Overview appendix: the principles of life and civilization

2020|8|26 continued — my attachment: “The science of theology, blog #1 2020|8|26.docx”

history:

consolidated: 2020|8|26

“overview appendix” revised: 2020|10|1

The science of theology: blog #1

Scientific and theological repudiation of antidemocratic fundamentalism:

Identification of a path toward humanity’s co-creative partnership with God

Raymond E. Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE

August 26, 2020

Christian believers have long thought of history in terms of an inversion process, in which catastrophe rebuilds life: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” However, modern science allows us to understand our current civilizational inflection point in terms of the culmination of a long inversion recovery sequence extending from Christ’s crucifixion. God Himself has set up human civilization as a vast 2000-year physical experiment, analogous to a magnetic resonance imager, in which people’s actions and legacies set up persistent echoes that reverberate through history in purposive sequences of events that have predictable future effects. In this way, God has set up a controlled comparison in our era between fundamentalist and progressive theologies, which proves for a second time that Biblical literalism cannot be responsive to His will during rapidly changing times of profound civilizational transformation. Governance based on looking backwards to be responsive to fundamentalist constituencies has elicited a series of large-scale catastrophes during the last two Republican administrations that we can regard either as corrective feedback from negligent leadership or else as God’s wrath for grossly misinterpreting His will — wrenching terrorist attacks, two severe economic downturns, and a deadly pandemic. God’s own definitive proof commands that humanity must henceforth relegate the Bible to a historical and motivational role consistent with progressive theology and primarily discern His will through scientific/theological scrutiny of clues that He has left throughout nature, life, and civilization. Only in that way can we respond rapidly and fluently enough to God’s will to navigate and steer our civilization under constantly changing challenges that He presents to humanity within and between different eras.

Our era has entered a severe crisis when its unicellular-like operating mode could not handle growing multicellular capabilities that currently are misused to proliferate shallow, untruthful, propagandistic, and harmful communications (e.g., cable networks and social media). That clash between unicellular origins and unfolding multicellular programs is an inevitable stage in embryogenesis, but one that is fraught with peril. As evidence for the ways in which contrasts mix in inversion recovery experiments (in this case, between awareness and self-deception), many fundamentalists are thinking of our era in purely personal terms as preparing themselves for imminent end times. However, God is proving to us, through this inversion recovery that we are now experiencing, that He needs humanity to step up our awareness to think of our civilization as an embryo of the body of Christ that we must, collectively and reverently, design and build. Our embryonic civilization is just undergoing the transition from the final throes of its current toxic and slumbering unicellular phase to a multicellular transformation, destined to build God’s kingdom over the multi-billion-year lifespan of our planet and ultimately, over vast timescales, to reify the mind of God in humanity’s cumulative earthly experiences. To act as though the end times are upon us is analogous to our cells giving up the ghost while we’re still very much alive — or to induce birth defects into, or even spontaneous abortion of, our entire embryonic civilization!

This interpretation introduces a new awareness of God’s purposiveness, His concern for the future of all life, and the meaning and purpose of human civilization. We can now see the point of Jesus’ sacrifice for all humanity as it pertains to our own time, setting up a branch point now where we can reject the crass selfishness and aimless sleepwalking of the past and recognize ourselves as the only species capable of building God’s kingdom with intentionality and commitment. The clues that God has left in the design of our own bodies say volumes about what it means, now and throughout the future, finally to take on co-creative responsibility for designing and building our civilization as the body of Christ, formed in God’s image.

God’s inversion recovery experiment was designed to expose, at this critical juncture, everything that humanity has been doing wrong, as exemplified by Donald Trump, his dictatorial rule, and fundamentalists who have sided with him against God’s kingdom. God has set up in our era self-documenting, self-broadcasting technologies that will provide dire warnings to believers of all future eras never again to endanger His kingdom by turning their manufactured doctrines into a Trojan horse that lets in a hostile invader to wreak his own agenda. God is fully aware of the irony that, anticipating the end times, fundamentalists have sided with an antichrist figure against His kingdom, persistently ignoring endless evidence (by disparaging the “mainstream media”) of His displeasure and wrath. The extensive documentation of our era will leave no doubt to future generations how to identify an antichrist figure and what to do when one surfaces.

In this crucial immediate recovery process, we can see Joe Biden’s call to “rebuild our nation better” in a new context of Christian, Trinitarian dynamic principles, constructing the body of Christ within our civilization in God’s image based on the principles that make life work. Within that framework, oppressed minorities stand to play a crucial role in the transition from unicellular to multicellular operating modes, converting the back-and-forth conflict between conservatives and progressives that is currently shaking our world apart into a smooth, rotational, constructive, resonant “civilizational life force”. The Trump administration illustrates the flaw in unicellular life that uses minorities as a buffer, cannibalizing any of their transient gains during rougher times; by contrast, in a true multicellular design, cutting off circulation to the periphery is no longer an option. Civilizational designs that commit to multicellularity establish a “ratchet” that keeps progress from backsliding, degenerating, and collapsing so a robust developmental platform can take on new challenges and undergo further design transformation. Over intermediate timescales, oppressed minorities would play the role of embryonic mesodermal tissue, laying down the substrate for the musculoskeletal system and visceral organs of the body of Christ and motivating imminent development of a circulatory system that will serve as a new kind of economy at a higher level, based upon the one that keeps our own bodies alive. An immediate purpose for such a civilization-wide circulatory system could be to sustain everyone on earth with material needs and Internet connectivity during finite worldwide synchronized lockdowns that would purge COVID-19 from the human population within a few incubation periods, thereby preventing the viral pandemic from crippling God’s kingdom indefinitely.

