Psychic and religious ideas, then, despite many drawbacks, are far more important in terms of ‘evolution’ than is recognized. And I am telling you that so-called evolution and religion are closely connected. Consciousness always creates form, and not the other way around.
We are biologically connected, chemically connected with the Earth that we know. How is it that as living creatures we’re made up of ingredients–atoms of iron, molecules of water, for instance–from a supposedly dead world? In the scientific view we’re utterly dependent upon that contradictory situation. No one denies the amazing structure or design of our physical universe, from the scale of subatomic particles on “up” (regardless of what cosmological theory is used to explain the universe’s beginning). The study of design as one of the links between “living” and “nonliving” systems would certainly be a difficult challenge–but a most rewarding one, I think–for science. I have little idea of how the work would be carried out. Evidently it would lead from biology through microbiology to physics with, ultimately, a search that at least approached electromagnetic energy units and units of consciousness. Both classes of “particles” are in actuality nonphysical; as best words can note, they have their realities on scales so minute that we cannot hope to detect then through our present technology.
Yet here we run into irony and paradox: Any scientist who considered the existence of electromagnetic energy units and units of consciousness would be called a heretic by his more conventional colleagues, for he would be acknowledging the possibility that all matter, being made up of such conscious entities, was living. From that viewpoint, at least, there would be no link through design to be discovered.
I think it very interesting and revealing that several millennia before Darwin, man himself began playing the role of a designer within the framework of nature, through his selective breeding of animals and his hybridization of plants. These activities certainly represent evolution through conscious intent, guided by the same creature who insists that no sort of consciousness could have been responsible for the origin or development of “life,” let alone the “dead” matter of his/her planet. Not only that: We read that even now in his/her laboratories man or woman is trying hard to create some of that life itself. This is always done, of course, with the idea that the right combination of simple ingredients (water, methane, ammonia, ethanol.) in the test tube, stimulated by the right kind of energy under just the right conditions, will automatically produce life. It’s confidently predicted that eventually at least one such experiment will succeed. I have yet to see in those accounts anything about the role consciousness will play in this truly miraculous conversion of dead matter into that of living. Perhaps those involved in the experiments fear that the idea of consciousness will impugn the scientific “purity” of their work.