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Dr. Robert Lanza write a book titled “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe“ which apparently (I have not read it, and wouldn't understand it even if I did) states that consciousness continues after the body dies.

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too. If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local. .

(click here for full article)

Our souls are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time. Our brains are just receivers and amplifiers for the proto-consciousness that is intrinsic to the fabric of space-time.

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  • > But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals A cable box receives satellite signals?!? Ok... Well, I guess he meant the way a high-gain antenna receives VHF/UHF signals. I must assume that he is very poorly informed about the way … Read More

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    ddanbe 2,705   4 Years Ago

    Great book to have, when you're in the toilet and you're out of paper! Read More

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    diafol 3,720   4 Years Ago

    As soon as somebody mentions 'soul', I turn off. 'Consciousness' is something else. I can't see why or how consciousness should prevail after physical death. Wishful thinking probably based on some quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo. Read More

  • Here's something for you deceptikon. Relating to evolution, life and consciousness. What is the purpose of death? Is it an evolutionary trait? If so, why? What is the point of evolution (which is supposed to keep the species alive), the struggle of life, if it ends with death? Life tries … Read More

  • 6
    diafol 3,720   4 Years Ago

    > I had no knowledge about the time I was under anastasia Same thing happened to me at a party, but her name was June. Read More

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As deciptikon points out, that is an hypothesis rather than a theory. In science, a hyopothesis is formed after making observations to try to explain a phenomenon. A proper hypothesis is testable and its reliability is proven either by experimentation and/or prediction. For example, Einstein's hypothesis that space would be curved by large masses was proven during a solar eclipse when stars that were known to be obscured by the edge of the sun were visible. It would be interesting to have a look at this book to see the basis for the hypothesis.

Another question arises from the supposition that our souls have existed since the beginning of time. To me, this throws doubt over the entire book. Consider that those who believe in souls believe that they are unique to humans (one per except for lawyers). Other animals/organisms do not have souls. It has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt that humans evolved from earlier life forms that were non-human. That means that at some point in the evolutionary chain, an organism with no soul gave birth to an organism with a soul. That's a little hard to swallow. Parents-nonhuman, child-human.

As for viewing the brain as a receiver of consciousness, I suppose it might be possible to prove this hypothesis but only if some way were to be found to prevent the brain from receiving. Sort of like a Farraday Cage for people. Unfortunately, there is no way to disprove the hypotheses so it is therefore rendered useless. I suppose one could always claim that general anaesthesia acts as a block because the person getting it is rendered unconscious.

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There's nothing really new in this theory, variants of it have been around for decades if not longer.

Astral projection, reincarnation etc. Find a new physical theory to play with and bend it to your crackpot ideas. Voila!

I remember picturing myself from above once after going to a 'mushroom' party. Very vivid and terrifying - I was convinced that I was looking at myself from my soul and that my soul was leaving my body. It took a while for my hippy trippy thoughts to dissipate into the ether.

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That's a little hard to swallow. Parents-nonhuman, child-human

Isn't that the whole of evolution theory? If you believe evolution then you must also believe that at some time some human's parents were non-human.

I pretty much think the author of this book is as much a crackpot as Erich von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods", which was an interesting and amusing book, but only from sci-fi standpoint. Dr. Lanza probably read too much Stephen King and saw too much Star Trek.

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If you believe evolution then you must also believe that at some time some human's parents were non-human.

That's not quite the same thing. If you believe in the existence of the soul then either you have one or you don't (unless you believe that the soul evolved as well). That means there must have come a time when the parents were soul-less and the offspring were not. That's not the same thing as being human or non-human as there is no discrete point at which an animal "becomes" human, just like there is no discrete point at which liquid wax becomes a solid.

I'm glad we can agree on "crackpot".

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But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals

A cable box receives satellite signals?!? Ok... Well, I guess he meant the way a high-gain antenna receives VHF/UHF signals. I must assume that he is very poorly informed about the way radio telecommunications work. On the one end, there is a satellite with a high-power, high-gain, directional antenna that broadcasts powerful VHF/UHF signals from geosynchronous orbit (36,000 km altitude) directed at a region of Earth that requires about a few arc-seconds of pointing accuracy from its perspective. Then, the very faint remnant of the signals that actually makes it to the Earth and passed the atmospheric interference, is picked up by a high-gain antenna (the dish on your roof) pointing directly at the satellite. The signal, which is full of noise, is fed to a demodulator which attempts to lock on to the phase and frequency of the carrier wave, filter the noise around the frequency-band of interest, demodulate the signal, filter and demodulate a couple more times, and finally, get a digitally-encoded signal with good enough quality to use it.

The point of that lengthy explanation was to expose a few important problems. First of all, to send or receive any signal (of any kind) over a long distance requires either a tremendous amount of power, or a very large piece of hardware (like a very huge antenna). The laws that govern this are conservation of energy and basic geometry (Gauss' theorem), and it does not depend on which kind of signal you are talking about, e.g., electro-magnetic waves (light, radio, etc.) or sound waves, or any other form of signal. Second, this also implies that there must be a source for the signal. It doesn't really mean much to say "humans receive consciousness" if you don't mention where they receive that "signal" from (and like I said, that emitter must be really, really powerful, like, super-nova kind of powerful). Third, whatever kind of signal is conveyed, there needs to be signal allocations, multiplexing (e.g., CDMA), etc.., in other words, you need to establish a unique and interference-free modulation scheme that can allow everyone (7 billion, assuming there is only conscious life on Earth, and that only humans have consciousness, both of which would be hard to believe) to "receive" and "decode" their consciousness-signal without interference with others (I guess you could say schitzophrenia is the symptom of consciouness-signal interference). In this area, there are also some hard limits that make this pretty much impossible to do on this scale, at least, unless you assume a significantly more complex emitter and relay network (e.g., like the internet). And, in any case, the hardware required for humans to be channeling this "consciousness-signal" would have to be significantly more than what we are currently packing in our heads and body.

And I haven't even gotten into the issue of band-width, i.e., what is the band-width of this consciousness channel?

And I must assume it's a two-way channel too, right? Otherwise, how would the consciousness be enriched or even informed at all about the experiences we have, i.e., humans cannot just be receivers, they must also upload everything they see, feel, hear, etc... back to wherever that consciousness resides.

Anyhow, if this were true, I'm just saying that this communication network is the most sophisticated thing you could ever imagine. But I'm pretty sure it violates far too many laws of physics and mathematics (and information theory) to be remotely possible.

In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space.

I love those "outside of constraints of time and space" things... it seems that everything that is clearly not possible in reality is somehow "outside the constraints of time and space", while everything that exists and is real is constrained by time and space. In other words, it's your last resort argument when you realize that your hypothesis is clearly impossible and ludicrous.

In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

Ah.. that quantum nonlocality again... it seems that this guy hits every single meta-physical mumbo-jumbo trick in the book (what's next? The wisdom of Chopra). First of all, quantum nonlocality is only observed at the sub-atomic level, never on larger scales than that. Second, it does not violate other laws of physics like conservation of energy, or laws in information theory. Third, it is still a poorly understood phenomenon, and it is likely that there is a much more down-to-Earth explanation for it (IMHO). And finally, as Bjarne Stroustrup said, proof by analogy is fraud.

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Kudos - I believe its all about the frequencies
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Wow, didn't even need to read a word of it to know it was bunk. Just Googling the author to realize he is a doctor/biologist and the title of the article (that the book uses quantum theory) is enough to know it is garbage.

Science is highly specialized, a doctor knows no more about quantum theory than a welder or a secretary, or than a theoretical physicist knows about heart surgery.

