The Origin of Consciousness - How Unaware Things Became Aware

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
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Sources and link to book by Rupert Glasgow:
Consciousness is perhaps the biggest riddle in nature. In the first part of this three part video series, we explore the origins of consciousness and take a closer look on how unaware things became aware.
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Mar 17, 2019




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Comments 80
Nicholas Wilson
Nicholas Wilson 40 minutes ago
Consciousness is pointing out the obvious. You thinking too much. Your mind is wandering and you believe your imagination to be real as you are unaware that your lack of awareness is from Electronic Harassment.
Nicholas Wilson
Nicholas Wilson 42 minutes ago
What is this the Kiddie Version of Alan Watts?? 205s understanding being made to sound like some kind of cosmic theology...... WTF just talk to him in person he can tell you the same things without you having to think about it.
Laurie LG
Laurie LG 3 hours ago
What if you're practicing self awareness but you mom is a fucking narcissistic bitch?
DonHewgodooko 8 hours ago
I just realised I spend an awfully big chunk of my life reading comments. What's worst is that the majority of comments are soul destroyingly mundane. Time to stop now methinks
Grace Wigen
Grace Wigen 10 hours ago
I like that little eyeball flick the round example creature does around 5:43 , like 'holy crap how come nobody else has thought of this before this is great'
Yurema Rodriguez
Yurema Rodriguez 11 hours ago
Yurema Rodriguez
Yurema Rodriguez 11 hours ago
2: 16
Lodoss1900 11 hours ago
anyone notice the fullmetal alchemist reference at 1:34 ?
Felipe Behrens
Felipe Behrens 11 hours ago
If conscious is a gradient, could there be steps above what we have?
Vinay Kumar
Vinay Kumar 13 hours ago
All there is the Consciousness itself. There are no two things for it to be aware of. Since both prey and predator or food and its eater both are aware, each evolved and we've complex mechanisms to conserve energy and do best to convert Sun Light into forms... So, it's like even light is Consciousness itself. There is nothing that is not conscious. Life is a consequence of it, not other way around.
nathaniel son
nathaniel son 13 hours ago
What if, eventually, we devolve consciousness because we have no use for it?
David R
David R 17 hours ago
what happened to the rest of this series?
Cartap Day ago
The origin is not the end.
Ingrid Pop
Ingrid Pop Day ago
so first it was the ability to move in the direction of food, then the perception of distance, vision, memory, and awareness of the desires of others.
Rogue Lodyte
Rogue Lodyte Day ago
alright got it. Eat more food in order to predict the future.
Carl Mahnke
Carl Mahnke Day ago
They explain conciousness like a skill that brains eventually learned. But they totally missed the point that the big mystery is, how dead matter can created your inner sensation.
AlmostVegas | Joey
"external behavior" shouldn't be a requirement to determine if something is conscious or not imo, as say for example locked-in syndrome people dont really exhibit external behavior, yet still have a rich internal conscious experience. Hell, things that even seem like they don't have an external behavior, might, when say that behavior or changes take place over a great span of time
White Night
White Night 2 days ago
Only for those ho are Awake In the sense they know there In Prison. Trapped by Tradition and Superstition . plus need a Hole In the head, To be Gods ?
Leayra 2 days ago
I wonder, what consciousness will exist later. Something greater than a human's consciousness, a consciousness that is aware of something more. What could we be conscious about more? Our inconscious parts? How our atoms work? Of something crazy? Maybe we could be aware of everyone on a "I" "Me" level? If a species existed with every of its member united as a "I", wouldn't it be useful for cooperation and survival/growth of the whole species as a result? I don't know. What could an even more evolved consciousness be like? It's fascinating.
Duncan Hardy
Duncan Hardy 3 days ago
consciousness can be perfectly explained by many schools of thought!!! Vedic, Christian, Buddhist, so many more. Many concepts of metaphysics, too, for example magick. science is way behind in this area. don't really need it to understand this stuff
علي هادي
علي هادي 3 days ago
Brendan Micheal
Brendan Micheal 3 days ago
The thumbnail is me seeing my ramen I spilled on the floor at 3:00 AM
Sinaya Sharabi
Sinaya Sharabi 3 days ago
Does anyone else have the tune in the intro stick in their head
DeltaAssualt 3 days ago
Want to know more ?? smoke some weed and listen to some psytrance music you will understand.
TheDroidBay 3 days ago
The graphics are so beautiful
Jose Antonio Velarde
Please: thank the graphic artist SO MUCH! I laughed so hard, listened so intently... your work is deepened so much by his or her efforts. Thank you all.
