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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 1 through 15 of 149 found.


The Natural Genesis Vision

The Genesis Vision > Historic Precedents

Bennett, Michael and Tano Posterato, eds. Deleuze and Evolutionary Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. We cite this edition about the thought and work of the French scholar Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) because while he was included with postmodern schools, as these chapters and other works (search GD) show, he was more immersed in meaningful, metaphysic, organic vistas akin to Henri Bergson. His writings viewed life’s course as an unfolding, ordained emergence, a “self-activating symbiogenesis,” and whole Earth as quite egg-like in kind.

The Genesis Vision > Historic Precedents

Wolfram, Stephen. Statistical Mechanics of Cellular Automata. Reviews of Modern Physics. 55/3, 1984. An initial paper by the polymath originator, then at IAS, Princeton, of this computational cosmos which has since informed so many areas and uses via his Mathematica software and much more. See also in the same issue The Renormalization Group and Critical Phenomena by the Cornell University Nobel physicist Kenneth Wilson.

Cellular automata are used as simple mathematical models to investigate self-organization in statistical mechanics. A detailed analysis is given of "elementary" cellular automata consisting of a sequence of sites with values 0 or 1 on a line, with each site evolving in discrete time steps according to rules involving the values of its nearest neighbors. With simple initial configurations, the cellular automata either tend to homogeneous states, or generate self-similar patterns with fractal dimensions. With "random" initial configurations, the cellular automaton evolution leads to several self-organization phenomena. Statistical properties are found to lie in two universality classes, independent of the details of the initial state or rules. (Wolfram Abstract)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Glattfelder, James. Information-Consciousness-Reality. International: Springer Frontiers, 2019. This open access 650 page volume is online in full from its Springer site. The author is a Swiss physicist with advanced degrees from and postings at the University of Zurich. Its many chapters and section include The Semantics of Symmetry, Invariance and Structure, The Two Volumes of the Book of Nature, The Simplicity of Complexity, The Fractal Nature of Knowledge, A Universe Built of Information and The Consciousness of Reality. The book outline is well organized, integrated, explained and referenced (over 1,000). Its broad compass surveys self-organizing complexity sciences, classic, quantum and computational physics, philosophies and paradigms, economic and social cultures all the way to our post truth dilemma.

But perhaps things are not as bad as they appear. We are slowly seeing the emergence of a new age. We have the first blueprints for decentralized economic interactions with the potential for collective intelligence—adaptability, resilience, and sustainability. Overall, the universe appears to be guided by an invisible force driving it to ever higher levels of self-organized complexity. (21)

The Dawning of a New Age: Perhaps we will soon be able to translate our amazing powers of individual intelligence into collective intelligent behavior. Maybe soon we can construct an economy that is adaptive, resilient, and sustainable. After all, the universe has an intrinsic propensity to forge complexity. Self-organization appears like a fundamental force guiding cosmic evolution. (36)

In the long journey of the human mind attempting to decode the workings of reality, one trusted companion has to be abandoned: the materialistic and reductionistic scientific worldview. What new notion should fill the void? Slowly a novel worldview is emerging, supported by different theoretical traditions. Most intriguingly, at the nexus of these formal approaches a new ontology of reality is becoming most apparent. Two novel mantras are spreading through humanity’s collective mind: Information is physical, and Information represents the ultimate nature of reality.” (473)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Greene, Brian. Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe. New York: Knopf, 2020. This is the latest science bestseller by the Columbia University physicist, which as the final paragraph below cites, continues to drain and deny any and all modicum of purpose and hope – get used to it, there isn’t any. We also note 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by historian Yuval Harari (2019) which doubles down that there is no story or meaning. We add that a February 10 review by Philip Ball in Nature strongly criticized the book for this unmerited conclusion.

