The Boundaries of the Knowable

2010 ,    »  -   66 Comments
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Ratings: 7.71/10 from 154 users.
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The Boundaries of the Knowable

Professor Russell Stannard (Department of Physical Sciences, The Open University) presents a series with numerous open questions about our consciousness and the physical brain, free will, cosmology and life. Questions such as: What is consciousness? What is free will? What caused the Big Bang? What is time?

One day he says, we will reach the limits of science and it will grind to a halt. Science is the pursuit of knowledge to understand the physical world around us. One day we will reach the boundaries of the knowable. Perhaps we have already reached them. There are questions that we cannot answer and perhaps never will.

Is there free will or is it pre-determined? Are we predictable? If we strip down to the subatomic level, we can observe that even the electrons which orbit the nucleus are unpredictable. Surely this means that if the building blocks of life themselves are unpredictable, and then this will translate into everything else? Perhaps we are destined never to know the answer to this question.

Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding and now we know that 13.7 billion years ago there was a Big Bang which formed our galaxy, our solar system and our world. But what caused the Big Bang? 'Cause and effect' is a fundamental concept of science. But if there was no linear time or anything technically before the Big Bang, how could there be a 'cause'?

If everything had to be created randomly, the chances of the universe being able to sustain life would be effectively zero. So why is our universe so 'life friendly'? Was it created by an omnipotent being? Are there life forms out in other parallel universes? There could be many 'earth-like' planets out there. Evolution took billions of years on earth. There could be older galaxies out there, where life forms are more advanced than we are, due to the age of their universe.

The nature of time itself is fascinating. We are used to thinking in three dimensions: length, height and width. We also understand that time is linear. But what if time was in fact part of the other three dimensions? What if there were four dimensions? Astronauts experience the slowing down of time and distances in space. They experience the four dimensions. Science calls this 'spacetime'. But what is real? What we see here on earth or what the astronauts experience in space? These questions are still causing debate between scientists. These abstract questions are important, but will we ever fathom the riddles that they present?

66 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jack1952

    The introduction asks "Why is the universe so life friendly?". I'm not so sure it is. No life that we know of on the other planets or their moons. No life that we definitely know of outside our solar system. If there is life (a definite possibility) we have no idea how prevalent. So far, the only life we know of, for definite sure, is here on earth, a pretty small corner of the universe. They're asking a question on a premise not established. Not a good start.

    But I should watch it first, before I make a complete judgement.

  2. Rodney Bresch

    I hear ya, but i'm pretty sure, more and more...the assumption is being reached, that the universe is probably teaming with life. Namely, cuz of the amount of carbon in it. But, life...aswe "know" it, can arise and survive in very extreme environments. So, there is that.

    I also haven't watched the vid yet tho.

  3. pwndecaf

    I will watch, but reading the synopsis has me aching to have robertallen1 back to comment on these "abstract" questions (read: philosophy).

  4. oQ

    Haven't watched yet, but i tend to think the knowable has no boundaries, it's a slow process that's all!

  5. Eric71Can

    I think you can reach the boundaries about specifics subjects, but overall, science will always exist and we will discover new things or new places to explore. And this is laughable, "Perhaps we have already reached them", about the boundaries.
    OK now i will watch, even with a note of 6.3 :)

  6. Crab_Nebula

    I havent watched yet, but one question I don't see being asked before all these other ones.. How much can a person or a collective consciousness actually know? And could we or anyone HANDLE a knowledge of "everything" without trying to then create our own universes and exploiting them.. Becoming 'God's' so to speak.

  7. sharpstuff

    This is another load of tripe from the believers of the notoriously silly Big Bang theory. Actually it is an hypothesis. It is becoming less and less observable and is now a mathematical entity of the unobservable and unverifiable with its worm-holes, strings of nothing, black holes, 'dark' this and that ad nauseum.

    Try reading the Thunderbolts project and be educated.

    By the way, the above is also applicable to the stupid and obviously-does-not-work Germ hypothesis.

    There can be no consensus is proper science, no written upon stones or concrete. So-called 'peer' review is a complete nonsense if the peers are idiots.

  8. Pysmythe

    An interesting thing about human beings...is that we tend to dislike the unknown and the unknowable, to the degree that we're perfectly willing, even perfectly compelled, to exercise our storytelling appitude in order to account for them, all else falling short. In this sense, I don't believe the boundries of the knowable could ever be reached. The world, the universe, simply MUST make some kind of sense.

  9. Rodney Bresch

    It may be important, that we don't know it all. That's when we stop growing, and the process stops. That's what perfection, deprives you of. It's like, if the dog catches the suspended bunny, the race is now over. It's like enlightenment, may just be, supposed to be just barely out of reach...to fuel the process. I have a lot more to back this up, but w/e lol.

  10. Adam Young

    if your main reason for being in science is to receive awards and applause then you're no real scientist.

  11. DocViewer

    Why? Why can't award and applause be a proper motivator for science? Why can't award and applause be a proper motivator for anything?

    Pick any famous scientist from the past. Do you think they didn't want their work read and admired by many people? Why would that make them no real scientist?

  12. dmxi

    we,like the worm with it's limited senses,cannot fathom the bigger picture due to point of observation!

  13. Adam Young

    like i said, the MAIN reason

  14. pwndecaf

    A little too "Mr. Rogers" for my taste. And I don't mean Buck!

  15. Bozman419

    I will have to watch this again! Maybe it was just all over my head? But it sure felt like this guy was talking in an endless spiral of circles and none if it led to any profound point. I did fall asleep before the end too?

