Do animals have a subconscious level?

It is now pretty much unanimously accepted that humans have a subconscius level, what about other animals like dogs, cats, etc?

probably. My Dog dreams. Dreans reflect unconscious activity In humans, it probably does the same in animals


I would agree that dogs have unconscious activity as I’ve viewed my dog flail and shake its paws around sporadically, probably dreaming of chasing down some rabbit, or of myself blathering away at it in a high pitched voice.

I wonder if only certain animals have this ‘ability’ and also if any insects have subconscious activity. I don’t think it likely… They just seem like organic based machines to me. Do insects sleep?

insects typically sleep, but sharks and pretty much all fish do not. I think that just because an organism is a baser organism, that does not mean that it is not intelligent. Even amoebas, bacteria, etc. have proven at times to be brilliant. The evolution of the planet through DNA recombination and symbiogenesis would be a good example of this.

Anyway, most animals have a subconscious mind. Most organisms are entirely subconscious, and even the most complex ones (us) are mostly unconscious.

The question isn’t do animals have a subconscious, but do they have a conscious? In humans, the word subconscious usually refers to what’s going on in our minds outside of our will, what’s going under the surface, without benefit of reason, observation, or esperience. Well, that describes the minds of animals. Yes, there are some who’s brains might possess enough processing ability to join humans in consciousness (and plenty of humans who are dumber than bricks), but I have yet to see definitive proof of this, so I’ll refer to animals as though all known non-human lifeforms are low enough in their mental processing to still function as predictable input-output machines (noting that the only difference is that humans are relatively unpredictable due to complexity). Animals have no will, no reason, very limited at best ability to draw from experiences, and I’ve never known any to be able to combine experiences to try to predict a pattern beyond associated response. So I’d say animals only have a subconscious, and in humans some higher levels of information processing have led to thought and hence to complex thought forms, which is consciousness. Since we’re all just complex chemistry sets, the distinction is really only relative, saying that we’ve reached a level of complexity that no other comparable set of chemical reactions (aka, lifeforms) has yet achieved.


You think life is a set of chemical reactions? Read up on bioplasm and mitogenetic radiation:

OK before I read a whole assed page of biology that, sincerely, looks very very interesting, Alien aren’t you a Little bit suspicious of Russian (or Kazakh) biology, what with fifty years of Lysenkoism and eveything?


Korvas, you’re an honest enough poster And you’ve mitigated much of what you’re just posted above, so my questions have a lot less passion than they normally would. Korvas, do you have a dog? Dogs are wonderful science experiments. Dogs learn, have a will, etc. In the face of all the damn near miraculous animal experiences, I’ve read about from a wide variety of professional and amateur biologists and naturalists, I just have a very Difficult time believing that animals are no different than punch card machines.

is it an urban myth, or haven’t there been documented cases of dogs pulling their owners out of housefires? If so I assume such animals were never trained to perform such an endeavor, and it doesn’t seem to be an instinctive trait for an animal to run into a burning building… such an animal must have chosen to do so under their own volition.

Or what about the rare case of dolphins chasing off sharks to save some poor slob?

If either such case is true (I dunno) it would tend to indicate a level of consciousness above basic instinctive drives and beyond simple training.

here are some links… interesting stuff … sharks.htm

Alas… in my brief foray into the world of animal heros, I could find no evidence of dogs dashing into burning houses to rescue people.

or that time they saved A poor, virtuous cuban boy from drowning before he could reach the shores of America, where freedom awaited him, until the Gang of Lesbians tore him from the embrace of an old man and hurled him back into the Tartarus of Communism.

Dolphins are in favor of two things… Dolphin Safe fish nets, and America!

I don’t know if I’m the only one on these forums that saw it, but it was on a TV program(not exactly sure which one). There was a dog that could, not shitting you here, reason out situations and distinguish english words.

Was a simple house dog. Don’t remember what species it was exactly either, but I’m sure it was related to sheep herding dogs. Anyways, on this program it showed the dog retrieving things by word, whether it by a news paper, shoes, a ball, ect. While that isn’t quite miraculous, the dog could distinguish between different colored toys(i.e. go get the green ball, where the ball was mixed in with multiple types of toys, being more than one ball and being more than one green toy).

I think the most ingenious thing I saw the dog do was it was told to go get something it had never heard of or seen before. This item was mixed in with all of its other toys, and the dog picked it out - the first time. If thats not the ability to reason, I don’t know what is.

I swear this is legit. I’m going to google to try and find something on this dog, and if I do I’ll post it on here. This was just incredible to me. Seemed like one of the first big jumps in mental evolution in one of our domesticated animals to date.

Dogs and other animals can live with their owner for a long time without noticing how much time has elapsed. The subconciousness of an animal guides its will. Their actions are instinctive but have no degree of consciousness that can posses self-realization. But humans are supposed not the same when it comes to consciousness. Ordinary people compared to people with intellect are distinctively comparing will and intellect. A philosopher’s goal is to maintain consciousness.


I’ve had several dogs and cats, and currently have a beautiful husky. I don’t personally bond significantly with animals, but I understand the bonds others formulate.

Someone mentioned that they can’t see animals as punch-cards. Why not? That’s a absurd over-simplification, but even so. Machines, animals, humans… We’re all just input/output machines, but the internal processing is so complex that it is usually hard to predict any outcome accurately beyond identifying general patterns (psychology). It’s all just causality, but that doesn’t mean the process can’t be extremely complicated and unpredictable to humans.

As for the person bringing up obscure biological theories, perhaps my terminology was innaccurate. I said chemical reactions because it is a simple way to express what I thought was clear, which is to say that we’re nothing more than the sum of our components (energy, particles, whatever, scientists are constantly fuzzing the boundaries) and their interactions as dictated by the nature of the components. Chemical reactions, cold plasma, quantum theory, whatever theories scientists come up with don’t really matter all that much to me. Whether or not people actually know the rules, the are there nevertheless.

I hope this clarifies any misunderstandings from my earlier posts.


Hey, research is research no matter where it came from. The first smaller article came from Kazakh, the second article is on research done in the united states. Both seem valid to me. The phenomena of bioplasm, and mitogenetic radiation are somewhat observable ones, and to deny their existance wouldn’t be feasible based upon what seemingly conclusive evidence there is.