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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Another misguided, no intro, spammer....... :x :x :x :evil: :razz:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:35 pm 
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fms wrote:
Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices



Why do humans pretend that animals are aware enough to understand how the rest of their species live in the wild or out of the wild??? The captive dolphins are not subject to other stresses that the wild dolphins face but some humans can not wrap their minds around the difference between an animal in the captive state not being aware of what it is missing anymore than a wild dolphin would miss the surety of lots of fish being fired at it by animals trainers everyday. In fact bird feeders show that wild animals will often seek out the human hand that feeds them.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 am 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Another misguided, no intro, spammer....... :x :x :x :evil: :razz:


Because they haven't given an intro they are a spammer?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:22 am 
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Donnie Mac Leod wrote:
fms wrote:
Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices



If a human child were kept captive in a cage, would they be aware enough to understand how the rest of their species live? Would it be okay to keep them caged on the premise that it was safe and they would be fed? Would it be considered humane because they would not have to suffer the travails of having to fend for themselves? Do we dare "pretend" that a human child would be aware of how the rest of their species lived?

If dolphins have a natural ability to travel 100 km a day, then they will do so, naturally. If we keep them in pools which are quite unnatural, they won't behave in the way they are intended to behave. Human babies would not necessarily be aware of the human species' ability to read and write and walk in an upward position if we prevented them from doing so. If these babes were kept separate from their species, they would not be aware of their abilty to simply be human.

Quote:
The captive dolphins are not subject to other stresses that the wild dolphins face but some humans can not wrap their minds around the difference between an animal in the captive state not being aware of what it is missing anymore than a wild dolphin would miss the surety of lots of fish being fired at it by animals trainers everyday. In fact bird feeders show that wild animals will often seek out the human hand that feeds them.


Providing bird feeders is not the same as keeping birds captive. Captive dolphins are faced with the stresses of being held captive when their natural instinct is to travel freely and get their food where they can. Wild dolphins are not dieing of starvation Donny. A dolphin's world is an abundat world when in the wild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6N4LAMg ... re=related

If you had the choice, would you not choose to be free to do as your human nature called for and was capable of? Or would you rather be held prisoner where no harm could come to you ..... and fed 3 times per day?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:11 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Donnie Mac Leod wrote:
fms wrote:
Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices



If a human child were kept captive in a cage, would they be aware enough to understand how the rest of their species live? Would it be okay to keep them caged on the premise that it was safe and they would be fed? Would it be considered humane because they would not have to suffer the travails of having to fend for themselves? Do we dare "pretend" that a human child would be aware of how the rest of their species lived?

If dolphins have a natural ability to travel 100 km a day, then they will do so, naturally. If we keep them in pools which are quite unnatural, they won't behave in the way they are intended to behave. Human babies would not necessarily be aware of the human species' ability to read and write and walk in an upward position if we prevented them from doing so. If these babes were kept separate from their species, they would not be aware of their abilty to simply be human.

Quote:
The captive dolphins are not subject to other stresses that the wild dolphins face but some humans can not wrap their minds around the difference between an animal in the captive state not being aware of what it is missing anymore than a wild dolphin would miss the surety of lots of fish being fired at it by animals trainers everyday. In fact bird feeders show that wild animals will often seek out the human hand that feeds them.


Providing bird feeders is not the same as keeping birds captive. Captive dolphins are faced with the stresses of being held captive when their natural instinct is to travel freely and get their food where they can. Wild dolphins are not dieing of starvation Donny. A dolphin's world is an abundat world when in the wild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6N4LAMg ... re=related

If you had the choice, would you not choose to be free to do as your human nature called for and was capable of? Or would you rather be held prisoner where no harm could come to you ..... and fed 3 times per day?



That was my point Animal Friendly? Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free. We are the most aware animal on the planet but it is silly to pretend all other animals have such ability. BTW , Wild Dolphins are getting pretty mixed up being free since they are beaching themselves around the world so the weighing of what you claim to be abundant life is not the only game changer. Tame dolphins are more likely to be healthy and more importantly treated medically than the ones in the wild. Ditto food issues because the Aquariums want robust animals and not the starving variety. Hope all is well with you.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:29 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Donnie Mac Leod wrote:
fms wrote:
Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices



If a human child were kept captive in a cage, would they be aware enough to understand how the rest of their species live? Would it be okay to keep them caged on the premise that it was safe and they would be fed? Would it be considered humane because they would not have to suffer the travails of having to fend for themselves? Do we dare "pretend" that a human child would be aware of how the rest of their species lived?

