Has science explained anything relevant to existence? (2)

My problem with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Ever since I read about this theory (when I was 24), I have been a sceptic. I had read a little anatomy and physiology by then. I couldn’t see how the eye could have evolved through random mutation (mutations are usually errors in copying DNA); and how natural selection, which eliminates the failures in adaptation, could have had a role. As the whole process requires a very long time, an inconceivable list of intermediate forms would need to appear along the way.

Cosmic catastrophes may better explain the appearance of whole functioning forms; while yet needing an organising influence. Thus, extra-solar impacts may damage some Earth-bound species; some of the survivors may then evolve into complete, viable forms. These forms may not have been possible through the Darwinian process. Did the modern bird arise from the destruction of dinosaurs?

The concept of punctuated equilibrium, allegedly intended to counter cosmic catastrophes as a cause does not seem to be an explanation – only a description of what occurs. I have read an attempted explanation of this concept, but it was full of suppositions. As well, have intermediate forms (missing links) been found?

What then of flowering plants (100 million years old), with no intermediate species from non-flowering plants (300 million years old)? Most flowers need bees and other pollinators. How did this relationship evolve? By accident? By chance?

Whereas Darwinian evolution is based on competition, co-operation and symbiosis are clearly relevant in life. That competition was seen as the driver was consistent with Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism. Darwin and Marx were original thinkers of the 19th century. Marx’s viewpoint was that matter is the sole subject of change, which is the product of conflict arising from the internal contradictions inherent in all things. That view had a degree of plausibility then.

The biggest challenge was from Michael Behe, a biologist, who listed blood clotting, cilia, the human immune system, the transport of materials within cells, and the synthesis of nucleotides as irreducibly complex, and that no gradual route could have led to their creation.

Simple forms of life could have may have been deposited on Earth through crashing meteorites or comets. Apparently, there is sufficient evidence of this happening. Or, through some catastrophic impacts from space. Could the concept of panspermia also include life being brought to Earth by an advanced civilisation? Indeed, did extraterrestrials also tweak some life forms on Earth onto more complex levels? The Christian Bible refers to the Adam in much the same way that Zachariah Sitchin suggests, from Sumerian records, that the Anunnaki from the planet Nibiru created man (to be a slave).

Theorising that purpose is built into all forms of life on Earth may be of some value. If this is true, how did it happen? My observation of the trees and tall shrubs in my garden competing with one another is suggestive of purpose. Then, there is the issue of how certain lizards and insects were able to acquire the mechanism to change their skin colours at will, or to acquire, on a permanent basis, the colouration of the tree or leaf on which this life-form sites itself.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution may be the only theory available to explain inter-species change. But it has not been proven. Is it time to admit that we should start again?

(The ‘Big Bang’ Theory of Cosmology also does not make sense. Read Part 2)

 

 

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How Man arrived in the Cosmos

How soul-satisfying is the beauty of the Universe at all times, and which we are also made aware of in other ways. The majesty of the mountains which tower over all; the sibilance of the sea at rest; the scintillating sensual sunsets; the joyful bombasts of birdcalls; and the soothing scenery surrounding unprepossessing man-made constructions; are only some of the sights and sounds which uplift our spirits.

How incredibly complex is this Universe and its components. The miracle of birth; the very visible and innate love between the young – animal to animal (or bird), and between human and animal (and bird); the structure and functioning of our solar system which affect our lives insidiously; the strange balance between animate and inanimate life on Earth; the mostly unconscious bond between humans of all varieties; and an unavoidable instinctive yearning by many of us for merging with what we conceive of as the Divine; and the unbelievably complex arrangements within our bodies, such as the provision of energy by our cellular structure, which represents life; these are key features of Cosmic complexity.

These, and the totality of the inter-relationships discovered in the Universe, have led me to believe – and to accept – that logically there has to be a Creator of all that is. How and why are questions beyond our comprehension.

As one who was introduced to the scientific method, I follow ‘Occam’s Razor,’ the principle which says that that the simplest adequate explanation is best. Yes, it has to be minimally adequate.

