Bare Bones Biology 356 – A Woman is Not a Family

Women’s rights, and specifically women’s suffrage is an excellent model for a number of society’s ills and it also usefully models the ignorant kind of linear thinking that causes many of those ills.

Don’t misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant; it is the normal human condition. The word simply means uninformed. We all are ignorant of one thing or another, and it is far the best to know it, rather than to stumble around in the dark, false belief that we are well informed about important issues that we do not fully understand. And the women’s suffrage struggles of the past can make us a good example.

 

We were mostly taught to reason from top to bottom and from bottom to top, as though the universe were based in those hierarchies — or to reason from side to side, as though all the things and processes in our lives were parallel and comparable. Either kind of image leaves most of the rest of the universe, outside of ourselves, mentally invisible, because Life, in particular, is not that simple, and instead is a complex of evolved self-perpetuating systems, none of which are linear or strictly parallel; but more accurately all of which are nestled together within, around, between, and intimately encompassed among other evolved systems. The older metaphors more nearly parallel the systemic reality (say, more than 10,000 years ago, ref. Joseph Campbell). The Creation as Life, nurtured in a womb.)

 

At this time of overpopulations, extinctions and climate change, it is important that we know how things fit together naturally to enhance each other, and recognize that man-made destruction does not represent our power over nature; it represents nature’s power over us

 

The fact is that not women nor families, nor our human social systems are linear, not from top to bottom not from side to side. Not linear.

 

Earlier women’s suffrage arguments, as they relate to biological reality, can give us a good example, as reported by Prof. Pamela Radcliff, University of California at San Diego, in a series of lectures, mostly lecture number 6, that is available from The Teaching Company, entitled Interpreting the 20th Century: The struggle Over Democracy, course number 8090, in 2004.

 

Dr. Radcliff explains that, during the struggle over women’s suffrage early in the 20th century, one of the arguments against women as voters defined women as not individual persons, but as a component of a different entity — the family.

 

Well – of course women are components of the family, but so are men. And children. And dogs and cats. And sometimes goldfish. And the environment in which the whole family operates is also an integral component of the family. Woman as family or even woman as a component of family, is not meaningful in relation to decisions about who is an adult, human, participatory citizen. Women participate in all sorts of things – and so do men. Whether or not they are components of the family is not a difference between women compared with men. They both are, if they are and aren’t if they aren’t. That’s probably why it didn’t fly, because that argument doesn’t make logical biological sense.

 

I’m guessing the logic behind that particular argument was a false belief that biological systems are linear – that is, top-down organizations, sort of like a Russian doll, consisting of a man who directs the women who directs the children. In those days, most Western people did think that Life, and the Universe, are ordered that way. Now we know better.

 

A family is an evolved, complex adaptive system. Actually, so is a woman, but a woman is a different kind of evolved, complex adaptive system from a family and a similar kind of system to a man.

A woman, or a man, is a system composed of organs, tissues, cells and the environment in which all of those things can exist and with which they interact to maintain Life.

 

The cells, tissues, organs are things. Their behaviors maintain Life. Life is not a thing, it is a quality or characteristic that can only be maintained by the behaviors of the cells, tissues and organs within a compatible environmental system. We can refer to the cells, tissues and organs as subsystems. They are also systems; less complex systems.

 

Most of us already knew that people are made of cells, tissues and organs. The more difficult concept is that the whole system (the woman – or any other evolved system) is NOT ONLY the sum of all her parts. She is more than that. The whole woman-system consists of all its parts (things); plus all the functions and behaviors that the parts do as they interact with each other; plus the environment that sustains the whole woman-system; plus the emergent property that is generated by the functions of the parts as they interact with the environment.

 

For example, one of the parts might be a stomach. That is a thing. What it does (its behavior, or function) is to digest food. The food comes from the environment. All are connected with each other and with all the other parts of the woman-system. When all of the components of the woman-system do their jobs at the right times and places relative to the requirements of the environment, the result is LIFE. The woman remains alive. LIFE is one the emergent properties of that system. LIFE cannot exist without its interacting behaviors.

