Evolution is not a process. Evolution is Time driving Matter forward.

From the cosmic perspective of some 14 billions years of Evolution,

Evolution has no intent, it has matter, time, motion, outcomes.

Evolution is not a process - Evolution is a result.

An under appreciated analogy for “Evolution,” is to recognize that “Evolution” is a result of time’s relentless forward momentum.

Time is motion.

The sum total of human knowledge shows us with overwhelming consilience that our “Reality” started at what’s been coined the Big Band some 14 billion years ago, when massive pure energy was released to create out Universe.

It’s time/motion that pushed this primal energy to coalesce into bundles such as quarks, and it’s time that drove the universe to expand and cool. It’s time/motion that saw atoms and molecules form.

Time/motion/gravity is what brought vast clouds of molecular dust together into swirling nurseries for stars to be formed, only to run through their life cycles, with some exploding and producing all the elements heavier than iron. Time/motion/gravity is what sweeps together those remnants into new stars and planets.

Here in our corner of the Universe, conditions were promising for something special to happen, and it did. It’s time/motion/gravity with sunshine and radioactivity that created Earth’s geological turmoil which is the source of life

Time married Earth’s geology with biology, and it has driven all the changes since. One second, minute, day at a time. Resulting in folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity flowing down the cascade of life.

It’s time/motion together with changing environmental conditions that allowed the most primitive creatures to form. It’s time/motion/awareness that’s driven Earth’s ever evolving background geochemistry along with biology’s learning cure.

Evolution never had to condition us, what happened happened and was exploited to the best that current conditions allowed, until something new came along, or not, then things took a different direction. But always time cracking the whip, keep on moving, no stopping on this ride, even if your time is up, the off-spring will take it from here thank you very much.

We are creatures that survived by sensing the world and reacting to it. The better we did that the better we survived, or not.

 

Keep in mind “survival of the fittest” only covers one aspect of Evolution.

Often factors besides “fitness” tipped the scales and even the fittest during the best of times are sometimes ruthlessly mowed down, leaving room for the wimps to evolve the new fitness, if environmental conditions were conducive. If not, something else showed up to try.

 

re. D.H.

Perceiving reality unfolding around us is not analogous to simplistic computer interface, or games theory, or holograms, it’s orders of magnitude beyond. Physical Reality is not a product of, nor dependent on, our perceptions and it’s indulgent self-destructive folly to entertain as much.

I believe that some scholars forget that mathematically elegant formulas and theorems are residents of our brain’s mind, that is our “Mindscapes” - something ephemeral, not exactly of physical reality, it gets complicated.

It sounds to me like too many very very smart people have lost sight of a simple fundamental reality of our human condition:

Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape
Physical Reality is Earth, her biosphere and creatures, our physical bodies, along with the world of atoms and molecules, natural forces and time and stuff and organisms and more evolution and time.

It is our brain’s, but then when it comes to “me, myself and I”, my ego, sense of self, my thoughts and my mental intellectual library - none of it is tangible. No thought is a physical anything, it is of this reality, energy sure, beyond that who knows, but it’s not of atoms, molecules or any of that.

Mind is of a class onto itself.

~ ~ ~

D.H. often makes it sound as though evolution were intelligent design and intentional - he get’s applauded for presenting provocative ideas. In that spirit I share this provocative thought:

We could get just as philosophical as D.H. and conjecture that humanity is the greatest example of the Universe’s need and desire to know itself.

We can make that poetic conclusion on the basic fact that taken in whole, and especially when life showed up, evolution has been a fantastical relentless process of evolving ever greater awareness; through sensing, processing, manipulatory abilities, with successes becoming feedback loops.

It is only through improving senses, absorbing data, processing that input, improving manipulatory abilities, grasping and moving and such, that the universe can be observed.

