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Karen Chaffee

Hi, Duane.


”Were it not for the survival of human civilization (and the survival of roughly a quarter to half of all plant and animal species), I could easily let our many differences slide by as merely an academic concern.’


I don’t think we have any differences between us at all!  I think, yes, we can explore whether the universe is living, as long as we describe our words, terms and methods and agree on them, and it may indeed be fun to do that, or, if folks on the forum agree to define the words very narrowly, the exercise might be mundane.


(For example, we agree to call living, anything that contains something living.  Then, yes, the universe is living, but that’s kind of mundane)


Or, we define our words more broadly, and have some fun exploring the issue!


A slight disagreement between you and I would be, I think  we don’t have to define the universe as living to believe it is possible there is more going on in the universe than researchers yet understand, or _acknowledge_.   It might blow our minds when researchers figure out/admit what it is!


Bear with me, I am not going off topic:  I held a salon last year, to explore the fact that the electron’s orbit is huge compared to the size of the nucleus.  The atom thus stores a lot of potential energy because of all the weirdnesses of the electron, and WHY? Systems ordinarily try to get to a low energy state.  The atoms thus created are hugely unstable and need to combine. 


I work in a university with a lot of scientists who study the orbitals of atoms, but when I tried to discuss that basic idea, I actually got kind of stonewalled.  It seemed people didn’t want to discuss it.  If there is an answer for this, no one would tell me.


There is some reason, some need, for the the weirdnesses of the electron, and perhaps for the atom to store potential energy–and we don’t know what it is.  Is there more to the universe then we know now?  I _think_ so. 


I don’t have to describe the universe as ‘living’ to know that.   I do have a gut feel the answer will come from the small scale, but will be relevant to the macro–this is just my fun speculation.


“First- Duane, since you aren’t staying on any given topic, I’ll have to conclude that we agree that the Universe doesn’t meet the first criteria for life – metabolism. ” 


Wha, wha, wha!  I’m still doing my homework (attempting to define the system and surrounding of the universe) , but it will take me a while, and when you least expect it, I will post.  If we want to explore an energy exchange, we need to describe a system and a surrounding.  I tackled Brian Green’s book, which addressed this in regards to the universe, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of the book.  (He had paragraphs containing negative energies and pressures, if I can recall my trouble.)   It’s not going to be right away, but I thought I’d make a list of everything I didn’t understand and see if others here could help, and maybe we can define this bad boy!