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Word Gems 

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Editor's Essay

Evolution
 

the interplay of habit and creativity in nature as an "unfolding," the literal meaning of "evolution"; a vector, a force with a direction, leading us to a progressively-manifesting, non-static cosmos, one of perpetual becoming rather than being

 


 

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"To suppose the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Charles Darwin, The Origin Of Species, 1859

“… the thought of the eye made me cold all over." Charles Darwin, letter to Asa Gray, 1860

 

the double A+

Fifty years ago, to satisfy a high school English-class assignment, I spoke before my fellow senior students on the controversial subject of biological evolution.

Armed with tantalizing anti-evolution information secured from a biblical-creationist church, like a severe and humorless Old Testament prophet, I mounted the lectern with an air authority and stern-mindedness. Later, in college public-speaking classes, as I recount elsewhere, I would suffer extreme stage fright, sometimes, freezing up so violently that I’d have to sit down before I fell down. But not on this day of my evolution speech; on that day, I was a boy on fire with his message.

Editor’s note: As I prepared these introductory comments, I decided to dredge up some of those old anti-evolution articles from the church, just to see what I’d think about them now. I readily found all of them online, an entire archival library. The church itself no longer exists, having been splintered into numerous competing factions, a casualty of egoic in-fighting. As I reviewed these old writings, however, it quickly became evident that the church’s argument against evolution, in the main, fell into a category of what today is known as “tangled hierarchies,” which I will discuss.

the archerfish

My talk issued as diatribe against the logical inconsistencies of Darwinism. It went something like this:

“Natural selection allows some animals to survive while others become extinct. But if an animal is surviving, why does it need to evolve? There are some animals living today, like the coelacanth fish, whose bodily shape is the same as millions of years ago. Why didn’t these life forms evolve? Presumably, they’ve been surviving just fine with no need to change, obviated the need for evolution. But if an organism needs to develop certain abilities to make it more competitive, how does this happen? If it occurs gradually over a long period of time, as Darwinism suggests, what allows the creature to survive during the interim? What good is a half-developed eye, or a half-developed lung, or a half-developed wing? The animal wouldn’t survive with partially-constructed features; natural selection itself, perceiving no advantage to partially-constructed morphic elements, would discard these unfinished works. Consider the archerfish:

"Refraction, as we know, is the bending of light, which occurs in a medium such as water. Bent light makes things appear to be what, and where, they are not. The archerfish has somehow solved this refraction problem. Presently, it can aim, without distorted view, a jet of water at its prey with great accuracy. But if the archerfish needed this ability or advantage to survive, how did it feed itself in the meantime? And if it had other means to feed itself, then why develop the new ability?”

I went on to point out that Nature is filled with this kind of catch-22 conundrum. Virtually every species, indeed, every aspect of the body, might be analyzed this way.

In subsequent days after my speech, a friend came to me. Confiding that I'd altered her point of view, she'd also conducted a quick poll among our peers and said, “About half the class agrees with you, and half are opposed.” Jim Olig, our English teacher, apparently, a closet anti-evolutionist, loved this information so much that he awarded my efforts an unheard-of double A+.

how does my white-hair perspective judge this today

There are many problems. That seventeen year-old boy had no idea.

There were no winners that day; both sides got it wrong. While biblical creationism has a few points in its favor, and Darwinism has some credit on its side, both camps substantially miss the mark of what’s going on here.

Below, you will find approximately 100 sub-articles exploring the minutia of this vast and contentious subject. Much more could be said, and there can be no absolute final answers right now, but we can understand some things.

But, I know what you want to ask: Why are both sides wrong, and how is that possible? They get it wrong because, as Nobel laureate Dr. Richard Feynman and other physicists, such as Dr. Amit Goswami, suggest, quantum mechanics and “The Double-Slit Experiment” change everything.

As such, all of the scientific disciplines, including biology – and let’s include religion, too, as it presumes to offer a cosmology – must be re-evaluated and re-stated in light of “the only mystery” of science.

