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Is the Universe naturally inclined to become self-aware?

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posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 06:44 PM
Ok, this is an idea which is largely still in the making but I wanted to share it with the minds on ATS because I don't know where to take it, or rather where its taking me.

Its becoming more feasible to me, the more I learn that the Universe may have a natural inclination toward increasing complexity on many levels. Bare with me on this one.

What if, the entire universe has a direction of progression? by this I mean that maybe, through the immesurably complex interactions of energies and matter, forces and reactions, the universe is trying to get to a certain point?

I'll try to explain this the best I can.
Quantum particles display the characteristics of energy and are the most fundamental level of matter which we know. Matter, it seems is itself inclined toward complexity, which results in the diversity of all elements and in turn compounds which exist. Then these elements and compounds interact (within the circumstances of the universe remember, ie. gravity, electro-magnetic, weak and strong nuclear etc...) to form what we consider to be biological molecules, hydrocarbons and the like. These again, in turn form even more complex arrangements and produce single cell organisms and further, multi-cellular life forms again of increasing complexity right up to us, the human being, the most complex life form we know of.

We as humans, are complex enough in our brain structure to display fully cognitive and self-aware conscousness which you could argue is the latest step in the progression of this inexorable process. (that we know of)

So, I guess what I'm getting at is that I think the universe has a direction, that all the processes and interactions within the universe where always going to lead to a result given enough time and enough chances.

Accepting this, it would be ignorant to assume that we display the most complex form of consciousness and it becomes apparent that further, higher, more intricate and implicate forms would follow, given the chance and enough time.

I think that maybe this process is much more common place than we'd normally realise due to our limited understanding of consciousness itself and what qualifies AS consciousness.

There are many hints toward this notion of a universal inclination toward increasing complexity and here are a few which show how abundant this may be, all be it on a simple level which I'm sure many of you are familiar with:

Taking this idea to its extreme, is it completely implausable that a galaxy or even a star, given its complexity and the ammount of time it has existed for, might not exhibit a type of consciousness which we simply do not recognise and understand?? Its an amazing thought to me that the sun might know that it resides in the centre of our solar system, might actually be aware of its place in the galaxy on some level.

I guess, simply put. I think that the entire universe might be on a mission so to speak, to become as aware as is possible of every part of itself and in every possible way.

Well, there it is. If I have made any glaring scientific mistakes then please point them out to me as I want to learn by posting this as much as anything and obviously any thoughts or further insights into this are most welcome.

...and if you read all that then bravo...and thanks for taking the time

p.s. sorry about the number of times I used the words 'complex' and 'complexity'.

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 07:08 PM
My post will be brief and lacking in details, I'm afraid.

Your idea is intriguing, but not entirely new. There are those who believe that the Universe itself is an intelligent entity; and perhaps, what we call "consciousness" and "intelligence" are in fact intrinsic qualities of the Universe itself. Other groups go further and label this 'background intelligence' with anthropomorphic characteristics.

Recent research has shown that some octopuses display distinctive personality traits. Those who have extensively interacted with pets will also attest to the individuality of every 'animal' they have encountered. Does personality or character dictate cognition, or vice versa? I don't have the accreditation to say for certain.

Even more recently, it was shown that inorganic dust molecules in space assume helix shapes and can even reproduce like organic matter. This remains a puzzle: at what point do dancing particles make the jump from 'inorganic' to 'organic'?

We still know too little. I'm (personally) inclined to believe that the Universe itself is intelligent -- as is anything in it, animate or inanimate -- but to expound any further would be to render this post unreadable.

Excellent topic, and excellently written post, Chonx.

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 07:20 PM

Originally posted by Mr Jackdaw
My post will be brief and lacking in details, I'm afraid.

Your idea is intriguing, but not entirely new. There are those who believe that the Universe itself is an intelligent entity; and perhaps, what we call "consciousness" and "intelligence" are in fact intrinsic qualities of the Universe itself. Other groups go further and label this 'background intelligence' with anthropomorphic characteristics.


posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 10:10 PM
We are part of the universe. We are self aware. A fragment of the universe is self aware, thus the universe is self aware.

