Bare Bones Biology 231 – Vote Against the Beast

141104-election-ASC_2609RLSss copy copy141104-Sky-ASC_2610RLSss copy copy

I arrived back home to the belly of the beast a couple of days ago. I talked with a lot of nice people who live here. Yesterday was election day. One of the things we talked about was that all the people here are nice people, but the “beast,” the culture we support, is insane. It’s important to define one’s words, especially when we are using words like insane, so we defined them. When you do things that are obviously suicidal – that is insane. The beast, of course, is the corposystem culture, of which nearly all humans now are a part.

There were two headlines in the local paper the day before we voted. One was a well written report on Climate Change. The other was about Australian Shepherd Dogs. Everyone I talked to read about the dogs first and maybe noticed the report that clearly describes the fact that our current climate change disaster is caused by human behaviors on earth.

I will point out that my expertise, my whole career, has been about biology – that is, the basic biological question of how Life functions to stay alive, that is different from technology and it is different from nature study. Real biological scientists have known for more than 200 years about the real facts of human impact on the Biosystem, including climate change.

If anyone tells you in this culture in this age that they are a biologist, they generally mean one of two things. The first is that they are a technologist trained to believe they can control the laws of nature. These laws are gravity, the laws of thermodynamics and the like. These, plus the laws of Biology, are the laws of nature that respond to human interference by changing the climate of the Biosystem. These laws DEFINE how the Biosystem functions and how it responds to change. They respond to human technologies – well, you have seen it, the laws of nature respond to human technologies by changing the climate. The laws of nature (think of gravity for example) they do not care what we believe.

The second group of people who think of themselves as biologists also often aren’t studying how Life functions to stay alive. They tend to “love” the Biosystem, but they also do not want to learn facts that contradict their beliefs about how the Biosystem functions to maintain its own Life. These people often believe – not so much that humans can control the Biosystem, but that the Biosystem is human and will react to our human belief systems the same way that other humans react. It won’t. Because the Biosystem is not human. It will do what it will do, and it does not care what we believe.

And then there is a smaller group of hard scientists – most of them seem to be physicists rather than biologists, according to the newspaper, but who can believe the newspaper. It is written by people who don’t even claim to understand biology. Anyhow, according to the newspaper, evidently most of the hard science about Climate Change is built around the debate over whether or not humans have caused Climate Change. Basic biology has known the answer for at least 200 years. Why are we arguing about it now?

One of the political people I talked with yesterday, who is not a biologist, is well aware the argument about whether or not we cause climate change is a bait and switch question that is meant to stop us talking about the real question, which is “What are we going to do about climate change that will not be suicidal?” (ref.)

People tend to wring their hands and moan when I say “DO SOMETHING,” so I’ll suggest, minimally, that we should require the “beast” to obey the law. If you are a real American, learn about what made America great. It was not more and better technologies. It was our innovative Rule of Law. If you, and I do mean you. If you don’t make it your responsibility to be sure that our rule of law works to protect the people, then the American experiment will have failed.

Remember that other statement — government by the people and for the people? By the people means everyone is responsible. It does not mean sit around moaning about what the other people are doing that is illegal, and it does not mean go to the polls once or twice a year. It does not mean change the laws to suit the corposystem. It means enforce the laws – international, national and local — that were already on the books to protect the Biosystem.

141019-sky_color-ASC_2458RLSs copyIn our lifetime, there never was any valid question that climate change is real and it is caused by overpopulation of humans, taking the food out of the mouths of the other species of organisms that MAKE the food energy and the soil, and recycle the air and water that we humans require to stay alive. The corposystem DOES NOT and CAN NOT make these things. The Biosystem makes them. The corposystem is destroying them.

The body of the living Biosystem consists of – it IS those other species that are being destroyed to make room for us. THEY make our climate, and when the climate changes enough — when we also run out of food — then we will follow them into extinction, and I mean now – some time early in this century. Real biologists have understood this problem for at least a couple of hundred years but we have nevertheless grown a suicidal corposystem. That is, indeed, insane.

