Pannaturalism (was: probability-abiogenesis FAQ criticized)

zOz wissenschaftskritik at
Fri Jan 12 17:59:38 EST 2001

|   = Ken Cox
||  = Wolfgang G. in

||                                       You cannot take serious
|| panpsychism despite the fact that the most revolutionary and
|| important (by his influence on other scientists) founder of
|| modern science, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a panpsychist.
| Amount of modern science that originated with Kepler's
| panpsychist beliefs:  0

I'm sure that panpsychism was a guiding principle for many
important scientific breakthroughs which were only later
declared to be successes of pure materialism.

The main insight of panpsychism is the recognition that
plants and animals do not grow from dead matter but are
built up by invisible animated entities with the involvement
of perception and intelligence. In the meanwhile these
"invisible" entities building up macroscopic organisms have
even been detected (cells, sub-cellular particles and
enzymes), but in disagreement with common sense (i.e. simple
probability calculations) the extremely purposeful behaviour
of such entities is declared to derive from physical and
chemical laws alone.

The variant of panpsychism my evolution theory is based on
can be traced back at least to Nicolaus Cusanus. Here two
extracts from :

 ' Nicholas Of Cusa
 ' b. 1401, Kues, Trier
 ' d. Aug. 11, 1464, Todi, Papal States
 ' cardinal, mathematician, scholar, experimental scientist, and
 ' influential philosopher who stressed the incomplete nature of
 ' man's knowledge of God and of the universe.
 ' ...
 ' Among Cusa's other interests were diagnostic medicine
 ' and applied science. He emphasized knowledge through
 ' experimentation and anticipated the work of the astronomer
 ' Copernicus by discerning a movement in the universe that did
 ' not centre in the Earth, although the Earth contributed to that
 ' movement. Cusa's study of plant growth, from which he concluded
 ' that plants absorb nourishment from the air, was the first
 ' modern formal experiment in biology and the first proof that
 ' air has weight. Numerous other developments, including a map
 ' of Europe, can also be traced to Cusa. ...

Panpsychism certainly had a strong influence not only on
the evolution of philosophy (especially on idealism) but also
on psychology. In "De Natura, & Origine Mentis" and "De Origine,
& Natura Affectuum" of his main work "Ethica" Baruch Spinoza
(1632-1677) analizes the psychological makeup of humans in a
partially astonishingly modern way, especially stressing the
importance of associative links in the soul.

| Amount of modern science that originated from Kepler when he
| was not trying to apply his panpsychist beliefs: more than 0.

Quotations from 'Thematic origins of scientific thought' by Gerald
Holton, Harvard U.Press, 1973, p.76:

  "Kepler's first recognition is that forces between bodies are
  caused not by their relative positions or their geometrical
  arrangements, as was accepted by Aristotle, Ptolemy, and
  Copernicus, but by mechanical interactions between material
  objects. Already in the Mysterium Cosmographicum [1596] (Chap.
  17) he announced "Nullum punctum, nullum centrum grave est,"
  and he gave the example of the attraction between a magnet and
  a piece of iron. In William Gilbert's De Magnete (1600),
  published four years later, Kepler finds a careful explanation
  that the action of magnets seems to come from the pole points,
  but must be attributed to the parts of the body, not the points."

  "In the Introduction to the Astronomia Nova [1609], [...],
  Kepler is quite explicit: [...]

    'Gravitation consists in the mutual bodily striving among
    related bodies toward union or connection; (of this order is
    also the magnetic force).'"

(Further extracts can be found in
and in references of my previous post of this thread.)

I doubt that either Galilei (an advocate of epicycles who
ridiculed Kepler's invisible gravitational forces and his
essentially correct explanation of the tides) or Newton could
have detected universal gravitation based on their naive
materialism. The metaphysical assumption (of Newton) that
gravitation is mediated by material causes propagating at a
finite speed does not only completely spoil both Kepler's
and Newton's theories, but is further responsible for many
inconsistencies of modern physics.

Let us assume for the sake of my following fictitious
conversation between Keplerus and Coxus that Aristarchus of
Samos was the most revolutionary and important (by his influence
on other astronomers) founder of pre-Keplerian astronomy. (If
Aristarchus should have been the reincarnation of Pythagoras
of Samos, Socrates and Aristotle, then this assumption may
actually be likely).

Keplerus (in Latin):
   "You cannot take serious heliocentrism despite the fact
   that the most revolutionary and important (by his influence
   on other astronomers) founder of classical astronomy,
   Aristarchus of Samos, was a heliocentrist."
Coxus (in Latin):
   "Amount of modern science that originated with Aristarchus'
   heliocentrist beliefs: 0
   Amount of modern science that originated from Aristarchus
   when he was not trying to apply his heliocentrist beliefs:
   more than 0.

Wolfgang Gottfried G.

Life and evolution explained pannaturalistically*:

*pannaturalism = (pan)materialism + (pan)psychism = pantheism

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