Note: My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
INTRODUCTION to the THREE BOOKS
Book 1 - Samadhi Chronicles Samadhi Cronicles is a compilation of chapters I began in 1997 that focus on my effort to comprehend/explain my extraordinary spontaneous Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The experience happened in 1970 and at the time, I was almost completely naive regarding philosophy or epistemology of religion or metaphysics or mystical, spiritual, or paranormal phenomena of any kind but the experience started my search for explanation that is still ongoing. My transcendent journey contained many synchronistic features of Upanishads and perennial cosmological metaphors - unfolding as my consciousness transformed from numinous duality to nonduality and back. It is only after subsequent research that I learned it followed a neo-Tantric scenario wherein my ecstatic orgasm raised me to such a state of desirelessness that a Nirvikalpa Samadhi was triggered 'by grace'. Starting my quest as an agnostic, I easily ignored the dogmas of the prophetic religions and drew primarily on historical Vedantic, Buddhist and Tao sources but discovered my major challenge was in applying a holistic approach to the reductionist, materialist, scientific viewpoint and that of open-ended, new-age spiritualism. I use my direct insight as a lens to pass thru all the speculation regarding the nondual experience I find on the Internet and play at autophenomenological hypothesizing about the reality it suggests - ever mindful that imagination is what Spinoza described as the power on which all the errors, superstitions, and prejudices of revealed religion rests. Finally, I describe a Primordial Rhythm Meditation I've been practicing over the past few years featuring heartbeat drumming. The culmination of my samadhi revelation is that I have been graced with the mission to help fulfill - however infinitesimally - God's desire to be known.
Book 2 - Maya Gaia Maya Gaia includes chapters with the theme to integrate Vedic concepts of Maya (as the dream of an unsubstantual universe) with Gaia (as symbolic of a concurrently manifesting phenomenal biocosmic reality). I describe a variety of transpersonal experiences in my life, and project my samadhi insight to question the credibility of both conventionl and unconventional wisdom in the far corners of science, philosophy, physics, religion, atheism, new-age spiritualiy, integral dynamics, yoga, siddhis, non-dual tradition, transcendent revelations and propose that Brahman is the most realistic metaphor for a non-theistic God or a universal supreme consciousness. I explore prospects of a theosophical synthesis between science and mysticism, science and spirituality, science and theism and evolution and creation and catalog an extensive inventory of postmodern paradigms that attempt to describe ultimate realities in terms of physics, cosmology, ontology and so on. Mixed up among these chapters are some autobiographical, political and miscellaneous pages that are completely aside my main topics.
Book 3 - Evolution Involution Evolution Involution is a unification of what conventional wisdom tends to separate as two fundamental aspects of reality - our phenomenal biocosmic evolution from before and after the Big Bang and its continuum with a numinous universal consciousness. The round trip samadhi journey is randomly graced individual humans to provide an experience of involution of consciousness to the primordial non-dual universal source. The effect is to get the word out to all humanity that at physical death our self consciousness is not extinguished but is transformed to a non-dual state - merged with universal consciousness like a drop dissolving in an ocean of light, bliss and love. A flash slide show and an alternative Picasa album and optional slideshow present images of our human phylogeny as an involution from the present back to before we were atoms and beyond. Chapters include topics relating to anthropology, archaeology, genetics, paleontology and astro-biogenesis.
Anthropic Cosmic Matrix
All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force...We must assume behind this force the
existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind.This Mind is the matrix of all matter.~ Max Planck
Back in 1980, Da Free John a.k.a. Franklin Jones, titled one of his many books about integrating eastern and new-age spiritualism- (Ken Wilber's foreward) Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House. It was meant as a satirical construct to emphasize the absurdity of that possibility, because he believed in the conventional wisdom that science would forever be incapable of finding such evidence.
These books are the result of my arriving at advanced age in a still unenlightened state but hearing hints of evidence that suggests we may be on the verge of discovering a rational answer to this archetypal question. Is our understanding of time-space, energy, mind and matter reaching such profundity that science will embrace a theory of God? The term God I use exclusively in the generic sense and specifically refer to a cosmic consciousness to which we can ascribe a name but whose nature outside the phenomenal universe will always outstrip our understanding. The point cannot be overemphasized so that all the proprietary theist attributes commonly associated with God can be left out of the discussion which follows.
In the past few years, threats that have been lingering seem to have precipitated out as major crises. Record hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunami, global warming, bioata extinction, nuclear-armed terrorism, a flood of illegal immigration, epidemics, religious fanaticism, global financial meltdown- all have created what is perhaps the most all-encompassing, threat-filled, politicized and passionate decade in our nation's modern history. Could it be, that as I near my life end, maya is scripting a logical scenario for the catastrophic extinction of a solipsistic reality- perhaps as in one of the doomsday scenarios in Our Final Hour by scientist Martin Rees? May this be the final step in my realization of Brahman the Supreme Cosmic Being of infinite Consciousness and bliss? Or am I about to join a cosmic consciousness aware of the infinite unfolding of a phenomenal universe that will survive my irrelevant exit? Is there such promise in the exponential increase in scientific revelations regarding a consciousness matrix that new paradigms will arise, guiding humankind to avoid its own extinction?
Two books- Privileged Planet and Rare Earth, have recently come to my attention which have sparked a debate over their similar hypotheses. They propose that the combining of all the conditions, each of which is essential for a celestial body to support the evolution of intelligent life, is an event that is- as the Fermi Principle suggests- astronomically rare. This contention is in direct opposition to the Mediocrity Principle which was endorsed by Carl Sagan in accord with the Drake Equation which concludes that extraterrestrial intelligent life could be commonplace. Privileged Planet goes a step further than Rare Earth in observing that those features that combine to nurture intelligent life also provide optimum conditions for celestial observations and thus enable self-discovery of the universe. Each of these factors incidentally lend support to the Anthropic Principle. Much of the criticism over both book's hypotheses center on the implied notion that a consciousness may be responsible for arranging this confluence of favorable conditions. See also: Priviledged Planet YouTube Video Feature (Chapters 1-12).
In Roy A. Varghese's The Wonder of the World there is a comprehensive bibliography of work in which many of the world's most imminent scientists and philosophers express their advocacy for such a notion. So although this is hardly the first time such an idea has been advanced by respected scientists- in both RE and PP it is presented as a hypothesis created from observable evidence. This has resulted in the Creationist and Young Earth Society religious fundamentalist community, to claim the RE Hypothesis provides scientific evidence that cascades down to support all aspects of Biblical truth- foremost, the reality of God and the story of Genesis which replaces Darwinian evolution. In contrast, RE hypothesis is rejected by most of the secular materialist scientific community which views it as advocating the presense of a "divine being" from insufficient evidence and therefore nothing more than a metaphysical, ontological or phenomenological issue for philosophical debate - as compared to topics that can be approached via scientific epistemology
Obviously there is great divide over whether a synthesis can ever be possible between science and religion or even if that would be necessarily desirable. In Science Without Bonds Art D'Amano presents a minority view that is both positive and compelling. In a clear and conscise style D'Amano describes concepts held over the broad spectrum of knowledge and belief, scrupulously referencing quotations from leading scientists, philosophers, mystics and religious notables, then in a process of methodical distillation builds an argument for why a unification between science and monism (God is Not A Person) mysticism is most promising. The complete book is available as a free download.
