Where does consciousness come from? Does RNA have it? What is the simplest life form to have it?

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There is much evidence — from genetic predispositions of behavior and personality, from brain injury studies, from brain imaging of healthy people — that consciousness is naturalistic now. A natural origin would not matter much beyond that.
1. Dennett, Daniel C., 1991. Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
2. Minsky, M., 1985. The Society of Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster.

StarGazer of the Cosmos

Consciousness = Brain.


I doubt that RNA has it. It comes from evolution.

Ricky N

Computers have consciousness, to a certain extent.
All we are is very very complicated computers. “Consciousness” is a very vague term, so you can’t really say what “consciousness” is.
Although from my own guesses, I would say that all muliticelled organisms with brains have some sort of consciousness.
On a spiritual level, everything has consciousness.

john h

Consciousness comes from your spirit/soul. Make no doubt, we are not here by random. We are creations of God. Evolution could not have made such a complex organ as a human eye, much less the entire human body.
Research ‘science’ and you will discover that almost all of it is only THEORY, which means almost all of it is unproven. Scripture says, he is truly blessed that believes without seeing.
Accept that Jesus Christ came to earth and died on the cross for your sins. Confess with your mouth and find grace and salvation in the Lord!!


No, RNA definitely doesn’t have it. Check out this website, it does a really good job of explaining it: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/#2.1


Nobody knows. Unless you have a definition that is universally accepted, anything living has to be conscious they are alive because everything living struggles to stay alive. Don’t bother with the “coma” argument. That doesn’t wash. RNA is a molecule and is not alive, it doesn’t “care” if it exists, so it cannot be conscious.

neil s

There are very good reasons to think consciousness as such is at least as fundamental to reality as matter/energy. (1) Any particular organisms consciousness would be a localized expression of that. (your first answer goers into some of what is understood here) But consciousness studies is still a very new field (about 2 decades old), and it is not even out of the philosophical stage of it’s development.
Put simply, we don’t know what consciousness is or how it emerges.


Conciousness ie; sentience comes from the cerebral cortex and has been shown in many other species including all the great apes (we are great apes) Dolphins, Elephants and many other species. And NO RNA does not have a cerebral cortex.


Consciousness appears to be created by various neurochemicals in the brain… Here’s a great book
DMT The Spirit Molecule by Dr. Rick Strassman


First we have to agree on the definition of consciousness. There is the level of self awareness, so that you could call even a person who is asleep “unconscious”, or there is the level of reactionary activity, like a plant can react to it’s environment, closing wounds if a branch is cut, or a venus fly trap that snaps shut when triggered by movement. Is an ant conscious? Conscious of what? He’s no more help to you if you’re stuck in a hole than your unconscious friend. On his level he’s conscious of danger, where he’s going, roughly.. what about a blind animal? Sure, they could be conscious, what about an amoeba? It seeks food sources.. only a single cell organism.. Let’s agree that it has to qualify as life. Rocks are not conscious. So I’d say single celled organisms or something that seems very simple to us, like mold. I’m going to choose mold as the simplest form of consciouness.


No one knows for definate where consciousness comes from.
Its still under going studies. Therefore no one can say for definate which organisms are consccious. (Although people have theories)
In science the concsiousness problem is defined in 2 parts.
The easy problem (not actually easy) – figuring out the mechanics. Eg memory, concentration, perception etc.
The hard problem – What is the thing that experiences qualia eg the mehanics of seeing is easy to explain like a camera, but who or what is the thing that experiences it.
The computer just like the brain has electrical signals firing in its circuitary, but one is concsious and the other is presumably not like cogs meshing together. Whats the difference? IS it all just mechananical or is the consciousness a distinct entity from the brain which drives it?


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