Bare Bones Biology 088 – Evolution and Creation

Until the corposystem started making up fake debates, almost everyone knew that evolution is real, whether or not they knew the word. Everyone still knows it, really, it’s common sense. I mean, we have been using the process of evolution for several hundred years to make domestic animals. What is the difference between a wolf and a pug dog? The pug dog was not created 6000 years ago, it is a product of evolution. Controlled evolution. Monsanto is actively evolving our food supplies. If evolution were not a real thing, life on earth would not keep changing.

The evolution argument is about human political power. It’s a fake debate generated by people who think that evolution is about survival of whoever has the most power. These people think survival of the fittest means working out in the gym until you can kick sand in your neighbors’ faces. Evolution is no such thing.

Ask a dinosaur.

For BBB blogs about evolution, see or listen to Bare Bones Biology 010 through 019. Also BBB 046.

So what I want to talk about today is, what is fitness really? Because what we can do to help the earth today is to give a gift of fitness to our future human generations. And nothing we do could be more important. But as long as we continue to believe that fitness is defined by some kind of competition, we will fail. Biologically, fitness is the ability to survive, as a species, not as individuals.

Fitness really is pretty much the same as sustainability. Fitness is something about how the universe evolved from whatever it was, when everything was subatomic, to what it is now, with step by step levels of increasing complexity in all its parts. Fitness is a component of the process of increasing complexity that is and was the evolution that created the levels of organization of our universe and life and our living world.

There is a wonderful book (Linked, by Baribashi) entitled Linked that describes networks in terms of mathematics. I don’t understand it mathematically, but it must be talking about evolution. The changes of evolution are the increasingly complex networks. Every “advance” in evolution involves the formation of a more complex set of interacting networks. For example, you are a network of interacting organs (kidney, heart, etc), and each organ is a network of interacting cells and the cells are each networks of interacting molecules. That IS how the universe is organized, by networks interacting with other networks, and this book talks about the mathematics of the way networks form. For example:

“Each node is different. Each has some intrinsic quality compelling it to the head of the pack . . . Each node has a different fitness . . .”

I know this insight is very important, because when he says nodes, and I say species, and Buddhists say “emptiness,” we are all talking about the networks of which all of reality is composed. And when he says “fitness” he is not talking about competition. He’s talking about competence. It’s not the same thing at all.

I believe compassion has genetic roots in people, and that it is a component of our fitness on this earth, but compassion is not enough. If we only rely on our compassion, or only our spirituality, or only our technology or our power, we will be the node that fails to survive. Because the entire gigantic ticking clock of the creation is built of networks of networks of networks (that biologists refer to as levels of organization that I have discussed many times). (for example, BBB-051, 052, 056, 057, and more recently 070.

Any newly arising network — that would be us. If it does not FIT into the systems and the processes that have been the source of our creation – it will not survive, no matter how much power and glory it believes itself to have.

Bare Bones Biology 088 – Evolution and Creation
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 087 – What Can We Do?

There is a great deal that all of us can do to give humans of the future, our grandchildren, a better life than they will have if we continue on as we are. Especially those of us in the United States. If we learn to connect the dots between what we do right now – all of our actions — and what happens in the future. In other words, if we pay close attention to causes and effects.

I learned to do this when I became one of the earlier women working in the field of science (Not technology. Science itself actually is the study of causes and effects. Technology is about making things.) So here I was trying to succeed, while the well-meaning men scientists were trying to help by telling me how to succeed. The problem for me was, at that time, what worked for the men did not work for women to succeed in science. Especially unmarried women. And the men scientists were firmly convinced it would work for women. You would think a bunch of scientists would be more logical about this, wouldn’t you, but they wouldn’t discuss anyone else’s causes and effects because they believed there weren’t any – and they “knew best.”

First I blamed myself. I watched what I did. I started to notice correlations: I do this; that happens. So I change this; something else happens. If it happens enough times, then I begin to believe it’s not my mistakes that cause something to happen – it’s just the way things are. It was how the law of cause and effect worked in that culture at that time, and the more I know about this cause and effect thing, the more power I have in my life. Not the power to change unchangeable things. The power to know what will happen, or what is most likely to happen, according to what I choose to do.

So I am a pretty good scientist. I experimented on the men, and the employer, and have been doing it ever since. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than believing in the powers that be and it’s very much better than just doing what looks like it might be good, or other people think it’s good, without studying what is likely to be the result of whatever I do.

