Of Bacon and Negative Feedback Inhibition

In my Digital Civilization class, we were assigned to read Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy by Margaret Cavendish. While reading the article, there was one quote that really stuck out in my mind, “Art, with all its Instruments, is not able to discover the interior natural motions of any part or creature of Nature.” This quote reminded me of just how intricate nature is. Specifically, it made me think of two processes in nature that we tend to take for granted. Those processes are equilibrium and Negative Feedback Inhibition. For those of you who do not know what those processes are, I will attempt to give a brief explanation. Equilibrium is the tendency of natural processes to come to some sort of balance. Here is a YouTube video explaining equilibrium in terms of chemistry.

Sure this process works for simple processes. But what about for more complex, biological processes? Negative feedback inhibition is the way your body regulates the production of necessary organic materials. Here is a short video explaining that process visually:

These two processes are nature’s “evolutionary algorithm” to regulate complicated processes to try and reduce waste. Long before Bacon and Descart, a man named William of Occam came along and created what was known as <a href=”http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Occoms+razor”>Occam’s razor</a>, or “scientific parsimony”. What his theroy states is that if there are two explinations for the same event in nature, the more simple model is chosen. As I began to read the other two articles assigned for the lecture today, I thought of this as well.  Both Bacon and Descart tried to create more simple ways of thinking that were effective, but also efficent.  They challanged the common way of thinking and created new systems that helped us discover most of science as we know it. They observed flaws in the current way of thinking, and developed new ways of thinking  to solve the illogical “logic” of the day. This models almost exactly what nature does through natural selection.  The pressures of nature will strain organisms, and only those organisms that have better developed traits to survive will do so. It is only those organisms that will reproduce and pass those traits on to their posterity.  And in that manner, evolution is pushed forward through the process of natural selection. I found it extremely interesting that the “artificial” process of creating new ways of thinking, models almost exactly the natural process of evolution and natural selection. Or in otherwords that “Art” (created by men) tends to model “natural motions” observed in the universe.


One thought on “Of Bacon and Negative Feedback Inhibition

  1. Pingback: 42 « Hakuna Matata

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