Friday, March 17, 2023

Good Nomenclature: A Matter of Life and Death - 4

Well Said

I. Background

In Small Brains Considered - 7 we pondered the smallest of "brains" and in On The Origin of Assholes we considered the scientific study of small "hearts".

In this series we have considered the notion of a "word" in the sense of how each one is  shaped and shifted, but more than that, we have noticed that when a word has more than one meaning, sometimes contradictory understandings and even diametrically opposed understandings may result.

II. Word Surprises

While seriously pondering the "word concept science" (i.e. "nomenclature"), it begins to dawn on many of us that word nomenclature itself really is a science.

But in another sense, as Dredd Blog has observed, during cultural morphs it can also become a 'religion' just as much as it can become a science:

In the previous post of this series a couple of well-known physicists (Penrose, Hameroff) indicated that they hypothesize:

"... a theory of consciousness ... consistent with Eastern spiritual traditions ... Eastern philosophy and other spiritual traditions ... afterlife, reincarnation ... out-of-body experiences ... The quantum soul." 

(Small Brains Considered - 6, emphasis added). This mental morph in quantum physics experts is completely in accord with some of the criticisms and observations made for years here on Dredd Blog.

One of those physicists, along with other physicists, once had a different view concerning the fundamental underpinnings of a cosmology and physics that courted mysticism:

"...we have a kind of metaphysical belief that there are laws of nature that are outside time and those laws of nature are causing the outcome of the experiment to be what it is. And laws of nature don't change in time. They're outside of time. They act on the system now, they acted on the system in the same way in the past, they will act the same way in a year or a million or a billion years, and so they'll give the same outcome. So nature will repeat itself and experiments will be repeatable because there are timeless laws of nature.

But that's a really weird idea [for scientists] if you think about it because it involves the kind of mystical and metaphysical notion of something that is not physical, something that is not part of the state of the world, something that is not changeable, acting from outside the system to cause things to happen. And, when I think about it, that is kind of a remnant of religion. It is a remnant of the idea that God is outside the system acting on it."

(If Cosmology Is "Off," How Can Biology Be "On?", 2013, quoting of Dr. Lee Smolin at The Perimeter Institute). But, as we will see further along in this post, this cognitive incursion into modern physics even changed the shape of Einstein's cognition.

(Small Brains Considered - 7). So, if the scientists themselves 'go there' why can't Dredd Blog 'go there'?

Note that scientists do 'go there':

"The whole world of cosmology comes from mystics, beginning with the priest who originated the Big Bang mystical hypothesis all the way to those who name microbes:

In a cultural 'priestdom' the high priests can be priests of science, or priests of religion, because the Greek word 'presbyteros' ('priest') simply means 'elder' or 'senior'.

The priest who hypothesized The Big Bang was literally a priest, but in addition to that, was a 'presbyteros' of science (Georges Lemaître).

A "priest", "elder", or "senior" can easily be applied to technocracy:

"Technocracy itself is an immortality ideology that, although it is coupled with materialism, has as part of its makeup an element of the magical and a belief that new tools and innovations provide solutions to both the small day-to-day problems of life and the larger problems of human happiness and mortality. Technology is entrancing, and, functionally, technologists become creators of magic and the wizards of today, claiming the same authority over technology that doctors claim over human health or shamans over the cursed. This has always been so, going back to ancestral peoples who learned to use fire, tools, wind, and wheels. Even in subsistence societies, technology has a greater impact on a variety of sociological variables than do supernatural or religious beliefs (Nolan and Lenski 1996)."
[I repeat]"Even in subsistence societies, technology has a greater impact on a variety of sociological variables than do supernatural or religious beliefs (Nolan and Lenski 1996)."

(The Machine Religion). The nomenclature of the culture of the priest who hypothesized the big bang is of the same "language family" and nomenclature of the culture of the current commercialized scientific community.


The big bang 'presbyteros' (Lemaître), spoke and wrote in a 'presbyteros language' which the laity did not understand (Use of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church, Ecclesiastical Latin, The Day the Mass Changed, How it Happened and Why).

That form of 'communication' spilled over into the 'presbyteros language' realm of the science of the day too.


