I was using Google to do some research on the big bang, and I came across a promising looking site, All About Science. The creators of this site have worked very hard to make it look like a legitimate science web site. But it doesn't take long to realize that this is just more Creationist Woo Woo.

I am getting so fed up with all the blatant lying in our society, from the oil companies spending billions to discredit, or obfuscate the science of global warming, to the political lies we see in corporate funded slam ads.

I wish we had a liars' list for all these charlatans. They call it freedom of speech, but it should be illegal! Anyone have any ideas to help expose the hypocracy?

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Well, when I sleep I am still conscious, though definitely not alert. Now, when I'm given a sufficient dose of sodium pentathal I am definitely unconscious.
Sleep is definitely an unconscious state. It is possible to be in an inbetween state, but that is a different brain state entirely. I for example, have been in the state, where I was able to open and close my eyes and perceive the ceiling, but was unable to move, and when I closed my eyes I was right back in the dream I was having. Then open, and staring at the ceiling again. Totally different brain state. There is plenty of research debunking the effectiveness of those tapes/CDs you can listen to while you sleep to back that up.

A sufficient dose of sodium pentathal should leave you semi-conscious still, otherwise it's useless for its generally intended purpose. You wouldn't be able to understand questions, access memory, and respond if you were fully unconscious.
You are correct, to a point. There is an agreed upon scientific description of levels of consciousness:

It's nicknamed the AVPU scale and it's what doctors and first aiders use every day:

Alert- patient is awake

Verbal- patient has an altered level of consciousness where he/she responds to verbal stimuli

Pain- patient has an altered level of consciousness where he/she responds to painful stimuli (such as a sternal rub)

Unconscious- No response to the above stimuli.
or is it? Without sufficient studies to come to a understanding of ones consciousness are you not making a rash generalized hypothesis. In stating such things you really sound no better than religion when talking about spirituality. Without them properly studying it they come to a realization that consciousness must be the spirit guiding the body which makes us sound godly. Your statement just makes it all sound so pointless and leaves to much up for debate. There is to little research done and what research has been done is inconclusive as to what consciousness is. It may very well be nothing but neurons firing away at night helping you to figure out problems or it may be something completely different which science itself can not figure out.
I'm unconscious while I'm sleeping, too. Until science proves otherwise.

Now hand me that saw so I can cut this branch that's holding me up.
Here's a "consciousness during sleep" test: Leave the radio on, and when you wake up, write down whatever you heard while sleeping.
OK, I'd modify the test, then. Pay attention to the radio at certain times, and just write down a few things heard during sleep.

I won't push this further, except to say that "consciousness" isn't purely an all or nothing experience. There are levels/modes of consciousness, and I agree that dreaming is one of those levels/modes. I'm guessing that lucid dreamers have learned to merge a couple of modes of consciousness that are normally not merged when most people sleep.
LOL, okay, okay!

Consciousness isn't usually an all or nothing experience.

And insecticides can affect consciousness. Like caffeine. Random thought, currently under the influence of. Ignore this stream of. Pink elephant. Mom. Wake up now.
@Michel - Agree, agree.

And wrt animals, does anyone know of evidence pro or con wrt how they dream? In the paper that Matt recommended about the evolution of animal cognition (which I recommend as a great read), the author says that most mammals dream, but reptiles don't.
This study was based on REM sleep and dealt with your consciousness helping you to figure out problems. The model that all patients used was a large video game that was completely interactive, I believe it was a skiing game, or snowboarding.

The study went like this, you play the game for 4 hours straight and then go to sleep. After you wake up they ask you to recall any dreams you may have had, the ones that could, in some way explained they were flying or skiing or it was incorporated in their dream somehow. After that you go back to playing the game.

The study showed that all patients got better after dreaming about the game and increased in ability by 60% after their first dream about the game.

the study doesn't do much to explain consciousness but it does give us insight into how our subconscious mind works when in a dream state. The study continues and i have a friend that does a similar study but uses different methods than the video games. They use math problems, tv, music and etc.
I had lucid dreams last night where I did my whole workday. Then when I woke up, I had to do it all over again. I hate it when that happens! Can I sign up for the video game dream tonight?
That's what Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots call a tour on an aircraft carrier, groundhog day, because so many days are almost exactly alike.

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