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Igor I. Kondrashin
Dialectics of Matter
More than one hundred years ago doubts were expressed for the first time that two known categories - space and time - were sufficient to realise the world surrounding us.
In this book a new, the third category, equal in significance to the first two, is described for the first time. It is indissolubly linked with them and has no less influence on our life than they. With the help of this category explanations are given in the book of many events and phenomena, the cause of origin of which was until now unknown.
In addition to those interested in philosophy, the book is also intented for people who are merely inquisitive and have active minds. Every educated person should possess the knowledge mentioned in the book in order to orient himself correctly in modern life.
The past two centuries have seen great advances in science and philosophy, adding to the "accumulating fund of human knowledge". A hundred years ago, Engels wrote the Dialectics of Nature, which was just one stage in a philosophical revolution that also involved Marx, Lenin, Hegel and others. The Diaiectics of Matter is a similarly profound philosophical treatise, incorporating the revolutionary science of this century - the great work of Einstein, et al.
The first chapter of the book defines the three important parameters of the work: space, time and quality. Space and time are easily understood. Space comprises the three dimensions in which we move; Einstein showed that space and time are intimately linked as four dimensions forming a single continuum. If matter does move over a certain time, its space will change, but co-ordinates can not describe all that is happening. Since the matter might then suit a different function, its quality will have changed. With these three "methods of counting", we have three ways in which matter can move: motion in space, motion in time and motion in quality. In the most important equation of the book, the sum of this movement, or evolution, is a constant.
Matter is not an arbitrary concoction of disorderly forms. It exists as numerous complex systemic formations, strictly regulated by the rules of motion in the space-time-quality continuum. Each system has separate periods of formation, growth, stability, dwindling and death. There are several rules for this systemic formation of matter. The concept of organisational levels, n, is particularly important. A system which functions at a characteristic level, n, might be made up of systems functioning at level n-l, and form part of a system functioning at level n+1.
Our world has evolved in a cascade fashion. If we look at matter functioning today at level n, we can assume previous stages at levels n-l, n-2, n-3, etc. The absolute zero level of qualitative development is not known; who knows how evolution started? The lowest known level can be termed as a level a and is a vacuum at zero vibration, populated only by fleeting appearances of particle-antiparticle pairs. Level A comprises quarks and the gluons that hold them together. Level AA is the leptons - a separate sublevel of the systemic formation of matter as electrons and photons are often seen as free entities. Similarly separate are the baryons functioning at level AB: Pi-, Mu- and K-, which are formed from levels A and AA, but take no part in the further evolution of matter. The elementary particles, protons and neutrons, form level B.
The hundred or more elements constitute systemic formations of level C. They exist as atoms 10-8 cm across with a nucleus occupying the 10-13 cm at the centre. The nuclear species are held together by a balance of attractive and repulsive forces. Electrons were thought to orbit the nucleus in what was a powerful model of this sub-microscopic world, but they are now considered to be stationary waves occupying an uncertain trajectory.
What we know of the evolution of these elements corresponds well with the philosophical theory linking space, time and quality. Formed in expanding space, they became confined in solar systems, and evolution had to be satisfied by motion in quality, forming the simple molecules functioning at level D, such as H2.
The rest of the evolutionary processes were also confined in space, so the constant rate of evolution could only be satisfied by changes in quality. This explains the concept of entropy, the various phases of matter functioning at level E, and the formation of complex molecules functioning at level F, such as enzymes, chlorophyll and haemoglobin. Matter functioning at level G formed a world suitable for life by altering the Earth's crust and atmosphere. Life appears in matter functioning at level H, with the first coacervatical drops of amino acids and proteins, and eventually the magical RNA and DNA. Most life functions at level I; man is the system functioning at level K. With bodily evolution at an end, man has evolved through the different communities in which he has lived: primordial communities, slave-holding states, feudal states, the capitalist period and the modern age of hyper-organisation.
The penultimate chapter concerns the systematic architectonics of organisational matter, with man evolving through thought and brainpower. It concludes that man should remember the present when contemplating the future: "What is not developing does not live, but what does not live, is dying". The Postface asserts that consciousness is the primary manifestation of advanced forms of matter.
Dialectics of Matter is a systemic approach to the fundamentals of philosophy. It takes a question, which has always puzzled scientists - why have we evolved? - and solves it by thought. It does this by invoking the concept of quality, as a property of matter, to explain the many changes that have taken place since the dawn of the Universe.
The book is a fascinating complement to the knowledge of all those interested in the Big Bang or Darwinism. So much of science concentrates on how things happen, as if the deduction of the mechanism alone can provide the whole story. This is a book that fills a gap, by providing a coherent logical theory for why evolution has taken place. The book will find a market with the many scientists who have pondered over the deeper meanings of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The Dialectics of Matter is written with the layman in mind. Igor Kondrashin is clearly a master of philosophy and science, who knows that his readership will be less knowledgeable of both. Therefore, he has used few long words and little jargon. Everything is explained in simple language and the important facts are repeated enough times and in as many diverse ways as are necessary to penetrate the most unfamiliar of minds. Overall, the language is that of a learned author, who is trying to teach and share his knowledge, rather than show off and confuse. There is also some maths in the book, but it never gets beyond simple equations, and it certainly never gets frightening. The book is nicely organised as well; making full use of everything a modern word-processor has to offer. There are changes of typeface and several unusual characters to please the eye in this very attractive document.
The book has many impressive passages and a couple deserves special commendation. Firstly, the description of the lower levels of matter is an excellent piece of writing. Quarks, electrons, Pi-mesons, gluons, etc. can get very complicated and confusing. The author has judged his treatment of this subject perfectly: to have said more would have been confusing; to say less would not have been telling the whole story. I would recommend these chapters to anybody studying science. Secondly, I found the idea that evolution is driven by motion-in-quality particularly profound with respect to the formation of the large molecules necessary for life. This is one of the stumbling blocks in conventional Darwinist theory, as it seems too unlikely. The treatment of the subject in this book makes it seem as though the formation of DNA had to happen.
By treating advanced science alongside groundbreaking philosophy, Dialectics of Matter is an admirable book for the breadth of its subject material. It starts by mentioning Einstein alongside Marx, and continues in this vein, drawing on the best of both disciplines. The book covers the whole history of the universe, from the vibration-free vacuum, which started it all off, to the future, which occupies so much of man's thoughts. We do not quite learn the Meaning of Life here, but we come quite close!
Dialectics of Matter is a well thought out and successful combination of science and philosophy. It is a serious, yet accessible book, and I am certain it is viable for reading by everyone.
Dr. Graham G. Almond
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