http://vimeo.com/37792854 (embedding not enabled)
Some notes: Rupert Sheldrake Lecture: Dispelling the Ten Dogmas of
Materialism and Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry
1. Everything in nature is essentially mechanical.
The central assumption of modern science. Machines have no purpose
of their own. God was an engineer & mathematician.
2. All matter is unconscious.
The astonishing hypothesis. Self-refuting re: free will.
Leibniz was convinced matter was made up of monads, each having a
body and mind which reflected the universe from it’s own point of
Spinoza thought mind and body were two aspects of the same
Whitehead: All organisms have a mental and a physical pole - not
so much an inside/outside but the future & past. Proprehension. They
also have purposes and goals. What was original about Whitehead was
that he saw that there were two different stands of causation - one,
the familiar kind pushing from the past, and the other works from
virtual futures through the present toward the past.
3. The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy
Dark matter & energy invented to plug the holes in physics
understanding of matter on an intergalactic scale. Now 96% of matter
and energy is dark/unknown. Vitalism is refuted with biased study.
4. Laws and Constants of Nature are Fixed
Fluctuations in measurements of c and G.
5. Nature is Purposeless
If nature is purposeless how come we, animals and plants have
6. All biological inheritance is material - in the genes or DNA.
Missing heritability problem - 75% of heritability is unexplained.
7. Memories are stored as material traces. - no sign of that
8. Minds are inside brains. Perception may be external.
9. Psychic phenomena are illusory. - Telephone telepathy
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
A lot of similarities to my views in here. I take Whitehead's views
further in that in my view, it is not so much explicit virtual futures
calling to us backwards in time, but more like the significance ripple
of larger events influencing our perception as part of a greater
“now”. As a bullet might pass out of a gun barrel, through a wall,
then a couch, then a bookshelf, there is a coherence of the event as a
single underlying change with multiple consequences which can be
considered consecutively moment to moment, or simultaneously as a
single experience that lasts x moments.
This orientation flip, sort of like moving from a digital integer
orientation to a trigonometric Pi orientation is what subjectivity is
all about. Our subjective inertial frame begins and ends with our own
experiential threshold. On some level, nothing matters to us unless it
impacts us directly as a feeling, thought, or experience. Our reality
is defined by what and who are close to us or significant to us. It
does us no good, for example, to break down the bullet’s trajectory
into separate events that happen to coincide, but if it were much
slower and less obvious, we might hear the gunshot well before the
bullet hit the first wall. We have many sense channels, and not all of
them are describable in terms of what we can see and touch directly.
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