Verified Purchase. There is much to be recommended in this book by Michael Cremo, and yet it belongs to its own genre. This makes it a little problematic.
New Evidence Challenges Darwin's Theory on Sunday November 2,
Many criticisms of Darwin's theory of evolution have appeared in the years since he published it. Most of them are in effect defenses of Creationism. Which came first, God or primal slime? Cremo throws a curve ball by assigning the Primal Cause to a non-Christian religious tradition, namely Hinduism. The main issue here is, which is more credible, the Christian scenario of creation, or the Hindu?
Both ascribe the origin of "man" to divine sources, while Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace invoke a process of natural selection inherent in the laws of Nature. It's the old conflict between matter creating consciousness or consciousness creating matter. I believe that quantum mechanics pretty much settled that issue through the Double Slit and Delayed Choice experiments, which decided in favor of consciousness being the Prime Mover.
What Cremo is really trying to settle here is the conflicting basis for people's allegiances to either a scientific or a religious explanation of our existence.
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He chooses to advance an argument using anomalies the paranormal in human experience to show the limitations of Darwin's interpretation of the Origin of Species. His evidence is not only good; it is overwhelming, and that's one of the shortcomings of his book. He uses more evidence from more sources than he needs to make his point. It's overkill. Of course, Cremo's critics would argue that he is using inadmissible evidence to make his case because he is going outside of strict scientific parameters to support his argument.
He does that, and in so doing brings many guns to bear, from religious traditions, mythologies, and even alien visitations to Spiritualism to advance his thesis. If you grant him that much latitude, I think that slow, progressive, random mutation looks pretty shabby. His main argument is based on support from the Hindu Vedic tradition, which asserts that the "gods" created humanity, and that was done a very long time ago, much before the Darwinian estimate of maybe , years. Cremo gives a detailed account of Alfred Wallace's involvement in nineteenth-century Spiritualism as a kind of ironic critique of the theory of evolution, showing that one of its major authors participated in "spooky" activities involving conversations with dead people--a glaring inconsistency in hard-nosed scientific research.
Actually, I liked the case-by-case accounts of documented seances that Cremo uses to further his argument. I think it is one of the stronger supports for his criticism of evolution. We are more than clever apes because we have perceptions and abilities that transcend our strictly physical nature, and especially because we are essentially non-physical beings who are eternal. I tend to side with Cremo for more reasons than he presents in his book.
His use of exceptions to what would occur naturally in a purely material reality carry considerable weight. What bothers me is Cremo's admitted devotion to a form of Hindu yoga that underlies his whole argument. He has a guru, and he takes very seriously what his guru tells him. His religious preference has obviously shaped his beliefs about existence. I believe that Cremo has made a good case, but not because Krishna or his guru told me so.
February 21, - Published on Amazon. This book provides an overview of a number of topics, contemporary and historical: archeology, religion, extraordinary phenomena e. While the average materialist scientist these days finds this belief mildly amusing at best, there is little he can do about it one way or another, as people are willing to believe what they are willing to believe. The only problem here is that although many of the believers in this instance are uneducated, ignorant, or simply intellectually challenged, some of them--Wallace himself, for example--have not been.
In Wallace's case, he believed he recognized in spiritualism elements of a larger process, evolution; specifically, he appears to have seen things about the way natural selection didn't work that could be understood on the assumption of supra-physical forces. As I have explained in earlier chapters it is my opinion that Wallace was well aware even in that natural selection lacked certain kinds of explanatory potential, and was already on the lookout for more inclusive explanations. Now, to make an important point Although inspired by leaders such as Wallace, the rank and file followers of such beliefs seem to think that they are going to demonstrate the existence of such posed forms of organization by borrowing methodologies and theories that have evolved to deal with a fundamentally different phenomenon, physical existence.
Not surprisingly, this whole effort has been a nearly complete failure--whether involving seances and such in the old days, or the technologically sophisticated "ghost-sensing" equipment and similar devices of the present. Whenever any kind of result has been obtained, doubters point, for good reason, to any number of "more rational" explanations that can be appealed to via Ockham's razor.
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And beyond this, when the latter kinds of explanations are lacking, the immediate conclusion is that someone is either lying or trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Now I believe at this point, as stated above, that Wallace was aware of certain weaknesses in the theory of natural selection as he originally posed it, and it was these weaknesses--weaknesses detracting from the overall internal consistency of a more general theory of evolution--that eventually cued him into entertaining the notion that something was going on which could not be explained strictly through material, spatially-extended reality.
He did not divine, however, that study of the phenomena produced at seances would prove fruitless in trying to demonstrate the existence of an aspatial, supraphysical, world, and though he sought out related kinds of evidence and eventually came to believe on the basis of them, he could not make others do so. And so the matter still stands, and likely will continue to stand, until a fresh perspective is found. I personally do not think that the cause is necessarily hopeless, or in any case lacking in importance as T. Huxley once famously implied. And I am not the only one around advocating such "outside the box" thinking.
- Linking Species & Ecosystems.
- Institutional Review Board: Member Handbook, Third Edition;
- Peptide-Mediated Biomineralization.
- Buddhism For Dummies.
- Human Devolution: A interview with Michael Cremo | Open Revolt!.
- Artificial Intelligence Planning Systems. Proceedings of the First Conference (AIPS 92).
Wallace and the Spirit World":. The space-filling ether of nineteenth century physics is no longer with us. But there are modern scientific concepts that would allow Wallace's basic system to operate.
According to deterministic chaos theorists, immeasurably small random perturbances of matter can rapidly propagate into large-scale effects that are not easily predictable. Scientists sometimes give the example of a Caribbean butterfly that by its wings sets off motions of air molecules.
These movements might eventually amplify to steer a hurricane from open sea into the American coast. If the butterfly had flapped its wings slightly differently, the hurricane might not have hit land. According to this idea, Wallace's spirit beings might make infinitesimal adjustments on the subatomic level that would quickly propagate into observable spiritualist effects. One might also propose that they are somehow capable of manipulating the curvature of Einstein's space-time continuum.
They could thus produce gravitational effects, for gravity is said to be the result of curvature in the continuum. Or one might propose that the spirit beings induce slight changes in the quantum mechanical vacuum, which in some ways resembles an ether. Of course, this approach is limiting, and rather than straining to find ways to explain spiritualist phenomena in conformity with currently accepted physical laws, it may make more sense to come up with a new theoretical system that more naturally incorporates both the normal and paranormal phenomena.