If dolphins have a natural ability to travel 100 km a day, then they will do so, naturally. If we keep them in pools which are quite unnatural, they won't behave in the way they are intended to behave. Human babies would not necessarily be aware of the human species' ability to read and write and walk in an upward position if we prevented them from doing so. If these babes were kept separate from their species, they would not be aware of their abilty to simply be human.

Quote:
The captive dolphins are not subject to other stresses that the wild dolphins face but some humans can not wrap their minds around the difference between an animal in the captive state not being aware of what it is missing anymore than a wild dolphin would miss the surety of lots of fish being fired at it by animals trainers everyday. In fact bird feeders show that wild animals will often seek out the human hand that feeds them.


Providing bird feeders is not the same as keeping birds captive. Captive dolphins are faced with the stresses of being held captive when their natural instinct is to travel freely and get their food where they can. Wild dolphins are not dieing of starvation Donny. A dolphin's world is an abundat world when in the wild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6N4LAMg ... re=related

If you had the choice, would you not choose to be free to do as your human nature called for and was capable of? Or would you rather be held prisoner where no harm could come to you ..... and fed 3 times per day?



Quote:
[color=#FF0000]That was my point Animal Friendly? Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free.


Not "human" awareness. Awareness. Are you saying that the human is the only species with awareness? Or that if we did not have the "idea" of freedom, we wouldn't know any better that we were caged, or that our movements were restricted or that we were no longer able to socialize with our kin?


Quote:
We are the most aware animal on the planet but it is silly to pretend all other animals have such ability.


It is silly not to.

Quote:
BTW , Wild Dolphins are getting pretty mixed up being free since they are beaching themselves around the world so the weighing of what you claim to be abundant life is not the only game changer.


Wild dolphins are getting confused by all that freedom. Really Donny? Sounds like an animal rights issue. Maybe we can get Peta onto it and they can wage a campaign against the culprit which in this case would be the ocean.

Quote:
Tame dolphins are more likely to be healthy and more importantly treated medically than the ones in the wild. Ditto food issues because the Aquariums want robust animals and not the starving variety. Hope all is well with you.


You too could get all the medical attention and diet you would like in a cage. Your imprisoners could even get you out to trot around the yard a few times a day.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:29 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Donnie Mac Leod wrote:
fms wrote:
Coral World Park on St Thomas is applying for a permit to open a Dolphinarium offering Swim with the Dolphins tours and dolphin performances. We urge you to say NO to captive dolphins on St. Thomas. Keep wildlife in the wild!

Dolphins are highly intelligent, sentient beings that swim up to 100km a day in the wild. In captivity they suffer restricted movement, forced human contact, artificial social groupings, being fed dead fish, exposure to loud sounds and the performance of unnatural activities in exchange for food rewards.

The proposed Dolphinarium is an open water facility in Water Bay, a problem area with sewage runoff from surrounding homes during heavy rains. Captive dolphin waste sinks to the ocean floor & currents don't wash it away.

This "attraction" is proposed purely for commercial gain and teaches people that exploitation of animals is acceptable for the sake of turning a profit.

We urge the US Virgin Islands CZM Commission, Governor John deJongh and the Legislature to deny any Dolphinariium permit.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/374/581/ ... in-islands

Thank you.
VI Dolphin Voices



If a human child were kept captive in a cage, would they be aware enough to understand how the rest of their species live? Would it be okay to keep them caged on the premise that it was safe and they would be fed? Would it be considered humane because they would not have to suffer the travails of having to fend for themselves? Do we dare "pretend" that a human child would be aware of how the rest of their species lived?

If dolphins have a natural ability to travel 100 km a day, then they will do so, naturally. If we keep them in pools which are quite unnatural, they won't behave in the way they are intended to behave. Human babies would not necessarily be aware of the human species' ability to read and write and walk in an upward position if we prevented them from doing so. If these babes were kept separate from their species, they would not be aware of their abilty to simply be human.

