Saturday, June 11, 2011


Is there a purposefulness in evolution?  Could terms like "intelligent" and "creative" apply to evolution?

I recently learned of Amit Goswami and began reading his book "The Visionary Window - A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment."

His initial basic point (as best I can summarize it) is that western science looks at the universe and all life in it as built up from objects with no consciousness, providing no explanation of where consciousness comes from, while eastern thought sees consciousness as the starting point for all being, with physical objects manifested from the universal consciousness. In other words, consciousness is the ground of all being; it is not the byproduct of a physical object like the brain.

Evolution was the topic that prompted this blog post, which is mostly a quotation from "The Visionary Window". I have always felt intuitively that there is some kind of creative and directing force in the evolution of life on earth, and that the astonishingly precise adaptations of living creatures to vastly different environments cannot be explained by mere chance. Despite the denials by Darwinists, I feel there is some kind of purposeful direction toward a goal involved, as in the flounder whose eyes migrate to one side of its head, or water creatures who develop lights because they live where no light can penetrate.

Goswami writes:

Science finds that "We are insignificant on the cosmic scale. . . . From [the initial creation by the Big Bang], the evolution of galaxies, star systems, planets, and life are all seen as the play of chance statistical fluctuation.

"Does the esoteric ontology -- conscious as the ground of all being -- offer a resolution of cosmologies as well? . . A number of coincidences in cosmology suggest that the universe evolves toward the manifestation of life and sentience . . .

"The gaps in the fossil record suggested to quite a few biologists that Darwinism is not the complete story of evolution . . . Creationism also does not make complete sense; though the Christian contention that God intervenes in the affairs of the world, even in biological evolution, to align the world with purposiveness, is credible in a science within consciousness. . . . But in science within consciousness, we can look at the fossil gaps as the signature of creative conscious intervention -- purpose enters evolution creatively."


  1. Sigh! (Not at your post, but at the silly Evolution v. Creation war.) I think the division between 'Science/Evolution' and 'Creation' is quite artificial and was spawned by intellectuals who had an axe to grind where organised Christianity was concerned. In my view, God is the Prime Mover who set things in motion and of course, our Earth is but a small portion of that. Obviously Evolution is part of Divine Creation and exists quite harmoniously in that context. We'll leave Fundamentalism out of the equation completely as that is arrant nonsense. Mythology, such as the 'Creation in 7 Days' tale, is never intended to be taken literally and yet, some evolutionists think that by mocking the idea that the Earth was created in seven days, they are refuting Creation and the Divine Being!

    And then there is the matter of Faith. To me, Faith simply means that we acknowledge our intellectual inadequacy when faced with the infinite majesty of the Divine.

  2. I agree in most of what Freyashawk says. I´m a Darwinist and Christian and I´m a bit torn in between :-) But I do believe that God did start it all but then he let things happen as they did. By that I don´t mean he doesn´t intervene every now and again :-)

    But when it comes to the gap in fossils it´s rather easy to explain really. Most dead animals/plants doesn´t get fossilized at all because they get eaten or decay, only a few becomes fossils at all.

    Then we have to think of the fact that the earth moves, ice ages comes and goes not to forgetting other nature disaster that destroys dead bodies and plants. It´s actually surprising that anything still is left out there :-)

    Have a great day!

  3. This should be one of the most critical areas for investigation today. If our consciousness does help to shape our offspring there are immense implications for the moral and practical responsibilities of potential parents.
    It is quite possible that Eastern spiritual thought in this respect may have been well ahead of the mechanistic West. However now we may not be so far behind. In his book Quantum Evolution the scintist Johnjoe McFadden comes to a very similar conclusion to the Indian quantum physicist Amit Goswami, as a quote from Amazon illustrates.
    "In this brilliant debut, Johnjoe McFadden puts forward a theory of quantum evolution. He shows how living organisms have the ability to will themselves into action. Indeed, such an ability may be life’s most fundamental attribute. This has radical implications. Evolution may not be random at all, as recent evolutionary theories have taught: rather, cells may, in certain circumstances, be able to choose to mutate particular genes that provide an advantage in the environment in which the cell finds itself. This ‘will’ – described by McFadden as ‘the life force’ – has startling implications. It is at the root of consciousness and free-will and provides a new understanding of the origins of life and the purpose of death."

    Arthur Mather

  4. Arthur, thanks for your exciting and helpful comment. I definitely will read "Quantum Evolution".

    A personal note: I'm especially glad to hear from you because my hard drive broke a couple of weeks ago, taking all my email and addresses with it. I kept hoping you'd write. Yesterday Julia found an email address for you and I sent an email. I hope it reached you.