Re: Web Page Nonlinear dynamics

Glenn Morton (
Sat, 22 Feb 1997 08:21:56 -0600

At 08:37 AM 2/22/97 -0500, Murphy wrote:

> These objections were strong enough to get Newton to include the
>"General Scholium" in the 2d (or 3d?) edition of the Principia. You
>could say that part of the problem was that Newtonian mechanics worked
>so _well_, in comparison with Aristotelian physics where you didn't
>really have the math machinery to calculate much of anything.
> I'm not sure just what you're including under "nonlinear
>dynamics". In the broadest sense that's been around a long time - the
>basic equations of fluid mechanics (i.e., Newton's laws applied to
>continuous media) are nonlinear. Seems to me that modern developments -
>"chaos" &c - in a way go in the opposite direction, showing that at the
>macrolevel mechanical laws have some "play" in them & thus some room for
>divine freedom even when God operates in accord with those laws.

The thing I have learned about nonlinear dynamics is that some of these
systems unite freewill and determinism. Sierpinski's gasket which i show on
my Web page, is a perfect example. The dot which makes the mark on the
screen is free to go in any directionit wants (i.e. toward any vertex. The
rules of the movement constrain the sum total of all positions occupied over
time to form the characteristic pattern of the gasket. Freewill, certain

Humans may be similar. We have free will but are constrained by our genome
to certain patterns. Twin studies have shown this quite effectively.
Consider the following:

"I quote from a recent article in Science:

'When Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe arrived in Minnesota to participate in
University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr.'s study of
idential twins reared apart, they were both sporting blue double-breasted
epauletted shirts, moustaches, and wire-rimmed glasses. Idential twins
separated at birth, the two men in their late 40s, had met once before two
decades earlier. Nonetheless Oskar, raised as a Catholic in Germany, and
Jack, reared by his Jewish father in Trinidad, proved tohave much in common in
thier tastes and personalities--including hasty tempers and idiosyncratic
senses of humor (both enjoyed surprising people by sneezing in elevators).'

And both flushed the toilet both before and after using it, kept rubber bands
around their wrists, and dipped buttered toast in their coffee."~Steven
Pinker, The Language Instinct, (New York: Harper/Perennial, 1994), p. 327
"Another pair of identical twins meeting for the first time discovered that
they both used Vademecum toothpaste, Canoe shaving lotion, Vitalis hair sonic,
and Lucky Strike cigarettes. After the meeting they sent each other identical
birthday presents that crossed in the mail. One pair of women habitually wore
seven rings. Another pair of men pointed out (correctly) that a wheel bearing
in Bouchard's car needed replacing. And quantitative research corroborates
the hundreds of anecdotes. Not only are very general traits like IQ,
extroversions, and neuroticism partly heritable, but so are specific ones like
degree of religious feeling, vocational interests, and opinions about the
death penalty, disarmament, and computer music."~Steven Pinker, The Language
Instinct, (New York: Harper/Perennial, 1994), p. 328

"Raised together, twins are unusually close, sometimes developing
their own private language. But even when they are reared apart,
twins show amazing similarities as adults. Twins Jim Springer
and Jim Lewis, separated at birth in 1939, were reunited 39 years
later in a study of twins at the University of Minnesota. Both
had married and divorced women named Linda, married second wives
named Betty and named their oldest sons James Allan and James
Alan. More coincidences: both drove the same model of blue
Chevrolet, enjoyed woodworking, vacationed on the same Florida
beach and had dogs named Toy."~Heredity: They'll be the Same, But
Different", Newsweek, Nov. 8, 1993., p. 62

I would contend that in some sense we humans are nonlinear systems, who have
totally free will, yet we are constrained by our genome. God then can truly
say He knew us from our mother's womb. And he knew how we would behave.
Calvinism and Armenism united.


Foundation, Fall and Flood