On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>wrote:
> Evolution doesn't make decisions at all. > You may be pedantic about the use of anthropomorphic language but I am not. > It's an emergent phenomena. > Emergent is another great buzz word that isn't of much use. > And Evolution has no foresight, it doesn't understand one step backward 2 >> steps forward, it only understands if there is a advantage to the animal >> right now. >> > > > That is debatable. Like hell it is. > There is the possibility of the evolution of evolvability, Well OK, maybe you could look at the Evolution of segmentation as the Evolution of evolvability, if you want to evolve a longer animal just do more of the same and add more segments. > > Why only two genders? > A better question is why there are as many as 2 genders, the greatest mystery in Evolution is how and why sex evolved. >> Richard Dawkins has said that in today's pop culture admitting to being >> a reductionist is like admitting that you like to eat babies, but the fact >> is that every disease science has found a cure for it has done so with a >> reductionist approach, >> > > > This is entirely not the case. The most obvious example is the field > of psychiatry, using drugs for which mechanisms of operation are not > understood combined with therapy techniques that are completely based > on practioner's experience and intuition. Yet it manages to get > results above placebo for some classes of diseases, like depression. > OK, but what does that have to do with the "holistic approach" whatever that is? As I said science is not the only way to gain knowledge, induction works too. Usually. > Being able to duplicate the brain does not imply that we understand it, I believe it does, or at least it would mean we understand the brain as well as we ever will. > nor does understanding it imply that we can replicate it. > I agree in principle but in practice I think it probably will mean we can replicate it. > Actually understanding how the brain works means exactly the opposite: > not having to consider all the billions of little details but instead > understanding the fundamental principles -- which are holistic for sure. > That's the trouble with this list, everybody is a big picture man with their own fundamental holistic theories about consciousness (but never about intelligence because that's much too hard) that is completely useless and doesn't advance science by one inch. > How do you know that the universe can't think? > The same reason I believe a rock can't think, it doesn't behave intelligently; but of course I could be wrong, maybe the rock and the universe are both just playing possum. But probably not. > My view is that the difficulty in defining certain terms is a hint about > where our ignorance lies. You can define free will anyway you like and I will be happy to join the debate about Human beings having this interesting property or not. But when nobody knows what the hell "free will" is supposed to mean, not even approximately, and then have long impassioned debates about people having free will or not is just ridiculous. When he was a student at Princeton Richard Feynman had an encounter with philosophers, years later this is what he had to say about it: "In the Graduate College dining room at Princeton everybody used to sit with his own group. I sat with the physicists, but after a bit I thought: It would be nice to see what the rest of the world is doing, so I'll sit for a week or two in each of the other groups. When I sat with the philosophers I listened to them discuss very seriously a book called Process and Reality by Whitehead. They were using words in a funny way, and I couldn't quite understand what they were saying. Now I didn't want to interrupt them in their own conversation and keep asking them to explain something, and on the few occasions that I did, they'd try to explain it to me, but I still didn't get it. Finally they invited me to come to their seminar. They had a seminar that was like, a class. It had been meeting once a week to discuss a new chapter out of Process and Reality - some guy would give a report on it and then there would be a discussion. I went to this seminar promising myself to keep my mouth shut, reminding myself that I didn't know anything about the subject, and I was going there just to watch. What happened there was typical - so typical that it was unbelievable, but true. First of all, I sat there without saying anything, which is almost unbelievable, but also true. A student gave a report on the chapter to be studied that week. In it Whitehead kept using the words "essential object" in a particular technical way that presumably he had defined, but that I didn't understand. After some discussion as to what "essential object" meant, the professor leading the seminar said something meant to clarify things and drew something that looked like lightning bolts on the blackboard. "Mr. Feynman," he said, "would you say an electron is an 'essential object'?" Well, now I was in trouble. I admitted that I hadn't read the book, so I had no idea of what Whitehead meant by the phrase; I had only come to watch. "But," I said, "I'll try to answer the professor's question if you will first answer a question from me, so I can have a better idea of what 'essential object' means. What I had intended to do was to find out whether they thought theoretical constructs were essential objects. The electron is a theory that we use; it is so useful in understanding the way nature works that we can almost call it real. I wanted to make the idea of a theory clear by analogy. In the case of the brick, my next question was going to be, "What about the inside of the brick?" - and I would then point out that no one has ever seen the inside of a brick. Every time you break the brick, you only see the surface. That the brick has an inside is a simple theory which helps us understand things better. The theory of electrons is analogous. So I began by asking, "Is a brick an essential object?" Then the answers came out. One man stood up and said, "A brick as an individual, specific brick. That is what Whitehead means by an essential object." Another man said, "No, it isn't the individual brick that is an essential object; it's the general character that all bricks have in common - their 'brickiness' - that is the essential object." Another guy got up and said, "No, it's not in the bricks themselves. 'Essential object' means the idea in the mind that you get when you think of bricks." Another guy got up, and another, and I tell you I have never heard such ingenious different ways of looking at a brick before. And, just like it should in all stories about philosophers, it ended up in complete chaos. In all their previous discussions they hadn't even asked themselves whether such a simple object as a brick, much less an electron, is an "essential object." " > Suppressing discussion about these definitions is a form of mysticism. > Wow, calling a guy known for not liking religion religious! Never heard that one before, at least not before the sixth grade. > > >Philosophy is necessary but philosophers are not. >> > > >I don't know what to say here. Isn't philosophy a human endeavour? Yes, and there have been many huge philosophical discoveries made in the last 200 years, but not one of them was made by a philosopher, the discoveries were made by scientists and mathematicians. > > what you mean by "philosopher"? > Somebody who puts "philosopher" in the occupation line on his tax form John K Clark -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.