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Duane Elgin



Thanks for your wise words. I certainly did not intend to anthropomorphize nature. I see the universe in a very different manner than human biological systems. My years of laboratory research as a subject in psi research persuaded me there is an ecology of consciousness infusing the universe that can operate in a non-local fashion–therefore my question about the universe: If something is conscious, can it be considered alive?   


Overall, I am getting lost in the micro-details of our discussions when the question I raised was of a macro-scope: Is the universe a unique kind of living system? When I review the really big concepts in science, I am stunned by the scope and depth of mystery regarding the nature of our universe. I’d like to bring back in the definitions I described earlier (after Jon said no struggling is needed as definitions can be found in the dictionary):  

Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the universe. . . . it has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics.
Matter does not have a universal definition, nor is it a fundamental concept in physics today. . . there is no single universally agreed scientific meaning of the word “matter”
We know how much dark energy there is because we know it affects the universe’s expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. 
Time is a curious and slippery concept which continues to defy definitive explanation despite hundreds, even thousands, of years of trying. . . . What if the passage of time were merely an illusion? Can a world without time make sense? . . . big names in physics, such as string theory pioneer Ed Witten and theorist Brian Greene, have recently embraced such an idea.  
“Dark matter” accounts for most of the matter in the universe but has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern physics. “Matter” does not have a universal definition nor is it a fundamental concept in physics. “Dark energy” is the largest part of the known universe and is an expansive force but, other than that, it is a complete mystery. The passage of “time” defies definitive explanation and may be an illusion. 
Mystery is compounded by mystery. The preceding does not indicate whether the universe is a living system or not; instead, it suggests deep humility and great openness in exploring a truly open question.