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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
Table of Contents
Introduction
Genesis Vision
Learning Planet
Organic Universe
Earth Life Emerge
Genesis Future
Glossary
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I. Our Earthuman Edition: A 21st Century, PhiloSophia, eLibrary of eCosmos, PediaPedia Resource

B. An Earthropo to Ecosmo Sapience Finds a Phenomenal, Independent. UniVerse to WumanVerse

Chalmers, David. Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy. Mew York: Norton, 2022. This latest work by the NYU polyscholar (search) immerses itself in hyper-cybernetic frontiers as they may presently spread, morph and consume us. As our personal and planetary lives proceed, a curious sense of abiding in some variegated simulation may at times occur. Chalmers tours a wide array of conceptual musings and possibilities that might be in effect. A central theme (again) arises around John A, Wheeler’s participatory, it from bit, digital model, along with options such as bit from it. Yet within his academic school, the vital issue of whether any phenomenal actuality might exist on its independent, procreative own cannot be imagined. The hypothetical versions evanesce into spurious virtualities with no further substance or edification.

But the unique volume can provide a useful contrast to our Sophia Sapiens, Earth Learn 2022 attribution and whole website content. Prime differences would be a major transition to a personsphere sapience, whose philoSophia vista can allow a greater genesis there by itself. A 21st century EarthWise discovery of a revolutionary family ecosmos with a UniVerse to EarthVerse informative, genetic-like code can then become evident. A biteracy to iteracy vector quite tracks and illumes our participant opportunity to decipher, recognize, and begin an intentional cocreativity.

A leading philosopher journeys through virtual worlds, illuminating the nature of reality and our place within it. Virtual reality is genuine reality; that’s the central thesis of Reality+. In a highly original work, David Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that we can live a meaningful life in virtual, simulated realities. Along the way, Chalmers conducts a grand tour of big ideas. How do we know that there’s an external world? Is there a god?? How can we lead a good life? With vivid illustrations, Reality+ is a novel contribution that will shape discussion of philosophy, science, and technology for years to come. (Publisher)

Chela-Flores, Julian. The Science of Astrobiology: A Personal View on Learning to Read the Book of Life. Berlin: Springer, 2011. The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics astrobiologist updates and expands his 2001 edition merited by so many achievements of the past decade. Within its cosmic genesis vista, main sections of Cultural and Scientific Contexts, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Distribution of Life, and Destiny of Life traverse these breadths and depths of space and time, as increasingly found and described by our worldly collaboration. The working trope and thread is a 21st century sense of finally closing on an ability to discern a natural testament.

The main message that we have attempted to transfer to our readers is that unlike most other branches of science, astrobiology is an interdisciplinary activity that crosses over the frontiers of science and the humanities. We have not intended to teach the readers how they can read the Book of Life, but rather how The Book of Life itself has began to be intelligible from the point of view of science since early in the 20th century. (281)

Christakis, Nicholas and James Fowler. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Little, Brown, 2009. As wired computer webworks increasingly interlink worldwide, respectively a Harvard University medical sociologist and a University of California, San Diego, political scientist take our engrossments with Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, and so on, to augur for the emergence of a true super-organic planetary person. It is cheerfully shown how much today our emotional relations, health, money, politics, technology, and more, which hominid evolution is said to have prepared us for, is now informed by and engrossed in such a ramifying noosphere. As a result, local and global group collective intelligences and knowledge memory appear to be forming by themselves. If we can become properly aware of this trend and shift, they can be much to our advantage. Many writers have broached such aspects, but this work is one of the first to trace, as the quotes aver, the outlines of an encompassing, quickening earthkind.

The study of social networks is, in fact, part of a much broader assembly project in modern science. For the past four centuries, swept up by a reductionistic fervor and by considerable success, scientists have been purposefully examining ever-smaller bits of nature in order to understand the whole. But across many disciplines, scientists are now trying to put the parts back together – whether macromolecules into cells, neurons into brains, species into ecosystems, nutrients into foods, or people into networks. (303-304)

The networks we create have lives of their own. They grow, change, reproduce, survive, and die. Things flow and move within them. A social network is a kind of human superorganism, with an anatomy and physiology – a structure and function – of its own. (289) The great project of the twenty-first century – understanding how the whole of humanity comes to be greater than the sum of its parts – is just beginning. Like an awakening child, the human superorganism is becoming self-aware, and this will surely help us to achieve our goals. (305)

Christian, David. Big History. www.ted.com/talks/david_christian_big_history. A 17 minute, video-illustrated clip posted in the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) series in April 2011 by the Australian scholar. (search) Christian is the founder of this re-situation of our worldly abide within, and as a culmination of, the vast expanse of cosmic evolution. From this late vista, its main dual vectors may appear as life’s increasing viable complexity, set against the tide of entropy. Human persons rank as a novel threshold most distinguished by “collective learning” and a knowledge repository that persists beyond individual lives. This process is now electronically enveloping the earth as a “single global brain” of “7 billion people learning at warp speed.” “Humans play an astonishing and creative role,” but along with this comes a crucial responsibility. It is imperative that people altogether strive for a sustainable future good for grand children. See also the speaker’s website www.bighistoryproject.com for more resources.

