Which came first- A conscious -or- the universe?

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by MeAndYou, May 4, 2009.

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  1. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    So i came across a really interesting article on the Biocentric Universe theory which basically states that LIFE creates time, space, and the cosmos itself, not the other way around. You know that saying- "Time does not exist, clocks exist."

    The farther we peer into space, the more we realize that the nature of the universe cannot be understood fully by inspecting spiral galaxies or watching distant supernovas. It lies deeper. It involves our very selves.
    This insight snapped into focus one day while one of us (Lanza) was walking through the woods. Looking up, he saw a huge golden orb web spider tethered to the overhead boughs. There the creature sat on a single thread, reaching out across its web to detect the vibrations of a trapped insect struggling to escape. The spider surveyed its universe, but everything beyond that gossamer pinwheel was incomprehensible. The human observer seemed as far-off to the spider as telescopic objects seem to us. Yet there was something kindred: We humans, too, lie at the heart of a great web of space and time whose threads are connected according to laws that dwell in our minds.

    Is the web possible without the spider? Are space and time physical objects that would continue to exist even if living creatures were removed from the scene?

    Figuring out the nature of the real world has obsessed scientists and philosophers for millennia. Three hundred years ago, the Irish empiricist George Berkeley contributed a particularly prescient observation: The only thing we can perceive are our perceptions. In other words, consciousness is the matrix upon which the cosmos is apprehended. Color, sound, temperature, and the like exist only as perceptions in our head, not as absolute essences. In the broadest sense, we cannot be sure of an outside universe at all.

    For centuries, scientists regarded Berkeley’s argument as a philosophical sideshow and continued to build physical models based on the assumption of a separate universe “out there” into which we have each individually arrived. These models presume the existence of one essential reality that prevails with us or without us. Yet since the 1920s, quantum physics experiments have routinely shown the opposite: Results do depend on whether anyone is observing. This is perhaps most vividly illustrated by the famous two-slit experiment. When someone watches a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through the slits, the particle behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behavior of a wave that can inhabit all possibilities—including somehow passing through both holes at the same time.

    Here is the famous "two slit experiment" explained hands on in elementary detail :) (I thought it was helpful :tongue: )

    Some of the greatest physicists have described these results as so confounding they are impossible to comprehend fully, beyond the reach of metaphor, visualization, and language itself. But there is another interpretation that makes them sensible. Instead of assuming a reality that predates life and even creates it, we propose a biocentric picture of reality. From this point of view, life—particularly consciousness—creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us.

    Thats just the beginning of the article but i thought it was incredibly interesting. I think it begs the question...which came first; The universe or some form of a conscious? Or better yet...what exactly can be defined as a conscious(as the cosmos is concerned) and what has it/is capable of it?

    Here is the article in full

  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Well, in my opinion, that looks like a large misinterpretation of "observed" used in the quantum mechanical sense. I see no reason that an electron can't observe events... indeed, it seems to me that only inorganic particles can observe events. Photoreceptors exist with or without life, and these inorganic items modify quantum light, as described in the two slit experiment [where it's not the researchers observing it, but photovoltaic cells]...

    However, this does bring up some philosophical points. Consciousness is a tricky thing. A very tricky thing. There is no way of determining whether it exists at all in anyone except yourself... "I think therefore I am" - but you can't make any statements about any others.

    Time... Time is tricky as well. After any amount of time passes, all events are lost, except those that left an imprint... the Big Bang left an imprint, so we can observe it... Arguably, lost events never happened... but conservation of information is a general scientific principle - but this is violated by black holes.

    So perhaps the universe exists except for such things as disappeared into black holes, objectively and certainly.

    If you know the location and momentum of all particles in the universe, you can tell the future, but not necessarily the past...

    Okay, I'm rambling. This shit is whack.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2009
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    Ok, I'm know I'm a bit stupid when it comes to quantum physics, but my understanding was as follows:

    You have a yellow circle, lots of people say "Oh it's yellow" and lots of people say "Ah, but it's a circle". That's because it's a yellow circle. You're not changing that basic fact. You're just observing different aspects of it.

