“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Is the Universe Alive?

In this episode of the “Through the Wormhole” series put together by Discovery Channel, Morgan Freeman asks, “Is the Universe Alive?” He builds on the ideas of a motley crew of scientists in order to learn to see life at multiple scales, including the computer scientists Juergen Schmidhuber (machines are alive) and Seth Lloyd (atoms think), the theoretical physicists Stephon Alexander (the universe has a heart beat) and Lee Smolin (black holes allow for cosmological natural selection), the particle physicist at the Sante Fe Institute Geoffrey West (cities are alive), and the physician Robert Lanza (the universe is imaginary).

An interesting set of ideas. I only had trouble with Lanza’s strangely titled (“biocentrism”?) idealistic solipsism.






4 responses to “Is the Universe Alive?”

  1. The Hermetic Deleuze: Anesthetizing Chaos « Kafka's Ruminations Avatar

    […] this post my wordpress reader directed me to footnotes2plato asking “Is the Universe Alive?” https://footnotes2plato.com/2013/01/20/is-the-universe-alive/. I haven’t yet seen the clip that he attached to his post, but out of the blue I whispered to […]

  2. […] points out a Morgan Freeman program cited by footnotes2plato asking “Is the Universe Alive?” https://footnotes2plato.com/2013/01/20/is-the-universe-alive/ which brings together several scientists discussing the levels of reality and how the universe […]

  3. […] My various friends recently have been dealing with questions of Chaos (see here, here, and here among others), but what do we make of the positivity of what has already been organized in the […]

  4. Russell Burn Avatar

    I thought that I did not have 43 minutes available to watch this, yet suddenly I did. Loved it, and thanks for posting….and for the generosity of your other posts. Also , although the mathematics of science is beyond me, as is much of philosophical theory, I must agree that a falling tree is a falling tree, even without any human eye to see. Solipsism appears to be a mind trap.

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