The Hunt for Midi-Chlorians

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posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 02:03 PM
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Here we see the transmission of midi-chlorians through an *ahem* awkward moment. In this thread I intent to argue that the 'secret fire', as Gandalf would call it, has taken new form in the new mythology of Star Wars. And through the mythology of sci-fi, it has taken the new form of a hypothesis in the mystical underbelly of SCIENCE.

Midi-Chlorians: The biomeme hypothisis. Is there a microbial component to religious rituals?


Background
Cutting edge research of human microbiome diversity has led to the development of the microbiome-gut-brain axis concept, based on the idea that gut microbes may have an impact on the behavior of their human hosts. Many examples of behavior-altering parasites are known to affect members of the animal kingdom. Some prominent examples include Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (fungi), Toxoplasma gondii (protista), Wolbachia (bacteria), Glyptapanteles sp. (arthropoda), Spinochordodes tellinii (nematomorpha) and Dicrocoelium dendriticum (flat worm). These organisms belong to a very diverse set of taxonomic groups suggesting that the phenomena of parasitic host control might be more common in nature than currently established and possibly overlooked in humans.

Presentation of the hypothesis
Some microorganisms would gain an evolutionary advantage by encouraging human hosts to perform certain rituals that favor microbial transmission. We hypothesize that certain aspects of religious behavior observed in the human society could be influenced by microbial host control and that the transmission of some religious rituals could be regarded as the simultaneous transmission of both ideas (memes) and parasitic organisms.

Testing the hypothesis
We predict that next-generation microbiome sequencing of samples obtained from gut or brain tissues of control subjects and subjects with a history of voluntary active participation in certain religious rituals that promote microbial transmission will lead to the discovery of microbes, whose presence has a consistent and positive association with religious behavior. Our hypothesis also predicts a decline of participation in religious rituals in societies with improved sanitation.

Implications of the hypothesis
If proven true, our hypothesis may provide insights on the origin and pervasiveness of certain religious practices and provide an alternative explanation for recently published positive associations between parasite-stress and religiosity. The discovery of novel microorganisms that affect host behavior may improve our understanding of neurobiology and neurochemistry, while the diversity of such organisms may be of interest to evolutionary biologists and religious scholars.


So what do you guys think? Shall we begin discussion of The Force, old and new, and as it is currently formed by the mysticism of science?




edit on 842Monday000000America/ChicagoJul000000MondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Hmmmmm Star Wars may be real after all



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

Heh...

I should have known that you would be the first person to post in this thread!


While I recognise that there are things in this world that are not currently explained by science, like monks who can have a high speed drill forced against their skulls without being all full of holes for example, I do not believe, that discussing Midi-chlorian counts is a sensible approach.

For one thing, no one is seriously suggesting that the combination of bacteria in ones gut, or any of the other mentioned interal flora and fauna, are capable of imparting upon those who are rich in internal biodiversity, mysterious powers of endurance, speed, fighting ability, or the ability to manipulate objects using The Force. I would be some sort of unkillable, telekinetic behemoth if that was the case. I am not.

However, the possibility of this study having some more interesting and realistic effects on human lives, is not at all a stretch, when you consider that there are parasites which infest mice, and make them want to be friends with cats. This makes them more likely to be passed into the cat, where the parasite would prefer to be, ordinarily speaking.

It raises some interesting questions, and alternately amazing, and terrifying possibilities about the cause of the things we see in daily life, but it does not imply that a lightsabre weilding hero, or villan, lies within any one of us (although, like you, I damned well wish there were!). The qualities that set the notional hero apart from the regular person, are not created solely in the gut, or in the heart, or in the mind. They are culminations, and combinations of all of these things, not to mention the right time and place, the right situation, and the right person to act in that moment.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

So to escape these guys control all we have to do is completely destroy our bodies right?



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Yeah, but it's not really midi-chlorians we are talking about here. We are talking about something inside us that can change form from culture to culture, according to what they can understand. In the culture of science mysticism, it is trying on the costume of Midi-Chlorians for size. Does it make mana look fat?

Carl Jung would call it the archetype of mana, Christians would call it the Holy Spirit, Hindu would call it Kundalini, Jedi would call it the Force, Taoists would call it Chi, Tolkien would call it the secret fire.

It might take the form of a midi-chlorian, but that doesn't mean it isn't psychic.

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posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule


Testing the hypothesis
We predict that next-generation microbiome sequencing of samples obtained from gut or brain tissues of control subjects and subjects with a history of voluntary active participation in certain religious rituals that promote microbial transmission will lead to the discovery of microbes, whose presence has a consistent and positive association with religious behavior. Our hypothesis also predicts a decline of participation in religious rituals in societies with improved sanitation.


So what do you guys think? Shall we begin discussion of The Force, old and new, and as it is currently formed by the mysticism of science?
I think there's already an established correlation between education and religion, or I should say inverse correlation to be more specific. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that there is also a correlation between sanitation and education, so combining these we'd expect to see an inverse correlation between sanitation and religion.

However as said already a million times, which probably isn't enough, correlation does not equal causation, and I expect that to be true in this case, meaning I expect the hypothesis is false (well except the part about the correlation that's not a result of the hypothesized causation).

I was a little tickled to learn that there actually is a Jedi religion, but I didn't think it was based on Midi-Chlorians, because they don't believe the science fiction stuff like that as far as I know:

Jediism

Beliefs

Although followers of Jediism acknowledge the influence of Star Wars on their religion, by following the moral and spiritual codes demonstrated by the fictional Jedi,[5] they also insist their path is different from that of the fictional characters and that Jediism does not focus on the myth and fiction found in Star Wars. The Jedi follow the "16 teachings", which are based on the presentation of the fictional Jedi, as well as "21 maxims".

edit on 7-7-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Thankfully, I am not involved in a culture of "science mysticism". I love science FICTION, but not science mysticism. Science fiction is entertainment, and therefore requires the suspension of ones disbelief, in order to interact with it. However "science mysticism" sounds like some utterly improbable, and entirely useless combination of science and religion.

