Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Can Things Get Better? Part II

Scientific views posit that somehow more complex lifeforms evolved from simpler lifeforms—those that existed before. This conviction, based as it is on a two prevailing belief structures—evolution in biology and reductionism in physical science, state that complexity emerges from simplicity—order arises from disorder.
One might argue that nothing is simple about disorder or complex about order. However, certainly complex organization, even though it may appear chaotic, exhibits great order. Take a string of ones and zeros making up a computer’s code, for example. A cursory glance at it shows it to be disorderly but we know that not to be the case. (Otherwise how could a computer program work?) It thus seems that complexity and order are joined at the waist, so to speak; hence, conversely, simplicity and chaos must equally be joined. One more remark: As a teacher I am often praised by students because I seem to make the complex simple through word and metaphor. In actual fact, I may be doing the opposite. I simply raise out of the chaotic (and usually simply configured and often incorrect) mire of unclear notions—in which most nonscientists embed scientific concepts—metaphorical descriptions that these nonscientists do hold or believe in.
Thus it appears as a scientific axiom (an unquestionable belief) that order and complex structures, including movements and cycles, arise out of simpler and more chaotic structures and movement. This belief holds for the big bang cosmology model as much as it does for the biological evolution-of-the-species model. This is indeed strange considering that its polar opposite—chaos arising from the destructive forces of entropy—appears to be fundamental to our everyday life experience. In other words, things do seem to get naturally worse—more chaotic and disorganized (and hence simpler)—unless individuals do something about them by imparting energy to the systems they wish to improve or preserve (and thereby make more complex).
Well, why do we believe in this “scientific” myth of the evolution of complexity from simplicity and its co-logical concomitants, mind from matter and life from the nonliving? Or is it just a prejudice that comes to Western mindsets inundated with Newtonian and Darwinian philosophy?

3 Comments:

Blogger Dr. D said...

One might conjecture that where you swim may indeed affect how you smell? Is there such a thing as emerging or, is that an illusion, of the delusioned, for the premise of the mind creating the process? BTW, c'mon in, the waters fine...

February 7, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger William Shanley said...

Hello Dr. Quantum-- Thanks for the doses of enlightenment! How does this view on chaos and complexity reconcile with the view that the simplest working theory is the best? Admitting to be frequently being misguided, can you bring me some clarity? Much appreciated--A long-time admirer.

March 5, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
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September 27, 2010 at 2:37 AM  

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