Atheists Answer This Question: How Can a Limited Intelligence Contain a Greater Intelligence? The Mystics and Physicist's God.

HeyZeus
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Atheists Answer This Question: How Can a Limited Intelligence Contain a Greater Intelligence? The Mystics and Physicist's God.

 http://www.lordandme.com/2011/04/proof-of-god-in-three-steps.html

A Proof of God in Three Steps

If by the end of this you don’t feel God running through your veins and moving through your spinal cord like a shiver… you probably should’ve smoked more weed before reading further than this line. For this is not addressed to those who think God can’t be found in the more fluid states of human consciousness… that is actually God’s permanent address. He’s that gust of breeze at dawn that can only be fully experienced when one is naked. A mind clad in corporate suits and leather shoes would find the touch of God unpleasant; like the brush against a stranger’s body on public transport; something otherwise entirely natural but repulsively inappropriate under the arbitrary paradigms of human civilization.

So leave your shoes outside and follow me. Only the bare of feet are entertained here. But do bring your mind along. You’re going to need it. This is after all, a scientific, rational proof of God.

Your Skin Does Not Contain You

Her name, is Jill Bolte Taylor. She studied the brain at Harvard and Indiana University and went on to establish herself as one of the leading neuroanatomists in the world. One morning she woke up, got out of bed, undressed, got into the shower and as she was taking the shower, realized that she could no longer discern where her hand ended and the tiled wall against which it was resting, began. The boundaries of her being, the outlines of her physical self that she used to differentiate between herself and the world around her, had disappeared. Jill Bolte Taylor was no more. There was only the continuous ocean of energy that extended all the way from her body to the ends of the universe. And she was a part of it. And she could see it and feel it, clear as the fucking daylight.

What did she do? She reminded herself that she was having a stroke; that her brain was gradually shutting down, one hemisphere at a time. That feeling of limitlessness, that was her left brain giving up. She suddenly had a powerful insight; it was her brain that told her that she was separate from the universe. It was her brain that defined her self for her, her brain that was the source of her self-awareness, her brain that explained her how she looked like, and howother things were and how she existed in relation to other things. The reality was, the shower curtain and her hand were more alike than they were different. They were both made of energy.

Everything in the universe is made up of either matter or energy. One of the implications of Einstein’s theory of relativity is the idea calledenergy-matter duality. It goes something like this; matter is, at the very fundamental level, just energy concentrated at a point, and energy is, to generalize a little bit, matter exhibiting wave behavior. Matter can be broken into pieces or fused together to release large amounts of energy and similarly energy can be captured inside matter through changing the state of matter. Matter is energy, and energy is matter. It’s all basically the same thing.

Now, since everything is the same, then the boundaries, limits, containers and skins we imagine upon entities are essentially as much a matter of perception as they are a matter of objective reality. We don’t really know where one thing ends and the other begins, we just imagine arbitrary outlines because that helps us operate in the world in a more efficient and survival savvy way. Consider any two objects, the coffee mug sitting next to your type writer and the workstation it’s resting its bottom on. Now, you’d like to imagine these two things as being separate from one another, but the truth is, there is an ongoing exchange of energy and matter taking place at all times across the boundary where the base of the cup and the tabletop meet. The most obvious of these transactions is the exchange of quanta of energy in the form of heat. Also, all matter at all times is always decaying and giving off some amount of radioactivity; too small to have any significance in our lives, but this barter is still always taking place; taking place right in front of your eyes and right across the boundaries that you would imagine impermeable for matter. All boundaries everywhere are only impermeable for some percentage of some forms of energy or matter. There isn’t a cup out there that holds everything, always, forever.

When we define an entity as an object separate from its surroundings, we are making a subconscious choice to ignore the multitude of uninterrupted connections that the object maintains with its habitat. The cup is connected to the desk, which is connected to the floor and the air around it, which is connected to everything else in the room, which is connected to the rest of building which is connected to the atmosphere and hence the entire planet. The planet in turn, is connected to outer space and hence to the entire universe. Everything is one interconnected blob of energy in its multiple manifest forms. Even “empty” space-time has background energy. Energy is everywhere; it forms the base fabric of our universe. We are not separate from it, we are only concentrated little lumps in the grand custard of energy that is our universe.

The distinction between entities seems even more meaningless when one of those entities is a living thing. Self-awareness or the ability to see yourself as separate from the space you inhabit, isn’t the rule in the world of consciousness, it’s an anomaly. It’s not a fact or self-evident universal truth, it’s just a cognitive skill that some species have evolved and honed into a ruthless über-survivalist weapon. Right now there are hundred of thousands of living species traveling back and forth almost unhindered across the boundary of your self that you call your skin; not to say anything of the heat exchange or other forms of energy barter your body constantly engages in at all times. Your skin is no boundary, it’s just an input output device you’ve evolved to better control the exchange of energy and matter. You are not separate from your surroundings; your mind just tells you you are because this worldview increases your chances of survival and propagation.

Everything is connected. It’s all energy, and so are we; a tiny globule of energy in a big abounding mass of it. Mystics felt this truth in their bones centuries ago. Today, scientistsknow it for a fact.

As her mind flickered Jill Bolte Taylor saw, felt, heard, smelled and tasted this fact in her entire body, and came to a realization of it deeper than the mystics could have enjoyed or other scientists discerned. Jill met God like only a twenty-first century neuroanatomist having a stroke could have.

Decision Diamonds are Forever

There’s a delusion at play here, a hoax, the greatest perhaps in the history of consciousness. We are all victims of it and we’re the perpetrators too. We start running the trick on ourselves the moment we are born, then we continue to layer upon it further magma of fiction, with each layer thickening the artificial profundity of the illusion. But an illusion it is, and in moments of quiet reflection -trying perhaps to imagine what it would be like to ride a beam of light, or watching a bush burn in the desert under a starlit night, or tuning in to the rhythms of the universe uninterrupted after completely losing all hearing- we sometimes finally break through. We see the illusion for what it is, an illusion. We realize that the world of matter that our souls had so obsessed over for so long is only a minor and probably insignificant slice of our entire existence; that our true selves extend from the heavens to hell, that the material form we take in this life does not define us. That the fundamental unit of our existence is not a cell or an atom or a quark, it’s a decision diamond.

What’s a decision diamond, you ask. It’s the fundamental unit of intelligence. An if-then structure with a binary output, any simple rule that says, if condition A is satisfied then do X otherwise do Y. We are not made of cells or atoms, we are made of millions of trillions of these decision diamonds, interconnected, nested, serially or parallel linked to each other to construct the grand symphonies of our consciousness and souls. These decision diamonds are mostly expressed in the form of energy -as the ever morphing cloud of electrical sparks that resides on our neural network- and only partly implemented upon matter as atoms or cells that make up our body, but to take off from there and conclude that we are made of atoms or cells would be like saying that a book is made of ink and paper. It may be true in a strictly physical sense, but it is not the Truth. Mere pigment and papyrus not a volume make.

Now ponder this, everything in the universe, including the universe itself, is made up of these decision diamonds. A collection of these diamonds in any combination, can be called an “Intelligence”. And just as there are single cellular organisms, there are single diamond Intelligences. The light switch on the wall next to you for instance that knows whether to turn the light on or off based on the position you put it in, is a single diamond Intelligence. The light switch and all the other objects we consider non-living things, have most of their intelligence implemented upon matter, and coded in their physical form as the laws of physics and chemistry that govern their behavior. For a more complex Intelligence like us or the universe, most of the algorithmic compilation of decision diamonds is expressed in various designs upon energy, electromagnetic sparks or networks of heat or light exchange. Ultimately it’s the diamonds that make up everything, energy or matter are just the languages the poetry is written in.

So, to summarize so far, you are made of decision diamonds expressed as either matter or energy. But matter and energy are the same thing. Also, the rest of the universe is a material or energetic representation of decision diamonds too so there’s no way you can be separate from the universe, you’re a part. You are just a drop in an ocean of Intelligence. You have individual properties, a little more salt maybe, a higher degree of self-awareness, more of an inclination for communication, but that’s about it. The enumeration of similarities is a whole datacenter with millions of servers compared to the small laundry list of differences.

Are you getting a better picture of the universe now? And your place in the universe? No? Take a couple more puffs and let the universe invade you. Expand yourself to see that you can encompass entire galaxies in your arms.

Proof in the Pudding

I’ve changed my mind, I’d no longer try to prove anything. Now that we’ve established that the universe is one big pudding of intelligence expressed as energy, and we are but a chunk within that pudding, I’ll just leave you with a question.

And the question is this. If we are, but a small part of the greater intelligence of the universe, and we are self-aware and cognizant, how can the universe NOT be self-aware and cognizant?

And what do you call this greater intelligence of the universe and everything beyond, that we cannot even begin to completely understand, that is part of us and includes us, that is therefore at least as self-aware and as complex as us, that knows everything instantaneously and is everywhere, all the time? What do you call it?

Names, names. There are a few out there, but I think they all fall short. For trapping something infinite in the finite bounds of a label, now that's what I call true blasphemy.

Mod edit: I fixed this giant block of incoherent text. Well....it's still incoherent, but at least it's readable now.


HeyZeus
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Yes. Also, network theory in

Yes. Also, network theory in general.

 

Ktulu wrote:

 

Is your idea at the least inspired by the galaxy filaments pictures, which to me resemble neuron networks?  I don't mean to fuel your argument, I think I've made my position clear in that respect, I'm just curious. 

 


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That's ok. The universe has

That's ok. The universe has matter.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Self-awareness is both a reality and a perception. It is an aspect of consciousness, probably generated originally, at least in our case, by the 'mirror neurons' which help us model the reactions, perceptions, and likely decisions of others we are interacting with, to assist us in our interactions. For this to work, we have to have a concept of self as distinct from 'other', and a concept of the self-perception of the other, and in turn, their perception or modelling of our 'self ' from their point of view.

 

We can certainly experience the feeling of being 'outside our skin', but this has not been shown to correspond to more than imagination. At most, out-of-body experiences point to the possibility of a form of remote perception, which does not entail our core functionality being separate from our body.

Everything we have studied points to matter being essential for persistent, complex structure, which is essential for complex processes such as consciousness.

Energy bound into the form of matter particles is an essential for a complex reality. Without matter, we have formless emptiness.


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HeyZeus wrote:BobSpence1

HeyZeus wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

To concentrate on the commonalities of different substances ( hydrogen and oxygen gas and liquid water, hydroxyl ions and hydronium ions) while treating the differences as unimportant is to seriously misunderstand the science.

I guess someone should have told that to Einstein when he was imagining time as just another axis in the space-time fabric or to particle theorists who see all matter as nothing more than a combination of quarks and leptons.

 

To not focus on the similarities is to miss the very point of science!

Wow.

Talk about missing the point, completely.

That was hilarious...

 

HeyZeus wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

They are very different in every respect. Hydrogen has one electron and one proton per atom, oxygen has 16. Hydrogen normally forms positive ions, oxygen forms negative ions, which is why they have an affinity to combine into water molecules. There is no spontaneous transformation between hydrogen and oxygen. 

 

Are you trying to show off your knowledge of elementary school chemistry? Don't you see, that's all there is.. electrons, protons, neutrons. Don't you see how remarkable it is that you can remove seven electrons/protons from oxygen and get exactly hydrogen? That these two seemingly completely different elements are essentially nothing more than a different combination of the same elementary building blocks?