Intelligent Design is the major popular artifact for promoting challenges to the scientific status quo regarding matters like divinity and evolutionary theory. Consequently it has become the furnace into which all such ideas are thrown, whether scientifically sourced or religiously inspired, to fuel the passionate and often vitriolic debates that have ignited throughout both academia and popular culture. Unfortunately it is here where RE and PP have wound up. One scientist who is trying to better define ID as a legitimate science-based hypothesis is mathematician William Dembski, who states in Signs of Intelligence- "Proponents of intelligent design regard it as a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes...and not intelligent causes per se." In his view, one cannot test for the identity of influences exterior to a closed system from within, so questions concerning the identity of a designer fall outside the realm of the concept. For this very reason the Creationist and ID people share a mutual objection to being lumped together in the debates which tend to confuse all the factions.
In this discussion I will use the abbreviation SID to specify that it is the Dembski version of Scientific Intelligent Design that is referred to rather than ID which in most links commonly refers to a broader version that includes all the Creationist and Young Earth baggage.
Sadly there is a Catch 22 for any evidence that supports a cosmic consciousness in that the more credible it is, the more politized it becomes as the religious community exploits it for their evangelical agenda, causing greater resistance by the science orthodoxy to accept it.
On the other hand, hypotheses such as RE and SID gain some credibility in the face of the growing intensity of debate over a variety of unresolved fundamental issues within the scientific community itself. Are subatomic interactions by particles or waves; enumerable cosmology controversies over the composition of space and the problem of the cosmological constant; from where does consciousness arise and is it involved in a quantum event; is a new metaparadigm evolving where quantum reality is superceding a strictly materialist view of the physical universe?
Although open to spirituality, I started out agnostic (now deist) and viewed the debate between Darwinian evolutionists and Creationists as one between reason and superstition. When the notion of intelligent design arose I tended to agree with the consensus of the scientific community that this was just a thin edge of the axe of exploitation that creationists were using to insinuate their dogma into the public school science curriculum. But one evening in 2006, while switching channels, I accidentally caught a presentation of The Privileged Planet documentary on a religious cable channel. Thoroughly impressed, I followed up researching internet blogs and forums about that subject. I selected science-friendly websites to avoid the predictable bias of the Christian and Creationism sites thinking I would get the most objective overview. I was surprised at the amount of gratuitous, knee-jerk dismissal by the contributors in these communities over the notion that there was any possibility for a consciousness behind astrophysical or molecular reality. Many dismissed the hypothesis out-of-hand without presenting any scientific argument due to what they perceived was the tainting by the religiosity of both the source and the faith community that supports it. Criticism often wrongly confused the Rare Earth Hypothesis with Creationist theosophy and having set up that straw man, refuted anti-evolution arguments as default to the material actually in the books. The reality is that each book deals exclusively with cosmology- astrophysics, galactic astronomy and geophysics and is specifically supportive or neutral in regards to biological evolution. It was apparent that much of the critical posting was made by those who had not actually read the books or viewed the documentary but whose perceptions were based on biased 2nd-hand reviews that were being recycled throughout the secular scientific community. Overall, the science forums generated a level of ad hominem commentary revealing a palpable, anti-God bias that approached the level of passion typical of the Creationist congregations. Nobel Laureate physicist Charles H. Townes offers one explanation for this subjective defensiveness by pointing out that science is based on faith in scientifically unprovable foundations. "We scientists believe in the existence of the external world and the validity of our logic...Nevertheless, these are acts of faith. We can't prove them."
RE and PP benefit by feeding into a postulate that is gaining increasing significance and support in prestigious circles of theoretical physics- the Anthropic Principle-(AP) which in its weak version (WAP) says- that the laws of nature must be such that they allow the existence of an intelligent observer.
How is it that AP has become the 800 pound gorilla in the laboratory of theoretical science- since it seems to be merely a common-sense, rhetorical speculation of an idea that most of us would find unambiguous? In fact many scientists agree- in fact say that WAP is so obvious that it is a tautology or truism with little or no scientific significance. Many theoretical scientists on the other hand- view the fine-tuning of the properties of constants of nature and physical laws which have combined into the perfect landscape for the evolution of intelligent life, as the ultimate challenge for science to explain.
The reason AP has become a gorilla is that there are over twenty (and counting) theoretical versions- some mixing other concepts like multiverses and implicating human consciousness to greater degrees. SAP- The Strong Anthropic Principle says- the universe actually had to bring mankind into existence. FAP- The Final or Participatory Anthropic Principle says- we are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago. In addition, when the scientific evidence is subjected to the laws of probability, it appears to favor the notion that the universe came into being through intention rather than coincidence. This perspective has caused science Jihadists to charge that it is a teleology and just another face of the ID conspiracy and cosmology's creationism.
The ideological implications has prompted respected scientists like Henry Tye, credited with pioneering theoretics which anticipated the discovery that expansion of the universe was accelerating, to say that a major goal in his future research is to "find a way around the anthropic principle". Leonard Susskind, the father of string theory is a major champion of AP. Of course there are other equally prestigious scientists like Lee Smolin, an advocate of loop quantum gravity and his theory of Cosmological Natural Selection who are opposed to the principle. None of these scientist suggest that AP is evidence for SID and some maintain that AP argues against the credibility of SID. An online debate between these two on their diverging theories can be found on The Edge website.
Andre Linde another visionary physicist suggests a multiverse theory to account for the cosmological constancy supporting an anthropic principle our universe seems to manifest by chance out of billions of other universes evolving out of the Big Bang.
Anthropic Synchronicity presents an overview of Susskind, Smolin, Dyson, Linde and others in respect to the Selfish Biocosm Hypothesis which asserts that the laws and constants of physics function as the cosmic equivalent of DNA, guiding a cosmologically extended evolutionary process and providing a blueprint for the replication of new life-friendly progeny universes.
There are other detractors in the category of professional debunkers whose passion may be accounted for by physicalist/materialist scientific biases or shaped by skeptical, cynical or uber-atheistic world views.
Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptic Society argues that science and religion must be kept separate because- "when scientists are doing science, collecting data, running experiments, testing hypotheses, building theories- we have nothing to say about religion unless claims are made that scientific evidence supports some religious belief, such as the Earth is 6000 years old or that intercessory prayer heals the sick." Shermer claims the character of the skeptical "watchman" is inquiring, reflective, thoughtful- acting as "the consumer advocates of critical thinking". But this does not prevent his expressing a heightened imperative to attack AP precisely because it offers credible evidence suggesting that a synthesis between what Stephen Jay Gould refered to as the Non-Overlapping Magisteria of science and religion, may be possible.
