Re: [unrev-II] Re: Complexity and everything

From: Jack Park (
Date: Sun Apr 08 2001 - 16:57:17 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] Natural Capitalism -- the book"

    At 09:12 PM 4/8/2001 +0000, you wrote:
    >--- In unrev-II@y..., Jack Park <jackpark@t...> wrote:
    > > Don Mikuleky just sent to his complexity list the URLs of two talks
    >he gave
    > > in Alaska, one to the public and one to the faculty there. They
    > >
    > > <>
    > > and one to the faculty
    > >
    > > <>
    > >
    > > I recommend looking at these talks to those who take an interest in
    > > the universe one way or another. In the end, I get from all of
    >this that
    > > our simple Newtonian qualitative reasoning systems are at risk of
    >not being
    > > robust enough to model the universe and everything. Rather, we are
    >going to
    > > have to find some other way(s) of modeling, and an important
    >pointer to the
    > > technology for that lies in Don's talks, and other stuff found at
    >his site
    > > <>
    > >
    > > I have looked at the talks you mention, and, unfortunately find the
    >veracity of some of Mikuleck's statments to be in doubt.
    > As I've found elsewhere in discussions of systems, Mikuleck
    >strongly disses standard atomic theory reductionism -- decomposition
    >into atoms and molecules misses important stuff, or so it is claimed,
    >just like vitalists claim as well. The problem is that there is no
    >evidence to support such a supposition, particularly when the
    >electric and magnetic atomic/molecular fields are considered -- as
    >they must be, they supply lots of the magic of physics. Think of the
    >laser, superconductivity, the Hodgkin-Huxley model of neural pulse
    >generation and transmission -- all highly complex systems the
    >description of the behavior of which is based on extraordinarily
    >simple principles. The sum greater than the parts -- physics handles
    >this issue quite elegantly in many instances.
    > Apart perhaps from string theory, the Newtonian model/approach is
    >alive, well and extremely productive. It is somewhat ironic that this
    >approach dominates even quantum mechanics -- we use classical
    >descriptions of quantum systems to help develop the proper quantum
    >mechanical approach. The entire field of chaos and complexity arose
    >from Newtonian mechanics, and later work in the 30s and 40s in
    >electrical circuits and biology were formulated in "Newtonian" terms.
    >An enormous amount of work in neurophysiology and cognitive science,
    >in biochemistry and biophysics, even thermodynamics and stochastic
    >dynamics is fundamentally Newtonian. And more holistic, global and
    >topological approaches flow directly from the Newtonian approach, as
    > The reason that this Newtonian approach is the best game in town:
    >it emphasizes empiricism, it searches for simple(understandable)
    >causes, more complex causal mechanisms if necessary, and it prizes
    >sharp, logical analysis. It has a major drawback-- it can be very
    >difficult to pursue, and also to understand, and for the most part
    >requires a sophisticated mastery of mathematics. Adhominum dismissals
    >of the basic scientific approach do great disservice to their authors
    >and to science. Physics is a lot more powerful than outsiders can
    >easily know.
    >You want visionary, out-of-the-box, stimulating ideas: read Sir
    >Francis Crick's The Amazing Hypothesis. If you want to speculate,
    >dream and learn from others, then make sure their basic science is
    >correct. And in the talks you reference, some of the basic science is
    >very suspect. For many of us who have spent much time and energy to
    >do science, the dismissal of our endeavors, as missing something or
    >God know what else, is annoying at the least.
    >Reilly Atkinson


    As you have been a professor of graduate physics, I am quite sure that your
    arguments are well grounded, and, for the most part, valid. On the other
    hand, adhominum dismissals of the work of Robert Rosen and other holistic
    thinkers do similarly great disservice to arguments that physicists have
    historically been unable or unwilling to contemplate.


    This message is intended only for the use of the Addressee(s) and may
    contain information that is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL. If you are not
    the intended recipient, dissemination of this communication is prohibited.
    If you have received this communication in error, please erase all copies
    of the message and its attachments and notify

    ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-~>
    Secure your servers with 128-bit SSL encryption!
    Grab your copy of VeriSign's FREE Guide,
    "Securing Your Web site for Business." Get it now!

    Community email addresses:
      Post message:
      List owner:

    Shortcut URL to this page:

    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 08 2001 - 17:09:28 PDT