Saturday, 21 January 2017
"I keep up with the continuing argument over 'Intelligent Design', although if one subscribes to late twentieth-century ideas of consciousness as an emergent property, the disagreement vanishes. If self-awareness can emerge from systems that have passed a certain threshold of complexity, then is not the expanding universe of space and time, by definition, the most complex system that can possibly exist?"
-Alan Moore, Jerusalem (London, 2016), p. 769.
Hold on there, Michael. I think that an individual human brain is more complex than the cosmos considered as a system of galaxies? Also, that the universe was simple before it became complex? Thus, it was not originally complex/intelligent enough to design itself.
Why should awareness arise from mere complexity? An analog computer, however complex, merely applies rules to symbols without exercising any awareness/consciousness/knowledge/understanding of the meanings of the symbols. Thus, the computer simulates but does not duplicate intelligence. An artifact that did duplicate intelligence would be not an analog computer but an artificial brain.
Empirically, only brains generate consciousness and brains exist only in organisms. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation. From this I deduce that organism-environment interaction, not mere complexity, is necessary for consciousness - also that that interaction cannot have been designed.