Can robots become self-aware?

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Mastermind
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#61

Post by Mastermind » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:04 pm

That's because age has an effect on how your voice forms. Once you're too old, you'll never be rid of an accent for example. That's why you need to be taught at an early age.

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#62

Post by Prodigal Son » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:34 pm

BobSmith,

apes do have language and they do use tools.

neanderthals, and homo erectus NEVER existed.

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#63

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:16 pm

Yeah...if any of the neanderthall bones were real, they were just humans...and homo erectus, I read, shouldn't even have existed.

And...colors....what apes have is not considered a language. They have some audible signals, grunting, howling, and the such...but they don't form sentences and hold conversations.
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#64

Post by Prodigal Son » Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:05 pm

attentionkmartshoppers,

the manner in which apes communicate is considered a language. just because you can't understand it doesn't mean they can't! :lol: also, if apes are able to form sentences in our language, what makes you think they can't form sentences in their own language?

language: audible, articulate, meaningful sound as produced by the action of the vocal organs; a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings; the suggestion by objects, actions, or conditions of associated ideas or feelings; the means by which animals communicate.

more fun info.: apes also have culture that they pass onto their children.

dolphins have first and last names, and designate babysitters to their young when away from the pod.

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#65

Post by BobSmith » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:08 am

Languages do not evolve-they go in the opposite direction. You don't start with grunts, which don't turn into words, which don't turn into setences, etc.
You can't possibly know that as it hasn't been tested
The study with apes seems to show that, basically, humans could not have taught themselves to speak....because, as you see, apes can be taught some basics, but they do not pass it on to others, and when they die, so did all the years of teaching
Ape brains have not evolved to facilitate language*. What people are doing there is getting intelligent creatures to memorise and mimic. Even if they don't pass it down just means they are different from us. It certainly does not prove that language can't evolve. As you have pointed out Feral children cannot learn language, so it is clear that the human brain has a function that facilitates humans to absorb languages at a young age. Perhaps the human brain also comes with other language related functions such as a paternal instinct to pass language down. If apes don't have such language related brain functions - not even rudimentary versions - then it is not suprising that apes cannot pass down languages.

But this does not disprove language evolution because noone says that modern apes should be able to learn languages if evolution were true. First of all we evolved from ancient apes, not modern apes, so species like chimpanzees and gorillas do not represent our ancestors but our cousins.

Language and upright walking are two abilities we have that modern apes do not have. According to evolution these abilities evolved after our lineage seperated from ancient apes. So there is little use looking at modern apes for clues to the primer of language evolution. That primer could very well not exist in modern apes - why should it?

We might as well be looking at fish, or reptiles that also don't have these abilities. What we need to look at is the point at which language is theorised to have arisen - in ancient hominids. Unfortunately they are all extinct so all is left is fossils.

The fossil record of ancient hominids such as homo erectus and Australopithecus shows the ability to walk upright developed gradually over the last 4 million or so years. It also shows that average brain size increased over this time too from chimp-sized brains to human-sized brains.


*Just to clarify what I mean when I say language - I mean human language with complex grammar, not grunts and hand gestures

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#66

Post by Dan » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:12 am

BobSmith wrote: The fossil record of ancient hominids such as homo erectus and Australopithecus shows the ability to walk upright developed gradually over the last 4 million or so years. It also shows that average brain size increased over this time too from chimp-sized brains to human-sized brains.


*Just to clarify what I mean when I say language - I mean human language with complex grammar, not grunts and hand gestures
It's a shame brain size has next to nothing to do with actual brain power. Elephants have larger brains than us, do you see them curing cancer? Neandrethals had larger brains, but somehow they were dumb relatively speaking?

Evolutionary arguments don't make sense.

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#67

Post by Prodigal Son » Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:44 am

BobSmith,
just to claify what i mean when i say language...

oh, so you're making up your own definition of language now? :lol:

i don't think life works that way.

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#68

Post by BobSmith » Sun Apr 03, 2005 2:34 pm

Dan wrote: It's a shame brain size has next to nothing to do with actual brain power. Elephants have larger brains than us, do you see them curing cancer? Neandrethals had larger brains, but somehow they were dumb relatively speaking?
I didn't say that brain size did have anything to do with brain power. What I was suggesting is that the fossil record shows hominid brain sizes increasing over millions of years from chimp-sized to human-sized. Basically ape brains to human brains. We already know human brains are more "powerful" so yes it is an increase in power. If the human brain itself has become more powerful over time, and language ability is a part of the brain then that language ability may have developed over time.

Also there is no reason why Neandertal would be dumb even relatively speaking seeing as they had quite similarly sized brains to us (only a little larger on average, which as you pointed out tells us nothing about their intelligence). Neandertal are not our ancestors. They existed alongside our ancestors but their range of characteristics (bone sizes, skull shapes etc) fall outside homo sapien ranges. Neandertal DNA has been analysed and it suggests that even if they could interbreed with our ancestors they didn't do it enough to have greatly contributed ot our gene pool.
colors wrote: oh, so you're making up your own definition of language now?
No I was clarifying my use of the word. You argued that chimps do have language which I think you are probably right about. But I only want to focus on human language with complex grammar because that is what some people are claiming cannot evolve over time. I am not saying I know that it evolved over time, but that there is no reason to know that it didn't.

