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How does intelligence work?

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Marian
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#21 Post by Marian » July 12th, 2010, 8:38 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Nirvanam wrote: ... I feel the mind is the intelligent being and it developed a computer of sorts. It used the sense organs as input and output devices, and did most of the processing of info in the block called brain...thus brain = cpu. the brain in itself has no intelligence. It is a robot doing what it has been programmed to do. The programming is done by the mind.

Have you ever wondered how some organisms have bigger brains than some others and yet are "dumber" than the smaller brained fellows? Vice versa too.
An intelligent being? Where did it come from? Does it exist separately from the rest of the body?
I know you don't want to talk about what constitutes intelligence but I don't think you can use the term 'intelligent being' without defining both terms. The same thing applies to comparing bigger brain organisms and smaller ones. Is a blue whale dumber than a human, for example, merely because it lives in the ocean and lives on crill? What if it's a very efficient whale, does that change things? :)

If the brain is merely a CPU, where does creativity come from? A computer will only deal with what is entered into it's data banks.
Transformative fire...

jdc
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#22 Post by jdc » July 12th, 2010, 8:40 pm

Dave B wrote:Look chaps, all this erudite talk about How Intelligence Works is all well and good, but . . .

Question is where can I get hold of a bucket-full to replace that which seems to be leaking away day by day?
Heh. That reminds me of a report the other day about these pills that were meant to boost intelligence. Someone commented that if you believed the report you probably needed pills to boost intelligence. If they ever make any that work, I'll be first in the queue!
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Dave B
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#23 Post by Dave B » July 12th, 2010, 8:55 pm

A computer will only deal with what is entered into it's data banks
True, Marian, but (though I am no expert in brains (you can tell that) or computers) it is the way that the data is processed and handled, how it is used, and the final purpose it is used for that is important surely.

There are "fuzzy logic" networks and self-oragnising electronic "neuron" matrices that can produce new and unique output from the input - which is part of what a mind does. Since the order of potential complexity of the humans brain is billions of times that of the most complex electronic circuit ever made it is early days.

But is this the first step towards self-organising artificial brains? I wonder what level in the biological world the robot groups using such circuits to learn and establish their own rules compare to? Not yet what we might call intelligence, but these robot groups do learn how to survive.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Gottard
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#24 Post by Gottard » July 12th, 2010, 9:05 pm

Nirvanam wrote: How does the inner intelligence decide when the memory becomes mid-term or long-term and hence move it to the appropriate "chamber".
It has to do with the scientific meaning of 'trauma'. The answer is professionally explained in http://humanisteducation.com/
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Paolo
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#25 Post by Paolo » July 13th, 2010, 11:53 am

grammar king wrote: Obviously I don't know (and I'm pretty sure neuroscientists haven't figured it out yet - you'd be better off asking neuroscientists btw), but I believe you're talking about consciousness, which as far as I know from conversations in the pub with various neuroscientist and psychologist friends (isn't university brilliant?), it is currently believed to be partly an illusion and partly a byproduct of brain function. Maybe byproduct isn't the right word but it's the best one that comes to mind. So it doesn't actually come from any particular place, it's a function arising from the totality of the brain.
I would use the phrase 'emergent property' to describe this, rather than 'byproduct', althought they are very similar. Emergent properties are thoroughly fascinating because they are so hard to pin down, but when they have been pinned down they have been found to be driven by very simple interactions governed by very simple rules - it's the combined interaction of large numbers of individual simple components that gives rise to mind-numbingly complex emergent properties. The property of 'mind' seems to fit this very well.

Marian
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#26 Post by Marian » July 13th, 2010, 12:26 pm

Dave B wrote: There are "fuzzy logic" networks and self-oragnising electronic "neuron" matrices that can produce new and unique output from the input - which is part of what a mind does.
I'd be interesting in reading more about these. Got any links?

Here's an article from our local paper about brain development in babies: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/art ... beginnings. I thought the part about environmental impact on brain development particularly fascinating.
Transformative fire...

