Is anyone else blown away by this or is it just me?

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TaoHorror

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« on: October 29, 2018, 03:10:21 am »
Apologies for the click-bait title, but all of this thinking going on in recent posts has got me thinking again on something I find truly fascinating. Mind you, I'm no scientist, so I'll be murdering what I'm trying to express, so be patient with me. What we perceive is not the "real" world. The real world is just a bunch of atoms/molecules generating forces. So if there are enough atoms close enough ( and if we saw them for what they really are, still not very close as 99% of matter is empty space ), then the forces reach our eyes and our eyes "sends information" about the forces impacting them to the brain and our brain cooks up the image of the object - a desk, let's say. The shape, the color, the perception of density - all constructed for our consciousness to allow us to interact with the desk. And how the desk feels aligns with how we perceive it - it's like it really is what we're "looking" at. But it's not, it's a cluster of atoms/molecules that send forces. Sound, just more forces. So why has evolution yielded this cognitive capability to some extent to all animals? Yes, evolving the capability to generate pictures from these atoms/molecules is key to survival - but why does life want to survive? And replicate? And ensure the survival of the species? This is far more fascinating than simply believing in a God ( for which I do ).
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natanaj

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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 03:19:00 am »
It's more like RNA just wants to replicate.

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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 11:08:56 am »
but why does life want to survive? And replicate? And ensure the survival of the species? This is far more fascinating than simply believing in a God ( for which I do ).
Because doing so increases entropy. This is why everything happens.

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 01:01:00 pm »
So why has evolution yielded this cognitive capability to some extent to all animals? Yes, evolving the capability to generate pictures from these atoms/molecules is key to survival - but why does life want to survive? And replicate? And ensure the survival of the species? This is far more fascinating than simply believing in a God ( for which I do ).
Re: evolution - its more like it takes way more processing power to see things at a resolution that would make distinct/separate pictures of each photon (or sound wave, whatever) hitting the receptor. Way easier to take a sample and guess about the rest. Its the path of least resistance.

Your other question seems to boil down to the standard "what is the meaning of life" question. Seems there's no way to answer that one for someone else. You likely answer that question with religion, or something regarding raising children. Nihilism guy says there isn't any meaning (though I'll never understand why those folks suffer themselves to live). Other folks sit on other fences. Its really impossible to convince one group of the other's perspective, which makes the question not particularly interesting to me.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 01:39:46 pm »
So why has evolution yielded this cognitive capability to some extent to all animals? Yes, evolving the capability to generate pictures from these atoms/molecules is key to survival - but why does life want to survive? And replicate? And ensure the survival of the species? This is far more fascinating than simply believing in a God ( for which I do ).
Re: evolution - its more like it takes way more processing power to see things at a resolution that would make distinct/separate pictures of each photon (or sound wave, whatever) hitting the receptor. Way easier to take a sample and guess about the rest. Its the path of least resistance.

Your other question seems to boil down to the standard "what is the meaning of life" question. Seems there's no way to answer that one for someone else. You likely answer that question with religion, or something regarding raising children. Nihilism guy says there isn't any meaning (though I'll never understand why those folks suffer themselves to live). Other folks sit on other fences. Its really impossible to convince one group of the other's perspective, which makes the question not particularly interesting to me.

Hee hee, I wasn't necessarily saying anyone has an answer to this, just freaks me out and wondered if anyone else cared and maybe had more information from an evolutionary perspective is all, LOL! Anyways, I was tripping when I first learned about this ( thanks, TL! ) and tripping again with all of the talk as of late. I'm doubting it's possible to replicate the brain, just seems too much is going on beyond computation. Consciousness is a reduction, as you point out, just "guessing" on a lot for efficiency and how/why/what is determining what information the consciousness should ignore - we're "seeing" everything in our field of view, but don't consciously recognize so much of it, and rightly so as it's "not important", yet we have amazing reflexes when we're surprised by our neighbor charging us with an ax - the mind "knows" this is important irregular information and should reflex respond to it. Giant ass amount of data being "considered" non-stop, no wonder we need sleep. Can evolution really account for all of this? Or maybe it just seems it couldn't due to my insufficient cognitive ability to imagine it could?
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 01:55:44 pm »
Can evolution really account for all of this? Or maybe it just seems it couldn't due to my insufficient cognitive ability to imagine it could?

I don't see why not.  While the universe is unbelievably (literally) complex, we need not interface with that complexity to survive.  Because that is what we (and every other animal/living thing) does moment by moment.  Evolution provides us with the "shortest path" so to speak.  In reality, we aren't the pinnacle of that, we are the meandering, long-way-around tail-end opposite that just happens to "work better."  I put that in quotes because I don't know that it actually does work better, rather, we subjectively imagine that our lives are superior to that of bacteria, although I have no idea if we could or should know if that is true or not.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Wilshire

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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 02:05:32 pm »
Can evolution really account for all of this? Or maybe it just seems it couldn't due to my insufficient cognitive ability to imagine it could?

I don't see why not.  While the universe is unbelievably (literally) complex, we need not interface with that complexity to survive.  Because that is what we (and every other animal/living thing) does moment by moment.  Evolution provides us with the "shortest path" so to speak.  In reality, we aren't the pinnacle of that, we are the meandering, long-way-around tail-end opposite that just happens to "work better."  I put that in quotes because I don't know that it actually does work better, rather, we subjectively imagine that our lives are superior to that of bacteria, although I have no idea if we could or should know if that is true or not.

Evolution isn't accounting for anything any more than gravity accounts for how an object falls.
Its really easy to anthropomorphize evolution, or our own existence within it. But its just another thing we observe. Or, evolution "accounts" for it all because ... well that's the framework of all things. Things don't live outside of evolution.

