Sunday, July 13, 2008


How does 'something' become 'something different'? Not in the mechanical or computable sense where an external agent such as the wind erodes a rock, or a sculptor changes that rock.

But in an organic sense, where we observe an entity in a certain state at a particular time: x(t).

And we wonder what caused it to change to x(t + 1) one hour or one generation later. There seem to be three 'causes'.

Stochastic - which is purely accidental and not computable. This is the answer of many biologists to evolution, with their decision that random changes provide functional new properties. I have a problem with this, because by the time a random change that actually works comes along, the species would be long extinct. I am only comparing my lack of success at winning the lottery.

Deterministic - which is most certainly computable and we then have to consider the Agent of Determination. And the agenda of that Agent.

(1) Choice can be by the individual alone; it can remain with the individual alone. Such as a rat biting off its tail (we won't discuss why). Such a change remains with that individual alone.

(2) Or, it can refer to the whole but local Set of a particular species (animal or plant) in a particular environmental domain. In this case, for example, the beak of a bird species will enlarge and harden to enable it to deal with a new seed in that domain.

(3) Or, it can refer to the entire non-local Set of organisms, such as all birds.

I think that Choice-2 is the most important biological property. I'd put Choice-3 as relevant to the physico-chemical realm.

Why do I use the term 'choice', a term that usually indicates a reasoning Agent? Because I think that a certain amount of Reasoning is going on. In fact, I consider Nature as a process of Reason, in that its properties and productions are not random but correlated, interactional, productive. These seem, to me, to be acts of Reason rather than non-reason.

I think that biological systems have an 'internal' informational process, a Reasoning Informational process that is held within all members of a species; and, then located within a domain. These informational processes functions as a kind of google search engine, connecting to all the realities in that ecosystem. Connecting to what is going on in that ecosystem.

As such, this internal informatonal system, which I call Strong Anticipation, comes up with hypothetical solutions to environmental concerns. Hypothetical, not actual, so that there is no destabilization of the system. It comes up with a number of such hypotheses. Any one of them would function as a solution.
But, the system itself 'chooses' ONE solution. This can be a random choice but remember, any one of them would function, because the system has 'pre-approved' all of them as informationally relevant in this domain. This then emerges as the new property of the system, and becomes dominant in the real world.


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