Page 5 of 76 FirstFirst 123456789101555 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 1136

Thread: Cosmology

  1. #61
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    I am no expert on multiverse theory, I want to make that clear. As far as I have examined it, I love it and it seems plausible in a highly abstract way. Evidence, or at least more rational theorizing on the subject is something I would like to see. But most of what one reads even from established minds, seems much closer to populist extrapolations gone wild than science.

    Perhaps we are witnessing science molting from its old skin. Or better, the catepillar is transforming into a butterfly. Is science becoming more verbal as its discoveries grow ever more abstract? Somewhere along the line the math has to work out. But the public has an appetite for suggestive science, which is a new term coined right now to mean wild and fun extrapolations on serious theories with suggestive names. Like a comet, science has a tail which is most of what we see.

  2. #62
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    Some scientific theories have names that are irrestible to the public. Relativity, Chaos theory, String theory, Disaster theory and now Mulit-verse. Is there a human being alive who does not want to believe this? I want to believe in multiverses. But my own standards prevent me from subscribing to theories with no empirical evidence.

    As I undertrstand it multiverses were postulated because our cosmological constant was so finely tuned that it seemed to impliy a deliberate action on the part of an intelligence. Multiverses were posited to provide an end run around the notion of a designer. Our strange cosomological constant is not so strange if there are up to 10^500 other universes lurking somewhere out there.

    I think there is no evidence for multiverses other than this flimsy excuse for a theory. I wish it were otherwise. I suppose I could be convinced.
    One gets the likelihood of a multiverse as soon as one accepts that our present universe had a beginning. If it happened once it probably happened many times before. Hence a multiverse.

    However, that argument implies those other universes would all be very similar to our own since our universe is all we have evidence for.

    If one also needed, because of one's metaphysical assumptions, to deny transcendent consciousness (or ultimately to trash consciousness of any sort), then finding evidence for the beginning of our universe results in cognitive dissonance. In order to keep one's metaphysics intact, one now has to scramble to explain where all the stuff of the universe came from. One can no longer assume our universe has always been there. Did all this stuff come "from nothing"? That idea would make things even worse, but it looks as if not only did all the stuff in our universe but also space and time itself had a beginning.

    One way to deal with cognitive dissonance is to explain it away adequately enough so one can forget the dissonance and be happy again. One common way this is done is to appeal to "randomness" and allow the multiverse to contain all kinds of strange universes. Why does this help? With randomness some people think they can rationally continue pretending that consciousness does not exist.

    Because they are the result of a metaphysical angst, I don't accept randomness arguments. So, I would agree with you, desiresjab, that there is no evidence for a random multiverse, but I do think the big bang is itself evidence that there is a non-random multiverse, basically a multiverse of universes much like our own.
    Last edited by YesNo; 09-16-2015 at 12:39 PM.

  3. #63
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    One gets the likelihood of a multiverse as soon as one accepts that our present universe had a beginning. If it happened once it probably happened many times before. Hence a multiverse.

    However, that argument assumes those universes would all be rather similar, that is, a multiverse of universes able to support life.

    If one also needed, because of one's metaphysical assumptions, to deny transcendent consciousness (or ultimately consciousness of any sort), then finding evidence for the beginning of our universe results in cognitive dissonance. In order to keep one's metaphysics intact, one now has to scramble to explain where all the stuff of the universe came from. One can no longer assume our universe has always been there. Did all this stuff come "from nothing"? That idea would make things even worse, but it looks as if not only did all the stuff but also space and time itself had a beginning.

    One way to deal with cognitive dissonance is to find a way to explain it away. One common way this is done is to appeal to "randomness" and allow the multiverse to contain all kinds of strange universes. Why is that necessary? One has to find a way to make sure that a consciousness choice was never made.

    Because of this angst that motivates an appeal to randomness, I don't accept a randomness argument at all. So, I would agree with you, desiresjab, that there is no evidence for a random multiverse, but I do think the big bang is itself evidence that there is a non-random multiverse, basically a multiverse of universes much like our own.
    I accept randomness as the best tool at present to help capture certain properties of some phenomena. Consciousness is easier for me to accept as a universal constant because it can be defined so many ways.

    The big bang compressed not only space and time but information as well. That which unfolded was seeded with an incredible richness of emergent properties. It is this wealth of emergent properties which pulls me toward the rule of consciousness. I probably believe in intelligent design, but I think it is a useless concept to science. It is like saying look for patterns, and science shouts back, what do you think we have been doing for all of these centuries? I think Dawkins made a doc called Take Back Intelligent Design.

