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I respond to Ervin Laszlo's suggestions and criticism regarding my essay in this issue of Zygon. Virtual atomic orbitals are used as a model to illustrate the existence of a general realm of potentiality in physical reality from which the actual world emanates. Laszlo's suggestions for “paradigm repair” are supported and accepted as essentially being in agreement with my intentions and as offering highly useful clarifications. I compare virtual states to historic ideas of forms as metaphysical principles of being that inspire thoughts regarding the actions of a Cosmic Consciousness in the processes of the universe. Metaphysical and theological interpretations of the results of scientific research are defended, provided that they are not used to interfere a priori with the technical program of scientific research.
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Keywords: Aristotle's potentia; Cosmic Consciousness; Plotinic concept of emanation; emergence of complexity; historic ideas of forms; quantum reality; reality as potentiality and actuality; rejection of materialism; transcendent order; virtual states

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Edgar Wertheim Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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