JASPERS’ WORKS APPLIED TO RICHARD DAWKINS’
FOURTH CONTINUUM AUGUST 2, 2006—DAWKINS’ APPROACH TO AND WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNCERTAINTY OF KNOWING THE ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND; Evolutionism’s real issue:
FOURTH CONTINUUM DAWKINS’ APPROACH TO AND WITHDRAWAL FROM UNCERTAINTY: THE UNKOWN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND--EPISTEMIC LIMITATIONS
17. The forces’ struggle over the dimensions of consciousness, conscience, and pain
17.1. Consciousness as the primary (not preeminent) dimension of thinking--Thinkers who are inclined to put first things first, i.e., we “second-order cybernetic” tinkerers, remember finding ourselves in this world via consciousness. One then thinks at least dichotomously and moves in at least bi-polarized fashion through at least the four popular dimensions. Familial conscience is accepted as given and inviolable or accepted as given but provisionally protestable. It is inherited in the sense of something revealed, i.e., lessons not needing to be learned again by normal hard knocks and disease. Richard seems uncomfortable with coming to terms with consciousness as an unavoidable and unsought constant. Coming to functional terms though is essential to a research attitude.
17.2. Darwin was right, but then left—My review of Richard’s comments about consciousness shows a certain leaning within this dichotomous predicament of polemic thinking; he seems to lean more toward the comfortable acceptance of given forces, but not without some painful bottlenecking of consciousness. The freedom-of-consciousness is squeezed out of mental constructions in deferring the uncertainties of complex reality to Darwin, Wallace, and “evolutionary” artificial intelligence “experts”. There’s the managing of external forces by cow cowing while verbalizing otherwise. Other than subjecting consciousness to the infinity of the finite, he fulfills the felt need to “sop to the religious lobby” while complaining about it. The excuse for doing so is popularly labeled but means accepting without protesting the inevitability of “evolutionality”—a conjured dimension, a sort of supernatural sapper of freedom from the decision making process (see below, item 19.3. on his “evolution of evolvability”). Richard points out that Darwin regretted such sopping, i.e., Darwin used the word “creation” rather than simply saying-- as he did later in private--that the ultimate origin of life is better put by saying that it appeared by some wholly unknown process. He exercised quietly some of the protestant polemic rather than catholic, for Catholicity was still charging the atmosphere with threats of discomfort. He momentarily universalized the unknown rather than the known in an atmosphere charged with Catholicity. Here we have the consciousness-dimension admitting that its fundament is unknown, but the mind suppresses the unknown further by thoughts regarding causes and effects. Incoherently consciousness is assumed inviolable enough to substantiate that the origin of humankind is known enough to show that the imposing vatic authority is superfluous and can loosen its grip on consciousness, conscience, guilt, and pain. He deferred to one certainty to ward off the certainty of religious catholicity.
17.3. “Sop to religious lobby”--That quote by Richard shows the pressure to defer to vatic authority. It is taken from Richard’s Canterbury chapter (Tale, p. 560). Though he doesn’t know it, or hides it by sophistry, the religious lobby Richard must pacify is defined as “the Church [his high case ‘C’]” on the next page. However his high “Church” is more covert than those located openly in lobbies. He should be conscious that the attitude he is referring to is that same succession on a roll that burned the martyrs. Richard really wants to be understood as referring to any religious thinking, which he dubs fundamentalism, or what I would refer to as those not boxed in by established or high church types. He does not like the pain of being approached by unpredictable protestations. Dealing with established religion is highly predictable but highly uncontrollable from the outside.