    I might believe that existence has infinite emergent properties enfolded within it; that these emergent properties over time stack like exponents and rapidly or slowly differentiate one emergent line from another; that evolution is only an expression of a more encompassing rule of emergent properties we have not yet realized into an equation; that without this infinite enfolding of emergent richness, randomenss and thirteen point seven billion years are too little for all that has come to be; or maybe all of that is only philosophical rationalizing of how I hope the multiverse operates.

    We have already noted that mathematics has identified itself by way of proof as possessing infinite complexity but unable to store it under one roof. That's how it is. It takes infinite roofs to store infinite complexity. Unfortunately, it means there is no mathematical theory of everything--no TOE in math. I really don't know what that implies for the relationship of math and physics in the future, but I think equations will signal revolutions in the foreseeable future as they have in the recent past from Newton to Maxwell to Einstein. When the paradigm shift comes that revolutionizes thinking, an equation or mathematical structure will be close by. That is comforting.

    I do not have a problem sharing with meaningless universes in addition to those packed with information and emergent properties that manage to unfold. We have to live with certain philosophical paradoxes to explore our existence. Philosophy is better at dealing with those than science is.

    If the human race manages to survive without continually destroying its own knowledge, I do not believe in any limit to our increase of understanding, as our consciousness is, so far, the ultimate product of evolution under enfoldment, with infinite potential remaining.

    Any God is way back there, not upfront in your face, as religions have it. The packing of infinite enfoldment means a distant, abstract intelligence to me, if any. Intelligence and consciousness are only poorly defined concepts. We will continue to refine our assessments of them.

    I am not bothered that some people attribute all that exists to pure randomness and others to intelligence, for intelligence is vague and sure to be redefined to fit our philosophical needs, and even randomness might eventually be redefined as something we only partially understood in our past. Is it possible that randomness itself could be the elusive intelligence we are seeking, the engine and creator of infinite enfoldment? Yeah, that is possible too. Most of all, I would like the ultimate answer to include me. Whether the afterlife is genrated randomly or through intelligent enfoldment, is of little concern compared to my concern for my continued existence. Feelings like this are why the multiverse theory is so appealing. The suggestive science is without peer.

    I see absolutely no reason for me and my stomach bacteria to be here right now other than enfoldment. If enfoldment is infinite, that means every kind of universe unfolds. I must accept the paradox that even impossible universes, then, would have to unfold. There will always be paradoxes because of our hierarchal position in the metalogical structure which is infinite. But many paradoxes which stumped both the ancients and our mere elders have been comfortably solved so that they no longer pester our reason in the least. Olbers and Zeno to name but two famous examples. This is meta science, this is meta logic in action as it unfolds, climbing its own rungs, turning paradox into understanding. We are at a higher level of meta science and meta logic than our elders, otherwise we could not solve so many of their paradoxes so truly.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 09-16-2015 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #64
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I accept randomness as the best tool at present to help capture certain properties of some phenomena. Consciousness is easier for me to accept as a universal constant because it can be defined so many ways.
    There are at least three things that I don't accept: (1) determinism, (2) randomness and (3) physical constants. The reason is because they are all properties of mathematical models and quantum physics has undermined the first two. Within the models we can have determinism, randomness and constants. They make the models simpler to use for calculations and this is where their use value lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    The big bang compressed not only space and time but information as well. That which unfolded was seeded with an incredible richness of emergent properties. It is this wealth of emergent properties which pulls me toward the rule of consciousness. I probably believe in intelligent design, but I think it is a useless concept to science. It is like saying look for patterns, and science shouts back, what do you think we have been doing for all of these centuries? I think Dawkins made a doc called Take Back Intelligent Design.
    I actually don't believe in "intelligent design". It assumes the universe is a deterministic machine that needs a designer to build it, wind it up and let it run down. I don't see the universe as a machine. This comes from my rejection of mathematical models as proxies for reality.

    This rejection of an intelligent designer does not mean that I reject "cosmic consciousness", "transcendent consciousness" or other concepts of "God". I don't think the universe can exist right here right now without such transcendent reality sustaining it, but this has nothing to do with "design".

    When theists argued for a conscious designer in the 19th century they were trying to make an argument that those who believed in mathematical determinism would be able to understand. It was a mistake to go down the road of determinism as far as they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I might believe that existence has infinite emergent properties enfolded within it; that these emergent properties over time stack like exponents and rapidly or slowly differentiate one emergent line from another; that evolution is only an expression of a more encompassing rule of emergent properties we have not yet realized into an equation; that without this infinite enfolding of emergent richness, randomenss and thirteen point seven billion years are too little for all that has come to be; or maybe all of that is only philosophical rationalizing of how I hope the multiverse operates.
    The concept of "emergent properties" is also important. At the moment, I don't believe in them. There are strong and a weak emergent property theories. The strong form would allow consciousness to emerge from unconsciousness. I think this is ridiculous, but I will leave it to those who promote ideas like panpsychism, such as Thomas Nagel, to argue against it.

