Craig Weinberg <> wrote:

>No free will = no hunger. No need for it. No mechanism for it. No logic to
> it.

Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII sequence "free will" means.

> That was my point. Knowing how to eat does not require logic or induction.

But your question was "Is it induction that provides our understanding of
how to swallow?", you asked about understanding; for prediction induction
alone is enough but for understanding you need logic, and for some things
neither is required. A rock can stay on the ground even though it's not
very good at induction and nobody has a deep understanding of gravity yet.

>>  The genetic code in DNA could not be more digital, and it was good
>> enough to build your brain and every other part of you out of simple
>> amino acid molecules; if you look at the details of the assembly process
>> biology uses to make complex things, like your brain, you find its
>> amazingly computer-like.
> That may not be true even for DNA:

DNA translates its information into RNA and RNA tells the ribosomes what
linear sequence of amino acid molecules to make, after the ribosomes are
finished the linear sequence folds up into very complex shapes forming
proteins, and that makes you including your brain. This controversial
experiment (as I said no experiment is finished until it is repeated) says
that there is a unknown mechanism that sometimes makes minor changes in the
DNA to RNA part of that chain. In no place in that paper is it suggested
that the unknown mechanism (assuming it even exists) is analog and for a
very good reason, indeed it is very clear that there is no way it could be

Think of your father and grandfather and great grandfather and all the
millions of individuals in the past that led up to you; every one of those
individuals got old and died but their genetic legacy remains as vital as
is was the day they were born thousand or millions of years ago, and there
is absolutely no way that could happen if the information was encoded in a
analog manner. Do you
remember the old analog cassette tapes, if you made a copy of a copy of a
copy of a copy of a music tape pretty soon the resulting tape had so many
errors in it that it could no longer be called music and was unlistenable;
that was because with analog copying the errors are cumulative, but that is
not the case with digital copying. If the internet was based on analog
technology the big music companies would have had no problem with bootleg
copies of their product, but it uses
digital methods so they had a very big problem indeed.

> The primary sequence of DNA is just part of the story though. Secondary
> and tertiary epigenetic factors are can determine which genes are used
> and which are not, and they are not digital.

Of course they're digital!! Cytosine and guanine are 2 of the 4 bases in
DNA and it is the variation in the sequence of these 4 bases that carry the
genetic code. The epigenetic factors you're talking about happens because
sometimes at the point where cytosine and guanine meet a molecule called a
"methyl group" is sometimes attached. A methyl group is a very small
molecule consisting of just one carbon atom connected to three hydrogen
atoms, and the existence of a methyl group changes the way the sequence of
bases in DNA is translated into a sequence of amino acids in a protein. But
the methyl group is either at the cytosine-guanine point or it is not, the
code is still purely digital as
indeed it HAD to be.

> Synapses don't fire, neurons fire across synapses

That distinction escapes me.

> Just because traffic lights turn from red to green before drivers move
> their cars forward doesn't mean that the traffic light is what is making
> cars move from one place to another.

Huh? Traffic lights are a very important reason that cars move from point X
to point Y in the way they do.

> An anecdotal account of being hit by a bus is not the same thing as
> the experience of it.

True, but that anecdotal account is the best you can do unless you're ready
to step out in front of a bus yourself.

> But digital flowers don't smell like anything or feel like anything or
> grow in the ground with water.

That's because flowers are nouns but you're not really interested in nouns.
Digital arithmetic in a computer does seem to be the same as the arithmetic
you do in your head, except that the stuff in your head is much slower and
much more prone to error.

> Surprise is relative. What a programmer might find surprising might
> seem inevitable to someone who has spent more time studying the
> program's implication.

Baloney. There is not a person on this planet who knows what will happen if
you program a computer to find the first even number greater than 2 that is
not the sum of two prime numbers and then stop. And it only took me 18
words to describe that problem, there are a infinite number of similar
problems where if you want to know what the computer is going to do there
is nothing you can do except watch it and see.

> physical presence is part of being. Someone can pretend to be a
> computer over the internet but it's not as easy in person. There is no
> Turing-like test that would be sufficient to my standard short of brain
> invasive procedures.

You and I have never met, so do you think I'm conscious? You never met
Plato either, and unlike the case with me (or the Turing Test) the
interaction between you and Plato is strictly one way, so do you think
Plato was conscious? Was Socrates conscious? All you know about him is what
Plato said about him.

> By that reasoning, we should treat actors on TV as real people in our
> living room that just happen to not pay us much attention.