 

If one of the subsystems – it doesn’t matter which one, imagine the stomach again – if one stops doing its behaviors in a correlated fashion, then all the parts of the woman are still there, but the woman may no longer be alive. All the subsystems may still exist, but the emergent property is no more. The woman is dead.

 

So to summarize, an evolved system consists of: (1) the subunits of the system and (2) their correct behaviors, interacting with each other and (3) with the environment and (4) the emergent properties that result.

 

A woman is an evolved system composed of organs and tissues and cells and their behaviors in their environments. So is a man. So is a child.

 

A family is not. A family is an evolved system, sure enough, but nearly everything in our universe is an evolved system of one kind or another, and the family is a different kind. It is not an organism. It is a social system and its subsystems are not organs; they are people. People who do behaviors together (and in their environment) that result in the emergent social system known as the family.

 

A family is a higher-level system that is maintained by the behaviors and functions of the organisms of which it is composed, interacting with their environment. Its subsystems are men, women, children and other. Higher level means more complex. More complicated, because it is composed of people-systems in addition to their organs, tissues and cells.

 

We do not need to know these facts in order to understand how evolved systems maintain our lives, but if we consider these differently ordered relationships – different from what we were taught — as we contemplate the inconceivable complexity of the millions of systems of which we are a part, the knowledge gives us a more accurate image of the reality of how the Life of Earth manages to stay alive. This can be useful if we want to stay alive in joy and compassion.

 

Life is not a Russian doll in which one entity dominates another entity that dominates or nurtures another entity. Life is not basically a competition, nor is it “survival of the fittest” as that meme is usually interpreted.

 

The whole of Life nurtures the whole of Life. If not, it gets excluded from Life.

 

A family is not a Russian Doll with a man nurturing a woman who is nurturing the children. A family is not even a man plus a woman plus the children. A family is a whole separate higher-level system, and unique, each family a little different from every other family, but the whole of one family (any and every family) is generated by the physiological and behavioral interactions among ALL its subsystems (that is the people and other organisms who make up the family) and the environment in which it is able to survive.

 

If one of the subsystems — that is, one of the people or the environment — any one of them — stops doing its behaviors in a correlated fashion, then all the subsystems may still be there, but the emergent nature of a well-integrated family is no longer viable. The family “dies.”

 

Joseph Campbell elegantly described the family as a separate, emergent entity that is more than the sum of its parts. He commented that when one member of a family makes sacrifices on behalf of the family unit, she is not sacrificing to another individual, but “to the family” itself, as a separate and more complex emergent entity. (Campbell & Moyers, Power of Myth, DVD).

This is how evolved complex-adaptive systems stay “alive,” including human social or professional systems. The system is more than the sum of its parts, and it has emergent properties with which it interacts with all the other systems around it, so that entire the community of systems is benefited. Evolution is the fundamentally cooperative Law of Systems.

A woman is an individual organism, one component of a family. The other components are often a man and one or more children and the environment in which they are able to exist together.

 

The woman is not the family. The man is not the family. The dog is not the family. The children are not the family. The family itself is an emergent property that arises out of the relationships AMONG those three (more or less) entities and their environment. If these relationships are more collaborative than not, the emergent result will be more productive and pleasant. Or not.

 

If the relationships arise out of the flawed, linear “world view” that man dominates woman, who is the family, then half of adult humankind doesn’t get to vote, and the result is conflict and suffering at the individual level and at the family level and also at the level of the entire society, assuming it is a society (environment) that is based on voting.

 

A woman is not a family; it is an organism defined by the code in its DNA.

A family is not a woman, but a social system that is defined usually by local custom or law and by the interactions among its members.

 

A brain is not a cell (even though it is made of cells);

A cell is not a brain (because one cell by itself cannot do what brains do).

 

A corporation is a human social system that is defined by, and evolved around its corporate charter and composed of people and their existing environment.

A person is not a corporation, is not defined by any kind of human charter, but by its own DNA, and is not composed of organisms, but rather of organs.

 

A corporation is not a person, by any valid definition.

A person is not a corporation.

 

A cell is not a tissue, and a tissue is not a cell.

A person is not a cell, not even a zygote, which is a single cell.

A cell is not a person.

