Damnation of the hypocritical fundamentalist heresies of our era. Commentary by a progressive Christian evangelist with a scientific background

Damnation of the hypocritical fundamentalist heresies of our era. Commentary by a progressive Christian evangelist with a scientific background

Raymond E. Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE

October 16, 2020

Shame on all of you, you fundamentalist hypocrites, for the ordeal you’ve inflicted upon our nation and the world! Shame on you, you blasphemers against the Holy Spirit, for jeopardizing God’s kingdom to worship instead your manufactured doctrines, as you have disparaged and attacked those who exerted real responsibility in co-creative partnership with God and carried out His will!

A “formal” reprimand

Shame on all of you, you ignorant fools, for not even once vetting a man known to be a shameless swindler who, over the course of his long career of business failures, left a trail of bankruptcies behind his harebrained schemes and then habitually welched on his debts!

Shame on all of you, you stupid marks, for trusting his endless evasions and lies over all the incontrovertible evidence amassed against him, for setting up propaganda channels that excused all his evasions and lies as he destroyed our government from inside at the highest level, and for giving him free rein as he has obviously tried to install himself as a dictator!

Shame on all of you, you corrupt conspirators, for conveniently overlooking his every egregious moral, ethical, and theological transgression and instead investigating, exposing, and persecuting intelligence officers who did their duties to identify a duplicitous, treacherous, existential threat who cheated his way into power and used your gullibility to hang onto it when real news exposed his dereliction of duty and treasonous alliances!

Shame on all of you, you exploitative coconspirators, for ignoring, for five long decades, the biblical teachings about forbearance toward immigrants and the downtrodden, most recently for five long years to buy into a dictator’s reign of terror against asylum seekers and minorities! Your immortal souls bear dire responsibility for the easily predictable consequences of his intentionally cruel, unjust, and capricious policies of deportations, family separations, incarcerations, and subjection to infectious risks in the face of a deadly pandemic. You be sure to remember this every time the issues of immigration reform ever again come up.

Shame on all of you, you duplicitous cynics, who played fast and loose with our democracy and dealt away the very principles of democracy, both in our nation and for our allies around the world, to perpetuate your duplicity past the inevitable point when you lost the ability to persuade the electorate of your false values. A curse on all the unqualified judges whom you installed by subterfuge, circumventing longstanding rules of fairness and reciprocity. Don’t you dare complain about contravening efforts to nullify your decades of duplicitous dealings, lest you become even more of a hated minority than your past history, recent actions, and already established legacies are now justifiably fated to make you.

Shame on all of you, you treacherous plotters, for turning our vaunted democracy and universally envied electoral process into a reeking cesspool of dripping cynicism and crippling self-doubt! How could you ignore, through two election cycles, the obvious dictatorial inclinations of a self-styled leader who refused to accept the results of elections unless he won, who accepted illegal meddling in our election by a foreign dictator to help install him in power, who corruptly sought assistance from other foreign actors to win reelection, and who refused to provide crucial evidence in his own impeachment trial for these and related crimes? If he had been removed from power expeditiously, our nation could have averted his dismantling of pandemic preparedness infrastructures and prevented the coronavirus pandemic. That blight on God’s kingdom is also on your souls, you religious hypocrites, as God’s wrath for your treacheries against democratic norms and fair play!

Shame on all of you, you existential threats to the civilization that you have derailed, to God’s creation, to our fragile planet, and to the future of all life on it! Just twelve short years ago, after your ignorance | stupidity | corruption | exploitation | duplicity | treachery | and existential threat precipitated similar threats from terrorism and economic downturn, the world seemed poised to enjoy a blessed period of much-needed recovery through responsible cooperation based on mutual respect, the rule of law, and acknowledgement of basic laws of nature. But no! you hadn’t committed enough unpardonable sins! You had to double down on your blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! You had to continue your persistent pattern of denial of the laws of nature and God’s will to the point where future generations would see your hypocrisy in flagrante delicto. You have elevated your obscenely superficial and prurient sexual prudery into a heresy that has repeatedly turned itself into a Trojan horse, first to allow ideologues and corrupt oligarchs intent on dismantling government to sabotage its very purpose, then to allow incompetents to run our economy into a ditch, and (hopefully) finally as a viral receptor for a dictator wannabe to gain entry, subvert every aspect of our system of governance, and shake it to its core.

A science of theology

A large body of psychological literature identifies a Dark Triad of foundational personality flaws — psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism — that is tightly linked to malevolence. Darcia Narvaez’s triune ethics theory extends Lawrence Kohlberg’s empirical theory of moral development with a completely compatible theory of good and evil, making exactly the same parallels but not requiring a specific diagnosis. Our brains are wired with three centers that correspond to the respective ethical demands of the axes of the triad:

  • the ethics of security corresponding to oneness (primitive structures from reptilian neurological development)
  • the ethics of engagement corresponding to sacrifice (structures from mammalian neurological development)
  • the ethics of imagination corresponding to nurturance (cerebral cortex development, a uniquely human structure)

Donald Trump’s obscenely well-documented life bears detailed evidence of egregious deficiencies along all three axes since early childhood, which continue to this day, well into his 70s:

  • He thrives on chaos and foments it all around him.
  • He thinks only of himself and expresses bafflement that anyone would act unselfishly.
  • He usurps all the power he can get and thinks nothing of wielding it vindictively to suit his own craven selfish interests.

His malevolent personality formed under an oppressive father and passive mother, manifested through early adulthood in exploitative business partnership with his father and close working relationships with McCarthy-era villains, and extended into late adulthood with the superficial celebrity of becoming a reality television show host, and covered up his systemic deficiencies in business management that actually resulted consistently in a string of spectacularly, historically gigantic bankruptcies. He used his false celebrity (which real celebrities pointedly reject) to excuse himself from presenting the usual supporting credentials for political candidacy — even after it became clear his own history of welching on debts and thumbing his nose at banks made him subject to control by hostile foreign interests to sustain his extravagant misinvestment habits. Through four years giving us a master class in bankrupting the most robust and successful nation in history, lying 20,000 times publicly (and still counting), you criminally gullible and irresponsible charlatan’s marks have let him evade accountability and withhold crucial documents that will certainly yield incriminating evidence that he is beholden to a hostile dictator trained in spy craft to control those who ensnare themselves in such entanglements.

How can I be so sure? Who else but Russia could have had the resources and would have had the inclination to cosign two billion dollars in loans over 30 years for a pseudo-businessman who habitually stiffed his suppliers, decomposed the corporations he ran into spectacular bankruptcies, left his investors with the wreckage of his mismanagement, and thumbed his nose at the banks? Who else but Vladimir Putin would have any rationale for getting his hooks into such a pretender to the throne? Putin’s investments in footing Trump’s bills and torpedoing our electoral process installed a Russian mole at the highest level of American government, with the enthusiastic endorsement of pretenders to Christian faith and American patriotism! You will go down in history as the worst dupes, hypocrites, and saboteurs in American and world history!

Donald Trump isn’t someone who gets things done by shaking things up. He is a virus that infects and corrupts. There is no delicate way of putting this: Trump is the anti-Midas: Everything he touches turns to shit. He kills what he corrupts and then he causes it to decompose. Trump is unique in all of life in mounting a lifeless attack against life and a lifeless process of decomposing the corpse. Nature has a division of labor in dividing those onerous tasks that disassemble the organisms and networks of God’s kingdom, but God saw to it in our era that Trump would be the personification and enculturation of everything that nature | life | and civilization could do wrong, as a clue how to recover from his pervasive attack on God’s kingdom: Start by doing exactly the opposite! More than any other notorious character in human history, the Dark Triad of Donald Trump’s malevolent sociopathy has exerted the Dark Leadership of these Seven Civilizational Sins: Ignorance | Stupidity || Corruption | Exploitation || Duplicity | Treachery || and Existential Threat.

A theology of science

That is what Donald Trump has done to your souls, you hypocrites — drawing you into all seven civilizational sins! And that is what you have let him do to our nation, despite the best efforts of determined opposition, because you kept propping him up and shielding him from scrutiny and accountability! You empowered this swindler to commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and now you own part of that sin, too. If Trump were allowed to continue his assault on human civilization, planetary health, and God’s kingdom, successive aspects of God’s creation would be shut down, culminating in turning the jewel-like planet God has bestowed on us into a humanly uninhabitable wasteland.

Yet, for four years, this malevolent pretender who is a poster child for the Dark Triad of pure malevolence and has no clue what Christianity is has deceived you into thinking he is some kind of savior of Christian doctrine and tradition! The first time he read a Bible verse in public, he revealed his ignorance of the New Testament, and his obvious pandering to ingratiate himself with fundamentalists — even as he ridiculed the fundamentalism of his running mate (who albeit has proven himself fully worthy of contempt, being uncommonly phony even by fundamentalist standards) — has been sickening to watch. You have always thought that your position “saving unborn babies” justified your use of devious, unscrupulous ways to circumvent the will of voters, but a moment’s reflection will reveal that the progressives were right all along. Not one of the forty or so biblical authors specifically took a stand against abortion, even though abortifacients like silphium and pessaries were widely used while they were writing the Old and New Testaments. Hiding behind biblical literalism, you made up the doctrine opposing abortion as an expression of your own obsession with curtailing sexual excesses, without the wisdom to attend to infinitely more important issues.

The antiabortion movement, far from being pro-life, is contrary to the principles of life itself. Life ensures its survival by sacrificing what cannot be supported, even if it has to make horribly difficult decisions to terminate innocent life. The genocidal policies of the Israelites to gain control of the promised land fell into that category of unleashing holocausts against the indigenous inhabitants — and likely elicited a counterreaction that encouraged the pagan populations to eject the Jews and send them into exile. This example goes to show by inference that abortion represents a similar kind of sin, although not on a civilizational level. You reacted against an individual sin by committing a whole series of civilizational sins!

None of your positions were morally justifiable, and in the end, you never stood by any principles, even those which were grievously wrong. “Limited government” and “individual liberties” were always a rebellion against common interests that are the multicellular glue that holds our bodies — and the body of Christ — together. If your own bodies had such a contemptuous view of its own internal common interests, you’d barely be clinging to life in an intensive care unit! You celebrate the very aspects of our traditions and historical experiences that should elicit shame and unequivocal repudiation. The sanctimoniously self-righteous plotting of plutocrats to exert their will in full realization that they could never persuade an electorate to accept their agenda was the insidious encroachment and metastasis of a political and ideological cancer. “Second amendment rights” were the worst of all — an idolatry of false idols based on lust for destruction, both of which were affronts to God’s kingdom that embedded grievous diseases within it.

But there’s a special place in hell for the archconservative “news” media that has led the deranged nosedive intending to turn our democracy into a kamikaze attack against God’s kingdom! None of the commentators and none of the investors deserve to keep the dark money they “earned” rationalizing and excusing Dark Leaders, sycophants, and traitors against the truth. Your firehose of lies was what Jesus prophesied was the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I have no idea telling you how to start redeeming your souls for the nefarious assault you launched against reality and truth. Future generations will see the toxin you spewed and wonder how anybody could be so callous, ignorant, and stupid. Don’t kill yourselves, though — suicide will always make a soul’s burden of guilt yet worse. You must chart new territory in finding dignity from where there is none. You do not have the right to aspire to much anymore after what you’ve done, so you must find redemption in abject humility.

