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Beyond Animal, Ego and Time: Chapter 16 – Transcending Egocentricity, The Significance of Insignificance, Intervention Opportunities, Index and Sources

Posted on 08 July 2013 by Jerry

(Note: This is the final posting of chapters and sections of the book Beyond Animal, Ego and Time.  For those of you who have read the book or portions of it, I invite you to comment, criticize or question.  I hope you found useful information and that the ideas were thought provoking.)

 

The last imperative to revisit is the requirement to insure evolution continues. We previously discussed the three paths of progress in evolution: physical, intellectual, and emotional. Of these three, the path of evolution with the greatest velocity is intellectual. This is because intellectual evolution is accelerated by the exponential growth of knowledge and thought and not bounded by the time necessary for physical change. When you add past ideas and information to an expanding body of knowledge and thought produced by an ever increasing human population you have an unprecedented opportunity for the evolution of intellect and insight.

We acknowledged we might not perceive evolutionary advancements when they occur and cited our recent recognition of self-awareness in other animals. With the complexity of life in the modern world it is difficult to always be sensitive to what is occurring around us. To be vigilant and recognize evolutionary progress when we encounter it, we must come to the task with a certain openness and receptivity. We must bring the right analytical perspective. As much as we can benefit from a new thought, holding on too long to an old one can handicap us.

An example of this is the casual way many people use the notion of “survival of the fittest.” British economist Herbert Spencer is credited with first use of the phrase “survival of the fittest” to represent his characterization of Darwin’s process of natural selection. Over the years even Charles Darwin embraced the phrase as shorthand for natural selection. Unfortunately when people try to apply the thought in their daily life it limits their perspective and leads them to misconstrue the lesson of evolutionary progress.

This is most obvious in business. The phrase calls to mind imagery of one animal besting another. Many business people generalize this concept, using it to justify a different standard of morality. They use it to rationalize setting aside their normal personal moral standards so that they view the world of business as dog-eat-dog where it is expected and encouraged that the strong and knowledgeable take advantage of the weak and uninformed. Their conclusion that anything goes in business becomes the basis of primitive behavior of the past. People who see a world where this view is acceptable cloak themselves in misunderstood science as they strive to recreate the jungle around them. They have obviously missed the point.

Evolution provides a continually changing and improving definition of “the fittest”. The image of the most aggressive animal in the jungle is backward looking. Evolution looks forward and defines the fittest human being as the one who can demonstrate mastery in the present and future. The fittest today are those who exhibit an ability to work with and lead others. They have achieved the greatest level of consciousness and prescience by establishing future directions and taking actions that produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Evolution is a forward moving process that propels life and human beings to ever-higher levels of greatness and accomplishment.

It is difficult to precisely describe characteristics of the future “fittest” human beings because in large measure we will only know them when we see them. We can get a sense of the type of attributes they will have by looking at the people we honor and whose memory we hold most dear. We remember those who demonstrate concern for the welfare of strangers: Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, and Oscar Schindler. We honor people who articulate higher human ideals and lead great change to improve the human condition, often with great personal sacrifice: Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela. We learn from individuals who advance our knowledge and increase the probability of our survival in the future: Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, Werner Heisenberg, and Francis Crick. We revere those who advance human belief and inspire us to be better people at peace with the rest of humanity: Siddhartha Gautama, Jesus Christ, Confucius, and Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah. These are the people we honor and remember. They possessed the attributes that made them the fittest of their time and epitomized the kind of people and actions to which we aspire.

We previously observed human thought is at its best when it rises to the highest levels of abstraction. This occurs when it is most productive in reaching for the greatest truth. The ability to abstract an idealized state to which we can direct our action is one of our most advanced intellectual capabilities. It is where we should be looking to see successive breakthroughs in our intellectual evolution.

Abraham Maslow died in 1970. Some people suggest that had he lived longer he would have added to his Hierarchy of Needs. The Hierarchy reflects an exclusively egocentric view of human consciousness. It approaches all levels of need from the individual’s perspective and fails to recognize any higher level of consciousness, one that transcends the individual. It is intuitively obvious that when the individual’s needs have been fulfilled in full measure there is a likelihood they will look beyond themselves to the welfare of others.

It can be observed, however, that many people recognize and respond to the needs of others and they do this without having achieved complete fulfillment of their own needs. This can be seen in the sizable charitable giving of human beings. Many economists, behavioral scientists and cynics question the motivations of those who donate because they sincerely believe human nature is unequivocally self-serving. They argue that charitable giving is motivated by a donor’s expected utility where they derive personal benefit immediately or in the future from the donation. Examples discussed include donating to the creation of a park where the individual will enjoy its benefits or supporting medical research from which he or she may benefit in the future. They also cite the donor’s opportunity to derive benefit from the act of giving either because the size of their donation enables them to the advance their social status or they receive a “warm glow” from making charitable contributions. They may experience this feeling of enhanced self worth even when no direct social benefits are forthcoming to themselves or the beneficiaries of charitable giving are far away.138

The greatest opportunity for us to see this charitable behavior as something other than self-serving occurs when the beneficiaries of the donations are unknown to the donor and little opportunity exists for personal recognition. Examples of these kinds of donations are those made in response to the December 26, 2004 Tsunami as a result of an earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Another example is donations given to provide disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

As a result of the 2004 Tsunami, an estimated 229,866 people in some fourteen countries were listed as killed or missing by the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery 2005.139 Humanity reacted to this tragedy by donating to its victims. Not counting the assistance and donations from governments nor funds donated by individuals outside the United States, for which there is inconsistent recordkeeping, donations principally from U.S. citizens amounted to $1,874,949,705 in cash and in-kind gifts.140 The comparable figure donated in response to Hurricane Katrina was estimated at $3,574,031,029.141

It is hard to argue that all of these donations are strictly self-serving. The scale of the contributions and the fact that many were made over the Internet, which is an almost anonymous donation medium, suggest there is another cause of this human response. When we identify the types of people we honor and remember we find a common thread that indicates that we recognize and assign the greatest value to behavior and achievements that provide benefit to others, and more particularly to strangers.

