Can Anybody Actually Win The Evolution 2.0 Prize?

evonne_crayonsCan Anybody Actually Win The Evolution 2.0 Prize?

Science, God, and

Happy Chemical Accidents

 

There’s a million codes out there. HTML, bar codes, zip codes, Java, English and Chinese.

Out of a million codes, 999,999 are designed by humans.

There’s one code we don’t know the origin of – and that’s DNA. We don’t know of any codes that are not designed. This implies design in DNA.

That’s an unsolved science mystery. So I and a group of Private Equity Investors have formed a company, Natural Code LLC, to offer a multi-million dollar technology prize for Origin Of Information.

Mitchell Hackerman posted a GREAT question about the Evolution 2.0 Prize:

“So you wrote the book Evolution 2.0 and want to know of a code that wasn’t developed by Intelligence?

Well, there’s no way to prove either way; while we may not have codes we know of that haven’t been developed by intelligent life, that doesn’t mean DNA wasn’t formed via some biologic accident.

We can only say that since code is always developed via intelligence, it’s only reasonable to consider human DNA and/or or code was formulated by intelligence.

In the end, there is no way to prove either way for certain, so of course, no one can win your prize money. Nor could you win prize money to prove DNA didn’t spontaneously develop. You still don’t have enough information to conclude it can’t or hasn’t developed spontaneously.”

Mitchell, thank you for being so forthright. You could be correct. For all we know, life might have been a spontaneous biologic accident. That is exactly what Richard Dawkins says in his book The Selfish Gene:

“In once sense, it is a bigger gap” and that the origin of life may have been an “extremely improbable event” (p. 135).

There’s only one problem with that approach:

It’s not science.

What is science?

From Dictionary.com:

SCIENCE: 1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.

2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

If you cannot test it, reproduce it, falsify it, observe it, validate it from first principles, model it, simulate it on a computer or validate it mathematically, then it’s not science.

If life is something that happened literally accidentally, perhaps only once in the history of the entire universe… then in order to accept that theory, we have to abandon the scientific method. Because none of our experience confirms that accidental events can create information.

If we’re sticking with hard science, no current theory of life’s origin qualifies.

One of my friends is a prominent scientist who simply refuses to talk about Origin of Life, because he’s honest enough to admit that we know next to nothing about where life came from.

So if we’re going to be consistent and insist that we only teach science in science classrooms, then not only should discussions of God be banned, but all the other theories of life’s origin should be banned too.

The creationist believes in God with a capital G.

The atheist believes in Chance with a capital C.

I fail to see the difference. (Except that creationists generally admit their belief is based on faith, and atheists usually don’t.)

In formal scientific literature, the most truthful statement I’ve ever found is from Hubert Yockey, in his book Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life (Cambridge University Press 2005). On page 176 he says:

“I have no doubt that if the historic process leading to the origin of life were knowable, it would be a process of physics and chemistry. Thus the process of the origin of life is possible but unknowable.”

Page 181: “The fact that there are many things unavailable to human knowledge and reasoning, even in mathematics, does not mean that there must be an Intelligent Designer.”

From a scientific perspective, Yockey’s answer is perfectly valid. I salute him for his candor. But it leaves the elephant stomping around in the room. It assumes our absence of knowledge is a brick wall.

But what if this is solvable – scientifically?

It might be solvable. So I am willing and eager to stick to the normal rules of science – methodological naturalism – and not abdicate to a “God Of Gaps explanation” every time we hit a wall in our understanding.

This is VERY important. Why?

Because no working scientist gets to say “God did it, that explains it” then take a 3-martini lunch. Scientists have to earn their paychecks. We must respect their jobs and their profession.

MANY religious people pit theology against science. The way many Christians, creationists and Intelligent Design advocates frame the issue, they’re practically giving scientists the finger.

It took me quite awhile to see how big this problem is. But I now see it very clearly. This is not OK.

That’s why it’s vital to search for an Origin Of Life model that is properly scientific. That is the motivation behind the prize.

Creating and funding this prize has been a very complex and expensive undertaking. Forming a corporation, hiring lawyers, conforming to securities laws, pitching investors, etc. etc. etc. Only a person who has formed an entity and legally taken on equity investors, dealt with federal regulations etc. can fully appreciate this.

Some of my friends think this is brilliant. Others think I’m crazy.

I did not create and fund this prize to “give scientists the finger.” I founded this prize so that we can put Origin Of Life on proper scientific footing.

