Monday, October 08, 2007

Does the Universe have a Purpose?

This question was in an advertisement of this Sunday’s NYTimes Week in Review section. Several notable persons weighted in with differing opinions. The ad directs the reader to the following site – where these notables’ opinions were fleshed out.

First, since according to current prevailing cosmology, way over half the universe is missing – “dark”. How can we determine if something has a purpose when we don’t know what most of it is? It’s like that old parable (or is it a fable or allegory?) about the blind men reporting on their observations of an elephant. We know there is more to the elephant than what we can detect and that it’s different from what we are observing, and that’s all we can say right now. What’s the purpose of an elephant when all we know is the tail or the trunk or one of those column-like legs and that’s there’s a lot more but we don’t what it is?

The universe appears to be a chaotic system in which the galaxies, stars, plants, and solar systems, all appear to be strange attractors in a chaos theory – not that I know that much about mathematical or physical theories, but that’s what it appears to me. Even atomic particles could be seen as strange attractors that appeared after the Big Bang. Given that, how can the universe have a purpose? By nothing more than a definition of terms, if it is chaotic it can’t have a purpose. If it has a purpose, it can’t be chaotic.

And then we come to the strangest of all strange attractors, life. If there was no life there would be no question about purpose. Rocks don’t ask what’s my purpose. Gas giants don’t wonder why they are here. Life has a purpose: more life. That is the essence of life. That is what separates it from all other chemical processes. Life is order in a chaotic universe.

Life’s purpose is to begat more life. In its simplest form, life is a molecule that exploits its environment to reproduce itself. This molecule evolves to enhance this exploitation and to be better reproduce itself. It cooperates with other molecules; it becomes a chemical process; it continually evolves becoming more complex, more exploitive and more numerous; but always the basic principle or purpose remains the same. Survive and reproduce.

While we have yet to find proof of life anywhere else but on earth, everywhere we look on or in the earth, we find life. The way life is going, given time, the whole earth will be come alive. After that, we will expand to incorporate the rest of the solar system and then the galaxy and then the universe. Maybe that’s the universe’s purpose. To be the matrix or platform eventually incorporated into life.

Because of life, the question of whether God is or is not is a moot point. Worse case scenario: There is no God; we a totally alone; when you die, that is the end of you, you are no more. If that’s the case, then we are God or will become God one day.

When looking at the age of the universe, our existence and current state is nothing short of a miracle. In the span of time, we just appeared as a species, and yet look at all that has happen since we got here – and most of that is in the last 10,000 years. Instantaneous. While life may seem the strangest of strange attractors in a chaotic system, intelligence seemed preordained in life’s purpose. Why depend on exploitation of random chance to advance yourself, when it would be better to take charge and choose the more successful strategy.

Given our present state of advancement, we will conquer time just as we have the other dimensions. We will go back in time and save all that have ever lived. Either through God or human progress, you will have everlasting life. The prophecies will be fulfilled.
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