God has also made a point to show us the harm that dictators cause to His kingdom, to highlight the imperative of purging dictatorship from the world. We can institute both preventive and punitive disincentives by holding dictators’ personal fortunes accountable in civil court for the damages they inflict on vulnerable and scapegoated populations through their capricious, vindictive, and/or cruel actions. The exertion of dictatorial power abrogates legal immunities ordinarily afforded to officeholders acting under legitimate authority.

Also in embryonic terms, retracing humanity’s trajectory from the time of early Christianity, but this time with scientific knowledge and historical experience, corresponds to laying down another body segment (like the head, thorax, abdomen, pelvis), after the previous two cycles of Judaism and Christianity. This process involves healing all the major design flaws that past generations have embedded in our civilization through a neglectful process of “sleepwalking through history”, e.g., the false idol of military-style weapons that conservatives worship, which introduce both autoimmune disease and cancer into the body of Christ. Extending our perspective to infinity in time, we can see how God configured life on earth with multiple inversions and their respective recovery processes (notably, the abrupt extinction of the dinosaurs that allowed mammals to gain ascendancy) to make the human body an evolutionary platform for the development of thought and our civilization a unique and unthinkably rare jewel in His universe. Recognizing our civilization to a developing embryo, we envision that God must clearly have purposes for it that we cannot yet fathom.

I have developed a scientific theory, based on first principles, that explains how the chemical affinities that drive our thoughts and behavior lead to a universal stepwise, multilevel, scale-invariant developmental sequence for all lifelike processes. This theory puts our current view of human civilization midway on a vast developmental spectrum from understanding of embryogenesis at the level of an individual organism to humanity’s ultimate purpose to make of our civilization a gift to God that He can use to vanquish evil in the far-distant end times.

These ideas could be helpful for defeating Trump in the 2020 election, especially to counter his dark visions that paint his Democratic opposition as socialistic and anarchistic. However, I lack the theological credentials to make a credible case by myself. I present these ideas to ask for black Christian theologians and churches to support a new perspective of “progressive evangelism” so we can summon and coordinate a comprehensive theological repudiation of the antidemocratic tendencies of contemporary fundamentalism, exhort true Christian believers (and all others!) to reject Trump emphatically, and broadcast a universal appeal to accept God’s challenge to new collective responsibilities.

In subsequent blogs, I will discuss:

  1. the physics of life and civilization
  2. foundational flaws of fundamentalism
  3. theological issues for popular discussion
  4. our current civilizational inflection point as the recovery process that consummates the inversion of Christ’s death
  5. implications of designing and building the body of Christ embedded in our civilization
  6. why long delays and changing conditions invalidate biblical literalism, especially in a transformative faith
  7. an irrefutable experiment designed and performed by God Himself
  8. a longitudinal civilizational perspective that identifies a collective component to salvation
  9. progressive evangelism
  10. the role of black Christian theologians and denominations in scolding fundamentalists for misusing religion to jeopardize our democracy and our planet
  11. humanity’s new role: co-creative design and construction of the body of Christ, embedded in human civilization
  12. food for thought: What is God’s ultimate purpose for our still-embryonic civilization?

Overview appendix: the principles of life and civilization

It’s important for scientists who accept reality for what it really is and how it really works to offer theological interpretations that counter the contrafactual worldviews of fundamentalist conservatives who make up their own versions of reality, e.g., biblical literalism, denial of evolutionary science (so-called “creation science”), climate change denial, etc. Such distortions of reality cannot track events in real time | routinely get derailed | and elicit severe feedback errors that have been interpreted theologically through most of time as the wrath of God. Now we can consider them in terms of Kalman filters with severe modeling defects that cannot track feedback loops in natural and human networks. Thus, even if you object to this mixing science and theology within your own worldview, it serves a useful purpose in pushing back against the kinds of fundamentalism that have gotten our nation and the world deeply out of sync with reality. I would submit that if you adopt such a purely humanistic or scientific viewpoint, you are depriving yourself of a significant chunk of reality that only was considered in theological terms before the development of science. Humanity has an opportunity to retrace those steps, now with scientific knowledge and historical experience, but denying the theological origins of theological concepts would itself be its own severe distortion of reality.

