Following the Beat of a Different Drummer

by Peter Martinson • (PDF)

Involuntary rhythmic activity in biology is a phenomenon common to every organism studied, and covers virtually every vital process in those organisms. Such processes cannot be ascribed simply to an internal clock-mechanism within the organisms, nor to purely external geophysical or cosmic influences. There is a deeper process at work, which can be approximated by assuming a combination of both causes. This consideration leads directly to not only a broader definition of sense perception, but to implications about the long-term anti-entropic development of life on the Earth, and into the manned exploration of other planets within the Solar System.

Lyndon LaRouche has demanded explicitly that fundamental science must proceed with the understanding that the universe is composed of three interacting, but hierarchically arranged phase spaces: the abiotic, the biotic, and the noetic. These phase spaces were established no later than 1938 by Russian academician Vladimir I. Vernadsky, who had already demonstrated that the world of abiotic physics did not have a monopoly on such deep issues as the construction of physical spacetime.1Vernadsky V. I., Problems of Biogeochemistry II: On the Fundamental Material-Energetic Distinction Between Living and Nonliving Natural Bodies of the Biosphere. First published in 1938 in Russian. First English translation 21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2000-2001, pp. 20-39 No form of fundamental science in the biotic phase (or either of the other phases, for that matter) should ever be allowed to be reduced to abiotic physical explanations. This should be extended to imply that further discoveries in what can be imagined as “abiotic physics,“ can only be made by coming down from discoveries in biology. The assumption that any investigation into biological phenomenon can be explained in terms of what is already known in physics, is as insane as saying that your mom is no more than a very complicated spatula.

With this in mind, the responsible scientist will recognize that something like the phenomenon of biological rhythms has the potential to reveal not only as-yet unknown domains of cosmic radiation, but also unknown aspects of radiations that have hitherto been barely contained by their mathematical formulations. For example, what will be seen is that organisms tend to respond to incredibly weak fields, which are apt to be missed by conventional instruments. And, those organisms have been responding to those weak fields for billions of years, much longer than humans have known they existed. This also opens up the possibility that organisms respond not only to weak fields, but also to extremely long cycle radiations, on the temporal scale of geological time, which correspond with evolutionary changes in life on the Earth.

Are individual organisms really individual organisms, struggling for individual existence against external waves and particles, or are they better understood as within the category of cosmic radiation itself? Even better, perhaps cosmic radiation must be studied as the prime expression of that higher phase than the abiotic – life – the organisms thus understood as contractions within the field. Hence, the term “sense organ“ refers to something fashioned by cosmic radiation itself, in order to mediate an intergalactic system.

Before embarking on a survey of crucial experiments regarding biological rhythms, let us first review the notion of senses, from the perspective of none other than astrophysicist Johannes Kepler.

Kepler

An object that is sensed by somebody, must be able to act in some way on the sense instruments of his body. Thus, the retina of the eye must be able to respond to some disturbance caused by a seen object. The disturbance is caused, in this case, by what we call light, although the light itself is not seen - light is what’s generated by the seen object, which can act on the eye’s retina. By some unknown path, the soul of the viewing person must be able to judge whether or not his retina is being affected by an outside object. In this way, the person is not watching the external object, but his own retina. LaRouche has described this paradox as that of the space traveler, within a spacecraft which has no windows, only instrument readings.2LaRouche L. H., An Election’s Terrible After-Taste: The Global Crisis Now at Hand. (2010) http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16929 He witnesses the instrument readings, not what causes those readings. Hence, there is no window between external physical reality, and the soul of the observer, through which the emanations from the observed object pass from out to in. Those emanations essentially stop at the instrument. It is your mind, which creates the image of a viewed external, extended world - this perceived world is not what the “real external world,“ “looks like.“

Humans and other organisms are cabable of acting proportionally to what is sensed. In other words, they can judge how long they should do certain activities, how far to travel, how far to turn, etc. Johannes Kepler assembled an exhaustive study of all the constructible visual and auditory proportions in his World Harmonics of 1618.3Kepler, Johannes. Harmonices Mundi, 1619 He put this work together after having followed up his initial study of the Solar System (presented in his Mysterium Cosmographicum4Kepler, Johannes. Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1595. Translated by A. M. Duncan (Abaris Books: 1981)) with the identification of the key parameters of planetary orbits, by focusing on Mars and the Earth.5Kepler, Johannes. Nova Astronomica, 1609 Kepler’s goal right from the start, which he most fully expressed in the World Harmonics, was to show that the Universe functions on the basis of a pre-established harmony, and that it was composed with the mind of Man, in mind. In other words, Man’s mind can comprehend how and why the Creator created the Universe in the way that it was, because the Universe was designed to be thus comprehended.

Kepler places the motive faculty within the powers of reason, which he doesn’t bestow within any organism other than Man and God. Man recognizes the proportionality, and then decides on appropriate action. Since the other organisms also act according to reason, yet do not posess the faculty of reason in themselves, Kepler hypothesized an agent to mediate between them and God, which he called “Sublunary Nature” – a soul for the Earth.6It should be noted, that Bernhard Riemann addressed this same issue when he was still a student. In his writings on “Geistesmassen,” he referred to what he called the Earth Soul, which uses plants as a form of sense-perception, and can act on the basis of such perceptions. Specifically, Sublunary Nature can perceive the apparent angles between the lines of sight to the other planets in the system, including the Moon and Sun, and determine how to react to them. Kepler is careful to make clear, that the perception itself is not what causes such reactions. In no way is the emanation from the sense object the direct cause of any action of any organism, including Man. That action is on account of the perceived proportionality, which itself bears no motive force.

