[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Christopher Luebcke cluebcke at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 22 16:43:59 UTC 2010

Two points: First, why do you believe that thinking can be an emergent property of physical brains, but not of digital simulations of brains?

Second, your analogy is imperfect; a better comparison to the project underway would be artificial hearts, not digital simulations of hearts.

Regardless, both artificial hearts, and digital simulations of hearts, can hold the property of "beating".

From: Gordon Swobe <gts_2000 at yahoo.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Mon, February 22, 2010 8:20:56 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

--- On Mon, 2/22/10, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> Those who claim that the brain has properties that make it unique in the 
> universe are sometimes lumped together with the vitalists and the
> dualists. It's perhaps name-calling, but it's what happens.

You and others here, not I, give the brain special status. 

You think the organic brain differs from other biological organs. You will agree with me for example when I assert that a digital simulation of a complete heart running on a computer does not equal a real complete heart capable of pumping real blood through its chambers. Yes? But then you will disagree with me when I assert the same exact principle with respect to brains: you will disagree when I assert that a digital simulation of a brain running on a computer does not equal a real brain capable of having real thoughts. 

Can you or anyone here explain why you think the brain deserves that special status without asserting mind/matter dualism? I don't think so.


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