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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
Table of Contents
Genesis Vision
Learning Planet
Organic Universe
Earth Life Emerge
Genesis Future
Recent Additions

I. Our Planatural Edition: A 21st Century PhiloSophia, Earthropo Ecosmic PediaVersion

B. Anthropocene Sapiensphere: A Major Emergent Transitional Phase

Farman, Abou. Re-Enchantment Cosmologies: Mastery and Obsolescence in an Intelligent Universe. Anthropological Quarterly. 85/4, 2012. In an issue on Extreme: Humans at Home in the Cosmos, a Princeton University anthropologist achieves a lucid synopsis and leavened expansion of Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity scenario. As the second quote avers, its attraction is to offer a positive contrast, albeit in technical terms, to the fated entropic gloom of the indifferent multiverse scheme. In this new vista, a progressive evolutionary vector of increasing cognitive capacity just now reaches its frontier of self-aware, creative human beings. Precious people then regain a central significance and project, which is a radical option from the old nothing to nothing life and death sentence. Akin to Pierre Teilhard and others, wise women and men become an intended crucial phenomenon through which an awakening, self-actualizing creation need pass. In regard, we are getting closer but still need clearer terms and translations, along with a more organic sense of a quickening embryonic gestation at its true Nativity singularity.

Following modernity’s founding dream of human mastery over the natural world, scientific discoveries produced a picture of an infinite, random, and indifferent universe, thus paradoxically revealing the utter insignificance of the “master/dreamer.” Recently, the convergence of a number of extreme technoscientific projects—AI, Nanotechnology, Life Extension—has activated science-based cosmological visions in which humans and their “intelligence” are given a central purpose in the unfolding of the universe. The movement formed around the event-horizon of the Singularity is the most well-known version of these re-enchantment cosmologies. Yet this re-enchantment only serves as a prelude to an obsolescence: humans are here to give rise to other, better minds, a prospect that makes Singularitarians restless with both fear and exhilaration. (Abstract)

To the contrary, science has generated…a “cosmological collapse.” Beginning with the Copernican-Galileo opening up of the cosmos, scientific knowledge created a terrible suspicion that human existence is a random, temporary accident in some remote outpost of an infinite and indifferent universe. Thus the effects of disenchantment are heightened through the twined movement of scientific rationality reaching all the way from atoms to the multiverse. What effectively is offered in the Singularity’s infusion of matter with intelligence is the possibility of restoring that connection, “waking up the Universe” with a sense of its purpose and of our role in its unfolding. Its most intelligent agents so far, humans are not just the decoders of the natural world, but the purveyors of the next epoch. Darwinian evolution’s accident-based, its blindness and incrementalism, will be superceded by a super intelligent agent engineered by humans. (1079)

Fernandez, Eliseo. Synergy of Energy and Semiosis: Cooperation Climbs the Tree of Life. Biosemiotics. Online November, 2016. The Argentina-American scholar professed physics at the University of Missouri for 18 years, and is presently a consultant at the Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology in Kansas City, MO. This natural philosophy essay offers another inkling that something may actually be going on by itself, through an increasingly evident emergent scale of cooperative informational transitions.

The course of biological evolution is regarded by many authors as an ascending path toward higher levels of variety, complexity and integration. There are similar but partly conflicting accounts of the nature and causes of this ascending course. With the aim of reaching a unified conception I start by reviewing three notable examples. These are, in their latest presentations, those of Hoffmeyer and Stjernfelt 2015, Szathmáry 2015, and Lane 2015. Comparison of their commonalities and divergences, combined with further reflections, leads to the following views: 1) cooperation (synergy) between preexistent traits and processes is the primary determinant in the emergence of evolutionary novelty; 2) cooperation is a triadic relation similar to semiosis; 3) regulation, the key element of both metabolism and replication, results from the cooperation of energetic and semiotic causation; 4) conceptual generalization (as in scientific reasoning) and concrete generalization (as in biological evolution) are fruits of cooperation. I believe these realizations supply essential elements for a unified view of the ascent of biological evolution towards higher levels of organization. (Abstract)

Many biologists nurture a strong antipathy to modeling evolution as an ascending course directed with some modicum of necessity towards higher levels of complexity, a view they often characterize as “anthropocentric.” Current experimental work shows an interplay between contingency and predictable patterns in evolution. I think the animus against ascending levels of evolution is motivated by a reactionary philosophical stance. It reacts hyperbolically to naïve ideas of inevitable progress at the dawn of the past century, which promoted such things as Whiggish historiography and Eurocentric triumphalism. It has common ideological roots with the spurning of “great narratives” in postmodernism and the prevailing disinclination for synthesis in analytic philosophy. (Footnote, 2)

Ferris, Timothy. Life Beyond Earth. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. An illustrated tour of the starry galaxies from which sentient beings on an infinitesimal planet suddenly appear to wonder over other intelligences and their own purpose. Within this vista, Ferris sets up a sharp contrast between the prevalent view that humans are an “afterthought…in an uncaring universe” and the “new vision on the horizon” as the expected result of an innately self-organizing complexity.

