science and the new world view.
The following were discussed in Fergusonís book:
- Brain Research
A pioneer researcher, Barbara Brown, remarked that
the results in biofeedback training reflect the minds ability to alter every physiological
system, ever cell in the body. Laboratory studies of meditation and other altered
states showed distinctive physiolgical changes in EEG, respiration, and GSR. Split brain
research showed that human beings have two minds. In the mid 70s, breakthroughs in
brain chemistry occured. This included the discovery of a class of peptides including
the endorphins, or enkephalins. Mental states such as well being depend on these
substances. Experiments have also implicated endorphins in the placebo effect.
- Holistic systems
Theory has shown that wholes cannot be understood by analysis.
- Revised conceptions of evolution.
Darwinian evolution was a slow steady climb, and was based on
"survival of the fitest". The new conception is that
evolution may occure in periodic leaps in small groups. Research has shown that
genes and DNA are not static, but dynamic systems in which genes and segments
of DNA may expand and contract; and roving elements hop in and out. There are also
many "all or nothing" evolved characteristics that could not have ocured by random
selection and survival of the fittest
A term invented by biochemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Syntropy is the opposit of entropy.
This corresponds to the Theory of dissapative structures (open systems) by Ilya Prigogine. Form or
structure is maintained or becomes more complex due to a continuous input of energy.
This theory can be applied to living systems, mechanical systems, psychology,
learning, health, sociology, politics, and economics.
- Modern (Quantum) Physics
Particle physics offers a flickering web of events, relationships, and probabilities.
Waves may become particles when they are observed, and so the observer becomes
part of the event. Thoughtful scientists, such as Fritjov Copra, have been struck by the
curious parallels between the findings of quantum physics and ancient mystical
descriptions of reality. Others have pointed out that these are only parallels.
The EPR thought experiment was devised by Einstein Podolsky and Rosen
to discredit the new quantum physics. This thought experiment said that if quantum
theory were correct, a change in spin of one particle
in a two particle system would effect its twin simultaneously, instantaneoulsy, even if the two
had been widely separated in space. A mathamatical proof of this was produced
by JS Bell in 1964, and experimentally confirmed in 1972. This effect is probably not
the result of a transfer of information, but rathr a consequence of the one-ness of
apparently separate objects. According to Gary Zukav, "Bell's theorem not only suggests
that the world is quite differnt than it seems, it damands it". But others would argue
that macroscopic reality may be quite different from subatomic reality.
- The Holographic Brain and Universe
Karl Pribram, who helped write up Karl Lashley's
research on memory, had been drawn into brain research by the question of how we
remember. An article in Scientific American on the construction of a hologram led
Pribram to see the hologram as a model for how the brain might store memory. It was
subsequently detemined that the brain does complex calculations on the frequency
data it receives, to provide our picture of reality. Pribram discovered that physiscist
David Bohm proposed a holographic universe. The explicate order is the solid
world we know; the image of a solid apple; which arises from the emplicate order;
the hidden ground of being, which is the blured frequency interference information
on the photographic plate. Many have speculated that this ground of being, which is
beyond time, may be directly perceived by mystics. The holographic principle does
infact account for many anomalous phenomena.