by mol smith 2013
Credits, Permissions & References     [Part 1: 1  2  3  4  5  6   ]  Part 2 [ 7  ]                                                                                


Introduction to Part 2

Part 1,  I introduced several threads (some based on observations with microscopes, some not) exploring the theme of spiritual and scientific mutuality. Whereas strong champions of science-centred views of our reality quickly become  polarised arguments to the equally strong spiritually-centred  advocates, I remain of an opinion that this kind of 'war' denies all of us an opportunity to consider facts and beliefs soberly and properly. A belief is not always founded on imagination and hope. For example, I believe I will not die rich. This is based on my knowledge of my lifestyle but not a knowledge of good fortune coming my way in the future, or a change of heart to pursue money as a goal instead of my own life-time bent of wanting to be useful, and to have time to consider just being. Science has beliefs too, conjectures based on evidence gained to date but also based on theoretical models of where evidence from different disciplines awaits further proofs as we extend our capabilities.

Science becomes corrupted just as spirituality has

I also believe that science was once a tool of enlightenment but is rapidly becoming a sword honed and gripped in the hands of military and corporate entities for competitive advantages, and is being wrestled from the neutral  hands of objective knowledge-seekers. I think the same happened to spiritual beliefs way back in the past when spirituality became institutionalised into something we now call religion. Microscopy, practiced as an enthusiast, allows the freedom of researching anything in the small-scale world (within the limits of financial constraints) and adding what you discover to your other ideas and learning. Science now only 'looks' in very narrow corners of our reality due to research budgets mostly coming from companies likely to benefit from whatever is discovered.

Spiritual exploration seeks the truth of being. Science seeks knowledge of being. These two things are not the same. Seeking truth means acquiring knowledge which can stand tests which prove that knowledge obtained is indeed true and remains so throughout unfolding time and the future acquisition of more knowledge. Science should be considered a knowledge-gathering device and spirituality should be considered a truth-determining device reaping in scientific, philosophic, and intuitive reasoning in a quest for that one goal.

As science stands today with its concepts and ideas about reality, forfeit of Newtonian and classical science when exploring the quantum seed of all reality - it is unlikely it will ever be able to realise absolute truth. Aspects of the quantum world, I feel, will always remain outside our capabilities to perceive and understand.

People dismiss spirituality too readily. It is something which has put morality and social structure into our reality since the first people looked at themselves and our behaviour and probably thought some things appeared inappropriate to our survival rather than not right with the gods. Caveman (I think not) are depicted as banging women over the head and having their wicked way with them, but who then will look after the resultant children? Maybe the first priests were scientifically-motivated and practical too, and maybe they also had a higher degree of empathy for others in their species. Who knows? We are no longer there and all evidence about the past has all the important edges missing from their puzzle parts so we conjecture and imagine the way the pieces fit together.

I will take on the role of a fresh torch bearer, not one who carries a torch to light this idea or that one, but instead someone to shine a bright beam on evidence and conjecture, and to consider these aspects in all kinds of novel and informed ways. I am not here to solve a puzzle but to demonstrate how the puzzle can be looked at from quite different and more positive ways. To make a fresh cake sometimes you have to break up the old one... disruptive Ideas!

About knowledge, facts, myths, detail, generality, and what we are all taught or think is true.

The Birds And The Bees
I would like you to consider a small experiment about the usefulness of knowledge. You can do it yourself, right now. I would like you to consider this: what is it in a bee or wasp sting which causes you to feel pain? You can start by 'Googling' the question and see where it leads. But be advised that is not the final question I will ask .

This may help:
  - Wasp and Bee venom are not the same regarding Ph factor.
  - Wasps and Bees can be considered part of the collective Ant-derived family of insects.
  - Wasps, Bees, and Ants all love honey.
  - Is their venom made from what they obtain from honey?
  - Internet-derived information is so often regurgitated generality and is not peer-reviewed.

This is the stinger of a queen wasp, Vespula vulgaris. It is contained in a vintage microscope slide set and dates to 1913. You can see the inner workings of a wasp's sting quite clearly at this resolution: two tiny barbs are contained in the tip. The first barb is thrust into the unfortunate receiver in order to stabilise the insect so it can deliver a second spike which injects the actual venom. The shot was captured through a 19th century Broadhurst & Clarkson microscope, with my camera set up on a tripod looking directly down into the viewfinder. The photograph can be found in full resolution at this address. http://tjblackwell.co.uk/lucid

Author TJBlackwell   Creative Commons licence granted.


The trouble with information. Most of it is inaccurate.
So how did you do? Ten sites saying venom. (What a laugh!). As many sites saying wasp and bee sting poison are alakaline or acidic based? (I didn't ask that!). Twenty sites at the top of your search telling you something but not the thing you need to know? A few suggestions regarding a pepetide called melittin (Bees) maybe?

No-one knows what all the real ingedient or ingredients are (chemicals) which cause the pain, and often a fatality in some people when they are stung. Some 60 odd proteins  are involved. The main component is melittin comprising 52% of venom peptides. Melittin is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and induces the production of cortisol in the body.

Apamin increases cortisol production in the adrenal gland. Apamin is a mild neurotoxin. Adolapin, comprising 25% of the peptides, acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic because it blocks cyclooxygenase. Phospholipase A2 amounts to 1012% of peptides and it is the most destructive component of apitoxin. It is an enzyme which degrades the phospholipids which cellular membranes are made of. It also causes decreased blood pressure and inhibits blood coagulation. Phospholipase A2 activates arachidonic acid which is metabolized in the cyclooxygenase-cycle to form prostaglandins. Prostaglandins regulate the body's inflammatory response. The toxin from wasps contains phospholipase A1. Hyaluronidase comprising 13% of peptides dilates the capillaries causing the spread of inflammation. Histamine comprising 0.52% and is involved in the allergic response. Dopamine and noradrenaline which comprise 12% increase pulse rate. Protease-inhibitors comprise 2% and act as anti-inflammatory agents and stop bleeding. Tertiapin is also a component in bee venom.

Quite interesting how each of the identified components above seem to specifically target processes in mammals! What mechanism in nature do you consider transferred information relating to the critical biological systems of mammals (humans) to the design triggers of a bee sting venom manufacturing unit? One could argue that many bees with different venom were made in the past but only those carrying an effective attack-mammal venom survived:  the ones which are with us today!

Although that answer does not answer why life 'thought' It should defend its structural presence of life and  build a mechanism to defend its own existence as a design from other possible life designs wanting to protect their own designs and possibly mess, destructively, with Bees and Wasps designs to maintain their own in the first place. What? Life units know they may be disassembled by other life units? Where did that come from. Oh... yes.. the ones that didn't have such mechanisms are no longer are here... right? I don't think that answers the question. It creates another question: why create attack and defensive mechanisms and why create non-attack and non-defensive life forms unless a bias existed in the first place for creating living forms with and without systems of this ilk in the first place. Why not just create one set or the other? You only need the protective / defensive ones if you suspect or come to react to one of the life forms with this in place, in the first instance. Or, more profoundly, you were trying to build a living form with  design that was probing the best design to be to take on all other compound mixes of organic chemical packages to work through getting to an ever-surviving form of life. Once again we are suggesting that the process of evolution has an intent. Not a blind purpose but a profound aim, an intention, a bias.

But that is not the question I wanted to ask you. Why is it that Bees and wasps, also hover-flies, tigers, the  ribbon snake, the striped racer and garter snake,
and the Cinnabar moth all have yellow and black striped markings? Apart from the hoverfly (which mimics the warning markings of the others) each creature exhibits a strong predatory or aggressive feature. Not all are poisonous. The moth can turn cannibalistic.