While the nature of consciousness itself is still unclear, the products of consciousness are quite evident. A few of the perks of human level consciousness include:

  • The capacity for complex expression through language and money

  • Formation of large, structured social groups

  • The freedom to accept or refuse ethical behavior

  • The ability to inquire, understand, and manipulate our environment

It would seem to me that there are commonalities, albeit of a smaller scale, between human level consciousness and ant level consciousness.


  • Communicate through scent trails

  • Form large, structured groups

  • Accept or refuse to follow the colony's consensus decision

  • Explore and manipulate their environment

These are just four fundamental principles that I believe exist across any level of consciousness, just to a greater or lesser degree depending on the species.

If we plot levels of consciousness on a spectrum, such as:

Bacteria - Ants - Birds - Dogs - Humans (feel free to fill in the gaps, but you get the idea)

What might a species more evolved than humans be capable of? For instance, an alien race or Artificial Intelligence.

  • 1
    This kind of open ended questions doesn't work very well here, but this question does seem to fit on Worldbuilding. – user2953 Aug 4 '16 at 6:18

I think the correct word is intelligence, not consciousness. If I am correct, then a higher level intelligence should be capable of:
Faster and more efficient space travel.
Telepathic communication.
Eradication of most deceases.
Peaceful coexistence with themselves and other beings.

  • Re that peaceful coexistence thing ... humans are far more cruel to each other than animals are. We're the only species that tortures our own kind for information or revenge. Arguably, the higher the level of intelligence, the crueler the being. Nature is violent. Humanity is cruel. What do you think about that? I thought of the peace angle too but it's demonstrably false. We're the cruel species on this planet. It takes the power of abstraction to be cruel. More intelligence can only make things worse. We better hope we never meet these brainiacs. – user4894 Aug 4 '16 at 6:08
  • But, why these abilities rather than others? – user2953 Aug 4 '16 at 6:19

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