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Is The Cell Inntelligent?


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#1 Mike Summers

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:14 PM

Is the cell Intelligent?

Most of us believe what we are taught. We are taught that DNA code stores information. I read somewhere that identical code can "code" for entirely different features in plants and animals.

Speaking of the function of code in the huma mental state, it takes code, coupled with an antecedant intelligent learning process to read the code I have typed on this page.
Our metal state needs to be aware that the same code unit can have enitirely different meaning based on what we call context.

Consider the following code generated by:

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." –- Oprah Winfrey

An older adult reading this quote would realize that it means more then a literal interpretation (interpretation requires a mental function). According to the Oxford dictionary, the word "set" has 396 meanings. To place in a position, to perform several physical exercies and then pause, a TV set, musicians performing sevals songs, to adust the time on a clock, to harden into a solid state as with gelatin or concrete, a mathematical function (set and subset), etc.

At some point the individual's cells that make up our body's 78 organs have to be "aware" of which cells tpe they are and what to do when code is sent to them via the nervous system from our brain.

Is intelligence necessary for a cell to function? Is the cell, concious and intelligent?



#2 aelyn

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 04:32 PM

At some point the individual's cells that make up our body's 78 organs have to be "aware" of which cells tpe they are and what to do when code is sent to them via the nervous system from our brain.

Is intelligence necessary for a cell to function? Is the cell, concious and intelligent?

 

 

You can't answer this question without going deeper into what you mean by "conscious" and "intelligent", given both of those words have varied meanings depending on context, and those meanings are often vague with not so much definitions as "I know it when I see it (but do you though)". Then again one can see the entire point of the question of being about what we mean by consciousness and intelligence, and the cell being just a vehicle for those questions.

 

 

Does the ability to react in specific ways to specific stimuli require intelligence ? There are certain definitions of "intelligence" that are that broad, and by those definitions pretty much all living things, and a whole lot of non-living ones are intelligent. But that's not the definition we use when we talk about "intelligence" as being something humans are much more than others. If we do think however that the ability to react in specific ways to specific stimuli involves intelligence and consciousness *like ours*, then the question becomes: are there things that *aren't* intelligent ?

 

 

Other question: should we distinguish an entity's own intelligence or consciousness from intelligence or consciousness having been involved in the process that created it ? For example, is a computer conscious and intelligent ? It certainly reacts to complex codes in very specific ways. Most people thinking of intelligence and consciousness in a colloquial way wouldn't say computers are intelligent, let alone conscious however. They might say that while computers *behave* in intelligent and sometimes conscious-like ways, that is because they were designed to behave that way by actually intelligent and conscious entities - humans. Creationists make the same argument for life in general - living things function the way they do because an intelligent God created them to do so. As a Creationist, would you argue that cells actually *are* conscious and intelligent, or do you instead think that cells behave in very specific, intelligent ways because they were designed to do so by a conscious intelligence, but aren't themselves conscious or intelligent ? Do you see a difference between those two things ?

 

 

For an example of how that might work, when you say that cells must be "aware" of what cell type they are, the same argument can be made of computers can't it ? Is a C compiler "aware" that it is a C compiler and not a Fortran compiler, or is it a C compiler by virtue of its composition and internal structure, which make it able to compile C but not compile Fortran ? And is it "aware" of the program it compiles into an executable, or does it respond to each line of code in the manner in which its composition and internal structure make inevitable (or highly likely, for less deterministic programs) ? Or are those two things the same thing, and if so is there anything we can say *isn't* aware ? Or is there a complexity limit so that a "Hello World" program isn't aware but the Google search engine is ?



#3 Mike Summers

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:46 PM

Aelyn said:

Mike S: Is intelligence necessary for a cell to function? Is the cell, concious and intelligent?

Yours is a very thought-provoking analysis of my question. I appreciate your use of logic, reasoning and giving it a very thorough considerat additionally if it doesn't exist we can create it.
 

You can't answer this question without going deeper into what you mean by "conscious" and "intelligent", given both of those words have varied meanings depending on context, and those meanings are often vague with not so much definitions as "I know it when I see it (but do you though)". Then again one can see the entire point of the question of being about what we mean by consciousness and intelligence, and the cell being just a vehicle for those questions.


When I use the term consciousness, I use it within the context of an information base, intending it also as a component of a intelligent being. There is a learning component coupled with intelligence also in living beings.

We can quickly bring things into consciousness from our subconscious state which we are capable of doing by asking ourself a question, another name for a stimuli. We sit atop our sub concious daatabae of a fairly large source of information even though it is finite. Thus, we are both conscious and subconscious beings. Moreover, we can "know" we don't "know" something and practice science to ascquire missing information.

Given that we both share conciusness and intelligence, I will use that as my definition. For we "are" the very definition of both consciousness and intelligence. We use it every day to do the thousands of things we do. We use it to type this code on our computer screens, to build and man a space sration and to facilitate the mundane tasks of our daily life such as deciding and cooking what to have for dinner. I would say we are very familiar with intelligence and consciousness. We are its definition. It is from our reference point that we "know" anything. Starting there then...
Does the ability to react in specific ways to specific stimuli require intelligence ?
I would say we have ample precedence that it does, us (7 billion strong)! You had to be intelligent and conscious to read my intelligently generated code. You recognize me as intelligent by the patterns of use in assembling the 26 letters of the alphabet. We both learned to do this in our earlier years. Therefore, there is a very significant difference between the living and the non-living.

There are certain definitions of "intelligence" that are that broad, and by those definitions pretty much all living things, and a whole lot of non-living ones are intelligent.

I can concede living things as having intelligence and consciousness. but, the conditions of the moon and the other planets in our solar system demonstrate that we are "supernatural" beings to this part of the universe. We have observed life on no other planets in our neck of the woods. Nor do w see the unique things lie posits on these barren planets.

I don't agree that nonliving things have intelligence and have consciousness. The terms living and nonliving contradict each other. Moreover, the vague reference you gave to non living things appears to also be a contradiction in usage. It doesn't give me enough information to know what you mean by nonliving things.

To proceed with our discussion, I assume you mean things like automobiles, computers etc. ?

Antecedent to all of these is an intelligent designer who input intelligence in the very beginning of the process to have the "goal" of a final specific outcome.

But that's not the definition we use when we talk about "intelligence" as being something humans are much more than others. If we do think however that the ability to react in specific ways to specific stimuli involves intelligence and consciousness *like ours*, then the question becomes: are there things that *aren't* intelligent ?


I suggest you blur the definition of consciousness and intelligence in your question above? I would think that when you said response to a specific stimuli, you might have overlooked that intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones. This, while humans and simlar concience intelligent beings can choose from a fairly large repertoire of responses, learned and otherwie.

Fundamentally, we say a machine is broken when it does not do what we have programmrd it to do. If I put my foot on the accelerator with the car in drive and it does not go forward then, I shall have it repaired.
What response does a rock have to a stimuli?


Other question: should we distinguish an entity's own intelligence or consciousness from intelligence or consciousness having been involved in the process that created it ?

What I suggest you consider here is whether "we" can actually transfer life, consciousness and intelligence to what we have created? I have not observed that happen.

For example, is a computer conscious and intelligent ? It certainly reacts to complex codes in very specific ways.


Yes, but we know that computers are created by intelligent conscious beings. We have observed no computers evolve or create themsmelves.

Any preprogrammed machine
designed with antecedent input of intelligence will do what it was designed to do..

Most people thinking of intelligence and consciousness in a colloquial way wouldn't say computers are intelligent, let alone conscious however. They might say that while computers *behave* in intelligent and sometimes conscious-like ways, that is because they were designed to behave that way by actually intelligent and conscious entities - humans.

I would say you are personifying here. You are using terms that describe what humans can do such as behavior to lend credibility to your comparison. But, there are numeous diferences we must consder such as can a computer reproduce?

Creationists make the same argument for life in general - living things function the way they do because an intelligent God created them to do so. As a Creationist, would you argue that cells actually *are* conscious and intelligent, or do you instead think that cells behave in very specific, intelligent ways because they were designed to do so by a conscious intelligence, but aren't themselves conscious or intelligent ?

Yes, that's clearly my inference!
Firstly let me state the obvious. As a
n intelligent conscious being are you not a creator yourself? It seems to me internally illogical to deny the validity of the creative process that you use so valiantly to generate the code that appeaars on my computer screen. Am I to conclude you are not an intelligent concious being? I would fear I might insult you to claim that you are not intelligent and conscious.
Can you show me any machine that was not designed by intelliebt being?

Once again I commend you for a very thoughtfully conceived question. I would like to answer your question by asking a similar question. Do you believe that you can transfer some of your life to a nonliving device? I remind you of the law of biogenesis. Moreover, does any device have the ability to replicate itself--a common function of anything living? Show me a computer that cloned itself hardware and all!

Do you see a difference between those two things ?

I do. And I invoke Aristotle's law of identity and non-contradiction for the reasons mentioned.

For an example of how that might work, when you say that cells must be "aware" of what cell type they are, the same argument can be made of computers can't it ?

I don't see how your comparison would be valid, since a computer can't repoduce and we can easily "unplug" it and it immediately goes into cardiac arrest. Furthermore we "know" it was designed to have a specific output.

Is a C compiler "aware" that it is a C compiler and not a Fortran compiler, or is it a C compiler by virtue of its composition and internal structure, which make it able to compile C but not compile Fortran ? And is it "aware" of the program it compiles into an executable, or does it respond to each line of code in the manner in which its composition and internal structure make inevitable (or highly likely, for less deterministic programs) ? Or are those two things the same thing, and if so is there anything we can say *isn't* aware ? Or is there a complexity limit so that a "Hello World" program isn't aware but the Google search engine is ?

Once again don't forget input of intelligence to "make" it do what it does.

Suppose we compile a 12,000 line program and in one line of the program we insert a goto statement requiring the program to go to line 15,000. Will the program, unless we designed contingency in to it try to do what it's told it and "crash" and go into an infinite loop trying to do something that is not possible? We may term this a bug but, the computer was was doing exactly what we told it to do--even though it was something impossible. As a conscious be you would realize what you can't do. How long would you choose to do something you deemed impossible? Consciousness affords you to not attempt a process you realize you can't do! To my knowledge computer becomes unresponsive when it's in an infinite loop. Has your software ever crashed? And you ever gone into an infinite loop?

 

 



#4 aelyn

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 08:26 AM

Thank you for your thoughtful reply ! I do not understand yet exactly how you're using the words "intelligence" and "consciousness"; I hope you can help me work through this.
 
First though I'll address the question you had about my use of words and about transferring life :
 

Moreover, the vague reference you gave to non living things appears to also be a contradiction in usage. It doesn't give me enough information to know what you mean by nonliving things.


For the purposes of this discussion I'm just using the standard biological definition of "life", that involves reproduction and metabolism, according to which animals, plants and cells are alive, rocks, cars and computers aren't, and some edge cases include viruses and prions. I assume you're doing the same given the examples you've given. I'm not sure why you feel I used the word in a contradictory way, but I hope this clarified it; if not I'd be glad to have more details on the way it's contradictory.
 

Do you believe that you can transfer some of your life to a nonliving device?


What a strangely vitalistic question. "Life", as it is understood in biology, isn't some substance or fluid that can be transfered, or for that matter subdivided ("some of your"). So, no.


Now on intelligence and/or consciousness :
 

Given that we both share conciusness and intelligence, I will use that as my definition. For we "are" the very definition of both consciousness and intelligence.


Okay, so you're doing a kind of "definition by example" thing, where you define a term by giving examples of things that match it, instead of giving rigid criteria that won't necessarily reflect how the word is actually used ? I would agree it's a useful way of defining concepts like "intelligence", that have so many different and vague ways of being used. But I don't think using a single example is enough, unless we mean that only humans are intelligent or conscious. Plenty of people do think that, and for them it might be a decent definition, but it's clearly not the way you think of "intelligence". So to answer the question of whether a cell is intelligent (or conscious), knowing "humans are intelligent (and conscious)" isn't enough; we also need to know what kinds of things aren't intelligent (in case cells are more like those things than they are like humans), what kind of things are kind of in a fuzzy, hard-to-categorize zone and why, how similar and in what ways does something have to be to humans to be considered intelligent or conscious.

In the rest of your reply you say many things about why things are or aren't intelligent that suggest various characteristics of "intelligence" in the way you're using the word. I'll go through them to show where I'm confused:

Things that intelligence involves, allows or requires (i.e. things that we see in intelligent entities) :

1) The ability to communicate via written language, to build high-end technological artifacts, to make decisions in daily life ("We use it to type this code on our computer screens, to build and man a space sration and to facilitate the mundane tasks of our daily life such as deciding and cooking what to have for dinner. (...) I would say we have ample precedence that it does, us (7 billion strong)! You had to be intelligent and conscious to read my intelligently generated code. You recognize me as intelligent by the patterns of use in assembling the 26 letters of the alphabet.)
2) Learning ("We both learned to do this in our earlier years.", "intelligent beings can choose from a fairly large repertoire of responses, learned and otherwie.", "There is a learning component coupled with intelligence also in living beings.")
3) The ability to tell in advance the outcome of something we're about to do, such as whether it's impossible ("As a conscious be you would realize what you can't do. How long would you choose to do something you deemed impossible? Consciousness affords you to not attempt a process you realize you can't do!")

