Re: Fw: Fw: economic irreducible complexity

Lawrence D. Rupp (
Mon, 02 Dec 1996 11:16:07 -0500

Brian D. Harper wrote:
> At 08:31 AM 11/29/96 -0500, George Murphy wrote:
> >Terry M. Gray wrote:
> >> Let's not defeat a straw man here. Gradualism is out in the complexity
> >> field. These people talk about emergence, systems reaching a critical
> >> point before the new complex thing suddenly appearing, etc.
> >>
> >> Class 2 does not equal design. It simply equals a non gradualistic origin
> >> of complexity. Identifying something in class 2 does not mean that it is
> >> unexplainable in "naturalistic" terms. In other words a methodological
> >> naturalist coiuld be completely comfortable with class 2 phenomena.
> >
> GM:==
> > Teilhard de Chardin's analogy of a "phase change" for
> >evolutionary "jumps" is interesting. You change the energy of a system
> >as gradually as you wish, & at some points, Bang, there's a sudden
> >change in macroscopic properties.
> >
> This is interesting, I'm not too familiar with Teilhard de Chardin's
> writings, would you happen to know offhand where he discusses
> this analogy? This is very much like what happens in Per Bak's
> sand pile illustration of self-organized criticality.
> To re-inforce Terry's earlier points, Per Bak, in his new book
> <How Nature Works>, scolds Dawkins a little along the
> same lines that an ID'er might scold him. I don't have the book
> with me so I can't quote him directly, but it was something like
> "how can you say that the origin of all of biological complexity
> is understood and is due natural selection? Where's your
> evidence for such a grand claim?".
> Brian Harper | "If you don't understand
> Associate Professor | something and want to
> Applied Mechanics | sound profound, use the
> The Ohio State University | word 'entropy'"
> | -- Morrowitz
> Bastion for the naturalistic |
> rulers of science |

Brian: For some interesting things on entropy, you might want to take a look at
the Jay Hanson page: