Cosmology Mind

The universe may be “conscious?”

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From Philip Perry at BigThink:

What consciousness is and where it emanates from has stymied great minds in societies across the globe since the dawn of speculation. In today’s world, it’s a realm tackled more and more by physicists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists. There are a few prevailing theories. The first is materialism. This is the notion that consciousness emanates from matter, in our case, by the firing of neurons inside the brain.

So why don’t my socks talk to me?

The view proposed is panpsychism:

In quantum mechanics, particles don’t have a definite shape or specific location, until they are observed or measured. Is this a form of proto-consciousness at play? According to the late scientist and philosopher, John Archibald Wheeler, it might. He’s famous for coining the term, “black hole.” In his view, every piece of matter contains a bit of consciousness, which it absorbs from this proto-consciousness field.

He called his theory the “participatory anthropic principle,” which posits that a human observer is key to the process. Of this Wheeler said, “We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago.” In his view, much like the Buddhist one, nothing exists unless there is a consciousness to apprehend it.

Neuroscientist Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, is another supporter of panpsychism. Koch says that the only theory we have to date about consciousness is, it’s a level of awareness about one’s self and the world.More.

See also: How naturalism rots science from the head down

5 Replies to “The universe may be “conscious?”

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    If this Universe is conscious what about all the others in the multiverse and do they talk to each other?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    According to professor John Lennox nonsense remains nonsense regardless of who says it. I think he’s right on target.

  3. 3
    kurx78 says:

    “In Buddhism consciousness emanates from the brain. Neuroscientists agree.”

    Nope, is not that simple… Maybe according to secular Buddhism… But the truth is far more complicated.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:


    There’s a major conflict of interests between Buddhism and Christianity: Christ made Buddha!

    How would you suggest to resolve it?


  5. 5
    Charles says:

    panpsychism ???

    Is that like cookware that channels spirits of the dear departed?

    “Skillet, skillet on the stove, where is Great Aunt Margaret’s gold?”

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