The people I talked to yesterday seem to understand this reality. I don’t know what they are doing about it, but I have stopped voting FOR anyone, rather I voted against the corposystem – against overpopulation and every other sort of effort to dominate the Biosystem, because none of them will work, and because I care about your children and grandchildren and the horrors that will happen to most of them if we continue on this path.

The Biosystem is by far a bigger beast than the corposystem, and it does not care what we believe. It will simply spit us out.

Its methods will be starvation, disease and war, caused by Climate Change.


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Bare Bones Biology 206 – How to LEARN What to Do

The scientist studies and studies to learn more and more about less and less until she knows everything about nothing. There is a core of important truth in that old joke.

Science began as the study of the facts of Life that we cannot change – how the whole system of Life functions to stay alive. Now the corposystem has converted – perverted the scientific method to the study of reductionist technologies in an effort to dominate and change the Laws of Nature. It won’t work. Science is the study of the facts of Life that we cannot change. Science is not the process of creating gadgets for the purpose of making power and money. That is technology.

I was a reluctant participant in the conversion of science into technology, as the corposystem sought to grow bigger and better weapons in its efforts to dominate the Biosystem. And now the corposystem is funding studies in the humanities in hopes of generating technologies to control we-the-people

140522-rainymorning-ASC_9164ELSss copyI also watched the rise of the “nonprofits,” and their incorporation into the corposystem, which is another long story, but briefly the general function of the nonprofits now is to wipe the behind of the corposystem. To clean up the messes that it makes, and in this way most of the nonprofits enable the abusive behaviors of the corposystem. Think about it. There isn’t time here to give examples, but almost every overworked, charismatic, nonprofit drama queen, along with her followers, is in the long term supporting the crimes against humanity that are being committed by the corposystem, because the nonprofits now are an integral part of the corposystem and are taking our money to accomplish chores that are the proper function of a government, while our tax dollars are largely used to make war.

Body and Mind. Biology and Humanity, Science and Religion. The corposystem seeks to control them all, and now the corposystem is poised to take final control over our last source of good information, the internet. These, my friends, are examples of ways that a system functions to maintain itself. In this case a social system.

So why not just let the corposystem take charge? Why do we need good information about how things work, when the solution to the evils of the corposystem is to simply stop doing the wrong thing and begin to do the right thing? Stop pollution; stop war; learn how to live a nonviolent life style; recycle; become better producers; stop over-consumption.

140526-SimpleLife-ASC_9202RLSss copyGood question. Good idea. I’m for it. But it won’t work. It’s not enough, because humans are not the center of the universe. We live in and on the Biosystem, and we must also serve the needs of the Biosystem or we cannot survive within the Biosystem. That is one of the bits of information that we need to internalize if we want to give forward to the future generations of humans, and it is one of the bits of information the corposystem is suppressing in its efforts to make us “happy” so we will not try to genuinely understand the real world outside the corposystem and will simply let the corposystem decide what is right and what is wrong (please read or reread the classic novel “1984” by George Orwell).

We need good information about how the Biosystem functions, in order to avoid being removed from the Biosystem by the natural results of our own behaviors. Even good behaviors can and do cause long-term harm.

We already know these things. They are in the sciences and the humanities. We know what is the “right thing,” the necessary thing to do for human survival, and that is to conform ourselves to the laws of nature, rather than continuing the effort to conform nature to our preferences. We have no choice in any case. The corposystem cannot dominate the power of the whole system of Life on Earth and neither can our preferences. The result of the effort will be a dreadful blowback upon our children and grandchildren. We know this. It has already begun.

And so why don’t we all get together and do something to prevent the blowback? We easily could, and that is why we need good information. As long as we the people don’t understand how the Biosystem functions. Or if we believe what the corposystem has taught us to believe, rather than making the effort to study and internalize the factual truths about the system of Life. As long as we don’t know how these things function, we cannot stop the dysunction.

No human can understand all the reductionist details about how Life functions, but anyone can understand the basic principles — and then expand that knowledge to apply to individual practical situations. It’s quite simple. Life is about balance among all the parts of the Biosystem. From the perspective of the Law of Life, we humans are only one of the parts, and we are not the part that creates fire, food, air, water, and the good earth.

