Life, death, life, death, life, death….
There is an appealing simplicity to the logic.
“But the brain causes consciounsess!!!” I know of no other causal factor therefore there is none. Argument from ignorance?
Another thought. Maybe consciousness is a fractal, with scale invaiance? How? Well take the visual field (eg monitor and keyboard), and then a part of it (keyboard), and would the outside observer know which was the part of experience or which was the whole? Just like apples are green at all scales, so are experiences consiocus.
Now I am thinking of “the blind watchmaker”. Living consciouss beings are like mechanisms, lower in entropy than their surroundings - more ordered. So the “magic ” of consciousness might suggest a break with nature, but maybe once the person dies the cloch (living mechanism, and with it consicousness) goes bust too.
Most recent National Geographic magazine has an article about the brain. The point that stood out to me is that scientists have recently discovered that the recognition of a person’s face inhabits ONE brain cell. So what does that look like?
I think that, obviously, the people we see regularly inhabit more of our brain. But famous faces—those we learn to recognize on a magazine cover (they use Jennifer Aniston as an example)—are in one cell. I realize that one cell contains jillions of molecules. But what is the code for a memory of a face? And I bet there is more than just Jennifer Aniston in that cell.
I admit I start to sound woo-ish when I think about this, but here goes. The DNA code is physical, with certain combos of base pairs corresponding to particular amino acids. Memory code could be like this too. Or it could be more of an energy field code. That is, the energy relationships (bond energies, electrical potentials, etc.) between various components might be the components of the memory.
In any case, like your fractal analogy, how small of a scale could a memory code operate? If one cell contains the face of Jennifer Aniston, what is the potential for memory in single-celled creatures?
Gonna have to look that up…
OK, here are some links to memory in simple organisms.
Discussion of learning vs. habituation in bacteria
flatworms and annelids (worms)
(Just an abstract, but it comfirms that memory occurs.)
Then the question is, does memory imply consciousness? I’d say not necessarily (as parsed in the bacteria article…but who knows?