Thanks for taking the time to explain.Â Perhaps I should read your book “The Living Universe” before commenting further đź™‚
“…I definitely doÂ notÂ see the universe as â€śaliveâ€ť in the same way that biological organisms are alive. Â However, I do see the universeÂ as aÂ uniqueÂ kind of unified and living systemÂ nested within the unique aliveness of a larger multiverse… the atoms that comprise the rock… do seem to possess some kind of primary â€śalivenessâ€ť. So, my working hypothesis is that unique expressions of aliveness are found at bothÂ higher and lower orders of scale, with â€śbiologicalâ€ť organisms being an expression of life found within the human range.”
Sure. Well the difficulty here is measuringÂ “aliveness.” As you admit, by all definitions, you do not see a rock as “alive” in the way that we are alive. Yet the very word “alive” would imply this, no?
There is another way at this. It is possible to show (by both theory and experiment) that the universe has vast quantum informational and computational capacities (even a rockÂ – even the vacuum, for that matter). Currently, these computational and informational processes are thought to be completely random. Shannon taught us maximumÂ randomness is (or, to be exact, could be) aÂ sign of maximal information. Perhaps if we knew how to look at “quantum noise” we would find (superimposed) bounded informational structures that we might think of as intelligent informational processes. This is completely plausible based on what we know about quantum computation.
We mightÂ then posit that life is an outward expression of theÂ “intelligence” that is imbued in all matter, living as it were in this quantum computational substrate (the “quantum foam,” as it is called). Now we have a theory that is (ultimately)Â testable. Instead of looking for metabolism in rocks and galaxies as a sign of life, we would be looking for intelligence – not in the atomic motions orÂ chemical exchanges of those systems, but in the quantum informational exchanges within those systems.
Measuring quantum informational “patterns” in matterÂ is possible withÂ sensitive instruments. If we couldÂ show that matter is imbued with intelligence in this manner, intelligence implies consciousness, and consciousness implies life. So in a roundabout way you could then indeed claim that all matter is alive… alive with intelligence.
I’ve been chatting about quantum consciousness on a LinkedIn forum – I’ll post a summary of my latest research and thoughts on the topic.