• Pop
    651
    could be the first evidence of that missing factor to explain everything we have been talking about!Pop

    I don't see how? It may explain the cause of asymmetry giving rise to matter, if confirmed in ten years time or so, but otherwise nothing new.

    Other authors may find different ways to sub-divide consciousness, but ultimately an explanation must be found in the basic processes of nature.... and I don't see you focusing-in on what the necessary base-level requirements might be.Gary Enfield

    If information preservation is fundamental, then everything is integrating information.Pop

    Almost everyone accepts evolution as a process of change and increasing complexity, once the first cell existed - but things must be very different before life - without an alternate evolutionary mechanism - just basic chemistry (with lightning or without it).Gary Enfield

    I think it needs to be understood that everything exists in a relation to something else. Indeed everything exists in a relation to a multiplicity of externalities. It is not a static relationship, but an evolving one. So everything exists in a process of interrelational evolution - both the living and nonliving evolve through a process of interrelational evolution. If this is true for everything, then it is also true for the first living cell. This gives me the confidence to state that the first living cell arose through a process of interrelational evolution - simply because no alternative of being exists!Pop

    Everything evolves. Nothing stays still. We are trying to describe how inanimate matter might evolve to animated matter. We have honed in on how information plays the central role. Please read over the thread.
  • Adughep
    16
    f information preservation is fundamental, then everything is integrating information. This is consistent with the modern definition of consciousness ( information integration ). It occurs through self organization. Self organization is caused by external elements. Self organization creates a self, entirely from elements external to self. The only thing that belongs innately to the self is the information it preserves. The information is stored as a pattern of materials. Simply put, the information is the arrangement or pattern of materials. In the case of living things it is an animated pattern of materials. The animation is itself an emergent pattern. Life is an animated pattern. An animated pattern is a process.

    Does this make sense?
    Pop

    Yes it does for me. :up:
    The last phrase might be a little confusing "An animated pattern is a process" ? maybe you can say more details about the process.
    You will need all the phrases, if you want it explained to someone else.
  • Adughep
    16
    The scientific method is always to try and break processes down into their fundamental components, and people have, in their different ways, distinguished between factors that might combine to generate consciousness. I felt that your discussion was weakened by treating consciousness as a single thing.

    Finipolscie talks of 3 components - Awareness, Control, and Thought.
    I think he settled on these three because they are all scalable, and seem to reflect different properties that could potentially be attempted by mechanical/chemical processes.
    Other authors may find different ways to sub-divide consciousness, but ultimately an explanation must be found in the basic processes of nature.... and I don't see you focusing-in on what the necessary base-level requirements might be.
    Gary Enfield


    Yes we are treating it is a single thing, but with different levels of evolution. Finipolscie consciousness is near human level of complexity or animal level.
    That's why i said in one of my posts that we should not confuse it with human level of "consciousness".
    I and Pop agreed that a molecule, cell or a small bacteria that can gather by itself information from the nearby environment (or from interactions with other cells) and can evolve into something new has a low level of "consciousness" .If this word might be too confusing, you can maybe try to find a better word for the above sentence ?
  • Pop
    651
    The last phrase might be a little confusing "An animated pattern is a process" ? maybe you can say more details about the process.Adughep

    If everything is subject to interrelational evolution ( and I can not see how it can not be ) then so would be the emergent property of action. When inanimate amino acids are combined in a certain pattern an emergent property arises - the property of action / movement. This property then becomes subject to interrelational evolution. The now acting cellular protein, along with its action, must evolve to something self sustaining otherwise it can not survive. The action must evolve to a pattern of action or a series of steps - a process - that is meaningful for its survival. A pattern is information. If information is being preserved, now a pattern of action is the information being preserved. An interacting pattern of information - interacting with other patterns of information, is information processing!

    According to Fritjof Capra: " cognition is a reaction to a disturbance in a state". He means this is for all forms of matter - living and non living.

    So If we put all these together we get a sketch of how interacting patterns of action must self organize to something self sustaining - if they are successful they create a form of mind! If they are not successful then they do not survive - so there seems to be an evolutionary imperative towards mind in certain Goldilocks situations.

