New Paradigm for Mankind - Cosmophysical Factors in the small
Do random processes really exist or are the causes just unknown? If there are causes unknown, would they be expressed in every random process? If so, how? How would you go about testing for "unknown causes"? Tune in for a review of the work of Simon Shnoll and a discussion of as-yet-unknown characteristics of the space-time in which we live.
JASON ROSS: Hello, today is October 7th, 2015. Thank you for joining us for this week's New Paradigm for Mankind show. To set things up before we get into the main bulk of the presentation from Liona, just to situate things. There have been some really dramatic developments regarding Russia and Syria, and the economy in the past couple of days. Russia, as I am sure everyone is aware, has been engaged in air‐strikes against ISIS positions inside Syria. What has occurred, over the very recent period, is that the Russian Navy has gotten involved, as well. Russian warships in the Caspian Sea launched missiles 1,500 kilometers over the territory of Iraq and Iran to strike at other ISIS locations inside Syria. The Syrian Army is making more ground advances against the Islamic State, backed up by Russian air power. And, in an interesting turn, President Abadi of Iraq, recently welcomed Russian air assistance in their struggles with the Islamic State, in that nation.
To express pretty well the difference in intention between NATO, or certainly Obama, and the Russians, let's take the case of what occurred with Turkey. Russian air fighters engaging in Syria, at a certain point did invade Turkish airspace. The Russians said, "Sorry, this was a mistake, won't happen again." Listen to how Turkey versus NATO responded to this incursion into Turkey.
In Turkey, the Prime Minister, Davutoğlu, said, "Our position is very clear. We will warn any country that violates our borders in a friendly way. Russia is our friend and neighbor. There is no tension between Turkey and Russia in this sense. The issue of Syria is not a Turkey‐ Russia crisis." That's actually from Turkey, which is the nation that Russia's airplanes accidentally went over.
Here's what NATO had to say about this. NATO's announcement was, "Russian military actions have reached a more dangerous level with the recent violations of Turkish airspace. The NATO allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. The NATO allies, also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior. They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations."
So, the difference between Turkey's response, which was sane, and then NATO, which is clearly gunning for conflict on this, gunning for war, trying to face down Russia and get Russia to abandon this. It's pretty clear what's going on, especially when you consider the response from the United States to the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders [msf] hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan; where Doctors Without Borders had made very clear the GPS locations of their facilities to the Afghan government, to the United States, to other nations involved in military action there. After the bombing had started, they called everybody they could to get it to stop. It didn't stop for an hour. So, think about it, the U.S. says, "Oh, sorry, it was an accident, that we bombed this hospital." Meanwhile NATO's saying, "This is totally unacceptable that Russia flew over Turkey for a little while."
So on the other front, the economic front, there is an immediate push by LaRouche, by the LaRouche Movement, to get Wall Street taken care of immediately, due to the immediate, imminent danger, the reality of the death of Wall Street. Wall Street's totally bankrupt. The Fed is not in a position to really do anything about it anymore. They've already got a huge amount of worthless trash on their balance sheets. Members of Congress can't possibly vote for another bail‐out, is the way things look on that front.
So, will Wall Street simply go and die in a chaotic way, or will we take reasonable measures to make it a proper death? Do everything the right way with Glass‐Steagall, through bankruptcy that would then occur among the investment banks, and create credit the way Franklin Roosevelt did to finance a recovery in the United States of the physical economy. So we hit these streets of Washington, D.C., today. People from here, surrounding regions, Baltimore, people from New York and New Jersey had come down to make this message clear to the Congress.
I'll just read the headline of a leaflet that we were getting out to members of Congress, and others, at the Congress. You can find the leaflet on our website.
It was called, For Urgent Attention of Congressmen, Senators, and Other Members of the U.S. Government: "Key responsible Congressmen and Senators (and there are some), and other U.S. government representatives must meet at once, to issue Findings of Fact and Statements of Commitment roughly as follows, for immediate enactment into law, and into immediate effect."
There follows seven points. I urge you to read that on our website about getting a whole Franklin Roosevelt type of orientation to this thing, to closing down Wall Street, creating credit, and then engaging in physical economic projects for the future.
