iosted on January 22, 2013 by André Gaudreault
“By being specially adapted to acquire a particular kind of information, most structures are tied to a very narrow, rigid programme, their inbuilt computing mechanisms containing `hypotheses’ to which they blindly adhere. If circumstances arise that were not `foreseen’ by the adaptive process that produced them, a structure may transmit false information which it cannot be taught to correct [especially true for human specialists].” (Konrad Lorenz, Behind the Mirror, 1973) [My brackets]
Prolegomena to De Evolutionibus Res Naturas:
An essay on universal evolution.
Kant proposed a Copernican revolution in philosophy, saying that: “Hitherto it has been assumed that all our knowledge must conform to objects. But all attempts to extend our knowledge of objects by establishing something in regard to them a priori, by means of concepts, have, on this assumption, ended in failure. We must therefore make trial whether we may not have more success in the tasks of metaphysics, if we suppose that objects must conform to our knowledge. This would agree better with what is desired, namely, that it should be possible to have knowledge of objects a priori, determining something in regard to them prior to their being given.” (Wikipedia)
After the work of Copernicus and others had demonstrated that the earth was not the center of the universe but only a part of a much larger system, the world began to change its vision of reality. The process took hundreds of years. Today, because humanity has become a dominant influence on earth, we are faced with another such change: from nature being a convenience for people, to people being a part of nature. The scope is similar. The practical significance is of far greater consequence than the Copernican revolution but we have only a generation to complete the change. ~Mike Nickerson, Change The World I Want to Stay On, 1977.
Progress has become maladaptive because it has transformed our economy—our collective behaviour initially in tune with the fundamental principles of evolution—into a mode of profit-production, beneficial for a developed minority, detrimental to the rest of the human race, and destructive for the whole planet.
Academics are failing, because all their analyzes of this state of affairs are based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature that precludes them to understand progress as an anomaly of evolution. If it weren’t the case, they would be able to define the global problem confronting humanity in solvable terms, which they absolutely cannot!
We are in possession of all the resources to do so. To use them in most efficient and economic manners though, we must gain a fresh perspective of ourselves and of our relations to the world surrounding us. We need a human paradigm shift that would allow us to use all the resources that we have to solve the existential problem that our selfish uses of modern science have created in the course of the twentieth century.
Click to enlarge.
NB As you can see, my background is French. So don’t look at the overall style of these prolegomena, nor at the odd structure of some sentences, but rather at their content.
If I ask you to remember the title UTOPIA OR ELSE, above, it is because you will see the same mentions appear in the next diagram as necessary future alternatives for our progressive behaviour.
It is my coming across these caricatures of Maja and the Club of Rome“s report on the state of the world, In the mid 70s, while searching for a Master’s degree complementing an eclectic BA equivalency, and my reading later of Edgar Morin’s Le Paradigme Perdu: La nature humaine, (The Lost Paradigm: Human Nature)—all supporting my already well established belief that there was something fundamentally wrong with humanity—that made me find the courage to undertake a second general BA at the advance age of 34, instead of a Master’s degree, to find out as a generalist what was this “original mistake” that we made when we first start walking on two legs and use tools. I indeed decided to undertake this search as a generalist theoretician after reading in the late 70s in Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual of Spaceship Earth that:
“…of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success,not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking”;
and after being secured in this way of thinking by Konrad Lorentz’s saying that: “Specialists, by knowing ever more and more about less and less, will finish knowing everything about nothing.”
To execute such a “shift” in our collective behaviour, we need to question and revolutionize our ways of thinking about our relation to reality. Three hundred years ago, Immanuel Kant already acknowledged that humanity needed to undergo such a revolution. However, his understanding of human nature was lacking. Indeed, he did not make his Critique of Pure Reason within the context of evolution, as he surely would have, had evolution been an established fact at the time. And neither was he aware of the ill effects that progress, to which his “incomplete” Critique contributed, would have on our living environment.
Today, If scientists do not publicly recognize progress as an anomaly, it is because their research grants prevent them to acknowledge the truth about the ultimate side effects of their work. Or, as Michael Lewis already said more succinctly about the profiteering Wall Street workers: “ If you pay someone not to see the truth, they won’t see the truth.” (Source)
In passing, I must say that of course scientific research is good for humanity. However, in nature, everything that is beneficial for a species, within a given habitat,inevitably creates pressures on the other competitive species of the same natural habitat, forcing the latter to vary their behavior evolve or go extinct, and the former to adapt to these new variations.
We are social animals. Our natural habitat is the whole earth. Our social activities create pressures on all the other species of the planet. We don‘t have any competition anymore. Nothing can regulate us. We absolutely must develop ”convivial tools,” to regulate ourselves and adapt locally as a species, without destroying or misusing our natural environment. For this, we need to use all of our intellectual resources (e.g., science, the (converted) military-industrial complex, the Internet, the free or liberated media, etc.) as tools to evolve a collective (organic) consciousness allowing us to “objectify” the human species as a single individual, thus “dialectically” becoming a type of “homo novus” aware of being one with our fellow human beings and with nature. As it has been, and still is evident for many of us.
