[pcp-discuss:] Re: sequential emergence

From: John J. Kineman (jjk@NGDC.NOAA.GOV)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 17:02:21 BST

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    I was thinking that these remarks should be shared with the group, because if
    it is always kept as a private discussion, then when a related comment is made
    to the group on topics as they emerge, the comment seems to exist without a
    context. I hope you don't mind that I post his response to the list, since my
    previous reply was also posted to the list?

    What you say is very interesting. Last year I wrote a paper on "autevolution"
    for the ISSS, from ideas I've been developing for 15 years. It turned out to
    bear remarkable similarities with Baldwin's ideas (James Mark Baldwin) and
    as I
    am quite impressed as I read his 100 year old works. I wonder if others have
    studied Baldwin in any detail. I also included some pieces from an earlier
    paper on the web regarding a parallel between punctuated equilibrium in
    evolution and the growth of scientific knowledge (epistemology). The
    information levels have parallels and from that perspective the punctuated
    process is quite understandable. (some of this is available at:
    www.nexial.org/BMI/autevol.htm; also the ISSS paper (Kineman and Kineman,
    is viewable from the SIG HyperNews site at:

    My paper this year for ISSS and ANNIE2000 is about following one conclusion of
    the earlier work to its logical end in cosmology. The conclusion was that
    reality can't be usefully throught of in mechanical terms alone (with
    regard to
    living or complex systems), but rather as a complementarity between an
    mental realm and a materialized physical one. I found the best representation
    of that idea in the work of Robert Rosen - his "modeling relation." When I
    applied that to the origin of space-time (which I believe is synonymous with a
    mechanical world view), I got a very interesting result where the big bang
    looks more like an optical (actually observational) illusion than what we
    experience as reality. Two time scales emerge, one based on our present
    of uniform local time, the other being the log of that time. The log(t) is
    fundamental and universal, and has the interesting property that it is
    in extent. This idea seemed so wierd, and I am so rusty in my physics (based
    only on an undergraduate degree), that I was unsure and reluctant to publish
    for over 12 years; but the idea wouldn't go away and I couldn't find a
    conclusive reason to reject it. So I worked it out in as much detail a I am
    capable of and submitted it to ISSS, which seems like a good forum for
    speculative ideas. In completing the paper, and attempting to check parallel
    and historical referents, I found that it shares the fundamental ideas of E.A.
    Milne who developoed "Kinematic Relativity." I can follow Milne to a point,
    then I loose it; but I think the ideas are the same up to where he invokes
    different logic in deciding which time scale is the more real, and how
    gravitation and density will work. I havn't gone there yet, but suspect that I
    will reach a different interpretation at that point. But the basic geometry is
    the same, even through I model it in a different modeling space that makes it
    easier to visualize graphically. That paper will be posted shortly on the WILL
    SIG hypernews site referenced above as well as the ISSS site.

    The information perspective is clearly the common thread in both these
    treatments. Information requires both a physical state-based system of memory
    (or registration) and an interactive "observer" capable of abstraction and the
    addition of semantics to the physical syntax. This makes complete sense to me
    now, although it took a while before I could really feel that both kinds of
    reality should be considered of equal stature. From there it is a simple
    to imagine their relationship as a complex one - where neither can be fully
    reduced to the other yet they are mutually dependent.

    Regarding your comments, I see the cause of periodic "emergences" as the
    interplay between a "common mode" of inquiry (species attempting to build
    life strategy, or scientists attempting to build a theory) and a "crisis mode"
    where the operating assumptions themselves break down and have to be
    fundamentally replaced. That transition (in science called revolutions)
    as species transitions - either turnover or rapid evolution. Naturally this
    would be related to logistic growth in those circumstances where it is
    unchecked by other processes (because that is one way to ensure a crisis), but
    there would be other causes of crisis as well. The most interesting from a
    systems perspective is development/succession of the overall ecological
    itself. As the playing field, so to speak, changes, the tried-and-true
    strategies (remember the parallel with scientific theories) become less and
    less appropriate. This process itself could be the main cause of transitions,
    say from reptile-domination to mammal-domination.

