Transhuman or Translucid III:
The Quantum Computer and the Quantum Brain:
Algorithm Reality Computing, or Cosmic Consciousness Synching?
The promise offered by the transhumanists — always cloaked in a seemingly heroic idealism — is that transhumanism can transcend humanity and attain a higher material and biological existence than the one we know today. Transcendence is a tremendously important concept in human cultural history, and has been used since ancient times to refer to the possibility of a spiritually aware mode of perception that extends beyond biological life, or to the mind’s ability to theoretically outstrip that which is directly known, and knowable, by human beings. In philosophical humanism and idealism, transcendence involves a spiritual mode of being that reaches beyond the embodied, physical humanity and intelligence of the world as we know it, and is typically associated with religious ideas of a higher, cosmic, world-creating intelligence — which today, in light of quantum physics, appear much less unrealistic than they once did, wrapped in the fog of the various confessional beliefs of world religions.
What kind of transcendence is this new, technological-biological, transhuman transcendence we hear being conjured up today? Is it our contemporary attempt to continue and realize the Nietzschean dream of a superman? Certainly not — for to make this claim would mean to misunderstand Nietzsche yet again, just as he was misunderstood by the intellectual forerunners of the Nazis in Hitler’s Germany. Nietzsche’s conception of the superman was inspired by the wisdom of Eastern philosophies, for which it involved the intellectual and spiritual overcoming of those impulses and needs within each of us that are reducible to material existence. But this idea endows the individual human being with an unheard-of power that is also a feature of Eastern spiritual teachings, which attribute great creative and magical abilities to those who have overcome the fear of death and the struggle for survival (gurus, wonder-working healers, etc.). Rather, the transhumanist idea is, strictly speaking, a materialist attempt to use technology to create a kind of semi-human, strong as steel and star-wars-ready, fully optimized genetically — a kind of global genetic cross-breed, made impervious to the fear of death by a promise of immortality. Another and completely megalomaniacal idea envisions the trans-human as destined to create a kind of god-like Creator of worlds.
Transhumanism is not concerned with spiritual existence or spiritual experience beyond the physical; quite the opposite. It’s concerned with extending corporeal existence as long as possible — that is, extending it beyond the present-day physical limits of human existence, by optimizing health using genetics, boosting brain capacity through links with artificial intelligence, artificially replacing worn-out or damaged body parts, and growing replacement organs. It claims that one day we’ll be able to hook the brain up to high-performance computers, such as quantum computers, in order to achieve significantly higher levels of intelligence, as well as insight into how the universe works. But man-made genetics are also subject to limitations imposed by the level of technological and human development that is possible at any given time; the same is true of human-programmed artificial intelligence. And herein lies the indisputable limitation of transhumanist aspirations, since the cosmic creativity in the quantum universe as we now know it is infinitely variable, and the creative potential of naturally, spontaneously unfolding genetic evolution draws on this endless, constant source of renewal, as we will explain in more detail below.
So, why has the illusion of the possibility of a man-made corporeal infinity proven so stubborn? Why have such broad swathes of the scientific world fallen into an almost obsessive preoccupation with everything that promises a dramatic increase in life expectancy and an artificial prolonging of self-awareness beyond the bounds of present-day physical life?
In my most recent blog posts, I’ve hinted at how transhumanistic dreams may be related to the psychology of fear of death and denial of death. If we assume that the energy driving transhuman aspirations may indeed flow from an unconscious fear of death and the desire to escape it, then it is important to search for the neuropsychological sources of the survival instinct, awareness of death, and avoidance of death. Every impulse that is steered and driven by a psychic energy of avoidance or denial inevitably shrouds a multitude of unconscious fallacies and short-circuits, since such impulses are always blind in at least one eye.
The scientific and psychological literature dealing with fear of death is extensive, and highly informative. Monks who engage in long-term meditation are currently a popular subject of study in neuropsychology because their enlightenment has allowed them to overcome the fear of death. In this state of enlightenment, as described by spiritual literature, the fear of death dissolves, as does the sense of the ego’s own identity, and a sense of fusion with the cosmic whole arises, within which death is seen to be an illusion, and consciousness is experienced as transcending physical existence. This form of transcendence corresponds to the concept of spiritual transcendence as formulated by humanists and idealists since antiquity.
