[ExI] evolution of consciousness

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 02:14:49 UTC 2010

> I don't see why de se
> designators should be special, among other symbols, in that particular
> way.

 Not necessarily special, just useful up to a point.  One can see conscious
systems providing at least SOME benefit to organisms, perhaps in order to
make decisions affecting the self in the future, understanding how "I" fits
into its surroundings.  If conscious systems were developing at the same
time as or as a cause/effect of social systems, it is again simple to see
how awareness of the self to make decisions in the future in SOCIAL
situations would in turn, INCREASE SURVIVAL CHANCES.  Any social animal
which is able to modify the self and plan for the self in order to set up
ideal conditions for mating will have an advantage in mating.  Intelligence
would also be important, a separate property that enhanced the organization
and quality of actions.  Having high levels of both would lead to decisions
that both pertained more intimately in the self than other animals, and also
were of a higher quality and thus more likely to succeed.  Since both
systems as simple notions are easy enough to see emerging in very small
ways, the existence of both would lead to a greater number of animals with
slightly higher amounts of both, etc, etc.  This would explain why
intelligence seems highly correlated with consciousness, with most animals
who show signs of self-awareness (many birds, many primates, dolphins,
elephants) also performing well in social situations, problem-solving and
memory situations, and even having creative functions through crude art.
Sociability, insight and creativity are essential components of a blanket
intelligence (street smarts, school smarts, art smarts) and seem to
correlate with consciousness.  This could be both a product of an
epi-evolutionary dual helpfulness and the fact that awareness of the self
will actually improve the magnitudes of all three.
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