    My reasoning for tracing the complementarity back to the big bang didn't come
    from thermo, but from the necessity of a similar complementarity in quantum
    phenomena (which likely also involves the definition of space-time
    coordinates), and thoughts about the universal singularity, which some are
    concluding must also be a quantum singularity (Kafatos). I reason that we
    encounter this problem of the "observer" in every case where we are attempting
    to examine a whole natural system -- whole being defined as including all of
    its entailments. A quantum system is "whole" in this regard because it is
    isolated from the larger observed system. The universe is obvioiusly whole.
    organisms are defined as organisms because we recognize them as representing
    something whole and self-contained, and it is precisely those characteristics
    that we recognize as in some way whole that exhibit the problematic
    relationship of indeterminism. The evidence seems pretty darned obvious, but I
    have shared the reluctance to think of it in these terms for many years
    of what we were traditionally thought about science - that it shouldn't
    abstract "realities" unless they are believed to fully correspond with
    observable states. The big concession has been instrumentalism - where we can
    do so but not call it 'reality.' At some point, a logical inference needs
    to be

    At 08:49 PM 6/6/00 -0500, you wrote:
    > What the book shows, surprisingly, is that there is an empirical
    >relation between major evolutionary emergences.  (One is led to this
    >observation by trying to describe ordinary logistic growth cycles.)  When
    >these emergences are then examined it is clear that they are fundamentally
    >of an informational nature.  For some the informational content can be
    >understood, for some it cannot, at least by me.  Even more surprising is
    >that the relation extapolates directly and linearly, to the informational
    >accomplishments of H. s. sapiens. One conclusion is that information was of
    >primary importance throughout evolution, from the first protochemical to
    >the modern computer (and probably beyond).
    > As a side issue is the relation, that has been extablished only in
    >the last few years (though long believed and used) between information and
    >thermodynamic entropy.  This allows the above evolutionary relation to
    >extend back to the Big Bang, a rather awesome prospect.
    > The logistic growth involves no detailed theory; it is almost
    >purely descriptive.  This makes the observation more general.
    > Dick
    >>Thanks for the tip. I'll look at it. Meanwhile, could you provide a brief
    >>statement about it? Am I on the right track?
    >>At 09:15 PM 6/5/00 -0500, you wrote:
    >>>>Addendum to comment to Cliff:
    >>>>Just to add something more specific regarding the "necessary causal or
    >>>>explanatory link between the
    >>>>informational properties of organisms and those of mentality..."  --- The
    >>>>becomes necessary if one believes that the relationships involved had
    to be
    >>>>involved from the beginning, all through evolution. The alternative is
    >>>>they "emerged" later. Emergence of a property of nature (rather than an
    >>>>elaboration of pre-existing properties) is the view that I find no
    >>>>basis for. There is no equivalence relation between information and
    >>>>as logical types. They are associated and related, but fundamentally
    >>>>phenomena. The explanation of that fundamental difference is necessarily
    >>>>robust and parsimonious if it is formulated as a part of nature, rather
    >>>>than as
    >>>>an emergent new reality.
    >>> You might be interested to know that the above ideas have been
    >>>developed, quantitatively, in "The Evolutionary Trajectory" by R. L. Coren
    >>>Gordon & Breach Publishers, 1998
    >>>Prof. Richard L. Coren, Emeritus
    >>>Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
    >>>Drexel University,  Philadelphia, PA 19104  USA
    >>>voice:   (215)895-2253
    >>>e-mail:  corenr@coe.drexel.edu
    >>>FAX:   (215)895-1695  or  (215)643-7473
    >>John J. Kineman, Physical Scientist/Ecologist
    >>National Geophysical Data Center
    >>325 Broadway  E/GC1 (Rm 1B158)
    >>Boulder, Colorado  80303  USA
    >>(303) 497-6900 (phone)
    >>(303) 497-6513 (fax)
    >>jjk@ngdc.noaa.gov (email)
    >>web site:
    >>Posting to pcp-discuss@lanl.gov from "John J. Kineman" <jjk@ngdc.noaa.gov>
    >Prof. Richard L. Coren, Emeritus
    >Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
    >Drexel University,  Philadelphia, PA 19104  USA
    >voice:   (215)895-2253
    >e-mail:  corenr@coe.drexel.edu
    >FAX:   (215)895-1695  or  (215)643-7473
    John J. Kineman, Physical Scientist/Ecologist
    National Geophysical Data Center
    325 Broadway E/GC1 (Rm 1B158)
    Boulder, Colorado 80303 USA
    (303) 497-6900 (phone)
    (303) 497-6513 (fax)
    jjk@ngdc.noaa.gov (email)
    web site: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/habitat.shtml

    Posting to pcp-discuss@lanl.gov from "John J. Kineman" <jjk@ngdc.noaa.gov>

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