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Origin of thought

zigoteau zigoteau at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 27 06:29:35 EST 2004

Jim  (uhor3rih at hotmail.com) wrote in message <11Ozd.125397$dP1.450776 at newsc.telia.net>

Hi, Jim,

I hope this answer appears correctly in the thread. Google Groups Beta
is being beastly to me.

>  Thanks for your answer. I have problem to 
> believe it starts there. 

As I said, the argument from personal incredulity.

> It should then start at a molecular 
> and the smaller sub atomic levels. 

What do you mean by that? This seems to imply that you conceive a
thought to have no cause. This is not the way I conceive of thinking.

I believe that the essential part of thinking can be described in
terms of the firing of neurons (nerve cells). While this of course
depends on processes at the atomic level and below, the local
potential across the membrane of an axon involves billions of
molecules. The phenomenological description does not require quantum
mechanics. Quantum randomness gives rise to a certain rate of error
which does not interfere too much with the main function of helping us
to survive.

> But do we then 
> control what happens? 

No, certainly not in the sense of detailed control.

Could I ask whether you gave your parents detailed instructions about
the design parameters of the baby you were to become?

I think the answer is "no". You are what you find yourself to be.  

Anyone can turn on a television set and it will function, even if that
person does not understand how it functions. (Most) human beings
think, but the process is not the result of conscious control.

> And how can we control the
> start of a biochemical thought if there are no chemical 
> reactions before that one?

But I believe there were chemical reactions going on in the bodies of
our parents, and in their parents before them.

> But of course, if our thoughts just happen in random :0)

>From a certain perspective that is exactly true.

Best regards,


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