Mod+ Complexity from Simplicity: The Implications of Chaos Theory.

#1
How does our world work? You may view the world as having an external reality or believe our experience happens "in mind." You may believe Akashic fields or morphogenic fields operate as invisible forces, or a metaphysical realm of spiritual entities steers the ship. Maybe you see the universe as an organism, a unified conscious whole. Whatever your philosophy you need to contend with the existence of pattern and the evidence that simple rules can produce amazing complexity. The following doco is in my view very special as it explains the simple logic which seems to underlie our world/lived experience. Although the doco ends with an argument for evolution, I would like us to answer the question - what is another explanation for why logic is so embedded in our world? Let's see the ways we can rewrite the ending to embrace ontogenies outside materialism.
Presumptions:
  • You will watch the video before you post
  • Psi exists
  • Discuss the issue not personalities
  • Parachutists welcome, we like you.
  • Speak as you would like to be spoken to
  • Concepts not semantics
  • Maths is a system of reasoning which gives us answers to questions of logic.

Note that all members are allowed on this thread as long as the rules are adhered to and as long as you come to build a bridge. We are here to go beyond materialism.
 
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#2
There are no chemical bonds determining the sequence of nucleotides in DNA. There are bonds along the backbone but the order is not determined by chemistry or any physical law, it is freely arrangable. The formulas for producing complexity are woven into the physical laws of nature, and speaks to me of fine tuning and computation. But physical laws, ( necessity ) cannot explain the sequence of nucleotides which actualy define the information content. Information is not physical, it is a separate entity to the medium carrying it. Mere complexity alone cannot explain life for this reason.

Patterns have no intrinsic meaning, information has no intrinsic meaning. There is no physical laws connecting a pattern to an assigned meaning, a symbol is not actually the thing it represents. This requires a conscious agent.

Simple formulas for complexity, which in themselves have intangible qualities of information cannot create a new language, a system of digital semantic code, a computer, Iphone or space craft let alone the simplest of cells.

The last part of the vid was a joke, taking what seems to me as a profound fact of nature and cramming it into darwinian ideological story telling.
 
#3
Certainly we agree that it is impossible for simple laws of chemistry by themselves, over short periods of time, to produce the genome of an elephant. However, evolution is an historical process. Can a long history of selecting and discarding specific nucleotide sequences result in a genome as we see it today, without the need for an additional external, goal-driven process?
There is no evolution in the darwinian sense before the first cell. There is no evidence it can occurr without the needed molecular machinery. There is no physical cause for code.

This needs proving if it is to be taken as fact.
There is absolutely no reason to believe it can. Digital semantic code is a product of mind in all of our known experience and reasoning. The claim it can emerge from blind four fundamental forces has no empirical support what so ever. It is ilogical as information is not intrinsic. We already know it is true. It is your counter claim that needs proving in the face of all knowledge of reality.

We have been over this before Paul. As soon as you do get some evidence I would love to hear it. You are also posting in the wrong forum. So don't bother.
 
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#4
The central theme of the video is that a set of simple rules can give rise to complex behavior. Furthermore, it is sometimes the case that small changes in the initial configuration can result in large changes in future configurations.

I do not know how to relate these facts to ontological models. When Jules says he is looking for "another explanation for why logic ...," I'm not sure what first explanation is. Why is it that simple rules exist and why can we understand them? These questions seem to me unrelated to ontological models. I don't know why they exist under physicalism or idealism or dualism.

But let's say we are assuming that, under physicalism, the laws of physics give rise to sets of simple rules that exhibit complex and chaotic behavior. What is the equivalent thing under some form of immaterialism, say, idealism? Under idealism we have mind and mind produces the rich tapestry of the world. Are we comfortable with the proposal that the mind operates by laws? If so, then we can get the same sets of simple rules that exhibit complex and chaotic behavior.

The problem, though, is that many people are not comfortable with a law-abiding mind as the basis of idealism, because that appears to lead to a mechanistic universe just as physicalism does. I do not know how to reconcile this issue.

As far as evolution is concerned, it is just one of the stunningly complex processes that arises out of a set of fairly simple rules.

~~ Paul
Paul I am looking for a conversation about universal ontology which takes account of the underlying structure of logic in a universe where we aren't meat machines. .How can we unify spirit and science? How do we write a different end for this doco? How do we incorporate the evidence of psi and other anomalous experience. If you can't think of a way to do it please stay out of this thread. Don't try to block other people's attempts to build a bridge.

P.S. Chaos Theory isn't physics, its mathematics. This means its logically proven based on 9 accepted axioms.
 
