"Alchemy is the art of manipulating life, and consciousness in matter, to help it evolve, or to solve problems of inner disharmonies" ~Jean Dubuis
The other, hot and humid, day as I sat wishing the sun would quickly drown itself in the Pacific Ocean and cool the air off a bit, A thought came to me…
Why do apples fall from the tree?
Indeed why do they?
It could be that they get so ripe and heavy and unsupportable that the Newton’s defined gravitational pull brings them down. Or the birds alight on the branches and shake them off. Or the breezes swoop in and shake the branches to dislodge their burden. Or the farmers harvest them. Or maybe the worms eat at them and their larvae pupate inside making them heavier. Or maybe there is a botanical mechanism that pinches off the nutrient supply to the stalk that holds a ripe fruit.
Now if one were to be present at any of these events and records them, he or she would consider that as a cause and effect. Simple. You see, record and determine! Whichever was the observed event becomes the cause. But there is more to it when you start seeing other possible mechanisms and then the simplicity is no longer there. It becomes a complex argument. Which of these is the likely cause or are there many other mechanisms that are the cause of the apple falling from the tree? For instance the breeze only shook off the ripe apples but not the green ones, The farmer harvested only the ripe apples too, the animal lunged for the ripe ones too and the birds that sit atop an apple tree branch is unable to dislodge some of the ripe ones, yet the green ones fell to the ground. The conundrum is quite unnerving. Isn’t it?
Heady, wily, thought-provoking but at its very essence, the argument is worth a look.
That phase transition of thought into reality without supporting information becomes the alchemist’s Philosopher’s Stone. It suddenly turns from white to yellow and instead of silver it yields gold by the conjurations of the alchemist. There is where we are in our processes at present. In the rush to decision, in a rush to claiming the fame, in the rush to reaping the rewards, in the rush to immortality, the alchemist uses, that sprinkle of magic dust and what was once steel is now the much lusted over, gold.
The projections of the physicians, physicists, chemist glitterati are being discounted in glorious fashion because they have all fallen victim to the alchemy trap. Some have conjured, cajoled, manipulated and forced a squared peg into a round hole through the art of this magic. Some have done so unknowingly while others deliberately. This art form hurts us all. Unfortunately the peer-review that peers at these out of the box events seem to be taken in by the alchemy too and they, the peers, sign their names on the dotted lines. No one really thinks, except maybe to determine how they, themselves would use this new scientific information or its methodology to advance their own field of inquiry.
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. ~ Francis Bacon
The burgeoning science of Epidemiology has taken a front seat in medicine and we hear of “this causes that.” The other day, one “study” determined that Vitamin D was good for health and the very next day another stated, it wasn’t. One study stated that the length of the index finger was a risk factor for prostate cancer (all on the basis of a subjective survey), while another professed that earlobe crease was a risk factor for heart disease (from the days of yore). The newspaper and the media love to publish nonsense because they have now become a part of the problem. They are illiterate in judging the benefits of a study and parrot anything that is considered a “Study.” Any one with good writing skills can now do the devil’s work.
Deciding the fate of many through limited observation
Epidemiology has a place in science. It is at best a correlative discipline, at its worst a terrible stitched together rag of lies. A good epidemiology study is one that would be a prospective, one, which would then be confirmed by basic science. If the correlation is determined then the cause has to be proofed out before subjecting the populace to the nonsense that currently pervades.
How this current form of “science” hurts us is by enabling behaviors that serve a purpose other than for the benefit of the individual. It provokes a fear of things, a sense of loss, a sense of meaninglessness in life. When confrontation and retractions become a daily discourse, belief itself is violated. “Throw some mud and something will stick.,” is the current mantra. A society so narcissistically tuned with subjugated belief in the provocative untruth, is ripe for inaction, lethargy and annihilation. No belief to guide, leads to no morals to comply with. And no morals, leads to a state of subjugated indifference.
In the name of Good Science, let us all think and do better to serve each other. We should learn from the past to advance the future with real progress.
Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. ~ Francis Bacon