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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:55 pm

Aaron wrote:
Interesting idea. I believe that information is fragile and that it has a co-dependent relationship with energy. So perhaps there will never be a single Omega-Point but instead a mountain range of Omega-Points with each one as important to the subject as the next but with all of them equally doomed/blessed with impermanence.

...If that makes any sense.

That makes a lot of sense, since energy (in my theory) is actually a dynamic form of generic information. Throughout the cosmos, energy levels go up and down in a trend-chart similar to a mountain range; as a dense star forms out of diffuse gravity & galactic dust, and then explodes as a supernova, only to start moving right back up the thermodynamic hill. But until recently, the local condensation and organization of Energy in the universe seemed to be fighting a losing thermodynamic battle with universal Entropy. So if it is ever to reach a single, bulls-eye, Omega Point, information/energy will have to be focused down to a very tight, narrow, laser-beam of Intention.

The only way I see for that to happen is for Culture to take over the job of Nature to direct the path of evolution. That third* stage of evolution has already begun, as the science of Memetics demonstrates that Cultural Evolution** is like a booster rocket, accelerating the rate of change, both positive and negative. You might describe the new situation as an Info-dynamic battle between randomizing Entropy and organizing Information.

Will evolution end on a fading tone of pointless dissolution, or on a high note of eternal Integration? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


* The first two stages were chemical and biological.

** Culture is not inherited though genes, it is acquired by learning from other human beings. In a sense, human genes have surrendered their primacy in human evolution to an entirely new, nonbiological or superorganic agent, culture.
---Theodosius Dobzhansky
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:36 pm

I've heard Chopra refer to everything in the universe as being the same "random bits of information end energy".

As for your question about culture I think that will be answered by how mankind manages itself in the coming historical epoch. Will we consciously seek out wholeness, taking a modicum of control over our creation of culture, acknowledging the power that our memes and unconscious have over us, or will we continue to behave in a rote, animalistic, manner? As you say, we'll just have to wait and see.
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:59 pm

This is a copy of my post on the Freethought Fellowship Forum, under the topic of Demystifying the Borderlands of Science. It seems to fit this thread too.


HUMAN-ORIENTED EVOLUTION?


The general opinion of modern scientists is that the evolutionary process is completely random, with no particular destination programmed into the laws of physics or the principles of evolution. But that position is getting harder to defend as our understanding of the cosmos becomes broader and deeper. One particularly challenging set of observations was dubbed the Anthropic Principle [AP] by physicist Brandon Carter in 1974, because they seem to indicate that the basic properties of the physical universe are "uncannily suited for life". Most scientists at the time simply shrugged-off that interpretation as a bias on the part of the observer, or interpreter, rather than the real world. And yet as more and more anomalous coincidences were noted, the AP began to demand a direct refutation from defenders of the conventional Materialist model of the world.

In the December 2008 issue of DISCOVER Magazine, "visionary physicist" Andre Linde admitted, "We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible". He went on to say, "Physicists don't like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea". A coincidence implies, but does not prove, a meaningful relationship. For example a list of random coin flips may have a series of a dozen 1s in a row by chance. So philosophers and scientists have developed methods to discriminate between meaningful and meaningless coincidences. The most common of those methods is to reject any apparent causal connection that does not fit our current understanding of how the world works. But sometimes the reigning paradigm must be modified in order to make the new observations fit the old theory.

The article candidly sums up the uncomfortable situation for physicists and cosmologists. "Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation. Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse". So as mentioned earlier in this thread, there seems to be only two reasonable explanations for the existence and organization of the universe: A> Intentional Creation or B> Eternal Lawful Randomness. This article is about the second option.

