Philosophy of evolution
- 1 Evolution of Human Societies
- 2 Thermodynamic Philosophy of Evolution
- 3 Consciousness – a Buddhist view
- 4 The Central Enigma of Consciousness
- 5 PANPSYCHISM and THERMODYNAMICS, EXPLORED
- 6 Cranio-caudal shift of locomotor mechanisms during evolution
- 7 What Makes Us Human? A Neuroscience Prolegomenon for the Philosophy of Evolution and Consciousness
- 8 Complex Systems and Consciousness
- 9 Unified Evolution Theory
- 10 Evolution: An alternate view
- 11 Pineal body as multipotent system
- 12 Human migration and formation of social groups of India
Evolution of Human Societies
The basic properties of DNA molecules viz self repairing and replication are analogous to the primary instincts self preservation and procreation of living organism also that these properties are possibly expressed as behavioral traits selfishness and altruism. While selfishness is for the survival of the individual, altruism is for the survival of the group and thus selfishness and altruism are two faces of the same coin. No person can neither be cent per cent selfish nor be cent per cent altuistic. Further selfishness is entropic while altruism is genopsychic. Apparently at the level of the society selfishness is competition and altruism is cooperation. The fact that the living organisms show the tendency to live in groups [see for example colonies of bacteria, flocks of birds, herds of cattle and human societies] suggests that the tilt is towards altruism/ cooperation. Altruism understandably is the direction of evolution of human societies. While self programmability is the driving force of the evolution of the species the same operates as “self development” at the level of the human society. The environment itself is evolving allowing the concurrent evolution of the species. Thus a perturbation of the environment due to human activity is a perturbation of the evolution of the species including the human societies. It is important to note that the human traits, selfishness and altruism are independent of the economic, social or the political systems a human society follows. Capitalist, socialist, cooperative/ network economies or their hybrids are the variant economic types the human society has produced and the fittest among them will survive. It is also important to note that each society may follow a different types and paths of economy, not predetermined [may be pertubed by human intervention] but in the direction of altruism.
The abundant “free will” of the human beings empowers them to intervene into natural processes of the evolution of the society either to enhance the process or to reverse the directionality by increasing the selfishness. Increased selfishness perturbs the directionality of evolution. Uncontrolled energy hunger of the humans and unbridled exploitation of non renewable natural resources do perturb not only the natural processes of the evolution of human societies but also the environment and ecology. A democratic society allows engineering the socio political consciousness required to over come the effects of the perturbation of the natural processes by human beings.
188.8.131.52 11:20, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
May see this link: http://transciencetransaction.wetpaint.com/page/Evolution+of+Human+Societies
Thermodynamic Philosophy of Evolution
A semblance of a foundation towards the development of a philosophy based on a thermodynamic understanding of evolution is presented. Central to this presentation are firstly the acknowledgement that everything in the biosphere is a dynamic system of atoms, molecules, or structures of molecules attached to a substrate known as the surface of the earth; second that chemical thermodynamics is the branch of science that determines the direction of natural processes according to what are called the two laws of thermodynamics; third that in the case of the synthesis of the person over the last 13.7-billion years of the development of the known universe, the new view has emerged that the human being is 26-element molecule; fourth that, on the three previous points, any modern legitimate philosophy would need to be well-grounded in the molecular perspective or system of molecules point-of-view, a perspective in which behaviors, reactions, and evolutions of molecules or systems of molecules are dictated by the laws of energy and entropy.
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Consciousness – a Buddhist view
Sreenivasa Rao, S
There is a renewed interest now among scientists in the subject of consciousness. Yet a single definition of consciousness could not be arrived at by the scientific community so far. Each scientist has his own definition. The earliest Buddhist texts viewed consciousness as an important factor in determining the course of human happiness, suffering, liberation and bondage. Yet Buddhism did not define consciousness perhaps because it is nebulous and is there fore difficult to pin point. But in principle Buddhism asserts that it is possible to recognize experientially what consciousness is and identify it. Buddhists pointed out that the central reality of all existence is change.
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The Central Enigma of Consciousness
The nature and physical basis of consciousness remains the central enigma of the scientific description of reality in the third millennium. This paper seeks to examine the phenomenal nature of subjective consciousness and elucidate a possible biophysical basis for its existence, in terms of a form of quantum anticipation based on entangled states driven by chaotic sensitivity of global brain dynamics during decision-making processes. Evidence is presented for the evolutionary emergence of chaotic excitation as a universal sense organ in the founding eucaryotes, which then became used in a context-sensitive manner by complex central nervous systems, leading to the dynamical brain.
