What is consciousness and can it be measured? A seven level scale of consciousness. Conscious, Confused, Delirious, Somnolent, Obtunded, Stuporous and Comatose is in Wikipedia. All of these states are related to human consciousness in a generally medical way. Their definition is: —” Level of consciousness (LOC) is a measurement of a person’s arousability and responsiveness to stimuli from the environment.” But there is no consideration of non-human consciousness such that of a dog or fish.
There are several preexsisting Meta-scales on similar subjects which might help,
- Evolution Scale measures the adaptation of information to its environment. – EVOS
- Disaster Scale compares the magnitude of worldwide human disasters. – DISS
- Pain Scale compares and measures the magnitude of bodily pain. – PAINS
- Happiness Scale measures and compares human happiness and pleasure. – HAPS
- BDI Scale uses the old BMI measure PLUS the waist and buttocks to calculate bodily density. – BDI
- Wit Scale measures the quality of human thought. – WITS
- Trustworthiness Scale measures the verifiability of information by the qualities of its sources. – TST
- Template Scale is a printable blank chart for creating your own personalized scales. – MESS
- Ethics Scale measures the ethical qualities of a moral condition based on time. – ETHS
This new scale of consciousness might be labeled – CONS~# with a number for each level on the Consciousness Scale similar to HAPS~# on the Happiness Scale. The definition above is adaquate and it is possible to expand its extent greatly without changing it. “Level of consciousness (LOC) is a measurement of a person’s arousability and responsiveness to stimuli from the environment.” What is good about that definition is the emphasis on the responsiveness of the individual to the environment because that definition can be expanded to include very primitive organisms and future ones also and the Internet and even the Universe itself.
Imagine a scale that begins with totally unconscious inorganic things and then defining various levels with increasing abilities such as an amoeba with its pseudopods reaching out and grabbing something to eat or alternatively retreating from something it finds repugnant. Obviously the amoeba has some responsiveness to the environment and so it has some consciousness by the above definition. By that definition an active amobea has more consciousness than a comatose human or even a stuporous one. It is hoped that a scale expanding on these ideas might give someone an insight to something new and useful.
Probaway’s Consciousness Scale
CONS~0 Polysoup—Potentially alive but no visible response to any external stimuli only using what is available as with self assembling polymers.
CONS~1 Bacteria—Specialized moulecules absorbing appropriate other molecules for its needs and rejecting what is not needed.
CONS~2 Cellular—Single celled life responding to the environment to carry on its life functions. Like an amoeba searching for food and avoiding repugnant things.
CONS~3 Comatose—people who do not respond to stimuli and have no corneal response to light or gag reflex but are breathing and have a heart beat so parts of them are only conscious in the sense of the previous microscopic animal levels.
CONS~4 Stuporous—with little consciousness no symbolic verbalization only grunts and physical movements are random.
CONS~5 Obtunded—with low mental alertness, and marked slowness in physical behavior, incoherent single word speech
CONS~6 Somnolent—and sleepy appearing and responds to stimuli with disorganized movements. Speech is limited to word pairs
CONS~7 Delirious—and agitated and deficiency of attention for a human. Speech is limited to very short sentences. For a dog the ability to respond appropriately to obvious problems and to follow simple commands and respond appropriately.
CONS~8 Confused—slow to respond to simple questions and have difficulty following instructions but being human they can understand their basic language and solve simple abstract problems an dog can not.
CONS~9 Conscious—normal awareness of time, place and respond appropriately to direct questions. An average wide awake human in a typical situation with which they are familiar like walking down a busy street.
CONS~10 Rational—reasonable, supportable, sustainable, correct, orderly, organized. An intelligent human in a complex situation requiring suspension of instant answers while sense is being analysed and proofs being found for theories.
CONS~11 Sage—Very quick to respond with optimal answers to questions and phisical behavior is very coordinated and appropriate to the situation but with underlying carefully coordinated complex ideas.
CONS~12 Scienctron—working extensively together on a problem on a more broadbased and responsive level than can be attained by a single individual.
CONS~13 Wikibrain—intelligent and sane individuals linked via the Internet to solve complex problems.
CONS~14 Wikiverse—as perhaps only the Universe can be as it is always responsive to all things.
This is a first pass the idea of organizing a scale of consciousness from totally non-conscious thru normal consciousness to a universal consciousness.