Is it REALLY just a coincidence?

Discussion in 'Consciousness & Science' started by Matt², Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    I've had Skeptico bookmarked for a month and I would drop in, read, and listen, but casually. Last week I started listening to at least 2 sometimes 4 or 5 interviews a day. I didn't listen to all of them, but I think I've caught up enough to understand Alex's direction and his singular overriding question; "What is consciousness?".

    It's approached from different angles; NDEs, OBEs, psi, etc..., but consciousness is the main component and structure that is the framework all is built upon. So, as usual, I would listen to the interviews and multitask random net searches based on the topic being discussed and any branching ideas or related research. I came across an image comparison I've contemplated several times before and now that I'm a member I'll ask a question of what not only appears to be a logical and rational forum, but a fair mind one;

    neuron-galaxy.jpg

    Is this really just a coincidence?

    One of the deciding factors that motivated me to join this forum was Alex's perspective on "God". It seems one not based on any religion or any predetermined world view and using the label "God" really isn't the concept Alex, and I'm guessing here of course, is trying to convey, but uses it because it's a common term. Creator or Cosmic Consciousness seems more appropriate and what I'd use, but IMO, all are still lacking when describing infinities.

    I was raised completely secular and void of any religion, aside from the handful of times I attended a Baptist church with my grandparents my preteen years I saw once a year. Science was my guide and Carl Sagan was my hero. I read "Cosmos" twice when I was 10 or 11, before I saw the series. I even met Carl at a symposium. But, since then, I've read, studied, and researched my thoughts far beyond the taboo boundaries subjectively set by academic science and, more importantly, I have experienced several unexplainable phenomena that would give a pathological skeptic or skeptopath, a.k.a. debunker, hysterical frothing at the mouth hand-waving fits.

    I intuitively feel there is something more. Feelings are of course subjective as well and what this something is, I have no clue and wouldn't even pretend to know, but when I see and study the image above overlayed with how science and life has defined my reality, IMO, I believe I'm looking at consciousness.

    But, I'd really like to know what everyone else thinks. And I really hope this particular image and topic has not been discussed or debated already, if so, I apologize.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  2. Frank Matera

    Frank Matera Guest

    In regards to the image.. it is a complete coincidence. In fact I am not even sure the images are that much alike at all unless other people are seeing something I am not?
     
  3. malf

    malf Member

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    Where did that image of the universe come from? That's some wide angle lens...

    There are hundreds of different types of brain cell with many different shapes. :)
     
  4. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    They are coincidental because nature has a fractile structure. Examples.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

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    Could you please tell us the origin of the 'universe' computer-generated image. It is not a picture!
    What is the source?
     
  6. soulatman

    soulatman Member

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    It is a computer simulation of what the universe is presumed to look like based upon our best understanding (which is pretty darn good) from an astrophysics point of view.

    In my personal opinion, is it a coincidence? Well, if by coincidence you mean totally random and devoid of any meaning, ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is it a coincidence that our universe is so incredibly finely tuned across a vast range of its fundamental components and building blocks to such a degree, that any alteration in the strength of one of the many forces involved would mean that our universe would not have formed, and life would not exist within it? Not to me. I struggle with coincidences on such unlikely scales. There is great meaning involved. What it means specifically, your guess is as good as anyone elses, but there is definately inherent meaning.

    My thoughts.
     
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  7. Hagbard N

    Hagbard N New

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    Before 21th century: Can't explain it? God did it!
    After 21th century: Can't explain it? Coincidence!

    Coincidence, the prevailing superstition of the modern age. :)
     
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  8. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Hi Frank Matera...thank for your response. I can accept the opinion it is a complete coincidence, but I find it very difficult to accept the statement "In fact I am not even sure the images are that much alike at all unless other people are seeing something I am not?". Not to be rude, but that comes across disingenuously. Except for the color, these images are almost identical.

    I'm curious, why do you think these images are not similar and what do you see as being different or not alike, besides the color?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  9. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    Since you've stated the universe is anthropocentric please consider this. 380,000 years years after the big Bang with all of the fundamental constants in place would you state the universe was made for us when the temperature was 5000F. You'd have a valid point if the universe started at a comfortable 70F. I think you should investigate what is expected to happen to our universe as it ages. You may not then be so quick to assert this universe is fined tuned for life or us..
     
  10. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    The brain cell image is from Mark Miller, a doctoral student at Brandeis Univ, who was researching how particular neurons connect to one another. The image is from a stained mouse brain slice of 3 neurons cells (2 red and 1 yellow) and their connections.

    The universe image is a snapshot from a computer simulation that shows a large cluster of galaxies (yellow) surrounded by billions of other galaxies that trail away and form the filament looking structures. This is a common looking image of universe simulations. I have several on my desktop right now that are created with various different variables.
     
  11. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    I agree, fractals, the Mandelbrot set, Fibonacci sequence, Golden Ratio are all very interesting, but I think of these things, rather than examples that can be used to answer questions, are just more questions that deepen the mystery requiring more questions.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  12. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    The universe image is a simulation that is actually a common result of every universe simulation I've seen. I've not seen one yet that doesn't look like this. Colors vary, but not much else, unless the constants are changed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  13. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    I find it hard to disagree with your thoughts.

    Thank you for your response.
     
