December 23rd, 2011 • 1:38 AM
Pigs, Quakes, and Physical Time

by Meghan Rouillard

In LaRouche’s recent report “The Strategic Situation Now”, he refers to the case of pigs and earthquakes, and what this says about the inherent fallacy of reliance upon simple human biological sense perceptions. This includes the notion of the “timing” of an event, and the question of when an event occurs, in fact, if it has been perceived to occur at different times because of the different instrumentation of different species. It is arguably a case where the idea of a physically determined time is necessary to meet the paradox. LaRouche refers to the case of the seemingly different time of occurrence of an earthquake, depending on whether you ask the human, or the pig. Here is a relevant passage from LaRouche’s report:

"So, it is the expression of the true principle of metaphor, that we must, typically, consider two objects, each of which is not a reality in itself, but each is, rather, a seen shadow cast by an unseen reality. What, therefore, is the relationship of that which is seen, as if in a mirror, as an imagined relationship between what appear to be two different objects? The objects which we have believed that we have seen, must be treated as related in the way that the mere shadows of real objects must be related to the human actor. They are related in metaphor.

That, for example, was precisely the true nature of the stroke of genius in Johannes Kepler’s recognition of his discovered principle of universal gravitation, as in, also, his relevant, earlier discovery of the use of the notion of a “vicarious hypothesis.” Such is the actual relationship between the shadows known as sense-perceptions, and the unseen objective-existences which are invisible to human sense-perceptions; such is the quandry of those persons, who differ from, but resemble, curiously, the behavior of those apparently panicked pigs which react to the earthquakes at a discrete interval of time prior to a human perception of such an actually, humanly experienced, subsequent event.

So, Pierre-Simon Laplace lacked the honesty of the pigs experiencing the onset of that what we humans have experienced as the pigs’ own first, direct perception of the earthquake as being a sensed earthquake. Such is the conclusion to be adduced in noting the intrinsic incompetence of Laplace’s fraudulent report on the actuality which is usually mistaken for what was merely an imagined form of space-time."

It is now well documented that animals do, in fact, response in advance of humans to earthquakes. In China, this fact was even used as the basis to evacuate an entire city before a major earthquake. Here is one of the earliest accounts of this pre-quake strange behavior in the Americas, from A. von Humboldt:

"The most anxious ones paid attention to the conduct of dogs, goats, and pigs. The latter, who have an exceptionally sharp sense of smell and who are accustomed to rooting in the ground, announce the nearness of danger through restlessness and clamoring. We shall let it stand [without comment] whether they are the first to hear the underground tumult because they are nearer to the ground or whether gases that emanate from the earth have an effect on their organs."

While seismologists have been inclined to reduce this sensation of pigs and other animals to their “feeling” of merely seismic precursors (and hence, not a sense which humans would lack, just a quantitatively stronger “feeling”), these explanations don’t quite work. The so-called “P-waves” which travel slightly faster than the main seismic waves could only account for a response of seconds to minutes in advance of the quake which humans would then feel slightly later-- this is the explanation given by the USGS as the most likely thing which animals could sense prior to a quake. In the 1920’s, German scientist Hans von Hentig argued for the first time in a scientific paper that the precursors felt by animals were not the result of mechanical stress; in a more recent book, “When the Snakes Awake” author Helmut Tributsch rigorously compiled global and historical data of anomalous animal behavior precursors and showed that this became manifest an average of 21 hours before the relevant quake. It is very likely the case that animals are not responding to the seismic p-waves, and the USGS does acknowledge that p-waves can’t account for the documented mass strange behavior which occurs days or even weeks before a big quake. Perhaps it is an electromagnetic change we have yet to perceive, or something else altogether-- and perhaps nothing which can be linked to ground shaking.

Here is more from LaRouche’s paper on the implications of this time discrepancy of response:

"...This discrepancy in “time” of occurrence, to which I have referred immediately above, that as in respect to human sense-perception as such, is, thus to be appreciated as a systemic defect in any human reliance on a presumed “natural” quality of what we recognize in the use of the technical term “sense-perception.” A similar conclusion is needed when the sense-perception of the pigs experiencing an earthquake-related type of event, is contrasted with the same later real event’s report of a human response to the same setting of the in-processes experienced by the pigs of the categorically “same” event.

