A Subjective Approach to Science

Part 1 of 2:

The conventional scientific system looks at the entire objective world as here or there. At the microscopic level, we know that the simple act of observing an electron or proton places that object in that moment and time, implying that it is here and not somewhere else.

Quantum Mechanics on the other hand tells a different story. In quantum mechanics you look at objects as being here and there instead of here or there. Simply put, the act of measuring an object forces the object to confess that it is in one place or another and no longer in both places at once.

In 1932, Bohr had already determined that electrons could exist as either particles or waves. What Bohr maintained was that the form they took depended on how you looked at them. Their very nature was a consequence of our observation.*

Weird isn’t it? To think about science in terms of subjectivity? From everything we know about science, being subjective isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And rightfully so. All sciences – physics, biology even neuroscience- follow rigid structures of defining everything we see and experience with a bottom up approach. All hypotheses incorporate either the mathematical equations involved or the biological components needed to be ‘true.’

The question we have always asked is: What is everything? But using the bottom up approach modern science has made little progress towards any unified understanding of everything. Sadly, even with vast material knowledge we remain strangely ignorant of what our matter creates. *

Why? Because as humans we understand the world from a top down approach. Everything is a subjective experience. Yet the current realm of science attempts to understand the world form a bottom up approach. Everything is a measured objective observation.

How ignorant of us to not realize that the world of human experience is the world of arts. The painter and the coder and lover all embrace aspects of the mind that can’t be translated to terminology used to define neural activity. In short, through abstraction art tries to illustrate the mind from the inside out.

Sure art may be incoherent but isn’t incoherence an essential aspect of the human mind? Can’t the messiness of art be considered a self-portrait of the human condition?

So where does this leave us? If art and expression can act as a viable telescope to gaze into the conundrum of modern science where do we begin? Paintings, poetry, music, maybe literature? You can take your pick, but I’m going to side with language.

— To be Continued —

My inspiration to synthesize this piece came from my reading of Seth Llyod’s Book: Programming the Universe and Seed Magazine’s Article: The Future of Science is Art. There may be an overlap in content and ideas.

*Quotes from the Article

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