On Feb 13, 3:51 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> 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.

I'm using DNA as an example that physical properties are influential
for the possibilities of life, not just abstract functions.
Consciousness is, as far as we know, limited to things made through
the activities of DNA. I am saying we can't assume that there is no
reason for that to be the case.

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

I don't see anything wrong with speculating on the possibilities.

>
> "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
> organism."
>
> So do I now take it you have abandoned these bold assertions

No, not at all. It is clear to me that there are different sense
making capacities associated with different levels of physical
substance and relation. It is not all interchangeable, although there
are many functions which can be imitated successfully. There is room
for many different ways of doing the same thing and many different
things that can be done in the same way. Consciousness overlaps with
the body in some ways and it diverges in other ways. They are
independent, they overlap, they influence each other, and they are in
another sense, inseparable. No amount of steel gears is going to ever
add up to a chicken. Only a chicken made of chicken cells is a chicken
and has chicken consciousness.

> 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?

It's a reasonable research goal because of the collateral knowledge
that will come out of it, but no, I think in reality this goal will
always be a pipe dream of alchemical proportions. Mortality is a
fundamental experience of all life. As long as a brain is based on
time-reversible, non-mortal mechanisms, it can never feel what any
living thing can feel. Not that time irreversibility and mortality are
the only criteria - but I suspect that they are part of the minimum
requirements involved in stepping up from the molecular to the
cellular level of sense making.

Craig

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