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Everything posted by Greylorn

  1. Greg, Since the OP concluded with, "Can anyone put into words or... concepts that humans can understand and grasp, what it means to "exist"?" the general subject of existence, however broad it may be, seems to be fair game. I mostly agree with your thoughts on this, except for one that you expressed thusly, "Without space-time, math has no reason for being." As you may know, both dark energy and human consciousness are currently vying for position as the greatest mystery of the 21st century. You surely also know that many people claim that there is evidence for the existence of conscious intelligence independently of the human brain-body system, citing evidence of near-death and out-of-body experiences, plus the occasional transfer of veridical information from hard-dead individuals. (This is all empirical information that does not fit into conventional science-based guesses about consciousness for lack of a physical paradigm. One such paradigm does exist, in obscurity.) In this context, and the context of your statement, consider the hypothetical notion that some primitive form of conscious intelligence, supported by entirely physical mechanisms that we understand about as well as we understand the precursor to the Big Bang, developed consciousness from raw potential. For even more speculative amusement, knowing that human consciousness develops in the company of other conscious humans, suppose that several potentially conscious entities were involved in the initial development of consciousness. What language could they have used that would also give them something to discuss, if not mathematics? Every "consensus" that had been devised to explain the universe that existed at the moment of my birth has been proven to be nonsense, including, regrettably, the belief that the universe was created by an omnipotent God. In the course of my studies and a career in science that began in 1959, the "scientific consensus" about the beginnings of things has changed at least six clearly discernible times. Therefore IMO "consensus" is a term that describes the latest bag of bunk, handed down from a gang of intellectuals who confer "degrees" and awards upon those who agree with them and can mimic their style. The bunk they generate is passed down, like offal, to the rubes, the science-camp followers who pay their salaries in lieu of thinking for themselves. Do not mistake me for a non-scientist or anti-science nit. I love science. But the bobble-headed fruitcakes speculating about multi-verses and branes on documentary TV channels are there to sell deodorants, pills, and cars-- not honest science. Their opinions are products, like the crap sold during commercials. Products change frequently. These people are snake-oil salesman, selling whatever they can convince a weakly-educated person to believe in, but mainly, selling them the pretense of advanced knowledge. One of their tricks is to hand down arcane jargon, words that can substitute for knowledge-- but only to those who do not know how to question the arcane terminology. What exactly is this PV-PT hypercube of which you write? Looks like nonsense to me, and it is not on my list of arcane concepts to study. Google was non-specific. Where might I find a description of this concept? Finally, a cube must, by definition, be described by at least three dimensions. A geometrical "point" has no dimensions. How then can a hypercube be also a point? I'd like to clear up these questions before attempting to deal with other components of your post, to prevent this thread-section from degenerating into complete confusion. Thank you for your assistance in this.
  2. Cosmologists claim the Big Bang created space-time, which seems to say neither space nor time existed prior to it. If space-time did not exist before the BB, it seems no dimensions exist, which implies that numbers cannot exist because numbers are a line of one dimension. Moreover, numbers are information, which cannot exist without space-time and mass-energy. On the other hand, it seems inevitable that the same numbers exist in all universes as well as the same mathematics. Moreover, the language of science is mathematics, which means the universe is mathematical regardless of whether an intelligent species understands mathematics. The existence of anything without space-time seems paradoxical, even something as abstract as mathematics. A paradox may mean our assumptions or thoughts are erroneous. I once read about time existing before the BB (IDK where), which results in one dimension and numbers existing before the BB. Ed, I especially like the parts of this post where you do your own thinking. Having entered the field of astronomy in 1965, when Gamow and Hoyle were arguing the Big Bang origin vs. a Steady-State universe and no one mentioned LeMaitre's theory, I can safely bet you that Big Bang theory will be a piece of astronomical history before 20 years are out. Not all cosmologists believe in it. The Big Bang required a precursor, and it has been impossible to get a theoretical handle on what that might be, leading to the current absurd notion that the precursor was a physical singularity, something that cannot exist and which cannot be mathematically defined. There are other reasons to doubt the Big Bang's legitimacy but they would take this thread off-topic. In the meantime, ask yourself, in the context of the cosmological claim that space and time were created in the Bang, in what space did its precursor exist? Re: your comments about the existence of numbers-- I do not see numbers existing on a line of one dimension. What is the dimension? For the purpose of graphing things we often create arbitrary categories. A supermarket analyst might graph the number of eggs sold per customer, showing the result in Cartesian coordinates. Do eggs and customers suddenly become meaningful "dimensions" just because some nit with nothing better to do happens to display them on a graph? I don't think so. Then, what exactly is a number? You might mistake the symbols we use, 1, 2, 3, 948, etc. for numbers, but they are merely the representations of numbers which do not exist at all, except as concepts in the human mind. We use the convenient, symbolic Arabic number system without thinking much about what it represents. But consider that Euclid's mathematics was developed without such a number system. You might also consider the relationship of numbers to energy, in the context of existence. Energy is required to display a number on a screen or write it on paper, but does the number three (for example) require energy to simply exist? Then, while theorists posit that the Big Bang created matter, space, and time, what aspect of the Bang might have created numbers? All things considered, it is beginning to look as though the word "exist" is an excellent entryway into core beliefs of philosophy and physics. "Existence" seems to be one of those English language words like "love," with seventeen different meanings.
