The multiple evolution of intelligence

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The multiple evolution of intelligence

There's a great article in Scientific American about the multiple intdependent evolution of intelligence.

Sample quote:

Paul Patten in the linked article wrote:

Even more amazingly, Clayton showed that the birds can anticipate unique future events. She allowed jays to observe others of their kind cache food and then permitted them to pilfer the caches. Later these birds cached their own food, either alone or in the presence of another jay. Birds that had acted as thieves took great precautions to conceal their food-caching activities when in the presence of another jay. Although the jays had experienced food theft only in the role of thief, they nonetheless were able to imagine themselves in the role of victim. The ability to recall specific episodes in the past and to predict future occurrences is known as mental time travel [see “Intelligence Evolved,” by Ursula Dicke and Gerhard Roth; Scientific American Mind, August/September 2008]. Before Clayton’s work, this cognitive ability was thought to be unique to humans.

Colour me unsurprised. I've seen other corvids (specifically ravens) act intelligently. Yet another way in which humans are not special.

The article isn't specifically about birds, though a lot is given over to them. It's a general article about how intelligence has evolved independently on several separate occasions. I guess this is a surprising find, even though we've witnessed intelligent behaviour is cephalopods, and we would've split from them long before growing a spine, let alone developing intelligence.

Very interesting read.

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Eloise wrote:Yes,

Eloise wrote:

Yes, Dammit!!!    What a relief... How is it that I haven't conveyed it to anyone else, It's like you have an Eloise decoder or something.

Hey, sometimes Bob has to translate what I'm saying - maybe I should move to Australia! What's funny about this, though, is that you really just rephrased what Hamby and Nigel were saying.

To see if I really do have an Eloise decoder, I'll translate, and you can tell me which parts I got wrong: the mechanisms of the universe that would bring us to what we call "intelligence" are already present in all matter, coupled with the tendency toward life (demonstrable by the very existence of life). The fact that other creatures exhibit behaviour we would call intelligent is just our vanity showing.

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I think the following may

I think the following may end up looking like a tangent, but it may be pertinent to a discussion about intelligence.

Eloise wrote:

Yeah, this is the closed system issue I was referring to. As long as we're isolating consciousness from 99.9999% of it's physical substrate we're bound to be saying, no, not enough energy here.

This is actually where I start to have trouble understanding. I have no difficulty with life forms being intelligent by virtue of expressing what is essentially a property of matter, but I do have to ask what kind of energy you're talking about. I ask only because I'm missing the relativity connection that you brought up. I don't want to make your argument a mess, and you may have just brought relativity in as a passing tangent, but in this context, because a lot of what we're discussing is unknown, I'm not sure which energy in the system you're addressing.

If you just mean all energy in the system that is the universe, then okay, but how would "enough" energy impose the effect of intelligence that is already an emergent property of matter itself. Because of the relativistic equivalency? In that case, we're again kind of stating the obvious, as that itself would be a property of matter.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Yes, Dammit!!!    What a relief... How is it that I haven't conveyed it to anyone else, It's like you have an Eloise decoder or something.

Hey, sometimes Bob has to translate what I'm saying - maybe I should move to Australia!

Aussies and Canadians tend to think alike, or so I've heard, anyway -- it's probably that, hey?

HisWillness wrote:

What's funny about this, though, is that you really just rephrased what Hamby and Nigel were saying.

Well, I'll say I agree with them, in any case. The main difference I'd suggest is that they're saying intelligence is selectable in the vein of sensory equipment, where I'm kind of going out further on the limb to hypothesise that it's selectable in the sense that it just is sensory equipment, not so much an emergent level of "new" processes.

HisWillness wrote:

To see if I really do have an Eloise decoder, I'll translate, and you can tell me which parts I got wrong: the mechanisms of the universe that would bring us to what we call "intelligence" are already present in all matter, coupled with the tendency toward life (demonstrable by the very existence of life). The fact that other creatures exhibit behaviour we would call intelligent is just our vanity showing.

Dang now I need a Willness decoder. I kid.. Sticking out tongue . Yeah, the basic point is captured in the phrase 'present in all matter'. I find the "emergent level" extraneous and inherently bogged down in a model of the universe which is just plain defunct.

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HisWillness wrote:If you

HisWillness wrote:

If you just mean all energy in the system that is the universe, then okay, but how would "enough" energy impose the effect of intelligence that is already an emergent property of matter itself.

That's the thing, Will, it just won't impose an "effect of intelligence" in any sense that leaves what I think may just be vain notions of intelligence in tact. It will however impose an effect of mass which of itself by the definition of intelligence as a mundane property of matter begets the effects we attribute to it.

HisWillness wrote:

Because of the relativistic equivalency? In that case, we're again kind of stating the obvious, as that itself would be a property of matter.

I'm not heavily relying on the mass-energy equivalence in forming the logic, I just thought that would be an accessible angle for RatDog, but, yeah, I don't doubt it comes in somewhere.

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Eloise wrote:Well, I'll say

Eloise wrote:
Well, I'll say I agree with them, in any case. The main difference I'd suggest is that they're saying intelligence is selectable in the vein of sensory equipment, where I'm kind of going out further on the limb to hypothesise that it's selectable in the sense that it just is sensory equipment, not so much an emergent level of "new" processes.

Surely, though, the first time anything we'd currently describe as "intelligence" was present in nature, that was a new process. The fact that it was based upon the already existing potential for such a process (again, demonstrably present in a material universe) is just a different way of looking at the early history of biological development. The potential for the eventual development of biological sensory equipment in the universe is undeniable, but the process can be described as "selection" without risk of equivocating the point. Before intelligence, you would have the potential for sensory equipment, before that, the potential for the development of cells, and before that, the potential for the development of lipids, and so on. All this points to a kind of "fuzzy determinism", which I think is a perfectly valid way to express they way things have worked, but I don't think it negates expressing that process in terms of selection.

Eloise wrote:
Dang now I need a Willness decoder. I kid.. Sticking out tongue . Yeah, the basic point is captured in the phrase 'present in all matter'. I find the "emergent level" extraneous and inherently bogged down in a model of the universe which is just plain defunct.

But what part of the model really irks you? It seems as though you're objecting to nothing more than a classification. Identifying intelligence as an emergent property is more of a convenient way of discussing it as a noun than it is a way of defining it rigorously. Where's your objection?

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Eloise wrote:Dang now I need

Eloise wrote:

Dang now I need a Willness decoder. I kid.. Sticking out tongue . Yeah, the basic point is captured in the phrase 'present in all matter'. I find the "emergent level" extraneous and inherently bogged down in a model of the universe which is just plain defunct.

Okay. I didn't comment before because I was trying to figure out where to get a handle on your original comment. I think something just clicked in my head here with HisWillness's rephrasings, and especially this comment here.

So, let me phrase this in nigelTheBold-speak, just to make sure I've got it.

Everything material (matter and energy) is essentially information-processing by nature. Information processing includes things like two or more probability waves collapsing as they interact, the sharing of electrons in molecular bonds, and so on. In fact, it pretty much includes all interaction between any combination of matter and energy.

This means that intelligence is no more emergent than a computer, which is formed of logic gates, each of which is almost useless in isolation, but combined creates something very useful. No emergence required.

Is this close to what you are saying?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Eloise wrote:That's the

Eloise wrote:
That's the thing, Will, it just won't impose an "effect of intelligence" in any sense that leaves what I think may just be vain notions of intelligence in tact. It will however impose an effect of mass which of itself by the definition of intelligence as a mundane property of matter begets the effects we attribute to it.

Okay, right - we're on the same page. But matter does not always exhibit the pattern that we define as "intelligence". It only does so (or, to put it your way, we only perceive it as so) when matter comes together in a life form. So that property of matter must only be a kind of potential. Even in the most objective terms, regardless of perception, a collection of molecules in a living system acts differently than those in a non-living system, so it's not like we'd be wrong in identifying the pattern, we just don't know exactly what's happening.

The specific point where we have a mystery, of course, is the exact place where what we would identify as life would fit in. If life makes a pattern, and we define intelligence as the ability to process patterns ... vanity is built-in!

Eloise wrote:
I'm not heavily relying on the mass-energy equivalence in forming the logic

Okay, that's what I figured, because I think it's tangential to the argument.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Well, I'll say I agree with them, in any case. The main difference I'd suggest is that they're saying intelligence is selectable in the vein of sensory equipment, where I'm kind of going out further on the limb to hypothesise that it's selectable in the sense that it just is sensory equipment, not so much an emergent level of "new" processes.

Surely, though, the first time anything we'd currently describe as "intelligence" was present in nature, that was a new process. The fact that it was based upon the already existing potential for such a process (again, demonstrably present in a material universe) is just a different way of looking at the early history of biological development.

That's where I am really differing on this matter, forget this 'property of matter' being a potential for the phenomenon we describe as intelligence, I'm talking a direct correlation. I'm suggesting biological or 'living' intelligence not as a variant of process but as a variant of configuration so there isn't as such a first time intelligence appears, there's just 'states' in which it variously operates.

HisWillness wrote:

The potential for the eventual development of biological sensory equipment in the universe is undeniable, but the process can be described as "selection" without risk of equivocating the point. Before intelligence, you would have the potential for sensory equipment,

Yeah, I'm actually going as far as to say this is not pre-intelligence, but prior to specifically how 'the effect identified as intelligence' appears in biological systems (ie systems with sensory equipment).

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Dang now I need a Willness decoder. I kid.. Sticking out tongue . Yeah, the basic point is captured in the phrase 'present in all matter'. I find the "emergent level" extraneous and inherently bogged down in a model of the universe which is just plain defunct.

But what part of the model really irks you? It seems as though you're objecting to nothing more than a classification.

The above paragraphs imply the answer to this question, yes?

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nigelTheBold wrote:Eloise

nigelTheBold wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Dang now I need a Willness decoder. I kid.. Sticking out tongue . Yeah, the basic point is captured in the phrase 'present in all matter'. I find the "emergent level" extraneous and inherently bogged down in a model of the universe which is just plain defunct.

Okay. I didn't comment before because I was trying to figure out where to get a handle on your original comment. I think something just clicked in my head here with HisWillness's rephrasings, and especially this comment here.

So, let me phrase this in nigelTheBold-speak, just to make sure I've got it.

Everything material (matter and energy) is essentially information-processing by nature.

Yeah that's the ticket, Nigel. Furthermore, though, I'm equally suggesting that the evidential "information-processing" phenomenon may simply and logically arise as an effect of the material being on four dimensions of space-time.

 

NigelThe Bold wrote:

This means that intelligence is no more emergent than a computer, which is formed of logic gates, each of which is almost useless in isolation, but combined creates something very useful. No emergence required.

Is this close to what you are saying?

Yes, that is really really close, though I don't entirely agree with saying any one gate is 'useless' in isolation.

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HisWillness wrote:Okay,

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, right - we're on the same page. But matter does not always exhibit the pattern that we define as "intelligence".

I'd say that is debatable though, Will, the 'pattern' you refer to is precisely the problem I keep railing against. It's decidely classical in it's handling of time, it basically assumes that as matter evolves and interacts in space, time stays the same and does nothing. SO sure we can say matter doesn't always exhibit that pattern, but neither does time so the pattern, essentially, means nothing.

HisWillness wrote:

The specific point where we have a mystery, of course, is the exact place where what we would identify as life would fit in. If life makes a pattern, and we define intelligence as the ability to process patterns ... vanity is built-in!

I agree. Sticking out tongue

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Eloise wrote:nigelTheBold

Eloise wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:

Everything material (matter and energy) is essentially information-processing by nature.

Yeah that's the ticket, Nigel. Furthermore, though, I'm equally suggesting that the evidential "information-processing" phenomenon may simply and logically arise as an effect of the material being on four dimensions of space-time.

