Intelligent Design Theory

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Intelligent Design Theory Update

I received the following question from Argy Stokes, How would you test your "theory" and what results would falsify it? When we look at theories such as the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory, it is unlikely that such an experiment could be devised. It should be noted that the major departure of the Intelligent Design Theory from the Darwinian Theory of Evolution, it that "natural selection" and its randomness, is replaced with an "intelligent selection". It can be seen readily that an individual with an incapacity is often able to overcome it by working through it. Case studies have shown that species too, are able to do this, and of course, the case studies referred to, can be replicated and in many cases have been. As far as an experiment is concerned, if one could be devised for the Darwinian Theory of Evolution, then it could be applied to the Intelligent Design Theory too.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Towards an Intelligent Design Theory

It is rather disturbing in that the current dispute, the principal basis for the intelligent design model, is simply the lack of evidence supporting the evolution model. The evolution model had been induced from Charles Darwin’s conclusions on the ability of a species to adapt physically to a change of environment. The real question should be as to whether there is an intelligent design model as distinct from the creationism model, and if so, what evidence is there supporting it.

As this alternative has not been addressed in the current debate, I have little doubt that many of the scientists supporting the evolution model, believe that intelligent design is simply creationism where an “old man with a flowing white beard is sitting on a throne somewhere in the universe calling the shots”. And if I were to believe this, I too would reject it.

However, there is an intelligent design model which is not creationism. But before we proceed with an outline of the intelligent design model, we need first to address two common misconceptions.

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Most people would consider the physical universe as the “real world” and many of these, particularly in the Western World would consider the spiritual realm as an illusionary world. In actuality, the spiritual realm is the “real world” and the physical universe is the illusionary world. This is not idle speculation.

If we turn to physics, we find that the atom, indeed, any atom, is almost a perfect vacuum, closer to perfect than outer space, and certainly much closer than we can produce on Earth. All objects in our physical consist of molecules, which in turn consist of atoms. As atoms are vacuums, then molecules would be vacuums, and then so too are objects. So our physical universe is an almost perfect vacuum, an absence of matter. There is next to nothing there! However, I am not suggesting that the physical universe is an illusion, but rather that our perception of it is illusionary. And it is the coarseness of our senses, that makes us believe that the physical universe is substantial.

To understand this, let us review the nature of our senses. First we have sight, where our eyes respond to visible light, that is electro-magnetic radiation with wavelengths less than infra-red and greater than ultra-violet. All electro-magnetic radiation is considered to consist of “particles” called photons. At the wavelengths of visible light, with their immediate attendant energy fields, the photons are very much larger than the diameter of an atom and at the same time the frequency of these radiations is very much lower than the frequency of electron orbits forming the shell of the atom. So that visible light will bounce off an atom rather than pass through it. Sound and touch are much much coarser than visible light, so they too would tend to find a physical object impenetrable.

On the other hand, cosmic rays, a form of electro-magnetic radiation which comes from outer space, have photons much smaller than the diameter of an atom. Not only are cosmic rays able to pass through steel many centimetres thick, but scientists going down into deep mines have found that cosmic rays can penetrate thousands of metres into the Earth.

It is one's mind which interprets his physical senses and passes it on to him, the inner self, the conscious, intelligent part of us. So while the physical world is ethereal, to us it appears to be quite substantial.

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It is difficult, if not impossible, to convince a person who has been blind since birth, that you can observe an object miles or even millions of miles away. It is equally difficult to describe a spiritual experience to a person who has never had one. Keeping this difficulty in mind, the University of Manchester, in a large scale survey, found that 10 percent of those surveyed, had had at least one out-of-body experience. While the 10 percent would fully accept the reality of the spiritual realm, among the remaining 90 percent, would be the skeptics who couldn’t accept anything that they themselves hadn’t experienced. This leads us to the second misconception.

Those of us who have a car, we get into it to carry out an errand and when completed, we get out of the car. For the vast majority, we see the car as separate from us. Similarly with our clothes, we put on clothes appropriate to the occasion, and at the end of which, we change them. Again for the vast majority, we see clothes as separate from us.

But when it comes to the body, many of us, particularly in the Western World, consider we are the body and that as a body, we have a mind and a soul. We use the expressions, “My Mind” and “My Soul’. These people will insist that there is no after life, that when we die, that’s it, nothing! Of course, this is true for them as they are being their body, and on death, the body is finished. This is a misconception!

However, the major misconception, the one which almost all of us have, is that we have identified with our minds! ”I think, therefore I am”, an English translation of René Descartes' Latin statement "cogito, ergo sum", is actually saying “I am my mind”. All of our great thinkers were “being their minds”, as indeed are our skeptics.

Why is this? It is because the essential self (the conscious, intelligent part of us, the spiritual being, the soul) knows! The mind thinks, the essential self knows. Compare the experiences you have had solving problems and those where you just “knew” the answer.

Why is this so? How did it happen? Well, from a very young age, we were dependent upon our minds to interpret the information from our senses. Then we learnt that some situations were threatening and that certain behaviours would lessen the threat, so that on future occurrences our minds would dictate our response. Bit by bit, our minds were taking over the control of our lives. This is obviously a very superficial description of the mechanism, but I am sure you get the idea. For greater detail, see Karl Jung’s psychology of selves and Drs Hal and Sidra Stone’s ground-breaking Embracing Ourselves.

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Before we proceed with an outline of an intelligent design model, there are a couple of useful observations which could be made at this point. First, we have become totally dependent upon our minds. Our observation of the Physical Universe is an interpretation of information from our senses by our minds. So the directly observable physical universe is seen to consist of four dimensions which is interpreted by our minds as three of space and one of time. It is through our minds that we are able to interact with others and with the physical universe. We have become totally dependent upon our minds for data input.

