1. ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION
AND ITS RESOLUTION
WTM FAQ 1.10 Why does mechanistic science ignore this treatise? / Does this treatise present new data, is it testable; in fact is it science at all? / Is this a ‘non-falsifiable’, circular argument?
To summarise the contents of this FAQ, as Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith explains in FREEDOM (in chapter 2:4 ‘How has science coped with the issue of the human condition’, and chapter 2:12 ‘While denial has been necessary, you can’t find the truth with lies’), human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic, reductionist, deductive science is an extremely limited and compromised form of science. As Templeton Prize-winning biologist Charles Birch, who was Jeremy’s professor of biology at Sydney University, said, ‘[mechanistic] science can’t deal with subjectivity [the issue of our psychologically distressed condition]…what we were all taught in universities is pretty much a dead end’ and ‘Biology has not made any real advance since Darwin’. Indeed, mechanistic science is now so farcically dishonest and discredited in the public’s mind that many people have lost interest in it to the point of dismissing it as of no real use to us in terms of being able to understand and manage our behaviour! Freedom Essay/Video 14 makes this discreditation very clear.
Thankfully mechanistic science can now be replaced by human-condition-confronting-and-solving, truthful, holistic, inductive science—but of course the established, entrenched, traditional mechanistic scientific paradigm resists this massive paradigm shift. It does this by ignoring the new synthesis, as well as using such outrageously dishonest and irresponsible claims as ‘the new synthesis presents no new data’, is an ‘untestable’ and ‘non-falsifiable’ hypothesis, and is therefore not even science! As is explained in the presentations below, these accusations are transparently false and nothing more than the dying tremors of an old, extremely flawed form of dishonest science that has lived way past its used by date and is rapidly taking humanity to extinction!
Yes, it really is at the 11th hour that the often highly intellectualised, sophisticated-in-the-art-of-denial, pretentious, makes-it-seem-like-unreachable-knowledge-for-the-average-person, scientific presentations from the ivory towers of human-condition-avoiding academia are at last replaced by truthful, sensible, fully accountable, relatively simple and straightforward, soul-ualised not intellect-ualised scientific presentations, which is what FREEDOM provides for the human race.
Why does mechanistic science ignore this treatise?
As Jeremy Griffith explains in chapter 2:12 of FREEDOM, science’s human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic, reductionist approach has meant that science, as it has been practised, has completely lost its way in terms of providing us humans with the insights about our behaviour we now so desperately need.
The Templeton Prize-winning physicist Paul Davies was recognising this when he said that ‘For 300 years science has been dominated by extremely mechanistic thinking. According to this [whole-view-evading, human-condition-psychosis-avoiding, mechanisms-only-focused] view of the world all physical systems are regarded as basically machines…I have little doubt that much of the alienation and demoralisation that people feel in our so-called scientific age stems from the bleak sterility of mechanistic thought’ (‘Living in a non-material world—the new scientific consciousness’, The Australian, 9 Oct. 1991). Biologist Charles Birch, who, as mentioned above, was also a Templeton Prize-winner, made a similar point when he said ‘[mechanistic] science can’t deal with subjectivity [the issue of our psychologically distressed condition]…what we were all taught in universities is pretty much a dead end’ (from recording of Birch’s 1993 World Transformation Movement Open Day address). He also perceived the stultifying effects of dishonest, human-condition-avoiding, denial-based, mechanistic thinking when he said, ‘Biology has not made any real advance since Darwin’ (in recorded conversation with the author, 20 Mar. 1987), and, some 10 years later, that ‘the traditional framework of thinking in science is not adequate for solving the really hard problems’ (Ockham’s Razor, ABC Radio National, 16 Apr. 1997), with the ‘hard[est] problem’ of all for truth-avoiding thinking to solve being the all-important issue of our psychologically distressed human condition.
As is explained in chapter 2:4 of FREEDOM, science has necessarily been ‘reductionist’ and ‘mechanistic’. It has avoided the overarching whole view of life that required having to confront the issue of the human condition and instead reduced its focus to only looking down at the details of the mechanisms of the workings of our world. This was done in the hope that understanding of those mechanisms would eventually make it possible for someone who had sufficiently escaped encountering all the immense upset in the world during their infancy and childhood to not have to live in denial of all the truth about the corrupted state of the human condition, and who could therefore think truthfully about the human condition and be able to synthesise the explanation of that condition from those hard-won insights found by mechanistic science—at which point there would no longer be any need for humanity to live in a dark and horrible state of alienated mechanistic, reductionist denial of any truths that brought the issue of our corrupted human condition into focus, which is actually most truths.