Quote:
The captive dolphins are not subject to other stresses that the wild dolphins face but some humans can not wrap their minds around the difference between an animal in the captive state not being aware of what it is missing anymore than a wild dolphin would miss the surety of lots of fish being fired at it by animals trainers everyday. In fact bird feeders show that wild animals will often seek out the human hand that feeds them.


Providing bird feeders is not the same as keeping birds captive. Captive dolphins are faced with the stresses of being held captive when their natural instinct is to travel freely and get their food where they can. Wild dolphins are not dieing of starvation Donny. A dolphin's world is an abundat world when in the wild.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6N4LAMg ... re=related

If you had the choice, would you not choose to be free to do as your human nature called for and was capable of? Or would you rather be held prisoner where no harm could come to you ..... and fed 3 times per day?



Quote:
[color=#FF0000]That was my point Animal Friendly? Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free.


Not "human" awareness. Awareness. Are you saying that the human is the only species with awareness? Or that if we did not have the "idea" of freedom, we wouldn't know any better that we were caged, or that our movements were restricted or that we were no longer able to socialize with our kin?


Quote:
We are the most aware animal on the planet but it is silly to pretend all other animals have such ability.


It is silly not to.

Quote:
BTW , Wild Dolphins are getting pretty mixed up being free since they are beaching themselves around the world so the weighing of what you claim to be abundant life is not the only game changer.


Wild dolphins are getting confused by all that freedom. Really Donny? Sounds like an animal rights issue. Maybe we can get Peta onto it and they can wage a campaign against the culprit which in this case would be the ocean.

Quote:
Tame dolphins are more likely to be healthy and more importantly treated medically than the ones in the wild. Ditto food issues because the Aquariums want robust animals and not the starving variety. Hope all is well with you.


You too could get all the medical attention and diet you would like in a cage. Your imprisoners could even get you out to trot around the yard a few times a day.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:32 pm 
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That was my point Animal Friendly? Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free.

Here's a little more information for you D. although I have a strong sense that none of it will sink in since you seem to have a very entrenched and immoveable belief system around animals. I think stubborn is the word I'm looking for. Nevertheless, here ya go ......

http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeD ... sness.pdfh



We declare the following: “

Quote:
The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”


The Declaration was publicly proclaimed in Cambridge, UK, on July 7, 2012, at the Francis Crick
Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, by Low, Edelman and Koch. The Declaration was signed by the conference participants that very evening, in the presence of Stephen Hawking, in the Balfour Room at the Hotel du Vin in Cambridge, UK. The signing ceremony was memorialized by CBS 60 Minutes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:38 pm 
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...And there's more Mr. D ......


Quote:
Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free. We are the most aware animal on the planet but it is silly to pretend all other animals have such ability.


The two principal features that distinguish people from other animals is our hypertrophied ability to reflect upon ourselves (self-consciousness) and language. Yet there is little reason to deny consciousness to animals simply because they are mute or, for that matter, to premature infants because their brains are not fully developed. There is even less reason to deny it to people with severe aphasia who, upon recovery, can clearly describe their experiences while they were incapable of speaking. The perennial habit of introspection has led many intellectuals to devalue the unreflective, nonverbal character of much of life. The belief in human exceptionalism, so strongly rooted in the Judeo-Christian view of the world, flies in the face of all evidence for the structural and behavioral continuity between animals and people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christof- ... 84047.html


