Where do we come from? What does it mean to be human? What is existence? These are difficult questions that are answered in a myriad of ways. From the theological to the scientific, everyone has an answer that works for them.
I was 14 or 15 when I formally decided, in the way adolescents so often do, to discover the secret of existence as a New Year’s resolution in the back seat of my orthodontists car.
Perhaps understandably the cosmological answers that arise from this discovery have blown my mind on occasion. It’s quite a delightful idea but also maddening given the nature of our biology in this regard.
I will only attempt to show how the mind evolved and what consciousness is – how and why it came into existence. By examining critical factors of evolution I will provide a concise explanation of what makes an evolution successful and relate this to the evolutionary origins of the human mind.
I come from a hard science background of a childhood spent reading all the dinosaur and space books in elementary school library to attending Pure and Applied Sciences at college then 2 years of Biochemistry at university before my funding was denied and things went in a different direction.
While at university a couple of things occurred to set me off in this direction. The more relevant of the two was my attendance in a Psychology 101 class. I came from a hard science background and was studying Biochemistry because I thought it was important to know if I was going to fulfill my long ago pledge and truthfully by then, burning desire.
I was stunned and shocked with what I found in that course. There were a few things that bothered me but none more than the following. They claimed authority to speak of the mind and consciousness and all these intellectual and emotional processes but they never and I mean never ever sought to answer nor ask the question, where does it, the mind, consciousness come from?
Coming from hard sciences where a zero point is pretty much considered crucial to describing or doing anything, I was aghast. How can you go to university, study ‘the mind’ and not care to question or answer where it came from before you start going on and on about what it is doing or how humans behave, should be treated, etc. etc. etc. For me it was idiotic. By raising my ire it further fueled my desire to know this answer.
Based upon evolutionary principles, I can now explain where consciousness originated in nature and answer these questions.
I had the idea in the mid-1990’s, and nothing has dissuaded me yet. Though I did think of writing a book about it as I need an income like everyone else I decided online is a better way given the importance of the information. There are also advantages in working with hypertext that no book can match.
The idea adheres to Occam’s Razor and can help explain issues like how we can be so genetically close to chimpanzees and yet so different cognitively and culturally to explaining what memory is – not a hard-drive for all those homunculus fans c.2000 – and other aspects of the mind and behaviour.
I think it’s a simple and great idea.
I am looking forward to debating this idea with others who know more than I on other subjects. I look forward to hearing from all the naysayers and hope that at least a few are convinced from the get-go and we can work together to better parse and use the info presented.
I am open to being wrong and it is possible I may only be explaining how consciousness and our minds function, but the more I write the more convinced I am.
The idea is too important to dismiss and frankly impossible to forget once known. Where it goes, so go I.
I will leave you words we all need to heed as I found it making humans foolish through all historical periods:
Hubris is at the root of all our hatred towards the other, is the source of the problem with those who feel they have a need or right to micromanage and control other people’s lives. Hubris is a thing whose name we must acknowledge in perpetuity to prevent falling into its trap.
Michael Tripper 2002, February 2007, March 2008, November 27, 2012, January 2013. Revised For Mobile Nov 2014, but made into WordPress site in 2016.