If a rock falls to the ground because of a law, that makes it a man.

I pride myself in calling myself a scientist and upon completion of my internship, I have finally contributed something physical to the field of my calling. One of the fascinating experiences with claiming such a title and group is allowing your mind to always be open to other possibilities.

Which is exactly why I found this TED talk so interesting.

The following is a list + summary of what Sheldrake calls “The 10 Dogmas”:

1. Nature is a machine, and therefore so are plants, animals, and people.

2. Matter is unconscious.
This is the idea that stars, plants, animals, water, are material things, solely physical in their existence, and by accepting that every other aspect of the natural world is unconscious, it would assume that we are also unconscious as well. This would be fine, except for the fact that brain activity is not the same as thinking, feeling or seeing, no one knows how molecules acquire the qualities of the mind, it’s impossible to construct a theory of the mind based on material objects that somehow became conscious, and so on.

3. The laws of nature are fixed.
This is the idea that the natural laws became fixed at the moment of the Big Bang, and will continue to be constant until the end of time. It’s funny in and of itself, the idea that a mass of matter spontaneously exploded to create the known universe, but we believe that everything from there-on-out will be fixed and certain.

4. The total amount of matter and energy is the same all the time.
Matter, as it turns out, is actually highly packed energy, transformable into other forms of energy. Modern physics suggests that the universe appears to not be a collection of things, but an interacting set of events. But the “Big Bang,” if anything, revealed a universe that is extremely evolutionary (constantly growing, cooling, expanding) and doing so indefinitely with dark matter, the nature of which we don’t actually understand yet.

5. Nature is purposeless.
That there is no design in nature, and the evolutionary process is merely a mechanical function – there is no higher purpose.

6. The traits of a species are composed of a physical material that reside in the genes.
Several forms of material inheritance are non-genetic. Cells inherit patterns of cell structures like mitochondria right from their mother cells, not through genes – this is called “cytoplasmic inheritance.”

7. Memories are stored inside of the brain as material traces.
This is the idea that memories are stored somewhere in the proteins and nerve endings are the memories of the mind.

8. The mind is inside the head.
This is the idea that the mind is physically bound to the head and brain in some way. Francis Crick called this the Astonishing Hypothesis: “You,” your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules … This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people alive today that it can truly be called astonishing.”But there is ultimately no evidence for this. No one has ever seen a thought or image inside their own brain or someone else’s. When we look around us, the images of the things we see are outside us, not in our heads. Our experience of our bodies are in our bodies. Direct experience is not irrelevant to the nature of consciousness: it is consciousness.

9. Psychic phenomena, like telepathy, is impossible.
This is the idea that thoughts have no effect on the outside world because the mind exists within the head solely, despite the fact that most people have had seemingly telepathic or precognitive experiences (as do animals).One example: In 2009, British biologist Rachel Grant was carrying out a study of mating behavior in toads for her PHD project, in Italy. Soon after the beginning of the mating season (late March) the number of male toads in the breeding group suddenly plummeted. Grant and her colleague Tim Halliday observed this “highly unusual” behavior. On April 6, Italy was struck by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, followed by a series of aftershocks. The toads resumed their breeding ten days later, once the aftershocks had fully subsided.

10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that works – It is merely chance or the placebo effect if a natural remedy or other healing practice seems to affect physical healing.
There is no argument that modern medicine isn’t amazingly successful, that it’s achievements wouldn’t be perceived as sheer miracles just a hundred years ago. Yet, it has limitations, which are becoming apparent. Basically: research and development is slowing, because the mechanistic approach is as its best when dealing with mechanical aspects of the body, but it ignores that all organisms are physico-chemical machines. With a rise in more “natural,” holistic alternatives on the brink, there’s a huge political and economic consequence to the pharmaceutical industry being overturned for less expensive, more effective remedies.

I find all of these views rather interesting. I have heard evidence for some of them, but there are other hypotheses listed that I struggle to comprehend. Having listened to the entire video and read through the dogmas several times, I have come to the following conclusion:

I am going to read more. Specifically, I’m going to read ‘The Science Delusion” so I can see all the data for myself. And in addition, I hope to pick up some reading on philosophy of the mind and the state of consciousness. That seems fascinating to me.