  3. Your question is divergent and therefore interesting. However, the best way to request correct grammar and diction from responders is to provide an exemplary example. Existence is well defined in the context of basic physics. Anything that can interact with something that is physical, that is, which is known to be a part of the physical universe, exists. This is a broad definition of existence that includes things which cannot be detected by our body's physical senses, such as neutrinos or radio waves. It includes extremely subtle forms of information exchange that can be detected by some individuals (and so far, no instruments) such as telepathy. This describes the notion of physical existence. It does not address things like ideas. For example, the idea that the energy contained in a quantity of matter is equal to the mass of the matter multiplied by the velocity of light, mathematically expressed as E=mc2. This idea states that a kilogram of radioactive plutonium can be converted to energy in a fission bomb. We'd all probably agree that this idea "exists," but not in the same way that the plutonium exists. Here's another idea. Any human souls that are vaporized in a nuclear explosion will contribute to the power of the explosion, and will be vaporized along with the human bodies that harbored them, never to be seen again in heaven or hell. Is that an idea that exists? It is now. Greg, Well informed post. And you know that Descartes' focus was on the more ethereal components of existence, such as soul and/or mind. So, suppose that we operate in the context of his ideas and extend the question from the OP. If you are a mind/soul connected to a body, whether via the pineal gland or the binding effects of glial cell radiation, and you determine that you exist, by the measures of Descartes' reasoning. Okay. Now, what about the pineal gland or glial cells? Do they necessarily also exist? Would you exist if those biological structures did not exist? Then, taking the argument down a tick, what about the molecules and atoms that comprise the pineal gland or glial cells? Does the reality of your existence mean that these atoms must also exist? And if those atoms/molecules exist, what about their precursors? What about their support system-- the entire physical universe? Would you (as a conscious mind) exist even if this magnificent support system did not? I think, yes-- but you would not have become aware of your existence. BTW Descartes is one of my philosophical heroes. Thank you for honoring his line of thought. Mathematics is separate from physical reality. The best way to explain the distinction is that the principles of mathematics represent the most absolute form of existence. They have always existed, and will continue to exist. Math cannot be changed. Not even the "omnipotent God" of Christianity can declare that 2+2=5. Math can be expressed in terms of physical reality (Two beans in one hand and three beans in the other equals five beans.) Yet the concept, 2+3=5 is true even if the universe and all the beans within it evaporate. Mathematics is independent of any known manifestation of reality. It existed before the universe came to be, and will continue to exist after the universe dissolves into the raw energy from which it was formed. The manifestation of our universe does not change mathematics in any way-- it simply allows for the expression of mathematical forms. Math can only be discovered. It cannot be invented. A valid mathematical theorem cannot be invalidated. Euler's identity was true before Euler was born, and 2+2=4 long before our ancestors were romping around in trees. Math exists at a higher level of existence than matter. Matter can be converted to energy, but a theorem lives forever. If all the conscious minds in the world who understand a particular theorem are eliminated, the theorem survives in an ineffable "mindspace," awaiting a rediscovery, but not caring abut being rediscovered, as it did not care about being discovered. If there is a God, math is more absolute. Huh? Is this a meaningful statement? Is is relevant to the OP? Is it relevant at all? If so, kindly elaborate. As stated, it makes no sense to me.