I'd agree, at least in the classical sense of time, as a "process" requires movement through time.

From other things you've said, this conception of time is insufficient to understand what you mean by "an effect of the material being on four dimensions of space-time." Specifically, there's this quote:

Eloise in #18 wrote:

I'm defying that there needs to be any complex "projection" at all in "mental time travel" because relativity gives us reason to believe there is a physically real interaction between the present and the future.

I am having trouble grasping exactly what you mean here. This could be due to my own classical blinders, though, and my meagre understanding of relativity. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the birds exhibited informational processes about future events due to the future actually existing. If this is incorrect, please ignore the drivel that follows.

I have two comments (or perhaps requests for clarification) about that, one from physics and one from general observation:

Both entropy and quantum wave function collapse are time-asymmetric. This indicates the arrow of time is a very real attribute, and our perception of time passing in a single, forward direction is an accurate perception of reality. Although relativity is time-symmetric, QM is not. Of course, I could be way off on this. I haven't thought about this specific issue much.

Second, "mental time travel" is quite often wrong. If there were real information exchange from the future to the present, it seems that our model of the future in our minds (and in the minds of birds) would be more accurate. Also, if there were information exchange from the future to the present, it seems that all the jays would hide their food caching activity from others, and not just the jays who had previously robbed others' caches. The creation of a mental model of the future based on the past seems to fit the facts better than a mental model of the future based on the future.

Anyway, those are my immediate reactions. There's a lot to think about here, so I'm feeling rather ignorant at the moment. I'll have to consider this a bit more.

 

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Nigel, your comments on the

Nigel, your comments on the "arrow of time" are pretty much on the mark, to my understanding.

Relativity and the 4-dimensional 'space-time' model of reality certainly do not contradict this in any way. What is certainly the case from the perspective of relativity (as distinct from quantum mechanics, which has yet to be integrated with relativity), is that influences from one part of space-time to another always are in the forward direction of time. IOW we can only see into the past, and can only affect the future. The greater the separation in space, the further back along the time-direction is the limit past which we cannot perceive, directly or indirectly. For something 12 inches away, we can at best perceive events older than 1 nanosecond in the past or earlier - anything later, let alone the future, is specifically excluded by relativity.

Influences back into the past, or if you like in the negative direction along the time dimension, or from the future, are only contemplated in the more speculative realms of Quantum Theory.

Here is a good article on gravity and time:

www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Outreach/Explore_Our_Universe/Why_Does_Gravity_Slow_Time

Note, from this article, time is slowed by a factor of 0.99999999999999 for a point on the earth's surface relative to a point 100 meters higher. So for masses somewhat smaller than that of the Earth the effect would be correspondingly smaller again.

The 'mass' effects of the energy involved in information processing on an earthly scale are orders of magnitude too small to be concerned about. The mass-equivalent of the energy required to lift 1 kilogram through 9.8 centimeters against earthly gravity (1 Joule) is 1 X 10^-17 kilogram, or 10 femtograms, about 1 millionth the weight of a human brain cell, so I think we can probably ignore that too...

Note: the total energy flow into the brain is about 20 Joule/sec.

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nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

Specifically, there's this quote:

Eloise in #18 wrote:

I'm defying that there needs to be any complex "projection" at all in "mental time travel" because relativity gives us reason to believe there is a physically real interaction between the present and the future.

I am having trouble grasping exactly what you mean here. This could be due to my own classical blinders, though, and my meagre understanding of relativity. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the birds exhibited informational processes about future events due to the future actually existing. If this is incorrect, please ignore the drivel that follows.

I have two comments (or perhaps requests for clarification) about that, one from physics and one from general observation:

Both entropy and quantum wave function collapse are time-asymmetric. This indicates the arrow of time is a very real attribute, and our perception of time passing in a single, forward direction is an accurate perception of reality.

Yeah the entropy arrow is time-asymmetric so that is a fair counterpoint. The main problem with relying on entropy to reason a-priori time-invariance in this case is that entropy ignores gravity -- it has to though, it is essentially impossible to isolate a thermodynamic system from the effects of gravity and without a quantum theory of gravity we can't very well deduce a thermodynamic law unless we ignore gravitational influences.  In conclusion although thermodynamic asymmetry is important and worth noting, we can't rely on this arrow to dictate to us anything regarding the nature of mass-gravity interaction.

On the other point, Wave-function collapse is a postulate which is eternally at loggerheads with relativity anyway, there's no real argument in that part.

NIgelTheBold wrote:

Although relativity is time-symmetric, QM is not. Of course, I could be way off on this. I haven't thought about this specific issue much.

As I noted above, only some competing hypotheses in QM have implications of time-asymmetry.

Only a Quantum field theory will actually resolve to relativity. Simply, relativising the Schrodinger equation fails relativistic invariance (it implies superluminal velocity).

NigelTheBold wrote:

Second, "mental time travel" is quite often wrong. If there were real information exchange from the future to the present, it seems that our model of the future in our minds (and in the minds of birds) would be more accurate.

I think Kevin alluded to this question, too, and it's a good one. Most of the answer would require us to delve fairly deep into quantum theories, but there are some simpler things I can say about it first.

The easiest reply is to remember that if life has a 'future sense' it needs to be located in the organism and the configurations to which it is attuned need to be identified -- like eyes detect past configurations through the recieving of light wavelengths, ears detect the frequency of local kinetic energies etc. The accuracy of the sense wlll depend on these things as well as on the genetic/development factors which underlie perceptive accuracy as with other senses.  In other words, accuracy depends firstly on what energy form puts consciousness in touch with the information and how clearly consciousness recieves it. Without considering the development of the sense, we can't fairly speculate on it's accuracy, expectations which we might base on the performance of our known senses may be too high.

NigelTheBold wrote:

Also, if there were information exchange from the future to the present, it seems that all the jays would hide their food caching activity from others, and not just the jays who had previously robbed others' caches. The creation of a mental model of the future based on the past seems to fit the facts better than a mental model of the future based on the future.

Good tough question, Thanks. I think if I tried to answer in detail I'll be barraged with accusations of making too many assumptions so I'll just get straight to saying it only requires one assumption -- A no-collapse interpretation of the quantum wave-function.

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BobSpence1 wrote:What is

BobSpence1 wrote:

What is certainly the case from the perspective of relativity (as distinct from quantum mechanics, which has yet to be integrated with relativity), is that influences from one part of space-time to another always are in the forward direction of time.

Except gravity.

BobSpence wrote:


The 'mass' effects of the energy involved in information processing on an earthly scale are orders of magnitude too small to be concerned about. The mass-equivalent of the energy required to lift 1 kilogram through 9.8 centimeters against earthly gravity (1 Joule) is 1 X 10^-17 kilogram, or 10 femtograms, about 1 millionth the weight of a human brain cell, so I think we can probably ignore that too...

Note: the total energy flow into the brain is about 20 Joule/sec.

I answered this point already Bob. Of course there's not enough energy in terms of 'earthly activities' when you take it as an inertial reference frame and move things about relative to it but this is an assumption of convenience not a physical fact. There is loads of energy available.

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Eloise wrote:BobSpence1

Eloise wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

What is certainly the case from the perspective of relativity (as distinct from quantum mechanics, which has yet to be integrated with relativity), is that influences from one part of space-time to another always are in the forward direction of time.

Except gravity.

Really? I know there are plenty of mysteries about gravity, especially on the small scale. At the large scale, I understand it emerges fairly naturally from General Relativity. Although there may still be some dissidents, I understand it is generally accepted that it's effects propagate at the speed of light. Although its speed has yet to measured directly, things like the measured orbital decay of binary pulsars seem to be consistent with light speed, within the assumptions of general relativity, and definitely not consistent with very high or 'infinite' speed.

It seems to me that a 'speed' of gravity the same as light brings it entirely within the same causal time constraints as other physical influences.

Do you have any references for a contrary view?

Quote:

BobSpence wrote:

The 'mass' effects of the energy involved in information processing on an earthly scale are orders of magnitude too small to be concerned about. The mass-equivalent of the energy required to lift 1 kilogram through 9.8 centimeters against earthly gravity (1 Joule) is 1 X 10^-17 kilogram, or 10 femtograms, about 1 millionth the weight of a human brain cell, so I think we can probably ignore that too...

Note: the total energy flow into the brain is about 20 Joule/sec.

I answered this point already Bob. Of course there's not enough energy in terms of 'earthly activities' when you take it as an inertial reference frame and move things about relative to it but this is an assumption of convenience not a physical fact. There is loads of energy available.

That makes no sense to me...

Can you elaborate? Perhaps this should be another thread.

I still think you are completely 'wacko' on 'perception of the future', especially as argued from Relativity and/or gravity ....

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Eloise wrote:On the other

Eloise wrote:

On the other point, Wave-function collapse is a postulate which is eternally at loggerheads with relativity anyway, there's no real argument in that part.

Uhm... good point. Considering I make a big deal about how we really don't understand the underlying processes and functions of QM, it's a mea culpa moment.

Quote:

Good tough question, Thanks. I think if I tried to answer in detail I'll be barraged with accusations of making too many assumptions so I'll just get straight to saying it only requires one assumption -- A no-collapse interpretation of the quantum wave-function.

Thanks. I think I can see where you are coming from; your response helped clarify your position for me.

I think it's a bit too much of a leap for me to take yet, but it's nice to have a clearer understanding of your thoughts.

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Eloise wrote:I'd say that is

Eloise wrote:

I'd say that is debatable though, Will, the 'pattern' you refer to is precisely the problem I keep railing against. It's decidely classical in it's handling of time, it basically assumes that as matter evolves and interacts in space, time stays the same and does nothing. SO sure we can say matter doesn't always exhibit that pattern, but neither does time so the pattern, essentially, means nothing.

Okay, we're definitely on the same page, then. Because from that framework, "meaning" requires a judgement, and so does "pattern". Matter is governed by rules that apparently produce human beings at some point in time (regardless of the flexibility of that time).  The only relevant pattern is the rules, from which all things in a universe must "pattern" their behaviour.

That is, given a set of rules, there is an emergence of behaviour illustrating the limitations imposed by those rules. This is shown quickly by "Life" (the computer simulation) being discussed in Kevin's thread here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16436

Even a simple simulation like that lends credence to the idea of rules making patterns by their very nature.

Are we yet approaching the difference in our philosophies that gets you a "Theist" tag, where I have none? I still don't understand why the rules of the universe need be elevated to the status of deity. Unless, of course, you're making a kind of extended ironic joke ... ? I mean, we don't know how many universes there have been (if we consider serial universes) or whether or not we have parallel universes (which just adds more speculation) so the possible array of universes available to us eliminates concern about "fine tuning". Where is the need for a god-conception in there?

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BobSpence1 wrote:Eloise

BobSpence1 wrote:

Eloise wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

What is certainly the case from the perspective of relativity (as distinct from quantum mechanics, which has yet to be integrated with relativity), is that influences from one part of space-time to another always are in the forward direction of time.

Except gravity.

Really? I know there are plenty of mysteries about gravity, especially on the small scale. At the large scale, I understand it emerges fairly naturally from General Relativity. Although there may still be some dissidents, I understand it is generally accepted that it's effects propagate at the speed of light. Although its speed has yet to measured directly, things like the measured orbital decay of binary pulsars seem to be consistent with light speed, within the assumptions of general relativity, and definitely not consistent with very high or 'infinite' speed.

It seems to me that a 'speed' of gravity the same as light brings it entirely within the same causal time constraints as other physical influences.

Do you have any references for a contrary view?

No, actually, I don't have a contrary view cause I'm not speaking in terms of the velocity at which gravity propagates in time but rather more like the direction in which it propagates in 4 dimensions of space-time.

 

BobSpence wrote:

Eloise wrote:

I answered this point already Bob. Of course there's not enough energy in terms of 'earthly activities' when you take it as an inertial reference frame and move things about relative to it but this is an assumption of convenience not a physical fact. There is loads of energy available.