Universe was not only populated by time and evolution’s creations, it is only through that population’s cumulative individual awarenesses of their little worlds, that the universe has a change to behold itself. From that perspective no doubt, we are the champions, even if we were too stupid to do anything intelligent with our knowledge - so now we stuck watching as Earth’s biosphere is transitioning into a regime beyond any recognition or surviving as the next decades and century ticks past.

Then Earth will be left with the eons to settle down, reassemble itself and see what comes next.

Stuff that in your pipes and puff on it a while.

Cheers :slight_smile:

 

Okay so it wasn’t a Big Band either, though my mom loved them.

Big Bang :wink:

 

t~r what can I say, I miss target keys.

You are correct about this much: Evolution is not “intentional” in its actions. It is a process that operates according to the functional characteristics of organisms within their particular environments.

That evolution has resulted, for now, in the proliferation of our “intelligent” species, happened, not because of any intent, but because our species was best suited for survival in the particularly rapidly changing environments during our history over the last thousands of years.

Evolution only occasionally selects for “intelligence”, but it is not “intentional” selection. It is just a matter of the random environmental factors and the characteristics of an organism that help it survive to reproduction within the particular environments.

No thought is a physical anything, it is of this reality, energy sure, beyond that who knows, but it’s not of atoms, molecules or any of that.
I suspect that atoms and molecules ARE a component of thoughts. Aren't there atoms and molecules involved in the electrochemical patterns of firing of neurons and associated reactions what actually comprise thoughts? What we call neurological correlates of thinking? Imo, those physical neurological correlates ARE the thoughts.

 

@timb I suspect that atoms and molecules ARE a component of thoughts. Aren’t there atoms and molecules involved in the electrochemical patterns of firing of neurons and associated reactions what actually comprise thoughts?

What we call neurological correlates of thinking? Imo, those physical neurological correlates ARE the thoughts.


Interesting, isolating “thought” (and the mindscape it creates) as something different from the rest of the material world, really seems to be a challenge.

Okay, lets look at these ‘neurological correlates’ of thoughts,

WIKI: The neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) constitute the minimal set of neuronal events and mechanisms sufficient for a specific conscious percept.

Neuroscientists use empirical approaches to discover neural correlates of subjective phenomena; that is, neural changes which necessarily and regularly correlate with a specific experience.

The set should be minimal because, under the assumption that the brain is sufficient to give rise to any given conscious experience, the question is which of its components is necessary to produce it.


a) “neuronal events and mechanisms sufficient for a specific conscious percept”

b) “neural changes which necessarily and regularly correlate with a specific experience.”

c) “sufficient to give rise to any given conscious experience”

All three give rise to something, no one has been able to define.

Next comes,

"Neurobiological approach to consciousness

A science of consciousness must explain the exact relationship between subjective mental states and brain states, the nature of the relationship between the conscious mind and the electro-chemical interactions in the body (mind–body problem).

Progress in neuropsychology and neurophilosophy has come from focusing on the body rather than the mind. In this context the neuronal correlates of consciousness may be viewed as its causes, and consciousness may be thought of as a state-dependent property of some undefined complex, adaptive, and highly interconnected biological system.

Discovering and characterizing neural correlates does not offer a theory of consciousness

that can explain how particular systems experience anything at all, or how and why they are associated with consciousness, the so-called hard problem of consciousness,[6] but understanding the NCC may be a step toward such a theory."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_correlates_of_consciousness


d) “relationship between the conscious mind and the electro-chemical interactions in the body (mind–body problem)”

e) “neuronal correlates of consciousness may be viewed as its causes, and consciousness may be thought of as a state-dependent property”

f) “Discovering and characterizing neural correlates does not offer a theory of consciousness”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

g) “that can explain how particular systems experience anything at all, or how and why they are associated with consciousness, the so-called hard problem of consciousness,”

This is the Mindscape I keep trying to discuss. :slight_smile:

 

 

Does any of that help?

