Home Forums Deep Time Journey Forum Is the universe a "living system"? Reply To: Is the universe a "living system"?

Jonathan Tweet

Hi Duane,
Jon is doing a better job of asking the hard questions than I ever could, so please allow me to offer a parallel suggestion.


  1. We humans make our decisions primarily by emotions and intuition. It’s hard to make people change their minds. Even scientists are notorious for refusing to acknowledge evidence that contradicts their personal views.
  2. The most powerful “proof” that humans respond to is social proof. “Do the people I admire do XYZ? Then I want to do XYZ.”
  3. So if you want to get the “living universe” accepted at IBHA, then the best way might be to get it accepted by similar organizations first. Let the people at IBHA see what they’re missing when other organizations embrace the “living universe” and leave the IBHA behind.

Duane, you can see for yourself how hard it is to win Jon over to your side, so you can extrapolate to how hard it will be to overcome the IBHA’s rejection. If you try a “direct assault” and try to get the IBHA to reverse itself, you’re going to run into this much resistance and more. Does it really matter whether you’re right? Realistically, being right is probably not enough to overcome this level of entrenched resistance.
So what if you tried getting your material accepted in other organizations, conferences, etc? Victories in these other arenas would bolster your case and give you valuable experience in learning what approaches work best and which approaches don’t work as well as one might think they would. The alternative—trying to force the IBHA to admit they were wrong—seems doomed to failure no matter how good your case might be.
Personally, I must admit that I have a negative reaction to an attempt to describe the universe as conscious. I see consciousness as a precious gift that our ancestors have bequeathed to us, something that our ancestors evolved bit by bit over hundreds of millions of years. It’s a miraculous result of Darwinian evolution, something for us all to marvel at. To ascribe this wondrous capacity to the universe at large, in my view, does a disservice to us and to all our sentient relatives on the planet. But I’m a shameless fan of evolution, so that really colors my perception of this matter.
As for my background, my parents tried to raise me as a liberal Lutheran, but I was a liberal atheist instead. As a young man, I spent a few years persuaded that New Age mysticism was true, and I’m glad that I spent that time in mysticism because I think it softened me. But now I’m a natural materialist through and through.