It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Do even simple lifeforms such as insects or spiders have consciousness?

page: 5
<< 2  3  4   >>

log in


posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: Ellie Sagan
Don't you worry about the maggots?

The flies are laying eggs that turn into your cats food!

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 11:51 AM
a reply to: andy06shake

Ants stick to the plan, no time for hate, or emotions.
They have a job to do.

Personally I only kill flies.... Spiders are enemies of flies so I am their friend.

I plant flowers for bees cauase that hive mind is one I would like please.
Anyway I liked your post, I admire out the box thinking.

On a more macro scale are the planets conscious?

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:01 PM
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Yeah, I do think about that too. I don't know what else to do though. Cats must eat, flies do come. I took down the fly traps because it seemed to make it worse, like flies were coming from everywhere just to get to my yard, and they still swarmed to the cat food AND the traps!

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:07 PM
Simple life forms like Bugs, Insects and others are reactive stimuli in an otherwise living ecosystem.

The energy and systems within that environment serve to exist with each other, several hundred thousands years to a million is a lot of time for genetic instruction imprinting, not to mention the main goal of biological life is to exist and propagate, in that order. Bugs fit that bill.

Simple life reacts, stimulates and recycles within simple non dramatic changing environments an niches. Why when you add an invasive species it almost always goes belly up because the knowledge to combat doesn't exist, therefore biology has to endure until a new approach is found and imprinted.
Since Bugs have been here since the very beginning, through cyclic levels of birth, death and rebirth, it isn't all that hard to imagine simple organisms constantly refreshing their "Bios", so to speak, and therefore aren't subject to the levels of Consciousness we experienced.

In that regard, Humans and animals that exhibit any form of consciousness find themselves at a different situation, here, the body still dies and recycles, however, the knowledge, wisdom and everything that creates our consciousness have weight and therefore not easily destroyed. For every human birth, a small portion of that energy is returned, serving as a spark to ignite new life.

*Disclaimer: Personal views.

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:16 PM
a reply to: OutTheBox

The plan is, there is no plan mate, as far as i can establish, just rules and constants.

A plan is a very human construct really, and not the way nature functions.

Personally i try not to kill anything if i can help it.

As to Planetary consciousness, well the more speculative versions of Gaia theory, including ones in which it is believed that the Earth is actually conscious in a sentient manner, similar to our own, are generally considered outside the bounds of what is usually considered science.

That being said, some of the worlds most renowned scientists are indeed beginning to question whether the cosmos has an inner life similar to our own.

In 2006 a German physicist by the name of Bernard Haisch proposed that the quantum fields that permeate all of empty space may produce and transmit consciousness.

Which then emerges in any sufficiently complex system, with sufficient energy flowing through it.

This theory would apply to not just a brain, but potentially any physical structure like our Earth for instance.
edit on 18-8-2020 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: Ellie Sagan
You need to find their nest and destroy it..

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:50 PM
a reply to: andy06shake
I will need to look into that particular theory, seems interesting, the idea that the earth is conscious predates science, maybe we need to go back to the root of matters to try and establish truth again.

Humans have been lied to for Aeons, and those lies have shaped our reality... A paradox if yo like

posted on Aug, 18 2020 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: OutTheBox

Boltzmann brains are rather interesting topic also at least as a thought experiment.,a%20state%20of%20thermodynamic%20equilibrium.

posted on Aug, 19 2020 @ 01:12 AM
Closely related to the question in the OP about consciousness, is the topic of intelligence. For example, the heron goes fishing with a lure in the tip of its bill. Sighting a fish in the stream, it drops the lure, a feather. As the fish comes up for the bait, swish, the heron has its dinner​—lure fishing by a professional angler.

Is this evidence of intelligence? According to one report, scientists feel that intelligence is the “quality of being aware of oneself as an entity in one’s environment, and of being able to acquire and retain knowledge, to learn and understand from experience, to solve problems and to respond successfully to constantly changing situations.”

