The Half-Truth of Darwinism, a Personal Opinion

Darwinism is incomplete because it only takes account of matter and ignores spirit.

Evolution is a process of matter ascending and spirit descending. It is a process whereby physical substance goes through process that prepares it to accommodate the descending spirit. The continuity of living matter is sustained by hereditary and it takes on various forms due to adaptive radiation. But these forces come from the earth and they tie organisms to the environment and lead only to specialization. They take organisms down ever narrowing paths. The fossil record is a tableau of forms that are frozen in their specializations, evolutionary dead ends. These earthly forces radiate from the centre.

The spiritual forces work in the opposite direction drawing the living substance outwards, emancipating it from the earthly forces. Through these forces organisms separate out from the earth as a plant grows towards the sun. Emancipation is evident in such things as inner temperature control, freeing of the upper limbs to perform creative functions rather than them being used for locomotion or support and taking responsibility for care of offspring.

It is only in the human form that the self-conscious ego can occupy physical substance as a material individual. This is the place on earth where matter and spirit meet. In as much as each of us know ourselves, we know the spirit within. And this is only possible because our form has been prepared in such a way that it can accommodate our ego, the spirit within.

80 thoughts on “The Half-Truth of Darwinism, a Personal Opinion

  1. It is only in the human form that the self-conscious ego can occupy physical substance as a material individual. This is the place on earth where matter and spirit meet. In as much as each of us know ourselves, we know the spirit within. And this is only possible because our form has been prepared in such a way that it can accommodate our ego, the spirit within.

    I began to doubt Darwinism in high school biology class. It was connected to the problem of consciousness. I mentioned it a few years back:

    https://uncommondescent.com/mind/the-paradox-of-consciousness-challenges-for-evolutionists-and-materialists/

    I had accepted the evolutionary story since elementary school. I think I accepted it after seeing diagrams like
    ape to man and visiting the Air and Space Museum and learning of our supposed origins. I didn’t find the story revolting. I found it kind of cool we were evolving and getting better and better.

    But as a freshman in high school, I began to doubt evolution when I considered the problem of consciousness. I remember sitting in class and the biology teacher gave the standard talking points. But for some reason, the fact I was conscious did not seem reducible to evolutionary explanations. Strange that I would even be perplexed about it as a high school student, but I was. That was the beginning of my doubts about Darwin…

    Years later, when I related the story to Walter ReMine, he explained to me consciousness poses a serious problem for evolution.

    He said something to the effect, “Say an animal has to flee a predator — all it has to do is run away. Why does it have to evolve consciousness in order to flee predators?” Mechanically speaking the animal can be programmed to flee or even hunt without having to be self-aware. Why does it have to evolve consciousness to do anything for survival?

    Why would selection favor the evolution of consciousness? How does selection select for the pre-cursors of consciousness? I don’t think it can. Ergo, consciousness didn’t evolve, or it’s just a maladaptation, or an illusion — or maybe it is created by God. Materialists can say consciousness is an illusion all they want, but once upon a time, when my arm was broken in a hang gliding crash, I felt real pain. It would have been nice if consciousness were an illusion back then, it wasn’t. Even with the questions of split-brain patients, something tells me that even if my consciousness had been split, there would still be a conscious entity feeling the pain from that shattered arm.

    If we consider the two cells (one from the mother and the other from the father) that conceive a human, are those cells conscious, sentient beings? Most will say they are not. But then these cells join and somewhere along the way, a conscious being emerges from a mechanical process? Something seems wrong with this picture. Something seems paradoxical. How can a purely mechanical process create consciousness?

    One way the paradox is resolved is to assume consciousness is more fundamental than matter and energy. That is the view of some physicists. Shockingly, the journal Nature allowed such a bold proposal in its prestigious pages:

    The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental.

    According to Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter…we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”
    ….
    The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual.

    Richard Conn Henry
    The Mental Universe: Nature Volume 436

    The Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer

    I suppose we cannot formally prove that view, but I sympathize with it, I accept it as true — if consciousness exists, it is in a separate realm than the mechanical, material universe.

    Can a Darwinist explain how selection selects for the pre-cursors of consciousness? Can a computer engineer say what number of bits is needed to implement it? I don’t think so. Logically it seems to transcend pure materialism (matter and energy). It is reassuring some physicists share this view as well. MIND and spirit, more than matter and energy, could well be the ultimate reality.

    Btw, Merry Christmas CharlieM!

