Re: [asa] Emergence

From: dfsiemensjr <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Sun Jun 14 2009 - 22:24:42 EDT

Bill,
There is a small error in the formulation of (1) that makes no difference
to the derivation. A necessary and sufficient condition should be P1 <->
P2.
Dave (ASA)

On Sat, 13 Jun 2009 22:57:35 -0600 wjp <wjp@swcp.com> writes:
> According to Kim, the nonreductionist physicalist holds that
>
> 1) It is physical all the way down. That is, he holds a
> physicalist ontology.
>
> 2) But holds to something like property dualism, whereby the
> properties
> of the "base" physical elements are not sufficient to explain or
> account for the properties of the higher level.
>
> What this means is that a physical state P1 is sufficient to
> determine
> the higher level properties M1, but the higher level properties are
> not equivalent to the lower level ones P1, for the higher level
> properties
> M1 are multirealizable, so that it might be that physical states P1,
> P2, and P3
> all result in the same higher level properties M1.
>
> This is the sense in which the higher level properties M1 are not
> reducible
> to the lower level ones. Kim argues that the nonreductive
> physicalist must
> be committed to downward causality.
>
> Hempel has a broader definition of reduction.
>
> He thinks that if we can take concepts in higher levels (e.g.,
> biology or
> chemistry) and have identical extensions of these concepts with
> extensions
> at the lower level, then the higher level has been reduced to the
> lower.
>
> Logically it might proceed something like this
>
> Consider physical extensions (states) P1 and P2 and biological
> extensions B1 and B2.
>
> 1) P1 is necessary and sufficient for P2 (P1 -> P2).
> 2) P1 is necessary for B1 (B1 -> P1)
> 3) P2 is sufficient for B2 (P2 -> B2)
> 4) Therefore, B1 -> B2
>
> So that the biological relationship between biological properties
> B1 and B2 is "reducible" to that of P1 and P2. The relationships
> between extensional definitions of the biological and physical being
> "bridge laws" employed in the reduction.
>
>
> Does this help?
>
> bill
>
> On Sat, 13 Jun 2009 21:06:13 -0400, "Randy Isaac"
> <randyisaac@comcast.net> wrote:
> > Well said. Good perspective.
> >
> > Nevertheless, Uko's view of emergence being reductionist, though I
> > disagree
> > with it, is one I find hard to dispute. I can see his point. If
> the
> > emergent
> > properties arise solely from the ensemble of component parts being
> > together
> > and interacting in a particular environment, they why wouldn't it
> be
> > reductionistic? Perhaps we need to figure out what we mean by
> > reductionist.
> > We all have a pejorative connatation for it. But I don't feel I
> have a
> > good
> > handle on this. If reductionism means that the properties of the
> whole can
> > be determined from a knowledge of the properties of the component
> parts,
> > taken individually, then it is quite absurd and can easily be
> shown to be
> > false, I would think. In any case, it would be definition be
> > anti-emergence.
> > If, however, it means that the whole is comprised solely of its
> component
> > parts and their interaction with no supernatural forces, then it's
> a
> > materialistic assumption, which may or may not be correct,
> depending on
> > the
> > system being discussed. I think I'm confused but I'm sure some of
> you can
> > help clarify.
> >
> > Randy
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
> > To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>
> > Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 7:16 PM
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Emergence
> >
> >
> >> Randy,
> >>
> >> Yes. I apply emergence even to phenomena like inside/outside that
>
> > results
> >> when a bilayer self-assembles from phospholipids in water to
> form a
> >> vacuole. The property is "unpredictable" from the individual
> components
> >> and is the result of the system--in this case a amphipathic
> molecule of
> >> the right geometry in water. Inside/outside is at completely
> different
> >> level--perhaps even ontologically--and the molecules in question
> still
> >> don't "know" that they are participating in the higher level.
> >>
> >> To me this is a very interesting model for how the biological can
> at
> > the
> >> same time be reduced to the physical/chemical and yet not be
> reduced to
> >> the physical/chemical.
> >>
> >> Loren Haarsma and I discussed these sorts of phenomena in our
> chapter
> > in
> >> Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. Frankly, I see this as a
> very
> >> promising direction for origin of life studies to take. Early
> >> manifestations of these sorts of systems may even be acellular.
> It also
> >> lends some solution to the protein first or RNA first conundrum.
> The
> >> answer is neither. They were both present and the RNA/protein
> emerged
> > as
> >> an autocatalytic system. This is where some of the work of
> Stuart
> >> Kauffman comes in.
> >>
> >> Bill commented that emergence was considered non-reductionistic.
> I
> > agree
> >> with him. And this is the true meaning of irreducible complexity
> and
> > why
> >> I don't want to give up the term or leave it to the ID folks.
> The
> >> function is a property of the whole. But it is conceivable given
> the
> >> description/criteria that Randy summarized for the whole to be
> > assembled
> >> (sufficient complexity, energy flux, etc.) and then function to
> > suddenly
> >> emerge (and this is no miracle or act of special creation).
> >> Interestingly, Uko Zylstra considers emergentism to be a form of
> >> reductionism because the whole emerges from the parts based
> solely on
> >> physical/chemical properties.
> >>
> >> TG
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Jun 11, 2009, at 8:08 PM, Randy Isaac wrote:
> >>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Hazen isn't suggesting these are sufficient, he's just
> identifying
> >>> common features that always seem to be present in emergence of