Though maybe like classical physics gave way to quantum, maybe there's  something more fundamental than evolution at play. Then again, maybe I'm just saying that because I just finished reading one of sciborg2's articles about super-quantum mechanics lol.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 03:24:04 pm »
Evolution isn't accounting for anything any more than gravity accounts for how an object falls.
Its really easy to anthropomorphize evolution, or our own existence within it. But its just another thing we observe. Or, evolution "accounts" for it all because ... well that's the framework of all things. Things don't live outside of evolution.

Though maybe like classical physics gave way to quantum, maybe there's  something more fundamental than evolution at play. Then again, maybe I'm just saying that because I just finished reading one of sciborg2's articles about super-quantum mechanics lol.

Right, well, I failed to really articulate it well in my post, but my point is that we aren't necessarily some pinnacle of evolution.  In fact, it is plausible we are a side side-show accidental by product of it.  We aren't anywhere near as successful as bacteria on any real level, except the levels at which we show distinct bias.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 08:25:25 pm »
Evolution isn't accounting for anything any more than gravity accounts for how an object falls.
Its really easy to anthropomorphize evolution, or our own existence within it. But its just another thing we observe. Or, evolution "accounts" for it all because ... well that's the framework of all things. Things don't live outside of evolution.

Though maybe like classical physics gave way to quantum, maybe there's  something more fundamental than evolution at play. Then again, maybe I'm just saying that because I just finished reading one of sciborg2's articles about super-quantum mechanics lol.

Right, well, I failed to really articulate it well in my post, but my point is that we aren't necessarily some pinnacle of evolution.  In fact, it is plausible we are a side side-show accidental by product of it.  We aren't anywhere near as successful as bacteria on any real level, except the levels at which we show distinct bias.

Well, consciousness, right ... we are in the process of turning our eyes around to view our brain and it's exciting to me, intense. Now, maybe other primates are sitting around and talking about this same stuff, but it genuinely, beyond species conceit, doesn't seem like they are and we are the first to "achieve" such an state. Maybe dolphins, but again, likely not. And maybe it's an evolutionary construct to be want to retain my consciousness and not lose it to become bacteria - though I don't know for sure I wouldn't be "happier" as such. It could well be it's only a question of complexity and we'll eventually suss this stuff out, but I am suspicious something is amiss. 500 million years doesn't seem like enough time to drive the creation of man, but that could be a limitation on my ability to recon what can happen across that span.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 04:25:19 pm »
Nothing conflicts with the idea that there was enough time though, so I don't see the argument. Sure it might not have been and god did it, etc., but there's no reason to suppose that.
Just like how people used to believe that Earth was unique in its "exact right distance" from the sun to have water. But now we know there are literally countless plants just like ours.
Or that earth was the center of the universe, solar system, whatever.

As you're kind of pointing out, consciousness might not be particularly useful. Spending a bunch of time thinking about how we work might ultimately just lead us to our own deaths. Evolution will have itself a good laugh ;) .
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 02:12:48 pm »
Well, time is a bit of a bitch to account for, because with a system that complex, it's rather impossible to simulate what that amount of time would allow, except by actually allowing that amount of time to elapse in a controlled environment.  Which is impossible.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Francis Buck

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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2018, 11:46:10 pm »
I absolutely think it's mind blowing and I actually use this sort of thing as an example when discussing things like "what is real" or "truth" with folks IRL when the topic comes up (I.E. the notion that a table is "solid" or "brown" or any other arbitrary human interpretation of Reality-As-It-Is...whatever that is, lol).

TaoHorror

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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2018, 04:20:41 pm »
I absolutely think it's mind blowing and I actually use this sort of thing as an example when discussing things like "what is real" or "truth" with folks IRL when the topic comes up (I.E. the notion that a table is "solid" or "brown" or any other arbitrary human interpretation of Reality-As-It-Is...whatever that is, lol).

Exactly - there is no table - and not speaking in some meta-physical/philosophical/whatever-ical sense, it's not there. It's a slightly denser "collection" of atoms/molecules "different" from other collections and our minds cooked up an interpretation of it so we can interact with it. The question of "why life" is an amazing question from an evolutionary perspective - what is driving "the evolution", life that "computes" sensations to operate? We have "laws" for non-life, why life among that non-life? Again, not expecting anyone here has an answer ... just the extraordinary minuscule chance of a protein molecule forming from damn near nothing ... replicates ... and evolution emerges. Just seems evolution is an emergent law, not one endemic to the rest of reality. A protein molecule shows up - so what?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 04:22:50 pm by TaoHorror »
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2018, 06:01:30 pm »
Exactly - there is no table - and not speaking in some meta-physical/philosophical/whatever-ical sense, it's not there. It's a slightly denser "collection" of atoms/molecules "different" from other collections and our minds cooked up an interpretation of it so we can interact with it.

This is why I am apt to put forth the idea that our mental representations, and so our ideas, are actually more real than anything we can term subjective reality.

Consider the following example: you buy a new house and it is empty of furniture.  You get in a box, take the contents out, regarding the packaging as "garbage."  Only now you realize that whatever this thing is, you need a place to assemble it, possibly because it will be a messy process.  Now, the box that was "garbage" is now, "table."  Upon being done with said assembly, the "box," once "garbage" now "table" returns again to "garbage."  All while still being the same physical object.

The point of this poor allusion being, of course, to illustrate your point that things only exist how we conceptualize them to.  That is, the conception is what is real, to us.  We cannot interact with that which we cannot conceive of.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 03:37:33 am »
This about sums it up, wild ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oadgHhdgRkI

TL - your man gets a mention in this  :)
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