Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

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PeteJ
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:25 pm

robin loops wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:59 pm
It is human nature to believe that we are the center of everything, but just as the sun does not revolve around us, we also are not the center of the universe nor consciousness. Some believe that the universe was made specifically for us to inhabit. Others that it exists specifically because we inhabit it (and create it with our consciousness). The reality is, our existence is simply a result of the laws of the universe and our consciousness is simply the result of those laws having been set in motion.
Hmm. This is an opinion presented as a known fact. We are always at the centre of the universe according to physics. I'd agree that our human experience of consciousness is the result of the laws of nature but this says nothing about where the laws come from or why they go into operation, and it says nothing about what underlies our ordinary experience.

The trouble is that it is so easy to reify matter as being metaphysically real. Then it seems obvious that consciousness must be a product of matter. But metaphysics does not endorse the irreducible reality of matter. Rather, as Kant and others show, it indicates that we make as mistake when when we endorse this sort of naive realism.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:29 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:25 pm
This is an opinion presented as a known fact.
Oh, is that what one of those looks like?
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:31 pm

Pat Dodson wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:25 am
For those interested in folklore, mythology and philosophy, a lighthearted question. A friend's 4 year old daughter, Amelia announced last night that when she grows up she'd like to be a gnome. :) What are Amelia's chances of achieving this?
Maybe if she takes up banking and learns German?
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Pat Dodson » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:36 pm

Andrew Fryer wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:31 pm
Pat Dodson wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:25 am
For those interested in folklore, mythology and philosophy, a lighthearted question. A friend's 4 year old daughter, Amelia announced last night that when she grows up she'd like to be a gnome. :) What are Amelia's chances of achieving this?
Maybe if she takes up banking and learns German?
:D

Rasputin
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Rasputin » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:26 am

PeteJ wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:10 pm
Rasputin wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:03 pm
PeteJ wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:47 am
I never understand why scientific-thinkers so often believe that the idea of consciousness being primary is unscientific. On what grounds?
I think science is really a method, and that if you are going to use it to full effect you have to leave your preconceptions at the door. In principle it does not commit you to any particular view about what (if anything) fundamentally exists, and what is just a combination of more basic things. Still, the idea that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity seems to me to be bound up with the scientific method.
Agreed
If it turns out that consciousness can be explained in terms of particles and forces (or whatever the basic phenomena of physics are these days),
This is not true. The issue is not even debatable. Nobody knows that consciousness can be explained in this way and nobody has ever done it.This is the leap of faith that I cannot understand and that is not in any sense 'scientific'. It is a conjecture, and the unfalsifiability of solispsim means it will always remain one. It is not an empirically testable claim. I'd be interested to know why you believe it is true.
Hold on - I did say "if". I was trying to answer your question about why the scientifically minded tend to think that the view that consciousness is primary is unscientific. Presumably when you talk about the scientifically minded you are thinking of people who believe that consciousness can be explained in terms of the phenomena of physics. I was trying to trace the links between that idea and the idea that the opposing view is not only wrong but unscientific. I think there is an affinity between these views and am not surprised if people who hold one also tend to hold the other.

I am inclined to think that consciousness can be explained in terms of physical phenomena, but would not have just thrown that out as an assertion. I think there is the outline of an explanation along the lines that consciousness happens when a system posits a self and keeps track of what happens to it. There are good evolutionary reasons for selves (Dennett wrote an essay / chapter called the Birth of Boundaries on this). Being alive involves a lot of defending of boundaries, and it's crucial for a living thing to know where it stops and the outside world begins. For evolutionary purposes it doesn't matter whether there are metaphysical problems with the idea that such boundaries exist. If you are building a brain you can design in any concept you like - what matters is not how metaphysically defensible it is but whether it confers a reproductive advantage on the brain's owner.