It is time to recognize evolutionary development of a new level of consciousness that extends beyond self-serving behavior. We need to add another Being need on Maslow’s Hierarchy, a need for Transcending Ego and manifesting a genuine concern for others. Even if, in order to side step an unnecessary debate, we must satisfy the skeptics by ascribing a “warm glow” of self worth to those who achieve Transcendence, so be it. It is still time to recognize the development of this new level of consciousness and intellectual ascendance.

The most intuitive way of thinking about this transcendent level of the hierarchy is to see it as a mirror image, only inverted, of the original hierarchy in terms of the needs of others. In this view, providing for the physiological needs of others has the greatest urgency, followed by satisfying their safety needs and, in turn, their belonging and esteem needs and ultimately their self actualization. This would seem to be supported by a history of charitable giving where the greatest outpouring of support has occurred when the physiological and safety needs of others are threatened.

There is one final thought that continues to handicap the evolution of human consciousness. That thought occurs when we believe the superficial differences between human beings somehow divide us into meaningful groups. The ongoing perception and definition of difference is the principal root cause of the “Them Versus Us” dichotomy that has contributed to the human history of discrimination, hostility, persecution, slavery, war, and genocide. This belief that somehow one group of human beings is fundamentally different from another and therefore inherently better or worse may be the single most destructive belief people have held onto since our most primitive days.

A wide intellectual acceptance of the theory of evolution exists that holds that all life forms are related. By implication, all human beings are related. This generalized relationship for many people is not direct enough to dispel their ongoing belief in meaningful differences. It is not explicit enough to persuade them to accept all human beings as peers and equals.

Part of the reason this exaggeration of differences persists is the less than certain knowledge of human ancestry provided by archeology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology. A number of fossil discoveries appear to consist of the early human species that inhabit various places on our evolutionary tree. These include Australopithecus anamensis, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo sapiens.142 As new specimens are discovered whether on the island of Flores (Homo florensiensis)143, in a Siberian cave (Denisovans)144 or somewhere else, debates continue amongst paleoanthropologists as to which came first and which is in direct line of ancestral succession leading to humans.145 While these ongoing debates have kept alive the thought that the differences between us are significant they all fall somewhere on the human family tree. Unfortunately archeology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology will remain subject to individual interpretation, disagreement, and uncertainty for the foreseeable future.

The unraveling of the human genome in molecular genetics however gives us additional scientific insight that is more precise in defining human relationships. Two independent research efforts have used the nucleotide sequences of alleles and their rate of mutation over time to trace ancestry and population migrations back through the generations. “Dividing the total number of genetic differences between two populations by an expected rate of mutation provides an estimate of the time when the two shared a common ancestor.”146 One effort has been undertaken over a number of years is by Dr. Douglas C. Wallace and his colleagues at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta. They use mitochondrial (mt) DNA to create a genetic history.147 (mt)DNA is passed in tiny rings of genetic material in the female egg cell from the mother to offspring with no recombination. This gives a pure maternal genetic history unaffected by male genes. Another effort by Drs. Peter A. Underhill and Peter J. Oefner of Stanford University has analyzed the Y chromosome to trace ancestry through the male population.148

The result of these two efforts was to establish “that the root of the human phylogenetic tree occurs in Africa … and that eastern Africa may have been an ancient source of dispersion of modern humans both within and outside of Africa.”149 Further, the data in these studies trace human ancestry back to a single male and a single female in the relatively recent human history. The mitochondrial data trace our origin to a single female that existed in Africa between 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. “The tree is rooted in a single individual, the mitochondrial Eve, because all other lineages fell extinct.150 The study of the Y chromosome similarly traces our lineage to a single male, the Y Adam, who lived approximately 270,000 years ago.151

As with any scientific conclusion no absolute certainty exists. Indeed there are some who disagree with these findings. Some paleoanthropologists offer an alternative to this Out of Africa conclusion that is the Multiregional View. It suggests the evolution of modern humans began when Homo erectus spread throughout Eurasia approximately one million years ago. There is a third or Compromise hypothesis that combines elements of these two distinct viewpoints.152

These offered alternatives notwithstanding, the weight of scientific evidence indicates all human beings are closely related. Supporting this conclusion is the intellectual framework of evolution, archeological fossil record, our identical anatomical structure, knowledge that humans share 99.9% of the same genes153, and our collective lineage traced back to the same individual female and male ancestors who lived less than 300,000 years ago.

For these reasons we have to allow perceived human differences to slip away as insignificant and inconsequential. Then and only then can we fully acknowledge and embrace our collective human kinship. While we each are individuals with unique life experiences, we are the same. We each benefit from or fall victim to the human condition.

