Darwin's Doubt, by Stephen C. Meyer

mb

The Living Force
Approaching Infinity said:
...Exactly. And the image of going around in circles is perfect. When you read Meyer's books, that's the exact image that formed for me. With each new theory, it's like these scientists know at some level that they're dealing with a huge mystery, but every new theory they come up with only pushes the real problem back and suffers the same problems as all the other ones: the origin of specified information. Because they CAN'T admit mind into their equations, they're stuck trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and it's quite maddening to see them continually miss the crux of the matter.

For me, it evokes the same feeling as listening to (he narrated his own audiobook) Rupert Sheldrake and seeing people refusing to look at what is there, over and over and over again.

Perhaps belief systems behave a bit like stable physical systems. Once established, it can take quite a bit of energy to break them up -- more than is available from outside, it would seem.

Although my experience with my own belief systems is that the strong ones don't fall from being hit with outside energy. They fall from me persistently examining inconsistencies and asking questions, along with "nudges" from the universe here and there. And it's not just asking questions -- it's questioning one's OWN assumptions. Perhaps that is what is missing with authoritarian followers?
 

mb

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I am reminded of an experience I had in college. I was seeing a psychologist (that worked for the school) to try to figure out what was up with me (turned out, decades later, to be Asperger's). One of the early things he did was give me a simple puzzle to solve, consisting of a number of pieces that fit together to form a square.

I started assembling, and soon hit a dead end. After a pause, I started over and quickly completed the puzzle. The psychologist acted surprised, which I thought was weird. Who wouldn't start over when what they are doing isn't working? Well, I had a a whole lot to learn. There must be any number of highly-acclaimed scientific authorities that couldn't solve that puzzle in a short time.

It seems to me that the key to solving this kind of puzzle, no matter how simple or complex, is to unconsciously pursue parallel solution paths. When one doesn't work, toss it and pick another. Who cares that it didn't work? There is no right or wrong there (to put it in authoritarian terms).

So I wonder if we don't have a whole bunch of people on this planet that just don't think that way? Maybe they're not connected to some outside input that the parallel processing uses? I don't know, but I think there could be something mighty interesting going on behind the scenes.
 

United Gnosis

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Shijing said:
I think that's more or less it -- the research mentioned above on symbiogenesis and TE-thrust are entirely valid research hypotheses and very interesting, but they are parts of the evolution toolbox, not self-contained mechanisms. What's missing is the intelligent organizing principle (information theory and the information field) which it would be most parsimonious to suggest operates at a hyperdimensional level.

To be fair, wouldn't it suffice for these tools to be available, through which hyperdimendional influences affect us? This being a (seemingly) causal universe, it makes sense that such influences would not appear out of nowhere but rather manifest themselves through various causal pathways.

(Let's make my current framework explicit, which doesn't even need to go beyond scientific reductionism to be plausible. If we pride ourselves of the "complexity" of our meatbag vehicles - built on very slow to decently paced biomechanical and electrochemical processes, in all humility we would also have to admit the possibility that cosmic bodies, being multiple orders of magnitude vaster and utilizing insanely more powerful nuclear and electromagnetic processes - as well as a greater depth of electrochemical and mechanical processes analog to our own - we would have to admit that such cosmic bodies very probably embody forces of life and consciousness way beyond our ken.)

This is the best working hypothesis I've needed so far, and most of you will probably see scarce opposition with your own views. If we entertain this idea for a second, which are the mechanics such intelligences could use to manifest themselves?

I don't want to pontificate, but have not seen anyone mention this even though it is the most obvious answer - that is, using the means we already know but towards ends we didn't expect.

For instance, the earth's magnetic field is weakening, and apparently has been for at least the last two centuries. Correlation is not causation, but it is curious that this would happen at this particular junction in history, it becomes an interesting coincidence, especially as under reductionist thought nothing that happens on the surface has any means of affecting the magnetic core.

The electromagnetic field weakening means that the surface is increasingly exposed to external signals. The solar winds off regular coronal holes suddenly are strong enough to trigger geomagnetic storms. The sun seems to be starting a new Maunder minimum, killing its sunspots as their start facing us so that the earth is no longer sufficiently energized from solar flares, collapsing the atmosphere.Gamma bursts from distant systems are as a constant chatter in the background. Hell, even the Sun's blackbody rad ation could easily be variating in pseudo-random manners, which would be hardly detectable statistically yet such an admission would imply that the sun is a biophoton emitter that carries meaning through electromagnetic radiation.