I think it is plausible that the crucial difference between a system just registering a noise, say, and a conscious being hearing it, is that the conscious being registers it as an event that is happening to its self. In a human being, that noise will also prime all sorts of associations which will colour and enrich what it registers as happening to its self, and the event will take its place in a narrative that links what is happening (to its self) right now to what has already happened and what is expected to happen in the future. On that view consciousness is illusory, like the self, and in the end they are really one and the same illusion - but it makes evolutionary sense for them to be part of our standard equipment.
I think it has been argued that consciousness is reducible to physical phenomena, but I'm not sure any scientist has considered the converse question of whether physical phenomena can be reduced to consciousness. I suspect that it may be an unscientific hypothesis in that it is not testable.
But it is testable. It is just that it not empirically testable. It is testable by a study of consciousness.
Well, the issue I was raising was whether it was disqualified as a scientific hypothesis because it was untestable. Empirical untestability is enough to make something unscientific, surely - but to be honest I am not really bothered whether or not it should be regarded as scientific and I certainly don't equate 'scientific' with 'valid' and 'unscientific' with 'invalid'.
Our disagreement seems to be over testability. Is this right?
No, I don't think so - I won't claim to be able to see, just now, all of the ways that testability could come into the argument, but I was just raising it because it could be a ground for saying that the view in question was unscientific - and as I say I am not very concerned about that.
Pardon all the words. Don't feel obliged to match my verbosity. If I seem a bit pushy apologies, but I've been arguing this stuff for years and don't see it as a matter of opinion.
No apology necessary!

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:47 pm

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:49 pm

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:49 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:26 am
Hold on - I did say "if". I was trying to answer your question about why the scientifically minded tend to think that the view that consciousness is primary is unscientific. Presumably when you talk about the scientifically minded you are thinking of people who believe that consciousness can be explained in terms of the phenomena of physics.
A misunderstanding. For me being scientifically-minded means pursuing the truth, whatever it is.
I was trying to trace the links between that idea and the idea that the opposing view is not only wrong but unscientific. I think there is an affinity between these views and am not surprised if people who hold one also tend to hold the other.
I agree there is an affinity. But as it is impossible to show that the theory that 'consciousness is all' is unscientific all it means is that a lot of people think they are being scientifically-minded when in fact they're ignoring science and just jumping to conclusions. (And I''m not sure I've ever come across a person who rejects this theory who understands it well enough to judge whether it's scientific.)
I am inclined to think that consciousness can be explained in terms of physical phenomena, but would not have just thrown that out as an assertion.
Fair enough. It is untestable so not a scientific view, but each to his own when it comes to opinions.
I think it is plausible that the crucial difference between a system just registering a noise, say, and a conscious being hearing it, is that the conscious being registers it as an event that is happening to its self. In a human being, that noise will also prime all sorts of associations which will colour and enrich what it registers as happening to its self, and the event will take its place in a narrative that links what is happening (to its self) right now to what has already happened and what is expected to happen in the future. On that view consciousness is illusory, like the self, and in the end they are really one and the same illusion - but it makes evolutionary sense for them to be part of our standard equipment.
If this is your understanding of consciousness then of course you will believe it is not primary. It seems unlikely that anyone believes that the 'self' that you're speaking of is non-contingent. I've never seen anyone suggest it. You're speaking of 'intentional' consciousness, not awareness, and pointing out, quite rightly, the untrustworthiness of the theories that we use to interpret our direct experience.
I think it has been argued that consciousness is reducible to physical phenomena, but I'm not sure any scientist has considered the converse question of whether physical phenomena can be reduced to consciousness. I suspect that it may be an unscientific hypothesis in that it is not testable.
Many scientists endorse this view, and many physicists. My favourite is Erwin Schrodinger, who argued the case for forty years. It is not testable empirically for the same reason that the existence of consciousness is not, but it is testable in experience and provable in logic . So whether it is testable may depend on what we mean. This is at least better than materialism, which is not testable by any method.
... I won't claim to be able to see, just now, all of the ways that testability could come into the argument, but I was just raising it because it could be a ground for saying that the view in question was unscientific - and as I say I am not very concerned about that.
No problem. But for me this is a big issue. The idea that materialism is more 'scientific' in Popper's terms than idealism is demonstrably wrong. I immediately go to war when I see this idea promoted. It is one of the most ridiculous things that so many people who think they are scientifically-minded also think that a metaphysical conjecture is a scientific theory just as long as they agree with it. No truly scientific thinker would make this basic mistake.

