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10 Scientific Dogmas That Need to Be Reevaluated


Science functions through observation and questioning, even of itself.

For science, if something exists it can be measured —if it cannot be measured, well, then it doesn’t exist. In a simplistic and slightly out of context metaphor, this is equivalent to saying that for the blind the world doesn’t exist because they cannot see it. What science has failed to question about itself are the very conditions in which the phenomena of the universe are observed, thus perpetuating its survival as an economic and political practice, but paradoxically, not scientific.

The materialist paradigm —the standard which science relies on to produce answers, in our days and for the past two-hundred years— is still unable to account for the simplest human experience: what is our consciousness? Are our dreams and feelings merely chemicals flowing through an organic computer? And if this were the case, why is it that feelings cannot be produced in a lab test tube?

Thinking and measuring the universe from constants makes work much simpler; however, the constants in science vary.  Consider, for example, the force of gravity, an empirical constant that is hard to measure; a number that “measures” the force that attracts or repels two bodies. This number is extracted from the average of several measurements made around the world. The problem is that in recent years, great “G” has had considerable variations as great as 1.3%.

With current standards there appears to be no need to measure gravity again or to develop instruments that allow for a more accurate measurement and therefore learn, for example, if events like the relationship of a planet to other celestial bodies affect it, or the rotation movement itself. No: gravity is a constant; it doesn’t matter if it varies.  This scientific behavior resembles more a belief system —faith, if you will, thus making science a dogma of faith— that the universe was born from the Big Bang, once and forever, with all of its laws ready to be used.  Pret-à-porter universes.

Minds like that of Carl Sagan could easily explain, through scientific dissemination, how a being from two dimensions (in a hypothetical world) could not perceive a three dimensional world. Is it possible that in our actual dimension we cannot even suppose that the universe as we know it is not given at once and forever but, like all living creatures, that it evolves over time?

Researchers like Doctor Rupert Sheldrake, who are practically considered heretics because they have proposed theories that defy not science as such, but because they ask science to be truly scientific, meaning, it should question itself regarding the certainty of their own postulates and instruments. In his book Science Set Free, Sheldrake explores 10 dogmas that should be reconsidered.

  1.  Nature is mechanic: all the creatures and systems of nature are robots made to follow a given genetic program.
  2.  Matter unconscious: Plants, stars, animals and elements are material things that are and cannot have a consciousness of themselves.
  3.  The laws of nature are fixed: At the moment of the Big Bang all the necessary constants until the end of time were established. The habits of nature do not evolve.
  4.  The amount of nature and energy in the universe is always the same.
  5.  Nature has no purpose: there is no design in nature in terms of intention and the process of evolution is mechanic.
  6.  Biologic Heritage: The plans to produce a living being are composed within the physical matter lodged in their genes.
  7.  Memory is kept in the brain as material prints: memory is made of proteins and nerve endings organized as a drawer within itself.
  8.  Mind is in the head: The mind has a physical connection with the head and the brain, relegating intellectual subordination on the rest of the body.
  9.  Phenomena like telepathy are impossible: thoughts have no effect in the world because of number 8 on the list (The mind is in the head).
  10.  Only mechanical medicine works: It is merely by chance or placebo effects that traditional healing practices or natural remedies have any effect on people’s health.

Is it not possible, let’s say hypothetically speaking, that the version of the universe we currently have is only what our instruments, and especially our imagination allows us to understand? If science cannot, in its current state, account for consciousness phenomena as commonplace as memory, synchronicity, or even near death experiences or spontaneous epiphanies, is it not its responsibility, in terms of science, to reevaluate its own principles?

Fortunately, science is not a mobile entity that develops on its own: it is made daily by real men and women, with personal experiences and unique possibilities that have the capacity to decide on their own if the dogmatic conventions within their respective disciplines are truly capable of teaching us something about the mystery and the amazement of the universe. Including a sense of awe in the scientific process will allow our understanding of the universe to become more than a discourse; on which, actually, appears to be too afraid of being a science: a science that urgently needs some passion.

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