Communicating with the environment, from talking to animals, insects, plants and the Forest Goddess.
Communicating with the environment, from talking to animals, insects, plants and the Forest Goddess.
When we combine the findings in the field of biology with general systems theory we find an unexpected mathematical synchronicity. The formulas that govern the formation of networks in complex systems are the same for the growth of biological systems and our beloved internet. The blood flowing through your veins is following the same fractal power laws as your email. It has taken the smartest people on the planet decades of study, trial and error to figure out how to run a truly complex communications network, but these laws governing the efficient transfer of information have been in use in biological systems all along.
In short, biological systems are constructed as if they are meant to be communication networks. Everything from tree trunks, roots, branches, leaves to coastlines and watersheds is built as if for the transfer information. Some coincidence. If we honor this evidence and look at biological systems as if they function primarily as information processors, a whole new model of reality begins to take shape.
When we look at matter as information stored in physical form, like memory in a computer, the network like construction of biological systems makes perfect sense. Biological systems process and transfer matter/information with great efficiency.
Matter as information is more than bits, it is more dynamic than that, more like strings of bits that have coherence. The information of reality is organized in the form of stories. The physical world is current state of all of the stories being told. Stories aren’t random, but unfold in very predictable ways. Stories follow rules, laws of communication that run through all living systems.
Within this new model many of the claims of the ancients take on new significance, many of the anomalies uncovered by science disappear and a pathway to a truly sustainable future reveals itself. This is the real significance of the Information Age. It is not only that we have learned to use these formulas to build our networks, but that we have found the best model for reality we have yet discovered, and it is virtual.
That’s why i have brought you deep into the forest, to give you human history from a different point of view. We’ve had the history of civilization written for us by the ones who have profited from the exploitation of the Biosphere. The version i am presenting comes from my communication within this system.
I didn’t get this model of intelligent microbes from books or discussions nor did i think this up on my own. I got this view of straight from the horses mouth. I got it directly from a member of the microbial mat. It came in an intelligent exchange, sort of an interview, where i asked questions and received answers. My encounter with this plant spirit overloaded my psyche with information that spawned more questions. I have spent the last thirty plus years sorting through that information and comparing it with other sources. I have interviewed other plant spirits along the way. I’ve learned valuable lessons from living alone in forests, deserts and mountains. I have found a landscape exactly as described by magicians, mystics and indigenous cultures in general. It is from my experience probing this separate reality that i obtained this version of human history.
So, this model of “how it all works” that the plant spirits have collectively laid on me, fits very well with the latest studies in biology, genetics, adaptive complex systems, symbiosis, quantum mechanics and information processing in general. The plant spirits got it right! So, for me the forest goddess is much more than a metaphor. The physical world we live in is intelligent. The whole Universe is a communication; the story of Life being told. We are part of that story. We are built from the same story elements as all of creation. Our bodies are made from intelligent parts that all communicate with our environment. Our bodies understand the language of Life, even if our intellect doesn’t.
We are quanta. We are each individuals and as such we feel separate from that which surrounds us. However the billions of us on the Planet are engaged in an ongoing quantum calculation. It is waves of our human actions that impact the Planet, solving for survival.
A quantum computer has the ability to calculate multiple possibilities simultaneously. For example, to solve a password problem a conventional computer would try all of the possible solutions, one at a time. A quantum computer would try all possible options at once, filtering out the failures and finally settling on one that would be implemented, while the others would act as if they were never even tried.
Seems to me that this is a pretty good description of how our mind works. We consider many options, evaluating them against each other in a virtual space where the actions are simulated. We finally settle on a plan of action and do it. The rejected options act as if they were never tried.
So, each agent in our system is like a quantum bit. Each one is a multifunction unit that contains its own processor, operating system, input/output devices, memory and power supply. The problem we are solving is how to grow, reproduce and disperse among the other quantum bits that form our Universe.
The only way this could work is if the system “knows” what each bit is doing in real time. The system has to be aware of the progress of all of the options being calculated at once. This is the coherent, holographic, quantum field property of the physical Universe.
This is very similar to the idea of multiple universes, except they all exist in a quantum virtual reality, while only one solution is manifest. A quantum calculation processes all possible outcomes at once, assessing probabilities, filtering and sorting, until a solution is reached. Once implemented, the solution becomes input for the next wave of calculations. The system is always trying to predict and validate its future. It does so in waves of repeating cycles.
