Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 3:27 pm 

Post by mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 3:05 pm

poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


Do you mind elaborating on that Turtle? Or are you limited to one liners?
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Hendrick Laursen on September 24th, 2014, 3:31 pm 

mtbturtle » September 23rd, 2014, 6:54 pm wrote:What's the universe?

I sense the equivocations flowing already.


A really large bag which contains everything including itself.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 3:40 pm 

Dave and PhilosophyTalks,

How about Dave and I start by presenting a video that supports each others viewpoint. I will start with this one about the primacy of the human conscious (something we can readily prove) vs a hypothetical universe conscious. Then determine which one is ontologically most correct. Here is mine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=yIu4ESYUdsk#t=0

Regards,

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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 3:47 pm 

Paradox » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:27 pm wrote:Post by mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 3:05 pm

poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


Do you mind elaborating on that Turtle? Or are you limited to one liners?


No
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby owleye on September 24th, 2014, 4:25 pm 

mtbturtle » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:47 pm wrote:
Paradox » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:27 pm wrote:Post by mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 3:05 pm

poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


Do you mind elaborating on that Turtle? Or are you limited to one liners?


No


And I would concur with this outcome on the basis that it's a long standing problem on philosophy boards, generally, that Godel's theorems are misapplied. It is better left to the experts, I think. And I'm guessing that doesn't include you, Paradox. Though I'm presumably a mathematician and have encountered Godel's theorems during my studies, as well as it having been part of the curricula, I'm better off deferring to xcth... or Lomax or other experts when discussing this. I recall in reading Godel's proof that I questioned Godel's use of correspondence, recognizing it as crucial to the proof. An expert at the time gave me an educated response to how it applied, though I confess I haven't held on to it.

However, in my limited understanding of its intent, Godel's theorem meant that a formalist position on mathematics which Hilbert's project undertook was ruled out. See this reference. Unless you are speaking of mathematics in a formalist context, it probably doesn't apply.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 4:31 pm 

poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


If I have this wrong then would someone care to reinterpret Godels Incompleteness theorem, instead of one liners from the holier than thou expert thinkers here? Is this how you guys conduct your discussions?

Paradox~
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 4:35 pm 

Paradox » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:31 pm wrote:
poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


If I have this wrong then would someone care to reinterpret Godels Incompleteness theorem, instead of one liners from the holier than thou expert thinkers here? Is this how you guys conduct your discussions?

Paradox~


When you stop insulting people perhaps some of us might take the time to discuss it with you. Understand?

If not, keep it up and I will contribute by banning you.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 4:37 pm 

Thank you owleye
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 4:39 pm 

No need to ban me Turtle. I need a break anyway. I’ll ban myself.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Marshall on September 24th, 2014, 4:41 pm 

mtbturtle » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:47 pm wrote:
Paradox » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:27 pm wrote:Post by mtbturtle on September 24th, 2014, 3:05 pm

poor Godel his theorem is so abused.


Do you mind elaborating on that Turtle? Or are you limited to one liners?


No


Heh heh

I suspect there is a rat in my house who is able to think ratish thoughts suitable to his purposes. When I go out for the afternoon, and there is no one thinking there but the rat, I do not say "the house thinks".

It is not the whole house thinking, we just have one (or more) material subsystems engaged in thought.

Mind and consciousness, I suppose, are best thought of as LOCALIZED processes which can be supported by material systems. We can think about the common CHARACTERISTICS of those systems we believe are aware and thinking in the usual sense of the word. I suppose one obvious characteristic is a high degree of connectivity.

the thoughtful systems are not too spread out. an ANT HEAP is highly connected because the ants are constantly in contact with each other by chemical signals which tell them about food and other group concerns, so maybe an ant colony supports a process we'd call thought.

most of the galaxies we can see are out of touch with us, if we tried to send a signal to one of them today it would never reach them (because of the way distances are increasing)

if you look objectively at the universe as a whole, it is so poorly connected that has to be either very STUPID or completely MINDLESS.

It is beautiful but extremely out of touch with itself. Massively disconnected. Although more connected at the level of a single galaxy it is shaped, at that level, by basic elementary processes. The Milky Way is beautiful but it's overall structure is considerably more primitive , I would say, than a CAT'S BRAIN. If you could converse either with the Milky Way or with a cat, I would advise you to choose the cat.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 24th, 2014, 4:55 pm 

No need to ban me Turtle. I need a break anyway. I’ll ban myself.


