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This essay is the companion to ORG-PHYSICS, that addressed the same aims but restricted itself to physics and mathematics, as the two largest areas of western science derived from its ancient Greek roots. As before, major sciences that arose after 1700 are summarized for those generalists who may be less familiar with their histories. These subjects covered here include Chemistry (both inorganic and organic) and the Life-Sciences of Medicine, Biology and Psychology, as these developed most independently of physics. A further group of New Sciences are then reviewed as these really only developed after 1945. They include Computer Science, Neuro-Biology, Biophysics, Bio-Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Bio-engineering. This obvious bias towards biological sciences is deliberate, so as to set the scene for the final section. Unlike physics that has relied excessively on mathematics for its theoretical evolution, these sciences are much more empirical and rely on intuitions based on direct observations for the creation of their theoretical aspects. We will suggest that these Post-War Sciences have arisen and evolved because they have mostly broken away from the Aristotelian metaphysics that supplied the old assumptions about the nature of Nature that supported 2,500 years of traditional science. Here we will introduce a new Organic-Metaphysics that is more inspired by the living organisms that really make this world interesting, rather than the fixed, inert, timeless objects (like stones) that inspired mathematics and physics.
This essay is the companion to ORG-PHYSICS, that addressed the same aims but restricted itself to physics and
mathematics, as the two largest areas of western science derived from its ancient Greek roots. As before, major
sciences that arose after 1700 are summarized for those generalists who may be less familiar with their histories.
These subjects covered here include Chemistry (both inorganic and organic) and the Life-Sciences of Medicine,
Biology and Psychology, as these developed most independently of physics. A further group of New Sciences are
then reviewed as these really only developed after 1945. They include Computer Science, Neuro-Biology,
Biophysics, Bio-Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Bio-engineering. This obvious bias towards biological
sciences is deliberate, so as to set the scene for the final section. Unlike physics that has relied excessively on
mathematics for its theoretical evolution, these sciences are much more empirical and rely on intuitions based on
direct observations for the creation of their theoretical aspects. We will suggest that these Post-War Sciences have
arisen and evolved because they have mostly broken away from the Aristotelian metaphysics that supplied the old
assumptions about the nature of Nature that supported 2,500 years of traditional science. Here we will introduce a
new Organic-Metaphysics that is more inspired by the living organisms that really make this world interesting,
rather than the fixed, inert, timeless objects (like stones) that inspired mathematics and physics.
The objective of this essay is to draw out the patterns shown by the historical evolution of these non-physics
sciences. The newer sciences explicitly focus on Living Matter for their subject material, whereas physics
deliberately simplified its task by restricting attention to inert (non-living) matter, while emphasizing Space rather
than Nature’s endless change that has been abstracted as Time. Although most of these subjects covered here
avoided the mind, a few have ventured into this difficult topic but, like physics, most have sought out timeless
viewpoints. Again, physics has been a poor model for most of nature because of its belief that mathematical
equations offer an explanation, rather that an incredibly dense description. So, subjects like gravity have been the
target for many equations since Newton established this tradition. We reject this vast distraction that has appealed
to many men over the centuries. The present aim is to create a new metaphysics based on an integrated (systems)
model of organisms. This requires constructing a new view based on relationships and interactions: ideas that
were only implicit in much earlier intuitions about reality. The new metaphysics must aim to Help Humanity.
As in the companion essay (on Physics), I truly appreciate the irony of using linear (rational) techniques for
describing these sciences but I know I am trapped by my own biography that rewarded excelling in these skills for
most of my own professional life. None-the-less, I still admit that these well-honed linear forms
(words/mathematics) are not the best way to either describe or understand complexity, that is the signature of both
biological and physical systems. However, words are still the principal technique we have for communicating
insights between minds, so I am still committed to writing for the rest of my life. Hence, this essay.
Since Metaphysics is primarily a verbal model of our shared reality, this essay will be developed as a Natural
Philosophical Project that uses concepts that take precedence over free-floating symbolic mathematics that can
generate numbers that can be compared with measurements but results in ambiguous interpretations. Here, the
meanings (semantics) will come first (more likely to be grasped intuitively) and then if mathematics can be
invented to describe the conceptual schemas in brief short-hand ways, then well and good but if they are too
complex for mathematics that cannot give us any numbers for empirical comparison, well that will also be
acceptable. This priority is based on a life-time of doing advanced physics and being left with much ambiguous
(unclear) understanding. The hope is that new ideas will reset the direction of collective Curiosity we call Science.*TIME*and*the*NEW*PHYSICS*(UET)*!
Although I possess a powerful visual memory, I have come to recognize that Western Civilization has excessively
preferred our visual capabilities so that concepts associated with Space have come to dominate our ideas over
Time. We shall show in this essay that this is one of the deepest explanations underlying many of the basic
mistakes in our intellectual foundations. As I showed in the other essay, this insight powers my new theory of
physics that is based exclusively around the last major discovery in physics: the electron, I have called the
Universal Electron Theory (UET). Much of the present essay will contrast the history of the Older Sciences
covered here at the start with the more systematic approaches associated with the newer biological researches in
the final part.
