Poll: The relationship between science and religion
 

has been artificial since DesCartes

is a dichotomy

can be seen holisticly if we remove ourselves from the constraints of each discipline

all of the above

 

This is about science, religion, and philosophy:new member

 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 08:50
 

Well Jefe. I am sorry that you were not declared a REAL intellectual but….thats the way it goes I guess.

Still, anybody that enjoys Loreena McKennitt is an intellectual in my little book!

Reductionism be damned!

I would be very willing to stay the hell out of the way and let complexifier and Salt Creek do intellectual battle however. That WOULD be fun to watch. grin

 
 
complexifier
 
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complexifier
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26 September 2008 09:01
 

Are there not levels of reductionism? Dennett refers to ‘greedy’ reductionism as being the culprit that you are speaking about. Cannot some levels of reductionism lead to levels of understanding? Is not some reductionism required to explain any complex system?

Reductionism has got us the technology we so much adore.  If that is how you want to approach the philosophical questions around science then you are home free.  Science has shunned philosophy and has been hurt by that.  It is high time we got things back into perspective.  The response here tells me that the last 10-20 years have gone unnoticed by some of us.  There are Centers for the study of complex systems in every major university along with the Santa Fe Institute.  The New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) includes Harvard and MIT among others.  I gave a three hour tutorial at the first meeting of NECSI.  I am not dropping new stuff on you out of the blue.  Behe misused complexity theory in his defense of “Intelligent Design”.  This is not that new.

Now to give a more direct answer.  Reductionism can help us whenever it is mechanism we are after.  It fails totally if we want to understand those things we call “functional components” that do not map in any 1:1 way back onto atoms and molecules.  Physicists and biologists are well aware of this.  Hence the myriad of books on the subject.  The Schroedinger “What is Life?” question is ill posed. We have written about this extensively.  His call for a “new physics” has been and is being answered.  I’m glad I posted my little introduction.  I expected to get right into the modern aspects of the issue, but it is clear that we need to go back through 20-50 years of recent history first.  Let me suggest some readings beyond Rosen who is a must:
Turbulent Mirror by Briggs and Peat.(Physicists)
Complexity and PostmodernismPaul Cilliers (Philosopher)
Chaos and OrderN. Katherine Hayles (Professor of English)

This is but a smattering, but it illustrates the fact that scholars from many disciplines have been at this for some time.

 
 
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burt
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26 September 2008 09:12
 
complexifier - 26 September 2008 11:55 AM

complexifier is preaching the doctrine of “Anti-Scientific Synthetic holism”, also known ASS holism. Ignore him, and he will go away.

  Finally a REAL intellectual appears here.  I was getting worried by all those other folk!  Yes you are very clumsy at setting up straw men though.  If you wish I can help you.  I hope you can understand this reply, it may tax you too much.

Don’t worry about Salt Creek, he is a totally reductionist material physicist who is able to rise to brilliant levels of insult without ever lifting his eyes from the muddy ground of mechanistic method.  Enjoy his posts for what they are and ignore him.  wink

 
 
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burt
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26 September 2008 09:14
 
McCreason - 26 September 2008 12:50 PM

Well Jefe. I am sorry that you were not declared a REAL intellectual but….thats the way it goes I guess.

Still, anybody that enjoys Loreena McKennitt is an intellectual in my little book!

Reductionism be damned!

I would be very willing to stay the hell out of the way and let complexifier and Salt Creek do intellectual battle however. That WOULD be fun to watch. grin

The high road and the low road, as it were.  LOL

 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 09:18
 

LOL auto-flagellation of the gyrus? Jefe?

Is that irreducibly complex or what?

 
 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 09:22
 

Well complexifier it’s like this-there are some really smart folks here. But most of us are just mainly Sam Harris fans. We like his books and what he has to say.

This is probably not the best place in cyberspace to discuss really complex science issues. Seems that you have figured that out.
So it makes me wonder…..why are you here actually?