 

To not be in appreciation and awe of this fact is to basically ignore all post-1905 science.

Wha?...

 

HeyZeus wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Our Sun does form oxygen from hydrogen, via some intermediate steps, under conditions of high temperature and pressure, with the net release of a lot of energy. To reverse that would require the input of an equivalent amount of energy, so is not going to happen 'spontaneously'.

 Of course it won't happen instantaneously, it need not happen instantaneously. Who said it would happen instantaneously?

Bob sure didn't.

He said 'spontaneously'...

HeyZeus wrote:
Whether or not it ever even happens is irrelevant.

That's about the stupidest scientific perspective I've ever heard...

HeyZeus wrote:
All we need in order to change our perspective of the universe... 

We're not 'religious' about the universe, so there's no need to change our perspective of reality.

HeyZeus wrote:
You can't even scientifically define consciousness...

That's not a big deal...

 

HeyZeus wrote:
What you are doing is trying to judge and ascertain the nature of the complexity of universe by measuring it against/by using as a benchmark, the most complex structure you know of, i.e. your brain.  

This approach is anthropocentric, pseudo-religious, arrogant, baseless and petty.

Could you be anymore of a hypocrite???

WTF do you assume religion claims god is?

A cosmic fart?

HeyZeus wrote:
Before you start thinking about the universe you need to first make concession for the possibility that the universe is probably more complex, expansive, strange and unpredictable than you can even conceive of. 

That's self defeating.

Any event that has happened, happened in a certain fashion, and necessarily happened, in that certain fashion.

Scientific methods uncovers the predictable ways how those things happen, and what the mechanisms are that govern those things.

But, it's not just about simple chemistry. It's about systems.

Complex systems

 

HeyZeus wrote:
Stop making generalized claims about the structure of the universe which cannot be verified or proven. You don't even know one percent of the universe.

Well that's runner up for the stupidest scientific perspective, I've ever heard.

You don't need to study every H2O molecule in every body of water in the universe to comprehensively understand the mechanics of H2O molecules, and make reliable predictions of how they form, or how they will behave under different circumstances.

WTF are you on? Glue?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


Ktulu
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HeyZeus wrote:I am not

HeyZeus wrote:

I am not referring to a computer's ability to process data as self-awareness. I am merely explaining to you that self-awareness is just a program, an analytical algorithm or skill just the same as any other analytical skill. We have the most advanced version of this program amongst all the entities we know of. But make no mistake, it is a program, nothing more, nothing less. Already, scientists working in the area of developing self-aware robots are having remarkable successes coding this skill.

hmmm... I'm not sure how to take this response.  So we both agree that consciousness is not transcendent.  Your argument reeks of creationism, so I'm going to stop it short right here.  Everything on this subject is theory based at this point.  Say it with me... 'we don't know.'.  Smiling that wasn't so hard was it?  You can explain it as an algorithm ( I'm not sure you know what that word means, look it up Smiling ), though I see it more as an unintended byproduct of evolution as proposed by Benjamin Libet.  We have no way of knowing that it is a program, you are making a mistake, aside from a naked assertion.  As for the youtube link... really?  I mean, what they do is pretty cool, but how is that relevant to our discussion? So let's review.  We don't know what consciousness is exactly, but we both agree that it is not transcendent.  It is nothing more than a temporary coherency of electric signals sent on neuron networks in your brain.  If your brain stops to work entropy takes over and the energy finds the path of least resistance to dissipate.  Are we on the same page so far?

HeyZeus wrote:

All I am saying is that if a part of a complex structure exhibits certain skills/capabilities/properties, the more naked assumption is that the whole must have those skills/capabilities/properties too. If you claim that it most definitely does not have those skills, the onus of proof lies with you.

Let me rephrase that so it is coherent.  If a part of a system exhibits a property, than the whole must have that property? The term naked assumption I'm unclear on, did you mean naked assertion? That whole sentence makes no sense.  That is exactly what I was implying, you agree with me.  In other words.  It is a naked assertion that if a part of system exhibits a property, the whole must exhibit that same property.  Every positive charged atom has electrons as part of its makeup.  

As a side note, and to tie in with the whole of the OP.  The onus is not on us, as skeptics to disprove your extraordinary claim.  You must provide evidence proportional to your claim.  Until you do that, you can't ask us to prove that you're incorrect, that's actually a very stupid stance to take and not even worthy of  debate.

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Atheistextremist
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So, what's Zeus' point?

 

 

Is he a pantheist, a theist or just a fellow possessed of curiosity?

Personally, I find the fundamentals that lie behind reality to be intriguing and asserting possibilities openly is perfectly acceptable. I certainly feel myself to be a part of the universe's biochemical function but extrapolating that out too far is swimming in murky water.

I don't think of the universe as being god-like. Has it the potential to be a creative force? You could argue that it has - though impassively. There is no evidence of proactive design in the universe nor is it sentient or capable of planning in any way.

This is an interesting area - the true nature of the continuum of universal reality. If I think hard about it I can hear the dull thudding of my synapses knocking their heads against their cell walls. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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This particular god still

HeyZeus wrote:

 

As her mind flickered Jill Bolte Taylor saw, felt, heard, smelled and tasted this fact in her entire body, and came to a realization of it deeper than the mystics could have enjoyed or other scientists discerned. Jill met God like only a twenty-first century neuroanatomist having a stroke could have.


 

sounds like the verbal projection of an anthropomorphic human experience necessarily defined by a label of language attached to a packet of feeling.  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I'm pretty sure I bought one of these at Livid in 1997.

 

"Taylor's experience of right brain dominance was similar to the mystics' experience of God. She described it as an "engulfing bliss"(p.61) she had to fight off desperately in order to maintain sufficient consciousness to dial for help. This sense of bliss was addictive; she felt like a "great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria"(p.67)."


 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


BobSpence
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HeyZeus wrote:BobSpence1

HeyZeus wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

To concentrate on the commonalities of different substances ( hydrogen and oxygen gas and liquid water, hydroxyl ions and hydronium ions) while treating the differences as unimportant is to seriously misunderstand the science.

I guess someone should have told that to Einstein when he was imagining time as just another axis in the space-time fabric or to particle theorists who see all matter as nothing more than a combination of quarks and leptons.

I am quite cool with time as just another dimension of the multi-dimensional matrix we inhabit.

That is irrelevant to what I was saying.

A scientist, or anyone else, who sees all matter as nothing more than a combination of quarks and lepton seriously lacks insight and understanding.

That is one level of description of what exists, but does not capture the aspects of 'higher' levels, going up thru atoms and molecules ( described by Chemistry ), thru the complex systems of the structures of living cells (basic Biology), thru multicellular life-forms, leading to ecosystems and societies.

At each level, there are systems, patterns of interaction, and entities, which cannot be meaningfully reduced to or described in terms of the entities of the 'lower', level.

To not focus on the similarities is to miss the very point of science!

 

Quote:

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

They are very different in every respect. Hydrogen has one electron and one proton per atom, oxygen has 16. Hydrogen normally forms positive ions, oxygen forms negative ions, which is why they have an affinity to combine into water molecules. There is no spontaneous transformation between hydrogen and oxygen. 

Are you trying to show off your knowledge of elementary school chemistry? Don't you see, that's all there is.. electrons, protons, neutrons. Don't you see how remarkable it is that you can remove seven electrons/protons from oxygen and get exactly hydrogen? That these two seemingly completely different elements are essentially nothing more than a different combination of the same elementary building blocks?

To not be in appreciation and awe of this fact is to basically ignore all post-1905 science.

Quote:

To not appreciate both the commonalities and the unique aspects of different structures, at all levels of description, is to be wilfully ignorant of the crucial importance of structure, which makes the difference between a human being and an equivalent mass of pond scum, which both contain broadly a similar assortment of compounds, definitely a very similar range of elements (atoms), and of course the same basic sub-atomic particles.

I digested this almost half-a-century ago, and have gone way past the 'awe' of how such a variety of form and function can be built upon the same components, into an understanding of the modern disciplines of complex systems and the study of non-linear feedback systems, information theory, etc.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Our Sun does form oxygen from hydrogen, via some intermediate steps, under conditions of high temperature and pressure, with the net release of a lot of energy. To reverse that would require the input of an equivalent amount of energy, so is not going to happen 'spontaneously'.

Of course it won't happen instantaneously, it need not happen instantaneously. Who said it would happen instantaneously? Whether or not it ever even happens is irrelevant. All we need in order to change our perspective of the universe is the mere acknowledgment of the possibility that it can happen.

Now you are displaying major lack of comprehension.

I said nothing about 'instantaneous' - the word is 'spontaneous', meaning happening without significant external input of energy or apparent 'cause'.

The possibility of oxygen transforming into a collection of hydrogen atoms is, while not zero (according to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and wave-functions, enormously smaller than the reverse process, due to the vastly higher energy content of the free particles. We see the spontaneous formation of heavier elements in the sun, where they only occur under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, which means they are not quite truly 'spontaneous' I really was referring to something more like 'self-sustaining', since the energy released in fusion reactions at this level sustains the conditions for more such reactions to occur.

Other reactions leading to elements beyond beryllium only occur significantly in later generation stars, and the heaviest mainly occur in the extreme conditions of super-novae.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

It is a scientific observation. The vast majority of complex structures that we see display no sign of any kind of consciousness.

No. You can't even scientifically define consciousness... much less make a scientific distinction between the nature of the complex structures that do or do not exhibit this ethereal property called consciousness. If I am wrong, please point me to literature.

A lack of precise definition of 'consciousness' does not mean the concept is not addressable by methodical investigation, ie science, and there is continuing progress here.

We can see indications of consciousness, at different levels, in quite a range of species, including most 'higher' mammals, many birds, cephalopods, and so on.

It appears that consciousness, in the sense of self-awareness, has definite evolutionary advantage in situations where anticipating the behaviour of other creatures that have highly developed brains, but not universally thru all species.

It is indeed a subtle concept, but it does seem to depend on a complex structure, requiring elements of memory and 'reasoning', the ability to weigh many factors of experience and perception to determine actions.

As such, it is best seen, IMHO, as an emergent attribute of highly structures of certain types, IOW, merely being complex does not imply consciousness.

It definitely involves complex interconnections between different parts of the structure manifesting it, which is what makes it unlikely to occur meaningfully in vast extended 'systems', such as the Universe itself, which cannot exchange information at useful rates over its full extent.

This is based on reading a lot of writing on this and related subjects, building on University training in electronics, feedback theory, and information theory, and touching on relativity concepts, among other things.

I presume you are aware of Daniel Dennett, who has written extensively on consciousness. Have you read much of his work? I have, and find it very fruitful in helping me form and develop my own ideas on this topic. Douglas Hofstadter is very interesting too.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

It is a naked, unsupportable assumption, based on ignorance. 

Apart from anything else, the inter communication between most of the universe, limited to the speed of light, is going to take billions of years, making for only a few thoughts since the Big Bang, and parts far enough apart that they will be flying apart at greater than the speed of light, will have no communication with each other, so cannot form part of a single 'consciousness'.

The universe is mostly chaotic and random, so has nothing like the structure of a brain.

