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However, those readers who do take the time to read and examine UnCommon
carefully will receive great benefit. And, I predict that they will further
discover that they
canunderstand synergic science.

The synergic sciences are new to everyone including most of today’s scientists. Most
scientists are specialists and synergic science is not their speciality The trained
scientist may have the advantage of thinking scientifically, but the material is equally
new to all readers, and very likely not in most scientist’s field of training. So please do
your best. This science will be used throughout the rest of the book to analyze and
understand our human past, to examine the crisis that faces us in the present, to
discover the shape of a synergic future, and finally to develop the synergic
mechanisms that can provide us safepassage to that synergic future.

Eventually,I believe that most humans willcome to understand even the most
advanced synergic science. That while all humans are not considered to be scientists,
all humans are
time-binders. Since science is simply the most powerful form of time-
binding, I would argue that all humans to some degree are

All humans notice and react to the changesin their environment, scientists just do it
more intensively and carefully. Scientists discover the laws of Nature by
changes in their environment. By studying these changes, they come to understand
them. The synergic sciences are “science”.

Scientific method

The most powerful tool of science has been the scientific method. First, the scientist
carefully studies some natural phenomenon or process—
observation. Then the
scientist thinks very carefully about what he has observed. He contemplates, he
meditates, he
thinks, when he sees a pattern, when he develops an insight, then the
scientist states an
hypothesis—a proposed model of reality. The scientist then makes
predictions based on the hypothesis—based on his model of reality—and then develops
a procedure to test those predictions—
experiment. And finally the scientist gathers
the results from the experiment and compares the experimental results with the
observation. Again the scientist thinks very carefully about what he
has observed. He contemplates, he meditates, he
thinks, when he sees a clearer
pattern, when he develops a better insight, he modifies his hypothesis and the
cycle is
repeated. This is the process of science, the scientific method is used over and over to

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create evermore accurate hypotheses—evermore accurate models of reality.

When an hypothesisis found to be exceedingly accurate in predicting reality, and
no exceptions can be found to its description of a natural phenomenon or
process, then and only then does it gain the
status of scientific theory. A scientific
sometimes called a generalizationmeans a principlethat has been found to
hold true in every special case.

Scientific theoriesare corroborated hypotheses—they are the most accurate
models of realitywe have. When a scientist uses the word theory, he is talking
about something much
more than an opinion—much more than an
—much more than a belief. Scientific theories are near truths.

Near truth

We humans have used scientific theory to safely take us to the moon and to cure
cancers. You can safely bet your life on scientific theory and you do – every time you
walk onto an elevator or board an airplane. And while scientists have the highest
respect for
scientific theory, they know they are not absolutes. They understand
scientific theoriesare modelsof reality and not the reality itself.

In the past these models of reality were often confused with reality itself. Those
scientific theories that survived continued human experience were thought to be
absolute truths. They were thought to be certainties. They were given the most
prestigious of names—
laws of Nature.

In 1999, scientists know better. Today we know that human knowledge always grows
with more experience. Scientific theory believed to be true today will be improved or
shown to be incomplete later.

Today, we know better. No matter how certain our ‘knowing’ appears to be. No matter
absolutely rightwe think we are. Our theories are only ‘models of reality’and
not reality itself. They are only
near truths.

First voice

Our first voice will be that of one of those fortunate scientists, who lived and worked in
with his time. One of the most famous and celebrated of modern

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physicistsRichard P. Feynmanwas born in 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. He
received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1942 in the midst of WWII. Following
graduation he joined the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico where he
played an important role in the development of atomic weapons.

