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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:03 am 
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"Cobie"]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.


"Talking" apes is too narrow a definition from my point of view. You know, don't you, that I am inquiring into the possible consciousness of all animals? Not just the ones who have learned what humans have taught them in a laboratory? You specifically give the example of the "taliking ape" as if talking is a criteria of consciousness. Not sure if this is what you meant. And if we do not disagree on whether animals have consciousness .... in some respects .... then what, exactly, are we discussing.

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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.


But this is exactly what you seem to take for granted and exactly what I am questioning in the first place. Does consciousness depend on a brain with certain characteristics and or a nervous system?

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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.


Coby, in all honesty, I have NEVER retracted my hand from the burner of my stove until i first experieced the pain ...... even if just the beginning .... of the burning sensation. I simply cannot admit to withdrawimg my hand before I consciously felt the pain. How would I have known to unless I felt some measure of pain? It is the pain that is the trigger for me to withdraw. My withdrawal is both reflex and experience and the memory (or knowledge and learning). But the reflex is first and does come into play only as I direcctly experience it .... knowledge and previous experience is then added to that reflex.

[
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quote]conscious perception the information must travel to your brain and be processed there, which takes time.This is because the withdrawal reflex is through the spinal cord only, but for the painful sensation to become
[/quote]

Okay.

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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;


Ahhhh, ... you evidently do not follow me. No, this is not what OBE's are. Not at all. Where did you get this info? No, you could not have investigated OBE's if this is what you think they are .... We can delve into the phenomenon if you like, but you must first have investigated them beforehand. We cannot have a discussion of consciousness if you do not first understand the nature of OBE`s

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however, this has nothing to do with being out of your body, physically,


OBE`s , by definition, are WITHOUT physicality. Out-of-body experiences have much to do with being out of one`s body. Brain is one organ connected to the body.

or for consciousness to be out of your brain - you brain creates this picture (as it can also do in normal humans, in dreams).[/quote]

No Coby. Wait. Consciousness is beyond brain. As I said before, brain is a limited organ which is contained, along with everything else, within consciousness. The brain is an organ, admitedly, a centrally functioning one. But consciousness can no more be contained within the brain than it can be contained within any other organ .... liver. spleen, heart, etc. We still do not know where consciousness is located. It continues to be a philosophical question inspite of the theories advanced by science.

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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).

That is fine, but I still do not get why you brought it up. It was you who gave the examples of some chimps and 75% of elephants not recognizing themselves in mirrors. If mirror recognition has nothing to do with having an innate sense of self ...... why bring it up in the first place.

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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.


First of all, philosophers ( a`bunch`or otherwise) have a point in the discussion as it really is a philosophical question to begin with. Scientists have not yet located consciousness in human species let alone other species. Secondly, mirror recognition by your own acount, cannot be a measure and is not featured as a cornerstone in the declaration anyway.

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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.`


What unwarranted assertions ....
that animals are not conscious ..... is also unwarrented given common sense devoid of the authority of science.

i didn`t mean to ìnsult`Kandel, .... just to point out that he is in his 80`s. Fantastic that such an old guy is still at it. Passion tends to enliven.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:31 pm 
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I only skimmed this thread but I did not see mention of the Cambridge Declaration of animal consciousness. Notable neuroscience experts signed this document declaring all mammals and all birds and the group of animals that includes octopuses to all have a conscious mind. I believe this is a copy of that declaration http://fcmconference.org/img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf

edit, oh I do see it has been quoted... but the link was broken.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Hello animal-friendly:

I am trying to read around all the embedded quotes but can I ask you what your definitions are of an OBE? Mine is derived from scientific papers by for instance, such as those of Olaf Blanke (try a PubMed search for his papers or search there too for "out of body experience"). And if consciousness is not by and of the brain, then what?

As for your experience with hot things, next time you burn yourself, try to think about the timing - the difference between sensation and perception is short, but you can discriminate it. That you think you never have, does not negate my assertion, based on scientific fact, about speed and level of processing of the painful information. Anyway, personal experience is anecdotal until rigourously tested. But to illustrate what I mean, try this: Touch your lip lightly with the tip of your index finger. Where do you feel the touch? More powerfully, and first, on the lip, not on the index finger. Why? Because the touch information from the lip has a shorter distance to travel than information from the index finger. Same principle.