    The principle of system wide cooperation from simple action is demonstrated in this video and here.
  • Adughep
    16

    Thank you for the explanation.
    I understood what you meant by "An animated pattern is a process" by itself, but i thought you wanted to add a little more to make it clear for everyone. :up:
  • Pop
    651
    but i thought you wanted to add a little more to make it clear for everyone. :up:Adughep

    I knew you would understand, and I imagine there is only us two left who are interested. And I think we have reached a rough understanding of how life might have evolved. What is interesting is that a form of mind evolved before what we would consider life. :smile: which is consistent with all abiogenesis theory, and the notion that self organization led to life, but is not the typical understanding.

    Thank you for the preservation of information insight. This fills a gap in my understanding. Normally I would say self organization forms a self, but this can not occur without the preservation of information. Fundamentally it is the preserved information that forms a self, thus enabling self organization - the interrelational evolution of a pattern of preserved information. The self being a pattern of preserved information. And it is easy to see how "the self " in psychology is really just a complicated pattern of preserved information.
  • Gary Enfield
    112


    Pop / Adughep

    I am still unclear about what you are saying. Perhaps you are trying to say that information is a distinct thing in its own right and that consciousness is merely an expression of this underlying information.

    If that is really what you're saying then I think that is a big leap - even if it may be one form of the Idealist perspective - which tended to use Thought instead of information.

    I did not perceive that overlapping energy waves were necessarily information.
    They could just as easily be a quick way to explore possibilities to find the most stable form/combination of physical things, quickly.

    Put another way, there is nothing to suggest that physical existence is dependent on such an information base - and if Matter/Energy can exist independently then there is no basic requirement for an information layer to existence.

    In the same way that a car collision detector can be aware that 2 objects have collided, it is possible in physical terms, to have a level of awareness without consciousness or information. Hence the need for more simple building blocks - based on purely physical mechanisms - not information.

    However if you are then saying that some emergent property can develop an information capability from some sort of physical interaction, then I would point out that there is still a difference between stats and facts vs interpretation and purpose - which you are implying by suggestions of self organisation.
  • Pop
    651
    I am still unclear about what you are saying. Perhaps you are trying to say that information is a distinct thing in its own right and that consciousness is merely an expression of this underlying information.Gary Enfield

    I suppose it is difficult to understand if you are unfamiliar with information and self organization theory. It is not necessary to understand them fully - I certainly don't, but a basic understanding allows one to apply them to topics such as this and derive some understanding that is not possible with more traditional theory. I would encourage anybody to familiarize themselves with these theories as they have filled substantial gaps in my understanding.

    Put another way, there is nothing to suggest that physical existence is dependent on such an information base - and if Matter/Energy can exist independently then there is no basic requirement for an information layer to existence.Gary Enfield

    Materials are composed of information and energy. The relationship of information and energy is matter.
    E=mc2, energy equals mass, only matter has mass, but matter also contains volume and shape which the mass is distributed over – these are information. There may also be other as yet undiscovered factors that contribute to matter, but whatever they may turn out to be will also be information. Everything is information, and everything is self organizing, so everything is self organizing information! This is the underlying element that materialism does not generally recognize.

    I imagine impressions like this is what led people like Planck, and Schrodinger, and others to believe that consciousness is fundamental, and Fritjof Capra to state that "the basic unit of cognition is a disturbance in a state."

    Once one starts to think like this then one can start to see a viable evolutionary path from inanimate matter to animate matter via information integration, and preservation, and the emergence that may result in the process.
  • Gary Enfield
    112


    Pop

    As you will have gathered from my other posts, I do believe that various effects in nature, (beyond any man-made influence), point towards some basic levels of awareness, control, and even consciousness which in turn suggest some additional factors in existence that have not yet been explained by the official models of science.

    That is why I was excited by the recent preliminary findings from CERN, about a 5th force in nature that was previously unknown.

    However it is not clear that those unexplained 'awareness' influences were present from the start of the Big Bang, or evolved from Matter/Energy at some point later.

    However, materialism/determinism does have a large degree of validity within purely physical realms, and those who say that such principles apply to everything, may yet discover evidence that proves them right.

    I do like that you have been trying to narrow-in on base factors that may resolve some of these issues, but you lack evidence which would disprove other possibilities, and have an inclination to follow the option of an 'information layer' even if that isn't proven.

