There seems to be a connection between physics and an understanding of how split consciousness emerges from consciousness in human ontogeny.  I don’t know the connection between a physicist’s insights regarding the relativity of time and the invention of the atomic bomb.  Still, if my conjectures are correct regarding the rate and timing of maturation (testosterone managing the rate and estrogen the timing), then we have in our hands a possible understanding of how split consciousness originates.

I presuppose that consciousness exists.  Consciousness is a feature of the universe and existence (and nonexistence).  Humans evidence split consciousness when, during early development and maturation, maturation is managed by changes in rate and timing.  If, indeed, we can observe testosterone and estrogen directly affecting maturation, then we are in the position to observe the emergence of split consciousness under varying ontological circumstances.

It is possible that we can control, adjust and modify self awareness.  That which we have identified as peculiarly human, that which makes us special and unique, may be understandable and manageable.

Without the presupposition that consciousness is a feature of the system, the emergence of split consciousness is instead the emergence of consciousness.  This suggests an existential crisis second to none.  We can then indulge in the belief that we can be our own creators, engaging in a depth of hubris that is unfathomable.  Thomas Kuhn talks about struggles between paradigms.  This would be the battle of the century.

A question that has popped into my head more than once the last few days is how exactly does the heterochronic testosterone-rate-and-estrogen-timing paradigm translate into nonhuman species?  David Brin in his Uplift series has explored some of the repercussions of humans managing dolphin, whale, chimpanzee and gorilla lateralization to the point that language-associated self awareness emerges.  If, indeed, humans evolved according to the Geoffrey Miller runaway-sexual-selection hypothesis based on aesthetic display, then encouraging other species to experience split consciousness won’t necessarily be accompanied by a compulsion to make things up, a vivid imagination.  Just because you have an imagination and can be in two places and two times at once, doesn’t mean you feel inspired to exercise your imagination.  There is evidence to suggest that in humans, we have sexualized experience to the point that our imaginations have become closely associated with behaviors that enhance our ability to find and keep a mate.  Evolutionary psychology, particularly Geoffrey Miller’s work, seems founded on this premise.

Miller’s model may prove useful as regards what humans do with split consciousness once it is achieved.  The question is how exactly might other species, if encouraged to experience split consciousness by a manipulation of rates and timing of maturation, respond to these “enhancements”?  It is not only a question of cerebral lateralization and corpus callosum size, the two zones hypothetically impacted by changes in maturation rate and timing, but there is that whole cerebral-synapse universe composed of the many unique parts of the brain that were sexually selected to be enhanced.

If it’s not obvious to you, it’s obvious to me that I am WAY out of my league attempting to play baseball in this ballpark.  When an amateur cites physicists, it is often a sign of extreme dissociation.  This piece may be no exception.  Nevertheless, consider the repercussions of understanding the how of how human consciousness emerges.  A result may be the discovery that we are not alone.


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This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 7:34 am and is filed under Ontogeny, Society, Unconscious. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Comments so far

  1. EquiisSavant on September 25, 2009 10:39 pm

    Do you think or consider this “split consciousness” to be in a disassociative nature ? Just curious. Thx.

  2. Andrew on September 28, 2009 11:50 am

    Yes, dissociative in a good way, not a good way if too extreme. Split consciousness is normal human waking consciousness.

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