Life After Death

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Introduction

Setting up the Problem

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WHY are we here? Has life any purpose or did it all just happen by accident? Are all the so-called "Paranormal" happenings all so much hot air, or have they a true scientific explanation? Is there any substance to the idea that humans have some form of conscious existence after physical death? These are all questions everybody asks. We shall explore them by extending scientific methodology to look for plausible answers. Clearly science does not yet have all the answers. It does not yet offer a satisfactory explanation for gravitation, nor are the explanations for the strange phenomenon of wave-particle duality in any way satisfactory. In the case of paranormal or psychic phenomena no scientific theory appears to exist. Indeed the problem has hardly even been addressed in scientific terms. Could it be that things have been missed which could unify the whole, both that which is sensed and unsensed, to provide a simultaneous explanation for everything? We shall be attempting to find answers to all these questions by treating them as a single holistic problem.

These are not just academic questions, the answers to which would merely satisfy our curiosity. Correct answers could lead to valuable spin-off. In the past new scientific insights have invariably led to new developments. These have materially improved the standards of life. Sadly, they have also increased the destructive potential of wars. All things seem to have negative aspects running counter to their positive values.

In the present age the crying need is for new insights which could help solve the mounting global problem. Owing to the growth of population, depletion of resources and pollution, the projections which have been made point toward a global disaster scenario. No matter how man struggles and turns to ward it off, at the moment a major population crash occurring about the middle of the next century seems the inevitable consequence of present trends. The hope must be therefore to find new insights from new science which can help avert this tragedy. Compared with this need, the exploitation of new discovery to further improve living standards seems trivial and inappropriate if anything of value turns up during our search for answers, then some space will be given to evaluating its potential. But let us return to the main theme, setting up the problem we hope to solve.

If the Universe was an unplanned accident and lifeforms similarly just happened, then there is no ultimate purpose in anything. on this basis some people have said that the life we experience is all there is. We just have to make the most of it whilst it lasts, then we black out into eternal oblivion. On this basis it matters little if the world's life-carrying capacity is ultimately destroyed. The belief that nothing can exist beyond the range of our senses therefore tends to blunt the drive to think in a long-term manner. If therefore this view is held by the majority and happens to be wrong, it could have strong negative consequences. it is important to know, therefore, whether this view is true or false, if only for practical reasons.

Countering this view, however, are the faiths to which all children are exposed. The existence of a Creator of the universe is postulated and all life is claimed to be part of a divine plan most religions also assert the existence of a spiritual side to man. A spirit form living on after death is postulated, or at least some ultimate resurrection followed by eternal survival.

Running counter to this again are the apparent findings of the physical sciences. The established view is in support of an accidental origin. Paul Davies(104) in his The Accidental Universe explains this view very clearly. The universe just happened to be created in a gigantic explosion called the "Big Bang" due to a huge "quantum fluctuation" arising in empty space. As a result all the energy of which the universe consists arose from pure nothingness. In so-called "classical physics", which deals with matter on the directly observable scale, the intangible substance called "energy" is assumed to be indestructible. As Einstein proved, the "mass" from which objects are made is equivalent to a certain, and extremely large amount, of energy. Modern quantum theory deals with the same kind of energy but in microscopic detail.

We are not talking here about the so-called, "energies" or "force-fields" existing around ancient shrines. Nor are we talking about the positive or negative energies which are said to attract or repel people from one another. These can be ascribed to "psychic energies" of an abstract nature. It is not suggested that psychic energies do not exist, indeed later it will be suggested that they perform an essential role in structuring matter. The energy of classical physics, however, is of a totally different nature. It can be defined as "physical energy" and is the building substance of the universe responsible for both matter and the motion of matter. Where the term, energy, is subsequently used without the adjective "psychic", it is the physical kind to which reference is being made. It is the variety, which needs to be supplied, for example, to lift a weight. All forms of physical energy can in principle be interchanged. They can all be expressed in the same units, and the idea of energy lends itself to incorporation in mathematical theories. For example, the number of units of, say, electrical energy needed to boil a kettle of water can be accurately calculated. Yet at a deeper level nobody is ever likely to really know what energy is. At this level it is as abstract as the psychic kind.

