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The Self-Perceiving Universe
A Quantum Intelligent Design Evolutionary Metaphysics

Dismantling the Madness of Materialist Darwinism

Graham Smetham
(graham@shunyatapress.org)


This is my sixth book in the Quantum Buddhism series. The Self-Perceiving Universe, however, hardly mentions Buddhism, but the Self-Perceiving Universe perspective is adumbrated in previous books. In this book, I set out to prove, through detailed investigation, scientific and philosophical analysis, that the quantum metaphysical interpretations of major quantum physicists, past and present, clearly and inexorably lead towards the conclusion of non-theistic Intelligent Design. The core issue addressed by the Intelligent Design discourse is that of source of the information which is necessary for the evolution of the world of sentient beings within various environments. The necessary answer which derives from quantum theory is that all such information resides as vast potentiality which resides within ‘eternal’ quantum fields which underlie the process of reality. Furthermore, modern quantum theory indicates that there is an internal quality of consciousness-awareness and cosmic intentionality which unfolds potentialities into experienced actualities.

The worldview of Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism, of course, is both materialist and mechanistic. Genes are asserted to be self-enclosed material units of inheritance. These inheritance units are from time to time subject to random errors and, whilst it is known that just about all such errors lead to catastrophic effects, it is asserted by the Darwinist perspective, on flimsy evidence, that very occasion-ally random errors produce ‘improvements’ which are subsequently ‘selected’ by the environment. This is ‘natural selection’. In their book, What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini refer to two Darwinian components as “the genealogy of the species (GS), which is the recognition or the historical development of species; and ‘natural selection’ (NS) which is the mechanism that materialist Ultra-Darwinism (MUD) asserts to be fundamental.

This illustrates the entirely materialist-mechanistic vision of all forms of Darwinism. On this view, species spring into existence from nowhere, so to speak. The basic feature determining the mechanism is random. Committed MUD-fanciers scream and shout that MUD evolution is not random because natural selection (NS) is claimed to be the most significant aspect, and furthermore, NS is also claimed to be non-random. However, this can be shown to be false, NS itself must be random because all aspects of NS are produced by random mutation. So, the MUD worldview involves randomness meeting randomness, which can only be random.

This random MUD worldview replaced the pre-Darwinian Platonic-Typological perspective. In fact, the Platonic-Typological viewpoint, the idea that there is a deep level of primordial structure underlying the manifestation of species, is parodied by MUD-slingers. Richard Dawkins, for example, says of the views of Ernst Mayr, the arch-enemy of biological Platonism, or ‘essentialism’:

Biology, according to Mayr, is plagued by its own version of essentialism. Biological essentialism treats tapirs and rabbits, pangolins and dromedaries, as though they were triangles, rhombuses, parabolas or dodecahedrons. The rabbits that we see are wan shadows of the perfect ‘idea’ of rabbit, the ideal, essential, Platonic rabbit, hanging somewhere out in conceptual space along with all the perfect forms of geometry. Flesh-and-blood rabbits may vary, but their variations are always seen as flawed deviations from the ideal essence of rabbit.

The ‘essentialist’, or Typological, viewpoint, asserts that species are essentially fixed, although there can be significant variation within the limits of the species ‘design’. According to this viewpoint, the limits of the various species are pre-determined by the fact that there is a deep level of potential design within nature. In Darwin’s time this view was championed by the great scientist Louis Agassiz, who opposed Darwin’s mechanistic perspective. According to Agassiz:

However, much likeness there is among the animals or plants of the same species, there always is in all individuals, even externally, some … differences, more or less pronounced, of an individual’s features through which it’s individuality shows up clearly. However, as large as these differences may be … the differences don’t exceed this that I called, on another occasion, the boundaries of the flexibility, of the pliability of the species. Finally, never in the succession of these individuals has one been born entirely similar to its parents, nor later have they become one of another species, … The school of Darwin goes beyond facts when it states that these individual differences constitute the transitions from one species to another.

Agassiz was a staunch creationist who saw a Divine Plan everywhere in nature, and he could not reconcile himself to a theory that did not invoke design. He defined a species as “a thought of God.” Thus, he wrote in his Essay on Classification:

The combination in time and space of all these thoughtful conceptions exhibits not only thought, it shows also premeditation, power, wisdom, greatness, prescience, omniscience, providence. In one word, all these facts in their natural connection pro-claim aloud the One God, whom man may know, adore, and love; and Natural History must in good time become the analysis of the thoughts of the Creator of the Universe …

However, we do not need to invoke a fundamentalist notion of God to see that that both quantum theory and evolutionary-developmental (Evo-Devo) biology, which speaks of body-plans ‘existing’ at the moment of the Big Bang’, have both clearly indicated a vast plan written into the quantum ground of the process of reality. As Adrian Wolfson, in his book Life Without Genes, writes of the quantum ‘information sea’, which contains all species as potentialities at the dawn of time:

In the beginning, there was mathematical possibility. At the very inception of the universe fifteen billion years ago, a deep infinite-dimensional sea emerged from nothingness. Its colourless waters, green and turquoise blue, glistened in the non-existent light of the non-existent sun … A strange sea though, this information sea. Strange because it was devoid of location …

