– THE MYSTERY OF BEING HUMAN –
God the Creator as an explain-all – Intelligent Design is no explanation at all. But the BAB denial of the difficulties does not alter the facts that we do not have an explanation of the origin of even microscopic life nor a sure path to such an explanation.
As for consciousness, it, too, is mysterious at many levels. Why it should arise – what distinct purpose it serves – is utterly baffling to anyone who questions the usual assumption that awareness might give an organism an edge over the competition. After all, unconscious mechanisms are good enough to direct the behaviour of most living organisms, and are perfectly adequate for the spectacular task of constructing a human foetus or the brain that is the necessary condition of consciousness. By definition, mechanisms driven by natural laws – unlike choices informed by sentience – are utterly reliable. And mechanisms totally innocent of consciousness have shaped the most cunning strategies in the various arms races between predators and the preyed upon.
Equally unclear is how consciousness, even if it really did confer distinct advantages, might arise in a universe that is presumed to be overwhelmingly insentient and has been entirely without consciousness for all but a tiny part of its existence. The intractability of the problem is highlighted by the fact that the relationship between activity in the brain and conscious experiences, felt emotions, memories, intentions and so on, is incomprehensible. Nearly all neural activity,