  4. Then perhaps you've not done any research. Awareness is not conferred by the universe as if by magic. It comes from study, or experience. Much of what people mistake for "awareness" is merely the mental absorption of an agreement system invented by others. Do you believe in the existence of black holes? Do you believe in Darwinian evolution? Why? Because you've personally studied cosmology and evolutionary biology, or because you know that others who have done so have come to agree upon those beliefs?
  5. Good question. There is an answer to it that has major implications for all religions, as for physics. This is detailed in my book, but here is an outline of the idea that might make sense to those who have kept up with pop-science concepts via magazines or documentary channels. For others, the darned book offers the requisite background. Hypothesis 1: The recently discovered substance known as "dark energy" originally existed in an unformed state, subject to the original three laws of thermodynamics, at a temperature of Absolute Zero, containing neither form nor structure. This makes dark-energy a simple substance which according to its internal laws; manifests (1) a constant, non-created state of being; (2) a single, simple force; and (3) a simple boundary condition. Hypothesis 2: There also existed, separately from dark energy, something tentatively named aeon, whose properties have never been investigated and thus are less well known than those of energy. One property it must have is the natural ability to act as a counterforce to dark energy. Hypothesis 3: These two different spaces, or perhaps fields, existed in a larger space within which they collided, causing disruptions to the state of each. Unstructured but non-homogeneous forms occurred within dark energy space, and differentiated lumps of potential consciousness (beons) precipitated from aeon space. Inevitable Conclusion 1: Some of these beons interacted with energy, and eventually with one another. A few used their ability to reverse the normal behavior of energy so as to create primitive information, and from this, became conscious. The first beons to develop conscious self-awareness formed a group which eventually chose to invite all similar entities into consciousness. This consortium is a fair approximation of what religionists worship as "God." Under this concept, "God," although neither almighty, omnipotent, nor singular, has a beginning, first in structure, subsequently in self-developed function. Such gods could also have ends, if they became sufficiently bored with existence. The Buddha's original concept of soul as an epiphenomenon describes how. Kindly note that this outline of concepts is not intended to be an explanation of those concepts, and that I will not offer detailed explanations on this forum, except to participants who have independently researched the ideas behind it. Of course the complete theory goes into greater depth. This post was intended only to show that there is an answer to the OP. It is a simple but non-trivial answer, accessible only to conscientious students, not the least bit accessible to those who are trying to figure things out in the context of any current belief system.
  6. John, The distortions and confusions surrounding the currently popular God-concepts make discussing an alternative creator-concept in the depth that you request impossible on a blog. I've tried it before. New ideas get quickly smothered in hate and false assertions by individuals clinging to their trusted beliefs, atheists and religionists alike. However, I did write a 500 page book that deals with these ideas, Digital Universe -- Analog Soul that includes an exhaustive presentation of my ideas, and others. I'd be delighted to discuss them at length with anyone who has taken the trouble to study them. Should you be one of the few with the mind and curiosity needed to honestly evaluate ideas that differ from those you've chosen to believe (very, very difficult), please read the book no faster than one chapter at a time. Even better, reread the previous chapter before perusing the next. Those who do so invariably discover ideas they had missed on their first reading.
  7. Sorry about not using your full handle. It evokes images of an old gentleman exposing his posterior to the full moon, then inviting someone to admire his moon-tan. I just cannot handle that. In no way would I have implied a reference to Mary Tyler Moore. She showed class, and a modicum of intelligence. I apologize if you were offended. You have no idea what my ideas are, yet feel qualified to dismiss them. Therefore I have zero respect for either your intelligence or personal integrity. Evidence will never change your "mind." Your brain's axons have been myelinated decades ago, and your brain is limited to defending the beliefs fixed therein.
  8. As with any subject, research is the foundation of knowledge. If you were serious about acquiring knowledge you might begin with F.W.H.Myers' Human Personality and the Survival of Bodily Death and follow up with the "cross-correspondence" studies, highly credible information conveyed by Myers after his death. (I assume that "dead and buried" is enough to establish the premise that the brain is no longer functional.) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38492 This research will keep you busy for a few months. Enjoy! Serious psychic research is more interesting than you have imagined.
