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        Presentation to

         

        TOWARDS A SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

 

        Conference, Tucson 2010 Add your comment on item 11

 

         

        Laurence J. Victor  4/16/2010

 

 

        SPECULATIONS ON THE

        EVOLUTION OF

        HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS

 Add your comment on item 22

        PRESENTATION

        SCRIPT

 


 

        SPECULATIONS ON THE

        EVOLUTION OF HUMAN ONSCIOUSNESS Add your comment on item 33

 

        Intro   -

         

        AWAKEN !!   Add your comment on item 44

        for  - I hope - one more stimulating talk. Add your comment on item 55

        They call me Larry. Add your comment on item 66

        Living in Tucson, I've attended all of these conferences from their origin in 1994. Add your comment on item 77

        My poster session was recently boosted

         to live performance  Add your comment on item 88

        - the first I've given in over a decade. Add your comment on item 99

        I've extended my poster presentation to include  Add your comment on item 1010

        The Future Evolution of Consciousness. Add your comment on item 1111

        For merit badges, I have four old college degrees: including two PhDs, in

        Physics from Yale in 1965
and
 Add your comment on item 1212

        Educational psychology from Minnesota in 1970. Add your comment on item 1313

         

         

        No PowerPoint,

        You can avoid the confusion. Add your comment on item 1414

        In 4 scenes, I will lob many heavy sentences at you, prepare your auditory system. Add your comment on item 1515

        Some are heavy in potential.
See how many you can field.
 Add your comment on item 1616

        I cannot speak truths,  Add your comment on item 1717

        I can only speculate. Add your comment on item 1818

        As our "time is short",
I have eliminated this phrase
from its many places in this presentation.
 Add your comment on item 1919


 

        SCENE 1 Add your comment on item 2020

           
From Prairie Dogs to Our African Galapagos

 Add your comment on item 2121

        When did "WE" begin?

 Add your comment on item 2222

        "WE" didn't begin with Ardi or Lucy,
 
but as "bacteria becoming algae".
 Add your comment on item 2323

        I will skip to when "WE" romped as little prairie dogs

under the feet of thunder lizards.
 Add your comment on item 2525

        "WE" were social beings then,

some 85 million years ago.
 Add your comment on item 2727

        More recent humans didn't invent interpersonal relationships and community Add your comment on item 2828

        It goes way back; and

social perception and organization   are

unique neural sub-systems   in all mammals.

 Add your comment on item 3131

        "WE" quickly distinguished   "our own kind"

from other things in our environments.
 Add your comment on item 3333

         

        I relate to prairie dogs

since first observing them when

moving from Minnesota to Arizona in 1971.

 Add your comment on item 3636

        Thousands of prairie dogs
stretching to the horizon.

 Add your comment on item 3737

        Nearby a fellow popped up from his hole,
stretched and then looked around.

 Add your comment on item 3838

        About 20 feet away another prairie dog
was preening by another hole.

 Add your comment on item 3939

        The first fellow was obviously attracted and slowly crossed
the space between the holes.

 Add your comment on item 4040

        But, before the gap was crossed
another prairie dog came up from the first hole,
 Add your comment on item 4141

        looked around,
immediately spotted the first fellow
 - rose up and squealed.

 Add your comment on item 4242

        The first fellow immediately stopped, turned and ran back to his hole and was scolded.

 Add your comment on item 4343


 

         

        Is this just stimulus-response behavior, with no associated experientials?

 Add your comment on item 4444

        Their experientials
are quite different from ours,
 Add your comment on item 4545

         

        But, I am cannot
assume their experientials are inferior,
let alone absent.


 

        Leaping ahead to about
7 million years ago,
the Rift valley in Africa
had been transforming
for some 20 million years
.

 Add your comment on item 4646

        Chimps, bonobos and "WE"
began to differentiate.

 Add your comment on item 4747

        Here I introduce my
African Galapagos
Speculative Hypothesis
.

 Add your comment on item 4848

        There was
Great Flooding in the Rift Valley
.

 Add your comment on item 4949

        "WE" ended up isolated
for a considerable time on islands
 Add your comment on item 5050

        while our chimp and bonobo cousins retreated to other higher ground.

 Add your comment on item 5151

        Islands with trees would have given
human precursors
TWO developmental environments:
 Add your comment on item 5252

        arboreal and aquatic,
having potential influence
for cognitive development.

 Add your comment on item 5353

        Islands might have been free of predators, Add your comment on item 5454

        giving early humans freedom to develop child development strategies.

