On 2/13/2012 12:14 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Feb 13, 2:04 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:
On 2/13/2012 10:39 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Feb 13, 12:29 pm, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>    wrote:
I'm aware of that.  It doesn't follow though that you must match every 
interaction (e.g.
cross-section for cosmic gamma rays) or that every match is equally important.  
already speculated that a silicon based substitute might produce subtle or 
differences in conscious thoughts.  Craig however denies that a silicon based 
brain can be
conscious at all.
No, I think that silicon is already 'conscious', only to a very
limited extent (detection-reaction). My view is that it cannot be
scaled up mechanically to become human consciousness. If you can make
a silicon based cell that lives and breathes,
What does "live and breathes" mean?
Literally that. It lives the life of a cell. It has cellular
respiration which cannot be suspended for long without killing the
cell. It has to be able to experience mortality first hand.

  A silicon based neuron wouldn't reproduce...but
neither do biological neurons.  A biological neuron metabolizes...but so would 
a silicon
based neuron.
But the silicon based neuron doesn't die when it's metabolism is
interrupted, and the silicon based neuron is not produced by silicon
stem cells. It may be important for consciousness that all processes
are derived organically from a single dividing cell.

  So you're just speculating that there are some essential functions of
biological based neurons that can't be realized by silicon based neurons.
Essential to human consciousness, yes. Just as there are some
essential functions of DNA that can't be realized by silicon based
molecules for creating biological cells.

then we very well might
be able to make a conscious brain out of that...but we probably won't
be able to control it any better than we can control an animal.
Our definition of consciousness is entirely human. If we talk about
something being conscious, we are really talking about it being human.
That's begging the question.
No, I'm talking about how we conceive of consciousness, not the
possibility of it existing outside of humans. I'm making a distinction
between consciousness and something like height. We know what height
is and we can be sure that it can be generalized to any solid object.
In that case, it would be begging the question to say that human
height can only come from humans. I'm not saying that though. I'm
saying that without human consciousness as an example, we don't know
what we are talking about if we try to define it. It's not a matter of
saying only humans can be conscious like a human, it's a matter of
realizing that they are one and the same thing as far as we know for

All I'm saying is that we cannot discount the possibility that there
is a good reason why humans are only made of DNA and not sand.

Well humans aren't made of DNA, and there are good reasons they are made of carbon compounds (mostly) instead of silicon ones. But the question is about consciousness, not evolution.

You've been asserting that it's the case...not just cautioning about 
possibilities.  So
let's hear one of those 'good reasons'; one that is not just a speculative 
How do you go from me saying 'we cannot discount the possibility...'
to demanding an answer that is not a speculative possibility? If I say
we cannot discount the possibility that cigarettes cause cancer, does
that mean that you can demand that I produce the precise mechanism by
which they cause cancer or else it invalidates the possibility that it

Yes, you were circumspect in that response. But referred to what you've said in 
other posts.

"That's because awareness is not mechanical. That's
what makes a machine a machine, a lack of capacity to transcend
recursive behavior or deviate from universal behavior."

"A silicon semiconductor does have an experience, just not the
incomprehensible human experience that we superimpose on it's nature."

"No amount of gear motives scale up
to opinions. There is no 'they' to a gear, because humans have cast
them mechanically in molds to act as gears for our sense/motives.
Innately they are not gears, but metal molecules in solid form. Their
sense/motive is to respond to temperature, force, acceleration, etc in
a relatively uniform fashion which does not scale up to being a living

So do I now take it you have abandoned these bold assertions and no concede that maybe a silicon or mechanical brain could instantiate human-like consciousness and that's a reasonable research goal and you were just cautioning against assuming the outcome?


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