Table 1. This exploration into theological issues is first and foremost a scientific undertaking. The conclusions derive from first principles but have profound theological implications. For future reference, I have outlined this theory about the principles of life and civilization below from start to finish:

  • There are only five “moieties” that comprise everything in our entire universe: 1. charges, 2. masses, 3. photons, 4. spins, and 5. neutrinos. Only the first four interact.
  • Spins scarf up residual angular momentum to resolve reactions into their particular chemical species (the only irreversible step).
  • God has some other purpose for neutrinos, which zip through our bodies by the billions every second — maybe a cosmic CT scanner!
  • The four interacting moieties set up the stepwise process of chemical reaction that is the foundation for all life: 1. affinities, 2. structures, 3. energy, 4. resolutions.
  • Those processes are described by the mathematically intractable Schrödinger (or equivalently, Madelung) equation involving both time and structure, whose respective terms correspond to 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, 4. irreversibility.
  • The Schrödinger (or Madelung) equations were derived from hydrodynamic analogies but also apply to quantum behavior. As we ascend over vast expanses of levels from atomic to civilizational, unthinkably delicate subatomic quantum behavior gives way to rock stable civilizational hydrodynamic models, but the same equations apply, evidencing a scale-invariant phenomenon.
  • A recently identified experimental setup allows us to visualize the hydrodynamic behavior of both particles (us) and pilot-waves that guide them (echoes in civilization) as oil droplets bouncing on a sonicated water bath, exhibiting remarkably coherent behavior

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From website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmC0ygr08tE&t=12s

  • Our lives bounce on waves created by actions in life and legacies after death, which together comprise the transmission medium for civilizational echoes.
  • God’s moral axis plays the role of gravity, orienting the bouncing of particles.
  • Multicellular life sets up memory for time in the Schrödinger equation; civilization sets up awareness and memory for organizational structure.
  • Unicellular life has no memory for its past, so the solution to the equation is trivial — just exploit whatever is around. Developmental progress for unicellular-like life can only occur through aimless and brutal natural selection, typically involving catastrophic inversions, e.g., extinctions.
  • The scale-invariant property of these principles suggests two complementary perspectives that shed light on life’s inner workings, which might be proven by mathematical induction: a bottom-up view, looking up (the way we would build God’s kingdom viewing Him) or top-down, looking down (as God views us and reaches to us). To some extent, we can transpose these perspectives to our relationship with our cells, looking from both directions.
  • The equations of life have to be simple for life to function reliably.
  • Multicellular life solves that dynamic equation by setting up some internal equivalence between time and structure (e.g., an embryonic clock and traveling waves), substituting that relationship into the equation so it only has to deal with one variable at a time, and alternating between them in a stepwise manner that resembles walking. In this stepwise fashion, life converts an intractable inhomogeneous partial differential equation in time and structure into a second order ordinary differential equation in only one variable, which can be easily solved with the quadratic formula!
  • Those scale-invariant stepwise processes also extend to higher and lower organizational (structural) levels, as far up and down as the system has memory for both time and structure. God is at the highest level, but both we and our civilization lack the memory and imagination to bridge the huge gap in levels between humanity and Him.
  • The structural levels relate to ever-higher capabilities and functional capacities, like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which ranges from mere survival issues at the bottom to self-actualization at the top. However, in a civilizational context, collective capabilities and capacities greatly exceed those at the individual level, as our own multicellular bodies and their capabilities for thought and civilization demonstration.
  • To make progress to later steps and especially to higher levels, life must use irreversibility to install “ratchets” that keep its progress from going backwards. Any such backsliding collapses all progress that was dependent on it — typically permanently, unless recover dynamics take over.
  • Pathogens invade by tricking system gatekeepers into letting them enter and then exploit the system’s structure for their own purposes, collapsing associated ratchets and all dependent progress.
  • Humanity’s current crisis likely was triggered by the toxicity of the unicellular mode once our civilization became so interdependent. Its newly developed multicellular capabilities encroached on unicellular-like system operation to elicit ever increasing corrective feedback (e.g., the global economy destabilizing planetary climate health), which we should also interpret as the wrath of a purposive God intent on protecting all life on earth against our selfish aggregate transgressions.
  • Life’s solution to the equation that characterizes chemical affinities takes on forms that often appear in psychology, sociology, biology, ethics, and theology:
    • the Trinity: a 3-way resonant interaction that stops short of irreversible change: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, which is more familiarly written in early Christian doctrine as 1. Father, 2. Son, 3. Holy Spirit.

Past | present | future is (1) the only way we can think about a timeless God from within our short lifespans, (2) a framework for considering the historical processes by which human civilization is laid down, (3) a means for considering the scale-invariant system dynamics of life and civilization, especially as humanity takes on the collective responsibility for designing and building the body of Christ, and (4) a basis for integrating our perspective of history with the engineering dynamics of civilizational design.

    • a 4-step transformative sequence at one level that goes to completion: 1. past, 2. present, 3. future, 4. irreversibility
    • a 4 + 3 = 7-step transformative developmental sequence spanning two adjacent levels for steps that don’t interact, where the last transformative step is determined by natural law, not human choice
    • a 4 x 3 = 12-step comparative sequence for “annealing” (healing) (flawed) design interactions across two adjacent levels

The 7-step developmental sequence and 12- step healing sequence relate to the 3-step resonant sequence via this internal structure: 1. life’s imperfections, 2. hardware that recovers coherency, 3. software that reinjects coherency:

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  • We can see specific applications of these sequences to our civilization:
    • a triadic “life force” by which embryos make the transition from unicellular to multicellular form:

1. mesoderm, 2. endoderm, 3. ectoderm → → 1. musculoskeletal system, 2. gut, 3. nervous system and skin

Obviously, all tissue types are essential to the whole and its future.