  9. Your general point is worthwhile, but some of your premises are, IMO, incorrect. I've worn both hats, and programmers are not scientists. While both fields require the use of both inductive and deductive logic, so do banking and politics. Scientists seek to discover logical patterns within an objective reality which no humans participated in the construction of. Computer geeks work only with an arbitrary reality created by other humans. Entirely different. Science is full of dogma. Get onto the "Forbidden Knowledge" site and check out Rupert Sheldrake's illustrative and amusing videos. The difference between science dogma and religious dogma is that, with considerable struggle and pain, scientific dogma can be modified without getting the modifier burned at a stake or beheaded. Human nature is the same. We tend to hang onto our favorite beliefs, and when enough others agree with the same belief set, that set becomes dogma. The Darwinist explanation of biological evolution is a perfect example. The odds against the random assembly of a single, small human gene (900 base-pairs) is 1.4 x 10-542. For the rational mind, that number means "impossible," but not for Darwinists. The human brain seems to come with a built-in "Nonsense Bucket" that needs to be filled. It does not matter what it is filled with, or who does the filling, so long as there is an agreement base of individuals who believe the same nonsense. The bucket is treated as "full" when enough others agree with whatever it is full of. In this context beliefs such as, a) The universe was created by an almighty being, and b) The laws of the universe are the same everywhere in spacetime, are just beliefs. Neither can be proven. Likewise, the notions that biological life was a) Created by an unknowable God, or, b) Created by random chemical reactions within ordinary matter, without any intelligent engineering whatsoever, are also unprovable beliefs. In fact, there is more legitimate evidence against these beliefs than for them, especially in the area of biology. I believe that this is only because we cannot experiment upon deep space objects. Dogma will be with us for a long time, and there is one thing about dogma that is common to all who operate according to a dogma. It is the opinion, "MY BELIEFS ARE THE TRUTH, OPPOSING BELIEFS ARE DOGMA."
  10. NJ, Presuming that you are talking about the traditional God of modern monotheism, MTM is correct. You've no idea how much it pains me to say that. I will need to grab a beer right after finishing this and hit myself over the head with the empty bottle. That God-concept is a theological invention that bears no logical relationship to reality. God is defined to be a "spirit," and as such is not observable by any instruments in the physical world. But if God really is separate from the physical universe, how did he manage to create it? One of these days I will initiate a thread designed to introduce a different God-concept, that of a creator who is limited by logic and the principles of physics. Neither you nor MTM will like it. But consider this before you pursue these subjects... What is the important core belief set to you? Would you accept the notion that the universe was created by a consortium of highly intelligent entities who were, and remain, an integral part of the universe? Or is it important that you accept the limited beliefs you were taught in childhood, before your mind was sufficiently developed to distinguish foolishness from logic? Can you accept the idea that the Creators of the Universe had an origin, and that they learned how to think and create on their own? Or must there be only a single omnipotent Creator, a being without beginning, who willed the universe into existence from knowledge that he had always possessed? Consider that either way you get to believe in a created universe. Is the exact nature of the Creator more important than the result?
  11. Forget time. All philosophers seeking answers to the beginnings of things, which is what your "existence" query boils down to, are required to accept the existence of at least one "Absolute Miracle," one thing or event that cannot possibly be explained, not by all the philosophers in the universe, not even by any "God" whose very existence might be the Absolute Miracle. The only relevant question is, what might the Miracle or Miracles be? And, how do we verify those that might actually have been responsible for our universe? My personal preference is to throw out the currently accepted Miracles, the Big Bang and its precursor, and the Almighty God, as being too complex to have existed without cause. I prefer a simpler beginning-state that requires at least two, perhaps three Miracles that have the advantage of being as simple as possible, and for which there is excellent evidence. Now it is not likely that your question was addressed to "existence in general" such as the existence of a dark-energy precursor, etc. More likely you are concerned with the tertiary elements of existence that might affect your personal reality. With properly chosen initial Miracles, these things are easily explained. However, that does not make the explanation necessarily easy to understand. If you seek a succinct explanation that you will understand without doing a fair amount of study, get prepared to be frustrated. The answers you seek are out there, like elk in the woods during the few days of a hunting season. Sometimes the lucky bring some good meat home, but game more commonly falls to the well-prepared hunter.