In order to understand the newer sciences we will first build a bridge between Physics and the first of the newer
sciences, Chemistry that began with the same old inorganic focus but quickly evolved to the study of organic
Understandably, the life sciences grew out of our shared human need for Medicine. This became the basis for the
science of biology with the invention of the microscope: the necessary extension of our natural senses to scales of
nature that revealed the central importance of one of the first discoveries with the microscope: cells. As our skills
and technologies increased, we realized how complex is this simplest example of an organism, whereby it played
its necessary part in maintaining each individual life-form that tried to sustain as many of its own cells as possible.
The whole exhibiting the essential characteristics of a system, with its time-sensitive processes. As these new
ideas are being offered here for the first time, it is being presented in a parallel sequence to the Old Physics. Thus,
this new story is first introduced in a novel philosophical setting that leads to a new metaphysical theory of Matter
that leads directly to a systems view of biology centered on the level of organisms. In a later essay, this view of
organisms will be expanded to larger human organisms and their persistent activities known as politics and
economics that operate implicitly (but fearfully) under the ever-threatening reality of personal Death.*MEDICINE*!
Medicine has been around for thousands of years, when it was more an art (an area of skill and knowledge) often
having connections to the religious and metaphysical beliefs of the home culture; it is only in recent times that it
was transformed into a combination of art and science. One of the oldest specializations in medicine is Anatomy:
the study of the physical, internal structure of humans; this was an area of Western medicine that progressed
rapidly after religious objections were dropped and corpses were allowed to be examined around 1700. The next
logical step here was Physiology: the study of the vital functions of organisms, such as nutrition, respiration,
reproduction and excretion.*BIOLOGY*!
Unlike the Old Greek philosophy that was only able to speculate about the “Stuff of the World” (i.e. Matter) that
led to the Revolution of Physics about 1600 but was incapable of producing a science of life (Biology) or an
integrated view of human thinking (Psychology) until about 1900, being misled by the Cartesian Dualism Delusion
re-introducing the theological speculations about Spirit that still influences our later investigations of Neuro-
Science. None-the-less, several specialities arose after 1700 in this area that became the firm roots for this science.*BOTANY*and*ZOOLOGY!
Although humans have had an intimate (and necessary) relationship with plants, there was little understanding ever
developed about them until recently. However, they did encourage a broad fascination with them that inspired a
major step in their botanical classification. The lives of humans have been closely linked to those of animals, so it
was inevitable that they become its own science: zoology.*EVOLUTION*!
The obvious variety amongst animals (and even within a single species) led to speculation about the origin of all
this variety; this was the stimulus driving Charles Darwin, who was inspired by the human success in the explicit
breeding of many desirable features into dogs and sheep.*PSYCHOLOGY*!
Perhaps it was the complexity involved that delayed the scientific study of the human mind and our behavior. But
soon after its ‘launch’ in late Victorian times, it attracted much attention that encouraged its study to grow rapidly
both at the level of individuals and within groups to the point, where it is both popular with academics and the
public. Like many deep topics, psychology has splintered into many sub-specialities.
A group of sciences that were developed after the end of the Second world War in 1945 are covered next; apart
from Computer Science (that actually began in Victorian times) the rest are new developments in Life Sciences.*COMPUTER*SCIENCE*!
Old habits only disappear slowly as we can see with the various approaches to Artificial Intelligence (AI) when too
many people try to reduce the vast complexity of the brain and its conscious activity (we call the Mind) to the level
of a linear symbolic machine (the computer) operating on a rigid, fixed time-cycle. Fortunately, neuro-science is
showing us the actual complexity of most human activities but the mysteries of memory still largely persist (above
the level of neuronal connections); this is described in my companion essay on ‘Memory’.
The discovery of the huge size of biological molecules attracted the attention of some physicists, who believed that
they had skills that would be useful in understanding this sub-microscopic level of reality. The famous exposition
of the gigantic molecule of genetics (now called DNA) as a twin-helical structure indicated that they were correct.*MOLECULAR*BIOLOGY*!
The vast range and complexity of the material structures at the molecular level of living cells led to an explosion of
research into this area, probably motivated by the financial promises believed to be possible in this area.*BIO-ENGINEERING*!
The incentives to modify the molecules of life was too great to resist by people with an engineering mind-set. We
are still unsure about the risk versus the huge rewards in this deepest level of all life forms.*NEURO-SCIENCE*!
One of the most complex areas of modern research are the many investigations into the most intricate examples of
interconnected nerves in the brain, especially of the human animal.*NEED*FOR*A*NEW*METAPHYSICS*FOR*NEW*SCIENCES**!
Original classic philosophy was quite successful in its Classification attempts driven by our abilities with analytic
thinking but was deeply flawed by its rejection of change and time. In contrast, the new sciences have adopted a
much more synthetic view, where the whole system must be examined, not just its separate parts (or sub-systems).
However, old habits still persist like the preference for Talkers, rather than Doers, who work for years on detailed
experiments accumulating valuable observations and insights. Other bad habits persist, like the pursuit of Fame
(the Nobel prizes) and Fortune (exploiting publicly-funded research for private, patented products). Worse, the
Old Demon of Power still corrupts science to produce death-dealing weapons, made more lethal by discoveries in
viral research that could produce new plagues that could wipe out most of life on this planet. Sadly, much of basic
science is still being funded for secret research by the military establishments of the world. In fact, the need for
funding leads to vicious competitions and the distortions of corrupting commercialism. This is why some of my
future essays will examine Politics and Economics from a biological perspective, in a search for new solutions.