The universe can be likened to a cell. Many parts in operation, forming a machine. Many individual shapes, forming a singularity.

A bio-machine, the universe contains all that was and all that will be, within itself.

The universe is a self-replicating, self-perceiving entity that is alive and grand in its design.

We are man. God is God.

Everything is wrought from the essence of God. Everything is vibration, that is, a coming and going. Movement. Movement is the only constant. There is no such thing as non-movement.

You know what I think? All information is already present in the mind. It's up to the mind to find it.

I read in a recent issue of American Science, that the universe we perceive exists within our mind as an actual geometric grid. When we move in the world, electric inpulse carves a map into our mind.

When you "go down memory lane", your brain is actually travelling through a formation created from past experience.

Thought is also made of shapes.


posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 10:38 PM
Good post. I've written around the subject of consciousness and the universe for awhile now, and always like reading the points-of-view from someone else.

Jackdaw pointed out something very interesting with regard to inorganic matter spontaneously organizing into the double helix structure capable of memory and reproduction. This tells me that life is possible anywhere, and that the universe seems to make it possible by default.

Evolution is another interesting thing. It applies to humans, animals, Earth, the universe. It started with the big bang, and continues to evolve to this day.

I do believe that consciousness is the medium in which existence..exists. I think consciousness finds organized matter to occupy. When that matter is used up, consciousness unseats itself and finds a new receiver.

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 11:07 PM
I agree, I was going to start a thread on this, so I'll add some of my findings here.

Mr Jackdaw has already mentioned the ionized dust formations in space that exhibit the features normally attributed to organic matter. To be more precise what we are talking about is plasma.
Here is the paper on the subject.

Plasma has the ability to self organize into cells or what is called double layers and filaments, Irving Langmuir gave the name plasma to ionized gas because of it's resemblance to living blood plasma.
All bodies in space form a protective plasma sheath, also known as things like magnetosphere or heliosphere (in the case of the solar system); the same could be said for cellular structure.
The visible universe is estimated to be 99.999% plasma. Plasma is an excellent conductor of electricity, I'm convinced that the universe is electrical in nature and in many ways reflects the same electrical processes that take place in biology. Our senses translate information to electrical signals to our brain, there's enough electrical energy in the brain to power a light bulb, our heart also beats because of an electrical current.
Similarly the universe is connected by vast electrical currents called Birkeland currents, they form into twin braided filaments that connect galaxies stars and planets, the energy is stepped down from huge galactic currents to currents that connect stars then on to planets and moons.

Simple cymatic experiments clearly illustrate that resonance gives rise to geometrical structure the higher the frequency the more complex the structure. Rotating magnetic fields also have the ability to create structures that resemble biology. Video

On the left is a human stem cell; on the right is the Tycho supernova remnant.
Read the link for more details. The other link is a paper regarding how plasma physics can be used to better understand biology.
Bio-plasma Physics Anyone?
Bio-plasma physics

On the left we have neurons from a mouse; on the right is a simulation of the universe.

I've found other similar comparisons, but I think this illustrates the point.
Electrical connections in the brain, electrical connections in the universe.
What we can see are fractal relationships, patterns that are repeated at all scales, Plasma by the way is also scalable not only in structure but also time, a small plasma discharge in the lab that lasts fractions of seconds scaled to galactic proportions can last for hundreds to millions of years.

I've mentioned in some of my recent posts the research of Halton Arp, his theory based on observable evidence, claims that quasars are ejected from the nucleus of galaxies, these quasars then grow to become galaxies themselves. Galaxies give birth to other galaxies, it implies creation is constantly taking place and that galaxies exhibit biological behavior, a simple definition of life is the ability to replicate.

I haven't fully organized all the information I've collected on this, so I may add some more later.

