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Evaluating Taoism and Zen

Evaluating Taoism and Zen “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which […]

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What Is Spirituality?

J.X. Mason’s Blog of 7-6-2020.  To sign up for Our Weekly Blogs, go to Subscribe Our Book of Continuing Creation describes a “Spiritual Path Based on Nature, Reason, & Science.” But what is “Spirituality?” Spirituality is the human experience of deep and positive connection with Nature and all of Creation. This experience often encompasses feelings […]

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The Processes of Evolution — and their spiritual meaning

The Processes of Evolution — and their spiritual meaning The Way of Continuing Creation is based on Nature, Reason, and Science.  For our Spiritual Practice of Continuing Creation, the Science of Evolution is the most important of all the sciences. Not because it is the most fundamental (physics and chemistry are more fundamental), but because […]

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    Diatoms Make Silica Cell Walls that Are Similar to Crystals

    Since quartz crystals and many other mineral crystals are primarily made of silica (i.e., of silicon-dioxide) it worth noting that tiny single-celled living creatures called diatoms form their outer cells walls using silica. In other words, diatoms make their outer walls out of a mineral that also makes up rocks.  Diatoms are a type of micro-algae found in oceans, waterways, and soils worldwide. Like green plants and green algae, diatoms convert light energy to chemical energy by photosynthesis, although this shared capability evolved independently in both lineages. Diatoms generate about 20 to 50 percent of the oxygen produced on the planet each year,52 "What are Diatoms?" Diatoms of North America. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
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    Diagram of a Folded Protein (myoblobin)

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  74. Celia Henry Arnaus,“How the First Nucleotides Might Have Formed on Earth,” Chemical & Engineering News, 4-27-2016.
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  78. The ability of electron microscopes to see the atomic structures of molecules has led to the new field of Structural Cell Biology. Powerful microscopy plus crystallography and computational tools are now able to generate testable atomic models of cellular machines. 80 Synthetic Biology Another new field, Synthetic Biology, uses our understanding of cellular machines and other aspects of cellular biology to engineer new functions into living things, producing useful chemical compounds such as pharmaceuticals and biofuels. “This effort has already led to some astonishing successes, but much work, including standardization of techniques for manipulating genes, still needs to be done before cells can be as easily engineered as traditional machines.” Synthetic Biology Creates A Vaccine for the Covid-19 Virus
    Covid-19 Virus