Why? Because there may well be a principle of self-organization in nature, or consciousness, or some unknown law of physics, that explains information.

Origin of Information is one of the most valuable and fundamental questions in the entire history of science. If this is discovered, it will be one of the ten most important discoveries of the 21st century. It may be one of the biggest science discoveries of all time.

I believe there’s a 10% chance of solving this in my lifetime.

Of course we can choose to give the current (non-empirical, non-testable, non-scientific) Origin Of Life theories a free diplomatic bag of immunity. If so, why don’t we just ignore science entirely… and make up whatever we want to believe?

Secular people of all stripes are free to do that. People are welcome to believe life was a “happy chemical accident,” as long as they acknowledge that’s not science.

But they can’t have their cake and eat it too. They can’t claim to “wear the robe of science” as though it somehow supports their skepticism. And they cannot ban God from the debate, embrace a story about warm ponds and lucky lightning strikes, and claim to be fair and honest about science.

By the way, I know many deeply religious people who are also extremely uncomfortable with “God of the Gaps” arguments. They also only accept naturalistic models as real science. The BioLogos foundation is a good example.

Meanwhile, if you want to dismiss “design” in biology, you must solve information first. Until then, the inference to a Designer is still on the table.

Arthur C. Clarke said, ”Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

And I say, “Any sufficiently improbable event is indistinguishable from miracles.”

Therefore I see no empirical advantage that any of the current explanations have, vs. invoking God. Both are faith based.

The only proper scientific approach is to hypothesize that there is an undiscovered principle that explains life and information.

This is why I am totally serious about this prize. Origin Of Information may be solvable. If it is, the discovery will meet the criteria I’ve outlined in the Evolution 2.0 Prize.

May the best man – or woman – win.

48 Responses

  1. Nonlin says:

    Hi Perry,

    I am currently reading Evolution 2.0 and find it very interesting. But more interesting to me is your experience bringing to the world your ideas, as I am trying the same – please check out http://nonlin.org/evolution/ for more.

    Funny how Amazon lists your book under Christian Books & Bibles › Theology while listing all atheistic material under Science: http://nonlin.org/atheism/

    Thanks,
    Nonlin

    • Martin M says:

      This man is saying the exact same thing Steven C. Meyer says in the Book {Signature in the Cell}. the only thing I add is if information is there in DNA,it is NOT anything to do with evolution it then is 100% creation!

  2. Miguel says:

    Hi Perry i´ve been following your site because i consider it very necesary to bring intelligent answers to very importany questions. In this order of ideas. Can you help me to answer the question about the evolution of humans? Are we different of our ancestors, we descend from an common ancestor with the monkeys? Waiting answers.

    • I believe we have good reason to believe we have common ancestry with primates. The 287,000 transposable elements in our DNA that we share with other primates would suggest this is the case. The larger question though is what does this say about our identity? I believe that spiritually speaking we are made in the image of God and that is (potentially at least) the true source of our identity.

  3. Herb Wiggins, MD says:

    Actually, this is quite easy to answer and with a thermodynamically sound method, as well. That’s part of the answer as it’s a purely neuroscientific question and solution, too. But as far as whether it will be recognized and accepted universally, that’s a social and psychological situation.

  4. Paul Darby says:

    Perry,

    I sat at your table but did not have a chance to chat with you last night and today. Thank you for sending me a draft of your book. Slowly working through it.

    I appreciated your presentation today. I want to make sure I understood you when you talked about the miraculous. You made reference to people you have known who experienced miracles. You mentioned a lady whose hearing was restored, and a man whose fillings were changed to gold.

    Did I understand correctly that you accepted these contentions at face value as direct supernatural events? If so, why would you do that without confirmation? God certainly could do those things. But I am skeptical about such anecdotes in the post-apostolic era. I would want to see the lady’s audiogram before and after the event. Also, there is biological plausibility for anxiety-mediated inhibition of cranial nerve function (ear impulses travel to the brain through the 7th and 8th cranial nerves). In an emotional service where she is being prayed for, I can imagine a scenario where relief of anxiety could suddenly improve hearing. Regarding the gold fillings, what was the context? Honestly, it sounds as preposterous as transmutation.

    To hear you bring up these fantastic anecdotes at the end of an otherwise thought-provoking presentation causes me to wonder about your credibility and judgment. Help me understand the anecdotes and your purpose in bringing them up. Thanks.

