In Human and Natural History

These three known truths elevated the human species above its competing eco-neighbors when the clan-wise search for more and better food and shelter spread them out from Africa, through the Levant and across Eurasia, to finally colonize the Americas, Australia, and the South Pacific Islands. These three truths, through the derived knowledge gained, produced and continue to produce in forms both great and small, the farms, cities, monuments, ports, manufacturies, and other infrastructure and superstructure; the means of transport, trade, and communication along with the necessary languages; the cuisine, architecture, art, music, theater, dance, and sport; the craft, technology, and medicine; the armies, navies, and air forces, with their skirmishes, battles and wars; the cultural, governmental, and political bodies and religions of the world. 

In more rarified form, these three truths produce the wisdom and understanding borne of the knowledge derived from this human journey and found in the human institutions of learning and spiritual discipline that in varying degrees of skill, direct that journey forward. This triad is represented in various philosophical dialectics as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, in the engineering advancements of the scientific method through hypothesis, experimentation, and evaluation of observed results, and in the teachings of Vedanta as the three qualities (gunas) of inertia (tamas), movement (rajas), and rhythm (sattva). 

As an example of this latter system, pleasure is inertial to the degree that it is conducive  to an extended indulgence. We are want to continue a pleasant experience. Be it eating, sex, or scratching an itch, when something blocks that indulgence, the missed enjoyment can feed a desire for re-engagement with the stimulus that leads to the pleasurable sensation; such desire for pleasure and avoidance of discomfort initiates movement toward the former and away from the latter. In the case of the need for food, the morning wakening to hunger pushes the individual to whatever toil is required to realize the proverbial enjoyment of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, before fatigue leads once again to sleep, and so to the diurnal rhythm of human experience.

The knowledge and eventual understanding of this bias toward pleasure and away from pain, towards the agencies and perceived sources that enhance that pleasure, both natural and man-made, facilitates this journey of life. Much effort and ingenuity is thereby directed to access these agencies and sources, often times with considerable success. But while the desire for pleasure is grounded in the somatic survival needs and dictates of the individual’s body or the species group of which the individual is a member, the pursuit of satisfaction of that desire can lead to the development of individual and group patterns of understanding and behavior that are antithetical to the natural intent of the sensory mechanism. 

The mention of intent brings up the notion of conscious purpose and design in nature. Whether the reader is a materialist who believes that inertia (and energy, its moving relativistic counterpart) is the physical and first cause of all phenomena, including consciousness, or an idealist who believes all observed physical phenomena are the intentional expression of a conscious metaphysic or God, you must acknowledge that at some point along the evolutionary creative timeline, from its start to the advent of our species, the operation of conscious intention becomes fundamental to the development of the bio-sphere. 

Predation necessitates the intent of the predator to single out its prey and of the prey to avoid the predator. This is not just a semantic statement. The adult lioness has learned through dent of repeated failures which prey species are easier to bring down; how to determine which individuals among that species are the the most vulnerable and which offer the most risk filled resistance to her attack; which offer the most reward in consumable flesh and entrails for the effort; how her current condition in terms of fatigue will affect her success; and whether her current hunger warrants stretching the limits of her skills and condition or rather suggests scavenging, possibly to steal a few bites from someone else’s kill. All of these observed concerns, no different from those of a neolithic human hunter, indicate the capacity to calculate one’s own position within the bio-sphere in relation to potential prey and competitors or helpers of one’s species, around the intention of generating a meal. They are also an indication not only of the individual’s consciousness of their environment, but of their self as an independent actor in that environment and therefore of incipient self-consciousness with respect to that environment and other entities within it.

The rise of an ever increasing scope of consciousness and increasingly successful adaptive behavior is part of the dialectical development and diversification of new species. It is not enough that an individual’s genetic mutation gives him a longer and quicker gait; physical fitness, both the initial and the genetically enhanced state, must be accompanied by a mental component that includes an awareness of how to intelligently apply that fitness—what to do to successfully prey or avoid predation and the understanding and intention to act on that awareness to pass the trait on to one’s offspring. 

The phrase, survival of the fittest, being essentially a tautology, makes the selection processes of nature appear to be those of a mindless momentum and obscures the fact that while an individual’s offspring and its species may benefit from an inherited genetic improvement in bodily form, at least for the higher sexually reproducing animal species, passage of the trait to the next generation necessarily requires a consciousness derived desire — an impetus borne of a will to live and mate, and a perceived individual vulnerability and mortality within the context of self-identification as a member of its species group — on the part of the progenitor. That is, from the very first instance of sexual reproduction, the reproducing biological individual had to arrive at sexual maturity after an initial existence of infertility, to experience the impulse to mate, and to perceive that mating was conceivable only with others of its species, meaning such others had to pre-exist. 

