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Knowledge as a real Entity

  1. Nov 13, 2008 #1
    A supernova is so brilliant that it would kill you stone
    dead at a range of several light years. But from a typical part
    of the Universe -in intergalactic space - you would not even see it
    because its so far away.
    A typical part of the Universe is cold - 3k and empty, less than a
    thousandth of the highest vacuum that can be created here on Earth.
    How do we know about a place so far away and so different and alien than anything
    we are used to?

    Our environment - the Earth - is creating knowledge. Look with a telescope and
    we can see tiny bright objects called Quasars. They look like stars but they aren't
    - and we know what they are. Billions of years ago and billions of miles away,
    the material at the centre of a galaxy collapsed towards a super large black hole,
    then intense magnetic fields directed some of the energy of that gravitational
    collapse and forced some of the matter back out in the form of tremendous jets in illuminated
    lobes with the brilliance of a trillion suns. We know what these objects are.
    The physics of the human brain could hardly be more unlike the physics of such a jet
    - we could not survive for an instant in it, it would be like trying to survive a super nova
    explosion at point blank range for millions of years - language breaks down trying to describe it.
    And yet that jet happened in precisely such a way that billions of years later
    on the other side of the Universe some 'chemical entity' - us - could accuratley
    describe and model and predict and, above all, *explain*, what was happening there in

    The one physical system - the brain - contains an accurate working model of the other
    the Quasar, not just the superficial image of it, but an explanatory model, embodying
    the same mathematical relationships and the same causal structure - now that is
    knowledge. And if that were not amazing enough, the faithfullness with which the one structure
    resembles the other is increasing with time. That is the growth of knowldege.
    So the laws of physics have this property that physical objects as unlike each other
    as they could possibly be, can nevertheless embody the same mathematical and causal structure
    and do it more and more so over time.

    So this chemical entity (us) is different, it has Universality, its structure contains with
    ever increasing precision, the structure of everything, this Earth contains the structural
    and causal essence of the whole of the rest of physical reality.

    So, how does the solar system aquire this special relationship with the rest of the Universe?
    It does it with matter (information processing needs matter), energy, and thirdly less
    tangible for the open ended creation of knowledge and explanations, is *evidence*. Now,
    our environment is saturated with evidence, for example, evidence of Newtons Law of Gravity
    is everywhere around us, falling on every square meter of the surafce. Our location is
    saturated with evidence for all the sciences.

    In inter galactic space the 3 prerequisites for the creation of open ended
    creation of knowledge (matter, energy and evidence) are at there lowest possible
    supply. Its empty, its cold and its dark.
    Or is it? Its a parochial misconception. Imagine a cube in inter galactic space the
    same size as the solar system. That cube still contains over a million tons of matter,
    which is enough to make a space station with a colony of scientists, who are devoted
    to creating an open stream of knowldedge, or a research institiute.

    However, we do not have the ability to collect all the atoms over that cube at present.
    But in a comprehensible Universe - if something is not forbidden by the laws of physics
    then its possible - what could prevent us from doing it other than knowing how?
    In other words its about knowledge not resources. - We would automatically
    have an energy supply from fusion of the matter. And evidence? Well, again, its
    dark out there but with a telescope we could display the same galaxies as we see here on Earth.
    Particle accelerators could be built and astro physics learnt, chemistry and so on.

    So inter galatic space contains all the prerequisites for the open ended creation of
    knowledge. Any such cube, anywhere in the Universe could become a hub like we are if the
    knowledge of how to do it were present there.

    Lastly Newton, in his Alchemy and light research said that the 'Universe is straining towards intelligence'.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    A lovely post.

    I all ways think of knowledge as flour and academia as the sieve, if academia shakes the sieve only some hard lumps are left, but even these lumps could be persuaded to pass through the mesh, what can not be persuaded through the mesh is present day knowledge.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  4. Nov 13, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    It may not be feasable, for one.
  5. Nov 14, 2008 #4
    Well, you are arguing with David Deutsch, my teacher, and missing the deeper point. Sorry PF Mentor.
  6. Nov 14, 2008 #5
    What exactly is your proposition?
  7. Nov 15, 2008 #6
    The piece (the first entry in this thread) is evidential towards the evolution of consciousness and knowledge as something profound and very powerful and not just *a random phenomenon in nature*, rather, in an oncological sense a law of Universality with a definite direction (one of increasing precision and complexity over time evolution).

    The *law* is as yet unknown, it may be a law of physics, a law of information or a law based on something else as yet unknown. I am looking for ideas from the readers here.

    I may add that this piece (the first thread entry) is my teachers view - David Deutsch - who went out on a limb in one of his more expansive series of lectures.
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