My current thoughts.

marshalltenbears
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My current thoughts.

 So the late great Carl Sagan said "We are a way for the Universe to know itself". This got me thinking. What if the entire purpose for DNA is to create a better way for the universe to know itself and understand what it is. It's hard for me to explain in words, but I feel as if achieving a better consciousness is the purpose of everything, and the universe was perhaps set in motion to achieve this understanding. DNA through natural selection is competing with itself to create a better mind capable of a greater consciousness. And this consciousness is passed on through our DNA. That is why the need to reproduce is so strong. Perhaps our mind or some part of our consciousness is preserved through this process. Of course some of us have reached a high enough consciousness to know that we really don't want kids(a joke). That is why the animal kingdom battles so fiercely to pass on the strongest DNA.  Anyways, just some open minded thoughts I'm dealing with. 

Please comment. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Philosophicus
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...

marshalltenbears wrote:

 So the late great Carl Sagan said "We are a way for the Universe to know itself".

 

I think he was being poetic.  If he was being literal the universe would be a being, a living and now-conscious being.  Carl Sagan seemed like the kind of guy to want evidence of that sort of thing before he believed in it.

 

 


marshalltenbears
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Philosophicus

Philosophicus wrote:

marshalltenbears wrote:

 So the late great Carl Sagan said "We are a way for the Universe to know itself".

 

I think he was being poetic.  If he was being literal the universe would be a being, a living and now-conscious being.  Carl Sagan seemed like the kind of guy to want evidence of that sort of thing before he believed in it.

 

 

I'm sure he didn't literally believe that, and I don't believe it to be true. It was just the statement that got me on this train of thought. And I know there is no evidence for my "belief" if I dare call it a belief. But I just want some other point of views on it. 

The universe wouldn't have to be a living thing by our earthly standards, The source of all this physical reality could be something our current consciousness can not comprehend. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Cpt_pineapple
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I once thought along these

I once thought along these lines as a deist. Then I gave it up when it stopped making sense.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I once

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I once thought along these lines as a deist. Then I gave it up when it stopped making sense.

Thanks for the interesting conversation. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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You imply purpose to

You imply purpose to something that doesn't need a purpose.  We live in a monoistic, physical universe to the best of our current knowledge.  You're applying scientific findings, which are grounded in the known empirical universe to metaphysics, which by definition is grounded on something beyond physical.  I think metaphysical concepts are best used in self consistent logical propositions such as the OA.  They're not necessarily contingent on reality.  I see where your thought is coming from, and it has a certain attraction to it, I just can't get past the unjustifiably implied purpose of consciousness.  It is the actual underlying root of theism. 

 

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


redneF
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Sorry, OP.Can't relate...

Sorry, OP.

Can't relate...


marshalltenbears
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 I don't agree that

 I don't agree that thinking there is a purpose behind consciousness is the root of theism. I can believe in a purpose, as long as I keep the question open and do not make any certain claims that my beliefs are the only truth. 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Ktulu
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marshalltenbears wrote: I

marshalltenbears wrote:

 I don't agree that thinking there is a purpose behind consciousness is the root of theism. I can believe in a purpose, as long as I keep the question open and do not make any certain claims that my beliefs are the only truth. 

The concept of purpose implicitly personifies the universe.  Purpose is such a subjective and vague concept that it really makes no sense past a other then at a personal level.  Noticed your quote, "We are a way for the Universe to know itself" could also be interpreted as we are one of the ways that the universe can be known.  This train of through reminds me of a science fiction story I read, of how a creature that has once been a human, and has since reached immortality, searches the universe for different elements in order to construct a communication device to speak with the Universe.  It was a very thought provoking story actually.  I wish I could recall the name or the author, but it was one of those "Classic Science Fiction" collections, and I've read every one of those books I could get my hands on.  I believe that the universe doesn't so much talk, as it laughs at us and our quest for immortality and purpose.  I'll look it up in the basement and update this thread, I think you would enjoy it.

