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Small Revision to my latest book A ‘Final Theory’ of God

I am currently working on an Updated Edition of my last book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God. The update will primarily focus on scientific developments/discoveries since the book was published in 2014, and especially developments in neuroscience. However, these scientific developments require some consequential revisions to other arguments in the book. For the benefit of those who have already read the book, I would like to share one small revision I shall be making.

It relates to the interaction between the neurological networks of instinct, reason and morality, and specifically how the activation of the neurological moral network (morality module) in the first of the human species is portrayed in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

The revision relates to Chapter 7 of the book (The Manifestation of the Laws of Physics as the Human Brain – The Meaning of the Garden of Eden), at pages 131 – 133. For those who have not read the book, abridged articles on Genesis chapters 2 and 3 can be found here  http://wp.me/p5izWu-7r and here http://wp.me/p5izWu-7C.

I should stress, however, that these and other revisions do not detract from the overall arguments in the book; they reinforce and clarify those arguments.

Brief Background Summary

Chapter 7 of the book is an analysis of the culmination of the unfolding of the fundamental laws of physics as a human organism with a capacity for moral judgement.

Preceding chapters explain how the brain developed the distinct neurological faculties (neurological networks) of instincts and reason. Initially the capacity to reason was limited to servicing those instincts. The primary human instincts are survival, security and reproduction, which are instincts we share with animals. Instincts are activated by the prospect of pleasure or the fear of pain. However, the human capacity to reason (think, scheme, evaluate, plan etc) at a higher level than animals causes humans to devise ways to indulge (or over-indulge) the pleasure to be had by servicing their primitive instincts and react (or over-react) to the fear of pain. To counter this propensity to over-indulge or over-react to the prospect of pleasure or fear of pain, the human brain is endowed with what neuroscience now recognises as a neurological moral network, or morality module (McMillan, 2017). The neurological moral network was somehow activated at some point during the development of the human brain.

Chapter 7 of the book explains that the description of the Garden of Eden and the story of Adam and Eve are metaphors for the formation and functioning of the human brain, and the process by which the neurological moral network was activated in the first of the human species to experience it. The book describes the metaphor of the Garden of Eden as follows.

The “trees” [that are “made to grow”] perfectly correspond to [the various neurological faculties] – “pleasant to the sight” refers to instincts; “good for food” refers to the innate ‘knowledge’ of how the universe and life functions and the human compulsion to consciously acquire that ‘knowledge’; and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the neurological moral network (page 120).

But the “tree of life” is more problematic. If the “Garden of Eden” refers to the human brain, and the “trees” to the various faculties (neurological networks) that constitute the brain, then the “tree of life” should correspond to a neurological network. And it should be noted that “the man” was not prohibited from eating of the “tree of life” (Genesis 2:16 & 17).

The Revision

The revision that I will be making to the book resolves that problem, and it is found in a proper understanding of the symbolism of “the serpent” (Genesis 3:1-5). In the book, I explain these verses as follows:

The story of Eve’s (the woman’s) temptation, therefore, clearly illustrates the interaction between morality, instinct and reason. The serpent represents the instinct for reproduction. The symbolism of the serpent ‘speaking’ relates to the allure of pleasure to be had by indulging the instinct for reproduction. And Eve ‘seeing’ “that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, …” symbolises the human ability to ‘reason’ to justify taking actions that we ‘know’ are wrong. The prohibition against eating of the tree represents morality – the neurological moral network within the brain that ‘speaks’ to us of the morality of certain actions, and acts as a restraint to actions which offend against it, if we listen to it (pages 131 – 132).

In adopting that interpretation of these verses (ie Genesis 3:1 – 7) I was swayed, to an extent, by the interpretation of Philo Judaeus (also called Philo of Alexandria, the great Jewish philosopher who lived at about the same time as Jesus) who described the symbolism of “the serpent” like this:

Anyone who follows a reasonable train of conjecture, will say with great propriety, that the … serpent is the symbol of pleasure.  … The serpent is said to have uttered a human voice, because pleasure employs innumerable champions and defenders who take care to advocate its interests, and who dare to assert that the power over everything, both small and great, does of right belong to it without any exception whatever (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVI (157) and (160) respectively).

However, after considerable reflection, and specifically in attempting to explain the “tree of life” in the context of the Garden of Eden being a metaphor for the human brain, it became increasingly obvious that “the serpent” represents the human capacity to reason (think, reflect, scheme, devise, evaluate, plan, investigate etc). I will be setting out the argument for that conclusion in full in the Updated Edition of the book but set out here the argument in outline.

The Outline Argument

The serpent” symbolises reason advocating for the pleasure that could be had by succumbing to the demands of some or other primitive instinct (and the phallic imagery of “the serpent” suggests the instinct for reproduction) to indulge in some physical act or acts which the neurological moral network cautions is ‘wrong’. The reply to “the serpent” by “the woman” that God had prohibited them from eating of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (the “fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden”) is the response from the neurological moral network cautioning that the behaviour contemplated is wrong. The response from “the serpent” symbolises reason then challenging that warning from the neurological moral network against indulging in the contemplated behaviour by proclaiming that “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4 & 5).

That final response from “the serpent” (reason) induces “the woman” to find ‘justification’ for ignoring the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network by citing the perceived ‘benefits’ that she thinks (reasons) may be derived by indulging her primitive instincts:

The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was PLEASANT to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise, and took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband with her: and he did eat (Genesis 3:6).

The words “pleasant” and “desired” pointedly refer to pleasure; the pleasure reason perceives is to be had by indulging in some or other type of physical behaviour (and the imagery of “the serpent” suggests sexual behaviour of some kind) that the neurological moral network cautions is wrong.

That “the woman” perceived the tree to be “good for food” refers to the primitive human instinct to find the means to satisfy the demands of our primary primitive instincts of survival, security and reproduction. The word “food” refers to the desire to provide ‘sustenance’ for primitive instincts, and “good” refers to those things which can most effectively provide such ‘sustenance’. But in this case, ‘sustenance’ was not an issue because there was an abundance of other fruit in the Garden that they were free to ‘eat’. The reference to “the woman” justifying ‘eating’ the fruit on the basis of it being “good for food” thus symbolises reason invoking an otherwise ‘natural’ human action (simply responding to our instincts) to justify an action that the neurological moral network was strongly warning was wrong. It wasn’t for basic ‘sustenance’ that she was justifying eating of the fruit, but over-indulgence of some primitive instinct because of the perceived additional pleasure it may generate.

Finally, the words “to make one wise” refer to the human instinct to acquire ‘knowledge’ of the world and how it functions as a means to better cater to the demands of our primitive instincts. However, in this case, “the woman” applies reason to justify indulging an action that offends against the neurological moral network on the pretext that it would provide additional ‘knowledge’ (“make one wise”) even although it had nothing to do with servicing the basic needs for survival, security or reproduction, but only for the perceived pleasure it may generate.

Once that moral boundary had been crossed, the descendants of these human beings would pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure itself, not just to satisfy a particular instinctive need such as hunger or reproduction. Philo put the distinction well:

For other animals pursue pleasure only in taste and in the acts of generation; but man aims at it by means of his other senses also, devoting himself to whatever sights or sounds can impart pleasure to his eyes or ears (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVIII (163)) – and I would add, not just his “eyes and ears”.

Why acquiring knowledge of good and evil was wrong

The reason it was wrong to ‘acquire’ the “knowledge of good and evil” is that an act had to be taken which offended against the neurological moral network for it to be consciously activated. That opened the way for human beings, who up until then had simply conformed to the subconscious constraints of the neurological moral network, to ‘rationalise’ setting aside any sense of guilt or conscience caused by indulging the demands of their primitive instincts and seek to maximise pleasure and eliminate at any cost any perceived threat that may cause ‘pain’. From then on, human beings would no longer be satisfied with simply sustaining their lives in harmony with nature. They began to desire in excess. They proclaimed ‘ownership’ of more land than they needed for their own survival, even if that meant depriving others of the basic necessities. They sought to conquer, plunder and destroy to allay their fears and insecurities. It meant building castles, building kingdoms, building empires. The human species had fallen into bondage of their primitive instincts. They became slaves to the pursuit of pleasure and the fear of pain. But as Philo says, “And those who have previously become the slaves of pleasure immediately receive the wages of this miserable and incurable passion” (Philo, 2015, p. p. LX (167)). A condition, says Philo, “more miserable than death” (Philo, 2015, p. p. LVIII (164)).

A further consequence arises from “the serpent’s” initial claim that eating of the Tree would make them “as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). They would not then need to pay any attention to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network, they could do as they please, and would be accountable to nobody. There would be no need to believe in God. They could decide for themselves what was right and wrong, and they would not feel any guilt for their actions.

Reason and The Tree of Life

Recognising that “the serpent” symbolises the human capacity to ‘reason’ leads to the supposition that the “tree of life” is a metaphor for ‘reason’ as well. But there is a difference. And that relates to the application of reason. I shall set out the argument in outline only.

The “tree of life” and the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” that were in the “midst of the garden” (Genesis 2:9 & 3:3) refer to the initial harmony between reason (“the tree of life”) and the neurological moral network (“the tree of knowledge of good and evil”). At this early stage of human development reason subconsciously complied with the restraint of the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network when responding to the demands of primitive instinct. That is not idle speculation. It is supported by anthropological evidence, as can be seen in the earliest of the human species, whose descendants survive to this day, most notably the San people of southern Africa (and I would include also perhaps other indigenous peoples like the Aboriginal people of Australia and the Inuit). Those who have not yet been ‘civilised’ respond subconsciously to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network.

This state of harmony between reason and the moral demands of the neurological moral network is symbolised by the words “and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).

But the human capacity for reason was not and is not genetically limited to subconsciously complying with the restraint cautioned by the neurological moral network. The human capacity for reason was and is capable of contemplating and entertaining actions which would violate the neurological moral network. And human beings were and are capable of ‘rationalising’ disobedience to the restraint urged by the neurological moral network by citing the need and benefits of servicing their primitive instincts. That is symbolised in the exchanges between “the serpent” and “the woman”. The “serpent” symbolises this malevolent aspect of the human capacity to reason, but it also demonstrates that the human will is free to choose whether to serve the moral demands of the neurological moral network or the demands of primitive instinct, although it does know which choice is right.

