2 Pieces of Evidence for Consciousness During Evolution
Bacteria present a fascinating subject for the study of evolution. Since the average generation for a bacteria is about 1 hour long, scientists can observe hundreds of generations as they react to new stimuli in their environment and adapt to survive. One thing that has been popping up in some journals in the Scientific community is the interesting fact that bacteria always adapt in the same way, using the same genes.
When a researcher isolates 10 separate cultures of bacteria in 10 separate petri dishes and then exposes them to a chemical that would ordinarily kill it, the bacteria always responds in one of two ways. The bacteria either dies upon exposure to the new chemical. Or the bacteria adapts by expressing a new gene to deal with that chemical. The thing is, no matter how many times the experiment is reproduced, the bacteria always produce the same gene to adapt. They also always manage to adapt before the population is wiped out completely assuming that the chemical is introduced in a reasonable amount.
Another interesting thing about this experiment is that when you perform it on two separate species of bacteria, they still adapt in identical ways. It almost seems like there is only one gene that will deal with each stimulus we expose the bacteria to. They either find it or they don’t. But they always do find it before the last bacteria disappears.
Evolution with the help of consciousness?
Monarch Butterfly Migration
The Monarch Butterfly is unique in nature. It is the only insect to migrate from north to south and back again with the seasons. The Monarch has many summer pastures that it visits, but in the winter, the entire population of this species migrates to one of only a couple of locations in Mexico. The spots they travel to are always the same, year in and year out. They hibernate by sleeping in large clumps on trees. It seems they return to the same trees every year.
The thing that makes this spectacular is that the average lifespan of a Monarch Butterfly is 2 months. It is not the same individuals migrating north that migrate south. It is not even their children. It is the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these insects that return to the exact same trees every year that their deceased relatives used to hibernate on.
How is this possible? Butterflies do not appear to have any language or way to communicate such incredibly complicated directions to their offspring. Science currently has no explanation for why this phenomenon occurs. Could it be that the species as a whole is conscious?
Evolution has been proven to exist time and time again in science. The randomness of evolution is the thing that still needs to be proven. I think that in time we will come to learn that evolution is a process of consciousness, and not the other way around.