Yes indeed, Life is Complicated. The complexity of Life involves the use of terms in everyday language without attaching specific meanings to the words used in daily conversation. To know and to understand Life, we need to have a Theory of Man who is proposing to investigate Life.
Who Am I? The Science of Man
It gives me pleasure to dedicate this blog post to the memory of Aristotle, the Father of Highest Science, First Philosophy, and Theology.
ARISTOTLE- born 384 BC and died 322 BC. His Metaphysics brings about the convergence of Philosophy, Religion, and Science.
Aristotle surveyes the whole field of human knowledge as it was known in his day. He was at the Athenian Academy of Plato for 20 years. In 335 BC, he opened the Lyceum in Athens, a Center for speculation and research in every department of human inquiry. He became an authority for all philosophers, especially in Logic and in Natural Sciences. Logic, the theory of formal truth and validity originated in reflections on the practice of Dialectic introduced by Plato. For scientific knowledge, we need to know the governing principles of a subject and deduction from these principles provides not only the knowledge that something is true but also the reason as to why it is true. Aristotle is recognized as the Father of Science and he define Science as a deductive system based on evident axioms.
ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS – FIRST PHILOSOPHY, HIGHEST SCIENCE, AND THEOLOGY:
What a great Scene in the history of Man? If Plato and Aristotle come together, Reason and Faith also come together. The Scene at the Athenian Academy of Plato depicts the confluence of Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
Aristotle’s Metaphysics, and Plato’s Dialectic describe a method of inquiry that deals with the nature and relation of things – What each is, how it differs from others, what common qualities all have, to what kind each belongs, and in what rank each stands in its kind and whether its being is real-being, and how many beings there are, and how many non-beings to be distinguished from beings. Metaphysics is concerned with the primary axioms, the universal principles applicable to all existence, and the transcendental properties of being. Aristotle claimes, “There is a Science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to being in virtue of its own nature.” The First Philosophy described by Aristotle speculates about being and its subject matter includes all existing things as existing, and involves not only the question how anything which exists, exists (i.e., the properties of being ) but also the question whether certain things, whose existence can be questioned, do in fact exist. In the words of Francis Bacon, we can make a distinction between Physics and Metaphysics. Bacon states that Physics inquires into efficient and material causes; Metaphysics inquires into formal and final causes. For Aristotle, Science means the demonstration of universal and necessary conclusions from self-evident principles. The modern conception of Science is that it represents knowledge founded upon experiment and extended observation. For example, Isaac Newton in his book ‘OPTICS’ propose to explain the properties of Light by using reason and experiments.
MAN’S ESSENCE – ‘KNOW THYSELF’:
What is Man’s Essence? This tradition of Knowing Oneself is a longer tradition than any other Science. Socrates tells his friends gathered in the prison cell where he is to drink the hemlock, “True philosophers are ever seeking to release the SOUL and are always occupied in the practice of dying.”
The tradition of knowing oneself is the oldest established tradition in the history of man and it is a longer tradition than any other science. “Know Thyself” describes a study in which the Knower and the Known are One; the object of the Science is the Nature of the Scientist. In the Indian tradition, “PURUSHA” is the Man or the Knower, and his body or “KSHETRA” is the object of Inquiry, and the Knowledge that is discovered is known as “Kshetra Jnana.”
ARISTOTLE – NATURAL SCIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF SOUL:
What is Soul? can Science investigate or inquire about the existence of Soul? Does this organism, known as Amoeba proteus has a Soul? What is its animating Principle?
