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On 24 Aug 2001, at 11:15, Dace wrote:
> > 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.
This error of Dace's does not require the radio analogy to assist it;
It has been made (hundreds of years) before. Descartes believed
that the soul was transmitted or channeled into the body via the
pineal gland; he based this mistake upon the fact that there is only
one pineal gland in the head, but two of most everything else, and
he considered the soul to be singular.
> > 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
This is really obtuse, considering that there are so many
parameters for form, such as size, external shape, internal pattern,
material composition, etc., but only a simple higher or lower
frequency. His morphic resonance is, like god, an uncaused
cause, which does not answer questions so much as ignores them
and substitutes a take-it-or-leave-it in spite of evidence
fundamentalistic dogmatism in its place. It is, at its heart, a
religious belief system, not a scientific theory.
> > 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
That would sorta make genes redundant, superfluous and
unnecessary, but when you remove them from a zygote, it doesn't
develop worth a damn.
> > 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.
Once again, the alchemical-herbal doctrine of signatures, another
premodern conception which has long been superceded,
supervened and subsumed. But then again, frequencies are
themselves just waves; they obviously don't resemble organisms
any more than genes do. It's just that genes not only have been
proven to exist, but also to possess an experimentally verified (from
Francis and Crick forward), scientifically decoded (HGP) and
pragmatically tweaked and implemented (genetic engineering)
mechanism by means of which such information may be
transmitted between generations of a species; morphic resonential
frequencies have not even been proven to exist (because, of
course, they don't), much less to inculcate a mechanism capable
of such complex info-transmission. It has been stated that such a
mechanism is not necessary for this exercise in fantasy
channeling, while simultaneously it has been asserted that the
verified present mechanism of the gene is insufficient to
accomplish its task. This is of course a mutually contradictory
argument - to maintain that in one case nothing is necessary and
in the other than something is not enough - but such self-
contradictory snarls never serve to deter the true believer in a big
and (to him) beautiful lie.
> But morphic resonance, as a natural explanation for memory, requires
> that the transmission be carried out across time rather than >
Did my precise explanation of the perceptual and physical
singularity of the spatiotemporal manifold fly under your radar, sail
over your head, or get intercepted by your Sheldrakean memetic
belief filters? 'This rather than that' is, quite simply, not an option
when there are not two separable things. The spatial and the
temporal aspects of the manifold are cognitively distingushable, yet
the aspects are empirically inseparable.
> Intrinsic form must therefore remain present even as its
> materialization vanishes.
This is a 2500 year old Platonic error. Form does not exist
independent of its incarnation in matter/energy. Next, we'll be
lectured on the seven crystal spheres comprising the universe, and
their Pythagorean harmonies.
> Sheldrake doesn't explain how this could be
> true, he merely confirms it experimentally. He's a scientist, not a
Actually, he's neither any more, but a theologian, and you are an
> If you want an explanation for this, you must proceed
> onward to Bergson's work on time.
Or backwards to his repetition of the Kantian bifurcatory flaw, which
I meticulously pointed out.
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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