Thursday, January 2, 2014

The New Paradigm: The Physical Universe Is Mostly Machine

Why not start the new year out with a shock, or at least an update, to our scientific understanding?

Or at least an update to ourselves about a new paradigm that scientists are warming up to?

The 17th century view of cognition a la Descartes (Cartesianism) was challenged by an entirely new view of cognition by Lakoff (e.g. Embodied Mind).

This new paradigm shift I am thinking of today is more Earth shaking than that paradigm shift, and many others like it, so hang on, because here for your close perusal is the paradigm shift at issue:
A new paradigm exists for understanding how cells function. Scientists are recognizing that the cell is a highly integrated biological factory with a modular architecture. Each modular unit acts as a molecular machine. These machines have highly specialized functions and are large assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids. They range in size from about 10 - 150 nanometers (10-9 m) [10-9 m] and provide environments in which chemical species can interact in a highly specific fashion. Molecular machines also function as mechano-chemical energy transducers, converting chemical free energy into mechanical energy for cellular processes. They operate cyclically, and can reset themselves.

With the genetic information gained from the U.S. Human Genome Project and DOE's Microbial Genome Program, scientists now have the raw information with which to observe, manipulate, characterize and, ultimately, replicate these large protein assemblies. Using conventional and newly developed microscopy techniques, PBD researchers, through an initiative called Microscopies of Molecular Machines (M3), are creating a toolkit for probing the inner workings of these molecular machines.
(Molecular Machines, Lawrence Berkley National Lab, DOE, emphasis added). Regular readers know that I have been advocating that we acknowledge that machines make up the largest percentage of the known universe.

With that goes the acknowledgement that machine evolution has taken up most of evolution as scientists know it.

Cells, including microbial cells, make up a large part of organic life. Microbes greatly outnumber "purely human" cells in our bodies (The Human Microbiome Congress).

Microbes are the most prolific life form on Earth, especially when we remember that viruses and virions are also microbes.

Cells are substantially made of molecular machines, as are planets, stars, and interstellar dust.

The following is a sample sequence of Dredd Blog System posts discussing, among other things, the underlying cyborg, machine-nature of 1) the cosmos, 2) microbes, 3) humans, and 4) all carbon based organic life forms:

Putting A Face on Machine Mutation
Which Came First - Cyborg Or Robot?
Putting A Face on Machine Mutation
Will Humans Evolve Into Machines?

The Tiniest Scientists Are Very Old

Which Came First - Cyborg Or Robot? - 2
Are Toxins of Power Machines or Organisms?

Putting A Face On Machine Mutation - 2
Do Molecular Machines Deliver Toxins of Power?
Did Abiotic Intelligence Precede Biotic Intelligence?
Putting A Face On Machine Mutation - 3
The Life and Death of Bright Things

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 17
The Uncertain Gene thru The Uncertain Gene - 8
If Cosmology Is "Off," How Can Biology Be "On?"
Putting A Face On Machine Mutation - 4


On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 5
On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 6

Today's post is the first of this type of material of the new year, but in light of the new paradigm, there will be more.

Enjoy the paradigm shift.