Re: [asa] Emergence

From: wjp <wjp@swcp.com>
Date: Mon Jun 15 2009 - 09:50:44 EDT

Dave:

Your right. A keen eye.

(1) should be modified to say

1') P1 is sufficient for P2 (P1 -> P2).

This is all that is required for the logical conclusion (4).

thanks,

bill

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:24:42 -0700, dfsiemensjr <dfsiemensjr@juno.com> wrote:
> 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
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>> >> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>> >>
>> >
>> >
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>>
>>
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Received on Mon Jun 15 09:50:59 2009

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