My BS sensor is tingling again
posted June 06, 2021 03:03 AM
|Edited by artu at 11:36, 06 Jun 2021.
Oh, what a suprise, the author of The Hidden and the Manifest: Essays in Theology and Metaphysics, the translator of The New Testament: A Translation doesnt find it convincing that consciousness or language can evolve gradually, although we directly observe different levels and types of consciousness or language in so many species, all result of biochemistry and molecules, his only possible “alternative explanation” is a magical interference by some force which is a thousand times more implausible than what he thinks is implausible. What he hesitates to believe can evolve gradually and through neurological means, he has no problem believing came out of thin air as an immaterial intelligent designer.
Descartes lived in the 1600’s, he tought animals were kind of autonom machines with zero consciousness and only humans had a mind. That is understandable for his time. But with all that we know today… what does the critic who finds it so unbelievable that consciousness can evolve step by step think about chimps who have better short term memory than us or dolphins with complex language or neandarthal who spoke, made tools, wore ornaments? Are they magically given such consciousness too? If it is so unbelievable that consciousness and self-awareness or the illusion of them evolved step by step, where or what does he exactly pinpoint as the start of “real consciousness?” Sign language, words, theory of mind, using symbolism, having compassion? Because all of these evolved in different times, it wasnt all at once and in the beginning, none of them were as sophisticated as they are today.
Here are two, much more unbiased critics of the book. 1 and 2
And here is the Occam’s Razor from one of them:
As a philosopher, Dennett is not interested in the specifics of the evolutionary path that has led to humans, of when competence becomes comprehension. There is no shortage of books by evolutionary-minded neuroscientists – neurologist Antonio Damasio is among the best, though curiously ignored by Dennett. Damasio charts the origins of nervous systems and the emergence and increasing complexity of brains, from single-celled creatures through to primates and hominids, seeking to locate within this evolutionary pathway the first appearance of sensations of self-awareness, emotions and memory, the precursors of mind and consciousness. It is enough for Dennett that one can trace a plausible story for these transitions.
Are you pretty? This is my occasion. - Ghost