Science Delusion

Table of Contents [Quaestions to be Answered in the Negative]





Is Nature Mechanical?



Is Matter Unconscious?



Is Nature Purposeless?



Are Memories Stored as Material Traces?



Are Minds Confined to Brains?



Are Psychic Phenomena Illusory?



Is Mechanistic Medicine the Only Kind … Really … ?



Illusions of Objectivity!



Scientific Futures


Capp. 1 & 4-5



Is Nature Mechanical?


p. 33 animals, plants, and magnets have souls

living organisms were … animate beings with their own souls. Souls gave organisms their purposes and powers of self-organization. … … the prevailing theory of life taught in the universities of Europe followed ... Aristotle …, according to whom the matter in plant and animal bodies was shaped by organisms' souls. According to classical Greek and medieval philosophy, and also in William Gilbert's theory of magnetism, even magnets had souls.”

p. 36 inconsistency of materialism

It seems impossible to be a consistent materialist. Materialism depends on a lingering dualism, more or less thinly disguised.”

pp. 38-9 Romanticism : philosophy of animate interaction

p. 38

from around 1780 to 1830 in the Romantic movement … Romantics emphasized emotions and esthetics … . They saw nature as alive … . The most explicit application of these ideas was by the German philosopher Friedrich von Schelling, whose book Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature (1797) portrayed nature as a dynamic interplay … through which matter is 'brought to life'.

p. 39

A central feature of Romanticism was … imagery of nature as alive, organic, and in a process of gestation or development.”

p. 39 soul of the Universe

the English poet Percy Shelley (1792-1822) … had not doubt about a living power … which Shelley called the Soul of the universe” (Wroe 2008).

{This “Soul of the universe” is a feature of Neo-Platonic metaphysics.}

Wroe 2008 = Ann Wroe : Being Shelley. Vintage Bks, London, 2008. (Jonathan Cape, London, 2007)

p. 43 Lady Luck; goddess Necessity

Chance is the goddess Fortuna, or Lady Luck. The turnings of her wheel confer both prosperity and misfortune. …

{The wheel of that of Hellenic goddess Nemesis.}

Shelley called Necessity the 'All-sufficing Power' and the 'Mother of the World'.”

{“Necessity” is Hellenic goddess An-anke. Gnostic goddess Sophia is “Mother of the World”, as likewise is the Madhyamaka goddess Prajn~a Paramita.}

p. 44 entelekheia

Some vitalists, like the German … Hans Driesch (1867-1941), … believed that a non-material organizing principle gave plants and animals their forms and their goals. He called this organizing principle entelechy, … a word that Aristotle had used for aspect of the soul that has its end {purpose} within itself (en = in, telos = purpose).”

pp. 47-8 alleged “selfishness” of genes; gene-oriented version of an “intelligent design” hypothesis

p. 47

In “One form of molecular vitalism … The genes have become molecular entelechies. In his book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins endowed them … [with the characteristics of being] selfish, ruthless and competitive”.

{This “selfishness” dogma is capitalist-stooge-inspired; a communistic (communalist)-inspired scheme would instead have a “mutual co-operation” model of genes' collective functioning.}

p. 48

Genetic programs are explicitly analogous to computer programs, which are intelligently designed by … minds to achieve particular purposes. … The 'genetic program' implies that plants and animals are organized by … principles that are … designed by minds.”

p. 51 holarkheia

Arthur Koestler [1967, p. 385] proposed the term holon for wholes made made of parts that are themselves wholes … . For such nested hierarchies of holons, Koestler proposed the term holarchy.”

Koestler 1967 = Arthur Koestler : The Ghost in the Machine. Hutchinson, London.

p. 52 David Hume

The philosopher David Hume (1711-76) … was … to prove that … the organisation we see in nature was more analogous to plants and animals than to machines.”

In Hume's words, published posthumously in 1779 [Hume 2008, Part VII],

the world plainly resembles more an animal or a vegetable … . And does not a plant or an animal … bear a stronger resemblance to the world, than does any artificial machine … ?”

Hume 2008 = David Hume : Dialogues concerning Natural Religion. Oxford U Pr.