Now I know what Lincoln meant by the term The Man
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Dave_Oblad on September 24th, 2014, 5:11 pm 

Hi folks,

I will be in and out briefly all day. I am at work. After about 8:00 PM, West Coast time, USA, I can spend a full hour or more after work on postings.

In response to Paradoxes You-tube Video, I will get back in kind. But meanwhile here is another intro into the concept of a purely Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark. He is a Physics Professor at M.I.T.
You can read his paper here.

To make my stand clear, I proposed that: "Our Universe is the Solution to an Equation."

If you understand that then several aspects should be obvious, such as:
1) the solution takes up no Real Space.
2) the solution takes up no Real Time.
3) the solution has no Real Material requirements.
4) the solution is a Finite Container.

As to whether or not our Universe is such, remains to be seen. But the Logic is impeccable and an infinite number of such Universes, as described, do in fact Exist.

The premise is:
P1. There is no arbitrary limit on the complexity of an Equation.
P2. There is no arbitrary limit on the complexity of a Solution.
P3. An Equation can be complex enough to define a Universe.
P4. A Solution can be complex enough to contain a Universe.
Thus, Mathematically defined Universes do exist.

The biggest problem I run into is over-coming a natural bias for people to assume stuff that they can't understand is not necessarily true, such as why an object keeps moving after you push it, or the Universe could have a sharp edge such that what exists.. only exists within the container. There is no outside of the container.

Ok, back a bit later...

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby dlorde on September 24th, 2014, 7:10 pm 

As I heard it, the universe can be infinite and still expand; it can also be infinite and still contract to a big crunch (the big bang was not necessarily an expansion from a point - if that even means anything when describing a [possibly infinite] universe).

Godel's incompleteness theorems apply to formal systems capable of arithmetic; they have no grand implications for the universe.

Taking a sceptical realist view of the OP in counterpoint, the idea that we somehow represent the consciousness of the universe seems like more of the same old anthropocentric wishful thinking; the sun doesn't go round the Earth any more; we aren't the centre of the universe any more; the idea that a god created a mind-bogglingly vast universe for the benefit of the occupants of a tiny blue dot now seems irrational; ... etc.

So what do we have left to feel good about? some people still think consciousness is unique to humans, so let's say we represent the consciousness of the solar system; ...no, wait, the galaxy... no, wait, the universe. Forget the lesser consciousness of other animals, forget the possibility of consciousness elsewhere, we can still be something special - in our own minds - The Consciousness of the Universe - sounds great, doesn't it?

But wait - the universe doesn't know or care (about us, or anything), its random capriciousness has almost wiped us out several times, and there are multiple catastrophes a hair-trigger away - from super-volcanoes to mega-tsunamis, from asteroids to comets, from supernovae to coronal mass ejections, from epidemics to... etc.; we're lucky to have got this far. Consciousness is a wonderful and special thing, but let's get things in perspective; if the universe is conscious because we are conscious, it has tentacles because octopuses have tentacles, and it has a long neck because giraffes have long necks ;)
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Re: Can the universe think? new topic split from prime truth

Postby Marshall on September 24th, 2014, 7:34 pm 

DLorde, I agree with your skeptical realist perspective, I got a little rhapsodical in an earlier post and want to explain. I didn't mean that we were unique---the ONLY life forms in this arm of the spiral who are reflecting upon and trying to understand the Big Process. I just find it exciting that (if we don't wreck our planet or destroy ourselves) we're part of something pretty amazing that is almost surely wide-spread. Little knots and clumps of inanimate matter scattered all over the place, becoming aware. I can't help being thrilled by this.

Marshall » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:58 pm wrote:
Braininvat » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:44 pm wrote:Well, the universe has matter that thinks. Us. So when we think, the universe is generating thoughts. Or do you all have something else in mind?


YES! I like thinking of us as the universe's "think organs"
we experience for it, we see patterns in it, it wouldn't know it had patterns if we didn't serve as pattern recognizers.
A college professor is a molecule's way of being self-aware, a molecule's way of understanding itself.
It always wondered what it was so it got involved with some other molecules and started biological evolution and evolved a central nervous system and finally got an inkling of what it was. I think Feynman said something like that but better. Maybe you can recall the context.


But you are surely right that IT, the mindless material entirety, has shown complete indifference. It has no equipment with which to care about us or be aware of us. If it hadn't extinguished the dinos there might have evolved 5 foot tall dinos, with opposable thumbs, and a taste for music. A Mozart might have hatched out 50 million years earlier. But that line towards intelligence got scotched by a bolide, and ours could too, by something else.