Do we really need to look far outside of these factors - and all the unexplained mechanisms that they imply? For all I know, the constant electromagnetic soup we swim in could be plenty to explain the apparent intelligent design factor in evolution - indeed, according to my tentative view it is not soup but rather a constant chatter from plausibly hyperdimensionally conscious sources, and isn'ta well placed gamma ray here, UV there plenty to explain how random mutations or even TE-thrust aren't that random?
 

Approaching Infinity

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United Gnosis said:
Do we really need to look far outside of these factors - and all the unexplained mechanisms that they imply? For all I know, the constant electromagnetic soup we swim in could be plenty to explain the apparent intelligent design factor in evolution - indeed, according to my tentative view it is not soup but rather a constant chatter from plausibly hyperdimensionally conscious sources, and isn'ta well placed gamma ray here, UV there plenty to explain how random mutations or even TE-thrust aren't that random?

One question: How can electromagnetism cause specific mutations in a gene, when the probability of finding those specific mutations is 1 in 10^74? And how can it do this repeatedly and consistently? What quality of electromagnetism might allow it to do that?

If we want to use "the tools available", such tools exist: intelligence. And intelligence has some remarkable abilities, including producing specified information with astronomical improbabilities (simple language and thought), accessing information without the means of the senses (i.e., telepathy/clairvoyance), and changing probabilities and effecting information flow to distant objects (i.e., psychokinesis).
 

United Gnosis

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Intelligence is not the tool, it is the source. I do not know of the physics of psychokinesis, and it is possible for it to use a different vector (especially if it is nonlocal, which I have heard as a possibility) but I was suggesting that the means of hyperdimensional intelligence manifestation could very well be electromagnetic (among others).

I'm sure you know very well that electromagnetism is light, which is the manner of energy transmission between electrically charged particles. I.e. photons are the mediators of every. Single. Electrochemical. Reaction. Ever. [Edit: And also of things we don't usually think of as electrochemical. For example, two atoms bouncing off each other will involve one or more photon exchanges. Two complex molecules such as proteins bouncing or interacting in any way will most probably involve thousands such interactions. As will a protein folding in one way or another, or an amino acid "deciding" whether to bounce off or react, etc. Mastery over electromagnetism is both necessary and sufficient in such a case where intelligence would wish to effect such mutations.] Also, remember that a photon, while traveling at relativistic speeds for us, from its own perspective does not know time. It exists in a single flash of instantaneous being, encompassing a phase-space which links its two endpoints in spacetime. If (that is a big If, but these are the realmsnwe are exploring) the hyperdimensional intelligence behind its emission occupies a similar phasespace which lies beyond the limitations of spacetime, it similarly encompasses all of it in its instantaneous/eternal being.

Hard to put into words. I.e, the sun could very well Know that a specific photon could be emitted - among a choice of countless others - which interacts in this or that way. From a relativistic perspective, the phpton ariving at its end and effecting the universe in some way is simultaneous to its being caused by its source. If the sun is on a similar level of being, it can simply choose in which way to effect through the selection of a given photon emission or another. Thus it can finetune for the selection kf such astronomical odds.
 

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United Gnosis said:
Hard to put into words. I.e, the sun could very well Know that a specific photon could be emitted - among a choice of countless others - which interacts in this or that way. From a relativistic perspective, the phpton ariving at its end and effecting the universe in some way is simultaneous to its being caused by its source. If the sun is on a similar level of being, it can simply choose in which way to effect through the selection of a given photon emission or another. Thus it can finetune for the selection kf such astronomical odds.

I think the problem is that you are trying to explain a top-down process (e.g., information, the ability of a whole to organize its parts) in terms of bottom-up processes. There's nothing we know about purely physical processes, like electromagnetism, that can determine higher-order levels of complexity like specified information. Without intelligent input from some level, they result in either randomness, or repeated patterns (like crystal formation, vortexes, etc.), i.e., lawful outcomes. As Keith Ward writes in "Information and the Nature of Reality" :

Even though no new physical entities are involved [in higher levels of organization], the way the basic physical entities interrelate and organize means that integrated and complex entities act in accordance with new principles, not deductively derivable from nor reducible to those of their simpler physical constituents.

