On Thursday, October 4, 2012 3:18:51 PM UTC-4, John Clark wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>
> > 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. 

To paraphrase Carl, 'First, you have to invent the universe.'. If you 
smuggle in teleology into your metaphysics a priori, then you have already 
given evolution the power to behave sensibly. This is begging the question 
since what you are supposed to be proving is how teleological systems can 
come out of mathematical probability alone.

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

Without smuggling teleology in the first place, there is nothing to mutate. 
Nothing can make sense or define itself, have identity, discern 
differences, expect causality, experience states, etc. 

>> > 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.  

Does your universe come with toy robots built in? Do toy robots appear by 
themselves from quantum foam?

> > 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.   

Everything is not only aware, everything is awareness. That means that 
there are different experiences of, not that everything has every 
experience. That is the contrast. Experiences have different scopes and 
intensities, qualities, participation levels. 

> > 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.  

That's even worse. I'm asking how you can say that machines are both stupid 
byproducts of evolution and smart rational minds which are far superior to 
the other kind of machines....and then at the same time insist that biology 
has nothing to do with the difference. Saying that machines exist for a 
fact is like saying that Bugs Bunny exists for a fact. Of course *we* think 
machines exist; we built them. They don't exist on their own though. Not as 
machines. There is an assembly of parts which will continue to act out 
their physical entropy in silent unconsciousness until they fall apart or 
run out of resources, but that's all.

>  > 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.

And rocks which warm in the Sun have been around for over 4 billion years. 
So what? We are talking about how inert matter or abstract probability 
becomes it's exact opposite - living, sentient agents. 

>> > 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 place. 

You seem to have no way to grasp the difference between the menu and the 
meal. There is no such thing as a robot snail. There are robots which 
behave in a way that remind us of a snail, but that isn't what it actually 
is. A plane isn't an artificial bird. A computer isn't an electronic brain. 
A glass of bleach isn't water just because it is a clear liquid.

But that's not even what we are talking about. I am pointing out that 
before anything can have an evolutionary consequence, there already has to 
be something making sense of something by itself - without a programmer or 
engineer forcing some inanimate object to act like something he imagines is 


>   John K Clark

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