So, in terms of politics for example. We collect the things that make good sense (to us, not to our “leaders”) and the things that people are doing that are working, and those that are not working and we try to understand why — and the things that we physically can not do because of the laws of nature.

We then project everything into the future, what we want the future to be like. We do not listen to opinions but only to cause and effect realities. If we don’t understand the realities, we ask people who are qualified. Or mostly we can simply use good common sense. For example, population. How many people can be supported by one acre of our earth? The answer is we don’t know. We can research the question, but that would be a displacement activity. To avoid doing what needs to be done. We do know there is a limit. It’s only good common sense. Therefore we should factor population into all of our planning.

Nobody can work for now, because the now I just wrote is already gone. Everybody really wants to live a worthwhile life, and that means doing something that will benefit others. And we all have a responsibility to work for the future. Especially now we have the responsibility, because our problem is going to get a lot worse before it gets better – no matter what anyone does.

So our gifts are needed. They are badly needed.

Bare Bones Biology 087 – What can we Do?
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 065 – Aintitawful

Right from the beginning, my blog has been about power, particularly it is about personal power – our power to build our lives around our own positive values. Of course we can’t do anything or everything that we want to do. Other powers exist that we do not personally control. The power of communities; the power of the corposystem; and most importantly for our survival, the power of the ecosystem. We can not directly control these other things, at least we can’t control how they respond to our mutual environment, and it’s better that we don’t try.

It is better to clearly understand the powers that we are able to control, rather than to stand around comparing notes about what we can not do. Or to cry and complain because we can’t have everything we want. It’s given away, that crying time. We could have used that time to grow our own personal power. When we spend time complaining about the corposystem, whether we hate it or fear it, all that time we are complaining about the corposystem we are actually growing the power of the corposystem, and they count on that help. They nurture it. They want us to believe they can control us. But it’s only true at level three. In the important ways, they can not control us at the level of personal power. Not unless we believe in the corposystem more than we believe in ourselves.

I have spoken often about levels of organization, including levels of power. I am not the ecosystem (level four in my system of categorizing). I am not the corposystem (level three). I am not the community (level two). But I am me, level one, and my personal power is my own to claim and use for the benefit of myself or of humankind or for whatever I choose to use it. I can give it away, but nobody can take it away from me. It lives in the choices that I make right now. Every breath, every millisecond of life, contains a choice – what to do – and whether I think about it or not, whether I believe it or not, what I do with the choice of this moment, including doing nothing, is my personal power (or my weakness). If I choose to spend this moment moaning over the negative power of the corposystem, then I am growing a future, for myself and for other people, that will be one long moan.

The Peach Clubhouse exists because I could not find enough expressions of personal power in the other places where I looked for them, including some educational and progressive groups. What I found instead was a lock-step re-affirmation of the power of the corposystem to rule our lives unhampered.

That’s hogwash.

But it’s easy to understand.

Because it’s hard to see around our training.

For example, I came THIS close to making the Peach Clubhouse into a nonprofit organization, before I realized what that means. The nonprofits are the scavengers of the corposystem. They’re part of the corposystem. Like a buzzard or a maggot, they support the corposystem by cleaning up after it, cleaning up the harm that it causes. And more importantly they support the corposystem mantra. Success is growth – selling, fighting, growing.

Well, damn, selling, fighting and growing only creates more messes, and it defines the nonprofits by the same toxic charter that defines the corposystem. Were I to buy into this system, I would betray the whole purpose of the Peach Clubhouse — this emblem of my personal power — by allowing it to be swallowed up into the corposystem, defined by the greed, fear and hatred of the corposystem. As our media, and our rule of law, have been swallowed up, and even – you can believe this or not – the corposystem evidently thinks it can swallow up the ecosystem. Well that won’t happen, because none of us can live without the ecosystem. And neither will I throw the Peach Clubhouse into that black hole.

Bare Bones Biology 065 – Aintitawful
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 058 – Happiness

“May all living things enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May they be free from suffering and the root of suffering.”

I recently attended a weekend workshop at Omega Institute , where Pema Chodron explained, “The root of happiness is when we can stop struggling with ourselves just as we are, and against the world and our experience just as it is.”

She spent eight hours explaining this statement, and of course I can’t tell you about it in just five minutes, but the concept coincides perfectly with our scientific understanding of life on earth. And it reminded me of one of the most important ideas in the Bible, that is humility. When three bodies of knowledge converge, it’s time to pay attention. If we want to be “happy” or content, we need to have the humility to recognize that humans cannot change the works of God. We can’t change how the ecosystem functions. Even if we are the biggest cheese in the corposystem. Even if we are a biologist.