 

bite-sized packets of information

 

Editor’s note: The following short sub-articles -- eventually, numbering 100 or more -- will later be sorted under topical headings.

 

please click on each link-icon

The reason behind the reason for what most people believe.

Why only the virtuous find the truth.

Intelligent Design, yes, but not Biblical Creationism; Evolution, yes, but not Darwinism

Biblical Creationism and Darwinism speak at each other, conduct themselves as rival religions and should be viewed as such

Biblical Creationism does not adequately address the many facets of the emergence of biological life

High school and college kids are not taught that biology is not a true science – not like chemistry and physics.

The unproven dogmatic foundations, the materialistic assumptions, of Darwinistic biology

Not Enough Time, Part I: "Given enough time,” the mantra of Darwinists, chance and randomness will create life on Earth and “pigs will fly.” However, mathematical probability models reveal that there is not enough time in the entire history of the universe to create life; nor in 10 universes, or 100, or 1000. There is zero chance that life could have evolved as a function of probability.

Not Enough Time, Part II: A simple protein molecule is far too complex for randomness to have produced it without a timespan equal to the duration of billions or trillions of universes.

 

give us one free miracle, and we'll explain the rest

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake: "As my friend Terence McKenna used to say, modern science is based on the principle, 'Give us one free miracle, and we'll explain the rest'. And the one free miracle is the appearance of all the matter and energy in the universe, and all the laws that govern it, from nothing, in a single instant."

And if you would be so kind, make that a couple "miracles," as the issue of life's origin, too, is a little tricky.

 

 

The Anthropic Principle: Part I: Was the Universe Created with Humans in Mind?

The Anthropic Principle: Part II: Why the Anthropic Principle is Undoubtedly True: the most fundamental question is not, why did life evolve this way or that, but – why is there such a thing as life at all?

How Modern Science has falsified the claims of Biblical Creationism

Where are the "missing links"? Darwinism is a theory of gradualism, of slow, continuous, incremental biological change over very long periods of time. But the fossil record does not support this view.   

Toppling the pillars of Darwinism: A survey of evolution’s major “proofs”

Kairissi and Elenchus discuss what we’ve learned so far: Part I

Preliminary comments on The Science Wars: Dr. Rupert Sheldrake versus TED, Wikipedia, and Materialistic Academia: “Where’s the blueprint in nature for all that we see around us?”

How the Fear of Death enters the Evolution Debate.

 

"The big idea is that the laws of nature are more like habits."

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake: "The big idea is that the ‘laws’ of nature are more like habits. There’s a kind of memory in nature. Things happen as they do because they’ve happened that way before. Every species has a kind of collective memory; every individual [of the species] draws on that collective memory and, in turn, contributes to it… I’m suggesting that this kind of memory works through a process I call morphic resonance, the influence of ‘like upon like,’ across space and time. And this memory is carried and expressed through fields, morphic fields. The word ‘morphic’ comes from the Greek word ‘morphe,’ meaning form or shape. These are fields that order self-organizing systems… These fields organize energy… [This is the] big picture.”

Editor's note: "The big idea," as Dr. Sheldrake has it, is that biological evolution is but mere subset of a vast cosmic progression, a continual reordering of reality.

 

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: What is morphogenesis?

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: What is a morphic field?

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: What is a morphogenetic field?

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: What is morphic resonance?

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: A brief history of the “field” concept in science.

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: A survey of the evidence for morphic fields

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: A survey of the evidence for morphic resonance

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: Creodes: limiting the choices, directing an organism's growth, toward specific objectives

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: Holons: morphic fields as hierarchical structure: parts within wholes, wholes as parts

Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s Theory of Morphogenesis: Dr. Richard Dawkins and the almighty Selfish Gene: “DNA moves in mysterious ways” and will “aspire to immortality.”