 Add your comment on item 5555

        Watching from trees "WE"
could have warned of
the arrival of potential
predators and fish schools
.

 Add your comment on item 5656

        Bipedalism
occurs in all primates when wading.
 Add your comment on item 5757

        Fishing and other aquatic activities
would strengthen bipedalism.

        Feet for climbing
would have been an
advantage working crude nets and
gathering food from lake floors.

 Add your comment on item 5858

        Diving may have developed
greater breath control important for the evolution of human speech.
 Add your comment on item 5959

        Hairlessness may have emerged at this time; later useful for heat control
when marathon hunting.
 Add your comment on item 6060

        Eventually the water receded
and the new humans precursors
migrated to other settings in the Rift region.

         

        This may have been an
unique,
punctuated,
evolutionary moment

in "OUR" history

 Add your comment on item 6161

        when many of
our uniquely human traits
got their
initial push.
 Add your comment on item 6262

         

        For reference: Add your comment on item 6363

        Ardi lived about 4.4 
million years ago

and
 Add your comment on item 6464

        Lucy about 3.2 
million years ago
. Add your comment on item 6565


 

        SCENE  2 -   The Emergence of Experientials

 Add your comment on item 6666

        I must skip over many interesting events
in our travels from then to now:

        our emergent technologies and brain growth, Add your comment on item 6767

        our migrations and near extinctions, Add your comment on item 6868

        and
the development of
advanced cognitive processes.
 Add your comment on item 6969

         

        I wish to present some alternative queries
for how and why
our more contemporary experientials emerged.
 Add your comment on item 7070



      AN ASIDE:
I avoid using the term "consciousness".

 Add your comment on item 7171

      Why is the latest to emerge used
as reference
 to all precursors and contexts?

 Add your comment on item 7272

      Do we talk about trees as leaves,
sub-leaves
and un-leaves,
 Add your comment on item 7373

        in analogy to our sub-conscious
and un-conscious?



 Add your comment on item 7474

         

         

        Leaping over the interesting nature
of mammalian and primate minds,

        let us speculate on the
emergence
of our contemporary mental situation
 Add your comment on item 7575

        with an
"unobservable observer
observing explicit experientials
- gestalts of figures and grounds
".

 Add your comment on item 7676

        What if our first explicit experientials
were dreams and hallucinations;
that intruded into our
normal mammalian flow-minds?

 Add your comment on item 7777

        These dreams would have been quite different
from our current dreams.

 Add your comment on item 7878

        What if dreamer artistic savants
first painted cave walls,
sculpted figurines, danced and sang
- later to be imitated?
 Add your comment on item 7979

         

        What if the beautiful and the grotesque
came initially from within,
not as attempts to represent
perceptions of external reality?
 Add your comment on item 8080

 

 

 

        Might all this be
consequences of enhanced cognitive processes needed to organize
 Add your comment on item 8181

        more complex data sets
and to plan for activities over larger time spans?

 Add your comment on item 8282

        Might some neural subsystems
have been cloned and applied
to new data sets?

 Add your comment on item 8383

        Might spirals of
alternating analysis and synthesis emerge,
some which may occur
between brain hemispheres
?

 Add your comment on item 8484

        Imagine languaging (in Maturana's sense)
and symbolic expression emerging from this.

 Add your comment on item 8585

        Might visual-images and word-sounds
intrude as experientials
from new "inner" symbols
used in advanced brain computation?
 Add your comment on item 8686

         

        Might we have continued to function
behaviorally in most waking life,
as we had as mammals,
while new explicit experientials
intruded as dreams and hallucinations?
 Add your comment on item 8787

 

 

        Might our everyday communication with others
have continued primarily by gestures,
and other older systems of expression;
which soon were employed
to share our dream experiences in rituals?

 Add your comment on item 8888

        I have long pondered
on why the corpus callosum
is the last major part of our neural system
to biologically mature,
delaying full inter-hemispheric communication.
 Add your comment on item 8989

         

        Might this very late maturation
protect children and youth
from early confusion
between
primitive mammalian cognition and
the new emergence
of explicit experientials and language?

 Add your comment on item 9090

         

        Might autism indicate burps
in this integration of old and new minds?
 Add your comment on item 9191

 

         

         

         

         

         

         

        In summary, Add your comment on item 9292

         

        I speculate
that what we view as human "consciousness",
or what I prefer to call explicit "experientials",
 Add your comment on item 9393

        emerged from our dream states,
penetrating the earlier flow states
of mammalian minds,

 Add your comment on item 9494

        and these two forms of mind
continue in their dance of integration.
 Add your comment on item 9595

         

        Might the awesome diversity
of human cognitive and experiential competencies
have resulted from this dance;
 Add your comment on item 9696

        providing humankind with a potential
not seen in most other species:

 Add your comment on item 9797

        a    diversity of minds
 as   great
as the   diversity   of
biological cell types,
in  methods of surviving
in their   biomes.

