Proof that ghosts don't exist

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  • #1
spacetype
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How could one go about proving that ghosts do not exist?

Seems like we could make some basic assumptions about what ghosts are, and proceed to prove that that particular 'brand' of ghost cannot exist.

Any ideas?
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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We can't prove a general negative. We can only offer evidence of an explaination for specific claims, or for specific types of claims.
 
  • #3
Natr0n
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Furthermore, it's not really your job to prove that they don't exist. It's up to the person making the claim to provide evidence and construct a "proof" of the existence of ghosts.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Furthermore, it's not really your job to prove that they don't exist. It's up to the person making the claim to provide evidence and construct a "proof" of the existence of ghosts.

Not really. In principle the person making the claim is merely providing a report. If I report a robbery, am I liable to explain who did it, or how? My wife and I had some unsual experiences, but that doesn't mean that I know what it was or how to explain it. There is a difference between reporting an observation and claiming to have an explanation for it. Likewise, a claim of an observation or experience only counts as anecdotal evidence for whatever is claimed.
 
  • #5
whybother
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Not really. In principle the person making the claim is merely providing a report. If I report a robbery, am I liable to explain who did it, or how? My wife and I had some unsual experiences, but that doesn't mean that I know what it was or how to explain it. There is a difference between reporting an observation and claiming to have an explanation for it. Likewise, a claim of an observation or experience only counts as anecdotal evidence for whatever is claimed.

But making a claim to 'have seen a ghost' isn't providing a report, it's trying to provide an explanation. If someone claims to have seen a ghost, they should give evidence to why it was "a ghost" and not just something that seemed mysterious.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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The word "ghost" carries with it certain ideas about what we mean, but you are right in that the person making the claim should report exactly what was observed without adding any interpretations of what it might be. In fact that is part of what we like to do here: Make the distinction between evidence [be it anecdotal, scientific, or otherwise], and interpretations of that evidence.
 
  • #7
spacetype
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The word "ghost" carries with it certain ideas about what we mean....

Yes. I was thinking about something like the commonly thought 'characteristics' of ghosts and if it could be shown that such a thing cannot exist. Characteristics such as:
a. they can go through walls,
b. they possess intelligence,
c. they can move things,
d. they appear as 'foggy-looking' see-through-type beings,
e. etc. (Not sure if I'm forgetting something....)

Could it be shown that a 'being' with these characteristics cannot exist?
 
  • #8
spacetype
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We can't prove a general negative. We can only offer evidence of an explaination for specific claims, or for specific types of claims.


Maybe 'proof' is a bit strong. I guess what I'm asking is if we can make a strong argument against the existence of ghosts, and how we might construct such an argument.

Sorry to double post.
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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Yes. I was thinking about something like the commonly thought 'characteristics' of ghosts and if it could be shown that such a thing cannot exist. Characteristics such as:
a. they can go through walls,
b. they possess intelligence,
c. they can move things,
d. they appear as 'foggy-looking' see-through-type beings,
e. etc. (Not sure if I'm forgetting something....)

Could it be shown that a 'being' with these characteristics cannot exist?

I think it fair to say that there is no accepted scientific evidence that ghosts, as suggested, exist. Given that, we have no explanation for what "ghosts" may be if they do exist. So already we can say that there is no known explanation for what people report. We could assume some model for ghosts and show that such a model would violate the laws of physics, but we would be working on assumptions, so the respective conclusions wouldn't mean anything except within the context of the assumptions made for the "ghost" model.

We already agree that the popular view or "model" for ghosts seems to violate the laws of physics and the notion of consciousness as we understand it.
 
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  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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It is always possible that some claimed phenomenon, such as the claims of hauntings, will finally yield evidence that can be duplicated for proper study and peer review. In that event, it may be that physics will have to adapt to a "new" reality. But we have seen this before. Much of scientific knowledge was discovered, not predicted. For example, to this day we can't fully explain how lightning occurs. The issue of charge separation continues to haunt atmospheric scientists.
 
  • #11
Dadface
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Science can only explain so much and that probably is not very much at all.Personally I rather like the concept of all the ghosties and ghoulies and long leggedy beasties.The world would be a less fun place without Casper.
 