The experiences of epiphany that are found in all world religions — an ecstasy born of techniques ranging from shamanistic rituals to drug-induced states of intoxication — confirm the Buddhist experience of the ego dissolving and merging with the cosmic whole; this state of consciousness is made possible by specific electro-chemical conditions in the brain. New neuropsychological studies on brain processes during these states of consciousness are constantly appearing around the world.
A new and easy-to-understand popular-science book on this topic is No Self, No Problem, by Chris Niebauer, Ph.D. (see translucidmind.com, under “Books”). In his book, the author analyzes the different functions of the brain’s two hemispheres, and attributes the obsession with the ego and the resulting fear of death to an imbalance between the two hemispheres — namely, the predominance of the verbally- and logically-driven left hemisphere, which serves in many ways as an instrument for maintaining life-sustaining behaviors.
In the 1960s, Dr. Michael Gazzaniga was a part of a group that performed some of the most interesting and experimental brain surgeries in history. Not only did these experiments reveal how the left and right sides of the brain are responsible for different functions, they also inadvertently laid the groundwork for the idea that the self doesn´t exist in the way that we think it does. Gazzaniga himself would be more blunt about the topic later, as he began his 1998 book The Left-Brain Interpreter, with a chapter titled “The Fictional Self”.
His is a strong indictment of something we take for granted. Considering that the self might be fictional might feel like our distant ancestors first hearing that the Earth was not flat. Both claims seem to defy our very experience. But the idea that the self is fictional is not new – the Buddha said it over 2,500 years ago, and it can be found in the Tao Te Ching, the foundational text of Taoism, also written over two and a half millennia ago, as well as in the writings of certain schools of Hindusim, Advaita Vedanta being one of them. (…)
The brain has two mirror halves connected by a large set of fibers called the corpus callosum. In the 1960s, in research to try to mitigate severe epilepsy, these 800 million nerve fibers were severed, the central thesis being that seizure activity crossed from one side of the brain to the other over the corpus callosum, increasing the severity of seizures. Doctors Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga believed that by cutting this bridge between the two sides of the brain, seizures would be easier to control. They were correct, and Sperry would win the Nobel Prize in 1981 for this work.
While each side of the brain specializes in certain types of tasks, both sides are usually in continuous communication. When this connection was disrupted, however, it became possible to study the job of each side of the brain in isolation. (…)
To understand this research, it is also important to know that the body is cross-wired: that is, all the input and output from the right half of the body crosses over and is processed by the left brain, and vice versa. This crossover is also true for vision, so that the left half of what we see goes to the right side of the brain, and vice versa. Again, this only became obvious in the split-brain patients. Research with these subjects led to one of the most important discoveries about the left side of the brain – one that has yet to be fully appreciated by modern psychology or the general public.
Gazzaniga determined that the left side of the brain created explanations and reasons to help make sense of what was going on. The left brain acted as an ‘interpreter’ of reality. Furthermore, Gazzaniga found that this interpreter was often completely and totally wrong. This finding should have rocked the world, but most people haven’t even heard of it.
(Chris Niebauer Ph.D., No Self, No Problem, 2019, page 2-4)
The subsequent descriptions of the experiments involving split-brain patients that Niebauer provides in his book are mind-blowing. The left half of the brain corresponds to the right side of the body; and, since right-handedness is predominant in human beings, the left half of the brain tends to dominate our view of the world and the logical models we create to help explain it. This half of the brain understands and grasps the world through language. However, as the cosmologist Hans-Peter Dürr put it, language limits our possibilities of explaining the world, as I discuss in my book Translucid:
The main problem in dealing with spiritual phenomena and experiences is that our language offers us only a minimal selection among possible forms of expression, which are reduced to that which is perceptible with the human senses within a determined environment, and which are geared toward the kind of understanding of our everyday world that is necessary for survival. Hans-Peter Dürr, the quantum physicist and alternative Nobel laureate, has throughout his life pointed to the limitations of language, to the impossibility of fully depicting one’s experience of reality through speech: “We experience more than we understand,” he used to say.