I say “dialectically,” because this collective understanding of our oneness with reality will be the “antithesis” of what we did when we had to leave the security of our native forest, where our mobility was limited, to evolve into individuals having to “objectify” our inner self and our living environment, and use the tools that this process of “objectification” allowed us to produce to defend ourselves and our troupes in the unknown richness of an open Savannah; where our new found mobility became an aset. However, to eventually, after some 3 million years, let our “species-serving” economy create virtual profits on our behalf, from a well-known but impoverished global environment, for reasons irrelevant to our survival.
CLICK TO ENLARGE, READ THE COMIC STRIP FOLLOWING THE NUMBERS; THAN CLICK AGAIN TO SEE JANE GOODALL IN THE BACK GROUND. YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY BELOW.
The jungle images on the left are old coasters that I bought for a quarter in a garage sale in1990, while doing my MA in Zoo-Socio-Anthropology. They blew my mind, since I was then tinkering about the concept of “form” in evolution, The center image is a rough composite of mine about our mental “objectification” of the fundamental principles of nature. And the right one is from Polyp.org.uk. This graph lead me to infer the following dialectical relations between nature and nurture.
If you have read “About Jane Goodall” click here:
Why Jane Goodall is wrong to conclude from her anthropocentric observations that chimpanzees use “tools.”
Analogies of forms in nature:
I present these examples of forms in nature and the use we make of them or the meanings they have for us as a preamble to my argument that Goodall is wrong in her conclusion that chimpanzees use “tools” as we do. I will show that these “objects” that all animals use to accomplish some tasks are not “tools,” but unconscious exosomatic extensions of their bodies, which they cannot “refine” no more than they can alter they biological resources (claws , teeth, etc.) acquired through their evolutionary history.
Here are other examples of forms in nature and of the meanings they can have for us:
2) The reason why an objectively repulsive female form can be so universally attractive.
(And don’t be offended by this image. From the point of view of our survival the picture of a vulva is no more offensive than one of a brain.)
3) Here’s why mushrooms grow fast and women are so explosive when they get angry:
Source the Internet. NB: I edited the last picture of this trilogy.
These analogies of form in nature that I am making here stem from the many observations that I made at the beginning of the 80s about the similarity of structure existing between seashells and human anatomy. You will be surprised when I eventually enumerate all of them. Suffice to say that I saw in the soft bodies of molluscs and in their shells many formal evolutionary precursors of our brain and our body.
4) Here’s the ultimate instance of these analogical comparisons:
Enlarge to admire the similitude in details. I had a better natural example of a vulva, but I couldn’t reach the carrier to ask for her permission.
Figure 1( gears in jumping insects vs. mechanical gears) supports my long held contention that Jane Goodall is wrong to have concluded, from her anthropocentric observations, that “chimps use tools.” They don’t. Their use of “rocks” to crack open nuts stemmed from their evolutionary acquired ability to imitate. Indeed It is surely with stones that Homine were cracking open nuts in Africa millions of years ago; a practice that must have been eventually observed many times by chimps, successfully put to use by some of them, and transmitted by imitation since then with no improvement whatsoever for all these years, like we did with our nutcrackers.
Chimps do not use “tools” to crack open nuts like we do consciously; it is a habit they have acquired through imitation. When they finally “get it,” it simply becomes a biological extension of themselves. Adult chimps cannot teach youngsters how to use rocks, no more that they can teach them how to grow teeth. Cracking open nuts for chimps is an “exosomatic” biological process. That is why there is “no active teaching” and “adults never teach.” (4:50 in Carta video) Young chimps have to learn for themselves at each generation. I will show in my dissertation that the reason for that is that chimps and all animals live in the instant for themselves, without any spatiotemporal conceptualizations,* which are the sine qua nons for conscious tools making and teaching. What chimps use to survive are not tools but their acquired ability to imitate.
* Maybe, they don’t even have spatiotemporal “representations” of their surroundings; they don’t have image representations of their surrounding like we do; they simply are “one” with it, and they react to it instinctively. This could explain that when something is changed in it, they don’t realize it, and behave as if it was still there: https://youtu.be/FVmN4GL4o5M
Even though we also live selfishly for ourselves like all other biological animals, we do it consciously in “space and time” and in societies, in both of which we have gained the ability to “use tools” and transmit our knowledge of them through teaching. It is indeed this ability to “objectify” space and time―unconsciously for millions of years and consciously for hundreds; and to recognize ourselves in it, unconsciously for millions of years as hominids, and consciously for thousands as sapiens sapiens―that has given us the transformative ability to live in society and create tools.
Chimps are not “transformed” by their capacity to crack nuts with rocks; they will never invent nutcrackers; they are simply animals who have learned to use rocks to eat nuts, for millions of years probably. The only one who’s been transformed by their habit is Jane Goodall.
Sorry Dr Goodall, but if my refutation of your conclusion is correct, and I am sure it is, it has to be exposed as false, since your mistaken identification of chimps to us because they use “tools” has been detrimental to humanity, since we are mental entities as different from biological animals as our everyday reality is from quantum reality. And because of this fact, which I will expose in my dissertation, your specious “findings” have had many adverse implications on our social and scientific capacities to formulate our present existential problems in solvable terms. Disturbing implications which I cannot “describe” until I formulate my theory of universal evolution in which humans are not seen as “other animals,” but as an emergent class of mental beings antithetical to the animal dimension. We are to the animal world what matter is to energy and life to matter,
“It is the theory that describes what we can observe.” Einstein
And in this, I am in good company. My theory is as revolutionary to our understanding of human nature as General Relativity was to our understanding of space-time and gravitation. Indeed, My theory of Universal Evolution, by providing a material explanation of consciousness, opens to specialized scientists the road to the unification of quantum mechanics and classical physics,* —among many other new avenues of research.
“Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that if a “theory of everything” is ever developed in physics to explain all the known phenomena in the universe, it should at least partially account for consciousness.”Why Great Minds Can’t Grasp Consciousness
Mind you; my theory also shows Einstein to be wrong and for the same type of reasons about space and time, as I have shown Goodall to be, and as I will show Noam Chomsky to be also. But, in this latter case, it will be short and easy, after the concise explanation that I gave of our unique relation to space and time. I hope you get the idea why I dare compare myself to Einstein who said that: “It is the theory that describes what we can observe.”
Of course, this refutation of the use of “tools” in chimps is also valid for all other animals that use “objects.” Indeed, if elaborate sets of “gears” could evolve in jumping insects by “chance and necessity,” without these gears being “tools.” Or proteins evolved to carry waste materials out of cells (see Kinesin protein walking), without them being conscious transporters. It is entirely possible that some similar evolutionary mechanisms have worked in crows and other animals to develop in them some unconscious “abilities to use objects.”
What differentiates us is the capacity that we have evolved to “objectify” reality in space and time, which has given use the ability to create tools out of materials found in our environment. Contrary to animals that use objects already present in their surroundings as “biologic extensions of themselves,” without having developed the conscious ability to refine them. Maybe some of them did it to some degrees, we don’t know, at least I don’t, but never like this:
However, it is this “progressive behaviour” of ours that has become an anomaly of evolution, because of our misunderstanding of its evolutionary meaning in time. As the anomalous behaviour of the planets were due to our misunderstanding of our true place in space.
As the planets were still moving in retrograde motions but were not anomalies anymore once we understood that we were not at the centre of the universe. Very similarly, but antithetically, once you, whoever you are, will have learned how your misunderstanding of where we stand in evolution affects your personal behaviour or your theories, you will still be an anomaly of evolution, but will have gained the motivation to “consciously” use your personal resources for the benefit of our species, in a context of sustainability (survival), instead of using them for your own benefits, in a context of progress.
Here, I must say that I am perfectly aware that I am “generalizing” and that there are many generous people in the world. However, I must also remind you that “the road to hell is paved with good intention,” and that, for the honest observers among us at least, this road is well on its way to being completed and carrossable… Forty years ago, I never thought that it would come that fast. I was still thinking in terms of centuries. I was then already aware that we needed to regulate progress somehow, but PCs which have the power of accelerating everything were not yet in the picture.
THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
If I mention “you” instead of “we,” here, it is because that I already know what is this “original fallacy” that we made about our relation to reality in space, and later to evolution in time. And you don’t. And that I have myself intentionally start to work independently for the survival of our species, forty years ago when I came in contact with this Maja’s caricature, five years after a deep “secular” meditative experience about our standing in the universe.
And if you ask me to tell you what is the content of this meditative experience, I will retort that I cannot reveal it until I expose my theory, after I succeeded in preparing your minds to be receptive to what will be a human paradigm shift utterly incommensurable with everything you know personally. And it is not that what you know is irrelevant; everything you presently know will have the potentiality of being relevant, but only when you willingly use it in the context our survival, which is entirely different than the historical context of progress in which you see yourself presently.
What I can tell you about this experience of “secular” meditation that I had at 25 about energy, and the dream that I made five years later about the true nature of time is that those personal experiences are to my theory of “universal evolution,” what Einstein’s thought experiment he made at 16 was to his theory of special relativity.
However, this “scientific” discovery that I have made about our actual place in “universal evolution” is the antithesis of “normal” scientific discoveries. While scientific discoveries are firstly made and understood by few individuals before being accepted as undeniable truth and put to use collectively for the benefit of progress. The “extraordinary” (in Thomas Kuhn’s sense) discovery that I have made will have to be understood and accepted simultaneously by everybody at different levels of understanding and individually put to use for the benefit of our survival, in conjunction to everybody as in a single individual. That is the reason it took me so long to formulate my findings, and why the Internet will be essential to broadcast what will be if I am right, and I know that I am, a “second” Copernican revolution showing the true nature of space-time and our real place in it.
IRISH ELK: UNCONTROLLED GROWTH LEADS TO EXTINCTION.
Human progress is an anomaly of evolution because it is a historical process detrimental to the Biosphere. It will still exist but cease to be an anomaly, when applied to our survival on Earth. As the retrograde motion of the planets was still observed after Copernicus, but ceased to be regarded as anomalies when understood in their real context. This comparison is thoroughly appropriate since the historical time-lapse of scientific progress is as fixed “in time,” compared to evolution, as the earth seemed to be “in space” for the Medieval scholastics, and still for us. The only thing that has changed is our understanding of inertia. However, because this understanding has triggered an era of progress, it has made us lost the detail knowledge that we had of the stars.