And, from out of the vast entangled web of infinite quantum possibilities for manifestation, the biological world of animals, plants and environments emerges:

An information space of this sort would furnish a complete description of all potentially living … creatures…

According to some of the most significant modern quantum metaphysical accounts, such as Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow’s Theory of Everything (TOE) proposed in their book ‘The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life’, the operation of consciousness within the potentialities of the quantum realm is central and crucial in the evolution of the universe. Hawking and Mlodinow tell us that:

Quantum physics tells us that no matter how thorough our observation of the present, the (unobserved) past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities. The universe, according to quantum physics, has no single past, or history. The fact that the past takes no definite form means that observations you make on a system in the present affect its past. … the universe doesn’t have just a single history, but every possible history, each with its own probability; and our observations of its current state affect its past and determine the different histories of the universe...

This viewpoint, that “observations” unfold quantum potentialities, is consistent with many presentations of quantum metaphysics such as those of John Wheeler, Henry Stapp, David Bohm, Amit Goswami, Michael Mensky, Bernard d’Espagnat and some others. As the hugely significant twentieth century physicist John Wheeler indicated:

Directly opposite to the concept of a universe as machine built on law is the vision of a world self-synthesized. On this view, the notes struck out on a piano by the observer participants of all times and all places, bits though they are in and by themselves, constitute the great wide world of space and time and things.

In other words, the universe comes into being through the operation of an internal function of self-perception, which eventually becomes embodied in sentient beings. Wheeler used the 'self-perceiving' diagram to graphically illustrated this viewpoint.

The physicist Bernard d’Espagnat has written:

The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment.

Here, again, as in the Hawking-Mlodinow account, consciousness is asserted to be a primary aspect of quantum reality. Another similar assertion comes from Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner: …physics’ encounter with consciousness, demonstrated for the small, applies to everything. And that ‘everything’ can include the entire Universe.

And, according to the significant physicist Paul Davies:

If life is not written into the laws of physics as we currently know them, is it possible that those laws can be augmented by some organizing principle which facilitates the emergence of biological complexity, fast tracking matter and energy along the road to life against the raw odds, and driving it to ever more complex forms. Such a principle has been suggested many times, but always in the face of fierce opposition from orthodox science. And the reason for the negative reaction is not hard to identify. Any sort of life principle or cosmic imperative reintroduces into science the dreaded t-word: teleology.

Physicist Vlatko Vedral tells us that:

The universe starts empty but potentially with a huge amount of information. The first key event is the first act of symmetry breaking…

And it is an internal teleological ‘pressure’ to unfold quantum potentialities, supplied by an internal consciousness-awareness, that produces the “first act of symmetry breaking.”

The significant quantum physicist Henry Stapp has also pointed out that the underlying quantum level of the process of reality functions like a primordial cosmic mind:

The quantum state represents a collection of objective tendencies for various physically possible psychophysical events to actually happen. This notion of “an objective tendency”, as best I can conceive it in this quantum context, is something like a contemplated possibility coupled to an urge to raise this possibility into an actuality. So it would appear that something like a primordial consciousness was present already at the birth of the quantum mechanically conceived universe. Recognition or acceptance of this notion leads … to the ancient idea of a cosmic mind and to the conception of the universe as more like a conscious organism than like a robotic machine. Mentality becomes primordial, not in the individual atoms, but rather at the level of an “over-mind.”

The universe, then, can be conceived of as a primordially conscious organism which ‘creates’ an infinity of derivative organisms - all sentient beings. It does this by a process of the internal quantum function of self-perception which unfolds quantum potentialities into manifestation.

The above represent a small selection of quantum metaphysical approaches which indicate the cogency of the Self-Perceiving Universe perspective. In other words, consciousness unfolds life and the universe, and the species inhabiting the biological world, from quantum potentiality.

This is Quantum Intelligent Design Evolution – QI-DEism.

Chapter Overview

The following chapter overviews give only brief indications of the contents of the chapter. Each chapter contains a wealth of detailed information which is not indicted in the chapter overview.

Darwinian Evolution: Crisis, Cover Up, or Both?

The philosopher Thomas Nagel, in his book Mind and Cosmos, pointed to the abject implausibility of the mainstream materialist Darwinian worldview:

Physico-chemical reductionism in biology is the orthodox view, and any resistance to it is regarded as not only scientifically but politically incorrect. But for a long time, I have found the materialist account of how we and our fellow organisms came to exist hard to believe, including the standard version of how the evolutionary process works. The more details we learn about the chemical basis of life and the intricacy of the genetic code, the more unbelievable the standard historical account becomes.

Indeed, recent discoveries within evolutionary biology, such as evolutionary-developmental biology (Evo-Devo) and epigenetics, indicate that the crude 19th century worldview, enshrined within the Materialist Ultra-Darwinian, or MUD, worldview is utterly false. Despite this, however, many biologists and philosophers cling to MUD with grim determination. In the first chapter, we look at the devastating demolitions of the MUD worldview contained in two brilliant books which should leave any MUD-fancier helplessly flailing about in a primeval swamp as the intellectual ground is pulled away: Evolution: Still A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton, and Darwin on Trial by Philip E. Johnson. Both books are excellent but Johnson is a lawyer, and he looks into evidence for MUD from a lawyer’s point of view, and the result is devastating, as we discover a significant amount of fraud. Denton says that Johnson’s book is “unquestionably the best critique of Darwinism I have ever read.” We shall discover that, although the evidence against MUD is crystal clear, there is a significant amount of muddying of waters to perform a cover-up being attempted by MUD academics.