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#5
Thanks for sharing the video Jules. I personally don't see any contradiction between science and spirituality. I'll explain the way I see things, and maybe you can pull out the bits that you are interested in.

Physical reality has some sort of regularity to it which is why we can model certain aspects of it using maths. The video strongly re-enforced my feeling that there must be some sort of direction from outside of these simple rules. Indeed, if you assume that Psi exists I think you have to agree that consciousness exists. It exists outside of those physical laws and has some influence over physical reality. It is then another input into the evolution of physical patterns. Although it has influence, it is still constrained by the physical rules to a degree, which means that any way it expresses itself will have a regularity to it, which can then the modeled by mathematics.

Jules, is the question you are asking "why does this reality have physical rules?" Although you seem to be talking about pure maths rather than physics, but most of pure maths has nothing to do with our physical reality. Maybe you could clarify exactly what you want to explore here, there are lots of interesting ways this can go - thanks.
 
#6
First of all, thanks to you and Alex for allowing me to post in this thread. I certainly will not try to block any attempts to build a bridge.
Appreciated.

What is the status of determinism in the sort of universe we are to assume for this thread?
How can we describe a universe which incorporates the logic (which is a constraint and has its own power of determination) but still show that there are explanations which make sense beyond materialism.


Can you give a link to those nine axioms?

Edited to add: Oh, perhaps you mean the axioms of logic, not the axioms of chaos theory. If so, I agree that chaos theory is proven mathematics. However, that tells us nothing about its application to the real world.
I refer to the mathematical axioms. You are right, maths doesn't say what is, it says what is logically irrefutable.
 
#7
Thanks for sharing the video Jules. I personally don't see any contradiction between science and spirituality. I'll explain the way I see things, and maybe you can pull out the bits that you are interested in.

Physical reality has some sort of regularity to it which is why we can model certain aspects of it using maths. The video strongly re-enforced my feeling that there must be some sort of direction from outside of these simple rules. Indeed, if you assume that Psi exists I think you have to agree that consciousness exists. It exists outside of those physical laws and has some influence over physical reality. It is then another input into the evolution of physical patterns. Although it has influence, it is still constrained by the physical rules to a degree, which means that any way it expresses itself will have a regularity to it, which can then the modeled by mathematics.

Jules, is the question you are asking "why does this reality have physical rules?" Although you seem to be talking about pure maths rather than physics, but most of pure maths has nothing to do with our physical reality. Maybe you could clarify exactly what you want to explore here, there are lots of interesting ways this can go - thanks.
Thanks for coming to the thread. Yes, pure maths. No I'm not asking why reality has physical rules - it clearly does (or from idealist perspective, our lived experience). In another thread (Materialism is Baloney) I tried to show how logic constrains how the universe unfolds itself. Most couldn't get it and judged me to be a materialist. I would like us to show how a spiritual perspective or a belief that consciousness is primary can be built on an understanding that much of the way the world works seems to be able to be explained by simple rules. One doesn't exclude the other. So why did the video strongly re-enforce your feeling that there must be some sort of direction from outside of these simple rules and how do you think this could be operating?

I'm interested in this: "any way it expresses itself will have a regularity to it, which can then the modelled by mathematics" Tell me more about how you see that happening?

Yes, maths just says what makes sense. What tells us about reality is that if you model the principles of chaos theory in a lab it describes what happens.

Stewart, it can go all of those interesting ways. I have set this thread up differently with 'constraints' (ha ha) to see if we can get a different type of conversation. Rather than people taking sides and poking each other, can we build something(s) together. Can we behave like a community with shared principles despite our differences. So you see I have a number of agendas :D.


So, where can you find spirit (whatever that means for you) beyond the logic?
 
#8
In my own philosophy I tend to stick to simple things I know to be true based on my own experience. But if I were God or "source consciousness" or whatever, how would I set things up. I would set things in motion with simple principles which have their own evolutionary path. So I see evolutionary forces as contributing to change - but they don't explain everything. And then I would have fields and interceptors which subtly push and pull on the direction of change. And I would make everything connected (which I believe it is), so that from another viewpoint the whole universe could be viewed as an organism.

So the concept of intervention is important to me. Where can we see it? Here is one point some of us have been discussing:

 
#9
If we are not assuming determinism (i.e., assuming indeterminism), then I'm not sure what the role of chaos theory can be. It is a theory of chaotic but deterministic behaviour.
I'm challenging the dichotomy. Remember Chaotic systems must have certain properties.

As far as logic is concerned, I don't have any idea how to model a world that is not logical, regardless of its ontological foundation. I would be afraid that jettisoning logic would open the door to "absolutely anything goes." There would be no constraints on the hypotheses we put forward, and thus no way to filter the good ones from the bad. I'd vote for retaining logic while adopting some form of immaterialism and probably accompanying indeterminism.
Let's not jettison logic. I don't find hypothesising without constraint fear inducing - I just view it as a brain storm. Tell me more about your take on immaterialism? Where do you see the gaps in the logic? What do you see would fill the gaps?

One interesting question is how that indeterminism works. We are already fairly confident that the universe is stochastic, so it is already indeterministic. But dichotomous determinism/randomness doesn't really help the immaterialist, so we need another sort of indeterminism. Once we have it, do the axioms of logic need to be enhanced?
Einstein describes stochastic systems:"It must clearly be assumed that each individual particle executes a motion which is independent of the motions of all other particles"
What is your view on this?

Can you explain what you mean by enhancing the axioms of logic and why - I'm interested.
 
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#10
In another thread (Materialism is Baloney) I tried to show how logic constrains how the universe unfolds itself. Most couldn't get it and judged me to be a materialist.
yes, I remember that thread, it was an interesting discussion. I was arguing that logic was a human invention. I'll try and come at this discussion from a slightly different angle so that we don't cover old ground.

I would like us to show how a spiritual perspective or a belief that consciousness is primary can be built on an understanding that much of the way the world works seems to be able to be explained by simple rules.
I think I'm understanding where you are coming from. I can't quite see a way to argue for consciousness from a physical standpoint, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. This is essentially the hard problem of consciousness from philosophy isn't it? To me consciousness is outside of logic.

So why did the video strongly re-enforce your feeling that there must be some sort of direction from outside of these simple rules and how do you think this could be operating?
The rules of this reality are fairly simple but can result in enormous complexity, but chaos theory tells us that minute changes in initial conditions can have massive effects. This implies that whatever patterns are created are somewhat fragile. This suggests to me that there needs to be something outside of the system guiding it. This feeling was re-enforced when they started talking about evolution and computer simulations. They showed evolution in action, but didn't mention the consciousness that was guiding it.

I'm interested in this: "any way it expresses itself will have a regularity to it, which can then the modelled by mathematics" Tell me more about how you see that happening?
Because the effects of consciousness in this reality are constrained by rules to a degree the results will always have some sort of regularity that we can model with mathematics. The human brain is an amazing thing because it allows consciousness a relaxation of those physical rules and it can express itself more fully. The consciousness that forms a leaf only has so much room to work because it is constrained by chemistry, therefore we can see regular patterns and model it to a degree. The consciousness that comes through my brain has much more room for expression, the brain is sort of like an amplifier that has a much more direct link to consciousness, on a much smaller level, so it isn't so constrained by chemistry. Therefore my consciousness is much less logical :) and much harder to simulate.

Stewart, it can go all of those interesting ways. I have set this thread up differently with 'constraints' (ha ha) to see if we can get a different type of conversation. Rather than people taking sides and poking each other, can we build something(s) together. Can we behave like a community with shared principles despite our differences. So you see I have a number of agendas :D.
sounds good to me :)

So, where can you find spirit (whatever that means for you) beyond the logic?
where can I find it? I find it beyond logic. That is the only place to find it :)
 
#11
The issue here is that this meta-mind has to establish the interacting set of rules to begin with, and then has to intervene when required to accomplish her goals. She is operating in the world. So figuring out the meta-mind's design principles for the interacting rules is one thing, but figuring out the logic and math and design underlying the meta-mind herself is a whole 'nother project.

If there is a conscious intervening meta-mind, then the real exploration of underlying logic must dig beneath the meta-mind.

~~ Paul
Scary project I agree. I'd be happy with us glimpsing or sensing the evidence of a meta-mind or at least something which makes more sense than materialism.
 
#12
As far as logic is concerned, I don't have any idea how to model a world that is not logical, regardless of its ontological foundation. I would be afraid that jettisoning logic would open the door to "absolutely anything goes."
I would suggest that you can't model a world that is not logical. If I'm right and consciousness is outside of logic, you can't model consciousness either.

I would be afraid that jettisoning logic would open the door to "absolutely anything goes."
Are you afraid of your dreams? :)
 
#13
Oof. Could there be a different set of logic axioms in a world with a major immaterial aspect? Is there a premise we are missing, or a premise that doesn't apply in the expanded universe? This would mean that the tautologies we use as axioms today are not, in fact, the correct set of tautologies. What the heck would it mean if the Axiom of Equality is false, and are we talking about the syntactic or semantic interpretation of this axiom?
~~ Paul
Interesting idea, but I'd suggest that the axioms would be true in all realities. They are still true in my dreams, even though my dreams do not follow physical rules. I don't think reality 'runs' on axioms, although I think Jules would disagree with me here.
 