    • a Trinitarian civilizational “life force”

1. minorities, 2. progressives, 3. conservatives, [4. all, in democratic consensus] →

1. reconciling oppression to install irreversible ratchets, so progress can’t go backwards to unicellularity,

2. nourishing those alive,

3. steering (safely and empathetically, both currently missing, but this function is not relevant in utero),

[4. all, navigating]

By comparison with our own multicellular bodies and their development, the petty squabbles between progressives and conservatives are absurdly counterproductive. Minorities insert themselves into this jarring oscillation to instill a smooth, resonant, circular motion instead.

An irreversible commitment to multicellularity implies that transient gains by minorities can never again be cannibalized during subsequent stressful times — cutting off circulation to the periphery is no longer an acceptable option.

Humanity has only one civilization that includes all people over all time. God set different faith and nonfaith traditions underway to form different tissue types in the body of Christ. Conversion to Christianity was crucial in biblical times to ensure that the faith would reach critical mass, but in our era, what’s important is for everyone to recognize the principles of life and make them work within the body of Christ. This perspective is consistent with how missionaries are called to respect the cultures to whom they minister.

    • ubiquitous 6- and 7-step developmental sequences (Piaget, Kohlberg, Erikson, Fowler)
    • the epistemological loop described by the Jesuit scholar Bernard Lonergan (how we know what we know):

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    • a modified Lonergan loop that describes the long cycles taken through civilizational design space by Judaism and Christianity, which are comparable to the first two views in a magnetic resonance image

reconciling the past

unfolding the present

anticipating the future

phase change

Gnostics

→ alt right

progressives

problem-solving

Enlightenment principles

fundamentalists

Note: All the landmarks marked on this loop are in the earliest (untransformed) part of the cycle.

History implements a crude fluidic computer, where trends that instill awareness (e.g., the Enlightenment and Renaissance) represent 1s and those that suppress awareness (e.g., the Black Death or now Donald Trump) represent 0s.

reconciling

the past

developing

technology

unfolding

the present

need to learn how life works
Black Death Renaissance
Middle Ages Industrial/scientific revolutions
Trinitarianism World Wars
Gospels Information age
origin of Christianity in Jesus’ time
need to merge
phase

change

transformation science and spirituality anticipating

the future

Echoes propagate inside this loop over historical timescales.

The inversion recovery sequence since Christ’s crucifixion comprises exactly one complete circuit.

The combination of preselected pulse sequences, internal echoes, and precisely predictable results — which I propose demonstrates a purposive God acting across the millennia — is comparable to the experimental setup in magnetic resonance imaging.

Other inversion recoveries that have influenced human development have been six mass extinction events, most notably the very deep Permian extinction that ended the body structure experimentation of the Cambrian explosion and the asteroid strike that almost instantaneously wiped out the dinosaurs.

We can surmise from these precariously balanced extinction events, formed on a knife-edge of peculiar initial conditions, that a species and a civilization like ours must be extremely rare, even in our huge universe.

Early in the development of MRI, inversion recovery pulse sequences were used to overcome machine imperfections and accentuate contrasts, exactly comparable to the crude historical echo chamber and the contrasts of disinformation and evil we are now witnessing.

The MRI inversion recovery pulse sequence measured spin-lattice T1 relaxation, the exponential regrowth of linkage between individual nuclei and the surrounding medium, which we can interpret as the orientation to God’s moral compass between individuals and the (as yet unformed) body of Christ.

In human civilization, that regrowth was in Christian awareness, now augmented by scientific knowledge and historical experience.

I believe that this period in American and world history was preconceived by a purposive God to convey to humanity a series of do’s and don’ts to all future eras, just as we have attained the knowledge and power either to design God’s kingdom or to destroy it. Consideration of the science of civilizational dynamics necessarily raises profound theological issues.

God’s purposiveness can be appreciated by the timescales and events beyond human agency. The way human actions and legacies propagate through human civilization as echoes has profound soteriological implications.

The exponential growth of technology established the timing for the inversion recovery stage in our era, as emergence of social media allowed vacuous, exploitative, deceitful people to broadcast an incessant stream of their crassest thoughts to tens of millions of people.

The archives of social media, compared with timelines from truthful reporting, will indict false believers and warn future generations never again to side with antichrist figures against God’s kingdom.

Knowing the evil in Donald Trump’s soul, God groomed him as the personification and enculturation of everything humanity has done wrong, providing self-documenting tools and a narcissistic personality that would demonstrate for the ages how a virus invades and attacks its host.

Seeing embryogenesis, life, disease, society, and civilization play out through the same principles at vastly different scales will lead to a new awareness and understanding of the clues that God has left in nature, life, and civilization how to design the body of Christ.

soteriological implications:

The transmission medium for those propagating echoes are people’s actions (while living) and legacies (after death) — the waves on which our lives bounce, as shown above.