Kepler discovered, based on knowable and constructible congruences between the plane figures, which angles, or “aspects,“ should be more or less influential on Sublunary Nature. For example, opposition and conjunction (both equal two right angles, or 180°) are the most influential, while one right angle between lines-of-sight will be somewhat less influential. Most of the apparent angles between any two bodies will not coincide with any influential aspects, which is why Sublunary Nature will ignore them. But, when it perceives the passing of influential aspects, Sublunary Nature acts accordingly through its organs, including weather systems, volcanic and seismic activity, the tides - and living organisms.7Riemann thought that the Earth Soul had, as sense organs, each species of plant in a given region. Based on what was sensed, through these plants, as the conditions of the atmosphere and land, the Earth Soul could decide what to do next, regarding the evolution of life on its surface. What must be added to this, is that complete cycles exist for each aspect, such as from one conjunction to the next, which are the temporal representation of such influences. This will figure in to the regular biological cycles.

Let’s apply Vernadsky’s three-phase-space criteria. What should be the difference between the response of humans versus the other organisms on Earth? The responses of organisms should appear novel and creative overall, but should show relatively little variation over members of one species. Humans, on the other hand, should be able to individually change their responses to the aspects, within certain limits. For example, although it exacts a toll on the biological system, humans are capable of performing shift-work. No fruit fly can independently decide to go on night shift while the others still work days, and vice versa, although the insect can be trained, by humans, to shift its sleep cycle. Humans can decide to act contrary to any of their sense perceptions, although many do not.

In addition, as Lyndon LaRouche has been trying to tell you, over and over,8LaRouche, Lyndon. A Wedding Anniversary: The Sixth Sense, (unpublished: 2011) humans have the ability to recognize that what they think they are perceiving represents shadows of what they are not seeing, and then can respond to the causes of the shadows instead, again, through their own volition.

As will become clear in the examples that follow, organisms typically function in rhythmic cycles which correspond to periods determined by the relative angular positions of the planets in the Solar System, and other relations outside of the system on galactic and intergalactic scales. Thus, it should be reasonable to hunt for sense faculties within organisms that can respond to appropriate signals from the Earth, which are generated in response to those larger and deeper systems. But, it should not be assumed that those sense functions work the way a physics textbook would imply.

Biological Rhythms

First, let us survey the phenomena of biological rhythms, and then examine how they work in relation to the cosmic sensorium.

Most of the biological cycles studied are about 24 hours in length, and are thus called circadian (circa – around, dian – a day). This includes wake-sleep cycles, sometimes measured as “locomotor activity“ in animals. A rhythm found typically in shore creatures, is a twice-daily cycle associated with the daily tides, and thus half the lunar day. Longer cycles on the order of a lunar month also exist, such as the average human female menstrual cycle.9In order to clear some things up: the human female menstrual cycle has a period which varies between women, from several days to several months. The average span of the cycle, though, is about 29 days – approximately one lunar month. Whether or not this cycle has a connection with the Moon is complicated by the widespread evidence that women who live and work together tend to begin “cycling” together. The cycle itself can also be heavily modified through hormone supplements. Overall, this should be viewed as another case where cycling is inherent in the organism, while being sensitive to external factors. Even longer cycles, on the order of a solar year, are seen in hibernation activities of many organisms (“diapause“), the de-greening and loss of leaves on deciduous trees, plant blooming, seasonal flu, etc. Cycles of longer period also exist, which coincide with other cosmic cycles like the solar sunspot cycle, etc.

The big question in the study of these cycles has been whether they are caused by some clock mechanism within the organism, or whether the cycles are caused by the external, typically cosmic motions with which they seem to coincide. Evidence has been found on both sides of the fence, and the question becomes somewhat paradoxical.10Brown, Frank A. Living Clocks, Science, New Series, Vol. 130, No. 3388, pp. 1535-1544 (1959) It’s been found that organisms, when held in environments that block out the external cycles they appear to coincide with, go into what is called “free-run,“ where the period begins to deviate from the external cue. For example, many people have worked with variants of the bean plant, which opens and closes its leaves on a 24 hour cycle (12:12 - 12 hours up:12 hours down). When placed in an environment of constant light intensity, it can be seen that the period will migrate to slightly longer than 24 hours. Early on in these investigations, Wilhelm Pfeffer demonstrated that bean plants reared in complete darkness do not display any cycles - the leaves just stay open. Upon shining light on the plants, though, they immediately begin to cycle with their roughly 24 hour cycle. The cycles would begin and continue, even if only one short period of light were given to the plant, which then lived the rest of its life in darkness.11Pfeffer found that he could also use light to force the plants into periods longer or shorter than 24 hours, by alternating light and dark. Antonia Kleinhoonte went further with this experiment, and demonstrated that, if the periods go outside the bounds of 8:8 or 15:15, then the plant would “rebel” and snap back into a roughly 12:12 cycle again. Hence, the plant has the internal capacity to cycle, but responds to cues from the outside.

