Astrobiologist: Consciousness preceded life

by | May 19, 2024 | Consciousness, Consciousness Theories, Story Ideas | 0 comments

May 2024

Most scientists believe that consciousness emerged after life, as a product of evolution. But there is reason to believe that consciousness preceded life, argues astrobiologist Stuart Hameroff and collaborators Anirban Bandyopadhyay and Dante Lauretta, in the Institute of Art and Ideas’ magazine.

In fact, they say, consciousness may have enabled evolution and life.

“The origin of life may have been prompted and driven by conscious feelings right from the start. Evolution may have worked to optimize, organize, and prioritize more advanced conscious experience involving memory, belief, forecasting, intention and iteration, driven by primitive, and then more advanced forms of pleasure-seeking. Life became the vehicle for consciousness”, say Hameroff, Bandyopadhay and Lauretta.

The key to finding out whether this theory holds or not, they explain, may lie in the asteroids, ancient relics from the dawn of the solar system, where observations have been made of extraterrestrial organic material.

Hameroff will be debating under the program item “Darwin vs. Consciousness” at the upcoming How the Light Gets In festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, May 24-27.

Anders Bolling

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