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Reductionism And Materialism Are Not Scientific Givens


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It is my contention, that if you want to understand the diseases of a culture - the first place to start looking is at dominating world-view of that culture.

Whew, I'm not sure where to start with this.

 

That is one of the reasons I started this thread, because the mechanisitic and reductionist world-view is dominate in Western industrialized cultures. And that world-view, taken to extremes,is harmful. It is a world-view of separation from our fellow human beings, rather than a world-view of connection and wholeness. :shrug:

I agree. But I still believe in doing science. This is the effort to produce explicit (communicable) understandings of nature. You and I may intuitively know what we intend when we say 'connectedness' or 'wholeness'. And please hear me. Intuition is indispensable in science, but it is not enough. In the last, we require explicit models.

 

How about this OM? Can you share with me some analogies you might have for societies? Analogy can often point the way to understanding.

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Bottom line this for me if you can. Do you believe in an afterlife, i.e., the continuation of your own personal consciousness when your brain dies? If not, then is it fair to say at the end of the d

Viglie, I have to commend you for getting to the root of the issue.

No one is making you. But what's the point of these gigantuous threads on the subject then if it can't be explained?

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OM, let me also share some other thoughts I had here...

 

Skepticism was taken to its extreme with Descartes when he said... cogito ergo sum. This is part of the first separation of an 'observer' from the observed, of subjective and objective. This is required foundation for science to proceed. However, because our end game in science is understanding of nature, science, in my view, is an anti-skeptical endeavor.

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Legion - Sorry I've not answered you yet. This weekend was absolutely packed and the next few days are not going to get any better. I promise I'll come back on Thursday, and give you a decent response.

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That is one of the reasons I started this thread, because the mechanisitic and reductionist world-view is dominate in Western industrialized cultures. And that world-view, taken to extremes,is harmful. It is a world-view of separation from our fellow human beings, rather than a world-view of connection and wholeness. Wendyshrug.gif

I agree. But I still believe in doing science. This is the effort to produce explicit (communicable) understandings of nature. You and I may intuitively know what we intend when we say 'connectedness' or 'wholeness'. And please hear me. Intuition is indispensable in science, but it is not enough. In the last, we require explicit models.

 

How about this OM? Can you share with me some analogies you might have for societies? Analogy can often point the way to understanding.

Hello Legion -

 

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. This week is crazy, and sadly it isn't going to let up anytime soon. But - I will post a few thoughts and then we can proceed from there.

 

You say that we need to "produce explicit (communicable) understandings of nature". We agree completely. As I mentioned earlier in this thread ...

 

 

On this we agree, demonstrable, relavant reality, not postulated or theorietical reality, is where we all live:

 

From Wikipedia: Quantum nonlocality

 

Quote

The experimental evidence of quantum nonlocality has resulted in the general rejection of a previous theory known as local hidden variable theory in which distant events were assumed to have no instantaneous (or at least faster-than-light) effect on local ones.

 

You and I live in a demonstrable and VERY relavant non-local universe. A universe in which experimentation has eliminated the old "hidden variable" approach to non-locality. A universe which is demonstrably ONE interconnected WHOLE. Those are the simple facts. I, like every other human being on the face of this earth, get to interpret those facts. This whole thread was started to show that scientists are not marching lock-step behind the classical Newtonian clockwork interpretation of the universe. I still hold to that. Scientists are debating themsleves what "reality" is ... see my above post...

 

 

When I say we need to look at the dominating world-view, In the case of America (and other industrialized nations), I am speaking of an out-dated - but still widely adhered to world-view of the universe as a giant machine. Rather than a world-view that more accurately reflects what science has proven, a the universe as one, interconnected, and undivided whole. This new paradigm shift, in the way scientists view reality, is being solidified with more and more experimentation. That is why more and more scientists are moving away from the Copenhagen interpretation, because they have to find a reasonable interpretation that explains non-locality. For non-locality can no longer be written off with the term "hidden variables", our experimentation has taken us further from that.

 

If you are looking for explicit models of reality, then let's at least start being honest about one thing. Reality is verifiably ONE. It can be verifiably stated that what happens to one atom on this side of the universe can (and does) change the behavior of another atom on the other side of the universe. And that means something, in the grand scheme of human self-awareness that means a lot.

 

Legion - At the very least - the scientific community should be doing everything it can to encourage discussion of this dynamic, and of the internal scientific philosophy surrounding empirical science. A paradigm shift is happening. The Newtonian world-view is giving way to something else, in time we will figure it out. But this changing world-view will become extremely important, it will become the way humanity looks in the collective mirror and sees itself.

 

Legion - I wish I had scientific answers for all of humanity's ills. I don't. As Antlerman said earlier - what we are dealing with is too big to "think our way out of". At some point, we must "feel" our way through the darkness. And as scary as that is, it is a simple reality. Empirical science can only take us so far. If you want to study Human Societies as Living System, then it will require taking all the empirical science you can get  and using it to "feel" your way through the darkness. :shrug:

 

But "feeling" your way through the darkness will also require searching for answers on a level science just can not reach. I think that is much of what Antlerman has tried to impart over the years. Concrete reality only takes us so far, Legion. There is a whole other dimension of reality that can not be addressed with empirical science - or its models. :)

 

In Peace - Rose

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A rose by any other name is just as sweet.

 

I'm not sure what more to say. You (and A-man), and I are just enough alike, and just enough different to make things hard.

 

There's always been a drawback to mysticism. And it is this. Embraced alone, it opens the door to a whole pile of complete horse fertilizer. Mysticism must be balanced with pragmaticism.

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A rose by any other name is just as sweet.

 

OMG ... yelrotflmao.gif I can't believe I signed that last post with my nickname yelrotflmao.gif

 

My husband calls me Rose (I like to garden roses). He must have been talking to me as I signed off.... :)

 

 

 

I'm not sure what more to say. You (and A-man), and I are just enough alike, and just enough different to make things hard.

 

There's always been a drawback to mysticism. And it is this. Embraced alone, it opens the door to a whole pile of complete horse fertilizer. Mysticism must be balanced with pragmaticism.

 

We agree completely. There is a drawback to just about anyting when we embrace it alone, to the exclusion of anything else.

 

Legion - I always enjoy our discussions. You and Antlerman and so many others have given me so much to think about over the years. I am a better person because of our conversations.

 

In Peace - OM

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A rose by any other name is just as sweet.

 

I'm not sure what more to say. You (and A-man), and I are just enough alike, and just enough different to make things hard.

 

There's always been a drawback to mysticism. And it is this. Embraced alone, it opens the door to a whole pile of complete horse fertilizer. Mysticism must be balanced with pragmaticism.

Mysticism helps illuminate what we discover using the tools of reason, that reason alone cannot bring to bear. But mysticism is not a replacement for reason. Nor reason a replacement for mysticism.

 

 

I should try to catch up on this thread I have not be following until I saw my name come flying past in here. smile.png

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A rose by any other name is just as sweet.

 

I'm not sure what more to say. You (and A-man), and I are just enough alike, and just enough different to make things hard.

 

There's always been a drawback to mysticism. And it is this. Embraced alone, it opens the door to a whole pile of complete horse fertilizer. Mysticism must be balanced with pragmaticism.

Mysticism helps illuminate what we discover using the tools of reason, that reason alone cannot bring to bear. But mysticism is not a replacement for reason. Nor reason a replacement for mysticism.

 

 

I should try to catch up on this thread I have not be following until I saw my name come flying past in here. smile.png

Hey Antlerman - thanks for stopping by. You may not have been following, but your presence has still been felt. :)

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Hey Antlerman - thanks for stopping by. You may not have been following, but your presence has still been felt. smile.png

That's cool. I'm here in spirit. smile.png I need to catch up as I'm interested in your thoughts these days. Many changes for me since the "old days".
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  • 2 weeks later...

Legion and Antlerman:

 

I came across this article and thought it was very applicable to this discussion. I do not agree with everything the author says, but he hits upon the impact of world-view on societies ills, and it seemed to fit this conversation:


 

On page 14 of Ever Since Darwin (1977), a collection of beautifully written essays by the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, the writer drops a bombshell: "Evolution is purposeless, nonprogressive, and materialistic." When a scientist of Gould's gravitas makes such claims, it is tantamount to engraving them in stone.

 

One wonders why Gould felt the need to interject the sentence. Such assertions, which ultimately lie beyond the ken of science, are more akin to religious dogma than scientific fact. Scientists are often quick to challenge incursions of religion into the domain of science, and rightly so. But those same scientists may be blind to their own infractions. Why should science be wary of overreaching?

 

Polls show that 46 percent of Americans self-identify as "young-earth creationists" by responding affirmatively to the following statement: "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years." (See http://ncse.com.) Surprisingly, the percentage of affirmative responses has hardly varied in the 30 years since Gallup began conducting the survey. Why do nearly half of Americans reject evolution despite 150 years of substantiating evidence? And why is America, which has produced 270 Nobel laureates -- far more than any other country -- so anti-science?

 

I suspect it is because of the cognitive dissonance between science's intimations of our "purposeless" origins in a "materialistic" cosmos and our own instincts to the contrary. Faced with the choice between "an antiscientific philosophy and an alienating science," many Americans opt for the former. "Do we really have to make this tragic choice?" pleaded the late Nobel laureate in chemistry, Ilya Prigogine.

 

In the current era, the choice is indeed "tragic." There is strong correlation between those who deny evolution and those who deny climate science. Climatologists pull out their hair in frustration at the difficulty of awakening Americans to the seriousness of the crisis. The wake-up call goes unheeded because nearly half the American public is tone-deaf to science. Could science's "alienating" overreach be partly at fault?

*****

I grew up on the edge of Appalachia, where mining interests have removed 500 mountaintops to extract the "black gold" therein. Only a nation that has been lulled into the belief that mountains 300 million years in the making are simply resources for our plucking would permit such desecration of the earth. Our Native American forebears, for whom even rocks were sacred, could never understand the peculiar insanity of the white man, who treats the earth as a commodity. That insanity is the natural legacy of a worldview that proclaims the cosmos an "It" rather than a "Thou."

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