Emergence: not understood (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 11:22 (538 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Life is an emergent phenomenon, but emergence is not understood, but this article makes an attempt:

QUOTES: "Nature is filled with such examples of complex behaviors that arise spontaneously from relatively simple elements. Researchers have even coined the term “emergence” to describe these puzzling manifestations of self-organization, which can seem, at first blush, inexplicable. Where does the extra injection of complex order suddenly come from?"
"Answers are starting to come into view. One is that these emergent phenomena can be understood only as collective behaviors — there is no way to make sense of them without looking at dozens, hundreds, thousands or more of the contributing elements en masse. These wholes are indeed greater than the sums of their parts.

dhw: This is not an answer, it is a definition of emergence!

DAVID:: It is not 'spooky'. We know how ice works. We enjoy a symphony from 50+ coordinating members of an orchestra. What emerges is what we hear. Of course it emerges. Life emerges from all of the coordinated activity by all its cells, but we still don't understand its 'conductor'.

dhw: Precisely. Nobody knows how ‘emergence’ works. These extracts (thank you editing the article) give us no answers at all, but I do think emergence is ‘spooky’, because we can’t see a conductor that coordinates the actions of all the intelligent players, and we don’t know who composed the symphony in the first place.

DAVID: It just brings up God as conductor.

Ugh, this image is becoming too laboured! I’ll stick to the fact that nobody knows how emergence works!

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