Thanks for your comments Bruce and Michelle. The only thing I'll add at this point is that, by their own admission, consciousness is not something that is entirely understood by scientists. The brain? Sure, we have a pretty good idea how that works. But consciousness? I've had a chance to chat with at least a few neuroscientists on this subject and I have yet to find anyone who has come up with "the" definitive answer as to what consciousness is. Until we do, I'd say that we should keep all possibilities on the table.
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