What do we know about consciousness? Let’s do a little summary.
In consciousness we are aware of things. That means, we perceive things in time. That furthermore means we perceive things in time as being the same. That means we perceive things unchangeable, in a way, which perception allows us to register changes. That means we develop sense of time while perceive things as being the same. And that, in turn, means we are aware of ourselves for being able to register changes. That, furthermore, means that we are able to distance ourselves from the things we perceive in time.
This ability of the human consciousness to distance itself in order to perceive things as the same along with all the changes we are trying to approach.
Right at that point we can presume that keeping things “the same” is of value for humans. That is, whatever is acquired by our consciousness obtained the status of value. That is an assumption. The opposite assumption that anything of value is acquired by our consciousness seems even more reasonable. The third assumption that both above ideas are simultaneously right might be valid too.
Let’s put this in a slightly wider context. Human environment, generally speaking, consists of speech, communication, social relationships, tools, tool related activities, art, ideas and something difficult to define which we may call “human things.” And all of these somehow constitute our consciousness.
It is evident that above “components” are not isolated but form kind of “knots” where they support one another and develop. For example: speech-communication-relationship, speech-communication-tool-activity, tool-activity-art-human thing, etc. In any and all of this knots people create something of value and, at the same time, something they are aware of.
Now, let’s draw in some phenomena. We often remember bad things more vividly than good ones. That hints on a notion of “negative value” and questions our assumptions. We often realize that something or somebody was of value after loosing those. A challenge again. We often acquire some social norms which we are not aware of until break them and get punished. That is an issue either. Finally, we can value a thing for its functionality but that does not necessary mean we value the thing itself. This is a fundamental question.
These examples essentially are problem statements but as observations they still are helpful. Even without clear picture of how all above forces and phenomena work together we can see one distinguished aspect: That we can acquire in our consciousness only those things which become disruptive.
Or we can willfully disrupt our perception of a thing, all by our own, without being provoked. In that case we do thinking.
Or we can willfully disrupt our own perception of the “All things.” In that case we do philosophy.
Now, if we never do that, never disrupt anything in our perception that means we do not think and thus we live like animals, although in human environment.
Furthermore, when we stress on one’s ability or inability to disrupt established values and come up with new ones we may now turn our attention to the person. We can ask what does it mean to be human taking into account all said above.
The answer this time is: One is human if able to willfully disrupt one’s environment.
PS. If we want to talk about adaptation of humans that might make sense in the context of disruption only, maybe as a some kind of secondary feature.