Did Consciousness Come First Or Did Matter?

Matter and Consciousness At some point in our lives, we have, unquestionably, been introduced to the concept of matter. In the simplest of terms, matter is any substance that possesses inertia and occupies physical space. There are numerous forms of matter, depending on their state, mass as well as their size. Explaining consciousness is a […]

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Matter and Consciousness

At some point in our lives, we have, unquestionably, been introduced to the concept of matter. In the simplest of terms, matter is any substance that possesses inertia and occupies physical space. There are numerous forms of matter, depending on their state, mass as well as their size.

Explaining consciousness is a tad bit harder than explaining matter. Consciousness refers to everything that you experience. A more natural methodology of explaining consciousness is it is something that you can experience when you are awake and while the activities are being performed around you.

The Collision of the Two Worlds

Traditional science, as we know it, has been powered by the Newtonian and Darwinian models of science. It is via these models that we have been led to believe that our existence is based upon the innumerable atoms and molecules that structure the world. This belief has been the cornerstone in the development of the numerous facets of science.

What this universe model lacks, is the understanding of the concept of consciousness. More so, because it is considered to be a topic discussed by the untrained or by deceivers. In fact, even the mere mention of the word can have cataclysmic implications on your complete career.

This, however, is beginning to change. With the advancements being made in science, more and more theoretical physicists are formulating questions regarding a universe built around the concept of consciousness. One of the fundamental questions, however, was that if we successfully incorporate consciousness within our universe, how can we determine the entity that came first. Was it matter that produced consciousness as its brainchild? Or was it consciousness that came first and gave birth to matter?

Theory 1: Birth of Consciousness Within A Material Universe

A material universe is one which all fundamental particles unite to form the world in front of us. It all starts with atoms. Atoms unite to form molecules when ultimately bump together to create the world within which we reside. Such a construct emulates the world as a giant mechanical clock, programmed to be studied in an objective manner. It has been for ages that this form of a construct has been implemented and followed. As a matter of fact, this form of construct has been considered as an eternal truth in formulating the way of science.

Theory 2: Consciousness Gave Birth To Matter

The world of theoretical physics has been going through a revolution. It is this revolution that has allowed us to formulate a consciousness-centric universe. In conformity with such a universe, we essentially state that the universe is alive. We also go ahead to state that it was the conscious universe that gave birth to the material universe.

By stating that the universe is alive, we are essentially stating that consciousness is omnipresent. Apart from this, we can also prove that intelligence, aliveness, and life arise from within the aforementioned consciousness residing within the universe.

Implementing such a universe has a huge advantage that we can benefit from. By assuming that we live in a conscious-centric universe, physicists need not go through the hassle of working our the emergence of life from a matter-centric universe.

The Volatility Present Within Matter and Consciousness

Slowly but surely, theoretical physics has begun to understand the importance of the presence of consciousness. Despite this, the complete topic is highly volatile in nature to be discussed, the prime reason for this being the views presented by individual physicists.

If there is one aspect of science that the scientific community concords to, it is the fact that matter is definitely not conscious. This can be proved by the means of Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence. Albert Einstein said that matter and energy are two sides of the same coin. Matter can be converted into energy and vice-versa. However, this is possible only when light is introduced within the equation. Only by introducing the speed of light within the equation can we initiate the transformation of matter or mass into energy.

Upon introducing consciousness within the equation, we find the need to introduce it as the form of energy that is organized and collected by the means of sensory perceptions. Introducing consciousness as an entity emerging from inert or non-conscious matter would mean going against the fundamental constructs the science.

This is the primary reason due to which there is a huge amount of volatility present within matter and consciousness.

The Shortcomings of A Conscious-Centric Universe

With the coming of the newer model of the universe, there are also numerous shortcomings that have accompanied it.

Notable physicist, Max Tegmark, points out that the newer model of the universe sets out numerous fundamental problems present within it. He says that a conscious-centric universe could generate massive complications in terms of quantum mechanics and information theory.  

Apart from Tegmark, philosophy mind professor, David Chalmers, also stressed on the problem that he named as the “hard problem of consciousness”. Essentially, he goes on to vocalize that however unclear the materialist viewpoint can be, consciousness can still be derived from matter.

Nonetheless, the vice-versa forms the “hard problem”. He said that it is beyond possible to visualize the existence of consciousness from non-consciousness. Physics can be used to explain the workings of biology, with the exception of one area: consciousness. He also goes on to say that the properties of dualism can be used to explain how consciousness can be used to interact and affect the physical world.


In conclusion, it wouldn’t be wrong for us to say that we are still very far from finding out whether we reside in a conscious-centric universe or a material-centric universe. Therefore, shifting towards the assumptions posed by a conscious-centric universe will definitely have numerous profound implications on science. However, what we can confirm is that every person will view the world from a different perspective depending on his beliefs and assumptions. And it is the same assumptions that will ultimately have profound implications on the future of science.

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