Mechanistic Science

As a manager in two life science companies, I am the first to admit that I did not receive a scientific education during my schooling. In fact, much of what I’ve learned has come from on-the-job experience: my interactions with medical, research and quality professionals who have dedicated their lives to the science of healing and self-education whenever the need arose in relation to challenges or opportunities we have faced over the years.

As a political science major, the hard sciences always intrigued me. Their constants, laws and conclusions always seemed so much more rigorous than the general principles we used while examining political systems, political behavior and culture. The more I learn about the hard sciences, however, the less sure I am of my initial assessment.

It’s not the their methods are flawed from what I can tell; their logic is brilliant. The scientific method is a beautiful thing, really, and the process of scientific enquiry is one of the most rigorous of any human intellectual activity. The problem, I think, is more one of attitude and underlying assumptions than of technique.

Modern science, for instance, assumes the world is primarily mechanistic. Men of science have strived since the Renaissance to determine the underlying mechanisms of all things, animate and inanimate, while dismissing the notion that there could be more to creation than meets the eye (or the electron microscope).

Traditional botanical medicine, as example, has long provided useful remedies to a wide variety of imbalances in the human body and mind. Modern science is in the process of trying to identify the individual components which are the “active” ingredients which produce an obvious effect on the biochemistry of he body, as is done in pharmaceutical preparations. My fear is that the mechanistic thinking will likely cause the scientists who discover part of the answer to assume that that is all there is to it. Much is lost on this basis.

3 thoughts on “Mechanistic Science

  1. Steve V

    Yes a wholistic perspective is vital for an ever expanding awareness to be applied to the field of healing as well as any other field. It is also interesting to consider how a wholistic perspective can be applied to the field of political science. Your posts spark life curiosity!


  2. This same mistake is often made in many other walks of life….assuming that the form is all there is to something, completely missing the invisible, subtle, energetic, qualities.
    Those tangible qualities can only be known as heart and mind are attuned to perceive, which poses the challenge to those who are so attuned, as they seek to have another understand…It takes a great deal of patience, forgiveness, and a unshakeable resolve, to bring them to the point, of getting the point.
    I heard this once described as “Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned”
    Using the mind to perceive something that was meant to be perceived with the wholeness of ones being, is where the point is missed, and much is lost….or forgotten, avoided, or completely ignored.
    Thanks for this potent reminder, I wouldn’t want to miss the point.


  3. Coco

    In an effort to subdue the Earth we’ve seemed to overlook the fact that we are not the last word. There are some things we might declare as complete when they are barely at their inception or their active ingredient may be imponderable to the human condition. A good dose of humility is perhaps a good general active ingredient.


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