Meditation on Biology and Technology: Mechanisms as a Grid

GRID 2020 Abstracts

Meditation on Biology and Technology:
Mechanisms as a Grid

Dr. Amos Bardea
Faculty of Engineering, HIT

Session IV: Grids of Biology and Technology
Monday, November 23, 2020 | 14:30-15:30 (Duet A)

Science deals with the observation of nature in the way of independent human interests, while technology meets human-dependent interests. Hence, science is objective and technology is subjective. Science strives to understand causality in nature while technology is teleological in its character. There are two directions of the vector between nature and the human that can be identified with each: the first direction, from nature to human belongs to science, since the human observation in nature is independent in terms that the information flows from nature to human. The second direction of the vector from human to nature belongs to Technology, since the human provides to the nature the developed technology according to human interests. Another essential difference between science and technology is the way of thinking. In technology, we apply teleological thinking while in science not.

“Vitalism" is the belief that living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things. Biology had became in the 18th century a science as physics and chemistry, since Biology withdraws from the concept of Vitalism in favor of applying reduction of all processes in organism on physicochemical phenomena. That is, any phenomenon in organism will only be explained by the principles of chemistry and physics. Despite this, still, any thinking about Bioprocessing is based on assumed that organism is acting as a mechanism. Mechanism is the belief that natural wholes are like complicated machines or artefacts, composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other. In the science of biology, a mechanism is a system of causally interacting parts and processes that finally produce one or more effects. Scientists explain this phenomenon by describing mechanisms that could produce the phenomena. For example, natural selection is a mechanism of biological evolution; other mechanisms of evolution include genetic drift, mutation, and gene flow. Hence, biology and technology have a common denominator of teleological thinking. Most of mechanisms can be described as a grid of factors with control systems done by applying feedback and feedforward. Any action is a result of previous action, from the start to terminus.

These insights cause significant philosophic problematics:

  1. In distinguishing between science and technology.
  2. In describing the biology as a deterministic system, therefore all organisms are actively regarded as robots.
  3. In assuming the existence of mechanism without a designer.