    Paul
    ___________________________________________
    Paul S. Darby, MD, PhD, MPH, FACOEM
    Medical Director, Franciscan Occupational Health
    1930 Port of Tacoma Road
    Tacoma, WA 98421

    • Paul,

      Go to http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles, read and study the references with care.

      Take note of the study in Southern Medical Journal which documents healing of blind and deaf people.

      I would like you to consider that we do not live in a post apostolic age, and the Bible never suggests that the gift of apostleship is going to go away.

      There is a very large volume of medically documented miracle literature that you can refer to, especially from the Catholic church. Please do a thorough investigation and I’ll be happy to continue the discussion.

  5. Carol Sperling says:

    Perry,
    In reading your prize page, it was not obvious to me what exactly you consider to be the encoder (sender), and decoder (receiver) of the information contained in DNA code. I imagine that we are talking about the phenotype of a given species to be the decoder, and either God/Designer or evolutionary processes act as the encoder. Could you confirm or specify further for me, please?

    • Carol,

      The encoder is DNA transcription (DNA->mRNA) and the decoder is DNA translation (mRNA->amino acids). It’s all right there in the cell.

      There is an implied encoder also (where did the original DNA come from)? but that is yet another unsolved problem. I’m looking for the machinery that runs the process.

      • Carol Sperling says:

        If one discovered a life form, perhaps extraterrestrial, that was based on something other than DNA, would that meet your criteria?

        • Almost. Let’s assume the life form did have coded information, then that would help. But we would need to know something about where it came from. Otherwise we’d just have 2 mysteries not one.

        • Gilles Gervais says:

          So you think ET can solve this problem?

          Life, any life, is based on information and what/who is the source of information, keeping in mind the logical principal that a cause cannot give what it does not possess?

  6. Carol Sperling says:

    Wait a second, I realize my last question was dumb. Discovery of a non-DNA-based life form would just be subject to the same hypothesis that it was designed by an intelligence, right?

    You seem to be looking for a laboratory demonstration of a natural process that can result in a 2-level hierarchical code that is used between a sender and receiver, like you believe happens with DNA, right? And that demonstration needs to show exactly how that can happen, right?

    Isn’t that just the same as what many creationists ask for? They want to see abiogenesis demonstrated in the laboratory before they will admit that it is possible.

  7. Fred CB says:

    It seems to me that the whole business of a $3 million prize for discovering such as code could be seen as a con.

    I’m not sure that discoveries are patentable. I thought you actually had to invent something to qualify for a patent.   
    Found this quote:   
       “Patents are designed to protect the commercial interests arising from an invention, not a discovery. Discoveries are part of the natural world and are there for all to explore and utilise.”
     
    Is it not a fact that companies cannot patent DNA sequences. This was a recent decision of the High Court I think, and follows similar rulings in the United States.
      
    On that basis, I don’t see how anyone can win the $3 million as it is not a legitimate proposal? After all, the word ‘discovery’ is used in the conditions to qualify for the prize?

    Fred C.B.
      

    • You can’t patent quantum mechanics, but quantum theory is essential to the transistor. You can patent a process for making a transistor.

      The two are quite separate. However most new theories in physics and science eventually lead to technologies. We are anticipating both.

      There is no guarantee that the discovery will be patentable and qualify for the $3 million. But even if it’s not, the discoverer will get the first $100K prize.

      • Carol Sperling says:

        Perry,
        It seems like a con to me as well. You are asking for a demonstration of a phenomenon that may very well be unique to living organisms. And yet you forbid the demonstration to use anything related to living organisms. Pointing out an emergent phenomenon that is unique to one class of things and claiming this is evidence of divine intervention is unconvincing to me. It is just another argument from incredulity.

      • Fred CB says:

        Thank you Perry. Have since purchased your book, but not from Amazon.com. But it seems that purchase of the book other than from this site (as related link suggest) does not seem to enable access to Evolution 2 membership? I can give supplier detail etc if needed.

        • Shouldn’t make any difference, the signup URL for the supplemental material is scattered throughout the book. If you have trouble email evolution {at} perrymarshall dot com and someone will help you.

