“How” evolution works: Axioms and arrogance in today’s science… [OR: Why we need a philosophical tsunami to break the tea cup]

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Research led by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Washington has shown that the biological diversity needed for evolution can be generated by changes in protein modifications. The findings, published in Science, provide valuable insights into how different species adapt to different environments and could shed light on how pathogens evolve and become resistant to drugs.

“This study is about understanding how evolution works, which tells you how species adapt to changing environments over many generations,” says Pedro Beltrao, a research group leader at EMBL-EBI. “For example, when you compare humans and chimps, they are obviously different, even though a good part of their genetic makeup is more or less the same. Our task is to figure out how diversity is generated, so that we can see in detail how life evolves. That helps us understand how plants and animals adapt and change, and how cancers or bacteria find their way around drugs”. (1)

Interesting.

And revealing.

A scientific research trying to find out how a specific (theoretical) mechanism works. Typical stuff in science, right? Right. But few truly understand the implications and the meaning of such a simple research.

Notice that subtle but crucial detail?

Notice how we “know” that evolution works and we are now trying to find HOW it works? But… if we do not know how it works how do we know that it works in the first place?

Science is all about stating the axioms and then building the theories on them. Today’s science is much more arrogant: Today we start by stating the truthiness of the theories themselves and then we work on these theories to build the “little details”, like for example… “how it works”.

A philosophical tsunami is what we need. Because it is not that we have the cup full, so that we cannot fill it with anything else. It is that we have broken all other cups as well.

Break that last cup you hold and go up the mountains.

You must start gathering tea leafs again.

But there are no leafs.

You have to believe in them…

Life definition problem and modern scientific dogmatism

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What is “life”? A question so simple, but yet unanswered.

Not a single scientific field has been able to give a consistent answer to that universal question, which has troubled scientists and philosophers for centuries. Wikipedia defines life as the characteristic which characterizes beings which have signaling and self-sustaining processes – a definition too weak to be true. Even computer viruses have signaling and self-sustaining processes. Others define living beings as the ones which can metabolize. But even inorganic matter has shown processes in which it transforms energy from one form to another. Could living beings the ones which present movement and free will? But modern materialistic science denies we even have “free will” and as far as movement is concerned, even rocks move. Could the existence of the DNA molecule define “life”? Again, such a definition would be too narrow – if life is based on DNA then how did life evolve from the first “living being” which certainly did not have DNA in its core? We see someone is alive by checking his breathing and his heart pumping. But modern science tries to convince us that we are just machines – how can we even be “alive” if this is true? We think our body consists of cells, but we do not know (or rather deliberately do not want to learn) that in our body bacteria outnumber cells by a ratio of 10, as American Scientific of July 2012 tells us (!!!)…

The life definition problems are endless. For example we tand to look at things in our scale in order to define life – if someone does not breath or make a movement for a long time then we conclude he is dead. But what if something moves not evern second but every 100 years? Would that somethingbe “alive” ? Who are we to define life after all?

The inability of modern science to answer the most basic question is due to its dogmatism: if we are to think that mechanical functions are those which define life, then it will be impossible to ever find the answers we seek. Science has lost its connection with philosophy and has been blinded by its arrogance so much that it cannot even see its own failures. The deadlock of the life definition can be seen as one of the most profound failures of materialism which people tend to overlook.

Being alive seems to have nothing to do with molecules, veins, DNA or breathing. Being alive has everything to do with being conscious. We cannot solve the mystery of life if we cannot stare the questions of consciousness in the eye. And if materialism is not able to provide answers, then perhaps a more holistic (and surely a more spiritual) way of thinking can become the key.

Viruses as a key to life philosophy…

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Viruses are a weird thing. We are afraid of them, but we try to use them as cure for cancer [1]. They seem to challenge the “central dogma” of modern biology, i.e. the movement of information from the DNA to RNA: transfering information from RNA to DNA was found to be routine in retroviruses (such as HIV, which causes AIDS) using the enzyme reverse transcriptase [2]. They seem “bad”, but again who are we to challenge the wisdom of nature which created them?  They challenge everything we know about life and make biologists admit that their definition of what “life” is needs re-tuning, if we are to say that viruses are not living beings [3]. No matter how much modern medicine has evolved, we have not yet come to the position to be able to fight simple viruses – like the flu virus. We are too wise, but yet again too fool to understand those little pieces of gennetic information travelling everywhere around us.

Perhaps understanding viruses passes through understanding the unity of nature as a whole: Everything plays a role in life (even Gollum) and viruses must have a role too vital for so many of them to exist…

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