Home Discussion Forum How did consciousness come into existence through evolution out of inanimate matter?

How did consciousness come into existence through evolution out of inanimate matter?

Lol at not-the-one. Bill Hicks?


  1. It took a while and a lot of mutations to do it. Do you think that God just took a bunch of clay (as some say) and rearranged the atoms to form a brain, nervous system and all the other organs in a human body, and then just said “Shazzam, you’re alive. Go forth and multiply. “?

  2. Good question. The most obvious connection between the environment and conscious are the nerves. Nerves can sense environmental change and send the message to another bunch of nerves in the brain. The same kinds of cells that sense temperature or help us to find food also process the information in the brain. The brain is just a large concentration of these cells. The bigger the mass, the smarter you get. Enlargement of the brain has been an important feature of human evolution. The whole process started with the nerves and nerve cells. The evolution of the nerve cells must have started with a generalized cell that gained the ability to become polarized and transmit signals with neurochemicals.

  3. “Evolution” just means “change”, so in that respect your question is a valid one.
    BUT in biological terms “evolution” means “a change in the frequency of alleles in a population of organisms over time”.
    This is the area commonly referred to as evolution, and it has NOTHING to do with the origins of life. The change from inanimate matter to life is a totally different field called “Abiogenesis”.
    Furthermore the term “consciousness” is not a sufficiently scientific one to define or examine. We can assume that you and I are “conscious” – but what about my pet cats? Or a crocodile? What about an oak tree? A fungus? A bacterium?
    Or – to get more controversial – what about someone in a persistent vegetative state? Or someone with brain damage? Or a congenital mental defect?
    If we cannot define “consciousness”, then we cannot examine it. And since we cannot examine it, we cannot make any statements about its origin.

  4. Because that’s not how it happened. There wasn’t inanimate matter that suddenly evolved and had consciousness.
    First off, life started from a process called abiogenesis. This is something I am less familiar with, so I can’t go into detail. The basic idea is that life formed from non-organic molecules. This first form of life was very simple, and did not have consciousness.
    Later, this life evolved. Evolution happens from a combination of random genetic mutation, and non-random selection (usually natural selection, though artificial selection happens too). In general, the environment favors certain characteristics, and life with those characteristics is more likely to survive, pass on genetic material, and have further random genetic mutations.
    Intelligence has a survival advantage. (Being able to solve problems is certainly better for survival.) Thus when random genetic mutations allowed for larger thinking capacity, those organisms that had it were more likely to survive. And from those “smart” life forms, if even more genetic changes occur to cause yet more intelligence, these “even smarter” life forms are yet even more likely to survive.
    As this (over-simplified) process happens over many eons, you eventually get some pretty smart organisms, like us.
    Consciousness is a product of intelligence, which is a product of evolution.
    To say that inanimate matter managed to change and achieve consciousness is a misrepresentation of what scientists actually believe happened.
    If I’m being confusing, I suggest you do some more research, especially research that involves accredited institutions, and peer reviewed studies. To start your journey, see my sources. If that is not satisfactory, I recommend learning about evolution (and perhaps abiogenesis) from an accredited university.
    Good luck.

  5. You can’t have life without conciousness. Even the simplist creatures have some level of concious albeit very low level. Other wise living things wouldn’y survive. A simple cell needs some sort of conciousness to take actions that garantee its survival. That being said I don’t know where conciousness comes from of course but I suspect consciousness came before darwins evolution. I also suspect evolution can’t happen without conciousness. Your question is a fun one thought good luck on your research. Stumble upon this cause I’m curious on the subject too now.


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