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by chiral3 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:40 pm

物の哀れ

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Mike Steede
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Mike Steede » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:35 pm

I suspect that people who are attracted to CG tend to be a bright bunch to begin with. As far as it making you smarter, I don't personally see it, but I think the study is a good alternative to our daily crossword puzzles to keep our minds young as we get older.

(I think I need to do both to keep up with this group...)
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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Rasputin » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:02 am

PeteJ wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:49 pm
I think it is plausible that the crucial difference between a system just registering a noise, say, and a conscious being hearing it, is that the conscious being registers it as an event that is happening to its self. In a human being, that noise will also prime all sorts of associations which will colour and enrich what it registers as happening to its self, and the event will take its place in a narrative that links what is happening (to its self) right now to what has already happened and what is expected to happen in the future. On that view consciousness is illusory, like the self, and in the end they are really one and the same illusion - but it makes evolutionary sense for them to be part of our standard equipment.
If this is your understanding of consciousness then of course you will believe it is not primary. It seems unlikely that anyone believes that the 'self' that you're speaking of is non-contingent. I've never seen anyone suggest it. You're speaking of 'intentional' consciousness, not awareness...
I can't be 100% sure what you mean by intentional consciousness but I think this explanation is addressing awareness. It could be seen as saying that there isn't really any such thing, and explaining why it seems to us that there is, but since consciousness / awareness is about how things seem to us, I prefer to take an internal perspective and say that it exists by definition within the system that is a person, and that its existence will therefore seem undeniable within that system, provided that it is working normally. I think the same is true of the self, which many people do regard as eternal and thus non-contingent.
, and pointing out, quite rightly, the untrustworthiness of the theories that we use to interpret our direct experience.
I think it has been argued that consciousness is reducible to physical phenomena, but I'm not sure any scientist has considered the converse question of whether physical phenomena can be reduced to consciousness. I suspect that it may be an unscientific hypothesis in that it is not testable.
Many scientists endorse this view, and many physicists. My favourite is Erwin Schrodinger, who argued the case for forty years. It is not testable empirically for the same reason that the existence of consciousness is not, but it is testable in experience and provable in logic .
This is where we differ, I think - you are saying on the one hand that the theories we use to interpret our direct experience are untrustworthy, and on the other that we can validly test things in experience. I believe you look to avoid contradiction here by saying that you reach a point where there is no longer any interpretation going on - there is only the experience just as it is. But this step in the reasoning seems to assume that the eventual conclusion is correct - i.e. that consciousness is primary - and thus make the argument circular. If consciousness is not primary then there is no possibility of an experience which is not constructed or subject to interpretation.

Even if there is a category of experience which does not need interpreting, this kind of argument also seems to require that we can tell when we are having that type of experience and either that we are able to explore it without introducing elements of interpretation, or that our memory of it is good enough for examination of the remembered experience to count as examination of the actual experience. I am sceptical about this.
The idea that materialism is more 'scientific' in Popper's terms than idealism is demonstrably wrong. I immediately go to war when I see this idea promoted. It is one of the most ridiculous things that so many people who think they are scientifically-minded also think that a metaphysical conjecture is a scientific theory just as long as they agree with it. No truly scientific thinker would make this basic mistake.
i.e. 'Mysticism... is that where you use healing crystals?'? I think I understand your frustration.

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:06 am

Okay Rasputin - I get where you#re coming from. Mysticism is crystal healing, nobody has ever understood consciousness, there is no possibility of what Aristotle calls 'knowledge by identity', all knowledge is acquired through our physical senses, etc. I can't hope to change your mind about any of this here so perhaps it's best we leave it at this point. I'll only keep complaining if you suggest these views are scientific. I'm happy to explain mysticism but I fear we are headed for an argument and we needn't go there.

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Rasputin » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:48 am

PeteJ wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:06 am
Okay Rasputin - I get where you#re coming from. Mysticism is crystal healing, nobody has ever understood consciousness, there is no possibility of what Aristotle calls 'knowledge by identity', all knowledge is acquired through our physical senses, etc. I can't hope to change your mind about any of this here so perhaps it's best we leave it at this point. I'll only keep complaining if you suggest these views are scientific. I'm happy to explain mysticism but I fear we are headed for an argument and we needn't go there.
The bit in quotes was supposed to be a joke... I was saying it must be frustrating to hold a position reached by a lot of careful thinking which people put in the same box as crystal healing or homeopathy, i.e. dismiss as being dappy. This happens because of the perception that materialism is more scientific than idealism, surely. I was trying to say I think I know where you are coming from when you say that you immediately go to war when you come across that view.