Even when there is no conscious external stimuli, as occurs when asleep, the mind feeds us time-changing three dimensional images, such as dreams and nightmares. And this provides us with a very real problem. For when we die, we lose the sense organs of the body, and if we haven’t separated from our minds, our minds will feed us “dreams”. This is why those who expect heaven to be filled with cats, it will be. For those who expect heaven to be free of cats, it will be. Those who expect to sit on the right hand of Allah, will do so. And this will continue until they are separated from their minds.

For those who would like to work towards separating from their minds, I would suggest the Voice-Dialogue technique developed by Hal and Sidra Stone and outlined in their Embracing Ourselves. Alternatively or additionally, traditional meditation will achieve it. By traditional meditation, I mean Christian Meditation or the Siddha Yoga meditation as outlined in Muktananda's A Play of Consciousness or the Kriya Yoga meditation as taught by the Self Realization Centers or outlined in Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. Please note that I do not mean guided "meditation" or any of the new-age variations, as these are not meditation; simply because they involve the mind rather than separating from it.

One final observation before we continue. As we have been looking at the physical universe and at the spiritual realm, many of us may suspect that in some sense they are related. Do they co-exist independent of each other? Or does one contain the other? An interesting question which we will address eventually.

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At this point, we can now outline a theory of intelligent design, which I will present as a number of propositions. Please note that there are a number of case studies which support the following propositions. These can be found in Rupert Sheldrake’s Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, Theodore Xenophon Barber’s The Human Nature of Birds – A Scientific Discovery with Startling Implications, Muktananda’s Play of Consciousness, Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Peter Tompkins’ and Christopher Bird’s The Secret Life of Plants, Lydia Hiby’s Conversations with Animals, Linda Tellington-Jones’ The Tellington TTouch, David Morehouse’s Psychic Warrior, the psycho-kinesis research program of Professors Zheng Tianming, Luo Xing, and Zhu Mingling of the University of YunNan, to name just a few.

1. There exists an all-pervasive consciousness. And as one with this all-pervasive consciousness, is the conscious part of every one of us, that is our souls, and every living thing, and all souls who have passed on and all souls who have yet to be incorporated. While the term “all-pervasive consciousness”, is not ideal, it is more descriptive than any other such as universal consciousness, universal awareness, universal mind, cosmic consciousness, and so on. It is a contentious point as to whether the all-pervasive consciousness, is more than the conscious parts of every living thing, past, present and future, and it is probably not relevant to our current exercise. Muktananda, considered one of the great “living saints” of the twentieth century in India, writes about his spiritual experiences when he achieved the state of self-realization and says he had come to be one with the all-pervasive consciousness. A similar comment was made by Yogananda, who was another living saint, having passed on in 1952. Yet another is Jangli-das (or Omgurudev) who is a current living saint. While each case study is subjective, they do nonetheless, provide us with a consistency, and if one is willing to follow their path, one will be able to verify their findings.

2. Individuals and their minds, whether the individual is at cause over his mind or the effect of it, are viewpoints of the all-pervasive consciousness in the physical universe, but their consciousness remains one with the all-pervasive consciousness. This is really a corollary of the first proposition.

3. The all-pervasive consciousness contains all knowledge and it is accessible by all. While we all have experienced from time to time, knowing something both unexpectedly and inexplicably, this hardly supports this proposition. On the other hand, Muktananda, Yogananda and Jangli-das all assert quite emphatically that this is the case.

4. While one with the all-pervasive consciousness, there are associations of individual consciousnesses, which correspond to species and which provide the knowingness, we call instinct. It is through associations, that thoughts can be shared, a process commonly referred to as telepathy. There is an extensive range of case studies supporting this proposition. These can be found in the works of Sheldrake, Barber, Tompkins and Bird, among others.

5. Other associations found in many species are the family unit which can include family pets and so associations can be cross-species. Case supporting this, can be found in the works of Sheldrake, Hiby, and Tellington-Jones.

6. There is the special relationship between mother and her new born baby. This is where a baby re-accesses the species association. Most mothers acknowledge that they invariably know what their baby wants and that the baby knows what mother wants, indeed many mothers have experienced communication with their unborn child as described in a number of case studies by Cassandra Eason in her book, "The Mother Link”. .

7. An individual consciousness can cause change knowingly in the physical universe, such as moving objects, as can an association of consciousnesses. The psycho-kinesis research program of Professors Zheng Tianming, Luo Xing, and Zhu Mingling of the University of YunNan, is an excellent case study of this.

8. Manipulating DNA can produce the changes in a species in reproduction, to produce the required adaptation to a change in environment. This is done by the association of consciousnesses. The chance aspect of Darwin’s theory, is an unnecessary assumption. Note that the use of GMO technology to produce changes in a species is already being carried out in modern pig farming as well as in crops such as corn and soya beans.

9. Major changes in DNA manipulation will produce new species. Researchers have decoded the human genome and have now decoded the dog genome to a high degree of accuracy. So that man is much closer to producing a new species in the laboratory. This by the way, has already been done with viruses. So obviously there is no need for the assumption of a time frame of billions of years.

10. As the all-pervasive consciousness contains all knowledge, and as consciousness can cause changes knowingly in the physical universe, then the all-pervasive consciousness is able to produce the genomes of new species and insert them into the fertilized eggs of a similar species, thus producing new species through intelligent design.

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While this is only an outline, I have endeavoured to show that there exists supportive case studies for most of the propositions. So while a lot more work needs to be done, we do have a framework for a model of an intelligent design theory which is based upon scientific principles. I look forward to your comments.