The Los Angeles’ earthquake of the early 90s provides an excellent instance of this phenomenon of acquired ignorance through progress. After this quake, indeed, the observatories of the region were inundated by callers, warily wondering if the quake had had an effect on the stars (sic). They were that illogically wary, because the Los Angeles’ lights having been completely turned off by the earthquake, they could see the stars for the first time of their lives, and they didn’t know what was happening. They had been blinded by the light of progress. And so are we all, completely isolated from nature in the destructive “environment of knowledge” in which we live. And here I do not contradict myself. This knowledge is not with us anymore, but in our technologies which is “a way of organizing the world so we don’t have to experience it.” (Max Frisch) If “Life is a knowledge process,” (The Tree of Knowledge) humanity is cancer for the environment, since our knowledge only serve our purpose, as cancer does in an organism. If this is it, the only thing we can do to save ourselves is to go into remission. And it is possible since, as Starman has already noticed about us that:
Our anthropocentric and self-serving limitations are not with our ability to know about the forces of nature, but with our incapacity to understand them from the point of view of universal evolution (theme of my De evolutionibus res naturas) and to find ways to control our collective behaviour, once these forces become integrated parts of our nature and willfully put to use.
Modern scientists are as responsible for the destructive nature of progress as Medieval scholastic were for its retardation before Copernicus.
Scientists profess that this is not their role to show us how to use their discoveries; that science is a “value-free enterprise.” Science is our collective enterprise par excellence. If it is not their role, whose is it? Politicians? The term ‘elected leader’ has become an oxymoron. Today’s politicians, for the most part, are mere puppets of the industry having the attention span of one election, the next, during which they all but follow drafts scripted by business and financial elites, the ones benefiting the most from the present destructive status quo.
Unfortunately, contrary to the robbers of the temple, there is no more room for us to drive these elites out. As for their role in paving the road to hell with their good intentions, of which they have plenty, they won’t recognize it until they reach the ‘hell on earth’ where the roads they are paving are leading all of us. Fortunately, this time, we will surely get there sooner than later—hopefully soon enough to give us the time to save ourselves all together.
Indeed, we will do it all together, Jews and Muslims, Capitalists and Communists, East and West, North and South, rich and poor, or not at all: It is species that survive, not individuals. People, eventually all die (Cf., John Maynard Keynes’s infamous “In the long run we are all dead.”). We need to find economical ways to do it organically, as a whole species, so it survives.
As we needed a revolution in our way of thinking to get out of the “terrible” Dark Ages, we need one to solve the frightening conundrum into which modern “enlightenment” has inadvertently plunged the modern world while serving our anthropocentric and selfish drives.
At the very outset of the golden age of science, Kant’s Copernican “revolution in philosophy,” made from the point of view of history, was not favorable to a revolutionary way of thinking, as he believed it was, but to the upkeep of a scientific era of progress already taking shape since the 17th century. His “revolution in reverse,“ as his modern commentators now label it, has been mindfully accepted, simply because it is an exercise in the maintenance of the status quo. This is what the reverse of a revolution is, the ‘maintenance of the status quo’. Kant’s analysis is not Copernican, but Ptolemaic. His understanding of reason, made from a historical point of view synthesizing rationalism and empiricism, while not taking evolution in consideration, is indeed similar to Ptolemy’s understanding of the planets behaviour from a geocentric perspective.
As we needed to revolutionize Ptolemy’s geocentric understanding of the heavens to discover the forces of nature. To control the anthropocentric driving force behind progress, we will need to reconsider human reason from the point of view evolution.
Indeed, Kant’s notions of synthetic a priori played the same role in the Critique of Pure Reason to explain how reality is perceived from a “human perspective,” as Ptolemy’s ad-hoc notions of crystalline sphere, epicycle, equant, and deferent—which we don’t need anymore—did in the Almagest to explain the heavens from a “geocentric perspective.” I will show in my dissertation, that we will not need either Kant’s “synthetic a priori” nor Noam Chomsky’s innate grammar, for that matter, when ‘messy’* reason and human understanding are explained from the point of view of ‘universal evolution.’ Grammar is indeed universal. However, not because it is innate, but because all languages evolved to describe a common spatiotemporal reality common to all cultures.
*I say “messy,” because reason has never been “pure” (fixed in evolution), but evolved through many crises, similar to the one in which we are presently.
Here, I sure can say that Kant’s work must have been interpreted from the point of view of our “knowledge of evolution,” in some ways, somewhere, by someone. But never, and I am positive of that while considering the role of human understanding in universal evolution: Knowledge is not the monopoly of our species. Understanding is.
“To live is to know” (H.R. Maturana and F.J. Varela)
Even flowers “know” where the sun is
Or beans that there is a wire on which to grow:
However, It is not enough for us to know. We have to understand what we know.
- Life is a knowledge process. (Maturana and Varela)
2. Life evolves. (Darwin)
“‘Understanding’ is processed in the brain. It is defined as ‘a psychological process related to a person, object, situation, or messages which require an individual to think and use concepts to deal with.’ Also called ‘intellection,’ [Remember that] understanding involves conceptualization and association.
