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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

George Ellis: on 2/12/17 at 6:44am UTC, wrote Hi Rodolfo and Jorge "So any system in an entangled state exhibits...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 2/11/17 at 1:25am UTC, wrote Hi, Gambini and Pullin, Very Good essay sirs, Your views on consciousness...

Avtar Singh: on 2/11/17 at 0:18am UTC, wrote Dear Rodolfo and Jorge: Thoroughly enjoyed your well-written essay. I...

James Arnold: on 2/7/17 at 10:09am UTC, wrote Sorry, didn't mean to be anonymous -- the preceding was my review.

Anonymous: on 2/6/17 at 10:16am UTC, wrote Rodolfo and Jorge, Your essay is very thoughtful and well written. I...

Jack James: on 1/29/17 at 11:35am UTC, wrote I enjoyed this essay and style it was written, thankyou. I disagree with...

Lawrence Crowell: on 1/23/17 at 11:50am UTC, wrote I gave 10 for public vote and will do the same on community once my essay...

Lee Bloomquist: on 1/19/17 at 2:30am UTC, wrote Experiments have confirmed the Born rule. Within experimental limits, the...


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FQXi FORUM
February 21, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Emergence of life and consciousness in a purposeful universe by Rodolfo Gambini and Jorge Pullin [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 7.1; Public = 6.4


Author Jorge Pullin wrote on Jan. 12, 2017 @ 21:11 GMT
Essay Abstract

Recent scientific developments provide evidence that we live in a world whose nature encourages the emergence of life and consciousness. We are not arguing that the world was created with that purpose, rather our view is that the world has a nature that is receptive towards life and consciousness and is open to organization imposed via top down causation by ever more complex organisms. We can see in this -at first unrecognized- tendency a universe whose purpose is to offer opportunities for life and expand the potential of the living organisms endowed with various degrees of consciousness. Such purpose is manifest in the laws that rule the world and in the nature of the fundamental entities whose regularities such laws describe. That is how we end up with individuals whose goal is the development of capabilities that are just a further manifestation of the fundamental nature of the world, and through them, a universe capable of observing itself.

Author Bio

Rodolfo Gambini is a professor of physics at the University of the Republic of Uruguay. He is a fellow of APS and AAAS and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Uruguay and Argentina. He is the recipient of the TWAS physics prize. Jorge Pullin is the Horace Hearne Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Louisiana State University. He is a fellow of APS, AAAS, IOP, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina and Mexico. He is the recipient of the Edward Bouchet award of APS.

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John Edward LaMuth wrote on Jan. 13, 2017 @ 06:07 GMT
I am unsure of the mechanism for your final assertion that through these results in a universe capable of observing itself.

John L

http://youtu.be/gMSGoxUSYxk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p
8kL3v539D4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alf5IB6iR2c

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David Brown wrote on Jan. 14, 2017 @ 11:48 GMT
"To make a long story short, the measurement problem in quantum mechanics is that in its traditional formulation the theory is not complete without an observer involved." I think that the preceding is a good aphoristic summary of the measurement problem. I say that Milgrom is the Kepler of contemporary cosmology — although one might say that Kepler is sui generis. Is Milgrom's MOND relevant to the measurement problem?

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jan. 18, 2017 @ 16:45 GMT
Hello Mr Brown,

I beleive that Mr Milgrom or Mr Verlinde with this modified newtonian mechanic are in the error.But it is just my opinion of course.Here is why.We know indeed that we have this problem of rotations with the galaxies.When Zwicky has found this problem, he has inserted this matter not baryonic to solve this problem.I beleive that people makes also the same error in considering the quantum gravitation, this weakest force like an emergent electromagnetic force.This gravitation cannot be nor relativistic nor baryonic.Gravitons for example cannot answer so because they are bosons and that gravitation is not bosonic.The dark matter and gravitation for me are linked.The newtonian mechanic is universal.If we want to, unify G c and h we must insert new parameters but these parameters respect this newtonian mechanic it seems to me.

Food for thought.

Regards

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Hans van Leunen wrote on Jan. 16, 2017 @ 11:48 GMT
Dear authors,

If you want to find purpose inside physical reality, then it suffices to interpret the fact that all discrete objects in the universe appear to be either modules or they are modular systems. With other words, one of the most influential laws in nature must read as:

"Thou shalt construct in a modular way"

Modular construction implies several aspects. Modular construction applies its resources in a very economic way. Modular design and modular construction enable reuse and that reuse requests standardization. The modular design method becomes very powerful when modules can be constructed from lower level modules. The standardization of modules enables reuse and may generate type communities. The success of a type community may depend on other type communities. Also, modular systems can form type communities.

In the beginning, modular design will use a stochastic approach.

The modular design and construction method is very efficient and even with stochastic design it easily wins against the monolithic design and construction method. With enough resources available even the stochastic modular design and construction method can produce intelligent modular systems. From that instant on, will intelligent design at these locations take over from stochastic design. For those species, the creator’s choice for modular construction will contain important lessons. See: Voting for extinction of our species by Hans van Leunen https://doc.co/GMDDeb

Hans van Leunen, retired physicist

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 16, 2017 @ 16:43 GMT
Dear Professor Gambini and Chairman Pullin,

Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings such as the ones you effortlessly indulge in. As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my brilliant essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY, the real Universe consists only of one unified visible infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. Reality am not as complicated as theories of reality are. We each have a complete surface and we live in a world that also has a complete surface.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Jan. 17, 2017 @ 00:01 GMT
This essay is an extremely enjoyable read and proposes to help us understand "how a Universe ends up understanding itself."

But using prose to say that the Universe has an "understanding" of something still leaves us with the "mindless mathematics."

I wonder-- would mathematical game theory be the best, or the only, "mindful" mathematics that we have for expressing this statement...

view entire post


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Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 17, 2017 @ 16:34 GMT
Dear Mr. Bloomquist,

Natural reality am simple to understand.As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my brilliant essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY, the real Universe consists only of one unified visible infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 02:30 GMT
Experiments have confirmed the Born rule.

Within experimental limits, the mathematical pattern in the data is explained by the Born rule.

The Born rule says that the same number can be output from two independent algorithms.

(Bohm and Hiley had previously said "from two independent concepts.")

Confirming the Born rule is the same, mathematically, as confirming through an experiment that there is an algorithm in the data.

It has the signature of a learning algorithm.

What is it learning?

The laws of physics.

Who is teaching it?

The answer is in the final thoughts of this essay:

"...we end up with individuals whose purpose is the development of capabilities that are just a further manifestation of the fundamental nature of the world, and through them, of a universe capable of observing itself ."

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 23, 2017 @ 11:50 GMT
I gave 10 for public vote and will do the same on community once my essay appears. Your argument is largely ψ-ontic. I tend to think there is some sort of relativity or complementarity between ψ-ontic and ψ-epistemic interpretations though. In effect QM does not conform well to the sort of metaphysical categories we ordinarily think according to.

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Jack Hamilton James wrote on Jan. 29, 2017 @ 11:35 GMT
I enjoyed this essay and style it was written, thankyou. I disagree with your claims on top down causation and emergence. I think these are conceptual errors, albeit very difficult to account for and easy to fall for. There is a lot of talking up of emergence and top-down causation at the moment, and although we think we can demonstrate both occurrences, and although consciousness isnt in the brain when we open it up, in both cases our lack of understanding, and our explanation, is the real issue. A strong clue for this is that there is a fundamental disproportionality in our weighting of thought. The fruits of reductionism and common sense are being fundamentally shortchanged/overlooked. How can one show from top-down causation the interaction between two microscopic bodies? Now sure, in some cases we cant explain, via bottom-up causation, all goings on in those terms. But this gap isnt a gap that top-down causation should fill. It's a little like the Schrodinger equation chuggin along by itself creating all sorts of universes, but oh wait what about the observer. What about wholes being made up of parts in/at/of time?