17.4. The discomfort is understandable for the issue is not clearly seen. This confusion is seen in the quote from The Guardian, 3-9-02: “Creation as literally depicted in Genesis is indeed supported by faith (and needs to be, since it is not supporting by anything else, certainly not the Pope, nor the Roman or Anglican hierarchies).” His parenthetical statement is a sidewinder’s off-the-cuff major premise; it is not minor for it is catholic of equal intensity to the dogma of his scientism. Without arguing for or against a private interpretation of Genesis, which Richard literally does here, I only want to point out a vulnerable attitude and a clear manifestation of Richard’s fidelity toward vatic authority. A…literal…syntax-reading here shows he offers both hierarchies—that he finds worthy of mention—as itemized exhibits of supporting evidence against “creation as literally depicted in Genesis”. The exhibits are the Anglican and Roman Church beginning with his greatest exhibit, the “Pope”. And they are exhibits from epistemologically deficient edifices of infallibility not subject to cross-examination. He does not place a comma between Anglican and Roman Church. This sort of catholic thinking is not unusual. It is immanent—immanentalism--thinking in terms of beginnings propped up with extra conscious transcendence. He uses vatic authority, as fact to support evolutionism…that “evolution” he claims to be the most certain fact, meaning it is factual enough. He is meaning we can be more certain of humankind’s origin than anything else, though institutional authority is used to literally clinch the argument. That’s mad cow cowing.
17.5. But, he also says, we are uncertain about the origin of life—as we will see. We will see though how he backs cautiously away from a…literal…meaning of the origin of humankind. He backs away from admitting that consciousness is the seat of his thinking and defers to others’ consciousness. The motivation is obvious; he wants to enter as evidence the testimony of his…preferred…authorities. So it is reasonable to cross-examine the motif’s connectivity. Remember; he has chosen to backtrack by way of one of two archbishops of Canterbury. Intellectually honesty is compromised and natural observation and experimentation is not the issue. It is not the issue now anymore then at the time of Anaximander or Moses. Seeing what issue has come to the forefront is essential before seeing through Richard’s metaphysical coloring of his description of natural phenomena. Admittedly, I’m exploiting and using the dimension of pain as seen in the more outstanding martyr compared to his, but I’m doing so explicitly and would like to think forthrightly.
17.6. The scaffolding at “St Mary Magdalene Church” and an Oxford chair—On the way to the “St. Mary Magdalene Church” one can pause at an embarrassingly insufficient memorial to three protestant-type martyrs, including the defrocked archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Crammer. While in full consciousness and bare neural sensors fully exposed to pain they were burned near that spot. But an altar dedicated to “St Thomas Beckett” is central inside the Church-building. There is the dichotomy, and the cry for decisiveness; one can adapt to and replicate one Thomas-type or the other Thomas-type. Replete with high-fidelity replicable symbols demanding adaptation, a scaffold was constructed before the altar and a chair placed for Rome’s legate, Bishop Brooks, arrayed in pontifical regalia--visual aids to enforce the abominable show-trial of Thomas Cranmer. From that defiled locale he was taken and burned--an unpardonable violation against cyber-sensitive consciousness. Today its caretakers refer to that building as “Catholic Anglican”, but it does not distract from that display of compulsory catholicity and its failed enforcement upon the three martyrs. Moreover the church building does not depict the protestant consciousness and conscience. Standing in contrast, for instance, is the Episcopalian “Christ’s Church” in Little Rock, Arkansas; at least it displays a stained glass depiction of the martyr’s burning. The mystique of consciousness and the concomitant violation of the protestant conscience is revealed somehow there, for, Little Rock is the City where another “evolutionism” trial took place and S. Gould participated as an expert witness having a few years previously been invited to Rome, thereafter writing that Christians could no longer protest “evolutionism” (my word). Like Gould, Richard is capable of exploiting religion while generally castigating it—castigating the genus but milking the highbred species. Darwin, like Draper, did not have the foresight or hindsight-advantage of witnessing how data when given universal status, can be selected, adapted, and sanctified--consummated by Catholicism’s evolutionism. Richard is without excuse and presents himself as an expert on hind sighting.
18. The uncertainty of thinking and evolutionism--Richard in principle and via metaphysical definition cannot escape the limits of thinking. The limits can be systematically shown, as Jaspers has done with the ultimate situations of thinking and life. Thinking is limited as such and in itself. It is most dependable when limits are clearest. When unclear the error-rate potential is compounded, for the restraints on consciousness are dependent upon limited ideas, the fixating ideas from a brain supposedly understood as “evolved”, then the mind “evolved”, then consciousness “evolved”, and then “darwinian conscience”. Then, on course, the final manifested destiny of origin-thinking takes to the highway toward serfdom. Like ideas and thinking as such, there is nothing more uncertain than a principle of “evolution” when applied to life and to the seat of limited thinking, that seat being humankind with its indefinites. There is nothing more certain than the need for protesting the certainty of humankind’s origin.