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Speaking of quantum theory, there is a conciousness hypothesis that consciousness is the result of a collapsing quantum waveform. shrugs not sure I could prescribe to this... <--- Edit: I can't even find the article anymore, my Google fu is weak today. It was published as a scientific paper for peer review though. It probably got blasted down :)

Another is that it's simply the result of efficient simultaneous processing of information in the brain. When you start to muddy the signals, "consciousness" collapses. Here is an article about the study: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-psychologists-report-new-248299.aspx

My personal belief is that consciousness is simply an illusion of higher intelligence. We have the ability to make decisions and override instinct. We are self-aware so far as, whatever I am has the ability to recognise itself and its place within its perceptive ability of time and space. this gives rise to the belief that we somehow control everything from a point of self-existance and ego.
Going into details, I think that we're no more than finite state-machines. Our personalities are built from a ground framework of genetics. Our experiences help shape how we behave. The way we make decisions is based on this process. As such, once you "know" a person, it's fairly easy to predict behaviour (otherwise we wouldn't have profilers for criminal cases)

We receive input and in most cases perform output. We are machines. Very complex ones, but nonetheless, machines.

Of course, this is my belief. I'm not saying it is proven fact :)

Edited by Ketsuekiame

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Science is highly specialized, a doctor knows no more about quantum

I didn't read his biograph on wiki so I thought he had Ph.D., but now that you mention it I see in wiki he has a medical degree. That makes his book even more suspect. But it might be interesting to read, as a sci-fi book.

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I think the most likely explanation of consciousness is that it is an emergent behaviour of the complex network of neurons in the brain. Self-awarness is probably a result of cycles (eg. A->B->C->A) in this network.

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I thought he had Ph.D.

Even Ph.D's these days only mean you have substantive knowledge in a very narrow discipline. I know many Ph.D holders who have beliefs unsupported by evidence or are completely ignorant about things outside their field - eg. molecular biologist who don't understand weather, pure mathematicians who don't know anything about computers, biochemists who can't do basic calculus, physicist who don't know a thing about evolution, environmental scientists who don't understand genetics.

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Try to drink half a bottle or more if you can, of say whisky. The ethanol (C2H5OH) in it will have you either start dancing on the table or get you unconscious under the table. If you have a normal consciousness you would never behave like that I guess
Consciousness is thus influenced by certain substances (see here) and must be chemical in nature. IMO it is in a way just a chemical reaction, albeit a very, very complex one.
Consciousness is a way of nature in the struggle for life, a way to survive. A fly will “know” when it will get hit by a newspaper and will try to fly away as quick as possible. A dog will “remember” the person that has beaten him. Etc. etc.
It is also reassuring to wake up in the morning and to know, that you are you and not Ancient Dragon for example. :D Your knowledge, your experiences your thoughts it is all there in your brain in some sort of molecular form, like the DNA molecule contains all the info to create a new being, be it a mosquito or a human or whatever.
Some people call what is in your brain as “you”, a “soul” and claim it is immortal, IMHO I have serious doubts about that.

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As soon as somebody mentions 'soul', I turn off. 'Consciousness' is something else. I can't see why or how consciousness should prevail after physical death. Wishful thinking probably based on some quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo.

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I'm going to spiral out on some sort of energy wave. My energy will either float out there in space or I'll end up being born as another being's conscious. Or, I'll fade to black and cease to exist. As the Rock used to say, "It doesn't Matter"!

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Seeing how my nephew and niece (3 and 2 years old, now) are developing, it is pretty clear to me that consciousness is something that develops as higher-order thinking develops. It's clearly a product of the brain's development. As you see an infant develop from being a kind of instinctual automaton that cries when hungry, that sleeps when tired, that giggles when stimulated by sounds or funny faces, etc.., to becoming aware of its actions, aware of other people, aware of the passing of time, able to imagine scenarios, and so on.., you are looking at the development of consciousness right there, and it's a beautiful thing. And this natural process is beautiful enough in my opinion, I don't see a reason to want some additional cosmic explanation for it, it spoils the extraordinary beauty of what consciousness really is.

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Wow
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I would say the development of a child's brain is learned from the parents and the immediate environment around that baby. A new born knows nothing of Gods, Sciences, or other theologies of our species. Other than the instinctual automation that Mike stated, infants know of very little if anything at all. Everything my children "are" is because of my wife's and mine own teachings. Gods and science be damned, it all doesn't matter to me and I don't fear what happens after my lights turn out. I only hope my children will feel the same but their mother has taught them about hell if they don't believe in God so....