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#27 Post by Nirvanam » July 13th, 2010, 12:39 pm

Marian wrote:An intelligent being? Where did it come from? Does it exist separately from the rest of the body?
Prepare to enter "woo" land. I believe we are three part beings: we have a soul, a mind, and a body. Now, given the scientific study that most Humanists I find here are familiar with (I wont even call it modern science any more because in some areas modern scientists are opening up to erstwhile "woo"), let me make it extremely clear I cannot prove it.

However if you'd like to understand why I feel what I feel I will definitely share my opinion.
Marian wrote:I know you don't want to talk about what constitutes intelligence but I don't think you can use the term 'intelligent being' without defining both terms.
An intelligent being according to me is a being that is sentient...that can think, that has a some form of consciousness. the consciousness itself may not be vast, in fact it may be infinitesimal. However for a thing to be called a living thing I'd expect that it have some form of consciousness....again esoteric stuff. So unless you are willing to open your mind to the possibility of knowing what the perception of the perceiver is on the other side of the table, you may not understand there are more ways to perceive things than just physical objective stuff.
Marian wrote:The same thing applies to comparing bigger brain organisms and smaller ones. Is a blue whale dumber than a human, for example, merely because it lives in the ocean and lives on crill? What if it's a very efficient whale, does that change things? :)
Depends upon what we mean by 'dumb'. In my original post I meant to say that humans have the most advanced minds because we so obviously create things although our brains are probably smaller than many other animals.
Marian wrote:If the brain is merely a CPU, where does creativity come from? A computer will only deal with what is entered into it's data banks.
That, Marian, comes from the mind. Not just creativity, even rationality and logic comes from the mind. The brain is a tool of the mind. If you want to disprove this all you need to do is, establish that all those steps in the OP are performed by the brain. Very simple.

The moment modern science does it, I will admit my world view will be shattered, hopefully for the better.

Look, the brain is the organ with the most number of cells...most dense 'cell-wise' organ of the body and it is a kind of center for so many thing...its like a hub. Its like the airport or the main bus station or train station within the city. From here is where all buses go different routes and come back to rest. It is the epicenter of trade, of transportation, of economy. However, the bus stop itself does not control the economy or transportation of the city. there is a Municipal Corporation that manages the whole show. Yes, if a bomb goes off at the bus station things will go haywire, the whole city will come to a halt. But that is not because the bus station was managing the whole show, it was because the bus station was the only resource available to the city to handle such traffic. So one problem there will result in ripple effects all along the city. Hope this example shows the difference between brain and mind.

By the way, do brain transfer surgeries happen? If yes, what happens to the guy who gets the new brain? Does he then become like the fellow whose brain was removed and put into this fellow?

Marian
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#28 Post by Marian » July 14th, 2010, 1:07 pm

Nirvanam wrote: However if you'd like to understand why I feel what I feel I will definitely share my opinion.
Go for it!
Nirvanam wrote: However for a thing to be called a living thing I'd expect that it have some form of consciousness....again esoteric stuff. So unless you are willing to open your mind to the possibility of knowing what the perception of the perceiver is on the other side of the table, you may not understand there are more ways to perceive things than just physical objective stuff.
What did you have in mind regarding the definition of consciousness? I know that opens a whole other subject but can you briefly explain? Without that definition it's difficult to know where you are coming from. Is this the same as a 'soul'? How would you measure such a thing?
Hey, are you saying my mind is closed? On some things, like religion, yeah but I'm willing to listen even if I don't agree :)
Nirvanam wrote: Not just creativity, even rationality and logic comes from the mind. The brain is a tool of the mind. If you want to disprove this all you need to do is, establish that all those steps in the OP are performed by the brain. Very simple.
I might stand a chance of proving/disproving if I had just brushed up on my neuroscience a bit more :wink:
If the mind is separate from the brain, where is it housed?
Nirvanam wrote: there is a Municipal Corporation that manages the whole show. Yes, if a bomb goes off at the bus station things will go haywire, the whole city will come to a halt. But that is not because the bus station was managing the whole show, it was because the bus station was the only resource available to the city to handle such traffic. So one problem there will result in ripple effects all along the city.
I see one problem from my point of view. If a bomb goes off and hits the cerebellum, for example, are you saying the MC can still oversee what is happening? I think it might depend on what part of the brain gets hit. So you think there is an overseer called the 'mind' which is separate from the brain?
Nirvanam wrote: By the way, do brain transfer surgeries happen? If yes, what happens to the guy who gets the new brain? Does he then become like the fellow whose brain was removed and put into this fellow?
I've never heard of such a thing as a brain transfer. I don't think there would be much chance of doing that surgery successfully what with all the nerve endings needing a proper connection and what not.
Transformative fire...

