On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> How can a human exceed his hardware? Everything he does must be due to
>> the hardware plus input from the environment, same as the computer,
>> same as everything else in the universe.
> What input from the environment might cause an acorn to build and fly a
> B-52? Is there a special B-52 building gene that comes with humans but not
> acorns?

Humans have a large number of genes enabling them to grow brains and
build B-52's while acorns lack these genes.

> It's a really narrow view of the cosmos which imagines that the
> universe is about nothing but what stuff it is made of - that the
> environment dictates with inputs but that the self has no non-environmental
> outputs.

Do you mean can a human do something dependent only on himself and not
the environment? I suppose you could say this if you completely
isolated him from everything, although even then he would be subject
to factors such as ambient temperature and air pressure.

> What happens if we take it a step further and recuse ourselves and our human
> layer of experience entirely. Who is to say whether the appearance of
> neurons and atoms is merely an evolutionary device to prop up the hormone
> and neurotransmitter spray that is 'science' or if, instead, it is
> evolutionary biology which is the illusion of molecules, whose endless
> repeating patterns know no genuine coherence as individual creatures or
> species.
> Who chooses the level of description?

If you're a solipsist then you choose everything.

Stathis Papaioannou

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