The two-facedness of biology

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7221
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Greta » January 5th, 2015, 5:41 pm

Londoner wrote:
Being a realist is not the same as being cold-hearted, I hope you'll agree.
I'm not sure I do.

A realist would simply observe that things change. We accept this about most of the material world - we would think it very odd to get sentimental over the evaporation of water or the erosion of pebbles on the beach. We rarely get sentimental about the death and decay of plants. So why would a realist think it appropriate to have feelings about an arbitrary selection of vertebrates?
That's pretty well the heart of it. If we weren't primates we wouldn't have the same feelings for primates.

It's natural to create hierarchies of priority ranging from ourselves down to what we perceive to be least like us.

At the apex of what we could call the "pyramid of our concerns" there is "you" and/or your progeny, and directly beneath that is the rest of your family and best friends. Also in that upper end other people in your life, pets, your garden, your stuff, your local area, strangers and their stuff right down to zero concern - bacteria and unordered inanimate objects.

Spirituality could be said to be the expansion of one's area of concern, not as lip service or dogma, but as something that is felt through understanding our connections to everything. The "two faces" of biology seem to be biology as observed from "in here" and biology as it occurs "out there".
This space left intentionally blank.

User avatar
Misty
Contributor
Posts: 5933
Joined: August 10th, 2011, 8:13 pm
Location: United States of America

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 5:29 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Misty wrote:Auto immune diseases and chronic illnesses are manmade maladies.
What was his purpose for making them and how did he get nature to co-operate? If you'd said man-caused instead of man-made then we're saying the same thing. Did we anticipate our own future state and then engineer the appropriate circumstances to bring this state about? That's what purpose is and to suggest that nature has such a capacity is an extraordinary claim which would require extraordinary proof.

Regards Leo
Leo, you are right, man caused is a better term. GMO, packaged, radiated, storage life, colors and other additives, nutrients taken out of food and an onslaught of pills has created dis-eases that keep doctors, Big Pharma, government run food sources, bogus research foundations rich and in control of the lives of the people. The people have been scammed for many years, which is the reason for many of the illnesses of today. However, the cat is out of the bag and the people are taking their lives back little by little. MONEY and GREED have fueled making the people sick on purpose.

Nature, by design, is resolute.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

Obvious Leo
Posts: 2501
Joined: April 28th, 2013, 10:03 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Omar Khayyam
Location: Australia

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Obvious Leo » January 6th, 2015, 6:06 am

20th century medicine has much to answer for, Misty, so I agree with you completely. It couldn't have been otherwise but natural selection has effectively ceased in the human population. Nowadays everybody gets to reproduce if they want to, even infertile people. If nature has a plan, a notion I deny, then I'll bet this wasn't part of it. An excellent way to destroy a gene pool is to keep all the failures in it for generation after generation.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a closet advocate for eugenics or anything of the kind. Neither do I suggest that we shouldn't be using our knowledge to sustain life wherever possible. However if we don't acknowledge the problem we won't find a solution. For example I myself have children and grandchildren but if I'd been born a generation earlier I'd never have got past 9 years old when I almost died of a fatal illness which 20 years earlier would quite certainly have killed me. This makes me part of the problem. I'm a procreating loser, an utterly impossible entity in nature's so-called plan.

Regards Leo

User avatar
Misty
Contributor
Posts: 5933
Joined: August 10th, 2011, 8:13 pm
Location: United States of America

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 6:42 am

Obvious Leo wrote:20th century medicine has much to answer for, Misty, so I agree with you completely. It couldn't have been otherwise but natural selection has effectively ceased in the human population. Nowadays everybody gets to reproduce if they want to, even infertile people. If nature has a plan, a notion I deny, then I'll bet this wasn't part of it. An excellent way to destroy a gene pool is to keep all the failures in it for generation after generation.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a closet advocate for eugenics or anything of the kind. Neither do I suggest that we shouldn't be using our knowledge to sustain life wherever possible. However if we don't acknowledge the problem we won't find a solution. For example I myself have children and grandchildren but if I'd been born a generation earlier I'd never have got past 9 years old when I almost died of a fatal illness which 20 years earlier would quite certainly have killed me. This makes me part of the problem. I'm a procreating loser, an utterly impossible entity in nature's so-called plan.

