Creative EvolutionPosted: July 11, 2011
CREATIVE EVOLUTION BY AMIT GOSWAMI PHD
A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism And Intelligent Design
Amit Goswami is a theoretical nuclear physicist and member of The University of Oregon Institute for Theoretical Physics since 1968, teaching physics for 32 years. After a period of distress and frustration in his private and professional life starting at the age 38, his research interests shifted to quantum cosmology, quantum measurement theory, and applications of quantum mechanics to the mind-body problem. He became best known as one of the interviewed scientists featured in the 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Goswami is also featured in the recent documentary about the Dalai Lama entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance, and stars in the newly released documentary “The Quantum Activist”
A critique of conventional biology
Amit Goswami’s book is many things – among them a critique of the limits of the Darwinian theory of evolution. As such it is, it seems to me, very valuable. The open questions in science are usually not spelled out for lay people as thoroughly as Amit Goswami does in Creative Evolution. Summing up those limitations include:
- Why has evolution proceeded in jumps and starts? Darwin himself predicted a gradual evolution.
- Recent discoveries make it clear that not all inherited traits are genetic in source.
That is: gene expression is regulated by something other than genes.
- How can consciousness emerge out of matter?
The basic illustration of this question is the computer: it can do all kinds of things, but it cannot process meaning – and that’s a fundamental property, not something that merely requires more calculating power. So where does our sense of meaning come from?
The last point is the one that is most fundamental, but the other ones can’t be easily explained away either. The basic charge against mainstream biology that Amit Goswami levels is: Darwinian evolution is not a scientific theory because it cannot be falsified as used at present. For this reason he reformulates the theory in various ways throughout the book. Some variations are clearly true, some can be proven wrong. Either way – logic demands more than biology gives.
In other words: is the creativity of nature an ’emergent property’ or the result of some inherent consciousness in the universe? Amit Goswami answers that consciousness is primary and matter secondary. I’m not sure where I stand on this – but I can’t believe that matter itself is creative.