by Dr Tom Chalko, Mt Best, Australia Full article PDF
Consciousness is a system of information processing. By “information processing” here we mean creating, sorting, interpreting, understanding, encoding, storing, retrieving, translating, transmitting, receiving, implementing and utilizing information.
What is the difference between Consciousness and a computer, that is also a system of information processing?
Consciousness is a system of information processing that is aware of itself. There are no computers that are aware of themselves. A computer doesn't mind if it is turned on or off. To a computer it does not matter if it is used by an artist or by a criminal.
Reliable passing of information from generation to generation is necessary for reproduction of living organisms. From a carrot seed we cannot grow an oak tree or any other plant - only a carrot can grow from a carrot seed.
Passing information from generation to generation is also the essence of evolution. New generations of living organisms implement what previous generations had learnt.
What is necessary for information to exist? The necessary condition for information to exist is encoding. In other words, information cannot exist without being encoded.
Encoding of information cannot be random, because randomly encoded information would not be retrievable. During the process that we call Life this encoding is highly reliable.
Encoding of information had to exist before any living organism could reproduce and before any evolution could take place, simply because passing information from generation to generation is necessary for both reproduction and evolution of living organisms.
Now we can solve the famous puzzle: “what was first, chicken or egg?”. The logical answer is that the first was the system of encoding information...
So, before Life appeared in the Universe, there had to exist a reliable system of information encoding. From our brief discussion presented above it seems obvious that
existence of Life and Consciousness
should be considered in the context of the entire Universe.
Restricting the context in any way can only lead to misleading conclusions.
Read full article or the book "Consciousness and Immortality"...