Things that preclude or are in some ways opposed to intelligence :
4) Being unable to reproduce (?) ("I don't see how your comparison would be valid, since a computer can't repoduce", "Moreover, does any device have the ability to replicate itself--a common function of anything living? Show me a computer that cloned itself hardware and all!", "We have observed no computers evolve or create themsmelves.")
5) Behaving in predictable ways according to one's design ("Any preprogrammed machine designed with antecedent input of intelligence will do what it was designed to do..", "We may term this a bug but, the computer was was doing exactly what we told it to do--even though it was something impossible.", "Antecedent to all of these is an intelligent designer who input intelligence in the very beginning of the process to have the "goal" of a final specific outcome.", "intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones.", "Furthermore we "know" it was designed to have a specific output.")
6) Being prone to malfunction or easy to damage or stop (?) ("Fundamentally, we say a machine is broken when it does not do what we have programmrd it to do. If I put my foot on the accelerator with the car in drive and it does not go forward then, I shall have it repaired.", " we can easily "unplug" it and it immediately goes into cardiac arrest.", "Suppose we compile a 12,000 line program and in one line of the program we insert a goto statement requiring the program to go to line 15,000. Will the program, unless we designed contingency in to it try to do what it's told it and "crash" and go into an infinite loop trying to do something that is not possible?")
7) Being designed by an intelligent being (??) ("Antecedent to all of these is an intelligent designer who input intelligence in the very beginning of the process to have the "goal" of a final specific outcome.", " intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones.", "Can you show me any machine that was not designed by intelliebt being?", "Once again don't forget input of intelligence to "make" it do what it does.")

And then a more subtle distinction :
8) Having a large repertoire of responses, some learned with which one responds to stimuli, as opposed to being designed with a few responses. ("I would think that when you said response to a specific stimuli, you might have overlooked that intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones. This, while humans and simlar concience intelligent beings can choose from a fairly large repertoire of responses, learned and otherwie.")

Those are various aspects that I gathered from your post were parts of your idea of what intelligence is, but I may very well have misinterpreted what you meant by some things because many of those elements I find very confusing.

Elements 1, 2, 3 and 5 make sense to me - they pretty much match both my idea of what intelligence is, and what it seems to me most people usually think of when they talk about intelligence in this context, both in ordinary contexts and in the context of people actually studying intelligence.

The ones I have questions about are 4, 6, 7 and 8; I'll take them in order.

4 - I'm very confused with the idea that whether something can reproduce or not informs whether it's intelligent or aware. If we're talking about intelligence as that quintessential human property, I don't think most people would think of our ability to reproduce as being a vital aspect of our intelligence. We don't even have conscious control over most of the process; when typing words on the computer I can consciously move my muscles, think through what I'll write how and why, see and feel in real time how my direct control over my muscles and thought process are influencing my environment, stop or change my actions at any moment... None of this is true for the fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell and the subsequent development of the zygote. Heck, we don't even have direct control over our own growth, as any child who's ever wanted to grow faster or slower will know. In fact if it weren't for the accumulated knowledge of humanity before me I wouldn't even know sperm or eggs or any of the cells that constitute me existed, a situation that clearly isn't true with my hands or the computer in front of me me. If cells are intelligent then there may indeed be intelligence and awareness involved in fertilization and embryonic and fetal development, but it isn't the intelligence or awareness of the humans involved. And while there are many illnesses, injuries or disorders that we'll readily say affect someone's intelligence, awareness, or personality, we don't think of infertility as one of those.
So I'd say using reproduction as a characteristic to tell whether something is intelligent or not is pretty unusual, and means I can't just assume we're both talking about the same thing when we talk about "intelligence". Did you mean to make reproduction part of intelligence when you talked about how computers cannot reproduce (apparently in the context of explaining why they're not intelligent) ?

6 - Similarly you frequently talk about machines breaking down, malfunctioning or being able to be turned off as a reason to say they aren't intelligent, but humans break down, malfunction and die too. It's quite bizarre that you'd use the metaphor of "cardiac arrest" for what happens to a computer when we cut off its energy source (electricity) since it just makes it all the more obvious that humans go into cardiac arrest too - and do so pretty reliably when deprived of things their metabolism requires, i.e. oxygen, water or food.
Not only that, humans can malfunction or break down in ways that would conventionally be seen as relating to human intelligence. A brain malfunction can damage or modify people's ability to communicate, to make decisions, to perceive the world or themselves, to manipulate various abstract concepts, to predict the future, to remember or learn things... Brains can even momentarily (sometimes permanently) "crash" with their processes suddenly going haywire, when we have seizures, and that can affect or stop our awareness (let alone our intelligence).
There are even stronger parallels between the ways cells can malfunction and the way computer programs can. Cells behave the way they do mostly because of the genetic code they contain, and geneticists routinely find that by removing, adding or changing small bits of that code they can modify the cell's behavior, up to and including making it nonfunctional. You talk about a computer doing an infinite loop because it blindly follows its code and doesn't realize that the code is wrong, but a cell whose code for a vital protein was modified to make that protein nonfunctional will blindly make that nonfunctional protein, even if it dies as a result. (cells do have the ability to compensate for or correct some errors, but as you pointed out some self-correcting and self-monitoring mechanisms can be coded into computer software too).
There again I'm not sure if you have a surprising (to me) understanding of what "intelligence" is, or if I misunderstood what you meant when you talked about all those ways machines or computers malfunction.

7 - This one I was VERY confused by at first, but I think I might have figured it out... Basically it looks a lot like you're invoking "it's intelligently designed" as an argument for why something isn't intelligent, but surely you believe that cells, humans, everything in fact, is intelligently designed by God. However this might be what all your statements about transferring intelligence were about - you believe that intelligence is like a transferable fluid, that God can transfer to creations but humans can't? So this would mean your argument for why machines aren't intelligent isn't based on any characteristic of the machines themselves, but on a theological argument of how intelligence works ? So a "Hello World" program could be intelligent or aware if God wrote it (and wanted it to be intelligent or aware) ? EDIT - It also just occurred to me, doesn't that make the whole thing about cells interpreting code and knowing what kind of cell they are irrelevant ? That if God infused them with intelligence or awareness then they're intelligent or aware regardless of their other abilities, and God could also choose to design cells to have those abilities without infusing intelligence or awareness into them ?

8 - This is a point that does match my (and, I think, most people's) idea of "intelligence", I just want a clarification. When you talk about a few narrow responses not being a sign of intelligence and a large repertoire of responses being a sign of intelligence, do you see this as a difference in kind of a difference in degree ? Or maybe something that is theoretically a difference in degree, but because there are no examples of things in the intermediate rungs it's pretty much like a different in kind ?



#5 Mike Summers

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 07:29 PM

You can't answer this question without going deeper into what you mean by "conscious" and "intelligent", given both of those words have varied meanings depending on context, and those meanings are often vague with not so much definitions as "I know it when I see it (but do you though)". Then again one can see the entire point of the question of being about what we mean by consciousness and intelligence, and the cell being just a vehicle for those questions.

I don't think I would consider you vague and undefined. The human mind body configuration is the most complicated mechanism in the known universe. As the end-user of the device, you control`the most sophisticated of systems. Our mind multitasks in the millions of functions. We have 100 trillion cells in a body that has to be fed, oxygenated, and have their garbage removed (the byproducts of metabolism) There are up to 7500 gates on each cell that can open and shut 3500 times per second. We have 78 organs. 3 million cells die every minute and have to be disposed of less they cause necrosis.

We have a communication system which consists of transmitter/ receiver which can formulate a message associated to code and then use an apparatus our, diaphragm and lungs to push air past the strings of our vocal cords which then reverberate and cause audible sound pressure deviation which is further modified by our hard and soft pallets and our lips and teeth.

Moreover when we say a word there is a feedback loop between our mouth and our ears. We actually listen to ourselves talk en vivo. If the sound coming out of our mouth is not up to standard as compared to its pattern stored in memory, Our software analyzes the sound coming in from the ears and tells the muscles of our vocal system such as jaw muscles where they need to be to correct the the sound coming out of our mouth while we are speaking. Our software takes the sound comparing it to a recorded version in our mind's memory and will correct whatever the part of the vocal mechanism is needed to ensure a standard sound coming out of our mouth. The vocal system is only one of many systems but it is complicated and sophisticated. It would be difficult to imagine a random process even coupled with natural selection being able to assemble such a complicated system.

I have tried and I hope you may give me some insight to ask evolutionists how the software that controls the many different functions in the human body could write itself. No one has ventured to give any mechanism that could create the very sophisticated software that runs and makes our mind.

 

For the purposes of this discussion I'm just using the standard biological definition of "life", that involves reproduction and metabolism, according to which animals, plants and cells are alive, rocks, cars and computers aren't, and some edge cases include viruses and prions. I assume you're doing the same given the examples you've given. I'm not sure why you feel I used the word in a contradictory way, but I hope this clarified it; if not I'd be glad to have more details on the way it's contradictory

That's a fine definition. I think we can work with that. However I like to inform you that I typically believe
ife is not caused by biology but, biology causes life. Therefore life animates matter.

 

What a strangely vitalistic question. "Life", as it is understood in biology, isn't some substance or fluid that can be transfered, or for that matter subdivided ("some of your"). So, no.

I think we agree. Notice, for example there is the same code in dead plant or animal as in a living plant or animal. I like the term life animates matter.

 

Okay, so you're doing a kind of "definition by example" thing, where you define a term by giving examples of things that match it, instead of giving rigid criteria that won't necessarily reflect how the word is actually used ? I would agree it's a useful way of defining concepts like "intelligence", that have so many different and vague ways of being used. But I don't think using a single example is enough, unless we mean that only humans are intelligent or conscious. Plenty of people do think that, and for them it might be a decent definition, but it's clearly not the way you think of "intelligence". So to answer the question of whether a cell is intelligent (or conscious), knowing "humans are intelligent (and conscious)" isn't enough; we also need to know what kinds of things aren't intelligent (in case cells are more like those things than they are like humans), what kind of things are kind of in a fuzzy, hard-to-categorize zone and why, how similar and in what ways does something have to be to humans to be considered intelligent or conscious.

I think I follow your reasoning here. So where would you like to go with the definition because going down the genre of life say from a human to a dog to a fish we do observe a certain amount of commonality in the use of "intelligence". These are all things that have five senses--avenues through which code or information is input to a central controlling function like a brain.

In the cell it used to believed that the nucleus was the brain of the cell. However, I've heard some dispute that. They have enucleated a cell and it has lived up to two months long without a nucleus. The nucleus was only called upon when repairs were needed to some of the machinery of the cell. Since it's the gates that open and shut to allow food, oxygen and expel the byproducts of metabolism or waste some folks think this cell membrane is the brain. Regardless there is a hierarchy of control inside the cell so that the machinery does what it is told to do when it is told to do it but this is not just action and reaction to chemical processes. There is a very definite deterministic "intelligent" hierarchy and function.

When they met the genes genome they were expecting 100,000 genes or one gene for a protein. The last time I checked the human gene genome was down from a hundred thousand to somewhere around 19,000. I know it's fluctuates somewhat as they discover more about how it works.

I remember one scientist said after they found out how you genes they were that we know less now than we did before.They were confused. They wondered how 19,000 genes could code for 100,000 proteins. I postulate that something in the cell must "know" how to do that.

 

Your reply you say many things about why things are or aren't intelligent that suggest various characteristics of "intelligence" in the way you're using the word. I'll go through them to show where I'm confused:

Things that intelligence involves, allows or requires (i.e. things that we see in intelligent entities) :

1) The ability to communicate via written language, to build high-end technological artifacts, to make decisions in daily life ("We use it to type this code on our computer screens, to build and man a space sration and to facilitate the mundane tasks of our daily life such as deciding and cooking what to have for dinner. (...) I would say we have ample precedence that it does, us (7 billion strong)! You had to be intelligent and conscious to read my intelligently generated code. You recognize me as intelligent by the patterns of use in assembling the 26 letters of the alphabet.)

Yes, but I was primarily starting off at the human level. Some of these characteristics may be missing in the animals and of course in the plants.

But there is of course need in the higher animals for inter and intra-communication system to operate the creature. For example a dog has eyes, has a nose, has five senses. Such stimuli is needed so that the dog can orient itself in reference to its geographic plane. Though it doesn't have the ability to communicate to the sophisticated level we do, I it does have a fairly sophisticated internal communication system to control the muscles it needs to operate itself..

 

2) Learning ("We both learned to do this in our earlier years.", "intelligent beings can choose from a fairly large repertoire of responses, learned and otherwie.", "There is a learning component coupled with intelligence also in living beings.")

Yes I guess you could say that living things have the ability to adapt to their environment somewhat. Humans can do that at a very sophisticated level. We can build and inhabit buildings modifying climate indoors as opposed to outdoors.

 

3) The ability to tell in advance the outcome of something we're about to do, such as whether it's impossible ("As a conscious you beingwould realize what you can't do. How long would you choose to do something you deemed impossible? Consciousness affords you to not attempt a process you realize you can't do!")

I am told that the way they train an elephant is to put a very big heavy chain on him as stake it well into the ground. When the elephant is older all they have to do is for put a rope on him and when he feels the restraint he is not aware that the rope is not as strong as the chain and he could probably probably easily breakaway. I would say he doesn't have the level of consciousness and awareness that we have.

