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UR2 Appendix 12: (For Session 705) 19/175 (11%) evolution darwin appendix dna realism

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(Seth material on evolution is presented twice in the 582nd session for Chapter 20 of Seth Speaks *— not only in the session proper, but from an ESP class delivery given a few days later, on April 27, 1971. In class, Seth discussed Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution,*7 and that material, some of which wasn’t published in the 582nd session is the source for my second group of excerpts:)

He [Darwin] spent his last years proving it, and yet it has no real validity. It has a validity within very limited perspectives only; for consciousness does, indeed, evolve form. Form does not evolve consciousness. It is according to when you come into the picture, and what you choose to observe … Consciousness did not come from atoms and molecules scattered by chance through the universe….

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(I think it more than a coincidence that in these excerpts from Seth Speaks, Seth mentions Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Biblical story of creation in the same sentence, for those systems of belief represent the two poles of the controversy over origins in our modern Western societies: the strictly Darwinistic, mechanistic view of evolution, in which the weakest of any species are ruthlessly eliminated through natural, predatory selection, and the views of the creationists, who hold that God made the earth and all of its creatures just as described in the Bible.

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(Ironically, Charles Darwin’s natural selection, “the survival of the fittest,” [a phrase that Darwin himself did not originate, by the way], allows for all sorts of pain and suffering in the process — the same unhappy facts of life, in Darwin’s view, that finally turned him into an agnostic, away from a God who could allow such things to exist! As I interpret what I’ve read, Darwin didn’t deny the existence of a god of some kind, but he wanted one that would abolish what he saw as the “upward” struggle for existence. According to the geological/fossil record, this conflict had resulted in the deaths of entire species. Darwin came to believe that he asked the impossible of God. Instead, he assigned the pain and suffering in the world to the impersonal workings of natural selection and chance variation [or genetic mutation]. For Darwin and his followers — even those of today, then — nature’s effects gave the appearance of design or plan in the universe without necessitating a belief in a designer or a god; although, as I wrote in Note 7, from the scientific standpoint this belief leaves untouched the question of design in nonliving matter, which is vastly more abundant in the “objective” universe than is living matter, and had to precede that living matter.

(As counterpoint to Darwin’s ideas, here briefly are some of Seth’s comments on the human condition, and that of the animals. The material is from two sessions. The first one is the 580th [for April 12, 1971] from, once again, Chapter 20 of Seth Speaks. Seth talked about the innate creative ability of human beings — even in creating war. Then he continued.)

[... 7 paragraphs ...]

*(For the most part Seth’s ideas are far away from thoughts of replicating genes or the second law of thermodynamics. Through Jane, he grapples with the mysteries of existence in emotional terms, rather than through the impersonal, “scientific,” and really unproven concepts that life originated by accident [more than 3.4 billion years ago,*8 to give a late estimate], and perpetuates itself through chance mutations. Darwin’s objective thinking, then, cut him off from such comprehensions as Seth advocates. The same was true for many scientists and theistic thinkers in succeeding generations, and in my opinion this holds today. I suggest that the entire 634th session in Personal Reality be read with this appendix, for in it Seth explored some connections between animal and man — including the evolution [my emphasis] by man of “certain animal capacities to their utmost.” At practically the same time, in the 637th session for the following chapter [9], he could tell us: “Note: I did not say that man emerged from the animals.”

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*(Seth’s ideas aside for the moment, biologists faithful to Darwin’s theories don’t want to hear anything about the precognitive abilities of a species, nor do they see any evidence of it in their work. In evolutionary theory, such attributes violate not only the operation of chance mutation and the struggle for existence, but our ideas of consecutive time [which is associated with “naïve realism” — the belief that things are really as we perceive them to be]. Not that scientifically the concept of a far more flexible time — even a backward flow of time — is all that new. In atomic physics, for example, no special meaning or place is given to any particular moment, and fundamentally the past and future all but merge in the interactions of elementary particles — thus at least approaching Seth’s simultaneous time.*10 At that level there’s change, or value fulfillment, but no evolution. To Jane’s and my way of thinking, if there’s value fulfillment there’s consciousness, expressed through CU’s, or units of consciousness.

