Thursday, November 25, 2004

Make myself a million with Morphic Fields? Pt.1

The Goodness Family, New Zealand
OK, this is only a half-thought through posting but for reasons that will become clear there's not much point in waiting till it's a fully thought through posting.
There I was, in the front room last night, ruminating over the plot of The Da Vinci Code. No, I'm not going to write for a third time why I hate that book so much. Anyway, the core of the book relates to some hidden secret that our hero must unravel; presumably I'll find out what that awesome secret is if I can fight my way to the end of the book. Maybe it will leave me breathless. Maybe not.

I'm guessing not. History and the affairs of mankind are littered with secrets, most of which relate in some way to my patented Unified Conspiracy Theory
. The Unified Conspiracy Theory includes such Earth-shattering secrets as:
  • Jesus didn’t die
  • The World is controlled by a Dark Brotherhood
  • All civilisation is descended from a long-forgotten elder race
  • The truth of mankind's origin and its purpose is known by the adepts of an ancient, long hidden religion
Etc etc. Yah di yah di yah da.
And, yes, a lot of strange stuff goes on but, to be honest, none of it stuff would surprise me if it ever turned out to have substance. I'm suffering from GHSF - Great Hidden Secret Fatigue.
So, I'm in my front room, pondering upon just what it would take to revive my jaded conspiratorial and sceptical palate. Maybe there'd be a book in it. Whatever this great unsuspected secret is, it would have to lie somewhere between the existence of a Creator, which I acknowledge as being highly probable, and all that Masonic, Ancient Egyptian material. My new secret would have to relate to how God interfaces with his Creation, the stuff of existence itself.
And then I remembered something.
Rupert Sheldrake and his Morphic Fields
I'll get onto what that's all about later on but, first, a word or two about science.
I did a geology degree. One of the most important things I learned from that degree was the way science works. An understanding of the concept of plate tectonics and continental drift is now arguably the cornerstone of geology. This was not always so. Right up to the 1960s, mainstream geology did not accept the idea that continents moved. Which was strange given that there was lots of evidence to support the notion, for example:
  • South America and Africa fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces
  • Identical rocks and fossils were found on opposite continents, separated by plain ocean floor
  • Sea floor rocks get younger as you head towards ocean ridges
  • Oceans ridges are volcanically active and new sea floor spreads out from them
And so on.
For years, the majority of geologists simply discarded the above facts because they didn’t fit in with their view of the World. Eventually, a breakthrough in thinking took place and the new theory was confirmed by and accounted for all the discarded, apparently anomalous data as well as the non anomalous data. No new work was really needed to confirm the theory. The new idea enabled geologists to look at what had been discovered to date with completely fresh eyes. As it happens, plate tectonics doesn’t actually work but it will do for now until someone else comes up with a better idea.
So, there I am on my South London sofa, postulating three pretty certain statements:
  1. We don’t truly understand how anything works and probably never will. There's always a better explanation out there.
  2. There will be a huge number of anomalous facts and findings out there that have been discarded because they don’t fit in with existing scientific models
  3. A rapidly ageing, unemployed bullpoo artist such as myself could potentially contemplate a grouping of related anomalous facts and come up with a new scientific paradigm that accounts for them all, without access to any research resources or academic credentials whatsoever.
Exciting stuff. The trick is to find those discarded facts in the targeted scientific discipline, many of which are never published, and sort out which are truly anomalous from experimental errors, delusions or plain lies. If I could do that I'd be ready to rock and roll. All I would need was my filtered list of reliable anamalous facts and a few cans of lager or some dried banana skins or, at a pinch, a willingness to hold my breath for longer than would ordinarilly be sensible.
But first, a nap …


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