  2. Do you have anything resembling evidence for any of the claims you make here? Some of us think evidence is important.

  3. stcordova,

    Sal,
    Have you ever explored the hard problem of consciousness, qualia?
    I didn’t realize you have gone through quantum consciousness theme… 🙂

    Have you read any of Penrose’s books?

    “In this book, I shall attempt to address the question of consciousness from a scientific standpoint. But I shall strongly contend-by use of scientific argument-that an essential ingredient is missing from our present-day scientific picture. This missing ingredient would be needed in order that the central issues of human mentality could ever be accommodated within a coherent scientific world-view. I shall maintain that this ingredient is itself something that is not beyond science-although, no doubt, it is an appropriately expanded scientific world-view that we shall need.” Roger Penrose Shadows of the Mind

  4. Darwinists have to dismiss consciousness because it reaches the levels beyond materialism… Even if consciousness is quantum, then they can kiss natural selection goodbye…

  5. John Harshman:
    Do you have anything resembling evidence for any of the claims you make here? Some of us think evidence is important.

    You’re not going to get any evidence from CharlieM. He’s not making claims; he’s just offering his personal opinion.

  6. stcordova: I began to doubt Darwinism in high school biology class.It was connected to the problem of consciousness…. I don’t think it can. Ergo, consciousness didn’t evolve, or it’s just a maladaptation, or an illusion — or maybe it is created by God.

    Yes, of course, because magic has proven sooooo effective as a way of explaining complex problems.

    I have trees in my yard that pre-date Darwin. Is there some good reason to suppose that the question of consciousness would be figured out in their lifetime? Is the schedule for when problems default to the transcendental posted somewhere?

  7. Darwinism is incomplete because it only takes account of matter and ignores spirit.

    An attempt to revitalize vitalism.

    Evolution is a process of matter ascending and spirit descending.

    I’ll drink to that.

    But don’t you have it backwards. “What goes up must come down” applies to matter, so it should be matter that is descending.

    But then, again, when you are in high spirits, your mood tends to get deflated. So spirits eventually go down also. I guess they both descend.

  8. J-mac:

    I didn’t realize you have gone through quantum consciousness theme… 🙂

    Have you read any of Penrose’s books?

    🙂

    Some of my first entry into ID was from the QM consciousness side, not biology.

    I’ve read sections of Emperor’s new mind. I had an essay on intelligent design and consciousness here:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-quantum-enigma-of-consciousness-and-the-identity-of-the-designer/

    I referenced Henry’s work. I actually walked by his office when I was a grad student at his school.

    This is the full essay by Henry and it has some interesting stuff like the Super Renniger experiment. Here is the full paper:

    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    Now when I studied Quantum Mechanics, it was mostly the more mundane stuff like the Spherical Harmonics and how the various “orbitals” and quantum numbers and spins are farmed out, solutions to Schrodinger’s equation, metal conductors, Hermitians, etc. I didn’t at all touch any of the more spiritual aspects of QM of interest to theologians….

    That said, when I briefly worked in a nano-molecular engineering group there was interest in Wheeler’s Double-slit delayed choice experiment which showed how the future can affect the present. YIKES! This was of some concern with the advent of quantum computers that could be subject to delayed-choice effects (as in the future actions affect present computations).

    The Double-Slit Delayed Choice Experiment was the beginning of the some of the ID movement in Physics by guys who were actually non-creationists. Nevertheless this explains a connection to of Quantum Mechanics to ID in subtle ways:

    http://physics.gmu.edu/~rubinp/courses/123/scientificamerican0792-94.pdf

    When I nearly left the Christian faith 17 years ago, I just started studying science and it persuaded me the to reconsider leaving the faith and instead remain in the faith. Since that time I also stopped believing the fossil record was old, I now believe it is young.

    I really miss physics as I’m in the process of getting a little training in biology.

    But in any case, nothing in the equations of physics suggested how consciousness came to be. So I was fascinated that a noticeable minority of physicists believe that at the root of reality must be some MIND that is not material. Even more important is that this MIND is implied by an interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

    So, quite by accident, I was looking at evidence at light speed anisotropy and I come up with research by Peter Morris that studied the Global Consciousness Project!!!! It ties quantum mechanics, relativity, and some data from the global consciousness project.