  8. Hi Perry,
    I appreciate your vision, because am also skeptical about the adequacy of both Darwinism and intelligent design. This is why in my recent paper “Evolution Physical Intelligent Guiding Principle”, which will appear on the scientific journal “Energy, Ecology and Environment”, I have made the following abstract:
    Ordinary physics being unable to specify an intelligent guiding principle to account for the apparent life’s intelligent design, some of the intelligent design movement advocates propose a metaphysical intelligent designer. In this regard, although intelligent design movement starts from a valid scientific premise it ends up with a metaphysical inference that cannot be empirically falsified. Thus it undermines its scientific credibility. Based on quantum information biology (QIB) which is a generalized physics hypothesis, we demonstrate that biological evolution is subject to a physical intelligent guiding principle (PIGP). Generalized physics (QIB) is a set of physical properties and laws that distinguish life from non-life, irreducible to ordinary physics, and admit limiting transition to quantum mechanics. In other words biology, or some aspects of it, is generalized physics. According to the PIGP a species’ increase of bio-complexity, phylogenetically, measured in terms of Jorgensen’s eco-exergy density is a function of its bio-intelligence. Bio-intelligence has the dimensions of action, information and time; it is the capacity to generate bio-complexity, and represents evolution target criterion. The PIGP does not clash with Darwinian evolution basic mechanism, random mutational changes and natural selection. Because natural selection selects beneficial mutations and beneficial mutations are those which satisfy the criteria of bio-intelligence, so beneficial mutations are not random. Bio-intelligence is the origin of human intelligence, i.e., “The nature of intelligence is nature’s intelligence.
    Concerning my Tweet to you yesterday, I clarified (in another work) that the origin of DNA and its genetic code is a deterministic consequence of the union of the maximum action principle and the DNA’s golden ratio based dodecahedron fractal geometry. I have revealed that there is a hidden or embedded bio-information code within the standard genetic code that carries the syntax for producing viable functional proteins. Even if my approach does satisfy your specification for the prize at least I think revealing the syntax according to which the genetic code produces functional proteins is a prerequisite for any naturalistic code in general. This is why I said to you I need help to accomplish the project.

  9. Todd Moody says:

    I enjoyed your book very much. It helped me to sort out some ideas about Intelligent Design that have been rattling around in my mind for years now.

    I have a questions about codes, however, and I couldn’t find a better place for it than here. You claim that a code, to exist at all, requires an encoder, a message, and a decoder. I agree. You also claim (elsewhere on the blog) that the barking of dogs is a code. I agree that it fits the definition of a minimal code, since the barking dog is the encoder and the responding animal is the decoder; the message, I suppose, is the intended response. But it seems to me that codes have another essential property: syntax, or compositionality. That is, the message depends upon the orderly composition of sub-message elements. This is true of ASCII, Morse code, the genetic code, and every other code I can think of. It’s not true of the barking of dogs, however.

    I’m inclined to think a meaningful distinction exists between behavior such as barking or chirping, and code behavior. The distinction lies in whether the message is or is not decomposable into sub-message elements. If it isn’t, I think it’s better described as a “sign” or “signal” rather than a code.

    What do you think?

    • Actually I don’t recall saying that barking of dogs is a code. I do say in the specification for the EV2.0 prize that dogs barking doesn’t count. Certainly dogs understand it as a simple signal but like you say, it doesn’t have syntax. YES there is a meaningful distinction between behavior such as barking or chirping, and code behavior. Linguistics literature has quite a bit on this and you’re right, it’s sign or a signal but not a true code.

      • Todd Moody says:

        I think you wrote, “To have a language, to have information, you have to have a transmitter and a receiver. Somebody has to talk and somebody has to listen. And then it has these four characteristics; it has an alphabet, it has grammar, it has meaning, and it has intent.

        Every language has those four things. DNA has them; all the stuff going on inside your computer has them. If dogs are barking and yelping, the communication has all of these four things.” (//cosmicfingerprints.com/read-prove-god-exists/language-design-product-mental-process/) That’s where I got the idea that you claimed that dogs communicating by barking are using grammar, and thus syntax. You do seem to claim that. Dogs communicate, yes, but their communication isn’t linguistic, due precisely to the absence of syntax or compositionality.

        The calls of vervet monkeys have been extensively studied. There are perhaps over a hundred distinct calls, each with an encompanying intent: warnings of specific predators, for example. These are not strung together to produce more complex messages. The vervet monkey can only “say” as many things are there are distinct calls. But the sounds of the calls themselves are arbitrary; there is a sense in which they do in fact encode information about the intent of the monkey who produces them.

