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Thread: Are We Just A Program? Is That A Good Thing?

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    Are We Just A Program? Is That A Good Thing?

    I'm not sure this is the right forum, but...

    I believe there is a program for everything. We can say our hair turns grey as we approach age 70 because around that time there is a cessation of the production of melanin. While true, I think this is an oversimplification. I see this happening as part of an overall program. That is, we are programmed to have our hair turn grey as we age.

    I believe we are here, not to dress and keep a garden, but because within the first instant of the beginning, there was a program that dictated life and consciousness would eventually appear.

    I believe the same program dictates that we eventually are to evolve to a much higher state than we presently occupy... a state in which war, famine, disease and such, do not exist.

    I believe we are programmed to be instrumental in bringing about this higher state of existance through mental and not physical powers.... and that the program for these 'latent' powers was there from the beginning.

    I believe we are programmed to develop powers enabeling us to manipulate the very program, itself, much as we now are learning to manipulate the program called the Human genome.

    I believe life and consciousness to be components of the Cosmos, rather than by products of it.

    My question:

    Is there a branch of cosmology that deals specifically with life and conscousness as an integral part of the evolution of the Universe?

    I also believe we are programmed to engage in wishful thinking.

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    to manipulate a program, I think that the program would have to have some access to the hardware..?

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I'm not sure this is the right forum, but...
    You are correct, it isn't...
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    To elaborate, this section of the forum is for astronomy and space exploration questions with straightforward, generally accepted answers.
    I doubt this discussion will involve generally accepted answers. Moved from Q&A to OTB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I believe....
    A lot of beliefs in that post! Beliefs are easy to state. Providing a basis for such beliefs is more difficult.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I also believe we are programmed to engage in wishful thinking.
    Sounds like unprogrammed wishful thinking.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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    Some lousy programmer then. Where's the functional design specification? The technical design specification? Shoddy testing. Pretty sad product support. And don't even mention the nonresponsive helpdesk.
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    Granted, my beliefs do not have solid grounding. However, I doubt I am totally alone in some or most of these beliefs.

    I don't expect these beliefs at this time to be proven or disproven. That's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a branch of science that delves into these areas.

    We don't know what life is or the force behind it. We know almost nothing about conscious awareness, what initiates it in a fetus, what causes it to continue to develop, and if it is a form of energy, what happens to that energy at death.

    The Universe consists of stars and other components. I like to think that life and consciousness are two of those components and should be viewed from the same perspective.

    I know some of my beliefs have been considered when it has often been asked if there would even be a Universe if it were not observed. My stated beliefs (which probably shouldn't have been stated) were to serve as sort of a prologue to explain why I posed the particular question.

    I'm still hoping to get an answer to that question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Granted, my beliefs do not have solid grounding. However, I doubt I am totally alone in some or most of these beliefs.

    I don't expect these beliefs at this time to be proven or disproven. That's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a branch of science that delves into these areas.

    We don't know what life is or the force behind it. We know almost nothing about conscious awareness, what initiates it in a fetus, what causes it to continue to develop, and if it is a form of energy, what happens to that energy at death.

    The Universe consists of stars and other components. I like to think that life and consciousness are two of those components and should be viewed from the same perspective.

    I know some of my beliefs have been considered when it has often been asked if there would even be a Universe if it were not observed. My stated beliefs (which probably shouldn't have been stated) were to serve as sort of a prologue to explain why I posed the particular question.

    I'm still hoping to get an answer to that question.
    My bold. How about biology?

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    slang

    Does the program have to exist in such a manner it satisfies you? Does it have to be open to you for your inspection, queries and evaluation?

    Who or what programmed the Human genome? Is the program 'lousy' because within that program some are predisposed to cancer? I don't know what's behind you response, but I sure can feel your pain.

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    While I felt I wasn't entirely alone in some or most of my beliefs, I never thought I would find such a plethora of articles on the subject of program(s) as pertaining to the Universe and the life therein. I just today took a chance and googled the subject. Even putting aside those articles pertaining to the Universe as a possible computer simulation, there's still plenty of material on the subject.

