The Meaning of the Universe?

by Raydal
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I love this quote from one of my favorite authors, c. S. Lewis:

"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out
that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and
therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark.
Dark would be without meaning."


-Ray Edwards
  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    “A junkyard contains all the bits and pieces of a Boeing 747, dismembered and in disarray. A whirlwind happens to blow through the yard. What is the chance that after its passage a fully assembled 747, ready to fly, will be found standing there? So small as to be negligible, even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards to fill the whole Universe.”
    ― Fred Hoyle, "The Intelligent Universe"
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

      “A junkyard contains all the bits and pieces of a Boeing 747, dismembered and in disarray. A whirlwind happens to blow through the yard. What is the chance that after its passage a fully assembled 747, ready to fly, will be found standing there? So small as to be negligible, even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards to fill the whole Universe.”
      ― Fred Hoyle, "The Intelligent Universe"
      Your point? How do you interpret this?
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      • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Your point?
        I enjoy reading Fred Hoyle's perspectives. He was one of the great astrophysicists of his time. Colleagues seemed to take his theories on the universe being intelligent as his "flip-side" (sort of like Isaac Newton, otherwise one of the greatest logical thinkers in history, believing in ghosts). I personally believe that the behavior of the universe and nature is like the mind (there, I said it. Sue me, lol)

        livescience.com:"When the team compared the universe's history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections.".
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
          The universe has meaning? And what would that be?

          Joe Mobley
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post

          I enjoy reading Fred Hoyle's perspectives. He was one of the great astrophysicists of his time. Colleagues seemed to take his theories on the universe being intelligent as his "flip-side" (sort of like Isaac Newton, otherwise one of the greatest logical thinkers in history, believing in ghosts). I personally believe that the behavior of the universe and nature is like the mind (there, I said it. Sue me, lol)

          livescience.com:"When the team compared the universe's history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections.".
          When I fly over cities at night, it looks like a giant nervous system. The same with our highway system and looking at creeks and rivers. To me, it all looks like part of a huge intelligent being. But it's because we see patterns everywhere. Sometimes they are real, sometimes we create them.

          Thinking that the universe is intelligent is intuitive. Sir Author Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a devout spiritualist.

          One of the most beneficial survival instincts is feeling that a rustling shrub is a tiger about to pounce. We have evolved to feel like there are predators, living predators... around us. It's hard wired into our brain.

          Let's pretend that we are living 10,000 years ago, and have no knowledge of how the world and universe works.

          A breeze blows in the direction we are walking. It feels like an invisible hand is helping us, doesn't it? Air is something we can't see. How else would you explain it? An invisible being helping you. Look into clouds when a storm is coming. Can't you imagine the castles, gods, and battles going on up there?

          Lightening strikes one of our sheep. How else would we explain it, except that a lightening bolt was thrown at the sheep as a way of punishing us?

          That feeling in the back of your neck that someones watching you? In the dark? Every creaking floorboard is someone..something walking toward us. Our brain's first reaction to a stimulus is to perceive it as a threat. And to try to instantly create a reason for it happening. We can't help it.

          That instinct is what keeps most animals alive. It never goes away. And it never went away.
          Remember when we believed in gods with back stories, family, battles, drama, and that they lived in the sky? We invented all that as a way to make sense of our surroundings. Wikipedia has listed about 2,500 gods that people actually believed in...completely..with absolute certainty.

          We still do it. And anyone who doesn't share this version of reality, is thought of as "Not one of us".

          Could a Mormon get elected as president? I think so. A woman? Sure. A person with a different religion as you? Sure.

          An atheist? Not for at least the next hundred years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Imagen Estilo
    What amazes me is the fact they can tell whether the universe is expanding or contracting. Mind blowing stuff really
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Well, let's investigate a bit...

      Uni means "one"

      Verse means "Poetic form in general" or "A poetic form with regular meter and a fixed rhyme scheme."

      So universe means one song or one poem. Have you heard the song or poem of the Universe?


      Oh and don't forget this quote by Sir P. Sidney ~ It is not rhyming and versing that maketh a poet.