Edit : I just wanted to add, please reconsider everything standard cosmology is claiming, it is based on very little real evidence and is plagued by scientific dogma, many of the concepts are overly complicated and go against many well established sciences. The Big Bang has it's roots in religious concepts of creation and is unable to account for what we can see, thanks to Hubble.
Watch Cosmology Quest for a revealing look into the madness that is standard cosmology.
Also watch Thunderbolts of the Gods for a simpler, more believable theory.

[edit on 11-9-2007 by squiz]

posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 11:48 PM

I have from a time since youth thought this reality was made up.

I now think on the order this is an all encompassing construct and the mind is an interpreter to assemble the code of the unknowable into sophistication that builds upon itself. The body carries the interpreter within the construct which the mind learned to create and perceive from birth.

The human beings conscious has been grown to create a reality to where it must learn how the construct is to work. The eye shows the mind which creates the reality which is played before true reality hidden by something controlling the experience we call life in a physical realm.

Its like looking out a window to the outside and seeing the created world move about within your view. Than, you have some one move behind you and faintly see another moving reflected observation just beyond your attention of the outside scene.

Another way to know how conscious works and hides things is to watch a TV with a window reflecting on the TV screen when you are held captive by the TV action. You see the reflected window light on the TV screen when the TV is off. Turn the TV on and you loose sight of the window reflection on the now busy TV screen your mind is so busy analyzing and being occupied by another reality.

My thought on the experience we think we are in this reality is a single sentient energy form operating within a construct enjoying an expirational experience we call mortal life in the realm of material creation.

The very sophistication of it all makes us believe this is reality and when we expire we simply come out of the construct back to origin as conscious sentient energy. The universe is part of the construct, thus we build it as we think we discover our created theories of it all. Knowledge is infinitely indexed and drawn from as we progress within the construct to be used by all interpreters operating which can connect into it.

Think about this for a moment, We have stories of ufo, aliens, ghost, yeti, snowmen, devils, mothmen and all kind of weirdness going on in this world. Where do you think these unexplainable phenomena come from.

There is something operating a backend and we here now are only conscious of the front end as we react with the construct.

Just my thinking on that..........

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 03:34 PM
I recommend looking up Paul Davies to all.

The living universe does seem somewhat contrived for life (and observers), and it isn't just the whacked-out fundamentalist Christians who have noticed. Cosmologist and theoretical physicist Brandon Carter released a paper based on what is in Philosophy called a counter-factual analysis (basically asking "What if?") on the physical laws and parameters of the Universe themselves. He calculated that, had the laws differed from what they are only slightly, life could not have emerged. He named this observation of seeming contrivance and 'fine-tuning' The Anthropic Principle.

This name somewhat unintentionally led to the impression that it had something to do with mankind. Later support came in Barrow & Tipler's "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" (Oxford Uni Press). Slammed and dismissed as quasi-religious claptrap, The Anthropic Principle has stuck some derision over the years. 'Sort of' opposed is the idea of a Multiverse - from the likes of Susskind at Stanford, worth giving him a look - a logical view somewhat reminiscent of Darwin's description of survival of the fittest, in that we are in a well-suited environment and existing here because we could not possibly exist elsewhere in the Universe. This was fellated by Atheists with enthusiasm, and gave The Anthropic Principle a bizarre dichotomy of alluding to design as well as secularly explaining of the universe's bio-friendliness.

Accumulating evidence that some laws of Physics are 'effective laws' instead of true fundaments, and the ease at which life develops (for example the famous Miller-Urey Experiment in which glycine is produced by zapping ammonia, methane, hydrogen and water - major components of early Earth), have given The Anthropic Principle a comeback, with a counter-intuitive sense that the Universe is uncannily bio-friendly right down to the underpinning mathematical make up of the universe.. But that this isn't necessarily indicative of design.