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
PANPSYCHISM and THERMODYNAMICS, EXPLORED
Roger Penrose’s “Road to Reality” has a last line, “….perhaps, something that we all have missed?”. This is motivation for revisiting panpsychism, an ancient theory that suggests all things have awareness and/or consciousness. With a recent paper reporting increased attention to this subject, can a physicalist approach be fruitful? . Given that light requires mass to validate its existence and mass requires time to prove likewise, might these requirements suggest a basic “need” for all creatures? With life defined as a simple “awareness”, that is, between self and otherness, observed and observer, etc. it seems to imply the concept(s) of the Heisenberg principle. Extending this idea, “mass” or “energy” at any level may be “aware” of it’s surroundings, so that any action(s) can result in reaction(s) that may be counted and measured using dimensional analysis as a guide or harmonized to the rhythms of life. In short, this article explores concepts between light, mass and gravity….
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Cranio-caudal shift of locomotor mechanisms during evolution
Evolution is characterized by two attributes: one is to find sustenance for life and the other, the need to multiply. Any or all changes in shape, size, cerebration and adaptations are engendered by need to meet these primary requirements and the need to acquire higher efficiency in finding mate or manna. Towards achieving these ends, locomotion as an adjunct aid has evolved as a powerful tool. One of more peculiar observations I have made in the process of evolution vis a vis propulsive mechanisms is the progressive and gradual caudal shift of appendages that engineer locomotion. The more primitive the form of life, the more cranial is the appendage that initiates movement. Invertebrates kick-start mobility using their mouth parts as anchoring mechanisms that help drag themselves forwards. Classically, the earthworm and leech are examples where moth plays a very crucial role in movement. Fish use branchial apparatuses like gills or fins – early reptiles use rudimentary pectoral accruements. Observe the metamorphosis of the aquatic tadpole into a quadruped amphibian to confirm this hypothesis. The cranio-caudal displacement of primary mechanisms that help mobility during the various stages of tadpole to frog development will show that when an early tadpole the amphibian uses its mouth to anchor itself to a blade or stalk to anchor itself against a flowing current (a paradoxical propulsion) – it graduates to using pectoral fin like appendages – thence to forelimbs, then it develops hind limbs as additions. The adult frog primarily depends on catapulting itself onwards relying mainly on the strength and power of its hind limbs. Aves depend heavily on the fore limb power to move fly), the hind limbs are merely adjuncts that aid the forelimb (modified into wings) to augment and refine aerial movement. Almost all mammals use all four limbs so frequently and effectively that most are classed as quadrupeds. Among the mammalians, man alone, has developed into dependence on highly evolved hind limbs (legs) for movement. Even in man, the most extreme end of his foot, the great toe is the primary generator of bipedal gait. What is seen from the examples cited is that from the lowest forms of life, as one goes up the evolutionary tree – the apparatuses and appendages that help it move – show a distinct tendency to shift from head to tail end, a cranio-caudal displacement of primary and principal locomotor mechanisms. It is a scientific curio worth dwelling further on. That one can even place a life form into its slot in the evolutionary scale tree merely by noting the position of its propulsive mechanical apparatuses: The more head-ward propulsive appendages are, the more primitive the life form is, and vice versa.
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
What Makes Us Human? A Neuroscience Prolegomenon for the Philosophy of Evolution and Consciousness
EL Rossi & KL Rossi
A prolegomenon to the philosophy of evolution and consciousness must include the perspectives of all peoples from the mythological and ethical doctrines of ancient cultures to our modern sciences around the globe. This chapter presents a neuroscience integration of ancient perspectives and practices with modern research on facilitating the co-evolution of human consciousness and the brain. We review selective aspects of the theory, research, and experience of consciousness as a novelty and activity-dependent process that drives the co-evolutionary spiral of mind and brain. We seek to answer questions such as these. · What makes us human? What is the major distinction between humans and other primates? · What are the modern scientific techniques of DNA microarrays and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that now can measure what makes us human? · Do ancient and modern self-directed activities of consciousness contribute to the co-creation of the mind and brain over a lifetime as well as their Darwinian co-evolution over millions of years? · What is the scientific evidence that consciousness, dreaming, meditation, and therapeutic hypnosis can contribute to the daily and hourly re-construction of our mind and physical brain for positive adaption? · What are the salient psychological and spiritual functions of consciousness that evoke activity-dependent gene expression and brain plasticity for building a better brain in daily life? · Could a non-dualistic approach to the philosophy of meditation and creative psychotherapy facilitate activity-dependent gene expression and brain plasticity to optimize adaptive consciousness, behavior, health and well being?
DMR Sekhar 17:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Complex Systems and Consciousness
The declared aim of this paper is to understand how the physical neural processes going on in the brain give rise to the sum of feelings that we call Mind. This in the framework of an evolutive process begun with inorganic chemical compounds and proceeding in steps of ever increasing complexity leading to the emergence of organic compounds, life, thought, consciousness….. Consciousness will be explained as the end result of a chain wherein computational skills form the basis of some sort of ‘unconscious computation’ where they apply the rules of the game (the syntax=the programme) without knowing what they are doing (semantics). What of the brain? The brain is itself a complex physical system and as such can perform ‘computations’ with two important differences: the brain is aware of being computing and somehow knows the meaning of what it is doing thanks to its representational skills or qualia. This paper will give an innovative definition of qualia and their function in the emergence of consciousness: we will need to complete the picture by including the psychological dimension best represented in the western tradition by Jung and by Buddhist practices in the East, where the brain is considered a sensory organ on a par with the other five ones. The mind is the brain’s quale in the act of knowing.
DMR Sekhar 17:46, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Unified Evolution Theory
John H. Patrick
The origin and evolution of life is necessitated by natural law. Energy throughput is maximized and entropy increases overall in nature, which inevitably results in life forms that increase in complexity and intelligence over time. The origin of life is not a random occurrence in the universe. It is not an “accident of nature” as many suggest. On the contrary, the origin and evolution of life is mandated by the same natural laws that account for the evolutionary development of the universe itself. In order to satisfy the second law of thermodynamics to an even greater measure, highly ordered products of nature (“exceptions” to the second law…) become favored because their end products are living systems which accelerate the rate of occurrence of the second law overall. Examples include the endergonic coupled-pair reactions that convert energy to the useable chemical form in order to produce the molecules needed for the cell structure of organisms, which ultimately lead to living systems such as animals and humans, who release entropic bi-products into the universe at a higher rate than non-living substances. The transition from “highly ordered” to “self ordered” and further to “self programming” is a continuation of the same process; driven by the second law (in the net—overall construct); but also driven by another concept; one that predicts that complex systems will behave in such a fashion as to facilitate an ever-increasing throughput of energy. Nature utilizes the “coupling” of these two processes; 1) Increased net—overall entropy AND 2) Increased net—overall energy throughput. The self-programming (negentropic) properties produce a net—overall increase in entropy; which “couples” with the property of increased net—overall energy throughput, resulting in self-programming living systems, which accelerate the two coupled processes even further. The findings of particle physics tend to support the notion of increasing energy—throughput as a property of nature. Authors such as Richard Feynman, Brian Greene, and Lisa Randall, who are leading theoretical physicists, have written extensive books (in layman’s language) on numerous topics of modern physics, including several on particle physics. The principles and examples explained in these manuscripts are interpreted by the author of this writing, to support these conclusions.
Evolution: An alternate view
Evolution of Life is a unique problem for science. The distinction between observer and observed blurs into a minefield of ambiguities as life studies its own past. Evolution has created minds that are capable of looking at themselves. Natural history of minds and ‘knowing’ should be an integral part of evolution studies. Fossil records, genetic variation and natural selection are important, but a closer look at the mechanism of knowing is even more important. The right way to study objective knowledge is to look at our own evolutionary history. Life existed on earth for 3.5 billion years without the division of observer from observed. Emergence of self-aware humans challenged this primitive unity. Knowledge became objective or independent of knower. A new way of comprehending reality came into existence. The success of objective knowledge has created an illusion that it is the only valid way of comprehension. This is a grave mistake. A truly scientific worldview based on evolution must recognize pre-rational modes of comprehension. A series of ‘tools of comprehension’ must have evolved in nature; rational minds being the latest addition to this collection. Nature is inherently creative and biological evolution is driven by nature’s creativity. Creativity (or universal Mind) manifests as individual rational mind in human beings. Universe is comprehensible to man because creativity is its building block and the knower is measuring up the universe with his own creativity in the act of objective knowing. Relationship between rational mind and its substrate is the key to understand human condition..
