What is the difference between the mind and the spirit?

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10 May 2019 06:52 - 10 May 2019 06:55 #338302 by Adder
A good place to start is to view the mind as being the self within the nervous system, and the spirit as the self outside the nervous system. One could shift the boundary from nervous system to brain but I prefer to think of it as its own system.

This way one can use the term to mean the expression of energy such as when one is 'spirited', or something more nebulous.... like the unknown interactions between inside where one places the boundary and what might appear to lay outside of it. So in that later sense, is it a placeholder for the unknown.... probably, and it might exist firstly as the spirit of oneself until it acquires some identifying attributes where it might become the spirit of something else, until it acquires some objective attributes which might remove it from being of spirit entirely..

Edit; though I don't view them as different things, just different forms of the same thing... and the forms happen to change dramatically the further away it is!

Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 10 May 2019 06:55 by Adder.

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10 May 2019 14:42 - 10 May 2019 15:02 #338309 by ZealotX

Gisteron wrote:

ZealotX wrote: How long before [machines] achieve consciousness if taught what consciousness is?

How long before they are taught that? How long before any of us are? I have yet to hear a definition of "consciousness" that is both coherent and compatible with how we know things work. How long do you reckon until I achieve it, if ever taught what it is?


As a programmer I spent most of my life doubting the possibility of true AI. I knew too much about how normal AI is handled and simulated. I always knew that in order to create real AI programmers would need to understand how intelligence emerges. What they're doing now indicates to me that they do understand and thus the rise of neural networks. I'm actually with Elon Musk in my concern for the AI future because I don't think we're ready or have realistic safeguards in place. The key to intelligence, in my opinion, is recursion. You touch the stove. You burn your finger. You don't touch the stove. Currently, if I program a robot not to touch the stove this might seem "smart" but its not the robot's own intelligence; it's mine. However, if you remove the training wheels and allow the robot to learn on its own (perhaps in completely simulated environments) then over time it can not only learn how to avoid getting burned but also how to walk, talk, etc. Keep in mind that we humans have to learn so much out of the box and it takes time. However, time for a computer is completely relative to its clock speed and how many instructions it can execute in a millisecond. We're now at the level of doing real-time ray tracing which is a dream of mine. I thought we might get there eventually but... the time ray tracing used to take vs today? Amazing. And AI are learning how to do it faster. But what an AI learns today is basically scripted because they're being used for our purposes. That's not the same as an organism out in the wild. Again... training wheels.

Each of us has a certain algorithm or repetitive cycle. It's what we learn and pass on to our children that makes us intelligent and able to build on prior memories, even of prior generations of humans. Imagine a machine doing the same thing about a million times faster. It is absolutely possible and perhaps even inevitable because there is no magic trick that explains human existence. It's simply a system based on algorithms.

The human being is a machine driven by software driven by spirit.

Do you understand what that means?


Are you questioning my understanding or asking if I said something at random? If you disagree feel free to tell me how but please refrain from insinuating I don't understand what I myself am saying. It is a little condescending to say the least and I'd rather continue to enjoy our conversation.

The answer to your question is "I think therefore I am".

How? I mean, this argument is entirely circular. It defines thinking as something that includes being, and then concludes that indeed it does. It might as well say "I think, therefore I think" for all the meaning it carries. Why anyone takes it seriously still is a mystery to me.


Yes, exactly! It's circular because it's supposed to be. I could even argue that it's spherical but that would go beyond my ability to explain. What came first? The chicken or the egg? You need a chicken to lay the egg but what kind of chicken doesn't come from an egg? You have to let go of any preconceived notions if you want to think outside the box. The worst circular logic in my opinion is that "because humans exist we must have been created by someone or something more intelligent". This is obviously circular because if the same standard is applied to that creator then that creator must have a creator ad infinitum. However, if you understand evolution (and when I was a believer I truly did not) then evolution gives you a circular process but allows that process to become a system in which things inside the system can grow and adapt. Cells divide ad infinitum but they also die. Somewhere in that life-cycle the organism continues to grow and change and you can train your muscles or get fat from over-consumption. In other words within the life-cycle of cells is growth. If you reverse that growth (theoretically not literally) you wouldn't see a human at the beginning of that process.