This happens in our version of consciousness. We humans are constantly predicting our immediate future. We are constantly calculating velocities and trajectories of moving objects around us, while we keep track of our own location and movement. Will that truck arrive before i can cross the street, or not? Other mobile agents in our system are doing the same thing. Neurons are quite capable of acting the same way. They are constantly predicting what their input should be and react when it is not as expected. This pattern of process repeats throughout Natural Systems.
Human beings are agents within the system and act like quantum bits. We are a great example of quantum computation. Take a task force attempting to solve a problem. Each member takes on the solution as a goal. Each member embarks on a search limited by what they see as the best possible solution. All members are in contact and share their ideas. They each choose the possible solution based on their perspective, while being aware of the progress of other possibilities. When a consensus is reached, action follows a single path and the many other possibilities vanish as if they were never considered.
In this model, the quantum process is consciousness in action. Just as we share ideas and reach conclusions, so do our neurons. So do the lactose intolerant cells of e.coli when confronted with only lactose for food. So do stem cells. And so does water, coherent electromagnetic fields, and plasma. All is quantum consciousness, with ours being a subset. Just as our subset produces a single point of consciousness from trillions of cells, so does every other subset up an down the scale. On the one end we have single cells endowed with a sense of self, while species, ecosystems and Gaia herself show the same ability.
What do stem cells, superbugs, dopamine neurons have in common? The common thread is that these cells change their structure in response to incoming information. They adapt to changes in the environment. It doesn’t require generations for natural selection to bring about adaptive change, cells adapt to the environment in real time. Natural selection tests the validity of the adaptive changes, but they originate at the cellular level. In other words, direction, purpose and goal oriented behavior are present and active at the cellular level. This system isn’t guided by blind chance, but specific targeted goals, like growth, reproduction and dispersal.
This is a text version of the Flash Movie promoting my book.
All organisms alive today, plus the remains of all living things that have gone before, all the organic compounds, all fossils, all fossil fuels, all the biomass accumulated by this planet over billions of years, exists because information coded into DNA was accessed, read and acted upon by a cell. Before any one of those cells could grow, before any living tissue could be manufactured, before any polypeptide chains could be assembled, before anything could happen in ANY cell, DNA information had to be processed. Information processing is the very first act of Life.
“So what?” says the guy in the back. Good question.
What are we talking about… Information processing. The first info processor we think of is a computer. Our civilization is driven by computers processing information. What makes computers so powerful is that they represent a fundamental process. Everything we see in this physical Universe is the result of a process. So a computer can be programmed to mimic just about anything out there.
A computer can do this because it processes ones and zeros, following the same basic steps as any process. It starts with input and processes that input into output. Our nervous system processes information from the environment and presents it’s output to us as consciousness. Both are information processing in action.
Okay, at the micro level, information processing is a pretty good model for how things work. When we take info processing to the macro level, we have billions of computers hooked together in a global network, each one cranking out billions of those process cycles every few seconds. Altogether they generate all of the content the internet is displaying right now, including this.
It has taken millions of pretty smart people several decades, to figure out how to build and maintain this incredibly complex network. In the process they have discovered a set of mathematical laws that govern the growth of networks in complex systems. They have found that these laws are the same regardless of scale or implementation.
That is, the rules are the same for computer networks, neural networks, cardiovascular systems, river systems, social networks, bureaucracies and just about anything that grows to move matter or information. All along Nature has been following the same fractal power laws that we have developed for the building of the internet.
So, the internet represents fundamental process, and a global interconnected system of processors, that mimic Natural systems. The language of information technologies provides a common vocabulary for discussing everything from Biological Systems and Evolution to Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness.
What we have here is a universal language that describes information processing and its networks in minute detail. This is the language of the 21st century, taught in schools all over the world. This is the language and model of process that we need to give us a common denominator for a unified theory of reality.
Once we start to look at biological systems as being information processors first, with protein production being secondary output, a very different picture emerges of their structure and organization. Come along with me while we explore this exciting territory.