 

Things that preclude or are in some ways opposed to intelligence :
4) Being unable to reproduce (?) ("I don't see how your comparison would be valid, since a computer can't repoduce", "Moreover, does any device have the ability to replicate itself--a common function of anything living? Show me a computer that cloned itself hardware and all!", "We have observed no computers evolve or create themsmelves.")
5) Behaving in predictable ways according to one's design ("Any preprogrammed machine designed with antecedent input of intelligence will do what it was designed to do..", "We may term this a bug but, the computer was doing exactly what we told it to do--even though it was something impossible.", "Antecedent to all of these is an intelligent designer who input intelligence in the very beginning of the process to have the "goal" of a final specific outcome.", "intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones.", "Furthermore we "know" it was designed to have a specific output.")
6) Being prone to malfunction or easy to damage or stop (?) ("Fundamentally, we say a machine is broken when it does not do what we have programmrd it to do. If I put my foot on the accelerator with the car in drive and it does not go forward then, I shall have it repaired.", " we can easily "unplug" it and it immediately goes into cardiac arrest.", "Suppose we compile a 12,000 line program and in one line of the program we insert a goto statement requiring the program to go to line 15,000. Will the program, unless we designed contingency in to it try to do what it's told it and "crash" and go into an infinite loop trying to do something that is not possible?")
7) Being designed by an intelligent being (??) ("Antecedent to all of these is an intelligent designer who input intelligence in the very beginning of the process to have the "goal" of a final specific outcome.", " intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones.", "Can you show me any machine that was not designed by intelliebt being?", "Once again don't forget input of intelligence to "make" it do what it does.")

And then a more subtle distinction :
8) Having a large repertoire of responses, some learned with which one responds to stimuli, as opposed to being designed with a few responses. ("I would think that when you said response to a specific stimuli, you might have overlooked that intelligently engineered designed things, which we might term "machines", are not capable of but a narrow response--the "designed" in ones. This, while humans and simlar concience intelligent beings can ch .6 you should write a will is anyone (I know on her oose from a fairly large repertoire of responses, learned and otherwie.")

Thosbright light reace ar Iy will do is you is six is an ou the eye e various aspects that I gathered from your post were parts of your idea of what intelligence is, but I may very well have misinterpreted what you meant by some things because many of those elements I find very confusing.

 

Elements 1, 2, 3 and 5 make sense to me - they pretty much match both my idea of what intelligence is, and what it seems to me most people usually think of when they talk about intelligence in this context, both in ordinary contexts and in the context of people actually studying intelligence.

The ones I have questions about are 4, 6, 7 and 8; I'll take them in order.

4) I am surprised you have a problem with this one. It's Darwin's claim descent with modification? Genetic code is transferred from the parent to the offspring. Sophisticated and complicated devices made out of matter do not have the ability to replicate. They cannot transfer the instructions to build a similar device. They are not made out of biological cells.

4 - I'm very confused with the idea that whether something can reproduce or not informs whether it's intelligent or aware. If we're talking about intelligence as that quintessential human property, I don't think most people would think of our ability to reproduce as being a vital aspect of our intelligence.
[/quote]
How would you and I be here without our parents reproducing? Maybe I can clear it up by saying I'm defining life as intelligence--consider the software that runs the cell is is very sophisticated. We go up-and-down from simple life to more complex.

 

We don't even have conscious control over most of the process; when typing words on the computer

but that's how sophisticated our software is. Your mind can think 10 times faster if it doesn't have to bring things into consciousness. We can habituate things to save time in their operation. For example if you drive a stick automobile imagine if you had to to say all the operations. Instead you just do it. Neither do you if you walk from point a to point B make yourself conscious of it. There's lots of contingency in the human body.

 


I can consciously move my muscles, think through what I'll write how and why, see and feel in real time how my direct control over my muscles and thought process are influencing my environment, stop or change my actions at any moment... None of this is true for the fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell and the subsequent development of the zygote.

I think your oversimplifying the process. When the sperm cell enters the vagina it "knows" what direction to go. Once a sperm penetrates the egg a force field goes up and will not allow any more sperm to enter. The cell has to "know" what to do. Although you are an intelligent guy, neither you nor I have enough smarts to design a cell to do any of the things that it ends up doing. A Hundred trillion cells later here you and I are.

 

Heck, we don't even have direct control over our own growth, as any child who's ever wanted to grow faster or slower will know. In fact if it weren't for the accumulated knowledge of humanity before me I wouldn't even know sperm or eggs or any of the cells that constitute me existed, a situation that clearly isn't true with my hands or the computer in front of me me.

yes, but you can save a lot of tedious operations which you are blissfully unaware of. That way you have more time to concentrate on enjoying yourself and making friends with people on forums. I wouldn't say a cell or plant has much of a social life.
However we can form relationships with one another. Friendships are one of the most enjoyable things that can be between two people.

Inside your body three hundred million cells die every minute. And yet, you don't know any of them by name. I would say you're not aware that they died. Your body automatically disposes of them in an appropriate manner.

 


If cells are intelligent then there may indeed be intelligence and awareness involved in fertilization and embryonic and fetal development, but it isn't the intelligence or awareness of the humans involved.

But think about it. The muscles of your arms are made up of individual cells and they get communication from the brain to do what you mentally tell it you wanted to do. For example you can close your eyes and you have a GPS system that you can call on to raise your hand in touch any part of your body. Try it out and see. You don't need vision to do that. You are conscious and so I can ask you to do something. Your muscle cells must be conscious for you to tell them to do something.

 

And while there are many illnesses, injuries or disorders that we'll readily say affect someone's intelligence, awareness, or personality, we don't think of infertility as one of those.

But I think we do. Many people are concerned about being infertile and so we would have to think about it to know that we were infertile. We see effect we want and if it doesn't happen, we say why can't I causes this effect effect?

 

six) I can see some overlap between this one and say a human being. We might say someone is sick and in that sense they could be broken. However, when we refer to sick we usually mean in reference to something biological.


So I'd say using reproduction as a characteristic to tell whether something is intelligent or not is pretty unusual, and means I can't just assume we're both talking about the same thing when we talk about "intelligence". Did you mean to make reproduction part of intelligence when you talked about how computers cannot reproduce (apparently in the context of explaining why they're not intelligent) ?
[/quote]
I don't think it's that unusual.
Things that are nonliving cannot reproduce through common descent and pass on genetic code. However, genetic code is not everything. The human personality is not genetically encoded in ourselves. There is simply not enough genetic code to code for human personality.

 

6 - Similarly you frequently talk about machines breaking down, malfunctioning or being able to be turned off as a reason to say they aren't intelligent, but humans break down, malfunction and die too. It's quite bizarre that you'd use the metaphor of "cardiac arrest" for what happens to a computer when we cut off its energy source (electricity) since it just makes it all the more obvious that humans go into cardiac arrest too - and do so pretty reliably when deprived of things their metabolism requires, i.e. oxygen, water or food.
Not only that, humans can malfunction or break down in ways that would conventionally be seen as relating to human intelligence. A brain malfunction can damage or modify people's ability to communicate, to make decisions, to perceive the world or themselves, to manipulate various abstract concepts, to predict the future, to remember or learn things... Brains can even momentarily (sometimes permanently) "crash" with their processes suddenly going haywire, when we have seizures, and that can affect or stop our awareness (let alone our intelligence).
There are even stronger parallels between the ways cells can malfunction and the way computer programs can. Cells behave the way they do mostly because of the genetic code they contain, and geneticists routinely find that by removing, adding or changing small bits of that code they can modify the cell's behavior, up to and including making it nonfunctional. You talk about a computer doing an infinite loop because it blindly follows its code and doesn't realize that the code is wrong, but a cell whose code for a vital protein was modified to make that protein nonfunctional will blindly make that nonfunctional protein, even if it dies as a result. (cells do have the ability to compensate for or correct some errors, but as you pointed out some self-correcting and self-monitoring mechanisms can be coded into computer software too).
There again I'm not sure if you have a surprising (to me) understanding of what "intelligence" is, or if I misunderstood what you meant when you talked about all those ways machines or computers malfunction.

I see what you mean. But there are plenty of other areas where your analogy breaks down.

 

7 - This one I was VERY confused by at first, but I think I might have figured it out... Basically it looks a lot like you're invoking "it's intelligently designed" as an argument for why something isn't intelligent, but surely you believe that cells, humans, everything in fact, is intelligently designed by God. However this might be what all your statements about transferring intelligence were about - you believe that intelligence is like a transferable fluid, that God can transfer to creations but humans can't? So this would mean your argument for why machines aren't intelligent isn't based on any characteristic of the machines themselves, but on a theological argument of how intelligence works ? So a "Hello World" program could be intelligent or aware if God wrote it (and wanted it to be intelligent or aware) ? EDIT - It also just occurred to me, doesn't that make the whole thing about cells interpreting code and knowing what kind of cell they are irrelevant ? That if God infused them with intelligence or awareness then they're intelligent or aware regardless of their other abilities, and God could also choose to design cells to have those abilities without infusing intelligence or awareness into them ?

I would say you pretty much figure that out yes. However I am hypothesizing that the basic unit of intelligence is the thought. We have not demonstrated any physics for thought. For example, how long is a thought, how tall is a thought, what color is a thought, how much does it way? No one is ever seen a thought and so they are invisible--nonphysical if you will.

 

8 - This is a point that does match my (and, I think, most people's) idea of "intelligence", I just want a clarification. When you talk about a few narrow responses not being a sign of intelligence and a large repertoire of responses being a sign of intelligence, do you see this as a difference in kind of a difference in degree ? Or maybe something that is theoretically a difference in degree, but because there are no examples of things in the intermediate rungs it's pretty much like a different in kind ?

the world's fastest computer is over in China. It does a whopping 33 petaflops. We do about 100. It uses something like $5 million worth of electricity a year is operated. We get by on probably somewhere around $36 for the human body.

The human software hardware and software system is capable of diverse function. We can compose a song, sing it trillion instrument go swimming, Ron want job driving car paint a picture and on and on but the washing machine I use my clothes and has a very narrow range of function. It's not going to go out for dinner tonight. Was he going to respond to you.
But keep in mind when I talk about a repertoire of responses I'm talking about mechanical responses not necessarily those derived by somebody or something that is intelligent. Mechanistic responses are programmed into the function the same a washing machine. First it fills up with water, then starts agitating, then it stops, then it drains the water ou, t than it spin, the it does a order again they agitate the drains water down again and then it spends and then it stops. That's all it does on the other hand I could take some clothes into the sink and wash them by hand drain the water out of the bowl, ring the out by hand and then fill up the bowl with water again rense them, ring them out again and hang them up to dry. I can be a machine to wash clothes. Once I'm through doing the clothes I may play that the piano. A machine can't be that diverse.

Well, if I missed anything let me know.

 



#6 aelyn

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 07:38 AM

There are many points I'd like to reply to but I'll have to do so later. In the meantime I'd just like to clarify something about consciousness. Would you say there is a distinction between a person's consciousness, and the consciousness of parts of that person's body said person isn't aware of ?

 

 

To be more detailed, if you were knocked unconscious, most of the cells in your body would continue metabolizing, reproducing, communicating, moving, etc - so if they're doing those things through conscious control, they're still conscious while you are unconscious. Conversely, presumably when a cell dies it becomes no longer conscious, and as you pointed out tons of our cells are dying all the time even while we remain conscious.

 

Does this not imply to you a distinction between the consciousness of a human person, and the consciousness of a single cell within that person's body ?

 

Even "the consciousness of a human person" isn't a simple thing, as you yourself point out, and going through some actions "on autopilot" is the least of it. Still, while it might not be a simple thing to define or characterize, it seems to me there is a thing there. For example look at blindsighted people who cannot consciously see, but who can still respond to visual information. That shows that "seeing" isn't a simple, single process but that it's a collection of many things happening in different parts of the brain for different purposes. But we can still draw a clear distinction in the subjective experience of the blindsighted person and of a sighted person, in which the first person isn't conscious of seeing anything while the second one is. By a similar token we can draw a clear distinction between aspects of our body we can consciously perceive and control (whether or not they can also be controlled unconsciously), like breathing or typing, and aspects that we cannot consciously control at all, and often don't even consciously perceive, like working our pancreas or running a single leucocyte (we don't even have dedicated verbs for doing those things !), or opening and closing the gates in one of our cells' membranes.

 

 

Would you agree that a person's consciousness is its own thing, closely related to (if not defined by) that person's subjective experience, direct perception of the world and of themselves, their inner monologue and imagery ? If not, how would you characterize consciousness ? And would you say that that thing we have that's closely related to our subjective experience and control over of the world is still its own thing, you just wouldn't call it "consciousness", or do you think it's not an entity worth defining naming to begin with ?

 

 

Would you agree that two distinct people have distinct consciousnesses ? Insofar as they have decorrelated subjective experiences, perceptions of the world and themselves, inner thoughts, do not have direct voluntary control over the same parts of the world (i.e. they have direct control over some parts of their own bodies, but no part of the other person's body), etc ? (with the possible exception and obligatory fuzzy boundary instance of Krista and Tatiana Hogan)... If not, why not ?

 

 

By the same standards, if we assume cells are conscious, would you say two distinct cells have distinct consciousnesses ? Two distinct cells in the same body ? A cell and a different organ in the same body ? (I don't know if you think organs have their own consciousness or not). A cell and the human mind in the same body ?