In the midst of all your contrived absolutist positions on sexual morality that expose the superficiality of fundamentalism, lies all manner of your moral relativism opposing voting constituencies who have different ideological commitments, whom you have spared no effort and no subterfuge to disenfranchise in every possible way. And resistance to minority rights opposed the very dynamic that propels the launching of multicellular life that will operate the body of Christ in the image of God, leaving its design incapable of cutting off circulation to the periphery for the counterproductive, shortsighted benefit of the core, which only would result in necrosis of the limbs and loss of function. The robust structures that result from making such ironclad commitments to shore up the weakest link establish a physiological platform on which development can progress confidently with assurances that manageable setbacks will not cause systemic collapse that could jeopardize all previous progress.

Fundamentalists were right in surmising that divine intervention was responsible for Trump’s improbable electoral college victory despite losing the popular vote by over 3 million ballots. The remarkable civilizational experiment that God set up two millennia beforehand preselected the one character in the world who could do the most damage to His kingdom and never respond to any corrective feedback with the slightest humility. God has always known the evil that would be in Trump’s soul. He gave him a father who was pure evil and who encouraged the emergence of a malevolent character. Trump thoroughly personifies and enculturates all the principles that God most thoroughly abhors, and the thorough documentation of his life, fueled by malignant narcissism and habitual mendacity, will forever testify to the error of giving him any power or responsibility. The preconditioning phase of God’s experiment created the monster that became Donald Trump over the course of his lifetime and drew him to power. He learned to seduce people to get what he wanted, and fundamentalists’ inclination to deny reality in favor of ancient scriptures made them an easy target. As fully documented before voters even made their choices, Trump was a false prophet who had already committed every transgression against God’s kingdom that humanity has been doing wrong, yet those fundamentalists somehow thought of him as a “chosen one” who would “save Christianity”!

Simply stated, the United States could have chosen a better leader with a phone book and a dart, but such a cosmically bad one is an obvious act of God. God’s purpose for setting up fundamentalists to put Trump in power was to install someone who would thoroughly document with an endless stream of public communications, broadcast in real time to tens of millions of people and archived for all future generations, precisely the kind of leader that future eras must henceforth avoid empowering — an existential civilizational threat who would attack His kingdom from within. At a time when progressives were prepared to accept responsibility for stewardship of God’s kingdom based on secular scientific principles, God needed for believers to learn a lesson never again to side against His kingdom aligned with an existential civilizational threat. The Trump administration has been the occasion for entraining a civilizational immune response that would forever henceforth rise to the defense of God’s kingdom.

God has used the misperceptions of those believers — with their grossly flawed interpretations of His will, a predisposition to attack those who tell the truth, and a worldview that denied reality and accepted an unprecedented torrent of lies from the most responsible position on earth at the most pivotal time in our history — to deliver a warning. They have empowered the most obvious of existential civilizational threats almost to “accomplish”, in less than one term, what the worst of Israelite kings in ancient times took centuries to mismanage against their people’s interests — to lose the promised land — in this case, nearly causing the collapse of the most powerful nation that has ever existed on earth.

The Bible actually supports this contention. Jesus scolded the biblical literalists of His time, the hypocritical Pharisees who attacked and undermined Him, that their adherence to sterile rules was not reverence to God, but instead a false worship that could not discern God’s will. Jesus warned them of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In our time, we might think of that unpardonable sin as making our planet humanly uninhabitable — something Trump conspicuously threatened to do with denial of climate change and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Fundamentalists read those scriptures literally but cannot apply them to our time when God has needed them to protect His kingdom against the brazen impostor and invader.

Clearly, God’s whole experiment spanning all of history since Jesus’ time, completely beyond human agency, was fully justified in advance by God’s anticipation of the hideous distortion of His will that would be produced by a person whom He knew beforehand would leave that nefarious legacy. God has been planning to set up Donald Trump and fundamentalism as the quintessential civilizational villains for the ages since the dawn of time. Fundamentalists’ subterfuges to undermine democracy to enshrine their false doctrines in theocratic government, which then set up Trump’s efforts to install himself as a dictator with their wholehearted acquiescence, will serve as a cautionary example to all future generations of the warning signs of criminally gullible zealotry exploited by egregiously exploitative autocracy.

In this way, God is informing us with our own predictable actions that He doesn’t want us to litigate the past or predict the future on the basis of the Bible. The spurious echoes produced by Trump’s autocratic rule have generated phase errors by which God is showing us His will through corrective feedback — a message to return to acceptance of the reality of natural laws. Simply stated in nontechnical theological terms, biblical literalism ignores all the life that transpired since ancient times. It thereby foments grave injustices and false judgments on those who simply went about the business of living, superimposes retroactive and countervisionary criteria on God’s kingdom, and blinds people to what lies ahead. Under those circumstances, nature’s feedback pushes back and inhibits the human economy. Fundamentalists have stood by as Trump played out the world’s nightmare of misgovernance and maladministration, invoking God’s wrath in the form of pandemic and selective economic depression. True to form, Trump blamed the adverse consequences of his actions on everyone else, and fundamentalists have continued to stand by silently, even though they have always had leverage to rein him in.

There’s a simpler way to see this — in the administration of Donald Trump, which has been a masterclass in bankrupting the strongest nation on earth, showing utter contempt for God’s kingdom and natural laws, showing no fear of God in the face of His wrath in unleashing pandemic disease, and his fundamentalist supporters standing by him even in the face of his constant admissions of His extreme impiety. God Himself has definitively disproven the principle of biblical literalism to all humanity over all future time, in four short years during one of the most pivotal periods of human history, proving once and for all (1) that the Bible is not infallible and should not be used to make public decisions or predict future events in a complex era, (2) that in times of civilizational stress, believers should never again line up to empower and support an existential civilizational threat, and (3) that God has provided an infinite richness of other clues elsewhere in nature, life, and civilization to inspire believers to know His will — and specifically to design and steer human civilization henceforth. This is not to discount the Bible as a source of inspiration, but rather to note that God Himself has dramatically highlighted its limitations in a scientific and technological age when humanity needs less ambiguous and more responsive ways to respond to His will. God needed for the early Christians to enlist believers so His Church would reach critical mass, but now that most of the world’s population expresses Christian faiths, it’s sufficient that other faith traditions notice intuitively how Christian doctrine guides civilizational dynamics. The expression of other faiths in our era is simply a matter of differentiating all the various organs in the body of Christ.

Fundamentalists have served God’s critically important purpose of exposing their belief paradigm as false, but they have a lot of penance to do. They implicitly or explicitly supported Trump’s policies that were egregiously anti-Christian, especially in wreaking intentional cruelty on utterly innocent and vulnerable subpopulations whom he scapegoated to gain and maintain political power. They ignored the enormous loss of lives, connections, and talents that comprise the real civilizational substrate of God’s kingdom, letting Trump continue to mismanage the coronavirus pandemic in ways clearly calculated to improve his election prospects. They stood by as he cowed his supporters in the legislature with threats of “tweeting” to turn his massive public support against them (as if anyone with courage in a position of responsibility shouldn’t have blown the whistle), even though they could see he was making terrible decisions and leading our country down the wrong path. God gave Trump’s political allies the chance to remove him from office before fully unleashing the coronavirus outbreak in China, giving them one last chance to exert real international leadership and appropriate public health intervention, but only one among them exerted any real courage or integrity. After the Republican party tried to impeach a Democratic president for a sexual discretion, they proved their egregious double standards by letting their own leader get away scot-free after tampering with an election, repeating in plain view the accusation he so strenuously denied about the 2016 campaign. Now, Donald Trump tries to steal the election by crippling the U.S. Postal Service and wheedles excuses why the election he is losing is rigged and somehow should bounce his way, even if his stubborn selfishness would precipitate a civil war.

And all the opposing views adopted by progressives set up a an embryonic — not evolutionary — basis for building the body of Christ in the image of God, based on ubiquitous clues He has embedded about life’s design and operation. While you were obsessing about curtailing sexual excesses, progressives envisioned responsible, co-creative partnership with God, starting with designing the body of Christ. If that mission confuses you because you haven’t ventured outside the Bible, delve deeply into the modern theological literature on missional theosis.

Your actions will serve civilization as a warning to all future eras and generations never to commit your sins again

God Himself has set up your hypocrisy to make of you a cautionary example for the ages, ensuring that social media figured prominently in the dynamics of our era, giving everyone the ability to broadcast to the world. What He did, in setting up the confluence of Trump’s pure societal malevolence and your pure religious hypocrisy was to prove to all future generations that protection and development of God’s kingdom — starting with wise and forbearing democratic self-rule, respect for the rule of law, fair and honest reciprocity, and responsible stewardship for our precious planet, but eventually progressing to fluent transformative change — is God’s Own paramount consideration.

We are living the transition to a participatory universe, in which God can finally trust humanity’s scientific knowledge, technological prowess, and historical experience to enter into co-creative partnership in designing the body of Christ, building it into human civilization, and thereby constructing the kingdom of God. The new watchword is worshipful participation, not mere belief. In an era of vibrant transformation, God couldn’t care less what’s rattling around in our heads as belief systems, as long as our actions and legacies are harmonizing and stabilizing His kingdom. When participation builds, belief follows. This missional theosis embraces the diversity of all faith and nonfaith traditions to form the different organs in the body of Christ, thereby revealing the purpose of different religions. The principles are Trinitarian, Christological, and triadic in a dynamic sense. They are embedded in nature, life, and civilization, going far beyond the Bible’s limited perspective to teach us how to emulate life in human civilization.

But first, God needed to leave the cautionary example of Donald Trump’s sordid life and thoroughly documented craven motivations and the social media echo chamber that rationalized, empowered, and protected him against what should have been a swift and righteous immune reaction to oust him immediately. When Christianity was a fragile religion that needed to reach critical mass, it was essential that believers recruit more believers. Now that Christianity is by far the majority religion, God has made it clear that He gives no extra credit for what belief system is rattling around in your brain — if you are harming His kingdom, empowering dictators and spreading lies, you are damned in His view, which is the only one that matters in the end. God has exposed biblical literalists who supported Trump as the most contemptable of false believers. You have followed in the footsteps of the biblical literalists of Jesus’ time, the Pharisees whom He warned of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit.

Where were you when Trump revealed his malevolence, over and over again? Just to cite one example among countless others, his administration actually prototyped its policy of separating immigrant children from their families, and then ignored its own recommendations to avoid doing so for children who were too young to know how to reestablish connections with their parents. That is the pure malevolence that you have turned into American policy with your gullibility, your negligence, and your unholy zealotry! You have sacrificed God’s kingdom for a false, feel-good doctrine that has no biblical foundation, but you made it up and ran with it, denying God’s reality and ignoring His wrath at your heresy every step of the way. You never even noticed your own intense bitterness, which was a dead giveaway that you had long since stopped subscribing to Christianity. You haven’t been Christians for decades, despite your sanctimony. You are living out the woes of the Pharisees and teachers of law in our era!

You invited Trump into your Trojan horse of reshaping the judiciary with antiabortion ideologues so he could pounce on your souls like the devil and enter God’s kingdom as a fully empowered destructive agent! You sensed that your efforts to remain in power by your own dirty tricks and treachery could not stand much longer, so you needed nondemocratic — or even antidemocratic — solutions to extend your influence even after your own malevolent actions would retire you into infamy as a hated minority. And so you embraced a malevolent dictator and installed him as a wrecking ball in God’s kingdom. God made sure that your contempt for His kingdom was recorded on social media for all time! No person will ever be able to tell 20,000 lies in a lifetime, much less four years, and citizens will tremble that fundamentalists allowed Trump every leeway to trample liberties of the downtrodden, advance the crass interests of the corrupt and powerful, present an existential threat to human civilization, and jeopardize the future of all life on earth.

Progressives were right all along; you fundamentalists were wrong and wouldn’t listen; you created your own media for evading the truth and making up your own reality; and God has recorded your blasphemy against His kingdom and is condemning you as a cautionary example for all future ages to study, so they never repeat the sins you’ve committed. You had better repent, or your souls will regret for all eternity your participation in Donald Trump’s assault against God’s kingdom.

Ray Gangarosa is an engineer, epidemiologist, and physician who blogs at https://theprodigalspecies.com .

He is self-taught on issues of theology, especially intensively over the last three years, during the Trump administration. He was raised as a Catholic, followed a broad arc through Unitarian Universalism, and has become an Episcopalian.

Damnation of the hypocritical fundamentalist heresies of our era. Commentary by a progressive Christian evangelist with a scientific background

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

A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

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:

A close up of a clock

Description automatically generated

  • 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):

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

    • 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 Friend#11 at 7:30 a.m., copied to Friend#9 and Friend#17

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

Hi Friend#11 (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.

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated

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.

Damnation of the hypocritical fundamentalist heresies of our era. Commentary by a progressive Christian evangelist with a scientific background

The U.S. needs to discuss the nature of malevolence

Soon to be attached: an EndNote bibliographic database with 609 references spanning much of the literature on “The Dark Triad” of personality traits — the combination of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism, which is a psychological model of malevolence — and Dark Leadership, which manifests that malevolence at higher organizational levels. Many of the references will be attached as PDF files.

Darcia Narvaez has developed a triune ethics theory that arrives at the same conclusions from basic neuroscience, without any need to attach diagnostic labels, as evidenced in this comprehensive article:
Narvaez, D. (2008). “Triune ethics: The neurobiological roots of our multiple moralities.” New Ideas in Psychology 26(1): 95-119.

Until I upload the EndNote bibliography, and for those who don’t have access to EndNote, here are 13 crucial references on the Dark Triad and Dark Leadership.

Damnation of the hypocritical fundamentalist heresies of our era. Commentary by a progressive Christian evangelist with a scientific background

Email presentation about the mathematics of life and civilization

From: Ray Gangarosa

Subject: A conceptual introduction to the mathematics of life

2020|7|16 ff.   my second email response to Friend#6’s email of 2020|7|?? — also the long-awaited introduction to the mathematics of life! 

From: Ray Gangarosa

Subject: a verbal description of the mathematics of life, as they are unfolding in our era

Hi everyone

As a very special musical interlude for this long overdue conceptual introduction to the mathematics of life, I offer four performances of three different Vienna Teng compositions, which I reinterpret as being especially relevant to humanity’s upcoming unicellular-to-multicellular transition. Vienna Teng, also known as Cynthia Shih, has already developed the lyrical and musical language for communicating these civilizational insights and is already bringing them to life in her day job with a visionary nongovernmental organization. 

Vienna Teng – Harbor (Live) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL7zpo6QmoU

Although this song was written about a particular long-distance relationship, the harbor could also be a refuge and beacon for all the explorers in our civilization. That’s how I hope to offer the mathematics of life in my theory, like a global positioning satellite receiver for civilizational design and transformation. 

Two versions of this song paint a picture of how we’ll recover from the wreckage of our era. 

Vienna Teng and Alex Wong – Level Up (Live January 4, 2019) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2GQ9-FMgbY

Vienna Teng – Level Up (Official Music Video) feat. Tommy Guns Ly — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4n_8R5lKnw

Vienna Teng Trio – Landsailor (Aims Live @ The Independent) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJVu2kIBhW8

This brilliant song presented as a triadic conversation between humanity, technology, and natural webs, with the latter played as the instrumental on an electric guitar. In her hilarious introduction, Cynthia Shih relates this trio to the “trophic triangle” — which I interpret to mean the triadic structure that I will show relates to chemical affinities essential to survival that are inherent in Schrödinger’s equation. 

Take care and stay safe, 

Ray

A conceptual introduction to the mathematics of life

Raymond E. Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE

July 18, 2020

I’d like to thank Friend#6 and Friend#3for inspiring this draft of one of my foundational blogs. Friend#6 has prodded me to present the mathematics of life in a manner directed at overcoming humanity’s prevailing, highly vexing, communication barriers. Friend#3 seeks to resolve tensions by developing straightforward languaging that avoids labeling the warring parties by describing them instead in terms of their societal roles of highest potential. I want to frame the insights I’ve gotten from both of them in the setting and context of civilizational design and transformation, consistent with a reconciliation between the current strife-ridden dialogue and the mathematics of life — but also expanded in scope to take advantage of civilizational capabilities that exceed life’s performance envelope. By looking at the same kind of recurrent process from many different perspectives, I hope to accomplish all our goals. This is the first completed qualitative description of the mathematics of life. 

We can think of the mathematics of life as a recurrent cycle. I’ve found that a generalized Schrödinger equation that governs chemical reactions relates to an epistemological framework (i.e., conceptualization about how we get to know what we know) developed by the 20th century Jesuit priest and scholar, Bernard Lonergan, who thereby explained concept development as a cyclical historical process. By wonderful coincidence, this cyclical process also shows how to solve the inhomogeneous Schrödinger equation in structure and time by attacking it one level at a time, typically from lowest to highest. Substituting a manageable expression for structure or time for the other, the intractable inhomogeneous second order partial differential equation in both variables can be converted into a homogeneous ordinary differential equation in just one variable or the other. In second order, the previously unmanageable equation can be solved easily enough with some variant of the quadratic equation. This description suggests how life can (and must) link, from first principles, its chemical affinities at the lowest level to civilizational events and transformations at the highest ones — and all levels in between. A whirlwind tour of that spectrum of levels would provide lots of examples how everything fits together, but I’ll leave that exercise to the reader for now. 

Here was how Lonergan envisioned that humanity gets to know what we know — through a divide-and-conquer expansion of the same kind of dynamics to all levels, taking things one step at a time: 

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

To make Lonergan’s formulation compatible with the Schrödinger equation, I have changed his 4 ´ 2 structure into a 3 ´4 format. Let’s avoid embedding irreversible processes inside irreversible processes, which would compound chaos with too many possible combinations of outcomes, by omitting “being reasonable” from life’s dynamics — instead of finding consistency with humanistic philosophies, life conforms to physical realities. So, my usual recurring triadic framework of past | present | future for reversible phenomena translates, respectively, into being attentive | intelligent | and responsible. Omitting the past | present | future internal structure from each of the limbs in this diagram, here’s how my modified Lonergan historical loop would look, where “phase change” is a system’s single irreversible transformation in state, whether for better (e.g., civilizational design leading to intentional transformation) or for worse (catastrophic derailment): 

Here is my modification of Schrödinger’s equation for a single nonrelativistic, spinless particle, which adds an integral over time for the potential function V(r,t) to represent cumulative effects from the system’s past: 

This equation reappears over and over at each structural level. At higher levels, it manifests as hydrodynamic analogues of quantum phenomena, sloshing around like bouncing oil droplets on a sonicated water tank in the pilot-wave experiment that allows us to see macroscopically the manifestations of much the same equation as applies to behavior of subatomic particles. Before Neils Bohr bullied quantum scientists into accepting the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, both Erwin Madelung and Erwin Schrödinger had developed the same general equation for quantum phenomena based on hydrodynamic analogies. 

What’s amazing about these hydrodynamic models of quantum phenomena is that we can easily see phenomena that used to be considered impossible to visualize or even not to exist — most notably particles following trajectories and pilot-waves guiding those particles — and then to observe them easily in real time at the macroscopic level, where they were thought to be hopelessly blurred beyond any recognition. Here are a couple screen shots of those bouncing oil droplets, taken from a YouTube video: 

Extracted from different segments of the video at website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmC0ygr08tE

A picture containing bottle

Description automatically generated

What’s missing from these hydrodynamic models is the phenomenon of wave function collapse, in part because the pilot-wave model developed by Louis de Broglie and David Bohm didn’t think they required that concept to develop a comprehensive quantum model. However, in the setting of civilizational phenomena, I want to restore the concept of wave function collapse because it lends insight into complex irreversible phenomena. In simplest terms, we might think of the system “solidifying” a “collapsed” wave function by flash-freezing the water bath into either a more energetically tense (“bad”) quenched state or more relaxed (“good”) transformed state. 

In this regard, the usual context of quantum physics, subatomic systems and events, is on the opposite end of the spectrum as civilizational settings. Subatomic particles are so light they blow away and exhibit weird quantum phenomena just by applying enough energy to observe them, whereas civilizational phenomena are the product of long, powerful hydrodynamic-like waves over historical timescales. It’s very easy to induce wave function collapse in subatomic systems, while civilizational systems are inclined to keep exhibiting continuous “sloshing” behavior unless confronted by a hugely transformational event. Subatomic systems have much more noise, but civilizational systems feature staggering inertia. These differences in parameters make the same kinds of equations manifest very differently, even though they exhibit the same kinds of behavior. Heretofore, the differences have obscured the similarities, so these systems have not ever been linked in this way. 

Despite the enormous inertia of civilizational systems, the Trump administration, coupled with centuries of neglect of humanity’s responsibilities to nature and natural laws, could precipitate just such a series of huge transformational events, both bad and good. In fact, it seems like have witnessed a lot of such wave function collapses in our democracy, even as we hope for a transformative reaction that will prevent another dictator wannabe from ever coming so close to devolving it into a plutocracy and a cesspool of endemic disease. This cartoon captures the sad state of affairs perfectly: 

A close up of a mans face

Description automatically generated

It’s clear that the Schrödinger equation for a single particle can’t model the transformations in question for a multilevel civilization with vast numbers of degrees of freedom, so we need to imagine a lot of such particles crashing into each other to exhibit irreversible behavior. That’s why the four-step version of my theory lumps together all the irreversible steps as the last stage of transformation: past | present | future | irreversibility. 

A few aspects of the process of civilizational design begin to come into focus. We don’t want transformational events to come too often, but rather want to “orbit” a highly functional attractor perched at the edge of a constructive transformation. We want to operate the reversible system so that it gains strength and to maneuver it in place to move toward the best transformed state and, anticipating a sequence of future irreversible changes, plan for further movement along the best possible trajectory. We definitely don’t want the system to lose potential, and we especially don’t want it to collapse catastrophically and irreversibly to a state of higher tension that would preclude transformative advancement along that promising transformative trajectory. We want the system to develop better and better tools at every level and exhibit more and more coherent (i.e., both focused and beneficial) behavior at higher and higher levels of its existence. For all these operational and navigational plans, we need to map out the contours of the dynamic environment in which the system is embedded. 

