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Featured Is the Universe a neural network? Mind of God?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by sun rise, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    The scientific part can easily be tested according to the authors. And maybe it will be proven wrong. But if it's proven correct, then, of course, the speculation that the universe is a neural network could be a theist's dream come true. Because of course the universal neural network could theoretically be called an instantiation of the mind of God.

    The article is pure science: New research indicates the whole universe could be a giant neural network

    In this paper we discussed a possibility that the entire universe on its most fundamental level is a neural network. This is a very bold claim. We are not just saying that the artificial neural networks can be useful for analyzing physical systems or for discovering physical laws, we are saying that this is how the world around us actually works. With this respect it could be considered as a proposal for the theory of everything, and as such it should be easy to prove it wrong. All that is needed is to find a physical phenomenon which cannot be described by neural networks.
     
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  2. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

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    Neat.

    For those with the technical background (lots of PDEs for example), here is the paper discussed:

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/2008.01540.pdf

    The last paragraph of it (some interesting ideas here):

    "We now come to one of the most controversial questions: how can macroscopic observes emerge in a physical system? The question is extremely important not only for settling some philosophical debates, but for understanding the results of real physical experiments [12] and cosmological observations [13]. As was already mentioned, our current understanding of fundamental physics does not allow us to formulate a self-consistent and paradoxes-free definition of observers and a possibility that observers is an emergent phenomenon is cer- tainly worth considering. Indeed, if both quantum mechanics and general relativity are not fundamental, but emergent phenomena, then why cannot macroscopic observers also emerge in some way from a microscopic neural network. Of course this is a lot more difficult task and we are not going to resolve it completely, but we shall mention an old idea that might be relevant here. It is the principle of natural selection. We are not talking about cosmological natural selection [42], but about the good old biological natural selection [43], although the two might actually be related. Indeed, if the entire universe is a neural network, then some- thing like natural selection might be happening on all scales from cosmological (> 10+15 m) and biological (10+2 − 10−6 m) all the way to subatomic (< 10−15 m) scales. The main idea is that some local structures (or architectures) of neural networks are more stable against external perturbations (i.e. interactions with the rest of the network) than other local struc- tures. As a result the more stable structures are more likely to survive and the less stable structures are more likely to be exterminated. There is no reason to expect that this process might stop at a fixed time or might be confined to a fixed scale and so the evolution must continue indefinitely and on all scales. We have already seen that on the smallest scales the learning evolution is likely to produce structures of a very low complexity (i.e. second law of learning) such as one dimensional chains of neurons, but this might just be the beginning. As the learning progresses these chains can chop off loops, form junctions and according to natural selection the more stable structures would survive. If correct, then what we now call atoms and particles might actually be the outcomes of a long evolution starting from some very low complexity structures and what we now call macroscopic observers and biological cells might be the outcome of an even longer evolution. Of course, at present the claim that natural selection may be relevant on all scales is very speculative, but it seems that neural networks do offer an interesting new perspective on the problem of observers."
     
    #2 Regiomontanus, Mar 2, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Alternately and mathematical is a different theory that describes all of physical reality as another kind of network. Stephen Wolfram proposes that empty space can be represented as a whole bunch of abstract points connected together. (Like I've been suggesting though without Mathematical rigor). He, unsatisfied by guesses and intuition has gone and worked up a possible explanation for how the various physics equations work together and what space is structured like. The thing is that his 'Map' fits the definition of Transcendent. Just thought I'd mention it: Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics… and It’s Beautiful—Stephen Wolfram Writings
     
  4. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

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    In case anyone is interested further, I posted something about the work of Wolfram, with a couple images, a few days ago. It is fascinating work though is revolution seems a bit stalled.

    Model of Reality
     
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  5. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Only if you believe in a physical God, for anyone else it might seem strange.
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I have an immanent and transcendent view. The immanent might be the universal neural net.
     
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  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    It could also be our sibling, a giant, slow alien intelligence; and we could be the neurotransmitters in its brain.
     
  8. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    If God is material, his existence would be contingent on the material. How could he be the creator of the material universe then?
     
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  9. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like complete idiocy based on a comparison of secondary characteristics that don't seem all that adequate between the whole of the cosmos and a smaller portion of it (the human brain) and a lot of wishful thinking brought by New Age and pantheistic superstition. A neural network isn't jut a bunch of neurone or components who communicate with one another to a certain level.
     
    #9 epronovost, Mar 2, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  10. aketo

    aketo Active Member

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    The paper talks about artificial neural networks which consist of predictable functions.
    Even if it were proven to be true I doubt theists would jump on the idea that their god's mind is like a replicable computer program from which you can obtain the outcome of your input.
     
    #10 aketo, Mar 3, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I do not go by universal consciousness/neural networks (do we see neurons spread out in the universe?). I am an atheist. For me it is a play of physical force/forces. This includes all matter and energy to have a phase of non-existence. Only future will tell us the truth.
     
  12. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    This might explain why when we average the guesses of large numbers of people as to any particular thing we often get this being so much better than most individuals - but then there is probably a good explanation for this too. :oops:

    Wisdom of the crowd - Wikipedia
     
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  13. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    As long as that is your opinion and not else, then that is fine.
     
  14. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Evidently this paper has yet to pass peer review.

    My suspicion is that it never will.
     
  15. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Amen.
     
  16. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I can certainly imagine that QM etc may be emergent from some deeper level of order in the universe, in the sort of same way that classical physics might be said to emergent from QM (as h becomes irrelevantly small, with increase of scale).

    But what I can't quite follow is what the entities are that are linked by this putative network and what is it that makes it "neural"? To have a neural network, I presume you need some kind of group of entities that can exist in different states, and then links between them by which changes in state of one can trigger changes in state of those connected to it.

    There seems to be some industrial strength hand-waving going on here.;)
     
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  17. gnostic

    gnostic The Lost One

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    What?

    Does this mind look like this?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Some in science also think that way - Zero-energy Universe, etc.
     
  19. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    As long at you know that thinking doesn't make it so as for independent of thinking, you can think all you like. So can we all including me.
     
  20. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Where does this stuff come from?
     
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