Evolution

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Evolution

Postby John » Mon 15 Oct 2012 4:18 pm

I have been pondering on the mystery of how Evolution came about and why its actions show such a baffling level of seemingly intelligent direction. Presently, somewhat resignedly, science assumes this to be the miraculous and unaided action of pure chance. Like many other people I am distinctly unhappy with this conclusion. There is no reason whatever for chance to induce other than the most critically limited, purely primary actions, that would themselves be endlessly repeated: for chance is utterly blind and unknowing. No major advance, requiring complex interactions could or would happen, no matter the time scale allowed. Unless there are active ‘How to handle change’ factors already present, there will be absolutely no ‘direction’ information available to the structure. Any ‘direction’ formula can result only from an interaction by two or more atomic structures generating a memory or procedure by which rules governing the interaction automatically apply. No doubt, the initial interchange of some structures would be accidental, chance events, but there pure luck bows out. I decided to work from the most basic, established and proven physical facts. This took me directly to atomic structure. Nothing material exists that has no atomic configuration. To me it also confirmed - as an a priori judgement - that inorganic evolution occurred prior to and is a conditional pre-requisite for organic evolution. In a nutshell, I think that all evolution has come about through the interaction of atomic, particularly sub-atomic structures, one with another. This results in the formation of a new or different atomic structure and presents as a different or altered material. Current science seems to treat the amalgamation of two or more atomic systems as simply acting together, such as H2O becoming water. I reject this conclusion and maintain that water is a distinct and ‘new’ form of atomic structure, which can for example be atomically altered, yet again, to present as ice of steam. These ‘new’ materials can be restored to their origins because the sub atomic structure has a memory and, in this case, it also must have a memory that allowed the earlier reformations. I contend that the current interpretation of such ‘binding’ means that the structures remain unaffected and their union process produces what may be described as purely an effect - Resonance. Well, the conversion of two different atomic structures into water, steam or ice, is quite some Resonance! Forgive me if I used the wrong term. Consequently, I contend that such atomic interactions will lead, virtually automatically, to more advanced structures. Evolution is a purely natural, naturally directed and, over time, inevitably ‘intelligent’ process. Opinions please!
John
 
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Re: Evolution

Postby John » Tue 29 Mar 2016 12:22 pm

My ideas on the 'Genesis of Evolution': i.e. why did evolution even start?

Like many others I feel that the progress of evolution has been too ordered, too logically progressive to have come about by the machinations of sheer unaided chance and that there may be some natural, however limited, guiding force at work. For clarity I should first say that I believe that nothing exists beyond what is natural and obeys natural law, whatever that may be, whilst freely accepting that much of the function of natural law is neither known nor properly understood at this time. That being so, I believe that we live in a Universe that may be guided by some natural force or intelligence.

It is my belief that all the ‘bits and pieces’ of matter, inorganic and organic, that comprise the Universe have come into being through the processes of naturally guided and inevitable evolution.

What has particularly intrigued me is that no-one seems to have given any thought as to the why(?) of evolution. For convenience only I will assume that the Universe had an initial state of being and that there were some initial chance ‘effects’ due to random activity between masses - gravity for one. If that (highly unlikely) scenario should be true, I have wondered what is it that subsequently caused unthinking matter to progressively interact and produce different materials, perhaps even forces, that themselves had either no previous existence or had existed in different states, yet later have acted together in complicated ways to eventually produce highly complex new material states? (I add here that I believe that the Universe is, in total,absolutely eternal and has no beginning nor end, but conclude that it periodically renews itself and therefore does, in that sense only, have beginnings. This is an idea not a fact!

It would seem that such an early Universe would have rapidly reached equilibrium - but obviously that did not happen. The production of complicated materials requires rather more than the occasional interaction of disparate masses of inorganic matter. So what changed? What ‘rather more’ allowed their formation by the otherwise blind force known as evolution?

