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Neo-Darwinism is dead. But is intelligent design the answer? While most proponents of ID are neutral as to the source of the intelligence behind biological design, the vast majority seem to hold a traditional view of God as the creator of biological information. A few others, like Perry Marshall, locate the intelligence of design in the cells themselves. But are there other possibilities?

Today on the Truth Perspective we wade into the debate and propose a third option that incorporates the best aspects of both, without the problems each of these opposing options runs into. The answer may not be 'either/or' but rather 'both/and', with intelligence on both sides of the equation.

Running Time: 01:33:00

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Previous shows on evolution and process philosophy: Here's the transcript of the show:

Adam: Hello everyone and welcome to the Truth Perspective. My name is Adam Daniels and I'll be your host for the day. Joining me in the studio is Harrison Koehli,

Harrison: Hello.

Adam: Elan Martin,

Elan: Hi everyone.

Adam: And Corey Schink.

Corey: Hello everybody.

Adam: So today we're going to be diving back into the wonderful world of evolution and intelligent design. We'll be discussing some of what intelligent design supporters are saying, the things that they're asserting with their theories, both implicitly and explicitly. We'll also discover whether or not all supporters of design are creationists or if they leave that question as to who created the first cell unanswered. We're also going to be talking about the process philosophy, in particular going over David Ray Griffin's book Religion and Scientific Naturalism.

We know from prior research that creationism as a supernatural intervention by god, by Jehovah, that that idea is wrong but at the same time we know - again from prior research - that Neo-Darwinism is just as wrong. So you're left with nowhere to go basically. So the question is, is there a way out of this dilemma and what does that look like.

Harrison: Right, because the intelligent design people of course have a point and most of their books are written mostly to refute the Neo-Darwinist position and then to offer a very general but scientifically plausible explanation. What they say is that essentially, the only known cause of new information is intelligence therefore the injection of all this new information into biological systems must be from intelligence. Actually being scientists, they stop there which I think is a good thing. They present the science and say "Here's all this information. It must have come from a mind, from some kind of intelligence." Okay, we can get behind that.

And even a lot of Neo-Darwinists who have some awareness of these problems will get into that. Even Dawkins, when caught off-guard at one point said "Oh well the origin of life is a mystery and who knows? Perhaps the only explanation would be that some alien intelligence created it. I think Fred Hoyle said something similar but he was speaking, I think, about the creation of the universe itself, some super intelligence. So that's a valid point to make, to just say "Look at this stuff. Just given the things that are supposed to be in operation according to Neo-Darwinism, we can't get to what we have. There are just too many observational, empirical and philosophical problems from getting from nothing to something through these chance random mutations. There has to be something else going on."

This is where a guy like Perry Marshall in Evolution 2.0 provides some interesting things because he says "Oh look, mutations don't just happen by random mutations, like a single point nucleotide changes or whatever. That's not how evolution works." And he gives his Swiss army knife collection of different things going on in the cell, these known mechanisms for how DNA rearranges itself and produces new forms and not only DNA itself but for one cell to engulf another cell and for them to become fused, like symbiogenesis.

So we've got all these things going on but then the question still arises - and this I think is why Neo-Darwinists are so averse to taking intelligent design seriously is that a lot of the intelligent design people, in fact I think the majority of the big names like Steve Meyer and Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells and William Dembski are Christians. When they're speaking not in a scientific capacity, they will say "This is where god comes into the picture" whereas where the creationists take a very literalist position on the bible and say "God created everything in these miraculous creations out of nothing, god created all the animals, god created all the forms, god created the dinosaur fossils" and all this stuff, everything was this direct creation from god in 3,000 years, the intelligent design people will say "Well no, the universe is billions of years old and evolution has been going on for hundreds of millions of years" - or however long it's been going on - but they'd say "But we need something else to explain these specific moments where things appear, like the first cell."

The first cell is totally inexplicable in terms of any kind of known science and even evolutionary science, even Neo-Darwinism. No one can explain how the first cell came about because there are so many different parts that have to come together at once. It's the same kind of problem looking at the fossil record where we don't have the intermediate forms. We can't even think of the intermediate forms that would lead up from just normal chemistry to the first fully functioning cell. It seems to appear out of nowhere, just as new forms, new animal life forms, new body plans, seem to appear out of nowhere in the fossil record.

This was a problem for Darwin himself. He was specifically referring to the Cambrian explosion of life forms. He said "If we don't find these intermediate forms in the fossil record then my theory might be toast." For the last 150 years we haven't found those forms. In fact the picture hasn't gotten any clearer. So it does seem, when you actually look at the fossil evidence, that these new forms appear seemingly out of nowhere in a very short period of time evolutionarily speaking and then they stay the same for millions and millions of years whereas strictly going by the basic dogmas of Neo-Darwinism, you should expect a steady, gradual changing that never stops changing. Things change at a constant rate and some die and some live on and it's just this very steady, gradual process.

But you don't see that happening.

Adam: Yeah.

Harrison: Darwinists will object that some of these intermediate forms just didn't survive into the fossil record. But when you look at the totality of the evidence for so many years, none of them are there, so you have to posit that none of the transitional species or forms made it into the fossil record and with each different angle that you're looking at it, it just gets more and more unlikely and that's only talking about forms. He talks about the DNA and mutations. In one of these shows that we were doing I think I mentioned the book by Douglas Axe, Undeniable. He's one of the guys who has done research on proteins and protein folding and looking at the probabilities involved in that because you've got a small-to-medium length protein chain that's 120 amino acids or something like that.

So you think about all the different possible sequences that make up that chain and then what he and his team did was find the set of those total possibilities that will create a folded protein because proteins have to fold into their shape in order to do anything. Some sequences won't end up folding. Some will and out of the ones that will, only a subset of those will actually be functional. So they looked at the probabilities involved in this and determined the chances of taking one folded functional protein and mutating it randomly to find another one of those possible functional forms. The chances of doing that are something like 1 in 1074 or something. It's this astronomical figure, to get simply from one small-to-medium length protein chain to another.

What he's arguing there is that it's impossible, using these hypothesized evolutionary methods of change, to get from just one protein to another. At almost every level of analysis when you look at evolution and how things change and how new things come into being, there's a little mystery there. There's a little thing where we say "Okay, we can't explain how that got to that without something happening in between that we don't understand yet." Basically what that has to do with is information. Information needs to get injected into the system somehow. That's the main thing that the intelligent design people are saying.

Stephen Meyer is saying that in his books about the origin of DNA itself. He's saying it about the Cambrian explosion where all these new forms came in, all this new information. Doug Axe is saying that you need even more new information to even get new proteins. So it's this long sequence of what seem to be miracles, right?, where these things that shouldn't happen end up happening. And that's of course why I think all of the intelligent design scientists are Christian because they're open to that. They'll say "Well this looks like a miracle" so that is a valid hypothesis because according to their world view miracles can happen and it is a better explanation than Neo-Darwinism. At least Neo-Darwinism can't explain it. If you believe in god, at least that does explain it.

But there are a group of people who won't go that far, like Perry Marshall. Perry Marshall is a Christian and we talked about his book but in his actual argumentation he might mention it but he doesn't give a hypothesis of how god would do this. What he actually argues is that the cells themselves have information. The cells themselves are somehow intelligent enough to know the language of DNA and to change themselves and to reorganize themselves in response to environmental cues that say "Danger! We need to do something!" So the cell itself says "Okay, we're going to switch things around so we can survive this threat" and then something new comes about. So there's this intelligence within the cell that's going on.

The mystery for us I think, is how can we think about this because it's one thing to say that somehow intelligence did this, something intelligence does all these things. Well how does that happen exactly? You don't have to answer it. You can go the intelligent design route and just say "We'll look at all these problems. It must have been intelligence." You can say well sure. We want to go a bit deeper. Perry Marshall at least has laid down his hypothesis. I listened to a debate that he had recently with Stephen Meyer and they were going back and forth because Perry was saying "We can ascribe all this intelligence to the cell. We don't need to go to god for the answer" because he kind of sees that as a 'god in the gaps' argument.

The 'god in the gaps' argument of course is that 'we understand how all this stuff happens, then we don't understand this thing that connects the two, then we understand everything after it so that little middle part that we don't understand, we'll say god did that'. There's been a history in science of scientists from Newton and before saying "Okay, I don't understand this so god must have done this and then everything else happens". God must have set the laws of interplanetary gravitational attractions and the orbits of the planets and all this because you couldn't explain certain phenomena surrounding that and then, oh, what do you know? Other scientists discover a physical mechanism or a physical process or interaction that explains that. So that's one gap that got closed. 'God doesn't any longer have to be resorted to in order to explain that'.

So that's how Perry sees intelligent design. 'Well we don't understand this so therefore let's get god to explain this'. He agrees that there has to be an intelligence but he doesn't necessarily want to ascribe it to god. Then Stephen Meyer's response to those was that he couldn't agree because Perry was - I'm paraphrasing - he was ascribing to cells which are arguably not as intelligent as humans, a degree of intelligence that is not credible to believe in. He basically said that Perry is saying that cells have this kind of omniscient intelligence, that they are able to see these vast, complex languages and forms and information that even we can't see. We can't understand DNA yet somehow the cells do. He thinks that's kind of ridiculous. He thinks that it must be god.

So that's the debate that I'm most interested in because I totally reject Neo-Darwinism because it is just a very silly philosophy essentially. Of course there's some good observations but when it comes down to it, at its very root it's totally hollow and can't explain any of the most interesting things about evolution. That to me is the most interesting thing. How exactly does intelligence get in there? Do we want to go from there? Do you have any other things that you want to fill in before we move on from there?

Corey: Just in regards to the idea that cells can't be that intelligent, in his book Evolution 2.0 Perry Marshall describes the research done on bacteria that shows that they communicate with quite sophisticated swapping mechanisms where they can vote and they can count votes and they can live as a community. They can discuss things internally within that community with a certain chemical and then they can discuss things with other communities using a different set of chemicals. So there seems to be an archetypal way of communicating that stretches from bacteria all the way on up to humanity.

So it seems like there are these forms, if you will, archetypal forms that exist independently of the consciousness necessarily of the being that we're looking at.

Harrison: I'd agree with that. And Perry Marshall isn't the only guy. I think Jeremy Narby has a book called Intelligence In Nature and there are various other ones, actually talking about all of these processes that go on in plants and cells and bacteria that we would call intelligence. There's even one about the giant amoebas that can grow. They're single-celled but they're actually very large, the size of your fist, maybe bigger, and they can actually solve mazes in order to find the shortest path to food, for instance. There's a whole bunch of crazy stuff that seemingly simple life forms can do.

So I'd say yeah, there is definitely an intelligence there. I think Stephen Meyer has a point in that when you get down to the cell itself and you look at it, you think 'how can a cell be so smart on its own in order to know that'? I think we even mentioned that on the show when we were talking about Evolution 2.0, if you think about just how complex the cell is, it is smarter than us. It's doing more than us. DNA and the way DNA works, it's like an information processing machine. It's like a computer. It's order of magnitude more complex than any software or hardware that we've designed. It is super efficient, super complex, the coding is so intricate and perfectly economical that a short length of code in the DNA can basically function as that code itself but also, depending on how you look at it, can function as one or two or three different other codes and it's all embedded in this DNA sequence. It's really mind-boggling when you look at it.

So the point that I think that Stephen Meyer has is that you can't ascribe that intelligence strictly to the cell itself. The cell itself doesn't know everything but then what he gets wrong, I think, is that he won't ascribe any kind of agency or intelligence to the cell. It's almost like for him it must be fully external. The source of the intelligence comes completely from something else, like some transcendent god. So that's the direction that a lot of these intelligent design people go in because it is such a mystery. When you really look into this stuff, it is so mind blowing and so complex and so enigmatic that what else could you hypothesize than that there must be some higher form of intelligence directing it?

So I think there are aspects of each that are correct. That's why I like David Griffin so much because he says that we can take the best aspects of both sides of the equation and integrate them and actually put them into a philosophy that takes into account all of these things. He goes back to Whitehead for this. Maybe we can try to present this alternative to both of these things to try to account for all of these things that are going on because you do need a source for this new information. We need to find this intelligence somewhere. We can ascribe a certain degree of intelligence to every level of creation I think, from electrons all the way up. So protons are probably the stupidest things in the universe because they only do one thing and can't do anything else. The things that we know of that are most intelligent are humans but is there something more intelligent? Well I think we have to hypothesize yes.

But before getting into Griffin and Whitehead and how they might explain this, one thing that I think we need to take into account when thinking about the limits of intelligence for instance, and how cells may or may not be able to do these things on their own through their own intelligence - and this is why I think Meyer was too quick to reject the idea of this type of intelligence in nature, in cells themselves. He called it a kind of animistic mysticism or something. He's pretty disdainful of the idea.

