3d Rendered Vibrio Bacteria.

“The goal of all scientific investigation was not only to discover new ideas, but also to find the motions upon which all changes in nature are based and their corresponding motive forces.” ~ Mohammed Bagayogo.

Long before recorded history—before Kemet, before Kush and before Nubia—men had learned to use simple machines such as levers and wheels, for lightening labor and accomplishing otherwise impossible architectural and industrial feats.

Afre Akufu’s (Khufu) Pyramid was well constructed with various advanced levers and pulley systems still mystifyingly complex to comprehend. In any event, our ancient Egyptian ancestors accumulated much information about mechanics either through shrewd observation or trial-and-error methods.

The explicit formulation of mechanical laws based on systematic analyses of pervasive mechanical relations took place under the classical periods in Kemet. One branch of mechanics, mainly statics, reached an advanced status stage of development by the time of Djoser. Notable scientists who worked in this field include Imho-Tef, Hesi-Rah and Meri-Tah in the 27th Century B.C.

Many centuries on, the scholars of Sankore would lay emphasis on the idea that, since life changes, the motive force of life itself must be determined in order to understand the diversity of life on the planet and beyond. A useful hint concerning the actual subject matter of mechanics is implied. To understand the motion and to resolve the motive forces underpinning changes in any natural event is to fully comprehend the system under study.

The etymology of the word mechanics has a long history. The word is derived from the Ancient Egyptian expression for a contrivance, where the contrivances are devices—such as levers, inclined planes, wedges, and the wheel and axle—used for making changes, lifting and moving weights. The study of such machines, with a view of not only discovering the various advantages they possess, but to understand and resolve the motive forces employed in their workings, was in Sankore and still is in general science, regarded as a distinctive task of the science of mechanics.

MECHANICALbetterflagella
The mechanical depiction of the structure of a flagellum.

Even the attempt at the proof of the existence of God, or Intelligent Design, has come to be more acceptable to scientists who view the existence of a mechanical unicellular organism more as a sign of God than the mere presence of biological systems.

Mechanics have come to dominate a large portion of scientific explanation in this regard. No dilettante of science can escape the confines of the flexibility and rigidity of the laws of mechanics and in tandem the mechanical explanations of the universe around us.

Scholars in Nubia, however, attempted a slightly different approach in explaining away the motive forces behind change.

In one broad usage of mechanical explanations, any answer to questions such as “How does it work?” or “How is it done?” was apparently a mechanical explanation, whatever may be the determining factors of the processes under discussion to which the answer called attention.

Although the words mechanics and mechanical are used too ambiguously in many popular and even technical discussions, they are at best only loosely defined terms. In Nubia the roots were employed by Meri-Tah and his successors in a fairly precise sense–the explanation of the machine and its motion.

But in many ways, Mechanics have come to imply the existence of a maker, or even a user. Thus any complex organism, especially one that demonstrates a mechanical appearance or a mechanical way of locomotion, is quickly identified as an organism with a maker, that is, not a result of evolution. Some ancient Egyptian scholars reckoned that if human processes could be mechanically explained, if changes in the environment could be mechanically understood, then a resolution of the motive forces behind the human (as a locomotive) will only go to prove that a maker exists – that is Amen-Ra.

In this way, the Sun (and ideas of the Sun God) held sway. Since humans needed sustenance from plants, animals and from their environment—the energy of the Sun—the mechanical processes of photosynthesis and decomposition became dominant schools of thought in most temples across Nubia and Kemet. Further, a few scholars figured that the energy of the Sun alone could not fully address the resolution of the motive forces behind life. Water was needed. Hence the rivers, the oceans and in general all water bodies became a constant source of scholarship in finding a universal mechanical explanation of the universe in many temples as well.

And there is no doubt, they said, that life begun in water with a lightening strike of Amen Ra. But what is the mechanics of such an event?

At this point there were several attempts to extend such analyses to cover the motions of bodies not in equilibrium. A long line of subsequent engineers and scientists including the Moors, the Arabs and various scholars at the university in Timbuktu, such as Ahmed Baba and Modibo Mohammed Al Kaburi, finally recast and elaborated the fundamental principles of the science and applied them to surprisingly large numbers of diverse domains.

One would ask, what then is a mechanical explanation?

flagellum1_hengagesdisengaGED
The mechanical workings of the flagellum on the Vibrio Bacterium

In modern science, the words often occur in discussions of levers, pulleys, and pendulums clocks, but these words are not less common in accounts of the modern automobile, electric clocks, and the photographic camera. Again, innumerable books take for their explicit subject matter the mechanics of such diverse processes as hearing, eating, and breathing, along with the transmissions of hereditary traits and the operations of political organizations.

Even modern researchers in the natural sciences, like their predecessors in Nubia and Kemet, also proceed on the assumption that biological organisms are physiochemical compounds, frequently characterized as illustrations of “mechanical materialism.”

Moreover, the perfunctory responses of human beings to various social situations are sometimes described as mechanical. Some theories of music and poetry, as well as their compositions, are often described in the same manner.

As the above examples make plain, mechanics are commonly employed not only in analyses of problems studied specifically by that science, but also of thermal, electromagnetic, optical, chemical, physiological, and social processes which are not usually explained in terms of the characteristic notions of that discipline.

There are various alternatives to the explanation of the universe around us–especially African rhythms and musical compositions. And with those, there are various explanations of life. None deviate more from the mechanical explanation as the Rhythmical Explanations discovered in the 6th Century A.D. in Timbuktu.