    Get a load of this. He took data from here at Princeton:
    http://noosphere.princeton.edu/

    Since I was involved in replicating Cahill’s speed of light experiments, and even built his interferometer, I was interested in Morris’ take.

    http://independent.academia.edu/PeterMorris4

    Evidence for Cahill’s dynamical space

    Prof. Reg Cahill has reported that Random Event Generator (REG) devices can detect passage of dynamical 3-space waves. Herein we describe an attempt to find additional evidence for this discovery, using data from a REG located in Perth, Australia and from another in Manchester, U.K., for fifteen days centered on each full moon during a period of one year. For each day we applied correlation analysis to determine travel times for putative waves. Then wave speed and direction, over each 24 hour period, were determined by fitting to the observed travel times, theoretical curves of how travel times would vary with Earth rotation. We thereby derived an average incoming RA, declination, speed and associated standard deviations for the waves of each day. Following this we examined the directions and speeds to determine if they were consistent with a real physical phenomena, rather than being artifacts of random correlations. To this end we made use of probability density plots and other statistical techniques. On the way we recognized that wave orientation is not the same as 3-space flow direction and that it is the latter rather than the former which is of principle interest. Geometry implies that variation of flow speed will cause the detected speeds of wave fronts moving parallel to 3-space flow to have larger standard deviations than those moving across the flow. On this basis we preferentially selected the 50% of days with the largest speed standard deviations as being the most likely proxies for space flow direction. A probability density plot of directions for these days exhibited a peak near RA = 4.5 h, consistent with previous determinations of incoming 3-space flow direction by Cahill and Dayton Miller. Moreover, removing Earth orbital and gravitational inflow velocities from the observed velocities allowed a peak of higher density to be obtained, which is consistent with what one would expect of a real physical phenomena. The peak indicated a most probable galactic flow direction of RA = 4.14 h, dec = −77.8 deg and wave speed of 500 km/s.

    So strangely, Peter Morris tied the speed of light to some phenomenon studied by the Global Consciousness Project. Pretty amazing!

    Just looking back, some interesting things I never had the chance to study more is the Zero Point Energy. The YECs have been fascinated by this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy

    Zero-point energy (ZPE) or ground state energy is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical system may have. Unlike in classical mechanics, quantum systems constantly fluctuate in their lowest energy state due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.[1] As well as atoms and molecules, the empty space of the vacuum has these properties. According to Quantum Field Theory the universe can be thought of not as isolated particles but continuous fluctuating fields: matter fields, whose quanta are fermions (i.e. leptons and quarks), and force fields, whose quanta are bosons (e.g. photons and gluons). All these fields have zero-point energy.[2] These fluctuating zero-point fields lead to a kind of reintroduction of an aether in physics,[1][3] since some systems can detect the existence of this energy. …

    Physicists Richard Feynman and John Wheeler calculated the zero-point radiation of the vacuum to be an order of magnitude greater than nuclear energy, with a single light bulb containing enough energy to boil all the world’s oceans.[5]

  9. stcordova,

    Wow Sal!
    This is amazing!
    I didn’t realize that you have already been over quantum mechanics and quantum consciousness what I’m going over now… It’s a pretty new thing to me as are some biblical teachings… soul, hell etch

    I had to read your comment twice lol… You’ve mentioned some issues that got me hooked on quantum mechanics, such as the delayed choice in the double slit experiment… Regarding that, do you think that in double slit experiment the particles actually travel back in time? There are psychological experiments that seem to indicted that backwards causation is real…

    A while back I challenged a few big shots in the area of consciousness regarding the delayed choice in double-slit experiments and psychological experiments where subjects show making conscious choices when their brains refer information backwards in time. They responded by challenging me to come up with better explanation than “travel” back in time…I did… and thanks to this I got invited to do a presentation and the next consciousness conference…

    BTW: Are you into near death experiences? I’m sure you have read BA77 comments on the relation between near-death experiences and quantum soul?
    I was going to do and OP on this here as I have some pretty interesting experimental data on this, but I couldn’t come to an agreement with the admins here… If you start your own blog, we could do it there… I could ask some big shots to comment too… 😉

    Do you agree with Steven Weinberg’s statement?

    “After you learn quantum mechanics, you are never really the same again”.

  10. stcordova,

    Thanks Sal. A merry Christmas to you too, and to everyone else here.

    It always amuses me when I hear an argument that consciousness is an illusion.It goes without saying that only something that is conscious can be the subject of an illusion. For anyone who makes this argument, what do they think it is that is being illuded?

  11. OMagain:
    So Darwinism is incorrect because it does not explain what it does not attempt to explain?

    Right…..

    i would not call a half-truth incorrect.

  12. CharlieM:
    stcordova,

    Thanks Sal. A merry Christmas to you too, and to everyone else here.

