The Origin of Consciousness – How Unaware Things Became Aware

  • Published: 17 March 2019
  • Sources and link to book by Rupert Glasgow:

    Consciousness is perhaps the biggest riddle in nature. In the first part of this three part video series, we explore the origins of consciousness and take a closer look on how unaware things became aware.

    This video was made possible by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

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Comments • 17 329

  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

    Get the Consciousness poster here:

    • safer safer
      safer safer  1 weeks back

      Kanal bir Türk kanalı ama hiç Türk yok ;(

    • Michele G
      Michele G  2 weeks back

      Sorry, logic, and knowledge refuted the first argument about rocks being unable to move. Magma is rock and it moves, not randomly but in response to other rock. Your second statement about a self seeks out things to sustain it, replicates and repeats. Magma seeks out other elements in the earth, grows more rock therefore replicates and repeats. Therefore by your own argument rock is a self. Igneous rock intrudes on and through other rock that it displaces. This a great subject but so far while the foundation seems good about consciousness evolving incrementally it could done so quickly assuming that we have a definition of consciousness.

    • Aseem Bansal
      Aseem Bansal  1 months back

      But the question in my mind is "why and how did survival instinct originate in first place?" as everything else follows from that (looking for food etc. ) .. but why did a lump of hydrocarbons wanted to survive when an electric current hit it?

    • Leonard Philipp Gaffke
      Leonard Philipp Gaffke  1 months back

      Hallo liebes Kurzgesagt Team.

      Gibt es diese Doku hier über das Bewusstsein auch auf deutsch?

      Wenn ja dann verlinkt Sie uns doch bitte.

      Vielen Dank.

  • Enki Enlil
    Enki Enlil  46 minutes back

    I always imagined drinking but not

    • Enki Enlil
      Enki Enlil  47 minutes back

      U fucking idiot I'm fooling my self drunk.,but not but too effective for undreaming set a dream time between 8a:m upwards

      • GodlyAtheist
        GodlyAtheist  8 hours back

        What consciousness ultimately is, is a wasted gift. When we gain awareness in a dream we experience consciousness for the "first time" all over again, and it's such an exhilarating experience with endless possibility. Only to then wake up back into the dream like state that is our reality. Lacking the freedoms and wonder that we so rarely get a glimpse at in our dreams. Then again this is coming from someone who never got to experience life because of my differences, so my opinion is greatly skewed. Wish they had a cure for nightmares that didn't require a bullet to the head.

        • Cristian Marín
          Cristian Marín  1 days back

          Conclusion: I eat, therefore, I am.

          • Anthony Nguyen
            Anthony Nguyen  1 days back

            WHERE MY BirDS 😤

            • DougtheDonkeyTV
              DougtheDonkeyTV  2 days back

              God, I love these; something about them is just so perfect and nice to me

              • eccentricwriter
                eccentricwriter  2 days back

                Gotta love how reality is such a worthless hellscape that everything is forced to exist in. With minds that aren't even theirs, constructed out of nothing but memories of what did and did not hurt them. Only "wanting" to survive, reproduce and do much of anything else because of unending pavlovian torture at the hands of the skinner boxes that are their bodies. Real worthwhile existence we've all got here. 10/10, would incarnate again.

              • paululuapr
                paululuapr  2 days back

                You're talking about brain functions again instead of conciousness

                • Jiraya Uzumaki
                  Jiraya Uzumaki  2 days back

                  Everything good and fine, but what´s the mechanism of developing consciousness? The video shows just the island but I would also like to know the way how we achieve these islands...

                  • Sean M.
                    Sean M.  3 days back

                    Where’s pet 2?

                    • 某凡
                      某凡  3 days back



                      • Aron Blancia
                        Aron Blancia  4 days back

                        The music is real creepy

                        • sameh elzoubi
                          sameh elzoubi  4 days back

                          I fell conciseness on bad friends.

                          • Philip
                            Philip  4 days back

                            Where is part 2?

                            • 조째리
                              조째리  5 days back


                              • MASOL
                                MASOL  5 days back

                                I will define consciousness: Consciousness is an illusion that allows us to survive.

                                • I Like YouTube.
                                  I Like YouTube.  4 days back

                                  I could not say illusion even if we don't know what actually it is but if u say its an illusion then u r deluded af

                              • DulleCo
                                DulleCo  5 days back

                                Amazing vid

                                • Astronaught
                                  Astronaught  5 days back

                                  Heyy, I got through a Kurzgesagt video without getting an existential crisi.. oh boy here we go..

                                  • Lil Phil
                                    Lil Phil  5 days back

                                    “Hungry selves”

                                    • ejm 2305
                                      ejm 2305  5 days back

                                      *mOrE fOoD*

                                      • Gabriel Fernandes Chiarelo

                                        So, a cat have a less developed consciousness than us
                                        This means that we can possible reach a high level of consciousness, right ?
                                        But, this is not something possible to think about
                                        What can be more consciousness than this ... ?