I think it's definitely possible that intelligences use 'known physical processes' like EM to direct the kinds of informational events we're talking about here. That's what Rupert Sheldrake posits, after all, with his theory of morphic fields guiding statistical events, including quantum and electromagnetic. But the point is, how exactly do they do so? The problem with Sheldrake's theory is that it, too, is mechanistic (see Stephen Braude's review of A New Science of Life for details). The fact is, only MIND has the ability match up a possible form to an actual one, to direct one state to a specific, different one. And as far as I know, other than direct physical contact (i.e., a person working through their body in a physical lab), the only means for a mind to direct a physical process that we know about is through some kind of non-local influence, and the name we have for that is PK. In other words, maybe we're not really disagreeing here? Directed photons are still directed. But, by what means are they directed?
 

shijing

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Approaching Infinity said:
Even though no new physical entities are involved [in higher levels of organization], the way the basic physical entities interrelate and organize means that integrated and complex entities act in accordance with new principles, not deductively derivable from nor reducible to those of their simpler physical constituents.

I think it's definitely possible that intelligences use 'known physical processes' like EM to direct the kinds of informational events we're talking about here. That's what Rupert Sheldrake posits, after all, with his theory of morphic fields guiding statistical events, including quantum and electromagnetic. But the point is, how exactly do they do so? The problem with Sheldrake's theory is that it, too, is mechanistic (see Stephen Braude's review of A New Science of Life for details). The fact is, only MIND has the ability match up a possible form to an actual one, to direct one state to a specific, different one. And as far as I know, other than direct physical contact (i.e., a person working through their body in a physical lab), the only means for a mind to direct a physical process that we know about is through some kind of non-local influence, and the name we have for that is PK. In other words, maybe we're not really disagreeing here? Directed photons are still directed. But, by what means are they directed?

I also don't see a disagreement here necessarily, if I'm understanding the above correctly -- I think we've established a working model in which consciousness/intelligence is the prime mover in guiding evolution in the broad sense (i.e. not only biological evolution, but also things like crystal growth -- in the sense that Sheldrake describes where collective learning seems to occur -- as well as large-scale cosmic evolution). A primary question is about the interface between consciousness and the material world.

I agree that electromagnetism seems special in some way, and for it to have some role in information transfer and intelligent ordering is not mutually exclusive with AI's ideas about PK. There have been some hints that electricity and magnetism are manifestations of the EM spectrum at different densities, where electricity is the lower-density expression and magnetism the higher -- my question is what the exact relationship is between information and the EM spectrum, and if there is some information-bearing capacity in EM energy that may have been overlooked before now, at least in mainstream science. Colin Ross's theory, for example, is essentially that the soul is electromagnetic; magnetic computer memory might also be an "as above so below" clue about the EM information interface.
 

buz/p

Padawan Learner
Into the second reading of "Darwin's doubt". The concepts are becoming somewhat clearer in rational terms. My problem with discussing and critiquing the information and data as it unfolds in this thread is that I seem to arrive at my perceptions and conclusions more in an intuitive way than I see in the discussion. I admire the clear and precise discussion and wonder why I can't seem to think that way. This bothers me a lot.

Any way... I believe that Meyers is definitely on the right track. I have also gone through "The Fifth Option" twice and I am trying to combine/ reconcile these two approaches. I am convinced that Mind precedes brain as is shown convincingly in "Irreducible Mind". Everything follows from this: Construction of the first cell, the evolution of life which follows, the creation of new information.

Now I need to find a way to connect soul with these processes and I'm good to go. ;)
 

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buz/p said:
Into the second reading of "Darwin's doubt". The concepts are becoming somewhat clearer in rational terms. My problem with discussing and critiquing the information and data as it unfolds in this thread is that I seem to arrive at my perceptions and conclusions more in an intuitive way than I see in the discussion. I admire the clear and precise discussion and wonder why I can't seem to think that way. This bothers me a lot.

You're not alone there. I think the best way to develop precision is to keep reading, and also try writing in a journal. Try to distill your thoughts on paper. Then read over like your 'grading a paper' and make corrections, find flaws in your thinking, think of better ways to explain things, etc.

Any way... I believe that Meyers is definitely on the right track. I have also gone through "The Fifth Option" twice and I am trying to combine/ reconcile these two approaches. I am convinced that Mind precedes brain as is shown convincingly in "Irreducible Mind". Everything follows from this: Construction of the first cell, the evolution of life which follows, the creation of new information.

I'm not sure what 'mind precedes brain' means. Right now, for me, I see mind and matter both as necessary components of the universe. Mind couldn't exist without a material universe; a material universe couldn't exist without mind.

Now I need to find a way to connect soul with these processes and I'm good to go. ;)

Maybe 'soul' is another expression of information?
 

kenlee

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Approaching Infinity said:
buz/p said:
Now I need to find a way to connect soul with these processes and I'm good to go. ;)
Maybe 'soul' is another expression of information?