The Soul is the vital principle which moves and animates all life. Aristotle describes corporeal substances are composite of two principles; 1. Form and 2. Matter. What is called matter is a potentiality, what is called form is an actuality. In the above image of Amoeba proteus, its matter is constituted by its protoplasm, the living substance, and its actuality is recognized by the scientist when he observes its form. The existence of Amoeba proteus is known to man as it is made of two principles, the form, and the matter. The Natural Sciences are concerned with natural objects that are characterized by the fact that they are subject to change. Change is, therefore, the basic phenomenon. Matter and Forms are the Material and the Formal Cause respectively, of what comes to be. Aristotle distinguishes four kinds of Causes. For example, a Building or a Thing comes into being because of the Builder, or the Creator known as Efficient Cause. Formal Cause describes the Structure by virtue of which it is the Building or the Thing. Material Cause describes the matter such as stones or wood that has received the Structure. The end or purpose for which the structure, the Building or the Thing exists is known as the Final Cause. A building or a house provides a place of safety for the man who lives there. The purpose or the end of a life form is to sustain its state of living. Aristotle calls the forms of living things as “Souls”. “The soul is in some sense the principle of animal life.” As per Aristotle, “the study of the Soul falls within the Science of Nature.” The Greek inquiry into the soul extends beyond man, to all living things. So, it is relevant to investigate or inquire about the Soul that describes the Form known to us as Amoeba proteus.
ARISTOTLE’S TREATISE – “ON THE SOUL”: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE: THE CONFLUENCE OF INSPIRED KNOWLEDGE, SPECULATIVE KNOWLEDGE, AND INFERENTIAL KNOWLEDGE:
Lord Rama and Spirituality Science. The Lord provides inspired knowledge, philosophy provides the speculative knowledge and Medical Science and other Natural Sciences provide the inferential knowledge to explore and investigate the connection between man and his Creator.
For Aristotle, the Soul rather than Man is the object of Science. He describes three kinds of Souls: 1. Vegetative (plants), 2. Sensitive (animals), and 3. Rational (human beings). He believes that the Soul is merely a set of defining features. He does not regard the Body and the Soul as two separate things that mysteriously combine to form an organism. If Soul is defined as the Immortal part of Man as distinguished from his Body, that kind of definition would suggest that Man is composed of two kinds of substances; a corporeal substance, and a non-corporeal substance. In my discussion on this subject, I tend to agree with Aristotle and suggest that Man is composed of one kind of substance and Man may not be divided into Body and Soul. However, I would like to discuss the issue of Man’s Essence, his Identity, and Individuality in relation to Soul after this review of Aristotle’s ideas about material and immaterial substances. Aristotle tells us that to understand Substance, it would be necessary to consider immaterial substantial forms, like Soul and God. Only then can Man understand what it is to be a Substance, and what it is to Exist. He further describes two parts of Man’s Soul; the intellectual virtue corresponds to the rational part of the Soul, and the moral virtues such as justice, courage, and generosity belong to the irrational part of the Soul which is subject to reason and has reasonable desires and feelings. I divide Man into two categories and these are, 1.’The Self’ and 2. ‘The Knowing-Self’. The first category describes Man as a Physical, Mental, and Social Being, and the second category describes Man as a Moral, Rational, Spiritual, and Created Being. The study of Metaphysics eventually becomes the study of immaterial substance, immortality, and God.
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE CONVERGENCE OF RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE:
The Bhagavad Gita is the source of Inspired Knowledge, my internal reflection is the source of Speculative Knowledge, and the Medical Science and Natural Science is the source of Inferential Knowledge to establish Spirituality Science as a method of Inquiry to investigate man’s relationship, partnership, association, and connection with his Creator.
Aristotle tries to define and establish a branch of Science which contributes Wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of all things. “There are other theoretical sciences, such as Physics and Mathematics which investigate causes or deal with principles, but they do not reach to the highest causes or first principles, nor do they take all things in their most universal aspect as the object of their inquiry. Physics deals with material things in motion, and the Mathematician investigates abstractions.” Aristotle claims that Mathematics could be certain without telling us anything about Reality. He states that “If there is something which is eternal and immovable and separated from matter, clearly the knowledge of it belongs to a theoretical science not, however to Physics nor to Mathematics, but to science prior to both.” He gives two names to the highest of theoretical sciences. He denominates it both from the position it occupies in relation to all other disciplines and in terms of the kind of substance which it alone investigates. A substance which is formed by Nature will be explored by Natural Science. If there is an immovable, immutable, immaterial, or eternal substance, the Science of that substance is the highest Science and it deserves to be called “Theology” as well as “First Philosophy”. I propose to study and investigate the immaterial substance or principle and name the Science of that Substance as “Spirituality Science.” If Divine is present everywhere at the same time, the Divine is present in both material and immaterial substances.
