machine brains

Bloxy's Bloxy's at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 25 23:43:04 EST 1999


In article <36d5f8f6.0 at ns2.wsg.net>, "Ray Scanlon" <rscanlon at wsg.net> wrote:
>
>
>Michael Edelman wrote in message <36D40248.45F3D1CB at mich.com>...
>
>
>   (snip)
>>
>>This is the point at which I find myself shaking my head. Who is aware of
>>thinking? When you say "subjectively" you imply a subject. Who is that
>>subject?
>>
>>You have not argued for the non-existence of mind or self-awareness. You
>>merely
>>assert that it does not exist.
>
>Nope. The brain exists in the material universe, the mind in the spiritual
>universe. I enjoy both but I keep them separate.
>
>Your entire post was an example of what I am attacking, the desire to talk
>about the mind rather than the brain. The title of the thread is "machine
>brains". Why can't we just talk about the brain as a machine and leave the
>mind out of it.

Because the brain is there to facilitate the mind,
which is a notion of oneself.

> Talk about the role of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus
>in inserting extra synaptic events between sensory input and motor output.

For what?
You see, all these beautiful mechanisms are there
to provide the foundation of the physical aspect of your being.
But they, in themselves, are utterly useless.

>When sensory neuron is efferent on a motor neuron, as it is in some
>jellyfish, there seems to be no problem in comprehending the neural net.

Well, there was this dude, upon a time, who asserted
that the only "real" thing is DNA.
You are just a host for the DNA to do its number.

>When the interneuron is interposed, as it is in some other jellyfish,
>difficulties arise. (But only the tiniest of difficulties.) As the
>interneurons proliferate in the vertebrates, why do we say that a difference
>arises? In mammals the reticular nucleus appears, synaptic events are
>indefinitely added yet the nervous system is still a machine.

Well, and who are you?
Are you any different from the machine?
All you have to this point is a machine argument,
aren't you?

> A machine is
>comprehensible, possibly most difficult but still comprehensible by man.

But can that man comprehend the machine in him?

That is the kwestion...

>Ray



More information about the Bioforum mailing list