In this first chapter, we take an initial look at the opposition between the pre-Darwin Platonic-Typological evolutionary worldview, which held that the structures of various species are prefigured as potentials in some way, and the materialist Darwinian worldview which replaced it. This opposition can be significantly represented by the views, in opposition to Darwin, of the great 19th Century scientist Louis Agassiz who held to a Platonic-Typological perspective, wherein species were thought of as ‘Thoughts of God’. Today, quantum theory and evolutionary-developmental biology indicate Agassiz was more correct and Darwin wrong. Indeed, quantum physicist Henry Stapp has suggested that:

This [quantum] situation is concordant with the idea of a powerful God that creates the universe and its laws to get things started, but then bequeaths part of this power to beings created in his own image, at least with regard to their power to make physically efficacious decisions on the basis of reasons and evaluations.

Evolution: The Greatest Illusion on Earth

The more examples of the writings of materialist ‘Ultra-Darwinism’ (also called Neo-Darwinism), which emphasizes the role of ‘natural selection’ in its theory of evolution, I read, the more astonished I am by the almost childish simple-mindedness of its practitioners who are able to pen the most ridiculous nonsense and yet at the same time remain convinced that they are engaged in expounding serious ‘science’. In this chapter I shall be primarily concerned with the writings of Richard Dawkins, so we will be examining Dawkinsian Ultra-Darwinism for which I shall employ the appropriate acronym ‘DUD’.

Some of the ludicrous DUD stories that are demolished are:

1. The claim that fish ‘evolved’ through random mutation and natural selection into land animals because of ponds drying up. The story claims that in the dim mists of time, fish were forced by environmental circumstances to drag themselves with their fins, no doubt gasping for air with their gills if such were possible, from one pond which was drying out to another one with deeper resources.

2. The claim that, at some later point in time, some of the land animals who had dragged them-selves out of water and transformed, millimeter by millimeter, fins into legs, then, for some bizarre reason, jumped back into the sea and transformed into seals, sea lions, whales and dugongs.

3. Dawkins’ problematic indecision concerning the development of the Giraffe’s neck. Slowly millimeter by millimeter or suddenly by macromutation? Dawkins cannot make up his mind, probably because both notions are absurd.

4. The DUD laughable account of the bee’s ‘waggle dance’. According to Dawkins:

Now, if you had just flown home from several miles away, laden to the gunwales, would you feel like charging at high speed around the comb. No, you would probably be exhausted. On the other hand, if you had just discovered a rich source of food rather close to the hive, your short homeward journey would have left you fresh and energetic. It is not difficult to imagine how an original accidental relationship between distance of food and slowness of dance could have been ritualized into a formal reliable code.

How can this ridiculous appeal to the exhausted condition of a bee returning with honey possibly be a part of evolution by random mutation and natural selection? An exhaustive examination is conducted, and the lunatic absurdity exposed.

5. The DUD account of the development of marsupial reproduction, and the relationship between Placental and Marsupial mammals. Natural selection or quantum Platonic-Typological pattern-ing according to different themes? The latter is shown to be correct.

The Giraffe Reveals the Evolutionary Tall Tale

The researcher Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, an expert on mutation genetics - a researcher in the field for over thirty years, has published a long carefully researched paper entitled ‘The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe – What Do We Really Know’ which concludes:

If, however, the general lineages for almost all modern groups of vertebrates are as uncertain as in the case of giraffes, then we are dealing with only suggestive evolutionary interpretations in most other groups as well, yet without solid scientific proof.

His work deserves careful consideration because it clearly reveals the fact that the DUD-MUD worldview, contrary to the strident claims of Dawkins and others, is an unscientific belief system, a belief system within which believers will not fail to misrepresent evidence in order to maintain their mistaken worldview. The features of the ‘design’ of the long neck of the Giraffe are extraordinary, an apparent ‘design’ which stops the Giraffe’s head exploding when it lowers its head to drink. Vance Ferrel, a creationist writer, explains that:

Four carefully thought out design factors nicely solve this problem: (l) The giraffe has in his jugular veins a series of one-way check valves. These immediately close as soon as the head is lowered! But there is still a large amount of blood in the carotid artery; too much. (2) That extra blood is immediately shunted to a special spongy tissue, located near the brain and filled with small blood vessels, which absorbs it. In addition, (3) the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the brain and spinal column itself, produces a counter-pressure to prevent rupture or capillary leakage. Last but not least, (4) the walls of the giraffe’s arteries are thicker than those of any other mammal.

That such an interdependent and interconnected set of features could in any way be due to random-mutation is absurd. As Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig writes:

After about 200 years of fruitless evolutionary speculations (beginning with Lamarck in 1809), and also several thousand years of similar African evolutionary legends … it is no longer comprehensible why the intelligent design hypothesis (ID) should, for the question of the origin of the living world, continue to be ruled out on principle.