Get in on the discussion right here. Comments welcome!
by Romik Kimor (videos)
Science & Spirituality – The Essence of Life from Two Perspectives: Dr. Stuart Kauffman & Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp
Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp:
“Biological Systems are governed by the special
interaction of a coherent electromagnetic field (biophotons) and biological
matter. There is a permanent feedback coupling between field and matter
in a way that the field directs the location and activity of matter,
while matter provides the boundary conditions of the field. Since
the field is almost fully coherent, the interference patterns of the
field contain the necessary information about the regulatory function.”
This is a rewrite of an earlier post. The older version was moved to Drafts. For those who are keeping up, sorry to be redundant.
As you might know by now, i’m neither a scientist nor a theologian. Although i’ve studied both world views in some depth, i don’t think either has presented an acceptable model of reality. Both groups have fashioned their model of reality upon myths meant to subjugate human minds and bodies to their will.
Looking at human society as a cybernetic system, agents operating under a shared set of protocols, we have groups of people behaving according to their beliefs. Beliefs are the protocols that set the parameters for human behavior. The beliefs fostered by both religion and science are what leaders use to influence the behavior of their followers. Those beliefs are taught to citizens by an elaborate system of churches, schools and peer guidance, that operates as if it were being directed by some method of system-wide management.
The rules followed by the lowly individuals benefit the ruling class, who make and enforce the rules. The ruling class has gone to great lengths to make it appear as though the citizens make and enforce their own rules, but the structure, or context, of those rules gives them away. The structure controls the flow of energy and information through the system.
Follow the Money
Who benefits from the rules and their structure? Follow the money(energy) and the rules(information). Follow the feedback loops that form the rules. Follow the feedback loops that circulate the cash. They show the cash going one way and rules coming back. Some of the money circulates back to the rule makers through obscure channels. Looks like a scam. How is such a blatant pyramid scheme created and maintained? By careful myth making.
The primary myth, perpetuated by both religion and science, is that the Universe is organized as a hierarchal pyramid structure with either a god or the human intellect at its peak and the environment just below the bottom. In this model, the information trickles down and the money rises. This model gives supreme authority to those who occupy the highest positions in the hierarchy and none to those on the bottom.
From this point of view, the main duty of religion and science is to organize the masses in order to maximize the benefits from exploitation of the environment. That’s what they do. The environment provides all the benefits that industry turns into profits. Science and religion provide the belief structure that their followers use as a basis for their behavior. It is important to the sponsors of both science and religion, that plants, animals and the environment in general, be kept in their place in that belief structure; as fuel for an ever expanding civilization.
When people start to be concerned about plants and animals, it threatens industry’s bottom line. Industry gets nervous when people show too much respect for the environment. After all, ripping it off is how they profit. Religion and science both support the concept that the environment is subordinate to the human species, and exists to be exploited.
So, please don’t put me in either camp. If you must locate me in relation to the debate between religion and science, place me firmly in the leftover territory; that of magic, the occult, shamanism and all the forces of Nature. Where i live, the information is supplied by the System, and the information travels in all directions. It loops back on itself in an endless flow. The System circulates information just as surely as it does energy and building materials.
The pyramid hierarchy of human knowledge runs counter to reality in both its structure and its content. The pyramid is the symbol of civilization, the foundation for the myth of human separateness from Nature and the very shape of human folly. Breaking out of the rigid pyramid belief structure and into the flow of a holographic reality, is as easy as recognizing the myth of your existence.
Just think how different the theory of evolution might be if Charles Darwin had used a computer. It’s not that he needed to crunch a lot of numbers to check out his theory, it is just that he was operating without the benefit of many basic concepts that the computer represents. For one, he had no concept of a code driven system. He had no idea that his theory of evolution depended on such a system to function. Nor did he have any concept of DNA, the heart of that system. If he had understood just those two concepts out of the many that have come to light since, his book Origin of the Species probably would have been very different.
If he, or any of those individuals who helped define the theory in it’s first one hundred years, had understood that biophotons are emitted by DNA in living cells, if they had been aware of Cleve Backster’s experiments with living cells and their ability to communicate over great distances, or modern quantum physics, or holistic/holographic principles, or Gaia, or information theory, our present version theory of evolution might be entirely different.
The Digital Revolution
You know how it works; once a document has been converted to a string of code(digitized), the code can be modified, resulting in corresponding changes in future copies of that document. You use your computer to read or modify the document by changing the code. That is great for documents, but it was found that the same principle applied to any manufactured object. In an assembly line run by digital computers, changes in code can be reflected in immediate changes in the manufactured product. That’s a big deal.