 

What you are doing is trying to judge and ascertain the nature of the complexity of universe by measuring it against/by using as a benchmark, the most complex structure you know of, i.e. your brain.

This approach is anthropocentric, pseudo-religious, arrogant, baseless and petty.

The human brain is the most clear example we have of something manifesting consciousness, and we have extended this to studying other species which appear to manifest 'consciousness' at some level.

Recent experiments in designing computer systems to manifest more and more kinds of behaviour which were once considered exclusively the domain of conscious, 'thinking', beings, are also expanding our insights into just what is 'consciousness'.

Quote:

Before you start thinking about the universe you need to first make concession for the possibility that the universe is probably more complex, expansive, strange and unpredictable than you can even conceive of. Any other approach would be giving one-self too much credit.

If the universe is a brain it probably does not think the way you think it thinks. Stop trying to reflect. You are a non-entity in comparison to the universe.

Stop making generalized claims about the structure of the universe which cannot be verified or proven. You don't even know one percent of the universe.

You need to recognize that mere complexity does not give rise to consciousness. The claims I make about the structure of the Universe are based on our best current research. The limitations on intercommunication are based on established fundamentals such as the speed of light and relativity theory, which so far seem to be general principles, not local to what we can observe of the Universe.

The things we see happening in the universe generally are pretty well consistent with predictable effects of known physical interactions of matter, not displaying the complexity we would need to see to justify postulating intelligence.

There are suggestions, with some plausibility, that the physical 'constants' may vary to some degree in different parts of the Universe, an idea which weakens any fine-tuning arguments, among other things.

Science is not about 'proving' things, more about constructing theoretical models of reality which are continually adjusted and 'tweaked' to make them match what we observe ever more closely.

Your ideas contain elements of insight, in that the workings of the fundamentals of the Universe can arguably be described as your 'truth diamonds', which amounts to a way of describing the core of a deterministic process. It doesn't quite fit Quantum Mechanics, however, unless you envisage each diamond being able to go either way, until it interacts with the wider network, causing the 'collapse of the wave function'. And I don't see it adding anything to the way I grasp the workings of the Universe, but if it 'works' for you, ok.

OTOH, proposing the Universe as some sort of giant brain is a wild extrapolation, inconsistent with. and unsupportable by, any current understanding. And it serves no explanatory function - in fact it is the reverse, it is something you have to go to all this trouble to attempt to 'prove', for no good reason, other than an apparent need to establish the existence of some entity vaguely corresponding to a belief, presumably inculcated into you as a child.

What empirical tests and observations would you propose to justify your hypothesis?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Ktulu
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Is this thread dead? 

Is this thread dead?

He really did think he had a check mate atheist argument!


Zaq
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I stopped at "Your Skin Does

I stopped at "Your Skin Does Not Contain You."

 

Until you provide a functional definition of the self, I can't even begin to imagine what you mean with this statement.  Nor can I assess whatever follows.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Zaq wrote:I stopped at "Your

Zaq wrote:

I stopped at "Your Skin Does Not Contain You."

 

Until you provide a functional definition of the self, I can't even begin to imagine what you mean with this statement.  Nor can I assess whatever follows.

You had to cut out all the car salesman poetic bull shit just so you can get at the underlining argument... nothing original or inspired really, just more of the same theistic naked assertion and argument from ignorance.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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I am not here to talk about

I am not here to talk about other religion's claims of god but you are obviously someone who desperately needs to be tearing down down straw men because you are neither smart nor educated enough to talk about anything but the few trite atheist pointers you've swallowed whole and now go around shitting on web forums.

 

No amount of repeating the word "systems" is going to establish your premise that we are anywhere near unraveling the mysteries of the universe. When I said one percent, I did not mean one percent physically or by weight... but even then, a large part of the universe is either dark matter or dark energy, none of which, we have any clue about. It's obviously a grand and completely unsubstantiated claim, made only by non-scientists like yourself that we understand the "systems" that govern the behavior of the universe. We don't.

 

I am telling you that we do not understand the universe. Ask any physicist and he will tell you the same. Your denials and silly little emoticons are neither intelligent, original nor funny.

 

In fact your silly incapacity to understand anything beyond the few sound-bites you keep repeating makes me think you are a pimply teenager getting wedgies at school and masturbating your days away. That's what you sound like. 

 

redneF wrote:

 

HeyZeus wrote:
What you are doing is trying to judge and ascertain the nature of the complexity of universe by measuring it against/by using as a benchmark, the most complex structure you know of, i.e. your brain.  

This approach is anthropocentric, pseudo-religious, arrogant, baseless and petty.

Could you be anymore of a hypocrite???

WTF do you assume religion claims god is?

A cosmic fart?

HeyZeus wrote:
Before you start thinking about the universe you need to first make concession for the possibility that the universe is probably more complex, expansive, strange and unpredictable than you can even conceive of. 

That's self defeating.

Any event that has happened, happened in a certain fashion, and necessarily happened, in that certain fashion.

Scientific methods uncovers the predictable ways how those things happen, and what the mechanisms are that govern those things.

But, it's not just about simple chemistry. It's about systems.

Complex systems

 

HeyZeus wrote:
Stop making generalized claims about the structure of the universe which cannot be verified or proven. You don't even know one percent of the universe.

Well that's runner up for the stupidest scientific perspective, I've ever heard.

You don't need to study every H2O molecule in every body of water in the universe to comprehensively understand the mechanics of H2O molecules, and make reliable predictions of how they form, or how they will behave under different circumstances.

WTF are you on? Glue?


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A part of the system

A part of the system exhibits the property of self-awareness, then the system as a whole must be assumed to have that property too, even if, we are the ONLY part of the system exhibiting that property (not likely).

 

That's all I am saying. I agree with everything else you say here. I don't make the claim of existence of God, all I am saying is, it is more logical to assume that the system exhibits all of the properties of its parts and more.

 

Ktulu wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

I am not referring to a computer's ability to process data as self-awareness. I am merely explaining to you that self-awareness is just a program, an analytical algorithm or skill just the same as any other analytical skill. We have the most advanced version of this program amongst all the entities we know of. But make no mistake, it is a program, nothing more, nothing less. Already, scientists working in the area of developing self-aware robots are having remarkable successes coding this skill.

hmmm... I'm not sure how to take this response.  So we both agree that consciousness is not transcendent.  Your argument reeks of creationism, so I'm going to stop it short right here.  Everything on this subject is theory based at this point.  Say it with me... 'we don't know.'.  Smiling that wasn't so hard was it?  You can explain it as an algorithm ( I'm not sure you know what that word means, look it up Smiling ), though I see it more as an unintended byproduct of evolution as proposed by Benjamin Libet.  We have no way of knowing that it is a program, you are making a mistake, aside from a naked assertion.  As for the youtube link... really?  I mean, what they do is pretty cool, but how is that relevant to our discussion? So let's review.  We don't know what consciousness is exactly, but we both agree that it is not transcendent.  It is nothing more than a temporary coherency of electric signals sent on neuron networks in your brain.  If your brain stops to work entropy takes over and the energy finds the path of least resistance to dissipate.  Are we on the same page so far?

HeyZeus wrote:

All I am saying is that if a part of a complex structure exhibits certain skills/capabilities/properties, the more naked assumption is that the whole must have those skills/capabilities/properties too. If you claim that it most definitely does not have those skills, the onus of proof lies with you.

Let me rephrase that so it is coherent.  If a part of a system exhibits a property, than the whole must have that property? The term naked assumption I'm unclear on, did you mean naked assertion? That whole sentence makes no sense.  That is exactly what I was implying, you agree with me.  In other words.  It is a naked assertion that if a part of system exhibits a property, the whole must exhibit that same property.  Every positive charged atom has electrons as part of its makeup.  

As a side note, and to tie in with the whole of the OP.  The onus is not on us, as skeptics to disprove your extraordinary claim.  You must provide evidence proportional to your claim.  Until you do that, you can't ask us to prove that you're incorrect, that's actually a very stupid stance to take and not even worthy of  debate.

 


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 Hey Zeus, you're back

 Hey Zeus, you're back Smiling

welcome back.


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You can say, a gnostic

You can say, a gnostic pantheist looking for an intelligent conversation. This board doesn't disappoint me.

 

Assuming that the universe might be at least as intelligent and self-aware as one of its parts (us) is a rather deep dip in the murky waters of our mind, but we are advanced species aren't we? Deep dives are what we are good at. What if I tell you that the universe has eleven, or thirteen or eighteen dimensions and matter and energy particles are nothing but the expression of strings vibrating at certain frequencies. Then I fail to produce even a single testable hypothesis in thirty years of science? <http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/testable.pdf> Murky waters these days are exclusively the domain of physics.

 

I am only taking a stroll along the beach, getting my feet wet.

 

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

Is he a pantheist, a theist or just a fellow possessed of curiosity?

Personally, I find the fundamentals that lie behind reality to be intriguing and asserting possibilities openly is perfectly acceptable. I certainly feel myself to be a part of the universe's biochemical function but extrapolating that out too far is swimming in murky water.

I don't think of the universe as being god-like. Has it the potential to be a creative force? You could argue that it has - though impassively. There is no evidence of proactive design in the universe nor is it sentient or capable of planning in any way.

This is an interesting area - the true nature of the continuum of universal reality. If I think hard about it I can hear the dull thudding of my synapses knocking their heads against their cell walls. 

 

 

 


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... just like everything

... just like everything else.

Atheistextremist wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

 

As her mind flickered Jill Bolte Taylor saw, felt, heard, smelled and tasted this fact in her entire body, and came to a realization of it deeper than the mystics could have enjoyed or other scientists discerned. Jill met God like only a twenty-first century neuroanatomist having a stroke could have.


 

sounds like the verbal projection of an anthropomorphic human experience necessarily defined by a label of language attached to a packet of feeling.  


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HeyZeus wrote:You can say, a

HeyZeus wrote:

You can say, a gnostic pantheist looking for an intelligent conversation. This board doesn't disappoint me.

 

Assuming that the universe might be at least as intelligent and self-aware as one of its parts (us) is a rather deep dip in the murky waters of our mind, but we are advanced species aren't we? Deep dives are what we are good at. What if I tell you that the universe has eleven, or thirteen or eighteen dimensions and matter and energy particles are nothing but the expression of strings vibrating at certain frequencies. Then I fail to produce even a single testable hypothesis in thirty years of science? <http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/testable.pdf> Murky waters these days are exclusively the domain of physics.

 

I am only taking a stroll along the beach, getting my feet wet.

See, I have no issue with everything you just wrote here, of course you can make an assumption like that.  As long as you are intellectually honest about the number of naked assertions, it is a very creative thought experiment.  It's interesting to read about, and I do enjoy that sort of day dreaming. 

It's people that start substituting their navel gazing for reality that bother me. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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It's relevant because

It's relevant because theories are about seeing similarities between things which might not seem similar intuitively, like space and time. Hydrogen and oxygen.

 

ALL physicists KNOW and AGREE that ALL matter is a combination of quarks and leptons. It's the standard model. Are you saying you don't agree with physics now? <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_particle>

 

It is not just one level, it is THE FUNDAMENTAL MOST LEVEL AT WHICH WE HAVE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS! It is the definition, for now. If someone asks me what matter is, this is what I should tell them.

