Philosophical Thought

The fact is that without consciousness there may as well be nothing. The real paradox of the universe is that it managed to create sentient beings who can actually attempt to understand it at all.
This I found at the end of a comment by Paul Mealing on Stephen Law’s post, “Peter Atkins vs myself on limits of science”. It expresses perfectly my believe as well.

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  1. MadPriest’s avatar

    Or, is it the real paradox of consciousness that it managed to create a universe?

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    MadPriest? John Archibald Wheeler, famous physicist, would agree with you, I think. Here’s an excerpt from his WIki thing:

    Wheeler: We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago. We are in this sense, participators in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past and if we have one explanation for what’s happening in the distant past why should we need more?

    Martin Redfern: Many don’t agree with John Wheeler, but if he’s right then we and presumably other conscious observers throughout the universe, are the creators — or at least the minds that make the universe manifest.

    Not sure who Martin Redfern is but he seems to agree with you, MadPriest.

    Perhaps I agree too, I don’t know. To borrow a phrase, ocicbw.

  3. Steven Greenberg’s avatar

    Would the other animals and even cro-magnon people have existed had not modern people had the intelligence to figure out and explain physics?

    Would dinosauars have existed and gone extinct without the thinking of modern physicists?

  4. Steven Greenberg’s avatar

    Better yet, would silicon have the properties needed to make modern computers if Marden Seavey hadn’t been around to make models of the physics of it all?

  5. Mardé’s avatar

    The answers to your questions, Steve, are of course Yes, Yes, and Yes. How absurd to even pose such questions! John Archibald Wheeler was a great physicist but he clearly went off the deep end toward the end of his career. And apparently I, myself, must be suffering from softening of the brain, probably due to aging, to think there’s any paradox in the universe creating sentient beings who attempt to understand it all. Thanks for bringing me back to reality, Steve. Now, for a cup of coffee!

  6. Mardé’s avatar

    BTW: Probably a useful way to spend time trying to understand the paradoxes of Quantum Theory would be to peruse, even study, the following paper:

    I started to read it but it’s kind of rough going, especially with my age-softened brain. :-)


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