Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sentience, Form, Design...and how biology is being destroyed, plus some frogs too...

Electrons and nucleons are not known to be sentient, while the higher animals are. If a rat laps up a solution of saccharine, the rational ex planation of this lies in the fact that the solution tastes sweet and that the rat likes that. The tasting and liking are facts that physics and chemistry as known today cannot explain.
And this conclusion gives the whole show away. Because it acknowledges a conscious desire by an individual capable of such desire, it leads on further to the recognition of deliberate actions by in- dividuals and the possibilities of error on their part. Thus a whole series of conceptions emerges that are absent from physics and chemistry as known today. Indeed, nothing is relevant to biology, even at the lowest level of life, unless it bears on the achievements of living beings: achievements such as their perfection of form, their morphogenesis, or the proper functioning of their organs; and the very conception of such achievements implies a distinction between success or failure—a distinction unknown to physics and chemistry.
But the distinction between success and failure is present in, and is indeed essential to, the science of engineering; and the logic of engineering does sub- stantiate in fact what I am saying here of biology. No physical or chemical investigation of an object can tell us whether it is a machine and, if so, how it works. Only if we have previously discovered that it is a machine, and found out also approximately how it works, can the physical and chemical examination of the machine tell us anything useful about it, as a machine. Similarly, physical and chemical investigations can form part of biology only by bearing on previously established biological achievements, such as shapeliness, morphogenesis, or physiological functions.
A complete physical and chemical topography of a frog would tell us nothing about it as a frog, unless we knew it previously as a frog. And if the rules of scientific detachment required that we limit ourselves exclusively to physical and chemical observations, we would remain forever unaware of frogs or of any other living beings, just as we would remain ignorant also by such observations of all machines and other human contrivances.
The achievements which form the subject matter of biology can be identified only by a kind of appraisal which requires a higher degree of participation by the observer in his subject matter than can be mediated by the tests of physics and chemistry. The current ideal of “scientificality” which would refuse such participation would indeed destroy biology but for the wise neglect of consistency on the part of its supporters.
(Scientific Outlook: Its Sickness and Cure
by Michael Polanyi
Science New Series, Vol. 125, No. 3246 (Mar., 1957), pp. 482)

"...the wise neglect of consistency..."

Indeed! It seems that such a lack of integrity can always be picked apart and turned back on the cold toad rendering their verdicts on Life, thus dissecting any toad who would dissect all being before they begin.

It is curious these days, how those who study Life/Bios supposedly are not allowed to admit that it is alive. This fellow argues from within the current paradigm that science is too myopic and blind to see what it is to see:
The consciousness problem was hardly avoidable by one who has spent most of his life studying mechanisms of vision. We have learned a lot, we hope to learn much more; but none of it touches or even points, however tentatively, in the direction of what it means to see. Our observations in human eyes and nervous systems and in those of frogs are basically much alike. I know that I see; but does a frog see? It reacts to light; so do cameras, garage doors, any number of photoelectric devices. But does it see? Is it aware that it is reacting? There is nothing I can do as a scientist to answer that question, no way that I can identify either the presence or absence of consciousness. I believe consciousness to be a permanent condition that involves all sensation and perception. Consciousness seems to me to be wholly impervious to science. It does not lie as an indigestible element within science, but just the opposite: Science is the highly digestible element within consciousness, which includes science as a limited but beautifully definable territory within the much wider reality of whose existence we are conscious.
(Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and
the Origins of the Universe, Life and Homo Sapiens
Edited by Henry Morgenau and Roy Varghese
Life and Mind in the Universe, by George Wald :218)

I'm not sure he's right about that but that's the way it looks from within the current paradigm because people like the Darwinists have been working to make sure that science is blind to what they consider "magic" and the like.

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