That makes no sense to me...

Can you elaborate? Perhaps this should be another thread.

Yeah, sure, it's an easy thing really, our KE relative to the earth is 0, however the earth is moving and spinning at velocity with us glued to it, and just with respect to it's axis the kinetic energy of earth's rotation is somewhere in the vicinity of 20 thousand YJ, our orbital velocity with respect to the Sun is way larger than rotation and the galaxy proceeds even faster than that. All in all there's an incredible lot of energy available just as we progress "through time".

 

BobSpence wrote:

I still think you are completely 'wacko' on 'perception of the future', especially as argued from Relativity and/or gravity ....

Eh, no probs Bob, you're entitled to say that, it was always going to be a hard sell. 

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:

I'd say that is debatable though, Will, the 'pattern' you refer to is precisely the problem I keep railing against. It's decidely classical in it's handling of time, it basically assumes that as matter evolves and interacts in space, time stays the same and does nothing. SO sure we can say matter doesn't always exhibit that pattern, but neither does time so the pattern, essentially, means nothing.

Okay, we're definitely on the same page, then. Because from that framework, "meaning" requires a judgement, and so does "pattern". Matter is governed by rules that apparently produce human beings at some point in time (regardless of the flexibility of that time).  The only relevant pattern is the rules, from which all things in a universe must "pattern" their behaviour.

That is, given a set of rules, there is an emergence of behaviour illustrating the limitations imposed by those rules. This is shown quickly by "Life" (the computer simulation) being discussed in Kevin's thread here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/16436

Even a simple simulation like that lends credence to the idea of rules making patterns by their very nature.

Great video, I was inspired to watch the whole third chapter of the series.

HisWillness wrote:

Are we yet approaching the difference in our philosophies that gets you a "Theist" tag, where I have none?

Possibly. Consider the ramifications of these sorts of revelation on the ordinary notion of sentience, again. In the sense that complex phenomena can be shown to be configurations of simple units constrained to just a few rules we can say that sentience itself is no more or less than just the universe doing its thing, but the reduction of life's "specialness" is the least of where I'm at on the big questions.

 

It's revealing, I do agree, that complexity emerges naturally from simple units over time, as in the "Life Game" however that particular model takes for granted an independent variable of time and time isn't independent, so any speculative conclusion which leaves that assumption intact is inherently flawed.

To get to atheism from my stance, and on this particular question, as I see it I would need to be taking the convenient relegation of time to the independent variable for granted as a reflection of the real world, and I just can't.

 

HisWillness wrote:

 Unless, of course, you're making a kind of extended ironic joke ... ?

Actually, I don't think that's far from the truth, Will. As I see it the reality of theism vs atheism is very ironic.

HisWillness wrote:

I mean, we don't know how many universes there have been (if we consider serial universes) or whether or not we have parallel universes (which just adds more speculation) so the possible array of universes available to us eliminates concern about "fine tuning". Where is the need for a god-conception in there?

It arises naturally, like in the case, mentioned in the next part of the doco Kevin posted, of multiverses. It follows naturally that the conditions for life in other universes might be super-optimal, producing life that would look like to us, and perhaps even interact with us, as though it were a God or a God race. This isn't my particular conception, though, it's just an example of the possibilities that arise logically when we attempt to comprehend the universe.

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Eloise wrote:It's revealing,

Eloise wrote:

It's revealing, I do agree, that complexity emerges naturally from simple units over time, as in the "Life Game" however that particular model takes for granted an independent variable of time and time isn't independent, so any speculative conclusion which leaves that assumption intact is inherently flawed.

To get to atheism from my stance, and on this particular question, as I see it I would need to be taking the convenient relegation of time to the independent variable for granted as a reflection of the real world, and I just can't.

Okay, you've lost me again - how was time asserted as "independent"? As far as my understanding goes, time is just part of a 4-dimensional space-time. I know the model takes for granted the passage of time, but that can't be separated from space. At least, I don't know of the framework where it can.

Eloise wrote:
Actually, I don't think that's far from the truth, Will. As I see it the reality of theism vs atheism is very ironic.

Well yeah, in the context of this discussion, maybe. It's when people are arguing over the colour of God's moustache that it gets a little much for me.

Eloise wrote:
It arises naturally, like in the case, mentioned in the next part of the doco Kevin posted, of multiverses. It follows naturally that the conditions for life in other universes might be super-optimal, producing life that would look like to us, and perhaps even interact with us, as though it were a God or a God race. This isn't my particular conception, though, it's just an example of the possibilities that arise logically when we attempt to comprehend the universe.

But that hardly makes you a theist. That makes you a believer in the possibility of a physical creature with physical characteristics (albeit a creature which follows the physical laws of a different universe). A theist believes quite strongly in a specific embodiment of the supernatural, usually described by a specific book.

I don't think you're a theist, I have to say. Given the possibility of multiple universes (could be, we don't know), there very well could be something we'd describe as God-like, but you wouldn't be able to know what that is before it's discovered, as a theist claims. Entertaining the possibility that a God-like creature exists somewhere in a hypothetical multi-universe scenario may be speculation, but I'm not sure it qualifies as "theistic", even by panentheistic terms.

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Eloise wrote:No, actually, I

Eloise wrote:
No, actually, I don't have a contrary view cause I'm not speaking in terms of the velocity at which gravity propagates in time but rather more like the direction in which it propagates in 4 dimensions of space-time.

Surely we can agree that's the same thing. If time is the 4th dimension, for example, we're just talking about the 4th dimension of a vector. I don't think that's a stretch. But do you have an alternate hypothesis of gravity wherein its speed is different than the speed of light?

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Eloise? Are we not into this

Eloise? Are we not into this discussion anymore? Too many questions?


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HisWillness wrote:Eloise?

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise? Are we not into this discussion anymore? Too many questions?

 

Hey Will, I did mean to reply before now but I have a really good excuse. I spent the last four days in hospital with my nephew who was in a car accident on the weekend. It was a serious one, he has a nasty break which involves his tibial plateau and a fractured skull, to make matters worse he developed compartment syndrome and had to have a double fasciotomy. His mother (my sister who was driving the car) was collared on a spinal board in another hospital 600 km away while he was going through all this... bureaucracy at it's finest as usual... and so I think the rest is self-evident, my little one needed me more.

On the bright side, I have nothing but praise for the doctors and surgeons that have attended him, they are truly exemplary. I'll probably post the whole story some other time... now, I'll have another look at those questions of yours. Sticking out tongue

 

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Eloise wrote:Hey Will, I did

Eloise wrote:

Hey Will, I did mean to reply before now but I have a really good excuse. I spent the last four days in hospital with my nephew who was in a car accident on the weekend. It was a serious one, he has a nasty break which involves his tibial plateau and a fractured skull, to make matters worse he developed compartment syndrome and had to have a double fasciotomy. His mother (my sister who was driving the car) was collared on a spinal board in another hospital 600 km away while he was going through all this... bureaucracy at it's finest as usual... and so I think the rest is self-evident, my little one needed me more.

On the bright side, I have nothing but praise for the doctors and surgeons that have attended him, they are truly exemplary. I'll probably post the whole story some other time... now, I'll have another look at those questions of yours. Sticking out tongue

Yikes!

My heartfelt sympathies to your sister and nephew. And I'm glad they're receiving excellent care (at least your nephew is; I hope your sister is receiving equally good care).

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:

It's revealing, I do agree, that complexity emerges naturally from simple units over time, as in the "Life Game" however that particular model takes for granted an independent variable of time and time isn't independent, so any speculative conclusion which leaves that assumption intact is inherently flawed.

To get to atheism from my stance, and on this particular question, as I see it I would need to be taking the convenient relegation of time to the independent variable for granted as a reflection of the real world, and I just can't.

Okay, you've lost me again - how was time asserted as "independent"? As far as my understanding goes, time is just part of a 4-dimensional space-time. I know the model takes for granted the passage of time, but that can't be separated from space. At least, I don't know of the framework where it can.

Time is asserted as independent quite simply as the evolution of the data is a function of time as an independent variable. And, for example, you can have massive formations extending to infinities in this model, assuming that is to be taken as mass then a time differential follows the orders of magnitude. A constant unit of time cannot encompass such a reality.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
It arises naturally, like in the case, mentioned in the next part of the doco Kevin posted, of multiverses. It follows naturally that the conditions for life in other universes might be super-optimal, producing life that would look like to us, and perhaps even interact with us, as though it were a God or a God race. This isn't my particular conception, though, it's just an example of the possibilities that arise logically when we attempt to comprehend the universe.

But that hardly makes you a theist. That makes you a believer in the possibility of a physical creature with physical characteristics (albeit a creature which follows the physical laws of a different universe). A theist believes quite strongly in a specific embodiment of the supernatural, usually described by a specific book.

To be clear, that's an example from the documentary which I hijacked, it's not very close to the god I profess belief in. 

HisWillness wrote:

I don't think you're a theist, I have to say. Given the possibility of multiple universes (could be, we don't know), there very well could be something we'd describe as God-like, but you wouldn't be able to know what that is before it's discovered, as a theist claims. Entertaining the possibility that a God-like creature exists somewhere in a hypothetical multi-universe scenario may be speculation, but I'm not sure it qualifies as "theistic", even by panentheistic terms.

For what it's worth I agree with your reasoning, but I am a theist, the god I am professing is not a possible God-like creature in another universe on which I am speculating, I would be so bold as to say my conception is more profound than that.

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Eloise wrote:For what it's

Eloise wrote:

For what it's worth I agree with your reasoning, but I am a theist, the god I am professing is not a possible God-like creature in another universe on which I am speculating, I would be so bold as to say my conception is more profound than that.

If I may hazard a bit of speculation, it appears the god in which you believe is not quite a pantheistic god, in that it isn't "everything in the universe," but that if we considered the physical universe as the brain-analogue, then "god" would be the mind-analogue, the self-aware information processing functions of the physical universe. I'm assuming this is an overly-simplified analogy, but I'm hoping to start simply, increasing subtlety and complexity as my understanding of your belief is refined.

I'm just perception-checking, and may be way off here.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Eloise

nigelTheBold wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Hey Will, I did mean to reply before now but I have a really good excuse. I spent the last four days in hospital with my nephew who was in a car accident on the weekend. It was a serious one, he has a nasty break which involves his tibial plateau and a fractured skull, to make matters worse he developed compartment syndrome and had to have a double fasciotomy. His mother (my sister who was driving the car) was collared on a spinal board in another hospital 600 km away while he was going through all this... bureaucracy at it's finest as usual... and so I think the rest is self-evident, my little one needed me more.

On the bright side, I have nothing but praise for the doctors and surgeons that have attended him, they are truly exemplary. I'll probably post the whole story some other time... now, I'll have another look at those questions of yours. Sticking out tongue

Yikes!

My heartfelt sympathies to your sister and nephew. And I'm glad they're receiving excellent care (at least your nephew is; I hope your sister is receiving equally good care).

Yeah, me too. Holy shit. That's terrible. Your nephew is lucky to have you there. Our light conversation can certainly wait!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a chance to get better. Those things are so sad.

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Eloise wrote:Time is

Eloise wrote:

Time is asserted as independent quite simply as the evolution of the data is a function of time as an independent variable. And, for example, you can have massive formations extending to infinities in this model, assuming that is to be taken as mass then a time differential follows the orders of magnitude. A constant unit of time cannot encompass such a reality.

But I don't think that's how time is represented at all, when looking at a 4-dimensional space. Time, to my mind, is strictly another "width" or "length". I don't imagine it as having any extra importance than other dimensions. I'm not sure what you mean about massive formations extending to infinities, because I don't know of any infinities that would be worth mapping as a physical value. Once an equation "blows up" like that, its ability to describe things is severely diminished. We're really just talking about vectors, so I'm not sure why time has such an important role, apart from the other dimensions.