The sciences covered in this essay were developed implicitly under the influence of the same, old metaphysical
assumptions about Nature and Reality that underlay the evolution of physics, covered in the companion essay:
ORG-PHYSICS. Thus, we will not repeat that critical discussion about old metaphysics and philosophy here.
Ever since Aristotle, philosophers have organized their ideas in a pyramidal (or hierarchical) manner. Often these
multiple levels of understanding arose as more detailed investigations exposed smaller parts: the technique called
analysis. Thus, new sciences arose as scientists specialized into finer levels of reality. Unsurprisingly, chemistry
emerged from certain parts of physics, as both sciences are fascinated by matter. Eventually, people wanted to
understand more about the living aspects of matter, so they started investigating plants and animals. This latter
study started to put medicine on a more scientific basis, so that some medical doctors eventually began to study the
Minds of humans. Although I categorize these sciences here as ‘old’ they actually only appeared after 1800.
Chemistry is the area of science dealing with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the
investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these
processes to form new substances. For many years, people believed that matter involved with animals (organic)
was different from non-living matter (inorganic), as it was believed to include a magical substance (‘Vitalism’).*INORGANIC*!
For many years, a few educated people (even Newton) tried to transform matter into more valuable forms, say
from lead to gold; these ancient ideas were called Alchemy. Wild guesses about matter were taken seriously, such
as the Phlogiston ‘substance’, to explain combustion of certain materials. Around 1750, certain chemists succeeded
in separating a few gases into their constituent parts; thus air was separated into oxygen and carbon dioxide. So,
French chemist and aristocrat, Antoine de Lavoisier is today considered the ‘father of (modern) chemistry’.
He demonstrated in 1772 the role of oxygen as necessary for combustion, eliminating the magical phlogiston
theory by synthesizing water by burning jets of hydrogen and oxygen gases in a closed jar. He then introduced a
new classification scheme for chemistry eliminating the Old Greek foursome (earth, air, fire and water) by
classifying 55 ‘substances’ as elements that could not be separated (most were later identified as compounds!).
His precise measurements and meticulous keeping of balance sheets throughout his experiments were vital to the
widespread acceptance of the ‘Law of Conservation of Mass’. This precision in experimentation was finally given
a plausible explanation in 1803, when an English autodidact called John Dalton adopted Newton’s radical idea of
matter existing eternally as atoms, while suggesting the atoms can combine together to form new compounds. The
key idea was that the atoms of each distinct element were quite different but all atoms of the same element were
still identical. Since the mass of these atoms remained unchanged during these transformations, then there ought to
be simple ratios between the mass of the compounds and their original atoms. In effect, there were only a certain
number of billiard balls (say with their own colors) but all balls of the same color had all the same features.
Initially, Dalton offered up only six elements that contributed to his theory. Inorganic chemistry soon became dull
as people realized how few elements and compounds naturally existed and most were soon researched thoroughly.*ORGANIC**
Before 1800, chemists initially believed that compounds obtained from living organisms were endowed with a
‘vital force’ (from living creatures) that distinguished them from inorganic compounds. This wrong idea was
rejected with the synthesizing of urea (normally a major element in urine) from inorganic materials in 1828. A
huge leap was made around 1860 when it was realized that almost all real organic chemicals contained the atoms
of carbon and hydrogen. The discovery of huge quantities of petroleum (with many carbohydrate compounds) led
quickly to the petrochemical industry, including its most profitable area: the pharmaceutical industry. This area of
science soon attracted major industrial investments that transformed the world, with an endless flow of new
organic products, like plastics. Germany led this revolution, encouraging science as a driver for achieving
industrial dominance in the world. This soon resulted in profitable industrial dyes but the breakthrough came with
the artificial synthesis of ammonia that became the feedstock for modern fertilizers and then unlimited quantities
of high explosives. The first World War lasted much longer (4 years) because of this scientific breakthrough.
Medicine encompasses a variety of practices evolved to maintain and restore people’s health by the prevention
and treatment of illness. Medicine has been around for thousands of years, during most of which it was an art (an
area of skill and knowledge) often having connections to the religious and metaphysical beliefs of the home
culture; it is only in recent times that it has been transformed into a combination of art and science. Older
prescientific forms of medicine are now referred to as traditional or folk medicine but are still popular with many
people as an Alternative Medicine, based on their long-established, positive anecdotal support.*HISTORICAL*MEDICINE**
One of the most memorable Ancient Greeks is the physician, Hippocrates (called the ‘Father of Medicine’) laid the
foundation for a rational approach to medicine. Hippocrates introduced his famous Oath for physicians, which is
still relevant and in use today. He was the first to categorize illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic.
Another famous Greek physician was the surgeon Galen who pioneered heroic interventions on the brain and eyes.
This level of skill and knowledge was mainly lost in the Western Roman Empire after the Fall of Rome (470 AD)
but was maintained in the Eastern part of the Empire while being successfully adopted in the Muslim civilization
after 750 AD. Independent physicians started challenging the ‘Old Ways’ after the recovery from The Black Death
(that killed one-third of the population) and accelerated dramatically with the invention of the microscope.*ANATOMY***
Anatomy is the study of the structure of living organisms, especially of their internal parts. The widespread warfare
in ancient times meant that physicians had many opportunities to see the insides of both living and dead warriors;
this probably initiated the value of surgery. One of the first modern anatomists was the English physician, William
Harvey, who was the first to recognize the systemic circulation of the blood, being pumped around the body by the
heart. The modern era of scientific medicine is usually considered to be the discovery of smallpox vaccination at
the end of the 18th century by Edward Jenner. In 1880, the German physician Robert Koch demonstrated the spread
of disease by bacteria, followed soon after with the discovery of antibiotics to kill the dangerous bacteria.
Physiology is the study of the vital functions of organisms, such as nutrition, respiration, reproduction and
excretion. This led to the identification of the internal organs needed to provide these services. More detailed
study discovered the functions of even smaller organs, such as the glands producing chemical messengers added to
the blood stream (hormones), producing dramatic effects all over the body, even in tiny quantities.
The scientific study called Biology (the science of life) only arose after 1800, emerging from early traditions of
medicine beginning in India and Egypt, moving on to the Greek and Roman worlds with their famous physicians.
This work was much improved by many Muslim scholars and physicians in Baghdad. The translation of Arabic
texts after 1200 AD inspired fresh interest in these topic in the Renaissance. In 1753, the Swedish botanist Carl
Linnaeus proposed a hierarchical classification scheme for the vast diversity of plants and organisms (based on
physical characteristics) that stimulated a growing fascination with botany and zoology, especially linked to the
new European global exploration. Biological studies were massively boosted by the invention of the microscope
in the 1670s, leading to the awareness of cells occurring in all life forms that were usually too small to be seen with
the naked eye. Growing knowledge gained from the anatomical study of corpses (often illegal), embryology,
geology and fossils were synthesized in Charles Darwin’s misnamed “Origin of Species (1859) wherein he
proposed the natural process of biological evolution by Natural Selection from common ancestors creating a
religious backlash. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory of disease was widely accepted by 1900 (replacing the ancient
‘Bad Air’ theory), even though bacteria cannot be seen without magnification, while even smaller viruses need
very advanced technology. Spontaneous generation of life forms fell out of favor under competitive assault by the
idea that ‘all cells only arise from other cells’. Unfortunately, the success of industrialism readily led to the
dangerous idea that all life forms were simply complicated machines. The advances in microbiology refocused
ideas of evolution away from form/structure (morphology) down to the cellular level: merging of organelles from
cells without nuclei (prokaryotics) to cells with nuclei (eukaryotics) and even down to DNA [#2.2.2]. All life-forms
are assigned to a species (that is losing its original strict breeding-group definition) becoming simply ‘similar in a
close geography’. Some species, like modern humans (Homo Sapiens), may be sub-divided into sub-species or
races, such as Caucasian, Mongolian and Ethiopian. Species are the lowest level of biological classification going
up through genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom up to domain. Now, there are only three domains on the
whole Tree-of-Life: Ancient single-cell microbes (no nuclei = ‘Archaea’, modern single-cell, prokaryotics micro-
organisms = ‘Bacteria’ and all life-forms with nuclear cells = ‘Eukarya’ (containing the genetic material).*BOTANY**
Botany is the science of plants; historically distinguished from animals as the major division of life forms (or
separate organisms). Unlike animals, plants lack mobility as they do not need to seek out food as they can directly
use sunlight for energy; a process called ‘photosynthesis’. Although usually lacking sense-organs, plants are very
aware of their environments through sophisticated biochemical [#2.2.3] processes. Plants, like micro-organisms,
can reproduce ‘asexually’ from a single parent. Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi (yeasts,
molds, mushrooms that are now known to be more closely related to animals than plants) and algae (simple
organisms capable of photosynthesis). Botany originated at least 10,000 years ago as a search for plants with
human medicinal capabilities (i.e. Herbalism) with the efforts of early humans to identify and later cultivate
edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. From 1800 onwards, new
methods were developed for the study of plants, including methods of optical microscopy and live cell imaging
plus molecular advances in the study of enzymes and other proteins. From 1980, botanists made great progress in
molecular genetic analysis to more accurately classify plants, generating a whole new interest in this old subject.*ZOOLOGY**
Zoology is the science of studying animals; the complement of botany within biology’s predecessor (Natural
History), reaching back to the biological writings of Aristotle and Galen. The fact that humans shared many
characteristics with the animals has meant that zoology has priority over botany in the scientific status hierarchy.
Darwin’s most famous book led to the reconstruction of the classification of animals upon a genealogical basis;
fresh investigation of the development of animals and early attempts to determine their genetic relationships.
Around 1900, the actual rediscovery of Austrian Gregor Mendel’s little-known work on genetics and inheritance,
eventually resulted in the synthesis known as Evolutionary Biology describing the vast expansion of all life forms
over eons of time. Both zoologists and botanists did what they could to control the unpredictability of the living
world, performing many laboratory experiments and studying in semi-controlled natural environments; this
provided a much more controlled environments for studying organisms through their entire life-cycles. The
tremendous success of experimental approaches to development, heredity and metabolism in the early 20th century
demonstrated the proven power of experimentation in biology. In the following decades, experimental work
replaced observational natural history as the dominant mode of biological research.*EVOLUTION**
Detailed research uncovered some deep regularities implicit in Mendel’s work; these were made explicit as a set of
‘Laws of Hereditary’ predicting the statistical transmission of biological characteristics from parents to offspring,
especially in species that rely on sexual reproduction, involving two parents (one male and one female). Central to
this research was the fruit fly (drosophila) with giant chromosomes viewable with microscopes; even better, the fly
has a short life-cycle, producing a large number of offspring that greatly assists genetic investigations. Cell
biologists proposed that the several threadlike structures found in the cell nucleus, called chromosomes, carry the
actual units of inheritance, (specific components of the chromosomes) called genes. These suggestions were made
logically to explain the observed consequences, long before they were identified with physical structures. All the
observable characteristics of an organism are called its phenotype’; they are assumed to be the direct result of
every cell’s total gene collection (called its ‘genotype’).