Design flaws created by people’s actions and legacies contribute to adverse civilizational echoes — but their souls no longer have agency for stopping them. They see and experience the harm they’ve done to God’s kingdom but can do nothing about it.

We can imagine souls contemplating what they might have contributed or would want to correct of the patterns they’ve left behind as civilizational echoes, but no longer have agency to affect.

Much better civilizational designs are possible if we implement them intentionally instead of leaving them to historical chance. It’s critical that we learn the appointed lessons as they do occur, because such a haphazard civilizational design is not likely to replay them again.

The health or illness of this structure is determined by the awareness and stewardship of those who exert civilizational agency and power in God’s kingdom at any time.

“Progressive evangelism” recognizes collective and longitudinal components to salvation — all ages have responsibility for the ultimate health of the body of Christ over all time, just as our cells, living and dying within our own bodies, do for us.

Humanity must embark on a third orbit, comparable to another view in a magnetic resonance image, this time with knowledge and experience, to heal civilizational design defects, corresponding to a third body segment in the embryonic development of the body of Christ — in part as a matter of calming adverse echoes that dismay the souls of those who caused those disturbances in God’s kingdom (e.g., the militarists whose souls are on the hook for the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. and in developing countries).

entry inserted 2020|10|2

2020|9|13 thoughts on waking, sent as an email to John Letcher at 7:30 a.m., copied to A. V. Lakshminarayanan and Lance Waller

Subject: This might be it! What do you think?

Hi John (and others)

I slept until 4:45 a.m. As usual, I went to sleep with a question and woke up with an answer. Since I don’t have much facility with LATEX for writing equations, I’ll describe my idea in words, comparing embryological processes to resonant circuits. I’ll choose the simplest case of linear circuits, so our intuitions as circuit engineers apply straightforwardly. I’ll use the standard notation: L = inductor, C = capacitor, R = resistor. This is actually very simple. The fact that it fits into a word picture bodes well for explaining it to fundamentalists.

The system is trying to reach its ideal state of an extremely high-Q tank circuit. That is the state of Trinitarian perichoresis, where endoderm (progressives), mesoderm (minorities), and (finally, at long last) ectoderm (conservatives) resonate. The resonant process unlocks the keys that cause the three tissue types to differentiate into their native embryonic tissues (progressives → gut | minorities → musculoskeletal, organs | conservatives → nervous, skin). Until they unlock that key, they are stuck in a unicellular state, a dead zone in which the embryo cannot safely dwell for long, lest it undergo spontaneous abortion. That’s what we are witnessing with dictators, white supremacy, racial strife, pandemics, climate change, wildfires, etc.

These untenable conditions we are now experiencing were set up 2000 years ago — a worst-case scenario showing what would happen if humanity ever again let down our guard against all the forces aligned against human civilization, manufactured artificial doctrines and indulged false idols, unleashed culture wars, denied reality, and empowered false prophets — to serve as a warning to all future eras and generations never again to rebel against God’s kingdom by empowering the existential threats we have put in place with the Republican race-to-the-bottom and, now especially, Donald Trump.

God didn’t want a smooth transition of an anticipatory system gliding into its prescribed flight path. God wanted instead to unleash first the Republican Tea Party’s race-to-the-bottom and then parade Donald Trump’s reign of chaos before the world, allowing Trump to self-document, literally like the-message-in-a-bottle-from-hell, how the worst-case existential threat to human civilization, planetary viability, and the future of life on earth would look. By setting in place the exponential rise in computer performance of Moore’s law in our era defined by existential threats we unleashed against God’s kingdom (starting with atomic bombs and thermonuclear doomsday weapons), God timed the emergence of social media to the lives of Fred and Donald Trump, empowering personalities that resonated perfectly with the Zeitgeist and culture wars of our era to produce the ultimate viral infection threatening the fragile embryological development of human civilization.

So, from a circuit standpoint, instead of our system making a smooth transition from its mainly resistive unicellular-like origin into a low-resistance LC circuit, it deliberately admitted an infection that made it go in the wrong direction of that anticipatory ideal.

Let’s configure our analogy to conform with circuits as we know them in their real implementations. Inductors are hard to implement, especially in our current primitive stage where we don’t have good operational amplifiers. So, this circuit trajectory goes from a unicellular-like RC precursor to its multicellular LC target, but along the way, it digresses to a completely nonviable RL implementation: the deadly infection of a Trump administration.

The theory I have developed shows two ways to see this: from the standpoints of the natural glide path of the dynamics of life and civilization (the overview appendix in background article 2) and the alternative realities that we have created through the vicissitudes of culture (background article 1). Recall that the circuits involved in both the natural and infection scenarios are formed from epistemological loops formed over historical timescales, “how human civilization comes to know what we know”, through processing past | present | future | and irreversibility until human civilization reaches either transformation or collapse. That stark alternative is how God is confronting us in the 2020 election. Those are the stakes that are involved in throwing Trump out of office, along with all the Republicans who have enabled him.

