6. Science & Mind

direct mini-link to this page: http://bit.ly/ScientificModel


Full recording available to

students of the Academy

Module 1 Class 6

What are 'Models' & why are they so important for Permaculture Designers?  

In this class we study the basic nature of the Scientific Method & it's problems, taking as an example of our difficulties in changing paradigms a rEvolutionary model of the human mind. 

We tend to think we are so much smarter than people in the past (in the Middle Ages, in the 'Caveman Times', etc.) ... but in demonstrable ways we are just as blinded by our current paradigm & vast set of prejudices as any generation or era in history ever was.

What is different about our era is, perhaps, that more of us are getting better at thinking about thinking (increasing our consciousness) as we approach the equivalent of breaking the equivalent of a 'sound barrier' of thought: second level in the spiral dynamics model.

A better understanding of what the scientific method is actually about (rather than the common prejudices based on centuries of mis-use of science for exploitation), is quite critical to this happening.

click to enlarge

Apparently we only ever need 10% of the population to reach a new level in mind, for those individuals (who usually end up in leadership or otherwise influential positions) to change the laws & rules of the game for everyone in a society.    And the next level is the Yellow or Integrating meme, first in the second tier.   And also the Permaculture meme: where permaculture, by definition originates from although it has never quite been activated or been implemented at that level on a significant scale (unless we count the Transition movement, which is an integral design, but not necessarily populated by integrals at present: still very few of those minds about, today) .    

But we are getting there, and of course we're hoping (& expect) that this Integral Permaculture course & free e-book will help accelerate that natural succession.   

We all of course have 20:20 vision when looking to the past, but that's only in theory: if we don't look properly our vision potential actually doesn't help much, and we can stay as ignorant or blind as ever.    And it is very important to look to the past for lessons, even as we remember it is very unlikely to be anything like the future - but the actual patterns (since humans are, always, humans) can tend to repeat. 

So in this class, since we talk so much about 'changing paradigms' these days, we start by looking at what exactly might have happened during a well-known paradigm change we have already (as humanity) lived through. 

When a Copernicus proposed the heliocentric model ... ¿what might have speeded up the uptake of the new view?   What exactly was getting in the way?

& then we present another (modern) model which is very needed by us today, in fact possibly more than ever (the RC model of the mind, which explains in a very elegant way why we are, often, so irrational - amongst other critical & strange things humans do)

The RC model is currently ignored to an impressive degree (after a spate of attacks during the 90s) & in fact does have all the ingredients to be a paradigm-changing 'discovery', in much the same way as the Copernican model was.

In the following Evolutionary Ecology article (one of the very few benign references to it), it is referred in the section "Emotional Discharge: The Overlooked Adaptation"

Article: Facets of Human Nature

The goal is to find out what human nature consists of in order to determine what is good for humans and hence what would constitute a fulfilling life. This chapter looks at human nature from an objective, scientific, third-person point of view, a point of view that any competent observer could adopt in order to confirm or disconfirm its assertions. First I compare humans to our closest genetic cousins, the great apes. Then I examine what we have learned from evolutionary psychology. There are certainly other quite useful perspectives one could take – anthropology comes to mind – but for now this what I have been able to produce.

From the Quran

(Quran means "the word of God" 17:35)

"You shall not accept any information, 
unless you verify it for yourself.
I have given you the hearing, 
the eyesight & the brain, 
and you are responsible 
for using them."

"Science is the belief 
in the ignorance of the experts" 

Interesting Links

Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:

  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement.
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas.
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism.
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.

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Joan Didion once observed that we tell ourselves stories in order to live.

Of all our stories, it is the scientific ones that most define us.  

Those stories create our perception of the universe & how it operates, & from this, we shape all our societal structures: our relationships with each other & our environment, our methods of doing business & educating our young, of organizing ourselves into towns & cities, of defining the borders of our countries & our planet.

Although we perceive science as an ultimate truth, science is finally just a story, told in installments.  

We learn about our world in a piecemeal fashion, a process of constant correction & revision.  

New chapters refine - & often supplant - the chapters that have come before.