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Recent Consciousness? Options
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 9:59:16 PM
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Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
Topic; Recent Consciousness?

percivalpecksniff wrote:
There is absolutely no evidence that man has ever been unaware of himself. It is pure conjecture that holds no water at all.

Epiphileon wrote:
Peter please, we are well aware that you deny that evolution occurred so of course you wouldn't believe that there was ever a case where man was not possessed of the same consciousness as he is today.


Perci's statement has nothing to do with religion or creationism, but with science. Every scientist can confirm with 100% certainty that there is 0% evidence that man has ever been unaware of himself.

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:19:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
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Neurons: 30,816
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Ms. B. Have wrote:

Only those who believe in the image of consciousness Guru Epiphileon is preaching here?


Forgive me for veering so widely off-topic, but this is seriously out of line.

No one is preaching. You might as well complain that a maths teacher is "preaching" when she defines "x" with an algebraic equation, when a computer program clearly defines the variables, or when a scientific paper articulates the scope of the inquiry and the context of its applications.

Ms. B. Have wrote:

“Recent Consciousness?” is an open question on an open forum! Why those who do not agree with the controversial theory that only meta-consciousness is consciousness, and qualify such a theory as “a nonsensical and disputable definition” are accused of “disrupting our dialogs with unwarranted insults”


Don't play coy. The only one flinging poo in this exchange has been the entity known as "Ms. B. Have". If you do indeed have a tenable position, why then have you been so reluctant to show your work?

This is an open forum. Why are you not forthcoming about the reasoning and evidence that supports your opinions, despite several polite and respectful requests for them?

Ms. B. Have wrote:

As I said before, I understand that people like to share and discus their own ideas only with like-minded sparring partners, without being interrupted by people who have well considered but opposing opinions about that same questions, but then the major question should be if it is wise to organise such a coterie in what is known as an open thread in an open forum. As long as this forum is "open" also different opinions should be welcome.


Get this straight: there is one and only one axiom underlying the scientific method.

If you do the same thing in the same way under the same conditions, then the result will be the same. Think

Good luck falsifying that. Whistle
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:49:27 PM

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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Ms. B. Have wrote:

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.


"Vas you dere, Tscharlie?"

Evidence, please.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 12:10:24 AM
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leonAzul wrote:
Ms. B. Have wrote:

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.


"Vas you dere, Tscharlie?"

Evidence, please.


Let's turn it around: Evidence that it is not true please!

You have no evidence that your believe is true, so why those who do not believe what you believe should be the first one to come with evidence?
Only denying that what you believe is a belief, without a serious argument why, is not the same as "evidence".

leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 12:34:44 AM

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Ms. B. Have wrote:
leonAzul wrote:
Ms. B. Have wrote:

When the consciousness of the first ape changed by evolution into meta-consciousness, he dropped out of a tree, put on a pair of trousers, and said: ""I" is not an ape, “I” is a man!" Since that first moment, mankind distinguished itself from the animal-kingdom; this distinction was caused by his meta-conscious self-awareness and his ability of questioning his own existence and behavior. It only took some time to develop a language to express this new self-awareness.


"Vas you dere, Tscharlie?"

Evidence, please.


Let's turn it around: Evidence that it is not true please!

You have no evidence that your believe is true, so why those who do not believe what you believe should be the first one to come with evidence?
Only denying that what you believe is a belief, without a serious argument why, is not the same as "evidence".



If you do the same thing in the same way under the same conditions, then the result will be the same. ;-)
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 6:27:57 AM
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leonAzul wrote:
If you do the same thing in the same way under the same conditions, then the result will be the same. ;-)

Indeed, and that's probably why you repeat the same nonsense over and over again.

Now stop throwing mud to those who think different, stay on topic and answer the question how recent consciousness is.

percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 7:10:47 AM
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Foundit said: There is no concrete evidence, but we who are engaged in this discussion accept the idea that the possibility is likely, in the same way you accept the possibility of a supernatural being breathing life into a molded lump of clay.

Isn't imagination a wonderful thing? I hope you do not take this as an insult...it is not meant to be, merely an observation.




No offence taken FounDit... Yes, I merely was expressing my view as were you. I do think that the matter of consciousness and self-awareness are real difficulties for those who believe in evolution... not just that they exist, but why they came to exist... why they came into being. Which came first, the voice box or a desire to communicate, etcetera?

I have not commented on this thread, and those like it, very much as I see no outcome, but occasionally I make a short remark or two.


The problem with any thread like this is that it has to go forward on the shifting sands of speculation and therefore cannot reach a scientific conclusion. I mean no offence here at all.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 7:24:26 AM

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For those of you who are unaware that there actually is a vibrant and robust, scientific theory of consciousness, the following is a quote from the introduction, by Francis Schmitt to the book, "The Mindful Brain" by Mountcastle and Edelman published in 1977. This book is composed of two papers that were delivered on the final day at a two week Intensive Study Program of the the Neurosciences Research Program*, a program composed of many of the top investigators in the field. Since that time an entire research foundation, The Neurosciences Institute**, has been founded by Edelman, and upon this theory.