A tree is driven by simple logic. It takes in energy from the sun and nutrients from the earth. The power from the sun empowers the organism to build. And it builds towards the sun in order to collect more energy and creates more leaves to do so more efficiently. Who teaches it that? Surely it doesn't go to school. So if it has this basic logic to the very nature of its growth than the same basic theory or logic can help us understand why and how we became more intelligent than a tree. I would argue that because we live we chase energy to keep living until we die. I "eat" therefore I am. But I didn't start life as a 6'2 man with sleep apnea. I started as a single cell who wasn't necessarily "thinking". And it is very possible that 9 months in the womb simply hyper accelerated what took millions of years to do outside the womb. But it's all about cycles; circular motion. The question is what can you do within that cycle, that clock tick, that 24 hour day, that year, that helps you in some way that goes beyond that cycle?

I see consciousness as the animating energy that is absorbed into the tree and becomes the life of the tree. How it moves through the tree and how it creates new branches and leaves is what makes the tree alive and unique. It "learns" simply by virtue of the fact that its able to gather more energy in one place than another. It's not "thinking" about it or questioning it. The laws of physics simply provides a rudimentary frame work for logic in the same way that math can be thought of as a universal language.

The "potential" of AI has been around for a long time. The potential of human existence can also be said to have existed from the Genesis of the universe.

It seems by potential you just mean statistical or logical possibility. It is trivial to say in hindsight that there has been a non-zero probability for us to emerge in the universe as we know it. After all we are here, so there is at least one instance of it happening... in the one and only course of events we know transpired following what ever initial conditions. Wouldn't we say the universe yielded a potential to evolve in a completely different way, though? We don't know how probable another course of events would be, if a second one even is possible at all. Sure, something that is sure to happen is possible, technically, but does that recognition help us much if we don't know whether it is necessary or not? Or consider this another way: Surely we'd almost all agree that just because something didn't occur, we cannot deduce that therefore it couldn't have, nor that it could have. Conversely, if something did occur, nothing is gained from acknowledging that therefore it could have. Judging probabilities after the fact is easy, and those judgements are cheap for that reason. The non-trivial question, namely whether or not it had to occur, on the other hand, is impossible to address.


I'm sorry but any level of triviality on my part is just your imagination. That's like saying that I haven't thought enough about it; a thing that you cannot know or determine from a brief correspondence. Furthermore, I think it is irrelevant to talk about hindsight if there is no possibility of foresight. None of us where there in the beginning so all we can do is speculate from the cheap seats. There are certain laws of physics and certain probabilities of events occurring that utilize those laws. There cannot be probabilities of events that occur which do not utilize the laws of physics and therefore it is a prerequisite of scientific probability that the event must be physically possible. So if there are green men on some other planet there has to be a reasonable scientific explanation to support why they have green skin or blue or silver. My skin happens to match the soil and I have hair on my arms just like I have grass on my lawn. That's not a coincidence to me. It's possible, to me, that the Earth is one big cell and we are its symbiotic parasites who have symbiotic parasites of our own. It's not just circular, its inter-dimensional. We are lego blocks made of smaller lego blocks but when we ask why we exist we don't ask how the lego blocks of the lego blocks got here but rather how the finished form got here as a finished form. The laws of physics determine what materials a star will poop out to become its solar system. If the materials depend on temperature then we know this can change but can predict which stars may produce solar systems that can eventually support (organic) life.

But if organic life began as a transfer of energy then whether we call it life or not, life didn't start as something organic. Life, in that case, (of course it also depend on how you define life), started as the energy. For me, the "movement" of that energy is the essence of life. You can disagree but when there is a flow of energy then it (being in motion) tends to stay in motion. Energy is conserved so therefore it can be absorbed if it is slowed down. What we know is that our planet is constantly being hit with solar radiation or energy that makes everything grow and all life on earth is dependent on that growth. And we simply have life forms that move slowly vs others that move quickly. Time is relative to each of them, based on their "internal clock cycles". You ever hit a bird with a car? Ever have trouble swatting a fly? Evolution, natural selection, all these things are linked invariably to the flow of energy from body to body. For me, this is merely scratching the surface of "The Force" but it is why I can "believe" in "The Force" without sounding like a religious nut.

That kind of triviality was what I was criticizing in my last message as well. If an argument can be applied to everything, then it tells us nothing. If you present an argument to say that some "life energy" is what distinguishes life-from non-life and I can use that very same argument to pick any other ingredient and say the same of it, surely then the argument does not show anything special about that "life energy".


