On Jan 15, 1:51 pm, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> >If consciousness has a survival value [...]
> Then consciousness must  change behavior and the Turing Test works for
> consciousness as well as intelligence .

Consciousness can change behavior but it might not have to. Like a
possum can play dead. But a dead possum can't play live. Think of
consciousness as the yellow traffic light. When the light is green or
red, the outcome is deterministic. You stop and wait or go forward.
Whether the light happens to be green or red is random relative to the
driver's interaction, but deterministic relative to the traffic
signaling grid. The yellow light is different. It addresses the driver
directly to be alert and use your judgment. You decide whether to slow
down or not. Whether you do slow down or not is random relative to the
traffic signal but signifying and participatory to the driver.

> > then surely omniscience, teleportation, or the ability to turn into a
> > diamond on command would have an even greater survival value.
> Yes, and if random mutation and natural selection could have produced any
> of those things (except perhaps for the diamond thing, the survival value
> is not obvious)

If you could turn into a diamond and back on command, you would be
pretty much predator-proof. My point though is that all of these
things - teleportation, diamond impersonation, etc are no less
unlikely than consciousness. Much more likely really, since they are
only variations on reality, not an entirely unprecedented ontology
that somehow enters reality. There is no way that mutation could
produce that unless those things were already possible to produce.
It's like saying a musical instrument suddenly begins producing a
color instead of a sound. It's just magical thinking dressed up as
'evolution'. Life has no reason to evolve from non-life. Minerals
can't suddenly need to 'survive' - whatever that would mean to

> in the 3 billion years available we would indeed have those
> abilities but apparently they were too hard to produce.

It's begging the question. How can mutation produce consciousness if
consciousness was not already a potential? Your answer is that it must
have since consciousness exists and evolution is responsible for all
properties of life. But my whole point is that awareness is inherent,
and only the content and quality of it evolves. If a creature has a
beak, then evolution can give it's children a longer beak, but it
can't give it a magic beak that creates other worlds in midair.


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