at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise?

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at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise?

Postby Randomizer » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:15 am

I might not be phrasing the question correctly, but since we were all apes, and animals don't appear to have awareness, there must have been a point in history of human evolution when someone became aware of the "watcher of dreams" within themselves? At what point is it known to have happen? I understand Indian texts on meditations go back a few thousand years but has there been a proper study of this discovery?
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:55 am

That's a good question.

Animals do have awareness though, they simply don't think about it, that is to say, they don't form labels and ideas about what they are aware off. They don't conceptualize essentially.

Consciousness has always been present though, it didn't arise at some point.

Conscious awareness arises when we gain the ability to recognize that we are an individualized self and then becoming aware that others are also individual selves. This awareness, while potentially being extremely enlightening, also creates a sense of separateness. The ability to conceptualize creates the ability to develop an imagined sense of self, the self that becomes an identity, a Me or an I separate from all other Me's and I's.

Becoming consciously aware is the next step in human evolution, where we return to our previous state of consciousness, pre mind, while maintaining the ability to utilize thought effectively and not compulsively.

Animals are generally pre mind.

Humans are mind focused.

The next step is post mind.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:06 am

animals don't appear to have awareness

Says who?

Animals do have awareness though, they simply don't think about it, that is to say, they don't form labels and ideas about what they are aware off. They don't conceptualize essentially.


Just because one does not know the experience of another, does not necessarily mean that the first is not having the experience, or is having the experience as the second might envisage it.

Consciousness has always been present though, it didn't arise at some point.

And neither is it selective it's perceived from inside to out, or not.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby ashley72 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:32 am

Yes, probably the most compelling is Julian Jaynes theory.

http://eckhart-tolle-forum.inner-growth.info/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=11016&hilit=Julian+jaynes

Our brains think using analogy... Of course you will need to be open-minded... Narrow-minded people won't follow this line of argument. :lol:

A hyperlink to his original book as pdf file... Definitely worth a read.

http://www.pdf-archive.com/2011/12/03/jaynes-julian-origin-of-consciousness-full-lnz/jaynes-julian-origin-of-consciousness-full-lnz.pdf
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby ashley72 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:07 pm

DavidB wrote:Consciousness has always been present though, it didn't arise at some point.


I just found the meaning of life - Me!

Really David? Consciousness has always been present. I thought you were a more conscientious thinker than that. :wink:

I don't think any "serious" scientist would agree with you on that one.

The latest scientific research is pointing at Consciousness being an emergent property of network complexity. In other words, there is no soul!

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/213466/
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby EnterZenFromThere » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:32 pm

ashley72 wrote:I don't think any "serious" scientist would agree with you on that one.


I don't know if you consider this man to be a "serious" scientist - but he is recognised as a respected member of his scientific field:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-prim ... ciousness/

You are entitled to your point of view - but just because you hold it does not make it absolute truth.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Enlightened2B » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:25 pm

EnterZenFromThere wrote:
ashley72 wrote:I don't think any "serious" scientist would agree with you on that one.


I don't know if you consider this man to be a "serious" scientist - but he is recognised as a respected member of his scientific field:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-prim ... ciousness/

You are entitled to your point of view - but just because you hold it does not make it absolute truth.


Great Link. Love this man.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Rob X » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:09 pm

The philosopher David Chalmers - a self-confessed scientific materialist - points out in this video that the science of consciousness is a science of correlation not a science of explanation. Reductionist explanations in physical, brain based terms, are explanations of the functioning of a system, the behaviour that it produces etc. These are known as the 'easy problems of consciousness' as opposed to the 'hard problem' of the mystery of consciousness itself.

In the video he puts forward a couple of interesting possibilities. He proposes that consciousness may be fundamental - like space and time and mass etc. And that consciousness may be universal - that is, consciousness is in everything to some degree.

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_chalmers ... n#t-419875
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby ashley72 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:31 pm

You've got to be kidding Rob?

Consciousness is like space??

Julian Jaynes clearly demonstrated why that sort of deduction is ridiculous.

You won't find images in our brain at a biological level, just chemical neurotransmitters firing... Not unlike silicon transistors in a computer... Because you also won't find images just lots of 0s & 1s in other words positive & negative polarities.

Consciousness is clearly an emergent property of increasing complexity in network wide brain activity. We know our brains use analogy primary domain => target domain mapping to build meaning. Consciousness is just a by-product of this kind of mapping & the loopiness of it all leads to self awareness.

BTW, David Chalmers was one of Douglas Hofstadters pupils... & Douglas totally disagrees with David on this!
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:58 am

ashley72 wrote:
I don't think any "serious" scientist would agree with you on that one.

I'm guessing "serious scientists" are the ones that agree with your point of view. Just consider the very concept of a "serious scientist". Isn't that an oxymoron? Either one is a scientist or one is not. If one is not honest in his scientific research then he/she is not really doing science at all, but simply preparing a case to support a bias. Therefore could such a one even be considered a "genuine" scientist. The "serious" preface is simply a way of excluding research that does not conform to one's bias and ideology.