18.1. Uneasy contrition about origin-sin--Richard reaches the point that the restraint becomes intentional-control through the constraints of assumed logical-correctness—mass popular correctness via the frequent mention of “Darwin” and the multitude of acknowledged others in a tit-for-tat dance, a rapturous bebop. The search for the origin of humankind--though misapplied to the search for life--continues without recognizing the limits of the logical handling of the infinite data this side of and removed from the consciousness of consciousness. However, to his credit, the search for the origin of life reaches “a patina of mystery” and “life itself is not clearly defined”. Such belated expressions of uncertainty hardly constrain certitude and barely put a dent in superciliousness. (Restraint is distinguishable from constraint in that the prefix “con” has to do with impositions of a cognitive sort.) Uncertainty is ageless and expressed by the biblical Paul. Fully aware of consciousness and understanding the limits of thinking, he said, “we see through a glass darkly”. I perceive Richard as avoiding the primordial conflict, and uncertainty is presented as something pertaining to modernity and therefore useful as something “evolving”; it therefore becomes something to be confiscated by Catholicity and categorized with the soul as something that also “evolved”. Richard’s “patina” of uncertainty, and his reference to something not clearly defined is another way of saying “soul”. To further avoid the primordial conflict, he quotes another’s poetic ditty at the beginning of chapter 27 giving some indirect homage to “uncertainty”. But unlike Paul’s personification of being as reflected in the modals of the suffering son of man and son of God, Richard reverts to his charismatic immanentalist; he begins and ends with pop-darwinianism. He slips back, but not into the protesting and falsifying principle of science, but into simply violating complexity with a disturbing amount of certitude. The nearest he comes to a falsifying principle is the indication that “Sir” Karl Popper made reference to something about Richard’s idea that the brain might be somehow mimicking the world. Of course Karl was probably simply saying the brain emphasis is something at least falsifiable. Karl mentioned it in a Darwin Lecture; he could hardly not refer to Richard for his works have been enforced upon the world, as has his reputation for occupying the Oxford chair on a neo-darwinian bulldozer.
18.2. Vicariously he touches Wallace’s consciousness—He touches the edge of consciousness in another of Darwin’s contemporaries, Alfred Russell Wallace; but Wallace is minimized because he disagreed with Darwin on the directional search for the origin of life. Wallace did not ignore consciousness. Unlike Richard, I have not approached this question of origin without a definition of life. It is defined as the origin of humankind. Not the origin of species, for that begs the question. We have to start with the thinker and this means we have to deal with the consciousness of consciousness, the epistemic locality. So, continuing the bipedal dichotomous trek, we can take flight winging it in consciousness and conscience, and my winging is depicted in that Oxford memorial to the martyrs. It was constructed to appease some Evangelicals who were objecting to the lack of regard for the contribution that the burned martyrs made to the reformation of the protesting spirit. It seems Richard would rather distract from the memorial because Evangelicals dared to protest. Not that he is opposed to protesting; he wants to say what cannot be protested. And if all else fails, he hopes that forces will be such as to establish a consensus about the origin of life. Mind you, he already wants to think he knows the origin of humankind. So he criticizes Wallace for not yielding to the conviction that the origin of consciousness is known; one cannot know the origin of humankind and not know the origin of consciousness.