Is Matter Unconscious?


pp. 114-5 panpsychism

p. 114

Galen Strawson … has come to the conclusion …

p. 115

that even atoms and molecules have a … kind of mentality or experience. Panpsychism does … mean that … aspects of mentality or experience are present in the simplest physical systems. … .

self-organizing systems …

{“Self-organizing systems” might include all chemical bonding, all arrangings of nucleons within a nucleus, all arrangings of quarks within an “elementary” subatomic particle, etc. etc.}

are experiential; in other words, they have experiences. As Strawson put it,

[quoted from Strawson 2006, p. 27] 'Once upon a time there was relatively unorganised matter with … experiential … fundamental features. It organised into into increasingly complex forms … experiential … .'”

{Actually, because matter is aeternal, and its capacities for self-organizing aequally aeternal, it must have always been aequally organized throughout all the past and will remain aequally organized throughout all the future, at least over the extent of the universe as a whole. This fact could be stated as a conservation-principle.}

Strawson 2006 = Galen Strawson : “Why Physicalism Entails Panpsychism”. J OF CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES 13:3-31.

pp. 116-22 the nature of physical existence is mentality/consciousness (so according to numerous standard modern philosophers)

p. 116

The philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) argued that everything in nature has … a mind.”

p. 117

Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716) … proposed that the ultimate elements of the universe were … monads, which were … mental centres of experience … . As Leibnitz out it, 'Each monad is a living mirror … which … is as ordered as the universe itself.' … Perceptions were the changing internal states of the monads, which arose from their appetities, which in turn arose from their need to reflect the universe.”

Denis Diderot … extended the realm of subjectivity to all matter … .

p. 118

In 1769 he wrote, 'The faculty of sensation … is a general and essential quality of matter.' [Skrbina 2003, p. 21]

He spoke of 'intelligent particles', and added, 'From the elephant … to the sensitive living atom, … all … in nature … suffers and enjoys.'” (Skrbina 2003, p. 22)

The philosopher Johann Herder (1744-1803) argued that force or energy was the underlying principle of reality, manifesting … mental … properties.

The poet Wolfgang von Goethe, a friend of Herder's, envisaged … in nature … intensification. … intensification gave a spiritual dimension, which was one of 'a state of ever-striving ascent', a kind of … imperative. On the principle that there could be no matter without mind …, 'matter is also capable of … intensification, and spirit cannot be denied …'. [Skrbina 2003, p. 25]

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argued in The World as Will and Idea (1819) that all things possess a will, expressed through desires, feelings, emotions. Material bodies were 'objectifications' of will. Physical forces, including gravitation, magnetic attraction and repulsion, were manifestations of the will in nature.”

The Austrian philosopher of science Ernest Mach (1838-1916) explicitly rejected a mechanistic conception of matter, and wrote, 'Properly speaking, the world is not composed of “things” … but of colours, tones, … in short of what we ordinarily call individual sensations'. [Skrbina 2003, p. 27]

And Ernst Haeckel … wrote in 1892, 'I regard all matter as ensouled, that is to say endowed with feeling (pleasure and pain) …'. He claimed that … Inorganic matter also had a mental aspect, … '…

p. 119

the elementary psychic qualities of sensation and will, which may be attributed to atoms … '. [Skrbina 2003, p. 28]

In the United States, the pioneering psychologist William James advocated a form of panpsychism in which … a hierarchy of … minds constituted the reality of the cosmos. [Skrbina 2003, p. 31]

The philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce saw the … mental … aspects of underlying reality. ' … Viewing a thing … from the inside … it appears as consciousness'.” [Skrbina 2003, p. 32]

In France, the philosopher Henri Bergson took this tradition of thought to … emphasizing … memory. All physical events contain a memory of the past … . … Bergson argued that … '… Duration … implies consciousness … '.” [Skrbina 2003, p. 33]

p. 120

Alfred North Whitehead … made clear, physics itself was pointing to the conclusion that Bergson had already reached. … .

p. 121

for Whitehead, … The distinction between moments requires the experiencer to feel the difference between the moment of now and past or future moments. … According to Whitehead, every actual occasion is therefore … determined … by the self-creative, self-renewing subject that … chooses among its potential futures. … It is connected to its past by selective memories, and connected to its potential future by its choices. Even the smallest possible processes, like quantum events, are … mental; they are oriented in time.

{This is an analytical proof of Bergson's proposition that all apparently inanimate physical matter is as as conscious as are living beings. Passage of time is occurring for all inanimate matter (as much so as for living beings); and for passage of time to be at all meaningful, the instants of it must be distinguishable, so that in order for inanimate matter to rendre such distinguishments, it must be as conscious as are living beings. Furthermore, this process (of conscious activity) must be occurring even on the quantum level in physical matter.}

The direction of physical causation is from from the past to the present, but the direction of mental activity runs the other way, from the present into the past through prehensions, and from potential futures into the present.

