The Explanation of Life

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mysterio448
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The Explanation of Life

Post by mysterio448 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:14 pm

Back in March, I published a book entitled The Explanation of Life on Amazon. In the book, I provide my own detailed theory that answers one of the biggest inquiries in philosophy: why do we exist? To anyone interested, I have just published this same book on Smashwords. It is now free to download on that site (here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/667972). I may decide later to charge a price for it, but for the time being I am making it free as a way of spreading awareness for the book. This book is the product of years of contemplation, reading and hard work, and the theory is something I take seriously. I urge anyone who is looking for a serious answer to the mystery of existence to download this book and give it a try. Questions, comments, criticisms are welcome.

Dalek Prime
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Dalek Prime » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:21 am

Yeah. How about a brief synopsis of your conclusion? I don't want to read it, only to find out I exist to enjoy ice cream or something.

mysterio448
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by mysterio448 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:20 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:Yeah. How about a brief synopsis of your conclusion? I don't want to read it, only to find out I exist to enjoy ice cream or something.

This is a copy and paste of an answer that I wrote on Quora for the question "Why does life exist?":

To understand why life exists, one must change one's fundamental understanding of the universe. It is not sufficient to look at the cosmos through the lens of conventional science, since conventional science does not and cannot hold the answer. Conventional science is concerned with how things work or how things happen; it cannot, however, explain why things happen. On the other hand, religion claims to explain why things happen; but the problem is that it does so in a way that is often subjective and nonrational, depending on things such as prophecies and divine dreams and visions. Therefore, we cannot understand our existence through scientific ideas such as evolution or physics, nor can we understand our existence through the paradigm of spirits and deities. What we need is a method of inquiry that combines the best of both worlds: one that is able to answer "why" while doing so in a manner that is based on empirical evidence.

Now, I believe we can postulate that whatever we are and for whatever reason we exist, it is not some mistake or fluke but is consistent with the nature of the cosmos. Regardless of what theories or doctrines you may believe, one thing that is indisputable is that we are the product of cosmic forces. In a sense, the cosmos is our creator. With this established, it is now only a matter of determining what, in particular, those forces are and how they work. I believe the best way to understand what these forces are is to put the cosmos in its simplest terms. We must find the lowest common denominator of reality.

Well, it is my conviction that the lowest common denominator of reality is the primal dichotomy of order and chaos. Order and chaos are typically viewed as abstract properties or concepts related to phenomena, however I prefer to view them as objective forces in themselves. They are the foundational forces of reality itself. I point to these forces in particular because in everything I observe in the world – in every organism, in every physical object, in every phenomenon – I observe either order or chaos, or some combination of both. Now, there seems to be two possibilities: either these forces manifest because they are typical symptoms of some deeper, common cause, or I observe these forces because these forces are themselves the common cause from which everything else follows. I choose the latter option.

An important property of these two forces is that, although they are opposites, they possess a paradoxical harmony and unity between each other. I believe this to be true because in many physical phenomena, I often observe a certain harmony between order and chaos. For example, supernovas are astronomical phenomena which are extremely destructive, yet they also can help contribute to future star production and they can produce heavy elements. Black holes are destructive astronomical phenomena, yet supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies hold the galaxies together in an orderly fashion. Nuclear decay is a completely random and unpredictable phenomenon at the molecular level but is predictable and regular at the specimen level. Mutations are random mistakes of genetic replication, yet paradoxically these mistakes are also the driving force of evolution. The aforementioned are examples of chaos leading to order. Things can also go the opposite direction: order can devolve to chaos. Probably the best example of this is the extensive assortment of diseases, disorders, syndromes, deformities and disabilities that plague organic life.

We can see this harmony between order and chaos in the delicate balance between life and death, creation and destruction, that exists in nature. The survival of some members of a population often depends on the death of others. Some species emerge while others go extinct. We can see this harmony in our very way of life: in order to maintain our own bodies we must kill, butcher and dissolve the bodies of other living beings. We can see this harmony in our own bodies: some of our hairs die and fall off as others emerge, dying skin cells are replaced by new ones, internal organ tissues are likewise in a constant state of renewal. Death and life, destruction and creation cooperate together. This is all part of the harmony/unity between order and chaos.

