Aliens – Friends or Foe?

Independence-Day-Movie-1280x720The image of visiting aliens as ruthless invaders hell-bent on destroying mankind in order to colonise our little blue planet for themselves, may be good for the Hollywood box-office, but how likely is it to reflect reality?

The deeper we delve into the cosmos, the more likely it appears that we not alone. Even if bio-genesis – the appearance of life from non-living chemical components – is a mind-numbingly rare event, the Universe is so vast, and the numbers of potential star systems so large, that even the slimmest odds could result in millions of occurrences. Continue reading “Aliens – Friends or Foe?”

Neonatal Consciousness – What is it like (if anything) to be a newborn baby?

Alya Joy Denman, 25 days after birth, 32 weeks gestation

Five weeks after the nail-biting experience of having our twins born two months early, my wife and I have now settled into a routine of regular visits to the neonatal intensive care unit, where our little boy and girl try to complete the remainder of their gestation in perspex boxes.

And so, as they lie there, mostly peacefully but with occasional myoclonic jerks, hiccups and tentative openings of the eyes, I find myself wondering what, if anything could be passing through their little minds. Do they even have minds? Are they even capable of consciousness at such an early stage of development? Continue reading “Neonatal Consciousness – What is it like (if anything) to be a newborn baby?”