    It always amuses me when I hear an argument that consciousness is an illusion.It goes without saying that only something that is conscious can be the subject of an illusion. For anyone who makes this argument, what do they think itis that is being illuded?

    The very fact that people claim that consciousness is an illusion proves that they are conscious… How else would they reason on the theme unless their consciousness were real?

  13. GlenDavidson:
    If only evolutionary theory could account for emanations and auras!

    Glen Davidson

    Not sure why you bring up emanations and auras. Maybe you are trying to distract from discussions on the features and attributes that we can all see as being held by organisms past and present.

  14. CharlieM: Not sure why you bring up emanations and auras. Maybe you are trying to distract from discussions on the features and attributes that we can all see as being held by organisms past and present.

    Like the spirit within?

    I’d like you to back up any of that “earthly forces” and “spiritual forces” prattle.

    Glen Davidson

  15. Neil Rickert: An attempt to revitalize vitalism.

    96% of the universe is made of the unknown; dark energy and dark matter…
    Do you know what makes lifeless matter animate? If you do, I’ll drink to that…
    If scientists knew what makes matter alive, we wouldn’t be hearing excuses from Darwinists how evolution and origins of life are two different issues and materialism is the only game in town despite the embarrassing failure to recreate life that dumb luck just got lucky doing it…

  16. graham2:
    Who is this CharlieM character ?
    I want to know if its a spoof before spending time reading it all.

    CharlieM is a nice guy…unlike you obviously…

  17. John Harshman:
    Do you have anything resembling evidence for any of the claims you make here? Some of us think evidence is important.

    There is plenty of evidence such as the emancipation that I mentioned. And the fact that each successive stage of life appears as if from nowhere as generalists and then they diversify into specialist forms. The story goes that mammals first appeared as a kind of small shrew-like animal and then diversified into the various forms such as whales, anteaters and bats.

    If Darwinian forces are so capable of producing pigeons from fish-like ancestors why is it that horseshoe crabs have managed to remain virtually the same for over 400 million years despite the effects of random mutations and genetic drift? Also consider bacteria, which in terms of population sizes are about the most successful organisms on the planet, have remained as bacteria for a far longer period of time than even the horseshoe crabs. For organisms such as ourselves to develop and remain viable It has been essential that bacteria have remained at this primitive stage. We are built on a foundation of bacteria and their like.

  18. GlenDavidson: Like the spirit within?

    I’d like you to back up any of that “earthly forces” and “spiritual forces” prattle.

    Glen Davidson

    I consider earthly forces to be such like the mechanics of limb movements which allow walking, swimming or flying; that sort of thing. Whereas I consider spiritual forces to be such like rational thinking, loving, creating works of art or utility, that sort of thing.

  19. J-Mac: The very fact that people claim that consciousness is an illusion proves that they are conscious… How else would they reason on the theme unless their consciousness werereal?

    Exactly!

  20. graham2:
    Who is this CharlieM character ?
    I want to know if its a spoof before spending time reading it all.

    Reading what all? How much time does it take you to read the few paragraphs I have written above? Anyway I’m sure your mind is already made up.

  21. graham2:
    J-Mac,
    I’m not concerned about his niceness or otherwise, just whether any of that word salad makes sense.

    We’ll see… that’s why I asked the question about spirit vs spark of life…99% of creations can’t tell the difference…. or they think it’s the same thing…

  22. CharlieM: There is plenty of evidence such as the emancipation that I mentioned.

    Yeah, we’ve talked about that before. You’re imposing a pattern you want to see on a real pattern that doesn’t actually fit.

    And the fact that each successive stage of life appears as if from nowhere as generalists and then they diversify into specialist forms. The story goes that mammals first appeared as a kind of small shrew-like animal and then diversified into the various forms such as whales, anteaters and bats.

    I wouldn’t consider a small, shrew-like animal to be any more or less specialized than anything else, just specialized for a different environment. This too is you imposing a pattern you want to see.

    If Darwinian forces are so capable of producing pigeons from fish-like ancestors why is it that horseshoe crabs have managed to remain virtually the same for over 400 million years despite the effects of random mutations and genetic drift?

    Why do you suppose that random mutation and drift must produce morphological change? Why do you suppose that “Darwinian forces” must result in equal change in all lineages? And what does this have to do with anything you’re claiming?

    Also consider bacteria, which in terms of population sizes are about the most successful organisms on the planet, have remained as bacteria for a far longer period of time than even the horseshoe crabs. For organisms such as ourselves to develop and remain viable It has been essential that bacteria have remained at this primitive stage. We are built on a foundation of bacteria and their like.