Pineal body as multipotent system
OP jangir et al
The pineal gland was called the “third eye” by ancient people. It was thought to have mystical powers. During the course of phylogenetic development, the function of pineal complex under goes a transition from that of a photoreceptive organ to an endocrine organ. It is now considered as unique multipotent organ. It has the capability of transformation into different organs like retina, lens and muscle fibers in culture medium .In our previous study (jangir et al, 2005) complete “median third eye” was found to develop from pineal gland of external gill stage tadpoles of toad, Bufo melanostictus. There have been several reports of muscle differentiation of cells derived from pineal body .Oculopotency of pineal cells may be relevant to the fact that the pineal body is an eye like organ in lower vertebrates before its conversion to an endocrine organ in higher vertebrates like mammals . In the present experiment we have studied the multipotentiality of pineal cells in culture medium under the influence of Vitamin A and Ascorbic acid .The results showed that Vitamin A accelerates the ‘oculopotency’ (transdifferentiation of pineal cells of late state tadpoles into lens –lentogenic ability) whereas, Ascorbic acid was found to increase the percentage of muscle fiber formation and nerve cells in culture medium .Thus the pineal gland of young tadpoles is considered to be a typical multipotent system.
The basic question that comes in our brain is where do we come from and how did we get where we are today? Geneticists and researcher have now discovered the human lineages of the world descended from 10 sons of a genetic Adam and 18 daughters of Eve. DNA studies point out that all modern humans share a common female ancestor who resided in Africa about 140,000 years ago, and all men share a common male ancestor who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago. The mtDNA based studies suggest that all modern era humans descend from a group of African ancestors who near about 60,000 to 65,000 years ago initiated their astonishing journey (1) . Cavalli-Sforza group by analysis of chromosome 21 markers and Y- chromosome also support the African dispersal theory (2) , and in particular, other nuclear and mtDNA markers indicate eastern Africa as the origin of both African and Eurasian expansions (3) .
Indian Social Groups
The story of ancestry of Indians is fascinating. The caste system in India is very old and its emergence is generally correlated with the appearance of the Aryans. Rigveda the Aryan religious book mentions of four varnas, viz Brahman, Rajanya, Vaisya and Sudra. This division was based on individual’s profession and duties, Brahmins, the priests or spiritual class, Rajanya (later mentioned as Kshatriya), the ruling class, Vaishya, the merchants and farmers; and Shudras, the servants. India, the mother of a billion people consists of 4693 communities with numerous of endogamous groups, 325 functioning languages among that fifteen are present on its paper bill and 25 scripts. We know it very well that India has served as a major corridor for the dispersal of human beings that started from Africa (4) . In India the first systematic survey of human variation was conducted by professor DN Majumdar of Lucknow University in united province present day Uttar Pradesh and later in Bengal (5) . Santachiara and his team from Italy by using RFLP of mtDNA showed that people of Punjab are more closer to caucasoid than south or Andhra Pradesh people (6) . Recently Bamshad’s group used five different set of data i.e. mtDNA HVR1 (hyper variable region 1) sequence, mtDNA RSPs, Y-chromosome STRs (Short-Tandem Repeats), Y-chromosome biallelic polymorphisms, and autosomal Alu polymorphisms to support that how Indian castes are related to European populations as one moves from lower to middle to upper caste populations. They showed that Y-chromosome STR data do not exhibit a closer affinity to Asians for each caste group. Upper castes are pretty close to Europeans than to Asians, middle castes are evenly far from the European and Asian while lower castes are closer to Asians. Y-chromosome biallelic polymorphism data suggest that upper castes are more close to European than lower caste (7) . Bamshad’s group concluded that contemporary Hindu Indians are of proto-Asian origin with West Eurasian admixture. The main limitation of Bamshad’s study is that the study area was restricted to one geographical region namely Vizag in Andhra Pradesh. More recently Reich and Lalji group have examined 560,132 autosomal SNPs in 132 Indian samples from 25 groups. These groups reside in fourteen states and one union territory (Andaman and Nicobar) of India from Kashmir to Kerala. Among 25 groups five belong to upper caste, six groups belong to lower castes, one group belongs to middle caste, ten groups belong to tribal and remaining two belong to hunter gatherer. Most of the groups fall to Indo-European or Dravidian language family. The research shows that most Indian populations are genetic admixtures of two ancient but genetically divergent groups, which each contributing around 39-71% of the DNA to most present day Indians (8) . By principal component analysis (PCA) David and his team showed that siddi are an outlying group which is closely related with west Africans (YRI). Nyshi and Ao Naga who generally speak a tibeto-burman language are closely related to East Asians while Andamani did not show any closeness with Asian or Europeans. With the help of f3 and f4 ancestry estimation they developed a model which correlates the history of Indian and non Indian groups. In this model pathan, vaishya, meghawal and bhil are modeled as mixture of hypothetical Ancestral North Indian (ANI) and Ancestral South Indian (ASI). They also showed that ANI form a clade with Europeans (CEU) while Onge form a calde with ASI. Lalji singh group has already shown that Onge tribe doesn’t show any ancestry with population outside India within last 50,000 year but it shares some ancestry with Indian tribal population. They also suggested that founder effects are responsible for an even burden of recessive diseases in Indian population than consanguinity. That’s why recessive hereditary disease like The Madras pattern of Motor Neuron Disease (MMND), which is prevalent in the Chittor-Tirupati area and MYBPC3 mutation is only present in Indian population (9) . In concise way we can say that modern day India is mixture of two group whom Reich et al term as “Ancestral North Indian” (ANI) population that is genetically close to Central Asians, Europeans, and Middle Easterners, and an “Ancestral South Indian” (ASI) population that is not close to any large contemporary group outside the Indian subcontinent.
