Emergence (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, October 11, 2018, 12:46 (257 days ago)

Under “Natural wonders: …soldier ants.."

QUOTE: The researchers also discovered that the colony as a whole maintains the balance between soldiers and minor workers by regulating the growth of the rudimentary wing discs in larvae.

DAVID:: This shows an automatic control over soldier numbers by a pheramone release. I can predict the next finding: the ant colony estimates the ratio of soldiers by analyzing the concentration of a pheramone the soldiers release within the colony and adjust fetal ratios appropriately. A great example of design.

Thank you once more for a fascinating article about these wonderful creatures. We need to delve deeper, though. You and the authors talk of the colony maintaining the balance and estimating the ratio, but what is the colony? It’s a collection of individual ants. And the ants cooperate to produce every action they perform. Of course you can argue that 3.8 billion years ago your God programmed every aspect of ant society, or that he stepped in to adjust the programme whenever there was a problem. But another possibility is that individual ants pooled their (perhaps God-given) intelligence to invent all the techniques which they now use to enable their society to run as smoothly and efficiently as it does now. In other words, another great example of ant design.

Under "Big brain evolution":

QUOTES: “microglia, immune cells that live in the brain, prune back unwanted synapses by engulfing or "eating" them.
"The findings add fuel to the idea that the brain has a balance of opposing factors that help fine-tune its connections—a yin/yang of sorts.

An interesting parallel to the ant procedure. Again we talk of the brain as a unit, like the ant colony, but it’s made up of cooperating individuals. We never think of it that way, but if we do, we come back to the concept of emergence, which Wikipedia describes as follows:

"In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts."

This fits in neatly with the "Theory of Intelligence" I tried to develop elsewhere, and also with Sheldrake’s morphic fields. It may be possible (emphasis on "may") that interactions among the parts of the brain can produce the immaterial intelligent self which dualists call the "soul".

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 20, 2019, 19:24 (155 days ago) @ dhw

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

https://www.quantamagazine.org/emergence-how-complex-wholes-emerge-from-simple-parts-20...

"You could spend a lifetime studying an individual water molecule and never deduce the precise hardness or slipperiness of ice. Watch a lone ant under a microscope for as long as you like, and you still couldn’t predict that thousands of them might collaboratively build bridges with their bodies to span gaps. Scrutinize the birds in a flock or the fish in a school and you wouldn’t find one that’s orchestrating the movements of all the others.

"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.

"Another is that even when the elements continue to follow the same rules of individual behavior, external considerations can change the collective outcome of their actions. For instance, ice doesn’t form at zero degrees Celsius because the water molecules suddenly become stickier to one another. Rather, the average kinetic energy of the molecules drops low enough for the repulsive and attractive forces among them to fall into a new, more springy balance. That liquid-to-solid transition is such a useful comparison for scientists studying emergence that they often characterize emergent phenomena as phase changes.

"Spooky as emergence can seem, a formal understanding of it might be within reach. Some researchers are looking for universal rules that would describe emergent phenomena in any system. Statistical procedures like renormalization can identify precisely when and how collective phenomena start to become more significant.

"As a scientific concept, emergence has its critics, who find it too slippery and too uninformative to be useful. But if nothing else, emergence helps to illustrate why scientists find hierarchies of physical laws and processes operating at different scales throughout nature."

Comment: 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'.

Emergence: not understood

by dhw, Monday, January 21, 2019, 13:43 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

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

https://www.quantamagazine.org/emergence-how-complex-wholes-emerge-from-simple-parts-20...

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."

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'.

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.

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Monday, January 21, 2019, 15:35 (155 days ago) @ dhw

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

https://www.quantamagazine.org/emergence-how-complex-wholes-emerge-from-simple-parts-20...

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."

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.

It just brings up God as conductor

Emergence: not understood

by dhw, Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 11:22 (154 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Life is an emergent phenomenon, but emergence is not understood, but this article makes an attempt:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/emergence-how-complex-wholes-emerge-from-simple-parts-20...

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!

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 16:59 (153 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Life is an emergent phenomenon, but emergence is not understood, but this article makes an attempt:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/emergence-how-complex-wholes-emerge-from-simple-parts-20...

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.

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

Ah! I bring up God and you run. All of the biological simultaneous reactions in coordination create life. We can stop with that.

Emergence: not understood

by dhw, Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 13:12 (153 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID:: It [emergence]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.

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

DAVID: Ah! I bring up God and you run. All of the biological simultaneous reactions in coordination create life. We can stop with that.

No, it is the orchestral image I run from. We have intelligent players (but you don’t believe in intelligent cells), we have a known and visible conductor (not visible or known in cell coordination), and we have an unseen composer who created all the instructions (a nice image for your God, but you think God is the conductor). Too messy.

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 15:45 (153 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID:: It [emergence]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.

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

DAVID: Ah! I bring up God and you run. All of the biological simultaneous reactions in coordination create life. We can stop with that.

dhw: No, it is the orchestral image I run from. We have intelligent players (but you don’t believe in intelligent cells), we have a known and visible conductor (not visible or known in cell coordination), and we have an unseen composer who created all the instructions (a nice image for your God, but you think God is the conductor). Too messy.

Messy is your vision of God enjoying the spectacle of the bush of life and inventing that bush just so He could watch the spectacle of everyone eating each other.

