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Thought experiment..

thought experiment discussion consciousness mind evolution

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#1    Professor T

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:52 PM

Thought experiment..

Taking thoughts and our own consciousness out to examine them, there seem to be parallels with evolution and natural selection in the natural world.. A giraffe develops a long neck in order to reach the inaccessible in it's evolution, an ant eater does basically the same by developing a long nose. Natural selection dictates that in times of hardship it was the long necked giraffes and anteaters that survived to perpetuate their species, whereas the shorter were less adaptive and so died out leaving behind the animals we see today.

Our minds, and the development of our own consciousness seems to follow the same path. Minds reach for the inaccessible in fields of knowledge and understanding in basically anything the mind's attention is put to, and minds also suffer times of hardship where old thoughts and ideas die off leaving behind room for the new thoughts and paradigms we know today.. The big difference is, the evolution of the individual mind can be very quick, day's weeks, years, certainly not the centuries and millenniums that the natural world takes to change..

In short, the Mind is a world not unlike the natural world. Thoughts and ideas are the nature that roam it's forests and prairies and oceans. Thoughts and ideas are the predator, the prey and the evolutionary winners and losers... Thoughts and ideas are the hunter and the hunted.. Our exchanges in thoughts and Ideas, therefore, can be likened to sending visitors from your world into another world that can be either harmful or benign, attacking the species already there, planting seeds or eggs of noxious weed or breed, or assimilating into the mind to help it grow and and mature like a garden.

Thoughts?


#2    SpiritWriter

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:21 PM

I think some animals were created with long necks/whatever part of their body because of the environment, not because over time they adapted. (Not that adaptation doesnt exist)

One of the most equisite seens I've ever seen was the birth or a giraffe. Look up: Seattle's Tallest Baby and watch the vid. Once you see this you will know that anything is possible. I personally believe an animal can be developed in the length of time of a gestation period. I dont think it needs to take millions of years. All you need is some fertilization, nutrients, water and sun.

Edited by SpiritWriter, 15 October 2013 - 11:22 PM.

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#3    spacecowboy342

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:33 PM

I think you hit it pretty well. The human mind is the most amazing thing of which I am aware. Capable of creating great beauty and tragedy as well. We like to think of ourselves as the pinnacles of either creation or evolution, and why not? What other species is capable of the wonders that we are? But in the grand scheme of things we have only been here for a very short time. Many species were here and flourishing for millions of years. Those are the truly successful ones. We possess the ability for great creation and also to destroy ourselves. It remains to be seen if our big brains were a successful evolutionary adaption or not. Kurt Vonnegut wrote that the only thing wrong with humans was our big brains and as soon as we evolve those away we would be fine. I try not to be so cynical but with all I have observed I'm not sure he was wrong.


#4    StarMountainKid

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:14 AM

I like the Kurt Vonnegut quote. I think he similarly said ideas are what gets us in trouble.  I like the OP's last paragraph in that the mindscape is similar to our physical environment.

There's another idea that thoughts and ideas are like brain parasites. For instance, when someone gives you an idea, the idea grows in your mind as a living entity. A neurological life form, similar to the OP's way of considering thoughts as predator and prey.

I think this is a form of evolution, as there are mental winners and losers, and the winners prevail. Nice topic.

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#5    Professor T

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:27 AM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 15 October 2013 - 11:21 PM, said:

I think some animals were created with long necks/whatever part of their body because of the environment, not because over time they adapted. (Not that adaptation doesnt exist)

One of the most equisite seens I've ever seen was the birth or a giraffe. Look up: Seattle's Tallest Baby and watch the vid. Once you see this you will know that anything is possible. I personally believe an animal can be developed in the length of time of a gestation period. I dont think it needs to take millions of years. All you need is some fertilization, nutrients, water and sun.
Yep, the environment (of the mind) is certainly as important as natural selection or evolution..
Sorry SpiritWriter, your response sounds like that of a creationist, thats fine.. There's definitely room for creationist theory in this thought experiment.. The underlying nature of thoughts and ideas isn't exclusive.. There's room for thoughts and Ideas to Merge.. As perceived as entities, some of them must come together to get it on so to say, and create or spawn new thoughts, new ideas, new entities..

It kind of makes you wonder, if some of our crazy dreams are a glimpse of this? Our consciousness examining it's own landscape..