One problem with experiments performed in so-called constant conditions, is that the only conditions held constant are those that the experimenter assumes are acting on the organism. By definition, it does not block out unknown influencess. Thus, the circadian locomotor activity of the fruit fly, for example, which runs over 24 hours in constant light or constant dark, could be attributed to some other unaccounted for external cycle, a bit longer than 24 hours, but which has a weaker influence than the cycle of light and dark. An experiment was proposed to test this. If an organism’s cycle is driven by some other external stimulus, then the phase of the cycle should be shifted if the organism is transported, within an environment of constant conditions, to another longitude. The results on this were contradictory. Frank Brown showed that an oyster, which responds to the twice-daily tides, if transported from the New England coast to Chicago (where there are no tides), will shift its tide-cycle to match what the tides would be in Chicago, if it had tides.12ibid. This would imply an external agent. On the other hand, another scientist, Max Renner, trained bees in constant conditions to get food at a specific time of day in Paris. If the time-sense were given by external cues, then transporting the bees (holding all other conditions constant) to New York should shift the time at which they hunt for food. Exactly the contrary was shown - they kept coming out exactly 24 hours after their feeding time in Paris, day after day. When the same experiment was done, but where the bees could see the daily motions of the Sun, though, they responded to both their 24-hour “internal clock,“ but also to the local time.13Renner, Max. The Contribution of the Honey Bee to the Study of Time-sense and Astronomical Orientation, Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology [proceedings], Vol. 25, pp. 361-367 (1960) Hence, Renner’s experiments showed that there is some combination of internal and external timings.

One wrench thrown into the gears of all studies, is the fact that the cycles appear, across all organisms, to be independent of temperature. In other words, if an organism whose temperature is not internally regulated is cooled down, all of its vital functions tend to slow down, and vice versa if it is warmed up. If the clock were an internal organ or mechanism, then it, too, should speed up or slow down with temperature. Brown,14Brown, F., and Webb, M.. Temperature Relations of an Endogenous Daily Rhytmicity in the Fiddler Crab, Uca, Physiological Zoology, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 371-381 (1948) Colin Pittendrigh,15Pittendrigh, Colin. On Temperature Independence in the Clock System Controlling Emergence Time in Drosophila, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 10, pp. 1018-1029 (1954) and others demonstrated that all organisms were virtually immune, with respect to their rhythms, to changes of temperature. Brown went so far as to take little fiddler crabs, whose skin color changes on a daily cycle, and lower their body temperature to freezing, to demonstrate that the cycle remained circadian, although the intensity of color change became fainter and fainter up to death. Thus, either there is still some external driver, or the internal mechanism has a miraculous way to regulate speed with temperature.

As will be explored in more detail below, one factor in biological rhythms that became obvious, is that organisms respond to very weak magnetic and electric fields. For example, Jürgen Aschoff and Rütger Wever converted two wartime fallout shelters into apartments with absolutely no cues as to the time of day. They even went so far as to deliver food and messages via a type of air-lock, to prevent the subjects from having any contact with people from the outside. One of the apartments was shielded from all outside electromagnetic fields, and was equipped to supply artificial oscillating electric fields of low intensity, while the other had no EM shielding. In all cases, the basal temperature oscillations of the experimental subjects free-ran to about 25 hour intervals, as did the sleep schedule. In some of the subjects, though, the sleep schedule became massively decoupled from the temperature oscillations, heading upwards of 50 hour sleep-wake cycles, while the temperature remained on the same circadian clock. All of the subjects in which decoupling was observed lived in the apartment sheilded from all EM fields.16Wever, Rütger. Human Circadian Rhythms under the Influence of Weak Electric Fields and the Different Aspects of These Studies, International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 227-232 (1973) Once an electric field was supplied at low intensity (2.5 V/m - the subjects could not feel it consciously), but oscillating at 10 Hz, the sleep schedules immediately snapped back in line with the circadian temperature cycles. None of the test subjects sensed any difference.17All of the test subjects, including the ones who experienced the 50 hour “days,” ate regular meals, three times during their subjective days. It is apparently a common misconception that you get hungry around lunchtime, simply because you’ve “worked off” your breakfast. It is a circadian timing! The 50-hour subjects spaced their meals proportionally throughout their subjective day, which meant they would have breakfast around the same time as you would, but would start feeling lunch-pangs around the time after you had already completed your dinner!

These represent just a sampling of experiments that have been done, to give some flavor of the problem. The wrong question would be, “well, are the cycles driven by an internal clock, or by the cosmos?!“ Kepler already demonstrated that there must be some close interconnection between distant, cosmic processes and those of life here on Earth. Review of the paradoxes of the inherent cycles of biology confirms this, that there is something within the organism that can respond according to the cyclic aspects, which means that there must be a cyclic-potential within the organism. Both the “external cues” and the supposed internal clock system should be seen as, essentially, external, in that neither is the cause of the cycles. Both cyclic systems (geophysical/cosmic vs. biological) are connected, but not necessarily in a causal relationship. While the cause itself remains unknown, it should be sought for through the method that Kepler used in his life’s work, the method of harmonics.

For another clue in the puzzle, we will now see that the response to cosmic cyclic variations is inherently tied also to the spatial orientation of organisms. In other words, we are, yet again, tapping into the study of physical spacetime, which Vernadsky emphasized held the secret of the distinction between life and non-life.

Let’s dig deeper into this aspect.

Cryptic chemistry

As was seen in the case of bird migration, it is clear that birds somehow sense the geomagnetic field, but that this sense is intimately connected with their sense of vision.18See the report on bird magnetoreception by Ben Deniston, elsewhere in this volume. Specifically, it was seen that, when their eyes were prevented from receiving blue light, young birds would lose their ability to navigate. It was proposed by Thorsten Ritz and Kurt Schulten that some chemical could be involved, which becomes magnetically sensitive after activation by the blue light.19Ritz T., Adem S., Schulten K. A Model for Photoreceptor-based Magnetoreception in Birds. Biophysical Journal, Vol. 78, pp. 707-718 (2000) The chemical he proposed had already been located in plants, and called cryptochrome.