#7 Mike Summers

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 01:03 AM

aelyn

 

 

There are many points I'd like to reply to but I'll have to do so later. In the meantime I'd just like to clarify something about consciousness. Would you say there is a distinction between a person's consciousness, and the consciousness of parts of that person's body said person isn't aware of ?

Yes. My point was that each cell is conscious as it has the function of consciousness--awareness of itself and others and that it is capable of unilateral function along with cooperation like a choir performing in unison.

At any time we can become aware of a particular area of our body as cells can communicate with other cells and us via our 26 mile-long nervous system. Communication travels both ways on the the nervous system--to and from the cells.

 


To be more detailed, if you were knocked unconscious, most of the cells in your body would continue metabolizing, reproducing, communicating, moving, etc - so if they're doing those things through conscious control, they're still conscious while you are unconscious. Conversely, presumably when a cell dies it becomes no longer conscious, and as you pointed out tons of our cells are dying all the time even while we remain conscious.


Yes, it would appear that way. But I think the key word here is dead as opposed to being alive. I believe that life is the software of our brain and so far evolutionary science has not been able to explain how that software gets written. In fact I have a post that is languishing because they can't think of a way it could write itself through mutations. And it is self-evident that the software that runs in our brain is very very sophisticated. Anyone that has had anything to do with IT knows that mistakes don't cut it when you're writing software to run as a computer program.

Since you claim evolution, I would appreciate it if you would suggest a mechanism to update our software every time a new and novel feature allegedly evolved.
 

 


Does this not imply to you a distinction between the consciousness of a human person, and the consciousness of a single cell within that person's body ?

I don't think it's any different than you and I claiming separate consciousness and unilateral function. Obviously you believe in evolution and I down. We must be capable of doing that?

Yes, the cells cooperate among themselves as friends. This is similar to what we can do as human beings although I think sometimes we choose to be adversaries. All you have to do is look out your window and see what is going on.

 

Even "the consciousness of a human person" isn't a simple thing, as you yourself point out, and going through some actions "on autopilot" is the least of it. Still, while it might not be a simple thing to define or characterize, it seems to me there is a thing there. For example look at blindsighted people who cannot consciously see, but who can still respond to visual information. That shows that "seeing" isn't a simple, single process but that it's a collection of many things happening in different parts of the brain for different purposes. But we can still draw a clear distinction in the subjective experience of the blindsighted person and of a sighted person, in which the first person isn't conscious of seeing anything while the second one is. By a similar token we can draw a clear distinction between aspects of our body we can consciously perceive and control (whether or not they can also be controlled unconsciously), like breathing or typing, and aspects that we cannot consciously control at all, and often don't even consciously perceive, like working our pancreas or running a single leucocyte (we don't even have dedicated verbs for doing those things !), or opening and closing the gates in one of our cells' membranes.
 

Based on my current knowledge the visual cortex duplicates its computations and sends a copy to one side of the brain where it's turned into vision and on the other side it is used to coordinate the motor neurons sending communication to our muscles to achieve our goal of orienting ourselves within a geographic plane that contains obstacles without damaging the body. This is a lot of contingency like it was designed to do just what it does out-of-the-box so to speak.

Yes, there is a great deal of interplay between the cells even when we as the individual that inhabits the body are unaware or unconscious of it. The cells serve a support function for our existence.

The hundred trillion or so cells that make up our body cooperate to achieve the goal of allowing us to do what we want to do. It's very much active directive--just as an army is capable of unilateral function or working together as a cohesive unit.

The complexity of the system--it's capability seems planned contingency (a mental function) for its very function.

 


Would you agree that a person's consciousness is its own thing, closely related to (if not defined by) that person's subjective experience, direct perception of the world and of themselves, their inner monologue and imagery

I wouldn't call it a monologue, However, sometimes I would call it at least a dialogue because we can have an argument within ourselves representing two opposing points of views. Moreover, since we can think about thinking we can do multilevel conversations within ourselves. While it may seem strange as we don't think about it much there can be more than one argument going on in our mind at the same time.

 


If not, how would you characterize consciousness ? And would you say that that thing we have that's closely related to our subjective experience and control over of the world is still its own thing, you just wouldn't call it "consciousness", or do you think it's not an entity worth defining naming to begin with ?

I am inclined to think that consciousness is all around.

 

I would call it a conscious entity capable of cooperation and unilateral function. Generally, we don't think matter can do anything other than be matter. That's why we make a differentiation between the living and the nonliving. Matter is not capable of independent function.

 

Would you agree that two distinct people have distinct consciousnesses ? Insofar as they have decorrelated subjective experiences, perceptions of the world and themselves, inner thoughts, do not have direct voluntary control over the same parts of the world (i.e. they have direct control over some parts of their own bodies, but no part of the other person's body), etc ? (with the possible exception and obligatory fuzzy boundary instance of Krista and Tatiana Hogan)... If not, why not ?

if I decide to get on my wheelchair my whole body goes with me. My individual selves don't seem to disagree but appear to go along for the ride. Perhaps you could say that there is a hierarchy and usually if I say I want the body to do something such as go to another room all my cells go without protest.

 


By the same standards, if we assume cells are conscious, would you say two distinct cells have distinct consciousnesses ? Two distinct cells in the same body ? A cell and a different organ in the same body ? (I don't know if you think organs have their own consciousness or not). A cell and the human mind in the same body?

I think we can define life as the same thing as being conscious. Because if I said something to a dead cell, would it do anything? So that when I order my muscles in my arms do things they generally, even though they may up of numerous cells, cooperate and achieve the goal of causing the motion I request.



#8 aelyn

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 03:41 AM

Thank you for your replies, I wish you had given more direct answers to my questions because I'm still not sure about your views of consciousness, but I think it's enough to move forward for now.
 

I don't think I would consider you vague and undefined. The human mind body configuration is the most complicated mechanism in the known universe. As the end-user of the device, you control`the most sophisticated of systems. Our mind multitasks in the millions of functions. We have 100 trillion cells in a body that has to be fed, oxygenated, and have their garbage removed (the byproducts of metabolism) There are up to 7500 gates on each cell that can open and shut 3500 times per second. We have 78 organs. 3 million cells die every minute and have to be disposed of less they cause necrosis.

We have a communication system which consists of transmitter/ receiver which can formulate a message associated to code and then use an apparatus our, diaphragm and lungs to push air past the strings of our vocal cords which then reverberate and cause audible sound pressure deviation which is further modified by our hard and soft pallets and our lips and teeth.

Moreover when we say a word there is a feedback loop between our mouth and our ears. We actually listen to ourselves talk en vivo. If the sound coming out of our mouth is not up to standard as compared to its pattern stored in memory, Our software analyzes the sound coming in from the ears and tells the muscles of our vocal system such as jaw muscles where they need to be to correct the the sound coming out of our mouth while we are speaking. Our software takes the sound comparing it to a recorded version in our mind's memory and will correct whatever the part of the vocal mechanism is needed to ensure a standard sound coming out of our mouth. The vocal system is only one of many systems but it is complicated and sophisticated. It would be difficult to imagine a random process even coupled with natural selection being able to assemble such a complicated system.

I have tried and I hope you may give me some insight to ask evolutionists how the software that controls the many different functions in the human body could write itself. No one has ventured to give any mechanism that could create the very sophisticated software that runs and makes our mind.



Is this relevant to the question of whether the cell is intelligent or conscious ? We both agree humans are conscious and intelligent, and moreover I think we both believe that humans and cells came to be via the same overall process (that process being biological evolution for me, creation by God for you). So if evolution can yield intelligence and did so in humans, we're still left with the question of whether it also did so in cells. And if evolution cannot yield intelligence in humans and God gave humans intelligence, then evolution is completely irrelevant to the question of whether cells are intelligent, and we're also left with the question of whether God also imbued cells with intelligence or not. So it doesn't seem to me that the question "is the cell intelligent" is at all informed by any answer there might be to the question "[how] can intelligence evolve".
 

I think we agree. Notice, for example there is the same code in dead plant or animal as in a living plant or animal. I like the term life animates matter.


If genetic code were the only defining aspect of life that might be relevant, but since it isn't, well, it isn't. I would ask how vitalism is relevant to intelligence but I've seen elsewhere that you believe life is intelligence. So I guess what I would ask is, do you see any distinction at all between "life" and "intelligence", or do you see those two words as exact synonyms ? And if you do see a distinction, would you mind describing that distinction in as much detail as you can ?

In any case, if we define life as intelligence then the question "is the cell intelligent" trivially answers itself; clearly if we want to go in that direction the question would move to "is it valid to define life as intelligence", at which point we'd need to discuss that question, not just assume it. But first I'd want to understand what defining life as intelligence even means, hence my questions.
 

I think I follow your reasoning here. So where would you like to go with the definition because going down the genre of life say from a human to a dog to a fish we do observe a certain amount of commonality in the use of "intelligence". These are all things that have five senses--avenues through which code or information is input to a central controlling function like a brain.


The "five senses" business is pretty obsolete actually, it hangs on in the public mind and basic science education for some reason, probably because it's intuitive, but modern biologists count more senses than that, and probably define "senses" in a more complex way.
 

In the cell it used to believed that the nucleus was the brain of the cell.


Interesting, do you have a cite on what time period that was ?
 

However, I've heard some dispute that.


You would have, seeing as this isn't at all how modern biologists view the relationship between the nucleus and the cell.
 

They have enucleated a cell and it has lived up to two months long without a nucleus.


I can do them one better: red blood cells don't have a nucleus and live three to four months apparently.
 

The nucleus was only called upon when repairs were needed to some of the machinery of the cell. Since it's the gates that open and shut to allow food, oxygen and expel the byproducts of metabolism or waste some folks think this cell membrane is the brain. Regardless there is a hierarchy of control inside the cell so that the machinery does what it is told to do when it is told to do it but this is not just action and reaction to chemical processes. There is a very definite deterministic "intelligent" hierarchy and function.


This is certainly not the consensus in modern biology. I am interested in having more details about this hierarchy of control; my understanding of the cell is that it involves many complex processes and feedbacks that result in its overall behavior, without much of a hierarchy since the processes influence and feed back on each other, and in fact most of the chemical processes involved are cycles. Can you describe this hierarchy of control, a bit more precisely than "people used to think the nucleus was the brain, but now some other people think the membrane is the brain because it plays an important role in cell metabolism ? Like, if the cell membrane is the "brain", thus I assume at the top, or alternatively even if we don't know what's at the top, are there any processes we know are at the bottom ? Or above or below each other ? How is this determined ?

 

When they met the genes genome they were expecting 100,000 genes or one gene for a protein. The last time I checked the human gene genome was down from a hundred thousand to somewhere around 19,000. I know it's fluctuates somewhat as they discover more about how it works.

I remember one scientist said after they found out how you genes they were that we know less now than we did before.They were confused. They wondered how 19,000 genes could code for 100,000 proteins. I postulate that something in the cell must "know" how to do that.


Again, I'm curious where you got the 100,000 proteins number from - I found all kinds of numbers, from 33,000 (identified) proteins through 200,000 to 2 million proteins (theoretically codable by the genome). It seems the actual size of the proteome isn't known. That last estimate one on its own illustrates pretty well that whatever scientists though before the human genome project, nowadays they definitely know of ways a gene can code for several proteins, enough to make calculations based on those processes. (this is the bit I wanted more time on, I was going to look up more specific cites but I decided to move forward; if you want more specific info I'll be glad to look into it further)

When you postulate that something in the cell must "know" how to code several proteins from a single gene, do you mean to say that it wouldn't be necessary for anything in the cell to "know" how to code a single protein from a single gene ?
 

I am told that the way they train an elephant is to put a very big heavy chain on him as stake it well into the ground. When the elephant is older all they have to do is for put a rope on him and when he feels the restraint he is not aware that the rope is not as strong as the chain and he could probably probably easily breakaway. I would say he doesn't have the level of consciousness and awareness that we have.


So all living things don't have the same level of consciousness and awareness. Could you clarify which level of consciousness and awareness you think cells have ? Also, is there a sharp divide between conscious and non-conscious, or do the lowest levels of consciousness blend into non-consciousness ?
 

How would you and I be here without our parents reproducing? Maybe I can clear it up by saying I'm defining life as intelligence--consider the software that runs the cell is is very sophisticated. We go up-and-down from simple life to more complex.


There are billions of events that you and I wouldn't be here without, that doesn't mean those events are defining aspects of intelligence. On defining life as intelligence, see my other reply on that.
 

I think your oversimplifying the process. When the sperm cell enters the vagina it "knows" what direction to go. Once a sperm penetrates the egg a force field goes up and will not allow any more sperm to enter. The cell has to "know" what to do. Although you are an intelligent guy, neither you nor I have enough smarts to design a cell to do any of the things that it ends up doing. A Hundred trillion cells later here you and I are.


That's where I get to the questions I asked afterwards, were you seemed to agree that different conscious entities can have distinct consciousnesses but I'm still confused on what this means to you. Even if a sperm cell *knows* where to go, and both sperm and ova are completely aware of the process of fertilization and largely, voluntarily controlling it, would you still agree that the human persons involved are not aware of those things, or have voluntary control over them ? That, of all the bodily processes we are and are not aware of or in control of, fertilization and cellular development are among the processes we do not have conscious awareness of or voluntary control over ?
 