I love these topics.

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A renowned atheist, Isaac Asimov, once said “There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell or eternal boredom in Heaven.”

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I die and my energy becomes one with the Gods/Godesses/Non-Terrestrial Scientists, pure energy reformed in a new dimension, eternally.

In the mean time, I practice the ancient ways as an advanced Mammal may.

Our finite brains cannot understand or express the details. Cave paintings on French, stone walls, Plato and Metaphysics, our closest reach.

Matthew

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My finite brain has no trouble with it: we die, we're gone. It doesn't take much intelligence to realize that the most likely scenario is that this life is all we have. If there's more to it, fine, but Occam's razor applies. The most likely scenario doesn't include some divine amazingness to explain life after death.

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Here's something for you deceptikon. Relating to evolution, life and consciousness.

What is the purpose of death? Is it an evolutionary trait? If so, why? What is the point of evolution (which is supposed to keep the species alive), the struggle of life, if it ends with death?
Life tries to live. It tries to stay alive. Breeding helps keep the species alive, but for what purpose? Why does life try to beget life when all it does is die? Seems pretty pointless if you ask me... (Not trying to be depressive here)

So, what if life as a whole is simply trying to exist? What if individuality as we understand it is simply wrong and all these processes of evolution and the struggle to procreate are simply to keep "life" in existence, regardless of what it is that's alive.
The problem I have is that I fail to understand what the goal of this cycle is. To merely keep going? If so, keep what going? I guess this is the question "What is the meaning of life?"

On another level, things get really freaky when you consider looking at whether or not it was possible to have not existed.
My reasoning here is that the fact that you are conscious was impossible to have not happened. Unfortunately it means dealing with infinites, so mathematics won't help. However, if we consider logic, given that when unconcious there is no perception of time. If nothing is concious, abstractly, time ceases to exist as an observable concept. Until the first observation, relatively speaking to the first observer, everything that happened before both took forever, yet happened instantaneously.

Consider if you are not an observer, you have not yet come into existence. From "your" potential perspective, the entire time from first energy to your first observation could potentially have been infinitely long. Given that there is a small chance that something could exist within the laws of physics, given an infinite amount of time, the probability becomes both 1 and 0 (potentially over an infinite amount of time it could never happen, yet given an infinite amount of time, it will definitely happen - I hate dealing with infinites. Given my limited knowledge of mathematics there may be an explanation I don't know, please enlighten me :) )

Again consider that when you die, you cease to be an observer of the universe and reality. At this point, an infinite amount of time passes in an instantaneous moment from the point of the non-observer. If an infinite amount of time passes between each observation, do you suppose it's possible that eventually the exact same portion and energy of the universe that makes you now will co-incide and build you up again? Or put another way, what if we constantly live and die over and over again? Given that the same circumstances need not bring you together in the same way, it's plausible that each iteration through the cycle could be different. This is different, in my opinion, to the idea behind re-incarnation which talks about the soul (or insert other name for it here) inhabiting the body.

Additionally, we do not know if only our reality exists. There are hypothesis that the universe we live in is not the only one (Google multiverse theory). Each one governed by its own rules of physics. Also, even Stephen Hawking theorised that blackholes explode into new universes once you increase the stress on spacetime enough...

I'm going to stop writing now :)

The above are only thought exercises which I think could be discussed and I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and interpretations on them. Pesonally, I'm not sure if there is anything at all. However, in that case, how am I aware of my existence? Confusing ^.^

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Interesting discussion.
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My theory is that we are like a virus growing in someone's test tube. Travel far enough in space and we will hit the wall of the test tube. Big Bang theory is when someone shakes up that test tube to start our universe all over again. Scientists on TV have said they think the Big Bang has happened several times, so someone puts a modicule in a test tube and watches it explode -- Bang! and we're started.

