Modern science assumes that our consciousness is generated solely by electro-chemical processes in the brain, a fortunate byproduct of billions of neurons recording and processing sensory information as it comes in. But that view comes into question if one take into account stories from ancient traditions of astral travel, and more modern accounts of out-of-body experiences by individuals that live at the edge of reality as we know it. But how can we determine which of these views is correct, or if there is a shade of gray involved somewhere between the two? Perhaps the answer, or maybe an even better question, can come from rare cases where otherwise normal individuals have what might be considered insufficient brain matter to properly function.
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In 360 BCE, the philosopher Plato discussed the nature of consciousness, addressing it as a real phenomenon that could be considered a part of reality, because of its ability to both affect and be affected by other consciousnesses. This simple concept places consciousness, something that is on one hand ubiquitous to the human experience, and on the other remains one of the most elusive phenomenon known in terms of our inability to not only quantify it, but also to prove it exists in the first place. However, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have made a step towards making consciousness a quantifiable phenomenon, where science may be able to address it in a more direct fashion.
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The double-whammy of global warming and a record-breaking El Niño are having yet another detrimental effect, killing massive amounts of sea life off of the coast of Chile. Being blamed is an algal bloom that is choking the waters of the Pacific, killing fish such as cuttlefish, salmon and sardines, and may be responsible for the deaths of over 300 whales that washed ashore last year.
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