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Survival and Evolution

The function of a system is to perpetuate itself. Biologically, this is done by regulation of the information systems by the environment. That is another way of saying that evolution is a process of change over time mediated by natural selection.

In terms of the genome, of course the information system is the genes; in the social context, the information system is the brain (nervous system). The genes generate a system (in humans an organ system, the organ system then becomes part of the environmental influence on further evolution, we get a brain). Our brain is one of a social creature. For this reason, even though the emotional part of the brain can’t really explain itself, it CAN respond to the environment by growing a culture; that means it can communicate with other human creatures in space. More importantly it means that the culure then becomes part of the environment that evolves the brain to become more intricate. The system (in this case the brain, for a giraffe it’s the neck that gives the whole organism system a selective advantage) perpetuates itself and selects, usually for a more and more specialized version of itself within its successful niche. Whatever is our selective advantage (or think of a giraffe neck) becomes selected FOR ever more strongly as all the organisms within the whole Biosystem evolve together, finding ever more narrow niches, meaning that their functions become more and more specialized within the entire ecosystem. The brain, again, or ours, then learned to communicate over time, as well as space some point the brain learns to communicate over time (story telling, then writing, then the technologies) as well as space, and then it becomes the strongest element in its own environment as it specializes in using and growing an intellectual brain on top of the emotional brain.

There is a dance between the environment system and the brain system that generates the flow of information (gene pool) that defines the species system. This concept is the same as levels of organization except the idea of levels of organization tries to linearize the process so that our brain can conceptualize it, but the reality is that every system interfaces at one level AND another with all the other systems, which is what I read also in Tibetan Buddhism. The only way I can visualize this is to mentally draw a bunch of bubbles, each of which represents a system (I guess beginning with cells if we work up from the bottom levels of life, but of course one could go biochemical, chemical, etc.) all the bubbles are inside other bubbles and interact with other bubbles, and all of them represent actions, not things. Processes. What they really respresent is systems that have evolved because they work to maintain the life of our biggest bubble short of God’s universe – the Biosystem. Each system evolved in an environment and in that environment each system evolved because the whole Biosystem is more efficient with that system than without it (Let’s refer to that as the first law of evolution and defines “fitness” – all the systems and subsystems in a biosystem are successful insofar as they contribute to the more efficient survival of the whole Biosystem.) Because these bubbles must ALL be functioning well if the whole is to be sustainable. The second basic law of evolution is that the primary function of any system is to maintain itself. An efficiently functioning Biosystem evolves to be more and more like itself (as I described above relative to organ systems, the human brain or the giraffe’s neck).

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5599RSsChanges happen when system break down. Or systems break down when changes happen. Evolution cannot be understood at an individual level. The entire Biosystem crawls through time as a unitary Life Form that responds to internal and external change according to the efficiency (or lack of efficiency) of the interacting processes.

In all cases, the system evolves over time in response to its environment, and all the systems evolve together. The way I picture this is to imagine how all the organs in an organ system must evolve together within the skin, which is within the ecosystem — or the organism doesn’t survive. At the same time, every change in the organ system bubble must conform to the needs of the cellular (biochemical) system of bubbles of which it is composed. And also at the same time it must fit itself into its relationship with the species system (biological community) of which it is a part. In doing this, it will tend either to maintain its efficiently,

sustainably functioning self, or, if some part of the “physiology” of the Biosystem breaks the bounds of the checks and balances that maintain it sustainably – then it will begin to change it’s own environment (which is the sum of all the species at any given time – or rather it is the sum of the billions of processes implemented by all the species together, plus the internal and external environment that they all together mediate).

In the case of the human brain, of course, once it evolved the ability to communicate both laterally and linearly (and then systematically) it became a uniquely conscious vehicle for evolution, and at that point it took upon itself (like it or not) the RESPONSIBILITY to care for the welfare not only of its neighbor in the cave but also of the sum of the species (all the sentient beings) of which it is a participating member. Responsibility is not a choice – at the level of a brain, responsibility is part of maintaining the subsystem of which it is a part. The brain is responsible for the welfare of the body, and for the welfare of the human community and for the welfare of the environment that we are sacrificing to our personal wants and wishes.

