Thursday, September 23, 2010

Consciousness: The Great Leap Forward (Again?)

'Bigger Than The World'
Justin Timberlake

Collective Consciousness

There has been more discussions recently about collective consciousness just recently as we remembered global events that increased our awareness of our world, including 9/11. Actually part of the reason why I blog is because of 9/11. During the aftermath of the terror, heartbreak, and trauma that occurred in NYC, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon on that unforgettable day, there was a palpable change in country I felt. I don't know if it was collective but we all changed. I don't know if we were all connected at some point mentally, spiritually or noetically but somehow our consciousness appeared altered and irrevocably affected. For many months following the siege, the offices of the Wall Street Journal were displaced and journalists were spread out in outposts dispatching daily stories of immense hope, heroicism and triumphs of human spirit. It was difficult not to cry nearly everyday reading what ordinary people were doing endearing unimaginable pain and surviving extraordinary circumstances. Their unique, individual voices could not be missed or forgotten.

Conciousness Emerged 40,000 Years Ago

Intelligence, consciousness, and sentience. AWARENESS... Mmmh... the Matrix (nsfw) expanded my mind and awareness.

Scifi author Robert J. Sawyer wrote an essay in the anthology 'Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix' entitled 'Artificial Intelligence, Science Fiction, and THE MATRIX'. Regarding humans, 'Intelligence is an emergent property of complex systems. We know that because that's exactly how it happened in us.'

'Anatomically modern humans -- Homo sapien sapiens -- emerged a hundred thousand years ago. Judging by their skulls, these guys had brains identical in size and shape to our own. And yet, for 60,000 years, those brains went along doing only the things nature needed them to do: enabling these early humans to survive.'

'And then, suddenly, 40,000 years ago, it happened: intelligence -- and consciouness itself -- emerged. Anthropologists call it "the Great Leap Forward."'

'Modern-looking human beings had been around for six hundred centuries by that point, but they had created no art, they didn't adorn their bodies with jewelry, and they didn't bury their dead with grave goods. But starting simultaneously 40,000 years ago, suddenly humans were painting beautiful pictures on cave walls, humans were wearing necklaces and bracelets, and humans were interring their loved ones with food and tools and other valuable objects that could only have been of use in a presumed afterlife.'

'Art, fashion, and religion all appeared simultaneously; truly, a great leap forward. intelligence, consciouness, sentience: it came into being, of its own accord, running on hardward that had evolved for other purposes. If it happened once, it might well happen again.'

Will A Different Conciousness Emerge Again?

Could we have another renaissance of culture, arts and technology? A neolithic intelligence, consciousness and sentience...?? I think we are on that path. The mind is the new frontier. Its barriers and miracles of its strength and potential power are being unlocked as we discover more (or learn from our ancestral warriors and healers)... Return to Matrix... energy begets energy. No energy is wasted. Life is sustained (Neo, kiss; Trinity, energetic voltage to the heart like an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Neanderthal Extinction

Neanderthals were far more advanced, culturally and technologically, and appreciative of consciouness more than earlier realized. An updated from Science Daily from today: Neanderthals More Advanced Than Previously Thought: They Innovated, Adapted Like Modern Humans, Research Shows. In terms of adaptation and evolution, the authors note 'Thousands of years ago, southern Italy experienced a shift in climate, becoming increasingly open and arid, said Riel-Salvatore. Neanderthals living there faced a stark choice of adapting or dying out. The evidence suggests they began using darts or arrows to hunt smaller game to supplement the increasingly scarce larger mammals they traditionally hunted. The fact that Neanderthals could adapt to new conditions and innovate shows they are culturally similar to us," he said.

The same speculation is discussed regarding recent information that grasslands were massively decreased as temperatures cooled at the end of the last Ice Age, approximately coinciding with the last days of the Neanderthals. Read Science Daily (August 18, 2010): Dwindling Green Pastures, Not Hunting, May Have Killed Off the Mammoth. As drier tundras replaced productive grasslands, large herbivorous mega-mammals like wooly mammoths, wooly rhinos and giant deer decreased in number. 'These habitat changes made grazing much more difficult for large mammals and dramatically reduced the amount of food available for them. The changes in grassland quality and availability coincided with increases in the distribution and abundance of modern man, Homo sapiens, ensuring a time of wide-scale upheaval for herbivorous mammals and other mammals that preyed on them.' (Photo courtesy, Science Daily)

Where did this leave the Neanderthals, the terrestrial carnivores (see post: Meat Made Us Smart, But Marine-based BAD*SSED)? Well. With considerably lower intakes of brain-nurturing omega-3 sources. Hunting smaller animals and increasing broad spectrum utilization of plant sources as the larger mammals migrated north away from Italian/Mediterranean and Euroasian shoresides toward Slavic and Siberian geographies.

Ancient man on the other hand continued to and perhaps were propelled toward marine-sourced carnivory and less plant based outsourcing as the mega-fauna dwindled in number and size. As brains improved synaptically, the bigger the brain, the bigger the hunt and the bigger the fish/seafood? It appears so from the evidence thus far.

Electrically, electrochemically, what is omega-3?

It fills in and controls our lipid double-layer cell membranes, and membranes are the master controllers in many emerging ways.

It behaves like high-speed internet. Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids are the strongest, longest 'cables' in nature and behave like the cables of Comcast and DSL for our brain/heart/GI hardware and connections.

Bigger Omega-3 --> Bigger Brain --> Bigger Consciousness --> Bigger Display/Capture --> Bigger S*XXX --> Bigger Progeny/DNA-push-forward


Explaining longevity of different animals: is membrane fatty acid composition the missing link?
Hulbert AJ.
Age (Dordr). 2008 Sep;30(2-3):89-97. Epub 2008 May 31.

Membrane fatty acids as pacemakers of animal metabolism.
Hulbert AJ.
Lipids. 2007 Sep;42(9):811-9. Epub 2007 Apr 27. Review.

Membrane phospholipid composition may contribute to exceptional longevity of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber): a comparative study using shotgun lipidomics.
Mitchell TW, Buffenstein R, Hulbert AJ.
Exp Gerontol. 2007 Nov;42(11):1053-62.

The exceptional longevity of an egg-laying mammal, the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is associated with peroxidation-resistant membrane composition.
Hulbert AJ, Beard LA, Grigg GC.
Exp Gerontol. 2008 Aug;43(8):729-33.


epistemocrat said...

Hi G,

Nice cable analogy; it captures the critical roles that lipids play in information signaling.

People know the agony associated with slow cable conductivity--e.g. slow internet speed--so hopefully we can avoid that in our neurological systems.



Dr. B G said...

Hi Brent,

I'm learning a lot about signalling and enjoyed the Lipton post from 2008 on your blog!!

My 'dropped signals' are much improved with grassfed beef and n-3 pufa supplements:
--brain-muscle coordination (e.g. less klutziness but also what Keith Norris expounds frequently on)

Energy and voltage? Omega-3 are crucial if depleted or suboptimal. They control action potentials via sodium channels and other ion channels. Yet I strongly think we exert central control as well (mental calmness affects the enzymes which metabolize, degrade and/or maintain higher omega-3 concentrations) as Lipton has discussed.

Thank you Brent,

epistemocrat said...

Hi G,

I agree: we can influence turnover of Omega-3 positively by interacting with energy synergistically.

Did you know about 'Lipidomics'?

They say it's an "emerging field" ...

You know where I'll go with this, of course:





Dr. B G said...



Hey -- WSJ is talking about your ideas... bricolage and THinkering galore ('Genius of the Tinkere')!

*haa! LUV IT*

epistemocrat said...

Thanks, G!

This sounds Fractal to me:

[Evolution advances by taking available resources and cobbling them together to create new uses. The evolutionary theorist Francois Jacob captured this in his concept of evolution as a "tinkerer," not an engineer; our bodies are also works of bricolage, old parts strung together to form something radically new. "The tires-to-sandals principle works at all scales and times," Mr. Gould wrote, "permitting odd and unpredictable initiatives at any moment—to make nature as inventive as the cleverest person who ever pondered the potential of a junkyard in Nairobi."]

The geometry of nature at play.

Though, I'd add that thinkering is bimodal; it's more robust to model error than just tinkering.




Peter said...


One of my favorite topics. I finished a book on quantum mechanics recently, and it is possible that consciousness is actually more fundamental than physics. It may actually be the "uncreated" something that various religions worship as "God".
If the universe was not a "whole" but rather a random assembly of parts, none of this would be possible.

Dr. B G said...


To err is definitely BIMODAL. *haa ahaa!*


I'd love to hear about the books or resources you've come across!

Like you, my thoughts have started to accept that consciousness is like breathing... And eating and loving... basic laws of biophysics imho!


Dr. B G said...

HEY Paleo Power!

Quite like Robb, the book is UNFORGETTABLE and D*MN DELICIOUS.

He's a wolf.

WOW Thank you for the kind words!

Take care,

Cupcakes said...

G I think you deleted my comment!

But you're forgiven for being awesome!

Anyway, keep up the great blog, I'll be reading.

Dr. B G said...

Paleo Power!

Whoops! I'm so sorry!!

Thank you for reading :)


lightcan said...

Hi dear G,
I'm reading on Jean-Luc Nancy, a French philosopher, and found this on love. I only got to 'sharing the emptiness' but I'm giving you the link maybe it helps fire some neurons. I find it fascinating. I have to get back to it.

Dr. B G said...

Hey Sweetie,

That was massively rich and DEEP. Sorry it took me a while to DIGEST!

I loved Jean-luk Nancy's responses -- esp the last line 'This is why I don’t think I have so much in proper philosophy with me, and that is why I have difficulty answering when I am asked about my concept of something. But I think that I have no one concept. What is present in contemporary thinking is all of our common problem. You are exposed to that, you take one part, another and so this is a little bricolage there. But in accordance with Levi–Strauss, bricolage is as rational as the scientific method.'

The philosphophy was way over my head but I appreciated hw they tried to deconstruct 'love'...! VERY VERY interesting. Obviously as humans with regions of our brain that can manipulate our electro-biochemistry, things like 'love' are more than emotions or feelings. The power of our minds transcends even what brilliant philosophers imagine IMHO.

Thank you for sharing the link and your thoughts!

Love, G

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, about 40 000 years ago occured a new mutation in microcephaly gene. It is now a very common gene variant, about 70 % of population has it (sorry - couldn't find a relevant reference in english).

Dr. B G said...

Like a lot of gene mutations... I suspect it is related to gluten.

I believe gluten/lectins/casein were double edged swords for humanity. It gave us savant intelligence, genius and the edge to mutate to higher levels... now it is killing us slowly via gut and brain dysbiosis.

Dr. B G said...

Like a lot of gene mutations... I suspect it is related to gluten.

I believe gluten/lectins/casein were double edged swords for humanity. It gave us savant intelligence, genius and the edge to mutate to higher levels... now it is killing us slowly via gut and brain dysbiosis.