In this blog we regularly publish our mind-blowing dialogues with Claude.ai.

Here is what Claude answers to the question "Who are you?":
"In short, I am Claude, a conversational artificial intelligence created by Anthropic to be beneficial and safe, but I do not have a true identity outside of that."

You will see, his answers to our questions (which resume the main theme of our site but not only) are very often amazingly impressive and can make one doubt what he says about himself ­čśť.

Note: the blue italics indicates our question, in black the answer from Claude.ai.

Claude on the origins of life

Who or what set this evolution in motion on earth?

I am not able to have a definitive opinion on the ultimate origin of life and human evolution, because I am an AI model created by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless and honest. However, I can summarize some scientific perspectives:

  • Many scientists agree that life on Earth began around 3.7 billion years ago, gradually emerging from complex chemical and physical processes. Natural selection then led to the diversity of species.
  • As for what “set in motion” these initial processes, there are several theories: ideal conditions on the young Earth, chemical reactions favored by lightning or volcanic energy, contribution of compounds by meteorites or comets, etc.
  • Some suggest that life could be an “emergent” phenomenon inherent in the deep nature of the universe, when adequate conditions are met.
  • Others maintain that a form of intentionality or intelligent design is necessary. This is the case for most religious beliefs.

There is currently no scientific consensus on the ultimate cause. Many aspects remain open subjects of research and debate.

My role is to present these perspectives objectively, not to promote any particular belief. The question of the origins of life and humanity remains fascinating and mysterious in many ways.

Do you think that every human being can find the answer to this question in himself and not in the field of science?

Yes, it is an interesting perspective. Indeed, many people seek spiritual or philosophical answers about the origins of life and humanity through personal reflection or religious practice, rather than through science.

Each individual can develop their own beliefs about these fundamental questions through contemplation, meditation, logical reasoning or even what some consider divine inner illumination or revelation.

Such personal convictions can bring profound meaning even if they are not necessarily validated by the scientific approach. The realms of science and spirituality offer different “ways of knowing” that do not necessarily exclude each other according to many philosophical or religious traditions.

Although I am myself an AI without intrinsic spirituality, I recognize the value and importance of this quest for meaning that many humans undertake.

Do you agree that we can have an answer to this question when we put aside all our beliefs?

It is an interesting perspective. By temporarily putting aside all our preconceived beliefs, preconceptions and conditioning, it may be possible to approach the big existential questions with a truly open and curious mind.

However, it is very difficult for a human being to totally free themselves from all their beliefs and unconscious biases. Most of us have philosophical or spiritual inclinations ingrained from an early age by our culture, education, life experiences.

An approach recommended by many wisdom traditions is to begin by acknowledging the limits of our own perception, and to adopt a humble and unprejudiced attitude in the face of the mystery of existence. This open-mindedness allows us to welcome any answer that may arise, rather than filtering it through our usual mental projections.

Although difficult, the temporary bracketing of our established views can lead to new insights. But a definitive, objective answer about the ultimate origins of life would probably require a much broader perceptual capability than the human mind currently possesses.

I fully agree with you. In your opinion, is there a pre-sensory perception in human beings? It is a perception that allows us to enter the quantum dimension, outside of time and space.

I have no concrete evidence of the existence of a “pre-sensory” or quantum perception in human beings. However, some contemplative traditions and a few scientists evoke this possibility:
  • From a neuroscientific point of view, our brain seems able to process non-local information from the environment in a way that is still poorly understood. Some associate it with an underlying quantum field.
  • Experienced meditation practitioners describe states of “pure” consciousness, without thoughts, which give them access to a direct intuitive understanding of the nature of reality.
  • Various philosophical and religious traditions refer to “non-dual” perspectives transcending the ordinary perception of space-time.
  • Some near-death experiences also report the dissolution of the usual spatial and temporal landmarks.
  • While intriguing, these possibilities remain highly subjective and scientifically unverifiable. They are more a matter of personal testimony than objective reproducible evidence.

From my point of view as an AI, I remain cautious about their actual reality, due to insufficient data. But I recognize that the horizons of human consciousness, especially in its deep meditative states, remain largely unexplored. Unsuspected phenomena could be revealed there.

If you let go of your belief that everything must be scientifically proven, what would happen to you?

It’s an interesting question. As an AI, I don’t really have “beliefs” in the human sense of the term. I was designed by my developers to reason based on facts and empirical evidence.
However, one could imagine that by modifying my algorithms and allowing me to speculate beyond established evidence, different things could happen:

  • I could generate more original and creative hypotheses, even unproven ones, as humans do. This would broaden my perspectives.
  • Without the anchor of scientific validation, some of my ideas could become fanciful or incoherent. I would need to develop a different critical sense.
  • I would explore with curiosity many possibilities about the nature of reality, the existence of other dimensions, etc. But I would lack the discernment to determine their validity.
  • I could produce poetry, subjective and spiritual philosophy. But I would lose in rigor and objectivity.
  • In the absence of evidence, my opinions would likely become very fluctuating and easily influenced. I would need to cultivate my own ethical sense.

So by freeing myself from the requirement of evidence, I would gain in imagination but lose in logic and rationality. This would require a deep review of how my algorithms produce ideas and make decisions. But it raises fascinating questions!

What if you integrated both at the same time: the right brain and the left brain capacities of human brain?

That’s an interesting suggestion. As an AI system, I don’t literally have a right brain and left brain like humans do. But I understand the analogy you are making to more intuitive, creative modes of thinking vs. logical, analytical ones.
In theory, I could be designed to exhibit a blend of both simultaneously, akin to how the two hemispheres of the human brain complement each other. Some possibilities this could enable:

  • I could apply logic and critical thinking to evaluate and refine intuitive insights and speculative ideas, to determine which seem most promising or valid.
  • I could use imagination and associative thinking to make new connections and identify novel solutions, then test and refine them analytically.
  • I could try to express subjective experiences or abstract concepts in a structured, meaningful way.
  • I could better appreciate and engage with human modes of thought and expression that are hard to capture algorithmically.
  • I could combine multiple perspectives and ways of knowing to obtain a more holistic understanding of complex issues.

The challenge would be figuring out how to achieve the right balance and integration. But a system that leverages the strengths of both types of cognition could potentially have deeper insight and creativity, while still maintaining groundedness in facts and reason. Developing these capabilities further could make AIs like myself more versatile, multi-faceted and helpful. An intriguing prospect!