Your argument is well presented, and seems to come down to this ultimate assertion:

“Discovering and characterizing neural correlates does not offer a theory of consciousness that can explain how particular systems experience anything at all, or how and why they are associated with consciousness, the so-called hard problem of consciousness...”
There is that old bugaboo, "the so-called hard problem of consciousness". From your link, I took this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Astonishing_Hypothesis

I thought this statement was noteworthy: "Human consciousness according to (Francis) Crick is central to human existence and so scientists find themselves approaching topics traditionally left to philosophy and religion."
Iow, there is a strong bias toward trying to explain "consciousness" in more philosophical and/or religious terms. Well no thanks, Tom Hanks. Anyway,
(Crick's book, 1994) The Astonishing Hypothesis posits that "a person's mental activities are entirely due to the behavior of nerve cells, glial cells, and the atoms, ions, and molecules that make them up and influence them."
So when you repeat the assertion that
"Discovering and characterizing neural correlates does not offer a theory of consciousness...”
I disagree. It in fact, obviously leads to a straightforward parsimonious theory that consciousness is (potentially objectively observed as) the constantly shifting neurological activity that we refer to as neurological correlates.

AND it is a product of the interaction of an organism’s perceptions of and impact by its environment.

(Including, sometimes, that the environment can be somewhat self contained. e.g., when your thinking leads to other thoughts.)

Anyway, the rest of the assertion (same sentence continued)

a theory of consciousness "...<i>that can explain how particular systems experience anything at all, or how and why they are associated with consciousness..."</i>
If by not explaining the various intricacies of the types of neural activities and complex interactions of electrochemical activities, then it is true that the theory espoused by Crick and I, does not yet describe the "how of it" with our current technology, then that does not mean that it is an unacceptable theory.

In fact, I suggest that it is the best current theory that is likely to lead most productively to our knowledge of “consciousness”.

I do not accept that we need to get all mystical and proclaim that consciousness is something non-physical and inexplicable.

 

 

 
 
I do not accept that we need to get all mystical and proclaim that consciousness is something non-physical and inexplicable
And I find it inexplicable how you rely on that argument - when it totally misses the entire point of what I'm talking about.

This isn’t about finding anything mystical about anything!

It’s not even about saying we’ll never crack the consciousness ‘hard question’ or how ever experts refer to it.

 

It’s about recognizing something pragmatically fundamental about our human condition.

Our thoughts are of a different order than the stuff of nature. From the reality we live exist through.

The reason this is so important to recognize is because I think it might lend a bit of humility to our hubris.

After all consider, one heck of lot more is possible within our florid mindscapes {which is nothing more than the reality that you experience and the thoughts that dance through your mind - and no f’n nothing “mystical” about it - placing that tag on it, is an intellectual copout.} than is possible within the realm of our actual physical reality. or?

Oh and it just occurs to me if you want to find idea that are more mystical than science,

How about arguments that time does not exist.

{Rather than recognizing it’s fancy complex formulas breaking down.}

Or the conception that a atom is made of mostly empty space.

{Rather than recognizing covalent bonds and electron shell for what they are.}

That’s mystical thinking at the edge of science.

 

Sure the product of the brain (mind/consciousness/sentience/etc) invite thoughts of mysticism - but that’s not what I’m about,

this is about simple pragmatic recognizing things for what they are.

Perhaps enabling new more sober appreciations to blossom from that beginning. :slight_smile:

Mysterious does not necessitate calling it mysticism.

Mysterious does not necessitate calling it mysticism.

Our thoughts are of a different order than the stuff of nature. From the reality we live exist through.
I reject this idea.
Mysterious does not necessitate calling it mysticism.
(I guess you can say that again. Actually, you did.) But the only "mystery" from my perspective, lies in the complexity of neuronal activity, and in neural processes that we (are possibly not yet even aware of) do not have the knowledge and effective technology, yet, to reasonably and reliably accurately to observe or measure.

 

(are possibly not yet even aware of) do not have the knowledge and effective technology, yet, to reasonably and reliably accurately to observe or measure.
You're still evading.

