On Thu, May 2, 2013 Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:

> Things like Hebbian learning and artificial models of neurons have
> explanatory power

Yes but Donald Hebb didn't just say "it happens because of emergence", he
explained exactly how these higher level laws worked.

>>  if you just wanted to know how to make a AI you could reverse engineer
> a human brain, you might not understand why your creation worked but that
> wouldn't stop it from working.
> > I think it's more feasible to try to reverse-engineer the morphogenetic
> algorithms encoded in the DNA.

I think that would be much much more difficult and also unnecessary. To
make a AI by reverse engineering it would be enough to have a map of how
information flows in the brain, every detail about the physical structure
of that organ would not be needed to make a electronic analog that behaves
in a intelligent way. And of course your approach would be useless for

> We would still not understand the creation,

It doesn't matter it would still work, and because the creation's mind
would operate several hundred million times faster than ours it might
understand much better than we do.

> I, for example, love David Lynch's films

By far Lynch's best was his first and was perhaps the strangest movie ever
made, his 1977 masterpiece "Eraserhead".

> I believe it is likely that consciousness is the fundamental stuff,

If so then it is silly to ask what consciousness is made of or to expect to
see a theory of consciousness.

> Evolution provides a compelling explanation for how intelligence
> originated,


> but it does not provide any explanation for how consciousness originated,

So if consciousness is not a byproduct of intelligence then Darwin was

> so it is perfectly reasonable to be agnostic on the origin of
> consciousness while accepting Darwinism. For example, someone might come up
> with a theory that is more general than evolution and also explains why
> evolution is a good approximation for a subset of reality

You know you're in trouble when you've got to conjurer up new laws of
science that do absolutely nothing but shoehorn reality into your
preexisting ideas. So there is a pervasive new field in physics that scours
every square inch of space looking for intelligence and when it finds it
and its soft and squishy like a human brain it confers consciousness onto
it but if its hard and metallic like a computer it does not. Pathetic! This
sort of argument would convince nobody who didn't already want to be

  John K Clark

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