  12. Nothing "extraordinarily engineered" about this paradox, since I first came up with it in 4th grade Catholic religion class, greatly annoying the young priest teaching the class. Paradoxes tell us that our initial hypotheses are false. IOW an hypothesis that leads to a paradox is a falsified hypothesis. Centuries ago, Xeno's paradoxes demonstrated that motion is impossible. Last century we learned that he was right. At the atomic level, all energy transfers are quantized. This means that a tiny particle cannot move through space, but merely jumps from point A to point B. (A and B are very close together, separated by a small unit of distance known as the Planck length.) The rock paradox simply shows that God cannot be omnipotent.
  13. There are a variety of metaphysical theories. This OP is meaningless unless it specifies the particular metaphysical theory its author dislikes. BTW, Darwinism has yet to predict the characteristics of the next new species, or where it will appear. Of course, no one has found a genuinely new species. There is not even a decent theory for abiogenesis, much less a prediction about it. Big Bang theory has predicted an invariant background radiation intensity, rather than the observed WMAP spotty pattern. It is easy to denigrate some undefined metaphysical theory, but whatever it is cannot be worse than our current beliefs about the beginnings.
  14. You might want to read F.W.H. Myers' two-volume book, "Human Personality and the Survival of Bodily Death." You could also study the cross-correspondence seance data that Myers provided after his own death. However, you won't do that. Your final paragraph says that you will not be convinced of the survival of consciousness under any conceivable set of circumstances. Your brain has already made up your mind. The actual reason behind your position was pointed out by Kuhn in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." Data that contradict a currently accepted theory, no matter how bad the theory is, will not be accepted as valid data unless they fit into an alternative paradigm. The entire history of psi or paranormal research has been marked by a notable absence of any useful paradigm. The data would fit into most religious belief systems. However these are simply dogmas which are defined by specific beliefs, and are not functional paradigms. Because the scientist paradigm to which you ascribe does not allow for the possibility of an independent conscious entity to exist, for you (and others who adopt the same paradigm) to accept such a possibility would require that you discard your entire belief system. This requires considerable independence, and only 3% of a given population are capable of making up their own minds in the face of contrary agreement systems. Since you have already made it clear that you will not change your belief system, why am I wasting time discussing this? I mention this by way of grinding my own axe, a general purpose paradigm derived from physical data into which paranormal phenomena fit nicely and consciousness is explained in the context of "dark energy."
  15. Given your preliminary assumptions which appear to be either atheistic or clsssical Buddhist, the answers to your questions should be apparent. 1.) It depends upon the particular human. Many of them address this question via suicide. Others make the best of their lives and enjoy every moment of their exisence, even appreciating the bad times. 2.) It makes no difference if we are extinct or not. "Better" than what? "Better" is a value judgment which, in the context of your comments is only relevant if a mind external to the system being evaluated exists to make comparisons. Therefore, I propose that we extend your argument to a created universe in which human beings and human minds are created. That changes the answer, at least for me. Were I to actually believe that a God created man, body and soul, I would self-terminate as an act of personal revolt against a creator who was either malicious or incompetent. However, there is a third alternative, that some entities actually did create the universe, including the critters on this planet and our biomechanical bodies, but did not create the conscious component of the human mind, a component primitively described by Rene Descartes to the best of his pre-physics understanding. Suppose that this is a reasonably correct assessment of creation. If so, you as a conscious mind were not created. More likely you have always existed as an entity with the potential for consciousness, but unable to realize that potential without assistance. The brain-body system provides that assistance. Under such hypothetical circumstances where your conscious mind might survive your body's demise, perhaps later entering other bodies to obtain a consciousness-boost, how would you answer your own question?