  16. Eric Lawson

    Lost me on this one!!! Too boring!!Peace!

  17. ormstown

    If he would only open his mind, think outside the box, he would see that nothing is random, there is a Divine consciousness that is directing all of life. Elevate your consciousness, see the whole picture,

  18. Shadowblur

    .....Of course you're all going to disagree, (as if this isn't the first time...lol) the human being was truly created by an alien
    entity, and the alien civilization are constantly watching us, guiding us, improving us, just look at the overwhelming evidence in
    video/photographs/sightings that have and still are taking place up to date on ufo's, (alien piloted craft ok.) We have to accept, change some of our history books, like anthropology for instance. The quicker we accept, the better, the longer we delay the worse for
    our mind.

  19. Nebakanezer Xl

    The evidence is shaky and basing assumptions on shaky evidence is weak. I remember back in the 90's the majority of people said the pyramids were evidence for extraterrestrial life. Now we are beginning to see how the ancient people made the pyramids with ramps and pullies.

    I'll show you a blob on a photo and say it looks like Bigfoot and you'll quickly dismiss me. You're literally saying to change our history books because of shaky photos? Do you not understand how history books are even made? They are made through proven historical observations with first hand accounts that can be sourced from other sources.

    "The human was created by an alien entity."
    Your conviction lacks if you're going off of cave paintings and a white spot on a photo (most of the time these photos lack any resolution to even be admitted as evidence.)

    People that believe in aliens are not crazy. In fact, there may very well be aliens, but to admit that they created us on the evidence we have is just plain silly. People that believe that aliens created us maybe just as mad (insane) as people that believe God created us and gave us certain rules to follow because he was bored or because of his overwhelming love for us.

    I advise you to get concrete evidence because the quicker people get concrete observations, the better, the longer we make assumptions on photo shop photos and myths - the worse for our minds and of practical science.

  20. oQ

    Would the world make sense if humans weren't here? if so, what would it make sense to and how?

  21. Dan Shinerock

    this series left me feeling like an old washed up scientist realizes
    he's running out of time and simply took the easy route instead of
    admitting that he does not have an explanation. Comments like , "we
    know a great deal about the universe", and , "why is the universe so
    life friendly", and , "if it were random there would be almost no chance
    of life to exist", are pretentious, misinforming and even ignorant from
    where I'm standing.

    We know almost nothing about the universe,
    we know that conditions for life as we know it are extremely rare, as
    if the universe evolved completely randomly, are much more accurate
    statements. Not to mention the notion that "there is something instead
    of nothing" also leaves me feeling a bit egotistical as a member of this
    species. It is saying , "I am something". I'm not so sure of that.
    I'm not sure I measure up to anything at all. To even suggest that
    any of the universes secrets were put there for me, us, the human race
    is lunacy and pretentious. I think every single living thing is just
    as important as me in the grand scheme of things. How important? Not
    at all. No matter how rare life is or how slim the chance of it developing, it is quite obviously random just by the evolution that has occurred on Earth. Or were the dinosaurs just a big divine mistake? Maybe there can never be nothing, it is a word we made up that simply does not exist in reality.

  22. Dan Shinerock

    History books are made by the conquering forces and have nothing to do with truth most the time, or leave out great detailed facts to depict the writer and his people as , "less evil and more righteous" than the defeated. Go read US history then read our enemies history and you will feel silly for some of your , "know, documented , facts" comments. That is a lie. If you are not aware of human nature to alter their specific beliefs into their "version" of history, you need to go back to school in different countries and learn the truth. Truth is rarely writen in a single version, rather all opposing versions depict what actually happened if one is clever enough to read between the lines.
    As far as aliens are concerned, it is painfully obvious that they are caring for something here on earth. Or are you calling hundreds of thousands of civilians and officials lying scumbags ? Not to mention all the recently UN-classified UFO military records released by several nations world wide . You have to put on blinders and be stuck in a primitive, flat earth, abysal , selfrighsious , blind faith religion to not see that visitors care for earth and the life on it. The evidence is out there, but you have to open your mind and do some research, because the powers that be don't think you can handle it and try to deny you the right to know the truth. They think we will all riot and destroy ourselves if we knew the truth. Your a victim of propaganda and don't even research it to realize.

  23. Dan Shinerock

    Shadowblur is more likely correct based on the evidence found on this planet, than any religion or mythology. Even great texts such as the bible depict the first Humans, Adam and EVE. Fossel records have not been able to explain why humans suddenly lost all their body hair (Neanderthal) and became modern man simultaneously. Leaving Neanderthal to go extinct. What if Adam and Eve were the first genetic cross breed? Mythological history dating back 12,000 years depict blazing chariots in the sky. Why do you think that is? And the moving of stones to build the pyramids can easily be rationalized away by deniers stuck on stupid, but still to this day we cannot cut such perfect square blocks,, and random shapes right out of a mountain cliff. We cannot make the back cut, no laser can turn a perfect 90 degree angle (yet). And we know the rock was not shaved after being removed because it still would fit tightly with less then a hundredth of an inch gap into its original position (which is verified by element traces , or veins in the rock). If you find this evidence (I think good details on it was published in the book "chariots of the Gods") not enough to admit a superior technology had a hand in the pyramids, then look at the view from high earth orbit. Structures spanning thousands of miles that were never noticed until we aquired space travel litter the earth like so many landing strips. The proof is all around us,, you have to care enough to find it and be open minded enough to let go of what you think you know, then use your logical mind to ask why all this stuff is there. Only then will a person begin to realize that no book ever written really knows the truth. We are newborns taking our first crawling step out of the womb into a vast universe full of wonder far beyond any primitive human writings. In fact, look at ancient mythology more closely with an open mind and imagine how people would act to a visitor 10,000 years ago. Maybe Gods were all just visitors, borrowing some DNA for their impotent species? That is much more likely than some little man up in the sky watching us, with a book of things we can and cannot do, and if we do any of those things , will send us to a special place to burn , cry , suffer until the end of time. People need to evolve and start thinking for themselves because the truth has , without a doubt , NOT been written yet.

  24. Nebakanezer Xl

    " Fossel records have not been able to explain why humans suddenly lost all their body hair (Neanderthal) and became modern man simultaneously."

    We're not Neanderthals, we're Homo-Sapiens.I stopped reading after that really LOL

  25. Nebakanezer Xl

    Oh I know. The American Empire has skewed their history books and I did a survey class about it. Though, you can't honestly be asserting that photos are a match for sourced textbooks? If you want true information you need to cross reference your sources (Blurred photos of aliens is not a source - it's a joke). If you honestly believe you can get the whole story from one text book, then you missed the point and you need to go back and learn how to do accurate research. You need to cross reference and do independent reading. I have read Mexican history and United States history and you want to know something? The textbooks are changing. Finally the Untied States is acknowledging other facts and putting them in their textbooks. Also, are you referring to High School Texts or University Texts? Their is a distinction if you really want to know. The University is not brainwashing students and many of the classes I assisted with the professor told it like it was and used textbooks as formal source. And yes, sometimes to say the information was outdated or skewed, but if you want to learn about a country the best place to start is of that country than compare with again other texts and independent reading. If you want the other side, read the other side? Or did you just read what they wanted you to read in school? Kinda like what the internet is doing to your humble brain that is easily swayed, yes?

    "You're a victim of propaganda and don't even research it to realize."

    Oh my friend, you are one of the internet. Which I don't know - it may be worse. Let me guess you believe you have a prowess in alien life because you watch a few conspiracy videos on youtube and believe your self to be "informed." You're no better than the person who only reads one source and forms an opinion on the matter, oh wait, you're one for you don't cross reference what you learned in class, or in your case the internet.

    "Caring for something here on earth."

    Yes, you're correct. The aliens want the material that we have, correct. They're able to fly through space and time through a massive every growing universe because this planet has steel. Wake up, if they're that advance you have to actually pass the speed of light, they don't need anything here on earth. I advise you to read from several sources, PUBLISHED, sources and cross reference your evidence with credible authors and not dismiss some textbooks valid information.

    Also, go back to about fourth grade and learn to spell and use grammar. Or did the Illuminati say grammar and spelling was for brainwashed people as well?

  26. Nebakanezer Xl

    When answering to skepticism about how such heavy stones could have been moved without machinery, Redford says, "I usually show the skeptic a picture of 20 of my workers at an archaeological dig site pulling up a two-and-a-half ton granite block." He added, "I know it's possible because I was on the ropes too."

    LOL Yeah, we can do it today. 20,000 - 30,000 laborers that worked constantly over 23 years can do it too.

    Penn State University. "How Were The Egyptian Pyramids Built?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2008. .

  27. Shadowblur

    ....Well said 'Dan'. We will most
    certainly find out that we were created by an alien civilization, with all the
    strong evidence such as ufo sightings, alien sightings, landing marks,
    abductions that are taking place on a daily basis, you got to ask yourself
    this, why would all these people who have alien dealings, (sightings, photo/video
    taking/ abductions etc) lie to the world? What would they gain? They just want
    to be famous? Most want anonymity anyway.

    The law of averages comes into play here;
    there must be a least "one" that is credible, and if "one"
    is, that is all that is needed in all of human history in alien/craft
    sightings. We got to draw a line somewhere in denial.

  28. Shadowblur

    ....Well said Dan again, you saved me replying back to this 'blind person 'Nebakanezer Xl' clearly he
    doesn't
    want to believe, and not all photos and videos are out of focus, there
    are lots that are very clear, crystal clear footage! He obviously left them out on purpose!

  29. Nebakanezer Xl

    If you listen to Dan you believe we evolved from Neanderthals. He is talking out of his ass and you think you're enlightened because you're going against the majority thinking.

    Photo shop my friend. I'll make some alien photos for you and I'll make sure to include their vains so you think it's "crystal clear."

    (Sarcasm below - just replace Religion with Aliens and you're that! BINGO!)

    Hey, do you accept Jesus Christ in your life? There's a bible that I think you should check out. You should open your heart to him. Here's some evidence for you: There is historical documentation that he existed. The assumptions in the bible clearly show how the world was created.

    Or the Qur'an? In Scriptures 40'. Allah put the mountains on this planet. Then made the heavens in the smoke.

    If you don't believe you're just blind. You're a blind sheep of science. Oh you're lost.

  30. Nebakanezer Xl

    You're a Neanderthal. Honestly, you're if you believe Dan. I advise you to look at your past before making hypothesis on how it was formed. Please.

    Time to break it down with science my "enlightened opened minded friend."

    Science to prove your hypothesis needs to go through the scientific method. Now, I'm going to go back to grade school for this but the scientific method is:

    Formulation of a question
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Testing
    Analysis

    You're question is "Is their an ET?"
    You're hypothesis is that yes there is because you took some photos and made assumptions of them. Nice. Let's continue. You predict these assumptions to be aliens. Okay, I can give you that. Ah...TESTING. Can't test it. So their is no way to PROVE it. So leave these assumptions lie in rest until they can be honestly proven and RE TESTED as in CAUGHT ON CAMERA BY ANYONE WHO TESTS IT.