I would hope that any such structure of the mind would perish with all due haste, and trouble both religiously minded persons, and persons who have an interest in science, no more.
edit on 7-7-2014 by TrueBrit because: Grammar and spelling correction.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

I'm more interested in acausality than causality. The Force can be acausal, because synchronicity is a structuring element of the Force, and synchronicity is an acausal connecting principle.




edit on 989MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJuluMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule
That sounds like a different hypothesis than the one in the OP story though, isn't it?

Any way to test it?



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 05:52 PM
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Forgive me, but I'm not quite seeing how this article on hypothetical gut bacteria influencing actions of the host animal as anything to do with midi-chlorians or even mysticism. This is just a hypothesis that states cultural rituals might be influenced by bacterial alteration of a host's behavior, right? Am I missing something? I apologize, I still have yet to have my coffee, and a fail to see the connection being made... : / Can someone clarify this for me?



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 06:01 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: BlueMule
That sounds like a different hypothesis than the one in the OP story though, isn't it?

Any way to test it?


The hypothesis opens the door pretty wide. It covers religious ritual in general, and that opens the door to synchronicity. It covers schizophrenia, which opens the door for Holy Madness and mysticism, and their physical correlates.

"The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight" -Joseph Campbell



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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originally posted by: hydeman11This is just a hypothesis that states cultural rituals might be influenced by bacterial alteration of a host's behavior, right? Am I missing something?


Rituals are re-enactments of a myth. And myths are more than just stories or lies. They are public dreams, and dreams are private myths. Rituals create a synchronicity between the mythological context and the product of the ritual. For example, an initiation ritual puts the initiate into a mythological context that can't be separated form the ritual. A weather manipulation ritual creates a synchronicity between the mythological context and the rain. Just as the Tarot creates a synchronicity between the cards and the query.

The rituals of world religion and myth always involve some sort of mana or spiritual power. The archetype of mana is a universal common denominator in ritual, and George Lucas was influenced by that concept when he wrote Star Wars. The Force is an iteration of the archetype of mana.

So, if this hypothesis is to be extended to its natural conclusion, it should have bearings on all aspects of ritual.

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posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Okay, so in essence, you just don't like this hypothesis because it's counter towards your beliefs, despite it just being a hypothesis and not even a tested experiment? It doesn't even imply that the researchers believe all rituals are related to bacterial influences, either, just ones that could be related to bacteria transfer...

I'm neutral on this issue, but if that's the reasoning, I'm still confused about the logic.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

I never said I don't like it. I do like it, but it needs to be expanded to a multi-disciplinary approach.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Ah, I think I see now. Apologies, I can be a bit thick sometimes.

So your argument is that science cannot adequately explain ritual, then? Speaking as a materialist, I respectfully disagree, but science is not concerned by the supernatural (as in science makes no claims and never can make claims about something that is not part of the natural, observable world.), so if you wish to study it by another philosophy, I wouldn't say you were wrong to. But I wouldn't expect to see the day were science, grounded in the observation and explanation of the material world, would break itself by becoming involved in immaterial matters.



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 07:06 PM
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a reply to: hydeman11

Science can adequately explain ritual, but as I said it must be a wide scientific approach that includes literary science, religious studies, etc.

"No one, as far as I know, has yet tried to compose into a single picture the new perspectives that have been opened in the fields of comparative symbolism, religion, mythology, and philosophy by the scholarship of recent years.

The richly rewarded archaeological researches of the past few decades; astonishing clarifications, simplifications, and coordinations achieved by intensive studies in the spheres of philology, ethnology, philosophy, art history, folklore, and religion; fresh insights in psychological research; and the many priceless contributions to our science by the scholars, monks, and literary men of Asia, have combined to suggest a new image of the fundamental unity of the spiritual history of mankind.

Without straining beyond the treasuries of evidence already on hand in these widely scattered departments of our subject, therefore, but simply gathering from them the membra disjuncta of a unitary mythological science, I attempt in the following pages the first sketch of a natural history of the gods and heroes, such as in its final form should include in its purview all divine beings--not regarding any as sacrosanct or beyond its scientific domain.

For, as in the visible world of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, so also in the visionary world of the gods: there has been a history, an evolution, a series of mutations, governed by laws; and to show forth such laws is the proper aim of science."

-Joseph Campbell

edit on 047MondayuAmerica/ChicagoJuluMondayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2014 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

I certainly agree with you. If you want to explain ALL ritual, then you need to include a lot of sciences. I don't even think that would be enough unless you just want a broad overview of what ritual is and why rituals exist, to be honest.
But if that's the case, I'm still lost when it comes to all of this mysticism and mentioning of Star Wars/SF. I do appreciate your helping me to better understand your view though, and I again apologize for being thick.



posted on Jul, 8 2014 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule This is all controlled by diet. These host are there because of different foods we eat. I have always believed that plants and animals have spirits and we are the principalities that they wield their power over. That is our true battle and it is inside ourselves.I also believe that food that is blessed has had these powers neutrilized. Jesus is the first born over all creation and this is why he told us to eat of his flesh and drinl of his blood. His spirit has been poured over every first born and first fruits.
edit on 8-7-2014 by deadeyedick because: (no reason given)





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