  16. From history I wonder if you meant to write "can't" rather than can. Freudian slip? (No need to reply, because I don't care.) I developed the "C" theory from the subset of facts available 50 years ago. These included the apparent validity of physics, plus some personal psychic experiences. Since then I've learned of other reasons why a comprehensive creation theory is required to explain all the available information about various aspects of the universe, especially human consciousness. Lacking any personal paranormal experiences, you would have to learn from science. I suggest that you make a long foray into microbiology, for this is where creation becomes most apparent. Behe's two books on the subject would provide an introduction. Of course you will reject Behe's conclusions, but that is not the point. He provides a wonderful introduction to microbiology. If you manage to comprehend that material, you might move on to simpler and even more interesting issues that Behe does not address. One is the C-value enigma. the other is the mystery of how symbolic information came to be used within biological cells. Paul Martin is polishing his essay on that subject, and when ready I will try to introduce it here. These two issues are not explained by any current neo-Darwinist models, but are exactly what one would expect if my creation theory is remotely close. Of course you cannot. Its support requires some knowledge that you may not have, and a perspective that you will never have. No, I do not. However I acknowledge that my brief comments about it would allow you to make that claim, given your mindset. Of course I discuss the issue in greater depth elsewhere. Where to begin? One could fill a decent library with books written about paranormal phenomena. Moreover, note that the AAAS does recognize one parapsychological research organization as an affiliate (or some title like that) on the grounds that their research methods follow scientific standards. You might start with Dean Radin's book, "The Conscious Universe." If you say so, there's no point in my arguing with you. Yep! Empirically verifiable is what I wrote, and I stand by that claim. Having zero understanding of any of my concepts, of course you can scoff and mock in your usual style, which in this particular case involves attributing concepts to me that I did not present. In other words, lying about what I wrote. I specifically included "space" in my definitions. Yet you declare my creator concept to be independent of space, an obvious and I assume, given my history with you, a deliberate lie. That false representation of my ideas on your part is typical of my prior experiences with you. I have no interest in exchanging ideas with someone who persistently misrepresents mine, and who puts his words onto my page. Therefore, this will be my last communication with you. I don't recall your offer to review my book. Hypography? I was recovering from surgery back then and taking pain killers, so perhaps missed your offer. Nonetheless I would have (or did) decline it. My encounters with you there were not pleasant, as this encounter reminds me. Moreover I do not feel that you are qualified to provide an honest, constructive review of any book more complex than a "Dick and Jane" reader. I can easily predict that you will not understand it, whatever "it" happends to be. Moreover, your comments with respect to ideas with which you disagree amount to simple, non-constructive complaints. These are useless to a writer. You never support your complaints with detailed explanations, but expect others to do that when addressing your objections. Conversations with you are a waste of time, in the sense that you cannot possibly learn anything of value from me, and I cannot expect an objective dialoge from you. Your mindset is what I would call "vehemently atheistic." So, thank you for your offer, but reading my book would only piss you off, and we have enough anger on the planet already. Good bye, forever.
  17. Alan, I promise you that C is not an alien, although those who have bothered to learn more have agreed that my particular concept is unique. It has nothing in common with typical belief systems. That makes it an alien concept for conventional religionists, but that does not seem to be your meaning. I'm guessing that at some point in "C's" development they considered the same questions that some humans do, including that of their own origin. I like to think that they came up with the same answers that I found. You wrote, "only a sentient being," as if that was somehow unimportant. You seem to be taking sentience for granted. IMO that is a short-sighted view, perhaps one that is fostered by a simplistic belief system. Have you adopted the classical God-concept and its accompanying assumptions that this God created sentient beings? What is your answer to the OP? Kindly accept my apologies for a specification set that was difficult to make sense of without additional background. It actually does address 'how everything began,' but you obviously did not make enough sense of my terse presentation to decode that. I'm experimenting with different ways to present unorthodox concepts. This particular experiment fails. Sorry about that.
