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The most anti-science belief you can hold is that science is a religion (panpsychism)

#1
C C Offline
https://www.salon.com/2024/04/01/the-mos...-religion/

EXCERPTS: [...] Science journalism has a job to do — and that includes verbally smacking the pseudoscience out of academic hustlers to defend the dignity of both the reader and the science...

[...] But when science writers dismiss robustly-debated philosophical theories this way — like panpsychism, one well-known theory about the possible nature of subjective consciousness even in inanimate objects — they look less like erudite champions of empirical truth, and more like a Victorian drawing room full of phrenologists scoffing at William James’ notions of psychology while proclaiming that “there isn't a single head-bump of evidence to support this theory.”

At least, that’s what they looked like this past week when Popular Mechanics science writer Stav Dimitropoulos offered a fresh bit of nuanced reporting on the renewed popular interest around the philosophical theory of panpsychism. To grossly oversimplify, the theory posits that consciousness isn’t just the currently scientifically-inexplicable emergent property of a human brain as many consider it now, but a property of pretty much any self-organizing system of material things. Panpsychism’s principles stretch back to human’s earliest notions of classical philosophy but have also evolved right alongside the sciences (like, you know, theories within humanities disciplines do).

Panpsychism winks at us from our species’ inquisitive past and seems to ask, “Aren’t you the same hairless apes that once laughed at a guy for suggesting all matter was ultimately made of vibration?

Its core concepts have been advocated for by the likes of Nobel Prize winner Roger Penrose, as well as physicists like Author Eddington and David Bohm, and even William James himself. As a theory, panpsychism challenges us to consider whether we featherless bipeds might be thinking a bit too primitively when we assume objectively extant concepts we have no real way to quantify — like consciousness — can only be produced by neuronal sparks of the electrified hamburger meat between our ears.

[...] When fuzzy terms like “artificial superintelligence” are getting tossed around to describe black-box processes of a computer network you can pay to be your girlfriend, I’d say panpsychism’s questions are worth more than an embarrassingly tone-deaf snicker from science writers. Similarly well-timed amid all the recent heady research into quantum mechanics, Dimitropoulos’ rather eloquent piece invites readers to examine the current limits of material physics’ theories and see what the brainiacs in humanities departments have to say about self-awareness and the mind’s role in the wider universe... (MORE - details)
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#2
Zinjanthropos Offline
Quote: Fundamental particles would have simple, unified consciousness. Sometimes, this simple consciousness 'combines' or unifies into more complex forms. This happens in the human brain—we have unified consciousness as whole. But it probably doesn't happen in e.g. tables and chairs—these things are mere collections of independently conscious particles."

I’m no scientist but I would think that if every particle has some conscious aspect attached to it then perhaps the vast majority of consciousness is in suspension, seeing how cold it is out there. At the same time if one thinks of the universe being extremely hot in the beginning then consciousness would have been at its peak. Today conscious particles would then be more likely to be found in warm spots. The Sun must be the most conscious object in the solar system by that reasoning, which I don’t trust btw. Seems as if the human body at 98.6°F is warm enough for consciousness but if frozen solid it just becomes a rock with diminished consciousness according to the author.

Also…..If mitochondria is conscious then how can a plant not be?
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#3
C C Offline
Identification and understanding (cognition) requires a memory storage and retrieval system, which non-living structures in the universe at large do not have. This is where panpsychism goes wrong, in seemingly suggesting (at times) that all facets of consciousness might be ubiquitously available at an elemental level. Rather than just primitive experiences (phenomenal events) that manifest internally without any knowledge-based awareness of themselves. A refined label like "panprotopsychism" might avoid that kind of misapprehension or even potential strawman slash projection upon it.
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#4
Zinjanthropos Offline
(Apr 3, 2024 05:50 PM)C C Wrote: Identification and understanding (cognition) requires a memory storage and retrieval system, which non-living structures in the universe at large do not have. This is where panpsychism goes wrong, in seemingly suggesting (at times) that all facets of consciousness might be ubiquitously available at an elemental level. Rather than just primitive experiences (phenomenal events) that manifest internally without any knowledge-based awareness of themselves. A refined label like "panprotopsychism" might avoid that kind of misapprehension or even potential strawman slash projection upon it.

Wouldn’t a computer have memory storage and retrieval amongst other things? Is it a primitive consciousness as described in article? Doesn’t that play into the OP, a more complicated consciousness vs a primitive consciousness, humans vs machines, machines vs plastic components, and so on down the line? Each assemblage of particles means different levels of consciousness?
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#5
confused2 Offline
A few days ago my rich friend rang to ask me how we could program computers to want to survive.
I asked for 5.
5 minutes later I rang him back to say "Don't try to re-invent the wheel - give 'em the program we run - they'll work it out for themselves".
He hasn't called back.
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#6
C C Offline
(Apr 3, 2024 07:00 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
(Apr 3, 2024 05:50 PM)C C Wrote: Identification and understanding (cognition) requires a memory storage and retrieval system, which non-living structures in the universe at large do not have. This is where panpsychism goes wrong, in seemingly suggesting (at times) that all facets of consciousness might be ubiquitously available at an elemental level. Rather than just primitive experiences (phenomenal events) that manifest internally without any knowledge-based awareness of themselves. A refined label like "panprotopsychism" might avoid that kind of misapprehension or even potential strawman slash projection upon it.

Wouldn’t a computer have memory storage and retrieval amongst other things? Is it a primitive consciousness as described in article? Doesn’t that play into the OP, a more complicated consciousness vs a primitive consciousness, humans vs machines, machines vs plastic components, and so on down the line? Each assemblage of particles means different levels of consciousness?

Once you get below the technological substrate maintaining those systematic relationships, the capacity for primitive stages of cognition disappears. If matter or quantum fields or whatever have internal phenomenal states -- if that's how such exists to itself, then those elemental manifestations may be present at the bottom-most level of organization. But that actually has to do with be-ing (how _X_ exists) rather than a higher arrangement or category of mind, psychology, etc.

Identification and understanding arise when information about past events is being stored to methodically interpret, react to, and predict new events (etc). Physical interactions taking place in weather and geology aren't of psychological classification.
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