Arabidopsis thaliana

Plants can be grown in complete darkness. When a sprout begins from a seed, that sprout has to make its way, all the way up through the dirt and then the ground cover of leaves and other things, before it finally reaches sunlight. Plants have a distinct mode of operation under these conditions, called “etiolation,” which include growing longer, thinner stems (the hypocotyl), with smaller leaves (cotyledons) spaced further apart and deficient in chlorophyll. When the sprout finally reaches light, it stops the rapid lengthening of the hypocotyl, pops out new leaves that are closer together, and begins to get green from chlorophyll. This is called “de-etiolation,” or just “greening.”

It was found that de-etiolation doesn’t require the entire spectrum of light. Normal plants will green under either blue or red light, or both. Scientists believed that this meant there were two pathways, initated by two distinct sets of photoreceptors, that led to the same result. The photoreceptors for the red-light response were found and called phytochromes. The blue-light photoreceptors were apparently more difficult to hunt down, and were thus called cryptochromes. Using the model genetic plant,20The term “model organism” is a bit of a misnomer. On the face, it is an organism chosen to be the standard, upon which scientists around the world will perform and report on experiments. The organisms are usually extraordinary in some way, which makes them amenable to experimentation – such as the extremely rapid reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster – and are thus not exemplars of the rest of the living world. Each organism is a whole, and not assembled out of pieces from model organisms. Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress), scientists were able to isolate a strain that was immune to blue light, i.e. they would only de-etiolate under red light, but not blue. In 1993, Ahmad and Cashmore determined the section of DNA that differed between one of these blue-immune strains, and normal Arabidopsis.21Ahmad M. & Cashmore A. Seeing Blue: the Discovery of Cryptochrome. Plant Molecular Biology, Vol. 30, pp. 851-861 (1996) They found that the protein which corresponds to this DNA section bore heavy resemblance to a protein called photolyase, which can be induced to repair UV-damaged DNA, but only after being activated by violet/UV light.22It is interesting to allow the mind to veer here, for a moment. Photolyase and its relative, cryptochrome, appear to be ancient chemicals. They are both present in just about every organism studied. If photolyase goes all the way back to before the existence of the ozone layer, before the Great Oxygenation Event, then it was “repairing” DNA when there was nothing to prevent solar and other ultraviolet radiation from reaching the ground. The point is that, repairing DNA and constructing are very similar, and both, through photolyase, act through various parts of the ultraviolet band.The existence of a chemical that has the capability of repairing DNA, when acted on by a form of cosmic radiation, becomes a very provocative vector in the process of evolution via cosmic radiation. They argued that they had found the elusive cryptochrome pigment’s gene, which was then found in many other organisms.

In a fascinating 2007 experiment, Margaret Ahmad and others (including the Wiltschkos of bird-migration fame) tested the hypothesis that cryptochrome was related to the magnetic sense of birds.23Ahmad M., Galland P., Ritz T., Wiltschko R., Wiltschko W. Magnetic Intensity Affects Cryptochrome-Dependent Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Planta, Vol. 225, pp. 615-624 (2007) They took the two strains of Arabidopsis, wild-type and cryptochrome-deficient (blue-immune), and tested for response to a magnetic field. Both plants exhibited a little greening under only dim red light, but only the wild-type showed greening under dim blue light (as was expected). Then, they turned on a 5 Gauss magnetic field,24Ahmad and others typically measure magnetic field strength in either micro-Teslas or Gauss. One µT equals 10,000 Gauss. The geomagnetic field averages about 0.3-0.5 Gauss, which equals 30-50 micro-Tesla. Therefore, Ahmad’s experimental magnetic field was about ten times the background geomagnetic field. aligned with the local geomagnetic field. The plants under red light showed no extra response, and developed as before, while the wild type under dim blue light became greener at a faster rate. The cryptochrome-deficient plant still showed no greening under blue light and the magnetic field. They concluded that cryptochrome was, indeed, part of some mechanism that responded to magnetic fields, but only when activated by blue light.

Two other experiments were performed on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, the model genetic insect. Cryptochrome had already been found in a variety of animals and insects, and was present within the eyes of the fruit fly. In 2008, Robert Gegear and others used the fruit fly to test whether cryptochrome was, indeed, a magneto-sensitive photoreceptor.25Gegear R., Casselman A., Waddell S., Reppert S. CRYPTOCHROME Mediates Light-dependent Magnetosensitivity. Nature, Vol. 454, pp. 1014-1028 (2008) They trained a number of fruit flies to associate food with a 5 Gauss magnetic field. In the experiment, they presented a travel tube for the flies, one end of which had a 5 Gauss magnetic field, the other being magnetically neutral, and watched what direction the flies would travel. As expected, most traveled in the direction of the magnetic field. When they put a filter in front of the light source, which cut out all light bluer than 420 nm, the fruit flies lost their sensitivity to the magnetic field, which seemed to imply that the flies were, indeed, relying on some kind of signal from their cryptochrome-system. When they tested fruit flies bred to be cryptochrome deficient, they found that these flies could not be trained to respond to the magnetic field, even when they got full-spectrum light.