Again... nothing trivial about it to me. It's simply a matter of what people can comprehend vs what I understand vs my ability to relay it in a way that makes sense to them. It makes perfect sense to me but I am not you. You also have to take into account confirmation bias as Kyrin would point out. So I don't just casually say "life energy". What is a physical body made out of? What are the lego blocks, really? We distinguish these things in our minds and in our language but everything is energy. EVERYTHING. You can think of everything as energy moving at different speeds although that is an over simplification. Different "vibrations" is a bit more accurate. What makes something "life energy"? How it's used. All energy can (potentially) be "life energy". Our bodies convert energy from one form to another like micro reactors. This simply means that it is in the nature of a cell to be a micro reactor, conductor, or converter of energy. Slow moving energy is dense and therefore physical. Fast moving energy is more ethereal. So by it's "irreducible nature" I have to say yes... energy distinguishes life from non-life. Every "other ingredient" is also energy. But if all forms of energy were the same then why should I put cumin and chili powder in meat to make taco salad if its the same as using oregano? It's all energy, right? But the "experience" of the energy that became chili powder is different from the experience of the energy that became oregano. And so they taste different. They have different bonds and different structures. So what I'm saying is that there is no "Special ingredient" but rather an experience that sets one form of energy apart. The energy that becomes you is having a different experience from the energy that becomes me. Is this energy eternal or is it constantly being replenished by the energy we take in? I think it's the latter and that consciousness within the brain is a unique flow of energy.

In the ocean a lot of the water evaporates. But the ocean is still the ocean and waves are still waves because the water has a flow and so much of it is moving in the same direction. So even if you pour in a bucket of water from the opposite side of the world it will move just like the rest of the water and will be indistinguishable from it. That, to me, is how life (and subsequently the Force) is. You seem to be trying to take a bucket of water out of the ocean and point to the see saying, "See, its still the ocean". Sure, one bucket of water would seem trivial. It's not like an adult human has only 1,000 cells. Our cells are like drops of water. You may not be able to disrupt the ocean but a river is much easier. If you dig around the river in the right way you would cause the water to disperse in a way that it could all evaporate. So there you don't destroy the water but rather the environmental conditions that contained it. Same is true with the human body. If you destroy it in a way that life cannot be contained inside it that doesn't mean the energy dies. The person dies. The human ceases to be. But the building blocks are still there and the cells will continue to use the remaining storage of energy until they also cease to function. Of course do we see all of our individual cells as "I" or only the complete entity they all make up? They die all the time and we don't notice because new ones are born all the time. In the same way our species only seems to recall more traumatic events. Before our energy dissipates we have children. The ocean is still the ocean.
Last edit: 10 May 2019 15:02 by ZealotX.

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10 May 2019 16:35 - 10 May 2019 16:36 #338314 by Kyrin Wyldstar

ZealotX wrote:
Yes, exactly! It's circular because it's supposed to be. I could even argue that it's spherical but that would go beyond my ability to explain. What came first? The chicken or the egg? You need a chicken to lay the egg but what kind of chicken doesn't come from an egg?



This is yet another meaningless circular argument and one that does not even have a veneer of plausibility. Of course the egg came first. Dinosaurs used eggs as well but the chicken evolved much later than that. This is a simple matter of evolutionary "Theory". (capital T not small t)

As for "I think, therefore I am", how do you know? Do you consider a piece of software running in ram to "exist"? or does just the hardware exist that is executing the code? Maybe you dont exist but are the "thought" of another.

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
My Journals: Kyrin-Wyldstar

Associate Degree of Divinity - Earned July, 2017
Apprenticed to: Alan, Senan, Mendalicious
Tribute to Senan: My Friend
Last edit: 10 May 2019 16:36 by Kyrin Wyldstar.

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10 May 2019 21:42 #338333 by Gisteron
It really is even worse than that, though. It's not difficult to just arbitrarily pick some overarching structure or relations between objects or events, give them a label, and meaningfully speak of the labeled entity as something that "exists". After all, it's not like even the most tangible objects "exist" in isolation. We identify their existence by the fact that we can make observations of them interacting with other things that themselves as well exist only in virtue of interactions. We cannot speak mass if we have no force at our avail to observe inertness, or another mass to see a gravitational pull between them... to which they both in turn react inertly. And circular though that may seem, we can likewise never meaningfully speak of a force if we cannot propose test bodies it'd affect.

