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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  00:13:29  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Non-Human Consciousness Exists Say Experts. Now What?

Have you ever considered the consciousness, or unconsciousness, of your dog? Well, a group of neuroscientists have been thinking on the subject pretty seriously, and it was announced last week that “humans are not the only conscious beings in the universe“.

Earlier this month, some of the leading scientists from around the world congregated at the Hotel Du Vin in Cambridge to discuss the evidence that has amassed over the years. The experts reached a unanimous decision that animals – specifically mammals and birds – are in fact conscious beings. Through advancements in brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and EEG machines, the scientists concluded that animals show a sufficient degree of characteristics that indicate they are not as non-human as some had believed. The official decision was reached late into the night after the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on July 7th.

Organized by Philip Low, CEO of NeuroVigil and inventor of the iBrain, the group consisted of 25 of the planet’s top minds on the mind, including honorary guest Stephen Hawking. The scientists discerned the key differences in human and animal brains, mainly found in the frontal cortex, do not play a role in the phenomenon we associate with consciousness. The decision does not in any sense define what consciousness is, which will be a debate that continues to rage on. But moving forward, there are many consequences to this finding that will need to be addressed as we look to develop a more humane relationship with animals.

. . .

[Emphasis added.]
I find all this interesting (especially as I suspect they are correct that other creatures are conscious), but highly speculative and even nonsensical for one big reason:

The fact that they have not defined "consciousness" makes it seem pretty silly to say that other creatures have it. How can they even say that humans have "Factor X" when Factor X is undefined?

I fixed the link. It looks like the right article. You left the address out Mooner.

Kil

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/10/2012 00:15:25

On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Norway
1270 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  05:46:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know how people can still eat meat after reading this stuff.

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  06:06:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I don't know how people can still eat meat after reading this stuff.
Do you?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Norway
1270 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  06:14:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used to eat meat but not any more.

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  07:02:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I don't know how people can still eat meat after reading this stuff.


I only eat unconcious meat, preferably dead.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  07:12:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I used to eat meat but not any more.
I see. That's your right, and you certainly do reduce your carbon footprint by doing so.

Do you think eating animals without a consciousness is ethical? That's not a wise-crack. I'm really curious about your answer. Myself, I have few at this point.

My main point with the OP, aside from making people aware of the gathering of scholars and their findings, was to point out that "consciousnesses" itself was left undefined. Which, in effect, means they concluded nothing.

How do you (and others) think the term should be defined? What are some of the practical, philosophical, and ethical implications of living in a world that may include many nonhuman but conscious co-inhabitants?

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  08:45:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner
The fact that they have not defined "consciousness" makes it seem pretty silly to say that other creatures have it. How can they even say that humans have "Factor X" when Factor X is undefined?
"Life" is still not well defined, yet I don't think that means it's nonsensical to point out that both humans and animals are alive. However one defines the trait, it is shared. That's all they're saying about consciousness.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  09:09:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Viruses are alive... yeah I said it.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13474 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  09:12:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Consciousness? is a very big subject. The wiki page I just linked to covers a lot of disciplines that have been interested in what conciseness is.
I prefer the Scientific approaches at figuring conciseness out to the philosophical or spiritual approaches, which are, it seems to me, too subjective. It could be that we will never know exactly what it is, but that doesn't mean we will never be able to define it.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  10:23:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for fixing the OP link, Kil! Yes, you've inserted exactly the correct link. I usually test all links before I post, but missed doing so this time, it appears.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9682 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  11:53:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What, if any, is/are the correlations between consciousness and intelligence.
We know that squids are intelligent, but they are neither mammals nor birds. Where do they fit in?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13474 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  12:20:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally po Calemari sted by Dr. Mabuse

What, if any, is/are the correlations between consciousness and intelligence.
We know that squids are intelligent, but they are neither mammals nor birds. Where do they fit in?

Calamari.



Actually, I think the octopus is smarter than squid. The smartest mollusk of all. I see no reason to deny that they have consciousness. Whatever that is...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Norway
1270 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  13:42:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I try to eat crops that are efficient to farm. I will make an exception to eat meat if it's hunted in a sustainable area. But after reading this I might reconsider.

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9682 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2012 :  16:37:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil
Calamari.



Actually, I think the octopus is smarter than squid. The smartest mollusk of all. I see no reason to deny that they have consciousness. Whatever that is...
Meh. I was of course referring to the octopus. Like the one which would unscrew the lid of a glass jar to get to its content. That's not something you do out of pure instinct.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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