Physical energy must not be confused with the so-called energies of the psychic type. It is the latter which are claimed to emanate from hidden watercourses, oil and mineral deposits. These seem detectable because dowsers can exploit them in quite miraculous ways. They have proved time and again to be able to locate the substances for which they are searching. Indeed Uri Geller is so talented in this art that he has become a multi-millionaire by using it to locate crude oil deposits. But this cannot be a real or physical form of energy. It is a psychic energy form. As our quest develops we shall home in on an explanation which shows why psychic energy cannot be measured. We are going to show that it is an abstract kind of energy having no units. It cannot be measured like physical energy and so has to be considered as something entirely different. We shall be taking a close look at this strange psychic energy to uncover exactly what it is and how it works.

There is plentiful evidence that the physical sciences are only addressing a part of nature. It is reasonable to suggest, therefore, that an unsensed part may exist which might be connected with the alternative approach. For example, many people admit to experiencing strange happenings which seem to conflict with all the laws of nature science has uncovered. I have myself experienced such things. Since first-hand experience is the most convincing readers may be prepared to bear with me as I recount a few of these.

My first psychic experience occurred when I was 21 years old, about a fortnight before sitting for my final degree examinations. I had studied at the local Chesterfield Technical College part-time whilst working through an apprenticeship. Simultaneously I had been developing my first invention. It was a new type of engine, a kind of substitute for a gas turbine, whilst the latter was still in its infancy, the year being 1946. The idea had gradually developed with my increasing technical know-how and then, using my father's well- equipped modelling workshop I had just completed the first somewhat crude experimental machine. Then I had to leave it alone with some reluctance. The testing would have to wait until after the exams were over as I dare not let it spoil my chances. Then one day, as I sat in the college library studying, I suddenly experienced an irresistible urge to go to the town reference library about a mile walk away. I had not been near it for years and had no need to go there. But I just had to go, even though time was short and I needed to study on reaching the entrance hall, I noticed an interesting looking journal whose name I had not seen before. It was called "The Oil Engine and Gas Turbine". I opened it in the middle without turning any pages. Immediately a title flashed into my brain, "Pressure Exchanger for a Locomotive Gas Turbine". It was an article written on behalf of the Brown Boveri Co., Switzerland. I thought, "What a good name "Pressure Exchanger" would have made for my engine." As I read the text my face grew longer and longer. The article seemed to be a good description of my own invention. It was even more advanced than mine in some respects.

This was information I needed to be made aware of, despite the disappointment it entailed. What was it that homed me in on this, even to causing me to open the magazine at exactly the right page? All coincidence? Most people would put it down to this but I know I experienced a feeling I could not resist and no physical explanation can account for that.

The same thing happened twice in 1979. I was working with a friend, Eric Marsden, to prepare for a stand won at the second "Energy Show". Ours was entitled "ENERGY FARMS IN OCEANIC GYRES". The idea was to try and obtain support for an expedition for an experiment in the area of the Sargasso Sea. This is the centre of a rotating body of ocean and possesses natural confining properties for floating seaweed. The idea was to cultivate floating seaweed as an energy crop. Some could be just dried and the rest converted to a substitute crude oil on site. Cultivation only required the artificial upwelling of nutrient-rich seawater from the deeps and a careful analysis had shown the energy balances to be very favourable. It would be highly economic because for one thing the ocean itself provided confinement, so avoiding a high cost. Important advantages were a fish harvest obtained as a result of plankton absorbing about half the nutrient supply and a beneficial effect on the global greenhouse problem. Most of the plankton was sunk as excreta as a result of predation in the food web leading to harvestable fish. This caused carbon dioxide to be absorbed from the atmosphere and ultimately trapped on the seabed. It worked out that for every ton of carbon dioxide released by combustion of product oil between 1.4 and 1.8 tons would be absorbed from the atmosphere. So with this system the more energy used by burning product oil, the more the global greenhouse problem would be eased. No other solution could offer such advantages and yet be economically viable, so we thought we stood a good chance of making the impact needed to attract funds. We were very enthusiastic as we thought we were on to something of considerable importance.

We were working flat out to meet the deadline and a large amount of information had to be located and processed so that meaningful predictions could be calculated. On several occasions I was completely stuck, being unable to find what I required. Then suddenly I felt I had to leave everything and visit the library. I went in, walking round shelves at random. Then in an area quite unsuited to my search, or so I thought, there was the information at the very page of a book selected and opened at random! This happened twice during three weeks.

I have had other experiences but will recount only one more. I was alone and eating my evening meal when I suddenly remembered needing to make a telephone call. On return I found my spectacles sitting near my plate right in front of me. At the same instant I had a feeling that my mother (deceased) was saying, "Look what a mess the table is in." It seemed funny because I remembered putting the glasses away in their case only half an hour earlier. So I thought my memory was playing tricks. On opening the case, however, I was amazed to discover the glasses already in place. On inspection I found the second set to be ones I had lost over six months previously. It was as a result of their loss that I had purchased the new set little more than a week earlier. I had been struggling along without reading-glasses for about six months. My friends all laugh at this and offer somewhat insulting so-called "rational explanations". But I know none of these will fit.

