• A wal
• Cambridge
• United Kingdom

This conversation is closed.

## We create the universe.

We created the universe. Without life it wouldn't look, sound, feel, taste or smell like anything, so what would it be? Just an equation. For existence to exist it needs to be lived.

## Closing Statement from A wal

I think it's fair to say that the universe can be described using mathematics alone. There's no reason to ask what gives form to those equations. We do that ourselves. We give it form and substance. Everything that we think of as real is purely a creation of our own minds. Whether we experience the same thing is something that we may never know. There are always multiple correct ways of looking at something. John Conways game of life shows that the rules needed to generate complex interactions can be extremely simple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vgICfQawE&feature=related. Imagine a computer simulation of a more complicated version of the game of life, keeping the basic square grid with just two states but with more in depth rules and covering more dimensions. Now imagine that we zoom out and observe genuine life within the simulation. Now we switch off the computer. That life doesn't just vanish from existence. It's just squares on a grid. What we would have done is created a window to something that we wouldn't normally be aware of. What we think of as reality simply isn't needed to create what we experience. It's an unnecessary step based on an assumption that there needs to be an underlying cause, but this is a never ending question because you can always ask; well, what caused that? The question becomes invalid when asked in the context of existence itself. It's like asking why 1+1=2. It just does. The mathematical interactions give rise to pure geometry, which I think is the E8 described in Garret Lisis theory of everything: http://www.ted.com/talks/garrett_lisi_on_his_theory_of_everything.html. The properties of this shape are responsible for everything we experience and much more, in fact everything that can happen. The symmetry seems broken from our perspective because we have an extremely limited view of the overall structure. The senses are just labels that we attach to the mathematics around us that we're only partially aware of. Seeing is believing.

• #### Stewart Gault

• +1
Aug 25 2012: Not really, without any life anywhere you'd still have planets and stars,
• #### Chris Cavalari

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Sep 18 2012: That's Sethianism, I call it. As described by the author Jane Roberts, in many volumes she dictated known as The Seth Material. The catch phrase is you create your own reality. It's the only thing metaphysical I've ever bought.
We indeed are creating all of this.
• #### A wal

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Sep 20 2012: Oh okay. I've never heard it before. Does she go as far as me and say that it's based purely on mathematics and that's why everything disappears and becomes empty space when it's observed up close?
• #### Chris Cavalari

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Sep 21 2012: Well it isn't actually her writing, but Seth says there are realities based on mathematics, and ones based on music. And math and music have a lot in common.
• #### A wal

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Sep 21 2012: Music? Wtf? Music is created by our minds based on sounds that are also created by our minds. It's an illusion based on another illusion, it can't cause anything. Maybe all the mathematics of the universe can be expressed as music, and I bet it would be beautiful.
• #### Rick Ryan

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Aug 27 2012: The difference of opinions here sounds like a case of semantics to me.

I agree we as individuals with sensory organs "perceive" the Universe.

But that doesn't mean we "create(d)" it, especially concerning the matter that evidently DOES exists in the Universe. Matter is required to construct the sensory organs we are doing the original perceiving with in the first place.

If whatever sensory organs I use allow me to "perceive" anything ELSE constructed of matter (stars, planets) or caused my the movement of that matter (sound waves), that's one thing. But if I die tomorrow and can no longer perceive, that doesn't make the matter go away. It will still be perceived by any other sensory organs that still exists.

Now, it IS possible to posit the question, "What happens then when ALL other sensory organs that exist in the Universe cease to function? Won't the Universe just 'go away' then?"

Only if you believe that all the OTHER MATTER is just going to "Poof!" when it can no longer be perceived by any other organized matter that allows perception to occur.