  18. Got that, iNow! And of course by "we" and "us" I shall assume that you mean yourself. Maybe you and your cat. With advance apologies, if needed, after perusing other posts of yours, I will be pleasantly surprised if you can determine the reality of the soul. You strike me as one who likes to argue without basis or purpose, without much philosophical understanding, and without alternative ideas of your own. While that's fine and absolutely normal, I'm not interested in arguments with normal people who are uninformed and prefer to remain so. This will very likely be my last communication to you and your cat, or whatever entity might be included in your references to "we" and "us." My apologies to Fluffy. Actually, what I've used is not woo-woo metaphysics, but is simply some physics terminology that non-physicists like yourself are unlikely to make any sense of, although every term I use can be researched via Wikipedia. My purpose was to answer questions according to the rules of this forum, of which I've been recently and gently reminded. Most of those I've encountered who want to know the answers to serious questions expect to get those answers in 25-word statements that they are capable of understanding in the context of a high-school education, without any additional study on their part. Such people represent the vast majority on blogs and forums like this, and comprise the membership of major religions and belief systems worldwide. They will remain forever frustrated, or content with simplistic answers. Nothing wrong with that, but I have nothing of value to offer them. I've already distilled a considerable part of my understanding into words. If you actually want to understand the concepts behind those words, spend a few years studying. That's "years," not hours. Wikipedia has more information than any university full of professors, because much of its content comes from professors who teach at diverse universities. Moreover, it is free, although one who has made good use of it might feel morally obligated to support this wonderful cross-referenced source of information by coughing up a few bucks. My posts and personal information page give you all the data you need to start your own search for understanding. But mere data, mere information, is like water for a horse who is not thirsty. Thank you for what passes for interest at this point in your search for understanding. I will not reply to an immediate, reactive comment, but after a few years of research and a lot of independent reading, please let me know where you are at. Best regards, Greylorn Ell
  19. I define soul as: 1. An accidentally and spontaneously generated entity whose primary property is the ability to freely and naturally violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. That makes it physical, because it can interact with the physical universe. This concept is similar to James Clerk Maxwell's notion of a thermodynamically independent entity, later called "Maxwell's daemon.". 2. This property allows an individual soul (which the author of "..Anna Klane" had renamed beon, a convention I have adopted) to potentially acquire self-awareness, a property that is not inherent to the entity. 3. Beons powerful (in the sense of the physics definition of power, E/t) enough to have acquired consciousness on their own are the original creators of the universe. 4. The "souls" alluded to in religious lore, thought to somehow inhabit bodies and earn some kind of post-life reward or punishment, are simply beons that are incapable of acquiring self-awareness on their own. For practical purposes they (i.e. you and me) can be said to have existed forever as non-conscious entities. They acquire a limited, preliminary level of consciousness via interaction with a brain-body mechanism. The author of "...Anna Klane" proposed a more limited concept of soul/beon, but I believe that my definitions are essentially an extension of those.
  20. PeterJ Metaphysics was not "designed" at all, and was certaintly not designed to be separate from physics. The study of metaphysics began with a collection of Aristotle's speculations about what might have preceded physics. Since he got his physics wrong, his antecedent speculations cannot be trusted either. Any separation between physics and metaphysics was artificially induced by followers of Aristotle who put them into different categories or sections of the compendiums they published. The orignal writings were intermixed, not separated at all, making any apparent separaction the arbitrary acts of librarians. They even got the name wrong. Metaphysics got its name because the follower-nits placed the material after the physics section (meta is Greek for "after"). Since Aristotle's ideas were about what preceded physics, students who actually understood them might have named the section "antephysics." I do not believe that the antephysical concepts to which we mistakenly refer to as metaphysics can be separated from physics. How can they be? Big Bang theory is clearly an antephysical speculation, as is multiverse theory. Likewise, conventional theologies, even Buddhism. If fundamental aspects of the universe can be logically subdivided at all, the division would fall into two categories: mind-involved, and mind-independent. Yet, if some kind of intelligences are involved in the construction of the universe and its secondary components, even this distinction will blur on occasion.
