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Where Did Consciousness 
Come From? 
Did Consciousness Emerge from 
Cosmos or Visa-Versa? 
Paul H. Carr 
AF Research Labor...
Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa? 
I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmos 
Cosmos emerg...
“SCIENCE takes things apart and then puts them back 
together to understand HOW. 
RELIGION puts them back to together to u...
EXAMPLES OF EMERGENCE: 
The microscopic interactions of carbon atoms, 
within their environmental constraints, leads to 
d...
Emergence of “Cool” Cosmos from “Hot” 
13.8 Billion years ago. 
Earth 
5
Paul Davies, winner of the 1995 Templeton Prize: 
"I do not cling to the notion of God as a miracle-working 
cosmic magici...
Carbon Dioxide, CO22 
Prokaryote Cells Eukaryote Cells 
Figure from “Cosmic Dawn” by Eric Chaisson 
EMERGENCE OF LIFE ON E...
542 Myr Beginning of Multicellular Life. 
“The Fossil Record of the Cambrian Explosion” 
Keith Miller, PSCF, June 2014 
8
THREE STAGES OF LIFE’S EMERGENCE 
From biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon ‘s(2011), Incomplete Nature: How 
Mind Em...
I 
DEACON’S EMERGENT STAGE III: 
TELEODYNAMICS & CONSCIOUSNESS 
Incomplete Nature: 
How Mind Emerged from Matter (2011) 
C...
11 
Philosopher David Chalmers’ PANPSYCHISM 
Director of the Center For Consciousness at Australian National U, & 
Co-Dire...
Artificial Consciousness & Revolutionizing Medical Device Design 
A fascinating discussion about how artificial consciousn...
14 
PLATONIC FORMS: IS CONSCOUSNESS MATHEMATICAL? 
Mathematical Relationships are beautiful, harmonious, eternal 
patters ...
Can consciousness be described by mathematics? 
MIT Prof. Max Tegmark: “Consciousness is currently not 
understood through...
Consciousness, argues neuroscientist/neurobiologist Damasio, is 
linked to emotion, to our feelings for the images we perc...
15 
Prof. Max Tegmark’s Consciousness Principles 
The Ordering Below is Increasingly Human 
•Memory & information storage ...
17 
PLATONIC FORMS: CONCSIOUSNESS CAN BE MATHEMATICAL 
Mathematical Relationships are beautiful, harmonious, eternal 
patt...
Consciousness Beyond Life: 
The Science of the Near-Death Experience (2011) 
By Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD 
Cardiolog...
I.SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmic Big 
Bang, 13.8 B years ago. 
- How mind emerged from the matter, 
...
Consciousness Explained Better: 
Towards an Integral 
Understanding of the 
Multifaceted Nature of 
Consciousness (2009) 
...
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. 
21 
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. 
Pierre Tei...
Donald P. Merrifield, S. J., (1928 – 2010) 
Former President, Loyola Marymount Univ. 
•The mind-body problem is philosophi...
III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION 
• Scientific conscious is a holistic property of our body. It is the 
eternal p...
Dr. Francis Collins, founder BioLogos. 
“I find those rare dramatic moments of scientific 
discovery in my own experience ...
"BioLogos" is a new term for theistic evolution. 
http://biologos.org/ 
• Bios is the Greek word for "life". 
•Logos is Gr...
Complementary Beauty of Science & Spirit 
• The emergent evolutionary process 
produced homo sapiens, who see 
beauty (har...
“This is salvation 
When we marvel 
At the beauty 
Of created things 
And praise 
The beautiful providence 
Of their Creat...
"Here is beauty 
– whatever those who have never looked at butterfly may say- 
Beauty that rejoices and humbles,… 
beauty ...
BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE 
From cooler temperatures 0.3 M yrs after the “Beginning,” 
to Galaxies, 2 B years later. 
Image of...
From Cosmos to Psyche 
John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe 
Human consciousness & eyes have emerged from the 
beginning ...
III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION 
• Scientific conscious is a holistic property of our brains & bodies. It 
is th...
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Consciousness From Cosmos?

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Did consciousness emerge from the cosmos or visa-versa?
Science: Human consciousness emerged from a cosmic big bang.
Religion: The cosmos emerged from Divine consciousness
How can we reconcile these complementary worldviews?

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Consciousness From Cosmos?

