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Thirteen billion years of cosmic evolution

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posted on May, 15 2014 @ 12:51 PM
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PhotonEffect
Thoughts are material? In what sense?


originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: PhotonEffect
In the sense that they need a material substrate to manifest themselves.

Maybe I wasn't clear with my question. The manifestations themselves (the thoughts) are of what material?


My feeling about time is that it is an artefact of the human constitution, not an essential attribute of the universe. But that is neither here nor there: we are proceeding by analogy here ('a universe looks like a brain' — though of course, it really doesn't), and by that line of reasoning, God needs a material brain to think with.

You stated a thought would take 93 billions of our years to cross this analogous brain. Was that hyperbole? You haven't quite clarified how you came up with that number.

I'm only pointing out that time/space is relative (as per Einstein) and that a year for us would represent a very tiny amount on a universal time scale.


Spinozan pantheism doesn't posit an interventionist God, but that is the only kind of God that needs to do any thinking. If you study your position carefully you will realize the contradiction in it.

My position is to only play devils advocate with your assertions. I for one don't think the universe is a big brain, but then again how can anyone say what it is or isn't with any degree of certainty?




posted on May, 17 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


The manifestations themselves (the thoughts) are of what material?

The same material that computer software is made of. The same 'substance' (to use the traditional terminology) that the laws of nature are made of.

It is rather disingenuous of you to claim that you are only 'playing Devil's advocate', when it is clear from your signature that you are one who has embraced a dualist position.


You haven't quite clarified how you came up with that number.

It is the diameter of the universe as currently estimated.


I for one don't think the universe is a big brain, but then again how can anyone say what it is or isn't with any degree of certainty?

We can say, with a very high degree of probability, amounting to certainty, that it is an aggregation of matter and energy obedient to certain laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, et cetera. We may infer from the unvarying workings of these laws that the universe does not think. A universe that thought must produce miracles as evidence of it. The same goes for God, as His devotees are only too aware.


edit on 17/5/14 by Astyanax because: black holes and fumaroles



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: PhotonEffect
The same material that computer software is made of. The same 'substance' (to use the traditional terminology) that the laws of nature are made of.

Forgive me, but this seems evasive again. What are the laws of nature made of?? Maybe we can do away with the analogies and you can just state what the actual substance is? For example- are thoughts made of wood? Thoughts are intangible, you can not touch them. You seem to think otherwise and I was hoping to learn something.


It is rather disingenuous of you to claim that you are only 'playing Devil's advocate', when it is clear from your signature that you are one who has embraced a dualist position.

My general position is "I don't know", although I have thoughts on it just like anyone else. I found the quotes to be interesting considering the sources.

I fail to see how I'm being disingenuous. I don't agree that the universe is a brain, but that's besides the point. My playing of devil's advocate is simply just that- for the purpose of debating your assertion without taking any sides. I take issue with your argument that it would take a thought 93 billion years to go from one end of this hypothetical brain to the other. You seem to be using that as a fact to support your position.

I've asked what material thoughts are made of so I can come to a better understanding of your statement. It seems you are relying on the speed of light. Assuming that a thought is composed of light and/or travels at that speed. (or travels at all)

Regardless, thoughts are an emergent property of a material substrate, yet have no material substance of their own. And at least so far as current science can explain, thoughts don't necessarily travel from one end of our brains to another. They emerge as the result of numerous, highly complex, and simultaneous [locally derived] interactions within distinct regions of the brain.


We can say, with a very high degree of probability, amounting to certainty, that it is an aggregation of matter and energy obedient to certain laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, et cetera.

Well yes, from the inside looking out, we can use our human derived descriptors to form concepts of what we think we are observing. But what the thing actually is from the outside looking in is well beyond our capability of knowing. Like a dolphin trying to explain what a galaxy is. And who knows if the universe produces an emergent property of its own...


We may infer from the unvarying workings of these laws that the universe does not think.

You may certainly infer whatever you like. Keeping in mind of course a few things: that you are invoking a version of the anthropic principle when you say that; that most of the "observable" universe is not observable to us; hence we don't actually know nearly enough about what it is to be able to say what it does or doesn't do. Which is what I already said... sorry to be repetitive.
edit on 17-5-2014 by PhotonEffect because: whatever



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

My answer is not evasive, it is perfectly correct.

I am not interested in debating the hard problem of consciousness in a thread about a different topic. Find a suitable thread, or create one yourself, send me an invitation to it and we'll discuss the matter there.


But what the (universe) actually is from the outside looking in is well beyond our capability of knowing.

There is nothing 'outside' the universe in the sense you mean. But if it were possible to look at the universe from some hypothetical external vantage-point, it would probably look like a star.


edit on 17/5/14 by Astyanax because: I am trying to keep the discussion on topic.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax
Great, more non-evasiveness.
I've only been asking for you to provide a basis for your statement. Link me to something if you can't explain it, I don't care.

Thoughts are a material substance? I had no idea. You made a claim about how fast they travel across brains which would beg certain questions. I'm only asking those questions so I can better ascertain the validity of your statement. But all I keep getting from you is equivocation.

The devil's advocate comes out when I see folks promoting rubbish just for the sake of disagreeing with someone else's ideas or beliefs. Or perhaps it was only your way of playing devils advocate with the OP...

Interestingly enough, a google search turned up this article from space.com which seems to suggest the OP might very well be onto something with the brain thing, based on natural growth dynamics of networks...

Universe grows like a giant brain

But I realize the implications of this sort of thing would require that which would be in direct violation of your custom title.

ETA

There is nothing 'outside' the universe in the sense you mean. But if it were possible to look at the universe from some hypothetical external vantage-point, it would probably look like a star.

Again, speaking in absolutes. Where do you get these confirmations from?
Safe to say then, you are not a multiverse kind of person.
edit on 17-5-2014 by PhotonEffect because: I am on topic.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect


I see folks promoting rubbish just for the sake of disagreeing with someone else's ideas or beliefs.

You are trying to turn this into a debate between materialist and dualist positions in metaphysics. First, that's off topic. Second, as you know very well, there is no way to establish the truth of falsity of either position, so arguing about it is futile. I know what you're angling for. I will not indulge you — at least, not in this thread.

Or perhaps you think that there is a way of arguing to a dualist position. In that case you are less familiar with the relevant metaphysical arguments than you think you are. I repeat my offer: start or join an appropriate thread and we can discuss it there.

Now let there be an end to this nonsense; I will not indulge you further.


I realize the implications of this sort of thing would require that which would be in direct violation of your custom title.

There are cells aplenty in the oubliette of my contempt for those who take my custom title literally. Feel free to join those already in residence, but consider first just what company you are likely to be keeping.


Again, speaking in absolutes. Where do you get these confirmations from?

From physics you apparently do not know about — as was shown when you asked me what was my attitude to time.



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