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How is consciousness realized?

I am really interested in how passive things like neutrons, electrons, and protons are able to bond together, form complex molecules and DNA and create a living things. How is that we become conscious. I mean how do we create thoughts and store memories. I know the brain is the epicenter for all this action but how is it that a collection of chemical elements be come aware?
ALSO: When does a collection of molecules become life? From what I understand some people make this distinction of life as whether or not it can reproduce and actively pass on its DNA.


  1. Chemical reactions in the brain.
    “When does a collection of molecules become life?”
    When the right conditions are present.

  2. Storing memories and being conscious are two different things. We can arrive at mechanistic explanations for memory storage, but we don’t even know what the experience we call consciousness is.
    I see someone below recommended the movie “What the bleep do we Know?” The film is a piece of sleazy propaganda in which scientists are taped and then sliced in with crackpot New Age people whose maunderings are supposed to be supported by what the scientists say, but separate the two groups in your mind.

  3. As to the first, you’re making an imaginary distinction between a bunch of chemicals zinging around, and our conscious minds
    Super extreme revelation: Our memories, personalities etc, are ONLY chemicals and electric charges. We aren’t free willed and we aren’t special
    But we FEEL special, we have a SENSE of identity. And that’s good enough for us!
    As to the second; eh i’ll leave it to someone else

  4. Chemicals form complex molecules and amino acids thanks to electrochemical processes and liquid water. See Urey-Miller experiment.
    Exactly how the interconnection between neurons, or brain cells, creates consciousness is still a mystery. If you answer that, you can get yourself a Nobel Prize. All we know is that somehow, it does.
    The requirements of life are that you grow, replicate, maintain some structure, and sustain yourself on the environment around you. A lot of the things you’re asking about are emergent properties, or how one level of organization comes together to make another level work…these are the most difficult questions in science.

  5. just what exactly make you believe that neutron, electrons, and protons are passive?
    i recommend that you rent the movie “what the bleep do we know”
    this is our world’s greatest scientist explaining what we know about how our world works.
    you’re gonna be so surprised


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