Eloise wrote:
For what it's worth I agree with your reasoning, but I am a theist, the god I am professing is not a possible God-like creature in another universe on which I am speculating, I would be so bold as to say my conception is more profound than that.

Ooooooo - you're such a tease! I never get any idea of what your god-thing is. Keep in mind, you may be the only theist I don't begrudge their belief, largely because you get points for creativity. Okay, so it's not a creature in a different universe, and you believe (rightly, I'd say) that our universe has a demonstrable vector towards life and intelligence, but ... something's responsible for all this? Or ... what? I actually don't know what to ask, because I don't have enough hints.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Eloise

nigelTheBold wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Hey Will, I did mean to reply before now but I have a really good excuse. I spent the last four days in hospital with my nephew who was in a car accident on the weekend. It was a serious one, he has a nasty break which involves his tibial plateau and a fractured skull, to make matters worse he developed compartment syndrome and had to have a double fasciotomy. His mother (my sister who was driving the car) was collared on a spinal board in another hospital 600 km away while he was going through all this... bureaucracy at it's finest as usual... and so I think the rest is self-evident, my little one needed me more.

On the bright side, I have nothing but praise for the doctors and surgeons that have attended him, they are truly exemplary. I'll probably post the whole story some other time... now, I'll have another look at those questions of yours. Sticking out tongue

Yikes!

My heartfelt sympathies to your sister and nephew. And I'm glad they're receiving excellent care (at least your nephew is; I hope your sister is receiving equally good care).

Thanks for the thought, Nigel. The good news is my sister (Lana) was cleared of any serious spinal injury and is with him now. There were four more kids in the car, ages 7mnths to 6 years (yeah she has lots of kids), and they were all found to have minor injuries too so we've been incredibly fortunate, it was her eldest (Jason, 12) who copped the worst, it stands to some reason since he was in the front passenger seat.  So anyhow, Lana is going to spend tonight with her little ones so I'll be at the hospital with Jason again, he's recovering well and is starting to get get sick of being confined to bed already, things are looking up.

 

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HisWillness wrote:I hope

HisWillness wrote:

I hope everyone has a chance to get better. Those things are so sad.

Thanks Will, as I said to Nigel, we've been incredibly lucky, the babies all came through virtually unscathed. Well, really, we figure the luck to be a combination of a few real factors, the section the little ones were in was reinforced, they were all properly restrained and Lana was driving at a sensible speed, overall the risk to them was minimised by responsible forethought and it paid big dividends.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Time is asserted as independent quite simply as the evolution of the data is a function of time as an independent variable. And, for example, you can have massive formations extending to infinities in this model, assuming that is to be taken as mass then a time differential follows the orders of magnitude. A constant unit of time cannot encompass such a reality.

But I don't think that's how time is represented at all, when looking at a 4-dimensional space. Time, to my mind, is strictly another "width" or "length". I don't imagine it as having any extra importance than other dimensions.

The model is a function of independent time evolution, when you hit start the counter increments constant units of time. And just to keep us on track I'm only saying that it shouldn't be taken for granted when interpreting the results that time is like that in the real world.

HisWillness wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean about massive formations extending to infinities, because I don't know of any infinities that would be worth mapping as a physical value.

Of course not. The simulation lets the formations go to infinity because it's a simple argument making a profound point about complexity, size is irrelevant to that point.

However, we don't  need to be dealing with infinities to have a time differential, it's just the matter that these formations can grow large in space that imposes a difference in time between, say, an oscillator of three/four dots and a super long train which extends vastly in the represented space.

HisWillness wrote:

Once an equation "blows up" like that, its ability to describe things is severely diminished.

Exactly, this is us on the same page. The reality is -- given that the universe is that equation blown up to unmanageable proportions, there are things it simply cannot say about reality. I'm only pointing out that we can't take for granted those things it says nothing about.

HisWillness wrote:

We're really just talking about vectors, so I'm not sure why time has such an important role, apart from the other dimensions.

Time has a very important role in the question of consciousness and emergence, our only observation of consciousness is in a universe that exists on massive, time altering scales.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
For what it's worth I agree with your reasoning, but I am a theist, the god I am professing is not a possible God-like creature in another universe on which I am speculating, I would be so bold as to say my conception is more profound than that.

Ooooooo - you're such a tease! I never get any idea of what your god-thing is. Keep in mind, you may be the only theist I don't begrudge their belief, largely because you get points for creativity. Okay, so it's not a creature in a different universe, and you believe (rightly, I'd say) that our universe has a demonstrable vector towards life and intelligence, but ... something's responsible for all this?

Yes, something is "responsible" for this, in the sense that responsibility can exist where all of time is affected by the state of the universe now.

 

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Eloise wrote:The model is a

Eloise wrote:
The model is a function of independent time evolution, when you hit start the counter increments constant units of time. And just to keep us on track I'm only saying that it shouldn't be taken for granted when interpreting the results that time is like that in the real world.

But I don't know anywhere that it is represented like that, at least in scientific circles. The time value of a 4-dimensional space is just a coordinate. On very large and very small scales, you can see the flexibility of such coordinates, including time. You'll have to tell me what model you're talking about, and what "independent time evolution" is. 

Eloise wrote:
Of course not. The simulation lets the formations go to infinity because it's a simple argument making a profound point about complexity, size is irrelevant to that point.

Sorry, what simulations, and what formations? I think I've missed something, or we discussed it long enough ago that I've forgotten.

Eloise wrote:
Exactly, this is us on the same page. The reality is -- given that the universe is that equation blown up to unmanageable proportions, there are things it simply cannot say about reality. I'm only pointing out that we can't take for granted those things it says nothing about.

While I don't know the equation you mean, it's not a stretch to say that math has a hard time totally encapsulating reality.

Eloise wrote:
Time has a very important role in the question of consciousness and emergence, our only observation of consciousness is in a universe that exists on massive, time altering scales.

... but since that consciousness is a result of the same rules of the game that govern the action of time, then it's just an extension of the rules that gives us consciousness in lock-step with that nature of time.

Eloise wrote:
Yes, something is "responsible" for this, in the sense that responsibility can exist where all of time is affected by the state of the universe now.

Not following you. You have a small-g god, the conception of which is profound, and it may or may not be the thing responsible for ... something. I need more clues.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
The model is a function of independent time evolution, when you hit start the counter increments constant units of time. And just to keep us on track I'm only saying that it shouldn't be taken for granted when interpreting the results that time is like that in the real world.

But I don't know anywhere that it is represented like that, at least in scientific circles. The time value of a 4-dimensional space is just a coordinate. On very large and very small scales, you can see the flexibility of such coordinates, including time. You'll have to tell me what model you're talking about, and what "independent time evolution" is. 

Aha! I see what's happened. It may be my mistake but I thought we had digressed to discussing the ideas in the documentary that Kevin posted in General Conversations Forum, I was talking about that model here and in general what assumptions in the theory of emergent consciousness it reveals. 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Of course not. The simulation lets the formations go to infinity because it's a simple argument making a profound point about complexity, size is irrelevant to that point.

Sorry, what simulations, and what formations? I think I've missed something, or we discussed it long enough ago that I've forgotten.

Dunno, I'm fairly sure I've kept the thread of the discussion constant from my side, in spite of the break, but I have probably missed signs which might have clued me that you weren't following, Sorry.

 

HisWillness wrote:

... but since that consciousness is a result of the same rules of the game that govern the action of time, then it's just an extension of the rules that gives us consciousness in lock-step with that nature of time.

But what is lockstep with the nature of time? What could that mean? The nature of time appears to be deeply entangled with the nature of mass, not independent of it -- the nature of some mass is, demonstrably, "conscious" thus we have a pretty interesting kettle of fish.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Yes, something is "responsible" for this, in the sense that responsibility can exist where all of time is affected by the state of the universe now.

Not following you. You have a small-g god, the conception of which is profound, and it may or may not be the thing responsible for ... something. I need more clues.

The point I'm hinting at is that "normally" we'd associate responsibility for any "thing"with an asymmetric causal chain  t0 _> tn -- it is inherently the assumption that the nature of time is Newtons absolute divine passage which forms such a notion, but that assumption is, at the very least, wrong. Time doesn't flow absolutely regardless of the state of the system, this we know, we know that the state of a system impacts on the very nature of time -- this changes the direction of the causal arrow that we are relying on to make statements like "x occurs over time".

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Eloise wrote:HisWillness

Eloise wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

... but since that consciousness is a result of the same rules of the game that govern the action of time, then it's just an extension of the rules that gives us consciousness in lock-step with that nature of time.

But what is lockstep with the nature of time? What could that mean? The nature of time appears to be deeply entangled with the nature of mass, not independent of it -- the nature of some mass is, demonstrably, "conscious" thus we have a pretty interesting kettle of fish.

Oh, I'm with you that time is completely attached to mass. Let's assume for the rest of the discussion that when I say "it's just a fourth dimension", I mean a description of anything involves mass-time. When I say "lockstep with the nature of time" I mean that the two are inseparable. So I think we're agreeing. (Again.) "Some mass is conscious" I'm fine with, but I'm not sure what your conception of time has to do with your small-g god that is somehow responsible for events.

Eloise wrote:
The point I'm hinting at is that "normally" we'd associate responsibility for any "thing"with an asymmetric causal chain  t0 _> tn -- it is inherently the assumption that the nature of time is Newtons absolute divine passage which forms such a notion, but that assumption is, at the very least, wrong.

I already agree with you that we're outside of Newton's physics. No need to reiterate that strictly linear time is limited - I understand. What I don't understand is what your model of time (whatever it may be) has to do with your god. I don't care if time goes backwards in this model, frankly, I just want to know what the connection is.

Eloise wrote:
Time doesn't flow absolutely regardless of the state of the system, this we know, we know that the state of a system impacts on the very nature of time -- this changes the direction of the causal arrow that we are relying on to make statements like "x occurs over time".

Our perception is limited to time travelling in one direction, certainly. So it's pragmatic to present objects as having positive mass and travelling through positive time. But (as above) I'm not sure how this leads to anything that would be described as "godly".

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

... but since that consciousness is a result of the same rules of the game that govern the action of time, then it's just an extension of the rules that gives us consciousness in lock-step with that nature of time.

But what is lockstep with the nature of time? What could that mean? The nature of time appears to be deeply entangled with the nature of mass, not independent of it -- the nature of some mass is, demonstrably, "conscious" thus we have a pretty interesting kettle of fish.

Oh, I'm with you that time is completely attached to mass. Let's assume for the rest of the discussion that when I say "it's just a fourth dimension", I mean a description of anything involves mass-time. When I say "lockstep with the nature of time" I mean that the two are inseparable. So I think we're agreeing. (Again.) "Some mass is conscious" I'm fine with, but I'm not sure what your conception of time has to do with your small-g god that is somehow responsible for events.

Eloise wrote:
The point I'm hinting at is that "normally" we'd associate responsibility for any "thing"with an asymmetric causal chain  t0 _> tn -- it is inherently the assumption that the nature of time is Newtons absolute divine passage which forms such a notion, but that assumption is, at the very least, wrong.

I already agree with you that we're outside of Newton's physics. No need to reiterate that strictly linear time is limited - I understand. What I don't understand is what your model of time (whatever it may be) has to do with your god. I don't care if time goes backwards in this model, frankly, I just want to know what the connection is.

LOL, persistent much Will? Okay, the connection is simple enough. We define ourselves basically as a mass in time, in reality this mass extends in influence beyond the implication of that definition, across time. We are aware, somewhat, of our extension forward through time, but I suggest, however, that this awareness isn't quite so profound as it should be -- inasmuch as our standard definition of self effectively severs and then re-connects the components of this creature that we are according with perspectives, the definition of self is inconsistent.