The present day genetic diversity of India is maintained by caste system that follows endogamy (marriage within the group) which is common among Indians. Perhaps endogamy is one of the reason why recessive diseases are prevalent in Indian social group. Autosomal recessive disease means that the both the recessive gene is located on one of the autosomes. This means that males and females have equal probability to affect from this disease. Recessive hereditary diseases are seen among Indians who have descended from a small group of founder individuals. Promotion of inter caste marriages could helps us to abolish these diseases. The future study may also require more data set from a much wider array of populations, including a large sampling of tribal populations and Tibeto-Burman speakers to understand their specific contributions who are more closer to Han Chinese group (CHB) of China. We can also predict, there will be a lot of recessive diseases in India that will be different in each social group further future research also require to identify these diseases and its genetic mapping.
1. Doron M. Behar, Saharon Rosset, Jason Blue-Smith, Oleg Balanovsky, Shay Tzur, David Comas, R. John Mitchell, Lluis Quintana-Murci, Chris Tyler-Smith, R. Spencer Wells (2007) The Genographic Project public participation mitochondrial DNA database.PLoS Genet 3:e104
2. Jin L., Underhill P.A., Doctor V., Davis R.W., Shen P., Cavalli-Sforza L.L. and. Oefner P.J (1999) Distribution of haplotypes from a chromosome 21 region distinguishes multiple prehistoric human migrations, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96 pp. 3796–3800.
3. Watson E., Forster P., Richards M. and Bandelt H.-J., (1997) Mitochondrial footprints of human expansions in Africa, American Journal of Human Genetics 61 pp. 691–704
4. Cann RL (2001) Genetic clues to dispersal in human populations: retracing the past from the present. Science 291:1742–1748.
5. Majumdar, D. N. & Rao, C. R. (1960) Race Elements in Bengal: a Quantitative Study (Asia Publishing House).
6. Passarino G, Semino O, Bernini LF, Santachiara Benerecetti AS Pre-Caucasoid and (1996) Caucasoid genetic features of the Indian population, revealed by mtDNA polymorphisms. Am J Hum Genet 59:927–934
7. Bamshad M., Kivisild T., Watkins W.S., Dixon M.E., Ricker C.E., Rao B.B., Naidu J.M., Prasad B.V.R., Reddy P.G., Rasanayagam A., Papiha S.S., Villems R., Redd AJ, Hammer M.F., Nguyen S.V., Carroll M.L., Batzer M.A. and Jorde L.B., (2001) Genetic evidence on the origins of indian caste populations, Genome Res 11 pp. 994–1004.
8. Reich D., Thangaraj K., Patterson N., Price A. L. and Singh L. (2009)Reconstructing Indian population history Nature p489-494
9. Dhandapany, P. S., Sadayappan, S., Xue, Y., Powell, G. T., Rani, D. S., Nallari, P., Rai, T. S., Khullar, M., Soares, P., Bahl, A., Tharkan, J. M., Vaideeswar, P., Rathinavel, A., Narasimhan, C., Ayapati, D. R., Ayub, Q., Mehdi, S. Q., Oppenheimer, S., Richards, M. B., Price, A. L., Patterson, N., Reich, D., Singh, L., Tyler-Smith, C., and Thangaraj, K. (2009) A common Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein C variant associated with cardiomyopathies in South Asia. Nature Genet. 41, 187–191