My wife Margaret has experienced far stranger things than I have. The first happened during the war in the year 1944. A land-mine fell near the house in London and blew a heavy oak door in on her. She was only 10 years old and so the incident caused her much distress as well as some injury. She kept having nightmares and in one of them an explosion split the house in two down the middle and killed all the family. To give her a chance to recover her mother took her to stay with friends for a few weeks. They lived on a farm in Oxfordshire. On the day her mother was due to come to collect her she failed to turn up. Then the farmer's wife told her there had been an accident. The news was broken gently. Apparently a V2 rocket had fallen directly on to the shelters, killing all the residents Of the entire street. When she saw the house it was split right down the middle, exactly as she had seen it in her dream. Her mother and two brothers were all dead, killed by almost the last V2 rocket to fall on London.

She has also had two "out of body" experiences when close to death's door. I will describe one of these. She was in a hospital bed following an operation and suddenly called the nurse. "I'm sorry but I have just wet the bed, couldn't help it." When the nurse threw back the sheets a spurt of blood shot up to the ceiling from a ruptured operation cut. She passed out through loss of blood. But she regained consciousness of a kind, viewing her unconscious form in the bed from a vantage point near the ceiling! She watched herself on the bed and saw everything which happened before feeling a warm glow bathed in a red light. She also tried to pull back the sheets but her hands seemed to pass through them, making no contact.

Now this is not an uncommon experience. In a television video, "Beyond and Back", a large number of similar cases are studied. They cannot all be fabrications. Why should they be? Peter and Mary Harrison, writers of many books relating to the paranormal, have made a deep study of the subject. They have told me that from their research more than ten percent of all people have been found to have had at least one such experience during their lives. For example, the descriptions given by people who have experienced the event are remarkably similar, regardless of country of birth or religious belief. The prospect of these being true records of things which have really occurred needs to be taken as a plausible alternative to the idea that they are all stuff and nonsense we need to look for possible explanations based on extensions to physics.

Others have reported different phenomena for which no theoretical explanation yet exists. For centuries there have been reports of poltergeists, telepathy, clairvoyance, water divining, temporary materialisations of people once known to have lived and other so-called "paranormal" happenings. Some are no doubt fabrications but my own experiences lead me to discount the suggestion that all are explicable this way. Is the world crazy or is science lacking? Could it be that science has not developed sufficiently?

Not all scientists think in materialistic terms alone. The eminent Cambridge physicist, Professor Brian Josephson(116), published a paper, "Physics and Spirituality: the Next Grand Unification?" in 1989, saying that it ought to be possible to explain the paranormal in terms of quantum physics. He made it clear that science ought not to dismiss the paranormal. Paul Davies (105) in "God and the New Physics" seems to leave the question open. He does not attempt to support the expectations the title suggests. My own impression of this work is that he would like to give scientific support to a creationist view but feels it prudent to pull his punches. Why?

Some parapsychologists also support the creationist view. There are two camps, however, one is purely materialistic and seeks the so-called "rational" explanation. This really means they do not accept any view which reaches beyond the universe we can sense. For example, they say that the "mind" can be explained entirely in terms of functioning of the brain, that no other organ needs to exist to explain the mind. This may be true, but this does not exclude the possibility that the mind may actually exist, built from some other form of interpenetrating matter. In this event the brain would be functioning as an interface system, so that the mind could operate the body. It would be similar to electronic interfaces used to enable different types of computer to exchange information. Unfortunately the establishment camp will not entertain this alternative option and they hold all the aces when it comes to the communication of ideas.

The other parapsychologists, those who take a broader view and are prepared to probe deeper, are consequently rarely heard. They accept that all may not be confined to what we can sense. They look to interpenetrating systems of matter, or, in usual terminology, "parallel universes". The mind is not excluded from residing as a separate entity in one of these or even as a totally separate entity.

Rupert Sheldrake(121) talks about "morphic resonance". He advances a convincing argument showing that the first time anything is achieved, the difficulty of achievement is always very great. The difficulties always become less as the procedure is repeated, even if no apparent communication has taken place. He cites substances whose formation into crystals has at first been found intractable and gives other examples. He concludes that a hidden factor has to be in existence which joins everything together. David Bohm(102) suggests that from quantum theory there must be some underlying unity in the universe.