Quote:
" Recognition " of unitary groups is by electrical , ultrastructural ,
and connectionistic action and is precise . Multiple signaling to primary
repertoire groups leads to associative recognition and the formation of a
secondary repertoire of neuronal groups having a higher likelihood of
response than the cell groups of the primary repertoire .
As a result of experience and the formation of secondary
repertoires , structures are formed that discriminate between self inputs
and external inputs .
Consciousness , it is hypothesized , may result from reentrant
signaling that involves associations between current sensory input and
stored patterns of neuronal groups . Details are specified about the
stages in which reentrant signals are processed in relation to responses
in primary and secondary repertoires .
It is important to emphasize that the concept of reentry is a
critical one . Because of the degenerate nature of the proposed selection
process , the absence of reentry would lead to a failure of continuity in
the system as well as a failure to form coordinated abstract representations
of external signals. In other words , reentry guarantees continuity
in a distributed selectional system .. Consciousness may be a kind of
associative recollective updating by reentrant inputs that continually
confirms or alters the theory of the self by parallel sensory or motor
inputs and outputs .


There is also heavy emphasis in this book on the evolutionary origin of the brain, and its architecture, and that there is a definite, and necessary circuitry for the production of consciousness by the brain. So it does have everything to do whether one accepts evolutionary theory or not, as far as whether one can accept that somewhere in evolutionary history consciousness arose. Further depending on your definition of "man", there was definitely a point where brains had awareness of the world, with out awareness of self, as you cannot have the second without the first, and evolution is an incremental process.
So there is a scientific theory of consciousness, it is within an evolutionary paradigm, awareness of the world, and awareness of self are not the same thing, and if you can not recognize this as solid science, then you have a gross misunderstanding of what constitutes science.



*Under the leadership of Francis O. Schmitt, a true scientific impresario, this informal college of scholars and research scientists was organized as the Neurosciences Research Program (NRP) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the next two decades, and through over 250 meetings and 125 scientific publications, the NRP developed innovative formats for intellectual exchange and disseminated knowledge to the worldwide scientific community.
The central group, whose members are called Associates of the NRP, includes no more than 36 scientists at any one time, with each individual serving for a term of seven years before becoming an Honorary Associate.[9] Over the past four decades, the list of current and Honorary Associates is a veritable “Who’s Who” of neuroscience and includes seventeen Nobel Laureates.

**The Neurosciences Institute is a non-profit, scientific research organization dedicated to learning about the brain. Under the leadership of Nobel Laureate Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., the Institute focuses its theoretical and experimental work on the principles underlying how we perceive the world, how we learn and remember, and how consciousness arises.

footnotes from pages at Wikipedia
almostfreebird
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 8:50:38 AM
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Foundit said: There is no concrete evidence, but we who are engaged in this discussion accept the idea that the possibility is likely, in the same way you accept the possibility of a supernatural being breathing life into a molded lump of clay.
Isn't imagination a wonderful thing? I hope you do not take this as an insult...it is not meant to be, merely an observation.


Yes, I do think that imagination is a wonderful thing.

From The Demon-Haunted World(Carl Sagan)

As she often did, my mother had changed her clothes and made up her face in anticipation of my father's arrival. We talked about my fight with Snoony.
The Sun was almost setting and together we
looked out across the choppy waters.

'There are people fighting out there, killing each other,' she said, waving vaguely across the Atlantic.
I peered intently.
'I know,' I replied. 'I can see them.'
'No, you can't,' she replied, sceptically, almost severely, before returning to the kitchen. 'They're too far away.'

How could she know whether I could see them or not? I
wondered. Squinting, I had thought I'd made out a thin strip of land at the horizon on which tiny figures were pushing and shoving and duelling with swords as they did in my comic books.

But maybe she was right. Maybe it had just been my imagination, a little like the midnight monsters that still, on occasion, awakened me from a deep sleep, my pyjamas drenched in sweat, my heart pounding.
How can you tell when someone is only imagining?
I gazed out across the grey waters until night fell and I was called to wash my hands for dinner. When he came home, my father swooped me up in his arms. I could feel the cold of the outside world against his
one-day growth of beard.

On a Sunday in that same year, my father had patiently explained to me about zero as a placeholder in arithmetic, about the wicked-sounding names of big numbers, and about how there's no biggest number ('You can always add one,' he pointed out).
Suddenly, I was seized by a childish compulsion to write in sequence all the integers from 1 to 1,000.
We had no pads of paper, but my father offered up the stack of grey cardboards he had been saving from when his shirts were sent to the laundry.

I started the project eagerly, but was surprised at how slowly it went. When I had gotten no farther than the low hundreds, my mother announced that it was time for me to take my bath. I was disconsolate. I had to get a thousand. A mediator his whole life, my father intervened: if I would cheerfully submit to the bath, he
would continue the sequence. I was overjoyed. By the time I emerged, he was approaching 900, and I was able to reach 1,000 only a little past my ordinary bedtime. The magnitude of large numbers has never ceased to impress me.

Also in 1939 my parents took me to the New York World's Fair.
There, I was offered a vision of a perfect future made possible by science and high technology. A time capsule was buried, packed with artefacts of our time for the benefit of those in the far future -
who, astonishingly, might not know much about the people of 1939. The 'World of Tomorrow' would be sleek, clean, streamlined and, as far as I could tell, without a trace of poor people.

'See sound' one exhibit bewilderingly commanded. And sure
enough, when the tuning fork was struck by the little hammer, a beautiful sine wave marched across the oscilloscope screen.
'Hear light' another poster exhorted. And sure enough, when the flashlight shone on the photocell, I could hear something like the static on our Motorola radio set when the dial was between stations. Plainly the world held wonders of a kind I had never guessed. How could a tone become a picture and light become a noise?