Psychology is the academic study of the human mind and its functions and behavior. As a social science, it studies
the role of mental functions in individuals and groups. The mental functions include the study of cognition,
perception, memory, attention, intelligence, personality and emotions:
Cognition is the process of knowing, in its broadest sense, including perception, memory and judgment.
Perception is how the mind reacts to external stimuli, through our five senses.
Memory is the dynamic process of recalling earlier knowledge or prior experience. [see Memory essay].
Attention is the behavioural and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of
information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information.
Intelligence is broadly seen as the ability to learn or understand from experience as well as problem
Psychologists have identified 5 major styles of personality under the mnemonic, OCEAN for Openness,
Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.
Emotions are the arousal of universal feelings of love, hate, fear, anger that result in attraction or repulsion.*HISTORY**
The word psychology derives from the Greek word psyche, for breath, spirit or soul. All the great civilizations of
Egypt, Greece, India, China and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology. Some Greek thinkers
wrote about the working of the mind, while the Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders had
physical rather than supernatural sources. Buddhism, based on introspection and observations, developed novel
techniques for focused thinking and acting, as it saw the universe as an interaction between physical and mental
reality. Hinduism also developed methods for enhancing higher awareness. In Europe, with the rise of the first
scientific revolution, psychology again became a topic of intellectual interest. In 1825, Prussia decided that
psychology should become a mandatory academic discipline, with psychophysics fast arising as an experimental
investigation. Soon, psychological laboratories were being established in several other countries, including the
USA, India and Japan. Harvard educator, William James was the first American professor of psychology; he also
incorporated Darwinian evolution into his doctrines of Functionalism and Pragmatism. Several German theorists
introduced the radical, synthetic idea of Gestalt psychology, whereby minds can experience things as unified
wholes rather than as separate elements; this had major implications for understanding human memory.
The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov uncovered the phenomenon of ‘classical conditioning’ in his study with dogs
that were soon confirmed to apply to humans. After 1945, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies became
leading funders of psychology including research into Psychological Warfare.*PSYCHOANALYSIS***
Beginning in the 1890s, the unconscious levels of the mind became the principal focus of a group of Austrian and
Swiss doctors, like Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung. Their interest was in treating psychological and
emotional distress with a form of psychotherapy known as psychoanalysis. It became very well known, largely
because it tackled taboo topics such as sexuality, repression and the unconscious. Freud developed a controversial
(but influential) tripartite, dynamic model of the human mind with psychic rivalries between the Id, the Ego and
the Super-Ego. Swiss psychiatrist, C. J. Jung, influenced initially by Freud, elaborated a theory of the Collective
Unconscious universal structures in all human minds that featured powerful archaic themes and images (he
called ‘archetypes’) and believed to be the psychic counterparts of instincts that profoundly influenced most minds.
As a rival to Freud, this vision formed the basis for ‘Analytical Psychology’. This emphasis on the unconscious
was vigorously rejected by the pragmatic behaviourists, on the grounds that it was not scientific but this vague
concept has maintained in importance in most areas of psychology, being renamed ‘nonconscious’.*BEHAVIORISM***
Some psychologists resisted all attempts to link human behaviour and the brain; since Pavlov, they have been
known as behavioural researchers. In 1913, American academic psychologist John Watson named this research
‘Behaviourism’ and it dominated psychology for many years as B. F. Skinner developed animal (rat) models.*HUMANISTIC-PSYCHOLOGY*(the*person)***
Humanistic psychology developed in the 1950s as a movement within academic psychology, in reaction to both
Skinner’s Behaviourism and Freud’s Psychoanalysis. The emphasis was on the whole person, not fragmented
parts of the personality or isolated cognitions. The focus was on Free Will, psychic Growth, self-Actualization,
self-Identity, Death, Loneliness and Freedom; emphasizing subjective meanings, concerns for positive growth
(rather than pathology). One of its more famous exponents was Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of
universal human needs.*COGNITIVE-PSYCHOLOGY*(thinking)***
Cognitive psychology studies cognition: the mental processes underlying higher mental activities, such as thinking,
problem solving, memory, learning, language and symbolic manipulation like mathematics. It is a major bridge
between traditional psychology and investigations of the brain.*NEURO-PSYCHOLOGY*(the*brain)***
Although speculation about the link between the brain and thinking had arisen several times, it was not until the
1870s that this was established scientifically when researchers identified specific areas in the brain (now called
Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas) intimately involved in producing and understanding speech. This launched the new
speciality of neurological psychology. Valuable insights were gained from rare individuals with local brain
injuries that produced highly specific mental deficits. Advanced imaging technology has hugely facilitated the
knowledge of brain functionality, including major impacts from strokes in various parts of the brain.