At that point, it becomes a philisophical question, as there would be no sensory organs in existance (brains?) to ask the question anyhow.
• #### Fritzie -

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Aug 28 2012: I have run out of thumbs up for you this week, but I so appreciate the consistently thoughtful quality of your comments.
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: It's not really just semantics. People implicitly assume that reality is something that they only have a tiny view of and senses are just a window to it. Our five senses create a perception of the universe but that's all it is. Take the five senses away and obviously the perceived universe based on those five senses goes away with it, so all you're left with is mathematics.
• #### Rick Ryan

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Aug 28 2012: If I take away the 5 senses, then by your logic the mathematics should go away also. There are no senses left to perceive it either, unless you are saying mathematics exists outside the Universe that is going to go away.

That said, I understand the concept of your point of view. My perception of the Universe can be quite different than someone else's perception of the Universe. Whatever someone ends up thinking or believing (experiencing?) the Universe ultimately is will be determined by how their sensory organs perceive it ("Does a blind man think light exists at all?"), and the conclusions drawn from all that sensory input sent to the "brain" to make a judgement about it. And even if two people's 5 individual sensory organs perceived everything exactly the same, the conclusions and/or judgements about it could still be very different from say a "normal" brain and a "diagnosed" mentally ill one (yes, I know the brain itself is a "sensory organ" within it's own right, but without the brain to "compile" the information from the other 5 primary sensory organs....) . Is there a separate Schizophrenic Universe that exists alongside a "normal" Universe? I doubt there is an actual separate physical Universe that exists for every possible way individual's could perceive one, but agree each individual may create their own internal "mind" version of the same Universe they all exist within.
• #### A wal

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Sep 10 2012: No, the mathematics doesn't go anywhere when the five senses are taken away. It's that that creates everything in the first place. There is one true universe because there's only one right answer to every equation, more or less (is the square rout of 25 5 or -5? http://www.ted.com/conversations/13478/a_new_law_of_physics.html). A schizophrenic just doesn't have a very good perception of it.
• #### Frans Kellner

• +1
Sep 10 2012: Our senses aren't needed to perceive anything they only determine what we perceive and how.

As you know with colors they don't exist for real but are made up arbitrary to distinguish different wavelengths.

No matter is needed either as any lively dream can tell you.

Shapes, patterns etc. it all was composited during our evolution to make sense of the world, to recognize anything relevant to survive.

As I said before the only thing in existence is consciousness which creates that whole universe.
That very universe is, any tiny moment, the actual expression of consciousness in which we partake in a way as if we're looking in it through some tiny holes called eyes to have a limited though focused view into it. By those senses we navigate the point in space we occupy and use all signals from it to find our food and shelter to survive.

The human mind identifies with the accumulation of knowledge derived from passed events. This steady point he or she thinks of as self though any organism is a transitional vehicle for consciousness to experience within time space, to receive and conceive from it an image that we call reality.
• #### Random Chance

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Aug 27 2012: What if you're deaf but you see a tree fall?
Or, what if you are blind but you hear it fall?
If you've been blind since birth, how does your mind know what to transmit in perception to the brain?

So, it is all just as Lawrence Krauss and Deepak Chopra say it is?
Virtual particles popping in and out of existence, all just infinite potentiality?
And, as Krauss says, if there is no sentient observer, what ever it is, basically doesn't exist in the sense that the "popping in and out" of existence is like 0's and 1's going on and off and has to be observed for something to actually "come into existence or being"

I like what you're saying and the beauty of it being nothing more than mathematics.
Maths seems the only way to explain what is impossible to explain and is a language that I guess would be universal. Yes?

Krauss cautions that when something looks so pristine and the numbers work so perfectly, easily and it is just a thing of beauty, it usually turns out to be wrong. But, I can't go there, 'cause, ...I can't go there.

I like it.
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: If you're deaf and you see a tree fall then it wouldn't make a sound and if you're blind but not death then it would. I don't understand the blind from birth question. Simplicity and beauty are the best gauges to the chances of something being right.

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Aug 27 2012: So did the universe exist in the Cretaceous Period 100 million years ago because it was being observed by dinosaurs? :-) This reminds me of the double-slit experiment, in which the conscious observer has a direct affect on particles acting as a wave or a particle, in effect changing our perceived reality. Someone should have a dog observe the particle. :-)
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: What difference would it make if a dog were to observe a particle? I think you must have a fundamental flaw in your understanding of the two slit experiment. Of course it existed in the cretaceous period because it existed in the minds of those who were living it!