According to our time arrow if I move from a to b forward in time I am the same creature in both states, except when I am at a, then I am not at b, and that creature is not me. According to the causal arrow however when I am at a, I must either create b (from scratch that is), or I am b - so then I am a god or I am a creature which extends forward and backward in time.

The evidence of my senses suggests that I am not creating a person b from moment to moment, so I must assume that the causal arrow and the time arrow aren't painting a consistent picture of reality and choose the most consistent result from the logic of both; at a, I am also at b.  The notion that time is as a continuous dimension fitting to mass, like space, agrees with that thinking.  The consequence of it, most of all, is the profound part -- To define my creaturehood accurately as it presently is, I must include what it is to become. The astounding truth is that "I" exists in reality, beyond ordnary perception. It is, at least, a four dimensional object, in a most literal sense.

Consequent to this is the question what mediates the interaction of four dimensional objects with other four dimensional objects. The very notion of cause suggests they interact in some way. The only force which we can positively say interacts between four dimensional objects is gravity, since it is the one force we know to have some direct influence over the state of time. Gravitational force is a consequence of mass, or motion (or both combined) thus the interaction between four dimensional objects is according to some formula defining (something along the lines of) the intrinsic momentum of each object.

If we then assume that intrinsic momentum is a property of matter which propagates influence across time basically it is to say that anything with intrinsic momentum is a multidimensional object influencing the state of the universe across its lifetime, as opposed to just its spatial expanse. As such, any given present state of intrinsic momentum can be said to have responsibility for the complimentary past states of the universe which sustains it. Assuming as I have suggested, that what we are observing of gravity, a product of mass and momentum, influencing four dimensions of reality, is accurate -- the earth might be said to have "created" a unique universe in accord with it's own existence. -- Hence, God.

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nigelTheBold wrote:If I may

nigelTheBold wrote:

If I may hazard a bit of speculation, it appears the god in which you believe is not quite a pantheistic god, in that it isn't "everything in the universe," but that if we considered the physical universe as the brain-analogue, then "god" would be the mind-analogue, the self-aware information processing functions of the physical universe.

Sorry I missed this before, Nigel. To answer your question, no, the god is not the mind or information processing functions as opposed to the physical universe itself, quite simply this opposition doesn't exist in my beliefs, I have dismissed the concept of an emergent level altogether. I don't believe in a mind and a brain, I believe ultimately that a brain is a configuration of the physical which effects mundane physical results of mundane physical processes. The brain and its reality (such as the properties of space time) co-form a level of interaction which is unique to itself.

In terms of a brain's reality, a brain is very interactive with it's surroundings, it is uniquely sentient, aware and responsive -- but this is only unique in these terms; in terms, for example, of which the parameters are the time and space occupied by a brain in its lifetime, the brain is not actually in any way distinctly sentient, aware and responsive among the things of the universe it is simply so on different terms than that of the other things.

 

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Eloise wrote:We define

Eloise wrote:
We define ourselves basically as a mass in time, in reality this mass extends in influence beyond the implication of that definition, across time. We are aware, somewhat, of our extension forward through time, but I suggest, however, that this awareness isn't quite so profound as it should be -- inasmuch as our standard definition of self effectively severs and then re-connects the components of this creature that we are according with perspectives, the definition of self is inconsistent.

The definition of self just isn't precise. They physical objects are doing exactly what you would think they would do - continuing until acted upon.

Eloise wrote:
According to our time arrow if I move from a to b forward in time I am the same creature in both states, except when I am at a, then I am not at b, and that creature is not me.

But a good percentage of the components from point a have been preserved in point b, I'm assuming. You mean just that the matter that makes up something has a different identity depending on time? Or that small changes make the object at point a slightly different than the object at point b? (The object being a creature or whatever.) 

Eloise wrote:
According to the causal arrow however when I am at a, I must either create b (from scratch that is), or I am b - so then I am a god or I am a creature which extends forward and backward in time.

Of course you extend forward and backward in time at certain coordinates. If you consider yourself the point of origin, then as long as you identify the collection of matter that makes you up, then you extend along a time line for your life, and then the identification of you stops. So yes, the idea that you're a creating god isn't necessary. You are, however, constantly re-creating yourself through the natural replacement of cells in your body, so there's something to that.

Eloise wrote:
The evidence of my senses suggests that I am not creating a person b from moment to moment, so I must assume that the causal arrow and the time arrow aren't painting a consistent picture of reality and choose the most consistent result from the logic of both; at a, I am also at b.

That's fine, except for our language, which describes things in the future as about to happen. So you are not at B, but you will be at B. If you had the opportunity to look at yourself for the length of your entire life, you would notice also that the matter which you started with is different than the matter you end with, considering the death and replacement of cells.

Eloise wrote:
The notion that time is as a continuous dimension fitting to mass, like space, agrees with that thinking.  The consequence of it, most of all, is the profound part -- To define my creaturehood accurately as it presently is, I must include what it is to become. The astounding truth is that "I" exists in reality, beyond ordnary perception. It is, at least, a four dimensional object, in a most literal sense.

And that's fine. "I" is usually defined by what has passed, but can be defined by just about anything. You'd just have a hard time defining the future part of "I". 

Eloise wrote:
Gravitational force is a consequence of mass, or motion (or both combined) thus the interaction between four dimensional objects is according to some formula defining (something along the lines of) the intrinsic momentum of each object.

Mass doesn't exist without motion, and motion doesn't exist without time, so that's a given. The intrinsic momentum down to the molecular level could even be said to be a product of the big bang, if you want to extend causality back to what we think of as the beginning.

Eloise wrote:
If we then assume that intrinsic momentum is a property of matter which propagates influence across time basically it is to say that anything with intrinsic momentum is a multidimensional object influencing the state of the universe across its lifetime, as opposed to just its spatial expanse.

But "just its spatial expanse" has to include time. Mass is inseparable from time. Causality can extend in a chain back to the big bang if you want it to (only because we have not been able to see beyond that), and we can be one point of time in a chain to the beginning of that big bang.

Eloise wrote:
As such, any given present state of intrinsic momentum can be said to have responsibility for the complimentary past states of the universe which sustains it.

Wait, are you really saying that each state of time is the "God" of the entire previous set of states? I have a feeling I'm not understanding you.

Eloise wrote:
Assuming as I have suggested, that what we are observing of gravity, a product of mass and momentum, influencing four dimensions of reality, is accurate -- the earth might be said to have "created" a unique universe in accord with it's own existence. -- Hence, God.

The earth might have created a unique universe? I don't see how that follows (unless you really do mean to say that each state in time creates the next). And then you call that "God", which I find confusing once again. The reason, obviously, is that "God" is a loaded word in the English language. I associate it with YHWH the jealous Jewish creator and destroyer. You're talking about something else, though, and that's why I keep persisting. You're very clever, so I want to know the precise set of ideas that we're discussing, because these ideas are certainly unconventional, and I find them interesting.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
We define ourselves basically as a mass in time, in reality this mass extends in influence beyond the implication of that definition, across time. We are aware, somewhat, of our extension forward through time, but I suggest, however, that this awareness isn't quite so profound as it should be -- inasmuch as our standard definition of self effectively severs and then re-connects the components of this creature that we are according with perspectives, the definition of self is inconsistent.

The definition of self just isn't precise. They physical objects are doing exactly what you would think they would do - continuing until acted upon.

I feel 'imprecise' isn't sufficient to describe the tangle of inconsistencies we come into when defining self, personally. But at the same time, you're right, aside from the consequences the essential problem with the definition is that it lacks precision.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
According to our time arrow if I move from a to b forward in time I am the same creature in both states, except when I am at a, then I am not at b, and that creature is not me.

But a good percentage of the components from point a have been preserved in point b, I'm assuming. You mean just that the matter that makes up something has a different identity depending on time?

Yeah, sort of. What I mean mores the point that, according to a strict asymmetrical time arrow, the matter which makes up something has a different identity depending on which time coordinate you define it at, defining at point a gives you identity a, defining at point b gives you identity ab. A causal arrow defines ab at point a and at point b (with a slight reconfiguration of state of said matter between point a and b). 

To reconcile the time information with the causal information we must assume either that a has "created" b (trust the time arrow and dismiss the causal arrow), or that ab is the consistent identity at all cordinates (allow the time arrow to also reverse).

 

HisWillness wrote:

You are, however, constantly re-creating yourself through the natural replacement of cells in your body, so there's something to that.

Good point, of course. This falls outside the very simplistic framework I am giving you, but then I think you already know that.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
The evidence of my senses suggests that I am not creating a person b from moment to moment, so I must assume that the causal arrow and the time arrow aren't painting a consistent picture of reality and choose the most consistent result from the logic of both; at a, I am also at b.

That's fine, except for our language, which describes things in the future as about to happen. So you are not at B, but you will be at B.

Yes, and I'm inclined to believe that our language conventions regarding time and self are flawed consequent to contradictions in our understanding -- speaking of which I once promised Hamby that I would hold a whole conversation one day here using only language consistent with a more precise definition of self, you're welcome to join in.

HisWillness wrote:

If you had the opportunity to look at yourself for the length of your entire life, you would notice also that the matter which you started with is different than the matter you end with, considering the death and replacement of cells.

Yes this is true, furthermore to look at your whole identity over a lifetime you'd see the world through cows and lettuce a fair bit as well, I'm sure.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
The notion that time is as a continuous dimension fitting to mass, like space, agrees with that thinking.  The consequence of it, most of all, is the profound part -- To define my creaturehood accurately as it presently is, I must include what it is to become. The astounding truth is that "I" exists in reality, beyond ordnary perception. It is, at least, a four dimensional object, in a most literal sense.

And that's fine. "I" is usually defined by what has passed, but can be defined by just about anything. You'd just have a hard time defining the future part of "I".

Yeah, there's actually a bit more consequence to it at this point which I haven't quite gotten into yet. Suffice it for now that the future part of "I" is precisely an extension of the present part, so as to say the definition of the future part is inherent in the properties of the present part. 

HisWillness wrote:

 The intrinsic momentum down to the molecular level could even be said to be a product of the big bang, if you want to extend causality back to what we think of as the beginning.

As a matter of fact, yes, I do want to extend it back that far. Like you've said, that is where intrinsic momentum appears to have originated, we have our inrinsic momentum in common with the conditions at the big bang -- that seems relevant to me.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
If we then assume that intrinsic momentum is a property of matter which propagates influence across time basically it is to say that anything with intrinsic momentum is a multidimensional object influencing the state of the universe across its lifetime, as opposed to just its spatial expanse.

But "just its spatial expanse" has to include time. Mass is inseparable from time.

That's exactly what I am saying, Will. There is too much leaned upon the assumption of three dimensional objects moving through the universe, granted alternatives are few and generally difficult to grasp, but ultimately this notion will be abandoned because it's untrue. There is no way to actually "move through" the universe in purely spatial terms. Furthermore, upon including the reality of time it becomes apparent that there's no way to "move through" the universe at all, in fact. What happens is more like universal reconfiguration at each coordinate of four dimensions, according, as I mentioned before, to some formula defining the intrinsic energy state of neighbouring configurations.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
As such, any given present state of intrinsic momentum can be said to have responsibility for the complimentary past states of the universe which sustains it.

Wait, are you really saying that each state of time is the "God" of the entire previous set of states? I have a feeling I'm not understanding you.

No you're understanding quite well, Will. It's just a little disconcerting as a concept at first.

You're very close here but moreover each time-state coordinate is in some manner a god of its own universe in the sense that its complete self extends across time to the beginning of the universe, and it's not just an object's potential which is present in the big bang, I know its easy to believe it's just that and return to old assumptions but that would be dismissing the fact that time is as continuous as space -- all time is present at the beginning of a universe, hence the object is literally present, also, forging it's own existence.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Assuming as I have suggested, that what we are observing of gravity, a product of mass and momentum, influencing four dimensions of reality, is accurate -- the earth might be said to have "created" a unique universe in accord with it's own existence. -- Hence, God.