 

All the systems of Life are made of subsystems, from the whole living Biosystem to the smallest cell. And no complete system or subsystem operates in linear fashion.

 

Linear logic, therefore, vertical or horizontal, cannot arrive at logically consistent conclusions about how life functions at any level. Linear logic can (and has) given us bits and pieces, but that is the best it can do, and if we want to survive in this world we must pay attention to the other half of ourselves (the environment that we are destroying) and to our subsystems, because they are as much a part of our own selves as is our emergent Life.

 

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

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/5146404

 

© 2017, M. Lynn Lamoreux, PhD, Photos by Lynn

MLLamoreux@hotmail.com

 

 

References Cited:

 

Prof. Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers, Power of Myth, PBS, DVD.

 

Prof. Pamela Radcliff, University of California at San Diego, in a series of lectures, mostly lecture number 6, that is available from The Teaching Company, entitled Interpreting the 20th Century: The struggle Over Democracy, course number 8090.

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 266F – Holons, Levels, Systems, Emergent Properties

It’s the words that push us apart. There are a lot more words than there are important ideas. Listen to the ideas.

 “Following Arthur Koestler and Ken Wilber, I use the term holon to refer to the nested nature of the universe. A holon is a whole that is also part of a larger whole and is itself composed of smaller wholes. Everything is part of something bigger and is made of smaller components nested within it. Each of those wholes/parts, or holons is creative. So the Universe is made of creative holons.”    Micheal Dowd, Thank God for Evolution.

I have talked about this very important idea more times, in my 266 blogs, than any other idea or fact. I have never used the term holon, because it is a new term coined to represent a reality that humans have known from nearly our beginning. It doesn’t matter what words we used, so long as we can understand each oher. The Reality is what it is, and anyone can understand it who cares to.

 

150626-canyon-ASC_7565RLSs copy The following is more like what I have been saying. A holon is a whole system that is part of a larger whole system and is itself composed of smaller whole systems. Every kind of holon is a unit that has unique “emergent properties,” that is, it creates its emergent “phenotype” or emergent properties by means of the laws of nature, or what I have referred to as the “Law of Life.” So, the universe is made of and generated by creative, naturally evolved systems in response to the most basic natural law that we know about. More basic, I believe, than the recently confirmed Higgs-Boson because what I have been referring to as the “Law of Life” is not imaginable as a THING, but is THE creative process, of which we are a part. So the universe is made of creative holons/evolved systems. No disagreement there, just different words.

On the other hand, if you think deeply about your own world view in relation to the above, you will probably find that the basic flaw in your world view (don’t fuss, everyone has basic flaws in their world views) is your imprinted belief that natural systems, processes and values are linear. This belief is as false as the older belief in a flat earth around which the sun orbits, and for similar reasons. It is homocentric and linear. The universe is not.

If we want to survive in this whole universe system that is composed of interconnected subsystems, we must change our own thinking to conform with the reality of the cosmos, because there is no way that we can continue to defeat or defy the power of the cosmos as we have been trying to do, for the last couple of millennia.

The universe is NOT a m150704-train-ASC_7962RLSsachine that we can control. It is a creative principle that we try to describe by defining the laws of nature.

 

Here’s another one.

What is a black hole? Astronomically? I do not know, and I hope the answer is not relevant to our survival, but I do know a different idea that is attached to that phrase that is relevant.

Many recognize the experience and Joseph Campbell reported it as part of a Native American growing-up ceremony for young men. Those of you who have stood on the edge of your own “black hole” will recognize it, and those who have not – you had to be there.   You have a choice, when you get to the black hole. You can let go and jump right into that black hole of fear. Fear of the reality of life that is not at all what you were taught; fear of the future that is not at all what you had planned. The other option is to turn back — to cling to the comfort and safety of the world view that was your birthrite.

The psychological black hole is the place of growing up within a new creation – a new and more realistic world view. Not that “aha” moment when everything comes together to make sense, but the eventual realization that we are not the everything that makes sense, nor can we control it. It is the time when we choose to let go our efforts to control that which is not really under our control and recognize that we are part of a whole – a holon with unique emergent properties that the living Earth can discard at any time these properties become a threat to its own holistic self. It’s a time of fear, but it could be the time when we reach out and touch the face of our Creator and begin to live within a true faith grounded in the wisdom of reality.