    And so if you say "It's a wave" or "It's a particle", you're not changing the nature of the 'wave / particle' thing, you're just pointing out different characteristics of it also.
  4. Jack Rabbit

    Jack Rabbit Well-Known Member

    Ziggy has a good point. A better choice of quantum experiment would be Schrödinger's cat. The Zen philosophers were asking this question hundreds of years before Berkeley. If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? Personally, I think they did a better job of asking and answering than all of the western subjectivists.
    Personally, I would consider myself an objectivist. I suggest you read David Hume and Ayn Rand.
  5. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    I think we consciously created the universe and then fell asleep under the belief that this happened to us rather than we made it happen.
  6. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    :) these are good responses!
  7. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    i must say the idea of consciousness is in itself absolutely fucking crackers, for the simple fact we are made of inanimate matter, the same as everything we are surrounded by, we are the same as a rock in essence, now if you were to see a rock get up and walk away by its own choice (ignore the fact rocks dont have legs) you would think you had taken one too many of your pills, yet a lump of matter with no "special" properties becomes "alive" and seems to be pro-active. it is insane, its also one of the reasons why death to me seems ridiculous!
    Another interesting point is for years some theorists have put forward the idea not only our brain is consciouss (which i believe myself to some extent.)
    Not as crazy as it sounds as when removing organs from a totally brain dead body they have to sedate it still, otherwise it will "react" by shaking and flipping itself around similar to a reaction of pain. I also noted an effect similar to this many times when preparing fresh food for my animals (young falcons require freshly killed quail for the best nutrition) when dispatching i kill the quail humanely by "necking" then while preparing it (up to 5 mintues after death and all nervous twitches associated with death are gone) i have to remove the breast from the rest of the body, when cutting into it i have several times seen the body shake and twitch and even the heart beat a few times (guaranteed not to be alive by the blatant lack of a head i might add.)
    It is a shuddering thought to think that the body would still be able to feel without the brain to process the sensation.
    The point of this post is that consciousness really isnt understood and neither is the universe, and most importantly REALITY. trying to talk about it would take forever and achieve very little of benefit.
    At least ive given my view and hopefully stirred some thoughts as to consciousness and the possible requirement for a brain.
  8. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    also as a side note apparently (i say apparently as i cant quote directly) we have proof that we pro-actively create reality and has been known for a long time, the implications of which though are massive
  9. mike25

    mike25 Well-Known Member

    It's another way of asking which comes first - the egg or the chicken? I'd say something came before the visible Universe as we presently understand it. If the Big Bang theory is correct, then there must have been a 'Big Banger', though I'd say the word 'conscious' is too bound up by human parameters. That's just my opinion, I'm not saying I'm right or wrong.
    Good question & post :smile:
  10. colt45

    colt45 Well-Known Member

    That is a bit of contradiction Man-kind can affirm the existence of the Universe; however the Universe is as the one constant of our creation.

    Hard to say; both philosophers and scientist have been arguing this for centuries.

    In short is what we make it out to be.
  11. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    I love you...i love this comment :p "I think we consciously created the universe and then fell asleep under the belief that this happened to us rather than we made it happen." Sort of what i was getting at. The universe didnt happen to us we happened to it. Maybe that can be applied to life in our personal experience.

    bhawk yes DEF crackers haha. I dont know what exactly you mean by "inanimate matter"...i sort of see it the other way aruond. We and everything aruond us are made of very animate matter. Its simply energy in different forms and combinations and in essence very much the same! (maybe thats what you're getting at).

    I dont exactly know the "scientific proof" of your claim that a brain dead body "twitches around as if in pain" but i think its interesting when you say "not only our brain is conscious".

    I agree we really truly dont understand WHAT conscious is and how many ..levels of it there are and which one we are on...we as a human with a brain capable of "higher cognitive ability" (at least when compared to other living things in our immediate environment..who knows what we have yet to discover :p ). It sort of begs the question "How infinite, or how finite, is consciousness?" Does every single molecule...every cell..have some form of conscious ability? If this is true then i wonder how drastically our very own thoughts can change the world around us. Sort of a ripple in a pond effect. I.E. You think negatively you're going to receive negativity. This might go along with your comment of "we pro-actively create our reality".

    Mike25 exactly like the chicken and the egg. :) And i def agree the word "conscious" is bound up by human parameters. We truly dont understand it.

    Colt45...maybe we're creating the answers as we go :p
  12. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    bodies that are brain dead have long been known to writhe and shake about when cut into which is why when harvesting organs from a brain dead body they use sedatives (btw when i say brain dead i mean the body is being kept alive artificially although there are no signs of life) this is well known in the medical world (well.....organ transplant world) and has caused many nurses to faint when too little sedative has been given.
    A weird but wonderful fact about our bodies.
  13. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    Wow. Very interesting.
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