The above review of the sciences up to 1945, showed how much thinking was still under the influence of the Greek
Philosophers. The focus was mainly on spatial structures and the drive to identify the nature of the Substances
involved. Huge efforts were made to analyze the parts and assign them names. This is why Silly Questions like:
“What is Combustion?” were answered by meaningless words, like ‘phlogiston’. It is a characteristic of modern
research that empirical scientists study Nature directly to answer How? questions. The new focus on processes
showed that when an event occurred is just as important as where it occurred. History also shows that scientists
depend more on new instruments than technology developing from new scientific insights. Localized instruments,
like the microscope, have had a deeper and more significant impact than remote instruments, such as the telescope;
for example many more people have been helped through new discoveries about disease than Galileo’s discovery
that Neptune had its own set of moons.
The modern world’s imagination is continually being amused by new astronomical pictures promoted by the News
(rather Entertainment) Industry. The public need to keep asking: “So, what?” after these types of announcements;
so that a new tradition needs to arise, where people demand: “How does this help humanity?”. Where were the
Health Regulators when Big Pharma started pushing opioid drugs via the medical community killing thousands?
The simplest experiences of most societies and individuals mean that few have developed insights when facing
complex decisions; particularly when facing new scientific research opportunities in biological areas. Wary of the
potential dangers (particularly the possibility of a prolific bacteria with a viral cancer-causing gene), the scientific
community as well as a wide range of scientific outsiders reacted to these developments with both enthusiasm and
fearful restraint. These dangers are hugely multiplied from these new opportunities to easily manipulate the DNA
of life forms, including bacteria and viruses. Our experiences with introducing new animals and birds into rare but
valuable environments subsequently proved to be obnoxious, irreversible threats should have provided us with
clear lessons about the dangers in making hasty unnatural biological innovations.
Most of the new sciences resulted from researchers viewing their subjects of investigation as systems: multiple
parts co-operating together to maintain a single unity; processes, not things, became the new research focus.
Computers are machines with memory that can exist in a finite, (large) number of distinct states. Every computer
system has four basic sub-systems: Memory, Processing, Input and Output. Memory is the sub-system that retains
its state over time; any specific configuration of the memory at any time is called Data. The processing sub-system
(or ‘central processing unit’ – CPU) reacts to a command (called an instruction) to change/test the state of a specific
area of memory. Data enters by the Input Sub-systems and results appear through the Output sub-systems. The
major break-through was the realization that these instructions themselves can be stored in the memory. A
sequence of fixed instructions, known as a program, defines the order that an instruction is loaded into the key
instruction-decoder of the CPU; this order can be conditionally altered (‘jumping’) based on current values in
specific memory locations. These instructions are created by humans that get translated into direct machine
commands that turn on and off specific parts of the machine, generating vast pathways (networks) over time.*HISTORY!*
The first programmable computer (the Analytical Engine’) was designed and constructed by English polymath
Charles Babbage in 1837 and first programmed by Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron.*DIGITAL*COMPUTERS!!
The Analytical Engine was a mechanical machine that contained all the functional parts of all later computers but
its accuracy was limited by its metallic, physical construction while its gearing limited its speed. None-the-less, its
accuracy was impressive for the primary task of creating tables of mathematical functions; a task that was repeated
with the first electronic computers when used to compute trajectories of artillery shells. Computers became a new,
dominant technology when modern digital electronics, especially solid-state, micro-electronics, were used to mass
produce this civilization-changing technology. Further, their impact was enhanced when billions of these cheap
devices were inter-linked through telecommunications networks to provide mobile, online access from all over the
world through redundant networks called the World Wide Web.*ARTIFICIAL*INTELLIGENCE!!
Intelligence is an idea with many interpretations but broadly it characterizes activity that gets altered subsequently
based on earlier experience implying the existence of memory; its value is to reduce repeating any mistakes. This
capacity was once thought to be the exclusive property of living creatures but as computers have useful memory
they can be programmed to learn from earlier situations; this is now called Artificial Intelligence (AI) as all
computers are artifacts, not living creatures. There are two distinct approaches to AI, initiated in 1956: one reflects
the complexity of programs created by humans; the other is more ‘data-driven’ where data pathways (so-called
artificial neural networks) are reinforced by examining many examples of desired outcomes linked (associated)
with patterns found in the input data. The easiest cases for AI to be successful involve well-defined situations that
can be defined in closed form: games are the best example of this situation, with their well-defined rules.
As a consequence, computers have reached a level of competence where they now outperform human experts, in
certain tasks. Their performance is less impressive in poorly defined or understood situations, such as artistic
novelty, intuition and language acquisition that are readily mastered (in an unknown manner) by most children
under 5 years of age. One of the primary contributors to system programming, Alan Turing proposed a functional
test to determine if a computer system is intelligent, by successfully deceiving human interrogation, using Natural
Language, while hiding its artificial nature. The real danger is the ready automation of repetitive, low-level tasks
(as in factory robotics) that displaces human employees with unknown social and political consequences.