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Aug 28 2012: I'm referring to the difference between a conscious mind and one that is sentient. A dog is conscious but is it sentient? Does it make a difference? I did have some confusion about this experiment at first because they always refer to a conscious observer affecting the experiment. From what I understand now, just the detector alone will collapse the waveform. Educational programming needs to clarify when they describe these experiments. :-)
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 26 2012: What you mean is that your virtual world, your universe, is inseparable from your existence.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: Yes and what we think of as the universe is based purely on our perceptions, and if the perceiver is taken away then the universe as we think of it disappears as well. Take away every perceiver and the universe ceases to exist and all you're left with is maths. No stars, planets, or anything else because those are just expressions of our senses.
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 27 2012: If our theories are based "purely" on our perceptions, why did it take so long before evolution and quantum mechanics were perceived?
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: WTF? Because it took that long for us to figure it out and develop technology capable of extending our perceptions to the microscopic world.
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 28 2012: Oh, so you're saying we can see dark matter and quarks, with goggles and microscopes?
Of course not. But we know they exist because their existence makes sense and explains certain phenomena. If you think about this for a little, you'll realize you don't actually "see" anything...
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: No. I'm saying our equipment and technology in general have allowed us to become aware of dark matter and quarks. Radio activity, sound waves (air ripples) and electricity are observable by their effects. If you do have a point then you're not making it very well. I'm not the one who needs to think about it some more. What we see is a construct that our minds create based on the pattern of photons that our eyes come into contact with. You seem to be under the impression that the universe must be a real physical object in every sense because we know of things that our five senses can't directly detect. Those things are described using the same mathematics that our senses perceive some of. What's the problem?
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 28 2012: By the way, what kind of tool did Darwin own that got him to "perceive" natural selection? You've not answered my question.
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: I have answered your question, it's just that I answered both questions in the same sentence. The tool that Darwin owned was logical deduction.
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 28 2012: " I'm saying our equipment and technology in general have allowed us to become aware of dark matter and quarks."

Yes, and I'm saying our theories and explanations in general have allowed us to become aware of dark matter and quarks. You see, I don't believe we can see reality, not even indirectly. I think we can only speculate about it and test our hypothesis one against the other. That's all there is to us actually perceiving the world.
You're so used to your brain that you don't give credit anymore to the strenuous effort you once made to build all the key theories you use daily. A newborn can't see a red car because it hasn't learned what to make of the signals comming from its optic nerve. When you look at a red car now, you don't really see it. You just get information about it which you interpret as probably being a red car, and you interpret things this way because you've already "red" and "car" theories. If you look at something new, say a face for instance, you can't see it at first glance. You first recognize a human being pattern, confirm the eyes, nose and mouth, etc... then you recognize male or female patterns based on people you already have theories about. After a while, after some time of testing you end up with an idea of the new encountered face. But it's still vague.
It'd be so easy if we could point our eyeballs at stuff around us and just SEE them. But photons don't carry explanations. You gotta make your own about senseless things you collect.
• #### Gail .

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Aug 26 2012: I hope you are living (creating) yours BEAUTIFULLY. :-)
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: Some of it. You need the crap to recognise the beauty. It's all relative.
• #### Lejan .

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Aug 26 2012: If this was the case how did earth hop into existence?
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: It didn't. It was a gradual process as life slowly became more aware.
• #### Lejan .

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Aug 26 2012: So before life existed on earth, there was no earth?
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: Not as we think of it no. Try to think of any object without thinking about what it looks, sounds, feels, tastes or smells like. It can't be done unless it's done mathematically. So that's true reality and our perceptions are a representation of it, not the other way round.
• #### Lejan .