Even after considerable ongoing research I can find no trace of any earlier work questioning the origins of the actual process, neither of evolutionary non-random selection nor of any suggested physical process that relates to the origin of its function. Nor has that evolutionary process, so very evident in biology, been linked to the similar, original parent process, that demonstrates so clearly that the inorganic world has itself experienced an amazingly similar evolution. I suggest in the following remarks my solution to this problem.

We know that in the case of organic evolution, pure chance has little or no role. Only the process known as non-random selection could and does, during simple but relatively complex selection routines produce even the simplest replicating life forms, let alone what we see today. But how did this come about? It seems far too convenient, far too unbelievable to accept that random accidental selection should somehow, by blind chance become complex. Far more likely that blind chance would remain blind, endlessly repeating itself and getting nowhere. Logically it would seem there must be some guiding process, however slight, that directs the selection and interaction of not just one but the several factors that inevitably stand a higher chance of resulting in an advanced state of matter: a process of non-random selection.

To control or direct this process there must, of necessity be a suitable structure, no matter how primitive initially, that has itself evolved during later interactions to some complexity. There is no apparent reason why this special ‘structure’ would pre-exist in matter as it would have no immediate function in that matter, so I believe that it must have come about during the interaction of two or more bodies that resulted in the formation of a new or changed material, thus creating the means to a chain of such events eventually resulting in the world as it is now.

Any trace or resonance left in a sub-atomic structure by the interaction of two or more different states of matter surely must then leave some influence that reflects its origin, and in that reflection surely it would influence the course of future interactions. What other purpose could such a new, specific addition to the generic nature of the subject matter fulfill? There is almost invariably a logical explanation as to why an object retains such advanced capabilities.

Therefore, I suggest it is reasonable to expect that this origin, itself a new part of sub-atomic structure, would contain, at the very least, some limited ‘instructions’ affecting the re-organisation and selection of matter when interacting with other materials. At some later stage in history most materials would by then already contain similar sub-atomic instructions guiding the way in ever more complex interactions. These ‘instructions’, slightly modified by these continuing interactions would be passed on, so becoming integral to a newly formed structure, in a parent and child manner, as is the case in organic evolution.

I think a later evolved and ‘improved’ form of this inorganic evolutionary process might well be a more likely mechanism for explaining the currently mysterious, seemingly near impossible production of some of the more ‘difficult’ heavier elements or materials than the fanciful explanations currently attributed to the poorly understood internal workings of Stars, imaginary Black Holes or ‘colliding’ Galaxies!

To emphasise my point, it would seem therefore inevitable that having regard to the unquestionably progressive nature of the history of physical evolution, that those tiny physical changes must fulfil some function - albeit blindly and unconsciously. So, I maintain that logically - and in the absence of any other known function attributable to such a change - it is most probably this function that is responsible for the biasing of events in an eventually progressive manner, discarding all the failures, and during a process of non-random evolution creating the complexity,first of the physical Universe then of the biological Universe.

To those like Richard Dawkins, who (despite his insight does not address my question as to the why of evolution) will not accept anything beyond unguided, totally blind chance as being the father of biological non-random selection, I ask these questions: Would even chance events leave no mark, no trace, no physical change in the structures of the elements involved? How likely is it that evolution itself, in its more complex non-random form, would occur entirely through purely chance events? Lastly: Would that trace have no effect at all on its actual behaviour?

To be fair, Dawkins’ quoted views relate only to biological evolution and he claims that purely chance events led eventually to non-random selection. He relies for this entirely on blind chance having, very, very gradually, higgledy-piggledy, got luckier and luckier. Quite possibly my idea, though reasonable, is wrong, but ... pot luck?! Presumably he feels stuck with pure chance, never having considered the possibility of a more positive, natural solution.

Perhaps because of that he gives no consideration to inorganic evolution, apparently leaving the simple act of casual contact itself to act as the whole, purely accidental story here. Well, of course, it is automatic, but as every contact leaves a trace, which trace must itself have some bearing on later events, then frankly an explanation which ignores this scientific principle, seems inadequate. Like so many others, Dawkins flounders here.