It is not only the spectacular intricate interdependent inter-relationships within the details of any particular organism which defies any kind of random element, it also the recently uncovered astonishing interdependencies between species. The extraordinary and revelatory inseparably interdependent nature of all biological phenomena was revealed by a recent BBC television series Secrets of Our Living Planet, presented by Chris Packham. The advertising for the series declares that it:

…showcases the incredible ecosystems that make life on Earth possible. … Chris Packham reveals the hidden wonder of the creatures that we share the planet with, and the intricate, clever and bizarre connections between the species, without which life just could not survive. Discover previously unknown relationships, like why a tiger needs a crab; or why a gecko needs a giraffe. The particular web of interrelationship we are concerned with in the case of the giraffe involves “one extraordinary ecosystem” which involves the acacia tree: A gecko, a giraffe, an ant and a monkey all depend on this tree for their survival … but what’s really wonderful is how these individuals and the acacia also depend on the actions of each other.

It is simply not possible for such fine-tuned interrelationships to have emerged from absolutely no relationship, such fine-tuned interdependencies are written into the quantum ‘information sea’ of potentiality.

The Dyno-Bird: A Fantastic Flight of Fancy?

The Christian philosopher Sean McDowell has blogged that:

Essentially, to save the Darwinian paradigm, Darwinists sometimes come up with logically possible, but evidentially unsubstantiated stories to account for some recalcitrant feature in the natural world … All evolutionary “just-so” stories are certainly not equal. Some are much more believable, natural, and evidentially supported than others. But many are simply outlandish.

It is often the case that Darwinists come up with logically absurd and evidentially unsubstantiated stories. This chapter investigates the absurd notion that dinosaurs transformed painful millimetre by painful millimetre into birds.

The Magical Unreality of the Dawkins ‘Blind’ ‘Selfish’ Worldview & Quantum Intelligent Design

Perhaps the secret to Richard Dawkins’ dubious success is indicated by the opening to the preface to the first edition of his first book The Selfish Gene:

This book should be read almost as if it were science fiction. It is designed to appeal to the imagination. But it is not science fiction: it is science.

This exactly describes Dawkins’ technique. A meticulously non-scientific metaphorical account invoking mindless mechanism, an account worthy of any second-rate science fiction writer, is presented with tireless, relentless and skillful rhetoric, and is fallaciously claimed to be ‘science’. And, although the account, when compared to appropriate evidence, can easily be shown to be seriously flawed, it convinces the imaginations of many readers. Presumably, such readers are predisposed to mindless mechanism in the first place, so they find that Dawkins’ brash and false claim that his metaphorical madness is ‘science’ is plausible.

In this chapter, we discover the absurd nature of the ‘selfish’ gene claim. As the philosopher Mary Midgley writes in volume 54 (1979) of Philosophy - the journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, in an article titled ‘Gene-Juggling’:

Genes cannot be selfish or unselfish, any more than atoms can be jealous, elephants abstract or biscuits teleological. This should not need mentioning, but Richard Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene has succeeded in confusing a number of people about it … It is natural for a reader to suppose that his oversimplified drama about genes is just a convenient stylistic device, because it seems obvious that the personification of them must be just a metaphor. Indeed, he himself sometimes says that it is so. But, in fact, this personification, in its literal sense, is essential for his whole contention; without it he is bankrupt.

We see in this chapter that the DUD notion of a ‘selfish’ gene is simplistic, mistaken, misleading and completely unscientific. Furthermore, we look at Dawkins’ attempted misleading indoctrination of children in his recent book, The Magic of Reality, which is an extended advertising tract for the misconceived materialist DUD worldview. The opening sentences of The Independent review by Colin Tudge are accurate:

Richard Dawkins has no sense of irony. He rails endlessly against fundamentalists yet he defends old-fashioned, Thomas Gradgrind-style materialism as zealously as the Mid-West Creationists defend the literal truth of Genesis. He accuses others of misrepresentation yet he seriously misrepresents religion. Also, which is irony writ large, he misrepresents science, in whose name he is assumed to speak. He condemns the Catholics for filling the heads of children with a particular view of life before they have had a chance to think for themselves – and now, in The Magic of Reality, written for readers as young as nine, he has done precisely that. As somebody said of Miss Jean Brodie, it’s time he was put a stop to.

Tudge has got this precisely right. Dawkins presents a vision of science which is metaphysically out of date by at least a hundred years as it ignores the profound insights of quantum theory.

Why Evolution is False!

Jerry Coyne’s 2009 book Why Evolution is True (WET) was greeted by the eager ranks of the neo-Darwinian, or Materialist Ultra-Darwinist (MUD – also could be acronym for ‘Mindless Ultra Darwinists’), academics with delight. Richard Dawkins, for instance, drooled with praise, bristling with antagonism for opposing views:

I once wrote that anybody who didn’t believe in evolution must be stupid, insane or ignorant, and I was then careful to add that ignorance is no crime. I should now update my statement. Anybody who doesn’t believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn’t read Jerry Coyne. I defy any reasonable person to read this marvellous book and still take seriously the “breathtaking inanity” that is intelligent design “theory”

And Steven Pinker was tickled pink:

Scientists don’t use the word ‘true’ lightly, but in this lively and engrossing book, Jerry Coyne shows why biologists are happy to use it when it comes to evolution. Evolution is ‘true’ not because the experts say it is, nor because some world view demands it, but because the evidence overwhelmingly supports it. There are many superb books on evolution, but this one is superb in a new way — it explains the latest evidence for evolution lucidly, thoroughly, and with devastating effectiveness.

