JASON ROSS: Hi, today's October 29, 2014, and you're joining us for this week's edition of the New Paradigm for Humanity. My name is Jason Ross and I'll be hosting this week. I'm joined in the studio today by Megan Beets and Benjamin Deniston and we've got quite a show for you today.
To set the context a bit, we had a very successful Schiller Institute 30th anniversary conference two weekends ago in Frankfurt, Germany, on Oct. 18-19, which laid out a BRICS perspective in great detail: We had a number of speakers from BRICS nations [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] — it would have been wonderful to have had more. And the contrast between the approach of the BRICS and that of the British promoting war and chaos to prevent this new world order, is very evident right now. Not only have we seen the recent Sweden Russian sub-hunting expedition, as though a Russian submarine would have stayed in Swedish waters for a week on end while being looked for; we've also got an escalation in Ukraine and in Poland, where these nations are moving on a course towards war with Russia, which is hardly a good idea! The Polish leader had said that they're going to be moving their heavy equipment to the eastern side of their country, in response to current events. The current event might be John Kerry calling him on the phone; and also in Ukraine, with the recent elections, Poroshenko's party came out, as expected; but also the other groups, such as Svoboda, etc., there's an increasing power in Ukraine, officially in the hands of these Nazi-sympathizing groups, anti-Russian groups, who are promoting Ukraine joining NATO, Ukraine associating with the EU further, and Ukraine having conflict with Russia and with the eastern provinces of Ukraine.
So this is all, obviously, a very insane directly to be going in, as is Obama's push to consider China a threat, and non-response to Ebola. You know, the silly discussions among some in the U.S. about having travel bans, about, we can have tens and tens of thousands of people with Ebola in west Africa, but somehow, in today's connected world, we can just keep those people from ever coming here, and we can let them die, first off, is immoral, and secondly, it's just completely wrong. The only way you're going to win the war against Ebola, we've first got to go at where the outbreak is right now, which Cuba has recognized. And Cuba, under sanctions from the U.S., has sent more medical personnel than any NGO or any other group, recognizing that it has to be treated there.
So, just to say one more thing, and then introduce what we're going to be talking about today, is the resolution from the Schiller Institute conference, which addressed very briefly and very simply the three main threats today, and their solutions: The threats of global warfare, as through the Islamic State; the threat of Ebola; and the threat of financial collapse and the responses to this. We have solutions on the table for these things, at least directions for solutions — Ebola is obviously very, very, difficult. The different arrangement of affairs among nations necessary to stamp out the Islamic State is known to some degree, although opposed obviously by such wonderful allies of the U.S. as Saudi Arabia; and the only way to avoid this financial collapse, is to dramatically and totally transform the way we run our economies.
So the real solutions lie in the BRICS direction, which is under attack; the real solutions also lie in a conception of mankind that we operate under. If we think of people as being animals, it makes it much more difficult to conceptualize a beautiful world for them to live in.
So, Ben, you just wrote a paper called "Science for a New Paradigm: Time for a Solar Noösphere" [http://larouchepac.com/node/31975], and Lyndon LaRouche was yesterday saying this provides many of the answers to today's pressing questions of what humanity is. Could you tell us about it?
BENJAMIN DENISTON: Yeah. This was kind of prompted in response to what Mr. LaRouche was saying about the importance of taking on this issue, of mankind versus an animal, and getting at it in a real scientific way. For me, in writing the paper, just in the context of what this really intense world situation that we're looking at, you know, I think it's worth to look at these crisis points as expressions of really, this British Imperial ideology that's dominated the world, global policy, but also science, this idea that mankind is just another animal. You know, we've talked about that a lot of times on this show. You have some very clear expressions from people like Prince Philip, who will talk about this openly, the Royal Consort to the Queen of England, who has openly discussed "culling" large numbers of people, because people are just another animal species and any animal species that becomes too numerous needs to be killed off. And this is just the way these people think; this is this British Imperial ideology. This is what we fought against the American Revolution, but this is what has taken over our country increasingly over the past decades, especially since the Roosevelt and then Kennedy's deaths.
