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Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 14 reviews
on April 2, 2017
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on March 28, 2016
Very accessible information for someone who is allergic to science. Very thought provoking. I am very glad I took the time to read this one.
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on July 18, 2015
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on June 26, 2015
Excellent interpretation of how evolution works. It makes perfect sense to me. What i have thought and could not verbally express in words was presented in this book beautifully.
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on June 17, 2014
After checking Goswami's books out of the library again & again, & having one of them disappear from the system, I got worried that a book with that many concepts per page leading to each critical conclusion, topped off with his brilliant bridging speculations might get scarce. It's one of those treasures that I add to my bridging paradigm library. He does this without hyper footnoting or techno-speak, yet he has an easy-going mastery of English erudition. There is no hint of an 'accent' such as is in his video.
These 2 works are very honed (bk-Creative Evolution & bk-The Self Aware Universe) and need no devices. He refers to the classic discoveries and adds to them the latest experiments [which you don't find in the usual academic field works], data & thinking. With these he tears the mechanistic-monist materialists a whole bunch of new ones, & does it with a generous style! Ex. Unconscious vs conscious quantum effects. Ex. EEG-syncronizing brainwaves of meditators in separated Faraday cages. Not just philosophical new-age speculation, but phenomenological evidentiary science.
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on May 17, 2014
I would recommend that the reader prepare for this book by reading Goswami's "God is not Dead" at least. Then read any other Goswami books including "The Self-Aware Universe," which I found more challenging than many of his other books. And you don't have to agree with Goswami on everything - but you will at least be learning and probably reexamining your thinking about a great many things in our universe and about the magic and mystery of how life came into being.
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on March 10, 2013
I've been saying this for years. It's great that a physicist came to the same conclusion. After all, a Creator is by his very nature creative.
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on November 7, 2010
In this book Goswami continues to develop his version of monistic idealism, dipping into the realm of biological evolution. He attempts to harmonize some of the conflicting evidence in evolutionary theory, and in the process, to also bring theistic Creationists and "intelligent design" advocates on board.

He accomplishes this by proposing that "God" (that is, the universal consciousness of which we are all supposedly a part--Goswami is from a Hindu background) is in the process of gradually improving the creation by introducing new (and sudden) innovations (a la Gould, etc.) at key points in history.

It isn't exactly clear why this rather messy approach to creation is necessary. If indeed the material universe is a direct and immediate manifestation by consciousness (God,) then either it (He?) is itself immature and undeveloped, or is unable to determine what "works" simply by direct intelligent thought, and thus is forced to experiment its way through the multiverse of infinite possibilities by trial and error.

Nevertheless, I think Goswami is onto something important with the primacy-of-consciousness idea. This book opens up new areas of thinking for most of us in the West, and it needs to be considered by anyone interested in the creation-evolution debates.
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on July 25, 2009
This is a good book in that it attempts to expand the basic hypothesis detailed in Goswami's "The Self-Aware Universe" (his best work yet in my opinion) to include the materialistic field of biology. This book covers a lot, from orthodox Darwinism to 'heretical' ideas of maverick biologist Rupert Sheldrake on Morphogenesis, to Neurology and the philosophical problems associated with viewing consciousness as an epiphenomenon of the brain.

The notion that the observer is entangled with the observed is not new, but rather was seriously considered by intellectual greats like Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann and John Bell. The 'Observer Effect' is a disturbing paradox of quantum mechanics, that most physicists happily ignore and instead yell in frustration, "shut up and calculate".

But bold physicists are trying to resolve that paradox, the most popular of the ideas being the "multiverse" theory, popular because it retains the philosophical primacy of materialistic realism. To me the hypothesis is not only extravagant in its requirements of infinite universes and hidden dimensions, but it also leaves the hard problem of Consciousness still unanswered. We are thus forced to keep faith in what Karl Popper termed "Promissory Materialism" - that it will all be reduced to objects someday. Have faith in atheism, they tell us!

For me, the philosophy of Monistic Idealism is far more compelling! There are no "objects" out there, its all one Consciousness manifesting in various forms and creating the duality of reality (the subject/object split). Goswami's genius lies in the way he shows how Monistic Idealism easily resolves ALL of the current paradoxes in Quantum Mechanics (including the observer effect), if only we are willing to let go of our stubbornness in clinging to the idea of materialism. Its as simple as that.

For those new to Goswami's work, I recommend reading "The Self-Aware Universe" first before reading any of Goswami's other works. That way the reader will know clearly where Goswami is coming from.
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on October 5, 2008
Goswami's book is worth five stars, and his view of evolution is almost the same as my own; and I have studied evolution for years now (see my reviews). I present the following quotes.

Goswami (page 8) writes the following. "Every biologist must be painfully aware that biology is an incomplete science. It needs new organizing principles, ones that are nonphysical and nonmaterial, to explain three perennial mysteries: the difference between life and nonlife, the development of an embryo into an adult biological form, and, as emphasized here and by Eldredge and Gould, the discontinuous epochs of evolution. Unfortunately, it is not politically correct for biologist to admit these shortcomings in public."