Then what is the system’s dynamic environment? I propose that it has the following structure: 

  • We consider only one human civilization, which has existed for all time in some form, however negligible, and will continue for all time (hopefully to develop well and never to go extinct into a flatline curve). 
  • Levels are arranged on a structural hierarchy, from the atomic to the molecular to cells to tissues to organs to individual organisms to family to friend networks to communities to different governmental groupings to international communities at different functional scales to the whole of human civilization. 
  • The system’s dynamics operate the same at every structural level, through recurrent and interconnected network patterns and processes. 
  • The basic structure of irreversible interactions between living systems has variously been described as the trophic triangle, the host-agent-environment diagram, the Trinity, or perichoresis, which I trace to an orbit in phase space relating to a modified Schrödinger equation that characterizes the expression of chemical affinities. 
  • More generally, system dynamics have the format past | present | future | irreversibility, corresponding respectively to the terms in the modified Schrödinger equation

past: òdt term — the cumulative effect of all prior memory the system has for its preceding history

present: Ñ2 term — the system’s existing physical structure

future: ¶/¶t term — the way the system changes over time

irreversibility: gradual transitional processes leading up to either catastrophic collapse or else fortuitous or intentional design transformation

This framework expands 3-step trophic triangles into 4-step modified Lonergan historical loops. 

  • Each level is supported by all levels below it and potentiated by all levels above it. 
  • Each level must contribute support to the system’s operation | function | development | and transformation to ensure 

past: adequate safety nets and circulatory supplies for vulnerable individuals and subpopulations

present: adequate living support for all its constituents at all structural levels, from individuals to the whole

future: potentiation of all its constituents, present and future, at all structural levels

irreversibility: potentiation of the whole system itself on a transformational trajectory over all future time

  • At this first effort to model system dynamics from first principles, we seek to model the most foundational, influential, and important effects, which will have the same kinds of propagating influence over all structural levels: 

past: survival issues — derived from chemical affinities → memory

present: volitional issues — Maslow’s hierarchy of needs → inheritance laws across structural levels

future: compounding dynamics — the potentiating effects of power laws

irreversibility: transformational dynamics — orbital trajectories and transformational attractors and repellors

  • Note that this kind of system has memory for its past | inheritance laws across structural levels | and the potentiating effects of power laws. Even neglecting the profound qualitative changes from transformational dynamics, systems with memory, inheritance, and power laws can exhibit rich, lifelike dynamics combining multilevel patterns and processes, including fractional calculus, fractals, and percolation. For example, such effects might play roles in communication, differentiation, and development comparable to the organogenesis in an embryo. 
  • The extent of memory into the past and of structural inheritance to ever-higher levels must have great bearing on a system’s power laws to function coherently | support operations | develop new capabilities | and transform the system. 
  • Technology has provided humanity unprecedented capabilities, which we have not used wisely and coherently. We have attempted to separate our fates at all levels from our physical environment, causing feedback circuits — most notably, the coronavirus pandemic — to push back against our encroachments. 
  • Transformational dynamics have changed dramatically with the introduction of high technologies, providing humanity much more power (to do both good and harm) and many more degrees of freedom. We’re at a developmental stage where our capabilities make us dangerous to planetary health and global stability on all levels, so even our reversible operational dynamics can no longer orbit “on autopilot”, but instead require us to steer intelligently. It’s as though humanity’s transformational dynamics have themselves undergone transition from a low-speed freight train (where collapse resembles derailment) to a high-speed aircraft (where collapse resembles a plane crash). 

Life introduces purposiveness to the dynamics of our world, which is further intensified, amplified, and expanded with civilization.

  • Think of civilization as a Kalman filter tracking appropriate responses to the challenges of each era, which requires finding the coherencies of life’s signal against a background of noise and inertia. 
  • The purposiveness of life and civilization manifests as amplification circuits, in which cultural and societal networks combine to function as a single, widely distributed, active and reactive medium. 
  • Life maintains a triadic structure corresponding to a second order differential equation because that is the richest configuration amenable to solution. 
  • A modified Schrödinger equation characterizes chemical affinities and interactions that pivot around them. Hydrodynamic quantum analogues characterize reversible behavior under Bohmian pilot-wave physics, but for complex civilizational dynamics beyond our capacity to model quantitatively, we also need to consider wave function collapse, leading either to catastrophic derailment and quench to a dystopic high energy state or else to civilizational transformation. 
  • A general solution of the modified Schrödinger equation in structure and time seems possible only when one variable can be eliminated by substituting a relationship with the other. Nature does this in embryogenesis with traveling waves of chemical signaling and development that catalyze somatic body segmentation. Postnatal life manifests this recurrent solution as Maslow’s hierarchy. As hinted above and explained below, civilization may implement these solutions by intentional design as modified Lonergan historical loops. 
  • We can think of embryogenesis as laying down a body plan that establishes boundary conditions for postnatal life and civilizational actions, framed in terms of the same multistep processes stemming from chemical affinities and network interactions. 
  • We can identify 7 civilizational sins and virtues associated with a 2-level, 3 + 4 step sequence leading up to a single irreversible process at the end. Note that I have more often described this sequential pattern, equally validly, as a 4 +3 step sequence, with the irreversible process embedded as step 4 instead of step 7, but the combinatorial explosion of possible states in that configuration has long contributed to the chaos of humanity’s “sleepwalking through history” without any awareness or understanding of the nature and mathematics of life: 
step  civilizational sinscivilizational virtues
1societal level, stage 1pastignoranceknowledge
2societal level, stage 2presentstupidityintelligence
3societal level, stage 3futurecorruptionhonesty
4civilizational level, stage 1pastexploitationservice
5civilizational level, stage 2presentduplicityintegrity
6civilizational level, stage 3futuretreacheryrighteousness
7civilizational level, stage 4irreversibilityexistential threatprotection of vital resources

Aside: Note how Donald Trump perfectly illustrates all seven civilizational sins! 

  • We can imagine civilizational operation and transformation in terms of design optimization through successive civilizational stages. 

Now consider how to operationalize those ideas in a form that could be suitable for simulation, empirical analysis, and theoretical development: 

  • The forces of civilizational evolution are compelling us to become aware of reality at infinitely higher levels, but we’re stuck in preconceptions about what’s happening in the noise and inertia of our individual histories. People who get pathologically attached to symbols that keep us entrenched in the past — as opposed to those that inspire us to talk about our destiny — are especially susceptible to dragging our civilization down into the noise and inertia. Those drags on our awareness are like the dramas we read into our existence and our interactions. That is the price that humanity has paid for emphasizing humanistic, anthropocentric philosophies instead of conforming to physical realities. And recent attacks on our awareness of reality by political ideologues, irresponsible social media trolls, dictatorial rulers, and foreign adversaries intent on sowing discord have greatly escalated those costs. 
  • Accordingly, we need to understand the mathematics and dynamics of our existence to begin to apply life’s lessons to attain the true freedom of multicellular life — as distinguished from the low-level existence, operational chaos, and ultimate collapse of unicellular organisms.
  • When civilization is compelled to track higher-level trends, these spurious inclinations to get absorbed in noise and inertia actively amplify the error signals that are already present. 
  • Think of human civilization as a Kalman filter trying to track a coherent dynamic signal into previously unrealized dimensions at higher levels. 
  • That tracking problem involves initially orbiting desired attractors to gather strength and experience until nature pulls the system into a transformative state. With further experience and much greater fluency, the system can track an entire anticipated trajectory of optimal transformations in its output phase space, actively catalyzing the transformative changes. 
  • Then imagine circuits, e.g., those seeded by spurious conversations in social media, that amplify intrinsic noise and inertia. 
  • Consider that those seeds of disinformation, discord, and doubt can derail the hydrodynamic operating mode of civilizational design and transformation, causing it to trip up on some aspect of its past and collapse its wave function into a dysfunctional frozen quenched state. 
  • Further envision a modified Lonergan historical loop functioning as a transduction between structure and time that is used to substitute one variable or the other to solve the Schrödinger equation. 
  • For example, imagine how such a Lonergan loop might emulate embryonic clocks that play instrumental roles in body segment formation in invertebrates and vertebrates. Note this huge advance in our understanding and application of modified Lonergan historical loops — how they relate to solving the Schrödinger equation and to a specific embryological application — which justifies humanity’s reconnecting with our civilization’s historical roots at every relevant transformation. 
  • Also recognize that the native noise and inertia are also buried in historical and literary trends in the Lonergan loop. This is the connection between the qualitative and quantitative models. 
  • Then consider how all these processes contribute to building the body of Christ into human civilization. 
  • Then consider how we might use all of human knowledge to anticipate how we might go beyond our current early embryonic stage at the threshold between unicellular and multicellular existence to anticipate the entire lifespan of civilization through its adulthood and ultimate senescence. 
  • It seems most likely that human civilization will follow life’s intergenerational pattern, handing off its dynamics and knowledge to its offspring. From the extremely limited vantage point of undergoing early embryological events, it’s very hard to imagine how that intergenerational process would manifest in civilizational dynamics! 
  • Anyway, back to envisioning the course of a single organism in this first generation of intentional civilizational design, next consider how we might optimize current design foundations to produce the best operational and transformational structures and processes for human civilization from its start to its end. 
  • Then consider how humanity might provide God with a civilization that gives Him the best possible tool for promoting good and vanquishing evil. 
  • Then, as suggested above, consider one civilization passing on its legacy to a successor after its death. 
  • Our job as citizens of human civilization is to recognize the coherence of these processes and enlist them to track the challenges that God puts before all generations in each era. 
  • Then consider how we might design human civilization to use the unique features of our civilization to transcend the limitations of biology, history, literature, and lack of awareness. 
  • For example, imagine using neural networks, knowledge engineering, and deep learning iteratively to refine the internal features of this Kalman filter to improve its tracking of the challenges that God puts before each era. 
  • It seems that this very specific engineering model would lend itself well to a mathematical description of the mathematics of civilizational design and transformation. Without having to go into great specific detail, I can imagine finding general mathematical descriptions of all the components described above — Kalman filter, tracking problem, noise and inertia components, amplification circuits, hydrodynamic quantum analogues, derailment model of wave function collapse, Schrödinger equation, modified Lonergan loop, embryogenic somatic segment formation, embryonic clocks, noise and inertia from historical and literary sources in Lonergan loops, extrapolation of embryonic formation to adult functions, operational specifications of life, design optimization through the entire adult lifespan, design optimization through multiple transitions from death to subsequent generations through legacies, civilizational sins and virtues manifesting at all levels, God’s needs to promote civilizational virtues and combat civilizational sins, sources of coherency (vs. noise and inertia) in all those equation, unique features of civilization that transcend limitations of biology and history and literature, incoherencies inherent in lack of awareness, identification of “handles” in the whole model that can be reviewed and revised through neural networks and/or knowledge engineering and/or deep learning — and describing abstractly the mathematical processes that link them. 
  • Next I plan to work on a clearer, more specific mathematical and technical description of my theory for scientific articles, mathematical publications, and possibly also blocking patents. 

