|DNA is not alive, not biotic|
Here is some further reading on the subject: The Uncertain Gene, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Putting A Face On Machine Mutation, 2, 3, 4; On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Did Abiotic Intelligence Precede Biotic Intelligence?.
The basic brain shock wave begins to reverberate when we realize that DNA (genes) have the nature of machines, that is, they are not organic life (The Uncertain Gene - 8).
Today's post begins a new series "The Machine Religion" which has the purpose of explaining why human society is cavalierly in the process of (in terms of biotic life) "self destruction," but in machine language it is "regeneration".
In today's post I want to discuss the metae ("2. pertaining to or noting an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary," - Dictionary) and initial tenets ("1. any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc." - Dictionary) of the machine religion.
The first clue in the study of the machine religion is to comprehend the mysticism of technology, to wit:
"Technocracy itself is an immortality ideology that, although it is coupled with materialism, has as part of its makeup an element of the magical and a belief that new tools and innovations provide solutions to both the small day-to-day problems of life and the larger problems of human happiness and mortality. Technology is entrancing, and, functionally, technologists become creators of magic and the wizards of today, claiming the same authority over technology that doctors claim over human health or shamans over the cursed. This has always been so, going back to ancestral peoples who learned to use fire, tools, wind, and wheels. Even in subsistence societies, technology has a greater impact on a variety of sociological variables than do supernatural or religious beliefs (Nolan and Lenski 1996)."(Dickinson, J. L., 2009, Ecology and Society 14(1): 34, emphasis added). As cyborgs (i.e. abiotic+biotic mix) build societies, the machine religion eventually dominates:
[I repeat]"Even in subsistence societies, technology has a greater impact on a variety of sociological variables than do supernatural or religious beliefs (Nolan and Lenski 1996)."
"Because there are few cultures remaining that have not been superseded by larger entities, with tribes becoming townships, cities, states, and nations, we no longer have an “integrated world conception into which we fit ourselves with pure belief and trust” (Becker 1975). Although this might open up the possibility of a utopian, egalitarian, and secular society in which the combined gifts of individuals prevail, what we have in the West is a secular inequality devoid of a shared sense of the sacred and a heroism that triumphs over nature, perpetuating itself through new immortality ideologies that value material acquisitions and money. Lacking in heroism, these immortality ideologies come up empty or even inspire guilt. The irony of Western materialism is that wealth beyond the point of basic material comfort does not make people happy (Gilbert 2005)."(ibid). These observations explain why a minority of participants in the (it is said) "greatest, richest, and militarily most powerful nation" of current civilization can take control of power:
"Traditionally, technology consolidates power within a society and exacerbates inequity. What is interesting about the new information technologies is that they do both: They consolidate power with patents, exclusive intellectual capital, and expensive tools, and they distribute power through open source technologies and open communication networks. As such, they promote material segregation while at the same time providing a relatively open network within which ideological communities can function. Photo galleries, forums, listserves, Google groups, and new social networking tools like MySpace, Facebook, and Second Life present mechanisms for growing online communities. In this new virtual world, frequent interaction is easy to achieve, and the topics around which free choice interaction occurs can be very focused and specific, suggesting that large social networks function like smaller ideological communities once did in the real world."(ibid). It is as if "The Matrix" movie theme (machine-intelligence cultivates and farms biological humanity for producing energy) is the reality (The Matriarch of The Matrix, 2, 3).
"We" are practicing a self-destruct-sequence that comes from deep within us, all the way down to the machines (the atoms and molecules), if our recorded history is considered:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). This is further supported by the science which informs us that carbon is formed in stars ("When a ... star begins to die out ... and ... begins to manufacture carbon...").
Which means that stars are an essential abiotic womb of carbon based life forms.
The stars self-destruct eventually, destroying the carbon based life forms on planets within the zone near them, where biological life is likely to be established:
"Earth's fate is precarious. As a red giant, the Sun will have a maximum radius beyond the Earth's current orbit, 1 AU (1.5×1011 m), 250 times the present radius of the Sun. However, by the time it is an asymptotic giant branch star, the Sun will have lost roughly 30% of its present mass due to a stellar wind, so the orbits of the planets will move outward. If it were only for this, Earth would probably be spared, but new research suggests that Earth will be swallowed by the Sun owing to tidal interactions. Even if Earth would escape incineration in the Sun, still all its water will be boiled away and most of its atmosphere would escape into space."(Wikipedia, Astronomy Today, PBS, and Space Dot Com). Thus, the machine religion is, on the surface, akin to a death and rebirth cult of biological life that worships the sun god.
I will close this first post of this series with the notion of the sun god episode of the machine religion (Dying-and-rising god) along with its trail of "destruction" (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 6).
The next post in this series is here.