Apple 4 days ago
GOD is true
b m
b m 4 days ago
still doesn't explain, why we are conscious. since we can't distinguish a "non playable character" from someone with a "soul". imagine a really advanced A I: Is she conscious or does she only pretend to be? How can I know that YOU are conscious and not me being the only conscious being in the universe?
Hi 4 days ago
ayyubi 123
ayyubi 123 4 days ago
I am therefore I am
Kinto Katt
Kinto Katt 5 days ago
No one: Absolutely no one: The animation: 👁👅👁
Jackson Major
Jackson Major 5 days ago
Dam hellen keller skipped hella steps
Amritabha Chakraborty
Where are the other parts of this video..!! :(
lady 214324
lady 214324 5 days ago
Almost everything living is consciousness. Its the awareness of what more we can become. Your level of consciousness depends on your level of awareness of 1) yourself and 2) your external surroundings. Consciousness is like a spectrum. The more we evolve, the higher level of consciousness we attain.
Driftliketokyo34 Ftw
Why am I hungry all of a sudden?
Jethro Morquecho
Jethro Morquecho 7 days ago
Haha q pedo con el monillo de la miniatura?
Matthew Chansavage
But the question is... why did anything want to survive? Why did anything want to reproduce itself?
im God like to this game of life
@Matthew Chansavagecome to think of It I think we self preservate for nothing because it's all pointless tbh.
Matthew Chansavage
@Yeabsera Woldetsadik there's a lot of things I wanted to say about your arguments, so if you will, take the time to understand what I'm going to say. You say that "the only thing that makes us different from a rock is our consciousness and our desire to survive". First of all, there are in fact more things that make us different from a rock. For one thing, we know when something is "good" or bad" (here are two examples of that: most of us know that killing and stealing is "bad", whereas giving to the poor and helping others is "good". The other example is when we hear music or look at a piece of art, we can determine whether the waves of sound or the colors mixed together look or sound "good" or beautiful, or whether they look or sound "bad" or ugly.) Another thing that makes us different from a rock is the fact that we have emotions. When our desires are fulfilled, we feel happy and joyful, but when our desires are not fulfilled or we don't get our way, we often feel saddened or angry. Second of all, even if those things were the only things that makes us different from a rock (our consciousness and desire to survive), I still think that those characteristics alone prove that we have a soul. I'll ask you some questions, and you can answer me: since we know that we are conscious beings, we can say that we "perceive" and therefore "know" things with our five senses (for example, when I perceive a red apple, I know I'm looking at something red.) So, my question for you is, what do the verbs "to know" or "to perceive" really mean? Scientists will say that our thoughts are made of "electrochemical signals", but how does one "know" their thoughts? (If you google the definitions for "know", "perceive", "realize", "aware", "conscious", "understand", or "observe", you'll realize that the definitions of each word only use the the same words!) But on the note of "our desire to survive", why do we have desires in the first place? What purpose in this universe do they serve? What is the science behind desires? You also say that "one might argue that we are an ego in a bag of skin". What do you mean by "ego"? Isn't that the same thing as a soul? Or when you say that "we are a random assembly of atoms", do you really think that we're random? I'll begin with the smallest unit of life: the cell. Do you know how much genetic material is in the cell? Do you know that they are extremely organized mini machines and are able to reproduce themselves? How could you think that it's all random? When we were born, we started out by being one sperm cell and an egg cell. And somehow, those cells just know exactly where to go, when to grow, and how to protect themselves from harm. The purpose of all this cell stuff? To keep us alive and functioning (and so that we don't go extinct.) The purpose of keeping us alive and functioning and not going extinct? Well, you haven't answered that question for me (and neither has Mysterious Stranger - he says that natural selection was the answer, but that doesn't explain why anything has a desire to survive or why anything has a desire to not go extinct.) Gosh that was probably the longest comment I've ever wrote, but it was all worth it. It's nice to hear your point of views, because I truly, truly, and truly (did I mention truly?) want to discover the truth of all things, so if you can prove my arguments wrong or answer my questions, I'd definitely reconsider my own views and beliefs.
im God like to this game of life
@Mysterious Stranger why self preservation for what tho?
Mysterious Stranger
@Yeabsera Woldetsadik Thank you.