Darwinism's main objection to Dr. Sheldrake's morphogenesis

The Human Genome Project of 2000: One of the greatest disappointments in the history of scientific research

Predicting the structure of cells on the basis of the interactions of millions of proteins and other molecules would unleash a combinatorial explosion of possible arrangements superseding the number of all the atoms in the universe

Kairissi and Elenchus discuss what we’ve learned so far: Part II

 

eliminate the impossible, what remains is the truth

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, speaking as Sherlock Holmes: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Editor’s note: Investigating the origin of evolution we will find particularly difficult. Certainty will prove elusive, we can only speculate, concerning primordial conditions of the Earth; further, no one has ever actually seen evolution in action; as such, for many of our questions, we cannot apply the classic scientific method, in terms of reproducible and controlled experimentation. Mindful of this systemic challenge, Conan Doyle’s advice becomes an important tool for our searchings.

The mystery of biological evolution, so complex, so shrouded in primeval origin, leads us to despair of arriving at final, absolute answers. However, we can know some things.

Now, many months into this enquiry, it’s becoming clearer that the way forward is to whittle away at the false claims, the standard-fare materialistic promotion, the things that evolution could never be; in time, we trust, with encouragement from Dr. Holmes, the remaining hidden part, a closely-guarded secret of Nature, virtually by default, might reveal its identity.

Sir Arthur, by the way, was also one of the premier afterlife-researchers of his day.

 

 

From Pythagoras to Darwin: A Brief History of the Unspoken Underlying Metaphysical Assumptions of Modern Science and How They Affect the Evolution Debate

The Ghost in the Cosmic Machine: How the Underlying Metaphysical Assumptions of Modern Science Require an Actuating Force, an Original Unmoved Mover, "One Free Miracle," to Make It All Work

MicroEvolution vs. MacroEvolution: The first is patently true, evidentially around us everywhere, but the second is mere fable, untenable materialistic dogmatism.

Circular Reasoning and Promissory Notes: How the House of Darwin is built.

Lamarckianism makes a big come-back via Epigenesis. Heredity depends both on Genes and Morphic Resonance.

Morphic Resonance and Memory: just as appropriate genes are necessary for normal morphogenesis, an appropriate nervous system is necessary for normal behavior. Chemical or physical disturbances of the nerves can affect behavior, just as disturbances of genes and proteins can affect morphogenesis. But behavior is no more programmed in the nervous system than morphogenesis is programmed in the genes.

 

consciousness, not matter, is the ground and substance of all reality

Amit Goswami is a university professor and a writer of textbooks of quantum physics

 

consciousness does not exist within us, we exist within consciousness; consciousness is the only objective reality, the only thing that’s ‘real,’ with all other elements of the universe deriving being from consciousness

 

 

An introduction to the work of Professor Amit Goswami: What are the implications of his overriding precept, “consciousness is the ground of all being”? It means that all things, all subjects, ourselves, as well, will be defined by aspects of consciousness. Biological evolution as a creative process will not be excluded.

Biblical Creationism and Darwinism both become a “one-trick pony” in an attempt to explain life around us by one central too-simplistic argument.

The "epicycles" of Darwinism: not everything that's logical or mathematically consistent is true or accurately represents reality.

A Clashing of Two Governing Principles of the Natural World: a tendency toward Entropy and a march toward greater Complexity. How can both rule the universe?

Natural selection is built upon survivability; complexity has no role in the process; the problem of entropy is not addressed. 

Darwinists speak only of gradual change. But the fossil record indicates that evolution works both by gradualism and by sudden jumps of creativity.

There is no such thing as “gaps” in the fossil record. We should expect to find spaces. The concept of “gap” is part of Darwinism’s gradualism.

Materialists offer objection: How can a non-material Intelligent Designer interact with material biological form, with matter? How can two entirely different substances, with nothing in common, impose causation, one upon the other?

 

in the quantum paradigm, biological evolution is but one small facet of a universe led by creative impulse, a mandate for greater complexity, an upward spiraling of increased awareness and sentience

 

Interviewer: “What’s wrong with the old worldview?”

Dr. Goswami: “The old worldview was Newtonian, [a strictly cause-and-effect clockwork universe]. In that worldview, everything is deterministic, we are machines, and cannot change.”