                                        • Zia Ashley
                                          Zia Ashley  4 hours back

                                          When, after we find out what conscious really is?

                                      • danzigvssartre
                                        danzigvssartre  5 days back

                                        The rather circular argument in this video unfold as follows:

                                        Things develop consciousness to help navigate the world and get food for energy. 
                                        But why does it need food for energy?  
                                        Because it alive.
                                        But why is it alive? 
                                        Because it is conscious.

                                        Bad philosophy.

                                        • earth you are here
                                          earth you are here  6 days back

                                          what is concesnes

                                          • Francis Mausley
                                            Francis Mausley  7 days back

                                            I'll keep independently seeking... "He who has the consciousness of reality has eternal life—that lamp which can never be extinguished." – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha'i Faith

                                            • King Pin
                                              King Pin  7 days back

                                              Would be cool if you covered lucid dreaming too

                                              • earth you are here
                                                earth you are here  7 days back


                                                • Anton Geronimo
                                                  Anton Geronimo  7 days back

                                                  Doesn't anybody realize that this is a religious movie?

                                                  • Anton Geronimo
                                                    Anton Geronimo  6 days back

                                                    @Pixelart Animations no they are not using science. "Using science" would be using the scientific method or recorded data derived from that method. The scentific method is, observe something, make an assumption of what it is you observe, then try something out based on that assumption, then if what you tried based on the assumption recreated what you observed do it again and again until you can absolutely prove that your assumption is right. Evolution is an assumption that is impossible to try out. To then talk about is as if it was proven is a lie, ut since most people dont know that they just repeat what someone else has said, and since it is based on no logic or proof and it is saying that a god doesnt exist it is just blind faith. It is extremely religious. Not much better than believing that the muslim prophet Muhammed went to Jerusalem in the night when everybody else was sleeping, riding on a flying donkey, and then repeat it as a truth just because Muhammed himself wrote it in his book. "I flew on a donkey yesterday. It's true!! You were asleep so you have no reason to disbelieve me!!" "Frogs developed from fish. It's true!! You have never seen frogs develop from something else so you have no reason to disbelieve me!!"

                                                  • Pixelart Animations
                                                    Pixelart Animations  6 days back

                                                    Anton Geronimo but. Theyre just using science, is science something religious?

                                                  • Anton Geronimo
                                                    Anton Geronimo  6 days back

                                                    @Pixelart Animations Nobody knows how and why animals and plants are like they are. Evolution is just a theory, but one that is mathematically impossible. Creator stories are also mathematically impossible. But if you say god doesn't exist, which you do if you say evolution is a fact, that is a religios standpoint. The only science here is the scientific method, and that is not used when you talk about the development of consciousness, because there is nowhere to apply it.

                                                  • Pixelart Animations
                                                    Pixelart Animations  6 days back

                                                    Anton Geronimo what?

                                                • shelby wilson
                                                  shelby wilson  1 weeks back

                                                  Spider thing

                                                  • Khoa Nguyễn
                                                    Khoa Nguyễn  1 weeks back

                                                    wow this's so good

                                                    • Noelkinz G.Roman
                                                      Noelkinz G.Roman  1 weeks back

                                                      Let me tell you what you are: You are the present that is aware with science, when you think you fall asleep and you go unconscious. as a person you use time to dream of becoming because you like surprises but when you lose yourself to much in the surprise you become confused because you are absent from the truth witch is presence in essence. than when you open your eyes and realize that you are here in consciousness you become complete again because you are conscious but then you go back incomplete as a person and go unconscious because it lets you dream and when you dream you live with purpose. wherever you focus on you become it. you are a ball of light that travels up and down left and right what are you? you are and awareness and awareness is light. but this is just a theory, because at the end of the day everything is a mystery, and endless mystery and that is how you should remain as endless mystery pushing itself forward to the expansion of infinity. you can take it or leave it. because you have the right to be free. like the light of wisdom and the light of freedom.

                                                      • subham dutta
                                                        subham dutta  1 weeks back

                                                        Aaaaah, the background music really annoys me.

                                                        • qaraqar natsikrüt
                                                          qaraqar natsikrüt  1 weeks back

                                                          I found reply but dont say
                                                          If i say you understand all of them

                                                          • Kedi Hırsızı
                                                            Kedi Hırsızı  1 weeks back

                                                            I think that consciousness is something else it is a pure philosophic existance. Looking for food or running away from being a food are just the unconscious instincts that are stored in our solid minds. None of us knows why there are living creatures or why they have all theese instincts to survive but we know that we became conscious about it somehow. Consciousnes is not something related with brain functions cause we have it all the time. It's just being pressured down by our instincts and other evolutional things.