 Add your comment on item 9898


 

         

        SCENE 3
Deep Features of
Contemporary Humankind

 Add your comment on item 9999

        I must again leap over
many exciting adventures of our ancestors:
 Add your comment on item 100100

         

        living near the great ice sheets
and in the vast tracts of fertile lowlands
 Add your comment on item 101101

         

        (lowlands equivalent to the landmass of Africa
 - now covered by water
& waiting for anthropologists)
 Add your comment on item 102102

         

        living through
the climatic tumult
of the great warming & cooling
and torrential melt floods

 Add your comment on item 103103

        learning intimacy with other species
through domestication
 Add your comment on item 104104

         

        exploring variations of culture and language Add your comment on item 105105

 

         

        Participating in the emergence of
agriculture, trade,
cities
;  and
then
civilization,
war,
empire
,
and our contemporary era.
 Add your comment on item 106106

         

        The fields of experientials
 probably expanded and further diversified during this time;
through a process we might call
cultural epigenetics.
 Add your comment on item 107107

         

         I will now briefly cite
some important characteristics of contemporary "states" of mind,
consciousness, and world.
 Add your comment on item 108108

 

        Then, I will speculate
on a positive alternative futures
for our continuing evolution.
 Add your comment on item 109109


 

         

        CONSIDER 2
FUNDMENTAL QUERIES
: Add your comment on item 110110

         

        [1]   Add your comment on item 111111

        Might the
Physical Correlates of Consciousness
be "located" in
a holarchy of nested biological systems,
not located in one holon,
such as neural systems?

         

        [2] 
WHAT IS MORE FUNDAMENTAL:
"SELF" OR "WORLD"?
 Add your comment on item 112112

       
I AM AN AUTOPIETIC WORLD
,
which contains a SELF.
 Add your comment on item 113113

         

        All that "I Know about Everything"
is of/in my World/Self.

        I have no direct access to an external reality;
but I do have strong evidence of OTHERS.

 Add your comment on item 114114

        "WorldWeaving"
may be a fundamental process of all life;
 Add your comment on item 115115

        This 3-decade speculation is being now being approached by Default Mode Networks. Add your comment on item 116116

 

 

        CONSIDER TWO
FEATURES OF THE MODERN MIND
: Add your comment on item 117117

         

        [1] 
CONSIDER:
THE VAST GAP
BETWEEN SAVANTS AND THE DISABLED:
 Add your comment on item 118118

         the extraordinary range
of human competencies.
 Add your comment on item 119119

         

        Individual differences in
Cognitive Competencies

in the contemporary human population
 Add your comment on item 120120

        may be as vast as the
differences between all mammals in their means for surviving in their biomes.
 Add your comment on item 121121

         

        Vast individual differences occur in the "quality" of our experientials,

 Add your comment on item 122122

        including our ability to
experience and manipulate mental images.
 Add your comment on item 123123


 

        A PERSONAL NOTE:

 Add your comment on item 124124

        After discovering, at age 22, 
that I had no visual imagery
 Add your comment on item 125125

        I went on to discover
that I lacked mental imagery
in all sensory modalities.

 Add your comment on item 126126

        To date,
I have encountered no persons
and no reports of any person
as deficient as I as to mental imagery.

 Add your comment on item 127127

        I've been informally
researching the phenomenon since.

 Add your comment on item 128128

        As my discovery was at the time research
into mental imagery was
escaping from the prison of behaviorism,
 Add your comment on item 129129

        my claims for having no mental imagery resulted in virtual rotten tomatoes
thrown at me from audiences of
students of mental imagery.
 Add your comment on item 130130

         

        Yet, most of my closest friends have extraordinary abilities with mental imagery,

        and reports of their individual differences (observed from my null point)
demonstrate great diversity.

 Add your comment on item 131131

        This cognitive diversity may be essential
for sustainable viability of
Global Humanity in Balance with Gaia.
 Add your comment on item 132132

         

        [2] 
CONSIDER:
CONSCIOUSNESS CAN
EVOLVE DURING ADULT LIFE.
 Add your comment on item 133133

 

        ADULT STAGE DEVELOPMENT
may be the most
neglected phenomenon by science.