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Aug 26 2012: And what about new ideas? Something has not been there before, but at its first formation one may not know how it looks, sounds, feels, tastes or smells like. My ideas does not form mathematically and much of the real world can not be described appropriate by math due to its sheer complexity and inter-connectivity.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: Just because it's too complex for us to know all the maths doesn't mean it's not mathematical, including all the functioning of our brains. If we knew all of it then we would be able to change it and it would mean we didn't really know in the first place. It's fundamentally unknowable at that level. That's the uncertainty principle.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: Without us the stars and planets wouldn't look, sound, feel, taste or smell like anything, so in what sense can they be considered real? Think about it. It's like the tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. Everything we consider real is an illusion created within our minds. Our brains create a world and a universe for us to relate to, but it isn't reality. It's based on reality but that doesn't make it literally real.

If there's other life out there then they create their own universe as well. It's irrelevant where the life happens to be. They may see a completely different reality to us, but the two wouldn't contradict each other because they're based on the same equation.
• #### Gerald O'brian

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Aug 26 2012: You can't perceive reality. What you're looking at is your own model of it. But don't ask for your money back at the movie theatre : you paid for a moment of recreationnal guesswork, and that's all there is to it.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: What I'm saying is that we all perceive our own reality. That's all the universe really is.
• #### Stewart Gault

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Aug 26 2012: It's not really an illusion, reality does exist. What we perceive as reality isn't as accurate as it could be, what we see is a mental map of photon activity upon our retinas but everything still has to exist for this to be possible.
Also the universe is older than us and had to exist before we did, hence reality does exist.
i would concede at most that we create our own reality mentally, but we still agree on what is a table, but the colour of said table we can never know if we perceive it to be the same.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: But why just colour? How do we even know that what you think of as a table is anything like what I think of as a table? It may be but it's still an object that exists in our minds only, just like everything else. We may not even recognise the universe if we were to experience it through someone elses senses, or we could all be experiencing the exact same thing. We're all human after all. Either way it's still a construct.
• #### Stewart Gault

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Aug 26 2012: Right, we have NO REASON at all, to think that we experience the universe differently to that degree at all. Everyone is made of the same stuff, fact. Everyone's body parts are pretty much the same in design, fact. So from this there is no reason at all to think that what I consider to be a table, is a baseball stadium, or a star or a sheep to you. There are things about the universe which exist regardless of observation such as gravity.
So once again, I agree that it is all constructed within the mind, but that they will all be virtually the same. If we saw the universe in xrays it would look totally different, but that doesn't mean that the photon styled universe doesn't exist, just that we wouldn't be seeing it.
Now once again, as you said above to Gerald, you say, without us to observe and construct there is just maths no stars etc. This is 100% false and here's why. Universe is 13.72 billion years old. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. So to get life you need Earth, and to get Earth you need stars to explode. So in the roughly 9 billion years of stars exploding there was no life to observe the universe at all but it must have happened and they must have existed and exploded or else it's impossible for us to be alive today.

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Aug 27 2012: If a wall is just an idea that exist in our minds, why do you get a concussion if you slam your head on it? Plus I'm sure that objects, like your table, appear the same to everyone. They can be described and measured. We all know what a table looks like and that has to obey certain laws of physics. A table can't look like a pyramid to someone else because I couldn't eat dinner on a table shaped like a pyramid. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: You're not getting it. It's really simple. That's what's tripping you up. The universe is nothing but an extrapolation of our senses. If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to here it then it can't possibly make a sound. Without our brains the universe is nothing but mathematical interactions. That's all there is to it.
• #### Stewart Gault

• +1
Aug 26 2012: No what's tripping you up is a complete lack of knowledge of physics and biology. When a tree falls it always makes a sound no matter what, the laws of physics forces it too. Unless of course it's in a vacuum.
Now there are things in the universe we know exist but we can't sense them but we indirectly sense them. Electrons for example, too small to see yet we know they exist, why because they made sparks against a gold page and we deduced they exist yet we never sensed the actual electron.
And there's a lot more than maths in the universe, the uncertainty principle emphasises this. As everyone keeps telling you and as Roy put it so well, the universe created us and the biggest flaw to your whole argument is that the universe has to exist first to be perceived you can't have senses then have the universe,
• #### A wal

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Aug 26 2012: No it doesn't make a sound. Sound is created in our minds. It just makes ripples in the air without a brain to make a sound out of that information. The universe does not have to exist to be percieved. It needs to be percieved to exist. You've got it backwards.