Note that I do not deny that animals have consciousness, and agree with the basic premise of the CD - what I object to is that it does not only not provide any new insights, but parts of it are based on false premises, the unwarranted conclusions such as the inferences about mirror recognition and what it means. I do not deny that perhaps non-human species may be self-aware, and that this self-awareness shares features with human self awareness; however, mirror recogntiion has nothing to do with it because it is not a good measure of it. So rather than saying I am wrong, how abouyt providing evidence that I am? And personal experiences are not evidence.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Animal-friendly:

Sorry, just noticed - You get stuck into me about "talking apes" - sorry, but try to read carefully, as I try to read your posts. I wrote "the talking ape, singular, ie, Homo sapiens -joke, joke... :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:49 pm 
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Note that I do not deny that animals have consciousness, and agree with the basic premise of the CD - what I object to is that it does not only not provide any new insights, but parts of it are based on false premises, the unwarranted conclusions such as the inferences about mirror recognition and what it means. I do not deny that perhaps non-human species may be self-aware, and that this self-awareness shares features with human self awareness; however, mirror recogntiion has nothing to do with it because it is not a good measure of it. So rather than saying I am wrong, how abouyt providing evidence that I am? And personal experiences are not evidence.


Now you did it!!! You have proven yourself to be as stubborn & obstinate as me Cobie. The point for me is that even humans that never walked a trail in the woods or outside a city block couldn't be aware of the nuances that I know in my woodland excursions. However, AF expects me to believe that animals that can not read about freedom & liberty are supposed to know what it is like even though they have never really experienced such events. It is also strange that she would think that simply getting fed everyday & getting needed medical attention for is spurned by animals that have not known the open sea. In real terms the author of this thread & AF are assuming that because they are aware of how they think the dolphins should think that is actually how they think & I feel that supposition is anthropomorphism.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Cobie wrote:
Hello animal-friendly:

I am trying to read around all the embedded quotes but can I ask you what your definitions are of an OBE? Mine is derived from scientific papers by for instance, such as those of Olaf Blanke (try a PubMed search for his papers or search there too for "out of body experience"). And if consciousness is not by and of the brain, then what?


This is why I beleive it is more a philosophical question than a scientific one, although the two paths are bound to meet and science can and does take a valiant plunge into the topic. But as yet, consciousness really cannot be located because it is not an object. Of course, it is presumed that if it were to be located, it must be found in the brain. Now as far as Olaf Blanke's research on OBE's go, his papers which I found on PubMed are absolutely thick with science jargon and are simply incomprehensibel to a lay person such as myself. If personal, anecdotal accounts cannot be held up to scientific rigour, then what is the point of telling you about my own spontaneous OBE's? There's nothing like a good OBE to get you thinking about consciousness!

As for the embedded quotes, I am simply placing what you have said in quoted boxes while keeping my own words out of quotes as a way to differentiate who said what. I'll try to be more tidy.

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As for your experience with hot things, next time you burn yourself, try to think about the timing - the difference between sensation and perception is short, but you can discriminate it. That you think you never have, does not negate my assertion, based on scientific fact, about speed and level of processing of the painful information. Anyway, personal experience is anecdotal until rigourously tested. But to illustrate what I mean, try this: Touch your lip lightly with the tip of your index finger. Where do you feel the touch? More powerfully, and first, on the lip, not on the index finger. Why? Because the touch information from the lip has a shorter distance to travel than information from the index finger. Same principle.


Ahhh. I thought it was because the lips were simply more sensitive. No matter, this seems a bit of a diversion from the original inquiry.

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Note that I do not deny that animals have consciousness, and agree with the basic premise of the CD - what I object to is that it does not only not provide any new insights, but parts of it are based on false premises, the unwarranted conclusions such as the inferences about mirror recognition and what it means. I do not deny that perhaps non-human species may be self-aware, and that this self-awareness shares features with human self awareness; however, mirror recogntiion has nothing to do with it because it is not a good measure of it. So rather than saying I am wrong, how abouyt providing evidence that I am? And personal experiences are not evidence.


