Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Dalek Prime
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:57 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I get the probability. But then, I've not witnessed it, and never will. So it's safe to ignore as an assertion.
I think its worth keeping in mind for two reasons. To counter the ridiculous claims of humans being a special creation, which is much more absurd than ET life, and two - just in case they sent us a massage at some point we'd need to think it possible before we could recognise it for what it is.

But given the massive limits on space travel imposed by the speed of light I do not think humans, or any other planetary life-form will be in a position to leave their own star systems.
So I'm not holding my breath.
There is a good chance that most other living things are aquatic, and remain unaware of the rest of space.
Both valid points, especially as a counter-assertion. Okay, I'm sold. I still feel sorry for them, though.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:01 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:I get the probability. But then, I've not witnessed it, and never will. So it's safe to ignore as an assertion.
I think its worth keeping in mind for two reasons. To counter the ridiculous claims of humans being a special creation, which is much more absurd than ET life, and two - just in case they sent us a massage at some point we'd need to think it possible before we could recognise it for what it is.

But given the massive limits on space travel imposed by the speed of light I do not think humans, or any other planetary life-form will be in a position to leave their own star systems.
So I'm not holding my breath.
There is a good chance that most other living things are aquatic, and remain unaware of the rest of space.
Both valid points, especially as a counter-assertion. Okay, I'm sold. I still feel sorry for them, though.
There's probably no need. Survival usually means having a positive outlook on life. And most people I know enjoy life. I think this would be likely to apply to any life that has managed to achieve intelligence.
Do you have kids? I assume if you do you do not intend to have more? Thus to whatever degree your angst and feeling of futility is genetic, you'll not be passing that on.

Dalek Prime
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:36 pm

No kids. Early vasectomy. No passing of anything. Believe it or not, that thought gives me more peace than anything else in this world.

That's the one thing I like about this forum, Hobbes. I'm learning more about myself here, with all the feedback to contemplate.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:17 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:No kids. Early vasectomy. No passing of anything. Believe it or not, that thought gives me more peace than anything else in this world.

That's the one thing I like about this forum, Hobbes. I'm learning more about myself here, with all the feedback to contemplate.
My son has given me my raison d'etre for the last 20 years. Now I love my dog too. I'm not regretting a minute of it.

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:24 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:But given the massive limits on space travel imposed by the speed of light I do not think humans, or any other planetary life-form will be in a position to leave their own star systems.
I tend to agree with this in principle, although the possibility could never be entirely ruled out. It strikes me as a highly inefficient way to colonise a galaxy, even if we assume such an intent.

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:51 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote: In a universe of a billion galaxies each with a billion stars, many (possible most) stars have more than one planet, the idea that life with intelligence has not occurred elsewhere is a no brainer.
Even this statistic understates the case by several orders of magnitude. The current best guess is that the universe contains about 200 billion galaxies, each containing an average of about 200 billion stars, most of which are assumed to have planets. Furthermore the cosmos is but a pup. This is much harder to estimate but in all likelihood she's got a few hundred billion good years left in her yet.

It would be an unwise hubris to overstate the significance of our own existence in the light of such staggering numbers, especially since we now know that the basic ingredients for life, complex long-chain carbon polymers, are ubiquitous in clouds of interstellar gas and dust. Most astrobiologists are of the view that in the calmer outer suburbs of suitable galaxies, (like ours), the universe has probably been teeming with life from about 4-6 billion years ago, but probably not before that time. Over the next tens of billions of years the galaxies will continue to calm down and become steadily more and more hospitable for life. It seems probable that we're an early developer in the cosmic scheme of things but obviously it's impossible to assign a statistical probability to such an assertion on the basis of evidence from a sample size of one.

It's probably wisest if we just try and make the best of it.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:45 pm

Ah! See now, I think the 'goldilocks zone' does make sense of the Fermi Paradox.

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:08 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: In a universe of a billion galaxies each with a billion stars, many (possible most) stars have more than one planet, the idea that life with intelligence has not occurred elsewhere is a no brainer.
Even this statistic understates the case by several orders of magnitude. The current best guess is that the universe contains about 200 billion galaxies, each containing an average of about 200 billion stars, most of which are assumed to have planets. Furthermore the cosmos is but a pup. This is much harder to estimate but in all likelihood she's got a few hundred billion good years left in her yet.