Well that's exactly what I do. What other behavior could I adopt toward
people or things that pays me no attention?

> Just because they [physicists] have misinterpreted the results of the
> experiments in the same way doesn't mean that the universe doesn't make
> sense.

Although not logically self contradictory there are experimental results
that defy all our common sense ideas about space time and cause and effect,
if you want I can give you a excellent example of that.

> Measurement doesn't make reality, measurement is just a
> feeling/experience. It is the correspondence of internal feeling with
> external non-feeling feelings that makes reality.

Very poetic, very noble, but the trouble is that just one ugly fact can
destroy even the most beautiful theory.

> MWI is another almost-plausible explanation, but once you understand
> how the subjective-objective symmetry works, we can realize that it's
> just another way to preserve sentimental mechanemorphism.

I don't know what any of that means.

>>  If you know of a theory that makes better predictions about what will
>> happen when things become very small I and the entire world would love
>> to hear all about it.
> > It's a perfect theory for predictions on the microcosmic level,

Perfect, wow that's great! What does your theory predict the magnetic
moment of the electron will be? Quantum mechanics predicts it will
be1.00115965246 and that agrees well with the experimental value of
1.00115965221. What does your theory predict the value will be?

> Those are inferences based on the assumption of information existing
> in the first place.

Yet another iteration of the X does not exist subroutine whenever you get
into a tight corner.

> What those formulas are actually calculating are the physics of
> electromagnetism and the minimum requirements for us to
> make changes that are meaningful to us.

I don't get it, but whenever I say something like X might create
consciousness you say but X is not conscious it's just X. Well of course X
is not consciousness, if I said consciousness causes consciousness it would
not be much of an explanation!

> There is no actual bit that uses physical energy.

Yes there is.

> It's just a figurative way to talk about the limits of how we use atoms.

What about temperature and pressure, are they just a figurative way to talk
about atoms too? If information does not exist then neither does pressure
or temperature or entropy because all of them "just" describe the way atoms
or groups of atoms behave.

> Would successful quantum computing change the Boltzmann constant?

Not in any way I can see. Is there any particular reason you think it might?

> there is a long history of brilliant minds who have gotten their hands
> dirty making Earth-shaking philosophical discoveries

Yes, but none of those Earth-shaking philosophical discoveries, at least in
the last 400 years, were made by philosophers,  they were made by
scientists and mathematicians.

> There's an atheist board I spent a lot of time on
> It looks like the forum is broken
> now.

Were you pro god or anti?

> Well, I'm not a big fan of reading philosophy personally, but I don't
> imagine that it's useless just because I don't like it.

You've got me wrong, I like philosophy a lot, I just don't like
philosophers very much because they have very little to do with philosophy.
Philosophy is a vital active field, but psychology has made no progress in
50 years, they're still running the same rats through the same mazes and
arguing about the same things they did in 1960.

> What qualifies someone as a philosopher?

Writing "philosopher" under the occupation line on their tax returns.

> You want me to go to the library to read the paper that you are citing?

Yes, either that or stop saying ALL scientific papers are mumbo jumbo.

> Free will is the difference between yes-no and true-false.

So free will is the "NOT" operation. What new names have you made up for
the "OR" operation, how about the "AND" operation and "NAND" operation?

> Free will is the ability to tell the difference between an accident
> and 'on purpose'.

You can't always predict your own actions nor what the environment will do,
so sometimes your actions turn out the way you like, this is to say they
advance your goals, and sometimes they do not.

> On what basis do you claim that I'm unclear about the meaning of free
> will?

Because you are unable or unwilling to answer a simple question which has a
even simpler yes or no answer, "when you move your arm with your free will
did you do so for a reason?".

> Intention doesn't need a to have any one cause

That's OK, in the real world macroscopic objects usually behave the way
they do for many reasons, the result is still deterministic.

> it makes one deliberate cause out of many possible/potential causes,

Did it make "one deliberate cause out of many possible/potential causes"
for a reason or did it do it for no reason?

> it's not random.

At last a answer! It did not do it for no reason thus according to the laws
of logic it did it for a reason, and so is deterministic.

> We select the reason that we use to decide.

And did you make that selection for a reason or did you not? I really don't
think these are difficult questions.

> Spoken like a true occidental literalist.

I hope that doesn't mean what it seems to mean because it seems very
racist.  Well at least you didn't call me round eyes.

> Organisms evolve to be drive their own desires and whims using free
> will and teleology.

Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII sequence "free will" means.

  John K Clark

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