19. Conscience can be the preeminent dimension; and neuro-scientific cybernetics and artificial replication—Richard may have allowed himself to be fooled but he is not fooling protesting consciousness. Nor should the protestant conscience be desensitized to the collaboration and collusive tactics inherit in institutions at large. Such tactics are also unavoidable in local independent groups, but more democratically controllable. Nor is the protestant spirit unmindful that if Richard did not include “the Church” by implication and “churches” by explication in his critiquing, he might get an invitation to one of Rome’s science conferences. That would compromise the façade of objectivity that even a bogus science must exhibit. Convening personalities with bad faith in clerical collars constitute that personality and metaphysic that can proclaim the arbitrated meaning of facts, and thereby infect factual details. When Richard writes that details of life’s origin are perhaps buried “beyond recovery, at our ancient Canterbury”, the “our” must be protested and the “ancient” modified into some continuum, some constant replete with replicated conscientiousness—as in the suffering Cranmer modal. His “Archbishop” of Canterbury is not the spirit of my archbishop of Canterbury. Great care needs to be taken to make sure that titles of distinction here are avoided—such as the metaphorically used Canterbury. The ordained office, the institutionally confirmed superior status of “archbishop” should be dropped immediately to prevent the High Church of England, and the Anglo-Church from leaping on the martyrs and emphasizing their Catholic dependent status by establishing and maintaining selected politically correct memorial effigies. It is of course understood that on the surface it looks like Richard is simply inundating the Canterbury metaphoric implications with explicit natural details. In this case the mischievousness is not only in the details.
19.1. Crisis Diversions v. lest we forget—Coming to terms with the aftermath of Thomas’ torturous loss of consciousness at Oxford can include “cybernetics” but of an abnormal dimension. Cybernetics is another word being appropriated like “evolution” by the spirit of catholicity. Cybernetics in the mode of artificial intelligence is becoming the missing link by “evolutionists”. Neural phenomena are presumed to “evolve”. The infant is thought to be neural under-“evolved”—that’s the origin-form of thinking. But an infant subjected to burning is as neural developed with regard to pain. Early or late, the cultures of crucifying and burning were as neuro-scientifically informed as we are though they could not technically reproduce or create an artificial scapegoat. The screams that artificial intelligence would produce would be ineffective. Prolonging consciousness and suffering by crucifixion was a knack--designed to last for days, and decaying bodies would prolong the social effect. Prolonged consciousness while burning was perhaps not as refined as with crucifixions in the cybernetic-informed sense in part due to the loss of medical information during the dark ages, the loss of biological information and technology. Burnings carried out by civil authority could mean consciousness would continue for nearly an hour, and the social-conscience effect minimized due to the fact that the remains were reduced to ashes. Therefore, lest-we-forget becomes all the more imperative. A diversionary tactic could be something like organizing a pilgrimage to Canterbury in search for the “origin of life” even though “the details [are] perhaps beyond recovery [interesting ersatz for discovery] at our ancient Canterbury” (Tale 561).
19.2. Of course Richard will say and maybe even think that he was not referring to or exploiting anything but simply preparing one’s mind for the “evolution” pilgrimage. It is hoped that this critique amounts to an in-depth bit of preparation to make sue that Richard and others have not forgotten that the miracle-causing relics of his Canterbury’s Thomas is an edifice conjured and exploited and it is no miracle; it is a sidewinder intentional programming of conscience. There are no relics at Oxford! No miracles except through consciousness and conscience. There is only the dust of memory, the vortex of lest-we-forget. I am going to attribute to Richard the normal potential for intellectual honesty, and in the spirit of a fair degree of trust rather than doubt, it is assumed he is not independently responsible for distractions from…lest-we-forget. So, without going backward or forward in search for the origin of life, we don’t presume an unconscious point in time or space where consciousness departed or was imparted. Humankind in its searches cannot overcome or escape consciousness. Richard’s consciousness ends up at Canterbury, and does not return to Oxford, though the fire of suffering at Oxford is replete. But there’s more distraction:
19.2. Richard escapes DNA origin-thinking through metaphorical fires of heredity, RNA fries better—It seems almost like the spirit that encompassing conscientiousness had used the fire-metaphors while Richard struggled with life and said “When we die, the fire of life goes out”. He then attempted to show that the influence of any lesson from fire must be seen in terms of selection and adaptation in the darwanian “evolutionary” sense. He is avoiding talk about the variety of fires that a human body can color (p. 562f, Tale). Then the metaphor sparks this statement: “The origin of life was the origin of true heredity; we might even say the origin of the first gene. By first gene, I hasten to insist, I don’t mean first DNA molecule. Nobody knows whether the first gene was made of DNA, and I bet it wasn’t. By first gene I mean first replicator.” So Richard ends up again in uncertainty but yet with only a dichotomous feeling, i.e., the single replicator. And certainty amounts to a quick two-step dance between one pole and the other of the forms of thinking, the replicator being one pole and the not yet replication the other. So we are back to the mind’s limits.