My parents were not scientists.
They knew almost nothing about science.
But in introducing me simultaneously
to scepticism and to wonder,

they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes
of thought that are central to the scientific method.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 10:19:30 AM
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Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
Epiphileon wrote:
For those of you who are unaware that there actually is a vibrant and robust, scientific theory of consciousness, the following is a quote from the introduction, by Francis Schmitt to the book, "The Mindful Brain" by Mountcastle and Edelman published in 1977.

1977, seems to have been 35 years ago.
Quote Epiphileon: “...and there has a lot of work done in this field since then by just as reputable investigators.”


A few more recent quotes taken from: “The Challenge of Consciousness”
by Robert G. Jahn, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR)

Quote:

Attempts to include consciousness within an architecture of rigorous quantitative science encounter several formidable difficulties, among them the elusiveness of its definition, the plethora of mental states that can prevail, the intrinsically subjective character of many forms of experience, the wide variance of individual responses to sensory stimuli , and the capacity for anomalous modes of information acquisition and generation. Nowhere are these characteristics more dramatically demonstrated than in research on mind/matter interactions and remote perception, from which have been compounded large bodies of empirical evidence, but little insight regarding viable theoretical models or profitable strategies for superior experiments.

Definition of the Term
First, there is the enduring fundamental problem of establishing a consensus definition of “consciousness” that is sufficiently firm to convey a scientific concept, yet sufficiently flexible to encompass all of its pertinent psychological, physiological, and physical dimensions. Two decades ago, the term consciousness rarely was invoked in any epistemological context; today it enjoys proliferate applications ranging from brain physiology and psychotherapeutic nomenclature on the one hand, to mystical practice and new-age jargon on the other. We have consciousness journals, professional societies, workshops, encounter groups, and television specials, in each context of which the term functions as a popular buzzword, yet remains only vaguely defined. If we are to undertake a serious science of consciousness , more specificity will be re quired.

One common quick response to this aspect of the “challenge” is simply to propose as a synonym the term “awareness,” but this takes us little closer to any resolution. Awareness of what? Awareness of self? Of physical environment? Of other beings? Of cosmic harmony and purpose? I know that I am aware, and I presume that you are also. I believe that my dog is aware, and I notice that all of the “higher” animals act as if they are aware. But what a bout bacteria and mold spores, trees and rocks? Oceans and icebergs? Planets and stars? Each of these is bombarded with stimuli from its respective environment, and each reacts to the minits appropriate fashion. Are these legitimate forms of consciousness?

Other synonyms may be proposed, but at the end of the day we may be forced to concede some intrinsic ineffability to the concept of consciousness, and take our place in the long line of philosophers, theologians, and mystics who over the ages have waffled in scholarly exasperation over essentially this same problem of specification, e.g.: “I Am That I Am”; “I think, therefore I am”; “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao”; “ If you have to ask the question, you cannot comprehend the answer ” ; etc ., etc.
Consciousness would seem to emerge from this gauntlet of elusiveness as nothing more, but nothing less, than what we are, albeit in the particular environment in which we have that being. Can science handle such an elusive, intangible, enigmatic concept as one of its primary parameters? That indeed is a major portion of our challenge. But there is more much more.


Mind/Brain Dichotomy
Without doubt, the single most perplexing aspect of the challenge of consciousness is the deeply set, long-enduring issue of the relationship of the physical construction, states, and dynamical processes of the brain and its associated neurophysiological networks to the subjective experiences of the mind. The most extreme materialist or physicalist views hold that complete specification of the brain electrodynamics and biochemistry is tantamount to identification of the mental experiences. The most radical dualist perspectives insist that the Cartesian cut is impenetrable and the res cogitans by their nature do not submit to the mechanics of the res extensa. Between these epistemological poles have a risen all manner of hybrid models that attempt to correlate impressionistic experience or intention with corresponding tangible physical events.


Summary
So we must concede that the incorporation of consciousness within the purview of rigorous science indeed presents a huge array of conceptual and methodological problems. As yet we do not really know how to define it , how to characterize it, how to model it, or how to measure its properties. We do not understand its relationships with the physical world, including those with its own physiological mechanics. Its inclusion inevitably will bring with it a universe of subjective experience and expression that does not nestle well into the canons of scientific objectivity, replicability, and quantification, along with a host of mildly and wildly anomalous physical effects. And it will insist in playing only on grossly probabilistic, inherently uncertain terms.

© 2001 Society for Scientific Exploration
ROBERT G. JAHN Princeton University

Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 443–457, 2001 08923310/01



Establishing that real scientists when it comes to "consciousness" in their papers still admit that: “we do not really know how to define it, how to characterize it, how to model it, or how to measure its properties. We do not understand its relationships with the physical world, including those with its own physiological mechanics.” I think it is very legal and on topic here to define the illusion that we can determine since when human beings are “conscious” founded on historical evidence is a complete nonsensical assumption.

