Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Consciousness and the Cambrian Explosion?

Thomas 18; The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"

Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.

"Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."

Craig Venter speculates;
We may be about to create a new version of the Cambrian explosion, where there is massive new speciation (the formation of new and distinct species) based on this digital design.
Stuart Hameroff wonders;
When and where did consciousness emerge in the course of evolution? Did it happen as recently as the past million years, for example concomitant with language or tool making in humans or primates? Or did consciousness arrive somewhat earlier, with the advent of mammalian neocortex 200 million years ago (Eccles, 1992)? At the other extreme, is primitive consciousness a property of even simple unicellular organisms of several billion years ago (e.g. as suggested by Margulis and Sagan, 1995)? Or did consciousness appear at some intermediate point, and if so, where and why? Whenever it first occurred, did consciousness alter the course of evolution?
Gaia-mother, Anthropos-father - necessity driving our desperate gambit to pass through an evolutionary narrow gate - should that potentiality come to pass....,