I must have sent variations on this letter to the New Scientist five times or more since my book, Sun of gOd, was published. Sure, they might tag me as a nutcase but I saw that as a risk worth taking, and being tagged nutcase has never stopped me in the past.
An article in New Scientist on atheism as a faith, related only to the Abrahamic alternatives, moved me to write them once again. Whoop whoop – after major cutting, they published my letter last week as the Editor’s Pick! I earnestly hope it will plant the seed of stellar consciousness in a few scientific minds.
My long-winded original is underneath. New Scientist did a brilliant edit, but I like to think the redacted content is what finally cut through their built-in rejection reflex. Perseverance furthers.
The Original – Dear New Scientist,
Someone from another planet reading “Faith of the Faithless” (15th April) might easily think the three Abrahamic religions and atheism are the only belief systems on the planet. Buddhists and Taoists do well without any creator god while Hindus can attribute spirit to just about anything. Zoroastrians revere light and its emissaries, Sun and fire. Shinto worship a female Sun goddess.
The most worshiped deity in human history, and one that even atheists can recognise is entirely omitted from the article. Our local star actually IS the light of our life and it is NOT a delusion. The more that cosmologists study Sun and other stars the harder it becomes to explain their behaviour as random balls of plasma entirely directed by the laws of physics. How to explain Sun’s corona or the “magnetic portal” connecting it to Earth, discovered by NASA in 2008? How to explain the movement of stars in a galaxy?
As Carl Sagan put it, “Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were far from foolish…. If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the Sun and stars?” It was not science that burned all thought of a living Sun from our culture but the Church, and scientists maintain this religious taboo out of habit, not the scientific method. When science lets go of that old Christian imprint perhaps we will, mercifully, be able to consign dark matter to the same dustbin as the luminiferous ether.
One might better ask what dark matter is not than ask what it is. At least some intelligible answers will be forthcoming. So far detected only in the minds of cosmologists, “dark matter” began life as little more than a name given to the answer of a problem that hadn’t been solved. Today it has grown into a cult-like religion within supposedly ‘rational’ science, supported by faith alone and having less evidence than that ascribed to many Biblical miracles. CERN, the most expensive boy’s toy in the world, has been refitted at the cost of several billions in hope of detecting this elusive stuff, which is physical and supposedly makes up 85% of our galaxy’s mass. One is reminded of the centuries long search for the elusive “luminiferous aether” thought to carry light to our world, whose “existence is a fact that cannot be questioned,” as Lord Kelvin put it in the course of his failed 55 year quest.
What is going on here? Why are otherwise conservative evidence-based scientists declaring the existence of something when they haven’t got the foggiest clue what it is? Perhaps there is another way of looking at the problem that dark matter would solve. That problem lays in the movement of stars within their galaxy. If they are all just balls of matter being moved around by the gravitational force of a big black hole in their middle then the stars at the edge of the galaxy should be moving much slower than the ones near the middle. They are not. That’s the problem.
Let us alter our perspective for a moment, recognizing that eminent scientists of antiquity, including Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras and Ptolemy, were not bound to a Christian taboo prohibiting scientists, or anybody else, from infringing on their religion’s monopoly of all matters spiritual. It was the Church, not science, that assured humans we were the only receptacles of consciousness in the Universe, apart from God, angels and the devil. Science has dismissed those last three, which leaves just humans as capable of consciousness, though now some higher mammals are joining the club.
Letting go of all pre-programmed assumptions, which of these would you find easier to consider?
1) That for every kilo of matter we can detect in our galaxy there are five and a half kilos of matter, of physical gravitational stuff, that is completely transparent to our most sophisticated detection techniques.
2) That our multi-leveled dynamic source of the light of life knows life itself; that the Sun is not some accidental light bulb in the sky; that stars are conscious celestial beings.
I suspect most people would opt for No1, if only because No.2 has never been presented to them before, suffering from zero percent exposure. However an unbiased viewing of the scientific evidence weighs more towards conscious stellar beings than to random balls of plasma. This idea and its logical implications are further explored in my book, Sun of gOd, Discover the Self-Organizing Consciousness that Underlies Everything.
Taking this new (or ancient) perspective enables us to view our knowledge of cosmological behavior in a completely new light. A star, fashioned by the electromagnetic force from a cloud of cosmic dust, ‘feeds’ upon matter, converting it to light in a perfectly contained steady fusion reaction, something our finest scientific minds still strive to achieve armed with massive funding and our highest technology. Stars convert simple hydrogen into other elements, from carbon to silicon, from calcium to iron – a feat of ‘simple’ transmutation that we have not yet achieved, intelligent though we are. Our Sun connects to earth every eight minutes through what NASA calls a “magnetic portal,” when they think that tons of high-energy particles are exchanged. Giant electromagnetic fields link galaxies together across the vastness of space. It becomes increasingly difficult to explain the joined-up nature of this ordered Universe as random accidental action, with no shred of consciousness apparent until apes lost their hair on planet Earth and began using tools.
Consciousness is thought to be the greatest mystery of our existence yet we apparently know enough to know nothing else knows it. How can we assume that this energetic mystery does not accompany our local star? Perhaps consciousness permeates the entire Universe, manifested through the electromagnetic force that permeates everything from the inner atom to each point in the expanse between galaxies. I look forward to the day when science overcomes the religious taboo and brings the concept of spirit, or extra-human consciousness, into the field of serious study.
Right up there with dark matter on my scale of preposterousness is the multiverse, conceived as a means to explain away this Universe as a random event that just happened to bring everything together in exactly the right proportions and sequences for matter to exist, for stars to burn and so on and so forth. Some have even put a number to it, calculating that we would need many more randomverses (as I put it) than there are atoms in this Universe, to have one of them to turn out as uniquely as ours. Of course nobody has or ever will detect any of these randomverses, though many good minds indulge in the dalliance of theorizing over them. Once again, just add consciousness as an inbuilt feature and we do not need other unique verses, though they might well exist.
The problem is not with the motion of stars but with the irrational straightjacket into which Christianity has encased the scientific mindset. When scientists reject all things spiritual out of habit and not scientific principle they reject with it the idea that other realms of consciousness could exist; that “the greatest mystery” of consciousness could be more widespread than we think. If stars are conscious energetic entities then there is no need to explain their speeds and trajectories by purely random mechanical means. Though we might one day understand how stars manage movement through space we my never comprehend their reasons for travel.
We do not need dark matter. We need only recognize that stars, our Universe’s most populous residents, are not dead dumb balls of plasma randomly reacting to the laws of physics.