Robert J. Bradbury wrote (Mon, 26 Mar 2001 10:17:09)
> Hmmmm, but it is generally thought that the only 'conscious'
> animals are from the ape-level to humans. Go back in the
> archives and look up the mirror (self-recognition) test
> discussions (in fall of '99 I think). That means all other
> animals down to the level of fish survive *quite* will with
> little or no consciosness. So for your statement above
> to be true you seem to be saying that the natural environment
> that these animals live in is not 'challenging'.
The mirror tests are important and significant, but I
doubt if we want to peg "consciousness" to them. The
reason that I say so is that passing/failing the mirror
test has too sharp a demarcation line. I predict that
we will want to conceive of consciousness as lying
smoothly on a continuum, and that it will be something
more along these lines (even if I'm wrong and we do
call it something else) that will be seen as important.
For the same reason, I disagree with the contention that
quite a few people are unconscious during most of their
waking day. I don't think that consciousness is so easy
to pin down, and almost wish that I could join J. R.
Molloy and believe it to be as useless to discuss as
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:43 MDT