Clayton, Philip. Emergence: Us from It. Barrow, John, et al, eds. Science and Ultimate Reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. A long commentary from a science and theology viewpoint on a “self-synthesized” creation whose dynamic evolutionary systems generate a nested hierarchy of emergent complexity and consciousness.

Clayton, Philip. Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. A philosopher of science at the Claremont School of Theology carefully explains an imminent paradigm shift from an insensate, mechanical cosmos based on the method of physical reduction to the incarnate evolutionary rise of a nested hierarchy of complex life, intelligent reflection and spiritual values.

Clayton, Philip and Paul Davies, eds. The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. A new kind of universe which develops in animate complexity and personal consciousness because it was made to do so grows in credence. This volume surveys the history of the emergence school after which physicists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and theologians explore the latest encounters with and conceptualizations of an inherent, awakening creation. Not there yet, much work is still needed to focus the project and translate among the various versions.


Cockell, Charles. The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution. New York: Basic Books, 2018. A century after the Scottish biologist D’Arcy Thompson wrote his classic On Growth and Form about how organic form and structure is due more to physical laws and mechanics than random selection, a University of Edinburgh astrobiologist, aware of this legacy, can well quantify and explain its validity from life’s origins across the animal kingdoms to ourselves. Into our 21st century of a worldwide science, the presence of innate universal principles and convergent tendencies which serve to impel, guide, constrain, and channel all manner of creatures can now be robustly confirmed. For a reviewer in Science (361/236), it means that the physical realm provides life’s fertile ground and organizing rules. By these findings, a novel claim is made that living entities elsewhere in the cosmos will not be much different than on Earth. As the quotes cite, the chapters build the case that a missing fundamental, generative source must be in exemplary, procreative effect. In 2018, increasingly strong evidence and argument as this book portends a cosmic genesis revolution, which this website first set out to try to report and document.

Evolution is just a tremendous and exciting interplay of physical Principles encoded in genetic material. The limited number of these principles, expressed in equations, means that the finale of this process is also restrained and universal. The phrase Equations of Life is shorthand for this growing capacity to use physical processes, and often their mathematical formulations, to describe life at different levels of its hierarchy. (5)

If physics and biology are tightly coupled, then life outside Earth might be remarkably similar to life on Earth, and terrestrial life might be less an idiosyncrasy of one experiment in evolution, and more a template for much of life in the universe, if it exists elsewhere. Such an assertion would imply predictability, the hallmark of a good scientific theory. (14) The self-organization of life shows stunning diversity entrenched in fundamental rules we might reasonably conclude are likely to be universal. (38)

Here again we see a beautiful synergy between biology and physics. Some people perceive a conflict between two possible views, between the existence of biological “laws” that drive life to a few simple and predictable solutions and a different, “Darwinian” perspective of evolution where there is no preordained order, and variation and selection define a vast landscape of possibilities. However, the two viewpoints seem compatible and inseparable. Darwinian evolution, through genetic variation and selection, experiments with a great diversity of forms, but those forms still conform to the laws of physics and are tightly constrained by the universal principles that operate at whatever scale we are observing. (144)

Biologists just happen to focus their efforts on particular limps of matter that do some interesting thing, and we often call those things “life,” But biologists and physicists share a common interest in matter in the same universe and in the potentially universal principles they can draw about the ordering of the universe. (218)

Cockell, Charles. The Laws of Life. Physics Today. 70/3, 2017. From this late vantage, the University of Edinburgh astrobiologist avers that natural proclivities and constraints at evolutionary effect do appear to exist on their independent own. These physical qualities are seen to mediate and guide Darwinian mutations and selections along a preferred channel. An example is given of life’s chemisomotic processes of gaining energy. It is thus proper to say there are prior “universal principles” which do entail living, evolving creatures, and our intelligent realization. See herein the author’s 2018 book The Equations of Life. On the authors web page can be found a unique Astrobiological Periodic Table whereupon the elements are highlighted for their relative biological benefit.

Notwithstanding the awe-inspiring diversity of living creatures, the forms and processes of life are limited by universal principles that act at large and small scales.

Coelho, Mary. Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood. Lima, OH: Wyndham Hall Press, 2003. A biologist and theologian undertakes an integration of the new universe story of Pierre Teilhard, Thomas Berry, and Brian Swimme with the contemplative traditions of Christianity and Jungian psychology. By this sensibility of a numinous cosmic genesis, a person may gain creative expression as an intended participant in its future unfolding.

