⛰ 💡 The conscious rock

Or is it?

I started reading the Annaka Harris book Conscious and found it fascinating and baffling in equal measure and soon realised this is a massively complex subject and a lot of answers are beyond us at this point in time, but that’s part of the fun, hence the question.
Hell, even defining the word seems to split people, but again that’s part of the fun. Very hard for anyone to prove anyone elses view is incorrect.

So at what point do people believe consciousness exists.

Only human, a mammal, bird, insect, plant or even a rock?

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What is the view of science?

How many Sotonians are conscious on the pickled thread.?

Thats a starter for ten.

The that we can switch it off chemically… (when under a Gen. A) for example… should explain a few things.

I love trees there’s a simple symmetry about them given their own space . This is a picture of a tree I pass every day, lovely shape.

The interesting thing about it though is it’s actually two trees, one larger than the other. However they don’t compete, they compliment. They seem to be aware of each other in that their branches don’t tangle and they’ve grown up together to form a classical shape of a single tree.


I could give you the science behind that (and its chemical), but I don’t want to spoil it for you … because it does not matter. The fact that something can be explained does not make it any less wonderful. If you like to see the wonder ‘science’ can create, read, Dawkin’s Unweaving the rainbow… things dont became less beautiful because we understand them… if anything when we understand what has has to happen to bring it about its often even more awe-inspiring :wink:


If I get the chance this afternoon I’ll take a picture of that tree where the first tree has grown a branch towards the second and the second has diverted the growth of its own branch around the first to avert a clash. It’s fascinating.


The big one’s bumming the small one.


How do you know that it’s switched off?
What about anesthesia awareness or the basic level of consciousness that doesn’t involve awareness?
How do you define consciousness?

I think i’ll be all questions on this subject for some time.

They definitely are aware, communicate and share nutrients. It’s even been shown that a mother tree will prioritise it’s own offspring over others.

I’m told this book explains it all, but haven’t read yet.

When i was under when being a bone marrow donor about 10 years ago… there was ‘Nothing’ not even a back void or nothing… just 1…2…3… then awake 2 hours later with a pain in the back which felt like no time had passed…

…The point i was trying to make earlier, is that just like when we understand something it does not undermine and sense of the spectacular, so not (yet) understanding should not lead us to ditch the search and accept the ‘mystical’.

Have you grown your hair and are you walking around saying ‘no need to be so ‘heavy’ man’? :wink:

Is this you?


Looks like a conscious decision… :lou_lol:

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But we don’t understand it. A wide range of scientists admit this.
Anesthesia awareness is well documented. I’m glad you didn’t have to go through it and yes that disappearance of time raises questions.
Not sure where you’re getting the mystical bit from, just asking questions. Now answer them please.

Your last two questions.
Yes and yes, but i don’t look that happy☹️


I can’t comment on your mother tree book theories, but chemicals released that create unique responses only in those equipped with right receptors (driven by unique genes within ‘familial groups’) is extremely common - easiest example is animal pheromones work in that way… some that work in reverse to prevent interbreeding between offspring that are too closely related.

I have no knowledge of plants ‘sharing nutrients with their offspring’ - but chemical communication is a marker of evolution, as opposed to ‘conscious’ decision making on behalf of plants… any book with a subtitle that includes … "and beyond’ sounds a few alarm bells to me…

Remember, ‘absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence’ - just because we cant explain something yet scientifically, does not mean there is no scientific explanation…

I enjoyed that Dawkins book.

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Probably wouldn’t if you read the whole sentence

“A field guide to the senses of your garden - and beyond”

Or look up the author Dr Daniel Chamovitz director of plant biosciences Tel Aviv Uni and the reviews his book has received.
Professor Stephen D Hopper director of Kew and Gloria Coruzzi professor of biology NYU seem to rate it very highly, but what do they know.

Everything i’ve read/watched has been science, which is not what i expected when i started. I was expecting more philosophy, but neuroscience has come on in leaps and bounds.
This is one of the first things i watched and right at the start he talks about the anesthesia issue and goes onto things like locked in syndrome.

The science is moving fast and understanding seems to be changing and i haven’t even mentioned quantum mechanics, but that’s more because it makes my brain hurt😔

Jim Al-Khalili helps(a bit at least).

Help me out a bit, or i’ll mention panpsychism😉

I read this as a teenager. Quite interesting read.

Sorry to open this old thread. Has anyone managed to define what conciousness is yet?

Just in case enough time has now passed for @lifeintheslowlane to forget this stunning observation by @Barry-Sanchez.

Yeah I was pretty gobsmacked at the time of revelation…stunned into silence by the simplicity of explanation.
Bazza has an extraordinary way with words.

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