So I generally can get behind saying that we think, or that thoughts exist or that minds do, even leaving precise definitions of those things pending, assuming that they would be some kind of relation or observation cluster that we refer to by those labels. Not isolated independent entities, but useful fictions, parts of models to explain, say, behaviours, for instance.
What I don't understand is how that renders any stop to the skeptic reduction that had led Descartes no further than to solipsism. He says that there may arguably not be the object of the thought just because there is a thought, but - so the argument goes - for there to be a thought, there must be a "mind", a thought-maker, a thinker, one might say. Yet nothing is done to substantiate that. This is a blatant watchmaker argument in structure. A painting needs a painter, an engine needs an engineer, a universe needs a god, a thought needs a thinker and a source needs a sorceror. Well, no, that does not follow. Not without an actual logical link, anyway.

And much like a god, a mind is also unnecessary and unhelpful to explain anything. The ontology is all well and good, but if we want to keep it within the realm of things we can actually use to improve anyone's life, we need to keep it realisic. Thoughts as we colloquially understand them correspond to states or changes of states within brains. The match needn't be one-to-one nor even bijective, but there is at any rate some kind of linear map from the space of all brain states to the space of all thoughts. Brain states are in turn governed by chemistry which routes back to - at worst - time-dependent non-relativistic mechanics of the electron. There is no conceptual gap anywhere in this chain where a new link is required, much less one as vague as "the mind". If anything, where ever we stick it we'd just be introducing new problems where none need be, whilst not solving any of the few we'd be having either way...

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20 May 2019 15:05 #338619 by ZealotX

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote:

ZealotX wrote:
Yes, exactly! It's circular because it's supposed to be. I could even argue that it's spherical but that would go beyond my ability to explain. What came first? The chicken or the egg? You need a chicken to lay the egg but what kind of chicken doesn't come from an egg?



This is yet another meaningless circular argument and one that does not even have a veneer of plausibility. Of course the egg came first. Dinosaurs used eggs as well but the chicken evolved much later than that. This is a simple matter of evolutionary "Theory". (capital T not small t)

As for "I think, therefore I am", how do you know? Do you consider a piece of software running in ram to "exist"? or does just the hardware exist that is executing the code? Maybe you dont exist but are the "thought" of another.


It's obviously not meaningless if I said it, lol. You're assuming it lacks meaning because you're not finding it. And yet I can only try to communicate my thoughts in a way you can understand. How did an egg come first with nothing to lay it? That makes no sense at all and would require the use of magic which I detest as a rational supposition.

If something is evolving then it needs to first evolve the ability to create an "egg" or to "copy its code". Before RNA how does this happen? How does an "egg" pre-exist RNA?

I said I was making a spherical argument because evolution... which is a microcosm of intelligence... is "recursive". In other words, it's something caught in a cycle that has the ability to effect the cycle which effects its changes within the cycle. This is the essence of how and why neural networks exist. And this is what I was missing as a young programmer who didn't think true AI was (ever) possible. In my initial thoughts, a computer was bound to its own internal clock cycle and the randomness that seems to distinguish us as sentient beings was only accomplished by trickery of the programmer. Random doesn't exist for computers. It's a math calculation based on the computer's internal clock. Therefore if you knew all the variables as well as the equation you could accurately predict the next "random" number generated. This is the reason I didn't think AI was possible. However if you asked me to say a random number I'm going to mentally enter into a loop, considering a bunch of different numbers of which I might want to use. And typically those numbers will start off having some significance to me and from there I might say no, and pick a new one, in order to fit the requested criteria of it being random. In other words... it's not really random at all but a complex recursive mental equation. Of course I have the power of imagination to aid in this process, but how much of my imagination is a subconscious equation based on relevant memories and experiences? The more you know a person the more you can guess behavior that to others might seem random.

Whether or not it exists...

Of course it does. Whenever you say something exists you're identifying it for subsequent pattern recognition. Once given an identity by your brain it exists. It exists because in order for your brain to identify it or label it... it has to be an "it". Which means "it" exists. If it doesn't physically exist it still exists as a thought or idea. Potentials and possibilities therefore exist as ideas or as "states". Imagine a light switch. It exists in 2 possible states: on and off. Because those states exist you can make predictions about what it is and will be. Hence regular computing and yes... Quantum computing. These are realms that cannot be probed by empiricism; only rationalism.

