This is Your Cosmos Calling: Bang, Bang, Bang on the Door, Baby!
In fact, for a strict metaphysical naturalist, a human being probably has less value than “the planet” or “biodiversity,” but even that is an unwarranted assertion based upon the underlying metaphysic. For if the underlying metaphysic is to be self-consistent, it must insist that any meaning we encounter is entirely self-generated and ultimately meaningless, including the statement that there is no meaning. (Don't ask the naturalist how that last absolute statement is possible -- how monkeys can know the Absolute, even if it is absolutely nothing. But they most certainly can know absolutely nothing, especially if they are tenured monkeys.)
What is meaning? Meaning has to do with information. Even if we remove humans from the deuscussion and vice versa, our cosmos is filled with information such as DNA or the handful of mathematical parameters that govern the nature of the whirled process. In order for information to exist, one thing must be able to stand for, or symbolize, another. In ether worlds, the symbol and symbolized must be of a different order, the former more abstract than the latter.
So before we can even say anything else whatsoever about the cosmos, we have to concede that it is the kind of cosmos in which some things can symbolize and stand for other things -- almost as if the cosmos were having some kind of complex conversation with itself even before humans arrived on the scene. No matter where we mind, information is everywhen and where. When they study creation, scientific Adams are simply eavesdropping on the conversation, trying to get the details right without distorting the message. If that weren’t true, there would be nothing we could say or know about the cosmos.
Normally, when we think of information, we think of communication. The purpose of language, for example, is to communicate from subject to subject, interior to interior. But the cosmos was full of information before there were supposedly any sentient beings to pack or unpack the message. Now that we’re here, we can do that.
For example, we can trace information from the very edge of the cosmos -- the red shift -- all the way back to the primordial event that gave rise to the cosmos. But even then, we cannot get back to a time that there was “no information.” Rather, the best science will be able to do is come up with a mathematical equation that unifies the four fundamental forces of physics -- a “theory of everything” -- but that will still be an equation containing information, and therefore, meaning.
Even leaving aside Gödels’ theorems -- which would make it impossible in principle to discover any complete and consistent theory of everything -- this would have to be a very special occquation, because it will have to account for our bearthday presence. Obviously, any equation that is incompatible with the evolution of living beings capable of comprehending it will be a nonstarter, since we are undeniably here. Therefore, quantum cosmology us ultimately constrained by the presence of human knowers.
The paradoxes of quantum physics demonstrate without question that ours is a nonlocal cosmos that is thoroughly entangled with itself. Being that space and time are functions of each other, this must mean that the cosmos is not just spatially but temporally nonlocal, which helps to account for the mystery of memory, of the copresence of the past and present. Just as every part of the cosmos participates in every other part, all times are somehow copresent as well. This is reflected in dreaming, which may be a more normative form of thought than we appreciate. James Joyce certainly thought so.
Regarding the temporal entanglement of the cosmos, if you look up at a star in the night time sky, you are registering an event that likely took place before you were born -- indeed, perhaps before humans even existed. The sun, for example, happened eight or nine minutes ago. The nearest stars happened several years ago, while more distant ones happened thousands or millions of years ago. Quasars occurred so long ago that we are looking at an event from billions of years "back" in time. Britney Spears is so "yesterday," that her stardom might as well have been an eternity ago.
But what does it all mean? Oh, nothing. Just meaningless information. Or so says the slack-jawed materialist (which is an insult to Slack). Just meaningless information somehow entangled with a primate brain.
What's that? The cosmos gives you a sense of wonder? Oh, ignore that. “Wonderment” is not a source of empirical information, even though all great scientists have been guided by it. Awe? A sense of the sacred? Again, these are scientifically empty words that convey no information about the awesome adventure of scientific knowledge.
Okay, information is one thing. But why are the cosmos and the planet and some of the people on it so beautiful? The answer: they aren't, even though most any great mathematician would reject an equation out of hand if it were insufficiently beautiful, let alone a girl friend.
“Metaphysical naturalism” is so impoverished a philosophical view that it prides itself on its poverty. It denies itself all of the supernatural qualities that make the metaphysical naturalist possible. Could his impoverished philosophy possibly be true? Who knows, since his philosophy cannot make any meta-statement about itself. The most that the metaphysical naturalist can say is that his philosophy is truly not true, but that he’s working hard not to deny the illusion that it is true.
Since science cannot solve the really difficult philosophical coonundrums, it either eliminates the questions or reframes them in terms it can understand. Therefore, the metaphysic of scientific naturalism simply presupposes its own conclusions and omits the other 99% of reality, somewhat in the way that a neurotic individual reduces reality down to the scope of his compulsions and fixations. They don't live in the real world, but they do live in a secure and predictable, if rather crimped, one. To tell you the truth, it is a cosmos unworthy of man. As a matter of fact, it is a cosmos incapable of having given birth to man. At least a real man -- not the artificially intelligent kind.
Being that time is, as Einstein said, a "stubborn illusion," then if any part of the cosmos has ever been conscious at any time, then by definition it is as if all of creation has always been and always will be conscious at all times. I don't know if you can really prove that with airtight logic, but you certainly can by ironyclad translogical experience. It's another form of empiricism, but an empiricism that touches eternal objects, not just material ones. In fact, I'm touching one right now. Or vice versa.
When you boil it all down, the Cosmos is exactly as Petey has always said it is: a love shack, that is, a little old place where we can get together.