  • #12
Anticitizen
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Those who sell the idea of ghost haunts use terms like 'paranormal' and 'supernatural' that, by definition, exclude science from pouring cold water on their burning enthusiam.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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Those who sell the idea of ghost haunts use terms like 'paranormal' and 'supernatural' that, by definition, exclude science from pouring cold water on their burning enthusiam.

Those are the words used because we don't have any others to offer.

How does a word carry any significance at all here? What matters are the claimed phenomena.
 
  • #14
Natr0n
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The problem here is that no one has defined what it is they mean by "ghost", so there's not really any discussion to be had. If you say they're supernatural or paranormal then, by the definitions of those words, you can't "prove" anything about them one way or another. If you claim they aren't supernatural then we should be able to find physical evidence to support the proposition that ghosts exist. So, where's the evidence?
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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Not really. In principle the person making the claim is merely providing a report. If I report a robbery, am I liable to explain who did it, or how?
No, but if you report a robbery and a robbery didn't happen, you go to jail for it. That's roughly the situation here. If someone reports seeing "something", that's fine. If someone reports seeing "a ghost", then they are responsible for proving that claim. "A ghost" isn't scientific data, Ivan, it is a claim and one that requires substantiation. Evidence that (for example), a cloud on a phot isn't just a cloud of dust but an actual ghost.

This is the problem with most of the typically accepted psuedoscientific pursuits: they skip half the steps of the scientific method and go about trying to gain evidence for something that hasn't been scientifically suggested, but is merelly assumed to exist. As a result, any evidence that isn't conclusively found to be something else is assumed to be that which they are looking for. It's using falsifiability to prove an hypothesis that isn't really falsifiable.
 
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  • #16
zetafunction
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a claim about non existence , could be done by statistical proof or analysis

ghost , elves do Not exists because using statistic yo do not see them every day

for example i know electrons exists because i can go to a lab and measure them if i want, but i can not see or measure a ghost
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking
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No, but if you report a robbery and a robbery didn't happen, you go to jail for it. That's roughly the situation here.

That is an assumption that can't be substantiated.

If someone reports seeing "something", that's fine.

Okay.

If someone reports seeing "a ghost", then they are responsible for proving that claim.

An if they report seeing a floating head passing through the livingroom?

"A ghost" isn't scientific data, Ivan,

REALLY? I was sure there is a section in my physics books somewhere. :rofl:

it is a claim and one that requires substantiation.

No it is a word. Would you be happy is they said floating head, instead?

Evidence that (for example), a cloud on a phot isn't just a cloud of dust but an actual ghost.

Tell me precisely what a ghost is so that we know what proof to require.

People make interpretations based on popular notions. I have already addressed that as a legitimate issue. Please read before posting.

This is the problem with most of the typically accepted psuedoscientific pursuits: they skip half the steps of the scientific method

Who is they?

and go about trying to gain evidence for something that hasn't been scientifically suggested, but is merelly assumed to exist.

You mean based on a claim.

As a result, any evidence that isn't conclusively found to be something else is assumed to be that which they are looking for. It's using falsifiability to prove an hypothesis that isn't really falsifiable.

The problem with reports like hauntings is that they can't be produced on demand and repeated in a laboratory. As I have asked before: Precisely what evidence would be sufficient; Casper in a bottle? Unless you can provide a list of required evidence, you can hardly complain about not having it.

Assuming that some people are indeed reporting genuine unexplained phenomena, the problem is the nature of the phenomenon, not the observers. We have the same problem with any phenomenon that can't be produced on demand, like ball lightning.
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Russ, all that you are really objecting to here are stories that you can't explain. If you can explain them, then you don't object.

Sounds like anti-science to me - it only exists if I understand it.
 
  • #19
Count Iblis
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About 1 percent of the population is schizophrenic. Some schizophrenics believe that the voices they hear or the things they see are real. Some will atribute what they see to ghosts.

I think that John Nash:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forbes_Nash

believed he had some family members or friends who in reality do not exist.
 
  • #20
Natr0n
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No one is saying that there is no such thing as unexplained phenomena, in fact saying something as general and vague as that is almost entirely pointless. If everything was explained already, then this whole "science thing" would be irrelevant.

Of course, saying that you saw a ghost (by the way Ivan, definitions ARE important contrary to what you seem to believe) is providing an interpretation of an event that requires evidence. I would very much prefer that an observer simply describe what they saw rather than attempt to provide their own interpretation. I realize getting someone to provide a description that doesn't presuppose some interpretation is probably impossible, but they should try.
 