You did not originally say that you agree with the basic premise of the CD and I had the impression that you whole-heartedly disagreed with it. But you are simply contesting the inferences made from the examples of some animals having mirror-recognition? Well, to be fair, it was not a very significant part of all that was said in the CD, but your point is taken. As for self-awareness, ..... well, what can be said about that re: dolphins held in captivity?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:07 am 
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Hello AF: No, I do not disagree with the basic premise of the CD. What I object to is a declaration that has nothing new to tell us. Talk is very cheap, and even cheaper, grandstanding about self-awareness based on data that are not evidence of it. As for dolphins in captivity, dolphins are also often over-rated because they have big brains, without people bothering to think about what exactly that means (big animals have big brains - so what?). What we know is that the dolphin brain is not like a primate brain, having evolved to become large independently of the primate line. New research also suggests it does not have as many nerve cells as the equivalent primate brain, and is, perhaps not surprisingly, also organised differently in its cortex (as is the elephant brain). That does not mean that it is not remarkable, but to me, no more remarkable, and possibly less so, than the brains of the smallest mammals that weigh very little indeed and belong to the bumblebee bat (the whole animal only weighs a few grams - yet if flies - and navigates not unlike a dolphin) and the Etruscan shrew - a carnivore and thus, a hunter of food. Sure, dolphins can learn clever tricks, but again, so can animals with much smaller brains, animals that also respond equally or better to human-given cues - dogs. To consider dolphin awareness or self-awareness, we must try to come up with questions to ask of a brain that lives in the waters and in groups. Why should dolphins have self-awareness of the advanced kind (theory of mind) that humans who live in larger and more complex groups do? Why should chimpanzees. or elephants? Can we ask questions that will show whether these species do possess advanced self-awareness, or not? Much has been done in chimpanzees but without much evidence emerging.... so far.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Cobie wrote:
Hello AF: No, I do not disagree with the basic premise of the CD. What I object to is a declaration that has nothing new to tell us. Talk is very cheap, and even cheaper, grandstanding about self-awareness based on data that are not evidence of it. As for dolphins in captivity, dolphins are also often over-rated because they have big brains, without people bothering to think about what exactly that means (big animals have big brains - so what?). What we know is that the dolphin brain is not like a primate brain, having evolved to become large independently of the primate line. New research also suggests it does not have as many nerve cells as the equivalent primate brain, and is, perhaps not surprisingly, also organised differently in its cortex (as is the elephant brain). That does not mean that it is not remarkable, but to me, no more remarkable, and possibly less so, than the brains of the smallest mammals that weigh very little indeed and belong to the bumblebee bat (the whole animal only weighs a few grams - yet if flies - and navigates not unlike a dolphin) and the Etruscan shrew - a carnivore and thus, a hunter of food. Sure, dolphins can learn clever tricks, but again, so can animals with much smaller brains, animals that also respond equally or better to human-given cues - dogs. To consider dolphin awareness or self-awareness, we must try to come up with questions to ask of a brain that lives in the waters and in groups. Why should dolphins have self-awareness of the advanced kind (theory of mind) that humans who live in larger and more complex groups do? Why should chimpanzees. or elephants? Can we ask questions that will show whether these species do possess advanced self-awareness, or not? Much has been done in chimpanzees but without much evidence emerging.... so far.



All true observations of how a group of hand wringing apologists embroiled in anthropomorphism have developed in the hopes of avoiding the fact that they are applying emotionalistic supposition into something that is not proven by science.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:29 am 
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Cobie" Hello AF: No, I do not disagree with the basic premise of the CD. What I object to is a declaration that has nothing new to tell us. Talk is very cheap, and even cheaper, grandstanding about self-awareness based on data that are not evidence of it
.

What is the basic premise? That animals have consciousness, which seems obvious to most, but having a "declaration" by a "prominent" international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neauroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists, .... (not to mention Stephen Hawkings) is quite the grandstanding. If they are merely "grandstanding", I would say they have quite the resume.

Even so, since it is obvious to me and many people who have dogs and cats as pets ... that animals have consciousness regardless of the nervous systems which transmits that consciousness, I do not personally feel a great need, nor do feel vindicated or compelled to appeal to authority .... not even yours Cobie, with all due respect to your knowledge and life's work. Let me repeat that, ....
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it is obvious to me that animals have consciousness regardless of the nervous systems which transmits that consciousness


Having said that *twice*, I feel priviledged to discuss with you as you can offer insight and knowledge which I may have not considered. (Remind me again of what your title/work is, as a scientist?)