As usual the claims and implications of the MUD lobby indicate that they think that their man is a rigorous, ‘lucid’ and clear thinking paragon of science, taking on ‘insane’ hordes of thoroughly deluded ‘unscientific’ purveyors of falsehoods. However, as we see in this chapter, nothing could be further from ‘the truth’.

A large portion of this chapter is devoted to a rather heated, and entertaining, ‘debate’, or perhaps ‘altercation’, between Alex Tsakiris, who produces the podcast ‘Skeptiko - Science at the Tipping Point’, and Coyne. Tsakiris suggests that recent quantum discoveries undermine materialist explana-tions, and therefore must undermine materialist versions of evolution. Tsakiris says to Coyne:

..there certainly is a lot of silliness out there in terms of the culture war debates and some of the arguments from people who come at it from a purely religious standpoint and have a hard time accepting evidence that contradicts their worldview. I think one of the angles I wanted to take in this show was also talking about how that cuts both ways sometimes. You mentioned Materialism and that is a cornerstone of a lot of these ideas. Materialism, as we’ve explored, isn't on quite as solid of ground, especially lately, as it has been. Is there a valid concern about oversimplifying the case for Materialism, Reductionism, Determinism, all those ‘isms’ that really seem to be challenged by some of the newest and latest physics data out there?

Coyne refuses to accept that quantum discoveries have any implications for biology and theories of evolution. Tsakiris refers to a particular paper by respected physicist Anton Zeilinger’s team, ‘An experimental test of non-local realism’ which suggests that:

Most working scientists hold fast to the concept of ‘realism’- a viewpoint according to which an external reality exists independent of observation. But quantum physics has shattered some of our cornerstone beliefs.

This paper discusses the details and implications of a quantum experiment investigating quantum entan-glement. The clear implication is that ‘non-local realism’ cannot be maintained as correct, everything is interconnected at a deep quantum level, including consciousness. This, of course, does undermine crude materialist evolution. Coyne, however, refuses to accept this conclusion and simply states that he had not bothered to read the paper, even though Tsakiris has sent him a copy.

The evidence and implications of quantum discoveries for the understanding that there is an inter-connected quantum field of potentiality which must underpin the processes which give rise to the vast diversity of the organic world are investigated in detail in this chapter. Also, some MUD lunacies promulgated by Coyne, such as the assertion that a land-dwelling animal took to the sea and then transformed, millimetre by millimetre, into whales, are demolished.

Quantum Genes?

This chapter investigates in more detail the experiment, and its implications, cited in the previous chapter, ‘An experimental test of non-local realism’. Genes cannot be thought of as completely independent self-enclosed, self-powered units of heredity, they operate within the context of quantum fields. The chapter then indicates aspects of quantum interconnectedness which are relevant to the interconnectedness of the biological world.

The physicist David Bohm described the functioning of the entangled interconnected quantum realm, and its productions, as the holomovement within an ‘implicate order’:

I propose something like this: Imagine an infinite sea of energy filling empty space, with waves moving around in there, occasionally coming together and producing an intense pulse. Let’s say one particular pulse comes together and expands, creating our universe of space-time and matter. But there could well be other such pulses. To us, that pulse looks like a big bang; in a greater context, it’s a little ripple. Everything emerges by unfoldment from the holomovement, then enfolds back into the implicate order. I call the enfolding process “implicating,” and the unfolding “explicating.” The implicate and explicate together are a flowing, undivided wholeness. Every part of the universe is related to every other part but in different degrees.

And for Bohm, as for Planck, Schrödinger, Heisenberg and other physicists, consciousness, or potential consciousness, is an innate and inseparable aspect of this immaterial realm which underlies the material realm. This deep quantum interconnection accounts for a deep level of the evolutionary interrela-tionships between creatures and environments.

As the great mystical psychologist Carl Gustav Jung wrote, in his work 'Mysterium Coniunctionis' (1955/1956), regarding his notion of an interconnected archetypal realm – the unus mundus (one world): Undoubtedly the idea of the unus mundus is founded on the assumption that the multiplicity of the empirical world rests on an underlying unity, and not that two or more fundamentally different worlds exist side by side or mingled with each other. Rather, everything divided and different belongs to one and the same world, which is not the world of sense but a postulate.

Earlier in 1948 quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who corresponded with Jung, wrote that:

The ordering and regulating factors must be placed beyond the distinction of “physical” and “psychic” – as Plato’s “ideas” share the notion of a concept and of a force of nature (they create actions out of themselves), I am very much in favour of referring to the “ordering” and “regulating” factors in terms of “archetypes”; but then it would be inadmissible to define them as contents of the psyche. The mentioned inner images (“dominant features of the collective unconscious” after Jung) are rather psychic manifestations of the archetypes which, however, would also have to put forth, create, condition anything lawlike in the behaviors of the corporeal world. The laws of this world would then be the physical manifestations of the archetypes … Each law of nature should then have an inner correspondence and vice versa, even though this is not always directly visible today.

