Re: Evolution of Consciousness

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 22 Oct 1996 14:13:16 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 21 Oct 1996, Chris Hind wrote:

> Also if apes can learn memes than are they self-aware?

We know that apes are probably self-aware. G Gallup made an experiment
where a chimp were anesthetized and a red spot was placed on its face.
When the chimp awoke, it was handed a mirror. Seeing its face, it tried
to rub off the spot, which implies that it knew the mirror image was
itself. Thus we can expect that chimps have a self-model.

See Gallup, G. G. Jr (1979) Self-awareness in primates. American
Scientist 67 417-421 [I love when I actually got a bibliography nearby!]

Gallup also did this with small children, and found that self-awareness
appears during the second year of life (Gallup, G. G., Jr. & Suarez, S.
D. (1986) Self-awareness and the emergence of mind in humans and other
primates. In J. Suks & A. G. Greenwald (Eds.) Psychological perspectives
on the self (Vol 3). Hillsdalem NJ: Erlbaum.).

I think memes are more important in building up our minds than creating
our consciousness, which seem to be a mental construct. One should also
remember that consciousness is not the same thing as self-awareness:
people with dissociative disorders may be conscious but lack clear

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y