PDA

View Full Version : Sentient Computer ?????



stevey
04-09-2002, 10:26 AM
does anyone think, like i do, that a computer will eventually be built that will be so complicated and smart, that it will become a sentient being in its own right ????

Brian
04-09-2002, 10:33 AM
yes and cheese will one day get up and kick mice and tell them to ........ off.

adrianxw
04-09-2002, 11:27 AM
>>> that it will become a sentient being in its own right ????

They may already be. Without a common frame of reference to establish a meaningful dialog, how would you know?

Deckard
04-09-2002, 11:36 AM
I am a sentient computer. Caffeine is my bootstrap loader.

Clyde
04-09-2002, 12:13 PM
"does anyone think, like i do, that a computer will eventually be built that will be so complicated and smart, that it will become a sentient being in its own right ????"

Machines that are "aware" are possible since you and I are examples of them. Quite what "aware" means and how it comes about is still the subject of heated debate. Though it must be said neurology is making remarkeable progress along those lines.

A computer/software will most certainly be created that APPEARS to be aware, whether or not it actually IS, and whether or not the previous question is actually valid, remains to be seen.

Deckard
04-09-2002, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Clyde
Machines that are "aware" are possible since you and I are examples of them. Quite what "aware" means and how it comes about is still the subject of heated debate. Though it must be said neurology is making remarkeable progress along those lines.Initial self-aware systems will have a very limited concept of reality, much like GovtCheez. Over a number of years they will progress to the arguably improved state of "xterra". These systems will tend to spout nonsense at times, and the BSOD will be replaced with "wut?". Far surpassing the xterra model will be the Prelude system, which work perfectly unless you declare main() as returning void.

stevey
04-09-2002, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Brian
yes and cheese will one day get up and kick mice and tell them to ........ off.

take it you disagree then ? :)
i wish mice would get up and tell my cat to ........ off, instead of letting him bring their half eaten remains in, and leaving them under my sofa !!!

Brian
04-09-2002, 12:33 PM
computers perform instructions

Shiro
04-09-2002, 12:43 PM
I don't think that computers can become like us. Can a computer have an opinion? Could a computer be able to discuss on the GD board? If a computer can have an opinion, it would be self-aware, creative and have a personality. I don't say it is impossible, but I think it is impossible.

Prelude
04-09-2002, 12:54 PM
>that a computer will eventually be built that will be so
>complicated and smart, that it will become a sentient being in its
>own right ????
Perhaps, I have no opinion since my cynicism concerning the average programmer makes me biased towards no. However, the above average programmers that I've met keep alive the hope of greater things.

>Far surpassing the xterra model will be the Prelude system,
>which work perfectly unless you declare main() as returning void.
How true, the result of declaring main as returning void on the Prelude system is undefined, but most standard implementations will smack the user silly.

>Could a computer be able to discuss on the GD board?
A head of cabbage could discuss on the GD board.

-Prelude

Clyde
04-09-2002, 12:58 PM
"I don't think that computers can become like us. Can a computer have an opinion? Could a computer be able to discuss on the GD board? If a computer can have an opinion, it would be self-aware, creative and have a personality"

Building a concious machine MUST be possible, since we are concious machines, the brain works on good old laws of physics and maths, there's no "magic" ingredient in there. When someone throws you a ball and you catch it your brain performs a calculation to predict where the ball will land.

Of course whether or not we will actually be able to build such machines is another question........ we WILL certainly (at some-point) be able to build a computer that does all the things you list, and will appear to be aware.

They can already make AI that when spoken to via a chat window mimicks human responces extremely well. I don't think they are yet at the point wher it is impossible to tell the difference but its close.

Shiro
04-09-2002, 01:07 PM
Hmm. A computer having an opinion. So that means that a computer can make an interpretation of happenings, a book, a painting and think about it? It can also think: I don't like that music? And it is also possible that a computer creates a painting? A painting which expresses some feeling?

So you think that it is possible that we can recreate the brain? Perhaps in a technological way, we will be able to recreate the brain. But in my opinion a person is not just a brain. A person also has a personality, built up through the years. This requires a lot of biological processes which I think we can't recreate. And if we are able to, then biological would turn out to be technology. Which implies that also evolution can be recreated.

stevey
04-09-2002, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Prelude

>Could a computer be able to discuss on the GD board?
A head of cabbage could discuss on the GD board.