Here Pauli indicates the hidden nonlocal interconnection and interdependency between the laws of the apparently material world and the deep levels underlying manifestation:

When the unus mundus is split, correlations emerge between the resulting domains. These correlations are remnants, as it were, of the wholeness that is lost due to the distinction made. Splitting the unus mundus as the holistic domain into mind and matter, this suggests ubiquitous correlations between mental and material states.

Such ‘hidden’ correlations and correspondences between mind and matter were explored by Pauli and Jung in their discussions of the phenomena of ‘synchronicity’. This notion can be extended to our understanding of evolution. The ‘fit’ between animals, plants and their environments is not due to random serendipity, but, rather, is a result of deep levels of synchronous quantum non-local interconnections.

A God of Evolution? Pushing the Boundaries of Belief to Extinction?

In the margins of the intellectual “battle for hearts and minds”, as Richard Dawkins describes the contentious and heated debate between proponents of intelligence and meaning within the process of the universe, who are proponents of ‘Intelligent Design’ (ID), and, on the other hand, those who have randomly evolved a vision of random meaninglessness, the purveyors of MUD, there is a strange intellectual mutation which one would surely have expected to have lost the race for survival. This is the notion that the materialist account of evolution as a matter of random mutation and environmental winnowing is entirely coherent and consistent with a faith in or assertion of a creator God of the Christian variety. Such notions come in various flavours but, in this chapter, I chiefly investigate those advanced by Robert J. Asher in his book Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist. As we see, Asher’s account is entirely incoherent and mistaken. Asher also cheapens his ‘belief’ by comparing his faith’ to his ardent support for an American ice hockey team!

The latter part of the chapter investigates the manner in which a Quantum Intelligent Design Evolution-ary perspective (QI-DEism) is scientifically coherent, whereas a fundamentalist Christian account, wherein an independent, transcendent God sets the world in motion and evolution occurs by a purely materialist-mechanistic process can be shown to be scientifically, and theologically, incoherent.

Some proponents of the view that evolution is driven by a mechanism of self-referencing self-perception at the quantum level (figure 3) such as Johnjoe McFadden, Paul Davies, Amit Goswami and the Russian quantum physicist Michael Mensky are surveyed. This viewpoint requires the assertion of a quantum ‘look-ahead’ mechanism which explores future potentialities before ‘collapsing’ into the most the most appropriate for the unfolding of life Michael Mensky, for example, writes (‘EEC’ is Mensky’s ‘Extended Everett Concept’ which is an extension of the quantum ‘many-worlds’ interpretation):

There is one more unsolved problem in biology that also could obtain its explanation in EEC. This is the problem of morphogenesis. How an embryo is constructed starting from a single cell? Where is a plan of the process of constructing it, step by step, or how constructing is controlled and directed? …consciousness (the primitive-level consciousness, or ability to somehow perceive, which is connected with a living being from the very beginning) periodically addresses to the quantum world as a whole, compare various scenarios of constructing embryo (various ‘building plans’) and then, returning to the usual state, increase probabilities of those scenarios that lead to the right construction, Of course, this is only a sketch of a possible explanation of the phenomenon, its main idea.

On this proposal, when extended to the process of evolution, biological organisms are ‘unfolded’ from quantum potentiality through an internal ‘self-perceiving’ process which is able ‘look-ahead’ at future quantum potentialities. This mechanism Mensky calls ‘postcorrection’. Such a view is in stark contrast to the MUD account wherein there is no internal intelligence and no capacity to explore future possibilities.

The only coherent theistic account in a such a quantum context, is supplied by the theologian Keith Ward in his essay ‘God as the Ultimate Informational Principle’:

the supreme informational principle of the universe, without which the combination of the lawfulness of the world and its inherent value would be inexplicable. Such informational code for construction of an actual universe logically precedes material configurations by containing the set of all mathematically possible states, plus a selective principle of evaluation that gives preference to the actual world we inhabit.

Such a view is, in contrast to QI-DEism, a Theistic Intelligent Design proposal. Henry Stapp, proposes a QI-DEism viewpoint as follows:

The quantum state represents a collection of objective tendencies for various physically possible psychophysical events to actually happen. This notion of “an objective tendency”, as best I can conceive it in this quantum context, is something like a contemplated possibility coupled to an urge to raise this possibility into an actuality. So it would appear that something like a primordial consciousness was present already at the birth of the quantum mechanically conceived universe. Recognition or acceptance of this notion leads … to the ancient idea of a cosmic mind and to the conception of the universe as more like a conscious organism than like a robotic machine. Mentality becomes primordial, not in the individual atoms, but rather at the level of an “over-mind.”

Asher, however, prefers a God apparently akin to a cosmic hockey team, indulging in a bit of materialist random Darwinian sport!