All this is what I also hear in the Tibetan Buddhist texts that I have read – those that I could understand, and whether I contributed the understanding to the text or the text contributed an understanding to me – I think it is as real when written by a monk as it is when written by an evolutionary biologist.

There are two bottom lines here that seem important right now:
1. We are responsible as individuals to our own organism (ourselves) and (because we can’t survive in a failed system) to our environment in which other organisms must participate. We could say this is self-preservation on two levels (this is why “survival of the fittest” does NOT describe the process of evolution unless you define fitness to exclude simplistic competition.) This responsibility can be thought of as: sustainability and resilience. Resilience basically is a way the system maintains itself by all the parts interacting. Sustainability is a more linear idea that seems mostly to encompass the ongoing balance among the resources and the needs, probably old-fashioned supply/demand economics reflects an idea of sustainability, whereas resilience is more akin to the benefits provided by the fail-safe functions of a space-ship environment.

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5602RLSs2. The function of any system is to maintain itself. When this FAILS for any reason the failing system throws up variables. Actually the system is always throwing up variables, that is a Third law of evolution that we already knew from Darwin. When a system starts to fail, these variables are not as readily absorbed into the system bubble; they splinter into a thousand bits (genetic recombination, social breakdown, species breaking up into subspecies) and the bits try to specialize into niches and/or generate niches they can survive in. Whether or not they succeed depends on the internal and external environments.

That’s where we are at; in our case it has become a process of social evolution that maintains itself primarily using false information to create fraudulent social environments, that could have been real environments if we didn’t have too many people for the resources. When people do realize that the social niches (social systems) are no longer able to maintain themselves because the environment in which they evolved no longer exists or is dying – or there simply isn’t enough food for everyone — that is the source of war and revolutions.

a. we would rather resolve the issues without violence
b. but we can’t because the breakdown of the system is throwing up multiple new social systems that do compete with each other. This is the part of evolution that has to do with competition, and that mostly happens when systems are failing because (usually because the environment has changed so much the system can’t cope) – all the rest of evolution is about communication, integration, connection and cooperation. Even in non-social species, but of course not using words, rather actions and functions.
c. We are humans. We have at our disposal, in addition – words, concepts and ideas.
d. Therefore, if we want to survive we need to take a step in regulating our own evolution. There are three requirements for that: (1) stop changing the environment into which we evolved. That requires a sustainable culture, and developing a sustainable culture requires DISCUSSION RATHER THAN COMPETITION. At all levels of organization. (2) the goal is to do this without the war stage of confrontation among the groups.

I think this would require that we understand how evolution really works. I know that there are several groups out there trying to evolve humans, but none of them are functioning to fulfill the requirements outlined above because none of them understands how evolution really works. Our culture is based in competition and war. That concept grew out of a very primitive understanding of how evolution really functions – “survival of the fitness – a concept that cannot succeed unless one defines fitness as I have above.

Unfortunately, ALL the major competing groups in our corposystem culture believe in the corposystem ethic, even while they also believe we must evolve.

Yes indeed we will evolve, but we CANNOT evolve in a “humane” direction by using the failed corposystem ethic because the corposystem ethic is based in WAR and always has been. Even the compassion groups do not see themselves as they use a corposystem war ethic to change the corposystem war ethic.

If we want to succeed in evolving a better social system, we MUST NOT war against the systems that keep us alive (the corposystem war against the biosystem). Rather we must change ourselves in a direction that conforms with the welfare of the whole. Those “evolution” groups do know this. What they don’t understand is that you can’t use stories to change facts, and you can’t work for the welfare of the whole if you don’t know what it needs that is different from what humans need, and you can’t know this while at the same time excluding facts of nature from the conversation. And you can’t do it AT ALL if your mode is debate based in human opinions.

