[ExI] Semiotics and Computability

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Feb 10 07:18:00 UTC 2010

On 10 February 2010 01:59, Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>> As far as you're concerned the function of the nervous
>> system - intelligence - which is due to the interactions between
>> neurons bears no essential relationship to consciousness.
> As I define intelligence, some of it is encoded into DNA. Every organism has some intelligence including the lowly amoeba. This hapless creature has enough intelligence to find food and replicate but it has no idea of its own existence.

I'm not arguing for amoeba consciousness, although I think that
consciousness and intelligence are roughly proportional to each other
and if anything has any intelligence or consciousness there must be a
gradation between the amoeba, the human and the Jupiter brain.

>> You believe that consciousness is a property of certain specialised
>> cells.
> Yes. And I think you most likely believe so also, except when you have reason to argue for the imaginary mental states of amoebas to support your theory about the imaginary mental states of computers. :)
> We can suppose theories of alien forms of consciousness that might exist in computers and in amoebas and in other entities that lack nervous systems, as you seem wont to do, but it seems to me that there we cross over the line from science to science-fiction.

The most important property of the nervous system is its ability to
process information. Brainstem functions, subcellular functions and
low level cortical functions do not manifest as intelligence nor as
consciousness. However, you believe that consciousness is only
contingently related to intelligence, and you have also implied that
the NCC is something other than the complex pattern of neural firings,
since that can be reproduced by a computer. Thus there is no logical
reason for you to insist that consciousness should be attached to
nervous systems. It could be something that is secreted by neurons not
associated in systems, or in non-neural cells.

Stathis Papaioannou

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