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A Definition of Consciousness

First, we need to note that consciousness is not the same thing as simple intelligence or analytical reasoning and thinking. Consciousness is a blend of an information baseline, the intelligence to manipulate the information to produce reasoning, and the self awareness of these processes. Typically, the information is provided by forms of sensory input, although this is not an absolute requirement. Also, while most evidence of consciousness is provided by observing external reactions to stimulus and proof of analytic reasoning, these are not absolute requirements.

Consciousness is often manifested by the ability to recognize the need for self change and then to accomplish the change that is needed. Likewise, when we see a lack of the same ability, we often reach the conclusion that consciousness is also lacking.

Consciousness needs to be measured in an analog manner rather than digital, meaning it exists in shades of gray instead of black or white. Different organic entities show different levels of consciousness. Most plant life forms have almost no significant consciousness, but most animal life forms have some level. Animals with higher levels of intelligence also show signs of significant consciousness.