But if you think about humans and if you look at the examples in some of the abnormal psychology, like the stuff that Stephen Braude focuses on, Stephen Braude is a parapsychologist, philosopher. He wrote one book on multiple personality disorder. He doesn't just study the weird stuff like psychokinesis and telepathy but also all of these things that are generally acknowledged in the scientific community but that we actually can't explain. So there are instances of baffling examples of extreme what we would call intelligence that happens in certain humans at certain times that is just off the charts. So if you think we're not that smart when we think about mathematics or we look at language or coding, but just look at the examples of mathematical savants for instance who seem to have a super computer in their mind and we can't explain it.

How do you explain that kind of super intelligence, even if it's in a very narrow range of interests, if it's just one thing like math; all the hints that there's something going on in the, let's say, subconscious of humans where there's a vast amount of information processing that might be going on under the surface and you think "how did they necessarily come up with that". You can think of artistic genius. Where did the masterpieces of music come from? How did Beethoven compose these sorts of things? Where does it come from? Even examples of extreme physical perfection, like in the performance of a routine of movements that is just perfect, that is seemingly impossible for any human.

I think I mentioned this one example before, but there are anecdotes and stories about people in times of extreme need, when the stakes are very high, it might be someone in a prisoner of war camp who has the one opportunity for escape but they have to throw this rock with a note on it across 60 metres of empty space and get it into this small hole in another building and in that moment they make it. It seems like just chance, they just happen to get it. But how does that happen? How does that extremely unlikely event happen?

One of the things Braude hypothesizes, not only in relation to these types of events but in relation to ESP and psychokinesis, that there is an element of need, emotional urgency. There's some emotional relevance and valence in the person themselves that brings out these extraordinary abilities at the moment of need. It's almost as if this stuff is going on all the time under the surface but in everyday life, they're just not necessary so they're suppressed or submerged underneath the surface. But in times of extreme need, they can come out.

Savants for instance, might be a fluke of nature where one type of connection of that sort is just open all the time. So you might have someone who is all the time connected to that extreme mathematical ability or something. It might also apply to all these different areas of excellence like musical geniuses who from the age of four seem to be masters of their instrument. You find them in any kind of field.

So there's some kind of connection to this deeper level that seems to be somehow in potential in human beings that gets unlocked in certain situations and in certain individuals. That ability is unlocked within them. But it seems to form some kind of deeply rooted potential underneath the surface, potentially for anyone. The question would be 'what is it that brings this out?' I think there's an analogy to be made with evolution and with mutations for instance; this idea of need-based mutations because one of the things that Perry Marshall points out and that others have for instance, is that when you expose certain organisms to a harsh environmental stimulus of some sort, maybe it's a lack of access to needed nutrients or it might be a temperature, when you put an organism or a set of organisms in conditions that are not conducive to their easy survival, then their system gets shocked and it gets put into a chaos-inducing state. "Okay, we've got to find the answer! We've go to do something!" And then bam! They seem to find the solution, or at least some of them do. They find the solution and adapt to that new set of conditions.

But the problem there, like Marshall points out, is how does that happen? If evolution is this mindless, gradual process, the existence of a mechanism of this sort implies a pre-coding of that in order to take place. Basically you have to write a new code. 'If harsh conditions occur then do this in order to find solution' and that has to be coded in beforehand in order for it to happen when it actually does happen. You can't escape that. You can't just say "That's just random processes". There has to be a reason for the organism to actually engage in that sort of behaviour otherwise it wouldn't essentially.

Elan: So yes, a big point that he brings home again and again is that random mutation or this idea that shit just happens over a long period of time and seems to come together in what we now understand to be the human being or the cell, is noise and that noise destroys. So he's invoking information theory to say that random mutation doesn't work. It can't work. According to the laws of information theory it's just destruction. The example that you gave a little while ago Harrison, suggesting how proteins folded and how long it would take for some successful advancement to occur is a case in point.

So what Marshall suggests is that it's not random mutation that exists but something he calls adaptive mutation and that there is potential in DNA. One of the ideas is that human beings contain something crazy like 97% of something called junk DNA which because scientists haven't determined a use for - and I forget if that's the correct number or not - but all of these Neo-Darwinists tend to dismiss as extraneous genetic information that you might as well lop away like a bad appendix.

So not exactly an answer to your question but there is at least the possibility in all of this "junk" DNA, DNA for which we have no answer to at this time, where this latent potential can be said to exist from. That's a very incredible percentage of information that is packed within us that we have no explanation for, that seemingly exists without a purpose but that through this emotional need that you evoked or through some valence or through necessity, seems to, under the right circumstances, get unlocked. So that's one possible source from which you have savants, you have musical genius, you have people who do these so-called miraculous things in the moment.

I'll just give you a little anecdote here. I was once in a little boy scout competition where you're supposed to light a match with the end of an axe, which is highly improbable, especially if you're 13 years old and you're not particularly well coordinated. {laughter} Now this was a competition and I knew I was going to do it, even though I'd never done it before and didn't practice. So after 35 or 40 of these older boy scouts trying it and failing after 5 tries, I hit it on my third try. I mean, I'm not a magical person by any stretch of the imagination. I was just this kid who, for whatever reason, knew somehow that I was going to light a blue-tipped match with the end of an axe. How did that happen? What came together in those moments and how did I know prior to the competition that I was going to win it? It completely baffles me to think about it.

I was very happy at the time. It was a victory and a little bit of a miracle. And who knows? Maybe it was a coincidence but where did the certainty come from that this was going to happen? What part of my being or intelligence in the cell or DNA gave rise to the understanding that it was not only possible but that I was going to do it?

Adam: As you were talking I was just thinking about in terms of how can we translate all of this into something that's coherent and I was thinking about the prehension - to use Whitehead's term prehension - the prehension of the cells' ability to understand complex forms or to be able to interpret something and translate it into the DNA. There is this stressful environment and I need to be able to do this so that I can survive and where can that come from?

Harrison: How does it know what "this" is?

Adam: Yeah! How does it know what "this" is? And thinking about Whitehead's term prehension, I was considering what it would look like for a human being. To make an analogy, what if there is something out there that the cell can comprehend the same way that we can recognize truth or beauty or morals?

Corey: That's interesting because this idea of the radical subjectivity all the way down is a really interesting idea, the idea that cells can feel and perhaps they can understand in the same way that we do, but they still have this valence, this idea or feeling of threat. I was thinking in terms of the apparent intelligence of how they react to these things, it makes sense to me that the DNA is basically the training wheels. It's the code that tells the cell exactly what to do and over the course of however many millions of years and epochs, cells gradually continue to learn. As we saw in the book Consciousness: Anatomy of the Soul, about every 200 million years or so, there is a growth in the attractor dimension of the consciousness of these individual species.

So it seems to me that the DNA is doing most of the work but it's possible that the cell itself is still experiencing what it's like to go through all of these motions. It's like a handicapped person that's still being moved by a machine.

Harrison: Right. That reminded me of something that Jordan Peterson has said a few times recently when he's talking about free will. If asked if he believes in free will, he'd say "Well it's not total free will. I don't believe that we're omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent beings that have full access to these kinds of things. We have free will but we also have limitations." The point that he makes is that we have a degree of freedom but the way free will seems to work is that we have this degree of freedom but then once we put a certain emotion into action, for instance, like a ballistic movement of your arm where you shoot your arm out, you set that up and then it proceeds automatically where you can't stop it.

So there's a mechanistic process that happens that has been initiated by a free agent. This seems to happen on all levels where lower processes get automated like our breathing, blinking and digesting. We don't consciously control all those processes in our bodies. They happen automatically but we still choose, for instance, when and what we're going to eat, if given the choice. We still have a degree of freedom over and above those automatic processes. The reason I say that that happens on all levels is, like you were saying, DNA does a lot of the work.

The way I see it is that in the cell, there are a lot of these automatic processes that have been set in motion and that are going automatically because they've been going for so long, but that at the level of the cell, there is going to be a degree of freedom. There's probably going to be a degree of freedom at every level within the cell too. You get more freedom the more complex you get so the cell itself might have access to a greater degree of new choices, new things that it wants to do and then somehow those ideas, those desires, those goals to which it feels itself pulled, then put the lower processes and the lower machinery into action to bring that about.

So there's this automation process and then on top of that there is this degree of freedom that then can steer and direct those automatic processes and even instantiate new processes, maybe versions of the old process, but a new process and that this happens all the way. Going back to this idea of how does this happen, how does a cell attach itself or realize what "this" is, 'well this needs to happen'. Well what is "this"? You made an analogy to the way that human consciousness works. Well you can think about it, starting with humans, probably one of the easiest examples is any kind of creativity because that's essentially what we're talking about and you can look at creativity in terms of writing music or writing a novel or writing a scientific paper or coming up with a theory or discovering the solution to a complex mathematical problem.

So you look at the examples of inspiration in the history of the sciences and in the history of all kinds of creative artistic endeavours, there is this inspiration. The idea comes out of nowhere. You often hear musicians and songwriters say that they woke up and the song was fully in their head and they just wrote it down. Oftentimes creators like this will say it doesn't even feel like they're the ones doing it. They're just tapping into something and translating it. So where do these ideas come from?

Well there's also an example that I like to think about from Lobaczewski where he talks about being in this situation, in this society that is just soul destroying and in any given instant you have choices to make and it can be life or death based on the choice that you make. It's a very stressful time to live under. It's very stressful on your system and he said that in such a situation it becomes necessary to rely on your conscience. He describes conscience as that inaudible voice that tells you 'yes, do this' or 'no, don't do this'.

So in a situation you imagine yourself and you don't know what to do and then all of a sudden in your mind pops up 'I'll do this'. Okay, well let's give it a try. It's not always going to work but according to Lobaczewski in his personal experience living through these types of situations, that did work and he had to rely on that ability. It was an ability that he had to develop. So it's not something where someone is just going through life and saying 'I don't know what to do now' and they just do the first thing that comes to mind and it's probably not what he's talking about. This is a time of extreme need. These are these experiences that we're talking about where it's life or death and do or don't and you have to make the right choice. There seems to be an ability to make that right choice.

Really the question is one of those big questions - where does that come from? Where do those new ideas come from? Where do those goals come from? Where do those possible behaviours come from? How do we have access to them? That's what Griffin and Whitehead before him tried to answer and I think did a good job of answering. Let's take it back to the perspective of evolution and then we'll come back and put it all together. When you look at creationists, for instance, it is this kind of god in the gaps thing where god has these certain abilities. He's omnipotent. He can do anything. And then at these certain moments god chooses, 'Okay, I'm just going to stop what's going on right now and I'm going to inject my hand for an instant and just change these things about and then I'll let them go on for a bit again." And then a million years later, "Oh, you know what? I think I've got to make an adjustment here so I'm going to create a new species here" and inject that. Blah, blah, blah, etc.

It's these sporadic intrusions into the cosmos of this divine being and the idea behind omnipotence is that god created the universe out of nothing and has complete control over it. There are different variations of course. Some people will say god created the universe but doesn't intervene or whatever, but the basic idea is god can do anything and everything. God has complete control. If he wanted to, he could turn Corey over here into a pink squid and he'd be there and god could just snap his fingers and he'd be back to Corey. Anything that you can imagine, god could do to the cosmos.

Now this is what makes a lot of scientists squirm because they don't like that idea. I think that while they have a lot of bad reasons for rejecting any kind of theology or higher non-materialist philosophy or whatever, in this they have a good idea. So this is the thing that Griffin and Whitehead would agree with - that that perspective is basically a supernatural perspective and what they mean but that is that there is this thing called nature. That's the way the universe works. That's not just the chain of cause and effect, but the nexus of cause and effect. All of the causes and all the effects operating at any given time and over all time. From our everyday experience it seems like that cannot be broken. It's always happening. For something supernatural, it's some being outside of that that has complete control over that process and at any given time can intervene. That implies that beings don't have any freedom, don't have any power themselves to do anything because god either has a veto over every decision that gets made within the cosmos or he's actually controlling everything behind the scenes, which is even more deterministic.

So that's one of the reasons that scientists and specifically materialist scientists reject that. They say "Well that's outside of nature. You can't put the causal processes of the universe on hold for an instant and let god come in and do something." That strikes them as wrong. But there is this third option with Whitehead and Griffin where they basically say "Well yeah we can agree that there shouldn't be anything outside of nature." The obvious possible solution is that god is part of nature, that god isn't like that super being outside of the cosmos that just injects himself whenever he wants to do whatever he wants and has this complete control over everything that happens, that as a natural part of the cosmos, the action of god or the will of god is an intrinsic part of that causal process. And what that means is that there is a divine influence that is constant, that is always part of every process going on at any given time.

So it's not that every once in a while there's an injection of divine influence but that there's divine influence all the time and it's the same type of divine influence all the time for all of history and that it's only at certain times where that divine influence has a greater or lesser effect. It's a variable and that applies to any system of cause and effect, right? At any given moment this light that is in this room that is shining on us will be shining on us when it's on and it won't be when it's off, but the causal process is always there. The principles are always there and that's the reason why the light can turn on and turn off. Those processes are constant.

So with divine influence there will always be a certain type of divine influence and we'll describe how Griffin and Whitehead characterized that divine influence in a bit. But there's always this divine influence just like maybe there's always this potential within us for these great acts of intelligence or genius but it's only in certain conditions that that influence will get expressed in a certain way that is really noticeable. But it won't be different in kind from the kind of influence that is going on all the time in every action of the universe, in every choice and in every interaction from the lowest level to the highest level.

Elan: It's interesting because Marshall kind of approaches some of these ideas, at least in a video that he had made. As we mentioned earlier, he is a Christian. He goes to church groups and speaks to them on the subject of evolution and intelligent design. But he's also a very big proponent for exercising one's awareness and actively listening. Now he'll call it invoking the holy ghost or listening to messages from the holy ghost, but his point is pretty much that if you begin your day, for instance, by actively listening, by exercising your awareness and your consciousness in a questioning mode where you're actively making yourself open to listening; not to your email messages, not to your phone message, not to all the types of things that you'd be doing in the course of running a business or running a house, but just listening, that there is a connection that can be established with the mind of the universe, if you will.

I'm not sure how far that goes towards Griffin's explanation or not but it's very interesting for me to hear Perry go into this whole mode because it suggests that there's a whole part of his life that doesn't have to do with his Google AdWords marketing business or even his research necessarily in evolution, that there is a facility that he's trying to nurture within himself to take on information and to listen and, as a hypothetical, act on or at least consider as a part of what he needs to think about.

Harrison: Well I think that that would be consistent with this type of philosophy, this process philosophy because process philosophy is open to religious sensibilities and experience. So that leaving one's self opening and listening is to try to discern and to receive the messages or the information that is coming from a higher level of reality. The way I like to think about it is that the message is always being sent. What's the line from Serenity? The signal's already always being sent but you have to tune your receptor in order to pick it up every once in a while. You don't get automatic access because there's so much blocking the signal. There's so much noise. A lot of that noise comes from our own biology. When you have a biological drive to do something, that has to be overcome. It's not like we can just automatically override any of our biological systems. That's a huge part of what we are that contributes to our identity.

So there are techniques or modes of thinking or acting in certain ways, practicing certain things to make one's self more receptive to those kinds of influences. That's just why I say that it would be at least consistent with this kind of philosophy. I just want to read a couple of paragraphs from Griffin's book where he talks about these kinds of things. This is in response to the inherent atheism in Darwinism. Atheism isn't inherent in Darwinism per se, but only insofar as Darwinism also applies materialism and positivism and the rejection of any alternative kind of biased mutation or anything like that. So this is what Griffin writes.

Whiteheadian theism, it should be stressed, is fully naturalistic. Divine influence in the world is a regular, necessary part of the normal causal process, not an occasional interruption of this process and it is consistent with uniformitarianism because divine influence is said to occur in basically the same way always and everywhere by providing possible forms for actualization. The divine influence does vary in content in that different forms are relevant for different occasions but variability in this sense does not violate uniformitarianism any more than does the fact that, although formally speaking, my mind always influences my body in the same way by providing aims for its various parts, my mind provides different aims for different parts of my body at the same time and different aims for some part of my body at different times.

So this is in different words what I was paraphrasing earlier. There's this constant divine influence and he lays it out right there, by providing possible forms for actualization. This gets back to Jordan Peterson's definition of consciousness. What is consciousness? Consciousness is being exposed to pure potentiality, possibilities and bringing possibilities into actualization. It's being presented with choices and making one choice and manifesting one choice.

That seems to be what consciousness is. It's this encounter with potential, with possibility and the transformation of that possibility into actuality. And this is how we realize certain ideals. This is how we fulfil and achieve certain goals. This is how we become better people. This is how we create new things. This is how we invent things and create pieces of art and write and work on our relationships. That's all everything is, this process of taking possibilities and bringing them into action. We can do this automatically by just going by habit, but if we just go by habit we'll be habitually actualizing the same forms. We won't be bringing anything really new into creation, into our lives.

When we're acting habitually and when we want to bring something new, what is the source of the aim, the source of the goal and the source of this new thing that we want to bring into creation? Well this is what Whitehead would say is that the source of all of that is the mind of god, that god is what holds all of those possibilities in mind to make them possibilities. I'll read one more paragraph. This is on truth, beauty and morality.

Thanks to its inclusion of this soul of the universe, Whiteheadian naturalism need not be nominalistic.

Nominalism is the idea that only the names for things exist but the actual forms themselves don't exist. So we might have a name, for instance, like a certain body plan, like an arthropod or something, but the actual form itself as this platonic ideal or this thing that exists outside of its various particulars, that the form itself doesn't exist. So there aren't any actual concepts, there are only the words that we use to describe concepts. That is an implication of Neo-Darwinism, this belief that there are no real forms in the cosmos because they are non-physical, therefore they can't exist. So he says that this nominalism is overcome.

The soul of the whole can provide a home for the eternal forms, which Whitehead called eternal objects, be they logical, mathematical, geometric, moral or aesthetic forms and the divine appetition for these forms to be actualized in the world can explain how these forms being mere possibilities can have causal efficacy so that their presence can be felt by the creatures. This dimension of the soul of the whole provides a ground from which forms of all types can pervade the universe. The eternal forms are the material of the divine persuasion. The soul of the universe with its appetitive vision for various forms to become incarnate in the world in due season, influences us by whetting our appetites for these forms.

So the argument he's making here is that traditionally and contemporarily we can hypothesize that if these forms exist they must exist in some kind of mind because there needs to be some intelligence and we would call this a divine mind, a cosmic mind, basically the mind and soul of the universe and that that is potentially a source for where all these forms are because if they're not physical they have to exist non-physically and if there has to be some kind of consciousness involved they have to be in a consciousness, they have to be in a mind, something intelligent. That's what leads Whitehead and Griffin to hypothesize that this is the mind of god that holds all these forms.

But then how do these forms become, as he says, efficacious? How do they actually become able to work in the world? You can imagine that all these forms exist but why would that mean that any of them actually get materialized, get brought into the actual cosmos and made real? Why one and why not another? Well this is where he gets into the idea that what gives causal efficacy is what he calls the appetition of the divine. This is basically what the divine mind wants. So there is a direction. There is a goal in mind. There is a teleology to this mind, to creation.

So if you imagine that the mind of god has certain things that it wants to happen, it has certain directions that it wants creation to move in and then the beings themselves can feel a bit of that. The only reason that we can feel pulled in one direction or not is because at the very root of reality there is this appetition, this divine desire for things to happen. So when there's a need for instance, the reason we feel the need and the reason we are pulled in certain directions is because that has a given weight in the mind of god which is within this grand storyline. The evidence for that would be, for instance, the progress that you see in evolutionary history because Darwinism denies that there's any progress in evolution, in history. Natural selection and random mutation are value-neutral. It's only if you survive or not and only if you're adapted to your environment enough to survive.

But like Whitehead would say, that's nonsense too because what is more adaptive than dead matter? You don't need life in order to be adaptive, in order to survive. Protons do it perfectly well on their own without any kind of biology. So life itself is anti-adaptive and that's the mystery of evolution, to understand how this anti-adaptive thing that we call life came to be in the first place and how it proceeds.

Adam: So taking that more to another concept that he was talking about in his book, was the dual concept of inner gradualism and external saltationism. So thinking about bringing something new, this new form, into existence. That would be what he called external saltation, a jump from one form to the next. So what brings you to that point? What brings a thing to the point where they're like "Okay, now's the time for us to bring this new thing into being".

Harrison: Well I think what Griffin at least would say is that first of all these forms need to exist. They must. If we look at the fossil record and if we look just at our own lives, there are jumps. Darwinists - and not just Darwinists but scientists before them - are famous for saying that nature doesn't have jumps because the existence of these saltations is indicative, they think, of some kind of divine influence because these forms must exist on their own somehow that then jump into being without the intermediate parts, without the intermediate forms. There's a jump from one form to another form. This is the intuition that the intelligent design people have about irreducible complexity, these molecular machines that can only operate with the existence of all their parts but where the parts themselves can't serve any function without all the other parts. So how do all these parts come into being at the same time? It's the same problem with the cell itself. It's irreducibly complex. And all forms like this are irreducibly complex.

Griffin quotes a lot of Darwinists themselves who point out that when you look at these different life forms, these different body plans, that they are systems, they are wholes in themselves.

Adam: Yeah.

Harrison: You can't change one of the parts without changing the other parts because it throws the whole system out of whack.

Adam: Yeah, it's the chicken and the egg.

Harrison: They all need to come together. So this question of how you get from one form to the other, using this process philosophy, the idea would be that first of all these forms exist. So they exist as possibilities. If you take an organism or any kind of being that exists as it does in one form and it is presented with a need or a desire for a new form, let's say the conditions aren't right for whatever reason. So it's got this instinct or pull towards this new form. Griffin would say that this happens in the mental pole of the organism because all organisms have physicality and mentality. Physical causation is repetitive. At any given instant a physical thing will incorporate the physical thing that it was before and then repeat the pattern. It's basically a habit. Every physical thing does this, from protons and atoms to cells and humans. You stay basically the same physical thing from one instant to another with a lot of recycling going on.

There is this consistency and stability to the form over time. But when something new comes along it first gets presented as an ideal to the consciousness, to the mental pull of an organism. It might remain just a mental idea, a possibility held and striven - is that the word? - that you strive towards, that you feel attracted to over time but once the physical conditions are right - and I'll get to that in a minute - then that mental form almost envelopes the physical form like a morphogenetic field like Sheldrake might say, and rearranges that form. So it gets instantiated, it gets materialized into the physical form using the materials available and reorganizing them into this new form.

So if you're looking at it from the outside, you just see something change, just like watching a phase shift in matter, water to ice, or something like that. You see all of a sudden something changes. There's a jump and it's inexplicable without knowing what's going on but from the inside what has been happening is this long...

Adam: Gradual process of getting to the point where all of a sudden...

Harrison: Yeah, where all of a sudden it becomes not just possible but - don't know what the word would be...

Elan: Actuated?

Harrison: Yeah! It gets to the point where it's not just possible but you can actually bring it into action. The conditions become ripe for actualization. That's the thing that I wanted to get to next. The creationist idea would be that this can happen at any time. God can inject his hand at any time to just put in a new form. But the idea of this being a naturalistic, uniformitarian model is that these processes are going on all the time and there are rules. Just like there are physical rules for everything. You can't just put your hand through the wooden door whenever you want without breaking it. There are certain limitations to matter, certain causal influences that can't simply be overridden on a whim. There might be some really weird and cool physics going on where things like that become possible but that's another issue and it's still naturalistic. But for what we're talking about here, the conditions need to be right for certain things to happen.

So if we look at the origin of life for instance, Griffin would argue that for however many hundreds of millions of years before the first life appeared, conditions wouldn't have been right. You'd probably need a whole bunch of conditions to be just right to get to the point where you've got the potential for all these forms of matter. You've got all of these chemicals and elements and they're available. Then once they're all available then the conditions are met and then these can be reshaped. That's actually still a pretty big mystery but that's the idea.

Same thing with a cell. A cell will have a certain need at a certain time but if it doesn't have the raw material available it can't make whatever needs to be made. It's only when that material becomes available that it can then reform itself to make something new. If you've got any kind of idea in your head for something you want to do, you can't create it if you don't have the materials out of which to create it. It will only remain an idea in your head. It's the same principle at work in this evolutionary process where when the conditions present themselves that it can actually happen. There's actually a quote in this section of the book that I want to read because I think Griffin says it better than I could. I need to find it first so maybe respond to what I was saying first.

Elan: Just a few things on the nature of cells themselves. One is that they communicate with other cells. They exchange information with other cells. They exchange DNA with other cells. They edit their own genomes with their own form of language. They can switch on and off at certain times, which is what epigenetics discusses. They merge and cooperate, a process called symbiogenesis. In a larger form they can create new species that can hybridize.

When you were going through that Harrison I was just thinking of not only 'as above, so below', the esoteric maxim, that human beings exchange information. They also exchange viruses. They communicate viruses. They communicate thoughts. They communicate emotions. There's this constant exchange on this greater level among human beings. But there also seems to be, through conscious awareness maybe, a communication that goes downward to our cells. Maybe it's the thoughts that we have, the diets that we have, all the information that we have via our awareness and our accumulation of knowledge that in some ways can be said to inform our cells.

Getting back to the point we were making earlier, if there were certain needs that need to be met in the moment, there might be such a desire, such a will for those needs to be actuated that they act on our cells in some way. And if that's true, why not a two-way exchange between this cosmic mind that you mentioned, the forms that exist in the universe that we consciously make an effort to be receivers for? If we attempt to listen to what those forms may be and to actualize them, maybe this is a kind of full exchange, that we're part of a larger process without even realizing it. This is something that Neo-Darwinists and materialists would seem to denigrate or just leave out the possibility for.

Corey: There's just one interesting thing that I wanted to mention before we go on. Behe writes about this in his book The Edge of Evolution, where he discusses the fact that you have these master control genes that are involved in the creation of these really important modules like a head or wings or a middle body and he said that these were already in existence. The material for these forms to be actuated with were in existence about 30 million years before the Cambrian explosion. I just thought that was so fascinating that there was this pathway for the multiplication of the forms for all of existence to emerge, was there before, just implying that this teleological purpose of life in order to manifest these forms.

Another thing that I wanted to mention that I thought was a drawback to Perry Marshall's theory that cells are the intelligent designer was something that's made up for with Griffin's theory is that when you see species emerge, obviously it's not just random mutations because there's a giant spike in actual, definite forms that stay the same. But Perry Marshall's theory doesn't explain that either.

Harrison: No.

Corey: I don't see how you can say that the cells themselves are intelligent enough to create these forms. I guess you would say the designer or whatever that created the code would have designed those but the cells themselves aren't. The forms are the reason for the code.

Harrison: Right. Whatever intelligence potentially exists within the cell, the forms are what that intelligence connects to.

Corey: Yeah.

Harrison: Prehends in some kind of way and those forms themselves act as attractors. So It's a mutual process. So that's why I said Meyer is right. The cells don't have all this intelligence on their own. They can't come up with these ideas, with these forms on their own and they don't have the power first of all, to perceive the relevance of them on their own. There needs to be a whole cosmic process making all this possible in the first place. So the forms have to exist on their own in some way and they have to be given this weight in order to be seen as relevant by the organism and they act as attractors in some way that pulls the matter in the direction of that new form. Like Griffin would say, that is the divine influence involved in this process. It's not god coming in and rearranging things on his own by fiat. This is a natural process of how the physical world interacts with the non-material world.

Now one thing that none of these people get into, which is maybe one of the last directions we can go on this show - I don't know, we'll see how much time we have and if any ideas come up. There's something else that's missing here and that is, again, how this exactly happens because the intelligence design people are uniformitarians too and I'll explain my reasoning for this. In that quote that I read, uniformitarianism is the idea that the only causal processes that we can hypothesize about previous actions are causal processes that are happening today. We can't hypothesize that a million years ago there was some other cosmic process that existed that we don't have today. We need to use the principles of nature and physical processes. Basically they need to be at least possible at any given time. Of course that's not to say, for example, that you can have sunlight before there's a sun but throughout that entire period the physical processes that would create sunlight for instance from a sun, are constant, or something like that.

That's an argument that Neo-Darwinists use. The intelligent design people use it against the Darwinists because they say "Okay, if we're going to be uniformitarian about this, what is the only known causal process to produce new information?" That's where they say 'intelligence', right? So we have to say that there must have been intelligence involved at this time to create this new information because that's the only known cause that we know about. It's basically a uniformitarian argument.

So we can ask the same questions. What is the only known way for an intelligence to reorganize matter without this physical divine hand coming in and reorganizing it? How does that actually happen? Griffin doesn't say it explicitly in this section of the book. Luckily he's smart enough to get it in other sections so you can tell that it's part of his world view and part of his overall scientific and philosophical framework. But the only known way we know for that to happen is psychokinesis. What's the only known way of receiving a message from another intelligence when they're not standing in front of you and physically telling you? Well it's telepathy.

One of the things that Whitehead argued and that Griffin really expanded on based on Whitehead is the existence and reality of telepathy and psychokinesis, that these are actually essential and fundamental part of reality and fundamental to consciousness too. Whereas Darwinists and materialists in general will say we only ever know anything through the senses, Griffin and Whitehead say that physical sensations and our physical sensations, the apparatuses that we use to gain information about the world, is actually a secondary mode of perception and that the most fundamental mode of perception is non-sensory perception in nature. That is essentially what we would call telepathy.

So Griffin, in this book talks about as well as another book entirely devoted to parapsychology and why it's important to look at and it must form a part of our overall scientific and philosophical world because it is a part of reality, it is natural. Most scientists, philosophers and thinkers just don't know how to fit it into their reality. Well they can't because they're materialists. But it is possible. This is what Griffin's saying.

So what is the only known way of influencing physical system at a distance? Well it's psychokinesis. And what is the only way of receiving those signals? Well that's telepathy. Psychokinesis and telepathy are like two sides of the same coin. You've got the active sending and the more passive receiving. A person or an intelligence that sends a signal to a physical system is exerting a kind of psychokinesis because it is acting on that system and then the reception of that is like a telepathic influence. It also matters whether it's operating on the mental or the physical pole. If you're moving some bits of matter or you've got a practiced medium or someone who can do psychokinesis and they're moving an object with their mind - well maybe I'll get into this just briefly. What Griffin would argue is that what's going on there is that the sender, the person doing the PK, is actually sending a signal, a form or an aim with the agency of their own mind, into the mental pole of whatever that object is.

And if it's just a piece of wood and it's dead wood, then into all of the molecules that make up that wood and it's basically hypnotizing them. It's sending them a message saying 'You are moving. These influences are acting on you as if you are getting pushed by the wind' for instance. Then all the molecules that make up that respond as if they're actually getting pushed by some kind of physical influence. But they're being tricked. They've had an external aim inserted into their minds and then they respond as if that influence were a real physical influence.

You can see this in hypnosis too when you have hypnotically induced lesions or burns on people. That's been demonstrated where you put someone under hypnosis and tell them that they've just been burned by a cigarette and this burn mark will appear on their skin. Or tell them they've been pricked by a needle and they'll start bleeding there. It's as if their skin in that area has been convinced and tricked that it's actually received this influence but they've received this mental influence convincing themselves that this physical thing has happened, when it hasn't. Then they give the reaction as if this thing has happened.

This is why I think PK and ESP are actually in some form a more fundamental part of reality. How is that the cosmic mind is able to influence the minds and therefore the matter of the beings within the cosmos? It is a form of psychokinesis and telepathy. Let's say you were an external observer observing the first cell appearing on planet earth in some way, then it would appear as if it just appears out of nowhere. But what's actually going on is that all the parts that make up that whole are being influenced by a higher intelligence and that intelligence is holding an aim in mind, a goal in mind, is imbuing it with an attractability, with this desirability. There's this emotional pull. That's why it's called an attractor. It's acting as an attractor because there's an emotional valence to it. There's a relevance to it and through the means of this almost telepathic influence on the parts that make up the whole, those parts then respond and desire to be that thing and then they form and take that shape.

So both that shape and the original impetus or attraction towards that form are within the source of the influence and the parts that then make up that form in reality in the physical world respond to that. That would be like a microcosm of how the entire cosmos works. There are these directions, ideals, values, norms, in the mind of god that exist and that then because they are valued by that mind, by the whole, we then feel that value ourselves and that is what pulls us in certain directions. That is what directs the entire evolutionary process in a certain direction, towards more complexity and more intelligence. That's what arguably drives humanity, at least some parts of humanity, in the direction of truth, beauty and goodness.

