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#4252
Ed Lantz
Participant

Hi All,

 

Well perhaps I overstated my case by calling this a “raging debate” – maybe it is better classified as a “simmering debate.”  In any case, I’ve been seeing a lot more theorists stepping out on a limb and positing that the universe may not be as random as we think, or that consciousness might be a fundamental property of matter. I’ll pull together some references when I have a moment.

 

Jon: “This sounds an awful lot like the standard “God of the gaps” argument – where “since we don’t fully understand it, it must have been by (Jesus), (intelligence), (Aliens), (quantum foam), (Allah), (the FSM), (etc.).  This is the same stuff used by creationists all the time…”

Davidson: “I still think it’s worth considering that what is driving the “intelligent design” discussions is a desire to “find a Home” or “feel like we Belong” in the vast universe. Very human — yearnings religions and spiritual schools have tried to address forever.”

Ursula: “The fact that your posited “collective intelligence” doesn’t have a throne and a beard doesn’t mean that you aren’t talking about intelligent design.”

 

Hmm… well I feel like most of my points are being ignored and you guys are reacting to anything that smacks of “intelligent design.” As I’ve said, I am not pushing religion and, while I’ve had “mystical” experiences where I felt “one with all” and the sense that the universe is alive with intelligence, as a scientist, I know better than to interpret this literally without further substantiation. I know that I could have been hallucinating, delusional, etc.  

 

I absolutely do not have an agenda to prove that God exists – I’m just trying to explain a wide range of phenomena (as already referenced) plus my personal experiences, and the hypothesis I laid out is my best effort to date. From my research, it appears that there are anomalous informational phenomena that current models are at a loss to explain. The hypothesis that I’m developing is, in my opinion, a testable conjecture grounded in observation, not mystical musings, religious doctrines or spiritual yearnings. Fortunately I am not a career scientist at the moment, because clearly it is not a “safe” position to take in the world of science. This is probably why there is scant funding available for quantum consciousness theories.

 

So what if this hypothesis “smells like” intelligent design? Is this crossing some kind of line or violating a scientific taboo? I am not evoking a divine or mystical “creator.” I am positing the possibility of quantum informational channels and a processing substrate that is accessible to biological organisms, and suggesting the possibility that this processing substrate could be host to something resembling “intelligence.” And I’ve promised that this hypothesis is – ultimately – testable.

 

Jon: “Ed, I think we can, as a team working to promote the Universe Story, avoid creationist methods.”

 

I actually agree that this line of thinking is not yet a foundational piece of the “Universe Story” that Jennifer and this group is working on, and never intended to imply that. Quantum consciousness hypotheses are showing up in various forms but are not well published or publicized, supporting evidence is still sketchy and overall they need a lot more development. These things take time to develop and require budgets for experimentation.

 

Recall we were discussing on this thread how we might prove that the universe is “alive?” I brought up the “quantum consciousness” hypothesis because I believe it to be a better line of thinking. Instead of trying to show that the universe is functioning as a biological organism (which it is not as far as I can see), we might find it easier to show that the universe has the capacity of expressing intelligent-like behavior.  

 

In a sense, the proof of this is right under our nose. Humans are products of the universe. Humans are intelligent. Therefore the universe IS intelligent – regardless of the means used to create us (multiple universes, coincidences or whatever) – because we ARE the universe. The prevailing scientific narrative – a faith-based belief born out of a backlash against religion, in my opinion, and not grounded in evidence – is that the universe operates blindly without intelligent direction or “vision,” and that life is an “accident.” This is a narrative, a story, an interpretation – not anything approaching a substantiated fact and I find it dogmatic to try to imply otherwise.

 

An alternate interpretation that equally fits the facts would be that humans are the “eyes, ears, hands and mind” of an intelligent universe… In this sense, the universe is waking up and evolution is now clearly being directed by intelligent design. Ours.