The earth might have created a unique universe? I don't see how that follows (unless you really do mean to say that each state in time creates the next).

I've put "created" in quotes because in the kind of universe I'm suggesting our typical idea of creation doesn't really exist at all. And yes I do mean to say that every time-space coordinate shapes it's surroundings to fit itself -- in certain terms.

 

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Eloise wrote:You're very

Eloise wrote:

You're very close here but moreover each time-state coordinate is in some manner a god of its own universe in the sense that its complete self extends across time to the beginning of the universe, and it's not just an object's potential which is present in the big bang, I know its easy to believe it's just that and return to old assumptions but that would be dismissing the fact that time is as continuous as space -- all time is present at the beginning of a universe, hence the object is literally present, also, forging it's own existence.

HisWillness wrote:

The earth might have created a unique universe? I don't see how that follows (unless you really do mean to say that each state in time creates the next).

I've put "created" in quotes because in the kind of universe I'm suggesting our typical idea of creation doesn't really exist at all. And yes I do mean to say that every time-space coordinate shapes it's surroundings to fit itself -- in certain terms. 

Please allow me to rephrase this, just to be sure I'm following you. (This is all *extremely* interesting, and I'm trying my hardest to follow.)

If you were to view the universe as a whole (beginning to end), it would look like an inconcievably-vast bubble chamber picture, each particle moving along its path, interacting with other particles (exchanging information, essentially), and sometimes transforming into other particles. If you were to look at "I" in that bubble chamber picture, particles would constantly be moving in and out of the nexus that is "I," exchanging information with each other for a time, and then moving on to another nexus (which might be "You" ). Each particle interaction is an act of creation contributing to a greater act of creation: the "I." Taken altogether, the "final" creation is this giant bubble chamber picture of beginning to end.

Is this close at all?

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Eloise wrote:Yeah, sort of.

Eloise wrote:
Yeah, sort of. What I mean mores the point that, according to a strict asymmetrical time arrow, the matter which makes up something has a different identity depending on which time coordinate you define it at, defining at point a gives you identity a, defining at point b gives you identity ab. A causal arrow defines ab at point a

and

at point b (with a slight reconfiguration of state of said matter between point a and b). 

To reconcile the time information with the causal information we must assume either that a has "created" b (trust the time arrow and dismiss the causal arrow), or that ab is the consistent identity at all cordinates (allow the time arrow to also reverse).

There's also the possibility that the model of causality we're applying here isn't valid. I've actually (strangely) posited this to Paisley, who has yet to get back to me, because I think I may have blown his mind. Or he's busy - y'know, whatever. The idea is kind of entertainment more than serious, but I suppose it could be taken seriously: there is no cause. What I mean is the propagation of all events from the quantum level - which themselves have no cause - and then considering the entirety of space-time to be without cause.

The reason I say I find this entertaining (and why it's relevant to our discussion) is that it eliminates the consideration of classical causality altogether in favour of statistical causality.

I also have a hard time finding the necessity for a "creation" in each point in a continuous time (whether going forwards or backwards). We may be discussing identity in a vague way. Could we talk about a tennis ball instead of a person? That might make it easier. So this tennis ball at time A having a different identity at B seems unnecessary to me in terms of this model. Why should we consider the two tennis balls to be different? Maybe that will help me to understand.

Eloise wrote:
I once promised Hamby that I would hold a whole conversation one day here using only language consistent with a more precise definition of self, you're welcome to join in.

I think the only possibility would be to use the Attic Greek Aorist tense, which is flexibly applicable to past, present and future. You'd really have to invent a new tense, or use only the present mixed with present participles. It would most likely be poetic, but not very informative. For instance, telling someone that there's no milk in the fridge would have to roll out all the previous states of lacking milk in the fridge contrasted to those when milk was in the fridge. You could provide a statistical probability (very low) that given the previous lack of milk in the fridge, that the current milkless state of the fridge would be probable.

That's fairly annoying, and (oh, the irony) wastes both space and time.

Eloise wrote:
Yeah, there's actually a bit more consequence to it at this point which I haven't quite gotten into yet. Suffice it for now that the future part of "I" is precisely an extension of the present part, so as to say the definition of the future part is inherent in the properties of the present part.

That's pretty straightforward, though. What consequence are you holding back? You seem to be talking about the same semi-determinism that I am.

Eloise wrote:
That's exactly what I am saying, Will. There is too much leaned upon the assumption of three dimensional objects moving through the universe, granted alternatives are few and generally difficult to grasp, but ultimately this notion will be abandoned because it's untrue.

And what I'm telling you is that there aren't that many people who consider that classical model to be completely serious. Yes, for the purposes of launching rockets and building bridges we use that model, but in terms of theoretical physics, time is just a dimension in an n-space, and by extension, time is as banal as the length of something, and just as profound. But there's nothing to abandon when everybody's on board. I don't know anyone doing the math who would disagree with you on this.

Eloise wrote:
There is no way to actually "move through" the universe in purely spatial terms. Furthermore, upon including the reality of time it becomes apparent that there's no way to "move through" the universe at all, in fact. What happens is more like universal reconfiguration at each coordinate of four dimensions, according, as I mentioned before, to some formula defining the intrinsic energy state of neighbouring configurations.

That's completely reasonable, except that I'm not sure I see the need for "universal reconfiguration" when forces originating in a big bang would be semi-deterministic. To my view, you have a continuously operating readjustment from the energy state of the big bang to present. If you want to pick any mass in that range of coordinates along the t-axis, you could hypothetically observe the snapshot of forces acting upon that mass, and reasonably map that mass's "light cone" of coordinates. The identity that I've given that mass is arbitrary and irrelevant to the forces acting upon it down to the quantum level. Where in this continuum does the necessity for a seperate being (or even separated states) emerge?

Eloise wrote:
You're very close here but moreover each time-state coordinate is in some manner a god of its own universe in the sense that its complete self extends across time to the beginning of the universe, and it's not just an object's potential which is present in the big bang

What else is present in the big bang other than an object's potential? (I mean, as far as the object is concerned.)

Eloise wrote:
I know its easy to believe it's just that and return to old assumptions but that would be dismissing the fact that time is as continuous as space -- all time is present at the beginning of a universe, hence the object is literally present, also, forging it's own existence.

I think we still understand each other, except that I don't follow the need for any "forging" outside of an initial state at the big bang. That might be the necessity I'm missing.

Eloise wrote:
I've put "created" in quotes because in the kind of universe I'm suggesting our typical idea of creation doesn't really exist at all. And yes I do mean to say that every time-space coordinate shapes it's surroundings to fit itself -- in certain terms.

This seems to be the salient point, but it's eluding me. Each point in space-time certainly has different effects on its surroundings, as it is part of another point's surroundings. Here, of course, we find ourselves in the realm of relativity.  But I don't know what else is going on here that you're considering as part of the system. You've described what seems to be the relationship between coordinates in a relativistic context, so I don't know what you've added to that.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Eloise

nigelTheBold wrote:

Eloise wrote:

You're very close here but moreover each time-state coordinate is in some manner a god of its own universe in the sense that its complete self extends across time to the beginning of the universe, and it's not just an object's potential which is present in the big bang, I know its easy to believe it's just that and return to old assumptions but that would be dismissing the fact that time is as continuous as space -- all time is present at the beginning of a universe, hence the object is literally present, also, forging it's own existence.

HisWillness wrote:

The earth might have created a unique universe? I don't see how that follows (unless you really do mean to say that each state in time creates the next).

I've put "created" in quotes because in the kind of universe I'm suggesting our typical idea of creation doesn't really exist at all. And yes I do mean to say that every time-space coordinate shapes it's surroundings to fit itself -- in certain terms. 

Please allow me to rephrase this, just to be sure I'm following you. (This is all *extremely* interesting, and I'm trying my hardest to follow.)

If you were to view the universe as a whole (beginning to end), it would look like an inconcievably-vast bubble chamber picture,

I'll stop you here because this just about covers the visual you're looking for. A singular universe beginning to end, in the sense I am describing it, would look "static", it would seem entirely deterministic in our terms. Your analogy of a picture is appropriate. However, that said, the assumptions which I am basing this on are compelling in favour of a multiverse and the end concept is then only partly deterministic.

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Yeah, sort of. What I mean mores the point that, according to a strict asymmetrical time arrow, the matter which makes up something has a different identity depending on which time coordinate you define it at, defining at point a gives you identity a, defining at point b gives you identity ab. A causal arrow defines ab at point a

and

at point b (with a slight reconfiguration of state of said matter between point a and b). 

To reconcile the time information with the causal information we must assume either that a has "created" b (trust the time arrow and dismiss the causal arrow), or that ab is the consistent identity at all cordinates (allow the time arrow to also reverse).

There's also the possibility that the model of causality we're applying here isn't valid. I've actually (strangely) posited this to Paisley, who has yet to get back to me, because I think I may have blown his mind. Or he's busy - y'know, whatever. The idea is kind of entertainment more than serious, but I suppose it could be taken seriously: there is no cause. What I mean is the propagation of all events from the quantum level - which themselves have no cause - and then considering the entirety of space-time to be without cause.

Fair enough, I won't argue with that, actually it's easy to use that to draw a consistency between quantum and macro levels of reality, although causality as we perceive it in macro reality is not common to observations at the quantum level, it can be construed as a form of probabilistic correlation between events, hence a variety or class of quantum phenomenon.   

HisWillness wrote:

The reason I say I find this entertaining (and why it's relevant to our discussion) is that it eliminates the consideration of classical causality altogether in favour of statistical causality.

Agreed, clearly Sticking out tongue , but there is surely some truth to our ordinary observations as well, classical causality works, somehow, so it's acceptable to assume it will generalise to a fair estimate of a more correct model.

HisWillness wrote:

I also have a hard time finding the necessity for a "creation" in each point in a continuous time (whether going forwards or backwards).

I agree, I should stop using that word "creation", it's not nearly the right word, is it?

I'm not sure there is a word that actually describes the idea more realistically, though. I'm talking about states sharing a template of identity -- a fractal concept. I guess you could say a time-space coordinate encodes its universe, where the code is an inherent property of the identity.

HisWillness wrote:

We may be discussing identity in a vague way. Could we talk about a tennis ball instead of a person? That might make it easier. So this tennis ball at time A having a different identity at B seems unnecessary to me in terms of this model. Why should we consider the two tennis balls to be different? Maybe that will help me to understand.

Good idea -- the ball described at point a with a time arrow is A because AB does not interact with it in these terms, and it lacks a crucial property that would identify it with AB, at point b the ball is AB stretched along the time dimension this extension is not considered present at point a. On the other hand a causal arrow defines AB as potential in A, the part B exists in A as a form of energy, say for example the ball has been thrown, it's position at b is part of the description of the ball at point a in some form.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
I once promised Hamby that I would hold a whole conversation one day here using only language consistent with a more precise definition of self, you're welcome to join in.

I think the only possibility would be to use the Attic Greek Aorist tense, which is flexibly applicable to past, present and future. You'd really have to invent a new tense, or use only the present mixed with present participles. It would most likely be poetic, but not very informative. For instance, telling someone that there's no milk in the fridge would have to roll out all the previous states of lacking milk in the fridge contrasted to those when milk was in the fridge. You could provide a statistical probability (very low) that given the previous lack of milk in the fridge, that the current milkless state of the fridge would be probable.

That's fairly annoying, and (oh, the irony) wastes both space and time.