Biology is the study of life, and life is a fragile flower, beautiful and delicately balanced at the intersection of the interacting laws of physics. Change one little bit of it, and life will change as well. In fact, that is a definition of life. It changes as conditions change. That’s how it stays alive. But life CAN NOT change the basic laws of nature that give rise to life in the first place.

If we want to survive, let alone in happiness or contentment, we need to know what we can change and what we cannot change without destroying the interacting emergent balance that is life itself. It’s not hard to understand. It’s common sense, once we know how the power flows through the ecosystem, and if you want to know this you can download the Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook from my web site.

Life exists on earth because the natural laws are exactly as they are. If gravity were a tad off, or energy transfer were not as it is, we would not exist. If the diversity of species is sufficiently diminished, the living earth will not be able to accommodate the changing conditions of life. That’s how it stays alive. The living earth could die, just as your living body can die, if the balance of its needs is overwhelmed.

Technology can not change these things. We are not God; when we struggle against God’s miracle we are fighting against God, or the ecosystem, or life as it must be if it is to be. Exactly as the corposystem is now fighting in a vain and ill-advised effort to overwhelm the ecosystem. It is the worst kind of hubris to believe that we have more power or knowledge than God – or the ecosystem. I think it is the worst kind of criminality, because we know what the ecosystem needs to stay alive, and we know what will happen if we mess it up, and yet we publish continuing propaganda promoting ever greater messing, rather than to admit our mistakes and come together in an effort to bring a better quality of life to our future generations.

“The root of happiness is when we can stop struggling with ourselves just as we are and the world and our experience just as it is.” Pema Chodron

The Bible refers to this happy quality as humility. Recognizing reality for what it is.

Our experience of suffering arises from our struggle against the realities of the miracle of life.

Doing the right thing is not a struggle against reality – it is the process of going with the flow of positive human values informed by the needs of other living things and their emergent properties. The right thing to do exists where the best of human values affirm the long-term welfare of all sentient beings at all of their levels of organization.

Bare Bones Biology 058 – Happiness
KEOS 89.1 FM, Bryan, TX
Download after Monday at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 053 – Winning is an Emergent Property

For me, the concept of emergent properties (Bare Bones Biology 017, FactFictionFancy-How Can we Know so Little, is critical to understanding our human power inside our living and nonliving environment. And this is important because any living thing needs to understand power relationships to stay alive. How much personal power do I have? How much power is attributable to God? Or to the Ecosystem? These relationships are very fundamental, and if we mis-interpret them we may end up on our keesters. Or extinct. Or just miserable wanting our world to be something it can not be.

If we truly understand the reality of emergent properties — that is, if we appreciate the fact that all of our physical reality is the result of a complex combination of factors — causes and effects — then there is no such thing as a winner. Or even a hero.

Ho, indeed, big jump there, but how can there be a winner if the individual who won was not individually responsible for the win? For example, I once won. I won a court case. I can give you a list as long as your arm of conditions and people and coincidences without which I would not have won, no matter how good the cause and no matter how diligently and skillfully I worked.

I noticed this disconnect in our thinking, between the concept of winner and the reality of complexity, while struggling to make sense of our American idea that “everyone can be a winner,” that I saw on a schoolroom wall. I have been one, and I don’t think so. Or maybe someone has changed the meaning of the word – winner. As I understand American English, a winner is someone who won something by using her own power or skill. In order to win something, the winner has to beat something. Usually what she beats is other people. Just look around. I think there must be at least ten or fifteen losers produced in our culture for every winner. How can we believe that everyone can be a winner with something like 1/5 of our population under the poverty line? That can’t be winning, and I don’t think anyone is actually counting the losers. A lot of losers are over the poverty line – way over the poverty line.

During my lifetime this tendency in our culture has increased dramatically, as has our delight in blaming each other for whatever happens that we don’t like. We shout the praises of the winners, and blame the losers for their losses, because we believe we all are personally in control of own wins and losses. It’s not true. Every win reflects a complex history of interactions, most of which we don’t personally control. And so does every loss.

If you want an example of the absurd extremes this can reach – just look at the Congress of today where everyone is assuming his own omniscience, and is busy blaming everyone else, and nobody is willing to work toward the solution itself, because it is really complicated and would require cooperation among the millions of parts that must fall into place in the right way to reach an emergent solution.