    I have made reference to programs several times on Internet sites, one such was:

    https://www.thriftyfun.com/Growing-P...Portulaca.html

    Anything special here? Indeed there is! The Life Force. Within these plant's programs are instructions to make seed so that the program, itself, will continue.

    These thinnings were ripped from their bed five days ago. Since that time, they have had no food nor water. Even during their slow, but inevitable death, their programs continue to play. They will do so til the very last.

    At day five, one program still very active in these plants, is for the blooms to open and close several times a day, triggered by the changes in intensity of light.

    So, without food or water, or even a root system, the will to survive and procreate is very much alive in these dying plants. How is that?

    If we knew everything, there would be no mysteries, life would be very boring.

    What is life?
    Life is a program. Consciousness is that instrument on which the program is played.

    But then, Consciousness is a program, too.
    You knew that, didn't you?

    ------

    Well, today, after googling 'Is the Universe a program', the first sentence in the first result is: 'The next step is to realize that everything is a program'.

    https://www.wired.com/2014/04/the-un...-programmable/

    I haven't yet read the article. It may be a serious approach or not. Regardless, I will review this and the other articles. If I find nothing of interest, I will have found I am not alone.

    Why do the stellar nurseries produce young stars and not red checkered table cloths? Because they are programmed to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Anything special here? Indeed there is! The Life Force.
    No. Such. Thing.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I believe there is a program for everything. We can say our hair turns grey as we approach age 70 because around that time there is a cessation of the production of melanin. While true, I think this is an oversimplification. I see this happening as part of an overall program. That is, we are programmed to have our hair turn grey as we age.
    A more logical way of looking at it is this:

    We are evolved to breed. Our evolutionary progress is about ensuring the health and genes necessary to give our offspring the best chance of survival (because it is through them that our traits are carried on. If a trait hinders our ability to issue offspring, then that trait won't propagate very well, and will disappear.)

    Once we done breeding, there is no reason to have any further survival traits. Evolution is done with us once we stop breeding (and any traits that might help us in our old age will not help our children, so they sere no purpose.)

    So, simply put, there is zero evolutionary advantage to any process that keeps our hair dark, and lush past breeding age. It can just fade away because there's no driver for us to evolve to have it stay dark.

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    At this point you are talking about a hypothesis, and sure, there are many people who think as you do, but it isn't an area of scientific study. I think it would be just fundamental physics, since what you are really looking at is the basic nature of reality.
    As above, so below

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    not cosmology, just a belief, nice to have that belief, I guess, totally untestable as it is. Lots of people believe in god or gods so not alone, just different words for belief in god.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Does the program have to exist in such a manner it satisfies you? Does it have to be open to you for your inspection, queries and evaluation?
    Yep. That's my job. Making sure that software actually works. Kill hundreds of times repeated mistakes before they happen on my watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Who or what programmed the Human genome?
    Mutation, and selection. And various combinations and variations in that process.

    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Is the program 'lousy' because within that program some are predisposed to cancer? I don't know what's behind you response, but I sure can feel your pain.
    I beat cancer. I sympathise with you having to share that pain, I know it must be pretty bad. Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    So, simply put, there is zero evolutionary advantage to any process that keeps our hair dark, and lush past breeding age. It can just fade away because there's no driver for us to evolve to have it stay dark.
    In general, what's the upper limit for a man's "breeding age"?
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    No. Such. Thing.
    surely it is a hypothesis, and they are making a positive claim. And to back up the hypothesis, evidence needs to found to back up the claim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Why do the stellar nurseries produce young stars and not red checkered table cloths? Because they are programmed to do so.
    Is this a variation of the watch/watchmaker argument? IOW, if there's a program, who's the programmer? Modern-day astronomers have "looked around" the universe fairly well at this point. There doesn't appear to be any "special place" such a "programmer" would be.