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#29 Post by Nirvanam » July 15th, 2010, 2:30 am

Marian, you know what....your questions and interest shown have come at a very very opportune moment for me.

In fact I'd like to make an open request to all the guys here. About 3 yrs back I started to write something...a kinda book but then after a few months I stopped abruptly. I lost inspiration I guess. Then again about a month back I felt that I should continue with it.

So far I have done just a little more than 3 chapters...about 30-35 pages. I have referred to the concept of One, the mind, the consciousness, change, morals, religious beliefs, etc. You will definitely find agreement at a few places but since the topic itself is very subjective, you may not agree with 90% of what I am expressing there. However, it will let you know the kind of philosophy I live with. Maybe it'll help me and you understand each other better.

There is also a selfish motive here... :redface: ...It would help me a lot if you can give me your feedback as to whether I have the ability to write stuff. I know there is a limitation (wow I just had a deja vu!). Anyway, I know there is the limitation due to the fact that the topic of the partial manuscript is very subjective...not any woo practices but about life. So that little bias will cause disinterest. However, as a third person it would help me a lot to know whether my writing style has the potential to engage the reader.

I know this is asking a lot. But to be honest, the respect I have for this group (although I am the spoiled brat here) is quite a lot and given the way you guys express yourselves....if I made myself vulnerable on this aspect then I think it would only benefit me.

What say?

Marian
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#30 Post by Marian » July 15th, 2010, 1:02 pm

Nirvanam,

I'm game as long as you know I'm likely to be brutally honest, as always. :) Would it be possible to have the the first 5 pages to start?

Marian

PS. Thank you for being so open about your selfish motives. Makes it more open and upfront.
Transformative fire...

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#31 Post by Nirvanam » July 15th, 2010, 5:06 pm

Marian wrote:Nirvanam,

I'm game as long as you know I'm likely to be brutally honest, as always. :) Would it be possible to have the the first 5 pages to start?

Marian

PS. Thank you for being so open about your selfish motives. Makes it more open and upfront.
Just pm'ed it to you...

Gottard
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#32 Post by Gottard » July 15th, 2010, 8:36 pm

Marian wrote:Nirvanam,

I'm game as long as you know I'm likely to be brutally honest, as always. :) Would it be possible to have the the first 5 pages to start?

Marian

PS. Thank you for being so open about your selfish motives. Makes it more open and upfront.
Approve :thumbsup:
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Dave B
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#33 Post by Dave B » July 15th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Marian wrote:
Dave B wrote: There are "fuzzy logic" networks and self-oragnising electronic "neuron" matrices that can produce new and unique output from the input - which is part of what a mind does.
I'd be interesting in reading more about these. Got any links?

Here's an article from our local paper about brain development in babies: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/art ... beginnings. I thought the part about environmental impact on brain development particularly fascinating.

Sorry for the delay, Marian, I Googled both Fuzzy Logic and Neural Networks and there are Wikipedia articles on both, plus a load of technical and college/uni instructional material.

One application of fuzzy logic I saw was in a site that had images of pages from an old trade directory - readable but not nice, sharp precise text. But they used a fuzzy logic image comparing program to enable users to search these pictures of pages of lists for specific names. It effectively worked in the same way that our brains do, matched the scanned images to a perfect "internal" image (that the user had typed into a search box) even though there were differences in size, overall shape, font etc.