Homo sapiens teeters today at the brink of the black hole. The only control we have over the future is the choice that we make right now.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, TX.

A copy of the podcast can be obtained at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_266F_-_Holons.mp3

 

 

References

Michael Dowd. 2009. Thank God for Evolution. Plume

Bare Bones Biology 056 – Levels and Population I

Bare Bones Biology 057-Levels and Population II

Bare Bones Biology 070 – Levels of Organization Again

Bare Bones Biology 189 – OK, Then, Here’s a Formula

When I was trying to grow my career, I foolishly assumed that the good biological knowledge of the 50s and 60s had been successfully incorporated into the working goals of the future for which we were all working together.  When I retired and looked around at the reality of our biological problem. I felt horrified, betrayed and helpless.

 

KarinaMayCroppedWe humans on earth today have three distinct and different levels of challenge.

1)   Our individual survival problems.

2)   Our human social problems, i.e., war, politics,etc.

3)   The biological problem that in our age is the root cause of the major social problems; specifically we are overgrazing the resources of Earth.

 

Nearly everyone has experienced the tragedy of this situation. When I realized what is happening, I didn’t know what to do.

 

So, when I saw Noam Chomsky on TV telling us that we should all be doing something, I blew my stack. I sent him an email: “GIVE US SOMETHING TO DO THAT SOMEONE WILL LISTEN TO:  That is your job.”

 

He answered. He didn’t say anything unique: “Each of us has to find our own answers.  There aren’t any formulas.” but he answered me personally. That was the big thing.  And so I set out to find something I could do, and here is a formula that works.

 

1. Describe in writing your best assets and skills.  Something you enjoy doing; your best talent.

 

2. Describe in writing your greatest tragedy.  For many older people. our greatest tragedy is the realization that our worldview was wrong; that the corposystem lied to us.  For many in the military our tragedy is the realization that war has nothing to do with the ideals by which we were raised.   For others, the tragedy is loss of their community of origin, or their family ideals.  Whatever you feel, you can use the wisdom you gained through that tragic experience to prevent or ease similar suffering for others.

 

3. Considering your best asset and your worst tragedy, devise a plan with a goal. The goal is not to win anything, including recognition or money, or to be as good as someone else.  An ideal goal is to benefit levels two and three (yes, both levels) without causing harm to others.

 

4. Before you begin a defined effort — just as you would before starting a business, or a war, or a construction project — do your research.   First, imagine in what way your work might cause future harm.  Every activity in life has potential for harm or for good.  Do not ignore the unintended harm that you could cause.  Then DISCUSS your plan with diverse, knowledgeable others.

 

Tar Sands Aerial copy 25. You do not want to compound your own tragedy by unknowingly creating more suffering than you are trying to prevent.  Therefore, do not assume that you already understand the biology of the Biosystem, and do not consult the corposystem for advice about what to do. That is really why we are confused in the first place – we still believe in the failed worldview of the corposystem culture. Study facts before opinions. Look for people with expertise, rather than people who are financially successful in our existing culture.  Clearly, our goal must be to change the culture, not to reinforce it.

 

6. Decide an amount of time and a schedule that you will devote to “Our Problem.” Using your own best skills, give half of your allotted time to a level two human social problem of your choice, and the other half of the allotted time to benefit the Biosystem.  Because we can’t solve our human problem unless we also have a healthy Biosystem, do not short-change the Biosystem.  Write letters of support, especially to people who have more experience in your field of expertise.  Your time, whether it’s half an hour or two hours a day, is not for level one personal activities such as meditation or spiritual pursuits or sports. This is a regular formal commitment of time that you give to benefit the higher levels of life. I assume that you are already making life changes in level one activities such as recycling, energy usage and family planning.

