James Hart

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As humans are we the universe's way of self preservation?

As humans we can make choices and therefore go against random occurrences so as to move and create things and so (on small scale at the moment) we can change high entropy situations into low entropy situations, although only within closed circuits. For example we can make sandcastles (low entropy) out of a pile of sand (high entropy). If in the future we can do this on a much larger scale could we, in theory, lengthen the age the earth, sun or even the whole universe will last. Or could we go even further and, in a sense, turn back time by changing the whole universes state of entropy back to a lower entropy form? If so would this make us the universe's way of self preservation

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    Jun 18 2011: interesting thought. There might be something to this, but I don't think we are quite there yet. Humans are sort of at the abacus stage where as what you are talking about is more like google facility.
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    Jun 16 2011: You're question suggests a conscious Universe with a desire to be preserved. I don't see any rationale for this.
    If however you are concerned with whether or not we can survive indefinately in some form or other:
    - We don't know enough about anything one way or another to be confident one way or another about the theoretical possibility of this.
    - Though given our current state its looking more and more improbable that theoretical possibility will even matter :)
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      Jun 16 2011: It was meant purely as personification to show the question is more about the universe than humans (I know badly put :S).
      That is not what im trying to get at, more whether we can go against certain universal laws just by being able to think, Heisenberg's observation theory, and therefore control the survival of the universe indefinately.
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        Jun 16 2011: Ah ok.
        Well as I said i don't think we have enough information to make a call one way or the other but I like to be optimistic about it :)
      • Jun 18 2011: Hello James. Who knows what the future may bring. I can see where you are coming from. On a smaller scale, (micro not macro.) it does make you think that one day it may be possible. The virus for example; when it infects the body and science has to discover ways to destroy it, the virus mutates to guard against the cure. Science does win most of the time but not in all cases. We are getting there however. This scenario is similar to the one you suggest, but on a much smaller scale. So who knows?
    • Jun 23 2011: Well I would like to ask the question: Preservation of what? Physical form or the conscious. I for some reason believe that consciousness is not a function of physical thing. For Conciousness to exist it does not need a physical THING to exist. Of course it would need a physical THING(in our case this human body) to interact and express itslef in the physical world.
      Having said that I would go back to James', sand castle example. Going by that analogy I would say human body is very low entropy state for a human conscousness to occupy or be in. I think its universes way of becoming wiser by getting into high entropy state. So if given a choice, I(speaking as consciousness) would choose to be without the body just to get to next higher entropy state. No I would not like to take the universe back, its better going forward, the way it is.
  • Jun 15 2011: Hello James. I would have phrased it another way; is the Universe there for the survival of the human race? It would be much easier for nature to use it's powers of evolution and allow us to evolve to suit whatever is our destiny. Not enough is known to say entropy rules the Universe. If I was to make a guess; I would say it doesn't. Ability wherever it exists must have something to govern it, or it would spiral out of control and there would be no Universe and no us.
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      Jun 16 2011: I agree with you there but what im trying to get at (I know, badly) is that as humans are conscious beings we can counter random movement and therefore control entropy, this would inevitably at least slow down the arrow of time but only if we could manage it on an extremely large scale (in theory of course). I am wondering whether this makes us: A, time machines (sort of), and/or B, the universe's clever way to attempt to elongate its life.
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        Jun 16 2011: If we were to think of the Universe as a living entity, itself part of something on an order of bigness Un-fathomable to us. I believe that what we call humanity might be another phenomenal expression or tool for the universe to explore and understand itself, as well as eternity (its back yard).
        This might be that ultimate and endless quest for the preservation of its immortality.
        In the same way the atoms we theorize make up our cells and the myriad micro-organisms that live with and of us, all of it is connected.
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    Jun 16 2011: You need to put energy into a system to bring it from high entropy to lower entropy. How can you bring the whole universe back into low entropy when the only energy you can get would have to be contained in the universe? The universe is one big closed system and entropy will always progress towards it's higher state globally even if it goes the other way in some localities. Humans won't be able to do anything about it, we are part of the universe.
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      Jun 16 2011: Okay I take your point but would we be able to do it to at least parts of our universe as technology increases. for instance just our galaxy in the universe, by using the rest of the universes energy to hold the galaxy in low entropy?
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    Jun 16 2011: Judging by our track records living along nature ? I'd say definitely not.
    *smile*