And this is expressed in science too. You know, popular mainstream science promotes this idea that mankind is just another animal. And so, Mr. LaRouche has increasingly put a focus on this as kind of an underlying issue at the core of the currently failed paradigm: You have these insane policies, these insane people, and at the core of this whole failing paradigm is this view of mankind as a beast, as an animal. This is the whole Green ideology.
So, as the title for my paper says, "Science for a New Paradigm," Mr. LaRouche has been emphasizing, these are the issues we want to take up in conjunction with this potential for a real global shift. And so, the article goes at it from the standpoint of two of the great thinkers that have tackled this question in the relatively recent period, which is Mr. LaRouche, who has spent his whole life working on this issue, and Vladimir Vernadsky, the Russian scientist who also addresses this issue very explicitly.
So from the standpoint of their work, what's in this article is kind of an opening thesis, a beginning of a whole line of work that we could be doing to really get at this issue. But this initial paper takes it from the standpoint of time: How is time expressed differently for animals and for mankind. And that's the theme of this particle paper. There's a lot more to be filled out — I don't even know if we'll cover everything in this show today, but to kind of open up some of the theme and the discussion.
And first off, even for animal species, time is an interesting question, what we're going to get at a lot of the discussion today is focussed on that. It's not just a simple, straightforward issue. But then, you could see, clearly, that for mankind it's completely different, it's even more interesting. And I think this was most recently, very clearly expressed by Mr. LaRouche, in his a policy memorandum he wrote earlier this year, on his "Four New Laws To Save the U.S.A. Now! Not an Option: An Immediate Necessity" [June 10, 2014; http://larouchepac.com/fourlaws], where he laid out the policies needed to save the United States from the economic breakdown: Glass-Steagall, the creation of a National Banking system; federal credit to rebuild the economy; and a fusion driver program — these four points as a core economic policy needed to save the United States. And then he dedicated the entire, later half of that memorandum discussing the work of Vernadsky, Vernadsky's conception of mankind, and the fact that mankind defines its own metrics. And that is science today: Mankind defines the metrics of any system that he participating in. Nothing outside defines for mankind, what mankind must do.
So that aspect is expressed, rather interestingly in this time issue. To get at that, first let's look at the issue of animal time. This is itself a rather interesting issue; it's not mankind, but it gives you something to juxtapose — to get a clearer idea of what the power of the creative mind really is, as expressed in these different ways. And in the article, it picked up right off of the work of Vernadsky on this issue, who in the '30s posed very clearly the idea that the space-time of a living organism is very different than the space-time of nonliving matter. He references it as even a continuation of the type of work that Einstein was doing, where Einstein broke these conceptions of absolute space, absolute time, as being some fixed, independent metrics in physics, Vernadsky started to tackle these questions in life. What is time in living matter, what is space in living matter? What is space-time in the living matter of a living organism?
And he posed that especially in a series of papers on the problems of biogeochemistry, which we translated and made available on our website: He posed the idea that the space-time of living matter is different than nonliving matter. And he had also raised in other works that the idea of time itself needed to be taken on in a fundamentally new way for science, that our conceptions of time needed to develop and change, especially as informed with how we learn about time is expressed in living organisms.
So this actually came up in an interesting way in some of the work we've been doing in the Basement, on the anti-entropic development of evolution, the evolution of life on Earth over the past millions and millions of years. And actually, a couple of years ago, I came across a paradox that's kind of a precursor to some of the work that's expressed in this paper. Which is, I was looking at the question of the development of life over the evolutionary record, and taking a thesis based on Mr. LaRouche's work, that the energy-flux density of life should be increasing over evolutionary time. So the energy per mass per time, the energy-flux density of living organisms should be increasing over the evolutionary record. And in doing some initial studies of this, I came across what initially seemed like an interesting paradox, which is, if you take two mammalian species of different sizes, the extreme being a mouse on the one end and an elephant on the other end, you actually get a dramatically different measure of the energy-flux density: That the mouse is actually somewhere on the order of 30 times higher energy-flux density, if you literally just measure the energy per gram per second, used by the mouse, the energy used per time per mass of the mouse, is well over 30 times higher than the elephant.
