compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
At first glance, terms like "perspective" - "scenarios" - "models" -
"creative possibilities" appear to signal a newfound awareness by
humanity of its own limitations, of its inability ever to grasp or
comprehend the truths of the universe. NOT SO. It is not humility
that animates the new cosmological jargon but bravado. When we
take a closer look, the new vocabulary suddenly takes on an entirely
new appearance, at once menacing and intoxicating. Perspectives,
universe operates by ironclad truths because it no longer feels the
need to be constrained by such fetters. Nature is being made anew,
this time by human being.
Jeremy Rifkin - Foreword to Turbulent MIRROR
In that very same foreword John Briggs and David Peat pose the question ...
Could it be an attitude like the one geneticist Barbara McClintock has taken
towards her work? "Basically," McClintock says, "every thing is one. There
is no way you draw a line between things. What we [normally] do is to
make these subdivisions, but they're NOT REAL." Though McClintock
arrived at this sense of oneness by focusing on parts (in particular on the
chromosome) with an almost reductionist fervour, her approach is NOT
reductionist or "objective" in the traditional sense. "I found that the more
I worked with them the bigger and bigger [the chromosomes] got, and
when I was really working with them I wasn't outside, I was down
there. I was part of the system." Like a Taoist sage, perhaps like a Taoist
Yellow Emperor, McClintock's attitude is ironic: Both reductionist and
holist, she strives to get to the bottom of things which she is aware have
no bottom. In her sense of the whole, which she calls "a feeling for the
"access to the profound connectivity of all biological forms - of the
cell, of the organism, of the ecosystem. The flip side of the coin is her
conviction that, without awareness of the oneness of things, science
can only give us nature in pieces; more often it gives us only pieces
of nature. In McClintock's view, too restricted a reliance on scientific
methodology invariably leads us into difficulty. 'We've been spoiling the
environment just dreadfully and thinking we were fine, because we were
using the techniques of science. Then it turns into technology, and it's
slapping us back because we didn't think it through. We were making
assumptions we had no right to make. From the point of view of how
the whole thing actually worked, we know how part of it worked ...
We didn't even inquire, didn't even see how the rest was going on.
All these other things were happening and we didn't see it.' "
McClintock has evidently entered the turbulent mirror into a universe that is vaster, more complex, more fluid, less secure, and in a sense, more frightening that the one that has been portrayed by reductionist science. But in another sense, she seems to know that the turbulent universe is none of these things; it's a friendly place because we are all in it together.
demonstrate that genes are responsible for turning physical characteristics on and off.
She developed theories to explain the suppression and expression of genetic information
from one generation of maize plants to the next. Due to skepticism of her research and
its implications, she stopped publishing her data in 1953... MORES THE PITTY
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