 

At this point our argument is becoming cyclic. And of course there's something to be said about the tension between trying to find the grand unified theory of everything and conversely, classifying things to understand their behavior. Knowledge progresses by jumping from one to the other.

 

Whether you agree on this forum or not, I am certain that you can at least see my point of view at this point, that what great theories of science do, is find overarching similarities explaining previously seemingly unrelated phenomena in one fell swoop.

 

The rest all, we agree on.

 

I cannot give you any testable hypothesis because I am not presenting a scientific theory. The word proof in the title of the essay was a misnomer. My point of view is not "scientifically supportable", only TO ME, very logical, more so some than some of the physics out there these days (string theory). We are a part of the universe, ergo the universe has to be at least as smart as us.

 

You or any other scientist cannot make a scientific claim that that's not so, because they don't understand the universe. Everyday it surprises us with phenomena we don't understand (dark matter, dark energy etc.) and are in no capacity to make any scientific claims about. Any argument that you make about complex sentient systems is incomplete because you do not know the entire extent of the system that is the universe.

 

That's all. 

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

To concentrate on the commonalities of different substances ( hydrogen and oxygen gas and liquid water, hydroxyl ions and hydronium ions) while treating the differences as unimportant is to seriously misunderstand the science.

I guess someone should have told that to Einstein when he was imagining time as just another axis in the space-time fabric or to particle theorists who see all matter as nothing more than a combination of quarks and leptons.

I am quite cool with time as just another dimension of the multi-dimensional matrix we inhabit.

That is irrelevant to what I was saying.

A scientist, or anyone else, who sees all matter as nothing more than a combination of quarks and lepton seriously lacks insight and understanding.

That is one level of description of what exists, but does not capture the aspects of 'higher' levels, going up thru atoms and molecules ( described by Chemistry ), thru the complex systems of the structures of living cells (basic Biology), thru multicellular life-forms, leading to ecosystems and societies.

At each level, there are systems, patterns of interaction, and entities, which cannot be meaningfully reduced to or described in terms of the entities of the 'lower', level.

To not focus on the similarities is to miss the very point of science!

 

Quote:

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

They are very different in every respect. Hydrogen has one electron and one proton per atom, oxygen has 16. Hydrogen normally forms positive ions, oxygen forms negative ions, which is why they have an affinity to combine into water molecules. There is no spontaneous transformation between hydrogen and oxygen. 

Are you trying to show off your knowledge of elementary school chemistry? Don't you see, that's all there is.. electrons, protons, neutrons. Don't you see how remarkable it is that you can remove seven electrons/protons from oxygen and get exactly hydrogen? That these two seemingly completely different elements are essentially nothing more than a different combination of the same elementary building blocks?

To not be in appreciation and awe of this fact is to basically ignore all post-1905 science.

Quote:

To not appreciate both the commonalities and the unique aspects of different structures, at all levels of description, is to be wilfully ignorant of the crucial importance of structure, which makes the difference between a human being and an equivalent mass of pond scum, which both contain broadly a similar assortment of compounds, definitely a very similar range of elements (atoms), and of course the same basic sub-atomic particles.

I digested this almost half-a-century ago, and have gone way past the 'awe' of how such a variety of form and function can be built upon the same components, into an understanding of the modern disciplines of complex systems and the study of non-linear feedback systems, information theory, etc.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Our Sun does form oxygen from hydrogen, via some intermediate steps, under conditions of high temperature and pressure, with the net release of a lot of energy. To reverse that would require the input of an equivalent amount of energy, so is not going to happen 'spontaneously'.

Of course it won't happen instantaneously, it need not happen instantaneously. Who said it would happen instantaneously? Whether or not it ever even happens is irrelevant. All we need in order to change our perspective of the universe is the mere acknowledgment of the possibility that it can happen.

Now you are displaying major lack of comprehension.

I said nothing about 'instantaneous' - the word is 'spontaneous', meaning happening without significant external input of energy or apparent 'cause'.

The possibility of oxygen transforming into a collection of hydrogen atoms is, while not zero (according to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and wave-functions, enormously smaller than the reverse process, due to the vastly higher energy content of the free particles. We see the spontaneous formation of heavier elements in the sun, where they only occur under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, which means they are not quite truly 'spontaneous' I really was referring to something more like 'self-sustaining', since the energy released in fusion reactions at this level sustains the conditions for more such reactions to occur.

Other reactions leading to elements beyond beryllium only occur significantly in later generation stars, and the heaviest mainly occur in the extreme conditions of super-novae.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

It is a scientific observation. The vast majority of complex structures that we see display no sign of any kind of consciousness.

No. You can't even scientifically define consciousness... much less make a scientific distinction between the nature of the complex structures that do or do not exhibit this ethereal property called consciousness. If I am wrong, please point me to literature.

A lack of precise definition of 'consciousness' does not mean the concept is not addressable by methodical investigation, ie science, and there is continuing progress here.

We can see indications of consciousness, at different levels, in quite a range of species, including most 'higher' mammals, many birds, cephalopods, and so on.

It appears that consciousness, in the sense of self-awareness, has definite evolutionary advantage in situations where anticipating the behaviour of other creatures that have highly developed brains, but not universally thru all species.

It is indeed a subtle concept, but it does seem to depend on a complex structure, requiring elements of memory and 'reasoning', the ability to weigh many factors of experience and perception to determine actions.

As such, it is best seen, IMHO, as an emergent attribute of highly structures of certain types, IOW, merely being complex does not imply consciousness.

It definitely involves complex interconnections between different parts of the structure manifesting it, which is what makes it unlikely to occur meaningfully in vast extended 'systems', such as the Universe itself, which cannot exchange information at useful rates over its full extent.

This is based on reading a lot of writing on this and related subjects, building on University training in electronics, feedback theory, and information theory, and touching on relativity concepts, among other things.

I presume you are aware of Daniel Dennett, who has written extensively on consciousness. Have you read much of his work? I have, and find it very fruitful in helping me form and develop my own ideas on this topic. Douglas Hofstadter is very interesting too.

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

It is a naked, unsupportable assumption, based on ignorance. 

Apart from anything else, the inter communication between most of the universe, limited to the speed of light, is going to take billions of years, making for only a few thoughts since the Big Bang, and parts far enough apart that they will be flying apart at greater than the speed of light, will have no communication with each other, so cannot form part of a single 'consciousness'.

The universe is mostly chaotic and random, so has nothing like the structure of a brain.

 

What you are doing is trying to judge and ascertain the nature of the complexity of universe by measuring it against/by using as a benchmark, the most complex structure you know of, i.e. your brain.

This approach is anthropocentric, pseudo-religious, arrogant, baseless and petty.

The human brain is the most clear example we have of something manifesting consciousness, and we have extended this to studying other species which appear to manifest 'consciousness' at some level.

Recent experiments in designing computer systems to manifest more and more kinds of behaviour which were once considered exclusively the domain of conscious, 'thinking', beings, are also expanding our insights into just what is 'consciousness'.

Quote:

Before you start thinking about the universe you need to first make concession for the possibility that the universe is probably more complex, expansive, strange and unpredictable than you can even conceive of. Any other approach would be giving one-self too much credit.

If the universe is a brain it probably does not think the way you think it thinks. Stop trying to reflect. You are a non-entity in comparison to the universe.

Stop making generalized claims about the structure of the universe which cannot be verified or proven. You don't even know one percent of the universe.

You need to recognize that mere complexity does not give rise to consciousness. The claims I make about the structure of the Universe are based on our best current research. The limitations on intercommunication are based on established fundamentals such as the speed of light and relativity theory, which so far seem to be general principles, not local to what we can observe of the Universe.

The things we see happening in the universe generally are pretty well consistent with predictable effects of known physical interactions of matter, not displaying the complexity we would need to see to justify postulating intelligence.

There are suggestions, with some plausibility, that the physical 'constants' may vary to some degree in different parts of the Universe, an idea which weakens any fine-tuning arguments, among other things.

Science is not about 'proving' things, more about constructing theoretical models of reality which are continually adjusted and 'tweaked' to make them match what we observe ever more closely.

Your ideas contain elements of insight, in that the workings of the fundamentals of the Universe can arguably be described as your 'truth diamonds', which amounts to a way of describing the core of a deterministic process. It doesn't quite fit Quantum Mechanics, however, unless you envisage each diamond being able to go either way, until it interacts with the wider network, causing the 'collapse of the wave function'. And I don't see it adding anything to the way I grasp the workings of the Universe, but if it 'works' for you, ok.

OTOH, proposing the Universe as some sort of giant brain is a wild extrapolation, inconsistent with. and unsupportable by, any current understanding. And it serves no explanatory function - in fact it is the reverse, it is something you have to go to all this trouble to attempt to 'prove', for no good reason, other than an apparent need to establish the existence of some entity vaguely corresponding to a belief, presumably inculcated into you as a child.

What empirical tests and observations would you propose to justify your hypothesis?


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I don't see how I

I don't see how I don't.

 

Ktulu wrote:

Is this thread dead?

He really did think he had a check mate atheist argument!


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I agree. Similarly, I can't

I agree. Similarly, I can't dismiss the existence of God unless I have a formal definition of 'God'.

Zaq wrote:

I stopped at "Your Skin Does Not Contain You."

 

Until you provide a functional definition of the self, I can't even begin to imagine what you mean with this statement.  Nor can I assess whatever follows.


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What do you mean

HeyZeus wrote:

I agree. Similarly, I can't dismiss the existence of God unless I have a formal definition of 'God'.

Zaq wrote:

I stopped at "Your Skin Does Not Contain You."

 

Until you provide a functional definition of the self, I can't even begin to imagine what you mean with this statement.  Nor can I assess whatever follows.

 

you can't dismiss god? I can't conceive of god. When I try to think of god my mind draws a blank. I don't know what god is. What is it that you think you can't dismiss? 

As an aside, we are mostly agnostic atheists here and don't rule out the vanishing possibility of the existence of - something - out there. We are just skeptical of current evidences. 

Something I wonder is how long you think the universe has possessed intelligence given the very recent evolution of the human brain?

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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HeyZeus wrote: I am not here

HeyZeus wrote:
I am not here to talk about other religion's claims of god but you are obviously someone who desperately needs to be tearing down down straw men

There's no need to build strawmen. Your incoherent babble and gap ridden reasoning leaves enough gaps in fundamental science, that it's comical, and easy to understand that you're desperately trying to project that you have some esoteric understanding of the universe.

Your coffee cup, and lightswitch illustrations were painfully sophomoric, to endure.

You sounded about as intelligent as a 16 yr old who just broke in a new water bong.

HeyZeus wrote:
because you are neither smart nor educated enough to talk about anything but...

I'm more educated, experienced, broadly knowledged, and intellectually elastic and adept than you'll ever know. But, like anyone else, there's only so many hours in a day, and some areas where I'm much weaker at grasping than others. But, in terms of overall ability, I'm exceptionally gifted, and the reason I'm so well respected, and globally sought after, for my abilities.

Your premature conclusions only telegraph your intellectual limitations.

HeyZeus wrote:
No amount of repeating the word "systems" is going to establish your premise that we are anywhere near unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

Actually, it does.

Your limited understandings of even basic chemistry and physics have been demonstrated in your synopsis.