Why not?? good as any other explanation. :)

Edited by Ancient Dragon

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Death doesn't have a point. Things just wear out.

Evolution doesn't have a point. Evolution is just a process that occurs (mostly) as a result of random mutations.

Life doesn't have a point. It just is.

However, I have a point. And that point is that things don't need to have a purpose other than those things that we create. It is perfectly valid to say "what is the point of a hammer" because we created hammers for a purpose. They are the creation of our intelligence. If you consider that the universe (and humans) were created by something with intelligence, i.e. God (a viewpoint that I do not share) then trying to find our purpose is tantamount to understanding the mind of God, something that religion tells us is beyond our ken.

You might as well ask what is the point of gravity or what is the point of time. However, Bill Cosby has been able to answer the question "why is there air" (to blow up basketballs).

What is the meaning of life? It's whatever you decide for yourself.

My reasoning here is that the fact that you are conscious was impossible to have not happened.

No. The fact that you are conscious means that it did happen, not that it had to. Does the existence of the play, Hamlet, mean that it was impossible for it not to have existed?

I recall reading recently that some physicists hypothesize that time is en emergent property of the universe and have devised an experiment (I think using quantum entanglement) to try to show that the passage of time would not be seen by someone observing the universe from "outside".

I'm going to stop writing now

Probably a good thing. My brain is starting to hurt ;-P

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Thought-provoking counter argument
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Death doesn't have a point. Things just wear out.

Evolution doesn't have a point. Evolution is just a process that occurs (mostly) as a result of random mutations.

Life doesn't have a point. It just is.
You might as well ask what is the point of gravity or what is the point of time. However, Bill Cosby has been able to answer the question "why is there air" (to blow up basketballs).

What is the meaning of life? It's whatever you decide for yourself.

An interesting counter-argument looking from the opposite end of the spectrum. One that, given your argument, I can agree with actually.

No. The fact that you are conscious means that it did happen, not that it had to. Does the existence of the play, Hamlet, mean that it was impossible for it not to have existed?

This is the problem I have with infinites. If you consider infinites; before the play existed the probability of it coming into existence is both definitely certain and definitely impossible. But only if you allow infinite time. Like the often touted "monkeys and the typewriters" argument, given an infinite amount of time, eventually they will come out with the entire works of shakespear.

Whatever it is that makes up your conscious thought, if it is actually anything at all (meta-physically speaking, not insulting ;P ) would by this argument be both guaranteed to exist and not exist at the same time. All that happened was the fact you came into existence now, not later or earlier... I realise this is a difficult argument to swallow and I'm not very good at explaining it myself, because I really don't understand it myself either ;)

Consider something else, a bit more down to earth. You play the lottery, the chances of you winning any single result are 1 in 4million (arbitrary number). If you play the same numbers every day for the rest of your life, everytime you play, you have the same chance this week as you did last week.

Your entire lifetime is a subset of time itself. If we conscribe to the hypothesis that the universe will continue infinitely, time is considered a set of infinity. If you found a drug that could keep you alive indefinitely and the lottery continued in the same fashion. Each week the probability of you winning is the same. However, over the period of infinity, you will win eventually, possibly. Herein lays the problem. If you carry on playing for infinity until you win, the chance simply becomes 1. However, there is the possibility, that you never win given an infinite amount of time. Probability of 0. In this case, which is correct (given the set of infinity). Given any subset (any individual draw or any constrained time period), your chances are still the same 1 in 4m. This is the bit I find difficulty with :)

I have to leave now but I'll try and continue this later when I come home.

EDIT:

I recall reading recently that some physicists hypothesize that time is en emergent property of the universe and have devised an experiment (I think using quantum entanglement) to try to show that the passage of time would not be seen by someone observing the universe from "outside".

Could you link this for me please? I think this would be an interesting read.

Edited by Ketsuekiame

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What is the purpose of death? Is it an evolutionary trait? If so, why?

Our bodies wear out eventually such that old cells can no longer be replaced with new cells quickly enough to maintain life. It would be interesting to cross reference life span relative to habitat and complexity of physiology.

