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"We are living in an era of growing uncertainty and insecurity that is challenging all our beliefs and assumptions. In these troubled times it is crucial that we acquire some understanding of just who we are as a species, why we exist and how best we may order our lives and societies within the universal scheme of things."
- Eugene D. A. Bell-Gam
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Excerpts from ..
INTRODUCTION | RELIGION ON ORIGIN | SCIENCE ON ORIGIN 1 | SCIENCE ON ORIGIN 2 | FOCUSING ON PURPOSE |
SOLAR LABORATORY THEORY | IMPLICATIONS OF THE THEORY |

The Solar Laboratory Theory
[abridged excerpts]
An Expendable Experiment
When all the information available is considered logically, one is driven to the inescapable conclusion that perhaps the solar system is a giant laboratory in which our earth contains 'active' experiments and other planets provide both 'inactive' controls and variable influences.
In this scenario the sun is the essential catalyst providing magnetic cohesion, light, heat etc. to kick off and sustain the whole theatre. Life forms and the dynamic environment they exist in are the active experiments providing continuous feedback for the benefit of an extra-cosmic intelligence. Sophisticated monitoring, information gathering, data relay, and storage processes link back to an extra-cosmic processing centre.
The mortality of all organisms is a clear indication of our ultimate expendability. The birth and death cycle guarantees a steady stream of new organisms that will have unique experiences and provide a wide range of differing feedback from generation to generation ...
... These propositions are not as far-fetched as they might appear. Humans operate more modest laboratories all the time that involve the manipulation of other animals. We regard these creatures as being expendable and use them for our own advancement. We have even created robots to carry out labour-saving tasks as well as intelligent investigations ...
... The scientific evidence and observable natural phenomena that provide the basis for my hypothesis are outlined in subsequent sections under the following headings:
Recording Data - Animal Memory
Timing Mechanisms
Sleep
Dreams
Memory Consolidation and Storage
Memory Retrieval
Consciousness: The Mind-Brain
Death
Quantum Unreality
Influencing Mechanisms
Recording Data - Memory
... Animals experience life both via physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, and via non-physical emotions and perceptions ... Animals are the perfect tools for information gathering on earth.
What constitutes memory? [56]
Researchers in Biological Psychology and Neuroscience have identified different memory types, functions, stages, and processes ... Indications are that different regions of the brain control the recall of different aspects of memory ...
How and where is memory formed and stored? [57]
It is thought that there are at least two distinct memory formation and storage stages: a short-term store for initial encoded memory and a long-term store for later consolidated memory. Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb first proposed this two-stage consolidation theory in 1949 ...
... Researchers have since discovered a molecular process .... [that] has been labelled Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) ...
... it is generally accepted that LTP is far from sufficient to explain memory storage. No one knows for sure exactly where short-term memory is held in the interim, or where our enormous databank of long-term memory is stored permanently ...
... there is no anatomical evidence to support the existence of different memory systems, or memory storage, in the brain ...
Timing Mechanisms
We know from human experience that we switch off self-running things temporarily:
  when they are not in immediate use
  when they need to be serviced/repaired
  when they are required for study or examination.
Is there evidence that living organisms are being switched on and off? Remarkably the answer is positive ...
... Chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, is now an established scientific field ...
... It all suggests that there is far more to biological timing mechanisms than mere physiological needs. [60]
Sleep
When we conduct an experiment with organisms, we collect information at regular intervals while the specimens are alive. Death is final and can yield little other than information on the decay process. If we could 'read' the minds and memory of laboratory animals, there would be no better time than during sleep; that naturally recurring state in which normal physical activity and consciousness are suspended.
Since we spend approximately one third of our lives in sleep it is reasonable to assume that an extra-cosmic observer of life as a whole would do the same. But what is the evidence that this is occurring? ...
Sleep Stages
... Five stages are now recognised by sleep researchers [62] ... Strangely, after Stage 4 is reached, Stages 3 and 2 are repeated in that order before the onset of REM sleep. Hence a normal sleep cycle looks something like this:
Stage 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 < 3 < 2 > 5 (REM)
There is no rational explanation why we should experience more than one sleep cycle per night [63] ... No one knows why the sleep sequence is so strange, or exactly what the signals are for transition between phases ...