  • #21
junglebeast
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Yes. I was thinking about something like the commonly thought 'characteristics' of ghosts and if it could be shown that such a thing cannot exist. Characteristics such as:
a. they can go through walls,
b. they possess intelligence,
c. they can move things,
d. they appear as 'foggy-looking' see-through-type beings,
e. etc. (Not sure if I'm forgetting something....)

Could it be shown that a 'being' with these characteristics cannot exist?

Walls only appear to be solid structures. They are mostly just empty space and lots of things can go through them, such as waves, or high energy particles.

We could infer that a brain is required for intelligence because all intelligent organisms we know of have one, but we don't have the slightest clue what causes self awareness. Without knowing the source of that, you can't rule out the possibility that something like a "soul" exists which is separate from the body. For example, one might argue that the brain is only necessary to bind the soul to the physical world. I personally do not believe in ghosts, but I find the mere existence of self awareness in humans to be equally spooky.

The bottom line is that self awareness cannot be explained by any model of physics that we know of, and until we know more about it, it's not possible to make assumptions or proofs relating to it.
 
  • #22
zoobyshoe
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We could infer that a brain is required for intelligence because all intelligent organisms we know of have one, but we don't have the slightest clue what causes self awareness. Without knowing the source of that, you can't rule out the possibility that something like a "soul" exists which is separate from the body. For example, one might argue that the brain is only necessary to bind the soul to the physical world. I personally do not believe in ghosts, but I find the mere existence of self awareness in humans to be equally spooky.

The bottom line is that self awareness cannot be explained by any model of physics that we know of, and until we know more about it, it's not possible to make assumptions or proofs relating to it.
Do you really think it's even remotely possible that there's a "soul" that can exist apart from the body?
 
  • #23
junglebeast
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Do you really think it's even remotely possible that there's a "soul" that can exist apart from the body?

Modern science has shown us that the brain is responsible for sustaining consciousness, that our memories are stored non-volatilely in the neural and glial connections, that our emotions are regulated by chemical reactions. The brain is a turing complete machine and evolution provided a mechanism for optimizing that machine to maximize reproductibility of the human race. Ok, so this can explain the arbitrarily powerful computing machine we lug around on our shoulders that's apparently capable of surprisingly general computations involving pattern recognition and planning problems.

Going back to the OP for a moment, I guess I do need to revise my original statement a bit: I think that from this, we could conclude that in order for a consciousness to have memories or feelings, it must be linked to a functioning brain. Therefore, if it was possible for the consciousness / spirit / self-awareness-unit to be separated from the physical brain, it would not have the memories or emotions that are so commonly attributed to ghosts (and of course, it would not be visible as an ethereal visage).

Going back to your question, zooby -- do I believe that it is actually possible for this "soul" (which I equate to the self-awareness component of the brain) to be separated from the brain? Well, it depends on what you mean by that. I certainly do not think that "we go on thinking after our body dies." I take as empirical proof of this the fact that a person can be knocked unconscious. I personally have gone unconscious on several occassions due to lack of oxygenated blood flow to my brain and during that period my self awareness was most definitely offline, so it only stands to reason that it would continue to stay offline.

What modern science doesn't explain, not even remotely, is how this machine could possibly be aware of it's own existence...and how that awareness could be physically linked to the brain so that chemical levels could be registered as feelings. Also, I think we can all agree that self awareness is not required for reproduction...nor is it required for evolution...nor is it required for a general purpose computer that interprets sensory inputs and controls an organism throughout it's lifetime in the search of self preservation and reproduction. This begs the question: why are we self-aware at all?

Judging from the beautiful efficiency, diversity, and capabilities of organisms on this planet it seems to me that evolution is quite a powerful force for constructing an organism that is as efficient as possible. This suggests to me that, while self-awareness is clearly not necessary, it must somehow simplify the structure of the brain to have it there.

Now what could simplify the structure of the brain? Well, reusing an existing component. In other words, if there were some form of external "spiritual power", to which an input/output connection could be established via a physical brain, and the brain could then offload complex decisions to it. For example, this would be akin to building a quantum computer and then exploiting quantum mechanics to solve NP-hard problems that our conventional binary computer's cannot solve efficiently. Perhaps there's something like this...on another level...that our brains are outsourcing to for thought.