Besides the mathematics of civilizational design and transformation, the human element is coming into play — and there’s no instruction manual for how to do this! 

  • What’s most significant socially, culturally, and psychologically is that humanity has not adjusted mentally and behaviorally to these changing dynamics, and our traditional information sources provide little insight how to make such adjustments and proceed. 
  • In fact, we’re so caught up in ideological struggles from the past — the right-left divide — that most people can’t see and that neither side can manage as a dynamic process. In the historical past of locomotive dynamics on a single fixed track, it might have been relevant whether the prevailing political party leaned to the right or to the left, but in our era of incipient flight dynamics, we need the capacity to steer fluently in all directions, as needed. 
  • Threats to democracy throughout the world and the rise of dictatorships present serious obstacles to negotiating these troubled times. Frustration with democracy has threatened our ability to function collectively at one of the most critical moments in human history. 
  • We have only a finite time to figure these things out. The clock is ticking on our capacities to make these changes well, as delay itself could precipitate catastrophic collapse. 
  • Most important of all, in this era of intensifying polarization, we cannot afford to descend into civil war at this critical inflection point — even though political demagogues, ideological zealots, social media, and meddling foreign enemies have been pushing us in that direction. We need to stop fighting among ourselves and concentrate on the process of developing a more cooperative civilization than we would previously have thought was possible. 
  • Our own bodies show that there is a better way to live — the security and “living standards” and “quality of life” of advanced multicellular organisms is incomparably better than that of unicellular organisms, not least because multicellular architecture has served as an evolutionary platform for the development of thought and a provided a substrate for the emergence and development of civilization. 
  • However, the operational boundary conditions of multicellular stresses, from multifaceted defenses to physiological shock responses to cancers — as well as the limited capabilities of organisms that straddle the boundary between unicellular and multicellular existence — demonstrate that improved living conditions cannot be the glue that holds multicellular organisms together. Cells in multicellular organism must exhibit extraordinary cooperation and self-sacrifice to keep those cohesive capabilities intact, lest the whole system collapse and all the cells within it die. 
  • By the same token, there’s not as much need in multicellular organisms to perform the routine overhead that unicellular organisms must do. 
  • For example, as human civilization makes this transition from unicellular to multicellular structure and dynamics, it’s less important for people to have jobs that make money to maintain their mere individual existence than it is for them to support the infrastructures that keep everything working. 
  • Under those modified conditions of multicellular existence, it’s particularly important that all individuals stop inflicting collective harm. As a result, financial incentives and cultural norms must shift dramatically to discourage backsliding into the selfishness of unicellular-mode operation. 
  • To some extent, there’s blame enough to go around, and on the other hand, that’s not the point of what’s involved. In the United States, the right can blame teachers for rent-seeking behavior that compromises education, but the left can blame physicians for monopolistic practices that make healthcare prohibitively expensive and difficult to implement universally. The bottom line is that nobody can be as self-sacrificing as our civilization demands of us to make this transition, and the future depends with great sensitivity on how we perform. 
  • The best that leftists and rightists can do is drive aimlessly in circles in one direction or the other, crashing into every obstacle that gets in the way, so neither has any cause for criticizing the other. If an embryo doesn’t make the transition from unicellular to multicellular existence, its failure to act will cause a spontaneous abortion, kill the whole organism, and curtail its future potential once and for all. 
  • On the other hand, as a matter of learning from experience and establishing cultural norms consistent with life’s realities, we need to perform a detailed, comprehensive “postmortem examination” of recent failure modes, especially once the Trump administration has safely crashed and burned. 
  • In the new process we face of developing a super-cooperative collective comparable to that in our own bodies, besides elucidating the scientific principles involved, the only valid starting point is setting up illustrative examples and counterexamples of how to act. Constructive examples must start with ourselves by exhibiting appropriate attitudes, behavior, and actions; counterexamples may involve establishing financial disincentives for harmful behavior. 
  • Our responsibilities to our civilization, future generations, our planet, and God’s kingdom dwarf all other considerations. As I’ll explain in future blogs, I believe that the souls of people in our era are especially accountable for making this transition well and setting up the future of transformations in human civilization. 

We can interpret what’s been happening to our democracy and governments around the world under assault by the Republican race-to-the-bottom, culminating in the Trump administration. Starting primarily with news, I’ll point out the progressive position, which I believe to be intrinsically in touch with both reality and common interests, despite its inclination to proceed from there with counterproductive leftist policies. Nonetheless, I think progressive Democrats will listen to arguments based on how life works, whereas I still think that conservative Republicans will not unless they are shocked out of their complacency (e.g., by the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic). 

On that basis, here is my (admittedly premature) postmortem examination of the Trump administration’s incipient fall, which should be considered a thoroughly informed prediction rather than a prescient prophecy: 

  • Single-issue voters, obsessed with antiabortion zealotry, closed off conservative governance to persistent feedback about the highly unbalanced state of our world. 
  • Rightwing ideologues like Newt Gingrich, egged on by antiabortion zealotry and extremist libertarianism, developed political attacks into a cold, calculated science, turning former legislative colleagues from across the aisle into bitter enemies. 
  • Offshoots of the rightwing political fray, most notably Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon, approached media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Robert Mercer, to form broadcast networks designated for the abandonment of journalistic standards, denial of news, promulgation of conspiracy theories, and fabrication of what came to be termed “alternative facts”. 
  • Newly radicalized ideologues exploited the Republican primary elections to purge their party of moderates. 
  • Republicans countered two Obama landslides by concentrating on local and state elections, winning crucial support in 2010 that put them in a strategic position to gerrymander many state districts in their favor. 
  • The Republican Tea Party turned its platform into a pervasive denial of the realities of our time and the persistent, urgent feedback that humanity has been getting from natural and societal networks that have been tilted badly out of balance. 
  • Donald Trump used his universal name recognition and obnoxious character to beat 18 other Republican candidates who were in the more conventional mode of conservative dysfunctionality. 
  • As a hedge against Trump’s unknown allegiance and reliability, conservatives insisted on Mike Pence as a vice presidential running mate. 
  • Despite conservatives’ initial better judgment and a clear opportunity to oust Trump after the Access Hollywood tape was leaked, their opposition against him was short-lived — in part because Trump apparently panicked and timed the first Wikileaks dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails into the same news cycle. 
  • Defying all odds, Trump narrowly won an electoral victory with a margin of less than 80,000 votes in three battleground states, despite losing the popular contest by over 3 million votes. 
  • Trump did little or nothing to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. Emboldened by getting away with its cyberattack, Putin repeated the process with other Western democracies during the Trump administration and has been even more brazenly interfering in the U.S. 2020 election. 
  • Fundamentalists interpreted Trump’s victory as divine providence. Their consistently overwhelming support for Trump kept him in power throughout his administration — a concerted choice that failed to perform due diligence and puts their souls on the hook for all the damage he has done through capricious, autocratic policies. That culpability will have profound consequences in the embryogenic process — most notably in the current generation of conservatives’ developing pain and empathy sensation at higher structural levels. 
  • Trump turned the party of Lincoln into the party of Trump. He dismantled government and perverted its function. He defied and defiled existing norms and subverted the rule of law. He pardoned cronies who engaged in criminal activities to cover for his actions and tried to prosecute his political enemies on trumped-up charges. 
  • Democrats won a landslide victory in the 2018 midterm election, often overcoming massively unfavorable Republican-engineered gerrymandering. That victory gave them a foothold for conducting investigations of Trump administration excesses and initiating impeachment proceedings. 
  • Trump tried to enlist foreign help again for the 2020 election, both from Ukraine and from China. 
  • The Democratically controlled House impeached Trump, but the Republican-dominated Senate refused to remove him from office. All Democratic Senators voted to remove Trump on both charges, but among the majority Republicans, only Mitt Romney voted to remove Trump on one charge. 
  • Trump is pathologically resistant to admit mistakes or change course, despite having refused to prepare himself for office, paid attention primarily to conspiracy theories, denigrated the best information sources in the world, which are routinely obtained by federal sources, dismantled agencies dedicated to providing presidential counsel, and surrounded himself by sycophants. 
  • Trump is also a pathological, sociopathic liar, having made over 20,000 false or misleading statements in public since his inauguration. 
  • Just as he did in derailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s mission, Trump has silenced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and now has stripped it of hospital data about the COVID-19 epidemic that it needs for crucial disease surveillance. Trump wants to blind government agencies and the public so he can make capricious, uninformed decisions based on magical thinking and not be held accountable for the consequences of his errors. 
  • Trump has expressed intent to curtail COVID-19 testing, so it’s not farfetched that he would try to suppress reporting of coronavirus infections. 
  • Trump has attacked democratic institutions, acted autocratically, expressed admiration for dictators, met privately in secret with Putin, protected Russia’s interests, never voiced criticism of Putin, and patterned policies after despots — most recently in sending federal troops in unmarked camouflage uniforms to arrest protestors en masse in Portland, Oregon. 
  • The Republican party’s contempt for truth has made even the nature of reality a contentious issue. 
  • Conservatives have thereby fallen into a cult of malicious personality that threatens to undermine and overthrow the rule of law. 
  • The United States was the country best situated to weather the coronavirus pandemic, yet under Trump’s gross mismanagement, we have experienced by far both the worst economic and epidemiological outcomes in the world. 
  • Trump stubbornly clings to a surreal impression that an epidemic can just magically go away. On that basis, he has obstinately refused to provide necessary federal leadership, thereby fragmenting our response to the virus. 
  • Even as the epidemic is growing in 41 states, Trump insists on opening schools, so parents will be free to go to work during the day, so as not to deflate any further his once-vaunted economy. 
  • As hundreds of thousands of American lives are at risk, Trump characteristically is thinking only of himself, in this case, getting reelected. He has a lot at stake personally: if he wins another term, the statute of limitations will run out for criminal actions he has committed during this term of office, so he might continue to forestall investigation and further commandeer the Justice Department to protect himself. 
  • Currently, Trump is panicky because he is consistently losing badly in the polls, not least because of his gross mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and its downstream consequences: 3.5 million confirmed cases and 130 million deaths so far, unemployment not seen since the Depression, with 32 million people thrown out of work by the pandemic, enormous stresses on small businesses, and a huge anticipated drop in economic output. The stock market has oscillated but has not dropped significantly. 
  • Trump is bored with dealing with the coronavirus pandemic within the incompatible constraints he wants to impose on the economy, so his focus has changed once again to his fallback modus operandi of distracting and confusing the public. Unfortunately for him, the coronavirus knows nothing about the shiny objects he has tried to dangle before his gullible supporters, and his delays and negligence only exacerbate its relentless, remorseless dynamics. 
  • As an echo of what happened in the Bush administration, once again, stubborn denial of reality has resulted in economic prosperity inherited from the preceding Democratic administration turning into catastrophic collapse. The nature of that collapse is predictable — a huge death toll likely to compare with the worst wars in American history — but the full contours, e.g., in relation to economic indicators, cannot be fully ascertained just yet. 
  • With the murder of George Floyd under police custody, our nation has been plunged into racial turmoil, exacerbated by Trump’s egregious, lifelong racism. 
  • With all that’s happening to the American people under his mangled leadership, Trump continues to whine that, despite having the most powerful position in the world, he’s the victim of all this. Trump has obstinately refused to exhibit the requisite responsibility commensurate with the traditional power and prestige of the job. 