John Horgan- The End of Science who is even more cynical than Shermer and who has assumed the role of The Scientific Curmudgeon- coined the term ironic science- unfathomable speculation more akin to philosophy and literature than genuine science- "The science is ironic in the sense that it should not be considered a literal statement of fact" and gives as examples the theoretical work from Stephen Hawking to Leonard Susskind, disparaging not only string "theory of everything" but particularly Susskind's championing the anthropic principle. The obvious question Horgan leaves unanswered is- what literal statement of fact has ever been proved scientifically?
Richard Dawkins is atheism's Rottweiler and regularly argues the theme of his 2006 book The God Delusion in public debate with various theistic philosophers. Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that faith qualifies as a delusion − as a fixed false belief.
In Anthropic Bias- Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy Nick Bostrum claims to give an account of how to reason in light of observational selection effects that is both more rigorous and more general than any other in the literatures on fine-tuning, the anthropic principle, and the Doomsday Argument. He abandons the term "anthropic principle" and seeks to develop a principle that is clearer, more general, and capable of solving the freak-observer problem- starting with "the Self-Sampling Assumption."
Our world appears to be in the midst of the epoch referred to in the Chinese expression- May you live in interesting times which may be interpreted either as a curse or blessing. Most apparent in global geopolitics, the unsettling dynamic reverberates throughout every aspect of our civilization and is manifested in the sciences by the conflict arising over the role consciousness plays in shaping our emergent metaparadigm to describe nature.
The John Templeton Foundation is a major player in promoting consciousness into the scientific paradigm since it is a well-funded advocate whose stated mission is to facilitate a rich and robust dialogue between the scientific and religious communities by forging a common vocabulary. However because it is conspicuously evangelical it takes great pains to sponsor educational programs, conferences and symposia that feature the most prestigious scientists willing to participate whose work may not necessarily support the Foundation's theological agenda, and therefore retain credibility and objectivity. Of course this does not mean that contributors avoid being vilified ad hominem, not on the basis of their science but for "sleeping with the enemy". For example - one such conference was entitled Engaging Big Questions in Astronomy and Cosmology.
Andre Linde- physicist at Stanford University whose research involves multiverse theories regarding quantum and inflation cosmology and keeps an open mind regarding an anthropic principle is among many top scientists who participated in the 1999 conference Multiverse, Inflation, Life, and Probabilities sponsored by the Templeton Foundation and has received a research grant in their 2008 awards program.
Back in 1971, when I was middle aged and involved in a hedonistic lifestyle, I had an extraordinary Neo-Tantric-like mystical experience which I described in a website a few years later. The Maya-Gaia website is an early anecdote describing my effort to integrate the event which I eventually recognized as a classical Nirvikalpa Samadhi episode. Consequently I was surprised to find virtually no mention in the discussions that considered the subject of transcendent episodes which suggest direct insight to a cosmic consciousnes. The growing body of contemporary anecdotal evidence as well as documentation of NDE field consciousness compiled on sites such as IONS and OBERF and IANDS as well as TASTE added to its deep history in Vedantic, Buddhist and other traditions may mean that science simply has not yet found a way to detect or explain such immaterial phenomena.
In D'Amano's book there is a chapter entitled Knowers sighting many accounts by those whose superior knowledge and intellect bring credibility and significance to the transcendent episode. In physicist David Bohm's Implicate Order a groundbreaking premise is presented applying quantum theory to explain both phenomenal and conscious reality. A further adaptation of Bohm's theories is presented in Entangled Minds by Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science who implicates recent string theory and quantum entaglement to describe how psi effects may manifest throughout the entire metaphysical spectrum. The book's Bibliography Online is a comprehensive compendium of quantum literature. (I've created a page of links to articles and papers with pro and con viewpoints about synthesizing Vedanta and new physics concepts.) See also NeuroQuantology© 2009 An interdisciplinary journal that makes available the rapidly accumulating empirical data in the neuroscience, cognitive science and technical domains that crosses the boundaries of neuroscience and physics to stimulate a synthesis or provoke new models for understanding consciousness.
Victor J. Stenger God: The Failed Hypothesis is one of the most activist opponents to reality theories that incorporate metaphysical notions involving human or cosmic consciousness. In a 1992 article in The Humanist he claims this seemingly profound association between quantum and mind is an artifact, the consequence of unfortunate language used by Bohr, Heisenberg and the others who originally formulated conventional quantum mechanics. In describing the necessary interaction between the observer and what is being observed, and how the state of a system is determined by the act of its measurement, they inadvertently left the impression that human consciousness enters the picture to cause that state to come into being. Stenger argues that experimental results confirming Bell's Theorem regarding conventional quantum mechanics have since been made which refute Bohm's premis and that the popular paradigm that has arisen from New Age science gurus such as Fritjof Capra The Tao of Physics and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Transcendental Meditation and others which involves human consciousness in quantum theory is based on pseudo-science.
But directly refuting Stenger's "artifact" claim, Anthony Freeman in Consciousness: A Guide to the Debates says: Von Neumann, and those physicists such as Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) and Henry Stapp, who followed his lead, drew the inference that there is no logical end to the chain of events in a quantum experiment until the point of recognition of a measurement in a conscious observer's mind. He therefore amended the standard Copenhagen interpretation- that refers to an ambiguous "measurement" by declaring that the quantum world can only be understood in relation to the classical world of measuring instruments-to say that not just any recorded measurement but only conscious observation could precipitate physical actuality out of quantum possibility.
From Copernicus and Newton to Hubble and Hawking, our understanding of the universe on both the macro and micro cosmic scale grows exponentially making it certain that paradigm shifts will be made in our future definition of reality. In my lifetime, hypotheses once considered absurd like The Big Bang, plate tectonics and the modern synthesis of Darwinian evolution and genetics evolved into theory and subsequently became incorporated into the scientific model. An enormous landscape of theoretical possibilites has arisen in cosmology, molecular physics and biology of the mind which are considered scientifically legitimate despite the fact that some on today's science forefront like loop quantum gravity or string and knot theories may never yield testable consequences. Even the two icons of theoretical physics, general relativity and quantum mechanics are scientifically contradicting. Physicalist science seems inadequent to even begin to penetrate either of the two greatest mysteries about reality - consciousness and dark energy. A topic of crucial significance and still awaiting scientific consensus is global warming. It may prove no coincidence that the debate over that, despite it's considerable scientific credentials and the Gaia Theory, both of which can have repercussions in regards to our very survival, have become politicized to the same degree as those over RE, SID and SAP- with each, on occasion, being disparaged as junk science.
Kevin Kelly (co-creator of Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Wired magazine) writes about the future of science and the return of the subjective. "Science came into its own when it managed to refuse the subjective and embrace the objective. The repeatability of an experiment by another, perhaps less enthusiastic, observer was instrumental in keeping science rational. But as science plunges into the outer limits of scale at the largest and smallest ends and confronts the weirdness of the fundamental principles of matter/energy/information such as that inherent in quantum effects, it may not be able to ignore the role of observer. Existence seems to be a paradox of self-causality, and any science exploring the origins of existence will eventually have to embrace the subjective, without become irrational. The tools for managing paradox are still undeveloped."
