an interesting article, but regarding this
The experience of conscious awareness
Such dilemmas plague just about every proposed feature of life. Responding to the environment is not a talent limited to living organisms—we have designed countless machines that do just that.
- something which every one of us reading this post can verify for themselves in this present moment - is not
something machines are capable of. There is
a difference, and even a little child can see this, unlike some mechanistic philosophers and scientists who wish to reduce all of experience to atoms and molecules. I've heard all of this before, I'm afraid.
“Avida is not a simulation of evolution; it is an instance of it,” Robert Pennock of Michigan State University told Carl Zimmer in Discover. “All the core parts of the Darwinian process are there. These things replicate, they mutate, they are competing with one another. The very process of natural selection is happening there. If that’s central to the definition of life, then these things count.”
But does this program have even one
experience of conscious awareness? No.
That is not to say that consciousness is self; but rather, that it is immaterial,
does not arise from some special combination of matter, and
is at least
as real as the atoms and molecules that make up these bodies of ours.
"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
To say that name-and-form
depend on one another 'for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world', isn't
the same as saying that they are, ultimately, one and the same thing.