Proceeding to interpretation based on my theory, we can infer the following: 

  • Trump is playing chess at the international championship level with the highest of stakes, despite being a rank beginner, having spent no time preparing himself for the challenges, being utterly cavalier about the consequences, and getting roaring drunk (in his own inimitable way) on power. 
  • The chess analogy illustrates from an analytical standpoint how a series of catastrophic wave function collapses impairs system capacities and capabilities. The huge loss of life represents an irreplaceable pool of talent and potential. Trump’s magical thinking about the virus that pointlessly sacrifices tens of thousands of people to the infection, makes him like a beginning chess player who throws away pieces stupidly at perfectly straightforward defenses that any other president could easily have managed. 
  • Trump has thereby converted America’s position of great strength into a position of spectacular weakness and putting his side — that is, presumably, our side — in an ever-weakening position. He has thereby recapitulated the path he has taken at least five times in his business career, when he careened like a drunk driver out of control toward bankruptcy stuck his gullible investors suffering the financial losses, and reaped for himself the tax benefits of declaring bankruptcy. 
  • Trump’s penchant for lies, denial of reality, hucksterism, magical thinking, conspiracy theories, tactical distraction, disinformation, propaganda, authoritarianism, rash action, repeated bankruptcies, cavalier attitude toward unacceptable risks, lack of empathy, lack of accountability, etc., make Trump an American Chernobyl president — a spectacular catastrophe waiting to happen. 
  • Here’s an interesting anecdote and analogy. Trump has so attempted to distract and confuse that he has left doubts about the most basic truths about self-protection during a deadly pandemic, like facemasks. There’s no reason why such an effective measure should be controversial, yet confusion about that precaution is another shiny object he can dangle before the public to distract them from his gross mismanagement. 
  • I heard of a discussion where someone compared wearing face masks to wearing seat belts — and then another person said it was more like not driving drunk. Wearing masks, you don’t just protect yourself, but everyone else around you, including yourself. The protective effect of masks is quite comparable to that of sober driving. 
  • That’s a really good analogy that should go a long way to framing issues of collective responsibility in new ways! 
  • I exclaimed to the person who told me about the conversation, “Voting Republican is really what’s like driving drunk!!” Having Trump at the helm is like being a passenger in a taxi driven by someone who is roaring drunk! 
  • By analogy, the Republican agenda — divorced from reality, feedback, truth, consistency, sober leadership, and accountability and misled by their own denial, conspiracy theories, and propaganda — has been like “governing while intoxicated”. 
  • It’s as though Republicans have put the American people in a taxi with a drunk at the wheel — a whole series of conservative legislators, culminating in the worst of them, Donald Trump. Their deranged, drunk taxi drivers keep crashing the car, making it less and less drivable with each successive collision! That’s the effect on our economy of all those unnecessary deaths, unprecedented anywhere else in the world — even in past Republican presidents and legislative leaders. 
  • The development of technology has provided humanity with more power to do harm or good and more degrees of freedom, so we are experiencing a transition from a locomotive on a track to a car on a road or an airplane just taking off into the air. Unfamiliar with the change in scenario, conservatives and progressives have been struggling for control of the steering wheel, thinking that steering in only one direction is indicated and appropriate — but doing so will result in derailment to the right or to the left. 
  • These dynamics suggest that progressives intent on collective responsibility and conservatives obsessed with personal responsibility shouldn’t be competing for elected office, but instead should be manning governmental agencies associated with those operational functions. Instead of “dismantling the administrative state”, as Steve Bannon has advocated, the current generation of conservatives should find their major expression advising government within such a structure! Such is the politics of doing everything exactly wrong — one simple way to guess how to proceed from here is to do precisely the opposite of the Trump administration! 
  • Trump is drunk on power, to the extent that he deliberately pushes the envelope of the rule of law, exploiting a fabricated national emergency to try to exercise dictatorial powers (as, for example, his use of unmarked federal troops like storm troopers without permission of state and local authorities). 
  • The comparison between the Republican party’s collective irresponsibility and drunk driving is also apt in light of (1) the reemergence of trajectories in hydrodynamic quantum analogues, (2) the notion of derailment under wave function collapse, (3) comparison of Donald Trump to a spectacularly incompetent and roaring drunk taxi driver, (4) the analogy that Barack Obama gave about George W. Bush, that Republican administrations drive the country into a ditch, and so they shouldn’t get the keys again. 
  • The Republican agenda has thereby been orbiting destructive attractors likely to cause wave function collapse via derailment and quench. 
  • By closing off its agenda to urgent feedback from natural and societal networks through its antiabortion zealotry, the Republican party has chosen two successive leaders who will not admit mistakes or change course in the face of compelling evidence of profound error. 
  • Conservatives’ egregious double standards and tribalism have made them insensitive to the faults and failings of their own leadership and unable to reach consensus with the other side, even in times of pandemic crisis, when common interests should be evident and easy to appreciate. 
  • After the gains that conservatives made in local and state governments since the first Obama midterm election in 2010, conservatives imagined themselves in a position to sabotage the Democrat’s progressive agenda and steer their own course. 
  • Here’s a powerful new way to compare individual responsibility (like wearing a seat belt) to collective responsibility: drinking responsibly, driving responsibly, wearing face masks, and governing responsibly, voting responsibly, reporting the news responsibly. 
  • That’s be a powerful way to frame Americans’ responsibilities for voting in 2020 to get Donald Trump and his Republican enablers out of office and keeping them out of politics forever. The current generation of Republicans have done everything in their power to ensure they will henceforth be regarded as a hated minority. 
  • It’s up to never-Trump Republicans to salvage and rehabilitate the party of Lincoln by removing every vestige of the party of Trump. Fortunately, Trump did just one thing right, by showing how that should be done — the way he undid every action of Barack Obama should be the fate of virtually every decision he made in office. 
  • I should expand consideration of these topics of collective responsibility to other issues, e.g., equality of opportunity over population structure and long timescales to frame issues of racial discrimination and then also to planetary health, pollution control, environmental justice. 

Now let’s consider how the four-step cycle, past → present → future → irreversibility … → restart, plays out across all levels in human society, from our biochemistry that keeps us alive at the lowest level to our whole civilization to the entire future of all life to the kingdom of God at the highest levels. 

The basic structure can be recursively embedded within itself to any level of detail, like a fractal. However, we’ll only consider development through successive pairs of levels but then imagine how they extend from the lowest to the highest levels for which structural inheritance manifests. 

Also, as a matter of reliable civilizational design that prohibits a proliferation of fragmented possibilities, we’ll specify that there be only one irreversible step, at the highest level within our design ability. Thus, all intermediate steps must be three-step orbits, not four-step transformations. 

So, at the highest level, we have 4 triads, each corresponding to history | structure | change, i.e., òdt | Ñ2 | ¶/¶t: 

  • past:  set up capacities for orbital dynamics and transformative change

chemical affinities → memory | 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs → structural inheritance relationships | 

power laws

  • present: 

minorities: protecting the weakest links | 

progressives: emphasizing collective responsibility, common interests, shared fate | 

conservatives: traditionally emphasizing individual responsibility and personal initiative, but morphing (in the wreckage of the Trump administration) into deep collective regret and emergence of awareness of humanity’s shared fate, which emulates the emergence of pain sensation

  • future: embryogenesis sets up the basis for human civilization to function like a multicellular organism — the body of Christ

roles for meso- || endo- || ecto- derm: set up traveling waves of chemical signals that catalyze somatic body segmentation, allowing substitution of time for structure (or vice versa) in the Schrödinger equation, and turning an intractable inhomogeneous partial differential equation into an easily-solved homogeneous ordinary differential equation

corollary: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is an abstraction of this kind of segmentation, which exists as a multilevel structure because of this alternating (structure-temporality) solution to Schrödinger’s equation — In other words, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the abstract structural analogue of body segmentation! Wow-ward-ly!! 

mesoderm — fated to become the musculoskeletal system and visceral organs

endoderm — fated to become the gut

ectoderm — fated to become the nervous system and skin

Corollary: Friend#3’s languaging, which avoids labels and judgment: 

during embryogenesisafter some kind of “birth” event
“minorities” → effectors and balancers“progressives” → nourishers“conservatives” → sensors“minorities” → balancers and effectors“progressives” → nourishers“conservatives” → sensors and initiators

This is a framework for crafting an administrative state of expert advisors to nonpolitical (in the progressive-conservative partisan sense) elected officials. We should take George Washington’s ardent advice seriously, to remove partisanship from governance.

Obviously, every group needs every other or nothing can function in multicellular mode. Washington’s advice was prescient, anticipating a transition when American governance would function as a super-cooperative multicellular-like civilization. 

  • irreversibility: modified Lonergan cycle — an abstract basis for transformative dynamics emulating embryonic somatic segmentation and the postnatal Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Recall the basic structure: 

reconciling past | unfolding present | anticipating future | phase change

Here is how history is about to undergo a 2000-year cycle in the crucial inflection point of our era

— as a modified Lonergan loop: 

reconcilingthe pastdevelopingtechnology unfoldingthe 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 
phasechangetransformation science and spiritualityanticipatingthe future

In steady state orbits, …

… minorities | progressives | conservatives emphasize …

… protection of weakest links | collective responsibility | individual responsibility

Note that progressives and conservatives cannot establish functional orbits by themselves, even cooperatively: 

Their interaction would devolve to vicious competition. 

Minorities have more compelling needs on Maslow’s hierarchy. 

The triadic cycle establishes a basis for dynamic balancing and hydrodynamic quantum behavior. 

With minorities in the loop and proper behavior by progressives and conservatives, the system doesn’t derail, crash, or collapse. Its quantum states are intact and observable. It can build its functional capacities as it orbits and then steer toward desired transformational attractors. 

The implications of the critical role of minorities in this “perichoresis”, or “trinitarian dance”, are momentous — ours is the era when “The meek shall inherit the earth.” 

Note that dictatorships cannot undergo these changes: 

  • Neither dictators nor their captive subjects would be willing to exhibit sufficient self-sacrifice to prop up the dictatorship. 
  • People in a dictatorship are too close to survival needs to show much memory for the past or support for structural inheritances. 
  • The unicellular mode predominates, so a dictatorship functions like a bacterial pathogen, with no internal or external loyalties or commitments. 

On that basis, nations developing multicellular-like structures and functions have standing and measures for developing “antibiotics” against dictatorships: 

Make autocratic rulers personally accountable in civil courts to people and institutions harmed by capricious rule. 

Dictators’ defiance of democratic norms abrogates immunity that officeholders ordinarily have against personal lawsuits when functioning under color of official authority. 

When this generation of dictators is bankrupted by lawsuits for the harm they have caused, autocratic sociopaths will be discouraged from entering government “service”. 

Most corporations can’t pay for the harm they do, so dictators should be the starting point for developing fiduciary accountability for negative externalities — which we can anticipate will be an essential feature of a functioning civilization. 

