Does Intelligence Exist Within The Laws Of Physics?


Ayad Gharbawi

October 2, 2009

Can it be possible that the atoms simply ‘know’ what to do as they interact with other atoms and molecules? Do they have any degree of consciousness or self-awareness like animals do?

Or, are they like plants?

If you ask or question whether plants have any degree of consciousness and/or self-awareness, then I reply that it would be a meaningless question because we simply do not know what plants may think, feel or sense. How can we guess whether these seemingly inanimate creatures have any sense of consciousness? We do not know and there is simply no point for us trying to ‘find out’ what plants think or feel.

What about atoms, then?

Once again, I reply there is no way that we humans can judge whether they do or they do not have consciousness. Therefore, the question is a moot one. However, we do certainly know that atoms follow rules and rules as they interact in their own universe. So, if we ask our original question, ‘how’ do atoms ‘know’ what to do as they go on applying the rules of these mathematical laws, the answer must also be that we cannot know ‘how’ atoms apply the rules of the laws that govern their lives.

But this state of ignorance surely leaves us in a rather sorry state of affairs?

Not necessarily.

Atoms follow and obey rules and laws that we know about (so far) and we can ask this question: does that fact make the world of atoms full of ‘meaning’? Obviously, we must ask what do we mean by ‘meaning’? By using the term ‘meaning’ in our context, I mean that there is a degree of artistry, depths, profoundness to the laws and rules of atomic lives. In other words, were it not for these elegant rules of atomic life, and should the lives of atoms be governed by absolutely no rules or laws, then surely that state of affairs would not quite be meaningful, profound or inspiring?

Rules mean a degree of harmony, order, symmetry, elegance and, yes, intelligence, because those attributes that I have just mentioned are, in themselves, surely a sign of intelligence within the world of atoms?

Let us recall that atoms – like so many other facets of this universe – obey rules, laws, and axioms that are themselves elegantly expressed and concisely explained in mathematical notations and symbols.

Doesn’t that fact, in itself, express a degree of intelligence?

Yes, it does convey a sense of intelligence for the sheer mass of mathematical laws that govern the world of the atom is breathtaking and, I suspect, even people like Mr. Dawkins, would agree with this point.

Or, maybe not – maybe, the sense of ‘awe’ to them would be a meaningless subject. Perhaps, the very act of us simple humans being so impressed with the sheer mass and number of mathematical laws is a wrong emotion on our part.
Maybe, we pretentious humans need to strictly remove all of our emotions when discussing science. Period.

Perhaps they are correct.

So, we see that the laws that govern atoms and sub-atomic particles give an indication that there exists intelligence in their world. To repeat: by ‘intelligence’ I mean simply the existence of these mathematical rules – I am not trying to say that there exists other ‘powers’ out there that are themselves the ‘intelligent’ ones.

On the quantum level, as we know, sub-atomic particles (sap) can behave in contradictory ways and the rules here can be labelled as ‘bizarre’.

All of us know that a moving atom can be anywhere and that the act of observing it will reduce its function that allows us to pinpoint its exact whereabouts. Until observation is made, it would be pointless to ask, where the atom is at this moment in time. We cannot know.

Further, we can only know the exact whereabouts of an atom or its speed, but never both. We know that light paradoxically can be both a particle and a wave at the same time – these are some of the well known quantum rules. What they show is the even more fascinating laws that govern (sap). Again, to me, quantum laws show us an ever greater depth of intelligence in that part of our universe.

To some, expressions or labels such as ‘intelligence’ are an unacceptable use of language in the science of physics, since as we have seen, they will argue, that that term implies human emotion and the latter is strictly forbidden in science.
But who exactly decided, and by what authority, did they decide that human emotions are an unacceptable part of studying our physical world?

Indeed, before quantum, physicists such as these, were loath to even accept that human consciousness/observation had any role whatsoever in physics, and they were shown to be deadly wrong there. Indeed, quantum indicates, that consciousness is not only essential to the knowledge of matter, consciousness is the water or the life itself of our knowledge of the physics of sub-atomic matter.

Thus, it is quantum that introduced (some would say, ‘re-introduced’) the human mind back into the physics of matter.
Therefore, since the mind and consciousness are a fundamental aspect of our knowledge of physics, why can’t it be that ‘intelligence’ itself is also an integral aspect of the laws of physics of our universe?

Ayad Gharbawi


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