So this seemed strange to me, in the early phase of this work: Does that mean that the mouse is more advanced than the elephant? The mouse expresses a higher energy-flux density?
ROSS: Can you put that in other terms? So you said, energy per mass per time, that would be something like calories per hour per kilogram of weight of the animal?
DENISTON: Yeah, exactly.
ROSS: Is that the same as metabolic rate? Is that a similar measure?
DENISTON: Yeah, you can measure metabolic rates in that way, yeah. A lot of this came come from looking at the measures of metabolic rates, that gives you exactly that, if you put in, then, the per mass terms, you get this measurement: joules per gram per second is another way to measure it, especially for the smaller critters like mice and stuff. But this initial paradox came up: Why would the mouse have this much higher value than the elephant? They're both mammals, they're both an expression of the same mammalian evolutionary class in the evolutionary record, and yet, the mouse seemed to have a higher value. So this is kind of a paradox and an interesting thing. Still consistent with the idea that overall, over evolutionary time, the whole system progressed. But it was initially a kind of a paradox.
ROSS: Because it stuck out to you because earlier, in comparing different kinds of animals, like a mouse and an elephant are similar, but when you look at reptiles, if you found a similarly sized reptile and mammal, the mammal is definitely going to use more energy?
DENISTON: Yeah. Yeah, you definitely see indications that reptiles, amphibians, expressions of earlier stages of evolution, have lower values of this energy-flux density.
But then, this came back up more recently, looking back at some of this work, and thinking about it from the standpoint of Vernadsky, and then, realizing that then, maybe the problem is using this conception of seconds in the measure, of clock-time in the measure. What do seconds mean to a living organism? Is that some value you should hold up as some intrinsic significance? Does that mean something significantly to the living organism? Or, do you want to treat more seriously Vernadsky's view of space-time, varying in living matter, and having these things like space and time be physically determined, not absolute, not measured by seconds or by external metrics.
So this led to a whole series of work, and it actually came out that, if you use any of a whole range of internal or intrinsic metrics of time, physical metrics of time, you actually get the same energy-flux density for mammal — all mammals, large, small, etc. If you measure the energy, per mass, per heartbeat, for example, the elephant's heart beats slower, the mouse's heart beats faster, so instead of measuring by seconds, you measure by heartbeats, all of a sudden you get a similar value. You could measure it by respiratory cycles, breathing cycles, you get a similar value. You could measure it by gestation, the time it takes for the growth of the baby organism in the body of the mother, that is a similar value, the energy per mass per gestation period, ends up being similar for mice and for elephants. The time to reach reproductive maturity in the life cycle of an animal is similar; the life-span of an animal overall is a similar value.
And then even the time it would take to double the population of any species, ends up being a similar value, which is actually a metric that Vernadsky pointed to in his earlier work, as something significant in measuring the characteristics of any given species.
So this I thought was fascinating: If you get rid of clock-time, you get rid of seconds, and you measure energy-flux density as kind of a relative, or intrinsic metric, energy per mass per physical cycle, any of these physical cycles, all of a sudden, all of the mammals approximate a single value. Now this is not like strict, deterministic mathematics. You're not going to take one animal, measure it, and get the exactly same thing every single time; there's a lot of factors that play into the life-span of an animal, the heart rate of an animal, different things; there's going to a lot of factors determining those conditions at any one time, or in any one individual member of a species. But if you take a lot of data for a species as a whole, it tends to converge on the same value; if you take a lot of data for different species of mammals, they all tend to converge on these similar values.