    I am also opposed to weak emergent properties which people who support panpsychism may not be. This means that I favor a non-reductionist view of reality (although reductionist models may have use-value in simplifying calculations leading to useful predictions).

    If one believes in even a weak form of emergent properties one then needs a way for this emergence to occur. I agree with you that "randomness and thirteen point seven billion years are too little for all that has come to be". How more complicated forms arose from simpler forms needs to be explained beyond a simple faith that it must have happened that way. One of the reasons I like Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields is he tries to provide such an explanation using modern field concepts. Maybe Sheldrake will convince me that weak emergent properties are possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    We have already noted that mathematics has identified itself by way of proof as possessing infinite complexity but unable to store it under one roof. That's how it is. It takes infinite roofs to store infinite complexity. Unfortunately, it means there is no mathematical theory of everything--no TOE in math. I really don't know what that implies for the relationship of math and physics in the future, but I think equations will signal revolutions in the foreseeable future as they have in the recent past from Newton to Maxwell to Einstein. When the paradigm shift comes that revolutionizes thinking, an equation or mathematical structure will be close by. That is comforting.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I do not have a problem sharing with meaningless universes in addition to those packed with information and emergent properties that manage to unfold. We have to live with certain philosophical paradoxes to explore our existence. Philosophy is better at dealing with those than science is.

    If the human race manages to survive without continually destroying its own knowledge, I do not believe in any limit to our increase of understanding, as our consciousness is, so far, the ultimate product of evolution under enfoldment, with infinite potential remaining.

    Any God is way back there, not upfront in your face, as religions have it. The packing of infinite enfoldment means a distant, abstract intelligence to me, if any. Intelligence and consciousness are only poorly defined concepts. We will continue to refine our assessments of them.
    I like the way you describe God as not currently being "upfront in your face". I have no religion to promote, and some specific religions annoy me, but if transcendent consciousness really does sustain the universe then not seeing that transcendent consciousness "upfront in your face" may be a sign that the theories one has about reality are wrong.

    The reason I don't think there are meaningless universes is because I don't think a universe can exist--at all--without consciousness. In other words, there is no unconscious matter out there out of which a universe could be constructed or designed. That means there is nothing out of which one can construct a meaningless universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I am not bothered that some people attribute all that exists to pure randomness and others to intelligence, for intelligence is vague and sure to be redefined to fit our philosophical needs, and even randomness might eventually be redefined as something we only partially understood in our past. Is it possible that randomness itself could be the elusive intelligence we are seeking, the engine and creator of infinite enfoldment? Yeah, that is possible too. Most of all, I would like the ultimate answer to include me. Whether the afterlife is genrated randomly or through intelligent enfoldment, is of little concern compared to my concern for my continued existence. Feelings like this are why the multiverse theory is so appealing. The suggestive science is without peer.
    Randomness seems to me to be one cognitive dissonance response to uncertainty. It allows one to continue pretending that things can change without consciousness being involved. However, the uncertainty of quantum physics need not have a uniform distribution. Therefore, generally that uncertainty is not random.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I see absolutely no reason for me and my stomach bacteria to be here right now other than enfoldment. If enfoldment is infinite, that means every kind of universe unfolds. I must accept the paradox that even impossible universes, then, would have to unfold. There will always be paradoxes because of our hierarchal position in the metalogical structure which is infinite. But many paradoxes which stumped both the ancients and our mere elders have been comfortably solved so that they no longer pester our reason in the least. Olbers and Zeno to name but two famous examples. This is meta science, this is meta logic in action as it unfolds, climbing its own rungs, turning paradox into understanding. We are at a higher level of meta science and meta logic than our elders, otherwise we could not solve so many of their paradoxes so truly.
    Olber's paradox was confirmed with evidence supporting the big bang. What Olber's paradox reminds us today is that if the big bang did not occur and if the universe were infinite, then life could not exist.

  5. #65
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    There are at least three things that I don't accept: (1) determinism, (2) randomness and (3) physical constants. The reason is because they are all properties of mathematical models and quantum physics has undermined the first two. Within the models we can have determinism, randomness and constants. They make the models simpler to use for calculations and this is where their use value lies.