      :p
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      I'm a big CS Lewis fan and have several of his books. In my opinion he is one of the most brilliant, profound writers in modern history. But as much as I would love to participate in this discussion, I think it would be next to impossible for me to do so without breaking the main rule of the OT forum. So I'm not even gonna try, lol.

      Very interesting topic, though!
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  • Profile picture of the author velvetadvert

    Look out, the world's destroying you
    Relax, it isn't fair
    Mother nature's disposition
    She don't mind, she don't care
    ***
    Stanley Kubrick once said "Universe doesn't care about us. And when we deal with it, we'll find happiness".
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    It is always nice to begin my day with light topics.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Why is there ... anything?
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Why is there ... anything?
      Because with "nothing" we would go absolutely stark raving mad!!

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    I think the primary question to this would be "Is there a God?" Because if there is a God then there is purpose. But no one has ever proved God's existence so it's meaning is irrelevant.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by ceenote100 View Post

      I think the primary question to this would be "Is there a God?" Because if there is a God then there is purpose. But no one has ever proved God's existence so it's meaning is irrelevant.
      Are you sure? Because there was a time when no one had proven gravity existed. Was it also irrelevant? Or did it keep our feet on earth despite our lack of proof?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by ceenote100 View Post

      I think the primary question to this would be "Is there a God?" Because if there is a God then there is purpose. But no one has ever proved God's existence so it's meaning is irrelevant.
      I may not have put it that way, but it brings up a good point.
      Everyone I know that thinks the universe has purpose, and they we have a purpose is religious. I don't know anyone who believes in ghosts (my wife believes in ghosts) that doesn't also believe in God. It kind of all goes together.

      Atheists (at least the couple that I know), have no supernatural beliefs at all.
      I think you kind of accept the whole ball of wax, or you don't.

      I know very scientific thinkers that also are devout Christians. It's interesting to me that this one area of thinking is separate from all other areas. It's almost like one part of the brain houses religious thought. Most people have it, some don't. Weird.


      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      The word "infinity" amazed me as a kid - no high or low, no stopping or re-thinking or any adjustment required...infinity just goes on and on.
      When my son was about 5 years old, he said "Dad, those numbers? They just go on forever, don't they?" That made my day.


      Added later;
      Originally Posted by ceenote100 View Post

      But no one has ever proved God's existence
      is the first half of a circular argument. the second half is something like "Nobody has proven that He doesn't exist".

      Both statements are misleading, because it's impossible to prove either point. You could take out the word "God" and replace it with "Superman" and the statements would make as much sense.

      See? "Nobody has proven that Superman doesn't exist, so there". "Oh yeah? Well nobody has proven that Superman exists...so double there! "

      Me? I just can't wait for the Man Of Steel movie to come out. And that will prove Superman exists...at least for me. Yes, I'm pulling everyone's leg.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
    Banned
    I imagine a bunch of cavemen sitting around a fire.
    One looks up at the sky and asks "What you think is out there?"
    Another says "Probably a vast empty space with a few hydrogen, carbon, and methane particles expanding as a result of a massive atomic explosion."
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    What I think is cool is sub-atomic universe theory. Think about that. Our sun is the nucleus of an atom and the planets and moons orbiting the sun are the electrons, protons and neutrons, or subatomic particles. What if our solar system is a single atom in a much larger structure like a pizza or a '52 Buick or a politician's brain?

    And then look at the atoms in our bodies. Those form molecules that give life to organs that are part of systems that keep us alive. All of the liver cells are similar as all the nervous system cells are and every other little human ecosystem within the body as well.

    Every system is one living thriving community within our bodies depending on all the other systems. Kinda like galaxies. One could say that the human body is a universe unto itself. Maybe individual cells have their own consciousness. Maybe they think the consciousness running the "universe" or the body itself is god. Are you a kind god or a cruel one to your universe?

    Sub-atomic universe theory says that orbiting systems like our solar system go on and on to infinity towards both the large and the small. Of course, we can't see these and we can't confirm it but it's fun to think about it.

    Note: Lower case on god is intentional.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I don't think the universe has any meaning - except the meaning we each assign to it.

      The word didn't exist (universe) until we coined it - universe was around long before we named it.

      The word "infinity" amazed me as a kid - no high or low, no stopping or re-thinking or any adjustment required...infinity just goes on and on.
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