For anyone interested in an open-minded exploration of cosmic consciousness, I've compiled a list of links featuring scientifically qualified resources that appear fair-minded to RE, SID and SAP especially when these are distinguished from the debate that pits evolution versus creationism. Also included are those expressing certifiably keen intellects outside the field of science who have addressed the issues substantively. I've listed sites with forums (identified with asterisks) which seem the least biased but have included examples which are obviously evangelical as well some anti-religious ones for perspective. For the most part, the sources speak in a popular rather than technical language so even I, a scientific layman of just average intellect, can at least get their drift. Distinct from my discussion, when the terms "God" or "Intelligent Design" or "ID" appear in any of these links, they assume whatever qualities the site's author ascribes.
Further Anthropic Reading
Anthropic epigenesis pathways in the evolution of life arising out of the cosmic matrix.
A symbolic map featuring detail of the hominin phylogeny stage culminating in our Homo sapiens intelligence. Digital adaptation from "Footprints of a glacier, Muddus National Park, Sweden" National Geographic Oct, 2015. Photograph: Orsolya Haarberg and Erlend Haarberg - Reconstructions: John Gurche - Paleoart: Zdenĕk Burian, et al - Homo sapiens icon image by John Gurche portrays paleo H. sapiens from 200 Kya and three of the many extant races of H. sapiens sapiens - all possessing fully evolved cognition with potential for cosmic consciousness and knowing God through grace.
Anthropic Principle From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Dialetic: In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the Universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.
The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by Barrow and Tipler (see variants) states that this is all the case because the Universe is compelled, in some sense, for conscious life to eventually emerge. Critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing any such fine tuning, while a universe less compatible with life will go unbeheld. Such arguments are closely related to some multiverse ideas and can link to the Fermi paradox.
The term anthropic in "anthropic principle" has been argued to be a misnomer. While singling out our kind of carbon-based life, none of the finely tuned phenomena require human life or some kind of carbon chauvinism. Any form of life or any form of heavy atom, stone, star or galaxy would do; nothing specifically human or anthropic is involved.
Anthropic Synchronicity An examination of Anthropic Synchronicity as an ontogeny of a living universal matrix a Meta-Gaia its myriad features each an essential element in the cosmogenic function of an evolutionary biogenetic continuum that gave birth to and nurtures a lifeform with the level of intelligence we humans are imbued with. Our moon's perfect eclipse of the sun a salient example of inexplicable cosmic synchronicity that advances our universal self discovery.
Sixty Years Later: The Enduring Allure of Synchronicity My review to a PDF download of article from the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 2012 by clinical psychologist Dan Hocoy, PhD Saybrook U. Oakland, CA who's interest in the subject of synchronicity is the result of many numinous, personal experiences. Because of the importance and relevancy of his work to a better understanding of many of the extrapolated concepts presented in my Anthropic Trilogy, the review presents some extended excerpts and references to encourage readers to access the full PDF download. Abstract:  marks the 60th anniversary of Jung's (1952) concept of synchronicity; a survey of popular books and academic publications indicates that the idea has never been more popular. The unique longevity and cultural impact of synchronicity, compared with other notions of its era, is worthy of discussion. This article explores the multiple factors [trans-psychology; quantum physics; multi-cosmology; implicate reality] that seem to have synergistically converged to maintain its relevance. Human existential needs for meaning, connection, and agency appear to make up the "fertile ground", while personal experiences of meaningful coincidences, especially profound and numinous ones, seem to constitute the "seed" of belief in synchronicity.
Is Truth Independent of us? - The Historic Einstein-Tagore Meeting: It was on the edge of Berlin on July 14, 1930, that science and spirituality came together in one of the most intellectually stimulating conversations in history, as Albert Einstein met with the Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore in his own house. The conversation that ensued is detailed in Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore by David L. Gosling, a book that covers the blossoming of intellectual thought in early twentieth century India, amid the already strong Indian spiritual traditions. In excerpts from that meeting, the conversation between Einstein and Tagore is a wonderful exploration of the fundamental questions of existence, touching on science, philosophy, consciousness and beauty.
The Religion of Man The Hibbert Lectures For 1930 by Rabindranath Tagore (Published 1931) Rabindranath Tagore
Scientific Perspectivism by Ronald N. Giere, U.of Chicago Press, 2010 - Review by Peter Lipton, Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge U. Many philosopher of science think that although whole truth and nothing but the truth is an asymptote, science is objective and increasingly comprehensive descriptions of a largely visable universe. Others would not go this far and their retreats from the full-blooded truth view take one of two forms: partial truth or constructivism - the later of which Kant and Thomas Kuhn took in adapting their philosophies. (m-g comment: It seems scientific constructivism is analogous to the constructivist interpretation of mystical experiences of Steven Katz and also reflects on the mind-body problem opened in the Copenhagen Interpretation, as to whether the "observation" that collapses the quantum wave function can be made by a recording device or must involve subjective cognitive observation. If "subjective" is meant via human consciousness the obvious argument is that human observers were not around during the 14 billion years a Quantum Universe was evolving but if by "subjective" is meant conscious observation - anthropic cosmic consciousness offers a "subjective" super observer with as much credibility as various multiverse theories. End m-g comment) See also: Einstein/Tagore Conversation A review by Navin Doshi and Debashish Banerji. Tagore was essentially stating the Anthropic Principle some 40 years before the British physicist Brandon Carter brought it into existence.
The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies, 2008 - In his clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it's because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident - we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot. While this "multiverse" theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there's a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life and, ultimately, consciousness aren't just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe. Whether he's elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways. See also: Fine Tuned Universe YouTube Video by Paul Davies
Anthropic considerations in nuclear physics New evidence for anthropic theory that fundamental physics constants underlie life-enabling universe Phys Org News January 16, 2015 - The theory that an Anthropic Principle guided the physics and evolution of the universe was initially proposed by Brandon Carter while he was a post-doctoral researcher in astrophysics at the University of Cambridge; this theory was later debated by Cambridge scholar Stephen Hawking and a widening web of physicists around the world. German scholar Ulf-G Meißner, chair in theoretical nuclear physics at the Helmholtz Institute, University of Bonn, adds to a series of discoveries that support this Anthropic Principle. In a new study Anthropic considerations in nuclear physics Science Bulletin 09/2014 published in the Beijing-based journal Science Bulletin, Professor Meißner provides an overview of the Anthropic Principle (AP) in astrophysics and particle physics and states: "One can indeed perform physics tests of this rather abstract [AP] statement for specific processes like element generation."