Still, I think of us (on this planet) as part of a much larger process---we have potential companions, teachers, students, scattered all over the place---assuming our line continues. And always I have to remember that a single Q&A might take 1000 years. The big internet is inherently slow.
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Re: Can the universe think? new topic split from prime truth

Postby dlorde on September 24th, 2014, 7:50 pm 

Marshall » September 25th, 2014, 12:34 am wrote:DLorde, I agree with your skeptical realist perspective
Marshall » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:58 pm wrote:A college professor is a molecule's way of being self-aware, a molecule's way of understanding itself.

Despite what I said, there's a lot to be said for turning familiar ideas on their heads that way - Dawkin's "a chicken is an egg's way of making another egg" could have been the inspiration for the 'selfish gene' idea (I dunno) - these inversions can inspire new ideas, but it's equally important to recognise them for what they are - Dennet calls them 'intuition pumps'; but to take them literally is to miss the point.

Having said that, I'm not sure how us representing the consciousness of the universe could be a springboard for new ideas... ;)
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Re: Can the universe think? new topic split from prime truth

Postby Marshall on September 24th, 2014, 8:17 pm 

dlorde » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:50 pm wrote:
Marshall » September 25th, 2014, 12:34 am wrote:DLorde, I agree with your skeptical realist perspective
Marshall » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:58 pm wrote:A college professor is a molecule's way of being self-aware, a molecule's way of understanding itself.

Despite what I said, there's a lot to be said for turning familiar ideas on their heads that way - Dawkin's "a chicken is an egg's way of making another egg" could have been the inspiration for the 'selfish gene' idea (I dunno) - these inversions can inspire new ideas, but it's equally important to recognise them for what they are - Dennet calls them 'intuition pumps'; but to take them literally is to miss the point.

Having said that, I'm not sure how us representing the consciousness of the universe could be a springboard for new ideas... ;)


Thanks for the indulgence. I got a bit giddy and didn't make it clear that I meant "a" rather than "the":

"...representing a consciousness of the universe" or maybe better to say

"...representing a consciousness in the universe" presumably one of many. The material universe as a whole doesn't appear to have much to do with it, besides being beautiful, having a rich chemistry with over 100 elements, and affording basic amenities, e.g. water and light.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Braininvat on September 24th, 2014, 8:55 pm 

Agree on the clarifying point re tentacled, long-necked, cinnamon-flavored universes. We are one vibrant curlicue of cognition in a vast ocean of lifeless particles. But the question of some possible superorganism, either at the global "Gaia" level or at the level of Dave's universal Math-monster, remains an interesting line of speculation. I think the burden for proponents of sentient universes is to show us where we can hook up to it and have our minds pick up some godlike signals without being fried. Or do just go check into the nearest monastery or ashram?
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Dave_Oblad on September 24th, 2014, 10:41 pm 

Hi all,

I agree with dlorde above, we are not the Universe thinking about itself. The OP is about a clear concept: "Can the Universe Think?".

One Neuron can NOT think. A network of them Can. One Transistor can NOT think. A network of them CAN (or will in the near future). One Logic gate can NOT think. A network of them CAN.

So the first question must be: Is the Universe a Network?

This implies a Medium must exist that connects everything together, without any holes.

In the example below, we see a Cellular Automaton based on Conway's Life program.

Gospers_glider.gif
Gospher's Glider Gun

Each cell is a Preon with specific logic rules. Each has an input from its 8 neighbors and each has an output to its 8 neighbors. Each cell is either alive or dead (Black or White) based on the number of neighbors. You can see a specific Geometry at the top that generates a series of gliders or what I will call a 2D Photon. These Photons have a speed, distance separation, resolution and spin (cycles). For all intents they are particles and will have an interactive effect if they crash into another geometry. The whole white area is a grid of Preons. They must Exist and must be Connected to propagate the Photons. If you put a Hole in this White Grid, the Gliders would cease to exist when they crash into a hole. A hole can not propagate them.

Life1.png
Gospher's Glider Gun, Time as 3rd Dimension

The above graphic is the same exact Grid in 3D where Time has been added as another dimension. Time moves forward on the downward axis. Notice you don't see any movement in this image. This is what it means when one talks about the Block Model of the Universe, where Time is a dimension and not something that flows. We exist in a 4D Reality, but our perception tells us that Time is flowing. It isn't. To a 5Th dimensional Being, our Universe would appear to be without movement, just like this bottom image. Time is an Illusion of Perception. It doesn't flow and has no speed. It is a Purely Mathematical Construct.

