The Origin of Consciousness – How Unaware Things Became Aware

  • Published: 17 March 2019
  • 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.

    This video was made possible by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

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Comments • 17 706

  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

    Get the Consciousness poster here:

    • Mike Pastore
      Mike Pastore  1 weeks back

      I got a question to see if Kurzgesagt could possibly make a video about this. So, all of things that these videos are saying is true, however there is something lacking. Dismissing religion simply as a construct brought up because humanity was oblivious to the information known today is a common theme. However, it would be interesting to see a video explaining the possibility of religion due to the fact of the lack of information we still own as a species. Such lack of information would include our limited perspective of dimensions (4th dimension...). Also, our lack of vision with a small degree of vision on the electromagnetic spectrum, and lack of 95% of what happens in the universe ( anti-matter, energy, etc.). Also explaining why humans are willing to die for causes they believe in such as religion, country, family( even though this goes against animals basic mechanics). I’m not talking from a religious perspective but, a scientific perspective to see get information and spread information on the possibility that we simply just don’t know about an ultimate creator or not. It would be awesome to see this if you guys can put something out there and I’m a big fan of your videos.

    • Rhodora Cataluna
      Rhodora Cataluna  2 weeks back

      Diner bone

    • Sigu
      Sigu  2 weeks back

      Part 2 & 3 never came. Did you return the fund to the Templeton foundation or should I remind them

  • Herbert J. Polevester
    Herbert J. Polevester  1 days back

    It is the ability to process thoughts

    • Alexander Price
      Alexander Price  2 days back

      Consciousness is the processing of information

      • gred fudrock
        gred fudrock  2 days back


        • Rohit Tamata
          Rohit Tamata  2 days back

          I don’t buy this sorry

          • Yo gi
            Yo gi  3 days back

            Many things are indefinable

            • Ella Bella
              Ella Bella  3 days back

              But how do we know what happened in the mind of the creature when it became conscious? Maybe it wasn't the food that triggered the development but some other thought.

              • Brooklyn M
                Brooklyn M  3 days back

                4:41 ...
                woh. *marble with legs has THE POWER*

                • Zenothys
                  Zenothys  4 days back

                  "Consciousness" + "Wormholes" = Consciousness emerges from exotic energy. You are a negative mass inhabiting a body of positive mass and the paradox of this makes it hard to figure out what gives you awareness, but at least allows you to imagine being somewhere other than where your body actually is.

                  • I Like YouTube.
                    I Like YouTube.  2 days back

                    @Zenothys ok

                  • Zenothys
                    Zenothys  2 days back

                    @I Like YouTube. Or look up "non-local consciousness" (I could go on)

                  • Zenothys
                    Zenothys  3 days back

                    @I Like YouTube. Look up Orch OR theory.

                  • I Like YouTube.
                    I Like YouTube.  4 days back

                    Bruh that is so wrong consiouness has nothing to do with wormholes😂

                • Aedan Liggett
                  Aedan Liggett  4 days back

                  how can we be sure consciousness entered the physical world, and not vice versa

                  • ساسكي اوتشيها

                    في عرب

                    • Taxtro
                      Taxtro  5 days back

                      This video is about cognitive functions, not consciousness. It completely misses the point.
                      The question is not why, for example, an inner representation of the world is useful, but why it is experienced. Consciousness doesn't cause anything, it just is. Every explanation that makes it useful for something is fundamentally wrongheaded. By it's nature consciousness must have developed accidentally as a byproduct of something else.

                    • Антон Припьянский

                      This video is suprisingly one-sided. Panpsychism argument is not about rocks having inner life, that is a big misconseption. The video still doesn`t explain at what point consciousness emerges, where is the edge beyond which non-sentient things are. Gradient metaphor is nice but doesn`t work: what do we take as beginning of the gradient then? Emergent theory has a lot of downs, there is a reason why scientists are still looking for a better paradygm. Panpsychism just suggests that maybe there is some inner property of the matter that can lead to consciousness. There must be since animals and rocks are composed of the same matter.

                      • LEO_ EM
                        LEO_ EM  5 days back

                        Where are the birds

                        • Miguel Fierro
                          Miguel Fierro  5 days back


                          • Miguel Fierro
                            Miguel Fierro  5 days back


                            • Aghilas
                              Aghilas  5 days back

                              what about the voice in our head that we hear but also not hear

                              • Bhangra Fan
                                Bhangra Fan  6 days back

                                My conjecture is that there will never be a satisfactory scientific theory of consciousness. There is a very good reason for this, which is that because consciousness is a subjective experience it cannot be detected objectively. In other words if some genius comes along and says they know the source of consciousness and they build a machine which they claim is conscious, it will never be possible to objectively prove if that machine is conscious or not. The only way to know if the machine is conscious is for the observer to become the machine and have the experiences of the machine which is of course impossible. It will never be possible to be certain that the machine is not just mimicking a conscious being due to elaborate programming etc.

                                • Bhangra Fan
                                  Bhangra Fan  6 days back

                                  In places you are confusing intelligence with consciousness. ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) can mimic intelligent behaviour without any need to invoke consciousness.

