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ZetaTalk: Sentience
Note: written on May 15, 1996.


Man values his intelligence, forethought, empathy, and consciousness, as these place him above the other animals on the Earth, or so he thinks. Man is a sentient being, but the low life of the Earth have these qualities in some measure too, as they are concomitant with what the basic building blocks of life throughout the Universe produce. From simple one celled creatures to the complexity of a hominoid, life interacts with its surroundings in the same manner. Life that survives at all is self protective, and thus has self awareness of sorts. If it must do more than simply react to survive, must be proactive, then a form of forethought has occurred. Animals with the same genetic structure can scarcely help but experience empathy with each other when cries of distress are heard or the tensed posture of defense is assumed. Early empathy is simply shared neuron patterns and shared experiences. Thus, depending on the chemical components of the world and the path evolution takes on that world, the sentient creatures that result may take any form, and the list would be infinite. Sentience is not exclusive to man, or to mammals, or to the Earth - it is concomitant with life itself throughout the Universe.

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