-Prelude

there are certainly some cabbage heads here !!
of course some would say that about me.......
but personally i think my head more closely resembles a turnip....


>>>>computers perform instructions

i personally think that our brains are just very complicated biological computers. we have evolved from slime and are still evolving.

i dont think we have a soul, and go on to some lovely fluffy afterlife.............pity..............

so we are all computers ourselves, its just that we're staggeringly complicated.
but i don't see why the complexity cant be replicated artificially, if we can get a computer to learn for itself it may keep leaning till its sentient, and we have to give it Computer Rights and not make fun of them or their beliefs in their god.....The Almighty Bill.......

Shiro
04-09-2002, 01:15 PM
>we have evolved from slime and are still evolving.

Altough some are arguing we are not. I've read a book about degeneration. The counterpart of evolution. The author stated that specialisation implied the loss of general things and this would mean that specialisation is nothing but degeneration.

I don't know what is right. Both seems valid to me.

stevey
04-09-2002, 01:17 PM
>>>>So you think that it is possible that we can recreate the brain? Perhaps in a technological way, we will be able to recreate the brain. But in my opinion a person is not just a brain. A person also has a personality, built up through the years. This requires a lot of biological processes which I think we can't recreate. And if we are able to, then biological would turn out to be technology. Which implies that also evolution can be recreated.

i think biological life IS a form of technology, i think your personality is programming albeit incredibly complicated.

and i think that evolution could be created. wasn't there a famous experiment that had amino acids and other stuff (all just chemicals), in a test tube or whatever, and pass a current through to simulate lightning.....the result was supposedly primitive life.....ie the slime from which we evolved......

Clyde
04-09-2002, 01:23 PM
"Hmm. A computer having an opinion"

A computer can already be programmed to have an opinion on a given topic, programming a computer to work out opinions is of course a little harder :)

"So that means that a computer can make an interpretation of happenings, a book, a painting and think about it? "

A computer can use algorithms to analyse a painting, or a book for that matter..........as for "thinking about it", when we "think" about stuff, all that happens is that we are aware (to a limited degree) of the inner workings of our brain.

"It can also think: I don't like that music?

It could be programmed to display signs of dislike when hearing certain types of music.

"And it is also possible that a computer creates a painting? A painting which expresses some feeling? "

There is already a robot painter in existance, the paintings are quite good, though of the abstract variety.

When you talk about expression of a feeling, of course things get more complicated, but on a basic level, AI can already alter the responce it gives depending on its "mood", which in turn depends on various external factors.

"So you think that it is possible that we can recreate the brain? Perhaps in a technological way, we will be able to recreate the brain. But in my opinion a person is not just a brain. A person also has a personality, built up through the years. This requires a lot of biological processes which I think we can't recreate. And if we are able to, then biological would turn out to be technology. Which implies that also evolution can be recreated"

A person IS just a brain, your personality, memories are all stored in your brain, your feelings, senses, everything is processes in your brain forming the person that you are. That much has been proven countless times, there are plenty of examples that show that people who have trauma to a particular part of the brain can get complete new personalities after the accident.

Biology isn't magic its just chemistry.

Consider this, if we could use a piece of silicon that had the same electrical and chemical properties of a cell, then we could build an artificial brain that would have the exact same properties as a biological brain.

Evolution can certainly be replicated, infact recently they have managed to get a computer to design circuits by using evolutionary principles.

Shiro
04-09-2002, 01:26 PM
Yes, I know about that experiment. Very interesting.

It is biology, chemistry, physics and perhaps also technology. But then it the question comes to mind: what is technology? Isn't technology something that is created by humans?

When it comes to nanotechnology, we are able to play with atoms. This could mean that we are able to play with or even perform biological processes with nanotechnology. In that case we could be able to manipulate atoms in such a way they form cells. The next, very big, step would be to create primitive life. So perhaps it's possible to create life.

stevey
04-09-2002, 01:42 PM
>>>Isn't technology something that is created by humans?

now that is a very interesting point. philosophical.

on a different tangent...
are chimps sentient ??
any other animal ??
are we the only sentient life ??

yes i think we are. why ??

something happened in the brain of a primitive man/ape... that
little spark which we can't explain...and eventually here we are, the only sentient life on our planet. no other animal including all the types of apes has become sentient. we are the only "intelligent" life.
whatever it was, a genetic mutation ???, i think it was like a snowball effect once it started.

i think if we can give a machine that little spark of something.....if it can then start to learn for itself, i think it could snowball..........