It is the awareness of the connection between pieces of information that are presented and has a deeper level than knowing and, in fact, is essential in order to put knowledge to good use. […] Understanding takes a long time to take place whereas knowledge can take place sooner.” Source (my emphases)
We have reached a point in evolution where to “put [our] knowledge to good use,” we need to reassess our understanding of where we stand in the cosmos from the point of view of “universal consciousness,” as the sole Earth-dwelling species able to conceptualize space and time as a “domain of existence.” For this, we need a theory of “universal evolution.”
For instance, If you have never seen the image above, you probably don’t have a clue of what it is. If you have already seen its solution, though, you know what it represents. Karl Popper called this phenomenon “theory-laden observations”: We need to have an idea of what we are looking at to be able to see it. We need theories to open up our views.
And there is no such comprehensive theory about our particular relation to evolution. All the ones that we have are “wrong” because they assimilate us to the animal world in a way or another. While there is one aspect that has yet to be revealed, and which makes us as different from animals as animals are from matter, and matter, from energy (cf. Jane Goodall, Robert Sapolsky, evolutionary psychologists, et al.). Those who don’t, here I am thinking of religious fundamentalists rejecting evolution, do it for the wrong reasons. We are animals, of course, but what makes us different from the other species of animals, which are defined by the environment in which they live, is that we constantly have to redefine ours, since we always make mistakes while interpreting them. Errare humanum est. We live in environments of knowledge, which varies from generation to generation, and between cultures. Now that we have “turned global,” and thus reach our limits to material growth, we need to revise all our theories and even reject some well-accepted, to adjust our collective behaviors to this new reality that we will have then uncovered.
Here, now that you have seen a better-defined picture, you will know what you are looking at for the rest of your life when looking at the rough one above. I hope the same will happen with my theory of universal evolution.
Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding! Kant
If I had known this at the time, I could have saved me many years. I could have known then, indeed, that I couldn’t use to express my findings the theories already existing in the different fields of knowledge that I was “visiting,” to find out the errors at the roots of human understanding and how they affect scientific thinking altogether. However, I have an excuse. None of my teachers ever knew what I was doing in their midst. Nobody cared. I was challenging something that was not their “business to challenge”; they were mainly interested in the originality of my ideas. What were they doing with them? I never knew.
For their defense, though, I must say that they are all very talented and well versed in their particular domain, and I was not, I was just searching for something they could not see. Although I must say that neither did I really know myself what I was doing. It is indeed only after my reading of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, during my “unspecialized” Masters at the University of Guelph, at the advanced age of 45, that I finally realized that I am not normal and that if I am a scientist, I am an “extraordinary” one of Post Normal Science.
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
What can I say? That I am a genius? If I am, I am just a “borderline” one; my family doctor has indeed diagnosticated me as suffering from a “borderline personality”: I indeed believe that I am right and that everybody else is wrong. The real problem though is not with me but with the world since it is true in my case that I am right and everybody else is wrong.
*Later, I will draft the rudimentary outlines of De evolutionibus res naturas, my universal theory of evolution, premised on the assumption that human consciousness is as different from animal consciousness, as matter is different from energy and life from matter. Opening up to all “normal” scientists, from elementary particle physicists to psychologists and philosophers, the opportunity of becoming aware of the real possibility of a new level of consciousness in evolution: from a self-consciousness aware of itself as an “objective reality,” to a collective organic awareness of being one with reality.
This theory of mine differs in simplicity from Darwin’s, restricted to biological evolution, as Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity differs in complexity from his Special Theory restricted to subluminal speed. It also complements Ervin László’s Evolutionary Grand Synthesis (See below), in that it will show that the differences existing between cosmic and biologic evolution, and between biologic and human evolution, are analogue to the ones that exist between the classical world and the quantum world, and that they can all be synthesized at a new level of consciousness, already envisioned in the first half of the 20th Century by Sri Aurobindo, and coined “le supramentale” by Satprem , his follower, in the 60s.
Man is a transitional being ; he is not final. The step from man to superman [supermanhood] is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner Spirit and the logic of Nature’s process.* Sri Aurobindo at the beginning of the 20th century, EBook, [My emphasis and my bracket]
*This expression of Sri Aurobindo, ”the logic of Nature’s process,” is the perfect, complete, and exact synopsis of De evolutionibus res naturas, which will be a short formulation of the logic underlying the evolution of Energy in Nature.
It is my coming aware of this notion of “supramental” in Satprem’s La Genèse du Surhomme (1974, English title, On the Way to Supermanhood) that ultimately supplied me the sense of security and confidence that I needed in the late 70s to undertake, from a secular and generalist perspective, the study of the relations that exist between our biological (body) and spiritual (mind) evolution. Without never being able to openly mentioning it the university, like I am doing here for the first time.
Here is how this new level of consciousness complements László’s well developed Grand Evolutionary Synthesis, thus conjointly supporting the “spiritual” visions of Sri Aurobindo and Satprem, and the scientific outcome of my De Evolutionibus Res Naturas, which indeed predicts this new level of consciousness independently of Aurobindo and Satprem
Or, as shown in opposition:
Here, a caveat has to be made, everything I told you up to this point is no exposé of my theory, but examples of the evolutionary shortcomings of well-accepted scientific theories that it allows me to perceive promptly. It doesn’t mean that what I am telling you is right. They are observations that need to be verified. My theory will elaborate on the logical possibility that exists for us to proactively evolve into a new realm of collective consciousness, as it is here supported by László’s Grand Evolutionary Synthesis, after my implementations.