    I actually don't believe in "intelligent design". It assumes the universe is a deterministic machine that needs a designer to build it, wind it up and let it run down. I don't see the universe as a machine. This comes from my rejection of mathematical models as proxies for reality.

    This rejection of an intelligent designer does not mean that I reject "cosmic consciousness", "transcendent consciousness" or other concepts of "God". I don't think the universe can exist right here right now without such transcendent reality sustaining it, but this has nothing to do with "design".

    When theists argued for a conscious designer in the 19th century they were trying to make an argument that those who believed in mathematical determinism would be able to understand. It was a mistake to go down the road of determinism as far as they did.



    The concept of "emergent properties" is also important. At the moment, I don't believe in them. There are strong and a weak emergent property theories. The strong form would allow consciousness to emerge from unconsciousness. I think this is ridiculous, but I will leave it to those who promote ideas like panpsychism, such as Thomas Nagel, to argue against it.

    I am also opposed to weak emergent properties which people who support panpsychism may not be. This means that I favor a non-reductionist view of reality (although reductionist models may have use-value in simplifying calculations leading to useful predictions).

    If one believes in even a weak form of emergent properties one then needs a way for this emergence to occur. I agree with you that "randomness and thirteen point seven billion years are too little for all that has come to be". How more complicated forms arose from simpler forms needs to be explained beyond a simple faith that it must have happened that way. One of the reasons I like Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields is he tries to provide such an explanation using modern field concepts. Maybe Sheldrake will convince me that weak emergent properties are possible.



    I agree.



    I like the way you describe God as not currently being "upfront in your face". I have no religion to promote, and some specific religions annoy me, but if transcendent consciousness really does sustain the universe then not seeing that transcendent consciousness "upfront in your face" may be a sign that the theories one has about reality are wrong.

    The reason I don't think there are meaningless universes is because I don't think a universe can exist--at all--without consciousness. In other words, there is no unconscious matter out there out of which a universe could be constructed or designed. That means there is nothing out of which one can construct a meaningless universe.



    Randomness seems to me to be one cognitive dissonance response to uncertainty. It allows one to continue pretending that things can change without consciousness being involved. However, the uncertainty of quantum physics need not have a uniform distribution. Therefore, generally that uncertainty is not random.



    Olber's paradox was confirmed with evidence supporting the big bang. What Olber's paradox reminds us today is that if the big bang did not occur and if the universe were infinite, then life could not exist.
    I would not come on and defend God. Like I said, maybe I believe in a creator. But if I do, it is not the loudmouth of holy texts.

    To me intelligent design does not mean determinism must follow. A smart enough creator could certainly build a non-deterministic machine.

    I tend to feel that a less than ultimate being may be directly responsible for our super consciousness but not for the universe itself.

    I do not say that the explosion of super consciousness several hundred thousand years ago in humans could not be produced in a fully natural way, with the help of natural selection and some emergent properties, of course. But it seems fully reasonable that we could have been tampered with to become super conscious.

    I have been a fan of Sheldrake's morphic fields for a while. I just wish he had more to say about them. I suppose he can't because they are pure speculation and philosophy. Haven't looked at him for a while. I doubt he is within a light year of a mathematical model. You would not frown on such a model. It would signal progress. Rupert is being more of a poet than a scientist.

    In spite of your distrust of mathematical models, you understand that an equation is what it takes to shake the world. Yet some of the smartest guys in the world are occultists these days. They have extreme mathematical tools. Sheldrake is an example and Brian Josephson another. Brilliant men looking for the next paradigm shift. Peering under stones their elders would not have disturbed. Neither seems to have made a dent in parapsychology, one of their chosen inquiries.

  6. #66
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    xxxxx
    Posts
    548
    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I would not come on and defend God. Like I said, maybe I believe in a creator. But if I do, it is not the loudmouth of holy texts.

    To me intelligent design does not mean determinism must follow. A smart enough creator could certainly build a non-deterministic machine.

    I tend to feel that a less than ultimate being may be directly responsible for our super consciousness but not for the universe itself.

    I do not say that the explosion of super consciousness several hundred thousand years ago in humans could not be produced in a fully natural way, with the help of natural selection and some emergent properties, of course. But it seems fully reasonable that we could have been tampered with to become super conscious.
    We do not have super consciousness, merely the illusion of super consciousness.

    There is research showing that the brain has an on/off switch that triggers unconsciousness. Mohamad Koubeissi at the George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues described a way to switch off consciousness by electrically stimulating a part of the brain called the claustrum.