Coen, Enrico. Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. A graceful essay by a plant molecular geneticist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, Google for his floral laboratory website. Along with Gennaro Auletta, and other recent editions, the book exemplifies how an insightful survey of life’s whole emergent course can reveal constant patterns and processes not evident before. In this regard Coen notes four main phases and aspects – evolution, development, learning, and culture - arising from seven features as noted in the first quote. Each subsequent stage is then appreciated as a “different manifestation of the same underlying process.”

With Pierre Teilhard, and others earlier, a reiteration is recorded as the ultimate constant – “I call this relentless repletion of a process, always spurred on by what went before, the principle of recurrence.” (60) For this website, it quite evinces something as a natural genetic code at work. A further appreciation, not overtly stated but implicit throughout, is an historic return to perceiving life’s evolution as an embryonic gestation, indeed the worldview of Charles Darwin’s day that guided his thought. The book’s closes with an allusion to “Nature’s Self Portrait” as lately being sketched and embellished by our collaborative human artistry.

“Our seven principles – population variation, persistence, reinforcement, competition, cooperation, combinatorial richness, and recurrence – and their interactions provide the driving force for these journeys, leading to the remarkable variety of organisms we see today. I have called this collection of seven principles and how they work together life’s creative recipe. It relies on the action of physical forces and the limitations of a finite world. This is because life is a manifestation of matter.” (60)

“Like nested dolls, evolution and development exhibit a double relationship. On the one hand, development is historically embedded in evolution, it arose through, and is contained within, the evolutionary process. On the other hand, development has a similar form to that of its evolutionary parent; they are based on the same creative recipe. Even though one operates over many individuals and generations, and the other within a single individual generation, we find common fundamental principles at play in both cases.” (121)

“Like evolution and development, learning is built on a set of common interacting principles, although they are now in a neural guise. (173) The same set of principles and interactions operate at the heart of learning as in evolution and development. Learning is our third manifestation of life’s creative recipe. But instead of propelling organisms through genetic or developmental space, this instance of the recipe takes organisms on a journey through neural space.” (174)

“As well as having a similar form, these journeys are also connected in other ways. It was through the earlier processes of evolution, development, and learning that the basic ingredients of cultural change arose. Our cultural journey follows from the other three. But there is also a relationship that goes in the other direction. Our scientific understanding of evolution, development, and learning is itself a cultural product. It is through culture that we view all living transformations.” (265)

Conway Morris, Simon. The Predictability of Evolution: Glimpses into a Post-Darwinian World. Naturwissenschaften. 96/11, 2009. This latest synopsis by the Cambridge University paleontologist is a 25 page contribution to a special issue on “Beyond the Origin: Charles Darwin and Modern Biology.” The full article in this European natural science and philosophy journal is available online in English, via Google keywords. While we quote the detailed Abstract, its real subject is not so much specifics as the overall impasse of an incomplete evolutionary theory that remains fixated on natural selection alone. Conway Morris has indeed advocated for some years that phenomena such as homologies - the reappearance of similar body plans, metabolic processes, and recurrent cognitive capacities across disparate species from invertebrate to mammal in fact reveal an inherent repetition of and convergence to a seemingly intended objective. But the import goes further, which the paper tries to broach, for what is really implied is a greater genesis cosmos with its own generative propensities and preferred pathways that, as Teilhard de Chardin earlier evoked so well, evidently augur, as its purpose, toward a human phenomenon. And as such efforts rarely note, the project is compromised not only by a Darwinian fundamentalism, per a Richard Dawkins, but by a physical universe whose vested pointless materialism, re Stephen Weinberg and others, is categorically barren and alien to life, mind and spirit.

The very success of the Darwinian explanation, in not only demonstrating evolution from multiple lines of evidence but also in providing some plausible explanations, paradoxically seems to have served to have stifled explorations into other areas of investigation. The fact of evolution is now almost universally yoked to the assumption that its outcomes are random, trends are little more than drunkard’s walks, and most evolutionary products are masterpieces of improvisation and far from perfect. But is this correct? Let us consider some alternatives. Is there evidence that evolution could in anyway be predictable? Can we identify alternative forms of biological organizations and if so how viable are they? Why are some molecules so extraordinarily versatile, while others can be spoken of as “molecules of choice”? How fortuitous are the major transitions in the history of life? What implications might this have for the Tree of Life? To what extent is evolutionary diversification constrained or facilitated by prior states? Are evolutionary outcomes merely sufficient or alternatively are they highly efficient, even superb? Here I argue that in sharp contradistinction to an orthodox Darwinian view, not only is evolution much more predictable than generally assumed but also investigation of its organizational substrates, including those of sensory systems, which indicates that it is possible to identify a predictability to the process and outcomes of evolution. If correct, the implications may be of some significance, not least in separating the unexceptional Darwinian mechanisms from underlying organizational principles, which may indicate evolutionary inevitabilities. (1313)

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