What makes a species capable of entering the Awakening Stage?

This has definitely been discussed before, but I’ve not seen any solid conclusion to this problem. (the wiki just cites “sapience” as the requirement to enter the awakening stage) What makes a species “sapient” and capable of entering the Awakening Stage? We don’t really know what sapience is in the real world, so this is a complex problem.


More Brain - Better think

Elephants have over double the neurons that humans have, yet are less intelligent than humans. If only it was that simple.


Awakening is sentience, and elephants are not at all less intelligent, they have striking emotional empathy, and are considered sentient.

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Knowledge sentient is having nerves. Pretty sure even cockroaches are sentient, and there is debates about whether plants are

Aware stage is sentience. Awakening is gaining sapience

Though you may have a point. What do we have that elephants, Octopi, magpies, crows, parrots, dolphins, whales, and chimps don’t? Basic makeup I mean. That can be our defining point


I’ve seen this misconception quite a few times now actually. The Awakening Stage is quite a confusing concept.

I agree that elephants are very intelligent creatures, just not in the way that this post is discussing.


I did edit my above post, making this point I’m sure many others have made.

Often limitations for sapience include unnecessary behaviors (art or something), community, and manipulatory limbs.

Elephants have trunks, live in herds, and have been observed to mourn their dead.

Octopi have tentacles, I’m not sure about a social life, and they solve puzzles

Magpies, crows, and parrots. Magpies like shiny things. I watched a video where wild magpies and crows learned to put litter into a recycler and a set up dropped them food. Parrots can mimic speech, though I don’t know how well they understand it if at all, and I don’t know about social orders. All three manipulate things with their talons occasionally, but more often their beaks.

Dolphins and whales live in pods. Dolphins get high with their buddies on pufferfish venom, and males have prehensile penises. Whales have been known to show altruism, saving animals from predators and at one occasion saving a human from a tiger shark

Chimps live in troops and use basic tools such as sticks.

What do we have, at the most basic level, that none of these creatures do?

Once we figure that out that can be our defining point

As an aside, I find it interesting manipulatory limbs is seen as necessary for sapience. Though they may not progress like we have, maybe not even to the Stone Age, a species could very well reach our level of intelligence, no?


Perhaps, when editing the nervous system of your creature, you can dedicate different areas of it to different functions. This would start off with basic sensory input and instinctual behaviours. When you have a much more complex creature, you could start dedicating parts of it’s brain to much more complex behaviours like creativity for problem solving and complex language. Having enough neurons dedicated to these functions could allow you to enter the Awakening Stage.

I think you should still be able to enter the awakening stage without arm-like limbs, but this would restrict what kinds of things you could make in the Tech Editor. It would be hard to make a system that allowed this, though.


That makes sense thx


As a side note, I heard something about how it also isn’t amount of neurons that allows for sapience, but rather neuron density. Does anyone know exactly how that works?

neuron density is the number of neurons, you are saying the same thing

Higher density allows you to pack more neurons into a smaller space, which would be required for small creatures to have high intelligence.

i dont think neuron density nesserly can led to high intelligent. some dolphins have twitse the densty of human brain, but we dont have so far so evdent they can thunk like a human. all the concept of awareness its very blurry.

I do like to divide them into several categories (base on what they say so far):

  1. Neuronal development - If the creature started to develop a system of giving commands to specific areas to perform some action, also known as neurons, I would say jellyfish are aware. even plants and fungi can fall into the category
  2. Cephalization - If awareness comes by the expression of the beginning creating a mass concentration of neurons that are possible to organize and make more connections between neurons, I would say that flatworms are aware
  3. Complex movement - If I were to say that some complex movement (be it moving water legs or filter feathers or even the undulating motion of swimming) and it was moving in some direction that it was aware of, I would say that starfish are awareness.
  4. Order of actions - if this creature is complex enough to feel one of the most primitive emotions (according to theory - it’s either fear or satisfaction) and as a result, it makes an order of actions to prevent or strengthen this emotion, then Fish and Mollusca are conscious (for flatworms it works according to feedback action different from the rest although they have something similar to satisfaction or fear, they react to any sign of change unlike fish or mollusk)
  5. Memory thinking - if he is able to understand where and what type of food he is or is not able to get at any given moment and is able to remember them, then I would say that Sharks or Amphibians are aware
  6. Self-awareness - if he is able to understand that he is himself, there is someone else like him who needs the same things as you, a son is a friend or an enemy or a competitor, then I would say that Ants and Mammals are self-aware (It’s really self-awareness)

What I bring from my division about awareness is where we draw the line of awareness here. There are points where this thing really blurs and is able to overlap between several categories, for example - ants and bees are able to do actions that we consider to be conscious, but it’s actually just a series of unconscious processes that create a phenomenon called “Emergence” - a grouping of similar materials create different properties together.

So this whole thing is complex and delicately they are being investigated. Here we just need to decipher where we put the relative line in the categories I did here. Maybe you can build or add or argue about it, but I have written my words here

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“Parrots can mimic speech, though I don’t know how well they understand it if at all”

Parrots can understand and even use human language to varying degrees depending on the individual and the species. It’s common for most parrots to learn basic things like “peanut” to communicate which type of food they want to eat. More intelligent parrots can even learn concepts like color and ask questions. Famously, the African grey is extremely smart and can memorize hundreds of words and even understand the meaning of a lot of sentences. An African grey, in fact, was where I got the examples of understanding color and asking questions from. There was one that asked what color it was. It was named Alex.

I would definitely consider many, maybe even most birds to be sapient. Parrots and corvids 100% are sapient, though with parrots there are varying levels of it. Some are on the lower end of the spectrum than others. Corvids seem to be universally pretty much equal in intelligence.

Personally, I believe a LOT of animals are sapient, and we just fail to realize due to their lack of technology. I mean, some studies put dolphin intelligence above human intelligence, even.

Dolphins can’t be sapient in my opinion due to insufficient empathy. Corvids too cause of insufficient communication bandwidth. Unless sapiant just means brainy In Which case we have other issues.

There was suggestion on development forums

Your creature’s brain must be big enough related to entire organism.

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Thanks for sharing this! I’m not 100% sold on this method, though. Does this mean that if an organisms the size of a blue whale had a brain almost identical to a human brain it wouldn’t be considered sapient?

Another interesting link I found:

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Why would empathy matter? Do you thin psychopaths not to be sapient?


What about whales then? Some species (notably humpbacks) have shown altruistic behaviors, saving animals such as seals from pods of orcas and (as I mentioned above) in one case saving a human from a tiger shark

They don’t have manipulatory appendages and so haven’t progressed, but in your opinion could they be sapient?