    The discovery came while the researchers were studying a woman who has epilepsy. During a procedure, they used deep brain electrodes to record signals from different parts of her brain in order to determine where here seizures were originating. One electrode was place next to the claustrum, a thin, sheet-like structure underneath the neocortex. Although this area has never been electrically stimulated before, it had been implicated in the past as a possible control center for consciousness by neuroscientist Francis Crick, who identified the structure of DNA, and his colleague Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.

    Koubeissi and his team found that Crick and Koch might have been on to something. When they stimulated the area with electrical impulses from the brain electrodes, the woman stopped reading, stared blankly into space and didnít respond to auditory or visual commands. Her breathing slowed as well. She had lost consciousness. When the scientists turned off the electrical stimuli, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of blanking out. Additional attempts were tried over two days and each time, the same thing happened.


    Consciousness is a state of matter, governed by the same physical laws as everything else.
    Nothing mystical about it, no need for a super being tinkering with our DNA.

  7. #67
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    We do not have super consciousness, merely the illusion of super consciousness.

    There is research showing that the brain has an on/off switch that triggers unconsciousness. Mohamad Koubeissi at the George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues described a way to switch off consciousness by electrically stimulating a part of the brain called the claustrum.

    The discovery came while the researchers were studying a woman who has epilepsy. During a procedure, they used deep brain electrodes to record signals from different parts of her brain in order to determine where here seizures were originating. One electrode was place next to the claustrum, a thin, sheet-like structure underneath the neocortex. Although this area has never been electrically stimulated before, it had been implicated in the past as a possible control center for consciousness by neuroscientist Francis Crick, who identified the structure of DNA, and his colleague Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.

    Koubeissi and his team found that Crick and Koch might have been on to something. When they stimulated the area with electrical impulses from the brain electrodes, the woman stopped reading, stared blankly into space and didn’t respond to auditory or visual commands. Her breathing slowed as well. She had lost consciousness. When the scientists turned off the electrical stimuli, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of blanking out. Additional attempts were tried over two days and each time, the same thing happened.


    Consciousness is a state of matter, governed by the same physical laws as everything else.
    Nothing mystical about it, no need for a super being tinkering with our DNA.
    I have merely made a demarcation in consciousness that is the ability to catch one's self thinking. That is all it takes for super consciousness, as I have defined it.

    Whether anything mystical is happening is not a discussion for me. I am sure we do not know the proper meanings of natural or supernatural. My approach to cosmology is through science and math. Sometimes I like to take the ball and run for a ways toward one goal or the other with extrapolations, but in the end I always come out an agnostic on the fifty yard line. It is the only reasonable place I see. Socrates mentioned that any strong belief on these matters is presumptuous. I took that to heart long ago.

    I have no problems with intelligent design or random evolution until someone makes claims of knowing the answers or of knowing certain things I do not believe are knowable. Then I need sharable proof.

  8. #68
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I would not come on and defend God. Like I said, maybe I believe in a creator. But if I do, it is not the loudmouth of holy texts.
    I don't have any sacred texts. Perhaps all texts are sacred.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    To me intelligent design does not mean determinism must follow. A smart enough creator could certainly build a non-deterministic machine.
    I might have the history of ideas wrong, but I think intelligent design can be traced back to Paley's argument about finding a watch (a deterministic mechanism) and then assuming there must be a watchmaker. This idea probably goes back to the 18th century or earlier as well.

    It seems to me that theists some centuries ago were predominately determinists and dualism was the way they handled the cognitive dissonance this ultimately deistic perspective awoke. My problem with that deistic view is the assumption that the universe is deterministic (or random). This I think comes from a belief that mathematical models ("laws") are reality. They are just models. It is like saying the road you are driving on is the picture on your GPS app and therefore must have all the software components in it that are used by the app to display the picture.

    A "non-deterministic machine" would be one with unconscious randomness involved in it. Determinism and randomness are two sides of the same unconsciousness coin. Neither are real, but they do have use-value in simplifying quantitative predictions about reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I tend to feel that a less than ultimate being may be directly responsible for our super consciousness but not for the universe itself.
    This sounds like some form of dualism. Dualism would be a belief in the existence of unconscious matter along with a belief in the existence of consciousness.

    Iain Sparrow's post provides one challenge to dualism. His post is based on a belief in materialism, that is, a belief in the existence of unconscious material stuff, which I think quantum physics undermined. But then, I'm an idealist, not a materialist.