So it's moving toward defining what I would call a mammalian time unit: That time, for the mouse, is actually the same as time for the elephant, intrinsic to the mouse itself. That the mouse experiences and expresses the same physical time unit as the elephant, but it's only when you kind of project them against each other, you see this difference, but the difference is in the projection, not in the intrinsic time characteristics of the organism itself.
So that might seem somewhat detailed, but I think it's a fascinating quasi-resolution to this initial paradox of looking at this mammalian class as a whole system that's expressing a single stage of the evolutionary development and the increase of the energy-flux density of life as a whole in the biosphere over time.
And then, as you were saying Jason, now if you compare this to other classes, mammals being one class, reptiles being a different class, amphibians being a different class, then you see a difference, even in this relative time unit. So, whereas for mammals — higher apes, tiger, elephants, mice, whatever you want to say — there's going to be some variation, but they all tend to converge on a similar energy-flux density value, when you take this kind of relativistic or physical time metric.
If you compare that single value for all mammals, against the comparable similar value for all reptiles, now you get a significant difference: That the energy per mass per physical time of a reptilian species is significantly different than a mammalian species.
ROSS: I know this is a difficult concept, just to make sure that people are able to understand it okay: using this intrinsic time unit, if I enough mice, if I got a lot of mike, and they weighed as much as an elephant, then my cage full of a million mice is going to use more energy per hour than the elephant will. But, if instead of per hour, if I counted per heartbeat of the elephant, the elephant will use a certain amount of energy and that whole cageful of mice, in one of their very short heartbeats, if they weighed the same as the elephant, it'd be the same amount of energy in the cage with the mice, and one mouse heartbeat, and the elephant in one elephant heartbeat?
DENISTON: Yeah. Yeah, that's a good example.
ROSS: And then if you had a case of iguanas that weight as much as the elephant, they would use less in each heartbeat.
DENISTON: That's exactly it. And Vernadsky looked at this from the standpoint of not just the living organism itself, but the effect of the organism on the surface of the planet. And he had, already in the 1920s, had defined what he called as his second biogeochemical principle, which was that life as a whole shapes the planet: It shapes the atmosphere, it shapes the oceans, shapes the soils; living matter shapes the structure of the surface of the Earth. And he would often look at the way it does this by his concept of the biogenic migration of atoms: How does living matter move and change the state of the material structure of the surface of the Earth, the biological motion of material, or biogenic migration of atoms.
But he said that over evolutionary time, this should increase which is directly tied to what we're looking at here, which is the difference between the mammalian class and the reptilian class, with the iguanas as you cited in the example, that the effect of life on the planet by these animal organisms, increases with time. And we're still working through a lot of these studies, but I think this is a very exciting confirmation and resolution and furtherment of Vernadsky's work, on showing that life as a whole expresses inherently an anti-entropic process, on the planet. The evolutionary development of life expresses this anti-entropic process.
But, for that to occur on the scale of the planet, it doesn't happen with one organism, it doesn't happen with one species. But it requires millions of years of evolutionary time, to effect a change in the state of the planet as a whole. And this is often measured in different geological epochs, or different geological periods; we used to talk about the age of the amphibians, then the age of dinosaurs, then the age of the mammals, as major, tens of millions, hundreds of million-year periods of change of animal life on the planet, which, as Vernadsky indicated, corresponds to the increased rate of life to control and dominate and determine the structure of the planet. But that doesn't occur, again, within any individual organism, only on the scale of this evolutionary time.
So all this is, I know, a lot of details, putting a lot out there. It's elaborated more in the paper, and it might be more accessible to just sit down and read through the paper, to work through some of these concepts. But I think it's useful to pose all of that, because that sets some of the boundary conditions for animal time. You have this idea of the intrinsic time unit of mammals, defining time for any individual animal. You have an expression of evolutionary time for animals, on these scales of millions of years, where you actually see a change in the overall effect of life on the planet, corresponding with evolutionary change in these geological time-scales. So you have that as a kind of a backdrop, that's the context — that's the context in which we're living. We're living in a biosphere, we're living with animal species. We have an animal biology that's part of us, part of what we are. But now that give us a measure, or something to then examine, and look at what is mankind, against that standpoint? Because mankind's completely different. Mankind breaks all of these animal time constraints, animal time conceptions.
