Lesson 100- Law of Correspondence and the Chemical Level
I spent most of my last program describing the different ways in which the Big Bang could be viewed and the one thing that they had in common is that they all involved a dialectical process in which two things interacted to create a third. And thus, from a philosophical point of view the Big Bang could be seen as the result of the Yin and Yang of Lao Tsu; the Thesis and Antithesis of Hegel; the Potential and Actualizer of Aristotle; the Right Lobe and the Left Lobe of a rational mind; and, from a Christian point of view, the Father and the Son of Christian theology. In fact, as Christians, we would claim that the universe is a reflection of the basic nature of its Creator and that is why different people at different times in different places arrived at theories of reality that involved a dialectical process. Thus, at the conclusion of my course, the “wrap up” statement that tries to summarize everything that went before is, “A dialectical God, with a dialectical mind, created a dialectical universe, based on a dialectical form, using a dialectical process to create a rational being with a dialectical mind made in His own image and likeness.”
In the Hindu religion they use words and phrases called mantras that, when repeated over and over again, causes the mind to enter a meditative state where deep intuitive insights take place. For a Christian, the central truth that sets it apart from all other religions is the Trinitarian nature of God and, in a sense, the Catholic practices like “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit“, which precedes most prayers and “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be”, that concludes many others, become mantras that, when meditated upon, leads to deeper and deeper insights into the nature of God and the universe.
When we meditate upon these Catholic practices, they sensitize us to things that are trinitarian in nature. And once we realize that the dialectic, in which two things interact to create a third, is a model for things that are trinitarian and vise versa , it opens up our minds to see the universe from a new perspective in which things that are different in identity are the same in principle. Thus, a Trinitarian God is a dialectical God; a rational mind, in which one part reflects upon another part to draw a combined conclusion is trinitarian and dialectical; a universe in which positive and negative charges are united into atomic structures is trinitarian and dialectical; the triangle, which according to Buckminster Fuller, is the basic form of the universe, and the only one that can stand by itself because it is “union of opposites” is trinitarian and dialectical; evolution, which is based on competition, advances through the adjustment resulting from the interaction of living things with their environment and other beings, and is therefore trinitarian and dialectical; sexual reproduction in which a female interacts with a male and produces a child is trinitarian and dialectical; and our own rational mind, composed of a right, left, and frontal lobe, that advances its knowledge through Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis is trinitarian and dialectical and thus would be made in the “image and likeness” of the rational mind that created the universe.
Thus it really does seem reasonable to concluded that a “Dialectical God with a dialectical mind created a dialectical universe, based on a dialectical form, using a dialectical process, to create a rational being with a dialectical mind made in His own image and likeness.” If this is so, why has the Christian view been marginalized in the academic and scientific world? I believe there are at least two reasons. The first is the unwillingness of many Christians to reflect more deeply on the Gospel message and to mature in their understanding of it and of God Himself. They haven’t digested the meaning of St. Paul statement in 1 Corinthians: 11-13 where he says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, darkly. But then face to face. Now I know in part but then I shall know fully even as I am fully known. But now abides faith, hope, and love. These three. But the greatest of these is love.”
In other words, the ultimate goal is love and we have to get beyond the childish mind-set that saving our “butts” from the burning fire of hell is what salvation is about. To be sure, there are terrible consequences in rejecting God, who is love, and wonderful benefits in opening ourselves to Him. But, so long as we are motivated by reward and punishment, we are still children motivated by our hedonistic nature. God calls us to obedience for our own good but His ultimate goal is that we should get beyond the “law” based on compulsion and move on to the “spirit” based on love. And love, as the ancient Greeks observed, is based on knowledge. They used to say that you cannot love what you do not know and the greater your knowledge, the deeper was the love.
Thus, an ignorant Christian is a oxymoron because, as followers of Jesus, the Incarnate Wisdom who created the universe, we, above all people, should be the great scientists and philosophers who are constantly digging into the secrets that the universe is able to reveal about its Creator. The mindset that we should seek is the one expressed by Albert Einstein when he said:
"The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting Itself as a higher Wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties (mind and senses) can understand only in their most primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness. My religion consists of the humble admiration of the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."... "All I ever wanted to do was to understand the mind of God."
Einstein’s words reflect the same sentiments expressed in the song “Day By Day”, that say that our goal should be to “know Thee more clearly, to love Thee more dearly, to follow Thee more nearly, day by day.” You might recognize that these are the same sentiments in the words that we used to recite from the Baltimore Catechism’s to the question of “Why did God make us?” The answer was “to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.”
Now let’s look at the second reason why the Christian worldview has been marginalized in the academic and scientific community. If the first reason is because many Christians are still clinging to their childhood understanding of God, the second reason is that many scientists have misrepresented what science is.