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:29 am 
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Ah, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness.... it did land on my desk this week and elicited a ho-hum response... same old story, no real progress, and rather a lack of clarity. Consciousness is not a result of, defined through or determined by emotions. It is not the equivalent of being able to feel pain, fear, or to show aggression. Animals can be awake and aware, and show instinctive (wired in) responses to environmental and other stimuli (because of natural "drives", eg, food, drink, sex, sleep, withdrawal from negative stimuli) or learned responses, learned as a result of positive or negative feedback; and certainly humans are just another animal in these respects. But if ultimately, conscious processes are dependant on the number of nerve cells and the complexity of the circuits formed, primates (human and non-human) show their specialization there, and what sets us apart is what we can do with regard to learning is, unfortunately for the Declaration, having a cortex. I think where the CD goes wrong is in stating that young humans and nonhuman animals without neocortices retain "brain-mind functions". Is instinct, "mind"? I prefer not to think so, or every living thing would have a "mind". It goes even more spectacularly off the track by repeating that chimpanzees and elephants show mirror self-recognition. Not all chimpanzees do, only one of four elephants did, and some chimps seemed to have lost the facility when retested later. As for Stephen Hawking sponsoring the CD, I sincerely promise I will never make grandiose statements about the universe if he does refrain from talking about the brain. He has his knowledge, I have mine. To think that just because someone has a Nobel Prize (Crick! for biochemistry) means they know all about everything is the fallacy of the appeal to authority.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:35 am 
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The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

Folks are assigning human awareness to animals that most likely could care less since they can not read a romantic novel or hear a speech describing what it is to be free. We are the most aware animal on the planet but it is silly to pretend all other animals have such ability.

The two principal features that distinguish people from other animals is our hypertrophied ability to reflect upon ourselves (self-consciousness) and language. Yet there is little reason to deny consciousness to animals simply because they are mute or, for that matter, to premature infants because their brains are not fully developed. There is even less reason to deny it to people with severe aphasia who, upon recovery, can clearly describe their experiences while they were incapable of speaking. The perennial habit of introspection has led many intellectuals to devalue the unreflective, nonverbal character of much of life. The belief in human exceptionalism, so strongly rooted in the Judeo-Christian view of the world, flies in the face of all evidence for the structural and behavioral continuity between animals and people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christof- ... 84047.html

Quote:
Ah, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness.... it did land on my desk this week and elicited a ho-hum response... same old story, no real progress, and rather a lack of clarity. Consciousness is not a result of, defined through or determined by emotions.


So we agree that animals experience affective states AND the articles are not exclusively determining consciousness as the ability to have them.

Quote:
It is not the equivalent of being able to feel pain, fear, or to show aggression. Animals can be awake and aware, and show instinctive (wired in) responses to environmental and other stimuli (because of natural "drives", eg, food, drink, sex, sleep, withdrawal from negative stimuli) or learned responses, learned as a result of positive or negative feedback; and certainly humans are just another animal in these respects.


Yes. And human consciousness is also mysterious in a way. Nobody has actually pinpointed it whereas there are many ideas and/or theories about it.

Quote:
But if ultimately, conscious processes are dependant on the number of nerve cells and the complexity of the circuits formed, primates (human and non-human) show their specialization there,


But are conscious processes dependent on nerve cell quantity (or nerve cells at all) and complexity of circuits (or any circuits at all) ?
What about OBE's and people in comas who remain aware even though their brains are shut down?
Seems to me that consciousness is beyond the circuitry of the brain. The brain cannot contain the mind because it is limited, but the mind can contain the brain.

Surely consciousness is much more mysterious than science can pinpoint although science will certainly have its perspective. What does it mean to be conscious? Are philosophers and scientists still not questioning not only WHAT it is, but also WHERE it is?

There can be many definitions of consciousness. When you, Coby, speak of consciosness, obviously from a scientific perspective, which of these ....?

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/p ... ciousness/

Quote:
It goes even more spectacularly off the track by repeating that chimpanzees and elephants show mirror self-recognition. Not all chimpanzees do, only one of four elephants did, and some chimps seemed to have lost the facility when retested later.


But chimps do, even if not all of them do. And if one of four elephants show mirror self recognition, how is this spectacularly off track? Should it mean that we give them all a test and then let one out of four out of the circus?

Quote:
As for Stephen Hawking sponsoring the CD, I sincerely promise I will never make grandiose statements about the universe if he does refrain from talking about the brain. He has his knowledge, I have mine. To think that just because someone has a Nobel Prize (Crick! for biochemistry) means they know all about everything is the fallacy of the appeal to authority.


But if a carpenter has insight into the nature of the universe, why shouldn't s/he make statements about it? What if we quit appealing to authority and used intuition/insight as well as knowledge?