So, to get to the subject of our discussion today if we consider the overall approach that's needed right now, as is expressed in this leaflet, this statement from LaRouche. It's not a number of pieces, even though there are steps involved. It's an approach. It's an outlook. And there is little that can be thought of that's done more to kill the idea of in concepts as entireties, than reductionism, as an approach to thought. It's particularly prevalent and very explicit in the physical sciences, and so we're going to take up today with Liona is how we find that the very small is not actually made of pieces, that can explain themselves. Liona?
LIONA FAN‐CHIANG: Yeah, I think this is very important, and I recently finished a book by Simon Shnoll, and he goes through a very good demonstration of a non‐reductionist method at investigating the very small, and the very large. And it is unfortunately a very uncommon approach in the United States in general. So Simon Shnoll is from Russia, or what used to be the U.S.S.R., and he was looking at something that actually, originally, had nothing to do with the very small, or the very large.
And so I just want to get into it. This is just a picture of this book that you can read. It's a hefty book, but it's a scientific thriller. So it's called, Cosmophysical Factors in Stochastic Processes. You may not think that that's what that was, but you will not put it down. So, here's what he was looking at. He works in radio‐medicine, 1950s. Early 1950s, not exactly your highest precision, not exactly mechanized; but he is looking at, he's living in the beginning of the nuclear era. And this is the beginning of the nuclear era for all the world, including Russia. And so he is working in developing different techniques and also teaching how to deal with radioisotopes. The thing that he actually specializes in is biochemistry. So he's looking at the reactions of enzymes, the reaction rate of enzymes, and he sees something kind of funny. He prepares a solution and he measures its reaction rate. Then he prepares another one, and it's prepared exactly in the same way with exact measurements, and its reaction rate is different. He tries it again, and again, and each time it's different. And sometimes it'll be double, or half, not even just a little difference. And you would think that after maybe a 100, if he did it a 178 times, and you would think that after all of this, there would be some kind of leveling‐out. No, it's completely different. You see, this is one example, where you see some of them, it dips all the way to half, with these reaction rates, for example.
So then he also noticed one other thing, which is that the reaction rates aren't exactly continuous. So it's not all reaction rates. You can see that there are a lot around this half‐mark, so it's just a little under 200 here. And there are a few in the three‐quarters mark, a range, of maximum. So he took all of these rates, and counted, how many of these are at this half‐mark, and how many of these middle, medium ones, and so on, and mapped those.
BENJAMIN DENISTON: So every one of those bars is like a particular experiment?
FAN‐CHIANG: One sample. Right.
DENISTON: One sample. And then, so how fast is the reaction occurring in this sample. OK, so that has one value. So and he did the same sample, this is 178 times?
DENISTON: And these are the variation, and how active the transformation was, in each of those?
FAN‐CHIANG: So he took those rates and counted them. And this is what he got. So you can see that in these particular units, he noticed that there are a few ‐‐ for example, at this case, there are 360, which have, there are more reactions happening at this rate; then there are some, for example in these empty areas, 240, and 470, and so on, where those reaction rates never happened. So these were anomalous. These reaction rates, you would think that if you prepared them exactly the same, that they would happen around exactly the same rate, or that they would be somewhat random. But this is neither. The variation is not noise. It's not just mechanistic noise, or something like that. It's too high for noise. And the variation, the fact that there are these, he called them forbidden versus preferred rates, is sort of an odd phenomenon.
So he tried this over and over again, the same exact experiment. He said, as a student you're trained to do experiments in parallel, to test your results, to make sure that in one experiment, you didn't do something wrong.
And he tried something else, too. He said, well, actually I wasn't really doing them in parallel. I was doing them in consecutively. I was doing them one, and then the next one, and the next one. So he tried another experiment, which is, he took one solution, and he poured it into several of them, several vials, and recorded all of those reactions at the same time, every 15 minutes, and found something very odd, which is the variation that was occurring, varied synchronously.
In other words, even though they had gone into different vials, and they were separately reacting, and that they varied so much, despite all that, they varied at the same time. And this was all very anomalous. And this particular investigation he went through is actually a very interesting, has to do with proteins. He had a lot of hypotheses about how this controls muscles, specifically, bio‐rhythms, and other things. Unfortunately, he doesn't have time, by himself, to continue this process all the way through. And we'll see where he goes. But I mention that, because he does say several times that this is still a very, very fruitful thing to look at.