Vernadsky himself was discussing, even in his time, the beginning of what some were calling of a psychozooic epoch, a new geological epoch, a new geological period, and geological periods are generally millions or tens of millions of years in length; Vernadsky's identifying that the power of human intelligence was now creating the conditions and creating a new geological epoch, that the power of mankind was actually increasing the biogenic migration of atoms, increasing the rate of change of the surface of the Earth to such a degree that we're actually seeing the creation of a new epoch.
MEGAN BEETS: Meaning that the geological effect of man, of the species of human beings, is becoming a noticeable and increasingly dominant factor in determining the geology of the crust.
DENISTON: Mm-hmm! Right. And mankind is now having a geological-scale effect, and creating a new state of the biosphere and new state of the surface of the Earth, which distinguishable and distinct from a prior state. Now, you do see that in evolution, as I was just discussing, but it takes millions of years. You see that with mankind over the scale of maybe thousands of years, hundreds of years, or potentially even generations. That mankind expresses something that you don't see anywhere in biology or even animal evolutionary change, which is the power to create this scale of change in the system of the Earth, on the scale of potentially generations.
So you see, on this very large time-scale mankind expressing a capability to create what otherwise we would only see something comparable in evolutionary change, create this effect over generations; which, again, is not attributable to anything in the human biology, but purely to the power of the human mind, the power of human creative thought. And again, Vernadsky discussed this a lot. He discussed the concept of scientific thought as a geological force, that's what he was talking about. This ability for mankind to be this geological force, is attributed to scientific thought, to the power of the human mind, something you don't see in animals.
It's also expressed, in a rather interesting way — I think a lot more could be done to illustrate this concept — it's also expressed in the very small: If you look at domains like chemistry or nuclear physics, where we're now effectively operating on timescales and controlling processes and understanding processes and working with processes that operate on timescales that are ridiculously beyond the biology of the mammalian time-unit, to use the terms from before, to experience and work with. You know, perception for a mammal of the size of a human being, might be limited down to thousandths of a second. The ability to perceive a process, to actually — you know, one expression of this that people might be able access, is television: There's certain frame-rate required, where if the frames are quick enough — each frame is a still image, it's not moving; each frame you get on a television is one image, but we perceive motion, as continuous, smooth motion. The only way we do that, is because there's a high enough frame-rate. Each frame is only shown for a short enough period of time, that we're tricked into just seeing it as a continuous motion. If you have a low enough frame-rate, each frame is exists, is displayed for a long enough period of time, you just see it as a sequence of still images that are jumpy.
ROSS: Like a bad cartoon.
DENISTON: Yeah, or very early movies. Would have a lower frame-rate, and they were called "flicks," because they were flicking. And that's measured in thousands of a second, or millisecond, a couple hundred milliseconds, or tens of milliseconds to get that effect. So there's a limit in the time in which the biology of the human body could even perceive differences or respond to things, you know, measuring these thousandths of a second. But we're now dealing with processes on the atomic or chemical scales that are measured in what are called femtoseconds, or even attoseconds; which, you start to talk about these orders and orders of magnitude, it's easy to lose the scale of these things. But a femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second, which is a very, very short period of time. An attosecond is billionth of billionth, or a thousand times shorter than a femtosecond. It's kind of ridiculously short time-scales, but, we're actually able to increasingly understand processes occurring on these time-scales. We're creating laser pulses, for example, that we discussed on this show, that are as short as these time-scales, and allowing us to probe and understand, and in some cases even image and understand individual chemical reactions occurring on these ultra-short time-scales.
