August 18, 2006

AQAL abracadabra

alan kazlev Says: August 14th, 2006 at 1:22 am [Ray said: But if we cannot truly know if an atom has an interior, quantum theory aside, then it remains speculation and Wilber’s holon theory remains speculative.] Very true. But this isnt the biggest weakness of AQAL. Nor is Wilber the only one to say this sort of thing. In The Phenomenon of Man and other books, Teilhard spoke of the “within” and “without” of things. Indeed Teilhard’s ideas are so similar in this regard that I wonder if that’s where Wilber got his interiors and exteriors from. For Teilhard, as evolution proceeds (from the various stages of inanimate matter, the evolution of life, higher life, and finally human beings) there is an increase in “within” (or consciousness) in relation to “without” (or matter).
Blavatsky, Steiner, Teilhard, Aurobindo, Haskell, Wilber, they all share the concept of evolution through successive stages (including kingdoms of life) of increasing consciousness. For Sri Aurobindo, all matter contains a concealed consciousness, which he calls the Inconscient. Steiner speaks about the consciousness within rocks. And so on. My criticism of Wilber here isn’t his hylozooism (is that the right word?) because as mentioned this is a common idea, and really it cannot be proved or disproved either way.
My criticism is rather the very artificial nature of his AQAL system. It can be easily disproved through science. For example, since Cro Magnon, the human race has not evolved. But according to Wilber the Gebsonian stages of Archaic, Mythic, Mental etc (or Spiral Dynamics colour-coded equivalents) indicate higher holons, and hence progressively more complex brain functioning (UR). (I think Andy has made the same argument on Integral World, inmore detail, with more examples). So it is in this regard (and many other arguments could be presented along these lines) that Wilber’s holon theory is shown to be nonsensical. It is a metaphysical concept that is disproved by empirical evidence. Whereas hylozooism is also metaphysical, but can neither be proved or disproved in this way.

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