So, now, he has this hypothesis that this variation has something to do with the fact that he's looking at a muscle protein, he's looking at muscle cells, and muscles contract, and have some form of rhythm. So, he thought, maybe perhaps, this has something to do with that. But, he had a co‐worker, or a colleague, who had been working on a different enzyme, a different protein, unrelated to muscles, and found exact same variation. So then, this led him to try every protein they had within their grasp; same thing. So this is all very interesting. Now it gets even better. Then they tried, they tried what they thought were going to be controls, things that had nothing to do with proteins, for example. So the next experiment they tried was a completely chemical process, a dye, acetic acid and what's called, DCPIP, which is a blue dye, and the reaction creates clearness. So this is very easy to test, you can use a photometer to test it. It's mechanizable, don't touch it, and what they found was that the reaction rate also had the same variation. In other words, if you did the original enzyme reaction at the same time as these purely chemical reactions, they would also synchronize.
DENISTON: But only when you do them at the same time?
FAN‐CHIANG: Right. If you did them consecutively, you would see this other phenomenon, which is that they varied very much. The reactions vary, incredibly, too much for just standard noise. And yet if you looked at them at the same time, synchronously, you'd find that they react at the same time, that there is some order to this extreme variation.
Now, so you've got life processes, you've got non‐life processes. At some point he is still trying to find some kind of control, some kind of way that to say that maybe what I'm measuring, is just some problem with my method. And there are some people who have suggested to him throughout these years, that maybe what you're dealing with, since you are seeing the same phenomenon occurring throughout all these different domains, that maybe what you're dealing with is an external cause. And he denies this, for many years. He says, "No, no, this can't be." So he's very meticulous. I like this about Russian scientists. I think this is more of an aspect of Russian culture. He's very meticulous. He spends several years testing temperature, his machines, pressure variations, and so on, all sorts of variations you could possibly think of. Are there magnetic variations, electric variations, all sorts of things to try to figure out what could possibly be causing this. And it's inconclusive.
None of the things that people suggested, whether they were Earth's magnetic field, or just magnetic fields in general changes, even changes in gravity. He tried several experiments to see if these would affect it; and none of them were exactly, "OK, yes, this corresponds exactly to this." There were some hints of some variation, but nothing that just said, "OK, yes, this variation exactly corresponds with this variation." And, before that, he tried to find something that would just be non‐varying. Well actually, let me get before that.
It's only 25 years after he's doing all these experiments, that a correspondent, I think, finally takes his data and compares it to solar activity. So now he has 25 years of data; you can compare it to solar activity. Take 25 years of data and compare it to solar activity, and this is what they got. So this is 1985. And what they found is a rough approximation of an anti‐phase correspondence of their results with the rate of solar activity. So not the magnitude, but the rate of change of solar activity. So in the periods when the solar activity was changing the most, is when the highest rates of variation would occur, regardless of how high that particular intensity of solar activity was at that moment.
So these experiments are running simultaneously. They're running these biological experiments, they're running these purely chemical experiments. And, like I said, he wants to look for a measure, and so he looks at decay rates. Now, for everybody who's familiar with decay rates, decay rates are supposed to be completely random. That property is used in the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment, if you remember how that was used. But anyway, it's supposed to be completely random; well, it's not completely random. The particular decays come out; but when the particular decays come out is supposed to be random, but over‐all, if you average them, there is a particular half‐life, particular rate at which each particular isotope, each individual isotope, will decay.
Anyway, so he took this. He originally used iron, which is something a lab was looking at to produce x‐rays, and later on he used cesium, and then eventually, he used plutonium. And there was something very funny happened, which was, he measured the radioactive decay, and he did the same thing, he found the different rates. So he would take, for example, a minute, and count the number of decays; and then take the next minute, and count its number of decays; and then put those rates again in a histogram.
And he found not the random statistical map that he was looking for. So what you would expect is actually a very smooth hump in here, one approximate rate, which is your half‐ life, which you expect it to be at, and then some above, and some below, all averaged out to be your half‐life (actually just highest probability rate, determined by half-life and amount of material). And so when he first did this experiment, he got this sort of bumpy hump. He thought, maybe I just don't have enough measurements. You know, if you take only a few measurements, you won't get the probabilistic curve, that you think you should get. So he kept on taking measurements, and unfortunately, every time he took an increasing number of measurements, the curve, what he called the fine structure in the curve, got more distinct. It didn't smooth out, and in fact got more distinct. So these individual curves here are each adding on another 100 measurements.