So, in effect, again, completely outside of the biology, but with the powers of the human mind and scientific discovery, we're able to occupy and understand these sense-perceptually impossible domains; we're able to do that by the powers of the human mind, and we're able to utilize our ability to understand these processes of nuclear reactions, chemical reactions. And it's not just an academic understanding of things. That, then, applies to the change of mankind's relationship to the planet as a whole. Our ability to understand physical chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and increasingly understand and wield an understanding of that and apply that in our economic relationship with the planet, then determines our ability to, actually, going back to the very large, determines our ability to increasingly significant geological effect on the planet as a whole.
So you see this interesting kind of interconnected time relationship, where our ability to understand and act on the very small, outside of biology, outside of the perceptual capabilities of a mammal of our size, is intimately connected to our ability to wield and have effects on the time-scales of the very large, again, something completely outside of the capability of any individual living organism or individual animal to do as a single species — yet, mankind can do it.
So you see this kind of projected, particularly in this domain of time, you see this expression of what we opened with, that mankind is absolutely not an animal, these are not biological or animalist capabilities. But mankind is creating, through scientific and creating development, in effect, creating our own domains of time, and our ability to control and act on these domains of time. And I think what's most interesting and most important, that no one level of this change is what mankind is. Mankind is the ability to constantly create new stages, new changes, going from a chemical domain to a nuclear domain in the small, characterized by shorter time-scales, higher energy-flux density and then reflected back in the large associated with larger geological effects on the planet as a whole, mankind being an increasingly powerful geological force on planet.
So that what characterizes mankind is the ability for this self-evolution, expanding into these new domains of time. And I think one way to round off this opening discussion, — and there's a lot more that can be done to, Mr. LaRouche was saying, this is kind of an opening thesis, but there's a lot more that needs to be done to fill out these conceptions — but, going back to what he was saying in discussions with some of us last night, I think this then gives a new context to look at the actions of the individual, because it's the human individual that can do this. That you're not bound by your biology, you're not bound by your life-span: The actions of any one individual can determine these larger processes.
And it's only when society as a whole really recognizes that this is scientifically the nature of mankind, that the action of the individual, the action of the human mind expands far beyond the biology, far beyond the human body and determines these much larger processes, and it's only when people in society recognize that as scientifically defining their own identity, that we can begin to have a sane, really human society, where people are actually living up to that level. You know, there's a lot here, a lot of details, a lot more to be filled out, but I think these are the types of conceptions that really need to be developed as part of creating a new state of mankind on this planet.
ROSS: You had also pointed in some of your earlier work, that when looking at the energy use of a human being, it would be done in a different way than the most or the elephant. So, people, our bodies, don't use a huge amount of energy, I mean, even this story about this swimmer who had eaten a lot of calories per day, at most about 1 kilowatt would be his energy rate; now you had made a comparison in looking over time that the use of power per capita in the United States now, is about 200 times beyond what our biological use of energy is. That is, the mouse's use of energy is in its food and running around in its little wheel and things like this; and then, for us, our measure of energy is far beyond our bodies.
BEETS: Yeah, it gives a different idea of what human metabolism is. You were talking about the animal metabolism taking in these materials, inside the body of the animal, you have new kinds of chemicals which are created which wouldn't have been created outside the body of something living. And then these things are deposited, either by excretion or by the death of the organism, and these become part of the geology of the Earth's crust.
Well, mankind's metabolism doesn't just include his body. Mankind's metabolism includes what he manufactures, the unique states which can be created in the laboratory and the manufacturing process, with high temperatures, high pressures, accessing and using principles that we've come to understand to create things which never would have been created outside the noëtic system. And as you just said, Jason, the vast majority of these creations of man don't come via his body; they come via his economy, and this external metabolism, you could say, an external use of power.