On this basis, I will show you soon below why László’s very elaborate “Grand Synthesis of Evolution,” when assessed by my theory, needed to be updated with a new level of consciousness. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Every observation that my approach allows me to make shows me the sign of a good theory. Everything fits so well in it that I must be right. Although it sounds unbelievable at first—even to me. You’ll be the judges! Here are some quotes about the signs of a good theory that I dug out the Internet:
- “The sign of a good theory is that it fits and explains the data”; (check)
- “it explains more than what it is intended to”; (check)
- “it predicts the existence of something that has never been seen. Scientists can then hunt for it.” (check)
- “The sign of a good theory is the richness that is produced from simple foundations.” (check) [In my case, this simple foundation is the absolute need that we have to transition our exponential growth pattern into an S curve, as it happens everywhere in nature and in society.]
- “The sign of a good theory is when patterns emerge.” (Indeed, check)
- “A key sign of a good theory is its ability to adequately explain reality in new and insightful ways.” (double checks)
- “[A good theory makes] the seemingly impossible simple.” (triple checks)
If you Google “sign of a good theory” you will find these quotes verbatim.
As you will see, my Universal Theory of Evolution presents all these signs. If my work was judged by these criteria alone, I believe that it deserves an A+, even if stylishly and grammatically it is far from perfect. English is not my first language. And, like William James, who had to “forge every sentence in the teeth of irreducible and stubborn facts,“ I have to forge mine in the teeth of well-established scientific theories… in English!
“Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that if a “theory of everything” is ever developed in physics to explain all the known phenomena in the universe, it should at least partially account for consciousness. … [And further] According to Chalmers, the subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, … He believes that … consciousness is an irreducible aspect of the universe, like space and time and mass [I, Andre Gaudreault, say instead: “like energy matter and life” which bring back to the fore Plato and his “theory of forms.”].” (Why Great Minds Can’t Grasp Consciousness, My emphasis and “correction.”)
As quantum mechanics for energy, my theory takes into account the “evolutionary discontinuity” (punctuation aka bifurcation) in the midst of which we are as a species, and which, if collectively accepted soon enough, could allow us to do what modern physicists have failed to do: the grand unification of the forces of nature.
Indeed, since we are made of the same matter as all the rest of the known universe, the forces that are used to hold it together must have something to do with the one that drove us to conceptualize them, don’t they? We acquired our knowledge about the forces of nature by first unifying the earth and the heaven (Copernican revolution). The time has come for us to understand these forces through their unification with the one that has driven us to make their discoveries (“Second Copernican Revolution”), and to teach this newly acquired knowledge to the next generation so that they can solve the coming evolutionary crisis of our making.
Here is how my theory allowed me to synthesize the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972) and László’s Evolutionary Grand synthesis (1987):
My Diagnosis of Humanity’s Exponential Problem:
My prescription: (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
And don’t forget that one of the signs of a good theory is that “It makes the seemingly impossible simple.” Or at the least “possible.”
Here is a more elaborated version of my prescription to humanity, which integrates many aspects of what we know about human history and evolution. It will seem complicated at first glance. However, if you click to enlarge this graphical record of human evolution, and begin at the start sign on the upper left corner, follow the color pattern, the arrows, and the numbers while reading each asterisked reference as they appear, it will become easy to follow.
Click to enlarge
My theory functions as a “macroscope”: It simplifies the complexity of human problems.
At this point, another caveat has to be made. De evolutionibus res naturas will not discuss in depth the works of Locke, Kant, Hegel, and others, nor any scientific theories, but will be an overview of the “natural, lawful” possibility to proactively evolve a new level of collective consciousness, as I am openly proposing for the first time in these Prolegomena.
As Newton’s Laws of Universal Gravitation allows us to predict the forces between masses, the Law of Universal Evolution that De evolutionibus proposes would allow the global biological entity that is the human species to consciously “evolve” harmonious relationships among themselves and with the earth environment, which is what needs to happen before we attempt “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Before I tell you why the current “corporate science” is as relevant to our survival as the Medieval Scholasticism was to progress, let me give you an overview of the personalized curriculum of studies that transformed me into an “extra-ordinary” generalist able to draw such an audacious comparison between modern scientists and Medieval scholastics.
If I were a painter, my model would be Claude Monet, the first painter to make the transition between realism and impressionism. As a thinker, I am an evolutionary generalist. And contrary to evolutionary psychologists, who in parallel to my work describe in a hyper-realist style the human landscape in this manner:
During my stages at the university, since my intellectual development as an “evolutionary generalist” was still rudimentary and needed another twenty years to be polished off. I could only express my preliminary findings in evolution using broad “theoretical strokes,” as do impressionists, who have to first artistically cover the whole backgrounds of their canvas before completing their impressionistic landscape studies. E.g:
I hope my work, which like an impressionist painting will not be meaningful until completed, to be mind-opening for everybody who reads it. When it is completed, it should become a Ph.D. dissertation significant to all reasonable minds, instead of, as Ph.D. dissertations usually are, to a small minority of scientists. I have all the prerequisites but in no particular area of knowledge. If I ask my readers to assess my work, it is because no academic discipline is opened enough to receive it.