Obviously someone with a Nobel Prize doesn't mean they know "everything". No such claims were made.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Out of body experiences are linked to activity in certain brain areas, while the OBEs claimed by people who have been near death are likewise thought to be the result of nervous activity. A person in a coma is not "aware" since by definition (the criteria of the Glasgow Coma Scale) they do not react to any stimuli. You may be thinking of people who show a "minimally conscious state" who show fluctuating awareness, or of people in a "permanent vegetativie state" who sometimes show aspects of awareness, thought to be the result of some sparing of function -something of much interest in research. However, an animal or a human without a cerebral cortex does not show awareness or intentional behaviour and only reflex reactions to certain stimuli that are not dependent on the cerebral cortex. As for mirror recognition, it is simply questionable whether it is really a test of self-awareness. Only the most severely brain function impaired humans do not recognise themselves in a mirror . So if only a few animals show it, does that mean that only a few animals have self awareness, or that only a few animals show they have acquired a knowledge of what mirrors do, ie, reflect my body? Animals have body awareness, and monkeys learn what mirrors can do when given them as enrichment in captivity - using them to "look" at who is entering the room when they cannot see the door in direct vision, for instance; chimpanzees have used mirrors to find food not otherwise visible. OTOH, mirrors put in horses' stables seem to be seen by the occupant as another horse, and company.... so maybe ot realize what mirrors do does require more complex brains? In summary, what mirror recognition means is subject to debate, and many people who make grandiose claims about it in relation to animal self awareness and from there, about animal rights have never bothered to read even the original paper. Why I find the Cambridge Declaration tedious is because to me it seems just another talkfest without any real progress. You will not find a neuroscientist who denies that the principles of reward and punishment, positive and negative reinforcement, approach and avoidance, are shared by all living things, and that, given the principles of evolution, that humans and other "higher" mammals share some of the neural mechanisms involved; and that for some of the "basic" emotions, fear and aggression, subcortical structures are shared by many species. And of course this very common "sharedness" of neural structures is the reason animal are used in brain research, from insects to fish to birds to non-human primates. So what actually has the CD contributed to the advancement of our understanding? As for Hawking, he is not a neuroscientist. Why didn't they ask Eric Kandel? He is, and a top class neuroscientist as well (got the Prize for that).


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:51 am 
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Out of body experiences are linked to activity in certain brain areas,


The brain is part of the body. So if they are out of their body they are also out of every organ of the body including the brain. Is there awareness or consciousness that is not related to the brain? (or liver, spleen, pancreas, etc)

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while the OBEs claimed by people who have been near death are likewise thought to be the result of nervous activity.


Again, if one is out of one's body, then they are out of the brain and the nervous activity of the body. They are out of the body yet are still conscious.

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A person in a coma is not "aware" since by definition (the criteria of the Glasgow Coma Scale) they do not react to any stimuli.


Maybe we need to see beyond the criteria of the Glasgow Coma Scale because, inspite of not being able to react to stimuli, there have been numerous accounts of awareness inspite of that criteria. I'm sure you have heard of these accounts?

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You may be thinking of people who show a "minimally conscious state" who show fluctuating awareness, or of people in a "permanent vegetativie state" who sometimes show aspects of awareness, thought to be the result of some sparing of function -something of much interest in research.


Well, yes, it is very interesting! I hope research in these areas continue with gusto, But that's not exactly what I had in mind. Maybe we'll get to that later.

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However, an animal or a human without a cerebral cortex does not show awareness or intentional behaviour and only reflex reactions to certain stimuli that are not dependent on the cerebral cortex.


You mean that without a cerebral cortex, one cannot be aware? One can have only instinctual responses which are not dependent on the crebral cortex but are located elsewhwere in the brain?

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As for mirror recognition, it is simply questionable whether it is really a test of self-awareness.


Okay, but then why bring it up? If we do not know if it is an indication of self-awareness, why does it matter whether chimps recognize themselves in mirrors or not, as an indication of self-awareness?

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Only the most severely brain function impaired humans do not recognise themselves in a mirror . So if only a few animals show it, does that mean that only a few animals have self awareness, or that only a few animals show they have acquired a knowledge of what mirrors do, ie, reflect my body?


Is this a test of self-awareness or a test of the ability to learn? And does a severely brain impaired human have consciousness if they don't recognize themselves in a mirror?

