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Friday, 10 June 2016

What is the purpose of death? (2)

I have an idea, a possible answer to my question. Perhaps the purpose of death is to separate information (ie, consciousness) from its physical constraints (ie, the body). Like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and loses its physical constraints (ie, cocoon). Scientific American: “To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures”. In ancient Greek and Latin, the soul of a dead person is associated with the butterfly (eg, link, Wiki).

This thought occurred to me as I recently read a recent Science Alert article that Stephen Hawking "found a possible solution to his black hole information paradox - or in other words, he'd come up with a potential explanation for how black holes can simultaneously erase information and retain it”. I trust my readers will also notice the analogy between black holes and death.

SA: “Our original understanding of black holes, according to Einstein's generally theory of relativity, is that everything that crosses the event horizon - the boundary of a black hole - is lost forever”. It's quite interesting that the very same is usually argued about human death unless you have a religious background and believe in a hereafter (eg, Heaven, Hell).

SA: “But then in the 1970s, Hawking proposed that radiation actually can escape from a black hole, because of the laws of quantum mechanics. Put very simply, he suggested that when a black hole swallows one half of a particle-antiparticle pair, the other particle radiates away into space, stealing a little energy from the black hole as it leaves”. In religious terms, this phenomenon would represent our soul departing from our dead body, like a butterfly.

SA: “The problem is that, according to Hawking's best calculations, that radiation would contain no useful information about what the black hole ate - the information swallowed up would have been lost forever”. Essentially, the information in our consciousness would be lost forever when the body dies and the soul transcends.

Dennis Overbye (New York Times): "The Universe, like a kind of supercomputer, is supposed to be able to keep track of whether one car was a green pickup truck and the other was a red Porsche, or whether one was made of matter and the other antimatter. These things may be destroyed, but their 'information' - their essential physical attributes - should live forever."

SA: “But Hawking thinks he finally has a solution to the problem - black holes might actually have a halo of 'soft hair' surrounding them, which are capable of storing information. [] What does that mean for the rest of us? As Hawking explained in a talk last year: "[Black holes] are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. If you feel you are trapped in a black hole, don’t give up. There is a way out."

I think, feel and believe that black holes and human death may have a lot in common. Perhaps our consciousness is able to join eternal “information networks of light” (eg, halos) which are somehow able to tap into our human dimension and generate things that we usually refer to as ESP, ideas, inventions, unknown knowns (eg, intuition), unknown unknowns (eg, dreams, fantasies).

Jason Mraz - Butterfly (2008) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

But you don't fold, you don't fade
You've got everything you need, especially me
Sister you've got it all
You make the call to make my day
In your message say my name
Your talk is all the talk, sister you've got it all

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