That being said, I hope to continue to update this topic with my thoughts on all the ideas presented to me today. And that, my friends and readers, is science.

You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and that don’t change neither.

Hello, you old person, you.

You’ve got quite an impressive list of words underneath your name on this sheet of paper that you’ve titled “Resume.” I even see you completed an internship at SBMF.

That’s right, folks! Tomorrow is my last day at my first summer internship. I’m a whole lot smarter, a heck of a lot poorer, and technically I’ve still got three weeks of summer left. Enough time to perform my bridesmaid’s duties and go dress shopping with one of my good friends/the bride-to-be. Yep, you read that right. I’m also old enough to be a bridesmaid.

Shoot, I’ve aged a lot this summer.

With all my newly found free time, you can expect some more posts.

It’s good to be back.

Just breathing can be such a luxury sometimes.

Today felt like a Monday. It’s a Wednesday.

But it doesn’t matter. Everyone at work thought it was a Monday too — or at least they were acting like it. On days like this, after interactions with people like that, upon parking in front of an apartment that I barely call home, I always feel an incredibly motivation to make myself happy.

It’s an interesting concept, the elusive happiness that slips through our fingers like water. I thought this internship would make me happy because it would get me closer to my goal. I forgot that even though the top of the staircase can give you a view, that the individual steps can be a hassle.

So I’m doing my best to find my happy place. I tried gorging on gummy worms before I decided that healthy food would be better so I should eat apples and natural peanut butter. I tried blog binging — but this online society soon overwhelmed me and restrained myself from touching the keys for a little while (sorry about that). I tried reading one of my favorite books but I was so disappointed by the fact that I knew what was going to happen that I even ventured into a bookstore to get new literature. But my hopes were quickly dashed when all the books were boring or had the same plotlines or had me wondering how in the world they had gotten published in the first place. I buried myself in Netflix episodes and breathed in the musty smell of my unwashed teddy bear until I remembered that it’s July and my apartment is poorly air-conditioned — they say it is, but I sometimes doubt it.

So here I am, sitting on a couch with a overheating computer on my sweaty legs, halfway through the journey to happiness and wondering where I took that wrong turn.

And this was my conclusion:

I just want to breathe in a place with no expectations.

Isn’t it beautiful? I borrowed the image from another blog that I follow: Make Life Easier. Oh, the irony. Isn’t it funny how a single place can totally change your mindset? As a person who is thoroughly impacted my the location of certain events, my entire mood can change depending on where I am.

Someday, I will have a balcony like this. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just have a small coffee cup and a few herb plants on my back porch. Either way, it doesn’t matter so long as I can sit and breathe for a few minutes without worrying what my schedule has for the next hour.

And right now, I want to be there.

1/4 of four quartets = one quartet

Time present and time past
are both perhaps present in time future
and time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
all time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
remaining a perpetual possibility
only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
point to one end, which is always present.
Footfall echo in the memory…
Only through time time is conquered…
Desiccation of the world of sense
evacuation of the world of fancy
inoperancy of the world of spirit…
Or say that the end precedes the beginning
and the end and the beginning were always there
before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now…
Desire itself is movement
not in itself desirable.
Love is itself unmoving
once the cause and end of movement…
ridiculous the waste sad time
stretching before and after…
There is, it seems to us,
as best, only a limited value
in the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
for the pattern is new in every moment
and every moment is a new and shocking
valuation of all we have been…
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing…
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
and what you own is what you do not own
and where you are is where you are not…
Home is where one start from. As we grow older
the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated…
We had the experience but missed the meaning
and approach to the meaning restores the experience…
Time the destroyer is time the preserver…
Not fare well
but fare forward voyagers…
who are only undefeated
because we have gone on trying..
and all shall be well and
all manner of thing shall be well
when the tongues of flames are in-folded
intro the crowned knot of fire
and the fire and rose are one.

Thus reads my favorite lines taken from The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot in order as they appear in the poem.