Do these factors point to some sub-structure of the universe which connects everything to everything else? And if so could this be connected with psychic energy and/or a creationist scenario?

At this stage it is worth looking more closely at the ideas which are currently held by physicists regarding creation of the universe. According to classical physics energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So states the "First Law of Thermodynamics", which has been accepted as an absolute law of nature since the time of Newton. Quantum theory accepts this as true but only on time-scales which are large as compared with those of certain quantum effects. On minute time-scales it is thought that energy can arise from nothing as if borrowed temporarily from nothingness. It is a debt needing to be repaid an instant later. Hence a so-called "virtual energy" can exist temporarily as a quantum fluctuation arising from nothing.

According to "Big Bang" theory a huge quantum fluctuation arose by accident. The bigger the fluctuation, the shorter the time it can exist. However, another effect arose in this brief period. The space containing this spontaneous surge of energy developed a "negative pressure" and from this assumption it can be shown that all the energy needed to make both matter and its motion could have been scraped up from nothingness. A huge repulsive force arose together with this negative pressure, like greatly amplified gravitation with the direction of force reversed. A violent expansion resulted as the matter of the universe arose, each particle flying outward from the centre at speeds close to that of light. It does not matter if this seems incomprehensible. It is simply a brief summary of current thinking as described more fully by Tryon(123). Established theory maintains that this strange happening occurred during a short period called the, inflationary phase", after which no more energy was created. Most of it was in the form of light but a relatively tiny proportion existed as a mixture of hydrogen and helium gas. These gases were the primordial substance of the embryo universe. Then the whole universe continued to expand against the now universally attractive force of gravitation, like a growing balloon. Matter appeared as a rapidly expanding cloud of gas gradually slowing, eventually to a possible stop. In the meantime gravitational instabilities caused the gas to clump into local clouds the size of galaxies. Then smaller-scale instabilities, arising within these proto-galaxies produced the first generation of stars.

The larger a star, the shorter its life. Some huge stars ended theirs at an early time by exploding as supernovas to spread their contents over vast volumes of space. This was an essential first stage for the creation of Earth-like planets because only during such explosions could the heavier elements, such as iron and those needed to form rocks, be produced. They had to be created from lighter elements by nuclear fusion and only supernovas could generate the extreme pressures and temperatures required.

This enabled a second generation of stars to condense from the primordial clouds of hydrogen and helium with a little of the extras mixed in. During the initial phases a huge disc of rotating gas would form. The centre part would then form the star and this would begin to generate energy by nuclear fusion and radiate it as light and heat as soon as its density became sufficiently high. The rest of the disc would form into orbiting planets. Giant gas planets formed at great distances, but inside their orbits a few solid planets formed, consisting mainly of the extras.

Some of these planets were just the right distance from a star to create temperatures suitable for the evolution of life. They also had just the right mass for retaining an atmosphere. Many other conditions had to be just right by pure accident. Then further accidents resulted in the life-forms we observe, following the evolutionary process described by Charles Darwin.

This seems to be an acceptable description of the way the universe arose in broad outline. What appear to have been accidents could, however, be equally attributed to deliberate intention. We shall explore this possible alternative.

It may seem strange to lump matter and motion together but Einstein(I10) derived his famous equation, E = mc2 at the beginning of this century, showing that energy "E" was equivalent to mass "m" multiplied by the square of the speed of light "c". Matter can therefore be considered as made from either mass or energy, since the two are equivalent.

In earlier times the amount of matter of which an object consisted was represented by its "mass". This could be determined, for example, by the act of weighing the object. Einstein's revelation still allows this but in addition permits the result to be expressed in the units of energy. Classical Newtonian mechanics, or physics, call it whichever seems best, already showed that energy is required to accelerate an object to a higher speed. Some of the energy contained, for example in a fuel, needs to be converted by an engine into the "kinetic" energy of motion of a car as its speed is increased from a state of rest. So energy exists in the fuel as "chemical" energy. Indeed energy can exist in many different forms, inclusive of heat, electrical and magnetic kinds. And all these forms can in principle be converted from one to another. It is even possible to convert matter into energy and back again. Consequently matter is said to consist of "mass-energy". All these forms can co-exist in an object and can be added together to yield a "total energy". For example, the total energy of a moving car would consist of both its mass and kinetic energy. The chemical energy of fuel in its tank could only be released by combustion with oxygen and so is a complication which is best not considered here. All such forms of physical energy can be treated as interchangeable because they can all be measured in the same units. When at rest, an object can therefore be imagined to consist of "rest energy" alone.

