IEET > Rights > Personhood > Vision > Contributors > Kris Notaro > Futurism
Panpsychism and Multiple Realization: The Posthuman Mind pt3
Kris Notaro   Jun 8, 2011   Ethical Technology  

In the event that Panpsychism is true, can Multiple Realization also be true for AI and the posthuman?

Panpsychism - the doctrine that each object in the universe has a mind or an unconscious psyche and that all physical occurrences involve the mental.

Multiple Realizability - In the philosophy of mind, the multiple realizability thesis contends that a single mental kind (property, state, event) can be realized by many distinct physical kinds.(1)

Principle of multiplicity - that which causes variety in the universe as opposed to that which causes unity.

Identity Theory - Brain Processes are identical to mind and vise versa

Functionalism - The definition of mental states in terms of their causes and effects

Not too distant in the future we will see AI, computer simulations, silicon-biological, and purely biological posthumans, etc claim that they are conscious beings with feelings, a sense of self, and the ability to be conscious of the same mental states that we (homo-sapiens) can feel. 

Neuroscience is learning more and more about the brain through a list Antonio Damasio mentions in his new book The Self Comes to Mind: neuroimaging including , brain damaged patients, magnetic resonance scanning, positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography, recording of neuronns during neurosurgical treatments and magnetic stimulation. However in his book he admits that “the mystery of consciousness is still a mystery, although it is being pushed back” (Damasio, 262)

This “mystery of consciousness” may very well be multiply realized in different forms of matter.  However brain patterns found by, for example, PET scans show us that there is something important to them for the rise of consciousness. If panpsychism is true, these patterns are unique to biological organisms with consciousness, which would deny AI the ability to claim that it is conscious like we are - unless of course their patterns are identical to ours.

Behavior of an AI, and a silicon-biological being cannot guarantee us that it is feeling consciousness like we are. Brain states and patterns will have to be empirically analyzed from the point of consciousness down to the most basic of neurological patterns.

If panpsychism is true, then it becomes part of the Theory of Everything, and we must then incorporate brain patterns into that theory of the universe. To really understand ourselves we must understand mind and not just the physical nature of the material we are made of in a reductionist way. 

My intentions here are not to undermine multiple realization of consciousness just yet, for that would be walking on dangerous ground. If AI can really feel like we do we must grant them the rights that we grant ourselves. The identity theory poses a threat to machine functionalism, but does not undermine the importance of panpsychism.  Panpsychism is not a form of identity theory or functionalism, instead its “arguments seek to find analogies between clearly enminded entities and the rest of nature which are strong enough to warrant the extension of mental attributes throughout nature.”(4)

Multible realization of consciousness is conceivable, but if consciousness relies on panpsychism patterns we are left with silicon-biological, and purely biological patterns which are identical. It may be that consciousness relies on these patterns and only on these patterns to give rise to unique feelings. Panpsychism then becomes the new dualism, and weakens the theory of multible-realization of consciousness.

References:

(1)Bickle, John, “Multiple Realizability”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/multiple-realizability/

(2)Damasio, Antonio. (2010). Self comes to mind. New York: Pantheon Books.

(3)Putnam, Hilary. (1973). The nature of mental states. Art, Mind, and Religion, 37-48.

(4)Seager, William and Allen-Hermanson, Sean, “Panpsychism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2010/entries/panpsychism.

(5)Photo: http://evenz.deviantart.com/art/dualism-77196550

Kris Notaro served as Managing Director of the IEET from 2012 to 2015. He is currently an IEET Rights of the Person Program Director. He earned his BS in Philosophy from Charter Oak State College in Connecticut. He is currently the Bertrand Russell Society’s Vice-President for Website Technology. He has worked with the Bertrand Russell A/V Project at Central Connecticut State University, producing multimedia materials related to philosophy and ethics for classroom use. His major passions are in the technological advances in the areas of neuroscience, consciousness, brain, and mind.



COMMENTS

I think the key to understanding panpsychism (or more precisely, protopanexperientialism, which I think is just a little more accurate), is realizing that proto-awareness (or what Whitehead called ‘occasions of experience’) is not the same as fully evolved consciousness.

Many people have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

What finally convinced me of panexperientialism is the fractal universe.

If awareness is a property of some matter, then in a fractal universe, this property must be distributed to the whole universe from it’s self-similarity. All fundamental properties are like this. Every fundamental force that exists, applies to all existing things.

Therefore, if some things have awareness, then in some degree, so must all things.

“No theory of physics can be causally closed until it includes consciousness as a fundamental property”

Just keep in mind that proto-awareness doesn’t imply that the entire universe is as highly intelligent as an evolved organism, it just means that a basic subjective state (the consciousness simpliciter) inheres in everything, because as a fundamental property, the self-similar universe distributes it everywhere.

Two new perspectives on panpsychism that involve physics/math (something I absolutely adore, it takes the ‘mystic mumbo jumbo’ excuse away from the critics who are unfamiliar with Spinoza, Whitehead, Strawson, etc.)

Christopher Langan
Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe
http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf

Richard D. Ruquist
Is the String Landscape Distributive in the Universe and Might it Manifest a Peano Cosmic Consciousness?
http://vixra.org/abs/1101.0044

Can we not accept the possibility that Consciousness is phenomenon, whereas mind and the mental are merely constructs? The prime mover is conciousness, the resultant biological manifestation is mind, and the higher machination is “Self-awareness” (consciousness of consciousness)? Mind is the aggregate, consciousness is the fundamental attribute.

Phenomenological consciousness does not contradict the existence of Consciousness as fundamental phenomenon, but rather, is built upon it, (the phenomenon is the foundation and results in the phenomenological - layers).

This may be but a purely philosophical position, (as consciousness will never be subject to physical scientific proofs - without the exclusion of the conscious observation, any experiment becomes both invalid and redundant). however, taking this philosophical position, there is thus no hard problem to overcome - so continue at full speed with machine morality and qualia synaesthesia.

_/|\_

Panpsychism is one of the main reasons why I feel that IA, particularly through BCI, will be more fruitful than AI.

I admire your honesty.  You are promoting a doctrine.  I do not read those who promote doctrines. Your honesty has saved me two or three minutes of reading and reflection that I can better for reading and reflecting in the pursuit of knowledge.

@Alex
Why did you bother to respond?

Its possible, I believe that your hypothesis may be true. the doctrine that each object in the universe has a mind or an unconscious psyche and that all physical occurrences involve the mental. The occurrences are in my belief extensions of God. Therefore I believe that Quantum Mechanics and String Theory will always be incomplete theories and not candidates for a Theory of Everything.

As an alternative to Quantum Theory there is a new theory that describes and explains the mysteries of physical reality. While not disrespecting the value of Quantum Mechanics as a tool to explain the role of quanta in our universe. This theory states that there is also a classical explanation for the paradoxes such as EPR and the Wave-Particle Duality. The Theory is called the Theory of Super Relativity and is located at: Super Relativity
This theory is a philosophical attempt to reconnect the physical universe to realism and deterministic concepts. It explains the mysterious.