It would be an unwise hubris to overstate the significance of our own existence in the light of such staggering numbers, especially since we now know that the basic ingredients for life, complex long-chain carbon polymers, are ubiquitous in clouds of interstellar gas and dust. Most astrobiologists are of the view that in the calmer outer suburbs of suitable galaxies, (like ours), the universe has probably been teeming with life from about 4-6 billion years ago, but probably not before that time. Over the next tens of billions of years the galaxies will continue to calm down and become steadily more and more hospitable for life. It seems probable that we're an early developer in the cosmic scheme of things but obviously it's impossible to assign a statistical probability to such an assertion on the basis of evidence from a sample size of one.

It's probably wisest if we just try and make the best of it.
I see. SO my numbers are a bit out of date.
Circa 1979 used to watch "Cosmos" with Carl Sagan on a tiny b&w TV, every Friday night and always with a big fat joint. I certainly got a feel for the enormity of it all. Sagan has a very nasal way of saying "Billions", which was highly imitable.
For all the wide/flat mega screens of today nothing seem to have the effect of wonder like that series had.

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:19 pm

Arising_uk wrote:Ah! See now, I think the 'goldilocks zone' does make sense of the Fermi Paradox.
Take the Drake equation, and anything else besides, I don't think the Fermi paradox is as much of a problem because they might just be a lot smarter than us and have already figured out how futile ET comms would be. Given the fact that most ET's neighbours would take years to reach, and return the signal, and whose to say that, without any shared context such messages would be gobbledee gook.

Like I said above most species are likely to remain aquatic; or missed radio/tv transmission and gone straight to cable; or civilisation has taken a course unrecognisable to us.

And our attempts to contact them?
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.34.44.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.34.44.png (69.59 KiB) Viewed 1618 times
Tell me how this is any different from random fuzz?

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:00 am

Naturally all of this shit is highly conjectural yet interesting nevertheless. The truth is that we simply don't know how many planets are out there which are suitable for life and neither can we know how long is a typical time-span for a biosphere to evolve to such a level of complexity that an advanced technological civilisation might evolve within it. However we do know that the basic ingredients for life are everywhere to be found in the universe and it simply beggars belief that life is not therefore ubiquitous throughout the cosmos. However, given the overall evolutionary trajectory of the cosmos, it is not unreasonable to suppose that advanced technological civilisations capable of exploiting the resources of an entire solar system might still be rather thin on the ground. As for colonising a galaxy, or even a tiny little corner of a galaxy, it might be best to leave this idea to the science fiction writers for the time being. Whilst such a thing is neither impossible nor unimaginable, in principle, it would require a civilisation which thinks in a totally different time-frame from ours. We seem to have enough trouble making decisions whose effects will bear no fruit for a decade or two, let alone launch missions which will achieve no tangible outcome for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

I'm not actually even suggesting that homo sapiens couldn't ultimately evolve into a civilisation capable of thinking along such extended temporal scales but I'd suggest that we've probably got a few more pressing issues to get sorted out first.

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Greta
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Greta » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:52 am

Obvious Leo wrote:As for colonising a galaxy, or even a tiny little corner of a galaxy, it might be best to leave this idea to the science fiction writers for the time being. Whilst such a thing is neither impossible nor unimaginable, in principle, it would require a civilisation which thinks in a totally different time-frame from ours. We seem to have enough trouble making decisions whose effects will bear no fruit for a decade or two, let alone launch missions which will achieve no tangible outcome for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years.

I'm not actually even suggesting that homo sapiens couldn't ultimately evolve into a civilisation capable of thinking along such extended temporal scales but I'd suggest that we've probably got a few more pressing issues to get sorted out first.
It would be easier to replace our body parts than to colonise our galactic neighbourhood. Personally, I expect that the first sign of intelligence we will encounter will be AI drones. Sending human explorers is obviously not practicable at interstellar scales.

Whatever, I don't think ET will arrive on our doorstep. If they are intelligent they would not risk catastrophic bacterial cross infections unless they had solved that problem (which I guess is potentially conceivable for very advanced civilisations).