Clyde
04-09-2002, 01:43 PM
"When it comes to nanotechnology, we are able to play with atoms. This could mean that we are able to play with or even perform biological processes with nanotechnology. In that case we could be able to manipulate atoms in such a way they form cells. The next, very big, step would be to create primitive life. So perhaps it's possible to create life."

You don't need nano-tech to play with biological processes, regular biochemistry will do that, we can already build proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, even DNA, in the lab. Of course building an entire cell from the ground up is a far cry from molecular components.

Though there are several teams around the world who have taken the simplest bacterium, knocked out as many genes as they can from it but not so many that its not still alive, and are now trying to "build" thus cut down bacterium in a lab.

Nanotech is the field I intend to go into, at the moment the techonology is very basic, but it has tremendous potential.

There is a molecule out there, the precursor to DNA, that formed from a swathe of complex equilibria, and that was capable of replicating itself but not exactly... finding that molecule would be nice :)

Clyde
04-09-2002, 01:48 PM
"on a different tangent...
are chimps sentient ??
any other animal ??
are we the only sentient life ??"

Chimps are considered sentient as are dolphins, there are a series of test, that are performed. One of which is to see whether animals recognise themselves in a mirror, you smear lipstick over the right eye of an ape then show them the mirror and they will wipe off the lipstick. If an animal can recognise itself, it means it has a concept of "self" and hence we conclude it is aware.

Now, it could be a trick, we could design a computer that would NOT be aware to do something similar, but we are dealing with evolutionary principles, where "tricks" like this won't happen: there is noadvantage in "pretending" to be sentient.

Unregistered
04-09-2002, 01:58 PM
<<something happened in the brain of a primitive man/ape... that
little spark which we can't explain...and eventually here we are, the only sentient life on our planet. no other animal including all the types of apes has become sentient. we are the only "intelligent" life.
whatever it was, a genetic mutation ???, i think it was like a snowball effect once it started>>

This doesn't really prove your point. All you are saying is that "Humans are sentient because humans are the only living thing that are sentient"

Without a doupt apes and dolphins are sentient and as my first vitness I call clyde (see prev post) I would like to say that almost all animals are sentient just on different levels but i don't have any prof handy right now.

Clyde
04-09-2002, 02:35 PM
" I would like to say that almost all animals are sentient just on different levels but i don't have any prof handy right now."

I think most animals are considered sentient to an extent though the debates still rage over how much of an extent that is.

brif
04-09-2002, 02:52 PM
Todays approaches to AI seam to only work on very specific problems, most of which are just clever ways of cutting down search spaces (eg CSP's,GA's neural nets) and dont seam to have much to do with actually 'simulating' intelligence. I think we need the einstein of computer science/neurology to bridge the gap between todays approaches and actuall 'life'. If it is possible/when it comes, will computers become more intelligent than humans? shouldnt be too hard.

I like the analogy I once read between AI and aeronautics:

'For hundreds of years humans tried to fly by imitating the birds flapping wings, then they invented the airofoil'

Clyde
04-09-2002, 02:57 PM
"Todays approaches to AI seam to only work on very specific problems, most of which are just clever ways of cutting down search spaces (eg CSP's,GA's neural nets) and dont seam to have much to do with actually 'simulating' intelligence."

I'm not so sure, whilst the techniques used today in AI are certainly limited, neural nets inparticular have shown interesting promise.

A robot has been built that has "learnt" to produce a range of facial expressions that look extremely human.

The problem is that whilst neural nets can be quite good at modelling some of the basic type of learning we see in babies, they suck at higher functions.

True AI "intelligence" does seem quite a long way off, though with technology progressing as it is, who knows....

stevey
04-09-2002, 03:19 PM
i thought only humans were sentient. does sentient just mean self-aware in a basic level?? humans are the only creatures to believe in god for instance, to commit suicide etc

i meant sentient as intelligent. we are the only intelligent life form surely. i know chimps, dolphins are pretty intelligent, but its not what we mean by intelligent life really.

what i meant by a little spark is......well chimps and dolphins have been around as long or longer than humans, why aren't they intelligent ??? why did only one strain of ape evolve, the rest staying pretty much as they are?? guess nobody knows do they??

humans are the only species to have the extended frontal lobes, that does most of the 'intelligent' thinking.

i guess its debatable how intelligent other animals are...
but interestingly i saw a prog that said the best test of intelligence in animals was brain weight divided by body weight.......