19.3. My Retrospective-prospective consciousness v. Dawkins’ epistemic error “evolution of evolvability”: I was surprised to find the word “prospective” being used by Richard in a context where readers are reminded that he coined a few other words, other than “meme”. “Meme”, it should be remembered, is a pop-profanely secular “Darwinian” misuse of imitation or mimicking others. It is neo-darwinian in as much as classical learned-ignorance is untaught, and a “nothing–more-certain-than-evolution” supercilious-ignorance warps the base of personality’s authentic selfhood. Leading up to “prospective” he relates how the phrase “evolution of evolvability” came about. I must say he uses it in a quite fitting way; he first most publicly used the phrase in a conference on artificial life. Since then, he alleges, students of biology and artificial life have discussed it. But then there’s a cautious attempt made to dilute any claim for its popularity, which he says is “probably not because” he used it first in a document. What he apparently means is that the phrase represents an explicit abstraction from implicit complexity and upon this presumption it is being used as representative of reality, which by a circularity of thinking proves its truth--a truism with which Dawkins then identifies. The alleged truth is established when he lionizes the “visionary physicist” who published his “Evolution of Evolvability”. It is implicit because of the uncertainties involved in origin-of-life thinking. The uncertainty is replaced with the certainty of a sound and its echo. The phrase does represent a miniscule bit of empirical reality but limited to the semiotic, i.e., an artful impressionistic bit that diverts attention from introspectively critiquing the consciousness of consciousness (see 605 f, Tale).
19.4. Dawkins’ reversed evolutionism and biblical modes—Richard shows the improbability of conditions being identical enough for exact retracing, what he calls “reverse evolution”. But, of course, that reversal is based upon the presumptuousness of having found the origin of humankind through retracing to points of convergences, i.e., evolutionism. He only stops short of origin-sin (a scientific blasphemy) in the admission that though he knows the origin of humankind he does not know the origin of life but holds unto hope: the eventual revelation that it is something simple enough to warrant a…consensus (something like a Freudianism/Darwinianism complemented through Dawkins’ inspiration). There’s an interesting biblical form of thinking involved here; it is a distinction in two modes of thinking: that the sin against the son of man can be forgiven but not the sin against the Holy Spirit. There’s a tolerance for making mistakes in thinking but not as much regarding consciousness without irreversible consequences. Richard’s “evolution of evolvability” appears to represent a picture of grieving the spirit of humankind and especially its source and consequentially the potentiality. When one musingly says there is as much evidence for the reverse of “evolution” as for “evolution”, one is not presuming evolutionism as a truism. One is saying that metaphysical physics can lead to philosophical deterioration and the consequences can be legion and unpredictable--and the variety of life, extant and extinct, can playfully tend to suggest the viability of inverting causal and effectual abstractions. But one is playing without the constancy of humankind-consciousness. Richard’s “evolving” “evolvability” is reverse “evolution” and pathologically coheres with his ontologism (p. 346 Tale). He is saying that humankind might re-evolve but might not be quite as attractive as the best looking hairy ape, making a less hairy ape more attractive—to him.