“Openness. Modern physics suggests that there is, at bottom, nothing that I can comprehend. Profound reality cannot be comprehended. If I desire to really live the world, to experience it, I must spread open my hands and attempt to feel it, not to grab it. We must take in our world with open arms and hands, because what is essential is only contained in a kind of hovering connection, in an open in-between. At the same time, conceptuality, or “grabability,” is important for our survival. In this sense, the firm grip of a hand as it takes hold of an apple that I need for nourishment is supportive of life. The language we have developed in our society is therefore one that was predominantly learned and tested in the sphere of practical action (…) — one might say, a language good for gripping. The natural sciences also make use of this language of gripping and the concepts it “grabs” with. In this regard, the concept ‘material’ seems to be an abstraction of grabbed apples, a multiplicity of particles.” (Dürr, Liebe – Urquelle des Kosmos. Love as the Source of the Universe, p. 72).
(Susanne Steines, Translucid, 2019, page 43)
In his book, Chris Niebauer draws on experiments with split-brain patients to shed light on which functions and malfunctions occur in the linguistically-interpretive left side of the brain if it is cut off from cooperation with the radically different right side of the brain, which does not deal in linguistic categories, and gathers more “intuitive” information concerning our overall reality. The left half of the brain uses the visible, grab-able material available to it at any given time to build a reality that appears to be logically consistent, and then proceeds to defend this reality, manufactured from limited information, with all its might.
The description of the left-brain interpreter provided in Niebauer’s book points out many aspects of known psychopathies. Instead of linking one’s own thoughts back to events unfolding in reality, and checking their sense and content against that reality, such pathologies run fully independently, as if driven by an algorithm based on the scant data available to the evaluative left side of the brain.
Similar automatons are produced by brains whose emotional flexibility is impaired as a result of psychological trauma, due to a disability of the amygdala and the flow of information between it and the hippocampus (see the following articles on translucidmind.com: Neuroscience https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/amygdala-to-hippocampus-communication-may-explain-reactivation-of-negative-memories-317961
In such instances, the left hemisphere of the brain, which interprets the world and controls actions that are essential for survival, can interpret the world almost as if blindfolded, in a completely unrealistic way, increasingly working its way into a dead end. Or, it can invent a parallel reality that matches up with its interpretation — possibly rising to an alarming level of psychopathy.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned how well psychology understands that trauma, neurosis and psychopathy can lead to a heightened fear of death. Niebauer’s book leaves no doubt that the same is true of the one-sided interpretation of reality provided by the left hemisphere of the brain, obsessed as it is with material grabability and the survival of the individual — especially since the left side of the brain is constantly trying to construct a sense of ego-identity that is separate from its environment.
Niebauer juxtaposes the results of the experiments involving split-brain patients with the story of the neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Taylor — namely, with her experiences following a stroke in which blood inundated the left side of the brain and temporarily shut off almost all of its functionality.
In December 1996, the history of neuroscience was forever changed when Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor suffered a stroke that took much of her left brain off-line. In what must be a grand, cosmic coincidence, this event happened to a neuroanatomist. In other words, Taylor was someone who had spent her life before the stroke labeling and categorizing the brain, using the very part of her brain that would be, for the first time, turned off – opening up center stage for her right-brain consciousness.
Years later, after recovering from the injury, Taylor’s left brain was able to tell the story. During the stroke, her constant inner voice was silent for the first time. As the inner language quieted, she reports, “I became detached from the memories of my life (and) I was confronted by an expanding sense of grace.” She could no longer perceive the boundaries of where she ended and everything else began. She felt her being as fluid rather than solid. She was totally in the present moment, embodied in tranquility. Categories such as good/bad and right/wrong were experienced as a continuum rather than disconnected opposites. Her left-brain ego, which viewed herself as separate, was no longer dominant in her consciousness. In her right brain (or perhaps her “right mind”?), she felt gratitude and a sense of contentment. The right brain was compassionate, nurturing, and eternally optimistic. In her words, “I think the Buddhists would say I entered the mode of existence they call Nirvana.”