    A lot of organisation in the universe, including shapes, has been explained through physical factors, including competing energies/forces. Your leap to an information layer of existence, (plus some factor that can rationalise and shape it), may be true - but it is a big leap none-the-less, given the level of evidence available.
  • simeonz
    303
    Everything is information, and everything is self organizing, so everything is self organizing information! This is the underlying element that materialism does not generally recognize.

    I imagine impressions like this is what led people like Planck, and Schrodinger, and others to believe that consciousness is fundamental, and Fritjof Capra to state that "the basic unit of cognition is a disturbance in a state."
    Pop
    I was not familiar with the concept, before you mentioned it, but self-organization theory appears to convey the idea that a system without innate orderliness will attain order by virtue of the constant influence of factors from the environment. Or, as you said, the internal organization will reflect exterior factors. Note that this is recognized by abiogenesists. That is, they recognize that life emerged due to the availability of factors, such as energy and overabundance of carbon and radiation, among others. Certain supporters go even so far as to conjecture that it was inevitable development to produce life, whatever the contingent initial conditions of the chemical substances were, although I am not sure that I would go that far.

    Note that what you called information here, if I have understood you correctly, is probably better termed state. It is a small concern, but I think that conventionally information is considered a relation. And in information theory, there are two related terms, mutual information, and conditional entropy.

    I don't want to butt into the discussion. I took a peek and realized that what you describe as consciousness is very similar to how I would describe it in panpsychic and pantheistic terms. That is how I should convey their idea, if I were to elaborate it today. I even wrote a post some days after yours, where I summarized my position. I am merely entertaining the idea as a hypothesis, not a claim. Not even a conjecture.

    P.S. Enactivism might be interesting to you, but I should say that I am not familiar with it either.
  • Pop
    651
    I don't want to butt into the discussion. I took a peek and realized that what you describe as consciousness is very similar to how I would describe it in panpsychic and pantheistic terms. That is how I should convey their idea, if I were to elaborate it today. I even wrote a post some days after yours, where I summarized my position. I am merely entertaining the idea as a hypothesis, not a claim. Not even a conjecture.simeonz

    Please feel free to add to the discussion, and please provide a link to your description of consciousness.
    In my understanding, self organization = consciousness. Self organization is a god like term, as far as I can see, in that it can fill all of the explanatory gaps traditionally filled by god.

    Note that what you called information here, if I have understood you correctly, is probably better termed state. It is a small concern, but I think that conventionally information is considered a relation. And in information theory, there are two related terms, mutual information, and conditional entropy.simeonz

    Yes I am referring to a state, that has self organized due to relational evolution. @Adughep has suggested that it is information that is being preserved, and I would agree, in that the preservation of information is necessary to create a state. So fundamentally it is the 'preserved information' ( as a state ) that is evolving relationally. The preserved information creates the self in self organization.

    In complexity theory it is local interaction, energy fluctuation, or vibration, that spreads throughout the system causing a system wide state, which then has to evolve to a meaningful self sustaining process, in order to survive.

    So in the end it is a panpsychism that I'm trying to describe, so I would be interested in how you have described it.
  • Pop
    651
    Your leap to an information layer of existence, (plus some factor that can rationalise and shape it), may be true - but it is a big leap none-the-less, given the level of evidence available.Gary Enfield

    I don't think it is such a big leap. I think the complexity being described by cellular imaging in recent years really brings home the fact that Dualism and the materialism that follows are logically flawed. Cellular biology is far too complex to be the result of chance alone. There is an underlying element of self organization - that materialism does not acknowledge - can not acknowledge if it is to preserve Dualism!
    One truly wonders when will the penny drop? For the biologist philosophers I previously mentioned, the penny dropped quite some time ago!
  • Gary Enfield
    112


    Hi Pop

    I think there is a misunderstanding about Dualism here.

    If the 2 main monist views are either that :-

    a) there is only physical Matter/Energy (Materialism) or
    b) there is only Thought (Idealism) which can fashion our imaginings and give a perception of solidity,

    then an' information layer' as you describe it, which shapes everything, is either close to the Idealist view, or a full embodiment of the Dualist perspective.