    • Thomas Quine says:
  10. I’m ready to prepare the prize-winning explanation for the origin of the code.

    Please alert others to the status of the Non-Disclosure Agreement since it is delaying my submission

    Thank you.

    • In an invited review of nutritional epigenetics, I linked atoms to ecosystems without the pseudoscientific nonsense touted by neo-Darwinists.

      Kohl, James V. (2014): Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.994281

      The invited submission was returned without review.

      When I provide all the details for the origin of the DNA code, what prevents the submission from being rejected without comment?

      • A winning submission must meet the specifications set forth at http://www.naturalcode.org. Entries must answer the individual questions described there in detail. We will seriously consider all submissions that directly address these items. For example the specification requires:

        “9. The submitted system must be labeled with values of both encoding table and decoding table filled out.”

        The above paper did not satisfy the above criteria.

        Those reading this thread can judge for themselves whether the above linked paper answers the questions in the specification.

        • Thanks. I agree that the atoms to ecosystems model did not answer the questions. But your approach seems to limit any attempt to link the source of the code from information to hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs.

          I’m not sure what “values of both encoding table and decoding table” have to do with linking the origin of the code to cell type differentiation via the code or via what is currently known about biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry.

          You seem to be asking for someone to address the problem from the perspective of an engineer instead of from the perspective of a biophysicist who can link biologically-based cause and effect from the origin of the code to chromosomal rearrangements and biodiversity with examples from testing already performed in every hospital medical laboratory.

          • Jim,

            The “values of both encoding table and decoding table” pertain to the equivalent of genetic code in an alternate experiment which produces code. This has everything to do with it, since without an encoding and decoding table, you have no code and no ability to symbolically represent information.

            So yes, this is an engineer’s perspective on the problem, and even though it is only a small part of the OOL problem, it is an absolutely crucial element to any origin of life solution.

            Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems your information and solution all hinge on the existing components of living things, where I am looking for an example that necessarily excludes existing living things.

  11. Graeme says:

    Thank you Perry for presenting such eloquent arguments which succeed admirably in advancing the evolution debate.

    I dont agree with your premise that single celled organisms might have evolved into all the other life forms or that apes might have evolved into humans.

    Yes I believe there is natural selection and adaptation within the same species but I don’t believe the software in one animal is designed to provide the instruction set to morph into a different animal. At the most basic level that would imply that the instruction set for the single celled animal is the most complex and all the other life forms, though natural selection, became subsets of that original instruction set.

    In terms of apes to man the tendency is to think in terms of biological make up (i.e. ape looks similar) but what about mans ability to manipulate abstract codes and language. With all the technological progress and attempts to make intelligent machines we still don’t have a clue how to make an intelligent conscious computer. There is a gigantic gulf between apes to man in terms of mans linguistic ability, but evolution from ape to man implies the ape DNA is more complex and somehow man became a naturally selected subset of apes.

    Therefore I wouldn’t concede your single celled to more complex argument to naturalists. I don’t think that the prize can ever be won because the law of information coming from an intelligent source is so pervasive that its like the law of gravity. We don’t understand how gravity works but we know and accept that the law of gravity is always true everywhere and until someone comes with an exception it would be a waste of time to try and prove otherwise.

    • Thank you for your participation in this conversation. We do have concrete evidence that animals evolve into new species:
      //cosmicfingerprints.com/transitional-forms/

      • Graeme says:

        Certainly there is no concrete evidence for large animals like a horse turning into a giraffe. Such evolution cannot be observed or demonstrated because it supposedly takes millions of years of lucky accidents. However I think you are proposing punctuated evolution that happens instantly, very rarely, but still by lucky accident. I’m not sure what type of animals are being evolved (plants/microbes…?) into new species, but definitely not larger more complex animals. I don’t have enough knowledge to comment on evolution into new species, gene splicing etc, but it sounds like wishful thinking to me.

        In simple terms what it adds up to is a system which self organises and adds new useful information by itself. Such a system has never been observed or demonstrated at any time anywhere on earth, neither has it ever been simulated or hypothesised mathematically or otherwise how such a system could work. If it were possible we would have built an intelligent computer by now which could learn by itself and grow more useful automatically.

        Yes to evolution happening by natural selection forming a subset of the original information, no to natural selection adding new novel information that never existed in the first place.

