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Academic Enquiry
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Science and Wisdom

'There is no Blackfoot language, or Navajo language, in the European sense of vocabularies and wordlists --
instead, there are about 80 roots in Blackfoot [each of which stands for a kinesthetic prime of animate motion}'

Dan Moonhawk Alford

Since the beginnings if its time on earth mankind has explored the nature of the Universe. Over the ages ancient and indigenous cultures achieved extraordinary levels of understanding about natural processes and 'wisdom traditions' developed that preserved and protected these bodies of knowledge. Imaginative and intuitive ways of acquiring knowledge were highly valued and seen as vital to the creative process. Wisdom, in this respect, was the accumulated body of understanding handed down from one generation to the next in order to guide and preserve the generations yet to come.

Prior to the 1700s the study of nature and the physical universe was known as 'Natural Philosophy'. Over the course of the nineteenth century, however, the word science in the Western world came to be associated with the systematic study of phenomena based on observation, experiment, and measurement. To be termed scientific, methods of inquiry increasingly needed to be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. Outer enquiry was separated from inner and knowledge, rather than wisdom, became the focus.

Indigenous science, however, never followed this model. For example measurement is part of Native American Science, but does not play such a foundational role. Instead there is a focus on the 'coming-into-beingness' of the world. Native Americans never cliam regularities as 'laws' or 'finalities', but rather accept constant dynamic motion anf flux. They see science as the 'search for reality', but do not constrain what that reality is.

Now science is beginning to acknowledge that in the sub-atomic realm there are no longer any things: there is only a dynamic flux of process and relationship - and this is opening up all sorts of possibilities of reconciling modern scientific enquiry with the teachings of ancient wisdom.

Here you can access resources that explore the nature of scientific enquiry and read the thoughts of people now seeking more wisdom-based approaches.

The question is how can science, when it is based on a fragmentary attitude to life, ever understand the essence of real problems that depend on an indefinitely wide context? The answer does not lie in the accumulation of more and more knowledge. What is needed is wisdom. It is a lack of wisdom that is causing most of our serious problems rather than a lack of knowledge'

David Peat - Science, Order and Creativity

American Mathematics Society - 2009 Mathematical Art Exhibition

Buckminster Fuller Institute

David Bohm links

David Peat's website

Robert Gray Projects

Nick Maxwell's site ' From Knowledge to Wisdom'

Stephen Philiips - 'Pythagoran Aspects of Music'