And if I have to elaborate on my personal curriculum, as I am doing here in these Prolegomena, it is because there are no other ways for me to make my case, since I have done research at the University that no man has done before.
This work is indeed presented by an independent mind who accepted as the background of his intellect, at the age of 30, all the knowledge he had acquired up to this point, which, for his purpose, he felt he didn’t need to refine in depth during his return to university, but superficially extend in width, with a second general BA. And who refused to accept the original fallacy, which he strongly believed the a-priori background of thinking (cf Kant) shared by all of the humanity was concealing. Becoming soon convinced that the reinterpretation of all human knowledge from a new evolutionary perspective would eventually allow us to understand the human phenomenon as a think-in-itself, proactively implicated with the whole of reality.
This “original fallacy” of ours at first was but a faint unverbalized assumption, which I could only concretize twenty years after I received my Master of Arts degree at the advanced age of 47, once I had figured out how Kant’s evolutionary limitations affect scientific thinking altogether. “Understanding takes a long time” indeed!
While writing these prolegomena, I inadvertently came across this passage about scientific discoveries:
“Scientific discovery is unpredictable. History reveals that scientists rarely anticipate the nature or the source of new breakthroughs before they happen. One might think, then, that it is impossible to cultivate an environment that promotes discovery. But I argue otherwise: By encouraging open research without a programmatic agenda, we can establish a fertile ground for unexpected breakthroughs.” [Avi Loeb, My emphasis]
I must agree with Loeb. My agenda at the University has never been “pragmatic,” but hidden. Indeed, some thirty-five years ago at the Universités du Québec à Rimouski and Montréal, I have been eventually and subsequently enrolled in five one-year certificates of studies leading me to a second general BA: Certificates of studies in Psychology; Economy; Business Administration; Environmental Sciences, and Computer Sciences; which didn’t mean anything to me, besides allowing me to “be” at the University among scholars. This curriculum, indeed, gave me the opportunity to be in contact with teachers of difference specialties, up to five of them in some sessions. During which I was not so much learning what they were teaching, but concealingly studying the effects their respective background had on their understanding of the crisis in which humanity was entering, and which I was privately considering as being evolutionary in nature.
It is during one of these eclectic sessions that I came to identify humans to sapiens artists: We started our careers as naive painters in the depth of caves, to get to the point of being able to represent collectively in hyper-realist style all the details of nature that we can perceive. The problem is that, during this evolutionary process, scientists have mutated into Cyclops specialists using the permanent mental microscopes grafted to their single eye, to look at the world as they would look at a Renaissance masterpiece. They are finally able to understand how the colours mix themselves on the canvas background (soft sciences); or what are the composites of this canvas on which the colors are applied (hard sciences), or how the canvas is attached to the frame (evolutionary psychology?); but have lost the capacity to appreciate the evolutionary meaning of the whole masterpiece.
As for philosophers, I could never communicate with any of them, since, even if having similar intellectual objectives, we were not looking at the same aspects of the “human masterpiece.” Indeed, while I was looking at where it was showing our heading in evolution. Philosophers were perusing its foundations to assess their authenticity, while “immaturely” (Kant dixit) installed on the shoulders of Greek philosophers never having taken evolution into consideration while laying the foundations of our thinking, thousands of years ago, having thus all been rendered relatively irrelevant by the evolutionary paradigm shift through which we need to go at the moment,
Again, if it weren’t the case, given the power of their minds, the exactitude of their observations, and the robustness of their analysis, academics would surely be able to define the present predicament of humanity in solvable terms, which they obviously cannot, whether they be Daniel Dennett Steven Pinker or Noam Chomsky, or any other academics, prominent or not. In whose works my theory of universal evolution allows me to easily perceive obvious critical limitations. As I will give you specific examples later, after I show you how my life-long curriculum of studies in seven different post-secondary institutions allows me now, while still being but a complete “learn ignorant,” to be that bold and confident while likening the role of modern science in relation to human survival to the role of Medieval scholasticism in connection with progress.
Indeed, my university formation consist of:
- 2 general baccalaureates in five institutions: During which I have acquired elementary knowledge in Biology, Psychology, and Economy, in the context of evolution, among a dozen other disciplines, examined from the point of view of evolution.
- 1 non-specialized Master of Arts from the Universities of Montréal and Guelph, which has allowed me to integrate the elementary knowledge previously acquired, into the conjoint fields of Zoology Anthropology and Sociology, always in the context of evolution.
- 20 years+ of postgraduate studies: Made in absentia at the UoI (University on the Internet), where I have insistently pondered the role of progress in evolution.
- Results ? Priceless!
MODERN SCHOLASTICS: NOSCE TE IPSUM!
At this point, I am convinced that you must be eager for me to tell you what is this “category mistake” about human nature buried deep in your set of theories and preventing you to see the anomaly of evolution that humanity has become. However, I cannot, until I introduce the outline of my universal theory of evolution. If I tell you now, I would be idiosyncratically understood—like I always have been during all my years at the university while building my theory among your peers—by your using the ad-hoc theories and false beliefs about human nature deeply buried in your personal epistemological background, allowing you to keep on functioning apparently sanely in the present “scientific paradigm” that absolutely needs to be shifted from a perspective of progress to a perspective of survival.