Life tries to live. It tries to stay alive. Breeding helps keep the species alive, but for what purpose? Why does life try to beget life when all it does is die? Seems pretty pointless if you ask me... (Not trying to be depressive here)

You said it yourself, life tries to live. Our basest instincts are to survive and procreate. As a debatably intelligent species, we tack on whatever makes us feel better about our seemingly miraculous existence. However, I'm not of the opinion that there's a satisfying answer to "what is the meaning of life?".

So, what if life as a whole is simply trying to exist?

I think a good question is why would that be a bad thing? Just because there's likely not a higher purpose in life doesn't mean we can't still live the way we want to the fullest.

On another level, things get really freaky when you consider looking at whether or not it was possible to have not existed.

That makes me think of universal predictability. Sure, my father could have pulled out or waited another second and I'd probably not be here as I am. But is that possible? Certainly not without turning back time, however it raises the question of whether every instant in time invariably reached that point and couldn't have been changed. In other words, if one were omniscient, one could predict the future and explain how the past came to be the present.

Again consider that when you die, you cease to be an observer of the universe and reality. At this point, an infinite amount of time passes in an instantaneous moment from the point of the non-observer.

The non-observer by definition cannot perceive. Since we could only reach a conclusion by observing, it's an impossible problem.

If an infinite amount of time passes between each observation, do you suppose it's possible that eventually the exact same portion and energy of the universe that makes you now will co-incide and build you up again?

It's possible, though unless the energy of the universe recycles such that the same state can be reached again, I'd say it's very unlikely. If you subscribe to a multiple universes theory then according to the law of large numbers there's no reason why an exact duplicate of our universe couldn't be created.

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What is the purpose of death? Is it an evolutionary trait? If so, why? What is the point of evolution (which is supposed to keep the species alive), the struggle of life, if it ends with death?

Death is not an evolutionary trait but the amount of resources committed to delaying death is an evolutionary trait. There is no point to evolution, evolution just happens. Just like ther is no point to gravity, or plate techtonics, or electromagnetism, or chemical reactions. This is an attempt to explain evolution without using the 'purpose' metaphor which is so common.

Life tries to live. It tries to stay alive.

Only sort-of. Traits and behaviours which cause life to stay alive persist where as traits and behaviours which result in life not staying alive instantly go extinct.

What if individuality as we understand it is simply wrong and all these processes of evolution and the struggle to procreate are simply to keep "life" in existence, regardless of what it is that's alive.

Unlikely. If that were the case I would expect much more push for space exploration and lifeforms which can survive in space since all life on this planet will be obliterated in a few billion years when the Sun expands.

The problem I have is that I fail to understand what the goal of this cycle is. To merely keep going? If so, keep what going? I guess this is the question "What is the meaning of life?"

There is no goal, you are here asking the question because the cycle has kept going up until this point. There is no meaning of life, it just is. Like the Stars just are, the galaxy just is, etc...

If nothing is concious, abstractly, time ceases to exist as an observable concept.

This is like the "if a tree falls in the woods and there's no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound?". My answer is that of course it does (and time would still exist without conciousness/observation). Consider this: prior to the emergence of life (no consciousness) did the techtonic plates move - if not how are there layers of rock with magnetic minerals facing different directions from that time? Were rocks on Mars weathered by the wind before humans knew that Mars existed - if not where did all the dust come from? Likewise if all conscious life were to cease to exist right now, the Earth would still revolve around the Sun several billion times before the Sun expands and engulfs it.

A tree falling in the woods will still displace air creating a sound-wave vibration in the air, regardless of whether an conscious organism with the ability to percieved said sound-wave is present or not.