                                  • Bhangra Fan
                                    Bhangra Fan  6 days back

                                    Much of this is completely irrelevant. Conscious is not needed for sense - response, engineers can build machines that do this, more sophisticated AI can mimic such behaviours as learning and memory. There is no reason to think the machines are conscious.

                                    • Bhangra Fan
                                      Bhangra Fan  6 days back

                                      This is a very ambitious title for a 10 minute video given that no one actually knows the answer to this question. Furthermore it became obvious to me a few years ago that the reason why there is no scientific theory which can explain consciousness is because it is beyond testing by scientific method. Thus I will be very surprised if this video can explain it. Now let's watch.......

                                      • Adam
                                        Adam  6 days back

                                        'convoluted consciousness that we humans ENJOY today'... There are people who enjoy it??

                                        • gd gd
                                          gd gd  6 days back

                                          are these bugs in my body

                                          • shana blaze
                                            shana blaze  6 days back

                                            When you die you lose consious why is that?

                                            • David Clegg
                                              David Clegg  6 days back

                                              BIG BRAAAAIN

                                              • I am Bluepelt
                                                I am Bluepelt  6 days back

                                                So basically consciousness started because someone was hungry. That's fun.

                                                • Alex H
                                                  Alex H  6 days back

                                                  Once i kicked a rock and figured out it was a toad. Plants can't feel things because they can't moove or react except grow and heal.

                                                  • goodroach
                                                    goodroach  6 days back

                                                    Okay this spider thing gives me creeps.

                                                    • Respectful GT
                                                      Respectful GT  7 days back

                                                      No wonder smart people are skinny their smart because their hungry

                                                      • Dean Miller
                                                        Dean Miller  7 days back

                                                        This only possibly explains the arising of consciousness within a general context, of being an objective, observable phenomenon.

                                                        But consciousness does not happen within an objective, observable context, it happens as this-now-me.

                                                        You can explain how sensory consciousness arises thru biological evolution, and you can explain that conceptual thoughts are mere electro-chemical impulses across neuro synapses in the brain, but you cannot explain 'this-now-me' because no matter what you say about 'this-now-me' you will be too late and your microscope will be pointed in the opposite direction.

                                                        • Hyperinvox
                                                          Hyperinvox  1 weeks back

                                                          HE HAS NO STYLE
                                                          HE HAS NO SENSE OF PLACE
                                                          THIS WORM HAS A FUNNY FACE

                                                          • Thomas JR.
                                                            Thomas JR.  1 weeks back

                                                            *The ultimate consciousness is the realization that we're nothing but an ugly bunch of folded guts (the brain) that is hidden and protected in a kind of box (our skull). That is not our entire being, that is our intelligence and thought. The rest of us is a sort of weird body, which at times we may become self conscious about.*

                                                          • Thomas JR.
                                                            Thomas JR.  1 weeks back

                                                            *Consciousness is NOT what you defined in your video, this was a simplistic view LOL. One of the definitions of consciousness is the realization that we are alive, that we exist, ("I think and therefore I am"). In other words, that we are an arbitrary creation of something (either of god or chance.) It's the realization that our form is entirely subjective and we could have been made entirely different. That we were a chosen design among endless possibilities, as a result of something else. In brief, is being aware of our human condition.*

                                                            • Thomas JR.
                                                              Thomas JR.  5 days back

                                                              @Taxtro wrong

                                                            • Taxtro
                                                              Taxtro  5 days back

                                                              Consciousness is the phenomenon of first hand experience. For all we know it is just as present in cats and dogs. In particular it has nothing to do with your pretentious superficialities.

                                                          • Zachary Kosove
                                                            Zachary Kosove  1 weeks back

                                                            I love your videos on expansion into space

                                                            • Lakeside
                                                              Lakeside  1 weeks back

                                                              OMG gUys thAnKs For 0 LeiKs

                                                              • -MiraJ-
                                                                -MiraJ-  1 weeks back

                                                                Ok. I have 2 video ideas.

                                                                What are Dreams?

                                                                How You Can Hear Your Own Thoughts

                                                                • Aub Brew
                                                                  Aub Brew  4 days back

                                                                  @I Like YouTube. no seriously, I think about it and just end up confusing myself

                                                                • I Like YouTube.
                                                                  I Like YouTube.  4 days back

                                                                  Bruh that's deep😂

                                                                • Aub Brew
                                                                  Aub Brew  1 weeks back

                                                                  the second one has been on my mind forever

                                                              • AvengeVoltaire
                                                                AvengeVoltaire  1 weeks back

                                                                "no one has come close to figuring it out"??? CITATION NEEDED MY FRIEND

                                                                • sakusaku
                                                                  sakusaku  1 weeks back

                                                                  everything starts from food

                                                                  • Steve Willson
                                                                    Steve Willson  1 weeks back

                                                                    Can you please do a video on Epigenetics, if you have not already. Thanks.

