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rachelr's picture

Tempting, but its all about context



Yes the whole idea of consciousness and forward thought troubles me. Darwin said that “in the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” But plenty of species collaborate without the highly developed consciousness of humans. This ability to communicate so broadly, plan and think ahead, collaborate, makes up for things that other species have that we lack: speed, regrowth, strength. But we could have just as easily died out instead of evolving to this level of consciousness. What level of randomness accounted for this? How many pieces of the puzzle of biodiversity had to have been fit together so that we could make this change?


In regards to this higher consciousness placing us above other species, we already know that nothing is perfect. For example bacteria has been here on Earth pretty much as far back as we know and cannot die. They will outlive all humans, animals, plants. However the price they pay is that they have no consciousness, no sense of choice and really freedom that we as humans have. And, inversely, we as humans cannot live forever, but I'm sure most of us would rather be human than bacteria. We can hear, smell, touch, love, hate, see, interact. There is nothing on Earth that combines the complexity of humans and animals (the consciousness and awareness) with the hardiness and immortality of bacteria. There is a trade off for everything, a natural balance between all organisms on Earth.


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