People have been puzzled by and interested in the universe and its forces since the beginning of time.
Every new generation has a different approach, a new understanding, new theories and concepts about the origins and mechanisms of the universe. And the more we explore, the more complex it gets, at least to me.
Now, some scientists have come up with a possibly game-changing concept called “panpsychism”, that maintains that the universe could be capable of consciousness.
The scientist behind this theory is Gregory Matloff, a physicist at New York City College of Technology. He maintains that humans could be like the rest of the universe, in substance and spirit, and the cosmos could be self-aware.
Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science supports this notion and claims that biological organisms are conscious, for when found in a new situation, they change their behavior to avoid an unpleasant situation.
“The only dominant theory we have of consciousness says that it is associated with complexity — with a system’s ability to act upon its own state and determine its own fate. Theory states that it could go down to very simple systems. In principle, some purely physical systems that are not biological or organic may also be conscious.”
According to Philip Perry:
“Traditionally, scientists have been stalwart materialists. But doing so has caused them to slam up against the limitations of materialism. Consider the chasm between relativity and quantum mechanics, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and you quickly start to recognize these incongruities.”
Hedda Hassel Mørch, a philosophy researcher at New York University’s Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness, wrote:
“Panpsychists usually don’t take tables and other artifacts to be conscious as a whole. Rather, the table could be understood as a collection of particles that each have their own very simple form of consciousness.”
While panpsychism is still in the experimental phase, if these theories are eventually confirmed, they could shock the world of science.
Philosopher Philip Goff suggests:
“The panpsychist offers an alternative research programme: Rather than trying to account for consciousness in terms of utterly non-conscious elements, try to explain the complex consciousness of humans and other animals in terms of simpler forms of consciousness which are postulated to exist in simpler forms of matter, such as atoms or their sub-atomic components.
This research project is still in its infancy. But a number of leading neuroscientists, such as Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi, are now finding that working within a panpsychist framework bears fruit. The more fruit is borne by this alternative research programme, the more reason we have to accept panpsychism.”