Goswami (page 13) writes: "Any organizing principle that is nonmaterial is automatically excluded from science by definition. However, mainstream scientists themselves, biologists included, have a fundamental but unproven metaphysical assumption behind their work called scientific materialism."

Goswami notes that Darwin's theory of evolution is very incomplete, and he (page 15) writes: "According to theoretical predictions of Darwinism and its later versions, there should have been thousand upon thousands of reported cases of intermediates filling up most of the fossil gaps. That hasn't happened, and therefore the question of the fossil gaps cannot be refuted simply because a few cases of transitional fossils have been found."

Gaswami (page 23) writes: "The Nobel laureate Paul Dirac once said that the solution of great problems requires the giving up of great prejudices. Darwin had to give up the prejudice for Christianity and its doctrine of biblical creationism so that he could explain the data he and his contemporaries collected. In the twentieth century, physicists had to give up the great prejudices of causal determinism and continuity in favor of quantum indeterminancy and discontinuity. Today, the twenty-first century demands an equally revolutionary change in the mind-set of biologists. They must give up the prejudices of genetic determinism and the Darwinian continuity of all biological evolution."

Gaswami (page 32) gets to the heart of the issue, evolution by choosing: "We choose not from ordinary ego-consciousness, but from a nonordinary state of unitive consciousness - call it quantum consciousness. You can easily recognize, though, if you are familiar with esoteric spiritual traditions, that this unitive character of consciousness is widely recognized as God-consciousness. Quantum physics is introducing God-consciousness as the agent of downward causation."

Gaswami (page 33) writes: "In God-consciousness, we have total freedom to choose among the possibilities that quantum dynamics offers for the states of quantum objects. Conditioning limits this freedom of choice in favor of past responses to stimuli (learning). Eventually, we become conditioned to identify with a particular pattern of habits for responding to stimuli; this identification is the ego."

Gowami (page 49) defends vitalism, and asked some hard questions: "The truth is that molecular biology of a cell explains neither an experiencing self nor feelings. Could it be that the necessary organizing principles are missing? Could consciousness explain the experience of the self? Could the vital body explain the experience of feeling? The unfortunate truth is that when biologists are shoved against the wall, almost all resort to evolutionary adaptation as the solution. Consciousness? Of course it is the product of evolutionary adaptation, the biologists insist, forgetting conveniently the problem of the experiencing self."

Goswami (59) defends Rupert Sheldrake and the idea of morphogenetic fields, he writes: "The interaction of the morphogenetic field with physical matter is a resonance of sorts. It is nonlocal, requiring no exchange of signals through space. Such nonlocal interactions are instantaneous."

Goswami (page 62) writes: "When consciousness collapses its possibilities, two parallel correlated experiences occur. One we call an experience of the physical world; this one we sense (or perceive). The other we call an experience of the world of morphogenetic fields; this one we feel. The two worlds do not interact directly, and dualistic issues don't arise. Instead the two worlds go on in parallel, and consciousness nonlocally maintains their parallelism."

Goswami (page 77) writes: "With an understanding of the evolution toward complexity, the biological arrow of time is no longer a mystery. As organisms get more sophisticated as a result of evolution, they represent within themselves more and more sophistication. Over the course of this change, the organism become more sophisticated in processing feeling. And all this creation of complexity, this increasing order and sophistication, requires the involvement of creativity from consciousness."

Goswami (page 102) writes: "I submit that to produce both complexity and specificity we require both upward causation and downward causation. Upward causation is needed to give us randomness in the form of possibility waves that obey quantum probability calculus. Downward causation, via quantum collapse and conscious choice, is needed to give us specificity."

Goswami (page 147) ridicules Darwinism: "In the Middle Ages, when Ptolemy's Earth-centric theory of the world began to show disagreement with the growing observational data in astronomy, adherents of the Ptolemy paradigm busily invented a seemingly endless series of cycles and epicycles (circles within circles) to account for the movement of heavenly objects around the Earth, tweaks that allowed them to continue to justify the old paradigm. The same thing happened and continues to happen in biology. The Darwinists' response to any possible observational discrepancy is to propose a suitable modification of Darwinian ideas - shades of cycles and epicycles. Darwinism is so general that it can be reinterpreted to incorporate any data that contradicts it. It is not falsifiable."

Goswami (pages 203-203) corrects Darwin's theory: "In quantum thinking, genetic determinism gives only part of the answer - the possible variations. However, natural selection in Darwinian form cannot collapse these possibilities into an actual change; that requires consciousness. But if we reinterpret `natural selection' as choice by nature in the form of Gaia-consciousness according to the creative requirements of the situation, this selection can collapse the possibilities into actually."

Goswami (page 316) gives his vision of our evolutionary future: "Let those who can, see the point of the new science. Let those who can, take quantum leaps from negative to positive emotions with evolutionary intentions. Let those who can, live increasingly with positive emotions, making new brain circuits and changing the associated morphogenetic fields. Let those who can, spread positive emotions through relationships. We will be few at first, but our numbers will grow, especially as we create new institutions that facilitate this journey for others."
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