Archive for August, 2007

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

Ervin Laszlo has spun an interesting fable – a way of looking at reality that utilizes an information field to tie together the universe. It is a theory that weaves the fabric of existence from “in-formation”, essentially the instructions to build atoms, suns, dna, life and consciousness. His theory could explain everything.

The problem is that Laszlo has not connected his theory to actual experimental results. He refers to the scientific works of others that peripherally touch on the points he is trying to make, and then makes sweeping generalizations that are not supported by those experimental results. A scientist takes experimental knowledge and builds a theory that fits the facts, he then tests the theory against new experiments to test the validity of the theory.

It is clear that what has happened here is that Ervin Laszlo has built a theory from his knowledge of a number of scientific principles and then sought out related studies and drawn his own conclusions from them. This builds a large body of citations that appear to support the theory, but actually neither support nor disprove it.

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (Science Masters Series)

River out of Eden is Richard Dawkins’ clear, readable and well researched explanation of basic Evolution and Natural Selection. This entirely accessible explanation dispels many confusions and erroneous views of the current scientific understanding of the “Origin of Species”. It includes a comprehensive (through 1995) bibliography for those who want to continue their reading. Dawkins is a firebrand for the Brights athiest-naturalist movement, and many religious folks would cast anything he writes out as the word of the Satan. I picked up my copy for a quarter at the local Salvation Army thrift shop, and probably would not have gotten it at a regular bookstore because of Dawkins’ reputation as a strident, evangelical athiest. I am very glad I picked it up.
Well, Dawkins does make a case that if an “Old One” holding the keys to life exists, he either could care less about his creations, or reallly loves to play dice. Dawkins’ conclusions in this area do not overburden this book with anti-religious philosophy – he sticks to the facts and exposes how we now understand the way that species vary and optimize for their unique environments. Upon careful reading of River out of Eden, the mechanisms of the DNA evolutionary process become not only clear, but obvious. The Utility Function for evolution and natural selection is simply optimizing the prevalence of the particular DNA patterns of an organism in the universe. (more…)