Yeabsera Woldetsadik
@Mysterious Stranger nice point 👌
hello 7 days ago
the ayahuasca experiment over at vsause1 kinda explained it for me. I think that consciousness is when you are aware that you are not "one with the universe".That theory may be true because all creatures that have a brain (can use simple input conditions as on and off to calculate and process information) make a destinction of simple things like moving and not(making any destinction is a lover level of consciousness) and the experiment showed that our brain causes us to feel different even from other people through really complicated processes which can be suppressed. but we still don't know if that is correct so take it with a grain of salt.
john Hildebrandt
john Hildebrandt 7 days ago
So glutniy didn't a sin,but evolution!
O'Nalerona Dinkebogile
We woke up when we started tripping...
Fly Guy
Fly Guy 7 days ago
This is all wrong
Fly Guy
Fly Guy 2 days ago
Everything is the Source. The Source don't evolve it sits in all things in silence. Consciousness is the source.
BeepDuck123 5 days ago
Fly Guy what do you mean? I don’t see anything wrong in this video.
James Sutton
James Sutton 8 days ago
That spider was just stoned.
John Merik
John Merik 8 days ago
There is no spoon. You use chopstick.
Nikola Ristic
Nikola Ristic 8 days ago
Arent the early conciousness just survival instincts not actual conciousness
BeepDuck123 5 days ago
Nikola Ristic that’s not early conciousness, actual consciousness is the early consciousness.
Connie Timoney
Connie Timoney 8 days ago
Conciousness became a reality when Apes ate magic mushrooms
Ruevko 8 days ago
8:55 you see, another channel would have included some uber eats ad Not Kurzgesagt, they have too much class
Ermin Ibrahimovic
So you are saying that we anti-developed sense for food since we can program robots to buy us food every day in certain time and we are letting them do the hard job.Kinda don't understand half of you'r vids hahaha
Sinful Eldian
Sinful Eldian 9 days ago
We can't define consciousness, simply because consciousness doesn't exist.
Kaptain Krampus
Kaptain Krampus 7 days ago
A single drop of lysergic acid diethylamide would change that point of view
sgperformer 9 days ago
We know we are going to die.....that sucks.
Alex Bakerloo
Alex Bakerloo 9 days ago
This video is poor on organic chemistry, ie. It doesn't address the mystery of how living matter could arise from non living matter. I suggest looking at one of James Tour's videos in RUvid about that. He's a Professor of Organic Chemistry and explains what is required for it to happen.
R Z 8 days ago
This video is for normal human beings who don't understand the sciences very well. Stop hating
Jibbz HaHa
Jibbz HaHa 9 days ago
Allah ( God ) has gifted us consciousness. Man will never figure it out
Hm Grraarrpffrzz
Hm Grraarrpffrzz 8 days ago
_"Man will never figure it out"_ You are a man. If you will never be able to figure out the subject of consciousness, how can you know that it comes from your god?
MelficeN7 8 days ago
Allah doesn't exist.
Christoffer Olsen
Trillions of years solves everything right?. Typical materialism thinking..
XoPURExLUCKoX 7 days ago
Better than slapping the "God did it" label and declaring victory. Typical Theist thinking.
Suhana Pandey
Suhana Pandey 10 days ago
We Hindus believe consciousness is a characteristic of the soul. The soul is actually God expressing Himself (or Itself !) in manifold existence. Thus God has a sort of threefold existence - at one level, He experiences Himself as all, at another level , He knows Himself as the Creator, and at another level, God knows that the creation is not real - it is maya.
Eli Funkenstein
Eli Funkenstein 10 days ago
Would have liked to have heard more about consciousness in context with quantum physics. The double slit experiments question the fact that anything exists at all without a conscious observer.
MelficeN7 8 days ago
Pretty sure it doesn't work like that. It's just super complicated science, but it can be explained.
Tom Voke
Tom Voke 10 days ago
I've figured it out, but you can't put it in words.
Yeabsera Woldetsadik
@Tom Voke hey dude, I was thinking about what you said (eating a banana but better) for two days and I can't understand what you're trying to point out. anyways, give me another clue, or perhaps explain the whole thing if you can. ps. stay safe out there c:
Tom Voke
Tom Voke 6 days ago
@Yeabsera Woldetsadik Peel the banana with your teeth. That's the secret.
Yeabsera Woldetsadik
@Tom Voke explain it a little more, it thing I got it but I have to make sure
Tom Voke
Tom Voke 6 days ago
@Yeabsera Woldetsadik It's like eating bananas, but better :D
Yeabsera Woldetsadik
Lior Sadan
Lior Sadan 10 days ago
Is it possible that the worm move more slowly because it has a harder time moving because of the weight of the food?
