We Are Indeed Just Another Primate But the Only One Living in Space and Time

RE: Robert Sapolsky: Are Humans Just Another Primate?

Email to Robert Sapolsky


Are Indeed Just Another Primate But the Only One Living in Space and Time

Robert,

NB English is not my first language

One thing that is unique to us is that we are indeed “Just Another Primate,” but the only one living in space and time. The only biologic entity on Earth conscious of living in space and time that is; the only species that has developed the brainpower to conceptualize these descriptive notions allowing us to “objectify” reality and ourselves in it. (Cf Kant’ Critique of Pure Reason; however, Kant did not know about the theories of evolution nor the essential role that space and time played in ours, neither do my readers: see* next paragraph.)

This awareness of ours of space and time is the reason why we can understand collectively through many generations in time what we perceive anew individually in space at each generation. All other living entities selfishly live in the “instant,” guided by their inner drives while responding in specific ways to the stimuli of the niche they occupy in nature— *Kant was not aware that the other animals, and all living entities, affirm themselves too, but they all do it RATIONALLY, in that they affirm their “antecedents in evolution” without the need of space and time.

•Jean E. Charon’s, indeed, argue in DE LA PHYSIQUE A L’HOMME that “proto-consciousness” exists in all “matter.”

Charon’s hypothesis that “proto-consciousness” exists even in “matter”

If so, these fellow “living-entities” shown below, the white cell and the bacteria, all made of the same matter, should also be guided by a type of “proto-consciousness”:

White Blood Cell Chasing Down And Gobbling Up Bacteria

Kinesin protein keeping “The Inner Life of the Cell” clean by bringing a bundle of left-over waste outside the cell

The xtrillions of micro “entities” making life possible, here white cells and proteins, and the billions of other living entities outside of humans, always do the right things at the right moment because that is what life needs them to do and how they have behaved in their evolutionary past. Contrary to us, who “objectively” affirm ourselves as a “consequence of evolution” able to accumulate discoveries, i.e., to progress. Thus, our capacity to be fallacious in our judgments if we based our reasoning on wrong assumptions about reality, which we did when we evolve into Homo and which indeed makes us unique: Human knowledge is “axiomatic” (Popper); to err is human! That is why we need to have our assumptions right.

And at the moment our limitations reside in the fact that the notions of space and time — notions which we stick-carrying and stone-throwing proto-conscious individuals apes that we were at the time we entered the Savanna had to unconsciously assumed in order to create the tools that we needed to survive in it — it is these notions of space and time, thus, that have to be reset since quantum mechanics have proven them wrong since then (Cf entanglement) without yet being able to “explain” why reality behave the way it does at the atomic level: “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it well enough.” (Albert Einstein, my bold)

We are still indeed functioning as if there were two levels of reality without being able to unify them. That is such a unification [sic] that De evolutionibus res naturas, my theory of “universal evolution” based on a new understanding of “time,” will submit to specialists of all-breed, allowing them to incorporate their specialized but limited understanding to a common scenario for our survival (E.g., climate change).

Here is how my life-long unspecialized curriculum of studies fashion my mind into a comprehensive “Macroscope” enabling me to comprehend the Infinitely complex” (see below) and to perceive the limitations of specialized knowledge:

“A macroscope is to the infinitely complex, what a telescope is to the infinitely great, and a microscope, to the infinitely small.” Joel de Rosnay, The Macroscope, 1979:

It needs but half an eye to see in these latter days that science, the Grand Revelator of modern Western culture, has reach, without having intended to, a frontier. Either it must bury its dead, close its ranks, and go forward into a landscape of increasing strangeness, replete with things shocking to a culture-trammeled understanding, or it must become, in Claude Houghton’s expressive phrase, the plagiarist of its own past.
Benjamin Lee Whorf, (✝ 1941) (My emphasis)

“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.” Buckminster Fuller, Spaceship Earth: Manual of operation, 1968. (My emphases)

Moreover, before them, at the outset of the Twentieth Century, at the birth of quantum mechanics, Alfred North Whitehead, one of the last “comprehensive philosophers” was arguing that:

Effective knowledge is professionalized knowledge, supported by a restricted acquaintance with useful subjects subservient to it. This situation has its dangers. It produces minds in a groove. Each profession makes progress, but it is progress in its own groove. …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 modem world, the celibacy of the medieval learned class has been replaced by a celibacy of the 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 businesses. But the point is the restraint of serious thought within a groove. Whitehead, Alfred North, Science and the Modern World, 1925 (Bold mine)

It is indeed the mental inertia of specialists, created by the mass of partial knowledge accumulated on false fundamental premises about space and time that preclude academics from recognizing that the entire bulk of human-centered knowledge accumulated under the scientific method needs a complete reevaluation, needs to go through a “Human Paradigm” shift, as I asserted all along during my studies at the disregard of academics, and as De evolutionibus res naturas, my dissertation, will authoritatively propose. I do indeed expect that this theory of mine will be as revolutionary for our understanding of our place in evolution (time) as Copernicus’ De revolutionibus rerum caelestium was for our perception of our place in space.

