Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, September 24, 2007

TAI reveals New Insights and Questions about Life

New knowledge is being generated that brings into question commonly held beliefs about what is reality. TAI asks difficult questions like what is life? How does it function? With 50 years of deep inquiry beginning with the laws of physics, our scholars are discovering a more primary foundation than the laws of physics. TAI scholars are pointing to a new way of knowing. Research and discoveries over the past two decades are bringing into question the dominant scientific materialism worldview. Scholars like Alfred North Whitehead and Robert Rosen were among the first to begin this questioning. Now TAI is taking the inquiry to the next level. The results are shattering and hopeful. Life's organizing principles open new possibilities to complex living problems.

We live in a time of a-morality, greed-driven and power controlling efforts that are out-growths of deep mis-understandings driven by scientific materialism as the primary view of reality. With terrorism, war,government and business corruption, pollution, crime, poverty, hunger, gaps between poverty and rich, and inadequate health care on the increase, a new mind is emerging. TAI research reveals a transformation is occurring bringing with it different approaches, a significant paradigm shift in assumptions about what is life and living process. (see Noetic Sciences The Shift Report. With a new mind about life-itself, it's oneness, connectedness and the role of it's diversity to create new knowledge, problems become opportunities for an evolutionary growth that benefits the whole.

We have a perceptual problem. To go beyond the dominant paradigm, TAI questions our 2500 years of metaphysics, philosophy, and logics. That which has been invisible can become visible but new metaphysics, philosophy and logics are needed to meet the demands of new discoveries that laws of physics cannot account for.

Energy equal Mass multiplied by the Speed of Light Squared takes on new significance when life is primary, not matter.

If Life-itself is "energy" that obeys a set of "natural laws" that have yet to be discovered, we can begin the process of making sense of discoveries now coming out of quantum physics, biophysics, relativity, consciousness, value dynamics, and social dynamics.

What's shifting:

Over the past 2000 years the pre-occupation of study and perception has been that reality is material and its motion. From that has evolved widespread belief that life sprang from an unusual combination of chemicals and atmospheric conditions that existed to produce the cosmos. The problem-solving logic that followed from that perception produced the physical sciences as is dominant today.

The world's social conditions have grown out of an ignorance of life-itself's organizing coherence. The traditional sciences have actually "prevented" us from perceiving what's being revealed. Social problems have been approached with the same reasoning as though humans were just stones to be assembled into a pyramid, and if we can just apply the right forces in the right design we can get all the stones to line up the way we want them to. That's now changing.

But in the last few decades new research suggests that our past science models of life are not only inadequate, but are fundamentally wrong.

What if……
*Life created matter, rather than arising from matter?
* Life learns by initiating creative acts using will and observing the results?
* Life does not obey the same laws as physical matter, and life energy cannot be perceived using traditional scientific methods?
* What if there are coherence conditions imposed by Life-itself that guide living process?

Understanding the nature of life itself and living processes towards a new science of life is the mission of TAI.

We believe that four elements need to be brought together to advance our understanding of life-itself.

*Defining a new science domain of life-itself using both philosophical and scientific methods to produce coherence of knowledge and integrity of results.
* Making a distinction between science and philosophy, and understanding that both are necessary to develop our new understanding of life-itself.
* Conducting research on life-itself under sponsorship and conditions that will allow seemingly radical ideas to be discussed and understood without repression or suppression.
* Individual development in self-knowing and awareness of the coherence operative within life-itself.

Join in the process.

hirst @autognomics.org

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What is Life-itself? Norm Hirst

Life It-Self

The phrase “Life It Self” came to our attention as the titles of two books by Robert Rosen, a mathematical biologist. The book titles are “Life It Self” and “Essays on Life It Self”. I believe that Rosen meant the phrase to mean life in all its forms. In any event, that is what we intend by it. We mean that which is essential and common to life in all its forms.

It is common today to emphasize a carbon base as if all life has a carbon base. If we speak of the ecosystem as living it must seem strange since the ecosystem is not carbon based. Worse yet, if we speak of the economy as living that must seem absurd. God forbid we should mention that the cosmos might be living! A carbon base is not a requirement for life. All that can be said for it is that everything we assumed to be living has a carbon base. But now, I have read that sulfur based life forms have been found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Clearly we need to expand our definition of life.