    You're no better than the people who believe that their is a bearded man in the sky. I don't know which is worse the conspiracy theorists that believe we evolved from Neanderthals or people that believe their God created them.

  31. Shadowblur

    ....There are also a lot of 'alien encounters' depicted in the Bible too, do you know that? Chariots descending from the skies, why would
    God need a chariot to fly down to earth? He can easily descend himself! So this
    implies that an advanced race of beings came here long ago in spaceships, even
    ancient drawings depict alien entities, all over the world they are drawn! They
    are not head dress or long ago costumes belonging to tribes etc, some have
    space craft with the beings are drawn together, how do you account for that?!

  32. Shadowblur

    ....Yes, same goes for God, no one has seen God, and Jesus,
    there is no proof of him being real too, so to me, it's all
    "hearsay." Until someone can introduce me to God in the flesh, i will
    continue to treat this as 'hearsay.' But on the otherhand, there is more
    evidence that alien piloted craft and aliens exist here on earth, there are
    photographic/video footage/eye witness accounts by all ages of people, and by
    people in the most responsible positions in society too. I tend to go with
    'tangible' evidence, than a fairy tail book called the Bible. I have had over
    50 true sightings of alien piloted craft, and had close encounters of the forth
    kind too, honestly. You my friend are completely wrong in denying the existence
    of alien visitation here on earth; they truly exist, so take your head out of
    the sand, and seriously start to investigate on youtube & Google the
    overwhelming evidence!! You will truly realize there is something extremely
    strange happening to us, wake up before it’s too late!

  33. Nebakanezer Xl

    You say the bible is wrong and you don't believe in it because their is no evidence, but then you use it as evidence? "Chariot to fly down to earth?"

    You're just saying assumptions. Here: The Illuminati is real because there is a 1% who control everything and keep us on the bottom. They are withholding the cure for cancer to do population control. With our advance tech and medicine why can't we find a cure to eliminate some bad behaving cells that have gone rouge? It must be the Illuminati doing crowd control. Why would the rich want a massive public that can topple them?

    Makes sense right? My assumptions align, but can I prove it? No. That's the end of that.

    Honestly these witnessed accounts can be aligned with, say, the people who have seen god in a near death experience. There are a lot of accounts on that as well.

    I use to be a conspiracy theorist as well, but then when I continued past 9/11 and even thinking there were aliens I started to stop. Because the same guys that believed in aliens thought the Illuminati were reptiles trying to control the world. Do I keep going and just continue calling the people who don't believe sheep and having their heads stuck up their asses? No. I became a realist. I can't prove that their are aliens just like I can't prove that their aren't. I'm not going to source YouTube either. Use valid published sources, cross reference from other credible sources and not just eye witness accounts of some people in the middle of nowhere who thought a government operation was an alien landing.

  34. awful_truth

    I have been reading your comments along with 2 other individuals, and while I agree with many of your assertions, it would seem that you have not truly considered all the possibilities. For this, I must expand upon what the commentator of the documentary spoke towards.
    1) The idea of alien intelligent life in my opinion is highly probable, but to confuse this with the same 'god'(s) that created the universe is a common misconception. (This does not mean that aliens could not be perceived as 'god like' with advanced technology to primitive man)
    2) If such a thing as 'god'(s) created the universe, asking for visual proof of something that exists outside of the universe itself, is completely unscientific. (and impossible)
    3) The creation of the universe should be referred to as the 'big birth', not the big bang. It is highly probable that the 'big bang' (sex) created the universe to begin with, much as how all of us 'came' to be.
    4) The idea of a creator is correct, however, the idea that god(s) are all powerful, and all knowing is an unrealistic expectation since nothing in the universe is perfect. None of us were created from perfect beings, nor were our parents involved in the 3 billion cell divisions that occurred from conception to birth.
    4) The universe is not expanding, but is collapsing in on itself internally, under the force of gravity. (congruent with relativity, and does not require dark matter/energy) Since we are part of the universe, there is no way to confirm which of the 2 possibilities is occurring, (inflation/collapse) however, since we know that the 'movement' of the universe is accelerating, it implies collapse, otherwise we would have to come up with another 'force' to explain why the initial inflation slowed, and than sped up again. It is far more likely that the original expansion slowed, stopped, and started collapsing from gravitation long before any of us entered the picture.
    5) The universe is a 'brain', much like the brain you have in your head. We were all created to live out the potentiality of possibilities, so the universe/multiverse can learn and adapt to it's own environment, much like the thoughts we create to problem solve for our own survival. Thus, when you look up to the night sky, you are not seeing stars and nebulous, but are instead seeing neurons, and dendritic connections. (life forms are neurotransmitters)
    Of course, it is possible that I am completely wrong about all of this, but everything I have stated is far more 'probable' than anything religion, or science has deduced so far. (strange considering the answers are all right in front of us) Furthermore, science itself will never be able to answer everything let alone prove it, especially since scientific certainty went out the window almost a century ago with the probability of quantum mechanics.
    Thus, 'the truth' can only exist from the potentiality of everything, not just that which makes us feel warm and fuzzy all over, but even the awful truth, no matter how much it upsets our sensibilities.
    The bottom line is something had to exist prior to the creation of the universe, or nothing would be here today. To dismiss this as an omnipotent bearded man is as unenlightened as the people who created these myths to begin with. That which goes beyond proof requires a 'leap of faith'. (not to be confused with blind faith) If we know something with certainty, and it conflicts with our belief, than that belief needs to be re-evaluated. Ultimately, science and faith (spirituality) are complimentary in trying too explain existence, one by proof, the other by faith.To believe they are in conflict is to imply disparity where none exists, and is created by people who can only think in terms of black, or white. (A or Z - one or the other, and nothing in between) Take care, and best wishes shadowblur!
    P.S: Question. Does the theist create spirituality from a fear of death, (nonexistence) or does the atheist dismiss spirituality from a fear of everlasting life? (Something to consider)

