darwin s unfinished business the self organizing intelligence of nature

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Darwin S Unfinished Business

Author : Simon G. Powell
ISBN : 9781594778018
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 32. 40 MB
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A groundbreaking interpretation of evolution as the work of Nature’s intelligence • Refutes the orthodox view of evolution as a mindless process driven by chance • Explains why context is more important than mutation in evolutionary innovation • Shows how, by recognizing Nature’s innovative and creative powers, we can overcome our social and environmental challenges with a new green science of evolution Darwin’s theory of evolution is undoubtedly one of the most important scientific ideas of the modern age, explaining the existence of both life and consciousness without recourse to divine intervention. Yet how do we interpret evolution? How do we evaluate the ability of Nature to engineer something as exquisite as the genetic code or the human brain? Could it be that evolution is an intelligent process? Is Nature smart? According to most scientists, the answer is no. While humanity may be intelligent and purposeful, the natural processes that crafted us are deemed to be devoid of such attributes. In a radical move away from orthodoxy, Simon G. Powell extends Darwin’s vision by showing that evolution is not just about the survival of the fittest but rather the survival of clever and sensible behavior. Revealing the importance of the context in which things evolve, he explores the intelligent learning process behind natural selection. Rich with examples of the incredibly complex plants, animals, insects, and marine life designed by Nature--from the carnivorous Venus flytrap and the fungus-farming leafcutter ant to the symbiotic microbes found inside the common cow--he shows Nature as a whole to be a system of self-organizing intelligence in which life and consciousness were always destined to emerge. Examining the origins of life and the failure of artificial intelligence to compete with natural intelligence, he explains how our scientifically narrow-minded views on intelligence are now acting as a barrier to our own evolution. As Darwin’s unfinished business comes to light and Nature’s intelligence is embraced, we learn that Nature’s agenda is not simply the replication of genetic matter but of expanding consciousness. By working with Nature’s creative and innovative powers instead of against them, we can address today’s social and environmental challenges with a new green science of evolution.

Plant Intelligence And The Imaginal Realm

Author : Stephen Harrod Buhner
ISBN : 9781591438366
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 22. 30 MB
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A manual for opening the doors of perception and directly engaging the intelligence of the Natural World • Provides exercises to directly perceive and interact with the complex, living, self-organizing being that is Gaia • Reveals that every life form on Earth is highly intelligent and communicative • Examines the ecological function of invasive plants, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, psychotropic plants and fungi, and the human species In Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, Stephen Harrod Buhner reveals that all life forms on Earth possess intelligence, language, a sense of I and not I, and the capacity to dream. He shows that by consciously opening the doors of perception, we can reconnect with the living intelligences in Nature as kindred beings, become again wild scientists, nondomesticated explorers of a Gaian world just as Goethe, Barbara McClintock, James Lovelock, and others have done. For as Einstein commented, “We cannot solve the problems facing us by using the same kind of thinking that created them.” Buhner explains how to use analogical thinking and imaginal perception to directly experience the inherent meanings that flow through the world, that are expressed from each living form that surrounds us, and to directly initiate communication in return. He delves deeply into the ecological function of invasive plants, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, psychotropic plants and fungi, and, most importantly, the human species itself. He shows that human beings are not a plague on the planet, they have a specific ecological function as important to Gaia as that of plants and bacteria. Buhner shows that the capacity for depth connection and meaning-filled communication with the living world is inherent in every human being. It is as natural as breathing, as the beating of our own hearts, as our own desire for intimacy and love. We can change how we think and in so doing begin to address the difficulties of our times.