Life is an ongoing process with functional abilities missing in non-living processes. To identify the living we need to consider whether an entity functions with the functionality of life or with only the functionality of non-life. The Gaia hypothesis shows the ecosystem works with living functionality. That biodiversity is necessary for the way the ecosystem manages energy is convincing. As we ignorantly diminish biodiversity we may lose our life support. Regarding the economy I have read that some economists today are saying they can not understand economics until they learn more about how life functions. Finally the living cosmos! Thinking of matter as being fundamental may be a blunder. Rosen demonstrated that physics can not be the most fundamental science. It is a special case. We await the most fundamental science from which physics can be derived. It will be a science that grapples with the functions of life.

The living process is made up of totally interconnected and interactive organisms. An organism is a focus for coherent acts. The coherence conditions are just now being discovered beginning with quantum coherence. Organisms are powered by electron flows (electricity) and proton flows (proticity). The incredible speed of proton jumps makes organisms wholistic. Everything is functioning simultaneously. Appearances to the contrary not withstanding there are no parts. Organisdfms are self-creating (autopoietic). Autopoiesis requires self-reference. Self-reference creates havoc with traditional logic suggesting that traditional logic is inappropriate for life. Fortunately there are now epilogics showing that thought processes compatible with traditional logic are historical accidents. There are new and better ways to think ready for discovery

Self-reference introduces paradox. Life itself requires paradox, i.e., both poles of categorical contrasts. For 25 centuries logic has been thought of as truth preserving. Paradox has been banished from logic. New logics show that paradox does no harm. It is resolved by oscillations. It leads to creativity. Life is creative and evolutionary. Life can adapt to new realities and it can create new realities.

“Evolutionary” raises thoughts of Darwin. There is a lot of talk these days about random processes and survival of the fittest. I think these ideas are utter nonsense. When I mentioned it to my son George he asked if I had ever read “Origin of the Species”. I have not, he has! He informed me that Darwin never wrote what people think he did. I find that easy to believe. There are a lot of erroneous myths, misunderstandings and crazy ideas. Once upon a time they may have made sense. In terms of what is now being discovered they must be discarded.

First I would challenge and discard the dreary view of reality we have all inherited. I mean the view that makes matter fundamental and physics the most basic science. First there is a lifeless planet. The search for how life started was going strong fifty years ago. The only “answers” I have seen are embarrassingly ineffective. For example, lightening hit a pond of chemicals and life began. Really?! What if we reversed the question? What if the earth started as the locus of living energies that created its form in matter? As we learn more about life itself I believe the solution to that question will be easy.

Next I would discard Darwinism. Since I do not know what Darwin wrote I don’t mean to discard Darwin, only what Darwinism has become. Darwinism features a struggle for life. To me this moves our worldview from dreary to downright depressing. Life is seen as an epiphenomenon resulting from a random accident and struggling to survive. Where is the meaning? What makes the struggle worthwhile?

Now I quote from a chapter by Reinhard Eichelbeck in the book “What is Life”.

“… in nature cooperation and communication are more important than struggle and competition. This is shown by a multitude of impressive examples: social associations, symbiosis, cooperation between animals and animals, animals and plants, plants and plants and plants and fungi can be found in all spheres of life everywhere in the world.”

Let’s all give up the notions of struggle and competition and enjoy our lives. No, you don’t have to give up sports. Sports are supposed to be games. Games are autotelic. That means winning or losing shouldn’t have consequences beyond the game. Competition to determine if someone is guilty of a crime is obscene. Cooperation is how the courts should work. I have read that in Italy prosecutors and defense attorneys are expected to cooperate in determining truth. In adversarial systems winning depends on factors that have little to do with guilt or innocence.

Now I plan to go on to a series of PUBNOTESNorm.blogspot.com dealing with different ways in which life itself functions. Based on past misunderstandings there are many crazy oughts that imprison us and diminish our lives. Life is the highest value, yet it is destroyed and trashed as if it hardly matters. Get into the shift. See my www. pubnotesnorm.blogspot.com for our latest findings or email me at hirst@autognomics.org