It seems to me that human consciousness doesn’t seem possible for a species in existence for roughly10 million years or so. Why aren’t there any transitional development lasting hundreds of millions of years.Why aren’t any other species greatly evolved from their distant ancestor of 1o million years ago. It always seems like the thing that doesn’t fit.It is similar to elvis getting a black belt in 7 days.
You have a good point!! Their are species much older than humans that never evolved to our level. I guess we got so far by our distant ancestors being in the right place at the right time, which never happened on this planet before! People do exist and if everything is destroyed, it may never happen again on our planet!!
I presume you are suggesting tha consciousness is limited to humans, and that strikes me as a very false idea, a very narrow view. I do not know what you consider as “consciousness” but most of us consider consciousness to be a mix of several things include self-awareness, decision making, and evident thought. Pretty well all mammals display consciousness in my view, as do many other animals with which I have little first hand experience.
In fact, I do not know how anyone could spend much time with our furry competition and not conclude there is consciousness there. Birds too.
try visiting a slaughterhouse. The cattle and pigs know what is up well before they get brought into the death chamber; they are AWARE.
I will agree that science has a lot of trouble defining, describing and understanding the origin of the concepts of consciousness and “soul”, and in fact what life at essence is. Simply being difficult to figure out does not make something miraculous or proof of intervention of a third party divinity. Doesn’t disprove that either, of course.
chimps have roughly the intelligence of a 4 yr old human
dolphins and whales are similar. Elephants may be close to that as well. Why are u looking at humans as so completely distinct from all other life?
There is no reason whatsoever to assume that one species need exist for hundreds of millions of years to get from “smart monkey” to human. What other example of intelligent life are u basing that estimate on? We only have one.
The timeline of human evolution spans some 7 million years, from the separation of the Pan genus until the emergence of behavioral modernity by 50,000 years ago. Of this timeline, the first 3 million years concern Sahelanthropus, the following 2 million concern Australopithecus, while the final 2 million span the history of actual human species (the Paleolithic).
Many traits of human intelligence, such as empathy, theory of mind, mourning, ritual, and the use of symbols and tools, are already apparent in great apes although in lesser sophistication than in humans.
The great apes show considerable abilities for cognition and empathy.
Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence.
In one study, young chimpanzees outperformed human college students in tasks requiring remembering numbers. Chimpanzees are capable of empathy, having been observed to feed turtles in the wild, and show curiosity in wildlife (such as pythons).
that human intelligence did not evolve primarily as a means to solve ecological problems, but rather intelligence evolved as a means of surviving in large and complex social groups. Some of the behaviors associated with living in large groups include reciprocal altruism, deception and coalition formation. These group dynamics relate to Theory of Mind or the ability to understand the thoughts and emotions of others.
Like everything else in nature, the human brain can only be truly understood by tracing its evolutionary pattern. It is a structure that has adapted over time to perform a variety of vital functions, while at the same time being compelled to survive by selectively ridding itself of its more gratuitous functions. These selection procedures, in turn, enhanced the functional capabilities of the nervous system in accordance with the changing needs of mankind.
It is a fact that as man evolved, certain mutations took place within the nervous system that forced it to evolve in time with the body. Just as external physical changes were selected as either worthy or unworthy by the environment, mutations in the nervous system were also forced to prove their might against environmental challenges.
For example, man’s ancient ancestors acquired “new and improved” sensors as a necessary means of survival, which naturally forced the neural control of those sensory enhancements to occur simultaneously. Consequently, as man’s ability to survive began to necessitate increasingly complex actions and reactions to his environment, the nervous system was also compelled to adapt accordingly.
It could probably happen just as quickly for any other well-developed animal line, but it happened to homo sapiens first, so they are the ones who took over the world, so much in fact that no other animals will ever have another comparable evolutionary opportunity.
It’s actually a good question, but you have to separate yourself from the notion of humans being inherently special and distinct from animals. Humans are the ones who struck gold with thumbs and communication skills and ordered societal structures, and you lucked out by being born as one. The ability to share and expand information was the key to breaking free from the natural order. For whatever reason, all other animals failed to achieve this in time.