With respect to asexual reproduction, species differentiation through selective adaptation via mitosis can perhaps be understood as a form of mindless, undirected  momentum, a form of specialized organic chemistry which requires no intentionality. Still it is difficult to understand the observed bacterial phenomena of quorum-sensing without acceptance of some measure of intentionality on that level. This is when some species of  bacteria in a given colony communicate molecularly to track their population density so as to lyse or kill themselves en masse when a quorum level is reached, thereby releasing exotoxins, while retaining a vestigial population with which to recolonize. 

Very recently this phenomena has been linked to the life cycle of a certain bacteriophage virus, VP882, that has the intelligence to monitor and detect the molecular signals of such quorum sensing bacteria. It then has the ability to decide whether to reproduce itself using the lytic or the lysogenic cycle. Lytic reproduction is faster, but runs the risk of petering out if the bacteria that the virus is using to reproduce are not sufficiently dense. If the quorum sensing tells them the bacterial population is sufficiently high they will use the lytic method. If not, they use the lysogenic method which is slower by allowing the bacteria to reproduce with the viral DNA in tact for later conversion to the lytic process when the population of bacteria is optimum. The virus exhibits a definite intention and ability to reproduce optimally based on ambient conditions as determined by its monitoring of bacterial quorum communications, itself an expression of collective species intelligence.

The observation of intelligence — the ability to make life enhancing choices — on this most basic level of life forms indicates the existence of an intentional, logical impetus to their activity; an operational logical on a fundamental level that is every bit as effective and coherent as on the level of the most complex evolved organism. The virus acts as a form of logic gate — it is of interest that the nano-size of the virus is in the range of an analogous semi-conductor component — which is evidence of either a nano-technological basis for the building blocks of life of unknown source or of an inherent logical impetus to the cosmos that necessarily results in the natural emergence of logical, self sustaining or self replicating structure, at the atomic, molecular, viral, bacterial, and eventually eukaryotic level.

Change and survival of a species, defined as a group of mortal individuals having a unique and commonly held and reproducible arrangement of genomic structure along with its attendant physical and physiological development — which is generational — is ultimately reliant on the intent of the groups’ individuals, on their mental acumen and emotional stamina. In other other words, the survival fitness of a species is dependent on the innate, perhaps to some degree inherited, will to survive of the individuals of the genomic group. 

At what point and in response to what catalyst did an assortment of organic molecules self assemble, while at the same time begin the process of self replication? Species differentiation as a result of adaptable mutation within an isolated environment is easy enough to envision, but at what point in the primordial soup and in response to what catalyst did one such mutation begin predation, to incorporating the molecules of other entities into itself? Most importantly, at what point and in response to what catalyst did that prey recognize the threat while simultaneously developing the need and ability to avoid predation and thereby constitute a rudimentary self-consciousness? Eating what is in front of you in a field of plenty requires no sense of self if incorporating other bodies is what your self replicating corporeal system dictates. But unless you are just a passive observer of the spectacle, realizing that you are part of the ‘plenty’ and need to move out of the way of such a system does require a degree of self awareness–it requires and displays a capacity on the part of a discrete, autonomous entity to register and respond to changes in ambient stress and strain–it requires and displays a necessary quality or property of life.

This capacity to register and respond to ambient stress and strain means a local condition of continuity and conservation of energy exists to convey information across an intervening gap within an environment between discrete entities, be they things or beings. By definition and any mode of logic, this capacity constitutes a fundamental means of communication between fundamental things, a fundamental condition and expression of life; in terms of a physical interpretation, this indicates that the quanta of physical phenomena, of rest mass and messenger particles, are also the quanta of sentience, the fundamental particles of consciousness. As an example, it has been stated in the scientific literature that the human eye is capable of registering the reception of a single photon of light.

The fact that an interval of space, micro or macro cosmic, is observed to exist between a co-ordinated activity of discrete objects (apart from the obvious tautology of this statement), be they of a quantum or aggregate structure, indicates that a mechanism of logical principles that transcends time and space must exist that informs that activity. The fact that these quanta exhibit, in the same mechanism of communication and interaction, the ability to organize themselves in a logical and well ordered manner to produce physical structures of evolving complexity and sustained utility, speaks from the very beginning to the matter of sentience and intentionality in nature.

In a manner analogous to, in fact as an example of, the case of cellular mitosis, from the micro to the macro cosmic, Nature and nature’s God multiplies itself by first dividing, in form, type, and number. To reiterate and reinforce the validity of a fundamental identity of faith and science, the correct transliteration(*) and translation{*} of the first verse of the bible states this case, not as conventionally interpreted, but logically (or scientifically) interpreted, while remaining quite literal.