On this point I further suggest that, quite unlike the Dawkins model, the biological evolutionary processes - if born of inorganic parents and not of magic - must carry the ‘genes’ of the parental evolution processes, so - never would they have been random - and always were, essentially, the non-random selection processes we see today. I believe that these newer, biological evolution processes themselves have since undergone a degree of ‘evolutionary’ change.

Clearly life is the child born at a peak of inorganic evolution, possibly linked to the reproductive mechanism seen in crystal formations. The line of functional inheritance is clearly marked by the numerous ways in which life mimics its inorganic parents in their long standing and well known 'lifelike' behaviours. In the interests of brevity I have restricted myself to the essential nuts and bolts of my idea having no doubt that the point will be clear to you. If at some time it transpires that this ‘suggestion’ is truly the case it will become even more apparent that there are almost aware and mechanically intelligent functions operating widely in the physical world, presently unknown in our formal understanding of physics, which is itself in need of considerable revision and a far more open and comprehensible aspect.

Sadly, there is as yet no way to test materials to verify any change from an original ‘pure’ state as obviously all materials will have experienced and absorbed such changes long ago. Nevertheless, at some point, with a new approach and open minds, it may well prove possible for scientists to identify and classify not only this particular property of matter but probably many other such presently unidentified properties for what they really are.
John
 
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Joined: Tue 25 Sep 2012 9:03 am

Re: Evolution

Postby Robertus Maximus » Mon 04 Apr 2016 7:30 pm

John,

Some interesting thoughts in this thread and I’d like to share some of mine, with some overlap relating to your ‘The Place of Reason in Botanical Life’ thread. I will try to address the various points in some logical order.

I have concluded that the Universe is both infinite and eternal- our observations reveal a trend that as the size of the Universe approaches zero, mass/energy density increases towards infinity, whilst as the size of the Universe approaches infinity, mass/energy decreases to zero.Writing in the book ‘The Big Bang Never Happened’ Eric Learner provides an interesting description of the evolution of the observable Universe, from the Plasma Universe perspective, over a period of two to three trillion years! (The Plasma Universe being infinite of course). An infinite and eternal Universe allows for a vastly greater range of chance events to occur that could lead to the development of incredibly complex structures that would be akin to your ‘natural force or intelligence’ but just what type of process would appear to ‘guide’ subatomic, molecular, chemical and biological reactions?

Quite a few years ago I was reading the book ‘Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality?’ by Alastair Rae. Unlike other books on the subject there is an extended discussion on the ‘measurement problem’ in quantum theory which has led to many different ‘interpretations’. Alastair Rae introduces the reader to the ideas of the late thermodynamicist Ilya Prigogine and his solution to the ‘measurement problem’.

According to Prigogine: ‘The classical order was: particles first, the second law (of thermodynamics) later- being before becoming! It is possible that this is no longer so when we come to the level of elementary particles and that here we must first introduce the second law before being able to identify the entities. Does this mean becoming before being? Certainly this would be a radical departure from the classical way of thought. But, after all, an elementary particle, contrary to its name, is not an object that is ‘given’; we must construct it, and in this construction it is not unlikely that becoming, the participation of the particles in the evolution of the physical world, may play an essential role.’

When considering the ‘double-slit’ experiment, for example, according to Prigogine it is meaningless to ask which slit (or both if we consider light to be a wave) a photon went through as no change in the Universe occurred. Now when the photon (or wave if you prefer) darkens photographic paper or triggers a detector- then a change has occurred in the Universe, an irreversible change. Prigogine quotes Bohr as saying: ’Every atomic phenomenon is closed in the sense that its observation is based on a recording obtained by means of suitable amplification devices with irreversible functions…’

Reversible processes (whatever they may be) don’t leave a record not just on our measuring devices but on the Universe as a whole, irreversible processes, however, do leave a record- the Universe now has order- order out of chaos. Irreversibility leads to a unidirectional accumulation of records or information the Universe now has an ‘arrow of time’ (an infinite ‘entropy barrier’ as Prigogine calls it, prohibits time travel to the past).

