Re: "Newage sewage" Part 1

Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 04:48:49 BST

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    Subject: Re: "Newage sewage"  Part 1
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    On 22 Aug 2001, at 23:45, Dace wrote:

    > From: <>
    > > > From: "Wade T.Smith"
    > > > > It is completely and totally part of the pseudoscience of all
    > > > > newage beliefs, because morphic resonance is a religious add-in
    > > > > to nature, another new god in the already deifically
    > > > > overburdened cosmos, another incompetent witness, who, having
    > > > > really seen nothing, decides to save time and energy with the
    > > > > invention of an intelligent designer, because, one cannot have
    > > > > morphic resonance without a primal morphic resonator.
    > > >
    > > > Does electromagnetic resonance imply a "primal electromagnetic
    > > > resonator?" Fields and resonance are an accepted aspect of
    > > > scientific theory. Morphic field theory merely replaces charge
    > > > with form, as gravitational field theory replaces charge with
    > > > mass.
    > > >
    > > Form is not simple, as is mass and charge (more or less of one
    > > thing), but complex and informational. Any attempt to equate
    > > or otherwise draw analogies between them is therefor illegitimate.
    > Form can be simple or complex. Complexity to form is like density to
    > mass or frequency to charge. Each type involves a spectrum from high
    > to low.
    No, this is simply and entirely incorrect. There is NO WAY
    WHATSOEVER that the complex, recursive, fractal and highly
    elaborated biological forms present on this planet can be equated
    to density or frequency, which are simple monochromatics. The
    point is that density and frequency CAN NOT be complex, as form
    almost always is. This failed attempt at equating them is an object
    lesson in the arrt of bad analogy.
    > > > > Sheldrake has been trained in 20th century scientific models--he
    > > > > has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge University
    > > > > (1967)--but he prefers Goethe and 19th century vitalism.
    > > >
    > > > Sheldrake rejects vitalism. He argues that no special "force"
    > > > animates living matter. Morphic resonance applies to any regular,
    > > > repeating system in nature.
    > > >
    > > No, cyclical repetition applies to such systems, and these
    > > repetitions (with mutational, modification) are, in living systems,
    > > genetically mediated.
    > Regardless of the significance of genes, Sheldrake is not a vitalist.
    > The author is simply trying to discredit him without actually
    > investigating his views.
    It would be a strange enterprise if such were true, since
    Sheldrake's actual views more than suffice to discredit him.
    > > >
    > > > > Sheldrake prefers teleological to
    > > > > mechanistic models of reality.
    > > >
    > > > Sheldrake rejects teleology. Influences from the past, not the
    > > > future, account for goal-directed behavior in organisms. One
    > > > could certainly characterize his system as "morphic mechanics."
    > > > It's just that his mechanism is probabilistic, as in quantum
    > > > mechanics, as opposed to the determinism of Cartesian mechanics.
    > > >
    > > "Morphic" has to do with form, not behavior; this is one confusion.
    > All form is a product of the behavior of lower levels of structure.
    > So, the form of an organ is equivalent to the behavior of tissues, and
    > the form of a tissue follows from the behavior of cells, and so on.
    > The shape of a protein and its lock-and-key type function are the same
    > thing. Form and behavior have the same relationship as present and
    > past. Two sides of the same coin.
    Actually, structure and function are complemetary; either on one
    level can affect the other on the next. But present and past are
    NOT two sides of the same coin; the present is where we are
    (check Husserl's theory of the eternal present, in which we remain
    within our own here/now subjectivity as stimuli enter and leave our
    perceptual modalities); the past is where we are no longer and the
    future is where we are not yet. You're also forgetting the future in
    your bad analogy, I guess because the image of a three-sided coin
    requires some bizarre mental gymnastics.
    > By the way, your point here can't possibly help you, since genes
    > supposedly code for both form and behavior as well.
    The code for form and SOME behaviors; others are learned from
    the environment (including caregivers). Also, forms are to a degree
    behavior-specific; we cannot hold onto six crabs simultaneously
    any more than an octopus can pedal a bicycle.
    > > Another confusion is equating differing times (the present and the
    > > past, for instence). If such an Edenic position were indeed true,
    > > then it would have to be equally true that the future would be found
    > > within the present; IOW, lockstep superdeterminism.
    > The future is an abstraction. It has no independent existence.
    This is equally true of the past, so your following point, if true, is
    lethal to the MR contention.
    > When
    > tomorrow comes, it won't be tomorrow anymore. There's only now.
    > Whether or not today somehow incorporates yesterday as well,
    > "tomorrow" doesn't exist outside our imagination. Determinism is what
    > you get when you imagine that the future somehow already exists, which
    > follows by necessity from the reduction of time to spacetime.
    Claiming 'reduction' of 'time' to spacetime is like claiming reduction
    of planes to cubes; both 'space' and 'time' can be (illegitimately)
    cognitively abstracted from the perceptual spatiotemporal manifold,
    much as planes can be abstracted from the surfaces of cubes, but
    like the abstractions 'space' and 'time', they have no empirical
    reality, and cannot really even be imagined (every picture of a plane
    in the mind's eye involves a film of thickness).
    > > The entire
    > > history of the universe, including who swatted which gnats last year
    > > in the Serengeti and what they thought about it, would have to be
    > > written in the fabric of the big bang, meaning that you were
    > > destined to argue for your position, which actually means that you
    > > can't freely argue for it; if your position were to be true, your
    > > arguments would have to be meaningless, for they could not be freely
    > > chosen, and instead be as foreordained as the ignition of a star
    > > when sufficient gas gathers. It would also fail utterly to explain
    > > novelty and diversity; if it were true, the universe should still be
    > > superheated plasma, as 'morphic resionance from its prior states
    > > ordained.
    > All this and you never conceded or even addressed the point. Labeling
    > Sheldrake as a supporter of teleology has no basis in fact. It's just
    > a way of dismissing him without having to deal with him.
    Influences from the past, you said above, account for goal directed
    behavior, and in different posts you have expanded that accounting
    to account for damned near everything, which is what grandiloquent
    meme infections tend to do. If, as you are therefore forced to
    contend, the past determines the present, and through it, the
    future, insuch a fashion, then you are stuck with the absurd
    consequences of such an assertion.
    > > > > Rather than spend his life, say, trying to
    > > > > develop a way to increase crop yields, he prefers to study and
    > > > > think in terms outside of the paradigms of science, i.e., inside
    > > > > the paradigms of the occult and the paranormal.
    > > >
    > > > Sheldrake works entirely within the confines of scientific method.
    > > >
    > > Bullus shittus; I've listed some of his book titles and
    > > collaborators. He's an anecdotal just-so storyteller, nothing more.
    > Not all of his books are intended to promote his "hypothesis of
    > formative causation." He does have a life outside of his scientific
    > pursuits.
    I fail to see a life INSIDE scientific pursuits.

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