Another property of order and chaos are sense and nonsense. Sense and nonsense do not exist objectively but rather are the subjective manifestations of order and chaos. Some people think life is meaningless and absurd, others believe life is meaningful and precious. Some people believe life is worth living and some people believe it is not. None of these viewpoints is really incorrect. There is no contradiction here; there is only the harmony/unity of order and chaos. These conflicting convictions that people have are merely subjective reflections of objective reality.

To put it succinctly, life is one of many products/manifestations of the cosmic interplay between the forces of order and chaos. There is no meaning or purpose, per se, to our existence; instead, our existence is a manifestation, a representation, an indication of the forces of order and chaos and the relationship between them.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Dalek Prime » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:43 pm

Honestly, I was expecting a load of crap, but I see you've really put some thought into this, and not pushing an agenda. Nice. One thing I'm wondering is, where does consciousness fit into all this? I ask because I tend to ignore the universe, and focus on our awareness of it. That is, if I don't exist, does it matter?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Terrapin Station » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:31 pm

Even trying to read your post as charitably as possible, it doesn't seem to answer the question it promises to answer. It doesn't seem to answer why (or how, for that matter) a fundamental, yin-yang-like order/chaos dichotomy would lead to (human) life. It seems to be a non-sequitur as stated.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Walker » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:45 pm

mysterio448 wrote:To put it succinctly, life is one of many products/manifestations of the cosmic interplay between the forces of order and chaos. There is no meaning or purpose, per se, to our existence; instead, our existence is a manifestation, a representation, an indication of the forces of order and chaos and the relationship between them.
Only order exists. Chaos is undiscerned order.

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TSBU
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by TSBU » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:52 pm

Why do life need an explanation and rocks doesn't? What is the explanation for gravity? Why are 2+2=4?

Because yes. Questions have a begining to. How did you came to ask yourself such thing?
There is smoke in your kitchen...

mysterio448
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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by mysterio448 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:24 am

Dalek Prime wrote:Honestly, I was expecting a load of crap, but I see you've really put some thought into this, and not pushing an agenda. Nice. One thing I'm wondering is, where does consciousness fit into all this? I ask because I tend to ignore the universe, and focus on our awareness of it. That is, if I don't exist, does it matter?
Well, the specific question I was answering was "why does life exist?", so my answer was tailored to that question. In order to find a meaningful answer, one must first ask a meaningful question. I'm not sure I understand what your question is about consciousness.

Terrapin Station wrote:Even trying to read your post as charitably as possible, it doesn't seem to answer the question it promises to answer. It doesn't seem to answer why (or how, for that matter) a fundamental, yin-yang-like order/chaos dichotomy would lead to (human) life. It seems to be a non-sequitur as stated.


In this context, there seems to be at least two different meanings for the word "why". For example, say a person goes to a restaurant and orders a steak. If I ask the person why he ordered the steak, he might say it was because he was hungry. That is a valid answer to the question, in one sense. However, that answer still doesn't explain why he chose to get steak in particular, as opposed to, for example, chicken or pork chops. Likewise, my theory explains the general "why" behind our existence but it may not necessarily explain the specific "why." The theory explains the underlying forces and the rationale behind our existence, but it does not completely explain why those forces/rationale opted to create life instead of something else. I think the best I can say is that life portrays this order/chaos principle in many ways, and thus is an ideal avenue for this principle to express itself through.
Walker wrote:
mysterio448 wrote:To put it succinctly, life is one of many products/manifestations of the cosmic interplay between the forces of order and chaos. There is no meaning or purpose, per se, to our existence; instead, our existence is a manifestation, a representation, an indication of the forces of order and chaos and the relationship between them.
Only order exists. Chaos is undiscerned order.
It's interesting that you say this because while discussing my theory on another thread on this forum, another poster (fivedeadapples) said the exact opposite of what you are stating: "Order doesn't exist. It's a human construct used to describe a temporary sequence in a random string of events. . . ." Some people say only order exists, some say only chaos exists. I just try to combine the two views into one.

TSBU wrote:Why do life need an explanation and rocks doesn't?
Because life is much more orderly than rocks. Order tends to demand more explanation than disorder.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Greta » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:04 am

I enjoyed the post. Order and chaos seem close to fundamental to me.