Apparently, the heron learned from experience and solved a problem. Therefore, by this definition, some would say it is “intelligent.” And other examples may be cited.

The honeybee is another creature that seems to be “intelligent.” In order to test its “intelligence,” Dr. James Gould, a researcher of honeybee behavior at Princeton University, placed food for the bees but moved the food each time the bees flew back to the hive. Each movement of the food was one-and-a-quarter times the previous distance from the hive. Soon the bees outwitted the researcher. They were found circling around the spot where the food was next expected to be.

Dr. Gould believes, however, that most of the evidences of animal intelligence are instinctive. If so, can he explain how the bees came to a conclusion based on past events? “I can’t,” he replied, adding, “I wish they’d never done it!”

Whether animals act by “intelligence” or by instinct, the question remains: What is the source of their wisdom? Even though Dr. Gould admits he cannot explain it, his basic stand in this field is: “Evolution can program very complex behavior into very tiny brains.” But would it not be more logical to conclude that such “intelligent” behavior must be the result of intelligent design rather than blind evolution? The Bible links the behavior of the winged creatures to the Creator and says: “Ask, please, the domestic animals, and they will instruct you; also the winged creatures of the heavens, and they will tell you. Who among all these does not well know that the hand of Jehovah itself has done this?”​—Job 12:7, 9; see also Proverbs 30:24-28.

What will these creatures tell you? If they had the ability to speak, they would say: ‘The Creator can program very complex behavior into very tiny brains.’ While evolutionists may “wish they’d never done” such intriguing things, the Bible attributes the wisdom​—whether learned or instinctive—​of such creatures to their Maker, Jehovah God.​—Genesis 1:20-22; Romans 1:20.

Talking about bees, honeybees can safely land at virtually any angle without problems. How do they do it?

Consider: A safe landing requires that the honeybee reduce its approach speed to nearly zero before contact. One logical way to do this would be to measure two factors—flight speed and the distance to the target—and then reduce speed accordingly. However, that method would be difficult for most insects because they have close-set, fixed-focus eyes that cannot directly measure distance.

The vision of honeybees is very different from that of humans who use binocular vision. Honeybees seem to use the simple fact that an object appears to get bigger as they approach it. The closer they get to an object, the faster it seems to increase in size. Experiments conducted at the Australian National University indicate that the honeybee decreases its flight speed so that the rate of apparent enlargement of an object remains constant. By the time the honeybee reaches its target, its speed has decreased to almost zero, allowing it to land safely.

The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports: “The simplicity and generality of this landing strategy . . . [make] it ideal for implementation in the guidance systems of flying robots.”

What do you think? Did the honeybee’s landing strategy evolve? Or was it designed?

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) construct their honeycombs with wax secreted from glands found on the underside of their abdomen. The honeycomb is regarded as an engineering marvel. Why?

Consider: For centuries, mathematicians suspected that partitions in the shape of hexagons were better than equilateral triangles or squares​—or any other shape—​for maximizing space with the least amount of building material. But they could not fully explain why. In 1999, Professor Thomas C. Hales provided mathematical proof for the advantage of what he termed “honeycomb conjecture.” He demonstrated that regular hexagons are the best way to divide a space into equal parts with minimal structural support.

By using hexagonal cells, bees can make the best use of all the space available to them, produce a light but sturdy honeycomb with a minimum amount of wax, and store the maximum amount of honey in a given space. Not surprisingly, the honeycomb has been described as “an architectural masterpiece.”

Today, scientists mimic the bees’ honeycomb to create structures that are both resilient and space efficient. Aircraft engineers, for example, use panels patterned after the honeycomb to build planes that are stronger and lighter and thus use less fuel.

What do you think? Did the superior structure of the honeycomb come about by evolution? Or was it designed?

