I've pointed out how humanity sorted out and oriented itself to be able to see past first appearances and all the chaos that nature presents itself, in physics and astronomy and even some of mathematics. One can do likewise in understanding life.As usuall, when learning how Humanity has figured out the underlying relations from our current perspective, we find that people did so from those 'current perspective' biases. I mean we start out with what we know. James Burke and Jacob Bronowski(in his books) shows how we evolved our understanding of life and Humanity from our previous ignorant and conditioned beliefs.James Burke in the episode above(the day the universe changed episode/chapter 8) mostly focuses on the path towards Darwinian 'natural selection.'
James Burke does get into the whole microbes thing that couldn't happen without the physics of optics done by Galielo, Newton and many others including experimentalists. I just want to stress how humanity makes a finite cut in the infinit reality of the universe, and this is reflected in the sciences of biology.In the eighteen hundreds, chemistry and electricity dominated the scientific concerns. But, these sciences were to help out the biological sciences just like optics did. We learned things like the role of oxygen in life. Ultimately, we came to see life as a chemical machine.Scientists also wondered about sex; they came to think of genetics because of it; but, because we have to figure it out from our current perspective, we had a hard time figuring out what this sex/genetics things was. Scientists figured out much of the chemistry of life; they learned about protiens and dna molecules. They guessed variously whether proteins or dna was the genetic molecules. Untill, they could figure out the science of both, they couldn't figure out which. Guesswork is not scientific. Ultimately, physics was to supply the tools needed to figure it out. They used x-ray crystalography and one of the first really star trekkish technologies of mankind(next to airplanes and even cars and radios), electron microscopes.Electron microscopes were first made in Nazy Germany. Nazy Germany also had a bit of a lead on rocketry and swept back wings for jet airplanes to fly close to the speed of sound and then beyond. This takes me to some points about Darwinian "Natural Selection" and Nazy Germany.People select people to mate; this has been done since multi-cellular life started. So, selecting who you want to be with is not the issue.
Let me get back a little bit. I've pointed out before that life and biologic evolution is a bigger more general phenomenon than just natural selection. I've pointed out some things about mathematics; this doesn't mean that those things embody everything about mathematics; mathematics is a multi-aspect phenomenon and so is life. Natural selection is more of a fact of nature than a theory. Scientists have tried to used natural selection as a theory; but, that has proven to not be the total aspect of life.
I've tried to point out how humanity has grown up and solved its problems from its current perspective as Jacob Bronowski tries to do throughout his works. I've noted that both mythology and mathematical science are analogies. And so, we find time and time again that people state new phenomenon in terms of their previous finite thinking. People are born in a certain culture; they tend to take on that cultural ideas as true without questioning it. A person born in a christian country tends to take on that religion and frame everything in terms of that religion, even whether he should learn the universe or not. A person born in a predominant muslim country takes on that countries religion and the same for most people in some oriental country. Most people are incrowders.Well, during the dark ages, christian missionaries went throughout Europe and converted all the Germanic and other 'barbarian' tribes to christianity. The Vikings were actually a backlash against this. But, the Christians soon converted them as well.
And so, around the eighteen hundreds, the Germans were becoming scientific and took on the Darwinian ideas, they mixed them with their christian conditioning and well, they decided to idealize the state. I mean the Jews were considered "Jesus killers" from the time of the supposed life of Jesus because they were waiting for a messiah and this messiah didn't come; they said so; but, because of the Hellenistic desire for the sungod relgions, they said there had to be this Jesus Christ; so, they made sure there was. The result was that the Jews were to be Jesus killers. So, getting back to eighteen hundred Germany, they were conditioned to be christians, and now comes this natural selection science, they mixed the two, and wow, revelation, they must take out the Jews.
Now, the Jews were hated from time beginning long before the roman times because they were intolerant. They wer essentially terrorists out there in the levant. They said they were the 'chosen people' and everybody else must be washed away(see their flood story in their book of Genesis). So, they gave themselves their own blues. And, then came the fact that no messiah came as already mentioned. All this came to a head in Nazy Germany.The problem here is not that science tells us to perform artificial selection; the problem is that people do not understand rationalism and mathematics. They do not understand idealisation. They did not understand that the Jews of two thousand years after their beginnings are not those messianic jews. They don't understand that one must question assumptions and idealise the correct way. One must no what's relevant and what's not. The nazy Germans did not understand that they were conditioned to believe in Christianity; they did not understand that the fact of the Jews back then is history two thousand years ago and has no relevance to those two thousand years later. And, they practically cut their own heads off because of it. Because of their irrational thinking, they sent off all those intllectual jews to the rest of the world
If the Germans of the eighteen and nineteen hundreds understood rational thought, they would have understood that those historical things are history of a bygone time and times have changed. Anybody can push their family tree far back enough in time to find somebody in the family who has done something unspeakable. Back in Africa millions of years ago, our line commited genocide of other human like species. These are the famour nut-cracker hominids. We Homo Sapiens of the Homo Erectus who performed this did this. Should we stop the human species because of this? Of course not; we should stop irrationality.
I once again went to far and need to get back to the Nazy Germans.The Nazy Germans over-generalized did not idealize the right way. They did not idealize the fact that the Jews of the twentieth century are not the Jews of two thousand years ago. Because of this, they missed a great opportunity to spread rationalism. This was a different miss than what happened with the Greeks. The Germans were the fear group this time. They were actually a mixture; they mixed the vagueness game of the whole god social politics with natural selection. The Germans had started down the road of a good mathematical education; but, they were mixed up with the whole vagueness games of the supernatural religion. It seems to me that nobody has understood these things back then, and people today do not understand what happened.
----------------------------------------------------Generaly, when people think of high technology, they think of space exploration. Space has its place, but I want to reverse the historical order a little bit here.Generaly speaking, the advanced technology after the steam engine are associated with that steam engine - the automobile and aircraft. Then came radios and rockets. Still, I want to say what the biological sciences have brought about.Obviously, the biological sciences have brought about medical advances; but, the biological sciences will probably bring about the end of the industrial age. The biological sciences has influenced and shown the way towards what's called nanotechnology.Nanotechnology is basicaly nano-manufacturing and all the products of that nano-manufacturing. Nanomanufacturing is like a computer. Only instead of juggling information and printing it out as a picture, nanomanufacturing will juggle atoms and manufacture a products- whether something small that the eye can't see or something as big as a space colony(or even bigger).The evolution of the computer gives a hint of what the nanotech revolution will be like. As the computer has shrunk to the nanoscale, it has become ever faster and less expensive. Imagine much the same affect on all technologies. Nanomanufacturing can break Humanity free from it's current class society of workers and rulers. All of humanity could live for free. Unfortunately, most people including the nanotechnologists don't want everyone to have their own nanomanufacturing. They want to bind everybody up here on earth forever. I think this is a mistake. I argue we're heading for "Logan's run."