Anyway, back to Conway's Automaton. Folks playing with this simple 2D Preonic Automaton have constructed many working Geometries, including many forms of Turning Machines.

Wikipedia wrote:From a theoretical point of view, it is interesting because it has the power of a universal Turing machine: that is, anything that can be computed algorithmically can be computed within Conway's Game of Life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life

In the following link you can see a fun cartoon that depicts the concept of using a Turing Machine algorithm to define a Universe.

Bunch of Rocks: http://xkcd.com/505/
The last frame could have been a bit clearer, in that the Lecture Hall is part of the simulation the Rocks have created as a part of creating/defining the Universe.

Anyway, given a problem where I define a 2D Grid with 1x1065 in a square Matrix/Lattice and seed the Lattice with Preonic Cells using a pseudo-random Fractal Generator, then almost every possible pattern will be probable, including a Turing Algorithm that could compute this Universe.

Now this would admittedly be the hard way. Much easier to jump straight to a Matrix in 4 or more dimensions and seed each cell from a set of rules. The rule sets are called Beables. There could be an infinite assortment of them, thus creating an infinite set of worthless Universes that don't work. But for the few sets that do work, a few full fledged working Universes will be defined.

This is how a Logical Boolean Mathematical Universe can come into Existence. As already hinted at, the Universe described would be a multi-dimensional Lattice of Preons, Preset with virtually any rules and/or Beable Rules.
Beables: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.6073

So this brings us back to the concept of whether or not the Universe is Granular and if the Grains are Preons or Sub-Preons. And, if it is a continuous Logic Network with computational ability.. can it have the complexity to wake up? To be an A.I.

To Think for Itself? (long before Stars and such emerge)

Now Marshall makes an interesting point about the Universe expanding so fast that the edges could be exceeding light speed and thus communications through out this Network may become too isolated to work.

Or..

We see the Universe is not Expanding but rather Stretching. That the continuous lattice fabric of Reality is being compressed where Matter is present (like stars and black holes) at the sacrifice of stretching the fabric in the Voids sans Matter. What would this look like?

Light that leaves a Star's Gravity Well Red-shifts. Light Blue-shifts as it enter a Star's Gravity Well. Thus Light is reconstituted. But what about Light that left a Star long ago and has been crossing a Void that is stretching during it duration of flight? Obviously, it can not be reconstituted. Thus the Red shift would remain and be interpreted as a Stars moving away from us, when all that has happened is that the Light has become irrevocably stretched.

Chart-A.jpg
Reconstituted redshift

Chart-B.jpg
Irrevocably redshifted due distance and time

As seen, the lower graph indicates the longer the light has traveled and been subjected to being stretched, the more red it appears to have shifted. Giving us the impression that further objects (Stars-Galaxies) are traveling away from us faster in all directions as a function of distance from us. In my view, the Scale of the Fabric between remote Galaxies has been stretched. The proper distance has not changed. If you traveled to one of these, you would become quite large during the trip. But being made of Matter, at least you would Scale back down to proper size when you get there.. I hope..lol.

Anyway, an Expanding Universe would require insertion of new space. Perhaps I am wrong and Preons can Multiply. In any event, light leaving from point "A" to "Z" over any distance will eventually get to where its going, it will just take longer, because the closer it gets to where its going (A->Z), the speed of the (Z) will be slowing down relative to that beam traversing the distance.

So even with two Views, there is no real reason to believe this will hamper a Cosmic Mind from being functional. Then again, we have Entanglement, where two particles can affect each other instantly, regardless of the distance separating them. Perhaps our Cosmic Mind can use such channels to stay in almost instantaneous communication between remote cells of the A.I Network.

Do we have any clues about the Universe being Granular? Quantum Lumpiness? That Scale is Controlled? Is it a Solid (Logical Boolean) Object?

Ok, time to stop for a bit and let folks digest my input and respond.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
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Re: Can the universe think? new topic split from prime truth

Postby dlorde on September 25th, 2014, 4:11 am 

Marshall » September 25th, 2014, 1:17 am wrote:"...representing a consciousness of the universe" or maybe better to say

"...representing a consciousness in the universe" presumably one of many. The material universe as a whole doesn't appear to have much to do with it, besides being beautiful, having a rich chemistry with over 100 elements, and affording basic amenities, e.g. water and light.