    I’m not sure how this fits your story. Explain. And of course not all bacteria have remained at this primitive stage. That’s why we have eukaryotes.

  23. John Harshman: That’s why we have eukaryotes

    oh yeah… that evolved via endosymbiosis with multiple miraculous gene insertions and several proofs …. that’s why speculative science is so powerful… you don’t have to do experiments to prove your point… all you need is a delusion and faith that your delusion is true… even if common sense and evidence points in the other direction… Darwin suffered from delusions now Dawkins and harshman… must be contagious…

  24. J-Mac: We’ll see… that’s why I asked the question about spirit vs spark of life…99% of creations can’t tell the difference…. or they think it’s the same thing…

    I feel your pain. You wouldn’t belief the number of people who can’t tell a sprite from a nymph. I mean really, it’s not like they’re f^^king leprechauns or something…

  25. Mung: Kantian Naturalist: You’re not going to get any evidence from CharlieM. He’s not making claims; he’s just offering his personal opinion.

    So he’s emulating you then.

    To be fair, KN usually quotes other, long dead, people’s opinions, and then says he agrees with them, somewhat.

  26. CharlieM:

    Thanks Sal. A merry Christmas to you too, and to everyone else here.

    It always amuses me when I hear an argument that consciousness is an illusion.It goes without saying that only something that is conscious can be the subject of an illusion. For anyone who makes this argument, what do they think it is that is being illuded?

    Well said.

    If I’m not mistaken, KairosFocus at UD mentioned something of your work in the defense industry, is that correct. The relevance of this is that as a computer/electrical engineer I studied a little bit of Artificial Intelligence and worked with Autonomous machines (smart missiles like the Standoff-Land Attack Missile, the Harpoon Missile, the Maverick Missile, the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) and satellites….somewhere in the inventory was the plain old “dumb” bombs that no one uses anymore….

    The point of me mentioning this is that at no point would I think no matter how integrated and sophisticated and massive the circuits were, there could come a point the machines would feel pain, have desires, have joys associated with consciousness. Sure we could program a machine to say “ouch” or “I’m so happy”, but would it really feel these things like someone with a soul? Consider all the networked machines in the world wide web, is it conscious????? I can’t imagine it feels and thinks like we do.

    Nothing in the equations of physics suggests the material world will make a soul, however, some physicists, quite to my amazement, believe the material world must proceed from an immaterial world not bound by physics, and this is a direct consequence of interpreting the laws of phyiscs, especially Quantum Mechanics. Richard Conn Henry and nobel prize winner Eugene Wigner were among those who put consciousness at the root of reality.

    With respect to these considerations, when I was pondering leaving all of my spiritual beliefs almost 2 decades ago, I somehow couldn’t shake the existence of my own soul and convince myself it was an illusion — my own feelings, especially those that involved physical pain (like a broken arm or debilitating headach), were the only things I was sure of and could not deny. How many times I have been in agony and wish it were just an illusion? It was just too real.

  27. phoodoo: To be fair, KN usually quotes other, long dead, people’s opinions, and then says he agrees with them, somewhat.

    Isn’t philosophy the science of evaluating opinions?

  28. J-mac:

    Wow Sal!
    This is amazing!

    Thanks. Isn’t TSZ a fun place to talk about ID and creationism? I’ve had more fun here than the 9 years I spent at UD before Arrington kicked me out on the pretense of my YECism and Protestantism and other things like my view of thermodynamics, logic, ID as science, etc…..

    Regarding that, do you think that in double slit experiment the particles actually travel back in time? There are psychological experiments that seem to indicted that backwards causation is real…

    Not really travel back in time. We tend to think the past causes the future, but we can model the future as causing the past. The fact we think the past causes the future is an artifact of how we acquire information and the fact we are mortal and not omnicient.

    The Principle of Least action models the future as causing the past. Below was my essay on teleology in physics where the final point in the future constrains the past. I didn’t say it directly in that essay, but it’s a nice way to formulate physics in terms of cause effect, where the future causes the past:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/teleology-and-id-in-physics-id-inspired-least-action-principles/

    The first such formulation was given by the French scientist Maupertuis who in 1744 presented a paper to the French Academy of Sciences showing that the behaviour of bodies in an impact could be predicted by assuming the product mvs, where m is mass, v is velocity, and s the distance, to be a minimum. He contended that his formulation indicated the operation of final causes in Nature, and that final causes imply the existence of a Supreme Being. Maupertuis, following Leibniz and Wolff, call the quantity mvs, whch has dimensions of energy times time, the action.

