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InvisibleDiploidM
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Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical
    #4313191 - 06/19/05 08:03 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

In 1986, computer scientist Craig Reynolds developed a computer program called Boids. His intention was to simulate bird flocking behavior.

The simulated birds follow three simple rules:

-Separation: steer to avoid crowding local flockmates

-Alignment: steer towards the average heading of local flockmates

-Cohesion: steer to move toward the average position of local flockmates

From these three simple rules emerge beautiful and complex patterns of behavior that are remarkably like real-world flocks of birds. The flocks change directions, dip, swerve, and rise just like real flocks (and perhaps not surprisingly, like schools of fish).

Add a few more rules like obstacle avoidance and goal seeking, and you get a virtually perfect simulation of real birds in flight so realistic that the model is used by Hollywood special effects studios.

If this complex subset of bird behavior can emerge from three simple rules in a simulation, it is reasonable to think that some similar ruleset hard wired into bird brains by DNA is responsible for their real-world flocking behavior.

Extend this with additional hard wired behaviors (like eating, walking, etc.) and it's easy to see how a complete behavior set for birds could arise from a few more rules.

Extend this further and it's reasonable to concede the possibility that humans and consciousness are nothing more than a more-complex, but similarly non-mystical, ruleset hard wired into our brains by evolution and DNA.

This getting complexity from simplicity is also seen in Chaos Theory, in the weather, in turbulence, and in myriad other places in nature. In none of these instances is anything mystical involved. If simple rules can lead to such complexity, why not (relatively) simple carbon-containing molecules lead to conscious people? :mushroom2:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Diploid]
    #4313243 - 06/19/05 08:46 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I always thought consciousness was a result of the bio-electrical properties of mucous.


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Diploid]
    #4313255 - 06/19/05 08:57 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I fully subscribe to that!

Hey, what's mystery except for the unexplained?
I'm fully at peace with being the sum of my parts. God has put us together and now we're discovering how he did that the mystery of it may slip like sand between our fingers, but the splendor remains.

After all: isn't it great, absolutely smashingly great, that the play of energies yields embodied consciousness? I am far more comfortable with an internally consistent universe then one where stuff happens "because".

If you were a God, would you build an universe where you'd have to pop open the hood to fasten some galaxies every friggin million years or would you create a universe that runs by itself, regenerates itself and repairs itself so you can sit on your porch with a sixpack and watch it unfold into Infinity? :laugh:

Seriously, to me Cosmos = God so that Cosmos generates Consciousness is a given. When the miracle is explained the Wow gets bigger still.


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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Asante]
    #4313258 - 06/19/05 09:01 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Amen.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.



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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Diploid]
    #4313260 - 06/19/05 09:07 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Behaviour is not consciousness, it is just behaviour

Computer AI characters in games can be even be intelligent enought to trick a human player , they react to "you" (your 3d model) etc
but they are not conscious.

In other words, there is no such thing as a person there that lives and experiences the 3d world just like you experience this world.


--------------------
I descend upon your earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: OldWoodSpecter]
    #4313305 - 06/19/05 10:26 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

It is certainly true that not all beviour is consciousness. It is equally true that consciousness is behaviour. In my opinion, it comes from the same source as all other behaviour and that is, as redgreenvines so disgustingly put it, the "result of the bio-electric properties of mucous." No soul, no spirit, no magic, no nonsense about supersentient controllers or benefactors. Just us, all by our little old selves.


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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: zappaisgod]
    #4313323 - 06/19/05 10:46 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

no magic? If you ask me, lifeforms are magic, human brain is the ultimate magic


--------------------
I descend upon your earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Diploid]
    #4313575 - 06/19/05 01:36 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

So we're emergent phenomena brought about by a massive system of simple, distinct agents?

I was wondering when someone else would pick up the idea :wink:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: trendal]
    #4313603 - 06/19/05 01:48 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

yes and mucous


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Asante]
    #4313699 - 06/19/05 02:44 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

It's interesting that you accept the evidence of consciousness and life being purely a physical phenonema, yet still include pseodoscientific concepts like God in your explanation. Why the discrepancies? Why not just go purely scientific?


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineBoneMan
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: redgreenvines]
    #4313716 - 06/19/05 02:51 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

when you think about it, it seems as if we are the at the highest level of existance that we can achieve.. I would like to think that there is life after death..

but think about it. before life, all that existed was plain old matter.. then the matter started to organize itself. eventually, after aeons of evolution, the matter organized itself at such a complex level that living, breathing matter acutally became conscious and aware of itself.

when i think about that, it blows my mind. that fact that all we are is highly organized matter.. the same matter that makes up everything else, but we're alive and aware of ourselves.. it seems likely that this is the highest level of existence that there is.

but it doesnt bother me one bit. i know that all i am is a bunch of atoms, that somehow have achieved self awareness as a whole. it hurts my brain to try to think about it any further right now.