{This is evidently intended to apply to inanimate matter as much as to living beings, so that inanimate matter (as in the so-called “uncertainties” of quantum events) is making free-will choices.}

There is thus a time-polarity between the mental and physical poles of an event : physical causation from the past to the present, and mental causation from the present to the past.

{This description of “polarity” is apparently intended as a variation on the “polarity” mentioned by Herder (supra on p. 118) and implied by Schopenhauer; those two philosophers were, however, apparently intending it in the mere Stoic sense of love and hatred supposedly inhaerent in physical matter.} {Whitehead's “mental causation” is teleology (which he is ascribing to inanimate matter).}

p. 122

Whitehead was … proposing that atoms … have experiences and feelings. … One of his modern exponents, Christian de Quincey, described his idea as follows : …

[quoted from De Quincey 2008, p. 99 :] Time is our experience of of the ongoing succession of … momentary bubble of being (or bubbles of becoming) popping in a out of the present moment of now.”

{This description is applied to understanding the nature of meditative thought, in the metaphor of bubbles rising to the surface of water, as used in the International Society for Kr.s.n.a Consciousness.}

Skrbina 2003 = David Skrbina : “Panpsychism as an Underlying Theme in Western Philosophy”. J OF CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES 10:4-46.

De Quincey 2008 = Christian de Quincey : “Reality Bubbles”. J OF CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES 15:94-101.

p. 126 consciousness in matter and in an electron

Electrons … have a mental pole in that they relate … to their future potentialities, which in some sense work backwards in time.”

David “Bohm observed [as quoted in Dossey 1991, p. 12], '... matter … gets more and more subtle and becomes indistinguishable from what people have called mind.' Freeman Dyson wrote,

[quoted from Dyson 1979, p. 249 :] I think our consciousness … is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another.

{This would refer to the mechanism for the mind's control over the brain.}

In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, … in … the processes of choice between quantum states … made by an electron.”

Dossey 1991 = Larry Dossey : Meaning and Medicine. Bantam Bks, NY.

Dyson 1979 = Freeman J. Dyson : Disturbing the Universe. Harper & Row, NY.

pp. 127-8 the illusion of materialism, opposed and contradicted by the reality of panpsychism; the extreme moral/ethical difference (between materialism and panpsychism)

p. 127

illusion of materialism

reality of panpsychism

If materialism is true, … Your thoughts, desires and decisions cannot interfere with regular physical causality. Your choices are illusory.”

But … these materialist beliefs are delusions … you are really free to choose your beliefs … . … you are really conscious. . … other animals are conscious too, and capable of free choice … . … all organisms … have experiences and feelings, including atoms, molecules, crystals, … planets, solar systems and galaxies.

p. 128

It makes a big difference if you think of yourself as a zombie-like mechanism in a unconscious mechanical world, or as a truly conscious being capable of making choices”.

p. 127

The question … makes a huge difference. It affects the way we relate to other people”.

{Materialism is promoted by capitalist stooges, because it (like Christianity with its ritual absolution-from-moral-guilt – this is another capitalism-promoted delusion) is inclined automatically to obsolve soldiers (especially military officers) and other war-criminals of all social responsibility by convincing them that they, as automatons, are not even potentially in control of their own actions.}



Is Nature Purposeless?


pp. 130, 132 purpose/directivity

p. 130

Purposes exist in a virtual realm … . They connect organisms to ends or goals that have not yet happened; they are attractors, in the language of dynamics, a branch of modern mathematics. … Purposes or motives are causes, but they work by pulling toward a virtual future rather than by pushing from an actual past. In the mainstream medieval {Roman Catholic} philosophy, all living organisms were thought to have their own ends or purposes, given by their souls. … Their ends or goals were called 'final causes' and worked by attraction. … Final causes pulled from the future by attraction, while moving causes worked from the past by pushing {repulsion}.”

p. 132

In his classic book The Directiveness of Organic Activities (1945), the biologist E. S. Russell summarizes the general features of goal-directed activity in living organisms”.