I don't know. I'm just rambling here, musing...but given the fact that self-awareness can't be explained by the standard model, general relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory, or anything else...I don't see that we can really rule much out.
 
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  • #24
Count Iblis
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The bottom line is that self awareness cannot be explained by any model of physics that we know of

No experiments involving (self aware) persons have ever demonstrated a violation of the known laws of physics. Therefore one cannot make the case that the known laws of physics are incompatible with self aware beings.
 
  • #25
Count Iblis
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Quantum mechanics is incompatible with the existence of ghosts. A ghost could e.g. observe which path an electron takes in a two slit experiment.
 
  • #26
junglebeast
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No experiments involving (self aware) persons have ever demonstrated a violation of the known laws of physics. Therefore one cannot make the case that the known laws of physics are incompatible with self aware beings.

Actually, the very existence of self-awareness is not a representable state under any modern physics model. Self-awareness is therefore one of the few loose ends that shows us our current physics model is incomplete.

Quantum mechanics is incompatible with the existence of ghosts. A ghost could e.g. observe which path an electron takes in a two slit experiment.

That's an odd assumption, why would a ghost be able to observe that?
 
  • #27
zoobyshoe
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What modern science doesn't explain, not even remotely, is how this machine could possibly be aware of it's own existence...and how that awareness could be physically linked to the brain so that chemical levels could be registered as feelings. Also, I think we can all agree that self awareness is not required for reproduction...nor is it required for evolution...nor is it required for a general purpose computer that interprets sensory inputs and controls an organism throughout it's lifetime in the search of self preservation and reproduction. This begs the question: why are we self-aware at all?
Neuroscience does explain consciousness remotely. Every day we get a better and better grasp on what elements are necessary for consciousness, and, at some point someone is going to have a breakthrough insight that puts it all together.

Incidentally, "chemical levels" are not the generators of emotion. Emotions, like everything else the brain does, are the direct result of patterns of neuronal firing. The role neurotransmitters play in mood is no more important than the role they play in any neuronal firing, be that activity abstract cogitation or motor responses.

Self awareness is an obvious evolutionary advantage in that it prompts us to think about ourselves, ruminate on our experiences, and plan ahead.

The average brain, a book I have asserts, has 14 billion neurons. It says also that each neuron may form from five to fifty thousand connections with other neurons. The number of possible connections is massive, and there is no telling what the "vocabulary" of an individual neuron might be: it might be as articulate as Morse Code, or an order of magnitude more articulate. Do individual neurons sing extravagant, complex songs to each other like birds and whales? No one knows. In any event, no one I have read has ever suggested there's any mystery in where the brain's potential for computing power might lie. There is no need to propose some external, non-corporeal source for this.
 
  • #28
DaveC426913
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... and there is no telling what the "vocabulary" of an individual neuron might be: it might be as articulate as Morse Code, or an order of magnitude more articulate. Do individual neurons sing extravagant, complex songs to each other like birds and whales? No one knows.
I've always assumed it was merely binary - or nearso. It never occurred to me that is had any complexity.

Can you or anyone else chime in with comments on this?
 
  • #29
junglebeast
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Neuroscience does explain consciousness remotely. Every day we get a better and better grasp on what elements are necessary for consciousness, and, at some point someone is going to have a breakthrough insight that puts it all together.

Self awareness is an obvious evolutionary advantage in that it prompts us to think about ourselves, ruminate on our experiences, and plan ahead.

That's not self awareness. "Thinking" is just performing computations to enumerate possible actions, assess possible reactions to those actions, and make decisions. All of that can be done by any conventional computer. "Ruminating on our experiences" is vague -- rumination in and of itself is worthless if it does not have an influence on decisions. Planning ahead does not in any way require awareness. A chess program can plan ahead within the confines of the game. Creating a machine that could plan ahead in arbitrary situations is more complicated but still do-able. Look at Bayesian nets for example. Really all that is needed is the ability to make pertinent observations (eg, sensory input device and interpretation) and memory; the ability to recognize patterns and integrate probabilities; then it's possible to make predictions of reactions to self-induced actions; then the ability to enumerate all self-induced actions; then a heuristic evaluator of a set of reactions as they pertain to a hierarchy of goals. So it's entirely possible to make an arbitrarily complex computer that could control an organism and give it the ability to plan ahead and interact in the world in a functional way.