                                                            • Furry Sparkle
                                                              Furry Sparkle  1 weeks back

                                                              So those other videos? I want some more!

                                                              • Luciano Simmons
                                                                Luciano Simmons  1 weeks back

                                                                Wowww! So a 2 day old chick would view a baby under 8 mo the same as we view field cattle .. dumb and unaware and a resource to utilize if possible... Ty for this! This is the inspired thinking I try to explain to people I see squishing bugs, or killing plants unecessarily even. Ty!

                                                                • Luciano Simmons
                                                                  Luciano Simmons  1 weeks back

                                                                  "the consciousness we humans enjoy/are cursed with today?"...corrected the intro. Ty for these videos. I WISH I had access to this as a child! But... As the video illustrates my daughter will enjoy my lack of information as I ride the backs of those before me.

                                                                  • Squintis
                                                                    Squintis  1 weeks back

                                                                    Yeah, but why life? Like why did a strand of rna just go “oh hey I think I’m gonna start copying myself. And Im gonna need energy so I guess I gotta eat.” Why not just... not life?

                                                                    • Meido In Hebun
                                                                      Meido In Hebun  5 days back

                                                                      @Squintis Again, because of its physical/chemical characteristics, carbon molecules can bind to four different atoms at once and can form long chains, which means complex molecules can form, unlike water or most other elements. The only other element that can do so is silicon but it's much less stable (it's why in science fiction there's silicon based rock-like creatures, but this is just fiction).
                                                                      Evolution is basically chance, those RNA bubbles did "just exist", but as millions of years passed, at some point things aligned just right and made the first very primitive cells appear, it may have been the result of being energized and moved around by the crashing of waves in the primordial soup, from thunder, lightning, rain, etc. Consider we're talking about things happening over extreme amounts of time that our brains can't really comprehend other than as a number.

                                                                    • Squintis
                                                                      Squintis  5 days back

                                                                      @Meido In Hebun well I get that. but what made them not just attract and turn into another none living molecule? like I know the experiment that shows how amino acids could come into existence but.. when did the amino acids turn into proteins? and how? did dna come first or proteins? and then why evolve at all? water hasn't evolved. rocks don't evolve. why did these molecules decided to eat and reproduce? like what got us to LUCA? the whole sea geo vents make sense but there's still so many questions. like why did those bubbles of rna do anything at all instead of just exist?

                                                                    • Meido In Hebun
                                                                      Meido In Hebun  7 days back

                                                                      It's because of its physical characteristics, its shape and its composition, it results in a movement of particles that ends up replicating itself. Like how two drops of water will merge into one when they come in contact, but much more complicated. And it builds from there, resulting in what we call evolution.

                                                                  • Nidhi Rao
                                                                    Nidhi Rao  1 weeks back

                                                                    Thank you so much for this video. I would like to duly credit this video for helping me write an interesting report for my Zoology assignment.

                                                                    • Reverse communist
                                                                      Reverse communist  1 weeks back

                                                                      I just remember Noah screaming:
                                                                      F O O D

                                                                      • hippity hoppity I don't own any property

                                                                        What is that thumbnail tho 😂

                                                                        • Matheus M.
                                                                          Matheus M.  1 weeks back

                                                                          I thought this video would delve deeper into the matter of self awareness, and how our counsciousness has evolved to such a point we are able to forget our basic instincts for a while and question our own reality and our own self.

                                                                          • Lulα Drαws
                                                                            Lulα Drαws  1 weeks back

                                                                            when they started talking about how you can order food from home at the end of the video i thought they were gonna say the video was sponsored by uber eats

                                                                            • Munch, munch, delicious crunch

                                                                              S U C C

                                                                              • ANHGAMEG1195
                                                                                ANHGAMEG1195  2 weeks back

                                                                                Kênh thật là tuyệt vời

                                                                                • Moždana ćelija
                                                                                  Moždana ćelija  2 weeks back

                                                                                  How can a being develop something from inside itself, unaware and unwillingly, knowing how to do it, it just does it, for example develops eye or improves it, in 500.000 years or less/more, nevermind. If there was a blind fish millions of years ago, his species evolved in a way to have sight in half billion years. How would that species grow an eye for him to see? This, this, I cant stand this anymore.

                                                                                  It bothers me so much, is there someone to help me out? Dont tell its God.

                                                                                  • Sharky Gaming
                                                                                    Sharky Gaming  2 weeks back

                                                                                    Yo why they getting so many dislikes dis a good vid lol

                                                                                    • real esbastow
                                                                                      real esbastow  2 weeks back

                                                                                      4:58 **GASP** U JUST ATE OUR FRIEND!