Science traditionally has concentrated on the parts - the approach known as reductionism. But if intelligence is an emergent property, arising as natural as clouds gathering to make a storm, then thought may not be incidental to the workings of the universe, but, in some sense, the point of it all - the central theme in a cosmic symphony. (184)

The book closes with this statement from astrophysicist Freeman Dyson: “So we can imagine that over billions of years, intelligence has grown and developed far beyond any sort of intelligence we now have, and that it might, in fact, become a major player in the physical development of the universe - from one part of the universe to another. We might, in fact, become creatures in producing a universe in which we can live forever. That’s at least a dream which is not altogether pointless to think about.” (208)

Fingelkurts, Andrew, et al. Brain-Mind Operational Architectonics: At the Boundary between Quantum Physics and Eastern Metaphysics. Physics of Life Reviews. Online January, 2019. A latest entry by the Brain-Mind Technologies Research Centre (search name) and Society for Natural Philosophy, Finland neuroscholars is another late 2010s integration across these expanses. Indeed by way of a common complementarity, all these natural and cultural realms are now joining in mutual synthesis and enrichment. Albeit couched in abstract and personal views, once more bicameral hemispheres with archetypal particle/neuron, relational/holistic attributes become apparent. See also Aerts, Diederik, et al. Towards a Quantum World Wide Web by Diederik Aerts, et al (Theoretical Computer Science 752/116, 2018).

The Operational Architectonics (OA) of brain-mind functioning is a theory that unifies brain and mind through nested and dynamic hierarchy of electromagnetic brain fields. Recently, it has been enriched by concepts from physics like time, space, entropy, and self-organized criticality. This review paper advances OA theory further by delving into the foundations of quantum physics and Eastern metaphysics in relation to mind function. We aim to show that the brain-mind OA is the boundary between and integration point of quantum physics and Eastern metaphysics, and that it may inspire building a richer and more inclusive paradigm of the brain-mind relation, where quantum physics and Eastern metaphysics are inherently intertwined. (Abstract)

Finn, Ed. What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2017. Among a spate of similar books, the Arizona State University, Center for Science and the Imagination director provides a deeper philosophical and historic train for this 2000s and 2010s personal and planetary cyber-revolution. From its first pages, inklings of a natural, generative, mathematic source are traced from original Logos, divine languages, Leibniz’s mathesis universalis, the French Encyclopedie, onto Turing’s digital morphogenesis, Wolfram’s cellular automata, and more. From our global vantage, a perennial quest to decipher and articulate a numinous cosmos graced by a double phase of animate repetitive code and exemplary procreation becomes evident. Within this milieu, its present manifestation is an algorithmic form as procedural programs. These are not physical equations or laws but a process or set of rules for calculations, problem-solving, or productive operations. Our interest is then the broad outlines of an extant reality composed this way, which quite suggests a genesis cosmos with a genotype and phenotype in effect. Our human significance again appears as this great work, Magnum Omics, to achieve its own self-sequence and passage unto intentional, sustainable futurity.

Precisely because language occupies a special status as an intellectual technology, its role as an epistemological layer or medium has interested philosophers from Plato to John Searle. In the context of code, language can reformat the world and the mind. (4) This a book about the algorithm as the vehicle or tool of computation: the object at the intersection of computational space, cultural systems, and human cognition. We need a deeper understanding of the algorithm in order to understand how computational systems are transforming our world today. In that sense this is a literary exercise, an experiment in developing an “algorithmic reading of the world. (5) Computation offers a pathway for consilience, or the unification of all fields of knowledge into a single tree: an ontology of information founded on the idea that computation is a universal solvent that can untangle any complex system, from human consciousness to the universe itself. (9)

Frayn, Michael. The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe. London: Faber & Faber, 2006. A philosophical treatise by the British scholar and playwright, notably of Copenhagen, to be published in the US in February by Metropolitan Books. Its expansive, erudite compass from cosmology to neuroscience to literature will make this a talked about book, but as one man’s opinion rooted in quantum speculations, a dour conclusion is reached. Our cosmic abide is an insensate whirlwind with no meaningful existence of its own beyond which human beings may concoct, and impart. While this website agrees with persons as influential co-creators, such activity takes place as an intended phenomenon of a greater genesis, a huge difference.

Friston, Karl, et al. Dynamic Causal Modelling of COVID-19. arXiv:2004.04463. Twelve senior neuroscientists posted in the UK, Australia, France, and Denmark propose a method of technical analysis to help facilitate analyses and predictable lineaments for virulent epidemics. The entry appears among a burst of such endeavors so as to quickly and decisively find ways to quantify, mitigate, and forestall. Their employ of self-organized, network, fractal, complex dynamics and more quite implies the covert presence of an underlying independent, mathematical formative source code, which if it could be fully articulated would be of palliative and value.

And since many fatalities have occurred in New York City, this writer would like to propos a new Manhattan Project or better still a Panhattan Project to gather and focus these worldwise efforts toward gaining preventative knowledge, good vaccines, and public health systems that are proactively ready and able. While the first 1940s project was about death, this second instance would be about life. Across our wider evolutionary scope, one might then view a welling ascent of biomedical information, which as it rises to a global stage (geonome) can be fed back so as to take total management of the virusphere so peoples become ever protected from sudden plagues.