One could make a machine that is not self aware but is in all measurable ways behaviorally identical to a human being. It could be programmed to have the appearance of emotions such as love, anger, etc as well. The question is, since we know it's possible to build a machine that behaves exactly like a human which is NOT self aware, why are humans self aware?

I think that your answer, that "self awareness prompts us to think...X" is flawed because it's possible for an organism/machine to think without being aware of the fact that it's thinking.

Clearly, we would not have evolved self awareness if it didn't have a functional purpose -- it seems that in humans self awareness is somehow linked to thinking, but my point is that we could have evolved differently. We could have evolved to be, essentially, zombies, that walk around and perform all the same functions that we do but without being aware of it. A plant performs functions without being aware of it. Some plants are capable of motor control.
 
  • #30
zoobyshoe
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I've always assumed it was merely binary - or nearso. It never occurred to me that is had any complexity.

Can you or anyone else chime in with comments on this?
It is binary, but so is something like morse code: you have two choices, long or short. However, those can be used to represent all the letters of the alphabet and the numerals, and from there words and sentences.

The notion of something more complex than mere binary encoding of numbers, of the importance of rhythm, comes into play with regard to the thalamus whose neurons can fire one of two ways: once they reach the firing threshold they can release their energy in one shot, or they can release it in a series of smaller bursts. No one is sure why it might chose one or the other, what "message" either might be sending to the cortex. But it is evident the thalamus is "conducting" how the different areas of the cortex are interacting with each other.

Other neurons either fire or don't. There are also "inhibitory" neurons which, when they fire, instruct other neurons not to fire, even when they are ready to do so. The possibility of complex rhythms is endless and there has been a lot of focus on the role those rhythms play:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mind/electric2.html
 
  • #31
junglebeast
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Dave, I don't think that the brain uses any kind of a uniform encoding system. Everything about the brain is completely plastic and dynamically evolving in function through Hebbian learning. That kind of system doesn't give rise to a regular encoding scheme like binary. Instead it's more of a "whatever works" encoding scheme. If you've ever programmed a neural network and then analyzed the network connections you'll know what I mean...even to solve simple tasks it often doesn't organize in a way that is intuitive, but the entirety of it "just works." However, the specific encoding (or lack thereof) does not affect computability. Certain encodings may be more or less efficient than others, but any encoding is equally capable of any calculation (aka, turing complete).
 
  • #32
zoobyshoe
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One could make a machine that is not self aware but is in all measurable ways behaviorally identical to a human being. It could be programmed to have the appearance of emotions such as love, anger, etc as well. The question is, since we know it's possible to build a machine that behaves exactly like a human which is NOT self aware, why are humans self aware?
Self awareness happened. Millions of years of constant "experimentation" with uncountable variations of cell structure lead to the superior mutation of a cell that polarizes and depolarizes many times a second. The extremely complex but unaware alternative you propose did not happen, and I can only suppose it's because the computational abilities of large populations of those kinds of cells is inextricably linked to the phenomenon of "awareness" that comes with. The zombie mimic, if it ever arose in Nature, would have to be based on some completely different organic process, and if such a thing ever got started here on earth there doesn't seem to have been any niche for it, unless it turns out that this describes insect colonies or weird purple jellyfish.
 
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  • #33
Count Iblis
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...since we know it's possible to build a machine that behaves exactly like a human which is NOT self aware, why are humans self aware?

We don't know that at all! It may be that consciousness is linked to the running of an algorithm regardless of how you dedcide to implement that algorithm. So, if I consider your head to a black box that somehow computes some output, then any other black box that will behave in a simlar way must necessarily run the same type of algorithm (regardless of how that is implemented).
 
  • #34
junglebeast
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Self awareness happened. Millions of years of constant "experimentation" with uncountable variations of cell structure lead to the superior mutation of a cell that polarizes and depolarizes many times a second. The extremely complex but unaware alternative you propose did not happen, and I can only suppose it's because the computational abilities of large populations of those kinds of cells is inextricably linked to the phenomenon of "awareness" that comes with.

