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Can non-living things have minds?

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posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:01 AM

I guess i'm asking what you lot think of non-living things like computers having a mind? (When i say non-living i mean things which do not need to eat to stay alive! Innanimate.... that's the word i was looking for.... thanks Moderator!)

I ask this because for the first time today i actually sat through 2001:A Space Odyssey and HAL got me thinking about the Mind because it's not actually a visible thing so maybe computers can have minds too or even a rock....

What ya think?

This probably sounds silly but Buddhists believe all things can have a mind because it is just a word.... something we call it as it holds our thoughts.... and that when we die our Minds can drift off into some other living or non-living thing....

[edit on 19-7-2009 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist]

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:07 AM
From what I under stand, not how we do. It is more like a chemical awareness, plants communicate via chemical release, simular to how insects like ants do. Exept they would use a pollen I suspect.

As for inanimate objects, not unless it was occupied or possesed by some thing. then again, it may have one out side our traditional undertanding of a mind. How ever it might be a manifestation of our sentimental conciousness, maybe.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:27 AM
Ya, its pretty mind opening, if you really think about it. Then again, what would rocks think about.

This can lead into robotics, seeing how robots/computers aren't alive but still process thoughts etc.

So maybe, just maybe there is a small chance that non-living things do have minds. Good thread. Really gets you thinking.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:31 AM
IMHO...We have souls. Non-living is just that. Not alive.
I don't think they have minds.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist

Hey OP GREAT question! It is also one that I am currently investigating.

I do not see a difference between a computer and a organic brain.
I can recommend a couple of books that I am currently reading that will steer you in a good direction.

"On Intelligence" -Jeff Hawkins
"Molecules of Emotion" -Candace B. Pert

When we think of programing and how a computer works it is on a VERY BASIC principle. Modern Computers operate on Binary.

Binary works on a 1/0 system. An On/Off switch that is controlled with electricity basically. You can have a switch in the on position or the off position. We just make the switches smaller and smaller and smaller so that we can have a HUGE number of switches all in a small condensed size.

This is where my comparison to the human brain comes in. The human brain does not have switches but something called "Neurons" which are like a three dimensional switch that has more than just one switch lever.

On one side of the Neuron there is a large cable connected to it called the Axon which is like a cable line. At the end of the Axon cable there are smaller cables that branch out like fingers called Axon Terminals. The Axon Terminals send Chemicals that the Neuron uses to communicate with other neurons through a small space between them called a synapse where the chemicals are kind of shot like a rocket through the synapse space (Like a millionth of an inch across).

Then ALL AROUND the neuron in every direction in 3D are something called Dendrites which are like a tree branch. A neuron can have a hundred if not hundreds of these Dendrites. The Job of these tree branch dendrites is to receive the chemical messages being shot across the synapse from other Neurons Axon terminals.

So if One Neuron wanted to get a message to another Neuron 250,000 Neurons away the neuron sends it like a bucket brigade delivery method through one neuron to the next to the next to the next until the message is finally received by the proper neuron. It just happens so fast as to be unnoticeable.

So Neurons not only create and translate messages to and from other Neurons but they pass on the messages of other neurons to other neurons. They just do it VERY fast!

Plus with the use of chemicals instead of electrical switches the need to have a better cooling method is completely eliminated. Electricity produces heat but with the chemicals that the brain uses there is no heat! (I think).

So the human brain has Neurons instead of 1/0 On/Off switches. The human brain has a Minimum of One Hundred Billion Neurons in it. Each neuron is more than just a 1/0 storage switch. It is in itself a miniature computer!

I have not understood yet how much information is stored or possibly processed inside of each neuron but I am getting there. I know it is in one of these books somewhere lol.

Another thing to note is that Each Neuron in your brain is connected to up to One Thousand other neurons. That equals One Hundred trillion different synaptic connections happening all day every day. Some Scientists say the number is even higher upwards of a Quadrillion connections.

What really makes the chemical information that Neurons send to and from other Neurons interesting is the chemicals themselves!

So far we know of at least 50 different chemicals that the neurons use to talk to each other. Some are Dopamine (Movement and Pleasure signals), Serotonin (Sleepytime), Bradykinin (PAIN! ouch), Epinephrine (controls organs speed like heart rate) there are others that control reward, arousal, body temperature and many that we have no clue what they do YET.

NOT ONLY do we have these insanely complex Neurons at work we have a VERY complex Computer itself to process all of this information!

To begin to get into detail about all of the sections of the brain and what they do would take an entire thread in and of itself!

Compared to 1/0 On/Off switch the Brain makes the computer look like a Scrub NOOB!

That is not to say that at some smaller level the Brain does NOT work on the 1/0 On/Off switch method!

Indeed if we consider the factor of Evolution into where our modern brains came from at ONE point in time they indeed WERE capable of performing possibly ONLY a single 1/0 On/Off switch decision.

Maybe something as simple as Move Forward /Don't Move Forward or like in plants for photosynthesis Take in light/Do NOT take in light.

So SOMEWHERE deep down in the complexity of our Brain lies the very basic programing of Yes/No On/Off. It is just done on a VERY grand complex scale.

The more questions that Science asks about our Brain the more questions that we come up with!