[... 36 paragraphs ...]

(Jane and I certainly do not hold creationist views [see Note 1]. As I wrote near the beginning of this appendix, to go very far into religious history would lead away from the subject matter I planned to cover; but to us science is as far away from Seth’s philosophy in one direction as religion is in the opposite direction. The species’ religious drives have been around a lot longer than its scientific ones, however, so I found myself looking for broad correlations between the two, in that under each value system the individual carries a very conscious sense of personal vulnerability. Before Darwinism, to use that concept as an example, man at least felt that God had put him on earth for certain purposes, no matter how much man distorted those purposes through ignorance and war. According to Judaism and Christianity, among many religions, man could seek forgiveness and salvation; he had a soul. After Darwin, he learned that even his physical presence on earth was an accident of nature. He was taught — he taught himself — that ideas of souls and gods were ridiculous. Either way, this very fallible creature found himself vulnerable to forces that consciously he couldn’t understand — even though, in Seth’s view, down through the millennia man had chosen all of his religious and antireligious experiences.

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1. Over the years, my outside reading on evolution has covered many often conflicting viewpoints. Whether their beliefs are rooted in the tenets of conventional biology (Darwinism), for instance, or allied with those of the creationists (who hold that God made the earth and all of its creatures, just as described in the Book of Genesis), the advocates of rival theories have impressed me as having at least one thing in common: No matter how violently they may disagree, their arguments lack all sense of humor. This is serious stuff, world! Whatever happened to the spontaneity and joy in life? For surely, I found myself thinking as I read all of those antagonistic ideas, spontaneity and joy were the very ingredients that Seth would place uppermost in any theory or scheme of life’s “beginnings,” regardless of its philosophical stance.

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5. According to my interpretation of this sentence, Seth stops short of telling us that in our reality all species — man, animals, and plant life (and viruses and bacteria too, for that matter) — developed from a single primordial living source. Evolutionary theory maintains that such a source spontaneously came into being, riding upon various protein molecules (or certain other kinds of molecules) that had themselves chemically — and miraculously — evolved out of nonliving matter, then demonstrated the ability to duplicate themselves. (When Seth came through with this 44th session, neither Jane nor I had enough background information about theories of evolution to ask him to be more specific. Proteins, for instance, are very complex chains of amino acids, and consist of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and/or certain other elements. They exist in great variety in all animal and vegetable matter; in the body each protein supports a very definite function.) But the view that all life had a common origin, that by pure chance it originated on the earth — just once — without the aid of God, or any sort of designer, is today accepted by most scientists in biology and related disciplines. Such thinking stems from the work done in the 19th century by the English naturalists Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.

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7. Charles Darwin (1809–1881) published On the Origin of Species in 1859. In his book Darwin presented his ideas of natural selection — that all species evolve from earlier versions by inheriting slight (genetic) variations through the generations. (See Note 5.) Thus, in a process called gradualism, there has been over many millions of years the slow development of flora and fauna from the simple to the complex, with those structures surviving that are best suited to their environments — the “survival of the fittest,” in popular terms.

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It’s often been claimed that Darwin’s natural selection, while ruling out any question of design or a planner — God, say — behind living matter, leaves unexplained the same question relative to the structure of nonliving matter, which in those terms obviously preceded life. I’d rather approach that argument through another statement Seth made in Chapter 20 of Seth Speaks (in the 582nd session): “You are biologically connected, chemically connected with the Earth that you know….” How is it that as living creatures we’re made up of ingredients — atoms of iron, molecules of water, for instance — from a supposedly dead world? In the scientific view we’re utterly dependent upon that contradictory situation. No one denies the amazing structure or design of our physical universe, from the scale of subatomic particles on “up” (regardless of what cosmological theory is used to explain the universe’s beginning). The study of design as one of the links between “living” and “nonliving” systems would certainly be a difficult challenge — but a most rewarding one, I think — for science. I have little idea of how the work would be carried out. Evidently it would lead from biology through microbiology to physics with, ultimately, a search that at least approached Seth’s electromagnetic energy (EE) units and units of consciousness (CU’s). Yet according to Seth, both classes of “particles” are in actuality nonphysical; as best words can note, they have their realities on scales so minute that we cannot hope to detect them through our present technology….

