Cracking the Code

The universe as a self governing organism

If evolution is true, there have never been any mistakes in natural processes. Therefore, there are no mistakes in nature—only comfort, discomfort, or boredom. And, what gives one discomfort is someone else’s happy place.

We have been influenced heavily to accept evolution with a Hebrew-rooted twist, a sense of good and evil as a product of law—that there is a right and a wrong (even in nature) and choosing sides has become accentuated by the spreading of the good news. But there are really no laws in nature.

If the abrahamic religions are true, we have to make a faith statement—that what is true is superior to what is known—that what is believed is superior to reason or logical conclusion. Or, that contradictions are a natural process of heaven.

If we assume for a moment that the Big Bang is exactly how it happened, that we evolved into this or that, it would also conclude that we are many that stemmed from one, that we are all connected by a common event. We are a herd-bound species. Is that a result of survival in evolution, or because out of the one we became the many? That our primordial state was singular.

If we are the result of a cataclysmic event, eventually collecting enough space debris and luck to form planets and galaxies, isn’t our inertial state that of a single mind (needs defining) as well?

We can make a faith statement, that our individuality is a result of evolution—that what was, is not what is. Or we can make another, like Christianity’s stance that we are all separate individuals responsible for our decisions, that it is you, a single soul, a separate ego here on sufferance, while simultaneously providing a place to gather. Its a neat trick to use fear to isolate and use that same fear to couple.

If one prefers to be Christian and believe in evolution, you have to say god used evolution as a means of creation, that should, eventually produce the children of god, then it should be easy to accept all the differences a billion years of biologic variations would produce in the human mind.

Working on the plumbing.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

53 thoughts on “Cracking the Code”

    1. Nothing. On a more popular note, ABS and PVC are more toxic than pex and for 75 years Ruis has said nothing. He must have shares…

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  1. Evolutionary natural processes are full of mistakes. That is mutations, that can be beneficial, completely neutral, or detrimental, to survival. Dependent on the environment. The same mutation can be beneficial to an isolated group, or detrimental to another. Or completely neutral across the board.

    Evolution doesn’t make mistakes. It just is. Good or bad, or ugly.

    The universe we exist in is a result of a cataclysmic event. Our sun a result of the result. Our solar system and every other solar system, all, are results of cataclysmic events. That we happen to have what we have here, life, is a result of long odds. Many would claim (wrongly so) that because odds are so small it would be impossible. Even an infintismal chance is a good bet in the scale of the universe and the amount of time of its existence. Close to impossible is NOT impossible.

    I can remember when religiots swore up and down that evolution was a lie. Some still do. However that stance, in light abundance of evidence, has morphed within my lifetime, to something like “well evolution may have happened, but it was guided by insert god here ______.”

    Whatever we are, is a result of our genes, our environment, and our experiences, within a universe that could give a flying shit about us. Gods had their chance, they are are useful as you need them to be I guess. I have no use for them at all. Works for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Excellent! Btw, is their something specific that you disagree with? I feel that this has been interpreted is support of some religious belief based on the comments. That would have to be an assumption based on the way I see it, but I do err from time to time.

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      1. I found the first paragraph on evoution a bit misleading, as I understand it… Mistakes being the key word. Evolution doesn’t make mistakes, it results from mutations. Mutations are as I mentioned, beneficial, potentially harmful, or completely neutral. It just depends on the mutation. As well as adaptability to a certain environments. Feathers or fuzz (as an example,) would be helpful to a population experiencing colder climes. The lack of either would benefit a population in warmer climes. Whoever survives better, passes on more and more of the mutation. Populations subsequently evolve over time. It’s all about mutations, beneficial, or not, add in a smidge of natural selection, environmental conditions, and ample time. Evolution happens.

        Good or bad. It just isn’t mistaken 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If evolution is true, there have never been any mistakes in natural processes. Therefore, there are no mistakes in nature—“
          Not sure how this is misleading. Is it possible a particular bias sees it as leading where maybe it isn’t?

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          1. Somewhere I got hung up on “mistakes in natural processes.” Good or bad, mutations aren’t mistakes they are mutations, they happen every day. And re-reading it in the context you apparently meant it, I went off on a tangent. Deleterious mutations might be considered a mistake to someone observing a population that’s dying off, but it isn’t a mistake, it’s just a deleterious mutation.

            However adding “no mistakes in nature” sort of implies evolution/common descent/natural selection is perfect in some way, when it isn’t perfect, it just winds up being what it is. And I can sort of see now that we might both mean the same thing. I just had to go the long way around to see it.

