“The multiplicity we experience in the world derives from a primordial unity fractured by the breaking of the vessels, a symmetry in the Big Bang.”
Daniel C. Matt’s God and the Big Bang (pp. 110-111)
In 2005, I presented a paper on an alternative take on the Dualism versus Material Monism debate, which I called Source Material Dualism (SMD). Over the next year, I tried to develop the idea further so that I could submit it to Philosophy Now. I never finished or submitted that paper, but here you can see my continued development of SMD.
In the battle between the materialists and the dualists there seems to be no middle road. L.Stafford Betty (2004) suggests a revival of Stoic ideals in the form of Transcendental Materialism, which attempts to explain how a seemingly immaterial substance (i.e. soul) is rather an ethereal material much less dense than the material substance (i.e. body), and therefore no contradiction between interaction of these same material substances can be found. As we have seen, by changing the definition of immaterial to ethereal material, nothing has truly changed, but the words involved; the evidence is still lacking.
Materialists tend to use scientific discoveries and theories, or at least empirical observations, to find evidence to support their own ideas. Dualists on the other hand, seem unable to use ‘true’ science for support, but rather fall upon the ‘mysterious’ for evidence of life-after-death (i.e. soul survival). Both L. Stafford Betty (2004) and John H. Hick (1990) look for evidence in the field of the paranormal, including studies on extrasensory perception (ESP), near-death experiences (NDEs), mediumship, and reincarnation. Although there is very interesting evidential information from these studies, I do not believe that a person who does not believe in the paranormal will be brought over to the dualistic argument by such evidence (no matter how well documented and empirically studied), as people still calculate the probabilities as coincidental. Therefore, if materialists look to science for their evidence, then dualists must as well, if they ever wish to convert the stubborn materialists.
The astronomer Johannes Kepler described his zest for discovery as a quest to “read the mind of God” (Strobel, 2004). I believe that is exactly what science is, for in my mind without the transcendent divine source of creation, there would be no science. Therefore, I intend to prove the existence of that divine source (commonly called God) through scientific evidence.
A year later, I wrote this as a note on SMD:
Before the beginning, there was one substance, which cannot be named or understood. In our limited understanding, that substance contained all that would become the physical universe, as well as its opposite but equal counterpart, the spiritual universe. This substance remained in a constant state of flux. A state of flux is necessary as it allows time to pass and information to be attained; these two elements are crucial for evolution. The substance changed.
In the beginning, the substance split into separate but equal parts of physical and spiritual matter. We know of physical matter, but until very recently spiritual or antimatter was only speculated. Scientists at the CERN institute have successfully created antimatter in their particle accelerators, virtually simulating the Big Bang, or the first splitting of the original source material.
No longer in a state of flux, matter could pass time, but no new information could be attained to bring about evolution. To allow for information gathering and communication to evolve, it was necessary for the spiritual matter to infuse itself into the physical matter. The penetration of physical matter by spiritual matter allowed for changes to occur. Spiritual matter escapes the spiritual universe and combines with physical matter. This combination lasts for the lifespan of the new material that is a specific combination of a specific amount of physical and spiritual matter.
As time passes, or the lifespan of the material ends, the spiritual matter begins to decay and separate from the physical matter, much like carbon-14. With the information it gathered during its lifespan, the spiritual matter returns to the spiritual universe. The information is disseminated throughout the spiritual universe, which allows for evolution. The newly evolved spiritual matter once again escapes the spiritual universe and combines with physical matter. This allows for evolutionary changes to occur.
Rather than seeing matter versus antimatter as analogy for the physical universe, I mistook the antimatter universe as the literal spiritual universe. To make this leap requires a lot of assumptions to be made. First, the antimatter created in the vacuum at CERN is not created but made apparent in the matter universe from the antimatter universe. Second, the antimatter universe is parallel to the matter universe and constantly bombarding and penetrating matter, as well as escaping from matter to return to the antimatter universe. Third, antimatter and matter do not necessarily annihilate when coming into contact, but merge in some way that creates the essence of life, which is the soul.
I may have been a little naive and ambitious in my early development of SMD, as I currently am unwilling to accept these assumptions without evidence. I reserve a healthy skepticism for my own theory, as everyone should do. I do, however, believe what I believe, and hope to find such evidence to support my beliefs. This does not mean that I am unwilling to change my beliefs when disconfirming evidence is presented. After all, I am a scientist at the core and my thoughts and ideas do evolve based on the accumulated evidence for a particular hypothesis.
Look for my post next week “A Psychological Inquiry: Dualism versus Materialism,” which presents a paper I wrote in 2008, revisiting my ideas for SMD.