                                                                    • Obi Alfred
                                                                      Obi Alfred  1 weeks back

                                                                      This all literally sounds like code.

                                                                      • Dev Jl
                                                                        Dev Jl  1 weeks back

                                                                        I’m generally a fan, but this is the most fallacious Kurzgesagt content I’ve come across

                                                                        • Wendats
                                                                          Wendats  1 weeks back

                                                                          Why is this fallacious ?

                                                                      • Wu Li
                                                                        Wu Li  1 weeks back

                                                                        Philosophy and science by analogy are doomed to failure. Modern neurology is so advanced they can practically read whatever you are writing by measuring your brain waves, and can even record vague images of your dreams. Roger Penrose's theory of quantum induced microwave vibrations in the axions of the brain has already received two experimental confirmations, while Quantum Cognition has been a recognized field for almost 25 years. Quantum systems can be over 100% efficient, and the brain appears to have a scalar architecture that uses a variety of different ways to crunch the numbers, according to which is the most efficient. The implication is that the human brain resembles an FM radio more than a computer, with its ability to be self-aware and conscious being part of how we compensate for rather high error rates.

                                                                        This has more or less been confirmed by linguists, who discovered English has two grammars, one vague and one explicit, that compensate for rather high error rates. In other words, it could turn out to be impossible for modern science to prove people are conscious, because consciousness is nonlocal and our brains merely represent how we focus our awareness to make more sense out of our immediate surroundings. Note that nobody is even close to explaining the Quantum Observer Effect, much less consciousness, except the neurologists who are closing on the answers fast, but only with the help of theoretical physicists.

                                                                        • Mohamed Ali
                                                                          Mohamed Ali  1 weeks back

                                                                          The evolution theory has been disproven many years ago

                                                                          • Mohamed Ali
                                                                            Mohamed Ali  6 days back

                                                                            @Takefive 123 its not false . iam not saying it from nothing . many professors and scientest has been studying this theory their whole life and they proved it to be wrong just read "darwins doubt" for example. If you pick up a rock a let it fall to the ground .if that rock during the fall turns into a complex desktop PC thats how much the chance that the universe created us by chance . our DNA programming or any lifeforms dna makes it imposible to evolve in the right way . you see born kids who in their moms belly been exposed to gama waves for example they turn to be disfigured not evolvled to a Hulk as hollywood shows

                                                                          • Takefive 123
                                                                            Takefive 123  6 days back

                                                                            What do you accomplish from saying stuff that is objectively false?

                                                                        • techotopo
                                                                          techotopo  1 weeks back

                                                                          bad video, has nothing to do with consciousness; not that the average viewer can tell though

                                                                          • Jonathon Gordon
                                                                            Jonathon Gordon  1 weeks back

                                                                            "...that ultimately let to the convoluted consciousness we humans enjoy today." who said i ever enjoyed this shit? being conscious is the worst thing that ever happened to me

                                                                            • Hilmi Muhammad
                                                                              Hilmi Muhammad  1 weeks back

                                                                              i'm still curious, who puts this consciousness to my body and why?

                                                                              • OsKarMike1306
                                                                                OsKarMike1306  1 weeks back

                                                                                The Flying Spaghetti Monster, obviously

                                                                            • jojo reference
                                                                              jojo reference  1 weeks back


                                                                              • Alexander Ranin
                                                                                Alexander Ranin  1 weeks back

                                                                                Man I just want some clarification when I die, none of this makes any sense to me, there’s so much pain in the world, maybe it’s part of a bigger plan for the “soul” but perhaps God just felt lonely, he created an illusion to fool himself and get lost in the mystery of a universe of his own making...the illusion or separation

                                                                                • Alexander Ranin
                                                                                  Alexander Ranin  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Lock T Listen buddy, I was exactly like you, I was the typical guy who would disregard any type of suggestion that “God” even existed, I clung to science desperately and negatively I assumed the universe was just an accident and we were merely a complex symptom of chemical changes, but think about it for a second, what would be the “purpose” of this universe if it wasn’t for life, it seems like a waste of space to me, doesn’t it? why would it exist if there wasn’t anyone to experience it, and whomever call it god or source, energy, science created it, did it for life forms to experience it, there’s something behind it, science can’t explain everything, man in his arrogance prefers to debunk anything god concerning, what’s the big deal if there is or isn’t it doesn’t matter, the universe is a miracle in itself and it’s in front of you.

                                                                                • Lock T
                                                                                  Lock T  1 weeks back

                                                                                  @Alexander Ranin Stupid? Intelligence is a human construct. We are all just a bunch of atoms, arranged in a certain way. All this complexity, a product of natural selection and evolution. Beauty is also a human construct and is something we associate with the universe. However, that does not make it intelligently designed. A truly stupid person does not know how to identify a human construct.

                                                                                • Alexander Ranin
                                                                                  Alexander Ranin  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Lock T I’m not religious, but It would be stupid of anyone to deny the intelligence behind the universe

                                                                                • Lock T
                                                                                  Lock T  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Typical religious logic:
                                                                                  Doesn’t make sense to me, therefore, god did it.