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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Creative Evolution
Chapter I: The Evolution of Life Mechanism and Teleology
Topic 16: Result of the Discussion
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review

Chapter I II
Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
Chapter III IV
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Creative Evolution,
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Topic 16...............Result of the Discussion


(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


"Let us therefore indicate in a word or two the positive contribution that each of the three present forms of evolutionism seems to us to make toward the solution of the problem, what each of them leaves out, and on what point this threefold effort should, in our opinion, converge in order to obtain a more comprehensive, although thereby of necessity a less definite, idea of the evolutionary process. [Consider Bergson's hint here of complementarity of completeness and consistency vis-à-vis complementarity of comprehensive and definite.]

"The neo-Darwinians are probably right, we believe, when they teach that the essential causes of variation are the differences inherent in the germ borne by the individual, and not the experiences or behavior of the individual in the course of his career. [We see classical legacy CTMs here.] Where we fail to follow these biologists, is in regarding the differences inherent in the germ as purely accidental and individual. We cannot help believing that these differences are the development of an impulsion which passes from germ to germ across the individuals, that they are therefore not pure accidents, and that they might well appear at the same time, in the same form, in all the representatives of the same species, or at least in a certain number of them. Already, in fact, the theory of mutations is modifying Darwinism profoundly on this point. It asserts that at a given moment, after a long period, the entire species is beset with a tendency to change. The tendency to change, therefore, is not accidental. True, the change itself would be accidental, since the mutation works, according to De Vries, in different directions in the different representatives of the species. But, first we must see if the theory is confirmed by many other vegetable species (De Vries has verified it only by the Œnothera Lamarckiana),(1) and then there is the possibility, as we shall explain further on, that the part played by chance is much greater in the variation of plants than in that of animals, because, in the vegetable world, function does not depend so strictly on form."

Note (1) - Some analogous facts, however, have been noted, all in the vegetable world. See Blaringhem, "La Notion d'espéce et la théorie de la mutationt" (Année psychologique, vol. xii., 1906, pp. 95 ff.), and De Vries, Species and Varieties, p. 655.

(Our links, brackets, bold, and color.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary




Indeed we now know that tendency to change is an absolute. In Pirsig's MoQ DQ is absolute, and in quantum science, quantum vacuum flux is absolute.

A betterq wayq of fathomingq this is "...evolutionq issi ("not accidental") consciousnessq evoked by perpetual and ubiquitous quanta and their interrelationings' scintilla..." In Quantonics' script, quanton(scin,quan). Doug - 12Mar2014.


"Be that as it may, the neo-Darwinians are inclined to admit that the periods of mutation are determinate. The direction of the mutation may therefore be so as well, at least in animals, and to the extent we shall have to indicate.

"We thus arrive at a hypothesis like Eimer's, according to which the variations of different characters continue from generation to generation in definite [but only tentative] directions. This hypothesis seems plausible to us, within the limits in which Eimer himself retains it. Of course, the evolution of the organic world cannot be predetermined as a whole. We claim, on the contrary, that the spontaneity of life is manifested by a continual creation of new forms succeeding others. [agree] But this indetermination cannot be complete; it must leave a certain part to determination. [i.e., quanton(indeterminism,tentative_deterministic_apparitions] An organ like the eye, for example, must have been formed by just a continual changing in a definite direction. Indeed, we do not see how otherwise to explain the likeness of structure of the eye in species that have not the same history. Where we differ from Eimer is in his claim that combinations of physical and chemical causes are enough to secure the result. We have tried to prove, on the contrary, by the example of the eye, that if there is "orthogenesis" here, a psychological cause intervenes.

"Certain neo-Lamarckians do indeed resort to a cause of a psychological nature. There, to our thinking, is one of the most solid positions of neo-Lamarckism. But if this cause is nothing but the conscious effort of the individual, it cannot operate in more than a restricted number of cases—at most in the animal world, and not at all in the vegetable kingdom." [And this is why we say all quantons intrinsically and physially are aware.]

(Our brackets, bold, and color.)

Quantum philosophy and science show us, we should argue against and Bergson earlier argued against radical mechanism. If we consider classical analyticity as close kin of mechanism, and we deny both, then too, we must deny general analytic determinism. As a result Bergson's previous sentence is problematic. Quantum reality offers only stochastic ensemble determinism and indeed that is only good for a single event, not for a duration of events. So from our Quantonics view we counter that, in general, there is no analytic determinacy of periodic mutation. Where CTMs offer apparitions of general analytic determinism, QTMs do not.