 

7. Continue to study but do not doubt.  Do not worry if it’s enough.  Do not stop.

 

Below my blog today is just one example of a person who is using his own life plan to benefit the higher levels of Life.  http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

Joel Sartore is a photographer and a contributor to National Geographic Magazine.  I say this as an introduction, not because I think you need to be a photographer or a speaker, or a highly successful anything, to contribute from your own expertise to the welfare of our society and to the welfare of the Biosystem.  You can do what you can do, and what you can do is enough, so long as you educate yourself well enough that you do not do more harm than good.  Watch Mr. Sartore’s pitch here:

 

http://www.joelsartore.com/videos/joel-sartore-tedxmidwest/

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, TX.   Download the podcast of this blog here:

Communities and Evolution

Happy Days Folks,

This week I will refer you to a blog post from last year at about this time. It is even more relevant today.

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/

Bare Bones Biology 088 – Evolution and Creation
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download is available at the below link.

122012-Xmas-ASC_1523LSs

Bare Bones Biology 124 – Education

Last week I said: “We begin by taking the responsibility to educate ourselves about all the many sides of the population issue.”

I said this because one of the favorite corposystem power ploys is to distract us from our goal and occupy us with fake debates that do not interfere with corposystem desire to do whatever it wants to do. This is just another version of the old “divide and conquer” ploy. People who are fighting with each other cannot solve problems, for at least two reasons. One reason is that the solution to any problem is many sided.

Debates are two-sided sound bites and fun games, if we think life is nothing more than a game of winners and losers (that is not, by the way, how evolution functions (Bare Bones Biology 088 to 091) but debates do not resolve problems. Instead they prevent people from even evaluating and discussing problems — even problems that threaten their own futures — which is the second reason that debates don’t solve problems.

So what are the many sides of this overpopulation problem? I could begin by making a huge list of human opinions about overpopulation, but, human opinions cannot change the natural laws that permit our biosystem to survive. God the creator made the biosystem to function the way it does function, and that IS how nature works. Life feeds death and death feeds life.

God’s very breath is the breath of life and lifein the biosystem, whether we like it or not, and I think that’s why we don’t like it. We want what we want for ourselves – we want to use the earth for our own selves, and we don’t really care how many other species we kill off, and we don’t want to hear about it.

The trouble is, those species ARE the biosystem. They are what God breathed into the biosystem to make our air, water, fire (energy) and earth. That is how life on earth, the biosystem, functions to stay alive. God is Life – or God created Life.

That’s why I mention levels of organizationlevels of function of the biosystem) every chance I get. Individual level, population level, and all of life, the biosystem. If we are to make wise decisions, we must consider how the other levels affect us. If we could once realize that ONLY solving human problems is NOT the solution to human problems we would be far better off. Because humans cannot HAVE everything they want without causing irreparable damage to the biosystem. And anything that damages the biosystem is harmful to human individuals and human populations and even to the corposystem.

Every person on earth, except the most isolated, the sociopathic, or the super-spoiled, knows that we must have a balance between the wants and needs of individual humans and the requirements for community welfare. Individual humans cannot have everything they want if whatever they want causes harm to the community. Society is a constant readjustment between individuals, families and populations, in which nobody ever gets everything they want. We could paraphrase Mitt Romney’s recent “joke.” Obama wants to help the biosystem; I want to help you.

This is ignorance generating ignorance, because right now the biosystem is (check the facts, please) maxed out of earth, air, energy and water that we need to stay alive. Therefore, nobody can help anyone unless we all help the biosystem. The best way to learn how the biosystem stays alive and healthy is to read widely, and discuss the issues, and then check the facts. I’m talking about everyone – especially those who believe they already understand the biosystem. Most of us don’t. And then come back to the political arena and help to change our own behavior.

Debates do not solve problems; they only result in everyone trying to prove they are better than everyone else.

They aren’t.

And while we are playing ego games, the bottom line is we cannot continue to live in the biosystem unless we also reduce the numbers of people who are draining away the breath of life from the biosystem.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References

Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook Download
https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/

Population
Bare Bones Biology 020, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/05
Bare Bones Biology 021, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/11
Bare Bones Biology 022, https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/19

Power Ploys
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/bare-bones-biology 066, corposystem-power/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/3677bbb072/

Evolution
Bare Bones Biology 009 to 019 and 088 to 091

Life
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/bare-bones-bio…cript-011-life/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/bare-bones-bio…58-–-happiness

Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/bare-bones-bio…d-population-i
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/bare-bones-bio…-population-ii/

Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker I

Right now I’m skimming through a book written by Rabi <a href="http://www.hamakomtheplace.org/“>Malka Drucker, and I can see I will have to settle down in my lawn chair under the little apple tree and read the book. The title is White Fire:A portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America, and sadly it is out of print, but I think you can get it at the library, or maybe even Amazon. I suggest you go to Rabi Drucker’s web site and also the White Fire web site to learn more about this book (including videos) and the other books that Rabi Drucker has written. Right now, she is working on a new book about wisdom, and I can’t wait for that, so I asked her to favor us with an advance conversation on the subject. There are also two podcasts of Rabi Drucker speaking at Upaya that you might want to download.

The transcript of this week’s Bare Bones Biology is below. It’s the first of three parts to our discussion. Perhaps you will read or listen to the others during the last two weeks of August. The next one is on the subject of compassion and the last will be about wisdom. If you add the three together, what you get is responsibility plus compassion = wisdom. At least that is how it seems to me. Here is today’s transcript.

“This week we have the first installment of a discussion with Rabi Malka Drucker.

LL-“There is a conflict between human welfare and the welfare of the whole earth ecosystem.
MD-“No there’s not. We are of it, so there can’t be conflict. Either we are part of the system or we’re not. So the only way to survive is to be part of the system. So there is nothing that can promote human welfare that can hurt the environment.
LL-“Well, there’s – I would say it the other way, though, that anything that promotes the welfare of the whole earth ecosystem also promotes the welfare of humans within that ecosystem. That’s my perspective but it’s not the same.
MD- “How is it not the same?
LL- “It’s not the same because the ecosystem operates on balance, and so if we promote only human welfare and not the welfare of all the rest of the organisms –
MD- “What do you think I said?
LL- “I think you said anything that promotes human welfare would benefit the ecosystem.
MD- “No I said the opposite of that. I said anything that hurts the ecosystem is not beneficial to human beings.
LL- “Well, we don’t disagree. We were just having a little semantic problem.
MD-“I was saying that you can’t say something is good for human beings that is bad for the environment. There is no separation. If it’s bad for the world, it’s bad for human beings.
LL- “I love it. The problem arises out of trying to maintain the balance.
MD-“Again I’ll say, in the highest sphere, let’s take an example. Air conditioning. People like air conditioning. Especially in hot humid places. It’s become part of their lives. Now we find out that air conditioning is bad, and we’ve got a greenhouse effect that harms the earth climate. So here’s a case where the answer has to be that you do what you need to do to survive. Not comfort. There’s living and then there’s comfort, so comfort must be sacrificed. It’s a no-brainer. If you gave the dilemma to a fourth grade class, they’d come up with a solution. The conflict is because of ego – our egos. We don’t want to compromise. It’s simple.
LL- “I think it’s even a deeper compromise. I think it comes right down to our instinctual compassionate response when we see anything suffering. And at that point, if we’re going to consider the welfare of the ecosystem, we’ll have even more difficult —
MD- “Ah, I hear you. So here again, it’s amazing how my tradition sings to my —
So here’s how the Jewish tradition deals with this. The world rests – they have about 12 different things the world rests on, but this particular example the world rests upon justice and mercy. I see this as a vessel must contain the light. So the vessel is justice, and always mercy must supercede it. Ultimately, that’s the answer.
LL- “A Buddhist said that two wings, the wing of love and the wing of justice is what permits us to fly.
MD- “Lovely image, same notion exactly.
LL- How does overpopulation fit into that?
MD- “I’m going to give you the same answer. I keep checking the same box. It’s about ego. Human beings are not facing what needs to be faced, and taking responsibility for it.
LL- “OK, you’re checking the same box I check.
MD-“You’ll find it hard to disagree with me.
LL- “I don’t want to disagree with you.”

No indeed I would be so happy (people keep asking me what would make me happy) I would be so happy if we would all sit down together and discuss our responsibilities to ourselves within the ecosystem. Even if we were not checking the same box. Especially if we were not checking the same box. There is no good survival reason for all this conflict. We all need the same basic things to survive, and these are provided to us by the ecosystem. The way to get these things is to modify our behaviors to stop causing harm to the ecosystem, and the way to do that is first to start talking about our needs and behaviors in our communities and beyond.

Just one more point please, because of my very long history of emphasizing biological levels of organization of the earth ecosystem. When we talk about levels of organization, we use the most simple image – three levels: individual humans and their needs; populations of humans and their needs; and the whole earth ecosystem and its needs.

There was not time in the five minutes to talk about levels, but different levels do have some differences of their needs. In fact, that’s how the biosphere maintains its balance, but that is another story. The point here is that the differences in the needs of the different levels can be a source of our most difficult dilemmas.

Those differences might be a good starter for a follow-up discussion about our responsibilities to ourselves and to the ecosystem. What do individual humans need (we agreed on survival, and probably we would agree on the basic human values); what do populations of humans need? What does the whole earth ecosystem need for its survival that might be different from the other two?

Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker I
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
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Artist William Michael Schindler, Santa Fe

Bare Bones Biology 100 – Climate Change, The End

On a Thursday I went to two local meetings, one right after the other. The first was a seminar — a group of people who are concerned about the health of the whole ecosystem that we live in. Second, I went to a political meeting. All the people I met at both meetings are concerned for the welfare of our whole community. But their views of what is a community are so different that, if they were talking together, they probably would not recognize our common motivation.

I despaired of explaining this gap until I once again realized that we are talking about levels of organization. BBB-051 and BBB-052. By my system, individual is level one. Level two is the population level, our local community of humans or all humans as a species. Level three is the entire worldwide ecosystem, which is a super-organism that consists of all the species on earth and the environment we all create to live in.

People who work at the population level need to understand as much as they can about the social sciences, because that’s how we humans manipulate other people, for good or for ill. That’s all about hopes and dreams and kindness and cruelty and good and evil and empathy and compassion, as defined by our common human values. This is different from individual, level one welfare, and the difference is the cause of most of our political battles. That’s because, instead of trying to understand the differences in a way that will generate a living space for individual welfare within the communal welfare, in our culture of today we are choosing to fight over those conflicts of interest. For example. My neighbor’s oil well is giving me nosebleeds, shortness of breath, and I think maybe affecting my memory, which at my age is a concern. Good for him, bad for me, a simple individual level-one difference, he is bigger than I am so I will move. However, a more
difficult problem is the effect that his oil well has on the rate of asthma, alzheimers and obesity and other problems of the people of the whole community. That’s level one welfare, conflicting with the welfare at level two. At that point, we need a serious human discussion or we will likely end up with a serious human fight. That’s the kind of thing that good politics should be addressing. The welfare of the individual within the population of humans. There is always a conflict of interest. That’s what the social sciences are about.

The ecosystem is the level that includes all of life on earth. Everything alive is part of the whole earth ecosystem and requires a healthy ecosystem to stay alive, because the ecosystem literally makes the air, water and rich soil, and it makes these things by balancing extremely complex cycles of energy and climate and organic molecules. That’s not a matter of opinion. Without the ecosystem, there is no population to worry about, and that’s what the folks at the seminar mean when they are concerned about the common welfare.

We need the so-called “hard sciences” to understand what the ecosystem requires to stay healthy. Because the ecosystem does not function according to human values or emotions, the social sciences will not help us understand what the ecosystem requires. That’s why we need biology and ecology. And facts. And our unique human brain that can understand the difference between ecological facts and human emotions and desires. And our unique human language that can share knowledge and information over space and time.

There are measurable facts in this world. Our opinions are fun and they make us feel important, but they do not change facts. Science does not change facts. Nothing changes facts; that’s why we call them facts. Thermodynamic relationships are real, and all of life is based on them. The law of cause and effect is real. It is a fact that what we do today will influence the level of human suffering in the ecosystem of the future. The world keeps changing; that’s a fact, and we need to deal with it.

Bare Bones Biology 100 – Climate Change, The End
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References:
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/ Levels of Organization
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/04/24 Emergent Properties
Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook is available on my blog for free download
Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by H.H. The Dalai Lama