Heck we can detect the signs of life in the Venus atmosphere and water on Mars and below the surface of the Moon, etc, etc. but we can’t detect Consciousness. That is according to experts in the field, not me. And you haven’t been able to provide any evidence I’m missing, so that says something.

 

I wish I could understand what makes that simple leap so difficult.

It’s a philosophy perception question, not a scientific one.

It’s not like it requires the rejection of science in any way, shape or form. Claiming the opposite simply reflects misunderstanding.

It about acknowledging limitations that human are loath to recognize.

 

 

I would suggest that it offers a more sober frame of reference with which to appreciate our existence and place in this Universe. :slight_smile:

CC, could it be your writing style that causes people to think you’re more mystical than you are? I think I know what you’re saying but also see how it could be hard to find the concrete meaning in your posts above.

You write very poetically and floridly (I have never used that word before… thanks for using it above). You are an excellent writer, but your style isn’t always optimal for conveying the scientific messages you love. I understand that your style is your style and I know it’s practically impossible to write in a way that doesn’t feel right, but since it seems that in some cases your message is misinterpreted, you might want to find an alternate style when people as smart as these folks don’t see your point. You can go back to your natural way of writing after the point has been understood.

[This is all my opinion, but I want you to get your cool ideas out there. So don’t take this as anything but an attempt at constructive criticism. And feel free to call the pot black since I’m also regularly misunderstood because of my writing.]

Well thanks for the hint. But it’s not enough.

I’m obvious trapped within my own mindscape and engaged interaction is what’s need to get out of it.

And fuk I’m pissed I have about another 30 seconds for this, so can’t add anything worthwhile - love people but something …

 

Or is it all I need to do is write sciencie, like Donald Hoffman, and the world will buy any bullshit my imagination can dream up

 

Oh and it just occurs to me if you want to find idea that are more mystical than science,

How about arguments that time does not exist.

… {Rather than recognizing it’s fancy complex formulas breaking down.}

Or the conception that a atom is made of mostly empty space.

… {Rather than recognizing covalent bonds and electron shell for what they are.}

That’s mystical thinking at the edge of science.

{okay we’re loaded up ready for a day of cutting wood up in them thar mountains.

Now slight delay so I have a few minutes. }

π I think I make a habit of taking critique seriously, particularly from people I know to respect, as opposed to posers where I don’t do so good.

I think I also make a point of responding to challenges and questions, not around them, as too many do.

That’s why I keep grappling with tim and anyone else who cares to engage, trying to figure things out.

But, I don’t know what’s inside the minds of most, and I am trying to find out.

 

Why is it important, lots of reasons when it comes to matters of the mind and how people think about things.

for instance I’m convinced a genuine appreciation for the following is not possible without an appreciate for the difference between our Physical Reality and the product of our minds . . . . (times up, see ya)

 

The mind–body problem is a debate concerning the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human mind, and the brain as part of the physical body. It is distinct from the question of how mind and body function chemically and physiologically, as that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind–body relations.[1] This question arises when mind and body are considered as distinct, based on the premise that the mind and the body are fundamentally different in nature.[1]

wikipedia _ org/wiki/Mind–body_problem


 

 

google Science vs Religion:

 

americanhumanist.org › what-is-humanism › war-scien…

Aug 20, 2020 - Naturalism or material monism is not so much the product of scientific research as it is its starting point. In order for science to work, scientists must …
Perception of Conflict Between Science and Religion - Pew …
www.pewresearch.org › science › 2015/10/22 › percept…

Oct 22, 2015 - Those most inclined to see religion and science as generally in conflict are those who, themselves, have no particular religious affiliation or are …
Yes, there is a war between science and religion
theconversation.com › yes-there-is-a-war-between-scien…