So he said this is a stroke of luck, because he was looking for something that would not express these variations. But instead, he found something that both expressed these variations, synchronously, was also very easy to work with. So, decay rates, they've been tested. People have tried various properties; like I said, they've tried varying extreme temperatures, extreme magnetic fields, and so on, and they've not been able to get decay rates to vary very much, and at all. But, now he had something where he could compare, he could run experiments, and really start to decipher, start to unwind what these fine structures really were telling us, really were expressing.
Oh, I want to mention one more thing, which is, right around the time when they were looking at the possible solar activity, they also found an association with the inter‐planetary magnetic field. And so the inter‐planetary magnetic field was not exactly planer. There's a positive side and a negative side, and sort of curvy, and so when we move on our orbit, we sort of pass through the positive and the negative sides, several times throughout the orbit. And not only was there a reflection of this, but the reflection of it in his experiments would happen days before we actually got there. And so, he had a hypothesis that what was causing this was also what was causing ‐‐ the cause of it was closer to the Sun. Or in other words, the cause of it was not actually running into this barrier, this north‐south barrier, but was the same cause as [what created] that north‐south barrier. I don't think he took that much further. But those are very interesting results, and I don't think anybody's taken that much further. So, they go through these. Now that he has these histograms and they are very fine‐precision. Now he measures them per minute; add them up for a day, for example, or per hour. Eventually he really wants to get as fine as possible, but I think originally he starts them per hour. So what he'll do is, instead of taking synchronous measurements, he noticed that some histograms were very similar to other ones. So, for example, the first one he found was that, like I said, the synchronous ones would occur, but if you traveled on a ship to an hour away, or to another time zone, your experiments would no longer be synchronous, but in fact, be displaced by an hour, by that amount of longitude.
DENISTON: So you could have like, just hypothetically, if they're doing this one, this is an isotope of iron; you have the same lump of iron, you have it in two locations, and you're doing the same measurement of how you have this variation in the rate of the decay, and you're saying that when you start to move to a different location, then the variation doesn't match up exactly anymore, like it did before.
FAN‐CHIANG: No, and it very strictly depends on longitude, not latitude. So he was very lucky, he put some of his devices on an Arctic and then an Antarctic mission trip, which then went through the Pacific, and into the Arctic, or Antarctic, so he was able to get a number of longitude, various longitude and latitude, measurements, and found this: That there were, as far as this one goes, he found what he called, "local‐time synchronizations."
There were also, absolute time synchronizations. So something that occurred at his time, and that same time, sort of the Greenwich Mean Time, I guess you could say, all at the same global time, basically.
DENISTON: So you're saying you have one effect, like if you're in Moscow, and another person's in Paris, or something, and you're doing measurements simultaneously. The type of variation you get, say at lunchtime in Moscow, is the same you get at lunchtime in Paris, which is a few hours difference, but the same local time.
FAN‐CHIANG: Right. Yeah, if it's the same local time, then they will be occurring at the same time.
DENISTON: You get the same variation.
FAN‐CHIANG: Yeah, at the same variation. Or it will be displaced if you are in a different time, by that time difference, the time‐zone difference.
So at this point, he begins comparing histograms, all sorts of comparisons. And so this is an example where he took pairs of histograms. So you take, for example, you took the first histogram that you took, and the one that was the next minute, and they look similar, then you would mark it at one.
So let's say that you have two histograms that are 24 hours apart. That means that he's going to make a little marking that says 24 hours. If he's now comparing over several days, and they're always 24 hours apart, then he's going to make several 24‐hour marks, or, and so on; and this is how this graph is made. So this graph is actually made of intervals, intervals between similar pairs.
DENISTON: So, in the previous graphic you had four different histograms?
FAN‐CHIANG: Different histograms.
DENISTON: So we'd have histograms from throughout the day, constantly producing these.
FAN‐CHIANG: For several days.
DENISTON: And they would look at them and say, well, these two look similar. So he might mark those as similar, or these two don't look similar. These two don't. These two do look similar. And then, this is the time periods in which you seem to get more, or less, similar histograms.
