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Video: Are Animals Conscious?

Power Point presentation by Peter Spendelow of NWVeg, discussing whether or not animals are conscious. A fairly wide ranging presentation, commenting on brain structure of animals and humans as well as common and extraordinary powers of both.
Animal Consciousness, An Introduction
What is consciousness? What makes us conscious? How do you prove consciousness in others?

Are animals conscious; do they feel pain? Or are they, as the mathematician Rene (I think, therefor I am) Descartes asserted, simply machines that do not feel pain?

Spendelow quotes the work of James Rose, who compares the processing of pain in humans and fish and concludes that, since fish do not have a neocortex, they do not feel pain. But following this same line of reasoning, Spendelow demonstrates that fish cannot see either, something we know cannot be true. He then demonstrates how it is that fish can feel pain, enumerating many things that fish can do without a well developed cerebral cortex.

He also brings up some of the incredible things accomplished by other animals, such as the Clarks Nutcracker, Chickadee and Plover, and the beaver, all of whom demonstrate senses and abilities far beyond humans.

Spendelow spends some time exploring instinct versus reasoning and consciousness versus intelligence.

An interesting, educational and provacative presentation, exploring areas of science which, it seems, have not caught up with the common sense of those whose daily life interfaces with animals. They do feel pain; they surely must be conscious.
BR> Much of our blindness concerning animals lies with our dependence on definitions which often limit our ability to openly experience the natural world. There is a certain amount of ego in this; our viewpoint is human centered, anthropocentric, as our perspective of the solar system was once earth centered, geocentric
Scientists have been threatened and even executed for articulating theories claiming that Earth and human beings were not the center of God's universe. Just one example, in 1600, the Italian scientist Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for asserting that the sun was the center of the solar system.

Spendelow's presentation demonstrates in both scientific and common sense terms that the attribution of consciousness to only human beings is not only erroneous, but debilitating.

homepage: homepage: http://www,philosopherseed.org

sigh... 16.Feb.2010 13:45

mr nobody

thats a really really good thing to do... but its really sad that this even has to be done. meaning that there ARE people out there who dont realize this obvious blatant fact, and for some stupid reason think they arent animals themselves...

cool that this made it on indymedia tho!

Animals are more Conscious than Humans 18.Feb.2010 09:40

little pig

Animals are more conscious than humans-- animals are always in the moment not somewhere else in their heads like humans--Animals are more compassionate than the humans and smarter in many ways-- humans have been dumbed down and humans like it that way--Animals would never allow corporate domination of the planet--only stupid humans give away their powers to those who wish to destroy--the animals will never betray you--only humans--animals unlike humans can be trusted, and you know what to expect--the jackel will never conspire with the hyena to wage war and kill ALL of the zebra-- Only stupid humans do such cruel acts-- so humans are not the conscious creatures they like to believe that they are--they live in daydreams, technosphere, ipod land and humans are in a constant state of denial and if they are eating the standard american diet they are sick and dying like flies.