ROSS: Yeah. You may not be watching what you eat, but most of what you eat is probably coal, it's not food. [laughter]
ROSS: Another aspect of your paper was about Vernadsky's approach beyond Einstein. Einstein had developed a different form of space-time, with his Special and then, General Relativity, he showed that space-time isn't flat, it's not uncurved. And that the curvature depends on physical principle, for him of gravitation and of light. But that Einstein knew that that wasn't the end of the story. I mean Einstein spoke of, and would have very liked to have seen how biology would have further refined our idea about what the shape of space is, and this is something that Vernadsky also takes up. And that you addressed in your paper. You made a comparison between two moving reference frames, in which, within each reference frame, the occupants believe — you know, to them, intrinsically, their intrinsic time, processes behave exactly as they would expect them to. That's one of Einstein's principles of relativity: That being in motion shouldn't make the laws of the universe appear different to you.
So you're in a moving reference frame, it doesn't seem that way to you, things occur as you would expect. To an observer outside it, it might seem that everything you're doing is actually going slower than you believe it to be — from their standpoint it's slower.
And you had brought up that comparison between the mouse and the elephant, as though the mouse or the elephant goes on a rocket ship, or is in a moving references frame that using the internal time measured — you gave several of them, a heartbeat, a breath, a time of gestation; a little bit longer then; a time of population doubling, much longer — but that for one thing, it's very interesting that all of these internal time units see, coherent, that they scale together. That's very interesting, that each has its own internal time.
ROSS: And then the comparison between them occurs only when you use extrinsic metrics, either the time of another organism, or what got you into this in the first place, using the second, which is of course is outside of any particular organism.
Do you have any other ideas for where you'd like to see the development of the shape of space go? Or where would Vernadsky like to see it go? What else can we learn about it?
DENISTON: Well, this is something we touched on a little bit in some previous shows, but Vernadsky was very clear that this should then inform our ideas of the cosmos, of space, of galactic systems, of cosmology, of the nature of these large systems outside the Earth. He had this paper which we've discussed a few times on this show, that we're in the process of translating and making available, which is the "Study of Life Phenomena in the New Physics," where he says that these new conceptions, and he explicitly highlights this issue of biological time as one of the key components that he thinks is highly significant, these conceptions of the physical processes of these expressions of life we see on the planet, should then inform our ideas of physics more generally, should inform our idea of these large-scale astronomical processes and the physics of galactic systems and various things. And I think, as we talked about a little bit, there's a lot of evidence indicating that is definitely the way to go. There's an enormous amount of evidence, that attempting to have a lifeless physics, a physics without life, explain the types of phenomena we're already observing in these large processes, just doesn't work. There needs to be something more, and Vernadsky's very clear that it's these questions of how life occurs and life as a principle of the universe, is going to give us the insights needed to figure out these things.
So that's definitely one very exciting way to go at this thing. And then, I think the other aspect is really filling out more and focussing more on this unique character of human time versus animal time. Because it's only when people realize that this is actually more real, than what you experience biologically, that we can actually have a sane society. That people actually realize that their, take one example, their geological effect, or their effect on all of society even beyond the life-span of their biology, is what is more real about their existence, than they're biological experience, and that not just being a nice conception you talk about in Sunday school, and then go about your daily life, but that being the actual scientific definition of mankind and mankind's existence: That we have to have a science that's coherent with this new paradigm, which is coherent with a real scientific conception of the nature of mankind.
BEETS: I think, on this, you just brought up this further investigation of the unique time, or the unique organization of the human mind as it might be projected as a shadow in time measurement, and then, you were pointing out that the unique thing about man is not just any particular time that quote/unquote "occupies," but the fact that he's able to make revolutions, and his power to perceive change and act on smaller and smaller and larger and larger scales.
But I think another thing to point out and raise for discussion here, is it's not man's progress in penetrating deeper and deeper into these processes of the universe; it doesn't just occur in a linear fashion. So we're not just talking about man's mind occupying a smaller, perceiving and acting in a smaller unit of time, and then a smaller, and then a smaller; but there's something about the organization of the human mind which doesn't operate on linear time at all. I mean, we're not just talking about surpassing the biology in a linear way, but, for example, you take the kind of organization of time that occurs in the performance of music: You're not talking about something that could be mapped linearly. A musical performer doesn't proceed through the performance, unfolding the performance, going from one note, to the next note, to the next note, to the next note. There's a completely different experience of the organization of an idea, which occurs, and which the human being experiences in that.
