Ristau, Carolyn A. (2016) Beginnings: Physics, sentience and LUCA. Animal Sentience 11(4)
Arthur S. Reber, Caterpillars, consciousness and the origins of mind
According to Reber’s model, Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC), sentience had its origins in a unicellular organism and is an inherent property of living, mobile organic forms. He argues by analogy to basic physical forces which he considers to be inherent properties of matter; I suggest that they are instead the stuff of scientific investigation in physics. I find no convincing argument that sentience had to begin in endogenously mobile cells, a criterial attribute of the originator cell(s)for sentience according to CBC. Non-endogenously mobile cells, (i.e., plants or precursors) in a moving environment would suffice. Despite my concerns and the need for at least a small “miracle” in his and others’ models to instantiate sentience, I applaud a bottom-up approach such as Reber’s for our scientific investigation of consciousness.