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Tony Grist

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Putting Some Thoughts In Order [Oct. 27th, 2014|12:17 pm]
Tony Grist
If you think the universe is so much dead matter you'll consider it an amazing fluke that self-reflective life has emerged on planet Earth.

If, on the other hand, you think the universe- down to its tiniest constituent parts- is a living thing you'll expect to find life everywhere- and everywhere developing in the direction of self-aware intelligence.

Brian Cox- TV's newest science bod- is a dead universe man. Or seems to be. (I'll allow he may have been misrepresented in the press) He is reported as saying (in a programme I'm not bothering to watch because I can see I won't agree with it) that we could be the only civilisation in the galaxy.

Cox's position represents scientific orthodoxy as it exists in the year 2014. It's based not on scientific evidence but on a philosophical premise or presupposition.  Dead universe, living universe: Neither thesis is- scientifically speaking- any more respectable than the other.

At present the evidence simply doesn't exist to prove either case. I have my prejudices and can call up evidence which I know my opponents will dismiss out of hand ( Near Death experiences? just the last ditch convulsions of the dying brain.) so I'm not keen to get into arguments.

But I've very few doubts. Ask me how I can be so sure and I'll say because I'm sure. How annoying of me.

I am not, by the way, arguing for the esistence of God. God- as far as I'm concerned- is a distraction, a mistake- the artefact of minds accustomed to think in hierarchical terms. The universe isn't a concern that needs to be created and then bossed about but an endless unfolding. Think fractals. Think depth not height.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-10-28 02:26 pm (UTC)
Evolutionary biologist and theoretical xenobiology hobbyist (he likes working out possible alien races for science fiction stories) Dr. Jack Cohen suggests that things which only developed once on Earth are "parochials", unique to here, while things which developed multiple times on Earth are "universals" which are likely to show up other places.

Among his universals are flight, fur, transformation of light into usable energy, and the transfer of genetic information among members of a species. He refers to them as "the four 'F's -- flight, fur, photosynthesis, and mating."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-28 09:38 pm (UTC)
I like the four "F"s.

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