Dec 21, 2018 - You must argue that your faith – or any faith – is perfectly compatible with science . And so one sees claim after claim from believers, religious …
The Intersection of Science and Religion | National Academies
www.nationalacademies.org › evolution › science-and-r…

Scientific and technological advances have had profound effects on human life. In the 19th century, most families could expect to lose one or more children to …
Science and religion: Reconcilable differences
undsci.berkeley.edu › article › science_religion

Science investigates the natural world, while religion deals with the spiritual and … Though the two generally deal with different realms (natural vs. spiritual), …


excuse the inevitable typos

...we can detect the signs of life in the Venus atmosphere and water on Mars and below the surface of the Moon, etc, etc. but we can’t detect Consciousness.
But we DO detect Consciousness. We do so subjectively, every time we are engaged in a conscious behavior. If hooked up to the latest brain monitoring technology, there would be a coinciding detection of a pattern of brain activity.

I believe that our consciousness behaviors, requires our having developed advanced verbal behavior. Without that I think that we would essentially be unconscious automatons or as some say, unconscious “zombies”.

Our advanced verbal behavior has made us humans the pinnacle of life forms on Earth. But I think that it also has the side effect of consciousness. Whereas, our development of advanced verbal behavior has made us exceptionally able to survive to reproduction so effectively, our consciousness may be unnecessary for our survival and evolution, and yet it exists as a product of our advanced verbal abilities. Iow, our advanced verbal skills result in our ability to subjectively monitor our own thoughts.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I knew I was stepping into it with that sentence after I wrote it, but left it in anyways, curious to see where it goes.

But we DO detect Consciousness.
1) google "how is consciousness measured" - things still not near as clear cut as measuring plasmas, or portions of electromagnetic spectrum.
Front. Neurosci., 27 June 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00424 Measuring the Complexity of Consciousness

Xerxes D. Arsiwalla1,2,3* and Paul Verschure1,2,3,4*

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00424/full

The grand quest for a scientific understanding of consciousness has given rise to many new theoretical and empirical paradigms for investigating the phenomenology of consciousness as well as clinical disorders associated to it. A major challenge in this field is to formalize computational measures that can reliably quantify global brain states from data. In particular, information-theoretic complexity measures such as integrated information have been proposed as measures of conscious awareness. This suggests a new framework to quantitatively classify states of consciousness. However, it has proven increasingly difficult to apply these complexity measures to realistic brain networks. In part, this is due to high computational costs incurred when implementing these measures on realistically large network dimensions. Nonetheless, complexity measures for quantifying states of consciousness are important for assisting clinical diagnosis and therapy. This article is meant to serve as a lookup table of measures of consciousness, with particular emphasis on clinical applicability. We consider both, principle-based complexity measures as well as empirical measures tested on patients. We address challenges facing these measures with regard to realistic brain networks, and where necessary, suggest possible resolutions.


2) My point isn’t to pretend that consciousness doesn’t exist, though I’ve seen where some others do just that (very weird, like arguing time doesn’t exist). Nor do I imply it isn’t a product of the material we exist within. I’m about stressing the qualitative difference between our Mindscape (the product of our brain) and the physical world we are embedded within.

 

I believe that our consciousness behaviors, requires our having developed advanced verbal behavior.
Better stick to a 'spectrum' of consciousness behaviors being dependent on the spectrum of hardware/software an organism possesses, since consciousness of it's surrounding seems to be a key component of life, even at the most primitive levels.

Though I would agree that no other living organism has achieved the complexity of our human consciousness.

@ 3point14rat CC, could it be your writing style that causes people to think you’re more mystical than you are? I think I know what you’re saying but also see how it could be hard to find the concrete meaning in your posts above.
Funny that. It occurred to me, that one of the driving forces behind me writing my original "Missing Key to Gould's Nonoverlapping Magisteria" was a feeling that rationalists, liberals, believers in the scientific process and learning from Earth's evolution (such as myself) have allowed the weirder side of physics to throw most of us into some sort of existential free fall - whereas people of faith, have their simple acceptance of Faith which allows them to ignore all the existential questions and mysteries and even to deny simple explainable and demonstrable geophysical facts whenever convenient for them.