  1. 1. Where Did Consciousness Come From? Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa? Paul H. Carr AF Research Laboratory Emeritus www.MirrorOfNature.org 1
  2. 2. Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa? I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmos Cosmos emerged from a hot Big Bang 13.8 Billion years ago. First Homo Sapiens in Africa, 200,000 years ago. Searching for natural processes & laws that gave rise to psyche. II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness “Word (Logos) was God,” John 1:1 “Spirit of God,” Gen 1:2 III. RECONCILIATION of SCIENCE & RELIGION: -Biologos: Evolutionary creation. -Emergence of homo sapiens’ sense of Divine beauty. -Complementary beauty of science’s how & spirit’s why. 2
  3. 3. “SCIENCE takes things apart and then puts them back together to understand HOW. RELIGION puts them back to together to understand WHY.” (Alister McGrath) EMERGENCE : Putting things back together. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “More is Different” according Nobel-laureate physicist Philip Anderson’s highly-cited article on emergence (Science 1972). He emphasized the limitations of reductionism and the existence of hierarchical levels of science, each of which requires its own fundamental principles for advancement. 3
  4. 4. EXAMPLES OF EMERGENCE: The microscopic interactions of carbon atoms, within their environmental constraints, leads to different macroscopic properties. 1. When the carbon atoms self-organize to form a face-centered cubic microscopic structure, a macroscopic diamond emerges. 2. When carbon atoms interact to form microscopic hexagonal sheets, a soft graphite lubricant emerges. 4
  5. 5. Emergence of “Cool” Cosmos from “Hot” 13.8 Billion years ago. Earth 5
  6. 6. Paul Davies, winner of the 1995 Templeton Prize: "I do not cling to the notion of God as a miracle-working cosmic magician, who makes a big bang and then intervenes as a cosmic repairman. A God who can create a self-creating universe with laws (logos) is much more majestic. As an emergentist, I believe in a hierarchy of principles, with the laws of physics at the bottom level and emergent laws operating at higher levels. Thus, we have laws of complexity, such as self-organizing chemical cycles. There are Mendel's laws of genetics when life appears. The high-level laws do not violate the lower level laws, nor are they reducible to them. They supervene on them." 6
  7. 7. Carbon Dioxide, CO22 Prokaryote Cells Eukaryote Cells Figure from “Cosmic Dawn” by Eric Chaisson EMERGENCE OF LIFE ON EARTH 7
  8. 8. 542 Myr Beginning of Multicellular Life. “The Fossil Record of the Cambrian Explosion” Keith Miller, PSCF, June 2014 8
  9. 9. THREE STAGES OF LIFE’S EMERGENCE From biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon ‘s(2011), Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. 1.THERMODYNAMICS, CHAOS: atoms and molecules of water, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, etc. moving randomly from thermal fluctuations in a primordial soup. 2. MORPHODYNAMICS or FORM (morphology = structure). Self-organizing order for free, and the absence of dynamical variety: amino acids and proteins. Stable autocatalytic chemical processes in which the output feeds back into the input: self reproducing molecules. Example: Miller (1953) and Urey subjected a mixture of water, hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, and ammonia that were present shortly after the earth was formed, to an electrical spark, which simulated lightning. They observed amino acids, the building blocks of life-forming proteins. 3. TELEODYNAMICS: (telos = purpose, goal) Self-replicating cells emerged under the right conditions from amino acids and proteins. The vital purpose (telos) of a cell is to eat and to avoid its absence (of being eaten). 9
  10. 10. I DEACON’S EMERGENT STAGE III: TELEODYNAMICS & CONSCIOUSNESS Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (2011) Cells and brainless plants have sentience, response to their environment, but not consciousness. •“Consciousness is the final quasi-regular network-level dynamic like melody played by a million-instrument orchestra, this is the medium of mental information.” (Consciousness Chapter). • Deacon thereby formulates a naturalistic scientific worldview: consciousness and psyche emerge from the firing of our neurons but cannot be reduced to them. 10
  11. 11. 11 Philosopher David Chalmers’ PANPSYCHISM Director of the Center For Consciousness at Australian National U, & Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York U Thesis: MATERIALISM Everything is Matter (and Energy) Antithesis: DUALISM: Matter and mind are separate (Descartes) Synthesis: PANPSYCHISM: Everything has a degree of mind or consciousness. Our macro-consciousness emerges from the micro-consciousness (or sentience) of neurons. Conscious is holistic property of our brain. It is the eternal pattern (personality) by which the neurons (parts) relate. Consciousness emerges from this relationship.
  12. 12. Artificial Consciousness & Revolutionizing Medical Device Design A fascinating discussion about how artificial consciousness and revolutionary medical device design are poised to transform healthcare. Our visionary speakers discussed in November 2014: •Consciousness as a state of matter that can be described in terms of quantum mechanics and information theory (materialist). •Revolutionizing medical device design through advances in integrated circuits and micro-electromechanical 12 systems •Dr. Max Tegmark MIT Professor of Physics Author of “The Mathematical Universe,” Director of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) •Dr. Charles Sodini MIT LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering Co-founder of the Medical Electronic Device Realization Center •Dr. Jonathan Rothberg Chairman of 4Combinator Inventor of high-speed DNA sequencing, founder Ion Torrent, RainDance, 454 Life Sciences, ClariFi, CuraGen
  13. 13. 14 PLATONIC FORMS: IS CONSCOUSNESS MATHEMATICAL? Mathematical Relationships are beautiful, harmonious, eternal patters (forms) and independent of their representation (number system) and material substrate. 1 + 2 = 3 (Arabic Number System) I + II = III (Roman Number Systems) 1 + 3 = 4 I + III = IV Consciousness is a mathematical pattern: MIT Prof. Max Tegmark: TEDxCambridge 2014 https://www.youtube.com/
  14. 14. Can consciousness be described by mathematics? MIT Prof. Max Tegmark: “Consciousness is currently not understood through mathematics - nor by any other scientific approach, for that matter. Whether it ever will be is a very interesting question. I co-organized a conference on the Physics of Information recently where we invited the neuroscientists Giulio Tononi, Christoph Koch and Larissa Albantakis to speak, and intriguingly, they do think that the subjective feeling of the color red, the feeling of love, etc., can be understood as complex mathematical shapes related to information processing in the brain. I explore this in chapter 11 of my book. 13 We obviously don't yet know whether their ideas will ultimately prove to be correct or not, but the fact that their research is taken seriously in the neuroscience community means that we can't be 100% sure that consciousness can't ultimately be understood mathematically.” Consciousness is a mathematical pattern: Max Tegmark at TEDxCambridge 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM
  15. 15. Consciousness, argues neuroscientist/neurobiologist Damasio, is linked to emotion, to our feelings for the images we perceive. There are in fact several kinds of consciousness, he says: the proto-self, which exists in the mind's constant monitoring of the body's state, of which we are unaware; a core consciousness that perceives the world 500 milliseconds after the fact; and the extended consciousness of memory, reason and language. Different from wakefulness and attention, consciousness can exist without language, reason or memory: for example, an amnesiac has consciousness. But when core consciousness fails, all else fails with it. At the height of consciousness, above reason and creativity, Damasio places conscience, a word that preceded consciousness by many centuries. In a book that cuts through the old nature vs. nurture argument as well as conventional ideas of identity and possibly even of soul, it's clear, though he may not say so, that Damasio is still on the side of the angels. 16
  16. 16. 15 Prof. Max Tegmark’s Consciousness Principles The Ordering Below is Increasingly Human •Memory & information storage •Dynamics of information processing “Conscious is what information processing feels like.” Max Tegmark. •Individual identity as separate from the universe. “I think therefore I am.” (Descartes) •Integration and relation to others and our universe. We are remembered by in the minds of others & in the eternal mind of God. (Whitehead)
  17. 17. 17 PLATONIC FORMS: CONCSIOUSNESS CAN BE MATHEMATICAL Mathematical Relationships are beautiful, harmonious, eternal patters & forms (personality) and independent of their representation (number system) and material representations. 1 + 2 = 3 (Arabic Number System) I + II = III (Roman Number Systems) 1 + 3 = 4 I + III = IV Consciousness is a mathematical pattern: MIT Prof. Max Tegmark: TEDxCambridge 2014 https://www.youtube.com /watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM
  18. 18. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience (2011) By Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD for decades studied near death experiences in 100s of patients, which he published in the refereed medical journal Lancet. He concludes that the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. He shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body. 18
  19. 19. I.SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmic Big Bang, 13.8 B years ago. - How mind emerged from the matter, -Research on a naturalist worldview of human consciousness & psyche is continuing. II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness. Word (Logos) of God, John 1:1 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings. Isaiah 52:7 Jesus brought us this good news. “The world was made by him”(John 1: 10) because he was with the creating “Spirit of God” in the beginning (Gen 1:2). I n Hinduism, consciousness has its independent existence in the Divine Brahmin. Human consciousness is a small fragment of the Divine Consciousness. (Christian Trinitarian “Spirit of God” within.) 19