Yes, we evolved self awareness. You seem to be suggesting that the possible alternative course of evolution I suggested, an organism identical in function but lacking in self awareness, would require a more complicated brain structure.

However, there is no evidence to support the assumption that self-awareness allows for a more simple structure of the brain. The simple state of being "aware" does not imply an ability to think or make decisions...a state of being does not have functional value to the organism. This means that awareness evolved as a side effect of something else that evolved.

But the really interesting question is not so much why are we self aware, but how is it physically created and represented? You see, being "aware" is a state, but we do not know what the physical representation of that state is. As far as I can tell, it is the only (or one of the very few) states in the known universe that we don't have a clue of how to represent, in terms of fundamental particles.

I mean, solid/liquid/gas/plasma can all be explained in terms of configurations of particles. Cells can be represented as particles...action potentials can be represented in terms of particles...but tell me what is the representation of "awareness" in terms of particles?

Until we can say something along the lines of, "awareness is a state of matter that is defined by quantum entanglement of 2 opposite spin particles...etc", then it is not representable by physics. Clearly it is representable by the universe, but physics isn't there yet.
 
  • #35
zoobyshoe
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Yes, we evolved self awareness. You seem to be suggesting that the possible alternative course of evolution I suggested, an organism identical in function but lacking in self awareness, would require a more complicated brain structure.
No, a more convoluted, complicated evolutionary path. Envision non-artificial, natural, rock formations in the shape of humans, like Michelangelo sculptures: you'd have to have some pretty fancy, specific weather and erosion dynamics for that to occur. Zombie-like human mimics would have to be subjected to some incredibly weird environmental pressures to start writing books, inventing television, smoking pot, building pyramids, and forming organized religions. Where would the templates or instructions for all those behaviors come from? Where would the instruction to behave as if they were self aware come from? Where would the parameters of "self aware" come from? We act the way we do as a result of being self aware. What on earth would induce a being which was not self aware to adopt a slew of extraneous behaviors specific to self awareness, of all things?

But the really interesting question is not so much why are we self aware, but how is it physically created and represented? You see, being "aware" is a state, but we do not know what the physical representation of that state is. As far as I can tell, it is the only (or one of the very few) states in the known universe that we don't have a clue of how to represent, in terms of fundamental particles.

I mean, solid/liquid/gas/plasma can all be explained in terms of configurations of particles. Cells can be represented as particles...action potentials can be represented in terms of particles...but tell me what is the representation of "awareness" in terms of particles?

Until we can say something along the lines of, "awareness is a state of matter that is defined by quantum entanglement of 2 opposite spin particles...etc", then it is not representable by physics. Clearly it is representable by the universe, but physics isn't there yet.
This is all true, and is the big current Holy Grail of Neuroscience. A former PF mentor, Hypnagogue has gone off to join those searching for The Neural Correlates of Consciousness. There are many, many different teams of researchers on this problem. I am not aware there are too many who think the answer will be found on a quantum level. Most people are searching on the cellular level.

In any event, just because we do not know how the activity of neurons leads to consciousness, it is beyond dispute that their activity is necessary for it. That being the case there is no need to postulate external non-corporeal computing sources, or to propose that there is some entity, "consciousness," that can exist apart from the physical body.

Apropos: There are some people involved with the paranormal who think magnetic fields, for instance, are self-contained entities that happen to reside in magnets, as well as in people, and can leave those "containers" to take up residence elsewhere, or just float freely around. They also think that the "electrical activity" of the brain and nerves is much the same as you find in electrical and electronic devices, whereas the basic mechanism of an action potential is very different: whole cations are moved in a slow and cumbersome manner from the exterior to the interior of the cell and the "signal" propagates quite slowly compared to the vastly faster EMF based on pressurizing free electrons by moving a magnetic field at right angles to a conductor. While a current carrying conductor has a demonstrable magnetic field the field around a firing neuron is probably more like an alternately contracting and expanding electric field as the cations are let in and then pumped back out.

The notion that a magnetic field can just exist by itself unconnected to any current flow is, I think, the basis for a lot of "ghost" explanations. I have often heard claims that the "energy" that arises from the "electrical activity of the brain and nerves" "can neither be created nor destroyed" (according to Einstein, no less) and this is the basis for their belief that physics supports the possibility of ghosts and life after death.
 

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