Pythonism

code and the oracular

More on a Theory of the Living Universe

with 2 comments

The Theory of the Living Universe
Perhaps many theories of the universe are possible.
If several provide equal and maximal descriptive power then how might we group these possible theories?
I would suggest that each possible theory prioritises its starting facts in a different order. Looking at conventional modern physics it seems that the existence of life and consciousness have not been placed as primary facts which urgently need an explanation in a satisfactory theory.
Perhaps we could look at a possible list for conventional science as follows:
Energy exists
Matter exists in many forms
Start with these simple facts and build on up.
if anything seems too complex to include then ignore it
The theory of the living universe starts with a different set of suppositions :the primary need is to explain the existence of life and mind…
life exists
mind exists
start with these at highest priority to explain
work down to simpler systems as the need arises
Perhaps we then see a new role for “primitive” cosmologies and creation myths, they are inevitable stopping posts on the way to true understanding. Maybe each primitive notion is superseded but the developmental process of human understanding must honour each stage, just as to understand, say, Number Theory, its historical development must be understood.

Sometimes the universe looks very strange to us, with mind at the center, since it is the center of our introspecting world. Other times mind looks like an unexpected side effect of physical law, and this feels strange too when we accept the immensity of our experience as embodied minds in the  universe.
Perhaps religious traditions have all been unconsciously reaching for a Theory of the Living Universe… Many enshrine the existence of the human spirit as central to creation, and maybe our new theory might also affirm this. Certainly if human mentalities evolve to the technological level of a loosely defined type 3 civilisation then their existence wil have become an astronomical fact worthy of note. If they evolve beyond this to an even greater mastery of matter, energy space and time then they may even become creative godlike agents able to author new universes. In this case mind must be a critical aspect of the universe, since it is somehow (possibly) involved in the genesis of actual universes. Weird to think that all this might come from our life here on earth. Were we destined to be the first creators in the chain ? Or was our universe made by some post-biological culture.
This reminds me of the debate about absolute infinity as the cardinality of the set containing all possible sets. Which is more likely to exist primarily, A Universe or A God. A universe seems to me a weaker condition, and therefore more likely, but the evolving multiverse of created and naturally existing universes is the beginning of a neverending asymptotic journey towards God in my view.
Thanks for listening and helping my process !

Perhaps many theories of the universe are possible.

If several provide equal and maximal descriptive power then how might we group these possible theories?

I would suggest that each possible theory prioritises its starting facts in a different order. Looking at conventional modern physics it seems that the existence of life and consciousness have not been placed as primary facts which urgently need an explanation in a satisfactory theory.

Perhaps we could look at a possible list for conventional science as follows:

  • Energy exists
  • Matter exists in many forms
  • Start with these simple facts and build on up.
  • if anything seems too complex to include then ignore it

The theory of the living universe starts with a different set of suppositions :the primary need is to explain the existence of life and mind…

  • life exists
  • mind exists
  • start with these at highest priority to explain
  • work down to simpler systems as the need arises

Perhaps we then see a new role for “primitive” cosmologies and creation myths, they are inevitable stopping posts on the way to true understanding. Maybe each primitive notion is superseded but the developmental process of human understanding must honour each stage, just as to understand, say, Number Theory, its historical development must be understood.

Sometimes the universe looks very strange to us, with mind at the center, since mind is the center of our introspecting world. Other times mind looks like an unexpected side effect of physical law, and this feels strange too when we accept the immensity of our experience as embodied minds in the  universe.

Perhaps religious traditions have all been unconsciously reaching for a Theory of the Living Universe… Many enshrine the existence of the human spirit as central to creation, and maybe our new theory might also affirm this.

Certainly if human mentalities evolve to the technological level of a loosely defined type 3 civilisation then their existence wil have become an astronomical fact worthy of note. If they evolve beyond this to an even greater mastery of matter, energy space and time then they may even become creative godlike agents able to author new universes. In this case mind must be a critical aspect of the universe, since it is somehow (possibly) involved in the genesis of actual universes. Weird to think that all this might come from our life here on earth. Were we destined to be the first creators in the chain ? Or was our universe itself made by some other post-biological culture.

This reminds me of the debate about absolute infinity as the cardinality of the set containing all possible sets. Which is more likely to exist primarily, A Universe or A God ? A universe seems to me a weaker condition, and therefore more likely. But somehow mind evolves and the consequent evolving multiverse of created and naturally existing universes looks like the beginning of a neverending asymptotic journey towards God.

Or maybe we’ll just blow ourselves to kingdom come and waste the opportunity ! Or maybe just mean that a single node is pruned from a very large tree…

Highly speculative, highly experimental…Thanks for listening and helping my process ! If you disagree then go ahead…blow me out of the sky.

Or join in the great project !

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Written by Luke Dunn

July 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Posted in physics

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Great blog! WE would love to join the great project!

    I love what you said about the primitive cosmologies being closer to a true understanding…in so many facets the old ways seem more “true.”

    In terms of a living universe…I like the idea of rethinking our physical interest once again affirming our human limitations, as though science must again be reeled in, drifting too far in the empirical regress from its humble justifications – the sensations and appearances themselves, consciousness, the NOW.

    One thing that I always wonder about – recently having talked to a friend about Stephen Hawkins, I’m no scientist mind you: how can we begin positing a universe that allows for life, that “has life” when life (and any definition really) is tenuous?

    One thing that excited me about science is how essentially the theory of a living universe is applied with precision and consensus to develop conventional science.

    But somehow science seems to bypass its own calculus by taking under its umbrella as it were notions that maybe OUGHT to be outside its scope, such as creation or existence or “the universe”, which seems remarkably like “God” or “the world” in new robes.

    We lead ourselves to believe that life is a thing…or energy exists, or we live in a universe, but no person would ever deny, it seems so commonsensical, obvious, that under close examination no set concept survives under scrutiny.

    After all, one rule for a definition is that it cannot define itself, immediately suggesting that no concept is stable beyond its usage.

    For example, what is a model/diagram of the universe?

    Isn’t that a contradiction? How could the universe be “modeled” or “diagrammed?”

    Is a photon truly the smallest form of energy, or is this “fact” merely a proposition from which all other propositions can revolve.

    When we use language, and then build upon this through natural science, do we fall into the trap of assuming that a universe is a “thing” that is constant while all other definitions such as life or existence falter and blur at the borders, although no single definition can contain it?

    Is a virus alive? A protein? An oil? A rock?

    Where is the cut-off? Interestingly, the latter question posed a great impediment to me when trying to wrap my mind around the notion of a Christian heaven as a kid.

    The answers seem more to reflect our personal behavior, turning to stone something that is mutable. But we seem to be mere mental Medusas.

    Reality escapes us, sand slipping through our fingers.

    The questions disintegrate before our eyes, dissolved by our grammar and logic and experience and intuition.

    Good luck with your writing and blog!

    deadondres

    July 29, 2009 at 3:18 am

  2. Thanks very much for your comments ! Nice to have some feedback, do you have a blog I could see ?

    Cheers.

    pythonisms

    July 29, 2009 at 9:37 am


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