Humans have a brain that responds to stories. However, the ability to respond to stories is not enough. If we want a humane environment we must honor the process of evolution as it really is, not as “survival of the fittest (undefined).” We must use our analytical brain to debunk the corposystem, to understand evolution, and to SKIP the step that requires competition and violence. If we insist upon using the corposystem ideology to change the corposystem ideology, without recognizing that the corposystem is a failed system throwing up competing variants, because THAT IS HOW EVOLUTON FUNCTIONS, then we are lost, because we are promoting a failed system. Even the compassion movements are doing this. That is not changing a system; it is part of how the system – how it maintains itself. If we are going to use ONLY stories in this effort (no matter that the above is true) rather than evolve ourselves into a species that can USE OUR WHOLE BRAIN, NOT ONLY THE PRIMITIVE BRAIN to regulate ourselves in our environment, then there is a chance we might break out of our own failed system.

Either we use our thinking brain – on top of and including the emotional brain and the survival brain — to do that or we don’t. If we cannot grow a sufficient number of people who consciously promote discussion of the cause of the failure of our corposystem culture, then evolution will take hold, we will split up into factions and the factions will become more and more violent.

We cannot CHANGE the corposystem by conforming to what it does not want us to do. And right now what it does not want us to do is to use the analytical part of our brains, along with the emotional (storytelling) part to understand the real issues sufficiently to change the system or grow a new system that is both sustainable and resilient in relation to the efficiency of the Life processes of the entire Biosystem.

Every person on earth can contribute to this effort of understanding the real issues if we are willing to figure out what the real issues are and discuss them on a daily basis at least use the words IN ADDITION TO WHATEVER ELSE WE MUST DO TO MAINTAIN OUR BUBBLES. And if we who actually are educated do not make the effort every day to at least USE THE WORD “overpopulation,” and support and encourage those who are trying to save us from it – then the human world will end in fire (war).

Either we take charge of our own information systems or we fail.

If we refuse to address the causative issues (those discussions that are not permitted by the corposystem, and figure out the methods the corposystem uses to repress the info), or if we believe that humans are more powerful than the causative issues, then we will fail. If we can develop a culture in which ALL HUMANS take some responsibility for discussing the real issue that we face in addition to whatever else they are doing to maintain the environment that we need for survival – then there is still time.

That’s why God gave us a uniquely conscious brain.

Bare Bones Biology 160 – Words Evolve

Words evolve, especially English words, until one person can be talking about facts, or energy, or evolution, while she is thinking something entirely different from the person who is listening to exactly the same words that mean something different in her mind. So, if you want to talk about facts or energy or evolution, and you don’t like my definitions, you should tell me yours and perhaps we can both talk about the same things. That is the first step in any discussion, and discussion is the first step to deciding if we care enough about each other to face the facts of our survival on this living earth.

130721-sunrise-ASC_4801sFACTS. Facts are realities that are true whether or not there were humans and whether or not we believe them. Facts are things like gravity, weight, thermodynamics, measurable energy, and death. The whole of human history and human power grew in the questioning human mind that wanted to understand the facts of Life IN ORDER TO SURVIVE into a comfortable future. That is, until the last few generations. Now, it seems, we no longer believe that our survival depends upon the facts of Life. Instead, we have come to believe that we can change the facts to suit ourselves. We even write books about it that I will not reference, but we actually believe them.

But the unfortunate thing about facts is that it doesn’t matter what we believe, the facts keep on going just the way they always have done, because a fact is not something humans decided to believe in. A fact is something that would be here even if there were no humans, and the bottom line fact is this — humans cannot survive without the living earth that gives us life – it is the forever facts that created the living earth Biosystem — and competing with that which gives us life does not make us big and wonderful and powerful; it makes us dead.

But of course we would be dead anyway, sooner or later, so the more important reason to understand the facts of Life is to avoid causing misery and suffering by fighting wars against realities that we cannot change, and to know the difference between what we humans can control and what we cannot control.

130721-deer-ASC_4812SsENERGY. In order to understand the basic facts of Life, we must understand that physical energy and human energy are not the same thing and we DO NOT KNOW what human energy is or how it relates to physical energy. Therefore we do not know how to control it.

