"Scientific Materialism Destroys Life" - Now let's Make a Declaration for Life!!

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"Scientific Materialism Destroys Life"…..says Norm Hirst of The Autognomics Institute.

Recent laboratory discoveries reveal life-destroying errors in our dominant worldview. These errors can result in wars, failure of social institutions and corruption. The dominant worldview assumes materialism; but reality is a living organism. We will explore the difference.


Materialism is the belief that we exist as material beings in a material world, all of whose phenomena are the consequences of material relations among material entities.

From Whitehead:

“There persists  … the fixed scientific cosmology which presupposes the ultimate fact of an irreducible brute matter, or material, spread throughout space in a flux of configurations.  In itself such a material is senseless, valueless and purposeless, It just does what it does do, following a fixed routine imposed by external relations which do not spring from the nature of its being.”[i]

This is called scientific materialism. It is not a scientific statement. It is not a scientific requirement. It is a metaphysical assumption. I suspect that most people would rather not know about metaphysics. But, like it or not, by the time we learn a language and grow up in a given culture, we are committed to a metaphysics. Hidden metaphysics can be dangerous.

The test of metaphysics is that it fits experience. This is tricky since metaphysics plays a major role in shaping experience. However, as knowledge advances there can be new experiences that the inherited metaphysics cannot account for. That is our condition today. Scientific materialism cannot account for today’s discoveries.

That scientific materialism still prevails is testimony to the power of paradigms. “Paradigm” first appeared in English in the 15th century, meaning "an example or pattern." Current usage stems from the book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn describes a scientific paradigm as specifying:

  • What is to be observed and scrutinized
  • The kind of questions that are supposed to be asked and probed for answers in relation to this subject
  • How these questions are to be structured
  • How the results of scientific investigations should be interpreted

A scientist does not violate the paradigm without risking his career and reputation. Thus do old ways continue against all reason.

Living Organisms:

I believe that a new scientific paradigm is required by quantum and relativity physics. The old paradigm is impeding progress. Additionally there are now many new laboratory discoveries that absolutely demand a new paradigm. These discoveries are occurring in new and exciting physics and biophysics. These discoveries show that life, living entities, function in ways quite different from what had been thought. Life functions by creating societies of living entities capable of acting. They are not passive, senseless, valueless and purposeless.

I repeat, hidden metaphysics may be dangerous. A material-based-metaphysics is life destroying. It leads to thinking in terms of force and control; thus preventing natural life processes. Based on most recent discoveries it appears reality is a living organism. Life functions in oneness, holistic, and creative. Life functions by value dynamics. It is not mechanistic. It is not deterministic. Physics can no longer be considered the most basic science. The new science is called axiology. (axios for value and logos for theory). Axiology is based on the properties of life-itself. Applications of formal axiology are already achieving amazing success. This includes the new science of axiological psychology just beginning.

Now, in process philosophy there is a metaphysics of organisms. We begin there and add matching logic to develop new thinking. There are now new logics available unlike any we have ever known that can accommodate the creativity of life, replacing "truth-value consistency" with coherence maximization. The ground is prepared for new sciences more basic than physics. Life is energy capable of creating matter and forming habits leading to the laws of physics. But we need new knowledge to live.

Today there is debate between random processes producing evolution or a designer. Neither is right. Evolution is produced by life-itself!

[i] Science and the Modern World, p25