Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > How Biologists Lost Sight of the Meaning of Life > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

Meaning becoming conscious

In man nature herself becomes conscious and finds a voice. The creative forces at work in evolution, whatever they may be, achieve a vantage point of earthly awareness, a place where the intelligence — the thoughts — visible in leaf and worm, in gene expression and signaling pathways, in molluscan responsiveness and mammalian deliberation, can at least begin coming to conscious expression in the lucid and focused understanding of the individual human being.

When, then, we direct our understanding to the very organic phenomena through which it arose, what we see is our own reason reflected back to us in its developing, not yet conscious form, manifesting itself objectively in the material instruments that will become the basis for its future conscious expression. Every biologist who endeavors faithfully to enter into the life of another organism and to offer an account of her discoveries is, in an obvious and straightforward sense, reporting a double content: that of her own mind, which is at the same time a content belonging objectively to the given organism. To believe in the possibilities of science is to accept the commensurability of the two contents.

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