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The Biological Singularity?

Read this whole article.

Search back through high/grade school biology vocab and work your way through. It's worth it.

Since this is the age of the internet, I'll give you a choice paragraph.

Tissue differentiation, agency and intelligent behavior were occurring for a billion years from the symbiotic origin of eukaryotes to the Cambrian explosion (Figure 1). What then happened? Was some critical level of intelligent behavior suddenly reached? Did consciousness then appear? Could primitive consciousness have significantly improved fitness and survivability beyond previous benefit provided by non-conscious agency and intelligent behavior?One possible advantage of consciousness for natural selection is the ability to make choices. As Margulis and Sagan (1995) observe (echoing similar, earlier thoughts by Erwin Schrödinger), " If we grant our ancestors even a tiny fraction of the free will, consciousness, and culture we humans experience, the increase in [life's] complexity on Earth over the last several thousand million years becomes easier to explain: life is the product not only of blind physical forces but also of selection in the sense that organisms choose. . ." (Scott, 1996).

By itself, the ability to make choices is insufficient evidence for consciousness (e.g. computers can choose intelligently). However non-computable, seemingly random conscious choices with an element of unpredictability may have been particularly advantageous for survival in predator-prey dynamics (e.g. Barinaga, 1996).

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