Here is an example of this “apparent” sanity. However, if you ever listen to them from the point of view of my theory, you’d have an entirely different opinion; from this point of view, they simply don’t know what they are talking about:
Here, I must apologize to Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss and Massimo Pigliucci to have chosen them as examples of modern intellectual’s apparent sanity. For this purpose, I could have opted for any discussion among any scientists on any subjects. It just happens that this group was discussing the limits of science and that Krauss is on my mind for the moment. I especially apologize to him.
Here’s what Alfred North Whitehead already had to say more in depth in 1925 about your “professional knowledge”:
“Effective knowledge is professional knowledge, supported by a restricted acquaintance with useful subjects subservient to it. [Bolds are mine]
“This situation has its danger. It produces minds in a groove. Each profession makes progress, but it is progress in its own groove. Now to be mentally in a groove is to live in contemplating a given set of abstractions. The groove prevents straying across country, and the abstraction abstracts from something to which no further attention is paid. But there is no groove of abstractions which is adequate for the comprehension of human life. Thus in the modern world, the celibacy of the medieval learned class has been replaced by the celibacy of the [modern scholastic’s] intellect which is divorced from the concrete contemplation of the complete facts. Of course, no one is merely a mathematician, or merely a lawyer. People have lives outside their professions or their business. But the point is the restraint of serious thought within a groove. The remainder of life is treated superficially, with the imperfect categories of thought derived from one profession.
“The dangers arising from these aspects of professionalism are great, [. . .] The directive force of reason is weakened. The leading intellects lack balance. They see this set of circumstances, or that set; but not both sets together. [. . .] In short, the specialized functions of the community are performed better and more progressively, but the generalized direction[evolution] lacks vision. The progressiveness in detail only adds to the danger produced by the feebleness of coordination [. . ]. A self-satisfied rationalism is in effect a form of anti-rationalism. It means an arbitrary halt at a particular set of abstractions. This
was[is] the case with science [. . .]
“Science and the Modern World” in Intellectual Origins of the Contemporary World, Vol. 2, Prepared by the staff, Department of History, Queen’s University, Kingston, 1987, pp. 666-676. [N.B. I could have emphasized the whole text. My brackets and strikethrough]
It is only after reading this late in life (I am 70… but going on 19, as you must have noticed by now), that I finally came to understand why I could never be followed nor helped by any of my teachers at the university. They were judging my work ‘ab homine‘ (i.e., from their personal point of views), “superficially, with the imperfect categories of thought derived from [their] profession” (Whitehead), always giving me good passing grades on account of the originality of my ideas—which were not hard to come by, among these “groovy” academics—but never really understanding these ideas of mine, nor being able to help me developing them.
I am not complaining. I am just presenting you with some facts of my life. I could not have done what I did otherwise. I have been favored by fate. I have often felt like being the only “Homo novus,” visitor of a zoo full of sapiens specialists, all caged in their personal ingrained beliefs and held up in some kind of intellectual enclosures in which I could only enter at my peril, not having the skills to compete on their well defined but limited specialties. I never minded. I wouldn’t have changed places with anyone at any price. I always have been perfectly contented with where I stood in my original vision of the world. As a matter of fact, I always felt as bold as Giordano Bruno must have felt when presenting his true understanding of the cosmos to reluctant scholastic, still busied discussing the sex of angels among themselves. And, by the way, I also am worried about the fact that I can make such a comparison while probably (I never read him) using the same arrogant tone…. His has been fatal for him, hasn’t it?
If you think this is harsh… wait until you see how “frightfully stupid” the social engineers and the academics become, when profit motive [the ultimate source of their salaries] is observed from the point of view of our survival under the light of my universal theory of evolution.
….(Work in progress)
L’utopie ou la mort
What is lacking is a common understanding of the present evolutionary crisis, which would provide us with the incentive to collectively focus all our social energy on our long-term survival. There is plenty of money to do this. There are indeed many trillions of dollars hidden stagnant because the (1%) don’t know what to do to put it to proper evolutionary use. As they could do, If they ever decided to stop acting like “degenerated baboons” hiding behind their wealth, instead of stepping to the front line, like dominant baboons do to defend their packs in a time of dangers.
And charity will not suffice. It will take a global regulated economy, assisted by all the world armies (sic) and the financial sectors—the most well organized institutions that we have—once converted and allied under the common goal of refurbishing our social infrastructures and biophysical environments for the generations to come. From the point of view of evolution, and as proactively conscious beings, this is what we must do.
The only think that we need is a scientific theory showing the potential for such a drastic human paradigm shift. And I have one that does exactly this.
“Man is a transitional being [evolutionary bifurcation]; he is not final. The step from man [self-consciousness] to superman [collective consciousness] is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner Spirit [universal Consciousness] and the logic of Nature’s process [De evolutionibus res naturas].” Sri Aurobindo at the beginning of the 20th century, EBook, [My brackets]
“The so-called evil of our time is a new birth in disguise, which we do not know how to handle [This is why I went to the University, to understand how we should “handle” ourselves in our times of crisis]. We are before a new evolutionary crisis as radical as must have been the first human aberration among the great apes.” Satprem, La Geneèse du surhomme,1973 [my brackets and emphasis]
Andre Gaudreault © 2015