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#69

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:20 pm

But this does not disprove language evolution because noone says that modern apes should be able to learn languages if evolution were true. First of all we evolved from ancient apes, not modern apes, so species like chimpanzees and gorillas do not represent our ancestors but our cousins.
Starting back from the earliest known language, and working towards the present, linguistics have found that languages have devolved (Evolution of a Creationist I believe). Bob Smith, your argument seems to be "anything can happen, just give it time." (that, and those species of early man aren't really humans, or semi-humans, etc-australiopithicus (a pygmee chimpanzee) and Neanderthall (humans)). It's difficult to disprove something you take solely on faith Bob Smith. And if you come back at us with the same argument, it won't last two seconds :wink: .
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#70

Post by BobSmith » Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:37 am

(that, and those species of early man aren't really humans, or semi-humans, etc-australiopithicus (a pygmee chimpanzee) and Neanderthall (humans))
Australopithecus is not a chimpanzee at all. The knee joins, pelvis and how the spine connects to the skull shows that Australiopithicus was adapted for upright walking, wheras chimpanzees and other apes are not and do not have these features. Australiopithicus brain size is between 420 and 500cc wheras chimpanzee average 350cc. Hardly a pigmy compared to a chimpanzee. In fact Australiopithicus has a larger brain size than any known ape.

Here is a skull of a chimpanzee: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/chimp.html

Here is a skull of an australopithecus:
http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigi ... icomp.html

They are visibly not the same. The teeth are far more human like than chimpanzee like. The jaw does not protrude as much as in chimpanzees and other apes. The brow ridge is far less defined than chimpanzees and other apes. The brain cavity is larger than in chimpanzees. So in no way can australopithecus be mistaken for a chimpanzee.

These mentioned features of australopithecus lie intermediatery between ape and human. We have no brow ridge, we have no protruding jaw. Australopithecus represents an intermediate stage where these features were diminishing. In other words Australopithecus represents a transitional fossil species.

But australopithecus are not the only transitionals, species such as homo ergaster and homo erectus lie intermediatery between australopithecus and human. A whole gradient of gradual evolutionary change is presented. That is why it is a lie when anti-evolutionist organisations claim there are no transitional fossils.

These anti-evolutionist organisations are so against transtional fossils that they feel compelled to label each fossil as either ape or human, claiming they are two seperate kinds that cannot be bridged. However the transitional hominid fossils found represent such a good gradient between ape and human that these organisations confuse themselves and contradict each other about which fossil primates are ape and which are human. This clearly shows that there is no clear boundary between the two afterall.

It is like a color gradient running from yellow to red and these organisations are trying to convince people that there is no such thing as orange. Everytime someone shows them orange they claim it is either yellow or red.

Neandertal were a sub-species of homo sapiens (us). Their range of characteristics falls outside human ranges. Their brain size was larger, their bones were much thicker than ours. Neandertal DNA falls outside the human range and there is no evidence that we could interbreed with Neandertal despite living alongside them.

Now what evidence do you have that australopithecus are "just apes" because really you won't be able to do it. Ape skulls and skeletons are completely different. You'll have more chance trying to argue that lions are just cheetahs.
Starting back from the earliest known language, and working towards the present, linguistics have found that languages have devolved
The earliest known langugaes are written languages though, found alongside full blown human civilisations a few thousand years ago. The change in langugages over that time has nothing to do with evolution. Even if languages got more complex over the last 5000 years it still wouldn't have anything to do with evolution. This change is caused by humans - most likely writing pressured languages to be made simpler.

If the ability to use languages evolved it would have done so futher back than ancient history where no records remain of how we communicated. Noone knows how we communicated 100,000 years ago. Noone knows how we communicated 500,000 years ago. Therefore we simply do not know that language then was very complex. Complex writing languages found 5000 years ago do not tell us how complex spoken languages were 500,000 years ago.
Bob Smith, your argument seems to be "anything can happen, just give it time."
No my argument is that the evolution of language is something that not much evidence can be found for either way. If language evolved it would have done so long before the "earliest known language". So details about the earliest known language don't tell us how language itself evolved, or that it did or didn't.

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#71

Post by Felgar » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:03 pm

BobSmith wrote:If language evolved it would have done so long before the "earliest known language". So details about the earliest known language don't tell us how language itself evolved, or that it did or didn't.
I disagree - first off humans migrate on much smaller time scales that hundreds of thousands of years, yet each region and culture forms its own language. If language evolved as slowly as you claim, everyone in the world would be speaking the same language.

Even within cultures, languages evolve very quickly. You'd be hard-pressed to carry on a conversation with someone who was around when they signed the declaration of independance. For evidence, check out the King James Bible, compared to NIV or NASB. They were all written to be understood in their respective eras, yet look how different they are. Or if you're scared to read some scripture, have you read any Shakespeare lately?