I dont think that god has anything to do with the science and philosophy of consciousness. There is no evidence that god exists. As Owen Flanagan put in his book The Really Hard Problem,

“Consciousness is. It happens, it is there. It flows like a stream while I live, and how it flows, how it connects to itself, is what makes me who I am. Meaning, if there is such a thing, is a matter of whether and how things add up in the greater scheme of things… Consciousness exists, and if we accept Darwin’s theory it probably serves a biological function”

On the Goddess issue:

I don’t see it as a matter of existence/non-existence, but rather as a matter of how one defines it’s being.

Goddess in an asymptote.

The Tao that can be named is not the Tao.

The asymptote that can be observed is not an asymptote.

Asymptotes (i.e. point-like singularities) are beyond the horizon of observability by definition.

Kind of like God.

God is an asymptote.

This de-ligitimizes organized religions, whose common principle seems to be that of separating “creator” from “created”.

Naturalism views all of existence as “God”.

Panpsychism to me is just a natural extension of that.

Indra’s Net.

To tie this into AI, I think that the notion that we can “create” subjective awareness where there is none is a bit of a misnomer, because subjective awareness (in the form of the consciousness simpliciter) is already everywhere.

There is nothing to “create”.

Rather, it makes more sense to me to evolve what already exists.

And that is why I see BCI as being more fruitful in terms of creating post-singular emergent intelligence.

Not that AI won’t have anything to do with it. I just don’t buy into the idea that we’ll “create something from nothing”, even when it comes to intelligence/consciousness.

Rather, we’ll co-evolve with our machines, primarily through integrating and connecting and evolving our biological substrates concomitantly with our machines.

Thanks for replying to my comment. This is a really interesting topic. I disagree with the belief that there is no evidence for the existence of God. I do not know if you are familiar with Near Death Experiences but there have been thousands of people that have had these experiences and 90 percent have experienced a being of light which is said to be God. Many others have seen Jesus Buddha other deity like beings and family and friends on the other side. This seems to fly in the face of the concept that you have embraced that states that consciousness is only associated with a biological function of the mind. These people if you believe their experiences are real have also observed other people and events of people that are alive while they were dead and could not have possibly been aware of. This suggests that their near Death Experience was indeed physically real and that their consciousness exists after death. Their stories have been corroborated by other witnesses. Looks like Darwin might be wrong about consciousness and that particular aspect of reality. It also appears that their is a God and this God is a Universal Being unlike what we are used to thinking here on earth, where every religion has their own unique description and vision of who and what God is.

Oh, and for the 10 percent of those who do not experience God immediately upon death. The experience is not a pleasant one. These NDE’s experience a hell like existence in what is known as the void. This negative experience is not a punishment from God but is simply a realm of existence that is created by the belief system of the person who has passed on. In other words they don’t believe in God or for other reasons want to avoid God because of guilt. They remain in the void until they are ready to go into the light which eventually all beings do. All the person has to do is call out to God and or Jesus and they are delivered from the hellish void. This has been what has been reported. It is all too easy to intellectualize away God and the existence of God while your alive and young but you might want to rethink that idea at some point.

One last point that I would like to make. You also stated that you do not believe that God has anything to do with science and the philosophy of consciousness. In fact some day hopefully you will come to realize that science and consciousness are all sourced from God. Science and philosophy have never been able to handle the topic of true foundational issues like physical existence as it relates to God because there is no way to physically prove that our reality comes from God or that God physically exists somewhere. The beauty of our physical reality is that it was designed in such away that the source of our existence our consciousnesses and God cannot be proven while we exist hear in the physical realm. I am afraid for the intellectual community of non-believers that they will be constrained by the curse of their own very limited philosophy to be doomed in an infinite regression loop of epistemology. Oh and one technical note for you as well. You should always write the word God using a capital G. Specifically speaking when referring to the specific god-concept that a group worships it is appropriate to capitalize. Basically even though you do not believe in a god. It is out of respect for all of us that do to capitalize the G in God. Its technically grammatically correct either way in most circumstances as I am sure you already know. Sometimes its just nice to be respectful and nice about other peoples beliefs.

Someone help me with this please! There is no scientific evidence of a god, unless you take the fictional words of the bible and other texts seriously and as being true…

On near death experiences:

“On the other hand, skeptical commentators view NDEs as purely neurological and chemical phenomena occurring in the brain. From this perspective NDEs are the result of purely physiological and neurobiological mechanisms. The imagery in the experiences also varies within cultures.” - wikipedia

“Nevertheless, medical science offers compelling evidence that many aspects of NDEs are physiological and psychological in nature. Scientists have found that the drugs ketamine and PCP can create sensations in users that are nearly identical to many NDEs. In fact, some users think they are actually dying while on the drug” - http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/near-death-experience4.htm

“The experiences of people whose out-of-body adventures allow them to see and hear events that their unconscious body shouldn’t be able to perceive are more difficult to explain. However, it is plausible that unconscious people can still register sensory cues and prior knowledge and incorporate them into their NDE. Whether this is more plausible than the subject’s soul floating out of their body is a matter of personal opinion.” - http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/near-death-experience4.htm

“Instead, the researchers from the University of Maribor found blood carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher in the near-death group than among those who had no experience.” - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8607660.stm

“He said: “I suppose a lot of us would like to think that life might continue and if you have lost a loved one perhaps you would like the idea that you were going to meet up with that person again “But I don’t think this research is going to be any proof of life after death.” - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1685311.stm

@ Kris..

“Consciousness is..”  Exactly!!  And if we just accept this, and push the arguments concerning consciousness to one side, then this is more than sufficient for future constructive progress ! The machine will either achieve consciousness, (phenomenological), or it will not. At the very least, endowed with intelligent algorithms, emulated morality and empathy, superior processing speeds and deductive reasoning, and memory – then the simulation of consciousness will be so close as to be perhaps indefinable – and indefinable as to the point of having to return once again to the questioning of the understanding of consciousness itself. A circular argument.

The biological manifestation of proteins, cells and life have already achieved this phenomenological consciousness through natural evolutionary processes, thus the machine will not be excluded from these evolutionary processes, precisely because “every thing” and entity is a part of the “whole” and the ineffable “potential”.

Of course the arguments concerning terminology and semantics must continue, yet I feel we must see past the association of consciousness as merely phenomenological experience. A plant, a flower, a tree “is” conscious of it’s environment, this describes consciousness not merely as phenomenological but as in all encompassing?


@ iPan..

There is so much you have posted that I agree with that I would quote it all, so suffice to say, your understanding of the Tao equates to my understanding of Brahman in advaita, and I don’t feel these philosophical systems are disparate, beyond the association of the “cosmic” unification of “Self”, (identity), which forms the foundation of Hinduism philosophy.

Quote - “The Tao that can be named is not the Tao.”

This precisely equates to the understanding of the ineffable and indescribable “potential” known merely as “that”, and termed as Nirguna Brahman, (Brahman without attributes, because to associate attributes is to limit the indescribable through lack of understanding – this is not merely cliché but wisdom).

And you mention “Indra’s net”? – Interesting, in that Indra is venerated within the Hinduism Upanishads as entity that is closest to understanding of the ineffable Brahman.

Yet without getting too drawn into the arguments as to whether God exists or not, ultimately the question is not of great importance, (here), thus the argument is moot – as always. The Agnostic position is not merely the “safest” viewpoint, it is the most “rational”?