However, the very real danger inherent in this mechanistic, reductionist, resigned-to-living-in-fearful-denial-of-the-human-condition, fundamentally dishonest approach is that it could become so entrenched that those practising it could resist the human-condition-confronting, truthful explanation of the human condition when it was finally found and continue to persevere with the dishonest strategy to the point of taking humanity to terminal alienation and extinction—even though facilitating the arrival of the full truth about humans has been science’s great objective and fundamental responsibility, and the only means by which the human race can be liberated from its condition, and thus transformed.
The critical question then is, will there be enough integrity, courage and vision amongst scientists for this world-saving understanding to receive the support it now needs to survive? And despite support from some very eminent scientists like Professor Harry Prosen, a former President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (for more scientific support, see FAQ 1.7), the current situation is that the scientific community is failing to demonstrate the integrity, courage and vision necessary to guarantee this understanding survives.
Does this treatise present new data, is it testable; in fact is it science at all?
As is described in Chapter 6:12 of FREEDOM, the main method of rejecting the explanation of the human condition has been to simply ignore it, and—beyond that—to make the most outrageously dishonest and irresponsible claims that the synthesis presents no new data, is an untestable hypothesis, and is therefore not even science! The same ridiculous accusation was used against Charles Darwin’s Natural Selection synthesis. For instance, Bishop Wilberforce, the opponent of natural selection in the great debate about Darwin’s theory at Oxford in 1860, said it was a ‘theory which cannot be demonstrated to be actually impossible’ (Wilberforce’s review of Origin of Species in Quarterly Review, 1860, p.249), while the geologist and bishop Adam Sedgwick said it was ‘not a proposition evolved out of the facts’ (‘Objections to Mr Darwin’s Theory of the Origin of Species’, The Spectator, 7 Apr. 1860) and that it was ‘based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved’ (Letter from Sedgwick to Darwin, 24 Dec. 1859; The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, ed. John van Wyhe, 2002). The palaeontologist Louis Agassiz similarly complained that ‘absolutely no facts…can be referred to as proving evolution’ (William Penman Lyon, Homo versus Darwin: A judicial examination of statements recently published by Mr Darwin regarding ‘The Descent of Man’, 1872, p.140). Even relatively recently, the philosopher Karl Popper commented, before later changing his mind, that ‘Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory’ (Unended Quest, 1976, p.168). However, Professor Scott Churchill, a former Chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Dallas, has pointed out that ‘Griffith’s ideas have been criticized for not presenting the field of science with “new data” and “testable hypotheses.” But such a complaint is disingenuous since evolutionary processes are not subjectable to the same kind of “hypothesis testing” that one finds in the other sciences. An hypothesis is a “smaller, more compact thesis” that is “deduced” from a larger idea or thesis in such a way that one can test that larger idea piece by piece. Whereas, the kind of synthesis offered in Griffith’s book is presented both conceptually and metaphorically with an aim to tie together existing data, while correcting and expanding upon the more limited existing interpretations of those data…Such a perspective comes to us not as a simple opinion of one man, but rather as an inductive conclusion drawn from sifting through volumes of data representing what scientists have discovered’ (Review of FREEDOM submitted to New York Magazine, 26 Sep. 2014). And in his Introduction to FREEDOM, Professor Prosen similarly points out that ‘Jeremy, like Darwin did with his theory of natural selection, puts forward a wide-ranging, induction-derived synthesis, a “grand narrative explanation” for behavior—which, incidentally, very wrongly led to both Darwin’s and Jeremy’s work being criticized by some for not presenting “new data” and a “testable hypothesis”; even for “not being science at all”!’
At this point it should be explained why it is being so strongly asserted that Jeremy’s explanation of the human condition is the real explanation of the human condition. It may at first seem unscientific to say unequivocally that this is the understanding of the human condition that humanity has so tirelessly sought, and that actually, what is being put forward at this stage is no more than a hypothesis. For a hypothesis to become accepted as true the scientific method dictates that it must first be tested—and in the case of a hypothesis about the human condition the ultimate test is how accountable it is of our own lives. The greatest of all physicists, Albert Einstein, once said that ‘truth is what stands the test of experience’ (Out of My Later Years, 1950). And so, fantastic a claim as it may seem, what is being presented here is the long-sought-after, desperately needed, psychosis-addressing-and-resolving, human race-transforming explanation of the human condition and the reason you will know this is true is because once you understand the explanation and begin to apply it, you will discover it is so able to make sense of human behaviour it makes it transparent. This transparency of ourselves and our world—for example, the exposure of all our falseness—that understanding of the human condition brings is the ultimate ‘test of experience’ that confirms that what Jeremy has presented is the ‘truth’ about our human condition. In this particular scientific study—the biological analysis of the human condition—we are the subjects, which means we can experience, feel and know the truthfulness or otherwise of the explanations being put forward.