    What you're talking about in the above example is gravity. We can write programs to simulate the workings of gravity, but those aren't gravity itself. We don't normally look upon gravity as a "program," but rather a natural phenomenon operating according to the "laws of nature." As to those "laws".....


    "The laws of nature must have existed before even time began in order for the beginning to happen. We say this, we believe it, but can we prove it? No." [Leon Lederman, The God Particle]
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    <snip>
    Anything special here? Indeed there is! The Life Force.
    As Binary Man said, there is no evidence for such a thing.

    Vitalism
    Vitalism is the belief that "living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things".[1]a
    One of the things that disproved vitalism was the synthesis of urea (from the same reference):
    Vitalist chemists predicted that organic materials could not be synthesized from inorganic components, but Friedrich Wöhler synthesised urea from inorganic components in 1828.[8]
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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Why do the stellar nurseries produce young stars and not red checkered table cloths? Because they are programmed to do so.
    And if they did produce red checkered table cloths, you would say the exact same thing, that they are programmed to do so. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, this thing happened (whatever that thing is) because it was programmed to do so. It is no different than saying that things happened the way they did because god willed it, and it is equally without proof.
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    @likekinds. Some of your beliefs would, I think, be covered by the concept of teleology. You may find it productive to read a little further on it. However, be aware, that a teleological perspective on the development of the universe is not well regarded in science circles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    At this point you are talking about a hypothesis, and sure, there are many people who think as you do, but it isn't an area of scientific study. I think it would be just fundamental physics, since what you are really looking at is the basic nature of reality.
    I was looking to see if a statement I made was addressed, specifically. The statement was: 'The Universe consists of stars and other components. I like to think that life and consciousness are two of those components and should be viewed from the same perspective'. I do think you at least, (and maybe inadvertently) touched on that statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    A lot of beliefs in that post! Beliefs are easy to state. Providing a basis for such beliefs is more difficult.
    Yes, but a few billion theists show us that while difficult, not necessarily necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Sounds like unprogrammed wishful thinking.
    Yep. I threw in that last little quip just for you. I would have been disappointed had you not picked up on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    to manipulate a program, I think that the program would have to have some access to the hardware..?
    Maybe. I don't know. But if so, I think that hardware would be unlike anything we're familiar with in 2017.

  26. 2017-Dec-16, 03:22 AM
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  27. 2017-Dec-16, 03:28 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    No. Such. Thing.


    I find your statement rather bold. Do you speak with authority? I find it no more than a belief. And as Cougar pointed out, " Beliefs are easy to state. Providing a basis for such beliefs is more difficult".

    I have found that a lot of those delving into astronomy and cosmology are, at least in one sense, a lot like the billions believing in their gods that fail them. When it doesn't make sense, do a lot of intellectualizing and convince yourself it does.

    I do not need to believe in a creator in order to believe there was a reason for the big bang, and I firmly believe there was. Some astronomers and cosmologists tell us everything that is, came out of nothing (maybe it did), and it came forth without reason.

    Why is it necessary to intellectualize our way around what we don't know? Why is it so hard to accept that we just don't know. I see the origins of religion arising from such thinking. It is just as easy for me to think there was a reason for the big bang, a reason that did not involve a creator.

    We know nothing about the life force, but you wont convince me it doesn't exist. There is a force that drives this Universe. Because I don't know what it is, doesn't mean I have to deny it or intellectualize my way around it. Maybe that force was from the big bang and still continues today. Whatever, it is there.

    When I use the word 'force', it has no esoteric or metaphysical implications. Will is usually thought to be an attribute of the conscious mind. Because we cannot conceive of the Universe and all therein to have Will, a will to continue, we deny it and attribute everything to energy. I doubt such thinking would be considered behind the times in 2017, but then, time marches on.

    As for sin, rebirth and eternal life, I quote lyrics from a song by Miss Peggy Lee, "Is that all there is?

