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Thread: Life Itself, and the Universal Organism

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    No. The universe as a whole is not a single process. I don't have a clue as to what that could possibly mean or why you would think it is. And while the expansion of the universe might be described as "growth" (not my choice of words), I don't have a clue as to what decay has to do with it.

    Now, a direct question: what do you mean by "process"? Please define it precisely.
    Please allow me some time for the response to this one, as I'm currently at work. I'm giving it alot of thought, though.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Irrelevant to my post about the universe.

    So formal questions:
    IF01: Give a coherent, non-circular definition of "conscious features", Relinquish
    IF02a: Does a quark-gluon plasma have conscious features, Relinquish?
    FYI: Timeline of the formation of the Universe
    IF02b: Or at what point did the universe develop conscious features, Relinquish?
    IF01: A "conscious feature" of the universe is any 'apparently discrete entity' in the universe that has an experience of any kind (however simple), or as Sam Harris would say, that there is "something that it's like to be".
    IF02a: No it doesn't.
    IB02b I can't speak for the universe as a whole, but on Earth at least, the moment of abiogenisis, which according to the wiki timeline was approximately 4.25 billion years ago.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    However, you're correct to assume that I have no scientific theory to present.
    Then I am not sure what you hope to get out of this thread. Did you come to forum dedicated to science and filled with professional and amateur scientists, then post on a sub-forum dedicated to overturning current scientific theories, for some kind of literary review?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    IF01: A "conscious feature" of the universe is any 'apparently discrete entity' in the universe that has an experience of any kind (however simple), or as Sam Harris would say, that there is "something that it's like to be".
    IF02a: No it doesn't.
    IB02b I can't speak for the universe as a whole, but on Earth at least, the moment of abiogenisis, which according to the wiki timeline was approximately 4.25 billion years ago.
    I'm sorry that I don't see much of a scientific purpose to this thread. You've simply made a series of unsupported assertions that amount to mere declarations of personal opinion. That's the trivially easy part; everyone has an opinion that presumably makes sense to them. Science imposes a somewhat higher bar, however, involving things like quantitatively predictive power backed up by evidence. From what you've said so far, you seem ill-equipped to meet these basic standards. If that's a correct inference, then all you've got is a facebook posting, I'm afraid.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    IF01: A "conscious feature" of the universe is any 'apparently discrete entity' in the universe that has an experience of any kind (however simple),...
    The definition of conscious studied in science is "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.". Thus scientists study consciousness
    Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1][2] It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, and the executive control system of the mind,[3] or the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1][2] In contemporary philosophy its definition is often hinted at via the logical possibility of its absence, the philosophical zombie, which is defined as a being whose behavior and function are identical to one's own yet there is "no-one in there" experiencing it.
    From your personal definition only used by you, we could get fairy stories such as an atom "experiencing" an electron leaving it is a "conscious feature" of the universe ! More seriously, this looks like wishful thinking. You want the universe to be living so you
    1. define "living" as containing "conscious features" and
    2. define "conscious feature" as any entity that has experiences in the universe
    3. and now, only in your mind, the universe is "living".

    Other people would look up what living means and know that the universe is not living because the universe is not biological (the primary criteria for a living entity). And that being alive is not defined as containing conscious features.

    A fundamental part of a scientific idea is the ability to make testable, falsifiable predictions. That is missing from your ATM idea.
    Another part of a new scientific idea is that those predictions differ from predictions from existing ideas so that the validity of the new idea can be tested. If the predictions are identical then we cannot tell which ideas are correct (the simplest is usually preferred). But your new idea has no predictions.

  6. #36
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    Some definitions of life that non-life objects fail at:

    Reproduction:
    The universe does not make a duplicate of itself following instructions from its own instruction sheet.

    We're not talking here about simply making many of the same thing, for example, stars. That is simply physics doing its thing, each independent of the other. A star will form waaaay out in the middle of nowhere, far from any other star, provided it the materials are present. A does not need a copy of another star to create its own internal structure.

    Eating, metabolizing and excreting:
    There is nothing for the universe to eat - no external resources available. Nor does it excrete - all matter that is in the universe remains withing the universe.

    Irritation/stimulation:
    The universe does not react to external stimuli.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    No. The universe as a whole is not a single process. I don't have a clue as to what that could possibly mean or why you would think it is. And while the expansion of the universe might be described as "growth" (not my choice of words), I don't have a clue as to what decay has to do with it.