So when the first human beings took some action that violated the neurological moral network it caused a sense of guilt; it pricked their conscience, and they sought to ‘cover up’ their indiscretion by blanking it out, so to speak – that is, they sought to suppress the sense of guilt and conscience they felt. That is symbolised by the words “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:26).

But they could not escape the sense of guilt and conscience. Notwithstanding their attempts to justify their actions in terms of a natural response to the demands of their primitive instincts, the sense of guilt and conscience persisted, especially when they were no longer in a state of heightened passion that had originally provoked their disobedience to the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network. That is symbolised in Genesis 3:8 with these words: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden.”

The “voice of the Lord God” symbolises the persistence of their guilty conscience.

The “cool of the day” symbolises reflection on their actions when they were no longer in the state of excited passion about the pleasure they anticipated by indulging in the contemplated action.

That they “hid themselves … amongst the trees of the Garden” symbolises them seeking to avoid the guilt they were feeling by justifying their action as a natural response to their primitive instincts.

Consequences of violating the neurological moral network

Of course, no matter how much they sought to suppress the sense of guilt they were unable to do so. And the consequences were dramatic, for the first of the human race to succumb to the temptation to defy the ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network, and to their descendants, right up to the present day. Once the neurological moral network had been consciously activated it could not be de-activated. From that moment on, the human capacity to reason would be in constant tension with itself in discerning and choosing between the demands of their primitive instincts and the moral prescriptions of the neurological moral network.

This consequence is symbolised in this verse: “And I will put enmity between thee [the serpent/reason] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The word “enmity” refers to the state of tension or opposition that had arisen between the demands of primitive instincts and the neurological moral network on the human capacity to reason.

The “serpent” represents the capacity to reason, and “the woman” represents the human will which is compelled to choose between the conflicting demands on reason to act in accordance with primitive instinct or the neurological moral network.

That the “enmity” will continue “between thy seed and her seed” symbolises the fact that this tension (“enmity”) would afflict the human capacity to reason in all the descendants of the first human beings who consciously activated the neurological moral network.

That “enmity” shall “bruise” the head of “the serpent”, and that “the serpent” shall “bruise” the heel of “enmity”, symbolises the conflict between the competing demands on reason. On most occasions, the demands of primitive instincts will prevail in this conflict and reason shall succumb (“it shall bruise thy head”); at other times, reason will resist and make the right decision (“thou shalt bruise his heel”).

But the consequence for the human condition is that they would be ruled thereafter by the pleasures and fears aroused by their primitive instincts. They would have to strenuously and consciously strive to hear the ‘voice’ of neurological moral network above the clamour of demands from their primitive instincts. The ‘voice’ of the neurological moral network had been silenced, unless they strove assiduously to discern it. Human beings would only hear dim rumblings. They had become morally deaf, blind and mute.

That is the symbolism of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden.[i] “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (Genesis 3:23).

And the next verse is particularly apt in respect of the ability of reason to conform itself to the demands of the neurological moral network once that network had been consciously activated: “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). Human beings would no longer enjoy the mental tranquillity of automatically and subconsciously living in conformity with the prescriptions of the neurological moral network. For reason to re-discover that tranquillity it would face considerable and almost insurmountable obstacles (“Cherubims and a flaming sword”) due to the overwhelming need for reason to devise ways to service the demands of primitive instinct. The “way of” naturally conforming to the moral law had been lost. That is symbolised by the words “to keep the WAY OF the tree of life”; that is, the way of reason in conformity with the neurological moral network.

Why compliance with the prescriptions of the neurological moral network is significant is dealt with under the sub-headings “Mind/Body Debate” and “Mind/Soul Debate” in the article titled “Addressing some contemporary issues between science, philosophy and religion.”

This interpretation is also important in understanding the intricate connection between the origins of religion and justice. I shall be addressing that issue in the next article.

——————————————————————-

Bibliography

McMillan, J. B., 2016. Science in Genesis Chapter 2. [Online]
Available at: http://wp.me/p5izWu-95

McMillan, J. B., 2017. Addressing some contemporary issues between science, philosophy and religion.. [Online]
Available at: http://wp.me/p5izWu-bC

Philo, 2015. On the Creation. [Online]
Available at: http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text/philo/book1.html

 

[i] Adam had by then called “the woman Eve, because “she was the mother of all living” – Genesis 3:20

Can Freedom and Law coexist without God?

An understanding of the relationship between freedom and law is fundamental to any discourse about the existence of God.

The essence of freedom is that no one person, group of people, or institution, has any natural authority over any other person or group of people. That is self-evident; to assert otherwise is to claim that some are masters, and others slaves.

However, if no one human being can be subverted to the authority of another human being, how can we have such a concept as law? It is fatuous to resort to arguments about the ‘will of the majority’, or ‘fundamental human rights’, or the ‘social contract’ as an ‘authority for government’; they are simply devious mechanisms by which some seek to impose their authority on others.

That leads to the inescapable premise that freedom cannot recognize as law the commands and doctrines of other human beings.

Yet, we do recognize the concept of law as operating to define the limits of freedom. We recognize that there are right and wrong actions.

That leads to the second inescapable premise – that freedom and law can only coexist under the auspices of a Supreme Law. Freedom can only recognize as law that which is universal, and applies equally to each and every human being alike, in the same way that the laws of physics apply to everyone everywhere, without distinction or favour. And like the laws of physics, such a law cannot emanate from another human being.

But does such a supreme law presuppose a supreme lawmaker?

Although physicists would argue that a supreme law does not require a supreme lawmaker, they devote a great deal of time and effort seeking a ‘theory of everything’, or a ‘final theory’. That is really a search for a supreme lawmaker – a fundamental set of principles, or perhaps even a single principle, from which all other laws flow. The question is whether such a supreme lawmaker could simply be an impersonal mathematical construct, or whether it is a conscious Being.

We cannot discover which it is by examining the minutiae of the building blocks of the universe; we need to consider what was built, and why.

If we want to know the intended purpose of a factory, we need to see what final product is produced. So far as we presently know, the final product of the cosmic factory that is the universe is a human organism endowed with a capacity for moral judgment. In that sense, human beings are a conscious manifestation of the fundamental laws of physics, and they give expression to their capacity for moral judgment in the search for justice.

Legal codes going back to Hammurabi, Moses and Asoka, testify to that.

The common underlying principles of such codes, and the recognition in each that those principles emanate from a supra-human authority, tell us that the authors ‘saw’ with stark clarity that freedom and law can only coexist under the auspices of a supreme lawmaker.

Modern systems of government and justice also reveal a recognition that a supreme law requires a supreme lawmaker. The grand structures housing our executive, legislative and judicial ‘authorities’, and their procedural ‘rituals’, are designed to create the impression of a supra-human authority as the foundation of supra-human systems of law and justice. It’s an illusion, of course, and mostly corrupted by those who believe themselves to be ‘gods’.

Yet, even such systems, corrupted as they may be, reflect a basic human condition that refuses to recognize the commands and doctrines of other human beings as legitimate authority to limit freedom. The human condition demands a supreme lawmaker as the only legitimate authority to define and limit human freedom.

Modern neuroscience can now tell us why that is. It is a consequence of a neurological moral network within the human brain. And that network is a manifestation and image of the moral dimension of the fundamental laws of physics.

But the neurological moral network is in fierce competition with primitive human instincts. The instincts for survival, security and reproduction, instincts that are fired by the prospect of pleasure and the fear of pain and death, seek protection and sanctuary in the herd. Herd instinct has compelled us to surrender our freedom to an ever more oppressive global corporate tyranny under which we are nothing more than economic units in service to the financial interests of a select few. Our productivity has become the only measure of our worth.

The challenge now facing the human race, as it has been throughout the ages, is to free ourselves from bondage to our primitive instincts, and exert ourselves to activate the neurological moral network that lives within us all. Only such a supreme effort can bring about a new dawn of civilization in which every human being is free from the commands and doctrines of other human beings, yet living under a system of universally recognized principles. Only such a reconciliation of freedom and law can ensure respect for the worth and dignity of each and every human being.

The neurological moral network tells us that such a reconciliation between freedom and law requires a supreme lawmaker as the author of a supreme law; it requires God. Anything less makes some masters, and others slaves. And that is tyranny.

******

This article is based on the theme of Joseph BH McMillan’s latest book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2016 All Rights Reserved

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part VI): Science in Genesis – Day Five.

Day Five introduces instinct and reason to the universe, and thus establishes the basis for what will become evil, or sin, and eventually the entire concept of crime.

On a reading of Day Five, that may seem like a rather peculiar conclusion to draw, but I would urge the reader to bear with me. It will all become very clear.

But first, we need to address some preliminary issues.

As we have already seen, new scientific discoveries and theories are constantly confirming the Genesis account of the origins of the universe and life, and in that respect Day Five is no different.

It begins with these words:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”[Genesis 1: 20]

The first thing we need to address is what is meant by “the waters”.

Genesis tells us that at the end of the six days there was still no water on the Earth, at least not water in liquid form, because “God had not caused it to rain upon the earth ...” [Genesis 2: 5]

So “the waters” must be symbolic.

In the first three “days”, Genesis uses the word “waters” to describe the life-giving properties of matter during its various stages of transformation. Furthermore, Day Three is clearly an account of the creation of primitive DNA structures that act as a blueprint for life that was to follow. As Philo says, this primitive DNA reflected “incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses.[1]

Nothing happened in Day Four that altered the basic structure of matter and energy as at the end of Day Three.

So it would be entirely consistent with the use of the word “waters” throughout Genesis Chapter 1, that “the waters” in Day Five refer to the primitive DNA which had “seeded” the matter making up the early Earth and its atmosphere. In other words, “the waters” refer to all the elements that had formed together into the mass of matter that was becoming the Earth, as well as the primitive DNA structures that were created in whatever supernova was responsible for our galaxy.

The next thing to note in this verse is how God is said to have initiated the process of creating the more advanced life. It says this: “And God said, LET THE WATERS BRING FORTH …

That wording is the same as Day Three, except Day Three says “Let the earth bring forth …” [Genesis 1: 11]. Day Six uses the same wording as Day Three – “And God said, Let the earth bring forth …” [Genesis 1: 24]

This wording, in which an ‘instruction’ is given for something else (earth or waters) to take the next step in ‘creation’, applies only when life in some form is said to be created (the exception being the creation of “man”). That is different to the account of the ‘creation’ of other things where God is not said to use something already existing as a medium for the next step in creation. When the creation of life is not involved, we find the words “And God said, Let there be …

The distinction is clear. When the account relates to the transformation of the quantum laws to the Classical laws of physics, the wording implies a direct intervention. In contrast, when the account relates to a transformation of inanimate matter into life, and primitive life into more advanced life, the structure of matter itself is said to have done the ‘heavy lifting’.

