Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World - #11 - Consciousness is a Trick

LawPundit does not limit itself to the legal field. There are all kinds of laws and beliefs in this world beyond "law" itself and also encompassing the laws of the physical sciences and the humanities. Interestingly, much of what we believe in science is not based on evidence but rather on intuition or guesswork.



The highly acclaimed Edge Foundation has 120 prominent minds commenting on John Brockman's question: "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"



We comment on these comments by 120 prominent minds: This is #11.



Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World - #11 - Consciousness is a Trick



NICHOLAS HUMPHREY, a psychologist at the London School of Economics and author of The Mind Made Flesh thinks that "consciousness is a conjuring trick".



The concept of human consciousness is best known from Descartes who wrote "I think, therefore I am" but its existence in human language may already be found in the symbol of the raised arms KA in the hieroglyphic writings of the Pharaohs, where KA describes, according to the British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, "the creative life-force of each individual, whether human or divine.... [coming] into existence at the same moment that the individual was born...."



We think that the Pharaonic Egyptian KA is the same as the hypothetical Indo-European root AUG (still found in Latvian as the major word AUG), which applies to the concept of "growth" or "increase" or "becoming" in living things (from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Appendix I, Indo-European Roots):



"ENTRY: aug-

DEFINITION: To increase....




The question of the nature of human consciousness is of course at the root of all religion and is integrally tied with the idea of a soul. As long as our cells are still "growing", i.e. metabolizing, we continue to live. When life processes cease, we enter a different sphere. If human consciousness exists, what was it before our human conception and what is it after our human life?



Our answer is that human consciousness is one aspect of the principle of the universe, embodied in our human form.

Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World - #10 - Human Smarts are Unique

LawPundit does not limit itself to the legal field. There are all kinds of laws and beliefs in this world beyond "law" itself and also encompassing the laws of the physical sciences and the humanities. Interestingly, much of what we believe in science is not based on evidence but rather on intuition or guesswork.



The highly acclaimed Edge Foundation has 120 prominent minds commenting on John Brockman's question: "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"



We comment on these comments by 120 prominent minds: This is #10.



Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World - #10 - Human Smarts are Unique



MARC D. HAUSER, a psychologist at Harvard University and author of Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think, thinks that human smarts are unique because of our "capacity to take as input any set of discrete entities and recombine them into an infinite variety of meaningful expressions".



We disagree in part. Of course, by definition, human smarts are unique. However, we think that the principle that drives thought is universal in the universe.



As stated at andiskaulins.com in "What is the Universe?":



"Thought by its nature is combinatorial... as if it would not tolerate a single, static world. Is this also the mechanism of the universe?"



We find that it is the impossibility of a single dimension which drives the mind, as also the rest of the universe. We are not unique in the true sense, but only a particular species applying a principle of the universe which is incorporated in us as "thought".



Surely all other animals "think", but only at a lower scale of sophistication than humans. A monkey who gets a ladder to reach an otherwise unreachable banana is thinking, and we stem from the apes. Thought did not just "begin" with us. That would simply be a very limited, egocentric view of the human species.



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