These are forms of physical energy, however, they could also be thought of as "real" energy because it is possible to measure the quantities involved in physical units. Indeed any form of physical energy can be measured in units known as the "joule". This can tell us how many units of energy are needed to boil a kettle of water and the same units can be used to tell us the amount to expend in lifting a weight. Indeed all chemical processes and all electrical or mechanical forms can be determined in a very precise way by measuring them in the common unit of the joule. Yet at a deep level it is impossible to imagine the true nature of physical energy.

The astute reader may have already spotted a contradiction. No matter how all the energy was scraped up from nothingness in the Big Bang, overall everything appeared from nothing. This was a massive violation of the first law of thermodynamics, one of the two most basic conservation laws of this discipline. It simply states, "Energy can be neither created nor destroyed". Yet after the inflationary period it is asserted that this law is obeyed exactly at all times and forever. It will be necessary to resolve this contradiction within our new theory.

Physicists ignore psychic energies entirely. They do not officially admit to their existence, though some ','ill express their doubts on this matter in private. It has not yet seemed to fit into their domain. we will be looking into this, however, and we are going to find that it seems to have impinged already. As a consequence the reader will be asked to judge whether or not the facts have so far been misinterpreted. Have theoreticians been thrown on to a false trail in consequence? If physical and psychic forms of energy coexist, then in some way the universe must depend on both, not just on the one most easily measured. If both forms are used together to structure the universe, then does this mean that existence has an ultimate purpose?

The established view of physicists gives a clear "No" to this question, because in their view psychic energy does not exist. They therefore support the view that all that "is" arose by happy accident. But are they correct? Popularisations of science, like those of Paul Davies(104 to 108), show that the odds against a universe arising with all its properties and laws of physics arranged such that life-forms could develop, are astronomically large. The figure one part in ten to the power forty, which means a one with forty noughts after it, is quoted for not just one property but for each of a whole array of properties as the chance of creating a universe like ours, capable of supporting life. Then this is multiplied by itself as each new property is considered. For example, with four such properties the chances against become one in ten to the power 160. Would you be prepared to back a horse if its chances of winning were one with one hundred and sixty noughts after it against? Yet this is precisely what cosmologists are doing when they look for a purely accidental explanation for the origin of the universe together with forms of life! A purely accidental origin seems unlikely, to say the least.

Why is science still treading a path which its own predictions show to be a very unlikely option? Should it not at the same time evaluate other alternatives? It should be an axiom of good science that all possible alternative solutions to any problem be explored simultaneously until any one meets an insurmountable barrier. This is prudent, because until a solution is established beyond any shadow of doubt it is impossible to know that the selected favourite was the right one to back. If the wrong choice has been made initially, then science can be thrown badly off course. It could become stuck on a false trail, struggling forever.

Yet what happens in practice is that in any one quest a single "establishment" line always develops. Assessors responsible for the selection of material for publication toe the selected line. Then other ideas are ruthlessly rejected. Even when the established option has clearly failed after decades of futile searching, it is impossible to communicate alternatives. This happens even when an alternative offers a complete solution. It happens especially if an alternative offers a complete solution, because it is then perceived as an even bigger threat to the established approach!

This scenario has been repeated with depressing regularity throughout the history of science. It is being repeated again in the search for a viable solution to the problem of quantum gravitation. Here the established line is to try and match quantum theory to Einstein's theory of relativity. He first produced a version called "Special Relativity". This considered objects moving at speeds comparable with that of light and free from the influence of gravity. Later he extended the theory to his, "General Relativity", which provided an explanation for gravitation by his extraordinary concept of "curved space-time". No force is needed to cause matter to fall according to this idea. Instead objects take the easiest route; they follow "geodesics" which can look curved to people like us but will actually be straight when observed from the vantage point of curved space-time.

Essentially relativity is a physics of the large scale: it describes the motion of stars and planets for example. Quantum theory on the other hand attempts to explain effects on the very small scale: the sub-atomic range of size.

Quantum theory has a totally different basis from relativity. In quantum theory energy comes only in discrete chunks and requires forces pressing against objects to cause them to accelerate.

But even such eminent theoreticians as Stephen Hawking state that these two theories are now known to be incompatible. Yet they expect a solution will be found before the turn of the century by writing quantum theory in ever-increasing numbers of dimensions to make it fit relativity. The higher dimensions postulated have greatly increased curvatures of their space. So it is considered that the strange geometries involved can account for the other forces of nature in a manner similar to that of Einstein's geodesics in curved spacetime.