Drosophila Melanogaster

In another experiment on the fruit fly, performed in 2009, Tiashi Yoshii, Margaret Ahmad, and Charlotte Helfrich-Förster tested whether the magnetic effect could carry over to biological rhythms, too.26Yoshii T., Ahmad M., Helfrich-Förster C. Cryptochrome Mediates Light-dependent Magnetosensitivity of Drosophila’s Circadian Clock. PloS Biology, 7(4): e1000086. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000086 The fruit fly’s locomotor activity cycles between moving and standing still over a circadian period, which, under conditions of constant light or dark, will extend to a little over 25 hours. It had been shown by Jürgen Aschoff that increasing the intensity of constant light will extend the waking periods of the flies, until a certain maximum is reached, at which point the flies go arrhythmic, and that this effect could also be produced with just blue light. Hence, by increasing the intensity of constant blue light, the waking period for the fruit fly will extend to arrhythmia. Yoshii, et al., got a bunch of wild-type fruit flies, and also Drosophila mutants that were bred without cryptochrome, and created a chamber that could immerse them in either red or blue light of such weak intensity, that their waking periods were only a little longer than if they were in constant dark conditions. As expected, the fruit flies deficient in cryptochrome acted like they were still in constant darkness when the blue light was turned on, although all flies responded normally to the red light. Then, they nailed the flies with 1.5, 3, and then 5 Gauss magnetic fields (3, 6, and 10 times the geomagnetic, respectively), aligned with the local geomagnetic field. Under red light, nothing special happened, while under blue light, they found the wild-type flies staying awake even longer, while the cryptochrome-lacking flies went back to sleep. They also found that, in the flies affected by the field, the periods got longer, the stronger the magnetic field.

The results of these experiments demonstrate that whatever faculty within the organism responds to external cyclic phenomena is intimately tied to the faculty that responds to magnetic fields and spatial orientation. Therefore, what we are dealing with is not simply a “time-sense” or a “space-sense,” but something deeper, which goes to Vernadsky’s spacetime distinction of the biotic phase of the Universe. As will be seen in the following section, this spacetime characteristic extends into other, and perhaps all, aspects of cosmic radiation and behavior.

But, first, now is the time for adding an important disclaimer, because of how scientists tend to discuss this class of phenomena. “Cryptochrome” is the name for a correlation found within plants – plants that don’t green properly under blue light were found to also lack a section of DNA which corresponds to a complete protein, which happens to have some similarities to another protein called “photolyase.” Matching DNA sections have been found in other organisms, such as Drosophila and birds, and has been associated with navigating according to the magnetic field. As has become typical, yet not quite responsible, the discovery of a physical object was then announced and given the name cryptochrome. Does this object really exist as such? The protein which corresponds to this system was then mass-produced, crystalized, and the “molecular structure” was then “solved” through typical techniques of X-ray crystallography. Several aspects of the molecular structure suggested similarities to other chemicals, with similar molecular structure, that were associated with magnetic effects after being activated by electromagnetic radiation – so-called “spin chemistry” effects. Then, experiments were performed with several organisms that displayed characteristics suggesting the presence of the physical cryptochrome molecule within them.

Cryptochrome should be taken as a type of code word for the pheonomena described through these experiments, instead of the causative factor. It is a danger that conclusions be made on the basis of theories of spin chemistry and the crystal structure of cryptochrome, while the healthier route is through more experimentation from hypothesis. In these experiments with organisms, it is clear that there is a phenomenon that has been caught between electromagnetic radiation, on the one side, and magnetic fields on the other. To assume that the cause lies somewhere in the strange, ad hoc hypothesis about the spin of an electron is backwards. It were more honest to assume that we don’t yet know what is happening on the molecular level in these creatures, since there may not, actually, be a molecular level here. The effects are organism-wide effects. The phenomenon called “spin” really does exist – there are clear chemical and atomic properties that are related in an ordered way with magnetic fields. But, that the ordered array of experimental results are solved by enumerating them and attributing it to a particle’s rotation, then asserting the rotation of that particle to be the cause of the results is not good science. Hypotheses that solve what “spin” was supposed to address should come from what must be necessary, in order to fulfil the properties observed through the line of experiments leading out of these referred to above, in life.

Unknown radiations?

Let us look at another series of experiments, which aim towards the discovery of new principles, while laying open the spacetime character of life.

Frank Brown and his collaborators built an apparatus to measure metabolic cycles of a variety of organisms. The apparatus consisted of a big Erlenmeyer flask, into which you could place the subject organism. The flask could then be closed, and the oxygen input and output measured via chemical reactions within another vessel connected by a tube. The changes would then be translated into the mechanical motions of a pen on a rotating drum of paper. The whole apparatus was also designed to be able to maintain constant levels of illumination, pressure, and temperature within the flask. With this, they measured the oxygen consumption from a potato, for example, for several months in constant conditions, and found that the potato retained its response to atmospheric pressure, even though it was shielded from any variations in pressure, i.e. although the potato physically felt no change in pressure within the chamber, its oxygen consumption went up when the pressure outside the chamber rose, and vice versa. What is more, they found that there was not just a response to pressure, but that the response appeared to correlate with pressure events that occurred, on average, two days into the future.27Brown F., Webb H. M., Macey E. Lag-Lead Correlations of Barometric Pressure and Biological Activity. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 113, No. 1, pp. 112-119 (1957)

To be precise, Brown noted that local pressure variations are largely affected by local weather shifts. The potato did not respond, minute to minute, with these changes. But, if the metabolic response to the organism was measured from about 4-7am every morning, those changes would correlate with the average pressure over a three day period, usually centered on two days into the future. Since Brown knew that this was pretty outlandish, he repeated the experiment with almost a dozen other non-related organisms. Each one demonstrated the same ability to forecast what the average temperature would be sometime in the future. The rat demonstrated the best ability, correlating with an astounding seven days into the future. In other words, the rat’s metabolic changes were virtually identical with three-day averages of the outside barometric pressure centered on seven days ahead.