I always thought of the soul as having it's objective and subjective aspects. The objective part would be its material component, that is, the inner 'being bodies' that's talked about in the book 'In Search Of The Miraculous' and these inner bodies have a certain level of 'materiality' depending on the nature and quality of the inner body. The subjective part is the inner understanding based on the development and growth of the inner bodies. So before the inner body is developed the inner mind of the developing soul is still in a subjective unformed state but as the being body develops then what was formally experienced as subjective, formless and 'inside,' now becomes something that is more objective, has form and is now 'outside' (that is, is now an existent 'material' inner body). I think the soul as "another expression of information" is a good definition since, perhaps, the soul can be viewed as the mind that has a certain degree of organization to it. In other words maybe the soul is an organized mind in some way and in that sense the organized mind is that which processes and then expresses the information or something like that?
 

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kenlee said:
I think the soul as "another expression of information" is a good definition since, perhaps, the soul can be viewed as the mind that has a certain degree of organization to it. In other words maybe the soul is an organized mind in some way and in that sense the organized mind is that which processes and then expresses the information or something like that?

I think so. I like Whitehead and Griffin's description of 'individuals' (i.e., any self-organizing system, e.g., atoms, molecules, cells, bodies, minds) as essentially self-creating. Every individual creates itself out of the causal influences acting on it, both physical and mental, by choosing which possible state to actualize in any given moment. For example, a proton has very limited options with which to self-create. Humans have orders of magnitude more freedom in this regard. (But even then, just as a proton, we can be highly habitual, passively 'choosing' to recreate the same routines and never creating anything new or better.) Every part of the cosmos is an information receiver, processor, and creator. Perhaps the soul is the information that we form or create through our everyday decisions and actions. Self-contradictory beliefs and behaviors create fragmented information, but coherent thought, feeling, and action create coherent information, i.e., true information. Lies (bad information) lead to disintegration, while truth (good information) leads to stability. I think this may have something to do with life after death. Highly fragmented souls may not be able to 'survive', the fragmented parts dissolving into a soul pool, but highly coherent souls may have the necessary stability to live on without a stable body.
 

shijing

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Approaching Infinity said:
I think this may have something to do with life after death. Highly fragmented souls may not be able to 'survive', the fragmented parts dissolving into a soul pool, but highly coherent souls may have the necessary stability to live on without a stable body.

I think that makes a lot of sense; it's worth exploring further.
 

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Shijing said:
Approaching Infinity said:
I think this may have something to do with life after death. Highly fragmented souls may not be able to 'survive', the fragmented parts dissolving into a soul pool, but highly coherent souls may have the necessary stability to live on without a stable body.

I think that makes a lot of sense; it's worth exploring further.

Working on it! Currently reading Stephen Braude's "Immortal Remains" to get a better handle on the survival evidence. Then it's just a matter of putting all the pieces together (ha!).
 

shijing

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Approaching Infinity said:
Working on it! Currently reading Stephen Braude's "Immortal Remains" to get a better handle on the survival evidence. Then it's just a matter of putting all the pieces together (ha!).

I just took a look and it looks good. It might be tough to find much written on this specific topic (coherence of the energy body), but let us know if you do. There are a couple of new books out based on the work of this guy Waldo Vieira (happyliza summarized some of it in her intro here) that might have some clues: Less Incomplete and Demystifying the out-of-body Experience. They're both quite pro-OBE and some discernment re: experience-chasing is needed, but they set up some useful architecture about energy bodies before and after death. There's a section in Less Incomplete on "Intruders" (aka spirit attachments) that I also found helpful in terms of explaining how the attachment mechanism might work.
 

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Shijing said:
I just took a look and it looks good. It might be tough to find much written on this specific topic (coherence of the energy body), but let us know if you do. There are a couple of new books out based on the work of this guy Waldo Vieira (happyliza summarized some of it in her intro here) that might have some clues: Less Incomplete and Demystifying the out-of-body Experience. They're both quite pro-OBE and some discernment re: experience-chasing is needed, but they set up some useful architecture about energy bodies before and after death. There's a section in Less Incomplete on "Intruders" (aka spirit attachments) that I also found helpful in terms of explaining how the attachment mechanism might work.

Considering how little is known about the 'energy body,' I don't have high hopes of finding anything concrete (ha!). At the very least, I just want a way to think about such things that makes sense. But thanks for the recommendations. When I get to that point, I'll check them out and see what they have to offer.
 
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