Science owes its creation to Socrates and his circle, philosophers who could not agree whether the universe acted on causality or phenomenology. Since they did not have enough information to determine which was operant, they appointed a group of technicians to "measure" the world, to gather hard information that philosophers could use to further one argument or the other. They called those measurers "scientists."
The Greek civilization, in Socrates' time, was said to have begun with Hermes Trismagestis, whose Kybalion was written in symbolic metaphor (from which we retain the word "hermetic"). The advocates of this idea were the Sophists Socrates defeated in a debate using his tool, rhetoric.
Those who favored causality were called atomicists. Part of their theory was that if matter were divided repeatedly, eventually an "atom" would be found, a particle not further divisible.
So it took two thousand years to find an atom, and less than a century to divide it into electrons, etc., and further divide these constituents until no matter could be found except in tables of probability.
By then, however, the atomicists ran rampant, expecting everything to have a cause and ignoring their own brethren's warnings, conscious or not, of impending philosophical doom. This came in the form of the quantum theory, as boneheaded an idea as ever was accepted by an otherwise intelligent group of human beings. (See "is culture psychotic?" to come.)
At their acendancy, scientists forgot they were philosophers' measuring sticks, not philosophers themselves. They could never be such, as philosophy requires generalization and science deals with specifics. Today, a scientist cannot keep up with new developments in his field; one must read abstracts and journals within one's one sub-specialty. So their vision is narrow, not the wide-ranging view of the philosopher.
What does quantum theory have to do with this? Just that the very theory itself and its ramifications proves phenomenology to be at least equal to causality. Once the atom had been divided and subdivided until no material existed any more, science [with the notable exception of Einstein] accepted that probability is beneath physical events in a subatomic world. As Richard Feinman explained, the scientist looking through his electron microscope (in a hadron collider?) changes the result of the interaction simply by observing the event.
This is the very definition of phenomenology. That an eagle screeching at the moment of a child's birth will affect the fate of the child, and the child that of the eagle.
Science has, without knowing it, proved the atomicists wrong and proved the Sophists right!
But one would have to be a generalist, a philosopher, to see it.
This has become a sore point with me. I will try to explain my thinking on this after a year and a half of study, which I started with a recent (2004) edition of a college evolutionary biology textbook. I found the same questions I asked in my post of Feb, 2006 with regard to the question of whether science can explain all of the anamolies nature exhibits in speciation.
I complained that the organization of the evolutionary "tree" is poor and does not inpsire insight. It leaves so many questions unanswered, especially those involved in the study of behavioral evolution and sociobiology, nascent sciences both.
It turns out the "scientific" press has been misleading us with respect to humans' supposed close link to other primates. It has been reported that we share 99.8 per cent of our genes with chimpanzees.
I need to disgress for a paragraph here. There is a science of textual analysis that grades the difficulty of reading a certain piece of text by taking into consideration the number of unique words, their difficulty, and the proportion of verbs, modifiers and connections as well as sentence length. These scales (Fletch Reading Ease, and others) are quite accurate and well accepted by teaching professionals and editors.
Very recently, it was shown that the arrangemet of the DNA strands in human DNA is in a different order compared to chimpanzees. As I understand the finding, it is as if a piece (perhaps one-third) of a strand of Chimp DNA was reversed and one more pair of chromosomes added at the joint (Someone correct my facts if they are wrong here).
So, in effect, our (us laymen and scientists out of their specialty) understanding of the evolution of human DNA has been formed by the same logic that would have us believe that one book of 220000 words and another of 210000 are are closely related in content because they share 99.8 oer cent of the same unique words and have a similar total number.
This is clearly rubbish. And so is science's claim that humans are in any way evolutionarily (historically) connected to chimps or to any other species, since we and they could never have produced viable offspring in hybridization, given the wide difference in *the arrangement* of the genetic material on the RNA/DNA strands.
This knocks the theories that humans evolved gradually from other primates into the trash bin. It also builds a stronger case for the need for newly-speciated individuals to find each other (at the same time!) and set up a viable and unique mating ritual to keep hybridization to a minimum as the hybrid individuals would not be able to reproduce either species or would not be born alive. These are accepted principles in evolutionary biology today.
So, the way humans evolved has never been clear, regardless of what the *faithful* scientist has told the rest of the world. Science does not rest on faith. And the facts do NOT support the traditional scientific view of human evolution, in my opinion.
In fact, I would more easily accept that the reversal of part of the DNA/RNA strands is not evolutionaly at all but, instead, revolutionary.
However, let no one think that because it was a revolutionary shift there must have been a supernatural cause.
We just don't understand how we came to be as well as we were told we do.
Social scientists seem to be mad to measure the amount of global warming and reporters seem mad to blame it (the warming) on human life and culture.
HL&C are only one of at least three contributors, as far as I can tell, and perhaps not the most important vector of GW.
Another is the general warming that has been taking place for the past fifty-thousand years or so: the one that melted the Ice Age glaciers and that, apparently, is now warming the polar ones, too. The retreat of the glaciers has been more-or-less steady for thousands of years, apparently.
A third is the weakening of the Earth's Magnetic Field, because this allows more cosmic and other radiation to reach the surface of our planet, thus heating it up. This, depending on which source you believe, has been going on for three hundred years, or only two hundred. If it is the older figure, then human activity can be ruled out as a primary cause of GW as no activity I can think of save producing and transporting electricity could possibly have a connection to the EMF itself.
The EMF is getting so unstable, compasses in the Ozone Hole between Antarctica and New Zealand point south!
Recently, major newspapers have carried reports that the North Pole has moved out of Canada and into the Bering Strait.
However, if the EMF has been weakening for only two hundred years, that coincides, more or less, with the invention of electrical generators and transmission lines (all of which produce magnetic flux as a byproduct or necessary constituent of current flow.)
Of course, science always likes a good fight.
Either way, we humans should stop beating ourselve up over this and get on with the job of adapting to it.
IQ tests (Benet's, etc.) used to measure eleven different kinds of intelligence (logic, spatial relations, etc.) of the twenty-two that had been identified at the time. Perhaps now more have been discovered.
On a parallel line, I am reading a book by a man (now long dead) who I saw lecture on perception in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association of Humanistic Psych ologists around 1970, Julian James. His topic then was "Personality is Perception," and, as his speech sparked many insights, I made note of the book he said was "soon to be released," "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind."
In it, he flatly states there is only one way we think: in words. I had to stop there, as I knew from experience as a photographer that I sometimes thought in terms of transforming images, and, as a t'ai chi player that I sometimes thought in terms of convergant movement.
Listening to Fresh Air on US PBS yesterday, I heard an author, who had been diagnosed as autistic as a child, describe the way she saw the world: As an animal did, she claimed. Sudden motion produces fear, she said. An animal is always afraid of sudden movement.
This is not what I experienced in t'ai chi defense against a gang of muggers, however. I was not afraid. I was able to use my newly-discovered and trained facility to "see" converging movement and position myself to use it to my own advantage.
The idea that we humans can think in many different ways is at the core of humanistic psychology and should become prominent in years to come, as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs became prominent -- but corrupted by culture to fit its own needs for Status.
The Hierarchy (for those interested) 1. Survival (Food, shelter, etc.) 2. Security 3. Ego gratification 4. Status 5. Self-esteem 6. Self actualization. (I suspect there is one missing. Sorry, Abe.)