The personification of God through phenomenological conscious experience, and in the similar manner of uncovering the underlying existent and impartial self, (Atman/Ishvara “true self” etc) through mediation and nootropic drugs/soma, cannot be excluded as unimportant to enlightenment or personal development, nor even to sociocultural evolution? “Saguna Brahman” equates to the personification God with attributes through limited human understanding and mortal experience – and we may choose to either see and go beyond this phenomenological and subjective understanding towards the ineffable or not? – it is the path we may choose for ourselves.

The Buddha is not wrong in seeking to understand and transgress the subjective experience to overcome sufferings and cravings.

The Physical scientific search for unification and “theory of everything” may continue regardless, and our “subjective” understanding of the Universe, (the one within which we Homo-sapiens reside), may continue to be explored and extended, the “miracle” before everyone’s eyes is “our mortal” ability to manipulate matter and forms and it’s energies and actions, (maya), through the grace of the “phenomenon of consciousness” interactions. Thus machines will evolve and equate to nothing less than our mortal forms. Biological or machine, it is the Universe that is evolving and Homo-sapiens are merely just another player. To dispute this is to lower and degrade our most intelligent ancestors and our evolutionary origins, and to place Homo-sapiens in a place of Universal superiority that may not be surpassed.


@ Mark..

I read a little of your site link above. The notion that space is “all that exists”, and is “solid” or perhaps a “dense” substrate through which energy interactions travel, (as waves?) is similar to some ideas I have read before. Perhaps space-time may be “equated” as static and unmoving deterministic “snapshots” through which consciousness waves, (subjectivity), may travel? Thus the Human subjective phenomenological consciousness, (and energy interactions), may perhaps be philosophically reduced to the alignment of either “acceptance” or “rejection” of each deterministic plane of space-time it travels through?

If the physical scientific viewpoint and search for the “theory of everything” supports a purely deterministic model of space-time, that can be equated and predicted, (as with classical Newtonian models), then this may once again support the notion of subjective phenomenological consciousness as metaphysical and travelling through this deterministic, (and mathematically predicted), substrate, perhaps as a wave – wave of “phenomenal consciousness”, (and thus consciousness as wave phenomenon that supports and is the foundation of energy wave interactions?)

I don’t subscribe to the idea that space is dense myself, but the contemplation cannot be excluded from any model of existence. The philosophical contemplation is interesting however, in that it supports the notion that “subjectively”, (phenomenological consciousness), we have a choice at each instance to either “accept” or “reject” our position in space-time, (which may be mathematically predicted?) And that we may either “align” or “oppose” to our position within space-time. Yet another philosophical path to the understanding and wisdom of acceptance and ease of sufferings – and an idea that is similar to a computational scientific model for a a CEV or similar?

All these problems are so much simpler when one views god as asymptotic.

Take the Christian ‘Attributes of Deity’ for example, and in particular, those really fun attributes we know as the “Omni” attributes.

In particular let’s focus on just one of these:

Omnipresence.

Omnipresence clearly shows how traditional organized religion is self-contradictory.

If Goddess is Omnipresent, then we could say She exists at all points in spacetime. This naturally ought to lead one to conclude that all things in reality are made of Goddess. Or, as Spinoza would put it, a single monistic substance.

However, organized religion always insists on God being a completely causally separate entity from reality, and therefore contradicts it’s position that Goddess in Omnipresent. God cannot be both separate and Omnipresent at the same time. It’s a logical contradiction.

But, even more interesting, is might we find any actual physical evidence of any system or object in physics or cosmology that seems to possess in way at all these same attributes?

In fact, we do. Asymptotes. The point like singularities within black holes.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23530/

Could it really be possible that all particles are mini-black holes? That’s the tantalising suggestion from Donald Coyne from UC Santa Cruz (now deceased) and D C Cheng from the Almaden Research Center near San Jose.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19066321/Nassim-Haramein-Schwarzschild-Proton-paper

The Schwarzschild Proton
Nassim Haramein
The Resonance Project Foundation

4. Conclusions

We have presented evidence that the proton may be considered as a Schwarzschild entity and that such a system predicts remarkably well, even under crude approximations utilizing semi-classical mechanics, its interaction time, its radiation emissions, its magnetic moment, and even the origin of the strong force as a gravitational component.We are still examining the fundamental nature of mass, inertia, charge, magnetism, spin and angular momentum in the context of the Haramein- Rauscher solution which considers spacetime torque [2].These aspects are usually assumed as “given” without a source.Here the coherent structure of the vacuum and its gravitational curvature begin to give us an appropriate accounting of the energies necessary to produce these effects.

The Schwarzschild proton strongly suggests that matter at many scales may be organized by black-holes and black hole-like phenomena and thereby lead to a scale unification of the fundamental forces and matter.

I should rephrase what I’m saying as “If anything, then God must be an asymptote, no less.”

@Cygnus

I’ve found Taoism, Nagarjunan middle path Buddhism, and Advaita to be the best approximations of reality of all ancient teaching.

I prefer Taoism myself, but it’s just a matter of taste. I happen to enjoy the brevity and simplicity that comes from being able to compress an entire philosophy into a single statement: “The Tao that can be named is not the Tao” actually contains, fractally, the entire meaning of Taoism. Reading the rest of the Tao te Ching is just for fun.

But, like you, I also recognize the Venn like overlapping from these disciplines.

There is no scientific evidence that there is not a God! The lack of physical evidence proving the existence of God does not prove anything. On the other hand I can see what you are saying about the bible. To me, at times the bible in particular the old testament words and texts seem to me to be more of man than of God. The new testament is much more in line with what I would expect a Supreme Being to be like. Which is a being that is kind, loving and non-judgmental in nature.
Your entire premise that God does not exist is based in a negative proof. There is where your problem lies. I understand your frustration as an atheist. You are forced to side step the issue of proving there is no God.  People who hang everything that they believe on hard evidence are uncomfortable when they have no hard evidence to support their belief. The bottom line is you can not prove that God does not exist. There is no shame in admitting so. I can’t prove that he does exist using scientific method or measurement. I simply believe that God exists. I also believe in what I have personally experienced that I also cannot prove but I personally know is real. I believe the NDE people as well. That is about as much evidence as we as humans are ever going to get.

Now as for your NDE rebuttal. I am familiar with all of the counter arguments that have been put out there by scientific investigation. I am glad that they are looking into the phenomenon. I think that is a good thing. I can tell you this interesting fact. That there have been on at least 2 occasions that I can recall where people that were atheists had themselves an NDE experience. One of those people was a research scientist. Upon completion of their NDE experiences they renounced their atheism and became Christians. You know what they say, “seeing is believing”. Their experience was so lucid and real that they became believers on the spot.  All of the evidence you present above is merely some scientist’s belief (Opinion) of what is happening based on some data that is loosely oriented to similar but not identical experiences caused by drugs or higher co2 levels. The bottom line is this.  What these scientists say about NDE experiences is not hard evidence but speculation based on very inexact science loaded with a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions. In other words in truth they really don’t know what is happening. Sorry I don’t mean to be disagreeable but this topic is too important to ignore. Yes, you are going to need every atheist out there to help in this argument. The problem is that opinion and speculation does not form actual physical reality. Nature and reality exist on their own independent of our opinions. The trick is in realizing that we are apart of nature and the Universe. We are all connected. The illusion is that we think that we are separate.