(Niebauer, ebda., page 65-66)
Dr. Taylor’s account matches up with the stories told by those engaged in long-term meditation and shamanic rituals: if the brain-chatter of words and thoughts in the left hemisphere is stilled, then a sense of unity, of dissolution of the ego, arises through the perception of the right hemisphere. Such people have described an awareness of oneness with one’s fellow man and with the surrounding cosmos, as well as a grateful devotion to the energy-laden, living movements of the cosmos and its creative activity. These kinds of perceptions and experiences lead people to believe in a cosmic or even divine creative power, and prevent them from perceiving death as something terrifying, as something that must be denied at all costs. They arrive at a holistic sense of the world, in which all things spring from a spiritual plane, and, through that plane, stand connected in a holistic relationship of reciprocal cause and effect. This awareness corresponds to the theories and experimental findings of quantum physics concerning the nature of a cosmos as a whole — a whole that is constantly reshaping itself through spiritual acts.
Might an artificial human intelligence, connected to a quantum computer, manage to arrive at a similar awareness? Or will artificial intelligence, as a machine — a product of human intelligence at a specific point in time and with specific material requirements — simply reach the same dead end experienced by the left brain of split-brain patients? Who will be the programmer? Such a programmer will always make use of an embodied intelligence, limited with respect to space and time, to create algorithms within the confines of current biology and technology. More than likely, this programmer will be someone who fails to recognize, grasp, or perceive an infinitely creative cosmic power. Rather, the programmer fashions himself as the most exalted, most intelligent left-brain interpreter or storyteller, utterly convinced of his own brilliance. What kind of intelligence do the transhumanists want to use to achieve eternal life? And what do they think an eternal transhuman life would actually look like? In the worst case, transhumanity would find itself reduced to the deluded dictates of the most intelligent and most powerful storyteller-ego, whose illusion of reality would endure forever. Just imagine what that reality would be if this most powerful interpreter-ego were, say, a Donald Trump.
But before anything else the pressing question arises: What exactly is this highly-touted physical/technological transhuman eternity? How should we visualize it? A life lasting until — when? Until the earth proves uninhabitable? Until the nearest earth-like exo-planets also become uninhabitable? Until the sun burns out? Until a black hole devours the galaxy? Or perhaps someone believes that they will one day manage to beam themselves into a wormhole, as a transhuman machine, and endlessly travel the universe? (see an article posted on translucidmind.com, under “Physics,” entitled “How to Peer Through a Wormhole” –
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/science/wormholes-physics-astronomy-cosmos.html), — which, if indeed possible, would certainly be a worthwhile experience — I’d be the first to sign up! But at this point we don’t even know for certain that wormholes really exist; and if they did exist, the risk would remain that any transhumanoid entering one would not survive the journey. A more elegant version of a transition to non-local, timeless travel is offered by the spiritual plane — a transition that, as claimed by thousands of years of spiritual wisdom, might be made possible through biological death.
Our present knowledge of the reality of the universe seems less sensational, in a physical sense, than Hollywood science fiction. Right now, only one eternity is possible: non-local, timeless consciousness beyond the ego, beyond the self, personal identity, and physical body — accessible, perhaps, through meditation, certain hallucinogens, and other spiritual techniques that inhibit the fictional ego-construct of the left side of the brain. Perhaps transhuman entities might one day arrive at such an awareness, transcending the instinct of self-defense — we cannot rule this out. But it’s relatively unlikely, since we must assume that the experience and knowledge of today’s most highly developed human consciousness are attributable to the spontaneous genetic evolution of the human brain. And genetics is also faced with a revolution in consciousness that contradicts the ambitions of the transhumanists.
So far, genetics research seems to have served primarily to create transhuman life-machines, in which diseases have been eliminated, and deviations in human behavior and psychology have been evened out. Thus, without resorting to religiosity, but relying rather on purely scientific arguments supplied by the latest research, we can speak of a man-made reduction of the selection and emergence of new genetic possibilities. Current scientific knowledge makes increasingly clear that natural genetic evolution is also subject to the endless spontaneity of possibilities within the creative potential of the quantum universe.
Epigenetics has long pointed to spontaneous genetic changes tied to a given environment — including psychosocial environments — similarly to the ideas of Rupert Sheldrake, a researcher and author who has met with resistance to his description of a morphogenetic field within which genes spontaneously develop through a transfer of spiritual information. But the latest research findings go much further: not only do existing genes spontaneously change, including in reaction to the environment, the surroundings, mental stimulation, and other existing genes, but it was also found that previously unknown genes, called “de novo genes,” are spontaneously formed, entirely from scratch, based on the characteristics and requirements of the environment in which the biological life form is found. (See the article on translucidmind.com, under “Highlight of the Week, Oct. 17 2019: “How Evolution Builds Genes from Scratch, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03061-x).