Yet, if I am to have a conversation with you, I would hope that you might be open to discussion inspite of the scientific 'tradition' of which you belong and have based your life's work on. Is this possible? Would you consider, for example, my "anecdotal" experience of OBE even though those experiences were not "validated" in a "lab" and rigorously tested? I wasn't supine and hooked up to electrodes at the time .....

Science cannot account for everything .... It is surely the story of the day and with much credence usually .... but it cannot possibly be the answer and cannot possibly solve our problems, especially when it exacerbates them ..... The splitting of the atom, for instance ...... (as you mentioned in another thread ..... "if technology cannot lead us forward then what will?") No, technology and science will not lead us forward, not unless our consciousness is also forward, in accordance. We have obviously progressed technologially and scientifically ..... but these progressions have not solved our probleem and have even created more problems. If you want to discuss .... get ready for a very, very long disusssion!

Moving on .... this group was gathered to "reassess" the neurobiological substrates of conscious experience and related behaviors. Obviously the neurobiology has already been assessed .....The word here is "reassess". Everything is new in the present moment and needs to be looked at anew, IMO. Perhaps it is not the same old? Could it be possible that this group and this declaration is a "shout-out" to those who have previously been bored to such things? Why are they shouting? Why are they making such a grandized declaration? (Are they wanting of attention for the sake of attention?) What is their point?

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While comparative research on this topic is naturally hampered by the inability of non-human animals, and often humans, to clearly and readily communicate about their internal states, .....:


If comparative research is hampered by many species to communicate internal states ... including human?

Even humans cannot always readily report their internal states, so how could we know the internal states of other species without their having a language to communicate their states?

It is obviously not language alone that communicates .... especially since animals don't have language .... and since language is not a determinate of consciuosness anyway. (ability to read romance novels or otherwise conceptualize the "idea" of freedom, since freedom is a state beyond the idea of freedom or the abilty to read about freedom). We will never be fed by reading the menu! The word "menu' is not the meal. The map is not the territory. I cannot go to Hawaii by seeing and conceptualizing Hawaii on a map. Hawaii is an experience if I am there .... it is otherwise just a concept to be read about or located on a map.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:01 am 
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Cobie"]Hello AF: No, I do not disagree with the basic premise of the CD. What I object to is a declaration that has nothing new to tell us. Talk is very cheap, and even cheaper, grandstanding about self-awareness based on data that are not evidence of it[/quote].

Yes, well, I've responded to this in my previous post. The group of scientists are definitely making a declaration. If they are "grandstanding" and if their talk is indeed "cheap" ..... based on mirror-recognotion alone ..... they have more to say beyond and above mere acknowledgement of mirror-recognition! It was only a smidgeon of what they had to say.

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As for dolphins in captivity, dolphins are also often over-rated because they have big brains, without people bothering to think about what exactly that means (big animals have big brains - so what?).


You underestimate the intelligence of people who generally recognize that dolphins do indeed have big brains but are not over-rated because of that. Men have bigger brains than women! And are OBVIOUSLY not more (or less) intelligent than women. Brain size is in accordance to body size but does not afford more intelligence. Dolphin intelligence has not been construed or equated according to their size. Nobody believes that elephants are smarter or more cognizant or conscious because they are big! We cannot measure consciousness by brain or body size. OKAY EVERYONE? Women are not less conscious or intelligent because females have a smaller body and therefore smaller spleen, livers, kidnys, esophages, brains, etc .... Got that?

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What we know is that the dolphin brain is not like a primate brain, having evolved to become large independently of the primate line.


Of course they are not like the primate brain. They have evolved in a different medium. Dolphins exist and evolve in water and so their brains have evolved differently. Their environment has subjected them to a different way of evolving and adapting .... in a way that is different from ours ... from the primate. For instance, they do not have opposable thumbs and do not walk in an upright fashion. They have evolved in accordance to their environment .... in water.

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New research also suggests it does not have as many nerve cells as the equivalent primate brain, and is, perhaps not surprisingly, also organised differently in its cortex (as is the elephant brain).


Why do you insist on comparing them to the primate brain? New or old research does not justify or rationalize what you have in store for them, whatever that may be. However the brain cells are organized in dolphins or elephants does not justify committing them to circuses or "Splash-Wonder Aquarium Prisons" experiences just because the human brain to has the capability of desiring entertainment.