You remind me of my daughter. She is a brilliant scientist who graduated with her doctorate from Yale in molecular biology. I love her very much but she suffers from the same syndrome as many high intellects. A basic lack of wisdom coupled with intellectual arrogance. In other words she is a know it all. The acquisition of wisdom is not a matter or function of academics. To me wisdom is the ability to discern the truth and make decisions using good common sense and most important of all to do all things from the basis of a loving heart. This is something they don’t teach in school.

I wish you the best my friend, but I do not believe that any discussion that I could make will change your mind but at least I tried. Take care…

@CygnusX1

I believe that qualia “The felt or phenomenal qualities associated with experiences, such as the feeling of a pain, or the hearing of a sound, or the viewing of a color.” are part of the universe and that evolution slowly utilized qualia along the way. This would entail that consciousness is also part of the universe like gravity is. That is to say that phenomenological feelings are qualia, and to experience and be aware of them you need consciousness. I find it rather strange that in 2011 that consciousness still has yet to be explained neurobiologically which is part of the reason I believe in qualia’s existence being part of the universe. However I dont believe in god, at least the fictional gods that we have seen hypothesized about in fictional works like the Koran and the Bible. I simply thing that Panpsychism makes the most sense when dealing with phenomenological consciousness at this point in time. Unless there is some massive paradigm shift in the neurosciences I will continue to believe in qualia’s existence.

@Mark

http://goo.gl/lFQJH

I would say that when it comes to Darwin’s description of finches in the Origin of the Species it followed the scientific method.

The finches where not a “new” species, but they had shorter and longer beaks to adapt to their environment. i dont know if you know this, but there is something called selection pressure in evolutionary science where the environment, not the animal is responsible for animals evolving… A great example of natural selection is in giraffes, the longer the neck the better they can get food.  the longer or shorter the beak, the better the animals survive. Why do you think humans evolved to have a clear mind: easy question - homoeostasis. If everyone was crazy the human species would not have evolved, and brains would be useless.

Stephen Hawking, in his new book states that we must live with model dependent realism - a theory that is not a theory of everything - its a mix of physics theories. check this out:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110516/us_yblog_thelookout/stephen-hawking-says-afterlife-is-a-fairy-story
and this:
http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Design-Stephen-Hawking/dp/0553805371

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/strangespecies/

species evolve through natural selection, they do not “pop up” out of no where, it takes many years for species to evolve, like the whale. “Almost, But Not Quite, a Whale. The fossil record suggests that whales evolved on land, and intermediate species have been identified. But what of their last terrestrial ancestor? In 2007, researchers showed that Indohyus — a 50 million-year-old, dog-sized member of the extinct raoellidae ungulate family — had ears, teeth and bones that resembled whales, not other raoellids.”

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/evolutionexampl/

We do not know how and where the first living cell came from, however, RNA may be so simple that they can develop in clouds of hydrogen and other gases in space.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/04/image-of-the-day-the-great-nebula-in-orion-a-birthplace-of-rna-worlds.html

why are there still primates if we evolved from them?  - some families of primates went extinct and some did not, thats just fact. 200,000 for evolution is not that long, but its long enough for primates and other animals to evolve, die off, or stay somewhat the same.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/dna-human-evolution.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

On to how people are evolving: One easy example is adaptation to diseases:
New mutations. Until recently, anthropologists thought that human evolution had slowed down. But last December, Hawks reported that it has actually accelerated 100-fold in the past 5,000 to 10,000 years. He figured that out by comparing chunks of DNA among 269 people from around the world. Over time, DNA accumulates random mutations, just as the front of a white T-shirt tends to accumulate spots. The bigger the chunks of DNA without random spots, the more recently it had been minted. Using this system, Hawks concluded that recent genetic changes account for about 7 percent of the human genome. Much of the increase, he says, has been fueled by the growth of the world’s population, which has expanded by a factor of 1,000 over the past 10,000 years. Having more people increases the odds of mutations.

At the same time, the human genome has been scrambling to adapt to a rapidly changing world—11,000 years ago, nobody farmed, nobody milked domesticated animals, and nobody lived in a city. People with a mutation that aided survival were more likely to thrive, reproduce, and pass that mutation along to offspring. For example, the capacity to digest lactose, the sugar in milk, has become common only over the past 3,000 years. Now, about 95 percent of the people in northern Germany have the mutation, which also popped up independently among the Masai in Africa and the Lapps in Finland. Hawks says: “This is really rapid evolution.”

Humans will continue to change to cope with new diseases
http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2008/07/24/where-is-human-evolution-heading

http://www.physorg.com/news9717.html

Hi Kris,

First off I like to say that I have a great appreciation for the effort that you have put in to my responses. Especially the addition of link references that support your arguments. I think that is good form when debating on line.

Now to clarify my stand on something so that you don’t expend any more energy defending Darwin. My daughter also loves to bring up Darwin. This comment applies to all of your Darwin arguments. I have no problem with the overall theory of evolution as put forth by Darwin. So that you understand exactly where I am coming from. My religious beliefs come from my many years of experience and study in afterlife and supernatural phenomena as well as my intense studies of physics. I study these two topics because to me these are the most relevant topics in life.  Therefore my religious belief is a somewhat rare type. I am a Christian spiritualist.
I believe God is Universal being therefore if a person’s background is a Buddhist he sees Buddha when he dies, if a person is Hindu he might see Krishna. Since I am a Christian I will see Christ. I believe that God does not care what you call him as long as you believe. I believe that we should live a life of goodness, live by the Golden rule.
I accept Darwin’s evolution theory. I also believe that because mankind via the Christian faith has come to believe that the Universe was made in 7 days and that the earth is a mere 5000 years old is of course all nonsense. At best the story in the bible is only a metaphor for our creation. So it is my belief that if we ascribe to Darwin’s theory as the reason for the evolution of man it in no way proves the non-existence of God. It only proves, at best that our interpretation of the bible is incorrect or the historical accuracy of the bible is faulty. Therefore, from my view point all of your Darwinian arguments are irrelevant. They do not prove that God does not exist. 

Now that I have negated your arguments concerning proof of the nonexistence of God because the Bible is not historically accurate I would like to move on to a few more of your comments.

The Stephen Hawking comment that you site is only an opinion of a physicist. A not very good physicist at that.

Stephen says,
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

This comment as sad as it is, is also laughable and incredibly arrogant. That arrogance is perhaps what Stephen Hawking is best known for. Here is a man about once every decade comes up with a theory of everything and then gets proven wrong repeatedly. He has a bad track record but yet is heavily decorated. He is perhaps the most over rated physicist of our time. According to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. This surely must make you be a big fan of him. Hawking’s belief is a simplistic approach, yet in our secular age it is one that seems to have resonance with a skeptical public. Obviously people like yourself. Once again his claim is misguided. Isn’t this the same Stephen Hawking that says we should be quiet and not make to much noise as we might attract the attention of aliens who will come down and kill us all. Sounds like he is afraid of the boogieman man. The guy is a loose cannon. In the future you might like to refrain from using him as a reference.