Brown did not know what the potatoes, or the other organisms, could be responding to, since the cycles were not purely circadian or lunar, and therefore not endogenous, yet the potatoes were being held in pressure-constant chambers. And, it couldn’t be simply an annual cycle, because he found that the responses at corresponding months of two years were inverted. In other words, in May 1955, O2 consumption went up around 6 am, but in May 1956, O2 consumption headed down at around 6 am. What accounted for this pattern? He and his collaborators recognized that the cycles appeared to coincide with an unlikely cosmic cycle – the ebbs and flows of cosmic ray flux into the Earth’s atmosphere.28Brown F. Response of a Living Organism, under “Constant Conditions” Including Pressure, to a Barometric-Pressure-Correlated, Cyclic, External Variable. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 112, No. 3, pp. 288-304 (1957)

Brown was cautious here, though. He did not say that the cosmic rays were causing the pattern in the potatoes and other organisms, but that they coincided. Perhaps, what was causing the fluctuation in the potatoes was also causing the fluctuation in cosmic rays. He proposed that variations in the geomagnetic field could account for some of what was observed, since cosmic ray flux is mediated in part by such changes. It should be remembered that cosmic ray flux is impacted by many things, including the activity of sunspots, the Solar wind, and other galactic phenomena, with the Sun’s activity appearing to dominate.

Thus, Brown embarked on a series of experiments to determine whether or not organisms can sense weak magnetic and electric fields.29Brown F. Response of the Planarian, Dugesia, to Very Weak Horizontal Electrostatic Fields. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 123, No. 2, pp. 282-294 (1962) Remember, that 1960 was before magnetonavigation had been demonstrated! Brown placed a variety of organisms into special corrals, such that they could begin traveling in a specified compass direction, but then be free to turn in any direction once exiting the corral. Brown could then measure the direction of turn. His apparatus could also be equipped with an electrostatic field oriented at right angles to the corral path, and with a magnet that could be oriented however he wished, within the plane of travel of the organism. Over a period of more than a year, he tested several organisms, from the paramecium up to snails, in all four of the compass directions, and found definite patterns that varied over time, and could be modified with the artificial electric and magnetic fields.

The Planarian Dugesia

His results proved, conclusively, that all organisms tested were quite sensitive to both weak magnetic and weak electrostatic fields, but that their response to the fields depended on the time of year. For example, if a planarian is initially oriented north during the late morning, between September and March, it will turn left around new moon, and right near full moon. During March and April, however, the response becomes somewhat random, and by the end of April, the planarian begins turning right around new moon, and left near full moon. This persists until about July, when the patterns become somewhat random again, and reverses by September. Brown showed that he could easily alter these results with very weak (0.17 - 4 gauss), artificial magnetic fields. At the same time, the pattern goes through about a 360 degree oscillation throughout a 24 hour period.

What this means, is not just that organisms are sensitive to magnetic fields. It also means that the magnetic field interacts not only with the sense of direction for the organisms, but also with the clock-sense. Recall the experiments of Aschoff and Wever, where removing the influence of all known magnetic and electric fields radically changed the sleep-timings of the subjects, but that creating a varying magnetic field immediately put them back on circadian rhythms. Hence, we are dealing with a space-time phenomenon in organisms, not simply time or simply orientation.

At issue here is both the spacetime organization of life, but also the potential that organisms, already demonstrated to be extremely sensitive to very weak fields, are responding to as-yet unknown radiations, or unknown aspects of already recognized fields. Thus, it should be very likely that oscillations in motion and timings within organisms would coincide with things like cosmic ray flux, which also is very sensitive to changes in things like the geomagnetic and interplanetary magnetic fields.

Brown went further, and showed that organisms also respond to the influence of gamma radiation. Here again, an extremely weak source of radiation was used (~6 times the background radiation), which cannot be construed to be “hurting“ the organism (no animals were harmed in the experiments). Brown tested the organisms with his special corral, placing the gamma source first on their right side, then on their left side, to see how they would orient with respect to it. He found that, when initially oriented towards the North or West, the organisms would turn away from the gamma source, while if initially oriented South or East, they would turn toward the source. These responses also exhibited daily and monthly periodic variations.

Again, a response to extremely weak radiation, which is exhibited not only in spatial orientation relative to the weak geomagnetic field, but also temporal oscillations on the order of one solar day and one lunar month.

What can be concluded from this series of experiments? From Brown:

“The primary value of this study lies in its description of some of the intricacy of the organism’s relationship to its subtle environment. The study provides further experimental evidence for an almost incredible ‘time-space organization’ of terrestrial creatures. Within the organism it seems probable that the mechanisms of the biological clocks and compasses merge into a single functional system.”30Brown F., Webb H. M. Some Temporal and Geographic Relations of Snail Response to Very Weak Gamma Radiation. Physiological Zoology, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 385-400 (1968)

All of these phenomena demonstrate the high sensitivity, in both direction and intensity, of a variety of organisms to very weak fields. Only a limited number of radiations have been tested, which leaves open, and in fact demands, that the organism be sensitive to numerous other cues in the environment.

The spacetime of life

Another way to look at this, is that life in the Biosphere is not separate from its radiative environment. Instead, the Biosphere should be thought of as a “filled spacetime.“ If organisms can sense and respond to very weak fields, such as less than half the geomagnetic field of 0.3-0.5 gauss, or as little as 6 times the background gamma radiation, then we are awash in a sea of influential radiations from numerous sources.31Recently, scientists working with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected flashes of gamma-rays produced by terrestrial thunderstorms, which apparently generate streams of antimatter. They estimate that at least 500 terrestrial gamma-ray flashes occur per day, worldwide. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/fermi-thunderstorms.html Considering that these radiations apparently govern the majority of not only basic biological timings but also spatial motions and orientations of organisms, these incredibly weak radiation fields are also incredibly well structured, such that animals such as pigeons and monarch butterflies are able to migrate, accurately and on time.

