Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is the universe examining itself?

  1. Feb 3, 2005 #1
    If we examine the universe and we are made up of the universe then the universe is examining itself. It is no doubt "looking" at itself. Do you agree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    That's basically Hegel's view: Man is the universe become self-conscious.
  4. Feb 3, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    John Wheeler has a famous diagram of the universe as a gigantic U, with an eye at the top of one branch looking at the other branch. He rejects the simple interpretation of this that humanity created the Universe and all its past by observing for the last few millenia, but certainly his thought, however nuanced, tends that way.
  5. Feb 3, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I have difficulty comtemplating what "looking at itself" means since itself is what is doing the looking but it's looking at what is doing the looking. I hate writing awkwards . . .
  6. Feb 3, 2005 #5
    How are we made up of the universe? Is the universe not made up of life, planets, galaxies, etc? I need clarification on this one before I can comment further.
  7. Feb 4, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Alright, my favorite example:

    I once saw this picture: It was a profile of a man that was made out of little stick-and-ball molecules. The man was looking intently at something in his hand . . . it was another stick-and-ball molecule.

  8. Feb 4, 2005 #7

    Assembled out of or rather derived from, resources found in the universe or rather known universe. I think the host is talking about the “fabric” of universe.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  9. Feb 4, 2005 #8
    No I don't. I do believe the universe alows for a place for us to dwell, kind of like a matrix. Just because we dwell in the universe doesn't me we ARE the universe..... And I am talking about not neurons, bones, or muscles but something deeper, like a consciousness or soul.
  10. Feb 4, 2005 #9
    This is exactly what I mean as well. If we say we are the universe we are equivocating ourselves with something that is greater than ourselves.

    Each of us has his/her own subjective experiences within our lives. The prefix "Uni" signifies oneness, a certain unity throughout the universe. If each of us has our own subjective experiences, and we are the universe, then there is no more oneness within the universe, thus contradicting the notion of "uni."
  11. Feb 4, 2005 #10
    We are part of the universe. To say there's anything beyond our flesh is mere arrogance on our part.
  12. Feb 4, 2005 #11

    Now if only we knew what 'the flesh' is.
  13. Feb 4, 2005 #12
    Noun: 'Universe' Everything that exists anywhere.

    Universe as a container implies that there is something outside, thus it can not be a “universe” by today’s definition. Now I am not disagreeing with you, since we simply lack the knowledge in true nature of the universe and its fabric. That’s like asking, what energy is? do you know the true nature of energy? its extreme fundamentality?

    Our habit of exploration (science) is few thousand years old, universe on the otherhand is little more then that …
    So let’s keep discovering…
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  14. Feb 4, 2005 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Let's suppose that the universe is examining itself:
    Does it matter?
    Or, if it does matter, does it matter that it matters?

    Marvin, the paranoid android.
  15. Feb 4, 2005 #14
    It matters within the frame of reference, we may not be the only explorers, we might not even be the 1st or the last, and again we lack information? Keep exploring… :biggrin:
  16. Feb 4, 2005 #15
    Does it matter?
    Or, if it does matter, does it matter that it matters?
  17. Feb 7, 2005 #16
    -What scientifically disproves the soul?
    -Whatever answers you just came up with, and are now (I presume) well known scientific facts, where once ideas just like the idea of a soul.
    -So why is this idea false, when the others are true?
    -The only thing arrogant is your statement.

    I would say that it only matters if it gives us the disired conclusion, or solved the problem at hand. Beyond that, math and science are mind games, like chess or logic puzzles. :wink:

    In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it - thou art a fool.
    Lord Chesterfield
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2005
  18. Feb 7, 2005 #17
    Oh, really? Give me one shred of evidence supporting this "soul" of yours.
  19. Feb 7, 2005 #18
    Hegal's remark

    Thanks for the input. It seems I see the same as Hegal.
  20. Feb 7, 2005 #19
    Self reference

    I see what it means. I saw a painitng in a book of a pair of hands are painting one another called "Drawing Hands" by M.C. Escher.
  21. Feb 7, 2005 #20
    The universe

    No I am talking about the universe. Any part of the universe is included with the term I am referring to. The "fabric of space is included".
  22. Feb 7, 2005 #21
    Survival of the fittest.

    When put into a perspective nothing much matters in this existence except for subjects concerning survival.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2005
  23. Feb 7, 2005 #22
    Those of you interested in this topic might wish to do a Google search under:
    "Einstein+Pantheism" Or "Scientific Pantheism"
    There is a lot on the web about this topic

  24. Feb 8, 2005 #23

    I Am aware of Pantheism and I find it very interesting. Thanks for the suggestions. Rad
  25. Feb 9, 2005 #24
    Alright, heres a little shred:


  26. Feb 12, 2005 #25
    NDEs and the soul

    I have read a couple of books on NDEs, one I am reading right now called "Lessons From the Light" by Kenneth Ring. It is an interesting subject. I think this is what is getting at the core of the subject of the thread. The fact the universe is looking at itself shows something of the central role consciousness plays in the universe. The universe has a mind because we have a mind. Some would argue that the mind of man is only the universe self conscious in part but even from that perspective one cannot help but be in awe over the mystery of existence.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook