Evolution of consciousness

#1
I've heard it mentioned a few time (both on this site and elsewhere) that the human mind (consciousness) has evolved throughout the ages explaining our behaviour today. I also see the usual response from materialists that personality, ego, emotions, feelings etc are all chemical reactions, synapses, neurone etc which have also evolved into the complex human nature of today. if this is the case, why exactly did humans evolve so much more in comparison to other animals plants etc, why is it that our own consciousness seems so much more different. People make the argument of the soul, but materialists simply call that the ego or something else along those lines. going through quite a bit of confusion on this topic, there seems to be a lot of people who dismiss the idea of souls spirits etc and claim to have evidence to the contrary
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Emergence of consciousness from matter/energy requires getting something from nothing. This has never happened AFAIK in any other part of science, so why would it work with consciousness?
 
#3
I think they tend to make the Big Bang argument for that one (once there was nothing then there was something at that evolved into this). Then of course there's the argument that consciousness is just neurons firing, chemical reactions etc. to me if we knew as much about the human brain as materialists claim we would most likely be able to create robots capable of emoting free will etc
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#4
I think they tend to make the Big Bang argument for that one (once there was nothing then there was something at that evolved into this). Then of course there's the argument that consciousness is just neurons firing, chemical reactions etc. to me if we knew as much about the human brain as materialists claim we would most likely be able to create robots capable of emoting free will etc
But no one actually thinks the Big Bang involved the arising of something from nothing, unless someone adds characteristics to nothing...at which point it's basically something.

Beyond that it seems to me the usual arguments in favor of materialist explanation are challenged - if not refuted - by Clifton's Empirical Case Against Materialism.
 
#5
Physical features for which evolution selects must have causal effects. Since most materialists assert that consciousness is either an illusion or epiphenomenon they have no way to explain the appearance of a feature that is causally inert. In their worldview evolutionary pressures are blind to consciousness.
 
#6
Physical features for which evolution selects must have causal effects. Since most materialists assert that consciousness is either an illusion or epiphenomenon they have no way to explain the appearance of a feature that is causally inert. In their worldview evolutionary pressures are blind to consciousness.
The leading materialist theory seems to be emergence not epiphenomenalism, and I think an emergent phenomenon is supposed to be causal. Both of these are still incoherent and conflict with the evidence for psi and other psychical research. An illusion has to be held in consciousness, so this idea is also incoherent.

However, you have pointed out what does seem to be a deep contradiction in materialist thought even if they were right in their theories of consciousness. The materialists of course ignore or dismiss these problems and point to the obvious survival and reproductive value of cognitive power and problem solving ability, and the paleontological and archeological evidence for a long process of cognitive evolution actually having occurred, in the early stages roughly correlated with cerebral brain size. Indeed, cognitive ability (and presumably consciousness also) are traits that appear to be subject to evolutionary pressures.

How to resolve this conundrum? The essence of consciousness could be native to another realm, and strive to express itself in the physical through animal bodies and brains, where the brain is a sort of transceiver. Intelligence and other properties of consciousness could have improved and developed over ages of evolution by the progressive elaboration and sophistication of the material brain transceiving mechanism, which is subject to genetic change and selection. In other words interactive dualism, which was espoused by the great neuroscientists Wilder Penfield and Sir John Eccles.
 
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