    To be a materialist after quantum physics, one would have to take either some sort of superdeterminism or a many worlds approach to reality. Either of these general approaches seems more absurd to me, besides having no empirical evidence to back them up, than simply giving consciousness its due for which we do have empirical evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I do not say that the explosion of super consciousness several hundred thousand years ago in humans could not be produced in a fully natural way, with the help of natural selection and some emergent properties, of course. But it seems fully reasonable that we could have been tampered with to become super conscious.
    I agree that the existence of consciousness outside of its manifestation as matter is possible, just as light can exist without acquiring mass. What I don't think is possible is the existence of matter/mass without consciousness. It would be like having matter without energy.

    I think evolution proceeded the way that Niles Eldredge described through the process of punctuated equilibria. That would be a natural way using natural selection. I think he is right in recognizing the existence of things like "species" characterized by their stable DNA and from which other species form through geographic isolation. I am unclear how more complicated forms emerge from less complicated forms through this process alone, unless they don't actually "emerge" but are part of some pre-existing "field" properties or a participation in consciousness all along just waiting for their opportunity to manifest.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    I have been a fan of Sheldrake's morphic fields for a while. I just wish he had more to say about them. I suppose he can't because they are pure speculation and philosophy. Haven't looked at him for a while. I doubt he is within a light year of a mathematical model. You would not frown on such a model. It would signal progress. Rupert is being more of a poet than a scientist.
    I don't know much about Sheldrake except for a few books I have read. It is from him that I began doubting the existence of physical constants. I don't think physical constants precise to arbitrary decimal places make much sense given that quantum energy changes are not able to be that precise. However, without those arbitrarily precise physical constants, the determinism implied in mathematical models is not supported in reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    In spite of your distrust of mathematical models, you understand that an equation is what it takes to shake the world. Yet some of the smartest guys in the world are occultists these days. They have extreme mathematical tools. Sheldrake is an example and Brian Josephson another. Brilliant men looking for the next paradigm shift. Peering under stones their elders would not have disturbed. Neither seems to have made a dent in parapsychology, one of their chosen inquiries.
    A paradigm shift is a cultural change. It is very close to the pattern of change of punctuated equilibria that Eldredge and Gould presented some decades ago. I think Dean Radin, among others, have adequately demonstrated that paranormal phenomena are real. What will shake the world? Maybe recognizing mathematics for what it is--a model, nothing more.

  9. #69
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    xxxxx
    Posts
    548
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Iain Sparrow's post provides one challenge to dualism. His post is based on a belief in materialism, that is, a belief in the existence of unconscious material stuff, which I think quantum physics undermined. But then, I'm an idealist, not a materialist.

    To be a materialist after quantum physics, one would have to take either some sort of superdeterminism or a many worlds approach to reality. Either of these general approaches seems more absurd to me, besides having no empirical evidence to back them up, than simply giving consciousness its due for which we do have empirical evidence..
    This all goes to the notion that we Humans are special... in fact all the evidence, from Copernicus' observations to Relativity, Quantum Theory and Cosmic Inflation suggests we are in fact Homo-Sapiens, that is we are just another beast on a planet that can support organic life orbiting an unexceptional star. Evolution has endowed us with a level of consciousness; in that, we are not alone as other beasts likewise have a level of human-like consciousness... http://us.whales.org/blog/2012/08/we...er-species-are
    Last edited by Iain Sparrow; 09-17-2015 at 01:25 PM.

  10. #70
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    This all goes to the notion that we Humans are special... in fact all the evidence, from Copernicus' observations to Relativity, Quantum Theory and Cosmic Inflation suggests we are in fact Homo-Sapiens, that is we are just another beast on a planet that can support organic life orbiting an unexceptional star. Evolution has endowed us with a level of consciousness; in that, we are not alone as other beasts likewise have a level of human-like consciousness... http://us.whales.org/blog/2012/08/we...er-species-are
    Exactly. What we might call that the standard model of cosmic evolution.

    We were not special, now we are. What makes us special is that we can catch ourselves thinking and have realized our predicament. We alone have realized our predicament. Our species locates and defines problems, then attempts to solve them. As a species, we do not give up when it comes to problem solving.

    Our problem since we realized it has always been our mortality. Our social problems are minor affairs. Our problem is and always has been death. Ancient monarchs declared themselves immortal in an attempt to transcend mortality. They consulted seers and soothsayers and witches--anything to live forever. Next to immediate survivial, immortal survival since the ignition of our super consciousness, has always been our main racial preoccupation.

    So of course that is the prize offered to mortal man by religion. No surprise there. Most of the introspection and exploration initiated in brains too big for mere survival are attempts to transcend death. We forget the origins of why we cheer on science--how to transcend death. That is what has mainly occupied us besides survival and luxury since the ignition of super consciousness.