Most of us can agree that there is such a thing as what I am referring to as human energy. I know that physical energy is a measurable fact; I know that I have experienced human energy in various ways; and I know that human energy is not the same kind of thermodynamic, measurable fact that is described by the Laws of Thermodynamics. But that is about all we do understand about human energy, and we know a lot about thermodynamic energy. The most important thing we know about it is that many people think human energy is more important than thermodynamic energy, and therefore humans can ignore the thermodynamic facts of Life described by the science of Physics.
The fact is, there would be no Life and no living earth without the flow of energy through the biological system that is the whole living earth, and this flow of energy must “obey” the measurable energy Laws of Thermodynamics.

Or to put it another way, the entire universe is how it is because (in part) of the Laws of Thermodynamics. If there were no humans, this would still be true. Whatever we can do with human energy, we cannot change the Law of Gravity, the Law of Evolution, or the Laws of Thermodynamics because these facts that we call laws were used in the Creation of Life. Without them, we would not exist, and there would be no human energy. So, if you know a lot about human energy, good for you. We need to know more; but that is not an excuse to ignore the facts about thermodynamic energy.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas, and FactFictionFancy. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at Bare Bones Biology as soon as we can sort out the problem that was caused when someone not myself tried to access my credit card information. In the meantime, if you want a podcast, please send your email address to and I will send you the mp3 version. It might take a couple of days as I find my way to a place where the trackless wilderness intersects an email access point. Most likely at the Mystery Store in downtown Chama, where good email access and good books are available.

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Bare Bones Biology 136 – Corposystem Community

Last week we overviewed the relationship between the corposystem and the whole earth ecosystem. The earth ecosystem is the unique unit of life that consists of the sum of all the other units of life on earth and the climate they generate. The ecosystem uses light energy to make food energy (Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook*). It then uses the food energy to do the work of staying alive – that is, it keeps all the earth organisms alive by making food for them. Then it recycles the products of life, that we think of as waste products; but the ecosystem puts the products together with more energy from the sun to make more life. The ecological miracle of life is that it is sustainable, as long as the products are recycled and there is light energy from the sun.

Earth Systems Final2 copyThe corposystem is the modern corpo-political culture. It uses the food energy from the ecosystem to feed the humans who do the work of making money. That work includes withholding from both the human community and the biological community any services that are not profitable. In other words the corposystem retains the money and also, for the most part does not recycle its products.

The problem the corposystem is now facing is that money (despite the clever misuse of the term by some authors) money is not energy. No matter how many clever games we use to make more of it – money cannot grow food energy to feed the humans who do the work of the corposystem. Only the process of photosynthesis can energize life on earth, and we can’t do photosynthesis. Even if we could, we would just unbalance a different node of the web of Life.

It is people working and living that drives the corposystem. It is the resources from the ecosystem (food energy and other resources) that feed the work of humans, and it is the work of humans that drives the corposystem cycle. Not money. Money is a product we play with.

This is good because it means, whenever we take a mind to, we humans can stop the insanity of competing with the ecosystem. We can change our culture to one that collaborates with the work of the ecosystem and so is more sustainable. Whenever we decide to, we can use the work of our hands, minds and bodies to support the cycles of life that actually do feed the welfare of the whole of Life itself. To do this, we need to understand how the corposystem generates a human culture of fear, anger, hatred, greed and dominance, in spite of our normal human need for the kind of a compassionate community that I have described in earlier blogs in this series (beginning with Bare Bones Biology 092).

HeroVictimVillain copyThe cycle of human roles that drives the work of the corposystem is shown within the corposystem cycle in the diagram on my blog. The culture diagram is my perception of our modern American culture: It can be a guide to ourselves, and a hope for the future if we can understand what we are doing to ourselves.