 Add your comment on item 134134

        A few early models propose about
5 very distinct "stages"
of adult human epistemological processing.

 Add your comment on item 135135

        High intelligence and creativity
can exist in all stages.

 Add your comment on item 136136

        Primitive measures show a distribution
where only a very small percent
 Add your comment on item 137137

        of the population Add your comment on item 138138

        (in a sample of educated Westerners)
are at the highest stages.

 Add your comment on item 139139

        Most leaders of social institutions
are not at the highest stages.

 Add your comment on item 140140

        Civilization greatly retards
adult stage development.

 Add your comment on item 141141

        Facilitating adult stage development remains a challenge, but nothing says it can't be done. Add your comment on item 142142


SCENE  4   Future Evolution

We now  leap  rom our
contemporary Crisis-of-Crises
to speculation on
the future evolution  of  human consciousness.
 Add your comment on item 143143

        Given we have  much yet to learn
about relationships in

 Add your comment on item 144144

        the  molecular,   cellular,  physiological,  neural,  and  socio-cultural  domains

 Add your comment on item 145145

        we  cannot say  that
little to no   "evolution"
occurred in  historical time,
 Add your comment on item 146146

        or is  not occurring  at this moment. Add your comment on item 147147

         

        IMHO
the impacts of Kurzweilian fantasies:
 Add your comment on item 148148

        longevity extension,   DNA manipulation, cyborging,   AI Singularities, Add your comment on item 149149

        extra-terrestrial fusions,  space colonization, spiritual transcendence, etc. Add your comment on item 150150

        are all moot,
If we don't  quickly resolve
our  
current difficulties.
 Add your comment on item 151151

         

        Consider first  a  few FACTORS
relevant  to our  situation  and
then a few  ACTIONS  we may take
to  shift  us to  better paths.
 Add your comment on item 152152

         

        CIVILIZATION  IS THE  PROBLEM

 Add your comment on item 153153

        I  define  CIVILIZATION
as a  social paradigm
where  small elites  manipulate
the  vast masses  for the  benefit of the elite.

 Add your comment on item 154154

        Civilization  is the  default paradigm
if no other alternative  is available. 
Only  TODAY  are alternatives available.
 Add your comment on item 155155

         

        Read Carolyn Baker and Daniel Quinn on the necessary  collapse of  Civilization.

 Add your comment on item 156156

        CIVILIZATION  IS A  SYSTEM THAT PRODUCES DEPRESSED PHENOTYPES. Add your comment on item 157157

         

        Genotype -
is the distribution of variation in the DNA or genes of the living human population.
 Add your comment on item 158158

        Phenotype -
is the distribution of developed features of humans, in the living human population.

 Add your comment on item 159159

        I know of  no living species
where the  action of the species,  
itself, 
so depresses  its phenotype,
in actualizing  from its  genotype.
 Add your comment on item 160160

         

        Babies   of healthy mothers  are
mostly healthy  and  ready to live.
 Add your comment on item 161161

        Compare this with
the  vital statistics  of   humankind today.

 Add your comment on item 162162

         

        THE  TRIVIALIZED QUARTET
   are  FOUR PARADIGMS  FOR DEPRESSING PHENOTYPES

 Add your comment on item 163163

        Teaching,   Studying,
Planning,  and   Managing

 Add your comment on item 164164

        If  human mind/brains embedded in cultures are the most  complex systems
in the  known universe,
 Add your comment on item 165165

        then
- in conformity with
Ashby's  2nd  Law of Cybernetics,
The  Law of Requisite Variety -
 Add your comment on item 166166

        any process for facilitating meaningful change
in such systems must  match that complexity.
 Add your comment on item 167167

        Simplicity  is a  social analog
to  perpetual motion -
it won't work.

 Add your comment on item 168168

        Consequently,
these  four basic processes  have been
grossly trivialized  in Civilization.

 Add your comment on item 169169

        Formal education,
at its very best,  has  features that depress phenotype actualization.

 Add your comment on item 170170

        Independent self-learning  has
severe  intrinsic  limitations;
 Add your comment on item 171171

        as quality learning is ultimately a social process.

 Add your comment on item 172172

        For cybernetic reasons, Add your comment on item 173173

        education  will  never be viable
until  quality learners  are the
primary deciders  of policies & practices,
 Add your comment on item 174174

        not instructors or knowledge domain experts.

