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Let's assume the purpose of life is to reproduce to survive and on the quantum level for sub atomic particles to bond for longevity.

Could an unknown force of energy throughout the ages of time create a hive like or computer processor / brain like connection? While being able to monitor all electrons, photons or any other particles and logging each instance (of time?).

But not necessarily be able or want to act on the gathered information but just be fully aware of every action that takes place in the universe and learning every moment from the actions of evolved creatures and everything else that takes place. Sorry if this is too broad.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by StephenG, Agrajag, Ender Look, Cyn, Alex2006 Feb 6 at 17:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I really don't understand your question. Can you try to explain it with less jargon and more punctuation? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Feb 6 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ Do you want to answer how such a being would form or why such a being doesn't act in response to its knowledge? $\endgroup$ – Soan Feb 6 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ The Universe retains all the information that is in it. Are you asking if the Universe is self-aware and omniscient? $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Feb 6 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ I hope this improves the question while keeping the gist? $\endgroup$ – Soan Feb 6 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ @rag haran - Are you asking whether the Universe can have a memory of its own past states? $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Feb 6 at 16:38
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Let's assume the purpose of life is to reproduce to survive and on the quantum level for sub atomic particles to bond for longevity.

The idea that life and longevity have a purpose implies that some higher power has determined that purpose. An atheist would deny that anything has a purpose except for those invented by sentient beings - in an atheist's belief ourselves.

As a world-building exercise, you would be the creator and you determine the purpose. You would be God. By definition God is supernatural and therefore outside the world He has created.

Could an unknown force of energy throughout the ages of time create a hive like or computer processor / brain like connection?

Yes, we exist, we have brains, and we have created computer processors.

While being able to monitor all electrons, photons or any other particles and logging each instance (of time?).

There is a paradox about a man who decided to keep a diary of everything he ever did. Of course every entry consisted of writing, "I am writing my diary". He was monitoring his own activities and logging them. We can presume that this is precisely what the Universe is doing all the time - otherwise it would be chaos. The Universe doesn't have time to do anything apart from writing its own diary otherwise it would be a non-trivial subset of itself.

But not necessarily be able or want to act on the gathered information but just be fully aware of every action that takes place in the universe and learning every moment from the actions of evolved creatures and everything else that takes place. Sorry if this is too broad.

This asks if there could be an omniscient (but not necessarily omnipotent) God. Members of various religions will say yes, atheists will say no, agnostics will say maybe.

But not necessarily be able or want to act on the gathered information but just be fully aware of every action that takes place in the universe and learning every moment from the actions of evolved creatures and everything else that takes place.

To answer this, we have to define awareness - for present purposes this is synonymous with consciousness. What consciousness is, is the ultimate unsolved question that science has not even come close to answering.

I as a human being am not aware of every cell in my body. Even if the Universe as a whole is self-aware, it is highly unlikely to be able to know where every part of itself is - even under Newtonian laws.


Conclusion

For a being to know about the whole universe as we know it, that being would have to be outside the universe as we know it. Given that we cannot know what we cannot know, that is impossible for anyone to answer here. My answer therefore is mu

The term is often used or translated to mean that the question itself must be "unasked": no answer can exist in the terms provided. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_(negative)

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    $\begingroup$ @ragharan You might perhaps find interesting the work of Professor Bohm, physicist and developer of experimental language the Rheomode: mindstructures.com/2010/04/making-a-concept-of-the-whole The transcript of the interview is there, worth a read. $\endgroup$ – Agrajag Feb 6 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ I mostly agree with this answer except for the final conclusion "Given that we cannot know what we cannot know, that is impossible for anyone to answer here.". We know all sorts of things we do not know. We know that the universe is full of mass and energy that we can not perceive, because we see its effect, we know that 2+|X| > 2 even if we don't know X, and we know that a crying person is sad, even if we don't know why. Even where an exact answer is impossible, defining what is impossible can reveal a narrow picture of that which is possible. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Feb 6 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki - Actually I was aware of a loophole in my argument at the end, however that wasn't it. In answer to your point, I didn't say we cannot know what we don't know. I said we cannot know what we cannot know. Anyway, maybe I'll come back to this at some point and see if I can plug the gap! $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Feb 6 at 22:18
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Large masses of chaotically moving particles that thermodynamic deals with tend to be ergodic. Given enough time and energy, they will form just any configuration you can think of. For example, if you put two different gasses in two equal parts of a container split by a wall but then remove the wall, they'll mix (as expected). But if given enough time, the gasses will reverse to exactly the same position – one gas only in a half of space and one only in the other – as they've started from. The time needed is longer then the Universe supposed lifespan, but that's, you know, details :)

Because of that, in suitable conditions (high entropy and enough energy) a complex sentient being can theoretically spontaneously form in the void of space out of said energy and nothing else without any. It's called a Boltzmann Brain. There are Universe models in cosmology from which existence of Boltzmann Brains follows with not completely insignificant probability, and there's not enough hard science reasons to reject such models outright (see the linked article).

There's also no evidence to just accept such models and Boltzmann Brains with them, but that's not a disproval.

If you look for a popularized dumbed down example, take Ego from Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

So the possibility for sapience is already there, in the very statistical laws of the matter. The exact form it will take, whether it's a brain or a hive or something, we can't reliably predict. But that's, again, details.

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  • $\begingroup$ brilliant @avek , love this answer $\endgroup$ – rag haran Feb 6 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, the ergodic argument fails because, while it's true that highly-organized states can spontaneously form, it is far, far more probable that exactly the same effect will cause highly-organized states to dissolve back into chaos.As long as you're not moving form the realm of physics to the realm of magic, this doesn't help. $\endgroup$ – Mark Olson Feb 6 at 17:33
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There are 3 big complications with this question as I see it:

The first is logging. All of existence can by definition only be a record of itself in the here-and-now; so, for there to be a log of all of existence in the universe, you would need to accept a model of time where time is a traversable dimension. So your omniscient being would basically rely on time travel just to remember what he experienced this morning. This is a problem because your omniscient being would have to be the entire universe to know the entire universe, and to remember something from an hour ago and apply it to what it is thinking now, it would mean the universe would have to travel back in time to interact with itself which I can not image resulting in anything good.

The second problem is processing. In computational terms, a byte of data needs other bytes devoted to act on it to create proccessess (or thoughts). In your model, to know whole universe would require the whole of all time and matter, but you are not left with anything to do processing. That means there would need to be at least 1 physical dimension outside of anything we can ever know or understand that processes on the universe. This is still logically conceivable in the goal of creating true omniscience, but it means that your being could not have been created from the universe because the universe can not act on those dimensions to create your god. Additional dimensions could also solve the logging issue if you don't want your God to actually have to rely on time-travel to be able to remember things.

The third problem is that classical concepts of energy could not apply to such a being due to the limitations of the speed of light. Space is so big that such a being could never have a cohesive thought because it takes almost the entire age of the known universe to get a signal from one side to the other. Such a being would need to be held together by a force that far exceeds the speeds of light and energy (perhaps a property of the non-reality where the processing takes place?)

In conclusion, the answer to your question as you asked it is no, the universe can not really "know" itself, but a being or computer more complex than the knowable universe in theory could know and/or contain what we perceive as everything..

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  • $\begingroup$ excellent answer @Nosajimiki , great analysis , so much for me to ponder on $\endgroup$ – rag haran Feb 6 at 19:34

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