Why doesn't explaining consciousness along the lines I have suggested count as understanding it?

Dennett said something to the effect that people trying to explain consciousness fall basically into two camps - those to whom it is obvious that consciousness must not appear in the explanation and those to whom it is obvious that it must. This perhaps is just the question of what is prior in another guise.

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by PeteJ » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:05 am

Oops. I missed the humour. Pardon me.

Dennett has never studied consciousness as far as I'm aware. At any rate, he doesn't mention that he has. This is why he know nothing about it. For a comparison of expertise I would recommend Rupert Spira's The Nature of Consciousness. If you look at 'scientific consciousness studies you'll see that very few contributors adopt a scientific approach. Most still rely on observing behaviour and making assumptions about its cause.

I'm not sure what you mean by your 'explanation of consciousness'. Do you see the 'self' as eternal? This would be something like the idea of a individual soul, which is not a common idea outside of monotheism and is rejected by mysticism or 'non-dualism'. Erwin Schrodinger writes about this and rejects the plurality of souls for being an incoherent idea. He endorses the Upanishadic view instead.

I think we're a bit off-topic but I'm happy to keep going. My original point was simply that a view such a Dennett's is unscientific while a view such as Spira's is scientific. Which is right is not quite the issue for me here, although I have a view. It is blindingly obvious that materialism is not a scientific theory yet it is often believe to be the most 'scientific' view. This is lunacy in my book, a major obstacle to progress in theoretical physics and a disaster for our society. The idea that science can answer metaphysical question is usually called 'scientism' but I'd just call it thoughtlessness.

I'm not sure I'm addressing your points though. Perhaps we should clarify where we disagree.

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Re: Is there any correlation between IQ scores and CG playing?

Post by Rasputin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:11 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:05 am
Dennett has never studied consciousness as far as I'm aware. At any rate, he doesn't mention that he has.
I think it's better to engage with his argument rather than trying to dismiss it in this way. He has devoted most of his working life to the study of consciousness and I think the title of his book Consciousness Explained counts as mentioning this. It may well be that your conception of consciousness is so different from his that you don't consider that his subject is really consciousness at all, but I don't think you can say it's not until you've argued for your conception.
I'm not sure what you mean by your 'explanation of consciousness'.
It's not my explanation! There is an explanation out there which I outlined two posts back - but I think you will be familiar with it anyway.
Do you see the 'self' as eternal?
No, I see it as organising principle which the brain has evolved to use because it helps individuals survive and reproduce. Within the logical system that is the brain, it is true by definition that the self exists, but it does not exist in any strong objective sense. I think that consciousness can plausibly be explained in the same way.

We have not discussed it but I gather from your references to the perennial philosophy, and from what little I know about that, that you would also regard the self as a construct of the mind. Presumably you would say that to explain the self as a fiction - possibly a useful one, but a fiction nevertheless - is to understand it. Why then do you deny that to explain consciousness in the same way is to understand it? I know you would want to argue that the explanation doesn't work, but that's a different point. We have not got into its merits because you want to dismiss it on the basis that it wouldn't count as an explanation anyway, or that what it is addressing is not really consciousness. Someone who did believe that the self was eternal could say the same about the view that (I think) we both take about the self.
I think we're a bit off-topic but I'm happy to keep going. My original point was simply that a view such a Dennett's is unscientific while a view such as Spira's is scientific.
It seems to me that we are not in the domain of science at all, but I don't really care. Logic is not scientific either, but I don't doubt its validity on that basis.
I'm not sure I'm addressing your points though. Perhaps we should clarify where we disagree.
It seems to me that consciousness can be explained in terms of ordinary physics. Therefore, while I suspect that the phenomena of physics are themselves derived, I think it is plausible that they are more fundamental than consciousness. I don't discount the possibility that it may be the other way around, but so far as I can see, you are just insisting that it must be without giving any reasons.

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