IS LIFE PREORDAINED?
By Masse Bloomfield
I have been studying history for years trying to find some consistency in the way life has evolved. Life seems miraculous if you believe the rock data. How could human beings evolve from single cell animals? How could life have developed from inorganic chemicals? It is hard to believe. It is easy to say that God is the energy that decided on Intelligent Design. Or that each atom carries with it the Energy of God. Boy, that sounds like real nonsense. Each atom carries with it the Energy of God. If each atom has the imprint of God in it, then Intelligent Design seems quite possible.
If so, then every other universe has to be like ours, if there other universes. All controlled by the same laws dictated by what energy can and cannot do. Thus at the moment of the Big Bang, life was a predetermined fact. And at the moment of the Big Bang, it was predetermined that man was predetermined and that man will be able to travel to the stars. All predetermined by the way energy and matter are structured.
My belief is that all life is related. Once you recognize that all living organisms are related, you have to come up with some way that these organisms developed in a particular way that resulted in the evolution of man. How come? Was is just that the combination of atoms as such, that life and man will result every time these atoms come together in certain combinations? Or is God at work? Or did God make the atoms so that the atoms have free will to combine any old way they want? That’s not true. Atoms can only combine in defined and circumscribed ways. They just can’t go off willy-nilly and do whatever they want. A helium atom in a normal atmosphere, just cannot combine with any other atom no matter what man can do. Helium will remain helium for as long as eternity. Helium has no options. Whereas carbon and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen perhaps with some other elements, can combine in such ways that life arises no matter where. How come?
The way I understand history, evolution is a part of living organisms. Beginning with proteins or viruses, and ending with man, evolution progresses in fits and starts. These fits and starts, led Eldredge and Gould to come up with the theory that punctuated equilibrium as the way life evolved. Punctuated equilibrium is the theory that states life evolved in a staircase fashion. This translates into long periods of stability as a species, then in very short time geologically, transitions to a more complex stable species. And when trying to find transitional life forms, Gould had found none. One layer of rock has one species and in the next higher level of rock, the next more complex species.
If human cultural evolution follows punctuated equilibrium which seems logical or as logical as any other explanation, then that pattern shows that we were an animal society, then evolved culturally to a tribal society, then to an agricultural or peasant society, then in 1700 we began a transitional industrial society becoming a stable automated society.
I wrote about this in my books (“Mankind in Transition”  and “The Automated Society” ). In these two books, the transition ends in the automated society. There are no further transitions. The automated society was as far as I was willing to predict. But I did predict a species change. That change only coming in colonies of humans who would be living in star systems other than the solar system. However in my two books, I do not mention a predetermined destiny. I just did predictions. When we go back to lower animals or plants, was their evolution predetermined or was is it totally chance. If it was predetermined, then our cultural evolution is predetermined.
Or is it pure chance that we humans developed the steam engine, the railroad, steel, computers, the Internet and will develop robots. In my view of history, the robots, a combination of machine tools and computers, with automate all production and this is predetermined. Absolutely predetermined. There is no other way I can envision the future. There is a qualification. If the whole human race is wiped out by some catastrophic event, like an asteroid hit, a super volcano or a pandemic, then our history stops. No more predetermined. Life has to begin anew.
Humans are on a path where these is no stopping the innovations that will lead to an automated society. Absolutely predetermined. Also one of our objectives for the future besides the automated society, will be the establishment of a colony of humans on a star outside the solar system. We will do this in order to develop a new species. I do not think humans will evolve into a new species inside the solar system. Could be, but doubtful, especially when there will be so much travel inside the solar system.
I don’t believe it, but the future is already predetermined. How can we have free will when the future is already predetermined. Something is wrong. If an entity has free will how can its future be predetermined. Boy, this sounds like God at work. It’s already in the atoms. This makes no sense at all.
Each of us has many choices to make during our lives. Marrying my wife was not preordained. I could have married other women. My children are a function of probability, certainly not preordained. I was a product of probability. There is some relationship between me and my sisters, but nothing that even comes close to be identical. All of my mother’s children are or were different. So where is preordained in having children. Twins are identical, but then in the study of twins, there are plenty of examples where the each of the twins diverged in occupation, certainly in spouses and in children. So where do we get preordained. Damned if I know. No, it is not in the individuals. It has to be in the community and in the group and in the total population. That is, if I am born in the United States, I will speak English and be part of the American society.