Russell 1945 = E. S. Russell : The Directiveness of Organic Activities. Cambridge U Pr.

pp. 139-40 chreodes & morphogenetic fields

p. 139

biologist Conrad Waddington described the goal-directed nature … in terms of attractors in an 'epigenetic landscape' … . … The valleys represented the usual pathways of change … . The developmental pathways was represented by these canalized pathways of change, or chreodes, as Waddington called them (from the Greek chre = it is necessary and hodos = path). … Waddington thought these epigenetic landscapes represented morphogenetic, or form-shaping, fields.

p. 140

Developing systems are attracted towards their ends or goals. They are not only pushed from the past, they are pulled from the future.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the French mathematician Rene' Thom took Waddington's ideas further using dynamical topological models. … Thom's … depended on … differential topology …, and were situated in multidimentional phase spaces. … Thom [1975]… used them to model processes of development in terms of attractors in morphogenic fields, drawing the developing structures of animals and plants along chreodes toward their developmental goals”.

Thom 1975 = Rene' Thom : Structural Stability and Morphogenesis. W. A. Benjamin, Reading (MA).

pp. 140-1 causation backwards in time

p. 140

Causation from virtual ends {purposes} or attractors working 'backwards' in time fits well with Whitehead's temporal distinction between mind and matter, with mental causes working 'backwards' towards the past. Mental causation flows backwards from the realm of possibilities in the virtual future, and interacts in the present with the energy flowing forward from the past,

p. 141

resulting in observable physical events.

The push of energy from the past and the pull from virtual futures overlap in the present”.

{This “overlap” would define the duration of the interval known as the 'praesent'; which may be variously defined in respect to various such interactions. These variations might dependent on whether material, astral, mental, or causal planes-of-existence (or, for that matter, the connectivities amongst such planes-of-existence) are involved in the definitions. Such variant definitions, and the resultant interactions amongst the temporal intervals involved in the definitions could be quite elaborate, necessitating an intricate [mathematical] science of these. [comment written Mar 6th (Wedn) 2013]}

pp. 141-2 “transactional” quantum mechanics of the “final state of the universe”

p. 141

In James Clark Maxwell's classical equations for electromagnetic waves, … the waves move from the present into the past at the speed of light … . These waves moving backwards in time are called 'advanced waves'. …

And in the 'transactional' interpretation of quantum mechanics [Cranmer 1986], quantum processes are seen as standing waves between emitters and absorbers, with forward-in-time waves moving from emitter to absorber, and backward-in-time waves from absorber to emitter. At the very moment … absorbs a photon of light …, it emits a kind of antiphoton moving in the reverse direction … .

p. 142

There is a 'handshake' between … with connections going both ways in space and time.

Another way of looking at two-way flows in time in quantum mechanics was proposed by … Yakir Aharonov … . … 'Time evolution is viewed as correlations between forward and backward states at adjacent moments.' … The final state of the universe … would work backwards, effecting events in the present :

[quoted from Aharonov et al. 2010] Quantum mechanics lets one impose a true future boundary condition – a putative final state of the universe. … This point is, however, that quantum mechanics offers a place to specify both an initial state and an independent final state.”

{This “final state of the universe” may, howbeit, may be final only in regard to consciousness, whose time-directionality (because inhaerently unidirectional) may be treated as reversed at this boundary, while the physical universe (because of the inhaerent bidirectionality of time in Maxwells aequations) may be treated as virtually transgressing that “true future boundary condition”. [comment written Mar 6th (Wedn) 2013]}

Cranmer 1986 = J. Cranmer : “The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. REVIEWS OF MODERN PHYSICS 58:647-88.

Aharonov et al. 2010 = Yakir Aharonov, S. Popescu, & J. Tollaksen : “A Time-Symmetric Formulation of Quantum Mechanics”. PHYSICS TODAY, November, pp. 27-32.

pp. 144-5 teleologically-directed = morphogenetically-attracted (uniqueness of solution to the multiple-minimum problem)

p. 144

Protein molecules … twist, turn and fold … . A given type of protein molecule folds up into a unique structure. … But … there may be … thousands of other possible structures with the same minimum energy, Indeed, calculations to predict the three-dimensional structure of proteins … give far too many solutions. In the literature on protein folding, this is known as the 'multiple-minimum problem'. There are persuasive reasons ... that the protein does not 'test' all these minima until it finds the right one. Christian Anfinsen … put it thus :

[quoted from Anfinsen & Scheraga 1975] ''If the chain explored all possible configurations …, it would take too long … . … .

p. 145

Instead, … the peptide chain is directed … towards the conformation … .'

But not only may the folding process be 'directed' …, it is also attracted toward one particular conformation … . The folding pathway can be thought of as a chreode in the morphogenetic field, and the final three-dimensional structure an attractor.”