"Carter proposed that a purely random assortment of laws would have left the universe dead and dark, and that life limits the values that physical constants can have". So Andre Linde, among others, "knew that something was missing from the conventional theory of the Big Bang, because it couldn't explain a key puzzling fact about the universe: its remarkable uniformity". Alan Guth found a mathematical solution to the puzzle in 1981, when he plugged-in an artificial factor to balance the equations of expansion from pinpoint to cosmic proportions. His deus ex machina was called "Inflation", and it required a sudden acceleration of the Big Bang material to a velocity many times the speed of light. This solution was resisted at first because it sounded too much like magic or miracle. But the numbers added-up, so eventually the idea was accepted as the only rational materialist explanation.

However, the hypothetical inflationary scenario, lasting a tiny fraction of a second, could not explain the nagging coincidences of the Anthropic Principle. So Andre Linde proposed another radical departure from the traditional understanding and definition of the universe. He called the postulated process "eternal chaotic inflation", but it has become better known as the Multiverse Theory. "The latest iteration of his theory provides a natural explanation for the anthropic principle. If there are vast numbers of other universes, all with different properties, by pure odds at least one of them ought to have the right combination of conditions to bring forth stars, planets, and living things". But that's a really big IF, because there is no way, even in theory, to prove the existence of ghostly parallel universes in order to explain the existence of the one we know.

And so the search for a final theory of existence goes on, as other "coincidences" arise. In the late nineties, astronomers discovered that, not only is the universe expanding, but the rate of expansion is accelerating. "What astonished them was the peculiar specificity of the amount [of Dark Energy]: exactly enough to accelerate expansion, yet not so much that the universe would rapidly rip itself apart. The observable amount of dark energy appears to be another one of those strange anthropic properties . . .". Another outgrowth of the anti-anthropic research is called String Theory. But, like Multiverse Theory, it is not considered to be a "scientific" theory, because : "This meant that almost any experimental result would be consistent with string theory; the theory could never be proved right or wrong". Occam's razor frowns on open-ended assumptions, "If you allow yourself to hypothesize an almost unlimited portfolio of different worlds, you can explain anything . . . If a theory allows anything to be possible, it explains nothing". Just like the God hypothesis.

The author of the article asked Linde, "whether physicists will ever be able to prove that the multiverse is real". He replied, "Nothing else fits the data." [Except of course, option A above]. So, "if there is only one universe", said cosmologist Bernard Carr, "you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don't want God, you'd better have a multiverse". Even Andre Linde seems to make allowances for something like a deity. He has speculated that, "consciousness may be a fundamental component of the universe, much like space and time". And he goes on, "Without someone observing the universe, the universe is actually dead".

So Linde has eventually come around to a position similar to my own Theory of Informationism, where the fundamental constituents of reality are no longer just Einstein's Matter-Energy in a Space-Time Continuum, but of Matter-Energy-Information in the Space-Time-Mind Continuum. Does that make any sense, in the light of 21st century science?
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:25 am

How is what Linde saying really any different from Descartes?

I'm not bringing that up as an argument, only an observation - "I think, therefore I am" stemmed from Descartes thought experiments on the nature of the universe and perception. He surmised that the unseen universe exists because God is the consciousness observing it.

If we extrapolate his theory and add to it the Panendeist model that we are all constituent parts of God, the same would therefore apply to our individual consciousnesses (sp?).

In that way, Zeno had it right thousands of years ago: Logos
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:26 pm

Uriah wrote:
How is what Linde saying really any different from Descartes?

I doubt that Linde believes in God. The thinking observer he refers to is probably homo sapiens. As I understand his position, the potential for the emergence of mind was inherent in the eternal laws of physics and the nature of matter. Which is exactly what I believe, except I refer to the ultimate eternal pool of potential as God, instead of Multiverse. In the God hypothesis, Mind is prior to Matter, and Will (Intention) is prior to physical Laws. For materialists like Linde, Matter is almost divine. Indeed, as science delves deeper into the mysteries of existence, the Cosmos itself seems to take on many of the characteristics of Logos. But I think the Greeks had it right, Logos is prior to Cosmos. In other words, Cosmos is a creation of Logos.


Wiki: Logos

<< both the source and fundamental order of the cosmos. >>

<< the divine animating principle pervading the universe. >>
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:12 pm

Gnomon wrote:
But I think the Greeks had it right, Logos is prior to Cosmos. In other words, Cosmos is a creation of Logos.