Furthermore, the digitized virtual object can be tested in a virtual environment and improved without having to build one. Many other things can be done with this virtual object, like ordering materials and designing the packaging or calculating shipping weight/cost, without ever having a real object. Computers have revolutionized the manufacturing process. It is easy to take that for granted these days, but just a few years ago, people used their brains to do the very same thing. Yes, believe it or not, people would build virtual models in their heads and test them to see how they would do.
Besides just the discovery of the DNA molecule itself, the big deal was to realize that DNA also functions like a string of code. Changes in the DNA result in corresponding changes in the bio-manufactured product.
Code Driven System
Once you understand the basics of a code driven system, it is obvious that random mutation cannot be the source of change in biological organisms. That is, the changing of one bit by random mutation compromises the code, maybe even breaks it. Coherent change can only occur when a viable string of code is added or replaced. It is like in a written language, the changing of a letter here and there doesn’t usually affect the meaning except in cases where changing one letter actually changes one word into another. Even then, the new word must fit into the old context to work. So these single errors are easily spotted and corrected and the overall meaning remains intact. In order to significantly change the meaning of a passage, many letters and words must be changed or rearranged. It is the same with DNA code; random mutation breaks the code, meaningful change happens when larger strings of code are added or replaced.
It has already been established that genetic material is fairly mobile in the environment. Fragments of genetic code are carried around by viruses and such. So we have a proven mechanism that can easily replace random mutation as the source of change in evolution. Well, it’s not easy, is it?.
This is not a new theory. The old theory is known as panspermia. A more modern version, Cosmic Ancestry contends that spore born organisms carry bits of DNA that are incorporated into the DNA of other species to produce change. Dr. Fred Hoyle has been telling us for years that spores are well adapted to travel in space. So, DNA arriving from space and being incorporated into terrestrial DNA could explain a lot of things that don’t presently make a lot of sense.
This would account for the some of the strange findings of the Human Genome Project like finding identical strings of DNA in humans and coral, for example. If the DNA evolves in place, identical strings of code in these two totally different animals doesn’t seem very likely. But it makes sense if genetic material moves around like packets in a network. Time to update our thinking in this area.
What’s holding up the paradigm shift? Once one starts down this path, it becomes a slippery slope that threatens to collapse the whole of western science. Recent discoveries in bio-electrics and quantum physics back up what the mystics, seers and sages(not to mention witchdoctors, hippies and new age cult leaders) have said all along… that the universe we live in is intelligent, willful and has a memory, as do all of the creatures that inhabit it with us.
If Darwin had used a computer, we could just go back into his original document and update the parts that need it and we would all have the new paradigm on our desktop. But alas, our document handling is still evolving.
Our journey has hit a speed bump… nothing serious, just great weather to be outside doing something. Then there has been another minor detour making the rounds of on-demand self publishing options. I only allow myself a few hours a day in front of the monitor… so much to see, so little time.
I have long been a fan of small press and self-publishing. It does my heart good to see how far the field has come with the advent of on-demand printing technology. So, i’ve squandered several hours of my computer time catching up on who’s doing what.
As usual, the big fish are gobbling up the small ones and this week’s choice for a small, dedicated to authors, self-publishing assistant, next week becomes a sub of some conglomerate. Best wait ’til the manuscript is complete before committing.
And beside, Free Will has generated some good discussion… seems like a good place to take a break. Thanks to all those who have joined in.
Then the weather has been great here in New Mexico. That is, we have had some rain. It isn’t often that we get any rain this time of year.
Free will: the ability of the individual to make the final choice.
We have always claimed that territory for ourselves, denying that animals possess free will or the thought process necessary to use it. However, if you ask animals, they will tell you that they follow the same steps that you do to get what they want. Many do it with far simpler equipment than the hunk of gray matter we lug around, but they all make their own choices.
Freedom is so important to some animals that they cannot live in captivity. Others can adapt to some degree, but often suffer severe depression when caged. You might claim that animals are ruled by instinct and therefore have no freedom of choice, but you misunderstand free will. Animals build very rigid behavior patterns or habits that they always do the same way, but every animal has the ability to choose the appropriate behavior. Humans build their habitual routines by the very same process as do other animals. Our free will is more expansive than other animals, and we have the ability to make up routines on the fly, but the ability to choose is the heart and soul of biological systems.
