On Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:59:18 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> But genetics will determine how your brain is influenced by experience 
> >> and environment. 
> > 
> > 
> > That would be difficult for genetics to anticipate factors in the 
> > environment which have not been invented yet. The internet was not 
> invented 
> > until after I graduated college so I could not possibly have been 
> > genetically predisposed to working with the internet, yet that has 
> turned 
> > out to be what I do for a living. All that we really know that genetics 
> to 
> > is code for protein. How genomes relate to phenomes is not well 
> understood, 
> > let alone how phenomes relate to experience, which is not understood at 
> all. 
> This is repeating an obvious fallacy that you have used before. If I 
> make a rubber ball, I don't program into it how to behave when a 
> particular person comes along in a years time and kicks it in a 
> certain direction with a certain force. The ball will behave in an 
> almost unlimited variety of ways depending on what happens to it, but 
> its structure will determine exactly how it will behave. Similarly 
> with a brain, which is much more complex than a rubber ball. 

I'm not repeating a fallacy, I am pointing out that any assumption of 
bottom-up causality necessarily takes top-down causality for granted. My 
professional involvement in the internet can only be understood from a 
cultural, social, and personal perspective. Genetics may provide some 
general tendencies which would steer me in the direction of working with 
certain kinds of things, but that is really as irrelevant as the 
composition of bricks are to the shape of the Taj Mahal.

Structure can only determine anything if there is a capacity for physical 
interaction which supports 'structures'. If I program a universe, I can 
link any kind of structure to any behavior I want. When a fruit fly lands 
on a rubber ball, then a random galaxy disappears. Beneath all of the 
possible interactions of rubber, of balls, of rubber balls, of a certain 
temperature range and size, there is sensory-motor presentation rather than 
programmatic representation. This is the feature - the aesthetics of 
perception and participation, which is unexplainable by any means and which 
therefore stands alone as the sole universal property. All computation and 
physics depend on presence and locality, but not just a conceptual presence 
of self-reference or arithmetic process, but actual concrete participation 
and direct perception. 

> >> For something as complex as sexual orientation, for 
> >> example, there must be something in the brain that either determines 
> >> that a person will be homosexual or determines that a person will be 
> >> homosexual given certain environmental factors. 
> > 
> > 
> > Sexual orientation deals specifically with physiology and reproduction 
> so it 
> > is not surprising that a given individual's orientation would be 
> strongly 
> > correlated to biological factors. Even so there are many personal and 
> > cultural variations within gender which would be ridiculous to assign to 
> a 
> > biological influence. (http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6300433_f520.jpg) 
> As I said, genetics determines how the brain is influenced by 
> experience and environment. 

But genetics are also influenced by experience and environment which also 
feeds back on how the person makes use of their genetics and their 
environment. I think that the changing figures in those studies over the 
last 60 years show how really little we know about the correlation between 
genetics and personal characteristics. It is clear that there are strong 
correlations, but it is also clear that it is not the whole story. If it 
were, I would expect to see at least a 90% match of sexual orientation in 
identical twins. It seems, to the contrary, that the more subjective the 
characteristics, the less they have to do with genetics.

> Genetically identical brains may evolve 
> differently over time due to a difference in environment. Even if the 
> environments were exactly the same (not an experiment we could ever do 
> in practice) genetically identical brains may evolve differently due 
> to random quantum events. 

Nothing can ever evolve identically to anything else because of different 
quantum events, but also because the entire universe is expressing 
different conditions in every instant - some random, some determined, and 
yes some consciously *intentional*.  No view which ignores this is useful 
for understanding consciousness because in my understanding consciousness 
is uniqueness itself - it is privacy and proprietary significance.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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