I recently read a book written by Bruce Lipton regarding the “new biology” that he puts forward as a theory that counters traditional genetic determinism through the integration of epigenetics, quantum physics and systems biology. Since Lipton wrote this book, there has been further development in the fields of science he references, which appear to be in line with his theories.
When Googling his info to find out more, I inevitably came across a “debunking” website that attempted, in a rather weak way, to “debunk” one portion of Lipton’s theory, (that our subconscious thought processes can affect the proteins in our body that can then affect genetic expression of our DNA). I find that reading the comments after an opinion piece like this to be generally infuriating, because people lose the point of the discussion, miss the point of the original author because of the lack of context provided by the “debunkers” and don’t really see the weakness in the arguments that these “debunkers” are bringing forward.
My biggest challenge with sites like this “debunking” website, is that there is seldom supportive research used to support the author’s opinions, and no further research put forward to discredit the criticized hypothesis. To be a good scientist, researcher, explorer, etc., we need to remember and educate others, that science is based on theory and hypothesis, and therefore subject to change or alteration, rather than asserting that the currently known theories are factual and irrefutable. Any established theory is an idea that started from an inspiration, an observation of phenomenon and then investigated. If it is replicable under same or similar circumstances in a “significant” number of trials and by various researchers, it becomes a theory, not a fact. There have been countless theories that have been proven incorrect throughout our human history. That is how we learn and progress, by introducing new ideas. These “scientific” fields are meant to be inclusive of creative hypotheses for the purpose of further research and inquiry with the hope that we come as close as possible, in the current time frame, to the reality and totality of understanding a phenomenon.
It is so deflating when a knowledgeable, educated professional within the field brings forward a new idea, (or an old idea integrated with new information) which rather than being scientifically investigated, is shut down as some crazed notion because of the person’s personal circumstances, age being a common one. This occurs more frequently if there is any mention of anything considered “unscientific” such as meditation, mindfulness, or spirituality, particularly if these practices are mentioned in context of free will, or personal ability for empowerment or self-control/improvement. The fact that long established research topics such as meditation is still considered “unscientific” is baffling and begs the question, “What is really going on in the scientific and medical communities?”. For all that science has given us, we have lost a lot of what brought us to our current position and knowledge, the skills of curiosity and open mindedness. Scientists particularly (and I realize I am generalizing to all, but not considering all in my mind), but all of us can benefit from reintroducing an openness to new ideas that curiosity stimulates. Don’t be afraid that others won’t understand or believe in what you discover through your curiosity or investigations, assume that they won’t. Change it seems, is still a process many of us struggle with and resist. Whether it’s a new combination of flavours in the kitchen, a new possibility for negotiating world peace, or a controversial hypothesis for how the body works, share your ideas, and be open to the possibility that they are not accurate; that is what keeps curiosity alive.
We live in a world of complex systems, the more we know the more we realize the less we know. Isn’t that reason enough to continue to ask questions and add more pieces to the puzzle that is the mystery of life? Consider how you can bring more curiosity, maybe even wonderment into your life as we move into 2015. Who knows what you’ll discover?