I guess the difference is that I agree with Tom's definition of consciousness. By that definition bacteria is not conscious, plants, rocks, and the planet are not conscious.
Sentient consciousness (as we define it here)‚ i.e., enough memory to define change, to differentiate one state from another; enough processing capability to learn from experience; enough awareness of self to have a finite decision space that can be utilized by a free will, and some way to transfer energy and information between itself and its environment (an ability to intentionally interact with its inside and outside environment). In other words: a conscious entity must be able to modify itself based on its own individual free will intent‚ it has the ability to evolve by intentionally lowering the entropy of its system.viewtopic.php?f=13&t=882&hilit=Individual+plants+do+not+meet+all+of+the+criteria
I am curious what your definition of conscious is so that you include bacteria, plants, rocks, and the Earth.
I have a feeling that once again this is mainly a matter of semantics. Words often fail us in describing the indescribable.
The definition of what is"conscious" may be very different from the definition of what is "consciousness". Again, I feel that it is a very subjective understanding and interpretation of the data, based upon our individual knowledge and experience.
From the link you supplied here, at the end it says this:
"however, it is not the only way that consciousness could be defined, categorized, and modeled. If one really wished to include plants (especially as groups or species) and organizations among the conscious, it wouldn't require too large a shift in the definitions employed here. I find that such a model tends to muddy the focus I wish to achieve on sentient beings more than it gives us in return by unifying all evolving animate life-forms under one consciousness umbrella. That's a judgment call, not something really worth arguing about too strenuously."
I have adapted a system of understanding I like to call "buffet style", take what you like and leave the rest.
If you go to the buffet and you happen to like broccoli, but hate spinach, then by all means take the broccoli and leave the spinach. This does not mean that spinach should be removed from the table entirely, as there may be some people that really enjoy spinach.
You do not give your definition of consciousness. And how can you be conscious without having consciousness? What part of Tom's definition do you disagree with?