Book Reviews - Biology`s next big leap
by T. A. Basubramanian
Pure consciousness, not matter, is the primary driving force of the universe. There, in stark terms, is the essence of Dr. Amit Goswami’s new approach to biology and evolution. While the polarised debate between creationists and intelligent design advocates, swirls around us, Goswami’s brilliant new vision offers a synthesis of these views by infusing creativity into biological evolution, hence the audacious title ‘Creative Evolution.’
Goswami, a leading quantum physicist, and formerly a professor of physics at the University of Oregon, has devoted his life to articulating the paradigm shift from a material view to a consciousness-based worldview. He has penned seven books on quantum consciousness – with titles ranging from The Physics of the Soul to The Self-aware Universe.
In this, his eighth book, he takes a deep dive into the world of what he calls “integrative biology” that weaves together many of the deepest puzzles and controversies of biology. He does this by working in consciousness as the prime mover and shaker of all that we experience in the universe. This would be especially jarring for those who subscribe to ‘Darwinism’ – the believers in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
Goswami’s aim is to draw you into his childlike web of curiosity, speculation and wonder. His fascination with pushing the boundaries of science – way beyond what traditionalists in science might consider ‘acceptable’ – is infectious. I found his ideas whirling in my imagination – prompting me, more than once, to break off from the text and consider the unimagined in science – and to dream up a few titles for fictional tales of my own. His language is an enchanting chatty blend of informal lecture, provocation and story-telling: “Face it, purposiveness cannot be eliminated from biology.” This light bantering tone makes the content easy to comprehend in spite of the scientific detailing in many parts. A heavy, talk-down-to-you style might otherwise have dragged the book into the domain of boring pedagogy.
Although written with a minimum of technical jargon, Goswami’s book is primarily for those who are either steeped in the biological sciences and want to look beyond the standard text-book learning offered in traditional science schooling,z or simply all those with a scientific bent of mind who have a lively ongoing interest in the great controversies surrounding the field of life origins and evolution
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