19.4. “Prospective”--He finds room to identify his phrase “evolution of evolvabillity” with “prospective adaptation”. That word “adaptation” (Darwin, selection, and “evolve” too) should never be used around Richard. It would be better to use a word like “acclimatization” or “roll with the situation” or “dress appropriately”. The phrase “prospective adaptation” is used by an Ichthyologist (fish researcher) as descriptive of some factual data. The word “adaptation” clicks Richard into a defensive and poetic mode, and in effect he propounds that “prospective adaptation” does not use evolutionary talk dogmatically enough. He apparently senses quite accurately that “prospective” requires some sort conscious dynamic with a fair degree of mystery which he considers unfair for it is getting too close to sounding like something super naturally threatening to his vitalism’s naturalism, something he can’t squeeze into his meta-logic. He likes evolutionism’s traditional words, for when consciousness stuff get too close he can jump behind a nominal darwinian tree or slip inside a freudian trunk. Richard can defer to the consciousness of Mr. Darwin or Mr. Freud. So, though “prospective adaptation” and “evolution of evolvability” are octaves apart they still harmonize, only one is closer to the proper sound of…his…preferable chant. I like the phrase “retrospective-prospectivity” for it gets to the place of thinking immediately within and still around consciousness simultaneously. Richard’s talk about “evolution of evolvability” and its relation to a 1973 “prospective adaptation” work appears to be an attempt to avoid the appearance of mimicking something prior to his 1976 work that introduced “Meme”.
19.5. The phrase “retrospective-prospective” thinking is not original—For details about retrospective-prospective thinking, go to Site Map and click on How To Understand Jaspers, especially beginning with item 1.1. In item 1.7 there’s a reference to retrospective and prospective cognizing. Upon reflection about consciousness, pain, experience, language, and relative thinking in reference to an early encounter with a Singer sewing machine, I needed words to somehow describe phenomena. The words
19.6. Jaspers: No animal was predecessor of humankind—At this point I continue to suspect that whatever we can learn from observation and experimentation is lost in Richard’s infinite and exhaustive similitude-of-assimilation, i.e., animated metaphoric and emotively charged poetic language—darwinian/Canterbury glossolalia. Conjuring” “phantasies of the genesis of man” do not ‘evolve’ into facts by “such figures of speech as ‘a gradual process of transition’”; such expressions of certainty “merely serve to obscure” the deepest enigma of all, humankind’s origin (Jaspers, Origin. p. 34). In protest to such certain obscure expressions, Jaspers says that there is much to learn from animal life itself “…we see that none of the animal forms were the predecessors of man but are all, like him, branches of the great tree of life. From such contrasts we learn to understand the exact implications of specific human existence” (Psychop. p. 9). The motivation for research and experimentation ought not be to establish through well financed propaganda the certainty regarding humankind’s origin, i.e., a dogmatic and extended ontology, but rather to help resolve what is peculiar to humans but not specifically human, e.g., the “morbid biological predispositions, such as the psychoses, that only occur in…all races…” of humankind (Op. Cit. p. 37).
19.7. Remembering Jaspers as psychopathologist using phenomenology--Comparing my current perspective on Richard’s darwinianism with my perspective on Jaspers’ works, it appears that meaningfully directed differentiation has more tractor-pulling potential than the assimilation presumed in an ultimate singularity. That’s the phenomenological method applied to phenomena. The method is violated when the mind is at rest in singularity, which is where Richard ends up just the other side of RNA and consciousness on one end, and artificial intelligent modals on the other; he gets to singularity as a result of his reversible evolutionism. Assimilating singular-similarity out of unconsciousness, and without the givens of inherited conscience, can get the consciousness tools of thinking bogged down in the quagmire of reality’s complexity. Where similarity converges it no longer lays within the realm of falsification, that is, critical differentiation. Richard’s evolutionism is hardwired cybernetics, an artificial intelligence without the sensation of martyr’s pain but designed to always default into darwinianism at the first sign of discomfort. But, perhaps there is much to learn from the natural data he attempts to address, but not because he approaches with a conjured certitude already seized by religious and secular educative institutionalism.
Notation: The above is subject to correction regarding information, description, and style.
CONTINUED AFTER FURTHER RESEARCH AND AT AN INDEFINITE TIME
THIRD CONTINUUM (JULY 20, 2006), PANDERING TO “MEME” THE MARTYR SPOILER
FIFTH CONTINUUM (OCTOBER 17, 2006)—EPISTEMIC POSTURING OF DIS-EASED EMOTIVE AFFECTIVE STATES, CONSCIOUSNESS AND MIND: further preparation for handling objective research through epistemic triangularity; a special application of epistemology to torture-trends