As we look around us we can find countless others that are less or more fortunate than ourselves. We see victims of the accident of origin who are born into environments that have the inherent dangers of starvation, disease, or warfare. We see people with life disabling medical conditions where each day is a stark reminder of their mortality. We see mental illness where the difficulty of day-to-day life or the blight of chemical imbalance or dependence has driven people away from reality. We see impossible circumstances that overwhelm a personal ability to overcome.

We also see people who are born to great wealth or have encountered fortunate circumstances in their lives. There are those who have found the great love of their life and those who have been set on a course that led them to great accomplishment. There are those who are unknown and those who have great celebrity. What we all share is the human condition. We all have high points and low points in our lives. In this we are the same.

This knowledge should lead us to know we are not alone. When we look outside ourselves to all of the other billions of people who are alive at any given moment, we see but one predicament, we are each but one of billions. We were all born, will live and die as a part of the life process. Each of us tries to find the best paths between our births and our deaths for our loved ones and ourselves. In this we are the same and it must bind us together. When we understand the profound shared reality we must feel empathy for one another. This empathy is what enables us to care about the quality of each other’s life experience and encourages us to act to help others when and where we are able.

There is much to do.

 

Afterwords: The Significance of Insignificance

 

Paradoxically our individual, objective insignificance in an infinite universe gives us the freedom to attempt to do things of significance. As one of the over six billion people alive today who will exist for probably no more than seven or eight decades within the three plus billion years that life has been on the planet, it is difficult to argue that any of us is capable of doing anything in our lifetime that will be significant. This recognition of our inherent, almost certain, insignificance is intimidating and distressing.

In a counterintuitive way however, this insignificance liberates us. Unbound by the burden of seeking to be significant we are free to try and influence the course of events and stand up to forces in our environment that are doing the things that are counterproductive to the future of humanity and life. If we fail to influence future direction we will end up being no less significant than we would have been anyway. If we succeed in influencing the future toward a more beneficial outcome in even a tiny way, we will bring a measure of significance to our existence way beyond that which we would otherwise have achieved.

 

Addendum – Intervention Opportunities

 

The following is a representative list of organizations actively pursuing issues including global climate change and the ozone hole, nuclear disarmament, synthetic biology, disaster and refugee relief, upgrading the quality of life experience, and biological diversity. These and other similarly focused groups would welcome your support and active involvement. Investigate thoroughly since each organization has its own approach to their mission with some groups being much more aggressive and militant than others.

Many of the organizations listed are actively involved in multiple issues. Find the right approach and organizations for you. These and other groups represent a way for each of us to take up the mantle of Guardian and make a difference in the course of our planet’s future. They represent a place to begin or expand our action.

 

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE – OZONE HOLE

 

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

257 Park Avenue South

New York, NY 10010

Tel: 212 505-2100

www.edf.org

 

Greenpeace International

702 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001

Tel: 202 462-1177

www.greenpeace.org

 

Natural Resources Defense Council

40 West 20th Street,

New York, NY 10011

Tel: 212 727-2700

www.nrdc.org

 

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

Arms Control Association

1313 L Street, NW, Suite 130

Washington, DC 20005

Tel: 202 463-8270

www.armscontrol.org

 

IPPNW

(International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

66-70 Union Square, Suite 204

Somerville, MA 02143

Tel: 617 440-1733

www.ippnw.org

 

NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative)

1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 7th Floor

Washington, DC 20006

Tel: 202 296-4810

www.nti.org

 

Trident Ploughshares

42-46 Bethel Street,

Norwich NR2 1NR

United Kingdom

Tel: 0845 45 88 366

www.tridentploughshares.org

 

Union of Concerned Scientists

Two Brattle Square

Cambridge, MA 02238-9105

Tel: 617 547-5552

www.ucsusa.org

 

War Resisters League

339 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10012

Tel: 212 228-0450

www.warrestisters.org

 

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY – GENETIC ENGINEERING

 

ETCgroup

431 Gilmour Street

Second Floor

Ottawa, ON K2P 0R5

Canada

Tel: 1-613-241-2267

www.etcgroup.org

 

Human Genetics Alert

Unit 112 Aberdeen House 22-24

Highbury Grove, London N5 2EA

United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7704 6100

www.hgalert.org

 

Organic Seed Alliance

PO Box 772

Port Townsend, WA 98368

Tel: 360 385-7192

www.seedalliance.org

 

SYBHEL Project

Center for Ethics in Medicine

University of Bristol

3rd Floor, Hampton House

Cotham Hill

Bristol BS6 6AU

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)117 331 0720

www.sybhel.org

email: sybhel-project@bristol.ac.uk

 

Synthetic Biology Project

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20004-3027

Tel: 202 691-4398

www.synbio@wilsoncenter.org

 

The Center for Food Safety

660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, #302

Washington DC 20003

Tel: 202 547-9359

www.truefoodnow.org

 

The Institute of Science in Society

29 Tytherton Road, London N19 4PZ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1908 696101

Contact: Julian Haffegee

www.i-sis.org.uk

 

DISASTER AND REFUGEE RELIEF

 

International Red Cross

ICRC Headquarters in Geneva

International Committee of the Red Cross

19 avenue de la Paix

CH 1202 Geneva

Tel: ++41 (22) 734 60 01

www.icrc.org

 

Medecins Sans Frontieres

(Doctors Without Borders)

Rue de Lausanne 78

CP 116 – 1211

Geneva 21

Switzerland

Tel: +41 (22) 849.84.84

www.msf.ord

 