Here is where I disagree with Hawking, he asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict. What I say is that contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete and total explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions. You are making the same exact mistake.

I believe that the laws of physics could never have actually built the universe. Some agency must have been involved. This is where you and I disagree. Your philosophical belief in panpsychism is centered around a flawed assumption that consciousness exists solely because of physical existence. I believe that it takes God to impart or bind consciousness to flesh or any other physical object. Consciousness in the physical realm is the result of not only physical mental awareness but also the binding of the soul and spirit to that physical consciousness. Without those additional elements all you have is a machine with very limited cognitive ability. Panpsychism is missing the most important element which is a source or agent that connects everyone and everything together.

Here is some food for thought. If out of the tens of thousands of people who have had an NDE only 1 turns out to be real it still invalidates your entire philosophical concept. The odds are against you. 


panpsychism

 

I am a panpsychist and an autotheist. In my philosophy, consciousness = energy = matter; all 3 of these are fundamental representations of each other and may manifest interchangeably. What we observe as the local physical universe is a construct formed subjectively by our individual personality (self) consciousness according to our beliefs, perceptions, and desires. Each personality creates their own physical reality and is totally unique to them. All these subjective realities exist in superposition as do all quantum states and appear similar to each other so that high level communication is convenient and not like the metaphorical Tower of Babel. All events are recognized as official when our consciousness collapses the wave function.

This is not an unusual position although not familiar to many, but has been recapitulated many times by what is considered “Eastern” thought (ineffable consciousness is the root of all material phenomena) and lagging “Western” thought (materialism is the root of all phenomena) is converging at last due to the blind alleys and physical limitations of classical physics as well as many modern physical theories of everything which are dead-ended due to physicist’s unwillingness to include their own consciousness in their theories. Most believe that consciousness is an emergent epiphenomenon at best, due to some “special” arrangement of energy patterns created by neural networks, and a dark unreliable emotional sink at worst.

Until “mental” physics is explored and physicists are not afraid to explore their own consciousness never the twain shall meet.

P.S. @Mark - you fail to note that there is no objectivity in the Universe merely our subjective views (including this one) - your worldview is valid for you - whether it agrees with other’s is purely coincidental.

Peace to All,

Burt

@Mark

All I have for you is love and compassion. We don’t need god for love and compassion towards other human beings. I appreciate all your responses but in the end I personally need evidence right in front of me when it comes to the existence of god. Until that happens I will remain agnostic/atheist.

However, to answer one of your statements about how we need a creator to start life, check out this review of the book The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design:

From Publishers Weekly
“Starred Review. As modern physics has developed a better understanding of how the universe operates at its most fundamental levels, one thing has become increasingly clear: we’re damned lucky to be here at all. The laws of physics are precariously balanced, and were the value of one constant slightly different, life as we know it wouldn’t exist. To explain the ridiculous improbability of it all, some physicists have turned to the “Anthropic Principle”: the universe seems perfectly tailored to us because if it weren’t, we wouldn’t be here to observe it. The underlying rationale for this argument involves the “landscape” of potential laws of physics (which, it turns out, aren’t so immutable after all), a whole bunch of extra dimensions and lots of particle physics. Luckily, Susskind—the father of string theory—does the job right, guiding readers through the current controversy over the Anthropic Principle. Make no mistake: this is the cutting edge of physics as described by one of the sharpest scientific minds around. While the subtitle is a bit misleading (this isn’t about intelligent design in the Kansas Board of Education sense, but actually a controversy at once bigger and less prominent), persistent readers will finish this book understanding and caring about contemporary physics in ways both unexpected and gratifying.”

With compassion,

-Kris

@ Kris..

Sure enough, qualia must be playing a major role in both biological and Universal evolutionary processes. Qualia must be directly responsible for not only feelings, but also emotions and moods, and thus directly linked to physicalism and brain/body chemicals and hormones, (dopamine, oxytocin, adrenalin, cortisol etc.) This is why I do think these feelings can be simulated and even ultimately transposed into artificial stimulation in a software substrate? Although I do view this as the truly “hard problem” to overcome!

The Buddha links perceptions+memory as equating to the aggregate comprising “apperceptions” and this is the major problem - simulating not merely memories but how they make us “feel”?

I’m in agreement with iPan - BCI, direct machine interfacing and brain reverse engineering will help us overcome the problems of replicating qualia using “wet-ware”? And direct interfacing would seem to be a required first step towards complete migration of mind to machine?

@CygnusX1

>ultimately transposed into artificial stimulation in a software substrate?
>simulating not merely memories but how they make us “feel”?

Multiple Realizability must be true in order for qualia to exist in an artificial intelligence. Just like how you can not have gravity without matter if panpsychism as bound to matter as gravity is.

>replicating qualia using “wet-ware”?

Does that wet-ware produce the exact neural patterns that we see today in people and animals? If so, Multiple Realizability might be false.

>And direct interfacing would seem to be a required first step towards complete migration of mind to machine?

I agree.

I think IA fans will be really excited about this:

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-green-fluorescent-protein-expressing-cell-basis.html

Single Green Fluorescent Protein-expressing cell is basis of living laser device

Gather adds, “One of our long-term goals will be finding ways to bring optical communications and computing, currently done with inanimate electronic devices, into the realm of biotechnology. That could be particularly useful in projects requiring the interfacing of electronics with biological organisms. We also hope to be able to implant a structure equivalent to the mirrored chamber right into a cell, which would the next milestone in this research.”

@Kris   Multiple Realizability must be true in order for qualia to exist in an artificial intelligence. Just like how you can not have gravity without matter if panpsychism as bound to matter as gravity is.

Recall above that I believe that Consciousness = Energy = Matter. (This consciousness is not the consciousness one thinks as human, animal, or plant consciousness although those consciousness gestalts are dependent on it.)

As a panpsychist, in my view the phenomenon we call GRAVITY results from the innate gregariousness of consciousness, i.e., the attraction of consciousness to itself. That’s the missing link to a Unified Field Theory but most physicists have a problem with consciousness because they haven’t yet figured out a way to measure it with machines (ostensibly to eliminate their own consciousness from contaminating the research but their machines are also composed of consciousness) so many of them ignore it or believe it is somehow generated from the complex physical structure called the brain. They use their conscious minds to derive their formulae (often by experiencing flashes of insight from whole cloth) but deny the mind’s or consciousness’ existence apart from the brain.

If qualia are to be realized in AI then they will be modeled on the physical electrical patterns/energy analogues that are interpreted as qualia in our consciousness i.e., the senses such as color spectrum wavelengths, olfaction, tactile, taste, and acoustic transducers etc. thus AI will function as philosophical zombies. This should not be a problem as qualia’s analogues would still be as identifiable by their electrical signature as they are in non-zombies. So for all intents and purposes simulated qualia are as good as the real thing.

Peace to ALL

@Burt
>So for all intents and purposes simulated qualia are as good as the real thing.

That would mean that they are not zombies, and there is something to consciousness being part of the universe. AI NOT being zombies would entail, that they are everything we are when it comes to experiencing experiencing.