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That does not mean that it is not remarkable, but to me, no more remarkable, and possibly less so, than the brains of the smallest mammals that weigh very little indeed and belong to the bumblebee bat (the whole animal only weighs a few grams - yet if flies - and navigates not unlike a dolphin) and the Etruscan shrew - a carnivore and thus, a hunter of food.


Back to weight and size again ..... as if consciousness cannot transmit ... even to a smaller organ. You give the examples of the bumblebee bat and Etruscan shrew ..... quite remarkable! Does size matter ... in relation to body size? It is proportionate ..... as is the female of the human species in humans.

Why all this talk about size when we would no more put females of the human species in a circus?

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Sure, dolphins can learn clever tricks, but again, so can animals with much smaller brains, animals that also respond equally or better to human-given cues - dogs.


Dolphins can learn human tricks but why should we make them? Why should we take them out of their natural habitat in the first place? Is it all about entertaining the humans? Is it an industry that we have created? Do we need to capture dolphins in order to add to the GNP? Or are we just hell-bent on the variety of entertainment we must have? Why must we have it?

So could women learn tricks! Stop it Coby. Get off the brain size argument. Okay? It is clearly not relevent. We got it a long time ago. We know that elephants are not smart becuase they are big! Yet elephents have a consciousness that is big regardless of their size .... Consciousness does not depend on size.

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To consider dolphin awareness or self-awareness, we must try to come up with questions to ask of a brain that lives in the waters and in groups.


How do we do that? We are land living people and quite different from ocean dwellers. There are many barriers to asking those questions, many reasons why we cannot and should not ask them.

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Why should dolphins have self-awareness of the advanced kind (theory of mind) that humans who live in larger and more complex groups do?


Really? What is this question? Dolphins live in social groups .... their intricate social groups we cannot know and have only begun to query ...... outside of captivity. "Why" should dolphns have self-awareness? Why do you ask? Why should humans have self-awareness? Because, like dolphns, it just is. Consciousness is not yours of mine. Nobody and no species has the corner on it.

Quote:
Why should chimpanzees. or elephants? Can we ask questions that will show whether these species do possess advanced self-awareness, or not? Much has been done in chimpanzees but without much evidence emerging.... so far.


Is "should" the right question? According to what model or map? Is it not anthropocentric to ask the question "should'? And what is this "advanced" self-awareness? Why and how is "avanced self awaremesss" a criteria for the simple fact of consciousness?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:38 am 
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Bottom line throughout this thread is whether your brand of awareness is not emotionally based in conjecture more-so than factual case of animals having such elevated awareness A.F.. Even within human cycles people are completely out of their element when they leave the concrete jungle they grew up in and are left to their own devices in the wilderness and humans have the added benefit of trading secrets about contrary life-styles through written word or other elevated communications as preparation for such changes. I think the designer of this thread has lost track of those realities and injected to much animal anthropomorphism.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Hello AF: Not sure what the problem is since I have acknowledged that consciousness is not unique to human or even primate brains. You are attacking a straw man/person if you think I am making an argument that bigger brains are better - what I did was point out that many people believe is that there is something special about dolphins because their brains are big (remember that this thread started with objections to dolphins in captivity) whereas I made a case that that in itself does not confer special consideration, and that animals with smaller brains can do the same things we consider clever about dolphins. And we can agree to disagree on the details of the Cambridge Declaration; however, I think that I can rightly object to people using the argument of authority (why should the signature of Stephen Hawking, a non- brain expert, be an argument for animal consciousness? He may believe, and believe for scientific reasons (evolution alone would suggest it) that animals have consciousness, but the the CD goes beyond that to include self-awareness, and if you have some understanding of the things like mirror recognition and other studies of self awareness, like the possession of theory of mind, you would not sign off on that as a universal aspect of animal consciousness. We simply do not have enough or good enough evidence for such a generalization, not even at the single animal species level, like (Indian) elephants, or dolphins (usually, bottlenose). But that is not denying the possibility, and research continues. As for your personal OBE, I will certainly listen to what you think you experienced; however, whatever it is, it is not proof until data have been collected from a number of people (as has been done) to look for shared features that will help define what OBE 's characteristics are. And neuroscientists will try and relate these to the brain because all the evidence supports that personal perceptions originate there. Which brings me back to a question of mine you have not answered: if consciousness, including the consciousness of OBEs, is not by and of the brain, then what?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:59 am 
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Hello AF: Not sure what the problem is since I have acknowledged that consciousness is not unique to human or even primate brains. You are attacking a straw man/person if you think I am making an argument that bigger brains are better - what I did was point out that many people believe is that there is something special about dolphins because their brains are big


You mentioned brain size a few times in your previous post so I am glad we are clear that brain size is not necessarily part of the argument. Straw-man has been burnt to the ground, thank god.