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InvisibleRevelation

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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Ravus]
    #4313739 - 06/19/05 03:04 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I don't understand how a set of rules, no matter how complex, could give rise to self awareness.

Sure, we could conceivably create robots that mimic human behaviour, but where is the evidence that the robot would be self aware? How does that follow? I don't see it.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Revelation]
    #4313790 - 06/19/05 03:20 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I can't even comprehend how so many trillions of trillions of electrons in my computer's hardware give rise to this image I'm viewing now. Neither can I comprehend how the hundreds of billions of cells on my body form to join one human being, but it happens.

Either way, whether or not we can comprehend it, it doesn't mean we need to turn to pseudoscientific alternatives with no evidence. We can't comprehend the complexity that gives rise to us because we weren't developed to understand that much. It's useless in terms of evolution to comprehend how the molecules in your mind join to form your consciousness, when really all evolution cares about is that you find a girl to fuck and create more human beings.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Revelation]
    #4313963 - 06/19/05 04:23 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Revelation said:
I don't understand how a set of rules, no matter how complex, could give rise to self awareness.

Sure, we could conceivably create robots that mimic human behaviour, but where is the evidence that the robot would be self aware? How does that follow? I don't see it.




it is very hard to see it when we are it looking at itself
one needs to be able to abstract or at least to look at it sideways.

consciousness can be objectified, and consciousness can bee seen by itself, and it could be created on a platform that is not heavily mucous based, but having a nice gel available to conduct electric charges is very helpful.

being open to a mystical side helps only so far as it means the mind is open to learn something that was a mystery, and there is always that. but we should be prepared that this one won't be a mystery forever to everyone.


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Diploid]
    #4314002 - 06/19/05 04:35 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

If this complex subset of bird behavior can emerge from three simple rules in a simulation, it is reasonable to think that some similar ruleset hard wired into bird brains by DNA is responsible for their real-world flocking behavior.
very likely

Extend this with additional hard wired behaviors (like eating, walking, etc.) and it's easy to see how a complete behavior set for birds could arise from a few more rules.
possibly

so far, so good, but for this:

Extend this further and it's reasonable to concede the possibility that humans and consciousness are nothing more than a more-complex, but similarly non-mystical, ruleset hard wired into our brains by evolution and DNA.

you need a leap in logic. As has already correctly been pointed out: behaviour is not consciousness

If simple rules can lead to such complexity, why not (relatively) simple carbon-containing molecules lead to conscious people?
you mean to say that counsciousness is a property of sufficient complexity?


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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Ravus]
    #4314031 - 06/19/05 04:48 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Revelation asked:

where is the evidence that the robot would be self aware? How does that follow?


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Ravus]
    #4314109 - 06/19/05 05:20 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

It's interesting that you accept the evidence of consciousness and life being purely a physical phenonema, yet still include pseodoscientific concepts like God in your explanation.




If you think I believe that God is watching our universe on his porch with a sixpack beside him you're mistaking. Thats just entertaining writing.

I equate God with the Universe. I see the universe as entirely inteconnected and as such al consciousness is interconnected. Like I said: to me God is another word for Universe because it literally is the All-Encompassing One. Thats entirely scientific speculation.

Humans have within them the desire for logic and the desire to believe. If I would "go purely scientific" I'd be Commander Data the android from startrek, if I went entirely on belief and waived all science i'd be a pope or something. In both extremes I could not connect to the outside world as humans tend to be a mixture of belief and logic.

Without belief I should post in Sci & Tech, not Spir & Phil  :smile:


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OfflineOldWoodSpecter
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Asante]
    #4314120 - 06/19/05 05:25 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Data is a cool guy, it is refreshing looking at him seeing everything from a childlike perspective, it makes you see how humans don't make much sense.


--------------------
I descend upon your earth from the skies
I command your very souls you unbelievers
Bring before me what is mine


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: OldWoodSpecter]
    #4314160 - 06/19/05 05:44 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Data is a cool guy




Indeed he is but he's also consistently represented as someone in search for the one thing logic cant bring: true empathy, compassion, emotion, belief.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Evidence Suggesting Consciousness Is An Emergent Property Of Complex Biology... And Not Mystical [Re: Ravus]
    #4314162 - 06/19/05 05:45 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Why not just go purely scientific?

I can see where Wiccan_Seeker is coming from.

Currently, and possibly forever, it is not known what ultimately started things; what got the universal ball rolling.

The best available explanations coming from science are intrinsically neither testable nor falsifiable. If these explanations are the best we ever find, then it is as valid to say the universe was created by $DIETY as it is to say the universe spontaneously, and without intent, just appeared, or even that the universe has always been and never wasn't.

You can't fault someone for picking any of those three choices or even making up one of their own, if, from all currently available evidence, it is not possible to ever know the truth.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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