    I think the Universe is far more beautiful than something that can be weighed and measured, tested and analyzed. While it's always good to learn and gather your facts, just remember, no matter how much you learn and gather, there is always more.
    Last edited by slang; 2017-Dec-16 at 09:58 AM. Reason: two extra copies deleted, let mods know if I deleted the wrong version of the post

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    In general, what's the upper limit for a man's "breeding age"?
    For a man, there isn't one. He can produce sperm until the cows come home.
    For a woman, it is limited by the number of eggs she has. She gets all her eggs at birth, and when she runs out, she runs out. (And that includes hyper ovulation. She'll just run out sooner.)


    All barring artificial storage of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I find your statement rather bold. Do you speak with authority? I find it no more than a belief. And as Cougar pointed out, " Beliefs are easy to state. Providing a basis for such beliefs is more difficult".
    It's not bold; it's the default.

    It ain't so until it's so. That's not a belief, that's an antidote for unhealthy wishful thinking.

    The onus is not on 101 to back up his belief; the onus is on you to provide evidence of a "life force". Until then, it ain't so.


    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Why is it necessary to intellectualize our way around what we don't know?
    Because this is a science board.

    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    Why is it so hard to accept that we just don't know.
    We certainly do accept that.


    But we also don't posit unicorns just because we don't know for sure they don't exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    We know nothing about the life force, but you wont convince me it doesn't exist.
    That's a religion you're holding there.


    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    There is a force that drives this Universe.
    The universe existed for 9.2 billion ears before life came along. So there's one bit of evidence that puts a nail firmly in your hypothesis as it stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
    I think the Universe is far more beautiful than something that can be weighed and measured, tested and analyzed. While it's always good to learn and gather your facts, just remember, no matter how much you learn and gather, there is always more.
    Weighing, measuring testing and analyzing is how we discover how beautiful the universe is. That there will always be more facts is what makes it so much fun.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2017-Dec-16 at 06:05 AM.

  31. #29
    My program seems to have some bugs.
    My program seems to have some bugs.
    My program seems to have some bugs.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    My program seems to have some bugs.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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    Before I unintentionally incite ire, has anyone noticed this thread has been moved to Off Topic Babbling?

    ============

    (Quote Originally Posted by likekinds View Post

    "There is a force that drives this Universe".

    DaveC426913:

    "The universe existed for 9.2 billion ears before life came along. So there's one bit of evidence that puts a nail firmly in your hypothesis as it stands".)

    I never said or implied there was life behind that force.

    'Came along'? I'm sure I would have been chastised had I used such unscientific terminology.

    ============

    We watch documentaries on subjects such as string theory and accept the 'big boy's' notions of observer created reality, parallel and multiple universes, eleven and more dimensions and that ultimately, anything is possible. Then when someone poses a view that is not strictly classroom astronomy, he is brow beaten for speculating beyond the classroom. I think it's called having your cake and eating it, too.

    Earlier, I mentioned that I thought beautiful was the belief that if a final theory was found, it would be so simple, even a child could understand it. I should have concluded that it probably would be rejected by many as impossible due to it's simplicity.

    We believe in cause and effect but apply it only to areas where it suits us. If there is no reason behind anything then there must not be anything. And what we think is, must be only an illusion, a concept entertained for thousands of years.

    We speak of the Sun rising when we know that literally, it does not. We say we downloaded a song from the Internet when literally we did not. All we did was 'download' a set of instructions for the re configuration of bits and bytes on our hard drive. We've added nothing to our hard drive yet we can hear a 'newly downloaded song'.

    I'm no asking that anyone share my beliefs. My beliefs that there is a program for everything and that there is a life force, a force that drives this Universe, are not so preposterous, they just aren't mainstream.

    When I speak of a life force, it's automatically assumed I believe there's an 'entity' or supreme being behind that force, when in reality, I never said or implied such.

    Lighten up a little. The musings and ramblings of this poorly educated 75 year old man pose no threat to your secure little world.

    Thanks to you all for having participated in my threads for the short time I was here.

    Best regards

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