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What did the Universe look like...

... before eyes evolved?

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Comments

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I like it.

    At first I had a clever answer and then the blank happened.

    I'll enjoy the blank and come back to the clever answer later.

    Nave650
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    How can anything 'look' like anything if you can't 'look' at it?

    Ask a blind person to describe the colour yellow.

    That's what it looked like.

    seeker242
  • Curious, aye. Let's say that the universe was born 14 billion years ago and the first senses appeared 4 billion years ago. That means that the universe existed for 10 billion years without looking like anything, sounding like anything, smelling like anything, feeling like anything, tasting like anything. It had no form as we understand form to be, and yet it had something that could then give rise to things that could then go on to experience things in that way.

    But then how was that initial movement made? How could that initial movement to eyesight occur with no basis for there being anything to look at? And yet the development of the eye occurred over a vast period of time, such is its complexity. It's development required some form of persistence in that direction for an immense amount of time but before the concept of sight even existed.

    Must be God. :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 2015

    "Must be God"
    Karma

    David
  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    I'm with fede on this one.

    No eyes = no visual perception

    The universe was just 'there', there was nothing to see it with. Maybe ears evolved first, in which case the universe was heard before it was seen.

    David
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Eyes may have only been around for a little while but the potential for eyes has always been.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    "For, my friend, in this very body, six feet in length, with its sense-impressions and its thoughts and ideas, I do declare to you are the world, and the origin of the world, and the ceasing of the world, and likewise the Way that leadeth to the ceasing thereof."
    (A. N. ii 46 - F. L. Woodward translation)

    Walkerlobster
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Walker said:
    I'm with fede on this one.

    No eyes = no visual perception

    The universe was just 'there', there was nothing to see it with. Maybe ears evolved first, in which case the universe was heard before it was seen.

    Om

  • PöljäPöljä Veteran
    edited June 2015

    The multiverse was just there (a?) blinding long time before people were making their clumsy and insufficient observations. Please don't be so ... anthropocentric.

    DairyLama
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    It's been argued that it's a quantum field of potential.

    What does birds universe look/feel like?
    What does an insects universe look like? Some can see in ultra violet. :)

    I wouldn't say our universe is the same as other creatures. Who is to say our trees are as they are "out there"

    Without eyes ... Maybe just potential.

    Nave650
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    something like this is in the Surangama sutra. I think Buddha said that a blind man sees blackness.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @mindatrisk

    Each nano moment offers a different universe, whether sighted or not.
    If you think it ever looks the same, yer got yourself a real lazy eye.

    &

    of course us Zen folks get prodded to see with ears, nose, tongue, body & mind.

    Here, a wooden figure sings and the stone maiden dances,
    so perhaps Zennies should pass on this thread.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @mindatrisk said:
    ... before eyes evolved?

    That is a very unique and fascinating question.

    Oh, and thanks @Polja for introducing a new word: an·thro·po·cen·tric

    /ˌanTHrəpəˈsentrik/

    adjective
    1. regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals.

    I think that the Universe with all those swirling galaxies, exploding stars etc. must give off some heavy duty vibes that are picked up by all our other senses and the fact that lots believe we are creators or god or what-not.

    Last night I watched MIB and at the end of the movie, they show the Universe / Space as it moves out at fairly high speed, and by golly, it gave me the chills and a feeling of awe. I've also mentioned this before on this and/or other forums about the Dogone (sp?) tribe -- how they knew of certain planet and/or stars that were too far out to see with modern telescopes -- I think that sort of proves my theory - sort of.
    <3

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Did you know that all of the suns in the universe will burn out eventually and it will be a dark universe?

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @Jeffrey said:
    Did you know that all of the suns in the universe will burn out eventually and it will be a dark universe?

    I don't think there is actually any proof of this.

    There are black holes but there are also white holes or quasars where suns are constantly being born.

    The amount of energy is apparently a constant in the universe like the amount of water is a constant for Earth.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Yeah i just read about a dark universe on a facebook post. I did not know that quasars make suns.

  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    Different theories about the fate of the universe here

    I personally think there's some kind of cyclic thing that happens, although I know that goes against the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Maybe there are multiple universes that act on each other in such a way to make heat death unlikely or impossible?

    Who knows? O.o

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The universe (as we perceive it) may just be a drop of water on the planet of another sentient being asking exactly the same questions. And so on......

    Earthninja
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I have a feeling the big bang is just a function of the universe and not the beginning. Like our known universe is just a leaf on a tree, in a forest.

    There are probably an infinite amount of space/time bubbles in the cosmic sea.

    silverEarthninja
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    And say you don't believe in a god creator,
    Then if we got back in time we are literally a product of the universe. Or part of it. Then it's the universe looking out! So what does the universe look like without eyes?
    Don't know, that's probably why I grew some!

    DavidShoshin
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @mindatrisk said: ... before eyes evolved?