Your stupid analogies of reality that fail to isolate subsets from supersets, and take into account stochastics and stoichiometry, are embarrassing and painful to listen to.

Maybe you missed the chapter on Venn diagrams, in high school.

HeyZeus wrote:
  a large part of the universe is either dark matter or dark energy, none of which, we have any clue about.

So?

HeyZeus wrote:
 It's obviously a grand and completely unsubstantiated claim, made only by non-scientists like yourself that we understand the "systems" that govern the behavior of the universe. We don't.

Now I know for sure that you're very limited in exposure to the science and technology community. I doubt you realize just how many thinktanks and labs are out there increasing knowledge and understanding exponentially, of reality.

Unless you are in the field, you cannot find the periodicals, the newsletters that could overwhelm any single person, even if they were to dedicate their time 24/7, to the task, so really, you'd be best to STFU about your claims that 'we don't understand the systems that govern the behaviour'.

HeyZeus wrote:
 I am telling you that we do not understand the universe.

That's a moronic claim.

I doubt you fully understand the enormity of your trivialization, nor do I think your motivations to make such a statement, are innocent.

One only needs to go back 100 yrs and juxtapose our 'understanding' then vs now, to see the rapid explosion of 'enlightenment'.

We have long been limited by our lack of discipline, to study and analyze reality, and finally reached the point where the limitations of individual minds were a bottleneck, and problems had to be broken down, and delegated to 'teams' of individual minds, in order to reach objectives faster.

Not too long ago, computers became vital, and will eclipse human capabilities, by factors that we can barely imagine.

HeyZeus wrote:
Ask any physicist and he will tell you the same.

I work with PhD's on a daily basis, in various fields. They'll just as often make banal general statements like that, as a layman would, and get bitchslapped by another for uttering such a myopic view of scientific knowledge.

HeyZeus wrote:
Your denials and silly little emoticons are neither intelligent, original nor funny.

Stop whining like a little schoolgirl because you're not as impressive as you imagine yourself to be, Princess.

HeyZeus wrote:
In fact your silly incapacity to understand...

I understand more than enough to know full well that you don't know too fucking much about what the scientific community does know about the mechanics of reality, on a nano and pico scale.

HeyZeus wrote:
...the few sound-bites you keep repeating makes me think you are a pimply teenager getting wedgies at school and masturbating your days away. That's what you sound like. 

Awwww, really?

Why don't you tell us what field you're in, and what some of the projects you are involved in?

HeyZeus wrote:
A part of the system exhibits the property of self-awareness, then the system as a whole must be assumed to have that property too

No.

That's 'woo woo' talk.

HeyZeus wrote:
I don't make the claim of existence of God, all I am saying is, it is more logical to assume that... 
 

No.

Your assumptions are not 'logical'. They are overarching attempts at a confirmation bias.

 

It's obvious to me that you're overly impressed with yourself, and assume that you have some overwhelmingly novel concepts to share. But I doubt you network with a lot of people.

I've heard dozens of similar 'woo woos' from 'life coaches', at business networking events, who believe, and claim that you can alter the course of the universe, and all matter, energy, and forces in it, to your personal advantage, despite the fact that others are trying to 'override' your attempts, to their advantage.

 

Decision diamond light switches???

That's your groundbreaking theory?

 

Sure, Poindexter.

Have another hit on the bong...

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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HeyZeus,Please try get both

HeyZeus,

Please try get both your active braincells around the idea that things being made of the same fundamental elemental bits can be completely different in virtually every aspect that matters.

It is structure that counts, not what it is made of, as long as those fundamental quarks, etc support the required stable complex structure and processes to manifest intelligence, consciousness, whatever.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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While a baseball game can be

While a baseball game can be reduced to the interaction of fundamental particles there is a loss of meaning, information and perhaps causality.  We certainly could describe a bat hitting a baseball from a bottom up causality of the interaction of the particles involved. However the actual information about the function and process of hitting the ball with a bat is lost. The intent of hitting a home run or knocking it over  the third baseman for a single run.  Why the game is played at all.  This type of description does not require an address of the quantum state. It is a matter of top down causality in which a higher state ( the bat hitting the ball ) informs the lower levels of causality ( the interaction of the subatomic particles are informed and effected by the higher level function). So it is with the study of consciousness.  The question of self-awareness is far more complicated than the baseball scenario and requires a reductionism to ultimately determine what consciousness is ( a neural correlate?, an emergent property dualism?, a self referential loop ( Hofstader ) a basic fundamental law of physics from the perspective of information theory????  All of this is up for grabs and to fall in camp with one over the other has more to do with justifying an ontological presupposition such as theism, pantheism, panentheism. dualism or what have you rather than determining the actual state of consciousness. It is very similar to choosing one cosmology over another simply because of a presupposition about theism or atheism. We are not anywhere near understanding the origins of the big bang or consciousness beyond positing alternative theories for research and consideration. To entail any one of these theories in a complete world view or weltanshauung is simply wild ass guessing or theological/philosophical bias.  It is certainly valid to discuss and compare them but to make fundamental and truth claims about them is a practice of belief, fantasy or delusion.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


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TGBaker wrote:While a

TGBaker wrote:

While a baseball game can be reduced to the interaction of fundamental particles there is a loss of meaning, information and perhaps causality.  We certainly could describe a bat hitting a baseball from a bottom up causality of the interaction of the particles involved. However the actual information about the function and process of hitting the ball with a bat is lost. The intent of hitting a home run or knocking it over  the third baseman for a single run.  Why the game is played at all.  This type of description does not require an address of the quantum state. It is a matter of top down causality in which a higher state ( the bat hitting the ball ) informs the lower levels of causality ( the interaction of the subatomic particles are informed and effected by the higher level function). So it is with the study of consciousness.  The question of self-awareness is far more complicated than the baseball scenario and requires a reductionism to ultimately determine what consciousness is ( a neural correlate?, an emergent property dualism?, a self referential loop ( Hofstader ) a basic fundamental law of physics from the perspective of information theory????  All of this is up for grabs and to fall in camp with one over the other has more to do with justifying an ontological presupposition such as theism, pantheism, panentheism. dualism or what have you rather than determining the actual state of consciousness. It is very similar to choosing one cosmology over another simply because of a presupposition about theism or atheism. We are not anywhere near understanding the origins of the big bang or consciousness beyond positing alternative theories for research and consideration. To entail any one of these theories in a complete world view or weltanshauung is simply wild ass guessing or theological/philosophical bias.  It is certainly valid to discuss and compare them but to make fundamental and truth claims about them is a practice of belief, fantasy or delusion.

Smiling very well said.  

Add to that the impossibility of our brains to truly comprehend concepts such as the sub-atomic world, and holographic principle to name a few.  It is difficult for an expert to relate those said concepts to our everyday 'middle world' as Hawkins describes it.  A layman can draw on ignorance and extrapolate any scenario, hence all the new-age BS.  As I've said earlier, try using a bowling ball to explain particle spin, or use a golf ball to explain the wave/particle properties of the photon, it's impossible.  To make silly claims is to be ignorant of our limitations.  My claim is not that his scenario is absolutely 100% impossible, but that his premises are incorrect, and his assertions are baseless, hence his conclusion is highly unlikely. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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 Someone who's globally

 

Someone who's globally sought after, works on a daily basis with PhDs, but sounds like he has the intelligence of an average ape... oh my god, you are Ai the Chimpanzee aren't you?

 

Here little girl, first of all, here's a link of some CERN physicist making banal general statements about how little we know about the universe http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?n=1430... this is just one example... the web is littered with videos/interviews of these kind. Seek help from your caretaker if you are having trouble playing a web video. Only chimps with crumbs of information have the luxury of making grand claims about our knowledge of the universe. Those who know, know that we don't know anything.

 

And the petty insults, I was going to tell you an Amish retard could do better, but now I must say. You are actually pretty good for an ape.

 

 

redneF wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:
I am not here to talk about other religion's claims of god but you are obviously someone who desperately needs to be tearing down down straw men

There's no need to build strawmen. Your incoherent babble and gap ridden reasoning leaves enough gaps in fundamental science, that it's comical, and easy to understand that you're desperately trying to project that you have some esoteric understanding of the universe.

Your coffee cup, and lightswitch illustrations were painfully sophomoric, to endure.

You sounded about as intelligent as a 16 yr old who just broke in a new water bong.

HeyZeus wrote:
because you are neither smart nor educated enough to talk about anything but...

I'm more educated, experienced, broadly knowledged, and intellectually elastic and adept than you'll ever know. But, like anyone else, there's only so many hours in a day, and some areas where I'm much weaker at grasping than others. But, in terms of overall ability, I'm exceptionally gifted, and the reason I'm so well respected, and globally sought after, for my abilities.

Your premature conclusions only telegraph your intellectual limitations.

HeyZeus wrote:
No amount of repeating the word "systems" is going to establish your premise that we are anywhere near unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

Actually, it does.

Your limited understandings of even basic chemistry and physics have been demonstrated in your synopsis.

Your stupid analogies of reality that fail to isolate subsets from supersets, and take into account stochastics and stoichiometry, are embarrassing and painful to listen to.

Maybe you missed the chapter on Venn diagrams, in high school.

HeyZeus wrote:
  a large part of the universe is either dark matter or dark energy, none of which, we have any clue about.

So?

HeyZeus wrote:
 It's obviously a grand and completely unsubstantiated claim, made only by non-scientists like yourself that we understand the "systems" that govern the behavior of the universe. We don't.

Now I know for sure that you're very limited in exposure to the science and technology community. I doubt you realize just how many thinktanks and labs are out there increasing knowledge and understanding exponentially, of reality.

Unless you are in the field, you cannot find the periodicals, the newsletters that could overwhelm any single person, even if they were to dedicate their time 24/7, to the task, so really, you'd be best to STFU about your claims that 'we don't understand the systems that govern the behaviour'.

HeyZeus wrote:
 I am telling you that we do not understand the universe.

That's a moronic claim.

I doubt you fully understand the enormity of your trivialization, nor do I think your motivations to make such a statement, are innocent.

One only needs to go back 100 yrs and juxtapose our 'understanding' then vs now, to see the rapid explosion of 'enlightenment'.

We have long been limited by our lack of discipline, to study and analyze reality, and finally reached the point where the limitations of individual minds were a bottleneck, and problems had to be broken down, and delegated to 'teams' of individual minds, in order to reach objectives faster.

Not too long ago, computers became vital, and will eclipse human capabilities, by factors that we can barely imagine.

HeyZeus wrote:
Ask any physicist and he will tell you the same.

I work with PhD's on a daily basis, in various fields. They'll just as often make banal general statements like that, as a layman would, and get bitchslapped by another for uttering such a myopic view of scientific knowledge.

HeyZeus wrote:
Your denials and silly little emoticons are neither intelligent, original nor funny.

Stop whining like a little schoolgirl because you're not as impressive as you imagine yourself to be, Princess.

HeyZeus wrote:
In fact your silly incapacity to understand...

I understand more than enough to know full well that you don't know too fucking much about what the scientific community does know about the mechanics of reality, on a nano and pico scale.

HeyZeus wrote:
...the few sound-bites you keep repeating makes me think you are a pimply teenager getting wedgies at school and masturbating your days away. That's what you sound like. 

Awwww, really?