Oxfam International Secretariat

Suite 20

266 Banbury Road

Oxford OX2 7DL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 47 2602

UK 0300 200 1300

www.oxfam.org

 

The International Rescue Committee

122 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10168 USA

Tel: 212 551-3000

www.theirc.org

 

IMPROVED LIFE EXPERIENCE

HUMAN EXPERIENCES

 

Equality Now

PO Box 20646

Columbus Circle Station

New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212 586-0906

www.equalitynow.org

 

Genocide Intervention

1200 18th Street NW, Suite 320

Washington, DC 20036

Tel: 202 559-7405

www.genocideintervention.net

 

Global Fund for Women

222 Sutter Street, Suite 500

San Francisco, CA 94108

Tel: 415 248-4800

www.globalfundforwomen.org

 

Heifer International

1 World Avenue

Little Rock, AR 72202

Tel: 800 422-0474

www.heifer.org

 

Human Rights First

333 Seventh Avenue,

13th Floor

New York, NY 10001-5108

Tel: 212 845-5200

www.humanrightsfirst.org

 

ANIMAL EXPERIENCES

 

Animal Welfare Institute

900 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20003

Tel: 202 337-2332

www.awionline.org

 

ASPCA

(American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

424 E. 92nd Street

New York, NY 10128-6804

Tel: 800 628-0028

www.aspca.org

 

Compassion in World Farming

River Court,

Mill Lane,

Godalming, Surrey,

GU7 1EZ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1483 521 950

www.ciwf.org.uk

 

Farm Sanctuary

P.O. Box 150 Watkins Glen,

New York 14891

Tel: 607 583-2225

www.farmsanctuary.org

 

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

501 Front Street,

Norfolk, VA 23510

Tel: 757 622-7382

www.peta.org

 

The Humane Society of the United States

2100 L Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037

Tel: 202 452-1100

www.humanesociety.org

 

The National Anti-Vivisection Society

53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1552

Chicago, IL 60604

Tel: 800 888-NAVS

312 427-6065

www.navs.org

 

BIO-DIVERSITY

 

Center for Biological Diversity

P.O. Box 710

Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

Tel: 520 623-5252

www.biologicaldiversity.org

 

Global Crop Diversity Trust

c/o FAO

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 Rome

Italy

Tel: +39 06 570 55142

+39 06 570 53324

www.croptrust.org

 

Index

 

A

abstraction, human thought and, 72–74, 187

acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 128

affection, needs for, 100

Africa, human phylogenetic tree and, 191–192

agriculture, genetically modified organisms and, 149–150

AIDS. See acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Alpha Centauri System, 43

America and Cosmic Man (Lewis), 14

American Clean Energy and Security Act, 126

amines, 21

amino acids, 21

Anderla, Georges, 64

Ångström, Knut, 118

animals

cycle of life, 178

farm cruelty and, 179–183

human reaction to, 178–179

self recognition and, 178

tools, use of, 57–59

Antarctic, ozone levels, 110–111

Aristotle, 30, 118

Armstrong, Neil, 127

Army-McCarthy Senate hearings, 137

Arrhenius, Svante, 118

art, emotional development and, 78–79

atomic bomb, invention of, 127

Australopithecus anamensis, 190

 

B

behavior

complex reflex, 66–67

knowledge-based cosmology and, 4

Behringer, Richard, 52

beliefs

early stage of human civilization, 9

knowledge vs., 11–12, 81–82

belongingness, needs for, 100

Big Bang, 20, 32

billiard ball hypothesis, 35

biogenic sphere, 24–26

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), 150

birds, tools, use of, 57

Birks, J., 135

Bohr, Niels, 36–37

Bolshevik Party, 136

Bornean Orangutan, 57

bosons, 28–29

Broglie, Louis de, 37

bromine, 112

bromochlorodifluoromethane, 112

bromofluorocarbon compounds, 110

bromotrifluoromethane, 112

Buddha, 30

Bush, George W.

Russian threat and, 140

SORT, 134

C

California Institute of Technology, 66

Capitalism, 137

carbon dioxide (CO2), climate change and, 117–119

cells, memory and, 45–46

Center for the Neuroscience of Fear and Anxiety, New York University, 75

CERN. See European Organization for Nuclear Research

CFCs. See chlorofluorocarbons

chain reflex, 66

charitable giving, motivation of, 188–189

Chen, Shaohua, 104

Chernoybl-4 nuclear reactor, 139

chimpanzees, tools, use of, 58–59

China

CFCs and, 115

communism, changes and, 140–141

nuclear weapons, 133, 138, 138–139

poverty line, 105

chlorine atoms, 112

chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), 110–112

chromosome, 45–46

climate change, 105–106, 110, 117–131

Climate Stewardship Act, 126

Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, 126

Cocconi, Giuseppi, 42

The Cognitive Animal (Gallup, Anderson, Shillito), 59, 63

cognitive dissonance, 11

Cold War, 133–134, 136–140

Collins, William, 125

Colman, Robert, 125

Communism, 136–138, 137

The Communist Manifesto, 136

complex reflex, 66–67

compound lens microscope, 27

Compromise hypothesis, 191

compromises, government and industry, 165

conditioned reflex, 65

conflicts

beliefs vs. knowledge, 11–13

failure to address, 12–13

segregated societies and, 11–12

contextual reformation, 173–174

cosmology, knowledge of universe and, 16–17

Crutzen, Paul, 110–111, 135

Cuban Missile Crisis, 138

cyclic universe, 32

 