First let’s remember that a cycle is not me or you as individuals. A cycle is more like a set of job titles, or life-styles. I claim that our modern American corposystem culture limits us to three available over-all life styles: Victim life style: Villain life style: Good Guy-Hero life style. Some individuals choose to become very good at one or other of those life styles, but we aren’t specifically stuck. If you are raised with all the life skills of a Victim you can choose, and if you work very hard to figure out what keeps you in that life style, you can change to another lifestyle. But in our culture you will not be recognized, understood or rewarded if you try to choose any lifestyle that is too far apart from the available three. This is really difficult to explain, so I have placed a personal example on my blog directly below the transcript of this podcast. (

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play
next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely
nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

Recommended References:

Bare Bones Biology Ecology Energy Handbook
Go to the right side of the page under Chapters and download your free no strings PDF.
Bare Bones Biology 135 –
A Heads Up –

Question for Discussion

Most people who read this blog are aware of the concept of Yin and Yang. For every earthly action or event, there is the possibility of both a “good” and a “bad” result. If we are really paying attention to the results of our actions, we can observe that this is true in our human experience. Why do you think this is true?

Try this for an Idea

Watch your actions for a whole day. You will be happy with some things you do and not happy with other things you do. Why is this? Is it because of peer pressure or because of some negative or positive responses of other people? Or is it because you have really considered the right or wrong of your actions? Ask yourself, why are they right and why are they wrong?

Whole Earth Ecosystem = All the species of organisms on earth and the environment that they generate to live in.
Corposystem = The modern American corpo-political system including its international entanglements.

Bare Bones Biology 135 – The Corposystem Community

My question still is: how can we be aware of our human ego, and all the negative, painful behaviors that it generates — how can we use that knowledge to grow a more positive, life-supporting human community? Our efforts to treat the symptoms of ecosystem dysfunction — our hubris — are humane, admirable and heroic – variously they include: teach compassion, feed the hungry, build a fence and keep ‘em out, war. However, the painful truth is that these efforts will not solve our problems, because they are based in what humans want, without regard to what Life needs to stay healthy.

121202-Xparade-ASC_1483SsTo solve our problems, we cannot continue to do our behaviors that caused the problems in the first place. Instead, we must change our behaviors to give back to the whole of Life what Life needs to maintain itself. To do that, we must study what is needed and why. If we really do want to do more good than harm, we need to stop playing corposystem games and listen to and understand what we the human community are doing that is harmful to the biological community.

By the time this program is broadcast, the transcript will be posted, and above and below the transcript a diagram
that attempts to describe the most basic way that our corposystem of today is, in the overall, causing more harm than good to our life systems. Our job is to change the nature of the corposystem to conform to the needs of nature. That is, to make it sustainable. For people who only have the audio, I will try to describe.

On the left is diagrammed the cycle of Life. The function of Life is to transduce light energy into food energy and then to use this food energy to nourish all the interconnected processes that keep the whole of Life alive. This is rather similar to our individual lives, except that individually we eat food energy and transduce it into chemical energy that we use to nourish all the processes that keep our own bodies alive.

Perhaps the biggest difference between individual lives and all of Life is what happens to the materials that are left over, after we individuals do all the work of living. We think of these materials as waste products of life; materials like carbon, oxygen, proteins, feces and dead bodies. That sort of thing. But they are not waste products; they are essential components of the cycle of life that uses them over and over again to sustain the processes of Life.

121202-Xparade-ASC_1487SsLife is miraculous in the universe. The second miracle of life is how it recycles, gives back to the cycle of Life the materials of which it is composed, so that the materials are used again for another cycle — always available to maintain the body of Life – things like cells and trees and people. The relationship among the food energy and the work of recycling materials and the heat energy is essential to Life as we know it.

The first miracle is the way Life uses energy (1). Energy cannot be created or destroyed or recycled, but so long as the sun is shining, the plants can use that light energy from the sun to make food. After the food energy is used to do work, it changes into heat energy and is released into the body of Life.

The third miracle of Life is the genetic information that keeps all this in balance — but that is a story for another day. For now we must recognize that all the processes of life must stay in balance in order to maintain Life.