It is easy enough to be in awe of the complexities emergence from our 'cooling' universe but a whole host of seemingly fortuitous underpinnings are observed, including that: the four forces (strong nuclear force, 'electroweak' force and gravitational force) could have rendered the universe sterile if any one of them had slightly differing strength values, the measured value of gravitationally repulsive 'dark energy' is 120 powers of ten less than its natural value, for reasons unknown and mysterious. If it were 119 rather than 120 powers of ten less, we would not be here to argue about any of this. Another example is the life-giving atom carbon, the production of which in stars requires a numerical 'coincidence' of just the right nuclear resonance.

The Multiverse Theory provides an argument against inevitable life (and hence, conscious observers) by taking the stance that we may well just be winners in a giant cosmic lottery. As is the case with our Saturday-night lottery, it is far more likely that *someone* will win *sometime* rather than nobody ever. A kind of convergence between Multiverse and Anthropic Principle incorporates ‘Anthropic Selection’ to describe the bio-friendliness of some universal regions over others - attributed to quantum fluctuations during the inflationary phase (the reasons for the amplitude of which are still unknown).

As for whether sentience could exist beyond the brain structure... I'm not entirely convinced.

Regarding the location of consciousness and observation in the universe, there's a nice related argument (and perhaps a new thread) within the Multiverse of the 'fake' universe. Everything seems tailored to promote the emergence of sentient life... Would we know if we were living in a simulated universe? Paul Davies' The Goldilocks Enigma gives interesting discussion on how we don't 'feel' our brains, even though we 'live consciously' inside them, how we know where our consciousnesses exist. Fascinating stuff.

[edit on 13-9-2007 by Dumbfirefly]

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by Mr Jackdaw

I believe that.

I think that we are not so much supposed to return to God as opposed to evolve into God.

That the essence of the universe is consciousness.

That we are the eyes of the world looking back at itself in wonder.

If the Universe is a singularity and God is a singularity and you cannot have 2 singularities it only makes sense that God and the universe are one and the same thing.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 08:50 PM
As mentioned by a previous poster Paul Davies is well worth a look see..

The goldilocks enigma is an extremely interesting read..

If the universe was not configured for self awareness i would not be here right now typing out this response ... think about it.....

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:04 PM
Funny how often threads that come close to the truth end up in skunk works around here....

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:22 PM
The Goldilocks Enigma one of my current favourite recommendations.The preceeding books The Mind Of God and The Origin Of Life make for brilliant reading, too.

For a nice look at the old-skool idea of a self-aware universe, Plato's 'Timeaus' plays around with it in his account for creation of the universe (albeit by a demiurge) and how Plato understands the universe to be 'God' (so maybe this would be of interest to you,grover). The Universe as forged by the Demiurge is modelled on the Perfect and Eternal realm, self-sufficient, formed within a cosmos which itself is self contained as a sphere and “never receives anything into itself from without, nor itself goes out to any other”. With intelligence, the Universe is realised to be a “blessed God”.

Always interesting to give our modern ideas about the universe their historical roots. Also of an interesting aside is Plato's insistence that, because of the awareness, it is entire unto itself - he asserts that “ONE is right” in describing the Universe, not in terms of “plurality or infinity". The Demiurge doesn't create ex nihilo either, the materials of the universe were always already in existence.

Funny how old the notions of multiverse, a finite universe and original singularity are.

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 05:58 AM
Thankyou all for the input.
especially to squiz, Mr Jackdaw and Dumbfirefly, I am currently in the process of researching and reading all the materials you suggested. The dust clouds forming organised structures and 'evolving' for lack of a better term is mind blowing. absolutely fascinating stuff. Dumbfirefly, I will aquire the books you suggested in earnest and look forward to discussing this further in the future. Thanks again.

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 04:55 PM
Double post, meant to press 'edit' but pressed 'quote'

[edit on 043030p://upTuesday by Mushroom Fields Forever]

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 04:56 PM

Originally posted by Chonx
Its becoming more feasible to me, the more I learn that the Universe may have a natural inclination toward increasing complexity on many levels. Bare with me on this one.

What if, the entire universe has a direction of progression? by this I mean that maybe, through the immesurably complex interactions of energies and matter, forces and reactions, the universe is trying to get to a certain point?