Eventually the communication became intense, like the time when scientific teaching was severely imposed upon  by ecclesiastical teaching (Galileo vs. the Pope).

That tension waxed and waned from time to time, but the language of the scientific realm still remains mysterious to the scientific laity.

Upon occasion the scientific laity persuaded some of those of the scientific 'presbyteros' that there were various anomalies of doctrine, so efforts toward better ways of communication emerged from time to time:

"Since at least the 17th century (and mostly because of Newton), natural scientists have stopped using formal or final causes to explain natural phenomena ... except in biology. This was first pointed out by Colin Pittendrigh (Pittendrigh, C. S. Behavior and Evolution) (ed. by A. Rose and G. G. Simpson), Yale University Press, 1958), who coined the term "teleonomy" to refer to the kind of teleological phenomena observed in biological processes."

(On The Origin of Genieology - 2). The language of the scientific 'presbyteros' is still with us (It's All Greek To Me), but to a lesser degree:

"Scientific names are used to describe various species of organisms in a way that is universal so that scientists around the globe can readily identify the same animal. This is called binomial nomenclature, and many of the scientific names are derived from the Latin name of the organism. The scientific name is broken down into the genus name, which comes first, followed by the specific species name.


Modern binomial nomenclature was adopted by Swedish physician and botanist Carolus Linnaeus in the 18th century. The reason for the proposition of the two-part name was to create a code that more readily identified specific species without the use of long descriptors that could be prone to subjectivity."

(The Importance of Scientific Names for Organisms). The power to name things is not all it is cracked up to be (Why do scientists use Latin when they name organisms?, "Scientists started using Latin back in the Middle Ages"). 

The reason 'Middle Ages' scientific 'presbyteros speak' is the same today as it was then is because the scientific 'presbyteros' can (if they couldn't they wouldn't).

(The Doll As Metaphor - 6). The Big Bang "takes the cake" for imaginative cognition:

... Mysticism Overthrew Einstein Too 

For example, when the priest scientist Lemaître made up the big bang hypothesis which challenged scientific papers in scientific journals of that time, Einstein said of the priest's hypothesis:

"Lemaître described his theory as 'the Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation'; it became better known as the 'Big Bang theory', a phrase originally used sarcastically ... This challenged the established finite-size static universe model proposed by Einstein. Einstein refuted Lemaître’s theory, saying 'your math is correct, but your physics is abominable' ... [BUT Einstein later said it was] 'the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.'”

(ibid, Small Brains Considered - 7). So, let's get down with it, let's focus on nomenclature as a fundamental part of this puzzle.

III. No Cop Outs

While doing so let's not make the mistake of concluding that "it has always been that way" so what's the big deal, Dredd?

The big deal is that the longer a mistake is replicated the worse things become.

In other words mistakes do not make things better, and in fact they morph into trances (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Clearly, verbal cacophony is not a virtuous literary exercise.

Good nomenclature (one word, one meaning) is the appropriate replacement for verbal cacophony.

IV. The Religious Struggle For Righteous Nomenclature

As noted above sometimes scientists meddle in religion, and sometimes religionists meddle in science. 

One of the most intense efforts in that regard (science of nomenclature applied to religious book of words) was the effort to produce a "concordance" that focuses on words and their meanings in the King James Version of the Bible (Wikipedia).

Today's appendices (GS a-b, GS c-j, GS k-n, GS o-s, and GS t-z) show what a more modern computerized version I wrote looks like.

In those appendices, the "Strong's Numbers" are listed according to the beginning letter of the Greek or Hebrew word they are associated with.

But I digress.

The thing about all this is that in a promiscuous nomenclature the same word can have various meanings which can, in scientific or religious settings, inhibit the meaning of the text.

V. Closing Comments

In the next post of this series it will be shown that the translation of just one Hebrew word ("hayah") can totally alter one's religious perception of the cosmology of the universe.

In a perfect nomenclature setting "hayah" would be less promiscuous.

That word is in the Appendix GS c-j.

Here is a contextual quote from The Nobel Prize in Literature winner (see first video below):

"Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row"

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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