Trouble with Evolution

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Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby nickdesenlis » 26th March, 2017, 11:04 pm

My question for the theory of evolution is how consciousness can arise from unconscious physical substances and their properties (forces, physical laws, etc)? I think I can say that almost everyone agrees absolutely nothing can come from literal nothing/nothingness. In other words, something existent cannot come from something nonexistent because nonexistence simply doesn’t exist to begin with, nothing is itself nothing. Similarly I don’t see how life, specifically consciousness, can come from something without any consciousness. How does the complex interrelation of entirely unconscious particles birth consciousness? It seems to me that it cannot, for it would be a contradiction for it to be so.

Consciousness cannot be completely composed of unconscious particles in the same way a house built of entirely red bricks cannot be blue. In that case, my conclusion is that particles must have latent consciousness to some degree, else it couldn't form human consciousness upon its conjoining to become a complex unit. Anyone have any thoughts on this? How does evolution solve for this if not with my conclusion?
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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby Togetik » 27th March, 2017, 1:37 am

You'd have to define consciousness to really ask this question. Are fish conscious? Are arthropods? Are sea sponges? Are microorganisms? Are bacteria? Are cells? Are proteins? Are chemicals?
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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby PHMED » 27th March, 2017, 1:53 am

These are questions that have been unanswered in science, no one here is capable of answering this question for you.

However, there was never such thing as "nothing". Everything today existed in a single singularity. The universe has since expanded from the explosion of this singularity. This can be explained by the Doppler Effect (physics theory).

On a side note: My physics professor from last quarter talked about how it is very interesting that the number of galaxies in the universe are almost equal to the number of neurons in many species on this planet. There were other commonalities that I do not remember at the moment, but I thought it was sort of interesting when he lectured it.
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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby Scherzy » 27th March, 2017, 4:57 am

In short, the "counciousness" in our minds comes from energy within a neural system, our brain. That energy doesn't magically appear out of nowhere, living organisms have been able to extract energy from substances with series of complex chemical reactions for, well, the history of living organisms (mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, ring any bells?). Yes, counciousness isn't entirely understood by science yet, but it's likely not an entirely seperate entity from the rest of the physical world.

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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby _Jay » 8th May, 2017, 3:59 pm

Since you haven't defined consciousness, I'm going to assume you mean the ability for someone to be aware of its own existence.

I think the idea of consciousness arising from something unconsciousness is simply a fallacy since it is evident that has occurred. Evolution is a long process of change and the ability for ourselves to become conscious did not simply happen on a certain day as that is not how the key principles of evolution work.

You talk about how unconscious particles suddenly become conscious. Obviously, single cells in our body do not have consciousness. However, when looking at the body as a whole we do indeed have consciousness. So it is not a matter of single cells having consciousness, but instead all the complex organs in bodies , IE: the brain, that allows us to be conscious. This is evident as a not fully developed fetus, is not conscious since it's organs are not developed enough yet for this to be the case.

This is just my opinion based on the current science. Correct me if I am wrong in what I've said, this is quite an interesting topic.
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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby FirePhantom » 8th May, 2017, 4:22 pm


Where do you stack up amongst GTFers? Tell how tall you are here! Stand tall and tower over all? Or compare and despair?
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Re: Trouble with Evolution

Unread postby Finch » 9th May, 2017, 7:01 am

Consciousness as we know it could be understood as a number of complex cognitive and affective functions that work in conjunction with one another to create a more rounded or "intelligent" perception of the world. While it's hard to imagine any mutation causing such a dramatic change in a being without consciousness, it's completely conceivable that these functions developed over several millennia and after numerous mutations and generations.

For example, many plants have a nervous system similar to our own, though their neurons are quite different from our own in terms of structure. However, there are very few species of plants capable of doing anything beyond basic nervous functions like sensing where sunlight comes from using these nervous systems. Among these, there are even fewer that are capable of learning, such as the mimosa pudica fern, though it was previously theorised that plants are unable to learn due to their lack of a brain, which led humans to assume that they were incapable of acquired learning.
Though this intelligence on a basic level seems like a far fetch from our idea of consciousness, from an evolutionary standpoint, this gradual growth from "unconscious" to conscious through improved use of physiological systems developed to improve survivability and adaptability after numerous mutations and generations actually not so far away from our own ability to perceive and interact with the world around us.
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