This distinct description of the creation of life is entirely consistent with new scientific understanding of the origin of life.

In the Update to my article on Day Three I made reference to new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The research is being done by the physicist Jeremy English, and was reported in Quanta Magazine. Essentially, English devised a “mathematical formula” which he believes shows that when “a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.” Although it should not distract us here, the theory is based on the second law of thermodynamics.

The reason I referred to this research in my Update to Day Three is that it is most relevant to the initial creation of DNA described in my article on Day Three.

However, it is also relevant to Day Five, because the process of creating the initial basic structures of life also applies to the initial basic DNA restructuring itself into more advanced life. And as the reference makes clear, the “heat source” and the “heat bath” that initiate and propagate the process don’t have to be the Earth as we know it today. As long as the “source” and the “bath” are susceptible to the second law of thermodynamics operating, then the process must be able to take place. And as we saw in the article on Day Three, there is clear evidence that such processes take place right across the universe where the conditions are right.

Although English claims the process is inevitable as a “simple matter of probability”, it may not be as simple as that. The reason that particles and atoms behave in a certain way is that they have the necessary properties to do so. That is, they are ‘programmed’ to behave in certain ways in certain environments. But more remarkably, living structures in the form of DNA appear to ‘know’ in advance what sort of environment they will encounter in the future. And we find evidence of that in research on the human genome.

An article by Michael Hanlon in the Telegraph of London in 2012 reported that The Encode Project, a multinational 5 year study to analyze the 98% of human DNA that does not constitute a protein-creating gene (classified previously as Junk DNA), has now discovered that “this DNA is not junk at all … [and] … that as much as a fifth [of it] is instead made up of “switches” – bits of DNA that turn some genes on and others off.”[2] As Hanlon notes, human beings are “not much more well endowed genetically than a fruit fly or even a lump of yeast.”

However, he goes on to say that “… the more we learn about our genome, the more complex it becomes. We have genes that tell our bodies to make proteins, genes that affect other genes, genes that are influenced by the environment, segments of DNA that switch certain genes on and off, as well as RNA, the still-not-fully understood messenger molecule that conveys information from our DNA to protein factories in cells.” And furthermore, DNA also “consists of ‘pseudogenes’ – non-functioning copies of active genes that form the raw material for evolution’ – sort of ‘reserve genes’ waiting to be switched on.

Although the Encode Project was looking at human DNA, the same principles apply to animal DNA. This shows that DNA is somehow ‘programmed’ to ‘know’ what it will encounter in the future, and prepares the mechanisms to respond to those eventualities.

Whether the ‘reserve genes’ are ‘pre-programmed’ to develop certain characteristics as they encounter certain environments, or whether DNA somehow ‘knows’ how, and with what, those ‘reserve genes’ need to be programmed when certain environments are encountered, is not important. Either way, DNA seems to ‘know’ which switches to operate in order to activate (or ‘program’) the ‘reserve genes’ necessary to respond to the different environments it appears to ‘know’ it will encounter at some point in the future.

That accords perfectly with what we noted about the words “And God said …” in the article on Day Four. Those words have been consistently used to represent a manipulation of probabilities with the objective of creating a desired result.

Day Five is telling us that the primitive DNA structures that had “seeded” the early Earth underwent a modification that enabled them to respond to the future environment they were soon to encounter. And that environment would be planet Earth in a form more similar to the one we see today; a planet with liquid water, and a life-supporting atmosphere. The primitive DNA was being ‘programmed’ to respond to its intended future environment. Like the particles in the delayed-choice experiments, we could say that “it’s as though the [primitive DNA had] a ‘premonition’ of the [future Earth] they [would] encounter farther downstream, and [were adjusting] accordingly.[3] Genesis is telling us that the primitive DNA ‘knew’ what was coming, and adapted itself accordingly.

So “the waters” have a kind of double meaning: they refer to the properties of primitive DNA that were being ‘programmed’ to develop into more advanced life once they encountered liquid water; and it means that the first ‘advanced life’ on Earth was destined (or ‘programmed’) to emerge from water, which, of course, it did – so far as we know.

But even so, we should always bear in mind that these chemical reactions, which underlie the creation and functioning of DNA, are a consequence of the principles that determine the behavior of fundamental particles. As Steven Weinberg says, “We believe that atoms behave the way they do in chemical reactions because the physical PRINCIPLES that govern the electrons and electric forces inside atoms leave NO FREEDOM for the atoms to behave in any other way.[4]

Martin Rees puts it this way: “Mathematical laws underpin the fabric of our universe – not just atoms, but galaxies, stars and people. The properties of atoms … determine the chemistry of our everyday world. … And everything takes place in the arena of an expanding universe, whose properties were imprinted into it at the time of the initial Big Bang.”[5]

The next verse follows the familiar sequence by introducing the second stage of what we could call the quantum effect as seen in the delayed-choice experiments – the ‘intended’ result, as expressed in the ‘instructions’ following the words “And God said …”, are implemented. In this verse, God is said to do those things He previously said should be done.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” [Genesis 1: 21]

 Following the usual pattern, the words “And God saw that it was good” lock in, so to speak, the ‘programming’ that had taken place. But in the case of the creation of more advanced life, we have a very significant addition to the normal sequence of events. God is now said to speak to what He had just created:

And God blessed them, SAYING, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” [Genesis 1:22 – my emphasis on saying]

This is a very significant verse in respect of the issue of evil, and will become even more significant when we contrast it to the words God is said to have spoken to human beings in Day Six. That is why I have emphasized the word “saying”.

The reason is that verse 21 refers to the physical composition of the creatures God is said to create – “whales, and every living creature that moveth  …”; whereas verse 22 clearly refers to the composition of the brain, and how it is ‘programmed’.

In verse 22, God is said to ‘speak’ when He blesses the creatures He has just created. And ‘speaking’ implies a neurological process or activity. But when God is said to bless the creatures, He does not ‘speak to’ them, instead he blesses them “SAYING, …”

By contrast, when God is said to create the “male and female,” we find these words: “And God blessed them, and God SAID UNTO THEM, …

That is an important distinction because there is a very big difference between simply “saying” something and speaking to someone in particular.

We experience this in every-day life. We often simply say something to no one in particular, or even to ourselves. Most people with pets will ‘speak’ to their pets. For example, if we take food out for the dog, we may say something like, ‘there you are, eat that, it will keep your fur shiny.” Of course, we don’t expect that the dog understands what we are ‘saying’, and we certainly do not expect to hold an intelligent conversation with the dog.

Contrast that with what happens when we speak to our children. Even from an early age we speak to our children because we know that they have the capacity to come to understand what we are saying to them. We speak to our children in a very different way to the way we ‘speak’ to our pets. And as the children acquire a capacity to understand and respond, we hold intelligent conversations with them.

In both cases, however, there is an element of ‘reason’ going on. And that is clearly what Genesis is referring to.

In the case of animals, they are being ‘programmed’ with a limited ability to ‘reason’. They learn that when we come out at certain times of the day they will eat. In the wild, that limited ability to ‘reason’ is applied to determine the most likely places to find food, and the most effective way to hunt.

So the use of the word “saying” clearly refers to a ‘programming’ of animals with a limited ability to ‘reason’. And we find that limitation in the next verse, which is key to properly understanding the human condition:

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” [Genesis 1: 22]

Animals are being ‘programmed’ with primitive INSTINCTS – reproductive and survival instincts. In order to “be fruitful and multiply” there must be some mechanism to attract one sex of the species to the other. And in order to sustain their existence, they need to survive; and for that they need to eat. Furthermore, for the species to “multiply”, they also have to ensure the survival of their offspring, so they need a strong instinct to protect their young.

So verse 22 refers to the ‘programming’ of DNA so that animals have basic reproductive and survival instincts, and a limited ability to ‘reason’; and the fact is that animals do have such instincts, and they do have a limited ability to ‘reason’ in order to work out how they can most effectively service those instincts.

That is the meaning of Day Five, and it just happens to be what Jeremy English believes his new theory demonstrates. As he says, “a great way of dissipating more [energy] is to make more copies of yourself.

Conclusion

So Day Five sees the ‘creation’ of DNA that will produce the initial animal life, but only once the Earth had stabilized to an environment containing water and the right atmosphere. Further, the act of God blessing and speaking to the life created symbolizes the ‘programming’ of DNA with primitive instincts, and a limited ability to ‘reason’. The limited ability to ‘reason’ also implies a limited capacity to communicate. And our everyday experience of animals confirms that fact.

As we shall see in the next article, it is this interaction between reason and primitive instinct that forms the basis of what we call evil. In essence, reason in the service of primitive instinct portends to evil.

At this point I should briefly address what is known as Satan. It would be remiss of me not to.

I make no judgment about the existence or otherwise of a malevolent being. The analysis I set out does not require such a being, but neither does it preclude one.

It does not require one because human beings, on the analysis of Genesis, are more than capable of inflicting unspeakable atrocities on each other when their reason is in service of their primitive instincts. And it doesn’t preclude one because, like unscrupulous hackers who make our technological lives hell, if there is such a malevolent being, he could easily tempt us to put our reason in the service of our primitive instincts with the promise of the pleasure, or elimination of fear, that would facilitate.

In the next article we will deal with Day Six – the culmination on the creation story; and the intended final cosmic product – human beings. And more important, it will fully explain the phenomenon good and evil.

————————————————————–

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Notes

[1] Philo, On the Heavens, XLIV – 129.

[2] Michael Hanlon, The Daily Telegraph (London), September 11, 2012.

[3] Adapted from Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, pages 188 – 189.

[4] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, pages 9 & 10.

[5] Rees, Just Six Numbers, page 1.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part II) : Science in Genesis – Day One

We should be clear at the outset what we will be doing in this analysis.

We will not simply be substituting God for those things science cannot yet explain, although it is remarkable that Genesis does in fact make reference to the intervention of God at precisely those moments.

Neither will we claim that only an ‘intelligent designer’ could explain the complexity and improbability of life and the universe.

Such arguments risk a charge of ‘mistaken identity’. The counter-argument would be that Genesis simply uses God as a substitute for the laws that govern the universe. That would make God a symbolic description for what scientists call “The Theory of Everything,” or the “Final Theory”.

If the argument for the existence of God is to have enduring credibility, it must show that the fundamental laws themselves speak of a God, and they must speak of a specific and personal God. Otherwise we end up with a vague notion of God that is indistinguishable from some force of nature.

The physicist Steven Weinberg put it well. For God to have a compelling significance, says Weinberg, He has to be shown to be “an interested God”; a “creator and lawgiver who has established not only the laws of nature and the universe but also standards of good and evil”, and “is concerned with our actions”.[1]

As we shall see, that is in fact the message in Genesis. The fundamental laws that govern the universe are God’s Law, and they reveal God’s Will, and those laws are imprinted into the human brain in mathematical form. That was God’s chosen method of communicating with us.

To understand how that was done, we need to go to the beginning. Both science and Genesis recognize that the beginning is where we can discover the origin of the universe, and the origin of our own existence.

The Beginning

References are to the King James Version of the Bible because it is reputed to be the closest to the original translation.

For ease of reference, these are the verses we shall address in this article:

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
  3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
  4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
  5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

So let’s consider each of those verses in turn and compare them to the scientific explanations.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

First, we have to identify exactly what is meant by “the heaven and the earth.”

Clearly “the earth” does not refer to planet Earth, because the next verse says “the earth was without form, and void,” and planet Earth is not “without form and void.” And anyway, references to planet Earth only come later.

So “the earth” can only refer to matter, the stuff that was going to be used to create the universe.

Likewise, reference to “the heaven” cannot mean Heaven in the sense of the realm in which God is said to exist, because it would be most peculiar if God had to create the very domain in which He resides. The only reasonable explanation is that “the heaven” refers to space, the place in which the matter (“the earth”) exists.

So Genesis sets out right at the beginning the material that was going to be used to create the universe, and where it was – matter and space.

That is identical to the scientific explanation. Scientists calculate that all matter that exists in the universe was at one time concentrated into one dense point, variously described as the size of a grain of sand or a football. But since this matter had to exist in something, space itself was condensed into this tiny confined mass as well. And Genesis confirms that. The statement that “darkness was upon the face of the deep” can only refer to the fact that there was no space into which light could be emitted. This concentration of matter and space was so dense that even light could not escape, like a black hole, but with an immensely greater gravity.

However, although science and Genesis agree on where the material that makes up the universe came from, they don’t agree on how it got there. Genesis says it was God, and scientists admit that they have no idea. And that should not surprise us because, as Max Planck said, “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.”[2]

So there we have the material that will be used to create the universe and, ultimately, life.

Next we have to consider what this material looked like.

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Genesis thus gives a very precise description of what this dense mass of matter and space looked like.

But what of science?

Here are some descriptions from a number of scientists.

According to the ex-Royal Astronomer of Britain, Martin Rees, it was an “ultra-dense primal medium that was almost structureless.” [3]

Brian Greene says that it was “a highly disordered state of primeval chaos.”[4] He goes on to describe it as “… a wild and energetic realm of primordial chaos; [with] extremes of heat and colossal density,”[5] in which “gravity was by far the dominant force.”[6]

And in respect of “heaven”, Greene says this about “space” in the “preexisting” universe: “But if the universe is spatially infinite, there was already an infinite spatial expanse at the moment of the big bang.[7]

These scientific descriptions are virtually identical to the description in Genesis – “the heaven and the earth” were “without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

However, the next verse of Genesis then appears to refer to something that has not been mentioned before.

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The obvious question is, ‘where did “the waters” suddenly come from’? Critics of Genesis love scoffing at this verse, arguing that water did not appear on the Earth until relatively recently.

But that ignores the methodology used in Genesis. As we shall see, this re-description of what just went before is a common literary technique applied in Genesis to convey meaning. In this case, matter and space, previously referred to as “the heaven and the earth,” are simply re-described as “the waters.” And that is a very astute way of explaining the inherent ability of matter and space to create life. Water is perceived as life-giving and life-sustaining.

Genesis is telling us that matter and space, although clearly inorganic, had the built-in properties to create life. The fact that matter and space are concentrated into a “primordial chaos” does not mean that they are incapable of producing life. As Martin Rees says, Einstein showed that matter and space, “Even if shrunk to a ‘point’, … is LATENT with particles and forces.”[8] Rees thus cautions scientists (and Stephen Hawking comes to mind) against claiming that the “universe can arise ‘from nothing’”.[9]

So re-describing matter and space as “the waters” was obviously deliberate.

But why then the reference to “the Spirit of God” moving across “the waters”?

This is a very important verse because it tells us that this dense concentration of matter and space was inert. It could not transform itself into a different state. It needed something to initiate the process.

So here we encounter the first significant distinction between simply substituting God for some unexplained phenomenon of physics, and instead looking to the fundamental principles to identify the requirement for God. And the necessity for God relates to the Principle of Freedom referred to in the previous article.

Most physicists today subscribe to the theory of “inflation” to explain how the initial matter and space was transformed into the universe as we know it. According to this theory, within the dense matter and space was an anti-gravity force physicists call an “inflaton field” – inflation without the “i”. This field ‘wriggled’ around in the dense chaos until at some point it reached a “value” that caused it to exert an enormous outward force that expanded the initial matter and space at a phenomenal rate, causing the Big Bang.

Greene says that the inflaton field exerted a repulsive force which overwhelmed gravity. If we think of gravity as the positive force, the inflaton field would be the negative force. The effect was that the “negative pressure” of the inflaton field caused a “gigantic gravitational repulsion that drove every region of space to rush away from every other.”[10]

However, physicists can’t agree on what caused the inflaton field to be activated. According to Michio Kaku, “there are over fifty proposals explaining what turned on inflation and what eventually terminated it.”[11]

Greene acknowledges science’s “ignorance of why there is an inflaton field, why its potential energy bowl has the right shape for inflation to have occurred, why there are space and time within which the whole discussion can take place, and … why there is something rather than nothing.[12]

With an acknowledgement like that, it is tempting to fill the gaps with God. But that is the danger in the “intelligent design” argument. If we simply ascribe to God those things Greene acknowledges science doesn’t yet understand, the argument runs the risk of science coming up with an explanation. Then the whole “intelligent design” argument will lie in tatters because it would appear as though science had disproved the existence God. But it would only appear that way because the argument had been based on the wrong evidence. That is a common occurrence in the law when a case is built on the wrong evidence which is then used to disprove the case it was intended to prove.

Instead, we need to consider the fundamental principles that determine the behavior of the inflaton field itself.

Fields are subject to the same quantum mechanical principles as particles. As Greene says, “the uncertainty principle also applies to fields.”[13] And Greene notes that the “quantum processes will inject random jumps into a Higgs Field’s value …[14]

So both particles and fields in this pre-existing universe were governed by quantum principles, and as we saw in the previous article, there are two distinct aspects to quantum behavior.

The first relates to probabilities. Particles and fields are free to choose from an infinite number of probabilities. As Kaku says, this establishes “free will.”[15] Greene explains this correlation between the quantum behavior of particles and fields like this: “the particle is free to take on this or that velocity …or … a mixture of many different velocities … For fields, the situation is similar.[16]

So not only is freedom the fundamental principle of the laws that govern the universe, it was also the fundamental principle of the quantum laws that governed what Genesis describes as “the heaven and the earth”, and science calls a “primordial chaos.”

But we should also recall that physicists realize that the probabilities could be manipulated or controlled. However, in order to adopt a specific position, they still require the second aspect of quantum law – an observation. Only then will they adopt a fixed position. And that is what would be required in order for the “fundamental laws of quantum physics [to] morph into the classical laws[17] that created the universe we have today; a universe capable of creating and sustaining life.

A pre-requisite for this transformation was that the particles and inflaton field had to be compelled by something outside the law, but able to control the law, to adopt the specific positions and properties that created the necessary structures to build the universe. The law itself could not do that. And Genesis tells us that this required “the spirit of God.”

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

According to Genesis, the “the spirit of God” was the mechanism through which free particles and fields were compelled to adopt the positions and properties that would initiate the inflationary burst and Big Bang.

Genesis symbolizes this with the words “And God said, let there be light.” What had been “the heaven and the earth” was being commanded to transform into something entirely different – “light.” And when the command was given, “there was light”.

But how does that fit with the science? Well, as it happens, it fits exactly.

According to science, the Big Bang spewed billions upon billions of particles and anti-particles into the universe. However, when particles collide with anti-particles, they destroy each other creating a photon of light. So at the very earliest moments after the Big Bang the universe would have been filled with light, just as Genesis says.

But here is the problem. If there were an equal number of particles and anti-particles they would all have destroyed each other, leaving a universe full of light with no particles to create stars, planets and people. As the British physicists Brain Cox and Jeff Forshaw say in their book Why does E = mc2?, “The question ‘why is the universe not just filled with light and nothing else?’ is still open-ended, …[18]

That is where the next verse of Genesis is relevant.

“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

As we know, because they constitute our bodies and everything we see in the universe, some particles did survive. There must have been a slight excess of particles over anti-particles. But not just any amount of particles, but the precise amount to ensure that the universe as we know it survived.

If there had been too many particles, gravity would have condensed them quickly, and the universe would have folded in on itself. If there had been too few particles, gravity would not have been strong enough to bring them together to create stars and planets, and ultimately life.

But not only were the number of particles exactly right, the number was so precise that they perfectly balanced the gravity pulling them together with the anti-gravity force that pushes the universe to expand.

Scientist simply do not know why this happened. Some have suggested that the cooling of the universe after the Big Bang created the excess, while others argue that in the case of some particles the anti-particle decomposes at a faster rate than the particle.

Whatever the cause, what is certain is that the timing of the initial expansion was perfect to ensure that there would be an excess of particles that would form together to create the universe.

But there is an even more important element to this. That fine balance between light and particles, and the various forces at work, had to be maintained so that the universe didn’t simply descend into chaos again. Martin Rees cites Sakharov to emphasize the point: “As Sakharov points out, our very existence depends on an irreversible effect that established an excess of matter over antimatter … Had that not occurred, all the matter would have been annihilated with an equal amount of antimatter, leaving a universe containing no atoms at all.”[19]

Although science has no idea why this should be, Genesis provides an explanation; and again it relates to the other fundamental principle of quantum physics – an observation.

In order to create the “irreversible effect” that would  ensure that there was enough matter in the universe, Genesis tells us that at a crucial moment after the creation of light, God made an observation, thus making the amount of matter and balance of forces in the universe permanent. But we don’t have to read anything into the description to find reference to an observation, it is in plain language – “And God saw the light.”