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In connection with material in this note, I think it quite interesting and revealing that several millennia before Darwin, man himself began playing the role of a designer within the framework of nature, through his selective breeding of animals and his hybridization of plants. These activities certainly represent evolution through conscious intent, guided by the same creature who insists that no sort of consciousness could have been responsible for the origin or development of “life,” let alone the “dead” matter of his planet. Not only that: We read that even now in his laboratories man is trying hard to create some of that life itself. This is always done, of course, with the idea that the right combination of simple ingredients (water, methane, ammonia, et al.) in the test tube, stimulated by the right kind of energy under just the right conditions, will automatically produce life. It’s confidently predicted that eventually at least one such experiment will succeed. I have yet to see in those accounts anything about the role consciousness will play in this truly miraculous conversion of dead matter into that of the living. Perhaps those involved in the experiments fear that the idea of consciousness will impugn the scientific “purity” of their work.

Finally, in this appendix I haven’t used the term “Neo-Darwinism” in order to avoid confusion with the familiar Darwinism that most people — including scientists — still employ. Neo-Darwinism is simply the original idea of natural selection in plants and animals updated to take present-day genetics into account.

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Nor can solar energy be thought of as the agent that directly turned nonliving matter into its living counterpart; in those terms, life required its intermediate molecules, which sunlight is not able to construct. Life needs protein in order to “be,” and to sustain it through metabolism — then it can use solar energy! Darwin’s theory that life arose by chance poses a basic contradiction: What made the protein that sustains the processes of life, before that life was present to make the protein?

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Evolutionary thinking is challenged not only by questions of protein synthesis, and energy/entropy (see Note 5), however. Equally insistent are the puzzles posed by the missing intermediate forms in the fossil record: Where are all the remnants of those creatures that linked birds, reptiles, cats, monkeys, and human beings? The hypothetical evolutionary tree of life demands that such in-between forms existed; it seems that by now paleontologists should have unearthed enough signs of them to make at least a modest case for their belief systems; the lack of scientific evidence is embarrassing. Since my mind works that way, I could make minutely detailed drawings of a graduated series of such entities (gradualism being a basic premise in Charles Darwin’s theory), but would the creatures shown have been viable? Could they actually have existed for the necessary millennia while evolving into the species whose fossil remains have been discovered, or that live today? As indicated in Note 5, evolutionists are serving goodly portions of speculation along with inadequate theory — or, really, hypothesis.

[... 5 paragraphs ...]

13. A note added much later: Sometimes things develop in unexpected ways: One might say that several years later Seth continued the material just presented. By the time he did so he’d been through with “Unknown” Reality for quite a while, but I was still working on the notes and appendixes for Volume 2. As I wrote Appendix 12 in particular I discussed with Jane the passages on naïve realism; soon afterward Seth began to refer to the subject during scheduled sessions, and one of them contained the excellent information below. (Only one part of that session is quoted, but eventually it will be published in its entirety as part of a Seth book.) Very evocative, to consider how consciousness chooses to manifest itself physically, in direct contradiction to the mechanistic beliefs held so tightly — and with so little humor — by those adhering to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. From Session 803:)

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In Note 7 (also see Note 5), I wrote that for centuries now — most of them obviously preceding Darwin — man himself has been playing the role of a designer through his creation of certain breeds of animals and hybrid plants. But we see now that man is no longer content to bring about changes within species, as in cattle, for instance: With vast excitement he faces the challenge of “engineering” new kinds of life. Those urges are creative even when, as a designer, he goes against his own Darwinian concepts that there is no conscious plan involved in the design of his world.

[... 4 paragraphs ...]

20. I remind the reader that an agnostic (as I think Charles Darwin was) is one who believes the mind can know only physical phenomena, and not whether there are final realities, causes, or gods. An atheist believes there is no God.

[... 7 paragraphs ...]

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