An Introduction to Energenesis

24 January 2006 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

Another concept that I have created–energenesis (pronounced e-ner-gen-EE-sis)–is closely related to “energonomics.”  It asks us to consider the origin, the genesis, of energy.  My curiosity about this subject knows no bounds.  It is perhaps the naive curiosity of the humanities student who is enamored of the sciences.  But I like to think of it as a child-like exuberance, that which is critical to the scientific endeavor itself (See for example, Kay Redfield Jamison’s book on Exuberance which quotes Richard Feynman as follows:

“Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.  Some will tell me that I have just described a religious experience.  Very well, you may call it what you will.”  Also: “Where did the stuff of life and of the earth come from?  It looks as if it was belched from some exploding star, much as some of the stars are exploding now.  So this piece of dirt waits four and a half billion years and evolves and changes, and now a strange creature stands here with instruments and talks to the strange creatures in the audience.  What a wonderful world!” (240). 

I read Jamison as part of my ongoing researches into energenesis–into the origin of energy.  What is the source of my energy, I wonder?  That excitable energy, that is, that I feel when it comes to considering the big questions of life?  I wonder about the biophysics of exuberance vs. depression (Jamison writes that “Depression conserves energy; mania expends it” [121]).  Someday they’ll measure the caloric expenditure of exuberance. . . 

And what I’m especially curious about is the “infectious nature” of enthusiasm.  Jamison speaks of it often but never explains the physics of such energy transfer–unless it’s just a kind of interpersonal thermodynamism whereby we “become-molecular”:  one person gets excited and burns more glucose in the process of thought, and upon expressing this enthusiasm to others, the excitement spreads the way heat spreads among a cluster of molecules. . .

Ultimately, this is the point at which we leave off the energy trail that I have described:  from the sun into food into humans to the brain.  What happens then?  Where does the energy go?  The energy of our thoughts, the energy it takes to generate thought?  I believe that thinking itself is an expenditure of energy, and has as much effect on the universe as a pot of boiling water, or–to be a bit more dramatic about it–a volcanic upsurge, or a star bursting supernova:  things happen in the world.  This is the point where the interdisciplinary study of sciences–astrophysics, botany, nutrition, neurology–leads to the interdisciplinary study of social sciences–psychology, social psychology, anthropology, economics.



Entry filed under: books, energonomics, science.

Quantum Epistemology Energenesis as Consilience

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