    Now, a direct question: what do you mean by "process"? Please define it precisely.
    By the word "process", I mean a finite flow of change that is naturally moving away from a beginning and towards an ending.

  8. #38
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    Then you have need to apply your definition to the universe and:
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.
    The problem is that no one knows the answer to either question. Physics breaks down at t = 0 so we cannot say what happened there or for t < 0. If the consensus that the universe is flat is correct then it will continue expanding forever. But there are other options.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Some definitions of life that non-life objects fail at:

    Reproduction:
    The universe does not make a duplicate of itself following instructions from its own instruction sheet.

    We're not talking here about simply making many of the same thing, for example, stars. That is simply physics doing its thing, each independent of the other. A star will form waaaay out in the middle of nowhere, far from any other star, provided it the materials are present. A does not need a copy of another star to create its own internal structure.

    Eating, metabolizing and excreting:
    There is nothing for the universe to eat - no external resources available. Nor does it excrete - all matter that is in the universe remains withing the universe.

    Irritation/stimulation:
    The universe does not react to external stimuli.
    Every entity that reproduces, eats, metabolizes, excretes and reacts to external stimuli is fundamentally a feature of the universe. These criteria are based on the incorrect belief that these features are discrete entities.
    Last edited by Relinquish; 2017-Jun-18 at 10:40 PM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    Every entity that reproduces, eats, metabolizes, excretes and reacts to external stimuli is fundamentally a feature of the universe.
    The Earth is not living by definition because it does not
    • eat,
    • metabolize,
    • excrete or
    • react to external stimuli.

    But the Earth contains entities with those features. Living is not defined as containing living entities. Think about this: Does the International Space Station containing a flask of bacteria mean that the ISS is alive?
    For you to show that the universe is living you need to show that it has the features of a living entity.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Then you have need to apply your definition to the universe and:
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.
    The problem is that no one knows the answer to either question. Physics breaks down at t = 0 so we cannot say what happened there or for t < 0. If the consensus that the universe is flat is correct then it will continue expanding forever. But there are other options.
    As I stated at the very beginning of my OP, my logically deduced position is that Reality Itself is inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless. However, the universe does have an APPARENT t = 0. To account for this empirical observation in light of my position, I am suggesting that t = 0 is actually the beginning of this particular 'round' of an eternally cyclic universe.

    Unfortunately, infinity and eternity are beyond the reach of any sort of empirical verification. They are, however, logically deductible.
    Last edited by Relinquish; 2017-Jun-18 at 11:22 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    As I stated at the very beginning of my OP, my logically deduced position ....
    Assertions are not a "logically deduced position". An "eternally cyclic universe" has no beginning or end (that is what eternal means). So it looks like my questions become more serious:
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.

    It is looking more and more like what you are dong is redefining English and scientific terms to fit your own preconceptions and ending up with an illogical position, e.g. process, life, beginning, end, eternal.
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2017-Jun-19 at 12:25 AM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Assertions are not a "logically deduced position". An "eternally cyclic universe" has no beginning or end (that is what eternal means). So it looks like my questions become more serious:
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.

    It is looking more and more like what you are dong is redefining English and scientific terms to fit your own preconceptions and ending up with an illogical position, e.g. process, life, beginning, end, eternal.
    The eternal cycle ITSELF has no beginning or end. By definition, it has always been going on, and it will always be going on. But each one of 'rounds' of that cycle DO have a beginning and an end. I accept the current theory that the detectable beginning of this particular round was approximately 13.8 billion years ago (I'm obviously talking mainstream cosmology here). This was not the beginning of Reality Itself. From my OP;

    "In truth, the presence of Reality Itself is inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless.

    If this were not the case, the 'irreducible edgeless absence' beyond it's edge, the 'irreducible beginningless absence' before it's beginning and the 'irreducible endless absence' after it's end would be just as PRESENT and REAL as the presence of Reality Itself.

    Likewise, if the pure presence of Reality Itself were ABSOLUTELY absent, the 'irreducible absolute absence' that would therefore remain would be just as PURE, PRESENT and REAL as the pure presence of Reality Itself.

    In this way, the pure presence of Reality Itself EQUALS the absolute absence of Reality Itself, and as such, can have no ACTUAL beginning, ending or edge.