D

Damasio, Antonio, 74–75, 77–78

Darwin, Charles, 24, 63, 186

death

inevitability of, 19

of organism, life information and, 53

reanimation and, 91–93

decision making

consciousness, emotions and, 74–75

self awareness and, 65–68

democracy, 137

Denisovans, 190

deoxyribonucleic acid. See DNA

Department of Biological Anthropology, Cambridge University, 58

Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, 50

Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas, 52

Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, 52

Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (Damasio), 74

Descartes, René, 56

deterministic system, 35–36

Development Economics Research Group, World Bank, 104

Diamond, Jared, 165

differences, between humans, 189–193

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), 22

death of organism and, 48–58

genetic engineering and, 148

matter, memory and, 45

mitochondrial, 49, 191

nuclear, 49

physical evolution and, 70

Dobson, Gordon, 110

Dobson unit, 110

“Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, 13

Drake, Frank, 42

Duke Energy, 127

DuPont, 110

 

E

earth, age of, 71

egocentricity, transcending of, 185–193

Einstein, Albert

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and, 38

light, study of, 36

matter, energy and, 19

simultaneity and, 23

Ekman, Paul, 76

Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act, 126

electron microscopy, 51

electrons

quantum mechanical theory and, 37

wave function and, 37

emission reduction, 126–127

Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, 191

The Emotional Brain (LeDoux), 75

emotions

art and, 78–79

centering of, 173–175

consciousness, decision making and, 74–75

evolutionary development and, 72–79

origin of, 76–77

empathy, self awareness and, 62–64

Engels, Friedrich, 136

entanglement, quantum, 38–39

environment, humans, impact on, 109–116

esteem, needs for, 100

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), 28

European Union, 137

evolution

aggregate level, 88–89

of emotion, 72–79

of intellect, 72–74, 185

one-to-many-to-one progression, 88

physical, 70–71

survival of the fittest, 186–187

extraterrestrial life, probability of, 42–43

 

F

farm animal cruelty, 179–183

fermions, 28

Flannery, Tim, 110–111, 112

force carrier particles, 28–29

fossil DNA, study of, 48–58

Fourier, Joseph, 117–118

France, nuclear weapons, 133

free will, 35

Freon, 110

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 12

 

G

Gaia, 128

galaxies, 29

Gallup, Gordon G., Jr., 62–63

Gautama Buddha, 30

generation, measurement of, 130

genetic engineering, 70–71, 147–150

genetically modified food, 149–150, 158

genome, 45–46

Germany, nuclear weapons, 135–136

glasnost, 139

global climate change, 105–106, 110, 117–131

global village, 14

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, 126

Global Warming Reduction Act, 126

God, singular life form and, 92

googol, 31

googolplex, 31

Gorbachev, Mikhail, 139–140

Gore, Al, 122

gorillas, brain and, 63

Great Pyramid of Khufu, 127

Green Revolution, 125–126

greenhouse gas reductions, 126

The Guardian (newspaper), 156

Gulick, Steve, 58

Guns, Germs & Steel (Diamond), 165

The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (McLuhan), 14

 

H

Hadron, 28

Halon-1211, 112

Halon-1301, 112

halons, 110

Haywood, James, 125

HCFC-22 (hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22), 115

Heisenberg Indeterminacy Principle, 37–38

Heisenberg, Werner, 37–38

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, 37–38

Helios, 43–44

Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow), 98–106, 170, 187

Hiroshima, 133

HIV. See human immunodeficiency virus

hologram, 47

Homo erectus, 190, 191

Homo ergaster, 190

Homo florensiensis, 190

Homo genus, 71

Homo habilis, 57, 190

Homo heidelbergensis, 190

Homo rudolfensis, 190

Homo sapiens, 190

first appearance of, 71

uniqueness of, 55–68

homosexuality, American military and, 13

household wealth, 104–105

Hubble space telescope, 31

Human Genome Project, 46

human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 155

human(s)

ancestry, 190–192

body, elements of, 54

development, equality of, 162–163

intervention, future and, 161–167

phylogenetic tree, 191–192

thought, evolution of, 72–74

uniqueness, 53–68

Hume, David, 30

Hurricane Katrina, 2005, charity and, 188

Huygens, Christiaan, 36

hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22. See HCFC-22

 

I

imperatives, in belief system, 94–96

implications, in belief system, 94–95

India

CFCs and, 115

nuclear weapons, 133

inductive reasoning, 32–33

infinity, universe and, 30–33

innate reflex, 65, 66

instinct, 8

intellect, evolution of, 8, 72–74

interaction, with others, 175–177

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), 122–124

International Geophysical Year, 119

International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), 149

intervention, future and, 161–167

intuition, emotion and, 77–78

investigatory reflex, 66

IPPC. See Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

ISAAA. See International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications

isolation, beliefs, conflict and, 11–12

Israel, nuclear weapons and, 133

 

J

Jansen, Zacharias, 27

Japan, nuclear weapons, 136

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 155

Jones, Jim, 12

Jurassic Park scenario, 86–87

 

K

Kasner, Edward, 30

Keeling, Charles David, 119

Kennedy, Donald, 125

Kennedy, John F., 127

kindness, 177

Klaus, Vaclav, 140

knowledge

belief vs., 81–82

human differentiation and, 68

quantifying of, 64

Koch, Christof, 66–67

Korean War, 138

Krings, Matthias, 49

 