Why don't you tell us what field you're in, and what some of the projects you are involved in?

HeyZeus wrote:
A part of the system exhibits the property of self-awareness, then the system as a whole must be assumed to have that property too

No.

That's 'woo woo' talk.

HeyZeus wrote:
I don't make the claim of existence of God, all I am saying is, it is more logical to assume that... 
 

No.

Your assumptions are not 'logical'. They are overarching attempts at a confirmation bias.

 

It's obvious to me that you're overly impressed with yourself, and assume that you have some overwhelmingly novel concepts to share. But I doubt you network with a lot of people.

I've heard dozens of similar 'woo woos' from 'life coaches', at business networking events, who believe, and claim that you can alter the course of the universe, and all matter, energy, and forces in it, to your personal advantage, despite the fact that others are trying to 'override' your attempts, to their advantage.

 

Decision diamond light switches???

That's your groundbreaking theory?

 

Sure, Poindexter.

Have another hit on the bong...

 

 


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I don't think there is

I don't think there is anything particularly special about us. There might have been, and might still be more intelligent species out there.

 

Also, we have to stop defining intelligence by comparing it to the construction of our mind. What might seem like a benign ocean to us, or a cloud of dust, might have a more complex behavior pattern and more complex intelligence. I am with Stanislaw Lem on this one.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

I agree. Similarly, I can't dismiss the existence of God unless I have a formal definition of 'God'.

Zaq wrote:

I stopped at "Your Skin Does Not Contain You."

 

Until you provide a functional definition of the self, I can't even begin to imagine what you mean with this statement.  Nor can I assess whatever follows.

 

you can't dismiss god? I can't conceive of god. When I try to think of god my mind draws a blank. I don't know what god is. What is it that you think you can't dismiss? 

As an aside, we are mostly agnostic atheists here and don't rule out the vanishing possibility of the existence of - something - out there. We are just skeptical of current evidences. 

Something I wonder is how long you think the universe has possessed intelligence given the very recent evolution of the human brain?

 

 

 

 


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So water and ice, are they

So water and ice, are they different? They have different molecular structures. Can you pick up an ice cube and tell me exactly where the ice part of the cube ends and the water part begins?

 

I am not denying your point of view. Looking at structural differences is a very valid view of things, but realizing fundamental, scientifically established similarities, is not only a deeper manner of describing the universe, it is also, how almost all big breakthroughs in science are achieved.

 

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus,

Please try get both your active braincells around the idea that things being made of the same fundamental elemental bits can be completely different in virtually every aspect that matters.

It is structure that counts, not what it is made of, as long as those fundamental quarks, etc support the required stable complex structure and processes to manifest intelligence, consciousness, whatever.

 


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HeyZeus wrote: Atheists who

HeyZeus wrote:

 

Atheists who claim that THERE IS NO GOD are making a claim as unscientific as anyone claiming the existence of God.

 

tit for tat

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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I am willing to see my point

I am willing to see my point of view as a philosophical bias. But it's a bias that arises at a point from which the only way forward can be, a bias. You can either choose your bias, or you can choose to be an agnostic and say I won't go any further than this.

 

I am biased towards universal connectivity, oneness and the ability of whole to express the properties of its parts.

 

TGBaker wrote:

While a baseball game can be reduced to the interaction of fundamental particles there is a loss of meaning, information and perhaps causality.  We certainly could describe a bat hitting a baseball from a bottom up causality of the interaction of the particles involved. However the actual information about the function and process of hitting the ball with a bat is lost. The intent of hitting a home run or knocking it over  the third baseman for a single run.  Why the game is played at all.  This type of description does not require an address of the quantum state. It is a matter of top down causality in which a higher state ( the bat hitting the ball ) informs the lower levels of causality ( the interaction of the subatomic particles are informed and effected by the higher level function). So it is with the study of consciousness.  The question of self-awareness is far more complicated than the baseball scenario and requires a reductionism to ultimately determine what consciousness is ( a neural correlate?, an emergent property dualism?, a self referential loop ( Hofstader ) a basic fundamental law of physics from the perspective of information theory????  All of this is up for grabs and to fall in camp with one over the other has more to do with justifying an ontological presupposition such as theism, pantheism, panentheism. dualism or what have you rather than determining the actual state of consciousness. It is very similar to choosing one cosmology over another simply because of a presupposition about theism or atheism. We are not anywhere near understanding the origins of the big bang or consciousness beyond positing alternative theories for research and consideration. To entail any one of these theories in a complete world view or weltanshauung is simply wild ass guessing or theological/philosophical bias.  It is certainly valid to discuss and compare them but to make fundamental and truth claims about them is a practice of belief, fantasy or delusion.


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Which of my premise is

Which of my premise is incorrect?

 

Ktulu wrote:

To make silly claims is to be ignorant of our limitations.  My claim is not that his scenario is absolutely 100% impossible, but that his premises are incorrect, and his assertions are baseless, hence his conclusion is highly unlikely. 


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HeyZeus wrote: Someone who's

HeyZeus wrote:
Someone who's globally sought after, works on a daily basis with PhDs

That's right. Sole proprietor of an aerospace tech company with 3 divisions, 50% shareholder of 2 other high tech business ventures, 33% shareholder of another.

On top of all that, I have great teeth, and movie star good looks.

HeyZeus wrote:
... but sounds like he has the intelligence of an average ape... oh my god, you are Ai the Chimpanzee aren't you?

...And the petty insults, I was going to tell you an Amish retard could do better, but now I must say. You are actually pretty good for an ape.

It's only here on the internet where you could even attempt to cast the aspersion that I'm not knowledgeable, and hope that anyone would even entertain the thought.

If you talked the same smack while all the links to my company profiles, and websites, were on display, you'd look like the total fool, so stop wasting so much energy on posturing, and try and say something intelligent that'll make your theories more marketable.

Because as it stands, you sound like a teenage stoner/ Eckhart Tolle wannabe.

 

HeyZeus wrote:
here's a link of some CERN physicist making banal general statements about how little we know about the universe http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?n=1430... this is just one example... the web is littered with videos/interviews of these kind.

What part did you miss when I already conceded there were plenty who make banal comments like that, Captain Obvious?

So what else you got, Troll?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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HeyZeus wrote:So water and

HeyZeus wrote:

So water and ice, are they different? They have different molecular structures. Can you pick up an ice cube and tell me exactly where the ice part of the cube ends and the water part begins?

Yes. The molecules arranged in a fixed crystalline structure are part of the ice, those moving freely are water.

Quote:

I am not denying your point of view. Looking at structural differences is a very valid view of things, but realizing fundamental, scientifically established similarities, is not only a deeper manner of describing the universe, it is also, how almost all big breakthroughs in science are achieved.

Of course, just as your inability/refusal to integrate both perspectives, composition and structure, blocks you from such insights.

You are looking at the universe with one eye closed. 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:HeyZeus

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

So water and ice, are they different? They have different molecular structures. Can you pick up an ice cube and tell me exactly where the ice part of the cube ends and the water part begins?

Yes. The molecules arranged in a fixed crystalline structure are part of the ice, those moving freely are water.

But there's an 'intelligence' and a 'purpose' behind why they lock together and expand in volume, at a certain temperature...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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HeyZeus wrote:Which of my

HeyZeus wrote:

Which of my premise is incorrect?

 

Ktulu wrote:

To make silly claims is to be ignorant of our limitations.  My claim is not that his scenario is absolutely 100% impossible, but that his premises are incorrect, and his assertions are baseless, hence his conclusion is highly unlikely. 

That the 'whole' must exhibit every property of it's individual parts, for one.  You still haven't responded how your conclusion that the universe is intelligent stands up to Occam's razor. 

Let's leave all the mystical 'oneness' bs aside for a moment and assume that we're arguing from the same paradigm, which I'm assuming fundamentally we may very well be.  

1) we both agree that empiricism is the only fundamental way to gain knowledge.

2) we both agree that we don't understand what consciousness is, but likely 'transcendence' is not one of it's properties.

3) we both agree, to the extent of our knowledge, that science is the most empirically testable model of nature we have.

4) we are both aware of the limitations of our knowledge and the limitations of our ability to comprehend certain concepts due to our nature.

If you disagree with the above please let me know.

Moving forward, I will oppose any claim not backed up by empirical evidence or reality derived logic.  I will oppose a claim proportional to how likely it is.

We are discussing the universe, which we both understand we know close to nothing about in its entirety.  We think we understand how it was formed, we believe that the ad-hoc theories (dark matter, dark energy) fill in the gaps to the best of our empirical testing, until more evidence is provided. 

I claim that we know nothing of the 'Universe' as an entity, and we most likely will never know due to the finite speed of light, and parts of it expanding faster than that speed, eventually most of the universe will be beyond our possible observation regardless of the technology.   

You claim that you believe the 'Universe' as an entity is intelligent, meaning conscious... 

Apply Occam's razor to that.  Elaborate, and please skip the poetics, I mean that in a nice way, I really think it takes away from what you have to say, and I don't think you're stupid.

Edit: insertion of word that chances the meaning Smiling

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Intelligence has been

Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving.

It would seem to me that the Universe at most could be the ground of intelligence rather than intelligent.  We may abstract from it but how does it abstract?  Does it understand or merely give a basis for understanding in it having structure and therefore meaning?  When and to whom has the universe communicated?  The universe is rational but how does it reason. Does it plan if so what?  What emotions has the universe displayed.  Once could no doubt formulate the universe as absolute consciousness depending on definitions and traditions but to posit an intelligence for it is quite different.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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redneF wrote:What part did

redneF wrote:

What part did you miss when I already conceded there were plenty who make banal comments like that, Captain Obvious?

 

I don't see anyone "bitch slapping" these scientists as you predicted. There's some typically hominidael shit chucking from you, but no bitch slapping.

 

redneF wrote:
 

That's right. Sole proprietor of an aerospace tech company with 3 divisions, 50% shareholder of 2 other high tech business ventures, 33% shareholder of another.

On top of all that, I have great teeth, and movie star good looks.

 

Of course you do. And you also have your own webpage. After all, you're the smartest chimp in the world!

http://www.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ai/index-E.htm

 


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"A human being is part of

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive."

 

Above is a quote from someone, who in your opinion would also be looking at the universe with one eye closed. The truth is, he was someone who had his mind's eye open, and it was his search for the mind of god that fueled all of his insights. And some insights they were.

 

His name was Albert Einstein. 

 

 

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

You are looking at the universe with one eye closed. 

 


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No. Their locking together

No. Their locking together and expanding in volume at certain temperatures, THAT IS THE INTELLIGENCE. THAT IS THE PURPOSE. Why do we need to anthropomorphize "intelligence" and "purpose"? Just because the universe doesn't care about us committing adultery or smoking pot does not mean the universe is not intelligent or meaningful. There's meaning and purpose beyond our petty definitions of what constitutes "meaning" and "purpose".

 

redneF wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

So water and ice, are they different? They have different molecular structures. Can you pick up an ice cube and tell me exactly where the ice part of the cube ends and the water part begins?

Yes. The molecules arranged in a fixed crystalline structure are part of the ice, those moving freely are water.

But there's an 'intelligence' and a 'purpose' behind why they lock together and expand in volume, at a certain temperature...


