Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

A classic Darwinian fairy tale: How the human mind jumpstarted itself into existence


Philosopher Keith Frankish melds linguist Daniel Dor’s ideas with philosopher Daniel Dennett’s to come up with a revealingly circular theory of the jump from animal to human by wholly natural means:

How did the hearers [of someone pretending to be yesterday’s wolf] “imagine” anything? And “language”? Where did they get language, which is full of abstractions? In fact, to talk to oneself, as Frankish suggests, following Dennett, one constantly makes use of abstractions.

Abstractions are a critical part of the very mental endowment whose origin we are trying to explain. So this origin of consciousness story turns out to be hopelessly circular.

Of course, if we already have consciousness, we can always generate more of it. But we can’t generate a credible account of the origin of consciousness that way.

This problem is pervasive. Earlier, Frankish explained that Dennett accounts for consciousness as “a temporary level of organisation—a ‘virtual system’—that we create for ourselves through certain learned habits of self-stimulation.” But what are the concepts “we,” “ourselves,” and “self-” even doing in this discussion? If consciousness is an illusion, these concepts are illusions that cannot create anything.

Denyse O’Leary, “Did the human mind originate in telling ourselves stories?” at Mind Matters News

It’ll get crazier now that we are in the world of 2 + 2 = systemic oppression.

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Has science shown that consciousness is only an illusion? Using clever analogies, Philosopher Daniel Dennett argues that consciousness is all smoke and mirrors (Denyse O’Leary)


Neuroscientist Michael Graziano should meet the p-zombie. To understand consciousness, we need to establish what it is not before we create any more new theories. (Michael Egnor)

Atheism (materialism) is dead. All this "Illusory" non-sense marks the point of no return for this stupid worldview. And materialists know it. Materialism's days of "glory" are over. It's just a "matter" of time (pun intended).
If Materialism is true, there cannot be illusions. Illusions can only be had in non-material thoughts. Why? In order for there to be illusions, there must be an underlying Reality which is being mistook, and there must be an individual doing the mistaking. Material itself, i.e. arrangements of matter or energy, cannot be wrong, in error, or mistaken, deluded. To say, under Materialism, that there are "illusions" is to say matter is wrong about itself, which is absurd.
"In 1887 almost every philosopher in the English-speaking countries was an idealist. A hundred years later in the same countries, almost all philosophers have forgotten this fact; and when, as occasionally happens, they are reminded of it, they find it almost impossible to believe. But it ought never to be forgotten. For it shows what the opinions, even the virtually unanimous opinions, of philosophers are worth, when they conflict with common sense". David Stove.
There Are Only Two Errors: Idealism And Materialism. https://wmbriggs.com/post/17521/ Truthfreedom
Truthfreedom @ 4 To call atheist philosophy an oxymoron is to make a grand understatement. Philosophy is based on deep thoughts, which atheists deny exist. BobRyan
Atheist "philosophy" is an oxymoron. Truthfreedom
As to Frankish's comments:
Like all other animals, our species evolved by gradual processes of natural selection that equipped us to survive and reproduce within a certain environmental niche.
Actually no. Natural selection is found to be grossly inadequate as the supposed 'designer substitute'.
The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17 John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,, Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information. While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man. It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573302/
As James Shapiro at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago, stated, "Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis."
"Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis." - Shapiro https://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com
As to,
"Unlike other animals, however, our species managed to escape its inherited biological role and take control of its own destiny."
He really needs to embrace the reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution and realize that he is, according to his Darwinian worldview, a 'meat robot' with no free will, and therefore, with no more control over his own destiny than a leaf blowing in the wind has over which way it falls to the ground. According to his worldview, he is simply suffering from the powerful illusion that he is control of his own destiny,
“You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today” - Jerry Coyne – No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video https://youtu.be/rQo6SWjwQIk?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&t=20 THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL - Sam Harris - 2012 Excerpt: "Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it." - Jerry Coyne https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/ Free Will: Weighing Truth and Experience - Do our beliefs matter? - Mar 22, 2012 Excerpt: If we acknowledge just how much we don’t know about the conscious mind, perhaps we would be a bit more humble. We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-brain-social-mind/201203/free-will-weighing-truth-and-experience Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor
As to this comment.
It (The Human species) began to innovate, actively reshaping its way of life, its environment and, eventually, the planet itself.
Again, with no free will, we didn't innovate are actively reshape anything. Frankish, according to his own Darwinian worldview, did not even write the article that he signed his name to.
Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism - Paul Nelson - September 24, 2014 Excerpt: Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism. If we say, "We cannot know that a mind caused x," laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds. MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact. "That’s crazy," you reply, "I certainly did write my email." Okay, then — to what does the pronoun "I" in that sentence refer? Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,, You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent. https://evolutionnews.org/2014/09/do_you_like_set/
And then Keith Frankish asks,
How did we do it? What set our species, Homo sapiens, apart from the rest?
Actually the correct answer, an answer that he will probably, as a Darwinist, not like one bit, is that what sets our species completely apart from the all the other species is that we are made in the image of God. Although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to communicate information and also to, more specifically, infuse information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure. And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of immaterial information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so. Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.
Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011 Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging. Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time. “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/describing-nature-math.html
What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to dominate the world through the ‘top-down’ infusion of information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.
"The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena." Vlatko Vedral - Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College - a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.
It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our ability infuse information into material substrates.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.
I guess a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God. And that is precisely the proof claimed within Christianity.
The evidence for the Shroud's authenticity keeps growing. (Timeline of facts) - November 08, 2019 What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know - Myra Adams and Russ Breault https://www.christianity.com/wiki/jesus-christ/what-is-the-shroud-of-turin.html
Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
the whole Darwinian evo theory is a fairy tale. What is worse, it is a very absurd absurd absurd fairy tale ... I was wondering, how can any 21st century scientist believe this non-sense. In 19th century, OK, scientists knew nothing, but in 21st century ??? What is wrong with 21st century scientists ? Do 21st century scientists really believe that autonomous, self-navigating, flying systems self-design ??? It is like in some mental hospital .... martin_r
Good heavens. Why does this fool get paid for "philosophy"? Every stage of his system is glaringly obvious nonsense, even without thinking in religious terms. If consciousness arises from learned habits, how does it arise every morning and unarise every evening? Humans aren't the only animals that use language to describe non-present objects. Bees do it all the time. Philosophers in earlier centuries did a much better job of handling the unsolvable problem of consciousness. They knew when to say "We don't know and we can't know." polistra

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