  20. 20. Consciousness Explained Better: Towards an Integral Understanding of the Multifaceted Nature of Consciousness (2009) By neuralpsychologist Allan Combs, President of the Society for Consciousness Studies • Consciousness is not relativistic and culturally defined. There are universal states and streams in the evolution of consciousness. • Consciousness is not merely viewed as epiphenomena, emerging from the material stuff of brains. Rather it is an integral part of cosmos itself. 21
  21. 21. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. 21 We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
  22. 22. Donald P. Merrifield, S. J., (1928 – 2010) Former President, Loyola Marymount Univ. •The mind-body problem is philosophic and ontological not scientific. There is a spiritual dimension beyond the physical. If matter were an abstraction removed from its holistic spiritual ground and only governed by natural laws, then we humans would be nothing but biological machines. • There is spiritual core totally at home and incarnate in the brain though not emerging from its structure but from its being. If this is an attempt to resurrect the old Thomastic soul, the form of the body, so be it. 20
  23. 23. III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION • Scientific conscious is a holistic property of our body. It is the eternal pattern (personality) by which the neurons (parts) relate. Consciousness emerges from this non-reducible relationship. • Divine consciousness is a holistic property of the universe by which its parts relate through God’s eternal logos. God’s eternal being is these patterns of the universe. (Pantheism) God creates & sustains these relationships & emergent creatures, but transcends them. (Panentheism). •The EMERGENCE of homo sapiens with a sense of beauty (harmonious relationships) pointing to the Divine. • 22
  24. 24. Dr. Francis Collins, founder BioLogos. “I find those rare dramatic moments of scientific discovery in my own experience to be moments of worship also, where a revelation about some intricacy of God’s creation is appreciated for the first time.” 23
  25. 25. "BioLogos" is a new term for theistic evolution. http://biologos.org/ • Bios is the Greek word for "life". •Logos is Greek for "word," with a broader meaning in Philosophy and Stoicism—namely the rational principle ordering the universe. • In Christian theology, "word" includes the Hebrew idea of a creative agent for all that exists, in addition to being an ordering principle. •"BioLogos" expresses the belief that God is the source of all life and that life expresses the will of God. •BioLogos represents the view that evolutionary science and religious faith co-exist in harmony. 24
  26. 26. Complementary Beauty of Science & Spirit • The emergent evolutionary process produced homo sapiens, who see beauty (harmonious relationships) in the world. • “If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing.” Henri Poincare • I experience beauty in both science and religion. 25
  27. 27. “This is salvation When we marvel At the beauty Of created things And praise The beautiful providence Of their Creator.” - Meister Eckart ( 1260 – 1327), “The thirst for beauty that permeates our lives is an opening for transcendence…” Theologian Philip Hefner. Foreword, Beauty in Science and Spirit.” “Beauty’s self and beauty’s giver…” Gerald Manley Hopkins 26
  28. 28. "Here is beauty – whatever those who have never looked at butterfly may say- Beauty that rejoices and humbles,… beauty remote from all that is meant by words like random or purposeless, utilitarian or materialistic, beauty in its impact is akin to the authentic encounter with God.“ Naturalist priest Charles Raven 27
  29. 29. BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE From cooler temperatures 0.3 M yrs after the “Beginning,” to Galaxies, 2 B years later. Image of the universe 0.3 Million years after “the beginning.” This image of temperature fluctuations was measured by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. The cooler regions “seeded” the stars and the galaxies. 28 Hubble Optical Deep Field Image of Galaxies 12 Billion Light Years away, about 2 Billion years after “the beginning.” (1996)
  30. 30. From Cosmos to Psyche John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe Human consciousness & eyes have emerged from the beginning of the Universe (U) to look back 13.8 B years & ask, “How did we get here and why?” 29
  31. 31. III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION • Scientific conscious is a holistic property of our brains & bodies. It is the eternal pattern (personality) by which the neurons (parts) relate. Consciousness emerges from this non-reducible relationship. •Divine consciousness is a holistic property of the universe by which its parts relate through God’s eternal logos. God’s eternal being is these patterns of the universe. (Pantheism) God creates & sustains these relationships & emergent creatures, but transcends them. (Panentheism). •The EMERGENCE of homo sapiens with a sense of beauty (harmonious relationships) pointing to the Divine. • 30

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