John K Clark (
Mon, 4 May 1998 13:38:16 -0700 (PDT)


On Mon, 4 May 98 (Tony Hollick) Wrote:

>you're asking why random mutation and natural selection don't
>*bother* to make anything sentient. This is to endow random
>mutation and natural selection' with exactly that which
>'evolutionary' proponents claim they cannot have -- intentionality
>and purpose.

I sometimes use anthropomorphic words when writing about physical processes
and will continue to do so, naturally they should not be taken literally.

>we are 'beings endowed with colititional consciousness' capable of
>_intitiating_ causal chains non-randomly.

I don't know what "colititional" means but I do know that if what we do is
non random then it has a cause, if it's random then it doesn't.

>This quality of originating volitional consciousness we call

So, you're saying consciousness is sentience and sentience is consciousness.
Sorry but with that definition and 50 cents you can buy a can of Coke.

On Mon, 4 May 1998 ChuckKuecker <> Wrote:

>How can intelligence have any survival value if it can not sense and
>interpret it's environment?

It can't, but what does that have to do with the price of eggs?
I specifically said that an intelligent person or animal or machine
analyzing its input data has survival value.

>All animals are sentient

Interesting theory. I have a theory too, Chuck Kuecker is sentient, but I
can't prove it and never will.

>We need better definitions here..

No we do not. There will never be a definition of "consciousness" that's
worth a damn, trying to come up with one is a waste of time. I'm certainly
not saying the word is trivial or meaningless however because definitions are
not the only or even the most important way we communicate. Most words and
concepts, and all of the really important ones, are made clear to us by
example not by definitions. As a result I note that other people usually
use the word "consciousness" in much the same way I do, but if you put a gun
to my head I couldn't define it, I'd just know that if you pulled the trigger
I'd lose it forever.

John K Clark

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