 
 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 09:25
 

And intellectual masturbation can be reduced to what exactly?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder? grin

 
 
 
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burt
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26 September 2008 09:25
 

Mechanism appeared in the seventeenth century and became the basic metaphysical model for the way science considered the world.  One of the appeals it had for many of the scientists (or, as they were called at the time, natural philosophers) of the time was that it seemed a way to support religion against the Renaissance naturalism that was popular in the sixteenth century.  This held, in part, that there were occult powers in nature that could be discovered and controlled, operating through rules of sympathy, antipathy, correspondence, and so on.  This was used by some to give “natural” explanations of biblical miracles—they were not acts of God, but simply expressions of natural powers.  Mechanism eliminated those arguments by denying any causal power to nature, it was just mechanical so any miracle had to come from God.  (This is one of the reasons that some people were concerned about Newton introducing gravity as an action at a distance…, very suspect.)

Reductionism goes back a bit further, at least (in its most radical form) to a misunderstanding of Plato who suggested that the way to proceed was to carve things into components (“carving at the joints, not breaking any bone in half, as a bad carver might”) discover the nature of the components, and then reassemble the components.  Reduction assumes that all causality is bottom up, there is no such thing as top down causality.  The properties of the whole are determined by the properties of the components.  The whole doesn’t determine the component properties.

 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 09:30
 

Very nice burt. I am impressed even if SC and complexifier are not.

But you need to work on being too nice and cordial. Thats not ‘in’ right now. Being a keyboard tough guy and a complete ‘dickweed’ to people is whats important.

 
 
 
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burt
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26 September 2008 11:53
 
McCreason - 26 September 2008 01:30 PM

Very nice burt. I am impressed even if SC and complexifier are not.

But you need to work on being too nice and cordial. Thats not ‘in’ right now. Being a keyboard tough guy and a complete ‘dickweed’ to people is whats important.

I’m saving up for a big flame.  grin

 
 
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eudemonia
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26 September 2008 12:06
 

Careful burt. SC will track you down and call you about 14 different kinds of a fuckwit.

 
 
 
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mesomorph
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27 September 2008 15:04
 

It seems that Complexifier has gone. I wanted to ask him what he thinks of Nassim Haramein. The chaps at the Dawkins website can’t seem to come to a conclusion, and neither can I. He could be a genius or he could be a kook.

 
 
 
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Traces Elk
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29 September 2008 07:46
 
mesomorph - 27 September 2008 07:04 PM

It seems that Complexifier has gone. I wanted to ask him what he thinks of Nassim Haramein. The chaps at the Dawkins website can’t seem to come to a conclusion, and neither can I. He could be a genius or he could be a kook.

Probably a kook. The whole point of unifying discourse escapes me at the moment, but I am struck by the messianic fervor with which various individuals pursue it, including complexifier. Promotion of a theory of everything is always premature.

Meanwhile, if you want to educate yourselves broadly on the subject of complex phenomena, you could do worse than reviewing the readings kindly collected for you at:

https://campus.fsu.edu/bbcswebdav/users/jastallins/public_htm/courses/complexity/schedule.htm

Click the links to access the readings.

 
 
 
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mesomorph
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29 September 2008 08:16
 
Salt Creek - 29 September 2008 11:46 AM

if you want to educate yourselves broadly on the subject of complex phenomena, you could do worse than reviewing the readings kindly collected for you at https://campus.fsu.edu/bbcswebdav/users/jastallins/public_htm/courses/complexity/schedule.htm

Crikey Salt! Could you give an executive summary? Save me about 10 hours?

Salt Creek - 29 September 2008 11:46 AM

Promotion of a theory of everything is always premature.

I do like that.

 
 
 
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Traces Elk
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29 September 2008 08:31
 

If you don’t want to spend ten hours, spend an hour reading this:

https://campus.fsu.edu/bbcswebdav/users/jastallins/public_htm/courses/complexity/readings/wilson.pdf

My point is only that if you want to withstand being sucked into the storm of bullshit spewed out by such as complexifier, you probably have to do your own reading. Otherwise, you should simply sit in the audience and regard their pronouncements with meek awe.

The executive summary is that nearly all complexity theory is bullshit at this stage. When technology arrives that actually makes use of complexity theory, you will know that somebody really understands something about it.

Other kinds of “understanding” are subjective and consequently overrated. Hence, theories of everything sprout from it like weeds.