Regards Leo
If people don't stop giving their children medicines just because a child acts like a child they will be helping the above mentioned culprits fulfill man caused natural selection via school, workplace, random killings, gang killings. Add to that pills making illness seem natural, the population will decline in a nasty way. I believe humans can solve food supply, health issues and population through education and common sense. With todays technology, I can see a day when females eggs will be retrieved at birth and placed in storage so the number of children born to a couple can be limited. Not sure I like that idea but it is there and much more.

Eugenics is a scary thought, then again, the one holding the gun is just as scary. I am glad you did not die at 9, I would not have been exposed to your delightful personality and the way you express your views. A procreating loser? Nah, but funny.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7221
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Greta » January 6th, 2015, 6:54 am

Yet we are the most fortunate creatures to have ever lived. Is there a type of animal you'd rather be? A plant or bacterium? Trillions of beings who had it tougher than we do.

Is there a different time in history you'd rather be born (apart from wanting to be a teenager in the 60s)?
This space left intentionally blank.

Obvious Leo
Posts: 2501
Joined: April 28th, 2013, 10:03 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Omar Khayyam
Location: Australia

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Obvious Leo » January 6th, 2015, 7:01 am

Misty wrote: If people don't stop giving their children medicines just because a child acts like a child
You beat the drum for one of my favourite subjects of self-righteous rant. In my opinion using psychoactive drugs to make the behaviour of children more amenable is a crime against humanity. Take them to the park and kick the football with them instead. It's cheaper, healthier and more fun. ( as well as being bloody obvious)

Regards Leo

User avatar
Misty
Contributor
Posts: 5933
Joined: August 10th, 2011, 8:13 pm
Location: United States of America

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 7:09 am

Greta wrote:Yet we are the most fortunate creatures to have ever lived. Is there a type of animal you'd rather be? A plant or bacterium? Trillions of beings who had it tougher than we do.

Is there a different time in history you'd rather be born (apart from wanting to be a teenager in the 60s)?
I think Methuselah had it better living 969 years. (methuselah also means "a very large wine bottle holding 6 1/2 quarts)
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

Obvious Leo
Posts: 2501
Joined: April 28th, 2013, 10:03 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Omar Khayyam
Location: Australia

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Obvious Leo » January 6th, 2015, 7:30 am

Misty wrote: (methuselah also means "a very large wine bottle holding 6 1/2 quarts)
Still nowhere near big enough if it has to last you that long. I'd have it finished in a week.

Regards Leo

User avatar
Misty
Contributor
Posts: 5933
Joined: August 10th, 2011, 8:13 pm
Location: United States of America

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Misty » January 6th, 2015, 7:35 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Misty wrote: (methuselah also means "a very large wine bottle holding 6 1/2 quarts)
Still nowhere near big enough if it has to last you that long. I'd have it finished in a week.

Regards Leo
I am that rare white girl who gets Asian flush if I drink, which by natural selection limits my good time girl abilities. Nature at work! I feel cheated. :roll:
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7221
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Greta » January 6th, 2015, 8:59 am

Misty wrote:
Greta wrote:Yet we are the most fortunate creatures to have ever lived. Is there a type of animal you'd rather be? A plant or bacterium? Trillions of beings who had it tougher than we do.

Is there a different time in history you'd rather be born (apart from wanting to be a teenager in the 60s)?
I think Methuselah had it better living 969 years. (methuselah also means "a very large wine bottle holding 6 1/2 quarts)
He probably ate organic and GM wasn't invented but what we have here is an example of outstanding genetics. His son Lamech lived for 595 years, which is also a fair innings. If science existed in those times then the medicos would have been furiously analysing samples of Methuselah & Sons' genetic material to learn the secret.

Whatever, if we believe that our lives suck all we need do is think of the alternatives - ancient kale-munching geriatrics with freak genetics aside, of course!
This space left intentionally blank.

