Chapter 4, Buddha Science, Science
(Edited July 29, 2023)
I’m engaged in a virtual dialogue with Steve Daut’s written words in “Buddha Science” because I want to better understand where my Earth Centrist, bottom-up-evolutionary outlook differs from his summary of *Buddha Science*. I am in agreement with the fundamentals he presents and I don’t take issue with the book. Instead, I'm all about using this opportunity as a worksheet that might help me do a better job.
I bring it up because the next chapters are interesting in their own right, however I’m going to skim over much of them because anything I add would be superfluous.
Chapter 4a, Science, Another way of seeing
¶a1 “… (Science) the second finger pointing to the moon of Reality . . . First assumption: we can learn general rules by looking at specific phenomena. … Second assumption: we can separate Reality into smaller chunks and test those chunks from the “outside” without affecting results. …”
¶a2 “… the heart of the scientific method, can be outlined as follows:
- Make an observation
- Ask a question about it
- Conduct research to find out if others have provided answers
- Form a concept (hypothesis) to explain it
- Design and conduct an experiment to test the concept
- Analyze the results
- If the results do not match your expectations. Come up with another concept to test
- If the results do match expectations, try more tests to prove or disprove the concept
- If tests continue to support the concept, accept it as true
- Any time new tests disprove the concept, modify or reject it and begin testing again.”
¶a3 “… science relies on inductive reasoning to develop general rules to describe Reality. …”
This will be a short chapter, I'll share quotes worth highlighting in this time when more and more seem confused about science itself.
¶a4 “The idea that concepts can be disproven by testing can be called falsifiability, (popularized by) Karl Popper. …”
¶a5 “This is a major departure from Buddha Science, which states that everything that exists now, and everything that ever was, is interconnected. Therefore, everything is so complexly related that it is impossible to completely understand, intellectually how it all fits together. Inherently, says Buddha Science we observe this truth, but our minds get in the way by trying to form a concept around it. This is pretty much the opposite approach to that of science and its reliance on concepts to discover Reality through inductive reasoning.
¶a6 “… Reductionist science says that Reality can be conceptually understood by studying the pieces and building upon the findings to ultimately combine them into an accurate but useful, map. Holism, on the other hand, say you must try to understand the big picture first and this will tell you how the pieces fit together. …”
I’m a believer in the scientific method of inquiry and debate. As for this “reductionism” vs. “holism,” it seems to me, science, (and personal understanding), requires a certain balance of both.
Chapter 4b, Science, Assembling the pieces
¶b3 “… A key part of the scientific method, however, is to make certain that we don’t confuse our concepts or models with Reality. …”
As a consumer of science news, and lectures, I notice some discussions where speakers come across as though nature needs to prove itself to us. Others talk as though they are establishing thee truth about their subject. As opposed to reporting on the evidence at hand, with a state of the science interpretation, which will be superseded by further evidence, in due time.
The sin is getting lost within one’s mindscape, it's closely related to the map v. territory problem.
Intellectually, we need to be able to step outside of our skin now and then.
¶b7 “… In this way, the goal of science is to progressively correct and refine its conclusions and to come closer and closer to describing Reality in a way that can be understood and described and therefore is useful.”
I think that’s well said, as is the following
¶b9 “So here is (Daut’s) list of assumptions that are the basis of discovering Reality through scientific method:
- There really is a world external to us that exists, with or without us to observe it.
- Reality is rational and orderly, and follows rules that we can discover and describe.
- We can measure things objectively, i.e. we can step outside of what we are measuring and measure it without affecting it or Reality itself.
- Pure science and logic will drive the process of discovery, so that any findings contrary to the established assumptions will be greeted with objectivity, embraced, and thoroughly investigate.
¶b10 “The first assumption, that there is a world “out there,” is based on the dualistic concept that there is an “us” and a “not us” - i.e. “not us” is the rest of Reality
That’s exactly what I’m talking about, though I enunciate it differently.
There is Physical Reality, the stuff of matter and biology, the stuff that scientists (and the rest of us) can readily observe and measure. Then there are our thoughts, our consciousness, that thing that springs from within our living biological human organism.
The meta-physics of our Reality, our Human Mind, the home of all we know and think and talk to ourselves and others about.
Upon that meta-physical substrata, we people have built the structures that are our gods and religions, also literature, music, commerce, science, all of it springs from our mind’s musings.
Gaining a deep, fact based appreciation for the biological evolutionary origins of our human mindscape offers a whole new light upon your struggles with yourself and our human condition in general. Unfortunately, it can’t be bottled and sold.
Each of us needs to be driven by our own curiosity and do the homework for our selves.
¶b11 “The second assumption, that Reality is rational and orderly, is ingrained in traditional science, and most specifically in the Newtonian view of the universe as perfectly functioning clockwork, fully deterministic and predictable if we could only gain enough knowledge to know all the governing laws.
Worth adding, the rules of Physical Reality have also been taught and ingrained into the fiber of our bodies via hundreds of millions of years worth of encoding survival strategies in our DNA, strategies to meet the challenges of an ever changing body and Earth, whose fundamental rules don’t change, though who’s biosphere certainly does.
¶b12 “… the third assumption, that everything follows the rules. This is from the inductive method …
¶b13 “The fourth assumption is closely related to the first. Can we really measure things objectively without affecting the results?
This has wider implications. Can we observe or interact with anything and not affect it?
Or, in another light, in the real world, consciousness is not purely observation, rather it’s also interactive, even transactional.
¶b14 “Fifth assumption … does the scientific community have the ability and will to follow the methodology that it has set for itself.
¶b16 “Sixth assumption … mathematics effectively describes Reality.
I have friends who have reduced life down to mathematics, it doesn’t make sense to me.
I look around and see a living world of interactions that can be described with math, but will never be explainable by math. Let alone be experienced by math, that requires a living body with passion and interacting with the living moment.
¶b18 “The next chapters of this book are organized around these various branches of science. We have divided the discussion into four broad categories:
- Chaos and complexity, which includes considerations and principles that can be applied to all of the other categories.
- Physical sciences, primarily relativity and quantum physics.
- Life sciences, which include studies such as biology and genetics.
- Science of the mind, primarily including psychology, neurology, and consciousness studies.
Couldn’t help but notice that Evolution doesn’t make the grade as a branch of study. It indicates how insignificant Evolution is within our general self-absorbed mental frame of reference. I believe that’s a crying shame that hobbles human imagination, and problem solving, to our own everlasting detriment, witness our society; current biosphere; and trajectories.
Buddha Science, ©2016, email Steve Daut -
Is there anybody out there?
citizenschallenge at gmail