  21. Alan, It is only necessary to eliminate God from scientific discussions if you adopt the conventional definition of God, devised by extremely ignorant men who thought that our flat earth was the center of the universe. They declared the creator of the universe to be omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal. That all-knowing God cannot have creative ideas, i.e. he cannot think, and IMO is intellectually uninteresting. The notion of a creator (lets refer to this as "C") can be introduced into an honest scientific discussion under these conditions: 1. C is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. 2. C had an origin. 3. After this origin, C had no knowledge and was not initially self-aware. 4. C does not violate the fundamental laws of physics. In particular, C did not create energy from nothing. Energy has indeed always existed, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics, in an original state of entropy 1 at a temperature of 0 Kelvin. This is the lowest possible thermodynamic state. 5. C is most likely plural, suggesting that whatever C's contributions to the origin of the universe might have been represent a group effort. This kind of assumption has two important implications. Current theories posit the existence of a single and effectively all-powerful entity (the classic almighty God) or thing (the, ah, "physical singularity" that produced the Big Bang). Both of these origins are functionally identical, in that each implicitly contains all the information needed to construct a universe, Also, both are thought to have created the universe without external cause, a strange hypothesis in a cause-effect universe. Moreover, both origin-theories begin the creation process at entropy 0, the highest possible thermodynamic state. In one important respect, the "C" hypothesis is more scientific than current theory. Whereas the "singlarity" has already blown up and cannot be detected, the C hypothesis depends only upon the potential reality of intelligent entities that are not necessarily asociated with a brain-body system. Parapsychology studies provide an abundance of the necessary evidence that such sentient entities do exist, which is ignored by the conventional science community for lack of a coherent paradigm into which it might fit. It is useful to first acknowledge that at some point in time there existed at least one thing whose origin cannot be explained. This is implied in current religious hypotheses as well as by Big Bang theory. (Multiverse theory is an exercise in frivolous speculation for the documentary channel cameras and the profits they bring, pushing questions about the beginning out of the evidence room.) Distilling these ideas, a scientifically viable explanation for the beginnings can be made from three fundamentally simple and inferentially verifiable hypotheses instead of a single inherently complex and intrinsically unveriviable hypothesis such as an almighty God or a physical singularity. 1. A space that contains only unstructured energy that follows the three time-independent laws of thermodynamics and which therefore cannot be created or destroyed. 2. A space that contains a substance which naturally interacts with energy, upon contact, so as to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. 3. A larger space containing 1.) and 2.) within which they can interact. The only other assumption necessary is that these two spaces actually did interact, leading to the inevitable discovery of consciousness and eventual construction of the universe. The resultant theory is empirically verifiable. Its essential components, dark-energy and the conscious mind are known to exist-- only their forms and properties remain at question. That is reasonable. Thanks. Alan, While I don't take to PeterJ's general assertions, which seem to be a thinly veiled attempt to disconnect the metaphysical from the physical, there are many ideas that are simple, yet difficult to understand without the prerequisites. The Hamiltonian and Fourier transformations come to mind. Likewise Maxwell's equations of electrodynamics. My guess is that if someone can get a handle on what PJ's ideas actually are, they will fall into the simplistic category, in which case they will remain forever impossible for a practical mind to understand. Some mystics translate impossible as == difficult.
  22. Okay. If my comments here provoke any interesting questions that cannot be answered in 50 words or less, I'd like to be able to refer queries to a source where they can find the answers. Would it be okay to reference a website where the first half of my book can be read by anyone, no charge and no ads?
  23. I'm only shy around women, never around intellectual environments. My theories encompass a creator-concept which is difficult to relate to the traditional God-concept. I do not believe that the interesting aspects of the universe, especially the beginings of things, and certainly not human consciousness, can be adequately explained in terms of random phenomena and mysterious singularities. However, the classical God-concept is, to me, logically untenable and inconsistent with observations. (E.g: if God is indeed omnipotent, He should have created the universe in an instant. Why fuss around for six days, whatever that means?) Greylorn Ell. Digital Universe -- Analog Soul. A politically incorrect, but logical and empirically relevant book about the beginnings of things.
  24. Is energy simply a meaningless term that appears at the left side of fundamental physics formulas, or is it actaully a thing or substance, sufficiently malleable that it can be transformed into the recognizable stuff of the universe? Another way to put this--- is energy real?
  25. There is allegedly a theorem related to spaces that states, in effect, that an object within a space of n dimensions cannot move unless it exists within a space of n+1 dimenstions. Example: Imagine a genuinely 2-dimensional sheet of paper resting atop a 2-D surface. The paper cannot be curled or folded unless it exists within a 3-D space. Does anyone know of this theorem? Even better, can anyone prove it? It is relevant because if it is true, movements of 3-D objects within a 3-D space would not be possible unless they exist within a 4-D space. (In this context time does not count as a dimension.) IOW if this theorem exists and its proof is mathematically valid, our 3-D universe must exist within at least a 4-D space, nevermind time.
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