What is consciousness and who has it? Most people agree that humans and
other higher mammals like monkeys have it. But is a fish conscious? Fish
avoid pain. Does pain aversion in a fish (or a robot) imply they feel
pain and, therefore, have consciousness?
Dr. James D.
Rose of University of Wyoming says "does
not" (PDF format) but Dr.
Lynne U. Sneddon says "does
so". The two recently published and conflicting
accounts of consciousness in fish are compared in this amusing
article written by an angler and amateur philosopher.
How much did this cost the taxpayer?
I rank this up there with the guys who got many thousands of dollars to
determine ketchup flowrates of different brands.
I feel that all animals will have a instinctive trait to move away from
negative stimuli as a basic survival trait. It's all part of evolution.
The real question is whether this happens in lower life forms like
ameoba or bacteria. Put in a couple of electric probes and fire up a
field, into a petri dish with a bacteria culture and observe how they
tend to move out of the electric field's range, leaving a hole. Is that
a response to negative stimuli or not?
No nervous system involved at all there.