    No one cares if there is a God or not--they care about living forever. An afterlife without any God at all is just as desirable, if not more so, than a cosmos with a God. Most religious people would be afraid to admit this. A universe with a built-in afterlife, owing its existence to no more than factors of an expanded standard model. A universe where startling emergent properties arise to create--the way they created existence out of nothing, life out of matter, consciousness out of life, super consciousness out of consciousness, and finally, perhaps, an afterlife out of super consciousness--our transcendence of death.

    We do not give up. If there is no afterlife to find, we will build one, and they will come. This would fulfill the ancient promise of all religions, but no one would care at that point.

    I would prefer the built-in afterlife to one we constructed ourselves, since it is more likely to include my rotting bones and be richer.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 09-18-2015 at 12:17 AM.

  11. #71
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Is actual randomness operant in the universe? What is randomness? We turn to mathematical thinking again. A sequence is random when there is no shorter way to store and produce it (such as compressed in a formula) than to list it element by element. That is why we cannot program actual randomness into a computer--because if we can program it, it ain't random, since there should be no such formula or algorithm or we end by contradicting our definition. We get as close as we can with complex pantomiming formulas called psuedo-randomness. These are close enough for human sensibilities, but within the range of science and other computers to exploit. Our psuedo-random formulas would be helpless against a quantum computer playing blackjack.

    Randomness is a concept. Unlike the concept of fundamental counting, randomness may not be an unassailable concept. A universe without it is not unimaginable, but easily imaginable. Leaving it out of an imagined universe fails to make it unimaginable to me, like defying two follows one does.

    That is one view. Nature never produces a perfect circle either, so why do we need to insist that it manifest perfect, pure randomness? Is not the motion of excited gases close enough for us? Doesn't it make more sense at this point to attribute the chaotic 100,000 year journey of a photon from the interior of our sun to its corona to random forces of a nuclear traffic jam delaying it rather than something else?

    That is the other view. I think randomness is only as unreal as pi is. And that never stopped pi. I visualize it as an asymptote of pure randomness which can be approached but never realized--Tantalus reaches for the fruit but it recedes just beyond his grasp. In some universe "nature" could get as close to random as you please like a limit in calculus without ever being purely random. I suppose that belief in a consciousness among elementary particles would have to exist in the vanishing remainder ignored by those limits.

    The discussion of whether a universe can exist without consciousness, philosophicaly depends on definitions. I do not believe the human race is even close to defining consciousness properly. Indeed the best models may turn out to be those that postulate a limited form of consciousness in some elementary particles. If that is where the math points, that is where we will go. Even though consciousness-postulating models might work, that would still be, of course, only indirect evidence for the existence of consciousness in particles, since our models are artifacts of varying trustworthiness, especially in unknown waters.

    Can we vanish either randomness or consciousnesss entirely away cosmologically or conceptually? I say maybe not as easily as I seemed to above. Furthermore, how unimaginable is a universe where asymptotical versions of randomness and consciousness interplay at a fundamental level we have not yet discovered? Or at least that the best models are ones that include both factors?

    I predict an Einstein or Newton level transformation of scientific thinking in the next twenty years. We could be in one right now but unable to see the forest for the trees.

    No matter when the discovery is made, it takes the biggest brains we have years and decades to sort out and clarify the implications and applications. The first guys were figuring out quantum physics a hundred years ago.

  12. #72
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    What Yes/No is calling the two sides of a coin with consciousness and randomness, I am trying to roughly visualize more as a simple function expressing a relationship between consciousness and randomness with reality, F(c,r)=Z, where the dependent value Z is reality and dependent on two variables which act on each other.

    In his version, one imagines there might be tunneling from one side to the other, entanglement, simultaneous existence in more than one place, and other details left for the imagination.

    In my model you have to imagine two vertical asymptotes. The area between these asymptotes is reality. At least one point is traveling along a curve within this area. Its position left or right represents a ratio of randomness to consciousness determined by the type of phenomenon. One expects less order in a supernova explosion than in electrons quietly entangled in a lab experiment.

    How close r or c may come to their asymptotes is unknown. The world we experience with our senses seems to highly favor the left asymptote toward randomness. Entanglemet and electron "choices" might be examples of consciousness.

    If we make two points traveling in the area between the asymptotes of consciousness and randomness, we might account for entanglement and existence in two complementary states at once. A complementary set is, in fact, precisely the other side of the coin. We see the two "sets" magically interplaying at the same time as the two points move inside the boundaries between asymptotes they may never touch. For if one or the other touched an asymptote, the value of the other would have to be zero at that moment, representing pure consciousness or pure randomness. But these pure states can no more exist than pi can be fully expressed.

