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Biological Notions of Self and Non-Self.
October 3, 2003
6:30 pm
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"The Biological Notion of Self and Non-self:

Fundamental to biology are (1) defining the characteristics of identity which distinguish individual organisms from those of similar kind, and (2) describing the mechanisms that defend organisms from their predators. Immunology is the science devoted to these problems. A progeny of late 19th-century pathology and microbiology, immunology did not attain a formal theoretical construction until after World War II, when “the self” was introduced to provide a ready and convenient metaphor for deciphering immune reactivity. In the original formulation, normally, host constituents are ignored by the immune system, while “the other”—pathogens, foreign substances, altered host elements—are processed and destroyed. By the late 1970s, “the self” became the foundation of immune theorizing, and immunology dubbed itself the science of “self/non-self discrimination.” But this dominant model has recently been challenged, for the self is polymorphous and ill-defined. Contemporary transplantation biology and autoimmunity have demonstrated phenomena that fail to allow strict adherence to such a dichotomy of self/non-self, and as new models are emerging, “the self” has been left exposed as a metaphor, whose grounding—philosophically and scientifically—is unsteady and thus increasingly elusive as the putative nexus of immunology's doctrines." - Stanford University.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....logy-self/

The question is: Does our consciousness depend upon our biology or our biology upon our consciousness?

And is it our deluded conscious awareness of our biology and its perceived needs that is responsible for this "dichotomy of self/non-self"?

October 3, 2003
7:04 pm
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Ladeska
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Does bring the phrase "studying one's own navel" right to the forefront. To what end? Do we study our navel because we are afraid of the limitless maybe? If we can confine it, then it's not the dark hairy "thing"? If we can control it, pet it and name it - can we keep it, Daddy?

I dunno.....the universes that stretch out into infinity doesn't fit inside that neat little box thingie.. Although that doesn't keep us from trying to make it fit. Maybe Archimedes could actually help us with this problem....

October 4, 2003
9:36 pm
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Maybe we need a bigger hammer in trying to make things fit... 🙂 That's what the ministers of the Religion of Science seem to me to preach.

I think that it is fascinating that academia is now acknowledging the lack of a clear demarcation line between self and other. If no boundary between the two exists then perhaps both are one, therefore all are one - the end of all duality. Is that a quantum irrational leap in logic?

October 5, 2003
3:13 pm
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Ladeska
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Yea, well...."logic" in this world is a very dangerous thing when let out of his cage... Hunted down and killed I think...is the way that one goes. And no quantum leaps unless the group think think tank - says so. Mother may I? Did Simon say I could?

October 5, 2003
6:56 pm
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I do not know. 🙂

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