InitiallyIn the beginning
reshiythfirst in place and time
the Primary SourcesGod
elohiyma plural form of the
primary God-Goddess,
male-female principal
baracut, shaped, formed
theirself as(not stated)
ethself (as object)
cosmic space (or spacetime);the heavens
shamayim shamehupper arch of the sky
theirself as(not stated)
ethself (as object)
inertial matter (or rest mass quanta).and the earth.
eretsfirm ground
(*) and {*} terms quoted or derived from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance app for iPhone

We can repeat and extend this verse, without the transliteration and translation, and with some additional comment, to get a qualitative sense of the logic behind the first few verses of Genesis and show that it is not representative of an ‘unscientific’ mythology as generally portrayed in modern literature.

1. Initially, the Primary Sources differentiated: theirself as cosmic space; theirself as inertial matter (or spacetime and rest mass quanta. We might think of this on the scale of a solar system, as the condensation of interstellar gas into a proto-solar system, or on a galactic or cosmic scale. In any case, the passage refers to an inherent Sentience, where the term is capitalized as an indication of an Essential or Axiomatic quality.)

2. And the inertial matter was altogether without form and empty of distinguishable characteristics; and darkness was upon the turning surface of the abyss of surging, fluid mass. And moving pressure of the Source shook and fluttered or waved the turning surface of the fluid mass of inertial matter. (Think of a photo of the planet Uranus, as a proto-star .)

3. And the Sources decided and determined there to be light of the sun: and there was sunlight. (Light as the source and field of solar radiation.)

4. And the Sources realized the sunlight, as it was beneficial to life: and the Sources separated the sunlight from the obscurity. (What is good can only be interpreted within the context of human life, therefore as beneficial to human life. Separation between sunlight and obscurity, darkness, opacity can be interpreted in terms of rest mass sources as either incandescent or not, as a plasma/gas or condensed matter.)

5. And the Sources called the sunlight, a period of sunlight and the obscurity they called a twisting away of the sunlight. And the evening and the morning were the first period. (The notion of twisting is in the Hebrew lexicon. A ‘twisting’ away of the sunlight indicates an understanding of the Hebrew author and writer that the diurnal cycle is due to a terrestrial rotation and not a motion of the sun across the ‘vault of heaven’.)

We can and will try to communicate that the transmission of one photon of energy resulting from the emission of an electron from a fundamental rest mass particle, the neutron, in the process known as beta decay, is necessarily tied to the expansion rate and as a function of the cosmos as confirmed by recent study. (With respect to this last statement, despite the pronouncement of current theoretical physical thinking, there is only one fundamental rest mass particle, the neutron, though it appears in various energy states. The quark phenomenology of the standard model of quantum particles is a result of the fundamental wave-nodal structure of the neutron/proton-electron-system as revealed in the collisions of particle accelerators.)

Concerning the matter of cosmic intentionality, from simply a logical perspective, implementation of a plan for the development of any purpose, divine or mundane, requires some basic assumptions and conditions: an arena, mental and/or physical, suitable for staging the development, (the drama so to speak, be it tragedy or comedy); a concept of the purpose, with script; a selection of fundamental materials, raw and crafted, for producing the props; a review of the actors parts and auditions; staging, walk throughs, rehearsals, dress rehearsals; opening night with lights, action, and the production run. As to the theological or metaphysical significance of the Copernican revolution, the facile statement that the earth is not the center of the universe offers no compelling evidence against teleology; on the contrary, a theater goer’s appreciation of a play speaks of the scripted craft of the production crew best from the vantage of the audience. Presumably no theatrical production capable of conveying any information beyond the experience of nuclear fusion would ever be possible in a solar furnace, though it is most effective in shedding light on and providing the proper staging for any play at the proper distance, including the investigations of science.

We will investigate what appears to be this most interesting question of consciousness and life in terms of the essential knowledge to be gained from a study of both physics and metaphysics; this in light of the three known truths which themselves appear to be a driving principle of the biosphere. 

With respect to this discussion of sentience and physics, on a quantum, elemental, molecular, biological, or human level, ‘pleasure’ is a condition of equilibrium and ‘pain is a condition of stress and strain, directing movement in space toward the former and away from the latter for a realignment of a physical structure with other communicating structures.

Unfortunately fundamental science, physics really, as it has been practiced and understood for the past hundred plus years or so, is not much help in such elucidation, being unable to close the gap between an understanding of fundamental quanta of physical phenomena using the standard model of particle interactions and astronomical scaled interactions using general relativity theory; between the phenomenally independent individual parts of living existence and the whole thing, the universal field of being in which they are perceived to exist. 

This problem arises from a lack of critical analysis of the axioms used in each model, since the standard model (SM) assumes matter is comprised of fundamental discrete units and general relativity (GR) assumes that spacetime in which these units are found is continuous; this is after all what our experiential knowledge seems to tell us. But GR says that quanta interact with the spacetime continuum and vice versa, and the experimental data confirms that prediction in a convincing manner. Still the SM has no way to account for this interaction, nor does GR for that matter. A solution to this problem is to model the units of particles as discrete wave phenomena of space itself, which we will discuss qualitatively with as little math as possible, providing that quantitative analysis to those that desire it in appendix form.