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Aug 27 2012: Sound isn't created in our minds. Our minds can perceive the sound through our ear drums picking up the vibrations in the atmosphere. Those waves are present whether you're there or not. It's almost like you're asking "What use does a tree have to fall if no one is there to see it?" The universe was here before you and it will still be here when you are gone. It's a concept that many struggle to accept, hence the creation of religion.
• #### Stewart Gault

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Aug 27 2012: You realise it literally is an infinite regression what you're saying. And now, sound is ripples in air yes that's what sound is, what it actually "sounds" like or how we perceive it is implemented in the brain, frequencies which are brain can't comprehend still exist.
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: Yes I understand what you're trying to say but your logic is flawed. You're using your own frame of reference as a guide and saying 'they couldn't possibly a table in the same way that I see a pyramid' so we must see the same thing. You would get a concussion because the g-force from the sudden acceleration would cause your brain to hit your skull. Why do people keep asking me totally irrelevant questions? If you want to change the subject then start your own dam conversation! (:
• #### Stewart Gault

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Aug 28 2012: My logic is fine, you keep arguing and arguing only because you reject the first basic truth, the universe came first. So if the universe came first, and is made of 150 odd elements, and carbon compounds come together to form life, and these compounds evolve into humans, it becomes blatantly obvious that there is no reason at all to suggest that we see the universe differently to each other. Why? Because we've the same genes largely, the same neuroconnections etc etc
Please provide some logic that could imply that we create the universe, there isn't any.
• #### A wal

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Aug 28 2012: You're logic is not fine, it's based on an easily assumed assumption that in order for anything to be observed it has to exist first. You have absolutely no basis for this claim. Here's the basis for mine. If the image you're seeing is created in your mind then your mind is solely responsible for any impression that the universe and anything in it looks like something. Your mind creates sound. This is indisputable. What you think of as sound isn't real! Sound is not a physical object, it's a sense created by the observer as a representation of something that they're partly aware of. Same for the other senses. Without a mind to create these the only logical conclusion is that everything we think of as real wouldn't be here if it wasn't for us. Get used to it.
• #### Stewart Gault

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Aug 28 2012: look, yes the brain creates what we see, this is obvious. But what really exists, and HAS to exist for the brain to translate is the object. Sun produces photons, photons rebound off tree with different wavelengths, my brain receives signals from my eyes about the different wavelengths and creates a map of the tree in my head. But the tree exists, i didn't create it, it had to exist for photons to bounce off it.
Your basic premise falls down simply because, if someone was blind deaf and dumb and couldn't even register touch, they'd still be subject to reality and they wouldn't be perceiving it. They couldn't walk through walls, they'd get sun burnt etc etc.
And no my brain doesn't create sound, my brain translates vibrations in the air, which is the definition of sound, into a manner in which it can perceive
Once again you haven't produced any logic to say we create the universe, you just deny what I say .
• #### A wal

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Aug 29 2012: I have given a logical argument.

Someone who has no senses would be completely cut off from the universe. To them it wouldn't exist.

Yes your brain is creating sound. You said it yourself, "My brain translates vibrations in the air, which is the definition of sound, into a manner in which it can perceive." and that manner that you can perceive is what you think of as sound.

When you think of the sun producing photons to bounce off a tree with different wavelengths for your eyes to detect and send that information to your brain, you're doing it visually from your own frame of reference and taking that to be absolute truth.

Think about what's actually happening without using any of your senses to create an imaginary framework. Thinking of it mathematically is the only way to do this because that's all that's left when the senses are removed. That's why we're made of nothing but empty space. If you zoom in on an atom we basically disappear. If you zoomed right in on the nucleus, quarks, strings, whatever, they would disappear, because it's not bloody real!