#6    _Only

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:28 AM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 16 October 2013 - 12:14 AM, said:

I like the OP's last paragraph in that the mindscape is similar to our physical environment.

There's another idea that thoughts and ideas are like brain parasites. For instance, when someone gives you an idea, the idea grows in your mind as a living entity. A neurological life form, similar to the OP's way of considering thoughts as predator and prey.

I liked it a lot, too, because it relates something not understood to something that is, which allows us to see something we naturally assume is incomprehensible in a more acceptable light. Even if it isn't literally true in itself, it is still extremely helpful. This is a great way to teach.

He just left out an important cousin to thoughts and ideas in the 'world' of the mind; emotions. I am sure they would be one of the most powerful forces. I think an emotional evolution is just as.. no, more important, than intelligence. In our perfect mind's land of Oz, we would all want to be blessed with courage, a heart, and a brain, but I admit if I could only choose one, I would go for the heart. I would choose this with the idea that changing the world starts with yourself, and a world full of hearts toward each other is the one I would want to live in, more than a hypothetical world of intelligent people killing each other strategically.

Edited by _Only, 16 October 2013 - 12:31 AM.

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#7    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:32 AM

View Post_Only, on 16 October 2013 - 12:28 AM, said:

I liked it a lot, too, because it relates something not understood to something that is, which allows us to see something we naturally assume is incomprehensible in a more acceptable light. Even if it isn't literally true in itself, it is still extremely helpful. This is a great way to teach.

He just left out an important cousin to thoughts and ideas in the 'world' of the mind; emotions. I am sure they would be one of the most powerful forces.
I'm not sure you can separate the thoughts from the emotions as if they were separate things. I've never had one without the other


#8    Professor T

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:53 AM

View Postspacecowboy342, on 15 October 2013 - 11:33 PM, said:

We possess the ability for great creation and also to destroy ourselves. It remains to be seen if our big brains were a successful evolutionary adaption or not.

Very true, and it is also true that the ability for this great creation or destruction is in the mind, not in the outside world as many would seem to believe. A mind that is corrupted by destructive thoughts and Ideas is equal to a world full of destructive entities that are hell bent on destroying their world and suppressing resistance to their goals. The Mind entities/Parasites/Overtangles, call them anything you like, manifest their agenda in our world. The true battlefield is the mind, because if it weren't for corrupted minds, we wouldn't have corrupted world.


#9    Professor T

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:17 AM

View Post_Only, on 16 October 2013 - 12:28 AM, said:

I liked it a lot, too, because it relates something not understood to something that is, which allows us to see something we naturally assume is incomprehensible in a more acceptable light. Even if it isn't literally true in itself, it is still extremely helpful. This is a great way to teach.

He just left out an important cousin to thoughts and ideas in the 'world' of the mind; emotions. I am sure they would be one of the most powerful forces. I think an emotional evolution is just as.. no, more important, than intelligence.

Thanks..

emotions....... hmmmmm........

I tend to think that ideas and thoughts have no emotion of themselves.. Emotions are a physical attribute.
We do tend to attach emotions to certain thoughts and Ideas, but that is done from our ego 3-d Physical existence, and are not born of thoughts or Ideas. Yes, most people are born with a standard set of emotions, but we learn to attach emotions to certain thoughts, ideas, and the actions and consequences throughout life teach us to attach certain emotions to certain thoughts and ideas... Actually I kind of think we only have one emotion, or rather, one spectrum of positive and negative, that has been labeled and re-labeled with different emotion's throughout our history, lol..

Ask a christian what emotion they feel against the idea of God? Ask an Atheist the same question?
Am sure their answers will prove that thoughts and Ideas aren't the root of emotions.

(edited to add) Live long and prosper.

Edited by Professor T, 16 October 2013 - 01:27 AM.


#10    White Crane Feather

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:38 AM

I think there is something to it, selection effects all things and only things that can reproduce or hold their form exist the onslaught of entropy.

Along these same lines, I have concluded things like religions or other institutions are mass quantities of these ideas that are highly evolved potentially societies themselves are actually alive entities.

Certain institutions and societies actually fit all the qualities it takes to be considered a super organism.




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#11    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 01:39 AM

View PostProfessor T, on 16 October 2013 - 01:17 AM, said:

Thanks..

emotions....... hmmmmm........