    Look at neighbouring galaxies and you are looking back into distant time, before eyes evolved. So that's how it looked! Very pretty!

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 2015

    "What did the Universe look like...before eyes evolved?"

    Waves & Particles....then eye-consciousness came along which produced pretty looking patterns :)...and it all went downhill from there ....But "I" could be wrong.... :)

  • @ourself said:
    Eyes may have only been around for a little while but the potential for eyes has always been.

    @Walker said:
    I'm with fede on this one.

    No eyes = no visual perception

    The universe was just 'there', there was nothing to see it with. Maybe ears evolved first, in which case the universe was heard before it was seen.

    Really, my opening question is just the old 'if a tree falls in a forrest...'. > @Earthninja said:

    And say you don't believe in a god creator,
    Then if we got back in time we are literally a product of the universe. Or part of it. Then it's the universe looking out! So what does the universe look like without eyes?
    Don't know, that's probably why I grew some!

    Why would eyes evolve then? There was no basis for the evolution of eyesight because there were no eyes to know that there was something to see.

  • @Shoshin said:
    "What did the Universe look like...before eyes evolved?"

    Waves & Particles....then eye-consciousness came along which produced pretty looking patterns :)...and it all went downhill from there ....But "I" could be wrong.... :)

    So, did eyes create something to see, rather than eyes evolving to see what was there?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @mindatrisk said:> So, did eyes create something to see, rather than eyes evolving to see what was there?

    Only in a psychological sense, the process of visual perception. Evolution wouldn't make sense otherwise.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Earthninja said: It's been argued that it's a quantum field of potential.

    But the weirdness of quantum mechanics only applies at the sub-atomic scale, it doesn't apply to our everyday world which operates according to the principles of Newtonian mechanics.

  • @SpinyNorman said:

    I'm not sure how evolution can account for eyesight. Why would eyes evolve unless there was already an awareness that there was something to be seen? And it's not like it's a simple process. If sight could have been achieved through a single cell then it's reasonable to think it could be stumbled upon. But eyeballs took millions, maybe billions, of years to evolve, and yet without any awareness that once the eyeball had developed to see that there would be something to see.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @mindatrisk said: I'm not sure how evolution can account for eyesight. Why would eyes evolve unless there was already an awareness that there was something to be seen?

    The simple answer is that organisms with even a rudimentary ability to detect light are more successful than those without.

    lobsterWalker
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    The simple answer is that organisms with even a rudimentary ability to detect light are more successful than those without.

    I think my curiosity is about that initial movement. I can understand how once something exists in a rudimentary form that it can then evolve. I'm just not sure how that initial movement to detecting something that there is zero awareness of existing can be achieved. I mean, we are in the same position now... we are equally unaware of other dimensions, maybe even other date that can be picked up by other senses that we don't have. How would that movement be made to detecting something we don't know exists through our physical body? Let's say that there is data X that exists but that can only be sensed through sense ability Y which we have none of. So we have no comprehension that data X exists and no capacity to sense it. How is that movement to a rudimentary sensing of data X made, i.e. how does sense ability Y suddenly appear?

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Instinct happens without awareness and I could see natural selection as a kind of instinct.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @mindatrisk said: Let's say that there is data X that exists but that can only be sensed through sense ability Y which we have none of. So we have no comprehension that data X exists and no capacity to sense it. How is that movement to a rudimentary sensing of data X made, i.e. how does sense ability Y suddenly appear?

    I think that would be explained by random mutations which might lead to the emergence of a rudimentary sense ability Y. If the emergence of that rudimentary sense ability makes the species more successful or better adapted, then it will be naturally selected down the generations and develop further.

    Bear in mind that evolution is a messy trial and error process, with lots of false starts and dead ends.

    WalkerEarthninjaperson
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    But the weirdness of quantum mechanics only applies at the sub-atomic scale, it doesn't apply to our everyday world which operates according to the principles of Newtonian mechanics.

    Our every day world doesn't apply to the OP either. We are talking about hypotheticals and theories. A universe without eyes. In think quantum field is a great theory. Pure potential relationships.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    Eyes relate to the everyday world.

  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @mindatrisk said:
    I'm not sure how evolution can account for eyesight. Why would eyes evolve unless there was already an awareness that there was something to be seen? And it's not like it's a simple process. If sight could have been achieved through a single cell then it's reasonable to think it could be stumbled upon. But eyeballs took millions, maybe billions, of years to evolve, and yet without any awareness that once the eyeball had developed to see that there would be something to see.

    The challenge is that you do not seem to have a sufficiently technical understanding of the theoretical mechanisms of the concepts that you're exploring in order to be able to frame your questions in light of the questions raised before yours, in line with the theory - so for example, you are considering 'evolution' and say the 'universe', however both of these are viewed through whatever stretched definition you hold for them and therefore the conclusion you seek shall also be stretched.

    lobster
  • @Zero said:
    The challenge is that you do not seem to have a sufficiently technical understanding of the theoretical mechanisms of the concepts that you're exploring in order to be able to frame your questions in light of the questions raised before yours, in line with the theory - so for example, you are considering 'evolution' and say the 'universe', however both of these are viewed through whatever stretched definition you hold for them and therefore the conclusion you seek shall also be stretched.