    It simply IS."

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    The Earth is not living by definition because it does not
    • eat,
    • metabolize,
    • excrete or
    • react to external stimuli.

    But the Earth contains entities with those features. Living is not defined as containing living entities. Think about this: Does the International Space Station containing a flask of bacteria mean that the ISS is alive?
    For you to show that the universe is living you need to show that it has the features of a living entity.
    A so-called living organism is a process that includes both sensitive features (nerve ends) and insensitive features (everything else). Each round of the eternally cyclic universe is a process that includes both conscious features (so-called living organisms) and non-conscious features (everything else).

    Since the universe is the only process that is ACTUALLY occurring (in that all other 'processes' are actually it's conscious and non-conscious features), it is the only ACTUAL living organism.
    Last edited by Relinquish; 2017-Jun-19 at 01:07 AM.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    No. The universe as a whole is not a single process. I don't have a clue as to what that could possibly mean or why you would think it is. And while the expansion of the universe might be described as "growth" (not my choice of words), I don't have a clue as to what decay has to do with it.
    And in fact, the expansion of the universe causally separates parts of it from other parts beyond a certain distance. If two areas of the universe can never have any effect on each other, how can they possibly be part of the same "process"? If the universe ever was a living thing, it's as dead as a bug smeared on the windshield now.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    And in fact, the expansion of the universe causally separates parts of it from other parts beyond a certain distance. If two areas of the universe can never have any effect on each other, how can they possibly be part of the same "process"? If the universe ever was a living thing, it's as dead as a bug smeared on the windshield now.
    Any two 'parts' of the universe that are causally separated from each other by the expansion will always remain equally causally connected to the big bang. In this way, there is no way they can ever become truly separated.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    Any two 'parts' of the universe that are causally separated from each other by the expansion will always remain equally causally connected to the big bang. In this way, there is no way they can ever become truly separated.
    By that reasoning, dismemberment and decapitation ought to be harmless. A causal connection in the past is not enough to support life in the present and future. For two things to be considered part of one process, they must continue to be connected in some way. Locations distant enough from each other are separated so fundamentally that you would have to break causality for one to have an effect on the other. And if you break causality, you've thrown any concept of "process" in the blender.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    As I stated at the very beginning of my OP, my logically deduced position is that Reality Itself is inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless. However, the universe does have an APPARENT t = 0. To account for this empirical observation in light of my position, I am suggesting that t = 0 is actually the beginning of this particular 'round' of an eternally cyclic universe.

    Unfortunately, infinity and eternity are beyond the reach of any sort of empirical verification. They are, however, logically deductible.
    Then logically deduct them, please, with something other than your own assertions.

  19. #49
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    You might try this brief thread about reality.

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...last+and+final

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    The eternal cycle ITSELF has no beginning or end. ...
    Denying the English meaning of beginning and ending is not an answer to my questions.
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.
    Think about what you are saying leads to, e.g. any point in a cycle can be arbitrarily assigned to be its beginning. Someone declares the beginning of the universe to be today. Someone else declares it to be yesterday. Another person declares it to be tomorrow. Who is correct? Why should we believe them over the point you select?
    But maybe your answer to this question can clarify your thinking:
    IF05: Give your evidence that the universe is in an eternal cycle that has no beginning or end.
    No evidence of a cycle = denying dictionary meanings is moot.
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2017-Jun-19 at 04:10 AM.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    A so-called living organism ....
    Irrelevant to my post. So the point for you to think about becomes a formal question:
    IF06: Does the International Space Station containing a flask of bacteria mean that the ISS is alive?

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    Originally Posted by Swift
    No. The universe as a whole is not a single process. I don't have a clue as to what that could possibly mean or why you would think it is. And while the expansion of the universe might be described as "growth" (not my choice of words), I don't have a clue as to what decay has to do with it.

    Now, a direct question: what do you mean by "process"? Please define it precisely.
    By the word "process", I mean a finite flow of change that is naturally moving away from a beginning and towards an ending.
    Sorry, but that is completely unclear. "Finite flow of change", it kind of sounds like something, but it is vague enough to mean anything. How do you measure change? What is the unit of change?

    And no, you don't have to answer any of those questions. I was being polite and acknowledging that you have dealt with my question, but I have no more questions for you.

    I will say your post does remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Alice in Wonderland.