Theory of Man–The Spectrum of Seven Colors
My ‘Theory of Man’ defines the Man as the ‘Spectrum of Seven Colors’. Isaac Newton could easily verify his ‘Theory of Light’ by conducting his critical experiment in which he used two prisms to breakdown and to reconstitute white light rays. In case of Man, such experimental verification is not possible as Science does not have the capability to breakdown the man and reconstitute him. However, Science provides verified information about the building blocks of life and about basic living functions such as ‘Metabolism’ which essentially involve making, breaking, and repairing ‘Molecules of Life’.
MAN–THE SPECTRUM OF SEVEN COLORS
For purposes of defining Man the concept of Light Spectrum is useful. Light Spectrum appears continuous with no distinct boundaries. The ‘Singularity’ called Man can be easily witnessed at conception at the stage of Single, fertilized Egg Cell. The study of Man during all stages of his physical existence provides information about Man’s Seven Dimensions or Seven Colors. These are, 1. The Physical, Mortal Being, 2. The Mental Being, 3. The Social Being, 4. The Moral Being, 5. The Spiritual Being, 6. The Created Being, and 7. The Rational Being. Science called Cell & Molecular Biology can account for biomolecules of life and yet do not explain or account for the constitution of Man as a Rational Being.
NEWTON’S THEORY OF LIGHT
3.1 Newton’s crucial experiment
English natural philosopher Isaac Newton bought his first prism in 1666, one year after Italian natural philosopher Francesco Grimaldi’s work on diffraction was published.
Newton claimed that Grimaldi’s diffraction was simply a new kind of refraction. He argued that the geometric nature of the laws of reflection and refraction could only be explained if light was made of particles, which he referred to as corpuscles, since waves don’t tend to travel in straight lines.
After joining the Royal Society of London in 1672, Newton stated that the 44th trail in a series of experiments he had previously conducted had proven that light is made of particles and not waves.[2,3]
Advocates of the wave theory had previously stated that light waves are made of white light, and that the color spectrum that can be seen through a prism is formed because of corruption within the glass. This means that the more glass the light travels through, the more corrupt it will become.
In order to prove that this was false, Newton passed a beam of white light through two prisms, which were held at such an angle that it split into a spectrum when passing through the first prism and was recomposed, back into white light, by the second prism (as shown in Figure 3.1). This showed that the color spectrum is not caused by glass corrupting the light. Newton claimed this was a ‘crucial experiment’.
A crucial experiment is any experiment devised to decide between two contradictory theories, where the failure of one determines the certainty of the other. Since almost everyone agreed that light must be composed of either particles or waves, Newton used the failure of the wave theory to prove that light is made of particles. Newton concluded that light is composed of colored particles that combine to appear white.
3.2 Newton’s color spectrum
Newton introduced the term ‘color spectrum’ and although the spectrum appears continuous, with no distinct boundaries between the colors, he chose to divide it into seven: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Newton chose the number seven because of the Ancient Greek belief that seven is a mystical number.
Newton showed that every color has a unique angle of refraction that can be calculated using a suitable prism. He saw that all objects appear to be the same color as the beam of colored light that illuminates them, and that a beam of colored light will stay the same color no matter how many times it is reflected or refracted. This led him to conclude that color is a property of the light that reflects from objects, not a property of the objects themselves.
3.3 Criticism from the Royal Society
Despite Newton’s confidence that his theory had been proven, it still faced several problems and was not accepted straight away. Within a year of his announcement, fellow Royal Society member, English natural philosopher Robert Hooke, published similar results to Grimaldi. He argued that diffraction is not a new type of refraction, as Newton had claimed, and that it could only be explained by assuming that light is composed of waves.[1,6]
Many other members joined Hooke in criticizing Newton’s particle theory. Some denied that Newton’s color spectrum existed at all and others denied that his 44th trial really proved that light is not composed of waves. Those that tried to replicate Newton’s experiment often failed.