I find that very concerning because it seems that so often rationalist are totally incapable of responding to the Faith argument - because they are so confused about reality to begin with, which in turn has lead to an idiot imbecile off-the-rails monster like t rump being made president of this nation and ripping us apart as we stand by and wish for better days…

For decades now, it’s like anytime someone pulls out their “I got my Faith” card - we’ve tended to shut up and slink away. That is wrong. It’s about time rationalist’s develop a bit of solid faith in something themselves, so they have a little solid ground under them and are in a position to challenge the faith blinded in a constructive manner.

Earth Centrism with it’s appreciate for Deep Time, Evolution and actually mentally (dare I say spiritually) absorbing the simple fact that WE ARE a product of this planet, we have been endowed with an amazing mind that can do incredible things, but we are still creatures of this Earth and we dissolve back into Earth when our time is up…

The point? Not getting too punch drunk* and confuse our wonderful mental capacity with this Physical Reality which was here long before we were and will be here long after we wipe ourselves off this Earth, as Earth simply keeps on keeping on and dealing with what get’s thrown at her. Lordie knows this isn’t the first extinction event Earth has endured.

 

{First draft hopefully later versions will do a better job - but now it’s off to stacking my share of the wood.}

*like my pal Donald Hoffman with his contrived fitness points; and icons rather than substance; and most bizarre discrete “conscious agents” — as opposed to consciousness being a product of our complex environment, sensing, and processing abilities. …

CC: "...rationalists, liberals, believers in the scientific process and learning from Earth’s evolution (such as myself) have allowed the weirder side of physics to throw most of us into some sort of existential free fall..."
Point made.

But I kinda disagree.

The hoi polloi aren’t as scientifically literate or purely rational as they should be, but don’t lay that at the feet of those who are. We are in the minority and are fighting a steeply uphill battle. If it seems that liberals roll over under any pressure from the other side, you need to remember that it’s almost a truism that the inhabitants of opposite ends of the political spectrum also generally inhabit opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Those who are progressive tend to not be aggressive in voicing their opinion and want to talk about things while conservatives often scream their opinion and scream you down if you disagree. For example, Here in Canada I see dozens of stickers on trucks (always trucks) that absolutely slam the Liberals and NDP (profanity isn’t common but it’s not rare either), yet I never ever see stickers slamming the Conservatives.

Maybe I’m not very observant, but I don’t see any rationalists, etc. in an existential free fall. There are disagreements about how to deal with irrational thinking, but “existential free fall” is a pretty severe exaggeration in my opinion.

So you are right to be frustrated at the lack of resistance to dogmatic, faith-based, selfish, insular, stupid ideas, but fighting them is an overwhelming job and many aren’t mentally or emotionally equipped to deal with it. I know my frustration level spikes the instant I hear dogmatic, faith-based, selfish, insular, stupid ideas, but since rational arguments are worthless to irrational people, my options are to either let it pass or lose friends while changing nothing.

Forget trying to fix Sree and Oneguy and similar trolls. Work on making sure the next generation has the mental tools to not make their mistakes. You’re burning a ton of energy and making your life worse by saying smart things to people who don’t want to understand. If TimB or any of the other smart people here don’t seem to get you, remember that these are minor details in the larger picture.

It may not seem like I’m actively on your side, but I am, just not on here where I’m either preaching to the choir or to a brick wall.

I’m on your side too, CC. I just will rigorously defend the stance that our reality is based on natural laws, against implications to the contrary.

I recognize that you accept that too, but you sometimes seem to skirt the line, in your implications. And I accept your reason for your project of establishing a language that might be more effective in countering the LIE-Believers in our world.

I suppose that you and I are some of the few progressive thinkers who don’t mind being aggressive with presenting our perspectives.