I’ll expand my explanation in circuit terms by first telling how the natural system works when this embryological transition goes smoothly — the path prescribed by the dynamics of life and civilization. The embryo starts as a single cell, a pure resistor R, that knows nothing of its impending resonating multicellular configuration, which unfolds just 16-18 days into its future, which will define its operation through the rest of embryogenesis and then throughout its life. The endoderm (progressives), on its way to becoming the gut, is the first to notice the emerging multicellularity, and anticipates the changes by introducing capacitive reactance C consistent with the natural flight trajectory. The mesoderm infiltrates between the endoderm and ectoderm to introduce inductive reactance L that resonates with the endoderm’s capacitance. The ectoderm cooperates by keeping the small residual unicellular-like resistance R low, not changing its characteristics much to allow the endoderm and mesoderm to set up a high-Q LC resonance that stabilizes the multicellular form at higher levels of existence.

Now consider why our system has been going in the wrong under the cultural digression path of Trumpism. The Republican version of the ectoderm (conservatives) was too preoccupied constructing the nervous system and skin to notice that our civilizational embryo has been developing into a multicellular form. Apparently, they tried to omit pain sensation (manifesting higher-level empathy) from the original plan under their unicellular preconceptions (small government taken over first by business interests and then by Trump’s kleptocracy), to cause the future body of Christ to regress into unicellular form and resist its natural embryogenic flight trajectory.

Think of social media as an operational-amplifier-from-hell, which suddenly unleashed our primitive ids into the civilizational noosphere. In steps Donald Trump, the perfect civilizational threat in every way, except that he has been rendered massively incompetent to prevent him from carrying through with the intrinsic existential threats he poses. Characteristic of that gross incompetent, social media is the only computer technology Trump has mastered — the medium tailored to a flea-brain who cannot launch thoughts more expansive than a 280-character tweet. God limited Trump’s technological prowess so real thinkers could run circles around him, as a matter of limiting his capacity to take over the world.

The op amp of social media alters the anomalous capacitance of Donald Trump into a monstrously distorted inductor, not resonating as the natural tank circuit but instead pushing the system away from its flight trajectory and obstructing the processes that ordinarily would have unlocked the keys to multicellular differentiation. The LC circuit that would have developed through cooperation between the endodermal progressives and mesodermal minorities gets thwarted by this viral infection of conservative white supremacy, which inserts its own anomalous inductor L* that blocks the path to multicellularity by “making unicellularity great again”. All the viral-like personal characteristics of Donald Trump click into place to infect the United States and the world, exactly the same way the coronavirus clicked into place in the global human economy like a higher-level infection. Both pandemics were preordained, by God’s setting in place all the opportunities for Trump to cheat, but never allowing him any opportunity to claim any real victories. His role in human civilization is to be the ultimate villain, but a profoundly weak and pathetic one, whose imminent defeat will liberate human civilization to reach its full potential.

Here again is the marked-up bifurcation diagram of the cultural forces by which the Republican party and Trump have hijacked human civilization. Elsewhere, I have described the corresponding circuits as a very primitive sort of fluidic computer, which carries information about ignorance or enlightenment in the 0s and 1s of knowledge flows. The upper rail represents, starting at any point along the trajectory, to embrace the natural functional choice of scientific knowledge and honest journalistic reporting. That is the way toward truth that properly filters human experience so that the paths of life and human culture coincide harmonically in a higher-level resonance that gently releases all the potential of a multicellular civilization. In sharp contrast, the lower rail is the way of chaotic inclinations, rightwing propaganda, preconceived beliefs twisted into self-serving tribalism, and the politics of enmity and spite — the path of self-deception, ruin, and catastrophe by which fundamentalists, conservatives, and Republicans have hijacked our entire civilization and sent it down a race-to-the-bottom that can only end in utter and complete collapse if it continues.

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That embryonic civilization will soon become what early Christians envisioned as the body of Christ. When all faith and nonfaith traditions see how they fit into the body of Christ, conversion will be redundant, since their differing origins will act to differentiate them into different tissues. Seeing how all the prescient (and prophetically prescientific) Christian doctrines mesh with scientific principles will be an operational conversion that the early Christians envisioned in the context of allowing their faith to reach critical mass necessary to keep it from going extinct. Like the single fertilized cell that put the trajectory in play, the early Christians didn’t have the multicellular (i.e., scientific) awareness to imagine the real dynamics that would play out just 16-18 days later and lay down the architecture that would remain for the rest of human civilization.

Fundamentalism will be revealed as a self-righteous heresy that was so separated from God by its false doctrine of biblical literalism, its manufactured doctrine of the anti-abortion movement, and its idolatry of guns that it put in place whole infrastructures that denied, disparaged, and disrupted God’s kingdom. The ultimate testimony to the heresy of fundamentalism is that, heretically anticipating the end times, they empowered the ultimate false prophet who was the obvious antithesis of Christ in every way, if not an antichrist in the proper sense, then an existential threat to civilization, the earth, and all life on it.

