Monday, 29 February 2016

The deep mystery of existence. 4. The cosmic conspiracy

Conspiracy theories abound but here is one with a difference.

 At this stage in our history the following conclusions are difficult to refute. If you notice a flaw or wrong information in any one of these please let me know.

  • The fundamental constants and equations of physics are fine tuned for life to many decimal places.

  •  The initial entropy content of the universe was just right to allow life to develop. Order and chaos are finely balanced for living beings.

  •  The dynamics of the expansion allows for a narrow window of opportunity in time and space for life to evolve  - we are in it.

  • Earth has very rare (probably unique) properties and conditions which allow life and civilisation to evolve.

  • The Big Bang expansion was slightly uneven * and this allowed stars to form from the resulting clumps of matter. Had there been no such clumps there would be no stars, no planets, no life and no questions.
  • The Big Bang gave rise to a large excess of matter over anti-matter*, again allowing stars to form (otherwise the matter would be annihilated by the anti-matter).

  • The stars were formed and behaved in a way which synthesised all 92 chemical elements, including elements of crucial importance to advanced life - such as oxygen and carbon-12 (there are many more). In a sense it has taken the cosmic engineering of trillions of stars to make one human being alive today. see The deep mystery of existence.7. Ten trillion stars to make you

  •  Our galaxy, known as the Milky Way Galaxy, is exceptionally friendly to life, being relatively free of lethal cosmic rays. Our planet's magnetic field shields us from the most harmful ones which do reach it.

  • The placing of the Earth at a rare galactic vantage point such that beings on it would be able to deduce that the universe had a beginning from outside of time and space. More locally, this also requires skies which are clear in places where humans are present and this has been the case on this planet, especially in the places where civilisation originated (e.g. Babylon). The apparently equal sizes of the sun and moon in the sky conspire to give us eclipses almost certainly different from those on any other planet in the universe and stimulating human curiosity.
\ *the reason for this is currently one of the mysteries of cosmology

There is growing evidence from quantum biology that the whole living world operates by means of an unimaginably powerful computing system with end-point awareness. This has only come to light in the last decade or so.

All the above is a scientific mystery and implies a benevolent conspiracy of laws and events to create human beings which although not physically the centre of the universe may nevertheless be its centre of consciousness. Maybe it’s akin to the brain being the centre of a person’s consciousness while not being the physical centre. 

But the conspiracy runs deeper. There is an extraordinary amount of intelligent machinery which,e.g., acts purposefully to give a person the experience of a complete scene in front of him at any one moment while physically only the light from a miniscule part the scene impinges on the retina. The brilliantly designed machinery conspires to integrate the individual pulses of received light to build up a picture over a short time and to give the observer the feeling that the solid-looking world around him or her is being experienced at once in one instant.

Conscious life emerged with a rich variety of experiences and sensations and dramas and life stories which cannot be measured or described in words or equations. Each human being sees a solid world in front of him or her: solid walls with solid doors and windows made of solid glass.  Yet modern physics shows that not a single particle of matter exists. Even the elementary particles, like quarks, are posited to be vibrating strings of energy around one trillionth of a  trillionth of a trillionth of a metre in length, and the space between these strings is, in relative terms, vast. So all we see is configurations of energy in empty space conspiring to make us and give us experiences.

Some forms of Hinduism and atheism have classed everything as an illusion, including good and evil. However, there cannot by definition be an illusion without a corresponding reality. The reality, I think as a non-professional layman philosopher, is the experience itself and our relationship to whatever has conspired to produce this reality.

It is also remarkable that humans, at least, are given such a rich spectrum of tastes, aromas and sensations. Why, for instance, is imbibing food and drink such an enjoyable process? Humans could have been designed to absorb nutrition in some purely mechanical way devoid of any taste experience. This, too, could be part of the cosmic conspiracy, a benevolent one set up by some entity to give experiences to the conscious beings of his creation. 

 The physical world and its laws are wonderful and mysterious; but incidental and instrumental to what could be the real purpose of our existence – to act out a narrative of good overcoming evil, of hope overcoming despair, of life overcoming death, of justice overcoming injustice, of truth overcoming falsehood, and of order overcoming disorder.

Reading list:
Genesis 1:1
John 1:1
See also

John Sears

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