    Anyway, a lot of things Yes/No and I are saying are similar. One difference is I do not claim to believe in as much. My only belief is that there are more things under heaven and earth than your philosophy has ever dreamed of, to give Shakespeare his due again, and that mathematics is of infinite complexity which cannot, however, be housed under one roof, whatever exactly that means. The real meaning and implications of Godel's theorems are still quite up for grabs by some genius with a great insight. Chaitin is working on such matters, as are others. Yes/No believes that consciousness pervades matter at all levels, while I only happily admit it is possible.

  13. #73
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    This all goes to the notion that we Humans are special... in fact all the evidence, from Copernicus' observations to Relativity, Quantum Theory and Cosmic Inflation suggests we are in fact Homo-Sapiens, that is we are just another beast on a planet that can support organic life orbiting an unexceptional star. Evolution has endowed us with a level of consciousness; in that, we are not alone as other beasts likewise have a level of human-like consciousness... http://us.whales.org/blog/2012/08/we...er-species-are
    I think I agree with all of that. Although we have opposite metaphysical positions regarding consciousness, I don't think we disagree when it comes to science and dualism. We both favor science and we both distrust dualism. For example, I have no problem with there being other species that have or even had human-like consciousness both on this planet or on other planets similar to ours, both in this universe or in universes similar to ours. We are not special.

    Where we disagree would be on the role of consciousness in all these universes. I think consciousness is fundamental. You, I assume, believe consciousness can be derived from unconscious matter. I don't think unconscious matter exists and base that upon the uncertainty found in quantum physics. That uncertainty can be interpreted as quantum reality making a choice when it is tested by an experimenter and hence demonstrating enough consciousness to choose. I know that people will say that is crazy talk, but I think that is the underlying motivation behind many worlds and superdeterminism which are ways to explain away the uncertainty so the existence of consciousness is not a viable interpretation.

    Take your example of stimulating the brain and then turning awareness (consciousness) on and off. The dualist would believe that the brain contains unconscious matter and that consciousness is separate from the unconscious brain. The dualist may even believe that only we are conscious which further traps the dualist. From my view, that brain being manipulated is conscious at many levels. Stimulating it only changes the way a conscious reality manifests itself. It does not turn consciousness on and off.

    For a materialist, the existence of consciousness needs to be explained. For an idealist, the existence of what looks like unconscious matter needs to be explained. Consciousness is a problem because it leads to theism. An atheistic explanation of consciousness would allow for some form of panpsychism with weak emergent properties, that is, consciousness would be explained by reducing it to the consciousness in quantum reality. This ties consciousness to matter without implying the existence of any transcendent consciousness.

    If one has transcendent consciousness, then one has theism. I will admit that I am also a panentheist. I think that panpsychism with emergent properties is not adequate to explain the universe considering that the universe had a beginning. It implies consciousness goes beyond the universe and hence is transcendent.

  14. #74
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,420
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    Yes/No believes that consciousness pervades matter at all levels, while I only happily admit it is possible.
    Yes, that is how I view consciousness. Matter is one way consciousness manifests itself.

  15. #75
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Redwood Empire
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Yes, that is how I view consciousness. Matter is one way consciousness manifests itself.
    It is a question philosophy frames but cannot answer. Only science and math are good at answering the questions philosophers can pose but have no chance of answering. When it comes to real answers we can trust, they will work because they are repeatable in experimental form and formualtable in mathematical structures.

    If I let myself stray too far from this rock, the next thing you know I am standing knee deep in philosophy. After a conjecture must come the hunt for evidence, not more extrapolation on the conjecture, or that turns into the interminable arguing of philosophers instead of science. It all comes down to getting enough evidence into a working model. That is all we can do, that is all we know, and that is about it.

    The idea is immensely appealing, as many ideas are, and great for philosophical musings, a hippie paradise of Maharishi cosmic consciousness, a very loose idea that sprung to public awareness in mid 20th century. We all like it, but belief is a strong word. How do you say you can believe it? Isn't it, rather, what you would like to believe and lean towards?
    Last edited by desiresjab; 09-19-2015 at 12:04 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. joyous cosmology 2.13.08
    By NikolaiI in forum Philosophical Literature
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-14-2008, 10:13 PM
  2. joyous cosmology, 2.12.08
    By NikolaiI in forum Philosophical Literature
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-13-2008, 08:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •