Enformationism

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Evolution of Information Concept . . . . . .

 

According to Big Bang cosmology, as energy and matter were coming into existence, space and time were also simultaneously emerging from infinite potential into finite reality. You can’t have energy (form change) without time for the transition, and you can’t have solid matter without space to occupy. Hence, space/time and matter/energy co-evolve as the universe expands from a pin-point to cosmic dimensions. Energy only becomes sensible to the human body when it takes material form. For example, light waves transform the visual purple in your eye into a chemical form that communicates with your brain to form conscious images. Likewise, space and time are intangible concepts that can only be conceived by a mind; they have no reality except in conscious cognition. The point I’m trying to make here is that energy, matter, space, and time are all re-formulations of the same essential substance,  Information.

 

I emphasize the term Information in order to show that Mind consists of essentially the same kind of stuff as Matter. Therefore, it should no longer be considered a mystery or miracle that consciousness could arise from material substrates. Anyway, back to Step Two. At the start of the Big Bang, all of the blueprints (design data) for creating a physical universe were stored in a hypothetical, nonphysical, nonspatial, nontemporal container, called The Singularity. Next came the creative force of evolution we call Energy. Then, in Step Three, energy condensed into Matter. Which, in turn evolved into the living material we call organisms. The phenomenon of “Life” is, of course, not a material thing, but an energetic (form changing) process. Likewise, the phenomenon we call Mind, or Consciousness, or Awareness is not a material object to be placed under a microscope. Instead, Mind is what a living brain does as information flows through its circuits. When you are thinking, you are also minding. Mind is not an inert object, but an active subject. Mind stuff was the original input, and Consciousness is the output.

 

The penultimate step in Evolution, so far, is for the phenomenon of Consciousness to become aware of Self. The self-reflective mind can be compared to self-reference in a mathematical equation: Like the Ourobouros hoop snake, self-reference is self-perpetuating; it keeps reproducing and rolling along. According to Enformationism, the phenomenon of Self is equivalent to the ancient concept of Soul. And yet, self is an integral component of a living, conscious, physical body. So, contrary to Descartes’ mind/body dichotomy, self/soul is a completely natural system of information» energy» matter» information flows in the Real world. As one component of a whole system, Self/Soul is simply the cognitive output of a natural information processor. Therefore, what began eons ago as raw data has evolved into the walking, talking, thinking bundle of information we call Man. But, when the living body/brain dies, the flow of information stops. Yet, by analogy to the principle of Conservation of Energy, William Dembski has proposed a law of “Conservation of Information”. If that turns out to be true, then the thinking mind/self most likely also dissipates back into the stream of evolving information /energy/matter–-back to the source.

 

This is an introductory overview of the Enformationism worldview. In the interest of brevity, many theoretical and empirical gaps have been bridged by the facile assumption that you will know what I’m obliquely referring to. If that is not the case, then you’re in luck. The remainder of this site will delve deeper into the technical details; but since I am not a specialist, the presentation will necessarily come from a layman’s perspective. You may also want to consult some of the online links and references, especially Wikipedia. At any point I’ll be happy to open the floor to questions and comments. The Feedback button to the left will take you to the discussion forum.  

 

E n d   o f   I n t r o d u c t i o n  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT'S THE MATTER?

 

Materialism has been the dominant theory of Reality since the birth of modern science during the Enlightenment and Renaissance eras of European history. But as a philosophical  worldview, it has ancient roots. The Greek philosopher, Democritus, back in 600 BC speculated that the universe was made of tiny objects, so small that they couldn't get any smaller. That's why he called them “A-toms”, meaning un-cuttable. But other philosophers had other ideas, even though they had no empirical evidence. Plato in 500BC ---based on reasoning alone---concluded that the essential element of Reality was actually ideas, which he called “Forms”.

 

Introduction
INFORMATIONISM

In this case, to stay within the scientific framework, we should come from the materialistic doctrine to, what I call informationism, which presumes that consciousness (or sensitivity to information), matter, and energy are three equally fundamental factors that influence the existence and development of our Reality.
—-  Serge Patlavskiy
          Karl Jaspers forum
IN-FORM-ACTION EVOLUTION

Stuart Kaufman  . . . and a few colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute have been trying to devise a less dispiriting version of Darwin’s theory of evolution, in which principles of self-organization join with random variation and selection in generating the order we see in the biological world.
—- George Johnson
        Fire In The Mind
Information 
experienced 
is 
Consciousness.

DISCLAIMER #2

 

Since Quantum Physics opened a door for meta-physics to sneak back into the Philosophy of Science, all manner of spiritual superstitions and religious beliefs have been correlated with the paradoxical mind-over-matter implications of quantum decoherence and quantum entanglement. IMHO any specific inferences drawn from such ethereal evidence should be tempered with a strong dose of doubt and humility. The general Enformationism thesis should not be construed as directly endorsing any esoteric, occult, or paranormal beliefs.

Until the Noetic Sciences produce reproducible evidence (physical or metaphysical) strong enough to pass skeptical scrutiny, they cannot reasonably become the basis of belief, but only of hope. The realm of the unknown offers uncountable possibilities, but few probabilities, and even fewer certainties.

. . . Continued from.
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