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(remember that this thread started with objections to dolphins in captivity) whereas I made a case that that in itself does not confer special consideration, and that animals with smaller brains can do the same things we consider clever about dolphins


I do remember and I'm sure we'll get to that eventually. As you know, I have much difficulty accepting this form of "edu-tainment".

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And we can agree to disagree on the details of the Cambridge Declaration; however, I think that I can rightly object to people using the argument of authority (why should the signature of Stephen Hawking, a non- brain expert, be an argument for animal consciousness?


You sure can, especially if Stephen Hawking was the only scientist present and wasn't just an aside to the others who signed who are prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neauroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists. Hawking may have some other interest in the declaration .... which I have not looked into. But if we are lookng to authority, what's wrong with this group?

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He may believe, and believe for scientific reasons (evolution alone would suggest it) that animals have consciousness, but the CD goes beyond that to include self-awareness, and if you have some understanding of the things like mirror recognition and other studies of self awareness, like the possession of theory of mind, you would not sign off on that as a universal aspect of animal consciousness.


Again, there were a host of reasons why this group made and signed the declaration. Recognizing oneself in a mirror was only a sentence compared to a much longer explanation. And i don't see why recognizing self in mirror should or should not be reason for self-awarness anyway.

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We simply do not have enough or good enough evidence for such a generalization, not even at the single animal species level, like (Indian) elephants, or dolphins (usually, bottlenose). But that is not denying the possibility, and research continues.


Glad that research continues, but the research you are speaking of must be empirical .... materialistic, as is the tradition. There is actually no other way for a scientist to look at it, which doessn't mean they shouldn't look with the tools they have available to them. Personally, it is my opinion that the study of consciousness is beyond their scope as they have nothing but material to study and consciousness is ineffable and beyond the material. I would say that the material is contained within consciousness .... and not that consciousness is contained within the material.

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As for your personal OBE, I will certainly listen to what you think you experienced;


Already there is biased ..... What I "think" I experienced.

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however, whatever it is, it is not proof until data have been collected


I wasn't supine or near death or in a lab. There's limits to what data can be collected.

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from a number of people (as has been done) to look for shared features that will help define what OBE 's characteristics are.


If they were done in a lab, that would change the nature of the experience.

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And neuroscientists will try and relate these to the brain because all the evidence supports that personal perceptions originate there.


Yes, of course neuroscientists will try and relate these to the brain .... in some kind of material. What else can they deal with?

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Which brings me back to a question of mine you have not answered: if consciousness, including the consciousness of OBEs, is not by and of the brain, then what?


Good question. Then what? Where does consciousness reside? Does it have a boundary? The brain is a boundary. It is material/substance that can be examined. It can be measured as any other object can be measured. Dolphins have brains which can be measured just as humans.

In OBE's, anecdotally, perception is outside of the brain/body. Can we only have perception through the eyes which are attached to the brain? When the brain is in the body and the eyes are connected to the brain, how is it possible to "see" outside of the brain/body? Are the eye and brain the only way of "seeing"?

I don't want to get into my own personal experiences with OBE's too much, especially since there are thousands of people who have had similar experiences, but I was not near death, sick, laying down, dreaming, sleeping, in a laboratory, or on drugs at the time. It was completely spontaneous and I hovered 30 feet in the air .... 'seeing" the pebbles and broken branches on roof tops while also "seeing" my body 30 feet below. My eyes were in my body and so was my brain, but "I" was out of my body and could still "see" even without my body/brain/eyes.

Consciousness should be a question which science investigates, but it can only ever be a materialistic study .... even of humans.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:18 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoOHWHEJ ... e=youtu.be

assumptions of contemporary neuroscientists ...... looking in the wrong place.


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