On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> You interpret the existence
>> "spontaneous neural activity" as meaning that something magical like
>> this happens, but it doesn't mean that at all.
> Spontaneous is just that, spontaneous. It isn't magical. It is quite
> ordinary. I could do the usual things I do, or I could spontaneously decide
> to invent something new to do or think about. This is what living organisms
> do but computers don't.

That's the large scale effect of neural activity, but the neural
activity itself is deterministic. Putting it crudely, every component
in the brain moves because it is jostled by another component. This
movement may coincide with mental activity that is apparently
out-of-the-blue. For example, the brain states may progress S1, S2, S3
at times T1, T2, T3 and corresponding with mental states M1, M2 and
M3. M2 may appear as a sudden idea with no apparent antecedent, but
that does *not* mean that S1, S2 or S3 arise without antecedent. S1
leads to S2 and S2 leads to S3 in a deterministic way, entirely
explainable in terms of chemical reactions. If it were otherwise then
scientists would observe miracles at the microscopic level, and
nothing like this has ever been observed.

Stathis Papaioannou

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