So then I'd take it you agree with Plotinus' "Chain of Being"?


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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:11 pm

I find it difficult to wrap my head around how he arrived at the "higher" levels of reality.
Or is the diagram drawn from our perspective?

Either way, Wilbur talks about the "great chain of being" and it from an abstract, metaphorical, sense it makes perfect sense to me. However, aren't all such cosmograms really aesthetic projections of our spiritual unconscious? Do we really perceive these to be physical schematics for the universe?





The Kongo Cosmogram
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:39 pm

Aaron wrote:

So then I'd take it you agree with Plotinus' "Chain of Being"?

In general yes, but my "chain" might look more like a 3 dimensional network with zillions of nodes instead of just a few. Plotinus' simpler diagram crudely captures the basic idea of emanation (what I would call "emergence") of hierarchical holons from an original ultimate whole. But then, what the !@#% do I know about such things?

Some people seem to take Plotinus' metaphorical model too literally though, as if he knew what the !@#% he was talking about. Gnostics and Kabbalists have derived their own versions of the evolving emanations of the One, and built their occult religious doctrines around them. I prefer to build my own personal cosmology upon the emerging understanding of anti-occult Science, using a variety of wholistic Philosophical models to glue the reductionist pieces together. Unfortunately, the resulting idiosyncratic worldview may seem more abstruse than occult. Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:33 pm

Uriah wrote:
Do we really perceive these to be physical schematics for the universe?
No they're just meager attempt to qualify the unqualifiable.


Uriah wrote:

The Kongo Cosmogram
Looks like Wilber's "four quadrants".


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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:43 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:

So then I'd take it you agree with Plotinus' "Chain of Being"?

In general yes, but my "chain" might look more like a 3 dimensional network with zillions of nodes instead of just a few. Plotinus' simpler diagram crudely captures the basic idea of emanation (what I would call "emergence") of hierarchical holons from an original ultimate whole. But then, what the !@#% do I know about such things?

Some people seem to take Plotinus' metaphorical model too literally though, as if he knew what the !@#% he was talking about. Gnostics and Kabbalists have derived their own versions of the evolving emanations of the One, and built their occult religious doctrines around them. I prefer to build my own personal cosmology upon the emerging understanding of anti-occult Science, using a variety of wholistic Philosophical models to glue the reductionist pieces together. Unfortunately, the resulting idiosyncratic worldview may seem more abstruse than occult. Suspect

I think he may have been on to something in a very primitive manner. I would interpret "Absolute Reality" as "The Ground of Being", the wellspring of infinite possibilities, "nothingness", "the One", etc... I would interpret "Noetic Reality" as "Logos" or the laws of nature. I would interpret "Psychic Reality" as the "zero point field". I would interpret "Physical Reality" as, well physical reality.

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PostSubject: Re: Progressive Evolution   Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:39 pm

I'm just riffin' on the Plotinus diagram of emanation in a first-draft attempt to correlate it to my own theoretical model of Informationism:

1. Absolute Reality is the ALL, The ONE, the ETERNAL, the ground of BEING.

2. Noetic Reality may correspond to my concept of IN-FORM-ACTION, which is the power of God to create; the WILL of God; the MIND of God. Eternal Being in Action.

3. Physical Reality is the UNIVERSE, composed of MATTER & ENERGY, which in turn emerge from the Mindfield of RAW INFORMATION, in the sense of laws and ratios and relationships.

4. Psychic Reality is CONSCIOUSNESS, which emerges by degrees from the complexification of Matter and Energy into LIFE & MIND. The metaphysical Mind emerges from the physical Brain.


A key explanatory gap to be filled is how metaphysical Information can "cause" the existence of Matter and Energy and Mind. When we have a better understanding of the phenomenon of Emergence, those apparent gaps may fade away. Meanwhile we'll have to use our Protean God as a temporary gap filler. Think ?????
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