  35. awful_truth

    Conspiracies are very real, (not all are correctly identified) the illuminati really does exist, (greedy wealthy people, not reptiles) God is real, (not all powerful, let alone all knowing) and the majority of people do have their heads up their ass. Any questions?
    P.S: You call yourself a realist, and I identify myself as an idealist. (go figure)

  36. Shadowblur

    ....I
    think you didn't read close enough on my posted comments above "awful
    truth", i didn't say there is a God or a God created the universe, i
    mentioned the opposite, my strong belief is that the universe is God! As you
    say about the neurons, stars being the neurons, that's correct. "...Here's the God dam truth of
    God...."An abducted person (abduction by ET's or EBE....scientific term:
    Extraterrestrial Biological Entities) presented a question to the EBE's who had
    abducted him..."Do you believe in God, which is in the image of man?"
    the EBE replied in English with a confused look..." The Universe is God;
    we don't understand why you think God is in human form." That answer,
    makes a whole lot of sense to me. The universe is truly a thinking entity, we
    are truly in the mind of this entity, we have been thought up perhaps! When you
    look at a tree for example, it doesn't seem to be a living thing, but it is,
    same with the universe, both tree and the universe are the same, play out the
    same role. The universe has no body, just a mind, i believe before the Big
    Bang, stagnation occurred, what form it was i don't know, stagnation caused the
    Big Bang, Yin/Yang everything has one connection one opposite, nothing cannot
    be on its own, why does life exist at all? Everything has a reason, what is the
    reason for life in the universe?!

  37. awful_truth

    Thanks for the clarification Shadowblur. It would seem that were are in agreement. The term used for this position is called pantheist. I can't go as far as to say that the mind of the universe does, or does not have an external body like ourselves, since we would have to be on the outside looking in to verify this.
    If I had to hazard a guess as to why the 'reason for life', this 'thinking entity' created us to experience different possibilities, learn from them, (problem solving) and pass the information back up so it could better cope within it's own environment, which we can never be aware of. This gets me in trouble with your basic theists because the expectation of an all knowing, all powerful 'god' removes the 'purpose' of our own existence. (my opinion) Note: This is not to diminish 'god', but ground those who have unacceptable expectations.
    I am still of the mindset that the universe has many of its own kind surrounding it, and this 'Russian dolls within dolls' is infinite and boundless. Of course, this doesn't deal with the 'original creation of life'. I don't know if I buy the idea that 'life' came from nothingness. It is far more likely it came about the same way we did. (procreation) If I followed this to its conclusion, I would be a panentheist instead of a pantheist, however that would mean parents are gods to their children. I think it more likely that we are god to our thoughts, which we create.
    With that said, we are all one and the same, (entanglement) and thankfully we can experience the beauty of diversity. (Vulcan IDIC - infinite diversity infinite combinations)
    Einstein himself believed that there was no beginning of the universe, no matter how much it ran contrary to his own discovery. I think he summed it up the best when he stated, "for me, it is enough just to wonder at the possibilities".
    Either way, I respect your position, not because it is similar to my own, but because you have taken the wondrous step to actually think outside the dogma we have all been programmed to believe, which in my opinion is self limiting, and simplistically short sighted! Take care, and best wishes Shadowblur.

  38. Shadowblur

    ....I know this sounds crazy, but as i mentioned the
    universe being a living thinking entity, well i would go further in saying that
    eventually, far, far into the future, we will come to the end of the line in
    our evolution and also become a universe! The universe shares a similarity to
    us, 'thinking, and a mind' so it's only logical to assume that we will rid our
    body in the distant future and just retain our mind only. Sounds real
    far-fetched, but i think this is a strong possibility, of course, there's no way
    to prove this, but if every this becomes a reality one day, the future us, will
    see i was right!

  39. awful_truth

    Personally, I don't think your comments sound crazy at all. I would even go as far as to say that we are each a universe already. (a 3 pound universe that is) We are just a smaller version of the one we inhabit.
    Perhaps after we reach a critical mass of sorts, a new sun is born, or perhaps a new universe.
    I don't think it is far fetched to imagine that everything is alive. (Earth, sun, etc) Just because we can't perceive it as such with our limited 5 senses, doesn't mean it is impossible.
    Ultimately, nature is intelligible, and for those who open their horizons to the possibilities of potentiality, it is possible that nothing is unattainable. Keep up the great thoughts Shadowblur, and best wishes!

  40. Shadowblur

    ....Good to see someone without their head buried in the sand, thanks "awful_truth." :)

  41. tariqxl

    Actually there have been people throughout the ages and of all walks of life that have claimed to see and/or speak to God(s). Your merely choosing which 'eye-witnesses' to believe. And what of the people that claim those UFOs are in fact angels/demons. You might prove UFOs are real but then you'd just be siding with one story over the other so Nebuchadnezzars statement stand's.

