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

Ed Lantz

<p>Jon: “Looking over those, I don’t see anything that changes my earlier statement – that the closer these possible effects are looked at, the smaller and more elusive they become – a hallmark of something that isn’t real.”</p><p> </p><p>Ok, well your argument is based on you “looking over” the citations that I gave, however your claim that “that the closer these possible effects are looked at, the smaller and more elusive they become” is not substantiated in the citations I gave (as far as I can see). In fact, as I pointed out, Bem’s metastudy cited a striking replication of his findings:</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>”…90 replicated experiments from 33 laboratories in 14 countries which yielded an overall effect greater than 6 sigma, z = 6.40, p = 1.2 Å~ 10-10 with an effect size (Hedges’ g) of 0.09. A Bayesian analysis yielded a Bayes Factor of 1.4 Å~ 109, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence” in support of the experimental hypothesis.” (http://tinyurl.com/o4ylpwj).</p><p> </p><p>This does not sound like a diminishing effect to me…</p><p> </p><p>Your approach is akin to a common “<span style=”color: #0000ee;”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>pseudo skeptic</span></span>” practice of debunking based not on careful research and examination of the claim, but based on media reports, appeals to “common sense,” or other forms of second-hand knowledge.  I would challenge you to cite peer-reviewed studies or metastudies that demonstrate your claim that “the closer these possible effects are looked at, the smaller and more elusive they become.” I do not see a basis for that conclusion in the recent studies that I cited.</p><p> </p><p>Jon: “At the same time, I agree with you that we are unlikely to change each other’s minds, and it seems that in any case, our larger concern is helping others learn our deep time history – where we are in full agreement.”</p><p> </p><p>Sure. This “living universe” thread is not central to the deep time history effort for which there is solid consensus, as you say. I joined this particular thread because the topic “is the universe a ‘living system?'” was an interesting one to me. It lies on the fringes of science and what is “knowable,” but could have huge consequences for science and humankind should the evidence some day reach a critical mass.  In science, great strides are sometimes made by changing our fundamental assumptions and looking at phenomena through a different “lens” or world-view. I’m a defender of fledgling research areas that deserve attention yet are dismissed without serious consideration.</p><p> </p><p>The reason I went down the PSI rabbit hole is because there is a large body of evidence (of various types and degrees) that is suggestive of anomalous information transfer, which points to the possibility of a non-local informational (and possibly computational) domain that is accessible to human intelligence under the right conditions. Such a thing is conceivable within the bounds of quantum information theory – it’s unfortunately way beyond the ability of neuroscientists to measure. </p><p> </p><p>The current scientific paradigm says that the universe (including quantum information) is purely random. In the case of an intelligent universe, we might find that there are subtle probabilistic “biases” towards life that would express themselves over vast time periods.  It is a fascinating area of study, however there is much work to be done to substantiate such a theory, so as I say, it is currently not highly relevant to teaching people about deep time. It is an emerging field of study. That’s how I would frame it in any communication with the public.</p>