Some more from the series of articles called:

Was It Designed? | Intelligent Design


How Do Ants Avoid Traffic Jams?
The Ant’s Neck
The Carpenter Ant’s Antenna Cleaner
The Compound Heat Shield of the Saharan Silver Ant
The Mechanical Gears of the Issus Leafhopper
The Locust’s Motion-Sensitive Neurons
The Dung Beetle’s Navigation Skill
The Haltere of the Fly
The Fruit Fly’s Aerobatic Ability

Just a small sample, I skipped most.

posted on Aug, 19 2020 @ 01:48 AM

originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: OutTheBox
That being said, some of the worlds most renowned scientists are indeed beginning to question whether the cosmos has an inner life similar to our own.

In 2006 a German physicist by the name of Bernard Haisch proposed that the quantum fields that permeate all of empty space may produce and transmit consciousness.

Which then emerges in any sufficiently complex system, with sufficient energy flowing through it.

This theory would apply to not just a brain, but potentially any physical structure like our Earth for instance.

Meh, a bit too speculative, far-fetched and desperately holding on to the straws of philosophical naturalism for my taste, I prefer what John Polkinghorne, of the University of Cambridge, England, observed:

“Theoretical physicist Paul Dirac discovered something called quantum field theory which is fundamental to our understanding of the physical world. I can’t believe Dirac’s ability to discover that theory, or Einstein’s ability to discover the general theory of relativity, is a sort of spin-off from our ancestors having to dodge saber-toothed tigers. Something much more profound, much more mysterious, is going on. . . .

“When we look at the rational order and transparent beauty of the physical world, revealed through physical science, we see a world shot through with signs of mind. To a religious believer, it is the mind of the Creator that is being discerned in that way.”—Commonweal.

Have you ever wondered why everything from atomic particles to vast galaxies is governed by precise mathematical laws? Have you reflected on life itself​—its variety, its complexity, and its amazing design? Many attribute the universe and the life in it to a great cosmic accident and evolution. Others give credit to an intelligent Creator. Which viewpoint do you feel is more reasonable?

Archaeologists draw conclusions about earlier civilizations, often from items that have lain buried for thousands of years. Imagine, for example, that an archaeologist has unearthed dozens of carefully cut stone blocks of precisely the same size neatly aligned on top of one another. They are also set out in a distinct geometric pattern that does not occur naturally. What would the archaeologist conclude? Would he attribute his find to coincidence? Most likely not. Rather, he would interpret it as evidence of past human activities, and that would be a reasonable conclusion.

To be consistent, should we not apply the same reasoning to the design manifest in the natural world? Many people have taken that view, including respected scientists.

Blind chance or purposeful design?

Years ago, British mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Sir James Jeans wrote that in the light of advancing scientific knowledge, “the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.” He also stated that “the universe appears to have been designed by a pure mathematician” and that it provides “evidence of a designing or controlling power that has something in common with our own individual minds.”

Other scientists have arrived at a similar conclusion since Jeans penned those words. “The overall organization of the universe has suggested to many a modern astronomer an element of design,” wrote physicist Paul Davies. One of the most famous physicists and mathematicians of all time, Albert Einstein, wrote: “The fact that [the natural world] is comprehensible is a miracle.” In the eyes of many, that miracle includes life itself, from its fundamental building blocks to the amazing human brain.

DNA and the human brain:

DNA is the genetic material of all cellular organisms and the molecular basis for heredity. This complex acid has been compared to a blueprint or a recipe, for DNA is packed with information, which is encoded in chemical form and stored in a molecular environment that is capable of interpreting that code and acting on it. How much information is stored in DNA? If the basic units, called nucleotides, were converted into letters of the alphabet, they would “occupy more than a million pages of a typical book,” says one reference.

In most organisms, DNA is bundled up into threadlike bodies called chromosomes, which are safely stored inside each cell’s nucleus. The nuclei, in turn, have an average diameter of about 0.0002 of an inch [5 micrometers]. Think about that​—all the information that produced your unique body is found in tiny packages that have to be observed under a microscope! As one scientist rightly said, living organisms have “by far the most compact information storage/​retrieval system known.” That’s saying something when you reflect on the memory capacity of computer chips, DVDs, and the like! What is more, DNA has by no means revealed all its secrets. “Every discovery reveals a new complexity,” says New Scientist magazine. (When Charles Darwin formulated his ideas on evolution, he had no idea of the complexity of the living cell.)

