Over the past two months, The Rising Tide Foundation has hosted a series of workshops exploring the powerful mind, works, discoveries and political effects of the great Russian biogeochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945).
We began by working through Vernadsky’s 1938 Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon in three sessions followed by three additional sessions of his important 1928 essay ‘On the Evolution of Species and Living Matter’, (the recordings of the first set of thee sessions is featured at the bottom of this post).
Both essays tackled the fundamental question: Is the mind and its creative effects in the material world to be understood as a “natural” or “un-natural” phenomenon?
Said otherwise: Is the mind itself a geological force of creative change within a changing universe yearning towards self-perfectibility and overcoming limits to its growth potential OR is the mind something outside of nature, to be treated with its own separate set of assumed laws?
As we came to discover, addressing these questions is no small matter and cannot be treated lightly.
For if “mind” and its attributes are assumed to be un-natural sources of disequilibrium as today’s modern transhumanist, neo-Darwinian and ecological ideologies proclaim, then several dismal conclusions must be reached.
First conclusion: The yearning to increase our species’ power to sustain life through technological progress is a foolish illusion which must be stopped in order to become ‘natural’.
Second conclusion: Absolute limits to our capacity to support life must here be assumed to exist, and trespassing beyond said limits in order to support more people at higher standards of living must be treated as something akin to an existential sin.
Such a confused or dis-genuine thinker must also assume that the only forms of mental activity permissible within “natural” socio-political orders must have the effect of inducing humanity to adapt to ever more static forms of behavior (see: scarcity-causing Green New Deal pseudo infrastructure projects, or the ‘creative’ industries of video games and entertainment which cause increased mental and moral stagnation rather than the inverse).
Vernadsky eloquently demonstrates through several principled lines of reasoning and using bountiful examples taken from his penetrating investigations of nature, that such conclusions are both incompetent and wrong. Not only do we find the evidence of fossil records pointing to a non-random directionality and design shaping physical space time itself, but we also find that said non-random directionality and design is expressed in potent ways within a healthy human social organization.
While modern Darwinians would scream that any such coherence is illusory and that randomness governs the so-called ‘creative’ appearance of new attributes within living systems according to a-moral rules of natural selection, Vernadsky demonstrates that creativity and progress are themselves wired into nature itself and account for every leap beyond nature’s limits to growth from single celled life forms exploding onto the scene billions of years ago to the multicellular revolution of living matter in the post-Cambrian epoch 500 million years ago.
The implications for humanity’s destiny as a species of unbounded potential within a creative, self-perfecting universe are immense.
Attached here are the first set of three workshops featuring a reading and discussion of Vernadsky’s Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon’ published in a 2012 edition of 21st Century Science and Technology and translated by Bill Jones.
Next week, we will share the second set of workshops tackling ‘The Evolution of Species and Living Matter’.
Click below for a Vernadsky primer and the original translation of ‘Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon”
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