One of the craziest things that I have heard about is a disease that affects the brain called Hydrocephalus. I believe that it is a brain eating disease. a Dr. John Lorber did some brain scans of some of his patients with this disease and found in some cases that 95% of the brain was completely GONE! Yet some of his patients in this condition went on to graduate with Honors from college in Mathematics!

The Brain is just an evolved computer. For me there exists no "Soul" or "Spirit" that gets programmed into the human brain at birth nor is there a "Awakening of Consciousness" that happens as a result of being self aware.

For me, we as humans are just capable of a huge number of thought processes and data analysis. The only thing special about it is the complexity.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist

I think computers and bots could have minds like humans. What if there is some form of ET intelligence responsible for the crop circles that is non-biological? Like a robot mind.

The crop circles could be "bot-speak". Have you ever thought that the ETs in charge may not be greys or reptilians, but rather some form of robot or computer?

Maybe somewhere in the rings of Saturn is a giant mother ship manned by electrical intelligence, the greys just being drones.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 03:20 PM
whenever i drop a nail out of my tool belt i always make sure to pick it up and use it, kinda feel sorry for it not being it has a mind.

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 04:04 PM
reply to post by helltick

You see.... the nail wants to be whacked on the head.... it wants to have a use.... good example!

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by son of total newbie

I wouldn't rule it out... there are other threads here in this huge complex regarding 'The Matrix' and whether we are in fact involved in some game being played by higher beings!!!


Yhanx for the reference

[edit on 19-7-2009 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist]

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 05:11 PM
here is a lil fod for thought.

Jellyfish have no brain. Many scientists thought for a long itme they just floated around bumping into stuff and ate when they bumpedi nto something.

But recent reports from scientists studying jellyfish have shown jellyfish to be actively seeking out and hunting prey.
So even without a brain of sorts they are intelligent creatures.

If they can be intelligent without a brain, what else can?

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posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by skeetontheconspiracy

Jellyfish do NOT have a brain.


They DO have a "nerve net with symmetrical and asymmetrical synapses (nerve connections)."

Taken from

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 08:52 PM
Mind means "think"
The Mind is the seat of thought and memory.

Do things, we as humans believed to be inanimate, think?
I believe they do. As nothing is non-living.

What I mean is:
"Everything" known to man, is some form of a living organism, composed of elements.
Elements consist of atoms. ( In total, 117 elements have been observed as of 2008, of which 94 occur naturally on Earth.)

Atoms are the fundamental component of the universe.

Atoms form molecules, and molecules form matter.

Each and everything composed of atoms, interacts in someway, shape or form, at one time or another, throughout all time and space.

When these come together, they Can and Do have the ability to Cooperate, Organize
and "form a working" Network.

To me, this is confirmation of intelligent "life" within ALL.

No matter what form it evolves into, or what form it is forced into by man or other natural occuring forces, it is still a living form of matter and is always in existence. It is just in a different form and still alive.

Everything is always here, there and everywhere and networking together.

(Did I make any sense?)

[edit on 19-7-2009 by azureskys]

[edit on 19-7-2009 by azureskys]

posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:21 PM
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist

We as a species know nothing. It’s almost like asking a caveman about the internet. The universe is billions of years old with mysteries that one could not imagine.

It is possible that things we think are non living, have some sort off mind attached to them. Everyday we hear reports of animals being smarter that we thought. I wouldn’t surprise me if hundreds of years from now we find out that all things have a “mind.”

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 12:24 AM
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren.
The real nature of things we shall never know." -Albert Einstein

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 01:20 AM
Great post S&F

The definition of life as we know if for live beings that draw energy from the enviromnent, reproduce and then die. So inanimate objects wont fit into that definition, so we assume that non-living beings dont have a mind.

But if you think at the quantum level then all objects, living and inanimate are composed of atoms (nucleus, electrons etc). At the quantum level maybe it does not matter if you are living or inanimate, there must always be some consciouness to objects at the quantum level.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 01:53 AM
I kinda think of "living" kinda like the movie Powder but from a different perspective.
I believe there is a life force "energy" that is and will always be a constant level. And everything contains it "EVERYTHING"
The bigger the human population the dimmer the life.
Easiest way to explain this is if you have 1000 watts of given power, 50 bulbs burn much brighter and produce a higher quality than 10,000 bulbs.
I guess what I'm trying to say is the richness of life experiences, is much less than it was say 200 years ago, just my silly lil theory.

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 06:43 AM
reply to post by sunny_2008ny

You are right you know.... and when i read that i thought straight away that in-animate objects outlive us so they must have some kind of brain or matter which helps them survive....

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 06:45 AM
reply to post by Doc Holiday

I was also thinking about light bulbs when i woke up this morning... we feed them electricity to live every time we switch on the light so maybe after years of being electrically charged they too could have a mind! ha! ha! Sounds crazy but quite possible....

Like one of the posters above said eventially robots will think for themselves.....

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 06:47 AM
reply to post by azureskys

Great post!!

posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 06:49 AM
reply to post by skeetontheconspiracy

Quite right.... there are other sludgy creatures too without brains but they still need to live!

But i was actually talking about in-animate objects that don't need feeding!

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