We think a classical apparency of "definite direction" arises from a developing eye's quanton making local choices about what happens next at each tick of Planck's clock. However, Quantonics~quantum philosophy and science remind us that what happens next always depends on a Planck moment's quantal ontology of: conscious choice, chance, and change.

We think likeness (which is far from being, as we have shown previously, 'identity'), arises from nature's extensive reuse of both similar local environment: Earth, temperature, gravity, etc., and similar infrastructure: atoms, DNA/RNA (nucleic acids: GACTU), double helix, standard 4x8 codon dictionary, amino acids (~20 for animals; ~100s for plants), ribosomes, proteins (~unlimited variations of gene length), telomeres, ATP, chromosomes (almost unlimited sexual (male…merm…herm…ferm…female — see Anne Fausto-Sterling, et al.; plus n-somias on chromosome 23: Kleinfelter's, Turner's, T-fem, et al.), et al., spectrum variation; species-unique), etc.

Quantum real affects are omniadic and paralogical and omnimensional, not classically dyadic nor unilogical nor unidimensional.


"Even in animals, it will act only on points which are under the direct or indirect control of the will. And even where it does act, it is not clear how it could compass a change so profound as an increase of complexity: at most this would be conceivable if the acquired characters were regularly transmitted so as to be added together; but this transmission seems to be the exception rather than the rule. A hereditary change in a definite direction, which continues to accumulate and add to itself so as to build up a more and more complex machine, must certainly be related to some sort of effort, but to an effort of far greater depth than the individual effort, [Yes! Depths down to reality's most primitive Planck quantons.] far more independent of circumstances, an effort common to most representatives of the same species, inherent in the germs they bear rather than in their substance alone, an effort thereby assured of being passed on to their descendants.

"So we come back, by a somewhat roundabout way, to the idea we started from, that of an original impetus of life, [Yes! Both absolute change and proemial awareness.] passing from one generation of germs to the following generation of germs through the developed organisms which bridge the interval between the generations. This impetus, sustained right along the lines of evolution among which it gets divided, [rather, commingled and compenetrated] is the fundamental cause of variations, at least of those that are regularly passed on, that accumulate and create new species. In general, when species have begun to diverge from a common stock, they accentuate their divergence as they progress in their evolution. Yet, in certain definite points, they may evolve identically; in fact, they must do so if the hypothesis of a common impetus be accepted. This is just what we shall have to show now in a more precise way, by the same example we have chosen, the formation of the eye in molluscs and vertebrates."

(Our brackets, bold, and color.)

"The idea of an "original impetus," moreover, will thus be made clearer.

"Two points are equally striking in an organ like the eye: the complexity of its structure and the simplicity of its function. The eye is composed of distinct parts, such as the sclerotic, the cornea, the retina, the crystalline lens, etc. In each of these parts the detail is infinite. The retina alone comprises three layers of nervous elements—multipolar cells, bipolar cells, visual cells—each of which has its individuality and is undoubtedly a very complicated organism: so complicated, indeed, is the retinal membrane in its intimate structure, that no simple description can give an adequate idea of it. The mechanism of the eye is, in short, composed of an infinity of mechanisms, all of extreme complexity. Yet vision is one simple fact. As soon as the eye opens, the visual act is effected. Just because the act is simple, the slightest negligence on the part of nature in the building of the infinitely complex machine would have made vision impossible. This contrast between the complexity of the organ and the unity of the function is what gives us pause.

"A mechanistic theory is one which means to show us the gradual building-up of the machine under the influence of external circumstances intervening either directly by action on the tissues or indirectly by the selection of better-adapted ones. But, whatever form this theory may take, supposing it avails at all to explain the detail of the parts, it throws no light on their correlation.

"Then comes the doctrine of finality, which says that the parts have been brought together on a preconceived plan with a view to a certain end. In this it likens the labor of nature to that of the workman, who also proceeds by the assemblage of parts with a view to the realization of an idea or the imitation of a model."

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©Quantonics, Inc., 2000-2026 Rev. 12Mar2014  PDR Created: 20Sep2000  PDR
(14Nov2001 rev - Extend page 86 comments in red text. Add 'What Happens Next' link to page 86 comments. Add ontology link.)
(31Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)
(4Feb2002 rev - Repair page 86 comments link substitution error.)
(28Nov2004 rev - Adjust colors. Add GIFs. Omni[di]mensional to omnimensional.)
(24May2005 rev - Release page constraints.)
(15Nov2007 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(12Mar2014 rev - Make page current. Add contemporary updates.)

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