When Feynman joined the project at the age of 24, the head of the theoretical division
Hans Bethewho became somewhat of a mentor to Feynman, and the two
developed a long lasting friendship. Feynman and Bethe were a good team; Feynman
was fast, but made mistakes, and Bethe was slower because he double checked
everything. One of Feynman's talents was his speed in solving equations in his head,
and finding ways to take large and complex equations and split them into smaller and
more manageable pieces. This was very useful with many of the massive formulas
used in the project, but even the split up equations were time consuming. After the
war, he went to work on his thesis with Hans Bethe, to solve the mysteries of quantum
electrodynamics. To help solve the incredibly complex equations, which took weeks for
a computer to solve, Feynman invented “
Feynman Diagrams” for theoretical
physics. Subsequently, he taught at Cornell University and at the California Institute
of Technology.

In 1965 he received the Nobel Prizein Physics, along with fellow scientists Sin-Itero
Tomanaga and Julian Schwinger, for his work in quantum electrodynamics. Two
years before receiving the Nobel Prize,
Feynman1963gave a series of lectures at the
University of Washington. His words taken from those lectures
4serve as an
appropriate introduction to
UnCommon Science.

Feynman on“What is science?

“The word ‘science’ is usually used to mean one of three things, or a mixture
of them. I do not think we need to be precise—it is not always a good idea to
be too precise. Science means, sometimes,
a special method of finding
things out
. Sometimes it means the body of knowledge arising from
the things found out
. It may also mean the new things you can do
when you have found something out
, or the actual doing of new
. This last field is usually called technology—but if you look at the

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4Richard P. Feynman, THE MEANING OF IT ALL—Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist, HELIX BOOKS –
Addison-Wesley, 1998

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science section in Time magazine you will find it covers about 50 percent
what new things are found out and about 50 percent what new things can
be and are being done. And so the popular definition of science is partly
technology, too.

“I want to discuss these three aspectsof science in reverse order. I will
begin with the new things that you can do—that is, with
technology. The
most obvious characteristic of science is its application, the fact that as a
consequence of science one has a
power to do things. And the effect this
power has had need hardly be mentioned. The whole industrial revolution
would almost have been impossible without the development of science. The
possibilities today of producing quantities of food adequate for such a large
population, of controlling sickness – the very fact that there can be free
men without the necessity of slavery for full production – are very likely
the result of the development of scientific means of production.

“Now this power to do things carries with it no instructions on how to use it,
whether to use it for good or for evil. The product of this power is either
good or evil, depending on how it is used. We like improved production, but
we have problems with automation. We are happy with the development of
medicine, and then we worry about the number of births and the fact that
no one dies from the diseases we have eliminated. Or else, with the same
knowledge of bacteria, we have hidden laboratories in which men are
working as hard as they can to develop bacteria for which no one else will
be able to find a cure. We are happy with the development of air
transportation and are impressed by the great airplanes, but we are aware
also of the severe horrors of air war. We are pleased by the ability to
communicate between nations, and then we worry about the fact that we
can be snooped upon so easily. We are excited by the fact that space can
now be entered; well, we will undoubtedly have a difficulty there, too. The
most famous of all these imbalances is the development of nuclear energy
and its obvious problems.

“Is science of any value?

“I think a power to do something is of value.Whether the result is a good
thing or a bad thing depends on how it is used, but the power is a value.

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“Once in Hawaii I was taken to see a Buddhist temple. In the temple a man
said, “I am going to tell you something that you will never forget.” And then
he said, “To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key
opens the gates of hell.”

“And so it is with science. In a way it is a key to the gates of heaven, and the
same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to
which is which gate. Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to
enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which
is the best way to use the key? That is, of course, a very serious question,
but I think that we cannot deny the value of the key to the gates of heaven.

“All the major problems of the relations between society and science lie in
this same area. When the scientist is told that he must be more responsible
for his effects on society, it is the applications of science that are referred to.
if you work to develop nuclear energy you must realize also that it can be
used harmfully. Therefore, you would expect that, in a discussion of this
kind by a scientist, this would be the most important topic. But I will not
talk about it further. I think that to say these are scientific problems is an
exaggeration. They are far more
humanitarianproblems. The fact that
how to work the power is clear, but how to control it is not, is something not
so scientific and is not something that the scientist knows so much about.