This idea reminds me alot of Novelty Theory by Terence McKenna. He developed a Timewave graph that shows a function of novelty (the new or never before seen) over time. He states that it is basically a law that as time progresses things get more complex. At the same time "novel events" seem to resonate later on in the timewave. It is difficult for me to explain so I will provide some links. The most important part, imo, is that he came to an end point in 2012 on his own, then later found out about the Mayan prophesy.

Novelty theory has a few basic tenets:

-That the universe is a living system with a teleological attractor at the end of time that drives the increase and conservation of complexity in material forms.

-That novelty and complexity increase over time, despite repeated set-backs.

-That the human brain represents the pinnacle of complex organization in the known universe to date.

-That fluctuations in novelty over time are self-similar at different scales. Thus the rise and fall of the Roman Empire might be resonant with the life of a family within a single generation, or with an individual's day at work.

-That as the complexity and sophistication of human thought and culture increase, universal novelty approaches a Koch curve of infinite exponential growth.

-That in the time immediately prior to, and during this omega point of infinite novelty, anything and everything conceivable to the human imagination will occur simultaneously.

-That the date of this historical endpoint is December 21, 2012, the end of the long count of the Mayan calendar. (Although many interpretations of the "end" of the Mayan calendar exist, partly due to abbreviations made by the Maya when referring to the date, McKenna used the solstice date in 2012, a common interpretation of the calendar among New Age writers, although this date corresponds to such an abbreviation rather than the full date. See Mayan calendar for more information on this controversy.) Originally McKenna had chosen the end of the calendar by looking for a very novel event in recent history, and using this as the beginning of the final 67.29 year cycle; the event he chose was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which gave an end-date in mid-November of 2012, but when he discovered the proximity of this date to the end of the current 13-baktun cycle of the Maya calender, he adjusted the end date to match this point in the calendar.


Mathematical Explanation (pretty heavy stuff)

[edit on 043030p://upTuesday by Mushroom Fields Forever]

[edit on 053030p://upTuesday by Mushroom Fields Forever]

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 06:55 PM
To read two science fiction classics (written back in the 30's) that deal with this subject I highly recommend Olaf Stapleton's Star maker and Last and First Men, usually published together these days.

and of course there is Author C. Clarke's classic Childhood"s End.

[edit on 18-9-2007 by grover]

posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 09:21 AM
reply to post by HuntaXX

LOL, I originally posted this in the science and tech forum because I thought that was most appropriate and while I don't really mind that it got moved..... well i dunno.... whats the implicated there?

posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 11:39 AM
Given the religious, political and social conditions... one would be tempted to conclude that awareness (much less intelligence or consciousness) has happened on earth yet.

Or in the words or my D.I. in basic.... "I'm still waiting!!!"

posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 08:04 AM
Well wrote andy, vey good read!

Got to say didnt understand all that you wrote
but enough to atleast have an attempt at a reply lol

I agree with you on alot of what you said its as if we all as humans, and all other forms of life and non forms of life are on a streamline to make ourselves better or more involved in the next step to understanding how our consciousness works, and our reasons for being here!

I mean no-one/thing really knows what its true excistence is or where its supposed to be heading. But i do agree that the universe and everything in it has a path or some level of consciousness that its trying to reach. And that everything has some sort of consciousness, we just might interpret it in a different way.

Maybe the question is not "what is the meaning of life" but " what is the meaning of the universe" lol

Sorry been known to at work have to keep myself occupied!

Once again Andy very good read look forward to hearing more!

posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 05:16 PM
reply to post by Chonx

Hi, - I came upon your article when I myself was writing an article based on the same idea. I believe you'll be interested in reading it ! - My article also includes an interview - done by me - with Henry Markram, Director of the "Blue Brain Project" !

I mean to post my article to this forum, but as I am a new member, it looks as if I have to contribute 20 comments first..

My article is: To be or not to be..: Is self-awareness the birth-right of the Universe ? - ( I plan on changing that to: "Did the Universe evolve the Blue Brain to become aware of itself".

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