The Presence Of The Past

Author : Rupert Sheldrake
ISBN : 9781594777073
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 64. 60 MB
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Explains how self-organizing systems, from crystals to human societies, share collective memories that influence their form and behavior • Includes new evidence and research in support of the theory of morphic resonance • Explores the major role that morphic resonance plays not just in animal instincts and cultural inheritance but also in the larger process of evolution • Shows that nature is not ruled by fixed laws but by habits and collective memories In this fully revised and updated edition of The Presence of the Past, Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake lays out new evidence and research in support of his controversial theory of morphic resonance and explores its far-reaching implications in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology. His theory proposes that all self-organizing systems, from crystals to human society, inherit a collective memory that influences their form and behavior. This collective memory works through morphic fields, which organize the bodies of plants and animals, coordinate the activities of brains, and underlie conscious mental activity. Sheldrake shows how all human beings draw upon and contribute to a collective human memory and that even our individual recollections depend on morphic resonance rather than physical storage in the brain. He explores the major role that morphic resonance plays not just in animal instincts and cultural inheritance, such as religion and ritual, but also in the larger process of evolution, which Sheldrake shows to be more an interplay of habit and creativity than a mere “survival of the fittest.” Offering a replacement for the outdated, mechanistic worldview that has dominated biology since the nineteenth century, Sheldrake’s new understanding of life, matter, and mind shows that rather than being ruled by fixed laws, nature is essentially habitual. And because memory is inherent in nature, he explains, in order to survive successfully for generations to come, we will have to give up our old habits of thought and adopt new ones: habits that are better adapted to life in a world living in the presence of the past--as well as the presence of the future.

Sacred Knowledge

Author : William A. Richards
ISBN : 9780231540919
Genre : Religion
File Size : 33. 28 MB
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In the early 1960s, scientists openly advocated for experimentation with psychedelics. This effort, however, quickly turned into a discredited enterprise involving recreational drug use. But what if a study of psychedelics was undertaken with trusted scientific rigor? William A. Richards does just that in Sacred Knowledge, the first well-documented, sophisticated account of the effect of psychedelics on biological processes, human consciousness, and revelatory religious experiences. Richards argues that, if used responsibly and legally, psychedelics have incredible potential to assuage human suffering and constructively contribute to the quality of life on our planet. His work is based on nearly three decades of legal research with volunteers aged twenty-four to eighty-one. Sacred Knowledge enriches humanities and scientific scholarship, expanding work in philosophy, anthropology, theology, and religious studies, as well as in mental health, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology. Richards’s analysis also contributes to social and political debates over the responsible integration of psychedelic substances into modern society. His book is an invaluable resource for readers who, whether spontaneously or with the facilitation of psychedelics, have encountered meaningful, inspiring, or even disturbing states of consciousness and seek clarity about their experiences. Testing the limits of language and conceptual frameworks, Richards makes the most of experiential phenomena that stretch our concepts of reality and advances new frontiers in the study of belief, spiritual awakening, psychiatric treatment, and social well-being.

The Psilocybin Solution

Author : Simon G. Powell
ISBN : 9781594779374
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 24. 95 MB
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How psilocybin mushrooms facilitate a direct link to the wisdom of Nature and the meaning of life • Examines the neurochemistry underlying the visionary psilocybin experience • Explains how sacred mushrooms help restore our connection to the natural intelligence of Nature • Reviews the research on psilocybin’s ability to dispel anxiety in the terminally ill and its helpful effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder It has been more than 50 years since sacred mushrooms were plucked from the shamanic backwaters of Mexico and presented to the modern world by R. Gordon Wasson. After sparking the psychedelic era of the 1960s, however, the divine mushroom returned underground from whence it mysteriously originated. Yet today, the mushroom’s extraordinary influence is once again being felt by large numbers of people, due to the discovery of hundreds of wild psilocybin species growing across the globe. In The Psilocybin Solution, Simon G. Powell traces the history of the sacred psilocybin mushroom and discusses the shamanic visionary effects it can induce. Detailing how psilocybin acts as a profound enhancer of consciousness and reviewing the research performed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Johns Hopkins University, and the Heffter Research Institute on psilocybin’s ability to dispel anxiety in the terminally ill and its helpful effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder, he examines the neurochemistry, psychology, and spirituality underlying the visionary psilocybin experience, revealing the interface where physical brain and conscious mind meet. Showing that the existence of life and the functioning of mind are the result of a naturally intelligent, self-organizing Universe, he explains how sacred mushrooms provide a direct link to the wisdom of Nature and the meaning of life.

Magic Mushroom Explorer

Author : Simon G. Powell
ISBN : 9781620553671
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 39. 39 MB
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A visionary guide to safely using psilocybin mushrooms to tap in to the wisdom of Nature and reconnect humanity to the biosphere • Explores the ecopsychological effects of wild psychedelic mushrooms, including enhanced biophilia, expanded awareness, eco-shamanic encounters, and access to the ancient wisdom that binds all life on Earth • Examines the most recent scientific studies on psilocybin in the U.S. and U.K. • Details the author’s work to keep the use of psilocybin mushrooms legal in the U.K. and shows that an irrational rejection of scientific evidence underlies the harsh war against psychedelic states of consciousness Psilocybin, the active ingredient found in psychedelic mushrooms, is an invaluable natural resource for spiritually revivifying the human psyche and reconnecting us to the biosphere and the vast intelligence of Nature. Interweaving the most recent scientific studies in the United States and Britain, more than 25 years of sacred mushroom exploration, and behind-the-scenes details on the political wars against psychedelics, Simon G. Powell offers a guide to safely navigating and maximizing the healing and spiritual potential of psilocybin. Powell explores the ecopsychological effects of wild psychedelic mushrooms, including enhanced biophilia, expanded awareness, mystical visions, and eco-shamanic encounters. He reveals how the beings and otherworldly teachers common in psilocybin experiences are actually emissaries from our higher consciousness that emerge when the floodgates of perception have been opened. He shares vivid descriptions from many of his own psilocybin journeys and shows how the mushroom offers a path of return to the ancient wisdom binding all life on Earth, a wisdom conveyed through tutorial visions and higher modes of perception. Illustrating psilocybin’s healthful properties, now acknowledged by mainstream science, Powell describes his activism in the fight to keep psilocybin mushroom use legal in the U.K. and shows that an irrational rejection of scientific evidence underlies the harsh war against psychedelic states of consciousness. Laying the groundwork for a new relationship with our biosphere, Powell shows how the Earth’s psychedelic medicines can reconnect us to the spirituality and wisdom of Nature and bring the human race back from the brink of ecological and existential disaster.

Darwin S Unfinished Symphony

Author : Kevin N. Laland
ISBN : 9781400884872
Genre : Science
File Size : 57. 25 MB
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How culture transformed human evolution Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production, from the arts and language to science and technology. How did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin's Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process. Kevin Laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating cycles of evolutionary feedback. The truly unique characteristics of our species—such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and cooperation—are not adaptive responses to predators, disease, or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, and bringing it to life with vivid natural history, Laland explains how animals imitate, innovate, and have remarkable traditions of their own. He traces our rise from scavenger apes in prehistory to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango, and send astronauts into space. This book tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin's intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.

Ever Since Darwin Reflections In Natural History

Author : Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN : 9780393340419
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 62 MB
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More than any other modern scientists, Stephen Jay Gould has opened up to millions the wonders of evolutionary biology. His genius as an essayist lies in his unmatched ability to use his knowledge of the world, including popular culture, to illuminate the realm of science. Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould's first book, has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. Like all succeeding collections by this unique writer, it brings the art of the scientific essay to unparalleled heights.

Darwinism And Pragmatism

Author : Lucas McGranahan
ISBN : 9781351975810
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 23 MB
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Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection challenges our very sense of belonging in the world. Unlike prior evolutionary theories, Darwinism construes species as mutable historical products of a blind process that serves no inherent purpose. It also represents a distinctly modern kind of fallible science that relies on statistical evidence and is not verifiable by simple laboratory experiments. What are human purpose and knowledge if humanity has no pre-given essence and science itself is our finite and fallible product? According to the Received Image of Darwinism, Darwin’s theory signals the triumph of mechanism and reductionism in all science. On this view, the individual virtually disappears at the intersection of (internal) genes and (external) environment. In contrast, William James creatively employs Darwinian concepts to support his core conviction that both knowledge and reality are in the making, with individuals as active participants. In promoting this Pragmatic Image of Darwinism, McGranahan provides a novel reading of James as a philosopher of self-transformation. Like his contemporary Nietzsche, James is concerned first and foremost with the structure and dynamics of the finite purposive individual. This timely volume is suitable for advanced undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers interested in the fields of history of philosophy, history and philosophy of science, history of psychology, American pragmatism and Darwinism.

Incomplete Nature How Mind Emerged From Matter

Author : Terrence W. Deacon
ISBN : 9780393049916
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 60 MB
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Examines the emergent processes that bridge the gap between organisms that think and have consciousness and those that do not and discusses the origins of life, information, and free will.

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