Anfinsen & Scheraga 1975 = Christian B. Anfinsen & H. A. Scheraga : “Experimental and Theoretical Aspects of Protein Folding”. ADVANCES IN PROTEIN CHEMISTRY 29:205-300.

pp. 148-50 universal holism of morphic resonance

p. 148

morphogenetic fields, chreodes and attractors are causal factors with properties that go beyond the familiar forces and fields of physics. … they contain a memory of previous systems given by morphic resonance, and they attract organisms towards ends or goals through a kind of causation working 'backwards' in time.”

p. 149

In models of attractors …, gravity is the metaphor for attraction towards ends or goals – as in potential wells, dynamical attractors, attractors in morphogenetic fields, chreodes and the attractors of animal behavior. …

p. 150

An object in the gravitational field is pulled toward the future. Gravity attracts toward future ends. In this sense, it works backwards in time. …

{This would be an immediate consequence of Einstein's assumption of the velocity of light in a vacuum being also the velocity of gravitation itself; inasmuch as (contrarywise to in Newton's assumption of an infinite velocity for gravitation) it must be attracted toward a praedestined future (such as the earth's being attracted toward a virtually praedestined future position of the sun, which future position can be praedicted from the direction of the gravitational attraction). This assumption would apparently imply that gravitation is mental (as in other cases of morphogenetic attractors) rather than physical – that gravitation is a matter of common consent of cosmic minds, which common consent is productive of a virtual praedestination. [comment written Mar 6th (Wedn) 2013]}

The entire universe is within the universal gravitational field, which is not in space and time, but which is space and time.”

{By way of the cosmic-minds analogue, the universe is within the praedestined futurality as arranged by the co-operative consent of cosmic minds, which are not in space and time, but which are space and time. [comment written Mar 6th (Wedn) 2013]}

p. 151 evolutionary process as ongoing creativity

Bergson's God was a God who created himself … : 'God has nothing of the already made; He is unceasing life, action, and freedom. … '” (Bergson 1911, p. 262)

{All this conjectural metaphysics is in need serious correction : not merely a single monolithic mind of tyrannic monotheism, but a co-operative mind-set of multiple interactive cosmic minds are to be assumed. A single mind incapable of interacting on anything but itself would be totally impotent, incapable of any creativity, any action, nor any freedom (nor, with only itself to contemplate, would it ever be capable of arriving at any trace of consciousness). The absurdity of a totally isolated solitary male deity is one of the grosser defects of the logically quite invalid notion of monotheism.}

Bergson 1911 = Henri Bergson : Creative Evolution. Macmillan, London.

p. 152 millennarianism

Throughout the Middle Ages there was a succession of millennarian movements in Christian countries, well described by the historian Norman Cohn in his classic study The Pursuit of the Millennium : Revolutionary Millennarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (1957).”

{The rather contrasting correlative to this in other systems of mythology (such as in the Puran.a-s) are nested series of time-cycles (yuga-s contained in maha-yuga-s, contained in turn within manu-antara-s, contained in turn within kalpa-s). The cycle of kalpa-s is a designation for the cyclic (somewhat analogous to a cyclic group in algebraic group-theory) interrelation of the planes-of-existence.} {The author evidently considered himself to be at least sympathetically akin to the “Anarchists” being described.}

p. 154 cosmic telepathy

Or is consciousness developing throughout the universe?

{Consciousness, like everything else, is subject to universe-wide conservation-principles; so that it cannot change in quantity nor in quality, at least over the universe as a whole.}

And will our consciousness ultimately make contact with those other minds?}

{The perpetual universal consciousness is such as to maintain in telepathic contact (which is, always hath been, and evermore will be) all minds everywhere; with the exception, of course, of such persons as who exclude themselves from it by such gross misdemeanours as stubbornly denying its universality, its perpetuity, and/or its efficacy for maintaining perfection in universal ethics. And, of course, monotheists are automatically self-excluded by their demanding a universal allegedly-divinely-perpetrated tyranny (which sort of tyranny is actually incapable of existing whether now, or in any past, or in any future – “divine” and “tyranny” being actually incompatible, and “divine tyranny” a nonsensical oxymoron; and monotheism an absurdity). Almost the only other requirement for being a member of the universal telepathic network is proclaim it to all beings capable (intellectually, morally, and otherwise) of accepting it and its implications.}


Rupert Sheldrake : The Science Delusion : freeing the spirit of inquiry. Coronet (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton), London, 2012.