Anyone ever check out the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU)?

One of the smartest men in the world is Chris Langan apparently, and he developed this theory and wrote a book that is now on my reading list. Anyone on ThinkAtheist ever look into this work?

(By the way, please do not join this thread to argue about who the smartest person in the world is. If you want to discuss that, please just start another discussion.)

Anyway, here's an interview with Chris:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ak5Lr3qkW0

Strangely, he is a professional bouncer (weird!).

Views: 291

Tags: god, intelligence, smartest

Comment by Andy Hoke on June 4, 2014 at 4:31am

@ James

What are the 'male mysteries?' 

Comment by Andy Hoke on June 4, 2014 at 4:34am

@ Unseen

Many crackpots are above average in intelligence. This gives them the ability to confuse people raising objections as well as to delude themselves that they are on to something.

Reminds me of Clarke's third law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." We would need to substitute 'theory' for 'technology,' but I think the same concept applies.

Comment by Unseen on June 4, 2014 at 12:11pm

What makes something what it is, is the maintenance over time of its form and essence, and the essence of living things allows for changes over time. Things can change and become something else. Many tools can transform into something else, for example, by simply swapping one attachment for another. A man can become a woman through surgery is another example. 

A lot of what makes things what we think they are (how we perceive them) depends upon the language we use about them. 

Comment by kris feenstra on June 4, 2014 at 3:48pm

I cannot dismiss the idea that body is illusion when one considers the 'Ship of Theseus' tale.

I can. Humans have a habit of conceptualizing things. When it turns out their conceptions are wrong, instead of recognizing their conception was the illusion, we sometimes start thinking the phenomenon that conception was describing is, itself, the illusion.

Here's an example. As I type on my keyboard, I perceive the keys as physical, solid objects. Within the dimensions of each key, I see the entire space as being filled with plastic. At the atomic level, however, it's said there is more space between atoms than space taken up by atoms.

When some people hear this, it seems to blow them away. Suddenly, the concept of empty space between atoms has them drawing analogues to air or voids to the point that they start seeing solidity as an illusion. That would be incorrect though. It would be excessively reductionist. We don't perceive at the atomic level; we perceive at the macro level. At the macro level, solidity is a legitimate trait with important properties differing from gaseous states or voids.

If we apply the same to a human, we have a tendency to want to divide things which are abstract or informational (mind, soul, even genetic information) from the physical. I would argue that there is no separation; they are in fact the same thing. I am not the individual atoms which make up my body, but rather I am a (somewhat dynamic) arrangement of atoms. You can swap out atoms as you please, but the important thing is when new material is incorporated, it is incorporated according to a preexisting pattern.

In that sense, you could say I am information, not matter. The thing is, that information is nothing unless it has a medium through which to be expressed. Because I am a human, that medium is organic matter. Without a body, the information is nothing. Hypothetically, digital consciousness transfer may be possible, but to that I would add two points:
i) A medium is still required to express the information.
ii) My suspicion is that altering the type of media used will alter the expression. Worded differently, you could create a digital analogue to me, but you couldn't reproduce me. This suspicion is based on the notion that the chemical and physical properties of our bodies and their constituent parts have more than incidental effects on output. Digital serotonin likely wouldn't behave the same as organic serotonin. Digital dna would have different eccentricities from biological dna (etc.).

The point here is just that the conceptual divide between physical reality and informational reality is just that: conceptual. the two may very well be not only inseparable, but in truth the exact same thing. Neither is illusory, and neither is more fundamental than the other.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 5, 2014 at 7:04pm

Unseen: Many crackpots are above average in intelligence. This gives them the ability to confuse people raising objections as well as to delude themselves that they are on to something.

Andy: Reminds me of Clarke's third law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." We would need to substitute 'theory' for 'technology,' but I think the same concept applies.

Reminds me of a variant of Poe's law: "Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook."

Comment by Davis Goodman on June 5, 2014 at 8:25pm

Do you really think you can compare the continuous identity of a man made, planned constructed and maintained ship with a self contained, unplanned self reproducing cell?

Comment by Andy Hoke on June 6, 2014 at 8:56pm

Hey Davis,

Well, yes I think there are valid comparisons.

I think that our physical being is usually equated with who we are. But strangely, every cell in our body is replaced every few years or so, so none of us are the composed of the same atoms that we are a few years ago.

I respectfully disagree that cells are unplanned, since genetics are a plan. Also when you consider that all life was at one point stardust, and will eventually return to stardust. We could also consider that since we are mostly water, it's the same water which dinosaurs drank (as pointed out by an old teacher of mine).

Not trying to argue, but we do not completely agree.

 

Comment by Pope Beanie on June 6, 2014 at 9:38pm

I think the word "plannerless" works better here than "unplanned".

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