I tend to think that ideas and thoughts have no emotion of themselves.. Emotions are a physical attribute.
We do tend to attach emotions to certain thoughts and Ideas, but that is done from our ego 3-d Physical existence, and are not born of thoughts or Ideas. Yes, most people are born with a standard set of emotions, but we learn to attach emotions to certain thoughts, ideas, and the actions and consequences throughout life teach us to attach certain emotions to certain thoughts and ideas... Actually I kind of think we only have one emotion, or rather, one spectrum of positive and negative, that has been labeled and re-labeled with different emotion's throughout our history, lol..

Ask a christian what emotion they feel against the idea of God? Ask an Atheist the same question?
Am sure their answers will prove that thoughts and Ideas aren't the root of emotions.

(edited to add) Live long and prosper.
I agree that thoughts and ideas aren't the root of emotions but I do think they are intertwined and inseparable. You say emotions are a physical attribute and I say so are thoughts which are dependent on the neural net that frames them


#12    Professor T

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:12 AM

View Postspacecowboy342, on 16 October 2013 - 01:39 AM, said:

You say emotions are a physical attribute and I say so are thoughts which are dependent on the neural net that frames them

I can't answer this.

Here lays a quagmire, a pool of murky depths of perception that is difficult to see through.
How does one measure a thought. How much does it weigh.

The Brain is a physical mass, an EEG will tell you it's working and thoughts are occurring, hell, I have an EEG myself and have done this on many occasions..
but thoughts as we all know aren't equal, consciousness is viewing it's self, and confusion lays in determining or defining what is the mind and and where the boundary between Brain and Mind lays.. Cases of Out of Body Experiences & Astral projectors IMO prove that the mind can exist outside of any physical limitations, the Brain isn't as it seems the root of all consciousness.

The Idea that the Brain is the seat of Consciousness v's the Idea that the Brain is not the seat of Consciousness is a good example of how simple thoughts or Ideas that differ between people can give them different perceptions or understanding. One Idea brings comfort that the Mind survives death, the other does not..

When I think about (oh crap look at the time! I'd better go to work), I perceive that my thought's aren't in my Brain.. My thought's are actually racing towards work where I'm almost late..

gotta go...


#13    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:21 AM

As far as I know there has never been objective evidence of thoughts absent a functioning brain.Or emotions for that matter.


#14    Professor T

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:05 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 16 October 2013 - 01:38 AM, said:

I think there is something to it, selection effects all things and only things that can reproduce or hold their form exist the onslaught of entropy.

Along these same lines, I have concluded things like religions or other institutions are mass quantities of these ideas that are highly evolved potentially societies themselves are actually alive entities.

Certain institutions and societies actually fit all the qualities it takes to be considered a super organism.

I'd like to hear more of your line in this..

A super organism, super thought, super idea sounds similar to how I perceive certain organizations too.. I tend to theorize that any Ideas that requires it's thinkers to think a certain way or uphold certain Ideas would be a powerful controlling entity in the landscape of the mind. Powerful enough to consume or assimilate any or all other entities that get in it's way. These Super's would also completely control certain people in every aspect of their lives to peoples own detriment without them even realizing it..

Some popular religions are an example of this, so too is Scientific method.. yep, scientific method is an Idea demanding that it is upheld. It demands that new knowledge is gained by it's Methods alone, and if the method isn't adhered too, the knowledge is false and not accepted, even if the knowledge is actually true..

Edited to add: Is hard to judge whether all the supers are detrimental.. most certainly appear to be.

Edited by Professor T, 16 October 2013 - 12:10 PM.


#15    spacecowboy342

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

View PostProfessor T, on 16 October 2013 - 12:05 PM, said:

I'd like to hear more of your line in this..

A super organism, super thought, super idea sounds similar to how I perceive certain organizations too.. I tend to theorize that any Ideas that requires it's thinkers to think a certain way or uphold certain Ideas would be a powerful controlling entity in the landscape of the mind. Powerful enough to consume or assimilate any or all other entities that get in it's way. These Super's would also completely control certain people in every aspect of their lives to peoples own detriment without them even realizing it..

Some popular religions are an example of this, so too is Scientific method.. yep, scientific method is an Idea demanding that it is upheld. It demands that new knowledge is gained by it's Methods alone, and if the method isn't adhered too, the knowledge is false and not accepted, even if the knowledge is actually true..

Edited to add: Is hard to judge whether all the supers are detrimental.. most certainly appear to be.
I disagree in that with the scientific method if knowledge is found to be false it is abandoned and new understanding sought






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