(Please note I dont hold any of this against your paper, and I understand here i am merely speculating, thanks for a great essay).

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 6, 2017 @ 10:16 GMT
Rodolfo and Jorge,

Your essay is very thoughtful and well written.

I appreciate your point that quantum “developments illuminate a world that is much more hospitable to life than that of the mechanist paradigm” which “open the possibility for new vistas on the problem of consciousness and, through it, how a Universe ends up understanding itself.”

And I appreciate that “physical laws are descriptions of what happens in the world. Physical Reality may well go beyond the laws, which only describe observed regularities.”

I think what you’re getting at is that the idea of “blind mathematical laws” is a misconception, and properly conceived, the “physics” of the universe must be compatible with intentionality. The universe must somehow be intentional, in however inchoate its primitive physical form, because we are natural beings and we are intentional.

But although the concept of Life may be illuminated by your accent on top-down causation (i.e. supervenience), it doesn’t actually “open the possibility for purpose in the world”, or even of experience. Top-down determination only suggests how purpose and intention can be effective, not how it can be possible.

Mainstream biologists may agree that there is top-down determinism in the metabolism of a biotic cell, but they will absolutely deny that there is anything intentional about it. Intention and purpose involve imagining and possibly bringing about an eventuality that doesn’t exist by working with and against causal processes. And there is nothing in the idea of quantum probability that begins to explain how such a disposition could come into the world.

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James Arnold replied on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 10:09 GMT
Sorry, didn't mean to be anonymous -- the preceding was my review.

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Avtar Singh wrote on Feb. 11, 2017 @ 00:18 GMT
Dear Rodolfo and Jorge:

Thoroughly enjoyed your well-written essay. I fully agree with your expressed conclusion - " The purpose of the Universe should appear in the laws that favor the emergence of systems with high degree of complexity. …… We hold the regularist position that states that the laws of nature just describe certain regularities of a reality that transcends them. From a first person perspective the world has a phenomenal nature which we perceive from our conscious mind but it also satisfies certain regularities that science, in particular physics, describes."

Building upon the spontaneous decay of quantum particles as the Downward Causation agent for the emergence of higher order consciousness or free-will phenomenon, I have developed an integrated relativistic model of the universe that resolves the Hard problem of consciousness, predicts the observed universe, and explains inner workings of QM. I would appreciate it very much if you could please provide your comments on my contest paper - " FROM LAWS TO AIMS & INTENTIONS - A UNIVERSAL MODEL INTEGRATING MATTER, MIND, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND PURPOSE" as it explains the emergence phenomenon as transcendence from one state of relative reality to the next higher state within an infinite sets of potential realities following the laws of conservation.

Looking forward to your feedback on my paper,

Best Regards

Avtar Singh

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 11, 2017 @ 01:25 GMT
Hi, Gambini and Pullin,

Very Good essay sirs, Your views on consciousness are really fantastic ...!

In your concluding para you said………….. If the Universe Had no beginning as in the eternal inflationary scenario, one cannot discuss the purpose of its creation. But In a Universe That is life-­‐friendly and phenomenic in character one can always find purpose in its inhabitants………….

I want to say few points for further discussion …

1. Probably you are referring to Bigbang based cosmologies here. There you are considering only 40 percent of all the Galaxies and remaining Blue shifted Galaxies and quasars are not considered.

I request you to have a look at Dynamic Universe model also for the other side of the coin…..

2. You are implying someone created the universe. I am also firm believer of God, but everything we cannot leave to God …. If we need some progress in science…. What do you say…?

3. You said nicely that life friendly phenomenon exists in Unverse… Good.

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Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 06:44 GMT
Hi Rodolfo and Jorge

"So any system in an entangled state exhibits downward causation. The states’ roles in causation, their disposition to produce events, and their non separatiblity when entangled are at the root of this phenomenon". Bravo!

George

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