They like to claim that science is purely empirical or based on objective facts and that to go beyond the facts is to leave the realm of science and enter the world of philosophy and/or religion. I beg to differ. I have just quoted one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century who said, “the most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. All I ever wanted to do was to understand the mind of God.” I once had a book, which I can no longer locate, whose theme was that the greatest scientists in the past and present, were philosophers who were looking for the Ultimate Reality, a philosophical name for God.
It appears that there are two types of scientists: those who are strict left-lobers who concentrate on the details, and those who are right-lobers that are looking for the Bigger Picture. There is a newspaper article in my files written by a reporter who went to Cape Canaveral to report on a space shot. When he got there he found so many other reporters there for the same reason that he decided to write an article on the scientists behind the space shot. What he discovered is that some of them were the “number crunchers” who spent hours looking at computer run-outs checking out the details behind the space shot. They were “fact oriented” and would not deviate from the established plan. The second group were the scientific geniuses who, if give two or three facts, would start to build a theory of the universe. In other words, they were the theoreticians who, like Einstein, were imaginative geniuses who, like the right lobe of our brains, were talented at completing incomplete patterns. Thus, both groups are scientists: those who stick to the facts and those who create theories suggested by the facts and to exclude either from any scientific discussion is to undermine any scientific investigation.
I find it disturbing and inconceivable when members of a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, are removed because they wanted the science curriculum to mention the theory of “Intelligent Design” when presenting the theory of evolution. I find it even more disturbing and inconceivable when a Jesuit priest who is Director of the Vatican Observatory is quoted as saying that “Intelligent Design” has no place in a science class. Where are the Tielhard de Chardins when you need them? The scriptures say, “The heavens declare the glory of God” and yet this priest-astronomer doesn’t seem to be able to hear anything. Either that, or he has bought into the narrow definition of science proposed by those who oppose “Intelligent Design” because they prefer an accidental universe based on “chaos theory” – which, by the way doesn’t eliminate the possibility for God- to a rational universe that requires God.
All theories, by their very nature, go beyond the facts because if they didn’t they would be facts rather than theories. And, to the extent that evolution still has premises and suppositions that are not supported by the facts, those parts of it remain a theory. Darwin’s theory of evolution itself was based on conclusions that went beyond supportable facts and, if it had been excluded from scientific discussion because it lacked a factual basis, it never would have entered our school curriculum.
Finally, the philosopher Hume questioned the entire concept that science could ever based on empirical or objective facts because, before it could ever draw a final conclusion, it would have to test every possible occurrence. For example, empirically speaking, you can’t say that “the sun rises every morning” because you have to wait until tomorrow to see if it rises again. Thus, your factual base will always be incomplete because you haven’t tested every instance. The same is true of the so-called “law of gravity.” You can’t say that “according to the laws of gravity an object will always fall downward or towards the gravitational pull ” because, empirically speaking, you would have to observe every instance that something fell to make sure that one didn’t fall up. Thus, it is easier to prove the exception rather than the rule because you only need one example while the rule requires infinite examples. Put another way, it is easier to say “something didn’t happen” than to say “it always happens.” It’s just as Heisenberg’s Theory of Indeterminancy claimed: we live in a universe based on statistical probability in which the best that we can say is that it is highly probable that something will happen because there is always the possibility that it wont. Therefore, let’s reject the fallacy that science deals only with empirical facts based on observation and testing. The observation and testing is always preceded by an unproven theory that guides the investigators in their selection of what to study and what to ignore.
That evolution takes place on the micro level within species is a fact. That evolution takes place on the macro level between species is yet to be fully demonstrated. There are things that suggest it but the factual record is inconclusive. Thus, the issue of whether evolution takes place is only partially settled. The issue of how it takes place is wide open for discussion and speculation and therefore “Intelligent Design” has as much right to be considered as any other theory. It is the intent of these talks to present the case for “Intelligent Design.” So let me return to my presentation of Fr. Tielhard de Chardin’s theistic theory of evolution which is the Catholic view. In order to set the stage let me begin by sharing with you once again a definition of evolution:
“Evolution is a theory that says that all things developed from the same source and the different kinds of creatures are the results of their successful attempt to survive by adapting to the changing conditions of their environment.” Based on this definition, the theory of evolution says something much more astounding than that we are descended from apes. What it says is that we, and everything else, are descended from the hydrogen atom that, as the first form of organized energy, became the basis for all the variations that followed. In other words, locked within it was the potential for everything that ever could exist. Put another way, it was the first dialectical union that united a positive with a negative force that prefigured all the other dialectical unions that would follow.
I have sitting before me a diagram that I use with my students that, unfortunately, is hard to describe over the radio. However, I will do my best. I will have to depend on your imagination and, if you care to, you might want to take a piece of paper and try to duplicate what I am describing.