Probability we're the only intelligent life ever? Really low, say astronomers By Lonnie Shekhtman, csmonitor staff, MAY 1, 2016 - A new paper shows that the recent discoveries of exoplanets, plus a revised Drake's equation, produces a new, empirically valid probability of whether any other advanced civilizations have ever existed. They found that the chances that a human civilization evolved on Earth and nowhere else in the universe are less than about one in 10 billion trillion. To put it another way, even if life evolves on only one planet in a billion that are orbiting in the habitable zones of their stars, meaning at the right distance to create the temperature needed for water to remain liquid, which is considered a prerequisite for life, that still means [life got started] on the order of 10 trillion times. (maya-gaia comment: To suggest that the probability of the evolution of an intelligent life-form can be predicated on the probability of the appearence of primordial life assumes the evolutionary trajectory that occurred on Earth would apply to all planets - a purely speculative assumption with no scientific basis. (End maya-gaia comment)
Anthropic Bias by Nick Bostrom, Professor at Oxford University, and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute. The book explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by “observation selection effects”—that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to “have” the evidence. This conundrum—sometimes alluded to as “the anthropic principle,” “self-locating belief,” or “indexical information”—turns out to be a surprisingly perplexing and intellectually stimulating challenge, one abounding with important implications for many areas in science and philosophy.
A Conscious Cosmos by Peter Russell, 2016 youtube - A wonderful animated summary of the latest thinking among leading quantum physicists about the nature of reality, a condensation of Peter Russell's' own belief that everything is conscious to some degree, and that the way to explore the nature of this universal consciousness is to go "within" to our own awareness as mystics and contemplatives have been saying for centuries. As Edgar Mitchell said once, it will be ironic if scientific discoveries end up dissolving the boundaries between science and spirituality as seems to be happening. Peter Russell is not alone in saying consciousness is primary.
Way of the Explorer by Dr. Edgar Mitchell -Excerpts: If we postulate that the experience of the nirvakalpa samadhi state is the experience of resonance with the ground-state of all matter, this would tie the Great Chain of Being back to its roots in the quantum potential of matter. The modern term for this energy field is called zero-point energy or vacuum energy. Vacuum energy is the presumed energy field that is in continuous dynamic exchange with matter that contains the form and existence of matter at the quantum level. To be aware of the zero-point is tantamount to being aware only of awareness itself.
The next two links present excerpts from Dr. Edgar Mitchell's work in regards to anthropic consciousness and nirvikalpa samadhi. We broadly agree on the nature of anthropic consciousness but my nirvikalpa samadhi journey began in a state of duality where I momentarily "knew everything" and then was fully aware of a "Gatekeeper" interaction and later a "blazing light" that consumed my physical body and the ensuing explosive transformation to nondual state of light, bliss, love. So I take exception to his notion that any duality awareness necessarily brings one out of a samadhi state.
The Way of The Explorer - An Apollo Astronaut's Journey Through the Material and Mystical World by Dr. Edgar Mitchell, 2008 (pages 116-118)
By studying earlier earthly life forms we can gather clues to our more primitive nature and to the processes involved in our evolution of the anthropic consciousness we experience.
When in nirvikalpa samadhi, the creation of an object (a thought) would then be seen not as Self but as something separate from Self. This is the first dualism: the distinction between the created object and the Self that created it. The Self now becomes the self-aware observer, now become the "self" or every day experience. Creating this dualism by observing things as separate from Self causes one to leave the samadhi state of consciousness and arrive at the state where "things" exist. This is termed the existential state. Percieving things as separate from Self can occurr only at the existential level or below. The subject/object dualism separates and distinguishes the existential stae from the samadhi states and "creates" the world of illusion where things are separate and distinct from other objects of the world. "Self" should also not be construed to be synomonous with traditional concepts of "soul", which implies an existence independent of the body, although it is tempting to make such an unwarranted extention. (I use Self in this work to imply the transcendent experience as distinguished from the mundane experience of an ego self...)
Dyadic Model Part 4 of article by Dr. Edgar Mitchell: Consider the experience of the nirvikalpa samadhi which is described similarly in different traditions. In this experience the sense of Self merges with the cosmos and reality is experienced as unity of Self with All-That-Is. The experience is accompanied by intense ecstasy, a sense of eternity and a complete loss of fear. The experience is ineffable is the sense that description is inadequate to convey the experience and the description alone does not assist others in attaining the experience. The cultural interpretations are generally that the experience represents union with the godhead, or the ground of being. It is the experience of the "peace that passes all understanding".
The dyadic model interpretation is that the body/brain is experiencing its "ground state" or resonance with the zero point field. The awareness is the undifferentiated awareness of the primordial field, as the sense of Self is merged totally into the field. The question immediately arises as to why an intense ecstasy plus a sense of security and eternity accompany this state. It is only within the larger question of why nature provided feelings at all that this question may be answered. The internal feeling sense accesses the state of wellbeing of the organism. In addition the subconscious brain functions integrate information from external senses and from non local sources to provide a "feeling" of alarm or security as to the state of the environment. The feeling sense also provides reward or punishment for behavior influencing survival: gratification of thirst, hunger, sex drive, and discomfort or pain for dangerous behaviors, etc.
The foregoing information management functions undoubtedly take place in all multisensory organisms. But in self reflective humans who have learned to consciously manage certain internal states, additional feeling states come into play, such as the various Samadhi experiences. Is nature just continuing to act out the same survival oriented teleology by providing ecstasy with the Samadhi? Is the ecstasy, security, connectedness and eternity experienced in Samadhi a nature signal that the organism is doing something right, that should be repeated? Probably so. The ecstasy of the Samadhi is more intense (in my own experience and as reported by others) than any other positive human experience. All others are pale in comparison.
From these early analytical attempts, but without the knowledge available in the modern period, mystical interpretations of information, idealist philosophies and materialist philosophies arose to give meaning to information both external and internal. For the purposes of this paper, and if one accepts the evolutionary evidence available in modern times, reality in our universe may be said to consist of two things: existence and knowing. These two aspects of reality are interacting evolutionary processes. They stem from two fundamental attributes of nature: energy and information. It is why in this model they are called dyadic. By using this model to examine traditional thinking, beliefs and dogma in both science and mystical experience, inconsistencies, paradox and flaws are uncovered. These inconsistencies and paradox invariably result from giving meaning to experience based upon limited information, from considering reality from a narrow perspective, from science denying the value of the subjective experience and religion ignoring the mounting information from science. The primary error always has been to consider the current understanding absolute and to confuse the map with the territory.
Several factors emerge immediately from considering the mystical experience from the dyadic point of view. The first is that mystical insights are just information that requires interpretation, not absolute and literal realities, that can stand alone. The flaw in cultural interpretation of mystical interpretation is precisely that of interpreting metaphor literally. However, a valid information function is taking place nevertheless. Consider the experience of the nirvikalpa samadhi which is described similarly in different traditions. In this experience the sense of Self merges with the cosmos and reality is experienced as unity of Self with All-That-Is. The experience is accompanied by intense ecstasy, a sense of eternity and a complete loss of fear. The experience is ineffable is the sense that description is inadequate to convey the experience and the description alone does not assist others in attaining the experience. The cultural interpretations are generally that the experience represents union with the godhead, or the ground of being. It is the experience of the “peace that passes all understanding”.
