Science X-Files

What Is Consciousness?

What Is Consciousness?

Consciousness! A term which has been related to a varied meaning! It is the term you must have read about in your Moral Science books. Or, in your Bible classes! Or, you must have heard your grandparent telling you story about the same.

But, how do you define this feeling or this trait or this attribute! The thinking which is empowering human minds and guiding them has been defined or explained by philosophers all round the world.

What the philosophers have to say about consciousness?

Hence, it did not come as a surprise, when Rene Descartes, the renowned 17th century philosopher, said that the capacity to think about this question as to what is consciousness, gives the answer. He said- “I think, therefore I am.

And, then there is David Chalmers, who made this observation-“consciousness poses the most baffling problem in the science of the mind. There is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain.”

Yet, somehow the question seems unanswered.

Does religion answer this question?

  • There are religions in fact, almost all the religions which relate consciousness to the soul. In this consideration, it can be mentioned as something that breathes life in the feelings.
  • In the Jewish tradition, the soul is associated with the breath. So, when someone gives out his last breath, there is the survival of his or her soul in ether.
  • Christianity too associates with a similar concept.
  • Then, there is the Hindu religion, where the soul is considered ahead of the physical being.
  • In fact, animists all over the world believe that the spirits of the ancestors are watching over them. And, they also require constant offerings.
soul-in-religionAlmost all the religions, philosophical, and mythological traditions relate consciousness to the soul. Illustration to book “The Grave” by William Blake

So, is their some seat of consciousness?

  • Kristoff Koch and Francis Crick, the molecular biologist, discovered the double helix structure of DNA. It is them that presented the hypothesis that a claustrum might integrate information.
  • And, just recently the researchers have discovered that the claustrum acts as a sort of on-off switch in the brain.
  • This is very similar to the light switch which regulates the presence or absence of electrical light.
  • So, there is much more to the definition which says that it is opposite to unconsciousness.
neuronsThe average human brain has about 100 billion neurons (or nerve cells) and many more neuroglia (or glial cells) which serve to support and protect the neurons.

Here, is summarized some theories about the Consciousness:

  1. In accordance with the theory, the brain looks like a complex computer.
  2. 86 billion neurons are in the brain.
  3. 10,000 -100,000 pursue connection of each neuron to other neurons.
  4. It is these neurons, which form a network and sub-networks.
  5. It is them that are dynamic.
  6. So, the theory implies that the consciousness draws on the innumerable number of neuronal networks, and then occurs the coordination of activities which is definitely complex.

How is neuron associated with brain and consciousness?

All the neurons, its sub-networks, networks and even the interactive networks fabricate, dissolve and shift to fabricate a generative system. So, it can be said, that their different, contradictory action come together and give raise something that you can call consciousness.

So, this theory centers on a phenomenon which is based on physical matter and its known attributes and is thus, believable to some extent!

 

What Is Consciousness?
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