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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Reductionistic vs. Holistic

一些思索,記錄一下。

從一個「全人」與整體療癒的信仰者的角度來說,看見某些化約論者對單一成分與化學分子的執著,或許不能理解,也無法解釋為何有些植物甚至在以蒸餾或酒精浸泡萃取之後,少掉了某個具有獨特療效的分子,萃取物卻仍可以展現那個缺乏的成分的療效,

從化約論者的角度來說,不研究單一分子,一味的強調整體效益,混淆的變項太多,非常難以釐清,要如何能夠下定論。

在研究精油與藥草保健的路上,我也自問過很多次,芳療師為什麼要研究精油的化學,或是單一分子在人體生理學上的代謝途徑。也在很多文獻的研讀與實際的應用上體會到每株植物都具有它獨特的整體療效,不是分離出來的單一成分可以解釋的。

這些年的龜步摸索之後,有了部分體會,這兩者並不衝突。我懂了在植物面前要謙卑的態度。We try to break down or analyze an herb or essential oil's components, in an attempt to understand why it is able to do what it does for us. But what's more important in trying to breaking it all down, is that we should learn to appreciate the plant as a whole, how it is capable of doing what it does for itself, and benefit us human beings who just happened to be lucky enough to share the world with them.

前一陣子在某一齣美劇裡面,有一段桂冠詩人與物理學家的對話很值得參酌。

詩人質疑物理學者,你如何在簡化一切的化約論中生活?如何能夠看見美麗?物理學家反擊,你質疑我研究美麗事物的組成分子會讓我看不見美麗,讓我引用知名物理學家理查.費曼的說法、他說,我能看見比一般人更多的東西,我能夠想像細胞,也能體會花朵之所以進化,是為了讓顏色更吸引昆蟲,這也表示昆蟲能夠看見顏色,也許昆蟲跟我們一樣可以體會顏色之美。對這些細微成分的體會,只會增加世界的美感,不會減少。所以,詩人先生,我不僅只活在一個美麗的世界裡,我還瞭解這個世界為何美麗。

ps. 最後詩人在隔天的早晨把物理學家的論點,寫到他朗誦的新詩裡面。

Let me tell you a little something about beauty, Mr. Hobbs. 
You seem to think I can't appreciate beauty because I study the intricacies of its components. 
It was Richard Feynman, physicist, personal hero of mine, who put it best. He said that he could appreciate the beauty of a flower more than, say, uh, you. He said he could see more than the average man sees. He could imagine its cells, he could appreciate that the flower evolved in order to make its colors more attractive to insects. Which means that insects see color. I mean, maybe they share our aesthetic sense. Recognizing the majesty of the quantum world only adds to the beauty of life. It does not subtract. So to answer your question, Mr. Hobbs, I don't just live in a beautiful world, I understand it.