by Fernando Caracena ©Fernando Caracena 2023
Throughout my life, what I understand in a given area may suddenly reassemble in a totally new way. My understanding of alternative explanations of some things may consist of a set of various hypothesis or theories that have intuitive Bayesian odds assigned to each alternative. As my understanding in a particular area increases, the set of Bayesian odds for various competing theories rearrange in value. A new perspective may also enter the mix. A recent rearrangement in Bayesian odds of ideas about the nature of physical reality prompt me to present a short essay about the subject below, which brings up to date the previous comments on the subject.
A Ray of Pure Consciousness
René Descartes's starting point in discussing the nature of reality was to establish his own existence from first principles: "cogito, ergo sum"--I think therefore I am. For Descartes reality began with those who established their own existence; otherwise, why waste time arguing with those who doubt their own existence. From that starting point they could go on to form a network of thinking agents.
Donald Hoffman, referenced in a previous post, Then a Miracle occurs, does not base reality in cogitation, but rather cognition. He is attempting to construct a theory of reality based on a network of conscious agents.
Can there be pure consciousness that does not terminate on some object of consciousness? Imagine a pure ray of consciousness passing through a 'space' that is totally devoid of any perceptible qualities. Can such consciousness be aware even of itself? Therefore to become truly conscience, pure consciousness is a potential that requires being able to become aware of something outside itself and interact with it. This topic was touched on in a previous post, The Physical World and the Human Mind.
The creation of a Human Being
So the origin of each human being has to happen by a ray of potential consciousness interacting with 'objects' outside itself. Some philosophers of the past have embraced a false notion of what constitutes an 'object' of perception: that an object must be the basis of reality. This form of materialism characterized the philosophy of Democritus and Leucippus.
The objective world is one that crystalises in our consciousness from some kind of wave pattern in what we call the material world. The objects of perception, as Donald Hoffman has stated are constructs of our mind. This establishes the basic ideas of Quantum theory, that nothing exists until it is observed by a sentient being. Donald Hoffman compares the objects of our perception to icons on a computer display, which simplify the direction of complex computer processing in terms of a simpler picture. He sites the development of such simplified representation of complex reality as caused by Darwinian Evolution, which is a theory that is being critisized mathematicall such as is discussed by the Hoover Discussion Group (HDG).
The major mathematical problem with Darwinian Evolution is that we now know (and Darwin did not) that all the proteins that make up the body of an organism are generated from informational structures of DNA molecules contained in the cell nucleus. This information is transferred into the cell body by messenger RNAs manufactured from DNA potions , the macromolecular templates for assembling proteins from amino acids in ribosomes, which are in the cell body outside the nucleus.
The problems presented to evolution by random changes in DNA are combinatorial as presented by the HDG. A random change in the structure of the DNA in a cell nucleus is astronomically more likely to produce gibberish, rather than new information to encode as a new viable protein. There is an even greater problem that is alluded to by David Berlinski which involves the whole structure of life forms that are members of the various ecosystems that make up the whole of planetary life. The discussion group sites the Cambrian Explosion during which there was a very rapid change in life forms on the earth and the emergence of many new species. David Berlinski mentioned that there may be some topology that governs the populations of ecosystems. Indeed, I say that there may be some kind of programming connection between microscopic change in DNA structure and in the whole pattern of lifeforms. Somehow on a cellular level, DNA my also function like an operating system, which recognizes a random change as damage to be repaired, or as meaningful change that takes changes in offspring in the direction that ecological life forms are developing.
What do you think? Let me know and we will discuss your suggestions.