The cycle of our corpo-political human system, the corposystem, is shown on the right side of the diagram, where you can see that the corposystem unbalances the cycle of Life. The corposystem takes what it wants but does not “give back” proportionally to the cycle of life. That’s your life I’m talking about, and more your grandchildren’s.

The ecosystem, the left part of the diagram, generates food (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids etc.) using recycled materials plus energy. Burning energy (any kind of burning, including metabolism in our cells) releases the original materials, which are mostly in the form of carbon dioxide and water. This is the energy cycle, but it is much more than only energy. The balance between the photysynthesis by the green organisms, and the recycling of the materials, also creates our atmosphere; and the relationship between the atmosphere and the sunlight maintains our global climate. The sunlight is important to photosynthesis and photosynthesis and sunlight are important to our climate. This is only one example of the essential multifactorial balancing act of life.

The corposystem unbalances these essential functions in more than one way. First, it burns fossil fuels, in addition to the food energy provided by today’s ecosystem, thus unbalancing relationships between photosynthesis, production of heat by combustion and by the atmospheric conditions, the generation of materials, and their use.

In addition, of course, the ecosystem consists of billions of other cycles – life cycles, chemical cycles, atmospheric, you can list more. The function of the ecosystem is to provide the energy to all these activities, including: (1) to provide food energy so the organisms can do the work required to keep the ecosystem – and now the corposystem — cycling; (2) to operate machines and energize technologies, especially computers, that it uses to organize people and other machines; (3) to make things to sell, often things the corposystem cannot use or recycle, such as poisonous or non-degradable substances, computers, television sets, etc. In short, the corposystem takes food energy and materials from the ecosystem and uses them to make stuff to sell. The product of corposystem cycle is to make profit — not to nourish Life. The system is evaluated largely, in our culture, by who wins, rather than by the balance of factors required to maintain Life.

The obvious end point of a cycle that is taking out more than it is giving back is – it will run out of resources. Since 1997 the corposystem (that is us) has been taking out from the earth ecosystem more than the ecosystem can replace (for examples, download on my home page, right side, Planetary Stewardship). The ecosystem can tolerate a lot of unbalancing and rebalancing but there is indeed a tipping point beyond which it will change itself in ways that will not permit human life.

So to restate the original question here: “How can we become aware of our place in Life so that we can give back to Life what it needs to give us what we need?” I know that a simplistic, egotistical human effort to dominate nature, whether for compassion or for war, will not save nature. We must bow to the needs of nature if we want to survive. To do that we need to learn what those needs are, and nearly all of our leaders are much too busy winning to know, learn or care about anything else. It’s up to us.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at


(1) Energy is defined as the ability to do work. All the processes that keep us alive are work. They can be recognized in the simplest way by the fact that things move and processes happen because they use energy. Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook explains in more detail.

Question for Discussion:

How can you develop a small, local, life-supporting community that seeks information about the real facts of Life, while at the same time making our human lives less competitive and more compassionate?

Look at the two pictures in this blog. How many things do you see that cannot be recycled by the corposystem. Don’t forget the flyspray they used on the horses ☺

Recommended References:

Bare Bones Biology Ecology Energy Handbook
Go to the right side of the page under Chapters and download your free no strings PDF.
What Won’t Work
Corposystem Games


human_community, ecosystem_dysfunction, symptoms, compassion, fence, war, starvation, problems, give_back, what_is_needed, corposystem_games, biological_community, corposystem, Life=All_Life, food_energy, materials, recycle, energy, sustainable, interconnected processes

Earth Systems Final2

This diagram is not meant to be drawn to proportion, either the sizes of the lines or the sizes of the spaces.

What is more important than American Politics?

The ecosystem is more important than anyone, isn’t it. That’s what climate change is about. But you know as well as I do that we will also lose our America if we let people just do whatever they want to do with our commons — our air, water, soil, oil, all were produced by the living earth, in times past, and our corposystem is illegally destroying them — for money.

So — my suggestion for your action today is to go to Tom Dispatch, which is always good, but never better than when it addresses the very things that we must have if we want — whatever it is that we want.

Photo by Lynn at Brazos Valley Farmer’s Market

Earth Systems Final2