Such an explanation of the origin, structure, and operation of the Universe and its components can be thus: An arm’s-length Creator set up a simple core ‘machinery,’ imbued it with a capacity for continuous change, with an associated sense of ‘purpose,’ and allowing evolution (change reflecting improvement or betterment) to occur.

Purpose (including human free will) can explain, in part, where we are now; possibly aided in our formation by ubiquitous bacteria, and by (Sitchin’s) 223 extraterrestrial genes (not found anywhere else on Earth) during our development. Chance and radiation/bombardment from distant space, as well as solar bursts, would also have had significant impacts on our path to the present.

No Earthly mind can prove – or disprove – this attempted explanation. No one can be blamed or receive credit for what has eventuated. Adding additional complexity may reflect only egoism.

What is postulated is an autonomous process, operating post-creation. A comparison – when sperm fuses with ovum to form a zygote. Asking ‘Why?’ would not be relevant.

Faith in the unknowable

Pray, and seek to propitiate that which you fear. Reach out with mind and soul into the Void for succour. Meditate and look deeply within yourself for betterment or just understanding. This is sound advice for us puny humans occupying a dangerous ball of rock rushing through space.

What are the chances of ‘heavenly’ intervention when all Earthly efforts to protect ourselves or overcome threats or disaster have been exhausted? Probably nil. Yet, could not the spirit world help? Possibly.

However, could those existing in this realm of caring spirits overcome or moderate the destiny-path each of us seemingly created in our previous lives? A destiny path implies, not only the reincarnation process (for which there is adequate evidence), but also the exercise of the free will accessible to us beyond the known constraints applying to us; eg. genetics, epigenesis, human relations, and the regular and chance influences and impacts from space; eg. solar flares, supernovas, electromagnetic radiation, and such like (and the hobgoblin which might be resident under one’s bed).

Apart from the basal emotion of anxiety aroused in all sentient beings, through awareness of the uncertainties of existence, for those of us who seek to understand what human existence (including its origins) are about, there is that gossamer veil which prevents us from perceiving clearly beyond the material sphere.

Those of us who have had any ephemeral or psychic experiences – like me floating horizontally under the ceiling and seeing my dead body on a bed; or the spirit manifesting himself to deliver advice to me; or the yogi who ensured my despatch to Australia (presumably to be consistent with my destiny-path) – we are faced with the conundrum of creation and causality.

Just as the human mind may be limited in its competence to access all the maths that is ‘out there,’ so we Seekers may not be able to decide whether the origin of the Cosmos was by creation, or whether the Cosmos has always been here. The idea of something ever-existing without a First Cause seems incredible. But then, so is all of existence, and the wondrous but intangible connection between everything that is known to exist.

Going past the oddity of a God in whose image mankind was allegedly created (‘the Adam,’ as distinct from the founder of the homo species descended from the chimpanzee), and who is claimed to be the Creator of the universe we think we know; modern scientists offer the aether as the ever-lasting, all-pervasive flux of energy from which matter is able to arise spontaneously – and to evolve eventually into more complex structures.

If this propensity is confirmed, could the aether be considered a creator, or just the enabler of creation (through self-creation)?

Now consider Hinduism’s long-established belief that Brahman (note the n) = Consciousness = the Ocean of Consciousness (my interpretation). Brahman seems comparable to the aether – an ever-existing, all-pervasive essence. Cleverly, Hinduism offers Brahma (no n) as a Creator arising from this essence to produce the Cosmos. Thus Brahman (with the n) is only an enabler. So it seems to me.

Semantics and logic can take us only a certain distance into the unknown. As a local priest said to me, “God is a mystery. Our belief in God is also a mystery. Why not leave it at that?” I then borrow from N.Krishnamurti’s famous words to add “Those who know cannot tell” because such knowledge is beyond words.

In truth, how could we possibly know? Why not enjoy the mystery of being part of an insoluble greater mystery?

The ‘black armband’ view of Australian history – Part 3

The following extracts from my book ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’ (chapter 3 ‘To have a dream’) touch upon the terrible practice of forcibly removing lightly-coloured children from their mothers. What happened to Christian morality?

“The same sort of negative attitudes surfaced when the report on the ‘stolen generations’ was released, except that the counter-attack was strangely bitter. The authors of the report, their motives, methodology, definitions, and findings were all attacked, but only by a noisy handful.