As we hurtle toward a cold and barren cosmos, we must accept that there is no grand design. Particles are not endowed with purpose. There is no final answer hovering in the depths of space awaiting discovery. Instead, certain special collections of particles can think and feel and reflect, and within these subjective worlds they can create purpose. (325)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Nicolelis, Miguel. The True Creator of Everything: How the Human Brain Shaped the Universe as We Know It. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020. Two decades into the 21st century, the Duke University neuroscientist and biomedical engineer (see his collegial lab site) can envision a universe to human, “braincentric cosmology” traced by the evolutionary emergence of our awesome cerebral faculty. Within this vista, historic literary, artistic, mythic, scientific, and academic cultures are viewed as mental conceptions due to homo sapiens’ unique intellectual endowment. His often used “human universe” phrase implies a natural, iconic affinity between an encompassing cosmos and our global sapience. Ilya Prigogine’s non-equilibrium, self-organizing thermodynamics, John A. Wheeler’s bit to it, participatory physics and much more are cited as evidence. Another micro-personal to macro-cosmic parallel is a proposed common cast between general relativity and “relativistic” neural electromagnetism.

Nicolelis then factors in an informational quality which has lately been given a primary place. In its computational guise, both discrete digital and wave analog modes, here due to Claude Shannon and Kurt Godel, distinguish a bicameral cognition. Although brains are seen as “organic computers,” they are graced by these archetypal complements. Another chapter identifies our individual work stations with their myriad close and far web linkages as “brainets” which are a worldwide continuation of nature’s necessity to achieve a re-presentation and self-witness. In regard, our premise that humankind is now proceeding to learn and gain knowledge on her/his own receives a strongest affirmation to date. Circa 2020, this work glimpses a once and future triality of person, Earth and heaven as a temporal genesis. But as the final quote notes, even with this innovative scenario in place, we are not there yet. A phenomenal revolution from male machine to someone in gestation remains to be told.


Having made a major detour that took us to the distant shores of thermodynamics and the birth of the information age, we can now return to what Ronald (Cicurel) and I really meant. Basically, we proposed that living systems dissipate energy to self-organize and embed information into their organic matter to create the islands of reduced entropy that try to put the brakes on the drive toward inexorable randomness to which the universe seems to be evolving. (37)

Because the human brain is capable of expressing Shannon and Godelian information, there is a unique challenge for the traditional scientific approach. This particular object we call a human brain occupies a very special position among the natural sciences. In a brain, the external information (digital and formal) will never be able to fully account for the whole reality depicted by the internal information (analog and integrated). It is the internal information that includes the uniqueness that emerges from the brain’s amalgamation of information and matter, arguably the most powerful computational endowment bestowed on us by evolution. (46)

In my view, the recursive interaction between these two classes of brain signals, the digitally generated action potentials and the analog electromagnetic fields that result from them moving through nerves, is at the heart of our brain’s unique abilities. These features provide the physiological glue needed to fuse all the neocortex into a single organic computational entity capable of combining our mental capacities. This would happen because the far-from-equilibrium combination of analog fields could conspire to create what I call the neuronal space-time continuum. In this frame, neuronal space and time could become fused just as Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity did for the entire Universe. (79)

Given all these examples, I can now propose my operational definition of a brained as a distributed organic computer composed of multiple individual brains that become synchronized – in the analog domain – by an external signal such as light, sound, language, chemicals, or electromagnetic waves and, as a result, is capable of producing emergent collective social behaviors. Like individual brains, such distributed mentation utilize organic memory storage to hold Godelian information while transmitting Shannon information, and are capable of collective learning through a mechanism similar to Hebbian plasticity, scaled to the level of entire brains that interact with each other. (160-161)

According to this view, the human universe is defined by the collective amalgamation into a single ever-growing entity of every single act of living, observing, thinking, reflecting, creating, remembering, wondering, loving, understanding, singing, talking, writing, and composing that emanated from every human brain that has ever lived. (241) Based on his theories, John A. Wheeler came to his own braincentric speculation that the universe can be described as a participative cosmos, since all that happens in it depends on the cumulative observations performed by all intelligent life-forms that inhabit its confines. (241)