(Wondering why Jahn never mentioned Julian Jaynes in this article? Probably they never heard of this guy on Princeton University Think )

Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:11:28 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
Epiphileon wrote:

" Recognition " of unitary groups is by electrical , ultrastructural ,
and connectionistic action and is precise . Multiple signaling to primary
repertoire groups leads to associative recognition and the formation of a
secondary repertoire of neuronal groups having a higher likelihood of
response than the cell groups of the primary repertoire .
As a result of experience and the formation of secondary
repertoires , structures are formed that discriminate between self inputs
and external inputs .
Consciousness , it is hypothesized , may result from reentrant
signaling that involves associations between current sensory input and
stored patterns of neuronal groups . Details are specified about the
stages in which reentrant signals are processed in relation to responses
in primary and secondary repertoires .
It is important to emphasize that the concept of reentry is a
critical one . Because of the degenerate nature of the proposed selection
process , the absence of reentry would lead to a failure of continuity in
the system as well as a failure to form coordinated abstract representations
of external signals. In other words , reentry guarantees continuity
in a distributed selectional system .. Consciousness may be a kind of
associative recollective updating by reentrant inputs that continually
confirms or alters the theory of the self by parallel sensory or motor
inputs and outputs .


Didn't you notice the words “Consciousness , it is hypothesized” in your quote?

It is no more than a hypothesis, one of the many there are.

Yes, it is no secret that science has many theories and models do describe the phenomenon “Consciousness”, like the “Modular Model of Mind/Matter Manifestations” (M5) Jahn is explaining in his article, but there is no overall and commonly accepted definition of it that can be used to judge which living creature is conscious and which one is not, or when and where mankind became conscious, if there would be a reason to presume that “homo-whatever” would ever been unconscious in his history or pre-history.

Science can see a parallel between certain activities in a human brain, and the awareness of that human being. But science has no answer on the question what it is that we can say that we are “aware” of these brain-activities. As long as we do not know why we are “aware” of some activities in our brain, then how can we be sure that other creatures cannot be “aware” of other biochemical processes in their body? Or how many neurons we need and what kind of brain-activities are necessary for awareness, consciousness or meta-consciousness? Maybe the brain of a fly is big enough to give it as much awareness as we have, though it is less intelligent, probably not meta-conscious and less complex programmed as we are, but nevertheless conscious. That is also a hypothesis.

FounDit
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 1:19:32 PM

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Ms B Have wrote:

“As I said before, I understand that people like to share and discus their own ideas only with like-minded sparring partners, [FounDit: these would be known as “Topics” in the forum] without being interrupted by people who have well considered but opposing opinions about that same questions, but then the major question should be if it is wise (?) to organise such a coterie in what is known as an open thread in an open forum. As long as this forum is "open" also different opinions should be welcome.”

Or one could start a topic of his/her own when s/he feels it necessary to dispute the foundation of said topic. Furthermore, all forums are organized into topics of discussion. It is the “wise” approach to such an undertaking.

However, I am somewhat puzzled as to why you feel it necessary to challenge the concept of consciousness in either topic. A definition for consciousness was put forth early on in these discussions, and anyone who agreed with it was invited to participate in that discussion.

If you disagree with the definition, what purpose is served by arguing that definition? And why would not the definition of the Original Poster be the one that should be the standard; particularly at this late date in the discussion?

I am not clear why anyone would seek to dispute it other than to argue for the sake of argument, to seek to exhibit their own intelligence in regard to the topic, to seek equality of acumen with those who do participate, or perhaps something else entirely. It is difficult to perceive.

All of this is, indeed, speculation. It was never intended to be otherwise, nor could it be. It is an effort to question, to probe, to examine a particular point of view. Now, it appears that you wish to alter the foundational topic of the examination months late into the discussion; for what purpose?

I equate it to coming late to a conversation, then insisting that the whole point of the conversation be reset to accommodate your views. It appears very discourteous and disrespectful.

You appear to be a very intelligent woman, so I do not understand how this escapes you. I point this out to you in the hope that you will see a better way to participate, should that be your desire. If, however, your desire is to simply disrupt or argue, you may soon find yourself a lone voice, shouting in the wilderness, wondering why there is no answer.

Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 10:32:37 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
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There is something very weird going on in this thread.

You started this topic with this sentence:

FounDit wrote:
Per our discussion on how recent consciousness developed in humans, this news item seems to me to indicate that it was not a recent developement at all, but has been with us for a very long time...about 41,000 years.


This looks to me as an open question about how recent consciousness developed in humans; nowhere is stated that the answer on that question may only be given based on only one definition of consciousness.

How should anyone know that he/she is not allowed to give his/her opinion about this subject only because he/she is using another definition of the concept consciousness than the topic-starter had in mind and was refering to?

Could you explain to me why in a topic about consciousness only the followers of the Jaynes doctrine have a freedom of speech?

You asked: "If you disagree with the definition, what purpose is served by arguing that definition? And why would not the definition of the Original Poster be the one that should be the standard; particularly at this late date in the discussion?"

The answer is that the answer on the question “how recent is consciousness” depends on what definition is used for consciousness. And as I said above, when you started this topic you did not dictate that the answer on that question was only to be given based on only one preceding definition of consciousness.

What are you trying to find out here? How recent consciousness really is? Or how recent consciousness could have been in case your concept of consciousness would be true?

leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 1:55:25 AM

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Ms. B. Have wrote:

The answer is that the answer on the question “how recent is consciousness” depends on what definition is used for consciousness. And as I said above, when you started this topic you did not dictate that the answer on that question was only to be given based on only one preceding definition of consciousness.


Considering that the only serious scientific investigation into the matter is limited to that working definition, it shouldn't be difficult to understand from context.


Ms. B. Have wrote:

What are you trying to find out here? How recent consciousness really is?


Bingo.

It is a discussion of the captioned topic with emphasis on recent developments in that specific area.

Ms. B. Have wrote:

Or how recent consciousness could have been in case your concept of consciousness would be true?


