Re: Song of Myself

From: Dace (
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 19:15:44 BST

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    Subject: Re: Song of Myself
    Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 11:15:44 -0700
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    > I have to say this persistant misuse of a radio analogy, presumably
    > from Sheldrake himself, is remarkable. How best to argue that biological
    > processes are mechanistic... oh well, let's use a mechanical analogy by
    > citing radio!

    It's a purely logical point. If it's true in *some* cases that an object
    (such as a tuner) appears to contain another object (such as a song) while
    in reality merely relaying it from a distant source of origin, then it
    cannot be logically maintained that in *all* cases the appearance of
    containment necessitates containment. The point is that the arising of the
    organism from an egg cannot constitute proof that the organism was in any
    way "preformed" within that egg. It's only the spell of the preformationism
    meme that prevents us from acknowledging this.

    > In order for radios to pick up anything more than the hum of big bang, and
    > other natural producers of radio waves is if someone somewhere is
    > deliberately transmitting signals that have specifically been encoded into
    > radio transmissions at particular wavelengths. So if this analogy is a
    > better way to think of MR, then who or what is sending the signals, and
    > that organisms are supposedly using to construct themselves?

    Radio waves involve frequency, not form. When you go up the dial, instead
    of receiving higher complexity, all you get is higher frequency. Morphic
    resonance is as natural as electromagnetic resonance. The form is
    transmitted without any need for a primal transmitter.

    > This doesn't get rid of the designer problem at all,

    In Sheldrake, there's no design, only the resonance with previous, similar
    forms. The organism need not contain within it a preformed version of
    itself, be it homunculus, blueprint, code, program, or whatever guise the
    preformationism meme acquires in its struggle for survival.

    > and as been admitted
    > Sheldrake is silent on the how, which leaves it a pretty empty theory.
    > Vincent

    Sheldrake is not silent on the how. It works according to similarity of
    form, just as electromag works according to similarity of charge. But
    morphic resonance, as a natural explanation for memory, requires that the
    transmission be carried out across time rather than space. Intrinsic form
    must therefore remain present even as its materialization vanishes.
    Sheldrake doesn't explain how this could be true, he merely confirms it
    experimentally. He's a scientist, not a philosopher. If you want an
    explanation for this, you must proceed onward to Bergson's work on time.


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