[extropy-chat] Cont. re: nature of consciousness

gts gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 4 22:23:10 UTC 2007

Hi Terry,

> Gts: "It seems that in our branch of evolution, we lost the ability to
> eat light but retained the ability to detect it."
> My reply: Not to be rude but who is this you called "we?"

By "we" I was referring to all organisms that detect light but do obtain  
energy from it, of course.

My premise, which I admit is speculative, is that plants and animals share  
a common ancestor capable of something similar to photosynthesis, probably  
facilitated by beta-carotene which is a chemical precursor to both plant  
chlorophyll and animal retinol.

This idea is not my own; I accepted the hypothesis as reasonable after  
reading a compilation of essays by some prominent evolutionary  
epistemologists. I'm sorry I don't remember exactly which philosopher was  
responsible for this particular idea, or even the title of the book. At  
present that book is in storage but I could try to dig it out if necessary.

> gts: "Light detection is perhaps the most basic example of knowledge
> acquisition. This knowledge starts with biological knowledge in plants
> and animals, but extends to intellectual human knowledge. Vision and all
> more advanced forms of cognition can be understood as more efficient
> substitutes for primitive trial-and-error random locomotion, including
> even the process of forming abstract theories about the world."
> My reply: Knowledge as a product of energy is recyclable.

Sorry, I have no idea what that means.

> gts: "All evolution, from the physical and biological to the mental and
> cultural, can then be seen as a single contiguous process involving the
> growth of knowledge."
> Me: I agree seen in that perspective. Some knowledge like beliefs and
> dogmas remain in a state of potent energy which can lead to entropy
> instead of extropy.

Sorry, I have no idea what that means, either.


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