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#72

Post by BobSmith » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:38 pm

Felgar wrote:I disagree - first off humans migrate on much smaller time scales that hundreds of thousands of years, yet each region and culture forms its own language. If language evolved as slowly as you claim, everyone in the world would be speaking the same language.

Even within cultures, languages evolve very quickly. You'd be hard-pressed to carry on a conversation with someone who was around when they signed the declaration of independance. For evidence, check out the King James Bible, compared to NIV or NASB. They were all written to be understood in their respective eras, yet look how different they are. Or if you're scared to read some scripture, have you read any Shakespeare lately?
I probably am not being clear enough. There are two different processes here that are not relevant to each other:

1) the evolution of the brain to enable us to use language and
2) changes to language over the last few thousand years

The difference is because humans 10,000 years ago had the same mental abilities to use language as we do. All the changes to languages that has occured throughout recent history has nothing to do with evolution. So evolution does not expect languages in recent history to get more complex or less complex.

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#73

Post by Felgar » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:52 pm

BobSmith wrote:I probably am not being clear enough. There are two different processes here that are not relevant to each other:

1) the evolution of the brain to enable us to use language and
2) changes to language over the last few thousand years

The difference is because humans 10,000 years ago had the same mental abilities to use language as we do. All the changes to languages that has occured throughout recent history has nothing to do with evolution. So evolution does not expect languages in recent history to get more complex or less complex.
I refer you back to KM, who started this line of reasoning:
AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:three, languages do not evolve....the opposite is true-they are becoming more simple, not more complex (and they can be traced back to where Noah most likely landed, eastern Turkey, right?). Grunts don't turn into words, which won't turn into sentences... The difference between gorrilas and humans is not a matter of degrees, but of kind. It's not that gorrilas are anywhere near to learning a language, while humans have mastered it....gorrilas don't have a language, and humans do. It's a matter of apples and oranges....not small oranges and bigger oranges.
So KM has made a claim that languages (i.e. Your #2) above) does not evolve into more complex forms over time. Relating to your comments, it could be said that evolution does not expect our capacity to understand language to change over recent history (your #1). And you're stating that evolutionary process does not account for languages changing into simpler forms over relatively small periods of time. Which is all fine.

The point KM was trying to make is that Apes do not have the mental capacity to understand complex language, but even if they did, he would not expect them to delevop a language because languages have been shown to decrease (rather than increase) in complexity over time.

I think I've spoken on KM's behalf enough. He can take it from here.

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#74

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:57 pm

Lucy, a male, was found 40% complete (no fossil is found complete...unless I'm missing something)...so were those skulls copied off of the originals, which were part bone/part imagination? And, I also remember a goof where only a part of a jaw was found, and it looked like the U that a human has....so it was labeled human or a transition....but when the entire jaw was found, it was definately not human-the U section made up only half of the entire jaw. And one of the many things I laugh at....if a fossil is discovered to look different from that of other kinds...take for example an ape fossil (what's left of it) compared to current apes...it's a new species! Now, go find the remains of an Asian, and the remains of, maybe someone in Europe....and toss them to an expert....we'll probably get a new species :wink: :roll: .

I read up on this bugger in Tornado in a Junkyard-read the chapter on fossils and "missing links" if you get the chance. One thing I liked was the fact that human footprints were found in the same area.... 8)
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#75

Post by BobSmith » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:17 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:Lucy, a male, was found 40% complete (no fossil is found complete...unless I'm missing something)...so were those skulls copied off of the originals, which were part bone/part imagination?
Lucy is not the only Australopithecus fossil to be found. There have been dozens of individuals found some with complete skulls.
Now, go find the remains of an Asian, and the remains of, maybe someone in Europe....and toss them to an expert....we'll probably get a new species :wink: :roll:
All human fossils, regardless of race are a lot closer to one another than these seperate species. There are no humans whose skeletons look like neandertal. There are no humans that look like homo erectus. The skulls and skeletons are outside the human range. You can see lots of these hominid species skulls on this page: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html. I see apes (chimps and gorillas) with their deep sloping skulls, small brain cavities and large jaws and then I see humans with no sloping skull, large brain cavity and small jaw. Then I see various intermediates between them. I see no distinct barrier between the two groups - no gaps. So why is it that all these anti-evolutionist organistions claim there is a distinct barrier and gaps between ape and human with no intermediatery fossil forms?
One thing I liked was the fact that human footprints were found in the same area
The footprints are natural features in the rock that exist in that area. All someone has done is found ones that look more like footprints like finding shapes in clouds. Some of the indents have even been deliberately tampered with to look more foot like.

This book you are reading seems to contain just the typical and unoriginal misconception and deceptions of the anti-evolutionist movement. No different from the moon landing conspiracy theorists who write books about how NASA didn't land on the moon and how all the experts are lying. Its just denial of amid a sea of evidence.

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