How does science explain the human conscience?

I'm 15, a recently converted Christian to Agnosticism. It's taken me a long while of thoughtful consideration to fully drop some Christian philosophies from my conscience, such as heaven and hell, breaking down the concept of good and evil down into black and white, and the expectation that everything that happens to me is just another bump on the train track that some divine order has set up for me. Still, I've never quite lost the idea that there was a creator (and possibly even a designer) to the universe, simply because I don't think any natural scientific explanation for the origin of the universe, or even the origin of species, can explain what gives what used to be just matter and energy, a conscience., a primary influence on me to stop being a Christian, has always asserted that there is no soul, and that all we are is walking chemical reactions. If that's true, and that all it takes to have life is for chemical reactions to repeat themselves, then what do we call everyday chemical reactions in nature? Are they all living too? Just short bursts of life and conscience that go away because there isn't another reaction to follow? You could say that it was the nature of the universe to develop life (and thereby life with a conscience) wherever it was possible, but that holds one problem for me: It makes too much sense not to have a driving force behind it. Obviously it would be completely pointless to have a whole universe out there with no life to experience it, so the nature of the universe is to create life wherever possible. But what gave it that nature? Something had to be behind it. If it was just randomization, why let it make any sense at all? After all, there's no-one to say otherwise.
Atheist Answer: 

I think what you actually mean is human consciousness. If not, let me know and we'll talk about conscience.

Just because all fathers are men doesn't mean all men are fathers. Likewise, just because all life is chemical reactions doesn't mean all chemical reactions are life. The complete consensual definition of life uses several advanced processes as criteria, for example metabolism, growth and reproduction.

Consciousness in the materialistic view goes beyond the chemical, because it's augmented by the bio-electrical. Thoughts literally zap around the brain when they're active. The rest of the time they're stored chemically in the brain cells. The rest of the body also uses small amounts of electricity (there's a reason we need to consume electrolytes), but it's doubly important to the brain.

The nature of the universe does not appear to be to create life wherever possible. Firstly, there are very few types of place in the universe where life is possible, so it's not easy. Secondly, since all known life shares genetic material and is therefore related, it appears that even here on Earth life only emerged once, and never again. I'm not saying we're the only life in the universe, but life seems so rare and unlikely to arise in any given place that the next occurrence of it is probably several galaxies away.

It does seem pointless to create a universe with nobody to experience it. It seems almost as pointless to create a universe and put nearly all of it completely out of reach of the observers, so our presence isn't exactly a masterstroke in the efficient use of the cosmos. It's exactly as if we are just here, and we can see what we can see simply because it's close.

Hope that lot is food for thought.

- SmartLX


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15 year old sexbeasts

#1 swell name sexbeast, I suppose all 15 year olds are. #2 the universe does produce life "wherever possible" life is matter following the path of least resitance hence, in theory, life shoild appear wherever it is possible for life to evolve, if it did not that would be evidence for life being some kind of magic. #3 I'm not sure we curently have a good explanation for the consciousness, or the experience of being. but I wouldn't though out scientific theory just because it doesn't have an explanation for every thing. Religiouse people have had a habit of ptting anything outside of current scientific knowladge in God's magic folder. based on the track record though i have more confidence in scientific method than revalation. how many inventions have come from a prophet?


Regarding #2, life evolving is not the same as life emerging in the first place.

Life, once it exists, will spread and take up residence wherever it can, evolving as it goes. The emergence of life from non-life is an event we can't make generalisations about so easily, as we know of only one such event.

Importantly, beyond incredibly broad guidelines like the presence of a star nearby, we have no idea where it is possible for life to eventually emerge. Earth spent its first billion years looking like a place where life was impossible. We thought for a very long time that the "canals" of Mars might currently support life (before we found out there was no water).

It's even possible that there was once life on Mars, but we missed it. Given that it's possible as far as we know, Mars could be one example of a place where it was possible for life to emerge and yet it just didn't.