But think about it. The muscles of your arms are made up of individual cells and they get communication from the brain to do what you mentally tell it you wanted to do. For example you can close your eyes and you have a GPS system that you can call on to raise your hand in touch any part of your body. Try it out and see. You don't need vision to do that.


Indeed, you need proprioception for that.
 

You are conscious and so I can ask you to do something. Your muscle cells must be conscious for you to tell them to do something.

 
Another confusing criterion for consciousness - must something be conscious for me to tell them to do something ? But I can tell Siri to do something, and you don't think that means Siri must be conscious.
 

But I think we do. Many people are concerned about being infertile and so we would have to think about it to know that we were infertile. We see effect we want and if it doesn't happen, we say why can't I causes this effect effect?


Many people are concerned about being rich or poor as well, is wealth a defining aspect of consciousness or intelligence ?

Contrast infertility with a condition that actually does affect our intelligence or consciousness, like epilepsy or Down's Syndrome. Being diagnosed with those conditions will cause emotional and intellectual reactions, like any grave diagnosis or event would, but beyond those reactions there are definite effects on one's consciousness, awareness or intellect that existed even before the diagnosis, and would have existed regardless of whether one were diagnosed or not. In the case of infertility, the effects on one's emotions and consciousness are a reaction to the diagnosis (or another way of realizing one is unable of having children), and didn't exist before the person knew they were infertile. Somebody can be infertile, not know they are infertile, and nobody would be able to tell from consciousness-related or intellect-related symptoms that they are infertile.
 

I don't think it's that unusual.


I'd be interested in seeing other sources that consider reproduction a defining characteristic of intelligence or consciousness. Even more so if they're sources from specialists in the field. Note that your idea of defining life as intelligence is also very unusual. 
 

I would say you pretty much figure that out yes. However I am hypothesizing that the basic unit of intelligence is the thought. We have not demonstrated any physics for thought. For example, how long is a thought, how tall is a thought, what color is a thought, how much does it way? No one is ever seen a thought and so they are invisible--nonphysical if you will.


And how about "how long does a thought last", "in what areas of the brain does a thought occur", "which neurons and cell interactions does a thought involve" ? Conversely, what color is a ball's trajectory, how tall is a chemical reaction, how long is a photon ? Different physical things have different characteristics, and not all of them apply to all physical things. "These characteristics make no sense when applied to that thing" isn't on its own evidence that a thing is nonphysical.
 
 

the world's fastest computer is over in China. It does a whopping 33 petaflops. We do about 100. It uses something like $5 million worth of electricity a year is operated. We get by on probably somewhere around $36 for the human body.

The human software hardware and software system is capable of diverse function. We can compose a song, sing it trillion instrument go swimming, Ron want job driving car paint a picture and on and on but the washing machine I use my clothes and has a very narrow range of function. It's not going to go out for dinner tonight. Was he going to respond to you.
But keep in mind when I talk about a repertoire of responses I'm talking about mechanical responses not necessarily those derived by somebody or something that is intelligent. Mechanistic responses are programmed into the function the same a washing machine. First it fills up with water, then starts agitating, then it stops, then it drains the water ou, t than it spin, the it does a order again they agitate the drains water down again and then it spends and then it stops. That's all it does on the other hand I could take some clothes into the sink and wash them by hand drain the water out of the bowl, ring the out by hand and then fill up the bowl with water again rense them, ring them out again and hang them up to dry. I can be a machine to wash clothes. Once I'm through doing the clothes I may play that the piano. A machine can't be that diverse.


You just restated the same idea, that a narrow range of responses isn't intelligent but a wide variety of them is, but you haven't answered the question I asked: do you see this as a difference in degree, or a difference in kind ?

#9 Mike Summers

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 12:32 PM

aelyn
 

Is this relevant to the question of whether the cell is intelligent or conscious ? We both agree humans are conscious and intelligent, and moreover I think we both believe that humans and cells came to be via the same overall process (that process being biological evolution for me, creation by God for you). So if evolution can yield intelligence and did so in humans, we're still left with the question of whether it also did so in cells.


But, that's just it. I don't think evolution can do what you say. How am I to conclude that evolution is not just another name for life? I don't think evolution exists and it certainly doesn't exist without life.


I believe you exist and you are intelligent. You are writing a story that claims there is a phenomenon known as evolution. I asked you to give me a mechanism for evolution to write our software. You seem to sidestep that issue. I think it's the elephant in the room. So I ask you again what is the mechanism for writing our software?

I have some background in writing B.A.S.I.C. (Beginners all-purpose symbolic instructional code). It's considered a compiler as it will translate humanlike words into machine language of zeros and ones. Electrically that's zero voltage versus 5 V typically--the on-off state.

And if evolution cannot yield intelligence in humans and God gave humans intelligence, then evolution is completely irrelevant to the question of whether cells are intelligent, and we're also left with the question of whether God also imbued cells with intelligence or not.

But bottom line intelligence is the elephant in the room. We are both intelligent beings. We begin any conversation with that assumption. And I certainly don't want to insult your intelligence.

So it doesn't seem to me that the question "is the cell intelligent" is at all informed by any answer there might be to the question "[how] can intelligence evolve".

But that is what I stated--that the cell is indeed conscious. If cells contain information as scientist seem to conclude then the cell is intelligent. All life is intelligent.

Mike: I think we agree. Notice, for example there is the same code in dead plant or animal as in a living plant or animal. I like the term life animates matter.

If genetic code were the only defining aspect of life that might be relevant,

Wait a minute! We are not defining life. We are observing it. That's the way it supposed to be with evolution also. Trouble is I have never observed evolution but I have observed life. I have previously stated in another post that I think life does all the work and evolution is an imaginary interloper.



#10 Mike Summers

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 12:38 PM

cpnrintinued ftom above

 

But since it isn't, well, it isn't. I would ask how vitalism is relevant to intelligence but I've seen elsewhere that you believe life is intelligence. So I guess what I would ask is, do you see any distinction at all between "life" and "intelligence", or do you see those two words as exact synonyms ? And if you do see a distinction, would you mind describing that distinction in as much detail as you can ?

You said it isn't. I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion.
I don't think you can separate intelligence life and information along with reasoning. At least they are symbiotic.

In any case, if we define life as intelligence then the question "is the cell intelligent" trivially answers itself; clearly if we want to go in that direction the question would move to "is it valid to define life as intelligence", at which point we'd need to discuss that question, not just assume it.

For the record, I'm not defining life I am life observing life.

I think we all start with assuming that we are alive.

We begin with us existing and being intelligent and alive. We have the ability to reason. I have already defined that but I will restate it again to see if you agree? Given a cause what it's most likely effect will be an given an effect what it's most likely cause was?

But first I'd want to understand what defining life as intelligence even means, hence my questions.

I can'f explain what your brain has to do. Observe yourself. I concede you are alive as much as I.

I think I follow your reasoning here. So where would you like to go with the definition because going down the genre of life say from a human to a dog to a fish we do observe a certain amount of commonality in the use of "intelligence".

I don't feel the need to go anywhere. I think we are both alive and that's that. We don't exist by definition we define things not things us.

These are all things that have five senses--avenues through which code or information is input to a central controlling function like a brain.

The "five senses" business is pretty obsolete actually, it hangs on in the public mind and basic science education for some reason, probably because it's intuitive, but modern biologists count more senses than that, and probably define "senses" in a more complex way.

All I can say is I invite you to apprise me of said information. We believe there is an external environment to our mind. Therefore, code has to have a way into our mind. If there is no way in then there is no way out.

Helen Keller fell victim to meningitis when she was 18 months old. While she did not lose all of her senses, she was not able to use the normal senses most of us have such as sight and hearing. A teacher came along and developed a touch code system. With that she was able to use a special sign language to communicate without. Helen later learned braille and graduated with honors from a public college.

Mike: In the cell it used to believed that the nucleus was the brain of the cell.

Interesting, do you have a cite on what time period that was ?



However, I've heard some dispute that.

You would have, seeing as this isn't at all how modern biologists view the relationship between the nucleus and the cell.

Yes, I realize that. It did seem unconventional.


Mike; They have enucleated a cell and it has lived up to two months long without a nucleus.

I can do them one better: red blood cells don't have a nucleus and live three to four months apparently.

yes you are right. The cells that make up the cornea and the lens of the eye don't have nuclei either.

The nucleus was only called upon when repairs were needed to some of the machinery of the cell. Since it's the gates that open and shut to allow food, oxygen and expel the byproducts of metabolism or waste some folks think this cell membrane is the brain. Regardless there is a hierarchy of control inside the cell so that the machinery does what it is told to do when it is told to do it but this is not just action and reaction to chemical processes. There is a very definite deterministic "intelligent" hierarchy and function.

This is certainly not the consensus in modern biology. I am interested in having more details about this hierarchy of control; my understanding of the cell is that it involves many complex processes and feedbacks that result in its overall behavior, without much of a hierarchy since the processes influence and feed back on each other, and in fact most of the chemical processes involved are cycles.

From my reading I have determined that the consensus is that code allegedly stores information. That code itself is a variable and the information associated to it is mental and not visible. The medium of code represents information code as has no valid chemical function and could be anything just as chalk on a board does not store information but is associated to information by a mental process. It's the same as us learning to write English when we were children.



Have you ever dissected code and seen the information allegedly stored in it? Moreover can you read genetic code like you can English?

 

Can you describe this hierarchy of control, a bit more precisely than "people used to think the nucleus was the brain, but now some other people think the membrane is the brain because it plays an important role in cell metabolism ? Like, if the cell membrane is the "brain", thus I assume at the top, or alternatively even if we don't know what's at the top, are there any processes we know are at the bottom ? Or above or below each other ? How is this determined ?

I would say it's much like you being in control of your body. Whoever you seem to think you are such as commonly referred to as the observer, you control what your body does the similarly to the cell. The goal of the cell is to cooperate with other cells to produce the whole--you.

Mike: When they mapped the gene genome they were expecting 100,000 genes or one gene for every protein. The last time I checked the human gene genome was down from a hundred thousand to somewhere around 19,000. I know it's fluctuates somewhat as they discover more about how it works.

I remember one scientist said after they found out how you genes they were that we know less now than we did before.They were confused. They wondered how 19,000 genes could code for 100,000 proteins. I postulate that something in the cell must "know" how to do that.

Again, I'm curious where you got the 100,000 proteins number from - I found all kinds of numbers, from 33,000 (identified) proteins through 200,000 to 2 million proteins (theoretically codable by the genome). It seems the actual size of the proteome isn't known. That last estimate one on its own illustrates pretty well that whatever scientists though before the human genome project, nowadays they definitely know of ways a gene can code for several proteins, enough to make calculations based on those processes. (this is the bit I wanted more time on, I was going to look up more specific cites but I decided to move forward; if you want more specific info I'll be glad to look into it further)

it was a Google sources I recall.

When you postulate that something in the cell must "know" how to code several proteins from a single gene, do you mean to say that it wouldn't be necessary for anything in the cell to "know" how to code a single protein from a single gene ?

Of course.

Mike: I am told that the way they train an elephant is to put a very big heavy chain on him in stake it well into the ground. When the elephant is older all they have to do is put a rope on him and when he feels the restraint he is not aware that the rope is not as strong as the chain and he could probably probably easily breakaway. I would say he doesn't have the level of consciousness and awareness that we have.

So all living things don't have the same level of consciousness and awareness. Could you clarify which level of consciousness and awareness you think cells have ?

I think that something you can do.

Also, is there a sharp divide between conscious and non-conscious, or do the lowest levels of consciousness blend into non-consciousness ?

I think that's pretty cut and dried. If it's dead it's not conscious. That would include stuff like rocks, minerals chemicals etc. These things are not responsive to our or any known communication process.
 

Mike: How would you and I be here without our parents reproducing? Maybe I can clear it up by saying I'm defining life as intelligence--consider the software that runs the cell is is very sophisticated. We go up-and-down from simple life to more complex.

There are billions of events that you and I wouldn't be here without, that doesn't mean those events are defining aspects of intelligence. On defining life as intelligence, see my other reply on that.

I would say they are support things.

Mike: I think you are oversimplifying the process. When the sperm cell enters the vagina it "knows" what direction to go. Once a sperm penetrates the egg a force field goes up and will not allow any more sperm to enter. The cell has to "know" what to do. Although you are an intelligent guy, neither you nor I have enough smarts to design a cell to do any of the things that it ends up doing. A Hundred trillion cells later here you and I are.

That's where I get to the questions I asked afterwards, were you seemed to agree that different conscious entities can have distinct consciousnesses but I'm still confused on what this means to you. Even if a sperm cell *knows* where to go, and both sperm and ova are completely aware of the process of fertilization and largely, voluntarily controlling it, would you still agree that the human persons involved are not aware of those things, or have voluntary control over them ? That, of all the bodily processes we are and are not aware of or in control of, fertilization and cellular development are among the processes we do not have conscious awareness of or voluntary control over ?

I think your overthinking the issue. That would be naïve. That would be like you claiming the you did not know s@x could result in babies. Things can exist in a preconscious state which is true most of the time. Just about all the information we have stored in our mind is not conscious at any given moment. A stimulus such as a question initiates the process of retrieving information and bringing it into the conscious state.

Mike: But think about it. The muscles of your arms are made up of individual cells and they get communication from the brain to do what you mentally tell it you wanted to do. For example you can close your eyes and you have a GPS system that you can call on to raise your hand in touch any part of your body. Try it out and see. You don't need vision to do that.

Indeed, you need proprioception for that.


Mike: You are conscious and so I can ask you to do something. Your muscle cells must be conscious for you to tell them to do something.

Another confusing criterion for consciousness - must something be conscious for me to tell them to do something ? But I can tell Siri to do something, and you don't think that means Siri must be conscious.

I I don't think it necessarily has to be conscious as I am dictating sounds into a microphone which my computer, thanks to a voice recognition program, turns into typing on your screen. But then it had be intelligently designed to do what it does.


Mike: But I think we do. Many people are concerned about being infertile and so we would have to think about it to know that we were infertile. We see effect we want and if it doesn't happen, we say why can't I causes this effect effect?

Many people are concerned about being rich or poor as well, is wealth a defining aspect of consciousness or intelligence ?

Wealth, money etc. are concepts that human intelligent beings create. They are thoughts the basic unit of information. We do find them, they don't define us.

Contrast infertility with a condition that actually does affect our intelligence or consciousness, like epilepsy or Down's Syndrome. Being diagnosed with those conditions will cause emotional and intellectual reactions, like any grave diagnosis or event would, but beyond those reactions there are definite effects on one's consciousness, awareness or intellect that existed even before the diagnosis, and would have existed regardless of whether one were diagnosed or not. In the case of infertility, the effects on one's emotions and consciousness are a reaction to the diagnosis (or another way of realizing one is unable of having children), and didn't exist before the person knew they were infertile. Somebody can be infertile, not know they are infertile, and nobody would be able to tell from consciousness-related or intellect-related symptoms that they are infertile.

As a therapist I would disagree with your conclusion that being diagnosed with epilepsy, etc. need necessarily cause emotional disturbance. My premise it as therapist is based on cognition serving as a mediating function between stimulus and effect. My entire role as a therapist is to contradict what you stated above. I don't have legs and yet I am not disturbed by not having legs. So your statements do not make sense. There are no emotion causing components to epilepsy and events and circumstances etc. as another example my words do not directly cause you to think anything is your processing of the words that do that.
That is our little secret because very few people realize it.

I don't think it's that unusual.

I'd be interested in seeing other sources that consider reproduction a defining characteristic of intelligence or consciousness. Even more so if they're sources from specialists in the field. Note that your idea of defining life as intelligence is also very unusual.
I think they call this an appeal to authority. What's wrong with your mind? Is just as good as anybody else's from what I can see. I understand what you're communicating to me.



#11 Mike Summers

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 12:41 PM

cpnrintinued ftom above

 

Yep. I admit that I'm very unusual. Guess what you share the same quality. Everybody is unusual. Commonly that's called being an individual. LOL:)
Nevertheless, reproduction takes place every day and we are aware of it. It takes intelligence to be aware of something.


Mike said: I would say you pretty much figured that out yes. However I am hypothesizing that the basic unit of intelligence is the thought. We have not demonstrated any physics for thought. For example, how long is a thought, how tall is a thought, what color is a thought, how much does it way? No one is ever seen a thought and so they are invisible--nonphysical if you will.

And how about "how long does a thought last", "in what areas of the brain does a thought occur", "which neurons and cell interactions does a thought involve" ? Conversely, what color is a ball's trajectory, how tall is a chemical reaction, how long is a photon ? Different physical things have different characteristics, and not all of them apply to all physical things. "These characteristics make no sense when applied to that thing" isn't on its own evidence that a thing is nonphysical.

yes, but as a matter of convenience we define them so that we can differentiate between what we are talking about. If I'm talking about a rock I'm not talking about a thought
or a photon.


Mike said: the world's fastest computer is over in China. It does a whopping 33 petaflops. We do about 100. It uses something like $5 million worth of electricity a year is operated. We get by on probably somewhere around $36 for the human body.

(Edit by MS) The human hardware and software system is capable of diverse function. We can compose a song, sing it, play it on an instrument, go swimming, work at a job, drives a car, paint a picture and on and on. But the washing machine I use my to wash my clothes has a very narrow range of function. It's not going to go out for dinner tonight.

But keep in mind when I talk about a repertoire of responses I'm talking about mechanical responses not necessarily those derived by somebody or something that is intelligent. Mechanistic responses are programmed into function the same as a washing machine. First it fills up with water, then starts agitating, then it stops, then it drains the water ou, t than it spin, the it does a order again they agitate the drains water down again and then it spends and then it stops. That's all it does on the other hand I could take some clothes into the sink and wash them by hand drain the water out of the bowl, ring the out by hand and then fill up the bowl with water again rense them, ring them out again and hang them up to dry. I can be a machine to wash clothes. Once I'm through doing the clothes I may play that the piano. A machine can't be that diverse.

You just restated the same idea, that a narrow range of responses isn't intelligent but a wide variety of them is, but you haven't answered the question I asked: do you see this as a difference in degree, or a difference in kind

I'm sorry. I guess it didn't register what you were asking. I think it's a difference of kind. I don't think a rock can answer or do anything that I would consider as a response to my questions of it. You on the other hand can generate thousands of not billions of answers I therefore consider you intelligent and alive.



#12 aelyn

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:03 AM

But that is what I stated--that the cell is indeed conscious. If cells contain information as scientist seem to conclude then the cell is intelligent. All life is intelligent.


I wish you had replied to that whole paragraph together instead of piece-by-piece because it doesn't seem to me you understood the argument it was making. "The cell is conscious" is more than what you stated, it's what you asked, in your thread title and throughout the OP, and it's now the position you seem to be arguing for. So in this specific discussion it's not a base assumption we're using to make further arguments, it's the question we're working towards an answer for. And when I'm in a discussion focused on figuring out the answer to a specific question, I want the conversation to be about subjects that can help figure out that answer; other subjects are irrelevant to that, and even if they are interesting in their own right all that means is that we're adding new discussions that address completely different questions. And this conversation is already confusing enough that I'd rather avoid doing that here.

So again: how would the answer to the question "how could intelligence evolve" help answer the question "is the cell conscious/intelligent/etc" ?

If the answer is "it wouldn't", then if you really want to discuss the evolution of intelligence I'd suggest you start another thread for that. I can't guarantee I'd reply, I feel it would be a retread of other conversations I've had on this forum before but I can always be tempted by an interesting hook or compulsive procrastination.
 

I don't think you can separate intelligence life and information along with reasoning. At least they are symbiotic.


That doesn't answer any of the questions I was asking.
 

For the record, I'm not defining life I am life observing life.


I was merely paraphrasing your own statement of "I'm defining life as intelligence". What am I to make of it ?
 

I think we all start with assuming that we are alive.


Unlike intelligence, "life" has a fairly standard meaning in biology, according to which we are unambiguously alive. No assuming required. Descartes' whole thing was "I think, therefore I am", not "I think, therefore I am alive".
 

I can'f explain what your brain has to do. Observe yourself. I concede you are alive as much as I.


Okay, let me observe myself. I am alive... I am intelligent... I am sitting in a chair... Therefore I'll define life as sitting in a chair !
That's not how it works. I still have no clue what you mean by "defining life as intelligence". Well, that's not quite true: you seem to see them both as vitalistic-like fluids that imbue the characteristics of "life" and "intelligence" and some of their behaviors on entities that are alive and intelligent. But this doesn't tell me what the relationship between those two fluids is, in what ways they're similar and in what ways, if any, they're different, or how they relate to other more standard understandings of what "life" and "intelligence" are. Let alone more specific details about how those fluids work.
 

I don't feel the need to go anywhere. I think we are both alive and that's that. We don't exist by definition we define things not things us.


I think you just replied to yourself there. Was the formatting on this forum always this buggy ? I can't remember.

On there being more than five senses, the Wikipedia page seems pretty decent :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense
 

From my reading I have determined that the consensus is that code allegedly stores information. That code itself is a variable and the information associated to it is mental and not visible. The medium of code represents information code as has no valid chemical function and could be anything just as chalk on a board does not store information but is associated to information by a mental process. It's the same as us learning to write English when we were children.
Have you ever dissected code and seen the information allegedly stored in it? Moreover can you read genetic code like you can English?


As I understand it, the key to the genetic code is the transfer RNAs - those molecules' structure makes them bind to specific nucleotide sequences on one side, and specific amino acids on the other. They participate in the formation of proteins, by binding to the messenger RNA's nucleotide sequence wherever the specific codon they bind to occurs, and thus bringing together the corresponding amino acids that bind in the corresponding sequence and form a polypeptide.

Of course while the codon->amino acid relationship is what's referred to as the "genetic code", in terms of what kinds of things DNA and RNA do it's only the beginning of the story; there are also actions "coded" by regulatory DNA that would be implemented through different molecular mechanisms, I don't know those (I'm guessing in the field of cell biology some but not all of those are known, but I haven't looked it up).

The code "has no valid chemical function" is true insofar as the codon->amino acid relationship is arbitrary, if you had different transfer RNA molecules that matched to different codons and amino acids you'd get a different code, but that doesn't mean the code and its effects cannot be completely described in terms of chemistry.

 

I would say it's much like you being in control of your body. Whoever you seem to think you are such as commonly referred to as the observer, you control what your body does the similarly to the cell. The goal of the cell is to cooperate with other cells to produce the whole--you.


Again, this isn't an answer to any of the questions I actually asked. I didn't ask for a vague analogy describing what "hiearchy of control" might look like - I'd like to know, as specifically as possible, what the hierarchy of control is in the cell. You said "There is a very definite deterministic "intelligent" hierarchy and function" in the cell. If it's very definite, surely it can be described in more detail than "similar to an observer controlling a body".
 

So all living things don't have the same level of consciousness and awareness. Could you clarify which level of consciousness and awareness you think cells have ?


I think that something you can do.


I'm not a mind reader, so, no. I can't know what level of consciousness or awareness you think cells have if you don't tell me.
 

I think that's pretty cut and dried. If it's dead it's not conscious. That would include stuff like rocks, minerals chemicals etc. These things are not responsive to our or any known communication process.


I'm going to guess this means you think there is a sharp divide between the lowest level of consciousness and non-consciousness. I'd be interested in knowing what you see as the differences between the highest and the lowest forms of consciousness. Maybe you even have examples of entities you think have the lowest level of consciousness, and what puts them at that level ?
 

I think your overthinking the issue. That would be naïve. That would be like you claiming the you did not know s@x could result in babies. Things can exist in a preconscious state which is true most of the time. Just about all the information we have stored in our mind is not conscious at any given moment. A stimulus such as a question initiates the process of retrieving information and bringing it into the conscious state.


I can 100% guarantee that if I hadn't been told s@x could result in babies, I would not know it. And note I didn't even talk about s@x resulting in babies (a conclusion that communities observing things over the long-term could be expected to come up with), I talked about sperm, ova, fertilization, cellular development. Things that humanity in fact did not know about for most of its history, until biomedical science discovered it. Was this knowledge known to us, in a preconscious state ? If so why did it take the same kind of research and experimentation to discover it that scientists used to discover facts about the world outside our bodies ? And how did so many thinkers for so many centuries manage to have completely wrong ideas on the question pretty much until microscopes got good enough to be able to see the answer ?

 

I I don't think it necessarily has to be conscious as I am dictating sounds into a microphone which my computer, thanks to a voice recognition program, turns into typing on your screen.


... And executes certain actions according to instructions coded in these sounds, you forgot that step. Okay. So I can tell something to do something, and it will do it, without them being necessarily conscious ?
 

But then it had be intelligently designed to do what it does.


Right, but you think cells are intelligently designed don't you ? Is "had to be intelligently designed" an argument against something being conscious ?
 

As a therapist I would disagree with your conclusion that being diagnosed with epilepsy, etc. need necessarily cause emotional disturbance.


Wait, as a therapist you think being diagnosed with epilepsy needn't cause emotional disturbance, but you think being infertile does ? I'm confused. I think I probably misunderstood what you were saying about infertility, but in that case I have no clue how it related to my original argument, which is that being infertile doesn't affect one's intelligence or consciousness. By which I mean, if someone is infertile that doesn't on its own make them more, or less, or differently intelligent or more, or less, or differently conscious than they would have been if they were fertile.
 

I think they call this an appeal to authority. What's wrong with your mind? Is just as good as anybody else's from what I can see. I understand what you're communicating to me.


I think you mean an appeal to popularity. In this case we're talking about the meaning of words, and languages are social things that depend on the people who speak them, so when trying to figure out what a word means "what do plenty of other people think it means" is relevant. And in this specific case I was responding to your argument that taking reproduction to be a defining aspect of intelligence wasn't unusual. So I asked for evidence for that assertion, and the evidence for the assertion that something "isn't unusual" would typically be indications that this thing 1) exists, 2) exists in more than one instance, and 3) is common. 1) and 2) on their own wouldn't prove the assertion but they're much easier to start with; 3) actually does prove the assertion but it is much harder to demonstrate, hence the usefulness of 1) and 2). My request for other sources was to address 1) and 2); my request for sources from specialists in the field would go a long way towards demonstrating 3).