Research in the 1930s confirmed that, in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, gigantic molecules (with matching long
names, fortunately abbreviated to DNA) were the biochemical basis for all our genetic material. Following the
early insights of double-Nobelist Linus Pauling, two Anglo-American physicists (Francis Crick and James
Watson), in 1953, using X-ray patterns from DNA crystals (created by Englishman Maurice Wilkins and his
research assistant, Rosalind Franklin) proposed a very detailed molecular model of its structure in space, as a
double-helix that determined the amino acid sequences of all proteins (themselves large molecules of thousands of
atoms). This was a huge success for the merger of biology and physics into the new discipline called Biophysics.
Unfortunately, the Nobel Committee deferred awarding the Nobel Prize for Medicine to the three men until 1962;
perhaps, because the prize is never awarded to more than three people nor posthumously and Franklin had died of
ovarian cancer in 1958, aged 38.
The powerful merger of chemical techniques applied to biological molecules led to rapid progress in understanding
the molecular basis of living tissues and organs. The living activity of replication and cell maintenance of all forms
of organisms (self-maintaining living systems) involved complex processes with another macro-molecule, RNA.*MICRO-BIOLOGY*!*
Cell theory led biologists to re-envision individual organisms as inter-dependent assemblages of individual cells;
this led to increasing attention being focused on the cells themselves, research called cell biology (or cytology).
This quickly revealed that even single cells were far more complex than homogenous fluid-filled vessels that was
the view of earlier microscopists. As an organism itself, each cell has its own life-cycle with its own self-sustaining
multi-stage metabolic processes and numerous signalling (co-ordinating) pathways, both internally and externally
with other cells throughout the whole organism. Failure in the self-replicating, cell-division process sometimes
resulted in one (rogue) cell becoming cancerous; tragically sometimes replicating into an organism-killing growth.
Ever since the late 19th century, some humans have realized the value of controlling biological processes, such as
brewing and fermentation. These were the first examples of bio-engineering: the merger of biology principles and
engineering knowledge to create usable, tangible, economically viable products. By the early 1970s, a wide range
of biotechnologies were being developed, from drugs like penicillin and steroids, to single-celled, green-algae
foods like Chlorella and fuels like gasohol. There has been a huge investment in advanced agricultural technology
like Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), where the DNA of plants, viruses and bacteria (and now salmon)
have been modified to create desired changes. The most profitable GMO products are canola (90%), soybeans,
cotton, corn, sugar beets and now (Arctic) apples, tomatoes, rice and artificial insulin; many of these end up as
additives in many animal and human foods that do not have to be legally labeled for Canadian or American
consumers, even though their long-term effects have never been investigated or been proven safe but have still
been banned in several European countries as a precautionary measure. There are no laws banning bio-engineering
experiments on humans, just ‘medical committees’ making suggestions.
Neuroscience is the scientific study of animal neurological networks. Its aims are to understand the biological
basis of learning, behavior, perception, memory and consciousness. This research was stimulated by innovations
in tissue staining (to emphasize the nervous pathways) and advances in microscopy and dramatically accelerated
by advances in molecular biology and major analogies with computers (“the brain as computer”).
Nervous systems are now understood as networks of specialized cells called neurons that form massive webs
interconnected with each other through dynamic connections called synapses. The human brain exhibits vast
complexity as it contains over one hundred billion neurons and one hundred trillion synapses organized into
thousands of localized sub-structures. It has been estimated that over one third of our genes are used to build and
manage the brain; the principal co-ordinating organ of the whole organism.
As we saw from the above, commercial corporations, with much secret assistance from national governments, are
conducting a huge, little-known experiment on the present generations of humanity. GMO organisms are quietly
being introduced into many of our widely consumed foods with little or no research being made into both short-
term and long-term side-effects; worse there may be multi-generational effects being introduced into the human
genome that might not appear for many years. Greed, money, corruption and the naive search for fame and fortune
by smart, short-sighted scientists have created a powerful movement with unknown consequences.
The western world’s intellectuals have been under the spell of obsolete Greek assumptions about reality that were
codified in Aristotle’s infamous book: “Metaphysics”. The review of the development of many sciences here have
shown that these ideas are no longer fruitful for the objective investigations of reality; this is the present author’s
motivation to develop a new set of assumptions based on insights obtained from research into Life Sciences; this
is why this new view is called Organic-Metaphysics. There are 4 major themes to this new perspective: Time,
Cells, Systems and Complexity. Since metaphysics is viewed as the foundational layer of philosophy, we will
follow the tradition of analyzing metaphysics into its major parts: ontology and epistemology. Then we will
discuss how these views might impact future developments in The New Sciences that will remain focused on
Nature and avoid all appeals to the Supernatural that is always reserved for theologians.
Contrary to the 2500 year tradition of philosophy where human speakers talked about simple objects, we believe
that we must begin anew with a basic symmetry between subjects and objects; both likely to be organisms.
