I checked out The G.O.D Experiments, by Gary E. Schwartz partly because it was right next to God: The Failed Hypothesis in the library, and partly because it seemed like a logical followup. Followup, yes. Logical, not so much.
The book opens by defining a rather newagey variant of G.O.D: Guiding, Organizing, Designing process. I could see we were going to veer deep into Dr. Bronner territory. This could be fun.
And then having provoked my interest, the book promptly turned me off by spending two chapters palling around with a man who claims to have prophetic dreams, but sounds like a con artist to me. This is followed by deducing from a shaken-up sand painting that order in the universe cannot happen by chance.
Then there’s a truly bizarre argument that randomness does not occur from chance. Why? Because the more random events you tally, the closer the total comes to a bell curve. It must be true because you can model this on your computer.
Then in three chapters about receiving messages from G.O.D. by asking the universe a question, the book lists all the ways you can fool yourself, and then falls into to every single trap: illusory correlates, self-deception, confirmation bias, false memories.
Just as I’m thinking, This is ludicrous, the author tells how he read The Cosmic Code, by Heinz Pagels, and how it inspired him to formulate the general relativity/general relaxation hypothesis. So he told Dr. Pagels about it, and asked if he agreed it was a logical extension. Pagels listened patiently and said, “I find your theory most amusing.” Which isn’t as bad as it sounds. His teacher Eugune Wigner liked to say there were two kinds of theories, “interesting” and “amusing.” Supposedly, he said, “Interesting theories, though often true, are typically not worth remembering, whereas amusing theories, though often not true are absolutely worth thinking about.”
He has a point.
So what is this theory worth thinking about? That gravitational and electromagnetic and all those other fields are carrying and communicating information in everything–from individual atoms to superclusters of galaxies. And all these fields are unified in G.O.D. It gets a little scary when the book asks: “Does the brain create the mind, or does the brain serve as a receiver for the mind?” You could build a pretty loony mind-control religion if you think god is beaming thoughts into your brain. Maybe that’s why there are the occasional weasel words suggesting the author isn’t sure he really believes it. But he does seem pretty sure that your mind is bigger than the universe because you can imagine it. In fact, the book assures us, the human mind can discover G.O.D. because we are made of the same stuff.
Just as a raindrop is composed of billions of water molecules, and a lake is composed of billions of drops of water, and a galaxy is composed of billions of stars, and a universe is composed of billions of galaxies, so the universal Experimenting G.O.D. mind–if it exists as this book says it does–would be composed of billions of little experimenting Guiding-Organizing-Designing minds (little g.o.d.s) using human brains.
We are amused.