Quantum Intelligent Design Evolution & The Re-Discovery of the Morphogenetic Field

The idea that morphogenetic fields could be important, perhaps primary, aspects involved in heredity, morphogenesis and evolution was suggested by Rupert Sheldrake in 1981 when he published his book A New Science of Life. The book caused some contversy, New Scientist described him as “an excellent scientist: the proper, imaginative kind that in an earlier age discovered continents and mirrored the world in sonnets.” Nature, however, described his book as “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” Such an antagonistic response was only to be expected from reviewers who were staunch supporters of materialism and MUD Darwinism, Sheldrake’s ideas were both contrary to the materialist metaphysical position and the Darwinist worldview. Sheldrake’s views were, to a large extent, side-lined and the MUD perspective managed to hold sway within its leaky intellectual ship of delusion.

The notion of a morphogenetic field involves the claim that there are immaterial fields of influence which are capable of structuring organic matter as it develops from embryo towards viable complex organism. Morphogenetic fields are analogous to magnetic fields which can structure arrangements of iron filings, but are, obviously, much more complex and far-reaching. Morphogenetic fields act “across both space and time,” and they do so in a quantum implicate nonlocal manner wherein space and time, as Bohm indicates, are not “dominant.” Sheldrake clearly indicates that morphogenetic fields should be conceived of as quantum probability structures:

… morphogenetic fields ... are probability structures that depend on the statistical distribution of previous similar forms. The probability distributions of electronic orbitals described by solutions of the Schrödinger equation are examples of such probability structures, and are similar in kind to the probability structures of the morphogenetic fields of morphogenetic units at higher levels.

And:

...the morphogenetic fields of crystals and molecules are probability structures in the same sense that electronic orbitals in the morphogenetic fields of atoms are probability structures. This conclusion agrees with the convention that there is no difference in kind between the description of simple atomic systems by quantum mechanics and a potential quantum mechanical description of more complex forms.

Morphogenetic fields, then, are probabilistic quantum fields of structural information that provide structural ‘templates’, or as Goswami terms these “blueprints,” for future morphogenetic development. Morphogenetic fields can also be conceived of as being important structuring aspects operating within the process of evolution.

The notion of a ‘morphogenetic field’ was dropped from the neo-Darwinian synthesis because of its supposed “mystical” and “metaphysical” overtones and implications. Scott F. Gilbert, John M. Opitz and Rudolf A. Raff, in their important paper. Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology article, indicate that Thomas Hunt Morgan, a significant player in the development of the MUD worldview:

… was so adamant about ridiculing the field notion because in the 1930s, the morphogenetic field was an alternative to the gene as the unit of ontogeny.

But the current problems and holes within the neo-Darwinian paradigm means that the concept of morphogenetic fields has been “re-discovered”:

This reexamining of the Modern Synthesis has led to three great re-discoveries in modern biology. These are the simultaneous rediscoveries of macroevolution, homology and the morphogenetic field. A new synthesis is emerging from these three areas, and this develop-mentally oriented synthesis may be able to explain macroevolutionary as well as micro-evolutionary processes.

The rehabilitation of these three important aspects of evolutionary biology completely overturns the dogmatic materialist neo-Darwinian worldview, for these are central dogmas of the MUD (Materialist Ultra-Darwinism) perspective. This would seem to imply that the idea that the notion that ‘morphogenetic fields’ were ‘mystical’ was complete nonsense. It was the notion of the ‘gene’ as the sole carrier of the meaning of life that was ‘mistaken’.

In this chapter I survey some significant opponents of Darwin, philosophers and biologists who adhered to a Typological view of species, such as: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Georges Cuvier, Friedrich Schelling, Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, Richard Owen, Louis Agassiz. These proponents of the Typological view of species were reviled by MUD-slingers (i.e. proponents of Materialist Ultra-Darwinism). However, it now turns out that MUD-slingers were wrong and the Platonic-Typologists were correct, both quantum theory and Evo-Devo biology indicate this. As the Evo-Devo specialist Sean B. Carroll has pointed out:

The first shots in the Evo Devo revolution revealed that despite their great differences in appearance and physiology, all complex animals - flies and flycatchers, dinosaurs and trilobites, butterflies and zebras and humans - share a common “tool kit” of “master” genes that govern the formation and patterning of their bodies and body parts. … The important point to appreciate from the outset is that this discovery shattered our previous notions of animal relationships and of what made animals different, and opened up a whole new way of looking at evolution.

The “previous notions of animal relationships” that Carroll refers to, of course, were based on Darwinian dogma, and therefore the Evo-Devo revolution should have shaken the Darwinian MUD dogma to the core. However, determined MUD-slingers attempt to pretend that Evo-Devo is thorough-ly Darwinian, despite the fact that notions of deep evolutionary layers of potential body plans are clearly Typological in essence.

One of the major puzzles in the history of the evolution of species is the ‘Cambrian Explosion’:

The Cambrian explosion is the key event in the history of multicellular animal life. The more we study the episode, the more we are impressed by its uniqueness and of its determining effect on the subsequent pattern of life’s history. These basic anatomies that arose during the Cambrian explosion have dominated life ever since, with no major additions. The pattern of life’s history has followed from the origins and successes of this great initiating episode.