    Barrow and Tipler

    The “final causes in nature” are the “future causes” in nature! The importance of the Double-Slit delayed choice experiment is that it shows the prediction of quantum mechanics that the FUTURE is causal. It only looks to us like the past is causal because of our limited brains and the way we experience information-after-the fact.

    We tend to think, “ok if I do this, then this will happen, therefore I’m in control and no future event is driving me to do what I did. The past causes the future, not the other way around!”

    However Wheeler suggested, some grand consciousness is coordinating our actions by some final event — we somehow chose to make those decisions to do things because we are driven by some ultimate purpose in the universe which may not even be aware of, much like that photon is not “aware” of the experimenter in the future making it behave as either a particle or wave in the past. Wheeler pointed out the paradox of this experiment happening to photons that were emitted millions of years ago!

    We have some autonomy, but it is woven in the tapestry of some grander scheme in the universe by some ultimate conscious MIND. This idea doesn’t proceed from theology, but is a direct consequence of Quantum Mechanics.

    Just as the experimenters actions in the future will cause a photon to behave as a particle vs. a wave in the past, or vice-versa, so some Grand Conscious Experimenter in the Sky is driving the properties and events of the universe to be one thing or another. This was the astonishing straight forward consequence of physics.

    Tipler (a former atheist) gave a humorous account of when he finally connected the dots:

    I discovered this the hard way when I published my book The Physics of Immortality. The entire book is devoted to describing what the known laws of physics predict the far future of the universe will be like. Not once in the entire book do I use anything but the known physical laws, the laws of physics that are in all the textbooks, and which agree with all experiments conducted to date. Unfortunately, in the book I gave reasons for believing that the final state of the universe, a state outside of space and time, and not material should be identified with the Judeo-Christian God. (It would take a book to explain why!) My scientific colleagues, atheists to a man, were outraged. Even though the theory of the final state of the universe involved only known physics, my fellow physicists refused even to discuss the theory. If the known laws of physics imply that God exists, then in their opinion, this can only mean that the laws of physics have to be wrong. This past September, at a conference held at Windsor Castle, I asked the well known cosmologist Paul Davies what he thought of my theory. He replied that he could find nothing wrong with it mathematically, but he asked what justified my assumption that the known laws of physics were correct.

    Frank Tipler
    Uncommon Dissent

    You asked:

    Do you agree with Steven Weinberg’s statement?

    “After you learn quantum mechanics, you are never really the same again”.

    Wow. I didn’t know that quote. Thanks a million.

    One of the many PhD’s that studied under Weinberg was my co-worker. He was an expert on quantum computing. My graduate advisor was a pioneer in quantum computing. They were giving a demonstration of quantum cryptography at work one day. Totally amazing.

    I really miss studying physics, and my knowledge in the field is just wasting away. Maybe someday I can revive it eh?

    I’m sorry I’ve had to invest time so much time studying evolutionary biology in an attempt to debunk it. Physics is such a beautiful discipline. My next favorite discipline is biochemistry. Ironically, it was that raving atheist Larry Moran who got me interested in biochemistry. I suppose God even uses Larry Moran to inspire the study of God’s works….

    Btw, have you read this book:
    http://quantumenigma.com/

    Quantum mechanics reveals a mystery at the boundary of physics: that observation strangely influences what is observed. Quantum Enigma focuses on this increasingly discussed skeleton in physics’ closet, its encounter with consciousness.

    Quantum Enigma‘s treatment is understandable without prior physics background. An American Journal of Physics review says: “…Rosenblum and Kuttner manage to convey much of the exquisite subtlety of quantum mechanics without ever resorting to an equation. Their treatment of two-slit interference ranks right up there with (but differs interestingly from) Feynman’s famous “comes in lumps” approach, and their nontechnical description of Bell’s theorem is one of the best I’ve seen, and by far the least mathematical.”

    It was praised by a wonderful Christian and famous scientist who invented the laser:

    “A remarkable and readable presentation…”

    Charles Townes: Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics

    I haven’t read it yet. But it has been widely praised.

  29. We have no ego. Thats Austrian mumble jumble. like everything else that ever came out of Austria.
    its okay to say we have a spirit.
    however the bible says we have a soul and spirit. Different things. i
    God is three in one. God made us in OUR image the bible says . plural. so maybe we are three in one. not sure.