I was thumbing through my copy of Prigogine’s book ‘The End of Certainty’ when I noticed a post-it note on the inside cover that I had scribbled something on: ‘Our time reversible theories and ‘laws’ are only idealized mathematical models. It is only through irreversible mechanisms that we approach something like the Universe we live in and the reality we experience.’- unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the quote in this particular book so I’m not sure where it originates but it is typical of Prigogine’s approach; this, however, is definitely from ‘The End of Certainty’: ‘It is true that today we can isolate simple dynamical systems and verify the laws of classical and quantum mechanics. Still, they correspond to idealisations applicable to stable dynamical systems within a universe that is a giant thermodynamic system far from equilibrium, where we find fluctuations, instabilities, and evolutionary patterns at all levels.’

In this view irreversibility at all levels leads to complexity, by the time we reach biological systems irreversibility is still present- it’s called ‘selection’. Could irreversibility be equivalent to your guiding natural force or intelligence?

Moving onto the subject of ‘reason’ in your ‘The Place of Reason…’ thread and here I am first considering consciousness; as far as I am aware only one scientist has championed a biological explanation of consciousness- the Theory of Neuronal Group Selection- by the late Gerald Edelman.

From Edelman’s book: ‘Bright Air, Brilliant Fire’, it is interesting to note Edelman’s description of biological selectional processes and how they are reminiscent of Prigogine’s approach: ‘The sense of time past in higher-order consciousness is a conceptual matter, having to do with previous orderings of categories in relation to an immediate present driven by primary consciousness. Higher-order consciousness is based not on on-going experience, as is primary consciousness, but on the ability to model the past and future.

‘The ideas of consciousness and ‘experienced’ time are therefore closely intertwined. It is revealing to compare the definition of William James, who stated that consciousness I something the meaning of which ‘we know as long as no one asks us to define it,’ with the reflections of St. Augustine, who wrote in his Confessions, ‘What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain to him who asks me, I do not know.’ …

‘Indeed, the flux of categorisation, whether in primary or higher-order consciousness, is an individual and irreversible one. It is a history. Memory grows in one direction…the irreversibility of individually experienced time lies in the nature of selective systems. In such systems, the emergence of pattern is ex post facto…Indeed, selective systems are by their nature irreversible.’

(I think Edelman would have disagreed with your speculation of plant life having an ‘awareness’, in Edelman’s scheme animal life possessed what he termed ‘primary’ consciousness, ‘higher-order’ consciousness was found in humans. One area of agreement is our invention of mathematics, as Edelman puts it: ‘It is useful, however, to make it clear that such systems are artificial ones, created by the mind through social interactions and individual manipulation of symbols. The most basic of these systems, arithmetic, has been shown by Gödel to be incomplete. I would characterise the study of mathematics…as the study of stable or invariant mental objects.’)

From the work of these two scientists we can see that irreversibility plays an important role in organising the Universe, reality even; from the ‘simplest’ sub-atomic interactions to life and even complex human thought, feeling and emotion. Is irreversibility design without intelligence?

If this reply has been of any interest and you are still continuing your research John, you may find the following books of useful, by Prigogine: ‘Order Out of Chaos’, ‘From Being to Becoming’ and ‘The End of Certainty’ and by Edelman: ‘Bright Air, Brilliant Fire’, ‘Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination’ and ‘Wider Than the Sky’.