Dreaming
... As we have seen dreaming occurs most vividly during REM sleep, although some researchers hold that this condition is not an exclusive prerequisite [72]. One of the distinct features of REM sleep is the absolute stillness of the body. During most stages of sleep we toss and turn, but in REM sleep only the eye and middle ear muscles twitch. Curiously, the brain appears to actually turn itself on even though the dreamer remains unaware and unconscious ...
Why do we dream?
Theories on the functions of dreaming abound ... practitioners from Sigmund Freud (1900) and Jung (1933) to Foulkes (1985) have attempted to show that dreams are linked to emotional and intellectual problem solving ... What no one has shown clearly is exactly how a dream can operate to solve such problems. [74]
After exhaustive investigation and several suggestions, most cognitive neuro-scientists have concluded that dreaming has no useful biological function ...
Memory Consolidation And Storage
For our purposes, the most exciting theory about sleep and dreaming is that REM might have the important functions of memory cleaning and consolidation ...
Permanent Storage
One of the first lessons we are taught when we start using a personal computer is that, as a precaution against sudden system failure, we should save or back-up our work frequently on media external to the computer ...
... It is therefore more than a racing certainty that the permanent long-term store for animal memory is not located within perishable mortal bodies ...
... If the storage centre is external just where is it located? Is it earthbound in another dimension or is it extra-cosmic? How is the data transmitted? How is it retrieved? Who else has access to our subjective memories -- especially after death? ...
Storage Mechanisms
We can summarise the persisting questions surrounding sleep as follows:
  Why should the brain suddenly turn itself on five stages into sleep?
  Why should muscle paralysis occur only at that fifth stage?
  Why should the eye and middle ear muscles start twitching so rapidly while all other muscles remain paralysed?
  Why should we go through such a strange sleep sequence reverting from Stage 4 to Stages 3 and 2 before the onset of Stage 5 REM?
  Why should we go through more than one sleep cycle in a single night's session?
  Why should we experience such intense dreams during REM?
  Why should sleep deprivation bring on the same cerebral exhaustion we experience when we cross time zones (jet lag) or use mobile phones?
  Why should we wake up so mentally refreshed and with sharply improved memory recall when the brain has been in a highly active state during REM?
I submit that the only logical explanation for all of the above taken together is that they represent evidence of a sophisticated, circadian process of memory cleaning and consolidation, long-term storage at an external location, and brain recharging.
Let us objectively examine this breath-taking possibility against the seven sleep puzzles listed above ...
Consciousness And The Mind-Brain
Our consciousness is perhaps the best definition we have of being 'alive'. Its exact form has continued to defy human understanding ...
... Consciousness used to be a somewhat taboo topic even among psychologists. But in recent years academics have become more willing to study consciousness seriously ...
... The issue is not wholly academic -- there are pressing practical considerations in related fields. For example, exactly when does the mass of stem cells in a developing embryo receive the spark that 'switches on' subjective consciousness? In other words, when does the cell mass become a separate entity with sentience (i.e. perception and feelings) that make it a new human being entitled to the same rights the law affords all persons? ...
Defining Consciousness
What is the source and form of the internal force or power that activates life and keeps it going? How does it function? How and why is it extinguished at death? Further, there is more to life than computer-like functionality that can be activated by energy flows. For example, our unique, highly subjective conscious experiences or qualia gives us a dimension that goes far beyond computer models. What is the form and source of our individual and varying perception, reasoning, planning, artistry, loving, singing, laughter, crying, and response to external stimuli such as light, sound, smell etc.? How are these produced? Why should we (essentially physical beings) have these subjective qualia at all? ...
The mind-brain debate
It has long been believed that humans have an 'inner being'; a non-physical state that most people still refer to as our 'soul' or 'spirit' (the term psyche derives from the Greek word for soul). This inner state defines our essence and personality through the medium of the mind ... The precise relationship between the mind and the brain is yet another mystery that has spawned many theories ...
