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Is Our Universe Conscious?

What is known as ‘panpsychism’, the interesting theory is based around the idea that the universe as we know it is a conscious entity, and the stars and other planetary bodies actually possess thought and are able to direct themselves.

While it sounds like a beautiful crossover between science fiction and fantasy, the theory is starting to gain traction and is garnering more followers amongst the scientific community, and ultimately is something difficult to disprove.

Gregory Matloff, a physicist from the New York City College of Technology, recently published a new paper on the topic, and suggest a ‘proto-consciousness field’ could extend across the entire universe and that, just like humans, the universe may be self aware.

“It’s all very speculative, but it’s something we can check and either validate or falsify,” he said.

Panpsychism’s roots can be traced back 30 years ago to the work of British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, who put forward the notion the conscious universe is rooted in the statistical rules of quantum physics, in relation to the microscopic spaces between neurons in the brain.

German physicist Bernard Haisch also backs this theory, suggesting that quantum fields which permeate empty space are responsible for transmitting consciousness. This then not only manifests in our brains, but in any sufficiently complex structure.

As our understanding of the universe and quantum physics – as well as our understanding of ourselves – grows, will this ever be something we could truly prove or understand?