You know, and Furtwängler had this beautiful — his attempts to communicate what that was like, he expressed in discussing the "simultaneity of the parts and the whole." And then another way he expressed it is in the "experience of the now with the vision of the far." And he was saying that as the performer's unfolding the composition, you have the parts which are determining how the next part unfolds, which then creates the whole, and yet, it's the presents and existence of the whole, which hasn't yet occurred, which affects how the performer unfolds each moment, each part.
And I think that's something we have to include in this investigation, not into a linear progress in time, but what is the unique nonlinear organization of human experience of time, and I think Classical art is really the key thing to be investigated for that.
DENISTON: Yeah! Absolutely. The concluding point of the paper, the main thing that comes across, is that time is a projection of creative development. That time, space, ultimately, our conceptions of these are still governed by sense-perceptual conceptions, but as you conceive in just this initial study, it is what becomes more real and determines these issues of time and space and these other conceptions, is creative development: That's ultimately where it has to go.
BEETS: Right. And then, what you're talking about is the future. Because, here's the thing, is that animals, any individual animal has no sense of the future. They are determined by the process of the development of the biosphere as a whole, and they react and are acted upon by that. The human being can actually have an intimation of the future. The human mind draws its experience from the future, and then creates the effects of that in the now, in the so-called present. And I think that really is sort of what we're bumping up against, is the fact that is human beings' existence really is in the future, which goes beyond the boundaries of your biological existence, and as you said, very provocatively, sets the scientific basis for the immortality of the human individual.
ROSS: I think another time aspect of this, because we had discussed — you said, nonlinear, maybe non-quantifiable, or you'd discussed the difference in the quality of time in music, versus in typical considerations in physics, one being that the time doesn't only go in one direction: reflection, anticipation of the future, this clearly exists in music; it doesn't exist in your physics textbook.
And also, stepping beyond it altogether, I don't think we've quite said it exactly this way, but, we change the scales of time that we act on, both towards the very small with our discoveries that allow us to reach down there; also into the large, with our ability to plan further into the future; and then also, what is the length of time of the effect of somebody like Vernadsky himself? Who changes the approach of how we study these types of questions? What is the time action of somebody who takes part in building a canal, that reshapes the lithosphere? What is the time action of somebody — let's take Mendeleyev, for example, or Pasteur, somebody who changes how human thought works? And there, the scales of time break down altogether, because you're creating a different quality of time. You're shifting the scale, and it's not longer or shorter, it's really fundamentally different, in a certain way.
And I think that Vernadsky was pointing out that need for many other avenues to pursue what the shape occupied by life and of the noösphere is, in part by bringing up in this paper that we've referenced, the "Science of Life in the New Physics," that despite the many years that have passed since Newton and Laplace and the idea that every moment can be explained by the preceding one, Vernadsky says, we've had many sciences develop and advance and discover things without using this concept at all! He points specifically at biology, evolution, he looks to the potential to astronomy to teach us more.
So I think there's a lot of avenues to pursue on this. Is there anything else for today's discussion do you think?
DENISTON: I think it's good to open it up: We put a lot out there for people to chew on as kind of an opening thesis. But like you said, there's a lot more to be done.
ROSS: Yeah, a lot of work to do. And I think it would be — you know, think about your own ideas about this. We've discussed some of the ways that human time or human energy differs from that of animals: Can you think of some others? How would a scientist, studying the human species note in its effects, its difference from life? So if you have any that we haven't discussed yet, add 'em in the comments, and maybe we'll be discussing that in part, next week.
So I think that'll do it for this show today. And we'll see you again. Thanks for joining us.