On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> When you say "Random mutation can wire together a small number of cells
> such that if there is a sudden change in the light levels in the
> environment, like a shadow covering it, a snail will retreat into its
> shell", you have assumed sense and awareness to begin with.

I can reproduce the same rudimentary behavior with a few dozen transistors,
or vacuum tubes, or mechanical relays; if you assume that simple snail has
awareness then my machines do too.

> > in theory, random mutation can't wire together anything.


> > Nothing can be wired together in a universe which is devoid of any
> capacity for detections, responses, and their meta-consequences.

I don't know what you're talking about, a toy robot can and does detect
things and makes responses that are determined by what it detects.

> This is already awareness.

If particle X coming into contact with particle Y is awareness then
everything is aware, which is equivalent to nothing is aware. For a concept
to have meaning you need contrast.

> You are already assuming a mechanism in which one thing can have
> something to do with another thing

I'm not assuming machines exist, I know for a fact that they do.

 > where there can be a such thing as 'light levels' or other experiences
> of coherent sensation/detection. You are already assuming participatory
> efficacy in the perception event

Photoelectric detectors have existed for a long time and Einstein explained
how they work in 1905, I'm not sure I'd say these machines "perceive"  the
light but if you want to use that word I won't argue the point.

> > the snail will retreat into its shell means that something is able to
> detect the external condition and causally effect the behavior of the cells
> of the snail to the point that they physically contract and move into a
> different position within the shell.

And a high school kid for his science fair project could make a robot snail
that does the exact same thing, and he probably wouldn't even win first

  John K Clark

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