Written By: Wendell Krossa
Materialism has tried for centuries to roll back the influence of religious belief but has not succeeded overall, because something more fundamental is going on. Despite being told by materialists that dualism is just wishing in the dark for some greater Reality (God) to rescue us and comfort us, most people over history have intuitively recognized there is more to reality than the materialist view. There is a fundamental dualism (spiritual/material). This has nothing to do with wishing for something; it is more an intuitive recognition of something true about reality, but materialism is not interested in truth. As Dennett says in ‘Consciousness Explained’, materialists start with a dogmatic rejection of dualism and then must find some other explanation, any other, but dualism. That leads to some absurd, irrational and incoherent speculation.
Varghese has helped in thinking more correctly about these things. You do not get something from nothing. Brilliant self-organizational theories try to get around this (Paul Davies tries valiantly in ‘In Whom We Live and Move’). But this is all mice from rags speculation (mice were observed coming from piles of rags so early that people speculated that the mice originated from the rags) and even Davies backtracks at the end of his contribution to admit that it is divinity working through natural processes in order to create. He says his self-organizational theories depend on SETI for validation. That is a half hearted appeal to speculation, but even extra-terrestrial life would not validate self-organization theories. Matter by itself just does not contain the creative properties or potentials that materialists speculate it to have.
Self-organizational theories violate all we know about reality. They assume that what exists comes from things with similar properties and potentials. Sand and pebbles come from rocks, but rocks do not produce flowers. A pile of mud is not going to produce conceptual thought even if given a trillion years. DNA (this amazing intelligent processing of information) does not just spring out of mud or soup. Information comes from intelligence.
What exists comes from things of the same properties and potentials. Mind comes from Mind.
Even Morowitz with his theories of emergence (higher stages emerging out of previous less complex stages) and pruning principles get lost in gobbledygook that makes little sense. Davies tries to find help in Morowitz but makes little sense when he goes there. Hence, both in the end are pressed to return to divinity, to a fundamental dualism in reality and life. Even atheist David Chalmers recognizes a fundamental dualism though he tries to salvage the naturalist position with a panpsychism version of dualism (that all matter has some basic consciousness of some sort). He is fishing around to maintain his naturalism (different from materialism which he rightly states is false and dead as a philosophical position).
Eccles, Varghese, and similar thinkers are more honest in facing what others try to avoid – a fundamental dualism in reality (spiritual/material). Again, our sympathies are with the materialists in what they are trying to avoid – an often horrifically distorted view of the divine, but that is more and more a straw god. This never did exist and more and more people are coming to recognize this. It is silly to maintain a position on reality, based on a distorting reaction to a straw reality.
In considering the amazing growth of Net Primary Production of 6.17% worldwide growth over the period 1982-1999, it would be interesting to find out the actual total tonnage of this and compare this to the increase of biocapacity that was used by people over that time (how much more vegetation was used by a growing population). I am sure that usage would be only a fraction of the total growth in NPP. My point- limits ideology, after all earth’s biocapacity is fueled by an outside source, the sun, and by unlimited supplies of carbon made available to life by the increasing supplies of CO2. This fact limits the credibility of all this footprint ideology- that people are having too large a footprint on earth and must cut back severely and return to a more primitive and simple lifestyle.
Finding a good explanation to the limited resources idea, would do a great service to humanity, as this is a key part of the anti-human enterprise ideology that is shaping human thought today.