Any attempt to describe the mind-brain has to involve an explanation of the process of thought in particular ... Is there a 'virtual' mind that operates separately from the physical brain? If so, where is it located and how does it function? Which aspect is in control -- do the brain's physiological processes give rise to the mind's functions, or is it the other way round? Is this mind the same as our consciousness? Is this mind the source of our life force? If so, how does it arise in the womb? How is it extinguished at death? ...
... there is a formidable hurdle to the concept of consciousness as a full or part biological state. If indeed mind phenomena are brain-based and brain-generated, how can these then proceed to initiate and control biochemical processes in the brain? In other words how can something emerge from the brain, manifest itself as the 'mind', and then take control of the brain from which it emerged? It would be like a car engine silently and mysteriously creating a driver who then climbs into the car, starts it, and drives away!
... many scientists have questioned whether our life force and qualia can ever be explained in terms of pure physical processes ...
On balance, it seems a fair assumption that there is indeed an external component to consciousness that is likely to remain beyond human discovery. Mastering consciousness in totality will open the door to human control of the life and death cycle. This will upset the crucial flow of fresh specimens within the solar laboratory.
Death
... Scientific discussion of non-physical aspects of death is even more taboo than discussion of consciousness. This is understandable. Death is not only an uncomfortable reminder of our mortality and the seeming futility of our existence, it is also an irritating fly in the theoretical ointment of those materialists who deny the existence of any abstract form of consciousness outside the brain.
For centuries religious advocates used the fear of death to intimidate people into compliance with otherwise questionable dogma. By invoking the idea of a human soul that continued in an afterlife it was possible to control earthly behaviour ... The denial of consciousness/death by modern materialists is largely a rejection of such religious manipulation.
The nature of death
... Before the twentieth century a person was considered 'dead' once they ceased breathing, returned no heartbeat and appeared to be permanently unresponsive to stimuli ... ... As technologies developed to sustain physical processes within the body, the definition of death shifted to disparate notions of 'brain death' ... But, as advances in neuroscience and cybernetics combine to give us the ability to manipulate, sustain and even replace brain tissue, the debate has shifted yet again to just how much of the brain must be lost irretrievably before a patient can be declared dead ...
... The latest view of brain theorists is that, in future, a definitive standard of death may no longer be possible in physical terms. Death will have to be re-defined as irreversible loss of consciousness instead of irreversible tissue damage. This marks an interesting move towards separation of mind from brain for a practical medical and social definition of death [102]. How the presence or not of abstract consciousness will be determined with certainty is anybody's guess!
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ISBN: 1-904018-86-6
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BOOK CONTENTS
Preface
1. INTRODUCTION
Timeless Questions,
Shifting Answers
Crisis and Contradiction
Conflicting Indoctrination
Importance of the Debate
2. RELIGION ON ORIGIN
What is Religion?
Early Accounts of Origin
Creation Science
Common Ground with Science
3. SCIENCE ON ORIGIN
PART 1: THE UNIVERSE
What do we mean by Science?
Astronomy
Cosmology
Big-Bang Theory
Problems with Big-Bang
More Missing Pieces
Where is it all heading?
Common Ground with Religion
4. SCIENCE ON ORIGIN
PART 2: LIFE
Evolution
Darwinism
Impact of Modern Genetics
Problems with Evolution
Evolution, Religion & Social Science
What Next?
5. FOCUSING ON PURPOSE
Why restrict Inquiry?
Is it all a futile exercise?
Modern Design Science
Wrong Assumptions
6. THE SOLAR LABORATORY THEORY
An Expendable Experiment
Recording Mechanisms - Memory
Timing Mechanisms
Sleep
Dreaming
Memory Consolidation and Storage
Memory Retrieval
Consciousness and The Mind-Brain
Death
Quantum Unreality
Influencing Mechanisms
7. IMPLICATIONS OF THE THEORY
The Role of Free Will
The Good-Evil Paradox
Morality and Religion
The Problem with Religion
Morality outside Religion
Chances of Intervention
False Security
8. DEVELOPMENTS
9. FURTHER READING

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