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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:12 am

Greta wrote: Sending human explorers is obviously not practicable at interstellar scales.
I agree. I don't think this is a likely way in which a species would exploit the physical resources of a star system other than its own.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:46 am

Greta wrote: It would be easier to replace our body parts than to colonise our galactic neighbourhood. Personally, I expect that the first sign of intelligence we will encounter will be AI drones. Sending human explorers is obviously not practicable at interstellar scales. ...
Dyson thought, given a few caveats, that he could have made Alpha Centauri in about 50 years with the possible pusher-plate technology at the time.

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UniversalAlien
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by UniversalAlien » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:47 am

You might find this interesting:

A New Equation Reveals Our Exact Odds of Finding Alien Life
It’s been over half a century since Frank Drake developed an equation to estimate the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy. We’ve learned a lot since then, prompting an astrophysicist from MIT to come up with her own take on the equation. Here’s how the new formula works — and how it could help in the search for alien life.

The new formula was devised by Sara Seager, a professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I contacted her to learn more about the new equation and why the time was right for a rethink.

Assessing the Probability of Intelligent Life........
..........Indeed, Seager’s equation will become increasingly relevant and useful after the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018. MIT’s Tess Mission (Translating ExtraSolar planet Survey mission) will look at 500,000 stars spread out across the sky looking for transiting planets that are rocky.

These mirrors will allow us to observe the birth of the Universe
In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will become one of the greatest tools in humanity's…
Read more io9.​com
“Once we have a pool of those planets, we hope to follow them up by looking at their atmospheres with the James Webb Telescope,” says Seager. “It’s that kind of two-pronged approach that we’ve adopted. So the equation is real in the sense that it’s talking about what we can accomplish in the next decade.”

In regards to the search for alien life, Seager says her team is working on this for real.

“We’re the first generation that gets to help answer this question.”
See whole article here:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/what-a-brand-new ... -531575395

And of course given what we know of life forming here does not prove that it formed anywhere else no matter how big the numbers, For example:

Ignoring 500 Billion Galaxies: Mathematics vs Common Sense in the Debate About the Probability of Extraterrestrial Life
Carl Sagan said that "extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence." In a stunning display of mathematical logic vs common sense, David Spiegel of Princeton University and Edwin Turner from the University of Tokyo published a paper last summer that turns the Drake equation upside down using Bayesian reasoning to show that just because we evolved on Earth, doesn’t mean that the same occurrence would necessarily happen elsewhere; "using evidence of our own existence doesn’t show anything" they argue, "other than that we are here."

What Bayesian reasoning overlooks, of course, is the inconvenient fact that there are some one trillion galaxies in the known universe and some 50 billion planets estimated to exist in the Milky Way alone and some 500,000,000 predicted to exist in a habitable zone.
Spiegel and Turner point out that basing our expectations of life existing on other planets, for no better reason that it exists here, is really only proof that were are more than capable of deceiving ourselves into thinking that things are much more likely than they really are.

They argue that other unknown factors exist that could have contributed to us being here that we don’t yet understand. So, they conclude that, deriving numbers from an equation such as that put forth by Drake, only serves to underscore our belief in the existence of other alien life forms, rather than the actual chances of it being so............
See whole article here:
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... f-ext.html

Given another planet{s} with similar conditions as Earth, does anyone know what the odds would be of life similar to the biological life on this planet of actually happening :?:

For example:
The Odds of Life Forming by Chance.
Proteins, DNA and RNA are extremely complex organic molecules that are essential for life. These molecules could not have originated through evolution. Natural selection requires living cells that are capable of replication, and living cells could not exist until these molecules were already in existence.[1] The only alternative materialistic explanation is that these molecules must have originated by random molecular combinations, but when you do the math, it turns out that this is extremely unlikely—far less likely, in fact, than many things we regard as being impossible.
See article here:
http://members.toast.net/puritan/Articl ... arth_A.htm

BIOLOGICAL LIFE COULD BE COMMON IN THE UNIVERSE - ON THE OTHER HAND IT MIGHT BE SCARCE :?: :idea: :!:

Obvious Leo
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Re: Does Mind Require a Biological Body to be Conscious?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:36 pm

No biologist in his right mind would ever suggest that life evolves by random chance. Molecular evolution is a mature science with a rigorous methodology and the general principles of how life emerges from non-life have have been well understood since Ilya Prigogine's work into molecular dissipative structures. There are probably a gazillion different mechanisms by which this could occur and the particular mechanism which ultimately gave rise to our planetary biosphere will almost certainly never be known.

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