Interestingly, this morning news reported that the imprisoned sons of Mubarac are unable to comprehend what it means not to have a cell phone in jail, so the reporter said. I guess they thought their power was an innate and immutable part of their personal makeup — stronger even than the laws of nature. It’s not. The only power we really have is our good luck plus our understanding of the merging facts and processes, and the probable consequences of the choices we make. The very most that we can ever accomplish is to focus the threads of cause and effect toward a goal. We have everything we need right now to align our human presence with the physical realities of the world we live in — except we don’t have the will to define our common goal and then go for it.

Bare Bones Biology 053 – Winning
KEOS radio 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at factfictionfancy.wordpress.com
Audio at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Permalink URL – http://barebonesbiology.com/bbb053-winning-mp3

The Ten Commandments

When the Israelites accepted the Ten Commandments from God at Mount Sinai, they committed themselves to following a moral code of behavior.

The Ten Commandments
1. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.
2. You shall have no other gods but me.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.

The rabbis teach that the first five sayings, on the left side of the tablet, concern man’s relationship with God (belief in God, prohibition of improper worship, prohibition of oath, shabbat, respect for parents). The second five sayings, on the right side of the tablet, concern man’s relationship with other people (prohibitions of murder, adultery, theft, false witness, coveting). Judaism teaches that our relationship to our parents is akin to our relationship to God because our parents created us. Disrespect of parents is considered an insult to God. Thus, respect for parents is included on the right side of the tablets with the other sayings that concern our relationship with God.

Judaism also teaches that the two tablets are parallel. In other words, our duties to God and our duties to people are equally important. If, however, one must choose between performing a duty to God or performing a duty to a person, one should first perform good deeds for another a person.

Letter to Chet Edwards

Hello Folks,

Today is Thursday, our day to talk about Bare Bones Ecology, Chapter 03, The Flow of Information. The BBE post is half written, but I find myself a bit bogged down today, after issuing yesterday the first edition of Bare Bones Biology (the podcast that will eventually parallel BBE and extend beyond). And we are having a runoff election. Check back tomorrow (Friday) for the next post about proteins.

Mostly we stay away from elections lately because this blog is about power, and human politics does not rank high compared with the power of the earth ecosystem. However, it is occasionally necessary to clearly state this fact to the politicians, and today is one of those days. Feel free to share the letter below and adapt it for your politician. Actually, I hope Mr. Edwards wins, because the alternate candidate thinks the real world is centered around human activities (as I discussed in yesterday blog) which is far out even for a politician. But neither one of them can help to pull us out of this hole if they can’t even see the hole.

To: Chet Edwards,

I got the multiple phone calls from your machine, and I comment about that at the end of this letter. More importantly:  You will not convince me of your ability to govern well, by advertising that you have done only two things.

1. Squeeze a lot of money out of the government coffers for use by a local entity that doesn’t need it and can’t manage it to the benefit of the people;
2. Block the use of government money for the welfare of all the people.

Or by telling me why you did these things, because whatever are your reasons, and whether or not they are well intended does not change the facts. We will run out of money unless we change our economic model; we have topped the graph and are on the down side. This is not because of small business or big business or the rich local entity or health care or you.

It is because money comes from resources; resources come from the earth; the earth can not grow; the economy can not grow beyond the limits of the resources, no matter what anyone does, and we have hit the limits of the resources (or thereabouts, it would be silly to quibble about when exactly, and I am not speaking for Mr. Lester Brown — I have my own expertise that supports his). Our economic model is a Ponzi growth scheme that benefits this day at the expense of sustainability.

In the aftermath of all Ponzis, it is the people who suffer. They are already suffering all over the world. The more y’all refuse to talk about these hard and real facts, the worse it will be also for the people here at home as we slide down the wrong side of the growth curve and your power base evaporates with the increase in human suffering. It will happen, just as surely as you can not grow ten horses on a one-acre pasture (unless you have a friend down the road who uses his land resource to grow hay).

You have more responsibility than most people to help generate as soft a landing as possible for us all. If you would stop your love affair with our toxic economic model and begin to think about the long-term facts and implications of its cancerous growth style, I believe you could do a better job of tending to your real responsibility than any of the other candidates.

But I don’t see that happening.

Dr. M. Lynn Lamoreux
Bryan

And by the way, here is my other complaint: I have been told many times by many people they need not honor the no-call list (ha, another expensive and useless government scam), and then two of them had the nerve to become insulted when I told them I don’t allow other people to use my telephone for their advertising. Or rather, I can’t stop them but I will never, never, never, never do whatever it is they want me to do if they call me up to ask for something, especially if it is a machine that calls me up. Of course, unless you want to donate to my telephone bill.