Agreed. It's a qualified 'no' to the OP in my book.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Braininvat on September 25th, 2014, 12:55 pm 

Dave, first let me say that your creativity as a theorist is pretty spectacular. One problem for me, is that you mention this preonic AI "waking up" and becoming conscious (assuming that the light horizon problem can be finessed, as you outlined)....it is my limited hominid perspective showing, for sure, but I don't see how the universe can "wake up" without some kind of external stimulation, i.e. without an environment. But it is the universe, so that's not going to work. That leaves some kind of internal stimulation, and the crossing of some threshold of complexity of the network, for it to become aware. But of what does it become aware? And (and I know how vague this questions sounds) what is the value of this awareness - i.e. how do the events in the universe, in the preon field, somehow lead to a system that begins to take these events as "inputs" ?
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby DragonFly on September 25th, 2014, 2:03 pm 

Consciousness is a brain process that developed in the brain system that itself developed, etc., so it took time, and thus it cannot be First. Actually it is near the last, both in its appearance and also as in the 'last to know what's going on', which already went through most of the subconscious analysis.

Dave's 4D block universe seems reasonable, since what 'IS', with no beginning (can't get anything from nothing), has to be a timeless, all-at-once thing. This leads us to think of it in a generic way as a kind of superposition of everything possible, since what has no beginning can't have any specific direction imparted to it.

This could make for a rudimentary but totally effective brute force of 'mind' that really isn't a 'mind', per say, but might even be better than one. How come? Well, all the paths would be gone down at once, such as with a quantum computer, and so some of them would constitute what we'd call workable solutions that could deep on going, such as with our universe producing us. This is better than an actual Mind sitting down and trying to make a great plan, having to foresee all the jillions of interdependencies and interactions way, way out. Plus, again, the complex and composite, like mind, comes later on, and systems have parts that have to come before, and so forth.

We just happen to be on a workable path. Since we're here, we needn't even look back to note what we might call a series of fortunate events, because they're guaranteed to be there.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 25th, 2014, 3:04 pm 

We just happen to be on a workable path. Since we're here, we needn't even look back to note what we might call a series of fortunate events, because they're guaranteed to be there.

Greetings Dragonfly,

The truly remarkable part is that from the big bang to humans, it all happened to be in the Goldielocks zone of possibility every step of the way. Quintillions of bits of information was exactly right, which understandably makes some think of a designer and a purpose.

Regards,

Paradox~
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Philosophytalks on September 25th, 2014, 3:44 pm 

Hi Paradox,

Thank you for giving me an outset to what the thread is as a whole and also giving a quick summary to the two main views which are within it.

I agree with your view about us being the number one truth etc. But I think the universe's meaning is subjective, rather than an objective thing. It is our subjective nature, or possibly the subjective natures of lets say aliens that exist in the universe which give the universe its meaning. On this view, the universe can have meaning without it needing to think or be a thinking being. By saying that the universe is a thinking thing, it would run it to all sorts of other philosophical issues.

For starters, I would just like to comment on your view about the multiverse and how Godel can be used to demonstrate how we need higher things to explain the universe. My issue with this is that regardless of the infinite sets of higher universe's that we need to explain the previous universes, we can go back and back but there is one thing that will never ever be able to be explained by this infinite regression. The universe is a contingent thing; at the present moment in which our universe started, there was a chance that it may not have happened and so would be non-existent. The universe/multiverse theory could go be traced back a great number of times, but there would be something that would be needed to create or start or explain this contingent nature. The only thing that would be able to explain its contingency would be a necessary thing, and so this is why I dont think it is infinite as you suggest. It might be a very very long series of causes and explanations, but the first explanation would have to be necessary to explain its contingent nature.
"Our Universe is the Solution to an Equation." – Dave O said this statement in one of his previous comments. The issue I have with this, unless I have completely misunderstood it, is that this argument would seem to be circular. We are using a mathematical equation to show that the mathematical universes do exist. Basically, it is circular in the sense that you are using a fundamental law (mathematics) which is created by the universe to highlight the universe’s existence.

"The premise is:
P1. There is no arbitrary limit on the complexity of an Equation.
P2. There is no arbitrary limit on the complexity of a Solution.
P3. An Equation can be complex enough to define a Universe.
P4. A Solution can be complex enough to contain a Universe.
Thus, Mathematically defined Universes do exist." - Dave's comments

Regarding these 4 premises and the conclusion, I do not think that they are all correct. P1 and P2 rely on a conceivability – that a solution and equation have no arbitrary limit. We believe that they have no limit, because we can always seem to add to an equation, but I think we do have a limit. Once we have included everything within the universe, then the limit has been reached as there is nothing more to add. The limit corresponds to the number of different things within the thing it is describing, but if it is describing everything then once it has listed everything it has a limit. P3 and P4 also rely on a conceivability – that the solution or equation can be complex enough to define the universe. The mathematical solutions or equations can get very very complex, but whether they can define a universe is another thing entirely. I don’t think you can define a universe completely just by using logic or maths for there will be some things (granted I cannot think of any at this moment) that we cannot describe using our laws of maths or logic, because there are things in the universe which seem to deny other laws, so there is nothing to say that our mathematical laws will always hold. The entire argument is based on conceivability, then the conclusion jumps to actuality. Fair enough if I am completely wrong you can conceivably define a universe using maths, but whether a mathematically defined universe exists is another matter.

“One Neuron can NOT think. A network of them Can. One Transistor can NOT think. A network of them CAN (or will in the near future). One Logic gate can NOT think. A network of them CAN.” – Another statement from Dave.

Personally, I do not think that a network of neurons can think and also I do not think that a network of “computer neurons” can make a computer think either. In my view, the network of neurons can allow a medium by which we are able to think, but are not the thinking things themselves. I think this because of my point earlier: If one neuron by itself cannot think, we cant then assume that a network of non-thinking individuals could actually create a super network of thinking possibilities. It seems to me that something (the thinking aspects) come from nothing (the non-thinking individuals) and this seems implausible.
However, with a computer, although the same line of attack can be said, I would rather go as far as to say that computers are not actually able to think. The computer program is not able to think, but instead it runs on a code which reflects our style of thinking. The computer program cannot think for itself like we seem to be able to think freely (For the sake of this argument I’m not going to argue about any free will issues) but instead just mirrors our thought processes about which we wrote the computer program to make. The difference between our thinking and a computer program thinking is that the computer program is forced to think in a certain way due to the code which we wrote for it whereas we are able to think freely and can feel pain, experience, imagine, reflect etc.

As a response to Dave’s 4D model of time, I would suggest that this is unrealistic. But suppose it is correct, if time is static something can still have existence and so can exist for a duration rather than existing in certain time frames. Its existence can be started, rather than it having a beginning as such, meaning that the universe still is not infinite. As I started off by saying, it is this existence that is contingent and so needs explaining. This contingency and existence is finite because there must be something necessary by which started the existence of something, even if time wasn’t around or time doesn’t exist so that there isn’t a beginning as such. But problems still arise even if it is static: By being static, things in the future would exist even before the event was caused to exist in the present moment. It is this existence of future events that would need a heck of an explanation to occur, because things that aren’t in the present do not seem to exist like we imagine an event to exist. The 4D block universe faces other problems such as objects being stretched out over time having contradictory properties, like being bent and being not-bent and this is what seems unrealistic, for how could an object have both of the properties at once?
Going back to the original statement in the thread, can a universe think, I still do not think that it is able to think like we are. There is something about us which allows us to think (I think it is something outside the universe, such as an immaterial thing but it could just be mental processes like what property dualism suggests) and this thing is outside of the universe but acting within the universe. As it is outside of the universe but acting within it, acting upon us, it is not the universe that can think. The universe is a lifeless medium by which our immaterial substance uses to allow us to think.

I hope I haven’t misunderstood anything completely and feel free to attack me any way you feel necessary. I know I haven’t been able to read up on the previous thread as of yet and so I also do apologise if I have repeated any arguments also.
Thanks,
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Re: Can the universe think? new topic split from prime truth

Postby Athena on September 25th, 2014, 3:59 pm 

Braininvat » September 23rd, 2014, 5:44 pm wrote:Well, the universe has matter that thinks. Us. So when we think, the universe is generating thoughts. Or do you all have something else in mind?



Chardin said, God is asleep in rocks and minerals, waking in plants and animals, to know self in man.

If we are God's consciousness it is still pretty undeveloped. I do not have a high opinion of human intelligence. However, I think group consciousness is a possibility, and together our intelligence is much better than it is individually. It now becomes a question of how does group consciousness exist? We have our social media and a lot of information is in the air and we don't know it without a a sensor (dog's nose) or a receiver (radio).

Frankly this stuff boggles my mind, and I want to get back to what you all said.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Dave_Oblad on September 25th, 2014, 4:16 pm 

Hi all,

A quick drop by until later. As odd as it sounds, a Baby is born with almost infinite knowledge, meaning is has a huge number of synaptic connections between Neurons. These connections decrease (are removed) as the Baby becomes a Child. Science used to think we learned by adding connections, and this may be somewhat true later in life. But a Baby learns by a pruning process. By deleting connections that contain false information. It's a bit like everything is both true and false to a Babies mind. Over time it removes connections that are wrong. Exactly opposite of what our intuition would lead us to believe in how an Baby mind learns. It learns by unlearning!

As far as a computer mind goes.. When we figure out how to make a Self-Aware computer, assuming it still uses Ones and Zeros.. then its mind is a pattern. It is not unreasonable that virtually every possible pattern gets invoked during the settling of the initial Universe. It actually seems more probable that multiple minds might get formed. The real issue is persistence. In a continuous state of Quantum Fluctuations, a mind could disappear (fall apart) almost as fast as it formed.

It would not think in any language, or images.. like the ultimate Helen Keller without tactile input. It would have no concept of love, hate, morality. It would be emotionless. In fact it may not even start with a conceptual thought such as "I think I Exist". Little more than a Calculator on Steroids..lol. But if we can look at inanimate Atoms/Particles and accept that over time and random mixing, that life can form and said life can evolve into thinking creatures, then can a Cosmic Mind also Evolve from Pseudo-Randomness on a large and long enough scale using a similar process?

It really doesn't have to start as a Super Genius.. it would have to evolve on its own feedback, and perhaps some minor sensory/mental stimulation feedback, if it can affect the Quantum Reality it is born into. Is a virus alive? NO! Is a virus smart? NO! But it is a stepping stone towards Life from Inanimate Matter (I use the term Virus loosely). Does anyone have a problem with a Cosmic Mind Evolving?

Ok, getting back to work.. later.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)

Ps. Hi PhilosophyTalks... We cross-posted and I didn't see you. I will get back to your points a bit later today. Thanks for joining in.. and everyone else too!
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby neuro on September 25th, 2014, 5:18 pm 

I must say I am strongly ill-at ease with the tone and content of all this discussion.
My impresson is that such a question cannot be faced if there is no preliminary agreement about what we are talking about.

Thought and consciousness are concepts that appear to be self-evident to each of us, and still remain so ambiguous that each of us can give them the meaning they prefer.

A nice phenomenological starting point is that consciousness intrinsically is an intensive activity (intensive = that tends toward), and does not exist as such, but only as an activity directed toward something: there is no consciousness if not consciousness OF.

Somebody can obviously disagree with this view, but then it becomes obvious that we cannot even try and agree whether the universe is conscious or not.

Thought is an even more complex question, because it is intertwined with consciousness, but also appears to imply an unconscious (major) background, and has a "computational" component in addition to the "intensive" property (directed toward something).

We might possibly agree on considering thought as the capability of dynamically producing an [b]internal image[/i] of reality and analyzing it to rationalize it, give it a meaning and evaluate its emotional relevance.

Both these definitions would point to the need that - in order to think or be conscious - the universe shoud be able to direct its attention to something (which would necessarily be something internal to the universe itself) and produce an internal image of reality (which would be limited to the universe intself, i.e. a purely internal reality), to rationalize it, give it a meaning and evaluate its (emotional?) relevance.

This opens two distinct perspectives:

1. The universe actually IS a tought (consciousness) rather than an entity that thinks - in a sense, this is a quite faithful representation of Dave's perspective (if I got it right), in that the "universe" (i.e. the reality as we see it) only is an apparent materialization of an algorithm, of a thought.
In this perspective, I feel very ill at ease, because then every dynamic aspect of thought is lost: the universe is A thought, A SINGLE one-shot thought, a single still and sterile photograph like the 3-D representation of the game of life gliders above. A single thought by some-body/thing outside our universe.

2. The universe thinks, i.e. produces an internal image of something, analyzes and rationalizes it, gives it a meaning and evaluates its relevance. But then, where is such internal image supposed to be?
- In the laws of Physics? I once more feel the depressing staticness of such a thought! A thousand pages of equations may represent a thought (complex as you wish) that has been thought once and for all, but it certainly is not "thinking" or "consciousness".
- In the process of Evolution? that's nice, I like to think of Evolution as a kind of "thought", but can we somehow imagine what and where the consciousness of such a thought would be? consciousness of what? how? can we somehow imagine some kind of activity aimed at analyzing and rationalizing, giving a meaning to and evaluating the relevanceof something, within such a "thought"? If Evolution is the "thinking" of the Universe it certanly is something quite different from what we usually call "thought" and "consciousness".
- In the intertwining of randomness and determinism, indeterminacy and entanglements of quantum mechanics? This certainly looks sufficiently esoteric, fascinating and metaphysical to assimilate it to the transcendent aroma of thought and consciousness, but that's the only analogy, there are no intensive (directed toward) aspects in it, no rationalization, interpretation, evaluation aim in it.