However I would like to emphasize that a braincentric cosmology does not imply supporting any anthropocentric definition of the universe. Indeed, nothing in this new cosmology presupposes that humankind occupies or plays any exceptional role in the cosmos. Such a braincentric view does not at all negate the existence of an external natural world. Rather the opposite: it simply proposes that the universe provides the pool of potential information used by our human brains to generate mental representations of it. Thus by definition the braincentric cosmology assures the existence of a tangible universe out there. (169)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Perc, Matjaz. Beauty in Artistic Expressions through the Eyes of Networks and Physics. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. March 11, 2020. The University of Maribor, Slovenia complexity theorist has become a leading expositor in Europe and beyond through a steady flow of papers (search) about physical, biologic to social areas. Here he applies the latest findings, as the abstract notes, to cultural phases to show how each in turn can be modeled by the same dynamic mathematics. So to say in 2020, a grand implication presents itself via an integral survey from statistical physics to literary corpora. As illustrated by flavour tastes, artistic styles, musical modes, how children learn, and more, it is evident that an iconic universality of particle/wave, node/link, DNA/AND, me/We, yin/yang complements in a whole system triality has been verified. This entry well conveys a revolutionary discovery in our midst of a participatory universe to wuman epitome genesis co-creation.

Beauty is subjective, it cannot be defined in absolute terms. But we all know or feel when something is beautiful to us. And in such instances, methods of statistical physics and network science can be used to quantify and better understand what evokes that pleasant experience. From the complexity and entropy of art paintings to an array of food flavors, research at the interface of art, physics and network science abounds. We review the existing literature, focusing on culinary, visual, musical and literary arts. We also touch upon cultural history and culturomics, as well as connections between physics and social sciences in general. We find that synergies between these fields yield entertaining results that can often be enjoyed by layman and experts alike. (Abstract excerpt)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Smil, Vaclav. Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2019. The prolific University of Manitoba polygeographer continues to chronicle our civilizational condition by way of studies on energy, resources, food, industry, economies, environments, and onto global perils as an inveterate Earthkeeper, guardian of Gaia. This latest work roots their anthropic occasion, akin to big history, into life’s long emergent evolution from microcellular origins. By this scenario, circa 2019 the author goes on to identify a deeper, mathematic source of natural, self-organizing propensities. These effects are evident in their invariant, self-similar, sublinear and superlinear phases across animal, human and hyper-urban abidances. As all his volumes, the intent is to achieve a copious perspective to inform and sustain a better, sustainable bioplanet going forward.

Growth has been an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinary brains and economic fortunes. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers a systematic investigation of growth in nature and society from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations. He examines the growth of energy conversions essential to civilization. He explains that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but the progress of societies and economies encompasses both decline and renewal. (Publisher excerpt)

Invariant behavior of many physical phenomena and their power-law distributions have been explained by various optimization schemes, cooperative effects, preferential attachment, self-similarity and fractal geometry, organized criticality, and by nonlinear dynamics including multiplicative cascades. (68)

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Smith, Howard A.. The End of Copernican Mediocrity: How Modern Astrophysics Has Reinvigorated the Spiritual Dimension. Zoe Imfeld and Andreas Losch, eds.. Our Common Cosmos. London: Bloomsbury, 2018. The Harvard Smithsonian astronomer and author (search) claims that the long “misanthropic” removal of Earth and human beings from any central place, lately into a multiverse, has been way overdone. In the later 2010s, two features can help us recover a new identity and significance. The first, familiar reason is atomic and cosmic parameters which are precisely set for life and people, aka the Anthropic principle. A second factor, to which the author has contributed, is that our home planet where intelligent observers can evolve seems to be a rarest cocatenation of favorable galactic, solar, geologic, chemical, and atmospheric conditions, as our Earthropic section documents. A vital 21st century Copernican revolution could then be in our very midst, akin to this sourcesite, if we might only be of a mind to ask and see.

