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Did Consciousness
Emerge from Cosmos
or Visa-Versa?
Paul H. Carr
AF Research Laboratory Emeritus
www.MirrorOfNature.org
1
II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness
“Word (Logos) was God,” John 1:1
“Spirit of God,” Gen 1:2
I. SCIENC...
“SCIENCE takes things apart and then puts them back
together to understand HOW.
RELIGION puts them back to together to und...
EXAMPLES OF EMERGENCE:
The microscopic interactions of carbon atoms,
within their environmental constraints, leads to
diff...
Emergence of “Cool” Cosmos from “Hot”
13.8 Billion years ago.
Earth
5
Paul Davies, winner of the 1995 Templeton Prize:
"I do not cling to the notion of God as a miracle-
working cosmic magicia...
Figure from “Cosmic Dawn” by Eric Chaisson
EMERGENCE OF LIFE ON EARTH
Carbon Dioxide, CO2
Prokaryote Cells Eukaryote Cells...
542 Myr Beginning of Multicellular Life.
“The Fossil Record of the Cambrian Explosion”
Keith Miller, PSCF, June 2014
8
THREE STAGES OF LIFE’S EMERGENCE
From biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon ‘s(2011), Incomplete Nature: How
Mind Emer...
I
DEACON’S EMERGENT STAGE III:
TELEODYNAMICS & CONSCIOUSNESS
Incomplete Nature:
How Mind Emerged from Matter (2011)
Cells ...
11
Philosopher David Chalmers’ PANPSYCHISM
Director of the Center For Consciousness at Australian National U, &
Co-Directo...
Consciousness Beyond Life:
The Science of the Near-Death Experience (2011)
By Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD
Cardiologist...
I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmic
Big Bang, 13.8 B years ago.
- How mind emerged from the matter,
-R...
Consciousness Explained Better:
Towards an Integral
Understanding of the
Multifaceted Nature of
Consciousness (2009)
By ne...
III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION
• BIOLOGOS: THEISTIC EVOLUTION
• The EMERGENCE of homo sapiens with a sense of
b...
Dr. Francis Collins, founder BioLogos.
“I find those rare dramatic moments of scientific
discovery in my own experience to...
"BioLogos" is a new term for theistic evolution.
http://biologos.org/
• Bios is the Greek word for "life".
• Logos is Gree...
Complementary Beauty of Science & Spirit
• The emergent evolutionary
process produced homo
sapiens, who see beauty in
the ...
“This is salvation
When we marvel
At the beauty
Of created things
And praise
The beautiful providence
Of their Creator.”
-...
"Here is beauty
– whatever those who have never looked at butterfly may say-
Beauty that rejoices and humbles,…
beauty rem...
BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE
From cooler temperatures 0.3 M yrs after the “Beginning,”
to Galaxies, 2 B years later.
Hubble Opti...
From Cosmos to Psyche
John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe
Human consciousness & eyes have emerged from the
beginning of ...
II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness
(Word Logos of God, John 1:1)
How beautiful upon the mountains are ...
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Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa?

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Can a scientific worldview of the emergence of psyche and mind from matter be reconciled with that of Biblical creation?

Scientists have discovered how matter originated from a cosmic Big Bang and are searching for natural processes that gave rise to psyche. For anthropologist Terrence Deacon, life emerged in three stages: thermodynamic (chaos), morphodynamic (form), and teleodnamic (telos=purpose) (1). The emergent teleological properties of the first living cell can be more or less than the sum of its interacting parts. Deacon thereby formulates a scientific worldview: consciousness and psyche emerge from the firing of our neurons but cannot be reduced to them. The emergent evolutionary process created homo sapiens who perceive the created natural world as beautiful (2). Thus, consciousness emerged from cosmos.

As the prophet Isaiah 52:7 wrote, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings. Jesus brought us this good news. “The world was made by him”(John 1: 10) because he was with the creating “Spirit of God” (Gen 1:1) in the beginning. Cosmos thus emerged from the “Word (logos) of God (John 1:1)” and Divine consciousness.

I will show how both theistic evolution (BioLogos) and the complementary beauty of science and spirit (2) can reconcile Trinitarian Biblical creation with science.

References:

(1) Terrence W. Deacon. Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. (W. W. Norton & Co 2011)

(2) Paul H. Carr. Beauty in Science and Spirit. (Beech River Books 2006)

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Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa?

