Thursday, 13 July 2017
-Poul Anderson, "Lodestar" IN Anderson, The Earth Book Of Stormgate (New York, 1979), pp. 368-408 AT p. 389.
Is it? I thought that the human brain was more complex than anything else. See here.
Some will reply that the brain must be complex to generate self-consciousness and intelligence. However, mere complexity is insufficient to generate these phenomena. Below reflective self-consciousness, which includes intelligence, is mere consciousness of the environment and below that is immediate sensation, e.g., feeling hot or cold.
Consciousness requires interaction between two entities such that one of the entities becomes the subject and the other becomes the object of consciousness. These entities are an organism and its environment. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation. A complex central nervous system became necessary, and was naturally selected, to process immediate sensations into perceptions of discrete objects. Then, even greater complexity became necessary to think about the environment.
Thus, in the generation of intelligence, organism-environment interaction was primary and complexity was secondary. A mere complex artifact cannot be intelligent.