Even if the formation of life were inevitable on every planet in the universe with liquid water, and even if the Milky Way galaxy has millions of water=bearing Earth-sized planets, my conclusion is that for all practical purposes we and our descendants for at least 100 generations are living in solitude. We are most probably alone. To recognize this state is to have a renewed appreciation for our good future and to acknowledge that life on Earth is precious and deserves supreme respect. Humanity is not mediocre. (9)

But conscious life appears to be a remarkable achievement of the universe – not an attribute one would have predicted for an ensemble of atoms. Even if we are not unique we should admit that the bias underlying the modern preference for mediocrity – that we are nothing more than a random accident – may no longer be viable. The Anthropic Principle intimates that some feature of nature endowed the cosmos with this capacity from the big bang and over eons of evolution. If so, we are representatives of that teleological end point, and serve a cosmic purpose of extraordinary significance. (17-18)

Planetary Prodigy: A Global Sapiensphere Learns by Her/His Own Self

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > An Anthropocosmic Code

Sterckx, Roel. Ways of Heaven: An Introduction to Chinese Thought. Basic Books, 2019. A Cambridge University professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization provides an engaging survey across China in Time and Space, Art of Government, Individual and Collective, Behaving Ritually to The World of Nature, Work and Wealth and more. In a word its vision and reality is correlative in kind, whence a balance of its bigender complements are to be seen if procreative harmony everywhere. It would be surely grand if this ancient wisdom of the Orient might be availed to salve and solve both Western, and Eastern political conflict. See also The Daode Jing: A Guide by Livia Kohn (Oxford UP, 2019) for another current vista.

In short, the Chinese universe is dynamic and organic. It finds its order of itself, as a field of energy. The world functions by its own internal spontaneity, it generates and processes itself. Rather than being created out of nothing, the Chinese conceive of the world and its complex structures as having evolved from a prior, simpler state.

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > Rosetta Cosmos

Bost, Xavier and Vincent Labatut. Extraction and Analysis of Fictional Character Networks. ACM Computing Surveys. 52/5, 2019. In a paper also at arXiv:1907.02704, Laboratoire Informatique d’Avignon analysts find that the latest network topologies can be readily adapted to literary works with persons as nodes and their interrelations as connective links. See also Gendered Networks and Communicability in Medieval Historical Narratives by Sandra Prado, et al at 2002.01396 and Character Networks and Book Genre Classification by A. J. Holanda, et al at 1704.08197. We then note that an overall webwork depiction takes on a generic, universal format, akin to brains, genomes, quantome and everywhere else. So may we gain another late insight, as tradition knew long ago, that this existence is deeply textual in essence, which we valiant beings are meant to learn to read and avail its salutary edification.

A character network is a graph extracted from a narrative, in which vertices represent characters and edges correspond to interactions between them. This survey aims at presenting and organizing the scientific literature related to their extraction from works of fiction. We describe the extraction process in a generic way, and explain how its steps are implemented depending on the medium of the narrative, and several other factors. We review descriptive tools used to analyze character networks, with a focus on how they are interpreted in this context. Finally, we identify limits of the existing approaches, and offer new perspectives. (Abstract excerpt)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > Rosetta Cosmos

Torre, Ivan, et al. On the Physical Origin of Linguistic Laws and Lognormality in Speech. Royal Society Open Science. 6/8, 2019. Five system linguists posted in Madrid, London, and Merced, CA including Lucas Lacasa and Chris Kello offer another attempt across this spatial and temporal expanse to quantify a deep connection between physics and prosodic prose. Nature’s generative, law-abiding mathematics appear to instantiate themselves wherever they can, no less in our voluminous literature and conversations.

In this work, we examine whether linguistic laws hold with respect to the physical manifestations of linguistic units in spoken English. The data we analyse come from a phonetically transcribed database of acoustic recordings known as the Buckeye Speech corpus. First, we verify that acoustic durations of linguistic units at several scales comply with a lognormal distribution, and justify this using a stochastic generative model. Second, we explore the classical linguistic laws (Zipf’s, Herdan’s, Brevity and Menzerath–Altmann’s) in oral communication, both in physical units and in symbolic units measured in the speech transcriptions. Altogether, these results support the hypothesis that statistical laws in language have a physical origin. (Abstract excerpt)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Diagne, Souleymane Bachir. Postcolonial Bergson. New York: Fordham University Press, 2019. As his Wikipedia page notes, the author is a Senegalese scholar who has followed a similar path, 50 year later, as Leopold Senghor (search) as he received a philosophy doctorate from the University of Paris Sorbonne. After some years at Cheikh Anto Diop University in Dakar, from 1993 to 1999 he was national Counselor for Education and Culture. Dr. Diagne currently teaches philosophy at Columbia University in New York, check Amazon for his luminous writings. An edited version of the book summary below well describes this volume. See his 2018 Open to Reason below and also In Search of Africa(s): Universalism and Decolonial Thought with Jean-Loup Arnselle due in May 2020.