The issue is gaining mainstream exposure:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-russell/brain-consciousness_b_873595.html

The initial response to an anomaly is often simply to ignore it. This is indeed how the scientific world has responded to the anomaly of consciousness. And for seemingly sound reasons.
First, consciousness cannot be observed in the way that material objects can. It cannot be weighed, measured, or otherwise pinned down. Second, science has sought to arrive at universal objective truths that are independent of any particular observer’s viewpoint or state of mind. To this end they have deliberately avoided subjective considerations. And third, there seemed no need to consider it; the functioning of the universe could be explained without having to explore the troublesome subject of consciousness.

However, developments in several fields are now showing that consciousness cannot be so easily sidelined. Quantum physics suggests that, at the atomic level, the act of observation affects the reality that is observed. In medicine, a person’s state of mind can have significant effects on the body’s ability to heal itself. And as neurophysiologists deepen their understanding of brain function questions about the nature of consciousness naturally raise their head.

I’ve been studying this thread and trying to figure out the extent to which any of you have provided actual *evidence* in favour of panpsychism or iPan’s (weaker?) “protopanexperientialism”. The closest I’ve noticed so far is iPan’s argument from the “fractal universe” concept, which I find intriguing, but not entirely convincing. Isn’t it more natural to regard awareness as an emergent phenomenon? Is anyone seriously suggesting that the universe is self-similar all the way down, so that any emergent phenomenon must be replicated even at the smallest scales? And if it’s only true for “fundamental properties”, rather than emergent phenomena, iPan’s argument seems to rest on regarding awareness as fundamental rather than emergent, and it’s not clear to me why this should be the case.

@Peter

Emergentism might be the answer when it comes to the nature of things in our universe, but it may not be as well. Even the theory of emergentism can rise to a dualistic worldview.

“The antithesis of reductionism, emergentism is the idea that increasingly complex structures in the world give rise to the “emergence” of new properties that are something over and above (i.e. cannot be reduced to) their more basic constituents. The concept of emergence dates back to the late 19th century. John Stuart Mill notably argued for an emergentist conception of science in his 1843 System of Logic

Applied to the mind/body relation, emergent materialism is another way of describing the non-reductive physicalist conception of the mind that asserts that when matter is organized in the appropriate way (i.e., organized in the way that living human bodies are organized), mental properties emerge.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_dualism#Emergent_Materialism

“William Hasker (1999) goes one step further in arguing for the existence of the mind conceived as a non-composite substance which ‘emerges’ from the brain at a certain point in its development. He dubs his position ‘emergent dualism,’ and claims for it all the philosophical advantages of traditional, Cartesian substance dualism while being able to overcome a central difficulty, viz., explaining how individual brains and mental substances come to be linked in a persistent, ‘monogamous’ relationship. Here, Hasker, is using the term to express a view structurally like one (vitalism) that the British emergentists were anxious to disavow, thus proving that the term is capable of evoking all manner of ideas for metaphysicians.” - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties-emergent/

Panpsychism is just another theory that makes complete sense like that of emergentism. It is not reductionistic in nature, in fact it relies on evolution and time to bring about feelings and consciousness in living organisms, like that of atoms coming together to create more gravity at a single point in space/time.

@Peter

Part of it comes down to the fact that in the study of consciousness, the choices seem to have been boiled down pretty well to ‘strong emergence’ or ‘panpsychism’.

They both have their proponents and arguments, but I find that strong emergence seems to much like vitalism to me, and doesn’t answer all the questions (in spite of the fact that some believe it does). Chalmer’s “hard question”, for example.

So, to some degree, between two options, either strong emergence, or panpsychism, I find panpsychism the more rational choice. It’s a choice through the process of elimination.

It might help to get a run-down on panpsychism, this is a pretty good link for the basic idea:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/

4.1 Genetic Arguments

There exist both a priori and empirical genetic arguments. The claim that emergence is strictly impossible has a metaphysical root in the ancient dictum “ex nihlio, nihil fit” to which Wundt, for example, explicitly appealed (see Wundt 1892/1894, p. 443). A much more recent version of this argument can be found in Nagel’s article “Panpsychism” (1979). Nagel explicitly links panpsychism to a necessary failure of emergentism, namely that emergentism cannot rise to the status of a metaphysical relation. Nagel says: “there are no truly emergent properties of complex systems. All properties of complex systems that are not relations between it and something else derive from the properties of its constituents and their effects on each other when so combined” (p. 182). Thus the only coherent form of emergentism is an epistemological doctrine about the limits of our understanding of the behavior of complex systems. The link to panpsychism appears with Nagel’s denial of reductionism, which precludes simply identifying mental properties with complex physical properties. Then, since, as Nagel says, we can build an enminded system out of “any matter”, mind must be associated with matter in general and in its most fundamental forms (whatever these may be as eventually revealed by physics).[9] The argument appears to suffer from the lack of a clear proof that a more radical form of emergentism than the epistemological variety countenanced by Nagel is impossible. Although there are philosophical questions about the coherence of such a radical emergentism, exactly such a doctrine was developed in some detail by the likes of Morgan and Broad (see above). So this is a serious defect in Nagel’s argument. Nonetheless, the epistemological form of emergentism is highly congenial to common interpretations of complexity in modern science and is usually what is meant in modern discussions of emergence. Thus the anti-emergence argument can retain some force within that context, if now in an empirical form.

The empirically based forms of the genetic argument have been traditionally more popular. Wundt himself makes an “inference to the best explanation” in defense of panpsychism. He states that panpsychism is “a theory, it is true; but it is the only theory which can explain the phenomena of movement displayed by these primitive creatures” (1892/1894, p. 443). Wundt found it literally incredible that the apparent purposiveness and appropriateness of the behavior of even simply micro-organisms—which he thought lent themselves naturally to mentalistic explanation—could spring, suddenly and arbitrarily, into existence through the mere conglomeration, via elementary physical forces, of material particles into complex systems.[9]

But by far the most popular empirical ground for the genetic argument stems from Darwinism, whose ascension in the mid-nineteenth century transformed debate about life and mind. This form of the genetic argument turns on the assumption that evolution is a continuous process that moulds pre-existing properties into more complex forms but which can not produce “entirely novel” properties. An important proponent of this argument was William Clifford. Clifford puts the argument thus: “… we cannot suppose that so enormous a jump from one creature to another should have occurred at any point in the process of evolution as the introduction of a fact entirely different and absolutely separate from the physical fact. It is impossible for anybody to point out the particular place in the line of descent where that event can be supposed to have taken place. The only thing that we can come to, if we accept the doctrine of evolution at all, is that even in the very lowest organism, even in the Amoeba which swims about in our own blood, there is something or other, inconceivably simple to us, which is of the same nature with our own consciousness …” (1874/1886, p. 266). Another extremely influential figure whose panpsychism rests in part on this idea is William James, who writes that “we ought … to try every possible mode of conceiving of consciousness so that it may not appear equivalent to the irruption into the universe of a new nature non-existent to then” (1890/1950, p. 148).The argument has drawn supporters throughout the twentieth century (see for example Drake (1925), Wright (1953), Waddington (1961) and of course Nagel (1979).