  42. tariqxl

    They calved 'steps' into the face of the mine then cut off the 'steps' there's very little mystery in the building of the pyramids.... Besides if it was aliens how do you explain the historical records of pharaohs 'accountants' (for lack of a better word) noting resources, transit of resources, PAY (migrant workers not slaves built the pyramids)? Also if they were some sort of landing pad like the Stargate ships why would they have chambers? Again also, if they had no problem in the past helping Alexander the Great, helping Joshua, helping Moses and all those other ridiculous stories why are they so shy now? Why do we just get fly-by visits?

  43. HGWells

    I'm debating whether to watch this or not. You are one of the few on here that shares my skepticism. What do you think yay or nay?

  44. Nebakanezer Xl

    No, the Illuminati does not exist, but yes the 1% do own much of the wealth and means of production. But to call them illuminati and all that it entails is absurd to say the least.

    God is real? It seems that you're applying your own definitions to these things. My friend, by definition 'God' is all powerful and all knowing. You might be describing something else.

    Once the world shows you it's true colors, or when you understand it, you will be a cynical realist - all realists were once idealists.

  45. awful_truth

    It is a contradiction to be all powerful, and all knowing at the same time. (eg: intelligent enough to create a weight that cannot be lifted) PI = 3.1415 to infinity epitomizes this. After 4 decimal points, it appears to be a 'perfect' circle to us, but can always be refined further, and infinitely so. (no end to perfection)
    Labels like illuminati, prior of Zion, free masons, etc are just that, mere labels to describe the power that is now wielded by families who have reached the pinnacle of the global pyramid scheme. (15 corporation own all the corporations in the world) The estimated value of the Rothschild family is 500 trillion dollars. Do you really think that democracy really exists? All the politicians are mere lieutenants, and were chosen long before we got to choose which of them would lead us. (illusion of democracy)
    Last, and definitely not least, an idealist is someone who sees things for what they could be, as opposed to the way they are. My cynicism is no less than yours. I only subscribe to the idea that the future is what we choose to make it. To believe otherwise is to be a fatalist. If you believe this is to be the same as a realist, let me know your thoughts. It will make for an interesting discussion.
    Take care, and best wishes Nebakanezer Xl.
    P.S: If we accept the truth of the world as it has shown us, then god is driven by the pure efficiency, leaving no room for concepts like goodness, or morality.

  46. Guest

    Contradiction only for a human.

    "Intelligent enough to create a weight that cannot be lifted."

    A paradox, yes. To begin to try to understand God's power, or in this case our God, is to be egotistical. You're setting up a trivial notion (a proof) to try to explain a all powerful and knowing god. I will not understand how God will break from such a paradox, because I cannot even fathom him - neither can you. We may use a different definition of God - religious - that he is just the creator. God may be all powerful, but not all knowing. Or, all knowing, but not all powerful. I do not know, neither claim to. But trying to understand God with our rudimentary mathematics and philosophy is pointless.

    I don't understand the PI reference to perfection? Are you stating something to be more accurate like a geometric series as it continues? Or a derivative to have a more accurate representation of a curve? That as we continue God is becomes more perfect?

    Yes, we develop social constructs and labels - I agree. I also agree that, yes, there are roughly 15 corporations that control the majority of the wealth. And yes, athenian democracy is dead. Imperial United States lives in an oligarchy.“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

    But to file all this under one folder is childish.

    "Labels like illuminati, prior of Zion, free masons, etc are just that, mere labels to describe the power that is now wielded by families who have reached the pinnacle of the global pyramid scheme."

    1.) illuminati - People claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something.
    2.) Zionist - The belief that Jews should have their own nation; Jewish nationalism.
    3.) Free Masons - a member of an international order established for mutual help and fellowship, which holds elaborate secret ceremonies.

    Don't intertwine these, please. I have friends who attend the local lodge and none of them are Zionists. I also doubt that Donald Trump possess any enlightenment.

    You're coming to the conclusion that everything is intertwined and studying much of this, as it seems you have as well, we should know that much of it is largely conspiracy theory. So, don't try to give the illuminati junkies what they want by saying that, yes, the 1% (who might not really even be part of the illuminati) is the illuminati. To begin to wake up the sheep you must be realistic in your approach and mixing up labels of the illuminati is pointless. Here's a proof to sum it up: If 'a' has some of the same properties as 'b', then should a = b? No. A fallacy.

    I go by strict definitions and I understand what you're trying to go for, but putting everything under the same label for arguments sake no es bueno.

    Over the years my idealism has faded. There are brief periods that make me begin to hope that this world will wake up and start doing everything logical - helping the earth, throwing away capitalistic mentality, ending poverty and war. But as I grow older and older I begin to realize I'm not really being an idealist, but rather a perpetual-idealist-gullible-believer? A person who is just hopeful, but not being logical about things. "Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist." - George Carlin.

    By your definition of an idealist, I agree with you. But, by the Oxford definition: A person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations. I do not.