Henri Bergson (1859-1941) is a premier French vitalist writer, yet his influence extends well beyond to Africa and South Asia. Herein Bergson’s thought is shown to be a prime resource for two major figures in the postcolonial struggle, Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) and Léopold Senghor (1906-2001). One Muslim and the other Catholic, they played an central role in the independence of their respective countries. Both found in Bergson’s organic vision a deep support for their political and cultural projects. For Iqbal, a founding father of Pakistan, his conceptions of time and creative evolution resonated with a need to “reconstruct religious thought in Islam” which could allow for innovation and change. For Senghor, Bergsonian ideas of perception, intuition, and élan vital, along with those of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), informed an African socialism (in between Marx and money) and his visions of an unalienated African future. (Publisher, edits)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Diagne, Souleymane Bachir. Open to Reason: Muslin Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. We note this edition by the Senegalese scholar especially for its chapter which reviews the thought of Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) (see Diagne 2019 above for more). A poet, philosopher and activist, Iqbal’s writings offer a unique evolutionary vision which advises that Islamic culture could just as well be a source of creative development, instead a fatal fixation with the past. In regard, a dynamic, future-oriented version akin to Henri Bergson and Pierre Teilhard could inform and guide Muslin culture so to accommodate both unitary and pluralist modes. Such a liberal allowance has at its central theme an advance of personal individuality as a “co-collaborator” with divine creativity.

What does it mean to philosophize in Islam? This unique work traces Muslims’ intellectual and spiritual history of examining beliefs and tenets to show how Islam has long engaged texts and ideas both inside and outside its compass. From classical figures such as Avicenna to the twentieth-century Sufi teacher of tolerance Tierno Bokar (1875-1939), Diagne shows that philosophizing in Islam in its many forms has meant a commitment to forward and open thinking. A remarkable history of philosophy in the Islamic world, this book seeks to contribute to the revival of a spirit of pluralism rooted in Muslim intellectual and spiritual traditions. (Publisher excerpt)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Grayling, A. C.. The History of Philosophy. New York: Penguin, 2019. The Oxford University prolific polyscholar achieves a 600 page treatise in five parts: Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance, Modern, Twentieth Century, and Indian, Chinese, Arabic-Persian and African Philosophy. A good read with pithy erudition on each page, but we make note for another reason. As one views these sections, and the long index, every name cited back to Greece is male, about 1,000 in all. Two women I found were Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvior, with feminist thought meriting only 3 pages. This fact that homo to Anthropo scholarship or its semblance has been wildly skewed to men only must be implicated in their inability to gain any essential knowledge over the centuries. In order to cover, it is decided that there is nothing to be enlightened about (Steven Pinker). The verdict today from Brian Greene, Yuval Harari and others, with William James and Bertrand Russell before, is a categorical denial of any extant, sensible reality.

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science

Kasim, Muhammad, et al. Up to Two Billion Times Acceleration of Scientific Simulations with Deep Neural Architecture Search. arXiv:2001.08055. Thirteen scientists from Oxford, Yale and Seville including Duncan Watson-Parris have come up with a method to dramatically speed up, facilitate and advance data-intensive studies from cosmic to genomic to atomic fields. The computational technique is called Deep Emulator Network Search (DENSE) which works better and faster than those designed and trained by hand. See also AI Shortcuts Speed Up Simulations by Matthew Hutson in Science (367/728, 2020) for a review.

Computer simulations are invaluable tools for scientific discovery. However, accurate simulations are often slow to execute, which limits their applicability. Here we describe a way to build accurate emulators even with a limited number of training data. The method greatly accelerates simulations in 10 scientific cases including astrophysics, climate science, biogeochemistry, high energy density physics, fusion energy, and seismology, using the same super-architecture, algorithm, and hyperparameters. We anticipate this work will aid researchers involved with large simulations, allow extensive parameters exploration, and enable new, previously unfeasible computational discovery. (Abstract excerpt)

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