Originally implicit, as illustrated by Euclid’s codification of Geometry, the Greeks emphasized their visual sense
and talked about Space while avoiding all complexities introduced by Change. This remained the case until the
West’s major modern metaphysician, Kant forced people to think about our basic conceptual categories, including
Time. Even acknowledging that the ultimate change will be the termination of our personal material existence, a
phenomenon we call DEATH, we agree that Change (abstracted as Time) is far more significant than space. This
means that we must examine all existents in terms of their dynamic aspects. Another ignored French Philosopher,
Henri Bergson has usefully re-examined our views on Time. His insights need greater distribution.*SYSTEMS***
By starting from their spatial preference, the Greeks’ basic entities were real things that were conceptualized as
Objects; their invariant prototype was the Stone (or pebble).*ORGANISMS**
The sterility of the Greeks’ object ontology was exhibited by the failure of physics to predict behavior of systems
consisting of more than two macro objects: the ‘Reef that sank Newton’s ship’ is known as The Three-Body
problem. Consequently, we think that a richer starting idea is that of the biological organism: an idea that covers
all Life-Forms; our dynamic prototype is the biological Cell, that is an organism in its own right, as well as the
smallest component of all larger, dynamic organisms.
Aristotle recognized that the challenge of understanding how humans could reconcile their private, subjective
knowledge about externalities, shared with other people: objective knowledge. This challenge persisted across the
whole history of philosophy and was never resolved.
The heart of the Subjective/Objective “divide” is the assumption that the objects that were being talked about were
much simpler that the entities (us) that were having the conversation. In reality, only the timeless abstractions
were simpler than us (by definition) as we never knew how to even talk about ourselves. However, in reality all
material existence that we can sense consists of vast collections, held together by unseen interactions that dominate
existence; only rarely can the parts of these systems (electrons) be available to interact with our electrons. All
parts of reality (existence) consist of equally complex structures, all involved in perpetual interactions. Clues to
this were uncovered in the century-old mathematical investigations into chaos by the great Henri Poincaré.
Computer programmers have rediscovered these phenomena when they use recursive functions that invoke
themselves. Checking these situations (slowly) exposes temporal feedback loops that cannot be recast into static
hierarchies that were the preferred abstract structures of Greek classifiers.*INTERACTIONS!**
The abstract generalizations uncovered by examining many interactions is the idea of RELATIONSHIPS. The
simplest relationship must involve at least TWO parts. This is illustrated in the author’s own version of Quantum
Mechanics, that is illustrated in the only two-body real atomic system: namely the hydrogen atom, wherein one
electron moves around the single nucleus in stable space-time patterns in a series of straight-line movements (as
per Newton’s Laws of Motion) showing the need to correlate spatial separations across finite temporal divisions.
When examining organisms, we must always remember that all parts (and the totality itself) are all systems, so we
must look for the co-operative processes that interact effectively to ensure survival of the complete organism for
as long as possible, even though some (or even all) of its sub-systems may be sacrificed and replaced during its
own existence period (or Life) from its initial appearance (birth) to its final activity (death). Thus, we must identify
the vital system processes of energizing, excess disposal, repair, detection, attention, response, replacement. A key
part here is co-ordination (global and local) that requires messages conveying information about changes in status.
The living systems ideal is known as homeostasis: feedback techniques for keeping sub-systems within viable
range. I can only hope that advances in neuroscience will generate a new homeostasis to Help Humanity.
The explosion of sciences since 1800 have literally transformed society but not always in expected ways: contrary
to a widespread myth, Industrialism did not arise from Newtonian physics nor even Mathematics but it was the
inevitable evolution of inventors seeking ways to profit from replacing older methods of production. Science has
been accelerated by two devastating European Wars; especially the consequential second one, when science was
used by all opponents to gain a winning advantage – a race won by the well-funded American physicists with their
creation of a nuclear weapon, delivered from high-flying aircraft on a collapsing Japan. This dreadful killing
technology was subsequently ‘enhanced’ to devastating scales with the physicists’ invention of the hydrogen bomb
made unstoppable when placed on inter-continental guided missiles. Some of the biologists also made their ‘Deal
with the Devil’ by weaponizing their insights into bacteria and viruses, creating unstoppable potential plagues.
Meanwhile, University Science Research was being increasingly funded in most countries by commercial interests,
as national governments cut back their historic financial contributions. Scientists increased the potential harm that
might arise from their investigations as they were promised major cash rewards for commercializing their work.
This was the deadly merger of Corporatism and the ignoring of the ethical consequences of unforeseen new
developments. These risks are highest in the area of bio-engineering where deliberate manipulation of the genetic
basis of all life-forms (DNA) result in new forms of living organisms; fearfully, these GMO products are being
added secretly into humanity’s food chains, with no research into their long-term biological consequences. While
new generations of young people are becoming addicted to their personal communicators (with more computing
power than ever existed in the largest mainframe computers of 30 years ago), clever software engineers are trying
to devise ‘industry-destroying’ applications without any political thought of the devastating unemployment results.
All of these potentially civilizing destructions are being developed while we maintain obsolete social attitudes that
have always destroyed the largest empires in the past. There is a crisis arising here with very little awareness of
the magnitude of the threats. The general public needs to be more skeptical about the amazing claims of scientific
‘breakthroughs’ and balance them with descriptions of the ameliorations being made to impact their negative
impacts. Intellectuals need to make themselves more aware of the systems implications of biological advances.
We can no longer afford the obvious, simplistic linear-style of thinking that has characterized science over the last
2500 years as most just accepted the metaphysical assumptions introduced by ancient Greek philosophers.
This essay is again dedicated to my muse and beloved wife, Eileen plus my supportive parents Betty and Bert, my
children Claire, Mike and Victoria along with their children: Magnus, Felix, Sophia and Charlotte, who will join
the generations most exposed to all these longer term risks.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.