    P.S Thank you for being intelligent. I'm going to follow you now lol

  47. awful_truth

    Thank you for your in depth response. It was a refreshingly good read. (nice job) For those who believe in god, you are correct in asserting that we can never truly comprehend that which is incomprehensible. For those who do not, will never be able to relate to the logic of your position. (well stated by the way)
    My reference to PI was simply that true perfection is impossible because things can always be refined further, ergo imperfect (PI is infinite in precision - at least in this universe) In our limited scope, things may appear perfect, but upon more accurate examination, they are not. At this point, it should be noted that an 'expectation' of perfection, (all powerful/all knowing) may be unrealistic, and arguably removes the purpose from life itself, and perhaps all blame from anyone's thoughts, and actions. (a different discussion)
    My grouping of illuminati, free mason, etc was merely a generalization of 'organizations' throughout history that have wielded power. (labels) It was not my intention to imply that they were interconnected in any fashion, (apologies)with one exception. (the construct in which they are formed - knowledge, money, power - influence)
    Note: I Don't know Donald Trump, so I can't make any personal assessment regarding his level of enlightenment. (his level of materialism knows no bounds)
    In regards to 'idealism', it should be noted that the definition itself has been altered over the passage of time. I am also a great fan of George Carlin, and the intelligence he wielded. As with all things, logic can only take a person so far, where a person must than take a leap of faith. In here, lies the problem. All the things we have had in our short discussion arrives at this juncture. If we believe in higher forms of life, our expectation of what is, and what should be becomes biased from hopes, and fears. In this sense, we are both equally guilty in our limited perception, since we give more or less credence, just in different areas of examination. For this reason, the power of thought itself should never be underestimated, since everything we have created came from the power of thought.
    Last, but not least, I too have suffered the whittling of my own idealism from the constant bombardment of insanity that the world has to offer. The one thing that keeps me 'thinking young' is not hope, but faith in the idea that everything, even evil serves a purpose. (without the sting of evil, I would never develop the tools to combat it) Of course, the option is to join the dark side like Richard Cheney, and it is that choice that will determine the level of enlightenment one can attain. With that said, the mere word (evil) is just another over generalization, based upon the limitation of language, and how we communicate with one another.
    In the final analysis, (if quantum mechanics is correct) there is no need for 'hope' since all possibilities play themselves out, in which case the choices we make are irrelevant. (it comes down to that faith thing again) Thus, it is an exercise in futility to hope that humanity will change it's approach regarding world affairs. This fatalist/realist view has no hope, or faith since it is not required. I guess I am left with the same position as Albert Einstein, " for me it is enough to wonder at the possibilities".
    P.S: As far as we know, there is one thing that is perfect in the universe, (exception to the rule) and that is the 1st law of thermodynamics. (energy cannot be created, nor destroyed, only transformed, or converted) This efficiency of conversion has no room for morality, and has strong implications regarding the true nature of god. (no hope or faith about it) Take care, and best wishes.

  48. Tom Carberry

    The comments below don't seem to apply to the short documentary on consciousness called the Boundaries of the Knowable. They seem more about ancient aliens.

    I enjoyed the consciousness documentary spoken by a physicist. It didn't cover a lot, but he made some interesting points, some I agree with, but some of the latter points about intrinsically unknowable things to the human mind, I tend to disagree.

    But of course neither I nor he will live to know the answers of many of those questions, but that doesn't mean that people should not keep inquiring into the most fascinating question of all -- consciousness.

    I believe consciousness exists as an entity separate from matter and that it enters matter of various complexity and can express itself in the physical world only to the degree of the matter it has entered.

    So consciousness has a motive to manipulate matter to make it into a better vessel for consciousness. Maybe evolution happened because of the need of the non-corporal consciousness for better and more complex hosts in order to enjoy the pleasures of the material world. More fun in human hedonism than amoebic hedonism.

    In other words, a sort of zombie takeover of bodies by consciousness. Sort of science fiction Spinoza.

    If we ever discover the true nature of consciousness, although my zombie universe theory may have no basis in fact, I still believe we will learn that consciousness and the mind or brain differ. Trees have consciousness, I believe, but no minds.

  49. tesla

    i think Carl Sagan said it best. we are a way for the universe to know its self. matter and the manipulators of matter.

    consciousness exists as an entity separate from matter. that is a really cool thought

  50. tesla

    if we are the only ones in the universe i feel bad for the universe and life is RARE. if not then the universe has a shot and life might be common. imo i lean towards common.

    what do you think? do you think life exists out side of planet earth?

  51. tesla

    omg calm down a little. lol we need smart people to enlighten the rest of us not put us down. i have a q for you. how did they light the insides of pyramids to navigate?

    and what do you think about E.T's

    just curious :)

  52. tesla

    "the movement of the universe is accelerating, it implies collapse" i stopped reading after this because its wrong. just the collapse part. it implies inflation indicated by the red shift we see.

    it is thought that when an object is moving at or close to the speed of light the red shift occurs.
    if the shift was blue it would be collapsing ....correct me if i am wrong.

  53. tesla

    omg you need to watch Carl sagans Cosmos.
    if you have not already. in the hindu religion we are made of star material and we live in a ocsillating universe going threw a series of births and deaths. so if the universe collapse's doe's that not mean all things would become one?

    i like the thoughts of this but im am not a member of this religion.nor any. i love science!

  54. tesla

    def agree this could be true. but to say you know for sure is quite a leap.

    shadow and truth you guys are open minded and cool in my book. :) would love to hear your guys thoughts on other subjects.

  55. tesla

    we need more people like you shadow and dan. love your open minds its so refreshing. but please dont go to hate. we need our smart people to spread knowledge/thinking. the mass's are in desperate need.

    i understand where he is coming from i have never met a alien so i cant say for sure even though i think the odds scream LIFE besides us.

    that why he ask's how do you know? from pictures and video? documentary films? contact? people need proof (even though imo think there is way more then enough)

    he wants to avoid accepting possibly false things as truth.