So rather than not even being science at all, Jeremy’s treatise on the human condition could hardly be more impressive science, especially since it solves the holy grail of science of the issue of the human condition! This further review from Professor Churchill acknowledges just some of the brilliance of Jeremy’s work, ‘I have recommended his [Griffith’s] more recent work to my students precisely for his razor-sharp clarifications of positions of contemporary authors like Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, and Robert Wright. Griffith manages to summarize book-length expositions of these oftentimes obtuse and varying perspectives on human evolution with clarity and brilliance’ (Expert Report, 2007). It is actually dishonest mechanistic science that is now not really science at all, with its ‘oftentimes obtuse and varying perspectives on human evolution’ of mechanistic science now replaced by Jeremy’s human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding, ‘razor-sharp clarifications’ of the ‘varying perspectives on human evolution’!
Is the explanation of the human condition a ‘non-falsifiable’, circular argument?
People have accused Jeremy Griffith’s explanation of the human condition of being ‘circular’ or ‘non-falsifiable’—that if you oppose this information you are said to be suffering from denial, leaving you no way to disprove or falsify the explanation being put forward.
The first point to consider is that Jeremy did not create the dilemma of the human condition that produced alienation in humans and this conundrum. It is not a ploy to defeat criticism as some have implied.
Secondly, and more importantly, the problem only exists at the superficial level because the ideas being put forward are not untestable hypotheses that must be accepted on blind faith—they can be tested as true or otherwise. In fact, as mentioned above, because these explanations relate to our human behaviour we can experience the truthfulness of them; indeed we can experience their truthfulness to the extent that the explanations make our behaviour transparent!
The existence of denial in the human mind is a recognised and accepted coping mechanism that humans use to ward against unbearable subject matter. And the existence of denial of the historically unbearable issue of the human condition can easily be established by scientific investigation. Indeed, to look at the reality of its existence we only have to look at the occurrence of the ‘deaf effect’ that this denial produces, which is our inability to take in or ‘hear’ discussion of the human condition (see WTM FAQ 1.16). As Jeremy explains in THE Interview and the first four Videos/Freedom Essays on our homepage, while we didn’t have the biological understandings of how genes and nerves work we couldn’t explain why we had corrupted our species’ original state of innocent togetherness, and as such we had absolutely no choice but to live in denial of our corrupted condition, our shameful ‘fall from grace’. As the great philosopher Plato described it, we had to hide deep in a ‘cave’ of darkness. So clearly when we do finally find the redeeming biological explanation of our corrupted condition, which Jeremy presents, we are going to have to go through a process of shock at having all the truth about ourselves revealed; we are going to be resistant to hearing the truth, we are going to suffer from ‘the deaf effect’. It just makes sense that that would happen. Indeed, Plato predicted that ‘deafness’ would be so great we initially wouldn’t be able to hear ‘a single one of the things we were now told were real’. So the human condition exists, and the ‘deaf effect’ denial of it is a reality; again, Jeremy didn’t invent that denial as a way of defeating any arguments against what he is saying, it’s just a fact.
Significantly, in describing how when the cave prisoner first ‘emerged into the light…he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real’, Plato went on to say, ‘Certainly not at first. Because he would need to grow accustomed to the light [of the understanding] before he could see things in the world outside the cave’. Yes, our historic denial of the human condition can be overcome with patient reading and watching of the information presented. (See Video/Freedom Essay 11 for more on Plato’s cave allegory, the ‘deaf effect’ and how to overcome it.)
Science, being practised by insecure, human-condition-afraid humans, had to go about the search for the explanation of the human condition in a denial-complying, mechanistic way, avoiding any confronting truth about the human condition, but that was always only the first stage of science’s quest for understanding of the human condition. It always had to be remembered that at some point the second stage had to take place, where someone secure enough in self could confront the human condition and synthesise the explanation of it from those hard-won insights into the mechanisms of the workings of our world that its practitioners had found. Science had to remain open to the possibility that the human-condition-confronting truthful explanation of the human condition would one day be found. It has been said that denials fight back with a vengeance when faced with annihilation, and that has certainly been the case with the mechanistic paradigm, but science holds the ultimate responsibility to consider, not ignore, or worse, falsely dismiss and even persecute, well-reasoned and evidenced scientific analysis of the human condition, so to fail in that mandate has been obscenely irresponsible. The time for this truthful, holistic thinking has arrived. As Jeremy says in THE Interview, ‘the scientific community definitely, definitely needs to get its act together and support this breakthrough!’
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See FAQ 1.20: What scientific evidence is there for the ‘instinct vs intellect’ explanation of the human condition? Also read chapter 2 of FREEDOM about ‘The threat of Terminal Alienation from Science’s Entrenched Denial of the Human Condition’, and about how farcical science has become in Part 4:12K of Freedom Expanded: Book 1.