    The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.

    “Begin at the beginning,” the King said very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Then logically deduct them, please, with something other than your own assertions.
    Would you be so kind as to point out where any baseless assertions in the following?

    "In truth, the presence of Reality Itself is inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless.

    If this were not the case, the 'irreducible edgeless absence' beyond it's edge, the 'irreducible beginningless absence' before it's beginning and the 'irreducible endless absence' after it's end would be just as PRESENT and REAL as the presence of Reality Itself.

    Likewise, if the pure presence of Reality Itself were ABSOLUTELY absent, the 'irreducible absolute absence' that would therefore remain would be just as PURE, PRESENT and REAL as the pure presence of Reality Itself.

    In this way, the pure presence of Reality Itself EQUALS the absolute absence of Reality Itself, and as such, can have no ACTUAL beginning, ending or edge.

    It simply IS."

    Thanks John.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    By that reasoning, dismemberment and decapitation ought to be harmless. A causal connection in the past is not enough to support life in the present and future. For two things to be considered part of one process, they must continue to be connected in some way. Locations distant enough from each other are separated so fundamentally that you would have to break causality for one to have an effect on the other. And if you break causality, you've thrown any concept of "process" in the blender.
    I just pointed out the way in which they DO continue to be connected. Granted, it's not the same way we normally define 'connection', but it's still valid.

    The entire universe, as one, always remains causally connected to the big bang.
    Last edited by Relinquish; 2017-Jun-19 at 10:46 PM.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    Would you be so kind as to point out where any baseless assertions in the following?
    FYI: The assertions are "inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless" about a vague "Reality Itself " object. Assertions about what looks like an imaginary object is not logic. The capitalization ("PURE, PRESENT and REAL") makes the statements more dubious !
    You are presenting an Against the Mainstream science idea. That has to be about a physical object, e.g. the universe.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Denying the English meaning of beginning and ending is not an answer to my questions.
    IF03: Show that the universe has a beginning.
    IF04: Show that the universe has a end.
    Think about what you are saying leads to, e.g. any point in a cycle can be arbitrarily assigned to be its beginning. Someone declares the beginning of the universe to be today. Someone else declares it to be yesterday. Another person declares it to be tomorrow. Who is correct? Why should we believe them over the point you select?
    But maybe your answer to this question can clarify your thinking:
    IF05: Give your evidence that the universe is in an eternal cycle that has no beginning or end.
    No evidence of a cycle = denying dictionary meanings is moot.
    As I said, I'm sticking with the current mainstream interpretation of the available evidence, which is that current universe began roughly 13.8 billion years ago. However, it is also my logically deduced position that Reality Itself is causeless, and so DIDN'T begin.

    So how long would a causeless, beginningless Reality 'wait' before causing the beginning of a universe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Irrelevant to my post. So the point for you to think about becomes a formal question:
    IF06: Does the International Space Station containing a flask of bacteria mean that the ISS is alive?
    Only if the bacteria NATURALLY emerged FROM the matter and energy comprising the ISS (which is a completely ridiculous idea). That obviously didn't happen.

    Different story for conscious entities in the universe.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    As I said, I'm sticking with the current mainstream interpretation of the available evidence, which is that current universe began roughly 13.8 billion years ago...
    That is not the mainstream interpretation. The mainstream interpretation is that the Big Bang started in the current existing universe at t > 0. The phrase "Reality Itself" is non-science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    FYI: The assertions are "inherently beginningless, endless and edgeless" about a vague "Reality Itself " object. Assertions about what looks like an imaginary object is not logic. The capitalization ("PURE, PRESENT and REAL") makes the statements more dubious !
    You are presenting an Against the Mainstream science idea. That has to be about a physical object, e.g. the universe.
    Are you saying that the 'irreducible beginningless absence' before the beginning of a temporal Reality would NOT be just as present and real as the temporal Reality would be (IF it existed)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Relinquish View Post
    Only if the bacteria NATURALLY emerged FROM the matter and energy comprising the ISS (which is a completely ridiculous idea). ....
    Bacteria NATURALLY emerged FROM the matter and energy comprising the Earth so:
    IF06a: Does the Earth containing bacteria mean that the Earth is alive?
    If your answer is yes then
    IF06b: Show that the Earth has the properties of life (eats, metabolizes, excretes, reacts to external stimuli, reproduces).

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