Navigation, choice of food and mate selection all areas where some degree of free will is necessary.
Individual freedom has proven to be the most effective way for big business, big government and big religion to deal with day to day activities of their followers. Those organizations have discovered that total control over people depresses them like it does caged animals. However, a degree of freedom, even within a rigid structure, makes people work harder.
It has also been discovered that the the closer the decision making process is to the problem, the more likely it is that the problem will be solved. Rather than having information travel up the chain of command to a qualified decision maker, and then return back through channels to the point of action, it is better to give the authority and the necessary training to the person at the point of action. Of course, for that to work there must be strict limits to the scope of the granted authority and some sort of oversight. Besides shortening the feedback loops, a measure of free will is certainly good for moral.
Biological systems make use of this concept at every level. A measure of free will is granted to all mobile creatures. The ability to navigate demands that real time adjustments be made by the individual. Birds in a flock are following the flight pattern dictated by their peers, but each one is doing its own flying. Schools of fish perform in the same way, with the group navigating as one, but each fish is still in charge of its own fins.
In experiments where worms are put in a simple T shaped maze with one branch leading to food and the other to something unpleasant, appear to ponder their options, pointing what sensors they possess first down one tunnel and then the other, until they finally make a choice. Eventually, they can learn the clues that lead them to the right choice, and repeat successful behavior. The individual makes the choices and remembers the results.
Mating rituals are highly stylized, and certainly part of species specific inherited behavior, but the fact is that the female of even the tiniest insect species, deliberates and chooses her mate. If everything is not just right, she might not mate at all.
Cats demand their measure of free will to the point of trying to boss the rest of the household around. They like to initiate feeding, games and contact in general. They like to set the rules for each activity. If you spend enough time observing nature at play, you will see this behavior is common in animals and even insects.
There was a big black and gold stripped fly that hung out just outside my trailer. One of his favorite perches was on the crank handle on the trailer hitch. The handle stuck straight up. It had a chrome tip on the handle that was just about the same diameter and this fly’s wingspan, probably 3/8 of an inch. The convex chrome surface displayed his undercarriage like mirrors under the fenders at a custom car show.
I would talk to him when and he would move around, it seemed in response. When I wasn’t talking he stayed still. So, after a few days of this, I offered him the back of my hand. He looked up at me, and climbed on. I turned my hand around and he reacted by turning his body so we stayed face to face. Then when I stopped turning my hand, he would turn in circles. After a short time, he would fly back to his chrome perch. He would only perform this trick once in each session. He would still give me his attention, but he wouldn’t get back on my hand.
We did this a few more times in the days to come. One day, I held out my hand from five feet away and called him to get on. He did! He took off and made one or two circles and landed on the back of my hand. We did this trick every day for quite a while. I even got to show it to a couple of friends. He turned to me and then turned to the audience… and I think he made a little bow.
Then one day, he wouldn’t do it at all. He just turned his back on me. I tried to coax him on by putting my hand up close like I had days before, but he just flew off to another perch. I tried for several days, but he just wouldn’t play. So, after about a week, I was standing there with my hands on my hips, talking to him and I asked him what the deal was. He immediately took off and made a couple of circles. I held out my hand and he landed on it. I was astounded. He wanted to initiate the action. We did it that way many times after that. I would stand there and talk to him, with my hands at my sides. When he was ready, he would take off, I would hold out my hand, and he would land on it. If I held out my hand too soon, he would turn his back on me until I put my hands back to my sides. He liked this trick and would do it more than once per session.
Not only does this exhibit free will, but also the desire to demonstrate it to others.
One day there were two of them and they would fly around and around in tight circles for several minutes and then fly off. They would come back in a few minutes and circle again. They were flying really fast and their buzzing was very loud. Then they disappeared. A few days later, he was back. His wings were in tatters and he was all beat up and ragged looking. He did his trick a couple more times that day, landing on my outstretched hand. That was his farewell performance; I didn’t see him again.
In this view of biological systems, memory, an understanding of time and space, a sense of self and the exercise of free will are all attributes possessed by each and every mobile species. The difference is in the scope of available choices, but the ability to choose is the same. Successful navigation, feeding and mating require that the agent have final control over the process. Free will is universal within the System.