World Processes and the Anthropic Principle Parts 1,2,3 by Brendan Purcell from Chapter 3 of his book From Big Bang to Big Mystery (2012). Reductionism is the name given to the claim to reduce all of reality to the areas dealt with by the natural sciences, often, as here, privileging physics and chemistry: If I play the piano, the movements of my fingers may be partly explained by physics and chemistry, biochemistry and anatomy, but the thing that is taking place for example, playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" would be missed by a description detailing these partial though true accounts of events on the lower levels. I'm more than my fingers and what I'm doing is more than the physics, chemistry, biochemistry and anatomy. Underlying this whole discussion has been the often uneasy relationship not only between the natural sciences themselves, but between them and philosophy, since the problems of scientism and reductionism are fundamentally what Rondinara calls "metascientific", or if you wish, philosophical. To resolve the conflict between Newtonian and quantum physics, Niels Bohr introduced the notion of complementarity between the two apparently contradictory approaches. This is a complementarity between branches of the same natural science. But we can go further and suggest that the natural sciences can best operate as complementary to other sources of truth: for everyone that should include philosophy, and for believers, revelation too.
Barrow and Tipler on the Anthropic Principle vs. Divine Design by William Lane Craig - Barrow and Tipler endorse the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, but one could also appeal to inflationary models or oscillating models of the Universe in order to generate multiple worlds. If such a wider Universe exists, then it might be argued that all possible universes are actualized and that WAP reveals why surprise at our being in a universe with basic features essential to life is not appropriate. In any case, the move on the part of Anthropic philosophers to posit many worlds, even if viable, represents a significant concession because it implies that the popular use of the WAP to refute teleology in a universe whose properties are coextensive with the basic features of our universe is fallacious. In order to stave off the conclusion of a Designer, the Anthropic philosopher must take the metaphysically speculative step of embracing a special kind of multiple universe scenario. That will hardly commend itself to some as any less objectionahle than theism. We appear then to be confronted with two alternatives: posit either a cosmic Designer or an exhaustively random, infinite number of other worlds. Faced with these options, is not theism just as rational a choice as multiple worlds?
Is String Theory Science? A debate between physicists and philosophers could redefine the scientific method and our understanding of the universe By Davide Castelvecchi, Review in Scientific American Dec. 23 2015 - of (G. Ellis and J. Silk Nature 516, 321–323; 2014) In a workshop co-organized by science philosopher Richard Dawid with cosmologists George Ellis and astronomer Joseph Silk, physicists met to address the accusation that branches of theoretical physics have become detached from the realities of experimental science. “Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe,” they wrote some scientists argue that “if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally”. First among the topics discussed was testability. For a scientific theory to be considered valid, scientists often require that there be an experiment that could, in principle, rule the theory out — or falsify it. In their article, Ellis and Silk pointed out that in certain areas, some theoretical physicists had strayed from this guiding principle citing string theory as the principal example. Silk and Ellis also called out another theory that seems to have abandoned ‘Popperism’: the concept of a multiverse, in which the Big Bang spawned many universes — most of which would be radically different from our own. Theoretical physicist David Gross, drew a distinction between the two theories. He classified string theory as testable “in principle” and thus perfectly scientific, because the strings are potentially detectable. Much more troubling, he says, are concepts such as the multiverse because the other universes that it postulates probably cannot be observed from our own, even in principle. But the main target were observations made by philosopher Richard Dawid of Ludwig Maximilian University in his book String Theory and the Scientific Method 2013. Dawid wrote that string theorists had started to follow the principles of Bayesian statistics, which estimates the likelihood of a certain prediction being true on the basis of prior knowledge, and later revises that estimate as more knowledge is acquired. But physicists have begun to use purely theoretical factors, such as the internal consistency of a theory or the absence of credible alternatives, to update estimates, instead of basing those revisions on actual data - and this ignores a credible alternative to string theory called loop quantum gravity.
Common Sense Atheism The Fine-Tuning Argument A well-edited, responsive blog by Luke Muehlhauser with an anti-theism world view. We atheists tend to think some theistic arguments are more ridiculous than others. Now I’d like to reveal my current reaction to various theistic arguments. Occasionally give me pause - Cosmological arguments #1 the fine-tuning argument. Initial Commentary: Hitchens, in the documentary “Collision” (which I watched the other day), tells his opponent Douglas Wilson in a candid conversation during a limo ride that he find the fine-tuning argument to be the most difficult to refute. ...followed by extensive commentary - mostly of militant atheistic persuasion.
True Nature by Dr. Mani Bhaumik (Vedic Sciences) The subject of the origin and the nature of existence of consciousness is a scientific study in progress. Scientists are receptive to the idea of the Anthropic Principle whose corollary suggests that the conditions at the beginning of our universe had to be such as to presage the eventual emergence of intelligent beings like us. Based on his "delayed choice" Quantum Physics experiment, physicist John Wheeler stated, "It is incontrovertible that the observer is a participator in genesis." That is, awareness has been present from the very beginning of the universe, but its emergence needed the eventual development of an appropriate material structure in sentient beings. The question now begs itself: Can the source of everything physical also be entrenched with the source of consciousness?
The Puzzle of Existence and a Puddle of Doubt thetruthwillmakeyoumad by Jim Denney on April 11, 2012 A very smart man once wrote a very stupid thing in a book. Here is the stupid thing Douglas Adams wrote:
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.Here's why The Puddle Analogy is stupid: MG Comment: Denny proceeds to apply his well-developed critical thinking skills to this oft-cited attempt to belittle the supreme mystery of how a big bang created a universe with a cosmological constant that enabled the evolution of life possessed with a consciousness sufficiently intelligent to observe and contemplate its own existence. A constituency of otherwise smart skeptics including such intelligensia as Richard Dawkins have employed it to argue that the anthropic principle is merely a tautology and of no scientific significance that should be relegated to philosophical or religious discussion. MG struggled to decide on the best search engine term for this subject including: anthropic puddle metaphor; really stupid anthropic puddle; anthropic puddle fallacy; anthropic puddle sarcasm; dumb anthropic puddle anology; specious anthropic puddle; aetheist's anthropic puddle; anthropic puddle duplicity; anthropic puddle oxymoron. End MG Comment
The Anthropic Principle and Purusartha (Purusarthic Principle) Although Penrose and Hameroff do not endorse it, it would appear that some version of the anthropic principle is implied by their Orch OR/consciousness ideas. Penrose's tripartite diagram of physical world, mind, and Platonic world, with their interconnections, suggests this strongly. Some sort of protoconsciousness is inherent to matter, and this is magnified in neuronal consciousness, maximally in humans. Here the Indian thought discussed above suggests what may be a superior version of the anthropic principle. Rather than existing for the sake of humans (anthropos) the world might exist for the sake of awareness (purusa). Moreover, the point of it would not be merely so that humans could experience or enjoy the world but crucially so that they might achieve enlightenment and release (moksa) through understanding their experience correctly. Records such as the three cited above suggest what this enlightenment is like, but they cannot convey its full reality. Yet the very fact that these experiences exist, and can be remembered to some extent and set down on paper, at least suggests that they might be taken seriously by a physicist, like Penrose's, that has a place for consciousness and that finds the human position in the cosmos to be interesting and important. What could this "purusarthic principle" (to give it a name), with its emphasis on higher states and enlightenment, add to the anthropic principle? Crucially, could it overcome some of the objections that have been made to the anthropic principle, especially the most obvious (almost unanswerable) one, that the universe would surely not have labored so mightily only to bring forth so trivial a mouse as man. Of course debates in artificial intelligence (if Penrose is wrong) raise the hope or specter of machine intelligence and consciousness far outstripping ours, so by extrapolation the anthropic principle might be translated into an "androidic" principle.
Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God by Eric Metaxas, 2014 - Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life, every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. The odds have turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one and even we shouldn't be here. Further the odds against even the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all "just happened" defies common sense.
Evolution IS Intelligent Design A 2010 critique of ID that uses the straw man version that rejects Darwinian evolution but I link to it because it is just one chapter in a compendium of well-illustrated original essays and media in Dhushara - a website entitled: Researching the Biogenetic Cosmos - Falling into the Abyss of Existence - Biocosmology & Consciousness - Sexual Paradox Messiah's Blog - Fractal Research - Genesis of Eden Videos - Nino Music - World Travel - Resplendence - edited and authored by Chris King aka Cristo Rey.
Integral Options Cafe Upaya Conversations is a new series of interviews from Upaya Institute and Zen Center. Offering multiple perspectives from many fields of human inquiry that may move all of us toward a more integrated understanding of who we are as conscious beings. Explores a range of topics featured in Anthropic Trilogy anthropic, consciousness, meditation, noetics, etc. See also: Anthropic Universe? by George Dvorsky and a commentary that purports to dismiss any anthropic reality that I find patently specious. See more at: The Puddle Argument post by Matthew. "I actually find the puddle analogy a somewhat glib expression of the anthropic principle. It supposes that intelligence can arise in most any type of universe, when the whole point of fine-tuning is that in these other universes it's difficult to imagine "any" type of life. Of course this could just be "carbon chauvinism" just because we can't imagine it doesn't mean it's impossible but I don't think we can get around fine-tuning by supposing that some type of intelligence will arise no matter what the universe.
The Teleological Argument and the Anthropic Principle An in-depth examination of anthropic ontologies and paradigms by William Lane Craig, 1990 In recent years, the scientific community has been stunned by its discovery of how complex and sensitive a nexus of conditions must be given in order for the universe to permit the origin and evolution of intelligent life on Earth. The universe appears, in fact, to have been incredibly fine-tuned from the moment of its inception for the production of intelligent life on Earth at this point in cosmic history. In the various fields of physics and astrophysics, classical cosmology, quantum mechanics, and biochemistry, various discoveries have repeatedly disclosed that the existence of intelligent carbon-based life on Earth at this time depends upon a delicate balance of physical and cosmological quantities, such that were any one of these quantities to be slightly altered, the balance would be destroyed and life would not exist. Includes a review of some of the cosmological and physical quantities that have been found to exhibit this delicate balance necessary for the existence of intelligent life on Earth. Examples of the metaphysically extravagant lengths to which philosophers seem compelled to go in order to avoid a divine Designer. In comparison with physicalist's commitments, the hypothesis of theism seem modest.
Intercausality The Hypothesis of Intercausality by Ryan Fleming. Abstract: I propose that the universe is intrinsically tied in with the consciousness of living beings and it is the result of this intertwining that has not only given rise to religion and magical practises, but also the very nature of the cosmos as outlined in the Anthropic Principle. This suggests that human beings possess the ability to affect and alter reality according to directed effort, on some scale, thus providing the possibility for not only a new scientific paradigm and a new model of physics, but a new way of living. The basic premise of this theory could be summed up as 'thought creates reality', hardly a new thought in the history of philosophy, but one which we are now becoming irrevocably convinced of and ever closer to testing indisputably. The concept of humans affecting the nature of reality should not be confused with the effect of observation on quantum experiments, though the two phenomena may very well be related. Can the universe be said to exist independently of us? If Intercausality can be taken as a logical fact and be seen as a process which shapes the phenomenal world, then what existence can be said, if any, to be present sans human observation? Intercausality proposes that we humans (and perhaps other forms of life we coexist with) affect and shape the nature of reality to some greater or lesser degree as of yet undetermined; therefore, would there be a purpose for the law of Intercausality if the universe could exist independent of us? It is reasonable to assume existence is upheld, underpinned, shaped, by the existence of life. Phenomena/Noumena: Phenomena The causal universe we inhabit, composed of space-time and governed according to mutable laws of nature. Noumena The continuum from which the substance of reality perhaps derives and which it is composed of, sustaining a connection whereby it can be altered via the medium of consciousness and thought. There may be, anterior to the causal universe of phenomena, a currently immeasurable, and perhaps acausal universe of Noumena. This Noumena would be tied in with the very fabric of the causal universe. It is this Noumena which is the plastic foundation from which the ability to affect reality arises and which shapes and forms the universe. The Phenomena/Noumena model is at current, a very vague one, and is utilised to explain, in non-precise terms, the relation between the physical, causal realm and the currently unknown continuum or field from which the manifestations of thought derives - the Noumenal. Example of Intercausality: Red cars crash more often than other cars.
Psychedelics, Consciousness & the Birth of Civilization by Graham Hancock, editor The Divine Spark, 2015. By 196,000 years ago, and on some accounts considerably earlier, humans had achieved "full anatomical modernity". This means that they were in every way physically indistinguishable from the people of today and, crucially, that they possessed the same large, complex brains as we do. The most striking mystery, however, is that their behavior continued to lag behind their acquisition of modern neurology and appearance. They showed no sign of possessing a culture, or spiritual beliefs, or self-consciousness, or any interest in symbols which would mean 150,000 years of Homo sapiens without cultural stuff. The problem posed by this gap may be the greatest riddle of palaeoanthropology how we became human and in the process began to make art and to practice what we call religion.
MG Comment: The ultimate mystery about human intelligence that the anthropic principle explicates is why/how had our brains, by 190,000 years ago, already evolved all the anatomical/neurological properties for advanced intellectual, civilized abilities far beyond what was necessary to maintain a hunter-gather life style in perpetuity? (See next link for how renowned biologist E. O. Wilson frames this enigma. End MG Comment
Contrasted with the endless, unimaginative cultural desert extending from 7 million years ago down to just 40,000 years ago, the appearance of the first great, fully representative symbolic art in caves and rock shelters between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago represents a spectacular enigma. Accompanied by other significant changes in human behavior including but not limited to better and more sophisticated stone and bone tools, better hunting strategies, and the first evidence for spiritual beliefs it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that whatever divine spark led our ancestors to start creating art caused all the other changes as well. A theory originally elaborated by Lewis-Williams and now supported by a majority of archaeologists and anthropologists proposes that the reason for the eerie similarities and universal themes linking all these different systems of art is that in every case both ancient and modern and wherever in the world they are found the shaman-artists responsible for them had previously experienced altered states of consciousness in which they had seen vivid hallucinations, and in every case their endeavour in making the art was to memorialise on the walls of rock shelters and caves the ephemeral images that they had seen in their visions.