“Let me illustrate why I do not want to talk about this. Some time ago, in
about 1949 or 1950, I went to Brazil to teach physics. There was a Point
Four program in those days, which was very exciting – everyone was going
to help the underdeveloped countries. What they needed, of course, was
technical know-how.

“In Brazil I lived in the city of Rio. In Rio there are hills on which are homes
made with broken pieces of wood from old signs and so forth. The people are
extremely poor. They have no sewers and no water. In order to get water
they carry old gasoline cans on their heads down the hills. They go to a
place where a new building is being built, because there they have water
for mixing cement. The people fill their cans with water and carry them up
the hills. And later you see the water dripping down the hill in dirty
sewage. It is a pitiful thing.

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“Right next to these hills are the exciting buildings of the Copacabana
beach, beautiful apartments, and so on.

“And I said to my friends in the Point Four program, “Is this a problem of
technical know-how? They don't know how to put a pipe up the hill? They
don't know how to put a pipe to the top of the hill so that the people can at
least walk uphill with the empty cans and downhill with the full cans?”

“So it is not a problem of technical know-how. Certainly not, because in the
neighboring apartment buildings there are pipes, and there are pumps. We
realize that now. Now we think it is a problem of economic assistance, and
we do not know whether that really works or not. And the question of how
much it costs to put a pipe and a pump to the top of each of the hills is not
one that seems worth discussing, to me.

“Although we do not know how to solve the problem, I would like to point out
that we tried two things, technical know-how and economic assistance. We
are discouraged with them both, and we are trying something else. As you
will see later, I find this encouraging. I think that to keep trying new
solutions is the way to do everything.

“Those, then are the practical aspects of science, the new things that you
can do. They are so obvious that we do not need to speak about them

“The next aspect of science is its contents, the things that have been
found out.
This is the yield. This is the gold. This is the excitement, the
pay you get for all the disciplined thinking and hard work. The work is not
done for the sake of an application. It is done for the excitement of what is
found out. Perhaps most of you know this. But to those of you who do not
know it, it is almost impossible for me to convey in a lecture this important
aspect, this exciting part, the
real reason for science. And without
understanding this you miss the whole point. You cannot understand
science and its relation to anything else unless you understand and
appreciate the great adventure of our time. You do not live in your time
unless you understand that this is a tremendous adventure and a wild and

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exciting thing.

“Do you think it is dull? It isn’t. It is most difficult to convey, but perhaps I
can give some idea of it. Let me start anywhere, with any idea.

“For instance, the ancients believed that the earth was the back of an
elephant that stood on a tortoise that swam in a bottomless sea. Of course,
what held up the sea was another question. They did not know the answer.

“The belief of the ancients was the result of imagination. It was a poetic and
beautiful idea. Look at the way we see it today. Is that a dull idea? The
world is a spinning ball, and people are held on it on all sides, some of them
upside down. And we turn like a spit in front of a great fire. We whirl
around the sun. That is more romantic, more exciting. And what holds us?
The force of gravitation, which is not only a thing of the earth but is the
thing that makes the earth round in the first place, holds the sun together
and keeps us running around the sun in our perpetual attempt to stay
away. This gravity holds its sway not only on the stars but between the
stars; it holds them in the great galaxies for miles and miles in all

“This universe has been described by many, but it just goes on, with its edge
as unknown as the bottom of the bottomless sea of the other idea – just as
mysterious, just as awe-inspiring, and just as incomplete as the poetic
pictures that came before.

“But see that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the
imagination of man. No one who did not have some inkling of this through
observations could ever have imagined such a marvel as nature is.

“Or the earth and time. Have you read anywhere, by any poet, anything
about time that compares with real time, with the long, slow process of
evolution? Nay, I went too quickly. First, there was the earth without
anything alive on it. For billions of years this ball was spinning with its
sunsets and its waves and the sea and the noises, and there was no thing
alive to appreciate it. Can you conceive, can you appreciate or fit into your
ideas what can be the meaning of a world without a living thing on it? We

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