The semanticists, pretending to be fair, focused on the meaning of ‘stolen’ and the scope of the word ‘generation’. The other critics, seemingly less erudite, simply went ballistic, with all manner of quaint arguments. Yet, no one could deny, that many, many, lighter-skinned children were removed from their mothers (pounded may be a more appropriate term in some cases) in ways which were both immoral and illegal. Can the white tribe do no wrong?

The claimed motivation for removing the children seemed to be multi-faceted. The need to save them from a terrible future amidst the dust of the cattle stations was one claim. A related caring claim was that, as part-whites, they could be assimilated through separation from their mothers and the rest of their people.

If these motives were genuine, how did those in authority see the rights of the mothers and their communities? Since the children were to become no more than servants, what did assimilation offer them? … A more honest motive was to ‘to f..k them white’, in order to avoid a biological throwback to their indigenous heritage.

Preventing the allegedly ‘quick-breeding half-caste’ from contributing to the growth of the creole community seems a more honest motive. As the Aborigine was then seen to be an early version of the Caucasian stock, there were thus hopes of breeding out the black peoples as a whole. But was there any intention to have white families adopt these poor kids, as claimed by a friend of mine? What were the odds of white families even considering such adoptions? I am, however, inclined to believe that some did. … …

… … The maltreatment of many of these ‘pounded’ children is now well documented. They were forbidden to speak their language; denied food, clothing and blankets at times; physically and sexually abused; and not taught to read and write. So said many of the survivors of the policy!

The priesthood does not come out too well from this experiment either. But, why punish the children for the sins of their parents? Who were the sinners? Weren’t they the white men who sired them so casually without accepting responsibility? Or, like rape victims, does one blame the women, or perhaps their ‘culture’? To claim that the intent of the practice of removing the fairer children was of the highest order was to ignore what actually happened.

There seems to be clear evidence of white males in the outback traveling with a black teenager in tow (a sort of multi-purpose slave); of masters of cattle stations and their white employees ‘begatting’ and then ignoring their mixed-blood offspring; of black drovers being ordered to stay out until the sun went down, so that the white men “… could go and f..k … the gins …”; of Aboriginal women who had been “… raped by whites, Greeks, Japanese, Chinese or whatever …” (indicating the common ends of many men in the outback).”

 

 

Were there ‘black’ people all over the globe historically?

When I read that the first emperor of China, Chin (Qin) Shi Huang Di (Di identifying him as emperor) had been black, I began to wonder whether the word black meant coloured; and that coloured might have covered all shades of brown (to black). The theory that modern Man had ‘come out’ of Africa may have led to the erroneous belief that, as African, he had to be black in colour.

In New Zealand, I discovered what seems to be officially accepted – that the Maori people had originated in Taiwan. That sounded improbable until I read more recently that there had been a tribe of ‘black’ people in Taiwan. I can only assume that these people were also brown in colour, judging by the skin colour of the Maori people, and their Polynesian neighbours. These peoples may have been escapees from the drowning Sundaland.

The infusion of European genes into ‘black’ Africa and ‘brown’ India has not altered the colour of the resident populations to any substantive extent. Moving into and out of freezing terrain in northern Europe, caused by the so-called ice ages expanding and retreating, has apparently not altered the skin colour of the affected populations.

I have also read that there have been ‘black’ communities in southern China. They had to be brown, not black as in negroid – unless an ancient negroid population (the Olmec?) had somehow spread itself all over the globe. If so, they would have to have been extraterrestrials, or transported by  extraterrestrials.

Sensibly, one would have to conclude that brown (in a variety of shades) was the original colour of mankind; and that the precursor of white people was a natural genetic mutation which, over thousands of years, led to whitish people (with blue eyes). A significant blast of cosmic radiation, about 40,000 years ago, along the surrounds of the Tropic of Cancer would, more credibly, explain the skin-whitening of the affected people.

Since great artistic ability, displayed in cave paintings and on decorated stones, had apparently arisen about 40,000 years ago, a vast cosmic radiation cannot be ruled out as a skin-colour changer. Beauty can flower from the ashes of death. The original colour of mankind, according to yet another report, was described as honey to milk coffee.

How then did the black people arise? Indeed, couldn’t some extraterrestrials have been jet black, since the sun cannot make brown jet black, any more than a lack of sunlight can turn brown skin to white?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are no human races

The Oxford Dictionary, no doubt reflecting usage in a now-historical period, defines race as reflecting common descent. Today, in any modern nation in the world, in any large metropolis, what are the chances of finding closely-bonded communities of common descent? Are we not all happily jumbled up?

In East Asia, apart possibly for the people of Japan, would there not be a substantial conglomeration of Korean, Manchurian, Mongolian, and other ethnic peoples all genetically blended with the Chinese over the millennia?

If shared origins are relevant (for whom?), why not use the nation of birth as a defining characteristic? Indeed, what is the difficulty in defining peoples by their specific ethnicity, by their tribal roots, if these have not been modified by inter-marriage? In truth, who amongst us can claim to be of pure genetic origin?

The Oxford Dictionary also refers to a race of nobles, Orientals, poets, and such-like – such imprecision! Does common usage, that is, loose language, warrant inclusion in a book of reference? Imagine sanctifying the innovative phraseology of real estate agents and sports commentators!

My recent post Race – genetic or cultural was triggered by an article sent to me by a friend, which speculated about the genetic or social bases of the concept of race. Has anyone found a genetic basis of defining race?

In the immediate post-Second World War Two period, when the U.N. and its agencies began to gird their loins, there was a valiant effort to classify humanity thus: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. What was the basis of this? Geography, associated with skin colour? How scientific was this? I am not aware of any societal basis for ‘race.’

As a descendant of the ‘Caucasians,’ I know that, when our colouration is washed out, many of us would fit into some part of Europe. Indeed, when people sharing my ethno-cultural heritage marry white people, the offspring tend to lose their colour. What a terrible loss! (Heh, heh!). Fancy adding to the population of ‘palefaces.’

The description ‘race’ is a misnomer. There is no place for it in our lexicon.

Exploring panspermia

“If … some form of two-way non-local communication can occur between the collective consciousness of DNA in different life forms, then what if, as scientists are now coming to believe, life did not originate on Earth? What if DNA arrived on the planet complete, with genetic instructions to create and evolve new life to its ultimate end?

This thought-provoking theory is known to the world as panspermia (which means ’seeds everywhere’), a concept proposed as far back as the fifth century BC by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras … … He believed that the seeds of life swarm throughout the Cosmos, and are not exclusive to Earth. More intriguing is that Anaxagoras, who was an influence on Socrates and thus Plato, envisaged these ‘seeds’ not as molecular in nature, but as actual seeds containing the seeds of life itself.

Panspermia would have been accepted as the true origin of life back then had not … Aristotle … come up with the theory of spontaneous generation of life on Earth, which was preferred by the more rationally minded, and remained a workable theory until the nineteenth century, when it was finally disproved by the French chemist Louis Pasteur …

In the wake of Pasteur’s work into microbiology (which included determining that infectious diseases were caused by germs), various ideas were proposed on the origins of cellular life, but it would not be until 1903 that the idea of panspermia would raise its head again. In that year Swedish chemist and Nobel Prize-winner Svante August Arrhenius … wrote that life on Earth emerged from microscopic spores that were propelled across space by what he saw as the radiation pressure of star light.

Arrhenius‘s theories received a fuller treatment in his book Worlds in the making …It answered key criticisms of his theory, including the belief that potentially lethal ultraviolet light rays would kill any microscopic spores that existed in deep space. He was optimistic that at low temperatures the spores could remain intact for extremely long periods of time, and in his final opinion, all organisms in the universe are related, and the process of evolution is everywhere the same.”

The above is an extract termed Exploring panspermia in The Cygnus mystery by Andrew Collins.

It is interesting that Aristotle, who apparently had much to say about many things, once pontificated about the number of teeth in the mouths of women, without ever asking his wife to open her mouth – so I read. Is it not a pity that some speculative philosophers can delay the search for explanations of issues of relevance in explaining the world we live in?