Consciousness is Living and Unique -- Mechanical Systems are Not! (Why Computers Fail when Modelling Consciousness)

Note: This paper was prepared in response to specific comments. The comments, included here for clarity, have been indented and italicized to distinguish them from Dr. Boyd's responses (normal text).

[Comment on list]: "Physics/holograms/computers are fine for modelling the inanimate, and molecular biology begins to model body/brain/CNS, but who is modelling consciousness per se? If models are intended to communicate "mind-states" and body/brain/CNS correlates, [then the answer is] artificial intelligence specialists. And modern computers embodying half a century of scientific experience, would be a logical starting point for model development."

[R. N. Boyd]:   Please direct me to the computer which is functioning in this world with an ability to cope with the Living World, which ability is greater than that of an ant. Or even equal to an ant! What is LIFE?????????

Can you answer that?

I am not interested in some biochemical hyperbole, which can speak only to some of what results from some forms of Life. Nor will any purely mechanistic physics description suffice.

"The objective would be a mind-model. It would be a "bio-computer" concept that classifies:
1) thoughts as "software",
2) body/brain/CNS as "hardware",
3) unconscious mental functions as "innate memory"

Many people have attempted such a model. They don't work. Such views have limitations because they do not incorporate the fact of, or the effects of, Consciousness, on the physical world.

"Item 3 is roughly synonymous with the term "hardwired"."

There IS no "unconscious". There are only conditions where the attention and awareness of the Observer are not directly involved in some particular region. Any so-called "unconscious" activity can be discovered, monitored, and controlled when the attention and intention of the individual have penetrated that area. As far as behavioral patterns which appear to be "hardwired", some of these functions are due only to the UNIQUENESS of the individual personality. It is not possible to create a viable model which does not incorporate the facts of uniqueness and individuality. It appears to me that you may have fallen into the trap of trying to view the world as an "everywhere the same" system. It is not.

Reality is extremely inhomogenous, exceedingly Anisotropic, and FILLED everywhere with personality. See my related article on "Uniqueness and the Physical Vacuum" at:

"The source of thoughts would be the 5 senses, words and symbols received from others, and lifetime memory."

This view is limited. The fact is that everything that has existence has some manner of consciousness. The second fact is that ALL consciousness has the ability to perceive and transmit the emotional conditions of ALL consciousnesses, and the ability to receive and transmit images. Even rocks can do this. Regarding memory, it has been shown experimentally, that even the vacuum has memory. So, is memory classifiable as a sense? I'm not sure this is the correct approach...

"Silicon computers are updated by adding, deleting, replacing both hardware and software elements to accomplish data processing goals. Unlike silicon computers, the bio-model is assumed to be self-organized continuously updated and revised with or without conscious intent or knowledge."

Again, this view leaves out individuality and Consciousness. Examine YOU very closely...Are you a robot? A pure stimulus-response system? Are YOU categorizable as simply the effect of exclusively external set of physical causations?

I sincerely hope not...

"Traditional conscious functions of attending, anticipating, intending, and acting (including both thought as action, and muscular action) would be accommodated by the model.

I consider this as an impossibility, given your predispositions. You might well make such a model, and cause it to be internally self-consistent. But, it would never match reality, due to flaws in its basis.

"The model would be modified from time to time as new knowledge is acquired in the field of cellular biology."

Lord have mercy! What is Consciousness, actually? Consciousness IS NOT the physical form!!!!!!!!!

Life is not the physical form. NEVER.

This is like identifying the box that the CPU inhabits as being the entirety of the computer. Then studying the metallurgy of the box in excruciating detail and presenting the metallurgical information on the computer housing as though the metallurgical information so presented, explained the entirety of the computer itself. This approach is blatantly and obviously unviable. The metallurgical facts do not explain anything about the CPU itself! Do you understand?

And studying the metallurgy of the CPU in an attempt to get more metallurgical detail only removes one further from the fact of the CPU and its factual, operational basis. Is this analogy reaching you? I am saying that you folks are barking up the wrong tree...

Life IS NOT a binary computing system. Life is involved with Uniqueness. And in fact, if you can point me at a binary computer with a personality,

I will demonstrate to you that the computer so designated, is broken.

What's wrong with you people? Where did the use of the sensitivities and the senses vanish to?

By the way, IBM constructed, and made functional, a biological computer in the 1980s. The main problem they had in making it functional was the I/O system. When they got the I/O part worked out, they asked their new biological computer several well-weighed questions.

The biological computer answered these questions.

The answers apparently so frightened the people involved with the project, that the entire system was dismantled within the week, and all of the involved team members were relocated and given new [false] identities.

I used to work for IBM.

"The model would typify pre-natal and post-natal lifespans, with emphasis on development of mental capabilities in youth, loss of capabilities with aging."

I'm not enamoured of your system, or the basis of your model, as you have described it here. These expressions do not correspond to experiencable Reality. If you haven't experienced a large portion of Reality, my wishes go forth for you to explore the Universe further, and more deeply, with neither prejudice, nor biases. To find out, "What is Life, actually?"...