One rather odd theory noted by David Barash, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, writing in the L.A. Times, April 2, 2006, describes a view of consciousness that sees it as part of a “null hypothesis,” a mere by-product of having very large brains, a sort of unavoidable physical consequence of accumulating enough neurons together.

But if so, so what?  Don’t we have other clumps of neurons in other parts of our bodies which have no consciousness at all?

Our planet is pretty much a by-product of matter circling our young sun Sol that clumped together.  In the case of the formation of Earth, there are very real scientific answers to explain it, including attraction of particles, gravitational pull, and so on. Even if consciousness did turn out to be merely a by-product of having such a large clump of neurons to form a brain, how does that explain WHAT consciousness is or how we make use of it?

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