Recall how Kepler thought. In his world, the rays of light from the planets, intersecting at the Earth to form the aspects, carry absolutely no motive force within them. It is through a process of reason, while regarding those aspects, that corresponding actions within life occur. Discard any notion that organisms are being pushed or pulled by radiations, including gravitation. Response occurs in a non-kinetic fashion. The organisms on the Earth, the geological and amospheric motions, and cycles of the cosmos exist within an harmonic universe. Organisms act in correspondence with those other processes through the medium of harmony, not through a thermodynamic, ricochet accident.

This also opens up another area of research, already referenced elsewhere in this report: the long-term development of life on the planet, as related to long-term cycles of changes in geological activity, climate, atmospheric composition, geomagnetic field strength and orientation, radioactive decay rates, cosmic ray flux, changes within the Solar System and the Sun, the motion of the Solar System through the Milky Way galaxy, and the changing relationships between our galaxy, the local group and local supercluster of intergalactic spacetime. As has already been noted several times in several places, there is a marked cycle of biodiversity of about 62 million years on this planet.32LaRouche PAC special video, The Extraterrestrial Imperative, Part 2, found at http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16049 The emergence of recognizably human cognition appeared roughly 62 million years after the last great transformation of the Biosphere’s life (the “K-T Extinction“). This cycle of changes includes shorter cycles that have similar relations to biospheric changes, such as the periodic magnetic pole reversals.

The apparently much shorter cycles of biological rhythms reviewed here are properly recognized as subsumed aspects of much longer cycles. Responsible scientists involved with studies related to what has just been described, will be open to the discovery of new types of cosmic radiations, but also new properties of known radiations. For just a small example, if organisms are so sensitive, in such a quantized spacetime manner, to radioactive decay radiations, would such a sensitive dependence be observable in the fossil record? If so, would such an observation establish variable rates of decay, over long periods of time? If so, since recent studies have suggested decay rates have some dependence on distance to the Sun, would long-observations through such a fossil telescope reveal echoes of ancient interplanetary perturbations, including perhaps dating the explosion of the missing planet between Mars and Jupiter?33See Jason Ross’s video on the non-constant rate of radioactive decay at http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16224

On the other hand, introducing Man onto the stage of space travel opens yet another possibility, which demands yet more study of the relation between the long and short biological cycles. Soon, after construction of NAWAPA has become a reality, we will begin moving masses of people into both arctic and antarctic regions. Both of these areas will become robust biological research laboratories, certainly because of the unique radiative environments, but also because of the long periods of constant daylight.34See the report on hearing auroras and meteorites by Sky Shields, elsewhere in this volume, for more on the radiative environment of the arctic. Also, watch the LaRouche PAC video on developing the arctic, at http://www.larouchepac.com/infrastructure

Let us not forget, that the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) is the true launchpad back into space. We are already in a position to observe the effects on organisms in our orbiting International Space Station of rapid travel through our magnetosphere and of exposure to cosmic radiation impossible to synthesize on the Earth’s surface. Once we take the Biosphere with us, once again to the Moon and then beyond the Lunar orbit, we will enter a domain that is apparently free of the typical diurnal, lunar, and annual cycles. How will organisms respond to such conditions? Up to now, we have only been able to shield organisms from known forms of radiation, but we are still prisoner to other radiations that exist for the orbiting Earth. From deep in interplanetary space, we will not only be able to create novel radiative conditions, but also be in a position to delve deeper into how organisms interact with the cosmos, and vice versa.

For example, from the perspective of a colony of NAWAPA-graduated scientists and engineers on the surface of Mars, the typical Martian day is closer to what has been observed as the terrestrial “free-run“ of human daily sleep cycle, around 24.5 hours. However, the solar year will be almost twice as long, the two tiny moons orbit the planet within a day, and there is only a faint signature of an apparently fossil magnetic field. How will the persistent rhythms of organisms respond to such cues? Will we find that some of what we had considered purely terrestrial cues, are actually not bound to the Earth’s regular periods? We will certainly discover more about how the biological timings and motions function, and, of course, perhaps discover new forms of cosmic radiation, which will in turn enrich our understanding of how life functions as an integral part of our intergalactic system.

