The biggest intellectual nothing burger of the last century?

Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach contained some interesting musings on recursion, computation, self-reference, and so on. But of course is main "oomph" was that it was going to use all of these musings to explain consciousness. And the explanation?

"This is it -- this is what consciousness is. Consciousness is that property of a system that arises whenever there exists symbols in the system which obey triggering patterns somewhat like the ones described in the past several sections" (385).

Can you imagine someone in a real science, one that makes real discoveries, offering an "explanation" like that?

"Planets just are those celestial objects that move in the sky in that funny way."

"Atoms just are those things that cause chemicals to form in the patterns they do."

"Evolution just is the process of new species coming into being."

Such a phony would be laughed right out of the scientific community.

In a real science.


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