Emergence: not understood

by dhw, Thursday, January 24, 2019, 10:14 (152 days ago) @ David Turell

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

DAVID: Ah! I bring up God and you run. All of the biological simultaneous reactions in coordination create life. We can stop with that.

dhw: No, it is the orchestral image I run from. We have intelligent players (but you don’t believe in intelligent cells), we have a known and visible conductor (not visible or known in cell coordination), and we have an unseen composer who created all the instructions (a nice image for your God, but you think God is the conductor). Too messy.

DAVID: Messy is your vision of God enjoying the spectacle of the bush of life and inventing that bush just so He could watch the spectacle of everyone eating each other.

It is you who insist that the purpose of the spectacle is simply to create organisms to eat one another until 3.5+ billion years have passed. Personally, I see a great deal more in the spectacle: I see sheer beauty as well as sheer horror; I see love as well as suffering (and I’m not just talking about the human world); I see astonishing feats of ingenuity. And you yourself have expressed the view that your hidden God watches it all with interest. Why do you find this messy?

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 24, 2019, 20:25 (151 days ago) @ dhw

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

DAVID: Ah! I bring up God and you run. All of the biological simultaneous reactions in coordination create life. We can stop with that.

dhw: No, it is the orchestral image I run from. We have intelligent players (but you don’t believe in intelligent cells), we have a known and visible conductor (not visible or known in cell coordination), and we have an unseen composer who created all the instructions (a nice image for your God, but you think God is the conductor). Too messy.

DAVID: Messy is your vision of God enjoying the spectacle of the bush of life and inventing that bush just so He could watch the spectacle of everyone eating each other.

dhw: It is you who insist that the purpose of the spectacle is simply to create organisms to eat one another until 3.5+ billion years have passed. Personally, I see a great deal more in the spectacle: I see sheer beauty as well as sheer horror; I see love as well as suffering (and I’m not just talking about the human world); I see astonishing feats of ingenuity. And you yourself have expressed the view that your hidden God watches it all with interest. Why do you find this messy?

What is messy is your constant humanizing God's thinking in your interpretation. As I've noted all along is, if evolution has to last 3.5-8 billion years, as God's choice of method of creation of organisms, then everyone has to be present and in balance to supply the food. I have agreed that God watches with interest as He evolves everyone, but with involved interest as a creator, not a spectator.

Emergence: not understood

by dhw, Friday, January 25, 2019, 10:24 (151 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Messy is your vision of God enjoying the spectacle of the bush of life and inventing that bush just so He could watch the spectacle of everyone eating each other.

dhw: It is you who insist that the purpose of the spectacle is simply to create organisms to eat one another until 3.5+ billion years have passed. Personally, I see a great deal more in the spectacle: I see sheer beauty as well as sheer horror; I see love as well as suffering (and I’m not just talking about the human world); I see astonishing feats of ingenuity. And you yourself have expressed the view that your hidden God watches it all with interest. Why do you find this messy?

DAVID: What is messy is your constant humanizing God's thinking in your interpretation. As I've noted all along is, if evolution has to last 3.5-8 billion years, as God's choice of method of creation of organisms, then everyone has to be present and in balance to supply the food. I have agreed that God watches with interest as He evolves everyone, but with involved interest as a creator, not a spectator.

As regards “humanizing”, see my post under “Big brain evolution”. You keep talking as if evolution has finished, which is your assumption, and it is not your God’s choice of method of creating organisms that is the problem: you keep telling us that it was God’s choice to take 3.5+ billion years to create us, and so he created millions of other life forms so that they could eat one another before he created us. If God exists, then of course he is the creator, but what makes you think a creator cannot also be a spectator watching the spectacle he creates?

Emergence: not understood

by David Turell @, Friday, January 25, 2019, 21:21 (150 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Messy is your vision of God enjoying the spectacle of the bush of life and inventing that bush just so He could watch the spectacle of everyone eating each other.

dhw: It is you who insist that the purpose of the spectacle is simply to create organisms to eat one another until 3.5+ billion years have passed. Personally, I see a great deal more in the spectacle: I see sheer beauty as well as sheer horror; I see love as well as suffering (and I’m not just talking about the human world); I see astonishing feats of ingenuity. And you yourself have expressed the view that your hidden God watches it all with interest. Why do you find this messy?

DAVID: What is messy is your constant humanizing God's thinking in your interpretation. As I've noted all along is, if evolution has to last 3.5-8 billion years, as God's choice of method of creation of organisms, then everyone has to be present and in balance to supply the food. I have agreed that God watches with interest as He evolves everyone, but with involved interest as a creator, not a spectator.

dhw: As regards “humanizing”, see my post under “Big brain evolution”. You keep talking as if evolution has finished, which is your assumption, and it is not your God’s choice of method of creating organisms that is the problem: you keep telling us that it was God’s choice to take 3.5+ billion years to create us, and so he created millions of other life forms so that they could eat one another before he created us. If God exists, then of course he is the creator, but what makes you think a creator cannot also be a spectator watching the spectacle he creates?

Of course He is a spectator to His creation, but there is no evidence He desired a spectacle for His 'enjoyment', one of your favorite humanizing suppositions about God. I'm simply in interpreting what history shows us.

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