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I think the only confusion

I think the only confusion we have is about the definition of "intelligence". I don't mean to say that the universe sits around pondering ways to punish masturbating teenagers. Whatever the extent of the universe's intelligence, it in most probability does not include the kind of judgement-engine organized religions conceive of the mind of God to posses. All we can say about it is that it probably likes a certain sense of equilibrium, or favors fractal design and abhors and destroys anamolies. Maybe.

 

A self-similar subset of the mind of the universe is nature, and nature of course has its own sense of balance, which can be much more easily translated into a moral framework for humans. But we are far from even having successfully done that as a species.

 

So, now getting back to Occam's razor. I think, assuming that a complicated, complex intelligence emerged out of a parent system incapable of exhibiting at least a similar level of complexity at the grander level, is a stretch and definitely not the simplest explanation.

 

 

 

Ktulu wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

Which of my premise is incorrect?

 

Ktulu wrote:

To make silly claims is to be ignorant of our limitations.  My claim is not that his scenario is absolutely 100% impossible, but that his premises are incorrect, and his assertions are baseless, hence his conclusion is highly unlikely. 

That the 'whole' must exhibit every property of it's individual parts, for one.  You still haven't responded how your conclusion that the universe is intelligent stands up to Occam's razor. 

Let's leave all the mystical 'oneness' bs aside for a moment and assume that we're arguing from the same paradigm, which I'm assuming fundamentally we may very well be.  

1) we both agree that empiricism is the only fundamental way to gain knowledge.

2) we both agree that we don't understand what consciousness is, but likely 'transcendence' is not one of it's properties.

3) we both agree, to the extent of our knowledge, that science is the most empirically testable model of nature we have.

4) we are both aware of the limitations of our knowledge and the limitations of our ability to comprehend certain concepts due to our nature.

If you disagree with the above please let me know.

Moving forward, I will oppose any claim not backed up by empirical evidence or reality derived logic.  I will oppose a claim proportional to how likely it is.

We are discussing the universe, which we both understand we know close to nothing about in its entirety.  We think we understand how it was formed, we believe that the ad-hoc theories (dark matter, dark energy) fill in the gaps to the best of our empirical testing, until more evidence is provided. 

I claim that we know nothing of the 'Universe' as an entity, and we most likely will never know due to the finite speed of light, and parts of it expanding faster than that speed, eventually most of the universe will be beyond our possible observation regardless of the technology.   

You claim that you believe the 'Universe' as an entity is intelligent, meaning conscious... 

Apply Occam's razor to that.  Elaborate, and please skip the poetics, I mean that in a nice way, I really think it takes away from what you have to say, and I don't think you're stupid.

Edit: insertion of word that chances the meaning Smiling


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TGBaker wrote:We may

TGBaker wrote:

We may abstract from it but how does it abstract?  Does it understand or merely give a basis for understanding in it having structure and therefore meaning?  

 

The universe is self-similar... in that on smaller scales the universe mimics the design it has on grander scales. An "understanding" or a "model" of anything is nothing but a self-similar approximation at a smaller scale. When we understand something, we are only constructing an approximation of that thing in our mind.

 

The universe does this at multiple levels and at multiple scales. Our mind is just one such level. A spiral star system is as much a model of a spiral galaxy as the understandings in our minds are a model of the things we deem to understand.

 

TGBaker wrote:

The universe is rational but how does it reason. Does it plan if so what?  What emotions has the universe displayed.  Once could no doubt formulate the universe as absolute consciousness depending on definitions and traditions but to posit an intelligence for it is quite different.

We don't know. We know something about the way it reasons, about the way it tries to favor increasing complexity, about its affinity for increased entropy. We know something of the mechanisms/rational processes through which it executes its biases. We can attach emotional metaphors to the swiftness with which eliminates certain imbalances, but that's about it. We just don't know.


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HeyZeus wrote:"A human being

HeyZeus wrote:

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive."

Above is a quote from someone, who in your opinion would also be looking at the universe with one eye closed. The truth is, he was someone who had his mind's eye open, and it was his search for the mind of god that fueled all of his insights. And some insights they were.

His name was Albert Einstein. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are looking at the universe with one eye closed. 

Einstein specifically did not accept the idea of a personal God, so he was not subject to that particular blindness, I think it is arguable that he shared my opinion that such belief was part of the 'prison' he referred to.

He is clearly referring to something more like an metaphorical Deism, and is not referring to the Universe as conscious itself, but that our circle of compassion should include all living creatures, rather than just a narrow circle of people close to us, which I agree with. None of this requires or implies that he thought of those parts of the Universe beyond actual living creatures as alive, let alone conscious.

I correct myself - you have both eyes closed.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Another thing, HeyZeus, the

Another thing, HeyZeus, the question heading your OP is not coherent.

An intelligence is a process, a dynamic interaction between elements of some kind.

A 'greater' intelligence can be physically contained within the structure of a 'lesser' (I presume that is what you meant, since 'limited' does not imply absolute scale.) 

It is reasonable to assume that an intelligent process can manifest as a sub-process within a greater intelligent process. It still could conceivably be more complex, more subtle, with private internal processes which did not fully interact within the larger process, so it could be more intelligent that that which it is a part of.

It is difficult to define just what you could mean by 'contain' in this context. If one process is part of another, and fully connected to the larger process, would it make sense to refer to it as a separate 'intelligence'?.

We are part of the Universe, but there is no indication or reason to believe that the Universe is 'intelligent' in any way that is analogous to the way our intelligence manifests.

 

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HeyZeus wrote:I think the

HeyZeus wrote:

I think the only confusion we have is about the definition of "intelligence". I don't mean to say that the universe sits around pondering ways to punish masturbating teenagers. Whatever the extent of the universe's intelligence, it in most probability does not include the kind of judgement-engine organized religions conceive of the mind of God to posses. All we can say about it is that it probably likes a certain sense of equilibrium, or favors fractal design and abhors and destroys anamolies. Maybe.

 

A self-similar subset of the mind of the universe is nature, and nature of course has its own sense of balance, which can be much more easily translated into a moral framework for humans. But we are far from even having successfully done that as a species.

 

So, now getting back to Occam's razor. I think, assuming that a complicated, complex intelligence emerged out of a parent system incapable of exhibiting at least a similar level of complexity at the grander level, is a stretch and definitely not the simplest explanation.

Well, Occam's razor is about favouring the hypothesis that makes the least baseless assertions.  Assuming that we agree on everything up to this point, which we will assume for the sake of the argument we are.  Moving forward I propose that the universe is simply an enormous amount of energy, energy which in part is expressed in part as particles.  It is also subject to forces which interact in a specific way to form what we perceive as laws. 

It also lacks anything we would consider intelligence due in part to the fact that anything we describe as intelligent is dependent on communication of information from one point to another.  For example our brains use electrons to communicate information within itself.  Without this basic form of communication it is just a lump of gray dead flesh ( see Einstein's brain making the rounds Smiling ).  Due to the current rate of expansion, certain parts of the universe are moving away from themselves faster than the speed of light.  The speed of light is the speed limit for anything carrying information in the form of mass to travel.  Hence parts of the universe will never be able to communicate with other parts of the universe.  Hence the universe is just a lump of non intelligent matter.

It may be easier to take this down to a smaller scale, since you allude to the holographic principle in a philosophical context.  Any significantly coherent part of the whole should exhibit the properties of the whole.  If we are intelligent, than we are a coherent part of the hologram, hence anything containing more information than ourselves should be intelligent.  Let's extrapolate this empirically, take a pile of rocks with flowers on it, is it intelligent?  What about the garbage dump? It certainly contains a lot of information, is it intelligent?

Do you see what I mean? If you form a tautology and define intelligence as simple interaction, then I guess the garbage dump is intelligent, there's definitely a lot happening there.  But if I define intelligence as a plaid pattern, then my pajama pants are very intelligent indeed. Smiling

So let's sum up.  

The holographic principle doesn't apply to macro scale, and it fails logically as a philosophical concept relating to intelligence.

Intelligence fails without a way to communicate information. 

We lack a clear definition of intelligence.

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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HeyZeus wrote:redneF

HeyZeus wrote:

redneF wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

So water and ice, are they different? They have different molecular structures. Can you pick up an ice cube and tell me exactly where the ice part of the cube ends and the water part begins?

Yes. The molecules arranged in a fixed crystalline structure are part of the ice, those moving freely are water.

But there's an 'intelligence' and a 'purpose' behind why they lock together and expand in volume, at a certain temperature...

 No. Their locking together and expanding in volume at certain temperatures, THAT IS THE INTELLIGENCE.

No.

That's simply mechanics.

HeyZeus wrote:
THAT IS THE PURPOSE.
 

Non sequitur.

HeyZeus wrote:
Just because the universe doesn't care about us committing adultery or smoking pot does not mean the universe is not intelligent or meaningful.

Non sequitur. 

HeyZeus wrote:
There's meaning and purpose beyond our petty definitions of what constitutes "meaning" and "purpose".

Naked assertion.

 

When are you going to present us with something worth contemplating seriously (other than your level of sobriety) ?...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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BobSpence1 wrote:HeyZeus

BobSpence1 wrote:

HeyZeus wrote:

"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive."

Above is a quote from someone, who in your opinion would also be looking at the universe with one eye closed. The truth is, he was someone who had his mind's eye open, and it was his search for the mind of god that fueled all of his insights. And some insights they were.

His name was Albert Einstein. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are looking at the universe with one eye closed. 

Einstein specifically did not accept the idea of a personal God, so he was not subject to that particular blindness, I think it is arguable that he shared my opinion that such belief was part of the 'prison' he referred to.

He is clearly referring to something more like an metaphorical Deism, and is not referring to the Universe as conscious itself, but that our circle of compassion should include all living creatures, rather than just a narrow circle of people close to us, which I agree with. None of this requires or implies that he thought of those parts of the Universe beyond actual living creatures as alive, let alone conscious.

I correct myself - you have both eyes closed.

I think if Einstein were alive today he would probably use the Force from Star Wars as his metaphorical language rather than god. The idea of a ground of meaning and structure from which we Big banged does not imply an active intelligence. It certainly could be a ground for intelligence or meaning.  But as I posted earlier the definition of intelligence entails  many acts of intent that the proposed "source" would have to have structures similar to our brain for memory, decision making, judgment  and so you wind up with a classical definition of god. I could speculate with the idea of a source as absolute awareness or consciousness as in Eastern Thought. Such a theory would not require that source to be a person or personable merely a fundamental force of the universe.  And with monism being more sensible than any dualism you wind up with consciousness merely as matter's awareness and reactivity to other matter and its environment. The evolution of this aspect of matter (entanglement and what have you) simply can evolve into more complicated states such as nervous systems and finally the human brain.  These all have to do with complexification: a movement from entropy of chemical functions ( dissipative structures) develops into organic functions and ever more intricate and complex entities. 


 

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Moral frameworks, 'meaning',

Moral frameworks, 'meaning', and 'purpose', only have meaning and definition within the context of a particular conscious group or individual.

Based on all our relevant observations, consciousness is an emergent property of a certain category of complex structures.

In the case of an individual, it grows from zero at fertilization to real values as the organism matures. It is not something that somehow gets absorbed from some  'intelligence' in the environment, so there is absolutely no logical requirement that 'nature' or 'the universe' be intelligent, any more than that it have the capability of forming an image of its surroundings and encoding that in nerve impulses or whatever, ie eyes are also emergent structures.

