Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Dace (
Date: Fri 28 Oct 2005 - 21:51:14 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: The evolution of "evolution""


    > Wednesday, October 26, 2005, 8:06:27 AM, Dace wrote:
    > > From a material standpoint nothing mediates the mutual attraction or
    > > repulsion of objects as a result of either gravity or magnetism. This
    > > why the field is postulated, in order to account for the undeniable
    > > of such long-range effects. No field of physics has ever been detected.
    > > Rather, it is *deduced.* The strength of a field must be calculated on
    > > basis of abstract equations, not read off from a meter that directly
    > > measures it.
    > I recently used something called a "field strength meter" to measure
    > microwave radiation around my house. (I live within 120m of a mast
    > with several arrays.) Regarding magnetism, I have a very handy device
    > called a compass.

    Compasses existed long before field theory. That a compass reacts to the presence of a field must be deduced. Assuming our deduction is correct, both the "field strength meter" and the compass are measuring the effects of electromagnetic fields. That your meter is actually called a "field strength meter" only goes to show the universality of the field theory inference. The formulae for computing field strength are evidently built into the device.

    > Let me know when you have such things for your fields.

    Like the inference of electromagnetic fields, holistic effects in biology can also be deduced from observations. Regarding the production of termite mounds, which are essentially free-standing lungs that provide oxygen to termites and remove carbon dioxide, E. O. Wilson has this to say:

    "It is all but impossible to conceive how one colony member can oversee more than a minute fraction of the work or envision in its entirety the plan of such a finished product. Some of these nests require many worker lifetimes to complete, and each new addition must somehow be brought into a proper relationship with the previous parts. The existence of such nests leads inevitably to the conclusion that the workers interact in a very orderly and predictable manner. But how can the workers communicate so effectively over such long periods of time? Also, who has the blueprint of the nest?"

    (Quoted by Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past, Times Books, 1988, p. 229)

    By all appearanches, the coordinated activity of termites cannot be attributed to their ability to communicate. Rather, a field effect seems to be at work. To test this hypothesis, the naturalist Eugene Marais inserted a steel plate through the middle of a termite mound, preventing any communication between the separated termites. Nonetheless, termites were able to build arches that met perfectly on opposite sides of the plate as if it wasn't even there. Termites act more like particles in a field of influence than separate actors. The same could be said of the cells comprising our bodies.

    More recently, Miroslav Hill demonstrated field effects among bacteria being tested for resistance to a carcinogenic substance. He found that alongside the exposed bacteria, related bacteria in physically isolated containers also developed resistance. After repeating the experiment numerous times, ensuring absolute separation of the bacterial colonies, he got the same results. He concluded that the exposed bacteria shared information at a distance with the unexposed bacteria. Interestingly, Hill chose to interpret the results in terms of quantum entanglement or nonlocality rather than the more traditional field theory.

    There'll never be a simple device for measuring such effects in biology, as the only way to measure them is via organisms. For instance, Sheldrake used a dog to demonstrate the existence of a field of influence embracing both the dog and his owner. When a skeptic named Richard Wiseman tried to refute Sheldrake's findings with his own experiment, instead he replicated Sheldrake's results.

    You noted in a different post that scientists have no difficulty accepting invisible phenomenon. This is true of physicists but not biologists. Where physicists readily accept the evidence for action at a distance, biologists remain wedded to contact mechanics. This just goes to show that while a meme dies off in one environment, it may continue flourishing in another.


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