Is it reasonable to attribute such perfection of design and organization to blind chance? If you were to stumble across a highly technical manual a million pages thick and written in an efficient, elegant code, would you conclude that the book somehow wrote itself? What if that book were so small that you needed a powerful microscope to read it? And what if it contained precise instructions for the manufacture of a self-repairing, self-replicating intelligent machine with billions of parts, all of which had to be fitted together at precisely the right time and in the right way? To be sure, the notion that such a book just happened would not even enter one’s mind.

After examining current research on the inner workings of the cell, British philosopher Antony Flew, once a leading champion of atheism, stated: “The almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), [show] that intelligence must have been involved.” Flew believes in “following the argument no matter where it leads.” In his case it led to a complete change in thinking, so that he now believes in God.

The human brain too leaves many scientists in awe. A product of DNA, the brain has been described as “the most complicated object in the universe.” Even the most advanced supercomputer looks positively primitive next to this approximately three-pound pinkish-gray mass of neurons and other structures. In the opinion of one neuroscientist, the more that scientists learn about the brain and the mind, “the more magnificent and unknowable it becomes.”

Consider: The brain enables us to breathe, laugh, cry, solve puzzles, build computers, ride a bicycle, write poetry, and look up at the night sky with a sense of reverential awe. Is it reasonable​—indeed, consistent—​to attribute these abilities and capacities to blind evolutionary forces?

Belief Based on Evidence

In order to understand ourselves, should we look down, as it were, to apes and other animals, as evolutionists do? Or should we look up to God for answers? Granted, we have certain things in common with animals. We have to eat, drink, and sleep, for example, and we are able to reproduce. Still, we are unique in many ways. (see article linked at the end of my first comment in this thread for details) Reason suggests that our distinct human traits stem from a Being higher than ourselves​—that is, from God. The Bible put that thought succinctly, stating that God formed mankind “in his image” morally and spiritually speaking. (Genesis 1:27) Why not contemplate God’s qualities, some of which are recorded at Deuteronomy 32:4; James 3:17, 18; and 1 John 4:7, 8.

Our Creator has given us the “intellectual capacity” to investigate the world around us and to find satisfying answers to our questions. (1 John 5:20) In this regard, physicist and Nobel laureate William D. Phillips wrote: “When I examine the orderliness, understandability, and beauty of the universe, I am led to the conclusion that a higher intelligence designed what I see. My scientific appreciation of the coherence, and the delightful simplicity of physics strengthens my belief in God.”

Some two thousand years ago, a discerning observer of the natural world wrote: “[God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) The writer​—the Christian apostle Paul—​was an intelligent man and highly educated in the Mosaic Law. His reason-based faith made God a reality to him, while his acute sense of justice moved him to give due credit to God for his creative works.
Purposeful Design or Mindless Process? 1 of 2 (playlist)

posted on Aug, 19 2020 @ 02:16 AM

originally posted by: whereislogic
a reply to:: andy06shake

In most organisms, DNA is bundled up into threadlike bodies called chromosomes, which are safely stored inside each cell’s nucleus. ... As one scientist rightly said, living organisms have “by far the most compact information storage/​retrieval system known.”

Could have linked this video somewhere under that text:


Molecular Machinery of Life

Where do machines come from? What causes their emergence on the scene (their existence in reality)?

Alternate version of the video with some additional commentary:

Related subjects:

edit on 19-8-2020 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 20 2020 @ 04:20 PM

originally posted by: whereislogic
a reply to: nononsense35
I guess one can fiddle around a bit with how they're going to define consciousness because it's such a complicated subject, but whatever one ascribes to various animals, it still won't be quite like human consciousness.

I agree with that. As you also explain in the rest of your post, our language and our ability to reflect and to try to analyze our own self, are remarkable.