In the case of life on Earth collectively, the emergence of forms capable of intelligence emerged over time from forms which originally had none.

Comparing simple non-linear processes, which is what the formation of ice from liquid water is, to 'intelligence', is a meaningless metaphorical stretch. There is, arguably, a continuum there, as the capability for more complex interaction with the environment grows, but to not recognise the enormous differences in levels of complexity is to make the concept of 'intelligence' meaningless.

A complex intelligent entity does not require more 'raw' information content than the equivalent amount of rock, where in physics, 'information' refers to the description of the position/momentum of each constituent particle within a specified volume. I think the 'holographic principle' postulates that that 'information' can be considered as encoded on the bounding surface of the volume.

It is a common mistake to conflate such raw information, which is considered to be conserved, with the higher level idea of specific information describing the organization of structures required to generate specific capabilities, whether they be the ability of complex machinery to serve as means of transportation - cars, aircraft - or do complex calculations, or be able to display what we recognize as conscious, intelligent behavior, or the ability to reproduce oneself.

That specific organization is not conserved - the pattern, the structure, can completely disappear, if the basic elements are re-arranged sufficiently.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:Moral

BobSpence1 wrote:

Moral frameworks, 'meaning', and 'purpose', only have meaning and definition within the context of a particular conscious group or individual.

Based on all our relevant observations, consciousness is an emergent property of a certain category of complex structures.

In the case of an individual, it grows from zero at fertilization to real values as the organism matures. It is not something that somehow gets absorbed from some  'intelligence' in the environment, so there is absolutely no logical requirement that 'nature' or 'the universe' be intelligent, any more than that it have the capability of forming an image of its surroundings and encoding that in nerve impulses or whatever, ie eyes are also emergent structures.

In the case of life on Earth collectively, the emergence of forms capable of intelligence emerged over time from forms which originally had none.

Comparing simple non-linear processes, which is what the formation of ice from liquid water is, to 'intelligence', is a meaningless metaphorical stretch. There is, arguably, a continuum there, as the capability for more complex interaction with the environment grows, but to not recognise the enormous differences in levels of complexity is to make the concept of 'intelligence' meaningless.

A complex intelligent entity does not require more 'raw' information content than the equivalent amount of rock, where in physics, 'information' refers to the description of the position/momentum of each constituent particle within a specified volume. I think the 'holographic principle' postulates that that 'information' can be considered as encoded on the bounding surface of the volume.

It is a common mistake to conflate such raw information, which is considered to be conserved, with the higher level idea of specific information describing the organization of structures required to generate specific capabilities, whether they be the ability of complex machinery to serve as means of transportation - cars, aircraft - or do complex calculations, or be able to display what we recognize as conscious, intelligent behavior, or the ability to reproduce oneself.

That specific organization is not conserved - the pattern, the structure, can completely disappear, if the basic elements are re-arranged sufficiently.

 

I agree. That is why at most you could speculate about the "source" as being a ground for information or intelligence but not informed or intelligent itself.  So we are ultimately for more complicated than our originating source a directly opposite view from that of theism.  Raw information ( I like that term ) is simple data it is the interaction and the emerging complexity that forms meaning as meaning is contextual and relative to its function and environment. I still think that we can not discount that the interconnectivity of things could well be the raw basis of what becomes human consciousness. It is semantics whether we equate that aspect as consciousness or proto-consciousness itself or simply designate it as the aspect of matter that gives rise to emergent consciousness.  Consciousness certainly can be limited to the type of complex processing known only in brains. In such cases philosophers and scientists still anthropocentrically call this interaction awareness of one particle for another. In looking at single cell organisms it is amazing how that still have a functional awareness of their environment without a nervous system.  This has to do with the cell membrane and openings for protein processing. our real problem as Wittgenstein pointed out is language. It makes us posit things that are not real but linguistic (logical) in nature.


 

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TGBaker wrote:BobSpence1

TGBaker wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Moral frameworks, 'meaning', and 'purpose', only have meaning and definition within the context of a particular conscious group or individual.

Based on all our relevant observations, consciousness is an emergent property of a certain category of complex structures.

In the case of an individual, it grows from zero at fertilization to real values as the organism matures. It is not something that somehow gets absorbed from some  'intelligence' in the environment, so there is absolutely no logical requirement that 'nature' or 'the universe' be intelligent, any more than that it have the capability of forming an image of its surroundings and encoding that in nerve impulses or whatever, ie eyes are also emergent structures.

In the case of life on Earth collectively, the emergence of forms capable of intelligence emerged over time from forms which originally had none.

Comparing simple non-linear processes, which is what the formation of ice from liquid water is, to 'intelligence', is a meaningless metaphorical stretch. There is, arguably, a continuum there, as the capability for more complex interaction with the environment grows, but to not recognise the enormous differences in levels of complexity is to make the concept of 'intelligence' meaningless.

A complex intelligent entity does not require more 'raw' information content than the equivalent amount of rock, where in physics, 'information' refers to the description of the position/momentum of each constituent particle within a specified volume. I think the 'holographic principle' postulates that that 'information' can be considered as encoded on the bounding surface of the volume.

It is a common mistake to conflate such raw information, which is considered to be conserved, with the higher level idea of specific information describing the organization of structures required to generate specific capabilities, whether they be the ability of complex machinery to serve as means of transportation - cars, aircraft - or do complex calculations, or be able to display what we recognize as conscious, intelligent behavior, or the ability to reproduce oneself.

That specific organization is not conserved - the pattern, the structure, can completely disappear, if the basic elements are re-arranged sufficiently.

 

I agree. That is why at most you could speculate about the "source" as being a ground for information or intelligence but not informed or intelligent itself.  So we are ultimately for more complicated than our originating source a directly opposite view from that of theism.  Raw information ( I like that term ) is simple data it is the interaction and the emerging complexity that forms meaning as meaning is contextual and relative to its function and environment. I still think that we can not discount that the interconnectivity of things could well be the raw basis of what becomes human consciousness. It is semantics whether we equate that aspect as consciousness or proto-consciousness itself or simply designate it as the aspect of matter that gives rise to emergent consciousness.  Consciousness certainly can be limited to the type of complex processing known only in brains. In such cases philosophers and scientists still anthropocentrically call this interaction awareness of one particle for another. In looking at single cell organisms it is amazing how that still have a functional awareness of their environment without a nervous system.  This has to do with the cell membrane and openings for protein processing. our real problem as Wittgenstein pointed out is language. It makes us posit things that are not real but linguistic (logical) in nature.


 

 

Could you prove something is not looking at us through a microscope, seeing us as we see a "single celled organism" or even that it's not calling our "entire" universe a single celled organism?

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robj101 wrote:TGBaker

robj101 wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Moral frameworks, 'meaning', and 'purpose', only have meaning and definition within the context of a particular conscious group or individual.

Based on all our relevant observations, consciousness is an emergent property of a certain category of complex structures.

In the case of an individual, it grows from zero at fertilization to real values as the organism matures. It is not something that somehow gets absorbed from some  'intelligence' in the environment, so there is absolutely no logical requirement that 'nature' or 'the universe' be intelligent, any more than that it have the capability of forming an image of its surroundings and encoding that in nerve impulses or whatever, ie eyes are also emergent structures.

In the case of life on Earth collectively, the emergence of forms capable of intelligence emerged over time from forms which originally had none.

Comparing simple non-linear processes, which is what the formation of ice from liquid water is, to 'intelligence', is a meaningless metaphorical stretch. There is, arguably, a continuum there, as the capability for more complex interaction with the environment grows, but to not recognise the enormous differences in levels of complexity is to make the concept of 'intelligence' meaningless.

A complex intelligent entity does not require more 'raw' information content than the equivalent amount of rock, where in physics, 'information' refers to the description of the position/momentum of each constituent particle within a specified volume. I think the 'holographic principle' postulates that that 'information' can be considered as encoded on the bounding surface of the volume.

It is a common mistake to conflate such raw information, which is considered to be conserved, with the higher level idea of specific information describing the organization of structures required to generate specific capabilities, whether they be the ability of complex machinery to serve as means of transportation - cars, aircraft - or do complex calculations, or be able to display what we recognize as conscious, intelligent behavior, or the ability to reproduce oneself.

That specific organization is not conserved - the pattern, the structure, can completely disappear, if the basic elements are re-arranged sufficiently.

 

I agree. That is why at most you could speculate about the "source" as being a ground for information or intelligence but not informed or intelligent itself.  So we are ultimately for more complicated than our originating source a directly opposite view from that of theism.  Raw information ( I like that term ) is simple data it is the interaction and the emerging complexity that forms meaning as meaning is contextual and relative to its function and environment. I still think that we can not discount that the interconnectivity of things could well be the raw basis of what becomes human consciousness. It is semantics whether we equate that aspect as consciousness or proto-consciousness itself or simply designate it as the aspect of matter that gives rise to emergent consciousness.  Consciousness certainly can be limited to the type of complex processing known only in brains. In such cases philosophers and scientists still anthropocentrically call this interaction awareness of one particle for another. In looking at single cell organisms it is amazing how that still have a functional awareness of their environment without a nervous system.  This has to do with the cell membrane and openings for protein processing. our real problem as Wittgenstein pointed out is language. It makes us posit things that are not real but linguistic (logical) in nature.


 

 

Could you prove something is not looking at us through a microscope, seeing us as we see a "single celled organism" or even that it's not calling our "entire" universe a single celled organism?

Well the fact that we can ask exactly your question allows that we have some understanding as to ways to search and things for which to look.  The question is a lot like Russell's tea pot.  You probably can't prove that there's not a tea pot orbiting the earth but what is the likelihood, why would I think such and what is the plausibility?  We can break down the question further. What is meant by being seen?  We have a visual system whererby we exploit light, photons and the light spectrum along with modules in the brain that are dedicated to forms such as as horizontal and vertical lines, a module for facial recognition, and a module that brings about a certainty threshold that allows us to say we "know'.  So if we are to say "seen' are we speaking metaphorically of the alleged consciousness or something like understanding "Oh I see"  The idea of the precursor of the Big bang as being as complicated as our brain functions and its activity called mind is far more implausible than a simple field state from which complexity slowly evolves or emerges as history seems to indicate. Bobspense1 has posted quite a bit and well on this issue which certainaly more definitive than what I have to say on the subject.  Another issue your question raises is of subjective space-time objectification. That is to say if an intelligence sees the whole universe as a single celled organism then the particulars such as our history, science and knowledge would not be obvious.  The question of what objects are is a relational thing though very seldom considered.



If I were to posit this super intelligence and say that it was looking at a mountain range.  Would it see the trees and the leafs as green and blown about by the wind. What if a thousand years was like a minute to this intellect? Would it see a mist of green  followed by some yellows and reds then brown and perhaps the white fog we call snow. Would the mountains themselves be more like waves of water as they erode and are changed by the seasons.  Just as we see clouds as non-solid things so would an intelligence with this temporal relation see trees as no more than clouds.  What we consider on the macroscopic level as objects are completely dependent on our subjective temporal and spatial perception which is largely set by brain functioning and can change drastically because of disease or stroke or damage to certain areas of module specialisation.


 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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