FAN‐CHIANG: Right. So for the rest, for most of the investigations after this, he's looking at these. This is sort of a histogram of histograms, I guess. But, he's looking at ...
DENISTON: Uh‐huh. It looks like a mapping of how often you get similar variations appearing.
FAN‐CHIANG: Yeah. And then, this one actually very clearly shows you something else, which is the next one he found: which is that there are, clearly, daily variations. He calls them close to 24‐hour variations. In this case it's 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours. So one histogram will be very similar to a 24‐hour period. And so on.
DENISTON: Since this might not be totally clear for some of our audience: So you're starting with one time.
DENISTON: So you'd say, I have a histogram for this certain time; and then you say, let me look at histograms that were made 30 hours later. And then in this case, it looks like there's only a few that look similar to that first one.
DENISTON: But if we look at histograms that were made around 24 hours later, there's like 300 that look similar to that initial one. Whereas before or after that, there's very few.
FAN‐CHIANG: Or you could take 5 minutes later, and say that 5 minutes later was very similar to 24 hours, plus 5 minutes. Then you would also put that on the 24‐hour mark.
ROSS: Yeah, these don't all start from the same initial time.
DENISTON: From a certain time range ...
ROSS: This is just among pairs of histograms that have been presented and marked as being alike. The amount of time between two histograms, and the number of histograms that had that time separation, that were marked as being alike, is the height above it. So, like you were saying, the number of histograms 24 hours apart, that were marked as being alike, was about 300 of them.
FAN‐CHIANG: Right, I think that's more clear.
DENISTON: That's not what you would expect.
FAN‐CHIANG: That's not what you would expect. And so if, if all histograms, every two apart were the same, then there would be a huge spike at two, and zero at all of them. Or I guess there would be two for all the even numbers, anyway, yes.
DENISTON: So then this is now with pretty much the decay rates he was looking at.
FAN‐CHIANG: He's looking at decay rates. He also is running the chemical one, simultaneously. I think it maybe takes too much infrastructure to run the protein ones simultaneously. But these two are, especially the decay rate one, completely automated. The decay rate, you don't even need to prepare it, really. They are able to make a little box that's portable ‐‐ it's portable, but I'm not sure how big it is, exactly. But it has your radioactive element and your source in there, and this has a measuring device that just continues to run. And you can get a very high precision. He takes it within seconds, and then is able to add them up to a minute. But these are one hour. And most likely, these are hours where he's taken 60‐ minute ones and added them together, and created a histogram, and compared those histograms.
OK. So, 24‐hour days, interesting. When he presented his work at a conference, somebody had said, your intervals aren't small enough, and they wanted to know something. And there was a suggestion to try intervals of minutes, because there are different types of days. And this particular example shows it right here. (I don't have a picture of it, sorry.) So there are two types of days. One is high‐noon to high‐noon: So this is when one place on the Earth faces the same ‐‐ , it's more like where the Sun is always in the same place in the sky.
Now there's another type of day, which is when the same star, not the Sun, a different star, a celestial, or a so‐called fixed star, comes back to the same place in the sky. And it happens to be 4 minutes earlier every day, than the solar day; it's considered the solar day. And when he made his histograms at 1‐minute intervals, he found this day. He found both the 24‐hour day, the one that is associated with the Sun, with the Earth's rotation with respect to the Sun; and the day that is related to the Earth's rotation with respect to fixed stars, to the celestial sky; he called it the star‐day. So that's very anomalous.
DENISTON: So that's these two here?
FAN‐CHIANG: That's these two. So these are in minutes, 1,440 minutes, which is your 24‐hour day.
DENISTON: That's high‐noon to high‐noon, the solar day.
FAN‐CHIANG: Mm‐hmm. And then the 4 minutes earlier, 1,436 minutes. So what could be causing this? What's the cause and effect on something, that where people have tried all sorts of extreme methods to change, to change? From something that is, in most extra‐solar effects are considered relatively small, compared to things on Earth, for example; and yet, there is definitely some kind of reaction, some kind of correspondence with the celestial sky. And this is very anomalous.
I'm not going to go through everything he tries, because he is very rigorous, he's tried many, many things. Let's see, this one, yeah, this shows a similar thing he found, a similar relationship he found with the solar year. So there's also a solar year and a celestial year, I guess you could say, sidereal year, and this is when we count the number of times that the Sun is at, for example, high‐noon, at 365 days, versus the actual time it takes for us to get to the same place with respect to the Sun, or for the Sun to get back to the same place with respect to us, relative to the celestial sky.
So this, we usually know as the fact that this difference eventually adds up to a leap‐day, meaning that, it's about a quarter of a day every year. And he found this relationship in his comparisons. Again, a very anomalous and extra‐solar effect, I guess you could say. He even found other ones, which he couldn't explain, from all of the different variations of lunar motion, solar motion, and so on, which he hypothesized were possibly due to motions of the Solar System, itself, with respect to other things.
I think somebody suggested to look for some kind of effect of the Solar System going toward the Hercules constellation, but his results were not conclusive, as far as I can tell. So that's still up for grabs.
DENISTON: That's the direction the Solar System's booking it through the galaxy right now.
FAN‐CHIANG: At how fast, again?
DENISTON: Pretty fast, depends on what you measure against, but like 220 kilometers per second.
FAN‐CHIANG: So the real question is, what is causing these changes? He had the hypothesis of that it was gravity, because if there were responses to the Sun, responses to the Moon, he detected very, very slight changes in the eccentricity of the Moon [orbit], the changes in the eccentricity of the Moon, and things like that. But he found that there was no correspondence with, for example, the tides. So the tides are a very clear example of the gravitational effect of the Moon, and yet there was no correspondence with that. So how is it that you can detect the variation in the eccentricity of the Moon, but not the gravity itself of the Moon?
People have suggested, and then, fought against and for neutrinos having an effect. But maybe you can argue about neutrinos and the weak effect, the weak force, and decay rates, but that doesn't explain protein‐enzyme interaction, chemical interactions.
ROSS: Or alpha decays.
FAN‐CHIANG: Or alpha decays, right.
ROSS: Which is most of his data.
FAN‐CHIANG: Most of his data. He uses alpha decays because they're more consistent. But right, most of his data. He does try beta decays, but, that's what this is dealing with. And so, all the causes that we've tried, which are known causes, known physics, have failed so far. I think this really leads us up to a very open point of investigation. It leads us up to an opening, a door, where we can start to peer out.
ROSS: Because it's interesting, because what he's found really fits in between the cracks of what's allowed according to other parts of physics. Like nothing that he's demonstrating is really at variance with the laws of physics in other ways ‐‐ you know, because what's he finding? He's not finding that the actual rate of alpha decay is getting larger and smaller on a yearly cycle. He's not finding that I just, to repeat, because figuring out what these charts are about can be a little difficult; but he's not finding that the rate of the proteins doing whatever they're doing, changes on a daily cycle. He's finding that the variability in the rate of decay, or the variability in the rate of activity of the proteins, is changing in a way where the type of that variance has a cycle of a day, or the year, the ones you've been discussing. And that doesn't really ‐‐ if somebody says, you can't affect the rate of nuclear decay by using neutrinos, or alpha decay, or electricity, or temperature, or anything like that, he'd say, yeah, you're right, I didn't, and that's not what changed. It's something about the space‐time at that point, that's just different, where the process has a bit of a different shape to it.
And you know, just to say where some other people have taken this work, is ‐‐ you know, that we have free will. Just to go all the way to the top: We have free will. We are able to decide what we are going to do. Clearly, there is something about our minds that is distinct from our brains. Our brains, if they were entirely deterministic, would make it such that we would no ability to make choices, or have only an illusion of free will, and then there would be no real basis for morality, or intention, or anything like that. Since we know that that's not our experience, and we're able to create things that couldn't have even been considered before, when we make scientific discoveries, or just the very basic fact that we have free will, something's going on there.
And some of the directions I know that people have taken this kind of work, is to look at: How is it that the mind, or thought, could possibly act between the cracks, so to speak, between what's determined by various physical laws, there's still room for things like the effects that Shnoll had found: is that how cognition, is that how thought makes itself found? Or is that how it makes itself effective? You know, experiments on that in particular would have to be done to come to any kind of an answer. But, this gets to some pretty big, applications in terms of where it can lead and what it can mean.
