One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nature does not discriminate

This knol is 2nd part of the "Pure rationalism is destined to failure"

I guess, almost all know something about Dinosaurs, some know about Trilobites and few know about Archaeopteris trees. These were majestic and hegemonic organisms of their environments and  have left impressive imprints of their existence in the rocks records but went extinct. There could be disagreements on the causes of their extinction but no one can disagree that, they no more exist. Nature has laws and do not discriminate no matter how majestic, beautiful and great is a creature. When organs worn out, Nature has one solution for all and that is death either they are great Scientist like Einstein, Newton or Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) , great Philosophers like Socrates, Plato or Mulla Sadra, great Kings like Cyrus, Alexander or Genghis Khan, great Prophets like Abraham (P.B.U.H), Moses (P.B.U.H) or Muhammad (P.B.U.H) or just an ordinary person. My purpose, from bringing the names of the few extinct  organisms and the names of  few historical figures are to stress that yes, men and man-made systems have impacted greatly on their environments but so are the creature before them and at the end, it is the nature that decides, which one has to continue and which one has to go into fossil records. 

"Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution",  Theodosius Dobzhansky... I agree with Dobzhansky except that, the traditional definitions of the evolution by Darwin and Modern evolutionary synthesis are reductionist and give a sense that evolution is an alien system (Natural Selections keep house in order) that does not follow general laws . So, we need an extensional definition to make them compatible with other systems. In the the introduction of his book,'Terrestrial Paleoecology and Global Change'1Krassilove writes, 

"Evolution of functional systems is governed by general system laws, which, for closed systems, are the classical thermodynamic laws. Closed systems evolve in the direction of a maximal entropy production. Conversely, an open system minimizes its entropy production by drawing matter and energy from external sources and by exporting wastes. Each open system thus affects the neighboring systems and is in turn affected by them. Any talk of biotic evolution going on independently of any environmental change is therefore meaningless."

As a rational creature, all human systems have their rationales but it appears that almost all of them have a common fate. Initially, when they arise, they are open systems and hence revolutionary to previous closed systems but once they grow to become dominant, they slowly grow xenophobic and turn into closed systems. If we look to the movements that began among weak and ordinary people and spread so rapidly  due to their revolutionary appeals that, we can confidently categorize them as punctuated equilibrium  in universal  human culture. I count Christianity, Islam, Mongolian campaigns and Western modernity in this category. It would be a repetition but again just to clear my point; when Christianity appeared, it was revolutionary to both earlier religious systems and to secular Roman empire. Because it was a liberating force to masses, it spread so fast that Roman emperors could not ignore it and adapted it to embed into power structure of Roman empire. Ruling classes have their own mechanisms; they need identity more than  revolutionary forces. Islam was also appeared as a revolutionary movement with promises of equality to oppressed masses and it spread so rapidly that almost ran over Persian and Byzantine empires. Soon the caliphates adapted the power structures of Persian and Byzantine empires and identity replaced the teachings.  Although, Mongols came out as a secular force just to conquer other nations but their openness  and eagerness to learn and respect for learning was in itself a revolutionary attitude that broke the chains of identities for a while and let the learning of Middle East, Central Asia, Far East and West interact with each other. South Asia, Central Asia and Europe were the beneficiaries of these conquests. As the Mongols didn't have a cultural movements of their own, these fusion couldn't evolve further. The Scientific and cultural movements of the modern West was however, the first revolutionary movement that were based on public participation and it really swept across the cultures. It is an open system and hence have a liberating appeal to masses. Again, there is no exception to natural laws as it is evident from the fate of communism. Communism was part of modern western scientific and cultural movement. It rose as a popular movement with a revolutionary ideology but it also couldn't survive once it reduced to a confrontational and reactionary force. Currently, libertarianism is the only force that still have public appeal and spreading but the economic meltdown of US and Europe and hegemonic attitudes are revealing some big cracks in it. These cracks are serious because once people lose hope in a system and they do not have alternatives, they turn into their roots and create their own version of fascist movements. I think, it is better that I define, what I mean by fascism to reduce the risk of confusion. I recognize a fascist movement by its three basic characteristics; xenophobia, fundamentalism and supremacist appeals. I think, there can't be clash of civilizations without spread of fascism. Unfortunately, due to poverty, ill education systems and failure to catch with rest of world, Islamic world was hopeless and Salafism as a religious fascist movement are spreading fast to turn most of Muslim countries into hell. Nationalistic fascism is also growing and I don't see these fires will soon extinguish without widespread destruction. I hope and pray that my judgments prove to be wrong, but all indicators appear to me, pointing to not a  promising future.

Again, it is quite rational to have a strong identity but it is equally rational to have respect for identity of others. It is only open systems that are able to take energy from outside, grow and take waste out of system. When the doors are shut and a system becomes a closed one, it die out in its poisonous accumulating wastes. Evolution is always at work and closed systems that lose the evolvability go extinct and nature does not discriminate. 

End of Part 2


1. Krassilov, V.A, 2003. Terrestrial Paleoecology. 1st ed. Sofia, Moscow: pensoft publishers. p. xiii.

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