Regards
Robertus Maximus
 
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Evolution

Postby John » Thu 07 Apr 2016 10:42 pm

I read with interest the comment by Robertus Maximus. This unavoidably raises the problem of Eternity. Those of us who follow the ideology predicating an endless Universe (as predicated by the great Sir Fred HOYLE) must offer an explanation of its very existence if we are to be understood with clarity. It seems that the first recorded such materialist opinion was provided by the very great original Greek thinker Anaxagorus (c.500 – 482 BC). Thinking about matter (though what he called it I cannot know) he reasoned that absolutely nothing at all can emerge from nothingness. Therefore, as there plainly are ‘things’ all over the place, there cannot possibly be a state of ‘nothingness’. The only alternative is an eternal state of ‘being’. If there is nothing to ‘create’ anything from, its existence is incontrovertible proof that it has always existed.
As there is no way to remove matter from existence, i.e. nowhere for it to go, it cannot be destroyed. What can and does happen is, without loss, matter will reform in countless different ways to produce ‘new’ forms. In this case (which founds my every belief) there can be neither anything truly new nor any process that will generate the truly ‘new’. There is however, a monumental amount of evidence that makes it apparent that changes take place that suggest a form of newness that allows formative theories to flourish.
I just cannot say how it happens (join the crowd!) but I believe that at least parts of our eternal Universe may suffer catastrophic change and present, in a ‘local’ area, as being ‘new’. Seeming proof of this is that all available evidence points to life forming many millions of years after the ‘oldest’ geology known. Obviously if life was present at an earlier stage it had no ‘form’ that has been detected. As the existence of life is a form of matter it cannot really be new, but it can perhaps have been ‘sidelined’ or converted into another form of energy. Either way, the apparent absence of ‘life’ predicates a beginning of a different kind from that we know and commonly understand. Theories of formulation can therefore offer explanations and understandings of this ‘newish’ part of the Universe, but cannot possibly be right unless they conform to the principles of eternity. I think it impossible for nature to ‘re-form’ in any part of the Universe in a manner intrinsically different from elsewhere. In an effectively blind and consequently automatic eternity, the ‘rules’ simply concur with the pre-existing reality. No ‘other’ rules are possible as the necessarily changed ‘conditions’ can exist only in a fevered imagination and there is no conceivable way that it can actually happen. In an eternal Universe, the ‘house rules’ must also be eternal, immutable, allowing change only in form. A process of ‘qualitative’ change.
With regard to my comments on Plant life having ‘intelligence’ I had hoped it would be clear that I am referring to a chemical process that does not incorporate actual, positive reasoning. This ‘reasoning’ is the manner in which chemicals will react one with another, sometimes in very complicated ways that could be readily described as an automatic, chemical form of directed behaviour. The force that could guide subatomic, molecular, chemical and biological reactions is the very force that they comprise. They are the standard rules that govern the action of atoms. The atomic structure can be altered, but only in conformity with the pre-existing laws of physics – if it ain’t actually possible it won’t actually happen, no matter what. My point is that the very existence of a form of matter dictates the boundaries of its atomic actions and re-actions - absolutely.
Regarding Prigogine (never heard of him!) l thank you for the references but if his theories are based on at least an element of ‘coming before being’ then I fear he is not going to figure here. Simply designating a particle as being ‘fundamental’ is merely a tool of language. No element of matter does or can exist before another and so be fundamental, else so is everything! E.g. 1 comes before 2 but all numbers co-exist!
Without the pre-existence of (2), number (1) has no purpose or meaning. Conversely to the quoted authority and apart from the (pre-existing) immutable laws of physics. I think in Nature pretty well everything is reversible, otherwise a local area of the Universe could not re-form to the exclusion of almost all evidence that it existed earlier. I make no pretence of actually understanding the ‘proven’ theory of Quantum Mechanics but, as I understand it(?), it requires at some point the (temporary) introduction of something non-existent, matter, force or whatever, it cannot possibly be entirely right no matter how accurate its forecasts appear to be. Aristotle's view, later strongly supported by Ptolemy’s description of the Geocentric Solar System gave such accurate forecasts it took hundreds of years to show its basic inaccuracy.

The ‘Evidence’ is detailed in ‘New Scientist’ 26-03-16 “Intelligence Without Design” pages 34-38. Also favourably mentioned is my idea of ‘Genetic Memory’.
John
 
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