The essential challenge which my cited treatment of the difference between the pigs and the people during the same extended world event, illustrates more broadly, is what is rooted in the inherent imperfections of what can be reduced, by aid of man-made scientific instruments, to a common universal event. The mistaken notion of an alleged human experience of “space-time,” is an illustration of such inherent errors in the various species of notions of lapsed time associated within a generality of notions equivalent to those of sense-perception."

Could man-made instruments ultimately reduce this seeming time discrepancy, such that we artificially sense the earthquake in the same manner as the animals, once we overcome the idea that our own sensation is more real? Research in Japan using plants as sensors is one step in this direction--and also makes use of the hypothesis that the change sensed by the animals is electromagnetic in effect. From M. Ikeya’s book “Earthquakes and Animals: From Folk Legends to Science:”

“Plants have long been studied in connection with electricity. The direction of root growth is known to change near a large stone, because it disturbs the electric field in the soil. An interesting experiment was undertaken during the 1999 space shuttle mission to observe the growth of roots under an electric field without gravity. According to news reports, the root grew along the direction of the electric field...

Japanese legends suggest that plant growth and development might be affected before earthquakes: some plants are said to grow vigorously, others to bloom early, still others e.g. pear, apricot, and peach trees to re-bloom before earthquakes. Before the Kobe Earthquake flowers and leaves were observed to have swung subtly and trembled in still air. Before the Kanto earthquake in 1921 the rice harvest in the area was reported to have been early and the plants stunted. The mimosa is said to close its leaves before earthquakes. Is it possible that both plants and animals respond to EM waves before earthquakes?”

Certain long-term observations of white willow trees, desert date trees, and other plants were carried out to confirm this. Here are some of the observations:

“Exposure of plants to electric fields on EM waves affects their growth and development. Electric fields on EM waves produced effects on plants consistent with those reported before earthquakes: short rice plants, yellow “bar code” effects on leaves, and leaf-closure and bowing of leaf stems in the mimosa plant. EM waves produced browning and wrinkling of leaf tips of rice, and at more intense fields, burning of tips of leaves and roots through electric discharges at the narrowest points. The mechanisms by which flowering, re-flowering and early maturity might occur in plants invite the efforts of biologists to establish possible EM effects on hormones, floral induction paths or floral repressors."

As mentioned, this hypothesis was applied in Japan using plants as sensors:

"The silk tree shows a sensitivity to current created by differing charges at ground and branch levels-- and, according to their reports, large earthquakes have been successfully predicted based on a study of its “biopotential...” If preseismic stress produces EM waves then plant anomalies noted in legends and retrospective reports may be earthquake related.”

The early plant maturity and similar effects might indicate that the nature of this response is not even simply at the level of a simple electromagnetic stimulus, but possibly involves the circadian rhythms of plants, which may be linked to or interfered with by electromagnetic radiation, but the general cause of which is still uncertain--circadian rhythms are what we might perceive as a “time sense” in life, discussed further in our report on the “Extended Sensorium”. These questions point us in the direction of a concept of a real, physically determined time which animals can cause us to study in their reactions to earthquakes which contradict our own perceptions of them, though it is ultimately we, and not the animals, who can increase our power over nature from such a study if we chose to do it (as I wrote this, a series of strong earthquakes shook Christchurch, NZ). Moving in the direction of abandoning the notion of the primacy of one’s own sense perceptions is an important step in that direction.

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The Basement Project began in 2006 as a core team of individuals tasked with the study of Kepler's New Astronomy, laying the scientific foundations for an expanded study of the LaRouche-Riemann Science of Physical Economics. Now, that team has expanded both in number, and in areas of research, probing various elements and aspects of the Science of Physical Economy, and delivering in depth reports, videos, and writings for the shaping of economic policy.