phillip swallow

This conversation is closed.

Could the stars be conscious?

Symbolically what could be better than stars for representing ideas. They have long been a source of wonder, and over millions of years have become ingrained in our shared human psyche. In many if not all religions and mythologies, like the Greek mythos, stars, planets and constellations came to represent entities of great power. For most of the 2 million years that human beings have left their footprints on the sands of time, the stars were alive. Even seen as ancestors who watch over us, a comforting thought when much was mystery, and by necessity, fear ruled supreme. They are permanent fixtures in a ever changing environment, actually have guided us, across desserts and seas.

Look at our own star, it is responsible for all life on Earth. The sun sends out radiation in waves that vary in length from kilometers, to a fraction of a molecule. New methods of observation, show us that the sun itself is a living system, with chaotic, fractal electromagnetic patterns throughout. Could it be argued that stars are conscious? All the cells in your brain were part of a star at one point, so science tells us. They certainly are not inactive objects, constantly broadcasting light across the cosmos.

Must life be organic to be defined as such? Much fear has been expressed in movies such as The Matrix that computing and robotics will produce life. Is it just another example of that pervasive human fear of the unknown that prevents us from witnessing life so foreign to our own understanding? The same fear fostered so efficiently by the Catholic church, that held back the development of human identity a thousand years. The ancients believed that the heavens are alive. The ancient Greeks and hundreds of other civilization created gods to represent the stars. The human mind is capable of contemplating God, but can we even fathom the possibility of consciousness so unlike our own.

Is the shepherd leading us astray?

  • Mar 31 2013: Your question is more about the characteristic of consciousness, rather than about stars.

    If you want to, you can consider anything and everything as being conscious.

    What does that label really mean to you? Will putting that label on stars change the way you interact with stars? Will it change your behavior in any way?

    Once you decide that stars really are conscious, what will change, other than the label?

    Also, if stars are conscious, what is your criteria for consciousness? If stars are conscious, can we then conclude that everything is conscious? If everything is conscious, including rocks, and nothing is ever unconscious, why do we need the concept of consciousness?

    You might want to give considerable thought to your criteria for consciousness.
    • thumb
      Mar 31 2013: The idea that consciousness permeates all matter in the universe is a very religious idea, but seems to be supported by findings of quantum physics. Another religious conception is that it is the same consciousness that incorporates all, this could help explain quantum entanglement at least in theory.

      these beliefs created by the human imagination to explain the unknown, are labeled as mystical, but that doesn't mean that they do not contain substance. The religious ideas resonate deeply with us, could this demonstrate a great truth about the universe and our connection to it?

      I encountered this thought, when i was trying to imagine ideas, and see if i could represent thoughts and ideas in my imagination. We know that the brain has hundred of billions of synapses, and the number of potential connections is almost limitless, I thought what else could be as complicated as the human brain; what about the universe itself? If each thought is a star, then galaxies are symphonies of thoughts required for understanding and deep knowledge, these galaxies of thought constantly growing as new stars are created in a perpetual cycle.
  • Mar 31 2013: Just in the same regard as nature is alive the same goes for the entire universe. Highly conducive for life. All parts play an integral role just asvital add the next. All the stars are God's suns.
  • Mar 31 2013: To start with something a little closer, maybe the Earth itself is a living organism ... Could it be true?
    • thumb
      Mar 31 2013: It is clear that photosynthetic organisms have radically altered earth itself, and contributed to forming the atmosphere essential for life on earth.
      Entire climate systems are formed by the two massive jungles in the southern hemisphere (Amazon and Congo), when humans arrived on the Australian continent 40,000 years ago, it was covered by plant life, fertilized by the native large animals on the continent, within a few thousand years, humans had wiped out these animal species thus destroying the ability for the plants to reproduce. Australia then became what it is now a huge desert continent. The loss of so much oxygen producing vegetation must have significantly impacted the global respiration system, and thereby the climate. 30,000 years later, a blink of the eye in earths history, the Ice age began could there be a connection between the two events?
  • thumb
    Mar 31 2013: So how do we, as conscious observers understand our own connection to this community of life? Can we communicate with such life let alone understand it?
    or would it be like an ant contemplating the actions and words of a human?
  • Mar 31 2013: are stars conscious? no not in any way that we as humans define consciousness so the final answer is no but if we where to redefine consciousness we would just as easily say the core of the earth is or the oceans or the galaxy we are in or even the black hole we are revolving around and finally the universe itself. The only way it could ever be conscious is if some sneaky aliens where hiding out in there but why they would be in such a small pointless star it then points to the true fact that is simply a star this is actually quite silly of a question. I mean yes primitive humans said it was alive just like everything else this is because they simply didn't know just like we put something living in the place of what we don't know even today (death life beginning of universe and everything else religious) and i personally believe that humans will foolishly do this until we literally understand everything which won't happen because we would have evolved to something else by then so humans will always do this
  • thumb
    Mar 31 2013: A matter who is conscious of itself is living. Non living things are not aware of itself.