It was good about 95% of the time but it took some time for the program to compare every word on the page to the the searched for! If there were multiple pages it had to do the same thing for every page image. But put this into a massively parallel super computer . . . Might not work for an android type robot, but a ship?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Marian
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#34 Post by Marian » July 15th, 2010, 11:45 pm

Nirvanam wrote:Just pm'ed it to you...
Got it. Read it. Twice. First impressions: easy to read although formatting could be improved somewhat, fairly sequential but could use some more detail around the 'getting frustrated' part, enjoyed the beginning with the immediate conflict.

Language is fine. Some grammatical/punctuation issues but minor. Little bit 'preachy' here and there but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Style is not too fancy and not too dry, imo.

I think what makes it intriguing so far is that I've been on a similar journey in the past so I see a parallel. I'm curious to read more. And that doesn't happen very often. Please PM more. It's been fine to read it as is but if it gets too cumbersome, I'll switch to .pdf. Thanks.



Dave,
If I get a chance, I'll check out the google search for fuzzy logic.
Transformative fire...

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#35 Post by Nirvanam » July 24th, 2010, 8:46 pm

Just noticed that although I forwarded that manuscript sorta thing to Marian, I hadn't really shared my opinion here. So, hoping that the thread may come alive again, here goes...
Marian wrote:
Nirvanam wrote: However if you'd like to understand why I feel what I feel I will definitely share my opinion.
Go for it!
Nirvanam wrote: However for a thing to be called a living thing I'd expect that it have some form of consciousness....again esoteric stuff. So unless you are willing to open your mind to the possibility of knowing what the perception of the perceiver is on the other side of the table, you may not understand there are more ways to perceive things than just physical objective stuff.
What did you have in mind regarding the definition of consciousness? I know that opens a whole other subject but can you briefly explain? Without that definition it's difficult to know where you are coming from. Is this the same as a 'soul'? How would you measure such a thing?
Hey, are you saying my mind is closed? On some things, like religion, yeah but I'm willing to listen even if I don't agree :)
Alright consciousness. I think consciousness is what enables one to feel as a separate entity. It is what goes beyond just the body. I think wherever there is consciousness there is life or to put it in other way, a test of life is consciousness. Even single celled organisms have consciousness is what I believe. However their consciousness would be nothing like ours. They would "know" that they exist. However, their knowing is not like ours. See dogs know they exist but they know a lot more as in they know there are other dogs, that they belong to a pack of dogs in this corner of the street, and that this is their alpha in the pack, etc, etc. As you go to lesser-complicated beings the lesser the complexity of its consciousness. Its the consciousness that helps the entity know it is not the environment that surrounds. It knows there is a boundary to it. It helps the entity to survive, to eat, to do whatever it does, or just to 'be'. I think that would be the difference between a clone and a "real" organism. The real organism knows itself (pls don't allow your inertia to interpret 'knowing yourself' as the 'knowing yourself' that humans talk about in daily language...I don't know if there any other words in the English language that can help me describe this "knowing" any better. Hence.)
Marian wrote:If the mind is separate from the brain, where is it housed?
Again, can't prove it but then it is subjective anyway. FWIW, I think the mind exists in every cell of the body. It is a field of energy and is strongest in intensity at the very center of the cell. So all the individual minds of the cells make up the mind of the human being. Given that I think it is a field of energy, I am also inclined to believe that the mind encompasses the body. Since it is not really physical it can permeate thru the cell or thru the body. Also given that the brain has the most number of cells in the body...way more than any other organ, that is why we probably think that the brain is the mind. The brain could definitely be the CPU.

I have a question here, can a brain dead person breathe? If yes, why? If not, is there a possibility that breathing or heart beating or any other function of the body be sustained when the brain is dead? I have no idea about the science here.
Marian wrote:I see one problem from my point of view. If a bomb goes off and hits the cerebellum, for example, are you saying the MC can still oversee what is happening? I think it might depend on what part of the brain gets hit. So you think there is an overseer called the 'mind' which is separate from the brain?
Separate in the sense, yes it is separate from the body but it goes along with the body. Its like how potential energy exists with any object that is at rest. OK I'll try a diff way to put it: what I believe is that the mind, as a field, exists along with the physical object (the cell / body), if the cell is killed then the mind i.e. 'energy' transforms to whatever different form...natural decomposition process.

If we consider the Municipal Corp example again. A bomb in the main station will paralyze all operations in the city but with time it can be rebuilt provided enough of the MC with knowledge to build it, survived. I think that is the healing process...many times we rely on the body to heal itself...for example anti-venom, we give venom in small doses for the body to teach itself to defend. But if the station was bombed out beyond recognition then it is best to forget about the site and go build in another site a new station.

So even though the mind is not exactly the body, it exists along with the body. the energy exists as long as the body is functional. In fact the energy makes the body function. If the appliance (body) is useless, the energy can't do much...it needs a certain shape, certain durability, certain physical characteristics to use the appliance. The mind is driving the body.
Marian wrote:I've never heard of such a thing as a brain transfer. I don't think there would be much chance of doing that surgery successfully what with all the nerve endings needing a proper connection and what not.
I'd really like to know about this. In fact even in other organ transplants there have been "stories" that there is some kinda memory leftover from the previous body it occupied. For ex - eyes. Another question if the eyes of a person were transferred to another would the new fellow have the same problem with vision that the original fellow had? Meaning if the original fellow had let's say some power in his eyes, say -1.5 then would the new chap also have the same power if the eyes were fixed in like a plug-n-play device (no corrective surgery nothing)?

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#36 Post by Nirvanam » July 25th, 2010, 9:22 am

Just saw an episode of the new series called "Life" on Discovery channel. One particular sentence by the narrator caught my attention, especially. Attenborough was talking about jellyfish when he said, "they neither have a brain nor a mouth(?)". If the mind is the brain then we seem to have some mindless creatures in the ocean who just happen to be some of the oldest species on the planet and also have pretty advanced hunting mechansims

Dan
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#37 Post by Dan » August 6th, 2010, 2:33 pm

Nirvanam wrote:Just saw an episode of the new series called "Life" on Discovery channel. One particular sentence by the narrator caught my attention, especially. Attenborough was talking about jellyfish when he said, "they neither have a brain nor a mouth(?)". If the mind is the brain then we seem to have some mindless creatures in the ocean who just happen to be some of the oldest species on the planet and also have pretty advanced hunting mechansims
I don't happen to think that the mind "is" the brain. I don't think the one is just a synonym for the other. Also, at the moment nobody knows what "mind" is. How much store we put on our subjective experience is very controversial.

So just based on my own introspection, and experiments which show how the content of "mind" can be impacted by physical changes, expecially to the brain, I feel it is unlikely that "mind" can exist without a brain.

Do Jellyfish count against my view? Well, some jellyfish just float about and don't exert much control over movement: these can hardly be said to be "hunting". But in any case the lack of a brain doesn't mean the lack of a nervous system, which jellyfish certainly do have.

I'm not sure what qualifies as "advanced" about jellyfish feeding mechanisms. Are they more "advanced" than carnivorous plants?

Dan

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#38 Post by Nirvanam » August 6th, 2010, 4:14 pm

Dan wrote:I don't happen to think that the mind "is" the brain. I don't think the one is just a synonym for the other. Also, at the moment nobody knows what "mind" is. How much store we put on our subjective experience is very controversial.

So just based on my own introspection, and experiments which show how the content of "mind" can be impacted by physical changes, expecially to the brain, I feel it is unlikely that "mind" can exist without a brain.

Do Jellyfish count against my view? Well, some jellyfish just float about and don't exert much control over movement: these can hardly be said to be "hunting". But in any case the lack of a brain doesn't mean the lack of a nervous system, which jellyfish certainly do have.

I'm not sure what qualifies as "advanced" about jellyfish feeding mechanisms. Are they more "advanced" than carnivorous plants?
Yes sir, the "advanced" thing was actually not well thought...anyway what I intended to say is that they have been existing for so many millions of years and that too successfully...the fact that they exist even today without having to evolve with a brain means there is something advanced about them to have survived so long. Of course there are bacteria and microscopic organisms also, but jellyfish are organisms that can be seen by predators easily and they also have evolved into so many types, colors, etc.

