Technically, I don't "know" anything for certain. With a few exceptions (cetaceans, some primates, maybe elephants) observation and common sense suggest animal sentience is of a different level than human self-consciousness (excepting some anomalies). You are clearly a materialist (I know you have previously described yourself as a communist, as am I, and dialectical materialism is part of the Marx-Engels angle) based on your assumption that human consciousness is reducible to physical material to be confined in a box full of wires, computer chips and digitized data (beware of power outages until the discovery of 'infinity batteries').
There are many "faith statements" in your post, but for this post I'll say this: Natural selection is a recognizable physical process over time, not a personal entity that "understands" or "makes" things. That's called 'anthropomorphization' when we apply it to 'gods,' and the same holds true when we apply it to natural processes, systems and concepts categorized by observation and testing. It is a corrosive tautology to say that we don't have to understand sentience to make it artificially because an impersonal, inexorable process called natural selection "made it" without sentience of its own, because natural selection is a concept, not a causative agent, and therefore doesn't make anything.
On seventeenth thought, what I just described in the above paragraph is theological--akin to 'creatio ex nihilo,' 'creation out of nothing,' alleged to be in the purview of the Judeo-Christian god "Yhwh" (and others, but not all gods). Gods, in theory and theology, can create something out of nothing, but humans, whales, dolphins and elephants can't. That's why the notion is Frankensteinian. We are not gods.
There is no evidence--scientific, anecdotal or otherwise-- that human consciousness, an immaterial, ephemeral and unrecordable reality known only to its possessor, can be contained in a human-made structure designed to host a facsimile of human brain activity. Only mystics would assert this is possible, but they would never stick it in a box and call it human.
Edited by szentgyorgy, 29 June 2013 - 02:38 PM.