    Materialists are not dualists.
  • simeonz
    303
    Please feel free to add to the discussion, and please provide a link to your description of consciousness.
    In my understanding, self organization = consciousness. Self organization is a god like term, as far as I can see, in that it can fill all of the explanatory gaps traditionally filled by god.
    Pop
    Our views differ, in the sense that I do not postulate any new empirical relations. I haven't elaborated much either way, because the point was to defend naturalistically compatible emergence of phenomenological experience. I would concur with you that dynamic systems in nature have attractor points that are more organized then their initial conditions, but I think that this is accepted by contemporary science. As I said, I believe that for the case of the first biological systems, abiogenesis is relying on this idea, when hoping to prove the arrival of organics from pre-biotic chemistry. On the other hand, it is well known that thermodynamic entropy is bound to increase globally. Therefore conditional entropy between systems will increase, and information expressiveness, or order is to be lost. Terrestrial life sustains order, because we still have low entropy energy sources. For biological systems, it is predominantly from solar radiation, and for our technology, it is predominantly fossil fuel and atomic energy.

    As I said, it follows a different venue and does not postulate new empirical relations, but if you are still interested, here is the link.
    ...simeonz

    If the 2 main monist views are either that :-

    a) there is only physical Matter/Energy (Materialism) or
    b) there is only Thought (Idealism) which can fashion our imaginings and give a perception of solidity,

    then an' information layer' as you describe it, which shapes everything, is either close to the Idealist view, or a full embodiment of the Dualist perspective.
    Gary Enfield
    Interjecting in again, but I should disagree. The distinction between pantheism/panpsychism and metaphysical idealism, the way I see it, is that that the former conjectures mental state articulated by immutable or quasi-immutable constraints, acting on the relations between its constituents, whereas the latter considers these constraints as just cognitive elaborations of ephemeral experiences. Dualism proposes that the immutable constraints exist objectively and permanently, but are not between the constituents of the mind, but between the constituents of another substance that the mind supervenes. Idealism and pantheism/panpsychism are both substance monism indeed, but their treatment of natural law differs. It is epistemic in essence for the former, and ontological for the latter

    If anyone responds to this, I want to take a short break, so do not be offended if I don't answer speedily.
  • Pop
    651
    I think there is a misunderstanding about Dualism here.Gary Enfield

    Reading over my previous comment I can see where the misunderstanding is. I was really meaning Cartesian dualism, where the mind is immaterial, and all else is material / mechanical, as the materialism that pervades western culture. You are correct, strictly speaking materialism is monist.

    My understanding is panpsychic, in that there is an element of mind in all matter due to it being self organizing, either on its own or as part of a larger system.

    Thanks for the link. You are a little difficult to follow once you get going, but on the whole I was quite impressed. We agree on a systems / embodied approach. I would disagree on pantheism, but I think @Gnomon would agree with you.

    I haven't elaborated much either way, because the point was to defend naturalistically compatible emergence of phenomenological experience.simeonz

    This is something I have thought about myself, I wonder if emotion is an emergent property or something that exists for all the layers of a complex multilayered biological system in some form. But this would be off topic.

    I do not postulate any new empirical relationssimeonz

    I'm not sure I do either. I try to, but mostly I'm late to the party. :smile: That consciousness = self organization is consistent with complexity theory. I probably should qualify every comment with - " in my understanding". I tend to assume comments made here are propositional, and will be scrutinized.

    On the other hand, it is well known that thermodynamic entropy is bound to increase globally. Therefore conditional entropy between systems will increase, and information expressiveness, or order is to be lost. Terrestrial life sustains order, because we still have low entropy energy sources. For biological systems, it is predominantly from solar radiation, and for our technology, it is predominantly fossil fuel and atomic energy.simeonz

    It is now generally recognized that in many important fields of research a state of true thermodynamic equilibrium is only attained in exceptional conditions. Experiments with radioactive tracers, for example, have shown that the nucleic acids contained in living cells continuously exchange matter with their surroundings. It is also well known that the steady flow of energy which originates in the sun and the stars prevents the atmosphere of the earth or stars from reaching a state of thermodynamic equilibrium.Obviously then, the majority of the phenomena studied in biology, meteorology, astrophysics and other subjects are irreversible processes which take place outside the equilibrium state.These few examples may serve to illustrate the urgent need for an extension of the methods of thermodynamics so as to include irreversible processes.