The infinite range of possibilities springing from this spontaneous, energetic exchange of information will always far surpass the manipulations and engineering efforts of geneticists. Thus, any man-made genetic manipulation is necessarily a restriction of evolutionary possibilities.
It seems that some evolutionary force is constantly trying out new possibilities, within which existing genes mutually influence one another, or even stimulate the formation of entirely new genes. Moreover, the transfer of information seems to occur almost telepathically, almost like thought transference — as confirmed by doctors who have seen the miracle of healing through positive thinking, which casts Rupert Sheldrake’s ideas in an entirely new light. The powerful presence of a given bit of information in the context of an evolving life seems to stimulate the generation or activation of certain genes, as demonstrated by reports that the habits of mothers can be transferred to their babies. Surely the most extraordinary case is that of a genetic researcher and mother who researched a gene for a very rare disease while she was pregnant, and whose baby was born with precisely this gene, despite the absence of any apparent hereditary basis, a gene known to occur as a spontaneous mutation in the fetus (see translucidmind.com, Neuroscience, “Infinitesimal Odds: A Scientist Finds Her Child’s Rare Illness Stems from the Gene She Studies” – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/23/health/genes-mutation-foxg1-brain.html)
Such insights have far-reaching implications for the practical considerations and approaches of genetics in the future. For example, geneticists have found that many people who are extremely sensitive but show otherwise healthy mental behavior carry genes similar to those of schizophrenics or those with autism. This would mean that the highly interesting and very human evolutionary spectrum of extreme sensitivity — that is, greatly heightened and intensified perception and reactivity to environmental influence — shifts into the field of mental illness. Meanwhile, discussions of whether such genes should be preventatively removed from genetic material completely overlook the fact that mental illnesses may simply be a side effect of an evolutionary experimentation toward an optimal development of consciousness. States of enhanced consciousness, whether endogenous, drug-induced, of psychiatric, are now being studied with great interest, including in order to expand the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Intervening in spontaneous changes in the gene pool, regardless of what cosmic constellations or quantum-physical event horizons may bring them about, means intervening in the freely unfolding reality of the cosmos, and of humanity. Just imagine: people like Richard Wagner, Franz Kafka, Vincent van Gogh, Friedrich Nietzsche, and even Greta Thunberg would most likely no longer exist.
The evolution of genes isn’t based on some static algorithm that always operates according to some specific law or code, in which particular malfunctions must simply be eliminated to ensure perfect functioning. An infinite number of unpredictable factors bring about changes — and new genes. It is a proven fact that even learned patterns of behavior can change from generation to generation, and are transmitted through a new gene. Such genetic changes even appear to take place inside an embryo, still in the womb, as it adapts to its mother’s way of life. Genetic evolution is a highly creative, spontaneous, and unpredictable process. Any human intervention in genetics harbors completely unforeseeable consequences for the subsequent development of genes, and the appearance of new ones. Some force in the cosmos contributes to this generation of ever-new information available to living beings, and it does so neither aimlessly nor arbitrarily: evolution, especially human evolution, undoubtedly promotes the constant development of the human brain, and human skill and intelligence. Evolution itself works constantly to further improve human possibilities. Now that humans have begun to understand how genes work, should they risk arbitrarily intervening in these processes? The discovery of de novo genes should give pause to even the most fanatical true believers.
It wasn’t until the twenty-first century that scientists began to see hints that non-coding sections of DNA could lead to new functional codes for proteins. As genetic sequencing advanced to the point that researchers could compare entire genomes of close relatives, they began to find evidence that genes could disappear rather quickly during evolution. That made them wonder whether genes could just as quickly spring into being.
Studying de novo genes turns out to be part genetics, part thought experiment. “Why is our field so difficult?” asks Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. “It is because of philosophical issues.” At its heart is a question that Carvunis has been asking for a decade: what is a gene?
A gene is commonly defined as a DNA or RNA sequence that codes for a functional molecule. The yeast genome, however, has hundreds of thousands of sequences, known as open reading frames (ORFs), that could theoretically be translated into proteins, but that geneticists assumed were either too short or looked too different from those in closely related organisms to have a probable function.