Consider if you are not an observer, you have not yet come into existence. From "your" potential perspective, the entire time from first energy to your first observation could potentially have been infinitely long. Given that there is a small chance that something could exist within the laws of physics, given an infinite amount of time, the probability becomes both 1 and 0 (potentially over an infinite amount of time it could never happen, yet given an infinite amount of time, it will definitely happen - I hate dealing with infinites. Given my limited knowledge of mathematics there may be an explanation I don't know, please enlighten me :) )

Ok there are a few things wrong here.
1) Just because something is infinite every possibility must occur.
Here's a simplified version. Lets say we can represent "you" as some finite length string of digits (for simplicity lets say 29752), now given an infinite non-repeating list of numbers (analogous to a universe lasting infinite time) is it a certainty that 29752 will appear?
Answer: No. for instance the sequence 010010001000010000010000001...... is an infinite non-repeating list of numbers which will never contain 29752.

2) You are mixing up your probabilities.
Let's simplify this, instead of the universe and the probability of 'you' existing in the unverse, let's consider rolling a single die and 'you' being the result that the die lands with the 6 facing up.

Now I have rolled a die on my desk. What is the probability that it is a 6?
Answer: 1 or 0 - I either have or have not got a 6 facing up at me. I can see the die so I know whether it is a 6 or not but you guys don't. The best you can do is make a guess, if you guess "No, it isn't a 6" then if we were to do this many many times you expect to be right about 5/6 of the time. Likewise guessing "Yes, it is a 6" would be right 1/6 of the time.

But if I were to post a photo of the die showing a 6 then everyone knows the probability that I rolled a 6 is 1.

Likewise if you exist to ask the question "What is the chance that I exist?" then the chance is 1 -> you do exist. Likewise if you ask, what is the chance a blonde girl named Flibberty Girbette will exist at some point in the universe the answer is 0 or 1 - she either will or will not exist.

Now the problem is with infinities. Infinites basically don't make any logical sense and fortunately seem pretty uncommon in nature (the universe is not infinitely big, it doesn't have infinitely much stuff in it, etc...). Here is a good example illustrating this. But rather than dive into that which even professional philosophers & mathematicians haven't solved. I will use a bit of a cheat to get around it.

3) You are assuming the probability of 'you' occurring is constant over the life of the universe. Given the current understanding of the universe that is incorrect. While right now the universe is pretty dense (there are stars and planets) it's also not too dense (aka not just a bubble of fire & energy) so it is relatively likely that intelligent life could exist. But as the universe gets older and older it will continue to expand but the amound of matter & energy will stay constant so it will get less and less dense until it isn't dense enough for stars or planets to form anymore at which point the probability of a human being popping into existence is extremely small. Over the infinite life of the universe its density will approach 0 because it will get infinitely big but still only have the same amount of 'stuff' in it. As a result the probability of a human being popping into existence will approach 0. Depending on how fast this happens it is quite possible for the overall probability of any particular person or thing existing will converge to a finite value less than 1. (Think something like this only with the cummulative probability of something existing on the y-axis and the age of the universe on the x-axis).

Sorry for any typos I'm writting this at 1am .

Edited by Agilemind

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Could not have said it better!
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Either your perception of probability is incorrect or you are just misstating the problem. The probability of rolling a 6 is not 1 or 0. That is not how probabilities are stated. Yes, the roll is either a 6, or not a six, but the chances of it being a 6 are 1 in 6, and 5 in 6 of it not being a 6. The probabilities of the two outcomes are not equal.

But if I were to post a photo of the die showing a 6 then everyone knows the probability that I rolled a 6 is 1.

No. Probability is for prediction. You can't state the probability of an event that has already occurred. Asking "what are the chances that I exist" is a meaningless question. If you put a thousand numbers into a hat and ask a thousand people to each draw a number, the odds of a particular person drawing 493 are 1 in 1000. The odds that some person will draw that number are always 1. Once the drawing has been done and the result revealed probability becomes meaningless.

If nothing is conscious, abstractly, time ceases to exist as an observable concept.

I think that as stated the statement is correct but useless. It depends of definitions. For example, what is "red"? Red only exists as an observable phenomenon. You could say that the frequency of light that we interpret as red can be defined as red, but who is to say that everyone (or every animal) perceives red in the same way? If you define sound as compressions and rarefactions in air (or water) then sound exists independent of observers. If you define it as our perception of the same then it ceases to exist.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
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