    I can see how entropy might play a role in cellular evolution in closed systems - driving more complex molecular configurations. But natural systems are open. The overwhelming impression is that they self organize despite all the obstacles they face, including entropy.

    That is why I was excited by the recent preliminary findings from CERN, about a 5th force in nature that was previously unknown.Gary Enfield

    Can you provide a link or summary please?

    Your interacting waves of energy are similar to Turing patterns.
  • Gnomon
    1.4k
    ↪simeonz
    Thanks for the link. You are a little difficult to follow once you get going, but on the whole I was quite impressed. We agree on a systems / embodied approach. I would disagree on pantheism, but I think Gnomon would agree with you.
    Pop
    In a broad sense, I am OK with the general notion of Pantheism, but for my particular worldview, I call it PanEnDeism. :cool:

    PanEnDeism :
    Panendeism is an ontological position that explores the interrelationship between God (The Cosmic Mind) and the known attributes of the universe. Combining aspects of Panentheism and Deism, Panendeism proposes an idea of God that both embodies the universe and is transcendent of its observable physical properties.
    https://panendeism.org/faq-and-questions/
    Note -- PED is distinguished from general Deism, by its more specific notion of the G*D/Creation relationship; and from PanDeism by its understanding of G*D as supernatural creator rather than the emergent soul of Nature. Enformationism is a Panendeistic worldview.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page16.html
    Note 2. -- Panendeism is not equivalent to the bible-god, but is an alternative to the eternal/external Multiverse theory, in which our space-time bound world is a small part of the infinite whole.
  • Pop
    651
    PanEnDeismGnomon

    :up: Thanks for that.
  • Gary Enfield
    112


    That is why I was excited by the recent preliminary findings from CERN, about a 5th force in nature that was previously unknown.
    — Gary Enfield

    Can you provide a link or summary please?
    Pop


    My pleasure - here's two:-

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/evidence-emerges-of-brand-new-force-of-nature-at-cern-1.5360051

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/23/large-hadron-collider-scientists-particle-physics


    A lot of experimental results that seem to break the Laws of Physics, can either be explained by ridiculous notions that desperately try to preserve scientific doctrine over common sense, or we can accept simpler and more obvious possibilities - that other factors (forces and, by implication, other types of stuff), might exist.

    The CERN findings are perhaps the first scientifically undeniable proof that other factors do exist.... which may ultimately, in turn, lead to potential explanations for consciousness etc.

    When new fundamental aspects of nature are uncovered we need to investigate the properties of those things - which will inevitably open up new potential, without having to junk our hard-won understanding of Matter/Energy, as it is proven to work in the totality of our experiences.
  • Pop
    651
    Thanks for the link. You must see something more in this then I do. I cant help thinking CERN in its 11 years and 51 Hedrons has not achieved much. At best we see a picture of endlessly smaller components making up matter, and now perhaps an extra force or two. I suppose these things have to be explored, but so far the exploration has not yielded much that is of practical use, except that matter is composed of energy and information.

    At least, for myself, it strengthens the view that matter is a state of integrated energy and information, and this is what consciousness also is - a state of integrated energy and information embedded in matter.
  • Gary Enfield
    112
    Hi Pop

    There is clearly information and logic within the totality of existence, as we all know that we use this as part of our conscious lives. That doesn't necessarily mean that there has always been information as a base part of existence, rather than it being an emergent property from our consciousness.

    To my mind, the results from CERN do not demonstrate any base level information layer. Indeed, much of scientific research seems to be aimed at finding physical/particulate answers to everything.

    You may be right - that in some way, information may be an ever-present factor. But that hasn't been demonstrated as far as I know. If you believe that such evidence exists then it may well be worth a separate thread.

    I still believe that the current scientific explanations for existence as a whole must be missing one or more factors, because they simply don't explain everything we observe. That is why I was interested by the finding from CERN (above).

    I suppose that in the case of the origin of life, as mentioned across many previous comments on this thread, there are certain key unexplained features, and I have been trying to determine what physical characteristics might be required to resolve them if the gap is truly physical rather than information/will of God.

    The use of codes within the replication mechanism is a particularly interesting aspect of this.

    If you wish to build up an argument for an information layer, can I suggest that you assemble such factors that might require it, and put them into your model so that we can all appreciate how the logic / explanation might work?
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