    Of course I don't understand, what is why I am asking questions... to understand!

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Even as a person trained in paleontology, the "eye issue" is an example of natural selection that I most have a problem with.

  • @vinlyn said:
    Even as a person trained in paleontology, the "eye issue" is an example of natural selection that I most have a problem with.

    Explain what you mean...

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    One of the earliest (if not THE earliest) forms of life was blue-green algae in the oceans (they were in colonies called stromatolites).

    I just have a problem believing that -- even over time -- that slimy algae evolved into the iris and cornea (etc.) of your eye through coincidence (and, in very basic terms, that's what natural selection is -- a fortunate coincidence through reproductive error).

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    With or without eyes, the universe changes from moment to moment...

    Shoshin
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @mindatrisk said: Must be God. :)

    No, it was an English gentleman, who have always been jolly good inventors. ;)

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 2015

    Actually, it is far more likely to have been a Scot.....

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 2015

    @Vinlyn

    I just have a problem believing that -- even over time -- that slimy algae evolved into the iris and cornea (etc.) of your eye through coincidence.

    It is not that a bit of slime grew an eye...(which is a bogus presentation)
    .but that any random mutations that allowed any infinitesimal improvement to ones awareness of ones surroundings, offered a better chance at survival and the passing on of those genes over those who did not have that random mutation.
    Slime never grew an eye through coincidence. Any slime with any subtle mutations different from it's brethren either died out because it offered no improvement or survived over it's competition because it did.

    Billions of successive surviving's through those improvements resulted in what you call an eye today and probably what our species in a million years will just call a rudimentary light receiving organ compared with what they will have evolved with to better survive in their time..

    lobster
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @How, do not misquote me. I NEVER said "slime grew an eye". In fact, that is a total misrepresentation of what I said.

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @vinlyn

    Who is misquoting who?
    I cut and pasted your words and put them clearly up in bold.

    What followed then was my interpretation of your post, not a quote.

    My point was only that slime evolved billions of times into successively more evolved species that eventually included eyes. Yes it is not quite the same as a 6 day god creation, 6,000 years ago.

    But I would have more respected your understanding than this faux indignation.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As former ancestral slime, I note how sensitive we are to our environment. Must be part of our karma/evolution/creation ...

    :p

    and now back to basics ...

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Okay, @How, then that was a lousy interpretation.

    I'm quite aware how evolution works. I have 2 degrees the geosciences, with an emphasis on paleontology, specifically invertebrate paleontology. That doesn't mean that I have to swallow every iota of the theory about how evolution works.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Even as a person trained in paleontology, the "eye issue" is an example of natural selection that I most have a problem with.

    The new Cosmos had a great segment on it in their evolution episode, I think it was the second one. I also found a good TED-Ed video on it

    Shoshin
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    So here's the problem I have with that video. It supposes that it's all fact, when it's not. I particularly disliked the script at 1:59 when it says something along the lines of "transparent cells covering the opening to prevent infection", as if it was all planned. I call that kind of wording the Marlin Perkins syndrome.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I'll tell you something I find interesting about this thread. For a very long time I have realized (as have many of you) that there are many people out there who dismiss the theory of evolution "out of hand", without knowing very much about it.

    But I think it's just as true that there are many people out there who just accept the theory of evolution "out of hand", also without knowing very much about it. It's almost as if well educated people tend to want to be looked at as well educated, so they latch onto evolution with little background information. For example, without the Galapagos Islands, Darwin probably wouldn't have really developed his theory. And yet, I bet the VAST MAJORITY of believers couldn't point to the Galapagos Islands on a world map and be within 1,000 of being accurate.

    In paleontology lab, one of our early group assignments was to take a particular type of fossil and look for evolutionary changes. We were given, for example, examples of all the rugose (horn) corals, all labeled with genus and species, all with various poished cuttings across and along the axes, and the order in which the different rugose corals developed. What we were not allowed to do was look up information about the corals. Our task was to actually find evolutionary differences over time. Some were obvious andeasy. For example, most life forms grow larger over their evolution, and then die off. But there was one Rugose coral that really stumped us for days. And finally one of the guys on our team noticed a tiny pattern in a polished section...a very slight modification of the concentric "lines" (getting rusty after all these years) going out from the center of the coral. And then you have to remember, that as you trace the evolution of a genus and species, all you are usually seeing is the hard structure since relatively few fossils exist with soft tissue intact.

    Any idea that evolution is down pat is simply wrong. There are too many dead-ends that are inexplicable. Too many "missing links" that are as yet undiscovered.

    Shoshin
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