Toward a Science of Consciousness 1998

Jim Carr jac at
Mon Apr 27 07:49:10 EST 1998

tonmaas at (Ton Maas) writes:
} "Mdg" <Mdg at> wrote:
} >Leads me to a question I always wondered about, say we hit the point where
} >we can actually map a human brain to a fine enough detail that we can
} >simulate it's behavior on a computer.  Will the simulation be conscious?
} According to neurophysiologists Varela & Maturana consciousness is
} restricted to autopoietic systems - which by definition produce their own
} organization by an evolutionary process not unlike "tinkering". Seems like
} the conscious computer will have to invent itself from scrap in order to
} ever attain consciousness :-)

patrick at (Patrick Juola) writes:
>Unfortunately, this definition is immediately and trivially incorrect.
>Individual humans do not evolve; evolution is a process restricted to
>populations.  An individual human (which I assume is conscious) is
>largely a copy of prior humans -- and so a sufficiently detailed copy
>of a human organism should also be conscious, by a similar process.

 Largely, but part of that "copy" is a brain that is a work in progress 
 whose structure is not wholly dictated by genetics.  Although not 
 evolution in the strict sense of evolutionary biology, the brain 
 does change and adapt.  A 'sufficiently detailed copy' would have to 
 include those rules that allow the 'tinkering' the previous posted 
 noted was important. 

 James A. Carr   <jac at>     | Commercial e-mail is _NOT_       | desired to this or any address 
 Supercomputer Computations Res. Inst.  | that resolves to my account 
 Florida State, Tallahassee FL 32306    | for any reason at any time. 

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