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Paradigm shifts

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 08:39 am
The substance of the universe, the thing which all other things are made of, is living intelligence.

If that was a fundamental paradigm in science, how would that change what we know about everything?
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 3,806 • Replies: 22
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 09:46 am
@Cyracuz,
Do any scientists focus on a single substance? Do you have examples?

(I am not being rhetorical. It is possible that some scientists perceive a basic substance. Many scientists look for "unified" theories.)
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 10:21 am
@wandeljw,
Im thinking its mostly Saran Wrap that is in everything
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 10:33 am
@wandeljw,
Our worldview is almost completely materialistic. The base assumption is that life and intelligence are phenomena that evolved in a materialistic world.
If the base assumption was that intelligence is a universal phenomenon, present on all levels of reality, from macro to microcosmic, and that this phenomenon is what is expressed and perceived as material, it wouldn't change any facts we have about the universe. But it would change our way of looking at it, which in turn might change what we look for.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 12:09 pm
@Cyracuz,
If I had to guess (homage to Frank) what is the fundamental and universal physical foundation of the world I would venture Energy. That has force ("life") and it's sufficiently ambiguous to suit our purpose.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 12:22 pm
Anaxagoras, in about 470 B.C., postulated that mind or "nous" set off the movement of primordial elements. One of the first to comment on Anaxagoras was Aristotle himself. Aristotle said this about Anaxagoras: “When he cannot explain why something is necessarily as it is, he drags in Mind, but otherwise he will use anything rather than Mind to explain a particular phenomenon.”
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 01:28 pm
@Cyracuz,
The problem in attempting to define any substrate has been analysed by the post-modernists as leading to aporia (insoluble paradoxes). Simplistically this is because stating what something IS necessarily entails its juxtaposition with what it IS NOT. i.e. thesis and antithesis are essentially co-relational.

Now for the purposes of what we call "science", the properties of what we want to call "essential stuff" can only be evaluated in terms of the contextual goals of science (e.g. prediction and control). If you want to promote "intelligence" to this role over "matter" or "energy" you can only do so in terms of establishing its greater scientific functionality, not its assumed ontological status.

Interestingly, in the recent book "Quantum Theory: Whatever Can Happen Does Happen" (Cox), a statement is made about electrons which is something like...
"according to the Pauli Exclusion principle, every electron in thde universe knows what all the others are doing".
....but the author immediately dismisses any "mystical holistic nonsense" regarding thi,s as he is claimming the mathematics is merely functional..


fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2012 01:46 pm
@fresco,
Sorry about typos. Timed out.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 05:36 am
@fresco,
Quote:
"according to the Pauli Exclusion principle, every electron in thde universe knows what all the others are doing".
....but the author immediately dismisses any "mystical holistic nonsense"


Our materialistic bias is what makes the author feel the need to tag on that bit about mystical holistic nonsense. With different axioms underlying it all, we might have no problems in accepting "knowing" as a simple function. We might have no trouble considering intelligence as the substance of which everything else is made.
Perhaps it wouldn't matter for the scientific functionality itself, but I think it would have an impact on which questions were asked, which aspects of reality are seen as fundamental and which ones have to be accounted for.

By the way, sorry for the late response. Been busy.

JL, the way I understand it, matter is energy, and they are both material.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 07:20 am
@Cyracuz,
I agree that all questions are asked relative to a guiding hypothesis, but it may be that hypotheses about "intelligence as a substrate", just like "God as a substrate" have no empirical implications. Empiricism is axiomatic to what we call "science".
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 08:34 am
@fresco,
Yes, no direct empirical implications. But they matter. What would the big bang theory look like if the man who proposed it was a devout Hindu instead of a Christian? Same science, different cultural background. Different childhood stories and different perceptions about how things fit together.
I understand that on 'the scientific level', these hypothesis about a substrate have no empirical implications. But I do not believe that the people doing the science can do it without relating to it on a deep personal and emtional level on which these things matter. What we believe defines us, and that shapes what we do, it seems to me.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 08:42 am
@wandeljw,
For some reason your story about Anaxagoras got me thinking about how it we once believed the earth was at the center of the universe. Then that was proven to be false. But then even later, it was shown that due to how the universe expands, an observer will perceive himself as sitting in the center of the expansion, no matter where he is in the universe. So everyone of us, when observing the universe, are at it's center.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 11:26 am
@fresco,
I never heard of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, but it seems to me that the most likely reason that an electron "knows" what all other electrons are doing is that since (or if) all electrons are alike they are all doing the same thing. In that same sense I know your being-ness because we are both human.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 11:45 am
@JLNobody,
Alas no ! ( Smile ). The principle states that two fermions (incl electrons) cannot be "alike" in terms of their "quantum state". It has many applications including the background to the explanation of chemical properties of elements in terms of electron shells.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 11:54 am
@Cyracuz,
I agree. Culture matters: I favor the bias of human reality as culturally constituted and inter-subjective or perspectival in nature. Yet there is functional value in physics' essentially univeralistic-objective bias which purports to transcend local perspectives.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 11:58 am
@fresco,
Oh! Embarrassed
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2012 07:16 am
For most scientists materialism is only a methodology, not a worldview. Richard Dawkins is an exception because materialism also seems to be his worldview.
0 Replies
 
nothingtodo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 08:58 am
@Cyracuz,
It changes only that I would prefer distance from life to a greater extent.
Throughout, greater lengths of time than one would normally focus on in a devised and conceived reality, one based on systematic creation which involves life as living beings only.

Even to the extents, that If I were the universe, I would create space.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Mar, 2013 08:48 am
@Cyracuz,
For "functionalists", I assume, the nature of matter is not so much a question of what it IS but of what it DOES...a form of "behaviorism."
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Sep, 2013 05:19 pm
@JLNobody,
I repeat: No matter, never mind.
 

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