Sheldrake's Morphogenic Field - Innovation (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, September 30, 2016, 13:31 (1052 days ago) @ BBella

Dhw: I don't see how you can have both: either the collective causes innovation or the individual causes it (but uses the collective information to help it do so).

BBELLA: I do see exactly what you are saying (from your point of view), and what you are saying does make perfect sense, and I almost want to agree. But, we may be at an impasse, because I cannot imagine an individual being able to make a decision if there is no information to cause an individual to make it. Information is what causes/helps me to make decisions! Can all this information exist within and without me and me make no decision? Without information, there is no decision to cause me to make a decision. So,for me, that is how it is not either/or, but is both.

I think I see where the misunderstanding has arisen, and in one sense you are right: “cause” is misleading. My fault. You are thinking of all the information that causes and enables an organism to create the innovation, and I am thinking only of the organism creating the innovation. For the morphic field to create the innovation, it would have to be conscious (see my concluding comment), but it can CAUSE innovation without being conscious. Perhaps I can illustrate this(simplistically) to see if I've got it right: fish in water, water recedes, fish sees dry land. Collective information = all about fish, water, dry land. For you this information CAUSES the fish to think about innovating. Fish says, “Hey, I'm gonna explore!” Fish fins not too helpful on dry land. Also collective information CAUSING more thoughts about innovation. Fish cell communities (full of information about themselves as well) respond to needs of fish and invent legs. That is the moment when the information is used for innovation, and that is the moment and the action I am thinking of. From my point of view, it is not collective information that creates (instead of “causes”) the innovation; it is the individual, conscious inventive ability of the fish. If we drop the word “cause”, I think we are in agreement.

Dhw: And we have agreed that new information comes from individual consciousnesses.
BBELLA: New information comes from both the individual consciousness making decisions and by the information afforded it by the collective field. New information can only be created by memory of current information put together in new innovative ways by the individual, but only because of the memory that resides within the collective. If there were no memory there could be no cause to make decisions.

Agreed, but the decisions entail the organism's new use of the information. The remembered information does not innovate.

dhw: David will argue that it all comes from God, which would mean individual consciousnesses discover what is already there. However, you agreed with me that it was NOT “a collective consciousness making all the decisions” but that humans use “existing information to CREATE NEW information”, and that other organisms do the same.

BBELLA: I do not know (how can anyone?) whether the collective field "comes from" a God that created it, or whether it is itself, God. But I do believe the collective field has a vibratory sense that enables each individual field as well as the collective, to maintain a certain order within the all that IS, as a separated whole.

From my agnostic standpoint, “God” carries too many connotations to leave it at that. I do not know whether the collective field can be regarded as a single conscious being (God), or as having any consciousness at all of its own. It may simply be an ever expanding field of information that can only be accessed by individual consciousnesses.

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