4.2 Analogical Arguments

The most straightforward argument from analogy goes like this: if we look closely, with an open mind, we see that even the simplest forms of matter actually exhibit behavior which is akin to that we associate with mentality in animals and human beings. Unfortunately, in general, this seems quite preposterous, and some panpsychists have written some pretty silly things in its defense. For example, Ferdinand Schiller attempted to “explain” catalysis in terms of mentalistic relations: “is not this [that is, catalysis of a reaction between A and B by the catalyst C] strangely suggestive of the idea that A and B did not know each other until they were introduced by C, and then liked each other so well that C was left out in the cold” (as quoted by Edwards (1967) in an acidly humorous paragraph, from Schiller (1907)). Strange? Certainly, but not really very suggestive at all compared to the physical chemists’ intricately worked out, mathematical and empirically testable tale of energy reducing reaction pathways. There has always been a strain of mysticism in many panpsychists, who like to imagine they can “sense” that the world is alive and thinking, or find that panpsychism provides a more “satisfying” picture of the world, liberating them from the arid barrenness of materialism and perhaps this leads them to seek analogies somewhat too assiduously (as noted above, Fechner was the most poetical advocate of the mystical appeal of panpsychism and also a fervent advocate of analogical arguments for panpsychism).

A more intriguing hope for an analogical defense of panpsychism springs from the overthrow of determinism in physics occasioned by the birth of quantum mechanics. There have been occasional attempts by some modern panpsychists, starting with Whitehead, to see this indeterminacy as an expression not of blind chance but spontaneous freedom in response to a kind of informational inclination rather than mechanical causation. This updated version of the analogy argument has the advantage that the property at issue, freedom, modelled as spontaneity and grounded in indeterminacy, can be found at the most fundamental level of the physical world. As in any analogical argument, the crux of the issue is whether the phenomena cited on the one side are sufficiently analogous to the target phenomena to warrant the conclusion that the attributes in question can be extended from the one domain to the other. In this case, we have to ask whether the indeterminacy found at the micro-level genuinely corresponds to what we take freedom to be, and this is doubtful. The indeterminacy of modern physics seems to be a pure randomness quite remote from deliberation, decision and indecision.

But still another analogical argument which draws upon quantum physics is much more promising. The analogy in this case involves the relation between consciousness and information. It is natural to think that among the functions of consciousness is the integration of diverse fields of information and the monitoring of various external and internal states. The consciousness of pain, for example, at least involves the monitoring and processing of information about significant states of the body.[11] In a recent work on consciousness which emphasizes the informational and monitoring functions of consciousness, William Lycan comes surprisingly close to a form of panpsychism when he states that “one little monitor does make for a little bit of consciousness. More monitors and better integration and control make for more and fuller consciousness” (1996, p. 40). This is only intended by Lycan to be part of an account of how consciousness emerges which is then forced to allow that consciousness is rather more ubiquitous than untutored intuition might expect. But it follows from this view that if information monitoring is a fundamental and pervasive feature of the world at even the most basic levels, then consciousness too should appear at those levels.

You might find John Smart’s ‘Evo Devo Universe’ worthwhile as well:

http://accelerating.org/downloads/SmartEvoDevoUniv2008.pdf

Something else I’ve been talking about with a friend of mine, is the idea that we jokingly refer to as “God is an idiot”.

Basically, the protoexperience that is ubiquitous in the universe isn’t intelligent. It’s like a human vegetable, probably more so even.

It’s less intelligent than C. Elegans.

Because panpsychism doesn’t usually endorse the idea that human intelligence, or even animal intelligence is ubiquitous (at least the more coherent forms of panpsychism).

The simplest way to illustrate this is with Spinoza’s substance monism/property dualism.

The universe is made of a single substance (substance basically just means all of the ‘stuff’ that the universe is made of - if it helps, think about how as we go back in time towards the big bang, everything merges together into a single unified super fluid of quark gluon plasma - this is the monist ‘substance’).

This substance cannot be known directly. It can be known through it’s two properties. These properties are thought and extension (although in the modern world, we may as well call them ‘objectivity’ and ‘subjectivity’). Depending on which property we are measuring or observing, we will get a different world view.

Science for the most part has studied the property of extension (physicality, objectivity, etc.)

It has come to the point where scientists now want to claim that the property of thought (subjectivity) doesn’t even exist (see Dennett).

Isn’t it more natural to regard awareness as an emergent phenomenon? Is anyone seriously suggesting that the universe is self-similar all the way down, so that any emergent phenomenon must be replicated even at the smallest scales?

There are properties, and then there are behaviors.

I believe that strong emergence can be applied to behaviors, but not properties.

Properties are fundamental.

I would categorize the evolved intelligence that we possess as a behavior, and it is emergent.

But the consciousness simpliciter it is evolved from is a property.

The point about fractal cosmology is a suggestion as to how the universe distributes the consciousness simpliciter to the universe.

The self-similarity would ensure that any fundamental property that is present from the beginning of the recursion get’s distributed to all parts of the universe.

I happen to believe there is strong evidence that the universe is fractal.

A large amount of fractality in nature is indicative that fractality must go back to the beginning. I don’t find it likely that fractality itself is a novel phenonema. But, there is also plenty of direct observational evidence on both the large and small scale of reality as well, but I think the fact that we encounter fractal recursion as often as we do in nature is pretty telling that fractality itself must have been there from the start.

An idea I’ve been playing with recently is that the consciousness simpliciter is an empty set.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_set

In mathematics, and more specifically set theory, the empty set is the unique set having no elements; its size is zero. Some axiomatic set theories assure that the empty set exists by including an axiom of empty set; in other theories, its existence can be deduced. Many possible properties of sets are trivially true for the empty set.

Philosophical issues
While the empty set is a standard and widely accepted mathematical concept, it remains an ontological curiosity, whose meaning and usefulness are debated by philosophers and logicians.
The empty set is not the same thing as nothing; rather, it is a set with nothing inside it and a set is always something. This issue can be overcome by viewing a set as a bag—an empty bag undoubtedly still exists. Darling (2004) explains that the empty set is not nothing, but rather “the set of all triangles with four sides, the set of all numbers that are bigger than nine but smaller than eight, and the set of all opening moves in chess that involve a king.”[5]
The popular syllogism
Nothing is better than eternal happiness; a ham sandwich is better than nothing; therefore, a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness
is often used to demonstrate the philosophical relation between the concept of nothing and the empty set. Darling writes that the contrast can be seen by rewriting the statements “Nothing is better than eternal happiness” and “[A] ham sandwich is better than nothing” in a mathematical tone. According to Darling, the former is equivalent to “The set of all things that are better than eternal happiness is ” and the latter to “The set {ham sandwich} is better than the set “. It is noted that the first compares elements of sets, while the second compares the sets themselves.[5]
Jonathan Lowe argues that while the empty set:
“...was undoubtedly an important landmark in the history of mathematics, … we should not assume that its utility in calculation is dependent upon its actually denoting some object.”
it is also the case that:
“All that we are ever informed about the empty set is that it (1) is a set, (2) has no members, and (3) is unique amongst sets in having no members. However, there are very many things that ‘have no members’, in the set-theoretical sense—namely, all non-sets. It is perfectly clear why these things have no members, for they are not sets. What is unclear is how there can be, uniquely amongst sets, a set which has no members. We cannot conjure such an entity into existence by mere stipulation.”