You cannot see intelligence so how do you know it exists. It has to exist in order for me to even ask the question. And so I'm making logical determinations about spirit and consciousness based on my understanding of other systems and similar behavior. In fact, I would say that intelligence follows a logical path way. It isn't random. Therefore it is natural that all natural systems obey a certain logical/rational pattern. Why is it that I have 5 fingers on both hands and not 4 on 1 and 6 on the other? Why does the Fibonacci sequence keep showing up in nature? It is because nature isn't magic. There's no such thing as magic. Everything is based on logic. Even logic itself. So I, as a logical thinker, have spent a lot of time trying to deduce aspects of nature that others have sought to explain via magic which I find as an insult to my intelligence. I may therefore think about things in ways that others disagree with and that's perfectly okay. But I would argue that computers mirror our bodies because the same logic that created our bodies also continues to create, through our bodies, everything that we create. And just like logic... there is also energy. Energy is the thing that creates logic by virtue of its own behavior inside a closed system. Inside of that closed system there is order and balance. It's constantly balancing itself which is "recursive" behavior.

Side note: I remember as a young programmer trying to avoid recursion because you ran the danger of creating an infinite loop. Your program wouldn't know when to stop and therefore would likely fill up memory and use up whatever resources it was using. They created a function to break out of a loop. In PHP one of them is called die() How are we that much different? Our lives are a recursive look... circular logic... and we keep consuming food in order to keep from running out of resources until we die();

A piece of software running in ram is something the Operating System has to be aware of because it is in charge of managing the resources that program is consuming. For the OS, which is not a physical entity, every piece of software, is also not a physical entity (in our perception which is relative) and therefor exists, even as it self, exists. The ONLY reason our reckoning is any different is because we have physical parts that we label physical divided from parts that we don't. However, where is the line? I'm reminded of how, in Genesis, it says God divided the waters which was above the firmament from the water which was below the firmament. Same substance, but having a different experience. At some point when I thought about it I started questioning the difference between water and air. Fish "swim" in water. Birds "fly" in air. What's the difference? Is there a difference?

Fish extract oxygen from water because water is H2O and yet there is water vapor in air. Air isn't simply O2. It's 78% nitrogen, almost 30% oxygen, almost 1% argon, .04% carbon dioxide, and other gases. The "Water" simply becomes less dense the higher up you go. And I could talk about the Nitrogen Cycle but if a person doesn't know what's in air then it's just air. And once you call it that others agree then eventually it gets added to the dictionary and "air" is a thing; an accepted and acceptable label of a thing that exists. But that's not to say that air is limited to the gases that everyone knows about and associates with it. There are worlds of unseen things that compose what we see and identify. Therefore, if someone says the spirit and the mind is the same thing they're free to do so and people are free to agree and "divide the waters from the waters" in that way. And maybe it's true and limited to that and maybe it's not. But for me life is "animated" and therefor the "spirit moves upon the face of the waters". And yes, I just lifted that out of context from Genesis. The spirit is something that moves according to a design or pattern. It moves through and constructs a network of nodes just like snowflakes, crystals, ice-cycles (sp intended), and even what we call music and the internet that we created. We cannot help but to mimic (or express) the same fundamental recursive ebb and flow of logic.

I therefore know "I am" precisely because my thoughts are recursive and that recursion creates intelligence. Any questions?

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20 May 2019 16:41 #338622 by ZealotX

Gisteron wrote: It really is even worse than that, though. It's not difficult to just arbitrarily pick some overarching structure or relations between objects or events, give them a label, and meaningfully speak of the labeled entity as something that "exists". After all, it's not like even the most tangible objects "exist" in isolation. We identify their existence by the fact that we can make observations of them interacting with other things that themselves as well exist only in virtue of interactions. We cannot speak mass if we have no force at our avail to observe inertness, or another mass to see a gravitational pull between them... to which they both in turn react inertly. And circular though that may seem, we can likewise never meaningfully speak of a force if we cannot propose test bodies it'd affect.

So I generally can get behind saying that we think, or that thoughts exist or that minds do, even leaving precise definitions of those things pending, assuming that they would be some kind of relation or observation cluster that we refer to by those labels. Not isolated independent entities, but useful fictions, parts of models to explain, say, behaviours, for instance.
What I don't understand is how that renders any stop to the skeptic reduction that had led Descartes no further than to solipsism. He says that there may arguably not be the object of the thought just because there is a thought, but - so the argument goes - for there to be a thought, there must be a "mind", a thought-maker, a thinker, one might say. Yet nothing is done to substantiate that. This is a blatant watchmaker argument in structure. A painting needs a painter, an engine needs an engineer, a universe needs a god, a thought needs a thinker and a source needs a sorceror. Well, no, that does not follow. Not without an actual logical link, anyway.