Furthermore, when God is said to have observed the light, He saw “that it was good.” That introduces a moral element into creation, and more importantly, into the properties of the fundamental principles of physics. And that moral element can only relate to the fact that order had been created from chaos, and the building blocks for life had been established.

The fact that Genesis reveals that this observation by God was made at precisely the moment required to leave enough matter from which to build the universe comes in the next words: “and God divided the light from the darkness.”

The reference to “darkness” as a contrast to “light” perfectly portrays the fact that not all the material that we started with, “the heaven and the earth,” had been converted to “light”. There was something left over that could be separated from the “light” – “darkness.” This description can only refer to those particles that had not been converted to photons by colliding with anti-particles. These excess particles were not particles of “light.

We can only read these verses in Genesis in utter amazement. To so precisely describe, thousands of years ago, what science is only now discovering, is remarkable to say the least. How that could be will be the subject of a subsequent article on insight.

And so we come to the final verse of “the first day.”

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

This is an important verse which is dealt with in detail in the book. But for this article, we will only briefly mention its significance.

It has two aspects.

The first relates to the naming of what God is said to have created – “Day” and “Night”. And this naming is emphasized with the use of capital letters.

Such naming only occurs three times in Genesis – this verse, and verses 8 and 10 in days two and three respectively. And it occurs at precisely those moments when certain fundamental quantum laws are transformed into the Classical, Newtonian laws which give us the predictable, deterministic universe that is required to facilitate the emergence of life.

Use of the words “Day” and “Night” signifies that certain of the “fundamental laws of quantum physics [had] morphed into the classical laws”. However, at this stage, only one aspect of the freedom of particles and fields had been limited by being subjected to law. And that was a law that created the basic material and forces in the right quantities that were required to start building the universe. But more importantly, those materials and forces were not only in precisely the right quantities, they were also perfectly balanced, and had been made permanent with an observation. That created the “irreversible effect that established an excess of matter over antimatter”.

It’s like building a house. The necessary materials in the right quantities are calculated from a plan and delivered to the construction site. Only then can the building begin.

But even here, right at the beginning, we find an important coincidence between the creation of the universe, and what would much later become the human quest for a principle of government. The fundamental principle that we seek to establish in government is freedom under the law. And Genesis tells us that this is where it came from; it is a fundamental principle that informs the workings of the whole universe.

Otherwise free particles and fields, while remaining inherently free, operate in accordance with law. The particles and fields cooperate together under the law in order to bring about the intended will of the Lawmaker.

The second aspect of this verse is “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

A whole chapter is devoted to this verse in the book, but for now we need only note that this verse clearly relates to what we call time. And by linking time to “Day” and “Night”, this verse reinforces the message that the first requirement for an ordered and predictable basis for the universe had been established. The amount of material and forces in the universe was certain and irreversible. We could be as certain of that as we are certain that ‘night follows day’.

Finally, by putting “the evening” before “the morning”, Genesis also tells us how time is calculated. It is done by reference to motion relative to a fixed event. In the case of the universe, that event is the Big Bang. And that is how time in space, a spacetime interval, is calculated. Time here on Earth is likewise determined by reference to a fixed point – the Sun. It is the motions of the Earth in relation to the Sun, its rotation and orbit, that are the basis for calculating Earth-time.

Conclusion

So at the end of “the first day” we have all the material and forces in exactly the right quantities and balance to start building the universe, and ultimately life. We also have time. But there was more to be done before the universe would be ready for life. There were still aspects of the quantum principle of freedom that had to be subjected to law.

We will address those in the next article when we examine Day Two.

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This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan. These articles are intended as a guide to reading the more detailed evidence and arguments set out in the book.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan All Rights Reserved

[1] Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (paperback), page 244.

[2] Kaku, Parallel Worlds, (paperback)page 158.

[3] Rees, Just Six Numbers (paperback), page 126 – capitals my emphasis.

[4] Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos (paperback), page 320.

[5] Green pages 322 and 323 respectively.

[6] Greene, page 272.

[7] Greene, page 249 – emphasis is his.

[8] Rees, page 145.

[9] Rees, page 145.

[10] Greene, page 284.

[11] Kaku, page 14.

[12] Greene, page 286.

[13] Greene, page 306

[14] Greene, page 283.

[15] Kaku, page 149.

[16] Greene, page 306.

[17] Greene, page 199.

[18] Cox and Forshaw, Why does E=mc2? (paperback), page 200.

[19] Rees, page 154 – my emphasis on irreversible.

A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part I)

The most compelling evidence for the existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is not our places of worship, but the human quest for justice. From the earliest legal codes of Ur-Nammu (2050 BC) and Hammurabi (1754 BC), through the Ten Commandments and the Edicts of Asoka (250 BC), to our modern day charters and declarations of human rights and freedoms, the quest for justice reveals a search for a Supreme law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

The principles underlying these various endeavours to establish justice are consistent throughout history, even though the consequences for transgression reflect the historical times.

This series of articles will adduce the evidence to show that the reason for the remarkable universal consistency in the underlying principles of justice is to be found in the way God chose to reveal Himself to us, and how that enables us to know His Law and His Will. Later articles will also address the questions of good and evil, the origin of human consciousness, and the inevitability of a judgment for our actions.

The aim of this first article is to outline the arguments to provide a general reference point for subsequent articles.

What we are

Human beings are in every respect a manifestation of the fundamental laws that govern the universe. But those laws are also imprinted into our brains in mathematical form, and our brains have mechanisms to convert the mathematical raw data into words, images and concepts.

One of those mechanisms converts the raw mathematical data into moral principles. We will refer to this mechanism as the ‘neurological moral network’.

It is this network that tells us that freedom is the Fundamental Principle of Morality and Justice. And it is this Principle that speaks to us of a Supreme Lawmaker that we call God.

In other words, if there is a God, then He must have chosen to reveal Himself to us through mathematical principles which we have an ability to comprehend. Most of us act on this mathematical data subconsciously. There are some, however, like the Prophets, who could consciously convert this raw data into an accurate account of the origin of the universe and life, and God’s omnipotent hand in that creation.

A good analogy would be a digital TV. The digital code is fed into the TV where it is converted into words and images. Very few of us would be able to make any sense of the digital code itself – we just hear the words and see the pictures.

In order to understand how the Principle of Freedom speaks to us of God, we first need to consider what that Principle is, and what obligations operate to limit it.

 The Principle of Freedom and the limiting obligations

The Principle of Freedom is that no one person, or group of people, has any natural authority over any other person.

But that principle has a reciprocal obligation – ‘if no other human being has any natural authority over me, then I can’t have any natural authority over any other human being either’. That reflects the reciprocity found in a mathematical equation, and it is Newton’s Third Law – for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

That then gives us the negative moral obligation that tells us that we must refrain from interfering with the freedom of others. And if we reflect on that for a second, the world would be a much better place if we all lived by that simple principle.

However, the evidence shows that we also recognize positive obligations – obligations to help others. But we do not recognize these obligations because some other person tells us that we should. We simply know that we have these obligations. And the evidence for these positive obligations comes from the creation of new life.

The only time in life that we freely and voluntarily assume onerous obligations, not out of fear of punishment, or the prospect of some advantage, or because we are told by some ‘authority’ to assume them, but out of unconditional love, is when we create new human life in our own image.

But that is only the case if we are not so totally in bondage to our primitive instincts that we cannot recognize those obligations. We will consider that point more fully when we deal with the principles of morality.

When we recognize the obligations we have towards the life we create, we also recognize that all human life must be deserving of the same obligations, especially the life that is least able to fend for itself.

However, as later articles will show, that does not mean that we can only recognize these positive obligations when we create new life. It simply means that the one time in life when we automatically recognize these obligations is when we create new life. That is because the obligations are imprinted into our brains as raw mathematical data, and are accessible to all of us if we choose to look for them.

How Freedom speaks to us of God and His Law

Freedom cannot recognize as law the commands, doctrines and opinions of other human beings.

Yet we still recognize that we do have certain fundamental obligations, not because someone tells us that we have those obligations, but because they are imprinted into our brains as a moral law.

So the only way freedom and law can coexist is under the authority of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker. Anything else would render some of us slaves, and the others masters.

We find the same thing in physics.

Fundamental particles, like electrons and quarks, are free to choose from an infinite number of probabilities. Scientists call this property a particle’s wavefunction.

In his book Parallel Worlds, the popular TV physicist, Michio Kaku, describes this property of particles as follows: “In a quantum play, the actors suddenly throw away the script and act on their own. The puppets cut their strings. Free will has been established.”

That puts freedom as the fundamental principle of the laws that govern the universe.

However, if freedom is the foundation of the law, some other aspect of the law cannot compel particles to form the structures that create the world we see all around us. That would violate the symmetry that underlies the whole concept of a law.

Only something above the law can do that.

But can the probabilities of fundamental particles be manipulated or controlled to form the structures required to create the universe and life? According to Michio Kaku, that is almost certainly the case. He notes that physicists realize that if they could manipulate the probabilities of fundamental particles, then anything would be possible. Although that is still beyond the technical capabilities of science, it does suggest that the probabilities can be controlled.

However, if the probabilities can be controlled to ensure that particles form the structures necessary to create the universe and life, how could they be compelled to maintain those structures so that the order in the universe does not disintegrate into chaos?

That is where the second aspect to particle behavior comes into play. Particles can only assume a particular position when they are observed; literally, when they are looked at. That creates what the physicist Andrei Sakharov described as the “irreversible effect” which was crucial in the early stages of the universe.

It is this two-fold aspect of particle behavior that speaks of a Supreme Lawmaker. Only a Supreme Lawmaker can compel free particles to form the structures necessary to create an ordered and stable universe capable of creating and sustaining life, and that ordered state is made permanent with an observation.

That brings us to the first instance of convergence between science and religion.

The very first verses of Genesis exactly mirror this process with the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

We should imagine for a minute the author or authors of Genesis sitting down to write an account of the origins of the universe several thousand years ago. To come up with the idea that it all happened when God spoke to matter (“the earth”) that was “without form, and void” and told it to become “light”, and then “saw” the light and decided “that it was good”, would be a rather peculiar way to convince people of a God. In fact, that description didn’t even make any sense just a couple of hundred years ago. It has only been since the advent of quantum physics that the Genesis account does not seem that ridiculous any longer. And as we shall see in the next articles that look at the first few chapters of Genesis, not just verse by verse, but word by word, Genesis has pre-empted science in every respect, and continues to do so.