When Carvunis studied yeast ORFs for her PhD, she began to suspect that not all of these sections were lying dormant. In a study7 published in 2012, she looked at whether these ORFs were being transcribed into RNA and translated into proteins — and, just like genes, many of them were — although it was unclear whether the proteins were useful to the yeast, or whether they were translated at high enough levels to serve a function. “So what is a gene? I don’t know,” Carvunis says. What she thinks she has found, though, is “raw material — a reservoir — for evolution”.
For Zhang, research that links de novo genes to the human brain is tantalizing. “We know that what makes us human is our brains,” he says, “so there must be some genetic kit to push the evolution of our brain.” That suggests an avenue for future studies. Zhang suggests that researchers could investigate the genetic kit through experiments with human organoids — cultured cells that serve as a model organ. (…)
Many de novo genes remain uncharacterized, so the potential importance of the process to health and disease is unclear. “It will take some time before we fully understand to what extent it contributes to human health and to what extent it contributes to the origin of the human species,’’ says Carvunis.
Although de novo genes remain enigmatic, their existence makes one thing clear: evolution can readily make something from nothing. “One of the beauties of working with de novo genes,” says Casola, “is that it shows how dynamic genomes are.”
(translucidmind.com, Highlight of the Week,17.10.2019 “How Evolution Builds Genes from Scratch,” by Adam Levy on nature.com. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03061-x
Here, one needn’t believe in God to feel that caution and careful reflection are in order. Even a gene that today causes a psychological abnormality or illness could be a building block or even a milestone on humanity’s road to even higher intelligence and awareness. After all, high sensitivity and high intelligence often go hand in hand. If we consider the qualities now shown by people deemed intellectually and emotionally gifted — those who possess some new human potential for the future — it becomes clear that their repertoire includes such character traits as high intuition, altruism, empathy, and a sense of responsibility for mankind’s future development. These qualities are attributed to the very highest forms of consciousness in all world cultures, and are associated with divine consciousness. In the light of quantum physics and the fact that cosmos is shaped by such acts of the mind as will and intentionality, this feature of evolution is of great interest. From here, it’s no great leap to suppose that earthly evolution unfolds at the behest of some cosmic consciousness, with which humanity might increasingly synchronize itself.
The discomfort felt by many intellectually and spiritually experienced people at the idea of using technology to manufacture some permanent, interplanetary vegetative state is understandable, and should in no way be dismissed as conservative, religious, or somehow death-obsessed (deathist). The vocabulary employed by transhumanists in the fight against their critics is often manipulative and defamatory. And, upon closer consideration, it is simply nonsensical and unrealistic. Like so many transhumanist ideas, is springs from the system of thought of the left-hemisphere interpreter-ego, always ready to fight for its survival and identity, at all costs. In the worst case, this ego can be diagnosed as narcissistic, marked by a sense of superiority, delusions of beauty, and power fantasies that flirt with fascism. This ego and its system of self-preservation is what pushes the transhumanists toward ever-inflating pipe dreams of immortality and eternal life.
Such thought processes have led genetic researchers inspired by transhuman ideas to a fairly one-dimensional understanding of human perfectibility. If one wishes to know what a transhuman will look like and behave, one need only look at the latest Hollywood blockbusters: invulnerable steel bodies, eternally young silicone bodies with entirely predictable reactions — limited facial expressions and gestures, usually free of any trace of deeper psychological vulnerability or intellectual skepticism. Even as slight an intervention as a botox injection is now known to be an intrusion into the world of human expression and sensation: if muscles can no longer express certain impulses, then their feedback to the intellectual and emotional center of perception is cut off. The emotional and experiential world of botox addicts is an impoverished one. Which, in turn, likely affects the production of new genes. In the worst case, the ongoing refinement and sensitization of the human mind, its ability to penetrate and achieve transcendence in a consciousness of cosmic creativity would be completely shut off as a result of this mania of immortality. Many translucid thinkers are well aware of this. We must prevent our light from being switched off.
Copyright Susanne Steines, 17th of January 2020, translation to the English by Mark R. Pettus, Ph.D. at Princeton University