Footnotes

1Vernadsky V. I., Problems of Biogeochemistry II: On the Fundamental Material-Energetic Distinction Between Living and Nonliving Natural Bodies of the Biosphere. First published in 1938 in Russian. First English translation 21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2000-2001, pp. 20-39
2LaRouche L. H., An Election’s Terrible After-Taste: The Global Crisis Now at Hand. (2010) http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16929
3Kepler, Johannes. Harmonices Mundi, 1619
4Kepler, Johannes. Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1595. Translated by A. M. Duncan (Abaris Books: 1981)
5Kepler, Johannes. Nova Astronomica, 1609
6It should be noted, that Bernhard Riemann addressed this same issue when he was still a student. In his writings on “Geistesmassen,” he referred to what he called the Earth Soul, which uses plants as a form of sense-perception, and can act on the basis of such perceptions.
7Riemann thought that the Earth Soul had, as sense organs, each species of plant in a given region. Based on what was sensed, through these plants, as the conditions of the atmosphere and land, the Earth Soul could decide what to do next, regarding the evolution of life on its surface.
8LaRouche, Lyndon. A Wedding Anniversary: The Sixth Sense, (unpublished: 2011)
9In order to clear some things up: the human female menstrual cycle has a period which varies between women, from several days to several months. The average span of the cycle, though, is about 29 days – approximately one lunar month. Whether or not this cycle has a connection with the Moon is complicated by the widespread evidence that women who live and work together tend to begin “cycling” together. The cycle itself can also be heavily modified through hormone supplements. Overall, this should be viewed as another case where cycling is inherent in the organism, while being sensitive to external factors.
10Brown, Frank A. Living Clocks, Science, New Series, Vol. 130, No. 3388, pp. 1535-1544 (1959)
11Pfeffer found that he could also use light to force the plants into periods longer or shorter than 24 hours, by alternating light and dark. Antonia Kleinhoonte went further with this experiment, and demonstrated that, if the periods go outside the bounds of 8:8 or 15:15, then the plant would “rebel” and snap back into a roughly 12:12 cycle again.
12ibid.
13Renner, Max. The Contribution of the Honey Bee to the Study of Time-sense and Astronomical Orientation, Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology [proceedings], Vol. 25, pp. 361-367 (1960)
14Brown, F., and Webb, M.. Temperature Relations of an Endogenous Daily Rhytmicity in the Fiddler Crab, Uca, Physiological Zoology, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 371-381 (1948)
15Pittendrigh, Colin. On Temperature Independence in the Clock System Controlling Emergence Time in Drosophila, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 10, pp. 1018-1029 (1954)
16Wever, Rütger. Human Circadian Rhythms under the Influence of Weak Electric Fields and the Different Aspects of These Studies, International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 227-232 (1973)
17All of the test subjects, including the ones who experienced the 50 hour “days,” ate regular meals, three times during their subjective days. It is apparently a common misconception that you get hungry around lunchtime, simply because you’ve “worked off” your breakfast. It is a circadian timing! The 50-hour subjects spaced their meals proportionally throughout their subjective day, which meant they would have breakfast around the same time as you would, but would start feeling lunch-pangs around the time after you had already completed your dinner!
18See the report on bird magnetoreception by Ben Deniston, elsewhere in this volume.
19Ritz T., Adem S., Schulten K. A Model for Photoreceptor-based Magnetoreception in Birds. Biophysical Journal, Vol. 78, pp. 707-718 (2000)
20The term “model organism” is a bit of a misnomer. On the face, it is an organism chosen to be the standard, upon which scientists around the world will perform and report on experiments. The organisms are usually extraordinary in some way, which makes them amenable to experimentation – such as the extremely rapid reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster – and are thus not exemplars of the rest of the living world. Each organism is a whole, and not assembled out of pieces from model organisms.
21Ahmad M. & Cashmore A. Seeing Blue: the Discovery of Cryptochrome. Plant Molecular Biology, Vol. 30, pp. 851-861 (1996)
22It is interesting to allow the mind to veer here, for a moment. Photolyase and its relative, cryptochrome, appear to be ancient chemicals. They are both present in just about every organism studied. If photolyase goes all the way back to before the existence of the ozone layer, before the Great Oxygenation Event, then it was “repairing” DNA when there was nothing to prevent solar and other ultraviolet radiation from reaching the ground. The point is that, repairing DNA and constructing are very similar, and both, through photolyase, act through various parts of the ultraviolet band.The existence of a chemical that has the capability of repairing DNA, when acted on by a form of cosmic radiation, becomes a very provocative vector in the process of evolution via cosmic radiation.
23Ahmad M., Galland P., Ritz T., Wiltschko R., Wiltschko W. Magnetic Intensity Affects Cryptochrome-Dependent Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Planta, Vol. 225, pp. 615-624 (2007)
24Ahmad and others typically measure magnetic field strength in either micro-Teslas or Gauss. One µT equals 10,000 Gauss. The geomagnetic field averages about 0.3-0.5 Gauss, which equals 30-50 micro-Tesla. Therefore, Ahmad’s experimental magnetic field was about ten times the background geomagnetic field.
25Gegear R., Casselman A., Waddell S., Reppert S. CRYPTOCHROME Mediates Light-dependent Magnetosensitivity. Nature, Vol. 454, pp. 1014-1028 (2008)
26Yoshii T., Ahmad M., Helfrich-Förster C. Cryptochrome Mediates Light-dependent Magnetosensitivity of Drosophila’s Circadian Clock. PloS Biology, 7(4): e1000086. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000086
27Brown F., Webb H. M., Macey E. Lag-Lead Correlations of Barometric Pressure and Biological Activity. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 113, No. 1, pp. 112-119 (1957)
28Brown F. Response of a Living Organism, under “Constant Conditions” Including Pressure, to a Barometric-Pressure-Correlated, Cyclic, External Variable. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 112, No. 3, pp. 288-304 (1957)
29Brown F. Response of the Planarian, Dugesia, to Very Weak Horizontal Electrostatic Fields. Biological Bulletin, Vol. 123, No. 2, pp. 282-294 (1962)
30Brown F., Webb H. M. Some Temporal and Geographic Relations of Snail Response to Very Weak Gamma Radiation. Physiological Zoology, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 385-400 (1968)
31Recently, scientists working with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected flashes of gamma-rays produced by terrestrial thunderstorms, which apparently generate streams of antimatter. They estimate that at least 500 terrestrial gamma-ray flashes occur per day, worldwide. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/fermi-thunderstorms.html
32LaRouche PAC special video, The Extraterrestrial Imperative, Part 2, found at http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16049
33See Jason Ross’s video on the non-constant rate of radioactive decay at http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16224
34See the report on hearing auroras and meteorites by Sky Shields, elsewhere in this volume, for more on the radiative environment of the arctic. Also, watch the LaRouche PAC video on developing the arctic, at http://www.larouchepac.com/infrastructure