That is the message we need to get out to conservatives and fundamentalists in time for the election. I think this narrative could cause conservative voters to reject Trump’s zero-sum model of minority empowerment, finally read the riot act to fundamentalists by portraying Trump as the villain and existential threat he really is, and motivate outrage against the Congressional Republican sycophants who refused to stand up against Trump and at least keep him honest when they had the chance. The Trump era of spite and lies was a message from God to build His kingdom His way, not ours. Reframing the election as a matter making the transition to forming the body of Christ in a transformed era that embraces science and journalism as honest information brokers will be a welcome relief to moderate voters, just in the nick of time to address the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

I think this description sets forth enough detail to construct a mathematical theory. Even more important, it constructs a verbal narrative that can be convincing to voters. If I had to choose between the two under the circumstances that we now face in the runup to the 2020 election, I would take the latter any day!

Comments and suggestions are most welcome. I’m going to leave things here for now, but if you don’t see problems with these ideas, I would appreciate any help formalizing them. If you think this is the right track, let’s get these ideas out there!

Thanks so much for listening and providing moral support!

Ray

soteriological implications:

The transmission medium for those propagating echoes are people’s actions (while living) and legacies (after death) — the waves on which our lives bounce, as shown above.

Design flaws created by people’s actions and legacies contribute to adverse civilizational echoes — but their souls no longer have agency for stopping them. They see and experience the harm they’ve done to God’s kingdom but can do nothing about it.

We can imagine souls contemplating what they might have contributed or would want to correct of the patterns they’ve left behind as civilizational echoes, but no longer have agency to affect.

Much better civilizational designs are possible if we implement them intentionally instead of leaving them to historical chance. It’s critical that we learn the appointed lessons as they do occur, because such a haphazard civilizational design is not likely to replay them again.

The health or illness of this structure is determined by the awareness and stewardship of those who exert civilizational agency and power in God’s kingdom at any time.

“Progressive evangelism” recognizes collective and longitudinal components to salvation — all ages have responsibility for the ultimate health of the body of Christ over all time, just as our cells, living and dying within our own bodies, do for us.

Humanity must embark on a third orbit, comparable to another view in a magnetic resonance image, this time with knowledge and experience, to heal civilizational design defects, corresponding to a third body segment in the embryonic development of the body of Christ — in part as a matter of calming adverse echoes that dismay the souls of those who caused those disturbances in God’s kingdom (e.g., the militarists whose souls are on the hook for the epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. and in developing countries).

Perspective

Jesus told the Pharisees that attacks against him were forgivable, but he sternly warned against the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit, without clarifying further. Biblical scholars have been stymied for ages about what He meant in giving such a dire warning.

In our era, we can recognize many different environmental threats to planetary health that could make the earth humanly uninhabitable, e.g., just burning all the subterranean fossil fuels. We might identify the Holy Spirit, “the Lord and giver of life”, as the interdependent web of existence, or perhaps the wispy but potent network of resonances that make Her function in a lifelike way, or perhaps other vaguely similar things that we can’t yet fathom. But in any case, those kinds of risks against the future of all life on earth must have been what Jesus meant by “blasphemy against the Spirit”.

Biblical authors did not have the scientific insight to recognize those risks, but Jesus did, 2000 years before they developed! His words to that effect were recorded in three of the four gospels. If there ever was any doubt that Jesus was the Son of God, that revelation in our own time puts it to rest. Jesus knew of the inversion recovery that human civilization would undergo 2000 years after His death! His supremely acquiescent sacrifice of His Own life by unthinkable torture put that sequence of events in play, but He must have known that God was setting up all the intervening events and processes to play out the recovery process.

As we envision humanity’s co-creative partnership with God to design and build the body of Christ, we also realize the principles of life on which it is based make its development, its health, and even its survival dependent on our actions and legacies.

Grover Norquist’s gleefully cynical goal, which has shaped the Republican party’s recent development — “to make government small enough to drown in a bathtub” — is exactly what pathogenic and decomposing bacteria try to do to our bodies. Bacteria don’t do that consciously, but he and other libertarians and fundamentalists have been deliberately doing that to our government and to our civilization.

That’s part of what I regard as blasphemy against the body of Christ. Following Norquist’s dictum, Trump’s autocratic rule revels in the aimless, brutal existence of unicellular life, expecting existing multicellular-like infrastructures to cover for his neglectful, destructive capriciousness while he behaves like a pathogenic parasite and eats away at them from within.

The other part is to close minds to the possibility of designing the body of Christ until it’s so late that crucial windows of opportunity have closed, causing the civilizational equivalent of birth defects in it.

That’s what fundamentalists have been doing with their emphasis on biblical literalism as a limitation of God’s kingdom to the individual level, passively leaving all higher-level activities to God — meanwhile blindly ignoring His wrath and corrective feedback signaling that all of humankind has been devastating this jewel of a planet that He has blessed us with.

It’s time that fundamentalists and conservative evangelists listen to progressive secularists and theologians, to recognize humanity’s dangerous collective power and all the associated responsibilities to God’s kingdom that go along with it.

