I wasn't sure if this is the right section to put this, but I didn't notice an obvious alternative. Anyway, I've been wondering about the mind. We're made out of loads of little bits of ordinary, inanimate matter. Somehow in this universe it is possible to take some particles and carefully arrange them in such a configuration that it generates the mind, this abstract "arena" where thoughts can be expressed, senses experienced, emotions felt and so on. At some point, an automatic chemical reaction beginning with, if I'm not mistaken, simple self-replicating molecules, takes on increasing levels of organisation and becomes complicated enough for the first hints of "consciousness"/"awareness" to emerge. Many further iterations and complications happen and eventually you get a fully fledged, conscious human mind. My question is, are there any plausible physics-based explanations for how this occurs? Or are we to accept that something actually exists outside of physical reality? This seems to me like a really massive (and fascinating) headache that I have never personally heard anyone bring up before, never mind attempt to explain. To me this seems like a question that should really be being asked so often that it is as cliche'd as wondering whether a "deity" is responsible for the universe coming into existence.