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Comment Re:that is precisely the problem with creationists (Score 1) 858

You use the word alive. From a scientific perspective, I'd rather go with with words conscious or observing. i.e. What brings a collection of inert matter to become conscious of itself?

I suspect (not believe, I'm not going to use the word believe in this debate!) that consciousness has been, & will continue to be, a progressive state. i.e. Even now, humans (if they've evolved from 'the sludge'; something which is more reasonable to me, than a literal interpretation of Genesis) are not fully conscious/aware/perceiving their surroundings to an absolute degree. For instance, nobody is definitely conscious of what someone else is doing, in some other place, tomorrow - until it is observed, honestly communicated, really perceived, made inarguable fact based on no assumptions with regard to the available physical evidence etc.

Likewise, in the context of observation in the quantum theoretical sense, I'll never be able to prove to you that I am conscious in the same way that you are, & vice versa. To think that you are as conscious as I, or vice versa, would be the application of a hidden assumption. All I know is that I observe - & a physical body only allows this from one point of view (a collapsed superposition), at any one time. The physical body is rather limited.

To be alive, is very much a state of mind, as I see it. The testing of this will very likely be equivalent to asking someone to lift themself, with themself. i.e. You'd be asking a mind to be the tester & testee. n.b. I wouldn't use the term alive to definitively mean that some squiggle on a microscope plate is moving itself around the plate, under it's own power. In my observation, a virus behaviour, or even that of a bacteria, for that matter, is closer to the autonomy of a fire than consciousness.

Again, I suspect (!) that any development in the field of artificial intelligence will lead the way in showing us how consciousness, or the state of being alive, occurs (not necessarily the same as being created).

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington