Bare Bones Biology 318 – In The Beginning

“In the beginning was Logos.* And Logos was God. And Logos was with God.

And the spirit of God was brooding over the waters.” Genesis

 

And then God created the Life system of Earth, the Biosystem.

 

It has taken several billions of years and many false starts — using the Law of Life — to put together a beautifully functional information system that can organize energy from the sun to maintain the Life of the whole Earth, balanced against the force of entropy.

 

But God is patient, and now here we are, living as nodes within the corposystem, which is a subsystem of the Biosystem, and we are in great danger of losing our potential future on Earth because the corposystem is making war against its own environmental system, the Biosystem. And the corposystem cannot win.

 

160606-ASC_4296RLSIf the corposystem loses this war and dies, we humans begin again trying to build a new social system that can integrate usefully among the other naturally evolved systems; on the contrary, if the Biosystem dies and must start over again looking for that viable balance – then we all die, probably down to the microbial level.

 

We are not in charge. That is the message of God and all the gods. We have been kicked out of our dominion over the Garden of Eden because, instead of nurturing the creation of the system of Life — we tried to dominate the works of God and use them for our own gain,.

 

We (the corposystem) still are doing this; we have not learned.

 

The corposystem, the current dominant corpo-political social system within which most of us were raised, is a naturally evolved complex adaptive human social system. It has micro-properties and macro-properties. Its macro-property (emergent property) that threatens us all is “growth by domination for gain.” The corposystem has grown by dominating systems that are smaller than itself.   Eating up both their energy and their information to maintain its growth against the disorganizing alternative of entropy.

 

160606-ASC_4363RLSs copyWe are not in charge of the Garden of Eden – or the Law of Life — and it is time we take charge of ourselves, instead of trying to bring the whole world to its knees, take charge of our own behaviors that generate the toxic emergent properties of our corposystem — over-growth by domination, for corposystem gain.

 

And now the corposystem is trying to dominate the Biosystem, a larger and more powerful system, and the other half of its own life; the source of all energy for Life of Earth.

 

A subsystem cannot win a war against its own environmental system that is the other half of itself. That is NOT how evolution works.   Better it were that the systems of Life cooperate for the benefit of all. That is the function of evolution. The limiting factors of the environment “talk” to the emergent characteristics of its subsystems so the subsystems know when they are not going with the program.

 

Our corposystem (a subsystem) emergent characteristic is unsustainable because domination is not how evolution works; because our growth is causing irreparable harm to our own environmental system, the other half of our selves; and because our thirst for unilateral human profit of all kinds destroys essential elements of our environment that are not a rightful component of our corposystem.

 

And now the corposystem has reached the end of its growth, just as a cancer on your kidney eventually reaches the end of its growth unless it is stopped. It eats up your energy and your information/complexity, and you die. Unless we can stop the growth of the corposystem, we all die, all the generations of humans, our corposystem and very likely our environmental Biosystem that is already very sick.

 

Perhaps after all we are not the chosen ones for whom God has been so patiently waiting?

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded from:

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Logos = a Greek word meaning: word, reason, reasoning, intellectual power, understanding

Bare Bones Biology 289 – How Long?

How long do we have? For me that question is so heavy with corposystem assumptions that I cannot answer it within my “vow” to do more good than harm. If I answer it straight, then I am reaffirming the validity of the corposystem mind-set and contributing to what I call “fake debates” that abound on the internet, functioning primarily as displacement activities that distract us from a discussion of problem-solving.

If I do not answer it straight, but begin to spout mechanisms and solutions, the corposystem world view cannot hear because if it has not already happened, then we believe the corposystem will take care of us we only need to wait a while. Unfortunately — it has already happened. People are starving, WWIII is under way, systems are crashing. All the things predicted in my early blogs — wait for what? It started in our yesterdays.

We have no time left to begin dealing with the primary modern cause of our biological problem, which is excessive growth in both population and other measures. The relationship between resources and numbers of people has been known for centuries. It’s too late to begin in time. It has already happened and is happening every hour. People all over the earth are already suffering and dying so that our corposystem can continue to profit from war, the births, the deaths and the transportation of all the products from the (suffering) Biosystem into our treasury. How can you talk to people who cannot understand this? Facts are facts, it is history, it already happened. It is too late to deal with the primary cause of the problem “in time,” and we are it.

So, unless we define what it is that we want to do, the question has no answer. It’s an example of how corposystem mind-set prevents us from doing what is required to change the corposystem mind set. The function of a system is to maintain itself, in this case by preventing us thinking about and discussing the issues that could succeed in solving the specific problem that is or could be under our control. Yesterday is not under our control. Neither is tomorrow if we continue to ask such questions.

I think it would be better to spend ALL our time thinking about things that ARE under our control and begin to deal with the most151216-WPsnow-ASC_0745RLSs important root cause things immediately so (with luck) we may extend the amount of time we have to do the next most important things. Because we do know that the root cause of our current biological problem is overpopulation, and it doesn’t stop.

Do we understand what overpopulation means biologically? It doesn’t mean there are other people making us uncomfortable. It means that the mice, or the rats, or the lemmings, or the people, eat up all the food and then they die. That’s it in plain terms.

How difficult would it be to make birth control available for everyone on earth who wants it — tomorrow? Nothing like as difficult as trying to conquer the laws of nature, or even climate change.

Is it more complicated than that? Of course it is, everything is complicated, but overpopulation is the biological root cause, and unless we believe we can overwhelm the laws of nature — of course we do believe that, but unfortunately we cannot, and let’s not sit around debating that either when we know for a mathematical fact, if it doesn’t change too drastically, that the earth COULD produce enough food to feed fewer people.

The question is not how long do we have before we must do something. The question is when are we going to start to do something that causes more good than harm.  In other words, will it empower the Biosystem more than it empowers the corposystem? Will it cause more good than harm?

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_289_-_How_Long.mp3

 

Knowledge and Wisdom

BUILDING A WISE SOCIAL PARADIGM

© 2015, Dr. M. Lynn Lamoreux
A Work in Progress: If you have a question or comment, or if you find something that needs to be referenced or defined or linked, and is not so indicated, please let me know.

I hope the colors come through onto the FFF page. (oh, yuck, they didn’t, ask me for a pdf if you want to see it as envisioned. If you wait until tomorrow it will have pictures.
Words in green, to be defined. In red, provide reference, In blue, provide link
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150516-BrazosWaterfall-asc_6407RLSs copyFingers and toes stiff with cold, I sit in a cabin in a canyon, trying to squeeze enough energy out of my little solar system to operate a computer. Outside, cedar and pine softly sigh as the canyon breathes gently in the energy of the sunrise that finally bestows its welcome heat and light upon my desk. I watch as bubble after bubble forms at the bottom of a glass of cold water that is sitting in the sunlight.

The sun shines everywhere . . . (even) to the ravines and valleys of the mountains and streams.*

I step outside to warm myself.
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Any person who believes that she has the right answers, doesn’t.
No person is God, and whatever it is that gives me these insights first thing in the morning when I wake up – that also is not God. Neither is any human knowledge or insight, because the human brain is not physically big enough to encompass the whole reality of God. Unless possibly God is using this vehicle of the Biosystem to implement Its vision/mission.

Because of our ignorance relative to the mind of God, it is critically important for humans to acknowledge the wisdom of age. Wise elders know they are not Gods (consider the Dalai Lama). Wise elders understand human limitations among the powers that generate our environments. And some wise elders can teach us to ask wise questions. Actually, everyone can contribute to the human process of generating wisdom, both individual and communal wisdom, because dumb questions are almost always as helpful in this process as are wise ones. That’s a good thing, because extremely few human young are wise.

In India, I understand, the custom is or was (Joseph Campbell) for sages to answer or ask questions for discussion and consideration. In the North American Onandaga (Oren Lyons) it is or was the custom for the wise women to select the chiefs (who could be removed for cause) and the chiefs to discuss tribal concerns in terms of what is best for the whole community unto the seventh generation. (I have heard that the Dalai Lama considers 700 generations as part of our communal obligations.)

In the corposystem, whoever is more powerful decides all the answers, usually before the questions have been raised. The corposystem will cite “Evolution,” which it defines as “survival of the fittest,” as its authority to behave in this fashion. However, the corposystem fails to define “fitness” in its claim to authority, and in any case, survival of the fittest is NOT how the “Law of Life” functions to maintain the Biosystem, though the corposystem has unfortunately trained us (both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” – that means you, whoever you are in our western culture) to believe that survival of the “fittest” is how the world works.

It’s not. It may be how the corposystem functions; it is not how the world works, or even the universe for you who prefer to study physics rather than the more complex and, therefore more confusing and interesting,world of Biology.

Unfortunately, in our culture, because we do understand the corposystem quite well, we believe in survival of the fittest as re-interpreted by the corposystem, and we use that meme to define evolution, which is not the same thing. At least not unless we can define fitness, and that would require us to study the Law of Life.

But we don’t study the real Law of Life because we believe we already know.

This unexamined assumption seems to be so engrained in the world view of both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” that I believe it to be the fatal flaw of our corposystem culture. For more information, I recommend “Powers of the Weak” relative to human power, and I recommend my chapter on the Law of Life, relative to Biosystem power.

1 – In short, if we decide to sustain ourselves within the only home that we have, we require a different paradigm, and the new paradigm must conform our human power to the Law of Life. Or, if we can’t do that, then we must define fitness in a way that conforms to the welfare of the Biosystem and to the human wisdom that is available.

# # #

Wisdom fact-checks everything it knows – even its own insights. In my generation we tried to embed that bit of wisdom into the rule of law of the corposystem (Precautionary Principle) but the corposystem refused to ask the right questions because the answers to these questions would interfere with profits, and the defined primary purpose of every corporation and even the UN is to behave in ways that generate the power of money.

2- The second task of our new paradigm, therefore, must be to define our new human paradigm around a more sustainable human quality than money. Perhaps wisdom?

# # #

Wisdom seems to be a creation of the human mind, and the human mind is just another system (all of LIFE is built around nested systems) that functions as do all systems by generating links, in this case among bits of biochemically encoded information, including knowledge, inborn (inherited) instincts and the world view that is given to us by our environment.

The human mind grows, during our lifetimes, more wise (if conditions permit it) using different ideas, understandings and facts that are in the conscious mind, and in our instincts and memories as well, making a web of cross-connections, as is true in any naturally evolved system (Law of Life: Levels of Organization, Systems). When questions are asked or the when some problem is confronted, the ideas, understandings and facts make cross-connections that generate a whole Worldview that is greater than and different from all the inputs added together. All world views are rational within the environment many world views are not wise, perhaps if the environment changes or our education is flawed relative to the current environment. Because no two environmental experiences are the same, therefore no two world views are identical, and, as Joseph Campbell has said, (get accurate quote, the mind can run on to flights of fancy)

I believe this self-sustaining mental system is the probable source of mysticism, religion, and the answers to questions asked, and the insights that I get in the morning after a night of dreaming. In other words, I believe these various kinds of “aha” experiences are very likely emergent properties of our brain system. Therefore our wisdom or lack of wisdom, especially in humans, is dependent on our education, and is very firmly attached to our rational world view, because without a rational world view we cannot sustain our “self.”

However, we are human, not the Biosystem, and we cannot impose our human emergent insights upon the system of LIFE, because LIFE is bigger, stronger and has a lot more systemic interactions than we have, and it doesn’t care what we think (as other humans actually do, regardless of what they may say). The Biosystem ignores our desires and opinions; it only follows its own Rule of LIFE.

In other words, whenever we believe ourselves to be omniscient or omnipotent, we are not being wise or realistic. Wisdom is not big-headed, it is not power unless it is put to use within an appropriate environment. Wisdom is well- informed, and does relate itself to our (changing) environment, but it is not useful to the community unless we-the-community agree TOGETHER to use it.

Individual wisdom is an emergent quality or characteristic of one individual, but communal wisdom can emerge at a higher level if the individuals involved remain connected by useful discussion or questions or education. Communal wisdom links the qualities that are available within the whole community by the asking and answering of questions (and their discussion) until the entire community becomes wise at a higher level (or not), and perhaps that is the definition of “fitness” – an emergent property of the community as a whole that is necessary for our survival within the Biosystem.

The corposystem, to the contrary, imagines itself to be fit because it was temporarily strong within the environment in which resources were plentiful. When the environment changes, if our wisdom is not up to the task, then we become no longer fit. This is now happening.

3- Thus the third characteristic that must be considered in building our new paradigm is a broad one – education in all its forms – and it must be guided by both the Law of Life, which IS our higher power, and those human instincts upon which we want to base our new human social paradigm, to replace the unsustainable themes of the corposystem, power, growth and money.

# # #

We-the-system only can work with what’s already in our system or available in the environment, so it’s very important that our wisdom must be fact-checked and/or tested by experience, preferably the experiences of many individuals over long periods of time (history), and/or by the scientific method (which is basically the same thing, codified). And it is also true that human wisdom cannot be omniscient because, for the most simple reason, we don’t have enough neural connections, even as communities, to understand all the connections of all the universe. Much less described the links. And certainly not to know the future, except in terms of the past and present.

How does this relate to the Law of Life (that is, to the natural processes that generate time and change)?
My first answer would be to recognize how those processes work as it has been shown by our fact-base, which is provided by science and history. That is, to apply factual/experiential questions to the basic root processes of nature that we cannot change, that created humans in the first place. To do that, I must have in my head an understanding of those processes. Then at that point I ask the questions, I ask them via science and history and of LIFE and whatever else is knowable and relevant.

4- Our fourth task must be to develop a reliable fact base list-for-discussion of things we cannot do even though we can imagine them. Our fact base will change a bit as the environment changes, but at this time the number one criterion must be to avoid further overpopulation of humans because overpopulation is likely destroy any chance we have of building a sustainable new paradigm.

# # #

What happens during overpopulation events? Because there is no doubt we are experiencing an overpopulation event, and no rational person who understands simple math can deny that is a fact. I answer this question as it has been observed and recorded by science and history. Very briefly, among other things, the social network/system/interactions break down. This is happening to us now.

For many decades I have asked the question: why are we knowingly colluding in our own destruction, in the face of all the scientific knowledge and the history and wisdom that all proclaim clearly that we are using our technologieal power to destroy ourselves, at a time when we have already available the technological power to save ourselves?

I can answer in many ways, but it’s important to say that our overpopulation would not have happened in a stable society that had maintained respect for science and for its own wisdom, and of course that answer brings us to question education. But education, also part of the social system, also breaks down in overpopulation events.

And then I think about human youth. Especially human youth in overpopulation events. They lack both wisdom and history (especially in our culture that is intentionally erasing these things). They believe themselves to be right (or wrong) by the criteria of their own immature world view, without accessing other wisdoms, and so they set about to “fix” things all over again in the same ways that didn’t work the last time we tried. This is probably an evolved advantage to the species, because wisdom can be very set-in-stone and relate to a historic environmental reality. When the environment moves toward change, then new ideas are imported into the system by the young. But, as in all things natural, sustainability lies in maintaining the balance, and as a culture in this paradigm we are not even trying to do that. The young are simply doing more and harder what is required by the old corposystem paradigm that is based in power and money obtained through growth. That paradigm is what caused our current difficulties, so I say (over and over and over —) — it won’t work. But there are so many young that the elders cannot be heard above the fray.

With overpopulation comes a vast breakdown in (among other things) the balance (without balance within the Law of Life, remember there is no hope for sustainability) between wisdom and the “right/wrong” worldviews of youth. Another thing that happens with overpopulation is a breakdown in the balance of power to make things happen, because in spite of the corposystem denial, true power lies more in numbers and in behaviors than in money (or wisdom).

Therefore, rather than the elder explaining why this way doesn’t work, and how we have tried it this way so many times through the millennia and eons, and what we can determine of the expected results using computers and good data and science and the precautionary principle – in spite of all this, the cycle merely repeats and repeats, because the youth can’t hear. They are determined to learn by their own experience, and human experiences include a component of instinct that is biochemically encoded in the body and therefore does not change in response to elder wisdom.

Even progress (if any) is not either/or, good/bad. It’s a cycle in time, which is to say, spiral, and it depends NOT upon what we do to change anything now, but primarily on how our behaviors change the environment in which the next generation grows its own world view.

And that is how overpopulation leads to cultural breakdown. NO MATTER WHAT YOU TRY SO HARD TO DO TO STOP IT. The balance is lost (in the human situation) between wisdom and the forces of of change.

