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The No information Universe

  1. Jan 9, 2010 #1
    The "No information Universe"

    It is widely believed that objective reality exists and the universe out there has existed for more than 13 billion years. My question to those holding similar beliefs is this:

    Had information existed before the first conscious observer(perceiving mind) came about?

    Information is mind-dependent, so i am contending that without a perceiving mind we cannot talk about any kind of information at all. The interacting particles that we are aware of, are all information carriers. That's how we know about them, through the information acquired by their interactions by messenger partilces. I maintain that we can never separate information about interactions from interactions, and as far as we are concerned, they are one and the same. The point i am raising is that we are mistakenly interpreting information about objects with objects somehow existing without information about them(i.e. the billion years before our arrrival). There can exist no objects if there exists no information about them and i posit that our concept of time is wrong(along with our inferrence of past events) and what we consensually call the "universe" doesn't and cannot exist without us, at all.

    Would anyone care to prove that information about objects is different than the "objects" themselves? Or that information can somehow exist without a perceiving mind?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
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  3. Jan 9, 2010 #2

    Q_Goest

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    Re: The "No information Universe"

    Hi wavejumper. What do you mean by "no information universe"? Generally, it is taken to mean a conscious mind (edit: I think what you have in mind is that a universe without information is one without a conscious observer or something to that effect). But what was the first conscious mind? Was it a person? an ape? a rodent? Was it an animal that lived 60 million years ago? Or did it live 400 million years ago as a single celled organism? Or did it live before that when there might have been nothing more than RNA molecules? Before that, there must have been pre-RNA molecules of some sort. Amino acids, floating around in a soup perhaps. And what was before that? Just some even more elementary molecules - then more elementary ones. Atoms. Before that just a particle soup.

    The issue with this line of reasoning in my mind, has always been in the identification of what we wish to call "consciousness". The separation between a meaningful universe and one without meaning has always been an arbitrary one.

    I think this line of reasoning has to create a distinction between "information" and "meaning". A computational information system has plenty of information. But consciousness is not a symbol manipulation system because a system that is conscious has meaning*. I'd like to suggest that you have to make a distinction between the symbol manipulation system and the system that has meaning. A conscious system has meaning. I'll try to elaborate below.

    I think Stevan Harnad has some good insight into this. Harnad is known for the "http://cogprints.org/615/" [Broken]". I thought his papers were actually a pretty good read, though you might also want to check Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol_grounding
    The paper has been referenced over http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q...em+&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=2001&as_sdtp=on", so that should tell you something.

    ~

    *More formally, I mean that meaning is supervenient on conscious systems and not those systems that are unconscious. By meaning I think any system that has the experience of qualia (Harnad likes to call it "feeling") is conscious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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