At the end of the day though it isn't a big deal that you use unusual definitions; the only reason I brought it up originally was to point out that because it was unusual, it would be unfamiliar to me and thus I needed to dig deeper to understand what intelligence means to you.
 

I'm sorry. I guess it didn't register what you were asking. I think it's a difference of kind.


Thank you for answering directly :) It doesn't completely dispel my confusion but I think I'm addressing those things in many of the other questions I asked so I'll leave it at that ^^

#13 Mike Summers

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 05:10 PM

I wish you had replied to that whole paragraph together instead of piece-by-piece because it doesn't seem to me you understood the argument it was making. "The cell is conscious" is more than what you stated, it's what you asked, in your thread title and throughout the OP, and it's now the position you seem to be arguing for. So in this specific discussion it's not a base assumption we're using to make further arguments, it's the question we're working towards an answer for. And when I'm in a discussion focused on figuring out the answer to a specific question, I want the conversation to be about subjects that can help figure out that answer; other subjects are irrelevant to that, and even if they are interesting in their own right all that means is that we're adding new discussions that address completely different questions. And this conversation is already confusing enough that I'd rather avoid doing that here.

The original question was rhetorical.
I don't mind reasoning with you but I've already decided the cell is conscious. I
I really can't figure out from your prose where you "seem" to disagree.
So again: how would you answer to the question.

"how could intelligence evolve" help answer the question "is the cell conscious/intelligent/etc" ?

everybody's mind works differently than others.

If the answer is "it wouldn't", then if you really want to discuss the evolution of intelligence I'd suggest you start another thread for that. I can't guarantee I'd reply, I feel it would be a retread of other conversations I've had on this forum before but I can always be tempted by an interesting hook or compulsive
procrastination.

in the 70s we call this a copout. If the same thing with my question on how the software to run the human mind and the animals evolved. Nobody said anything as to a mechanism that could accomplish such a sophisticated program that we use.
I am not familiar with any of the arguments you've had elsewhere.



Mike said: I don't think you can separate intelligence life and information along with reasoning. At least they are symbiotic.

That doesn't answer any of the questions I was asking.

Well, I guess I can't answer then.

Mike said: For the record, I'm not defining life I am life observing life.

I was merely paraphrasing your own statement of "I'm defining life as intelligence". What am I to make of it ?

That's up to you.

[/quo/te]
I think we all start with assuming that we are alive.
[quot/e]
Unlike intelligence, "life" has a fairly standard meaning in biology, according to which we are unambiguously alive. No assuming required. Descartes' whole thing was "I think, therefore I am", not "I think, therefore I am alive".
[/quote]
oh but that's not true. We assume a whole lot of things we assume that the floors and I be there will we get out of bed in the morning. We assume that the milk to drink is not poisoned. We assume that we're going to get paid for in the our pay.. We assume that people can stop at red lights so we can go everyone brain. In the end we define words with other words. Something has to be assume we call it faith in Christianity. I'm assuming you're not a Turing test. LOL


I can'f explain what your brain has to do. Observe yourself. I concede you are alive as much as I.

Okay, let me observe myself. I am alive... I am intelligent... I am sitting in a chair... Therefore I'll define life as sitting in a chair !

Now you're being silly. A standard IQ test might ask which phrase doesn't fit in the series of statements above?

That's not how it works. I still have no clue what you mean by "defining life as intelligence". Well, that's not quite true: you seem to see them both as vitalistic-like fluids that imbue the characteristics of "life" and "intelligence" and some of their behaviors on entities that are alive and intelligent. But this doesn't tell me what the relationship between those two fluids is, in what ways they're similar and in what ways, if any, they're different, or how they relate to other more standard understandings of what "life" and "intelligence" are. Let alone more specific details about how those fluids work.

I called it a nonphysical. For Christians that would b a spirit. Life is spirit mean the same thing. Some years ago I read an article where they wanted to know if when someone died may change to weight--which would indicate something physical left the body. As far as they could determine there was no change in weight at d
than
I don't feel the need to go anywhere. I think we are both alive and that's that. We don't exist by definition we define things not things us.

I think you just replied to yourself there. Was the formatting on this forum always this buggy ? I can't remember.

you could be right. I have vision problems. And then there were so many quotes I had to divide my answer to three posts. The program only allows 10 quotes themselves.


On there being more than five senses, the Wikipedia page seems pretty decent :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense

whether there are more or less senses in reference to us the two major senses to communicate with others is sight and sound. In lieu of those missing senses we as humans can use touch.

Mike said: From my reading I have determined that the consensus is that code allegedly stores information. That code itself is a variable and the information associated to it is mental and not visible. The medium of code represents information code as has no valid chemical function and could be anything just as chalk on a board does not store information but is associated to information by a mental process. It's the same as us learning to write English when we were children.
Have you ever dissected code and seen the information allegedly stored in it? Moreover can you read genetic code like you can English?

As I understand it, the key to the genetic code is the transfer RNAs - those molecules' structure makes them bind to specific nucleotide sequences on one side, and specific amino acids on the other. They participate in the formation of proteins, by binding to the messenger RNA's nucleotide sequence wherever the specific codon they bind to occurs, and thus bringing together the corresponding amino acids that bind in the corresponding sequence and form a polypeptide.

Of course while the codon->amino acid relationship is what's referred to as the "genetic code", in terms of what kinds of things DNA and RNA do it's only the beginning of the story; there are also actions "coded" by regulatory DNA that would be implemented through different molecular mechanisms, I don't know those (I'm guessing in the field of cell biology some but not all of those are known, but I haven't looked it up).

The code "has no valid chemical function" is true insofar as the codon->amino acid relationship is arbitrary, if you had different transfer RNA molecules that matched to different codons and amino acids you'd get a different code, but that doesn't mean the code and its effects cannot be completely described in terms of chemistry.

I heard there are 14 different genetic code. So that identical code will code for something entirely different in some animals and plants. Some plants have more code than we do. So I guess it's anyone's guess what's really going
on.


Mike said: I would say it's much like you being in control of your body. Whoever you seem to think you are such as commonly referred to as the observer, you control what your body does the similarly to the cell. The goal of the cell is to cooperate with other cells to produce the whole--you.

Again, this isn't an answer to any of the questions I actually asked. I didn't ask for a vague analogy describing what "hiearchy of control" might look like - I'd like to know, as specifically as possible, what the hierarchy of control is in the cell. You said "There is a very definite deterministic "intelligent" hierarchy and function" in the cell. If it's very definite, surely it can be described in more detail than "similar to an observer controlling a body".

I guess I'm not the one to do it.

So all living things don't have the same level of consciousness and awareness. Could you clarify which level of consciousness and awareness you think cells have ?

I think that something you can do.

I'm not a mind reader, so, no. I can't know what level of consciousness or awareness you think cells have if you don't tell me.

Oe the contrary. You are an intelligent guy. As an example: contrast and 82 human being ability to adult. Get the point?


Mike said: I think that's pretty cut and dried. If it's dead it's not conscious. That would include stuff like rocks, minerals chemicals etc. These things are not responsive to our or any known communication process.

I'm going to guess this means you think there is a sharp divide between the lowest level of consciousness and non-consciousness. I'd be interested in knowing what you see as the differences between the highest and the lowest forms of consciousness. Maybe you even have examples of entities you think have the lowest level of consciousness, and what puts them at that level ?
[/quote]
All you have to do is create a logical and reasonable answer.

I think your overthinking the issue. That would be naïve. That would be like you claiming the you did not know s@x could result in babies. Things can exist in a preconscious state which is true most of the time. Just about all the information we have stored in our mind is not conscious at any given moment. A stimulus such as a question initiates the process of retrieving information and bringing it into the conscious state.


And by the same token if I hadn't been taught English as a child but some other language then I would speak that other language and not English.

But you were taught that s@x causes babies!

I I don't think it necessarily has to be conscious as I am dictating sounds into a microphone which my computer, thanks to a voice recognition program, turns into typing on your screen.

... And executes certain actions according to instructions coded in these sounds, you forgot that step. Okay. So I can tell something to do something, and it will do it, without them being necessarily conscious ?

yes within very narrow constraints but I can tell the computer program I like my eggs over easy and I will wait to Judgment Day before it does what l ask it to do.

But then it had be be intelligently designed to do what it does.

Right, but you think cells are intelligently designed don't you ? Is "had to be intelligently designed" an argument against something being conscious ?

No. Automobiles were designed and I don't think there conscious. Only are the bucket of bolt


Mike said: As a therapist I would disagree with your conclusion that being diagnosed with epilepsy, etc. need necessarily cause emotional disturbance.

Wait, as a therapist you think being diagnosed with epilepsy needn't cause emotional disturbance, but you think being infertile does ? I'm confused. I think I probably misunderstood what you were saying about infertility, but in that case I have no clue how it related to my original argument, which is that being infertile doesn't affect one's intelligence or consciousness. By which I mean, if someone is infertile that doesn't on its own make them more, or less, or differently intelligent or more, or less, or differently conscious than they would have been if they were fertile.

Yes you misunderstood. Some people might be concerned about being infertile and yet others would be happy that they were infertile because then they can have s@x without having to worry about contraception and having babies

Mike said: I think they call this an appeal to authority. What's wrong with your mind? Is just as good as anybody else's from what I can see. I understand what you're communicating to me.

I think you mean an appeal to popularity. In this case we're talking about the meaning of words, and languages are social things that depend on the people who speak them, so when trying to figure out what a word means "what do plenty of other people think it means" is relevant. And in this specific case I was responding to your argument that taking reproduction to be a defining aspect of intelligence wasn't unusual. So I asked for evidence for that assertion, and the evidence for the assertion that something "isn't unusual" would typically be indications that this thing 1) exists, 2) exists in more than one instance, and 3) is common. 1) and 2) on their own wouldn't prove the assertion but they're much easier to start with; 3) actually does prove the assertion but it is much harder to demonstrate, hence the usefulness of 1) and 2). My request for other sources was to address 1) and 2); my request for sources from specialists in the field would go a long way towards demonstrating 3).


However I usually define what I mean if it's not a standard meaning.


At the end of the day though it isn't a big deal that you use unusual definitions; the only reason I brought it up originally was to point out that because it was unusual, it would be unfamiliar to me and thus I needed to dig deeper to understand what intelligence means to y

Mike said: I'm sorry. I guess it didn't register what you were asking. I think it's a difference of kind.

Thank you for answering directly :) It doesn't completely dispel my confusion but I think I'm addressing those things in many of the other questions I asked so I'll leave it at that


#14 aelyn

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:29 AM

The original question was rhetorical.


Oh dear, it didn't look rhetorical at all to me, I guess I misunderstood the whole point of your OP then ! Sorry. I'm curious then, what was your purpose in posting it ?
 

So again: how would you answer to the question.

"how could intelligence evolve" help answer the question "is the cell conscious/intelligent/etc" ?

everybody's mind works differently than others.


This was very hard to interpret, but I guess you are asking me what my own answer is to that question that I asked you ? I thought my answer was pretty clear, and I explained it in detail two replies ago. It's: "it wouldn't, which is why that question is irrelevant to the subject of the thread and if you want to discuss it you ought to make a new thread dedicated to it". I'm willing to be convinced otherwise (i.e. that it actually is relevant to this discussion), but that would involve you actually answering the question.

Well, I guess I can't answer then.


Why not ? What is it about those questions, or the corresponding reality, that make them unanswerable by you ?
To keep track, the questions were:
- "do you see any distinction at all between "life" and "intelligence", or do you see those two words as exact synonyms ?"
- "And if you do see a distinction, would you mind describing that distinction in as much detail as you can ?"

The reason I don't feel that your earlier reply answered those questions is that neither "I don't think you can separate intelligence life and information along with reasoning." or "At least they are symbiotic." give me any insight as to what distinction you see between the two. At best it suggests you don't see the words as exact synonyms, but that makes it all the more relevant, if they aren't exactly the same, to figure out in what way they aren't exactly the same. (as for "symbiotic", it has a specific biological meaning that I don't know how it might apply to things like "intelligence", "life", "information" or "reasoning", and its vernacular meaning is so vague as to not give me any insight into what you mean either).
 

That's up to you.


If the interpretation of your words is up to me, then why do you call my interpretation wrong ?
 

oh but that's not true. We assume a whole lot of things we assume that the floors and I be there will we get out of bed in the morning. We assume that the milk to drink is not poisoned. We assume that we're going to get paid for in the our pay.. We assume that people can stop at red lights so we can go everyone brain. In the end we define words with other words. Something has to be assume we call it faith in Christianity. I'm assuming you're not a Turing test. LOL


Those are all things we can find evidence for and against, and where our actions are conditioned by a lifetime of experience. You can assume what you like, it's not my problem that you don't perform basic sanity checks to make sure you're not responding to spambots. (I actually had a "fun" interaction a few months ago on a chat with a serviceperson who I became pretty sure was a bot, until further interactions made me realize they weren't. Talk about embarrassing. And an interesting statement on how that company formatted its employees' interactions with customers).
 

Now you're being silly.


Okay. So do you in fact endorse the syllogism: "I am alive. I am intelligent. Therefore life defines intelligence" or not ? I wouldn't be surprised to find I had misunderstood your argument for why you defined life as intelligence (or did you, since you later denied defining anything), but it would help to know at least what argument you aren't making.
 

I called it a nonphysical.