            Good or bad it isn’t a mistake, it isn’t perfect either. Neither am I. 🙂

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    2. I don’t know how my brain/hand combo put the word “light” in front of abundance there, when I think I meant “in light of an” there. Funny sometimes how the brain and the fingers tend to type thing when you are on a roll. Also funny is my proof reading skills lol 🙂

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      1. Ain’t the first time lol. I likened a mutation to mistake, which in all probabilty was a mistake…

        It depends on how you look at it. No it doesnt make mistakes, but a deleterious mutation can be perceived as one. But the process doesn’t care. It only matters to an observer who can see a mutation in a negative light.

        I’ll stick with “it doesnt’ make mistakes.” It just is. I’m taking my ball and running home now.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. What I’m getting at here is that we need to understand we do no one any service when we fail to understand and appreciate what evolution is or how to incorporate this knowledge as a human genotype. Introducing ideas of good and bad and direction into evolution actually misrepresents reality and so we cause untold additional suffering into the world. For example, fitness just is. That humanity is very fit is neither a good thing nor bad but both; too much fitness means setting up population crashes and even extinction. We see this evidence when species are introduced into environments with no natural predation. First, the population explodes because these critters are exceptionally fit. Once the food supply has been exhausted, the creatures are no longer fit, and so massive starvation sets in. Humans are subject to exactly the same yo-yoing when we deplete the planet’s ability to provide all the requisites for the fitness of the population. This is a natural, unguided process no different in effect over time than the introduced rats of Easter Island wiping out all other creatures before a massive die off.

    Understanding this means our genotype to be fit over time requires sustainability. This requires manageable levels of population within a stable environment. To manage populations means females must be empowered to apply reproductive decisions. Religion again plays a significant role in thwarting exactly this fitness requirement by positioning males to be dominant – from some created god all the way to the head of the family unit. We insert male-dominated rules in law over females and ANYTHING that interferes with female reproductive decisions acts contrary to this necessary empowerment to be fit as a genotype. This is why the very first and most influential requirement for addressing climate change effectively is to empower women’s reproductive choices. This change will have the greatest positive influence in bringing about sustainability but meets the greatest impediment in our blind acceptance of religious ideas as somehow ‘moral’ when men have legal dominance over women’s reproductive choices. Stupid is as stupid does and every time some religious meme insists that they have the divine command and morality on their side to control women’s reproductive choices at any level – from individuals all the way up to a legal code – you are seeing the perniciousness of religious belief that not only threatens the fitness of our genotype but makes addressing the natural imbalance that much harder, that much longer delayed, that much more in starvation, in loss of human potential and harm to the environment needed to sustain humanity in balance over time.

    It all goes back to teaching the next generation what evolution is, how it works, and how we must then adjust and accept as ‘virtuous’ those memes that are demonstrably ethical – not religiously sanctioned memes blind and stupid to the reality in which we live – to sustain our genotype in balance with the rest of the natural world over time. Pretending religious belief full of contrary memes of this kind or that somehow is compatible with evolution is not true. Religious belief is THE major impediment to human fitness over time.

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    1. I agree with that about religious belief is the major impediment to human fitness over time.
      I also agree that everything is interconnected. That we all share a span of life based on the equilibrium of all life. No bees, no flowers, kind of relationship.
      I also see that science creates mythology that becomes quite popular. The “experts” explain how and why everything happened with storytelling. Why some butterflies have eyes on their wings, or the Lucy myth. These explanations, created by top (or pop?) scientists are mixing emotional tales into the science.
      I guess I wished you were specific about what you disagree with. Do we have a Last Common Ancestor, or not? Do we all stem from the same globules or not? To assume my piece is about belief or religion is incorrect. It is about pushing logical and reasonable conclusions beyond their comfort zones.
      If you press a religioso far enough he sounds scientific (or he’ll quote science). Press scientist far enough (beyond the accepted schools) he sounds esoteric. Physicist have to be very careful these days in their wording lest their mythology sounds like a spiritual dissertation. Many great physicists have made that mistake…or was it? I don’t know.

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      1. These explanations, created by top (or pop?) scientists are mixing emotional tales into the science.

        ‘Science communication’ is actually an occupation (part of journalism, not science), and a much needed one. Forgot who said it, but one of the early quantum fellows noted that this stuff is no longer accessible/understandable to the man on the street, and that is a dangerous thing. Big problem comes in here is when the “journalists” say things like “God particle” or describe an atom like a solar system.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Have you ever heard of John Wheeler’s postulation about the electron? That all electrons have the same mass because they’re all one electron? Imagine what the journalist could do with that one if it had ever gain traction…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. No kidding. Although I’m not currently there in my life, there were times I just thought wtf? Where’s my god who cares so much? There are no lessons to be learned at some higher level to prepare you for some greater good.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. There’s a pretty good market for that too, I’m sure. Even the religious condone violence over love making. Pretty odd.
          Me, I’ve had enough of it. Paramedicking [sic] gave me an up close and personal overload. I can’t even watch it on tv anymore.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m sorry, Jim, but this post has really annoyed me.

    Evolution is the natural, unguided process of how generational life changes over time. Belief has nothing to do with this fact. It is a scaffolding process, that what precedes largely determines what follows through reproduction and inheritance with a few minor mutations. There is no ‘faith’ anywhere in this understanding. That’s why evolution is a fundamental pillar of biological science and really important to understand if one wishes to understand how life changes over time.

    In biology, the term ‘mistakes’ as you’ve suggested evolution does not commit because it’s ‘natural’ makes no sense; the changes – and these are not open to belief when they are facts that can be easily demonstrated – are either beneficial in terms of fitness (meaning successful reproduction into the 2nd generation) or not. If the mutation is not beneficial to fitness, it may be neutral or harmful… again, as measured by fitness (successful reproduction – usually spoken of as alleles in a population increasing or decreasing over time, alleles that are either fit or not.). So life if full of expressions of waning or waxing fitness in all kinds of forms, including humans of course. To introduce the idea of ‘mistakes’ should be understood in this biological sense to be some natural unguided change that is harmful. And life – human life included at the individual level – is chalk full of these, too.

    So I take significant issue with several ideas you present that seem to me to be inserting a square peg of some religious notion of unity and trying to insert it into the round hole of evolution. For example, nature offers ‘mistakes’ all the time. As an analogy, think of a plane that has every aspect of its development over time still attached to some kind of frame – propellers and jet engines, wooden struts and various metallic supports, all kind of wiring, a control panel that represents all of these changes over time, and so on. Huge, ungainly, awkward, stupid because of poor efficiency, and so on. That’s evolution in a nutshell. That’s what constitutes your DNA, including damage from a virus that affected simians prior to divergence of the humanoid branch. The ‘mistakes’ are not enough to overcome fitness even though placing the gonads between the legs rather than, say, at the end of one’s fingers results in absurd physical positioning and contortions to accomplish even the basics of reproduction !

    Like biology, basic physics and chemistry operate in predictable ways through mechanisms and processes we can understand and use to effect. We call these understandings ‘laws’ because they work for everyone everywhere all the time and in the same predictable way. And we know this because we apply the understanding in technologies and therapies and applications that also work for everyone everywhere all the time and would not do so if these basic aspects of reality were not what they they are, not how we understand them to be. No belief is needed or necessary.

    Nowhere in any of this is there any evidence whatsoever of some kind of intervening agency other than basic biology, basic physics, and basic chemistry in uninterrupted processes using stable mechanisms. In other words, to suggest some agency – like a tinkering god – affected these at some historical time in some historical way to cause some historical effect is a claim without any scientific merit whatsoever. No evidence. This certainly includes evolution. And it goes all the way back in time as far as we are able to evaluate through evidence today.

    So there is no reason to introduce any idea of some other agency operating in reality other than natural unguided operations of biology, physics, and chemistry. So one does not believe in evolution any more than one believes in gravity, and the same case exists that if you reject the supposed belief it does not affect reality nor the inevitable operation of these basic processes one iota. No evidence to the contrary has ever been produced to suggest these models are wrong. None. Ever.

    So, yes, we are – as Sagan pointed out – made of star material as is every molecule in the universe. But the degree of separation between these different forms of energy in the form of molecules is neither small nor equivalent. Your post seems to suggest to me they are. But you are kin to moon dust only in this philosophical sense, but you don’t let it stay there. You bring it forward into the sciences and try to craft it to be compatible when it not. This notion of kinship you suggest to all things has no bearing on the vastly shorter distance between one of your molecules and the DNA you inherited from your parents that forms it – or any of the mutations it has undergone in the process. To claim kinship with the moon as you would claim kinship with your parents is a gigantic category mistake if one is studying, say, biology framed in evolutionary terms as you have done. Seriously, the moon dust in this case to evolution is as important and as relevant as Tinkerbell’s fairie dust… in other words, none whatsoever. This kind of statement I’ve just made is not based on and kind of ‘faith’ – a false equivalency used all the time by those who attempt to make woo and science compatible – but rests solidly on fact, solidly on a model explanation from evidence-adduced understanding successful applied in all kinds of ways that produce consistent and reliable results. This idea that there is compatibility between a divine agency operating somewhere in the historical background of natural unguided processes and mechanisms is an empty claim. To suggest understanding basic science require a similar kind of faith is simply wrong. Understand facts about reality is therefore unrelated in any way, shape, or fashion with the kind of faith-based belief necessary to deny such facts.

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      1. The use of religion to understand science leads one down these rabbit holes, comparing this religion to that religion’s ‘take’ on evaluating evolution. This is not helpful. I’m pointing out that no rabbit holes are needed and, in fact, help stop people from understanding evolution. In fact, religious belief is the primary impediment to understanding evolution. There is more than enough compelling evidence to show this is the case.

        So, when one heads out into the real world and encounters the absolute indifference of ‘nature’ in regards to human beings, we should expect this. If we wish to help out our species, then it falls to us to make it so. This raises the importance of certain social virtues and elevates human beings into a major concern for our aggregate health and welfare. The religious often paint this understanding as exactly what it isn’t, and they continue to do a disservice to our species by pretending there is some external intervening caring being do what we human ought to be doing for ourselves. That’s probably why there’s such a robust correlation between science denialism, climate change denialism, those involved with the anti-vaccine movement, conspiracy thinking, and the religious. These seem to go hand in hand. All of it threatens the health and welfare of every human being on the planet but, because it is often framed in religious terms, these anti-human opinions, these irresponsible and unethical positions, are often assumed to be virtuous, while at the same time strongly condemning those who appreciate what the natural world really is and how it operates indifferent to our belief in woo. Framing facts and science in the form of a similar kind of ‘belief’ as religious belief is the fundamental apologetic tool used to effect in these areas in particular, and not responding responsibly ends up causing real harm to real people in real life. That’s why when I encounter a post that uses this tool, I tend to get annoyed. Sorry Jim. It’s not personal.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tildeb! a question has been bothering me for a while, maybe you have answer. why have certain ancient creatures (ie sharks or even tardigrades!) that have been around for milions of years, have not evolved, while others, (ie humans) have?

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      1. They are still evolving (the megalodon is no longer with us). Evolution is not adaptively directed, not goal-orientated. It does not stop with a great design (which will be preserved), which I think you’re (sort of?) thinking. Walking sharks, for example, are quite a new species.

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          1. No, they’re still evolving. Mutations are occurring, environmental and behavioural adaptation is occurring. The fittest are still reproducing the most, and in these cases the fittest seem to be a very old design. Evolution does not stop.

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      2. Short answer: fitness.

        Remember, there’s a constant interplay between genes, how they express, and environment. Over time – ie many generations – fitness plays a key role in promulgation. If any of these change – even small changes like mutations at the genetic level then the cumulative effect on allele distribution – drives evolutionary change… sometime to a remarkable degree. For example, humans are more closer related to dogfish than are catfish! And we can plot this at the genetic level.

        Also remember, before we could trace the genetic makeup of DNA at each ‘rung’ in the ladder, the explanatory model predicted the presence of every prior inheritance. When the code was broken and we could trace each and every rung of each and every DNA strand of each and every creature, it verified evolution as THE explanatory model beyond a doubt. The only quibbles left are how much and by what extent other mechanisms ALSO impact evolutionary change beyond only mutations. None of this quibbling decreases in any way the highest possible confidence in the explanatory model. And this model exceeds all other explanations in accumulated evidence about anything humans have proposed about how reality works. There is higher confidence in the evolutionary model than ANY other explanation we have about anything. I cannot stress this enough.

        So if anyone anywhere has any doubt about evolution as true, as a fact, as a theory, as the supreme explanation about something to do with how reality operates, this demonstrates not a weakness in evolutionary theory but a lack of understanding of the model by the person doubting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your last paragraph here is exactly what the religious say. You just don’t understand it. If they explain it enough and in just the right way? Then you’ll be a believer? There’s no fault in evolutionary theory at all? That’s pretty bold.
          As for fitness, humans are a sickly bunch from birth do death. Only through many scientific interventions have we curbed massive die offs and pandemics. Survival of the vaccinated, not the fittest.

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          1. Remember, fitness means a genotype’s ability to survive, find a mate, and produce offspring. It does not mean strongest, smartest, most adaptive, healthiest, and so on that arises when people hear the phrase, ‘survival of the fittest’ as if brutal strength is the measure. It’s not. It all about successful reproduction.

            So when we look at how successfully humans survive, find a mate, and produce offspring as a genotype (the complete set of genes for the species), we can see we’re very successful even if at the individual level many people have all kinds of problems. But we come with big brains, are a social animal, and an ability to communicate with others beyond our own generation and so have developed all kinds of interventions to facilitate greater fitness. Vaccinations, for example, doesn’t mean we have tinkered with evolution at all… any more than army ants have tinkered with evolution creating living bridges. These strategies work to increase fitness for the genotype. And that means vaccinations are part of the ever-growing human toolkit to ensure survival of the fittest, which is a natural process expressed by humans but not, say, sharks.

            It’s a highly constrained understanding of evolution that assumes an adaptive ability – like, say, a highly sophisticated spoken language – to be an ‘unnatural’ mechanism and so therefore outside of evolution. Au contraire; this is a significant if not essential process of influencing fitness. Throw in our tool making ability, compile and pass along understanding of biological, chemical, and physical processes, and – Presto! – our adaptive ability to increase fitness in all kinds of ways is so successful that we can actually choose how much or little fitness at the individual level people wish to perform. This is remarkable but by no means unnatural or even outside of evolution when it comes to the human genotype. We are a very successful species but intelligent enough to recognize such dominance has a global affect – and quite negative – on the fitness of all other species, including those that have hardly changed in hundreds of millions of years. That ability doesn’t put us ‘outside’ of evolutionary processes but in its driver’s seat. Our actions force massive challenges to the fitness of most genotypes… except those that thrive by symbiotic relation to humans… like some of these RNA viruses or bed bugs or garbage scavengers like skunks. That’s evolution at work and we’d better smarten up and accept responsibility for our cumulative actions if we want a planet to host our genotype.

            Religious belief very often is predicated on separating humans from nature and presenting the genotype as a ‘special’ creation. This is absolutely contrary to understanding our role in evolution. It is a claim with not only zero evidence to support it but in direct contrast to overwhelming evidence against it. So we as a genotype equipped with language to pass on memes that are factually wrong is demonstrated by the continued belief in religious ideas and claims based on the meme that is in fact contrary to reality. This is a part of fitness that displaces responsibility owned by the human species and places it on some magical designing but invisible all powerful ‘loving’ agency. And people will believe this regardless of how reality arbitrates it. My comment in this thread is to point out that humanity as a genotype harms others unnecessarily when such contrary memes are allowed to go unchallenged or offered undeserved respect rather than held to account as part of the problem that allows our genotype to adversely affect yet avoid responsibility for negatively affecting so many other genotypes… including the sustainability of our own.

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  4. the primordial oneness state is always there, in the back, back of the mind. that which is witness to all. the state of awareness. it’s there, even when you’re deep asleep, but most of us are not aware of it. when you wake up in the morning, that state becomes the ‘many’ that we experience as ‘me’ and world. so… individuality is an illusion on this plane of existence only.
    Nisargadatta has a great quote “at the highest level, in the absolute, nothing is. an the lowest level, the world level, everything is”.
    wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a joyful, enlightened New Year, Boss!🌲

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey, Jim, happy nothing day to you and yours.
    I have to say by my thoughts you did a wonderful job at trying to describe our basic cosmology, but I noticed a few small differences between yours and mine. As living beings in the Third Dimension we are all individuals, including each and every Covid virus among us. But this is only one level of life amongst the many unknowable levels that probably exist in those places we can only conjecture.
    But truly, there is only one life, however you want to describe that life to be.
    Anyways, way to go. Good post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks rawgod, and enjoy the ride. All the best to you for 2021. I’ve got some fresh cans of covid I need to open, but I’ll wait till things calm down a bit. ⚔️

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        1. Wait! So Hollywood scriptwriters stole Arnie’s “Do it now” line in “Predator” from the Canadian construction industry? Bastards!

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  6. Always we have to deal with the law of unintended consequences. The plumbing you show … very neat, always a good sign shows the newish plastic pipes that have been a boon to plumbers. What we didn’t forsee what happens to these pipes when, fate forbid, the house burns. Don’t be downwind because they release a veritable flood of toxic chemicals into the air. Nothing we do is without risk. Life is all about balances risks and rewards … so why are we so very awful at doing just that? Our entire focus is on the short term … you, me, everybody. And, I suspect it is the long term effects of our actions that will do us in.

    Happy thoughts for the new year!

    Actually, I wish you the happiest 2021 if that can be managed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely comment and observation. All the best to you as well, Steve.
      What is there to save other than our perceptions of some self determined importance because we think too much? (tiny bit of sarcasm)

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