It’s very well possible that the difference here is our “processing power”. Like in computer systems, the more memory and processing power they have, the more complex artificial intelligence functions can be executed. But even the most powerful AI systems barely match the complexity of the most simple lifeforms.
The questions is if consciousness arises from that complexity or if there is more. If you build a computer with AI that is a billion times more powerful than today, will it become conscious?

Or does consciousness come from elsewhere and does it use living beings as a kind of “vehicle”? It’s just the actions of insects, as I wrote in the OP, that can hardly be explained by DNA programming that made me wonder about that. Are living beings the hardware, with quite some built-in programming for the daily functioning. But do some additional “programs” come from “the cloud”, a cosmic consciousness, God or whatever you want to call it?
These creatures are not busy with art, culture or whatever, as we are, but they do seem to do things beyond their capabilities.

Nor is our brain just some vast storage place for information, like a supercomputer. Biology professors Robert Ornstein and Richard F. Thompson wrote: “The ability of the human mind to learn—to store and recall information—is the most remarkable phenomenon in the biological universe. Everything that makes us human—language, thought, knowledge, culture—is the result of this extraordinary capability.”

We’re probably the only creatures here busy with culture and art, but it does seem that other living beings also store and recall information and learn from it. That’s not unique to us.
Even computer algorithms nowadays store info and learn from it. They can even compose music, even if they don’t know what they’re doing.

On the topic of language, chimpanzees have been taught some limited sign language, but their use of it is essentially limited to simple requests for food or other basics. Having worked to teach chimps simple nonverbal communication, Dr. David Premack concluded: “Human language is an embarrassment for evolutionary theory because it is vastly more powerful than one can account for.”

We might ponder: ‘Why do humans have this marvelous skill to communicate thoughts and feelings, to inquire and to respond?’ The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics states that “[human] speech is special” and admits that “the search for precursors in animal communication does not help much in bridging the enormous gap that separates language and speech from nonhuman behaviors.” Professor Ludwig Koehler summarized the difference: “Human speech is a secret; it is a divine gift, a miracle.”
What a difference there is between an ape’s use of signs and the complex language ability of children!

Language indeed enables us to do things far beyond what would be possible without it. My feeling is that this is due to the complexity and power of our brain. On the other hand, I wonder if you always need a formal language to "think". What do toddlers think before they can talk? Or what does someone who's raised by animals think? I have no idea.

But apes also form alliances, engage in politics, etc. without having a complex language. So there must be other ways to have these thoughts in their heads. Or we don’t understand their subtle language of course. It’s maybe a bit easy to say that they only know a few basic requests in sign language. That’s our language, not theirs.

Anyhow, I don’t have the answers, but let’s keep asking questions.

posted on Aug, 20 2020 @ 04:27 PM

originally posted by: AaarghZombies
a reply to: nononsense35

Many insects act purely on instinct, some are so simple that if you cut their heads off they will flop around wildly until they starve to death because the have no mouth to eat with.

Many are unable to distinguish between their own reflection and another animal.

Indeed. And still bees explain to their hive where food can be found. That's exactly my original question, how do they manage that if they're so simple you can cut off their head and still they try to continue? Where does that spark come from that allows them to do more than just execute their basic functions?

posted on Aug, 20 2020 @ 04:40 PM

originally posted by: Arnie123
The energy and systems within that environment serve to exist with each other, several hundred thousands years to a million is a lot of time for genetic instruction imprinting, not to mention the main goal of biological life is to exist and propagate, in that order. Bugs fit that bill.

I've always looked at it that way, until I got stuck with the wasp story I explained in the OP. There are different steps that don't make any sense to imprint in the DNA, unless they knew the last step that was coming a thousand years before it did.

Also, a language isn't imprinted in the DNA, just the ability to create a language. And then I wonder how bees agree upon the "words" to use/.

posted on Aug, 21 2020 @ 04:37 AM
a reply to: nononsense35
How did you agree upon the words to use?

top topics

<< 2  3  4   >>

log in