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Nicola Reddwoodd

"Rescue Shoujo the baby dolphin in Taiji"

Crescent City, CA, USA
female, age 49
married
Speaks: English and German
Joined Mar 25, 2014
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Birthday March 31, 1965  
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About Me The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness
Nicola Reddwoodd

On July 7, 2012, a panel of prominent International neuroscientists, cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists gathered at the University of Cambridge, U.K. to reassess the neurobiological substrates of conscious experience and related behaviors in animals and humans and they signed their Declaration on Consciousness at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference of Consciousness in Human and Non Human Animals in the presence of Dr. Stephen Hawking.

They found that, although non human animals as well as developmentally impaired humans have problems to communicate brain processes to others, the neural substrates of emotions do not appear to be confined to cortical structures. The same subcortical neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically important for generating emotional behaviors in animals. Artificial arousal of the same brain regions generates corresponding behavior and feeling states in both animals and humans. Instinctual emotional behaviors in animals and humans can bypass the neo cortical processing stages and still function well on their own. Instincts are indeed part of our decision making processes as well as part of our emotions as well as part of our cognitive functions. Instincts are therefore not just robotically mechanistic behavior motivators as believed in the 50s. Subcortical function as observed in animals with much less neo cortex mass applies not only to the vegetative nervous system functions like sleep, eating, drinking, fight and flight, but also to some decision making like in nursing infants. These observations lead scientists to conclude that those primal surviving mechanisms (and not only those for the survival of one individual but also for the survival of the other as in caretaking) have already existed in animals like early cephalopod mollusks like octopus and other prevertebrate animals. Octopus are much more evolved today with very large brains and complex decision making. Octopus evolved parallel to more complex animals on land. Birds also developed parallel to mammals while never leaving the bird- or premammal stage of evolutionary development. Therefore some birds have developed more complex brains with larger neo cortices, as seen in African Gray Parrots who are able to learn sign language like primates. Magpie birds who are related to Jays, Crows and Zebra Finches have neuronal sleep patterns including REM sleep similar to those in mammals. Magpies show complex social conduct like self recognition in mirrors equal to elephants, dolphins, whales and primates. Self recognition is a sign of higher cognitive understanding.

The International panel of scientists gathered at The University of Cambridge came to this unanimous conclusion:
"We declare the following: The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Nonhuman animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates."

Every person who has ever lived with animals would have already noticed for millennia that the non human land animals are just like them, they feel the same way, they act very much like them and they communicate similarly through a universal body language, the one that humans also have always used (throughout their pre homo sapiens stages as well). Whales and dolphins have developed a much more complex language than the human languages. According to recent research Humpback whales are more evolved than humans. They have higher cognitive functions and higher ethical understanding than humans have. Dr. Jack Kassewitz is currently developing a bridge language system in order to learn the whale language and be able to communicate back to the whales. When they will be able to understand much of what the whales are saying then humans can learn from them.

Dogs, pigs and horses for example also have this ability to love unconditionally and help each other as well as help other species.

Hierarchical human systems throughout history have ordered animals under humans out of greed. The animals were not able to defend themselves against their enslavement. The same hierarchical power systems then utilized superstition and religion to facilitate their self made hierarchies further and dictate them to society. Once such dogmatized hierarchies were in place they ruled with an iron fist and the people like Joan of Arc for example who have rocked these hierarchical boats were declared heretics and they were often brutally executed.

Most human societies today have surpassed those stone age states of social development. Today we have the opportunity to make further progress by acknowledging that the matters on Earth are not only the matters of the humans but instead they are the matters of all Earthians. This Declaration on Consciousness can therefore be seen as an official stage setting for the new era of love and kindness for all living beings alike.
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