i would like to begin a discussion on consciousness. some important questions about it are: 1)what is consciousness? 2)is it unique in humans or do other animals have it? if they do, upto what degree? 3)how and why did it arise? 4)how are humans(and other conscious animals)different from those who do not have it? i have some nebulous views of my own. but let's hear your's first. some useful links will be welcome.