        • I’m not in any way suggesting that evolution is simply lucky accidents. Quite the opposite:
          //cosmicfingerprints.com/new-theory-of-evolution/

          • Graeme says:

            Its a very clever idea, much better than random mutations. I think the suggestion is that the rules of the language are built into the system. Thats still not enough, to make meaningful sentences (of DNA) there needs to exists an intelligent DNA writer able to make choices and create new meaningful information that didn’t exist before (like an intelligent human brain can).

            Does an intelligent genome writer exist? The intelligent system (genome writer) would need to be contained in one biological cell, but the only intelligent system we know of (the brain) is made out of billions of cells. Is there evidence that the genome is intelligent? For one it doesn’t create new codes. All the codes in living cells consist of the same four letters. Can a single cell make intelligent choices about the macro world? No it is too small and doesn’t have information about what the wider world looks like.

            Personally I think the genome is more mechanical (like a computer) and is not intelligent. Genesis states each animal was made according to its own kind. I’m still holding to the original kinds evolving subsets (different species) from the original information (kind).

  12. Frank says:

    Hi Perry, It so great to see that you are open to all information, this is the only way to clarity and understanding truth.

    I feel like you will really enjoy this source of Information.
    “The New General Theory Of Universal Law”

    http://www.stankovuniversallaw.com/the-universal-law-of-nature/

    Also the Author is completely open like you to discussion and publishes open communication on his blog at the same website.

    Here is the most recent information coming from universal Mind.
    http://www.stankovuniversallaw.com/2016/06/important-announcement-of-my-hs-bird-on-the-button/

    Great information on the foundations of Christianity as a distortion of the Great Greek minds.
    http://www.stankovuniversallaw.com/category/neoplatonism-and-christianity/

    About the evolutionary leap of mankind imminenthttp://www.stankovuniversallaw.com/category/new-gnosis-the-evolutionary-leap-of-mankind/

    Very interested to read your comments on in response to this new information.

    With Love ad Clarity

  13. Nathan says:

    Hi Perry.

    I say this with an open mind but I think you may be barking up the wrong tree – meant without any attitude whatsoever.

    I don’t think your question can be answered with a line of code.

    Stephen Hawking’s theory that if your reverse engineered time, you’d theoretically collapse the universe back to its centre and into the singularity where science, being a series of relationships, would cease to exist, since every aspect of science is, a relationship. This theory, Hawking’s said, because there was no relationships at the singularity, the necessity of a creator was absolutely essential. Science proves God, so to speak.

    Spirituality, for that matter, also states that ‘all is one’ – a singularity.

    Each could therefore be a metaphor for the other.

    Here’s my point: time is a relationship between space and distance that breaks down at the singularity, if Hawking is right. As I said, it’s also a spiritual truth that renders time null and void. The problem with evolution is that evolution is a time factored paradigm and if time is a relationship that breaks down at the singularity, then the theory of evolution also breaks down because it is intrinsically time dependent.

    There are other theories I’d like to discuss here but I really don’t want to be that open in a public forum and some of it is stuff I’d like to publish myself before I say too much.

    Anyway, I’m going to leave it all at this.

    Regards,

    Nathan.

  14. Julian says:
  15. Matjaž Horvat says:

    I left my last comment with a nickname. I didn’t read your rules, sorry about that.

    First of all, I really loved your book. Mind-blowing!

    I’ve been thinking about all sorts of cosmological and other issues and reading about them a lot recently. Here’s something highly speculative but also quite logical:

    As Mitchell Mclaughlin writes in his book God and the Metaphysic: Implications of Panentheism, there is a problem with Big Bang cosmology that almost noone is talking about. The problem is this: If the Universe was a singularity that started expanding, then where did it expand into? Empty space? But empty space is still SOMETHING. The Universe can’t really be expanding into nothing. Of course, it’s possible that something like the Big Bang happened WITHIN the Universe, but that’s very different from our current conception.

    It also can’t be finite. If I reach the end of the Universe, then what? Fall off somewhere? So the only rational conclusion we can make is that the Universe is infinite. But infinity is logically absurd. Except it’s less logicall absurd than the other options. The only reason scientists have such trouble accepting it is that’s it’s fundamentally a spiritual concept. You can’t really imagine infinity. And you can’t really locate yourself within this infinity. Even to try to do so is mind-boggling.

    As for time: Time also has to be eternal. Time didn’t start. If it started, then what was before? It was still time. So time is eternal and space is infinite.

