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Universe has a mind of it's own

  1. Dec 28, 2005 #1
    is it possible that the universe has a mind of it's own, is it possible that it thinks in it's own way.
    we know that information passes thru energy and the universe is full of energy. we may never be able to tolk to it, just like a tree will never be able to tolk to us, but i believe that it has a mind of it's own.
    I'm hearing a lot about intelligent design lately but no one knows who the desiger is, what if the designer was the universe a designer of everything.
    i would appreciate if whoever reads this posts what they think of it
    i'm verey interested what others may think of it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2005 #2


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    Hmm..my mind belongs to the universe (I don't know whether yours do), and I am not churlish enough to deny the universe property rights to my mind.

    Thus, the universe does have a mind of its own.
  4. Jan 2, 2006 #3
    yes, but i think universe is one big mind
  5. Jan 2, 2006 #4


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    Intelligent design that you hear about now days is the invention of a few Christian fundamentalists, they try to avoid saying it, because their goal is to try to have their religious views taught as an alternative to valid science, but the Christian God is the designer in their view.
  6. Jan 3, 2006 #5


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    Can you think of anything inorganic that has a mind of its own? I would agree that the universe possesses and provides all the energy found around us but believing the universe has a mind of its own is equivalent to suggesting that my house, as SelfAdjoint once inferred very well, has a mind of its own.
  7. Jan 3, 2006 #6
    Let us not confuse mind with the reality to which it must conform to arrive at an awareness and knowledge of and an understanding about the universe in which the mind resides and that makes the development of a mind possible.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006
  8. Jan 3, 2006 #7
    Hmmm. I can say that Artificial Intelligence (not that we have one ... yet) would have a mind of it's own but would not be composed of organic molecules. Viruses which are not truly alive either, but they are organic, can be said to have a mind of their own (or not depending on what you mean by mind). Which brings me to this point: I think that the questions one should first pose are what does one mean by "mind of its own" and what does one mean by "intelligence".
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006
  9. Jan 3, 2006 #8

    Les Sleeth

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    Viruses don't exhibit any mind, they only exhibit programming. They may alter to adapt, but only because they possess the programming to do so. I'd say to mean anything other than programming, "mind" requires subjectivity, a sense of "self."

    In terms of the universe being conscious, just because there is an inorganic presence in the universe (matter/physics) doesn't mean the mind of the universe (assuming one exists) is dependent on it. In fact, in the case of our solar system, Earth, life and human consciousness, it may be the other way around.
  10. Jan 3, 2006 #9
    Ok. I agree. However... if we are to accept the fact of Evolution then does it not follow that we have evolved from organisms that once exhibited only programming (in fact our own cells exhibit just such a quality) and that with enough time for mutations and the following complexity mind is then only an advanced program, or rather a construct of that advanced program. Thus a sufficiently advanced AI with a complex enough mind can be said to have a mind of its own and be self-aware.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006
  11. Jan 3, 2006 #10
    so, then, who "programmed" the viruses?

    we could say that you are progrmmed too. you don't seem to exhibit any free will. you respond to posts in the way that you know how to, without fail. if you don't, at first, know, you will figure it out.

    doesn't sound much different than your "programming", as we know that viruses "learn" (adapt/evolve) in order to "transcend"/"go beyond" the "counter-attack" of the immune system.

    the difference is only in complexity.
  12. Jan 3, 2006 #11
    It is possible.I read an article in scentific armerican that black holes where like computers and that all matter had information in it and black holes could process that information.If there Black holes are like computers it is possible that they could some kind of abillty to "think".It is possible that black holes could the CPU's of the universe and there proccesing information and energy and somehow sending it to other black holes and this gives entire universe somekind a colltive consiness.Which is possible since qutaum physics that everthing interconnected with each other in some way.
  13. Jan 4, 2006 #12

    Les Sleeth

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    If we accept the actual facts of evolution, and not the hype pushed by physicalist believers, then the only relevant facts we have are common decent and genetic variations that either produce useless/destructive changes or which produce simple superficial beneficial changes like bigger bird beaks, longer monkey tails, new colors, etc.

    There are no "facts" of evolution that show genetic variation (along with natural selection) has produced high-functioning organs or organisms.

    So evolution, despite the hyperbole of believers, can't be shown to have created its own programming. The programming is there, yes, but the question is still wide open as to how it got there.

    Getting to your point, that "a sufficiently advanced AI with a complex enough mind can be said to have a mind of its own and be self-aware," I don't see it. First of all, we don't know that the basis of subjectivity is complexity. I've pointed out (many times) that if subjectivity arises from complex mental functions, then why do meditators (who still the mind and therefore mental complexity) not only retain subjectivity, but report that it is strengthened when the mind is silenced?

    Of course, a lot of AI guys think subjectivity will arise from complexity anyway, so my answer to them is, okay, demonstrate subjectivity from complex programming. Nobody has even come close, so I remain skeptical. What some AI believers do is to lower the standard for subjectivity or dismiss it altogether as illusory. Now that is a dubious tactic if I've ever heard one. You know, if you can't make your computer actually be conscoius, then change the definition of consciousness so computers can be called consciousness. If so, then what are we humans, chopped liver? :tongue2:
  14. Jan 4, 2006 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    I didn't introduce a "who" that provided the programming. If you ask physicalist believers they will say it came about through a bunch of happy accidents. Of course, they can't recreate any such set of accidents now.

