/7 with spontaneous, fluctuating activity
> http://www.pnas.org/content/106/41/17558.long
> "The brain is not a passive sensory-motor analyzer driven by
> environmental stimuli, but actively maintains ongoing representations
> that may be involved in the coding of expected sensory stimuli,
> prospective motor responses, and prior experience. Spontaneous
> cortical activity has been proposed to play an important part in
> maintaining these ongoing, internal representations, although its
> functional role is not well understood."
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/mali-sff051611.php
> "Ongoing, intrinsic brain activity that is not task-related accounts
> for the majority of energy used by the human brain."
> These are just the low hanging fruit of a two Google searches. Can you
> find even one contemporary citation of article suggesting that these
> spontaneous electrochemical events are actually not spontaneous? That
> they are predicted by passive, leaf falling, chemotactic gradient
> following inevitables? If you can't, you are obligated to say
> something to the effect of "I stand corrected".

You misunderstand the meaning of "spontaneous" in these articles. A
spontaneously excitable cell, the best known example being the
pacemaker cells in the heart, still only follows its biochemistry.
There is spontaneous depolarisation and repolarisation due to the
activity of the ion channels, which respond cyclically to the
transmembrane voltages. There is a clear physical cause, and if you
know the state of the cell you can predict exactly when it will fire.
If the ion channels open without any cause that would be magic.

Stathis Papaioannou

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