Well it would appear to waste time as long as it's not the conventional manner of communication, sure. But it's also true that our lingusitic culture has a surprisingly great influence on our human experience of the universe -- there is some variety of value in bucking the trend.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Yeah, there's actually a bit more consequence to it at this point which I haven't quite gotten into yet. Suffice it for now that the future part of "I" is precisely an extension of the present part, so as to say the definition of the future part is inherent in the properties of the present part.

That's pretty straightforward, though. What consequence are you holding back? You seem to be talking about the same semi-determinism that I am.

I am ultimately espousing a semi-determinism, as you've gathered, but the particular consequence of this notion in a singular universe is perfect determinism, a static, albeit greater than we suppose, string-like identity across all time-space.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
That's exactly what I am saying, Will. There is too much leaned upon the assumption of three dimensional objects moving through the universe, granted alternatives are few and generally difficult to grasp, but ultimately this notion will be abandoned because it's untrue.

And what I'm telling you is that there aren't that many people who consider that classical model to be completely serious. Yes, for the purposes of launching rockets and building bridges we use that model, but in terms of theoretical physics, time is just a dimension in an n-space, and by extension, time is as banal as the length of something, and just as profound. But there's nothing to abandon when everybody's on board. I don't know anyone doing the math who would disagree with you on this.

Yep, I've noticed you saying this. Just to be clear my main contention is directed at classical assumptions that do pop up even now in many scientific interpretations. Of course I agree with what you are saying that there are actually few in the scientific community who would consider ordinary perceptive notions of time space seriously as safe assumptions, but there is much in the way of changing that which has become somewhat culturally entrenched in our society, not the least of all being the fact that we are still a bit vague on the details of the alternative. So for the profundity of these ideas to diffuse into all areas will take time, but it will also take effort on the part of those who have spent enough time immersed in theoretical physics to exercise a little vigilance in speaking correction to the myths. 

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
There is no way to actually "move through" the universe in purely spatial terms. Furthermore, upon including the reality of time it becomes apparent that there's no way to "move through" the universe at all, in fact. What happens is more like universal reconfiguration at each coordinate of four dimensions, according, as I mentioned before, to some formula defining the intrinsic energy state of neighbouring configurations.

That's completely reasonable, except that I'm not sure I see the need for "universal reconfiguration" when forces originating in a big bang would be semi-deterministic. To my view, you have a continuously operating readjustment from the energy state of the big bang to present.

Continuously operating readjustment. I would like to have coined that one, yes I like that better.

HisWillness wrote:

 

Where in this continuum does the necessity for a seperate being (or even separated states) emerge?

Precisely, nowhere, and this is adjunct to my point. We should eliminate assumptions which lead to positing separations of identity; we should reverse the time arrow.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
You're very close here but moreover each time-state coordinate is in some manner a god of its own universe in the sense that its complete self extends across time to the beginning of the universe, and it's not just an object's potential which is present in the big bang

What else is present in the big bang other than an object's potential? (I mean, as far as the object is concerned.)

The object is present. It may make more sense to you if I was to say the Big Bang is present here -- we percieve it directly whereas the coordinate of our perception is such that it is affected. You could say time lays over the information, so that we decode it through layers, and/or considering another aspect of time you could liken the time-space coordinate of your immediate senses as having an horizon, so as curvature in the substance of time stands between your coordinate and that of a neighbouring event in your universe -- this idea is also encapsulated by the concept of a light cone.

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Eloise wrote:Agreed, clearly

Eloise wrote:
Agreed, clearly Sticking out tongue , but there is surely some truth to our ordinary observations as well, classical causality works, somehow, so it's acceptable to assume it will generalise to a fair estimate of a more correct model.

Not necessarily. We process information in certain ways, like how we see causality and identity. Those ways could be completely off as far as accurately representing what the universe does. It wouldn't be the first time we've come to that conclusion. If we're instead to take all of the universe as a causal chain from the big bang, then our "causality" is nonsense. That is, we're classifying events in our environment in a way that doesn't represent the reality of that environment. Causality, then, becomes meaningless when taking the universe as an extension of quantum events as far back as we can.

Eloise wrote:
I'm not sure there is a word that actually describes the idea more realistically, though. I'm talking about states sharing a template of identity -- a fractal concept. I guess you could say a time-space coordinate encodes its universe, where the code is an inherent property of the identity.

I think I understand now why I was having difficulty. We're discussing giving something an identity, and then applying that to things where identity is meaningless. Following our semi-deterministic model either way through time, each point along the t-axis is necessarily a template for any other point insofar as those snapshots are related by their shared components. Given one universe, where matter-energy is neither created nor destroyed, if you had a full view of that universe, it would be obvious what the relationship was between the two states, as only the interaction of those components is what determines the shape of things along the t-axis.

Identifying any matter or energy as compartmentalized blocks is entirely our doing. It's one universe. Our minds can break it into patterns because that's what we do, but it's one universe. What do you consider the God part?

Eloise wrote:
Good idea -- the ball described at point a with a time arrow is A because AB does not interact with it in these terms, and it lacks a crucial property that would identify it with AB, at point b the ball is AB stretched along the time dimension this extension is not considered present at point a. On the other hand a causal arrow defines AB as potential in A, the part B exists in A as a form of energy, say for example the ball has been thrown, it's position at b is part of the description of the ball at point a in some form.

Sorry, I read that three times and I still don't know if I get it. Do you mean that the combination of the force applied to the ball at the first point and the ball itself is the description of the ball at that second point?

Eloise wrote:
I am ultimately espousing a semi-determinism, as you've gathered, but the particular consequence of this notion in a singular universe is perfect determinism, a static, albeit greater than we suppose, string-like identity across all time-space.

Why would that be greater than we suppose? You're just taking all of time space as one chunk. I don't see a problem with that, conceptually. When you say "string-like", what do you mean?

Eloise wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

Where in this continuum does the necessity for a seperate being (or even separated states) emerge?

Precisely, nowhere, and this is adjunct to my point. We should eliminate assumptions which lead to positing separations of identity; we should reverse the time arrow.

Why do we need to reverse the time arrow to redefine identity? And why would reversing the time arrow be anything but referentially arbitrary?

Eloise wrote:
It may make more sense to you if I was to say the Big Bang is present here -- we percieve it directly whereas the coordinate of our perception is such that it is affected. You could say time lays over the information, so that we decode it through layers, and/or considering another aspect of time you could liken the time-space coordinate of your immediate senses as having an horizon, so as curvature in the substance of time stands between your coordinate and that of a neighbouring event in your universe -- this idea is also encapsulated by the concept of a light cone.

All this is fine - we're talking about the universe as a whole, throughout any available history it has or will ever have. No problem. Where in there is the necessity for a God? Or do you mean that the big bang itself is God? Or that the entirety of the universe over its past and future is God?

I'm still at a loss to find the necessity for the introduction of the God concept.

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HisWillness wrote:We process

HisWillness wrote:

We process information in certain ways, like how we see causality and identity. Those ways could be completely off as far as accurately representing what the universe does. It wouldn't be the first time we've come to that conclusion. If we're instead to take all of the universe as a causal chain from the big bang, then our "causality" is nonsense. That is, we're classifying events in our environment in a way that doesn't represent the reality of that environment. Causality, then, becomes meaningless when taking the universe as an extension of quantum events as far back as we can.

No contest from me there, really. I mean, as I said, to take causality as bearing some explanatory weight is acceptable, but it ain't necessarily so. With that I agree.

 

His Willness wrote:

I think I understand now why I was having difficulty. We're discussing giving something an identity, and then applying that to things where identity is meaningless. Following our semi-deterministic model either way through time, each point along the t-axis is necessarily a template for any other point insofar as those snapshots are related by their shared components. Given one universe, where matter-energy is neither created nor destroyed, if you had a full view of that universe, it would be obvious what the relationship was between the two states, as only the interaction of those components is what determines the shape of things along the t-axis.

Identifying any matter or energy as compartmentalized blocks is entirely our doing. It's one universe. Our minds can break it into patterns because that's what we do, but it's one universe. What do you consider the God part?

Well we've really leapt a major hurdle here. We're agreeing on the philosophical status of identity quite well which is good because it leads to the "God part" fairly directly and simply. Identity is the basis of the concept of sentience; identity fails, and the attached concept of sentience fails with it -- leading back to the original point I flagged in this thread - the banality of intelligence in such a universe.

What makes it difficult to percieve a God in a 'one universe' is the expectations attached to the notion of the God being sentient, aware, efficacious. As much as those expectations are built on the premise that intelligence, consciousness and affect exist as prescribed by three dimensional identities (in three or four dimensions), is the expectation that a God can only display these qualities under this prescription. And in short, a rock cannot, a universe cannot, correct?

The point is, however, that the prescription has failed, no entity actually conforms to this prescription. So we need an alternative prescription, one which follows the logic of what we have agreed more faithfully. In that logic, boundaries and limits to identity collapse and the effect to which we attribute the phenomenon of intelligence falls out naturally and mundanely via an actual perceptible and present existence of events (with some quantum field qualification here) across the time dimension.

So there is only one identity and it conforms to any expectation we can have regarding sentience (it is a flying spaghetti monster with feeling limbs in every corner of the 4d universe) - thus the identity, which exists, is God.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Sorry, I read that three times and I still don't know if I get it. Do you mean that the combination of the force applied to the ball at the first point and the ball itself is the description of the ball at that second point?

Yep, that's right.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Why would that be greater than we suppose?

Because the limits of our existence fail under the proposed logic. Our identity doesn't merely stretch through time to our birth but beyond it.

HisWillness wrote:

You're just taking all of time space as one chunk. I don't see a problem with that, conceptually. When you say "string-like", what do you mean?

Sorry, poor choice of words. I meant string like to imply an analogy of identity that has extension in time.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Why do we need to reverse the time arrow to redefine identity? And why would reversing the time arrow be anything but referentially arbitrary?

Oops, I meant, ALSO reverse the time arrow. Time should extend both ways or we separate states arbitrarily.

 

HisWillness wrote:
Or that the entirety of the universe over its past and future is God?

Yeah, that.

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Eloise wrote:Well we've

Eloise wrote:

Well we've really leapt a major hurdle here. We're agreeing on the philosophical status of identity quite well which is good because it leads to the "God part" fairly directly and simply. Identity is the basis of the concept of sentience; identity fails, and the attached concept of sentience fails with it -- leading back to the original point I flagged in this thread - the banality of intelligence in such a universe.

Okay, I'm fine with identity being meaningless.

Eloise wrote:
What makes it difficult to percieve a God in a 'one universe' is the expectations attached to the notion of the God being sentient, aware, efficacious. As much as those expectations are built on the premise that intelligence, consciousness and affect exist as prescribed by three dimensional identities (in three or four dimensions), is the expectation that a God can only display these qualities under this prescription. And in short, a rock cannot, a universe cannot, correct?

Wait, now you're mixing things together. If we take the entirety of the universe across all of time, then that thing does exhibit intelligence because what we identify as intelligence is present in that overview. Identifying a rock as intelligent isn't pragmatic, but that's because we've introduced identity to something that is a collection of matter we find it easy to call a rock. The fact that there could be potential for life, and thus potential for what we'd call intelligence in the rock can be taken seriously only because it has happened before. Ignoring time, the matter that makes up a rock may very well be involved in producing or promoting an intelligent being during the course of the universe's existence.

Eloise wrote:
In that logic, boundaries and limits to identity collapse and the effect to which we attribute the phenomenon of intelligence falls out naturally and mundanely via an actual perceptible and present existence of events (with some quantum field qualification here) across the time dimension.

Again, no problem eliminating identity, as identity is strictly a pragmatic consideration.

Eloise wrote:
So there is only one identity and it conforms to any expectation we can have regarding sentience (it is a flying spaghetti monster with feeling limbs in every corner of the 4d universe) - thus the identity, which exists, is God.

Wait, that's it? Why even call it God? It's confusing to call that God, when it could be easily defined as the universe over time.

