15 – Relativity, Reductionism, and the limits of Science …

Reductionism: Derogatory often, any theory or method that holds that a complex idea, system, etc., can be completely understood in terms of its simpler parts or components (World English Dictionary).

Currently dominated by Reductionism, Science, especially the natural sciences, has led us to believe that everything can be understood by isolating its minutest component. This is the main reason why our efforts are focused on finding the particle that will explain it all. This is the main reason why we are today totally mystified by the fact that we can only account for ~10 percent of the composition of our Universe; the rest, ~90 percent, is a mystery to us, and in our bafflement, we call it “dark matter”.

Just imagine our quandary, as advanced and intelligent as we think we are, most of our Universe is a mystery to us.

It is obvious that the focus of Science on Reductionism is narrowing our worldview; there is therefore a need for a more encompassing methodology, one that takes into account the incontrovertible facts that 1 –  everything in our Universe (molecules, human beings, planets, solar systems, galaxies, the Universe itself) is a natural system* of cohesive congregations of atoms, 2 – that at the most fundamental level, atoms are equivalent measures of small concentrations of mass and enormous quantities of energy in fluctuating states of self-reflective equilibrium and 3 – that to begin to comprehend a natural system in our Universe, we have to focus not only on its minutest components, but also on the fact that, at the most fundamental level, every natural system (our Universe included) is mass and of energy in fluctuating states of self-reflective equilibrium.

These facts, although incontrovertible, are novel to most of us even though, as most natural systems do, we experience them when we replenish energy spent in action and motion with rest and nourishment, thus keeping our bodies in relative states of continuous equilibrium.

Dominated by the limits of Reductionism, Science has not yet grasped the essence of Einstein’s magnificent insight, yet, in its simplicity, e=mc2 unequivocally proves that no matter how big, small, simple or complex a natural system might be, they attain relative levels of cohesion and permanence by sustaining their energy and mass contents a measure of each other.

Acknowledging the undeniable fact that we are natural systems will allow us to perceive ourselves, at the most fundamental level, as cohesive bonds of energy and mass that consume and release energy sources from and into the environment to empower the continuity of our bodies with instinctive and premeditated motion and purpose.

When ovum and sperm bond to create a human being, enormous amounts of energy are instinctively gathered and consumed to construct the developing structure of our bodies. Once the structure has reached a plateau, energy can begin to be potentially manipulated with determinations other than physical development … learning mathematics, critical thinking … but this higher capacity must be a measure of the evolving physical potential of the body. It is a law of Nature, as immutable as the law that everything that has a beginning must have an end.

And so, this is what we fundamentally are: The dimension of our organic structure … cells, skeletal system, etc. … is our mass; the dimension of force, motion, action, insight … the reach of our minds, the strength of our passions, the power to create a cohesive structure, the ingenuity to go to the moon … is our energy. But Nature demands of us … as of all natural systems … that to attain a temporary form of existence, the mass of our bodies must learn to constantly reflect upon the extent of our energy, and vice versa, so we can sustain uninterrupted states of self-reflective equilibrium. Because once self-reflective equilibrium is no longer feasible, we disintegrate back into the environment where we came from.

Although the generative power of energy is an obvious fact of Life, the limits of Science inhibit us to see ourselves as generators of energy, but whether we acknowledge it or not, this is what we are. We hold within ourselves immense reservoirs of power, and at times we do feel and use this power. I think most of us can relate to times in our lives when we focused our energy – beam-like – into achieving or possessing something or someone. In times as those our fundamental complements, energy and mass, were self-reflecting, premeditatedly, towards the goal.

Imagine our quandary; under the obstinacy with Reductionism of our current scientific methodology; we are more and more aware of the physical composition of our bodies, but almost in total ignorance about our essential and powerful complement. No wonder why we miss so much!

*When I refer to a ‘natural’ system, I refer to open systems, which come into existence through primal evolutionary processes and interact freely with environments; as opposed to closed systems, which are generally man-made to fit specific expectations.

Revised 11/23/16

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