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How modern people understand the world, roots of this understanding and related problems of life

The article is written on the basis of the lecture, which was delivered by the author on January, 25th, 2014 in the Russian Orthodox Academy

Arkady G. Aseev

If you look how modern people understand the world, you will notice how miscellaneous it is. Often understanding significantly varies through different countries and regions. E.g. European’s understanding of the world is much different of the Asian’s one. Hindu understands of the world in not the same as for the Chinese people, and Chinese is different from that in Japan despite a lot of similarities between these two countries.

We live in Europe, so let’s examine our understanding of the world. We can say that understanding of the world and the world view of the modern science form the basis of our understanding. Let us take a closer look at it. This helps to understand the world, where we live nowadays and why it is so.

Let’s us examine how is whichever understanding of the world formed. It is based on the world view. Comprehending the world view we produce understanding of it. While world views are formed on the basis of our ideas about the world, and what it is.

Ideas about the world are formed on the basis of the world picture or world image. In Russian image of the world sounds similar to the cut of the world, just one letter differs. It is obvious that we shall never be able to perceive the entire world as it is. We always as if cut it short on the borders, creating an image in our thoughts. You cannot imagine the entire world, but only a part of it. That is why people usually have partial images of the world, separate parts of it. Based on these bits they create each their world view and form the understanding of the world.

It has to be noted that understanding of the world is not a philosophical abstraction. It is one of the basic things in our life. It is no secret that we can change the world and ourselves only when decisions are taken, and then we act basing on these decisions. Probably everyone will agree that hardy you find many mentally sane people who take decisions basing on what they even don’t believe in. Faith relates to the image of the world. But modern Western man will feel uneasy until he does not understand the world around him. It is very important for us to understand. And changing the world, we prefer to act, guided even not by faith, but by our understanding at the moment of taking decision. That is why understanding of the world is one of the key bases for us.

It is no secret that modern science itself is very controversial. And this explains many problems of the modern world and lack of integrity in scientific world understanding. Let’s look into this.

Initially science did not have big influence on social life. In XVIII century nobody even made attempts to talk about applying science to develop instruments of production, technologies and goods, means to use scientific knowledge in the field of technique and technology. In 1830 German chemist Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) invented artificial fertilizers, and then storage method for animal proteins. Since that time, according to Drucker, starts industrial revolution as the process of global transformation of society and civilization based on the development of technique. With that scientific knowledge start to play a new role — actively influence the life of a man and society, bringing dynamics into it. Roughly speaking, from science neither explanation, nor understanding of the things is required — enough to change them effectively [1].

As a result science was split into discrete, poorly connected subdisciplines. E.g in physics: mechanics, thermodynamics, turbulence, quantum mechanics — each of these subdisciplines use its own models, theories and equations. By the way, quantum mechanics differs from all other subdisciplines in physics most significantly.

Talking in terms of quantum mechanics, we can consider existing subdisciplines in physics (and their subdisivions) as discrete quantum levels. These levels are situated layer-by-layer, without certain uninterrupted links. There is but characteristic feature: problems originating from one layer spread to other layers in unpredictable way; and the moment you meet consequences of these problems is very similar to incubation period of infectious disease in infected organism.

Let’s remember that before a man entered cosmic space, atmosphere of our planet was considered isotropic. But from the orbit, astronauts saw atmosphere is structured and consists of many layers. In each layer at certain height independent events could be on-going.

To summarize, similar to quantum levels, we can talk about «quantifization» of not only surrounding world and some phenomena, but also science at the whole. Existence of these levels is not a givenness or predeterminacy: these layers formed historically in the process of science development (firstly, by separate individuals; then by small groups, who were exploring «own» layer, and were little interested by anything else).

Science development not only enhances quantity of available conditions and processes, but increasingly allows possibilities of transition into various adverse situations, circumstances, conditions — often without our will.

Physics describes mostly insentient substance. While man is part of biosphere and cannot exist, or moreover, develop apart from it. Biology is science describing life. It differs from physics even more significantly than above mentioned sub disciplines differ from each other. And we try to govern from physical layers the processes in nature, without sufficient knowledge of conditions and possibilities of biosphere. Thus we provoke transitions in biosphere, which could be called quantum transitions as we cannot predict them.

In quantum physics for particle transition from one to another quantum level, certain energy is required. And after getting this energy transition occurs actually instantaneously with some probability, without intermediate position (it cannot stop there). Also it cannot return back to initial state, once transition started. In our case transitions between «quantum levels» of surrounding world occur in a jump once certain conditions are achieved, and devices and systems become more complex and have more free energy. Yes, we can see these jumps, but their way is unpredictable, like lightning. We have not even started to study these principles and laws.

So what we have as a result of science development and what could be its future development, acceptable for our civilization?

A few centuries ago man lived feeling himself a part of Nature, of surrounding world. Since XIXth century, scientific-technological progress started. A man applying scientific achievements decided that he can change surrounding world himself. This tendency increased very quickly during the years. Human influence on Nature became enormous. A man used science and energetics as intellectual and correspondingly power parts of the cooperation mechanism with Nature. And not only for «communication» with Nature, but for changing it and surrounding world, and for the governance of the processes in order to get natural goods. The last process was going on much quicker than accumulating scientific knowledge about Nature. Natural processes and resources changed under human influence even when there were a lot of resources and relatively not many people. The change was slightly visible, from one side, while from the other side it was indistinctive what to do with it — as there was not enough knowledge about many processes in Nature, and the caused problems were yet not so acute. The problem solving could have been delayed for future generations of people in hope that there will be more knowledge, people will become clever and will definitely find the way to solve all arising tasks.

As a result of such approach Humankind met the problem of significant change of surrounding world. Many things in Nature could not be returned. The processes manifested, about which people nothing knew, and there is no knowledge what to do, how to consider them. Many of these processes on our planet jeopardize even the existence of Humankind. More often we can hear discussions among serious scientists that we have devoted our civilization to destruction and that due to human efforts humankind became mortal. Earlier science considered that society, humankind is immortal, while separate individuals are mortal. Now humankind moves towards to self-destruction.

While we still consider ourselves effective managers of Nature. We live in the world, as if looking from outside, not being conscious that we are integral part of it. Such approach allows feeling ourselves relatively comfortable, not noticing threatening processes around, not wasting time to learn about our backup influence on natural processes. But the longer will this anthropocentric approach lasts towards Nature, allowing more and more influence on the on-going processes, the quicker catastrophic consequences will start for the humankind.

The saddest is probably to understand that relatively small group of politicians and persons from the international corporations has left science without ethical basis by economical means, and provoked thoughtless and aggressive exploitation of Nature for prosperity of a minor group. While it is obvious that all humankind will pay for that.

For revealing, reasoning, understanding and solving the tasks, science creates different models. The world «model» origins from Latin word modulus — which means «measure». That is what a man can see as a whole, can measure and reason; understand inner links, conditions and transitions. Mechanics, thermodynamics, turbulence, quantifization, biological, psychical, spiritual — all this is related to models. We can say that model is something that exists in human consciousness, and is not a surrounding world. Any model will more or less accurately describe real processes. It will never be corresponding with them completely. Thus, despite our efforts to mathematize models, trying to describe natural processes exactly, it will never happen. Though it is possible sometimes to create a model, which describes real processes relatively accurate.

One more characteristic of the model is the following: a man can somehow easily create a model smaller than his body, but very difficult to develop a model with significantly larger scale.

By now humankind has created a lot of different models, majority of them are relatively small towards a man. The new task before humankind is to create large, global models which could describe the processes in the surrounding world more or less accurately. As you see from above, this task is a big challenge.

To create global models we need various resources, such as finance, knowledge, wisdom. Wisdom should be understood as synergy of knowledge and resources, quintessence of philosophy. These are necessary steps to solve actual problems and challenges for humankind.

Reviewing deeper layer of world understanding basics, deeper than grounded by modern science, we could see that Christianity was the basis of European’s world understanding. Christianity has several branches, but despite that it has more integral world view than the world view of the modern science. People had more integral world picture when Christianity was the basis of world view.