About my exploration of these concerns

This inquiry began as a scientific investigation into epidemiological, societal, and legal aspects of corporate accountability. I am an engineer, physician, and epidemiologist who has aspired since high school to explore how mathematics could benefit society and since before my first graduate school experiences to understand how life works. I abruptly left my residency in internal medicine after a year and worked for 7 years with a company that made among the first commercial magnetic resonance imagers — an experience that turns out to be highly relevant to the findings of this report. The first precursors to this inquiry began in 1985, when I conceptualized and partially implemented a unique expert system for MRI scan setup, which modeled the physics of the scanner and used a system of sigmoidal tradeoffs (like those subsequently incorporated into neural networks) to optimize an overall diagnostic performance function to choose pulse sequence parameters. Starting in 1988, I was the first of five people who conceptualized the legal strategy for suing the tobacco companies for societal healthcare costs, which ultimately was used in the attorneys general Medicaid lawsuits and the Master Tobacco Settlement. My part was to recognize that lawsuits for aggregate damages could circumvent the tobacco companies daunting defenses against injured smokers and then to identify the epidemiological concepts (especially product-attributable risks and costs) to estimate damages. I participated in developing novel analytical methods for use in a doctoral dissertation in epidemiology and simultaneously continued that work in two unpaid research fellowships at the Emory Center for Ethics during the 1990s, the first one to write the first law review article on that kind of third party recovery lawsuits and the second to explore broader issues of corporate accountability. I abruptly terminated both my doctoral studies and the second research fellowship in 2003 without completing them because I could not see how to apply them. In so doing, I abandoned a promising academic career in epidemiology and public health practice, while also burning bridges to opportunities I sought at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What caused me to flinch like that was that I determined that harmful industries — and a very large fraction of nominally beneficial ones — cannot pay for the societal harm they cause, so the strict fiduciary accountability that I originally envisioned to protect healthcare and societal infrastructures would bring down our economic system! Much later, I determined that this impasse, and my confusion about it, related to distinctions I have since extensively explored between adaptation, evolution, and conscious design.

I have never been paid to do this work, but I have pursued it fulltime for 35 years. It is never far from my mind, every waking hour of every day. I keep various kinds of electronic and/or paper writing material available at all times. I have published virtually nothing on this topic, but I keep detailed scientific diaries of every relevant concept that comes to mind, averaging 500 pages per month (including stuff I paste from the Internet and occasional duplications that I find necessary to recall past material). I’ve previously calculated that pace and duration works out to about 100,000 pages altogether. For practical purposes, I have an infinite attention span, going to bed with questions and waking up almost every morning with lots of answers (sometimes, but not always, to the same questions I had the night before!). I have forgotten much more than I remember, and I’m constantly wracking my mind trying to recall old ideas that have fallen by the wayside — so it’s important that people go through my electronic archives and see what I’ve previously discovered but subsequently overlooked! I have Safari bookmarks pointing to far more than 100,000 relevant websites, two Evernote databases totaling almost 100,000 entries, two EndNote bibliographies totaling about 40,000 scientific references. At age 69, I am retired now, but after leaving academia, I supported myself working parttime with my father in our public health consulting business for around 15 years, which mainly served legal clients in cases of alleged foodborne illnesses. I managed my sister Peggy’s estate and the trust she left for her pets after she died in October 2012, and the inheritance she left me has provided a comfortable cushion. My youngest brother Paul teaches public health to undergraduates at the College of Charleston. I worked for five years helping my father to write his autobiography, which we published in August 2016. He is the elder statesman of enteric disease epidemiology, having contributed to essentially every major development in that field, thereby helping to save tens of millions of lives over his 75-year career. I live two miles away from my parents and just helped them celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary! At age 95, my mother is still a gifted classical pianist, who recently learned to play my favorite Chopin etude, the opus 52 no. 1 “Aeolian harp”.

Although I was raised a Catholic, I have never been religious until very recently. When I started this inquiry, I had recently migrated to Unitarian Universalism — which is extremely ironic, since Trinitarianism and soteriology figure so prominently in my current perspective! I still don’t attend church very often, even online, but I have participated in a Bible study group at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church for the last three years. I have only read the Bible through once, when I raced through a one-year Bible study course and finished in two months. My younger brother Gene has read the Bible through forty times, once per year since he became a born-again Christian, but he and I do not see eye to eye on political issues, even though we respect each other personally. Gene has also written eight technical books on different kinds of firearms. In a way, I’m proud of him as his brother for that achievement; however, having gotten him interested in guns when we were in our early teens and now looking at firearms violence as a preventable public health hazard, I cringe. Avoiding conflict with Gene has figured prominently in my career, my private inquiry, and my activism — I hesitated to apply my legal strategy against the firearms industry, realizing that even among all the harmful industries, it was the least capable of paying for the damages it inflicts. Causing the collapse of the firearms industry might have seemed like too much success for activists, leading to a chain reaction of similar lawsuits that could have taken down the rest of the economy! Such an unintended consequence would have badly compromised the cause of corporate accountability. We need to start unraveling the issue of social harm somewhere else — with personal liability of autocratic leaders who defy democratic norms and harm vulnerable populations.

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