Materialist-Reductionists have long argued that consciousness is simply an epiphenomenon of brain processes. It “kind-of” evolved quite by accident as a part of natural selection. This has always puzzled me. There must have been a point in evolution where consciousness just spontaneously appeared within unconscious chemicals and electrical processe. This suggests that one second a brain was unconscious then suddenly it wasn’t. Now was this caused by the mutation of one single cell? Was it just one neuron that made the difference from total non-sentience to sentience? So what was it about this particular set of circumstances that caused this? Now must people will accept that there is a huge gulf between an absence of any form of consciousness and consciousness. They are totally different things. Okay, I agree that even a tiny bit of consciousness can give a huge evolutionary advantage over something that is animate but unconscious… But that very first change between one set of circumstances and another is , please forgive the analogy, an absolute quantum leap because consciousness is nothing like what has gone before. It is not an iteration on non-consciousness but a radically different something. Up until that universe-changing moment all sensory in-puts were unconsciously reacted against. But suddenly, and quite spontaneously there was a “me” that consciously, and reverentially, reacted against what “it” was being informed by its senses. It may not have been aware that it was a “me” but it had the first inkling of self-awareness. From then on consciousness was an an evolutionary roller-coaster. Consciousness became self-consciousness. Quite a leap I agree, but at least one that can be understood (whereas the quantum leap between nothing and consciousness is a whole different level of difference). The next evolutionary step, from self-consciousness to “referential self-consciousness is also a big leap but one that is, to use the term again, logically iterative. This is, as David Chalmers rightly terms it, the “Hard Problem” …. And something that absolutely fascinates me….. Of course I am just a woolly-thinking woo-woo merchant so such a position is simply a reflection of my confused understanding of “real” science …. Because your average materialist-reductionist sees no mystery in this at all …. Bit like the Big Bang I guess ….
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