How the author/s of Genesis could have known all this will be the subject of a subsequent article on insight.

But first, we need to consider how science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

Science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

In religion the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is quite obvious.

In science we find exactly the same thing, except scientists don’t express it in that way.

Today we hear much from scientists about what they call “The Theory of Everything”, or “The Final Theory”.  They believe that such a theory could provide a comprehensive explanation of how the universe and life came about by reference to certain, as yet undiscovered, fundamental principles. So the ‘Supreme Law’ in science is the elusive “Final Theory”.

However, the issue of probabilities causes a problem. What scientists find is that if there is only this one universe, the probability that it would have ended up this way is just too remote.

So they get round that problem by simply multiplying the number of universes, and then claim that a universe like ours was bound to emerge somewhere, and it just happens to be here.

This is what scientists today call the multiverse theory. The multiverse is science’s ‘Supreme Lawmaker’. A ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ that really comes down to probabilities.

An analogy would be a Multi-Lottery. Instead of multiplying the number of entries into one lottery, we multiply the number of lotteries, and then argue that our numbers must come up in one of those lotteries.

They won’t, of course, unless a draw is made, and we can check our numbers. That relates to the problem of the observation element of the properties of fundamental particles.

When we get to philosophy, we find that on the whole, especially in ‘modern’ philosophy, the arguments are so impenetrable that they are really quite incomprehensible to ordinary people. Much of this ‘modern’ philosophy is little less than an extravagant academic indulgence. Interesting, perhaps, to fellow philosophers, but quite irrelevant to anyone else in their daily lives.

Yet earlier philosophical theories do impact our lives to a considerable extent. Most governments today operate on a version of the Social Contract theory set out by John Locke and others.

The Social Contract theory finds a ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ in the majority electing the government, and the government then making the ‘Supreme Law’.

The existence of an actual Supreme Law and Supreme Lawmaker is therefore important to the way we govern ourselves.

The Relevance of the Existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

It was the French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, another proponent of the Social Contract theory, who said that anyone can scribble his opinions on stone, or in some book or declaration, then claim that God told him to do it and that we all have an obligation to do as he says.

That is a valid point, although making the majority the ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ has exactly the same effect, unless there are specific and strict limitations to what government can do as a lawmaker. But if there are such limitations, then the government cannot properly be considered a Supreme Lawmaker, and we are back to square one.

The problem is not with the majority electing the government. The problem arises when the government then imposes obligations on the people that violate the fundamental principles of the Universal Law.

That is the critical issue that the Founding Fathers so clearly recognized.

This series of articles will demonstrate that the Founding Fathers were exactly right when they proclaimed that there are certain fundamental and inviolable principles that were handed down to us by our Creator. These articles set out the evidence that proves them right, while also putting meat on the bones of those principles. The evidence and arguments set out in these articles aims to be a guide to the more detailed evidence and arguments set out in my book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

However, the evidence for a Supreme Lawmaker as the author of a Supreme Law is not simply a matter of curiosity. It has profound implications for government. It means that if government passes laws that violate the fundamental principles of the Supreme Law, those laws are by definition invalid. They are unjust laws that lead by natural tendency to oppression and tyranny, and we have an obligation, and a duty, as human beings, to oppose and resist those laws, within the bounds of the moral law, in order to preserve our freedom, and uphold the Supreme Law.

That is an obligation imposed on us by the Supreme Law itself. And it is a duty we have to the Supreme Lawmaker in order that His “will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

The Next Article

The next article examines the convergence of science and Genesis with an analysis of the “first day”.

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Read Part II.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

 

 

Perhaps there is hope for Humanity’s moral destiny after all!

In my latest book, “A ‘Final Theory’ of God”, I made these comments in the final chapter regarding my purpose for the book:
“The task of A ‘Final Theory’ of God is to awaken the human spirit to its true moral purpose, and its true moral destiny.
“It aspires to awaken in humanity, and especially in those who hold in their hands the power and resources to influence the course of government, science, philosophy, and religion, the moral purpose and destiny that is ‘written’ in our hearts, and in our minds, so that humanity can shake off the shackles of bondage to our primitive instincts and work towards a new vision. A vision true to humanity’s moral purpose and destiny: a model of government and justice that reflects the Universal Moral Law.
“It urges science to re-tool its energies and investigations to the discovery and explanation of the link between the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and the moral aptitude of the human organism to recognize the laws of morality that are embedded in our minds. Sir Robert Winston has made a start with his recognition of a “morality module” in man, but the task is immense. The focus must be re-orientated to make the connection between the fundamental laws of physics, and the fundamental principles of the “moral law”, and the curious human ability to ‘see’ those laws.
“Instead of tearing apart the very notion of a moral purpose to the human species, science should set itself to explaining why that moral purpose won’t be silenced.
“A ‘Final Theory’ of God provides a ‘brief’ to philosophers, jurists, politicians and political scientists, theologians, and economists, to apply themselves to the task of interpreting and implementing humanity’s moral destiny in cooperation with scientists. Each must inform and learn from the other. Vanity must be overcome, and discipline-centric research set aside. The goal must be clear – reinvigorate the human spirit in its true moral purpose, and set humanity on course to fulfill its cosmic destiny.
“Nothing could be more important.
“Before we venture out into the far reaches of the cosmos, let us prepare a gift for whomever and whatever we may find out there; a gift we set by example right here on Earth. Let us not be a cosmic Columbus, visiting upon the universe death and destruction, oppression and hate, strife and discord, greed and indulgence. We must be a beacon of light, not a harbinger of death.”
But after publishing the book, I feared that science would lead us down the road to a ‘Final Theory’ of Despair.
Then I awoke this morning to an article that gave me hope. Of all places, I found it on my Twitter page. A Follower had posted this link: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-explores-universe-morality.html#jCp
It referenced Dr Kelly Smith of Clemson University, a Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, who has suggested that the tendency of the universe to naturally produce complexity has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a truly universal basis for morality.
Now that is essentially the argument of my book.
However, there are some areas in which Dr Smith and I may disagree at present, especially as to whether a moral dimension to the laws of physics suggests a Supreme Lawmaker, but at least there is a glimmer of light from the scientific community. We may also disagree on the role and significance of ‘reason’ – I consider it to be a highly over-rated commodity. For those who claim it, it is like “banging on the table” (Alf Ross, in respect of Justice).
But what I found very encouraging about Dr Smith’s hypothesis is his understanding of how the moral dimension to the laws of the universe may relate to other life in the universe – if there be such a thing.
According to the article,
“[Dr] Smith feels another similarity to religion is the potential moral implications of this idea. If evolution tends to favor the development of sociality, reason, and culture as a kind of “package deal”, then it’s a good bet that any smart extraterrestrials we encounter will have similar evolved attitudes about their basic moral commitments.
“In particular, they will likely agree with us that there is something morally special about rational, social creatures. And such universal agreement, argues Smith, could be the foundation for a truly universal system of ethics.”
Now, I may disagree with certain elements of what has been ascribed to Dr Smith, but I can agree with the effect a universal moral law would have. This is what I say in the very first chapter of my book regarding extraterrestrial intelligence:
“If the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Morality are the same thing, and as we shall see that is exactly what the evidence suggests, then Stephen Hawking will have nothing to fear from aliens. If the Principles constituting a Final Theory of the universe also turn out to be the Principles of a ‘Final Theory’ of morality, the one thing we could be fairly sure of is that if aliens had mastered the physical Principles so as to be able to traverse the universe, they would also have mastered the moral Principles – because they would be one and the same. So rather than embarking on a Columbus-style subjugation and extermination of the human race, as Hawking fears, the aliens would more likely school us in the error of our ways and divert our ability to reason away from a frantic and fanatical servicing of our primitive carnal instincts and bring it into the service of the Principles of morality.”
Where scientists, philosophers and theologians will go with this is yet to be seen. But I find Dr Smith’s direction of research most encouraging.
Hopefully others will take up the challenge.
Joseph BH McMillan is the author of “A ‘Final Theory’ of God” and “Freedom v A Tyranny of Rights”
Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

Quotes by Joseph B.H. McMillan

“Freedom cannot recognize as law the commands and doctrines of other human beings.”

“Freedom and law can only coexist under the auspices of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker. Anything else renders some masters, and the others slaves.”

“Life is a manifestation of the fundamental laws of physics, and in its highest form, life manifests itself as a human organism with a capacity for moral judgment.”

“The human quest for justice is an expression of the moral content of the laws of physics which manifests itself in the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.”

“The human capacity for moral judgment speaks of God.”

“The only time in life that we freely and voluntarily assume onerous obligations, not out of fear of punishment, nor the prospect of advantage, but out of unconditional love, is the creation of new human life in our own image ”

“Freedom is defined by obligations, not the absence of obligations.”

“Reason in the service of primitive human instinct, enticed by the prospect of pleasure or the fear of pain, can justify any manner of evil.

“The most compelling testament to the existence of a Supreme law and a Supreme Lawmaker is not to be found in our places of worship, but in the human quest for freedom and justice.”

“There is nothing in life worth trading for freedom, not even life itself.”

“Humility is the highest virtue; feigning humility is the greatest vanity.”

“The most bearable thing about life is the certainty of death; a ‘life-sentence’ and ‘death-sentence’ in one.”

* * * * *

“The arrogance of ignorance is the hallmark of cowards who lack the courage to admit they may be wrong. It is most prominent in politicians who ooze it like pus from an infected wound.”

“He who boasts that he does not suffer fools gladly, is the real the fool.”

‘Civilized’ human beings have become a cancer on the face of the Earth. What went wrong? http://josephbhmcmillan.com/a-legal-proof-for-the-existence-of-god-part-ix-science-in-genesis-chapter-3-adam-and-eve/

‘Civilized’ human beings are the only creatures on Earth who build their own cages to enslave themselves, and each other. http://josephbhmcmillan.com/proof-existence-god/

 

Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Chapter 2 – The Garden of Eden: the Manifestation of the Laws of Physics as the Human Brain

The first thing we have to address in Chapter 2 of Genesis is whether, at the end of the sixth day, anything actually existed in a form we would recognize today as ‘reality’.

We should recall what Philo said: “Does [Moses] not here manifestly set before us incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses.[1]

Philo was talking about verses 4 and 5 of Genesis 2.