  30. Mung: Isn’t philosophy the science of evaluating opinions?

    I wouldn’t call it that. I would say that philosophy involves, among other things, the art of evaluating arguments. But there’s nothing scientific about it.

  31. phoodoo: To be fair, KN usually quotes other, long dead, people’s opinions, and then says he agrees with them, somewhat.

    I quote from other people (not all of whom are dead, by the way) because I think it would be arrogant for me to pretend to have much originality. I’m a moderately intelligent person trying to make minor improvements on the work of geniuses. It’s a humbling experience.

  32. John Harshman: Yeah, we’ve talked about that before. You’re imposing a pattern you want to see on a real pattern that doesn’t actually fit.

    Like the numbers on a colour perception test plate the pattern id there but some people just don’t see it.

    I wouldn’t consider a small, shrew-like animal to be any more or less specialized than anything else, just specialized for a different environment. This too is you imposing a pattern you want to see.

    You don’t see different levels of specialization between any animals?

    Why do you suppose that random mutation and drift must produce morphological change? Why do you suppose that “Darwinian forces” must result in equal change in all lineages? And what does this have to do with anything you’re claiming?

    I do not suppose these things. But I do believe that RM & NS are not creative forces. They allow for limited variation for changing environments.

    It is easy to say and believe that due to Darwinian forces some species remain fairly static for hundreds of millions of years while others go extinct or change dramatically in a comparatively short time. But IMO believing this prevents us from enquiring further into these things. We know the cause of stasis and we know the cause of change so we need look no further, there is no bigger picture to be seen!

    I’m not sure how this fits your story. Explain. And of course not all bacteria have remained at this primitive stage. That’s why we have eukaryotes.

    Because IMO earthly evolution is a pre-ordained process which results in free thinking, conscious individuals. In order for this to happen a suitable physical vehicle with the appropriate nervous system must be developed. And the ways and means necessary to develop a nervous system is understood to have begun early in animal evolution. Just as an individual human develops and becomes a free-thinking adult at the expense of the death of billions of bodily cells and with some cells remaining in an original state (I’ll resist the temptation to say primitive state), so life evolves to consciousness at the expense of the death and extinction of countless species and with very many species remaining at an early stage.

    As long as I believe that spirit is primal and you believe that spirit (as I described it above) is a by-product of matter then we are never going to agree on much at all.

  33. CharlieM: Like the numbers on a colour perception test plate the pattern id there but some people just don’t see it.

    If you see a pattern it’s up to you to provide evidence that it exists. So far, just assertion.

    You don’t see different levels of specialization between any animals?

    I see different specializations. Shrews are specialized for land, whales for water. What’s the difference?

    But I do believe that RM & NS are not creative forces. They allow for limited variation for changing environments.

    What evidence do you have to support your beliefs?

    We know the cause of stasis and we know the cause of change so we need look no further, there is no bigger picture to be seen!

    I don’t think we know the causes of stasis or change except in the most general way or for a small number of particular cases. And there’s no reason to suppose that any bigger picture can have anything to do with what you imagine. Don’t agree? Present some kind of evidence.

    Because IMO earthly evolution is a pre-ordained process which results in free thinking, conscious individuals.

    You opinion counts for nothing without some kind of support for it.

    As long as I believe that spirit is primal and you believe that spirit (as I described it above) is a by-product of matter then we are never going to agree on much at all.

    Again, what evidence do you have for your beliefs? You seem uninterested or unable to provide anything like evidence or argument. Your only argument is “I believe it”.

  34. stcordova: Well said.

    If I’m not mistaken, KairosFocus at UD mentioned something of your work in the defense industry, is that correct. The relevance of this is that as a computer/electrical engineer I studied a little bit of Artificial Intelligence and worked with Autonomous machines (smart missiles like the Standoff-Land Attack Missile, the Harpoon Missile, the Maverick Missile, the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) and satellites….somewhere in the inventory was the plain old “dumb” bombs that no one uses anymore….

    The point of me mentioning this is that at no point would I think no matter how integrated and sophisticated and massive the circuits were, there could come a point the machines would feel pain, have desires, have joys associated with consciousness.Sure we could program amachine to say “ouch” or “I’m so happy”, but would it really feel these things like someone with a soul?Consider all the networked machines in the world wide web, is it conscious?????I can’t imagine it feels and thinks like we do.

    Nothing in the equations of physics suggests the material world will make a soul, however, some physicists, quite to my amazement, believe the material world must proceed from an immaterial world not bound by physics, and this is a direct consequence of interpreting the laws of phyiscs, especially Quantum Mechanics.Richard Conn Henry and nobel prize winner Eugene Wigner were among those who put consciousness at the root of reality.