Yet after more than fifty years of effort by several generations of theoreticians they still think they need another ten years! Is it not therefore prudent to look at an alternative? This will start without Einstein's assumptions or any of his predictions. It will start out quantum-based and yet build upon the physics which Newton developed.

Einstein himself would have supported the simultaneous development of alternative theories. According to a private communication from an American scientist, George Meek, Einstein said on his seventieth birthday:

"Now you think that I am looking at my life's work with calm satisfaction. But, on closer look, it is quite different. There is not a single concept of which I am convinced that it will stand firm and I am not sure if I was on the right track after all."

Einstein was a wonderful person with immense imagination and showed concern about the way scientific discoveries were put to use. If he thought he had inadvertently thrown science on to a false trail he would be most upset. If time had been available he would have done everything possible to rectify the situation.

As will be shown, gravitation has a major influence in our search for a viable solution to the meaning for existence. Those features which affect the main theme are summarised in the non-technical part of this book. But gravitation is so important a component that an entire technical section is devoted to presentation of the new solution. In this way it is hoped that confidence in the approach will be communicated. This is a simplified version so written that only "A" level school mathematics is required for its comprehension. The first chapter (T.S.1) is a written version of the lecture presented to a packed audience at the University of Leeds on 18th January 1990.

The lay reader will be able to judge the issue by comparing a summary of the two approaches. It is sufficient to study only the inputs and outputs. These are the initial assumptions and the results of checks with experimental observation, taking into account any unsolved problems or internal contradictions which arise. A list of assumptions is given in CHAPTER T.S.1 of the TECHNICAL SUPPLEMENT. TABLE T11 is included at the end of CHAPTER 11 and lists the results of attempts to match Einstein's general relativity to quantum theory. The same table shows how the new extended Newtonian physics, which starts out quantum-based, satisfies the checks just as well as general relativity, yet is totally free from internal contradiction and all the other difficulties which confound the established approach. It also relates the magnitude of the gravitational force to that of electromagnetism, which neither quantum theory nor general relativity have been able to achieve.

The established scientific approach regarding the origin of the universe is based on accidental formation followed by the accidental arrival of all life-forms including ourselves. This is despite the slender chances which are freely admitted. Yet as will be shown, theories which provide plausible solutions to the dilemmas of gravitation and wave-particle duality lead to different conclusions. Is it therefore just possible that establishment science could be wrong in some key areas?

But this science has already taught us many useful things. It has taught us to beware of illusions. Our senses often deceive. The ancients saw the dome of the sky studded with points of light they called stars. The Earth was taken to be flat, forming the base of the sky dome. Then both the moon and the Sun scudded across the surface of this dome every day. Somehow, they speculated, something dragged them back under the Earth so that they could reappear in the correct places to begin the next day. Then their astronomers noticed some wandering stars which moved independently of the majority which were fixed. Finally they conceived of a universe centred on the Earth with the sky rotating around it as a hollow sphere studded with stars. Then mathematicians found rules to predict the motion of the Sun and Moon and all the wanderers - the planets, of course. This was the elaborate Ptolemaic system, very clever in its way with its "wheels within wheels" to describe the apparent cycloidal motions of the planets. This theory was made ever more complicated and ungainly as it attempted to explain more and more new observations. Eventually it became impossibly unweildy. Is history repeating itself?

The model simply assumed that everything was exactly what it seemed to be, a childlike interpretation which made no allowance for the limitations of our senses. People did not appreciate that our eyes can only assess distances up to a quite limited range. Beyond that all objects appear the same distance away. Hence the Sun, the moon and all the stars appear exactly the same distance from us. This distance corresponds with the apparent radius of the sky-dome. To compound the problems the nature of gravitation was not appreciated. The Earth could not be round, even though the horizon of the sea seemed to suggest such a shape, because you would fall off on the other side. The ancients did not realise that the force of gravitation meant being pulled toward the centre of the Earth. "Down" means on a radial line drawn toward the centre of the Earth and so is not parallel to directions measured at other places. These two factors together caused completely false interpretations to arise. Similar misinterpretations can still happen in our time. We must beware of them.

Later Copernicus simplified the system by suggesting that the Sun, not the Earth, formed the centre about which the universe revolved. Suddenly all the complexity fell away! He was careful not to publish his ideas until he lay on his deathbed, however, in those days ridicule was not the greatest danger faced by the seeker for the truth.

