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 Natural selection and consciousness

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:14 pm

To be conscious it is necessary to apprehend ideas; in order to apprehend ideas it is necessary to be capable of being aware of facts as such; in order to be aware of facts as such it is necessary to have a sufficiently complex and extensive neurological structure; in order to have a sufficiently complex and extensive neurological structure it is necessary for the brain to be able to reach a certain size at a young age; in order for the brain to be able to reach a certain size at a young age it is necessary for the cranial plates to expand in infancy and through childhood; in order for the cranial plates to be able to expand in infancy and childhood it is necessary that the cranial plates not be fused together so tightly; in order for the cranial plates to not be fused together so tightly it is necessary that the jaw muscles do not require to pull against the cranium with such force; in order for the jaw muscles to not require to pull against the cranium with such force it is necessary that the jaw muscles be relatively weaker than they are in most primates; in order for the jaw muscles to be relatively weaker than they are in most primates it is necessary that the genes associated with the jaw muscle be altered slightly leading to a weaker jaw muscle; because it is necessary that the genes associated with the jaw muscle be altered slightly leading to a weaker jaw muscle, when the MHY16 gene experienced a random mutation in our evolutionary past, this mutation was selected for and spread throughout the population.

...leading to the entire cascade above, backward through the chain of causes until it was the case that humans were capable of being conscious.

There are thousands of examples just like this, the sum total of which ended up causing the necessary basic conditions to appear so that humans could go on to eventually become conscious. But the causality of the chain above must be interpreted from the top downward: the very fact of "humans becoming conscious" as a pure value-possibility is the reason why this whole chain occurred "by accident" in the first place. The accidents occurred randomly, such as genetic mutations or environment circumstances, but these became selected-for on the basis of the overarching 'metaphysical' value structure, mobilizing accident and chance toward a teleological terminus.

So what is the terminus beyond our present state of being "self-aware conscious" beings? We have come this far, yet this point we are at is not the end-point of the logical chain of causes.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful
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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:24 pm

Ive always liked the jaw muscle theory. It is satisfyingly random.

We hold dissimilar views to consciousness - I take all life to be conscious, as I see sentience and consciousness as the same thing - this is just how the word works on me. Conceptual consciousness, metaphysics, this is what I'd call that of which we can reasonably suspect only large brained species to be able to entertain on Earth -
however, I see consciousness as a product of delayed self-valuing, as an awareness of a continuum between moments, as an identification with a temporal process, a life.

To hold on to the identity of the slow biological organism as an immediate electrical nervous system is, or requires, what I see as consciousness - the association of the self-valuing with a process that it can never fulfill without suspending its immediate self-affirmation/creation; thus even a small rodent as a 'purpose' - even if it just just collecting nuts and staying alive to do it another time - this whole process of collecting and 'nut-ness' that is integral to the little creatures being, is all category of consciousness, as I conceive of it.

My own notion of the origin of the specifically human consciousness, is the beginning of the practice of using tools. Things one picks up outside of oneself to acquire a power with, which then becomes an auxiliary attribute to the selfvaluing, whereby true metaphysics, or meta-selfvaluing is born. I think it was Bergson who said man is a tool to create tools to create tools, etc - in a sense this is true, it is in the creation of tools, i.e. in the continuously developed identification with method, that our true creativity, and thus our true freedom-as-power lies.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:30 pm

I think that I agree with you regarding this understanding of sentience and consciousness.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful
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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:59 pm

Honored.

I was a bit surprised I managed to put it in words. It was always terrifying to try.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:21 pm

I will also try to explain it, but that will be difficult and take me some thinking first.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"Do you hold out hope, then?" ... "I hold out dignity." ... "She will need opiates before long, for the pain. She will cease being who she is." ... "Then I will love who she becomes."  --Penny Dreadful
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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:39 pm

It's what we live for

 

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PostSubject: Re: Natural selection and consciousness    Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:42 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:
To be conscious it is necessary ...

Very nicely done. My compliments. The only thing I didn't see was the importance of early humans being meat eaters.

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