And much like a god, a mind is also unnecessary and unhelpful to explain anything. The ontology is all well and good, but if we want to keep it within the realm of things we can actually use to improve anyone's life, we need to keep it realisic. Thoughts as we colloquially understand them correspond to states or changes of states within brains. The match needn't be one-to-one nor even bijective, but there is at any rate some kind of linear map from the space of all brain states to the space of all thoughts. Brain states are in turn governed by chemistry which routes back to - at worst - time-dependent non-relativistic mechanics of the electron. There is no conceptual gap anywhere in this chain where a new link is required, much less one as vague as "the mind". If anything, where ever we stick it we'd just be introducing new problems where none need be, whilst not solving any of the few we'd be having either way...


See my previous post for answers responses to your statements.

However I do want to say specifically in regards to...

This is a blatant watchmaker argument in structure. A painting needs a painter, an engine needs an engineer, a universe needs a god, a thought needs a thinker and a source needs a sorceror. Well, no, that does not follow. Not without an actual logical link, anyway.


There is an assumption embedded in this line of reasoning that the one things needs the other thing presumed to be its source. If the the source of the universe is a god then god must, as a definition, expand to fit any possibility as an origin for the universe. A painting needs a painter but a painter doesn't have to be human. AI can paint. Hell, put pets in a room with paint and cardboard and you'll likely have some kind of painting if you wait long enough and they don't die of poisoning.

You can also say "magic needs a magician". Of course the concept of magic can exist without the actual doing of the same. Or one must say the type of magic is predicated on the type of magician. A magician simulates magic through logical deception. All they do is trick our perception to believe something happened that our brains can't rationally immediately explain. Same is true with evolution. We don't immediately understand how we got here so many of us jump to the conclusion that the WHOLE appeared as a whole vs thinking how the variables begat other variables and systems begat systems and the whole didn't one day spring into existence but developed from the intangible fractions.

The watchmaker is an argument I used to make when I was young. But the watch maker puts the parts of the watch together. Do they make every part? Do they make the metal or the quartz? If not then they created the watch but did not bring the watch into existence. They simply put the watch (cloud of potential parts) together. So we have to stop thinking in wholes (because we create these bodies from our perception) and instead consider the parts (cells) and the systems and the variables. A cell looks a lot like an atom. Did someone ever claim to create the atom? In which part of Genesis did YHWH say that he created quarks and atoms? It doesn't say that because the writers were thinking about the whole.

I don't think the brain is governed by chemistry but rather chemistry is another means of biological communication, making up part of the environment. The environment influences the mind. If someone is depressed its like a "rainy day" within the body. But again... depression can be caused by an actual rainy day which would then make observation and the nervous system the initial trigger for that chemical state and in that way "thoughts become things", but I don't want to get too deep in the weeds trying to prove a point outside what's relevant to the main subject of the spirit. And perhaps chemistry creates certain conditions in which certain thoughts are more likely... like lighting striking. Lighting seems random and yet it is driven by conditions. The brain, to me, is like a system of continuous lightning in different parts of the brain, but that lighting is consciousness. Take away the brain and you take away the medium creating the pathways and conditions (that create the logic) that leads to intelligence.

What is at the base of everything is energy (being the thing) and rules leading to logic (being the intangible system on top of which other systems can be built). Force and structure. There is no reason to believe the same process that creates all matter isn't the same process that makes intelligent life. And for me the proof in that pudding is the Fibonacci sequence. From there you get a spiraling algorithm; recursive design significant enough to produce intelligence.

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20 May 2019 17:24 #338624 by Kyrin Wyldstar

ZealotX wrote: It's obviously not meaningless if I said it, lol. You're assuming it lacks meaning because you're not finding it. And yet I can only try to communicate my thoughts in a way you can understand. How did an egg come first with nothing to lay it? That makes no sense at all and would require the use of magic which I detest as a rational supposition.

If something is evolving then it needs to first evolve the ability to create an "egg" or to "copy its code". Before RNA how does this happen? How does an "egg" pre-exist RNA?