The trouble was that primitive interpretations had been incorporated into the Christian doctrines. The latter were based on faith alone. Once inserted, any progress in understanding which suggested flaws existed appeared as a threat. Faith could not survive if part of the doctrine needed revision. The collapse of a part could undermine confidence in the rest.

Then when Galileo produced a telescope which proved that moons could revolve around Jupiter, just like a model of the solar system described by Copernicus, the fat was truly in the fire. The solution was to refuse to look in the telescope. True, Galileo managed to get an astronomer into his observatory. But that was the nearest he came to viewing. His reason?

"I do not need to look in the telescope because I know the planets do not exist. If they existed they would be visible to the naked eye, because if they are not visible they can be of no use. Therefore they cannot exist."

We laugh at this now. What many of us do not appreciate is that exactly the same techniques are still used to discredit truths which appear as threats to the establishment!

As is well known, Galileo was forced to recant by the notorious Inquisition. The progress of science was delayed but it was not halted. It grew estranged from religious doctrine and in the end establishment theology was the loser. For centuries the advance of science emphasised materialistic solutions to the puzzles of nature. It seemed to leave no room for religious interpretations and the authority of the Church gradually eroded away. Today fewer than two and a half percent of the people in Britain regularly attend church. Its doctrines seem too implausible. They seem absurd when set against the proven knowledge of science. The result is that most people, if not atheists, are agnostics, careful not to probe or think too much about these matters. Yet as this book unfolds it will become evident that the two basic religious concepts cannot be destroyed by science. These are the idea of an intelligence which structures matter and the idea that people can have consciousness separate from their bodies - their souls.

Because the Church refused to adapt, a wedge of antipathy was driven between science and theology. Science is now constrained by its own momentum to avoid supporting any "creationist" view of the universe. it is professional suicide to suggest in any scientific paper that the universe might have arisen at the will of a super-intelligence. Hence, even though many scientists secretly hold the view that this is more likely than an accidental origin, they dare not admit to holding such opinion in public.

However, everything arose either by accident or as a planned creative act. There are two options and it is therefore in the interests of good science that both options be explored with equal rigour until one of them meets up against an insurmountable barrier. The symptoms arising when such a barrier is met manifest themselves by a plethora of fanciful notions as every straw is clutched. Some very fanciful ideas have been appearing for some time as the accidental option of the established route is pursued. The physicists view of the universe has again become hopelessly complex and implausible. Worse, it contains a number of internal contradictions and even one is inadmissible. it is worth reading an article by Abbot(101) in order to arrive at some judgement of this issue. Is it not time, therefore, to look at the alternative option?

Perhaps things have been missed which could extend science so as to encompass a wider range of nature's secrets. Then with luck some of the conflicts in present theory may be resolved, so providing a new simplified framework to explain the universe we shall explore this suggestion as the book unfolds.

1.2 Keeping an Open Mind

For those having a technical background some parts of the new theory may seem absurd or ridiculous at first sight. It is particularly important that one very plausible reason for this response be considered. This is because the mind is prone to respond in such a way to new ideas. If history is followed it will be observed that whenever any basically new concept has been introduced it has been met with ridicule and abuse. This has often delayed acceptance of the truth. Yet, years later, people are amazed when they look back and recall the almost universal initial response. From the later vantage-point the initial response always seems unbelievably stupid.

Why does this happen? The answer is that one of the hardest things to do is to maintain an open mind. This is because almost everybody thinks they have one. When did you last meet a person who claimed to have a closed mind? In fact there are quite a lot of open-minded folk but they are nearly all under the age of twenty-one. After about this age, when the subconscious mind judges that all the concepts needed to see life through have been absorbed, it clams tight shut. But a major defence strategy of the subconscious is to deceive its owner that it is always open. No wonder nobody ever claims to have a closed mind!

I read an interesting article written by a doctor when I was about 22 years old. Unfortunately I kept no record of the reference but the substance of the article made a big impression. So I have always retained it very clearly. He said that a part of the brain, which I think he called the hypothalamus, acted as a filter to remove unacceptable material. Incoming new concepts delivered via the senses were first routed to this part of the brain for checking. They were compared with existing concepts stored away in the memory to see if the new ones were compatible with them. If not, then they were rejected. The point is that incompatibility was equated with the new concepts being wrong.

Now in any branch of science some concepts are always bound to be false, otherwise there would be no need for progress. One has therefore always to be on the lookout for new concepts which could be better than the old they are attempting to replace. But this is easier said than done.