User avatar
Atreyu
Posts: 1724
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 3:11 am
Favorite Philosopher: P.D. Ouspensky
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Atreyu » January 11th, 2015, 11:08 pm

Obvious Leo wrote:20th century medicine has much to answer for, Misty, so I agree with you completely. It couldn't have been otherwise but natural selection has effectively ceased in the human population. Nowadays everybody gets to reproduce if they want to, even infertile people. If nature has a plan, a notion I deny, then I'll bet this wasn't part of it. An excellent way to destroy a gene pool is to keep all the failures in it for generation after generation.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a closet advocate for eugenics or anything of the kind. Neither do I suggest that we shouldn't be using our knowledge to sustain life wherever possible. However if we don't acknowledge the problem we won't find a solution. For example I myself have children and grandchildren but if I'd been born a generation earlier I'd never have got past 9 years old when I almost died of a fatal illness which 20 years earlier would quite certainly have killed me. This makes me part of the problem. I'm a procreating loser, an utterly impossible entity in nature's so-called plan.
I myself am of the view that Nature indeed does have a plan, and that this in fact is a part of it. Apparently Nature no longer needs homo sapiens and all this is part of the process of his degeneration and eventual extinction, i.e. apparently the "Experiment" is over.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7221
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Greta » January 11th, 2015, 11:43 pm

Atreyu wrote:
Obvious Leo wrote:20th century medicine has much to answer for, Misty, so I agree with you completely. It couldn't have been otherwise but natural selection has effectively ceased in the human population. Nowadays everybody gets to reproduce if they want to, even infertile people. If nature has a plan, a notion I deny, then I'll bet this wasn't part of it. An excellent way to destroy a gene pool is to keep all the failures in it for generation after generation.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a closet advocate for eugenics or anything of the kind. Neither do I suggest that we shouldn't be using our knowledge to sustain life wherever possible. However if we don't acknowledge the problem we won't find a solution. For example I myself have children and grandchildren but if I'd been born a generation earlier I'd never have got past 9 years old when I almost died of a fatal illness which 20 years earlier would quite certainly have killed me. This makes me part of the problem. I'm a procreating loser, an utterly impossible entity in nature's so-called plan.
I myself am of the view that Nature indeed does have a plan, and that this in fact is a part of it. Apparently Nature no longer needs homo sapiens and all this is part of the process of his degeneration and eventual extinction, i.e. apparently the "Experiment" is over.
Not necessarily. We are the way we are because there never was any alternative, given the interplay of our evolved natural instincts and our technological capacities. Idealists claim that we have lost our way, that we should have focused on spirituality instead of technology - that is, increasing our capacity to tolerate and accept pain and loss instead of using technology to insulate ourselves from it.

A brief moment of reflection shows how this is impossible, the most obvious example being colonisation and the displacement of indigenous peoples. How would you slow progress? Threaten to kill anyone who engages in or promotes progress? That's already been tried many times (pretty well any place where there are book burnings) and the perpetrators always ended up with nothing to show for what amounted to pointless barbarism.

So if nature has a plan then our environmentally destructive progress is part of it. Nature must destroy old forms to create new ones. The process of aggregation is a destructive one, with energetically concentrated forms stealing resources from its environment (less concentrated forms), becoming increasingly isolated as it grows. This is how our solar system was formed too, once a cloud of dust around the sun it became planets surrounded by voids. The same process seems to apply to human civilisation on Earth.
This space left intentionally blank.

Logic_ill
Posts: 1624
Joined: August 21st, 2012, 7:26 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Logic_ill » January 12th, 2015, 7:15 am

What if the plan is trial and error??? I don't particularly think that nature has a plan as a sentient being would, but life forms may have a function. If we take a look at human history, many interpretations can be made, yet one thing that stands out to me is "cumulative learning". First, the experience, the evidence of "our failures", and then the learning.

Another, is the meeting of minds, although much of it has been done through conquest and war. This has created inadvertent bonds between human beings, and even other life forms on Earth. They also learn to manipulate the environment. Of course, I'm offering my own interpretation.