Given the broad usage of terminology, it is indeed obvious that the sense of mechanical when used in judgments evaluating human performances is quite alien to the sense of the word in contexts of theoretical analysis in the social and natural sciences.

Except to capture the meaning of the world in step-by-step explanations, there is no core precise meaning common to these various usages of the words mechanical and mechanics. From Kemet to Kush to Nubia, each culture gathers its own meanings and philosophies.

19 COMMENTS

  1. This is well written actually. The idea that one form of explanation is quickly used in explaining away the confusions of another form of knowledge has been going on for millennia. Even the Nubians were susceptible to the mistake. The fact the a second degree differential equation fully captures the motive forces attendant in a given rate of change of velocity and consequently of the second rate of change of distance on a given mass (be it point masses or otherwise) does not mean that the mechanical explanations should be equally employed in deducing the motive forces attendant on a stock exchange. I find the explanation (mechanical) of the existence of God rather interesting with the use of the increasingly stupefying appearance of a mechanical flagellum of simple organisms. This is where the author carefully shows that science often oversteps boundaries. Great stuff by this Menes guy. Interesting read.

  2. I am no science expert, so I will definitely read this several times over. The picture about the filament piqued my interest. The mechanics of our daily products so resemble the flagellum and cellular organisms that it is shocking.

  3. All men alive today descend from one man who lived 200’000 – 300’000 years ago.

    You were not created by God 6’000 years ago. In fact, you were not created at all. Sorry if that makes you mad. I sympathise.

  4. That you were not created 6,000 years ago is proven. That you were not created at all is not. There’s a difference.

  5. A friend attempted an explanation of the existence of God/Intelligent Design [Creative Force or Creator] in the following. He piggybacks on ongoing confusion in the scientific community of whether the mechanical flagellum of a bacteria could have an evolutionary basis or an intelligent design basis. His take is interesting in that he also lays to rest [he is not the first historian] the 6,000 year creation story with explicit examples from history 2700 BC.

    As an observer, please take a look at the images of the mechanical flagellum and let me know if you still believe the Theory of Evolution should still hold in this case, or not. It’s a lively debate.

  6. I remember browsing through this article a several weeks ago. It was mystifying then as at now.

  7. Menes merely asserts that the mechanics of the flagellum lends credence to theism — at least, according to some scientists.

    What has that got to do with my claim that men are not created at all?

  8. The trouble here is no one knows for sure what happened. The last thing on the mind of whoever was first on the planet was surely not to prove their existence. Claims and counter-claims from both the creationist and evolutionist points of view is as confusing as ever. Why can’t we just live this short life we have, enjoying every bit of the experience and forget what might have been? Seems to me the religious and scientific camps feel the need get get one up on the other like some kind of ego exercise for points.

  9. The problem with modern scientists is that they do not understand Science and the exercise that is Science. They think Science is “proven truth/fact”. They cannot live with not knowing for sure – uncertainty. They must prove “it” in order that the subject can be laid finally to rest. They are obsessed with proof – proof of the theory and hate anyone who supplies “any” disproof of the theory since it back-steps the whole exercise that is “proving the theory.” Few scientists spend 40 years in the lab and then accept the humbling fact that they cannot know for sure, all things. Hence the beef with Creation. It’s a psychological problem of the modern scientist – they feel they have something to prove. They don’t. And they can’t!

  10. Science is experimenting with theories, for plausible ideas. You have conveniently switched it around here…lol. It’s the other way round, if I’m being honest, my friend. The real problem is with the theory of creation. Makes little sense, like Eve was created from the ribs of Adam, period? We all came from a woman’s vagina, and science proves that – we see it everyday, but, I won’t get irate over any of that. The creationist theory is one sided story and unyielding. Difficult to put any other views across. Maybe that’s what motivates scientists to keep going…lol.

  11. You just said because we see babies come from vaginas then science proves that we come from vaginas? So which vagina did the first man come from?

    I am in no way implying that the world was created or not. I don’t know and I don’t care. Scientists, including myself, seem to care but have no proof of their theories. No proof! Just theory.

  12. How poignantly sad that you recognise that certainty plays no role in science and yet dogmatically subscribe to relativism

  13. What scientists believe about science and about their own work has no effect whatsoever on the truth or falsity of their theories. This distinction is fundamental otherwise you can scarcely explain the growth of knowledge.

  14. The theory of Evolution is somniferous diablerie. May we for the purpose of brevity stick to the topic? I am not ready to discuss theory, in general, and what one scientist may believe despite his/her theory on a subject. Who has time for what scientists believe? Scientists are not in the business of believing and if one starts recounting their faith, bounce.

    Let me reiterate, the Theory of Evolution is bogus. It was an interesting theory to start with – a sincere attempt to map the existence of complex life forms from simple biomolecular ones – but the mounting evidence against it has never before befallen any other theory that still stands. At this point it should be scrapped. But pathetic scientists keep indulging in it with some flare of religiosity.

    I am not so sure why social science students, political science students and philosophy students are so enamored by it. The God-Hypothesis or the No-Theory-Hypothesis bothers no true scientist. If you are now beginning to understand the Theory that is Evolution then you have a long way to go. It’s full of information and no network. It is kreplach without taste. It is a somniferous kind of diablerie. Don’t waste your mind.

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