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In Just Six Numbers, Martin Rees demonstrates that certain fundamental constants are such that the kind of order we see all through the cosmos can arise.
well I suppose you can say that, and I have seen that response to the anthropic principle type of argument. But the point I take from 'pre-existing harmony' idea is a little different. I guess, actually, it is just another form of the cosmological argument. It is like this.
I rather like the idea that life itself is a latent capacity within the cosmos which appears when the conditions are right. It is almost like the image of a fertile soil in which plants will appear when the conditions are right. Of course the big question in this regard is, what are the 'seeds of life'? How did insentient matter spontaneously become living? That is the whole abiogenisis debate I guess. Well - add to the mixture that really interesting idea of panspermia. I got that book by Fred Hoyle on it years ago. There has been some recent press. So the idea is that comets whiz around, and they are actually like giant sperm cells, and places like earth are like ova. Every so often....well I can leave the rest to your imagination.
So I suppose you can say that it possibly just pushes back the potential location of abiogenisis to whereabouts unknown. But I love the idea of the Cosmic Sperm Cells.
there is no reason why self-organisation could not be a manifestation of an underlying order.
... in essence, I think it may be said that when the process of the expansion of the early universe reached a tipping point and a phase change occurred that allowed some of the universe's energy to precipitate into matter, the precipitation was conservative with respect to matter/energy ... but was it also conservative with respect to complexity/information? ... that is, did the process of the expansion of the universe create (I think the word you use is "express") complexity/information that did not previously exist, thus increasing the amount of complexity/information in the universe, and thus vastly increasing the number of processes that could emerge from that complexity/information to produce yet even more novel complexity/information? ... and to bring this back around to the title of the thread, is the universe itself self-organized? ...
i consider all material to be sentient-as far as its senses allow.
One highly important fact is that there is no such thing as a law of conservation of information.
So far there is not.
... another approach is to consider all substance to be insentient, period ... rather, it is dynamic organizations of substance that are sentient ... as Laszlo puts it, "The difference between Caesar and the chimpanzee is not a difference in substance but in the relational structuring of the substance." ... the same could be said for the difference between Caesar and a pool of organic molecules ...
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I rather like the idea that life itself is a latent capacity within the cosmos which appears when the conditions are right. It is almost like the image of a fertile soil in which plants will appear when the conditions are right. Of course the big question in this regard is, what are the 'seeds of life'? How did insentient matter spontaneously become living?
if he is saying that the individual components when you break them down that compose any organism are not sentient but become so as a group...
naw, i dont like that idea. because then where do you draw the line and say voila! now we have sentience!...? by saying everything is sentient we remove that question.
... I think the question "How did insentient matter spontaneously become living?" is simply the wrong question ... I think a better question might be "How did life emerge from insentient matter?" ... autocatalysis is a first step to answering that question - when chemical A catalyzes the reaction of chemicals B and C to produce chemical D which catalyzes the reaction of chemicals E and F to produce chemical A, you have a simple self-organized autocatalytic loop ... autopoiesis is the next step in the self-organization of life from insentient matter ...
---------- Post added 09-04-2009 at 09:54 AM ----------
... and open up new questions ... why doesn't a pool of organic molecules display the same level of sentience as Caesar? ... if you run Caesar through a blender, where does the cumulative sentience go? ...
EDIT: hmmm - I was just on another thread where you quote Alva Noe ... it's puzzling to me that the quote essentially paraphrases what I quoted from Laszlo, yet you agree with one and not the other (?)
the pool of molecules i dont really understand-a group of molecules that form no organism? i am thinking a human being has needs for survival that differ from a pool of molecules, and he would require and develop a higher capability for sentience. and as for what happens to the sentience when you run him through a blender, it is still there but returns to the level of the pool of molecules since it no longer is necessary to be as complex as what caesar needed, and yet will not be reduced to no sentience because i think sentience is the same as existence physically.
... ah ... I was under the misapprehension that what you were proposing was that if all matter is sentient then groups of matter are also sentient by mere summation ... your elaboration on that point shows that this is not the case - that you do think higher levels of sentience arise from higher levels of dynamic organization ... I don't think you'd find yourself in much disagreement with Laszlo, then - although he uses the word "subjectivity" ... in his worldview, all natural systems (in contrast with artificial systems) have subjectivity, as being able to respond self-preservingly (even if automatically) to changes in the environment is his hallmark for subjectivity ... his definition of a system is any whole made up of multiple interacting parts where there are properties of the whole that are (for all practical purposes) irreducible to the properties of the parts (in contrast with undifferentiated "heaps" such as a pool of molecules or a pile of trash) ... as atoms are wholes that are made up of multiple interacting parts, atoms in Laszlo's worldview have subjectivity ... however, that being said, the subjectivity of atoms remains independent of the subjectivity of higher level systems made up of atoms ... higher level natural systems that are made up of other lower level natural systems do not destroy the lower level systems and steal their subjectivity - the lower level systems remain relatively autonomous and retain their own subjectivity while the subjectivity of the higher level system is an emergent property of the system that is irreducible to the subjectivities of the lower level systems ...
actually i think some of this is overlapping things i probably read thirty years ago. maybe now i am in a position to understand it and that is why i am beginning to come to certain conclusions that i had already been introduced to and left behind-far away but not entirely forgotten.
atoms are wholes that are made up of multiple interacting parts.
That is interesting, in that it is a complete divergence from the actual meaning of the word 'atom' which originally meant 'indivisible'. Here it something much nearer to 'molecule', but on a different scale. Of course it is now a commonplace that the 'atom has been split' but I do wonder where that leaves atomism. I think I will break that out into another thread though, it is off topic for this one.
How did insentient matter spontaneously become living?
The chemical reaction did not become alive all of a sudden. It took millions of years for the molecules to go through a process of transformation making them more robust and optimizing the reproduction process.
In fact by winding down the terms life and sentience to such a primitive level, we create a requirement of words expressing the much more progressed states of life and emotion.
But I do like the idea of 'creative evolution'.