    However, you are wrong to say the only difference between me (human consciousness) and a virus is complexity. The big difference is my subjectivity which a virus cannot be shown to possess.
  15. Jan 4, 2006 #14
    At which point in evolution do u think subjectivity may have arisen in organisms? Is this with the rise of the central nervous system? Or right at the beginning of life?
  16. Jan 4, 2006 #15

    Les Sleeth

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    Personally I think it first starts to show with the CNS. Good insight PIT2.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  17. Jan 4, 2006 #16
    talking about humans and viruses can be more tricky. how about we consider if a dog or a cat has "a mind of its own." i suggest this because, it appears that what you mean to say is that: viruses lack self-awareness; the sense of self as you call it. this, i believe, is what you are talking about, when you say "subjectivity." that is a complex feeling.
    the feeling that i have, of my own self, is extremely rich in complexity. i have the clear and distinct perception that this feeling is so complex that if i were to try to describe the feeling of my being conscious of it, i would merely mutter and clamour foolishly. this "sensation of self" is a very complex one, and therefore, the difficulty in relating to a virus, which has, probably among the simplest sensations, as its richest, is great.

    -la palida asked a necessary question, which has not yet been explored, in the least. "what does one mean by mind of its own and what does one mean by [/i]intelligence[/i]."

    the thread needs to deal with a major issue, i think.
    •there is a term, which is in the question even, that we still don't know (or agree on) the meaning of: when we say "mind," what are we referring to?

    how can we have gone this long, without even trying to understand the question?

    ??How do we plan to answer a question, that we don't understand??:confused:
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  18. Jan 5, 2006 #17
    For me the most cherished attribute of my mind is that it enables me to reason. Intelligence would be a measure of the minds ability to reason.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2006
  19. Jan 5, 2006 #18
    But where do the first organisms (the ones without a CNS) fit in then? They are highfunctioning systems, but they are not conscious?
  20. Jan 5, 2006 #19

    Les Sleeth

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    My own current opinion, which is open and ever-changing, is that a dog possesses subjectivity. However, a dog is also just about overwhelmed by his biology and conditioning, so his self-awareness may be severely or entirely obscured from himself.

    Humans appear to be the first beings capable of escaping being totally dominated by their biology and conditioning (though IMO most humans fail to make much progress in these respects), and able to actually recognize a distinct "self." Functionalist thinkers like Daniel Dennett will disagree, but personally I don't think he knows beans about his own true self.
  21. Jan 5, 2006 #20

    Les Sleeth

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    They are indeed high-functioning systems, but appear to be mindless chemical factories. For example, without them there would be no atmosphere capable of supporting the variety of life we find present today, and we wouldn't have had a basis for multicellular life to develop. Even today our bodies are made up of billions of mindless cells which still do nothing more than serve as chemical production systems. The CNS is where all subjectivity is happening; all individual cells appear in service to the ruling consciousness inhabiting the CNS.
  22. Jan 5, 2006 #21


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    I agree with Van Gogh. Though my support may not be much good to him! I have nothing to back it up except a strong feeling--not much good on this forum. Anyway, just wanted to let him know what i thought (since s/he asked). I might do some more research and thinking and come up ith some good arguments.
  23. Jan 5, 2006 #22
    I meant what is it about the organisms without a CNS that makes hem 'alive', if it isnt consciousness. Are they in service to the universal consciousness, like our bodies' cells are in service to our CNS consciousness?

    Im trying to imagine which things are conscious in what way.

    1. an organism with a CNS is conscious of itself as an organism
    2. an organism without a CNS is conscious as a universal consciousness
    3. a rock is conscious as a universal consciousness (like a non-CNS organism)

    According to what weve been talking about, is this what it comes down to?
  24. Jan 5, 2006 #23

    Les Sleeth

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    After question 1 things get a bit too speculative for me. My own leanings are that an organism without a CNS may be ever so slightly conscious, but then it might just be pure chemistry that is very effectively organized. There isn't enough behavior exhibited by single cell organisms to really make any sound inferences about consciousness, so I prefer to leave the question open.

    What organized the chemistry to become that cell however is what I am more likely to attribute to some sort of universal consciousness. If it's a bit of that universal consciousness that emerges in biology to be an "individual" consciousness, then it seems like it relies on the CNS for that emergence.

    I don't think a rock is conscious or aware in anyway whatsoever because it shows no such quality. Why speculate it's conscious without any evidence to make us suspect it?
  25. Jan 5, 2006 #24
    Alright, maybe im imagining a universal consciousness in the wrong way. When i think about a universal consciousness i imagine one that is conscious of all the universe. So when i said that if non-CNS organisms (nr.2 (and also 3))do not experience their own consciousness (as individual organisms/rocks) then the universal consciousness experiences them as part of itself.

    So the CNS 'receives' consciousness from the universal one and in the same proces the universal one splits itself up (as each CNS is conscious as a seperate individual) and through evolution the individuals then become more and more conscious.

    When i mentioned numbers 2 and 3 being conscious as a universal consciousness, i meant that the universal consciousness was conscious of them (since it is universal).

    I have a billion more questions but they are so speculative i wont even ask them :smile:
  26. Jan 5, 2006 #25

    Les Sleeth

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    I am sure you realize I am just playing "what if" with you. I don't know if anything I said is true. I play the "what if" game with myself quite a bit, and it just so happens that one of my favorites is "what if there is a universal consciousness, how would it be involved in creation." Some of the things I've suggested to you are ideas I've had about how a universal consciousness might function if it exists and plays any role in guiding creation.

    To make the game more realistic, I have a rule that whatever I say about the way a universal consciousness might function has to fit some facts. The CNS and organization ideas appeal to me because nobody knows what consciousness is or its source, and nobody can explain how things got so exquisitely organized as to form a cell and all the other life forms that followed.
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