Think Small

Here is an idea that I have thought about sometimes and I really wonder if there is anything out there that can help explain what I am talking about.

I think the term or what I am getting at is what is called consciousness from matter. I did find some articles that say that consciousness is just a state of nature, which may or may not be the case.

From the article – Tegmark suggests that consciousness arises out of a particular set of mathematical conditions, and there are varying degrees of consciousness—just as certain conditions are required to create varying states of vapor, water, and ice.

I don’t want to get into that idea too much because I have written quite a few posts about consciousness and the like. So for this post I want to mostly focus on the idea of how some of the smallest substance in the universe can come together to create, you and me.

This to me is one of the most amazing things in the universe. Think about this, the smallest pieces of our bodies are cells, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, yet they are all pretty small. If you look at each cell there are even small parts that make up that cell including the nucleus. Still there are smaller pieces, but eventually you get down to some of the smallest things in the universe, atoms. Everyone knows, or at least they should, that atoms are some of the smallest and most basic substances in the known universe. What is even crazier to think about is that these seemingly inanimate objects somehow produce life and consciousness.

While that is certainly strange, there are even smaller particles that make up an atom. Protons and electrons in various configurations create many different substances from water to iron, or helium to gold. Just rearrange these building block and the end result is extremely varied.

Still though atoms are not the smallest known substance in the universe. Quarks, are even smaller than atoms and make up the basis of each. So at our most basic form we are entirely made up of quarks, the smallest thing of the known universe. That is unfathomable to me and I would think most people.

The most interesting thing about this is how does this happen, how does the smallest thing in the universe come together to create an atom, which creates carbon, which is the basis for life (as we know it), then that eventually leads to intelligent life and consciousness in the universe. There are so many different ways of looking at this that it is hard to fully understand it.

Most believe that the universe itself is a sort of system on many different levels. As with systems give it enough time and energy and almost any outcome is possible, even those that are statistically highly unlikely. Take Tolstoy’s War and Peace, remove the spine so you are just holding the pages together. Throw them in the air. There is a very, very small chance they would all land in the correct reading order, from page 1 to whatever the last page is. But if you were to do this an infinite number of times, eventually there should be at least one time when this happens, it will be a very small chance, but given infinite or even near infinite throws that statistical likelihood becomes more likely. It is hard to accept that this will happen, but again give any system enough time and strange things begin to happen.

So given that, I guess it is not out of the realm of possibility that eventually particles could coalesce and create the perfect combination for life and eventually intelligent life. This always makes me think that life in general is just a happenstance, one big statistical anomaly.


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