Re: How would a computer know if it were conscious?

From: Colin Hales <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 09:33:00 +1000 (EST)

Hi again,

I'm sorry, but you worked yourself up into an incomprehensible
rant. Is evolution creative in your view or not? If it is, then there is
little point debating definitions, as we're in agreement. If not, then we
clearly use the word creative in different senses, and perhaps defintion
debates have some utility.

There wasn't even the slightest edge of 'rant' in the post. Quite calm,
measured and succinct, actually. Its apparent incomprehensibility? I have
no clue what that could be.... it's quite plain...

RE: 'creativity'
... Say at stage t the biosphere was at complexity level X and then at
stage t = t+(something), the biosphere complexity was at KX, where X is
some key performance indicator of complexity (eg entropy) and K > 1 ....

This could be called creative if you like. Like Prigogine did. I'd caution
against the tendency to use the word because it has so many loaded
meanings that are suggestive of much more then the previous para.
Scientifically the word could be left entirely out of any desciptions of
the biosphere.

The bogus logic I detect in posts around this area...
'Humans are complex and are conscious'
'Humans were made by a complex biosphere'
'The biosphere is conscious'

That assumes that complexity itself (organisation of information) is the
origin of consciousness in some unspecified, unjustified way. This
position is completely unable to make any empirical predictions about the
nature of human conscousness (eg why your cortex generates qualia and your
spinal chord doesn't - a physiologically proven fact).

The same bogus logic happens in relation to quantum mechanics and
"Quantum mechanics is weird and complex"
"Consciousness is is weird and complex"
"Quantum mechanics generates consciousness"

I caution against this. I caution against using the word 'creativity' in
any useful scientific discussion of evolution and complexity.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Mon Jun 11 2007 - 19:33:29 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:14 PST