# # #

1504021-Bitsy_-ASC_6481RSsWhile I was writing the above, Bitsy worked out the main part of the trail the packrats use to get into the cabin. Bitsy and I sent them packing last year, and the wise adults remembered that experience. But, as always, this year’s youth are taking the risks, exploring new territories and increasing the population in the cabin, even in the face of the inevitable outcome. Bitsy is now outside following the trail the other way. Pack rats are not as smart as humans, but they are very fast, so she may not get them.

Humans can think about the trap we have fallen into, and think about the difference between a planned, co-existence within the Biosystem, and our accelerating corposystem battle against the Biosystem, that results in massive suffering, if only we are wise enough to make that choice. If we do choose, that will be evolutionary history; but it cannot be done by working within the corposystem paradigm. Quite a few groups are trying, but it’s too late. It won’t work fast enough to prevent incredible overpopulation and massive acceleration of the violence required to maintain the corposystem growth paradigm. We humans have run out of eons in which to make up our minds whether we would rather have a struggle for fame, fortune and human power, or a reasonably comfortable and peaceful new social paradigm that is sustainable unto the seventh generation. Or the seven hundredth.

If we want to IMPLEMENT a new paradigm, the necessary first step is to reduce our population to a level that is sustainable, and proceed now to do this in a compassionate way before the war arm of the corposystem ratchets up to a level of conflict that we cannot survive. Because saving all human cells is impossible in any case, and if it were possible it would ONLY INCREASE OUR COMMUNAL LEVEL OF SUFFERING.

If we continue to refuse the option of reducing our numbers, then the Law of Life will do it for us – already is. We will find the BIOSYSTEM solution a good deal more painful than asking well defined questions, based in science and history and the wisdom traditions, discussing the answers, and working together as only humans can to transform our intelligence into action. These are our strengths – right now we are riding our weaknesses into oblivion. But all the wisdom and intelligence and technology in the world is only play-time in the absence of behaviors that impact the Law of Life. As far as the Law is concerned, not deciding is the same as deciding to not.

# # #

1504021-Bitsy_-ASC_6470RLSsAnd while we were having fun thinking, the migrating hummingbirds have come back to the canyon today, and some kind of flycatcher bird is building its nest in the gable of our cabin. The sunpower charged up both my laptops, and now the sun is setting, the cold air flowing up the other side of the canyon, and I pull on a couple of layers of sweaters. And Bitsy ALMOST caught her prey — right before my eyes!!! Not a packrat. It’s a squirrel, living under the house, a ground squirrel, probably the same one I saved from drowning in the water tank last year. And it reminded me pack rats can carry Chagas disease; Peromyscus mice, Hanta virus; ground squirrels, the black plague.

Instinct is not an option, knowledge is useful; wisdom is a choice.

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(*Paraphrase from Lotus Sutra. I think there is something like this in the New Testament and the original Bible. And the Lotus Sutra sounds to this basic biologist a lot like the concept of emergent properties.)

Bare Bones Biology 241 – Fracking II

The movie “Gasland“ by, Josh Fox (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/), was aired in College Station in 2011, followed by discussion. Now I would recommend Gasland 2, http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/. One of the questions asked at the College Station airing (and recorded if you want a copy) was:

“. . . every industry is having problems, and that goes into agriculture, that goes into everything. This is not just a problem for this industry, this is every single industry. How are people in my generation who are completely apathetic and feel there is nothing we do that matters . . ?”

141227-snow-ASC_3667RLSsYes indeed, every industry is having problems. Of course they’re having problems, because industries are not more powerful than God, and they’re not more powerful than nature. And for at least the past 200 years, they’ve been behaving as though they think they are. The answer is up to you, of course — what do you propose to do about it?

If you want what you want, regardless of what the living earth needs, then you will make your town and your world worse than it is now. Of course you will, because worldwide we have reached the point where human activity is depriving the Living Earth of the things it needs to keep itself alive. Regardless of whatever you believe or I believe — our reasons, emotions, opinions, intentions, desires, wars, tantrums, Presidents, cannot change what the earth needs to stay alive. The living earth does not operate according to whatever people want.

If you mean to force the world to operate the way you think it should, then the answer still is that you cannot. If you mean how can you have yours, regardless of who must pay the price, that behavior will end soon, because the corposystem has already destroyed a large portion of what the earth needs to provide for our needs, and your generation is about to pay the price.

If you mean you are very angry because the corposystem — your culture, in which you deeply believed – probably still believe – has been lying to you, then I don’t blame you. So am I. But being angry will not change what we have done. Neither will blaming someone nor griping nor apathy nor doing nothing. No living thing on this earth has ever had the power to get whatever it wants, over the long term, without doing what is required to get it.

And that means you must study and discuss WHAT THE EARTH NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY, because we are a part of life on Earth, and when the Earth is unhealthy, then we and our industries will also be unhealthy. First we all need to study and discuss (not debate, discuss) what are we doing that makes the Earth unhealthy. Then we need to study what is possible and what is not possible for humans to do on the small surface of this tiny living planet, and then we must stop doing behaviors that make the Earth unhealthy. Those are not choices. The only choice that we have remaining now is whether or not we want to survive on this Living Earth.

If we ignore the requirements of Life because we think physics and human engineering are more powerful or less complicated — then the laws of physics will survive because they are truly laws of nature. But Life as we know it will not survive, because Life is more complicated than the laws of Physics.

Physics functions just fine on the sun and the moon and the Earth, but Life on Earth is more than the laws of physics, and it will not survive if we take away what it needs to survive, which is mostly a viable balance among all its parts. The Earth will simply ease back to the simpler state and stop supporting Life. We don’t even know what all it’s parts are, and with fracking we are killing a huge subterranean ecosystem without even trying to find out what that ecosystem does to help sustain all of the Life of Earth, including us. It’s all connected – all of Life is an interconnected system.

In fact, Life on Earth is not surviving in good health, as you clearly describe when you say all the industries are failing. But I think your focus on industry is failing. Water is not an industry; air is not an industry; soil is not an industry, energy is not an industry. These things are the commons by international law because they are made available to us only by a healthy living earth. Yes, they are failing, because the living earth is not healthy, because we have unbalanced it.

If you want all that living ecosystem to stop being sick and suddenly start to do what you want it to do? Ahhhhh, should we try force? A revolution? A war against the ecosystem? We’ve been doing that for the past 200 years. It makes the problem worse because it DOES NOT GIVE THE EARTH WHAT IT NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY.

For 100 years at least we humans have very clearly understood the problem. The problem is too much growth – too many people to feed, in addition to the other living things the earth must feed if it is to continue providing us with air, water, soil and energy. We have known what we must do to fix it. We must reduce the growth – and the human population. We don’t want to do it. So we just throw another technological tantrum and complain when it only makes the Earth that much sicker.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 in Bryan, Texas. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_241-_Fracking_II.mp3

Key Words – War against the ecosystem, blaming, griping, apathy, doing nothing, living earth, corposystem, technological tantrum

Links, References and Trackbacks

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/
bare-bones-bio…–-fracking-iii/ ‎

https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

140922 – Diary – Climate March

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1781RLSs copySometimes I wonder. Actually most of the time I wonder why we-the-people try so hard to get someone else to take care of the problem that we haven’t tried to understand the cause of so we can take care of it ourselves. What is the point of begging our leaders to deal with climate change when we at the same time require our leaders to give us everything else that we want, and the other things we want always involve growth of the human “imprint” on the earth that unbalances the miracle of the Life that is our Earth.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1790RLSsThe Law of Life is not only the Law of Life on Earth – it is also the real bottom line of human existence. Life must stay in balance to stay alive. If it can’t stay the way we like it — it will change so that it can stay in a different balance. It does this by several mechanisms that are biological. By flowing energy through the living system; by recycling the materials of which it is made, and by interacting with the environmental conditions of now. To do this job of staying alive, the Living Earth changes in response to WHAT WE DO TO IT NOW.

Fracking, for example, is largely illegal, and we do have laws of humans that were meant to protect us from ourselves, and we could be out there enforcing them, in addition to marching. And teaching ourselves how the laws of nature REALLY do function to maintain Life. How they really do function, not the fairy stories about cornucopias or survival of the fittest.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1824RLSs copyAnd devising new ways to make laws for humans that will support the Law of Life.

Most of our leaders are a good bit more clueless than we are, so getting their attention may not help.

Oh, yes. That’s why we try so hard to get their attention.

Well, I would say the Climate March was a good try, and I wish it good luck.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1857RLSsMuch rather I would like to see the people actually learn to understand the reality of the miracle that is the Biosystem so we can participate in it with love and joy, rather than duking it out with our leaders AND WITH THE BIOSYSTEM, trying to force them both to give us whatever we want without regard to the consequences to the Biosystem and therefore to ourselves.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1860RLSsMuch rather I would like to see these marches also accessible to the poor people, many of whom may have no computers and no iThings and therefore don’t even hear about the march or can’t get there or are more worried about their own children than about ours. I wonder how many of the young people who participated in this march can even imagine such a thing as poor. The poor are after all in the trenches of the corposystem war against the Biosystem. Without them there would not be the success stories of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
that we try to emulate.

140920-ClimateMarch-ASC_1858RLSsThere are more poor on earth today than ever in the history of human kind and the only way to reverse that trend is to ALL cooperate with, rather than WAGE WAR against the efforts of our living earth as she tries to keep all her living parts functional and balanced in the way that WE want them to be balanced. We do not care to learn about her real need for balance, what Life on Earth requires to stay alive — and then we complain to our leaders for not giving us what we want, which mostly is more of everything.

More is not balance.

And I was very, very tired.

And I cannot stay in motels any more because they are using more and more of cleaning products and pesticides and chemicals that kill you sense of smell so you don’t realize you are being poisoned, as you sleep, by the cleaning products and pesticides. So I started on home, but about by the time I got to Abiquiu I was too tired to drive, and so I stopped at the Abiquiu Inn.

140920-ABQInn-ASC_1668RLSsI have told you about the Abiquiu Inn before, and I will tell you again because it is an oasis in a sea of toxic motels. It is a) quite lovely, b) clean, but cleaned with non-toxic products, c) pet friendly, d) people friendly, e) not over priced, on the low end, for an occasional treat, f) environmentally friendly, as best they can, which of course is not perfect, but I love that all the big beautiful old trees are helping to clean the air. Imagine all the motels in this country how many trees they wiped out in favor of ugly concrete. How much more sickness among the people who stay in toxic motels, and especially the people who work in those places, many of whom do not speak English. How much water and pesticides and toxic air and toxic cleaning compounds they altogether produce and imagine how much less they could be producing. Especially the chain motels that dictate the conditions according to their bottom line and without regard to the natural Law of Balance.

140921-ABQInn-asc_1862RsWell, so I thought I would tell you that again, because I don’t suppose the Abiquiu Inn was at the march, but they are nevertheless contributing every day to a better way of doing what they do. Continue reading

Bare Bones Biology 195 – What do we Want?

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We want to build a human society (system) that is sustainable and reasonably comfortable for humans. That was the dream of the founding fathers; that was the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., and the reason we supported his dream; that was the dream of Jesus and Gandhi and Mandela and countless other dreamers you and I have never heard of. But we-the-people messed it up. So that is not what we have been building.

How did we mess it up? Maybe we didn’t clearly understand the dream in the first place, or maybe we learned too much (but not enough) about too many things in too short a time. Or maybe the power of our technologies and the hubris of our assumptions led us astray.

I had to look up the word hubris a while ago, and now I use it quite a lot because it means pride multiplied by conceit, audacity and self-importance, and that’s what we Americans are. But those were not our intentions, and that does not describe the likes of Jesus and Gandhi, et al. Stubborn they were, but not prideful in the sense of conceit on top of ignorance. Nevertheless, regardless of our intentions, hubris is what we have come to, simply because we are a part of the modern American corposystem, a system that functions out of the energy of hubris.

That is not what I want; my mission has always been to build a human system that is sustainable and reasonably comfortable within the nurturing environment of a healthy Biosystem. Because that is the only way humans can “give forward” toward a viable future. http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/OrenLyons_with_Bill_Moyers-AccountabilityB.mp3

It would be a lot of fun to go ahead as we are, King of the Hill with all our toys. But it doesn’t work; we are using our toys to destroy our own hill, and destruction does not lead to any of the good things that humans can achieve. I want to grow a joyful human future that is sustainable. I do not want to nurture the suffering generated by the violent blip in a universe of time that is our corposystem of today. http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/AmyGoodman_OrenLyons_DN130809-clip.mp3

Every system grows or is created around a core characteristic that is “successful.” And it measures its own success in relation to the “ideal” embodied by its own core characteristic. I have said above that our current American corposystem is built around – one of the core characteristics is “hubris.” Because all systems are cyclic, that also means that the people with the most hubris become the most “successful,” or perhaps a better word would be most appreciated, within our existing corposystem. That is one of the ways that a system maintains itself. Of course there are good ways to build pride, but our system does not consider those ways successful. That’s why I use the word hubris.

