In his TV series "Genius," Stephen Hawking presented an experiment in which people decided to push a button in order to stop a rotating dial. They were hooked up to EEG at the time. The experiment indicated that people decided to push the button, and then about 1 second later they became aware that they made this decision. Hawking, however, interpreted the evidence differently. He claimed that people's "unconscious" mind made the decision. It seemed to me that Hawking made significant logical error: he conflated "consciousness" with "self-awareness." It seems quite clear (at least from anecdotal reports from people who have been in a life-threatening situation) that our conscious minds are capable of processing information and reacting to it with extraordinary quickness. it also seems that we would be at a serious selective disadvantage if we were self-aware during these episodes. Is this distinction "merely" a matter of semantics? In Hawking's show, it seemed like he was interpreting data in a selective manner when more than one interpretation is possible, yet presenting his interpretation as the "only" way to view the situation.

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