Rick Vander Kam Posted almost 3 years ago Martin Hanczyc: The line between life and not-life What if we think about consciousness as the capacity to perceive structures, patterns and processes so as to predict a given outcome given the properties of the substances involved? Furthermore, lets imagine a group of us can measure these structures, observe patterns and processes and make predictions about outcomes. Then, as a group, we create tests for our predictions. Together we create a body of knowledge about the world outside our individual perceptions so as to create complex systems capable of landing probes on asteroids so as to analyze the properties of the substances we find there. Proto-cells won't ever do this, nor will mushrooms, but human beings can and do. Whatever we call our capacity to conduct science and build systems of knowledge - consciousness seems as good a term as any - that capacity is can be consistently demonstrated as a real phenomena. It is an indirect measure to be sure, but still a measure of something there outside the limits of our individual perceptions. The capacity to chemically react is not the same kind of thing as will or intent or consciousness. Isn't all this obvious?