Ah but you moved the goal posts here. A logical Fallacy. We were not discussing RNA or its development. We were discussing chickens and eggs. Chickens evolved from non-chickens through small changes caused by mutations to the DNA. These mutations only have an effect at the point where a new zygote is created. That is, two non-chickens mated and the DNA in their new zygote contained the necessary mutations to the embryonic body plan to make the first true chicken. That one zygote cell then divided and formed a biologically modern chicken. But prior to that first true chicken zygote, there were only non-chickens. However the zygote cell is the only place where DNA mutations could produce a new animal, and the zygote cell is housed in the egg. Thus, the egg came first.




ZealotX wrote: Whether or not it exists...

Of course it does. Whenever you say something exists you're identifying it for subsequent pattern recognition. Once given an identity by your brain it exists. It exists because in order for your brain to identify it or label it... it has to be an "it". Which means "it" exists. If it doesn't physically exist it still exists as a thought or idea. Potentials and possibilities therefore exist as ideas or as "states".


How do you identify a thought? By what process to you assign it properties to even examine? If you reduce it to simply electrical impulses in the brains processing then why do humans have thoughts but machines don’t? If you imagine yourself walking in a park, does that walk actually exist? That idea does not exist outside of your awareness so how do you show it to another? How do you know you are even actually having thoughts? What if it is an illusion? What if you are not thinking the thought but actually ARE the thought? How do you prove you exist then?




ZealotX wrote: You cannot see intelligence so how do you know it exists. It has to exist in order for me to even ask the question


No intelligence does not have to exist, just like numbers do not exist. They are simply descriptors we assign to specific phenomena we observe in the universe.





ZealotX wrote: Side note: I remember as a young programmer trying to avoid recursion because you ran the danger of creating an infinite loop. Your program wouldn't know when to stop and therefore would likely fill up memory and use up whatever resources it was using. They created a function to break out of a loop. In PHP one of them is called die() How are we that much different? Our lives are a recursive look... circular logic... and we keep consuming food in order to keep from running out of resources until we die();



I think this is an inaccurate analogy. For the human consuming food would be equivalent to the computer consuming electricity in order to keep from dying. The recursive loop in a computer that consumes resources would be equivalent to a cancer in the human body consuming organs. One process is self-sustaining, the other is involuntary self-destruction.

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20 May 2019 17:31 #338625 by Gisteron

ZealotX wrote: If something is evolving then it needs to first evolve the ability to create an "egg" or to "copy its code". Before RNA how does this happen? How does an "egg" pre-exist RNA?

Self-replication of structures in matter predates both eggs and chicken. It also predates RNA. The whole "which came first?" argument is frankly a waste of time at this point, not only because we know the answers to it up to almost every variation one can put on it, but also because it wouldn't mean anything if we didn't. Nothing follows from "we don't know", but in this case we do.


I said I was making a spherical argument because evolution... which is a microcosm of intelligence... is "recursive". In other words, it's something caught in a cycle that has the ability to effect the cycle which effects its changes within the cycle. This is the essence of how and why neural networks exist.

A sequence is recursive if all its items can be defined as a function of finitely many starting items. A function is recursive if it calls itself. It has neither to do with evolution, nor with neural networks, nor with cycles. What you mean is feedback.


Random doesn't exist for computers. It's a math calculation based on the computer's internal clock.

What's stopping me from building a computer that counts, say, how many nuclei of a radioactive substance have decayed after a sufficiently short period of time? What about counting electrons or holes that passed by a tunnel diode? Or, for that matter, why wouldn't I count photoelectrons? One could also build a computer that runs the math calculation not at what ever time but only at the time it receives a signal from such a source. Sure, all our home computers make pseudo-random numbers by consulting the internal clock, but ultimately they are made of the same stuff as we are and there is no reason in principle why one couldn't have an artificial genuine random number generator unless genuine randomness were generally impossible.


You cannot see intelligence so how do you know it exists. It has to exist in order for me to even ask the question.

The believer cannot see God either, so how do they know it exists? "It has to exist in order for me to even ask the question"? Sure, everything we can conceive of is manifest in that thought at that very instant, and can thus be said to "exist" in that sense. To me that's not a definition of existence, because it allows no distinctions and is thus useless for the purposes of communication and discussion as well as any kind of intellectual assessment.