Lee Smolin, in The Trouble with Physics, argues “[that our] limited notion of time is holding physics back. It’s time for a major revolution in scientific thought. The reality of time could be the key to the next big breakthrough in theoretical physics.” … “There are few ideas that, like our notion of time, shape our thinking about literally everything, with major implications for physics and beyond — from climate change to the economic crisis.” (My emphases)

This wrong assumption about time and also about space, since they are indeed identical — however, not as a “continuum,” as I will demonstrate when the time comes — has been crucial for our survival, though, because it has given us the capacity to build the tools that allowed us to survive in the Savanna and to proliferate afterward.
Here are preliminary examples of my “authority” in the matter of “human-paradigm shift”:

  • Einstein’s spacetime continuum explaining gravity is indeed comparable, as will show in my theory, to Ptolemy’s “crystalline spheres” supposedly preventing the planets from falling on Earth as it was natural for all objects to do. Furthermore, the same goes for the contraction of space and the dilation of time to explain the consistency of the speed of light, in that they can also be compared to Ptolemy’s “epicycles,” which explain illusive phenomena only existing du to our observations from Earth. It is indeed possible and consistent with my theory that the consistency of the speed of light is also an illusive phenomenon only due to our measurements (observations). The effects of which observations are still puzzling in quantum mechanics at the micro-level of reality, and furthermore, at the macro level, for which level these effects have not yet been taken into consideration, as I will do further on while showing what role our conscious observations of nature (our measurements of reality in space and time) played in our evolution.
  • For an example of how a theory can be right in its prediction but wrong in its conception, here is how Ptolemy explained with epicycles the retrograde motion of the planets :

Time-lapse photographs of Mars retrograde motion view from Earth:

Epicycle from Oct 02 to June 06

Retrograde motion of an outer planet view from Earth rotating around the sun (Earth in grey, Mars in brown):

Mars retrograde motion
As the Earth passes by a planet, the planet appears to move backward against the background of stars. Retrograde motion is an optical illusion!

Ptolemy explanation with the Earth at the center

Ptolemy’s epicycle presented in t The Almagest

The Ptolemaic system of planetary paths accurately predicted using epicycles the positions of the planets for almost two thousand years as Einstein’s relativity theories have explained gravity with a curve spacetime continuum (Ptolemy’s crystalline spheres) and the consistency of the speed of light using compression of time and the expansion of space (Ptolemy’s epicycles):

Ptolemaic system of planetary paths

Then, Copernic had it right while posing the sun at the center but could not predict the position of the planets accurately without also using epicycles because he was using circles and a constant speed for the rotation of the planets around the sun instead of ellipses and variable speeds as Kepler did.

Heliocentric model from Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres)

Here is how Kepler explained the motion of the planets while using elliptical motion around the sun and variable speeds:

Kepler second law of planetary motion

And here is now how the elliptical motion is explained on the Internet still using a combination of circles:

Ellipse explained by Michael on the Internet

As Ptolemy was right in his predictions but wrong with his fundamental assumption, so is Einstein right in his explanation that there is no need of “actions at a distance”to explain gravitation but wrong seeing space and time as being part of a continuum, as I will easily show in my dissertation while using a new definition of time but no mathematics so nine-year-olds can understand.

The beauty and the curse of human knowledge are that it often doesn’t have to be completely right to be useful. That’s why, if it works, it’s hard for us to see why and how it might be wrong.” Zat Rana, Why Science Is Wrong (My bold)

The theories of relativity and quantum mechanics are two examples of such useful but wrong, or accurate but limited theories. The former, the theory of relativity, being useful but wrong as Ptolemy’s was, and the latter, quantum mechanics, accurate at the micro-level of reality but incomplete as Tycho Brahe’s observations were.

The theory of relativity can be compared indeed to Ptolemy’s, in that it has given us an adequate explanation of gravity for one hundred years as Ptolemy’s gave adequate predictions of the planets’ positions in space for almost two thousand years while still being wrong. Furthermore, quantum mechanics can be compared to Tycho Brahe’s since it gives a perfect description of the micro-level of reality but does not apply at the macro level, as Brahe’s observations of the planets moving in space were adequate but made from a fixed Earth. However, It is Brahe’s observations that have allowed Kepler, his assistant, to discover how the planets move on ellipses in the solar system, as it will be quantum mechanics understanding of “entanglement” in matter that will explain gravity in Einstein’s terms, in terms of “curvature” but not in “spacetime.”

Thus, now that we have discovered the forces of nature and become ourselves a destructive one among them, we need to correct this “original fallacy” about space and time at the root of our Understanding that we made when we “left our Tree Eden” and enter the “daunting Savanna”: even if these assumptions allowed us to create the tools to survive in the Savanna and to proliferate afterward since these wrong assumptions are now limiting the range of the modern theories we use to “understand” nature (Cf Lee Smolin) while preventing us from controlling the force that we have become in it.

The time has indeed come for us to “redeem” ourselves from this “original fallacy,” if we want to become able to formulate in solvable terms the problems that progress grounded on these false unconscious premises about space and time have created in nature.

ERRARE HUMANUM EST

Species are defined by the environment in which they have evolved. They do not “understand” it. If there are not enough variations in a species to adapt to a changing environment, this species face extinction unless an “error” (mutation) is committed by “Chance and Necessity” in the transmission of information in one or a few individual genomes.

We are unique in being the total antithesis of this process. We commit our errors at the outset of our reasoning and correct them through “hard work and creativity.

We have transcended evolution in that we define the environment in which we live. We are not indeed the same species now that we were when we believed the Earth to be at the center of the universe; we were not living in the same “niche,” we did not have the same resources then that we have now.

The time has come for us to evolve into Homo novus by consciously evolving a collective consciousness (“Species are individuals,” Ghiselin (1974) and Hull (1978)) — collective consciousness already present as an embryo in the Internet that is becoming a universal extension of our minds — however, to have it focus, not on growth as we mostly do individually, but on survival, as we need to do collectively. The time has come indeed for the human species to “grow up” and smell the coffee. The obnoxious adolescent stage of our evolution, characterized by a growth spurt (capitalist economy) and a (know-it-all mentality (modern specialized knowledge ), needs to come to an end!

To be continued