if you do that, humans have (by far) the best score, followed by chimps, then other apes, then dolphins...........which would seem to bear out.

brif
04-09-2002, 03:22 PM
Its my impression that neural nets are just fancy statistical estimators,(although it could be argued that this is what the brain is aswell?) If you have enough sample points then its easy to find a 'probability' of corectness. A sample point is basically all a perceptron is. As far as I know they have only been used for taxonomy purposes (classifiers)

"A robot has been built that has "learnt" to produce a range of facial expressions that look extremely human. "

I've not heard of this and would appreciate a link if you have one. However I'm willing to bet this is done by using a training set to teach the machine to classify different expressions, then all the machine has to do is categorise any future sets of data...

btw I'm going to invest in a spell checker soon (seam=seem etc)

Clyde
04-09-2002, 03:57 PM
"does sentient just mean self-aware in a basic level?? humans are the only creatures to believe in god for instance, to commit suicide etc "

Sentient merely means "aware" or concious. You don't need to believe in God to be aware, nor do you need to be capable of commiting suicide.

There is a difference between intelligence and sentience, one is basically problem solving ability, the other is something more esoteric.

"what i meant by a little spark is......well chimps and dolphins have been around as long or longer than humans, why aren't they intelligent ??? "

Because everything in evolution is a trade off, in many instances more intelligence is NOT favourable, greater intelligence requires a bigger brain which needs more energy and hence more food.

Ape's are a darn sight stronger than humans, that's the trade off we paid for more intellect.

"why did only one strain of ape evolve, the rest staying pretty much as they are?? "

They didn't, both apes and us have a common ancester, we did not evolve from modern day apes.

There is no doubt that humans are the most intelligent animal around, they are not however the only sentient one.

Clyde
04-09-2002, 04:06 PM
"although it could be argued that this is what the brain is aswell?"

I think the way AI research is progressing is to try and find ways of making programs learn in what appears to be the same way as humans do. Rather than look at the mechanisms by which humans learn (which we don't really know enough about at this point)

"I've not heard of this and would appreciate a link if you have one. However I'm willing to bet this is done by using a training set to teach the machine to classify different expressions, then all the machine has to do is categorise any future sets of data... "

Unfortuneately I have no link, it was on a program I watched quite a while ago. The robot was placed in an environment with people around, and made facial expressions, if the facial expression resulted in attention from the surrounding people it was reinforced. Since people react to human-like expressions, eventually the robot ended up smiling, then if people left him frowning (people often came back if it frowned when they left), + it made a variety of other human like expressions.

Fact of the day: There is a region of the brain specifically for recognising faces, people who have damage in this region function completely normally....except they can no longer visually recognise anyone, even their own children/spouses!

stevey
04-09-2002, 04:40 PM
>>Sentient merely means "aware" or concious. You don't need to believe in God to be aware, nor do you need to be capable of commiting suicide.
There is a difference between intelligence and sentience, one is basically problem solving ability, the other is something more esoteric.

i thought sentient meant self-aware, in the sense that say i know i'm a human being, i live on a planet etc.........only humans have this......
i must use the term wrong. mebe i watch too much star-trek !!!!!
anyway, humans are the only intelligent life, i know chimps are smart etc, my cat is fairly smart, but you know what i mean by intelligent.....

>>Because everything in evolution is a trade off, in many instances more intelligence is NOT favourable, greater intelligence requires a bigger brain which needs more energy and hence more food.

yeah, bacteria etc will probably outlive us..........and cockroaches


>>"why did only one strain of ape evolve, the rest staying pretty much as they are?? "
They didn't, both apes and us have a common ancester, we did not evolve from modern day apes.

i know, but the ancestor was ape-like i meant.
in the time-frame of humans evolving intelligence at an exponential rate, chimps sat in trees eating bananas, and guerrillas scratched their butts.!!!
what happened to make humans the only intelligent life. something did. its unique in our planet(so far at least-who knows what may happen in the billions of years our planets got left), i doubt if its unique in the universe.

i believe it can be created artificially, whatever 'it' is.

Clyde
04-09-2002, 05:08 PM
"i thought sentient meant self-aware, in the sense that say i know i'm a human being, i live on a planet etc.........only humans have this....."

Self aware means that you are aware that you exist, it does not require any other knowledge.

Ape's are most certainly aware they exist, the lipstick experiment proves that.