Our corposystem hubris is built upon a dream of domination (power plus violence) that is maintained by growth based in greed. That is, growth for profit. Not a pretty story, and definitely not sustainable. Nothing in the entire universe, so far as we know, can grow forever. Certainly nothing that is part of the earth can grow forever, and besides that problem, we need all the other parts of the Earth system to make our air, water, and soil, and to capture our energy for us. That’s why the corposystem is already crashing, and the worst part is that it is ruining the Biosystem resources for any future humans.

I believe most of us would rather build a new human system on this earth that is sustainable within a nurturing Biosystem and is based on human values that we admire because we can proudly share them.

So — let’s do it.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1, Bryan Texas. The podcast can be downloaded here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_195_-_What_do_we_Want_asnd.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 194 – Active Non-Violence

This past weekend, I attended a retreat led by Father John Dear and Roshi Joan Halifax. It was a blessing. A set of blessings that give us “something we can do” for human kind on earth. Something positive and sustainable, if we do it right this time.

“Be who you are.” “Be the humane, nonviolent, compassionate child of God that you were born to be.” That is an enormous blessing in this culture. But I took it further: “On top of that, who am I? How can I serve?”

140303-NM-ASC_8250RSsMy professional career as a woman in science at a recently all-male, Southern, military university, taught me to think like an activist, so I am (surprise) an activist. My scientific career taught me (no surprise) to think like a scientist, for me, to think about genetics and evolution, the Language of Life on earth. And I will repeat (as often as necessary) that I am not a technologist. Our human technologies are today being used by our human corposystem as weapons in its war against the Biosystem. Science, basic science, is not war – it is inquiry. It is the effort to understand the processes that make Life possible on Earth. This distinction is very important, because we cannot survive a fight against the Biosystem.

And so, about ten years ago I realized I must also learn to think like the Biosystem if my activism is to serve we-the-people. The Biosystem – the system of Life — is NOT primarily about survival of the fittest, nor nature study; it is not emotional. It is not responsive to human wishes, it does not have human values, and human technologies cannot change the Laws of Nature that maintain Life.

All systems are sets of functions that grew up or were created to sustain a unique core property. The core property of the Biosystem is Life Itself. The corposystem is a subunit of the Biosystem, The core property of the corposystem is the use of growth and domination to make money. This is not sustainable. Therefore, the corposystem cannot survive as it is.

140303-NM-ASC_8266RSsMost of us do not want to support the use of violence to make money, but we are caught now in the human system that requires it. We would like to change the system, but all systems are organized to prevent change; that’s what makes them systems; and we can’t change anything by doing more of what we don’t want done; for example, using violence to win – anything — does not reduce violence in the system.

Of course, there are many good actions inside the corposystem: educational, supportive, healing, legal. These are necessary and important, but mostly their function is to patch up the wounded. They are not sustainable and do not effectively change the orposystem — because they are part of the system. So our human tragedy is that all of us are working within the corposystem, and the Corposystem is waging war against the Biosystem. Therefore, like it or not, we are participating in a system that is destroying Life. “What to do?”

I believe Father John’s well-defined methods of active nonviolence give us a way to thwart corposystem violence from outside the corposystem so that the results of our work do have potential to change the very nature of our human presence on earth. And that, indeed, is a blessing. Number two.

For me personally, the third blessing popped into my head in the form of a book title: “The Corposystem War Against the Biosystem,” that explains my life of activism. The Corposystem doesn’t only use physical violence. It walks right into our minds with its violent value system, and emotional dishonesty. It will crash anyhow, because nothing human can win a war against the Biosystem. Why wait? We can start now to build a new human system based in sustainable human and Biosystem values.

Our fourth blessing is permission to mourn, because we will lose what we had in any case — and to rejoice, because here is a way to at least try to build something worthwhile out of the ashes. “Cultivate your grief and your joy; discourage the fear and anger.”

It makes good sense to me; all that remains is — do it right this time. http://paceebene.org/store/item/engage-exploring-nonviolent-living

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FacFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas. A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com: