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Author: xebec Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 25060  
Subject: Re: Consciousness and its relationship to Evolut Date: 6/7/2001 3:26 PM
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I have read the Searle reference and have some comments. I think it is a great article and but in it Searle simply asserts that consciousness is caused by biological process in the brain. He says alot of people object to this statement. (At least I am not alone.) Searle says that he cannot describe how consciousness comes from biological processes but he says words to the effect

"We do not know how consciousness arises from biological processes, but we know that it does."

To motivate this assertion he points out that 100 years ago when biochemistry was completely unknown life seemed as miraculous as consciousness, and that now we don't understand why anyone would think this unplausible.

Fair enough. But I have a counter analogy. Four hundred years ago (more or less) it was believed that life was spontaneously generated from dead matter. The fact that patent to seventeenth century scientists. I can well imagine one of them saying, "we don't know how it happens, but we do know that it happens."

I cannot follow your agument at all because you use the words consciousness, subjective, and mind all in a circular way. Essentially you are saying:

"Consciousness is a subjective phenomenon arising in the mind." You find no argument here, but I don't think you've explained anything.

Your argument against ID is a formidable one if you accept that that consciousness must exist in some physical structure. Thank you for bringing out the salient features.

Now, are people's opinions:

(1) It is a scientific fact, as certain as any other, that consciousness is a consequence of biological activity.

(2) It is not a scientific fact, but I believe it.

(3) It is not a fact, and I reserve judgement.

(4) It is not a fact, and I don't believe it.

(5) It is a scientific fact that consciousness does not require a physical substrate.

For the record I vote for 3, with a bias towards 4.




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