Eloise wrote:
Because the limits of our existence fail under the proposed logic. Our identity doesn't merely stretch through time to our birth but beyond it.

I'm not sure what you mean by that, since identity has already become meaningless in this context.

Eloise wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
Or that the entirety of the universe over its past and future is God?

Yeah, that.

But ... actually, same question: why call that "God"? There's nothing extra on top of the universe throughout time in that conception. Or are you calling the configuration of original conditions God? Or the combination of original conditions PLUS the passage of time over the expansion and contraction?

If that's one "universe breath", then is each breath God? Or does each breath have a new god?

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HisWillness wrote:Wait, now

HisWillness wrote:

Wait, now you're mixing things together.

Yes, you didn't expect me to? Wouldn't the fact that I am working to the resolution - intelligence is a mundane phenom. of 4 dimensional mass - dictate that I somehow draw all I have said about the dimensionality of the universe back to the definition of intelligence?

HisWillness wrote:

If we take the entirety of the universe across all of time, then that thing does exhibit intelligence because what we identify as intelligence is present in that overview. Identifying a rock as intelligent isn't pragmatic, but that's because we've introduced identity to something that is a collection of matter we find it easy to call a rock. The fact that there could be potential for life, and thus potential for what we'd call intelligence in the rock can be taken seriously only because it has happened before. Ignoring time, the matter that makes up a rock may very well be involved in producing or promoting an intelligent being during the course of the universe's existence.

And we're back to assuming that vain notion of intelligence as the definition again... as long as that's what intelligence is, okay... but.... all the preceding notes I have made are in the pursuit of establishing that given 4 interactive dimensions of mass, intelligence is as a direct sense, as opposed to an abstract extension level of information processing.

Consider with me, please, that as electromagnetism mediates the phenomenon of senses with which we have familiarised ourselves, gravity mediates the sense which is intelligence. It's a shortcut to the point rather than a naked assertion, I promise.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
So there is only one identity and it conforms to any expectation we can have regarding sentience (it is a flying spaghetti monster with feeling limbs in every corner of the 4d universe) - thus the identity, which exists, is God.

Wait, that's it? Why even call it God? It's confusing to call that God, when it could be easily defined as the universe over time.

Yes, I agree. It's that the sentience - the intelligence, the consciousness and the effect - which we attribute human beingness with - to so much exclusion - is veritably as much an attribute of the universe over time which makes it not so confusing to call it God - "God" is a better definition for the universe than "human being" (with it's attached implications) is for ourselves.

 

HisWillness wrote:

If that's one "universe breath", then is each breath God? Or does each breath have a new god?

Well, we've got to not get hung up on the preliminary implications of a singular universe, or even that of an ensemble of universes as I think these are really only part-way meaningful matters; they don't really help to clarify the accord with observation that can be demonstrated. but one could say yes, each breath incorporates something of a god unto itself.

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Eloise wrote:Wouldn't the

Eloise wrote:
Wouldn't the fact that I am working to the resolution - intelligence is a mundane phenom. of 4 dimensional mass - dictate that I somehow draw all I have said about the dimensionality of the universe back to the definition of intelligence?

Oh, okay. I'm just not used to discussing mass in this way, that's all. I must have misunderstood. If intelligence is a mundane property of 4 dimensional mass, I'm still confused as to why it should be considered God. Shouldn't it just be considered mass? Or is the idea that it's God just to catch people's attention?

Eloise wrote:
And we're back to assuming that vain notion of intelligence as the definition again... as long as that's what intelligence is, okay... but.... all the preceding notes I have made are in the pursuit of establishing that given 4 interactive dimensions of mass, intelligence is as a direct sense, as opposed to an abstract extension level of information processing.

But we make the rules on what intelligence is, as I've said, so of course it's vain. We're vain! I could assert that vanity was an inherent property of matter, too, and just as solidly, since vanity is easily as present as intelligence.

Eloise wrote:
Consider with me, please, that as electromagnetism mediates the phenomenon of senses with which we have familiarised ourselves, gravity mediates the sense which is intelligence. It's a shortcut to the point rather than a naked assertion, I promise.

Electromagnetism mediates the senses? Do you mean electrochemical reactions? And why gravity, exactly? What I mean is, why pick gravity as the one thing that mediates what we consider intelligence?

Eloise wrote:
Yes, I agree. It's that the sentience - the intelligence, the consciousness and the effect - which we attribute human beingness with - to so much exclusion - is veritably as much an attribute of the universe over time which makes it not so confusing to call it God - "God" is a better definition for the universe than "human being" (with it's attached implications) is for ourselves.

Jeez, I don't know about that. I think "God" might have more attached implications that guide it away from understanding than "human being". I mean, all you're talking about is the history of our universe viewed as a whole, and "God" has a lot of baggage as a word. It still strikes me as odd that given no additions to existing matter, you still need that label.

It seems odd that the main difference between our views is the name of the universe. If we called it "Bob", that wouldn't be satisfactory to you. You need to call it God. That's where the mystery lies for me. What is it about the universe that makes it something more than just the universe? Otherwise, we could call it simply the "universe throughout time". How does it help us to call it God?

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HisWillness wrote:Eloise

double post.


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HisWillness wrote: Eloise

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Wouldn't the fact that I am working to the resolution - intelligence is a mundane phenom. of 4 dimensional mass - dictate that I somehow draw all I have said about the dimensionality of the universe back to the definition of intelligence?

Oh, okay. I'm just not used to discussing mass in this way, that's all. I must have misunderstood. If intelligence is a mundane property of 4 dimensional mass, I'm still confused as to why it should be considered God.

I won't say that it should be considered God, it doesn't matter what you call it, honestly, what matters is that you at least recognise it isn't dumber or less aware and efficacious than "you".

HisWillness wrote:

Shouldn't it just be considered mass? Or is the idea that it's God just to catch people's attention?

Yes it should be just considered mass, if you're going to apply the same yardstick to assess your own potency.  If you are otherwise inclined however... Eye-wink

 

HisWillness wrote:

But we make the rules on what intelligence is, as I've said, so of course it's vain. We're vain! I could assert that vanity was an inherent property of matter, too, and just as solidly, since vanity is easily as present as intelligence.

Yeah, I'm actually employing vain to mean useless, futile - although I confess a hint of double entendre for my own cynical pleasure - that definition of intelligence doesn't fit with anything 'real' , reliable scientific and empirical discovery notoriously rejects it time and time again, it's like the proverbial square peg.

But you're right that vanity is to be expected in this case.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Electromagnetism mediates the senses? Do you mean electrochemical reactions?

No, I mean photons and electrons mediate information exchange over linear dimensions of space. Senses are information receptors, and as such, distinct from the purported emergent level of conscious intelligence.

HisWillness wrote:

And why gravity, exactly? What I mean is, why pick gravity as the one thing that mediates what we consider intelligence?

Because intelligence as a receptive sense over a dimension of time, one can assume, would require a force akin to electromagnetism operating under similar principles, also over time. The key principle being that the force needs be inseparable from the shape of the dimension in question - gravity is such a force.

 

Eloise wrote:

It seems odd that the main difference between our views is the name of the universe. If we called it "Bob", that wouldn't be satisfactory to you.

You're mistaken about that. I have no qualm with what anyone calls the universe. I quite like Bob as a matter of fact.

HisWillness wrote:

You need to call it God.

No, I have a deep and yearning need to disseminate and test what I have learned and reasoned about it - that it is just like God; but I don't think I have any desire to make it something "more" than that. 

HisWillness wrote:

How does it help us to call it God?

That might depend on what God would do about being found, supposing she were, you think?

In all seriousness though, calling it God from what I can see, doesn't change much in terms of what benefit a greater understanding of the universe might bring, it simply acknowledges the resemblance.

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Eloise wrote:Yes it should

Eloise wrote:

Yes it should be just considered mass, if you're going to apply the same yardstick to assess your own potency.  If you are otherwise inclined however... Eye-wink

Okay, so it's an attitude thing. You don't so much believe in God as you do in human self-overestimation. 

Eloise wrote:
Because intelligence as a receptive sense over a dimension of time, one can assume, would require a force akin to electromagnetism operating under similar principles, also over time. The key principle being that the force needs be inseparable from the shape of the dimension in question - gravity is such a force.

From the four forces, I'm still not sure why electromagnetism is associated with senses and gravity with intelligence. That seems arbitrary to me, because I'm not seeing the connection.

Eloise wrote:
No, I have a deep and yearning need to disseminate and test what I have learned and reasoned about it - that it is just like God; but I don't think I have any desire to make it something "more" than that.

I'm missing something, here. The universe is "just like" God? Why can't the universe be just like the universe? Really, what we've been discussing is the nature of the physical universe. In fact, I'd say it was a conversation exclusively about the nature of the universe. We don't need to bring God into it at all.

Eloise wrote:
In all seriousness though, calling it God from what I can see, doesn't change much in terms of what benefit a greater understanding of the universe might bring, it simply acknowledges the resemblance.

Acknowledging the resemblance to what? Some common conception of vaguely defined mystical something-or-other? I still don't get why a reference to a deity is even necessary with your point of view, unless it's specifically to prove a point to someone who already believes in a deity. In that case, though, I still wouldn't call you a theist, because it seems like you believe in the universe, not in a god.

 

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Oh hello, I wasn't sure if

Oh hello, I wasn't sure if we were coming back to this one, Will. Good to see.

 

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Yes it should be just considered mass, if you're going to apply the same yardstick to assess your own potency.  If you are otherwise inclined however... Eye-wink

Okay, so it's an attitude thing. You don't so much believe in God as you do in human self-overestimation. 

Well I definitely will admit that the mis-estimation of the human condition is crucial to my beliefs, yes. And it is, in my estimation, the thing of primary significance ~ as opposed to the existence of any God which follows from it. So, in that way you're right, but also, I believe in God regardless that it's not a priority issue for me.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Because intelligence as a receptive sense over a dimension of time, one can assume, would require a force akin to electromagnetism operating under similar principles, also over time. The key principle being that the force needs be inseparable from the shape of the dimension in question - gravity is such a force.

From the four forces, I'm still not sure why electromagnetism is associated with senses and gravity with intelligence. That seems arbitrary to me, because I'm not seeing the connection.

Yeah, you've missed the connection. Recall that I've put forward the proposition: intelligence is in actuality a sense. In this way it follows that the 4th force may yet mediate sense data just as is the case with electromagnetism. That isn't exactly arbitrary just of itself as it stands but, if you need it, I have offered further reason as to why a sense which would comprise the phenomenon of abstract reasoning needs to be mediated by gravity, such as it requires information encoded in the geometry of time, not just that of space.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
No, I have a deep and yearning need to disseminate and test what I have learned and reasoned about it - that it is just like God; but I don't think I have any desire to make it something "more" than that.

I'm missing something, here. The universe is "just like" God? Why can't the universe be just like the universe?

Of course it can be "just like the universe". But put it this way, "the universe" depersonalises what it is, as though we actually could claim those attributes which we group under the heading "personality" as exclusively human or biological, my point is to demonstrate that our basis for such a claim is not long for this world that the reasons we consider ourselves "persons" also apply to the universe as a whole.

HisWillness wrote:

Really, what we've been discussing is the nature of the physical universe. In fact, I'd say it was a conversation exclusively about the nature of the universe. We don't need to bring God into it at all.

LOL, okay we won't. I don't mind at all, this God I am talking about basically falls out of the result of the exercise, so it's not even nearly necessary. It's actually probably easier if I don't have to keep rushing to divulge the steps to that result anyway.

HisWillness wrote:

Eloise wrote:
In all seriousness though, calling it God from what I can see, doesn't change much in terms of what benefit a greater understanding of the universe might bring, it simply acknowledges the resemblance.

Acknowledging the resemblance to what?

To us; to put it in really simple terms.

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