And so I'm making logical determinations about spirit and consciousness based on my understanding of other systems and similar behavior. In fact, I would say that intelligence follows a logical path way [sic]. It isn't random. Therefore it is natural that all natural systems obey a certain logical/rational pattern.

n is Y. n is not Z. Therefore all x in A are Y. Which is it? Are you making a logical determination or are you concluding things that do not follow from your premises? Can't have both, pick one.


Why is it that I have 5 fingers on both hands and not 4 on 1 and 6 on the other? Why does the Fibonacci sequence keep showing up in nature? It is because nature isn't magic. There's no such thing as magic. Everything is based on logic. Even logic itself.

Logic is the only means by which we can make sense. Or rather what ever means we find to make sense we call "logic". Is it any surprise then, that what ever makes any sense to us at all seems logical to just the same extent? I think it a rather presumptuous leap to make, that rather than merely our understanding of it, nature itself be based upon our thinking, too.


So I, as a logical thinker, have spent a lot of time trying to deduce aspects of nature that others have sought to explain via magic which I find as an insult to my intelligence.

I recommend observing nature rather than trying to deduce it. While plenty can be deduced ex nihilo - or ex principiis primis, as the case may be - none of it will reliably have to do with nature.


... computers mirror our bodies because the same logic that created our bodies also continues to create, through our bodies, everything that we create.

Then how come that noone who'd build a machine based on the same "logic" our bodies were built by would rightly be called an engineer? If anything, they'd be laughed out of the room for the preposterously inefficient and outright counter-productive designs akin to ones that run our bodies. It should be as insulting to an engineer's intelligence to say that their work resembles nature as it is to yours to say that nature is governed by magic.


Energy is the thing that creates logic by virtue of its own behavior inside a closed system. Inside of that closed system there is order and balance. It's constantly balancing itself which is "recursive" behavior.

I can sort of understand how entropy maximization might be interpreted as balancing, but I have no clue what that has to do with logic, or with order. Recursion seems to be just thrown in there because you like the word or something, certainly not because it has jack all to do with what you're talking about...


Side note: I remember as a young programmer trying to avoid recursion because you ran the danger of creating an infinite loop. Your program wouldn't know when to stop and therefore would likely fill up memory and use up whatever resources it was using. They created a function to break out of a loop. In PHP one of them is called die() How are we that much different? Our lives are a recursive look... circular logic... and we keep consuming food in order to keep from running out of resources until we die();

Recursion is not circular, it's nested. Also, the function doesn't consume anything to keep from running out of resources. It will run out of them unless the break condition applies before then.


At some point when I thought about it I started questioning the difference between water and air. Fish "swim" in water. Birds "fly" in air. What's the difference? Is there a difference?

Yes, there is. Fish keep afloat through buoyancy, birds stay in the air through lift. That's why fish can stop in the water and stay in one place for almost arbitrary amounts of time while only very few birds can hover by furiously flapping their tiny wings for the privilege. Needless to say energy consumptions are vastly different for those processes. Birds need to rest while fish cease swimming only upon death. I don't mean to sound rude, but did you carry on thinking about it once the question came to your mind, or was it enough already when it did and you never picked it up again? I mean, this is so obvious, I genuinely don't understand how one could keep wondering about it after doing any thinking on it whatsoever...


Fish extract oxygen from water because water is H2O [sic] and yet there is water vapor in air.

Fish do not separate the oxygen out of the water molecules. They breathe oxygen solved in the water. That's why you have pumps in any aquarium of a noteworthy size that keep the surface distrubed so that oxygen from the air is being mixed into the water constantly.


Air isn't simply O2 [sic]. It's 78% nitrogen, almost 30% oxygen, almost 1% argon, .04% carbon dioxide, and other gases.

78%+30%+1%=109%. We can be generous and shave maybe 2% off of that and still have more parts of the air than the air has parts...


... We cannot help but to mimic (or express) the same fundamental recursive ebb and flow of logic.

Logic has no ebbs or flows and neither does recursion. I guess there's finally one thing they have in common.


I therefore know "I am" precisely because my thoughts are recursive and that recursion creates intelligence. Any questions?

Yes. What does any of this gibberish have to do with the question? Also, since you are a programmer, I assume you actually understand what recursion means and that your thoughts are almost entirely unlike it, as is intelligence and pretty much everything else anyone is talking about here. What is the purpose of dragging it in anyway?

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