 Add your comment on item 175175

        In honor of Donald Michael I have re-defined "education" as: Add your comment on item 176176

        Organizing-for-Learning & Learning-for-Organizing. Add your comment on item 177177

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Critical Actions Add your comment on item 178178

         

        UPLIFT

 Add your comment on item 179179

        UPLIFT  is a  label
I give to the  process that enables
the "proper"  phenotype actualization
of our  contemporary genotype.

 Add your comment on item 180180

        What is "proper" 
will need  considerable effort  to determine,
but we can  easily establish
some important  initial  objectives and limits.

        In a  creatively enabled,
Action/Research   process
we can  rapidly shift  the
DISTRIBUTION
of   human cognitive competencies
from that of   today
to what can be  optimally achieved.

 Add your comment on item 181181

        THIS IS UPLIFT.

 Add your comment on item 182182

        It is  much, much more  than
eliminating poverty  and
giving everyone  schooling and employment.

 Add your comment on item 183183

 

 

        One feature of UPLIFT is
BOOTSTRAPPING
 Add your comment on item 184184

        via use of  SCAFFOLDING  and Scripting/Performing Spirals, Add your comment on item 185185

        which  Integrates
intuitive flow  with  engineering design. Add your comment on item 186186

            Add your comment on item 187187

         

        Another feature of  viable  UPLIFT
is the  
social  enzymatic  effect of
SEAFing,
 Add your comment on item 188188

        Accelerating   personal and social  change
by  orders of magnitude.
 Add your comment on item 189189

 

 

        A SEAFWEB
is a  network  of  new workers
Supporting,
Enabling,
Augmenting,
and
Facilitating
 Add your comment on item 190190

        individuals and teams  in their
learning and collaborating,
 Add your comment on item 191191

        Assisting them to do  what they can't do alone. Add your comment on item 192192

 

 

        Un-Trivializing the Quartet  can  provide tools for  rapid  BOOTSTRAPPED UPLIFT. Add your comment on item 193193

 

 

 

        Liberating 
Information  and  Computational Technology from  commercial  and military  constraints
 Add your comment on item 194194

        will   unleash a blossoming
of   new tools and techniques
to synergize
synchronous & asynchronous  Interactivity
 Add your comment on item 195195

        and  energize  holarchical  collaboration. Add your comment on item 196196

 

 

 

        Most of this can be started
and be  globally significant
in  less than a decade,
and  under the radar  of potential oppressors.
 Add your comment on item 197197

 

 

 

        To succeed,
the goal of UPLIFT
must be the
REPLACEMENT of CIVILIZATION,
not its REFORM.
 Add your comment on item 198198

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Two Metaphors for UPLIFT are useful: Add your comment on item 199199

         

        Human Metamorphosis is our first metaphor:

 Add your comment on item 200200

        “Human” Metamorphosis:
Holarchically, from Personal to Planetary.
 Add your comment on item 201201

         

        Caterpillars don't  TRANSFORM
into  Butterflies
.

         

        Butterflies  EMERGE
within the  decaying caterpillar
from self-organizing  Imaginal buds:
clusters of small cells
within the  body of the living caterpillar,

        that are  "embryonic"  components
of the  coming butterfly
.

 Add your comment on item 202202

        Both Caterpillar and Butterfly cells
carry  TWO  genomes!
 Add your comment on item 203203

         

        It is up to us to  creatively
invent the "menome"
for our societal butterfly, and  quickly.
 Add your comment on item 204204

 

        The collapsing  Caterpillar of Civilization
must be  seriously accounted for,
 Add your comment on item 205205

        but   it can't be reformed
to sprout wings, grow new eyes,
or spindly legs
.

 Add your comment on item 206206

        The Emergence of  Add your comment on item 207207

        Eukaryotic life
from
Prokaryotic life
 Add your comment on item 208208

       
is our second metaphor.


 Add your comment on item 209209

        How the world of  VISIBLE LIFE
emerged as  "hair"  on the
microbiol world of  INVISIBLE LIFE
 Add your comment on item 210210

        can  teach us  much
about the  more recent and ongoing  emergence of cognitive life from biological life.


 Add your comment on item 211211

        We are as Nu-Amphibians. Add your comment on item 212212

        What is unique about humans is
beyond biology,
but dependent on
biological substrates.
 Add your comment on item 213213

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        POSTSCRIPT -

 Add your comment on item 214214

        My story is far from complete,
but I have pushed my allotted time.

        I have not talked about

        the origins
of the
"unobservable observer".

        I speculate with panpsychics

that this may be a cosmic primitive
and that our search for
its origins in ourselves is misdirected.

         

        Text of this talk, and an expanded & annotated outline are available online.

         

        I welcome comments.

 

        thank you for receiving