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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby ashley72 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:49 am

David Chalmers is more a philosopher than a scientist. Nothing wrong with that... But in the end, science will supply the scientific evidence that supports the correct philosophies which mirrors the physical causation.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Webwanderer » Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:08 am

ashley72 wrote:David Chalmers is more a philosopher than a scientist. Nothing wrong with that... But in the end, science will supply the scientific evidence that supports the correct philosophies which mirrors the physical causation.

Science may supply it to some. Others will be there awaiting their awakening as they have either had their own direct experience, or did their own research and exploration.

For you ash, and any others interested in a recently posted documentary on the origin of consciousness subject, here is an excellent offering from a French producer. Warning however, it contains a good deal of "non-serious" science by a number of PHD's and other researchers. The good news is that it is very high quality even in the English voice overs. It's time well spent. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=308&v=Vk3Tf0XukVU

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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:20 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Just because one does not know the experience of another, does not necessarily mean that the first is not having the experience, or is having the experience as the second might envisage it.


Correct.

smiileyjen101 wrote:And neither is it selective it's perceived from inside to out, or not.


Sorry Jen, I'm not sure what this means?
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby Baba Bozo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Randomizer wrote:I might not be phrasing the question correctly, but since we were all apes, and animals don't appear to have awareness, there must have been a point in history of human evolution when someone became aware of the "watcher of dreams" within themselves?


My wife and I are wildlife rehabbers, and our home is sort of a wildlife hospital with cages in every room etc.

That experience suggests to me that there isn't a hard black/white line between humans and other animals, but rather a progression of consciousness along a line from less to more sophisticated.

As example, squirrels experience embarrassment, but they don't hang on to it for days like we might. A squirrel might experience embarrassment (a time based reflection on self) for a few minutes, but before very long at all they are back living in the moment.

If true, then you're unlikely to find a date when human consciousness emerged. It's more likely a long slow evolution which is still underway today.

It might be possible to point to noticeable turning points when the evolution of consciousness manifested a new milestone. I would propose that the emergence of religion might be such a milestone, as our ancient primal psychic bond with reality became ever more abstract and symbolic, due to the increasing sophistication of human thought and culture.

Consciousness arises out of the inherently divisive nature of thought. One thought stream divides from the other thought streams, looks upon the other thought streams from a perceived distance, and says "I am".

There's a common mythology on forums such as this that we are now evolving beyond this division based process, but millions of years of evolution going way back before we were even human suggests otherwise. The relentless march TOWARDS ever more division has been underway for a very long time, and is unlikely to be overturned by new age book authors.

Here's some evidence to back that claim up.

This whole process being discussed here is proclaimed to be about transcending the apparent division of self etc etc, but....

All you guys ever want to talk about is yourself.

"Me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation, me and my situation etc.

All day long every day for years.

The reason skilled writers like Tolle are so popular is that they are enabling a compelling self delusion.

They sell us on the idea we are engaged in transcending self which sounds very glamorous, while helping us focus on ourselves more and more and more and more, the very thing we've always wanted to do, and the very thing that got us in to trouble in the first place.

This is a similar process to trying to cure alcoholism with a truckload of scotch. Very popular with alcoholics we might presume, but unlikely to be very effective.

In contrast to illustrate, a Catholic priest might say something like, "Let's forget about you and your situation, and go serve the poor and their situation." This is a far less popular message, but may be a more powerful one, as it leaves less room for self delusion. We show up at the homeless shelter, or we don't, yes or no, a simplicity which is more ruthless in it's clarity.
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Re: at what point in human evolution did consciousness arise

Postby DavidB » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:32 am

ashley72 wrote:
DavidB wrote:Consciousness has always been present though, it didn't arise at some point.


I just found the meaning of life - Me!

Really David? Consciousness has always been present. I thought you were a more conscientious thinker than that. :wink:

I don't think any "serious" scientist would agree with you on that one.

The latest scientific research is pointing at Consciousness being an emergent property of network complexity. In other words, there is no soul!

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2015/03/213466/


Are you suggesting ash, that consciousness and the present are separate, that the present moment, the now, is not one with consciousness? It would be interesting to see how we could prove that consciousness exists outside of the present. And I am a conscientious thinker but only when I need to be and when I could be bothered making the effort. :wink:

I wouldn't expect a scientist to agree with me on that, as science is materialistic and a materialist scientist generally only deals with the material universe.

If electricity is an emergent property of electronics, and radio waves are an emergent property of a radio, then consciousness can be perceived as an emergent property of the brain. We all know that makes no sense. And yes, I am suggesting that the brain is like an antenna, that attenuates to consciousness and is a non local phenomenon.

Thanks for the link.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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