L

language, human differentiation and, 68

Large Hadron Collider (LHC), 28

Law on Cooperatives, 139

laws

capitalism, abuses of, 137

climate change and, 126–127

farm animal cruelty and, 179–183, 182

LeDoux, Joseph, 75

Lenin, Vladimir, 136

leptons, 28

Lewis, Wyndham, 14

LHC. See Large Hadron Collider

life, beginning of, 20–23

life experience, enhancement of, 169–183

life matter, 25

light, study of, 36–39

Lindeman, F.A., 110

livestock, cruelty and, 179–183

living matter, 25–26

love, needs for, 100

Lovelock, James, 128

 

M

MacArthur, General Douglas, 138

Macquarie University, 110

MAD. See Mutually Assured Destruction

magnetic field, planet and, 29

magnetism, 91–92

Manning, Martin R., 125

Mao Tse-Tung, 138

mark tests, self-awareness and, 60–61

Marx, Karl, 136

Maslow, Abraham, 97–103, 102, 187

mass spectrometry, 51

matter particles, 28

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 48, 58

McLuhan, Marshall, 14

McMaster University, Hamilton, CA, 50

Medvedev, Dmitry, 134

memory

encoding and, 84–85

living matter and, 45–54, 83–84

transfer of, past into present, 85

meteorites, 21, 29, 41

methane (CH4), 128–129

microscopes, 27–28

Millennium Development Goals, UN General Assembly, 106–107

Miller/Urey experiment, 21

mirror tests, self-awareness and, 60–61

mitochondrial DNA, 49, 191

molecules

first life on planet, 21–22

manufactured, grown, 151–152

Molina, Mario, 111

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, 1987, 112, 115

Morgan, Dave, 58

Morrison, Philip, 42

The Moscow Treaty, 134

Mote, Philip, 125

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, 155

Multiregional View, 191

mutation, genetic modification and, 70

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), 134

 

N

Nagasaki, nuclear bomb, 133

National Academy of Sciences, 149

natural selection, 24, 186

Nature (Molina, Sherwood Rowland), 111

Neanderthal, genetic analysis of, 49–51

New START. See New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), 134

New York University, 75

Newton, Isaac, 36

Nisbet, Euan, 129

Noonan, James, 50

North Korea, nuclear weapons and, 133

North Pole, ozone hole, 112

nuclear disarmament, 144–145

nuclear DNA, 49

nuclear weapons, 133–146

nucleotides, synthetic biology and, 152

 

O

Obama, Barack, 134

October Revolution, 1917, 136

Oefner, Peter J., 191

On the Origin of Species (Darwin), 24

one-to-many-to-one progression, 24

opposable thumb, 57

optical microscopy, 51

origin of life experiments, 20–22

Out of Africa model, 191

Oxford University, 110

ozone, 110–111

ozone hole, 109–116

 

P

Pääbo, Svante, 48–50

Pakistan, nuclear weapons and, 133

Pask, Andrew, 52

Pavlov, Ivan, 5, 65–66

People’s Temple Agricultural Project, 12

peptide nucleic acid (PNA), 151–152

perestroika, 139

philosophy, 9–10

phylogenetic tree, 191–192

physical evolution

genetics, human science of, 70–71

random mutation, genetic modification and, 70–71

selective breeding, 70–71

The Physical Science behind Climate Change (Scientific American), 125

physiological needs, 98

Planck’s constant, 37

PNA. See peptide nucleic acid

Poinar, Hendrik, 50

poliovirus, genetically engineered, 156

politics, global climate change and, 125–126, 147

polymerization, 21–22

poverty rates, 105

prefrontal cortex, self awareness and, 67–68

present moment, 171–173

Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, 182

primates, tools, use of, 58–59

probability

extraterrestrial life and, 42–43

future events and, 40–41

mathematics of, 39–40

past frequency, 40

time and, 40

proportionality policy, weapons and, 142–143

prosperity, world, 106

Protestant Branch Davidians, 12

Proxima Centauri, 43–44

Putin, Vladimir, 134, 140

 

Q

quantum mechanics

deterministic universe and, 36

development of, 39

entanglement, 38–39

quarks, 28

A Quest for Consciousness: a Neurobiological Approach (Koch), 66

 

R

Randerson, James, 156

Ravallion, Martin, 104

reanimation, death and, 91–93

recollection, 174–175

reflex

chain, 66

complex, 66–67

conditioned, 65

innate, 66

investigatory, 66

of self-defense, 66

religion

belief, supernatural and, 3–4

definition of, 10

remote projection, 174

Renfree, Marilyn, 52

Revelle, Roger, 119

ribonucleic (RNA) acid, 22

Rowland, F. Sherwood, 111

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 111, 118

Rubin, Edward, 50

Russia

New START, 134

nuclear war, U.S. and, 135

nuclear weapons, disarmament, 144

threat of, 140–141

 

