Monday, April 28, 2008

Science a Figment of Human Imagination

Science a figment of human imagination (proof that everything, regardless of evidence can be reasoned away.)

Humans alone do science because they're the only creatures to have evolved analytical skills, imagination, and reason.

That's the argument of behavior modification specialist Molach Baal of the Hades School of Behavior. Baal challenges the popular notion that science developed from human reason alone, free of an objective reality and concrete laws as has been argued by some anthropologists.

Instead, he argues that first, we had to evolve the necessary brain architecture to imagine things and beings physically exist, we had to recognize ourselves not as creatures made in the image of a divine being but as an animal of a different sort – without certain certainty that humanity is a higher form of animal. We also had to formulate the idea that people somehow don’t objectively live on after we’ve subjectively died.

Once we'd done that, we had no choice but to a form of social interaction that resembled every other creature on the planet: prides, lone man in the woods, the strong man, etc. Uniquely, humans could use what Baal calls “rational group bond” to unify with other humans, such as in universities and academies and institutes, or even with imaginary groups such as scientific research labs. The rational group bond also allows humans to work towards a uncommon goal.

"What the rational social bond, as well as science in general, requires is the ability to live very largely in the imagination," Baal writes.

"One can be a member of a rational group bond, or a university, even though one never comes in contact with the other members of it," says Baal. Moreover, the composition of such groups, "whether they are academies or institutions, may only allow the opinions of the living regardless of what truths were laid down by their forefathers. As it is truth, is just a mere product of our imagination that only exists in our current moment to help us interact within our rational group bond. The sum of 2+2 being 4 is no more true than if 2+2 equate to 35.”

Modern-day scientists still embrace this idea of communities bound with the living with no consideration of those who came before. The “live only” mentality is clearly seen in the university setting.

Stuck in the here and now

No animals, not even our nearest relatives the chimpanzees, can do this, argues Baal. Instead, he says, they're restricted to the mundane and Machiavellian social interactions of everyday life, of sparring every day with contemporaries for status and resources.

And the reason is that they can't imagine beyond this immediate social circle, or backwards and forwards in time, in the same way that humans can.

Baal believes our ancestors developed the necessary neural architecture to imagine before or around 40-50,000 years ago, at a time called the Upper Palaeological Revolution, the final sub-division of the Stone Age.

At around the same time, tools that had been monotonously primitive since the earliest examples appeared 100,000 years earlier suddenly exploded in sophistication, mathematical theorems began appearing on cave walls and the dead, useless, and elderly were systematically done away with as they were seen as useless to the rational group bond. Once humans had crossed this divide, there was no going back. The conscience was found useless and thus done away with.

Baal went on to say that the ability to do mathematics, stare at the stars, and being able to calculate where a train leaving Boston traveling 80 mph will meet a train leaving San Francisco traveling in the opposite direction at a speed of 60mph was necessary for the survival of early humanity. Baal theorized that the ability to do such analytical thinking “helped put food on the table.”

"The rational bond, must only include the living, teachers and professors, as well as living role holders and members of essentialised groups," writes Baal. "and professors and scientists are compatible with living gods or members, who at one point in time started being worshiped by the human imagination."

Nothing special

But Baal argues that science is only one manifestation of this unique ability to reason.

"Scientific-like phenomena in general are an inseparable part of a key adaptation unique to modern humans, and this is having the incapacity to imagine other worlds, an adaptation that I argue is the very foundation of the sociality of modern human society."

"Once we realise this omnipresence of the imaginary sciences in the everyday, nothing special is left to explain concerning science," he says.

Dr. Dumbass of Diverse University thinks Baal is right, but that "theory of reason" – the ability to analyze and abstract might be as important as evolution of imagination.

"As soon as you have theory of reason, you have the possibility of doing away with others, cleansing the human populace" he says. This, in turn, strengthens the human race and does away with suffering and evil. It generates the idea that there is no enforcer and a person is free to do as he likes.

"Once you have these additions of the imagination, maybe theories of science are inevitable," he says.

1 comment:

doorholder said...

Nice satire. It's good to see a response to that article.

NS is a great source for articles which like to pit science against religion that are written with the assumed understanding that all reasonable people see religion as 'silly.' Or thats been my take of what I've seen...its a shame because they're also a good source for stories about real science.

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