Mysteries of Mind and Matter

The last section of Strange, Strange World was displayed in an exquisite atmosphere of pink lighting. The music providing the ambience was a piece by Vangelis titled, Heaven and Hell. Here, visitors were brought back full loop to the idea that a new vision of the world was taking shape at the frontiers of science, matter was being understood as information, and the Universe was appearing to be intelligent. The Universe was being viewed as a grand theatre where cybernetic forces battled anti-cybernetic forces. Evolution versus entropy. Purpose over determinism. Control over chaos.

Specimens and models abounded, both organic and inorganic. They would help revise certain orthodox conceptions and explore the heretical idea of intelligence as manifested in anything from the structure of crystals to the cosmic language of the DNA code.

Nature's tendency to anthropomorphize was examined closely with the help of highly evocative graphics and photographs, including an exquisite aerial photograph from the geology department of the University of Quebec in Montreal which showed the Manicouagan Basin prior to its transformation into a megadam project where it looked exactly like the profile of a moose, leading us well into some controversial metaphysical considerations.

The remnant materialistic presuppositions behind the theory of evolution were confronted with ideas more in tune with relativity physics. A model of the famous "Lucy" excavated by Richard Leakey was on display. Visitors examined the meaning of consciousness and evolution for Homo Sapiens Sapiens using the brain as a focal point, Jaynes' theory of the bicameral brain, and the ancient art of Alchemy as an illustration of an accelerated biochemical transmutation of consciousness.

Looking back at our ancestors, visitors were invited to see how Neanderthal Man might provide an explanation for paranormal phenomena according to some theories developed by Stan Gooch, and help us better understand who we are, where we are going and why so many people continue to buy tabloids at the checkoutstand.

In all, it was a visual feast. Nature and man at their very best! Plenty of food for thought. The dreams of matter in darkness and in light.
-- Linda Corriveau


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