    With respect to these considerations, when I was pondering leaving all of my spiritual beliefs almost 2 decades ago, I somehow couldn’t shake the existence of my own soul and convince myself it was an illusion — my own feelings, especially those that involved physical pain (like a broken arm or debilitating headach), were the only things I was sure of and could not deny.How many times I have been in agony and wish it were just an illusion?It was just too real.

    I’ve worked on aircraft for close to fifty years but more on the mechanical side rather than avionics. I do remember having a discussion or two about guided missiles so maybe that is why it was presumed that I worked in the defence industry. I did begin my career in the Royal Air force.

    As in other fields, the development of electronics over the years has greatly changed how aircraft function and are maintained. Technology is moving on at a startling rate. I’m with you in believing that machines will never have the consciousness of living beings but what frightens me is how humans in the future will use the latest technology to integrate machines with living substances for who knows what purposes.

  35. CharlieM: Did you use that wording on purpose or was it just luck that you didn’t write, “I have no ego”

    i mean its a humbug to overthrow the original biblical boundaries for human identity and ego is just dumb dumb replacement from the dark ages.

  36. John Harshman: If you see a pattern it’s up to you to provide evidence that it exists. So far, just assertion.

    Look at how flowering plants develop. We see a pattern in that they grow up out of the earth, and this growth culminates in flowers which produce the fruit for further development. But part of the plant must remain in the earth and grow downwards to provide nutrients for this to happen. The growing plant is sustained by its roots and supported by its stems.

    The evolution of life as a whole shows a similar pattern. Life grows out of the earth, and this growth culminates in self consciousness.

    This is not an assertion but an observation.

  37. John Harshman: I see different specializations. Shrews are specialized for land, whales for water. What’s the difference?

    One obvious difference: Put a shrew into water and it will swim, put a whale onto the land and it will die. Shrews are not so specialized in the fact that water is not so detrimental to them as land is to whales.

  38. John Harshman: What evidence do you have to support your beliefs?

    Artificial selection of organisms such as dogs, pigeons, fruit flies or e coli, acts like natural selection which has been accelerated by many orders of magnitude. This process has not produced the changes that natural selection is supposed to have produced. No matter how grotesque and distorted the form that dogs have assumed under artificial selection they are still recognisable as dogs.

  39. CharlieM: This is not an assertion but an observation.

    The part about how plants grow is to some extent true, though there are many exceptions to each element. The connection to evolution, however, is opaque.

    Put a shrew into water and it will swim, put a whale onto the land and it will die. Shrews are not so specialized in the fact that water is not so detrimental to them as land is to whales.

    I’d say that it would take a shrew less time to die if you put it in the ocean as it would take a beached whale. Though it wouldn’t be the wetness so much as the cold that would do it in. But perhaps I should have made the point more explicit: whales and shrews are both adapted to their environments and so are equally specialized. There is no clear progression from the generalized to the specialized as you claim. Let’s also remember that the ancestors of shrews started out in the water, and adaptation to land was an extreme bit of specialization, which whales have only partially reversed.

    No matter how grotesque and distorted the form that dogs have assumed under artificial selection they are still recognisable as dogs.

    So? No matter how grotesque and distorted the form that vertebrates have assumed under natural selection they are still recognizable as vertebrates.

  40. CharlieM: The evolution of life as a whole shows a similar pattern. Life grows out of the earth, and this growth culminates in self consciousness.

    This is not an assertion but an observation.

    1. Observations are assertions. What one observes to occur is what one asserts to be the case based on one’s sense-perceptions.

    2. This one is neither an assertion nor an observation. It’s a commitment to an a priori Neoplatonic metaphysics that CharlieM reads into the history of life — at the cost of great violence to the facts — because he wants consciousness to be special.

    But neither science nor philosophy should be sops to human vanity.

  41. John Harshman: Again, what evidence do you have for your beliefs? You seem uninterested or unable to provide anything like evidence or argument. Your only argument is “I believe it”.

    Do you agree with me that consciousness has evolved? And consciousness is not just like any other trait. If you believe that evolution is blind then with the arrival of human consciousness this evolutionary lack of foresight is turned on its head. With the ongoing advancement of human technology the path of evolution will be more and more under conscious control with a thought for the future.

    So consciousness cannot be considered just one trait among others. You cannot say that it is nothing but the result of evolution. It is a forward-thinking driver of evolution.

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