Monday, February 23, 2009

My Fingers Tingle While I Type

Gerald Edelman, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist, says every human brain is unique in the history of the universe. He also explains the nature of animal consciousness:
There is every indirect indication that a dog is conscious—its anatomy and its nervous system organization are very similar to ours. It sleeps and its eyelids flutter during REM sleep. It acts as if it’s conscious, right? But there are two states of consciousness, and the one I call primary consciousness is what animals have. It’s the experience of a unitary scene in a period of seconds, at most, which I call the remembered present. If you have primary consciousness right now, your butt is feeling the seat, you’re hearing my voice, you’re smelling the air. Yet there’s no consciousness of consciousness, nor any narrative history of the past or projected future plans.


Jason said...

You would know best Fr. John but didn't Thomas Aquinas uncover this fact 750 years ago?

Fr. John said...

LOL. No doubt. St. Thomas wasn't my best subject!