In the Eugene Wigner thread, frequent objector Sev argues to BA77:
Sev, 23: >>Yes, the hard problem of consciousness is explaining what it is and how it arises from the physical brain and we don’t have such an explanation as yet. The evidence for consciousness arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two, the observation that when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently and the challenge of explaining why else would we commit such a large percentage of our physical resources to support such an organ unless it provided us with something of great value.>>
This is, of course after decades of unfulfilled promises, and it neatly rhetorically side-steps J B S Haldane’s longstanding and sobering caution:
“It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays , Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in her recent book, Finding Truth.)]
Accordingly, I commented:
KF, 26: >>the time when promissory notes on forthcoming materialist explanations of the rational mind, responsible freedom, moral government and more were plausible is long past. The fact is, evolutionary materialism cannot credibly account for the alleged spontaneous account of a functional computational substrate, due to the FSCO/I, blind needle in the haystack challenge. Strictly, it should be a non-starter at that point. But, going on, it is patent that blindly mechanical and/or stochastic computation is simply not the same as rational, intentional, insightful, responsible, understanding-driven contemplation. The things are categorically distinct, computation being a non-rational process. The imagined, unexplained, Sci Fi fantasy of spontaneous emergence of conscious mind from computational substrate (which is ever so commonly seen) is little more than a belief in materialistic magic. It is high time for a fundamental re-think.>>
We need to rethink, in a healthier age that evolutionary materialism is plainly self-refuting would long since have been enough to remove it from live options. But, we do not live in a healthy time.
Now, it is probably going to be necessary to also take up some specific talking points from Sev’s remarks, so:
>>The evidence for consciousness arising from the brain lies in the strong correlation between the two,>>
1 –> Famously, correlation is not causation. Where, Sev has already admitted absence of a plausible means to adequately account causally for the effect.
2 –> The Brain can be seen, instead i/l/o the Smith Model:
3 –> The obvious connexion is, the Brain is an in the loop controller and information store, an input-output processor in the cybernetic loop. So, it should be no surprise that it is connected to conscious mindedness and bodily action.
4 –> However, we are still at computational substrates processing information. The higher order controller has not been addressed, and there is no good reason to reject for instance the idea that through quantum influence, there is much room for a mind-brain interface.
>>the observation that when the brain is destroyed the consciousness disappears permanently>>
5 –> EMBODIED consciousness disappears, a very different thing.
6 –> You have no grounds for imposing that this is the only possible form, or to reject a huge body of evidence that conscious life transcends the biophysical. In short, huge questions have been begged and bodies of evidence have been hyperskeptically suppressed.
>>and the challenge of explaining why else would we commit such a large percentage of our physical resources to support such an organ unless it provided us with something of great value.>>
7 –> An I/O in the loop controller is an important bodily asset. That is more than enough reason given, what, maybe 10^16 bits/s info processing and a 10 W or thereabouts power consumption to do it.
Food for thought. END