Again... How does that answer the question of what kind of relationship the two entities have, how they're different or similar, or how they work ? "nonphysical" things can have all kinds of relationships to each other or ways they work. Or can't they ?
 

I heard there are 14 different genetic code. So that identical code will code for something entirely different in some animals and plants. Some plants have more code than we do. So I guess it's anyone's guess what's really going on.


Looks like 20 even :
http://www.ncbi.nlm....ls/wprintgc.cgi
And it's cell biologists' and geneticists' job to figure out what's going on. The mapping of codon to amino acid (or other action, such as with stop and start codon) depends entirely on what the transfer RNAs are like (and the ribosome for stop and start codons, as far as I can tell); modify the parts of the transfer RNA or the ribosome that bind to the messenger RNA's codons and you change the code. In fact some geneticists do just that:
https://en.wikipedia...ed_genetic_code
 

I guess I'm not the one to do it.


Fair enough. I wonder why you called that hierarchy "very definite" though if you can't characterize it further. Maybe you have a source where you found that information that you could point to, even if you can't articulate the argument they made or evidence they gave in detail ?
 

Oe the contrary. You are an intelligent guy. As an example: contrast and 82 human being ability to adult. Get the point?


????????????
 

All you have to do is create a logical and reasonable answer.


What do you mean ? My own answer to "what's the lowest form of consciousness" is pretty boring because I don't believe there is a sharp divide between consciousness and non-consciousness. More accurately, I'm open to the idea that there is but I can't myself pinpoint that divide or describe it in any kind of detail, so I can't claim it exists. Further, the general blurriness of the question (the existence of the coma scale which describes a gradual range between consciousness and unconsciousness in humans, the inability of biology to define "intelligence" or "consciousness" in a way that yields a sharp and consistent divide between "things that are intelligent/conscious" and "things that aren't intelligent/conscious") makes me lean provisionally towards "there is no sharp divide".

So basically, my answer to "what's the lowest form of consciousness" is "non-consciousness, as far as I can tell". But you believe a sharp divide exists, so your answer will be different, which is I'm really curious what your answer is. In fact I would love to know it, because it might change my mind about the sharp divide thing, if I realize that indeed your example is clearly conscious, and I can come up with nothing else that's conscious but less-conscious, i.e. I can see a clear empty gap between it and non-consciousness. It might also inform my (still woefully inadequate) understanding of what "consciousness" means to you. Which would help me better understand what "cells are conscious" means to you, i.e. what claim you're making exactly.
 

yes within very narrow constraints


So you agree that "I tell it what to do and it does it, therefore it's conscious" is a logically invalid (if only because it's incomplete) argument ?
 

but I can tell the computer program I like my eggs over easy and I will wait to Judgment Day before it does what l ask it to do.


Wow, is Judgment Day next year already ? :)
http://www.iflscienc...ld-arrive-2017/
(to be fair, we might have to wait until Judgment Day to be able to afford it xD)
 

No. Automobiles were designed and I don't think there conscious. Only are the bucket of bolt


I don't think you understood my question. I wasn't asking if "it had to be intelligently designed, therefore it's conscious" was a valid argument, but the opposite: whether "it had to be intelligently designed, therefore it isn't conscious" was a valid argument.
 

But you were taught that s@x causes babies!


So? I didn't learn it from direct, obvious, conscious sensory input like I learned about how my hands work or what my eyes are for. Nobody needed to teach me that, why not ?

I don't get it. In a previous comment you claimed to agree that a human person can have a consciousness distinct from that of a single cell within that person, just like two different people can have distinct consciousnesses. Now you seem to be claiming that everything our individual cells are aware of, we as the macroscopic consciousness are also aware of, even if in a pre-conscious way ? Am I also pre-conscious of what you are seeing right now, or of what each of your cells is doing right now ? Or am I only pre-conscious of what each of my own cells is doing ? I am aware of what I am seeing right now, that's how I can tell that there is a difference between "what I see" and "what you see" or "what that one cell in one of my islets of Langherans senses", because I am directly aware of the first, but am not directly aware of, or know of any way to be directly aware of, either of the second. I can think of ways of being indirectly aware (like if you send me a photo, or if medical nanotech makes lots of progress very soon), but the experience of knowing what you see via a picture is unmistakably different from knowing what I see via seeing it. Is it different for you ?

(You do seem to assume I can read your mind so maybe it is...)

#15 Mike Summers

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 05:16 PM

This was very hard to interpret, but I guess you are asking me what my own answer is to that question that I asked you ? I thought my answer was pretty clear, and I explained it in detail two replies ago. It's: "it wouldn't, which is why that question is irrelevant to the subject of the thread and if you want to discuss it you ought to make a new thread dedicated to it". I'm willing to be convinced otherwise (i.e. that it actually is relevant to this discussion), but that would involve you actually answering the question.

one

As I have stated before relationships are always made between two people. I believe you are my equal and I am your equal also. With those rules in place if you want to ask me a question and you're welcome to do that. If we are equals than we can afford respect enough to answer. If you don't want to answer it just say you don't want to answer although I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to. I don't think I have anything to hide.

 

Well, I guess I can't answer then.

Why not ? What is it about those questions, or the corresponding reality, that make them unanswerable by you ?
To keep track, the questions were:
- "do you see any distinction at all between "life" and "intelligence", or do you see those two words as exact synonyms ?"
- "And if you do see a distinction, would you mind describing that distinction in as much detail as you can ?"

The reason I don't feel that your earlier reply answered those questions is that neither "I don't think you can separate intelligence life and information along with reasoning." or "At least they are symbiotic." give me any insight as to what distinction you see between the two. At best it suggests you don't see the words as exact synonyms, but that makes it all the more relevant, if they aren't exactly the same, to figure out in what way they aren't exactly the same. (as for "symbiotic", it has a specific biological meaning that I don't know how it might apply to things like "intelligence", "life", "information" or "reasoning", and its vernacular meaning is so vague as to not give me any insight into what you mean either).

to

That's just it I don't see how you can separate breathing from being alive ask a human being. So no I don't think you can separate them.

 

That's up to you.

If the interpretation of your words is up to me, then why do you call my interpretation wrong ?

three

I see that as being wrong in my mind not yours.

 

(Edit by MS)
oh but that's not true. We assume a whole lot of things we assume that the floors will be there when we get out of bed in the morning. We assume that the milk we drink is not poisoned. We assume that we're going to get paid for in the our pay.. We assume that people can stop at red lights so we can go through an intersection unimpeded. In the end we define words with other words. Something has to be assume. We call it faith in Christianity. I'm assuming you're not a Turing test. LOL

Those are all things we can find evidence for and against, and where our actions are conditioned by a lifetime of experience. You can assume what you like, it's not my problem that you don't perform basic sanity checks to make sure you're not responding to spambots. (I actually had a "fun" interaction a few months ago on a chat with a serviceperson who I became pretty sure was a bot, until further interactions made me realize they weren't. Talk about embarrassing. And an interesting statement on how that company formatted its employees' interactions with customers).

for

Well, there you have it. You assume that I don't do basic sanity checks. Wrong! I assume you do the same. LOL

 

Mike said: Now you're being silly.


Okay. So do you in fact endorse the syllogism: "I am alive. I am intelligent. Therefore life defines intelligence" or not ? I wouldn't be surprised to find I had misunderstood your argument for why you defined life as intelligence (or did you, since you later denied defining anything), but it would help to know at least what argument you aren't making.

five

I didn't mean to infer that I define life.
I tend to think we observe it in ourselves and others. Therefore I wouldn't say that like exist by definition.



#16 Mike Summers

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 05:17 PM



Mike said: I called it a nonphysical.

Again... How does that answer the question of what kind of relationship the two entities have, how they're different or similar, or how they work ? "nonphysical" things can have all kinds of relationships to each other or ways they work. Or can't they ?
six

Well, maybe there are not two entities but one. I would say at some point your why questions start going in circles.


Mike said: I heard there are 14 different genetic code. So that identical code will code for something entirely different in some animals and plants. Some plants have more code than we do. So I guess it's anyone's guess what's really going on.

Looks like 20 even :
http://www.ncbi.nlm....ls/wprintgc.cgi
And it's cell biologists' and geneticists' job to figure out what's going on. The mapping of codon to amino acid (or other action, such as with stop and start codon) depends entirely on what the transfer RNAs are like (and the ribosome for stop and start codons, as far as I can tell); modify the parts of the transfer RNA or the ribosome that bind to the messenger RNA's codons and you change the code. In fact some geneticists do just that:
https://en.wikipedia...ed_genetic_code
seven

This discussion is between you and I. It is not between your authority figures such as biologists.



Mike said: I guess I'm not the one to do it.

Fair enough. I wonder why you called that hierarchy "very definite" though if you can't characterize it further. Maybe you have a source where you found that information that you could point to, even if you can't articulate the argument they made or evidence they gave in detail ?


I see it that way. If I were doing something, I would control it.

eight

you have to do is create a logical and reasonable answer.

What do you mean ? My own answer to "what's the lowest form of consciousness" is pretty boring because I don't believe there is a sharp divide between consciousness and non-consciousness. More accurately, I'm open to the idea that there is but I can't myself pinpoint that divide or describe it in any kind of detail, so I can't claim it exists. Further, the general blurriness of the question (the existence of the coma scale which describes a gradual range between consciousness and unconsciousness in humans, the inability of biology to define "intelligence" or "consciousness" in a way that yields a sharp and consistent divide between "things that are intelligent/conscious" and "things that aren't intelligent/conscious") makes me lean provisionally towards "there is no sharp divide".

So basically, my answer to "what's the lowest form of consciousness" is "non-consciousness, as far as I can tell". But you believe a sharp divide exists, so your answer will be different, which is I'm really curious what your answer is. In fact I would love to know it, because it might change my mind about the sharp divide thing, if I realize that indeed your example is clearly conscious, and I can come up with nothing else that's conscious but less-conscious, i.e. I can see a clear empty gap between it and non-consciousness. It might also inform my (still woefully inadequate) understanding of what "consciousness" means to you. Which would help me better understand what "cells are conscious" means to you, i.e. what claim you're making exactly. Then you have


Seems to me you answered your own question. I see a lot of difference between a rock and anything alive. But then you're welcome to your opinion.

[/quote] nine

Yes within very narrow constraints


So you agree that "I tell it what to do and it does it, therefore it's conscious" is a logically invalid (if only because it's incomplete) argument ?


If I understand you correctly, yes. A computer can do what we designed it to do.

10

but I can tell the computer program I like my eggs over easy and I will wait to Judgment Day before it does what l ask it to do.

Wow, is Judgment Day next year already ? :)
http://www.iflscienc...ld-arrive-2017/
(to be fair, we might have to wait until Judgment Day to be able to afford it xD)
[/quote] 11

LOL


(Edit by MS)
No. Automobiles were designed and I don't think they are conscious. They only are they bucket of bolts.

I don't think you understood my question. I wasn't asking if "it had to be intelligently designed, therefore it's conscious" was a valid argument, but the opposite: whether "it had to be intelligently designed, therefore it isn't conscious" was a valid argument.
. Consider evolution that allegedly does not have a goal. But as an example a dinosaur evolved into a bird. Therefore the goal of the dinosaur was to you evolve into a bird. That's its goal. If you can reason back from a bird to a dinosaur on the other hand you cannot reason from a dinosaur a bird. That doesn't make sense and that's why evolution doesn't make sense.
The credibility of the statement depends on one direction only.



Mike said: But you were taught that s@x causes babies!

So? I didn't learn it from direct, obvious, conscious sensory input like I learned about how my hands work or what my eyes are for. Nobody needed to teach me that, why not ?

I don't get it. In a previous comment you claimed to agree that a human person can have a consciousness distinct from that of a single cell within that person, just like two different people can have distinct consciousnesses. Now you seem to be claiming that everything our individual cells are aware of, we as the macroscopic consciousness are also aware of, even if in a pre-conscious way ? Am I also pre-conscious of what you are seeing right now, or of what each of your cells is doing right now ? Or am I only pre-conscious of what each of my own cells is doing ? I am aware of what I am seeing right now, that's how I can tell that there is a difference between "what I see" and "what you see" or "what that one cell in one of my islets of Langherans senses", because I am directly aware of the first, but am not directly aware of, or know of any way to be directly aware of, either of the second. I can think of ways of being indirectly aware (like if you send me a photo, or if medical nanotech makes lots of progress very soon), but the experience of knowing what you see via a picture is unmistakably different from knowing what I see via seeing it. Is it different for you ?

(You do seem to assume I can read your mind so maybe it is...)
[/quote] 12

I can tell you what I and you can can either believe it or not.

 

#17 MarkForbes

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 01:07 PM

For the purposes of this discussion I'm just using the standard biological definition of "life", that involves reproduction and metabolism, according to which animals, plants and cells are alive, rocks, cars and computers aren't, and some edge cases include viruses and prions. I assume you're doing the same given the examples you've given. I'm not sure why you feel I used the word in a contradictory way, but I hope this clarified it; if not I'd be glad to have more details on the way it's contradictory.

What about computer viruses? They also reproduce and metabolize on information and storage space.  
 

What a strangely vitalistic question. "Life", as it is understood in biology, isn't some substance or fluid that can be transfered, or for that matter subdivided ("some of your"). So, no.

...

Wait, I take the educated guess that Your dead and mom did actually transferred life to you. At least that's highly probable.






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