We should just remind ourselves of those verses:

These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.

The physicist Max Tegmark claims something very similar in his new book Our Mathematical Universe.

Tegmark claims that “reality isn’t just described by mathematics – it is mathematics …”[2] And that includes human beings. In Tegmark’s Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH), “mathematical structure is our external reality, rather than being merely a description of it. This equivalence between physical and mathematical existence means that if a mathematical structure contains a self-aware substructure, it will perceive itself as existing in a physically real universe, just as you and I do.[3] And that, says Tegmark, means that “Through us humans … our universe has gained an awareness of itself, and we humans have created the concept of meaning. So in this sense, our universe doesn’t give life meaning, but life gives our universe meaning.[4]

And finally, on a note not dissimilar to the one made in respect of Day Six regarding morality and physics, Tegmark says this about mathematical structures: “we don’t invent mathematical structures – we discover them, and invent only the notation for describing them.”[5] Which would mean that if there is in fact a “morality module” embedded in the brain, it is likewise a “mathematical structure” for which we have invented words to describe, but one which, according to Tegmark, could be equally well described in mathematical equations. And as we shall see in the next article on Chapter 3, Genesis does suggest how this self-awareness, or consciousness, arises; and morality is central to it.

But there is a crucial difference between Tegmark and Philo. And that relates to how the “mathematical structures”, or “incorporeal ideas”, came about.

Tegmark claims that “there’s no making required” for a mathematical structure, “it simply exists.”[6] He thus gets round the problem of any sort of outside observer by claiming that “mathematical structures” are not made, they just exist, and humans, being “self-aware mathematical substructures”, give the “universe meaning” by virtue of having self-awareness. In short, humans do the observing, thus giving the universe meaning.

So Tegmark doesn’t really get round the problem we encountered in Day One, when we looked at the words “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” As we noted, there are only really three explanations of how the initial ‘material’ from which the universe and life were constructed arose: either we don’t know; or we simply claim that it has always been there; or we accept that someone or something put it there. And there seems to be no reason to suggest that if we describe the initial ‘material’ as a “mathematical structure” the mystery somehow goes away.

The second issue relates to the necessity for an observation. Tegmark cannot get round the issue by claiming that a “mathematical substructure” within the overall “mathematical structure” that is the universe, or multiverse, creates the “self-awareness” that gives the “universe meaning.” It is just another way of saying that humans do the observing.

Philo, on the other hand, sees the ‘mind’ of God behind the numbers: “And he [Moses] says that the world was made in six days, not because the Creator stood in need of a length of time…; but because the things created required arrangement; and number is akin to arrangement.”[7]

And this arrangement of numbers must have been the “incorporeal model” which formed the basis of what we see around us: “when [God] had determined to create this visible world, [He] previously formed that one which is perceptible only by the intellect, in order that so using an incorporeal model formed as far as possible on the image of God, he might then make this corporeal world, a younger likeness of the elder creation, which should embrace as many different genera perceptible to the external senses, as the other world contains of those which are visible only to the intellect.”[8]

The problem with Philo’s interpretation of Genesis is that it only works if we discount the possibility that the words “And God saw …” refer to the quantum phenomenon of an observation. But that would mean that the words “And God said …” and the words “And God saw …” are simply a duplication, or repetition, of the same phenomenon. But Genesis seems to have been written far too carefully for such a careless or superfluous duplication. The inclusion of the words “And God saw …” must have been deliberate, and significant.

So the most likely explanation is that Genesis is telling us that at the end of the six days, the ‘macro-world’ of galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets had all been “fully settled” as a consequence of the “irreversible effect” of an observation; an observation from a conscious outside observer – God.

That created the deterministic universe that is predictable, calculable, and explainable by the Classical laws of physics. As Rees says about his six numbers, “if any one of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life.[9] So it is clear that the universe and life is dependent on the quantum phenomena of the micro-world transforming into the deterministic workings of the macro-world. Each step in the process was dependent on the previous step being “fully settled” – otherwise everything could be undone at some point in the future, just as happens in the delayed-choice experiments when an eraser device is inserted in front of the detector which should carry out the measurement, or observation.

And only Genesis provides such a model.

At this stage, the basic DNA structures, ‘modified’ or ‘programmed’ to transform into their intended life-forms, had also been created, but were still ‘dormant’. They needed the right kind of environment in order to be activated, and that included the need for water.

And that is what Genesis tells us they got: “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”[10] That is what science asserts is the only way that primitive life could have ‘evolved’ into the higher life-forms we see today – liquid water appearing on earth.

However, before we move on to consider the rest of Chapters 2, we should also recall that  Genesis explains why it is that animals have a limited ability to ‘reason’ and communicate’, whereas humans have an advanced ability. And most important of all, we should recall that Genesis also explains how human beings acquired their moral capacity. History records humanity’s relentless quest to give expression to its moral purpose in the search for that thing which we call justice.

Chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis go back to the time of the ‘awakening’ of the ‘morality module’ in the first human beings who experienced it, and the dilemma that ‘awakening’ created for reason when it was confronted with the competing demands of the faculties of instinct and morality. The stories of The Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve, are the story of that ‘awakening’.

But again, we should take each of the verses in turn in order to fully comprehend their significance, and symbolism.

First we see that God is said to form man from the ground: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”[11]

Starting with an account of human beings, Genesis is clearly telling us that the account which follows concerns the highest of the species, and how it came to be what it became. But as we shall see, this does not mean that other life did not exist.

Furthermore, this verse does not suggest that the human it is referring to was a human in its final form, in the “image of God”. It clearly refers to the physical form of the first human being, or human beings – a form that has life, but not much different at this stage to animal life that would have existed simultaneously.

In other words, this verse is telling us that the DNA which was to form the human species as we know it had not yet been fully activated. This early species would certainly have had the primitive DNA with which “every living creature that moveth[12] had been ‘programmed’, and it would most certainly have had the primitive physical characteristics that would have made it recognizable as an early form of the species. But only a very select few of this early species had the latent DNA which had been ‘programmed’ with the additional elements referred to in Chapter 1 – that is, morality, reason, an ability to communicate, and the innate ‘knowledge and understanding’ of how the universe and life functions.

The next seven verses then focus in on the first of the species that had the latent DNA that was to become human beings as we know them.

Now before we look at the account of the Garden of Eden, let me first say this. In addressing the symbolic account, I do not discount the possibility that a literal place existed which formed the basis for the story. In fact, there must have been such a literal place where literal members of the early human species lived who would eventually become the ‘ancestors’ of the modern species. The Bible as a whole often takes literal events to convey deeper symbolic messages. Proverbs tells us that.[13] Not only can a historical event be used to convey a moral message, often the event is a result of the workings of the human brain which reveal which aspects of the human character have been the motivation for the event. Actual events can reveal whether those events were motivated by reason in the service of instinct, or reason in the service of morality.

However, we shall leave the search for such literal places and events to the archeologists and historians – but with the caveat that just because ‘evidence’ of such literal places and events have not yet been discovered does not mean that they don’t exist. Discoveries are constantly being made of things previously regarded as myth, fable or speculation, like our examples of life coming from space, and life existing without sunlight.

But before we move on, we should clarify one further aspect of the events recorded in Genesis 2. We should remember that at the end of the six days all the laws which would determine how the universe and life would unfold had been put in place. And according to Genesis, the unfolding, or implementation, of those laws reveals God’s will, because the laws are God’s laws. So when Genesis 2 refers to God doing something, or saying something, we should read that not as God Himself doing again what He had already done in the first six days, but as His law being implemented, thus revealing His will. In that sense, references to God saying or doing something in these Chapters are in fact God doing those things, but through the agency of the law He created which reveals His will. This is an important point to note in order to understand the verses which follow.

So let’s return to the symbolic message conveyed by the Garden of Eden.

First we have these two verses: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.[14]

Philo says this about these verses: “And these statements appear to me to be dictated by a philosophy which is symbolical rather than strictly accurate. For no trees of life or of knowledge have ever at any previous time appeared upon the earth, nor is it likely that any will appear hereafter. But I rather conceive that Moses was speaking in an allegorical spirit, intending by his paradise to intimate the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees.[15]

However, when Philo refers to the “soul” having “innumerable opinions,” he would have better referred to the Garden of Eden as being the human brain, or at least the DNA which had been ‘programmed’ to produce a brain with the ability to conjure up such “opinions”.

The reference to God having “planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed”, far better symbolizes that DNA which had been ‘programmed’ with those elements described in Genesis Chapter 1, which would have been latent in some of the early species. And those of the early species with this latent human DNA must have been physically present in some place on the Earth. So God putting man into the garden must symbolize the first of the primitive human species in which the latent elements of the more advanced DNA which was to form the species “in the image of God” began to be activated. And that activation, which would have been gradual, is symbolized by the words “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

The important words in this verse which point to the Garden being the human brain are “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow …” Those words reflect the words used relating to the forming of man – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground ….” So when the trees are made to “grow” out of “the ground”, it clearly implies the “the ground” that had been made “man”.

That wording wonderfully conjures up the image of those latent elements of human DNA developing the brains of the first human beings in whom it was found. And the “trees” perfectly correspond to those elements of that DNA which we discussed in Day Six – “pleasant to the sight” refers to instincts; “good for food” refers to the innate ‘knowledge’ of how the universe and life functions; “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the “morality module”; and the “tree of life” refers to the ability of the human spirit to survive physical death. It should also be noted that the word “pleasant” is associated with the “trees”, symbolizing instinct: because, as we have seen, it is the allure of pleasure, or fear of pain, that fires our instincts into action.

However, all these elements of the human brain need some way to interact with the world of the external senses for them to have any significance. The human instinct for reproduction, for example, can only be activated when it perceives something that it recognizes as another of the species which causes an arousal of that instinct. The instinct needs to be ‘fed’ by sight. Likewise, the instinct for survival can only kick-in when the senses perceive some danger to survival – an unfamiliar sound, an unusual sight, another of the species perceived as a threat. The physical senses are what ‘feed’ the brain – only Genesis calls it ‘watering’ the brain: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.”[16]

This verse very obviously refers to the nervous system of the human body which supplies the brain with the information it needs in order to act. And the reason it is so obvious is that the river didn’t go INTO the garden to water the trees, it “WENT OUT of Eden to water the garden.” It would be rather pointless for the water which should be ‘watering’ the trees in the garden to flow in the wrong direction. And as we have seen, the author/s of Genesis did not make careless errors.