    The very notion of this is spiritual. You can’t really make sense of it scientifically. Which is a very good reason to think that God is the Ultimate Reality and we are actually part of God.

    This means we have to accept some form of idealism. As Bernardo Kastrup has recently illustrated, materialism will never be able to solve the hard problem of consciousness and dualism will never be able to solve the interaction problem. I think we need to accept that reality is in some sense fundamentally “mental”. James Lindsay wrote about theistic idealism in his book A Philosophical System of Theistic Idealism and this is quite similar to panentheism. In fact, they may be one and the same thing.

    God can’t really be as separate from us as most traditional religions claim. That would be like the interaction problem. If there is such a vast gap between us and God, how can we interact? The more we think about it, the more panentheistic idealism makes sense.

    Now, I’ve recently read about mathematical universe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis

    This would all make sense within a panentheistic universe. A materialistic or a dualistic universe can’t account for consciousness. But if an eternal and infinite God decides to structure part of himself mathematically, everything falls into place.

    Obviously, this is all highly speculative. Do you think it makes any sense? Or am I just crazy? : – )

    By the way, have you read the evidence refuting the split brain = split consciousness? http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2017/01/31/split-brain-consciousness/#.WJh7Wn9obBw

    And the evidence for psi that even skeptics are beginning to concede? http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org/examining-skeptics/editorial-skeptics-concede-evidence-for-psi/

    It all just fally into place. Some kind of Panentheistic Platonism?

    • The universe is finite. Space is finite.

      Time doesn’t have to be eternal. Time does have a beginning. But that also means there is something outside of space and time that caused both to come into existence. (The forward movement of time is also connected to the expansion of space.)

      St. Paul said in Acts 17, quoting the Greeks (and saying their poets were correct): “In Him we move and have our being.”

      You might appreciate this article, regarding math: //cosmicfingerprints.com/incompleteness/

      I think the highest and most congruent description of God is the Christian one from the Gospel of John:

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

      Colossians 1: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

      This has elements of panentheism but it also accounts for the nature of God being an eternal plurality which makes it possible for God to not just have, but BE love.

      I further articulate my thoughts on some of this at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/faq

      I’m glad you liked the book! Do write an Amazon review and tell others.

      • Matjaž Horvat says:

        Dear Perry,

        Thanks for the response. But I can’t understand how the Universe could be finite. If it’s finite, that means it’s enclosed all around itself with an edge. So let’s say we somehow have the ability to travel to this edge. What happens then? Do we bang against it like a wall in our house? But we know that walls aren’t really the end of space. There’s still something on the other side?

        So if the Universe is finite, what are its “walls”? Or perhaps they are some sort of teleports that make you end up at the other side? But this solves nothing because then there’s still the question of: What’s at the other side of the teleport?

        Or maybe I’m missing something. Maybe there’s some kind of complicated law of physics that makes it possible for the universe to be finite? I haven’t heard of one though. Usually, it’s simply asserted that it’s finite, without any explanation at all.

        • Matjaz,

          All you have to do is investigate the expansion of space and the intertwining of spacetime, and search terms like “size of the universe”. Now I can only give you a crude, Fred Flintstone version of this, because it’s not really my field, but space is actually something like a 4 dimensional object which in 3 dimensions we don’t experience as having an “edge” because it’s curved. Again there’s lots of stuff written about this. But so far as we know the universe is very finite with a finite amount of mass and space.

  16. Donna says:

    Perry, Your ideas are interesting. I came across your name in cleaning out some files this week and decided to look you up on the internet. I do not consider myself to have enough education to answer your question (nor driving passion necessary). But, here are my two cents. Proteins are vastly complex , large molecules that have a very definite three dimensional shape. In our society there exist individuals who can study a three dimensional shape and then are able to create the shape from a piece of paper via origami. What is interesting is that if you then carefully unfold this piece of paper and mark all the lines where there is a crease, you have something that to me looks suspiciously like a fractal. (mind you, I could be wrong) But…is it possible to from these lines translate into a mathematical formula? If this could be done for 3-4 different protein structures, could an underlying pattern be detected? This is a question I have had for about 3 years or so. I would love it if my comment/question is worthy of discussion or comment back. I will just be starting out on a second career of being a middle school science teacher. Questions like yours are what fuels my passion to see young minds become infected with the ever so insatiable disease of curiosity. I just want to be the person who infects them and points them in the way(s) they can go about to scratch their intellectual itches.

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