I agree with fundamentalists that Trump won the 2016 election by divine intervention. God knows the evil in Donald Trump’s soul — the total lack of fear of God — so He put Trump in charge when humanity was confronted by a force of nature: the recurrence of the first deadly respiratory virus in a century. Fundamentalists should understand the concept of God’s wrath, of retribution for sinful behavior. The embryonic model of civilization predicts that conservatives, as the ectoderm fated to become the nervous system and skin, need to develop pain sensation at this critical transition. That development of pain will manifest as regret for having supported Trumpism and empathy for those whom Trump has injured with his capricious, autocratic rule. The adverse consequences of a pandemic are beyond human agency — although the effects of dictatorial rule can readily worsen them tremendously. We are seeing the current brand of conservatism forever linked with Trump’s efforts to impose dictatorship, by virtue of the path that fundamentalists and libertarians have doggedly taken for 50 to 100 years. 

There’s a secular, scientific way to understand this notion of “divine intervention”. Human civilization has gone too many times to the well of encroaching on fragile natural ecosystems, thereby tempting the inevitable emergence of zoonotic diseases once too often. Planetary dynamics have enormous information processing capability for finding humanity’s weaknesses, albeit at a very low level of coherency. What that means is that nature’s only defense against our encroachment — at least when we are so deaf to its feedback — is to generate deadly epidemics and threaten civilizational collapse. This is a teleonomic interpretation of God’s wrath — like the Old Testament lite for scientists! The next question is, which perspective has a better grasp of reality, or conversely, which flawed perspective has precipitated God’s wrath? 

Getting back to a teleological interpretation of God’s wrath, this novel coronavirus pandemic seems like divine intervention perfectly tailored to chastise fundamentalists while vindicating progressives and gently constraining their excesses. Beyond human agency, the need for social distancing has put the kibosh on the sexual revolution, curtailed the flow of abortions, and raised a generation on enforced separation. More importantly, God found a way to deal with the concerns of progressives — planetary health, climate change, environmental injustice — by stifling the human economy as it currently exists. Furthermore, from the standpoint of my theory of civilizational design and transformation, these new conditions will make it impossible for humanity to go back to the unicellular paradigm from which we came. Trump’s budget deficits have become crushing, and now to protect people enough to prevent the coronavirus from running rampant in homeless populations, we are forced to invest yet further in essential safety nets. The only way to build a workable economy will be to emulate life: to build a nurturant circulatory system and understand how power laws will allow constructive, accountable technological development. 

How would currency look in such a lifelike, multicellular economy? Definitely not for balancing budgets, which is a unicellular function! There are much bigger fish to fry and infinitely vaster forces to harness. Multicellular organisms have access to much more productive harvesters than conservation laws, ultimately using higher-level coherency to allow evolution of thought and coherence at yet ever-higher levels. I see a sequence of processes for orbiting a productive dynamic attractor, harvesting its benefits, and creating incentives that move the civilizational trajectory toward ever-new, ever-expanding vistas: 

  • past: evaluating and balancing tradeoffs
  • present: designing structures that engage power laws as sources of abundance
  • future: creating frictionless surfaces (e.g., extending coherence to ever-higher levels, e.g., as is familiar to economists at existing levels of commerce, by minimizing or even eliminating costs of search, barter, negotiation, etc.)
  • irreversibility: modifying financial incentives to guide human civilization along transformation paths

What comes next in the natural progression? Based on the embryogenic model of civilization passing this milestone in the unicellular-to-multicellular transition, I figure that the next task involves minorities, acting like the mesoderm, building a circulatory system that sustains everyone’s existence almost effortlessly and provides enormous room for growth. 

Instead, we see Trump getting tired of dealing with the pandemic, bored with his own minimal efforts and sacrifices to fulfill his duties to the country as its dynamics spiral out of control. He is still irrevocably committed to a completely unsustainable unicellular-mode economy, even as his own civilizational sins (see above) are fully exposed. Beyond human agency and Trump’s ability to spin, distort, or lie, God has revealed Donald Trump as the personification and enculturation of everything that humanity has been doing wrong. The Trump administration’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic resembles a process of squandering wealth and advantage to seek irrational goals — a specialty of Donald Trump throughout his career. He gets fixated on unreality without analyzing the true contours of existing challenges and rediverts huge resources in the wrong direction. We now can appreciate mathematically how that misdirected leadership looks in output phase space. Right now, Trump is so intent on opening the economy that he can’t appreciate that all the deaths and chronic injuries will impose such permanent economic harm through loss of talent, expertise, and vitality as to dwarf the temporary setback of a two-week nationwide lockdown. Trump is so obsessed with stock market numbers, thinking they will get him elected, that the infection and death counts mean virtually nothing to him. 

As Trump gets more and more obsessed with opening schools and the economy hoping irrationally to improve his reelection prospects, despite the risks and completely preventable human toll, everybody will see his craven callousness. And when the hyperexponential curve snaps, it will be easy to see the fundamental truth that the Republican party has devolved into moral bankruptcy, after having negligently ignored four years of Trump’s relentless assaults on democratic norms, the rule of law, and responsible governance. Impervious to evidence and snookered by their own propaganda, it seems the only message that fundamentalists and libertarians can process is burying their own dead. 

Future generations will see Trump’s last-gasp effort to salvage unicellular-mode operation for a plutocracy and dictatorship in the most cynical of terms. That cultural perception, beyond the capacities of human prediction or agency, will coalesce the determination needed to keep multicellular operation going, growing, and becoming more robust: 

  • The way Trump always delays and distracts the public, keeping everybody confused until it’s too late to stop him, relates to how parasites commandeer a host’s defenses. 
  • Trump developed those tactics as a grifter and mobster. He only needed to keep people off balance long enough to fleece them of their money. 
  • Think also about how these delays introduce phase errors in transfer functions that severely compromise the system’s defensive responses. 
  • Think also about how delays and distractions trigger derailment of system hydrodynamics to cause catastrophic collapse and prevent civilizational transformation. 
  • Trump has always tried to harness such collapses to gain business advantage over those with meager financial resources, but now having the power to use such encroachment against natural systems, the environment pushed back against him, in ways he was utterly unprepared to manage. He relied once too often on bankruptcy to bail himself out at the expense of the investors he hoodwinked — and this time, a novel coronavirus won’t let him off the hook! It’s poetic justice, after Trump dismantled the Environmental Protection Agency and has attempted to sideline the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the pandemic of the century, that the environment, in the form of a zoonosis he could have helped prevent, was what finally did Trump in when even impeachment could not! 

I predict that the negative example provided by Donald Trump, his administration, and the Republican party will serve as a warning to all future generations never to fall into any of those traps ever again. For example, libertarianism cannot be viable when technology gives humanity so much power — our only option for channeling all that power is good governance, not governmental nihilism, and our bodies, not past philosophies, show us the way to apply life’s lessons wisely. What libertarianism has shown us is the pitfall of anthropocentric thought that tries to bypass reality, only to subject humanity to the tyranny of unexplained downturn, confusion, compensatory clawing selfishness, susceptibility to demagogues and autocratic leaders, and ultimate collapse. 

And what we will learn as we explore multicellular structure is that higher-level dynamics are so much more productive than unicellular-mode operation that we must protect them at all costs. The only way an organism can enjoy the fruits of multicellular life and the potential inherent in its evolution to attain higher-level thought and coherence is to make the commitment to obligate multicellularity. Seeing how Trump’s rejection of civilizational multicellularity, life’s design, and the reality of planetary dynamics brought the wrath of God down upon us, we are left with a lot to think about the false narrative of unicellular mode as the source of any kind of true freedom. It only leads to collapse — true freedom requires the discipline of making higher-level coherence come into existence and then nurturing and sustaining it. 

A “civilizational cure” for coronavirus

A “civilizational cure” for coronavirus

Worldwide synchronized lockdowns could be a prototype of an embryonic civilizational circulatory system — and beyond — as the first application for merging science and theology to design the body of Christ and embed it in human civilization.

In principle, a synchronized worldwide lockdown for one incubation period could purge the novel coronavirus disease from the human population …

The huge loss in lives, human potential, and outright economic depression that are anticipated from coronavirus disease and prolonged lockdowns provide enormous motivation to find some simpler, more direct, and more elegant path to a “civilization-level cure” — which probably wouldn’t take more than a couple months, plus a little mop-up time to handle further propagation among healthcare workers and breaches in lockdown.

We have seen the economy-crashing effect of coronavirus, which make us wonder if our entire civilization will be crippled if we leave it embedded in its structure. These issues rise to the level of a theological dialog that our entire civilization must have. Science and theology have used different languages that have never mixed, so I will bring these two worlds together over the course of this essay. 