S

Safe Climate Act, 126

safety needs, 98–100

Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 104

Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA, 149

Sanz, Crickette, 58

Schrödinger, Edwin, 37

Science magazine, 125

Scientific American magazine, 125

scientific knowledge, systems of thought and, 10–11

scientific method, 32–33

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 119

secular institutions, beliefs, conflict and, 11

selective breeding, 70–71

self awareness, 59–65

animal kingdom, humans and, 69–70

decision making and, 65–68

empathy and, 62–64

prefrontal cortex and, 67–68

self, consciousness of, 72–73

self-actualization, 101–102

self-defense reflex, 66

Seventh Day Adventist Church, 12

sheep-human chimera, 149

simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), 155

simultaneity, Einstein and, 23

singular life form, optional future and, 89–96

Sirotta, Milton, 30–31

SIV. See simian immunodeficiency virus

smallpox virus, 156

SORT. See Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty

South Africa, nuclear weapons and, 133

South Pole, ozone hole, 112

Soviet Union

Cold War and, 138–139

disintegration of, 140

nuclear weapons and, 133

Spanish Flu virus, 155–156

Special Theory of Relativity (Einstein), 23

Spencer, Herbert, 186

Stalin, Joseph, 138

Standard Model of particle physics, 28

Stanford University, 191

stars, first formation of, 20

State University of New York, Stony Brook, 156

stimulus, response and, 65–66

Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), 134

String Theory, 33

Styrofoam, 111

survival of the fittest, 186–187

synthetic biology, 70–71, 147, 150–159

systems of thought

development of, 10

scientific knowledge and, 10–11

Szilard, Leo, 127

 

T

Taubenberger, Jeffrey, 155

telescopes, 27

teraelectronvolts (TeV), 28

TeV. See teraelectronvolts

thought

abstraction and, 72–74, 187

human, evolution of, 72–74

systems of, 10–11

thumb, opposable, 57

time, tense of, 170–171

tools, use of, in animals, 57–59

Topolanek, Mirek, 140

totalitarianism, 136–138

Township-Village Enterprises, 141

transcendence, of ego, 189

Trinity test nuclear explosion, NM, 133

Tsunami 2004, charity and, 188

Tyndall, John, 117–118

 

U

ultraviolet (UV) radiation, 110, 111

uncertainty, universe and, 35–44

Underhill, Peter A., 191

understanding, search for, 7–17

United Kingdom, nuclear weapons, 133

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 122

United Nations General Assembly, 106–107

United Nations, nuclear weapons and, 145

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, 104

United States

global climate change and, 125

nuclear weapons, 133–135

use of power and, 141–142

United States Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 155

United States Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, 155

United States Congress, greenhouse gas reductions, 126

United States Department of Agriculture, 150

universe

cyclic, 32

fundamental nature of, 27–28

galaxies, 29

infinity and, 30–33

inner, investigation of, 28

perceptual levels and, 29

structure of, 33–34

University of Nevada-Reno, 148–149

University of Tokyo, 149

uskoreniye, 139

UV radiation. See ultraviolet radiation

 

V

VH Bio Ltd., 156

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, 1985, 112, 114

Vindija Cave, Neanderthal bones and, 49–50

viruses, risks of, 154–155

visualization, 175

 

W

Wallace, Douglas C., 191

Warren Jeffs, 12

wealth, household, 104–105

The Weather Makers (Flannery), 110

weather models, 120–121, 122

“What-is-it?” reflex, 66

WHO. See World Health Organization

Wildland Security, 58

Wilson, Allan, 48

Wimmer, Eckard, 156

WMO. See World Meteorological Organization

World Bank, 104

The World distribution of Household Wealth (UN), 104

The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and…Convergence, Period* (Sala-i-Martin), 04

World Health Organization (WHO), 156

World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 122

World poverty line, 104

worldview, 13–15

 

Y

Young, Thomas, 36

 

Z

Zanjani, Esmail, 148

 

 

 

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110http://www.isaaa.org.

111http://www.bio.org

112Steven A. Benner and A. Michael Sismour, Synthetic Biology, Nature Reviews/Genetics, Volume 6, July 2005, p. 542.

113Daniel G. Gibson, John I. Glass, Carole Lartique, Vladimir N. Noskov, Ray-Yuan Chuang, Mikkel A. Algire, Gwynedd A. Benders, Michael G. Montague, Li Ma, Monzia M. Moodie, Chuck Merryman, Sanjay Vashee, Radha Krishnakumar, Nacyra Assad-Garcia, Cynthia Andrews-Pfannkoch, Evgeniuya A. Denisova, Lei Young, Zhi-Qing Qi, Thomas H. Segall-Shapiro, Christopher H. Calvey, Prashanth P. Parmar, Clyde A. Hutchison III, Hamilton O. Smith, J. Craig Venter, Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome, Sciencexpress, www.sciencexpress.org, May 20, 2010, 10.1126/science.1190719.

114Genesis redux, The Economist, May 22, 2010.

115Holger Breithaupt, The engineer’s approach to biology, EMBO reports 7, 1, 21-23 (2006), doi:10.1038.sj.embor.7400607, http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v7/n1/full/7400607.html.

116Lawrence Fisher, The Race to Cash In On the Genetic Code, New York Times – Business Day, 8-29-1999, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/29/business/the-race-to-cash-in-on-the-genetic-code.html

117Gary Stix, Owning the Stuff of Life, Scientific American, February 2006, pps 76-83.

118Synthetic Biology, postnote, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, January 2008, Number 298, www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_offices/post/pubs.cfm.

119Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (2010, June 8). Government funding for synthetic biology on the rise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 4, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608092108.htm

120Synthetic Biology Influencing Development, Lloyd’s Emerging Risks Team Report, Version 1, July 2009, http://www.lloyds.com/the-market/tools-and-resources/research/exposure-management/emerging-risks/emerging-risk-reports/science/synthetic-biology

121Mary Carmichael, How It Began: HIV Before the Age of AIDS, Frontline PBS, May 30, 2006, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/virus/origins/html

122Jon Cohen, The Hunt for the Origin of AIDS, Atlantic Monthly, Medicine, October 2000, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/10/the-hunt-for-the-origin-of-aids/6490/

123Jonathan B. Tucker, Raymond A. Lilinskas, The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology, The New Atlantis, A Journal of Technology and Society, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-promise-and-perils-of-synthetic-biology.

