When a certain stimulus happens, the effects it has on the brain, which include thoughts, is predictable and computable by doing the physics. We just have this illusion of "free will" and making choices. Our personalities are simply the result of how our brain's wiring developed from our environmental stimuli.
This also brings to light an important topic in philosophy of science: determinism. Is the world deterministic or not? If it's not, then physics and the sciences simply don't work. If the world is deterministic, which all evidence we have says that it is, then free will cannot exist. It's just easier and more comforting for people to pretend we have free will.
I don't mean consciousness as in functioning state of the brain (i.e., as opposed to unconsciousness), or about the ability of a representational system to picture and reason about itself. I talk about the feeling of being (I wrote a semi-serious comment about this in this thread: search for metaesthesia).
You can rightly claim that this is not observable beyond the first person, and thus it's out of the scope of science. But I guess we all have a personal unscientific take on it, or we can make up one as good as any other when so prompted. That was what I was asking you about.
Hate to be unpoetic, but how is a star anything more than a big ball of burning gas? I don't feel humans are 'better' than stars. The only loosely related comparison I can think of is complexity: there is more to know about humans than about stars.
Our fourth dimensional overlords.
It's really tough to go anywhere with this conversation because it quickly hits the limits of what our consciousness can express. I feel that our consciousness is missing something that would allow us to understand why the big ball of burning gas exists on a higher plane of existence than us. This is of course completely impossible to justify.
Kinda like passing a bitmap image to an audio player, or passing it through a mp3 compressor and loading the resulting data in an image viewer, trying to discover anything interesting in the output.