  • In principle, a synchronized worldwide lockdown for one incubation period could purge the novel coronavirus disease from the human population. Of course, asynchronous transmission would occur in medical facilities and homeless and/or displaced populations (those in extreme poverty, prisons, concentration camps, refugee camps, etc.) who lack the facilities and resources to hunker down for 14-30 days.
  • The huge loss in lives, human potential, and outright economic depression that are anticipated from coronavirus disease and prolonged lockdowns provide enormous motivation to find some simpler, more direct, and more elegant path to a “civilization-level cure” — which probably wouldn’t take more than a couple months, plus a little mop-up time to handle further propagation among healthcare workers and breaches in lockdown. 
  • A worldwide synchronized lockdown would obviate the huge morbidity and mortality that would be incurred during the time required to control the pandemic, either by running its course, finding an effective vaccine, or slowly building up herd immunity under sporadic lockdowns. 
  • Given the enormous impact that this coronavirus pandemic is having on the world economy and permanent adverse effects it is likely to have on the future of human civilization, we should seriously consider synchronized lockdown, not least because it could conceivably rid all of humanity of the infection within a matter of months. I wonder if a push to provide separate tiny houses and stockpiles of food, water, and all other necessary living supplies to every person on earth, sufficient to last for several synchronized incubation periods — even including special provisions for incarcerated populations everywhere in the world — might actually be a practical solution to this pandemic. 
  • Because some healthcare providers would be exposed during the designated lockdown periods, a few more cycles would be necessary, possibly narrowed to successively smaller populations in ways resembling vaccination containment strategies. 
  • Then, too, prolonging the pandemic by keeping the infection rate low also correspondingly prolongs the duration of social distancing and economic suppression — likely for many years. Nobody has yet faced what a lonely world this virus would create for us if we resigned ourselves to it as a new fact of life. 
  • Worse than the effects on our economy, educational system, and lives, letting this virus continue to spread in the background would create evolutionary incentives for it to escape our social distancing interventions and become even more efficient and pathogenic. The risks of even more explosive exponential growth and greater virulence put great pressure on successfully purging the virus from the human population on the first try, lest even more virulent strains might emerge.
  • Of course, any of the currently envisioned control paths would incur risks of further mutation and seasonal recurrences, possibly in even worse forms of the disease. As the virus continues to propagate and mutate around the world, new strains will emerge, so infection with one strain may no longer confer immunity to others. The longer we postpone purging this infection from human populations, the more likely it becomes that new strains will gain capabilities for circumventing the proposed synchronized lockdown intervention. 
  • Barring dramatic medical breakthroughs in infection prevention and/or outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the costs and difficulties of performing this intervention would have to be weighed against the opportunity cost of keeping the world economy in a deep recession until vaccination and/or herd immunity suppressed transmission chains. That opportunity cost could be calculated as the difference between expected economic conditions without freely circulating COVID-19 infection versus those under the best productivity that could be mustered with social distancing sufficient to keep transmission bubbling at a low enough rate to avoid overwhelming medical facilities.
  • The exposure of healthcare providers and first responders represents an especially tragic toll on those most willing to put their lives on the line to treat victims of the disease. The medical community has special interests in curtailing the burden of disease as quickly and surely as possible. 
  • The key commitment that’s required is providing poor countries and communities separate shelter accommodations, safe water, food security, and electronic technologies appropriate for shelter-in-place demands for the duration of the lockdown. Although that might have seemed a daunting proposition in the pre-coronavirus era, the alternative of a massive economic depression for years could really make a two-month “civilizational cure” look exceptionally attractive! 
  • Quite a number of other communicable diseases could simultaneously be eradicated this way through isolation lasting more than their incubation periods. 
  • Whole industries and services that seem destined to collapse under coronavirus, like airlines and public transportation, could come (literally?) roaring back to life within months. 
  • The technologies we would provide to poor communities and nations, like cheap cell phones and/or tablets with special features for monitoring deviations from lockdown, could leapfrog over current limitations and jumpstart their economies. The world economy could thereby rebound even more quickly by preferentially boosting the poorest regions most! 
  • Investment in the distribution network required in the short term to allow everyone in the world to hunker down through synchronized lockdowns could coalesce the movement for social justice as the scaffold for an embryonic circulatory system by which we might envision forming the body of Christ. Minorities, progressives, and progressive theologians seem well positioned to enter into such a Trinitarian resonance, but fundamentalists have not assimilated humanity’s historical experience into their worldview. The notion of social justice is a profoundly Christian principle, and the resonance of minorities, scientists, and theologians could generate a life force far stronger, more resilient, and more forward-looking than our “bean-counting” economic system ever could! That’s what Christianity has always envisioned as “the body of Christ”. 
  • Some people have expressed concerns that electronic tracking capabilities could enable dictators to intensify totalitarian controls over their populations. However, there’s a remedy to suppress or even prevent that weak point: Allow those harmed by dictators to sue them personally in civil courts for damages! When dictator wannabes deviate beyond democratic norms, the laws that ordinarily protect officeholders from personal liability become null and void. Putting authoritarians’ fortunes in such jeopardy, with no statute of limitations, would put the kibosh on their ambitions to “enter” government “service”!!
  • This approach could, both in principle and in practice, end all pockets of the disease everywhere in a very short time, during which few additional cases would need to be treated. If any recurrences emerge, one or more similar lockdowns, possibly in more localized regions, could take advantage of the equipment, delivery systems, and logistical infrastructures put in place during the first lockdown. 
  • The equipment and infrastructures put in place could be used to suppress future outbreaks and pandemics. Further improvements could introduce these disease suppression capabilities as a permanent feature of human civilization. 
  • As always, nations wracked by conflict, civil war, anarchy, and severe poverty would present special difficulties. However, the expected mortality and acute morbidity of coronavirus transmission might be orders of magnitude greater than most, and perhaps all, existing manmade and natural catastrophes, especially if the virus races through the world population in rapid, unregulated fashion — as might be the case in developing and war-torn nations. On that basis, not only might this spectacularly disastrous pandemic persuade people everywhere to drop their tribalistic conflicts and pull together against a common microbial enemy, it could actually force our hand to try such an intervention. 
  • The intervention I’ve proposed could benefit other public health initiatives. For example, it would require accelerating provision of safe water throughout the world, so people don’t require medical attention for easily preventable diarrheal diseases during the synchronized lockdown. Water could be stockpiled in bottles or other, larger, containers, and those water vessels could later be used in subsequent point-of-use antimicrobial water treatment. Therein lies an opportunity to refine the design of containers for safe water programs and disseminate them widely, in light of the resources that could be mobilized for the synchronized lockdown intervention and further opportunities that would follow. 
  • The ramp-up of technologies and production facilities used to provide modular homes, safe water systems, food production, delivery systems, etc., could be repurposed into a kind of “circulatory system” after the virus is purged from the human population. 
  • We can learn from the fact that some kind of recurrence of the Spanish flu was overdue and highly anticipated. Putting in place civilization-level interventions could be spectacularly cost-effective and easily implemented over long timescales when there aren’t worldwide pandemics forcing us to implement them with a gun to our collective head. 
  • What this means is that we, all of humanity, have an interest in taking care of ourselves, especially bolstering the weakest links anywhere in the world. Nationalism has arisen to expose its ugly underbelly, that we might slay that dragon once and for all. This world is irretrievably interdependent. 
  • By contrast, think about how the laissez-faire system has undone every so-called (but really self-serving) “principle” it has ever “stood for”: free trade, individual initiative, unfettered capitalism, and every-man-for-himself got instantly morphed into disease-induced requirements for a system of bailouts, subsidies, and handouts that are more socialistic than communism!! Life doesn’t tolerate regression to unicellular structures once it gains multicellular capabilities. 
  • My theory of civilizational design predicts that as a civilization becomes more technologically capable, the corresponding amplification and streamlining introduces dynamic instabilities that must be addressed preventively. Simultaneous lockdown is a civilizational capacity that can forestall such turbulence. 
  • Obviously, this intervention wouldn’t “eradicate” the coronavirus pathogen and its cousins, which have animal reservoirs, like bats, in this case. After all, the coronavirus we will have purged will still remain in zoonotic reservoirs, lurking and available for release if encroachment pressures reopen the Pandora’s box. To deal with zoonoses like this on a permanent basis, human civilization needs to change its relationship with natural ecosystems and wild animals. We need to interpret HIV/AIDS, Ebolavirus, coronavirus, and other zoonoses as nature’s shots across our bow — which actually haven’t been missing us lately — to stop encroaching on the natural world and eating wild animals. 
  • At a civilizational level, the novel coronavirus has inserted itself into the global human economy at the civilizational level just as persistently as it does into the human respiratory tract at the individual level. 
  • The stresses that governmental and corporate policies are inflicting on ecosystems and communities have elicited feedback that is protecting the planetary life support system from collapse. Accordingly, getting rid of this pathogen is not enough; we must also remedy the excesses in our behavior that induced such feedback mechanisms, lest nature attack again with more resilient and persistent countering strategies (e.g., chronic carrier states and extremely long incubation times). This is a cautionary tale for regarding quarantines as a panacea without taking responsibility for addressing the underlying imbalances. 
  • Compared to the cost of letting COVID-19 linger indefinitely and continue to mutate as it suppresses the world economy in different ways — even if vaccines help tamp it down in one form or other — this modest investment in a public health distribution network would be immensely practical and cost-effective. To work in developing countries, it would have to be environmentally sound, and progressives could modify it for developed countries as a green enterprise. This could be the project for new economy based on our civilization’s pressing needs, which can grow organically, starting like a circulatory system and developing all other organs along the path of embryological development. 
  • In Christian terms, we need to think of what we’re doing to our entire civilization with our thoughtlessness, but also to understand how it was destined to reach this impasse when technology made our world interdependent. We are following the path of an embryo, which only can function like a unicellular organism for so long before its internal multicellular program becomes toxic. We now face a juncture where we must develop a resonant life force that sustains the organism over the rest of its existence. This is actually a very good and life-affirming state of affairs! However, as long as our civilization lingers in this selfish, self-indulgent unicellular form, we will be toxic to ourselves. 
  • As I see it, humanity is retracing its path through a new orbit, this time with knowledge and technology, as it goes back to its civilizational origins. The resonance we seek as a life form was envisioned as the Trinity, in which minorities, progressives, and conservatives can keep each other honest as they fulfill different roles in the emerging body of Christ. 
  • Thinking of humanity as the prodigal species over long timescales, fundamentalism have played into God’s plan in a contrarian way, exacerbating the inevitable technological meltdown by denying natural laws and projecting the Bible into a role it could not fulfill — guiding humanity, at our collective level, to know God’s will in the future, so we can steer our civilization as a whole in real time. The Bible is way too ambiguous and too slow to fulfill that role — in large part because it is not even in a language interpretable in terms of dynamic systems. Fundamentalists were right to deny that anything like the brutality and aimlessness of biological evolution should guide the course of human evolution, but not to deny its reality. It makes more sense to think of civilizational development as being God’s higher calling. Over the course of nearly two centuries, fundamentalists have become so entrenched in the defense of their positions they have manufactured layer after layer of artificial realities. The leaders they have chosen have continued to deny reality and incurred what past generations of believers have always recognized as God’s wrath, which we now also understand in terms of nature’s corrective feedback for bad decisions. Now we see a leader chosen by fundamentalists who has so much contempt for God’s kingdom that he would deny God’s will by dismantling voting infrastructures and denying the people their rights to vote. The Bible is rooted in ancient perceptions and cannot provide guidance about the salient features of human civilization in our time — the scientific development of the twentieth century and the pervasive civilizational design meltdown we are experiencing now, as technology and society intermix in toxic ways and media. It is fundamentalists who are the prodigal son, having strayed from awareness of the role that science and technology must play in the next chapter of humanity’s participation in God’s kingdom. 
  • I draw a distinction between fundamentalism, which is theologically flawed because it denies reality, and evangelism, which has always played a critical role in the development of human civilization. Evangelism relates to saving souls. Traditionally, a conservative evangelism has been cast in terms of proselytizing Christianity. In the early days of Christianity, the imperative was to convert as many believers as possible, to allow the fragile new faith to reach critical mass so its ideas could not be extinguished. What’s involved in salvation has been ambiguous, because there has been only a vague sense that the salvation of individuals depends on the health of the whole, consistent with the fates of cells within a multicellular organism. However, we can now see the emergence of a progressive evangelism, which uses understanding of physical and biological sciences to surmise what God is asking of human civilization to make the body of Christ healthy, as a matter of the collective component of salvation. A mathematical model of civilizational dynamics, developed on this website from first principles to show how our legacies propagate through the active medium of human civilizational over vast (e.g., historical) timescales, establishes the basis for understanding how to make our civilization healthy in the same sense as a multicellular organism, given that the mathematics of lifelike systems are scale invariant from the individual to the civilizational levels. Under that new and broadened perspective, we will see ancient biblical prophets as having foretold the future from a limited context, which the revelations of our era now expand to see the roles of other faith and nonfaith traditions, whose purpose was to seed the emergence of different organs in the body of Christ. When all people see that the doctrines of early Christianity played an early and remarkably prescient role in conceptualizing the dynamics that will make our civilization function as well as, or better than, our own bodies, conversion will be straightforwardly obvious, as a matter of intuition. The rest will hinge on individual and collective responsibility, which are the purviews of conservative and progressive evangelism, respectively. 
  • The salient issue we must realize at this critical inflection point is that our technological civilization must make the transition from a unicellular to a multicellular mode of existence. Progressives and minorities have positioned themselves well to enter into a Trinitarian resonance with conservatives — once all three factions learn what God’s plan is for humanity — the embryonic emergence of the body of Christ embedded in human civilization. 

Thank you for considering these suggestions. Spread ideas, not viruses! Take care and stay safe.