    Covid-19 Virus

    In late 2020, synthetic biology successfully produced some of the first vaccines to fight the COVID-19 virus. Unlike traditional vaccines which use weakened or inactivated versions of the germ they intend to fight, the new vaccines use laboratory-made mRNA.  When injected into our arms, the new mRNA vaccines instruct some of our cells to make a harmless piece of “spike protein” on their own surfaces, like the spikes found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. Next, our bodies’ overall immune systems recognize the spiky proteins as “foreign bodies,” and our immune systems begin making antibodies to kill the cells that have spikes. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to kill any and all cells that have spikes, thus protecting us against future infection from real COVID-19 viruses. 81
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  98. “The RNA Origin of Life,” NOVA Labs, See also, Kahn Academy, “The RNA Origin of Life,
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  100. R.J. Mackenzie, “DNA vs. RNA – 5 Key Differences and Comparison,” 12-18-2020, Genomics Research from Technology Networks.
  101. “Genome Variations: How Different is One Human Genome from Another?,” Jan 15, 2003,,resources, Ch. 4_1.
  102. Robert Hazen, Ibid. pp. 129-30.
  103. Kendall Powell, “How Biologists are creating life-like cells from scratch: Built from the bottom up, synthetic cells and other creations are starting to come together and could soon test the boundaries of life,” Nature, News Feature 11-7-2018.”
  104. Kendall Powell, How biologists are creating life-like cells from scratch, Nature Magazine, Nature 563, 172-175 (2018)
  105. Juli Peretó, "Controversies on the Origin of Life, 2005, International Microbiology. 8 (1): 23–31. PMID 15906258. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2015. See also, Wikipedia article on Abiogenesis.
  106. Nick Lane (Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College, London), The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, 2015, W.W. Norton, p.27.
  107. Hazen, Ibid. p. 147.
  108. See, “What is the Body Made Of,” online at New Scientist.
  109. K Ruiz-Mirazo, C. Briones, and A. de la Escosura, “Chemical Roots of Biological Evolution: The Origins of Life as a Process of Development of Autonomous Functional Systems,” 4-26-2017, Open Biology, The Royal Society Publishing.
  110. Guenther Witzany, Guenther (2016). "Crucial Steps to Life: From Chemical Reactions to Code Using Agents," 2016, Biosystems. 140: 49–57. doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2015.12.007. PMID 2672323*0. See also, Elizabeth Howell, "How Did Life Become Complex, And Could It Happen Beyond Earth?, 12-8-2016, Astrobiology Magazine.
  111. Richard I. Masel, Chemical Kinetics and Catalysis, 2001, Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0-471-24197-0. See also: Louise Lerner, “7 Things You May Not Know about Catalysis,” Argonne National Laboratory, 2011. 
  112.  "Market Report: Global Catalyst Market," (2nd ed.), Acmite Market Intelligence.
  113. J.M. Lowenstein, Methods in Enzymology, 1969, Volume 13: Citric Acid Cycle, Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-181870-8. See also L. Kay and P.D. Weitzman, Krebs' Citric Acid Cycle: Half a Century and Still Turning,1987, Biochemical Society, p. 25. ISBN 978-0-904498-22-6. See also Hazen, Ibid., p. 143.
  114. Joanna C. Xavier, et al.,  See also
  115. A. Bejan and J. P. Zane, Design in Nature: How the Constructural Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization, 2013, First Anchor Books, flyleaf.
  116. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” Ibid. See also, Jeremy England, “Statistical physics of self-replication,” 2013, The Journal of Chemical Physics (AIP),
  117. Natalie Wolchover, "A New Physics Theory of Life," 1-28-2014, Scientific American.
  118. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” Ibid.
  119. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” Ibid.
  120. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” Ibid.
  121. Natalie Wolchover, "A New Physics Theory of Life," Scientific American, 1-28-2014. See also Santi Tafarella, "Dissipation-Driven Adaptive Organization: Is Jeremy England The Next Charles Darwin?," 1-28-2014, Prometheus Unbound  See also Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” Ibid.
  122. Nick Lane, The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, 2015, W.W. Norton pp. See Lane, 58-62.
  123. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis – How Life Came from Inanimate Matter,” a video film, 9-6-2019,
  124. Wikipedia article on “Panspermia,” particularly footnotes 163 through 169.
  125. Wikipedia article on “Panspermia,” particularly footnotes 171 through 173.
  126. Jurrasic Park, motion picture, 1993, Amblin Entertainment, Universal Studios; Dr. Malcolm was played by Jeff Goldblum;, after the 1990 novel of the same name by Dr. Michael Crichton.
  129. Martha Henriques, “The Idea that Life Began as Clay Crystals Is 50 Years Old” 8-24-2016, BBC.
  130. W. Martin and M. Russell, “On the Origins of Cells: A Hypothesis for the Evolutionary Transitions from Abiotic Geochemistry to Chemoautotrophic Prokaryotes, and From Prokaryotes to Nucleated Cells,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, published online at doi:10.1098/rstb.2002.1183 (2002).
  131. John Whitfield, “New Theory for Origin of Life: Mineral Cells Might Have Incubated First Living Things,” Nature, 12-4-2002, doi:10.1038/news021202-2. See also, Roldane, N. Hollinsworth, et al., “Bio-inspired CO2 Conversion by Iron Sulfide Catalysts Under Sustainable Conditions,” Royal Society of Chemistry, 3-24-15.
  132. D. Luo, D. Yang, S. Peng, and G.Q. Lu, “Enhanced Transcription and Translation in Clay Hydrogel and Implications for Early Life Evolution,” Scientific Reports, 11-7-2013;
  133. Paraphrased from Bill Steele’s article, “Before Cells, Biochemicals May Have Combined in Clay,” 11-7-2013, Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University.
  134. Bill Steele, Ibid.
  135. Bill Steele, Ibid.
  136. Martha Henriques, “The Idea that Life Began as Clay Crystals is 50 Years Old,” 8-24-2016, BBC.
  137. Leslie March, “Life's Crystal Code,” 3-19-2009,
  138. See also Martha Henriques, “The Idea that Life began as clay crystals in 50 years old, 8-24-2016, BBC.
  139. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”
  140. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” a video film, Ibid.
  141. V. Erastova, MT Degiacomi, D. Fraser, and HC Greenwell, "Mineral Surface Chemistry Control for Origin of Prebiotic Peptides," December 2017, Nature Communications. 8 (1): 2033. Bibcode:2017NatCo...8.2033E. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02248-y. PMC 5725419. PMID 29229963.
  142. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”]
  143. Martha Henriques, Ibid.
  144. Michael Schirber, “Diamonds May Be Life's Birthstone,”, 9-25-2008,
  145. Michael Schirber, Ibid.
  146. Michael Schirber, Ibid.
  147. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”, 3-19-2009.]
  148. Robert Hazen, Ibid., p.138.
  149. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”, 3-19-2009.
  150. D.R. Colman, S. Poudel,, The Deep, Hot Biosphere: Twenty-five Years of Retrospection,” Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, (PNAS), 7-03-2107, See also,
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    Illustration for The Tao Te Ching

    Illustration for The Tao Te Ching

    There is no historical evidence that the Old Master ever lived, or that he wrote the Tao Te Ching. A number of scholars believe that the little book was written by a collaboration of authors. Legend says that after writing the book, Lao Tzu retired alone into the mountains, never to be heard from again. 188 Livia Kohn and Michael Lafargue, eds., Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching, 1998, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-3599-1.
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