  14. Reece

    Reece Member

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    Can we not all just agree that for the universe to have life for even fifteen minutes is pretty incredible? Even to the degree we can say that the universe was fine tuned for life, if only in a literary/poetic sense for you?

    I've often thought that the idea of a single cell forming was a huge exclamation mark, of sorts, a climax in a Beethoven symphany . . . and that, even if, as one would with good reason assume, that single cell promptly died due to a completely inhospitable environment, the "accomplishment," or happening, if you prefer, would still be insane: the 20 second life of a living cell!

    But that that single cell either 1) survived or 2) died and another formed is even more insane. And then that that single cell actually had the ability to reproduce itself is beyond comprehension . . . Why is it so taken for granted that if a cell forms it simply must have the ability to reproduce itself? What a convenient built in feature! . . . No wonder we have an innate desire to leave a legacy . . .

    (Number two is actually what I think seems more plausible because the enviroment was certainly extremely violent and those cells had to learn to survive. How so, this exponentially more improbable situation of more than one cell forming, you ask? Morphic resonance :).)
     
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  15. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Yes, that is a humorously overlooked flaw. From one extreme "God did it", to another "Just a coincidence", complete random set of chances, or, as this comes across to me, nihilism.

    It reminds me, for some reason, of this video by Micheal Shermer on YouTube (Titled: "Michael Shermer on Aliens") where he categorical proclaims that sentient ET "can't be, no way, look like us, a bipedal primate". The question I've asked on that video, several times now (never answered, of course, shocking, right?) is how Shermer could rationally, logically, and possibly know this certainty and hope to back this claim up? Maybe this is off topic, but he's the first in line, as one of the self-appointed knowledge gatekeepers, to tell everyone else it's all coincidence, radon chance, and, of course, what to think, but then does a 180 and makes a claim that is impossible to back up. This brand of hypocrisy is epic.

    It doesn't seem like a coincidence to me.

    Thanks for your response.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  16. soulatman

    soulatman Member

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    So wait. You are saying that I would have a valid point only if at the moment of the big bang, the temperature was 70f? I guess what would add further credibility to my pie in the sky idea would be if at the same moment, a couch materialised, a pair of slippers, a nice cold beer, cable television, an iPad etc, and since it didn't happen this way, the universe couldn't have possibly been designed to accomodate life. Duh, silly me. Your logic is flawless steve001.

    However, here are a quick couple of quotes just to open this up a tad:

    "The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming." — Freeman Dyson

    "A bottom-up approach to cosmology either requires one to postulate an initial state of the Universe that is carefully fine-tuned — as if prescribed by an outside agency — or it requires one to invoke the notion of eternal inflation, a mighty speculative notion to the generation of many different Universes, which prevents one from predicting what a typical observer would see." — Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog

    “.... I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of Carbon 12 to the 7.12 Mev level in Oxygen 16. if you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.” Sir Fred Hoyle, Cambridge Astrophysicist

    “Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth – the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient “coincidences” and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs (of which there are 40) must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile. Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn’t exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleus and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life.” Prof. Paul Davies (Physicist and Philosopher)

    So, although I may be a dreamer and a fantacist by your reckoning, it's nice to know I am not alone. One or two reasonably well respected minds might not think this altogether ridiculous it seems, how disconcerting eh?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  17. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Another quote comes to mind;

    "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain

    I feel with a very high degree of certainty, that life and reality will prove to be an endless discovery of one unimaginable impossibility after another. Maybe even impossible for our minds to imagine. I routinely laugh and shake my head in amazement every time I read, hear, or watch some main stream socially lauded "thinker", held up upon some pedestal by the accolades of high society or neo-aristocracy, and labeled a "mind of our time" bombastically declaring and setting some arbitrary limit on the universe.
     
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  18. malf

    malf Member

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    Gosh... so if it's not a coincidence that a mouse neuron looks a bit like a "best guess" visual interpretation of the universe (if you squint).... what is it?
     
  19. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Near the end of my post, I stated;

    "I intuitively feel there is something more. Feelings are of course subjective as well and what this something is, I have no clue and wouldn't even pretend to know, but when I see and study the image above overlayed with how science and life has defined my reality, IMO, I believe I'm looking at consciousness."

    Well, if you're asking for a hypothesis or my "best guess", I think we're looking at a mind that is conscious and that our brain structure is an expression of this Universal Mind. Maybe at some threshold, when an evolving lifeforms brain has reached sufficient complexity and can act as a "receiver" to tap into the Cosmic Consciousness , consciousness is then achieved.

    This hypothesis, if you think about it in relation to OBEs, EBEs, remote viewing, and all psi phenomena, would allow for an intriguing clue and component of the theory we are not our brain, but that our existence is a duality, antecedent, and possibly has and always will exist. NDEs report a hyper-reality and since they are experiencing all possibilities of reality throughout the Universal Consciousness simultaneously, it then could possibly be the extremely intense and described as hyper-real experience. But, this is just my "best guess", subjective, and completely my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
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  20. Haruhi

    Haruhi New

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    I think it's a coincidence, but we could speculate about cosmic life forms that are based not on the electromagnetic force, but in the gravitacional and strong and weak nuclear forces... like some science-fiction writers have imagined.

    Well, what I can say is that it is unlikely that ET be a bipedal primate, because if we are so is due to a multitude of variations which does not have to share ET.
     

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