"i know, but the ancestor was ape-like i meant. "

We are apes too ya know :)

"in the time-frame of humans evolving intelligence at an exponential rate, chimps sat in trees eating bananas, and guerrillas scratched their butts.!!! "

Humans evolved no faster than the other apes.

"what happened to make humans the only intelligent life. something did."

There is no magic here, an ape is effectively a human with a lame IQ, in the particular environment we were in 500,000 - a million years ago, increases in intelligence and language were an advantage........... hence we are at the level of intelligence we are at.

Of course if we wiped all life and started again, intelligent life may not immerge, just luck really, getting the right environment and an organism capable of exploiting it.

brif
04-09-2002, 05:46 PM
"A person IS just a brain, your personality, memories are all stored in your brain, your feelings, senses, everything is processes in your brain forming the person that you are. That much has been proven countless times, there are plenty of examples that show that people who have trauma to a particular part of the brain can get complete new personalities after the accident. "

Are you sure?

There is the problem of implied knowledge, how do you know something youve never been told? It may be possible for some things to 'work them out' from previous explicit knowledge but others this appears imposible.

The most abstract theory about this is that of metamorphic fields. This is a sort of common knowledge database 'ether' that every brain is connected too. Although it is bizare it does explain alot of things.

I'm convinced my computer is intelligent, everytime, just as I'm about to finnish doing something important it decides to blue screen me. How does it know?

Deckard
04-09-2002, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by a couple of people
Sentient merely means "aware" or concious.
and
i thought sentient meant self-aware, in the sense that say i know i'm a human being, i live on a planet etc...
As a public service, I humbly submit a link for the definition of sentient (http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=sentient).

Clyde
04-09-2002, 06:15 PM
"Are you sure? "

Quite sure :)

"The most abstract theory about this is that of metamorphic fields. This is a sort of common knowledge database 'ether' that every brain is connected too. Although it is bizare it does explain alot of things."

You mean magic, a "metamorphic field" is another way of saying magic.

There is no doubt that the brain is the be all and end all. Neurology has shown which areas of the brain controll what.

We know the parts of the brain that store memory, personality, control the autonomic nervous system, process data from the senses, control motor functions... all of its there.

Clyde
04-09-2002, 06:15 PM
"As a public service, I humbly submit a link for the definition of sentient."

Hey I was pretty close :)

Scourfish
04-09-2002, 08:43 PM
The day computers become sentient is the day I will launch the counterstrike against the machine's attempt to take over the world.

novacain
04-10-2002, 12:13 AM
Anyone seen 'Dark Star"? With the sentient bomb?

Last thing I want is a computer that turns its self off if I am angry with it.

Or sulks and refuses to play if it does not get the upgrade it wants.

Or gets a virus from some porn site it has been surfing while I was out.

tim545666
04-10-2002, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by novacain

Or gets a virus from some porn site it has been surfing while I was out. lol!

adrianxw
04-10-2002, 02:21 AM
Neural network machines, (based upon the architecture of the brain), are very good at solving certain types of problems.

Bear in mind the many millions of interconnected neurons in a complex brain and the few thousands of "neurons" in a typical artificial neural network, (ANN), the results are impressive.

The best ANN I worked with was for predicting gas demand given weather forecast details, calendar details, and a few other factors. This system, trained with 30 years of historical data, (of variable quality), performed at least as well as the control room staff that normally "guessed" what the demand would be based on similar experience. The statistical analysis of the results did not show the ANN was better, but it was not worse.

The ANN, when presnted with certain input combinations, reacted in certain ways, just like most life forms.

One problem that faces artificial intelligence researchers is the poor definition of intelligence. Turings tests are frequently referred too, but that is only a "human like" intelligence test at best. An alien having a totally different evolution is quite likely to have completely different thought processes, and we would have a hard time understanding each other in abstract matters.

How will we know if a system has a concept of self awareness?

Clyde
04-10-2002, 04:08 AM
"How will we know if a system has a concept of self awareness?"

That's the million dollar question :), we won't know "directly", since it could be "faking", the only way we'll be able to guess is by trying to work out what makes us aware, and then applying the same reasoning on the machine.

adrianxw
04-10-2002, 04:21 AM
>>> trying to work out what makes us aware,

Yup. This is a problem that has plagued the discipline. Once you have a hard and fast definition, you can code towards it, test it, etc. but coding towards/testing for the abstract is doomed.

ANN's are a really interesting approach.