Go halfway down the paper and draw small circle on the left hand margin. Then within it, draw an even smaller circle that is resting on the right hand edge of the larger circle. Darken in the larger circle but leave the smaller one white. These circles represents the Event Horizon before the universe began. The larger darkened circle represents “space” and the smaller white circle represents “time” that exists only as a potential within “space” because nothing yet has moved. Locked within this darkened circled of space is all the potential for what “could ever” exist. At a certain point, this space, into which the whole universe was compressed, reached a point of “critical mass” and it explodes. At that moment “space” begots or actualizes “time” as the universe begans to expand outward in a gigantic cosmic explosion. I have already explained how when this is looked at through the “Law of Correspondence” that it corresponds to a lot of other dialectical relationships, including the Father begetting the Son. But let us use the symbol of Yin and Yang to represent a dialectical union that created an explosion that poetically might be seen as an “ecstasy” that accompanies all creative acts. Thus, our two small circles, representing the Event Horizon, have expanded into a Yin/Yang symbol that has a dark side, containing and small circle of white, and a white side containing a small circle or darkness. According to Lao Tsu, this symbol, representing the Female, passive, receptive principle and Male, active, giving principle will be the basis for everything that comes into existence. But that is not the only way of looking at it because as a dialectic relationships it represents in principle all dialectical relationships. From Aristotle’s point of view, the dark side represents the “pool of potentiality” while the light side represents the actualizing agent. From Hegel’s point of view, the dark side represents the Thesis and the light side the Antithesis. From Dr. Sperry’s discovery of the right and left lobes of the brain, the dark side represents the artistic, genius, nonverbal right lobe and the light side represents the logical, scientific, technological verbal left lobe. From a Christian point of view, the dark side represents the Father, in the Trinity, who as the Creative, Artistic Genius who imagined the plan for the universe, spoke and begot His Logos, Logic, or Wisdom who was the white side. The reflection that took place between the Creator and His Logos resulted in a love and agreement that exploded as a burst of Creative Energy or Spirit of Enthusiasm.
At this point we can see a correspondence between the creation of the universe and our own creation that resulted when the interaction between our mother, the Yin, and our father, the Yang, resulted in an ecstasy that began the process that resulted in us. In the beginning we had, functionally speaking, two right lobes because each hemisphere of our brains were nonverbal with only a potential for language. At that point we lived in Gehenna, that is the Old Testament’s word for hell that Helen Keller described in her article. We, like animals, lived in this world of “empty thought” or Kingdom of Darkness. Then one day, we spoke a word, indicating the awakening of the left hemisphere as a logical, reflective agent on the intuitive but blind impulses and feelings of our right lobe. Once we spoke, our spatial right lobe begot our temporal or time oriented left lobe and like the universe, “space begot time. ”For a full appreciation of what this means, I suggest you go back to the program where I described Helen Keller’s experience when she learned the meaning of language. At that moment we separated ourselves from the animal kingdom and began our long journey towards rational thought and understanding as our left lobe, or Logos within, through its power of logical thought and language, moved us from unconsciousness, to sub-consciousness, to consciousness. In other words, through its ability to pursue objective truth through language and logical analysis, it was setting us free from the Gehenna of “empty thought” into which we had been born. In another sense, it was setting us free from the blind impulses and instincts that controlled us by bringing the light of understanding to bear on them. At first, our parents and others had to control us through the promise of rewards or threats of punishment because, we, like the animals, were basically hedonistic. Because we lacked understanding, we had to, like the people of the Old Testament, be placed under law. But law was only a stop-gap measure because although it could control behavior it didn’t change attitude. And thus whenever the law was absent, we reverted to our original animal impulses that, although they were directed towards rational ends, we performed without rational understanding. We yearned to be free because something in us resented the imposition of restrictions coming from our parents and other authority figures but, unfortunately, our immature definition for freedom was “no control” and this, as experience would teach us, led to chaos. Yet, we resented the “other control” by our superiors. However, as the “Logos Within” that St. John claimed was in every person, grew in power and acceptance, we began to understand the purpose of the laws and started to internalize them. What was exterior and resented became interior and accepted. In other words, we took ownership of them and they became part of our heart. The Truth had truly set us free from the original Gehenna of “empty thought” into which we were born be creating in us an “understanding heart.”
I could go on and draw other correspondences between the birth and growth of the universe and our own but I think that I have given you enough to sense that someone has what the criminologist call a “modus operandi” or “method of operation.” The police will tell you that they often can identify criminals who committed a crime by the way that it was performed. Thus if the victim says, “the thief wore a silk stocking over his head, had a pearl handled revolver, and called everybody “Chickie”, they know immediately that it was “Slick Willie” because that was his “modus operandi.” In other words, people act in ways that are consistent with their habits and personality. Thus, the universe ought to reflect the “modus operandi” of God that flows from His habits and personality and that is why Einstein, who was seeking to understand the laws that govern the universe, saw his efforts as an attempt to “understand the mind of God.” Therefore, it should not surprise us that we see things in the universe that appear to be different in their outward expression but are the same in their operating principles. This is called the Law of Correspondence.
The Bible says that in the beginning there was a state of formlessness or chaos and then God spoke and just as our first word activated the logical left lobe, or Logos within us, and began us on the path to organizing reality through it logical skills, so out of the chaos emerged the first stabilized form of energy: the hydrogen atom. The Bible says that God said, “Let there be light!” but I suspect that this could be interpreted in modern terms as “Let there be hydrogen!” and out the chaotic, formless, world of sub-atomic particles, suddenly emerged a proton with a positive charge and an electron with a negative charge. Although I can’t vouch for its accuracy, I once read that the proton in the center of the hydrogen atom is 1800 times larger than the electron with a negative charge that circles it and that the female ovum, that has a positive charge, is 1800 times larger than the sperm that has a negative charge. If this is true, then it would be an amazing example of the Law of Correspondence. But, whether it is or not, if the hydrogen atom is really the prototype for all other dialectical relationships, then a correspondence exists between it and all other dialectical relationships.
Anyway, the emergence of the hydrogen atom from the “pool of potentiality” at the beginning of time is the beginning of linear movement in the universe and it should be represented by a line emerging from the circular Yin/Yang symbol that you have drawn. In fact, we can extend the line across the paper because it is only the beginning of the linear development of the universe that we now call evolution. At this point, according to Fr. Chardin, another law “kicks in”, the Law of Complexification. This law says that things will always seek to move from the simple to the complex. Thus, the hydrogen atom, when another electron is added, evolves into helium. According to Fr. Chardin, this is the beginning of the first level of evolution that is known as the Chemical Level. On this level, the atoms, according to the Law of Complexification unite into molecules which then unite into elements, which then become compounds, which then divide into inorganic and organic compounds.
Now some scientists believe that this is due to an accidental combining of atoms and, to some extent, they may be right. When we were discussing Aristotle’s theory of potential and actual existence, I said that “what moved from the potential to the actual” depended on the relationships that were formed. For example, the relationship between your mother and father resulted in you. Had they related to anyone else, you would not be here but other people would. Now is would be hard to imagine that protons and electrons fall in love and form relationships that result in atoms. Or that atoms pursue each other with loving ardor to create molecules. For example, did H2, two atoms of hydrogen, form a loving relationship with one atom of oxygen, to move H2O or water from potential to actual existence. I doubt it. A more reasonable explanation seems to be that free atoms of hydrogren accidentally bumped into a free atom of oxygen and they united to form H2O or a molecule of water. Thus, on the basis of this, some scientists conclude that the whole process of evolution must be accidental. However, that is not the only possible conclusion and it may not be the best.
In the beginning talks on evolution, I demonstrated that I could spell my name after 50 throws with a handful of small pebbles taken from an aquarium. Each time they fell down in an accidental pattern, my logical mind, would “select in” those pebbles that fit the pattern I was looking for and “select out” those that didn’t. After cementing those that were selected into place, I would take the available pebbles and throw them up again and again and each time they accidentally filled in missing sections of my pattern, I would cement them also. By the fiftieth throw, I would have spelled my name through an accidental process. Thus, if there is a judging agent in evolution that was looking for some pre-ordained pattern, it too could “select in” or “select out” those that fit or didn’t fit the pattern. According to the scientists there is a judging agent that goes by the name of Natural Selection and it results in the Survival of the Fittest.
In other words, even on the chemical level of evolution, the process is not neutral because there are relationships and combinations that it favors and others that it doesn’t. Why, for example, is there a limited number of stable atoms? Why is it that some atomic configurations never take place? Why does H2O become a stabilized entity as a molecule of water and H57 O92 doesn’t? And why should any of these combinations, once they are formed accidentally, remain stabilized parts of reality? It appears that, like the ingredients in a cake, that certain things are needed to move the process towards some pre-ordained goal and others are not. In other words, there is an organizing logic that is making judgments. Newton saw it when he saw his efforts as an attempt to understand the laws of God. Hegel saw it when he said that the universe was totally logical and rational. Einstein saw it when he referred to a Superior Wisdom whose mind he wanted to understand. In fact, throughout the history of Humankind, most of the great thinkers in the East and the West saw it and recognized that the natural laws of the universe were a reflection of a Higher Intelligence. Jefferson saw it when he declared that all our rights derived from God.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that the self evident truths that Jefferson declared in the Declaration of Independence, ceased to be self-evident and began to be replaced by a secular super state who alone had the right to declare what rights we had and didn’t have. And we, unless we wake up and begin to assert these truths, will discover what previous failed civilization found out. For as the Bible says, “(Only) the fool says in his heart there is no God.!”
Well, I see that my time is up. Here’s Dom!