#14
Well, you certainly can't model an illogical world using conventional logic. What I don't understand is what it means for X to be "outside of logic." That seems to require an description of the mathematical context that surroundslogic. In other words, it seems to require proof that there is an outside. However, as I said, I'm not sure what you mean by it.


If I am required to make sense of them, then yes (for a particular meaning of afraid). That is why I don't try to make sense of them.

It would be interesting to describe a fragment of a dream that is actually illogical, as opposed to physically bizarre. Even then, there is nothing about logic that prevents people from thinking illogically.

~~ Paul
If something is outside of logic it could never be proven using logic.

It is possible to obtain a lot of meaning from dreams, and we can make sense of them even though they do not follow physical rules. I'm trying to untangle physical rules from logic here because they seem to be being conflated. Maybe we are also mixing up logic with something that it is possible to model. Would you say that the ability to model something proves that it is logical? If so, then I'd have to say consciousness is not logical. But maybe I'm misinterpreting the word logical.

That's a good question about describing something that is illogical. My view is that reality doesn't run on logic, there is no such thing as logic outside of our consciousness, so I would state that there is no such thing as something illogical. It'd be interested if you could come up with something illogical, I certainly can't.
 
#15
Oh, I thought you were saying in post #17 that dreams are illogical.

I'm not sure that dreams do follow logic. After all, we can consciously think illogically, so why not dream illogically? I'm not sure.

~~ Paul
Yes, I realised that I wasn't being consistent here, which is why I'm questioning my use of the word illogical.

I'll try and take a step back and state my case so that it is internally consistent...logic is something that only exists in our minds. It is a process of the mind, not a thing. Reality doesn't run on logic. It is regular, sure, and we can model it up to a point using logic, but it is not logical in and of itself.

Can you give an example of how we can think illogically?

Also, can anyone show how axioms are more than mental constructs? Can you give me an example of anything in reality that shows the equality axiom for example?
 
#16
The formal propositional fallacies are all examples of how we think illogically: affirming the consequent, denying the antecedent, affirming the disjunct. There are also other formal fallacies. (I can't conceive of a world in which these would not be fallacies.)
If consciousness can be illogical wouldn't that prove that it isn't a product of physical logical reality? (I'm taking reality to be logical here for the sake of argument, I realise I'm being inconsistent)

If it's taken purely syntactically, then it is an axiom by agreement. But if it's taken semantically, then we have to agree on what it means for two things to be equal. Can we agree that the same particle is equal to itself? If so, then that is a demonstration of the equality axiom: there really are equal things.
The axiom state that A = B, not A = A. Can you show my anything in reality that is equal to something else?
 
#17
Whether logic exists only in our minds is the same question as whether math exists in our minds. If reality follows rules and those rules are logical, does logic exist independently of us? I have no idea how to answer that.
If reality follows logical rules then yes, I think we'd have to say that logic is external to us. However, I wouldn't say it follows rules, I'd say it has regularities. It's a subtle distinction but allows for logic to be a process of our consciousness rather than something external to it. It also allows us to model these regularities using rules, and also allows for consciousness to have influence over the regularities.

To me, the idea of reality running in some sort of logical computer is silly. And then leads to be obvious question of what reality runs that computer. If there are rules, something must be enforcing those rules. But then that thing must itself be outside of those rules. Again, we have come back to there being something outside of logic. Whichever way you look at it there always has to be something outside of logic. I label that something 'consciousness'.

Gödel's incompleteness theorems formally prove the incompleteness of any axiom system.
 
#18
Interesting idea, but I'd suggest that the axioms would be true in all realities. They are still true in my dreams, even though my dreams do not follow physical rules. I don't think reality 'runs' on axioms, although I think Jules would disagree with me here.
Don't put words in my mouth :D. I don't think reality 'runs' on axioms. After all I am a psychic.
 
#19
If consciousness can be illogical wouldn't that prove that it isn't a product of physical logical reality? (I'm taking reality to be logical here for the sake of argument, I realise I'm being inconsistent)

The axiom state that A = B, not A = A. Can you show my anything in reality that is equal to something else?
That's not an axiom.
 
#20
Don't put words in my mouth :D. I don't think reality 'runs' on axioms. After all I am a psychic.
My apologies, I've obviously misunderstood you. I was not so much putting words into your mouth as trying to understand your take on things. I'm happy to be corrected :)

This is what made me think this:
Jules said:
In another thread (Materialism is Baloney) I tried to show how logic constrains how the universe unfolds itself.
 
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