Category Archives: Scientific theory

More devolution than evolution

Responding on LinkedIn Global Foresight thread… on changes in the economic rules.

The idea that economic change develops from local innovation, like biological evolution, is also a general rule for all other environmental processes.  Change is distributed and developmental in general, and *does not actually follow formulas*.

The traditional natural science paradigm has tried to always explain things with formulas, as was so successful with mechanics and planetary motion.   For complex systems with evolving parts like economics, it just doesn’t make sense.

So, the new rule is looking for new rules, not for the permanent ones, for where change is developing and the old rules won’t apply.

It’s a big subject obviously, but the kind of systems physics that truly informs economics is not that of Stephen Wolfram or any of the other old school systems theorists.  They all try to fix their inability to find general rules for nature by making smaller and smaller rules ones.   Continue reading More devolution than evolution

Survival and creative learning, that Darwin left out

Comment on Dot Earth2/14/09 regarding Darwin, “On the origin and fate of species

One of the more curious omissions in the neo-Darwinian interpretation of evolution, still, is to account for learning.     Every kind of ‘foraging’ and ‘risk avoidance’ behavior is clear evidence of an individual complex system engaged in learning essential to its wellbeing.

It’s already part of our understanding of how things survive and thrive around us, but not considered as having a role in evolution.

That humans don’t appreciate how crutial that process of local environmental discovery is, seems to be one of those mysterious omissions we call “hidden in sight”.

It would greatly advance our knowledge of evolution and the world around us to realize just how very many kinds of natural complex systems:

  • a) are individual animated things that behave as a whole,
  • b) engage in active learning about their surroundings and
  • c) foil the universal tendency of decay to thrive instead by doing learning creatively

(even systems doing so by some means other than pre-cognition)
Continue reading Survival and creative learning, that Darwin left out

Science yearning for rules in a world of change…

re: Feb 14 2009 Science News – editor’s comment

Editor Tom Siegfried’s comment emphasizes that the main subject of science is understanding a world of change, but one might not know that from asking scientists.

Scientists have built their whole culture around finding fixed rules for things.    We call it “determinism” and the whole community is so set in its ways it still only adjusts the standard fixed rules by adding a little random variation to explain why things of the past keep changing the rules they work by.

Even after half a century of all fields intensely studying how complex systems evolve, we are still not publicly acknowledging that they do.

Complex systems frequently have independently changing individual parts, that express new behavior in new situations, and we keep following our rules of the past for them. That seems just disgraceful! Continue reading Science yearning for rules in a world of change…

The Anatomy of Entropy


You asked:
> Actually is entropy the right word for you? In a way you are asking
> about anti entropy, about the ability to construct structure, how that
> increases, plateaus then decreases. THat might make it clearer ??
> Charlie

I think the energy consumed by an energy flow process (entropy) can generally be divided into three main parts. Because it takes a system serving as the channel to do it, there’s the part of the energy used in collecting the resource from the environment, the part used in changing and channeling it into an output, and then the part used in distributing the products. Continue reading The Anatomy of Entropy

RE: internalism…&things missing from approximation

Approximation sweeps away ‘fuzziness’, and one thing your and my conceptions are completely consistent on is “any system during its development moves from being more vague to becoming more definitely embodied”. There are issues in differentiating descriptive, explanatory, and organizational/behavioral ‘fuzziness’, but it’s those “fuzzy bits” that are the main thing approximation sweeps away. But studying the ‘fuzziness’ is central to finding the half of the universe that physics missed.

My analytical approach interprets it as evidence of the transitional systems which frequently can be found to have periods of implied derivative continuity in their measures, displaying some of their evolving internal dynamic structures. That’s what I’ve been carefully studying for the last many years, but now mostly play with the wordings for to find some way to communicate.

Your grasp of the links to other fuzzy ways of thinking about the subject (it’s history and citations) is far superior to mine, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to ask you some questions about it shortly. Continue reading RE: internalism…&things missing from approximation

‘dice’ or ‘approximation’, does it matter?

I’ve been meaning to do some new digging on Einstein’s enigmatic complaint. In a recent program on Channel 13 (I think, but I can’t locate it now) a recognized physicist portrayed Einstein as unable to accept uncertainty in nature, and that view seems to be becoming one of the prevalent understandings of the issue (see Wiki link below). On the face of it, since Einstein was a founder of statistical physics, it seems unlikely. “God doesn’t roll dice”, is about something else. One of the things I finally found today to expose the deeper issue was Niels Bohr’s long, polite, emphatic last-word on the subject (Bohr 1949). Bohr says that what Einstein objected to in QM was the elimination of causality and continuity.

“Yet, a certain difference in attitude and outlook remained, since, with his mastery for coordinating apparently contrasting experience without abandoning continuity and causality, Einstein was perhaps more reluctant to renounce such ideals than someone for whom renunciation in this respect appeared to be the only way open to proceed with the immediate task.”

Continue reading ‘dice’ or ‘approximation’, does it matter?

Ok Ok, I give up

What remains hidden in the hot debate over “intelligent design” and Darwin’s evolution, miraculously, is the strategic location of the odd gaps in the fossil record.

Where those gaps are located is rather embarrassing to both sides.

I think if you’re thinking clearly about the problem, not defending one side or the other, the answer is obvious. The gaps in the record contain almost all the biological change that the theory of ‘little steps’ is supposed to explain, occurring at the origin of most species. Evolution actually proceeds by big steps (the dirty truth). Continue reading Ok Ok, I give up