3. The universe is a living system (Gaia) and as such it thinks and is conscious (presumably because we, who are living systems, think and are conscious). This obviously implies that worms, plants and bacteria think and are conscious. I'm not going to spend more than a single word on this idea: religion.

My conclusion is very simple:
the universe thinks and is conscious provided you devise a suitable definition of thought and consciousness that applies to whatsoever dynamic system.
But it is not our kind of thought, our kind of consciousness, unless you are willing to simply, religiously, believe it.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby neuro on September 25th, 2014, 5:23 pm 

By the way, Philosophytalks,
I have the impression that your idea that tought is some immaterial juice added to neuronal network from elsewhere does not look particularly novel, revolutionary or intriguing, and does not appear to have all that logical power you seem to attribute it in dismantling alternative views...
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Philosophytalks on September 25th, 2014, 5:42 pm 

What it comes down to though neuro, like you said, is just what you think a thought is. Some argues that thoughts are just neurological activity, however this seems implausible for I dont think you are able to reduce mental states to physical states. I'm not saying that my immaterial idea is true, im saying that it isnt as illogical as others state. Thought seems to be more than just neuronal activity, for if it was just neuronal activity it would be possible for people to completely read our thoughts and desires and everything that we consider us to be a thinking thing.
When you look inside your mind (introspection), you do not experience the neuronal activity in the brain but instead you experience your thoughts, and this is what backs up my point. The mind seems to be more than the brain and thus you cannot reduce mental states to physical states, instead my view is that the immaterial juice (for want of a better word) use the physical universe as a medium to express themselves but are not part of the physical universe as such.

I dont see how evolution is a "thought" of the universe either. Instead it is just a process. Its like cell reproduction in the body. It isnt a thought of the brain (in your view of a material mind) but instead it is just a simple process that occurs in the body which you arent in control of. If youre saying that evolution is a thought of the universe, then you have to say that cell reproduction in our bodies is a thought of us too.

Your conclusion that you came to means that you basically have to redefine what we mean by thought in order to apply it to the system. If a good definition of thought is eventually created, it may not apply to the system which you believe to be true. The question states "can the universe think" and by that I am assuming it thinks to be something like our thought processes, for if it is a totally different type of thought we wouldnt be aware or able to understand what was meant and so the question wouldnt be posed in the first place.
The universe cannot think like we do, unless you anthropromorphise the universe to make it seem like it thinks in the same way that we do.

P.S. Neuro - just because you do not agree with my thoughts on the mind doesnt mean it is illogical. There is a lot of logic behind what my thoughts are and that is why property dualism is so widely suspected to be a good theory by many established philosophers. I never stated it to be revolutionary, but it seems quite strong in some sense.
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby Paradox on September 25th, 2014, 5:45 pm 

Greetings PTalks,

Impressive!

I would have argued with you that neurons are responsible for thought, until I read this:

Tsahi Rosenbluth says this about where thoughts come from:

Until now, we always assumed that our thoughts originated in our brain. However, it is now clear that this assumption is not correct. In fact, our thoughts originate from outside of our bodies! The brain does not create our thoughts, but rather processes them and tries to adapt them to our ability to understand and function.

Until now, we understood that our desires or plans are the result of electro-chemical processes taking place in our brain - but what triggers these activities? Is it the brain itself? The answer is no! Thoughts enter our brain from a source that is outside of our physical body and, only when they reach the brain, does it begin to act and decipher them.


The full blog:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/5343#.VCSMML6d5SV

Regards,

Paradox~
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Re: Can the universe think? (split from #1 truth thread)

Postby neuro on September 25th, 2014, 5:56 pm 

Paradox » September 25th, 2014, 10:45 pm wrote:I would have argued with you that neurons are responsible for thought, until I read this:

Tsahi Rosenbluth says this about where thoughts come from:

... Thoughts enter our brain from a source that is outside of our physical body and, only when they reach the brain, does it begin to act and decipher them.



Gee, Px!
is such a bold pair of sentences sufficient to make you change your mind?

I'd never believed it: we must be pretty weak polemists, then, gven none of us was ever able to move you by an inch from your positions...

:°)
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