Since the working definition is a subset of the general concept of conscious derived for the pragmatic purpose of beginning a scientific inquiry into the matter, it would be a bit premature to express any confidence in whether any concept of consciousness is "true". Creating a logically consistent model is just a small part of the process. The real knowledge comes when it can be independently and repeatedly tested. When the results are in, only then can it be confidently said to be "true" or "false," and to what extent or under what conditions.



Ray41
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 3:09:41 AM

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I have not posted for awhile as there is too much deviation away from the point being discussed to a point where the actual topic that is meant to be discussed is getting derailed by some who want to debate whether or not the OP is indeed 'in existence'.Brick wall
This leads to fragmentation, dis-accord, etc. In other words 'plain bloody boring'.d'oh!

This is not a discussion as to whether consciousness, recent or otherwise, is in fact a valid topic. The OP believes that it is, as do many who have discussed it before, and are now trying to discuss this at a deeper level, believing that there is more than just ordinary awareness, and, there is indeed a possible deeper form of consciousness which is still in the process of further evolvement.Think

The topic is not like "Is there a God"?
NO there isn't!
YES there is!
NO!
YES!


Those who are trying to discuss the topic are doing so with a genuine interest.
If you don't wish to acknowledge what is being discussed then go start your own church, order, cult, whatever.

It is simple, start a new topic; "Do you, or, I don't believe in differing types/levels of consciousness".
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 10:26:10 AM
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Afraid of a challenge Ray or are you in favour of cliques? Your post does you no favours. I have followed Miss Behaves postings on both threads and she argued well, and presented a real challenge. As for me, I comment little on either thread for reasons given.
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:53:39 PM

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Ms. B. Have wrote:
Jahn wrote:

© 2001 Society for Scientific Exploration
ROBERT G. JAHN Princeton University

Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 443–457, 2001 08923310/01[/color]



Establishing that real scientists when it comes to "consciousness" in their papers still admit that: “we do not really know how to define it, how to characterize it, how to model it, or how to measure its properties. We do not understand its relationships with the physical world, including those with its own physiological mechanics.” I think it is very legal and on topic here to define the illusion that we can determine since when human beings are “conscious” founded on historical evidence is a complete nonsensical assumption.

(Wondering why Jahn never mentioned Julian Jaynes in this article? Probably they never heard of this guy on Princeton University Think )


No doubt because he didn't think it pertinent to mention any other scientist in this excerpt.

You are, of course, aware that PEAR was abandoned in 2007 for lack of evidence. Despite centuries of anecdote, conjecture, and outright fraud, not a single instance of a testable or repeatable paranormal event could be observed.

Not. One.

Every claim of psychic ability was demonstrated to involve confirmation bias, magical thinking, or clever manipulation that was revealed on careful observation.

Every. Single. One.

They do continue to maintain the archive of reports that was established around 1925.

I would be a bit more careful about the sources I cited.
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 1:23:04 PM

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percivalpecksniff wrote:
Afraid of a challenge Ray or are you in favour of cliques? Your post does you no favours. I have followed Miss Behaves postings on both threads and she argued well, and presented a real challenge. As for me, I comment little on either thread for reasons given.



It makes as much sense to introduce the broader discussion of all the various meanings of the word "consciousness" into a discussion of the intentionally delimited question of investigations into the possibly recent emergence of its current form in humans as it does to repeatably bring up the significance of Sylvia Plath in a discussion of George Eliot, or the relevance of Marie Curie to Mary Gordon.

This has nothing at all to do with personal challenges. It has everything to do with the ability to use critical thinking to properly identify the context of a conversation and respond in a coherent and meaningful manner.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 4:46:00 PM
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“This was an embarrassment to Princeton, to Science, and to their "sacred" hope that there was nothing sacred in the universe, like maybe the Spiritual. Robert Jahn never talked about it this way in his scientific papers describing the work. He had set up experiments to test something, checked out all the variables, analyzed the data, and reported the results. Pure objective Science. The hypocrites screamed at the top of their registers about methodology but it was a smokescreen. This was impossible; and very undesirable. One editor, violating everything that editorship, let alone Science, should be about, told Bob that he'd publish the work only if Bob could telepathically send the paper to him. I cannot resist at this moment referring to that man (the editor) as a pathetic, arrogant jerk, and an enemy of real science.”

Robert Jahn and the Freedom of the Will
Tuesday, August 25, 2009


leonAzul wrote:
You are, of course, aware that PEAR was abandoned in 2007 for lack of evidence. Despite centuries of anecdote, conjecture, and outright fraud, not a single instance of a testable or repeatable paranormal event could be observed.

Not. One.

Every claim of psychic ability was demonstrated to involve confirmation bias, magical thinking, or clever manipulation that was revealed on careful observation.

Every. Single. One.

They do continue to maintain the archive of reports that was established around 1925.

I would be a bit more careful about the sources I cited.





You, leonAzul, are always so rapid in demonizing people who do not agree with what you believe and so skilled in throwing mud to everyone who is expressing another opinion. You should focus more on the real issue and ask yourself what you could learn from people who have studied certain questions more intensively and on a higher level of knowledge and understanding than you did.

If you do not like to read what Robert Jahn is writing about human consciousness, you are free to disregard it, or come up with more reliable data and some good arguments to proof where and why he is wrong. If you do so we could maybe learn something from each other.

Quote:


Robert Jahn

During his career, he worked on electrically powered spacecraft propulsion and rose to be Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science of Princeton University. In 1961, he founded the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton and directed it for more than three decades.

He also studied psychic and parapsychological phenomena for many years.

He is a Fellow of the “American Physical Society” and of the “American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics”, and has been chairman of the “AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee”, associate editor of the “AIAA Journal”, and a member of the “NASA Space Science and Technology Advisory Committee”. He is vice President of the Society for Scientific Exploration and Chairman of the Board of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories consortium. He has been a long-term member of the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. and chairman of its Technology Committee, and a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc. He has received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andhra University.

leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 7:50:28 PM

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Ms. B. Have wrote:

You, leonAzul, are always so rapid in demonizing people who do not agree with what you believe and so skilled in throwing mud to everyone who is expressing another opinion. You should focus more on the real issue and ask yourself what you could learn from people who have studied certain questions more intensively and on a higher level of knowledge and understanding than you did.

If you do not like to read what Robert Jahn is writing about human consciousness, you are free to disregard it, or come up with more reliable data and some good arguments to proof where and why he is wrong. If you do so we could maybe learn something from each other.


Thank you for showing your true colors.

Our words are on public display, and I can confidently point to mine as having never said a single disparaging word against Robert Jahn nor his work.

The chuckles and jokes were entirely uncalled for. To the best of my knowledge Dr. Jahn has conducted himself as a scientist and academician with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

That is precisely why he agreed to end the project. Only a fool would continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

almostfreebird
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 8:25:02 PM
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Edward Jessup is a university professor of abnormal psychology who, while studying schizophrenia, begins to think that "our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states.

Jessup begins experimenting with sensory-deprivation using a flotation tank, and he travels to Mexico to participate in what is apparently an Ayahuasca Ceremony, although his guide states that the Indigenous tribe they are meeting works with Amanita muscaria which they are collecting for next year's ceremonies.

An indigenous elder was seen with Banisteriopsis caapi root in his hand prior to cutting Jessup's hand, adding the ingredient of blood. Immediately after consumption he experiences bizarre, intense imagery. The professor then returns to the U.S. with a tincture and begins taking it orally before each session in the flotation tank where he experiences a series of increasingly drastic psychological and physical transformations.

Edward's mind experiments cause him to experience actual, physical biological devolution. At one stage he emerges from the isolation tank as a feral and curiously small-statured, light-skinned Primitive Man. In a subsequent experiment he is regressed into a mostly amorphous mass of conscious, primordial matter. It is only the physical intervention of his wife Emily which brings him back from this latter, shocking transformation in which he seems poised on the brink of becoming a non-physical form of proto-consciousness and possibly disappearing from our version of reality altogether.

Altered States





Ray41
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:07:37 AM

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percivalpecksniff wrote:
Afraid of a challenge Ray or are you in favour of cliques? Your post does you no favours. I have followed Miss Behaves postings on both threads and she argued well, and presented a real challenge. As for me, I comment little on either thread for reasons given.


Perci, where did I mention Miss Behave? or, do you mean Ms. B. Have?

Afraid of a challenge, me, never in a million years.

Clique's? Please quote from any of my posts where I have answered with clique's.

Before I write here, on this forum, I read what/where the OP is about/going, think about it for a while, may even spend a day or two analyzing my own reasoning, then I start structuring my reply based on the viewpoint that I have arrived at. I edit with painstaking detail, often restructuring before I 'preview'. I read it at least twice to remove any ambiguity and to get the emphasis correct by judicious use of punctuation. It is only then that I post. Sometimes, because I take my time there is often a similar reply that gets posted while I am writing, so, rather than be repetitive, I scrub all of my own work.
If you read any of my posts in the "Origin Of Consciousness" then you would know that from my posts that it was "I" that was doing a considerable amount of 'challenging'.Think

As it was you who brought Ms. B. Haves name into this I will reply to what you wrote about her.
She argues well. Yes, she is very argumentative.
She presents a real challenge. Yes, she is very challenging, virtually bordering on confrontation?


I think that Ms. B. Have is a very intelligent person and often makes some excellent posts, but, she appears to have a chip on her shoulder which is inclined to bring out a certain amount of negativity, or is that just 'combativeness'.Whistle

I also think that her forum name is most appropriate.Dancing

PS: I always use Spell Check, it avoids all those embarrassing little errors.Think


My apologies to FounDit, the OP, for going off the topic of 'Recent Consciousness?'.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:30:16 AM

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almostfreebird wrote:


Edward Jessup is a university professor of abnormal psychology who, while studying schizophrenia, begins to think that "our other states of consciousness are as real as our waking states.

Jessup begins experimenting with sensory-deprivation using a flotation tank, and he travels to Mexico to participate in what is apparently an Ayahuasca Ceremony, although his guide states that the Indigenous tribe they are meeting works with Amanita muscaria which they are collecting for next year's ceremonies.

An indigenous elder was seen with Banisteriopsis caapi root in his hand prior to cutting Jessup's hand, adding the ingredient of blood. Immediately after consumption he experiences bizarre, intense imagery. The professor then returns to the U.S. with a tincture and begins taking it orally before each session in the flotation tank where he experiences a series of increasingly drastic psychological and physical transformations.

Edward's mind experiments cause him to experience actual, physical biological devolution. At one stage he emerges from the isolation tank as a feral and curiously small-statured, light-skinned Primitive Man. In a subsequent experiment he is regressed into a mostly amorphous mass of conscious, primordial matter. It is only the physical intervention of his wife Emily which brings him back from this latter, shocking transformation in which he seems poised on the brink of becoming a non-physical form of proto-consciousness and possibly disappearing from our version of reality altogether.

Altered States


Yes, I am familiar with the writings of John C. Lilly, as well as the writings of Carlos Castañeda.

The dramatizations are just that, no more, no less.

That still doesn't demonstrate its relevancy to the topic at hand: scientific research into how recently human higher order consciousness emerged.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:18:17 AM
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Ok Ray... no sweat.
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:38:59 AM

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Epiphileon wrote:
"For those of you who are unaware that there actually is a vibrant and robust, scientific theory of consciousness, the following is a quote from the introduction, by Francis Schmitt to the book, "The Mindful Brain" by Mountcastle and Edelman published in 1977."

Ms. B. Have wrote:
1977, seems to have been 35 years ago.

Really, I didn't know that arithmetic was a matter of subjectivity, it is indeed actually 35 years ago, and you do seem to have a problem with either comprehension or retention, or are purposely quoting things out of context. Allow me to point out the sentence after next in your abbreviated quote, "Since that time an entire research foundation, The Neurosciences Institute**, has been founded by Edelman, and upon this theory." Thirty five years of productive, advancing, research based on the notions of the original publication speaks to a profoundly robust theoretical basis. Your style of argumentation is combative, and disruptive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreement but, if you can not disagree productively please go away, your antics have completely disrupted this thread. There are plenty of forums on the web where such combative, competitive, argumentation is welcomed, please find one. Prior to your arrival, there was plenty of disagreement on the threads of the larger discussion going on regarding consciousness from a natural science, and evolutionary perspective, but it remained respectful, and on topic. Neither can be said of your participation. The fact that you are still referencing Jaynes is a demonstration of either, complete willful ignorance of what has been said, or,... on second thought, there doesn't seem to be an alternative. Your posts in general display sufficient cognitive abilities that it could not be mere stupidity.
Back to the matter of the referenced work, the full title of the book.
"The Mindful Brain"
"Cortical Organization and the Group-Selective Theory of Higher Brain Function"

Once again this is the original 35 year old work that has being built upon ever since. And here we are back at the sloppy nature of words in general, and why it is important to verify definitions. What do you think qualifies as a formal scientific theory? Do you know the tests of a theory? Do you have any idea at all of the relationships and dynamics, within rigorous science of the concepts of, hypothesis, theory, model, paradigm??? If so you are certainly not demonstrating that knowledge. You said there are many other theories, how many of them are actual formal scientific theories? How many have produced 35 years of continued productive research? How many of them are based on an intimate knowledge of neural architecture and brain physiology?
In an argument of the validity of scientific research into the nature of consciousness, to dismiss a reference to Edelman as an authority is indefensible,

Ms. B. Have wrote:
A few more recent quotes taken from: “The Challenge of Consciousness”
by Robert G. Jahn, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) 2001 Society for Scientific Exploration


to counter that reference with one from an aerospace engineer is abject foolishness.

The Mindful Brain: Cortical Organization and the Group-Selective Theory of Higher Brain Function by Gerald M. Edelman and Vernon B. Mountcastle (MIT press, 1978)

Neural Darwinism: The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (Basic Books, New York 1987).

The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness (Basic Books, New York 1990).

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind (Basic Books, 1992, Reprint edition 1993).

The Brain, Edelman and Jean-Pierre Changeux, editors, (Transaction Publishers, 2000).

A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination, Edelman and Giulio Tononi, coauthors, (Basic Books, 2000, Reprint edition 2001).

Wider than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness (Yale Univ. Press 2004)

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge (Yale University Press 2006)

On the matter of the legitimacy of scientific research into the nature of consciousness, if you cannot see that this work, as well as all the other work being done at the NRI establishes that legitimacy, then you do not understand science. And this is only neuroscience, the rigorous investigation into the nature of human consciousness is a multidisciplinary endeavor that is ongoing. Just because there are people, even intelligent people, that wish to insist it is impossible doesn't mean it isn't happening. There have always been, and probably always will be people who wish to nay say the advancement of knowledge, it really isn't surprising given the nature of the beast. But Columbus didn't fall off the edge of the world, and the Wright brothers succeeded in heavier than air flying machines. So to will we one day understand the nature of consciousness, why? Because there are people who are not afraid to try, people that realize that the road from ignorance to knowledge is paved with investigatory effort. People who realize that knowledge is incremental, and that you can not possibly have the answer in hand, before the question is asked, and that learning how to ask the question is a large part of the task. Those who wish to throw up there hands and scream impossible are welcome to their ignorance, but they are not welcome to keep displaying it in the path of those trying to understand.
This is a fact, there are legitimate, respected, investigators in relevant fields, pursuing this issue, that certainly qualifies it as a sensible area of inquiry, and although none of us on this forum may be as qualified as those folks, we have a reasonable expectation of being able to discuss the issue without disruption. You are being disruptive, you've been told this by at least four participants, and yet you persist, you must be amazingly impressed with your self.


FounDit
sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet on the questions you asked.




almostfreebird
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:53:33 AM
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Epiphileon wrote:
Marissa La Faye Isolde wrote:
To Epiphileon:
In response to your statement:
"But how are these drawings indicative of the awareness of awareness, with the existence of an enduring concept of self?"
I think it is the quality of consciousness itself that allows one to be aware that one is conscious.


I'm sorry but I don't understand, that seems entirely circular to me.





I'm not sure but this image could be the image of "the awareness of awareness":



[image not available]





FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 11:16:53 AM

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almostfreebird,

The image you posted comes very close, I think, but it appears that even animals dream, so I'm not sure that solidifies the concept as we have been discussing it.

This part of the quote, however, "how are these drawings indicative of the awareness of awareness, with the existence of an enduring concept of self?" does seem to me to describe it better in that the drawings (hand prints in my OP) on the cave walls indicate a mind that is:

1) aware of itself within a body
2) aware of itself within an environment
3) aware that it can leave a mark of its existence both for the present and for the future
4) aware of a process by which it can leave that mark
5) aware of a confidence in being able to carry out that process
6) and purely speculatively, I think enjoys a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction in so doing, else the hand prints would not be there on the cave wall.
7) awareness (again speculatively) by others of the significance of those marks because they were not erased or marked over.

These marks then, I think, are the evidence of an enduring state of awareness, the substance of a concept of self, the symbolism of the "I" of the mind, or "me" if you prefer. The fact that a human placed a print of his or her hand on that cave wall tells me that human had concepts; had a concept of concepts; had imagination; envisioned something that did not exist, then created the means to bring it into existence, and that, 41,000 years ago, humans had conscious awareness, and likely may have had it for quite some time prior.
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:25:47 PM

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FounDit wrote:
almostfreebird,

The image you posted comes very close, I think, but it appears that even animals dream, so I'm not sure that solidifies the concept as we have been discussing it.

This part of the quote, however, "how are these drawings indicative of the awareness of awareness, with the existence of an enduring concept of self?" does seem to me to describe it better in that the drawings (hand prints in my OP) on the cave walls indicate a mind that is:

1) aware of itself within a body
2) aware of itself within an environment
3) aware that it can leave a mark of its existence both for the present and for the future
4) aware of a process by which it can leave that mark
5) aware of a confidence in being able to carry out that process
6) and purely speculatively, I think enjoys a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction in so doing, else the hand prints would not be there on the cave wall.
7) awareness (again speculatively) by others of the significance of those marks because they were not erased or marked over.

These marks then, I think, are the evidence of an enduring state of awareness, the substance of a concept of self, the symbolism of the "I" of the mind, or "me" if you prefer. The fact that a human placed a print of his or her hand on that cave wall tells me that human had concepts; had a concept of concepts; had imagination; envisioned something that did not exist, then created the means to bring it into existence, and that, 41,000 years ago, humans had conscious awareness, and likely may have had it for quite some time prior.


These are all very good reasons to remain skeptical of recent consciousness, but until better observations can be made and more data collected, there isn't enough to go on to be really confident one way or another. That is more or less the point that Dr. Jahn was making. For example, although whatever made these is obviously a hominid, there is still some debate over whether they were human, or even whether that really matters.

This is something non-scientists often don't grasp. Sure it's nice to get the glory for a newly accepted theory, but what is really satisfying and keeps a scientist going through all the tedium and doubt is just being a part of the process of settling the question.
almostfreebird
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:10:04 AM
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Then I wonder what scientific mind is.

Only scientists have scientific mind?
Ordinary people don't have scientific mind?

A lot of science fiction writers who were not scientists influenced and stimulated the mind of sleepers who became professional scientists later.






almostfreebird
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:45:29 AM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with Ms. B. Have, all things considered.







abcxyz
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:16:57 PM
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FounDit wrote:
Per our discussion on how recent consciousness developed in humans, this news item seems to me to indicate that it was not a recent developement at all, but has been with us for a very long time...about 41,000 years.

Even Neanderthals were known to decorate their tools and bodies....very interesting.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/14/spanish-cave-paintings-shown-as-oldest-in-world/

I loved the line at the end.

What? Fred and Barney had art!!


I do not deny the existence of the desire in present-day humans to decorate themselves and we can have a lengthy discussion as to the motivation of it, but as of the prehistoric people I'd speculate it was probably the need to differentiate one clan from another, and not a desire to create art.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:00:57 PM

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almostfreebird wrote:

I don't think there's anything wrong with Ms. B. Have, all things considered.


Miss B's pseudonym Lucinda Vere wrote here last night telling we will see Miss B again in 2039 after her temporary suspension (!?). Lucinda's post was deleted within couple of hours, so not many had opportunity to see it.

There was no mention of the particular "merits" the suspension was given.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:06:46 PM
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I am sorry to see Miss Behave go if that is the case. I think she won the argument here in this thread and its sister thread. She was not always polite, but she had a keen mind and put some folk to flight... adieu dear lady.

I wonder who hid in the wings and reported her.
almostfreebird
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:09:48 PM
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FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:11:10 PM

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abcxyz wrote:


I do not deny the existence of the desire in present-day humans to decorate themselves and we can have a lengthy discussion as to the motivation of it, but as of the prehistoric people I'd speculate it was probably the need to differentiate one clan from another, and not a desire to create art.



Seems I'm always late to the significant events. I missed it – but to the topic.

You may be right about the need to differentiate one clan from another, but do you not think the very idea or concept would have had to have been developed first in order to do that?

We will, of course, never know how it all developed, but I can imagine it started with the discovery of certain plants or clays and their coloring ability, especially the skin, that might have been the impetus.

The important part, however, is the fact that hominids had the imagination and inventiveness to use these things to create images of what they visualized or literally saw in their world. What an amazing advancement in the brain that was!
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