> >>> complexity. He didn't state either "necessary" or "sufficient",
> just
> >>> "common".
> >>>
> >>> I think emergence isn't always precisely defined. It can be used
> in
> > the
> >>> more narrow sense as you did and some people use it in a broader
> sense
> >>> to refer to any characteristic that could not be predicted from
> a
> >>> knowledge of only one or a very few individuals.
> >>>
> >>> Randy
> >>>
> >>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Powers" <wjp@swcp.com>
> >>> To: "Randy Isaac" <randyisaac@comcast.net>
> >>> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
> >>> Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:07 PM
> >>> Subject: Re: [asa] Emergence
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> Randy et al.
> >>>>
> >>>> Remember that emergence, at least classically, is
> nonreductionist,
> >>>> implying that what emerges is not merely surprising, but novel
> and
> >>>> inexplicable in terms of the "base" level from which it
> emerges.
> >>>>
> >>>> So it is not like the "slipperiness" of water.
> >>>>
> >>>> What he has so far provided as "necessary" conditions seem
> likely to
> > be
> >>>> insufficient to produce emergence, i.e, there are too many
> examples
> >>>> that have these conditions but would not be regarded as truly
> > emergent.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> bill
> >>>>
> >>>> On Thu, 11 Jun 2009, Randy Isaac wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Another lecture I just heard from Hazen in his Origins of Life
>
> > course
> >>>>> warrants taking some notes. I need to write them down to help
> me
> >>>>> remember so I'll go ahead and share them with you, in case
> you're
> >>>>> interested.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The topic of this lecture was emergence. Thinking about the
> > phenomenon
> >>>>> of emergence may have some relevant input into the study of
> origins
> > of
> >>>>> life. Hazen therefore takes the time to articulate four
> factors
> >>>>> necessary for the emergence of complex phenomena in a group
> of
> >>>>> individual elements. Two simple examples that he uses to
> illustrate
> >>>>> these ideas are grains of sand and ants. I mentally added my
> own
> > field
> >>>>> of charge carriers in semiconductors.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 1. Concentration. There needs to be a concentration of
> individual
> >>>>> elements that exceeds some threshold level. Grains of sand
> won't
> > show
> >>>>> complex structures until you have enough of them concentrated
> in one
> >>>>> region. Ants don't show social behavior until you have enough
> of
> > them.
> >>>>> Charge carriers aren't interesting if you don't have enough.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 2. A mode of interaction. There must be a means of interaction
> among
> >>>>> the individual elements in order for complexity to emerge.
> Grains of
> >>>>> sand interact merely by touching each other. Ants have
> various means
> >>>>> of interacting including carrying each other! Charge carriers
> > interact
> >>>>> through electromagnetic coupling but can also form Cooper
> pairs, for
> >>>>> example.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 3. Energy flux. There must be a source of energy through the
> system
> >>>>> before complexity emerges. This must be in some optimal
> range. Too
> >>>>> little and nothing happens. Too much and the complexity is
> > destroyed.
> >>>>> For sand, it is gravity and wind and/or water. I forgot what
> he said
> >>>>> it was for ants. Maybe the food source. Charge carriers need
> an
> >>>>> applied voltage or electric field.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> 4. Cycling of energy. This was the new one for me. He says
> that a
> >>>>> cycling of the energy flux dramatically increases the
> complexity
> > that
> >>>>> emerges in a system. For sand it would be the ebb and flow of
> the
> >>>>> waves or the wind. For ants there are various cycles including
> >>>>> day/night cycles and seasonal fluctuations. Charge carriers
> respond
> >>>>> much more interestingly due a varying field.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> How does this affect the study of the origins of life? I'm
> sure
> > he'll
> >>>>> use it more later but for now it can help shape the places
> and
> >>>>> features to study. Concentration means you aren't looking for
> just
> > one
> >>>>> little microbe but a relatively large population.
> Interactions are
> >>>>> most likely chemical so one needs to study all possible
> chemical
> >>>>> reactions to form biomolecules. Energy flux can come from
> many
> >>>>> sources--solar energy, chemical energy, geothermal, etc. Most
> of
> > these
> >>>>> are cyclical as well.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> We'll see where it goes from here.
> >>>>> I really like his style of teaching. He describes science as
> it
> > really
> >>>>> works in a far-out frontier, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
> It's
> > not
> >>>>> a smooth process and has lots of bumps in the road. But the
> process
> >>>>> generates a lot of insight, whether the endgoal is reached or
> not.
> > The
> >>>>> Teaching Company has his course, among several other
> interesting
> > ones,
> >>>>> on sale through Sunday. See www.teach12.com
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Randy
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> >>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >>
> >> ________________
> >> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> >> Computer Support Scientist
> >> Chemistry Department
> >> Colorado State University
> >> Fort Collins, CO 80523
> >> (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
> >>
> >>
> >>
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> >>
> >
> >
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>
>
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Received on Sun Jun 14 22:56:41 2009

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