WHAT IS LIFE?

And does Science have it right?
 
Dear all,

What is life? 

Life, itself, is one of the many forces in the universe that science is still unable to explain.  Science can't explain what gravity is, nor can it explain what electricity and magnetism are.  Since light is electromagnetic, science still can't explain what light is either.  Life is also a force in nature that is a mystery to science and remains that way to this day.

However, unlike any of these other forces, life is the only phenomena that modern science has an intrinsic predisposition regarding what it is and what it is not.  Because of a theory called scientific materialism, life is hypothesized to have spontaneously arisen from chemical reactions and electrical impulses.  But the million dollar question is this, is that theory correct?  By definition, a true scientist goes about his research without prejudice [def. preconceived opinions, beliefs or judgment] but scientific materialism is exactly that, a preconceived opinion or assumption.

 
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More to the point, materialism automatically disqualifies any other alternative explanations for life that postulate a metaphysical phenomena.  Most people accept that human beings are spiritual beings, even though science has no explanation for what spirit is. (perhaps we could extend the list of forces in nature we are unable to explain to include a spiritual force).
(Actual untouched photo of Swami Purnachaitanya)
 
There are two major scientific concerns here.  First, can we provide tests to vet materialism and see if it is flawed and secondly and more importantly, given that it could be shown scientifically to be an obsolete paradigm, can science act as an institution to change course?  Materialism is a two hundred year old paradigm that is deeply entrenched within the scientific community so moving beyond it will no doubt bring a significant and daunting challenge.  

The question is this; hypothetically, what if all biological organisms are spiritual beings?  In other words, might we say that a life force is a spiritual force?  This would mean that the current paradigm that the scientific community uses to understand anything biological not only is fundamentally incorrect, but that it inherently disqualifies the one model for life that is actually the correct model.  Is it not unscientific to automatically rule out possible explanations for phenomena prior to even beginning an investigation?  Isn't that a form of intellectual or philosophical prejudice?  Is there a possible conflict of interest between some scientists' beliefs and a search for the truth?

  


All of our schools, governmental policies, psychological/sociological/psychiatric fields, scientific & academic institutions, medical & health fields, pharmaceutical research and so many other aspects of our lives are based on scientific materialism.  Is it any wonder that society is inherently materialistic?  No.  These are all one in the same thing.

Luckily, we have the opportunity to test materialism to see if it's the correct model for understanding life.  Because we can't isolate "life" from matter, creating testable predictions is problematic so from the standpoint of life, we can't test materialism for falseness. 

However, the same model that says that life arises from matter also includes the conjecture that consciousness also arises from matter so if we can falsify that conjecture, we can falsify materialism and begin to look at alternative models for biology that incorporate the idea of a vital, animating life force energy that is invisible and immeasurable. 

For the first two hundred years of the modern science era, this was the prevailing paradigm for nature and vitalism, as it was called, has never been disproven.  By the 1840's, as a result of the philosophical "Age of Reason", the modern scientific era morphed into Post Modern Science, which carried with it both scientific materialism as well as the Philosophy of Science which was an ideological framework used to qualify or disqualify what legitimate science was (was well as what a legitimate scientist was).

In this transition, vitalism simply fell out of favor in lieu of materialism but what if vitalism is the correct model?  We now have the ability to attempt to falsify materialism and open the door for an alternative model for biology and usher in a whole new era of scientific advancements.

 

To that end, I've authored a simple scientific manuscript (read the manuscript, The Nature of Consciousness, here) that formally submitted the hypothesis that consciousness is produced by the brain, along with nine testable predictions that should all be impossible if consciousness arises out of matter. Because the paper addresses the broad spectrum of all the various scientific disciplines, it was fairly basic as it was written for a wide audience within the community.  
 

The following is a response I received from a reviewer of one of the journals I submitted the paper to and I wanted to respond to it in kind.  The name of the person who wrote this is immaterial as I don't want to make this personal and so I've redacted the name of the publication as well as the name of a person on the journal's editorial board.  I suspect probably any reviewer from any scientific journal could have written this so my response (which is titled What is Life?) is generic as well.  There's obviously a lot at stake here so I urge you to take the time to read both my manuscript and my response to this note that I received.
 

 
"Your paper say nothing new or specific enough to be of interest to the journal’s reviewers, all of whom have devoted decades to studying the mind-body problem.  Neither the materialists or the non-local theorists who review manuscripts for Psychology of Consciousness would find it worthwhile to read your manuscript or comment on it.  Etzel Cardeña is on the journal’s editorial board, by the way.  If you are seriously interested in the mind-body problem, then you should earn a Ph.D. under the mentorship of a consciousness scholar and should devote your career to studying the problem.  I am sorry to be blunt, but your tendency to write off disagreeable theories as “pseudo-science” would strike scholars as a sign of ignorance and arrogance.  My constructive advice to you is to earn your Ph.D. and devote your career to the study of consciousness, then look back at your manuscript for what it is: a sign of your early interest in the problem, but not a publishable manuscript."  

Wow.  He should have listened to Darwin, but then again, I'm neither a theist nor an atheist.  I'm not even an agnostic.  If anything, I'd call myself a gnostic and I'll debate anyone willing to expose their delusions publicly.  They don't have a leg to stand on to debate the life is a result of some random collisions between electrical impulses and chemical reactions.  There's no evidence to support this delusion.

 

Read my response to this diatribe in this new paper, entitled What Is Life.  It's delusional to ignore the evidence that life is metaphysical.  It's not an extraordinary claim to suggest that there is an intelligent being at the helm of the universe, the extraordinary claim is to assert that somehow inert, unorganized and unintelligent chemicals combined in a way to manifest life and there is not a shred of evidence to support this claim.  Even the most basic of cellular lifeforms are extremely intelligent in terms of their function and organizational principles.  The notion that life miraculously and spontaneously arises out of matter is nothing more than conjecture.  It's merely a belief.
 
There is no such thing as the paranormal or the supernatural.  We just need to expand our definitions for what normal and natural are.  Scientific Materialism needs to be supplanted by Scientific Spiritualism and Spiritualogy is the Scientific discipline that studies existence through the lens of spirituality.  Given the overwhelming evidence when you look at all the various scientific disciplines, modern physics and quantum mechanics, research into human consciousness, all the various global wisdom traditions, philosophical worldviews and our own personal experiences, the future of science should include Spiritualogy as the central core for all of science.  
 

To think that life and consciousness emerged from matter is simply ignorant and a convenient paradigm for atheists but there is simply not a bit of science to back up this conjecture and it's time for science to grow up and incorporate consciousness as primary to existence.

Warmly

Francis Huguenard

(PS--Please enjoy my films on this site, free of charge).