  1. 1. Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa? Paul H. Carr AF Research Laboratory Emeritus www.MirrorOfNature.org 1
  2. 2. II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness “Word (Logos) was God,” John 1:1 “Spirit of God,” Gen 1:2 I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmos Cosmos emerged from a hot Big Bang 13.8 Billion years ago. First Homo Sapiens in Africa, 200,000 years ago. Searching for natural processes & laws that gave rise to psyche. III. RECONCILIATION of SCIENCE & RELIGION: -Biologos: theistic evolution and emergence -Emergence of homo sapiens’ sense of Divine beauty. -Complementary beauty of science’s how & spirit’s why. Did Consciousness Emerge from Cosmos or Visa-Versa? 2
  3. 3. “SCIENCE takes things apart and then puts them back together to understand HOW. RELIGION puts them back to together to understand WHY.” (Alister McGrath) EMERGENCE : Putting things back together. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “More is Different” according Nobel-laureate physicist Philip Anderson’s highly-cited article on emergence (Science 1972). He emphasized the limitations of reductionism and the existence of hierarchical levels of science, each of which requires its own fundamental principles for advancement. 3
  4. 4. EXAMPLES OF EMERGENCE: The microscopic interactions of carbon atoms, within their environmental constraints, leads to different macroscopic properties. 1. When the carbon atoms self-organize to form a face-centered cubic microscopic structure, a macroscopic diamond emerges. 2. When carbon atoms interact to form microscopic hexagonal sheets, a soft graphite lubricant emerges. 4
  5. 5. Emergence of “Cool” Cosmos from “Hot” 13.8 Billion years ago. Earth 5
  6. 6. Paul Davies, winner of the 1995 Templeton Prize: "I do not cling to the notion of God as a miracle- working cosmic magician, who makes a big bang and then intervenes as a cosmic repairman. A God who can create a self-creating universe with laws (logos) is much more majestic. As an emergentist, I believe in a hierarchy of principles, with the laws of physics at the bottom level and emergent laws operating at higher levels. Thus, we have laws of complexity, such as self-organizing chemical cycles. There are Mendel's laws of genetics when life appears. The high-level laws do not violate the lower level laws, nor are they reducible to them. They supervene on them." 6
  7. 7. Figure from “Cosmic Dawn” by Eric Chaisson EMERGENCE OF LIFE ON EARTH Carbon Dioxide, CO2 Prokaryote Cells Eukaryote Cells 7
  8. 8. 542 Myr Beginning of Multicellular Life. “The Fossil Record of the Cambrian Explosion” Keith Miller, PSCF, June 2014 8
  9. 9. THREE STAGES OF LIFE’S EMERGENCE From biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon ‘s(2011), Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. 1.THERMODYNAMICS, CHAOS: atoms and molecules of water, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, etc. moving randomly from thermal fluctuations in a primordial soup. 2. MORPHODYNAMICS or FORM (morphology = structure). Self-organizing order for free, and the absence of dynamical variety: amino acids and proteins. Stable autocatalytic chemical processes in which the output feeds back into the input: self reproducing molecules. Example: Miller (1953) and Urey subjected a mixture of water, hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, and ammonia that were present shortly after the earth was formed, to an electrical spark, which simulated lightning. They observed amino acids, the building blocks of life-forming proteins. 3. TELEODYNAMICS: (telos = purpose, goal) Self-replicating cells emerged under the right conditions from amino acids and proteins. The vital purpose (telos) of a cell is to eat and to avoid its absence (of being eaten). 9
  10. 10. I DEACON’S EMERGENT STAGE III: TELEODYNAMICS & CONSCIOUSNESS Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter (2011) Cells and brainless plants have sentience, response to their environment, but not consciousness. • “Consciousness is the final quasi-regular network-level dynamic like melody played by a million-instrument orchestra, this is the medium of mental information.” (Consciousness Chapter). • Deacon thereby formulates a naturalistic scientific worldview: consciousness and psyche emerge from the firing of our neurons but cannot be reduced to them. 10
  11. 11. 11 Philosopher David Chalmers’ PANPSYCHISM Director of the Center For Consciousness at Australian National U, & Co-Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at New York U Thesis: MATERIALISM Everything is Matter (and Energy) Antithesis: DUALISM: Matter and mind are separate. Synthesis: PANPSYCHISM: Everything has a degree of mind or consciousness. Our macro-consciousness emerges from the micro-consciousness (or sentience) of neurons.
  12. 12. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience (2011) By Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD Cardiologist Pim van Lommel, MD for decades studied near death experiences in 100s of patients, which he published in the refereed medical journal Lancet. He concludes that the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. He shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body. 12