In total chaos, some order must appear simply by chance. The probabilities in an unlimited field of quantum chaos are that some ordered forms will appear. Some of these forms will persist longer than others. We seem to be the products of those things that have persisted up to this point.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Terrapin Station » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:06 pm

mysterio448 wrote:In this context, there seems to be at least two different meanings for the word "why". For example, say a person goes to a restaurant and orders a steak. If I ask the person why he ordered the steak, he might say it was because he was hungry. That is a valid answer to the question, in one sense. However, that answer still doesn't explain why he chose to get steak in particular, as opposed to, for example, chicken or pork chops. Likewise, my theory explains the general "why" behind our existence but it may not necessarily explain the specific "why." The theory explains the underlying forces and the rationale behind our existence, but it does not completely explain why those forces/rationale opted to create life instead of something else. I think the best I can say is that life portrays this order/chaos principle in many ways, and thus is an ideal avenue for this principle to express itself through.
You're being too easy on yourself. I don't agree that your theory even gives a general answer, that it even explains the underlying forces, and certainly not the "rationale" (which implies sentience, hence why I put that in quotation marks). You're basically just saying, "'order/chaos' interplay, hence life." But that seems completely arbitrary. It's a non-sequitur. You're not saying why or how life would emerge from an order/chaos interplay in any general way.

I didn't even bother mentioning more serious problems such as the order/chaos conceptual distinction in the first place, which isn't at all clear. For example, with respect to chaos theory as a mathematical subdiscipline, there's no clear, consensus definition of "chaos" (see http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Chaos.html for example). But we can ignore that for now, because even assuming that the distinction is clear, why or how it would lead to life in a general way is not at all clear.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Walker » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:28 pm

mysterio448 wrote:It's interesting that you say this because while discussing my theory on another thread on this forum, another poster (fivedeadapples) said the exact opposite of what you are stating: "Order doesn't exist. It's a human construct used to describe a temporary sequence in a random string of events. . . ." Some people say only order exists, some say only chaos exists. I just try to combine the two views into one.
Hello. Order exists to be recognized or discovered, sometimes with an accompanying "ah hah," or "eureka." Whether or not a human constructs imaginative electrons jumping valence shells, chain reactions will naturally occur.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:53 pm

mysterio448 wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:Honestly, I was expecting a load of crap, but I see you've really put some thought into this, and not pushing an agenda. Nice. One thing I'm wondering is, where does consciousness fit into all this? I ask because I tend to ignore the universe, and focus on our awareness of it. That is, if I don't exist, does it matter?
Well, the specific question I was answering was "why does life exist?", so my answer was tailored to that question. In order to find a meaningful answer, one must first ask a meaningful question. I'm not sure I understand what your question is about consciousness.

Consciousness is what we are. So if we aren't (don't exist, that is), does the universe matter? And why, if affirmative.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by mysterio448 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:32 am

Terrapin Station wrote: You're being too easy on yourself. I don't agree that your theory even gives a general answer, that it even explains the underlying forces, and certainly not the "rationale" (which implies sentience, hence why I put that in quotation marks). You're basically just saying, "'order/chaos' interplay, hence life." But that seems completely arbitrary. It's a non-sequitur. You're not saying why or how life would emerge from an order/chaos interplay in any general way.
I don't understand your objection. You don't specify what it is about life that I failed to explain, or what other kind of explanation you are looking for. I explained a certain set of dynamics that is fundamental to reality itself and then I explained how the existence of life follows logically from those dynamics. What is there that I should explain?

In the first chapter of the book, I compare our existence to tornadoes. Why do tornadoes exist? What is the purpose of tornadoes? I'm not sure that these questions can be answered; they may not even be meaningful questions. However, what we can do is get an understanding of the meteorological dynamics/forces that underlie tornadoes, and from that understanding we can begin to understand why tornadoes exist. I believe that human existence works the same way. To understand human existence, we must understand the underlying forces that it emerges from.
Terrapin Station wrote: I didn't even bother mentioning more serious problems such as the order/chaos conceptual distinction in the first place, which isn't at all clear. For example, with respect to chaos theory as a mathematical subdiscipline, there's no clear, consensus definition of "chaos" (see http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Chaos.html for example). But we can ignore that for now, because even assuming that the distinction is clear, why or how it would lead to life in a general way is not at all clear.
I answer this question in the second chapter of the book. Both order and chaos can both be compared to energy. They are similar to energy in that nobody really knows what energy is, they only know what energy does and what forms energy takes (heat, light, etc.). I describe order and chaos in the same way. I do not know what order and chaos actually are; I can only tell you what they do and what forms they take. Order includes the qualities of structure, predictability, sameness, repetition, wholeness, coherence, creation, utility, and sensibility. Chaos includes the qualities of randomness, unpredictability, variation, irregularity, disparity, incoherence, destruction, futility, and nonsense. Order and chaos are each terms for a set of qualities. I do not claim that chaos can be defined with scientific precision but it can be narrowed down conceptually, and subsequently it can be isolated from order sufficiently enough that one may observe the paradoxical relationship that the two express with each other in various contexts.

Dalek Prime wrote: Consciousness is what we are. So if we aren't (don't exist, that is), does the universe matter? And why, if affirmative.
I still don't understand your question. The idea of something "mattering" is a purely subjective and relative concept. If a person does not exist then he is not conscious; if the person is not conscious then he cannot conceive of the notion of "mattering." To someone who does not exist, nothing can matter or not matter. Your question seems rather circular to me.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:30 am

mysterio448 wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote: You're being too easy on yourself. I don't agree that your theory even gives a general answer, that it even explains the underlying forces, and certainly not the "rationale" (which implies sentience, hence why I put that in quotation marks). You're basically just saying, "'order/chaos' interplay, hence life." But that seems completely arbitrary. It's a non-sequitur. You're not saying why or how life would emerge from an order/chaos interplay in any general way.
I don't understand your objection. You don't specify what it is about life that I failed to explain, or what other kind of explanation you are looking for. I explained a certain set of dynamics that is fundamental to reality itself and then I explained how the existence of life follows logically from those dynamics. What is there that I should explain?

In the first chapter of the book, I compare our existence to tornadoes. Why do tornadoes exist? What is the purpose of tornadoes? I'm not sure that these questions can be answered; they may not even be meaningful questions. However, what we can do is get an understanding of the meteorological dynamics/forces that underlie tornadoes, and from that understanding we can begin to understand why tornadoes exist. I believe that human existence works the same way. To understand human existence, we must understand the underlying forces that it emerges from.
Terrapin Station wrote: I didn't even bother mentioning more serious problems such as the order/chaos conceptual distinction in the first place, which isn't at all clear. For example, with respect to chaos theory as a mathematical subdiscipline, there's no clear, consensus definition of "chaos" (see http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Chaos.html for example). But we can ignore that for now, because even assuming that the distinction is clear, why or how it would lead to life in a general way is not at all clear.
I answer this question in the second chapter of the book. Both order and chaos can both be compared to energy. They are similar to energy in that nobody really knows what energy is, they only know what energy does and what forms energy takes (heat, light, etc.). I describe order and chaos in the same way. I do not know what order and chaos actually are; I can only tell you what they do and what forms they take. Order includes the qualities of structure, predictability, sameness, repetition, wholeness, coherence, creation, utility, and sensibility. Chaos includes the qualities of randomness, unpredictability, variation, irregularity, disparity, incoherence, destruction, futility, and nonsense. Order and chaos are each terms for a set of qualities. I do not claim that chaos can be defined with scientific precision but it can be narrowed down conceptually, and subsequently it can be isolated from order sufficiently enough that one may observe the paradoxical relationship that the two express with each other in various contexts.

Dalek Prime wrote: Consciousness is what we are. So if we aren't (don't exist, that is), does the universe matter? And why, if affirmative.
I still don't understand your question. The idea of something "mattering" is a purely subjective and relative concept. If a person does not exist then he is not conscious; if the person is not conscious then he cannot conceive of the notion of "mattering." To someone who does not exist, nothing can matter or not matter. Your question seems rather circular to me.
What is the point of existence to something that doesn't need to exist. I'm trying to gently point out it doesn't need to be. Nothing missed, nothing lost. It's not circular at all. You just don't want to see the conclusion of the reasoning, or cannot do so.

On reflection, I don't think you'll get what I'm driving at, so forget it.

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Re: The Explanation of Life

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:34 pm

mysterio448 wrote:I don't understand your objection. You don't specify what it is about life that I failed to explain, or what other kind of explanation you are looking for. I explained a certain set of dynamics that is fundamental to reality itself and then I explained how the existence of life follows logically from those dynamics. What is there that I should explain?
The part I emphasized there is precisely what you didn't do. What specifically in your account to you take to be a statement of how an order/chaos basis logically implies life?

Note that to be a logical implication, it needs to be a logically valid argument. Validity, in logic, is defined as "Impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion to be false."

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