The metaphysical perspective involving quantum evolution through the operation of quantum primordial consciousness acting on quantum potentialities provides a much more natural and coherent account of the Cambrian event. The complexity of the Cambrian animals was prepared, as quantum morphogenetic fields within quantum implicate levels, and then suddenly expressed into the material plane. Furthermore, the previous expression of the simpler Ediacaran fauna facilitated the next quantum leap of complexity by establishing the simpler morphogenetic fields that paved the way for the more complex fields of the Cambrian. Thus, we see that the evolutionary process proceeds in both a downward cascade of increasingly more complex morphogenetic field organization until a material organism is manifested. And also, once a downward manifestation has manifested, further processing within the quantum implicate levels prepares the next, more complex, material manifestation.

This process is a combination of Rupert Sheldrake’s notion of ‘morphic resonance’, wherein organic structures become more probable through resonance from the past, and the quantum-implicate-potentiality view that organic structures ‘exist’ as potentiality at the quantum level. The mechanism of ‘morphic resonance’ operates both downwardly and across time. This means that the ‘essentialists’, such as Owen and Agassiz, savagely denigrated by Mayr, Dawkins and other proponents of MUD, were much closer to the truth than modern materialist neo-Darwinians. At any point in time there will be a downward acting hierarchy of manifestations of a multitude of types of organisms based on mixing and matching of the various possible coherent typological combinations of archetypal quantum morphogenetic fields. These morphogenetic fields have been prepared by the Mensky-type ‘postcorrection’ quantum ‘look-ahead’ mechanism, and by ‘morphic resonance’. This process indicates that various possible typological prototype forms, which are established within a deep level of quan-tum potentiality, will be modified, or expressed, in a multitude of variations. This is a result of the manner in which a fundamental body plan, for instance, resonates with the lower-level structural possibilities as it is organised within quantum potentiality, before finally being manifested materially. This ‘quantum-consciousness and quantum-potentiality intelligent design metaphysical perspective’ is ‘Quantum Intelligent Design Evolution’, or QI-DEism.

Evolutionary Convergence & the Quantum Self-Perceiving Universe

At the outset of his chapter on ‘Convergent Animals’ George McGhee, in his book Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful, refers to “one of the most frequently cited cases of convergent evolution” which is:

...the astonishing morphological similarity between the extinct Mesozoic marine reptile Ichthyosaurus platyodon and the living marine mammal Phocaena phocoena, the harbour porpoise, or Tursiops truncatus, the bottle-nose dolphin. Not only do they look amazingly similar to one another, but they all look amazingly similar to large, fast swimming fishes like Xiphius gladius, the swordfish, or Carcharodon carcharus, the great white shark.

Definitely amazing! As Simon Conway Morris says:

During my time in libraries I have been particularly struck by the adjectives that accompany descriptions of evolutionary convergence. Words like ‘remarkable’, ‘striking’, ‘extra-ordinary’, or even ‘astonishing’ and ‘uncanny’ are commonplace.

In other words, the fact that the same ‘solutions’ to the various necessities of organic existence, locomotion, sensing etc. occur over and over again, embodied in widely diverse animal lineages causes amazement. This, of course, is because, a great many people the nonsensical random mutation + natural selection fairy story. The fact that eyes and wings, stunning innovations produced by ‘evolution’, have evolved multiple times in different lineages of animals seems to indicate a deep level of ‘design’, as if similar organic modules are used within different species. For instance, the avian ancestors of birds and the mammalian ancestors of bats both evolved wings independently, in an example of convergent evolution. The same happened for the eyes of squid and humans. In this context, Richard Dawkins has made a very pertinent observation concerning the ubiquity of one form of perception:

It seems that life, at least as we know it on this planet, is almost indecently eager to evolve eyes. We can confidently predict that a statistical sample of reruns [of evolutionary life on Earth] would culminate in eyes. And not just eyes, but compound eyes like those of an insect, a prawn, or a trilobite, and camera eyes like ours or a squid’s, with color vision and mechanisms for fine-tuning the focus and the aperture. Also, very probably parabolic reflector eyes like those of a limpet, and pinhole eyes like those of Nautilus, the latter-day ammonite-like mollusc in its floating coiled shell. And if there is life on other planets around the universe, it is a good bet that there will also be eyes, based on the same range of optical principles as we know on this planet. There are only so many ways to make an eye, and life as we know it may well have found them all.

This kind of ‘convergence’ seems unlikely if the process of evolution was driven by random mutation and selection. But if we take the interlocking evidence of evolutionary convergence, Evolutionary-Developmental biology (Evo-Devo) and quantum physics seriously we find a very different picture emerges. As Simon Conway Morris says:

I will continue to argue that that biology may be much closer to metaphysics than it often cares to acknowledge. … if evolution is effective the motor whereby the deeper realities of the universe may be uncovered, then it might be that an idealistic program can help to expel the corrosive relativism that attempt to etch our framework of meaning. …. The evidence for evolutionary convergence provides a counterpart to natural selection inasmuch as it starts to delineate a landscape across which the Darwinian mechanism operates. If, in addition, we can answer more coherently Schrödinger's primal question “what is life?” then we may be a little closer to a general theory of evolution. If so, then this inevitably poses questions of metaphysics.

The only appropriate metaphysics that is indicated by all the significant evidence
is something like Quantum Intelligent Design Evolution –

QI-DEism.