The Web That Weaves (Itself)
First, a little background: The idea first occurred to me many years ago while I was reading Charlottes Web (a wonderful book, by the way), and has since left a great impression on me.
At one point in the story, Charlotte (a spider, of course) tells her friend Wilbur (a piglet) that she will be "going away" (eg: die) soon, and then asks him to safely transport her "Magnum Opus" back to her web. A few days later, Wilbur discovers that the "cargo" was actually Charlottes offspring. In due time, each of the little hatchlings build themself a "wind-riding" net, bid their farewells, and depart (save for a few that stay behind to keep Wilbur company).
What struck me was the fact that the spiders were simply born "knowing" how to spin a web. It just seemed impossible. Where is this knowledge stored? How is it transferred from generation to generation? As I grew older and learned about biological processes, reproduction, etc, the mystery only became more and more puzzling to me. None of these provided much insight into what mechanism(s) might be involved.
Some people I've discussed the idea with have said that the information must be stored in the DNA, or as a complex chemical process, or some other combination of "known" physical processes. Yet, I am convinced that the principle must be rooted in something much more fundamental, if incalculable.
Now, the irony: Recently, I was doing some geneological research and happened upon a paper written by my great-great-great grandfather (direct paternal) over one hundred years ago. Titled "Maternal Impressions", it discusses the possibility of the transmission of thought during pregnancy! As evidence, he describes several peculiar cases that he observed first-hand, as well as numerous accounts from others. He draws no real conclusions, though, but it is nontheless interesting that he chose that particular subject. Strange indeed, I thought, that we should both be so fascinated by this mysterious phenomena! A case of "paternal impressions", perhaps? :p
Incidentally, over time I have begun to believe that this very "force" (or "field") may even be the answer to the riddle of quantum mechanics; Instead of assuming a truly "random" universe where "reality" emanates from "collapsing wave-functions", we propose that volition itself is the root of the uncertainty, and that it also obeys the Maxwell-Boltzmann probability distribution. Due to it's instrinsic nature, it's precise (deterministic) calculation also cannot be performed, and thus it is completely compatible with quantum mechanics! In fact, if this is true then the obvious conclusion is that randomness and determinism are really just a duality; both are equally valid and can be appropriately chosen by convention (as with the particle/wave duality). Moreover, it allows us to finally reconcile physics with "force of will", as we no longer have to "pretend" that conciousness plays no role in physical interaction. Best of all, the argument of God vs. Science is no longer an issue; Since volition is recognized as a first-class physical principle, we can leave it up to the religous astute (as well as the fanatics) to debate amongst themselves the implications!
Anyway, I think the volition field would be a most plausible medium (with physical basis) for information such as intuition, knowledge, and understanding to "flow" through (even if it helps little to grasp the underlying mechanisms), providing a possible explanation of how things such as "impressions" might be transmitted from ancestor to ancestor.
I could be way off, of course. :D