This report describes a dynamic causal model of the spread of coronavirus through a population. It is based upon ensemble or population dynamics that generate new cases and deaths over time. Our purpose is to quantify the uncertain predictions of relevant outcomes. By assuming suitable conditional dependencies, one can model the effects of interventions such as social distancing to predict what might happen in different circumstances. Technically, this model leverages variational (Bayesian) inversion and comparison procedures, originally meant to characterise neuronal ensembles. Our results illustrate a perspective on the current pandemic whence nonlinear effects of herd immunity seem to a self-organised mitigation process. (Abstract excerpt)

Futuyma, Douglas. Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinaeur, 2005. A popular textbook with new chapters on development, genomics, and a defense of science. While the biological contents are surely correct within their confines of mutating genes and descendant organisms, i.e. molecules and bones, the quote from the concluding paragraph exemplifies our present problem. While the scientific enterprise is cited as of immense value to humankind, it is said to have nothing to contribute to these societal issues. Brain development in general receives a scant few pages.

Evolution lacks either moral or immoral content, and evolutionary biology provides no philosophical basis for aesthetics or ethics. (542)

Gabora, Liane and Diederik Aerts. Evolution as Content-driven Actualization of Potential. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 30/1, 2005. This collaboration by theoretical psychologists Gabora, University of California, Berkeley, and Aerts, Centre Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies, Brussels, argues that neoDarwinism is an inadequate theory, much more is going on. They then explore and propose, with excursions into quantum physics, an intrinsic source and impetus for an emergent, self-organized creativity. Each author (via Google) has an extensive website with many additional published and in process papers in this regard.

It is increasingly evident that there is more to biological evolution than natural selection; moreover, the concept of evolution is not limited to biology. We propose an integrative framework for characterizing how entities evolve, in which evolution is viewed as a process of context-driven actualization of potential. (69) The concept of natural selection offers little in the way of explanation for how biological forms and phenotypes arise in the first place. Moreover, non-Darwinian processes – such as autopoiesis, emergence, symbiosis, punctuated equilibrium, and epigenetic mechanisms – play a vital role. What is more, the generation of variation is not completely random: convergent pressures are already at work prior to the physical realization of organisms. (70) In sum, there is more going on in evolution than random variation and natural selection. (70)

Gabrielli, Andrea, et al. Statistical Physics for Cosmic Structures. Berlin: Springer, 2005. An example of the latest technical literature which describes a more intricate, innately creative nature than a sterile materialism. An original spontaneity is found to self-organize fractal-like scales at every phase of a dynamically complexifying universe. As a result, the presence and activity of an independent source can be identified in manifest effect everywhere. These advances are facilitated by a novel mathematics - rather than differential equations which tend to average and smooth out, scaling and renormalization methods can reveal self-similar regularities at all fractional levels. The book goes on to apply these theories to galactic geometries, in much support of a natural genesis just being discovered.

The physics of scale-invariant and complex systems is now a growing field which treats problems from several disciplines ranging from condensed matter physics to geology, biology, astrophysics and even economics. This broad interdisciplinarity has been possible because these new ideas allow us to look at many complex natural phenomena in a radically new and original way, with unifying concepts which are independent of the details of the system considered. (5)

Gardner, James. A New Dawn for Cosmology. What is Enlightenment?. June-August, 2006. The author of Biocosm updates in an interview his case that cosmological physics is fundamentally flawed because the universe it studies is actually organic in kind. The occasion of a “cosmic DNA” can then be fulfilled by nature’s laws as they create life’s complex emergence. In this view, the whole of earth evolution can appear as a personal ontogeny. We cite this as a glimpse of the quickening genesis revolution.

Gell-Mann, Murray. The Quark and the Jaguar. New York: Freeman, 1994. The Nobel physicist and a founder of the Santa Fe Institute writes an early introduction to a cosmic and Earthly evolution due and exemplifying self-organizing complex adaptive systems. In common effect everywhere, they are composed of interactive agents guided by an informational algorithms in relation to their environment. A final chapter notes that humankind has reached an imperative transition to sustainability which can be accomplished if we can appreciate this natural creative activity. I reread some twenty-five years later on the occasion of his 2019 passing, which merited a fine obituary by George Johnson, cited herein. It amazes in this consummate year how prescient the whole work, which went on to broach self-organized criticalities, actually was. lly employ this natural creative activity

A child learning a language, bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics, and the human scientific enterprise are all discussed as examples of complex adaptive systems. (x) When you are investing in a financial market, you and all the other investors are individual complex adaptive systems participating in a collective entity that is evolving through the efforts of all the component parts to improve their positions or at least survive economically. Such collective entities can be complex adaptive systems themselves. (18-19) The concept of the complex adaptive system is beautifully illustrated by the human scientific enterprise. The schemata are theories, and what takes place in the real world is the confrontation between theory and observation. (75)

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