The Ethics of Science, Art and Light

Here’s some mullein blooming against a backdrop of grasses gone to seed. P1130568The seeds represent four months of light transformed into starches and stored in the seeds of the grass, which show up as bright light against the darker backdrop of the grass blades themselves.So, I have some questions about that:

1. Is light actually being frozen into shape here in complex carbon and hydrogen molecules?

2. Does that represent the nature of the earth, as opposed to the nature of the universe as a whole?

3. Are the human body and mind a sensitive tool for identifying these concentrations?

4. Can a mechanical or electronic tool be developed that would mimic this human process?

5. Could it do effective work?

6. Would it be worthwhile?

If so, it would be a combined engineering and aesthetic process, because this…


… is sure aesthetically pleasing. Again, questions:

1. Is beauty and aesthetic appreciation actually an accurate method of scientific measurement, as Goethe proposed 200 years ago?`

2. If so, what can it reveal that statistically-based, numerical science cannot?


If a human body is an accurate measurement device (so to speak) for the natural world, then the questions fly in rapidly:

1. What are the ethics of using mechanical or mathematical tools to measure the world instead?

2. What is the price that is paid? What is lost? What is gained?

3. Is that a price worth being paid?

4. What could be gained by integrating human measurement, through beauty, into scientific processes?

5. What would be lost?

6. What are the ethical dimensions of that choice?

Of course, there is another set of questions, of a very practical, procedural nature:


1. What are the aesthetic-scientific procedures best suited for these relationships between humans and the earth?

2. What part of scientific procedure do they adopt? What part of aesthetic procedure?

3. What kind of space and time do they create?

4. What kind of cities and human relationships come out of them?

And of course, the big question:


When can we start this exciting work?

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