Prisms were still not commonly accepted as scientific instruments. They were sold as simple forms of entertainment, and there was little technical work on their design or improvement. Venetian glass was regarded as the standard against which other glasses were compared but even this was full of air bubbles and flaws. Newton did not help matters by concealing the details of his trials. He did not explain how to produce a spectrum from the first prism or specify the size or geometry of the second.
It was not until 1676, four years after Newton’s initial publication, that he performed more trials and gave people enough information to be able replicate them. Newton finally stated that the best prisms to use were those made in London, not Italy, as these were the clearest. Newton stated that those who failed to replicate his experiments must have been using bad prisms, but this was often seen as an excuse and Newton eventually withdrew from debate on the subject.
3.4 Huygens’ wave theory
In 1678, Dutch natural philosopher Christiaan Huygens claimed to have disproved Newton’s theory by showing that the laws of reflection and refraction can be derived from his wave theory of light.
Huygens argued that diffraction occurs because of the interference of wavefront. When light is pushed through a small slit, waves are pushed together at different angles and this creates fringes of light and dark shadows, an interference pattern. This is how water waves behave when they pass through a small gap.
Huygens believed that light waves differ from water waves in one respect: water waves are transverse, the waves move up and down like a sine wave while the water moves forwards. Huygens thought that light waves were longitudinal, moving in a parallel direction to the beam.
Sound is an example of a longitudinal wave because sound waves move forwards by periodically displacing molecules in the air, but the molecules themselves do not move forwards, they simply vibrate.
In order for light to move through space as either type of wave, it must have a medium to propagate through. This means that Huygens’ theory, like all theories of light before it, was reliant upon the idea that the universe is filled with Aristotle’s fifth element, the ether.
|Figure 3.4||The direction of oscillation and propagation of longitudinal and transverse waves.|
3.5 Bartholin’s calcite crystals
In 1669, three years before Newton first presented his particle theory of light, Danish natural philosopher Erasmus Bartholin had begun experimenting with transparent calcite crystals, which had been discovered in Iceland. He found that when an image is placed behind a crystal it’s duplicated, with one copy appearing slightly higher than the other.[8,9]
When Bartholin rotated the crystal, he saw that one image disappeared while the other rotated with it. This led him to conclude that something in the crystal had split the beam of light into two different rays. Bartholin referred to this as “one of the greatest wonders that nature has produced”, and saw it as advocating Huygens’ wave theory of light.
|Figure 3.5||Double refraction within a calcite crystal.|
Huygens suggested that Bartholin’s findings could be explained if the crystal contained two different materials, one that produced spherical waves, and one ellipsoidal. Huygens continued Bartholin’s experiments and found that if he placed two crystals next to each other, then the number of images varied, depending on whether the crystals were placed parallel or perpendicular to each other. This was something that his wave theory of light could not explain (discussed further in Chapter 5).
3.6 Newton’s Opticks
Newton did not contribute to the debate until after Hooke’s death, 32 years after his original publication. In 1704, he was elected President of the Royal Society and published Opticks, his most comprehensive theory of light. In the opening sections of the book, Newton showed how to reconstruct his prism experiments in more detail. This led to many more successful reconstructions.[1,5]
Newton interpreted Huygens’ findings in terms of his own particle theory of light. He suggested that the experiments with the calcite crystals showed that light has ‘sides’, something that could easily be understood in terms of particles.
Newton also used the publication of Opticks to defend his stance on diffraction. In order to do so he had to appeal to wave-like properties, and argued that particles of light create waves in the ether. After the publication of Opticks, Newton’s theory gained considerable popularity but some of his critics remained unconvinced.
There was one way to experimentally determine which theory was correct: if light is composed of particles then it should travel faster in a denser medium, but if it’s composed of waves then a denser medium should slow it down. This experiment would not be conducted for another 150 years, but by the end of the 1800s, both theories would be proven wrong.