The mind rejection mechanism acts rapidly, so rapidly that the logic centres are bypassed. Instead the emotional centres are activated. Then the immediate response to an incoming idea which has been classed as incompatible is rejection. This happens before it can be analysed. The rejection mechanism activates the emotional responses of hostility and absurdity. A desire to pour ridicule on the new is experienced. There is, however, no justifiable reason at all at this stage to classify the new as false.

The way to keep an open mind, therefore, is to recognise the symptoms of the closed mind. it is necessary to make a deliberate effort to keep an open mind. It will not stay open by itself. One needs to recognise this without being ashamed to admit the fact. Then a strategy can be adopted to counter the difficulty. My own strategy seems to work for me and so I will now try to explain how I deal with the problem.

As soon as I experience the feelings mentioned, a symbol "MBM" flashes in bright red letters in my mind. It means "Mental Blockage Mechanism". It is a warning I have trained myself to experience. Then instead of following my instincts I can then look at the issue in a rational way without discarding it out of hand. Very often I find ideas, even those of my own which I would normally have rejected become acceptable because I cannot find a logical flaw.

This is one aspect but there is also another. Most people make all-or-nothing decisions when faced with a new choice. This is necessary in a business environment when a practical decision needs to be made, but there is no need to do this when assessing new ideas. It is particularly necessary to avoid making a choice when the available information is inadequate. My method is to visualise a 0 to 100 scale. Then a subjective rating is given. A zero rating means total disbelief with rejection and 100 total acceptance. Rarely can the terminal values be allocated because these are only allowed when absolute proof is available. on this basis, for example, nobody could give a zero rating to the possible existence of the "soul", because it is impossible to prove it does not exist. Therefore if a low rating of only say 10 is given, the matter is kept in mind and not rejected. Then as more information comes in to improve the certainty rating in either direction, the rating can be modified. Ultimately complete rejection or acceptance can become justifiable.

It would help if children were taught at school to assess this way. Then when they become adults, many of the barriers still delaying progress will at least be made easier to surmount. For similar reasons it is important to avoid the implantation of false concepts at an impressionable age.

With these thoughts in mind we can now turn to our main quest, the search for a satisfactory extension to physics, able to provide a framework capable of integrating physical and psychic forms of energy. The extension needs to be capable of admitting and explaining all known data of the so-called paranormal kind. At the same time a solution to the vexing question of explaining gravitation in terms of quantum theory is to be sought. This will need to satisfy all experimental checks just as well as does Einstein's theory of general relativity but at the same time it must be free of its difficulties and fit in with the Paranormal section. It must also be consistent with quantum explanations of the other three forces of nature, namely the strong nuclear force which holds the nuclei of atoms together, the weak force responsible for the radioactive decay of heavy nuclei and the force of electromagnetism. In a short book only certain data can be selected from the vast amount available, but the result needs to be compatible with any other which can be used.

Data from the experiments of physicists relating to the universe which we sense is to be mixed with so-called paranormal inputs. The data from astronomical observations and the laboratory regarding the strange nature of light and matter, of the dynamics of energy, the mechanism of electric charge and gravitation, are to be mixed with data concerning psychic energies or forces.

No attention will be paid to the existing taboos which have been the unfortunate legacy of history. We shall cut across interdisciplinary boundaries to relate factors normally thought of as separate issues. Factors which are put in separate boxes in the conventional treatment. But everything is connected to everything else. If things are treated separately for convenience, then the connecting links between boxes must not be ignored, since to do so can lead to false conclusions.

At this stage the complexity of the problem we have set ourselves may seem overwhelming. We have asked many imponderable questions and have as yet sought no answers. In fact things are not so difficult as they may appear at first sight to be. It is necessary, however, to try and keep all the elements of the problem at the back of the mind, whilst seeking to comprehend each in turn. Surprisingly, when this is done one problem seems to help out the others in a cross-fertilizing manner.

The problem of wave-particle duality is one of the two key factors, as will be shown. This will link the physical to the psychic forms of energy. The other key factor is quantum gravitation. It will lead us to new insights regarding the physical kinds of energy. These two factors are inextricably linked and together will lead to exciting new horizons. They will lead to the deduction of a computer-like grid structure permeating the entire universe which organises matter and the motion of matter. They will support the idea of a Creator, which not only started the universe on its course but needs to be there all the time to maintain its structure.

The new concepts of gravitation will be explained. To support them a technical supplement is provided. In this a new range of experiments is described. It is my hope that this book will trigger in some fresh and active mind the enthusiasm by which some of these experiments will be tried out. One of them seems especially exciting. It shows that an entirely new and totally non-polluting source of energy might just be waiting in the wings.

Ronald D. Pearson BSc (Hons)

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