Yes, I agree with your view that mind is very subjective and that we actually don't know what it is. My opinion is that mind is our consciousness and that it is not actually a physical thing. I also think that since brain is the largest organism in the human body in terms of number of cells and the fact that almost all (or is it all?) cognitive processes have their wirings ending up/passing thru/starting from the brain it creates the illusion that mind is the brain. As long as all the functions of the brain are performed suitably by all other organs in the body there is no necessity for a brain. And this holds true for any organ.

To explain that, consider this example...suppose we were to create some kind of intelligent animal. Let's say we create all the organs in it, make all connections, everything, and choose to not have a brain. instead we decide that all the functions of the brain are being performed by the other organs then the animal/robot we create will work perfectly just that it will look differently...in fact we can make it look like its a brain by leaving the skull hollow. So theoretically (now this goes back to one of the main concepts in the TRIZ body of knowledge...lol) what is required is not the implement/tool/object but the function of that object. As long as the function/s of the object is being performed efficiently and effectively by other organs there is no need for that organ. In the jellyfish case, I think that is what is happening.

Nick
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#39 Post by Nick » August 7th, 2010, 2:20 am

How does intelligence work? Well, generally they recruit from Cambridge. Any more information than that, and I'd have to kill you.....








*goes back to stroking improbably fluffy white cat*

Nirvanam
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#40 Post by Nirvanam » August 7th, 2010, 10:58 am

:pointlaugh: :hilarity:
very nice, very nice, Nick!

Dan
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Re: How does intelligence work?

#41 Post by Dan » August 10th, 2010, 1:42 pm

Nirvanam wrote: Yes sir, the "advanced" thing was actually not well thought...anyway what I intended to say is that they have been existing for so many millions of years and that too successfully...the fact that they exist even today without having to evolve with a brain means there is something advanced about them to have survived so long. Of course there are bacteria and microscopic organisms also, but jellyfish are organisms that can be seen by predators easily and they also have evolved into so many types, colors, etc.
Well, as you say, this isn't very well thought through. Clearly the age of a creature is no indication of how "advanced" it is. You've given examples yourself of ancient but unicellular life that demonstrate that. So that notion is dead. You also don't appear to have a clear evolution-informed concept of what might constitute "advanced" in this context.
Yes, I agree with your view that mind is very subjective and that we actually don't know what it is.
I don't think we mean the same thing by "subjective". When I say that mind is subjective, I mean it is subjectivity. There doesn't appear to be a way of investigating it except through introspection. I mean no third party can directly examine my mind - whatever it is.
My opinion is that mind is our consciousness and that it is not actually a physical thing.
Mind/consciousness are to me more or less synonyms, I think. Although I suppose someone in a coma might be thought of as still having a mind even if they weren't conscious, or self-conscious. And clearly, whatever it is, my consciousness, my thought, doesn't appear to be physical - even if it depends on something physical. This is fairly trivial.
I also think that since brain is the largest organism in the human body in terms of number of cells and the fact that almost all (or is it all?) cognitive processes have their wirings ending up/passing thru/starting from the brain it creates the illusion that mind is the brain.
Well, we definitely seem to feel that our mind is in our head somewhere. It seems just as (if not more) reasonable to think that it is somehow located there, or else brain-dependent, as it does to take your line. I don't experience thoughts in my big toes, only in my head. I'd find it hard to dump the essential experience of what it is like to think for your vague holistic notions.
As long as all the functions of the brain are performed suitably by all other organs in the body there is no necessity for a brain. And this holds true for any organ.
I couldn't make sense of this, but then I realised you were passing off a trivial and obvious truth as something more significant. Yes, obviously you don't need lots of organs if fewer organs were capable of doing the same work. Duh!
As long as the function/s of the object is being performed efficiently and effectively by other organs there is no need for that organ. In the jellyfish case, I think that is what is happening.
Your conclusion doesn't follow from its premises. The questions you should ask are: do all living things need a nervous system?, do all living things need a "brain"?, do all living things need consciousness or self-consciousness? As far as I can see, the answer to all three questions is "no". You seem to have taken mind as default, and attributed it to creatures accordingly. Since you think mind is not dependent on the brain, you therefore hold it can exist without a brain. But that remains to be proven.

Dan

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