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DR. CRAIG: This is the notion that this is simply put in as an initial condition. This is called the fine-tuning of the universe. Roger Penrose says that the initial low entropy condition of the universe has a probability of one chance out of ten to the power of ten to the power of a hundred and twenty-three – an incomprehensible number, and there isn’t any explanation for why the universe has this initial low entropy condition. It just begins that way. It’s put in at the moment of creation as an initial condition.
Some take the fine-tuning to be simply a basic fact about our Universe: fortunate perhaps, but not something requiring explanation. But like many scientists and philosophers, I find this implausible. In The Life of the Cosmos (1999), the physicist Lee Smolin has estimated that, taking into account all of the fine-tuning examples considered, the chance of life existing in the Universe is 1 in 10229, from which he concludes:
In my opinion, a probability this tiny is not something we can let go unexplained. Luck will certainly not do here; we need some rational explanation of how something this unlikely turned out to be the case.
For instance, you can have a disease that was seen as deadly in the 1900's and today it's easy to prevent. This is because over the years we have processed data about the disease and treatments that work and don't work and we use the data to reduce the uncertainty.
This is why the universe has to be conscious. The system(universe) at thermal equilibrium will still fluctuate into lower entropy states. This fluctuation is entropy(uncertainty) becoming information(certainty about a subsystem.
The consciousness of the universe is us. We're an expression of that consciousness. That consciousness now has a collection of data produced by these fluctuations. It can put this data together in a way that reduces uncertainty and lowers the entropy of a subsystem(our universe).
Even in that context, Gregory Matloff’s ideas are shocking. The veteran physicist at New York City College of Technology recently published a paper arguing that humans may be like the rest of the universe in substance and in spirit. A “proto-consciousness field” could extend through all of space, he argues. Stars may be thinking entities that deliberately control their paths. Put more bluntly, the entire cosmos may be self-aware.
One of the hallmarks of life is its ability to adjust its behavior in response to stimulus. Matloff began searching for astronomical objects that unexpectedly exhibit this behavior. Recently, he zeroed in on a little-studied anomaly in stellar motion known as Paranego’s Discontinuity. On average, cooler stars orbit our galaxy more quickly than do hotter ones. Most astronomers attribute the effect to interactions between stars and gas clouds throughout the galaxy. Matloff considered a different explanation. He noted that the anomaly appears in stars that are cool enough to have molecules in their atmospheres, which greatly increases their chemical complexity.
Matloff noted further that some stars appear to emit jets that point in only one direction, an unbalanced process that could cause a star to alter its motion. He wondered: Could this actually be a willful process? Is there any way to tell?
If Paranego’s Discontinuity is caused by specific conditions within the galaxy, it should vary from location to location. But if it is something intrinsic to the stars — as consciousness would be — it should be the same everywhere. Data from existing stellar catalogs seems to support the latter view, Matloff claims. Detailed results from the Gaia star-mapping space telescope, due in 2018, will provide a more stringent test.