  13. 13. I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmic Big Bang, 13.8 B years ago. - How mind emerged from the matter, -Research on a naturalist worldview of human consciousness & psyche is continuing. II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness. Word (Logos) of God, John 1:1 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings. Isaiah 52:7 Jesus brought us this good news. “The world was made by him”(John 1: 10) because he was with the creating “Spirit of God” in the beginning (Gen 1:2). In Hinduism, consciousness has its independent existence in the Divine Brahmin. Human consciousness is a small fragment of the Divine Consciousness. (Christian Trinitarian “Spirit of God” within.)13
  14. 14. Consciousness Explained Better: Towards an Integral Understanding of the Multifaceted Nature of Consciousness (2009) By neuralpsychologist Allan Combs, President of the Society for Consciousness Studies • Consciousness is not relativistic and culturally defined. There are universal states and streams in the evolution of consciousness. • Consciousness is not merely viewed as epiphenomena, emerging from the material stuff of brains. Rather it is an integral part of cosmos itself. 14
  15. 15. III. RECONCILIATION OF SCIENCE & RELIGION • BIOLOGOS: THEISTIC EVOLUTION • The EMERGENCE of homo sapiens with a sense of beauty pointing to the Divine. • COMPLEMENTARY BEAUTY OF SCIENCE & SPIRIT Science’s “How” beautifully complements Religion’s “Why” 15
  16. 16. Dr. Francis Collins, founder BioLogos. “I find those rare dramatic moments of scientific discovery in my own experience to be moments of worship also, where a revelation about some intricacy of God’s creation is appreciated for the first time.” 16
  17. 17. "BioLogos" is a new term for theistic evolution. http://biologos.org/ • Bios is the Greek word for "life". • Logos is Greek for "word," with a broader meaning in Philosophy and Stoicism—namely the rational principle ordering the universe. • In Christian theology, "word" includes the Hebrew idea of a creative agent for all that exists, in addition to being an ordering principle. • "BioLogos" expresses the belief that God is the source of all life and that life expresses the will of God. • BioLogos represents the view that evolutionary science and religious faith co-exist in harmony. 17
  18. 18. Complementary Beauty of Science & Spirit • The emergent evolutionary process produced homo sapiens, who see beauty in the natural world. • I experience beauty in both science and religion. • “If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing.” Henri Poincare 18
  19. 19. “This is salvation When we marvel At the beauty Of created things And praise The beautiful providence Of their Creator.” - Meister Eckart ( 1260 – 1327), “The thirst for beauty that permeates our lives is an opening for transcendence…” Theologian Philip Hefner. Foreword, Beauty in Science and Spirit.” “Beauty’s self and beauty’s giver…” Gerald Manley Hopkins 19
  20. 20. "Here is beauty – whatever those who have never looked at butterfly may say- Beauty that rejoices and humbles,… beauty remote from all that is meant by words like random or purposeless, utilitarian or materialistic, beauty in its impact is akin to the authentic encounter with God.“ Naturalist priest Charles Raven 20
  21. 21. BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE From cooler temperatures 0.3 M yrs after the “Beginning,” to Galaxies, 2 B years later. Hubble Optical Deep Field Image of Galaxies 12 Billion Light Years away, about 2 Billion years after “the beginning.” (1996) Image of the universe 0.3 Million years after “the beginning.” This image of temperature fluctuations was measured by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. The cooler regions “seeded” the stars and the galaxies. 21
  22. 22. From Cosmos to Psyche John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe Human consciousness & eyes have emerged from the beginning of the Universe (U) to look back 13.8 B years & ask, “How did we get here and why?” 22
  23. 23. II. RELIGION: Cosmos Emerged From Divine Consciousness (Word Logos of God, John 1:1) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings. Isaiah 52:7 Jesus brought us this good news. “The world was made by him”(John 1: 10) because he was with the creating “Spirit of God” in the beginning (Gen 1:2). -INCOMPLETE: Doesn’t show how the cosmos emerged. I. SCIENCE: Human Consciousness Emerged from the Cosmos How mind emerged from the matter of the big bang. The cosmos and humans are continuing to emerge & evolve. INCOMPLETE: Doesn’t answer why there is a cosmos. III. RECONCILIATION of SCIENCE & RELIGION: -Biologos: God & Christ create via evolution and emergence. -Emergence of our sense of beauty as an encounter with the Divine. - COMPLETENESS: -Complementary beauty of science’s “how” & spirit’s “why.” 23

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