4 Persons
4 Persons 10 days ago
Its software!!! Oh sorry i mean soulware
l Fakhar I
l Fakhar I 10 days ago
I can’t know if others are conscious. I make an inference. So if you’re reading this, you can only know that you are reading this.
Mr. clash!!
Mr. clash!! 10 days ago
Is that funny worn Planeria with the Simple eyes......the eyes that can only sense light and dark
Surreal Gypsy
Surreal Gypsy 10 days ago
This video has nothing to do with origin of consciousness! What you actually describe, is presence of consciousness in more and more evolved beings. You can't ever give definition or origin of consciousness because simple you can't, since you are deep down consciousness, which as you mention in the beginning can not perceive it's own existence. Its just is! Any words or definitions are a layer below consciousness, since they can be observed by it. And an observation can never be the same thing as the observer who observed it.
Surreal Gypsy
Surreal Gypsy 9 days ago
@DC 10o01 Yes in fact I do know better 🙂
DC 10o01
DC 10o01 9 days ago
Surreal Gypsy Oh yeah. This channel should apologise for looking at the science. As you clearly know better
Ben Phylis
Ben Phylis 10 days ago
One day I'm sure we will look back on this idea of consciousness emerging from a material world and laugh. Ask yourself, what are you more certain of; the material world you are conscious of, or of consciousness itself? Consciousness is the only thing we can ever truly be certain of, and should therefore be seen as fundamental. The material world (if real at all) emerges from consciousness, not the other way around.
Ben Phylis
Ben Phylis 4 days ago
To answer your question PureLuck, quantum physics and parapsychology, are seen (by some) as demonstrated examples of the material world somehow emerging from (or being slightly affected by) the mind. These kinds of fringe interpretations of reality may be the beginning stages of the transition I'm talking about. Where the material world goes from being seen as fundamental, to secondary, to never having existed at all. Regardless, I hope we can agree that the material world is after all, just an assumption. We assume it is there, we assume it is real by its supposed effect on our consciousness. And doesn't Occums Razon state that the less assumptions we make, the more likely we are to be correct?
Ben Phylis
Ben Phylis 4 days ago
@XoPURExLUCKoX Hi PureLuck. The main point I'm trying to make here is that our conception of reality in the future will be completely different to what it is now. Our belief of what is real, and what is fundamental have always changed. You don't have to look too far back to find our ancestors believing in a spirit world that was fundamental and that the material world emerged somehow from this spirit world. (God creating the earth etc.) Fast forward to today, and we have (largely) done away with the notion of a spirit world. Today we see the physical world as fundamental, and as we see in this video, we now wrestle with the idea of consciousness and how a conscious world could somehow emerge from a material world. In the past, just as we did away with the concept of a spirit world, in lieu of the much more 'certain' concept of a material world, I believe in the future we will also do away with this concept of a material world in lieu of the more 'certain' concept of a conscious world. Since consciousness is the only 'world' we can ever truly be certain of, to me it seems obvious that we are heading in this direction.
XoPURExLUCKoX 7 days ago
I don't even what it means to say the material world emerges from consciousness. What is one demonstrated example of anything material emerging from a mind?
Evgeny Meshkov
Evgeny Meshkov 11 days ago
There's a free e-book Thiaoouba Prophecy that answers where the consciousness (intelligence) came from. Matter cannot be conscious. I know that book is true from multitude of personal experiences and understandings.
Jorge Moral Ruiz
Jorge Moral Ruiz 11 days ago
*F O O D*
Treasure Trails
Treasure Trails 11 days ago
Still alive in May 2020! Man this life is so trippy LOL
Paulo Gaming
Paulo Gaming 11 days ago
I love watching this videos and pretend to know what’s happening.
James Trebilcock
James Trebilcock 12 days ago
First step to conciousness was the evolution of movement.
Juul :D
Juul :D 12 days ago
"enjoy" is a strong word
Raymond Chang
Raymond Chang 12 days ago
Maybe we are aware of what we want rather than aware of what is real
Taichu 12 days ago
Can you make the part 2 of this series?