I would take life as the experiment it is. Sometimes consciousness may weigh on the life forms themeselves and in a certain sense, it's difficult to imagine we could ever bring it upon us, or that nature could ever fortell. However, the more we learn about our consciousness, the better we may get at dealing with what seems to be its most problematic aspects. Some find answers in technology, others in spirituality or self discipline. I think these are personal decisions to make. There could always be a blending of the two.





















W

-- Updated January 12th, 2015, 7:15 am to add the following --

What if the plan is trial and error??? I don't particularly think that nature has a plan as a sentient being would, but life forms may have a function. If we take a look at human history, many interpretations can be made, yet one thing that stands out to me is "cumulative learning". First, the experience, the evidence of "our failures", and then the learning.

Another, is the meeting of minds, although much of it has been done through conquest and war. This has created inadvertent bonds between human beings, and even other life forms on Earth. They also learn to manipulate the environment. Of course, I'm offering my own interpretation.

I would take life as the experiment it is. Sometimes consciousness may weigh on the life forms themeselves and in a certain sense, it's difficult to imagine we could ever bring it upon us, or that nature could ever fortell. However, the more we learn about our consciousness, the better we may get at dealing with what seems to be its most problematic aspects. Some find answers in technology, others in spirituality or self discipline. I think these are personal decisions to make. There could always be a blending of the two.





















W

-- Updated January 12th, 2015, 7:15 am to add the following --

What if the plan is trial and error??? I don't particularly think that nature has a plan as a sentient being would, but life forms may have a function. If we take a look at human history, many interpretations can be made, yet one thing that stands out to me is "cumulative learning". First, the experience, the evidence of "our failures", and then the learning.

Another, is the meeting of minds, although much of it has been done through conquest and war. This has created inadvertent bonds between human beings, and even other life forms on Earth. They also learn to manipulate the environment. Of course, I'm offering my own interpretation.

I would take life as the experiment it is. Sometimes consciousness may weigh on the life forms themeselves and in a certain sense, it's difficult to imagine we could ever bring it upon us, or that nature could ever fortell. However, the more we learn about our consciousness, the better we may get at dealing with what seems to be its most problematic aspects. Some find answers in technology, others in spirituality or self discipline. I think these are personal decisions to make. There could always be a blending of the two.





















W

User avatar
Misty
Contributor
Posts: 5933
Joined: August 10th, 2011, 8:13 pm
Location: United States of America

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Misty » January 12th, 2015, 7:46 am

Atreyu wrote:
I myself am of the view that Nature indeed does have a plan, and that this in fact is a part of it. Apparently Nature no longer needs homo sapiens and all this is part of the process of his degeneration and eventual extinction, i.e. apparently the "Experiment" is over.
"I myself am of the of the view that Nature indeed does have a plan," What is Nature's plan? What is the nature of the "Experiment" ?
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

Mechsmith
Posts: 210
Joined: October 27th, 2013, 5:09 pm

Re: The two-facedness of biology

Post by Mechsmith » January 13th, 2015, 5:01 pm

I don't think that natural selection has ceased in humans. We have been selecting for intelligence. One way is to think of how our ideas of female attractiveness have changed in the last few hundred years. Just look at Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian for instance. Wider hips to accompany larger brain cases despite that they are weaker. That's why they wiggle so nicely :D . There has been little selection pressure as the environment hasn't changed much in the last 15,000 years. No change in conditions means that there is no pressure to select for a different environment.

I can see the potential for change coming though. The dominant organisms will have to adapt to higher amounts of what we now call pollutants. It will also have to do with less food and the ability to survive without space heating unless the pressures for intelligence dominate our evolution.

We are both the product and the multiplier of the world as it is. It will change and we probably will adapt to it as it will be then. Considering the differences between the San people of the African deserts and the Innuit of Northern Canada we are pretty adaptable. Nature will simply have to apply pressure and we will probably evolve a bit more. Not much planning to it :!:

Post Reply