Bicentrism?
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06-09-2011, 09:57 AM
Bicentrism?
Girlyman posted a link in another thread on Biocentrism that I found interesting. Firstly this idea is not considered a hypothesis much less a theory because it is not falsifiable. It is interesting, however. What I do not understand about it is that it (as far as I can tell from my limited reading) essentially says that the universe does not exist without life. Ergo the beginning of life is equivalent to the beginning of the universe? This essentially sounds like the "if a tree falls in the forest" argument. That is, if we are not here to see the universe, then what evidence would exist for its existence? The fact that there are certain elements needed for life to develop and that these elements must first be derived in stars and from the destruction of stars, seems to imply a necessary amount of time in the universe before life. Would this not discredit this idea?

I am trying to be critical of this theory, but only so that I can learn more about it. I am not trying to be critical of Girlyman.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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06-09-2011, 11:56 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 12:05 PM by Glaucus.)
RE: Bicentrism?
This seems to come from the idea that time is quite finicky. Time does not really have a natural presence anywhere, unlike length and mass (a foot is still a foot and a slug is still a slug, no matter where you are), it relies upon an observer or someone to define an order of events. The basic definition of time is an series of events, but it isn't a measurable quantity (at least without an observer). An hour for me is the time between the beginning and ending of class, but an hour for you could be any other series of events that require an agreed upon amount of time. Or how the length of a year depends on which planet you are on, it all depends on the presence of an observer.

Theoretically then, it took no time at all to go from the big bang to abiogenesis, because there wasn't an observer around to define it. The time that we calculated to be required would be a projection of how long it should have taken (based on lifespans of stars, size of the universe, etc.), if there was someone to observe it.

I might be extremely off, but that's how I would rationalize it.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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06-09-2011, 12:29 PM
RE: Bicentrism?
But in this case it would not be the origin of life, but the origin of this idea. I could argue that if that this idea is dependent upon an observer to measure time then that means the universe began when humans where first capable of measuring time (ignoring other animals or plants capable of doing so). Trying to make the case that time only exists with an observer seems inherently wrong. Time is the relative motion between two particles. If this is the case time would exist in some way, with or without life.

This idea seems to elevate life to a status above all other things...despite the fact that life seems to be far less abundant than mass and energy. It also seems to devalue the reasoning behind studying the origin of Earth and the Universe if time only began when we say it did.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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06-09-2011, 01:36 PM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2011 01:43 PM by Glaucus.)
RE: Bicentrism?
(06-09-2011 12:29 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Time is the relative motion between two particles.

Relative to what though? If I'm drifting through space with no objects near enough to me, how would I know that time hasn't stopped if the only thing I can see are far off stars? Nothing seems to be moving according to my viewpoint. Or replace me with a squirrel in a space suit that might think time had stopped.

For the record, this is why I gave up being a scientist to be and engineer. Some of their ideas seem more philosophical than applicable.

It does elevate life to a higher status, but that's because this idea suggests that the universe before life, was simply a mechanical thing. It simply did what it was designed (not ID designed, but physically) to do with no direction. And with that sentence, it hit me that this is not a very scientific idea, but a philosophical one. It uses scientific understanding and interesting logic to give meaning to the philosophy that we are simply matter in motion, but it's the life in us that gives the matter meaning.

I don't think it suggests that the universe actually began with us, but that to date it is simply us projecting our concept of time onto an object that doesn't understand time. That's a strange thought, but it may be a sort of duality of existence where the universe is both as old as life and infinitely old?
(06-09-2011 12:29 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  It also seems to devalue the reasoning behind studying the origin of Earth and the Universe if time only began when we say it did.

It may only say that putting a timeline to it is irrelevant. We can understand the order of things that happened, but our dating system could be flawed.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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07-09-2011, 07:49 AM
RE: Bicentrism?
There is little doubt that our dating system is flawed. I mean, it is science so we realize there is a need to continue to better calibrate it. Time exists even without a life-form observer. When I say the relative motion between 2 particles I am referring to it on an atomic scale.

Let us take Einstein's concept of relative time. The faster an object moves the more time it experiences, irregardless of whether we are there to measure it or not. The point of quantifying nature is because nature has a consistency about it that exists with or without us. Take the space shuttle for example. When astronauts returned to Earth after being in space the clocks on the shuttle were off from the clocks back on Earth, not by much mind you but still. It is related to how fast the objects moved, not the humans.

As I said before biocentrism sounds like an elaborate version of "if a tree falls in the forest." I appreciate you explaining part of it but unfortunately I still do not see its appeal. Perhaps it is because I see non-life and/or past life as important and this view only values life now?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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