I sympathize with your viewpoint but respectfully disagree on some
points. We cannot afford the mistake the Soviets made with regard to
Lysenko. Dogmatism cannot be used to replace replicability. I agree
that we can only approach reality. The scientific method is a remarkable
tool for setting and pushing back the boundaries on what we do or do not
On Mon, 10 Apr 1995, Ryan M. Rich wrote:
>--deleted--It looks at the spiritual side of farming and sees the whole
> farm as an organism. It doesn't break the farm up into study plots
> answering one question. It takes everything into account. According to
> most cultures, religions, pychologists, etc. there is more than one
> reality that people dwell in.
Whose philosophy? Whose spirituality? Christian? Buddhist? Kahuna?
"Be fruitful and multiply." "I give you dominion over
every.." thing. (Genesis)
The mind is simply another sense organ, just like the eyes, ears, nose
and taste. It is nothing special. Reality is defined by the combination of
senses. -- paraphrased from "What the Buddha Taught."
> Scientists with their objective material
> mentality see the brain as a computer made of meat strictly. They deny
> The Huna religion of Hawaii ( for an example) have four
> realities in their world. Objective, subjective, symbolic, and holistic.
> Maybe scientists need to look beyond their tunnel vision discipline and
> take other factirs into account when conducting research.
I agree that there are scientists who cannot see beyond their immediate
research, myself included most of the time. It's very hard to make the
leaps that separate the great scientists from the mediocre and poor
ones. However, thank goodness that there are those souls who can do so
occasionally. Incidently, those who make those leaps usually suffer
some initial rejection by colleagues. This does not indict the
process! The process is sound. The freedom to test and try to
replicate must not be taken away by political or social pressure.
> Although I am a
> student, I know many scientists. They are all subjective beings with
> opinions in every realm of life, but they think they can block that part
> of their minds out while conducting experiments. I have stood alongside
> some while they collect data. They do not seem completely objective to
> me. And to conclude my comments, I think objectivism is one realm in the
> many we must acknowledge and learn to live with. Because as Robert Anton
> Wilson once said, "What the thinker thinks, the prover proves."
You have discovered what most U. scientists know already. There are
bounds on knowledge. Where the boundaries are met, judgements have to be
made. Thank goodness for the process of replication. If a scientist
steps too far out of bounds with regard to (value) judgements they
endanger the process of replicability and fellow scientists can call a
foul. The cold fusion whoop-te-doo is an example that comes to mind.
I guess what I've tried to say with all of this is that we can too often
get caught up in our own "reality" and resort to dogmatism. I presume
Lysenko thought his reality was right. There has to be some objective
process to sort through these alternative realities. If there isn't the
choices become overwhelming and we either do nothing out of frustration or
everyone starts fighting to impose their own reality (Bosnians vs Serbs
vs Croats). Spirituality is a tricky thing (Note the Bosnians vs
Serbs). Do you want to bring about the millenium? It's going to be
messy and there are not guarantees you will be taken up with the
faithful. Do you deny that there is a reality? Anything goes in that
case. As for me, the scientists may be all too human, but I accept the
process as a darn good way to sort through the alternatives.
James L. Novak
Extension Economist and Professor
Auburn University, AL 36849