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, PDF Ebook by Edward O. Wilson, 1998 (Page 52) - Natural selection, defined as the differential survival and reproduction of different genetic forms, prepares organisms only for necessities. Biological capacity evolves until it maximizes the fitness of organisms for the niches they fill, and not a squiggle more. Every species, every kind of butterfly, bat, fish and primate, including Homo sapiens occupies a distinctive niche. It follows that each species lives in its own sensory world. In shaping that world, natural selection is solely guided by the conditions of past history and by events occurring moment by moment then and now. Because moths are too small and indigestible to be energetically efficient food for large primates, Homo sapiens never evolved echolocation to catch them. And since we do not live in dark water, an electrical sense was never an option for our species. Natural selection, in short, does not anticipate future needs but this principle, while explaining so much so well, presents a difficulty. If the principle is universally true, how did natural selection prepare the mind for civilization before civilization existed? That is the great mystery of human evolution: how to account for caculus and Mozart. (In later chapter Wilson refers to genetic/culture coevolution and the biological basis of behavior as the "genetic leash.": His sociobiological view is that all animal social behavior is governed by epigenetic rules worked out by the laws of evolution without evoking any anthropic principles.) See also: Genes, Mind, And Culture: The Coevolutionary Process, by Charles J. Lumsden and Edward O Wilson, 2005 reprint of 1981 book presenting gene-culture coevolution theory.
Shadow Self Spirit Transpersonal psychologist Michael Daniels
Smolin Vs. Susskind: The Anthropic Principle Lee Smolin, Leonard Susskind 8_18_04 Topic: Universe. Recently, I received a copy of an email sent by Leonard Susskind to a group of physicists which included an attached file entitled "Answer to Smolin". This was the opening salvo of an intense email exchange between Susskind and Smolin concerning Smolin's argument that "the Anthropic Principle (AP) cannot yield any falsifiable predictions, and therefore cannot be a part of science". After reading several postings by each of the physicists, I asked each if (a) they would consider posting the comments on Edge, and (b) if they would write a new, and final "letter".
Quantum Backuptron Anthropic vs Multiverse Posted by Hrvoje Crvelin in Quantum Backuptron, 2011 - While reading the following article you may wonder if this is science or philosophy (more likely it is philosophy of science). You are not alone. The "Landscape Multiverse" combines string theory and inflation to give us bubble universes in many dimensions. A number of physicists don't like the string landscape/multiverse idea. Leonard Susskind in 2006 said: "Why is it that so many physicists find these ideas alarming? Well, they do threaten physicists' fondest hope, the hope that some extraordinarily beautiful mathematical principle will be discovered: a principle that would completely and uniquely explain every detail of the laws of particle physics (and therefore nuclear, atomic, and chemical physics). The enormous Landscape of Possibilities inherent in our best theory seems to dash that hope."
The Holographic Anthropic Multiverse: Formalizing the Complex Geometry of Reality by Richard L. Amoroso, Elizabeth A. Rauscher, 2010 - Complementarity of Mind and Body: Realizing the Dream of Descartes, Einstein and Eccles. The noetic model is the first theory of any kind to explain qualia in physical terms. The formal delineation of the life principle or élan vital explains not only the origin of self-organisation in living systems, providing the basis for the first comprehensive dualist theory, but also is what makes the model empirically testable allowing this volume to make history. The floodgates are about to open to almost unimaginable advances in the field of consciousness studies. This book introduces a comprehensive empirically testable model of dualism-interactionism to legitimise the interactionist model at a level tantamount to any other avenue of epistemological investigation.
Anthropic principle favours the holographic dark energy Qing-Guo Huang1 and Miao Li1, 2005 - Abstract: We discuss the anthropic principle when applied to holographic dark energy. We find that if the amplitude of the density fluctuation is variable, the holographic dark energy fares better than the cosmological constant. More generally, the anthropic predictions agree better with observation for dark energy.
The Emerging Physics of Consciousness (Google eBook) Jack A. Tuszynski, 2006 - Medical: Consciousness is one of the major unsolved problems in science. How do the feelings and sensations making up conscious experience arise from the concerted actions of nerve cells and their associated synaptic and molecular processes? Can such feelings be explained by modern science, or is there an entirely different kind of explanation needed? And how can this seemingly intractable problem be approached experimentally? How do the operations of the conscious mind emerge out of the specific interactions involving billions of neurons? This multi-authored book seeks answers to these questions within a range of physically based frameworks, i.e, the underlying assumption is that consciousness can be understood using the intellectual potential of modern physics and other sciences. There are a number of theories of consciousness in existence, some of which are based on classical physics while some others require the use of quantum concepts.
The Anthropic Cosmological Timeline Is Basis for The Science of Nonduality Scott Virden Anderson, Yoga Research & Education Foundation. Presented at Science and Nonduality Conference, October 21-25, 2009 San Rafael, California, Session SAND C7. Abstract: The Anthropic Cosmological Timeline (ACT) is the now-origin logarithmic timeline of all possible times past: from the Planck time, through the photon-proton transit time and the heart beat, to the Big Bang. ACT turns conventional cosmology inside-out and depicts an observer-centered universe. Conventional cosmologists prefer Big-Bang-origin timelines that avoid the "anthropomorphism" they eschew. However, now-origin timelines are equally valid, and the logarithmic version expands the moments past but closest to now. Initial analysis of the ACT reveals a number of unexpected features: Fully 2/3rds of cosmic time scales lie within our bodies with the "outer world" comprising the remaining 1/3rd. This is a decidedly "embodied cosmology." delimited by the range of electromagnetism in the middle, we note three nested domains of time spanning ~20 orders of magnitude each: outer, inner, & innermost. Within each we find predominance of a distinct kind of: | experience: outer environment, living body-mind, non-local form; | structure: material, energetic, informational; | system: dissipative, autopoietic, reflexive; | mathematics: (e.g., the algebras) complex, quaternion, octonion; | geometry: fractal, non-commutative, non-associative; | orders of intrinsic complexity: complex, hyper-complex-one, and hyper-complex-two. Finally: we discover that the ACT does not portray "history." Rather, all three domains are always arising simultaneously--nested in every Planckian instant as a cosmically entangled non-reducible event arising within a timeless context. Thus life experience is a vast flow-ensemble of such Planckian instants. ACT is thus a non-dual scientific cosmology and a foundational framework within which a scientific revolution may unfold a novel cosmology within which matter, energy, space, time, life, mind, self, and consciousness may all find a technical alignment. The Big Bang echoes in the body, here, now. The heart beat entrains the body, here, now. The apparently "separate self" arises in the heart, here, now; in the non-dual space of timeless awareness.
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