  56. awful_truth

    Actually, you are mistaken. A red shift occurs when objects are moving apart, and appear blue when they are approaching each other. This is referred to as the 'Doppler red shift'. (Much the same as a train whistle changes from approaching, to moving away..) Ergo, velocity itself is not revealed by the light spectrum, only relative motion between objects. In color theory, this is also why a blue object can appear closer than a red object even when it isn't; why fire trucks had their color changed from red to yellow, and why it costs more to insure red vehicles because statistically they get in more accidents because they appear farther away than they really are. I Hope this helps.
    P.S: Don't take my word for it, research it for yourself. Take care Tesla.

  57. dewflirt

    Hey Truth :) I love your facts but where do the yellow fire engines live?

  58. Shadowblur

    ....Exactly my friend......exactly!!! :)

  59. Shadowblur

    ....That...."UFOs are in fact angels/demons."
    Theory is always used when i show strong evidence of alien visitation to the
    mass, and how do they know, (you're....."Actually there have been people
    throughout the ages and of all walks of life that have claimed to see and/or
    speak to God(s)." ....God (s) are not 'Demons/angels themselves?!!!!

    If you can say ET is a demon, we can say for God too, perhaps these sightings or
    meetings with God in the past were Satan manipulating the peoples! Wake up sir,
    the overwhelming evidence of alien visitation is extremely strong these days,
    many experts, scientists etc, have many unexplained and left on the self so to
    speak of recorded alien visitation, and archeological finds that defy human
    abilities, technology even beyond today’s capabilities!

    You’re not even trying
    to rationalize at all in the strong evidence. I think you just like to argue with people even
    though you might secretly believe in what is happing to us is real.

  60. awful_truth

    Sorry, dewflirt, I was away for several days. In regards to fire engines, Canadian cities, and municipalities have made the move to yellow fire engines for quite some time now. (I am unsure what they are doing in other countries) Of course, some are still red, at least until they are upgraded, or phased out. Since I live in a small community in northern Canada, and we have made these upgrades all ready, I can only assume that major centers would be ahead of us. Note: In a irish community in southern Manitoba, they have green fire trucks! (love of the shamrock)

  61. Shadowblur

    ....Extremely well said! :)

  62. Shadowblur

    .....after having over 50 sightings of true alien flown craft, (not natural phenomena or secret human technology) and obtaining video footage on my tape type cam-corder on 2 separate occasions of 2 alien craft and having other witnesses seeing the intelligently controlled craft that i had seen too, I have come to the conclusion that we are most certainly not alone. I agree with you on "blurry" video and photographs, but as you see today, the alien presence has stepped up ten-fold in the last 25 years, look at all the 'orbs' videos on YT, most certainly not CGI or any other faker y, a line has to be drawn somewhere on this most important happening in human history, there's so much to tell, but you will NEVER accept, i can tell in your words, carry on with your head buried in the sand, up to you, I'm tired of telling people and getting rebuffs most of the time. Think what you think, i know the truth. P.S, they are not here for earth's resources, they're here for our DNA and altering us as we evolve.

  63. mkherman .

    Maybe we are inside the 'egg' on not outside the crust?

    Maybe Common is a word created by Henry VIII lot to describe us, the donkeys, the domesticated animals? Common=to commit/agree to (carry) a burden, 2 latin words made into one by the 'college of abreviators'.

  64. tariqxl

    The evidence is sparse both ways, I'm a realist and whereas, yes! I do like to debate, I don't secretly believe in alien visitations. The evidence against is only logic based because you'd be asking for non-existing evidence of a non-existent event. But the evidence for is only circumstantial, a picture drawn by paleoliths of a what looks like a man in an EV suit but could just be an image symbolising 'Christ consciousness'. It requires conformation bias to interpret it how you want so I just look at the evidence and seeing that it could be something else, only regard it as mildly intriguing evidence, not proof. I don't disbelieve, I'm indifferent to the sparse evidence that could mean other things. Proof is a dead alien corpse dating back to the paleo or Neolithic eras, or a likewise spaceship. So I'm left looking at the logic based arguments more, such as:-
    > Any perspective even if through an advanced telescope that could see Earths surface would be in the past. A civilisation that was indigenous to WR 104 (the binary that threatens Earth with a Gamma ray burst) would look through this powerful telescope and see Earth 7,828 years ago and travelling at light speed take that long to get here.
    > There would be absolutely no reason what so ever to come here. Resources even gold, is everywhere the heavier stuff outline the edge of the Galaxy in asteroid fields. Water being composed of the two most abundant atoms in the universe is abundant everywhere.
    What are you arguing for alien visitation or aliens are angels and demons? What "strong" evidence are you referring to?

  65. Steve

    I have watched this series 3 times now. I think Professor Russell bring up some very valid points. I have read some comments on here that we know of no other life in the universe. With that being a given, Einstein theory takes affect. Here or there has no control over a Universe and time. We may never meet another species from another planet, it doesn't mean they aren't there, were there, or will be there. I think this documentary is very relevant for learning and asking the questions of IF. Us Programmers have to use a IF Not This Then This over and over again. It is relevant, and I think Professor Russell does a great job explaining the IF's.

  66. vector shift

    It's very quaint how he assumes that in the future we will be limited by our current cognitive limits due to our current brains. These will change enormously, thousands of times more intelligent, maybe millions or more. Science has been around for only about 300 years, with very little funding ! It's very short sighted to speculate on the limits of science when it's just barely begun. Come back in a thousand years and see what'sup. It is going to be pretty wild.

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