Science will not be able to explain modern world integrally despite all attempts. At least science in its current condition cannot. Models which it uses to describe the world are changing very quickly. And new models become outdated quickly as well. While science does not get capability to describe the world in its completeness, considering everything that exists in it, there will be no integral world picture in science.

It leads to idea of the link between science and religion at the new level. So A. Einstein said [2]: «…there is no conflict between science and religion… Science is invalid without religion, religion is blind without science.»

By now very many mistakes were done in different fields of human activity. Many of them put the well-being of humankind under question. Binding Christian approach with modern science, one can say that if humankind wants to exist on Earth without constant worsening of life conditions, ecological, first of all, it is necessary to revise current methods and principles of life formation find these mistakes and deviations in the development which destroy humankind and the planet.

Noocosmology is the answer to arising dangerous problems, connected with the development of modern civilization. It is a new science, which incorporated scientific and spiritual knowledge of the past and is actively growing in future.

To resolve modern inconsistencies, Noocosmology is working on the question of life origin on Earth and in the Universe.

Question of life expansion in the Universe is directly related to the question of its origin. Now the governing theory of life origin from non-living substance has many inconsistencies in it. Roland Glaser, Professor of Berlin University, points on inconsistency linked to accidental origin of life in the Universe. «Even if you imagine the whole ocean of organic molecules, e.g. nucleic acids, it is still unclear how the first protein arrived, the first molecule capable to reproduce. There is still a huge white spot on the map of our. Certainly some important laws are not known yet, because constructing of the «intellectual» consequence of nucleic acids is hardly just an accident. If so life would be highly improbable event [3.]»

Arrival of well-ordered genetic structure has near to zero probability. Famous scientist Mikhail V. Wolkenstein has drawn our attention to it: «it is not possible to imagine accidental self-organization of chaos and origin of irreversible evolution [4].»

The logic of biological knowledge together with the physical laws, inevitably lead human thought towards acceptance of not only self-organization, but existence of rationality in the general scheme of the entire world.

These are the world view conclusions which follow from the logic of science development:

a) life and intellect are integral eternal attributes of cosmic being;

b) substance development flows towards discrete forms of life and intellect; intellect and life on Earth are one of manifestations;

c) life and intellect on Earth are the basis for their search in the higher form.

These world view conclusions have specific value for the development of Noocosmology, for the formation of scientific picture of the world in the XXIst century. And we have to consider not only theoretical, but also practical value, as soon as humankind is actively stealing initiative from the instinctive creativity of the Nature, and assigns teleological conscious character to evolution. «Burst» of scientific thought in the XXth century was prepared by all the past of biosphere and will have increasing meaning in transformation of the surrounding world. Biosphere inevitably steps into the sphere of intellect [5].

Forming the learning of biosphere Vladimir I. Vernadsky has shown that the field of active life, including lower part of atmosphere — hydrosphere, and upper part of lithosphere creates integral dynamic system, revealing itself as geochemical factor of planetary importance and scale. Rational human being is the result of historically long development of biosphere, highest manifestation of its potency, most fruitful trend of its change. With intellect arrival there starts creative conscious transformation of biosphere by itself, preparation of the ways to transition towards the next, higher stage of development — Noosphere [6].

In order intellect prevails in the development of life on Earth, in order to prevent self-destruction of the humankind, but to allow it grow further, I am calling for all people who are interested and have scientific habit of thought to join efforts for creation and progress of the new science — Noocosmology.

February, 05th, 2014

Bibliography

  1. Boris G. Yudin Some Features of Research Activity in the Society of Knowledge, 2014
  2. Abraham Pais Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (Oxford University Press, 1982)
  3. Roland Glaser Biologie Einmal Anders, 1974
  4. Mikhail V. Wolkenstein Biophysics, Moscow, 1988
  5. Vladimir I. Vernadsky Scientific Thought as Planetary Phenomenon, Moscow, 1991
  6. Vladimir I. Vernadsky Essays on Geochemistry & the Biosphere, tr. Olga Barash, Santa Fe, NM, Synergetic Press, ISBN 0-907791-36-0, 2006

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