But when we look at the total population and the thrust of our society, it seems to me that we are headed in but one direction: the Automated Society. There doesn’t seem to be any other outcome. Unless all men are eliminated, then automation is our destiny. But each of us has free will. If each of us has free will, then how come the community is lunging pell-mell toward the Automated Society. Damn if I know, but that is the way it looks to me. What are the data? All the data I see, points in just one direction: the Automated Society. The chart of history is a staircase development. We are in a transition from a stable peasant society becoming a stable Automated Society.
Was it free will that had Bill Gates develop Microsoft software? In my book, I would say if Bill Gates hadn’t done it, someone else would have stepped up to the innovative plate and developed some other software system.. There are plenty of want-to-be Microsofts, so that any time Bill Gates fails, there are others willing to pick of the pieces and develop increasingly complex software. Google has plenty of competitors. Artificial intelligence has all kinds of people doing their best to develop the perfect robot. The robot that is going to be doing all the work on the assembly lines. It is coming, believe me. But is it free will that drives human beings to perfect the to-be all around almost human robot.
So let’s go over this again. Evolution is based on punctuated equilibrium. This is where living organisms change rather randomly, but resulting in man. Man, made up entirely of atoms, has free will. All life has been programmed to result in the automated society. The ability of life to attain the automated society had to be instilled in atoms at the creation of the universe. Why does all this sound like a lot of nonsense? Perhaps because life is irrational and preprogrammed.
If life has been programmed to unfold into an automated society, this means that this paper was ordained at the Big Bang. Is there anybody who reads this who believes that this paper was predetermined at the Big Bang? I don’t believe it and I am writing it.
There has to be some sense in all this. As far as I am concerned, the future is determined.
This means that the Automated Society will develop naturally. There is no argument in my mind that the future can be anything but the Automated Society where all production is done by machines controlled by computers. I just cannot see any other future. We certainly cannot stop all innovation in our current society and live in a stable 1950 or stable 1960 or stable 2000 or a stable 2010 society. That in my mind is impossible. We just cannot stop and become a stable industrial (or call it some other name) society. We already know what we don’t know about computers and machine tools. We just haven’t figured out how to marry the computer and machine tools to make the robot that can control the assembly line. But we including me, know what is possible with computers. We just know it. We just know that software and hardware are going to become more complex. Computers are going to become faster, cheaper and more complex. We know that software has got to become more complex. These are thoughts we hold. The venture capitalists are betting on hardware and software becoming more complex. And they are not fools, just that they are doing God’s work. If you asked a venture capitalist if he was doing God’s work, he would either laugh at you or shake his head thinking you are an idiot or turn his back on you and walk away wondering how anyone could ask such a silly question. When the venture capitalists lost millions of dollars in the dot.com bust, was that doing God’s work too?
Where do we begin to try to get a handle on this argument about ourselves, life and the future? I don’t know. When we use atom smashers, we can find that the atom is basically made up of a nucleus and electrons. There is no God we can see in the nucleus or in the electrons. We tend not to smash electrons. When we smash the nucleus, we get all sorts of smaller particles. But is God in these particles? As far as I am concerned the atoms and its constituents, have predetermined qualities that do not change under normal conditions. We can predict their behavior from prior experience. Under normal conditions, atoms do not change. Atoms combine to form molecules. Molecules under normal conditions, tend to act according to prescribed rules. All right, go find God in an atom or a molecule. I dare you. Whether you are a high school graduate or a particle physicist, there is no finding God in an atom or a molecule or in parts of an atom. Just no way to identify God at that level of matter. Just no way.
Fine. Then how come our past and our future have been and will be predetermined. What if our past and our future are open ended without form? Does this mean that any animal or man just goes ahead and uses selection among many choices with total disregard to the future?
I am in a dilemma. I do not believe God is at work in either the evolution of life or in cultural evolution. I just don’t believe that God much cares what goes on in the Universe. At the Big Bang, I think that everything was given a certain set of rules and left to figure out what to do within those constraints. That seems logical enough. The problem for me is that the future is already determined.
OK. I’m lost in this argument. How can you help me figure out what is going on in the Universe.
Write to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where I have gone wrong and/or gone right.