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


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I don't see "purpose" being

I don't see "purpose" being meaningful outside the context of a being with some intent.

I can see it being arguably applicable to any life-form, which, at a minimum, has a 'purpose' to reproduce or propagate it's species.

But to non-living physical objects and processes, not really.

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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 Yes, achieving a better

 Yes, achieving a better consciousness is a very esoterically meaningful purpose of life. 

But why that DNA adoration? What is so special about it? It's an instrument for our manifestation, not the goal itself. Having a better DNA does not directly improve the quality of your consciousness. It's way too slow process, anyway. Humanity gains global awareness much faster than DNA could reflect this process. 

And why competition? It is a pointless self-serving process, as long as there is competition, we must compete to preserve ourselves. But we can do without it. Just because in the nature animals eat each other, doesn't mean we must too. Even animals can coexist, cooperate, live in a symbiosis or even demonstrate self-sacrifice. Isn't that aspect of nature more worthy of admiration? 

The evolution of DNA and consciousness are two different processes. Once we develop to a certain point, consciousness takes over the development so quickly, that DNA evolution will become meaningless. Advanced future forms of genetic engineering and not only that will prevail. Already people know what adjustments should be done to fix our makeshift bodies (like deactivated vitamin C production or reversed retinas) and that animals and plants could use some genetic engineering too. 

Ponder further and maybe you will agree with me, that the form of life is important, but it's not the true image of life. It is "only" something, that tries to reflect that essential image better and better, and this is the basis of development. Forms try to reflect and manifest their essential image and then they are destroyed in favor of building new, better forms. I'm not sure what happens when a perfection of form is achieved, if it's a final phase then either liberation from the form occurs, or a total freedom and control over it, the power to manifest at will. If it's achieved individually ahead of the end and the others, then the form helps others to speed up their own perfecting process, serving the whole selflessly. 

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


HumanVuvuzela
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The Extended Phenotype

marshalltenbears wrote:

 So the late great Carl Sagan said "We are a way for the Universe to know itself". This got me thinking. What if the entire purpose for DNA is to create a better way for the universe to know itself and understand what it is. It's hard for me to explain in words, but I feel as if achieving a better consciousness is the purpose of everything, and the universe was perhaps set in motion to achieve this understanding. DNA through natural selection is competing with itself to create a better mind capable of a greater consciousness. And this consciousness is passed on through our DNA. That is why the need to reproduce is so strong. Perhaps our mind or some part of our consciousness is preserved through this process. Of course some of us have reached a high enough consciousness to know that we really don't want kids(a joke). That is why the animal kingdom battles so fiercely to pass on the strongest DNA.  Anyways, just some open minded thoughts I'm dealing with. 

Please comment. 

I see a lot of Dawkins' 'The Extended Phenotype' in your post. The idea of DNA (or genes / replicators) extending their reach through a population via phenotypic and behavioural influences to benefit their long-term prospects over the alternative alleles. It assumes that 'consciousness' is subject to genetic variation...

Dawkins - The Extended Phenotype wrote:

If we are to so much as discuss the possibility of a behaviour pattern's evolving by natural selection, we have to postulate genetic variation with respect to the tendency or capacity to perform that behaviour pattern. This is not to say that there necessarily is such genetic variation for any particular behaviour pattern, only that there must have been genetic variation in the past if we are to treat the behaviour pattern as a Darwinian adaptation. 

I think it's reasonable to assume that there is genetic variation in the population for the trait of consciousness (or self-consciousness - awareness of one's place in the universe... ?), so it is reasonable to expect that the gene or genes that control this trait have become better at 'getting themselves reproduced' than the alternative alleles at the same loci.

Quite how the genes 'for' consciousness would impact on increased chances of reproduction - I don't know. While it is feasible that such a link exists, I don't know anywhere near enough molecular biology to have a guess. The discussions on the mechanisms through which the genes (replicators) may increase the likelihood of 'getting themselves reproduced' at the end of the book are interesting, and may assist your thoughts - much more so that I'm able to do.