Deckard
04-10-2002, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by novacain
Anyone seen 'Dark Star"? With the sentient bomb?Yes! I love the part where one crew member is stuck in the elevator.

I would really like to have a wav from that movie where the computer (bomb 20, I believe) answers a question with "You mean you don't know??".

adrianxw
04-10-2002, 06:09 AM
"And the bomb said 'let there be light'" - bang!

stevey
04-10-2002, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by adrianxw
"And the bomb said 'let there be light'" - bang!

yeah, its a great film !! the bomb thought it was god !!!!

thanx for definitions ->

sentient

\Sen"ti*ent\, n. One who has the faculty of perception; a sentient being.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

sen·tient Pronunciation Key (snshnt, -sh-nt)
adj.
Having sense perception; conscious: “The living knew themselves just sentient puppets on God's stage” (T.E. Lawrence).
Experiencing sensation or feeling.

i still say only humans are sentient, going with the faculty of perception, if you're going for "Experiencing sensation or feeling. ", then that would include all life surely !!! anyway..........

as a sentient computer, who could forget HAL in 2001......
"mary had a little lamb....."
"open the pod bay doors please HAL"
"what are you doing Dave......"

classic !!!!!!

Clyde
04-10-2002, 09:05 AM
"if you're going for "Experiencing sensation or feeling. ", then that would include all life surely !!! anyway.......... "

Not at all, you can connect a computer to a camera and get it to analyse the image and "conclude" things from it, doesn't mean the computer "sees".

Insects almost certainly do not "experience" sensation, they are no different to complex computer programs:

stevey
04-10-2002, 09:14 AM
>>Insects almost certainly do not "experience" sensation, they are no different to complex computer programs:

ok, but all animals do.

i don't think your computer is experiencing sensation in your scenario......

yes i think of insects as complicated machines only, i feel nothing to step on a bug !!!!

look at what fantastic m/c's they are though, could we ever make anything so complicated ????? weve a long long way to go......
can't even make a robot to handle stairs !!!

brif
04-10-2002, 09:54 AM
"There is no doubt that the brain is the be all and end all. Neurology has shown which areas of the brain controll what. "

Then surely there is no point in having this debate, if the brain is totaly materialistic then just biologicaly copying it (which shouldnt be too hard in the future...) will produce identical results?

The question I was trying to highlight with metamorphic fields is that the 'spark' or definition of self has not been explained, especially by neurologists (otherwise most of them would have been out of a job)

Neurology has certainly shown which areas of the brain affect which responses, how they do it though is still mostly of debate.

stevey
04-10-2002, 10:06 AM
>>>>The question I was trying to highlight with metamorphic fields is that the 'spark' or definition of self has not been explained, especially by neurologists (otherwise most of them would have been out of a job)

it certainly hasn't.
i guess i do not believe in God,
religous people would say the "spark" was divine, i wouldn't.

going back to 2001, the "spark" was given by the obilisk (or however you spell it) !!!!!! then the chimps started bashing each other with rocks !!!!1

Clyde
04-10-2002, 11:46 AM
"Then surely there is no point in having this debate, if the brain is totaly materialistic then just biologicaly copying it (which shouldnt be too hard in the future...) will produce identical results?"

Indeed an identical copy of the brain would result in identical results, but it is bloody hard to do! We are a LONG way from being able to do that.

We can't make an identical copy of a cell yet! Infact we can't make an identical copy of a peptide crossing a membrane!!!!! (one my friends is a final yr. biochemist he is doing a dry project in which he uses a computer to simulate a peptide crossing a membrane, the computer takes 3 months to simulate 1 nanosecond, and makes quite a few assumptions on the way)

"The question I was trying to highlight with metamorphic fields is that the 'spark' or definition of self has not been explained, especially by neurologists (otherwise most of them would have been out of a job)"

There is no magic "spark" here, there are just neural pathways, hideously complicated and convoluted they may be... but neural pathways they are. The concept of self as a "real" phenomenon along with any notions of free-will have been smashed pretty heavily by a lot of recent developments in the field of neurology. Of course there's still a long way to go, specific mechanisms of how the brain handles different areas are sketchy... of course we do know a huge amount, but there's still a huge amount left to discover.

Brian
04-10-2002, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Clyde
the computer takes 3 months to simulate 1 nanosecond, and makes quite a few assumptions on the way)


He probably has too many programs running in the background, try closing down AOL and audiogalaxy.