READ MORE

 

 

 

Alfred Russel Wallace, a leading scientist of his day, was a co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the Theory of Natural Selection. However, after further investigation, Wallace began to harbor severe doubts that natural selection could account for the development of man’s intellect and consciousness. Wallace also was drawn to the evidence for the afterlife.

In quantum physics, objects are depicted as possibilities. Gene mutations are also quantum processes and must be treated as such.

What good is one quarter of an eye or a tenth of a wing? A trait is useful for survival only when it is fully developed. Organismic biologists challenge traditional Darwinistic biologists, holding that the evolutionary emergence of a new trait cannot be a gradual, bit-by-bit process.

Was the long neck of the giraffe produced by a slow accumulation of genetic variations? This Darwinistic concept of gradualism is too simplistic. Longer neck vertebrae could not be produced in isolation but would require a concurrent cluster of supporting bodily modifications.

A closer look at the famous experiment by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, billed as “life created in a test-tube.” In reality, we find here a classic example of Sheldrake’s indictment, “give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.”

 

You think you know how the world works? You think you know what's real? 

Doctor Strange (2016), The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)


The Ancient One: “You think you know how the world works? You think that this material universe is all there is? What is real? What mysteries lie beyond the reach of your senses? At the root of existence, mind and matter meet. Thoughts shape reality.” 


at the architectonic, the elemental, level of reality, pure consciousness gives rise to phenomenal existence, what we call matter; which is but one expression of consciousness

Editor’s note: “Doctor Strange” offers a glimpse of a hidden quantum world in which pure thought directs and controls the definition of what is real. The movie, however, in Hollywood form, mixes too much error with fact for it to serve as faithful guide; nevertheless, this cinematic production manages to introduce us to an extremely important principle concerning how the universe really works. We will be looking at this in detail later as we examine new “double slit” experiments and how these impact the subject of biological evolution. In the meantime - reminiscent of a timepiece Christine offered to Stephen – ask yourself, “What mysteries lie beyond the reach of your senses?” 

 

 

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: Matter enters the “world of form” when quantum possibility waves collapse into particles via an observing consciousness. But, who gets to observe and decide? - The parable of Schrodinger’s Cat.

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: How does an observing consciousness collapse a possibility wave?

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: What evidence do we have that the observing consciousness is a Universal Consciousness?

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: How does Universal Consciousness overcome the problem of entropy to inject creativity into the process?

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: Does Universal Consciousness collapse possibility waves through the agency of human, or even animal, awareness?

Evolution’s Quantum Underpinnings: Biologist Charles Birch points out that there are two ways to think of the relationship of life and matter.

 

plowing at night, discussing evolution with my cousin Tom, overturning untenable ideas with the topsoil

 

As a boy I spent many hundreds of hours plowing at night. Dad and Uncle Joe would sometimes work together during spring planting. I looked forward to this joint effort as I’d have opportunity to see my cousin Tom. Normally, he and I would run our own tractors, but one evening, I don’t recall why, we spent a few hours together on a ponderous John Deere, lumbering up and down a long field immediately adjacent to Grandma’s old farmyard. It was great fun to talk with Tom. Though 50 years ago, I still remember our animated discussion of biological evolution, as I shared my findings for the English-class speech assignment. 

It’s all so strange and unreal to me now; several life-times ago. Also, but for a few small points here and there, most of what we talked about would prove to be incorrect: our data was fragmentary, incomplete, or non-existent; further, there was too much emphasis on biblical creationism. In fact, to my present dismay, I now perceive that I was wrong on just about everything in my life at that time.

However, I will give myself credit for one thing, a saving grace that might redeem unmindfulness wherever its found. Though my disengaged, lackluster academic efforts in high school heralded no great coming accomplishment, I would soon enter a better mind-frame of staying with certain questions and mysteries over protracted periods of time, years and decades.

Like plowing into the late hours, long fortitude, seeded with research and contemplation, will eventually yield a harvest of good fruit, for any of us.

 

 

 

 


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