@iPan this is just to say many thanks for these responses, which I’ve only seen now. This is really a new field for me so clearly I need to do some studying before I’m going to have much meaningful to add. In any case I find it fascinating! 😊

So, I keep saying that fractal cosmology could support a panpsychic view of the cosmos.

Well, I believe that fractal cosmologists wouldn’t be surprised one bit by this:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/06/clumpy-universe/

http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v106/i24/e241301

The universe appears to be clumpier than astronomers expected, according to the largest galaxy survey to date. The extra clumps could call for a redesign of the standard model of cosmology, and maybe a new understanding of how gravity works.

So, if I’m right about how fractal recursion allows for the ubiquity of the consciousness simpliciter, then here is even more evidence that the cosmos is fractal at large scales.

“This “mystery of consciousness” may very well be multiply realized in different forms of matter.  However brain patterns found by, for example, PET scans show us that there is something important to them for the rise of consciousness. If panpsychism is true, these patterns are unique to biological organisms with consciousness, which would deny AI the ability to claim that it is conscious like we are - unless of course their patterns are identical to ours.”“

This is nonsense for several reasons. 

1.  An octopus isn’t going to have a PET scan like a human but is plausibly conscious in a similar way to humans. 

2.  It isn’t known if there is a one to one mapping between any physical process and consciousness.

3.  Even if there is a one to one mapping it is unlikely that PET scans have the spatial resolution to determine a pattern that is purely indicative of determining if a non-human systems pattern is conscious.  Other current scanning techinques have there own problems( fMRI, NIRS, EEG, ECog, Optogenetics/neural optics) with spatial, temporal, scaling limitations.

1. what is it like to be an octopus, at what level of consciousness does an octopus have?

2.Midline structures in the brainstem and thalamus necessary to regulate the level of brain arousal. Small, bilateral lesions in many of these nuclei cause a global loss of consciousness (wikipedia)

3. better technology to record neurons will emerge over the next ten to twenty years, these are just examples of tools people use to figure out neural correlates of consciousness.

The simplest, data-based T O E ...

An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything

EOTOE, Some Implications (I)

A.
EOTOE is an Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything.

In essence it states that all things in the universe, nouns and verbs objects and processes, originate and derive from the energy-mass dualism.

Origin and essence of this derivation are expressed mathematically by

E=Total[m(1+ D)] (D = distance travelled by mass since singularity)

Which suggests that the universe cycles between two poles: singularity/all-mass , and maximum-expanded/nearly-all-energy.
The “nearly” all-energy leaves behind some mass formats that begin consolidating by gravity, when it eventually overcomes expansion as the mass fueling the expansion is nearly depleted, becoming very small m multiplied by very large D = E .

B.
Thus the essence/definition of gravitation is:
“Gravitation Is the propensity of energy reconversion to mass”.

Gravitation is the “monotheism” and the “ genesis” of the universe. Singularity, at D = 0, is the very brief all-mass pole of the universe. The Big-Bang-inflation did not produce matter or anti-matter. It was the beginning of mass reconversion into energy, of increasing D fueled by decreasing m.

The conjectured gravitons, smallest basic particles, most probably do exist, but must be with mass, and gravitons microclusters must “big-bang” during the on-going expansion at a resolution of their energy-mass superposition.

This is rationally commonsensical, therefore it is scientifically probable.
Inflation started with the whole universe m shattering into fragments that evolved into, became, the galaxy clusters. The clusters expansion is fed at a constant rate by m-fuel. Since expansion accelerates, since the clusters depart from each other at an ever increasing velocity, we learn that the rate of m-to-E reconversion in the universe is constant. The accelerated expansion derives from the ever decreasing m of each cluster.

C.
Thus the essence/definition of evolution, natural selection is:
Mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations, with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, the reversion of their own constitutional mass to the pool of cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion.

This explains why black holes and humans, in fact all mass formats, must feed themselves in order to survive.
This explains that the essence of quantum mechanics of all processes is the detailed procession steps, the evolution details, between physical states ordained for natural selection.

D.
Thus comes to light the universe inspected progressively in greater detail.
Science reveals the universe’s nature-scope and directing drive, followed by technology studying its evolution details-aspects, followed by engineering exploitation of the attained information. This suggests the specific weight, importance, of science, technology and engineering in considering of research or enterprise plans and implementation.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/

PS1:
Definitely: Dark energy and dark matter YOK! Universe’s m reconverts to E at a constant rate…
Universe accelerated expansion is per Newton’s motion laws, obviously…
Also, universe physics constants should vary, probably slightly, between galaxies clusters due to different clusters sizes…
Also, the clusters formed by dispersion at inflation…

PS2:
The singularity constituents must have been the smallest elementary particles. They may be designated gravitons, but they MUST HAVE MASS. They were born at the energy-mass superposition resolution, together with the fragments that became galaxies clusters.
At expansion D increases, therefore m decreases, which per Newton mandates mass and matter acceleration. This goes on, most probably, at a constant rate of mass-to-energy reconversion, at an energy-mass resolution, mandated by the equality of both sides of the top equation.. And this resolution is, for each graviton, most probably in a format of a minuscule big-bang.

This is a lesser fantasy than the dark matter and energy fantasy. Such mass-energy gravitons may be omnipresent within each galaxies cluster, maintaining each cluster as a primordial Newtonian body and being the fuel-driver of expansion.

DH

==============================

EOTOE, Some Implications (II)

This equation describes the presently expanding universe:

E=Total[m(1 + D)] D = distance travelled by mass since singularity

This equation describes the future contracting universe:

E=Total[m(1 - D)] D = distance travelled by mass since end expansion

Implications:

The base units of mass - may be designated gravitons but MUST have mass - are not temporal, they never disappear.

In the present expanding universe they are in motion as mD away from the singularity point.
Those of them that hit a whatever mass format and move it become inert. This will go on until all or nearly all of them cease moving forward, i.e. until D ceases growing.

When D ceases growing gravitation will overcome the inertial motion away from the singularity point and will start pulling them back towards it. It is then that -D will replace +D, to maintain the equation’s equality…

And MORE, MUCH MORE:

The rational commonsensical, and therefore scientifically probable, implication is that Space is imbued with these massed gravitons that are continuously left behind during Expansion… also as micro clusters sized between gravitons and neutrinos…

DH
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EOTOE, Some Implications (III)

Classically:

Energy = dynamic quality, the capacity of acting or being active, a fundamental entity of nature that is transferred between componentsts of a system in the production of physical change within the system and usually regarded as the capacity for doing work.

Mass = Mass is the quantity of inertia possessed by an object or the proportion between force and acceleration referred to in Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Per EOTOE :

E=Total[m(1 + D)] D = distance travelled by mass since singularity

Energy is mass in motion.

The mass of the universe is either in motion or in the form of inert massed gravitons, with which the universe is imbued.

m of the EOTOE equation is only the energetic m, the m which is in motion.

The inert gravitons do not play a role in the E,m,D relationship. At the (present) universe expansion phase mass reconverts to energy at a constant rate, leaving behind inert gravitons. Inert gravitons become energetically active when they are reset in motion, i.e. when acted upon by energy, such as by gravity during the universe re-contraction phase.

Dov Henis (comments from the 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com

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