124Elizabeth Pennisi, Virology: First Genes Isolated From the Deadly 1918 Flu Virus, Science, March 21, 1977, Vol. 275. No. 5307, pp. 1739.

125Eckard Wimmer, The test-tube synthesis of a chemical called poliovirus: The simple synthesis of a virus has far-reaching societal implications, EMBO reports (European Molecular Biology Organization), Rep. July 2006; 7(SI): S3-S9.

126Cello, Jeronimo; Paul, Aniko V.; Wimmer, Eckard, Chemical Synthesis of Poliovirus cDNA; Generation of Infectious Virus in the Absence of Natural Template, Science, Vol. 297(5583), August 9, 2002 pp 1016-1018.

127James Randerson, Science Correspondent, Lax laws, virus DNA and potential for terror, The Guardian, Wednesday June 14, 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1796805,00.html

128Julie Wakefield, Doom and Gloom by 2100, Scientific American, July 2004, pgs 48-49.

129Jocelyn Kaiser, Synthetic Biology – Attempt to Patent Artificial Organism Draws a Protest, Science, Vol 316, June 15, 2007, page 1557

130Carolyn Y. Johnson, Accessible Science: Hackers aim to make biology household practice, The Boston Globe, September 15, 2008. http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2008/09/15/accessible_science?mode=pf

131Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, W.W. Norton & Co.; July 11, 2005

132Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, in a speech at the Wilson Center Director’s Forum in a series sponsored by the Wilson Center’s Foresight and Governance Project, March 6, 2001.

133USDA, 9 C.F.R. 313.1-90, Title 9—ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS; CHAPTER III—FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; SUBCHAPTER A—AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND TERMINOLOGY; MANDATORY MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION AND VOLUNTARY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION; PART 313—HUMANE SLAUGHTER OF LIVESTOCK. Internet link: http://www.animallaw.info/administrative/adus9cfr313.htm

134Table of State Humane Slaughter Laws, Michigan State University College of Law, 2006, www.animallaw.info, www.animallaw.info/articles/ovusstatehumaneslaughtertable.htm#top.

135FSIS Directive 6900.2 Revision 1, 11/25/03, United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.

136Farm Animal Statistics: Slaughter Totals, The Humane Society of the United States, citing statistics provided by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, August 22, 2009.

137Initiative 07-0028 California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, http://ag.ca.gov/cms_pdfs/initiatives/2007-07-11_07-0028_Initiative.pdf

138Media Coverage & Charitable Giving After the 2004 Tsunami, Philip Brown and Jessica Minty, William Davidson Institute Working Paper Number 855, December 2006.

139Ibid. page 4

140Tsunami Relief Giving, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, http://philanthropy.iupui.edu/Research/Giving/tsunami_relief_giving.aspx

141Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief Donations, The Center on Philanthropy atIndiana University, http://philanthropy.iupui.edu/Research/Giving/Hurricane_Katrina.aspx

142Early Human Phylogeny, Human Ancestors Hall: Tree, Smithsonian Institution, http://anthropology.si.edu/humanorigins/ha/a_tree.html

143Archaeology and age of a new hominin from Flores in eastern Indonesia, M. J. Morwood, R.P. Soejono, R. G. Roberts, T. Sutikna, C. S. M. Turney, K. E. Westaway, W. J. Rink, J.-x. Zhao, G. D. van den Bergh, Rokus Awe Due, D. R. Hobbs, M. W. Moore, M. I. Bird & L. K. Fifield, Letters to Nature, Nature 431, ppgs 1087-1091, October 28, 2004.

144Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia, David Reich, Richard E. Green, Martin Kircher, Johannes Krause, Nick Patterson, Eric Y. Durand, Bence Viola, Adrian W. Briggs, Udo Stenzel, Philip L. F. Johnson, Tomislav Maricic, Jeffrey M. Good, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Can Alkan, Qiaomei Fu, Swapan Mallick, Heng Li, Matthias Meyer, Evan E. Eichler, Mark Stoneking, Michael Richards, Sahra Talamo, Michael V. Shunkov, Anatoli P. Derevianko, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Nature 468, pgs 1053-1060, December 23, 2010.

145African Skull Points to One Human Ancestor, Ann Gibbons, March 20, 2002, ScienceNOW

146Theories on Modern Human Origins and Diversity, Smithsonian Institution, http://anthropology.si.edu/humanorigins/faq/Encarta/diversity.htm

147Whole-mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages, Mary Katherine Gonder, Holly M. Mortensen, Floyd A. Reed, Alexandra de Sousa, and Sarah A. Tishkoff, 2006 Oxford University Press for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

148The Human Family Tree: 10 Adams and 18 Eves, Nicholas Wade, New York Times, May 2, 2000, http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/050200sci-genetics-evolution.html.

149Ibid, Whole-mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages

150Ibid, The Human Family Tree

151The Y Chromosome and the Origin of All of Us (Men), Svante Pääbo, Science, Vol. 268, May 26, 1995. Page 1142.

152Ibid, Theories on Modern Human Origins and Diversity, Smithsonian Institution

153Lauren Crowley, Human Genomics: Our Shared Inheritance, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.item&news_id=2150

 

 

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