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Animals have body awareness, and monkeys learn what mirrors can do when given them as enrichment in captivity - using them to "look" at who is entering the room when they cannot see the door in direct vision, for instance; chimpanzees have used mirrors to find food not otherwise visible. OTOH, mirrors put in horses' stables seem to be seen by the occupant as another horse, and company.... so maybe to realize what mirrors do does require more complex brains?


Yes, maybe it does. But again, where is consciousnes located? Does one need a complex brain in order to have consciousness?

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In summary, what mirror recognition means is subject to debate, and many people who make grandiose claims about it in relation to animal self awareness and from there, about animal rights have never bothered to read even the original paper.


Let's forget about animal rights for now ... it is too political.
Sorry, ... what is the original paper you speak of?

Why I find the Cambridge Declaration tedious is because to me it seems just another talkfest without any real progress. You will not find a neuroscientist who denies that the principles of reward and punishment, positive and negative reinforcement, approach and avoidance, are shared by all living things, and that, given the principles of evolution, that humans and other "higher" mammals share some of the neural mechanisms involved; and that for some of the "basic" emotions, fear and aggression, subcortical structures are shared by many species. And of course this very common
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"sharedness" of neural structures is the reason animal are used in brain research, from insects to fish to birds to non-human primates. So what actually has the CD contributed to the advancement of our understanding?


I don't get why it is tedious. What does "progress" mean? Where are we meant to progress to? We see that there is much overlap between species in brain functioning. This is what I get from your last paragraph and this is also your justification? For what?

I don't wish to debate AR with you. Instead, I am interested in consciousness. Has consciousness even been defined in humans? From what I can discern, it is still a philosophical question and science, with its theories, does not know and will maybe never know what consciousness is, or WHERE it is.

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As for Hawking, he is not a neuroscientist. Why didn't they ask Eric Kandel? He is, and a top class neuroscientist as well (got the Prize for that).


Kandel is in his 80's and was maybe not able to comment. Nevertheless, there were many scientists who agreed. I am not a scientist. For me, it is common sense and science ...... MUST have the exact evidence ..... is not more powerful than observation. This is where I will not sucuumb to "authority". I see that religion can blind, and although science is usually enlightening, it can also be a habit and method of thought that is restrictive.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:50 pm 
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I don't think we actually disagree on whether animals have (a?) consciousness that is similar to that found in the talking ape at least in some respects. The lack of an overall and all-encompassing definition maybe because C depends on the nervous system, and there are large differences as well as common features across species because ultimately, the mammalian brain has evolved from earlier forms. Hence the fact that even without a cerebral cortex, mammals including humans may still react to stimuli reflexly because the reflex circuits do not involve the cortex. Even in intact humans - we probably all have experienced this: if you accidentally touch something hot, you will already have started withdrawing your hand away from the heat source, even before you consciously feel the pain. This is because the withdrawal reflex is through the spinal cord only, but for the painful sensation to become conscious perception the information must travel to your brain and be processed there, which takes time. I am not sure I follow you about OBEs: they involve people describing scenes in which they are looking at themselves from someone else's perspective; however, this has nothing to do with being out of your body, physically, or for consciousness to be out of your brain - you brain creates this picture (as it can also do in normal humans, in dreams). As far as mirror recognition goes, I picked on it because the CD uses this as evidence of self-recognition, and self-consciousness, and pointed out that if that is so, how come animals of the same species do then not all have it, or, if they show evidence of it, can lose that ability? Possibly, because it is learned (although chimps in the wild know about mirrors in water): enculturated apes have mirror recognition. But this makes it all the more clear that mirror recognition as a phenomenon has nothing to do with having an innate sense of self beyond that of a bodily self ("tigers don't eat their own paws" as someone said). Therefore, I simply am disappointed that mirror recognition is dragged out by a bunch of philosophers to argue continuity of animal-human consciousness and related to self-awareness. To me, I repeat, the CD does not add anything, and looks tired in its considerations. Consciousness and self-consciousness are fascinating to study but if people keep on making the same old and unwarranted assertions how can we ever get anywhere? And please do not insult Kandel (or others of his age) - he just published another major monograph.


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