FAN‐CHIANG: Well, I think also, globally, if you're saying that there is an effect that is somehow, it being expressed throughout life, non‐life, and radioactive decay, for example, then what does that mean for processes on Earth? It definitely says you can't isolate the processes of Earth, from the rest of where it's in, its own environment.
DENISTON: Mm‐hmm. You know we talked with Mr. LaRouche about this a little bit the other day, and that's what he just jumped on. He said this is what you would expect to find. We may not exactly why this effect is being expressed, but the fact that you have some reflection of these larger processes, in this activity of the small, makes sense from a top‐down approach to how the Universe is organized. You get some reflection of the nature of the Solar System as a whole. You know, it seems to be expressed in a pretty funny way. I wouldn't have guessed this without seeing the data, but then having something like this makes sense; and you see that something about the organization of the Solar System, as a totality, is expressing itself, or is becoming manifest, in these activities of the very small, these chemical reactions, nuclear reactions, biological reactions.
As you said, some of his work also points to, not just the orientation and relation with respect to the Solar System, but also to the fixed stars, to the Galaxy. So you see that imprint there, too. So it really points back in general terms, in the direction that Cusa had posed, for where science should go, as a top‐down organization, where the small, the lower order processes are not what produces the larger; but it's the organizing principle of the larger which generates the lower order. And if you try, and, Jason, like you're saying, this idea of taking just an accumulation of small deterministic interactions and trying to account for everything that way, as soon as you say that, you're saying, well, the Universe is dead; life is just a product of these interactions. There is nothing really special unique about human activity, other than just being some fancy, complex accumulation of interactions in these small, determined processes. And you're just defining this dead, really Satanic conception of the organization of the Universe, and you know, it doesn't work.
But you take the approach that Cusa defined, the founding of modern science, you're looking at, well, how is Universe unfolding from the top down? And if that's where you're starting from, then this kind of thing is something that you would expect to see, again, maybe not in this form, in particular, but having some footprint of the larger system expressing itself in the very small. I think it's very provocative to tease the imagination, to re‐approach these questions from a real top‐down standpoint.
MEGAN BEETS: I think you have to go through that process of inversion, of seeing the discrepancy in the anomaly in the very small, and then being able to actually invert and then think from the hypothesized whole, into what could be generating this set of discrepancies in the small. It just makes me think of Kepler's process of tuning the Solar System, where he mapped motions of the planets, as they would have been seen from the Sun; he mapped the fastest and slowest motions onto the musical scale, and found that those motions matched pretty well, but there were discrepancies. But what gripped him is that there was a certain shape, if you want to call it that, a certain shape, or a structure, of those discrepancies, which really provoked him. And that was sort of his guideposts, for being able to hypothesize then a new conception of the single unifying principle of the Solar System, which nobody had experienced, nobody had discovered before, or thought of before. But he was able to imagine that, and then from that conception of his, unfold motions which would give him that kind of pattern, that he had already measured on the very small.
So, not to say that there's a one‐to‐one correlation, but it, for me, it's reminiscent of that, and you said, it's not in the way you might expect to find this reflection of the Galaxy in the very small. I think Kepler felt that too. He expressed that explicitly, that these harmonies aren't what the way I expected to find harmony, or in the Solar System, but that makes it more joyful and exciting.
FAN‐CHIANG: I think also, Shnoll has a little bit of a hint, of that type of cause that Kepler was looking at, which is: not even that the smallest causes the small, but also, not of the large causing the small, but of a different cause altogether; that a cause is something that is determining each thing, but manifested in a different way.
Actually, that is one thing that he found, which was that ‐‐ and this is sort of a minor point ‐‐ but that he would find different amplitudes, you could say different responses to any of these possible reasons of variation, depending on the medium. So he found that actually the protein reactions had the most response, but that the variation, the fine structure would stay the same.
But I think, especially with that discovery that there was a response to the inter‐ planetary magnetic field, but not directly to the actual passing of it by the Earth, but two days earlier, you start to get a sense, OK, well, maybe the cause is something that's more universal.
BEETS: And also in the correspondence with the rate of variation in Solar activity.
FAN‐CHIANG: Right, exactly, that's another one. And these are the type of experiments we could run ‐‐ and it's a whole open field ‐‐ you could run these experiments on Mars. That would give you something that is better to compare with than just other places on Earth, which all have the same variation, all have the same daily spin, and things like that. Would these different variations disappear on Mars? I don't know.
ROSS: Or on the Space Station.
FAN‐CHIANG: I thought about the Space Station. I thought it might be very hard at 92 minutes a cycle to detect some of these things. But maybe with the precision of today we could do that. And that would be a little easier, I guess, of an experiment.
DENISTON: I mean just, it also opens up a whole lot of questions about how to even think about space and time and causality in space and time. You know, I find this is very provocative, and still kind of hard to wrap my mind around what this is even saying about the quality of change that must be occurring in this process. You know, because you tend to think, the general sense‐perceptual view of some type of geometric conception of space, causality propagating over time is some independently measured thing.
And you see this quality of variation we see, even just the very early thing you went through of the synchronous experiments, are showing there's something over‐all about the structure changing. I think this opens up a lot of new questions, about what are the real qualities of space‐time and causality in space‐time, in which these processes are actually occurring? And how is that fluctuating, what's controlling that, how do we actually investigate that? You know, you mentioned this thing about neutrinos: Is it just some particle that's traveling through space and bumping into stuff, more of them bumping into it and less, and that's how you get the variation. And so people are trying to investigate it from the standpoint, still, of a certain sense‐perceptual framework of the nature of causality, the nature of organization in the Universe.
You know, and really we should be tossing aside, or we should learn from Einstein; he did a lot of good stuff. We should toss aside our assumptions about how we think. We can interpret the way the Universe is actually organized, and use clues like this to really start to re‐ think, well maybe the way we just think about the relationship between causality, space and time, is just off, and there's some other underlying process that doesn't correspond to how we think about things in sense‐perceptual terms.
FAN‐CHIANG: Things hitting other things.
BEETS: That would be a revolution comparable to Kepler's discovery of physical astronomy.
BEETS: Where there is just no correspondence at all between the Universe that Kepler discovered and the previously understood Universe, the geometric Universe.
FAN‐CHIANG: Right. In fact it would be closer to his own discovery, which hasn't been fully applied either, which is, in his discovery that gravity is a harmonic, basically, a form of tuning: still not (1) understood, but (2) not applied in any other type of science. And that's a perfect example of non‐mechanistic cause.
DENISTON: That's pretty provocative stuff. I think you raised a pretty interesting point about, thinking about this from the standpoint of the existence of free will and creativity: I think that really has to be the starting point, is, how is the Universe organized such that creativity exists as a determining principle, determining potential in the Universe? You know, starting from there is going to give us the ability to really look at these types of questions.
ROSS: You know, there are the two different directions of looking at larger things affecting the small. Reductionism would say that the pieces determine the wholes. One might turn it around and say, how does the Galaxy act on pieces? Or how does a higher phase‐space act on them? Take Vernadsky's distinctions between the lithosphere, the biosphere and the noösphere; and there are principles, there are characteristics about how life, both individual life, but perhaps in a more pronounced way, life as a whole, operates, that doesn't follow in a way from the parts that make it up.
Some people, as an act of faith, like Oparin did, said, well eventually we'll explain all of life from its pieces. And they points to the tremendous success that we have had, in looking at the pieces of life, in biochemistry, medicines. I mean there's a lot that's come out of that, that's for sure. But some of the things about life as a whole, the increase of energy flow through the biosphere as a whole, cephalization, some of these other things, they haven't been explained in that way.
And in the same way, consciousness and discovery, not only is it not explained in that way, but it actually can't be. I mean, the principle of metaphor also demonstrates that any human attempt to model what we do, model it in a way that is as if of the pieces, can't succeed. You know, this is what Russell had tried to do. This is what Gödel proved was impossible. It's what Cusa knew was impossible, before Russell even bothered, or tried to do it, and making Gödel spend his time on that.
But you get it from both directions, both on the larger scale and on the different phase‐ spaces of principles. So, I mean clearly, there is much more to be said about this. And I think we'll be continuing this as a theme in shows in the period to come, about reductionism as a mental disease, which got a tremendous leap forward with what occurred around 1900, with what Russell had done in particular, but overall as a counter move against what had been the tradition of thought in science and in culture.
So we've got plenty more to do on these things. And I will thank everybody for joining us, and we will have more for you in the future.