I'd argue that the reason not all humans are driven by those goals is because of free will because these things can only come about if beings are free. But the instant you have free beings, they are free to choose whatever they want and there are tons of different influences that can shape what you want. With a highly complex, highly intelligent individual, there's no guarantee that they're going to make the right choice. For whatever reasons in that individual's life they might want things that are diametrically opposed to that cosmic vision and will actively work against the cosmic vision. that's what I think metaphysically is the explanation for what evil is. It's a rejection of the cosmic aim, the cosmic plan for the cosmos to battle against the forces of creativity in favour of destruction. Creative force is the direction of the evolution of the cosmos and all of the things within it. But there are forces that, because of free will, will choose to totally subvert that process.

Adam: Going back to the inner gradualism and external saltationism with what you were talking about, I was thinking along the lines of having to have all of the supporting things together. You can't just build a house. You have to have all of the foundational stuff. You have to have all of the materials there. That's what I was looking for. So as far as how these new species can come about, well maybe they have to have certain parts of their DNA in certain places which only comes along after they've gone through the process of being within the species that they are presently in.

So they're being drawn by this form of gravity towards this new form and the only way to get there is to experience their current form and continue to progress and change the DNA. And then when everything just comes together, when all the conditions are right, then that's when the new can come into being.

Elan: Marshall would call it adaptive mutation as opposed to random mutation. I think it's an excellent way to describe what you were just getting at Adam. Just getting back to your point Harrison, in Evolution 2.0 - this is his argument for the fact that intelligent design does have a place in thinking about evolution - he says,

It's far from mindless. It's literally mind over matter. The unfit adapt. Order and structure increase. Cells exert control over their environments. Underdogs come from behind and win. Consider how information is measured. Distance is measured in meters. Power is measured in watts, time in seconds and mass in kilograms. But information is measured in bytes. Eight bytes equals 28, equals 256 combinations or possible choices. Each byte is the freedom to select a one or a zero. That's what makes it useful. Bytes are choices. Information capacity is capacity for choice. A choice is a totally different thing than a kilogram or a watt. That's why Weiner [a scientist he was discussing earlier in the chapter] said information is information, neither matter nor energy. That means materialism cannot explain the origin of information, the nature of information or the ability to create a code or language from scratch. It can't explain thought, feeling, mind, will or communication.

So I was thinking about this passage when you were discussing the thought-induced burn marks on the individual and how it's information, whether it's communicated through word or language, spoken or through this non-sensory receptivity that literally has an influence on us potentially physically. The implications of that one idea are enormous. Does a more or less objective or a greater objectively correct understanding of what we're discussing even have the potential to bring ourselves and our DNA into some kind of order or viability or potential that may not have existed previously? Like cleaning our rooms and getting everything in order makes things more organized and easier to navigate through, does the very idea of what we're made of at the cellular level help us to reorganize ourselves on a level we rarely even think about or consider?

Adam: It's an interesting 'as above, so below' when you consider that potential possibilities as a human being, the types of transformations that you can undergo personally and then taking that to different levels and what kind of potential there is for experiencing different things or different modes of being.

Harrison: Yeah. To close out I want to read a couple of paragraphs from the book. The first one is from the section on inner gradualism and outer saltationism and I think you can apply it to this human level where the forms can gestate for a while and then the transformation can and does come. So Griffin writes,

Changes of appetition within the mentality of the individual can accumulate for a long time within its hidden subjectivity, adding up to a quite new gestalt which can then all at once be made manifest. Although there is a saltational change in the outer world, the change that has been going on behind the scenes which is the only change the divine appetitions can directly influence, has been gradualistic. Any one of the steps might have taken dozens, hundreds, thousand or millions of years. The whole process from the time the novel form becomes relevant to the time when it is phenotypically incarnated could take any length of time. In this way Whitehead's theistic naturalism allows us to do justice to the apparent need for phenotypical saltationism.

And then one more quote. This is from the section on divinely induced ideals.

The language of the occasional implantation of new forms, to be sure may seem to contradict ontological uniformitarianism. If the divine reality occasionally acts in an extraordinary way rather than acting in one and the same way always and everywhere, has not our purportedly naturalistic theism become supernaturalistic? The contradiction however is only apparent. The divine reality acts in the same way in every period and relation to every individual event by providing possible forms for actualization. The fact that certain periods of the evolutionary process are extraordinary in the sense that radically new forms quite suddenly get incarnated in the world, implies no new type or even intensity of divine activity. Rather, what makes the epoch extraordinary is that some of the creatures have become ready to incarnate new form of order. Exactly what makes them thus ready will probably always be largely beyond our understanding. The suggestion made above however, is that the divine appetition for new forms has finally evoked a sympathetic appetition for these forms in the creatures in question, an inner appetition that eventually results in a saltational change at the phenotypical level. The divine activity is constant. Only the dramatic responses to this activity are occasional.

So this is again, a restatement of the inner gradualism and the outer saltationism, that these processes are going on within us and within humanity, within everything. We can apply it to humanity now. Theoretically there are forms that have been introduced into the consciousness of mankind that are gestating and this can apply to groups or even individuals and that at the right moment it manifests.

So I think that this kind of philosophy can even apply to the discussions we've had about positive disintegration, for instance because if you look at the foundations of the theory of positive disintegration, there is a personality ideal that is striven towards - using that word again - and that you hold in mind and that is held in mind for a long period and it isn't manifested for that entire period. You're working towards it. You have this ideal in mind and the goal is to eventually potentially fully manifest this ideal. Chances are it won't happen in the vast majority of cases, but you can get closer. But then every once in a while conditions have been right, the individual has gone through this period of inner conflict and of positive disintegration and then the new form gets instantiated and their personality transforms and they become that new version of themselves that is in line with their ideal of themselves and that they can then bring in new values to the world through their actions, through whatever career or mode of activity they've chosen for themselves, they then bring that value into the world. So that's why I think it all fits together. I'll leave it there.

Adam: Yes. A mind-blowing episode I think. Great job guys! I think that's going to be it for us. Tune in tomorrow for NewsReal with Joe and Niall at noon EST and then Friday for the Health and Wellness Show, soon to be in a video format.

Harrison: Ooooo. We're going to have to light a fire under our butts to get us to video too.

Adam: Yeah, we'll get there. Alright, you guys have a good weekend and thank you all for listening.

Harrison: Bye-bye.

Corey: By everybody.

Elan: Take care.