So when we conceive of the Garden of Eden as referring to the human brain, and the river which flows fromEden to water the garden” as the human nervous system which ‘waters’ the brain by supplying it with the necessary information it requires in order to function, then the verse makes sense.

So what we have in these verses is an explanation of the first human beings in which the DNA developing the brain, which was ‘programmed’ with latent human characteristics, would give expression to those characteristics, and a description of the human nervous system which would feed the brain with the necessary information to allow it to develop those characteristics. And the information would be provided through the senses on the extremities of the body – the “four heads” of the river.

Verses 11 to 14 describe where these four heads of the river end up, and the references to what may have been physical places at the time would have been understood by the people at that time to make the connection between the places and the senses referred to. But for our purposes, the physical places are not important once we recognize that they refer to the senses and the nervous system which ‘waters’ the brain.

The next verse is curious, because we see God putting man into the garden for a second time: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.[17] The crucial difference, of course, is that this time the man is put in the garden “to dress it and to keep it.” On the previous occasion, he was just put in it.

This suggests that the human brain had now fully developed with all the necessary characteristics with which it had been ‘programmed’. The latent ‘genes’ had been activated, or as the Encode Project would say, had been ‘switched on’. But, as we shall see, not all were fully functioning. It was now the task of those human beings to develop those characteristics within the brain – “to dress it and keep it.

The next verse is also crucial to understand why the “man” is put into the garden a second time: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[18]

Now, before we get into the meaning of these verses, we should note that the original Hebrew did not say “thou shalt surely die”, but “in dying thou shalt die”. This distinction is crucial, as we shall soon see.

So here we see the next difference with the second time God puts “man” into the garden. God is said to speak to him, or more properly, “commanded” him. And the word used to express the commanding of the “man” is that which was previously used in Genesis 1: 22 – “SAYING”. “God commanded the man, SAYING”. That is almost identical to the words in Genesis 1: 22, except that there God “blessed” the animals. And we should remember that the word “saying” symbolizes a lack of comprehension on the part of those ‘hearing’ the words, or at least a limited comprehension of the significance of the words being spoken.

The symbolism of God commanding the “man”, in conjunction with the word “saying”, tells us that the “morality module,” which the “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” represents, was still dormant, or latent. Although it was physically present in the brain, it had not yet been activated. However, the words indicate that when the first humans would be ‘tempted’ to take some action that would offend against the moral precepts (principles) of the “morality module”, they would ‘know’ that what they were doing was wrong, and that there would be a consequence. So this first human, or these first humans, would have simply recognized certain things as wrong, without ‘rationalizing’ their actions as right or wrong. They would have intuitively found certain behavior of the species from whom they had emerged ‘wrong’, but as yet not be able to identify why. That is how they would have known themselves to be different. So whereas the species from whom they had emerged may have regarded killing, raping and pillaging of members of other tribes as something to admire and celebrate, these first humans would have felt not just unease at such actions, but revulsion. The same would apply to casual sexual practices and violence between members of even the same tribe or community.

The remarkable thing about the innocence that clearly defined these human beings before they succumbed to the temptations of their primitive instincts is that there are just such people alive today. They are the San people of Southern Africa, also known as the Bushmen. Anthropologists and geneticists identify some of these tribes as the ancestors of all human beings.

The next verses in Genesis explain the further development of these the first of the human species.

So we see God speaking again, but not to “man” directly: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

Before we look at the meaning of these words, we should deal with another little bit of ‘housekeeping’ on translation. The original Hebrew for the word translated as “meet” was actually “as before him”. So the first verse in which the word is used should read “I will make him an help as before him.”

Now the first thing we should note is that God is said to have seen that the “man” was alone, and that it was “not good” that he should be alone. This suggests that of those of the species that had the fully ‘programmed’ human DNA, only a very few, or even just one, appeared to have survived. The rest must have died out.

And because of what follows, it is certain that Genesis is here focusing in on the first male, or males, of the species in whom the fully ‘programmed’ human DNA was present. But when Genesis refers to this first “man” being “alone”, it does not necessarily mean that he was physically alone. He must have been the offspring of a mother and father. And no doubt he would have been part of a group or tribe of people. But, as we have seen, the reason he would have been “alone” is that he would have recognized that he was in some fundamental respects very different to those around him. He was the first of the species with fully ‘programmed’ human DNA. Philo noted this when he said, in relation to the creation of man in the image of God, that “all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus.”[19] This first “man” was thus the first to assume the “distinctive [human] form.”

The reason that it was “not good that the man should be alone” is that his instinct was to reproduce, but there was no female of the species who would have shared the fully ‘matured’ human DNA. To this first “man”, reproducing with what ostensibly would have been another ‘species’, would have seemed like bestiality.

This would have caused a great dilemma for him; and that dilemma would have caused frustration. But in doing so, it appears to have activated additional elements of the human characteristics with which his brain had been imprinted by the fully human DNA. Accordingly, the fact that the words follow the words “And the LORD God said …” must symbolize the law of God responding to the unnatural condition the first of the human species encountered – being “alone”, without another of the species with whom he could reproduce. Since that was contrary to the will of God as expressed in His law, those elements of the human organism were activated which would seek to rectify this unnatural condition. The symbolism of God speaking is the expression of God’s will through the law responding to the situation.

So the words “I will make him an help as before him” can only symbolize the activation of the ability to reason to a higher level, compelling this first human to examine the life around him in the hope of finding another living thing like him. The words “as before him” then make sense. He was seeking another like him so that together they could be as the species before him – that is, joining together with the opposite gender to create new life, and so perpetuate the new species.

However, by looking differently at all the life about him, this first human appeared to activate another latent characteristic of the brain ‘programmed’ with human DNA – the language module. These verses clearly refer to the activation of the innate human ability to communicate – Adam started naming the animals. And that would also have led to a limited activation of the innate ‘knowledge and understanding’ programmed into the human brain by human DNA. That is symbolized by Genesis saying that God formed out of the ground the animals that were brought to Adam. This all suggests that as Adam realized he was different, he began a search for a companion so that this new species could be as the species was before – a community. And in his search he began to ascribe sounds to represent the different species he encountered. But it also suggests that in doing so he began to question where they all came from, and indeed where he came from. And all of this is the result of God’s law reacting to the situation through the vehicle of the human brain in order to give expression to God’s will. It is this expression of God’s will that is symbolized by God ‘speaking’ – He is speaking through His law in order to express His will: the creation of an organism in His “image”.

But Adams’s search proved futile: “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” Or, with the correct translation, “there was not found an help as before him.” This first of the species found that he was alone, the first of a kind, different to everything around him. It is also these closing words that give confirmation to the fact that these verses in which the animals are ‘made’ and brought to Adam to be named, symbolize the activation of certain elements ‘programmed’ into the human brain by human DNA – the words show that what preceded was a quest for something which did not come to fruition, at least not fully – a help for Adam as was before him.

So it seems that this first of the human species must have settled for one of those around him, even though they would have been a different ‘species’ in some major respects. And so this fully ‘programmed’ human DNA must have again become dormant: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”[20]

There then follow these verses:

“ And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[21]

The symbolism of “Adam” going into a deep sleep means that the fully formed human DNA he was carrying around would have been passed through several generations while remaining dormant. So a number of the pre-human species may well have had this dormant DNA, or at least dormant genes within that DNA, as part of their genetic make-up, but it did not manifest itself as a human species for some time. Then, by a coincidence of probabilities, the dormant DNA was activated in both a male and female of the species at the same time, and those two would have been in close physical proximity, perhaps even within the same tribe or community.

And immediately they recognized each other as being different from the species around them, and virtual mirror-images of each other, except one was male and the other female. As Philo said, “although all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus, and are beheld, as in a mirror, by those who are able to discern acutely.”[22]

The human species was finally to begin propagating. And the effect of this mutual recognition was that some element of the “morality module” was activated: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[23]

These two of the emerging new species, human beings, were aware that the new life they would create by joining together in a physical relationship would be unique, exclusive and special; in their image and likeness. And that, they understood, imposed on them fundamental obligations towards each other, and the life they would create. That is symbolized by the words “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” They recognized that this new relationship between members of the new species was different to what went before. They recognized the importance of monogamy. The joining together of a male and a female to create new life makes them “one flesh” in the new life they create. And the obligations which attach to that, both before and after they “cleave unto” each other to become one flesh, require that they forsake any and all other relationships. Like the new life they create, their relationship should also be unique, exclusive and special – for the benefit of the new life they create.

But clearly, there is also another meaning to the words “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother.” These first two of the early human species would have been aware that they were different even to their own parents, and that required that they leave the community from which they came, including their own ancestors.

However, at this stage, there would still have been an innocence about them. Only a small element of the “morality module” had been activated – that element which compelled them to recognize the fundamental nature of their relationship to the exclusion of others, and the obligations which would attach to them by virtue of creating new life – becoming “one flesh.”

That is the message in the next verse: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” The reason that “they were not ashamed” was that they did not look upon the physical body, and the act of procreation as something to be exploited for the primary purpose of generating physical pleasure.

And the San people mentioned above have precisely the kind of innocence we are talking about here. For the most part, the San people resisted the impulse to activate the “morality module”. They were content to listen to the “voice” of the “moral law”, whereas another branch of the species chose to challenge that “voice”.

It is this branch of the species that Genesis addresses in Chapter 3, represented by Adam and Eve.

And that will be the focus of the next and final abridged extract of A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

By Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2014 All Rights Reserved

 

[1] Philo, On the Creation, XLIV (129).

[2] Tegmark, Max. Our Mathematical Universe, page 254 – Tegmark’s emphasis.

[3] Tegmark, page 323.

[4] Tegmatk, page 391 – Tegmark’s emphasis.

[5] Tegmark, page 259.

[6] Tegmark, page 323.

[7] Philo, On the Creation, III (13).

[8] Philo, On the Creation, IV (16).

[9] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, page 4.

[10] Genesis 2: 6.

[11] Genesis 2: 7.

[12] Genesis 1: 21.

[13] Proverbs 1: 1 – 7.

[14] Genesis 2: 8 – 9.

[15] Philo, On the Creation, LVI (154).

[16] Genesis 2: 10.

[17] Genesis 2: 15.

[18] Genesis 2: 16 – 17.

[19] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

[20] Genesis 2: 21.

[21] Genesis 2: 22 – 24.

[22] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

[23] Genesis 2: 24.