Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scientists Discover Yin and Yang

'Ancestral Eve' Crystal May Explain Origin of Life's Left-Handedness

ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2010) — Scientists are reporting discovery of what may be the "ancestral Eve" crystal that billions of years ago gave life on Earth its curious and exclusive preference for so-called left-handed amino acids. Those building blocks of proteins come in two forms -- left- and right-handed -- that mirror each other like a pair of hands.

Their study, which may help resolve one of the most perplexing mysteries about the origin of life, is in ACS' Crystal Growth & Design, a bi-monthly journal.

Tu Lee and Yu Kun Lin point out that conditions on the primordial Earth held an equal chance of forming the same amounts of left-handed and right-handed amino acids. Nevertheless, when the first forms of life emerged more than 3 billion years ago, all the amino acids in the proteins had the left-handed configuration. That pattern continued right up to modern plants and animals.

The scientists used mixtures of both left- and right-handed aspartic acid (an amino acid) in laboratory experiments to see how temperature and other conditions affected formation of crystals of the material. They found that under conditions that could have existed on primitive Earth, left-handed aspartic acid crystals could have formed easily and on a large scale.

"The aspartic acid crystal would then truly become a single mother crystal: an ancestral Eve for the whole left-handed population," the article notes.

My Comment: I keep missing where this great disagreement is supposed to be, between Western Science and ancient cultures.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3 Articles One Way, One Article the Other Way

Here are three recent articles about acupuncture, each trying to explain it in Western terms. They all agree that acupuncture is effective, and therefore has been effective for three or four thousand years--but they will not grant that the ancient Chinese sages actually knew what they were doing, that acupuncture does what the practitioners say it does, balance chi, nourish chi, remove toxic chi, and that there is a system of meridians running throughout the body. Why? Because all of these things are invisible, like the wind that we can feel, of which we can see the effects, but the essence of which we cannot see. No one would say that the sensation of wind is a placebo. You will note the classic scientific Catch-22 in the Wall Street Journal article--Dr. Ernst wants a clear study done, which will require someone to prove conclusively that Chi exists--that is, to make it visible.

But like the discovery of X-Rays, it is not a matter of making the invisible visible, but rather labeling what is already known.

Nevertheless, the Western scientific mind simply cannot reverse the flow of this methodological river of compartmentalizing and reducing reality to the smallest components. The rule of Occam's Razor applies only to a certain point, that point being the preservation of specialties and expertise, and monopoly of paradigm. As most lay people know, however, there is plenty of room for both Eastern and Western medicine. We're just that ill.

Occasionally though, you find the renegade scientist whose mind tends to unify data rather than compartmentalize data. And whenever that happens, questions on the nature of consciousness arise, consciousness as part and parcel of the entire universe, when considering the implications of the findings.