Satan 13 days ago
Conciousness appears to be woven into the brain, like a fabric.
dj lipsum
dj lipsum 13 days ago
1:25 영어를 어떻게 배워야 gradient를 경사라고 번역할 수 있게 되는거냐
Spencerianism 13 days ago
I've studied Consciousness and its attributes since I was a little child and what I've learned is as follows: First off.. Consciousness operates on multiple levels, IE: there are many different stages of awareness. Having said that, Consciousness is not limited uniquely to the Human species as we currently understand it. On the contrary, Consciousness resides in absolutely everything in the Universe; In levels and stages of Awareness. Secondly, the most prevalent kind of Consciousness we all so generously relate to, "Self Awareness " is basically a gift to our highly complex and current state of being. It is a gift in the sense of Unity and Cooperation within the Universe each and every one of us inhabit called the Human Body. It's Trillions of cells and Neuropathways that make your everyday reality is an Emergence Process based on an amazingly tight knit Cooperation of said Cells in Harmonious Actions that allow your "Universe Body" to "Be". This Harmonie is rewarded to the Individual with the gift of Self Awareness and this gift is the result of the incredible community of "you" as a whole and functional being...
Zoee 13 days ago
this video made me want to become a vegetarian ;_;
Temuul Munkhtur
Temuul Munkhtur 13 days ago
Question: would not the fact that we are no longer in the wild tryin to get food on our own stop our evolution, or would we just evolve to be good at making money ?
XoPURExLUCKoX 7 days ago
Evolution would not be what stops, it would be natural selection. But neither of them have stopped. Randomly mutating and losing a necessary trait is may lead to your death at a young age. This would be evolution and natural selection in action.
Victor Hardin
Victor Hardin 13 days ago
sebrules101 13 days ago
I know ur hungry but dont worry u will get smarter when ur hungry lol im so stupid
Old spice man
Old spice man 13 days ago
It’s easy to figure out which part of the brain give consciousness just strip away until they are a vegetable. Don’t actually do this btw
Patty D
Patty D 14 days ago
Look up Nassim Haramein and really take the time to listen to him. He’s uncovered what reality is.
Evan Allaire
Evan Allaire 14 days ago
Affel 14 days ago
Can someone explain how a bunch of balls (atoms) however finely complex pieced together (human brain as vehicle for neural network) could EVER result in the awareness that we all feel? Atom balls bumping into each other don't need someone to sit in the clay golem constituted by them. Think about that! in the end if our mind was just atoms bumping into each other, of course self awareness from the ego perspective would be inconceivable/outright illogical. Of course you *could* have something like 3rd person self awareness meaning that looked at from the outside the ball-hill which a human supposedly might seem to move in a self aware manner but of course it would be just balls. So the "perspective", the "awareness", the "sense of self", the "consciousness" we are experiencing is prove in itself of a NONMATERIAL world. Well in the end it's God who made us all with a SOUL, so that's not very surprising if you ask a Christian. "Kurzgesagt" more like "Kurzgedacht" lmao
Affel 7 days ago
@XoPURExLUCKoX Call'em balls, spheres, smallest matter or whatever you like. I know that you can make it sound really complex to demonstrate that it might just not be "atoms bumping into each other" but it still is what it comes down to. Theories like Darwinian evolution might give the impression, that they add some component lacking in just atoms going the way laws require them to go but it can very well be reduced to just that. I'm not saying that Darwinism or similar theories cannot explain or fleshly side of life. They could even explain someone observing atom-hills ("humans") acting *as if* they had feelings, consciousness etc. BUT that would be just neurotransmitters doing there thing so again atoms bumping into each other. See what I'm getting at? Materialist worldviews can explain just that: our material world (at best). They cannot possibly account for something immaterial like truth, the origin of all matter (God), the origin of the so called laws of nature (God) or the arising of consciousness as the "1st person perspective" which could not conceivably be inherent to just a heap of atom-balls. If you don't have faith yet, that's actually understandable because satan seeks to twist real truths (like encountered in experimental physics) and brings them to false but very hard to detect mistruths about our very nature and origin. If you want to know what I'm talking about, get on your knees today and for every day of your life and pray to God our Holy Father and to His Son Jesus Christ who is God made flesh. Confess your sins and spit on satan who is holding you back using your pride. Have a nice Sunday, hurray, our Lord is risen!
XoPURExLUCKoX 7 days ago
The fact that you don't understand it doesn't make it false. Also, Summarizing our incredibly complicated brain function as "atoms bumping into each other" is a dishonest way to try and make an argument. You are simply creating a fake position, making it sound as dumb as you can, then arguing against the idea that you made up. It's equivalent to an atheist summarizing God as an invisible sky wizard, then using this bad summary as a reason not to believe in God. I have also never heard of atoms referred to as "balls" before? Not sure the point of that.
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